All posts by bryanjack

Political Narratives and their Related Parties

To me, the political narrative with the most influence on my thoughts would be the Economy narrative, but more specifically how taxes and wages are distributed through different classes of people. To me this is one of the biggest deciding factors, since I put a lot of value on my money and how I am able to save it, since with this money I am given the opportunity to do many more things with my life. Although I do place value on how the government treats me as a person, and what freedoms they will give me, I would rather have the money to go out and fulfill my life through activities like sports and travelling. I also think that this narrative is the most important since in my opinion, the way that the government distributes taxes will also reflect the other narratives. For example, a government that is focusing on cutting taxes for small businesses will most likely be putting the most value on middle class people, which is also an important factor to me.

Within this narrative, I would be most likely to elect a government that would lower taxes on necessary items such as food and some hygiene products, and also give more benefits to families in need. I would also like to seem some regulations and tax raises put on large corporations to prevent them from creating an extremely wealthy upper class. In my ideal situation, those who are in lower classes are given the opportunity to advance  through the use of lower taxes and wage increases, but once they get into upper classes they are no longer given help from the government in order to stop them from taking in too much wealth.


I think that the party which best presents this narrative would be the liberal party. The first flag to show this would be the fact that their policy slogan is “Fairness For the Middle Class”. The next benefit that jumps out at me is that they are cancelling income splitting and other tax breaks for the wealthy, insuring that they never leap too far ahead of the middle class. I view this as very important, since it is a bold statement against a very powerful and influential group of people. To me, it shows that they are taking a very strong stance and are willing to stay true to their word in balancing the economy in favor of the middle class.

The next part that I view as supporting my beliefs would be the family benefits that they will be implementing.  On the homepage of their website, there is a calculator to show how much a family could benefit from electing the Liberal party. In a family making $100,000  year, with one child under 6 and one child under 17, they could receive an annual tax free benefit of $5,325.00. To me, this seems like a relatively average middle class family, so the benefits could be extremely helpful. For a family in a bad position, with 3 children under 6 making an annual income of $50,000,they would receive $16,000 each year, tax free. This is an enormous benefit for a low income family, and these benefits can be given to people in every class. To me this is a large influence on which party I would choose to vote for, since it is a benefit that can work for all of Canada, yet give more priority to those in need.

A final point that is advertised on their website is the tax cuts and raises that they will be giving. For starters, the upper class will have an increase on their income tax. The tax increase that they receive then turns into a tax deduction for those living in lower classes. Anyone making in between $44,000 and $89,000 will receive a 7% drop in taxes, going from 22% down to 20.5%. Savings have been projected as being close to $670, with a maximum benefit of $1350 for a couple. Upper class income taxes will be raised to a new high of 33% to compensate for the deductions on lower classes. This is a very important point to me, since most of the population does not live in a class making over $200,000, and those who do live in that bracket can sacrifice some of their abundant wealth for those who need it.

The way I see it, we shouldn’t have most of the population driving 1990’s Civics while a small percent drives BMW’s and Mercedes. Instead, we should be satisfied with everyone driving an average Mazda or Toyota. Nobody needs to have exponentially more money than those around them. Although if they work harder, they should be entitled to have more than some others, they should not receive so much that those around them are damaged. From the research that I’ve done, the Liberal party represents my views the best, which is why I believe that they could form the future Canada that I wish to see.


The Ring of Fire, Socials Op-Ed Aidan MacDonald

Who has Rights to the Ring of Fire?

Aidan MacDonald

Resources run the world; they control governments and dictate the distribution of power, which is why we’re struggling so hard against aboriginals in an attempt to gain access to resources that were found on their land. Aboriginals and “whites” have not been interacting on the nicest of terms even since Canada’s Confederation period, so it is no surprise that neither side is backing down when it comes to control of the Ring of Fire. Back when Canada was still forming as a country, aboriginals were treated as a second thought, and the primary focus was inhabiting their land to gain wealth, with none of the profit going back to the aboriginals. With an estimated worth being between 30-50 billion dollars, this is no longer a fight for simple farmland, even the largest of mining companies are putting their all into gaining territory in this mineral rich area. The obstacle which stands in their way takes the form of nine underprivileged First Nations groups. Although these groups could theoretically receive great rewards for their land, “Chronic housing shortages, low education outcomes and lack of access to clean drinking water jeopardize the ability of local First Nations to benefit from the significant economic, employment and business development opportunities associated with the Ring of Fire developments.” (Aboriginal affairs ring of fire briefing notes)

