Thursday, 25 May 2017

Chemical Valley

Chemical Valley

Throughout this video, many issues were raised around the fields of the chemical valley, located in Sarnia, Ontario. More specifically pollution from the petrochemical industry. Some forms of pollution included, “gasoline, plastic, pesticides, fertilizers, cosmetics, and more chemicals.” This pollution was formed mainly off of refining and producing petroleum and natural gases. Due to the 60 petrochemical plants running 24/7 in the chemical valley, it is no wonder Sarnia has earned the reputation for the worst air in Canada. Due to the pollution, a few health concerns have been raised for the first nations people of Aamjiwnaang. Kids are currently suffering from hydrogen sulphide exposure. To put this into perspective, the British used hydrogen sulphide in World War I.

In order to combat this issue, I would reduce the amount of petrochemical plants. Along with reducing the gross number, I would also place a restriction on how long these plants are able to run. For example, instead of running 24/7, I would put a curfew, which would include only running the plants throughout the day.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Caribou Presentation:Geography

Caribou Presentation:

This morning, a very accomplished guest speaker by the name of Carolyn Callaghan, was welcomed into the grade nine geography class. Carolyn specialized in wolf ecology, while completing her Ph.D. She is currently a senior conservation biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Although Carolyn studied wolf ecology, she was brought in to explain the endangerment of caribou. This was strictly because her current research has more of a focus on caribou.

Throughout Carolyn’s presentation, you could really sense her passion for the caribou species. While Carolyn was briefing us on her presentation, I was able to understand the situation on caribou. To expand, she mentioned the slow reproduction rate. Caribou are unable to deliver twins under any circumstance, and caribou take longer to have babies. Because of this, caribou are already at a disadvantage in comparison to their prey. Climate change has also taken a toll on caribou, because their habitat is being destroyed. Caribou calves are also very vulnerable to other prey. Because of all these reasons, the caribou population is struggling, and considered “endangered.”

It is very disappointing that nobody has taken effective action thus far. In order to fix this, Carolyn has challenged us to write a letter to the minister of Environment Canada (Catherine McKenna,) in order to share our concern for the caribou species. This could be a great segway for adults to consider the voices of adolescents.

In order to aid with this issue, I would like to ask a few questions on behalf of our society. Firstly, I am still wondering why sacrificing one species(wolves) for another (caribou) is going to benefit the food chain in the long run? I would also like to know what the average Canadian can do to help solve this issue? (besides writing a letter.) Finally, how can we help change the worlds outlook on climate change?

Overall, I thought Carolyn’s presentation gave me a new outlook on the severity of caribou endangerment. Before this, I had very little knowledge on this ongoing matter. With all the research being done, I am hopeful the caribou population will find a way to survive. While awaiting a solution, I hope our generation can play a role in maintaining the caribou species!

Thank you very much,

-Sahil Arora

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Geography: My Journey Reflection Questions

My Journey Reflection Questions

1.) Throughout this project, I was really able to deepen my understanding on the past generations of my family. Although this was a brand new assignment, I had already conducted a project similar to this one in previous years. Throughout my previous assignment, I had a greater focus on the side of my father, as I had an overload of information from my father. For this reason, I was able to gain a new outlook on my mother’s side of the family, because I had focused my attention on her side of the family for this project. I was unaware of how many different cities and countries my mother had to live in.

I really could not imagine having to restart new friendships and lifestyles over and over again. Along with the focus on my father’s side of the family, I also didn’t use any spatial technology in my first variation of this project. For this reason, I was also able to develop my technological mapping skills. Although some of the lines didn’t end up perfect at the start, I was ultimately able to figure out a way to plot my lines in a proper manner. As stated before, I had already gained an understanding on my father’s side of the family, but I was still able to expand on my previous knowledge. I was able to do this because I went into greater detail in this assignment. I was actually able to understand the reasons for movement, and I was also able to actually see how old my father was during the different movements.

2.)There are many reasons why an individual/family would want to settle in Canada. For the purpose of this assignment I will be listing three.

If you are a refugee, you are trying to escape potential wars and personal harm. Canada would provide just that. Many newcomers are looking for a place with very low crime rates. A reliable source in the “OECD Better Life Index” ranked Canada’s crime rate as low as 9.7/10. Along with having a safe country, Canada also has a very strong and stable economy. This means there are many opportunities for individuals looking to sustain themselves. Finally, Canada accepts over 250,000 new permanent residents each year. Due to this, Canada’s government invests millions of dollars every year to help these newcomers settle into their new environments, hence the fact many newcomers settle in Canada.

