Death of Marie Antoinette

I may not have won against Marie Antoinette in court the first time, but I succeeded in stirring up enough drama to bring attention to her reckless behaviour. This time she has been convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason. The Revolutionary Tribunal is a jury composed of a public prosecutor, and two substitutes, all nominated by the Convention; and from its judgments there was no appeal. They terrorized not only royalists, but all counter-revolution citizens. More importantly they put an end to Marie Antoinette. On October 16, 1793 she was executed by guillotine on Place de la Revolution.

To backtrack a little bit, earlier in October 1793, Marie Antoinette pleaded guilty of the three main charges against her: depletion of the national treasury, conspiracy against the internal and external security of the State, intelligence with the enemy. Neither her nor her lawyers expected the outcome of the trail to be execution, but I saw it from the start. The Revolutionary Tribunal share my views on the royalists and realize letting them live after their acts could give them the impression that their behaviour was okay and not very severe. This prompts repetition of the same acts, conflicts, and corrupt government.

In her last moments they she was seated in an open cart dressed in a white dress, white being the colour worn by widowed queens of France. The guards cut her hair short and bound her hands painfully behind her pack. She, unlike her husband, was not given the treatment of royalty, but the treatment of a criminal which is what she deserved. With moments to live, her last words were “Pardon me, sir, I meant not to do it”, to the executioner, whose foot she had accidentally stepped on after climbing to the scaffold. Her body was then discarded in an unmarked grave in a graveyard that was shut down the following year. I may not have been alive as a spectator, but I watched and cheered from above. Justice has been served.


 

Still confused about my hatred towards Marie Antoinette, read my memoirs: Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 9.32.41 AM

https://archive.org/details/MemoirsOfTheCountessDeValoisDeLaMotteContainingACompleat

I was victimized and thrown into the role of the criminal when all I demanded was justice and equality between us women. Marie Antoinette was the cause of my death and for that I will never forgive her.

Solo Routine, In-Depth Post #7

To end off In-Depth 2016 with a bang, here is an extra bonus post featuring my filmed solo routine to ‘Dirty Mind’ by Flo Rida. This has been a long time in the making, and I am so thankful for this whole experience. I am very excited to continue to pursue hip-hop in the future and see where this journey takes me. I hope you enjoy!

Please note that the quality of the video is a bit poor due to my camera quality, but unfortunately there was nothing I could do about it. Hopefully it isn’t to much of a distraction.

Death of Jeanne de la Motte

Staring out my hotel room window, I can’t believe how much has happened since I gained possession of the diamond necklace. I never even imagined this could happen in all my possible scenarios. The necklace was suppose to be the key to my freedom, not to my captivity.

When it came time to pay for the necklace I presented the notes from “Marie Antoinette”, but these Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.46 AMproved insufficient. Soon after, the King and Queen were notified and things escalated beyond repair. Rohan was arrested and taken to the Bastille, along with the prostitute Nicole Leguay, Rétaux de Villette, and Count Cagliostro, though it is unclear whether he was involved in the case of not. Later, the King and Queen insisted upon a public trial to defend their honour. As a result, it destroyed the reputation of the Queen, because the public saw her as the guilty party. Sides began to form and I knew stories would unravel. The court found me guilty and sentenced to be whipped, branded and imprisoned. I was condemned to prison for life in the Salpêtrière, but escaped disguised as a boy to make my way to London where, in 1789,Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.12.37 AM I published my memoirs entitled Memoires Justificatifs de La Comtesse de Valois de La Motte. In doing this I appealed to the publics sympathy and attempted to justify my actions while casting blame upon my chief victim, Marie Antoinette.

To this day I still haven’t seen my husband again, nor have I lived the life of freedom I so rightly deserved. I hope the monarchy will rot in hell. I’ve lost blood shed and tears to this cause for this and I now only have one eye. The people are after me, more groups than one, my time is up. I feel myself falling through the sky, the wind rushing through my hair. The hard slap of the cold grey cement is all I remember before things went black.

The date August 23, 1791 now marks the day the thief, rebel, French adventuress, milkmaid, and many other titles, Jeanne de la motte, died.

