Wednesday, 7 December 2016

My English Summative

A Pleasant Surprise
By Conor Gillis

For as long as I can remember, I have despised the subject of english. I justified my affliction for the course by blaming all of my difficulties upon it. As a young student, reading and writing was not appealing, nor did it come naturally. English took the role of an antagonist in my school life, where the science and math courses were a protagonist. I describe myself as a realist, who enjoys solving problems with finite solutions. English seemed to have completely adverse attributes compared to the maths and science subjects that I was so fond of. My early opinions were formed in my elementary days and seemed to repel me from the subject for my entire school career. High school english proved the most repulsive of them all. Every assignment was unclear, the learning approaches and the books we read felt dull. Every year seemed to be completely derived from the previous year.

The thought that I was going to receive any satisfaction from grade 12 english did not cross my mind during the anticipation of my upcoming move to Ottawa. I assumed that the courses and teachers would be unmistakably identical and that it was once again, going to be the most dreaded part of my day. I’m sure having a closed minded attitude towards the course prevented me from enjoying it to its fullest potential. However,  I felt that if I had disliked it for the past eleven years, I was most likely going to keep the same attitude for the 12th year.

I started my grade 12 year at a high school called Glebe. On the surface, it was a carbon copy of the high school that I had previously attended in Winnipeg. There was more than 1400 kids, the school was more than 100 years old, the classes were overcrowded and the teachers gave little to no personal assistance. From my first day at the school, I could tell I was going to be miserable there. Stress quickly kicked in after that realization and I became overwhelmed. My goal for a number of years has been to be accepted into an Irish medical program in 2017, straight out of high school.  In order for me to achieve that, I must obtain very high grades and participate in a lot of extra curricular activities. Being in a school like Glebe, I felt like just another face. I was getting lost in the material and my confidence in my own capabilities was lowered as a result. I knew after three days that Glebe was not the school for me or my ambitions. Once I became conscious of that, I was faced with an ultimatum; either enroll into a private school in Ottawa or move back to Winnipeg and finish the year at the school that I had previously attended.
After a quick Friday morning “google” search, my mother had concluded that Cedar Ridge High School was the only feasible option for me. It was a half an hour drive from our house and it had about eighteen students so it was basically a polar opposite to the school I had spent my previous three years of attending. I ignored all of the surface problems like social limitations that I had been informed of prior to my visit and went to look at the school that Friday afternoon. We arrived and were immediately greeted by the principal. She’s a wonderful woman named Michelle and she proceeded to give me a completely honest overview of the school and all that it had to offer. I was given all the good and not so positive qualities of the School and Michelle answered any and all questions I had. She then took me to meet the class and in that moment, the school really became appealing to me. I walked into the small classroom and I felt that I was in a state of shock. Everyone was pretty much silent until I was introduced to the head english educator, Shauna Pollock. Now her first words to me were ones that will probably stick with me for my entire life because they were so unexpected. As she approached, I assumed she was going to talk to me about her teaching approach and how she analyzes pieces of literature. No, she took one  look at me and said to the one other male grade 12 student, Mat, “looks like you have some competition for prom king.” I knew right there and then that I was going to get along with this teacher. I decided soon thereafter that I was going to give Cedar Ridge a try.

My first day at the school was probably the most obscure one imaginable. I arrived at the school, having never spent a full day there before and was immediately prompted to board a bus. That bus was heading to a summer camp called Red Pine that we were to live at for the following three days. I had no idea what to expect but I was thankful that everyone was very welcoming and nice. Upon arriving at Red Pine, I started to get a little more comfortable. We proceeded to participate in a variety of leadership and communication games throughout our stay. The activities forced me out of my comfort zone and got me very comfortable with my fellow classmates. Since I am one the oldest students that attends Cedar Ridge, I found myself in a leadership position several times during our team games. My objective was to not only give everyone the chance to share their own ideas, but to also encourage every member of the group to listen and have effective communication using clear and concise feedback that would prove to be constructive. I have a lot of experience with leadership from the team sports I have played throughout my life but 21st Century Literacy really refined my skills. I found that in that short three day period, I was much more open to the idea of a variety of ages working together in harmony. Closing the age gap that had been defined to me by traditional high school has allowed me to be a more comfortable and capable leader regardless of the idea that certain people of certain ages must only interact with each other. I still feel that there is room for me to improve when it comes to keeping a group focused on task for a majority of our working time. I feel that the emphasis that Cedar Ridge has on interaction and developing great leaders will assist me to improve on every aspect of leading and managing.

