Eating Noises

I knew a man who went into a rage if anybody ate an apple within his hearing. I knew another man who was so disgusted by his son’s eating habits that he made him eat his dinner alone. Do you have such quirks about other people’s eating habits as you encounter them in restaurants and other public places? Write an essay about people with such habits. Describe your responses to them.

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Throughout the history of the world, writers have tried to conceive better worlds than the ones they actually lived in. Look up the word “utopia” in Wikipedia and read about the various attempts at conceiving the perfect society. Do you think these efforts were worth the time and energy the authors put into them? Or do you think the world would have been better off if theses authors had tried to do something concrete to improve the actual world they lived in? Take a position and support it.

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About Technology

Write a post on one of the following topics about technology:

  • technological change in schools
  • technology both shapes and is shaped by society
  • the need for public policy that controls technological change
  • genetic engineering
  • determine a plan of action to address a technological problem that your class or school has
  • look at how a television program or modern movie treats the issue of technology
  • create a bulletin board display or electronic collage about technology and society
  • create a 3-5 minute digital recording of you reading an interesting news story about technology
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My Father is a Simple Man

“My Father is a Simple Man” by Luis Omar Salinas is a simple poem which begins with a father and son walking and talking, and then expresses a deeper meaning – about life and greatness.


The essence of life is perpetual. The essence of greatness is true kindness and patience.


  • Metaphor, simile


Can life really be compared to an orange?

Does education make someone a “scholar”?

What is greatness?

How old do you think the speaker is? Justify your response with reference to details in the poem.

For what audience do you think the poem is intended?

Do you think the poet ever expressed these thoughts and feelings to his father? Explain.


“My Father Is a Simple Man” by Luis Omar Salinas
I walk to town with my father
to buy a newspaper.  He walks slower
than I do so I must slow up.
The street is filled with children.
We argue about the price of pomegranates.  I convince
him it is the fruit of scholars .
He has taken me on this journey
and it’s been lifelong.
He’s sure I’ll be healthy
so long as I eat more oranges,
and tells me the orange
has seeds and so is perpetual ;
and we too will come back
like the orange trees.
I ask him what he thinks
about death and he says
he will gladly face it when
it comes but won’t jump
out in front of a car.
I’d gladly give my life
for this man with a sixth
grade education, whose kindness
and patience are true…
The truth of it is, he’s the scholar,
and when the bitter-hard reality
comes at me like a punishing
evil stranger, I can always
remember that here was a man
who was a worker and provider,
who learned the simple facts
in life and lived by them,
who held no pretense.
And when he leaves without
benefit of fanfare or applause
I shall have learned what little
there is about greatness.

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Learning Style

What?s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

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Blast from the Past

Investigate tropes.  What is a trope?

  1. View the film Blast from the Past (1999) and review it with the aim of pointing out several tropes.
    • note the broad categories tropes fall into, identify several examples from at least 3 categories.
    • You may want to consider scanning the script from Blast from the Bast (1999) for your favorite moments/quotes.
  2. Write a short story(that one day could be turned into a feature film) based on an idea generated by Story Idea Generator.
    • Incorporate at least one common trope from the film into your story. There is no need for your story to parallel the film in any other way.
    • Synthesize some element of cold-war paranoia into your story.(view The Atomic Cafe (1982) for some witty inspiration about the comic horrors of the cold-war era.)
    • Focus/comment somewhere in your story on the theme of searching for identity.
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The Grandchildren That Never Where

It is the year 2100. In the year 2090, World War III began. In the year 2095, a biological weapon that destroys the human immune system only was released and used by both sides in the war. As a result, human beings have become extinct. The beautiful parks that the people of the early 21st century worked so hard to build and protect are now enjoyed by no one but the squirrels and birds that live there. At the entrance of the biggest, most beautiful park of all, there is a golden plaque that reads as follows: “This park is dedicated with love to our future grandchildren. We worked very hard and made many sacrifices, knowing that you would one day appreciate having this green space to enjoy.” Of course, the “future grandchildren” referred to in this plaque were never born, because there parents all died in World War III. Was it still worth the effort? Should the people of the 21st century have put there effort toward preventing WWIII instead? Should we be thinking about our future grandchildren now?

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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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For many of us the seasons are changing, bouncing unpredictably between cold and warm. Are you glad to be moving into a new season, or wishing for one more week of the old?

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Human Rights Violation

Research an example of a human rights violation from any country at any point in time.


Focus on one event and find three different sources: a book, online, magazine, etc.


Compare what you have learned from each source. If there are differences in facts and explanations, how can you tell which is correct.

Why is it important to use more than one resource when researching a topic.

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War, Massacre, or Terrorism?

A critical thinking challenge for students, ages 16-18


In the spring of 1864 a series of killings sent a chill across Canada. The blood of 14 men, spilled into the Homathco River before dawn on the morning of April 29th, 1864, was only the beginning of this conflict. By the end of May, 19 road-builders, packers, and a farmer were dead. Within six weeks an army of over 100 men had arrived in the area to catch the killers.

The killings took place in a remote triangle in central British Columbia that, at the time, was inaccessible by road or even horse trail. The dead men had all been part of the teams trying to build a road from the Pacific coast to the recently discovered goldfields of the Cariboo.

This area was traditional territory of the Tsilhqot’in people who had lived on the high Chilcotin Plateau for centuries, perhaps for thousands of years. The survivors of the attacks identified the principal leader of the more than 20 people involved in the killings as a Tsilhqot’in chief, who was called “Klatsassin” by his people.

Historians have variously called this incident a war, a massacre, or an act of terrorism. But which is it? Soldiers who kill many others during the course of war are not likely to be punished for these killings; in fact they may be honoured for these actions. Committing the same killings outside the context of war would likely result in serious consequences. But here again it may depend whether the killers were acting on behalf of their people to bring about a desired political goal, or simply acting for personal gain or revenge. In short, there is much at stake in deciding upon the kind of incident. You will be invited to examine selected historical documents from the time and draw your own conclusions about which term — war, massacre, or terrorism — most fairly describes this event.

The Task

This MysteryQuest invites you to assess the underlying nature of a violent conflict between whites and First Nations peoples in 1864. Was the killing of the road crew an act of terrorism by the Tsilhqot’in to discourage further trade and traffic in the area? Or were they defending their territory against an invading population? Perhaps they were avenging the deaths of their people who were killed by the European introduction of smallpox years earlier?

You will begin by considering the differences between the terms “war,” “massacre,” and “terrorism.” You will read about the background to this incident and then examine historical documents looking for statements that suggest how this event should be described. Finally, you will decide on the most appropriate term and explain your choice in a one-page essay.

continue investigation ….

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