Category Archives: Grade Nine

Indepth #3

Hi everyone, so I’m very happy with how far I’ve gotten. My dance is almost done other than the last 4 counts of 8. Then I have to clean it but plenty of time for that. Question time!

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

Something that went well was that when Ms. Lindsay gave me feed back, it wasn’t just general suggestions. It was feedback specific for me. She gave me ideas and suggestions while keeping in mind my style and my dance strengths.


What learning challenges emerged?

All previous choreography that I have done was, at most, a 10 sec choreographed dance or a 30 sec dance made up on the spot, so a learning challenge for me was expanding my style and skill set in order to fill a 3 minute song with different steps.


What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

A factor that limits our ability to effectively communicate is the time limit to which we must comply to. It is hard to accomplish a lot during this time and therefore makes it difficult to progress a lot with Ms. Lindsay’s help.

There we go! Can’t wait to finish my dance!


Did a nation define its culture or a culture define its nation?

Hello everyone!! So, I realize that my picture may be a little self-explanatory but I must say I’m technologically challenged and this is the best I can do.

Which defined what

My question is: Did a nation define its culture or a culture define its nation? In class we’ve been talking about how different nations have different cultures. What I’m basically asking is, did a group of people establish themselves to be a nation and then sit down and talk about how they were going to act and what traditions they were going to follow? Or did a group of people establish a way of life, similar traditions and actions before banding together to be one nation? Did they possibly happen simultaneously?

I chose a picture of a chicken and an egg because I hoped to relate it to the age old question: What came first? By labeling the pictures “The Nation” and “The Culture”, I showed that I was not asking did the chicken come before the egg or vice versa. However, with the previous knowledge of the question “Which came first?”, I wanted to show that this was a similar question but hopefully one with a concrete answer.

Indepth #2

One month in and we are all well on our way (hopefully). I’ve had quite a few practice times with my mentor Ms. Lindsay Mckay. It was great to start talking with her about  choreographing a solo, choreographing in general, and her experiences with choreographing.

Ms. Lindsay has been choreographing since she was about 15. She started off by choreographing her own solos, which she performed in competitions. She felt that this gave her a new appreciation and respect for all her teachers after seeing the amount of work it took. It also caused her passion and love of dance to grow. When she was 19, Ms. Lindsay started dancing professionally. Though she didn’t choreograph her own pieces, she tried to retain a lot of techniques and styles she saw when working with the choreographers and teachers. When she was 22, Ms. Lindsay returned to Encore and started teaching solos/duos/trios and intro groups. Intro groups were a whole new way of choreographing as she had to keep the choreography simple yet entertaining, and she had to “dig deep into [her] creative side.”

As I said in my last post, I am asking all my teachers for some “Tips and Tricks” to choreographing, but as Ms. Kelsey said to me, “Everyone choreographs differently.” Still, my list has grown.  Hopefully I don’t repeat any but hey, if it’s repeated, it’s valuable!

– Use the whole stage

– Have a gimmick that that catches people’s attention

– Use a dancer’s strength but don’t make it obvious (add jumps to a turner’s solo)

– Levels!!

– Have movements match the song’s sound

– Listen to the music a lot

– WHEN STUCK: choreograph a bunch of different things and pick one

–  Map out your route around the stage to help with travelling

This last one I did:

I don’t know how up to date that is. Maybe I’ll do another next post.


So far I have learned a lot about how sometimes you want to act out a story to get the best choreography. Also, you might just need to film an improvisation, look it over and piece the solo together from what you do naturally. Sometimes parts of the song will speak to you and choreography will be easy to come by. Other times, the song is stubborn and un-inspirational and just plain difficult to work with. At this point, improvising is probably the best way to fix it, at least until you figure out something to do.

Look, a wild link has appeared (because I still can’t do hyperlinks properly):

This links to a video of my incomplete, I repeat INCOMPLETE, dance. The chorus has yet to be done as well as some connections so please excuse the random time-filling hops and fiddles.

I’d LOVE some feedback on how it’s looking, and, if a dancer reads this, maybe some ideas on what this chorus could contain.

Well,  later everyone! I hope everyone’s projects are coming along nicely!

Indepth Project – Choreography

Yay! In-depth has started! I honestly can’t wait. So, for my project, I am going to choreograph a dance to the song Change my Life by Ashes Remain. I chose choreography because even though I dance for 14 hours a week, when ever it comes to improvisation, free-styling and making combinations, I can’t put a series of movements together and end up repeating variations of 8 counts of movement. I hope that this project will help to add confidence to my dances that are choreographed as well as assist me in my exams and classes that require that improvisation skill.

A lot of the work that I’ll do on my dance will be done at my studio, with the exception of some practices at my house. I’ve already started to think of some choreo for the dance as well as talk to my teachers. Oh yes, mentors. My mentors will be my dance teachers: Liz Tookey, Meredith Kalaman, and Lindsay Mackay. I hope to also talk to the other teachers at the studio, however I will not be able to talk to them as often as I need to and might not be able to talk to them at all.

