Introductory Post

“She watched and taught the girls that sang at their embroidery frames while the great silk flowers grew from their needles”

– Louise Jordan Miln

In-Depth, what is it?

                The In-Depth Study is one of the TALONS program’s largest projects. Its goal is to have you, the learner, learn everything and anything about something. Preferably, this something is specific, and something that you find intriguing. After all, this is a project that goes on for five months. It also wants you to be able to learn skills or components that others and you find important, which ties to the mentorship relationship. Your chosen mentor should be experienced in that skill area and should be able to help guide you through this project. As I stated before, the learner is to try and learn as much as they can about their skill within five months, throughout these months, you will be sharing your progress with blog posts.

My In-Depth Something.

                I remember at the beginning of the year I often heard about this project called “In-Depth,” I did not think of it much at first, but I was soon intrigued by this project. Around early December I started hearing more and more about this project, and I decided it was time for me to start looking for a skill. I found trouble doing this as at first, I had very few ideas, and later I had too many. I ended up going with embroidery, after remembering my many Pinterest pins that I had saved. Hand embroidery was something I was always somewhat interested in, but I never had the time to try it. Therefore, I decided to seize this opportunity to learn a new skill and hobby.

                Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric with thread or yarn, oftentimes, it can also include other decorations such as beads or sequins. It is an ancient form of art that came to life after people discovered the possibilities of decorative sewing through patchwork, cloth mending, and more.

Why Did I Choose This?

                To me embroidery seemed like such a beautiful form of art, so I like the idea of learning how to do it. As I stated before, embroidery was something I was always interested in, but I never got the chance to pursue it. Now that I have thought more about it, I believe that learning this skill can be quite versatile. For one it is a new hobby I can acquire, and I can apply these skills to my own wishes such as embroidering bags, clothes, and more. I can make gifts with these skills too. Not to mention, I can use stitches for fabric repairs when it comes to clothing and more. My goal for this project is to try to learn how to embroider different designs, as I can broaden my horizons and find what I enjoy most.

What is My Plan and What Will I Learn?

                I plan to make four mini projects in the next few months, leading up to my final project. I plan to learn something new with each mini project, for example, my first would be with floral designs, and my second with animals or such. My final project will be a cumulation of all those designs I have learnt. I will be learning basic stitches, and how to apply them to embroidery designs, I will learn how to care for the finished products, and how to choose the preferred supplies. Along the way, I plan to become proficient with around 15 stitches, and I would like to eventually experiment with different types of materials such as denim or canvas. Throughout this project I will be learning more about colour theory, hand-eye coordination, planning, and design skills.

                Below is a timetable which will help me track and complete my projects and goals.

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
Find a vision or goal. Before December 17th (done)
Find and contact a mentor. Before December 20th (done)
Make sure mentor has completed necessary forms. January 12th (done)
Do some research on embroidery. December 31st – January 10th (done)
Start finding stitches I want to learn. January 3rd – January 10th (done)
Find four types of patterns that I want to work on and two types of fabrics. Before January 31st (in progress)
Buy (most) needed supplies. Before January 31st (done)
Start learning and practicing stitches. January 16th – January 31st (done)
Start practicing a certain genre and complete a design for first mini project. Before January 31st (in progress)
Finish first mini project. February 6th
Learn to care for finished product. February 6th
Start working on second genre. February 7th
Finish and care for second project. February 28th
Finish and care for third project. March 21st
Finish and care for fourth project. April 11th
Finish final project. May 22nd
Complete a journal of what I have learnt and this journey. May 28th (in progress)

Who is My Mentor?

                Though my previous sewing skills are decent, I am glad to have my mentor, Michelle, help guide me through this. When I had chosen my skill, I found out that a previous TALONS student had chosen the same skill as me. After contacting the alumni, they shared their mentor’s number with me, and I introduced myself to Michelle. So far, I have had one meeting with her discussing my goals and plans. She has been sending me embroidery tutorials for me to practice with and gives me feedback on my stitches. While writing this I have started planning and practicing my first mini project, and I plan to update her as I go along.

What Have I Accomplished/Learned So Far?

