In-Depth Blog Post #6

Hello and welcome to my sixth and final In-Depth blog post. In this blog post I am going to be going over my learning from the last four weeks, chapters nine and ten from How to Have a Beautiful mind a finally outlining what my In-Depth learning center will look like.

The last four weeks have been spent applying my new skills by making the result of my project, a full DJ set. I came up with a track-list, fleshed out some rough ideas of transitions for the first half, and then recorded it. In my next meeting with my mentor, we discussed how I could improve those transitions from my first recording. For the next week, I was then tasked with fleshing out all the transitions from the first half and recording a rough idea of what the second half of the set would look like. In my most recent meeting which occurred this week, my mentor gave me feedback on the second half of the set so that by the next meeting I could have the entirety of the set completed. Overall, these weeks have seen a faster progression than ever before in regard to my projects because I already had acquired all of the skills that are necessary to complete my project, and these weeks were spent assembling these skills in a practical way.

Starting with Chapter nine of How to Have a Beautiful Mind, De Bono discusses the idea of concepts, saying that they are “the parents of practical ideas”. In the following paragraph, I will discuss instances from my most recent meeting where concepts were discussed. One of the first instances of concepts from Wednesday was when we were discussing one of my transitions from my DJ set. In this section, my mentor was commenting that I didn’t need to drag out the transition for as long as I did and instead cut it into the first song to ensure that it didn’t sound messy. This discussion I think had two concepts, the first was that of transitioning between two songs in DJing and the broader concept was neatness in my mixing and sound. The second example of concepts I would like to mention was also when discussing a transition in my mix. In this instance, my mentor said that I should have cut the transition earlier because it sounded like one of my snares was offbeat. In this case, the concept was beatmatching and timing because although the snare was beat-matched properly it sounded as if it was out of time, and a sooner transition would have remedied this problem. The final instance of concepts I would like to discuss in this paragraph was when I asked my mentor if he thought it mattered that I was mixing in breakbeat songs into my largely DNB mix. In this case, I was wondering if the concept I should be aiming for was consistency or diversity in my sound. After asking however my mentor said that my mix was better diverse and varied than entirely consistent.

Moving onto chapter ten of How to Have a Beautiful Mind. In this chapter the idea was alternatives. In this paragraph, I will be discussing the alternatives that my mentor brought up with me when he was giving me feedback on my mixes. The very first alternative my mentor mentioned to me was during the first instance of him giving feedback to me on one of my mixes. In this instance, I had used an equalizer to take out the bass of the leading track to make room for the kick of my second track. My mentor offered the alternative of doing the complete opposite, of killing the bass of the track I was bringing in to make the transition less jarring. The second instance of an alternative that I can remember my mentor offering me was when he was giving me feedback on the first half of my mix. In this case, he recommended that I mix in track two first rather than track one because he felt that was a stronger opening. The final example of an alternative that my mentor offered me was in our most recent meeting. This time, my mentor offered up what was in his opinion a better alternative to how I had mixed in two songs. In this instance, the alternative was to do a more concise and earlier transition as opposed to what I had done which was unnecessarily drawn out.

Finally, let’s discuss my plans for the In-Depth Learning Center. I plan to make a PowerPoint that viewers can navigate, being my interactive component. The PowerPoint will be divided into the skills I learned during my time over the course of the project, with video examples, and a section where they can hear the full progression of all of my mixing. I hope that the audience gets an idea of the skills that make up a good DJ, and how I went about learning them.

In-Depth Blog Post Five/Four


Hello everyone and welcome to my fourth in-depth blog post. I was unable to complete the actual fourth in-depth blog post due to schedule conflicts with my mentor, so while this post is technically my fourth it will cover the criteria of the fifth in-depth blog post as well as a progress report on my project.

