All posts by Kaelin

John Anderson, My Jo


“John Anderson, My Jo” by Robert Burns idea of romantic love differs from most love poetry, as it reflects on a love that was, and still is, instead of persuading one into a love that could be. Though it consists of many of the typical love poetry tropes such as fading beauty, and life being too short, it goes about them in a different manner. Commonly love poetry speaks of a beauty that currently is, and uses that as a convincing argument as to why the beloved should be with the lover. “John Anderson, My Jo’s” speaker, is a woman speaking to her aged husband or lover, reassuring him that despite his aged face she still loves him. His locks once raven, are now the colour of snow. She tells him, “Your bonie brow was brent;/ But now your brow is beld, John,”(ll.4, 5). Though he has aged she still refers to him as her jo, and says, “But blessings on your frosty pow,/ John Anderson, my jo.” (ll.7, 8). These lines of reassurance to the speaker’s lover leave readers with a peaceful feeling of love. One that is true and has lasted a lifetime,  it defers from most love poetry as it demonstrates devotions to one’s partner and eternal love despite one’s age or beauty. The speaker shares that they have “…clamb the hill thegither;” (l.10) and have lived a life of love with one another.


Its peaceful wording and relation mix well with its simplistic two eight-line stanzas, and the song like form. It is not confusing to readers besides some traditional Scottish wording.  Its peaceful wording, syntax and structure contrast with the idea of death in the second stanza. Death usually is something people fear, it is used as a reason to act fast, and be impulsive. On the contrary “John Anderson, My Jo’s” speaker has accepted the idea and is at peace with it. We can see she is okay with the concept of death when she tells her lover “And monie a canty day, John,/We’ve had wi’ ane anither;” (ll.11, 12) She is reminding her lover and self that they have lived many happy days with one another. We are told that their lives were well lived, and though death is scary, it is also inevitable. The last four lines make the poem feel as though it is a last memory. As if she is remembering her life before she passes, or sharing this memory as her last words with her lover. “Now we maun totter down, John, / And hand in hand we’ll go, /And sleep thegither at the foot, / John Anderson, my jo!” (ll.13-16). Life’s pains and the fear of dying are all put at ease; their love for one another is what allows them to accept death.


PW-May 21st

8:00 am, and I open the door, the cold breeze and smell of Marley flooring hit me in the face, abrupt but a gentle wake up after the hour-long nap on the car ride here. My friend and I walk through the dark studio to the change rooms; we are the first ones there that morning. Lying on the benches, we both try to stretch, drink coffee, and sleep at the same time, a combination we have mastered. All while questioning why we would do this to our selves every day. The other girls start arriving; every hair slicked back into a bun, the comb marks still visible. A funny contrast with the pyjamas and sweat pants everyone is wearing over their tights and bodysuits. We talk amongst ourselves calmly, as not to alert each other of the fact that we are supposed to be awake. We share our anticipations of how the mornings going to go; “Do you remember any of the exercises, cause I don’t.” “I pray she’s in a good mood.” “How long do you think we could distract her for?” are all phrases that are thrown around daily. It hits 8:15, and we slowly start to saunter one by one into the studio. Point shoes, wrap skirts and water bottles in hand, still wearing are sweatpants and pyjamas. I twist out my back, and a pop comes from every vertebra. At this point, we all realise our fate. Working out the kinks from the day before and trying so hard to wake up are muscles that should be sitting in a chair waiting for block one to start.  Instead, we are here. We warm up quietly as to listen for the sound of the padlock on the door. Those four beeps give me just about as much anxiety as hearing any of Tchaikovsky’s opus 20. When she comes in, we go quiet, slowly starting conversations trying to gauge her mood, seeing how much pain we will be in by the end of the daunting 3-hour class. Simultaneously trying to distract her from the fact we are not yet dancing, prolonging our much-anticipated suffering. Though I dread every moment leading up to it, once class begins, and I start to move, I realise why I am here. Despite the hours, pain and all-around lack of a good time, it is still what I want to be doing most in the world. 



There once was a girl who turned five.

She thought it was time to leave the hive.

She stepped near the edge

and fell of the ledge,

though the next day she was found alive.



