English Honours 9 Mini Inquiry Poem Project

Light penetrates a canopy
Casting shadows
Revealing a man deep in thought
Approaching a fork in the path.

His conscience divided,
He knew not which path to take.
One, a wild jungle trail, barely visible through the undergrowth,
The other, a calm well-worn road, the destination clear.

How Cliché

The man wanted both and was unsure
The first path beckoned, it offered adventure
Holding a certain allure.
The outcome uncertain, would he venture?

The second, a long path, one many had traveled before
Held a very different prize
And though it seemed somewhat of a bore
It was thought to be the decision of the wise.

The man’s passionate desire
Would have him favor fire.
And his internal reason
Would have him require

The man was being torn in two,
Both sides of his being fighting for control.
And the uncertainty only grew
For the battle was taking a toll

But either path standing alone would not equal two together,
For one path would ignite the flames and the other douse the ember.
There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution,
Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.

The wind swayed the canopy, the light shifted.
Only then did he realize
There was, in fact a third path
That had been in front of him all the while.

This one a worn dirt track
Meandering through the wood,
The end still out of sight,
but somewhat more clear.

As it turns out, the deception and turmoil
Was his own doing,
For he had fallen prey to his conscience
And while choosing his way,

The decision had been made
For he had already been walking,
Walking the only path that would bring him true happiness,
The path that was now




“Found” by Erik Rothenberger is a free verse poem that explores the mind’s struggle to find balance. A man walks through a wood tormented by the need to chose the “right path”, but in doing so he seems to be creating his own struggle as near the end of the poem we realize it was all in his mind as he had already started walking the third path of balance. The author appears to reference Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice”, describing how the man would initially want to take the risky, adventurous path but goes on to discover that either path without the influence of the other would create unbalance. It also seems to share the notion of a man walking through a wood with his poem “The Road Less Traveled”. Erik continues with what appears to be two quotes from “The Dead Poet’s Society”, “There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution…” and “Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bones.” These both imply the need for balance and are the turning point for the man in the poem when “the light shifts” causing him to think in a new way. The poem touches on both the theme of finding balance as well as seeing with a different perspective.



Traditional vs. contemporary rebuild of iconic landmarks?

Article link

On April 15, 2019, the infamous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire. Luckily, after a long night, the cathedral, minus the roof made of trees that dated back as far as 1160, was saved, but because there was extensive damage, French president Emmanuel Macron is looking for design ideas to rebuild the beautiful cathedral and I decided to read this article about an issue that I hadn’t previously considered. Obviously, the cathedral needs to be rebuilt, but the author revealed the more complicated problem concerning whether it should be rebuilt exactly as it was, or using a more contemporary design, an idea which has been precedented by building such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the parliament building in Berlin (images below). I enjoyed reading this article, brief as it was, because it gave me a base understanding of both sides of the argument using well thought out quotes such as ““The ability to find around 3,000 more big, strong trees in the next two decades is going to be tricky,” medieval historian Dr. Emily Guerry told CBC News, adding that the Baltic might have enough suitable oak trees…
I also thought it was clever how the author related the issue described in the article to “The Ship of Theseus” and that it was a good base source of information because the author never stated his opinion and so it is non-biased. I would have enjoyed it if the article was longer and included some examples of proposed designs, as it seemed well researched and well written. I did some further research, and am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. I don’t think it is a good idea to rebuild it exactly as it was, because the reality is it will be difficult (not to mention extremely expensive and bad for the environment) to obtain all the necessary materials, and they do have the opportunity to create something spectacular. I am not sure however to what extent they should “modernize” the structure. I’ve included some images of rough drafts for designs that might be considered, and I am interested to see what comes of the reconstruction of this iconic landmark.

(Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg)

(parliament building in Berlin)


Chapman, Rob, et al. “17 Artists Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs.” Bored Panda, www.boredpanda.com/notre-dame-cathedral-new-spire-designs/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
(photo source)

Spoken Word: Sincerely…Fate


(click on the link to see video)

Group spoken word 2019 with Brooke Conley, Elisabeth Pollock and Sophia Pollock


Dear future generations,

Are you there? If not, we understand.  We turned this earth bland.
Black as night, dark as the faces that haunt our dreams, the murkiest depths of the sea

Forgive us, please.