The last thing I expected out of a trip to Red Pine Camp was to improve my writing ability. After our first day at the camp, Shauna instructed us to fill out a small reflection on what we had done during our first day. Mine was written with a quality of work that could only be described as mediocre. My responses seemed as though I filled out them out using a basic template and that format  obviously was not up to par because I was promptly informed by Shuana that my style was not exceeding her expectations. I instantly worked on improving my writing style and craft to better describe my narrating voice. The feedback that I have received in this class has encouraged me to be significantly more articulate when it comes to my vocabulary and sentence formation. This feedback has further  reinforced me to continue developing these skills and encouraged me to develop my voice in my presentations and assignments.

Upon arriving back at Cedar Ridge High School after what can only be described as the most peculiar first week of school at Red Pine Camp, we started analyzing the works of a true artist; Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip. The song that was chosen for our initial exposure to the band was The Hip classic, Wheat Kings. The song told the tragic injustice that was dealt to David Milgaard. He served around twenty years for a crime that he didn’t commit. We then identified several poetic devices in the song like imagery and allusion. We learned the reason behind their implementation and why they were so effective. What then followed was the first glimpse of the immense individuality that 21st Century Literacy encourages in its assignments. We were tasked with choosing a song by Gord Downie and creating a presentation using whatever strategy that appealed to us. I was intrigued by the idea of a self directed project because I had never been given the chance at individuality in public school and was eager to attempt it.

I began to listen to multiple Tragically Hip songs until I found one with an appealing sound and a compelling meaning. After a couple days, I decided on Fiddler’s Green. It told the story of Gord Downie’s nephew who died from a heart ailment. I found the meaning of this song so emotionally compelling because loss is a hard topic to write about and the difficulty is endlessly amplified when you have to showcase those emotions in front of hundreds of thousands of people. The process of analyzing each section made me feel monumental empathy for Downie’s loss, but it gave me the chance to see the optimism in his heart and the love that he had for his nephew.

However, I feel that my individuality from my song choice didn't exactly carry over to my presentation method. I chose a somewhat standard slideshow but I feel that my analysis of the song and its massive variety of poetic devices made up for any shortcomings in my creativeness. As is normal, the nerves that arose from public speaking impaired my ability to properly convey the powerful meaning of the song. I decided to attempt different modes of presentations for future assignments. Alternative deliveries set me apart from the crowd, especially in our ethics presentations, because the uniqueness was engaging. With the more presentations we attempted, the progressively more comfortable I have felt. The course has taught me the importance of practice, concise speech and proper distribution of attention around a room. All these skills are great but your presentation must have an engaging and interactive aspect to it as well. I now spend a large amount of time when planning my projects and presentations thinking of new ways to differentiate myself from the crowd. This allows the audience to  take more satisfaction from my delivery and have my points prominently resonate with them. That is a skill that I am incredibly grateful to have obtained in my time here.

