Guilty…Or is he?

hae and adnan.png
Hae and Adnan at a formal dance that took place at their high school. 

Could you imagine being accused of murdering your high school girlfriend? Or better yet, could you imagine being in jail for 30 years over one man saying you committed the crime? At the age of 17, Adnan Syed was charged for being guilty of murdering his ex girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. His friend Jay Wilds stated in his testimony that he saw Hae’s body and Adnan forced him to help bury her. However another classmate, Asia McClain, stated that she saw him in the library at the time of the murder, so he couldn’t have done it. Now is it just me or does that not add up. Which one of them is lying and why would they lie about something as serious as murder?

 

jay wilds
Jay Wilds, the man who turned his “friend” Adnan into the police.

In Sarah Koenig’s podcast, Serial, she is on a mission to put an end to Adnan’s case. She is in complete and utter disbelief that a man could be sentenced to 30 years in jail upon the accusal of first degree murder, all because of one man’s word. At the very end of the podcast Koenig comes to the conclusion that Adnan is guilty, but not because she has proved him guilty, but because there is a lack of evidence to prove him innocent. After listening to the first and last episode of Serial I truly do believe that Adnan is innocent.

When Sarah Koenig first went to take to Adnan she said his tone did not come off as scared, or as if he was hiding something. He was very calm and serious. He did not present himself to indicate that he is guilty. When Koenig told Adnan that Jay had turned him in, he said “That did not happen.” Koenig made a point of saying that Adnan could have said “it did not happen like that” or “that part didn’t happen”, but instead he clearly stated “It did not happen.” The fact that Adnan did not hesitate with his words and clearly spoke, made me think that he was innocent. He could be a good liar, or have thought out what he was going to say, but part of me believed he didn’t do it. That a high school football star and a guy that all his classmates love, was not capable of killing his ex high school sweetheart.

Asia-McClain-Chapman-Shadle-Spokane-Public-Library-Serial-Alibi-Witness-Adnan-Syed-Hae-Min-Lee-Cristina-Guiterrez-Justin-Brown-Rabia-Chaundry-Seri
Asia McClain, the young girl who reported seeing Adnan at the library at the time of the murder.

Asia McClain also reported that she had a long conversation with Adnan in the library that day. Within the conversation Adnan had explained why he and Hae had broken up, but all he wanted was the best for her and for her to be happy. They ended things on a good note and both agreed to continue their friendship. Asia stated that Adnan did not convey as restless, nor did he seem as though he could hurt someone, let alone someone who he had once loved. So for him to have committed first degree murder on that very same day did not feel true.

The people who know Adnan the best believe that he is innocent. Rabia Chaudry is one of Adnan’s best friend’s sister. She describes her opinion on Adnan’s conviction, “From the day he was taken from his bed in the pre-dawn hours of 26 February 1999 until today, he has maintained his innocence and I, and my family, have believed him” (The Guardian). The people who are closest to Adnan believe he is innocent, the people who know what he is capable of. These people know Adnan’s flaws and accept them for what they are, and even taking into consideration some of the worst things he has ever done they still believe he is innocent.

crossed finders
Fingers crossed is a international symbol of not telling the truth, exactly what Jay did in his testimony. 

Throughout the podcast Koenig discuss that Adnan was not assigned a very strong attorney and he did not pick up on some very important details. According the Chaudry, Jay changed his original story that he testified with later on in the trial. He originally stated that they buried Hae at midnight, but later on in the trial he changed his story to say they buried Hae at around 7pm. The fact that Jay was unable to stick to the same story and change something as crucial as the time Hae was buried indicates that he is not a reliable source. Also, Adnan was claimed guilty of murdering Hae because of Jay’s testimony, but if Jay lied how accountable is his statement. Once again, this goes to show that Adnan is innocent because the only piece of evidence that put him in jail might not be a true statement.

In episode 12 of Serial, Sarah Koenig went through the trouble to get the DNA tested on Hae’s body and clothing. The DNA tests proved Adnan’s innocence as the only traces of his DNA were under the handle of Hae’s car, which did not justify anything because being in a relationship with Hae prior to her murder Adnan had been in Hae’s car plenty of times.

ronald lee moore
Ronald Lee Moore, a possible suspect for Hae Min Lee’s murder.

