Adventure Trip Reflection

Adventure Trip Reflection

All this stuff I wrote is really different probably then what the other grade tens think. I just wrote whatever came to mind. I might be wrong about somethings, but maybe its just good to think sometimes.  Sorry if I enraged everyone because of misinterpreted info I though about. or Sorry if I made anyone think of things they didn’t want to or made them sad………….~Louise

I think I learned a lot of subtle things that I didn’t realize until I started thinking about the trip this week. I’m pretty sure there is still a lot that is hidden in my mind and memories until something later in my life will trigger them and help me understand what I actually learned. I’ve learned especially not to worry too much about anything whether I know all the details of a situation or not. It’s always hard to be removed and watching everything from an outside view, but there are things I can’t change and whatever happens, happens. All I can do is keep on going and hope that things will come out alright in the end without too much trouble. I definitely think that I’m a really happy person all the time. Even when I am stressed, I can still be really happy and energized. For some odd reason, (I am still trying to unravel that now) I found myself feeling really empty the whole trip. Maybe it was the build up of a really relaxed planning or way less physical-ness on the trip that made me feel almost too relaxed. I felt no stress at all. I guess I operate and feel the best when I am busy or always have something to do. Last year it felt good because I was always physically tired.

On a less deep level, I rode up lots of hills and managed to stay on my bike for nearly a whole day without walking. I finally was able to use the gears on both sides and change them when I needed. Also, I’ve never watched a perfect sunset and skipped a rock 9 times.

Well, I think I just need to learn how to enjoy things whether there are other people around me or not. I need to make sure my emotions are based on what really is happening then, not what has happened or what I imagine will happen. It will make me feel better in general and happy and not suddenly get an uncalled for crash at times like that adventure trip.

I was really prepared physically and all the stuff I packed was used and I wasn’t missing anything. Unfortunately, I wasn’t emotionally prepared.

The most difficult part was how everyone seemed to really be connecting with everyone else, but I seemed to have too much time to think about how I was not or just too much time. I guess I was just out on a lot of things that most of the grade-ten’s were worried about. I became worried because I didn’t know exactly what they were worried about and that made me really panicked that I couldn’t do anything at all, not even understand.

The questionnaire asked why I would never do it again… Well, duh I wouldn’t want to feel on the outside ever again. All those secret meetings weren’t really working either. I was talking to Katie about how all they end up to be are people talking about what he said or she said but forgetting to say something or not matching everything up.

I expected it to be harder physically, but it ended up really bad that I did except something. I excepted too much because of last year, and I ended up getting something entirely different and I didn’t realize it at all until closing circle because I was too busy searching for last year’s feelings. Well, I guess I was less open than last year because I was expecting too much. But I’m and open-minded person so I was still able to accept everything that came my way the best I could, as I do every day.

I’m the most proud of coming home and realizing that even though I could have done better, I acted as well as I could in all the different emotional situations I had to face alone. I found that no matter what could have happened, or what other people could have done if I had opened up, I would still have to face those problems alone in the end. Maybe I could have been more vocal about it, but I think everything still ended alright in the end.

Here is what I learned from the gr. 10s:

Secret meetings are not good when a problem involving many people is in question.

People are afraid of what happened, but if they accept that something good is happening to them, they can still have a relatively good ending.

From myself:

If you don’t know enough, don’t worry and just live on like you always did.

Dig and discover, but when time calls for something else, don’t dwell on it.

Well, in the long run, I’ll be a better person because of this, or at least working towards one. I was rather bitter sometimes, and I think that having unhappy feeling towards someone or a situation won’t change much unless I truly understand and can figure out a good plan.

Donya and Veronica and David made the adventure trip so much better for me. They were removed from the grade tens’ problems for one, and also, they were nearly always happy and willing to talk with me. They gave me lots and lots of uncontrollable laughter, which was what I was looking for. I was looking for sun, not the fleeting glimpse of things behind the clouds I couldn’t understand.

I gave a little piece of my heart to each person, but it seemed like a lot of them put it somewhere else and forgot about it. I see my heart in each person that has kept it close, but the others seemed to have faded away a little and I can’t quite feel anything at all but emptiness when I see them or talk to them. Everyone seemed to talk to you (jackson) a lot about all the situations between people and I felt a little weird not knowing what was going on or only knowing pieces.  I guess I dwelled way too much on that even when I didn’t know anything last year. But everything ended fine in the end so I’m content with searching for all the subtle things that the adventure trip taught me. I missed it when I was in the moment, but I still have lots of time to remember and understand. Soul searching it is! I’ll be hoarding the sparkling things!