We quickly switched our focus from Gord to Gordon. By Gordon, I’m referring to Charlie Gordon; the main character of the novel, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I was a bit biased upon the initial study of the book because I had read and studied it previously in grade 10. My preconceived notions that the novel was too long and uneventful were quickly abolished by the innovative approach that we took to studying the content of the story. We solidified our understanding of textual ideas by actually forming groups and discussing the book after reading increments of it. I cannot stress the importance of the group discussions. They provided me with an extremely enjoyable strategy to fully understand the entire story and the complex messages in the text. I had never previously realized the importance of Plato’s Allegory of The Cave until we analysed it and every reference to it in our discussions. In addition, we also studied the film interpretation titled Charly.  We were given the opportunity to watch the movie and analyse the similarities/differences between it and the novel. We got to see if and how they implemented our favourite aspects and ideas from the novel and the level of depth they took to them as well. I took a lot  from this activity and the experience taught me the importance of reading the book after watching the movie. Many things are often left out due to time constraints in film adaptations and the book tells the true and whole experience and can even effectively give first person perspectives. My level of comprehension of the book was so greatly increased by the approach that we took to the study of its various meanings that I will try to incorporate similar strategies in future activities.

The final assignment for our Flowers For Algernon topic couldn’t have been more fitting. We were tasked to tell a segment of the story from the perspective of another character. I immediately asked myself, what I could do to set myself apart from the crowd and choose a character that totally displays my individuality? I chose a character who played a brief, yet powerful role; Mr. Winslow. He was the head of Warren State Home for the mentally challenged. He grilled Charlie for not being understanding of people with mental disabilities, while being blind to the fact that Charlie was in fact a person that had overcome a disability himself. I took my experience with word processing and formatting from my previous blog announcement letter and made an apology letter from Mr. Winslow to Charlie. I reflected upon the scene where Mr. Winslow vocally showed his frustration with Charlie and displayed those emotions in my written representation of him. I exhibited Mr. Winslow’s full journey from extreme exasperation, to confusion and to eventual atonement. I was curious of the impact that I could make with a character with such a concise rule but the skills that I learned from 21st Century Literacy allowed me to make the sense of him substantially more impactful.

All in all, this was a year of immense development for me as a writer and student. I felt that for the first time ever, I was fully organized. I could feel in control of all my responsibilities, even at the most stressful of times like towards the end of the term where we had several major assignments due. My self regulation skills were heavily used during these times and they assisted me greatly with feeling in control and keeping my tasks organized. After completing the course, I feel that I am fully competent in creating things such as forms, spreadsheets and doing a variety of word processing. Our design sprint activity also has made me feel fully capable in project management and innovation. An approach was even formulated which proved to be extremely effective and something that I will try to remember for my future endeavors. It began with a very important, yet commonly overlooked, step; empathy. We learned that in order to properly identify a problem and solution, you must understand what the affected user is facing. That was a perfect segway into the defining stage of the process. We could then ideate regarding possible solutions to our defined problem without logistical barriers in order to reduce all limitations on our minds. The following steps, prototyping and testing, were left out of the sprint because of lack of resources but I will definitely attempt those steps in my future endeavors. We were in a variety of groups during this activity as well which provided excellent practice for our communication skills. A lot of our conversations were on a slim time limit and that allowed us to understand how to properly pitch an idea while being concise and clear.

21st Century Literacy provides a learning experience like no other. Every school seems to have followed the same format for the past 100 years. As a result, that has created a surplus of young adults entering the work field with already outdated knowledge. 21st Century Literacy, in addition to a learning environment like Cedar Ridge, allows individuality to flourish. They heavily emphasize all types of creativity because all the educators know how invaluable it is in the workplace. There is no such thing as teaching a fish to climb a tree at Cedar Ridge High School like there is in a traditional high school. Everyone’s needs are always catered to individually and the constant personal interaction prevents students from ever getting lost in content. I cannot put enough emphasis on implementing courses like 21st Century Literacy nation wide. Having a course that is applicable in our future life and careers makes it very compelling to learn. While so many schools try to exclusively attempt to teach the past; 21st Century Literacy focuses on the future because that’s the world  we are live in. I am fully convinced that 21st Century Literacy is the most effective course of its kind and I only wish that all educators would teach in the amazing way that Shauna Pollock did this year.   