La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne

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This picture engraved by John Goldar, illustrated by Robert Dodd, and published by J. Bew showcases how much planning and deception was required to achieve my goal of gaining possession to the Diamond Necklace intended for Madame Du Barry and later Marie Antoinette. Alongside Marianne, I disguised myself as a peasant to travel on foot to deliver letters from “Marie Antoinette”. As her fake go between, I required the proper attire to remain desecrate and unsuspicious to people who were both involved and not involved in the operation. As a peasant I appear like the majority of the country. And in doing this I help solidify points made against the monarchy proving the growing power disparity, while also not involving myself personally. Dressing in any other manner could pin me as a radical, or worse, someone who is affiliated with the monarchy. I don’t need any unnecessary setbacks.

During this time period my operation is minute in comparison to those rallying to overthrow the monarchy. The Jacobins are attempting to overthrow the monarchy and in replacement create the Republic. The Club is growing into a nationwide republican movement, with a membership estimated at a half million or more. I have faith that this will solve many issues; however, they promise to deliver unrealistic gains much like the monarchy, which could result in a different yet equally poor government. Given the current development of the country and everyones focus on a new government, I have chosen to instead pursue my own operation, as seen in the picture above. A revolution is coming, and I intend to be rich when it ends. Therefore, I have set myself up for the position of the benefactor of this uprising and not a losing bystander.


Image Source:  Goldar, John, Dodd, Robert. La Comtesse de Valois de la Motte et Marianne déguisées en paysannes, voyageant à pied, près de Provins en Champagne : [estampe], le 7 juin 1790. 1 est. : eau-forte, burin ; 18,5 x 10,5 cm (f.) Notice et cote du catalogue de la Bibliothèque nationale de France [London]. http://purl.stanford.edu/tt151rr8394. (accessed 2016-05-06).

Diamond Necklace Affair

My plan is almost complete. I have almost succeeded in getting the one thing my family only dreamt of. Riches. Many have labelled me as a thief, but I prefer to see it as taking back what should have been mine in the first place. For weeks I have been writing for Louis René Édouard de Rohan under the name of Marie Antoinette. When he requested to meet I set him up on a midnight date with a prostitute named Nicole le Guay d’Oliva. She was the spitting image of the queen. Rohan bought all of it, the romance, the secrecy, and the undeniable connection he thought he had with the queen. When it came time to write my final letter, I asked for a favour. I spent hours rephrasing the letter until it was perfect. This determined the success of my plan.

Louis René Édouard de Rohan,

I do hope we can meet again. I miss the touch of your hand as it caresses the back of my neck and I miss the soft touch of your lips against my forehead. My lips are forever sealed about our secret relationship. I will take every measure to make sure I can continue to write to you. I hope that you will do the same for me. To prove your love, I wondered if you would do me a favour. As you may know, the King generously offered me a special gift, a diamond necklace made by Parisian jewelers Boehmer and Bassenge. I could not accept because to purchase such an expensive item publicly would ruin my reputation due to the current dismal financial situation of our country. However, if you would act as my secret intermediary that would make me ever so happy. And to think, if it came from you it would be that much more special. Please give the necklace to Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Remy in a closed package. I do not wish to inform her of our plans, only of our love.

Marie Antoinette de France

That was the final letter I wrote to Louis de Rohan. His love for the queen blinded him from the truth, making my plan that much easier. He willingly did anything to please “the queen”, running around like a lost puppy looking for someone to give him affection. I knew could provide that, and boy was it easy. The necklace is now in my husbands hands. All the jewels are to be sold individually throughout Paris and London. Once every last one of them is sold, the monarchy wont be able to trace their debt back to us and I can finally live extravagant lifestyle I have dreamt of since I was a little girl. Money is freedom and the monarchy are about to learn how the rest of us have survived without it.

