In-Depth Blog Post #5

In-Depth Blog Post #5

Justin C.

March 11th, 2021


Hello reader, thanks for tuning in to episode five of my In-Depth career!

Things I will go over in this blog post;

  • Answering Questions that you might have
  • What did I learn in weeks 8 and 9 of in-depth?
  • How to have a beautiful mind


Questions you might have.

If you are tuning in for the first time you might have a few questions such as;

  • “What is In-Depth?”
  • “What skill has Justin chosen to learn?”
  • “Who is his Mentor?”

What is the In-Depth Project?  

The In-Depth project is one of the final and most important projects in the Talons program. It is a 5-month long project for Leadership that lasts from January to May. In the project, we choose a certain skill (one that you haven’t gone “In-Depth” before and is not regularly available to learn at school) and go in-depth in it, learning and gaining new skills along the way. By the end, you should have learned a certain amount of knowledge or be able to perform your certain skill at a relatively good level. Everyone is tasked with finding a potential mentor and asking for their mentorship. The mentor should be an expert in the field of your skill so that they have the best chance of helping you successfully complete your end goal.  

 What skill have I chosen to learn?  

The skill I chose is American Sign Language also known as ASL. ASL is a complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. It allows people to communicate using their hand motions rather than talking. The separate grammar will definitely be a challenge to learn and make it difficult. It is widely used among Deaf and Mute people as a main means of communication.  

Recap of my Mentor:

Nigel Howard is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and has been the man tasked with conveying the sometimes complicated details around new cases and the growing public health threat posed by COVID-19 through ASL to the deaf community locally and across the country. He has been a professional interpreter for more than two decades, including 24 years as an instructor at Douglas College’s program of sign language interpretation. Howard also works in the linguistics departments at both the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. One of his specialties is interpreting in medical settings. Nigel Howard is deaf and knows 7 different Sign Languages including Japanese, American, British, Australian, Portugues, German, and Russian which makes this a very unique experience.

What did I learn in weeks 5 and 6 of in-depth?

I learned a variety of signs with my mentor and independently.

Some of the new Signs I learned were;

  • Countries/Places: Australia, Canada, America, Hong Kong, Singapore
  • Animals: Spider, Koala, Kangaroo, Dog, Cat, Shark
  • Work
  • School
  • University
  • Pediatrician (Children + Doctor)
  • Numbers; 11-20
  • Looking Forward
  • Days of the week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (2 signs), Friday, Saturday, Sunday


How to have a beautiful mind

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle designed the art of argument. De Bono states, “Each side makes a ‘case’ and then seeks to defend that case and prove the other ‘case’ to be wrong”. The motivation to be right is high but the actual content not so much. De Bono states, “We use
argument not because we think it is such a wonderful method-but because we do not know any other method” (p. 89). De Bono devised a different way of thinking, called the “Six Hats.” He uses different colours to describe the different ways of thinking about a situation. It is important that every member uses the same hat in the same conversation- parallel thinking.

White hat:

White means information. Hard facts are facts that we can check. Soft information covers information such as rumours or personal facts. During a white hat conversation, all information is laid out on the table.

An Example of when I thought with this hat was when I was thinking of different signs that I would like to ask my mentor to teach me.

Red hat:

Red information includes emotions, feelings and intuition. You do not have to give any reasons to back up why you feel this way. Intuition is helpful when there is no other way to check the information.

An Example of when I thought with this hat is when I had to use my facial expressions to show the meaning behind what I was signing. Facial expressions allow you to show magnitude, tone, and feelings of your signs.

Black hat:

This hat includes critical thinking and judging information. It helps us to act properly and safely.

An Example of when I thought with this hat was when I had to chose the signs that I thought were important to learn. I had to critically think what signs might be important to know so I chose to learn the days of the week among other signs.

Yellow hat:

This hat looks for values, benefits and why something should work. The yellow.hat leads to insights and everyone makes an effort to find value.

An Example of when I thought with this hat was when I asked for clarification on why some signs were so similar ex. Dog and 17.

Green hat:

This hat is productive because it “asks for ideas, alternatives, possibilities and designs”. This hat helps with creativity.

An Example of when I thought with this hat was when I asked about the alternitive signs such as the two variations on the day “Thursday”

Blue hat:

This hat helps organize other hats. First, it defines the focus and purpose of a conversation. Second, it sets up a sequence of hats for the conversation.

An Example of when I thought with this hat was when I defiened the focus towards what I wanted and needed to learn.


If you read this far, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed or learned something new. Feel free to tune in to my next blog (it will be a while, due to spring break)

-Justin C.

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