IRJE #10

“Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood is mainly made of a monologue of the main character. Most parts of the book are only about the main character, so the author’s characterization of her is crucial. As the main character is in the position of a handmaid, who is not allowed to be expressive, her thoughts and feelings compose the characterization. Her thoughts and feelings are revealed from a first-person point of view, and show how she thinks about the system of a dystopian society she lives in.

I wait. I compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born.

(pg. 66)

Don’t let the bastards grind you down. I repeat this to myself but it conveys nothing. You might as well say, Don’t let there be air; or Don’t be. I suppose you could say that.

(pg. 291)

Throughout the book, she shows a recessive attitude, yet doesn’t get completely brainwashed. She leaves a comment on the system as if she was accepting it as some kind of logic she should follow in order to survive. This gives the readers a characterization of the main character in depth. The author characterizes the main character as someone clever enough to learn how to survive in the worst situation possible. Her thoughts focus on survival and are careful. The fact that she actually doesn’t follow society with her heart is shown in what words she uses. When she is describing herself, she mentions “a made thing,” implying she is pretending to be a sacred believer. Also, when she describes society and oppressing leaders, she calls them “bastards,” expressing her hidden rage directly. With this characterization, the main character has become a strong-willed survivor.


The book I am reading at the moment is The Furies by Katie Lowe. I was searching for something easy but interesting to read, some kind of mystery or fantasy. The Furies managed to catch my attention and I couldn’t stop reading.

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boardings schools property. dressed all in white, with no cause of death. There are a lot of rumors going around but no clues or answers on what happened. But, there are some people that do know, and there is one girl that will never forget. The narrator, who appears to be a grown up now, a teacher, telling the story of what happened to her when she was a teenager, one year ago before the dead of that mysterious dead. The name of our narrator is Violet, who was a new student on Elm Hollow Academy, an all girls boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, after a tragic car accident on the past kills her dad and sister. She was desperate to fit in when she arrived to the school, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her peculiar art teacher. There, with three other girls, the five of the dive into the schools long buried grim history and mythology of Greek and Celtic legends, result of the schools founders interest in the occult; the gruesome 17th century witch trials. They girls began to feel more and more drawn to ancient rites and rituals, even if their teacher warned them many times to be careful and that it was just history and mythology. Violets finds her friends taking darker actions and they seem to spiral out of control. She doesnt now she can trust, there are a lot of rumors on the girls but to be honest, you can tell how she wants this power as much as they do.

“Every breath, every moment, possessed with an illusion of glamor, of filthy decadence, purely because it was ours, we two our own radical world, a star collapsing inward and bursting, gorgeous, in the dark.”

Katie Lowe, The Furies

You could notice a desire for more in each of the five girls, they wanted to be noticed, they wanted the power that it gave them, the connection that was made. They were so drawn to the possibility of performing this rituals and of everything going their way, they were out of control. There was a point were they couldn’t stop, after experiencing a ritual one time, they seem to feel like it was the most beautiful thing in the world.


I am currently Berserk, by Kentaro Miura, its very strong and I would reccomend it, my favorite character is guts with the berserker armor, he does not hold back. Its really thoughtful how he wants a good life, but he gets chased everyday, everynight by literal demons of hell that kill everyone he knows.

That thing was too big to be called a sword. Too big, too thick, too heavy, and too rough, it was more like a large hunk of iron

People say this quote about guts sword all the time, and it is a true comment, its more like a raw piece of metal, and guts just carries it like a champ, killing every demon to eventually kill his best friend, Griffith


In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, book 8 of the story gives us the main characters, Phoebus and Fleur-de-Lys. These two characters are lovers in the book, but Fleur-de-Lys is having some doubt if they are even going to get married, as seen by the quote.

Phoebus. Fleur-de-Lys said abruptly in a whisper. We are to be married in three months.Swear you have never loved any women other than me.

I do swear it, my beautiful angel! Replied Phoebus. His adoring eyes combined with his sincere tone of his voice convinced Fleur-de-Lys. Perhaps he even believed himself in that moment.

This quote really shows the type of person Phoebus is. He is willing to lie straight to his girlfriends face in order to convince her to stay with him, rather than being honest. He is one of the more shady characters in the book, and this quote supports that theory fully. After reading this quote, it made me want to read more to find out if Fleur-de-Lys ever found out about his lie, and what the outcome would have been.


In the first parts of the book, Percy jackson, the titans curse, by Rick Riordan there is a bit of a heavy atmosphere because percy was a little “jealous” of Thalia but he was also somewhat sympathetic. This was shown by onw of the parts of the first chapter that said the following

“Not that I resented Thalia. She was cool. It wasn’t her fault her dad was Zeus and she got all the attention….Still, I didn’t need to run after her to solve every problem. Besides, there wasn’t time. The di Angelos were in danger. They might be long gone by the time I found my friends. I knew monsters. I could handle this myself.”

This part of the book shows how Percy is jealous but at the same time undertsnds what thalia is oging through. He also had in mind the broader mission and the ongoing “war” against the monsters which was the main conflict of the books.


In this powerful novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Amir has broughten in his father to the doctor because he saw that his father’s cold was leading him to coughing up blood. The first doctor told them that there was a suspicious spot on his lung. Amir’s father threw a fit though, when he heard that his doctor was Russian. Amir tried to calm him down by saying that the doctor was an American because he was born in Michigan. His father was not having it and the ended up having to call in a second doctor which Amir’s father approved of. This second doctor was Iranian and Amir’d father approved of him. This second doctor was named Dr. Amani and he discovered that Amir’s father had a terminal cancer.

The next pulmonologist, Dr. Amani, was an Iranian and Baba approved. Dr. Amani, a soft spoken man with a crooked mustache and a mane of gray hair, told us he had reviewed the CAT scan results and that he would have to perform a procedure called a bronchoscopy to get a piece of the lung mass for pathology. He scheduled it for the following week. I thanked him as I helped Baba out of the office, thinking that now I had to live a whole week with this new word, “mass” an even more ominous word than “suspicious.” I wished Soraya were there with me. It turned out that, like Satan, cancer had many names. (p. 164)

The fact that Amir’s father had a type of lung cancer caught my attention because my family has had it’s fair share of lung cancer. My grandfather had passed away from lung cancer when I was younger. Recently, I think it was this year, my uncle also passed away from lung cancer. He had gotten it before this year. Unfortunately I was unable to visit either of them when they were dealing with this because I had school to attend to and they were over in Japan. I dont know exactly what kind of lung cancer but I know they died of a lung cancer. Amir’s father in the book has oat cell carcinoma which is a cancer. Oat cell carcinoma usually starts in the lung before quickly spreading into other parts of the body. In the book, Amir’s father’s cancer spreads to his brain.