                After choosing my in-depth skill, I contacted my mentor and I set up a meeting with her. In this meeting, Michelle told me about what basic embroidery supplies I would need that I did not already know about. She told me threads were often found in strands of six and used in strands of two or three. I had gotten two embroidery hoops, a six inch one and an eight inch one. Michelle told me that smaller hoops are often easier to work with, but preferences are different with everyone. As I continue to progress, she recommended I start free handing some of my designs with a water-soluble marker. With that I can challenge myself with those designs and erase the marker afterwards. Once I had gotten all the needed supplies, I started with practicing some stitches. I learned and practiced around 15 stitches which I thought would be beneficial for my first project. As I practiced them though, I realized some of them which had a more pattern-like design would need more strands of thread, so the pattern is more visible. I found I enjoyed doing stitches like the feather stitch or blanket stitch quite a bit, and I found the satin stitch a little time consuming. Though I did only use three strands of floss, so if I used more, it might have been easier. In the next week, I will be practicing floral designs, so I will be implementing these stitches into those patterns.

A picture of the stitches I learned over the semester break.


What Are My Resources?

                When it comes to resources, I will be mostly looking at tutorials and inspiration. When it comes to tutorials, I will be looking at many embroidery websites, as well as on YouTube. I can ask my mentor Michelle if I need any clarification with certain designs or stitches too. For those websites, I found ones that specialize in hand embroidery, and for beginners specifically. As for inspiration, I found that Pinterest has many ideas that I can use for references. If I am not confident with drawing my own designs yet, I can follow tutorials on YouTube. Having a visual to follow along with makes it much easier to see where I made a mistake, or if I need to rewatch a section.

                Here are some links I will be using.

SUBLIME STITCHING Contemporary Embroidery Design since 2001 – Sublime Stitching® – Tips Tricks and Great Resources for Hand Embroidery

Pinterest (I have a board for inspiration patterns)


                I look forward to learning these skills and discovering more about myself. My plan will help guide me throughout this project as my skills progress, and I am excited to see what I can achieve with the help of my mentor.

The 360° Leader – John C. Maxwell

“Maturity doesn’t come with age. It begins with the acceptance of responsibility.”

-Ed Cole

This quote by Ed Cole means that just because you’ve aged, does not mean that you’ve matured. You cannot mature by trading the experience of responsibility with age, they are two entwined things. If you can accept your responsibilities, whether at school, work, or home, you can grow and mature as a person. It may be hard but maturing can mean you will be able to look at a different perspective than others, like the big picture. I chose this quote as I like how it shows that growth is also a part of maturity, not physical growth, but experiencing things, making mistakes, and learning from mistakes. Sometimes maturing is scary but accepting it will help you throughout life, as a follower or a leader. I think this quote is related to TALONS as you are trying to learn to be a leader here. Maturity is a trait that leaders should have, and if you’re leading from the middle, it’s something to use to see the big picture. Trips, projects, and events are not just places where maturity is necessary, but it’s also a place where you can grow and mature. If I can accept my duties and responsibilities then I can gain a new skill, as well as grow as a leader. I cannot mature just by age, I must challenge myself, and face new things to mature. Maturity is a factor of seeing the big picture. Being able to see it is a valuable characteristic of a leader, I can lead with confidence, or follow with intent.

(Maxwell, 2006)

Knowing when to push and when to back off.

This concept, “knowing when to push and when to back off,” means being able to understand when you should assert yourself, or your opinions into a conversation or an environment. As well as when to back off, meaning you know when you should take a step back, and hold your thought for now. I chose this concept as it is important to know when to say or do something, because if you cannot choose the right time to do it, then the consequences may be unbearable. Knowing when to push can save an organization, relationship, or your own responsibilities. When it comes to backing off on the other hand, you should know when what you have done is not working. Assertiveness is a key communication skill as well, if you can assert yourself then you can communicate with your associates better. In TALONS, a skill you want to learn is being able to self-advocate. Knowing when to either push or back off can help you with this goal. Pushing as in persevering towards your needs and backing off when you realize that the time may not be right. If you believe what you must say is important, say it. A good leader should know when to assert themselves and when to back off. For example, if there was an emergency, you should not be standing in the back, hoping that someone else will say something. You need to. Learning and understanding these two concepts can be vital skills for the future, in your professional or personal life.

“See everyone as a “10.””

