Category Archives: Grade Nine

My Historical Life

My name is Louise Duval. I was born on November 19, 1768 to a family of farmers. Though I was named Louise, everyone called me Lou. My sisters think that it’s just a cute nickname, I think I did too but looking back, I think my parents were trying to give our neighbours the impression I was a boy. The thing was, I was the fourth girl born to a family that needed a boy to work the farms. I had three older sisters, Renee, Gabrielle and Adeline. My mother, Mirabelle was in no shape to have a fifth child.

We lived in a very small town called Pettigrew, in a very secluded part of France. We probably wouldn’t even be on a map. Within this town, we had one of the biggest wheat crops and were a main supplier for the bakery. My father, Théo, started the farm with his two brothers but they had both gotten married and moved to bigger, better known towns to start “real lives”. We had a few cousins that helped us during the off seasons, but they had their own farms to tend to during the harvests. The same went for our neighbours, they had their own jobs.

Renee was eight when she started helping out our father on the farm. Sure she just helped with setting up the equipment and hand tools to Papa when he would fix the fences, but it wasn’t something that happened in France at this time. I was four, and even I noticed the sewing groups getting smaller, less people stopped in, and that there were glares sent our way when we attended services at church. The only reason that we weren’t shunned was probably because our farm was such a big contributor of wheat.

Gabrielle started helping out on the farm the following year. I would have thought that the isolation would have intensified but if anything it lessened. Maybe they just got used to there being girls on the farm. Maybe they realized my father needed help and had no other place to get it.

Adeline and I started helping our mother with the mending and the cooking when I was 6. Even at 7, Adeline was almost as good of a seamstress and mender as my mother. I was much better at baking, always helping Mother prepare the bread. Though personally, I couldn’t wait for Father to see me as old enough to care for the horses and cows.

Because my father had so much help with Renee and Gabrielle, it wasn’t until I was 10 that I started to help with the farming. I adored it and always volunteered to help. The people of the town didn’t seem to mind me helping as much as they did my sisters. Whether it was because this was the 6th year of girls working on our farm or because they called me Lou and tricked themselves into thinking I was a boy I don’t know. All I knew was that the town dynamic was going back to normal.

And then 1782 came. I was almost 14 at the time. I knew the farms well. I was out watering and feeding the crops. I noticed that some of the seeds hadn’t spouted. This far into the season, the wheat should have been way farther ahead than they were. I asked my father about them and we started walking the rows of wheat, analyzing it. By the end of the day, we had come to the conclusion at least a quarter of our crops were failing. And they did. We lost a quarter of our crops that year. This didn’t just happen to us either. This was happening to all the crops. The following year, Gabrielle helped as well. Renee would have helped too but she had gotten married and moved away. The atmosphere of the town had changed. Our neighbours no longer cared that we would work on the farm or wear pants around the house and fields. Even some of the other farmers were asking the females of the families for help with the crops after last harvest. It wasn’t uncommon for people to stop by and ask about the crops either.

Alas, this year was as bad as the last, with the following maybe worse. But we definitely grew closer as a town. When Gabrielle married and left after the second year of bad crops, it was just me and Father. Adeline hated working on the farm and helped mother instead. The town people knew of our predicament and wasn’t unusual for us to come back to the barn and find mucked stalls or filled feed buckets. But it was no use, by the time I was 16 we were producing half the wheat we used to. Our town was dying. We were malnourished, lacking money and running out of jobs. That is why, on April 15 1785, my father went up to my mother and said “Mirabelle, we are moving to Paris.”

It was a logical choice. There were going to be a lot more opportunities in Paris. So we sold the farm and packed up. The journey took about two weeks. In that time, my mother got very sick. She died the day before we arrived it Paris.

Though suffering from the loss of Mother, we were able to start to integrate ourselves into Paris life. Paris was so much different than Pettigrew. While our father got a farming job just before the season, Adeline and I were forced to get female jobs. I guess after 12 years of having girls on the farm, I forgot that the rest of France ran differently. I ended up getting a job at a bakery and Adeline got a job as a seamstress.

Between me and Father, we got a lot information about the food situation. The crops in Paris were doing better than ours were however with the size of Paris, the people weren’t that much better off.

As the years passed, the crops got worse. The bread prices started going up because of lack of wheat. By the time I was 20, riots were happening because prices were so high. Paris was in poverty. Maybe people thought rioting would lower the prices, maybe they knew it wouldn’t but just needed to express themselves. Hostility towards the king started to grow as people saw that he had money. He could help us, but he didn’t. He sat in his palace while his people starved. Things needed to change.