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Very Informative Design Sprint

A Sprint Towards Saving Canadians

It’s an interesting concept isn’t it? Formulating a solution to a major problem in the world in just a two day period. This task proved to be strenuous and informative. There was a massive variety of topics that included things like helping Canada’s indigenous people have better access to water, getting more less fortunate children into sports programs and creating more theatrical documentaries and educational tv programmes so that those of us in the western world can be more easily informed about what is going on in different countries. My area of focus was directed towards the medical system right here in Canada. Specifically, I tried to develop a method to reduce the wait time that Canadian’s face right here in Canada.

Coming up with the area that I would direct my focus towards was the most simple component of this activity but things soon after increased in difficulty. My my problem was so easily identifiable to me because I had targeted similar areas in prior activities and it is very applicable my future desired career field.

After I had chosen the issue that I would target my focus upon, it was time to make a mind map. This segment of the activity proved to be very helpful since several key pieces of information were discovered during this process. The activity also was my first attempt at the implementation of sketch noting in my work and I found the method immediately helpful for organizing thoughts and information.

Our next step was to empathize with the affected individuals of our issue. We began with looking at real life examples of people who focused on the idea of empathy when innovating things like retirement and dementia/alzheimer homes. We looked  at two very different, but equally effective, methods to make these homes more enjoyable for their residence. One targeted the issue of limited interaction for home residence and fixed the problem by giving college students free housing in exchange for them to talk and volunteer with the older residence of the home. This was a win for both parties and fixed two problems that polar opposite age groups face. The second innovative home we looked into was one meant for residents with dementia or alzheimer’s. The big idea was to design the home so that it looked like a busy cafe street from the 50’s. This made the residence feel like they were in the time that they thought they were in. Both designs truly benefited their consumers. You could tell that the designers really empathized with their targeted audience before they went about defining the problem they would fix.
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We were then tasked with coming up with two extremes of impacted users in order to properly define our problem. We then embodied those users in partner interviews. Each partner would pretend to be each of those users and highlight their wants and needs from the product. This proved to be a fun and informative activity and it really accomplished its purpose; it allowed us to empathize our users so that we could properly define our problem. This step was one I found very necessary and enjoyable. Prior to completing this, I had not considered the several possible problems with our current medical system that were soon uncovered in our mock interviews. Identifying all the problems with the current system and fixing as many of those problems as possible with a new system is a determining factor when it comes to the popularity and success of your idea.

After empathizing with our users, it was time to identify the problem that we would try to fix. We started this step by writing down the essence of our problem and then turned it into a “How might we…” statement. This step was simple, yet very important to the success of our product. I narrowed my focus down to the following, “How might we reduce the wait times that Canadians face when in need of medically necessary treatment.”
Ideating, it’s a enjoyable activity isn’t it? This was the next part of the procedure that proved to be strenuous on all of our thinking capabilities. The silver lining that made this activity possible though was that there were no real logistical limitations put in place.  In other words, we were able to live in a perfect world for ten minutes. I found this part of the activity to be the most useful and applicable part of the entire design sprint. The objective was to conceive eight solutions to our problem, only getting forty seconds to write down each solution. The activity took off without a hitch but by the time we were around solution four, I had no more prior ideas. I was basically thinking on the spot at this point and my ideas were proved to be pretty out of this world. Like Shauna said, “if you can’t think of anything, add a robot”. I ended up choosing my third solution but I further refined it with parts and ideas from some of the other seven. I found this step so beneficial because it fitted our schools ideology so well; the magic happens way beyond your comfort zone. This became very true to me because the more out of this world I thought, the better my eventual solution became. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t improve on the original computers by a slight margin, they created a product that was ten times better than what had existed prior. This step is one I will try to use as much as possible because it is so effective at coming up with great ideas that aren’t immediately obvious.

