Midterm: What have we accomplished so far?

To say that this Canadian Confederation unit has been one of my favourite socials projects would be an understatement. Much like the French Revolution unit, it was a great exercise to take the ideas and thoughts of another character and put them into your own words. Having to pretend to be a person from the era forced us to delve deep in the Confederation, and look at all of the influencing factors that were present so that we may accurately represent our character. Many of the learning outcomes for Socials were met, and although some were missed, I still believe that we achieved a lot through this unit.

Perhaps the most prominent learning outcomes that I met during this unit were A1 and A3, Applying Critical Thinking Skills, and Demonstrating Effective Written/Oral/Communication skills. These two learning outcomes were what I found to be the most useful and also the ones that I worked on the most. Examples relating to A1 would be nearly anything we did in this project. Because we were trying to impersonate a character who has long since passed away, many of our actions had to be based off of assumptions that we could make when looking at our characters previous actions. For example, my character was never explicitly stated as a loyalist for Britain, however you could read about fights that he had based on supporting loyalists, and he had also attempted to put together a loyalist army comprised of freed slaves. My character also died in 1806, because anything truly eventful happened, so all of the thoughts that I portrayed during the rest of the Confederation had to be based on what I thought he would say. To do this, I had to research all of his past actions, and think about how his actions in the past would relate to what he would do in the future. For A3, you could look at our blog posts, tweets, Confederation Conference, and the Final Address. All of these required us to communicate our ideas effectively in some way, and it was a great way to demonstrate our abilities. In blog posts, we had to write clearly and effectively to portray our character’s thoughts and emotions without the actually being there. The tweets that we made had to be written concisely and effectively, to get our ideas across in a powerful manner without going over the tiny word limit. During the Confederation Conference, we had to present clear powerful arguments to sway our opponent’s beliefs and attempt to get them to agree with us. Because every was taking the stance of another character’s values, the arguments that we presented had to be very well done if we wanted a chance to get them to take our side. During the Conference, I was attempting to get the aboriginals to take sides with Canada and merge their land with us. After a long debate, we were not quite able to come to an agreement, however I think that everyone that participated presented their arguments clearly, and all had good points to put on the table.

Another prominent learning outcome that was met was C2, analyzing political, economic, social, and geographical factors that led the Confederation. The best example of this learning outcome was during the Confederation Conference. In the conference, the team that I was sided with had a drawn out discussion with the aboriginals in an attempt to get them to merge their land with ours. Although I only had the opportunity to speak twice, I was able to collaborate with my team so that we could all agree on points to put down. We discussed all of the possible factors that could influence the aboriginal’s opinions so that we could lay down the best possible argument. The biggest factor that we had to look at was how the aboriginals considered their land to be sacred, and that they thought we were stealing it from them. To get around this, we had to look at how we could convince the aboriginals that their land would be preserved, and that they could govern themselves for the most part, with us knowing full well that as a minority they would not be able to keep those rights for very long. We also had to consider what they could bring to the economy. We wanted their land for more resources and trade expansion, however they did not want us to be bringing over that sort of an economy. Our proposed argument was how it could benefit both of us, and that if they joined they could grow and become stronger as well, even if they thought that our trading would be damaging to them.

 

There were also a few learning outcomes that we weren’t able to discuss in much depth. The one that sticks out the most to me is B3, evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society. Each different character would have a small outlook on this, since we all came from different places, however there were not many discussions about this topic. Perhaps in the Confederation Conference, we could have talked more about how immigration would affect the future of Canada.

B1 was another learning outcome that did not get talked about very much. There were a few characters who were fighting for gender rights and ethnicity rights, but there was not any discussion about the arts and our daily lives. It would have been up toe each character to reflect on these topics in their blog posts, but we can’t read all of them so we may not get to see all of the different sides to this topic.

Finally, I believe that we could have talked more about D2, analyzing the influence of resource development and technological innovations on Canada’s economy. E had briefly discussed in class about how Canada needed the Maritimes for their ships, however there was not much further discussion about technology. We also did not talk very much about resource development. There were some debates about it during the Confederation Conference, however we did not talk much about it past that.