She Gets the Girl – IRJE #9

In Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick’s book She Gets the Girl, one of the two main characters Alex is searching for a job. She has just moved to Pittsburgh and had to leave her previous occupation as a bartender in her hometown. Alex’s mother struggles to provide for herself and requests money from her daughter several times a month. After buying all of her school supplies and paying rent, Alex is down to her last few dollars. she sees a flyer advertising a position to work at a food truck, so she takes the opportunity given. Once she reaches the detailed location, she goes on to describe it as a wasteland essentially.

A ginormous, run-down storage facility sits in front of me, with enough rust and broken windows to convince me that no one should actually think their belongings are safe here.

It looks abandoned.

Tumbleweeds of old plastic bottles and snack wrappers roll across the empty parking lot, graffiti lines the garage doors, and an out-of-service train track runs parallel to the building, with overgrown grass and brush covering the metal rails.

Is it abandoned? (p. 124)

Quite honestly I’m not quite sure why this passage stood out to me so much, maybe because it’s a relatable and upsetting feeling? Seeing areas where nature and our environment have been torn apart to put in this industrial work is damaging enough to the Earth. But when these modern developments are made and not being upkept, it seems almost pointless. Why would you build this industrial area in place of a lush and earthy one, only to let trash overtake it? These descriptive passages of the setting that the characters take place in are always my favourite components of books. With this being one of the few that appear in this novel, I feel that it has a very strong effect on how any events in this area will take place.


“Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini is mainly a story about Amir recovering from his childhood. Amir, who was born rich in Afghanistan, faces struggles as the country gets invaded by the Soviets. Even though he could manage to escape to America with his father, his childhood friend Hassan is left in the middle of the war. After many years, Amir finally looks for Hassan in Pakistan ruled by the Taliban. While that, he also finds out that Hassan was his half-brother, and only his son is alive, sold to the Taliban.

“Where is yout slingshot, Hazara?” Assef said, turning the brass knuckles in his hand. “What was it you said? ‘They have to call you One-Eyed Assef.’ ”

(pg. 76)

I blinked the blood from my eyes and saw it was one of the brass balls from the ring in the table base. Sohrab had the slingshot pointed to Assef’s face.

(pg. 304)

When Hassan and Amir were young, Amir left Hassan to get beaten up by Assef as he didn’t have a slingshot. The scene in the present where his son, Sohrab grabs a slingshot to end their family’s fight against Hassan symbolizes how they keep surviving against the invaders. Right at this moment, Amir decides to take Sohrab with him to America to accept him as one of the family, showing him hope without the Taliban.


The book I’m currently reading is called “They both die at the End” by Adam Silvera.  After Mateo and Rufus meet through Last Friend, Mateo, and Rufus decide to go out together for the day. Mateo wants to visit his father, who has been in a coma for two weeks, so Rufus offers to go with him to the hospital. after that Mateo and Rufus went to the cemetery to visit Mateo moms grave. they started telling stories about their experiences and everything they had been through. They talked about if they believe in god and in fate. Rufus claims he doesn’t actually believe in God and that heaven is only a resting place for the dead.  Mateo says he hopes reincarnation is true but that, if people let him, the afterlife is like a theatre where he may witness both his own life and that of others.

“Here we are, two boys sitting in a cementery as it begins drizzling, trading stories in my half- dug grave, as if were not dying today. these moments of forgetting and relief are enough to push me through the rest of my day.” (p. 221-222)

I choose this quote because generally this chapter talks about how we just have one life, and you have to take advantage of it. since these two guys have a death date, they have been regretting about some things that they did, but that is not the point of these situations and they talk how they need to get over it. How life is just a moment and it can end really easily and fast, just in one blink of an eye.


The book I’m reading now is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Jane Auten is an English writer from the 18th century. She started to write books at a young age and became one of the first and most famous writers in history. People mostly know her by the book Pride and Prejudice which I personally adore. Sense and Sensibility is a story about a family named Dashwoods. The family has three sisters and one mother named Elinor, Marianne, Margaret, and Mrs. Dashwood. Their father (Mr. Dashwood) recently died and they were forced to move from the house where they lived their whole life. Dashwoods found a new town to live and the book describes their life and love affairs.

A gentleman carrying a gun, with two pointers playing round him, was passing up the hill and within a few yards of Marianne, when her accident happened. He put down his gun and ran to her assistance. She had raised herself from the ground, but her foot had been twisted in her fall, and she was scarcely able to stand. The gentleman offered his services; and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without farther delay, and carried her down the hill. Then passing through the garden, the gate of which had been left open by Margaret, he bore her directly into the house, whither Margaret was just arrived, and quitted not his hold till he had seated her in a chair in the parlour.

This quote is an important twist in the story. It shows the beginning of the relationship between Marianne and Willoughby. Marianne, I fell head over heels with the guy who helped her. He also fell for her and they spend every single minute together after the incident. I chose this quote because it’s cute and there are, to be honest no more interesting quotes yet. I also love the quote because I haven’t found such a peaceful and romantic beginning of a relationship in any other books than in Jane Austen’s.


Jerry Spinelli’s recently published novel “STARGIRL” allows you to envision any perspective on the story. Stargirl enrolled at a new school, and everyone in the building was enraptured by her beauty as soon as she arrived. However you want to put it, she was regarded as breathtakingly stunning. However, there was something peculiar about the tale of a new, attractive girl enrolling in a school. People weren’t expecting her to be awkward and strange, but it turns out she is. She enjoyed singing to people, which the other students found odd. She enjoyed singing and playing the ukulele whenever she felt like it.