It is clear that the aboriginals rightfully own the land, and they have since Canada came to be. However, a line must be drawn somewhere as to how much control they are allowed to have on it. It would not be considered right for a group to horde materials that they are not using. Although the mining would be intrusive on their land, comprises could be met to make the benefits outweigh the downfalls. Some of the aboriginal chiefs have recognised it, also stating that the jobs opened by the mines would be of incredible help to fix their lack of schools and basic amenities. Another point to be brought up is that although in the past, aboriginals were violently pushed out of their land for European settlers to take resources, however this situation will likely be different since there are benefits being offered to the Aboriginals. This would be a much better scenario than the previous “destroy the obstacles, take their valuables” situation caused by settlers.

On the other side of the coin, the short time frame proposed for the mining project makes it difficult for the full benefits to be exploited by the aboriginals. During an interview for CBC, Deputy Grand Chief Les Louitt said “You talk about skills training. How are you going to educate and develop skills training within a period of two years in order to take advantage of construction?” This may be a large issue, but even so, there is still great importance for these mines to be put in place.

Should the aboriginals not be prepared for the construction phase, they can instead spend the time training to work in the mine after it has been opened, and use the large income to help springboard them out of poverty. Although the situation may not be ideal for them, they must be able to see compromises that can be made with the mining industry. You will almost always have to accept a solution halfway between what each party wants, and this is what the aboriginal population near the Ring of Fire needs to recognize.

It is also important for the Aboriginal population to look at how this can be beneficial for both sides. Chief Cornelius Wabasse stated in an interview for Windspeaker that “This will not only be good for us, but will also be good for the exploration companies to know the protocols for exploration on our mutual traditional lands.” This way, should the same companies want to collaborate with aboriginals in the future, they can know what to expect and how to treat them with respect.

Although there may be downfalls to the aboriginal chiefs letting mining companies into their land, they need to be able to see through the negative and look at all of the positive aspects. They are not in a position to take full advantage of the benefits, but even small rewards are needed to keep their population afloat. With any luck, more chiefs in the Ring of Fire will adopt view similar to Chief Wabasse, and allow for this profitable land to be used in Canada’s developments.

Document of learning, PLO B2

Although Canadians are often seen as some of the nicest people to grace this earth, many often fail to see how bad our past truly is. We don’t hesitate to point out the great things that our country brings such as free health care and nature all around us, but we never seem to talk about the damage caused to gain these great features.

Aboriginals lived here before other settlers came, that tends to be common knowledge. What we don’t like to discuss as much is the impact that we had on the Aboriginals. Looking at our Country now, and how we have such great multi-culturalism, you wouldn’t be predicting that we treated Aboriginals like dirt. However, when European settlers came to Canada, their first order of business was to rid the land of any Aboriginal inhabitants. From their perspective, it makes sense. They saw a lesser civilization which was taking up the land that they wanted, so they pushed them out of the way. Although without these acts having been committed, we may not be living in the Canada that we know and love today, but there could have been other options that would have given us the benefits we needed without the same degree of damage. Instead of forcibly pushing the Aboriginals away, we could have negotiated ways in which we could each conform to each other societies, and live out our lives in harmony.

Honestly, I’m disappointed with our country’s past. Although I do not believe that I hold any responsibility for damages committed in the past, I would feel much more comfortable living here had our past been a bit nicer. It almost feels wrong to claim pride in a nation that still had residential schools up until not very long ago. We built ourselves off of a railroad constructed through slavery; the land that we claim to now be an embodiment of strength and freedom in our anthem was stolen from those who lived here before us. Our past is all about fighting, when we now view ourselves as peace keepers. I still take pride in living in a country that I view as one of the best in the world, but needless to say, it stings to know how Canada has been constructed through the punishment of others for our own benefit.


