Media Fair Reflection

For our final unit in Grade 10 English this year, we studied media. We all chose a topic that was portrayed as a controversial topic in society, and found various sources of the topic. As a product, we created a poster displaying the sources, and we shared our posters with the other class as well. The Media Fair took yesterday morning and I looked at different posters from different classes.


As for my poster, I chose the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger. It is considered a very controversial novel, for it has sexual as well as violent scenes, and has been banned in various schools since its release in 1951.

My Poster
My Poster


Myerski’s poster was about “Positive Body Image”. She had various sources which showed how media portrayed body image as a positive and practical subject, as well as giving confidence and boosting self esteem to others. Her sources showed two sides to the subject – how some advertisements were displaying thin, model figure women, while how some videos were targeted at teenagers to be happy with their own body. One interesting point she mentioned, was how all of the sources she found were mostly directed at women, and not men. Her poster was very well organised and easy to follow.


Toshi’s poster was on President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. Very recently, President Obama visited Hiroshima as the first American President to ever do so, and it raised some controversy and debate within Japan. His speech enraged some, and Toshi had 4 different types of media including image, news article, and social media (Twitter). I found it very interesting how he chose this as his topic, for it was fairly recent and although it was quite a huge deal in Japan, it was not as outside the country.


I also looked at Kaishyu’s poster, since he was right next to me and I also helped him throughout the making of his poster. His poster was on Donald J. Trump, an American Politician and a nominee of the Republican Party for the Presidential elections of 2016. For his sources, he had several memes , and many tweets tweeted by Trump himself, as well as articles. It was very interesting to see that the tweets, were the only sources that showed a positive perspective towards the topic. I thought it was also very interesting and made it more relatable with how Kaishyu used memes since most of us have seen a Trump meme somewhere on the internet.

The “Monster Study”

The "Monster Study"
The “Monster Study” by Cloy Kent in 1978

The Story:

In 1939, Davenport Iowa, an experiment on stuttering was conducted on orphans. The study was done by Mary Tudor, a 22 year old clinical psychology graduate, and Wendell Johnson, a speech pathologist working as an assistant professor at Iowa University was her supervisor (Collins). The study started off by selecting 22 subjects from the orphanage. There were 10 orphans who were already marked as stutterers by their teachers. The 10 stutterers were then split into 2 groups, in which one group was the experiment set, IA. The children in IA were continuously praised for their speech, and told that they “did not stutter”. The remaining 12 children were children who were fluent with their speech, and six of these fluent children were assigned to another experimental group, IIA, in which they were repeatedly told that they were starting to have problems with their speech, and that it must be fixed immediately, though they really had no problems (Reynolds). The study started in January of 1939, and went on until May of the same year. Tudor visited the orphanage a few times a month, talking to each student for approximately 45 minutes during each visit. To the orphans in first experimental group, IA, she told them that their speech was improving, and that they will eventually outgrow the stutter. To the children of IIA, the group that was branded as stutterers, she told them that the stuttering needed to be fixed immediately, and that the children were not allowed to speak until they’re stuttering was fixed. By the second meeting, the children in Group IIA were a lot more conscious with their speech, and many were reluctant to speak. All 6 subjects of group IIA’s speech was reduced, and each student somehow reacted to their stuttering, from not speaking to anxiously correcting themselves before they spoke (Reynolds).


Wendell Johnson, a speech pathologist recruited Mary Tudor to conduct this “Monster Study” to see whether stuttering was an inborn and uncorrectable trait (Clark). Back then, stuttering was considered more of a natural trait, and Johnson was sure that if he was able to prove that stuttering was in fact, a learned behaviour, it would have been an massive implication in speech therapy. Johnson himself suffered with stuttering his whole life, and he was not convinced that stuttering was an inborn trait. Johnson spoke without any problems until when he was about 5 or 6, until his teacher mentioned that he stuttered to his parents which made him overly conscious of his speech, leading him to struggle with speech problems for most of his life (Reynolds).

Was this Ethical?