” We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past “weird” and “strange” and “goofy.” her ways always knocked us off balance. A single word seemed to hover in the cloudless sky over the school: HUH!?” (p.11)

The book introduced me to the idea that in order to be popular, you must be attractive very early on. Being attractive, having great makeup, being athletic, etc., is how they gain fame. Everyone is weird; we just label some behaviours that all humans engage in as “weird” when they may be considered normal. If you are unusual, people will look down on you as a person. Everyone simply overreacts.

PW7: A Whisper in Darkness #1

It all started when my parents decided on moving to a small town in the state of Massachusetts, a few minutes away from Salem. I had just turned 10 years old, with my little sister being only 8. We moved there because of dad’s job. He was a researcher and writer who was clinically obsessed with Gothic architecture. He could talk about that stuff forever. We moved to Arkham due to dad’s new project involving the gothic-style buildings in Salem.

At first everything was fine, I was used to moving around because of dad’s remote job and mom’s insatiable craving for adventure. We bought a very nice house in a suburban neighborhood, dad got a good deal on it due to the previous owner being a fan of his. The house had two floors and an attic, with the latter being designated as a storage room. I was very happy with the size of my room. I had always slept in the tiniest rooms of whichever house we moved to since my baby sister “needs more room to grow up healthy”. Since Casey had turned eight, mom agreed to give me the larger room while Casey got the small one. Surprisingly, she wasn’t upset, which made the whole moving process go a lot smoother. Not even god could calm down Casey when she was upset.

It was on our third night there that things began to go wrong. Our neighbors had shown up in the morning with greeting cakes and meals to welcome us to their community. Dad and mom talked with them for hours while Casey and I ate the food they brought over. I particularly remember the sweetness of the Chocolate cake brought by a man with long dark hair and bright blue eyes. He and my dad talked from morning to sundown, and just before he left, I saw both him and dad with worried looks on their faces. Later that evening told me and Casey that this neighborhood had a big rule, no one should go outside between 12:30am and 1am, especially me and my sister. I kept asking why but dad only replied with “Because I’m saying so”, I could almost feel the concern emanating from his voice. I reluctantly agreed though Casey seemed pretty curious about the matter.

It was in that night that I first heard the whispers. They would begin every night a 12:30am and end at 1am. At first, I thought it was just my dreams, but the whispers just felt way too real. I could never understand what they were saying or where they were coming from, but they would show up every night a 12:30am. I know these whispers may sound creepy, but for some reason, they were comforting. They were like the voice of a close friend comforting you. It took me a week to find out I wasn’t the only one hearing them, Casey had also heard the whispers. But her case was different. The voice she heard wasn’t that of a comforting friend but of a grieving parent. She told me the whispers were like cries for help, and that she wanted to go outside and help whoever the owner of the voice was. I told her no and that going outside at that time was dangerous. She eventually agreed to leave it off but insisted that I spent the next couple of nights sleeping with her. I agreed and began going off to her room every night during the whispers, but soon I grew tired of it. I told her that she had to grow up and learn to face stuff on her own. I was being selfish. All I wanted really was to stop staying awake to comfort her. None of this would have happened if I had only stayed by her side. None of this would have happened if I had only been a good brother.


I learned this year a lot in school and personal and most of the things didn’t happened to me it happened to other people and I was just learning them without even knowing . Like don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t, don’t tell lies sooner or later the truth always comes out don’t do stuff in the dorms you are going to regret be friends with everyone you never know when someone is going to betray you, rumor in small schools gets around really fast, people can leave you in 1 second and there is nothing you can do about it. The biggest lesson I  learned this year is to not force anything conversations, relationships, friendships, attention, love, if its forced is not worth fighting for if it flows it flows, if it crashes it crashes,  it is what it is.


It’s only a month until school ends and I go back home for summer break. I am really excited to see my friends and family, I am excited to sleep on my room too. To be honest, in the first months here It was all I wanted to do, I felt really homesick and though I still was sure it was a really big experience for me, everything was new and different, I felt kind of out of place. But in the past months, I have been really liking my time here. I am both excited and scared to come back next year but I am also excited to go back home for summer though I am also sad for my friends are leaving and It is honestly quite confusing. Overall, I am sure It will be fine, I’ve had a lot of fun and I am going to have a really good time this last month.

Personal Writing #8

“Spirited Away” is a Japanese animation film directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The story follows a young girl named Chihiro moving to a new town. Chihiro and her family got lost in a mysterious amusement park. After her parents are transformed into pigs by the park’s evil spirits,  she found herself trapped with various extraordinary creatures. As Chihiro navigates this spirit world, she encounters various types of characters, both friendly and hostile. She becomes friends with Haku, a young spirit who helps Chihiro while she was trying to find the clue to rescue her parents and find a way back home. Throughout her journey, Chihiro displays personal growth in her courage, resilience, and determination. This film was released in 2001, and Miyazaki won numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It continues to captivate audiences worldwide with its animation style and detailed storylines.


I love Cheerios. Cheerios were first called “Cheerioats” when they were first introduced by the General Mills food company in 1941. They later had to change this name to “Cheerios” in 1945 because of a trademark dispute. Cheerios are mostly made from whole grain oats. They are low in sugar and are usually marketed as a healthy cereal option. Cheerios also have a lot of good vitamins and minerals inside of them. These vitamins and minerals are: iron, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D. The original Cheerios is made from whole grains and has soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesteral levels. The brand Cheerios has made a lot of commercials in their time but none of them compare to the amazing Cheerios Bee. The Cheerios Bee is also known as BuzzBee. BuzzBee first came into fruition in 1979. BuzzBee is a cheerful bee with a yellow and black striped body. He has really big eyes and always wears a happy smile. This is what they want you to think. BuzzBee is not what he seems to be. He is a heartless monster who has done horrible things to me. When I first met him, he offered me a bowl of Cheerios and we were excited to eat them because I love Cheerios. But after a couple of bites, I started feeling tired and had a big headache. I was feeling really drowzy and I was starting to black out. As I was shutting my eyes I could see BuzzBee’s big giant eyes widen even more. I could hear shouting and saw a worker of the Walmart I was in come in and push BuzzBee away as I blacked out. I later found out that BuzzBee had laced my Cheerios with a lot of flunitrazepam. The police couldnt find BuzzBee after this incident. I still eat my Cheerios but never again will I look at them the same way, or will I be able to look at a bee.