PW- May 7th

My sister

 Her eyes are big and blue; you can swim in their optimism like the Pacific sea. Her hair that once glowed like sun, now black to prove shes impulsive. Her heart is so pure, and she cares so much, not always for the better but with the best intentions. It’s easy to admire her free will and the hope that she fronts, though that’s not how she sees herself. “A chipped vase that is no longer usable,” she says, with her pessimistic self-view. The way her self and world view differ so drastically is astonishing. As she is just as much a child of the universe as the trees and the flowers she admires so much. Forced to hold reality in her head, but still, she lives with fairytales in her heart. You are my sister. We can talk without words, fight without cause, and love each other boundlessly.


IRJE May 1st


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck demonstrates the importance of human connection and friendship using the two protagonists, Lennie and George. Of Mice and Men is a story of two ranch workers traveling around California looking for work in the 1930s, which was the time of the great depression in America. Though they faced great financial difficulty Lennie and George still often spoke of a dream for their future. This quotation is them talking of that dream and sharing it with their new friend Candy. It is the first time they realize this dream they use to speak of like a fairytale, could come true. Candy then offers to join willing to pay his part making this a possibility.

Lennie watched him with wide eyes, and old Candy watched him too. Lennie said softly, “We could live offa the fatta the lan’.”

“Sure,” said George. “All kin’s a vegetables in the garden, and if we want a little whisky we can sell a few eggs or something, or some milk. We’d jus’ live there. We’d belong there. There wouldn’t be no more runnin’ round the country and gettin’ fed by a Jap cook. No, sir, we’d have our own place where we belonged and not sleep in no bunt house.” (p. 57,58).

The value of owning land is stressed. Lennie and George would be given freedom and self-sufficiency if they owned their own farm. This long sought after freedom becomes something not so out of reach when their new friend says he would be willing to help them pay. This quick and quiet conversation between the three men inspires hope for the future despite the current troubles.


PW April 21st

Though life’s end is inevitable, it is sad when anyone dies, especially a child. When someone young dies, they are frozen in time. They leave unscathed. Their mistakes remain learning experiences, and their future still waiting to exist.

Alistair was the type of person everyone just knew.  His relaxed ways made him easy to talk too, and for that reason, he was a friend for most. His love for others was boundless. He was easy to understand, honest and open. Intuitive to others, he had a great ability to bring people together, creating joy. Alistair died September 24th, 2017, at just 16 years old. To this day it is hard to believe he’s gone. Alistair was shot and killed late one Sunday night. Not of malicious intent did he die, but at the hands of a friend.

After a house party one night a few of the Salt Spring grade 11 soccer team headed to one of the players’ houses. It was the first week of the season, and the afterparty hang put turned into a team get to know each other. While hanging out, a few of the boys found a gun. The parents who owned the house had left it lying around. Alistair and a few of the other boys started joking around with it. At some point during playing games and joking around the gun was dropped, and a bullet hit Alistair in the head. He died the same day. Alistair’s life will never be forgotten, and he will be deeply mourned by all those who knew him. Though that was the last night Alistair lived another boy’s life changed in a way no child’s should ever have too. A night that started out fun had turned into something no one would have ever thought. Shane, the boy who dropped the gun,  that night was sentenced to 15 years in 2019.

I will never understand how what was supposed to be a night of team bonding went so wrong. The lives of these two boys and their families were shattered. Broken emotionally, and incarcerated while mourning the loss of his friend, Shanes’ life was lost the moment Alastair’s was. Of the two,  Alistair’s,  memory will be preserved in time and resonates with the memories of loss and tragedy. While Shane lives each day having to bear the thought of his friends’ blood on his hands.


PW- March 7th

Why is it that most drug dealers end up serving longer sentences than rapists in the United States?

Over the last five years in the USA, the average drug time served for possession of drugs was 16months to five years, depending on the drug and offenders background. The average time served for drug dealers in the past five years in the US was 5.9 years. The average time served in the US in the last five years for all rape cases ranging from a severe fine, to 30 years (this is only if the victim dies) was 5.4 years. Drug dealers in the US commonly serve 0.5 more years than rapists.

80% of convicted drug cases are against a black or Latino, while 57% of trialed rapists are white. The fact is the system is set up to fail people of colour. People of colour are discriminated against at every stage of the criminal justice system.

