Ecological Footprint

My original ecological footprint score was 3.74 hectares. Compared to Jian’s score, 2.37, I have a relatively high score. However, compared to Kate’s score, 7.2, my score seems pretty low. I feel that I had a pretty average score, perhaps a bit on the lower end. My score was also influenced by the activities I did the weekend I recorded; I recorded my activity during the Juan De Fuca overnight practice hike, so I didn’t have the same resources as I usually would. This likely influenced my score noticeably.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I do that increase the size of my footprint. I’ve noticed and have been trying to reduce my:

  1. Use of single use plastic products
  2. Use of single use cotton/ paper products
  3. Long showers
  4. Consumption of meat (especially red meat such as beef)
  5. Driving to school up to 3 times a week
  6. Wearing mostly first-hand clothing
  7. Eating food with individual packaging
  8. Baths
  9. Use of public transport for short distances
  10. Getting food delivery (lots of packaging + transportation)

Although I’ve been trying to reduce my footprint as much as possible, I’ve focused on reducing my:

  1. Use of first-hand clothing – second hand clothing is both low cost and reduces waste. I’ve been trying to shop at second hand shop like Value Village and also donate my clothing when possible.
  2. Shower time – reducing my time in the shower is an easy way to influence my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to keep my showers to about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Consumption of meat – meat, especially red meat influenced my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to use vegetarian or vegan alternatives or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle.
  4. Use of car for transportation – I can avoid driving to school easily by waking up early or packing up the night before. I’ve been trying to be more organized with getting ready in the morning in order to walk to school more.
  5. Use of single use plastic products – I can easily reduce my use of single use plastic products by using reusable or compostable alternatives, or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle. I’ve been investing in reusable water bottles, cups, straws, and other necessities in order to reduce my plastic consumption.

At first, I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to reduce my ecological footprint. However, I realized that I could make major changes in my footprint by making minor changes in my life. Buying second-hand clothing, taking shorter showers, and walking to school more. I realized that although it may seem daunting, reducing my footprint wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

Probably the hardest change to make was reducing my meat consumption, which I’m still working on. Although I haven’t stopped my intake of meat entirely, I’ve been consciously trying to eat other alternatives when possible. However, its difficult to change this, since it’s a big part of my lifestyle. Recently, I’ve just been looking for an alternative whenever possible, but I hope to reduce my consumption more as time goes on.

It was also difficult to reduce my plastic use since many companies use lots of plastic or foil in their packaging. But I’ve been trying to combat this my simply trying brands with less packaging, or using my own alternative.

In the future, I’m hoping to continue what I’ve started and also reduce my footprint further by:

  1. Further reducing my intake of meat
  2. Walking to school virtually every day
  3. Buying the majority of my new clothing second-hand
  4. Using more alternatives to single use products

I’m really passionate about reducing my footprint and I know that preserving the planet is a crucial and pressing matter. I’m happy with the work I’ve done so far, but I’m also hoping to improve greatly in the near future.

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In-Depth #6 – Final Post!

In the past few weeks, I’ve completed my second recording, and I’m beginning my third. At this rate, I’m seriously considering cutting my original plan of four recordings down to three recordings. My first recording was more challenging and time-consuming than I expected, so I lost a lot of time during that phase.

Aside from this, my project is going very well. I just completed my second recording, which I recorded alone due to time constraints. The biggest challenge with this recording was the repetitive nature of the song and making sure that there’s variation among the verses. I made sure to use software to create myriad percussive effects and variation, as well as variation throughout the bassline. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and I’m excited to continue my project.

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This recording is mostly made up of software instruments (green tracks) with a few fundamental audio recordings (blue tracks).

I’m in the process of setting up a recording date for my next recording. At this busy time of year, it’s difficult to find time to record with another person. Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking a lot about new elements I could be including in this next piece. Since this could possibly be my last recording, I’m really hoping to learn a lot of new skills with it.

Chapter 9: At one of my recent meetings, we discussed how to create variation throughout a recording. As I mentioned, I struggled with changing percussive patterns etc in my last recording. When I finished my “rough draft” of this recording, it sounded very similar throughout the song. We discussed which elements I could modify (percussion, bass, etc) in order to create more variation. I ended up adding more percussion (vibraphone, tambourine) as well as some new bass patterns.