On Monday, I asked two of my teachers for there tips and tricks to choreography. This is the list that I have so far:

– Find steps that match the dancer’s style

– Look for hidden sparks of interest in style and steps and work with them

– The storyline doesn’t have to show in the dance

– The storyline doesn’t need to make sense

– Try to establish a storyline

– Don’t always choreograph from beginning to end

– The idea can change as you go

– Don’t be stubborn with the steps

– Feel the music


Yeah, so I’m very excited for in-depth. Who knows? If this project turns out as well as I hope, maybe I can choreograph my solo and compete it in a competition in a year or so. I hope to start hard-core choreographing in February and be at a nit-picking stage by April. That’s all for now. Good luck on everyone’s projects. I can’t wait to see them in May!


So eminent is done! On to the next pile of homework….. yay….. Any-who, here is every single website I used for the project: This link saved my life. It was awesome. Written by her grand-daughter, it has so much information on Harriet’s childhood, her school life, the Stratemeyer Syndicate and a lot more. This was my primary source of information.

- This book was very good for getting information on the Stratemeyer Syndicate and on Harriet’s home life. It was also a good source for expanding on basic information. This website was very good at explaining the Stratemeyer Syndicate. It didn’t have much information on Harriet specifically. It had great information on her job though and its origins. This website was one of the first websites I used. It has very little information on Harriet but for starting information, if was very informative for starting facts. I used this a lot to find more specific facts and narrow my search ranges. This website was nice to have as it told me which books were written by the Syndicate as well as when they were written and the pen names they were written under.

So that’s it, not many websites. But still, the websites I have were very good and I feel I got a lot of reliable information. So yay!

Night of the Notables

Yay! How fun! Night of the notables was amazing. Watching the speeches was an awesome experience. I feel that I met my goals for the night and for the project. Though the project didn’t inspire any new stories for me, it definitely inspired me to keep writing, and to write more. I feel like that will be how I will be spending all of Christmas break. Also everyone that I talked to at my center came away knowing that Harriet Adams wrote the Nancy Drew series and not Mildred Benson, which I like to think of as a good accomplishment. With future projects like this, I plan on not waiting as long to finish the project as well as planning out what to say when talking to people.

I think the things I will remember most about that night is walking around filming and seeing all the different learning centers. I will also remember how much my feet hurt after wearing heels all day… not going to do that again.. yeah that was a bad idea… I’ll also remember the panic Max sent me into with the spotlight. Right along side that, I’ll remember how awesome the speeches were. They were absolutely amazing. I really hope that next year us grade nines will compare.

I just want to commend all the committees on their great work. Everyone did a great job! Layout worked really well and yummy, yummy food. Alison, you did an amazing job as project coordinator. Really, everyone did an amazing job and I think if one person hadn’t, Wednesday would not have been so successful.

Well that’s all from me for now. It’s late, I’m tired and I’m heading off to bed. Bye bye!

I’m officially an interviewer!

I’ve finally completed a real interviewer! Yay! I interviewed my old English teacher, Ms. Holland, from elementary school. She remembered me! Now she didn’t know anything specifically on Harriet, but she helped me get an insight into the world of publishing and writing. I learned that, as a children’s writer, she got a lot of inspiration from her childhood. This reminded wanted to have Nancy’s life when she was child, and it was as if she was inspired by her childhood fantasies.

Ms. Holland told me that you  need to research your market VERY WELL if you want to get published. Harriet and her father clearly had as she had a company that published all the Syndicate’s books. Also, the Syndicate had a trend with mystery novels which seemed to be selling very well.

Another thing Ms. Holland talked about was the amount of editing that went into getting a book ready for publishing. I can only imagine how many times Harriet would edit a story then give it back for them to fix over and over with every single book in the Syndicate’s making. She must have spent most of her time editing. I bet she got real good, real fast, at editing. Editing was also her first job ever that she did for the Syndicate.

Ms. Holland said that something that helped writers a lot were writing groups. They are very inspiring and are thorough if you have the people within the group edit you work. I wonder if Harriet was part of a writing  group. Probably not because then there would be people editing her ghostwriters work, a job that was hers, and would know the stories before they were published and who it was writing them. If anything, Harriet would have had a writing group within the Syndicate. (There’s a learning center idea…… Hehe)

Ms. Holland was very helpful in helping me see into the technical world of writing. I hope to keep those tips in mind as I work towards completing my IEP goal of finishing my book. I wish I had time to read a book written by Harriet before Night of the Notables to give me some help on seeing different writing tips in her stories. Another thing I’d like to know is what happens after companies say “Yes, we will publish you.”  I hope to use the information I learned within my learning center as I turn my little section of the school into the Stratemeyer Syndicate story brain storming meeting (whether that exists or not is unknown but it works for what I am doing). So yay! Hope to see a bunch of people there.

I have to go work… stupid procrastination…..