(Maxwell, 2006)

This quote means you should look at everyone as their strengths, or who they can become. Keeping in mind that “10” means many different things, as different people will have different strengths. People will learn more and put in more effort for leaders that see them as 10’s, opposed to a leader that sees them as a lower number. I chose this quote as I think it is important for leaders to appreciate and believe in their followers. In order to build your vision, you’ll need help, but if you don’t believe in the people that help you, they might leave. You cannot always have a thriving organization if your people aren’t. “Teamwork makes the dreamwork,” is a popular quote and I believe it can relate to TALONS too. During trip planning, event planning, or during activities, if my peers and I were looking at each other as if we were 7’s that would not lead to a great ending. Our progress could be hijacked by a tense and negative environment, leading to everyone losing. If we were to see each other as 10’s though, progress would be a lot steadier, and we would benefit from it. Seeing everyone as a 10 can benefit my leadership skills as well. Bonds with your peers are a big part of leadership and appreciating my peers will help strengthen those bonds. With our bonds we will develop trust and can build a sturdy foundation together. By seeing everyone as 10’s we can all work better and learn more together.

Practice Interview Reflection

During these practice interviews, I learned, for the most part, what questions are easier to answer than others, and what questions people are more comfortable being asked. While I was making the questions, I would answer them in my head to have a general idea of what follow-up questions would be good. Some questions I found were easier to answer were, future (short-term or long-term) goals, career related things, and accomplishments. I realized that making questions up on the spot relating to earlier questions was not as hard as I thought, and those questions allowed me to learn more about their answer to the original question. From my feedback, I learned I should rephrase unclear or clarify questions, as well as try and keep a steady flow of questions and answers as I often had long pauses between questions. This is valuable feedback for me to use for my interview on Saturday with my expert. I learned that I need to be more formal, as I often would laugh and say “um.” Although it is not a terrible thing to have a bit of a carefree attitude, I can understand why it is not ideal to be super laid back, especially when it comes to something this important. During my interview, I did not have many leading questions, so a goal I have for my actual interview is to start off with more leading questions, instead of jumping straight into the other questions. Observing another pair’s interview also showed me what are good characteristics to have. For example, patience, good body language (nodding, eye contact), having a positive attitude, clear voice, and staying focused are some traits I found were ideal. During my interview with my person’s expert, I will have to be more formal than I was when interviewing my peer. I can take the feedback I received and strengthen what I need to strengthen so my interview will go more smoothly. For example, if my interviewee sounds or seems confused, I can clarify my question more and give an example of an answer. When we were doing our practice interviews, I did not ask a peer to read over my questions to see if they are good or not. For the actual interview, I will ask for a classmate’s opinion on my interview questions beforehand.

Overall, I found the practice interview helpful, as I learned what I needed to work on, and what questions are better than others. I look forward to my interview with my expert.

Eminent Introduction Reflection

During to process of reading my peer’s blogs, I learnt a lot of things about influential people and their obstacles. I read about people that stood up for what was right, overcame huge barriers, and overall, changed the world. Some of them did things never done before; others went against insurmountable foes. I also learned about my peers a little bit, in their posts, they connected themselves to their chosen person with their beliefs, interests, and future goals. Their posts had quotes, pictures, and comments that I found intriguing and made their paragraphs interesting. I found that having pictures in your introductory post made it more interesting and engaging. Personal connections also made the posts sound more passionate and gave it more depth. In complete honesty, I found posts about people I feel more connected to a bit more interesting than others, though I did enjoy reading all the blog posts, nevertheless. In the comments I received, I got helpful feedback, which I will remember for projects in the near future. Seeing other people’s blogs also gave me a better idea of what visuals are good as well as how much I should write. I noticed that pretty much everyone had different writing styles and tones. In the future if I had an assignment that might need a specific tone, I could try to match those. There may also be peers that have chosen people similar to mine, therefore if I need help with something related to their field of work or such, I could ask for help from them. Overall, I enjoyed reading my peer’s posts and I look forward to learning more about their eminent people.

Eminent Person Introduction

“It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.”
-Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp.