The reason it’s easier to convict drug dealers then rapists is that rape trials are about who is more convincing, not who’s telling the truth. You can claim someone is “playing the victim” or claim someone raped you without evidence or fact. Whereas if you get caught with drugs, it is pretty black and white. The three main reasons I think drug dealers’ sentences are more extended than rapists are, one, because discrimination in the justice system, the likelihood of imprisonment for a black man is 1 in 3, where for a white man it is 1 in 9. Two, the debate ability and he said she said ness of rape trials. Claiming it was consensual, claiming you were raped cause you are ashamed, the involvement of drugs and alcohol affecting individuals’ opinions and reliability, and shaming the victim for their clothing and behavior choices. Out of every 1000 sexual assaults, 995 predators will walk free. Lastly, A drug dealer is taking tax money away from the government, while rapists are ruining people’s lives, and I’m sure you can guess what the current American government thinks is more important, and who deserves more time. That’s why I believe rapists go to prison for shorter sentences than drug dealers.



IRJE-April 1st

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a novel about two working men, George, who’s a sharp man in every way, and Lennie who’s a simple-minded man. They have just arrived at a ranch in central California, where they’ll be working for the next while. They are unpacking their stuff when Slim, walks into the bunkhouse; he’s the leader of the grain team the two will be working on. When getting to know the two new men, Slim asks if they travel around together and then says most of the other men choose to go about alone, but he doesn’t know why. He ponders the idea, saying…

Maybe ever’ body … is scared of each other. (p.36).

This quotation demonstrates the distinction between George and Lennie’s unique relationship and the lonely lives of the other ranch workers. Though George fronts as though he would rather be without Lennie and says he only helps him because he promised Lennie’s aunt Clara that he would protect him, you can still tell they have a deep, complicated friendship, and George enjoys the company when they travel from ranch to ranch looking for work. Slim considers fear of each other to be one reason the other ranch workers choose isolation over companionship. This situation of self-isolation applies to today’s individuals; we accept being lonely and not opening up to others over rejection. We are scared of being judged because of who we are, so, if we self-isolate and choose not to overshare, we can’t be outcasted, but this comes at the cost of friendship and trust.


IRJE- March 1st

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck was published in 1937. The novel tells a story of two ranch workers George Milton and Lennie Small. They are traveling around California in search of jobs during the great depression. From the beginning, we can tell George Milton takes care of Lennie, as Lennie is described as a simple-minded man. They have a history together when George brings up Lennie’s aunt Clara who used to take care of Lennie until she died. Both men are sitting around a fire warming their canned beans when Lennie asks George to repeat the dream future they share. A story he has told many times before.

He repeated his words rhythmically as though he had said them many times before. (P.15).

From this quotation, we can observe that both Lennie and George treasure the dream, the narrator stresses its importance as we can tell it is something they talk about over and over. Though George is hard on Lennie and talks at length about how easy his life would be without him, they still share a dream. We can see their relationship of brotherly love.



IRJE-Feb 15th

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger lacked a strong story structure, although it is not relevant to create an impactful piece of writing. Stories shouldn’t have to be set in a faraway land, or aris life-shifting ideas to be valuable. While, it is true stories are to be read mostly for entertainment and knowledge, to say The Catcher in the Rye lacks entertainment value and bravado would be to say life its self does as well. I do not wake each day ready to slay dragons or finds life purposes. The Catcher in the Rye is a book about Holden’s life. He shares his teenage thoughts and his regular way of going about his day. Salinger does not intend to shift people’s way of thinking about life as Yuval Noah Harari does with his nonfiction novels, or create culture-shifting art as Shakspere did with his dramas and comedies. Instead, his intention is to acknowledge the mundane activities of daily life, and the realities of our situations that need to be recognized even if at times we find them sad, repetitive, or boring. Though it is not screaming at us there is still a message hidden among Salinger’s illiterate, repetitive journal writing. The book expresses a realistic sense of human life, like Holden, says “I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.”(P.185)  I believe Mr. Antolini Holedns English teacher describes The Catcher in the Rye best when he says,

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.” (P.189)

