Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Snow Days

Snow days are some of the most anticipated days of the school year for students; the extra day off to work on that project, or study for that test, or for some, just relax and lounge around in your pjs all day. For me, I wake up at 7, and in the wintertime, check my phone and go on the website to check if its a no bus day, and when it is, I jump for joy and run into the next room to tell my mother the good news that she's stuck with me for the day and go back to sleep. After a well deserved nap I generally go downstairs and play on the Playstation until mother gets up. Most kids would say that snow days are the best days of the year, but for the rest of the population, they are less then optimal. Adults have to get up in the mornings to get to work, instead of sleeping in they are expected to be there, so they have to spend an extra 20 minutes to an hour to clear out the driveway. The roads are slippery and hazardous and cause accidents. This is generally a frustrating experience for anyone who needs to go to work, and if your child is to young to stay home alone, you need to find another child care service to watch them while you are at work. All in all, snow days may be fun for high school students and some kids, but are an annoyance to adults and the working class of people.

Status Quo

Mayor Rob Ford. The laughing stock of Toronto. What will he do next? Doesn't matter, what matters is what he has done, how he made Toronto a point on the map to countries all over the world. The scandal of "The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto" has been made a headline across the world, giving comedians like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher near limitless material to make fun of, going as far as to say "For once you actually hear that someone else besides America has F***ed up" (Bill Maher 2013).
The crack scandal started back earlier this year in May, beginning with the accusations that he had smoked crack, including a video that proved, the subject was denied by Ford, who responded by calling reporters "maggots". Later in June, Ford was asked by reporters if he was worried that the alleged video is now part of evidence that will come out in court: He replied "I can't comment on something that I've never seen or doesn't exist, I don't know how many more times I've got to say this. I've answered so many questions, I don't know if you guys can't get it through your thick skulls." (Rob Ford 2013)
On October 31st, the police chief of Toronto revealed that a video taken from a hard drive existed of Rob Ford's actions, and five days later on November 5th, he admits to "smoking crack under a drunken stupor".
This isn't the first time that Rob Ford has been in trouble for drug possession, in 1999 he was arrested in Miami for driving under the influence and marijuana possession.
On Wednesday November 13 2013, council members asked Rob Ford to take a leave of absence from being mayor. Out of 44 Council members the vote was 37-5 for the Mayor of Toronto to take a leave.
November 17th Ford stated on Fox news that "one day I do want to run for Prime Minister" and reiterates he has no plans to step down as Mayor.
November 28th, Maclean's magazine chooses Rob Ford as "Newsmaker of the Year"
As if it couldn't get any worse, in December Ford offered $5000 dollars and a new car, in exchange for the video of him smoking crack.
Although Rob Ford has done a lot of bad, he did keep his promises that he made before he was in office. What really matters in this is what you think of Rob Ford, and how you believe he will function as Mayor of Toronto in the future, and if you will vote for him, after all this, I'm surprised anyone will vote to keep in "The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto."

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mystery Skype

The Mystery Skype gave me a perspective that I didn't have before on Aboriginal people and how they are treated in modern day society. When watching 8th Fire, I had an idea, however, hearing it from people live gave me a much different idea on things. During the mystery Skype, I liked how we were all asking questions trying to figure out where we were and just generally having a good time. The back and forth questions were interesting because it let us know about life on reserves. The only thing that needed to be improved could have been the connection, because it kept cutting out and our questions had to be repeated sometimes and so did theirs, it became a little tedious after a while of having to repeat ourselves. I quite enjoyed the Skype, even though I was the camera person, it was still and entertaining experience.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Salaman Rusdie

The author of my ISU novel, Salaman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist. His second book, Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981. His books combine magic realism and historical fiction. His fourth novel The Satanic Verses (1988) however, made Salaman Rushdie famous, and not in the good way. It was the centre of controversy, and provoked protests from Muslims in several countries, and on February 14th, 1989, a fatwa was placed on him, by the Supreme Leader of Iran. A fatwa is essentially the straight ticket to heaven, if you kill this person. Since 2000 Rusdie has lived in America and in 2007 Queen Elizabeth II knighted him for his writing. He has also been named thirteenth out of 50 greatest British writers. Salaman Rushdie's writing style is very descriptive, and is often complicated to read, however, that should not stop you from picking up a copy of one of his fantastic books.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Chapter 7 "The Kite Runner"

Chapter 7 in "The Kite Runner"
As much as I would like to, I don't hate Amir, I can't blame him for wanting to self preserve himself. Most people would disagree, and say that they would have "lept in to save him" or would have gotten help from other people. But what would a twelve year old you do? If you were watching your best friend being raped by the neighborhood bully, how would you react? Self preservation is the most basic instinct in the human race, it would be the same if you saw a mugging going down in an ally, you wouldn't step in to help, you would walk past and ignore it. The same goes for a rape, at twelve years old, you wouldn't step in to help the person. You'd be watching, or hiding, petrified of what you had just witnessed. Watching your friend at the age of twelve being raped is a traumatic experience for anyone. At any age watching your friend being raped would be traumatic. Although, granted we are older now and would think different, and would probably jump in to help, but at twelve, the mind is still innocent and developing. Amir dealt with the situation in the only way he knew how: preserving his own life at the cost of his best friend being raped. Amir has it rough too, he has to live with the fact that his decision led to the rape of Hassan.
Even if Amir did step in, what would that change? Assef and his friends still had Hassan pinned to the ground, so he was a little useless, and even if they got up, it would be 3 big guys against a little Hazara and Amir. If Amir went and got help, Hassan would still be raped, but Assef would probably be finished by the time he came back and there would be no proof that the rape ever even happened, it would be word against word. Either situation is a loss for both boys.
Amir compares the look on Hassan's face to that of a lamb, and then recalls a somewhat brutal ritual of the killing a lamb. This is a metaphor for how the lamb in essence is Hassan in this situation, useless help its own demise. The lamb metaphor is in someway also connected to Amir, because as he watches this ritual of killing the lamb, he also watches the rape happen because of the same reason he watches the lamb being killed.
In conclusion, I don't think its fair to blame Amir for the decisions he made, because he is young and, because everyone could or would handle that differently and in there own way.