Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Touching Spirit Bear: Litspiration Post #1

Hello Readers,
In class we have started to read the book Touching Spirit Bear as a group. The book is about a boy named Cole Mathews who has a violent history. After badly hurting another boy at his school, Cole decides to go to the Justice Circle to avoid going to jail. However, many things happen that change him later on in the book. In today's assignment, we are supposed to consider what kinds of information would affect your decision making if you were part of Cole's Justice Circle?

I remember reading in my textbook the factors that determine the youths consequences were the seriousness of the crime and the history, attitude, and circumstances of the young person. If we look at Cole's life, it has never been easy for him. He grew up with a violent dad that abused him and an alcoholic mother. If we only look at this evidence, it may seem that he does deserve a change, but what about his history, attitude, and the seriousness of the crime? Cole did have a very bad attitude towards the crime, as he said he felt Peter deserved it. He also had a history of being violent as in the book, it is said that this was not Cole's first time in the justice system. And what about the seriousness of the crime? Cole assaulted Peter resulting in him ending up in the hospital with serious injuries so, yes, the crime was very serious. Despite all the evidence pointing towards Cole needing to be put in jail, I believe Cole deserves a second chance. His circumstances have rooted anger in him which have resulted in him being violent. Yes, he has done some bad things, but the purpose of the act is the rehabilitate and reintegrate into society. If he is just put in jail, he is neither rehabilitated or reintegrated because the root problem of anger has not been dealt with. The Circle Justice Group focuses on dealing with your feelings and trying to move on by repairing relationships and taking responsibility for your actions, and a consequence rooted in that main idea would be better that jail for Cole.

I want to here your responses! Leave a comment answering the question, what kinds of information would affect your decision making if you were part of Cole's Justice Circle?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

GINS Mini Challenge: Word Art

Hello Readers,
It has been a long time since I have put up a post on my GINS book. For todays project, we were instructed to go back to our GINS book and pick a quote that best connected to your books main issue and create an intentional word art. Here is my word art:

God Grew Tired of Us
John Bul Dau with Michael S. Sweeney
Page 280

I choose this quotation because of its connection to the overarching theme of never giving up and the my main issue in my book. As you know from my previous posts, my main issue is child refugees. The main person in my book, John Bul Dau, was disconnected from his family while his village was being raided at the start of the book. Even though he didn’t have his biological family, because of his circumstance of being a child refugee or a “Lost Boy”, he made friends with individuals who saved his life and played a huge role in who he is today. An example of an individual who did this was Abraham, the man who walked with him from Duk Payuel to Ethiopia. Without him, John would have not survived before finding refuge in Ethiopia.

I choose to have this African tree in my word art because it represented his origins, but symbolized him growing up. Like a tree, John needed food, water, protection, and nurturing. As he grew up, he became stronger and wiser, and wasn’t dependant on all things he needed before, like the tree. The sunrise symbolized the new beginning of John’s life. He went from a kid that had a large and happy family, to having no family and having to struggle to stay alive. However, in the book, now looking back, it was those situations that gave him the hope to survive and shape him into the man he is today.

March 5, 2014
March 6, 2014

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Exploring Empathy

Hello Readers,
Today we started to explore empathy and the difference between it and sympathy. From our discussions we concluded that empathy is understanding the persons situation and putting ourselves in their place while sympathy is like feeling pity for that individuals. To further explore this idea and demonstrate our learning we were asked to free write for about 15 minutes about if we were the main character in our GINS (Global Issues Novel Study) book. Here is my paragraph:
*Please note that I free wrote this and did not have an opportunity to edit it.

The sun beats down on my dry, dirty face. Boys of all different ages run around me trying to understand the situation. Finally, I feel safe. For the longest time, I wasn’t. Trying to run away from the individuals that felt I was a bad person. But I knew I wasn’t. I was just a boy, a boy trying to find his way back to his family. Or so I thought. My neighbor wasn’t leading me to find them, he didn’t even know if they were alive. I didn’t even know if they were alive. Last time I saw them, they were screaming, crying for to our family saying “Where are you?”. The thought leaves my throat dry, a reminder of how little food and water I had received a week before. Many of my friends that I was walking with, gave up and died. Died. The word so foreign on my lips, but tough on my mind. Dead? My friends were dead because the government that was supposed to help us, is down and these people that has stepped into office made us suffer. For what? The feeling of anger overtook the feeling of sadness. And because of them, I am moved away from my family in this foreign land that doesn’t accept me or my culture? Suddenly the feeling of anger faded away. Why am I complaining? Complaining won’t do nothing. I should be happy that I am alive and this foreign country that doesn’t accept me or my culture, actually does because they want to give me a home, an education, food, and possibly a future. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Making Our Own Charter: GINS

