Dear Your Highness and Grace, my beloved King Theseus,
I am writing you this letter to persuade you in the hopes of letting the course of destiny and true love run smooth. Demetrius and I were destined to be together. He loved me once, and I have always loved him. But the problem is that he has stopped loving me and started going after my best friend! My best friend, however, loves some other man whom I have no business with. And the man loves her back! How adorable that is. So, why not let them be a happy couple and let us also be a happy couple. If he has loved me before, why cannot he love me again? True, there is a law stating that one must listen to parent and wed whom the parent sees fit; but please try to show some empathy, my lord. What if you could not love Hippolyta because of some foolish law forbade you? Defiant and strong, I am sure your love knows no bounds. The law of love overpowers any law, even that of the gods. Our love, and everyone’s love is the same. Another reason why Demetrius is not suitable for Hermia is because he is not loyal. His love for me was like lightning; it was very strong, but within an instant it was gone. I am afraid he might leave Hermia as he left me. I do not want my best friend to suffer such a fate. Do not let her die, at the very least, her her alive. Your Grace, I promise you, a little jolliness in a kingdom never did any king any harm. So keep everyone happy as you have always done and always will, by letting the course of love run smooth.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried to get myself hold of another mentor as my first one actually declined. Finally, last week, an old art teacher of mine, Mr. Williams, said he could be my mentor.
Before meeting him, I had done my own research about what kinds of paints I should use and brushes and things like that. When I met up with him, he wanted to make a plan for how the project would go. I showed him my schedule for in-depth. That’s when our first difference occurred. He said in my plan, I had too much of focusing on one skill. He said I should just practice general strokes and play around with my paint once in a while. Maybe look at a video on YouTube or copy one from the internet. I took this as a suggestion as I was “willing to accept [it] as a ‘possibility’ [rather than] accept it as a ‘certainty'”(23). Together, we worked his suggestion into my plan. We made our plan the ‘best’ one we could devise. In our case, the ‘best’ plan would be the one where I learn most in terms of painting. My new plan now is the same plan from before but now, every week I shall paint some random thing; I just have to put some strokes and effort onto the paper.
A big frustration and obstacle in my way is not getting a mentor. Here is what I mean: Mr. Williams, in the later part of our meeting, said he couldn’t hold the responsibility of being my mentor. Not that he couldn’t but rather he didn’t have time for it. His only available times were weekday nights except for Friday, which I could not do except for Friday. For weekends, he was only available on Saturday evenings, which I, again, could not hold up to due to my own schedule.
Although I have not much success, I am well on my way in in-depth. I already completed a painting using small and basic techniques from the internet. Here is what it looks like:
Even though it’s pretty bad, I like the way I did my background. When I was watching a YouTube video for this kind of style, they showed me how to ‘blend’ the colours without ‘mixing’ them. This was one of the things I completely agreed with even though de Bono says not to do that. Not only was this because I “genuinely [sought] to find points of agreement in what the other person is saying”, but because I was so far a ‘blank canvas’ who had little experience, I learned a lot through the video but I had to agree with them because I had no points I could differ from. Here are some of the resources I have used so far:
1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change overtime? Why?
For ZIP this year, my inquiry question is, “What makes an effective meme?” I chose this question because of my passion for memes. We, myself included, have always laughed at, ridiculed and joked about memes. However, we never take the subject seriously. Ambitiously, I decided to take memes under my wing for ZIP. Near the beginning, my question revolved around the emotions that memes induce and what effects they have on people’s lives. I rejected that question due to lack of research on the topic and the broadness of the question.
2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
The way I made memes was through a photo editing software called paint.net. This software is free but is a lot like other photo editing programs like Photoshop. This skill could be helpful when making a poster for school projects, editing a photo on a paper for school, etc. I have digital media arts this semester so photo editing memes give me a benefit in that as well. I also got a feel for what in-depth would be like as ZIP is like an English oriented in-depth.
