Friday, October 10, 2008

cheryl turner speaks

Cheryl Turner from Guelph Action Read talks about participating in the Tongues in Trees project:

Tongues in Trees was an outdoor art show at the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre as a part of the Shakespeare - Made in Canada Festival. Dawn Matheson, a multimedia artist and writer living in Guelph, volunteered at a poetry reading that included adult literacy learners from Action Read Guelph and was inspired by the voices speaking their own words and those of famous poets. Dawn and a group of learners worked to reveal Shakespeare as the “artist of and for Everyman, Everywoman” he really is.

Happy harvest weekend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i can't read

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the kids are alright

This media release was forwarded to us from the office of Charlie Angus, the Member of Parliament for Timmins - James Bay.


Thirteen-year-old Shannen Koostachin has been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for her fight to get a school built in her impoverished Cree community of Attawapiskat. Earlier this spring, Koostachin gained national attention when she challenged Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl over his refusal to honour a federal commitment to build a school in Attawapiskat.

NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) says Koostachin has inspired young people across Canada to fight the second-class treatment of on reserve children.

"Children shouldn’t have to mount an international campaign just to get a school built," said Angus. "Shannen has emerged as a voice for the so-called ‘forgotten children’ of Attawapiskat. She has reached out to students across Canada to help in the fight."

Cindy Blackstock of the First Nation’s Child and Family Caring Society nominated Koostachin for the award that is overseen by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

"The Children’s Peace Prize is given to children who have made a significant contribution to advancing children’s rights," said Angus. "The government of Canada seems to have forgotten that the right to a proper education is a fundamental human right. But Shannen isn’t content to be treated as a second-class citizen. She has emerged as an inspiring young leader who is waging a fight that has international significance."

Last month, Shannen and three other Attawapiskat students put the government of Canada on notice that they intend to challenge Canada at the upcoming review of Canada’s obligations under the UN Rights of the Child Convention.

"Minister Strahl told me he had other priorities than building a school. Maybe he thinks we will just lose hope and give up. But I was always taught by my parents to stand up and speak for what I believe in. I told him the children won’t give up. We will keep moving forward, walking proud in our moccasins until we are given justice."

The nomination package for Shannen Koostachin includes numerous supporting letters from education associations, First Nation organizations and individual teachers in both the separate and public boards of Ontario.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

our own voice

Just because we have learning challenges does not make us any different then anyone else. We have a right to learn and be the best that we can be. The community of literacy is all about adult learners and it is a wonderful mixture of the peoples of Canada; but haven't you found that we are always spoken for, thought for, and done for? I believe we have a right to our own representation and our own voice. What do you think?

By Patricia Ashie

Monday, June 2, 2008

someone there to answer questions

What do you think helps people learn best?
1 comfortable with the people around you.
2 you need to feel safe.
3 Having computers available
4 Have someone there to answer questions.
5 clear instructions.
6 having a goal.

Does your program do all of those things?
My program can do all those things except having a goal. It would be up to me although our programs can help me with it.

by Ida

Friday, May 30, 2008

speaking up for attawapiskat

My name is Elishia, I'm new to this course, but not alpha route.

I like to experience new things and opportunities. Explore new subjects and meet new people. In my future I would like to help kids learn. Help them get taught, and have the same thing a lot of kids have right now. An education.

You've probably recently seen a video about kids being in a school which has an oil spill and the kids were in that school for eight years. Until the kids started to get sick and parents started to take their kids out of that school. Its a school for youths ages, most likely from six to fourteen.

And for When Learners Speak we need to learn and speak for this. The community is still fighting to this day is trying to get a new school built. Fianances and everything was approved, but then Chuck Strahl Indian Affairs Minister. His office sqeezed back $109 million as of 2007. I've learned from this, and I'm speaking up for whats right. The most we can do to help the ones in need is learn and speak up smile thats all and hope to learn and speak up with everyone.

see yous on the way..... Happy Learnings with yous all.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

the determination to speak out

They have the determination to speak out.

Learners speak out by saying what is on their minds. They can achieve their goals.

Minnie says she wanted to be herself. She wanted diginity.

Make sure that people can read and then you have flexible workforce placements.

I want to see more learners speak out and to be able to say what they think is on their minds and I want learners to not be afraid to walk in the door at a Literacy council and not to feel so scared.

by Ida

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

we walk the walk and we talk the talk

I have just finished reading all of the discussions and I am very impressed with everyone’s comments and the large range of participants. We learners speak all the time in our own way.