However, there’s still more that I would like to know before making any assumptions about the past. We learned about the settlers treating the aboriginals poorly, however I didn’t hear about any peaceful negotiations made between the aboriginals and settlers. Although I know for sure that they treated the Aboriginals poorly, I would still like to learn more about any good reactions that they had. Perhaps there were more attempts made then we learned about, and the force they used later was a result of the Aboriginals not wanting to come to any agreements. Knowing this would allow me to feel more comfortable about our past, with the reassuring knowledge that we at least made SOME attempts at peaceful negotiations rather than going straight to the fighting.

I would also like to look more at how the land control imposed on the Aboriginals effected their resources and population. The Aboriginals were constricted to a very small mass of land, given their tendencies to move around in an effort to hunt buffalo. Because of their land being so restricted, they had less room to do this, and eventually they hunted enough buffalo in their given area that all the buffalo had moved into Canadian territory, where they were not allowed to hunt. I can see this causing the Aboriginal population to drop, due to a lack of resources, however I would still like to look at some sort of official documentation to solidify these thoughts.

Looking at the resource and population of Aboriginals would also be likely to help cover learning outcome B1, analysing Canadian society in terms of gender roles, ethnicity and daily life. Looking at how the resources would affect the population would also require me to look at how the Aboriginals lived from day to day, therefore covering the learning outcome. This would also help cover C2, which is analysing political, economic, social and geographical aspects that lead to the development of Canada’s territories and provinces. Learning more about the Aboriginal’s land restrictions would help me understand how it changed the development of Canada’s provinces. Manitoba was started because of the restrictions being placed on the Aboriginals, and it is still a thriving place today.


Our unit on the Canadian Confederation covered a large amount of information, but to me the most prominent is how poorly we treated others in the past. This unit has been an eye opening experience to say the least, and although there are still a few points that I would like to look more in-depth into, I feel as if we’ve covered enough to thoroughly understand the development of our country, and how far we’ve come as a society.

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.

In Depth Post #6

With a little less than half of the In Depth project remaining, it’s time that I start working harder on getting some songs recorded. Over the past two weeks, I’ve finalized my ideas and I’ve begun to record my first song. So far, I have the melody and bass line recorded. I’ve found that it’s actually harder than I would have thought to get the recordings to a point where I am satisfied with the quality. Quite often, I’ll be slightly off tempo, or I’ll miss a note here and there. When this happens, you end up having to restart the whole recording, which can be a very time consuming process. Due to the fact that I was gone to Cuba for a week during spring break, and had a 3 day course immediately after, I’ve had to put in some effort to get these recordings made.

Once I did end up finding some time, I put together the small set up that I would be using to record. At Christmas, I had gotten a Blue Yeti microphone, which is one of the higher end microphones that plugs directly into a USB port; USB ports are convenient and easy to use, making this microphone the best choice for my purposes. I had the microphone set up facing the amp, about 2-3 feet away to ensure that it picked up enough sound, without being too loud and sounding grainy. The microphone was plugged into my computer, which I was using to record the sound tracks. I also had a pair of headphones playing back a metronome track to help me keep tempo without the sound leaking into the recording; a regular metronome could not be used, since the microphone would pick up the sound and ruin the recording. I recorded the melody using an electric guitar, and then recorded a bass line afterwards. The next step for me is putting it into a sound mixing program, and adding a drum track which I will have to create digitally.

Over the course of this projects, I’ve ran into a few concepts that may have become problems in the future. For example, getting a drum track recorded would be difficult, since I do not play or own a drum set. Working with my mentor, we found an alternative, which was to either create or find a drum track that fit the song digitally. This way, I wouldn’t have to struggle to acquire and learn a new instrument, and a digital track will always have perfect tempo, which makes it much more convenient. During the beginning of the project, there was also the issue that I was still relatively new to writing chord structures. The alternative that we decided on was to use an existing chord structure, and write a new melody on top of it.

John Graves Simcoe, a reflection

Years have gone by, yet it still feels as if those battles were just yesterday. I was not always an old man, dying on his bed without a thing to do. I was once a great officer of the British army, conquering land and evading death day in and day out. But those years are behind me now, now the only thing left for me to do is to reflect upon all of the days I have lost.