At another meeting, we discussed the act of balancing between the artist’s wishes and my wishes. Since, in a way, I am also producing these recordings, it’s vital that I learn how to respect the artist’s vision as well as my own.

Chapter 10: Since music production tends to be quite artistic, my mentor and I have discussed many alternate ways I could achieve a certain sound. We’ve also discussed how there are many different effects I could use to change the quality/ sound of the vocals.

I’m excited about the direction my project is heading, and I’m looking forward to creating my presentation. I’m planning to create a short video of excerpts from each of my songs with audio as well as a video of the tracks on the screen. With each excerpt, I’ll include a short 1-2 sentence explanation on the song and how I created it.

I’m looking forward to completing my first TALONS In-Depth project! I’m really happy about the progress I’ve made so far, and I’m excited to complete my recordings.

A Day in the Life of a Peasant

My dearest Rohesia,

The days have been longer without you. Life has been the same, bland and colourless; the only hope in sight is your returning. It seems as if the crops have noticed your absence since the harvest this year has been scarce. Despite this, we are still holding on. It’s difficult, as most of the days begin to look the same.

I wake up to the familiar scent of manure and cattle. I sigh deeply as I push myself off of our makeshift bed and brush off my week old cotton skirt. The wool on my stockings itches, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I stretch as I admire my crops and watch the early birds harvest theirs. I brush myself off before heading to the corner where my handmade tools lie. I always begin with the reaping, so I grab my sickle. Most days, we don’t have enough food for breakfast, so I head out the door, remembering the meals we had when you were here.

Once outside, I begin my short walk towards the crops. I start by reaping the crops, eventually moving onto sowing. By the time I complete the strenuous task of tending to the crops, the day is nearly approaching dusk. I head back towards the house, the muddy walls appearing evermore bland.

Since I’m the oldest now, I get back sooner to prepare dinner. I dip my hands in the stream behind the house as I watch the traces of dirt fade from my hands and head downstream. After I lift my hands out of the water, I shake them dry before heading into the house to prepare the bread and porridge. It only takes several minutes for everyone else to arrive, their eyes are as shallow and tired as I imagine my own to be. Unfortunately, we only have a small loaf of bread for the 9 of us, but we could make do. We ate the bread in silence as I pondered what other meals we would have soon.

Realistically, we won’t have any food other than bread, plain stew, or fruit, but I look forward to the next time we could have ale— even if my last taste was years ago, I could still taste the pleasant tingling on my tongue. I sighed, breaking the silence.

Since you’ve left, we’ve been struggling to feed the family. Without your presence, there’s a an emptiness noticeable in our family; although we are fed adequately and healthily, our spirit is drained and hollow without you. I just pray that we’ll have enough food until the next harvest.

After dinner, we migrate to the other side of the room— the sleeping area. Once everyone is on their correct mats, we lay in silence until dawn.

Animal Farm

I

Is it more important to have a strong ideology or a strong leader for revolution to occur? What tactics to leaders use to convince others of their ideologies?

Strong leaders and strong ideologies are both crucial elements of an effective revolution. Ultimately, revolutions begin because there’s a strong ideology that many people agree with; with a weak ideology, the revolution will never gain enough momentum to begin. On the other hand, without strong leaders who are willing to fight, ideas will stay unheard and the revolution will never start. A lack of either of these elements will be problematic and will likely result in a failed revolution. While lacking a strong leader, the new ideology will never be heard, and there will be no change. While lacking a strong ideology, the revolutionists will likely get attention but there will never be enough passion to make a change. If a weak ideology did manage to be implemented, it would likely be challenged and eradicated quickly.

To answer the question, it’s hard to say whether ideology or leadership is more crucial in a revolution. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the pigs began the revolution, and are unanimously recognized as the leaders on the farm. The animals were united by their common yearning for freedom, and the pigs pushed for their idea to be implemented. Old Major inspired the animals by telling them that if they “remove Man from the scene, [then] the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever” (p 2). After their freedom was granted, the resources were spread equitably throughout the animals. However, as time goes on, the pigs begin to manipulate the other animals by reminding them that they are responsible for the farm’s freedom, and that “if [the] pigs failed in [their] duty […] Jones would come back” (p 11). The rest of the farm is grateful for the pigs’ leadership, blind towards the inequalities they’re experiencing. Although the pigs began the revolution, they’re beginning to lose sight of the initial ideology the animals all shared; the pigs’ leadership is beginning to stray from the basis of Animalism. In this case, the leadership from the pigs was enough to get the ideas implemented, but eventually cause the initial ideology to be lost. The power imbalance between animals and humans simply shift to an imbalance between pigs and other animals.

