In-Depth Post Week 6

So far this project, I have been meeting with my mentor, Josh once a week for half-hour sessions on the banjo, and I think it is the perfect time. I ask questions, and we work on new material, and then I spend the rest of the week doing “homework” to make sure I understand the concepts that were taught. Overall, I am working about 4-5 hours a week consciously on my in-depth.  I meet with Josh (face-to-face) at the music teaching-rooms above the Port Coquitlam Long and Mcuades because that is where he works. It is a cross-generational mentor ship, but not by much and we seem to have similar likes and interests. For example, we are both interested in bluegrass style banjo playing, so that is what the current focus of my lessons is. Our communication so far has been isolated to just our weekly meetings, but I have his cell number if something urgent comes up.

In address to the questions posted in Ms. Mulder’s blog, I think that Josh and I have been communication quite effectively, with complete understanding and acknowledgement on both sides of the equation.  Both of us get our messages across and neither one of us has a particular dominance in conversation beyond the mentor/learner split. The one major learning problem we have come across so far is that I am not very good at playing musical instruments. I plan to address this by stepping up my home practice, but I still sometimes struggle with new material and have to go at a slower pace. This is dragging down my rate of learning, but I am confident that I will be able to reach the goals I had set up for myself by in-depth night. Three strategies I could use to improve the quality of the communication with my mentor are to know more about the subject he is teaching me, learning more about his likes and dislikes, and trying harder to understand the position he is in. I can implement these by practicing longer on the banjo, doing more research on the internet, talking to josh about things other than banjos, and putting myself in his shoes.

All in all, I believe I am progressing well with communicating with my mentor and the in-depth project in general, and I believe I am on the fast track to being ready for the big night. Until next time,


Social Studies. I’ll Come Up With A Creative Name Later.

Well, as social studies have started up again, this shall be my first document of learning for 2016. The first thing I am putting forward is my biggest comment from last year: don’t rush. I have to learn to slow down, look things over carefully, and catch my mistakes. Personal behaviors aside, I also want to improve my abilities for conversation/ debates about the current topic (i.e. contributing more in class and on twitter). These goals more or less fit into the competency of communication, specifically the explain/recount and reflect and the acquire, interpret, and present information parts.

The big idea I want us to focus the most on this year is disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies. The biggest reason for this preference is that it complements my favorite part of history the most: learning about the people themselves. When we can state the name of someone and exactly what they did, that I what go into history hoping to do. I have no particular reason for this preference, it is just something I have always liked, and I hope to do a lot more of it this year.

I have no particular issue or questions about the curricular competencies, but I have the most  interest in learning and developing the communication and social responsibility competency because they can help me achieve  my goals for the course and life in general. I suppose my biggest question about our reading on Columbus would be  is it fair to judge his actions by modern standards, and would he have gone on his exploration if he knew how it would end, and the suffering it would cause? Another question I have is will we be reading the rest of the book, because it sounds like a very valuable recourse.

That is all from me for now. I am looking forward to a fun and successful semester, and hope to post soon,


In-Depth Post #2

Going into week four of the in-depth project, I think my banjo is going well. I have purchased my banjo, and it work well. I know how to tune it, and I have started some research on the history of the instrument (apparently, it originated in Africa, not the United States). Most importantly, I have secured a mentor for the duration of the project. His mane is Josh, he is the banjo instructor for the local Long and Mcuade’s, and I have signed up for lessons with him on a weekly basis. He has many years of training with the banjo, and he has the permanent string grooves on his fingers to prove it. I only have half an hour with Josh, so I did not get the chance to ask about his wisdom or experiences, but the things I did glean from him in our first meeting were things like how to hold the banjo and some basic chords. Some things I did learn for future teaching and mentoring perspectives is to start relatively slow, but have a clear plan of development clearly tailored to the student and final goal. I have my sheet of music and strumming patterns to take with me up to Kelowna this weekend, so I plan to make good on that over family day. See you in the next couple weeks.