3.)There are definitely reasons why an individual/family would want to move to Canada, but there are also many obstacles. One of the biggest obstacles would be language. Some newcomers aren’t familiar with our official language (English.) Although this could be very inconvenient, many newcomers often move with another individual who is able to get the gist of what people are saying. If this is the case, the aiding individual could always play a key role in eliminating some of this issue. Many individuals also try and cope with this by trying to learn little bits and pieces of this language over time. Many newcomers will often take up training which could also aid with this issue. Without language it’s also very hard to find work. Although Canada has a very strong and stable economy, many people would also have trouble finding positions in the workforce if they don’t have the proper language/communication skills. Again, they could develop their linguistic skills, as it would benefit them greatly in the long run.

This also plays a key role in sustaining your family. Many of these newcomers could also feel isolated due to the emotions in leaving your friends and family. If Canada is taking in over 250,000 newcomers each year, chances are you would be able to find a group/community of friends to socialize with. Hence, all these reasons are taken into account during the immigration process.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Geography Day 1!(Debrief of the day)

       Today was our first class of the term. During this class, we conducted a mini workshop in groups of three, which had us find populations of numerous countries. Along with the populations, we were instructed to draw a map of Canada to the best of our ability, and mark down certain cities on our map. Finally, we were instructed to find the population of Canada in 1957,1977, and 1997. I really enjoyed this session because it showed my personal abilities in Geography, and what I may have to work on in the future. I feel like this course will be a very beneficial one in the long run!

Monday, 5 December 2016

My Academic Journey Through a Course Like no Other

My Academic Journey Through a Course Like no Other:

Throughout this term, I, Sahil Arora was a student at Cedar Ridge High School, who participated in a unique course called, the 21st Century Literacy course. This course was able to further develop my literacy skills through the incorporation of two courses, in English and Business Technology. Throughout this course which operated for 13 weeks, I have gained a deeper understanding on many skills, and have used many skills such as, oral communication, reading, writing, media studies, and the use of desktop/design software. Through the incorporation of all these skills, I have been able to produce and publish several pieces of work, which you can see by clicking here anytime.

This course really stuck with me, and I personally believe that I was able to thrive under pressure, in order to complete my tasks on time. I also strongly believe that my high-tempoed, disciplined, and organized mindset, really played a key role in transforming my work into the best quality of my ability. Many of my previous educators have told me I was a dominate writer and oral communicator, but one thing I personally believed I was lacking, was the ability to read for recreation.Throughout this course, I have been able to practice my reading skills with all three of the books we conducted in, Flowers for Algernon, All American Boys, and King Lear. All of these have aided me within the area of reading, as I now have a different perspective on books. I can officially say I have developed my former reading habits, as I am open to reading a book pretty frequently.

Every week, we (students) would receive a weekly task list which contained all of our tasks which we would have to complete for the week. Along with the weekly task list, we were given a specific theme to focus on while conducting our work. Over the course of the 13 weeks which this course operated for, we were given the following themes to focus on; Getting on the Same Page, Leadership, Technology/Poetry, Project Management, Individualization, Curiosity, Organization, Design, Respect, Perspective/Point of View, Adaptation, Responsibility, Self Regulation, and Initiative. These themes really helped me, because I then knew what themes to focus my attention on while producing work. I also feel like this was a great tool to help improve upon themes which I might not have had much experience on, or was lacking. I was often told to separate from one group of friends in particular, which I was spending way too much time working with, because our work was ending up almost identical. On week five, I really feel like I kickstarted my road to working on the theme of individualization, as I tried to separate into different environments, which ultimately led to finding my unique voice for future weeks. One theme which I found I used more often than not was Technology. I feel like this theme was very important, because I found myself using technology in everything, from presentations to writing a post for my blog. Finally, I found myself working on different aspects of the theme perspective/point of view. Whether it was the book All American Boys or just the presidential election, I often found myself making my own conclusions, because we often see a point portrayed in a controversial way. This ultimately allowed me to use my critical thinking skills, and come up with a conclusion which I felt best matched my current understanding.

