June 3: the fantasy genre

watch?v=Vp7aodvB1p4I am a big fan of fantasy. They are my favorite type of novels to read. I was thinking about why I like them so much. I guess it’s because they usually have a pretty intense adventure and then a happy ending. I like happy endings, sad endings like in Of Mice and Men leave me trying to solve the problem. I personally enjoy a satisfying ending when you can go to sleep content rather than trying to fix problems that some author thought up. Another reason I like fantasy is because anything is possible, but in the best written novels it always has some limitations. Like for example in Eragon magic is only possible when you know the correct words to say and it takes your strength, like if you were to use magic to move a rock it would take the same amount of energy from you to get up and move that rock. V.s, say, something like Harry Potter where you wave your wand and bang! what ever you want appears, also the words they say have no relevance to anything but the spell itself where as Eragon they are words from the ancient language, to move a stick you might say stick in the ancient language. I guess it’s pretty obvious that one of my favorite books is Eragon, I love it. Fantasy is different from other genres because it lets you escape from reality. I think that is one of the main reasons I read fantasy. In fantasy the laws of the world today don’t mean anything. Like one book I read, totally forget the name :P, it was proper not to brush your hair and tangles were beautiful. The little girl in the book used to brush her hair to annoy her sister. There is a parallel universe, for example in the Dividewhere the main character accidentally falls into a universe where the mythical creatures existed. I love learning about new mythical creatures, especially the ones in Greek mythology. For some reason the adventures fascinate me even though, like, no one ends up happy. One of the best series that I’ve ever read, ranking up there with Eragon and its sequel Eldest, is the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series. It is about a boy who turns out to be son of Poseidon, sorry gave part of the first book lol, and his adventures and his always end up with fairly satisfying ending.

In love with fantasy too? Click hereto find the best fantasy novels list.

Curious about the Percy Jackson and the olympian series? Click Here

April 7: Reflective summary of your thoughts on equality

                        

Equality would make the world a much better place, but equality has so many branches. Like equality of condition, opportunity, treatment, equality before the law, racial equality, equality among men and women, and social equality. If you look at all those things put together equality seems so unachievable. Especially because the world is so unjust and people are so irresponsible sometimes. I think people would try and take advantage of equality, and use it unfairly. And how can you expect kids in school to treat everyone equally. It is like a dream all foggy and patchy, but still there. I doubt we will ever reach equality as a people because to create totally equality you would have to take away opinion, like in The Giverby Lois Lowry.

 I think it will be a working progress, like even if the big goal is unachievable maybe we will make smaller, but still important achievements in the process. Like maybe instead of equality we will create a more peaceful environment or learn how to solve problems calmly and respectfully. Or maybe if there is just more respect in the world, like oh I get that we like different things and instead of fighting about it , we can except it. Hmm … is it just me or does that sound super brainwashed. I guess it’s a good brainwashed.

I don’t know if true equality is possible with out losing other things, because not everyone about what is right and wrong, and so I guess we’ll just see how equality progresses.

Never heard of The Giver? Click Here to learn more

March 31: Themes of the novel- related to liturature with similar themes

When I first read this book it reminded me of an episode of Bonanza I had seen (haha that’s right I watch Bonanza). It was like the exact same story. Except Hoss was trying to help the big guy out not a little guy, also Hoss didn’t shoot him, the other people did. I don’t know if they stole the story from the novel, but that was the first thing MiAwake and Dreaming Coverce of Men reminded me of.

Another book it reminded me of was Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson. Theo, the little girl in the story, would use books to escape reality. She wouldn’t try and make freinds or even make conversation with other people. She was poor and lived in bad parts of Vancouver, the city she lived in. She isolated her self from the world, like Crooks. Who was a social misfit, but didn’t try to talk to the others. Another part of the story that really reminded me of Mice of Men was how much she longed for a real family, like how George and Lennie wanted a farm of their own. Theo wanted a family like she read about in her fairy tales, and George and Lennie wanted a farm they read about in the farm magazines that the cowboys scoffed at. Of course they were both unreasonable goals, because Theo’s mother reckless and immature, she had Theo when she was 16, and George and Lennie had to keep running away because Lennie kept getting into trouble.

Lastly the novel reminded me of  a poem called Isolation by Ben Borkan. The poem remindes me of how the ranch hands live alone. How they completely isolate themselves because they can hardly take care of them selves, never mind anyone else. I also think that the ranch hands are supposed to be tough and if they let them true selves show they might get taken advantage of by the other men. “What could be worse at this time?” Really moves me to how desperate the author seems and how despert everyone was during the depression.

 Want to read Isolation by Ben Borkan? Click Here

March 10: Fairness and justice in societies/ does it depend on the culture

I think that fairness an justice have definitely progressed through out time. Like you think about like way back in history when it was an eye for an eye and how much more civilized we have become as a society. I don’t think justice and fairness should depend on the culture because people’s rights, laws, and punishments shouldn’t change. Really we’re all the same anyways, why should where we live change how we are punished. I mean I’m not saying that the same type of governing will work everywhere, because it probably wont, but the fairness and justice should be world wide not just in countries that already have it.  Of course that will take years to achieve if ever.

