What makes or breaks a relationship?

Loyalty. The best partners, whether in stories, in real life, romantically or not, are always loyal. But when does loyalty turn into obsession and how does this affect relationships?

In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, four lovers defy the law to learn about love and friendship in the forest outside of Athens. By examining the relationships between Puck and Oberon as well as Helena and Demetrius, we can see that loyalty can both make and break a relationship.

Puck and Oberon, though a mischievous couple, have a good relationship because of the loyalty that Puck shows to Oberon. Puck is loyal to Oberon even though he asks him to do some crazy things. He always assures Oberon to “fear not, [because his] servant shall do [the task]” (2.1.268). Oberon asks Puck to ruin his marriage with Titania by making her fall in love with “some vile thing” (2.2.34). Most people would decline this because it would seem too personal, but Puck has no trouble obeying any order Oberon gives. He is ready to go around the world without question in search of a flower just to help Oberon get something he wants. Oberon is loyal to Puck too. Puck messes up pretty badly, but instead of getting somebody else to fix the mistakes, Oberon asks Puck to rectify his mistake. Oberon seems to have more than one assistant that could fix the mistake because during the play he also gets “a little changeling boy, to be [his] henchman” (2.1.121-22). All of this shows that Oberon has trust in Puck and is loyal to him too. Puck and Oberon’s relationship remains strong and healthy, a good example of what could be when two people are loyal to each other.

Even though loyalty is crucial in a relationship, too much of anything can kill you. In Helena and Demetrius’ relationship, Helena is far too loyal to Demetrius, even risking her life for him. Demetrius threatens to “run from [Helena] and hide [himself] in the brakes, and leave [her] to the mercy to the mercy of wild beasts,” but Helena refuses to leave him alone and continues to follow him (2.1.227-28). She even admits later that “for love [she followed Demetrius]” and in the woods he “threaten’d […] to kill [her]” (3.2.311,13). Helena follows Demetrius into a forest at night without knowing any directions or where to go. She follows him no matter what it could bring her. She stops caring about herself and lets her emotions overtake her. In the worst case scenario, Demetrius could really have left her alone in the forest to die. Helena’s loyalty would have made her relationship with Demetrius better if she had let him have some space, but in this case, it further separated them because Demetrius grew more and more annoyed of her.

All together, loyalty is a very important factor in a successful relationship, but it can distance you from others as well. Don’t let your feelings cloud your judgement, but always follow your heart. Remember that good relationships are easy to make, but they’re just as easy to break, so think about your actions and respect your partner. Following these tips, and others, can help you maintain positive connections for your whole life.

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In-Depth Post #4

In-depth has been going quite well! I’ve made good progress since my last post. I have just begun advertising for tutoring, so I am a tiny bit behind my planned schedule, but only by a few days. I have decided to tutor with my mentor’s company for In-Depth, and he has agreed that any new customers that contact the company within the next month will be mine to tutor (as long as I can tutor the subject they choose). I will be putting out posters around the neighborhood as soon as I can.

Unfortunately, my mentor and I haven’t met face to face very many times, though I have talked to him over the phone a lot. I wasn’t able to get any direct quotes as evidence but I have been listening well and have started asking lots of questions (as mentioned in the previous post as well). I ask for clarification and as a way to present new ideas and listen carefully to the information and tips my mentor gave me about my project.

An example to demonstrate my listening is when he explained what he was giving me and how I could use the papers. He gave me copies of posters for his company that I could hang around the community, business cards that I could give out if I meet anyone interested in person, as well a letter that explains the company (again for interested people that I meet in person). I had to listen to this carefully because he was giving me new information, and I’m glad I did, because I hadn’t thought of going out in person after school to advertise around middle and elementary schools before. This is an effective and quick way to gain customers because I can meet lots of people in the right age group and get the company’s information out there right away.

I have also been asking lots of questions. Like I mentioned above, my mentor gave me a poster that I could place around the community as advertisement for the company.

Updated poster

On the original poster, it said that tutoring would be from grades 6-12, however we had agreed earlier that I would tutor elementary grades as well. I asked him if I would be able to change the information to include lower grades, and how I should do it. He told me he would email me an updated copy to keep it looking professional (instead of me hand-writing over the current information) and he further explained explained how I could advertise. He told me that in the meantime I could go to middle schools and put posters up around there, because there wouldn’t be any students older than grade 8 there anyways. This simple question not only addressed my concern, it also helped me understand more about the task I had to do.

In our next meeting, I would like to continue to ask multiple choice questions and ask him what he thinks the best way to advertise is (and why). This would give me an insight into the values he has and I can then continue the conversation accordingly and my project with a deeper understanding.

In-Depth #3

It’s been weeks since the start of my first In-Depth and I’m going to start with a short update. This will be a long post because I will be responding to the last post’s task as well.