Starting with the progress I have made, during this meeting my mentor and I reviewed a video I had taken of a short DJ set I made to demonstrate the fundamentals of DJing we had discussed during our first two meetings. My mentor and I reviewed the footage, and he gave me feedback on the decisions I had made during the set. One of the concepts he mentioned most prominently was my use of EQ during transitions, in which I cut the low end of the wrong track. Rather than cutting the low end of the main track being played to make room for a new kick drum sample and bassline, I should be doing the opposite, letting the bass line of the main track play out to the audience. Additionally, my mentor touched on some of the arrangement decisions I made during the set. While most of the feedback he gave was positive he commented that I often faded out tracks too abruptly and that at the beginning of my set I did not really have a main track for the audience to focus on, rather trying to implement a more technical transition. Throughout the meeting, my mentor stressed that he believed that I understood the basic concepts behind the decisions I was making while DJing but that I was not following the typical DJing conventions regarding the details in my decisions.

This week’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind chapter was on the concept of the six hats. The six hats categorize different statements that we make in a conversation, with each of the six hats being assigned a colour. The first of these hats is the white hat which covers information and hard facts, when we are using the white hat, we are stating information and thinking in terms of facts. The red hat is rather the opposite of the white hat and covers our feelings and emotions towards a subject. Next is the black hat which is our critical thinking and judgement hat. The black hat is similar to the white hat but it focuses on thinking critically about the information and viewpoints suggested in somewhat of an objective manner. The yellow hat looks for the values and benefits of proposed courses of action. The yellow hat asks why something will work and how the parties involved stand to benefit from it. The penultimate hat is the green hat, which is our creative thinking and idea-generating hat. The green hat seeks to look for ideas individually, free from the judgement of the other hats until their time comes. Finally, there is the blue hat which is the organizer of the hats. When we use the blue hat, we are organizing our ideas and defining a course of action. This week I was asked to transcribe a short conversation with my mentor and show where each hat is used. Below is that transcription which is of a conversation from 4:30 – 5:33 in the video. Each of the hats is indicated by the colour of the text used.


Mentor: we’re you able to get into any EQing?


Me: Oh yeah, I was EQing, I don’t really have any effects knobs on my controller so it’s a bit hard to control that.


Mentor: OK cool.


Me: So here I am killing the bass of I’m Not Alone to make room for the kick of Faxing Berlin.


Mentor: I would actually do the opposite of that. I would kill the bass of faxing Berlin rather than killing the bass of Faxing Berlin. Since right now your first track is more of your main track, I’d have it take the lead until it’s time to switch over. So at the very beginning while you’re still mixing it in that second track is the one that you are really going to want to kill more frequencies in. The bass is usually the main one and usually if there are some mids and highs if there are really obtuse sounds in that section. So Faxing Berlin would be the one you’d want to kill and then at a key moment you would kind of kill some frequencies and switch it over.

Me: ok

At the beginning of our conversation, we are both speaking using the white hat because we are merely introducing the facts regarding our current situation. Then my mentor makes a statement using the red hat saying that he would do the opposite. This statement is merely his feelings and opinions on the matter, as he is yet to say why he thinks this way. Then my mentor moves on using the black hat. During this section, he is thinking critically about my decisions and the decisions he would make as a critique of what I did during the mix. He then switches to the white hat to explain the facts of which frequencies he would EQ as he is bringing in a new song. Finally, my mentor finishes by using the yellow hat to explain why I would benefit from using less aggressive EQ on I’m not alone, finding the value and the “why” to the alternate decision he had earlier addressed using the black hat.

Thank you for reading through my fourth/fifth In-Depth blog post. Because of our unfortunate scheduling conflicts, we will be moving on from the fundamentals of DJing immediately into crafting my set which will be the final product of my In-Depth project. Now that we have gone back to meetings at a consistent time, there should be no further issues regarding the timing of these blog posts.




In Depth Blog Post 3

Here is the link to the accompanying video, various time stamps are referenced in the post:

Welcome to my third in-depth blog post. In this blog post, I will be covering the events of my second meeting with my mentor as well as chapters four and five of How to Have a Beautiful Mind while also providing video examples of specific parts of the How to Have a Beautiful Mind.