On the other hand not everyone believes the same things are wrong, right, or morally acceptable. Also it’s not fair to tell people they are wrong for what they believe is right and punishments are a whole other story. Like in some countries being gay is punishable by death. I mean that is just ridiculous.

I don’t really have an opinion on this and I don’t really want one. I’d rather just be like “oh they are good both points” and then just totally stay out of the issue because I don’t feel that strongly about it and I’d rather let other people who it means more to fight this one.

Want to learn more about some of the real controversy? Click here.

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March 17: Justice and fairness in the novel study- what was considered “just” in the past

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/-MBBXFGAv5Q" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]Just is such a controversial word because everyone has there own personal opinions about was is right and wrong. So to ask what was considered just in the past is asking me to stereotype. Using the example of Carlson killing Candy’s dog because it was old and smelly, how do you say if something like that is just? Like could it be “just” because the dog was old, or is it selfish because Carlson may just have wanted the dog out of the way. I really can’t say what was just in the past because it changes with each person. I guess the only way to do something like that is to take the general opinion.

So, was killing Lennie “just”? Lennie killed Curley’s wife. He smothered her until she died. He did this because he didn’t want her to yell because he would get in trouble and he ended up accidentally killing her instead of quieting her. Legally it was a homicide, but in actuality it was manslaughter. So was “just” for George to kill Lennie? Obviously it was the general opinion that Lennie should be killed, Curley threatened to kill Lennie, and the others went along with it. But does that make it just?

It really doesn’t matter whether it was right or not, after Lennie killed Curley’s wife, it was somewhat inevitable. So I guess what the question is what was considered the expected repercussion? It was basically an eye for an eye kind of thing. And Candy got paid for when he got injured. Lennie’s life was expected in return for Curley’s wife’s.

                                                       

Curious about Mice of Men and John Steinbeck? Click here for more info.

March 3: Judging othersand misjudging them- are we all guilty

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/VnGb6UQvwJs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]I honestly think we all judge people in one way or another. I mean first impressions make such a big impact on people. Cliques and stereotypes, they are all judgements/ misjudgements. If you had two people applying for a job and one looked like a hobo, but seemed better qualified and the other looked clean and ready to learn, but seemed less qualified the clean person would probably get hired. Why? Because this person we assume they would be better at the job, they would come to work clean, well rested, and ready to work. How do we know that, really we don’t we just assume that because of the way the person looks. People get ridiculed for looking emo, black hair, black eyes, black clothes. Or anything extreme really, not just emo. We are in a world where fitting in and being average, but still “cool” is very important, its ridiculous.  

Its not at all fair, but it is so much easier than actually getting to know someone. What they are actually like, not just what the rumors being spread around are saying. Wow, that makes it sound like we are all just to lazy to actually see people for who they really are. Maybe I’ll just dwell on that thought for a moment.

If this was an epidemic, maybe it is, maybe it is racism with a differnt approach. I mean its like racism we are still judging on appearence, sterio types and all. But anyways, I got side tracked, if this was an epidemic I would probably be dead right now because I admit I make judgements about people with out getting to no them, or I might not want to because they are a social outcast, but I try to be nice. Okay that is a little sad. But hey that is how the world works. I’m not saying its right, but it how it is. I think we should try and change it, but I’m not about to start a revolution.

Want to hear more about Judging and Misjudging others? Click here

February 25: Research background to narrative perspective

My narrative was about a girl in high school, who was in a classroom shooting. The shooter in the narrative killed a teacher, three students, one of which was a close friend of hers, and himself. I tried to do some research, but there wasn’t much for statistics. I did find out some though. The fourth of the most deadly high school shootings were the Columbine High School massacre(1999), the Bath School disaster(1927), the Virgina Tech massacre(2007), and the University of Texas massacre(1966).  The most recent shootings were blamed on bullying, cliques, emphasis on violence on TV and video games, and “a moral panic aimed at the Gothic culture, social pariahs, the gun culture, the use of pharmaceutical anti-depressants  by teenagers…[1]”.

I find it hard to write about this kind of stuff because I don’t really get it. I don’t really get why someone would want to hurt other people as much as they want to hurt themselves. Maybe if I understood why someone would want do something like this I could relate to them or see their side or something. But that is the thing about media, they often only show one side, the side that will sell the story. Not necessarily the side that will let the reader empathize with the shooter, although there must have been a more rational solution than shooting up a school. But hey, what do I know about the situation.

I decided to learn a little more about the University of Texas massacre, the deadliest Charles Whitmanshooting of its time, so that maybe I would get it. The shooter, Charles Whitman, was twenty-five at the time. He killed 14 people and wounded 35 others. He went on the rampage shortly after murdering his wife and mother. On August 1st, 1966 he was shot by the Austin police. An autopsy showed he had a Glioblastoma brain tumor which has led to speculation that the tumor was the reason for his rampage.