I feel no guilt using Marie Antoinette’s name to manipulate Louis de Rohan. I spent my whole life neglected, barefoot, and forced to beg for food while the monarchs thrived. One wave of a finger and they could have anything they pleased. But when I came knocking I was turned away and shunned. I thought if I approached Marie, being a woman, she would be more sympathetic to my plight. I was wrong. Some argued that Louis VXI did eventually grant me a small pension, but it wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart nor his care for the country, it was his obligation to me due to my royal blood. My father was the illegitimate son of King Henry II, and Nicole de Savigny. Thats when I realized they felt no sympathy towards my situation, they don’t care about the country’s well-being, they care about making decisions that benefit the monarchy. I on the hand care about making decisions that benefit myself and my husband and if that requires deception and lies, so be it. It’s time they get a taste of their own medicine.

Confident, In-Depth Post #5

After many weeks of anticipation it is finally time to reveal the completed dance to Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’ choreographed by Bev Soh. Together, Anne, Alyssa, Mira, and myself have been attending dance lessons every Tuesday from 5:30pm-6:30pm for five weeks, as well as an extra filming session to produce this music video. Each week we learnt a 20 second interval incorporating many of the moves I have documented in the past four posts. As far as my first ever dance goes, I would say mission accomplished.

I would like to thank Mika Backus for providing me with this learning opportunity. This class exposed me to the basics of hip-hop in a safe and welcoming environment. In terms of other learning opportunities, she has let me take the lead in most of our lessons together to help me learn the moves I am more interested in and take this project in the direction I wish to meet my ultimate goal. This is a very huge learning opportunity because I have had the chance to learn anything I pleased and she is ready and there to teach me as my mentor. With that in mind, this also allows for accelerated learning, as I can direct the pace we go at in each lesson and slow down/speed up depending on the situation that day. She has also sent me many YouTube videos to view before our lesson to use our time more effectively and speed up the learning process. When it comes to reinforcing new learning, Mika has consistently started our lessons by reviewing what we learnt at Room to Move (Confident choreography) and reviewing the moves that we learnt at our previous lesson for my solo routine. She has also taken on Alyssa and Anne periodically to give us the opportunity to learn and grow as a group.

Mika and I knew each other before the project, so when we meet we talk about almost anything under the sun. Our main topic being hip-hop of course. We discuss dance moves, pre-choreographed routines, my routine, Bev’s choreography etc. She explains the steps of each move in slow motion, as well as demonstrats to the beat of the music, so I can immerse myself in the move when trying it. Dance aside, Mika and I love bonding over Starbucks, or coffee in general for that matter. We have discussed the new spring drinks, old spring drinks we have missed, and upcoming sales/deals. This provided us a common ground to bond with each other and build our relationship. Having known her before, we also frequently discuss other school events/drama/projects, so we can plan our lessons accordingly. Mika does a very good job taking into account my stress level and schedule and has consistently remained available for me whenever I have time.

In the mentoring relationship there are many more pros than cons at this point. During the first few lessons, Mika and I struggled to balance pacing, but we have now reached a consensus and developed a regular routine when we meet. Working through our conflicting work styles has definitely benefitted our relationship and made us closer as a mentor and mentee. We have a very open relationship, and I feel comfortable asking Mika anything. There is never any awkward silences or break in conversation. I believe this is due to our trust and faith in each other. I am very thankful to have found a mentor that I share such a god bond with.

I have learnt a lot about Mika over the past couple months. For instance, her favourite Starbucks drink is a Vanilla Latte. Aside from that, I have learnt that she is very passionate about salsa. Of all the dance styles that one is by far her favourite. She also loves giving back to her community and volunteering for various different events as she is very social and loves meeting new people. In return, she has learnt about my hobbies (eg. curling) and favourite Starbucks drinks. I am confident we will keep this bond after this project and I now feel very welcome when I am around her. Can’t wait to see whats next!

Everything Begins with an Idea, Document of Learning #1

PERSONAL NARRATIVES
Last year our class focused mainly on the development of Canada from different hierarchical standpoints. We discussed the Confederation, the underground railway, the westward expansion, the conflict with Canadian First Nations, Canada’s economy, etc. Throughout the semester I played the role of Mary Ann Shadd, an African-Canadian anti-slavery activist. I watched Canada develop from the viewpoint of a minority group fighting for freedom. It was interesting seeing events and situation from a different viewpoint than my classmates. It made for very interesting and engaging debates that I would like to continue over into this semester when discussing the English Civil War, the French Revolution, etc.

