In-Depth Post #4

“There is nothing so stable as change” – Bob Dylan.

Right now I am trying to change a lot when it comes to playing the guitar. I am trying to change how often I practice. I am trying to change the skill by improving it. I am trying to change how I listen and learn from my mentor Ewan. I am doing this all because I am really enjoying playing the guitar and hearing myself play. I think I have improved a lot since my last post. I mainly have been practicing switching between chords. The chords that I have mainly been practicing are the A minor, C, G, and D. I have been using these chords because they are used in the song “knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, which I am currently learning. Last week, Mr. Salisbury told me that playing the guitar gets a lot more fun and engaging when you start learning songs, and after starting to try that, I completely agree. Plating the guitar has been great and I am practicing almost every day now. I have also met with my mentor, Ewan, twice since the last post. He has been doing a great job teaching me and answering my questions.


Listening is a very important part of being able to have a good relationship with someone. As De Bono says, “you cannot have a beautiful mind if you do not know how to listen”, which I completely agree with [66]. If you are not able to listen, then how are you able to learn effectively. In my meeting with my mentor, Ewan, I was given some sheet music for the song “knockin’ on heaven’s door”, which I am currently learning. I am still new to learning guitar and haven’t really used sheet music before. When my mentor was explaining to me what the sheet of music meant, I asked “what does the 2 dots at the end of the line mean?”. My mentor told me that it meant to repeat the line. This question helped me gather new information and learn further about the topic. In my meeting with Ewan, I also learned slightly about different styles of music on the same song. The teacher in the room, Mr. Salisbury, heard Ewan teaching me “knockin’ on heaven’s door” and asked us if we were more of Bob Dylan guys or “Guns n’ Roses” guys, as he is also an experienced guitar player. Ewan said, “I am actually a bit more of an Eric Clapton guy”, and I didn’t really know what all of these names meant, as I only knew these were artists/bands. Although I did know that I like Guns n’ Roses. I then learned that these different artists/bands all played the same song, but slightly different based on their styles of playing the guitar. So, we both had different views/values that we discussed. Ewan’s opinion also slightly influenced mine, as after this discussion I listened to different variations of “knockin’ on heaven’s door” and I did like Eric Clapton, but I think I’m a bit more of a Bob Dylan guy now.

Asking questions is also very important when it comes to generating interaction. According to De Bono, questions “show attention and interest [and] they allow for the further exploration of certain points”[72]. De bono also discussed shooting and fishing questions. Shooting questions are questions that are looking for yes or no answers while fishing questions are very open-ended. In my meeting with my mentor, power chords were brought up when talking about Guns n’ Roses version of “knockin’ on heaven’s door”. I didn’t know what power chords were, so I asked, “what are power chords?”. I asked this question because I was curious, I had heard of them before, and they sounded cool. I was taught that power chords are used to intentionally add distortion or overdrive effect and are a key element to styles of rock music. They sound best on electric guitars. Ewan then taught me a small intro to power chords and quickly how to play TNT with power chords, although I cannot do this quite yet. Overall, asking questions has been very useful for me to be more engaged in learning the guitar.


Overall, I am very happy with where playing the guitar is taking me and I will continue practicing. My main focus will be to play the chords much cleaner and get much faster at switching between them. Below is some audio of me practicing playing the guitar. The first is me practicing “knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, and the second is me practicing some power chords.

In-Depth Post #3

Over the past 2 weeks, I have been continuing to make progress with learning the guitar. I am still very engaged in learning the guitar and am excited to keep progressing. Since the last post, I have only learned 1 new chord. This chord is the A Minor. Now I know 4 chords (A Minor, C, D, and G). Although, I have not learned that many new chords since the last post, I have mainly been practicing switching between these chords quickly. I still have a lot more practice to do, but I am slowly making progress.

