Thursday, June 16, 2011

Open Essay

Loss of Identity

Do you ever feel a bit embarrassed not knowing how to speak the language of your parents, grandparents or ancestors? Being in a new country, knowing new people, and learning a new language is fascinating and beneficial. It widens one’s knowledge, broadens people’s sense of the world around them and most importantly, it teaches you a new way of communicating. However, learning a new language sometimes makes new comers in Canada question the use of their mother tongue. While some people argue that knowing their first language is not necessary, it is truly important for New Chinese-Canadians to pass their first language on to their children.

Everyone needs to know about their unique culture and heredity. As humans, it is genuinely essential for people to know where they are from, their ancestors and their traditions. Not knowing one’s background or first language is like a tree without its roots; it can grow tall but it won’t be stable and it is more likely to fall. Out of all the different elements in a culture, language best represents one’s lifestyle. Chinese language is exceedingly crucial for Chinese people. It is our mother tongue and our roots. Not knowing Mandarin, we will fail to understand the Chinese culture, we will fail to understand ourselves and lastly, we won’t even know what we are missing. Not only is Chinese a requirement for one’s identity, it is also extremely advantageous to know it.

Living in this civilization, the use of the Chinese language is beyond people’s imagination. According to Kwantlen University, Mandarin has more native speaker in the world than any other language, English included. There are countless merits that come along with the Chinese language. First, Mandarin is going to help people maintain their competitiveness in the world. Knowing Mandarin brings people opportunities and enables them to communicate with foreigners. Secondly, Mandarin gives one another view point towards things. It is a researched fact that languages help brains develop and make people smarter. Moreover, China is advancing and has become the largest market and the biggestfactory in the world. Speaking Mandarin gives people possibilities for doing business with the Chinese. Lastly, Chinese language will help you when you are ordering Chinese food. Chinese is indeed incredibly useful.

Overall, it is clear that it is significant for Chinese-Canadians to pass down Mandarin to their children. The Chinese language is how Chinese are recognized and valued as and it is what they are equated with. Moreover, it gives opportunities for people to advance and to survive in today’s economy. Knowledge and understanding of Mandarin is not only a prerequisite for different kinds of educational programs now, but also a guaranteed asset for employment opportunities both at home and overseas. Unlike African-Canadians or Korean-Canadians, Chinese-Canadians are looked down upon with contempt when people acknowledge that they can’t speak Chinese. Therefore, it doesn’t matter where we are and where we are heading, our mother tongue should be a part of us as individuals.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Technology of Simplicity

Life lessons are learned in various ways, at different times and by unique individuals. The short story, "The Technology of Simplicity", written by Mark A. Burch, is about a transformation of an impatient twelve-year-old into an introspective adolescent. Two significant lessons the narrator has learned are to appreciate simplicity and remain mindful and attentive in a materialistic society.

While hunting with his father, the speaker learns to acknowledge the simplicity that the forest brings him. Unlike other hunters, the boy and his father “[sit] silently, motionless and endlessly patient” (3) and await the appearance of a deer. In order to escape the discomfort and the boredom, the narrator is taught to be focused. He learns “to hear things wake up/ to see the forest playing, feeding, and breathing” (4) as his ability to sit in the bush develops. In fact, he enjoys the bush so much that he “[resents] the occasional noisy intrusions of other hunters.”(4) Finally, he ceases to care about catching deer, he feels contented just to be in the forest.

Another life lesson that the narrator learns is to stay alert and conscious in a materialistic world. While spending his time with his children during Christmas, the speaker notices that many adults focus on the wrong values. Instead of “[forsaking] mindfulness for consumptiveness”, he comprehends that people should pay more attention to “the sources of the things we use/to the effects of making and harvesting them/to the consequences of having used them.”(6) Moreover, the narrator learns that savoring the experience is more important than consuming the product and that today’s society “enjoys less and less as it tries to consume more and more”(6) which is very unfortunate.