Lastly, in the final episode of Serial Koenig spoke about a man by the name of Ronald Lee Moore. A man that has committed many felonies that include, burglary, rape and being a cocaine addict (Heavy). This man was accidentally released from jail on January 1, 1999 and thirteen days later Hae was murdered. Ronald fled to Louisiana where he later killed himself, therefore it was not around to be questioned as a suspect. Now the question is, who is more legible to be a murderer, a 17 year old boy who only wanted what was best for this young girl, or a  middle aged man who has been in trouble with the law before for serious offenses and was accidentally released from prison just days before Hae’s murder?

Henceforth, I believe that Adnan Syed is innocent and did not murder his ex girlfriend Hae Min Lee  because of the lack of evidence that supports that he is guilty, unreliable sources like Jay Wilds, and more credible suspects such as Ronald Lee Moore.

 

Works Cited

Chaudry, Rabia. “Adnan Syed Is Innocent. Now Find Hae Min Lee’s Real Killer | Rabia Chaudry.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 06 July 2016. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Click Here to Support Guilty Until Proven Innocent Organized by Adam Edward Weiker.” Gofundme.com. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Crossed Fingers.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 July 2017. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Guilt Posters and Art Prints.” Barewalls. Web. 28 July 2017.

Homefacts.com. “Ronald Lee Moore.” Ronald Lee Moore – Sex Offender in Middletown, OH 45042 – OH1540706. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Is Jay Wilds the Real Star of Serial?” The Speaker. 04 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 July 2017.

“Log In.” WordPress.com. Web. 28 July 2017.

Prince, S.J. “Ronald Lee Moore: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know.” Heavy.com. 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 July 2017.

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Feminism in The Birth House

 

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Ideal Wife Qualities – Google Search. Web. 23 July 2017.

“5 Reasons Why I Would Be TOTALLY DOWN For An Arranged Marriage.” Mogul. Web. 23 July 2017.

“8 Super Easy Ways to Get People Talking on Social Media.” Lisa Larter. 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 July 2017.

“ANISLAND STORY.” An Island Story. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Abuse, Drugs and a Broken Engagement.” Kaurista. 22 Mar. 2015. Web. 23 July 2017.

Admin. “A Study Shows That Men Who Want Power Over Women Are Likely To Have Poorer Mental Health.” Women Daily Magazine. 24 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.

Ali, M.D. Ashraf. “Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication.” OnHealth. Web. 23 July 2017.

“BooYa on WordPress.com.” BooYa. Web. 23 July 2017.

Bulkley, Matt. “What Is Sexual Abuse?” Star Guides Wilderness. 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Child Sexual Abuse Archives.” Africa and African Immigrant New Yorkers. 24 July 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.

Claire. “The Problem That Has No Name Because “Woman” Is Too Essentialist.” Sister Outrider. 21 July 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.

Correspondent, Jack Doyle Home Affairs. “Controlling Your Partner’s Clothes and Friends Could Be Made a Crime in Domestic Violence Shake-up.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 July 2017.

Correspondent, Jack Doyle Home Affairs. “Controlling Your Partner’s Clothes and Friends Could Be Made a Crime in Domestic Violence Shake-up.” Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 06 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 July 2017.

Cotter, Rachel. “Morgan Matters Photography: 3 Boys… 1 Girl.” Pinterest. 08 Dec. 2013. Web. 23 July 2017.

Counselors, Association Of Biblical. “3 Signs of Sexual Abuse in Marriage.” Crosswalk.com. Salem Web Network, 04 June 2015. Web. 23 July 2017.

Designthemes. “Blog.” No Man Left Behind Training. Web. 23 July 2017.

Devlin, Amanda. “Celebs Join Hundreds of Thousands of Women Worldwide from London to Cape Town to March in Protest at Donald Trump on His First Full Day in the White House.” The Sun. The Sun, 22 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.

