A not so In-depth Look at my In-Depth Night Preparations

Finally, time for the last In-Depth progress post! (I shouldn’t be too excited, as In-Depth night is fast approaching ?) In this post, I will mostly outline what I plan to have in my learning centre on the “Big Day”.

I plan to have several boards/mindmaps/separate displays, to fit the main categories that I’ve spread my project out to. The first one would contain key terms related to investing spread out like a mind map. The goal of this is to have people look at it and get a general sense of what is going to be talked about, or for them to learn some of the most important words and definitions. It will look like this in my mind.

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The next board will have some degree of interactivity, I hope. What I am thinking right now would be to have a list of articles on the table, printed out, and ask what each person would do in this scenario. If I can, I will have an iPad with current holdings (imaginary just to fit the exercise), and stock trend charts until the day the news report came out. The reports will be of something positive or negative, and people would need to respond by buying more, selling or shorting, or holding and doing nothing. At some point, I will introduce how different mainstream investment ideas will respond to the news, and “predict” how the stock will go. It is an exercise to practice critical thinking and to learn some investment strategies and market psychology. Below is the general outline.

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In the last part, there will be a “self-serve” information section with different types of ways to invest. I am thinking of having three boxes labelled with high risk, medium risk and low risk that contains paper slips inside. The idea is to have people reach into the box that they are comfortable with and pull out a method that they can invest. One challenge with this method is that in some boxes, there won’t be a lot of paper slips, so it would feel empty when people do the draw.

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I am still trying to think of new ideas or to perfect my current ones. Suggestions welcomed!


For my progress so far, I am behind schedule, as I haven’t started frequently looking at finance new and actually buying things. I should be trading at least five times a week, and right now it is more like two. I will try to redesign my schedule by Thursday night, and hopefully, I can get on track. By the way, I have finished all of the Khan Academy videos on Stock and Bonds, but I will still keep watching about mortgages, banks and inflation.

All images made from MS Paint.

Tommy Douglas: Check In

“At that time Saskatchewan had the fewest hospital beds per capita in Canada. The ultimate goal should be kept in mind, said Sigerist: “to provide complete medical services to all the people of the province, irrespective of their economic status, and irrespective of whether they live in town or country.” [… Soon,] within seven years Saskatchewan had the most hospital beds per capita in Canada.”

The world-changing public health care program started from a vision, that everyone regardless of their class can receive world-class medical services, born from the visionary that is Tommy Douglas. Douglas’s family had always been part of the working class, and when he was young, he had not the resources to find a doctor to perform surgery on his infected legs. His legs would have been amputated if a renowned orthopedic surgeon hadn’t passed by and offered his service free of charge. Since then, the seed grew so that when Douglas had the power to change the world, he did so for the people. Douglas was all about the socialist movements, aimed at the workers who are not respected and protected by rights. Worker’s lives in the early 20th century are hard, as they have not the money to provide for themselves even the basic necessities of life. Their lives are in the hand of big corporations, which benefit from tariff and price control. Nowadays, Canadians can all receive decent health care regardless of class and race, a feat that even in the present world is scarcely seen.

“workers in the building trades had become increasingly frustrated. The cost of living had jumped by 73 % since the beginning of the war, while their wages had risen only 13%. They wanted better wages and the right to form unions and bargain collectively. […] Business leaders spread the baseless rumour that Bolsheviks were behind the action, and the Winnipeg Citizen reported that the strike constituted a “determined attempt to establish Bolshevism and the rule of the Soviet.” (23)

This passage strikes me as significant since workers are unequally treated, and that they are also not allowed to protest. They are not given a voice. To protect their interests, corporations would spread fake news and later, strikers are silenced by force, resulting in death and blood. Voices supporting the protest are arrested soon after. It is a very different society from our own now, and once again, we see that workers have no rights. If they are not being treated fairly and are struggling to make ends come, especially later in the 1930’s, why are they still not allowed to voice their concerns? Do they even have a voice then? The answer would be no. The society was focused on the upper classes and the corporations, and the workers are not respected. A couple more steps and we would arrive at fascism. Today, it is different and at least everyone is given a voice and a right to peacefully demonstrate. We have a society that is built on its people, and Canada is still developing to support and equalize its peoples. Without many of the CCP’s or NDP’s early policies (worker’s rights, old age pension, healthcare, co-op), this process would be significantly delayed and perhaps our society will be a lot more racist and unequal for our citizens.