I was a very quite, shy, nervous, fearful, and modest person, who truly believed my opinions were not important, I was not important. Then I went to St. Lawrence College in Kingston Ontario and discovered there was more to my development then the ABC’s. Taking the up-grading course and the environment of being with other adult learner students set me free. I am now a full time literacy, adult learner student volunteer and advocate.

I believe it all starts with us; the adult learner, as my friend Denis always says, “We talk the talk and walk the walk.”

My volunteer and advocacy efforts have taken me from the chair-person with the Adult Literacy Network of Ontario (ALNO), to becoming the Ontario Adult Learners representative with the Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL) and spokesperson with the Learners Advisory Network of Canada (LAN) and representative for Canadian Learners at the World Literacy Forum In Nairobi Kenya all because of an upgrading program. The teachers, students and the fertile environment gave me the confidence to believe in me.

It has taken a long time but I do not measure my learning development in time because, learning is a life long adventure.

Adult learners are the very foundation of literacy and that was made very apparent at the Council of Ministers of Education Canada, Pan-Canadian Interactive Literacy Forum I attended on April 14/15/08.

Adult learner/student voices must be an interactive part of the community of learning and literacy. We are the very best promoters and knowledge providers of literacy “We walk the walk and we talk the talk.”

I saw from Learners speak that some of us do not like to speak or are to nervous; please remember, every time you talk to a friend, family member or stranger about what you are doing in your program you are speaking and promoting literacy and most importantly promoting yourself which makes you a LEARNER LEADER.


I welcome all comments and wish all a wonderful day

Patricia Ashie, very proud Adult Learner

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

kinesthetic and visual

There are a lot ways people can learn you have the audio, kinesetic, and visual. I'm kinesthetic and visual. Yes, if you asked the teacher if they could do what you need. Like read the paragraph, or ask them to show you what problem comes next. My program is all independent studies, so if you need help it's there.

By Elishia

Monday, May 26, 2008

speak up for learners

I am a Adult Learner.
I speak up for learners who need more help in the program.

What does speaking up mean to you?
I speak out for learners and I voice my opinion on some sharing ideas on what we can do to make things better in the program.

by Ida

Friday, May 23, 2008

equal opportunity right

In order for learning to be Good Learning I believe it must be an equal opportunity right.

If education were equal then all would have the services needed to address their learning challenges, which would begin the very first day a child starts school.

At this time the vast majority of existing learning opportunities are only possible for those who have the money to take advantage of the opportunity.

All knowledge is valuable; it is our right to learn! For me GOOD LEARNING is learning that provides us with the opportunity, the tools and the ability to share our learned knowledge’s which would empower us to be the best that we can be.

This is my opinion what do you think?

by Patricia Ashie

Thursday, May 22, 2008

they can be FANTASTIC

I used to have the same problem about getting nervous reading and speaking in front of people. I too was afraid people would laugh at me and make fun of me. Then one day I decided to stop allowing this fear of mine to control me and in a sense make a prisoner of me, because I realized I was losing out on the things I really wanted and enjoyed doing in my life. I thought about how much money entertainers make to be laughed at, so now when anyone laughs at me I look at them and say" entertainers make big money pay-up". Another thing I noticed; the people who were laughing at me were the people who sat back and watched life instead of participating in life. I do not want to be like them I want to live, laugh and love to the fullest in my life and going to school has done that for me. The time you take to learn and grow is unimportant what is important is YOU and what you decide is right for you in your life. You are strong and it means a lot to me to see their are people like you out there willing no matter what to become the best that they can be. FANTASTIC

by Patricia Ashie

P.S. Speaking in front of others is the number one fear for people, so you are with the majority and I still get nervous but that does not stop me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

not from the dollar perspective

I absolutely loved school as an adult, and no one thought I should go to school either. They would say "what will you get out of it" because it is always looked at from the dollar perspective and personal growth does not seem to be considered as a concrete factor of the human experience. I am very proud I did not listen, my schooling experience has led me to become a life long learner and my thirst for education, the right to learn and literacy have taken me from my upgrading program to become the adult Learner Representative from Ontario in Canada, Africa, South America And Uganda. I am very proud to say I am a full time adult learner/student literacy volunteer and advocate and it is all because I went back to school.

By Patricia Ashie

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

an actively involved participant in my destiny

I hope you are all enjoying the gift of this day. Here are my answers to the questions, let me know what you think, your opinions are important to me.

What does it sounds like when learners speak?
I think learners sound like anyone else. We talk about our friends, families, love, news, politics and what we are doing or is affecting our life's. There is nothing different about us except we have learning challenges, but doesn't everyone have some sort of challenges?

