Sunday, 16 November 2014

Remembrance Day

       Remembrance Day is a very special and important day to many people. November 11th at 11am in 1918 was the time when armies stopped fighting World War I. The other common name for this day is Armistice Day. To this day many people wear a poppy to respect the immeasurable sacrifices made by the soldiers in World War I.

       On this day, I do many things to show my respect. I wear a poppy all day. At school there is a video all classes watch and after the video we have 2 minutes of silence. At home my family and I usually talk about the importance of Remembrance Day,

       I am very grateful for the life I have. This is because I have so many freedoms, luxuries, and opportunities in my life that many kids around the world are not lucky enough to have. The most important freedom to me, is to practice my religion. This makes me feel like I can be myself and believe in who I want to without any restrictions. This is a feeling everyone around the world should deserve to have.

       My life is much different than kids around the world. Many kids do not have a right to education or healthcare and have to work to survive. A lot of these kids do not even have enough money for food or clean water to drink, so they get sick very easily. Thinking about these kids, makes me realize how lucky am to live in an amazing country, Canada. And if it wasn't for all the sacrifices made, Canada would not be the country it is today.

       These past few weeks, Canada has been impacted by terrorist attacks. I think all these attacks make this day much more meaningful. This is because it shows how life would have been if it hadn't been for all the soldiers. We would all be living in constant fear of death and would be too afraid to do anything. And sadly, 1 soldier did pass away due to these attacks. But everyone was really proud of his bravery just like we will always be proud of the soldiers fighting for us.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Golden Key

“SARAH”! My mom yelled calling me down for breakfast. I grabbed my phone and rushed downstairs, before my mother got really mad.

It was snowing outside, again. There had been a snow storm going on for 2 weeks now. Everything was covered in snow, driveways, roads, and my car that I got on my 16th birthday. I had got it from my dad before he left my mom 1 year ago. I had hated him ever since, not even one final goodbye. He thought a car would be able to make me happy as if I am some materialistic adolescent. I hated him ever since.

“Eat your breakfast, I have to go to work and the house better be spotless when I come back”, Mom said leaving the house with a loud bang. I hurried up and ate my oatmeal so I could finish cleaning the house. My house isn’t really that big, it has 2 small bedrooms upstairs, an average sized kitchen, a family room, and a basement which I’m not allowed into since mom doesn’t trust me with all her important files. It’s not that big of a deal though, it’s creepy down there anyways.

Three hours later, I finally finish. Its only 1:00pm so I decide to start reading my book. I have to finish it by the end of Christmas break, but I absolutely hate procrastinating. As I am about to start reading, the bell rings. It’s the mailman, he has a red box in his hands which he hands over to me. It’s for me, from an anonymous person. It all wrapped up like a Christmas gift, with a cute blue bow on top. I open it up and what do I find, just a weird little gold key with a note attached to it.

I know you must be wondering who I am and why I sent you a key, but just know that this is the key to all you answers. But you have to be cautious with it or else…

What does that mean? What answers? Then it hits me. The basement, maybe there’s a reason I’m not allowed in there. Maybe my mom could be hiding something down there. I get up and finally decide to go check what is in there. Just as I am about to go down, the door opens and my mom appears. If she finds out I’m trying to go down there she’ll kill me. So I run upstairs to my room without letting her see me.

It’s midnight now, and my mom is finally asleep. I head downstairs to the basement to see what’s in there. I still don’t know if I should go in, what if it’s really nothing. I don’t know why, but I’ve been scared of the basement ever since I was a little kid. But I know that something is down there, so I suck it up and put the key in. IT DOESN’T WORK!

I still want to go in the basement though so I use my bobby pin to unlock the door. There’s a long dark staircase and another door at the bottom. I use the flashlight on my phone and start heading down. I try the key again but it still doesn’t work. So I try with the bobby pin again. It takes about 10 minutes but it finally opens. I open the door and my jaw drops instantly.

It is some kind of torture room. It’s painted all black with broken mirrors all around the room. On the right side of the wall, there’s different types of knives hung up. On the left side, there are guns, so many guns hung up. And in the middle, it’s a cage,
with my dad inside of it. “DAD, what is all this,”? I said with tears rolling down my eyes, I had been wrong about my dad this whole time. I removed the tape on my dad’s mouth so he would speak.