One of the units which I conducted was a comparison between the book “Flowers for Algernon” and the film “Charly.” This book/film was a very heartwarming story, which featured a 32-year-old man named Charlie, who was born with a mental disability, which ultimately limited his ability to process and retain information. Charlie undergoes an operation which restores his ability to retain and process information, but this ability soon recedes after he conducts reports on the experimental operation itself. Throughout this unit, we split up into reading groups in order to discuss different events which occurred in the book Flowers for Algernon. From here we gained a deeper understanding on events which occurred in the book. After concluding the book, we watched a film called “Charly” which gave a brief understanding on the book which we read in Flowers for Algernon. Once the film concluded, I conducted a detailed comparison between the film and the book which you can see here anytime. This unit really corresponds with the theme of perspective/point of view, because many people concluded with different perspectives on the book, and it was great to see all of the different perspectives from members in the group discussions. It is also great to see how your perspective/intake on the book can be different than mine even though we underwent the same unit. This unit also helped me with my area of need in reading.

Another unit which was involved inside of many other units was “Presentation skills.” Some key factors in an effective presentation are, limited text, substantial amount of quality images, projecting voice, attentive body language, and limited speech off of a script. Some key assignments which presentation skills came into handy was; The Gord Downie poem analysis, Ethics presentation Business summative presentation, Weekly slideshow, and an optional King Lear Scene Study. I think this unit best corresponds with the themes of Technology and Individualization. All aspects of the Audio Visual presentation require technological skills, such as making the actual powerpoint itself and inputting the text into the powerpoint. This also ties in with the theme of individualization, as your presentation should really be unique to you, as you want your creativity to show while you are presenting.

I am extremely grateful for my time in the 21st Century Literacy Course and I hope I can do it again in the future. I praise all of the skills which I was able to retain from this course, and I was happy that I was able to develop my weakness in reading. I am also grateful for all of the new things I was introduced to such as the critical thinking chart. At the beginning of the term, I am almost certain that my critical thinking skills were hitting the Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, and Analysis stages, but now I truly believe that I have been able to hit many aspects of the Synthesis and Evaluation categories. Although I have not been able to officially master the Synthesis and Evaluation categories, I am certain that I will continue to further develop my skills in these categories.

1.)"Flowers For Algernon - Google Search". N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.
2.)"Flowers For Algernon". emaze presentations. N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

3.)"CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS CHART - EFL Magazine". EFL Magazine. N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Algernon’s Point of view

Journal entry one:
my name is Algernon, I am a little white mouse who has never fit in with the others. The only thing keeping me going is my courageous attitude. All of the others think they are better than me because of their abilities to maintain knowledge, and their general intelligence level. This hasn’t stopped me though, because I have always dreamt of going to Beekman University, and I won’t stop until this goal has been completed. Everyday I imagine myself showing the other mice my ability to complete the toughest mazes in the world, and then just imagine their reactions! My intelligence will rise, and so will I!
Journal entry two:
Today I met three men by the name of, “Dr.Strauss,” “Professor Nemur,”and “Burt. “I met them because one of my other friends recommended me for some kind of operation, which can apparently increase my intelligence. I didn’t even know this was possible, but all three of them seem nice, and I am really considering undergoing this operation. They told me I would be the first living creature to have ever undergone this kind of operation. At first I was a little scared knowing I would potentially be the first creature they tested this operation out on, because if something went wrong I would never be the same, and they haven’t guaranteed this will work, but then I realized I have nothing to lose.