II

To what extent to power and privilege, or lack thereof, affect the beliefs and actions of individuals in a revolution?

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, many of the animals’ willingness to cooperate in the revolution was heavily influenced by the way that the humans treat them. For example, Mollie the horse is very reluctant to join the revolution since the humans treat her with a respect that the other animals don’t get. Clover even claims that “[he] saw […][One of Mr. Pilkington’s men][…] talking to [Mollie] and [she was] allowing him to stroke [her] nose” (p 14). Mollie is never very enthusiastic about the revolution, and she shows more and more signs of disloyalty until she eventually defects. Although she may not notice, the things that she takes for granted are rights that the other animals on the farm don’t have. Snowball tries to reason with her by explaining that “[the] ribbons that [she is] so devoted to are the badge of slavery”; he asks if “[Mollie can] not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?” and “Mollie [agrees], but she [does] not sound very convinced” (p 6). After the revolution, she misses the prime treatment that she once had, so she is the first to defect back to the humans when “the pigeons [report] that they had seen her on the other side of Willingdon […] standing outside a public−house […] [with a] man […] stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar” (p 14). Although the other animals have a better life after the revolution, she never noticed, because she was too focused on her own treatment and the respect she used to have.

III

In your opinion, was the revolution successful? Were any other available to bring the animals’ desired change? If so, what might have been done? If so, what might have been done? If not, why was the revolution inevitable?

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the animals’ revolution was successful in obtaining the freedom the animals unanimously desired. However, it’s evident that the initial foundation of their ideology was lost gradually over time, until the farm found itself in the same unjust environment as before— this time with pigs as tyrants. Although the pigs are seen abusing their power throughout the plot, it isn’t until the end of the novella, during the pigs’ card game with the humans, that the pigs truly become equal with humans. The animals witnessing this find that “[looking] from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; […] it was impossible to say which was which” (p 42). This doesn’t necessarily suggest that the pigs are becoming physically humanoid, but rather signifies that the other animals have found themselves in the same situation as before the initial revolution. This slow descent back into oppression transpired throughout the story and is subtly revealed multiple times. For example, the animals have a small disagreement about several pails of milk. All of the animals want some, but the pigs tell them to “never mind the milk, […] that will be attended to” (p 9). However, “when [the animals come] back in the evening it [is] noticed that the milk [has] disappeared”, leading us to believe that the pigs used the milk for their own enjoyment (ibid.). This is the first of many signs that the pigs are beginning to abuse their power.

Despite these multiple abuses of power, it’s clear that the revolution was initially successful. There was a time when the animals lived virtually equal. Before the initial revolution, Old Major told the farm that “[he does] not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but [he knows][…] that sooner or later justice will be done” (p 3). This could apply to life after the revolution as well, when the farm is tired of being exploited by the pigs. Old Major may be suggesting that the oppressed will always stand up against the oppressors. It may take eons to occur, but there will always be a power shift once the abused are ready to stand up to their abusers. True freedom can never be achieved with unchanging leadership; leaders will always begin to abuse their power. Revolutions are inevitable, and when the revolutionists come into power, they will inevitably be overthrown again. Perhaps Old Major was not simply telling the farm to stand up to the humans, but to stand up to anyone who is mistreating them.

Wheel of Revolution

Wheel of Revolution

2. The Olympics was a revolutionary idea where athletes from all over the world could unite and compete in a variety of events. Now, this biennial event is still extremely relevant in today’s society. Since the first modern Olympics, it’s become a common tradition in society. Like many common traditions, the Olympics started off on a smaller scale, but more and more people began to catch on and participate until nearly the entire world was staying tuned updated. Although there are few international events of the Olympics’ caliber, this basic trajectory for the spread and normalizing of a tradition is common in society.

3. Although this event isn’t necessarily positive or negative, it’s evident that it’s still relevant in today’s society. Although there’s a large variety of effects caused by the Olympics, the most prominent effects have been either societal or economic. The Olympics is widely regarded as a respected sporting event, where people from all around the world compete. Cities and countries hope to host Olympic events because of the economic benefit it produces. Overall, I think that we can say that the effects of the Olympics have been mostly positive, not necessarily for individuals (although many athletes benefit from it) but for our society as a whole.