This meeting was our first practical meeting and I spent most of the time on the decks practicing DJing skills. At the beginning of our meeting my mentor mentioned beat matching as being a primary DJ skill (2:40). On page 49 of How to Have a Beautiful Mind, De Bono talks about saying “now that is interesting” and zeroing in on the topic. For me, that happened when my mentor mentioned beatmatching. We then spent the next while of the meeting practicing beatmatching with a few songs I already had on my computer (8:50). During this, I made a connection that I had learned that most dance music songs have intros, outros and drops in multiples of eight bars. (5:20). After struggling to find songs with percussion to beat match in my folders my mentor suggested sending me some Deadmau5 songs that had long intros and outros with four on the floor drum beats to beat match (31:50). We then spent the rest of the meeting practicing beatmatching these songs. Unfortunately, my mentor had to depart a little bit earlier than I would’ve liked but before he did, so he assigned me some tasks to do before our next meeting in two weeks’ time (43:30). Those tasks were to watch a DJ set, a beginner DJ tutorial and to do a perfectly beat-matched transition between the intro and outro of two Deadmau5 songs while also incorporating EQ.

Tragically our meeting was plagued by various technical difficulties using Zoom. In the beginning, I attempted to use just audio from my studio monitors and then later transitioned to using the zoom built-in computer audio sharing which improved the situation to some degree but throughout my mentor had a difficult time hearing whether or not I had properly beat-matched songs. When the meeting concluded he suggested using Zoom on a different device than the one running my DJ software (42:20).

Overall, I found this meeting to be incredibly engaging, reigniting all the passion I had for DJing and allowing me to start forming some of the foundational skills. Additionally, I found that these chapters of How to Have a Beautiful mind provided incredibly interesting conversational strategies to guide the flow of the meetings I have with my mentor. I will be hard at work learning everything I can about the foundational skills of DJing in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to start crafting my own sets.

In-Depth Blog Post 2

Hello and welcome to my second In-Depth blog post. This post will be covering the events of the first meeting I had with my mentor as well as applying the principles of the first three chapters of How to Have a Beautiful Mind.

The meeting began with my mentor introducing himself since this is the first time I had met him (even if it wasn’t in person). My mentor first started DJing when he and his friends organized a party for their high school graduation. Before his set, he had unfortunately sprained his ankle and was DJing on crutches. Partway through the set, he managed to sprain his other ankle but still had to keep going. My mentor did his first residency at a bar on Broadway after finding a craigslist ad, he says that is where he learned the most about DJing. Most notably my mentor completed another residency at the Celebrity’s night club in Vancouver, one of the primary destinations for touring DJs in Vancouver. Next, my mentor and I discussed my goal for the project, to play an original live DJ set, and went over some of the necessary skills to do so. My mentor said that he thought that crowd reading was the most important skill to learn when it comes to live DJing. Finally, we went over the equipment on software that I would be using during the project and he gave feedback on some of the music I have personally produced.

Now onto applying the principles of the first three chapters of How to Have a Beautiful Mind. During these chapters, a concept that I noticed a lot in our meeting was the concept of the logic bubble. During our meeting, we primarily established our own logic bubbles and because of this, there wasn’t much to use in terms of agreeing, disagreeing and differing skills. During the meeting, we discussed each other’s musical backgrounds and goals to establish an understanding of each other’s logic bubbles. As discussed in the how-to agree section “remove your ego from the situation and discussion and focus instead on the subject matter” was a big part of our meeting since we were both primarily asking the other person questions to form an understanding of each other’s logic bubbles. During our meeting, I found that we were able to agree on a lot of points but agree in meaningful ways as described in How to Have a Beautiful Mind. Moving onto differing and disagreeing, there were not many opportunities to explore either because of the subject matter of the meeting. As stated earlier the primary goal of our meeting was to establish each other’s goals and how to move forward with the project which, perhaps thankfully, we didn’t disagree on much. Nonetheless, I think the meeting was a very good example of applying the how to agree section as well as the concept of logic bubbles.

Overall, I think my first meeting with my mentor went very well. We were able to instantly form a connection over our shared passion for music as well as talking about each other’s ideas on how to progress with the project, which overlapped often. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the first three chapters of How to Have a Beautiful mind even if I wasn’t able to apply the principles as directly in our meeting outside of the how-to agree section. I am looking forward to continuing as well as applying the disagreeing and differing chapters of How to Have a Beautiful Mind in the coming weeks.


In-Depth Blog Post One

Welcome to my first blog post regarding the In-Depth project. In this project I will discuss my In-Depth skill, roadmap to learn it, status of finding a mentor and the steps and support required going forward in a concise and informative manner. I hope by the end of this blog post you will have an idea of the full scope of my exciting In-Depth project.