PW #8

Christmas break is during the winter break. So most of the dorm students are with their families on Christmas. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to my situation. This is because our family’s Christmas is in May.

Two days ago was my family’s Christmas. It is not technically Christmas, more like Buddha-mas. My mom is a Buddhist, so two days ago was basically Christmas for her. As the rest of the family, including me, don’t have any religion, not every member follows the customs of Buddhism. However, Buddha-mas is the only day every family member tries to make my mom happy. Every Buddha-mas, we visit the temple together and watch the monks do rituals. The ritual always ends with water lily lanterns dancing at night. They looked like stars floating in the sky, with a strange song in the background. I have never understood the meaning of that ritual, and never seriously believed in it. Still, Buddha-mas has always had a part of my heart, making me look forward to May.

Unfortunately, this is not what happened this year. This may, the only thing I did was check the calendar, and I nodded a little as I acknowledged I missed an important holiday. Of course, no lily lanterns. That night I stared at the stars hoping I can find a glimpse of the lily lanterns that were always with me. Now every time I see stars I have a flashback of that weird religious memories from my home.

Personal Writing #8

I have various different notes in my notes app, ranging from shopping lists, to gift ideas, to random things that pop into my head. But out of the almost 50 notes I have in my phone, one stands out amongst the others; a note titled “the beautiful, messy human experience”. I created this note only a couple weeks ago, yet I have nearly 60 different bullet points of various events, feelings, and habits that I believe make up what it’s like to be alive. Many of these are centered around emotions, such as feeling vulnerable, sensitive and depressed but also unbelievably happy and excited. This note goes beyond what each person experiences alone, various items on this list surround watching others experience their own lives, but also experiencing those things together. A lot of this list is things that I feel, but also hide from others. Things such as feeling embarrassment, having a crush, sensing a change in your own tone during an argument, noticing something that your friend said but you can’t point out, and more. But alongside that, a lot of this list is also things that happen to us that we can’t hide from others; finding a four-leaf clover or noticing a cloud that looks like an animal, events that make us excited for whatever reason and we feel the need to share them with the people we love. Whenever I see, feel, or hear something that reminds me of this list, that experience automatically is added to the note. This simple list reminds me that other people go through this complicated, unique and exciting journey too. 

Always Watching PW #8

Always Watching

Always Watching;

Do you see…do you really see,

Define how the line of your box expands

How your worldview changes in the blink of an eye.

What may be Ordinary to you is Exsrodrany to me.

You lost the colour in your heart, the joy in your eyes.

We are the same person yet we see so differently,

You watch for smiles

I watch for the flaws.

I am Always Watching

Always Watching.

Personal Writing #8 – My Personal Writing about My Personal Writing

I have done it, I have finally finished my last year of MYP, now what awaits me in the next term? HL math? Well, that can wait. I feel like I have gone through a new era in my life, one filled with excitement about finally discovering my hobbies and seeing my family again after being away from them for over a decade, but as I mentioned in the title of this post, my personal writing has definitely gotten a lot better since the last time I cared, maybe not for ones where I express my true emotions, but more towards those where I write my own story.

I actually came back into the habit of creating my stories after writing my previous journal entry, in which I related myself to the father of Amir, the protagonist of my independent reading book, and quickly dismissed his short stories as they might’ve seemed irrelevant, which had been the case for me after reading back towards my previous works of art… Anyway, I have actually become more interested in making my own comic, which would take my stories to the next level as my audience would imagine my characters the way I portray them. I have had this interest for a while but had never done anything to push it ahead as my drawing skills had been relatively bad, but thanks to lots of trial and effort, I have made a big improvement in my drawing skills on my iPad. But, one thing has always bugged me, something that could shut my dream down completely; would people enjoy my story? Or would they find it irrelevant like Amir’s father did. Whatever the case is, I have now decided that neither of those reasons would prohibit me from developing my own ideas anymore, because if I have gotten this far, there is no way that I will be backing down now.

PW #8 The mine

The mine was going to fall. Everybody knew it. It was destinated to happen. And yet, it was still used and people still worked there. Harold was changing into his working clothes in the morning. He works at the mine for years now. He ate his breakfast and said bye to his children who were going to school. He hugged them and kissed their cheeks. Harold put his used dishes into the sink and drank some more water. When he started to put on his shoes, his wife came to say bye to him, “Please Harold, be safe. For god’s sake be safe.” She was very worried about her husband because, except for the kids, she had no one else to rely on. “Don’t worry, I am safe there. Nothing is going to happen,” answered Harold and left for his job. This happened every day. He knew that that was a lie and the wife knew it as well. But they decided to ignore the truth and believe in their own little world and words of lies. He needed the job. His family needed the money. The kids needed stuff for school. He needed to feed his family. He knew that the mine was going to fall and he was prepared for it. He would rather sacrifice his life for his family than see them starving and saved money from every salary he got. Harold was prepared for his fate. It was unfortunate that the mine fell on him the same day. It didn’t have to be that way. He could have found a different job but he never tried. The owner could close the mine to save lives. But it was more comfortable for everyone to continue with their ritual even when knowing that death is closer than it had to be.


The United States had risen against the Federation and was ready to fight back. By the time the US joined the fight, China was almost done for good and the Great Russian Empire had lost almost all of the Eastern Bloc but Australia had started a partisan movement and there were many rebel cells starting to rise in the Federations territories. After several months, the eco-def organization had been disbanded and the Federation had fallen. This meant that the world was once again in peace but order had to be reestablished. Some countries became dictatorships and others remained democratic governments. The world had passed through a great war and the US lost the title of superpower after betraying its allies during the war and the Great Russian Empire along with China, United Korea and Japan became the new major superpowers in the world. The world order had shifted and the countries that had appeared from the ashes of the Federation were to be introduced into the new world. The territories won during the war were annexed and the US lost more than half of its territory to Gran México and to the Great Dominion of Canada. Australia was divided into three regions and many nations grew larger and made unions forming larger and more powerful nations.


