Friday, 21 June 2013

Game of Books: is there a good alternative to Macbeth?

I kind of touched on this idea in one of my earlier posts but after thinking about it more ive managed to come up with an example of every them from Macbeth in the TV show Game of Thrones. For the purposes of this blog post I will be focusing on season 1 of the show.

Apearence vs Reality
This is difficult almost from the shear amount of good examples from the show. The show itself is basically one big play on this theme. Everyone from Ned Stark to the brothel owner seems to have a hidden agenda and takes steps to hide it while they work towards it, somtimes with better results than others.

Good vs Evil
Prince Joffery is a word that I cant say here on a class blog, in fact, he is every word that I cant say here, yes, even that one, but most importantly he is the living embodiment of evil. Thats not me being harsh, he just is. Almost everyone else in the show is some shade of grey at this point, but he is evil. On the good side we have Ned Stark, who spends most of his time on the show trying to help people and his family, often working against the prince himself.

Role of Women
For this, we have a contrast. The loving mother Catlyn Stark and her daughter Arya Stark. Catlyn Stark is a women with 5 children and has developed quite the motherly instinct. She will do anything to protect he children right up unt... wait, season 1,right. Arya on the other hand has no interest in being at all lady like.

Fate and Free will
This doesnt really come in till the second season but once you are introduced to the idea of the lord of light you start to see how this world might completely deterministic. This works pretty much the same way it works in Macbeth, with a witch and lord who wants to become King.

if there are any themes I missed or you want me to expand more leave something in the comments below

Shakespeare should not be allowed in class.

There has been some debate recently about whether or not to continue to teach Shakespeare in English class. The majority of students don't' like Shakespeare (that is a assumption but if you want I can do a survey) and automatically recoil at the mention of his name. This automatic response makes the entire unit feel more like a chore than any other unit we do, and what do we really learn from him that we couldnt get from other playwrights? we can right essays and quote lines from any play, so teaching us those skills arent dependent on Shakespeare. Is it because Shakespeare's plays are still relevant today? There are probably hundreds of plays written in the past 397 years since he died that would also meet this requirement(full disclosure  I don't watch or read plays outside of class). Shakespeare was a great writer, but do we still need to be talking about him all these centuries later? I think it is time we move on to somebody more modern, possibly written in the last century, possibly even a different medium. All the themes present in Macbeth are also fully present (probably more so) in the TV show Game of Thrones. Just an Idea

The End

Here we sit at the end of 3U english, and I think I've learned more this year than in any other year I've done language studies. I think the blogs are an excellent addition to the course, and the ugcloud helps teachers connect with students much easier than before. In this year alone, I feel like I can now write and essay with confidence, analyse and respond to an image with clarity, and write an analytical paragraph on almost any prompt. Mrs. Le has been fantastically helpful. When an assignment is submitted, her comments directly on the page give insight on how to improve for next time. Without her help on the cloud and in class, I wouldn't have made it through the semester. So from all of us who haven't already, thank you for all your help and assistance throughout the year, Mrs. Le. We couldn't have done it without you!

And so with the end of this class we move onto 4U or 4M english. I hope that all the skills I've learned this year will help me throughout next year, and into post-secondary. Thank you!


Do this survey, please!

Grade 11 English

So today is the last day of Grade 11 English for me. This English class has been so amazing. Ive never been one to do well in English, but this year I did really well, and I am so proud of myself for it. But of course I think the fact that Mrs. LE taught us in a way that wasnt the "normal" english class, really helped in alot of students succeeding. This unconventional style of teaching was more fun and engaging than writing essays all the time. Instead we were tuned into Social media like Twitter and Blogging, which is WAY more fun that writing essays! So I'd like to thank Mrs Le for all shes done for me. You are truly an amazing teacher! And also everyone else in the class, thank you for making such an enjoyable class aswell! have a great summer everyone, and as chessey as it sounds Be SAFE everyone!


I just want to say, it's been a blast being in this class. I'm normally not a huge fan of English, but I enjoyed coming to this class every day, and learning all of our books (except Shakespeare, but that's an argument for another day. I'll make this short, but I'm gonna miss this class. My only complaint was us doing the 2 plays back-to-back. I was SO burnt out before we even started Shakespeare, I much rather would have read Kite Runner first. Anyways, good luck everyone!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Blogger troubles

You know that awkward moment when you've made like 5 blog posts but only 2 have been recorded because you forgot to put the your name label on them? Yeah that. It's like 2 in the morning and the exam is tomorrow/today for this class and I came on here to check and see if all my blogs were up and to respond to more of them, and discover that I have only labeled TWO. I mean, I know I've done more than that. Life is hard. Also, I have a headache. To be honest I think the stress is a bit too much. I'd like some government compensation for my troubles. Anyway, I like the IDEA of this whole blogger thing, but it really doesn't mix well with inattentive people like-dude there's a guy outside my apartment and I think he's selling drugs!

What I've Learned from Video Games

        I've been meaning to write these thoughts down somewhere, and I thought here is as good a place as any. I, as I'm sure many people in this class, enjoy video games as a hobby. However, I feel like outside of the gaming communities, video games receive a lot of flak for being all violence. Every time someone brings this up now, I get to mention how video games have been added as an art in the Museum of Modern Art. I get to explain how a game tells a story that no TV show or movie could pull off.
        Video games, at least in my opinion, receive most of their flak because people don't understand them. People see a game, and they might just automatically link it with say, call of duty. This is definitely not the case.
       I'll use the game Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS as an example. This game is so drastically different from most games, I don't even know if I should call it a game. Anyway, you arrive to a new town, with only a bit of cash in your pockets,to become the new mayor. And then...that's it. The rest is up to you. You choose what to do in your town. You can spend your days going fishing, catching bugs, gardening, talking with your villagers, buying furniture and clothes, improving the town, or just relaxing. The cool thing is, the game plays even when you aren't. Seasons change, shops close, and villagers move in and out even when you are away. The game came out 2 weeks ago, and all my friends and I already have taken different approaches on what to do. That's the beauty of video games. They're a hobby, with something for everyone.
        I love video games, and I feel like if everyone understood that they're a great outlet for anger, sadness, or boredom, the stigma of "video games are evil" would be gone forever.

Internet Data

The news lately has been filled with stories about the United States Government taking their citizen’s Internet and phone data to gather information on them. I even found a movie trailer for a documentary on this exact problem.

Although I understand the benefits the government and companies can gain by knowing this information about its populace, I think that gathering their data without asking permission is wrong and an invasion of privacy. I also think that because these technologies are relatively new, there isn’t a lot of laws and restrictions guarding the interests of the users. Before regulations can catch up, the government is taking advantage of it and using this information to look after their own interests instead of the popular interests of their nation. Another problem I had was that they were using this information to stop things like protests, which prevents their citizens from their right to have freedom of assembly.

I saw recently that the government of France is implementing laws on companies gathering Internet information and demanding these companies, like Google, ask permission before taking any of their user’s data. I think this is a step in the right direction because I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t have a problem with it if they knew what the companies were taking and why. In the end, using technology today is inevitable, we even using it to create these blog posts, and because of this there needs to be serious deliberations on how to handle the use of the data it generates.  