The in-depth skill I have chosen to learn is live performance DJing. I have always loved listening to music and the experience of listening to live DJ sets with others. Additionally, as someone who produces music in his free time, DJing is an essential skill that will allow me to play shows in the future if I choose that as a career path. I currently produce and release music in my free time so if I decide to pursue that as a career DJing at live shows and events can become a much-needed second source of income. Listening to music has given me additional inspiration for DJ sets as well, I have many ideas I have always wanted to execute but have never been able to. I am primarily interested in DJing my personal favourite genres of dance music: dubstep, drum and bass, and bass house, but will also expand into working with popular music and mixing them into my sets.

I plan on learning this skill mainly through teaching by my mentor and from resources online. When I previously attempted and failed, at learning this skill I found that the main thing I lacked was feedback and someone to ask specific questions too, roles that would both be filled by an experienced mentor. Learning how to DJ is something that takes practice more than anything, but I believe that my path to success will be aided by the roadmap of my goals I have laid out prior to starting this project. Before when attempting to DJ I also did not have the necessary software, instead I relied on free options that often lacked necessary features. Additionally, many online resources are targeted towards specific brands of controllers and specific DJ software that I do not own making specific tutorials difficult to follow. I am planning on learning basic skills first and slowly transitioning into skills that are not essential to being able to DJ but rather make a DJ good. Finally, to end the project I plan on constructing then performing a completely original DJ set.  My full timeline of all of my goals as well as deadlines to accomplish them is below.

Plan: An outline of methods, activities, strategies, people and resources you can use to meet your challenge Timetable: The specific dates or times when you will accomplish the steps in your plan
Meet with my mentor and discuss my personal goals. January 30th
Master the basic functions of my DJ controller and software. February 15th
Learn the basics of tempo and pitch matching. March 10th
Learn the DJing principles of dubstep music. March 31st
Master DJing bass music genres. April 15th
Learn how to DJ genres outside of bass and dance music. May 1st
Learn the parts of a successful and cohesive DJ set including crowd reading and transitioning. May 10th
Create and perform my own original DJ set. May 15th


As you can see, I have a detailed process in mind for how I will conduct the study of my In-Depth skill however I am missing one of the main pieces of my project, a mentor. So far, I have contacted people I know online in EDM circles and have used family contacts, but my efforts have not yielded any significant results yet, partially due to some former perspective mentors being located overseas and thus being unable to complete a criminal record check. The main thing I am looking for is, of course, experience as a live DJ whether that is professionally or just for a hobby. Right now, I have one prospective mentor who is thankfully located in the lower mainland and has past experience as a live DJ.

Looking ahead, I do not foresee needing significant additional support to get started on my project. In the present, most support I would need is in finding a mentor, but I have already had significant support in this area from family members and other contacts I have. As previously mentioned, I would love the help of all those willing to listen to my set ideas and small performances so I can learn the live components of DJing. Feedback is the main thing I am looking for from other people throughout the project as well as support from those excited to hear my newfound skills in action.

To conclude, I am excited to go forward with my project. I have chosen something I am not only very passionate about but something that could help me in prospective careers down the line of life. I have a concrete roadmap for everything I plan to learn in my project with set deadlines. The main thing I am lacking in the present is a mentor, but I have many leads on the subject and have been given a lot of support in my search. Finally, I am looking for other people for practicing all the performative components of DJing. By the end of this project, I hope to be able to play original live DJ sets. I am looking to the future very excited to start my journey of learning live DJing

R.E.A.L. Success Paragraphs

Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives.

The nugget of wisdom I chose from the leadership section, “Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives,” felt important to me for the following reasons. First of all I’d like to think that this quote does not mean that we blame our successes and failures on those around us but rather that we can trace why we performed the way we did to those who we surround ourselves with and the tasks that those in our lives performed. This is not to say that every failure and success is solely the fault of others but that those we choose to be around. I chose this quote because too many times in my life I have had peers I don’t agree with, or bad relationships that led to both a worse mental state for me and worsening products. It is only that when I am around those who truly support me, retain a positive attitude, and add value to my life that I truly perform my best no matter the task. I would like to think that when I am in that setting, and in that circle, that I contribute to everyone else in a similarly positive way. A big part if leadership is not only having a positive group of followers but having a collective mindset of lifting each other up to find success in their lives. In the talons leadership setting I will place a much higher importance on not just a cause I’m passionate about but people who I am passionate about so that we can all trace our success back to those around us.