Overall, it is clear that the narrator has learned life lessons that changed his life. Not only did he learn to be attentive in this wasteful culture, he also understands that a simpler life is better than a materialistic and consumptive life. Although others may immerse themselves in the moment of newness, the richness and the quality of the experience are the essential things that matter for this particular narrator.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A mother literary paragraph for provincial

Youngsters communicate with their parents in various ways. The poem "A Mother", written by Samuel B. Peralta, is about two children preparing and giving a present to their mother on a special day. The relationship between the two generations is close, genuine and strong. While shopping with their mom, the twins notice the attraction she has towards a "sculpture in cork and ivory."(3) Because of the children's affection towards their mother, they promise each other that they "have to get it for her next year."(2) Instead of getting the unaffordable gift, the father helps the children “wrap up a china cat [they’d] found in a sea front store.”(17) When they gather around the mother to give her the gift, their “hearts [beat] like so many small wings.” (35) The phrase “she held it to her cheek” (43) illustrates the appreciation the mother has for her children after receiving the present. Overall, the devotion between the family members is depicted throughout the poetry. While others may have different connections with their parents, the loving relationship is revealled in its entirety in this particular family.

Dearest Margaret

The poem (Dearest Margaret) expresses the speaker’s idea of a perfect lifestyle. In paragraph form and with reference to the poem, discuss the qualities of this lifestyle.

Many people decide to live in cities while others prefer to grow old in deserted farms. In the poem “Dearest Margaret”, Eleanor Byers explains about a perfect lifestyle that he desires to live with. The qualities of the lifestyle that Byers depicts are simple, mild and uncomplicated. Living in an isolated farm, the couple is content to live alone. They agree to live “side by side.” (2) and they know that they will always have each other. They discuss about the possibility to raise livestock ad how they are going to be companied with the “bleating of love.” (5) Moreover, the phrase “we can travel wherever we like as long as we’re home by noon” (18) reveals that the lovers are satisfied to have a place to look after for and something to be dedicated and attentive to. Furthermore, Eleanor illustrates how delighted they are when they imagine “how well [they] will dine.” (15) Overall, this poem depicts that the couple are going to live their life with simplicity, ease and happiness. It is their ideal way to fulfill their life.
What I have learned about people/myself in relation to the study of the Holocaust, the Book Thief and other articles, discussions and connections made during English 11.

As a student in English 11, I have learned a lot from the materials that we have been studying in the class. The major themes that we have been reviewing about this year are evil, power, ambition, guilt and greed. Not only did we research about them on different levels, we also tried to make connections to them in our lives. Topics such as the Holocaust, death as revealed in the Book Thief, and other articles and discussions have widened my knowledge about human nature, broadened my sense of events that have occurred and are occurring in the world and most importantly, enhanced my understanding towards myself and others.
I have always been a nice person, but during the course, I have learned that it is not pleasant to be nice because nice people are too afraid to do anything; they are too scared to hurt other people’s feelings. Throughout my life, I have never made foes and I rarely get into fights with my friends. I think it is because I have always assented with others. Even when I disagree, I conceal my true opinion because I was taught to “mind my own business”. However, after contemplating the “White Rose Movement” and Rosa and Hans Hubermann’s actions in the Book Thief, I challenge myself to stand up for what I believe in and to do what is right. I understand now that those are true heroic undertakings and that people who may act harsh and coarse, can be very compassionate and thoughtful.
While taking English 11, I have also acknowledged the steps to evil and have been constantly reminding myself of not to “mindlessly [take] the first small step”. Moreover, instead of complying with everything that others say, I have learned to continuously question authority and to ask “why” ever so often. One of the most shocking quotes that I have read in the class is “When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion,” by C.P.Snow. Now, I try to relate the idea to real life and what I can do to stop it or change it.
Although many parents would oppose to letting their children learn about evil, I think that it is essential for us to comprehend why humans conduct immoral acts. I think it would be useful to identify evil and to recognize that we all have the potential for it. By studying these elements, I will be well prepared for the evil in the world.