What happens when learners speak?
When learners speak we are making connections providing understandings and a sense of community. Speaking out provides familiarity and the understanding that we are not alone.

Change comes from factual knowledge and understandings; knowledge and understanding comes from the connections we make and interactions coming from those connections which leads to the development of growing confidences in our own value and our importance in our society.

Why doesn't Minnie want sympathy and what does she want instead?
Unfortunately I can not view Minnie's video because I with Minnie have dial-up connection with my computer. However, from the title I get an impression of where she is coming from. I am always saying in regards to myself that I do not want a pity party, there is nothing to feel sorry for me about and I have much better things to do with my life then to dwell in the pity party arena.

What does Jerry want?
My take about Jerry, HE is amazing!!!! He wants learners to connect and have their own representation and he wants education to be part of the Bill of Rights. I agree 100% until Education becomes an equal opportunity right we will always provide an unequal playing field in our society. We have a right to learn and our learning challenges should be given the same consideration and respect has any other challenge. I believe it is a human right for us to be the best that we can be.

What do you want?

My opinion the most important issue that learners need to speak up about is to have their own representation. We are always being spoken for thought for and done for. Our destiny is reliant on what others believe is right for us. They make life decisions for us. I want to be an actively involved participant in my destiny.


By Patricia Ashie

Monday, May 19, 2008

questions about learning circles

What do you think of the Working for change in a learning circle video?

I thought it was great. It had a lot to offer.

What are the advantages of the learning circles approach?

You are more open to ideas.

What are the disadvantages of the learning circles approach?
I don't think there are any disadvantages in the learning circle approach.

What are the advantages of the hierarchical approach?
We could achieve our goals and reach to success. We can all learn from each other.

What are the disadvantages of the hierarchical approach?
Everyone may not agree. but we can still work at reaching our goals.

What other approaches could help learners speak?
As a group we can all make a stand to achieve what we believe in.

by Michelle

Friday, May 16, 2008

ownership and safety

The learning circle audio was very interesting and informative and I agree with most of the comments.

The learning circle does promote my views but the word safety I believe takes value away form the individual who has made a commitment to self and are facing on a daily bases what appears to be insurmountable challenges to achieve the dream that planted the seed for their goals in life.

Yes the learning circle is to provide an arena of openness and acceptance, however the very reason we would be in a learning circle is because we have stepped outside of our safety zone. We decided that the comfort of the familiar in our lives was no longer beneficial for our search of self. I don’t think we need to feel safe, I believe what is more important is respect of an individuals belief’s and knowledge’s and the realization that all belief’s and knowledge’s are not right or wrong because they are based on what we know at that given time.

Learning Circle Approach Advantages: The learning circle would be an amazing arena for the expansion of knowledge’s because of the right to be an individual, and all knowledge’s are good knowledge’s and must be accepted.
Learning Circle Approach Disadvantages: The group in the learning circle may become so involved in their own issues that they for get to look outside of themselves.

Hierarchical Approach Advantages: Sound leadership can provide a directional, productive, orderly, balanced and inclusive foundation for an organization.
Hierarchical Approach Disadvantages: Poor leadership can present a lack of direction, productivity, order, balance and inclusion, which leads to confusion, mistrust and credibility.

Other Approaches: Ownership
I believe learners need to have the opportunities and tools required for them to be active participants in the development of self. This provides ownership. What I own I am responsible for and I will stand up for what is mine. It is my right to learn, it is my right to be the best that I can be and it is my right to be an active participant in my development.

by Patrica Ashie

Thursday, May 15, 2008

watching football? learning english?

I am a very easy going person, and I am friendly. I love music, I enjoy playing tennis, and bowling.

I like to meet new people, and I would like to make some new friends. I have green eyes.

I love watching football, but now I keep all my time for learning English.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

what i like to learn

I like to learn to do reading and writing.

l like to learn to do sign language. tongueout

by Sheri

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

learn at our own pace

I think a person learns best when the person who is teaching them has a lot of patience and love what they do. Learning is a big part of life and we continually learn.

The program that I attend help us to learn at our own pace and also help us to believe in ourselves and reach our goals.

I really love the creative video.

by Michelle

Monday, May 12, 2008

believe in ourselves

I I think it is extremely important to have lots of patience and encouragement to help other people learn to the best of their ability. I think we learn better when we work on our own because we are better focused on what we are doing.

I really loved the creative video because I thought it was interesting to see how people think and believe in ourselves.

by Maria

Friday, May 9, 2008

each person does one thing...