Honestly I was dreading English class because last year I did not do very well so I thought that I would never improve at all. As well as I disliked everything that English entailed which is writing essays, reading Shakespeare and using MLA format.  I usually just like to write poetry or write creatively because I want to not because I have to. But although I was dreading the class, it was a complete shock to me that I would actually enjoy coming to English class every day. I really learned a lot this year in English class and this year I have really gained a lot of confidence in myself. I have improved my mark tremendously from last year which also improved my confidence. I thoroughly enjoyed blogging and I loved our class discussions such as culture is not a costume. I thank this year to Mrs. Le because she truly is a tremendous teacher! I loved how we had to write all our essays on Ugcloud because I loved to see all the comments on the side. The comments that Mrs. Le would post on the side really helped me to improve my writing for the next essay or analytical paragraph.  I loved the way that Mrs. Le helped our class at all times and tried to make everything feel more comfortable such as to present to only half of the class. To present to half the class made me feel more comfortable and more confident to present my ISU novel to the class. I am going to truly miss this class and I have truly loved this year in English class.

Good Summer Read

For my ISU novel I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the same author as The Kite Runner. Like the book we read in class, A Thousand Splendid Suns is about life for civilians in Afghanistan as they continuously are oppressed by corrupted leaders and governments. If you liked The Kite Runner, you’ll defiantly enjoy this novel as it is similar but focuses more on a different way of life than in the previous book, as Hosseini changes up the viewpoint of the main character. In The Kite Runner the main character was a wealthy boy who moves to America when Afghanistan is invaded by Russia. The main character in A Thousand Splendid Suns is an underprivileged girl who stays in Afghanistan as they are bombarded by leadership changes, territory wars, drought and famine. This is interesting because throughout this course we have been trying to learn to look at situations with multiple perspectives. By reading both books I was able to see views from both sides of a lot of circumstances, like wealth and gender. If you want to learn more about the hardships going on in Afghanistan during the last 20 years and want a girl’s perspective on these issues, this novel is defiantly one you should read.

Time Flies

When people say that our teen years go by so fast, they really arn't kidding. Its crazy to think that we're 3 years into high school, and that we will be leaving in only a years time. These past 3 years have gone by so fast, it's hard to imagine. Im almost scared to think about how fast life is going by.
When I was a kid, life seemed so slow. I was constantly waiting for my birthdays and holidays, and t seemed   like forever to get to them. But now it;s getting kind of out of hand how fast my youth is slipping out of my hands. Were all going to be adults in a year which is so crazy.  I wonder why as we get older, time seems to go by so fast..

Kiss of The Fur Queen

For my ISU novel I read the Kiss of the Fur Queen. The novel was about two Cree brothers Jeremiah and Gabriel who share their life before, during and after going to a residential school. The novel expressed how the brothers used music to get through all their hardships. By reading this novel I got to not just learn the history of what a residential school is but I actually got to read about the children’s stories which I found to be way better than articles about residential schools. By reading Gabriel and Jeremiah’s story of going to a residential school I learned how not only the residential schools affected them in a negative way while they were attending the school but it also affected their life after. I believe that residential schools are cruelty to children! Not only do children get sexually abused and torched but they also were ripped away their own culture. The Cree brothers were forced to not speak Cree and language is a key factor in people’s culture. Children were ripped away their culture, their faith and to be themselves. They were forced to be someone who they aren’t. I personally believe that residential schools are truly horrendous and a sense of cruelty. I think that it is morally wrong and that children should never have went through this. What do you guys know about residential schools and what is your opinion about them?

When She Woke

For my ISU I read When She Woke which talked a lot about the right to abortion. I personally think that abortion should come down to a personal choice because in the end it is your body. Not everyone has the same view on abortion so that is why there shouldn't be a law against it, it should be a personal choice. Nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester, when a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother. That means that the fetus is attached to the women's body it is not living on it's own yet so your really not taking a life away. This counter acts the argument that life begins at conception because truly the baby cannot support itself until later on in the pregnancy. While reading the book I also realized how much religion affects peoples views on abortion. So what do you guys think if the bible was never written do you think people would still be against abortion?

Live Life

Forget yesterday.
It has already forgotten you.
Don't sweat tomorrow.
You haven't even met.
Instead, open your eyes,
and your heart to a
truly precious gift;

I feel like many people need to remember the message that this poem has. 

In the poem it says "Forget yesterday. It has already forgotten you." I personally need to keep this in mind. There are times when I live in the past. It causes me to worry and be unhappy. In order to be happy one needs to move forward and become content with their past and let it go.

To continue, the poem also says "Don't sweat tomorrow. You haven't even met." People need to remember that it will do them no good if they are worrying about what is to come. It causes extra and unneeded stress.

Finally, the poem says "Instead, open your eyes, and your heart to a truly precious gift; today." Instead of mourning about the past and worrying about the future, one needs to let go of the past, be ready for the future and live each day to its fullest. Life is such an amazing gift that is taken for granted. Because life is so wonderful we need to live it and find happiness.

Teen Drivers

The crash on highway 9 yesterday afternoon got me thinking about what society seems to think about teen drivers and new drivers.In the news we hear many stories about teens and young adults getting into serious car accidents. Society then comes to conclusion that the reason so many teens get into accidents is due to inexperience. That is why Ontario introduced graduated licensing meaning that you had to work your way up to your full license. I think this was a very smart idea because then you have at least 2 years of driving experience before you receive your full license. What I also like about these rules are that anyone under the age of 21 has to have zero blood alcohol. This helps avoid serious crashes because mixing a new driver and alcohol could be potentially dangerous. This still leaves us with the question though that even though there is now a graduated licensing why are there still so many crashes? Should we change the licensing system so it takes longer to get your full license or should it stay the same?


"To the outside world we all grow old
But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were.
We know each others hearts.
We live outside the touch of time."

I am so fortunate to have such amazing siblings. They are my best friends.

My brother, Jonny, lives in Australia and I miss him and love him very much. He is always there for me... Even now, when he is so far away.

My sister, Jenna, is home for the summer from school. She is very successful and I hope I can be like her some day.  Although we fight about things like stealing each others clothes, I love her to death.

I am so fortunate to have them in my life. I look up to both of them and feel that I have grown as a person because of the people that they have become. 

When they go off to school it makes me sad as I love having company around the house. When they come home the house goes from quiet and clean to messy and loud. Despite the mess I would always choose having them home and having a loud and messy house over a clean and silent one. 

When they are home a day does not go by without our Brady Bunch-like sing along. Jonny plays the guitar, Jen sings and I ...try to sing, even though I can't. Things like this, our inside jokes and their loyal and thoughtful personalities make me miss them more but also make me extremely excited when I hear that they are coming home.

I am so blessed to have such a strong relationship with two remarkable people. 


Over this past school year I have only allowed myself to get just 'okay' marks in some classes. It is difficult to be motivated when you do not really enjoy what you are doing. This is no excuse though as in life you are always going to have to do things that you do not want to.

The reason for my just 'okay' marks is that I am busy with dance every night, busy with work, and I am always tired. Many students have a lot to deal with and yet are still able to study effectively for tests. I on the other hand do not study effectively and do not push myself.