My mentor and I started meeting quite late and so far we’ve only met once, but we have our next meeting coming up in a few days. I had a small change in the direction I would like to take this project. I decided that I would like to learn more about tutoring rather than the making of a business. My mentor will still teach me a little about business, but he has invited me to work in his company as a volunteer. I will have to talk to him in more detail about this in our next meeting, but I think that this will be great for my project. I will be able to learn something and then apply it in a real situation.

So far, I’ve had lots to agree on with my mentor. Since we’ve only met once, I was mostly listening and learning about the things he said. I had no experience in what he was talking about, while he had a lot. I did ask questions if I didn’t fully understand what he was saying or if I thought that there could be a better option (choosing a type of business, etc.). However, he always answered the question clearly and I could see why that really was the better option.

This is why I haven’t disagreed with my mentor at all so far. Again, he has much more experience than I do so I’m am simply listening for now. Let’s say, however, that there came a situation that I did disagree with him. During the last meeting, we talked about where I would do the tutoring. He suggested that I do it at my house because it is easiest in his experience, but let’s say I thought that wouldn’t work. I would politely explain why I thought so (it would most likely have to do with the space in my house) and try to come to a new agreement with him.

I have, however, differed with him. In my first meeting, my mentor showed me how a business gets started and how to get it registered with the city. We really jumped into the process right away. I thought about this after the meeting and I decided that starting my own real business might not have been the best idea for me. I wasn’t sure how long I would continue this after the project was over and I decided I didn’t want to invest real money into it until I knew it was something I would definitely continue. I talked to my mentor about this change, and I politely told him that starting my own business wasn’t the best for me. He agreed and invited me to work with him instead of starting my own business. He and I differed in the direction of my project, though we came to an agreement very quickly after I talked to him about it. He understood my concerns and quickly offered a new idea.

During the meeting, I tried to be interesting to keep the conversation going. I made connections in the things he was saying and found ways to tie the conversation together. I expressed my understanding in the form of questions. I would make connections/inferences and ask him “is this correct” questions. This is still something that I will have to keep working on in future meetings. I will try to keep asking “what if” questions related to tutoring to keep our meetings interesting for both of us.

As I have mentioned above, I have been asking clarifying questions whenever I thought that I differed/disagreed with something and to extend the conversation. For example, he told me about choosing a name for my business and the importance of it. I asked him how he chose his name to gain a better understanding and to help me make my own choice. There have been other instances like this. I asked questions when I could and I think it gave me a clearer understanding of the conversation.

In my next meeting, my mentor and I will have lots to talk about and I will have lots of great opportunities to use De Bono’s strategies and tips to have a beautiful mind. I am excited for the next steps of my project!

Dear Theseus…

Dear Theseus,

I’m writing to you today to make my argument about why I should be the one to marry Hermia. Why me, you ask? Why am I a better man? First, I would like to clear any misconceptions about my love with Hermia. As you have mentioned previously, it is clear that Hermia has been bewitched to love Lysander, so I can only conclude that Helena has tricked me love her. Now, my mind is clear and I can see that it is Hermia that I truly love. I am not a man that would leave any woman I love. Next, I would be able to provide Hermia with the life she deserves. I do not marry Hermia for her money, I have plenty myself, I marry her for her love. Egeus chose me for a reason, and he is a man who knows what he says. I will save her life by marrying her, and if Lysander truly did love her, he would let her marry me so she could live her life to its fullest. Finally, not all marriages start with love, but they all end with it. There is a reason these arranged marriages work and why the Athenian Law exists. It works. There is absolutely no reason to go through any trouble to change laws and let Lysander marry Hermia. Let me marry Hermia. Let me give her what she really deserves.

Respectfully,

Demetrius

In-Depth #2

In the two weeks from my previous post, I think I have made pretty good progress. I’ve done research about starting a tutoring company, taken notes, and I’ve found my mentor. He is the owner of a tutoring company in Port Moody, so I think he will be able to help me very well. I have contacted him asking for his help and he replied, agreeing to work with me, but I haven’t been able to reach him to discuss details since then. He gave me his phone number in the first email, so I called him today. Unfortunately, he was busy, but he agreed to check his email and call me back tomorrow. I will talk to him about further specifics of the project and arrange a meeting day to begin working with him.

In the meantime, I will continue my research and keep working on my project. I look forward to meeting my mentor and I will post more details in the next post.

ZIP #5 – Final DOL

1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change over time? Why? 

My question is “To what extent does the point of view of a story affect the emotion it induces?” It has stayed almost the same from the very beginning. I explored which point of view is most effective, which is a bit of a side path from my original question. It is however still a part of my original question and helped me answer it in the end. I think I formulated my original question quite well and it was specific enough that I got straight into making my artifact/evidence to answer the question. I was drawn to this question because I wanted to do creative story writing and I wanted to find out what makes an effective short story. Simply asking “What makes an effective short story?” seemed too broad so I narrowed it down to a specific aspect of the story. 