The Law of Mt. Everest

The leadership law I chose for the equipping section of the REAL book is the law of Mt. Everest. This law states that as the challenge increases, the need for teamwork increases. This law has a clear concept, big challenges in our lives are not conquered by us as individuals but by our team. It is only that as a team we can conquer our biggest challenges. I think specific to this law the challenge and need for teamwork increasing proportionally means a lot. Because while increasing difficulty demands an increase in effectiveness on the individual level the need for synergy among a team or group is much higher. In the TALONS setting I think it is always important to remember that we are a group and that no matter how well we are performing as individuals the synergy we have with out teammates is what will ultimately determine our victory or defeat. An example would be the recent planning of my groups cultural event, at each roadblock we experienced, as the challenge increased, we always met as a group. At no point was our teamwork stronger than in the face of adversity, and at no point was it more important. We could have easily dealt with each problem as it came up as individuals, but I don’t think we would have achieved anywhere near the same results as when we came together to make decisions and truly climb our Everest as a group. Collaborating with others is often difficult, but we need to understand that as the task gets more difficult our capacity for teamwork is what will decide the outcome.

Our attitude can turn problems into blessing

In the attitude section I chose the phrase “Our attitude can turn problems into blessing”. However, I would like to propose a rephrase, I think “our attitude can turn our challenges into opportunities,” while more cliched is more accurate. I think the word problem entails something that needs to be fixed immediately, or a hinderance of some kind, where as a challenge is something worked through. The other word I substituted, blessing, I think is too far towards the supernatural and joyous of a noun to describe this. I think this law means that adversity and challenge, is in reality what gifts us our greatest opportunities in life. Whether it’s taking on a challenge or working through something that comes your way it is through these demanding experiences that we find new ways to grow as people. In the talons setting I would once again like to reference my cultural event. We found out that we were not able to continue as originally planned with out event, a large challenge to be sure, but we found a solution that meant we would each be learning a new skill, and take the role of teachers for the class. While it would have been easier to have not met this challenge it is because of it that I will be, for the first time, taking the role of a painting instructor in front of our class. Which is a new and exciting opportunity that rose from the ashes of what would have otherwise been considered a failed plan.

The Law of the lid

Finally, in the leadership section, I have chosen to write about the law of the lid. The law of the lid states that a person’s leadership ability determines their effectiveness. Of course, this mainly applies to the group setting but is a potent nugget of wisdom, nonetheless. What this law means is that our team or our group will not grow past the leadership potential of its leaders, the leadership skills acting as a lid of the group’s effectiveness. I think that this law is important because too many times in the group setting, we merely focus on accomplishing a task, and do not realize that the thing preventing our group from progressing is our own limits. That’s why it’s important when leading to not only focus on those whom you are leading to a goal but to also focus on developing yourself and your skills to the point where the group can fulfill its maximum potential. To me there have been many times where I have been wrapped up in tasks to the point of ignoring my own leadership potential. In my cultural event group, I have seen those leading me trying to increase their leadership skills to increase our groups effectiveness. In seeing their example, I have realized that I should adopt the mindset of personal growth even in the setting of the group. In my own experience adopting a leadership role demands a mindset towards personal growth, and often I have not realized that, leading to poor results.

Carbon Footprint Project

Water subtotal: 80
Clothing subtotal: 105
Stuff subtotal: 75
Shelter subtotal: 40
Transportation subtotal: 70
Fun subtotal: 110
Food subtotal: 200
Total points: 680
Hectare score: 6.8

Comparison with others:
Overall, my score was much lower than those of my peers. Primarily, I think, because my family drives entirely electric cars and does not eat much meat because of my sister’s vegetarianism. Also, I walk to school most days I don’t need to use a car to get anywhere. Where I think other’s have higher scores than mine is in the food and transportation department as well as regarding food. My family has always been conscious of our carbon footprint has been taking steps to reduce it.

