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).

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A Long Way Gone

I recently finished the book A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah which I have decided to do for my ISU assignment.  Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier recalls his life and writes this book from his perspective.  I have never understood the hardships these child soldiers have faced until reading this novel.  This novel takes place in Sierra Leone and is about Ishmael Beah who is forced to separate from his family as he runs from the rebels for years.  Over the years he endures starvation, abuse, mental deterioration, witnesses gruesome deaths and most importantly he loses his childhood.  After many years of running from the rebels, Ishmael Beah is left with no choice but to join the army.  From here he is handed a gun at the age of 13 and demanded to fight and kill the enemy.  These young children become brain washed by their elder soldiers.  13 year old Ishmael Beah becomes addicted to cocaine, drugs and killing.  At 15, UNICEF came and took many children including Ishmael to a rehabilitation center.  The conditions he endured will forever remain with him.  After struggling through many months there, Ishmael began to recover and had the chance to travel and speak at a conference in New York.  This book is inspiring and very captivating.  I highly recommend this book as it is an educating and extremely touching story.      

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Million Little Pieces

 My ISU novel is very interesting. The topic revolves around drugs and drug culture. I am very sceptical while reading this book because James Frey ( the author) supposedly lied and over aggregated the text. I have to decipher which parts of his book are lies and which are the truth in order to understand drug culture so it is mandatory to have second text to back up the truth and to oppose the lies.

This video is a little preview on Oprah confirming he had over aggregated his story.

My thoughts on the end of MacBeth

I believe that MacBeth was kind of a uneventful play, but I did enjoy the ending. I believe that MacBeth deserved to die because he killed so many innocent people. So ending the play with him being killed was perfect. Also I think it was suitable that Lady MacBeth killed herself because she didn't actually kill anyone but she did create this guilt for herself and therefore it makes sense that she takes her own life. All in all the ending was satisfying especially because MacDuff becomes king and he is the "medicine" for Scotland  The End. And they all lived happily ever after, or dead.

How does ambition impact people?

Just like with Lady Macbeth, I think that ambition creates a sort of tunnel-vision effect to reach your goals. Without ambition, you will not achieve anything, which is what she warned Macbeth. However, I think that too much ambition can lead to selfishness, just as with Lady Macbeth. She had no affection towards others because she was so concentrated on reaching her own goals. She even said that, if it helped her move forward, she would have "dashed the brains out"(1.vii.58) of an innocent child. Therefore, I think that Lady Macbeth's ambition, in a way, lead to her demise because of how she encouraged Macbeth to commit the murder so that she could be Queen.

How does ambition impact people?

Ambition is a trait that is usually admired by most people. The biggest ambition is when there is a desire to reach a big goal, or even to fulfil one's life purpose. When someone is very ambitious it affects themselves in a way of being very motivational and self encouraging. It may also affect others if they are not a very ambitious person, or even if they are. Ambition is good, but it can also go wrong if someone is overly ambitious. For example, it can easily reflect on some of their self doubts they could be experiencing where their ambition becomes not a desire to reach a goal, but a desire to please others. In conclusion, ambition is an excellent trait to have, as long as you know the purpose and what is really driving you to reach the goal you are trying to achieve. The biggest impact ambition has is on themselves.

School Climate Survey


Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Great Meme Challenge of 2013 Voting

Please look at all of the memes below.  After you have viewed the memes, there will be a link at the end.  Please click on it and vote for your favourite.  Each meme is numbered.  Thanks!

1. Bad Luck Brian

2. Napoleon Dynamite

3. The Most Interesting Man in the World

4. Confused Cat

5.  Condescending Wonka

6. 99 Problems

7. Push Somewhere Else

8. The Most Interesting Man in the World

9. Conspiracy Keanu

10. Success Kid

11.  Overly Attached Girlfriend

Click the link below to vote.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Importance of Soliloquies

Throughout Macbeth, William Shakespeare has incorporated soliloquies into his writing.  Soliloquies are important because they allow the reader to understand the thoughts and feelings of characters.  Through this, we can understand what they are thinking and allows foreshadowing.  They are so important in Macbeth because they allow us to see the characters’ emotional deterioration which advances the plot.  