2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student? 

I think I have become a better writer and I’ve improved on making more emotional stories. I did this through descriptive writing and good editing. Editing will be useful in any type of writing, not only creative/fictional. Overall, it also helped me with time management and taught me how the general process of completing any project works (how to plan, carry out, assess, then revise). All the skills I have mentioned will mainly benefit me in the writing area (again, not only creative), but I can also apply them to my other work.  

3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research. 

I’ve discovered that for my story, a third-person perspective worked better. This is because “The advantage of the third-person viewpoint is that the author can write from a broader perspective,” even though “the advantage of the first-person point of view is that you can immediately connect with the reader” (Weihardt, 2018). Writing in third-person omniscient was more descriptive and therefore made more sense and gave the reader a better feel for the story. I was able to describe the feelings of several characters and show some aspects of the story from different views. I really think it depends on the reader’s perception of the story, as everyone will read the story just a bit differently. As well, it didn’t make it more emotional specifically, but it let the reader understand and connect with the story more throughout. In short, the answer to my question is: The perspective of a story makes an impact on the clarity and detail, which in turn affects the emotion induced.  

4. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning/answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this. 

My final learning artifact is the two versions of the story that I wrote. My artifact is how I found the answer to my question. After writing the two versions of the story, I compared them and found my answer. My chosen core competencies were: 

-‘Explain how literary elements, techniques, and devices enhance and shape meaning.’ My learning related to this competency because I discovered how the point of view shapes meaning. Point of view could be considered a ‘literary element, technique, or device.’ My artifact is how I learned this and how I will demonstrate it. 

-‘Assess and refine texts to improve their clarity, effectiveness, and impact according to purpose, audience, and message.’ I have been assessing and refining from the very beginning. Even when I was planning, I went through several ideas, but I only wrote down the ones I thought were worth considering. 

I thought about each idea and chose the best one. Then, after writing my stories, I refined them and edited them to make them the best they could be. I did this based on the feeling/message I was trying to give. Since short stories are short, I tried to make each word meaningful and useful. 

-‘Recognize an increasing range of text structures and how they contribute to meaning.’ My story, as well as most creative writing, follows Freytag’s Pyramid as a structure. Here is my original plot-line: 

However, it is missing the last bit. I wanted to leave it on a cliffhanger-type note, without a true resolution. My story explores a variation to the Pyramid structure so that it leaves readers with an impactful ending. It was good for the type of story I was writing because I wanted to leave the ending a little up to the readers’ interpretation. 

5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 25-50 response as to was important to your learning). 

I referred to this page for writing tips and do’s and don’ts. It also helped me start writing and have a structured story. This was helpful for my artifact overall. 

This was a reminder of the different points of view and how they work best. It helped me pick the points of view I was going to write in and the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

This website went into more detail about each of the three different third-person perspectives. After I decided I wanted to write in first- and third-person, I had to choose which third-person. 

I wanted to write in the third-person omniscient to make sure I had the most contrast between stories. I haven’t written very much in third-person omniscient before, so this clearly outlined the mistakes that beginning authors make and how to avoid them, as well as other helpful writing tips. 

6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions? 

These are some of the new questions I have: 

  • What else contributed to the effectiveness of the story? (e.g. length, structure, etc.)
  • When I wrote the second story, I already knew exactly where the plot was going and all the little details. Did this affect the final product? 
  • How would writing the first-person version of the story from Mara’s perspective change the story? 
  • Since this is a short story, I didn’t include too much about the characters’ backstories. Would it make it better if I went into more detail about the death of their parents? 

These questions motivate me because I can see so many ways that I can take my learning further and keep improving the story and my writing overall. I might keep writing and improving the third-person story after ZIP.

In-Depth 2019 #1 (Introductory)

For my 2019 In-Depth project, I will be making my own tutoring “business”, advertising it, and then actually tutoring at least one student. I’m going to learn effective entrepreneurship techniques as well as teaching strategies. I’m very excited to learn these skills because I think they will help me in the future. I will be able to help people more effectively and express concepts in a clearer way. I also think that general entrepreneurship and marketing skills are good skills to have. 

I am currently still looking for my two mentors. I will need two because I will have one for the marketing aspect of my project, and one for the tutoring aspect. I’m going to find my mentors as soon as possible by reaching out to people around the community during the break. After that, I will start making my business and advertising. Finally, I will begin actually tutoring.  

So far, I have minimal knowledge on the aspects of my project, so I will be doing lots of preliminary research during the break and then taking lots of notes when I meet with my mentor(s). I am also going to be keeping track of the lessons I teach and keeping journal entries of every lesson so that I can improve and keep learning for the entirety of the project. 

I am very excited for my first In-Depth and I can’t wait to find my mentors!