TED Talk: What Can Hallucinations Reveal About Our Minds?

These are the sources I used to gather information for my talk:

Oliver Sacks on the Kind of Hallucination He Would Have Liked to Have. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://motherboard.vice.com/read/oliver-sacks-on-the-kind-of-hallucination-he-would-liked-to-have-had

Hallucinations. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Hallucinations.html

Which part of the brain generates dreams? (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.sciencefocus.com/qa/which-part-brain-generates-dreams

Cerf, M. (n.d.). How Scientists are Trying to Hack Your Dreams. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/moran_cerf_how_scientists_are_trying_to_hack_your_dreams

Sacks, O. (n.d.). What hallucination reveals about our minds. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/oliver_sacks_what_hallucination_reveals_about_our_minds?language=en

Sacks, O. (2012). Hallucinations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

The Final Stages

My in-depth project has continued to progress at a very good pace. I have really begun to finalize ideas about my learning center and after gathering and preparing all the different parts of my shoes, I have finally come to one of the most important stages in shoe-making. Yet this specific step has been a source of great frustration for me.

For the past few weeks I have been learning how to and attempting to last my shoes. Lasting the shoes is when you stretch the material using a hammer and nails so it fits exactly to the form of the shoe last. This is really important because this is what gives the shoe its shape; sewing makes everything come together, but lasting is where all the real work is done. This stage is crucial to having good shoes because the overall quality of the shoe is mostly determined at this stage– it is very easy to see which shoes have been made without lasting, and the quality is significantly worse than if the shoes were lasted. Finishing also gives the shoe a unique look, but lasting is a very long and hard process which includes nailing tough leather into the shallow sole of the shoe over and over again until no folds are visible in the leather. The first week I was lasting the lining of my shoes, I was almost in tears because every time I would hammer a piece of leather down, another nail on the other side of the shoe would pop out. Ron did the first lasting of my shoe in about 5 minutes. The first time I lasted one shoe, it took me over an hour to get all the nail in place. I then repeated this process each week and as the leather began to take shape, lasting became easier. I have been working very hard to finish my shoes, but despite the time I put in, there is only so much I can to finish my shoes. I have to wait about a week between lasting so the leather has the chance to actually stretch and shape. I am beginning to last the visible materials of my shoe this week, but it will take at least 3 weeks to finish. I am worried at this point about finishing my shoes, but there is not too much I can do to speed up the process at this point. If I do not finish the shoes, I think I will continue to work on them until I do they are complete. I think that even if I do not reach my goal for in-depth, that I will still be happy with the work I have done and with all the things I have learned.

In-depth night is quickly approaching so I have begun to think about the big night and my learning center. I am very excited to see everyone’s projects displayed, but I am rather nervous about my own learning center. I will hopefully display my shoes, the bag I used to practice sewing leather on an industrial machine, and some of the tools that I used along the process. I would also like to display pictures of the shoes at various stages on poster board with captions explaining the different steps that each picture embodies, so people have a better idea of the journey I went through to create these shoes. I would like to include an interactive aspect to my learning center, and I was thinking of letting people make their own leather key-chains by skiving and a hole punching using the professional tools. However, I am afraid that it would make a big mess, and if the tools are used incorrectly they could easily be broken. These are all factors to consider, but I think that I will still try to incorporate an interactive aspect in someway. I am still brainstorming some of the details for my learning center, but have a very good idea of the layout and the basic materials I will need to show my learning process as I experimented with cobbling.

I am very excited for in-depth night where we will all see the hard work people put into their projects as well as their final products. Though the deadline is rather close, it only motivates me more to continue to work harder so that I can have a finished product to show at my learning center. I hope you all have good luck with achieving your goals for this project, I know I could use a little luck right now!

Calm Before the Storm…

IMG_20160220_084717098My in-depth project has been going very well the past week, and my designs are now fully finished! I am excited to continue working on them over the spring break and cut out my leather from the pattern I have made. Now that I am at the stage of choosing my material, the research I did over the past two weeks have really helped and also informed me about the importance of the soul on the shoe and the uppers. Ron was impressed with my knowledge of soles and materials when we talked last week. I also read a book about cobbling from Ron, and learned more about the whole process. I definitely feel more prepared for the up-coming weeks when I will begin to put together my shoes because I did some pre-reading on the procedures—I have learned a lot of important vocabulary! For the past few weeks, I have mostly been researching and designing, but I think that my project will begin to move a lot faster from this point on, so I am trying my best to enjoy the calm before the storm as one might say, because once I cut out my material Saturday, there is no turning back! I think that my progression so far has been relatively smooth and has been moving at a good pace.

