Read “Canada, My Canada” by Tomson Highway and answer the following questions in complete sentences and paragraph form. 1. State the thesis of Highway’s essay in your own words. (2 marks) 2. Explain why this essay would be classified as formal or informal. (2 marks) 3. List and explain two examples of CARES techniques that the author uses to support the essay’s main point. (4 marks) 4. Provide examples for the following literary devices and explain their importance to the author’s message: metaphor, parallelism and rhetorical question. (6 marks) 5. Tomson Highway considers himself to be an ambassador for our country.
Explain how Atticus Finch is an ambassador of hope and good will to others. (6 marks) Canada, My Canada (abridged) by Tomson Highway THREE SUMMERS BACK, a friend and I were being hurtled by bus through the heart of Australia, the desert flashing pink and red before our disbelieving eyes. It never seemed to end, this desert, so flat, so dry. For days, we saw kangaroos hopping off into the distance across the parched earth. The landscape was very unlike ours – scrub growth with some exotic species of cactuses, no lakes, no rivers, just sand and rock and sand and rock forever.
Beautiful in its own special way, haunting even – what the surface of the moon must look like, I thought to myself as I sat there in the dusk in that almost empty bus. I turned my head to look out of the front of the bus and was suddenly taken completely by surprise. Screaming out at me in great black lettering were the words “Canada Number One Country in the World. ” My eyes lit up, my heart gave a heave, and I felt a pang of homesickness so acute I actually almost hurt. I was so excited that it was all I could do to keep myself from leaping out of my seat and grabbing the newspaper from its owner.
As I learned within minutes (I did indeed beg to borrow the paper from the Dutchman who was reading it), this pronouncement was based on information collected by the United Nations from studies comparing standards of living for every nation in the world. Some people may have doubted the finding (what about Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and even Australia or New Zealand? ), but I didn’t, not for an instant. Where else in the world can you travel by bus, automobile or train (and the odd ferry) for 10, 12 or 14 days straight and see a landscape that changes so dramatically, so spectacularly.
The Newfoundland coast with its white foam and roar; the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island; the graceful curves and slopes of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail; the rolling dairy land of south shore Quebec; the peerless, uncountable maple-bordered lakes of Ontario; the haunting north shore of Lake Superior; the wheat fields of Manitoba and Saskatchewan; the ranch land of Alberta; the mountain ranges, valleys and lush rainforests of the West Coast. The list could go on for 10 pages, and still only cover the southern section of the country, a sliver of land compared with the North, whose immensity is almost unimaginable.
It has been six years in a row now that the United Nations has designated Canada the number one country in which to live. We are so fortunate. We are water wealthy and forest rich. Minerals, fertile land, wild animals, plant life, the rhythm of four distinct, undeniable seasons, the North – we have it all. Of course Canada has its problems. We’d like to lower our crime rate, but it is under relative control, and, the fact is, we live in a safe country. We struggle with our health-care system, trying to find a balance between universality and affordability.
But no person in this country is denied medical care for lack of money, no child need go without a vaccination. Oh yes, we have our concerns, but in the global scheme of things we are so well off. Have you ever stopped to look at the oranges and apples piled high as mountains in supermarkets from Sicamous, B. C. , to Twillingate, Nfld.? Have you paused to think about the choice of meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, bread, cereals, cookies, chips, dips and pop we have? Or even about the number of banks, clothing stores and restaurants?
And think of our history. For the greater part, the pain and violence, tragedy, horror and evil that have scarred forever the history of too many countries are largely absent from our past. There’s no denying we’ve had our trials and times of shame, but dark though they may have been, they pale by comparison with events that have shaped many other nations. Our cities, too, are gems. Take Toronto, where I have chosen to live. My adopted city never fails to thrill me with its racial, linguistic, cultural – not to mention lifestyle – diversity.
On any ordinary day on the city’s streets and subway, in stores and restaurants, I can hear the muted ebb and flow – the sweet chorus – of 20 different tongues. At any time of day, I can feast on food from six different continents, from Greek souvlakia to Thai mango salad, from Italian prosciutto to French bouillabaisse, from Ecuadorian empanada to Jamaican jerk chicken, from Indian lamb curry to Chinese lobster in ginger and green onion (with a side order of greens in oyster sauce). Indeed, one could probably eat in restaurants every week for a year and never have to eat of the same cuisine twice.