Dillon, Nikia Monee. “701group1.” Grandma Sands by Nikia Dillon. 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Feminism.” The #1 Model United Nations Community / MunPlanet. Web. 23 July 2017.

Fields, Megan. “Hospital.” Pinterest. 06 July 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.

Forrest, Joy. “BIBLICAL HEADSHIP AND SUBMISSION IN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE MARRIAGES.” JoyfulSurrender.com. 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 23 July 2017.

GmbH, Framepool RS. “Couple / Relaxing / Bedroom | HD Stock Video 860-607-469 | Framepool & RightSmith Stock Footage.” Framepool Stock Footage Library. Web. 23 July 2017.

Hansen, Nina Frazier. “27 Badass Ladies Who Secured Your Right to Vote.” Mashable. Mashable, 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Home.” Womans Vibe. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Managing Anger in Teenagers: Lessons from Experience – | Stepping Up™ Blog.” Stepping Up Blog. 20 Jan. 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.

McKay, Ami. The Birth House a Novel. Sherwood Park, AB: SCL, 2012. Print.

“Meeting Mar. 11 | Beth Jacob Synagogue Toronto.” Beth Jacob Synagogue Toronto RSS. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Midwife Shortages Dose Maternity Unit.” Nursing Standard 14.9 (1999): 9. Print.

“Midwives of St. Croix – Circulating Now from NLM.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Web. 23 July 2017.

Neergaard, Lauran. “Science Confirms: Women’s Crying Is a Turnoff for Men.” Salon. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Obstetrics & Gynaecology – Breast Care Clinic – World Class Healthcare in Vietnam.” FV Hospital. Web. 23 July 2017.

Sanchez, Kristy. “Screaming and Swearing at Your Wife Will Destroy the Marriage for Husband and Wife.” Pinterest. 24 Aug. 2010. Web. 23 July 2017.

Schwanke, Crystal. “Organic Herbal Remedies.” LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp. Web. 23 July 2017.

Singleton, Tom. “House On A Hill by Tom Singleton.” Fine Art America. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Social Issues, Abuse and Violence on Women, Young…” Social Issues, Abuse And Violence On Women, Young Drunk Man Watching TV At Home And Drinking Alcohol. Violent Husband Arguing With Abused Wife In Front Of Daughter Stock Footage Video 21907114 | Shutterstock. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Stop the Oppression of Women in the Islamic World.” The Inspiration Room. 24 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Sunglasses Man.” Sunglasses Man Stock Images, Royalty-Free Images & Vectors | Shutterstock. Web. 23 July 2017.

Urban, By: Samantha. “These Women’s Rights Activists Inspire Us to Fight for Equality.” ONE. 09 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.

White, Alan. “28 Powerful Pictures Of Women Fighting For Their Right To Vote.” BuzzFeed. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Women Rights News.” World News. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Womens Rights.” Google Sites. Web. 23 July 2017.

“Young Sad, Depressed Boy Sitting by the Tree In…” Young Sad, Depressed Boy Sitting By The Tree In Park Stock Footage Video 2258443 | Shutterstock. Web. 23 July 2017.

Ibbk14. “IEnglish.” How to Be a Good Wife to Your Husband 12 Qualities Men Look for. 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 23 July 2017.

Ignaciotorrico, Author:. “Two Ways of Looking.” Ignacio Torrico. 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 23 July 2017.

“A Midwife’s Story: Light and Shade.” Welcome to Nurse Uncut. 23 June 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.

Moniks123 Follow. “Child Abuse.” LinkedIn SlideShare. 23 July 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.3 July 2016. Web. 23 July 2017.

Guilty or Innocent?

hae-min-lee-600
Hae Min Lee, Adnan Syed’s former girlfriend, and the place her body was found.