Now at this point, everyone’s ideas were pretty remarkable but they still had a bit of refining needed. This is a nice segway into our next step which was refinement. We first partnered up with a member of the classroom and then we began a pitch/explanation of our idea, during which the listening partner had to remain silent. Giving only one speaker the ability to speak forced the other partner to actively listen to the explanation which meant the feedback was a lot more relevant. Once each of us were given the chance to speak, we then returned to our handouts wrote a quick summary of the solution idea we heard. Then came the most difficult step of the entire sprint; thinking of ideas for another person. This task was extremely challenging because we had never thought of these ideas prior to completing this and had to come with an idea every forty seconds, four times. I don’t think this step in the process was overly helpful because all my ideas were very derivative of the ones of my partner and it probably was more oriented towards clarifying misunderstandings from the presentation.

Now after completing all these activities, it was time for the final step. We had the opportunity now to ideate. We selected our top most effective solution and elaborated on it in three steps. We described our ideas using a variety of methods which included explanation in words and drawings. The troublesome bit of this activity was that we had to explain our solution in a way that it would be easily understood by any person with limited prior knowledge of the subject. For the most, everyone achieved this task at received excellent feedback from peers in in diverse manner like stickers and colour coordinated sticky notes. Giving students an opportunity to give feedback, while keeping their anonymity, made sure that students commented with a lot of useful and thought provoking depth. When it was time for students to complete the second iteration of, the process was more simple because the weaker points of our ideas were identified by feedback so we were easily able to make our solutions more straightforward
I absolutely love the concept of a design sprint. The whole idea defeats a certain obstacle that every new idea faces, but not every idea overcomes. That is the issue of overthinking the pursuit of a new concept by yourself. A design sprint pushes the participants outside their comfortable pace and accelerates them past self doubt and extensive logistical thinking. I have thought about the problem I defined in my personal sprint for a period of time. The funny thing is, I never but much thought into ways that issues with the Canadian medical system could be fixed. This process pushed me toward optimism. For the first time, I put extensive thought into strategies that were meant for the betterment of our nation’s healthcare rather than just critiquing with no end goal. I think there should be more of these accelerative thinking exercises in school because they walk you through the important process of pursuing an idea once you have thought of it. I am a strong advocate of replicating this activity for all future classes to come regarding a variety of subjects.

Title: Immediate Medical Treatment
Canadians today are facing excruciatingly long wait times regarding medically necessary treatment after the referral from a general practitioner. Quebec has given Canadians a way to bypass the extended wait periods by giving the patients the opportunity to pay for treatment such as MRI’s and x-ray’s.      

We could implement a similar “care express pass” concept in all provinces and territories. At the same time, there should be an abundance of free, non-emergency clinics where patients  in need of minor medical care can go in an effort to clear up the emergency rooms at hospitals for urgent care patients. These two systems working tandemly would accelerate treatment for anyone in need of care and make hospital and clinical visitation more pleasant.

Having the patients pay a partial upfront cost for the operation would allow practices to have more doctors on staff. At the same time, more money could be allocated to the building of free, non-emergency clinics which would make the treatment process more enjoyable for the masses. This would mean more patience would be in & out the door in a timely fashion. More Canadians would be living healthy and comfortably and there would be less travel to other countries for time sensitive operations.



Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Change In Perspective.