“I recognized then that if you came to a choice between losing freedom of speech, religion, association, thought, and all the things that make life worth living, and resorting to force, you’d use force” – Tommy Douglas (89)

This is a conclusion that Douglas drew during the onset of World War 2. The party leader of the CCP then was a pacifist, who opposed all military activities. Douglas argued that the basis of Canadian society is the values that we possess, and if fascism from the Axis powers takes over, we would cease to be ourselves and the values that we had held would evaporate under force. Pacifism would not matter if we do not use force, as there would be no means for anyone to act or speak anymore. There were many with this idea, but not many had expressed it as elegantly as Douglas did. This was an occasion when Douglas develops as a mature politician and realizes that his ideas are important and valid and that ideas and values should never yield to authority.

One of the great legislative advances of the government was the passage in 1947 of the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights. It protected freedom of conscience, opinion, religion, expression, and […] preceded the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by a year and came a full thirteen years before the Canadian Bill of Rights. […] Even prior to the end of the Second World War, the CCF invited Japanese-Canadian internees to resettle in Saskatchewan, at a time when most parts of Canada were trying to keep [them away].” (143)

Many of the innovative ideas by the CCF had Douglas, and most importantly, the people behind it. These new concepts that aimed to equalize Canadians and improve life for most of Canadians would not have been possible without leaders who care about the people. Douglas was the essence of the CCF, as Woodrow Lloyd remarked, “[…] I doubt if we could win an election without Tommy Douglas.” This relates to our current world as individuals are given the opportunities to speak, and under this hat, everyone can succeed or make themselves known. With Douglas’s vision, Saskatchewan was turned from a province loaded with debt and unhappy citizens to a booming, front-facing multicultural world. Canada had led the world towards universal human rights, and Douglas is the pioneer behind the wheel. It shows how Canada is a country built by people who are different, yet the same when they unite as a nation.

“Douglas’s style of campaigning: while the ethos was socialist, he distilled from it a number of understandable, achievable goals that had a direct relevance to people’s lives.”

The norm of political campaigning is to fill the crowd with exaggerated promises and wild demonstrations, especially at that time, but Douglas set a new record by using terms and goals that are not only understandable, but most importantly, relatable to the public. It is easy to see how the CCF won the provincial election that year, despite Liberals and all major newspapers calling them “Communism in North America”, and then “Bolshevism of the Soviet” or “Fascism”. Douglas revolutionized the election campaigns first pioneered by Macdonald, and he suggested a way for future campaigns to be carried out by all parties. It also shows how Douglas was at his core a peoples person, keeping with the principle that the people are the ones who have the vote, and they are the ones who need to see change.


 

The overarching idea in this book is of respecting the rights of every single person. The wealth of a nation may be concentrated in a select few individuals, but ignoring the other is a huge mistake for a political party or a nation. The power of the people, when added up, is formidable as many dictators have experienced in their country’s rebellions. When a leader cares about its people and provides for their outcries, it improves the society to be more humane and ultimately, more prosperous. Canada’s current state as a post-national state clearly demonstrates that we are becoming a country that respects the ideas of individuals, and works to embrace the differences in nations. It is undeniable how much of this is due to socialist individuals advocating for more unheard of voices.


Lam, Vincent. Tommy Douglas. Penguin Canada, 2013.

In-Depth 4.0

At this time in my mentoring relationship, I am at the end of the negotiating stage with my mentor according to Zachary’s model of mentorship. The reason that negotiation took a very long time was because meeting and actually discussing the details of our expectations and goals turned out to be hard. Due to our shifting schedules, we often had to make amendments to our agreements. I had troubles at the beginning regarding the role of my mentor in this project, specifically how he can support me and what he should teach me. This unclearness leads to a lack of goals and criteria for success. While I got more into gears as I gained knowledge about my topic, I have a better idea of how exactly my mentor can support me in the process of this project.