Today’s justice system does a phenomenal job at keeping our society safe. Our justice system works to ensure that criminals all over our country are locked away so that they do not continue to hurt people. High risk offenders can be sentenced up to life in prison, where as low risk offenders can be in jail for as little as forty eight hours. Sarah Koenig is a journalist that looked further into depth in Adnan Syed’s case, as he has spent thirty years in prison after being convicted of murdering his high school ex girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Syed had never shown any hate towards anyone, he was on the football team, got along

Adnan-Syed-when-he-was-16-008
Adnan Syed’s 16 year old football photograph.

with everyone in his family, and was reported saying he didn’t want anything other than for Hae to be happy by one of his former classmates, Asia McClain. McClain had reported seeing Syed at the library when the murder was said to have taken place, meanwhile his “friend” Jay Wilds turned him in and was the reason he was marked guilty for murder.

I personally loved Koenig’s podcast, I found it extremely interesting, it kept me hooked. Although I am usually one to read books I think that audiobooks and podcasts are something that I should get into because I seriously enjoyed listening the Koenig’s. Hearing the expression and the personality within the voice of Koenig and the people she interviewed allowed me to connect to her on a personal level and see where she is coming from. The podcast kept my mind wondering all of these questions. I wanted to know if McClain was Syed’s only chance at being claimed innocent, and if Wilds was telling truth. Koenig kept me wanting to know  more, on the edge waiting to find out if Syed had really killed his ex girlfriend or not.

sarah-koeinig
Sarah Koenig, the author of the podcast, discussing her views on Adnan’s case and why she had taken so much interest in it.

The idea of presenting journalism in the form of a podcast allowed Koenig to use real interviews she had with the people she interrogated as she tried to prove Syed innocent. The audio clips allowed listeners, like me and you, to hear and interpret the tone of these people’s voices; whether they sounded like they were hiding anything, like in

Asia-McClain-Chapman-Shadle-Spokane-Public-Library-Serial-Alibi-Witness-Adnan-Syed-Hae-Min-Lee-Cristina-Guiterrez-Justin-Brown-Rabia-Chaundry-Seri.jpg
Asia McClain, Adnan Syed’s alibi for the time of the murder.

Wilds testimony, or if they were stern and serious, like when Syed spoke to Koenig for the first time. I was able to draw my own conclusions on whether I thought Syed was guilty or innocent from the same evidence that Koenig gathered.

After listening to the first episode, I agree with Koenig in thinking that Syed is innocent. He never showed any intention to harm, nor did he ever have any aggression or motive towards his ex girlfriend. Syed had an alibi that said he was in the library at the time of the murder, this alibi was not a friend or a family member either, she was a girl he had barely spoken to before that went out of her way and risked everything to state that he was innocent. There are many signs that point towards Syed being innocent and only one that directs the justice system to believing he is guilty.

images
Adnan Syed with one of his family members.

However, like me and you, a lot of other people have listened to this podcast. Just imagine how the family must feel. Whether they like that the public views him as innocent, or whether they are embarrassed that their loved one is in jail for taking someone else’s life. This can be viewed in two different ways. They can be thankful that this lady is trying to draw attention to the subject and give Syed the chance to prove he is innocent, or they can be fed up with all the attention he has had and just want to move on with their lives. Losing a loved one in anyway is hard to get over, and just like Hae’s family misses her everyday it will be exactly the same with Syed’s family if they know he is innocent and proves he is as well.  He would have lost thirty years of his life to a crime he did not commit.

It would be interesting to see what Syed’s family thinks of the matter, whether they believe his is innocent or guilty. It would be hard to gather information from family members because the look for the best in their loved ones. It would be difficult to interpret whether they really think he is innocent or whether they want to believe he is innocent, which can be two completely different things. Also taking into consideration whether they would remember what happened on the day Hae was murdered.

Many people that Koenig approached did not remember what happened that day, unless

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A person having difficulty remembering something, much like many of the students could not remember what they did at the time of the murder.

something significant occurred. McClain remembered seeing Syed at the library which stuck out to her because he was also convicted of murder that day, and Wilds remembered that day because he claims he was with him before and after the murdered happened and helped put the body into the car. By making this point, Koenig was making a point that it is hard to remember things that happen on a day that isn’t important, so if you didn’t commit a murder, are you going to remember a random Wednesday in the middle of January?