Warren State Home

November 23, 1966
Dear Mr. Charlie Gordon,
I am writing this letter to sincerely apologize for my previous unacceptable behaviour during our first encounter.
I had received the news just a few days prior, on July 12th, that a scientist from Beekman University would be coming by for a visit. I was immediately irritated after being informed of this sudden stopover. Scientists look at the residence of Warren as a simple lab with specimens having their only purpose in life to be studied and documented. We at Warren see these people as what they truly are; misunderstood. These are juveniles trapped in the bodies of adults and you only truly comprehend this by spending extended amounts of personal time with them. Our psychologists are a glowing example of this because they give away a part of themselves every time they have sessions with our residents. They will even go to the point of bottle feeding them and holding them in their arms, disregarding the fear of being defecated on.    
When you came into my office on that day, I thought you were a smug heartless professor like the rest. You seemed foreign to the idea of giving a part of yourself to someone else and that made you appear ignorant like most of the people that walk through my door. I could no longer suppress my emotions and I just needed to get all of my anger out, given my perception of your insensitive behaviour. I thought I had to make you understand how these people are mistreated and outcast by society. The fear of you being here, at our home, to scout your next specimen to poke and prod remained in the back of my mind throughout that conversation. I felt the need to do everything in my power to discourage you. I wanted you to go back to that ivory research tower that you think so highly of, where you can just look down on our people and not abuse them.
Then you smiled. That smile seemed to represent all the unjust treatment towards the disabled that I had ever witnessed. My anger for what I thought you were and the scientists that use these people as lab rats could no longer be restrained. My only option was to conclude our meeting out of the fear of doing something that I would regret. You left me that day with an anger that lingered inside of me for a long time. I had eventually forgotten you individually and you just became a symbol of the memory of every other scientist who walked into this home without  an appreciation for these people and the extraordinary beings they are.
Then on November 21st, I realized I was mistaken.
I had heard that we had a new upper I.Q. tidy resident which is an uncommon occurance these days. I think my heart almost stopped when I saw you there in that cottage. The first thought that crossed my mind was that this must be some sort of cruel joke. Does this man really have the audacity to come here and pretend to be a resident? I was ready to walk over and rip you apart for your actions but as I got closer, I noticed something off about you. You lacked the smugness and discomfort that you had previously arrived here with and replaced it with a shallow happy expression and a blank stare. The first thought that crossed my mind was this man must have been in some severe accident. I was in a state of shock and fled to my office.
I questioned myself for the rest of that day about everything I could think of that pertained to you and our previous encounter.
I contacted Beekman, reporters, and your emergency contacts to try and get an idea of why you were here. Your emergency contact, Norma, was little to no help. As soon as I told her your current mental state, she seemed to become uninterested in you and rushed me to end the conversation. The reporters in Chicago seemed to have more questions and less information then I did so that source was very short lived. When I finally put my pride aside and contacted Beekman, I felt astounded. My previous notions about you proved to all be false and I felt like the very people I despised so much.
My ignorance toward you was completely misguided. I thought you didn’t understand the concept of giving a part of yourself because you were cold hearted and disengaged with these people. The reality is, you didn’t have enough emotional capability to understand this concept because you were once, not long ago, like the people that I was trying so hard to protect from you. I see now that your smile was a result of me being ignorant toward you and not vice versa. It was wrong of me to make such a snap judgement about your personality and that is very apparent now.
I know that in all likelihood, you can’t read our understand what I am talking about in this letter but I just want you to know one thing; I was wrong about you and I wholeheartedly apologize for that. I will do everything in my power to make your life here enjoyable by any means possible.
P.S. I also contacted Alice Kinnian and she said that you would appreciate  it if  I left some flowers on Algernon’s grave.

Mr. Winslow


  • Keyes, Daniel. Flowers For Algernon. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1996. Print.

