I think the most important question to focus on during our socials unit is “How can history help us to live in the present?” It targets the past and the present which I think is the most important compared to the other questions. The events and actions from history can give the future informed judgments on what actions to take. We can use history to live a better future. If issues from the past happen in the present or future, we can look back to solve these reoccurring problems. With the new knowledge of the present and the historical evidence of the past, our future can expand in success. For example, there were many diseases and sicknesses in history where people thought nothing could cure them. The Black Plague was extremely deadly and nobody knew where it came from or how to prevent it. Eventually, people found out it came from rats and fleas from overseas and found a way to protect themselves. Staying away from the infected trade route places lead to a breakthrough. Today, if a plague were to spread again, we would have the present knowledge and research of antibiotics and the past knowledge of what actions to take. Humanity needs history to help live in the present and future.
During the past two weeks, I asked the school art teacher for sculpting materials and she kindly sold me a bag of clay and allowed me to freely use the ceramics room. Now that I have secured my clay materials, I can get to work on my main clay sculpture(s). After meeting with my mentor several times, I have decided to change my objectives and goals to accommodate my mentor’s abilities and to work outside of regular ceramic making.
- Work on one sculpted CLAY sculpture for one month using materials from ceramics room
- Work on one METAL/FABRIC sculpture
- Work on one MULTIMEDIA sculpture for one month
Mentor- Mieko Graham
Currently, my mentor and I are meeting on Monday after school at the library every 2 weeks, and sometimes Friday after school. The last few meetings were around 30 mins where my mentor gave me information on the different types of sculpting and some books for me to read and study. Now that I have clay, access to a kiln, and can freely use the ceramics room, I have a location to sculpt in. For one month, I will be working on a clay sculpture. I will mostly be working during lunch times and Facetiming my mentor while at school. That way, she can help me while not needing to physically be with me. She can still give me directions and feedback while I sculpt.
What learning challenges emerged?
Sculpting is a very broad topic of study and five months isn’t enough time to cover all the materials included, all the styles, types, and knowledge. While I picked clay sculpting at the beginning, I became more interested in multimedia sculpting. I can only create few final artifacts in the time given. During the planning of clay sculptures, the sculptor needs to plan, sculpt the project, wait for it to dry, fire it, then glaze/paint the sculpture. The process can take up to months to do but I only have five. During In-Depth, I would like to squeeze in more projects that are not clay based. Other media sculptures can take just as long or even longer. To overcome this challenge, I plan to set weekly/monthly goals to keep myself on track. I also need to make more time for In-Depth in order to complete what I want to complete.
What logical challenges affected your communication?
My schedule is quite packed and the time that is most convenient for me to work is during lunch at school. The problem with that is my mentor can’t physically be with me and I only have around 40 mins to work. It will take me much longer than I want but I will have all the materials and tools around me in the ceramics room. I’m planning to FaceTime my mentor at lunch while I work but it will be harder and more challenging if I’m getting her feedback from a video call. When my schedule is less tight and when the project is less fragile, I can work someplace where my mentor will be with me.
What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?
In the library where we meet, we only have a limited meeting time and we are in an environment where there are other people around and is a generally quiet place. I cannot bring my slab of clay into the library and she cannot go to Gleneagle during lunch times to work with me. While we are getting more comfortable with each other, we are still strangers and we still need time until we can interact effectively. The more we work with each other, the more comfortable we will get.
When I met with my mentor, she told me there were many forms of sculpting. I discovered I was more interested in additive (adding sculpting materials, clay etc, together and sculpting it to make an object), figurative (sculpted objects based of a real object, opposite of abstract), and assemblage (assembling already found objects with other found objects or making other objects). These are the ones I will mainly focus on for my project. I also discovered I was interested in working with multi-media which my mentor specialized in. Multi-media including clay, metal, fabrics, wood, soap carving, etc. With my interests and my mentor’s experience, I will most likely be working with metal, fabrics, and combining clay to make separate media sculptures and adding them together to make multimedia sculptures. I will still mainly be focusing on clay for the beginning but will branch off into other media as I get more comfortable with sculpting.
During lunch, I went to the ceramics room and asked if I could use the clay and their various tools. The teacher said I had to be enrolled in a ceramics class for the semester, but she thought about it and was willing to sell me all the materials I needed for a price.
Right now, I am working on my sculpting skills with the notes from my mentor and waiting to buy the materials. I am also researching more on the history of sculpting with the books Mieko provided for me and practicing as much as I can before we meet again. Since I will be mostly working on my projects in the ceramics room at lunch, Mieko suggested we could Facetime or video call during lunch so we would work together, even if not physically meeting. I am continuing to learn and hoping to gain more skill during this week.
In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, we see how emotions influence our perceptions of the world around us. Emotion is defined as, “an instinctive state of mind, deriving of one’s circumstance, mood, or relationship with others”. Based on the emotion, people instinctively act, whether its rash, beneficial, or hurtful. In the book, Helena is so in love with Demetrius and desperate to get love back from him, that she ignores all the dangers of going into the woods at night with someone who doesn’t appreciate her affection. Her emotions are blinding all the risks. Demetrius says to her, “You do impeach your modesty too much, to leave the city and commit yourself into the hands of one that loves you not; to trust the opportunity of night/with the rich worth of your virginity”, warning her of what someone like himself can do to her with the cover of night and with no heart that loves her (2.1.215-220). Another form of selfish acts is jealousy. Fairy king Oberon wants the changeling for himself as his henchman. He states, “I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep/the next thing she waking looks upon/she shall pursue it with the soul of love: and ere I take this charm from off her sight/I’ll make her render up her page to me” (2.1.180-185). With the power of love-in-idleness, Oberon decides to put his queen, Titania under a love spell so that he would have the chance to take the changeling off her possession. Because of his desire to have the changeling, he is willing to put a love spell on his lover and partner in order to have what he wants. From this book, we understand how we act based on what perception of the world is going through our mind from our emotions.