When you are working on a group activity then each person does one thing and when they are finished with the one thing then work on the next. Also have meetings once a week and bring your notes together with others and discuss what you have done so far and what is the next step needs to be accomplished. If you are doing a fundraiser then you will need to book a hall, send out letters informing the public what you are fundraising for and where the money will be put towards.

Yvonne Spicer

Thursday, May 8, 2008

time to teach

What helps me learn the best is that the teacher takes her time to teach me what I need to learn but sometimes slowly so that I can grasp what I am being taught by the teacher.

I am a person who has a developmental disability and I need someone take time to get to know me what I can do and what I can't but even if i can't I can learn but a slower way until I get it. It doesn't mean that I can not learn but I can.

The class I am in is a place where I feel I belong and feel safe so that I can learn what I want to learn from math to english so I can get into a way where I can get to be able to go to college and then university.

Yvonne Spicer

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

work at their own pace

I think people need to be comfortable with themselves and comfortable in the program they are attending. They need to feel safe, have their opinions heard, be able to ask questions and get the help they need. People need to work at their own pace, not feel they have to rush to get finished and maybe not achieve what they could have if given the time. I feel our program does have all these things.

I really liked all the videos, it shows that creativity is not given the importance in some places like it should be. A lot of food for thought in them all. I particularly liked the last one, Creativity with Sir Ken Robinson. He spoke a lot of sense.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ways people speak

They speak differently in different ways. They can speak from sign laugauge and other ways such as voices and people will listen what people say so that they understand what the other person is talking about.

Some people will listen when they want to because sometimes they will tune people out when the other person is talking to them and not realizing it.

By Yvonne Spicer

Monday, May 5, 2008

But what about the voices?

I am a young single mom and student now taking the ALP program with the Cunard learning centre in Halifax N.S.

I began this program 3 months ago now and feel great about my choice in coming here. I gave up on school in grade 7 when I was 14 years old and pregnant for my first son who is now 14 years of age. I tried once again to go back the following year but then got pregnant again for my second son who is now 11.

Since then I have done some major changes in my life and am fully dedicated to getting a proper education and hopefully achieving my goal of someday becoming a youth worker to help the children of my community as was offered to myself as a youth. I preach to the youth in my community about how strongly important an education truly is and what can be achieved if continued education. I believe that our youth are not given enough opportunity to continue their education, especially those who come form troubled homes. My reasons of this belief are because I live in a community of poverty, trouble and crime and see the children and youth of our future on a daily basis with no hopes in their hearts. I know there are kids networks, help phones, programs. sports. etc for children with special needs. But what about the voices? Does anyone listen to them or understand?

by Spry Gurl NS

Friday, May 2, 2008

a good meal

Myself I had a lot of trouble learning how to speak up for learning but now I am speaking up for learning to my friends and family and also to the church because I have been able to help out with different groups.

I think that people learn best if it is something that they like or else they can ask to talk to the teacher to get some help. I also think that if you have eaten a really good meal then you should be able to do what every you want to do.

by Sarah Fischer

Thursday, May 1, 2008

part of something great

The common theme that I hear "in the learning circle" is the same as the need to be part of something great. The family unit echoes that greatness and embodies all of the processes that learning has to offer. The hierarchy approach can stifle any idea that might, not only improve the circumstances but also improve the individual ability.

We all want to be leaders in some form or another, I believe, that basically comes from the need to exercise that new knowledge we picked up over the years. The hierarchy method can be thought of as having the initiative to be assertive in believing in what we have learned about ourselves to be true.

by Mike Altirei

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

stop the fear

I would like to start by asking a question about, making mistakes. If the common rule is don't be afraid of making mistakes then why do bother rating or giving a test score? I feel that this is contradicting our way of teaching. If we can alleviate the stress that comes with learning, we might be able to understand the innocent mind.

The innocence of the active imagination through the early years is the time when your courage is in its highest adequacy. In schools, "Now I know, that when I grew up It was always stressed that making mistakes on your test was going to make or break your possibility passing your grade." That was always a frightening thought.

How can schools provide a good learning experience? I say stop the fear. Teach us how to better ourselves in what we are comfortable in, allow us to learn with your guidance rather then the formalities that is expected of us. Teach us about life, about family stability, and how we us students can help the teachers to help us grow out of those fears that hold us back.

by Mike Altirei

Monday, April 28, 2008

Learners Advisory Network

Hello everyone,

I am leaving for Ottawa to meetings with the Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL); which is an organization that represents literacy in Canada and the Learners Advisory Network (LAN); which is made up of adult learners from provinces in Canada . I will return on Friday.

One of the topics of discussion will be looking into having Associations of Adult Learners/Students in every province of Canada.

What do you think of this idea?