This quote elegantly describes all literature, using stories not for entertainment not even just for knowledge, but of accounts of others’ struggles or intensities. Books allow us to see the world through authors and characters’ eyes. they don’t have to change our perspective or have to add depth and value to your opinions. Stories are written to share; they allow us to sympathize with one another. That’s why I believe The Catcher in the Rye to be such a beautiful book. It is a coming of age story, that advises young readers, with the stresses of growing up. We observe Holden’s anxiety about becoming an adult. Holden is challenged by the responsibility and requirements of young adulthood, rejecting them time and again. He tries over and over to preserve his and others’ innocence. Eventually facing the result that growing up is inevitable, though it will not be as dreadful as Holden presumes. Salinger’s intentions were not to shift values, or change opinions; not to change the English language as Shakspere did. Salinger sympathized with young adults. A struggle “Many, many men have been just as troubled”(p.189) with before. “Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles.”(p.189) And you can learn from them if you want to.


PW-Feb 21st

What does homelessness affect?

Being homeless has an extensive range of varying effects on each individual.  The longer your homeless, the harder it is to get back on your feet, and the more society prevents it.  Homelessness causes feelings of personal entrapment and alienation from the rest of the world.  Depression rates increase immensely when an individual becomes homeless, 22-46% have tried to commit suicide, and 61% suffer from suicidal thoughts.  Mental health is affected by the state of homelessness and is a possible cause of it as well; 30-35 % of the homeless population suffers from a mental illness. Mental illness among the homeless is particularly a problem for woman; 75 % of homeless women suffer from a type of mental illness. Along with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), especially in cases of physical assault or rape. The risk of a homeless individual abusing substances and alcohol is much more likely than an individual who is not homeless, 20-25% of homeless individuals suffer from mental illnesses. In contrast, only 6% of the non-homeless population suffer from mental illnesses. Daily situations are worsened for most individuals; there is a 77% higher chance of having a rough sleep, and a 10% higher chance of being involved in prostitution. When homeless, an individual’s health risks increase. Constant exposer and lack of health care and hygiene products affect one’s health drastically and have many attached risks. Overall, homelessness negatively affects the overwhelming majority of individuals. Homelessness can also have a negative impact on communities. It can affect crime and safety, as well as how tax dollars are spent and health care resources. Overall, homelessness has consequential effects on individuals and the community.


PW- Feb 7th

The long-running debate on the benefits of homework, and whether it’s helping or hindering students. Homework allows students more time to go in-depth with there studies. Work closely on areas they need more help and take time to do things that would be wasteful to do in class. Homework teaches student responsibility and diligence, along with time management. Helping prepare students for jobs and studying. 

While homework has all these positives, it comes with many negatives as well. Homework takes up a lot of time; time kids could be playing sports, hanging out with friends and family, or exploring new interests. Homework can cause students to feel stressed sleep-deprived and burnt out.

A lot of times, especially in younger grades, homework is not valuable. When homework assignments purpose is readily justifiable to my education, I still may dislike it cause it takes up my free time. Again, I have less of a problem delegating my time to learn or doing something relevant or essential.

Since the volume of homework can be so immense, and homework is done outside of school, it is done to a worse standard or considered less important. Because of this, students don’t delegate enough time to it or don’t do it to the best of their ability. To conclude if the homework is valuable to a student’s education and has a clear purpose, it is understandable. Still, if it is just being assigned to assign homework, then it is pointless.


IRJE-Feb 1st

In The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, When Phoebe (Holden’s sister) asks Holden what he wants to be when he grows up. Unable to come up with a conventional job holden remembers a misapprehension of a lyric from Robert Burns’s song Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.  Holden imagines a field full of children blissfully playing without adults. He imagines catching any kids that go to close to the ledge; he sees himself as The Catcher in the Rye.

. . . I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. (p.173).

This quotation brings back the idea that Holden wants to save others. In this case, he talks about children falling off a cliff, seemingly as a metaphor for children falling into adulthood. Holden has a tendency to idolize youth and wants to protect it at all costs. I believe this is because holden himself is afraid of growing up. Fearful of taking responsibility and making a significant change.



What do you see as the biggest problem facing people your age today?

