In-Class Reflection: Week 12- DH Showcase Preparation


In-Class Reflection: Week 12- DH Showcase Preparation

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The summer semester is quickly coming to an end and with that comes the final portion of English 4300!  Today in class we discussed the DH Showcase, which will function as the final exam portion of our class.  The showcase will happen August 3, 2016.

The showcase will occur in THREE parts:

  1.  Each student will present a short 2.5 minute overview of the experience had in English 4300.  This presentation will be imbedded on to Prezi and will highlight different mediums used throughout the course.  Because I did not present on a digital network (as I was exempt from this portion of the course because of my contribution in the DHSI field study) I will simply present through WordPress.  I will work on a blog post featuring my experience of English 4300 over the coming week.
  2. Each practicum group will present on the result of their practicum.  Jenn and I look forward to showcasing the new SJC website.  A sneak peak of this site can be found here.
  3. The DHSI presenters will present on the experience had attending an academic conference.  Jenn, James and myself will briefly share about our experience as undergrads at a academic conference.

Because I was was part of the DHSI field study group I will be presenting during each portion of the afternoon.

Greg will make a handout for all the attendees of the showcase.  In this handout there will be a 50 word write up on each student in the class that also includes a hyperlink to the various blogs.

The following is the write-up I intend to include for the pamphlet:

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In considering the workload of the final weeks of the semester, the three piece contribution required for the showcase came as a surprise and caused some stress.  However, in the end I am sure this will be beneficial and successful.

I am looking forward to learning the outcome of the other practicum groups!







Practicum Update and In-Class Reflection: Week 11

This week my Practicum Update and In-Class Reflection are one and the same.  According the course syllabus todays class was dedicated to working on the various practicums in preparation for the DH Showcase, which is fast approaching.

Both Jenn and I have been volunteering at a community event in Langley all week.  Since we are the only two people assigned to our group we decided the best use of our time (and the best way to avoid traffic and driving) was to set up camp in a coffee shop and put some quality time into the set up of the Social Justice Centre website.

We spent 3.5 hours working in Mc Burnie’s Coffee house in Langley and our time there was very productive!!  After some technical difficulties and lost work, we were able to get a great rough construction of the whole site done.  **Lesson learned: don’t have two computers working on the same tab on Squarespace at the same time because the site won’t register both changes at once.**

We look forward to showing Mike Ma our work and to putting the finishing touches on it over the next two weeks!

Today was an exciting day for both Jenn and I.  We were able to see the work of the past few months start to take shape in the form of a finished product.  The new SJC webpage is going to be simple, eye-catching, professional and accessible.  One of our main goals in the construction of this site is accessibility.  We want the site to be easily understood by various guests and to also to be a functional tool for the SJC team after Jenn and I finish our semester.  Each section can be easily edited by team members.  There is lots of room for change and expansion in every section.

We have the site systematically categorized.  There will be tabs for the following:

  1. Local Organizations 
  2. Key Players 
  3. Past Involvement and Projects 
  4. Contact Information 

Under Local Organizations we have a brief description of various social justice based groups and have embedded links to key websites.

Under Key Players we have embedded videos we filmed featuring various community members who take part in social justice.  Each individual speaks on a different area of social justice that is of interest to them.

Under Past Involvement and Projects we have a list of past events and projects that the SJC has taken part of.  We also have a photo gallery with pictures and brochures from the various events.

For Contact Information we have the Kwantlen Polytechnic University address, which is also pinned on an embedded google maps.  As a key contact person we have listed Mike Ma’s email address.

Click here and here and here for a few sneak peaks of videos that will be featured on the SJC website!

The following is a sneak peak of various aspects of the website:

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A preview of the Home Page
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The cover page for featured local organization of social justice


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The set up of the Local Organizations page– each organization has a small write up and a picture
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A snippet of our featured past projects
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Cover page for Key Players
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First section of information shown under Key Players

In-Class Reflection: Postmodernism

The following is from a slide from English 4300 on July 6, 2016.

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We are Very 2016— We are a product of our generation and the rhetoric that has been taught to us.

In discussion of Michel Foucault we discussed the case of a young girl who had to go to the bathroom while on an airplane.  Because the rule says that passengers must remain in their seats when the remain seated light is on.  The little girl ended up peeing on her airplane seat.  Her mother (along with other passengers) were outraged that the little girl was not permitted to use the washroom.

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The full story can be read here.

The modern perspective says: The rule serves the fast majority and therefore can not be changed.

The postmodern perspective says: Anti-burocracy and there are exceptions to rules.

