Last Friday, I rose early (on a Pro-D day!) and drove down to Lougheed Town Centre, where my classmates were gathered to travel downtown. Before the trip, I asked myself a few questions:
- How am I going to document my learning?
- Reflection post, photos (click here). I was planning on making a vlog, but was looking through the raw footage and didn’t find it too good (but you can still find it with the pictures). Armed with a better camera, I plan on documenting my process that way next year.
- What am I going on the trip to ‘get’?
- What are you going on the trip to ‘get’?
- Books (information about eminent person). The most obvious choice, as Internet research and documentaries won’t be enough knowledge. I might also get some ideas of who to interview.
- Researching at a public library (finding books through online catalogue, physically finding books, deciding what books to take out). Now that information is so accessible, there’s something very satisfying of physically using my hands to find books. I also can’t take out every book about my eminent person, so I need to be able to quickly scan through each book and determine which are best.
- Bonding with TALONS peers (learning about their eminent person, asking questions). This is basically a cultural event with more emphasis on the educational component. I’m excited to spend more time outside of class with my peers, especially with the scary tens.
- Inspiration (for eminent person, possibly through atmosphere of library/bookstore/peers?). I still not exactly sure how I’m going to tackle this project (how will I portray my eminent person). Flipping through the various ideas and opinions on Glenn Gould will hopefully give me a better idea on how to do so.
A Short Chronology of the Day
After meeting with the group, we boarded the Skytrain and headed to the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. At Granville Station, we split up into two different groups (quite possibly because 30 TALONS learners in a library isn’t only very loud, it’s very dangerous). My group headed into the library, but not after everyone admired the architecture and design of the building. I had done a bit of research the night before, and headed up to the 6th floor. There, I found around a dozen books about Gould (close to the whole anthology) and grabbed as many as I could. Finding a study desk near a few other TALONS, I dropped off the books before heading back down to the main floor to get my library card. Thinking I was being smart and getting my library card before the end of our time, I instead spent more than 20 minutes trying – and failing – to get a card. Apparently my birth certificate wasn’t enough to prove my identity, when others only had to show their Coquitlam library card. I was angry, mostly for the fact that I could only take out two items. Thankfully, with some bargaining, I was able to check out seven books on a Deon’s and Sophia’s accounts (thanks so much here’s a shout out).
After an awesome lunch of sushi and bubble tea, my group headed over to Macleod’s bookstore. I joked to one of my friends that it had roughly the same amount of books as the VPL, just crammed into around 1% of the space (I was only slightly exaggerating). Every nook and cranny was piled with books, and I was surprised that the very helpful employees knew where everything was. I was also surprised that there were no termites. Having been to Macleod’s before, I was elated that the music collection had vastly improved, so much so to the point that there were a handful of books about Gould, including a few first editions! The one I knew I had to buy was Kevin Bazzana’s Wondrous Strange. It was completely new for only $20 (originally $39.99) and was one of my favourites when I was speed-reading at the VPL. He also lives in Victoria and is fairly active, and may be a great interview option.
We met up back at the VPL and took the Skytrain back home, exhausted but excited to dig into our finds.
- What did you learn on the trip?
- The main thing I took away from the trip, other than seven books, was a greater sense of community with the TALONS learners, particularly the grade tens. It wasn’t something that was necessarily measurable, but I was definitely felt closer with the group within a span of eight hours, similar to the orientation.
- I also was able to feel the experience of being a researcher. I greatly enjoyed the calm but productive atmosphere of the library, and the cozy confines of Macleod’s. On my own time, I definitely want to go back to the VPL, or any library in general to work.
- How would you characterize the theme of the trip, from your perspective?
- Bonding/coming together. Although it wasn’t the main purpose of the trip, the group still spent the majority of the trip on transit or traveling by foot. It was in those moments that I was able to speak with people I hadn’t before, and it made the entire trip more relaxing. This trip wasn’t as academic as I though it would be – we were just finding information – the hard part (synthesizing, writing, etc.) comes next. It was a great way to spend a Pro-D day with friends, and any work that got done was a bonus.
- How will the research trip influence the course of your Eminent Person Study?
- Besides the obvious (getting books), I have made great leaps on my project this weekend. Before the library trip, I was overwhelmed by the tidal wave of information online and had no idea how to approach Gould. All the information looked important and necessary for my project. Now I know my themes (Gould the Producer, Gould the Performer, Gould the Person) for the project, and who I want to interview (Kevin Bazzana, Angela Hewitt/Colin Tilney) to supplement those themes. Whether the library trip influenced these gains directly or not, I’m very content with the progress I made this weekend.
25 days left!