 

However, there were also some learning outcomes that we were not able address at all . One of these that sticks out the most to me is D3, describing the development of British Columbia’s economy from 1815 to 1914. Perhaps some other people may have gotten more information about this due to their characters, but I felt as if there was not much mention of this throughout my part in the Canadian Confederation Unit. British Columbia was mentioned here and there in class, but I feel as if the learning outcome was never fulfilled. I think that during our talks about the trade in central Canada, we could have also discussed BC more since it is, after all, where we live.

E1 was also a learning outcome that was not mentioned at all during this unit. It is understandable why it was never talked about, it seems more like science than it does socials. E1 is asking you to describe the physiographic regions of Canada and the geological processes that formed these regions. The examples given include things such as plate tectonics. I wouldn’t exactly define that as socials. I do recall that at the end of last year we did a project based on plate tectonics and how it would affect cultures living above them, however we did not discuss much about that in Canada specifically. Other than these two learning outcomes, there is not much that I can see which we have not discussed at any point.

Finally, I was not able to see much progress being made on learning outcome E3, evaluate attitudes and practices on resource development in British Columbia. Once again, I feel as if I did not gain much knowledge at all about British Columbia through these time periods. Furthermore, we did not discuss much about resources in any parts of Canada. We discussed trade at length, however we did not talk much about resource developments such as fishing and mining. I still feel as if some other characters would have learned more about it, but my character did not have any part in resources, and he also died before the Confederation had even began.

 

Although on the surface, the Canadian Confederation project may not seem to have fulfilled all of the learning outcomes, it has actually covered most of the required material. There are only a few learning outcomes that were not talked about, and although not all learning outcomes were talked about in great depth, we have learned about nearly all of them during this Unit. Some people may have gotten more information on certain learning outcomes simply due to the character that they had chosen, however through activities such as the confederation conference and the final address, we have heard information from many different characters and gained insight on nearly all the parts of the Canadian Confederation, and from that we can draw conclusions as to how it has affected our present Canada. This unit was very engaging for me, and I feel as if it was not only a great way to fulfill the social studies requirements, but also a great way to learn how the incredible country that we live in has been shaped throughout the years.

 

 

John Graves Simcoe, An Unchangeable Decision

I was not always a grouchy, old, dead man. I used to a powerful officer in the British military, protecting Canada from any possible invaders. At the end of my military career, I became Upper Canada’s governor and led them the best that I could. I made sure that they stayed true to British traditions, since the English were, after all, the one that created them in the first place. However, I was not alive long enough to see what Canada could truly become in person, instead I watched from the heavens with no control. Luckily, Canada was still true to the morals that I left it with for at least a few years.

However, things quickly began to go downhill. Canada united as a nation, which was something that I had longed for for years. But with the unity, they began to look at the possibility of splitting off from Britain. I had been gone for too long, and all of the values that I left them with were being thrown out the window. With my recent death, there were no warnings that I could send to them.

Not only this, but the minorities that I had fought for were also turning tail on me. Aboriginals refused to join forces with Canada, even after all of my attempts to show them kindness and the prosperity that Canada could lend to them. but alas, they were indefinitely stubborn

However, it is true that I did set up the aboriginals in a location that would allow them to be stepped on by America. I used their borders as a line of defense between Canada and America, however I still had full intent to welcome them into Canada with open arms after our squabbles with the Americans were finished. Even after our most persuasive arguments, they were still too stubborn to join us. They argued that should the French split off from Canada to join them in a minority superpower, they could overcome any feat. Still we could not bring them to their senses.

I did not wish to crush them! But in the current situation, they were speaking gibberish and had no clue as to how dangerous of a situation they were putting themselves into. They were even under the absurd impression that Canada wished to wage war on them. This was not the case! Although I agree that Canada shouldn’t have been very happy if they did not bond with us, there was no chance that a war would be fought, especially if I were still in command.