Hoarding fleeting sparkling time things

In a life
there are moments when
you don’t understand
of what has just passed
when running down the water

With the chase of the gulls
over the curtains that fall
and wheel over sinking
forests in waves

Fleeting moment
hoarding the sparkling things
in the shape of eyes and broken melodies
You will hide
In the white shelled middens
Running the moon across the clouds
and sink into the sea
with your hair cast a glimmering
and sand falling from the sky

Between the dog-eared
pages of a story
I try to read the past
and the stars wheel overhead
and venus blinks her tears

Fleeting moment
hoarding the sparkling things
in the shape of eyes and broken melodies
You will hide
In the white shelled middens
Running the moon across the clouds
and sink into the sea
with your hair cast a glimmering
and sand falling from the sky

Bitter in a sweet sweet way
I watch the eclipsed light in a strange strange way
as dew rolled down and landed on my face
I closed my eyes and dreamed of a better day
but when the sparkling things landed in my hands
they were hoarded and dulled by time

Fleeting moment
hoarding the sparkling things
in the shape of eyes and broken melodies
You will hide
In the white shelled middens
Running the moon across the clouds
and sink into the sea
with your hair cast a glimmering
and sand falling from the sky

Generally the Gulf Islands

Before the European explorers arrived, these islands were home to the Coast Salish. That was at least 5000 years ago and we could see and walk on the evidence when we were there on the weekend. White shell beaches are often all that remains of these First Nations settlements. They ate the clams and then deposited the shells on the beaches. The evidence is traced throughout middens, petroglyphs and relics.

Vancouver named them the gulf islands, but then people realized it wasn’t a gulf.

Many of the islands: waterways, bays and harbours now carry the names of the Spanish and English explorers who arrived in the 18th century. Also, the 19th century ships and explorers got their names in too. Narvaez Bay, Vesuvius Bay and Galiano, Valdes, and Mayne Islands, Plumper Sound, the Salt Spring town of Ganges, Satellite and Trincomali Channels are just some of them.
In the mid 1850s, gold fever lots of people flocked to Victoria first, then were boated over to Vancouver when the cry of gold came from the Fraser River area. Many of these prospectors rowed boats across the strait, and Miners Bay on Mayne Island became an important resting point en route.Miners Bay on Mayne Island became an active port as Gold seekers from Vancouver Island and the United States passed through Active Pass on their way to seek Fraser River Gold.

A few years later, Salt Spring Island was settled by Australians, British and African Americans escaping slavery in the United States. Japanese came too and many of them set up fish salteries and produce farms.
Fruit orchards: for many years the produce from Gulf Islands orchards was highly prized and profitable, so abandoned orchards can still be found on many of the islands today.

Hoarding the sparkling things – A poem

Hoarding the sparkling things

dangling on my lips and dripping

from my fingers

slipping and sliding right between the bent twigs

to settle on the bottom.

my nails don’t slide through

so they settle

on the bottom

but are mine.


little shards of cardboard cut clouds

floating on the bottom of a bowl

cushioning the little

glimmering shimmers of a late summer sun

tangled in the branches

of a long awakened dream

that will be over ripe

and dryly shriveled

when I finally reach it.


The ruby gems turn ebony

with swirls of fog

and I no longer see the speckled sky

This is how it is

reflected upon the sea

raging in a storm

the shattered pieces tossed



into the air

and I dive and snatch them

and resume my sentinel watch

hoarding the sparkling things

Sindarin is very difficult

Sindarin is very very brain hurting.


Everything is very vague -it is also a very complicated language with all these exceptions and different ways to use words and endings. Very different from English and very hard to decipher.




I went an wrote a poem in Tolkien’s style. Lots of rhyming schemes all mixed together, making it much more complex. I worked on rhythm and also the use of words and images. These words would need to be very “poetic” and more like Old English. Or perhaps a simpler version of it.

I wrote about the Falling of Gondor, part of the history of Middle Earth. It’s really quite vague, but I tried to bring up more “epic” styled words and images into it that describe a slowly fading grandeur and splendor of a slowly fading country that was once mighty. The last stanza, though, describes that it will rise again.


It took my nearly three hours to translate into Sindarin. (which doesn’t rhyme) There are quite a few grammatical errors in the elvish, but I tried my best. The translation is right under its stanza.


Domes of cracked, stone in water

Sea wind hastens, and water quicken

Crawling weeds and vines do thicken

Towers of the moon wait for wakening.

Telu o breithost, gondram nedh lorn

Aearon gwaew celeg, a lorn avorna

Gling thond a thar car tugo

Minas o in Ithil dartha an echuid.


Sleeping oak and sleeping daughters

Shadows pass and rivers flow

Towards the dark the branches grow

Slowly the ancient lights fading.

Lostonad doron a lostonad iell

Morchant aglonn a celon siria

An in doll in golf galas

Pin an pin in iaur calad pelethad.