This semester I hope to explore the development of other societies and nations outside Canada, as well as the interactions between various communities and individuals. I would like to further analyze situations and their effects on the development of societies and their people. Everything has a ripple effect, and I would like to delve deeper into what would or wouldn’t have been.

In my mid-term last year my main goal was to engage and participate more in class discussions. While I do feel I have made progress, I do not feel I have fully met this goal and I would like to carry it over into our discussions and role play this year. After reviewing the Core Competencies I realized this connects directly to the Communication Competency. It states, “I can take leadership in a discussion or collaboration, and focus on collective results. […] I offer detailed analysis, using specific terminology, of my progress, work and goals.” In this past week I feel that I have made great strides to attaining this goal through participation and the sharing of my ideas and opinions on the chapter discussed.

The Communication Competency also includes four main facets: connect and engage with others; acquire, interpret and present information; collaborate to plan, carry out, and review constructions and activities; and explain/recount and reflect on experiences and accomplishments. I would like to focus on interpreting and presenting information and explaining/recounting and reflecting on experiences and accomplishments. With these specific goals in mind, I hope to apply them throughout the semester while analyzing the development, interactions, and ripple effects of the societies discussed in Social Studies 9.


BIG IDEAS
In terms of the four big ideas in Social Studies 9, the one that stood out most to me was: “Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.” This has already come up a lot in the past week during our discussions about Columbus and the relationship between the Europeans and the Natives. I believe the upbringings, power, and religious beliefs lead the two societies to treat the other with the respect they thought they deserved. By this I mean, upon the arrival of Columbus’ ship “the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts.” 1 However, Columbus’ first thought was “They would make fine servants…” 1 One commonality was that they both justified their actions based off their religion and what they were taught to believe. Columbus grew up in a patriarchal society, which does not excuse his actions, but shows an example of how the difference in power balance within their societies led to an unhealthy relationship between the Arawaks and Columbus’ crew.

As the semester continues I hope to explore this idea further. More specifically, I would like to analyze how power balance has affected other interactions between societies in both current and historical times, as well as how it influenced decisions and the making of countries, borders, etc.


CURRICULAR COMPETENCIES/QUESTIONS
In an attempt to explore my chosen big idea and implement the facets of the Communication Competency mentioned above, I have come up with a list of questions pertaining to chapter 1 of ‘A people’s History of the United States’.

  1. Had the Arawaks and Columbus’ crew had equal power how might the situation have played out?
  2. Had Columbus been born and raised as an Arawak, would he think differently? How have his societies morals/power influenced his decisions and mindset?
  3. Why was Columbus’ first instinct to utilize his power over the natives for his own selfish benefits? Why not choose to use it to come to a peaceful compromise? Was it how he was raised or who he was?
  4. Can access to too much power take away a persons humanity? If so, how much is to much?
  5. What drives a human’s need for power?

I hope to discuss these questions further as a class, as well as apply some of the broader questions to other topics down the road. I think that they do not only apply to the Communication Competency, but more directly relate to Critical Thinking Competency. It states, “I can examine evidence from various perspectives to analyze and make well-supported judgements and interpretations about complex issues.” While this is not my main goal for the semester, I hope to continue to apply the facets of the Critical Thinking Competency to better succeed in meeting my goals within the Communication Competency. With better thinking comes better communication.


Overall, this past week has gotten me very excited for socials this semester and intrigued about the discussions to come.

1.Zinn, Howard. “Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress.” A People’s History of the United States: 1492-2001. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 1. Print.

First Dance Lesson, In-Depth Post #2

On February 2, 2016 I attended my first dance lesson since my tiny tots ballet classes at the age of three. Let’s just say, ballet didn’t stick. Hip hop on the other hand was a whole new world. It was nothing like ballet. There is a much greater focus on attitude and much smaller focus on technique and perfect posture.