My grades are not bad but they are not where I want them to be. I feel that I do my best when I have a specific goal that I need to reach. Hopefully when I know what I want to do in university I'll be able to push myself, even in the classes that I do not enjoy, and reach that goal. Without motivation it will be hard to be as successful as I want to be.

Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask

        If you've played this game, then you know where I'm going with this. This game is an incredible experience, and it does an amazing job at taking a look at futility and death. A young boy is possessed by an evil mask, which curses the moon to crash into the planet in 3 days. It's up to link to save the world.
        Along your quest, you meet many characters. 2 in particular stood out for me. There is a place you can go called Romani Ranch, which is run by 2 sisters. An older sister, who's about 18, and a younger sister, who's only about 7 or 8. There is a place next door, called the milk bar, where no children are allowed in (basically a club). It serves a drink called Chateau Romani, which is said to be so potent that it can knock a full-grown man out with a single sip. If you talk to the younger sister during day 1 or 2, she complains about how she never gets to try the drink. If you talk to her on the 3rd and final day, however, she exclaims: "Oh boy! My big sis says I can finally try Chateau Romani tonight!". When you leave the ranch that day, the older sister responds: "...see you...tomorrow...", while the younger sister responds with a cheery "See you tomorrow!" The older sister knows they are going to die, so it seems she was going to let the younger sister drink the Chateau Romani so she would remain happy and unaware.

Pretty dark for a game rated E for Everyone huh?
        And this is just one minor example. The whole game is full of things like this, made all the creepier by this thing staring at you the whole time. 
Yeah, that's the moon. 
Have fun.

        This game is great at showing how death is the one true equalizer. The rich, the poor, the young, the old, it's equal to all. Pretty dark themes in this game, but really good ones.

Metro 2033

        So I decided to do this book as my main novel, and it's really blown me away. The book does a FANTASTIC job of showing what humanity resorts to when afraid and faced with extinction.
        The book takes place in the metro system of Moscow, after war has almost completely destroyed the ozone layer and irradiated anything above ground. It tells the story of Artyom, a single soldier who unknowingly almost causes the extinction of the human race, and his struggle to unite and save the metro system. I can't give this book enough praise, it's dark, it's suspenseful, and it's incredibly well-written. A couple ideas I got from the book are:

  • Humans are, art heart, an aggressive species.
  • Humans will put aside differences to work together when faced with extinction.
  • Humans will try to fight and survive, regardless of the situation.
        So, I'd give this book a 9/10. It's a great, dark, "what-if" look at war in our future. My only complaint is that everybody's names, and the names of locations, are SO DIFFICULT to remember, because they are all Russian. Regardless of that, it's an amazing book.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Gender Stereotypes

What does it mean to be feminine?  What does it mean to be masculine? These are good questions. Most bias shows that men need to be strong, muscular, never cry, be the provider, and always be brave and the gentleman. While woman tend to be stereotyped as the gentle caretaker of the home, do the cooking and the cleaning. These biases are completely outdated, it may have been this way before, but now you will find stay at home dads, who do the cooking and the cleaning while the wife works. This shows how biases and stereotypes are never correct and that there are always exceptions to them. What do you think about the gender stereotypes that society has placed on them?

Halloween costumes

Why should people be careful when selecting Halloween costumes? They should because some of the costumes are insulting. The idea of "We are a culture not a costume" was introduced early on in the course. We looked at multiple things such as the cowboys and Indians party, and some images of costumes portraying different cultures in a biased manner. These costumes offend some people as they portray their culture in most often a very biased or negative manner and people should think about whether or not it could be offensive first. What are your views on this matter? And has it changed over the course?

A Thousand Splendid Suns

For my ISU, Mrs. Le recommended me the book A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I am so glad she did, because this book was so moving, it brought me to tears. One thing that was so incredible about this book, was how the male author was able to write this book in  females perspective. The thoughts and feelings of the 2 women in this book were so strong and vivid, its astonishing how a man was able to think the way that a woman would. This was one of things that mad this book so good, The fact that Khaled was so in tune with  these emotions of women, and how he understood enough to be able to write such a moving story.


Leaving things until the last minute doesn't seem like a good idea. So why do so many of us continue to procrastinate our work? I mean< I don't find it that fun to try and cram all my work to get it in on time, but here I am, 2 days before my English exam, trying to finish my blogs. 
Procrastination doesn't help in any way i don't think. Sure some people may believe they work better under pressure, but doesn't it sound better to finish early and not have to worry about it later? I think it does. 
I remember in grade 8, our class had a book report due, and we had a month to do it. I finished it in the first week, and it felt awesome! I told myself "When i get into high school, im gonna be on top of things, and always get my stuff in on time, and use my time wisely!" Well Im 3 years into high school, and I dont think Ive done that yet...
And it's not just work either, my procrastination has gotten so bad, that I started putting of the things I actually want to do! And for what purpose? Is it because I'm tired all the time, I've stopped caring, and hoping I can just get through life like this? I dont understand it at all.
Basically, my advice would be not to procrastinate, because it feels so much better to have everything done to the best of your ability, and not have to worry.
Let's hope in Grade 12 I take my own advice...

Getting Your Licence

I'm sure as you all know at the age of 16 teenagers can write the test to get their G1.  Although in Alberta, teenagers only need to be 14.  G1 drivers in Alberta must be accompanied by a driver who has only had their full G for 2 years.  I have heard that this is because there is more agriculture so kids grow up driving tractors therefore are able to drive cars at younger ages.  Is this true and do you think it is fair that in Alberta you can get your G1 at the age of 14?  Also, why do you think that each province has different licensing regulations?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Conor Kostic's Epic

The book that i read for my ISU is epic, by Connor Kostick. It is about a boy named Eric, on another planet, 1000 years in the future. The humans back then needed something to do on this long voyage to a distant world, so they created the game epic. It is a virtual reality video game that you “Clip into” and controls your in-game character. This kept them busy on the voyage, but when they founded on the new planet they used epic for more than just entertainment. They turned the game into the basis for everything in the government. The money was in-game money, violence was prohibited and all conflicts would be fought to the death inside the game in an arena with an amphitheatre for spectators. If you had a problem with the government, called Central Allocations, you could challenge them in the arena, if you won they had to negotiate and change what you deemed was the problem, if you lose, you lose everything, all of your armor,  weapons and acquired wealth. From this wealth, the CA was able to make their characters near to invincible, so the common people had no say.  Eric, a farm boy that plays epic during all his free time, he and his friends work for money by killing monsters such as the humanoid kobolds, or work in mines or other grueling dangerous tasks. Eric is obsessed with killing Inry’aat, the Red Dragon, he has died many times trying to kill this thing by himself and finally he gives up all hope of doing so and he created a new character against the norm, a female swashbuckler, a class no-one picks, and he spent all his points on beauty so she looked more like an NPC, and not like the grey pixelated faces of most players. When he enters the game he is greeted by NPC’s that normally never talk to you and even received a necklace as a gift from a merchant that was worth more than his friend made killing kobolds in a whole year. He discoverers that there is so many more ways to play this game than anyone thought. After his father is sent into exile after he is discovered by central allocations, for committing an act of violence in the past, Eric and his friend try to kill the red dragon one last time, and succeed by finding a glitch in it’s logic. He now becomes one of the richest people in the world from the dragons hoard and gains some unwanted attention from CA. This book is such a good one, and i would recommend it to anyone that likes fantasy, or plays mmorpg's.

