Please go on this link to see my infographic about a comparison between the effectiveness of film vs. text in creating good characters.
As the In-depth project progress, we are now starting to meet with our mentors and receive guidance from them regarding our goals and procedures. Ms. Mulder has asked us to comment on the following questions for this post:
- How did your mentor gain their experience/ expertise?
- What were those experiences like for your mentor?
- What wisdom have you gained from your mentor so far?
- What have you learned so far, in terms of facilitation strategies, that might contribute to your own development as a mentor?
My mentor gained his experience in the investment field through personal interest, jobs, and education. He received teaching in university that helped him find a job as a broker, initially. He told me that after switching a few jobs and having many mentors in between, he is now an investment counsellor and can finally start helping others on the journey that he went through. He is a firm believer of the “guide and relate” model of mentoring relationships when I mentioned it to him, and he commented that the best teachers he had didn’t just pour out information to him, but created an environment where he can learn on his own, supporting him and guiding him to implement his actions. Teaching did provide him with a lot of professional knowledge, but the most important ones came from teachers, who like mentors, took the time to learn about him and personally encourage and support him. The conversations between us are almost just an exemplary model of how having a mentor one on one can help me digest information. I had read Ms. Mulder’s blog post about mentorship, but it is through this conversation that I am able to develop my own interpretations of it and have someone experienced confirm or reject it. My mentor is far from perfect, but I learned to be understanding of other people’s ideas, especially those who have no previous experience and is not restricted by the standardized conventions. Truly, mentoring is not about how we influence others, but how we help them on their journey to find their own version of the truth they are seeking.
It is finally time for another In-Depth project! The project is one of my favourite TALONS events, and I have thought long and hard about what I want to learn about. After some comparisons and evaluations, I got down to investing in securities, funds, etc.
The reason that I decided to learn about investing is partially due to the eminent person project I completed earlier in the year. Even when I was younger, still in elementary school, my parents exposed me to some books that humorously talks about the importance of growing money. The vivid metaphors intrigued me and planted a seed inside. All of that helped me make my decision for this year’s project.
There are two possible mentors that can support me in my learning. One has already agreed orally and is experienced doing trading (he worked at a stock exchange). The other person manages my family’s stocks and is very professional, with many years of outstanding record. I might be able to Skype her since she is in China, but if not she can give me some pointers if I email her.
“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott
Before I start, I would like to clarify that I am looking and writing with a modern perspective. At the time in Italy, things may have been different, and so one may arrive at a conclusion different from my own.
It has become a subject of debate whether Romeo and Juliet’s love in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is shallow puppy love carried out by teenage children. I have been reading the play in English and in my understanding, the two’s love is a bit more than short passion, but not much more. It cannot be denied that both Romeo and Juliet love from a physical point. That can be seen in Romeo’s change from his description of Rosaline that “beauty starved with her severity cuts beauty off from all posterity. She is too fair…” to his exclamation that “I have forgot [Rosaline]… my heart’s dear love is set on the fair daughter of rich Capulet” (25, 103). Romeo solely focuses his love, or desires, on appearance, so when someone fairer than the one he loves shows herself, Romeo ditches his old love immediately. We can see from here that Romeo have a rather immature view on love, and he “love by rote, that could not spell” (105). Juliet, on the other hand, is much less impulsive and naive, but in modern standards, she loves too fast and without deeper thought. This can be seen in how she is shaken when the news of Romeo killing Tybalt comes, wondering how can “[a] book containing such vile matter [ever be] so fairly bound” (163). The fact that Juliet just comes to realize what kind of person her husband is after the wedding is quite alarming, likely leading to an unhappy marriage after the physical attractions fade away with age. The reason I don’t classify this affair as simple puppy love is because the two aren’t just loving for fun, like so many teenage kids; they are prepared to live their entire lives together, united in marriage. The intense passion made them oblivious to the other’s shortcomings, classifying the relationship as one that is not well thought out, but the extent of their love goes a long ways beyond physical lust and attraction.