And do all these people get along? Well, they all live in a situation of relative harmony, cooperation and peace. They certainly aren’t terrorizing, torturing and massacring one another. They’re not igniting pubs, cars and schools with explosives that blind, cripple and maim. And they’re not killing children with machetes, cleavers and axes. Dislike – rancour – may exist in pockets here and there, but not, I believe, hatred on the scale of such blistering intensity that we see elsewhere. Is Canada a successful experiment in racial harmony and peaceful coexistence? Yes, I would say so, proudly.
When I, as an aboriginal citizen of this country, find myself thinking about all the people we’ve received into this homeland of mine, this beautiful country, when I think of the millions of people we’ve given safe haven to, following agony, terror, hunger and great sadness in their own home countries, well, my little Cree heart just puffs up with pride. And I walk the streets of Toronto, the streets of Canada, the streets of my home, feeling tall as a maple. PART C:SIGHT PASSAGE(Approximately 25 minutes)(20 MARKS) Read “What I’ve Learned from Writing” by Shauna Singh Baldwin and answer the following questions:
1. Identify the thesis statement in Baldwin’s article. Restate it in your own words. (4 marks) 2. Using two (2) elements from the CARES package, explain how Baldwin develops her thesis? (4 marks) 3. From the article provide an example of three (3) of the following literary devices. Explain the references and their effectiveness to the thesis. (6 marks) a) metaphorb) parallelism b) personificationc) onomatopoeia 4. The author asserts “By the time we’d finished, we were amazed at how much the book had taught us”. Explain THREE lessons offered by To Kill a Mockingbird.
(6 marks) What I’ve Learned from Writing Shauna Singh Baldwin [Keynote speech delivered at the Great Lakes Writer’s Conference held June 1998 at Alverno College, Wisconsin. ] When I was in school — in India in the 70s — my teachers were quite confident that “literature” was written outside the boundaries of the subcontinent, and that anything written in India was “only writing. ” I have learned from writing that the distinction is irrelevant. Writers don’t write because some of us live outside India where writing is magically elevated to the status of “literature.
” Writers, whether we use narrative or not, write because it helps us make sense of the world, contribute to it, rail at it with a non-violent socially-acceptable weapon — language. You would not attend writer’s conferences if you did not believe in the power of the written word to transform your life, to raise your thoughts above the mundane tasks of working and cooking, sleeping, washing, cleaning, to offer some explanation, some semblance of meaning to the rhythm of each day. We writers begin as readers.
At writer’s conferences, we come to study the craft, we come to ask one another how we can pry open the door between our conscious and our subconcious, we come for reassurance that all our solitude and our word-wrestling is worthwhile. I wanted to “be a writer” when I was eleven years old. But to be a writer, I thought I must have some experience to express, something I wanted to say that no one else had said. I wish I had known then, there is no original thought, because all we humans think and feel has been thought and felt so many times before, by so many generations.
There is only original perspective, there are only permutations of scenarios. As I grew older, the cacophony of the world grew ever louder and soon it seemed all the things that needed to be said were being said by others, all the interesting stories had already been told, told so much better than I could tell them. I now know from other writers that even my experience in this is not unique. But at the time, I fell silent like a child who stops singing because the singers on the radio are so much better.
The challenge of the adult writer is to recover that child who was so confident, ask it what it still needs to say, and find out what shape to give its thoughts that will hold a reader’s attention. There is an old saying I’ve heard attributed to many famous writers, “Writing is when you sit before the typewriter and bleed. ” It is the cheapest form of therapy, but no one tells you this: you perform it on yourself, unattended, alone, and you suffer the consequences alone. I’d like to start a campaign to put warning labels on pens, pads, word processing software, and especially post-it notes!
When the urge to scribble turns coherent, it’s really difficult to know where to begin. I kept a writer’s journal sporadically through my teens converting personal angst, pain and fun times to text; I’m glad it was something no one read but I. But the habit was a good one and today I am never without my writer’s journal. A writer’s journal is different from a diary, because you fill it with description, not merely with events, but with thoughts, with the texture of the present. It becomes a treasury of moments when words sang.
I wrote poetry — who doesn’t? — through school and college, and it wasn’t till I was thirty that I attempted my first (non-fiction) book: A Foreign Visitor’s Survival Guide to America. I wrote it with a coauthor, who gave it balance in perspective and gave me confidence. When we began, it was from an artless confidence that we had something to say, that there was a gap in the universe where this book should be, and that we were the ones who had both the lived experience and the research capability to do it.
By the time we’d finished, we were amazed at how much the book had taught us: about ourselves; about our friendship; about our values; and view of the world; about the need for accuracy in word choice. When an editor challenged our ideas we had to agree upon and stand behind each word in that book. By the end of the process when we had internalized the Chicago Manual of Style, we knew we would never have written that book if we’d known how arduous the process would be. So, what did I learn?