Today, in class we were assigned to create a group with 3 other people and create an a world-wide Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We created four sections: Fundamental Freedoms, Government Relations with the People, Equality Rights, and Minority Rights. We choose to model this Charter after the Canadian Charter in regards to the sections and how it is organized because our group found its easy to navigate when everything is put in groups. Plus, I find its easier to understand the main ideas the Charter is trying to communicate. We first started out talking about the main ideas in our book then we moved on to connects some of the common themes. For the section of Minority Rights, one of my other group members and I really connected over this section because we find in our books there is a minority and majority and the government focuses mainly on the majority. In this section, it says "Regardless of any factor, if there is a substantial population that requires a service the government is required to provide it.".In God Grew Tired of Us, the population was separated my religion and this had a major impact on the government decision making which resulted in the ongoing conflict, which led to the civil war. If this section was applied, both groups would be satisfied.
In the section of Government Relations with the People, it again talks about minorities and majorities. It says, "Equal Representation in the government between minorities and majorities", "Individuals have the opportunity to have an educated vote in the election", and "The government must be re-elected every 4 years". In my book, when Southern soldiers were ordered to be stationed half of the year in the North and half of the year in the South, they rebelled against the government because the government hadn't considered their opinions when making that decisions. Hope you enjoyed this post and if you want to view our charter, click here.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Global Issue Novel Study

As I was doing my research, I found the oldest constitution of Sudan was created in 1973, almost twenty years after as they gained independence. I found that this constitution is similar to our charter in some ways.
For example Article 38 is similar to the section of Equality Rights and it states, “All persons in the Democratic Republic of the Sudan are equal before Courts of law. The Sudanese have equal rights and duties, irrespective of origin, race, locality, sex, language, and religion.”
Article 40 and 41 also shares similar characteristics to the section of Mobility Rights as it states, “No Sudanese shall be deported from Sudanese lands or be prevented from entering it.” and “Freedom of movement and residence shall be guaranteed for all citizens,…”
In my book God Grew Tired of Us, the main issue is child refugees. I think that if the section of Legal Rights were applied, that the issue of child refuges would have been less evident around that time. In the section, it states that citizens have the right to be free of imprisonment, search, and seizure without any reason back by law and evidence and we have a right to fair and quick public trial by a court that assumes that you are innocent until proven guilty. In the beginning of the book, you are introduced to Duk Payuel which is John’s village that later in the book gets attacked by the djellabas. This attack was due to the ongoing tension between the north and south that was because of differences in religion and beliefs. In 1983, the government insisted on a policy of rotating military units between the south and the north. Many of the southern soldiers disagreed with the idea because it would separate them from their families and bring the feared northern soldiers nears their villages. This resulted in many small battles between the two groups of soldiers and caused many southern soldiers abandoned their stations and came back. When they returned, they urged the villagers to rise and fight as they said war had come. And it did. A couple of months later, Libyan air force killed five people in a bombing raid on a radio station owned and operated by the government. The government said it had taken off from and returned to a base in southern Sudan. Police officers and soldiers loyal to the northern government received emergency powers to enter and search home, open private mail, and make arrests with little evidence.
If this right was applied, many innocent people would have not been imprisoned, searched, and had their belonging seized with little or no evidence. This right would have maybe prevented the internal violence into an open war.
Because Southern Sudan is a new country, they do not have a constitution but laws based upon the SPLM (Sudan’s People Liberation Movement) Convention in 1994. Sudan recently created a charter called the New Dawn Charter with focuses on the inclusive government, separation of religion from the state, and equality between all individuals regardless of religion. This charter helps reinforce the idea of equality between everyone regardless of any factor. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

GINS and Consumerism Tumblr Mashup

In my Global Issue Novel Study book, God Grew Tired of Us, Sudan is in a civil war that is between the Muslims in the north and Christian in the south. In this post I am going connect the main issue in my book, child refugees, to Sudan’s economic system. When you’re finished reading this post, check out this link by clicking here. It has a lot of information Sudan’s economical situation and direct links between Sudan’s political system and Sudan’s economical system.
In order to answer the questions of scarcity, you need land, labor, and capital and meet people demands of their wants and needs. In this book, they lack two things: land and capital. They have people who are willing to work, but there is nowhere safe due to the constant djellabas wandering around so people can’t work or plant anything and because of the war, there is very little money.
While I was doing my research I came across the fact that the government in South Sudan were trying to set up social programs, such as providing the lost boys with guardians to ensure that they were travelling safely, and sometimes food if they were lucky. This evidence points towards their economy being planned because the government is making all the decisions on how to solve scarcity. However, in the book some of the southern government government were trying to provide funds so that the lost boys could buy the things they needed, but because of the impending war and lack of government involvement before, it created a situation that “left every man for themselves”, which created a shift right on the economic continuum . This shift moved towards individualism and the main idea of “what can I do to help myself?” which are key characteristics of a country that have a market economy.
In the comment section, tell me what do you think the Sudanese economy is, market or planned?
Check out my tumblr blog by clicking on the tab "Tumblr Project".

November 19, 2013
November 19, 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

Round Table #2: Global Issues Novel Study

Here is my second round table for the Global Issues Novel Study with Aidan. Please note that even though it says Round Table #1 in the video, it is Round Table #2.The questions were:
1. What did you find out that was surprising or powerful in your research?
2. What are you still wondering about?
3. Now that you have more information and background on your novel and its issue, what do you think might happen as you read further on in your novel?