Today I was confronted by Mr. MacKnight that he was going to delete my personal writing on my chemistry assignment which was very upsetting because I spent alot of time on my personal writting. Today I will finish my homework, study for math for a couple hours and review science. I will also play basketball at the university of Victoria also known as UVIC, to practice shooting and get better because next year Brookes Westshore is going to suck at basketball and i will be the one carrying it. This personal writing is currently being typed out during French class because I can’t find any other time to do this.

PW – #8

오늘의 일기 — 5월 8일, 월요일. 날씨 – 좋음

오늘은 학교에 갔다. 오늘은 아주 혼란스러운 날이였던거 같다. 아침에는 흐리기도 하면서도 내 기분은 비가 멈추지 않고 있었다. 내 기분, 감정들은 항상 흐리고 비가 온다. 그렇다. 슬프다는 거다. 울고 싶다.. 하… 하지만, 내 자존심이 허락해주지 않는거 같다. 울고 싶어도. 모두 내 자존심한테 다– 입구컷을 당한다. 학교도, 연애고민도, 친구사이도. 밥먹는거도, 운동하는것도, 인생도.

하지만 모두 괞찮을거라고 생각이 든다. 옆에서 수시로 지랄을 해대는 얼음이 있어도. 다른사람이 무슨말을 해도. 자폐검사를 받아보라는 “친구” 의 말에도.. 끄떡없다. 난 정민이니까! 오늘 하루도 잘 살아보자! 이번생만큼은 나도 freshman 이니까!

— 정민 올림–

translated —

Today’s diary — Monday, May 8th. weather – good

went to school today Today seems to have been a very confusing day. Although it was cloudy in the morning, my mood was that the rain did not stop. My moods and emotions are always cloudy and rainy. Yes. that’s sad I want to cry.. Ha… But, I don’t think my pride will allow it. even if you want to cry Everyone gets cut by my pride– the entrance cuts. School, love troubles, and friendships. Eating, exercising, and life.

But I think everyone will be fine. Even if there are people who are always yelling at me from time to time. no matter what others say even at the words of ′′ friend ′′ to take an autism test.. I can’t do it. Because I’m Jeongmin! Let’s live well today! I’m a freshman in this lifetime too!

— Posted by Jeong Min–

Compilation – PW#8

I doubt being ready to go back to Spain, but at the same time I’m exited about it.
During all this year here in Canada apart from going to the gym and getting fat I have learned a lot of things. Not only about other cultures, new people, music styles, traditions, etc… I have also discovered the horrible gastronomy of Canada.
Being away from home for a whole year is not as hard as I thought it would be, after all, the time has flown by. We are already in the last four weeks of the school year and we haven’t even noticed. It’s amazing how fast time can go by if you are distracted by other things. It would be harder to explain all the things I’ve learned this year than to make an IRJE that Mr. Macknight would like. But certainly all the experiences and new people I have met this year have changed the way I think in many ways. I will certainly never forget this year in Canada, although I will not forgive the bad food and the bad schedules you have.

But still, I will always have good memories of this year here with all of you.


My very first sport was soccer, I played soccer since I was 7. I played for a team and was not amazing at it due to my height and speed, I wasn’t very fast but I had decent fundamentals. Once I reached grade 6 it kicked in that soccer was not for me, I wasn’t that good so I decided to look at other sports I could do, when I reached grade 7 my friend Isaac introduced me to basketball, and as soon as I tried it I loved it and everything that came with it. Isaac taught me the fundamentals he showed me how to shoot the ball and how to do a proper layup, the rest all came naturally because of my height. Since grade 7 I have improved drastically and my dribbling and shooting have gotten much better, I still think that there is so much more I can learn and many things I can still improve on.

Personal Writing #8: Music is Poetry

I have always been captivated by music, its melodies and rhythms resonate deep into my soul, igniting passion and strong emotions within myself. I could spend hours straight immersed into music.

In the recent tapestry of time, I was listening to music on my ride home. English class was the final class of the school day, our class had gone through old love poems. I found the poems rather dull, and the poems failed to spark my imagination or provoke any emotional response. As I embarked on my journey home, the melodies and beats of the music enveloped me, offering solace from the uninteresting poems of the English class. Lost in the mesmerizing realm of music, I allowed myself to get carried away in its powerful expressiveness. Each note echoed deep within me, creating a composition of intricate emotions. The melodies painted vivid landscapes in my mind, evoking imagery more mesmerizing than the words on those dull pages. With each passing song, I realized that music, with its melodies, rhythm, notes, and symphonies, was the true language of my soul, it had the power to evoke emotions, tell stories, and create imagery. As I emerged from the car, the grip of reality tightened, and suddenly, a profound realization struck me: music is poetry.

With a newfound appreciation for the profound impact of music, I made a solemn vow to seek out melodies and lyrics that resonated with the depths of my being. No longer would I confine myself to the limitations of outdated love poems. Instead, I would find refuge and inspiration within the melodies, where the truest and most vibrant expressions of art and emotion flourished.


Stardust, Magnets, and Fate

The universe is a vast, gigantic, never-ending space. Every event must line up perfectly to create me. My parents would have to meet at the exact fountain in the middle of that university, during that hot summer day. Sparkles and hearts must have appeared in their minds at the exact same time. The atoms would have to dance perfectly with each other, and the stardust would have to perfectly align to make me a Stargirl, or a Starboy, or a Star-whatever-I-wanted-to-be.

I could never predict what life would bring me. Never would I be able to predict when I would find the perfect Starchild I would spend the rest of my stardust life with. I wonder if they would meet me at the fountain just like my parents did, or find me under a rainbow, or share an umbrella during heavy rain. Or that we would never find paths to each other. Maybe we are like magnets: too alike and we would repel each other, or the complete opposite that we would end up conflicting with one another. What if we were connected with an invisible thread that ties our pinkies together? Would it tie itself up and confuse our paths or would it tear apart before we ever cross paths because we’re too far from each other?