There was recently a new quarter change at school, which led to a few changes with learning the guitar. Before the quarter change, my mentor Ewan and I met twice a week at lunch, as we had all our classes together. However, now we only have one class together, so we are now meeting once a week at lunch. Ewan has been doing a great job mentoring me. As mentioned above, he has taught me a few chords, which are some of the most important as they are used the most. He also gave me a chord sheet where I can learn more chords when we are not meeting. The last meeting Ewan and I had, we went over switching between chords and making sure I am not muting other strings when I am playing them. Ewan told me a technique to get the finger placements of each chord into my brain. I would put my fingers on the correct placements for the chord and then lift one of the fingers and put it back down again. Then I would play this chord. I would do this again and again with different fingers and with different chords. This reinforces good habit for the finger placement and helps me practice moving my fingers quicker. Overall, Ewan has been a great mentor.

When talking about learning the guitar with my mentor, or with someone else that has less knowledge of the topic, I have been practicing how to be interesting and how to respond. Doing this is different between different people I am talking to. When talking to my mentor, we are obviously both passionate about playing the guitar. We can make connections about this which generates interest. Also, Ewan and I have other interests that are similar, and other topics that we can connect with each other with. Sometimes we talk about school or hockey, as those are both topics that we can build a conversation with each other. Although I think I am able to have interesting conversations with Ewan, and I still need to work on replying with more “what if” statements, or “that is interesting”. Additionally, I am talking a lot with people who have less knowledge of my topic. This is mostly my family, but also my peers. This is a rewarding experience for me because it makes me feel knowledgeable and I get to share my experience.

When Ewan and I are having a conversation during our meetings, we subtly use certain objectives in conversations. These objectives are to reach an agreement, to agree on the points of difference, and to have an interesting time together. I tend to agree with most things that Ewan says, as he does know more. We also agree on the points of difference. For example, when Ewan was teaching me about ways to build good habits with finger placement on chords and switching between them. This was mentioned in the 2nd paragraph. Anyway, Ewan told me that he wished he would have done this when learning the guitar, so our difference was that we learned different ways to build good habits. Finally, Ewan and I do have interesting conversations and have enjoyable meetings. We share many similar passions and interests, which helps the meetings be more engaging.

Overall, I am happy with the progress I have been making, and I will continue to practice the guitar. Ewan has been a great mentor, and we will continue to have interesting conversations and I will continue practicing learning to reply. Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you Ewan for being my mentor.

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In-Depth Post #2

Over the past few weeks, I have jumpstarted my journey of learning the guitar. I have practiced quite often (around 5 times a week for roughly half an hour) and I’ve really enjoyed myself. John Frusciante said, “As long as you’re excited about what you’re playing, and as long as it comes from your heart, it’s going to be great“. This has been true for me. Although I am not currently playing original music, just strutting new chords and playing small parts from songs, it has been great. When I hear a recording of what I have just played, I realize the many mistakes and places to improve, but when I am playing the guitar, it sounds great in my ears because I know that I did that myself and have learned something. This is an exciting experience for me.

Over the past few weeks, I have also managed to meet, learn, and discuss with my mentor Ewan. As my mentor is one of my fellow classmates, we have been meeting up together in class twice a week at school and practicing at lunch. This has really helped us interact more with each other and has helped me learn more from him. However, with more interactions comes times where you agree, disagree, and differ. I have been agreeing with my mentor a lot. Ewan is much more experienced than me, thus why he is my mentor, so agreeing with what he teaches me is logical. However, when I agree, I do try to ask questions to try to further expand my understanding. For example, when Ewan was teaching me some of the basic chords. When doing this he also told me that these were also some of the most important chords and that they are important to practice. I agreed with him but wondered why, so I asked him why they were some of the most important chords to learn. He told me that it was because they are very popular and used in many songs, and I then agreed with him.

There are also times where my mentor and I disagree. In these cases, I disagree respectfully and curiously to try to get his side of the story. For example, Ewan said it was important to start using my pinky finger to reach frets of the guitar that are further away. I disagreed because I believed it was easier to simply move my ring finger, as I found using my weak pinky finger to push down on the string very challenging. Ewan agreed that right now for simpler music it is easier to use my ring finger, but in the future when playing more difficult songs where you must reach even further with your finger, it is a big advantage to be able to use your pinky finger here, thus why it is good to start early with using your pinky finger. I then agreed with him, but if I wouldn’t have disagreed in the first place it is likely I would have not learned this.