3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
Memes are a big part of today’s society and internet culture. They have been a form of entertainment, communication, and opinion expression among other many things. Although there are a variety of memes that exist, there are several specific form factors that make certain memes “better” than others. The first and most important one is creativity or originality. If you see a meme you have already seen a couple times, it’s not going to be as funny as the first time you see it. Even if something is “original”, you might have seen something similar which can really detriment the effectiveness of a meme. A lot of other factors that make a meme better are not necessary but they can contribute. Some are necessary for a specific type of meme but are not required. Being able to relate to a meme increases the effectiveness because the viewer feels like they are part of the meme. Just like how a reader can connect to an event in a story, the viewer of a meme can not only understand the meme better but they can find the meme funnier as well. Relevance is an important factor because a lot of the time, memes deal with current events. If Trump says something funny in an interview, that might be the new meme everyone is laughing at the next morning.
4. In what ways does your final learning artefact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.
5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 response as to was important to your learning).
6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
My in-depth project this year will be focused on the art of watercolour painting. When I first heard of in-depth, I didn’t think of painting as my first idea. But because I liked it and had no skills, I later realized it was the perfect opportunity. Skills like preparation and being able to envision the final product. Other skills I want to learn include strokes, confidence in my work, and various techniques and styles. I also specifically want to learn skills related to realistic watercolour because I’m not very good at that. In-depth seems like an interesting project, and I am excited to dive right in.
Watercolour painting had always been a fun activity for me, but I never really had any knowledge of what to do. I would get some paint and water and put it on the paper. Now with in-depth, I am hoping to do the same thing but with skill, passion, and meaning. I will finish a painting every 1-2 weeks, seeking help from my mentor along the way. Speaking of my mentor, I have already emailed someone, but they haven’t replied yet. My goal for in-depth is to make a quality painting every 1-2 weeks. It will be consistent, and by the end, I will be proud of them. I will showcase my learning in a booth that shows everything I had done so far. Overall, in-depth seems overwhelming, but I am ready to take the first steps.
Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information easier or more effective in class?
When I first started, I tried retrieving information by asking questions that were big and very similar to my inquiry question. That didn’t help. A strategy I now use is asking bits and pieces of my question to get better information about more parts of my question. I also researched about similar topics which helped me understand the way memes work. An example is viral videos. Viral videos and viral memes essentially operate the same way and if I can understand one, I can understand the other.
What makes an effective meme?
What would you like to learn to do / what question would you like to pursue in your inquiry? Why did you choose this skill / question? What motivates or excites you in pursuing this line of inquiry?
Memes have become the central source of humour on the internet which makes them very prominent in today’s society. I personally look and laugh at memes almost every day. When I look at them, I think about how clever they are sometimes and wonder how much thought was put into them. I sometimes see memes that I think are very witty, but they are not as viral as other ones. I would like to delve deeper into why that would be. I am very passionate about memes and I would like to see how changing different components affects the quality or “viralness” of them.
What do you currently know about this topic / skill, and what skills do you currently have that will help you succeed in your work?
I know quite a bit about memes. As I said before, I look at them almost every day. I know the trends that are current right now, but I don’t know how they got there in the first place.
What is a specific list of skills that you hope to have expanded on / learned by the end of this assignment?
I hope to learn the factors that go into making not just a meme but anything viral. I might get into psychology and some linguistics to figure this out. I want to be able to analyze memes behind just the humour and see the creator’s thinking, and the processes they went through. At the end I also want to learn to make a successful meme.
Who can you approach for support during your work / research?
I can ask a lot of classmates who might be willing to give me their insight and knowledge as I know that some of them are quite knowledgeable in this field. Other than that, I can ask others in online forums and communities and maybe get a hold of an expert.
What are some other resources that might be useful in helping you complete your inquiry?
I myself, have online resources where I can analyze memes. I was also hoping to ask Mr. Morris for some books but I might also go to the library.
How might you demonstrate your learning at the end of your inquiry? What format or form (essay, in-class lesson, audio/video production, Pecha Kucha, artistic representation) might you use to highlight your work?
I will demonstrate my learning by making memes. I might have two very similar memes, but one would be better based on the research I had done.
What is your schedule for learning? Include a calendar with a tentative plan as to how you will use your time both in and out of class.
Jan 3 – 8 – Proposal
Jan 7 – 13 – Research and Analysis and create assessment rubric for connecting to the curriculum
Jan 14 -20 – Alternate between Research and Analysis and making memes
Jan 21 – 27 – Finish making memes and plan out presentation
Jan 28 – Present!