My eminent person is Florence Nightingale, an English statistician, social reformer, and founder of modern nursing. Something that draws me to this person is how she was able to make such a difference that affects us to this day. She enforced workplace safety, making hospitals a place where sick could heal, instead of being harmed. By enforcing sanitary laws like washing hands, changing bedsheets, ventilating wards, and providing decent food and water, hospitals were safer for patients and doctors. A connection I share with Florence is that we are both interested in healthcare or medicine. She was a nurse and specialized in preventative medicine, I am interested in pharmaceutical sciences and psychiatry. Those interests may not be closely related, but their purposes are to help a patient get better. We both strongly believe in our opinions, during the Crimean war, nurses were not respected and the tension between the doctors and nurses caused a negative energy to thrive in the wards. After the war, she opened nursing schools and made nursing into a respected profession, she is an inspiration to nurses all over the world today. I may have not done something as powerful as she did, though I will stand by my thoughts and what I believe is right. I believe Florence exemplifies my goals in TALONS as I am willing to challenge myself through this program, and though it may be uncomfortable, I am willing to pave my own path, so I can achieve my goals like Florence did when she went against her family’s opinion on nursing. Throughout her lifetime, she helped and healed others, I think this exemplifies my own goal of having a career that will help people around me. A barrier that separates me and my person is geography and time, she was born 187 years before me and in a completely different country. Florence was born into a wealthy family that expected her to get married to a rich partner at a young age and live her life with her family. Instead, she went against their wishes and become a nurse, unlike her, I have not had a dream big enough to make such a difference in both my own and others’ lives’. A way for me to address these barriers is learning to empathize with Florence, these barriers are a learning opportunity for me too, the more I learn, the better I can understand her.

Notes on Nursing, by Florence Nightingale

Florence had contributed to her field in many ways, in addition to writing over 150 pamphlets, reports, and books on healthcare, she established basic sanitary laws that are the foundation to modern medicine. Also known as “the Lady with the Lamp,” Florence will be remembered as the first nurse who set rules that make hospitals the safe places they are nowadays. As mentioned before, Florence was born into a rich family who disliked the idea of Florence pursing nursing, they disliked it to the point they forbade her to do it. During the Crimean war, her and her nurses were sent to care for the wounded, the male doctors though, did not appreciate their presence, creating tension. Her work and research during the Crimean war led to improved health conditions and lowered the death rate of wounded soldiers. After the war, she established schools for woman who wanted to pursue nursing and turned it into respectable profession. Florence dedicated her life to helping others, she wanted to make hospitals a clean space, and turn nursing for a profession that was looked down upon, to one that people admired. Florence believed in the Miasma Theory, even after that theory was proven wrong, she believed in it until she passed. The Miasma Theory stated that diseases like cholera and chlamydia were transmitted by air from rotting matter. She is worth learning about as her actions are why hospitals are places where people heal, and why nursing has become an admirable profession. She would’ve been a good role model for this pandemic, demonstrating resilience, care of others, and courage. A lesson from her story could be to be ready to help others in need. All her work impacts us today and I believe she is worthy of being called eminent.

My next step in research will be to learn more about the profession of nursing, and how it has changed over the years.

Digital Footprint Assignment

1. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

Some positive effects my digital footprint could have, are showing my open-mindedness and bravery. I could be caught up in an argument or such, and I could be seeing both sides of the argument and making sure to listen to both opinions. My footprint could show my courageousness if I were to defend someone or something. If I were to upload pictures of my hobbies and interests, employers may find certain things favorable. A negative effect my digital footprint may have is if I were to recklessly post something. Over 70% of employers nowadays use social media as a screening tool. If I was reckless with what I posted on social media, I could lose my job which would have an influence on any future jobs I want as well.

2. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

One of the most obvious strategies is the THINK acronym, using this acronym before you post could prevent things from embarrassment to harassment. If you were to post something, be sure it is something you are ok showing to strangers. Changing your privacy settings is another strategy, if you do not want strangers to judge what you post, or you do not want your posts to impede your professional life, then change your settings to only show posts to specific people. Remember that anything and everything will be remembered by the internet, if you were to post something, then find it embarrassing you would probably delete it. Unfortunately, there is a good chance people have already seen it, and maybe even taken screenshots to share to other people. Just because you deleted something does not mean that others can not find and retrieve it.

3. If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would do differently online? Think of what advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students.

I was always quite careful when it came to social media so I would often take precautions when being online. When I was younger, any social accounts I had were private so strangers could not see my posts. I would tell my younger self about the THINK acronym and encourage her to use it before she plans to post anything. I would also tell her that the internet always remembers, if she were to post something, she should make sure she is ok with others seeing it. If she were to delete that post, then she should know that it might not be truly gone.