Performing my eminent speech last year was a great experience, and I can’t wait to do it on stage this year, in front of the whole NoTN audience. The problem is that I had no idea what I was going to do for my speech this year. At least, that was true until I came across two videos a couple days ago. One was of Julie Payette talking about how when she was younger, she was told she would never reach her dream of being an astronaut or a pilot, and was told she could only be a stewardess (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/07/12/new-governor-general-julie-payette-was-told-she-could-never-be-a_a_23027150/). The second was her first address after becoming the Governor General of Canada (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saN-96i-m90). I decided to combine those, and do my speech from the perspective of her first address, but include quotes from the other video as well. I filled out a Freytag’s pyramid outline and wrote three different drafts of my speech, but I still have a long ways to go.
Here is my Freytag’s Pyramid Outline for my Speech:
Exposition: This is what my transition, and the first couple sentences of my speech will be. I will get introduced as the Governor General, and my first lines will be something like “merci boucoup, this is a great honour to be announced the 29th governor general of Canada”. These lines show who I am as well as set the scene, which is my first address after being named Governor General.
Conflict Introduced: The conflict of my speech will be a story of when I was 16 years old, and I was told I couldn’t be an astronaut, couldn’t be a pilot, and that I should try for a flight attendant. This starts the rising action.
Rising Action 1: This is when I say that “When someone tells you something like this you can either give up, or fight back.” It gives a hint of what happens later on in my life, and sets the scene for Rising Action 2.
Rising Action 2: At this point, I say “If you believe there is such thing as “impossible,” then tell me why just 60 years ago, it was considered impossible to survive outside of earth’s atmosphere, and yet, right now, as I speak to you, there are six different astronauts in space.” This shows that my choice was to fight back, and that I had decided to work towards my goal.
Rising Action 3: This is the point when I say that I went to school and worked and worked, and got degrees in science, to show that I am getting closer and closer to my goal.
Climax: This is the moment when I reflect on the moment of receiving the call telling me that I had been selected to go on a mission to space, on the STS-96 mission: the moment when I achieved my goal.
Falling Action 1: I start to sum up my ideas by telling the audience that we all need to work together and support each other, and that the people in my life that encouraged me helped me reach my goal, not the people that told me I couldn’t do it.
Falling Action 2: I use a direct quote from the real Julie Payette for the second falling action, stating that “we all have a dare to dream within us” and that if we all work together to achieve our dreams, we can progress society, together.
Resolution: For the resolution and conclusion of my speech, I use one more quote from Julie Payette, which is “If you have a dream and put effort and perseverance into it, anything is possible.” The finishing sentence of my speech is “remember, the sky is not the limit.”
Eminent is two weeks from today, and I still feel like it was introduced last week! I am more than half way through this project without even realizing it. The main things I have done for my eminent project so far are the library event (which I talked about in my last blog post), my practice interview, my eminent interview, and writing drafts of my speech.
I did my eminent practice interview first. The career that I am considering is a Speech and Language Pathologist, which is conveniently what my mom does for a living, so I had no problem finding an interview. I interviewed my moms colleague, and I found it super helpful! As soon as I started the interview, I remembered everything we learned about them last year, and it went smoothly. My interviewee was really nice and had a lot of great information to give me. This made me feel ready to try and get an interview for eminent.
Getting my actual eminent interview was a lot harder. My eminent person, Julie Payette, has done many different things in her life, so I didn’t know who to interview: someone in science, someone who is somehow related to the government, or someone who stood up for woman empowerment. In the end, I decided to interview someone in the same field of science as Julie Payette, as I think becoming an astronaut is what her biggest achievement is. I wanted to interview specifically a scientist who is a woman. First, I created a list of the people I could potentially interview. Here is my list:
Ms. Moore: degree in engineering and physics.
Ms. Cheung: degree in physics and astronomy.
Jen Gow: PhD in biology
Joanne Cyr: Environmental Science Degree
Ian Mcvay: Bachelor’s: degree in computer science
Ms. Mulder: Science teacher
Julie Payette: My eminent person.
