English: “Gathering Blue” Scene One

When her mother dies, Kira is left isolated and rejected by the village. Something impressive about her actions is her refusal to give up. The reader can’t help but admire her personality traits of bravery and determination. An internal conflict is her struggle with not being loved or wanted, since nobody wants anything to do with her because of her twisted leg. We see their prejudice and primitive values when she states, “her twisted leg diminished her value as a laborer and even, in the future, as a mate” (6). An external conflict is the cruel village that scorns her, threatening to leave her for the beasts. An inference about what Kira wants is to have someone to shelter and protect her again. She’s still a child and needs to be cared for. One of her fears is being abandoned, when she “[feels] the aloneness, the uncertainty, and a great sadness” (3). In this scene she also says that “fear [is] always a part of life for the people” (3). This isn’t impressive; she sounds helpless, like she is willing to live in fear, as a victim. She makes no attempt to resist the hive mind of the community. On the other hand, this may be realistic for Kira. Fear is beneficial, because as someone with no power in society, she needs to survive. She says fear “propel[s] her now as she [stands] … and consider[s] where to go” (3). A personal connection I have is how she was detached from her community, and when I was really young, I often felt excluded from kids in kindergarten and dance class, who would quickly form groups, leaving me out. If I were in Kira’s situation my actions would be similar, salvaging what was left and trying to rebuild my life. There isn’t much she can do except pick herself up and keep fighting.


“Dad is Dying”: Blog Response

In “Dad is Dying” by Stuart McLean, 12-year-old Sam tells a boldfaced lie that throws everyone in his life for a loop, but ultimately ends up “rescu[ing] his mother and father” (139). This is true because, despite all the misunderstanding and confusion Sam’s dishonesty caused, the positive changes that the lie led to outweigh the chaos that it set off in the first place. Clearly, the family was not doing very well at the time. But when Sam tells his class that his father is dying because he is “too old to be crying about a sick dog” (141), everyone in their community hears the news and they are devastated. However, even though they believed that Dave was going to pass away, the kindness they showed towards the family ended up bringing them closer together. This is shown when Morley, who was previously “feeling a loss of connection with everything that mattered to her” (139), is reminded of the kindness of their community when she sees their concern about their sick pet, bringing food, giving their condolences, and even offering funeral services. Meanwhile, Dave had been in the thick of a “full-blown hypochondriacal funk” (139) and was convinced of his supposed deteriorating health. When suddenly “everyone he met had something nice to say” (153), even the ever-condescending Mary Turlington, he knew he “must be looking good” (153) and was thus feeling newly rejuvenated. Even Stephanie, who is not involved very much in the story, is comforted when she receives a card that reads “Thinking of you in these difficult times” in the middle of her exams. For Sam, things get quite awkward, with uncomfortable pats on the back from teachers and a visit to the counsellor. In the end, he learns an important lesson when he realizes he needs to resolve the mess he’s caused at school. Even so, when he sees his family together and happy, it is all worth it. All these points prove that, even though Sam did tell a lie, the positive effects on his family and community far exceed the lie itself. 

Judge Your Roommates

       Roommates are like puzzle pieces; not only do we click with some but not with others, but choosing the right roommate can be endlessly frustrating. Despite this, I believe Dana, with her honest, open-minded personality and our shared interests, would be the best roommate choice for me. This is because she says that, while she does have specific interests, she is also open to enjoying almost anything and likes new experiences. In addition to this, I can tell that she is an honest person due to the way she admits that she’s nervous for camp, which most people would hide. Open-mindedness and honesty are not only qualities of a good roommate, but also a good person and friend. Secondly, though we share common interests, we are different enough to learn a lot from each other. For example, I am mainly interested in writing, dance, and music, and she is mainly interested in music and art. In other words, this is sort of the middle ground; we can relate to one another, but still share new experiences. So, since she has several qualities of a good friend and we have shared interests, Dana would be the best summer roommate choice.

Digital Footprint Assignment

a. How might your digital footprint affect your future opportunities? Give at least two examples.

One way your digital footprint can impact your future opportunities is that it can affect your employment opportunities. Employers, especially in this day and age, will almost certainly look at your online presence. If the content you post online is unprofessional and doesn’t present you as someone they would want to hire, it’s very unlikely that you’d get the job. On the other hand, if your posts are professional and present you as a good candidate for the job, you’d be much more likely to get the job.

Another example of how your digital footprint can affect later opportunities is if you’re going to meet someone you’ve never spoken to in person before, such as a friend of a friend, or an acquaintance. They might also see your online presence and again, if you’ve posted something embarrassing or hurtful, that’s going to keep you from making a good impression.

b. Describe at least three strategies that you can use to keep your digital footprint appropriate and safe.

A strategy you can use to keep your digital footprint professional and safe you can make sure that you’ve set the privacy settings on your online accounts to private. It’s much safer if only your friends can see what you post, and you don’t accept follow requests from people you don’t know.

Another way you can maintain your digital footprint is to avoid using your real name on sites where you don’t post any content. In other words, if you’re looking for a job, you’ll want to be sure that the most relevant content will come up first on a Google search. You won’t want the useless content obscuring the vital content. Instead, your potential employer will see your experience, qualifications and so on right at the top.

It’s also extremely important never to share your address, phone numbers, passwords, bank card numbers, and other personal information online. Even if it’s in a private message with someone you trust, your account could get hacked and the information could be found. Since whatever you put on the Internet is extremely difficult to delete, it’s safest just not to do it.

Finally, before you post, THINK. Just go down the acronym; whatever you post online should be TRUE. It should never be HURTFUL. Make sure it isn’t ILLEGAL. Only post something if it’s NECESSARY. Last but not least, be sure that all of your online content is KIND. Remember, the Internet never forgets!

c. If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently online? Think of what type of advice you would pass on to your younger self or other students. How could you go about explaining it to them?

If I could go back in time and change what I did online, I don’t believe I would have to change that much. I didn’t post anything outright humiliating, but there used to be some really bad landscape photography with crooked horizons on my Instagram in grade six, so I wouldn’t mind undoing that. Other than that, I was generally pretty safe online.

If I could pass on some advice to my younger self or other students, I’d make sure that this information is drilled into their young, easily influenced brains: whatever you post on the Internet is virtually permanent. Even if it’s been deleted, there’s still the possibility of screenshots and archiving. Maybe my grade six self would have corrected the horizons on her photos had I told her to. But fortunately for me, low-quality photography isn’t exactly the end of the world.