At this time, Adeline had moved in with her new husband, but we still met up to talk every week. Things were moving quickly. The Estates General was called then the Tennis Court oath was signed. In November, my boss and a bunch of other women from the market marched on Versailles. I didn’t feel very strongly about the cause because I understood why the bread prices were growing so high, but I almost lost my job because I didn’t participate.

Things started to get out of hand. A lot of people shared the same state of mind as Bastien, Adeline’s husband. I agreed with him as well by now but some people took things to an extreme. There were many people who wanted the king’s head.

Events started to take place and drastic decisions were being made. The king was executed, much to my dismay. This signified the start of a change. People said that they didn’t want a king and now there was no way for France to have one. But, no one realized that the alternative could be worse. At King Louis’ execution we were left with power head, no one to lead France. And the alternative was worse. When Robespierre took over, a reign of terror begun. People were being guillotined for no valid reason, but no one argued because they would have been guillotined as well. My father and Bastien both were guillotined.

I was upset but Adeline was beside herself with grief. We decided to move back to Pettigrew to escape this madness.

The madness did disappear. Adeline and I both got married to people we knew when we were younger. We started up the farm again. The crops improved. Even though I didn’t need too, I helped our husbands with the farm work. The people of the town didn’t bat an eye. Even after we had left Pettigrew, females still worked and did men’s jobs. We started corresponding with our older sisters again and filled them in on our endeavours. I stopped helping on the farm when I had my two children, Xavier and Carine. Adeline had two boys as well, Eugène and Léon.

Many years past. I now write this from my bed as I am sick and clearly dying. Adeline past a few years back with both her and my husband gone as well. Xavier and Carine both care for me while they take turns helping Léon with the farm. Eugène has moved to America. He often sends me letters speaking his explorations. He has met this local group of native people and has started to hunt with them. He finds them to be skilled yet very primitive. They were shocked to see that he hunted with a gun but I hear that they are starting get used to the idea. I’m told that females also don’t hunt in America. Will that change as generations pass or will it always be seen as a despised thing for women to do men’s work?  I wonder if females will still work on the farms in Pettigrew after this generation is gone.

 

Links:

http://www.preceden.com/timelines/32587-french-revolution-10-key-events-timeline

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_French_Revolution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_French_Revolution

http://www.noahwebsterhouse.org/discover/kids-corner/life-in-1700s.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_France

http://www.towson.edu/polsci/ppp/sp97/realism/whatisns.htm

 

In-depth #7: On the night of the night

Hello everyone! In-depth night seems to just be just around the corner! On the night of in-depth, I will be doing a stage performance. My dance is 3 min almost exactly not including getting on and off stage. The wall on the stage will hopefully be open as well with the curtains with the black curtain pulled in front of the props. I will be playing music off my I pod hopefully through the stage speakers but if not, I have speakers of my own. I need someone to start my music, but I have already got Joanna to help me with that. As for the rest of the night, I was planning on walking around, helping with technology, assisting other learning centers if anyone needs help, visiting learning centers, and making myself available to talk to. I plan on spending the night in my costume, but may end up changing sometime during the night based on the weather. Right now, my costume is either one of Emma’s old dresses that is brown and black, or jean shorts, a black sports bra and a gold shrug top from an old costume of mine. There is a chance I will be using baby powder to help me turn during my dance. If so, I will be wiping it off the stage after stage performances have ended.

 

I can’t wait for In-depth night, I think it is going to be amazing!

Charlotte Corday: I killed one man to save 100,000

Well, what an eventful end to my time in this revolution. Jean-Paul was threatening the republic too much. He needed to be dealt with. So I decided that what goes around, comes around. He stabbed us all in the back so I stabbed him in the back on July 13, 1793. Originally I planned on making a public spectacle, however his skin condition caused me to reorganize. I leave you with my Addresse aux Français amis des lois et de la paix further explaining my motives. Let me tell you this though. I killed Marat under the belief that his death will stop the violence that is happening in France and it will prevent the risk of an all-out civil war. My only regret is that my plan did not allow me to see whether or not my sacrifice was in vain. I was executed in the guillotine four days later. They gave me a trial where I explained that I killed Marat in order to save the 100 000 that I believed would one day die at his hand. Hopefully, when this revolution has died down and authority has stopped being challenged, France will come out strong with a Republic and no mass murderers in charge. I wish that I will not be forgotten after my sacrifice and though I did not mind dying for the good of the people, I hope that I will not go without recognition.