The “Monster Study” is known and named after for how cruel the experiment was, since it experimented with orphans. Many of the children that were living at the orphanage had no parent to give consent, and even if they did have a living parent, they were not in a state to take care of their own child. It is also remarked on how these children that were used as subjects nor the teachers of the orphanage were notified on the actual intention of the research. They believed that they were receiving “speech therapy”, while in fact, they were merely used as subjects for a cruel, dishonourable experiment.

How else could have information been collected?

The main problem with the “Monster Study” is that it was conducted on poor, orphans who really did not know what they were getting themselves into, and neither did they really have a choice. These orphans were tricked into thinking they were receiving speech therapy, while they were actually being used as subjects of an study that really did leave a deep scar for the rest of their lives. It is noted, that after the study was over, Tudor herself visited the orphanage to give follow up care. However, this did not work as planned, for more than half of them did not show progress. The information could have been collected differently if the teachers or the supervisors of the orphanage were notified about what the study was on, and if they gave consent. Obviously, the whole experiment seems extremely harsh, and it is hard to believe that anyone will give consent for such experiment. However, it might have been different if follow up care was assured and given by another professional in speech therapy, since it might be that by the end of the experiment, the children might be afraid of whoever conducted the study. 

Works Cited

Clark, Josh. “5 Horrific Psychological Experiments – #4: The Monster Study.” Weblog post. Stuff You Should Know. N.p., 19 May 2009. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

Collins, Dan. “‘Monster Study’ Still Stings.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 6 Aug. 2003. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

Reynolds, Gretchen. “The Stuttering Doctor’s ‘Monster Study'” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2003. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

Kinuta Concert Performance – Reflection

On the 11th of March, Grade 10 performed at the MS / HS Hougaku Concert. We performed a piece called “Kinuta”, which we have been practising since last year. Before the performance, we readied ourselves by choosing a few sections which we needed to practise at home, and we did a few blog posts beforehand videoing the parts we needed to practise as well.

What was effective about my preparation? What worked best? Why?

Without doubt, I was not as well prepared as I could have been, but I do think that I was able to gain a bit more confidence before the performance since I practised as much as I could before the actual performance on Friday. I had a lesson on the Monday the week before the concert with Miyama Sensei, and I was really able to understand the parts I was failing and falling behind on, and I was able to go home and practise those parts a lot more. Also, another aspect that really did help me to practise and prepare for the concert, was how I practised. Whenever I was practising alone at home, instead of practising from the very start of the piece, I started from the back of the piece. I think this worked quite well, since I was able to play the start of the piece compared to the later parts. I barely remembered the later part of the piece, and starting from back of the piece really helped me to prepare for the performance, when I only had a week before the actual concert.

 How might I have worked differently to better prepare? What will I do differently next time? 

As mentioned above, I was not well prepared for the performance at all. The reason for this was because I had rarely practised at home, due to clash of homework and assessments as well as other activities and plans after school. Since we will most likely have a next time, I think I would really like to familiarise myself with piece quite a few weeks before the actual performance, and not a week before like this particular concert. I will also like to really be able to notice on parts that I need to practise and focus on before I could play without the music and play with the whole class. Looking at a more specific part that I really do need to prepare and practise, is my presses. I often find it really hard to play the presses with accuracy and my presses create a very awkward sound since i fail to press the strings hard enough. I really do want to be able to make a clear sound with my presses, and press fully whenever I need to press in the piece.

Your overall impressions of your class’ performance. How did you do as a group (positive aspects, areas to improve)? For you individually – how did you do? Did you meet your expectations? What went well? and what will you work on for next time? 

As for the actual performance, I think it could be said that it definitely was not our best performance, even out of all the performances we have performed through as a grade. As a group, we were not perfect and we were all quite worried about the whole piece even on the day of the actual performance and that did seem to ruin our confidence and that may have effected our performance. We personally felt that we were rushing towards the end of the performance, while the teachers said that we were quite slow compared to the pace we were practising in, and as we listened to the performance after the concert, it was quite evident that it did not reach the expectation of what we hoped to execute at the concert. As it was mentioned in class, while we are actually playing, we cannot really listen to others which is another problem, for we did seem to jumble up towards the end of the piece, and Koto 1 and Koto 2 both got mixed up, which lead to us rushing, although we were able to somehow end together at the very last. As we listened to the recording of us, presses were another problem that could be spotted immediately. Whilst playing, it was hard to notice how the presses sound, and although it was most likely me, it was not as easy to spot while we were actually playing. I think for our next performance, it would be a lot better if we actually practise all together with the timing and playing at an steady pace so that we will not be all over the place when we actually perform.