When considering whether Romeo and Juliet are children or not regarding the conventions then, we can assume that they are viewed as adults. Romeo and Juliet was written between 1591 and 1595, originating from The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet written in 1562. The story likely took place during or slightly before that period. In medieval England, children at the age of twelve will often find themselves given the responsibilities of adults with adult-like consequences (academia.edu). Jobs like rock scarers (restaurant dishwashers) or shepherds in Montaillo, France are given to young boys at the age of twelve. The fact that both Romeo and Juliet are in noble households mean that they don’t have to work, but they are both of age to marry as to the customs. It is not often that children under the age of fourteen are married in medieval England, but around 8 % of the children documented are married at that age. The conditions should be similar in Verona, Italy, so the two lovers are both adults in their society. I wasn’t able to find whether “for most of the history of mankind, at 14 years of age human beings were considered to be adults” as claimed by Kulich in her article, but her central idea that Romeo and Juliet are adults is right.
I have quite a big list of struggles during ZIP, even though I am not good at assembling lists. Here are a few:
In the past weeks, I have found that it is very hard for me to brainstorm a big list of items. I was trying to do a prereading list of the benefits of text vs. visual presentation in terms their ability to present characters. I got to around 5 for each, but can’t get any further no matter how hard I tried. Later on, in a similar exercise, I could concentrate for the first 10 minutes or so, but I lost my focus soon after. Even then, since it is on my mind, during the day I will sometimes get an idea that I will forget before I can write it down. A few cycle of that drives me crazy. So I began carrying a notepad at home, which helped a lot.
I also found that it is very hard to analyze too many works, so I will just focus on one piece. I have watched the movie and read the book both twice, and I will create an infographic later.
That said, I realized that infographics are very hard to create on a slow computer. My usual browser, Opera, is incompatible with canva, the design website I am using, and on top of that, using Firebox often crashes my computer for whatever reason. Even with Chrome, I have to slowly carry out any operation or else the browser freezes and doesn’t respond. So I will still try to create as many as I need, but I may replace some of them with mind maps or other things.
I am going to talk about our in-class focus block for the past week. On Monday, I spent that entire block watching and finishing the Ender’s Game movie. I didn’t take notes because I will probably watch it again, and also because I just want to get an overall impression without missing anything while taking notes. On my second work block on Friday, I brainstormed what the second piece of literature I am going to analyze is, as well as made some notes on the movie. I used just my memory of the movie to write down the “big idea” of the movie; the key differences between the movie and the book. This is focused on the movie, so I won’t present much in terms of solid compare and contrast. I also did a bit of organizing for my binder, since the rings opened in my backpack and the pages all fell out. It was another productive block…
Here is an interesting quote that I found while researching:
“I cried when I saw [the movie]. I said, ‘Oh, God, what have they done?'”
– P.L.Travers (Mary Poppins)
THE INFLUENCE CHALLENGE
You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.
Many people believe in their abilities to work efficiently and lead, knowing that it would benefit the team and its goals, but they do not often get others to follow. The simple reason is that people don’t have to listen! Leadership is all about influence. As we are trying to take on the responsibilities of a leader and trying to gain supporters, we need to keep in mind that we need to have either position or influence to lead. Also, since we can hardly be bestowed a superior status (if we have any in TALONS) without first proving our abilities to manage, we should change our mindset of “I want a position that will make people follow me” to “I want to become a person whom others would want to follow”. The only solution to this challenge is to become someone others would trust to lead.
*In the second semester, we have one of the most significant projects that TALONS’ students will undertake: the adventure trips. I will also have my cultural event planning and maybe in-depth. It will undoubtedly be beneficial to keep in mind the ways that Maxwell suggested to overcome the Influence Challenge:
- Care. Get to know others.
This means that I should be familiar with all of my team members, and they should be with me. I want to help them get to know what they are doing and do it better with tips from someone who has a bit more experience.
- Build trust and be dependable.