Koenig did an amazing job at leaving me wanting more. I want to know if Syed is guilty or innocent, and I definitely want to listen to the rest of her work.

 

Works Cited

“Asia McClain Chapman -.” Asia McClain Chapman. 24 Aug. 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

Chaudry, Rabia. “Serial Catch-up: What Happened next in the Case of Adnan Syed?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 08 Sept. 2015. Web. 21 July 2017.

George, Justin. “‘Serial’ Brings Healing to Syed Family.” Baltimoresun.com. 20 June 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

“Having Trouble Remembering Things…time to Take Admenta.” HealthKartRxcom Blog An Ultimate Health Guide. Web. 21 July 2017.

Herbst, Diane. “Hae Min Lee: Family of Serial Murder Victim Speaks Out.” PEOPLE.com. Time Inc, 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 July 2017.

“Serial: This American Life Podcast’s Sarah Koenig Talks the Crime.” Time. Time. Web. 21 July 2017.

Patterns in “The Birth House”

The Birth House
The cover of Ami McKay’s novel, The Birth House.

In the novel, The Birth House, by Ami McKay many archetypal literary theories are present and displayed in multiple areas of the book. The Birth House is a novel set in the same time frame as The Great War. The novel is about a young girl, Dora Rare, who is shown the ropes of  midwifery by the town midwife, Miss. Babineau, and discovers that it plays a leading role in her life. She lives in the small village of Scots Bay that is very traditional when it comes to dealing with births and many aspects around that subject. The archetypal patterns within McKay’s novel include finance, domestic abuse, and modern developments invading tradition; archetypal figures present within the novel include a hero, a motherly figure, and a trickster.

 

In a small, poor town, finance became a recurring pattern. In the novel there are two types of people; the people who have never-ending fortunes and people who work insanely hard but will never have enough money. Many people of Scots Bay would marry for money or a daughter’s

Scots Bay
Location of Scots Bay on a map.

parents would arrange for her to marry into a wealthier family, so that she has a better life. Dora’s Aunt Fran married her husband Irwin for his family’s great fortune. Dora explained “Most of Aunt Fran’s time (and much of Uncle Irwin’s family fortune) goes toward her need for having” (McKay 50). Aunt Fran is one of the very few people of this small town who has the money, let alone is able to spend a ridiculous amount of it on items that seem useless to the other villagers. In Dora’s marriage finance, once again, played a huge part. Her parents arranged for her to marry Archer Bigelow because his family gained a great fortune upon the death of his father. Dora’s mother told Dora “The Widow Bigelow is wanting, is hoping for you and Archer to be wed… she will pay [your father] to build you a house. She will pay for it all, Dora” (McKay 139). The families without great wealth that live within Scots Bay generally choose to arrange their daughter’s marriages so that they know they will be in good hands, by that they really want their daughters to have money so that they do not have to support them. It is strange to think how times have changed, money often does not play a factor in marriage nowadays. Today marriage is normally based on the love the two people share for each other. This was the way that Dora’s parents married, and they were one of very few couples that married for love. When talking about her mother, Dora explains “She was the pretty one who married for love” (McKay 51). I think the fact that Dora says “the pretty one” explains that she was one of very few daughters that was not arranged into a marriage for money. I think that McKay chose to make finance such an important pattern within the novel to emphasize how much better off some families were compared to others and the lengths people would go to, to become wealthy.

 

Domestic Violence
A powerful image of domestic violence that represents the male spouse controlling his partner through force.