 

Charlotte Corday: The Locked Chest Mishap

December 30, 1792

So I realize that a locked chest has been found. I also can see that these letters could be very incriminating. However, let us just take a minute and think this over. As much good as it may do to kill the king, we must make sure we go through proper procedures and don’t miss any information because of a horrible investigation. For all we know, these letter may be the product of a friendly role play. And is there any proof that King Louis was replying. He could be completely against what the Austrians are suggesting. Once someone goes to the guillotine, there is no bringing them back. We must also consider what may happen after the king is killed. For example, harming Louis may anger the surrounding countries and we could have a large war on our hands. As a Girondist, I suggest that we find a happy medium  on these constitutional issues. The King does not need to be harmed, but merely have all his power removed. There has been so much killing already, with the September Massacres just three months ago, will killing King Louis really reduce the amount of death that will be in the future.

We, the people of France, need to start thinking rationally and put this revolution on pause. We are moving to quickly ahead, making radical decisions and thinking that it’s easier to just kill everyone, without thinking of the consequences. Many lives can, and will, be saved if we just take the time to take a step back and look at what we are doing. We must start looking at where we are headed and see if it we should really, truly listen to the violent suggestions of people like Marat and Robespierre.

Indepth #6: Finally done the dance!

Well hello everyone! I am so happy because my dance is finally done! Well, it still needs a few tweeks but nothing that will take too long. I’ve also started to think about costumes, hair and makeup. I’m going to have my hair down and poofed I think with kind of a neutral face for makeup. For my costume, I’m hoping to borrow from someone so I don’t have to go out and buy anything. (Costumes are crazy expensive.) I’m hoping to have a brownish-gray costume, very neutral earthy tones… But no green…

In other news, competition season has started!!! One of my favourite things about competition is that I am able to sit and watch all the different dances. At a competition, one is exposed to so many different styles because of all the different genres and all the different characters. The costumes are also fun to see!

My contemporary group "Connected" after we placed first
My contemporary group “Connected” after we placed first

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Lindsay and I after my solo
Ms. Lindsay and I after my solo

 

 

 

It’s also really nice when Ms. Lindsay’s at the competitions. It was great because she was actually backstage with me the first time I competed my modern solo this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly at this past competition, one of our dancers became really sick and was unable to perform. We found this out the day before we were supposed to compete. Our ballet dance was really reliant on partners and we didn’t know what we were going to do. Ms. Lindsay, being amazing, agreed to fill her spot. After about 34 hour, Ms. Lindsay had learned the 5 minute dance and performed with us on stage. She did amazing and we actually qualified for a high score round called “Peak Challenge”. Though we didn’t end up placing, it was an amazing experience that I loved sharing with my mentor.

Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet "Conflicts of War"
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet “Conflicts of War”
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet "Conflicts of War"
Ms. Lindsay and I after my ballet “Conflicts of War”

 

That’s all for now, I love how well everyone’s projects are turning out and I’m excited for the final products to all be seen!

 

Little quick end note: Ms. Lindsay can come to Indepth night! I can’t wait!

 

Charlotte Corday: Conflicted Opinion

Hello everyone. It is the month of May of 1789 and the Revolution has reached the ears of us out in Caen. Some people of the rebellion have even set up a base here. I can’t tell how I feel about this rebellion. As much as I agree with what is being done and happening, the architectural work on the Abbaye-aux-Dames is slowing and my convent is being suppressed. I think this revolution may work. I feel that the King will be overthrown and that much more power will be given to the Third Estate than it had a year ago. That will be good, will it not? The King does not know how to handle his money. There are people starving and the price of bread just keeps going up, but that does not seem to effect King Louis. If the King were to lose power though, it does not guarantee that our issues will be solved but it is more likely that they will because we can see the other side of the fence.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t do anything big until I kill Marat and am not mentioned in the primary documents prior to the assassination.