Our mentor meetings now are actually quite productive now. I would have some questions that he can answer, and he would then talk about specific things that he wants me to think about or just life experiences that shows something about the stock markets. The first part would take around 30 minutes, and depending on how much my mentor wants to talk about, we could be together for up to 2 hours. The meetings are turning out to be great.

The only thing that I would like to happen would be to establish a closer relationship with my mentor. Right now, we are in a kind of teacher-student relationship. I sometimes feel that I am troubling my mentor everytime I needed him for something. To build friendship, I need to gain mutual respect in the first place. This respect is not one of being polite, but more of respect for other’s abilities and ideas. What I will have to do will be to make the meetings not just a learning experience for me, but my mentor as well through teaching a mind without pre-assumptions. The simplest thing to do right now is to get ready for each meeting, to make sure that I am prepared with questions and to be attentive and focused during my meetings.

For a progress update, I am currently still watching Khan Academy videos. I will finish in around 2-3 weeks.

In-Depth 3.0 – Finding the Context

This week’s focus for our mentor meeting is context, and to me, it means asking the questions: what is the context of my meetings, why is there this context, how is it significant, and how does it impact the mentoring relationship. These are hard series of questions to find out, as I noticed how beyond the initial context of the place and time, there is the mindset of my mentor or me, which are also contexts in our conversation, in addition to what we are doing.

Zachary (2000) points out that to overcome the influences of the multiple contextual layers that affect an individual simultaneously, it is wise to set ground rules and processes which work in specific context. To answer the questions above, I made sure that both my mentor and I know the “terms and conditions” of our time together. We made sure we know how we will communicate with one another first, which is through email, and then an in-person meeting. The usual meeting location will either be at my house, his house or the library, which I will detail in my emails. We would meet at least twice a month, and by the end of our time together we would have accomplished the goals of this project. This section of our meeting went very well, and we were able to set clear goals for the next few meetings.

One different thing about this year’s In-Depth that I’ve noticed is that I have much better communication with my mentor. We could communicate well with each other in our meetings because we respected each other and knew each other well.  This enabled us to listen, think and respond in an effective fashion. We had a good relationship, which means that we are at ease with each other when sitting together, and we can experiment with ideas without fear. All of this helped us communicate clearly and pleasantly.

There are still some things that can be improved in the mentoring sessions. It could be nice if we could:

  1. have time to talk a little bit more about ourselves so we can understand each other better.
  2. have smaller informal discussions during the week to exchange information.
  3. eliminate distractions and focus for the hour on the most important things.

To accomplish these goals, I plan to set up an extra meeting (depending on my mentor’s availability) this week sometime to do a casual cafe talk about our life experiences and goals. If he is not available, an online chat would also be great. I am going to try to revive my WeChat account, the main social media messaging account that my mentor uses. It is hard because WeChat is not on the computer, and I don’t have a phone accessible at many times. I will just set a routine of writing down some casual questions and getting my phone to ask once in a while. I realized since last year that an agenda, or just simply a list of questions/goals for the meeting works very well to keep me and my mentor on track since we are aware of the content and time to go.

As for my progress this week, I am still doing backgrounders, watching Khan Academy videos on stock and bonds and reading elementary Investopedia articles, which are extremely detailed and helpful (they are actually meant for university finance students and adults). I didn’t take many notes, which I guess I should do. I may just go over the videos and copy the key term though.

Zip DOC 4(?)

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.

ZIP 3

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)

Reflection for John Maxwell’s Leadership Lessons

THE INFLUENCE CHALLENGE

You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time.

John Knox

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.

ZIP Post 2

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.zip

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).

ZIP Doc of Learning #1

The biographical novel sets out to document this truth, for character is plot, character development is action, and character fulfillment is resolution.

Irving Stone

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.