But alas, petty arguments with the aboriginals eventually came to an end, and I saw the most dire of situations in Canada’s future. They were striving for independence more than ever, even after all that Britain had done for them. I could not believe what I was seeing, and worst of all there was nothing that I could do. I longed for the opportunity to reach out one last time and show the Canadians the dire future that awaited them should they leave Britain, but alas, any thoughts I had would have been in vain. Canada split off completely. The one thing that I did not want to see happen to my beloved Canada had come true all too soon. I had failed as my previous job as governor. All of my efforts were fruitless. I felt anger. I felt emptiness. I felt as if my entire life were for nothing. I did not want Canada to fall, but in that moment I felt no pride in what they had done. I could not tell if I had failed them, or if they had failed me. Either way, the Canada that I used to know was dead, this fragile nation meant nothing to me now.

Anything that I had to say now were just lost words, there seemed to be no turning back at this point for the nation that I once loved. There was no future for Canada now, only destruction and sorrow as far as I could see. Why did they have to leave? What reason could they possibly see that made them abandon Britain? TO me, our politics were fair, we were strong and proud, we were supportive and gave everything we could to Canada. Still, it was not enough for them. My heart is shattered, and of all people to lead them I see that the bag of filth who calls himself John A. MacDonald has become their leader. Residential Schools, more like aboriginal only prison. I would have warned them about his lies in the past, should I have still been alive.

In the end, all of my efforts were futile. I did not wish to see Canada this way, but I can only hope that at least my legacy will be carried out the way that I would like it to. I wish to be know as a hero of Britain, advocating for British government and support, fighting off those who wish for independence, and showing them the fault i their ways. I was fair, I supported minorities, I opened trade routes across Canada and boosted their economy. But in the end, I will likely only be know as a scoundrel who wished for the worst in Canada, a lousy politician who wished to see Canada be crushed under the boot of Britain. Time will only tell how my legacy will be carried. In a last ditch attempt to show the world my true intentions, I will leave a speech, in case any heavenly power could send my words back to earth.

I am John Graves Simcoe, British military Officer, and Governor of Upper Canada, and I leave you with my parting words:

Young men often strive to abandon their parents, however these wishes do not tend to last long. Such will be the case with Canada, or at least I hope it will be. Britain built them from the bottom up, and still they fought to leave. Why they did I still fail to comprehend. Time will only tell if their efforts pay off.

I spent my entire life fighting for Canada. I won wars for them, protected their fronts, did everything that I could to ensure that they stood strong. After I was too old and frail to battle for Canada, I took a political stance with them in the Upper section so I could continue to lead and protect this fragile nation. I spent years governing over upper Canada, did everything I could to protect them from outside forces, and I fought for minority rights until my dying breath. But then the independence fighters appeared, battling for a cause so foolish, yet they could not see their own flaws. How could I have been so foolish, to think Canada would not eventually abandon my home country, Britain.

It was Britains resources and politics that started Canada. It was Britain that protected them while they grew. It was Britain that gave support to Canada to ensure that it would stand strong as a new land in this world. And then they abandoned us.

I was happy to see Canada unite under on land, but I did not ever dream that they would fight against Britain, their own creators, to gain their independence. I do not wish to see Canada fall, but now that they are no longer tied in with the English, I fear that their fate of destruction is inevitable. Worst of all, in my heavenly position, there is nothing I can do to stop them.

 

And should you wish to see my side of the matters through the Canadian Confederation, I will leave you with the rest of my notes that I compiled over the course of my life in death.

Act of Union

A Personal Reflection

In Depth Post #7, finished song

After multiple sessions of recording and deleting failed attempts, I’ve finally been able to settle on a few clips that I’m satisfied with. My first song is coming into shape, the drum line will need to be worked on, but I have the bass and guitar recorded and put together. The process took much longer then I would have initially thought; every time I recorded something, there would always be a small issue with it that made it necessary to do a re-take. I eventually settled on a bass recording that had only one small error with it, and a guitar track that was satisfactory. However, while I was recording the song, I ran into a roadblock and had to almost entirely restart the guitar part.