Marie-Ève Létourneau: Works in Rideau Hall Press Office
Josephine Laframboise: Works in Rideau Hall Press Office
I started off by speaking to Ms. Mulder, to see if I could either interview her, or if she had any contacts I might be able to interview. She suggested Ms. Moore, who I then emailed with this:
Dear Ms. Moore,
My name is Tori Kazemir, and I am a student in the Grade 10 TALONS program. Ms. Mulder gave me your email, as a potential eminent project interviewee. I am contacting you to ask for your permission to conduct an interview with you about your career in science. Our class has been asked to choose a person they find eminent, and do a project about them, and I chose Julie Payette to be my eminent person. I am interested in interviewing you because you have a similar career to her, and I would like to get insight on what kind of life she has.
This interview would be specifically about what your experience as a woman in the field of science, the schooling you took to get to your career, and the challenges and your favorite pieces of your job. The interview could be conducted in any manner you would like (email, phone, or in person), and it would take approximately 20-30 minutes.
As I know you time is valuable, I was hoping we might set up a time that is convenient for you. I am available to talk over the phone this Saturday at 7:30pm, but am flexible depending on your schedule.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and considering being interviewed by me. I look forward to hearing from you, and practicing my interviewing skills.
She replyed to me saying that there was a teacher at this school who might be even better to interview, who did research on astronomy specifically. This teacher was Ms. Cheung. Ms. Mulder took me to meet her one day at lunch, and I asked for the interview in person, instead of through email. She said she would be happy to help, and we set up an interview time. This interview went really well, and I found out some great information! Ms. Cheung’s interests are very similar to that of Julie Payette, so I was able to get perspective on what some of Julie Payette’s barriers may have been, and how she might have gotten through them. However, I still wanted to email Julie Payette, on the off chance that she would reply. I tried to find an email, but couldn’t find one anywhere. Therefore, I followed the pattern of her coworkers’ emails, and tried to guess hers, as well as sending the email to her coworkers. This is the email I sent:
Dear Her Excellency, The Right Honorable Julie Payette,
My name is Tori Kazemir, and I am a grade 10 student attending Gleneagle Secondary School, in Coquitlam, BC. I am contacting you to ask for your permission to conduct an interview with you about your career and journey to becoming an astronaut and the Governer General of Canada. Our class has been asked to choose a person they find eminent and do a project about them, including a speech, a learning centre, conducting and interview about them, and ‘becoming’ our eminent person for a “Night of the Notables Evening”. I chose you to be my eminent person.
This interview would be specifically about what your experiences have been as a woman in the field of science, what got you interested in being an astronaut, and the steps you took to achieve your big goals in life, like going to space and becoming Governer General. The interview could be conducted in any way of your choosing (email or over the phone), and would take approximately 15-20 minutes, as I know you are very busy, and your time is valuable.
I believe that the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative was the film that we watched. One big reason for this is that I am a visual learner. When reading the short story, I could imagine and visualize some things, but some parts confused me and I couldn’t picture the whole context. However, when I was watching the video, I could see everything in front of me and the story seemed more realistic. Another reason I liked the video better is because you could sympathize with the characters. and especially with Harrison. In the written version, Harrison is just an escaped prisoner that doesn’t want to be imprisoned anymore. He wants to be free, and have power, and that’s his only goal, which he shows when he says “I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!” (4). In the movie however, his goal is to expose the handicapper general and change the whole society they are in. He recognizes that it is a bad system, and tells everyone this when he says “I have been held prisoner by the state, sentenced without trial” (10:50). He also creates the fake bomb that is actually something to put the handicapper general on air to expose her. This allows the reader to agree with what Harrison is doing and to realize what a sacrifice he is making when he dies for his cause. You also realize how sad it is when the airing doesn’t make a difference. One final reason that I liked the movie better than the written short story is that some of the basics make more sense in the movie. For example, in the written version the weights are “47 pounds of bird-shot in a canvas bag,” and I was quite confused how that would be put on without swinging every which way when you do something (2). In the movie however, the weights were metal bricks that were securely strapped to the person so that they wouldn’t swing around or fall off. Because of the visual effect, ability to sympathize with the characters, and the basics of the story, I found the movie to be a better telling of the “Harrison Bergeron” story.