I am happy with my progress, but I have had some difficult challenges in mentoring. Finding a mentor has probably been my biggest bump in the road so far. Though it was hard to find a mentor once I did, we got along pretty well. The first few weeks of the mentorship were more difficult because we were still balancing our teaching and learning styles as well as negotiating the best way to work together so that we can maximize our productivity. It was hard in the beginning to have consensus because we are pretty different people, but once we got to know each other more, things came more naturally. However, now there are a lot of things working well. Our learning and teaching styles work a lot better together now because we explored it so much in the early parts of our working relationship. We are a lot more productive because we negotiated the best format for our meetings. Our communication could be working better however. I find that sometimes I don’t pose questions clearly enough and as a result I don’t always get the answer that I am looking for. This can sometimes waste the little time we have to actually work on the shoes. I think that this issue is reliant on me and it is my job to get better at communicating by using more clear and specific language. I think that I need to learn to speak out right away when I have a question and make sure that Ron understands the context of my questions so that we communicate more effectively together. I have also been talking a lot in my blog posts about establishing a weekly e-mail before or after our meetings to de-brief and to create agendas for upcoming meetings. I have not taken the initiative to do this yet, but I feel that by sharing about this more on my blog, I will become more motivated to take that measure to better my communication with Ron and better my personal work ethic.

Just do it Renee! source: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/just-do-it/

I just want to mention again how helpful I find this time for reflection, having set more specific goals and looking at my progress on a bi-weekly basis has motivated me a lot more to do work and has opened my eyes to ways that I can improve my in-depth project. I hope that I learn to put the theories I create in my blog post in action in my real life mentoring relationship. I think that I have definitely taken the strategies I made last week in my post and applied them to my relationship with Ron, and they have really improved our relationship. We seem to be a lot more efficient now and have gotten better at communicating more clearly together. I am really excited to continue to work on my project over the break and share more about it on my blog in April when our next post is!

I also wanted to say that everyone’s blog posts have been absolutely amazing and so creative! You guys are such an inspiration and motivation; I cannot wait to see how your projects evolve from now and in-depth night! I wish you all good luck with your projects, they look great so far!

Source for second picture



Who I interviewed:

Image from: http://lauradupont.ca/about-me/

I interviewed Laura Dupont, a city council women in Port Coquitlam. She is currently the only woman on that council. She works with the government only part time, the rest of her time is spent volunteering with SHARE, a non-profit that offers social services as well as with many committees including: Port Coquitlam’s Community Safety Committee, Healthy Communities Committee, Fraser Valley Regional Library Board, Interlink Library Board and Metro Vancouver Climate Action Committee. As a city council woman, Laura passes legislations in Port Coquitlam for the good of our municipal and she focuses in on environmental issues with in PoCo. She has a University education in political science and in environmental sciences. Some of the accomplishments that she has in the community is passing important legislature for the environment.

How the person I interviewed is a leader in the community:

Image From: http://lauradupont.ca/about-me/

She is a leader in the community because she puts lots of hard work and effort in to bettering Port Coquitlam through her volunteering and through the legislature that she passes as well as her dedication towards a healthy environment for our community. She is also a good leader because she listens to the needs of the community at council meetings and try’s her best to voice these opinions and take action on them so that Port Coquitlam can become a better place for its residents. She is a very perseverant person who is strongly dedicated to bettering the community through any way possible.

Interview questions:

  1. What parts of your job do you enjoy the most? The least?
  2. Is there anything more I need to know about being a council member to conduct this interview?
  3. What is your education and training background and how has it helped you?
  4. What qualities do you think a good leader should possess?
  5. What type of actions do you think a good leader should take?
  6. Through your work trying to better the community, which of the qualities you just listed do you think you have gained?
  7. Through your work trying to better the community, which of the actions you think a good leader must take have you also taken?
  8. What is one specific moment as a community leader that you are particularly proud of?
  9. What is it like to be the only woman on city council?
  10. What is an instance where you used some of the skills you gained through your work to better the community to overcome a problem?
  11. Is there anything else that you think I should know?