I will need to do what I promised to do, whether it is bringing a brochure to the meeting or actually attending the meeting. To develop and exhibit the character I want, I can look at the attributes that leaders I admire possess, and try to change myself starting from now on.
- Do my job well.
Mainly, I need to hand in my share of work early enough so others would have time to critique it. I need to make sure that I put in all my efforts into my product, which will not just benefit myself, but the overall goal of the whole team.
- Be consistently approachable.
I always need to be willing to talk to others, whether I am in a gloomy mood or not. It is like a hat that I need to put on, gloominess is not something that would benefit the team, and I shouldn’t let that interfere.
- Be wholeheartedly committed to the goal myself.
Poor leaders demand respect. Competent leaders command respect.
John C. Maxwell
*for clarity purposes, I separated the sections (I personally hate long paragraphs because I can’t understand them). It is still under the word limit.
At this point in my project, I have realized that my initial plan is way too ambitious. I could still complete it, but it would require a lot of effort during the break, which I prefer to spend relaxing. I made a new calendar, attached in image below.
Changes: I am going to scratch the compare and contrast essay for a couple of mind maps/infographics. There should be one pre-reading guess, two after reading comparisons, and one master comparison. I could do compare and contrast notes still, but no specific notes for each one. I am also going to change the second novel vs. film comparison to maybe a short story vs. short film comparison (I still need to find it, recommendations accepted).
The biographical novel sets out to document this truth, for character is plot, character development is action, and character fulfillment is resolution.
Last Friday was a ZIP work block and a not so productive one at that. I knew my inquiry question, and I was starting to read my first book. However, I couldn’t concentrate amid all the noises that crept up during the block. After 20 or so minutes and only finishing the prologue, I gave up and started to do some research. It might be bad luck, it might be just research skills, but I couldn’t find a website that has comprehensive information about PEE (PQS) or character building (list of key points to a successful character). Having no extensive knowledge, I spent the rest of the block, a short chunk of time, brainstorming what makes a good character.
The moral of this story is that we shouldn’t expect to find everything online. Something that is easy enough to do on our own should really be done on pen and paper. This way, we also have a more thorough understanding of the information.
For my next ZIP focus block, I will try to use different strategies such as going to a quieter corner/ library, listening to music (immerse myself in my own world), or doing things that don’t require as much focus (taking notes or brainstorming some more, perhaps). One goal to set might be to finish the first third of the book, or in case that is not working, finalize a list of character traits and create an outline where I can fill out book and movie analysis.
The area that I want to focus on for this ZIP project is character development and characterization in different medias. Characters are at the heart of any story (without them nothing will be happening!), and they have the power to move readers through connections. The effective characterization of characters is something that may indicate a good story, whether conveyed through books or other mediums. It raises the question, then, of:
What are the criterias for a successful character in stories, and how does different media (film, book) differ in their ability to develop successful characters?
I hope to get out of this project a thorough understanding of the elements in creating an intriguing story through vivid characters, as well as the knowledge of how written and visual works differ in their ability affect the audience and convey meaning. I will also have acquired more analytical skill in literature. I plan on reading at least 2-3 titles.
I cannot say that I am a seasoned reader and movie critic, but I love reading and know how to use various strategies to aid in my reading. I also have access to a lot of movies, since we have many subscriptions to various services, so it will be easier for me to find movie adaptations. I may need the librarian to recommend to me good books, focusing on character, with film adaptations.
I am not exactly sure right now, but I think I will demonstrate my learning by doing a presentation (more likely), or by writing a compare and contrast essay. I probably have to write something during the course of the project, but I don’t want to make that my final, simply because I will probably have to do another ZIP on essay writing.
Below is a rough draft of my plan: (subject to change)
- Dec 8-13: background research, select the first book and finish reading. Write character notes, analysis
- Dec 13-15: watch film/others and collect notes (compare/contrast)
- Dec 16-18: select second book and finish reading
- Dec 19: watch film, notes
- Dec 20-22: presentation/final project