Indepth #5

Hello everyone! Sadly I haven’t been able to meet with my mentor much because of competitions and hikes, however just this Wednesday, I was practicing and my ballet teacher was popping in and out, observing and correcting me. Though this is not a ballet dance, it was great to get some advice on my technique. Though it’s getting really busy, I’m trying to get in more times with Ms. Lindsay. When we meet up, we often talk about how to improve the jumps and turns that I’ve been working into the dance. We talk about common corrections that I get in my other dances and where they show up in mine as well. It’s great that Ms. Lindsay can really read where I’m at with my dancing. She can tell when it’s the choreography that I’m having problems with and when it’s just me having an off day. It’s nice that in these practices, Ms. Lindsay is starting to learn my personal style and not just how other people’s styles look on me. I also love that I’m learning a lot more about her past dance life, stuff that I don’t often learn from my dance teachers.

I’m really happy because the first draft of the whole dance is done and all that’s left is the tweeking, adjusting and the cleaning.

That’s all for now! Bye!

Reflection of the Civil War

I chose the topic of King James I and King Charles I. My group consisted of Joanna and Raymond. I felt the main idea that was learnt was who King Charles and King James were as people. This was shown through their actions. I’m very proud of our group’s rap. I felt that it was very successful and covered the key points in an entertaining way that held the class’s attention. Something that could have been improved on is to have a more in depth King Charles Prezi. It was a last minute addition and therefore didn’t have a lot of information. In the future, we as a group should figure out what is to be covered in depth by the group in the beginning and not halfway through.

 

 Two units that captured my interest was the Civil War Part 2 and the Oliver Cromwell. I will definitely remember the Mock Trial because it was so engaging as well as the Cromwell “Royals” Parody because it’s a well known song and was a catchy parody. These presentations opened my eyes to the fact that, though king, Charles’ position of power in society did nothing to distinguish him from any other citizen of society during his trial. They also showed me that normal people can rise and make a difference but it isn’t always for the best.

Some questions that were raised for me were: Why were kings crowned at such a young age if the weren’t old enough to make or comprehend the decisions that the king faces? Did anyone become supporters of parliament because they feared the king’s reaction to the rebellion were it to fail?

I spent my class time writing, editing and filming the video after we had the base information for the prezi as my computer didn’t allow me to access and edit the prezi. Some strategies I employed as far as writing the rap was looking through our research document finding information on the two Kings that they could use against each other. Something I would do again is the rap battle or maybe change it and rewrite/write a song as it has you analyze the information for things you can rhyme and pair, as well as things you can relate to each other.

Big question time!

If those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, what are we ‘doomed to repeat’ by not learning about this period in English history?

I believe that the thing we would be “doomed to repeat” would be changing our living style in a huge way that would not be easily undone. I believe we would do something dire without fully understanding the outcome and end up realizing it was a horrible idea and we have no concrete way of undoing it.

Indepth #4

Yay!! I’m so happy. Competition season’s coming up and because of this, we started sharing solos in class. It was a small class, we had extra time and so I got to show my fellow dancers my routine!! I even got it filmed. The floor was really sticky which is why I fell out of all of my turns and tripped at the beginning. The music was also a different cut version and I forgot what I had leading up to the end… Overall I guess it wasn’t my best I’d done it, but I still did it and got some good feedback from everyone.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTejcpa1wg

QUESTION TIME:

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

My greatest challenge so far is finding time to meet with Ms. Lindsay. Competitions take up quite a few Saturdays and, as my mom is paying for these sessions, I don’t always get a chance to work with Ms. Lindsay on indepth when I see her because I need to work on my jumps, turns, groups, and my competition solo.

2. What is working well? Why?

It’s easy to find time to work on my routine just by myself because when I finish dance everyday, a lot of the studios are empty and available. I also don’t need Ms. Lindsay with me every practice which makes it easier as I’m just working around my own schedule.

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?

Something that could be improved is how much I remember between each session. With 6 other dances that I am constantly running as well as homework stretching out the time between each session, I often have troubles retaining all that I have choreographed. I can fix this by filming after every time I choreograph something new, even if it is only the new parts.

Indepth # 3.5

My comments are being stupid and telling me I can’t reply to a comment. So, this post is in reply to Ms. Mulder’s comment.

I haven’t been able to get an updated video. For me, I find it’s easy to figure out what steps I want to do and what order to do them in. It’s surprising how much the music can actually tell a choreographer. I feel that’s where I’m learning the most is to listen to the music and find what accents I can hit, if the steps are slow or fast, and where the underlining back beats are. I find it simple to tell where I need to put a jump and where I can’t have one. The hard part is finding all the little steps that don’t make big impacts and stand out but are still graceful and placed in the short amounts of time they have to be there.