Begin with the desire to speak into silence, begin from passion. My next book, English Lessons and Other Stories, is about Indian women in my three countries, India, Canada and the U. S. A. I began it in 1992 and it came to publication in 1996. In it, I began to move past my lived experience and personal problems to enter the earliest form of role-playing-game, the virtual reality game that predates computers: the world of fiction. In doing so, a new question rose. No longer “what is writing,” but “what makes writing memorable?
” To answer this I returned to dog-eared friends whose words were more likely to be highlighted than not, and I read and reread their wonderfully-scented yellowing pages to find the answer that worked for me: Writers we remember are those who set aside their egos, moved from the purely personal to address the human condition, writers who help us all with this daily business of living, to give us inspiration past entertainment, past culture, past their times. I also had to find an acceptable answer to the question — for whom do you write?
I’m a hybrid of three cultures, Indian, Canadian and American and I write from the perspective of all three. Today my answer is: I write for the people I love, a hybrid, global audience, for people interested in the process of becoming human, the ways in which we live, the influence of history, philosophy, culture, tradition and memory on our sense of self. After my book of short stories, a novel came to me slowly. I call it What the Body Remembers. This novel moved into my life about two years ago and is still in residence in our home.
It has to be fed in the morning and cleaned up in the evening. It began shyly, revealing itself in snatches: strange people were talking and I would write down what they said first and then ask myself, “which character is this? ” I now had to appreciate the distinction between a poem, a short story and a novel: Most poems without narrative are likely to be static, where the poet comments on a situation or presents a problem and solution but does not show change in setting, or events.
In a short story, the writer’s job is to open a window into a situation and let the reader be a voyeur of sorts. The reader’s job is to find the significance, tie up loose ends — in short, the reader has the responsibility to imagine. A novel, on the other hand, allows a writer room to stretch, place to expound, philosophize, and here the worst sin the writer can commit is to lose sight of the story and the characters. The reader has far less responsibility to imagine in this form of writing.
In the short story and in the novel, the writer is confined only by the first rule of drama: causality. In both short stories and novels there must be conflict, but for there to be drama, the reader must be able to see cause and effect — coincidence in narrative is not appreciated, it’s too real. So in writing my novel, I found that it felt like coding a good piece of software, designing a system, building a house — in other words, it’s like any other creative endeavor— every detail, every word, should be there for a reason.
Now I began to truly appreciate writers through the ages who wrote without wordprocessors, all those writers who did their research without the Internet, the Milwaukee Public Library system and interlibrary loan, all the writers who travelled miles to interview their sources, instead of sending out an email or picking up the phone. I hope you will not believe mine is the usual progression. Some writers are comfortable with novels immediately, some enjoy the short story form always, some stay with poems. There are pitfalls along the way: some people enjoy being writers more than they enjoy writing.
Others prefer to have written than to write. Some of us get perfect manuscript syndrome. Some of us walk into bookstores and realise we’re competing for limited shelf space with every writer who has ever written and we go home and get writer’s block for a month. But it’s all part of the game — we write because we need to. And if it were really that easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? We take from the world and give back, hopefully with beauty and philosophy or entertainment value and our own unique perspective added along the way. . Though we may all hear the same words at this writer’s conferences, we each learn something unique.
I think that’s because each of us is at a different stage of readiness to receive from and give to the world. I’m still developing as a writer, letting the process teach me empathy as I venture deeper into the minds and hearts of selves I might have been if I wasn’t me. I’m no longer quite as concerned about who will read my work, or even if anyone will. When it’s published, my novel will sit on an overloaded bookshelf and invite some seeking soul to read it, and I hope he or she will find my characters good company. For myself, I hope I will have moved on by then to another book.
PART C:SIGHT PASSAGE(Approximately 25 minutes)(20 MARKS) Read Bored and Burned Out by Ronald Dahl and answer the following questions in complete sentences and paragraph form. 6. State the thesis of this essay in your own words. (2 marks) 7. Is this essay formal or informal? Provide two reasons to support your answer. (2 mark) 8. Provide examples for TWO of the following literary devices and explain their importance to the author’s message: metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia. ( 4 marks) 9. List and explain three examples of CARES techniques that the author uses to support the essay’s main point. (6 marks)
10. How different or similar are the children in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from those that Dahl sees in his practice? (6 marks) Burned Out and Bored By Ronald Dahl is a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Each summer, no matter how pressing my work schedule, I take of one day exclusively for my son. We call it dad-son day. This year our third stop was the amusement park, where he discovered (at the age of 9) that he was tall enough to ride one of the fastest roller coasters in the world. We blasted through face stretching turns and loops for 60 seconds.