Kinuta – 3 Sections

Currently in Grade 10 Koto, we are practising for our next performance, which is coming up this Friday. We will be performing a piece called “Kinuta”. I have chosen three parts from the whole entire piece to practise and focus on before the actual performance.

The first section which I decided to focus on, was Page 6, Line 3, Measure 3. This section goes on at a constant speed, and it is not exactly fast, but it does get a bit confusing for me at some parts, although it is playing the same notes over and over again. There are two patterns for this section which is repeated twice, and the patterns do vary a bit, which did make it more confusing towards the start. I did find that it was easier to practice and understand after I broke it down into smaller sections within the bigger chunk, and also play at a slower speed than the actual speed. The second pattern was a lot more confusing for me, for it does skip two lines in which I did not notice until I was told in class.


I focused on Page 8, Line 1, Measure 4 for the next section. This part was probably the trickiest part out of the whole song for me; it is very fast and although the notes are often repeated after each other, it was extremely hard to be able to play all the notes at once. I did break this part down into smaller sections as well, and tried to play it very, very slowly, for it is so fast that it kept on confusing me. Another aspect that was difficult for me, was that as soon I was able to somehow play the notes, I kept on forgetting to press the notes that needed to be pressed, and the pressed notes were barely pressed by the end of the section. Although I do keep on making mistakes throughout this section, I do think I did improve.


The third section which I focused on was Page 8, Line 3, Measure 4. This part comes soon after the second section I focused on. I decided to focus on this part, because I felt like this part really brought the song towards the end and the climax. This fingerings of this section confused me, and the press on 6 also made it somewhat difficult for me as well. Again, I slowed it down and played it slowly to start with. I also read out the notes while playing it, and then slowly sped it up so I could play it at the actual tempo later on.


Because the concert is this Friday, and I really do not have a lot of time before the actual performance, I really do want to be able to play these parts because I think these parts do somewhat stand out in the whole piece. My goal is to be able to play fluently and also memorise the whole piece so I can play and not let down the whole group.

Koto Kinuta Practice 2

This is my second video for the piece we are currently playing in Koto class as this moment, a piece called “Kinuta”.  For this practice session, I continued to play the same parts from the video before and a bit more. I practiced three parts in total, and the three parts are actually all connected, but I had decided to break them down in three parts, for I could see that I was not going to go anywhere with the piece if I was trying to play it altogether.


The first section I chose was from Page 3, Line 3, Measure 3. The reason I chose to focus on this part was because I have found that I have a lot of difficulty playing this part. Since I am quite terrible with my presses, and with how this line contains both a full press and half press, I thought that it was a good line to start off with. I really did find it quite difficult to start with a full press then quickly move to a half press on the same note, but I did practice the slight change by using my tuner. Another thing that helped this part become a bit easier, was with the trick that Miyama Sensei taught us – to press down fully with two finger at the full press, and then lift one finger for the half press. This really did become  quite a bit easier, and since my presses are still nowhere near perfect, I intend to continue working on them.


The second section I chose was from Page 3, Line 4. As mentioned above, this line is continued from the section I chose before, Page 3, Line 3, Measure 3. I chose this part because I really found it difficult to keep up when we were playing as a class. I did spend some time just closely looking at Line 4 without playing or being near the koto a few times, partially because I feel as if I am terrible at reading and playing at the same time, and also just because I always stop halfway and it gets my thoughts jumbled up. Since I just find myself getting lost and always not knowing what to play, I decided to break down the last two measures into 3’s. I also played very slowly at first, and gradually speeded up. Although I am still not fast as the actual recording, and I still make small mistakes, I think I am getting somewhat used to the patterns.


