Woofs of Wisdom

I went to a storytelling event. It was really amazing to hear all of the stories… There was sadness, happiness, and mystery in all of them.

The biggest thing I took away was not from a story though – it was from the dog. When I was younger I was afraid of dogs. It took me a long time to get comfortable with dogs but now I am often the person a dog will spend most of the night getting rubs from. I like to think it’s because I am vegan.

Usually when I am with an animal ( dog, cat… any animal) I try to lure it closer to me, to sit on my lap or next to where I am sitting. I realized that instead of trying to force the dog to sit by me, I could move to accommodate the dog. And I did. I got to sit in a new place and discover something new. By listening I find that I can discover so much : )

l’histoire de la vie – an interactive multi-linear narrative

This is what I do at school…

This project is intended to take inspiration from the concept of a “semordnilaps”. A “semordnilaps” is a word (or pattern of any sort of thing) which creates
something new in reverse (the word itself is a reversal of the word palindromes). The project uses the visual film medium and the power of storytelling to create a
piece which can be viewed entirely in either directions of playback, creating two different experiences for the user, the giving the user control and agency over their
experience. The story could also be described as a “mise en abîme” because it is a never-ending narrative loop. The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning.
In this way, the narrative structure symbolically represents the central theme of the piece: the circle of life (hence the title, l’histoire de la vie).

FORWARDS

BACKWARDS

an IAT 313 final project
featuring Manon Pouget

Q: What inspired you to be a transformational and inspirational leader??

Do you feel alive, she saidA: The short answer to this questions is inequality. The funny answer to this question is Titanic. The long answer is a bit of a story.

When I was younger I was not ignorant. I knew or had heard about many of the problems in the world. Child labour, poverty, war… At the time I was more concerned with fitting in than I was concerned with making the world better. I got older and when I was in grade 12 I saw the movie Titanic for the first time. At the end of the movie I was really moved and affected by the scene where the rich people sit in their boats and watch the poor people die. I realized that this happens everyday. I realized how privileged and lucky I am. I realized that I want everyone to have the same access and opportunities that I do. And ever since that day I have been committed to becoming the change I wish to see in the world. This is why I am vegan, why I only buy ethically and sustainably made clothing, why I volunteer and give half of my freelance profits to charity. In my opinion, it is these personal actions that make me a leader, for they empower me.

Also, check out www.superforest.org : )

Does storytelling promote stereotypes?

Stereotypes Conclusion

Does narrative create a limited worldview?

Are we taught from a young age to recognize stereotypes and project them onto other people?

In social justice work, sometimes “ignorance is bliss”. Sometimes it is easier to ignore a problem than it is to try to fix it, especially with large scale world issues (like poverty, disease… I notice this mentality so much being a vegan [and I used to experience it more than I do now])… So perhaps if we apply social justice to storytelling, short-form media is “taking the easy way out”. By relying on stock characters and stereotypes the creative doesn’t have to do the work of developing a “real” character. There isn’t time to in the realm of a short film. Details are either left out, or filled in by cultural and societal cues.

“It’s just rare to come upon a role that feels like a real human being.”

– Joseph Gordon-Levitt (on Ellen)

Or maybe, it isn’t limiting us. Maybe it is training us… to look beyond the surface and to seek for ourselves… or to challenge us to differentiate characters from human beings. We are all infinite.

Oh, and speaking of stereotypes…

I AM RADIATING JOY!

Earlier today I was listening to Jason Mraz and pondering and thinking about some days I have had where I RADIATE JOY! There have been days when I have been overwhelmed with happiness. I was thinking, how can I make today one of those days? and then MAGIC HAPPENED!

I handed in my final film project JUST IN TIME! It was so perfect! Then I went to study for my exam using my two hour break. Using the amazing power of crowd sourcing and some super smart and dedicated friends I was able to get my studying done just in time for the exam. The exam was for my animation class and I finished my test early and everything! I felt pretty good about the exam but I needed to take a minute and let go of the tension I had created during the test and refocus on gratitude. It totally worked because just then I got a text message telling me that JASON MRAZ IS PLAYING A FREE CONCERT IN WHISTLER THIS WEEKEND! I was so overcome with joy I literally began jumping up and down. I was filled with so much excitement and passion for life! And how ironic that I was just pondering this feeling and this transformational musician earlier! Magic!

I bumped into some friends, planned a project and then went outside to dance in the parking lot with my amazing friends Colette and Madhav. I felt so free and BEAMING! It was so nice to connect with people and just celebrate music and happiness!

