In-Depth Post #5, Slow But Steady Wins The Race

The past weeks have been slow moving, but thats not to say that nothing has happened. It has just been rather uninteresting, or bland for a lack of a better word. I have not been able to meet with my mentor recently because he lives out in Vancouver and it is hard for him to find the time to drive out here for drum sessions. Fortunately he is the rugby coach at our school and the rugby practices are conveniently at the same time as theatre production. On these days he would give me a lift home and we would have our session. But during the last week before spring break theatre production ran late and I wasn’t able to meet one last time before our two weeks off. And this brings me to today. I had decided to wait on this blog post so I would have the chance to reflect on our most recent band practices instead of my mentor sessions.

Over the break we have had two band practices. One with Kody, but without Tim, and the other with Tim, but without Kody. We wanted to make sure that each member of our band could attend at least one band practice so they wouldn’t miss out on to much. As far as the band practices go these have definitely been a big improvement. Our first piece, Today, is almost complete and our second piece, Smells Like Teen Spirit, is not far behind. With the amount of progress we made, we decided to add a third song that will either be Demons by Imagine Dragons or Perfect by Pink. We tried playing both songs by improvising and playing along to the songs to our best ability. Neither song was particularly difficult, so it looks like Kody will have the deciding vote when he gets back from Europe.

Aside from our band practices, the rest of my progress was solo progress. As I mentioned above, I did not meet with my mentor, so instead I have been chugging along slowly on my own. I have developed a couple strategies while practicing that help me keep the beat, as well as create new rhythms/patterns while playing. The first strategy has been playing along with our pieces on Rock Band and concentrating on feeling the rhythm and keeping the beat. I don’t try to play complicated patterns. My goal is to feel the beat and keep the same tempo for the whole song without losing it. The other strategy has been picking random songs and improvising. I try to come of with new rhythms and patterns that mesh with the music. Looking at De Bonos six hats, I feel that in following these strategies I have had to put on the red hat. A lot of drumming is about feeling the music, as well as the beats and emotions. Drumming is a lot less strict of an instrument and it requires you to let your body tell you whats right and whats wrong. It is all based on intuition and what you feel is the best at that moment. The other hat I feel I have been wearing in following these strategies is the green hat. This may seem like an interesting pair, but the green hat is what sparks creativity and thinks up all the alternate possibilities, or in this case new rhythms. Together the red hat and green hat are what I believe is the key to improvising and playing the drums.

In conclusion, the progress in the past couple weeks has clearly been slow and steady. Emphasis on the slow. Next week I will be meeting up with my mentor again to show him my progress and fingers-crossed he is impressed. If he isn’t them that probably means I have been practicing my parts wrong these past couple weeks and I really hope that isn’t the case. Nevertheless, I am excited to have another session and see what ups and downs the next two weeks bring.

Mary Ann Shadd: 1833 – 1840

Dear Diary,

My name is Mary Ann Shadd. Ten years ago on October 9, 1823, in Wilmington, Delaware, I was born into an African American family. At the time I didn’t understand what it meant to be African American. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the danger and fear that came with being this race. Now, ten years later I am the eldest of thirteen children and I still don’t understand the mindset of those initiating slavery. To me, the fact that they appear to have no reason behind their actions makes the act of slavery that much more despicable. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in these past couple years it’s that if you screw around, your dead. Literally. But, now because of this I now know what I want. And I want it more than I ever have before. I want to get to Canada. I want to find a place to call home and feel safety, not fear. A place where you are accepted regardless of your race and skin colour. I want racial equality.

I know Im only ten, but being the oldest there is a lot of pressure to be responsible and show leadership. Of course I am still a slave, so really I can only show as much leadership as one can while their being ordered around by an old caucasian male. However, I heard of this thing known as the underground railroad that leads to Canada. It is said to be dangerous, but frankly I live my whole life surrounded by danger and at this point I am not sure what other options I have. Then again, as I said, I’m ten, so my parents aren’t too keen on me doing much of anything until I finish getting my education. But when I do get there, I will be ready. I will follow the north star through the underground railroad with all the other black slaves on our journey to Canada, otherwise known as freedom. Not everyone will make it, but I will. The world is still my oyster. I can be anything I want. I could start  revolution if I wanted. I guess we will see about that last part though. Unfortunately, according to my mama, the only thing I can’t be is a silky white unicorn. Apparently those don’t exist, but hey a girl can dream. And with that said, for now I am setting my goals high and planning on achieving my dream. I will be the one to find freedom.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Shadd

Racial Inequality – The Search For Freedom

Racial inequality could potentially be perceived as a misleading title considering I am talking about the Underground Railroad (http://blackhistorycanada.ca/events.php?themeid=21&id=6 ). However, I believe that this is completely related to racial inequality. The article I have chosen explains the enormous amount of hierarchy and slavery within certain states in the USA that forced black slaves to make a choice; run, or serve as a slave for the rest of their life. It showed that the Underground Railroad is a dangerous place and not something people choose lightly. But for many, it was their only hope, it was the method for black slaves to escape slavery and find a better life for themselves. To find freedom.

“Between 1840 and 1860, before the American Civil War, enslaved Africans followed the North Star on the Underground Railroad to find freedom in Canada. It was not an actual railroad but a secret network of routes and safe houses that helped people escape slavery and reach free states or Canada.”

Above is a quote from the first paragraph that explains the purpose of the Underground Railroad. I think it describes the Underground Railroad clearly in a minimal amount of words and the quote itself, while not “heart melting” or “meaningful” is useful and I don’t think I could have explained it better. As brief as the article was, it is definitely worth reading, as it gives a lot of information and insight. As far as the CRAAP test is concerned it passes as a green. It is not necessarily current, but it is talking about facts from centuries ago that have not changed. However, it is relevant, accurate, purposeful, and is published under an authoritative name. To conclude this post I would like to say that what you read was just a tidbit of the information that you would find in the article, and hopefully it prods you to read more.