Charlie vs Charly

Charly VS Charlie

-Written in the first person from Charlie’s perspective.  
-The gives much more of a sense of emotional attachment from the novel because you’re with Charlie and his thoughts for the whole journey.  
-Charlie’s memories, especially those from his childhood, provided the readers with more of an emotional investment because you got to see what he came from and how hard his life has been.
-Showed the perspectives of various characters.
-Charly is a much less impactful character in the movie because you only see what he does are rarely how he feels.  
-There’s next to nothing about Charly’s childhood or any member of his family. This makes it so that the audience that has read the book and has gotten to know him feels a lot less empathetic towards the movie Charly.
Plato’s Cave
-The novel was full of references to Plato’s Allegory of The Cave. This helped the novel become so much more intellectually dense.
-There is relatively no references to Plato’s Cave throughout the movie.
-The only mention of Plato that I could pick up on was when Charly briefly alluded to being “thrown into the light” by this surgery.
Romantic Relationships
-Charlie’s romantic relationships were a major plot point in the novel. They helped the reader understand his lack of emotional experience that was a forgotten side effect by the doctors.
-A Relationship with Fay assisted charlie with his intellectual depth. She helped him make his straight lines jagged and interesting. -She was also the first girl he felt comfortable to sleep with, while not having the second charlie interfere too severely.  
- Charly was much more romantically comfortable and ambitious with Alice in the movie. He even goes to the point of making an advance on her, disregarding the fact that she was engaged at the time.   
-Fay wasn’t represented in the movie by a character; she was more of an experience. There was a time where Charly became a motorcyclist and associated himself with a variety of women.
-Charly’s relationship with Alice was also way more prevalent in the movie. There was never a time where they split apart. Alice was a character that stuck with Charly throughout the entire story and didn’t leave him till the end. She even went to the point of asking Charly to marry her when he was mentally degrading.
Multiple Charlie’s
-A huge dilemma that is faced by Charlie. It is a concept that perplexes the reader throughout the novel.
-He appears selectively throughout the novel, mostly at parts where Charlie is romantically involved with someone.
-He appears as an unintelligent and juvenile version of himself for a majority of the book. It is a tool that shows Charlie’s inner struggle and it is expertly implemented.
-He even emerges when Charlie fully regresses but representing the opposite scale of intelligence (that being genius I.Q.).
-The second Charly only materializes at one point during the movie. It was around a time where he was regressing.
-Charlie #2 is presented as a creepy and confrontational character. He doesn’t so much sit back and watch from a distance as he traps Charly in a corner and hallway.

My Final Thoughts
The film adaptation of any book will always leave certain people feeling unsatisfied. The main reason is that the movie has to fit in a certain time constraint. Fitting 311 pages of thought provoking material into a movie that is less than 2 hours in length means that some plot details are going to get cut out. I knew this prior to watching the movie but I had no idea of the sheer amount of excellent details that the film would leave out. Crucial topics such as Charlie’s childhood and family weren’t even really touched upon. I, having read the book twice previously, felt very unfulfilled. My biggest gripe with this film was the almost non-existent use of multiple Charlie's and the scarcity of Plato references. Having a second Charlie showed the progress and advancement that the real Charlie had underwent. He also showed the horrible things that had been forced into his mind and how his mother truly was a selfish and selfish parent.

The detail and observation of Charlie's emotion from the novel are what gave me an abundance of gratification while reading. I understand the limitations the writers and directors faced were invasive and meant that the film could never tell the story of the book. Things such as   the fact that you can’t have an 8 hour long movie and you can’t exactly show the same first person perspective of Charlie. Having Charlie as the narrator was adored by readers of the book because we got to feel and experience every endeavour Charlie encountered. The Charlie in the film almost didn’t even seem to be the main character at times. Cliff Robertson did a fantastic job of playing the demanding role of Charlie but his character just really scraped the surface of the Charlie in the novel. The directors could’ve broken the fourth wall with the audience to share Charlie’s inner opinions, similar to the side interviews with characters from the show “The Office”.

My final the thoughts on “Charly” are it left me feeling disappointed. There were too many important elements of the plot left out and not experiencing Charlie in the first person perspective created emotional separation as well as a lack of empathy. I would recommend this film to people that have not read the book. They would have no prior notions of what the story is about and I feel that would give them the ability to really enjoy the adaptation of the story.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Healthcare Survey Results

How Do Canadians Feel About Their Health Care?

My survey was designed to discover the real opinions of Canadians regarding our universal health care system(s). I incorporated questions that highlighted several aspects of our system(s) that are scrutinized by many. I was lucky that my subjects answered the questions with attributes such as specificity and personal experience for a vast majority of the time. The answers may surprise you.