The uncertainty of my life bewilders me. It’s not so probable that I would be writing this at all. And to that, I leave my life to fate’s hands. Whether I meet the Starchild of my dreams or not; whether we’d push each other away, pull each other closer, or get lost on the path we were meant to find each other, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sunday Nights- PW #8

Part 2/2: June

I hang up my bathing suit to dry, and check my alarm clock. Today, the lake was warmer, and I stayed out until Mom made me come back. I didn’t even notice the time. It’s nine o’clock already? I guess I need to start getting ready for bed. The blinds in my room are open, and outside, the sun is still persisting on the horizon. The warmth of todays sun is emanating throughout my room. Along with the distinct smell of peach vanilla, burning from a candle. I walk across the room to open the window, leaving wet footprints behind me. My hair is starting to dry, I didn’t bother to wash it. I can always do it tomorrow.

Usually on Sunday nights, I can barely stay awake, but the recent sun invigorated me. Lately, I was incited to do more with myself, other than schoolwork and sports. I handed in my assignments during my lunch hour today, so I had some time to myself. Maybe a book, or some bible study? I knew that I had to sleep soon, so I decide to play some music, and just sit for a while. Maybe later I can watch a movie. I know I had to take advantage of this time. I have all summer, so I’m not too worried.

The decision that changed my life

I was always scared of being alone or not having an adult with me to rely on. But in July of 2019 (I was twelve y/o), I decided to make my first trip alone and face my fear. I flew to Toronto for a summer camp for a month. I was the youngest student there. The next younger student before was fourteen y/o. But being the youngest one wasn’t a problem at all. Most of the students were aware of me, and they were sympathetic to me and did a lot to make me feel comfortable. At that moment, my English speaking skills weren’t as good, so it was a little hard for me to communicate with English speakers at the beginning. Still, days passed, and I started to feel more comfortable about my English performance, and my English got better every day.

Since I had no family around, I became more independent. I only had myself to rely on, so I started focusing on myself and my needs, and I learned to put myself first. This trip made me feel in love with travelling. That was the trip that—changed my life in too many ways. Now I wouldn’t say I like to stay in the same place the whole time because I seek the feeling of travelling. I enjoy travelling either alone or with people. I love it either way.

Personal writing #8

This weekend was kind of boring. I had to work both Saturday and Sunday which I wasn’t looking forward to. The first shift was supposed to be from 12:30-9, but when I got there they asked me to stay another hour because no one was scheduled to stay till ten. So I ended up having to work nine an a half hours. It was kind of fun though because I got to work with people who I like talking to and the chef who swears at the annoying oven which is very funny to listen to. The next day I had to work 9-5:30. I was not happy because I had to wake up kind of early. The day passed by and I got to go home which was nice. The place that I work has a lot of high school kids which is very nice because I get to talk to lots of new people. Most of the people I work with are really nice which makes the job more enjoyable.

PW #8: 16th Birthday

I’ve been driving side-by-side, quads, and dirt bikes since I was around 10 years old, so I was thrilled to become 16 and be able to really drive on the road. On my birthday, May 22, I was truly only excited to drive. I went to get my driver’s licence as soon as I had any free time during that week. I was confident that I could pass because I had been studying hard. I was quite anxious before it because I had no idea what to expect; all I knew was that if I did well, I would be allowed to drive. After those 15 minutes, I was thrilled and nervous that I hadn’t passed. However, I did pass with plenty of questions left, and it was only a result of my lack of focus, which caused me to become confused. I had work the night I got my license, so I asked my mom if I could drive home. She agreed. She told me that I could pull over when I arrived near the highway, which I have to drive on because I live there. I asked for approval to continue driving while I was about to pull over. I was happy and having a great time. I drove everywhere with my parents the next week and weekend as I became more relaxed on the road and gained a deeper awareness of all the necessary rules. I can’t wait to receive my N so I can drive alone and with my friends, but getting my N also means I’ll have to pay for gas and a car, which isn’t something I’m looking forward to.

Personal Writing #8

I don’t know what it is about golf, but there is something about it that just makes it perfect. Whether it is shooting your best round ever only to go back the following day, play horribly, then question your game entirely, or if it is practicing every day for hours on end, knowing that perfection is impossible to achieve, or if it is enjoying the game with friends who all have the same goal in mind as yourself, and you keep pushing and pushing each other. Maybe it is the feeling of hitting that one perfect shot that will keep you coming back for the next couple of days. It could also be the satisfying feeling of making a small or large change to your swing, then seeing great results a few weeks later once you’ve mastered the motion. Perhaps it is relaxation of getting out on the course with some friends after a long week at work or school. It may be the pure joy you get of sinking a long putt on the 18th green to edge out your friend by 1 stroke. I have been playing the game of golf for around 10 years now, and I still have no idea what makes the game perfect. But, that gives me another excuse to head back to the course to try and find out.

PW #8


This year has been my first year of team basketball. Before this I was practicing on my own everyday and with a trainer. Mid way through the school season my skills had drastically improved. I worked my way up to being a starter and averaged ten points a game, even at provincials. This was on the senior team, so I felt confident playing against players my age. With the spring season coming up and the school one ending, I felt ready to tryout for a spring team. The elite teams all play in the Club League. This means that wherever you travel you play the best players that live there, in your age group. The team I was trying to make was called, The Grind. They have some of the best players on the island. I have practiced with them in their training camps before the high school season. They were very intense. The first time I walked in I remember feeling like I don’t belong and wanting to leave. However, I stuck through it. Because of this I knew all the coaches going into the tryout and they already knew my skill level. I missed the tryout date for my age group because of provincials. I was able to do a make up tryout with the older players who went to provincials on their senior team. Afterwards he said that we would get an email the day after. I didn’t get an email for three days and gave up hope of making the team. I did very well at the tryout so was very confused. As a result, I emailed him asking what I could do better next time, and he responded saying that I did make the team. Turns out he had the wrong email. This was an emotional rollercoaster. Now I am halfway through the season and our team is doing well. We are going to play in Vegas during the summer for seven days. Basketball has been a big part of my life this year and I am glad I took the steps to be able to make this team.

PW #8 – I cant park

Whenever I drive, I drive good, solid movements on the steering wheel, not too hard, not too soft, just perfect, same goes for the pedals, but whenever I have to park, its hell man, I mean it, I cant park, its impossible, I dont know how people do it, how do I get perfectly between two lines? I cant reverse, im taking up peoples time, the only possible outcome is, taking up 2 spaces, its whatever, my mom will just fix it when I leave.

Personal Writing # 8: A Pathetic Allegory

The pony-tailed libero has left an indelible mark on my soul. 