Julie Payette is my eminent person this year. It took me quite a while to decide on this, and I went through a few other options first: Marlee Matlin, Julie Andrews, and Craig Kielburger. However, I wasn’t 100 percent satisfied with any of those choices, so I continued to research. Then, my mom was listening to CBC radio and heard about Julie Payette: Canada’s Governer General as of September. She brought up the name to me, so I started to do a bit of research on her, and decided that Julie Payette would be a perfect eminent person.
Payette has quite a few similarities to me. One big thing that drew me to her is that she is a classically trained singer, but that is not her main passion or career. This is similar to me because I am a singer. I do want to become a fully trained singer, and to have singing be a big part of my life, but I have other passions and career paths that I want to follow, just like Payette. As well as this, Julie Payette and I are both females, grew up in Canada, and have at least one sibling. Payette was a computer scientist on two different space flights, and has many scientific degrees. Although I do not want to be an astronaut, I do want to go into a field of science when I am older, and I would like to learn more about the process of completing science degrees.
However, despite all these similarities, there are some differences between me and Payette that may become barriers. One very prominent one is that she is an astronaut, a governor general, and quite famous. I’m a highschool student. I will work to overcome this obstacle during my interviews, and try to interview someone that has a similar lifestyle to Payette, to understand more of what she does. As well as this, Julie Payette’s first language is French, and I don’t speak french, so I may not be able to understand some of her speeches. However, I could most likely find translated versions of her speeches or different french websites to overcome that obstacle.
I could see myself following a loosely similar path to Julie Payette; not in terms of fame and being the Governer General, but in terms of having diverse passions that I follow. Julie Payette has had many different achievements and they are all very different from each other. I also have many different areas I would like to pursue, and researching Julie Payette has shown that it might be possible to pursue all of them. As I mentioned earlier, I do want to get a science degree which would also be a similar path to Julie Payette. However, an obstacle I see for myself in achieving the eminence of Julie Payette is that I won’t have enough perseverance. Payette worked and worked and worked, and she did get good results from her work, but the results don’t come without perseverance. This study may help show the steps Julie Payette went through to achieve her big goals, which may in turn help me to achieve my goals.
I would like to learn a lot of different things about my notable person through this project, and I think by doing that, and making connections, I will in turn learn a lot about myself. One big thing that I also mentioned in the last paragraph is that I want to learn about the steps she took to reach the big goals she has accomplished and what kept her inspired along the way. This will help with my goal area of procrastination on my IEP because I’m sure Julie Payette didn’t procrastinate on the way to her goals, and I will hopefully learn techniques I can use to help me with that. I also want to learn a lot about her science degrees, her classical singing, and all of the training she went through to become an astronaut and a Governer General.
The library event that I attended definitely helped solidify my eminent person. I was still a little unsure at that point if Julie Payette was who I wanted my notable to be. However, at the library I found a lot of books about Payette’s areas of study, and books about her. I started reading them there and found them super interesting. I actually ended up taking out five books! The library trip made me realize how much in depth research I could do on Julie Payette and how interesting it would be. I’m glad I chose her for my eminent person.
What might you ‘take away’ from our discussions of Stuart Mclean’s “Emil” or “Safe Places,” Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story,” or Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” this week? How might you apply this ‘take away’ to your life or passions, learning you have done in other classes, or significant events or ideas taking place in the world as a whole?
