SFU- There and Back again

So it seems what I thought was my first blog post actually turned out to be a page. Oops. Oh well, I’ll figure that out later. Anyway, I finally figured out how to post- I know I know, I’m a genius. Okay back to the actual topic of this post. The SFU reflection. Thats what this post is going to be about. So yes, on… Lets see it was October 30th, thats right. We went to SFU on to see the museum, to go on a tour, and to have delicious nan bread- I mean Indian food. And, all importantly, to research our eminent person at the gigantic seven floor library there. As you probably know (If not check the random page/intro post on the tool bar) my eminent person is Diet Eman. Well the library wasn’t very helpful in that respect. Apparently my person is too obscure to even be in a giant seven story university library… No matter though, because coincedently, I have her autobiography here at home. However, even though the library didn’t have anything useful for my person exactly, it was so cool. I took tons of pictures of really old books with weathered spines and gilded covers… I was in my element it was beautiful.

The tour was cool, but there was a little to much concrete for my likeing. Actually, scratch little. It was all concrete. I mean, why not old fashioned brick? Why not gilded gates? Why not dark chestnut wood? Why concrete of all things? Sorry, I just have a thing with old fashioned buildings, they are so much more beautiful and interesting than modern ones in my mind. But it was also a lot of fun to just walk along the halls chatting with friends and getting to know one another a lot better.  Besides the look of the building, I learned a lot about the history of the building, what a university campus looks like, and how life on campus might go after I finish my four years at Gleneagle.

Moving on. The Indian food was great, it was a lot of fun to sit around a table with friends and just get to know everyone a lot better. Museum was cool, the first nations weapons were awesome, there were spears, arrows, bows, and all hand made too! If there ever were a break in to the university the museum would be a good place to barricade yourself. Or the kitchen.

Anyway, to answer the questions. I think I answered the learn question in the second paragraph or somewhere around there… What’s the theme of the trip? Hmmm… Well for me the thing that I had the most fun doing was making friends and bonding with everyone, even surpassing running my fingers over dusty old books in the library. Where to now?  Well, I need to read the autobiography that’s in my house and learn Diet’s story. That’s important. After that I should start thinking about my introview. I think Diet’s still alive it would be cool to interview her. Or someone who knew her well. I’ll think about it.

So, you’ve all been treated to a very long extended version of my trip to SFU! Yay! Hopefully I didn’t kill you all with boredom… That wouldn’t be good. And, for lack of a better conclusion, I shall say farewell and bring an end to this post.

Library Field Study at Simon Fraser University

Don’t be fooled by the title: Last week’s trip to SFU was more than just a “library field study”.

A selfie with Melanie!

Prior to our arrival at Simon Fraser University, I decided to participate in some TALONS bonding. I sat next to Melanie, a grade 9, and we both discussed our anticipations before the trip. We both agreed that we were looking for experience in a university campus. Our goal was to put ourselves in a university students’ shoes and explore the real-life schedule of a typical university student. In addition, we were hoping to feel less intimidated by a university campus, reassuring each other that we would be able to navigate through each and every hallway and classroom. Lastly, we took a “selfie” to capture our moment of bonding!

My view from the solo spot… I was lucky enough to be sitting by a window!
My view from the solo spot… I was lucky enough to be sitting by a window!

There were four main parts to the library field study: the solo spot, the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the campus tour, and the SFU library. The solo spot is a common TALONS practice used for independent reflection and observation. Personally, I found it quite uneventful because of the lack of new discovery. Usually when we do this outdoors, I always find something very interesting about nature. I have the opportunity to inhale the scents of mother nature’s home while observing the different patterns of certain trees, plants, and sometimes animals. Here, at SFU, there was nothing to really observe other than the abundance of students passing through the hallway aiming to arrive at their class in 2.5 minutes. Looking back at it, it was actually kind of nice in a way because it gave me an opportunity to put myself in the students’ shoes, something I anticipated prior to our arrival.

IMG_1183Following the solo spot, my TALONS peers and I entered the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Although this museum may not relate to everyone’s eminent person, it definitely relates to the units of study we will be addressing in Social Studies 10 next semester. Although the museum was small, it contained a variety of very unique art pieces, some of which I had the opportunity to touch! One particular item I generally enjoyed was the snowy owl because of its soft fur that was as white as pearls. Another artifact I loved was a calligraphy piece of Chinese writing. I was very intrigued by it because last year I studied the language of Mandarin Chinese for my in depth study and seeing the piece last week allowed me to think and reflect on how much I had learned during that 5 month period.