Casper scrawls the words in his journal, languishing in his melancholy. His mother calls him for dinner for the fourth time. He lifts his head millimetres off his desk for a few fractions of a second . . . then rests his head back down. And sighs.

Downstairs he hears his parents’ concerned whispers. The concerned whispers of adults often follow Casper Kramer. He turns the page;

Life is none but a ballet of near misses.

His fountain pen is running low on ink. The marks are barely legible. Casper sighs once more. Rain falls against his window. 

The wet weeps upon my window pane.

“Pathetic fallacy”, Casper offers to the sleeping dog on his bed.  His dog sighs in response.

Then suddenly, his dog’s jaw cracks open like a snake’s. Her rough tongue shoots out, and smacks Casper square across the face. Casper is knocked from his spinning chair, and onto the floor. THUD! 

Kelly Kramer, the Kramer family dog is anything, but a labra-doodle! She’s a f@#king spotted, venom-blooded Chupa-Canis!!!! 

Casper smiles for the first time in 15 years.

Je veux: PW #8

Si je veux sentir mes émotions,

J’aurai trop de travail pour pleurer.


Si je veux voir les couchers du soleil,

Je devrai aller à lit plus tôt.


Si je suis seul,

Ma famille seront absent toujours.


Si je veux faire la fête avec mes amis,

Les cicatrices sur mes bras m’arrêteront d’aller.


Si tu veux m’aider enfin,

Je serai déjà parti.

PW #8 Doctor visit and update

Today (May 25th) I went to the doctor’s office to get a steroid injection in my wrist called cortisol I had gotten this because I have chronic tissue damage and this will help speed up the healing process other than all these benefits it hurt a lot more than I had anticipated which is why I was not at school today. But on the bright side, people have to basically do everything for me like make me food bring me water, and stuff like that and I am really hoping that this injury will go away soon because it is quite annoying and restricting me from everyday life things.

One last cheesy poem – PW#8

One hundred and fifty four hours total,

Every Sunday,

For four months,

I had rehearsal.


Lots of sweat,

And even more tears,

Went into those shows.

And after all of those hours,

All of those tears,

A couple of meltdowns,

It’s finally here.

The show season has come to an end,

Leaving me with many memories,

Many friends,

And a new found passion,

For musical theatre.

Saying goodbye to people I look up to,

And having no more reason to sing those songs,

I have grown in more ways than one,

I’m ready for many more shows to come.

The tech week tears,

The “why weren’t you here”,

Thirty hours of rehearsal in one week,

I’ll miss those days so sweet.

Reminding me that in two years,

I will be on that very stage,

Getting my scholarship,

And crying for days.

Although it seems like the end,

It’s truly the beginning,

Of my passion,

for dancing, acting, and singing.





There are many themes that are explored in “Stargirl”, including individuality and acceptance. An unconventional high school student named Leo meets Stargirl Caraway and falls in love with her. He must confront his own feelings of conformity and social pressure as he grows fascinated by Stargirl’s unique personality and behavior. I believe that readers of all ages will be captivated by the author’s thoughtful narrative throughout the book.

In the novel, one of the most significant quotes to me was: “She was elusive. She was today and tomorrow. She was the faint scent of a cactus flower, and the flitting shadow of an elf owl. In our minds, we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.” I think this perfectly captures Stargirl’s mysterious and captivating personality. The novel also displays Stargirl’s ability to defy categorization and cannot be easily defined.

It’s clear from this quote that Stargirl has impacted Leo’s life – “She shone around every corner of my day.” This quote shows how brightly and uniquely she illuminates his world. Stargirl shines love and positivity in a dark and oppressive world.

In my opinion, Stargirl should be for anyone who’s ever felt different or had a hard time fitting in. This novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page because of its beautiful prose and poignant themes.

IRJE#8 – Kite Runner

Ive recently been reading Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, It’s about a boy named Amir, and his best friend Hassan in Afghanistan, but they get separated due to the effects of war, and they dont see each other again, until Amir gets a message from someone over the phone, making him want to go back. I want to talk about chapters one to five, were Amir and Hassan are just living their life in Afghanistan as 10 year olds, where they just go day to day as normal kids, learning lessons throughout the days they live, learning about change, growth, and friendship.

That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

Chapter 1, p.1

This quote made me reflect on my past mistakes, or others past mistakes, even if you forget about it, live your day to day not even getting a slight memory of what you did or who you were, the past always comes back to haunt you, that ofcourse if you did something bad or messed up, thats the only way I believe you deserve your mistakes to be shown to you once again, what you would call, karma.


In Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it is one of the more strange novels I have ever read. Hugo puts multiple books in one, but the same characters appear in some of the same books, which can make it confusing at times. In the seventh book, Quasimodo, one of the main characters, was trying to help out some of his friends who are in a band. He noticed they were under-performing, so he decided to head down and help them.

“Go on! Go on, Gabrielle!” he said, “pour all your music into the square. Todays a feast day. Thibauld, don’t be lazy. You’re slowing down! Go, go on! Are you becoming rusty, loafer? That’s it. Quick! Quick! Don’t let the clapper be seen. Make them all deaf like me. That’s it, bravo!”

This quote really shows the true person Quasimodo is. He is a funny guy, as he says, “Make them all deaf like me.” but he is also a very kind, and whole hearted person, as he is helping out his friends, trying to make them all better by motivating them. This scene really helps to develop Quasimodo’s character, and it changes our opinion on him as a reader for good.


Overall reading “Bullet Train” written by Kotaro Isaka. The book is set in Japan, the story is about a group of assassins who find themselves on the same train traveling from Tokyo to Morioka. While each assassins tries to achieve their own missions, they soon discovers that their targets are interconnected and on same train. As the story goes on, assassins realize that they’re trying to achieve the same goal.

“Please, Just Leave My Son Alone”

This might be a simple quote, but it shows the difference of his personality compared to the side he was on the train. While everyone else was thinking about their own benefits, the father was the only one to protect his son from the Prince’s(enemy) plan to kill the boy.


Throughout last week, I have been reading “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. It’s written as if it was a memoir of a survivor of the Afghanistan war. The beginning of the book focuses on the peaceful childhood of the main character, where everything was without any struggle. As the story goes further, more omens are seen around him. These omens advance into a whole war.