Like every generation before, we chose to ignore, keeping our eyes shut to reality, we let ourselves be blindfolded. flawed to our core

Afraid of the future we thought wouldn’t come, thinking only of the present, the warnings of the past distant memories, We indulged our every wish, relishing in our seeming bliss

The warnings, now from the present, not the past, passed off as conspiracies, hoaxes.
Because, why would the experts know best? Scoff) I’m smarter than them
No need to feel stressed

We’re sorry if you’re all gone, the dawn rising on a world with no life
We spent our lives living, learning not truly worrying about what was to come

We had our first kisses, our first loves, our first times*loud cough*… driving a car and then boom, we crashed into reality. Tires screeched as we came rushing to a stop.

Forgive us, please.

Commercials of protecting our planet like a drug to the brain, they drove us insane,
it’s just one straw
said 8 billion people.
SAVE THE TURTLES! Tomorrow, another day, some other time.

We see these stories, but that’s all they are
They aren’t our reality, our worries
Islands of trash made larger than states, that’s not us, (pause) is it?
That doesn’t concern us, (pause) does it?

We cling to whatever is “trendy” to save but never see the bigger picture, only participating to be able to share when it should be, because we really care.
We share on Instagram and think we’ve done our part but that’s only a start
We’re focused on what we want, but not on what we need. Need to know, to do
Our laziness, our indifference, these will be our downfall, and then yours too

Forgive us, please

The people we elected to protect us are more focused on getting re-elected than making changes, where will we draw the line? All our problems are our own creations, the foundations of our downfall. Yellow raincoats stick to our skin like paste, red rubber boots flop as we walk. Rain pours onto us trying so hard to carry us away but we resisted the pull of death. But Soon we got trapped and pulled under a wave. Never to surface again. Air. You only notice it when it’s gone. Lungs scream, clenching tight trying to hold onto something that is no longer there.  

Forgive us, please, for we are the reason you no longer feel a cool breeze but instead are forced to pant and wheeze while gasping, grasping for breath until…


But wait, let’s go back, new draft, start from scratch

Dear future generations,

Your world can be great. We should know, we’re building it up from what it was, we are making changes. We learned from the past and used the blueprints left behind from generations before to create something new, the core.

This core we have created like an empire strong enough to last, ready to survive even the toughest blast. Like a hot air balloon rising into the sky, our hopes and dreams reached the top. There were times when we came crashing down but every time a hole was ripped in the fabric of our dream, we sewed it back up with different colored patches that gave our world the strength to thrive. Striving for greatness, we will “Make this world great again”.

Our dreams becoming a reality as we all lend a hand. Our minds long-living trees. Green branches stretching out to every corner of the earth and a strong base holding the tree down. Wise like the willow protecting the children who play. We will never forget our roots, nestled firmly in the ground.  Not a single storm can shake this old tree. That is the world we leave for you.

Every day you have a choice to make. To continue building an empire strong enough to last. Not an empire of metal and hate but of prosperity and love. Love is the only way to live. Come together and make a mountain that we can all climb. Step by step and rock by rock. We can make it to the top. Let’s erase hate.

Sincerely, Fate

Unnecessary Embargo?

Cuba Embargo Pro vs Con

Cuba Embargo Background


This past August, my family and I took a two-week long trip to Cuba which sparked an interest for Cuba’s background in me. Before going I read about the state of affairs in Cuba and when I was there I learned even more but from the perspective of Cuban citizens instead of outsiders who for the most part hadn’t even stepped a foot in the country. Because of this visit in addition to the fact that it is a very intriguing topic, I decided to find an article on Cuba, and specifically the embargo. I enjoyed the very descriptive background written about the beginning of the embargo as well as all the attempts to abolish it in the past. For instance, I was not aware that on the night before President Kennedy signed the papers to commence the embargo, he sent his press secretary to “Procure as many Cuban cigars as he could find.” I also appreciated the in-depth insight into both sides of the argument so as to not create a biased article. An argument I found interesting from the “for the embargo” side of the argument is that Cuba has responded to past attempts to lessen the influence of the embargo with acts of hostility. In 1977, when President Carter opened the US interests sector in Havana, Castro authorized the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, in which 125,000 Cubans, including almost 2,500 prisoners and mentally ill patients, were sent to Florida. The writer does reveal an accurate interpretation of some of the Cuban’s opinion on the embargo and why it isn’t working. Talking to the people there, it seems they do not consider the United States an enemy, but a neighbor with a complicated history. They don’t think that the embargo is a good thing because it is not truly impacting the desired people. It is the ordinary citizens who are being inconvenienced because it is they who are being denied access to the resources of the twenty-first century. On the contrary, the people of Cuba seem to be exceptionally happy and as much as they would be happy if the embargo wasn’t in place, are making the best of their situation. As for me, I’m conflicted. I agree that the embargo isn’t fulfilling its purpose and technically should be abolished. On the other hand, very selfishly, I don’t really want it to end. Going to Cuba is an experience unlike any other, it’s as if you travel back in time. If there wasn’t an embargo, much of what makes Cuba so spectacular would cease to exist.