Finally, there have been times where my mentor and I have different opinions. When we have different opinions, we try to figure out what the difference is based on reconcile. For example, when playing the guitar, my thumb on the hand that is pressing down on the different strings/frets always slips up behind the neck of the guitar. It is bad to do this because you then have less reach over the guitar with your other fingers. I found it very difficult to keep my thumb underneath the neck of the guitar as it should be. Ewan and I had different opinions on the difficulty of keeping your thumb underneath the neck, but we reconcile that it was just a matter of practice before I got more used to keeping my thumb underneath the neck. However, we did note that this is something I will need to keep an eye on, or else it will become too much of a habit.

Overall, I am very happy with my progress with learning the guitar, and I am really enjoying it. Ewan has been a great mentor and he has been really easy to learn from and connect with. Below is a small recording of me practicing a bit to show some of my progress. It is me playing small parts of some songs (can you guess which ones), and me practicing some basic chords. There is still a lot to improve on, but I will keep practicing to become a better guitar player.

Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you Ewan for being a great mentor!

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In-Depth Blog Post #1

What skill have you chosen to learn?

My name is Ben Kaufmann and this year I have chosen to learn how to play the acoustic guitar for my in-depth project. Throughout the course of the year, I hope to have learned how to properly read music, how to play some chords and notes, how to play some songs that I enjoy, how to experiment with the guitar and put together some of my own sounds and to have an understanding of the guitar and how to play it. The end goal is to have a good understanding of these concepts and to stay passionate about this and continue to play guitar in the future.


I really enjoy music, so I have always wanted to learn to play an instrument. I thought this year would be a good time to try this out. I have chosen to learn to play the guitar because of multiple reasons. Firstly, the guitar is an instrument that I really enjoy the sound of, and often when listening to songs I pick out the guitar sound and focus on that. I also have tried out the guitar before. I have picked it up a few times and just played around with it, which I enjoyed. Lastly, it is a convenient instrument for me to learn as I already have a guitar in my household.

How are you going to learn this skill?

I am going to learn how to play the guitar with lots of practice, help from people around me, and with objectives/goals to work towards. When learning the guitar, I will try to practice multiple times a week, or even every day for a little bit. This will help me develop my skills over time. I will also have online meetings with my mentor, Ewan, who is a classmate who has play guitar for many years. I will hopefully learn a lot from him. Finally, I will learn how to play the guitar with goals that I will try my best to accomplish. These goals are the following:

  1. To learn how to read music
  2. To learn how to play basic chords and notes
  3. To learn at least five songs to play on the guitar throughout the year.
  4. To experiment a lot with playing the guitar.
  5. To be proud of what I accomplished in the year.

Over time, I may add more goals to this list as I accomplish them, but those are the main ones I have for now. Using the objectives and the other steps above, I will learn how to play the guitar.

What can others do to help you?

I will get the most help for learning the guitar from my mentor. My mentor is a classmate, Ewan, who has played the guitar for many years. He is relatively experienced when it comes to playing the guitar and I am hoping I will learn a lot from him. I can also receive some help from my sister, who played the guitar for multiple years. Additionally, my classmates, teachers, and family can help me learn the guitar by supporting me and giving me the motivation to keep practicing.

Progress report:

So far, I have not done too much when it comes to playing the guitar. Over winter break I practiced a little bit. I played around with the guitar a little bit and learn to play the riff of smoke on the water and another one bites the dust. It is not much, but a good start for me to go on and learn the guitar.

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Virtual Night of the Notables: Rudolf Augstein

Hello and welcome to Night of the Notables!

I am Rudolf Augstein, a writer, a politician, a journalist, and more. I influenced the people of Germany for so many years with my News Magazine, DER SPIEGEL.

LeMO Biografie Rudolf Augstein

In case you want to know, here are some quick facts about me:

  • I founded DER SPIEGEL which means The Mirror.
  • One time I went to jail for 103 days after voicing my opinion about the nation’s defense forces.
  • Week after week, DER SPIEGEL and I brought out stories, even if they were stories the authorities wished to conceal.
  • I used the influence I had through my publication to have an impact on the consolidation of the German democracy we know today.
  • I fought strongly for the freedom of the press.

Now, time to see if you remember some of these facts.

Quick test about me.

If you did well on this or not, good job. “The world is so big that all mistakes can fit in it”. Below is a bit of a reward for your efforts.

