It’s Sunrise, but Nobody Can Tell

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This poem is about SDGs of life on land, life below water, and responsible consumption and production. If we don’t act now, this poem could be our future.

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It’s sunrise, but nobody can tell,

The sunrays barely noticeable through the thick clouds,

The sky too dark to navigate through,

The plastic cartons, bottles, and kitchenware, decorating the streets like confetti,

Reminding you of the mess we created.

 

Dear future grandchildren,

Forgive me for your homes, almost concealed in plastic,

Forgive me for the air, what once was blue now grey,

What once was hazardous, now is typical,

From 50 to 1000, from what was our decent to yours,

Forgive me

 

Do you know the feeling of grass tickling your legs, like soft feathers?

Or the fragrance of flowers nearby?

Forgive me, you probably don’t. For you’re

Stuck in domes, and buildings all day,

Stuck with masks without anything to say.

For your flowers are candy out of a plastic bag,

Your grass is artificial

Forgive me

 

Forgive me for your daily trek to school, with

Plastic straws and wrappers coiling around your ankles like snakes,

The crisp crunch of a can as your foot pushes it even deeper into the mud,

The icky sludge of food and drinks sneaking their way into your shoes,

Making their way into the creases of your skin,

The dampness making your body cringe.

All while the straps of your mask hang around your ears,

Threatening to fall off.

 

You see a woman pass by

Boom, boom,

Her heart pounds louder and louder

As her breathing grows quicker and uneven,

An alarm rings in her ears,

She stumbles and collapses onto the ground.

Eventually, her breathing stabilizes,

“That was close”, she chokes out, wiping the sweat off her face.

She thinks she’s lucky, but let me tell you,

That was just the beginning

 

It’s sunrise again,

You look up into the sky.

The thick clouds once again hover over you,

Like a predator ready to pounce

However, this time, something is different,

Through the thick clouds, there’s one little beam of light,

Just barely showing through.

But that’s enough to tell you, there is still hope.

You can still make your home a clean, safe, and enjoyable place,

If you just open your eyes a little and strive.

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Photo Citation:
Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor @Rob_Merrick. “MPs Criticise Three Month Delay since Government Pledged to Tackle Plastics Pollution.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 22 Feb. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/plastic-pollution-budget-charges-philip-hammond-chancellor-disposable-coffee-cup-mary-creagh-a8221971.html.
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The Path of all the Wrath

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Choose Your Own Path

You know that feeling when you visit your grandparents and you’re filled with warmth and happiness? What if I told you that in the past, people in Japan had to abandon and let the elderly die, just because they were thought as useless and weak. In the short story “The Aged Mother”, by Matsuo Basho, the dynamic character starts off hesitant, but finally learns that what he believes in should come first, no matter what the circumstances.

At first, the poor farmer, the protagonist, starts off obedient to his leader, though heartbroken. For example, when the cruel proclamation of abandoning the elderly was announced, it said, “No one ever thought twice about obeying the mandate of the governor, so with many deep and hopeless sighs, the youth prepared for what at that time was considered the kindest mode of death” (Basho 1). Throughout the story, you can see the farmer’s regretfulness presented again and again, yet he continues to go along with the rules. Like when he referred to the journey up the mountain as painful, when his mother was a burden to be carried, and when he felt heart sick. This shows that though the farmer loved his mother dearly, he didn’t dare face the consequences of disobeying his leader. At the resolution, affected by an act of kindness, the farmer becomes aware that he should choose what’s right, and face the consequences if he needs to: “‘Alas! Alas!’… ‘the truth must be told!’ and with deep bows he related his story” (Basho 2). The farmer was finally brave enough to tell the truth and face his consequences. Before, he followed the rules even though it hurt him to do so. He put the rules before himself. However, after being affected by his mother’s act of kindness, he realized that he should be putting himself and his family before the rules.

The protagonist starts off conflicted between his mother and the government and chooses what makes the government happy. Later, realizing how kind and thoughtful his mother is, he chooses what makes him happy. This teaches us then when faced with the decision of following the rules and what’s right, always choose what’s right.

Photo Citation:

“Life Quote | Don’t Let Other People Choose Your Path for You. Deep down You Know the Right Way to Go, so Do the Right Thing and Follow Your Hea… | Mood | Pinterest | Quotes, Life Quotes and Inspirational Quotes.” Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/100486635417599083/?lp=true.

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A Midsummer Night’s Nightmare

This magazine cover is about the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare and focuses on the characteristics of Hermia. The cover talks about what Helena thinks of Hermia and how Hermia is determined, loyal, and can be too trusting. I used the thought bubble for one of the sections because I feel like Hermia is always talking about true love and that text is something that Hermia strongly believes in. Also, because my background is blue, I made all the subtitles orange to contrast to the blue and pop to make it easy for the reader to read.