Then I went back inside with Colette to show her THE HUMANIFESTO! A magic little video filled with people and ideas I love! It also happens to connect me and Jason Mraz in a funny way : P

It was nice to talk because my conversation reminded me of a few things…

1. The Power of MAYBE!

I was telling Colette about another day (without shoes) when I vividly remember being SO FILLED WITH JOY AND GRATITUDE THAT IT WAS RADIATING OUT OF ME. I was sitting on the bus, going to the theatre and the main reason I was excited was because there was a small chance the boy I really liked would be there. There was no guarantee, but the power of maybe was enough to elate me and make my day amazing. Maybe I will see Jason Mraz on Friday! Maybe I won’t! But maybe feels nice : D
2. My life is filled with beautiful things and people
I am so lucky to know so many amazing people and have my life touched by them. I am truly in awe.
As I was going towards the bus stop to go home I was thinking about being in exactly the place I am meant to be, at exactly the right time. Just as I was thinking this three young boys came up to me and asked me for a hug! It was so magical! I told them that hugs should last 20 seconds
SIDENOTE: The oxytocin released in a 20-second hug not only increases bonding and builds trust but also positively impacts your cardiovascular system, which improves heart health : )
via http://www.hendricks.com/
and at first I thought they’d be creeped out, but they were happy to have 20 second hugs! Then I got scared maybe they wanted to hug me to steal from me so I kept saying, “please don’t steal from me!” LOL! I think they just wanted to hug me because i’m a beautiful attractive person, and that was really sweet.
Then I got on the bus and wrote an amazing song/poem about LOVE that I am going to record on ukelele now.
Yay!
I am in love with my life.
Today was a reminder for me to do what brings me joy, because when I have joy I can share joy. And though my joy may not resonate for everyone, or show up as elevating for all people, it does for some. And I think that is the difference I am meant to make in the world. When do you feel most fulfilled? When do you change this world?
Do that : )
A little light never hurt nobody, send out your ray of sunshine.
 – Jason Mraz, The Sunshine Song

Storytime!

I love when people tell me stories, or read to me. That’s probably why my amazing Mom read me bedtime stories even into my high school years hehe. Reading was always an important thing we shared haha. It’s nice to just listen to the sound of someone’s voice sometimes : )

video via http://viiaadores.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/heather-and-the-unicorn-inner-child-poetry-simon-welsh/

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

LOVE LOVE LOVing this for three reasons:

  1. Shel Silverstein is super cool and all of his work is wonderful. I love songs/movies/books that you can draw a different meaning from each time you experience them and I definitely get that from his work.
  2. Children’s books that teach lessons which can be more relevant to adults than children rock.
  3. I love when people read to me and watching this was like having that : )

I think it means that you need to complete yourself. There is a quote “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” And sometimes someone can complete you by allowing you to complete yourself. I think.

MY DAY WITHOUT SHOES

In case you missed it, Thursday was One Day Without Shoes, an event created by the inspiring company TOMS Shoes. This was my experience.

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL One Day Without Shoes With TOMS Shoes!!! Show your sole/soul and join the barefoot movement : D | Thu at 9:20am

It was one of those cold yet sunny mornings and I was awoken by the morning light shining on me. I painted my toes and set out for another adventure. I walked from my house to the bus stop that I usually visit and noticed so many hazards along the way! I stubbed my toe on the sidewalk and nearly avoided some glass! I am not sure why I thought this event would be easy but in deciding to participate it never occurred to me that things would be difficult. Shoes are one of those things I don’t really think about too much. You don’t notice how crucial they are until you are barefoot. I guess that was the point of the event. Like that song says…

Nobody said it was easy

No one ever said it would be this hard

– The Scientist, Coldplay

Anyways I got a lot of funny looks on the bus but I just kept smiling and laughing at the situation. I had to go to school to write an exam and before/after I got the chance to explain the event to people. Next I skytrained to the theatre and quickly learned that: escalators = bad (they are painful to stand on because of the grooves), people spit everywhere, and gum is unavoidable. I noticed how the different surfaces I walked on felt. Some concrete is soft and smooth while other surfaces are rough and untamed. Also, aside from protecting feet, shoes help to keep you warm! I had to do a little jig to keep my toes from freezing.

Girl on transit laments, “my feet are so cold even with boots on.”; Try a Day Without Shoes. Vancouver is #hardwithoutshoes | 11:00 AM Apr 8th via tx

While aboard the 97 a kind soul tapped me on the shoulder to observe that I had no shoes. I think she was prepared to offer me some, I was very touched. While I was crossing the street a man in an SUV pointed so I tried to explain as best I could (yelling at an intersection isn’t the best way to tell people things..), it was an entertaining gesture (PUN!).

After the show finished I continued my barefoot journey to Coquitlam Centre. On the way I convinced some friends to join the barefoot revolution…

Then before returning to the barricade (for Les Miserables) we got to sit outside and enjoy the beauty of nature for a while. Yay for Lafarge Lake! The whole day was pretty awesome and I could literally feel the love and joy around me (I think it helped that Ingrid Michaelson song “everybody” was stuck in my head and set to repeat on my iPod, how can you NOT feel happy when playing that?)

I am a mover and a shaker. Today, I am grateful for shoes.