When I arrived at my lesson on Tuesday night I had no idea what to expect. I approached the door alongside Anne excited about the new opportunities. The moment I walked through the door the dance instructor, Bev Soh, took one look at me and said “I’ve taught you!” After some discussion of where we could have met we realized she had been a substitute teacher for Mr.Beveridge when I was in the MACC class at Kwayhquitlum Middle School. On top of that she also taught the dance unit to my PE 7 class. While you might not think it, this gave me a great sense of welcoming and comfort in the environment that only grew as the night went on. Bev maintained a very open and supportive environment in her class. She 12669291_526694584176588_951299010_otaught the moves while keeping everyone comfortable and included throughout the whole night. Even though Bev is not my “mentor” I do feel I have learnt a great deal from her as a leader. Some of her main strategies included, taking initiative, engaging with each of her students (getting to know each one on a more personal level, and using humour to keep a positive mood.


In terms of new dance moves, I have learnt a total of 5 new moves. These include:

  1. Body roll
  2. Shoulder shrugs
  3. Hip thrusts
  4. Hip ball change
  5. Slide and step

The following day I was able to meet up with my official mentor Mika Backus who also takes hip hop lessons from Bev at Room to Move Dance and Fitness Studio. Below is one of her group routines from the ‘Music video Hip-Hop’ class at Room to Move Dance Studio. Mika is second from the left and Bev is third from the left.

Before that, she took lessons from an array of different studios that specified in different dance styles. These studios include, Caulfield School of Dance, Coastal Edge Dance Centre, Prism Dance Centre, and Tri-City School of Dance, specializing in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, can-can, salsa, chacha, and more. She has been dancing for over 20 years on top of her full time job as a paralegal assistant, wife, and a mother of two. Since she was little she always had a passion for dance, but her mom forced her into piano instead so she did not get the opportunity pursue dance as a serious hobby till much later in her life. During our lesson she said, “When I joined dance, I loved it instantly. It felt so natural.”

In a matter of one week, I feel like I have gained a great deal of new skills from Mika as a dancer. One note that we both noticed from my lesson on Tuesday was that I was very stiff, but I feel that in just one hour Mika was able to help me improve drastically. She helped me become more comfortable in my skin and let loose to improve my attitude for our first routine choreographed by Bev Soh to the song Confident by Demi Lovato (the final dance will be posted at the end of our 5 week course). I am very excited to demonstrate my new skills at our next lesson.

On top of that, Mika demonstrated a lot of qualities of a good leader/mentor. I noticed that she planned her lessons around what I wanted to learn and my personal goals for the project. She created a very free environment where I could pitch ideas and ask questions as an equal rather than someone of a lower standing. I very much appreciate when adults talk to/treat me as an equal and create an environment where I feel comfortable to have a real conversation as appose to the awkward back and forth that can happen between adults and kids/teenagers. Mika also helped me evaluate my own progress by filming me at the end of our lesson so we could watch and reflect on what looked good vs. what I needed to improve on.

For future endeavours as a leader I hope to take away many of the skills both Mika and Bev used in their teaching styles; including, taking initiative, using humour and warmth to create a welcome environment, engaging with my mentee (taking into account their opinions), and treating the mentee as an equal. I also hope to take videos after all my sessions to log my improvement in the course and note what needs to be improved for the following weeks to come. Overall, I am very glad I chose this project and very fortunate to have such wonderful mentors guiding me through this process.

Some Lives Are Prettier Than Others: A Historical Life

Hi, my name is Mary and at the age of 8 years old, I was a very adventurous little girl to say the least. My dad being a senator, I didn’t have to worry about much. At the time, I was very oblivious to the dangers of the world around me. I thought we were all the same. That everyone lived in the same worn brown or beige houses, with loving parents, and food on the table at meal time. Not rich, but happy. Maybe that’s why I felt safe jumping over the fence that day. I remember when I was jumping down I tore a small hole near the hem of my dress. Through the hole, I could see a small drip of blood where the wood had pricked me. I felt the sudden urge to turn back, but I wasn’t sure I would get to come outside again if I ran back. That was when I noticed what resembled the remains of a path leading into a field. The field appear to continue as far as the eye could see, overgrown with grass that went past my thigh. At the very end of the field was one lonely tree. Its trunk larger than my house. When I finally reached it I looked around the back and saw an opening. It was hollow. It almost seemed like fate that I should come upon the perfect spot to play and hide out from my parents. I never knew it would become so much more.