The third section I chose was from Page 4, Line 1, until the end of Measure 2. This is also continued from the section I chose before, Page 3, Line 4. I decided to set my focus on this part as well, because I always feel that I get too caught up on the Line 4 of page 3, and never fully continue playing without drifting off. This line, similarly to Line 4 of the previous page, is quite fast and although there is a pattern, there are a few half presses here and there, which did kind of make me pause a few times. I did decide to take this line slowly as well, and did focus on playing half presses not full presses. I did use my tuner here, to make sure that I was not pressing too much.

Koto Kinuta Practice

For this practice, I practiced two parts from the piece we are playing right now, Kinuta. I focused on page 3, lines 3 and 4. The piece is a lot faster compared to the speed I am playing in the video, and I also really need to work on my presses, and the transition from full press to half press, since it sounds pretty bad.

Music 9: Composition

For this unit in Grade 9 Koto, we have done some research on world tonality, and created a magazine article with our research. We then chose one tonality, and created our own composition from it. I have decided to use the Pelog Scale from Gamelan music. Gamelan music is very soft, and it is also very repetitive. I have used the Pelog scale for my tuning, and the composition itself is very much influenced from Gamelan music.

I personally do think I was able to interpret the Gamelan music into my composition. From the examples I have heard online, a lot of Gamelan music had a lot of repetition, and in general, it was quite soft. The sounds that were created from the instruments were not necessarily so soft to the point where it was rarely audible, but neither was it pungent. The sounds did not engrave into one’s mind, but it had a soft, yet clear sound to it, and that is what I wanted to portray in my composition. I used my fingers a lot, to have the soft sounds, and I also used both tsume and fingers at the same time, to have both sounds at the same time. In my composition, there was a lot of repetition as I have mentioned earlier, but at the same time, I think there was, perhaps, too much repetition to the point where it sounded boring to keep on listening to the same sounds over and over again. I had several motifs, that I created beforehand, and I did not use all of the motifs, since as I started to create the actual composition, I realised a lot of it did not actually it in to the overall piece, I did use one motif, which I am seen playing over and over again. The particular motif I chose was simple, only four notes, but it could have been done extremely slow, or even extremely fast and played over and over again. Another thing that I focused on, was trying to make the dynamics extremely dramatic. I especially tried to make the dynamics measurable, without making it get louder or slower gradually, since I wanted it to be noticeable and pronounced. It gets slow and fast quite suddenly as well, to make it interesting. I think I was able to create an interesting, original piece with the Pelog Scale, and I did enjoy creating it as well.

PSA: Lack Of Sleep

Statement of the problem

A lot of people seem to lack sleep as they have homework, social network, and often do not sleep as much as they are required to.

Design Specs

Design Spec I would want some kind of audio(background music, sound effects, etc)
Where? Almost every PSA I watched and analyzed seemed to have some kind of sound effect, and background music.
Why? With having some sort of background music or some kind of sound effect, it can really attract audiences, and keep them attracted, depending on whatever the sound is.
How? As I go through my editing and watching phase, I can quickly see if I added any audio too my PSA


Design Specs

Design Spec I would want to mention some kind of “fact”(numbers, statistics).
Where? With many of the PSA’s I have watched, when some kind of fact was mentioned, it made the whole thing more reliable and very
Why? When there are facts, which in most cases are statistics, it makes it sound more professional, and more reliable. Also, facts always support whatever the statement is.
How? Throughout writing my script I will make sure to include these facts, and once I finish, I will also check by watching.


Design Specs

Design Spec Good balance of talking(facts) and visuals(image, movement)
Where? One of the PSA’s that I watched and really enjoyed, had a very good PSA which had a good balance between the two.
Why? Because if there is more of another, it will make it either a) too much facts and very boring or b)no facts and no explanation. With having a good balance, it will make it interesting, and have info.
How? I will be able to see this as I plan my PSA as throughout filming. I could also see everything at the end, where I could check.


Design Specs

Design Spec Having no aspects of “fear”
Where? Almost all PSA’s I watched had something to do with fear, and it is almost threatening to the point where instead of informing them the consequences, they use fear to make them understand, which is not what I would like.
Why? Fear makes it very threatening, and it is really just scares people, not inform them at all.
How? When creating my story, I could check where it goes against my design specs, if it is okay or not, and at the end I could check once again to see whether it works around fear .