Before continuing, I would like to take a pit stop at the Himalayan Peak restaurant, where we dined. The Himalayan Peak offers fine Indian cuisine and excellent service. I enjoyed taking a small bit of India as well as continuing my bonding with my TALONS peers. Here is a photo:

Christal (left) and Andrea (right)
Christal (left) and Andrea (right)

After our eventful lunch, the TALONS class took a tour of the SFU campus, lead by Jamie’s sisters, Katie and Zoe. Katie led my tour, and she did an incredible job describing the SFU campus life and history. Katie walked us through the campus in such a way that educated me every time we took a stop. One event I particularly enjoyed was walking through the convocation stage and climbing the stairs to the “reflection pond”. I questioned the emotions I would feel during my undergraduate commencement.

A view of the reflection pond (featuring Emma and Eric!)
A view of the reflection pond



The final component of the day was the SFU library, named the W.A.C Bennett Library. I was not expecting to find much on Miranda Sings because of the fact that she is very recent. Nonetheless, I took a search through the library catalogue. I found no books on Miranda Sings (or Colleen Ballinger), however the library catalogue did say there were some newspaper articles available about her. This is where my search mission began. I travelled up to the sixth floor in search of at least one of the three newspaper articles offered. After half an hour of searching, I came out with no luck! I was very disappointed, however I knew that I could recover from this obstacle. I was not expecting for a breeze through this project… that would not be much fun, right?

Although I didn’t gain much from my personal eminent person study, I did learn what life is like in a university campus setting as well as some interesting facts about SFU. Although I did not find any books, I did widen my library research skills by searching for newspaper articles and helping my peers find books on their eminent person. To me, the overall theme of this trip was “connection”. Not only did I bond with my TALONS peers, I also found many relationships to past, present, and future topics of study TALONS has and hopefully will address in the near future. Thanks for taking the time to read through this detailed post, it’s time for me to keep researching and start focusing on my interview!


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Post SFU

Pre trip:

I went to SFU to find a book on the Spanish inquisition. More specifically, a book that depicts Ferdinand’s part in it. I will capture what I find through reading and a near- photographic memory.

Post trip:

I learned that other than being a great school, SFU hosts a fun population, museums, an extensive library, and the best Indian restaunt outside of India. The theme of the trip was mainly for learning and searching, but it also got me thinking about where I want to go after Glen eagle. Next is to read the book in the short term, and start looking for an expert to interview in the long term.

please comment and let me know for changes

Untill next time,



Man, who didn’t like the unique library with 7 floors, the somewhat awkward solo spot, the museum, the bus ride, the tour of the beautiful SFU campus, and the INDIAN FOOD!!! :D

The beautiful architecture in SFU where the graduation ceremony is held at.
One of the many examples of the amazing architecture in SFU. Also where the graduation ceremony is held at!

On October 30th, 2014, TALONS set out on an adventure to SFU! This included going to the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, a solo spot, walking around SFU, eating at an Indian buffet, more walking around for the tour, and going to the library. I thought I was going to learn more about all of SFU, like the history and important advice. As well as learning more about my eminent person, Paula Radcliffe, and experiencing new things!

The museum showcased a variety of things like props inspired by Harry Potter, totem poles, masks, little sculptures, items made from animals (ex: jewelry made from animal bones), paintings, and a beautiful huge piece of wood…! It was interesting to see all these different things and I really liked looking at the totem poles and Harry Potter related items. I love totem poles because they just looks so antique and all totem poles have a really great story behind them. The House Spider showcased with the Harry Potter items scared me so much, but the owls made up for it because they were all so fluffy!

Then came my first experience of a solo spot in TALONS, how exciting! From what I learned, a solo spot is just when people spread apart from each other, and you just stand or sit there in silence for around 15 minutes, not talking or goofing off to other TALONS learners from across the hall. You try not to use any source of technology for 15 minutes straight, and just examine the place around you quietly and reflect. I actually really enjoyed this because it was very calming, and of course I had to choose the vending machines to stand by because food is love, food is life. They have really big bags of chips….just saying! I spent the 15 minutes just looking at the architecture of SFU, looking at the vending machines and getting hungry, watching people refill their water bottles, eavesdropping on people’s conversations (don’t say you didn’t do that also…), watching Mr. Jackson walk back and forth and back and forth, and wondering what would happen if I got lost. I also examined the people walking past me and wondered what they thought I was doing, either deciding what I wanted to buy from the vending machine for 15 minutes straight, or thinking why is there a random 8 year old just standing there in SFU!

