1. Inquiry Question: What is the story of my first bought deck of cards?
2. Source: This is a primary source. The cards were produced by the United States Playing Card Company of Cincinatti. The deck was produced in U.S.A approximately 2-3 years ago, but there may be a large descrepancy from production to selling.
3. Context: At the time, I was someone who was only fascinated by magic and card tricks. I had an interest in learning the craft due to its flashiness and fluidity. However, I had no determination to back up my learning for the craft. One day, I felt like I wanted to learn because I wanted to impress certain people by doing magic. I didn’t have any specialty decks or anything so I grabbed one that I used to play card games. I practiced and learnt different techniques and tricks on it until all the cards were ruined. I kept repeating this process until I realized that some tricks needed a good deck. That’s when I went and bought this deck of Bicycle Cards. The reason I bought them was because I had become serious in my pursuit in becoming a magician.
4. Description: The cards have become brown at the edges and there are obvious folds in the middle of the cards. The box is peeling apart and the seal is waterdamaged. The cards are also sticking together more and don’t glide as easily as they should. It is interesting how some cards are in much better than condition others. For example, the ace of hearts is in very good condition compared to the nine of spades. I can’t explain how the damage to the cards happened in such a disorderly manner.
5. Inferences about perspective: The creator probably belonged to the Bicycle® Company. They probably made the source to earn money for their livelihood. They probably intended the cards to end up in the hands of someonewho either has an interest in card tricks or wants to play card games with others. The creator’s background could leave a big influence on the overall design of the card. In the card industry, the backs of the cards are one of the greatest selling features. The creator would be using his background and values to create a cardback that he enjoys and admires.
6. Infeence about inquiry question: I can learn that the owner is someone who enjoys using cards since that is something of great significance to them. One of the key concepts I can infer from the source is the way it was used and handled. From the folds of the cards and the slight browning at the edges. It is evident that the cards have been used for extended periods of time as the sweat in the hands had melted into it. This extends what I know about the owner because it gives insight about what the owner does for entertainment. It doesn’t tell me the daily lifestyle of the owner or why he decided to do card magic. I would like to know what the reason he started doing magic was.
If we want to understand the people of the past as well as we can, then we need to understand the flaws and ideas we should avoid. First of all, it is crucial to understand that the people of the past may not have been as exposed to the knowledge you now consider something everyone should know. For example, in the past it was acceptable to have slaves and ownership over other human beings. Nowadays, that sort of behaviour is deemed unacceptable by the community. However, that stance may change in the future which leads to another scenario exactly like this.
I believe that there is always some truth in stereotypes and other big ideas ingrained into society. As someone who wants to accurately understand the people of the past, we need to understand the concepts behind their ideas. We need to find out and understand what concepts makes them believe what they believed. For example, why did people in the past believe it was a good idea to buy your way out of hell? That may seem like a silly and unreasonable idea now, but in the past it made sense. They believed that the church had the power to let our sins be forgiven and that God would forgive them if they paid the church money. Their morals and ideals were vastly different from our contemporary thoughts.
Naturally, as someone who has grown up in the 21st century. We have our ideals and morals that have been ingrained into our mind since young. These morals may interfere with our ability to comprehend the people of the past. We may appear biased when criticizing people of the past since we tend to judge them by our moral standards. The people of the past also grew up with their own set of morals ingrained into their mind and we must understand that context. We cannot deem them bad people by believing what was supposedly ‘right’ in their time.
Obviously, even people of the past have conflicted views over things and argue with each other. If even they who are supposed to understand their own time, still struggle over their views, then we have an even worse understanding. It is crucial to thoroughly explore and understand contemporary records of those historical events for a clearer perspective. The more sources, the better, and that is true for anything related to historical events.
- What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
It has been very easy to learn and understand concepts from my mentor throughout our past 3 meetings. Due to the directness of glassblowing, he only guides me in the steps and leaves the rest up to practice and hard-work. His guiding hand has been an essential component to my learning experience. Without him correcting me and providing a beacon of light for me when I lead astray, I would’ve been lost and confused a long time ago. Not only has my mentor been a useful wellspring of information and guidance, he has also been someone who exhibits skills of a leader and role model. There is no rift between us and I feel safe and comfortable talking to him and asking for guidance. I have also been able to see my progress and development over the course of these meetings and practices.
- What learning challenges emerged?
I have realized that glassblowing requires not only a strong and patient mental fortitude, but also a relaxed and sturdy physical body. I must be able to keep my arms straight and continuously turn them for long periods of time. Not only that, but I must make sure to keep my attention focused and attuned to the dangers of the fire. I have already burnt myself once while being unattentive and touching the torchlamp by accident. Staying safe is the most important concept no matter what you are doing, but in glassblowing there is a lot more precautions to take. However, it may be a lot to deal with in a single moment, but practice and patience will help me build the right endurance and mindset to efficiently and effectively work in this situation.
- What logical challenged affected your communication?
It has come to my attention that an art like glassblowing requires many hours of experience and practice. This is an issue due to the fact that the MRL club is located quite a ways away from my home and that it is only open at certain times. Although this hasn’t been a huge issue so far, it may grow into a substantial impediment for my in-depth. It is also important to recognize that these blog posts may require certain questions answered. If for some reason I am unable to meet with my mentor it poses a problem for me to be able to communicate with him. For example, I emailed my mentor to fill out the criminal record check and I think he has already, but I cannot receive it yet due to the schedule of our next meeting.
I have met my mentor twice so far over the course of the three weeks. I have been extremely satisfied with what I have learned so far. Not only have I learnt the skill of refining glass, I have also learnt skills like patience and grit through my tedious and arduous work. My mentor has attended many classes for lampworking throughout many years. He has also been practicing for many years. He has taken classes for different types of lampworking and does this job professionally. He also attends gatherings for this kind of work and does a lot of peer learning.On top of that, he also has taught other students and is seasoned in that regard. His experience comes from myriad places and is still continuing to grow. From what he has taught me so far, I am also developing as a teacher as well. My mentor doesn’t directly help me in my work, but instead, he gives tips and hints whenever I seem to be struggling. If I fail to understand his hints, he doesn’t interrupt my glass refining. Instead, he waits until I have a failed or subpar product and explains where I went wrong and how I can improve. I believe this method of teaching is extremely effective in the environment of learning a skill that requires many hours of practice like lampworking. It is also important to note that although he isn’t always giving me the easy path out, he is still keeping a watchful eye over me for any errors or mistakes. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting my mentor again soon and learning even more about glassworking.