It begins when Macbeth is considered loyal and patriotic for killing the traitor of Scotland.  After receiving the prophesies, the use of soliloquies allows us to see the turn in Macbeth as he and Lady Macbeth plan to murder Duncan.  Soon after, in one of Macbeth’s soliloquies it says, “As his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself” (I.VII.14-16).  This shows Macbeth’s thoughts are now changing as he is contemplating whether or not to commit the crime as he feels he should remain loyal and trustworthy to Duncan. Without this soliloquy, we would not suspect Macbeth to show this innocence.  Since Macbeth is second guessing his choices, it foreshadows that Macbeth will show remorse after he murders Duncan.  After this, there is a scene where Macbeth hallucinates and sees daggers.  This shows how Macbeth refrains from life and is having evil thoughts which foreshadows that Duncan will be murdered. 

Not only do the soliloquies show Macbeth’s development but Lady Macbeth’s as well.  We can see as she transitions from evil thoughts of the murder to remorse.  

With only these few examples of soliloquies, we can see the importance of soliloquies as they show character development which advances the plot as well as foreshadowing it.  These soliloquies have allowed us to see characters’ inner thoughts and connect the ideas throughout the play to gain a solid understanding.  We have especially been able to see the change in Macbeth as he second guesses his choices, shows remorse for murdering Duncan, fears Banquo when he becomes suspicious and plans other murders.  

Without the use of soliloquies do you think we would see and understand the thoughts behind the characters' actions?


       For this blog, I have chosen to talk about my ISU novel. I'm excited to get into this novel because I'm very interested in learning about other countries cultures. Mine is about poverty in the US. I'm curious as to how they deal with these different struggles in a community with not a lot of money, food, or family.

What do you think about Macbeth?

Near the beginning of the play, when Duncan was killed, I felt sorry for Macbeth because Lady Macbeth pretty much made him do the murder. He even had second thoughts about it but she pushed him to go through with it. Although it was Lady Macbeth's fault that Duncan was murdered, after that happened Macbeth didn't seem to have a problem with killing anyone any more. He was convinced that by killing anyone who was a threat to him, he would succeed in his ambition to become king and make the Witches' prophesy come true. It didn't take me long to realize that Macbeth was an extremely selfish person and only cared about becoming king, no matter what he had to do. You see him slowly become more and more crazy throughout the play as he kills more and more people. He even killed people who weren't a real threat to him. In my opinion, Macbeth was very selfish and it's his own fault that it ended the way it did.

Should we still teach Shakespeare?

I agree that shakespeare's plays can be boring and hard to understand but I still think it should be taught in high school. Shakespeare's plays force students to analyize more critically which helps them develop skills for future education. Also I think that Shakespeare's plays can relate to someone of any age or generation. A great example is in Romeo and Juliet, Juilet has problems with her over protective father which I'm sure a lot of high school kids can relate to having problems with their parents. Shakespeare's plays also bring up topics like morality, politics, love, anger and death which can be disscussed with any generation by relating to current events. The play may also widen the students vocabulary making their writing more creative and detailed. Even though Shakespeare's plays are difficult to understand they still can be useful. What do you think should shakespeare still be taught in school?

What do you think of Lady MacBeth?

Through out the play we were able to see Lady MacBeth's character and personality experience quite a drastic change to a point of calling her crazy. At the beginning of the play her and MacBeth seemed to have a very close relationship, writing love letters, etc. However, at the end of the play she changed and was pressuring MacBeth to go along with the murder of Duncan and Banquo. In my opinion Lady MacBeth is a psychotic woman who needed to get her facts straight and realize that what she was doing was not the correct way in going about things.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Macbeth Memes

Aiden, Branson, Marjone and Cody


Damein, Sara L. Mack


Macbeth memes

Bad LUck MacbethI dont always

Meme Challenge

Madison Krofchick and Katie Illick


The Great Meme Challenge of 2013

I'm just going to put a bunch here because multiple entries are better

In response to Macduff's army:

Gets an assignment to make a meme/ DOESN'T WORK.


Keith, Chris and Tyler

meme by Mick and Tes #swag