In-depth #7: On the night of the night

Hello everyone! In-depth night seems to just be just around the corner! On the night of in-depth, I will be doing a stage performance. My dance is 3 min almost exactly not including getting on and off stage. The wall on the stage will hopefully be open as well with the curtains with the black curtain pulled in front of the props. I will be playing music off my I pod hopefully through the stage speakers but if not, I have speakers of my own. I need someone to start my music, but I have already got Joanna to help me with that. As for the rest of the night, I was planning on walking around, helping with technology, assisting other learning centers if anyone needs help, visiting learning centers, and making myself available to talk to. I plan on spending the night in my costume, but may end up changing sometime during the night based on the weather. Right now, my costume is either one of Emma’s old dresses that is brown and black, or jean shorts, a black sports bra and a gold shrug top from an old costume of mine. There is a chance I will be using baby powder to help me turn during my dance. If so, I will be wiping it off the stage after stage performances have ended.


I can’t wait for In-depth night, I think it is going to be amazing!

Final Warning (InDepth Post #6)

The night is drawing nearer with each day. Only one month stands between the students of TALONS and our big reveal. Our projects, which we have slaved away on day and night, are about to be put under a magnifying glass for all of our peers, teachers, families, and future TALONS to analyze. This is the point in which we are required to have everything gathered, our newly honed skills are put to the test and we must teach others our new trade.


For me I still am a little apprehensive about my final product, which is to be expected. I’ve put 4/5 months worth of blood, sweat, and tears into this project. I’ve learned things that I never would have otherwise, and I’m going to be critical of my own work.

So far I’ve completed most of my research, though there’s a surprise component that I’m working on (which may or may not make an appearance at the actual InDepth night depending on its success rate). I managed to find yet another framed article on my family (like the crest in one of my previous posts) and it will be taking a seat at my display. My main job now is to write out the entirety of my project on massive sheets of paper which are almost as tall as myself…. not quite sure how I’m going to make that work yet. My mentor has left me to do my own thing now, though he is still there if I need guidance. I must also go and pick up a series of old photographs that a relative has, in exchange for lunch and some current ones of myself.


Other than this, its all nit-picky things until the day of InDepth night.

I’ll see you all on the other side.

Indepth #6: Finally done the dance!

Well hello everyone! I am so happy because my dance is finally done! Well, it still needs a few tweeks but nothing that will take too long. I’ve also started to think about costumes, hair and makeup. I’m going to have my hair down and poofed I think with kind of a neutral face for makeup. For my costume, I’m hoping to borrow from someone so I don’t have to go out and buy anything. (Costumes are crazy expensive.) I’m hoping to have a brownish-gray costume, very neutral earthy tones… But no green…

In other news, competition season has started!!! One of my favourite things about competition is that I am able to sit and watch all the different dances. At a competition, one is exposed to so many different styles because of all the different genres and all the different characters. The costumes are also fun to see!

My contemporary group "Connected" after we placed first
My contemporary group “Connected” after we placed first












Ms. Lindsay and I after my solo
Ms. Lindsay and I after my solo




It’s also really nice when Ms. Lindsay’s at the competitions. It was great because she was actually backstage with me the first time I competed my modern solo this year.









Sadly at this past competition, one of our dancers became really sick and was unable to perform. We found this out the day before we were supposed to compete. Our ballet dance was really reliant on partners and we didn’t know what we were going to do. Ms. Lindsay, being amazing, agreed to fill her spot. After about 34 hour, Ms. Lindsay had learned the 5 minute dance and performed with us on stage. She did amazing and we actually qualified for a high score round called “Peak Challenge”. Though we didn’t end up placing, it was an amazing experience that I loved sharing with my mentor.

Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet "Conflicts of War"
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet “Conflicts of War”
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet "Conflicts of War"
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet “Conflicts of War”


That’s all for now, I love how well everyone’s projects are turning out and I’m excited for the final products to all be seen!


Little quick end note: Ms. Lindsay can come to Indepth night! I can’t wait!