Along with arranged marriages, there were also harmful ones. Many individuals, like Dora and Mrs. Ketch, that live in Scots Bay suffered from serious domestic abuse, therefore it is portrayed as an important pattern within the novel. Domestic abuse is defined as “Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other” (domesticviolence.org). When Mrs. Ketch was in labour she cried out “Let me die, dear Lord. Please let me die” (McKay 12), in which Miss. B responded with “How many times you been through this, thirteen, fourteen? You should know the Lord ain’t like most men…” (McKay 12). This quotation was one that really got to me, it really helped to exaggerate how the men of the village treated their wives, they would have left them to die. The abuse these women face gets to a point that it is so bad, that they would rather die than carry out their lives. Dora was also a victim of domestic abuse in which her husband controlled what she could and could not do. Dora’s husband, Archer, yelled out to her while he was highly intoxicated “Come on, Dorrie, how about I take you to bed and you act like a proper wife” (McKay 173). I feel as though this quotation really emphasizes that most married men of this time controlled their spouses by forcing their wives to sleep with them. It was a way that they obtained power, and if their wives did not obey they would get violent. When Dora fought Archer’s demand he went on to attempt to physically abuse her. Dora explained “He made a fist and raised it high in the air. As he swung to hit me, he missed, punching a hole in the parlour  wall” (McKay 174). This just goes to explain that the men of the house hold required authority to feel power, they used this authority to control their wives and get what they want. I think that McKay chose to have Dora be a victim of domestic abuse to show how strong she truly was because although she was beaten and had been through the worst, she never seemed to be down on herself. 

 

 

Modern Obstetrics
Image in modern-day of how obstetrics have changed, especially since now it is most common to birth a child in hospital.

Another archetypal pattern I noticed was that modern developments were invading the traditional way of doing things. One of the most important events within the novel was Dr. Thomas, a physician specialized in obstetrics, trying to enter into Scots Bay with a new obstetrics and midwifery facility, and try to take over Dora and Miss. B’s jobs of being the town midwives. One of the first things Dr. Thomas said to Miss. B was “Superstition and wives’ tales may prove true some of the time, but they can’t be trusted. Belief in such practice in today’s day and age does nothing but halt the progress of science. I think what Dr. Thomas meant by this was science is slowly starting to take over society, especially the medical field, that it is about time the ‘traditional’ way of doing things was put to rest and allowed science take a toll on experimenting. Dr. Thomas spent majority of the novel trying to convince the women of Scots Bay that the best way to deliver their children was with medicine to relieve pain and special equipment, and that the way they have been doing it for generations was dangerous and illegal.

 

Among all these patterns, there are also many literary figures present. For one, Dora portrayed as the hero within the novel. She helped to take on Miss. B’s role of being a midwife after she left, and fought to keep the traditional ways of midwifery present and the modern obstetrics system from invading. Upon departing, Miss. B left Dora a note that included “They gonna need you, Dora. They need you. You gotta keep them safe” (McKay 166). Miss. B was making sure that Dora knew it was her responsibility to take on the role as the new midwife and fight to keep all the expectant mothers and babies safe, and out of high risk situations. She knew that it was up to Dora to keep Dr. Thomas away and to stop him influencing all of these women to undergo the modern way of delivering a child.

Unlike most heroes, the heroic and confident behaviors did not come naturally to Dora. Dora was guided and trained by Miss. B from the age of seventeen right up until her wedding day. She attended a couple of births before she was expected to tackle them all on her own. Even when Dora was expected to do it all on her own she was not as confident and wished to have Miss. B’s presence and talents with her at all times. Dora exclaimed “I wished that the moon she worshiped each night would come and put some Miss. B in me” (McKay 165). I think that Dora is scared that she won’t know what to do on her own, like most people would be when they given such a big responsibility without any warning. Although she does not initially have confidence or knowledge, Dora slowly gets there and gradually works her way up to being almost as good as Miss. B. Even though she did not originally start off as a hero, she gradually worked to become one.

Although Miss. B did not have any children of her own she represented the literary

motherly figure
A motherly figure nurturing a child, like Miss. Babineau does for most people of Scots Bay.

figure of a mother. Miss. B was known as the motherly figure throughout all of Scots Bay. Since she was poor often after women were done having children they disowned her for her witchcraft, but at one point or another everyone in the village relied on Miss. B. She birthed all the children of the village, and in many cases those children’s children. She only ever wanted these children to live happy and safe lives. She stated ” My house became the birth house… They all came to the house, wailing and keening their babies into the world… All I ever wanted was to keep them safe” (McKay ix-x). I think this quotation really helps to represent the person that Miss. B was, how kind, caring and generous she was, and how she really cared for the well-being of every person within the village; just like a mother would care for her children.