Monday, 17 June 2013

A Million Little Pieces: James Frey

The novel I read was very interesting! Here is a quick summary!

The novel A Million Little Pieces by James Frey portrays a man named James who is a drug addict struggling to overcome his addiction. James wakes one morning on a plane not knowing where he is or where he is going, he has been injured pretty badly; broken nose, no teeth, a hole through his cheek and eyes nearly swollen shut. James had once again blacked out while doing drugs. This led his family to enroll him in a rehab clinic for drug abusers.During his six month stay, James demonstrates in order to redeem himself he must show self reliance and amend broken relationships. James is so accustomed to abusing drugs everyday, he lost many important figures in his life including his family. James makes drastic sacrifices to give up drugs for good and stay sober.

Should Shakespeare Still be Taught in High School English Classes?

When looking at if Shakespeare should still be taught in high school English classes I decided to make a list of what I think are the pros and cons of Shakespeare.


-It’s hard to understand what’s happening.
-It can be boring to read when you do not understand what’s happening.


-It teaches students how to problem solve. When it’s difficult or next to impossible to understand what’s happening in the Shakespearean plays we read in class, there are two options for you to do. One, you continue reading and never understand what the play is actually about. Or two, you problem solve and figure out a way to understand what you are confused about. While some people go with option one, most of us try option two and try make out a way to comprehend the words that confuse us. This can vary from looking at the side translation in the book, to researching the passage on the Internet. Either way, by making an effort to understand what’s happening, the student learns valuable problem solving skills.
-The story lines are timeless. While they’ve been rewritten and changed throughout the years, the plot lines of most Shakespearean plays have survived to be reminiscent in many more modern sources of entertainment. From the travesty of Twilight to the less modern Pride and the Prejudice, books and movies have been coping Shakespeare’s work for centuries.
-It’s jam packed with literary devices. Where most books contain metaphors and similes, the amount that Shakespeare crammed into his plays is astounding. Every passage contains them, some lines being made up of multiple devices, and while this contributes to the problem of understanding the meaning of the text, it also makes for material that’s easier to write passage analyses, and other forms of English assignments, about.
-The morals they teach are relatable to today. While most of us think that Shakespeare’s plays are irrelevant to today’s day and life, the morals that they teach are actually very applicable to the present. An example is the play Macbeth, where if you strip it down to the bare minimum, is about a man who is overly ambitious and whose plans backfire when he tries to get a higher position in life. This play demonstrates that we should enjoy our lives at any stage and not to be so ambitious that we give up everything we care about. Although the situations in the play are a little fantastic, the morals it teaches are very prevalent to anyone’s life.
-You understand more references. Because they been around forever, and because they’re so popular, references to the Shakespeare’s plays are in a lot of media. When you read the plays you are able to understand these references and connect them to the things you know and identify with.

From the pros and cons I listed, I obviously think Shakespeare should be taught in English classes. It can be hard and sometimes frustrating, but I think that the things the plays are able to teach us far outweigh any argument against them.


Click me!

U.S. Sending Arms in to Syria: A Little too Familiar

Most of us have heard of the civil war occurring in Syria, which started March 15th, 2011. The country’s unrest, as well as the sounding areas, has been in headlines around the world. Recently the United States has announced that it is going to send arms in to Syria to help the Syrian rebels fight against the corrupted government. An article on The describes how, that although the Canadian government supports the U.S., they will not be sending arms in as well.

When I first heard the United States was sending arms in to Syria I had a terrible feeling of Déjà Vu. Hadn’t this exact situation happened before? Was it not the United States who supplied weapons to Afghanistan rebels in an attempt to regain peace? And didn’t that in turn create the last decade of war and turbulence between those two countries? Although I support Syria’s attempts to over throw their oppressive government, I think that if the United States sends in weapons, it could back fire against both them and the innocent Syrian civilians. While it seems unlikely, I hope Syria will be able to resolve their conflict in a non-violent way, because as their country stands right now, their residences are not going to be in a position to gain from further civil instability.

Same Sex Marriage

        Since many people have blogged about their opinions on same sex marriage I thought it would be appropriate to share my perspective as well.
        I know a lot of people that are uncomfortable in the presence of homosexual people, and although I can understand their perspective I don’t necessarily agree with it. The way I see it is, you are in control of your own life and no one elses. So what gives people the right to tell individuals they cannot marry the person they love because they are the same gender? If an individual wants to marry someone it should not matter their sexuality just like it should not matter their race, height, weight, beliefs, hair colour, interests and so on. Marriage allows individual to make their love official and take the next steps in their lives. Therefore I do not believe it is fair to restrict individuals from such a meaningful event based on their sexuality.

What is your perspective on same sex marriage?

No More Child Soldiers

   As seen in this picture, it is evident that this young child has been recruited as a child soldier to fight because of the clothing he is given to wear along with his gun. The teddy bear is symbolizing his childhood and is his only hope for what is left of it. Through his emotion he express’ , it is apparent that this young boy is upset and has lost his adolescence due to the commanders recruiting him as a child soldier.  Not only does this image show the fighting child soldiers endure, but it displays the poor living conditions and environment these children experience. It is significant that this image is on a beach as is shows children should be playing with their toys on the beach rather than holding a gun in a dangerous area.  In the back ground, an army tank is visible which further suggests this boy is in war and enduring life threatening situations. From this picture, it is proved that children living in captivity lose their innocent childhood.

What other aspects of this image lead you to believe that this child lives in captivity and has lost his childhood?

The Institution of Marriage- Forced Marriages of Under Age Girls

As I read my ISU novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, I learnt about the outdated practice of under age marriage forced on to girls in Afghanistan communities. I decided to research
this convention further and found this article on Google News.

It describes how, in the London Borough of Islington, girls as young as 9 years of age are being forced into marriages with sometimes middle aged men. It also says that although this practice is banned in the UK, parents of these young girls circumvent the law and conduct the ceremonies in Shariah courts attached to mosques.  It continues to say how these children are sometimes still attending primary school, while at home they are forced to do the duties of a wife. The article quotes Ahmed Saad, an Imam (or person of leadership) of the Finsbury Park Mosque, as he condemns the controversial practice saying “This is down to ignorance, and ignorant people who will use any excuse they can to do this to their children. It is the practice in their home countries and they don’t want to stop that here, so they will say it’s in the Koran, when it is not. According to Islam, it is entirely unacceptable.”

I think the practice of forced under age marriage or forced marriage all together is abominable and shouldn't be tolerated in any country, regardless of tradition. The girls in Islington and many other communities around the world are stripped of their human rights as their choice to decide their fate in marriage and life is taken away. These girls forced to marry men three times their age also lose their innocence as they are required to perform the duties of wives and mothers at a time they should be enjoying their right to be children. This article proves, like the article we read in class on the barbarity of boxing,  that unless the people supporting this institution in the Afghan community change their perspective on forcing under age girls to marry than nothing will ever change.