The message I got from Chimamanda Ngozi’s “The Danger of a Single Story” and Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” is that an action you don’t take can affect others’ lives more than you think. Chimamanda’s mother used to say that “[Fide’s] family was very poor” (The Danger of a Single Story, 3:14). When Chimamanda didn’t finish her dinner, her mom would say “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing?” (The Danger of a Single Story, 3:25). These were true statements, and she probably thought nothing of saying them; however, it was the lack of saying anything nice about Fide’s family that affected Chimamanda. Because she didn’t hear anything else about Fide’s family, she got a single story, and didn’t think they could be anything but poor. Budge Wilson portrays this message in a slightly different way. When the class is treating Miss Hancock horribly in Charlotte’s grade ten year, she is “caught in a stranglehold somewhere between shocked embarrassment and a terrible desire for concealment” (The Metaphor, P. 229). Charlotte doesn’t agree with what the class is doing, but she wants to be concealed, and she doesn’t want anyone to know that she knows and likes Miss Hancock. She says she “did not tell a living soul that [she] had ever seen her before” (The Metaphor, P. 230). Charlotte simply stands down, and she believes that she isn’t choosing sides, but Miss Hancock views it as Charlotte taking the opposing side as her. She thinks that even Charlotte doesn’t like her anymore, and that seems to be one of the contributing factors to her suicide. Charlotte realizes what the class has done when she says “I wish she hadn’t chosen a school bus” (The Metaphor, P. 231). Charlotte’s lack of action had a big impact. I feel that we can all learn something from this lesson and apply it to our everyday lives. We need to take a moment to think about what the true impact of our actions or non-actions may be, and be sensitive to how others may interpret us, even if it’s something as simple as saying hello. We need to take extra care to think before we speak, in all situations.
What is the thesis of David Suzuki’s “Racism”? This letter could be a letter to you. What did you learn or ‘take away’ from his experiences? Do you appreciate his message? Why?
I believe the thesis of David Suzuki’s “Racism” is that people are more impressionable by things around them than we believe. Suzuki’s friend called out and said “But he’s a [c-slur]!” to David’s dad in an offhand manner, like it was just an everyday word (17). I don’t think he even meant it as a bad thing. He was just using it as a descriptive word, just like you would say someone has brown hair. He didn’t know any better, and because David Suzuki didn’t say anything, that boy probably went on to offend many others with that word. The way we learn how to speak and how to act is by watching those around us. No one is born racist. If people surrounding us are doing bad things, we will assume that is the correct way to act, and start doing it to. David’s friend must have had other people in his family, maybe his parents, using a racial slur to describe other people, and picked it up from them. Maybe he just heard it being used on the street somewhere. People, and children especially, are easily impressionable and we have to be careful about what examples we are setting for others. Yes, some people may be intentionally racist, or sexist, but others just say things because it’s what they’ve heard. David Suzuki leaves us with the final message, “I hope that all of you will speak out against racism and other forms of bigotry whenever you encounter it” (30). I appreciate this message because it’s our job as members of society is to speak out and let someone know if what they said is not acceptable, so that it doesn’t escalate to something like the Japanese internment camps. If young people have good influences standing up against the bad influences, then maybe they will make the choice to be open and accepting, rather than being closed off to anything except familiarity.
In the short story “Emil”, by Stuart McLean, Morley learns that empathy for others can prevent individuals from turning against one another. Her empathy is shown when she goes outside in the middle of the night to get mad at a man for stealing her neighbor’s plants. Instead, Morley stays calm. She simply says, “Hello, Emil. I see you’re doing some gardening.” This is because she recognizes the thief as a homeless man, Emil, that she had known to be very kind. She decides to give Emil the benefit of the doubt, and not get mad at him right away. She finds out his motive, which is a garden that he is making in the community. Morley then asks, “Will you show me your garden tomorrow?” Instead of creating a big conflict by getting mad at Emil or calling the police, she feels empathy towards Emil, and gets to know him enough to see the reasoning for his stealing. She sees that he isn’t stealing the plants for money, but instead, he wants to make a part of the city beautiful. Morley can understand this and decides to help Emil with his garden and buy him more plants. The empathy Morley shows towards Emil allows Emil and her to become friends rather than enemies.