Archer Bigelow, a man who came off as lovely, as the story went on his true colours came through. Archer represents the literary figure of a trickster because at first he came off as the perfect man who every girl wanted to be with, the man Dora fell in love with, and then once they got married things changed and he started to abuse his wife. Dora explains “I knew little about my husband until I lay with him… soon there was nothing gentle left between us, nothing to stop him from forcing his sweaty, cruel body against mine” (McKay 172). Dora clearly means that she knows very little about her husband as it is, but as soon as he forces himself on her all of the things she thought to know about him slowly disappear. I think Dora was just a symbol of how many women felt during this era, as if they had no power and were belittled by their husbands.

McKay was very creative in her way of including literary theories to her novel because there were so many, however a lot of them had much deeper meaning than it appeared.

Works Cited

Traditional Midwives Are Midwives. Web. 12 July 2017.

“15 Facts About Domestic Violence.” RebelCircus.com. 24 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 July 2017.

Ami McKay (Author). “The Birth House: Ami McKay: 9780676977738: Books.” The Birth House: Ami McKay: 9780676977738: Books – Amazon.ca. Web. 12 July 2017.

“The Birth House.” The Birth House. Web. 12 July 2017.

Donnelly, Laura. “Doctors Are Not Needed at Births, Says NHS.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 03 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 July 2017.

McKay, Ami. The Birth House a Novel. Sherwood Park, AB: SCL, 2012. Print.

Reporter, Daily Mail. “Thanks Grandma! Human Longevity ‘down to Older Females Who Carried on Caring for Their Offspring’s Young Families’.” Mail Online. 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 12 July 2017.

Thawley, John. “Definition – Domestic Violence.” Domesticviolence.org. Web. 12 July 2017.

“A Tidal Power Lagoon in Nova Scotia’s Scott’s Bay?” EARTH SCIENCE SOCIETY. 14 May 2014. Web. 12 July 2017.

Should Grade 12 English Be A Requirement For University?

Admission Requirements
This picture symbolizes that a student needs a diploma and many other requirements in order to graduate and be accepted into a university.

As we know, all across Ontario a student requires 40 hours of community service, a pass on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), and a minimum of 30 credits in order to graduate high school. Of those 30 credits, there are certain courses that have to be taken in order to graduate, but some of these courses vary depending on the school. For example, a student must obtain three Math credits, one Art credit, one French credit, and four English credits, as well as a variety of other courses that are essential in order to receive your Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Not only do schools and departments of education set graduation requirements, but universities set admission requirements for certain programs. In order to get into universities all of a student’s courses must be at a university academic level. Grade 12 English is a requirement for all university programs, as it is a requirement to graduate and a student must obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma in order to get accepted into a university. However, the question stands as to whether or not Grade 12 English should be a requirement.

I believe grade 12 English should not be a requirement for admission into university for many reasons.

One of the reasons is that students are required to take and pass a literacy test which tests them on their grammar, spelling, reading, and ability to understand messages portrayed through a sight passage, in order to graduate. Students who pass the literacy test have already proved that they know how to read to obtain information and write with correct grammar and spelling. That being said, if students do not need to take grade 12 English I think that the literacy test should be taken at the end of grade 11 and contain more information on it, like different essay structures and new grammar techniques taught in the later years. This would become a test to prove that students have learned all of the essential English skills to get them through university. If students do not pass the literacy test in grade 11 instead of taking a literacy test course, grade 12 English would be required.

Another reason as to why grade 12 English should not be a requirement for university is

english-banner
This picture represents novels that students would read if they choose to go beyond high school and study English in university.

that most programs do not require students to take English in university anyways. Unless a student is going into an English field, such as journalism, creative writing or simply just being an English teacher, generally English is not needed. Most students choose to go into a field such as engineering, health care or law. With these career paths students are encouraged to put their main focus around the sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics), maths, and psychology based classes, as opposed to subjects that are not as directly linked with their future career.  Also, once being accepted to a university most students are required to do an assessment to make sure they are able to keep up with level of English needed in that program.