Journal entry three:
I've made a critical decision, which I think will pay off in the long run if it works. I have officially agreed to partake in the operation. Strauss, Nemur, and Burt reminded me of the potential side effects, including not working at all, but I am highly motivated to succeed and I know it will pay off. Well the operation just finished, and i’m feeling highly motivated to learn and compete, as I want to showcase my new skills.
Journal entry four:
Today the doctor’s took me up to the 4th floor of Beekman University, because the laboratory is there. I also met a strange man named Charlie, and from what I heard he is also on a quest to gain more intelligence, and prove to his friends that he can keep up. I wanted to show Charlie how smart I was, as I gained three times the amount of intelligence I had previously. To demonstrate this, Burt put me inside of a maze and started to time how fast I could complete the maze. My strategy is simple, I go in a direction until I am unable to continue, and once I hit a dead end I reset and proceed to go in the other direction until I am able complete. Not to be cocky or anything but I do finish pretty quickly. Charlie was very keen on racing me, and frankly I wanted to prove to the doctors that I could beat an actual human in a race, so Burt set up my maze differently in order to make it identical to some sort of writing maze, which Charlie had to complete. The race began and boy was I ever excited, I ran through the start and moved quickly through the maze. I couldn’t really tell whether or not I won, but judging by Burt’s reaction it was pretty evident I won. With some clarification I was able to pull off the victory, but Charlie wanted a rematch. Well we didn’t only have a rematch, we competed 10 more times, and I was able to pull off the victory in all 10. I hope we can do this more often to prove to everyone that I am indeed intelligent.
Journal entry five:
Well today I was brought back to the laboratory because the doctors wanted Charlie to race me again. They gave us a series of races to see who would finish first, and I am very excited to say I pulled off the victory in all of them. I am starting to think Charlie has grown to be angered with me, because I keep beating him in these races. Well I hate to say it but Charlie actually beat me in a race. I got a little bit of redemption as I beat him the second time, but then he beat me eight more times continuously. I didn’t know whether I was angered, surprised, or happy, because I don’t want to get beaten, and I know I can beat him, as I beat him numerous times in the previous session, but at the same time i’m happy, because I learnt he also decided to pursue the operation, and he is finally gaining intelligence to understand his friends.
Journal entry six:
Well yesterday was interesting and today was even more. I was able to experience my first plane ride yesterday, and today I get to experience an event in Chicago, in which I will be one of the main attractions. Well I didn’t think I would get this irritated but the smoke, the buzzing, and unaccustomed surroundings were making me nervous, and to make matters worse, I was trapped in a cage. Well finally it was my turn to showcase my skills, as the doctors put me through a test where I would have to show my steps in order to get my meal. Well I was really eager on getting out of the cage, and Charlie helped me out. I’m not quite sure why he helped me, but none the less I bolted out of that cage, and scampered across the long table and then onto the platform, and then onto the ground. Dr. Nemur then noticed me, and screamed at people to catch me. They all tried to corner me but I managed to escape and make my way to some kind of ladies washroom. I then heard them scream, and tell people I was in there, but luckily Charlie came in and put me into his pocket. He then put me into his pocket and told me to be quiet. I’m not sure where we were going, but all I know is that we left Chicago on a plane, in which I was forced to spend in a shoebox.

Journal entry seven:
     Well Charlie and I have moved into an apartment in New York. I’m not exactly sure of the whereabouts, because Charlie kept me in his jacket pocket on the way here. Charlie has also been generous, as of late, because he let’s me eat, even when I haven’t completed a tough challenge, unlike the doctors. Well Charlie built me a three-dimensional maze, which I am proud to say I can easily complete, even when he increases the level of difficulty. I am just wondering why he doesn’t give me a reward for completing them, but none the less I have joy just solving them. I’m not sure why, but I get very angered during some of the tests, and I even throw myself against the wall. I’m not quite certain what is causing this anger, but I know I am fully capable of completing the mazes very rapidly. Charlie also met a new friend, she’s a girl and I’m pretty sure she lives in this building but I’m not sure. She’s very nice, today she brought another mouse who is a girl named Minnie, and so far she’s fine. I don’t know what is happening to me but I seem to be getting more violent everyday, because I bit Charlie’s friends thumb, and I bit Minnie, while she was in the reward box. I really want to learn why I’m getting violent but I think I might know why.
Journal entry eight:
Today Charlie and I went back to the laboratory to conduct some tests in mazes I have done in the past. I was having a lot of difficulty in one of the multiple problem boxes, and it looked like Burt was becoming disappointed, as I was able to complete these before. Even I didn’t know why I was having so much difficulty with this, and I just hope it’s because of my time away from the laboratory.

Journal entry nine:
Today Charlie conducted some more tests on me, and at times I was able to complete them, but other times I had lots of trouble, specifically when I met a dead end, I would act violently and throw myself against the wall. Now days I don’t even feel like doing anything. It’s almost like my intelligence is going down, or maybe something more, which I am currently unaware about.
Journal entry 10:


Keyes, Daniel. Flowers For Algernon. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. Print.(Keyes 6,7,8,18,19,31,156,157,162,163,164,165,172,179,188,189,214,216,239,258)