This is something very special to me that I am sharing with you all. It is my journal, never read by a single soul, until today… Enjoy!

Rudolf Augstein’s journal.pptx

Thank you for taking the time to learn about me and feel free to ask questions in the comments. In the future, remember to “say what is”.


Core Competency Activity 1


1. During Quarter 1, what went well for you?

  • I kept up with my homework (no assignments were handed in late).
  • I like having only 2 courses, as I didn’t have too many different courses/assignments I had to do at the same time.
  • It was good to see my classmates again.
  • I learned much better this quarter than when we had online school. Learning online was very difficult for me.
  • I became more confident with my speaking ability in presentations and such.

2. During Quarter 1, what did you find challenging or disappointing or stressful? Explain.

  • I found not procrastinating challenging. Although I got my work done on time, it was usually last minute and not done efficiently because I procrastinated.
  • It was a bit stressful and challenging to figure out the alterations due to COVID-19.
  • Also, balancing school work and having enough time for myself, and keeping up my mental-health was challenging, but I think I figured it out.

3. Think of ONE thing you really want to improve in Quarter 2 (and Q 3&4). 

In quarter 2, I really want to improve on my time management and not procrastinating. Last quarter I had English and Spanish, which was not too difficult, but this quarter I have science and math, which is a lot more difficult. I am going to need to stay on top of my homework, so I don’t get overwhelmed. To do so I need to make sure I manage my time well.

4. What are two specific actions that you can start doing every day to get closer to your goal? How long will you spend on this action each day? What part of the day?

a. I am going to do my work as soon as I get it, rather than waiting for the last minute. I don’t want to have to do all my homework during the last few days, so I am going to work on things right away. I will do it after school, for a bit each day, rather than a lot on a weekend.

b. I will create a checklist to make sure I know all the work I have, so I don’t fall behind on anything. As soon as I get the work, I will write it down and then work on it after school.

5. If you experience challenges, what might you do to work through them?

If I experience challenges, I will take a break. I have discovered this works very well for me. When I am very inefficient and I am not getting my work done, I will take a small break, and then get back to work after.

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Developing the Leaders Around You

The Law of Magnetism: “Who You Are is Who You Attract”

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” – Harvey Firestone

The law of magnetism refers to leaders attracting other leaders. Leaders attract other leaders because it takes a leader to know a leader, it takes a leader to show a leader, and it takes a leader to grow a leader. The law of magnetism goes a little bit more in-depth on this concept. I believe it means what type of leader and person you are, that type of leader you will attract. This refers to not only how they lead and their characteristics, but also how strong and effective they are as a leader. The better-quality leader you have, the better-quality leaders you will attract.

I chose the law of magnetism as the concept for session one because I think it is a very important concept to learn. Without leaders, your team will not function, so gaining more good leaders into your team would be very effective. In situations where I lead, I tend to not lead too much and hope that other people will do most of the leading. However, from this concept, I learned that leaders won’t come to my group or team unless there already is good leadership in my team. This means I need to be a good leader in order for other good leaders to join my team.

In the future, I will try my best to lead to the best of my abilities as much as possible. I will still let my group members lead as well, but I won’t just sit back and hope others do the leading. I will lead to the best of my abilities so other good leaders join my group or team.


People who affect momentum

This concept refers to the people who affect the momentum in a group. There are momentum breakers, which say and do things that stop momentum. They cause the progress that has been made and is still going to stop. There are momentum takers who say and do things that sap momentum. These people slowly cause the momentum to come to a halt over time. There are momentum fakers who say and do things that stage momentum. These people create fake momentum. For a short period of time, it will look like there is momentum and progress is being made, but really there is not. Finally, there are momentum makers. They say and do things that start momentum. This is who you should aim to be, because they create momentum and progress, and move the team along.

I chose to go deeper into this concept because I need to become a momentum maker. Once in a while, I start momentum, but often I am a momentum breaker, taker, or faker. Sometimes I think of an idea tell the group, without having actually thought it through. Then we start working on this idea, it looks like we are making progress, but we are not as the idea collapses when the team realizes its faults.