Using the knowledge obtained from Grade 11 English, students should be able to write an university paper to a high level of efficiency, therefore Grade 12 skills are not required. Papers in university generally are more focused around the structure and proper citation, which have been drilled into our heads since the very beginning of high school. The information within the paper does not require grade 12 English as it revolves around the knowledge learned within the university course, not the grade 12 English course. Having general knowledge of formatting a university student would be able to write a successful paper to the best of their ability without any extra knowledge that is generally learned in grade 12 English.

In grade 9 English we learned how to properly format an essay and properly cite our work which was essential in my later years as an English student. We used our knowledge from grade 9 in many other courses including English courses later down the

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This picture is the format of an essay that we have been taught how to do since the end of elementary school and beginning of high school. It is one of the basic tools to succeeding in English.

road. Albert Einstein once said “Education is what remains when one has forgotten what one learned in school” (Einstein).  Grade 9 acts as the base of education, the source that you can always come back to when you have forgotten how to do the more complex aspects of literature, as it is the basics to get you through the years to come. Grade 10 English we learned about different types of essays as well as many means of reflecting upon books we have read. Grade 11 English however, I found it extremely similar material to the information that we learned in grade 10 just with different books and different topics. I feel as though the course material of grade 12 English that is required for us to succeed later on in university and our careers could be combined with the material learned in grade 11, to save students from having to repeat course information in different level courses.

I have heard from majority of friends and family that grade 12 English in class involves a lot of public speaking in the form of presentations. Presentations are something that I strongly believe help to prepare you for your future. In many jobs, public speaking plays a huge role and if you are not a good public speaker your job can become very hard. Studies have shown that 43% of students have been choosing to take English online, which eliminates the presentation aspect of the course. I think that in the place of a grade 12 English course, students should be required to take a form of leadership course which allows them to be more comfortable with talking in front of people. I know personally that I struggle with public speaking and it is something that I wish to improve on.

My final point as to why I believe grade 12 English should not be an admission requirement for university is that I think that students should be focusing their attention to the subjects that have something to do with the career path they wish to take. By

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This image shows a child who clearly has no interest in reading the novel, therefore he is showing lack of concentration.

taking English, I know from experience, students tend to put all their time and effort into reading books and finishing massive projects in order to meet deadlines, when English might not be their strong interest. As a student who loves science and math, and wants to go into the health care field I would much rather put all of my time and effort into the sciences and maths that I know I will be taking in university to help me succeed in the career of my dreams. Dr. Maria Montessori is a physician and educator who was very well known. She once said “As soon as children find something that interests them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate” (Montessori). I think this quotation is very important when talking about the education of a child because it explains that when a child is not interested in learning about a topic they will lose all concentration, but when they find interest in a topic they will be more passionate about their work. So children who do not need English in university generally did not enjoy taking it in high school and they would lack concentration when taking the course in grade 12.

English does not serve as big of a purpose in modern day as it used to and grade 12 English should not be an admission requirement for students to get into university as students already require the skills to succeed in university without it, programs generally do not require an English course to be taken in university, and English courses could be condensed down into three years.

Works Cited

Bolkan06/24/13, Joshua. “Report: Students Taking Online Courses Jumps 96 Percent over 5 Years.” Campus Technology. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Bookicious – Great Book Collections for Founders and Makers.” Bookicious – Great Book Collections for Founders and Makers. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Co-op Experience Helping Create Highly Employable Graduates.” University of Windsor. 03 July 1970. Web. 05 July 2017.

Denvir, Daniel. “School: It’s Way More Boring than When You Were There.” Salon. Web. 05 July 2017.

Dogberry. “Advice on Essay Structure/paragraphs for Writing up Your Presentations on Ballads/other Poems.” Go For Gold. 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Quick Links Menus.” Graduate Program in English Our Literary Excellence Comments. Web. 05 July 2017.

“What Does a Student Need to Graduate from High School?” Settlement.Org | Information Newcomers Can Trust. Web. 05 July 2017.