At the present time Adult learner representation for LAN is selected by the Literacy coalitions from each province.

I believe Adult Learner representation should be chosen by Adult Learners not the coalitions.

What is your opinion about this?

I am very much in favour of this. We Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk and we have a right to represent ourselves.

I am an Adult Learner and your Adult Learner/Student Representative in Ontario. Everywhere I go I speak and represent Adult Learners/Students. The more I hear from you the better I can represent our needs, concerns and ideas towards the betterment of literacy, literacy programs, and Adult Learners/Students. Adult Learners/Students are 48% of the population of Canada; your words are important and powerful. Lets join in the circle has one and let our voices be heard.

Have a great week everyone and I wish you and all that you love the very best.

Patricia Ashie Very Proud Adult Learner

Thursday, April 24, 2008

signs of the times

The different ways that Learners Speak is through their voice and through sign language.

It sounds like you want to know what they are saying so that you can put in what you think about it too. You learn what the person is thinking and they learn what you are thinking too.

Minnie doesn't want sympathy she just wants places that you could go for help and medical care.

Jerry wants people to be able to specify what they want to talk about and what they would like to Learn.

I want to be able to talk to different people without being shy and be able to Learn what they want to speak about.

by Sarah Fischer

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

becoming confident

Earlier in my life I was not confident with my speech because I have a disability. I became more confident in myself and I don't let my disability get in the way. I could speak up for myself and for others as well.


I have a disability. It is called Cerebral Palsy. I have had Cerebral Palsy since the time of birth. I am a very smart woman. I have come a very long way with school and myself by being more confident. When I was younger I was afraid of speaking up because I wasn't sure of who I really was. Now I speak up because I am 100% sure I know who I am.


Monday, April 21, 2008

video for when learners speak

Click on the links below to see the videos:

Early Birds:
Learning is Power

Ontario School Children Speak up for Learning

Charlie Angus asks Chuck Strahl, the Indian Affairs Minister, a question about the school

Attawapiskat School Blog

Week 1:
Creating a Sacred Learning Space

Is Change Possible?

Music and Life

Do schools kills creativity?

What would Minnie say?

What does Jerry Lee Miller say?

Week 3:
Bishop Tutu speaks about leadership and dreaming:

Almost all seem to want to see in the leader the attributes that they wish they themselves have: integrity, compassion, gentleness, magnanimity -- the things that make you and I proud to be human, to say, "Ah yes. There are awful things about us, but I realize I am actually made for the transcendent. I am made for goodness. I am made for laughter. I am made for caring. I am made for sharing." And those leaders who somehow embody these things show that it is achievable. Yes, the sky is the limit, and we are meant to reach for the stars and dream God's dream.

Read, watch and listen to more from Bishop Tutu here. The quote above in on page 4 and is the 4th clip down the page.

Working for change in a learning circle
For the full Guide to Learning Circles, click here.

Week 4:
Inviting People to Participate

what we need for good learning

I think people need to be comfortable with themselves and comfortable in the program they are attending. They need to feel safe, have their opinions heard, be able to ask questions and get the help they need. People need to work at their own pace, not feel they have to rush to get finished and maybe not achieve what they could have if given the time. I feel our program does have all these things.

I really liked all the videos, it shows that creativity is not given the importance in some places like it should be. A lot of food for thought in them all. I particularly liked the last one, Creativity with Sir Ken Robinson. He spoke a lot of sense.


new course

I work in an adult literacy program as one of the assistants. I think these alphroute courses are great for our group and they have really been enjoying them. It has opened up the world of on-line learning for them, giving them the chance to learn more, develop more computer skills and learn that Learning is great!

I really think this is a good way for many people to learn and I tell everyone about it who will listen. I have done on line courses myself and it opened up whole new world for me of learning and connecting with people.

I look forward to hopefully helping my students with many more courses.

I hope everyone enjoys this one


Friday, February 29, 2008

6-word memoirs

A memoir is a story from our own lives.

The idea for a 6-word story came from Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. He was born on July 21, 1899 and died on July 2, 1961.

One day he bet a friend that
he could write a whole story in 6 words.
He wrote a very sad story.
His story was "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn."
He won the bet.

Smith Magazine had a contest last year. People had to write a story from their lives in 6 words.They collected 1,000 stories and made a book.

You can read some of the 6-word stories here.

Some people in the Our Stories course wrote 6-word stories:

I'm fifty- three, no fun yet.

Life is interesting, dull and exciting.

I applied to six colleges no degree .

I will be an animal lover forever.

After finishing, we found the can-opener...

Came to Program Read; now reading!

Honey I'm home you are not.