Flood and famine, blood and war

Seagulls cry in haunting harmony

Banners of stars in fading ebony

Helms of silver now blackening.

Iol a pen aes, agar a auth

Gwael ial nedh bain aerlinn

Amloth o elin nedh pelethad myrn

Thol o celeb si myrnad.


Blood lines thin and old lore wanes

Hear Orome’s clear hunting horn

Lost to the ears of the Second born

Forgotten in the shadow of the mourning.

Agar te thlein a brun aerlinn rach

Lasta Orome lim fartham rhom

Adleg an in lhewig o in Edain

Eglain nedh in merchant o in naerad.


But all that is gold does not glitter

And hope and faith will not be in vain

The sun will always rise again

Reflected on the Anduin glimmering.

Manenui pan ta mallen agor al galad

A amdir a bronwe inass al neitha

In Anor inass anui eria ad

Galad bo in Anduin gael.

Hoarding the sparkling things

Since my end project for In-depth night is making a series of eyes and hands, I’ve tried getting down to taking pictures of those.


So here is where I voice my plea to all you fellow students in my class -I need those sparkling eyes of yours and fine hands to fill the lenses of my camera!!!


I’ve currently only got two of each: 2 pairs of hands, 2 pairs of eyes.


I need lots more.


Nevertheless, I actually have taken many many dozens of them, but on the same subject so I can only pick one.


Here are the six that I’ve managed to pick out of an alarming pile of photos I took last Thursday!


Hobbits, Lord of the Rings and Sindarin

Suil, gwaith

Greetings, people.

Right after last year’s poet study-I felt very disappointed that I actually didn’t have fun learning about Goethe. This German guy was really normal and wrote lots of poems and books, but his heavy Gothic Romanticism only appealed to me in theory, not when I actually had to study it.


Just a mere 2 month later, I started reading The Return of the King, which was the last book in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy. Unlike The Hobbit, which I had read a few years before, it was darker with much more underlying symbolism, ideas, and most of all, history. It kinda blew my mind that a person could create a detailed and clear history of more than 9000 years. From the Silmarillion, to the end of the Lord of the Rings, I could sense the huge historical-ness of it, especially through all the languages and culture he created for each race. It felt like it was a missing part of Earth’s past, a huge chunk that was unknowingly lost.

After that, my full blown obsession started.

I won’t creep anyone out (further) with my intense geekiness, but by September I had already chosen Tolkien as my poet.


Not only was I prepared to re-read and analyze all his poems and songs from the lore of Middle Earth, I was hoping to learn how to speak and write a little Sindarin. (Without launching into a huge rant, it’s basically the language of the elves-for you noobs out there.)

Some of Tolkien’s  poetry is in alliteration verse: with lots of repetition of sounds, and stressed syllables, which was very prominent in old literature prior to the 14th century, including Anglo-Saxon. Usually, the first half-line generally has two, or sometimes three, syllables alliterate, while the second half usually has one; sometimes one alliterating sound is carried through a whole bunch of lines. He also mixed up lots of rhythmic patterns, which made his poetry quite complex, but most of his poems are in an AA BB or AB AB style rhyming scheme.

What interests me the most is not the rhyming or rhythm, but the different languages of Middle Earth he uses and the different styles he incorporates according to the culture of the race or the “use” of the poems. He wrote lays, which are long narrative poems that were originally sung my wandering minstrels in Europe. Those are kinda like epic poetry, rather like Beowulf.

Fortunately, I stumbled into many sites with English-Sindarin dictionaries and even a Sindarin Course complete with grammar. I’m ploughing through that right now and the vagueness of the language. I’ve never been very good with languages other than English so I’m trying to kindle a attraction to learning new grammar, words, and pronunciations.

Luckily, it’s elvish.

Nan lû!

Until later!

More faces

There actually isn’t much to say for this post. For the past two weeks I have been working in the studio with backdrops and flash to produce different effects with shadows and contrast. I worked with bigger and brighter lights, and also experimented with colours, barn doors and snoots. Most of it was pretty much the same thing, except I improved my skills. I had a mini photoshoot with Katie, Saskia, and Kiko and the results were very satisfying. I’m getting better with making sure faces do not end up extremely pale or filled with shadow. I also tried different angles, too. I unfortunately do not have the photos because they are on Mr. McElgunn’s camera at school, so I can’t download them quite yet-but they are coming soon!

Op-Ed: Our Inheritance

When the opportunity came up to write an op-ed, I was ready to argue with whatever Jordan was going to say, owing to the fact that I always end up with really good points when I argue with him about First Nation funding. I was ready to rant on about how the Aboriginals of Canada didn’t have enough funding and services when I suddenly realized that I really had no concrete facts in my head to use. Calming down, I decided to research about funding.