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Is the above image the final word on whether or not a small child can use the bathroom?  Why do airlines have rules?  Should there be exceptions to these rules?
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In consideration of the story and all the factors, it would seem that the child was unjustly held to a rule.  To allow her to be above the “law” and go to the bathroom would have been inconsequential to everyone involved.  Safety would not be put at risk by getting up.   The only risk was a herd mentality of thinking.  If the child can go to the washroom, then why can’t everyone.  To say that she can bend the rule is to say that everyone can– which defeats the purpose of having the rule in the first place.  But really?  As humans we have the ability to put the needs of others into consideration.  We are capable of seeing the value in allowing some to bend the rules while staying within them ourselves.  Sometimes “fair” is not equal.  Fair is ensuring everyones needs are met.

I think that rules are put in place and expected to be followed.  But (as a postmodernist) I believe that rules need to be evaluated and adjusted as seen fit.  There needs to be flexibility and understanding.  There is no question in my mind, the flight attendant should have let the young child go to the washroom.  The purpose of the rule was to ensure safety and order.  Safety and order were not jeopardized by allowing her to go to the bathroom.

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In-Class Reflection: June 29, 2016

The following is a portion of our class notes in English 4300 on June 29, 2016:

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In considering the 8 word principle, Greg instructed the class to critically analyze a sample of personal writing.  I pulled up a paper that I wrote for Kim Larsen’s English 3336 class (Spring 2016).  I was surprised to learn that my word count spanned from 15 to 45 words.

My paragraph structure looks something like this:

24 words

15 words

30 words

15 words

17 words

15 words

23 words

31 words

45 words

The following is a visual representation of the sentences in my paragraph: 

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The paragraph that I chose to evaluate was an introduction paragraph to one of my Victorian Literature papers from English 3336.  Within this paper I compared two characters and their differing roles within the novel.

According to the 8- word principle: 

3/9 sentences are 90% understandable

1/9 sentences are 85% understandable

2/9 sentences are between 50-80% understandable

3/9 sentences are less than 50% understandable

I do think that variety in sentence length adds to the complexity of a educational paper; however, to much complexity results in a decrease in eloquence.  The purpose of an educational paper is to convey a message or argue a point.  It is imperative to use the most effective use of communication in the presentation of the argument.  The most effective type of communication is the type of communication that is most understandable.  Therefore, sentence length is a crucial element to consider when editing ones writing.

With this knowledge in mind, what changes do I need to make in my approach to educational writing?

  1. I need to be more concise in my writing
  2. I need to use periods to break up and break down thoughts
  3. I need to ensure that every word within my sentence contributes to the main point of the sentence


In-Class Reflection: June 22, 2016

This week I was unable to to attend English 4300 as I was in Vancouver meeting with the Director of the Union Gospel Mission (UGM).

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I look forward to sharing with you all about this meeting, the work UGM is part of and the ways the community can get involved (but that will come in a later post).

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As for this post, I will conduct an in-class reflection from the eyes of an outsider.

Students of English 4300 are responsible to live-tweet during the duration of class.  When followed, these tweets provide a digital account of the happenings of class.

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It is unique that I am interpreting this class through the means of Twitter because it appears that class had a heavy focus on the means being the message.  Within the means was a discussion of social media, personal use and the purpose it serves.

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In ranking my own use of social media and digital communication I differ from Amanda.  I would tend to use media in this ranking: Facebook, Email, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat.

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 10.16.06 AM.pngIf the means is the message, what message does English 4300 send through Twitter.  Twitter restricts users to a character count, which in many ways limits the message, but in many other ways it emphasizes the message.  There is no risk of over communicating.  English 4300 students effectively use this means to communicate and comment on the main points that connect to class content.

Twitter can function as an online resume.  It logs and tracts professional and personal interests and opinions.  Potential employers can log on and observe the type of professional development and self-learning the individual is engaged in.  As such, the means of sharing the message within English 4300 effectively reaches an audience beyond the confines of the classroom.

Furthermore, multiple tweets from this class emphasized and illustrated Visual Dramatization and Verbal Distillation:

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Verbal distillation leads to a consideration and dissection of the message behind many company slogans and tag lines.

Other tweets from this weeks class:

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Multiple tweets featured Kelsey Oskam and her presentation on Prezi.  Through various tweets I learned that Prezi is a useful tool in creating presentations.

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As usual, it appears that class was full of thoughtful dialect and consideration of digital communications and rhetoric.