Number one looking for Number two.

My Love is like a Rose!

I'm up. I'm dressed. Now what?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Myself ...

Here I am sad

as sad will be

Myself has left sadness

dark and very lonely

Myself has no laughter

no smiles

Myself... all that I see is a very empty world

Myself has no love or freedom

I wish I could just die in peace


Yvonne Murray

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Stars Death in the Sky (A Dirge)

by Mark Sigsworth

Do you see it up there in the sky

Brightly shaping lights of thine

See it brightly bleeding

Will it die up there in the sky

It watches us from above

Sees us die ourselves from our own design

Floating on what we call land and sea

Breathing in deaths breath from our dying time

When will its lives blood not reach us

That star in the sky

Sight beyond sight

Gripping itself tight

The energy from it

Slowly fading away

We feed on its death

Light feeding us from its death

All the while its feeding on us

Too late for it for it is dead

Now we watch as it fades from our eyes

Creating new life from our lies

New birth new light

Life starts from the beginning

Inverted death oh so sweet

We give our life oh what a treat

Life is over from death above

Leaks from life bleeding onto us

Life done, now death done

Light retreat death obsolete

Retreat retreat

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Night at the Night Cafe

By Eric Rawlinson

The lights are dim, as is the mood, thinks Sarah, stirring her drink lazily with a finger, trying to fight the boredom that threatens once again to take her. She found herself in some backwater café for the third week in a row with nothing to do except look at the other occupants of the room. She does not jump this time when her companion, the cloaked and hooded figure beside her, cracks a bunch of the peanuts in his hand and drops the fragments to the table.

“Must you keep doing this?” Sarah protests, raising the drink to her mouth. Taking a whiff, she places it back down again without taking a drop.

His companion sifts through the cracked pieces, searching for the small red-lined nut. “I’m hungry and they still haven’t brought our food, therefore peanuts.” He pops one into his mouth.

“No,” Sarah grumbled, “I mean why do you keep doing this? Why do you come week after week to this place just to crumble peanuts, eat questionable food and drink a tiny shot of whiskey. Surely there are more livelier places.”

He tosses yet another nut up into the air and catches it in his mouth. He spies Sarah out of the corner of his eye. “Of course there are more lively places then this. But I like this place the best.”

“But, why?”

“You ask that question a lot you know,” Her friend smirks, but with a hint of annoyance in his voice, “This is the best place to observe.”

Sarah looks confused as the youth performs the stunt of tossing and catching again. “Observe what?”

The youth smiles, “Them.” He motions with his hands to indicate the far side of the room and the occupants of the rest of the café.

Sarah shook her head, “They’re not doing anything.”

“Of course they're not doing anything. But they’re still doing something by being here.” He continues, knowing that Sarah will only insist he should, “Take that man by the pool table in a white shirt. Of course it is the uniform of an employee. But notice how he looks at the pool table. He longs to join us, but more importantly, he wants us to join him in a game of pool, to enjoy the evening. But he knows that people come here to avoid one another, while at the same time, trying not to be alone.

“Such as those guys by the window. They have worked long and hard all day at jobs they do not like to support families they barely know. Lifeless and loveless they mingle here. Or the man asleep at his table. He’s here because he has no where else to go. And then there is the man in the corner with the girl. Little does she know, she’s just one of many girls that have been on his arm in the past week. And he is a special case himself. A true visionary of the light places, before slowly moving to the darkness. He’s a tortured artist who works for his art, and for his love. And he finds his muse in his darkness. And his heart.”

Sarah nods, understanding, “If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was…”

The figure nods, “It is. Now you know why I come here all the time. I wanted to see him. And to imagine, what it is like to be here.”

Sarah smiles appreciatively, “Why don’t you go up and talk to him?” She asks, “Ask him about his life. Ask him about how he feels.”

The figure sighs and shakes his head. “I cannot. Because the computer is not programmed to do that.”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dining Room

When I was young my favorite room was the dining room. As you come in from the kitchen the first thing you see was a wall with two lights on it. Right in front there was a hut, with cups, glasses and plates inside. From the kitchen on the left side there was a large window and door which led to the front door. On the right side you come to a hallway which lead to the living room. As you go further in there another wall with a table in front. In the center there was a dining room table. When I was a young this room was used for many things like, besides eating there, we did homework, plaid card and born game. When we had family meeting it was do in this room. When I was growing up, this room was the most used room in the home.

by Ramsey

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Story of Vincent Van Gogh

This is one of Vincent's portrait painting of himself that he painted himself.