In-Depth #5

These past few weeks, I’ve polished my first recording and am currently working on my second. I encountered a problem with damaged equipment which slowed me down, but I worked through it. I’m overall pretty happy with my first recording, and I’m really looking forward to the next one.

At my mentor meeting this week, we mostly worked on blending harmonies into the main vocals, since that was the biggest flaw in the song. We worked with not only EQ but other effects such as chorus and reverb. I, unfortunately, couldn’t record the meeting, but I’ll describe a part of the meeting fitting each hat.

Black hat: During our meeting, we discussed the way that I had decided to pan the bass slightly to the left. My mentor explained that it’s most common to leave the bass centered, but it may be difficult to balance the other instrumentals if I do so. I eventually decided to keep the bass centered.

Red hat: Since we were struggling to blend the harmonies into the vocals well, I felt that it may be best to turn them down a bit so they were more background vocals than prominent harmonies.

Yellow hat: While discussing ways to blend the harmonies into the vocals, my mentor was talking about several different techniques I could use to blend the sound as well as pros and cons for each.

Green hat: After deciding that one method wasn’t helping to blend the harmonies, my mentor and I discussed a myriad of options until achieving the goal.

Blue hat: Before discussing stereo imaging techniques, my mentor said that it would be beneficial to put an emphasis on stereo imaging before discussing ways to make it more prominent.

The white hat was not very present in our meeting since most of our discussions are based on creative thinking and feeling.

I got a lot done these past few days, and I’m looking forward to the future!!

Sourcing a Significant Personal Object

Inquiry Question: What is the story of a cutout newspaper advertisement for Wicked?

When asked to provide a significant object, I decided to select a cutout newspaper ad advertising a Vancouver production Stephen Schwartz’s musical Wicked. When I was younger, I cut this page out of a local newspaper prior to attending the production. Years later, I still remember the experience of watching the production. This is a primary source since it’s a legitimate, original page from the newspaper.

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Source: Just by examining the front of the cutout, we can determine that it was produced and printed by the Vancouver Sun newspaper, based in Vancouver. We can also see that the production company is called Broadway Across Canada. However, it’s much more difficult to determine the year of production. Using outside sources, we can infer that this was printed sometime between May 28th and June 29th, 2014.

 

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A program and ticket from the production

 

Context: During the 2014-2015 Broadway Across Canada season, other touring productions included The Book of Mormon and Flashdance – The Musical. Out of the other productions that year, Wicked had the longest running time, as well as historically, the best sales at the theatre. These reasons, amongst others, may have motivated a strong advertisement campaign. Typically, full-page newspaper ads are used for businesses with large scale advertisement campaigns. This may explain why there was such a large advertisement for this production in the newspaper. 

Description: From the perspective of someone who doesn’t know the plot of the musical, the poster may contain confusing elements. Facial expressions, colours, and shapes might seem intriguing to the target audience, and may ultimately attract more customers. In addition to this, fans of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz may draw parallels between the classic story and certain aspects of the advertisement. The green-skinned figure dressed in classic “witches garb” placed in juxtaposition with the fair-skinned figure dressed in white can easily be compared with the characters in Baum’s novel. These iconic elements could’ve been included to catch the eye of any potential consumers who are interested in the musical’s connections with The Wizard of Oz. 

Inferences about Perspective: The designer of this advertisement was likely associated with Broadway Across Canada. Presumably, the main purpose of this source was to attract customers and many elements of the ad are included for this purpose. The ad includes the dates and location of the shows, as well as a positive review. Beneath the main logo, there is a message urging viewers to purchase tickets as well as resources to do so. Since this is a fairly recognized logo, the advertisement likely relies heavily on the colours, logo, and title to catch attention. Other information provided is likely to make sales. 

Inferences about Inquiry Question: By examining this source, I thoroughly explored the reasoning behind the composition of this advertisement. It was interesting to think deeply about marketing a show I’m familiar with, as I needed to think about key elements advertisers would want to market to their audience. After analysis, I wonder how much advertisements such as these affect the overall image of brands. Although this artifact has been displayed on my wall for years, I had never given it so much thought.