Partway through my most recent recording session, I decided to play the bass and guitar parts together to make sure they lined up properly. What I found out is that I had based part of the melody on the wrong chord structure, and I would have to re-create a large part of it. This was especially frustrating since I had just finished recording a satisfactory guitar track with the original melody, and I then had to change it and try to record it all over again. After another hour or so, I got that finished, and I thought I was done. I put the two parts together again and noticed yet another error: The bass amp’s volume was turned up too loud when I was recording, causing the microphone to vibrate in its stand and make the recording quality awful. The result? Record the bass line, again, with a lower volume.

I finally got both parts done. It was awful running into the roadblocks, but I was luckily able to find workarounds. Now, all I would have to do is make the drum line. However, the recording had taken so long that I had no time left to work on the drumline, the weekend was close to over and I was fully booked for the rest of the day. I’ll get it finalized at some point though, or if I can’t get it to work out, the song sounds good enough without the drums. At this point, I’ll start to work on another song, hopefully in another style, to broaden my range of composing abilities, rather than focusing on only jazz.

Sessions with my mentor have been great so far. In our most recent sessions, we shared a common thought on some strange conductors that we’ve had to work with. My mentor in general has been a rather uncompassionate person, focusing more seriously on the music and less so on personal connections, which is fine by me. However, this time, we were able to actually share a personal connection. I’d like to say that it held a rather happy nature, talking about some incidents we’ve had with angry conductors or conductors who couldn’t actually keep time properly. It made the lesson much more enjoyable, since at the end of the conversation, I could notice that we were both feeling more lively and ready to focus.

We’ve also had some great conversations about more serious topics. For example, when we were focusing on writing out chord structure, I had asked about what would define a chord as being diminished. This diverted the conversation to talking about how chords all connect with each other, witching between different modes and how they link up being different keys in what’s called a relative minor. Although we ended up running out of time to talk about the original topic, I ended up learning a lot that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it ended up being a great diversion.

With in-depth coming up, I’ll hopefully be able to speed up the rate at which I can record songs so that I can have a couple more done to present on the night of.

John Graves Simcoe #2, reflecting upon the Act of Union

Upper and Lower Canada have merged, and my thoughts are conflicted on this topic. I support them merging, due to the fact that it will help support the minorities, and preserve their culture, but I also cannot bear to see Canada leave England. After all the work that I had put in to making sure that Canada stood strong, to see it break off and make a half-baked attempt at independence would leave me broken. I established Canada under the hope that it would receive support from England, allowing it to thrive and have ample protection. Without the English on their side, they would be nothing. It is of the utmost priority that they do not leave, but I cannot stop them due to my death. However, as a single, united nation, they will be able to advance much faster. More land will allow for more resources, and more resources will lead to faster advancements in their technologies. Even the aboriginals could become part of this growing nation, should they be willing to help the Canadians gather together the necessary resources.

It is key that when they are a united province, the Canadians can agree on one political stance. Should there be Independence and Loyalist fighters locked in combat, they will soon cause the province to crumble, allowing Americans to swoop in and take over. With any luck, the English will have some motivation to move into Canada, helping it become stronger and have better bonds with England. Although they may think they can get along on their own, they NEED the support from the English. Without them, Canada would be unprotected, and have much slower technological advances, leaving them vulnerable to invaders. As a military officer I know the importance that they are well protected, since as a new land, the rest of the world will be eager to make an attempt to take over. English immigration would strengthen Canada’s numbers, and improve it’s chances of standing strong in this advancing world.

Although I cannot predict the future, I can only hope that Canada holds up against the waves of time, and that they will stay under the wing of the English for as long as possible. The English can protect and help them, ensuring that they will not fall to any opposing forces. Although they may be a unified province, they are still not strong enough to stand on their own. Maybe one day they can break off from us, but for now I pray that they do not.