With in-depth just around the corner, I am working towards creating and finishing a final BIG project to make and eventually use for the central ‘focal’ or ‘main’ portion on my learning center. Recently in the last few weeks, I have been working on finding/identifying a genre or style that I enjoy using. A few days ago, I have decided and am currently experimenting with the surreal part of art. Here is the first experiment that I had/made today:


After making two or three more of these smaller experimental pictures, I intend to start planning and working on one or even two bigger projects (bigger as in it will take use of more photos or effects than the experimental ones to create something unique and creative). I think this tree picture was really a good edit because I used my own photo (the tree) and made something that I enjoyed and like the idea of.

For my learning center, I plan to have a timeline of the different edits I’ve made to show the gradual progress that’s been accomplished and ‘zoom’ into a part of the timeline to bold what I took away from that particular period. Additionally, I need to choose between an interactive part that either lets passerby’s try using photoshop or teaches them the simplest of photoshop knowledge (layers). Or perhaps even both.

Big Ideas – Hamilton

Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence societies and events.
‘Got a lot farther by working a lot harder’
The new ideologies of working harder for success has given Hamilton hope, motivation and support from others and himself. If this ideal was not widespread, Hamilton may have had a harder time reaching up to his desires.

Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
‘Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mothers landlord’
The difference in power between the landlord and Hamilton (the money they had) may have triggered Hamilton to feel like an outcast from society. Cut off from people with little power to fend for himself.

Collective identity is constructed and can change over time.
‘In New York you can be a new man’
Although Hamilton had a bad start, the people around him say that in New York he can become a new man. Stating that although he is who he is at that time, it can change over time and work.

The physical environment influences the nature of political, social, and economic change.
‘The world will never be the same, oh’
Within a world that is very young, new systems, new ideals, and new economies will form. They say that the world will never be the same because of the new environment they are in which is brimming with opportunities to succeed.

Independent Investigations – The Importance of Equilibrium

Inquiry Question: What were the impacts of the fur trading industry (Hudson’s Bay, Northwest Company, and people) on the Canadian environment/landscape?

During the colonization of the New World by the Europeans, many settlers saw an opportunity of wealth and sought to find riches such as gold. To their surprise, they found something just as good; animal fur.

Fur played a huge part in the success of the new colonies. Bringing in a profit meant investments from Europe, which in turn translated to the growth of European communities in North America. But this seemingly endless supply of fur, was to no surprise, finite. Due to over trapping and hunting of fur, populations of beaver, and other fur bearing animals, were pushed to near-extinct levels. Hundreds of thousands of furs were exported to Europe each year. Thankfully, nearing the 19th century, the paradigm of fashion in Europe transitioned towards silk, relieving the pressure for fur.


Cause and Consequence

To look at why things happened the way they did, we must look at the wants and fears of the historical actors present during the events. Commonly, settlers sailing towards the great new land searched for a new life and opportunity. A more opulent life than to the one which they had left behind. Although they dreamed of success, they had rolled a dice. Accepted a gamble. They faced having to raise money in a young economy. These desires pushed the new citizens to search for a profit. And during that period, fur was plentiful, expensive, and accessible. A perfect calling for a business.

At first, the mark left by humanity was not noticeable. The colonies were small, and businesses small in number. But as time passed, more people got involved, more people joined in. And by the turn of the century, beaver populations are speculated to have dropped by 80-90%. The mass spread of colonization additionally brought a wave of towns, forts, and posts to a continent previously covered in flora and fauna.

To picture the amount of decrease in the population, the image below shows how long a line of 60 million beavers (estimated beaver population before fur trade) would be compared to the US-Canadian Border. Each Centimeter represents 1000km, each tick represents roughly the length of the border (6,400km), and the spikes you see next to the beaver image is just to conserve space on the paper.


Yeah, that’s a lot of beavers, but why does that matter? Of course there would be many of them! But if you look carefully, the part of the line highlighted in blue represents the same line of beavers at the start of the 19th century (or two of those if you are optimistic).


Continuity and Change

During the fur trade, the historical actors abused the natural resources and nearly depleted the populations of entire species such as beaver. Their wants and fears forced them to look upon money, and not the environment. We see a similar story today, with the constant use of different natural resources, burning up and emitting harmful substances into the air. If we take a peak into the past, we can see that businesses relying on the use of natural resources can alter the equilibrium of nature. The beaver is considered a “keystone” animal to Canada, providing and creating a suitable home to many other species (a key component to the ecosystem). An example of an abused “key” today is our air. Recently, I went on a trip to Korea, and there I witnessed the extents of pollution to the point were the Government had to send warnings

on your phone to NOT GO OUTSIDE.

To me this was an eye opener, we together, as a society, need to deeply consider the long term effects of the change we are capable of.


Final Thoughts

At first I thought this project was going to be simple, a nice easy DOL to end the week with. But it happened to become a lot bigger than I anticipated. I only had the chance to research about one animal (and topic). The beaver, which I thought to be the most important. But there are many other animals that were hunted during this time (e.g: Marten, Geese, Minks, Seals, Racoons, Otters, THE LIST GOES ON). Additionally, the question I wanted to better understand was not just about animals, but of the change to the environment as a whole. This would include things like new diseases carried by Europeans that harmed the communities and environments of the indigenous, to the change caused by the sudden eruption of human population.

However, with the research that I was able to complete, I can corroborate that the fur trading industry left a great mark in history. Rapidly changing the course of the continent by introducing new things, and taking away/decreasing important necessities.