Grammar Video Project – Adverbs, adjectives, pronouns (types), articles, common vs. proper nouns

By: Elisabeth and Erik

Our Grammar Concept:

The grammar rule that will be explained in this video is how to properly use Adverbs, adjectives, pronouns (types), articles, common vs. proper nouns. Firstly, we have adverbs. Adverbs are used to describe or qualify a verb, adjective or other adverb and tell when, where, how, in what manner or to what extent the action is performed. They help writers to convey in more detail what the subject Is doing in the sentence. Next, we have adjectives. It is important to be able to distinguish adverbs from adjectives because they are both very similar. They technically have the same function, with one major key difference. Where adverbs describe verbs or even an adjective, adjectives describe nouns. This means that if the word is describing a person, place or thing it is an adjective not an adverb. So hypothetically, if there was a sentence such as “He quickly baked a chocolate cake.” How could we tell what is an adjective and what is an adverb? To find the adverb you simply must find the verb (baked) and then find the word that is describing it (quickly).  To find the adjective, locate the noun (cake) and then find the word describing it. The cake was what? The cake was chocolate. How did he bake? He baked quickly. Moving on to pronouns. On the surface, pronouns seem simple but they’re actually the most complex on this list. Pronouns are words that can function individually as nouns or replace repeated nouns. There are six main types of pronouns: Personal pronouns, Subjective, Objective, Possessive, Relative and Indefinite. Personal pronouns are used when talking about a person. For example, Anna can be replaced by she. Subjective pronouns always replace the subject of the sentence whereas objective pronouns replace the object. To remember which is which, think of who is doing the action (subject) and whom or what the action is happening to (object). Possessive pronouns are used to show possession (that is my umbrella) and indefinite pronouns are used when the subject is undefined. This includes words such as anyone or everyone. Finally, two of the most commonly used relative pronouns are who and whom. When in doubt, an easy way to tell whether to use “who” or “whom” is to try replacing it with “he” or “him”. If it can be replaced by “he” or “she”, then you should use who. If it can be replaced by “him” or “her” then you should use the word “whom”. Next, we have articles. Articles are used to specify what noun is being written about. It can show how specific or important the noun is. If the article used is “an” or “a” then it is referring to a non-specific noun (look, an elephant!) in that sentence, we don’t know what elephant is being talked about and so we use “an” instead of “the” which would be used if we were to speak of a specific elephant. Lastly, the difference between common and proper nouns. This is really quite simple. Common nouns are nouns that are not specific and are not capitalised unless at the beginning of a sentence and are much life the article “an” or “a” whereas proper nouns are always capitalised and are a specific person, place or thing. An example would be “a mountain” vs “mount Seymore”. Thank you for taking the time to read about all our grammatical concepts, we hope that this will help you to remember what they are nd when to use them.

Test Questions:

A – which of the following is the adverb in the sentence the bird gently flew away.Bird

  1. Away
  2. Gently
  3. Flew

B – which of the following is not an adjective?

  1. hungry
  2. Soft
  3. Shy
  4. abruptly

C – if your sentence is ‘The boy ate cake’, you can replace boy and cake with

  1. He and it
  2. Him and that
  3. He and that
  4. Him and it

D – In the sentence Bob owns some cats, is the article some

  1. Specific
  2. Non-specific

E – In the sentence ‘We live by a river called the Nile’, which of the following is an example of a proper and common noun?

  1. Nile and River
  2. nile and River
  3. Nile and river

Answers: A:3 B:4 C:1 D:2 E:3