Au revoir!

Document of Learning

Two days ago, I was stressing out. I mean, I had a little more than twelve days to set up an interview, figure out how to capture the voices on camera with no mics (probably won’t happen), plan my learning center, figure out the RSVPS and write a speech that I hadn’t started. I believe this is called result of procrastination. However, I am no longer freaking out. I actually finished a rough draft of my speech (yay) and I have an interview scheduled for later today. From my research, I have learned quite a bit about writing. I’ve learned that sometimes big expanded moments are just nuisances and can easily be replaced with a single sentence. Hopefully this will help my complete my goal in finishing my book. If only I had my own team of ghost writers. It would make everything so much simpler. The research has definitely opened up new perspectives for writing as well as new influences for my stories maybe. I also loved writing as Edna, Harriet’s sister. It was really fun and not nearly as hard as I thought. Sadly, I still have no clue what I am going to do for my learning center. I believe I will have one of Harriet’s books on my table but that’s about as far as my planning’s gone.  Sadly, I still have no clue what I am going to do for my learning center. I believe I will have one of Harriet’s books on my table but that’s about as far as my planning’s gone. I want people to come away knowing that Carolyn Keene was not Ms. Benson and was in fact Harriet Stratemeyer. I also want people to know how much influence Harriet had and that certain words and stories can have so much meaning and power behind them that the outcome can be unbelievable.

Eminent Library Experience

Hello everyone! I had so much fun at the library! How about everyone else? The book store was crazy. I was pretty sure I was going to walk into something. I got some really good photos, especially of the library. So as I said in the comments of my last post, I am going to include connections between my word and Harriet Adams.

Oops, think I walked into Joanna at this point…
Look what I found!
I found you… hehe…
Pretty leaves!
“I like big books and I cannot lie”
You’re surrounded….


Oh look, there are my feet…
I want to be a spy!
Music scores at the library! Can we have this in Coquitlam? Please?
I loved these books as a kid. I think my sister and I had bowls and mugs with these characters on them at one point…..
I wonder what’s behind the door? The door itself looks like a safe.

IMG_0132 IMG_0133 IMG_0134 IMG_0135 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0142 IMG_0131 IMG_0130 IMG_0129 IMG_0128 IMG_0127 IMG_0194  I hope that as I look into Harriet Adams and her life, I will see a different side of being a female detective writer and that it will “open” up new paradigms for me as I write. I hope it may also open up different ways of seeing stories and plots as well as help me to learn more about writing as I speak of a writer’s life through her sister’s point of view.



If Joanna had sent me her photos, I could have all the matching photos and this wouldn’t look so weird…. Go to to see if she has her photos up that match.
Officially one of the best book stores I’ve ever seen!


The book stacks looked unstable… It was a little un-nerving….

Well  that is how my word connects to my person. Yeah… I don’t know. I’m actually really looking forward to writing my speech. I think it will be really fun and an interesting challenge. This will definitely be harder than writing as an unknown observer that had no personal connections. Luckily I have a sister so I can kind of imagine what sisters sound like. It helps that my best friends are twins and are sisters to each other. I get an unbiased viewing of many arguments and conversations without being part of them myself…. Yay!



Taking photos today really got me excited for photography class. I loved trying to get all the different angles, focus points and colour schemes. I really wish I had had a better camera than just the one on my phone because you can’t play with the focus points. I think I officially have something new to save for….









I am a little sad that I could only find one book on Harriet Adams and I don’t even know how much help it will be. Thank goodness for the internet or I’d be in a bit of a predicament for research.

I can only imagine the internet crashing a week or two before Night of the Notables. How many people would be doomed? I sure would be.





This little expedition was really fun. I sure hope that we all can do something like this again. I’m so glad it was a beautiful day. Can you imagine if it had been raining? I’m sure we would all have still had a bunch of fun… we would just also be kind of wet…. Hmmm solitude spot in the rain…..


Time to compile all the rest of my photos…. I really need to learn some formatting for mass picture addition…. Maybe later… Please excuse the explosion and disorganized clumps and enjoy the photos. Bye!


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Eminent Person

It has started! I have no idea whether I should jump up and down and clap my hands or run away and hide in my room for the next month. Hopefully, the latter will not be necessary. Moving on…. I have decided to do Harriet Adams as my Eminent Person.

Harriet Adams  is most known for her work on the Nancy Drew Series which she wrote under the name Caroline Keene. She also wrote some Hardy Boys books under the name Franklin W. Dixon. She was a huge part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. This was a book packager started by her dad, Edward Statemeyer, which she took over when he died in 1930. She had a sister named Edna Squier and she married a man named Russell Vroom Adams with whom she had four kids.

While completing the eminent person project, I hope to find inspiration and ideas for my own books and stories. One of Harriet’s stories or part of her life may spark ideas for me or possibly help me to find what type of genre is my strength and what genre fits me. This will help me to complete my IEP goal of finishing my novel.