Social media, politics, and difference of opinions continue to divide the human race as “people continue to argue with their mouths open and their minds closed.” I believe effective communication and the willingness to make a change to be one of the most substantial issues facing my generation. We have the resources and ideas to make necessary changes; we lack the willingness to make small fundamental changes within ourselves for the bigger picture. We consider a simple change such as vegetarianism or reusable water bottles to be such an interruption of our routines that they are not worth it. Our egotistic manners stand in the way of making necessary changes. Well, this is not entirely the individual’s fault, and more society’s as a whole. It is astounding that we face life and its problems with such a pessimistic view and still ignore the possibility to make a change. If we put aside our disagreements and self-pride, we would have a much higher chance of solving or at least agreeing upon critical challenges and topics.  We all hold the right to our own opinions we also should have the respect to at least hear others. There is such variation among people; we should be able to share differences and explore new global ideas.


IRJE- The Cather in The Rye

The Catcher In The Rye, by J.D. Salinger, is a novel that explores what it’s like to grow up, through the viewpoint of the protagonist and narrator, Holden Caulfield. Holden is a mature, well-read, 17-year old. He has strong views on most things, and readers easily observe them. The only things that seem to be written in a more subtle and less blunt matter are Holdens more profound thoughts. For instance, the quotation…

The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. (p.121).

I believe what Holdens trying to express is that he wants to freeze in time. In many situations, Holden seems to prevent himself from entirely going through with experiences. This quote represents his want to protect others innocence, along with his own. He doesn’t like being a teenager necessarily, but he fears to be an adult. Growing up seems to be Holdens most significant concern. He does not want to be a “phonine”, hypocrite like most adults he knows. The poor representation of adults he’s had in his life has not only made him defy their instruction but fear that that is what he will become.


PW-buying things

The last holiday seasons Americans were predicted to spend 1.1 trillion dollars. We are a society that enjoys purchasing things; whether it is for our selves or other, we like new items. In the 1980s the average American bought about 12 new articles of clothing a year. Today the average American buys roughly 64 new pieces of clothing a year, half of which are worn around three times be for bein thrown away or donated.this is mainly due to streamlined distribution, or what is more commonly known as fast fashion. Fast fashion is the production of inexpensive popular, likely to sell items, at low quality. These items are rapidly produced and mass-marketed well following common trends. Fast fashion is usually a rip-off of a pattern or a more expensive thing, that’s why it’s so common, and people are so ok with it. With fashion becoming more prominent in today’s society and young teens wanting too own certain items without having much money to spend fast fashion seems like the answer to most when buying clothes. We want the feeling of luxury without having to pay an exorbitant price.
Now, I’m not trying to bash people for buying affordable clothes, it is something I do my self, and understand, but I’m trying to show being mindful about our purchases is a must. We need to think before we by unnecessary items, and considered there impacts and consciences.


IRJE Jan 1st Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake by the renowned Margaret Atwood is a speculative fiction novel. In the first chapter, we meet snowman, the protagonist of the book. He wakes up in a tree to the sound of the ocean crashing ashore. He wraps himself in a bedsheet, in a toga-like fashion, puts on his red sox hat and starts his day. This quotation is the first insight we have into the books setting, saying it might not be our modern world. We learn that official time is absent, but our world or something similar once did exist.

Out of habit, he looks at his watch – stainless-steel case, burnished aluminium band, still shiny although it no longer works. He wears it now as his only talisman. A blank face is what it shows him: zero hour. It causes a jolt of terror to run through him, this absence of official time. Nobody nowhere knows what time it is. (pg.4)

The quotation gives readers insight into the world we are reading about since it is within the first few pages. The text shows that there once was a presence of the modern construct of time. Snowman wears a watch just like somebody today would, but in his case it’s worn as a talisman, a reminder of what is no longer. We know that something is different, something has happened, but we don’t yet understand.


PW Dec 7th

Living in a country such as Canada we have easy access to education. Elementary schooling is necessary for all children. Most people have the opportunity to attend college or university. Is this easy access, all intitled opportunity of school, hindering young adults early career paths and life choices. It is now the orderly cycle to attend college, university or a trade school right after graduating. In a lot of cases, this should not be the natural order of things. We should be attending university not because it is the next logical step but because we want to.

