Laura Secord

Laura Secord a poem by Raymond Souster
Lady, long part of our history
would you perhaps have been so eager
that time to drive those silly cows
before you through the forest mile after mile,
risking who knows what indignities
at the hands of the invaders,

had you known you would end up
on the box for a brand
of over-sweet chocolates?

From The War of 1812 to this?

I. Respond to the Poem

  1. During the War of 1812, Laura Secord saved a British garrison from American attack. Do some research on Laura Secord and compare what you find out to what is revealed in the poem.
  2. There are two parts to this poem. Why do you think the author divided the poem this way?
  3. The poem is written as one long question. What question is Raymond Souster asking?
  4. What do you think he is saying about heroes and heroic deeds?

II. Write a letter
As Laura Secord write a letter to Frank P. O’Connor, the founder of the Laura Secord Company.

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The Next Dr. Frankenstein

Suppose you are going to make a monster out of body parts robbed from graves. For the monster’s brain, you will use the brain of a dead criminal. Little did you know that this criminal’s last thought before dying was his intention to kill his partner, Hans. Because this thought is still in the brain that you put into your monster, it is the first thought that the monster has when you bring him to life. So, naturally, the first thing your monster does is kill Hans. Are you responsible for Hans’ death? Would it make a difference if you knew this would happen? In this thought experiment you have brought a future killer to life. If God exists, he brings future killers to life every day. Is he responsible for the resulting deaths? Why or why not?

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Legacy

Write your own poem to honour an ancestor.

You could use the person’s name and relationship to you as the first line of the poem. On the next line, write two adjectives to describe him or her, what he or she did, and a short description of the person’s desires, fears, and loves on following lines.

Use the following poem as a model.

Marcel Lévesque, great-uncle
Brave, adventurous sailor
Wanted to marry a Spanish lady
Feared he would be sent home to Gaspé
Loved his señiorita forever

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Futuristic Story

Write a futuristic story in which you present your vision of life twenty years from now.

Read an interview with Derrick de Kerckhove, author of The Augmented Mind.

How will people in the future be “always on” or “plugged in”? What will “cloud computing” look like in twenty years? What “next big thing” will replace Facebook?

How many “degrees of separation” will exist between you and your friends, your family, your children, your spouse?

How will people use their imagination twenty years from now? Will they still have one?

Kerckhove says we exist in “the era of the tag” and “tagging … is the soul of the Internet.” What remains to be tagged in the next twenty years? What will the Internet be like in twenty years?

As of 2011 more than 2.2 billion people—nearly a third of Earth’s Human population—used the services of the Internet.
… the average UK employee spent 57 minutes a day surfing the Web while at work, according to a 2003 study

Will one of the oldest forum threads on the Internet still exist in twenty years? “I am lonely will anyone speak to me”?

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Pick 5 and Synthesize (Part 1)

Pick 5 of the following words and synthesize them into a piece of your writing:

  • psychological
  • scorn
  • elitism
  • promenade
  • demeanour
  • crystalline
  • bickering
  • furrow
  • gilded
  • a rococo motif
  • absently
  • deprived
  • orrery
  • turnover
  • endowed
  • haunches
  • evanescent
  • wiry
  • claustrophobic
  • disembodied
  • matronly
  • oblation
  • hackles
  • bedraggled
  • frump
  • decisively
  • vehemently
  • tote
  • tentatively
  • resentfully
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Emergency Car Kit

Have a look at an emergency car kit. How does the value of each item on this list depend on the type of accident you are in or have arrived at?

What additional items would you add to the list?

Where in the vehicle should these items be located?

Do you have ICE contacts in your phone? Or an ICE app on your home screen? Maybe you’d want an emergency phone charger.

Write a post about about what should be in your emergency car kit.

(Add links/images, too. Perhaps you could add an Amazon Emergency Car Kit Widget to your blog.)

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Alternative Approach

Select a news or magazine article, editorial, blog, or letter to the editor in which a writer’s solution to a problem is morally or ethically unacceptable to you. Write an essay in which you argue against the writer’s position and offer a more reasonable and acceptable alternative approach or solution to the problem.

(Hint: try a parody in the style of Jonathan Swift)

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