In this scene, Maddy defies her mom, and sees Ollie, even though it has a chance of compromising her health. What impresses me about Maddy is that she is able to take that risk despite never really knowing anyone except Carla and her Mom, because she thinks meeting Ollie can bring her life to a better standard. She puts herself outside her comfort zone, even though it makes her nervous, “My heart speeds up like I’m doing something illicit.” (75). It shows one of her strengths; she is a strong character and will do what she believes is right. Maddy just wants to have a normal life, but she also doesn’t want to defy her mom or get sick, which causes her internal conflict. I feel that this scene is very effective in showing Maddy’s development, and shows her finally breaking out of her shell, and becoming a fluid character. I agree with Maddy’s actions, because Ollie follows all the correct procedures, so there is no reason why he will make Maddy sick. He even stays all the way across the room to ensure Maddy’s safety, “I move to the couch and sit. He leans on a rock wall across the room.” (73). The decision that Maddy makes relates to my life with almost every decision I make, in the way that there is a risk and reward to everything, and you have to weigh out which is greater before you decide whether or not to do something. I would handle this conflict in a slightly different way than Maddy, in that I would reason through the situation with my mom and make my opinions known before going behind her back. I believe that Maddy is a role model in a way, because she shows that people should be able to make their own decisions in life, and can’t let decisions be made for them. This demonstrates Maddy “Showing respect for everyone’s rights”(BC curriculum’s Social Responsibility Competency overview). However, she is not a role model in the way that she decides to see Ollie – a secret plan with Carla. This part is not socially responsible, as she is not “Collaborating effectively with others,” or “Demonstrating a strong sense of community-mindedness” (BC curriculum’s Social Responsibility Competency overview).
I dragged myself up the stairs, muscles screaming and protesting with every step. The only thought keeping me going was, “once I get this bag upstairs I can lay down and sleep”. Finishing the last few grueling steps, I shuffled my way into the living room and finally set the beast of a bag down with a dull clunk. Standing up again without it on my back almost gave the sensation that I was so light I would just float up into the air. Almost, because I felt at the same time that I would spontaneously fall to the ground in a deep slumber. Looking longingly at the couch, but knowing if I sat down I would never get back up, I half walked, half crawled my way up the second set of stairs in my house. I reached my room and sank into my awaiting bed. Fatigue took over and I was snoring softly, unaware of the world around me, before I could even get under the covers.
My ted talk is about cross modal neuroplasticity, and about how adaptable and versatile the human brain is. My question is around one sense being impaired, and if that truly affects your other senses. I thought of this topic, because I have been told that this is a myth and that nothing actually changes, but then been told that it’s true, so I wanted to see for myself what the real truth was. I am also interested in this kind of thing because my brother is hard of hearing, and I am always interested to see how that would affect the rest of the human brain. Without any further ado, here is my ted talk:
Shaw, Jillian L. “Heightened Senses: Cross-Modal Neuroplasticity.” Knowing Neurons. N.p., 05 Mar. 2017. Web. 9 June 2017
Bates, Mary. “Super Powers for the Blind and Deaf.” Scientific American. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2017.
Vandenhoff, Sandra. “Myth or Fact: If You Have Hearing Loss, Do Your Other Senses Compensate?” Myth or Fact: If You Have Hearing Loss, Your Other Senses Compensate. Hearing Education and Rehabilitation for Adultss, n.d. Web. 10 June 2017.
O’Connor, Anahad. “Really? The Brain Gets Rewired If One of the Senses Is Lost.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 June 2017.
“How The Brain Compensates For Vision Loss Shows Much More Versatility Than Previously Recognized.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 Aug. 2008. Web. 11 June 2017.
O’Connor, Anahad. “Really? The Brain Gets Rewired If One of the Senses Is Lost.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 June 2017.
Gougoux, F., R. J. Zatorre, M. Lassonde, P. Voss, and F. Lepore. “A Functional Neuroimaging Study of Sound Localization: Visual Cortex Activity Predicts Performance in Early-blind Individuals.” PLoS Biology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2005. Web. 11 June 2017.
Pape, Karen E., Dr., and Jonathan Webb. The Boy Who Could Run but Not Walk: Understanding Neuroplasticity in the Child’s Brain. Toronto: Barlow, 2016. Print