Indepth #5

Hello everyone! Sadly I haven’t been able to meet with my mentor much because of competitions and hikes, however just this Wednesday, I was practicing and my ballet teacher was popping in and out, observing and correcting me. Though this is not a ballet dance, it was great to get some advice on my technique. Though it’s getting really busy, I’m trying to get in more times with Ms. Lindsay. When we meet up, we often talk about how to improve the jumps and turns that I’ve been working into the dance. We talk about common corrections that I get in my other dances and where they show up in mine as well. It’s great that Ms. Lindsay can really read where I’m at with my dancing. She can tell when it’s the choreography that I’m having problems with and when it’s just me having an off day. It’s nice that in these practices, Ms. Lindsay is starting to learn my personal style and not just how other people’s styles look on me. I also love that I’m learning a lot more about her past dance life, stuff that I don’t often learn from my dance teachers.

I’m really happy because the first draft of the whole dance is done and all that’s left is the tweeking, adjusting and the cleaning.

That’s all for now! Bye!

The Desert is Cold, Bring a Sweater! (InDepth Post #5)

Snowy Desert


As mentioned in my previous post, I did in fact go and spend a good deal of time with my mentor. Doing this not only allowed me to get a few of my questions answered, but to also spend a little one on one time with my mentor and enjoy a few casual discussions.


With learning new things comes new learning techniques and styles. My mentor would do one that I find quite effective, though some might say otherwise. I like to call it “Give a Little, Get a Lot” . In this my mentor would provide me with a little snippet of information or a small task that I would then take and research or put into practice, this would have me daisy-chaining for hours on end looking at linking information.

Though I know we do similar things within the TALONS classroom, I did find it to be different, in structure if nothing else.


Now, with reinforcing new learning we seem do find a demonstration of gained knowledge as a solid option. This could be a poster, a poem or story, photos, paintings, or any number of other things. Now, this wouldn’t be a big project, not your final project or anything like that, but a small way to show your mentor or teacher what you have gained from their teachings and what you have retained over the time period. This is easily comparable to a pop quiz, or any unit test you may do, but not your final exam.


Accelerating learning is a different thing altogether. Just in the name itself, it doesn’t state whether or not you have to retain a lot of the information (though it would probably be ideal), but how much faster you are able to learn the information. To accelerate learning I have seen pre-printed notes as an excellent option, allowing you to read a summary of what you are or were about to learn. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean you can just go by the notes without any further instruction on your topic, you will need some sort of demonstration, at least…I would. Accelerated learning, despite what I stated above, is meant to allow you to learn at a faster pace while still remembering what it was your teacher just said at 100mph. WARNING: Accelerated Learning Is Not For Everyone! 

As for opportunities for this, within my subject at least, opportunities for accelerated learning are slim from what I’ve seen. The best one I can think of is just throwing yourself into the work and then cleaning up what you break when you land on the information.


(This may all seem very question-answery, and it is, but I haven’t been getting much sleep and I’m lacking the creative urge to write some fantastical tale and somehow work this information into it. Go ahead, sue me.)


When my mentor and I get together we often talk at length, firstly about the project in general, secondly about the progress, thirdly what questions or problems might have popped up, fourthly how much farther I’d like to go, and then lastly we talk about what information or other programs and websites he can provide me with to continue with my learning endeavour. Actually, I fibbed, thats not what we talk about last. After all the serious talk we just catch up on the general, mundane life things that go on around us and enjoy a little break in the action. But thats not even whats last, after all of that we double check everything, basically summarizing the meeting and then saying our farewells.


With the mentorship I believe all is going well, just as it was in my last post. And for lack of any flowery words to describe it, I shall just quote myself,

So far the whole process had been going along with little to no hitches until this point. My mentor and I have been able to communicate smoothly and he has been a real help when I have run into problems or decided to nitpick certain aspects of the setup with programs or the overall visual aspects of the project. I’d have to say that the thing that works best about our whole mentor-student relationship is our ability to communicate and understand. Even when we aren’t meeting face to face and have no real way of showing the other person what we mean, we always seem to just get it. We don’t tend to sense tones that aren’t there and the communication process is often very pleasant (when I’m not already frustrated with the programs).