It’s Indian food time! The Himalayan Peak Restaurant buffet was amazing! The rice, curry, and naan bread was breathe-taking, amazingness. Words can’t express how good the rice was…! It was also a great opportunity to socialize with the people sitting around you.

Next came the tour around the SFU campus. I was really looking forward to this because I plan to attend at SFU in the future, so it was a great opportunity to explore around, get to know the main components of the vast area, learn more about the University life, and to get some advice (AKA: life savers). I loved how some of the main components of SFU have some meaning to it, especially like the Reflection Pond, which was probably my favourite part from the tour. It showcases tranquility, and everyone needs peaceful moments in their life.

A sideways picture of all the wonderful colours of the library
A sideways picture of all the wonderful colours of the library

Finally, the last part of this journey was going to the library to find information about your Eminent Person Study Project. I get very lost, very quickly, so I had no clue where the books were and it took a long time for me to figure out the map…! But once I found where the book was, I realized it was about Ann Radcliffe, not Paula Radcliff, so that was a disappointment. By the time I realized that, it was pretty much too late to try to find another book, so I just decided to just explore around. I actually really liked this library because most of the books looked like they were so antique, since most books were leather bound. It was as if I was at a 7 floor thrift shop filled with beautiful looking books. Even though I could barely pronounce some of the titles of these books and that I didn’t find any information on my eminent person, it was still such a unique experience!

Picture showing that there were many, many, many books there
Picture showing that there were many, many, many books there

After this whole adventure, I realized that I did learn a bunch of new knowledge about SFU and got to experience and explore many different things, but I learned nothing new about Paula Radcliffe…which is a bummer, but I think it was worth it since I got to explore the wonders of the library! I think the overall theme of the trip exploring because that is basically what I did the whole trip, explore the whole SFU campus and library.

I hope you had as much fun as I had during this little field trip, thanks for reading, sorry for my rambling, and of course stay golden!

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Eminent Library Trip

I frankly came into this trip expecting to achieve next to nothing. This way, it’s nearly impossible to be disappointed with the results, no matter how bad they may be. Out of the four suggested categories of what we may want to get out of the trip, I decided to go with inspiration and bonding, however I would have been fine with only achieving one of them.

I doubted that SFU would carry books on Bill Nye, and I was half right. They did indeed carry three different books about Bill Nye, however they were all about a man that died sometime in 1930. I had high hopes for the book entitled “Bill Nye’s western humor”, but it turns out that book was also about our grave bound friend. Was there any relation between the modern day TV host and the pile o’ bones Bill?

I have no clue
As far as experience on a University campus goes, I wasn’t really in search of that either. This is because I live around a thirty minute walk away from the place, and I’ve already done multiple activities up there, ranging from leadership courses to diving. I didn’t have high hopes for finding anything new and exciting from our brief stay on campus.

pano resize

This left me with inspiration and peer bonding. Strangely enough, I found both of these in abundance, and in the same places. It was not the museum, tour or library that inspired me, but rather it was an all you can eat buffet and a trip on the big yellow sardine can. Many would be able to see how those promote bonding, but for an eminent person study they seem about as inspiring as a thesis on bricks. However, I found them inspiring in a way that I would not have expected. These two event created the theme of my trip: Fun. Although this is EXACTLY what we were told the trip was not meant to be about, I found my inspiration through fun.

By embarking on a project based trips, you associate your experiences on the trip with the project. For example’ If I were to be abducted by extra-terrestrials on the trip, I would then associate the eminent person project with alien abductions and human experimentation. i would longer enjoy the project, rather I would want to stay away from it. However, if I got to drive rally cars on the trip, I would associate the eminent person project with rally cars,, and I would very much so want to do the project again. This is why I found my fun experiences to be important, since they will influence how I think about the project. So what were these fun experiences?

First off would be the ride on the school bus, where we played charades and talked about “boy things”. Did I bond with peers? Yes. Was it fun? Certainly. Was it inspiring? Of course it was, I just spent the last quarter of this post explaining why having fun was inspiring.

Next is the Indian buffet, where i ate as much naan bread in one sitting as an actual Indian family of four would eat in a few days. This, to me, was blissfully fun. Next to me there was also an ancient ritual of testosterone pumped males known as an “eating contest”, which was also quite fun to watch. The meal also involved peer bonding, allowing me to check off both inspiration and bonding from the to do list.


Throughout this trip, I think I learned next to nothing. Nothing that I expected to learn about at least. I cam prepared to rigorously study facts about a quirky scientist, but instead I became educated in what I think is even more important. I learned how these experiences can truly change someone’s perspective. For me, that is making the eminent person study seem more interesting, and more fun. This will strongly influence my eminent person study, as I will now be much more willing to dive deep into it, since I now associate it with positive things. I also learned more about some of my new classmates, and a bit more about some I had known from previous schools.