Ten things that affect my carbon footprint:

  • Living in a house with 2 rooms per people
  • Eating a semi significant amount of meat
  • Having a decent amount of food waste
  • Being on my computer a lot leading to a high fun total
  • Taking long showers
  • Always flushing the toilet
  • Neglecting some of my clothes
  • Buying most of my clothes brand new
  • Replacing rather than repairing things that break
  • Not using all environmentally friendly cleaners

5 things I can do in these 2 weeks:

  • Wear more of my clothing
  • Take shorter showers
  • Try to eat less meat
  • Reduce food waste as much as possible
  • Flush the toilet less often

I chose these 5 changes because I think they are the most doable during the time of this experiment. Also, these changes to my lifestyle are some that are more reliant on me rather than the lifestyle chosen by my parents. Although admittedly they were more of a help than a hindrance to making these changes.

Journal 1, Monday, October 5th
I’ve calculated my footprint and I’m impressed with having low results compared to my peers. Even so, there are still ways to improve, so I have five points. If it is possible, I would like to lower my score further, but I can see it being difficult since old habits are hard to break and a big portion of these things are out of my control.

Journal 2, Friday, October 9th
So far it has been difficult to keep with the steps I have put in place. Reminding myself and breaking my habits has been extraordinarily difficult. I do not think I will keep these habits in mind long enough to lower my score. I am making progress on wearing more of the clothes in my closet. Some things unfortunately are out of my control, my parents control my meals so sometimes eating meat is unavoidable.

Journal 3, Tuesday, October 12
Some habits I have been much better on as of late. I am improving a lot on wearing more of my clothes and flushing the toilet less. Maybe by pure coincidence, I have been eating many plant-based meals as of late using meat substitutes, although obviously thanksgiving was an unavoidable exception. Unfortunately, I have not been so aware when taking showers, taking 5-10-minute ones just as I had before. Overall, I have increased my awareness since the last journal entry.


I would not label my attempt to reduce my carbon footprint much of a success. Given the time frame, I was hesitant to take actions that would drastically reduce my carbon footprint. With that being said I had some successes along the way. I was able to wear some under-appreciated clothes and was much more conscious of my water use and flushing the toilet less. While these were minor successes, they were certain habits I did not think would be easy to break. In terms of what did not go well I was not able to reduce food waste any more than I already did regularly and was not aware enough to take shorter showers. Regarding eating less meat, I certainly did eat less than I would in a usual week but that was not thanks to my effort but rather that of my parents and the coincidence that I have a vegetarian sister for whom they must accommodate for. The biggest obstacle throughout this experiment was of course me. Most of my changes were based on habits that are not easy to break and staying aware was a constant challenge. During Thanksgiving, it was almost mandatory that I eat meat so of course, I indulged in the traditional dinner that night. Another obstacle was oddly enough the cold weather. I have more clothes suited for hot weather than those for cold, so it was difficult to incorporate variety that simply was not there. Looking ahead I do plan on continuing with these habits I have set but do not plan on making new efforts. Before this experiment, I already did a lot to reduce my footprint as confirmed by the number I initially got compared to my peers. Additionally, there are some things I just will not be able to change until I move out on my own that will remain for now. In the grand scheme of things, we as individuals are not the ones who should be making changes to reduce the effects of carbon emissions. Corporations, those who make the products we consume, are both the ablest to make decisions to reduce the increasingly severe climate crisis but are also those whose decisions will have the most impact. For these reasons, I think making individuals do these types of tests who do not necessarily have a choice is a bit of a guilt tactic for fighting climate change. Specific to me and my family we have already taken big strides to reduce our carbon footprint so changing these minor habits will not do much in terms of the global climate crisis. To summarize I had some success with the habits I set out to change during this experiment but had some larger challenges. In the end, I was the one responsible for these challenges but overall I think placing the responsibility of the climate crisis on individuals and minor habits that can be changed in the two weeks that this experiment covered is not the way forward, especially considering our age means we do not dictate some of these decisions. Those who do hold the power are the ones who should be held accountable for their decisions regarding climate change and the environment.