Every day for the next year I retreated out in my trunk as if it was my home, and never once did I forget to run back home moments before dinner so my mother would find me in our backyard where I was suppose to be. On May 21, exactly one year and one day after I had found my trunk hideout, another boy showed up. He was tall and lanky, and his clothes looked worn. He said his name was Michael. That was the day the world changed for me. I offered him a seat beside me squashed away together in the depths of my no longer secret hiding space. He proceeded to tell me his story sharing how he had been a slave for a family of rich white folks down in Michigan. He was served one meal a day, that sized to approximately one third of what I got three times a day. And if he didn’t follow the orders of the day he would be beaten, starved, and shoved in a cellar for the night until the next morning when he could restart another day in hell. His parents unfortunately were too scared to run. Cowards, he called them. And so, he was forced to run away along the underground railroad of his own. He didn’t mention much about his journey, but I didn’t feel I had the right to ask. At this moment, I knew our world wasn’t all happiness and riches like I was raised to believe. There was another half where evil was encouraged. That kept a strict hierarchy of whites on top and blacks on the bottom. In the heat of the moment, the only plan I could come up with to help Michael was to run with him. My parents would never let him into our household, let alone past the entry gate that lead to our front lawn. I took his hand and we ran. Not knowing where we would go, or what we were even looking for, we were stuck on this journey together.

Every day was the same: walking down back alleys hiding behind trees and buildings and staying out of the public eye. We normally ate the scraps of food thrown out by the towns people. I had lost a lot of weight since being on the run, and at the age of 9 I found it hard to hang on some days. I’d fainted on a weekly basis, but Michael was always there to take care of me. He acted like the big brother I had always dreamed of having. And sometimes being. A couple days into the trip he told he was 12 years old. Only 3 years older than myself. After 28 days of hiding and walking looking for an abandoned home to sleep in, we came across a lonely cottage owned by an old aboriginal lady. She appeared to be around 60 years old. I wasn’t sure how she would react having two scrawny kids walk up to her front porch asking for a home, but I was out of options. I stepped slowly towards her and held out my hand to greet her, just like my father taught me. I still miss my parents, and some days I think about running home, but then I remember the reason I left and it’s what keeps me going. The lady doesn’t return my handshake, but she doesn’t appear mad either. After a moment of silence, she invites us inside. We sit for a while waiting for the lady to come back. When she finally returned she didn’t even ask what our story was, she simply offered us a home in exchange for an extra hand maintaining the property. Tentatively, Michael and I nodded in agreement. We made our way down the hall to the cramped bedroom we would be sharing for the time being. It had a single bed that we agreed to swap each night. The next couple days were an adjusting period for us. The lady still hadn’t told us her name or anything about herself for that matter. And we stayed careful not to cross our boundaries. We did what we were asked when we were asked, and stayed cooped up in our room to during our spare time. It was here that I suddenly became aware of how lonely I had gotten since leaving home. Here where I noticed how little I knew about myself, let alone the people I was now sharing a house with. I began to stay up later and later each night. Michael started to notice my change in mood as the nights went on and he comforted me. Instead of swapping between who had the bed, it became something we shared. I began to trust him.

One night I decided to confess to him what had really been troubling me. I felt like I wasn’t meant to be a girl, I felt like we were brothers, and I wanted someone to understand what my mind was going through. It wasn’t that I wished to be a boy, it was that I already knew I was one, just trapped in the wrong body. When I saw my reflection in the window at night I saw the beautiful little girl that the world perceived me to be. But to myself, everything they called beauty, I saw as flaws. I hated the body I was given, with long hair, and girlish attributes. I was hitting puberty and it upset me. Im not sure what the word is for people like me, but I intended on keeping this part of me locked up. A secret only myself and Michael could know about.

