Before I start my blog post about Aboriginal and European interactions in Canada from 1815-1914, I need to address some points about my learning in Socials this next term and our discussion in class about influential people pf the classroom. We recently just got our report cards and I was mildly disgusted by the grade I got. After discussing with Mr. J about why I suck at Socials, I thought it would be helpful for me to make a list of goals to get me on my way to that 95%. And yes, that is my ending goal.
As for being told I am influential, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I realize this means I possibly could have more power than I deserve? But I like to think within the class room I could be a good influence. But now that I’ve been told I have influence, I can’t step down or ignore it. I feel like it is my responsibility to use this “power” to make the AM TALONS a more successful group. Because if I influence people, I need to be careful what I do. What if someone looks at me slacking off, on my phone when Mr. J is talking and thinks, oh well Sara can get away with that so why don’t I check my phone as well? I don’t want that happening! I need to step it up!
So I’m taking this shafty report card as a wake-up call, because I still have time to change my ways. And this post right here is my TURNING POINT. No more will I put in enough effort to Fully Meet but not enough to seem generally interested. During class I will raise my hand and let my opinions be heard because I know they are of use to me and my peers. And most importantly, during my blog posts I will go into detail, discussing the “what if’s” or “how come’s”. I will not barely scrape the surface of my potential, just because this post is due, not because I care what I’m writing about. So, to summarize my little rant, in list form:
Goals for This Upcoming Term and Final Grade in Socials:
- Go into depth in my blog posts.
- more thoughtful & detailed
- less shallow
- Volunteer my opinions in group discussions.
- Use my “influential powers” for good
- STAY OFF MY PHONE
- Read the aboriginal book Mr. J will hopefully lend me, that Ms. J lent him.
By keeping all of these points in mind, that 95% is in my reach. And I am going to get it. So now that you all know my goal, I hope you will help me out to reach it! If you see me on my phone in class, yell at me to get off it! And if I have that distant look in my eye when everyone else is in a class discussion, nudge me to pay attention, because odds are I zoned out. With a slight help, I think KNOW I can grasp that 95%.
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my ranting, I promise, from here on down, it will be strictly my Doc. Of Learning.
“Evaluate the impact of interactions between aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815-1914.”
To me, I see this impact as an extremely huge topic. We could talk about the treaties, the alliances, the betrayals, backstabbing, shaping of our culture, twisting of words between the groups of people. But the one that I found most intense, and something I want to know more about because I found it so heart-braking and emotional, was the Aboriginal Residential Schools.
These schools made me feel so sick reading about them. To think humans are capable of doing something so appalling absolutely sickens me. At my young age, I know I don’t have a lot of wisdom, but I guarantee you, I know without a doubt, these schools were wrong, and extremely cruel. If you were to look at a five year old kid, no one could imagine that kid purposefully hurting someone, but in the minds of those who ran the schools, they honestly thought they were doing the right thing. In my mind, the nuns and priests were murderers, yet somehow, they found what they were doing to be right. This topic raised all kinds of questions from me.
- Were the aboriginal children that made it through the residential schools sane, allowed to live with their family after graduating the schools?
- Is this sort of thing (something incredibly wrong, that at the time was acceptable) happening as we think.
- How can we be sure we are doing the right thing at the time of events?
Ever sense we had that discussion in class I can’t shake these questions out of my head. Think of the current events going on in the world right now. Everyone thinks they are doing the right thing when they do it, but in a couple of years will they think it was right? Take these Baltimore Riots for example. The people participating in the riots probably think they are doing the right thing. And personally, I think they are standing up for a good cause. But when people have to be admitted into critical care due to the fires and damage these riots are creating, I start to think they’re passion for the cause is getting in the way of their morals. Now how do I know that I don’t do this exact thing when reacting to situations and making decisions.
When looking back I can think of times I’ve let my “in the moment” thoughts get in the way of my morals and decisions. I’m going to tell you a personal story, but for the sake of friends’ privacy, I’m going to use fake names.
A couple years ago Jane, Kate and I all had a sleepover at Jane’s house. It was planning to be tons of fun, we watched a chick-flick, ordered pizza, and had a great time. Then, at about 10pm, one of our guy friends texted us saying to come hang out behind a local school. Let’s call them John, Fred and Jim. Around then my common sense started flaring up thinking this was a tad sketchy. But I mean, my friends were cool with it so I went along. We walked to the school and hung out with the group of guys. Jane’s mother’s vodka came out of a bag. That’s when I got a bit nervous. I knew not to drink, especially behind a school on a Saturday night, when I had to walk home. Unfortunately, Jane’s common sense was lacking. Fast forward an hour, and we have an extremely drunk girl on our hands, and started to make our way home. When we got to her house, her parents were already asleep, so we got her tucked in her bed, then Kate and I talked about what to do next. Neither of us were experienced with the dangers of extremely drunk people, but she was asleep now, so we decided not to tell her parents, or tell Jane not to drink that much alcohol any more. We had to end up lying to her mom saying we had no idea where her Vodka went. All turned out fine, we didn’t do anything. But next weekend, she went out with some other friends, got drunk and the police ended up being involved. I still wonder if I did the right thing. In the heat of the moment, we thought we were doing the right thing by protecting her. But we assumed she learnt her lesson. If I told her mother, maybe she would have been spared an even worse consequence.
What can I learn from this experience? Well, in the moment, I thought I was doing the right thing, I knew it wasn’t honest of me, which was morally wrong. But I thought that the pros outweighed the cons, and in the end, it would be would worth it. Unfortunately, with more wisdom and time from the situation, I learned I should’ve dealt with the situation differently. This is what worries me.
Think back to the Aboriginal Residential Schools, and those in charge of them. They thought they were doing the right thing at the time. I’m sure they knew it was morally wrong, but they probably, like me, thought the pros would outweigh the cons in the end. I hate thinking this way because to me, it makes me remember the monsters that were in charge of these schools, weren’t some other species of horrific monsters, just human… like me. Does this mean I am capable of doing something as sick as this? I know the difference between right and wrong, but that doesn’t mean there are gray lines between the two.
It is a lot easier to deal with this harsh history when I think of those in the past as inhumane horrible monsters. When I think of them as human, it’s when I start to feel the dread, and helplessness. These people were just that. People. They made terrible, horrific mistakes that cost the lives and mental states of so many children.
So now, how do we move on as a society, with this past looming over us? Honestly, I don’t know.
That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? When I sat down to write this post out, I wasn’t sure what my point would be. But the conclusion I can draw based on these paragraphs is this question:
How do we move forward?