My personal Background — Part 1

Hi there! My name is Armaan, my full name is Armaan Singh Tumber and I was born in India. To be more specific though, I was born within the capital of India, New Delhi, in the state of Punjab which borders Pakistan.  Punjab is known as the heart of India’s Sikh community. In Punjab, there is the city of Amritsar, which had been discovered by a Sikh Guru named Guru Ram Das. The city of Amritsar holds within it the holiest gurdwara, (which is a temple for worshiping), called Harmandir Sahib. This is known as the Golden temple in English culture.

As I was saying, I was born in Punjab and lived there until the age of three. When I turned three years old, my parents decided to move to Victoria. Life in Victoria was different compared to India. There was more greenery and the streets were cleaner, as opposed to where I originally lived there were more animals on leashes, which I guess was a good thing, but what affected me the most with moving to Canada was the lack of Indian food in the neighbourhood. In Punjab, you could see cheap food stands all over, but in Victoria, there wasn’t even one insight.

It’s hard to pick a favourite food from India because there were so many delicious foods to eat… I would say that my favoured Indian meal would have to be Samosas. Which are formed in the shape of a triangle, and are stuffed with potatoes and peas, they are often made very crispy and are eaten with a delicious sauce called chutney. I would recommend to whoever is reading this to try a samosa unless of course, you are allergic…

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IRJE – February 1st: The Sun is Also a Star

In The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Natasha’s family is being deported. Due to being illegal immigrants, they must leave the US, and return to Jamaica. To put it lightly, they’re not pleased to be moving. Natasha is neglecting to pack, and has scheduled a meeting at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services office, in all hopes that a solution will emerge. Her desperation proves how much she doesn’t want to return to Jamaica. Although we don’t know the reason for their sudden deportation, we see a glimpse of foreshadowing into the cause.

My dad doesn’t say anything. He’s mute with anger or impotence. I’m never sure which. His frown is so deep and so complete that it’s hard to imagine his face with another expression. If this were even just a few months ago, I’d be sad to see him like this, but now I don’t really care. He’s the reason we’re all in this mess.  (p. 3)

Although this passage appears early in the novel, it’s clear to see that Natasha has a strong resentment towards her father. At the moment, it’s unclear what he did to deserve this. However, this writing technique is telling us that it’s a prominent detail in the plot, and that we will be receiving an explanation further on. This is an excellent way of hooking the reader, because I immediately started to wonder what Natasha’s father did, and if they will be able to make amends. It seems that what he did is affecting their whole family, including himself. I’m curious to find out what created this unfortunate dynamic, and how it will be (hopefully) repaired.

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Independent Reading / Stormbreaker

In the novel Stormbreaker by Antony Horrowitz, 14-year-old Alex Rider, an agent of the Secret Service, into which Sales Enterprises has infiltrated as computer freak Felix Lester. Here he is supposed to get to the bottom of why Sales, apparently without any self-interest, produces computers which he then wants to give away to all schools in England. The chapter “Death in the long grass” is  his last day to test the stormbreaker.

Alex was woken up by an indignant Nadine Vole, knocking at his door. He had overslept. “This morning it is your last opportunity to experience the stormbreaker,” she said. “Right,” Alex replied. “This afternoon we begin to send the computers out to the schools. Herr Sayle has suggested that you take the afternoon for leisure. A walk perhaps into Port Tallon? There is a footpath that goes through the fields and then by the sea. You will do that, yes?” “Yes I’d like that.

This scene shows me two interesting things. First of all it’s funny that a superspy is a human who also oversleep. On the other hand I recognize that his day is also structured like my day in Brookes.

 

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IRJE: Paper Towns (2)

As prom approaches, the three musketeers (Q, Ben, and Radar) are trying to find a date. Q is romanticizing about his neighbour, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo has a mysterious personality. She leaves clues everywhere she goes, the narrator thinks that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.

That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on colour instead of taste.

This quote is ironic because many people project various personalities of themselves to various people. Margo was so mysterious that no one knew anything about her, even her boyfriend Jase knew close to nothing about her. In today’s society, many people make friends based on their beauty and wealth, instead of their personality. It is one way of saying that you should never judge a book by its cover.

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IRJE: Feb 1st (The Catcher in The Rye)

In J.D.Salinger’s The Catcher in The Rye, Holden, the narrator, was expelled from his school and takes a three-day break in New York before returning to his home. He calls his old friend, Sally, for a movie date. They were going to see The Lunts, which Holden dislikes. While watching the movie, Holden remarks that although the movie was crappy, the actors were great actors.

“When one of them got finished making a speech, the other one said something very fast right after it. It was supposed to be like people talking and interrupting each other and all. The trouble was, it was too much like people talking and interrupting each other. The acted a little bit the way Ernie, down in the Village, plays the piano. If you do something too good, then after a while, if you don’t watch it, you start showing off. And then you’re not as good anymore.”

There seems to be nothing wrong about doing something too good unless you are one of the people who can’t. But I don’t see any faults in that. These things are like mirrors. Instead of seeing others’ talents, most people see themselves. Being good at something is not the ultimate goal, nor the criteria we use to measure ourselves upon.

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I am Algonquin – 2 IRJE

In I AM ALGONQUIN, written by Rick Revelle, Mahingan the hunter encounters his worst fear amongst the woods.  Throughout the trees, Mahingan and his fellow hunters notice shadows slowly creeping towards them. They were in the Nippissing territory hunting for food. Earlier they had successfully killed a large moose which was needed for not only them but for their families back home. The winter had made food difficult to find, the Nippissing wanted the moose carcass and they were not going home without it. Mahingan and the other hunters acted as if they had not seen the threat and carried on moving the animal across the thick snow, this was all part of their plan to make it out alive.

“We had planned it so the moose carcass would be between us and out attackers for cover.” (p. 22)

The quote above is important because it shows us the strategic skills Mahingan and the other hunters have. They had planned to use the moose carcass, because of its sheer size, to act as a wall of protection between them and the Nippissing hunters. Both hunting groups needed the moose so that their families would not starve, and they were willing to give their lives for it.

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IRJE: Feb. 1 (The Catcher in the Rye)

In The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, the narrator speaks very informally, in a stream-of-conscience type of way. This causes the text to sound almost like the narrator, Holden, is speaking to you, instead of writing. This is exemplified in every part of the text, one example though is when Holden is telling a story about his past.

We were going to take our lunches and all, and our BB guns– we were kids and all, and we thought we could shoot something with our BB guns (p. 110).

Writing wise, Salinger accomplishes something very impressive by giving Holden such a realistic voice. However, I simply dislike reading this book because of it. In my opinion, the repetitiveness is inelegant and annoying. I enjoy reading books that have new, interesting vocabulary for me to learn. I like it when the sentences are descriptive and immersive, almost in a fantastical way. Even more important though, I just cannot stand it when a phrase, or in some cases even when word, is repeated multiple times within a few sentences. To me, it gives the impression of unpolished, sloppy writing. I am completely unable to become immersed in this book– or, for that matter, even mildly interested. It makes me almost angry when I read sentences such as the ones above, which are so coarse. I completely understand that this stream-of-conscience writing is a very purposeful thing, and I’m sure endearing and immersive to many people. I know this book is well-loved, and I have no problem with that. This is just never a book I would choose to read on my own. In part, I read so that I can better learn how to write, and from this book, I am not at all learning a style of writing that I would ever use.

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