It was my 16th birthday, looking out at the sky from the same tiny room I shared with Michael for seven years now. As a gift we had been given a second mattress that we laid on the opposite side of the room. The only floor space left was a small aisle in between the bed and the mattress, not that it made a difference with the increase in chores we have been doing since we were old enough to do more brunt work. Before getting up I look at my reflection in the fogged up window. Ever since I was little I always wanted to know what it would be like to have short hair like Michael. To wake up and brush it once into perfection. So, as my birthday present to myself I finally took out my old house key that I had saved on a chain and slowly cut my hair, watching it as it fell to the floor. My hair looked choppy and slightly messy, but it was short and something about that made me tingle inside. It made me happy. When Michael saw me he didn’t look shocked or even confused. He knew exactly why I did what I did and he never questioned it. My hair was the one thing I had control over and that gave me a sense of empowerment. Things in my life were finally at a high and I wasn’t ready to have them coming crashing down. Not for a while at least. The lady, who I had come to know as Martha had once had a daughter of her own. She ran away the same as I did, and so she took us in the same way she would expect another to do for her daughter. We filled a hole in her heart, and she filled one in ours.

Since day one I had been writing letters of things I might say if I ever got the chance to speak on behalf of black slavery and on behalf of Michael. I slid each letter in a slit cut under the mattress on the bed. The letters were the one secret I still kept from Michael. I intend on leaving one at the foot of every family’s door as until I run out in hopes of someone taking the time to read the letter. Some day, somehow, we as a community can right our wrongs, starting with ethnical equality. It’s my way of paying him back for all his support over the years. I don’t know if I would be here without him. That night, when Michael fell asleep I snuck out our window and ran down the road stopping at every house, as I had vowed to do since I met him in my tree trunk hide-out. What seemed like hours later, the sun started to rise and I had delivered almost 900 letters. With the morning sun now above, I knew it was time to run home. That’s when it occurred to me I didn’t know my way back. It was dark when I left and I didn’t leave myself a trail. At this point I decided to continue delivering every single letter walking up and down long beaten paths to reach every last door. My last stop was my own house. I hadn’t seen my parents in years and I wasn’t sure they would even recognise me anymore. As I placed the letter down directly in front of the door I heard a creak. My mother stood before me. A glimpse of recognition crossed her face as she picked up the letter. She read every last word before calling my father and showing it to him. He looked between my mother, my letter and myself and then he spoke. Words that I would have never expected. Looking me straight in the eye, he said, “You left our home, and with that you have left behind any welcome you once had.” He then proceeded to slam the door in my face.

The next night was miserable. I had lost my family and there was no way for me to find my way back to my only friend. I had left Michael a note telling him where I was going, but strictly stated for him to never come looking for me. He would be better off that way. He’s living with someone he can trust and he has the support of at least 25% of our town. I’ve done all I can to help Michael. And with that I know I can leave. I can feel the depression is taking over and I can’t describe the hatred I have for myself and my physical appearance. The internal conflicts are tearing me apart, and I have no one left to guide me. I looked up at the tree above me and tugged on a vine that hung directly above my head. It felt sturdy, so I tied it around my neck. The pain taking away from all the confusion inside of me. And soon I felt nothing. Death was my remedy, and for once I was at peace.

Limitations Of Our Education System

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The cartoon above is an illustration of our current education system. We have created a system that has isolated ourselves from other cultures and their forms of expression and communication, both spoken and written. We have created very strict guild lines that do not permit other cultures to take their own routes and stray away from normality. UBC, PhD candidate Patrick Stewart wrote a 52,438 word architecture dissertation with no punctuation. He found himself an alternate route through a loophole in the many preset limitations in our education system. “There’s nothing in the (UBC dissertation) rules about formats or punctuation,” he insists. In the cartoon above he is leading others into the alternate route, an elevator, to higher education. It was his way of catching up to the non-natives. In an interview he said, “in my defense     my style of writing is not laziness or lack of knowledge of proper usage of the english language     it is a form of grammatical resistance as a deconstructionist   . . . the behavioural ethics board at the university of british columbia suggested that i hire an editor as it appeared that i did not know the english language     times though     they are changing”. He used his dissertation as a way to make a point about about aboriginal culture, colonialism, and “the blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia.” He took a risk that others never would have thought of and its something to admire and look up to. As a leader he stands to strive for more freedom in our paths to higher education and the forms in which we learn and express ourselves.