Education has become a double-edged sword of privilege. We face the dilemma that well everyone deserves education; we should not be forced or made to feel as though that is what we have to do. University should be a self-directed choice. We should not go because you’re afraid of not getting a job, go because you have a desire to learn. Go because you believe education is vital for its own sake.
In most cases, students not succeeding is a result of them doing something they don’t enjoy. Since education is something we all have access to, we have forgotten its value. Your thoughts and knowledge is the one thing no one can ever take away from you. Not all want to educate themselves, which I respect, you can live a happy, fulfilled life without doing so. A lot of young adults waste years of there life by going to university. They half commit to something they aren’t sure about, well-wasting thousands of dollars, and only because society told them, it seemed like the next right step. We shouldn’t have to be concerned with making money right away.

Go where you want to go, where you will be happy, and where you think you will make a positive impact. “Education should not be a gun held to your head but a weapon in your hands,” learn for yourself, not for others.




IRJE- One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a high school murder mystery. The book takes us through the lives of the 5 main characters to find out whos the murder. Bayview high is well known for its gossip app created by Simion. the five characters find themselves in detention together but before detention ends Simon is dead.  This quotation is Bronwyn asking Simon about the next post he’s going to make on his gossip app.

“Whose lives are you ruining next, Simon?”

Simon falls into step beside me as I move against the flow of students heading for the exit. “It’s a public service,” he says with a dismissive wave. pg.3

This quotation is our first insight into Simon and his personality. We learn he is the creator of the renowned gossip app, and that he has little care for others emotions. I like that this is our first interaction with him. I think it makes you dislike him, so when he’s murdered, you might not feel as bad for him as if the first interaction was amicable.



PW: Jackson

     I met Jackson this year, and we became friends right away. We share many similar interests, and both love to laugh. We are both into different activity’s and the things we like very, but we still always have something to talk about. For example, Jackson plays soccer and likes scootering, I, on the other hand, like dance and volleyball. Jackson has a really fat cat named Lucy, who is very cute and whom he loves very much. Jackson thinks he is dumb, but he’s not he is actually very smart, I think he just underestimates himself. The fact that he is doing well in school has a job, plays on the gold soccer team, all well staying positive and social is astounding to me, and is very admirable. Maybe he just has good time management skills, something he tells me I need to work on, which he’s right about. Jackson’s favourite class is design, which is cool as being a mechanic is a job he thinks he might want to do when he graduates. He also thinks music would be a cool career path, but he can’t sing, so he’s thinking producing music is more his style. I think it respectable to know what you like and what you’re good at, it can be hard for some people to find something they love and can do for a career. I’m glad I met Jackson this year, we have become great friends. Hopefully, he can help me with my time management.


idrj sapiens chapter 19

Sapiens, A Brief History of Human Kind, is a novel by the brilliant Yuval Noah Harari. Chapter 19 “And They Lived Happily Ever After” the second to last chapter. Harari explains that in the previous 500 years, we have witnessed a breathtaking series of revolutions. Economically, scientifically, ecologically, historically and psychologically; the daily life of humans has changed. But With all this growth, one question still arises.


“But are we happier?”


Prof. Harari allows us to contemplate the idea that with the most knowledge and possessions we’ve ever had, our happiness has not yet increased. With increased consumption rates and the ability to do more than we’ve ever done before why is something such as happiness, something we consider so important not yet grown. An answer is never indeed given to Harari’s question, whether one doesn’t exist, I’m not sure.



idrj sapiens chapter 10

Sapiens A Brief History of Human Kind is a novel by the brilliant Yuval Noah Harari. This book is split into four parts. Each section addresses a different revolution that helped shape humanity; the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, the unification of humankind, and the scientific revolution. I am on part three, the unification of humanity. The second chapter of part three it’s called “The scent of money”. This chapter addresses the history of human currency. We learn about how individuals use to use barter and trade as a system of currency, and how we have evolved trust the universal system we call money. This quote explains how people and society have been conditioned to trust money, and how it is one of the most trustworthy systems humans have ever devised.

“Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system of mutual trust: money is the most universal in most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.” [p.180]

Money was the first thing humans could truly trust without question. Money is a system I’ve never questioned. It’s something so involved in every aspect of our society that there is no way it could be challenged or removed. It’s crazy to think our most trusted object is paper and metal; people die over this. But it’s not the paper and money itself; it’s what they stand for and represent. Money is just a medium of exchange, and our trust and use of it, is what gives it such a high level of power and importance.



Why I enjoy class discussions and debates.

I enjoy debating and discussing topics as I believe it helps me develop my own well structured and multi-leveled opinion on a matter. Well, sharing my ideas and hearing my peers’ thoughts and feedback.

In school, we start out being told what to think, teachers give us facts or at least incline us to think in a structured or particular manner. As teenagers and young adults, we have to work to develop our own opinions and learn to process information uniquely based on our personal views and experiences. I believe the best way to learn how to do this is with in-class discussions and debates. I think when participating in these sorts of activities, I not only leave with a more thorough and developed understanding of the topic but I have developed my own opinions and connections around the matter. I believe in our generation with the amount of well-educated minds you can easily connect with on a multitude of platforms; it can be hard to formulate a fully unbias or tainted opinion.

Class discussions though daunting to some, are one of the best forms of learning, especially in high school. It allows a student not only better to comprehend a topic but to make there own personal thoughts and connections as well as hear their peers. All well as developing critical thinking and communication skills, that are necessary for life.



War; the useless slaughter of millions of innocent lives, caused by petty disagreements of those in power. Wars which were fought by brave young men forced to sacrifice their lives for the pride of their country. The profound truth is that wars are rarely won; those who have not died are the only ones considered winners. War is a devastatingly savage and unhuman act; physically and mentally devastating to all involved. The horrors are not only present in life on the frontline but live in the ongoing guilt of the survivors. We forget all too quickly the feelings of those at home, friends and families, and the effects of war on them. The physical impact of war is one of the most terrible things society and humans have ever experienced, the slaughter of innocent man for small areas of land.

Pieces of literature, such as Flanders Fields and Marching Men, give a patriotic perspective on war. They are leading us to believe that fighting for your country is not only a duty but a privilege. Comparing soldiers to god, saying the sacrifice of their lives is something they should not only take pride in but be willing to do. In comparison, literature such as Dulce et Decorum Est, and All Quiet on the Western Front have contrasting views. They show the more truthful and first-hand experience of war.

Remembrance Day is a holiday of great importance, recognizing the sacrifices soldiers willingly and unwillingly made for a more significant cause. The ceremonies we have now celebrate the soldiers and thank them for there braver. We have a minute of silence and poems are usually read. If I were to create a remembrance day ceremony, I would generally keep it the same as Canadas current ceremony with a few minute changes. I would place more focuses on the en humane parts of war, putting stress on what the soldiers went through and how badly it affected a whole generation; along with education on prevention of future conflicts and PTSD. I believe remembrance day should be un militarized as this draws the focuses pro-war and the ceremony should be conveying the opposite, war should not be glorified by a ceremony morning those who have lost there lives due to this cause.



Mental health in youth has had a drastic increase over the past 50 so years, why is this? Is it due to the new uproar of social media platforms and the drastic increase in the overuse of technology? Or possibly the overload of homework and stress from school, the shift in parenting style, or jump in peer pressure. All we know is that adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicide rates have had a drastic increase in the last 50 years, and they don’t seem to be slowing down. Studies Show healthy children today Report More Anxiety than Psychiatric Patients in the 1950’s. The fact that you can even compare an average child’s mental state and a psychiatric patients mental state is absurd. We have more resources and easily accessible support systems and are more sensitive to mental health, so why is the problem still growing. Sources such as say the most common cause of stress for teens is the thought of the future and failure. What to do after high school, getting a good job, getting into a good university, and the idea of possibly failing at these things are the most significant stress factors in most teens lives. I believe that our futures are determined at a young age, or at least it is portrayed as if they are. Its described as if grades from a young age will affect the rest of our lives, I think to some extent this is true, how we do in high school effects what university we get into, and what career path we take. But should teens be considering university and future career paths at such high importance? Well, you should enjoy what you do and take pride in your work, it should not be so stressful its driving teens to a state of anxiety and depression. I think more now than ever, there is a pressure to succeed do well and be known, and I believe this is all due to the effects of stress caused by social media.