When Vincent was still alive he only sold one of his paintings for 10 dollars or 20 dollars and the one who bought it was his brother Theo. This is two of his quotes that he said.

"It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to.... The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures."

"I can't work without a model. I won't say I turn my back on nature ruthlessly in order to turn a study into a picture, arranging the colors, enlarging and simplifying; but in the matter of form I am too afraid of departing from the possible and the true."

Here is a letter that Vincent wrote to Theo when he was only 19 years old in 1872.

The Hague, August 1872.

Dear Theo,

Many thanks for your letter, I was glad to hear you arrived home safely. I missed you the first few days and it felt strange not to find you there when I came home in the afternoons.

We have had some enjoyable days together, and managed to take a few walks and see one or two sights between the spots of rain.

What dreadful weather! You must have sweltered from the heat on your walks to Oisterwijk. There was harness racing yesterday for the Exhibition; but the illuminations and the fireworks were put off because of the bad weather, so it's just as well you didn't stay on to see them. Regards from the Haanebeek and Roos families.

Always your loving Vincent.

His influences that Vincent van Gogh has with was Paul Gauguin. He and Paul Gauguin met in Paris in year 1887 in the month of November. Vincent was born in 1853 and His death was in the year of 1890.

by Jennifer

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Top Dog

I think Vincent Van Gogh was a very brilliant man. I think he is the Top Dog.

There was a catastrophe and the world ended. The world was being destroyed. Big and small paintings flowed by my eyes, as I realized the beauty amidst all of Van Gogh's paintings the beauty flowed through my body. I drew some stuff up and compared a few.

by Geoffrey

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cute Baby

I have always had very thick hair ever since I was a child, my mom said I was a cute baby and she always loved my hair, she combed it neatly down around my head and trimmed it a little when ever she needed to, enjoying the touch of it.

by Marg

Click on the picture to see more about the artist Mary Cassat.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Man Who Was Liked By Others

Once upon a time there was a man who worked very hard. I know that he worked hard because he is wearing average clothes and he is beginning to wrinkle. He was a man who was liked by others. He was not married and had one child. His wife has passed away and he vowed never to marry again.

by Mary

Click on the picture to see more about the artist Vincent Van Gogh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Call that Love

What is love without a family. A family is what you treasure not what you bury. So let's give a cheer to our family and call that love. Friends will come and go but family will always be there. Now I ask you again what is love really all about. Love is like the wind when it's blows. Two love birds together as the wind blows . So does the love birds. So high that the eye can see. Love is what you put into it not what you make of it.

done by Donnalee

Click on the picture to see more about the artist Mary Cassat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The World and the Fox

"People say we are scary but to tell you the truth we're not much different from people. The only reason why we only come out at night is because sunlight hurts our eyes. We have poor eyesight as it is that's why we make our noise so we have an idea of what's up ahead," the fox remarked.

"We may look different. We have small bodies but big wings. Our wings help us catch our prey faster. We don't mean to scare you humans. It just happens that way. If you see us flying around leave fruit in a tree somewhere. We will be able to find it I promise".

"Thank you and good day!"

By Pete Essery

Click on the picture to see more about the artist Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

censorship and rating systems

I know that some of the stories I am writing are not for the faint of heart,
but what I want to know is why is there censorship on T.V.,
and why do movies and television have a ratings system while most books do not?

I know that there are many books for children, and teens like J.K. Rowlands' Harry Potter series. But when I was under eighteen I could buy a Stephen King novel and not get the third degree from the sales clerk.

What do you think?
Add your comments below.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

stories are important because... they inspire us

Stories are very important to me because I really like to read. My goal is to write an autobiography.
I'm taking this course so I can make my stories more interesting. This is my first online course ever!!
I like stories because it helps you to write and spell and its fun too!!
The reason why I like taken the course because I like to read to the kids especially my godson. So I can get better at it.
Stories are important to me because It gets my mind motivate and it help me think and tell stories. I am a creative thinker and I like to imagine that I am somewhere far away and I am telling the story about where I am and what I do in my story. I enjoy writing stories. Then reading them to people. I think story writing is important because it makes children imagine as well and think. I also like to draw for me stories. They are fun to create because you’re the one telling the story and it helps me think better in the morning and throughout the day. I love to create stories. I make up stories for me niece and nephew so they can read then to me. They even love when I add pictures to the story.
Stories are important to me special when I am reading the bible the feeling is so real in my soul it make me felt so good about my Savior. His stories can save the world.
Stories are very important to me, as a writer, as a reader and more importantly as a listener. I love to hear people telling stories and performing stories. Stories to me are a form of expressing my thoughts and ideas and hearing the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others. They are powerful teaching tools and an amazing form of entertainment. I like stories, whether it is one I have heard a thousand times or a brand new one. They are important because they tell us who we are. I do like fantasy the most, stories with fantastic or supernatural qualities. Not sure what else to say.
Stories are important to me because it helps me to focus my mind on reading and it also helps me to become a better reader. Reading is fun and it gets you to open up and get a sense of what is happening.

