Friday, 2 May 2014

YCJA: Touching Spirit Bear - Post 1

In this post I will be discussing what factor and pieces of information I would take into consideration if I were apart of the Justice Circle of Cole Mathews, the main character from the novel Touching Spirit Bear we have been reading in class for our Youth Criminal Justice Act inquiry!

Cole Matthews has not always been the "offender" he is considered to be now, he has also been a victim, feeling helpless and hurt like those he has harmed. After the countless nights of beatings from his father and non-stop drinking from his mother who never stood up for him, Cole reached a point where he could not contain his anger and hatred for the world around him. He was lost and lashed out in the only way he knew possible. If I were apart of the Justice Circle, I would take the time to empathize and understand what he has gone through. I would make decisions that will help him heal from all of the damage he has endured and grow as a person, while still knowing that his actions were unacceptable and deserved consequences. I believe that I would side with Garvey and Edwin, who proposed that Cole should return to the island and pay for his own supplies this time. I would recognize that he is still young, being under the age of eighteen, and that adolescence is a difficult and vulnerable time when youth are still learning, developing emotionally, intellectually and physically, and in the process of creating and establishing self-concept.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

GINS Post 8

This is a word art I designed and created for a powerful quotation from my Global Issues Novel Study novel, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. The point of this assignment was to artistically explore the most compelling quote from our novels and draw/create a visual that would enhance it. I must admit that I struggled with choosing a quote, for I found countless pieces of writing that touched me throughout the novel. I finally decided to use the quote, "There is a way to be good again", which I found on pages 2, 192 and 226. I chose this quote because it connects to the deeper meaning of novel, and practically sums up the theme in just eight simple words. The quote is initially saying that no matter what has been done in the past, there is always a chance to re-build yourself and "be good again". This is something that the protagonist of the novel, Amir, discovers over time. Intentional choices within my visual that I made include the background, which is two kites soaring through a beautiful blue sky over miles of soft green grass. I chose to draw this because kite flying is a very important aspect of the novel and to the lives of Amir and Hassan -no matter what age. The design of the kites were also specifically chosen to mirror the description of the kites Amir and Hassan had during their childhoods. The light, summery blue sky reflects the hot, peaceful summers days Amir and Hassan spent when they were younger. It was a time of purity. It was a time when they were truly good. I wanted this tidbit of the word art to flashback to these simpler times, and how it is possible to reach them once again. As you can see the kites are collided and this was to portray the close bond of the two boys. The font of the quote was meant to make it appear professional, to show the significance of the words, and the word "good" was written in a different, more laid-back font and the colour pink to portray the innocence of the word within this specific piece.

Thank you for checking my word art out, and I encourage you to let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding this piece!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

GINS Post 7

For this post, we were advised to write a free write for our GINS novel characters, exploring empathy.


I stand up from bed, feeling heavy and drained from the restless sleep the night before. The hardwood creaks beneath the weight of my feet and I look out the window of my small house. My heart aches for the warm embrace of my diseased father and I fall to my knees once I realize I will never see him again. I see the tall trees swaying in the wind and I am suddenly overwhelmed with memories of my childhood. I see the blurry image of Hassan sitting across from me, his genuine smile spread across his tanned face. I hear him saying my name and asking me to read to him again. I then see the fields of green behind him and tilt my chin up to look at our favorite tree; the oldest and last willowy tree that reaches so high it touched the clouds. This tree holds many of the memories Hasaan and I have created over the years. Ever since we were old enough to leave the towering gates of Papa’s house we would both race out to this tree, our dark hair flying in the wind. We would sit there for hours on end, reading stories and climbing its sturdy branches until Hassan’s father, Ali, would call us back home for dinner. Or at least I would eat dinner and Hassan and Ali would return to their small one-roomed brick house until they were needed for our assistance again. I never understood as a child why Hassan and Ali never ate meals with us in the grand dining hall or why they lived in their little home and not in one of the numerous empty guest rooms safe inside the walls of our mansion. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

GINS Post 5

Much like Canada, Afghanistan has a constitution regarding the basic human rights of its citizens. The Constitution of Afghanistan is the supreme law of the state of Afghanistan that legally shapes the relationship between the Afghan government and Afghan citizens. The first Afghan constitution was established 1890s and was followed by the 1923 version. The current Afghan constitution was approved and put in place in January 2004. It evolved out of the Afghan Constitution Commission mandated by the Bonn Agreement.

The Basics of Afghanistan’s Present Day Rights

Fundamental Freedoms:

  •  Islam is the sacred and state religion
  •  Followers of other religion are “free to exercise their faith and perform their religious     rites” within the limits of the law

Civil and Human Rights:

  •  Citizens are guaranteed the right to life and liberty, to privacy, or peaceful assembly, torture and of expression of speech
  •  If accused of a crime, citizens hold the right to be informed of the charges, to representation by an advocate, and to presumption of innocence
  •  They have the right to express thoughts through many forms

“Every Afghan shall have the right to express thoughts through speech, writing, illustrations as well as other means in accordance with provisions of this constitution.” (Article 34)

  • Pashto and Dari are the official languages, and in addition any other languages will be considered “the third official language” in areas where they are spoken by a majority

As the constitution states, it aims to “foster and develop all languages of Afghanistan.” (Article 16)

In The Kite Runner, numerous historical events in Afghanistan were not mentioned in plot. However quite a few of the dates ironically matched up. I believe this was an intentional choice of author so he would be able to convey when a significant event was taking place in history by writing a significant event within the novel that help the same date. For example, in 1988, Amir has his first novel published. It is a very joyous occurrence in his life, and it is the same year the Soviet Union withdraw from Afghanistan. More evidence of this is how in 2002 two very positive events occur. In the novel, Amir and Sohrab flies the kite, and the time same year in history, Afghanistan adopts a new constitution with three-branch government.

GINS Post 4

My novel, The Kite Runner, regards the way Afghanistan once was, before the Soviet Union invaded, and how the country changed forever afterwards. Before the harsh winter of December 1979, the economy in Afghanistan was flourishing. In the 1930s, Afghanistan advanced and embarked on an economic development program. They founded banks, expanded primary, secondary, and technical schooling, instituted a university, and pushed students toward a good academic future. With these new progresses, a large population to fulfill jobs of all sorts and a strong country-wide work ethic, Afghan-Shia families of all social classes were thriving. Unfortunately, this prosper did not go for Hazara’s. All Hazara people could do is simply stand by helplessly and pray they would be taken under the wing of a considerate Shia family; like Hasan and Ali had been with Amir and Baba. Since the Shia were blooming, someone had to pay the price. When one takes so much, there will be less for another. However, the invasion disrupted their economic patterns. With loss of labour and a disturbance in trade and transport, Afghanistan was struggling to keep their once stable economy standing.
Another connection I found between my novel and economic systems was how contrastive the economy as a whole was for Amir and his father when they moved to America. Although it has not yet been established in the novel, I assume that the economy there was not as market as the United State’s market economy. In America Baba had neither the financial leverage nor the social stature he once had back in Afghanistan. For Amir’s birthday every year, back in Afghanistan, he would receive mountains and mountains of gifts he looked at once and did not give a second glance at. Ever since they moved to California, Amir treasures even the smallest of things, like the hot cup of coffee that kissed his lips every sunday afternoon at the market.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

GINS Post 2

Hello! This is my second official GINS post. Below you will find a link to my groups recording of our very first round table. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.