In-Class Reflection: June 15, 2016Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.19.49 PM.png

This week in class Greg Chan introduced us to John Franklin Stephens, the man who wrote “An Open Letter to Ann Coulter”

In his letter Stephens thoughtfully addresses Ann Coulter’s use of the R-word as an insult and brings light to the stigma that often follow people who have disabilities.

Due to a lack of education and understanding, an unjust power dynamic exists within North American society when it comes to disabilities.  People often hold to an us versus them attitude where the non-disabled member of society is seen as higher in the power dynamic.

Within this weeks lecture we learned about the power of IDEOLOGY.  An ideology is a system of artifacts that reflect the values and beliefs of the group.  Ideologies have the capability of empowering or disempowering.  Ann Coulter’s use of the R-word revealed that her ideologies hold those with disabilities with lower value.  Her ideology was used to disempower and subsequently paint her as being ignorant.

Stephens ideology is is direct opposition to Coulters.  He sees value in his disability and therefore considers it a compliment when someone is compared to someone who has Down Syndrome.  Stephens thoughtful rhetorical response to Coulters remarks not only disprove her ideology, they re-empower the disabled members of our society.

People with disabilities need NOT to be defined by what they can’t do, but rather by what they can do.

Meet Madison Tevlin, the very talented singer.

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Meet Madeline Stewart, who is challenging the definition of beauty through modelling.

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Meet Temple Grandin, who specializes in animal behaviour.

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Meet Jack Carroll, the 14 year old comedian.

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And meet Megan Bomgaars, who eloquently educates teachers and educators about having a student with disabilities.

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Each of these individuals are people FIRST!  They are not defined by their disability, but rather by their strength, perseverance and determination.  The R-word is incredibly offensive and it is through sharing an ideology that promotes a celebration of difference that the stigma of disability will be torn down.  John Franklin Stephens is just one example of regained empowerment through thoughtful rhetorical response.

Practicum Update and In-Class Reflection: Week 6 – Interviews and Planning 

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This week my practicum update and in-class reflection are one and the same.  Class on Wednesday June 8, 2016 was dedicated to collaboration with our practicum advisors.  Jenn and I have been in conversation with Mike Ma and collectively we decided that this time would be best used to take the various resources Mike has provided and work to get them ready for the website.

It has been an exciting week for the Social Justice Centre (SJC) website.  Jenn and I have been in contact with 8 different faculty members from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and are working on setting up dates and times to conduct short interviews that will be featured on the new website.

Furthermore, plans have been set to start the process of compiling resources onto the new site (we hope to activate our account during class on Wednesday June 15, 2016 with the help of Greg Chan).

Mike Ma identified the key members and the topics to be discussed on the video clips.

The following is the list Mike provided us with:

  1. Mike Ma will talk about what Social Justice means to him
  2. Irina Ceric will talk about the importance of legal advocacy in the context of social justice activism
  3. Mike Larsen will talk about accessing public documents (via Freedom of Information requests, i.e. FOI) and its importance in holding politicians feet to the fire
  4. Lisa Freeman will talk about the Social Justice and the City
  5. Seema Aluwallia will talk about indigenous rights and sovereignty
  6. Fiona Whittington-Walsh will talk about disability and justice
  7. Jeff Shantz will talk about poverty and housing in Surrey
  8. Mike Ma will talk about Harm Reduction project
  9. Dan Lett will talk about the surveillance society

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In preparing for these interviews Mike suggested that we do a little research on how to best film on an iPhone.  A quick google search came up with a lot of tips and suggestions on how to insure lighting, sounds and setting is effective for the video.

The following is 5 tips for filming on an iPhone:

Here is a great YouTube demo on different things to keep in mind when filming on an iPhone:

And this one:

I have very little experience with creating video footage for a website and am excited for this new challenge.  Before researching tips for filming on an iPhone I was unaware that there are external microphones and cameras that you can purchase that will enhance the quality of the final product.

I look forward to meeting with each faculty member and to learning more about issues concerning social justice!

Furthermore, on Monday June 13, 2016 I will be meeting with Mike Ma at the Surrey campus of Kwantlen Surrey Conference Centre (12666 72nd Ave).  After a short interview with Mike I will visit the the BC Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors Hep C workshop. The workshop runs from 11am to 5pm (unfortunately i can not attend the whole event, but look forward taking part in what I can).

The conference will be featuring speakers from SOLID in Victoria, the Warm Zone in Abbotsford, the SNAP heroin trial patients, WAHRS, BCAPOM, REDUN in Nelson, SANSU and VANDU. Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 12.09.24 AM.png