As for what we are learning about one another, not too much is actually new. I have in fact known my mentor since I was little and I have spent time with him before. So the only real thing we are learning about one another is the current events in our lives.




Oh, and you might be wondering why the title is what it is… I was in Kamloops, as I believe I said in my previous post, and it is considered a desert. Though I did wear shorts (much to everyone’s astonishment) there was still plenty of snow on the mountains and the wind still had a bit of a bite to it.

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    It is post number three and I still am having a few bumps with my project (including getting this post up because it just decided not to publish). Nonetheless I am working with these issues and moving towards the completion of my In Depth project. I'm going to be very linear here and state the…
    Tags: mentor, project, post, programs, learn, learning, find

Ill? Take Your Pills, Keep on Walking. (InDepth Post #4)


Well, the past few weeks have been very painful for me as I was off school for the first week with what I like to refer to as chain migraines. Returning to school at 60% I went on, continuing my research every day and trying to keep my mind from imploding. By the end of the week I believed I had returned to my full 99% (because theres always room for improvement) but I was proved wrong this weekend when I got hit by a metaphorical truck. Not only did my migraines return but I had hit a wall with some of my research.

So far the whole process had been going along with little to no hitches until this point. My mentor and I have been able to communicate smoothly and he has been a real help when I have run into problems or decided to nitpick certain aspects of the setup with programs or the overall visual aspects of the project. I’d have to say that the thing that works best about our whole mentor-student relationship is our ability to communicate and understand. Even when we aren’t meeting face to face and have no real way of showing the other person what we mean, we always seem to just get it. We don’t tend to sense tones that aren’t there and the communication process is often very pleasant (when I’m not already frustrated with the programs).

As I’ve mentioned we’ve hit a few bumps, more so for me than my mentor, I’d have to say the biggest one would be how little we actually see of each other, the other one that is on par with it is how hard it is to find enough people who know my family who aren’t in other countries, lost, or deceased. I know my mentor can’t really do too much to help with this but I still label it as probably the largest problem we have faced together. Many of my grandparents, great aunts, and great uncles are gone (two grandmothers, a great aunt and a great uncle remain) and the ones who are still around are very difficult to get ahold of save one who just had complications with her wrist surgery and has some sort of formation in her lung that has spread to her lymph nodes. Again, my mentor can’t help with this so I’ve been trying to scavenge something myself.

Now with the seeing face to face with my mentor, I will actually be spending 4-5 days of my spring break with him while we get a whole bunch of information gathered, processed, and “artistically” integrated into the final project. This will also give me some time in a place that is hopefully warmer than Port Alberni or Coquitlam, unless, of course, it snows. With this meeting we will also be able to review the decisions and lessons we have already gone over in the past and quickly double checking that we understand everything that has occurred so far, so that we will hopefully move along a smoother road in the very near future.

And hopefully, for me, I can get my brain to stop strangling itself.


Indepth #4

Yay!! I’m so happy. Competition season’s coming up and because of this, we started sharing solos in class. It was a small class, we had extra time and so I got to show my fellow dancers my routine!! I even got it filmed. The floor was really sticky which is why I fell out of all of my turns and tripped at the beginning. The music was also a different cut version and I forgot what I had leading up to the end… Overall I guess it wasn’t my best I’d done it, but I still did it and got some good feedback from everyone.



1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

My greatest challenge so far is finding time to meet with Ms. Lindsay. Competitions take up quite a few Saturdays and, as my mom is paying for these sessions, I don’t always get a chance to work with Ms. Lindsay on indepth when I see her because I need to work on my jumps, turns, groups, and my competition solo.

2. What is working well? Why?

It’s easy to find time to work on my routine just by myself because when I finish dance everyday, a lot of the studios are empty and available. I also don’t need Ms. Lindsay with me every practice which makes it easier as I’m just working around my own schedule.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

Something that could be improved is how much I remember between each session. With 6 other dances that I am constantly running as well as homework stretching out the time between each session, I often have troubles retaining all that I have choreographed. I can fix this by filming after every time I choreograph something new, even if it is only the new parts.