  1. The part that I enjoy the most is meeting people in the community. I love getting to know all of the different groups in our community through the council meetings and so on. I really like interacting with people in the community that I wouldn’t normally get to talk to. The part I enjoy least is the technology aspect. I am not good at using technology and I think I waste quite a bit of my time trying to make it work.
  2. It is crazy busy all the time, but it’s fabulous.
  3. I volunteered a lot in the community before this and that really prepared me for what I had to do as a community leader. In university, I did environmental studies and political science. The environmental sciences helped me indirectly, but when I studied political sciences, it really inspired me to get involved with politics.
  4. I think a good leader should be firm and think for themselves. They should stay true to their values.
  5. I think a good leader should try to speak for the community. Now that I am on city council I have the opportunity to interact with the community about what they want to change and what they like so that we, the city, can improve our municipal.
  6. / 7. I think that by helping the community, I have become empowered and that I really have voiced the opinions of the public to better the Port Coquitlam community.
  1. One moment that I am proud of is the first piece of legislation that I passed as a councillor. It was a piece of legislation made by David Suzuki called the Blue Dot Movement which aims to help start initiatives at all levels of government to help the environment.
  2. It would be nice to have more women on city council, but I honestly don’t have too many issues with it. I don’t mind being the only woman on city council as there are other women from different committees, but I would like more women to take part in government.
  3. When I was running for council, I needed to reach a wide audience of people and talk one on one with them to try earn their votes. My campaign helpers and I walked from door to door, and I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that we knocked on nearly every single door in Port Coquitlam. Campaigning was really hard, it was a big test. I didn’t have a lot on my side as most people running for the first time aren’t elected. I still can’t believe that all of those people voted for me. It was really hard work and I had to use lots of leadership skills to overcome it.
  4. I think you should know that politics is a very good career option. We need more women in politics, and though you may think that it sounds boring, I think that young girls should consider this a viable way to make a living. It is so rewarding to know that I am making a difference in the community.

*Some fun facts that arose from our conversation*

  • Laura volunteers her time with SHARE a noon-profit that offers social services to families.
  • Laura used to work as a flight attendant, at a car dealership, and in the oil business.
  • Laura is originally from Alberta.
  • Andreas Gunster’s Mom was Laura’s campaign manager.
  • Laura will soon start a debate club for the local teens where they can debate political issues so that more teens get interested in politics.

My thoughts/ reflection on the interview:

Image from: http://www.portcoquitlam.ca/discover_port_coquitlam.htm

I think that I learned a lot from Laura. She has taught me about the impact politics can make, the importance of perseverance, the importance of community, but most of all, the importance of good leadership skills as well as how they apply in life. Since talking to her, I have more carefully considered a job in politics and the importance of good government to lead communities, her passion has really influenced me and pushed me to think about some provocative questions. When she talked about all of the hardships she overcame to be elected, I learned that hard work really does pay off. I was absolutely amazed at all she had done. In the write up of the interview, I only included the most important parts and paraphrased for the most of it, but in reality, we had a very in-depth conversation about her experience in campaigning. She also shared some really interesting and touching stories about how through her job, she has gotten to impact the community and bring people closer together which I think is really amazing. However, I think the most important thing that I got out of the interview is that leadership skills are very important. Skills like the ones that I am only beginning to learn now, have helped Laura throughout her journey in life at nearly all the stages. I one day hope to be a leader in the community in a similar way to Laura. She is so passionate in what she does and that passion has rubbed off on me. I think that my favourite part was near the end of the interview when Laura asked me some questions in turn. I kind of liked to be on both sides of the situation, interviewing Laura while she reciprocated some of my same questions back to me. It really made me think about what it takes to be a good leader, after this interview, I have a much better idea.

Here is the source for the last picture used:


Some of the other sources that I used to help mw this this project:

The Port Coquitlam Website.

Her Personal Website

A newspaper article about her campaign

Take a Break and Watch This, Please

I know that lots of people are stressed and worried right now about projects, as am I. I decided to post this short video that really is an inspiration and a motivation for me. It is from a documentary series called Humans which interviews people from all around the world about some topics that we have pondered for years. This is my personal favourite interview from the series and I hope that you enjoy it too.

Questions Against Humanity

What has a bigger influence on human culture, behaviour, and personality, our nature (commonly defined in this argument as genetics) or our nurture (commonly defined as our environment and experience)? People have looked at this questions from cultural, scientific and philosophical points of view, yet this debate is still wide open and discussed a lot in our modern era. Since I explored this topic in the Columbus paragraph, I decided to get more in depth with this idea. There are some compelling arguments made on both sides of the debate. People who come down on the side of nature have many studies done with twins that support their arguments. Twins who were separated at birth and had grown with completely different experiences and environments found each other in their adult lives and turned out to have many of the same mannerisms, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and mental health struggles. Scientist observed that these twins had incredibly similar personalities and behaviours despite being raised by different people in another environment. The scientists who favour nurture also have done extensive research to prove their point, this was their take away: some genes are only activated by certain settings and situations; therefore, nurture is more important. But what does all of this mean and how does it apply to you? Well what it fundamentally means is that there is only so much that we can change. We like to think that we are very in control of what we do and how we act. However, in reality, we are greatly affected by things that we can`t always change like our genetics and often times our environment and experiences. Yet we can still make our own choices and that is very important. What I personally believe is that it is split down the middle, that we are equally affected by our nature and our nurture. Both are important to the existence of the other and you can’t have one without the other; you might want to think of a yin and yang symbol to embody this idea. What I hope you as the reader take away from this is a heightened awareness of your life and how it is affected by your nature, nurture, but most importantly your choices.

This is where I got the image from.