I thought that Macbeth would be a little more concerned for his dead wife. When Lady Macbeth died he was upset but he got over it quickly. It really displayed the intense selfishness of Macbeth, it was the final display and revealing of his character, showing just how evil he was.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sarah`s Key

Although I have already done my ISU presentation, I would like to take the time to summarize the novel I read, Sarah`s Key, because I think it was an amazing book and a great way to remember those who lost their lives during world war two. This novel is written from two perspectives.

One perspective is from the eyes of a young Jewish girl named Sarah who is taken away in the middle of the night by French police. Before being taken away she locks her little brother in a secretive closet because she thinks he will be safe here. Throughout the novel Sarah struggles to escape the concentration camp in order to save her little brother.

The second perspective is written from the eyes of a journalist named Julie. Julie was born after the round-up and is writing a report on the events that took place in 1942. After coming across Sarah`s story, she becomes determined to learn the truth about what happened to Sarah during this horrific time.

            Without giving away the ending of the novel, the above is a quick summary of my ISU novel. I would recommend this book to everyone in the class as it was a truly amazing novel that I will never forget. May we all remember those who were affected during the holocaust and the Vel` d`Hiv roundup (round up of Jewish families by French police).

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Should Shakespeare still be taught in high school English classes?

I think that Shakespeare should be taught in high school. It is only given to the academic classes to read so it should not be that difficult for them. While it is in a more ancient form of English, I for one was able to understand it fine, and read it at only a slightly slower than normal pace. It provides a slight challenge for reading and forces you to pay attention and read closely, as you cant just try to scan and absorb it. The plays are old but still carry powerful messages, themes, and literary devices that are perfect practice for analyzing texts. It is not too long, but still long enough to be taught as a full unit. The summaries and translations help with any problems understanding, so I see no reason why Shakespeare should not be taught in high school English classes.

Fate Vs Free Will.

I do not believe in the idea of fate, or of karma. This is probably because i hate the idea that my actions are not my own, that no matter what i do to change something, it will only lead to the end result that was planed. In Macbeth, if the witches had not have told Macbeth anything, think of how drastic the story would have changed. he did not have any ambition to be king until they told him he would be, so then is there fate? if fate did not exist then the witches where just meddling in the affairs of men, to some preferable outcome. Karma does also not exist, ever hear the saying "Nice guys finish last", you would think that being a good person you would be rewarded by karma, but by not taking advantage you could only be hurting yourself. If fate did exist and karma did exist, why is there murders that go unsolved, or criminals that get away with crimes, when karma states that the universe will punish them, it is their own stupidity that gets them caught in the end, not karma. So, i would say that fate does not exist and that all our fates are for us to choose, and not for some divine entity to decide in advance.

Evil is innate

This statement in Macbeth that you are born evil is untrue as everyone is made who they are by their life experiences. Your memories and actions shape you as a person, in Macbeth for example, Macbeth was a good loyal soldier who's lust for power caused him to commit horrendous acts that caused his ultimate demise. Macbeth was not evil at the start, so it is only logical to assume that evil is something brought on by your choices later in life. While it is true however that certain people can have a brain mapping that lead to more violent tendencies, that does not prove that that person will be evil. Most evil people do not even think that they are evil, this is because they have most likely been hardened by their choices or have just gone insane, for example the dagger scene. In my opinion you are not born evil, but you are the source of  if you decide to become that kind of person.

Friday, 14 June 2013


''We played, we laughed we were loved.We were ripped from the arms of our parents and thrown into the fire.We were nothing more than children.We had a future. We were going to be lawyers, rabbis, wives, teachers, mothers.We had dreams, then we had no hope.We were taken away in the dead of night like cattle in cars, no air to breathe smothering, crying, starving, dying.Separated from the world to be no more.From the ashes, hear our plea. This atrocity to mankind can not happen again. Remember us, for we were the children whose dreams and lives were stolen away ''(Barbara Sonek).

While doing my ISU on Sarah's Key, a book about Jewish families being taken away to concentration camps, I found this poem. Although I used this poem in my ISU presentation I decided to blog about it in order to see other peoples perspectives. In my opinion this poem symbolizes a dark time and is used to remember those whose lives were changed for the worst. I think it is important to be reminded of the holocaust and other horrific events in order to remember the brave indivduals involved and prevent such events from occuring again.

What do you think of this poem ? Do you think it is important to be reminded of our past?

Thoughts on The Kite Runner

  1. I believe that The Kite Runner was  an amazing book. I really enjoyed reading it. In the book I felt bad for Amir because when Hassan was getting raped I know that he really wanted to help but he just could not. Its like when you play tennis and you know that you have to move to get the ball but your feet just cannot move. As well as I feel bad for him because he never had a real relationship with his dad. Since Amir could not be the real man that his dad expected created a distant and unhealthy relationship between him and his dad. I also feel bad for Hassan who knows that his best friend did not stick up for him for the one time he was in need. As well as he hoped that Amir would always come back for him but he never did. There were many surprises in the book such as when Hassan gets rapes, finding out that Baba is also Hassan's father, that Baba dies of cancer, that Hassan's son is still alive and that Assef is the one that Amir has to face to get Hassan's son and that Sohrab tries to kill himself. I am grateful that Amir got a second chance to redeem himself because I really believe that Amir means well and that he needed a second chance to redeem himself and he also needed a second chance to relieve him of his guilt that he carried around ever since his childhood. I am grateful that he opened up to his wife about his childhood and that Amir was able to relieve his guilt. I also really enjoyed the end of the book when Amir says he will run the kite for Sohrab. Although I wish that Amir and Sohrab could have gotten to the place before Sohrab tried to kill himself. I wish that they talked to each other again. What are your opinions of the book?

Thinking about the future.

I got to thinking, and was wondering, does anybody know exactly what they want to do after high school. For me, after grade 12 I do not know what I am going to go the next day, week, or even year. I assume I will go to a college or university and then get a job, not to sure in what yet though. What is everyone else's thoughts on after high school.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

2013 English class

This year I have thoroughly enjoyed spending my time in English class with my bestfriend Meghan Van der Giessen, we have helped eachother through each of our struggles and she has made me a better person in this class. She is so inspirational and such a role model with her great grades and motivation in school. I have learned much about her during this English class. I have realized I work better and effiecently around Meghan because of her great presence . Thank you Meghan

Rachel Lewis

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My thoughts on ENG 3U

Honestly walking into this English class I was only excited because I had friends in the class. I hated English and thought I was awful at it, but I can honestly say I will be leaving the exam next Friday truly moved by this course. I enjoyed the activities we did and enjoyed all the readings we did (except Shakespeare), and I think that I did a lot of self discovery in this class. Of course a huge reason why the class was so great was because Mrs.Le is the most interesting and understanding teacher I have ever had. I think the only way that the course could be improved would be doing no Shakespeare but that isn't going to happen. To be honest I  understood Shakespeare this year better then any other year, so I do think that the way it was taught was great, it's just that I don't enjoy Shakespeare. Also I believe that the blog was a great idea, and should definitely be used in years to come. The blog was a really cool way to talk to other students and see how everyone else is feeling about current events and also what we were doing in class. All in all I'd like to say thanks Mrs.Le for putting together such a great course, I can truly say I feel I have grown as a person through all the different writing and exploring of other cultures we got to do.  