I wasn’t always a commanding officer, I started off as a lowly infantry unit. After attending the Oxford University I pursued the military career that my father, a ship’s captain commanding sixty guns, had wanted me to take up. In the 35th regiment of foot I took up arms to serve the Queen. I was not with that regiment for long, as I became the captain of the 40th Grenadier regiment in due time. Those years of battle served me many victories, but what I truly wanted was to aid the slaves overseas. I was going to form a loyalist group to help free them, but I was taken away from my pursuits when I was offered command of the Queen’s Rangers. With that trusty group, we were nearly able to kill future president George Washington, but alas, I gave the order to spare him. It was then that I became a Lieutenant-Colonel back in England.

Once my years in the military were over, it was time that I looked towards the future of politics. I had my sights set on Canada, and with due time I became the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. This position was vital for me, as it was my actions that were to decide what would happen with the portion of land that I looked after. With the American’s directly below us, I knew that war would eventually break out. To avoid this, I began creating a state comprised of Indians between America and Canada, to act as a buffer for us should the Americans decide to attack. However, it did not work in the end, the Indians were crushed by the Americans. Luckily at that point, America had no plans to attack Canada just yet, and within the time that I had ruling over Upper Canada I was able to set up fur trade routes around Lake Ontario, to ensure that Canada would hold strong in the years to come.

This is all behind me now, I’ve had to retire back to England. The 1800’s are within sight, perhaps I will survive to see another century. Until then, I can only wait and hope that the Canada I left will hold strong and free.

In Depth Post #5: Recording

During this segment of the in-depth project, I have made the next step towards finishing a song: I have been able to acquire a new microphone to use for recording whatever I have written down. The microphone that I got is the Blue Yeti, which is convenient since it plugs directly into a computer using a USB cable. This is much nicer than having a standard microphone, which uses a specialized cable that requires adapters and sound boards to plug into a computer. Using a USB connection, I will be able to record much faster, and spend less money on buying equipment.

The next step to recording is to get the best sound quality possible. Professional studios have rooms built specifically for recording, with walls that are shaped to bounce sound waves off in a way that gives you the best possible acoustics. However, I don’t have one of these rooms, and they cost thousands of dollars to rent. Instead, I’ll just have to use one of the rooms in my house. Although it may seem strange, it seems to be widely known that bathrooms actually have the best acoustics for recording music. The tightly enclosed space, combined with the materials commonly found in bathrooms, makes them ideal for getting a good sound quality. But because I have to be setting up guitar amps and a recording studio, I won’t be using a bathroom. I’ll likely end up just doing it in a bedroom, since it’s close to the right size for getting the right acoustics, and I already have all of my music equipment set up there. Using a guitar amplifier, I’ll have the microphone placed 1-2 feet in front of the amp, and then adjust the sensitivity to get the right sound quality. I’ll then be playing a metronome through headphones so I can get the right tempo when I’m recording. The microphone will be recording directly into my laptop, so I can use whatever program I want to get my songs recorded. After I have everything recorded, I’ll use a music compilation program to piece it all together. The one that I am looking at right now is called LMMS, which is a freeware version of more popular programs such as Microsoft’s FruityLoops. I haven’t had much time to look at any of these programs yet, so it will take some effort to learn how to use them. However, I won’t have much time to think about that right now since I’ll be leaving for Cuba in a few days.



Moving on, in my last mentoring sessions, I had recorded one of our conversations to identify all of the different “hats” that were used when we were talking.

The conversation started off talking about the strategies that we could use in writing a new song, an example of the blue hat, where we were talking about what would need to be done to complete my in-depth project. The option that he presented was to use the existing chord structure from another song, and write a new melody over top of that. This was an example of green hat, since it is presenting a possible idea, rather than a hard fact. Although this sounded like a good idea to me, I was still interested in creating my own chord structure as well. Using the yellow hat, we talked about how the first song could be based off an existing chord structure, and the next ones could be original ideas. This was also an example of the black hat, since we were looking for ideas that would fit both of our values, and therefore be a more productive idea for the both of us. Using the white hat to state facts, my mentor referred to many incredible artists who wrote many of their songs using existing chord structures, showing that it is a viable strategy to use. Reflecting on the conversation with the red hat, I believe that my mentor is a very qualified person to be teaching me, and I should generally be trusting his ideas and suggestions, even when they may seem odd at first.