Relationships

The following poem is from The Journals of Susanna Moodie, by Margaret Atwood.

How relevant is this poem to the way we understand relationships, to the way we imagine relationships to be?

Support your response with reference (comparison/contrast) to one or more poems you’ve studied and to your previous knowledge and/or experience.

Further Arrivals
After we had crossed the long illness
that was the ocean, we sailed up-river

On the first island
the immigrants threw off their clothes
and danced like sandflies

We left behind one by one
the cities rotting with cholera,
one by one our civilized
distinctions

and entered a large darkness.

It was our own
ignorance we entered.

I have not come out yet

My brain gropes nervous
tentacles in the night, sends out
fears hairy as bears,
demands lamps; or waiting

for my shadowy husband, hears
malice in the trees’ whispers.

I need wolf’s eyes to see
the truth.

I refuse to look in the mirror.

Whether the wilderness is
real or not
depends on who lives there.

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After the Harvest

Write a comprehensive film review of the film “After the Harvest.”

If you have read “Wild Geese” by Martha Ostenso, be sure to compare and contrast.

Consider especially details from class discussions, notes, essays or any other ideas to help you out.

Tip: consider a 5-paragraph essay as an organizational structure for your review. Perhaps one third focusing on literal elements, one third on figurative elements, and the final third thematic elements.

Screenshots:

http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/geese/geese.html

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Ugly

Write about something you consider “ugly” – war, violence, failure, hatred – but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

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A Sunrise on the Veld

Read “A Sunrise on the Veld,” by Doris Lessing

Respond to the Story

  • Describe the boy’s feelings and state of mind before he comes upon the buck. Describe a time in your life when you experienced a similar emotion.
  • Why does the boy not shoot the buck?
  • How does the boy feel at the end of the story? What has caused his mood to change so dramatically?

Poetic Language
The author, Doris Lessing, expresses the boy’s thoughts and feelings very poetically in the two paragraphs before the boy hears the buck’s cries. With a partner, discuss some of these phrases and the images they create. What emotions do the images raise? Is the use of poetic language effective? What types of writing techniques are used?

Using phrases from these two paragraphs, write a poem that expresses the character’s joy at being young and alive. You could draw or find an illustration that captures the spirit of your poem.

(Extra: use any Walt Whitman poem as a model)

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New Semester

Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it – or are you glad those days are over?

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Urban Dialogue

Imagine you are sitting on a very crowded public city bus. The large and aggressive-seeming person next to you keeps demanding in an obnoxious was that you move over to make more room, You can’t move over and there is nowhere else to sit or stand in the bus. Write the dialogue that might take place in those circumstances.

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Plinky Prompt

Imagine a new Voyager spacecraft is being built by NASA, and like its earlier counterparts, it’s going to carry the best of modern human culture inscribed onto a record. What belongs on there and why?

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Studying God’s Finished Picture

Spend 5 minutes trying to complete a 200+ piece jigsaw puzzle WITHOUT looking at the picture.

Now look at the picture and see how many pieces you can add in the next 5 minutes.

In what ways is putting the puzzle together like or unlike putting your life together?

In what ways is the puzzle like or unlike answering the question, “Who Am I?”

Choose one of the following passages to study:

  • read the passage
  • write about what you think the passage says
  • explain what you think the passage means in each of your lives today
  • describe what the passage says we are in God’s eyes

Passages:

  • Genesis 1:26-31
  • Isaiah 43:1-7
  • Colossians 3:5-17
  • Luke 4:18-19
  • Ephesians 5:15-20
  • John 6:22-40
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
  • Ephesians 4:1-32
  • Galatians 5:13-26
  • Psalm 139
  • John 14:12
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Interview an older relative or friend

Interview an older relative or friend about the changes that have occurred in his or her lifetime. Consider going to a senior citizen’s home and asking if any of the people there would like to share their stories with you. Prepare your questions ahead of time.

Ask open-ended questions such as:

  • What changes have occured in modes of transportation in your lifetime? How do you feel about these changes?
  • What was your daily routine like when you were my age?
  • What has remained constant throughout your life?
  • Do you have any advice to share about adapting to a changing world?

In your report on your interview(s) discuss which responses were most interesting. Were you surprised by any of the changes described? Why or why not?

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Plinky Prompt

Set a timer for sixty seconds. Without thinking or stopping to edit yourself, race that timer like a champ until you have a stack of single word titles. Now give yourself thirty seconds. At the end of that thirty seconds you will have chosen two of these words, glued them haphazardly together, and steeled yourself to write a post about or inspired by them. Go, go, go, time’s a wastin’.

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Write a Short Story

Imagine your story is already done:

Who is the hero in your story? Explain why you think so.

  • What is the turning point? In what way does your protagonist change?
  • What is the overall message and mood?
  • Is humour an important part of this story?
  • Why is your story title significant?

Now begin with a fuzzy plan:

Investigate drawing a plot diagram for your story. Use an online tool or draw your own chart. Complete it by adding story details under each of the following: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Have you read other stories like yours? Discuss these stories. How were their plots similar or different?

Think about a big idea:

In most good stories the characters undergo a significant change. What are some good ideas for a short story about an ordinary person who undergoes a significant change? Which idea would make an especially entertaining story for an audience of your peers?

Plan out the details:

Add details to your outline for your short story, including notes on the following: main character and personality, setting, conflict, initial incident, rising action, changes, climax, and conclusion/denouement/resolution.

Write a first draft:

Use this outline to write a first draft.

Revise:

Ask a partner to give you feedback about improving your story. Revise your draft using this feedback.

Publish:

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