Falling, Stumbling, Tripping (InDepth Post #3)

It is post number three and I still am having a few bumps with my project (including getting this post up because it just decided not to publish).

Nonetheless I am working with these issues and moving towards the completion of my In Depth project.

I’m going to be very linear here and state the three questions I will cover and then answer them before moving on to my progress report.


3. What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

During this whole process I’ve had some issues with the little things. A filtering feature here, a suggestion that popped up there, a glitch in the system. I’ve done my best to read through all of the “How to For Dummies” and Q&A topics about these problems and the programs in general. My mentor has continued to point out a few ways to work through these problems occasionally when it gets to be a real problem, but usually it is me who has to learn and take responsibility for my mistakes. My mentor really just acts as a safety net and a guide at times, leaving me to take those baby steps to learn what I need to know.


4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

a. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

One big issue with the communication between my mentor and I is the distance. My mentor lives in Kamloops and I, of course, live here in Coquitlam. This means it is difficult for us to meet face to face but we do still communicate through handy dandy Facebook. Of course, in a message there can sometimes be perceived tones or meanings that aren’t actually there so we both have to be careful to make it clear what we are asking or stating when we message each other. I will be seeing my mentor in person quite shortly though, hopefully it will go smoothly with no serious bumps.


5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

First of all if we were meeting in person every time that would be a huge improvement from our current situation. Secondly if I could find ways to go a little more in depth with the questions I ask, that may improve my overall experience with my mentor and the project in general. If I could really nit-pick the whole process and all of the information that I am gathering through the research for my final presentation of my project, to really get every scrap of knowledge I can claw from my mentor’s mind, that would allow me to have a broader picture of the whole process and where you can really go with programs and projects like mine.


Now on to the oh so very interesting progress report!


As you may have guessed based on the title (or not, because some people would just skip the title all together,) it’s been a little bumpy at the beginning of In Depth, but now that I’m really getting the hang of the programs I’m using and how to lay out the data I’m falling headfirst into a pool of knowledge and skill I didn’t know I had. My mentor has kinda let me go off on my own lately to find my own way to learn the techniques and quirks with doing what I’m doing, to really explore the topic I chose and take flight all by myself. Lucky for me I will actually be having a meeting with my mentor in person soon!

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”
― Emilie Autumn

Another Step Into the Past (InDepth Post #2)


Dear image is refusing to rotate -_-
Dear image is refusing to rotate -_-


Me being me I actually had some problems with the simpler things in my hunt through history. I couldn’t tell if I had the right people or not… Speaking with my mentor and reading over a few how-to’s I came to the conclusion that to fix my problem I had to: actually talk to someone who knew them or knows a lot about them, get some dates and a name, maybe even some siblings, and go with my gut. It took me an hour to figure all of this out… Along with how to connect my tree to a tree that someone else had already begun to fill out and locating some pictures.


Recently I have gone from 5 to 65 people in my family tree, even tracking back to when the Mullins came over from France and became Mollons, although I haven’t found the Irish and English branch yet. I have also managed to get ahold of some of my relatives and recieved some helpful information as well as some photos that I can use in the future. My mentor also supplied me with some giant charts for me to fill in once I have gotten a little farther in my research.

I still have at least 50 people that I have to scrape together by the time InDepth night rolls around, that as well as writing all the diagrams up and retrieving all of the charts, photos and items that I have kindly asked to borrow. It’s actually kinda fun because most of the time whoever I’m asking will say I can keep the item in question. :3

Hopefully this will all continue to fall together as I dig deeper into the past. I’m sure I’ll be asking for plenty of help from my mentor.

Alumdepth 2013!


Because even when TALONS ends, it doesn’t really, you know… end. From grade eleven Clayton’s blog:

Myself and a few other Talons Alumni have decided that we miss doing in-depth projects, so now that the new semester is starting, I’m beginning my blogging.

As the other alumni referred to here begin to share their work, I’ll hope to keep you updated on their progress here. Thanks to Clay for keeping us in the loop on this new incarnation of the TALONS learning journey.