My Experience with ENG 3U1

This semester in English was a good time. For me in the past English has not been a grand ole time, it was a class that I always hated going to, but this semester it was a blast. From rappin' out some beats along to the Rez Sisters to winning Kinder egg surprises and DQ gift cards, it was hella tight. I could say I am going to miss this class but i'm probably not going to as I am not going to miss the work. I'll miss the class itself but not the work. Twas' a jolly time, good luck to all next year and I hope all have a wonderful life ahead.
In the meantime i'm out,
L8er #swag

Exam is the Best

My thoughts on this final exam is very stressful. Mainly because i am not a very strong thesis writer. Most of the time my thesis doesnt make sense! even i get so confused and i wrote it... And im very slow at writing an essay or passage analysis or a close reading response. i normally have to read it for so many times before i get a topic. writing a thesis is prolly the most difficult thing to do in my opinion because i cant write a good clear thematic statement about a passage or a book. I usually get my thesis from Ms Le helping me. Truly Blessed to have Ms Le as a teacher.  I have a feeling this exam is gona take me more than 2 hours because my brain is really slow. Im usually the last one to finish when we write something in class such as the kite runner. i took 2 extra days to finally finish a rough copy. I hope everyone is gona do well in the exam and good luck and study hard. Heres a deep quote from a person i looked up on "I'm not telling you it is going to be easy - I'm telling you it's going to be worth it" 
-- Art Williams

"The most painful thing to experience is not defeat but regret" 
-- Leo Bascaglia

3U with Mrs. Le was a great time for me!

Over this past semester, I have had a great time! I am usually not too hot on English due to the fact that there's never one right answer and it requires alot of in depth thinking, but I had a better time than I expected. From chalk drawings on the blackboard, to viewing cultural eye openers in the Rez Sisters, to winning the Macbeth Meme Challenge 2013, to a (SPOILERS) Dq party, and everything inbetween, I have been looking forward to this class everyday. Thanks for the great semester Mrs. Le, wish you were teaching 4U.

Ms Le is the best

This english year was pretty fun. i enjoyed many of the activitie such as group circles about the kite runner. I really enjoy that little activity we do when we are with a partner and we win candy. but the most frustrating was when chris won that 20 dollaz. cant believe we actually played bingo for a real 20 dollar bill. Thats pretty insane. I loved the artticles and the books we read in class. especially the rez sister. Big joey ma boiii was killin it in that book. The story was pretty funny. I hated the Macbeth part of the semester. I couldnt understand what they were saying. unless i sparknoted it. But i dislike the most was that writing a close reading response to that black and white pic of a cat, a naked baby and a mom. like i couldnt even get my brain to function because it was like looking at a blank page of paper. but after a long time of writing ideas. i came up with an okay thesis. But i really wanted to win that kinder egg surprise contest because they are delicious. Oh , i would like to thank Ms. Le for that Dq card that the boys and I won. That blizzard was mouth watering. I really enjoyed this class and ima miss all the memories. Cant wait for that party next week. Pops and chips party ! Lets get energized!

ISU summary

My ISU is a novel called Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, about an odd boy who is scared to go into highschool after the death of his best friend, but ends up making friends with a group of misfits. This book is very eye opening to the abuse that some people go through, and the effects it has on their life afterwards. IN this book, Fifteen-year-old Charlie is about to begin his freshman year of high school—without his best friend, Michael. Charlie’s only close friend, committed suicide several months before the narrative begins. In an attempt to cope with Michael’s death and his own anxiety of entering high school alone, Charlie begins writing letters to an anonymous stranger. Charlie does not feel that he can lean on his parents or older siblings for support because they never truly understand him. He laments that the only relative that he ever felt close to was his Aunt Helen, who was killed in a car accident on his seventh birthday.
At school, Charlie befriends two seniors, Sam and her stepbrother Patrick. He soon develops romantic feelings for Sam, but he believes that he has no chance with her. Sam and Patrick introduce him to many new experiences and a group of upperclassmen friends. Charlie writes about situations that he gets into with his new friends, including going to parties, driving through his town's tunnel and feeling "infinite," seeing and performing in Rocky Horror Picture Show, going on his first date, and trying various drugs. After one party, where Charlie takes LSD, the police find him passed out in the snow. In a conversation with the police and his parents, Charlie reveals that he often has visions, which implies that he is not mentally well.
Bill, Charlie's English teacher, also plays a significant role in his life. After giving Charlie a C grade on his book report, Bill begins lending him books to read outside of class and encourages him to write essays about them. He then critiques the reports to help Charlie develop better diction and syntax; with this guidance, Charlie's writing improves in the book's later letters.
Despite his feelings for Sam, Charlie briefly dates Mary Elizabeth, another girl in their clique. She takes him to their school's Sadie Hawkins Dance, and they go on a few dates. At first, Charlie does not mind how one-sided their conversations are. Even so, after Mary Elizabeth buys him a book of poems, he senses a change in their relationship that he does not like. In a game of Truth or Dare at a party, Charlie is dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. He kisses Sam, which officially ends his relationship with Mary Elizabeth. Patrick then decides that Charlie should stay away until their relationship drama calms down.
Sam also starts a relationship with an attractive older boy named Craig. Charlie does not think that Craig appreciates Sam; he explains that if Craig took a good photo of her, he would think that it was good because of the way he took it, instead of the fact that Sam was in the picture. Sam and Craig soon break up, after Sam learns that Craig had been cheating on her with numerous girls.
Later in the novel, Charlie writes about Patrick's relationship with Brad, the quarterback of the football team who is secretly gay. One day, Brad's dad catches Patrick and Brad having sex in the basement and Brad's dad beats up Brad in front of Patrick. A week later, Brad returns to school and during lunch, calls Patrick a "faggot." Patrick reacts by throwing a fist, which escalates into a physical fight between Patrick and Brad's friends. Charlie bravely comes to Patrick's rescue and fights Brad's friends. Taught how to fight by his older brother, Charlie seriously hurts two of Brad's friends which ends the fight. Charlie helps Patrick up and warns Brad's friends that if they ever hurt Patrick again that he will blind them.
After a disturbing family secret surfaces that Charlie's Aunt Helen had molested him prior to her death, Charlie has a severe mental breakdown and is hospitalized. Still, his final letters close with a feeling of hope and determination. Even if he does not have the power to choose where he comes from, Charlie will choose where he goes in the future. A possible thesis about this novel is that after going through times of abuse, one can find the ability to grow stronger. I found it to be a terrific book, unfortunately, however, an awful movie.

The Bite Of The Mango

For my ISU, im reading "the bite of the mango". its based on a true story about a girl named Mariatu who lives with her uncle and auntie. The story is set in Sierra Leona ( somewhere in Africa . The story is mainly about Mariatu being attacked by the rebels and she has to deal with the new environment she has to face. she is very lucky because many people helped her survive throughout the book. One main topic in this book is survival. I enjoyed reading this book because it makes me think how lucky i am to be in Canada and not in a situation where a war is occurring and i am not threatened by anyone. I highly recomened this book to people who like to read true stories about survival from war. Best book ive read this year .