“Sarah, your mom has kept me in this for a year. Your mom is a very dangerous woman. The only thing that could get me out is this key which you mom threw out”

It finally made sense. I took the key out of my pocket, “Do you mean this?” I said holding it up. He nodded. I started walking toward the cage to open it. But as I was about to put the key in, I saw a reflection, of my mom in one of the broken mirror. I turned around and see my mom with a knife in her hand coming towards me.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Mental Health Awareness: Bulimia Nervosa

Many people around the world sufferer from a variety of metal problems. Many people do not even know they have one until it is too late, that’s why it is important to spread awareness. One particular problem that caught my eye is Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia Nervosa is when an individual decides to overeat a lot of food at once, then punishes himself by fasting, purging, or exercisingDuring an average binge, one may consume from 3,000 to 5,000 calories in 1 short hour. This is a very unhealthy problem and anyone with it should receive treatment as fast as they can.
          The reason many people do not know that they’re suffering from Bulimia is because they do not know they have it, so they think it’s just a phase. Answer these questions:

·         Are you obsessed with your body and your weight?
·         Does food and dieting dominate your life?
·         Are you afraid that when you start eating, you won’t be able to stop?
·         Do you ever eat until you feel sick?
·         Do you feel guilty, ashamed, or depressed after you eat?
·         Do you vomit or take laxatives to control your weight?

  If you answered yes to three or more of these, you should ask your doctor or anyone you trust for help or maybe you just need someone to talk to. If you are too afraid to ask anyone because you think they will judge you, just remember everyone is different and it’s fine to go through different things in your life; as long as they are treated.

 The reason numerous people have this problem is because they think that it will make them look better, which it WON’T! By going through with this people do not realize that it is contributing to making their physical appearance worse. They get scars on their knuckles and hands by putting their hand down their throat to throw up. Repeated vomiting causes puffy cheeks. Teeth get yellow and crusty from the constant acid from their stomachs touching them. There is nothing good that ever comes out with this problem and if you are doing it because you are insecure, remember that everyone is not the same so you should be proud of who you are.

 There are five steps to recovery which you really have to commit to if you want to recover. First, you will have to admit to yourself that you have a problem. Second, talk to someone you trust about it and get their opinion. Third, stay away from people, places, and activities that cause the temptation to binge or purge. Last, seek professional help because they will be able to tell you how to properly treat it. For more information, visit the websites listed below and remember you are not alone!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Tablets vs. Textbooks

           Technology is advancing at an amazing rate and in many ways it is helpful but at the same time, it is bad for us too. There have been many debates whether tablets should replace textbooks in schools, and I believe that we should not replace them. There are many reasons why tablets are not as good as textbooks. The first is the effect on the kids and health concerns. Second, there will be a lot more expenses for tablets. And last, the environmental concerns that come with making and maintaining tablets.

           Numerous children around the world own tablets in their household. They are a great for entertainment and work and many schools are thinking of switching textbooks to tablets. But if they do that, the children’s eyes will get worse from staring at a screen for a long time, which will result in spending money on glasses. And if we do switch to tablets, teachers will not always be able to see what the children are doing on their tablets so a lot of kids will get distracted. But with textbooks we will not have these problems, since looking at books is not bad for your eyes and the teacher can easily tell if everyone is doing their work. So textbooks are a much better option if schools care about the student’s learning and well-being.

            Many schools think by getting textbooks, they will be saving a lot of money, and that is correct but it will only be saving money for schools. Schools will be saving money because they can just buy eBooks which are cheaper. But the parents will have to spend a lot more money for the children. They will have to buy cases and screen protectors, pay to get it fixed if it breaks, and if they do not have Wi-Fi in their house, they’ll have to get it installed.  Also tablets are more likely to be stolen than textbooks and most schools will say that it was the student’s responsibility, so the parents will be forced to buy another one. Schools should focus more on the costs that the parents will have and how some parents won’t be able to afford it.

            Countless people have the mistaken idea that tablets are more ecofriendly than textbooks. I understand that they are thinking that papers won’t be needed so trees will be saved, but they are not understanding how environmentally destructive manufacturing tablets is. Making one tablet involves the extraction of 33 pounds of minerals, 79 gallons of water, and 100 kilowatt hours of fossil fuels. This whole process 66 pounds of carbon dioxide which uses about 100 times more greenhouse gases than textbooks. Making a textbook requires 2 gallons of water and only two kilowatt hours. So now you can decide which the better option for our environment is.