stories are important because... they connect us

Stories are important because, you can get to know someone better, by knowing were they come from, and how they grow up. It also gives you an opportunity to see throw there eyes on life and how they once saw life as a child.
I think stories are important to us because we get to learn about different things about are families and its all about the different history with their stories.
I like personal stories as they are someone's real experiences and you can learn so much about that person and about their history. As they say, "everyone has a story." My father used to tell me stories about his life and I wish I would have documented them, as they could have been passed along to the up-coming generation.
I also like stories because I like to see people's personal histories preserved.
I like telling stories and listing to stories. Stories tell about our history and where we come from.
Stories are important because you can go all the way back to the stone age by looking at stories. I remember my Grandmother telling my about the way she grow up by telling my stories about her life. You can learn about the world by the stories people tell you.
I think that telling our own stories and our family stories is a powerful way to gain confidence in writing and become our own best friends.
I love telling stories and I love to read. I believe that recording stories on paper for future generations is important or they will be lost.
Reading makes me relaxed, and I think in the future I would like to write a book about my life story.

stories are important because... they teach us

I would like to become a teacher and I think the best lessons come from stories. If I could become a better storyteller, I think it would make me a better teacher.
I like stories because they tell us about things.
Stories are important to me because it is part of our life. Everything, actions, words that are said becomes a story. It is a way to pass on values, information and it is a good way for people to stop making mistakes or repeating their mistakes by hearing other peoples stories.
The reason why I like stories, because it is very interesting and it teaches you a lot different thing about life.
To me it is very important to everybody to learn how to read both for the young and very old because stories are very educational.

stories are important because... they take us to new places

I really think stories are important because it shows you that people know how to read about what ever they want.
Stories are important to me because I can go to different places and learn about different people. I like all sorts of stories and my favourite stories are by Stephen King. He has a really good imagination.
I love movies and that’s why stories are important to me. If there were not stories we would not have any movies in the world and well, Do you want to live in a world that has no STAR WARS, GONE WITH THE WIND and THE GODFATHER? What kind of world is that!
I love all kinds of stories. I love to read and imagine myself being in those far away places that I read about.
Stories are important because they make people feel emotions. It lets me escape to other worlds and opens up my mind to new things and ideas.
I love stories when somebody tell it to me it feels like it is entertainment to me

Thursday, January 31, 2008

where we work 45

And here is what the teachers said:
I have always worked indoors - isn't that interesting? I never thought about that before.

I have always worked with other people - but I can work alone just as well. I would say that all of my work has been teamwork.

I have worked in many adult literacy programs, in a school, in a factory, in a deli, in a government planning office, in a library, in a doctor's office, in a grocery store, in an advocacy office, in a banquet hall, in a women's drop-in shelter, in a home for poor people.

I like to work best in places where I can learn from other people and share what I know.

My rights were most respected I think when I felt protected by a union - being in solidarity with the other people I worked with.

I have always worked indoors. I have either worked in schools or in offices. I have always worked for a salary, rather than as an hourly worker. My biggest complaint about my rights is that employers have often expected me to work longer hours since I was on salary.

Most of my jobs have been indoors. The majority of my time has been spent in offices as a secretary/administration officer. I enjoy working with groups of people, but I also enjoy working alone.

I spent about 2 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Finance Clerk. That was the one job where outside work was required, when we were in combat training. How exciting is that?????

When I first started in the workforce I had graduated from Secretary College and continued from there. I have worked for various financial institutions, a law office, a parole board, a food distribution service and now I work for the Literacy Alliance of West Nipissing.

My most enjoyable job is the one I am presently doing. I love helping people learn and feel good about themselves. It feels good to share my experiences with learners and help them understand that everyone is always learning new things.

There has never been a problem with my rights being respected. I have always tried to be aware of my rights in the workplace and if there was anything that didn't seem right, I was sure to question it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

where we work 44

Some of my jobs have been indoors and some have been outdoors. I've liked all of my jobs. I work at WalMart doing Customer Service. I work in a workshop doing small packaging jobs. I have worked in a Dollar Store stocking and pricing. I also have also done some horticultural work. Of all of my jobs I think that I like WalMart and the Dollar Store the best. I feel I was respected in all my jobs.