Monday, 10 June 2013

My ISU novel

My ISU novel is called Princess. The novel follows a Saudi Arabian Princess through her life as a royal family member. When we think of a princess we think of a strong, beautiful woman who is sure of herself and privileged in everything she does. This book follows the real life of a princess proving that the title of being a princess in Saudi Arabia is nothing to be desired at all. The author of the novel is an american who knows a Saudi princess, the princess is unable to write the novel herself because if she was to e discovered she would be killed. In Saudi Arabia men have priority over everyone meaning that you could have a younger brother but he would be in charge of you. The book follows the idea that men are superior to women and that women don;t have the right to make their own choices and should not be able to do what they want. Princess shows the brutalities that women around the world go through daily, and how privileged and lucky we are here in Canada to be able to make our own choices. Really pleased with the novel as a whole really made me rethink about what is important to me in life.

Amir: A Boy becoming a Man

When I first started The Kite Runner I strongly disliked Amir. I thought he was a coward who didn't deserve praise from anyone, especially not a boy as sweet as Hassan. Then I got thinking: If I witnessed one of my friends get raped when i was 10 years old what would I have done?  Not only did Amir witness Hassan get raped, HAssan only got raped becasue of the kite he was running for Amir. I think I would have mentally and physically broken down if I witnessed that, I would feel so much guilt and sadness. I probably would have handled it really similar to how Amir did. I would have shut people out and try to go into my own world. I believe Amir was trying to handle it as best as he could, but still had to try and appear to be a put together kid for Baba. I really enjoyed the Kite Runner because I believe it was a great story of showing how people can grow into strong independent people. Amir is always growing as a person throughout the novel. Whether it was when he was helping Baba or going to save Sohrab. I believe in many ways Amir redeemed himself. I realize a lot of the people that read this book dislike Amir and rightfully so, but if you honestly take a second to put yourself in that situation, not as a teenager or an adult, but as a ten year old boy. Think how you would handle that, do you think you're going to want to go talk about it, you probably wouldn't even understand what you just witnessed never mind be able to put it into words. Personally I believe that Amir reacted how any young kid would react: try to forget the situation and move on.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Bite of the Mango

I read "Bite of the Mango" for my ISU. This book is a true story about a young girl from Sierra Leone. She endured so many things that a child should not have to go through. By the age of 12 she had witnessed her family and friends being killed or torchered, she had lost both of her hands, she was raped and became pregnant. She experienced so many horrific things that it made her want to end her own life. This story made me realize how fortunate we are here in Canada.  Mariatu and her family had nothing but were happy, happiness only disappeared when tragedy overtook their lives. Here in Canada we have more than enough but yet many of us are not satisfied. We should be way more grateful for what we have and we cannot let the little things that make us upset take over our lives as we are extremly lucky.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

My opinion of Amir

In my opinion, I think that deep down Amir is a really nice guy he just doesn't know how to express himself in many situations. I've heard many opinions of Amir and I understad both point of views.  Amir is a character who people feel bad for him or just despise him. But for me I sympathize for Amir because I think he just wanted to live up to his dads expectations of being a real man. I think that because Amir didn't have a mother all he wanted was his fathers relationship. I believe that he needed nurturing and love from his father. I also believe that Amir lacked self confidence and  I think that he did not have self confidence because no matter how hard Amir tried he could not live up to his fathers expectations therefore Baba got angry and took it out on Amir making him feel dissapointed in himself that he could not have a great relationship with his father. As well as I feel bad for Amir when he watched his best friend get raped. I feel bad for him because I could tell that he really wanted to say somenthing, he wanted to be the hero for once but his lack of self confidence and fear caused him to not say anything. It is like in tennis when you see the ball and you want to get it but your feet just do not move I feel like that is how Amir felt. He wanted to so bad but just could not move. Then after the Hassan situation he just felt so guilty which shows that he had remorse and I believe that Amir's guilt made him become a worse friend to Hassan. As well as I think Amir redeemed himself by getting Hassons son I think that he finally realized that there was a way to relieve him of all his guilt and dissapointments with himself so that he could be more of a free man. Meaning that he can live without regretting everything he does, he can be more self confident and he can be happy again. Happy that he did the right thing.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Gatsby and the Roaring 20's

     I always used to think that the roaring 20's were a glitzy, glamorous, and beautiful time period. The first world war had just ended and America was filled with optimism. It was the "party decade". (If only they knew about the stock market crash and Great Depression to come). However, when I read the Great Gatsby, I saw that the upper-class society of the time was incredibly greedy and had materialistic values, whereas the real human values of friendship, family, and love were forgotten about. Therefore, I believe that, on the surface, the 20's may seem like a fun, exciting time, but if you take a close look, there were deep issues in society.
     By the way, if anyone is considering reading The Great Gatsby, do it. You won't be disappointed. I have also seen the new Gatsby movie and it is also fantastic.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Tackling Shakespeare (be careful, he's old)

Personally, I'm a fan of Shakespeare and of  teaching Shakspeare in high schools. I understand that Shakespeare is a different language and therefore is difficult for most people, but I think that that just means that we need to find a different approach to teaching than one would use for other units in English in order to teach it effectively. Many teachers have different ideas and approaches to this, and I would like to purpose my own.

Throughout high school, I've had teachers start the Shakespeare unit simply by starting to read into a play. The first act of the play is always spent teaching the students to look at the text and trying to grasp what Billy Shakes is trying to say. While it's good that the teachers are taking time and easing students into things, I think that there could be a better approach. The first act of the play is where you're meant to gauge who the characters are so you have a frame of reference for the change they make over the rest of the play. It's that rare glimpse of the plot and the characters before everything goes awry. So now you've got the students who are trying to get a grasp of what these strange words actually mean, and at the same time trying to get all the information their meant to in this act. For many students, this can be a very stressful process. I think this is what makes many people dislike Shakespeare. English is a difficult enough course for many people, adding in this obstacle isn't helping. I think if we eliminate the initial panic of starting Shakespeare, the unit will be accepted more openly.

I purpose that each unit be started off with a day or two of sonnets. Just getting into the language in a calm way that doesn't have the chance to hinder their understanding of the main part of the unit.

Moreover, I don't think that students should ever sit down and then be expected to set into reading immediately. There should be at least a recap of what's been going on and maybe a discussion of where things may go. Teachers may even be so keen as to start the class off with a dissection of a Shakspearean quote. Shakespeare doesn't have to be scary, but it's really understandable why it is.

Dude Bros, does this reflect your experience? Would you find this helpful in your learning?

Cleft Lip

I feel as though the cleft lip is a very important symbol.
In the beginning of the novel Hassan's cleft lip symbolized his poverty and low status. With the split lip Hassan was capable of standing up to Assef and being strong. Amir at the beginning did not have a split lip and could not stand up against Assef or save Hassan from being raped. Later on in the novel Amir fights Assef and ends up with a split lip that proves he has then became emerged with Hassan and learns he can now stand up and care the way Hassan did.

Connection to Kite Runner

I highly recommend many people to read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. The book is very interesting and very moving. The memories and the challenges James overcomes within the book is amazing. The pain and guilt he endures is unbelievable and he pushes through each with such strength. He portrays himself in such negative ways within the novel as if he hates himself, it gives you a sense of sorrow for him. 