The Canadian federal government gives the aboriginals of Canada 30million for their education and the BC government supplies an extra funding of $1,014 per student. That’s around a thousand more dollars than normal students. Then why are 70 percent of the students on reserves not graduating?

Most of the problems are there because of the environment of the reserves. If you grow up surrounded by people with no hope and people that cling to the past that is obviously not ever going to revived, you’re not going to grow up with a whole lot of optimism for the future. Also, that’s not mentioning the drugs, alcohol, abuse, and debt. All of that is fuelling the poverty cycle that is rolling around and around in the reserves. With that all that swirling around the kids as they grow up, they don’t find school a prospect anymore. At this rate, it would take 28 years for the high school grad rates to catch up to the rest of the population grad rates.

People all over the place always say that we shouldn’t be paying for something someone else’s ancestors did. Nick K’s arguments really got me really going.

So, if you are a registered Indian, you have a chunk of land reserved for you and your tribesmen that you can use however you like.  You might have rights to fish a river as much as you want (for free) and sell the fish you catch even though your ancestors never sold fish for a profit and even if the river is protected from the general public.

The First Natives certainly didn’t sell the fish. They traded. All of their resources were at their disposal in their huge swatches of land. Living off the land is the way they lived for millions of years before a bunch of Europeans came and cheated them or forcing them to give up their homes. Living off the land requires a great amount of…well, land. People can’t live off a little chunk. Look at the size of farms! And the produce from farms can’t even completely support the farming families anymore. Also, when the natives lived off the land, the land was rich and fertile and could renew itself. Look around us. Is it like that now? (No.) All those reserves are far off in the mountains where transportation and environment are pretty dire. Take for example, the Bonaparte Reserve near Cache Creek. It’s extremely nice for them that the dump is nearby too, isn’t it? Financially, people inherit estate from their ancestors, but that also includes their debt. Moving to or living in Canada is like receiving the estate of the people who worked hard to make Canada a beautifully natural democratic place full of equality and free health care. But we get the debt too.

There are government housing programs for you which exist nowhere else in the country and you (status-Indians) have access to the same education, healthcare (including paid healthcare premiums if you live in B.C. or Alberta), old age pensions, and social services as anyone else living in Canada.

That makes sense. They are Canadian citizens.

I’m not suggesting that the government completely cut off help to the First Nations, because most of them wouldn’t be able to make it without the government’s help. Rather, I think that the government should help assimilate First Nations into Canada’s general population as quickly as possible because not only is it an economic problem, but it is simply not fair that someone has more rights than I do simply because my ancestors wronged them hundreds of years ago.

That’s what our first Prime Minister, Macdonald, said. He told everyone that his government would “do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the inhabitant of the Dominion of Canada.” A lot of good that did. Also, I would like to point out that though the Europeans wronged them hundred years ago, they are not my ancestors. But that does not make me free of guilt either. Just because the colonists took the land, that doesn’t make it okay now. We are still on their land while they are shoved in tiny pockets of land in the middle of nowhere. I’m not saying to kick everyone out of Canada. It’s completely impossible. But at least we can do what we can to help the people we’ve stolen from.

Canada used to be at the top for quality of life and living conditions, but the conditions of the reserves dragged us down to eighth. How about water quality? The BC government is providing 226 million to improve drinking water in our communities. The federal government spends $330 million to improve drinking water in reserves, yet 25% of water treatment systems on-reserves pose a high risk to human health.  The reserves have more funding, yet many of them are equal to the living conditions or developing countries.

Here was when I read Jordan’s Op-ed and after I thought about it, I surprisingly agreed with him.

For change in the living standards of aboriginal citizens, our government needs to do a better job of spending the aboriginal money, and the aboriginal government needs to be monitored to make sure the money reaches its destination.

For change to happen, people need to be aware of the facts, and realize the first nations are not the only ones to blame for the state they are in.

We give them all this funding, yet nothing is happening. With the reserves in such remote places, the amount of money spent to just transport things there is massive. No wonder healthy food and proper medication is such a problem. Also, all that extra funding for education is not making a huge difference at all. The government needs to stop throwing money at the reserves and actually think of plans that make self-sufficiency happen.

In order to encourage self-sufficiency, the importance of having a 2 way communication between off-reserve communities is needed. In the world of today, living in a little pocket of land isn’t going to be self-sufficient. Trading and partnerships with the outside economy is the only way to prosper. The Aboriginals cannot live as they used to since the first immigrants from Europe have already ruined their past way of living for them. Since all of us immigrants (whether it was you, your parents, or your ancestors) are living on Aboriginal land, we shouldn’t complain about the amount of funding going to the status-Indians. Instead, we should think of better ways to manage the funding, so the tax money is worth being used.