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journey of a ten through talons


On A Warm June Night

I guess this is goodbye.

TALONS, you’ve meant so much to me. And this blog has too. I really can’t wait to start binging my posts in a single sitting, laughing at my immaturity, cringing at my grammar, and sometimes shaking my head at the worldviews I expressed long ago.

This whole experience has been so otherworldly that I’m a little skeptical that no dark arts were used to bring 27.5 crazy kids (that only got crazier as the days went along) together until we couldn’t imagine any other group of people we’d rather complete a project with, or spent nights in the underbrush and paddling on lakes with.

Call me fantastical, but I suspect some good-ol’ magic had some foul (and fair!) play in this version of TALONS. Magic that bound us together, wrapped us tightly together in “TALONS ON THREE” chants during practice bikes, or giant group-hugs when it got cold, or all the bittersweet and tear-jerking closing circles.

The magnets have been ripped apart. It’s time for all of us to embark on new journeys, adventures that will hopefully be as rewarding and joyful as this crazy ride.

But another one of my suspicions is that we’ll meet again, in some form, in some way. We’ll be drawn back together.

The funny thing is, is that if we do drift apart like we inevitably should (that seems impossible right now, but it will), I know that everyone will still be together in a way.

In our hearts.


“Good bye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.”

  • Walt Disney


How to Be a 360 Degree Leader: Reflection

As outlined in How to Be a 360 Degree Leader, I want to focus on implementing the following principle into my leadership toolbox: “Follow me, I’ll walk with you”. Often, I find myself following a competitive mindset when I’m near group members who are also committed leaders. However, especially in terms of my leadership project, I can implement a plan that will help me be able to properly “lead across”. First of all, I must accept that other leaders have skills that I currently don’t possess, and are therefore more valuable in certain aspects of planning an event. For example, I know very little about decorations, and should support another member of my group to lead discussions for this portion. During these discussions, I will spend effort affirming the leader, because I should trust their judgment and experience. Also, by focusing more on productivity than politics, valuable energy will not be wasted. It doesn’t really matter who emails Ms. Mulder to arrange a meeting, or who is taking notes during a discussion. What is more important is that all of our tasks are being completed at an efficient speed. A connection can also be made to the “lead down” principle: by establishing a firm and positive relationship with my fellow grade ten coordinators, I can also influence the grade nine leaders to “lead across” in our group.

There is very little benefit to result from competing with my fellow team members; no prize will be awarded to those who receive more sponsorships, nor will one person be recognized over another if they spoke a little more during a meeting. A more efficient way of organizing an event involves placing members where they will add the most value to a project.


Practice Interview Recap – 3 Wise Nuggs

For my practice interview (a cross-course assignment between Planning and English/Eminent), I emailed Kevin Bazzana, a music critic and lecturer. Among others, here are the most powerful “wise nuggs” I took away from our conversation:

  1. The role of a critic (or journalist, or any other kind of profession that involves communication) is not to convey personal differences/problems with a performance, but to deliver reliable information and perspective.
  2. All the finished products of one’s work are not created without extreme torture, pain, and suffering, and therefore…
  3. Finding one’s true profession must come from their original and undying passion for that field.


Land of Mine

What to do? How can one respond when presented viscerally and emotionally with a story of such force? To a picture that strips us down one by one until only our raw emotions remain, and rips them apart a little more until we can’t see straight?

I don’t know. I felt insignificant, then scared, and ultimately bewildered. And I haven’t completely recovered from the wounds cut in me, as if my own land mine exploded and it only hit the small, vulnerable part in my heart, and nothing else. I sat, staring into space, unmoving. I wondered if I was just as bad as all the evil in the world, not spending every waking moment in my life devoted to charity, philanthropy, and goodness.

My words are nothing compared to the sufferings endured by any of the valiant young men, many as young as I am now when they were forced to scour around unoccupied beaches, their closest friends the live explosives they were forced to defuse.

Hate fuels hate, and this story, among scores of others are only the outcomes. When we see the products of conflict, in their dead, marred bodies, so far away from their original incarnations, it’s hard for us to realize what caused this. Some quick thinking leads us to realize that the original conflict in the world started the moment anything positive of note happened as well. Good and evil. Light and darkness. Life and death.

Above all, these boys just wanted life. They wanted to go back to their rambunctious, carousing, free-led ways, and perhaps to help others. Lay bricks. Eat their mother’s food. Die old. And they were denied of these rights, basic human liberties that should be granted to anyone.

I don’t know what is a good solution. Perhaps charity is just a Band-Aid, a large gauze that slows the bleeding. What actually stops wounds are clots, internal choices that eventually stop what’s going on outside. Band-Aids are necessary. But we need to evaluate who we are, our life choices, and whether we’re trying our hardest to make the best of our own endeavours, and others’.

It starts with watching movies that open the wounds first, ones that needs to be pried open.

Thank you, Land of Mine.


Science 9 Final: Steinway, Spruce and Soundboards


Ted Talk Script

Photo Credits


*One small amendment I must make – at 3:14, I say “found in extensive amounts throughout the Pacific ocean”, when I should say “found in extensive amounts throughout the Pacific coast”.