Statement of Problem:

<<Copy and paste from previous work here>>

A lot of students seem to be lacking sleep, as they have things to do such as, social networking, homework, etc, which makes them have less time to sleep.

Idea #1:

The first scene, is the protagonist waking up, with her alarm beeping loudly. She is very sleepy, and unconsciously press the snooze button, and does it a couple of times. She wakes up later, and realises how she is almost late for school, and scrambles out of bed. From there, it would rewind to a couple of hours earlier, where the protagonist would be seen scrolling through her twitter/fb/instagram feeds, and also texting her friends, starting homework late, etc. Which results to keep her waking up til midnight, and then narration would pop in, with statistics, etc.

Pros Cons Suggestions
  • Easy to film
  • Simple
  • “Good Idea” by Yudai Kato on February 2nd, 3:42 pm
  • Very futsuu
  • Parallel universe
    • Doing everything properly
  • Have weird ringtones as alarm


Idea #2:

The protagonist is in bed, under the covers. She is obviously awake, and she seems to be on her phone, texting someone. She is giggling, and the light is shining into her eyes. She realises the time on her phone, quickly texts good night and tries to sleep, however she cannot sleep and turns around in her bed, and wakes up the next morning, on the ground, with dark under eye circles, feeling moody, and tired. Then text appears, with stats.

Pros Cons Suggestions
  • Creative
  • Use contrast of colour, to express the issue
  • Interesting
  • Able to relate too
  • Does not work around fear
  • Might be too long
  • Need more time for facts
  • Possibly read out facts?
  • Have phone screen reflecting into eyes


Idea #3:

The protagonist is always on their phone, computer, and never having enough sleep. This causes them to gain weight, moodiness, and always being very, very depressed. They gain more weight, as they become sleep deprived, and eat to release stress. In the end, with stress, the fall down at school, and faints. Stats appear.

Pros Cons Suggestions
  • Good idea
  • Interesting
  • Works around fear
  • Positive action
  • Triggers something to become sleep deprived
  • Sleeps earlier usually, but then one day sleeps late


Final Choice: Justification and Presentation

The problem that I will like to focus my PSA will be is a major problem for many people, lack of sleep. A lot of people seem to be lacking sleep as they might have homework, be on electronics, procrastinate, etc. And for my topic, I think my second idea for my PSA would be the best.

My first idea, where it starts with the protagonist waking up with her alarm beeping, and being very sleepy, as she wakes up late. Then, stats would go across the screen, as she gets ready hurriedly. I think this is quite a good idea, since it is very simple, conveys the message well. However, this idea may be too long for a PSA, as for there is a few scenes where it would be needed to be shown definitely, and not fit between the 60 seconds, which is the longest a PSA could be. This idea does mostly fit with the design specifications, though I personally think this does not have as much as movement as I would want it to be.

The second idea, which is where it starts with having the protagonist under the covers in their bed, and looking at their phone. The phone screen would be reflecting into the protagonist’s eyes, and everything around would be completely dark, besides the light from the phone screen. Then, the protagonist realises the time, and tries to sleep, but ends up rolling in her bed, and the next morning wakes up with dark circles under eyes. I personally do like this idea, since I like how it focuses on phone and how that affects sleep, since a lot of people often say, that electronics is the one that keeps them awake at night. The facts/stats would be read out loud, while the protagonist is on their phone, and this idea really does match with my design specifications. However, again, this might be too long too film and not fit in the 60 seconds.

The third and last idea, starts with the protagonist never having enough sleep. With not having enough sleep, it will cause them to eat more, and cause them to become unfit, sleep deprived and depressed. Towards the end, they will faint at school, from a unhealthy diet, and lack of sleep. Than, statistics would appear on a dark screen. I personally do think this is a good idea, since it shows the consequences the most. However, this works around fear obviously, and also goes go against my design specifications, which is not to work around fear. Also, with how a lot of movement it takes place in, it might go over the time limit, and it is obviously not the best for a PSA.

Looking at the three ideas I have created and written, I think that, overall, the second idea is the best out of all. It is the most interesting, as the idea itself is very straight to point, and is able to convey the message the most.