But most importantly, I learned to check the weather forecast before embarking on a partially outdoor trip.

A Trip to the Library

The usually rambunctious TALONS gang turned their sights towards observation and research during our recent trip to Simon Fraser University, a trip with the broad goal to earn some insight on ourselves and our chosen eminent person. Within that goal however, I chose to focus on a few key points: to document my experiences in a way that could allow me to reflect and share with others, to gain some reading material on Frida Kahlo, and to fully immerse myself in the visual aspects of the university campus. Littered throughout this post you will find some photos of the TALONS group on the campus grounds, (eating, wandering, researching, or something of the like), which were taken with the camera on my mobile phone, one that I have been challenging myself to produce some decent results with. I am happy with the product, believing that it quite nicely conveys the grey and rainy atmosphere of the concrete city that is SFU, dotted with the brightness of autumn leaves or the obligatory Goretex rain jacket.


I mentioned earlier the notion of ‘visual immersion’ in terms of viewing and exploring the university’s grounds, and the reason for this has to do with my eminent person, Frida Kahlo. As what I would consider a master visualist, Frida had a unique, hauntingly poetic perspective of her world that flourished in her paintings and artistic works. Although some might consider some of her art tragic, I can imagine that she too was a woman of observation, of herself, her relationships, upbringing, and surroundings. Filtered through her creative yet radical mind, we can see her interpretations of these components come to life in her paintings, and my goal was to put myself in the place of the observer, as Frida might have done.

I took time throughout the day to note the architecture and landscape of SFU,  as well as how people interacted with their environment, whether it was an exhausted student napping on a study room couch, or the hooded heads of rushing crowds floating on overhead walkways. I found it interesting during lunch at an Indian restaurant, or during my urban solo spot, to find nuances in both the natural or industrial-looking parts of the campus that were reminiscent of Kahlo’s work. Looking through the artifacts of the university’s anthropology museum, I was reminded of Kahlo’s use of the traditionally bold Mexican colours and patterns in some of the First Nation and Aztec art, and I was struck by the idea that there is so much in our environment to relate ourselves to if we are simply looking for it. Frida Kahlo became a vessel of motivation in which I could experience this immersion of my surroundings as they changed throughout the day, from the museum, to campus gardens, to our restaurant, and to the library. I figure that if Frida Kahlo, someone so attuned visual stimulation, sought inspiration in relating what she saw around her and what she saw inside her, I could in a way replicate her methods of viewing and reflecting.

IMG_20141030_124200779   IMG_20141030_084943840IMG_20141030_101620264_HDR

Addressing my second goal of finding material on Ms. Kahlo, I found myself tasked with the job of locating the few relevant books I had searched online beforehand, and with seven floors and amongst the rows of meticulously organized spines, I was quite impressed when I found the Frida Kahlo a section: a collection of about six books. I decided to pick out two that appeared the most useful for research intentions, the first being an  extensive overview of her life and works. The second strayed a bit more from the general Wikipedia-type information and focussed on more interviews and psychological assessments of Frida herself, as well as personal accounts of people who knew her directly. The kind of information found in these respective books are notably different, but for the intentions of my project, I believe that they are equally important. As much as I would like to have a firm understanding of important events that took place in Frida Kahlo’s life, I am intrigued by how she functioned as a real, breathing human being, how she ticked, if you will. Often in the study of eminent topics or people such as Kahlo, it becomes easy to become wrapped up in the factual stuff, the date and time stuff, whereas my interest lies in humanizing her. If she is not a person who has flaws and idiosyncrasies, who copes with failure and all other human downfalls, how am I to relate to her? Throughout the rest of this project, I hope to build a well-rounded idea of who Frida Kahlo was, and in order do this, I will also have to dig deep into the sources that explore the emotional and psychological aspects of what made Kahlo the way she was.


The trip to SFU offered more than just a time for reflection and research, I also found myself really enjoying the company of my classmates and teachers. The rain never seemed to dampen our academic adventures, and as always, the notion of being out of the classroom  yielded enthusiastic results. After reading the introductory posts of other TALONS students, it has been interesting observing the processes of my peers as they too begin to unravel their own eminent person. Whether that meant leaving the library holding a book with a renewed purpose for the project, or by simply discussing our plans for Night of the Notables, this trip offered every person a different opportunity. At this point, I look forward to reading and hearing about how everyone is doing with their respective eminent persons, and it looks like I have some considerable reading ahead of me. Time to hit the books.