 

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TIME to Pay the Price

Have you ever regretted something in the past? Daydreamed about what could’ve happened if you just changed one thing? In The Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, Eckels learns that small actions lead to big consequences.

While in the past, Travis describes to Eckels, the protagonist, the results of stepping on a mouse. When Travis explains why they can’t step off the Path, he says, “By stepping on one single mouse… [you] destroy this one man, and you destroy a race, a people, an entire history of life” (Bradbury 226). Throughout the story, you can see that the importance of staying on the Path is presented again and again. This shows that Travis is providing wise knowledge from his experience with time travel. Eckels is new to time traveling, so he doesn’t understand that one of his actions can cause an entire sequence of other events to occur. Another example of the theme of consequences can be seen during the climax when Eckels returns to present time. Eckels realizes the mistake he made by changing the past when he finds a dead butterfly stuck to the bottom of his boots: “Eckels mind [whirls]. ‘It couldn’t change things. Killing one butterfly couldn’t be that important! Could it?’” (Bradbury 236). You will notice that in the story, the idea of changing the future comes up a lot and is highly frowned upon. Eckels, the hunter that chickens out at the last moment, makes a careless mistake and steps off the Path. This leads him to unknowingly step on a butterfly and change the future. Here, Eckels learns that he has to pay the price for his carelessness. Bradbury symbolizes small actions leading to big consequences in the story by using phrases and sentences over and over again to foreshadow the theme. Consequences occur in the story frequently from actions done in the past.

Photo Citation: “Butterfly of Doom.” TV Tropes, tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ButterflyOfDoom.

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I’m a Humanist Minus 10%

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Choose, or Lose

Did you know there’s an old Chinese tradition where daughters feed their flesh to their elders? In the short story “The Scar”, from The Joy Luck Club by Amy TanNuyer, the daughter of the strict Popo, is a loving woman, but a disgrace in the eyes of her family.

Though Nuyer, the protagonist’s mother, doesn’t spend much time with her family, we know she is a very loving woman who cares for the people close to her. When Nuyer went to feel her daughters scar, memories came back, and Nuyer “began to cry, wrapping her hands around her own neck. She cried with a wailing voice that was so sad” (Tan 3). This clearly shows Nuyer felt guilty for the harm she’d caused to the people important to her, and now that she’s back to her family, she can finally step back into her role as a mother. On the other hand, though we can see Nuyer has a good heart, her family members don’t see her the same way. Nuyer is a disgrace in the eyes of her family: “A thoughtless woman who [laughs] and [shakes] her head… happy to be free of Popo, her unhappy husband on the wall, and her two disobedient children” (Tan 2). This is because Nuyer, as a widow, abandoned her family for another man, and became a traitor to her ancestors. Her family takes offense to her actions and choices and no longer respect her. They now see her as a different person. Towards the resolution of the story, Nuyer realizes that if she really wants to show her family she truly cares about them, she needs to be more apparent in her actions towards them.

Photo Citation: Nedesem. “Every God Needs Sacrifice.” Memecenter, www.memecenter.com/fun/3285965/every-god-needs-sacrifice.

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Passion on Thin String


The found poem above was taken from page four of the short story “The Bass the River and Sheila Mant by W.D Wetherell.  This poem showcases a man versus self conflict between the narrator, the protagonist, and his two antagonists, the bass and himself. At the climax of the story, as the scene plays out, the narrator is having a hard time choosing between the girl he loves on the most important date of his life, and his biggest passion, the largest fish he’s ever caught. In this paragraph, the narrator struggles to make the right decision. Should he let go of the fish, and have the girl, or should he keep the fish, and take pride in one of the things he most enjoys? The narrator ends up choosing the girl. This shows that when conflict occurs, the character is forced to make a decision. Otherwise, they’ll lose both of the things he or she is conflicted about. In this story, the narrator doesn’t want to lose the girl or the fish, so he chose the girl who held his heart. Luckily, later in the story, the narrator no longer felt conflicted about his passions and girls, because he learned his lesson from his mistake before.

 

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Weigh to Pay

Some of the problems we face with food production is the fact that we aren’t producing enough sustainable foods, and we’re wasting our food. I think the most important problem to address is food waste. If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the U.S. I learned from pitching my idea and watching it change that feedback is very important, and it’s also very important to get other viewpoints. For example, we learned to try to not only put the blame on the producers and chefs that we’re wasting food, but also to show that the person eating is responsible as well. Basically, we learned different strategies to make the audience more interested and concerned. Hopefully, fifty years from now we are eating more sustainable foods like specific insects and plants, and we will have less waste and more people eating. If not, I think the world in fifty years will have many people hungry, starving, and famines.

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Which is Better? Chengdu or Datong?

Phoenix Project

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