I can relate this text to The Kite Runner as James is so accustomed to screwing his life up with drugs and relapsing he has built so much guilt for leaving his family and friends and ruining his life. He then finds a quest to redeem himself by staying in rehab and trying his hardest not to give in to drugs and alcohol. This journey is very challenging and life changing for him. Amir, within Kite Runner also feels guilt for allowing Hassan to be raped and not standing up. His guilt has also accumulated until it drives him to find Sohrab and fight Assef in order to redeem himself.  Both these characters experienced guilt to motivate them to find good again.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

My thoughts on Amir

As we're just finishing the Kite Runner, I thought I would share my thoughts on Amir. It seems like people either love him or hate him. I'm more towards the side of liking him. I think that everything he does that is wrong is just him being very scared, and he always feels bad about what he did after. For example, when he makes fun of Hassan for being illiterate, he is just doing it because he is scared that Baba likes Hassan better than him, Amir, Baba's own child, which I'm sure anyone could understand. Then after, he feels bad about it and realizes that he shouldn't have done it. As well, when he doesn't stand up for Hassan in the alley, it is just because he is scared of being beat up by Assef, and by not being able to take the kite back to Baba. We know how guilty he feels after this because this incident haunts him for the rest of his life. It isn't until he meets Assef again, years later that he realizes that he has to stand up for what is right and learns the lesson that Baba has been trying to teach him for years. He laughs as Assef punches him because his guilt is leaving him because he has finally redeemed himself, and because he has finally learned Baba's lesson. Therefore, I think that Amir was a good person, just very scared because of everything that happened to him and how he was treated by Baba.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Summerhill School ISU

The book that I chose for my ISU is Summerhill school, a "test school" in Suffolk, England. The school is entirely based off a democracy for its teachers as well as its students. The students at Summerhill have full control of what they want to do, when they want to do it. What they want to learn, and when. There is no attendance for classes or some dictator-like figure forcing you to go to class, to the point where you could miss classes for years at a time. The students have just as much say in creating/abolishing rules, which they do by voting, and all votes are weighted equally; the head pricable's vote counts just as much as a 6 year old student. What this does is create students that have a sence of ownership and responsibility over the rules and their educational experience. Ultamately, the student can choose if they want to go to class or not, without any concequences for their choice. When a student does go to class it's because they want to learn. 'A student that wants to learn is a student that will learn'. This greatly enhances the eductational experience as students will be more interested and inclined to learn, meaning they will learn more material. This will also cut back on 'undesirable behavior' during class, as they chose to be there. There are many reasons why this form of education can be bennificial to both the student and the teacher. What do you think of this style of educatiion? Do you think there should be more of these types of schools?

(Warning: swears) Cultural Appropriation

What I find excellent about this is it compares cultural appropriation to something most people here can understand. These responses are extreme examples, but I think the emotions behind them are common. When we discussed this topic, I think what was missing for us was a frame of reference for what these cultures go through. Though white North Americans can relate on some levels with racist portrayals, we don't have so many equivalents when it comes to sacred objects. From the culture we are raised in, we don't think that wearing something in a certain way or in a certain context may be offensive  because we don't have much of anything that we would be offended to have another culture use. I think we all understand that wearing something from another culture in a mocking way is wrong, but we wouldn't think to see where we may be offensive in just wearing something. 

ISU Novel

I am just about done my ISU novel and I have found it very interesting and it has made me grateful for what I have. Neil Peart, the drummer in the famous Canadian rock band Rush, was living the high life. He was happily married and had a child. His band had just recorded their 16th studio album and finished up their 'Test for Echo' tour. They had just gotten back into the studio to record another album but one night while Neil's daughter was leaving for school things changed. She had been in a car accident and was pronounced dead on impact. Months later Neil's wife, Jackie, had been diagnosed with cancer. Soon after these news, she had passed away. Neil was lost and empty. He had nothing to do, nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to. He decided just to take off, to drive his motorcycle, where? he didn't know. Not knowing if he would be returning home he started to travel west across Canada starting from Quebec and heading over to British Columbia. He found that if he kept his mind busy with this it would keep his mind off what had happened. Soon enough Neil had made it up to Alaska, down along the west coast all the way down to South America and then flies back up through the USA to his home in Quebec. Along his journeys, Neil had started to realize that once again there were things to look forward to in life. That the sun will always shine again. With help from others and the integrity in himself he was able to strive through this bump in the road and continue on with his life. Now Neil is again recording and touring with his band, living life at its finest. This makes me feel grateful for what I have in life and that I should cherish every moment of it because no matter how good things are, they can always turn downhill in a moments notice as demonstrated by Neil's story.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Quotations to Guide Your Reading

Quotations to Guide Your Reading

Chapter 10

Do you always have to be the hero?  I thought, my heart fluttering.  Can’t you just let it go for once?  But I knew he couldn’t—it wasn’t in his nature” (122).

“I remember Baba climbed halfway up the ladder, hopped back down and fished the snuffbox from his pocket.  He emptied the box and picked up a handful of dirt from the middle of the unpaved road.  He kissed the dirt.  Poured it into the box.  Stowed the box in his breast pocket, next to his heart” (128).

Chapter 11

“I reached across the table and put my hand on his.  My student hand, clean and soft, on his laborer’s hand, grubby and calloused.  I thought of all the trucks, train sets, and bikes he’s bought me in Kabul.  Now America.  One last gift for Amir” (137).

“‘It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime, Amir’” (150).

Chapter 12

“And she would bear the brunt of that poison, not me--I was fully aware of the Afghan double standard that favoured by gender” (155).

“‘What’s going to happen to you, you say?  All these years, that’s what I’ve been trying to teach you, how to never have to ask that question” (165).

Chapter 13

“Baba had wrestled bears his whole life.  Losing his young wife.  Raising a son by himself.  Leaving his beloved homeland, his watan.  Poverty. Indignity.  In the end, a bear had come that he couldn’t best.  But even then, he had lost on his own terms” (183).

Chapter 14

Come. There is a way to be good again” (202).

Chapter 15

No quotations.

Chapter 16

Note:  Rahim Khan is narrating.

“He said it was a matter of ihtiram,a matter of respect.  He Farzana moved their things into the hut in the backyard, where he was born” (219).

Chapter 17

Note:  Amir is narrating again.

“Looking at the photo, one might have concluded that this was a man who thought the world had been good to him” (227).

“‘It isn’t about money, Amir!’ Rahim Khan roared. ‘I’m a dying man and I will not be insulted!  It has never been about money with me, you know that.  And why you? I think we both know why it has to be you’” (233).

Chapter 18

“...Baba had been a thief.  And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he’d stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honour.  His nang.  His namoos” (237).

Chapter 19

“’That’s the real Afghanistan, Agha sahib.  That’s the Afghanistan I know.  You?  You’ve always been a tourist here, you just didn’t know it” (245).

“I follow the barrel on its upward arc.  I see the face behind the plume of smoke swirling from the muzzle.  I am the man in the herringbone vest” (252).

“Earlier that morning, when I was certain no one was looking, I did something I had done twenty-six years earlier:  I planted a fistful of crumpled money under a mattress” (254).