In the future, I will definitely strive to become a momentum maker, so I can start real progress within my team. For example, during leadership/cultural event planning. I will think of ideas and discuss them with the group to create real momentum.


Work on yourself more than you work on others

The idea of working on yourself more than you work on others is based on the concept of working on yourself before you work on others. Leaders go first! The concept is about your own development and improvement. Most of your leadership challenges start with you, and most of your leadership changes start with you. It is important to develop yourself more than others, this way when you develop the leaders around you, you can teach them more and model to them.

I chose this concept to go deeper into because it’s something that I try to do a lot. I always try to develop as much as possible both by myself and with someone else teaching. However, sometimes I forget about developing and improving myself as a leader. This is something I really need to work on as I am not a great leader yet, meaning I need to develop myself even more.

I will apply this concept in the future by remembering to teach myself first before and more than others. For example, when an announcement needs to be made for something my group and I are planning. Instead of encouraging others to take the risk and make the announcement in front of the class, I should develop myself more often, and do the announcement myself.


I motivate

The concept I motivate is about different ways a mentor or leader can become more empowering and motivating. Some of these are the following. Believing in people and feeling they are an organization’s most appreciable asset; Desiring to raise others above your own level of leadership; Allowing others the freedom of personality and process; Handing off the leadership baton to a teammate and rooting for them, and more. The concept mentions that it’s wonderful when people believe in leaders, but it’s more wonderful when leaders believe in people.

I chose this concept because I feel like there are many ways, I can improve with it. I do try to motivate and encourage team members; however, after looking through the list of ways to become an empowering leader, I noticed that I was not doing many of the ways very well and not intentionally. I believe it is important to have a motivated team, thus why I chose this concept.

In the future, I will apply this principle by doing as many ways as I can to be an empowering and motivating leader. I can do this in many group situations other than leadership class. I can motivate people when planning events, but also when working on school projects, when someone is struggling and needs support, and just in everyday life. This seems like a very important skill to have for me.

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Final In-Depth Post

Ben’s In-Depth Night Blog Post

I have spent the past couple of months learning and practicing animation. This journey has been very fun for me, and I have enjoyed learning something new. I have worked a lot on animation and made multiple shorter animations in the past couple of months. I am very proud of my progress, and although I am still not amazing at animation, I am definitely better then I was when I first started. I am also thankful to have had my mentor Simon to teach me about animation.

This is the animation I created to display here today. My In-Depth was about animation not drawing, so try not to judge the drawings to much. The are a few changes I would have made looking back it now, and a lot more changes if I would have spent more time on it, but overall I am still happy with what I completed.

Originally this was meant to just be the intro of the animation. However, the process of creating this was very time consuming and this is all I got done. I needed to learn the skills I used before I could make this, so I worked on this for roughly 2 weeks. I worked on it for 30 to 60 minutes a day, and for the past 3 days I have been working on this for 2 to 5 hours each day. In the future I might continue this animation, and try to finish it. My plans for it were to have parts of a soccer game happen and the game is for a big trophy. Even though this is not everything I wanted this animation to be, I still am proud of my efforts.

If you have any comments or questions, comment them on this post and I will try to reply as quick as possible.

In-Depth Blog Post #6

Since the last blog post, I mainly have been working on my final post. I have occasionally been practicing some certain animation skills, but my main focus is my final post, as I feel it might take me quite some time to do. I have run into a few problems since the last post but wanting to finish my final project to see how much I have improved has motivated me to get through those problems.

I have also been staying in touch with my mentor and getting tips and tricks from him. Simon has continued to help me improve my animation skills and he is always there to give me feedback on my animations. He has been helping me a lot this year, so I cannot wait to show him my final project.

Since my in-depth is animation, for my final post I am creating an animation using skills I have learned throughout the year. It is quite difficult to do, and takes a lot of time to animate, but I am steadily making progress. The drawings in my animation are also not the greatest, as I am not very good at drawing, but in the end my in-depth is animation not drawing. I am taking a lot of risks in my final animation; I am trying skills and using ideas I have never tried before. I am going to continue to work hard on my final animation, and I can’t wait for all of you to see what I have done.

No matter how good or bad my final animation is, I will be proud of myself for trying my best and for all my improvement throughout the year.

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