“The shootings and explosions had lasted less than an hour, but they had frightened us badly, because none of us had ever heard gunshots in the streets. They were foreign sounds to us then. The generation of Afghan children whose ears would know nothing but the sounds of bombs and gunfire was not yet born.”

(pg. 36)

The war from a child’s perspective is hard to understand, yet it hints that their peaceful childhood has ended. Furthermore, the narrator mentions the children born in the middle of the war, emphasizing the terror as more children will suffer. Also, this quote works as a turning point in the narrator’s life. Right after this quote, the narrator is forced to grow up and function as one of the adults. He is no longer considered a child as being young does nothing to your survival during the war.

IRJE #8 – Amir’s Short Story

While reading the fourth chapter of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, I came across one of Amir’s struggles: getting people to read his short story. In the novel, Amir presents his short story to his father who quickly disregards it out of fatigue and goes on with his business. However, Amir then states that his Pakistani friend, Rahim Khan, would always “rescue him” as he would always be interested in whatever he does, in which he ends up being the only one who reads his short story.

As always, it was Rahim Khan who rescued me. He held out his hand and favored me with a smile that had nothing feigned about it. “May I have it, Amir jan? I would very much like to read it.” Baba hardly ever used the term of endearment ‘jan’ when he addressed me.

For a long time, I have struggled with my interest in making my own short story as it ends up being either confusing or wordy. Whenever I would look back to one of the short stories in which I attempted to make a decent job, I would cringe at it and disregard it entirely. After reading this quote, I felt that I was in a strange situation, where myself from two years ago would take the role of Amir, and myself from today would take the role of Amir’s father. To 13-year-old me, the short story that I made back then was one of the most impressive things I believed to have ever made, while myself today would disregard it to its sheer immaturity and undeveloped plot.


Over the last month I’ve read the book You’ve reached Sam from Dustin Thao. You’ve reached Sam is a really sad and deep book and tells a very interesting story. The story tells about a high school girl named Julie which is suffering about the recent death of her boyfriend Sam. One day, a week after Sam’s death, Julie decides to try and call Sam just to hear his voice for one last time. And to her surprise, he actually picks up.

“Before he’s completely gone, I reach out to grab a single petal and hold it tight against my chest. But somehow it slips through my fingers and vanishes into the sky. Just like the rest of him.” (page )

I chose this quote because it has a really deep meaning, even if you didn’t read the book. It shows that you can’t keep everything. Even when you are trying, it will go eventually and when you realize it hurts even more. So you can’t try to hold onto everything and have to learn to let go.

Dawn of the Belle Epoque – IRJE #8

Mary McAuliffe’s Dawn of the Belle Epoque is a series of various historical events that occured in France between the late 19th century and the early 20th century that contributed to French society trying to reconstruct itself. The book describes how Paris returned to life through the lenses of numerous artists, novelists, musicians and others. This specific passage is on Claude Debussy, a world famous musician and composer from this time period. He is introduced as a pianist followed by a rather short backstory of his childhood. We learn that he had no formal education but was convinced to try piano by his aunt. In this time you typically followed in your parents’ footsteps, and neither of Debussy’s parents were musicians. And under these circumstances, his dream to become a musician was a very ambitious goal.

He appeared to have sufficient talent that his father, who had planned a career as a seaman for him, “got the idea that I should study just music,” Debussy later remarked, acidly adding, “he being someone who knew nothing about it.” (p. 98)

This passage was stood out to me because of the realization that without this support from his father, one of the most remarkable musicians of our entire world’s history could’ve never pursued music. I grew up playing violin and listening to classical music with my mum and Debussy’s name was near the top of my mental list of “musicians I should know” for when I talked to those music teachers that I wanted to impress. He has written some of the most beautiful classical pieces of his time (and all time, for that matter), and to think that those spectacular works could’ve never been invented if his father had rejected that dream is staggering to me.


In one of the earlier parts of the Fire and Blood by George RR Martin, the main characters are going to face off one of the main antagonists and also the main antagonist has made some great achievemnts. When there is a rebellion against the king Aegon in the blackwater county the king is shocked by ow he could be overthrown. Then the kings advisor tells King Aegon that

“The vilest of men and the wickedest of women likewise may do good from time to time, for love and compassion and pity may be found in even the blackest of hearts.”Fire and Blood page 161

This part of the book shows how people of this lands believe they were created and they say that the gods made them vile cruel and also good. everyone has a part of these chatracteristics in themselves according to the beliefs of these people. All the people has a part of what the gods made them to be and they can be more good than bad or more bad than good.


I am reading the book Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The book was written around 1860 in Russia. Fyodor wrote this after he went through the most challenging two years of his life. His brother and wife died, and he gambled to get money but lost even more and begged his friend to lend him money to return to Russia. The book is about a young man named Rodion Raskolnikov. He is a guy who dropped out of college, is broke and is sick. He was so desperate that he plotted a murder of an old lady. This crime made his mind go crazy and his own thoughts are his punishment.

“A search – there will be a search at once,” he repeated to himself,
hurrying home.
“The brutes! they suspect.” His former terror mastered him completely again. “And what if there has been a search already? What if I find them in my room?”
But here was his room. Nothing and no one in it. No one had peeped in. Even Nastasya had not touched it. But heavens! how could he have left all those things in the hole?
He rushed to the corner, slipped his hand under the paper, pulled the things out and filled his pockets with them. There were eight articles in all: two little boxes with ear-rings or something of the sort, he hardly looked to see; then four small leather cases. There was a chain, too, merely wrapped in newspaper and something else in newspaper, that looked like a decoration. … He put them all in the different pockets of his overcoat, and the remaining pocket of his trousers, trying to conceal them as much as possible.

I used this quote because it shows the state of Raskolnikov’s mind. He was talking outside with his friend but couldn’t concentrate because of the crime he did. He remembered all the jewelry that he took from the old lady and panicked. He runs to his room to stop anyone who would be inside but no one was there. It showed the paranoia that is slowly getting bigger throughout the book. I would say that this paranoia is the worst punishment for him. He is losing his family and friends because he suspects that they suspect him.