 Okay that didn’t help. So I’m going to move on to the most resent of the 4 massacres, the Virgina Tech shooting of 2007.

The shooter Seung-Hui Cho, twenty-three this time, about the same age as Charles Whitman. He killed 32, wounded many, and then committed suicide. He was diagnosed Seung-Hui Chowith a severe type of anxiety disorder and depression. He received treatment until his junior high year. His behavior began to deteriorate and was even described as aberannt. Teachers, school administrators, and even health officals failed to intrepret these signs and help him. [2]

Well, that didn’t help much either to understand him, but maybe someone else would. Ya, I don’t get it. I tried, I just don’t get it.  

There has been more that four high school shootings, for a timeline highlighting school shootings since 1996, click here.

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References

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre

Any other facts I found on Wikapedia.

February 11: Reflect on factual report

My report was on the prejudice against the Chinese while building the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad). I found it very hard to write the report with out putting much of my opinion in it. It was so hard not to write my sympathy with the Chinese because they were forced to do the most dangerous jobs, they had horrible living conditions, backbreaking labour, and still Canadians resented them. The thing is that they didn’t even have their family to fall back on. Their families were were back in China, the men came over looking for a good way to support their families. The hope was that one day they a piture taken while building the CPRwould all be reunited, but at the time head tax was so high that to bring one person over was worth about two years of labour. It was virtually impossible to bring someone over. It makes me sad that Canadians were so cruel. We have no right to discriminate like that. The ironic thing is that from 1841 to 1867 Canadians were using the Underground Railroad to smuggle black people from the United States to Canada to free them from slavery and in 1868 the building of the CPR started. White, black, and aboriginals were paid up to 3 times more as the Chinese. My point is Canada’s contribution to the fight against prejudice was so hypocritical because despite helping one race to equality we beat down another. I don’t really know what else to write, it is what it is. It is a nasty truth that Canada isn’t proud of, but it happened.

I guess the most we can ask for is forgiveness so that maybe someday we get past this, but I really hope that we never forget it because history has a nasty knack for repeating its self. One thing that was really bothering was thinking that forgiveness makes that okay, but it really doesn’t. I think that is really important to acknowledge that. It wasn’t right or fair, but if we forgive we’re a step closer to equality. For me, this applies to all races not just one or another.

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Want the facts about the predudice that occured while building the Canadian Pasific Railroad?? Click here.

February 4: Rights and Responsibilities of Canadians

Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. They need one another to function properly, if your missing one or other the reaction will be less than desirable. The most common way you see this is people who have rights, but neglect responsibility. Think of it as a spoiled child who’s mother does everything for it. Who’s fault is it though, the child for not taking on responsibility, or the mother for not enforcing it? Its hard to decide andAfghan girl society, I feel, struggles with this because there is no “right answer”. Now look at it on global scale where some countries have to fight for freedoms and others simply take them for granted. Should Canada help the countries that struggle with this issue or let them fight their own fight, we did. These are some of those unsolvable problems that make the world hard to live on. They are the questions that some people believe in so much so that they will make it happen or they might make so that it can’t happen. Either way I can see both sides of whether Canada should help bring rights to less fortunate countries or just say its not our problem. I guess I’d have to say we should help them because maybe in the future we will need they’re help or alliance or something and if nothing else at least it will better the lives of the people in the other countries. On the other hand if we just let them help them selves we could save money, resources, and even our own soldier’s lives. These places can be violent and dangerous, but every time I think that I think of the people that have to live there. So I guess I’ll stick with my first opinion because those people are entitled to rights like you and me, but who really cares what I think because the Canadian government is pulling the troops out of Afghanistan anyways.

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Want the facts on the was in Afghanistan? Click here 

January 28: Racial Tensions

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/MJTMMCtMZcw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]I think racism is stupid because really we’re all people anyways, so who cares what skin color you have. Racist is such a touchy word, but its just another word for stereotype. Well more like an extreme stereotype, but still. Any extreme stereotype is bad, but this one everyone takes so seriously. I mean if people were worried about hair color like they are about skin, anytime anyone cracked a blonde joke it would be like, oh my god i can’t believe you said that. Except its not like that people laugh its a joke, they don’t mean it. I guess that’s the difference between hair and skin; people mean it.

The white man has been so cruel in the past, but not just to colored people, to women, animals, and other religions. We’re so stubborn and afraid of the unknown that the white man has been known to ridicule, demean, and torture people, real human beings just like you and me, for things we can’t change. 

Now for the other side of the story the white man, I think they’ve actually done most of discriminating, have some what played for it because, for example with the natives, we give them land….. actually never mind in contrast to the torture, giving them small portions of land they once occupied isn’t really a substitute.

Blonde Joke

 We need equality, enough so that we can crack a racist joke like a blonde joke, no one will take it seriously because everyone knows they don’t mean it.

Curious about other people’s opinions?? Click Here