            Understanding the two different views, I honestly believe that schools should stick with textbooks. Textbooks are better for the children’s health and they do not cause distractions for them. The parents will not have to be worried about money. And textbooks will not be as destructive to the environment. Therefore, textbooks should not be replaced with tablets in schools.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Book Thief

The Book Thief is full of many wonderful and extraordinary personalities. The protagonist in this novel is Liesel who is hardworking and a kind-hearted star of the book. She adores books so much, she steals them, even if she doesn’t know how to read. Liesel is said to be a, “lost skinny child”, on page 32 and, “thin boned, and pale” on page 39. She is only 10 years old but while reading, you tend to forget that since she is so mature. She lives with her foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann.

          Liesel loved Hans since the first day because of his, “eyes made of kindness, and silver” (page 34). He was the main reason Liesel learned to read and write. He was a really nice and brave man. He always cared about everyone no matter their race, and that is proven when he lets Max live in the basement. Death describes Hans Hubermann as a guy, “Always just there. Not noticeable”, on page 34. But I think that helped him because if he was more out there, people may have been more suspicious of him and he would not have been able to hide Max in his basement.

          Rosa Hubermann is a very difficult character to understand. She always seems to be angry at everyone but also loves everyone and cares about them. On page 33 it says,” face decorated with constant fury”. She hits Liesel with wooden spoons very often but she also loves her a lot. Personally, I think the main reason she is like this is because she is scared of losing people. In the novel, it does not talk about her parents, so maybe they are dead and that’s why she is so strict. Later on in the book when Hans Hubermann becomes a part of the Nazi group and has to leave Liesel sees her with the accordion all alone. “A Painted Picture. Rosa with Accordion. Moonlight on dark. 5’1” x Instrument x Silence.” Page 420. She is miserable now that he’s gone.

          Liesel becomes friends with Rudy while playing soccer, and both of them love each other, even if Liesel doesn’t know it yet. Rudy is my favorite character in this novel. He is a 10 year old boy “with bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes, and hair the color of a lemon” (page 48). Rudy is smart, athletic, and brave. He is not afraid of older kids and he helps others out no matter what consequence. And this is proven when he helps Tommy Muller at Hitler Youth and he is forced to run extra laps with him. But his kindness does help him make many amazing friends.

           Finally, the antagonist who is Hitler. Even though he never talks to any of the character in the book, he is the reason behind what is happening. Hitler is the one who created the Nazi Group and decided that the Jews should not be able to live. And if it wasn’t for him there would not be such a big mess and everyone could be treated equally and live a normal life. And this is not just in the novel, but in real life too. If he never did what he did there would not have been so many deaths.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Few Quotations That Motivate Me

There are many astonishing quotes said by amazing people out there, but a few of them really mean a lot to me. They are special to me because they inspire me to do my best and keep moving on.

The first quote is, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, by Thomas A. Edison. Many people recognize him as the person who invented the light bulb, but no one ever thinks about how many tries it must have taken him to get the light bulb to work. And the reason we have incandescent light bulbs today is only because he did not give up. So what he meant by this quote was you can never fail too many times and if you have a dream or goal that you want to accomplish, you should not be depressed if you fail a few time because if you try hard enough, you will accomplish your goal. Also, every time it does not work out, you should think of it as you just learnt something new.

The second quote that inspires me is, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”, by Mark Twain. The reason I really like this quote is because it motivates me to take chances. It teaches me that if I am too afraid to take chances right now, I will regret them later on and wonder what it would have been like if I took the chance. And what’s the worst that could happen if I take the chance? I fail, but it’s still better to know what happened better than to think about it for the rest of my life. This quote doesn’t just apply to big things, but small things too because they are just as important too. For example, if you like to play a sport but you’re too afraid to try out because you think that you won’t make the team, you should still try out. This is because you do not know how good you really are until you actually try out and it’s not like if you don’t make it this year, you can’t try again next year. So you should never be afraid of trying something new and taking chances because they can lead to much greatness.

The third quote is one that I am in love with since it is so true. It is, “There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way” by Christopher Morley. What this quote is telling us that if you are not happy with what you’re doing, you are not going to be successful in your own eyes. Even if you are making a lot of money and the rest of the world thinks you are successful, you will not be happy. And what’s the point of doing anything at all if you think of it as something you have to do for someone else. Many parents have expectations from their kids and if those expectations come in the way of their happiness they should really have a talk with them about it. Everyone should have the opportunity to live their life in the way they choose to.

Many people keep quotes up in their room to inspire them. I honestly think that everyone should do that or just have it in a place where you look regularly because they do make a big difference if you live by them. And even if you do not understand some quotes people say, it’s not a big deal because there are so many to choose from out there.