In-Depth project has begun, and even before the school year started, it was in the back of my mind. Over the summer break, I visited a few museums in Toronto and Ottawa and saw all the cool sculptures/models of animals and creatures. I was fascinated by how real looking they were and how humans could create such a marvelous project with such skill. They were so detailed and every edge, body, and proportion was sculpted with care. When it came time to pick a topic for In-Depth, I centered my ideas on art related things but I quickly realized I wanted to do sculpting. Sculpting to me is a way to show a person’s true skill. It’s very hard to perfect but when it’s done right, the outcome is truly a masterpiece. I want to express my passions through clay and sculptures and to bring out my creativity in full 3D. I hope to learn how to sculpt intricate objects with correct proportions, have attention to small important details, and use tools. I hope to get to the point where I can create museum-like sculptures with fake fur and extra accessories. I’ve sculpted miniature clay figures in my childhood, but I want to kick it up a few notches and make bigger, better, and grander clay sculptures.
- Create at least one big detailed sculpture to present
- Create at least 3 medium sized detailed sculptures to present
- Create a real-life looking animal to present, adding extra accessories
A few issues I had was with my mentor. I contacted Place des Arts and asked if a sculpting instructor from there was willing to be my mentor. I got a reply but after a few email messages, things didn’t work out. She was kind and referred me to one of her friends who also majored in sculpting, and also lives in Coquitlam. I contacted Mieko Graham right away and she officially became my mentor.
Another problem is a location for meetups with my mentor. I would like to use the Gleneagle ceramics room and the kiln inside, but I don’t know if I have the teacher’s permission.
I am very excited to start sculpting. I will become master sculptor by the end!
Over the winter break, I planned out my presentation which is to prepare a poster board with the style of a graphic novel and to make another board with examples explaining my main poster board. The more I thought about my question, “What are the most important aspects of a graphic novel”, I started questioning what “aspect” means. Is it what adds impact to the novel? Is it part of the story plot or the style of graphic novels? Since there were so many ways to define it, I decided to pick my three major thoughts.
- What are the most important aspects of the graphic novel style?
- What are the most important aspects of graphic novels? How is it different from normal chapter books?
- What are the most important aspects of graphics novels that affect the reader’s understanding of the novel?
My original plan for my inquiry was to create a graphic novel of my own, but I realized I wouldn’t have time for it, and that’ll I will most likely save this topic for next year. Then, I’ll have most of my ZIP time to make a graphic novel of my own.
I finished taking notes from “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud and reviewed them to decided how I should present my learning. I turned to the internet and researched more from there and made a little booklet that shows what I learned from Mr. McCloud and examples to help explain the notes. This will later be turned into a bigger poster board for presentations.
I expanded my questions and added, “how do graphic novels affect the reader differently from chapter books” to look more into the reader’s side of this inquiry. It’ll start a new path, one that doesn’t stray too far away from the main road but it will send me down a narrow stream for one specific part of my inquiry.
I picked up “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud from the Coquitlam library and a graphic novel, “American born Chinese” by Gene Luen Yang from the school library. I read a few pages of both and took notes on important information from “Understanding Comics” and notes regarding story plot, characters, art styles, and graphic novel components from “American born Chinese”. I came up with new questions about graphic novels and how readers perceive the style of story telling of what graphic novels portray.
There were so many different graphic novels with different art styles that I had to only pick a few to analyze. I couldn’t cover the whole range of art styles with my given amount of time. I had to decided which ones appealed to me and which ones didn’t appeal to me and pick from each. I started losing interest in the ones that didn’t appeal to me since I was always drawn to the more interesting books.
In Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior’s most significant conflict is how his own Native American people see him after he chooses to go to Reardan. Mr. P confronts Junior about his past with reservation schools, saying “You have to leave this reservation” and explaining, “All these kids have given up […] And me and every other teacher here. We’re all defeated” meaning they all lost to the government and their rules (42). Mr. P tells Junior to go to a white school in order to give him a future there. When Junior tells Rowdy he is going to switch to Reardan, he is outraged. When the whole tribe knows about Junior, they all call him a traitor. During the basketball game between Wellpinit and Reardan, everyone literally turns their backs to Junior when he enters the gym. They are telling him they don’t trust him anymore, and that he betrayed his tribe. Junior wants to be both white and Indian, a Native American going to a white school. What was wrong with trying to obtain a successful future for himself? Junior says, “Given the chance, my mother would have gone to college [..] Given the chance, my father would have been a musician […] But we reservation Indians don’t get to realize our dreams. We don’t get those chances, or choices […]” and Junior just wants to break the poverty cycle and to give a chance for his future (13). He wants the rest of his tribe to realize that, but they are all blinded by the rule that all white people are filthy rich and racist.