SFU Exploration

Hey everyone! So on October 30th, we, as a class, went to SFU for the day. We started with a solo spot, super cool, followed with us exploring the Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. The museum was really interesting and I loved looking at all the aboriginal designs in the things like bentwood boxes. For lunch we went to an Indian


buffet place. The food was really good. Afterwards, we split in to two groups for tours. They were lead by Katie and Zoe Fajber, Jamie’s sisters. The tour was really interesting and it was neat to hear about different parts of the school. We ended the day at the library, where


I got a book called “Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children.” The library it’s self was super interesting in how it was laid out and organized, as well as a little overwhelming with the sheer amount of books there.

I started the day with a plan to get a book and to bond with classmates. I also wanted to see the campus, especially because I am considering going there. I planned on taking loads of photos for both me and my blog.

Looking back, I learned a lot about universities and the opportunities they provide from both Katie and posters around the


school. I learned a little about university life from a student’s perspective as well. Overall the day was very inspiring in that it opened my eyes to a new world in a way, or at least a different perspective of the world. It gave me a look into the paradigm that is a post-secondary student as well as showed me amazing sights in the architecture and feel of the building itself. In relation to my word from the beginning of grade 9, open, it opened my eyes and mind to a new way of thinking and gave me another mindset to consider when I meet people.

For more photos, check them out in my flickr album.

We’re Going On An Adventure! (To SFU)

Another day, another blog post.

We went on a field trip to SFU recently, and it was a lot of fun. Personally, my goal wasn’t actually to get books for my eminent person study, because she is so unknown to the general public that I assumed there wasn’t going to be any books about her. And I was right. So instead of focusing on the library aspect of it, I readied myself for being on a university campus and bonding with my classmates.

I would say the theme of this trip was knowledge, because we spent our time visiting the museum at SFU, searching their library and learning about the school. I learned how to use the book locating devices and that will help me when I need to check out books from my local library.

Enjoy some pictures from the trip!


From the museum
Haida stone carvings. Thought this was particularly interesting after having visited Haida Gwaii
Me and Emma being cool kids




Some food from our delicious Indian restaurant



Emma finds lots of books about her eminent person, Frida Kahlo






The marvelous magician Houdini

So I’m sure a lot of you have heard of this rather dapper looking man, or at the very least have heard the name Harry Houdini, but I feel like when it really comes to this persons life, not many really know a whole lot. I’m going to go right on ahead and just skip past the whole ‘eminent came too quickly’ and the similar ‘eminent already?’ parts of my posts to get right into the cold hard facts.

Houdini isn’t actually his real name, his real name is Erik Weisz and if you want to be really technical about it, he was never actually a true magician. He was an escape artist, with great amounts of ties to stage magic, both because of those tricks he used to fill time before his escape finales, and because of his clever talent when it came to exposing tricks of magicians of his time. More about him, he’s originally from Budapest, Hungary. He did a lot more than just magic, in fact he was actually a writer, who wrote the odd fiction novel, and a large number of books/articles that targeted his direct entertainment competition. He also, in his later years bought a movie producing company.

As for why I chose Houdini as my eminent person this year? Well, I have more than a few reasons. The first, and probably the biggest is the fact that later on this year, I plan to do magic for the In-Depth project (assuming of course I can find a mentor) so I figured it wouldn’t be terrible to introduce myself to the vast realm as early as I possibly could.

I also find that Houdini was really able to not only set his mind on his goals, but to be an excellent multi-tasker, both in life as an overall aspect, and in smaller, more specific situations as well. I feel like I as a person could greatly benefit from building both those aspects in myself.

I know personally from last year that eminent can be a pretty daunting task, and although I’m currently still looking at the project like this

I’m hopeful that this year I’ll not only be more motivated to do well in eminent, but that I’ll actually be able to properly manage my time, in order to do it all according to due dates as well (unlike last year, and unlike this post). SO I know I’m not exactly off to a great start with this particular project, but I still really have to say, I’m looking forward to Night of the Notables this year. Breaking out of handcuffs, on stage, in front of a bunch of alumni, teachers, and parents, while doing a speech? Sounds fun….

In closing, I have a lot of work coming up with this project, and I know that but I’m still looking forward to it all. I feel like I had a decent eminent person last year, but I definitely can already tell I’m going to be more fond of Mr. Houdini here. Maybe that’ll be all it takes to actually keep me on task. Either way, and no matter what happens from here on out the TALONS Eminent project has finally begun and I feel like that’s something to cheer about. 

Now, lets get to work.