Then, as we stepped off the ride, he shrugged and, in a distressingly calm voice, remarked that it was not as exciting as other rides he’d been on. As I listened, I began to sense something seriously out of balance. Throughout the season, I noticed similar events all around me. Parents seemed hard pressed to find new thrills for nonchalant kids. I saw this pattern in my family, in the sons and daughters of friends and neighbors, and in many of my patients with behavioral and emotional problems. Surrounded by ever-greater stimulation, their young faces were looking disappointed and bored.
By August, neighborhood parents were comparing their children’s complaints of “nothing to do” to the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. They were also shelling out large numbers of dollars for movies, amusement parks, video arcades, camps and visits to the mall. In many cases the money seemed to do little more than buy transient relief from the terrible moans of their bored children. This set me pondering the obvious question: “How can it be so hard for kids to find something to do when there’s never been such a range of stimulating entertainment available to them?
” What really worries me is the intensity of the stimulation. I watch my 11-year-old daughter’s face as she absorbs the powerful onslaught of arousing visuals and gory special effects in movies. Although my son is prohibited from playing violent videogames, I have seen some of his third-grade friends at an arcade inflicting blood-splattering, dismembering blows upon on-screen opponents in distressingly realistic games. My 4-year-old boy’s high-tech toys have consumed enough batteries to power a small village for a year.
Why do children immersed in this much excitement seem starved for more? That was, I realized, the point. I discovered during my own reckless adolescence that what creates exhilaration is not going fast, but going faster. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in a few seconds slams the body backward with powerful sensations, but going 60 for hours on the interstate causes so little feeling of speed that we fight to stay awake. At a steady velocity of 600 mph we can calmly sip coffee on an airplane. Thrills have less to do with speed than changes in speed.
Since returning to school, the kids have been navigating ever more densely packed schedules. The morning rush to make the schoolbus is matched by a rapid shuttle through after-school sports, piano, foreign-language programs and social activities. Dinner is, too often, a series of snacks eaten on the run. Then, if they manage to get their homework done, the kids want to “relax” in front of highly arousing images on the television or computer screen. I’m concerned about the cumulative effect of years at these levels of feverish activity.
It is no mystery to me why many teenagers appear apathetic and burned out, with a “been there, done that” air of indifference toward much of life. As increasing numbers of friends’ children are prescribed medications – stimulants to deal with inattentiveness at school or antidepressants to help with the loss of interest and joy in their lives – I question the role of kids’ boredom in some of the diagnoses. My own work – behavioral pediatrics and child psychiatry – is focused on the chemical imbalances and biological underpinnings to behavioral and emotional disorders. These are complex problems.
Some of the most important research concentrates on genetic vulnerabilities and the effects of stress on the developing brain. Yet I’ve been reflecting more and more on how the pace of life and the intensity of stimulation may be contributing to the rising rates of psychiatric problems among children and adolescents in our society. The problem of overstimulation arises frequently in my work on children’s sleep. Although I diagnose and treat many unusual neurologically based sleep disorders, the most common is deceptively simple – many kids and adolescents don’t get enough sleep.
There are myriad factors in delaying bedtime despite the need to get up early for school. Even when tired, children often find stimulation through exciting activities. Fighting off tiredness by going faster can turn into a habit – and habits can be very hard to change. Most important, as thrills displace needed rest, sleep-deprived kids have trouble with irritability, inattention and moodiness. Ironically, stimulants can seem to help children with these symptoms.
Our research also suggests that difficulties in turning down one’s emotions after a stressful event may be a major factor leading to adolescent mood disorders. Constant access to high stimulation may also create patterns of emotional imbalance. An adolescent moving too fast emotionally for too long can experience the same sense of stillness as the airline passenger traveling at breakneck speed. My wait at the airport for flight home from a scientific meeting gave me time to think more about this fast-track phenomenon. I fleetingly considered my own need
to slow down and the disturbing truth in the cliche that each year goes by more quickly. I realized with sadness how soon my children will be grown, and I sensed the fear that I may miss chapters of their childhood amid my hectic, overfilled life. In these images, I saw clearly the need to help our children find alternatives to the thrill-seeking fast lane by leading a slower version of life ourselves. I became convinced that nothing could be so important as finding a more balanced path, rediscovering slower, simpler pleasures before we all become burned out and bored to death.