  • My opening question read, “In a brief description, what do you know about Canada's free health care system?”
  • R: The answers, for the most part, highlight the basic knowledge that most Canadians have regarding their health care system(s). The answers discussed subjects such as it is universally accessible, and it’s free for the most part. One response was very detailed regarding the huge issues that arise from having an outdated and overpopulated system(s). We do have very qualified doctors though.

  • I followed up by asking my responders to grade our system on an A,B,C,D,F scale. A website that I researched gave Canada a rating of B so I was interested to see what real Canadians think about our system(s).
  • R: The results showed that 60% of responses graded our system(s) as a C and 40% graded it as a B.
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  • I then proceeded to ask the big question, “What do you think is the biggest problem with our healthcare system and why?”
  • R: The responses that I received identified the same issues that I have with our healthcare; the astronomical wait times and the lack of coverage. The way that our healthcare works is that unless your condition is life & death, you will most likely have to wait a massive amount of time to get the proper medically necessary treatment. Another trait that is heavily scrutinized is the lack of coverage, especially when it comes to prescription medication. It is said that 1/10 Canadians can not afford to take their prescription medication because it is not covered. These are significant issues that must be solved in order for our healthcare system(s) to satisfy the Canadian citizens that use it.

  • I tried to then get a sense of audiences personal experiences with the Canadian healthcare system(s) so I asked, “Have you or someone you know had any personal unsatisfying experiences with our healthcare systems? (please briefly describe them if so)”
  • R: The stories that I then read about past horrible hospital visits could only be described as terrifying. A misdiagnoses that lead to paralysation and constant hospital visitation, a family that has had so many timely run-ins with hospitals that they avoid them at all costs, and an ultrasound technician that would prefer to have a girl's appendix to burst rather than coming back into work.

  • At this point, I figured that educating everyone with a few horrifying facts about our Canadian health care might be a good idea. I asked them first, “Did you know that in 2013, Canadians, on average, faced a four and a half month wait for medically necessary treatment after referral by a general practitioner?”
  • R: The results weren’t too surprising but they show that there is a naive mindset when it comes to regular people thinking about the duration of time that many patients have to wait for proper treatment. 80% of the responses saying no proved that most Canadians really do not know how bad it actually is.
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  • I followed up with an equally terrifying fact; “Did you know between 25,456 and 63,090 Canadian women may have died as a result of increased wait times between 1993 and 2009?”
  • R: This is not only alarming, but it validates that our system(s) needs to improve because we are at the point now where people are losing their lives because of waiting times. No one, including myself, had prior knowledge of this which is not very surprising but very horrifying.

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  • The fact based questions seemed to be an effective method to educate my survey takers of widely unknown facts about healthcare. The question asked participants to select the presented facts that they had prior knowledge of. The results were pretty interesting because there were a lot of very knowledgeable survey takers. The question talked about Canada’s lack of medication coverage, The number of Canadians who require private health insurance, The amount that Canadians pay for their healthcare out of their own pockets, The fact that Canadians can be charged for simple visitation to the doctor, and How Canada Actually has 15 health care systems.
  • R: There was at least one person who had prior knowledge of each of those facts apart from Canada’s 15 systems. That was very pleasing because it proved that even though we’re a young generation, we can still be very knowledgeable about current issues.

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  • I finished off the survey by asking the million dollar question: “What is one improvement that Canada can implement into all of our health care systems that would improve them?”

  • R: For the most part, everyone said that the way to make our healthcare system great is to reduce the time patients have to wait. This can be done in a variety of ways; one being to make clinics that non-life threatening or non-urgent patients can go. This would make the hospitals  much easier and more pleasant place to be.

This activity proved to be very interesting and informative. I got an excellent opportunity ask my peers a series of questions about a topic that I am very passionate about and got to see their knowledge and attitude towards the subject. I think this was a very effective method to come up with ways to solve issues and looking back on it now, This would be a very helpful tool in a design sprint. I enjoyed the overall experience of making this survey and seeing what others had to say. I will try to use this method if I ever do another design sprint activity again because people think of issues in different ways and having the opinions of others can make a good idea great.