Welcome to my blog for English 1080! My name is Andrew, feel free to read and comment. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


     English 1080 has been an overall enjoyable course for me. As someone who usually takes things at face value I have gained insight into poetry, literature, and taking meaning from each respective form. This is not something I am good at doing, and still have a long way to come, but I have learned lots of tips throughout the course on how to gain insight into a particular text. I feel that this is how the course has benefited me most these past months. Taking things at face value, I did not find any particular readings more interesting than others. I did however enjoy the poetry section of the course more, due to the less reading. I find it hard to stay on top of multiple short story readings a week with such a busy schedule already. Therefore, I am thankful the course did not study any novels.
     The environment created in class seemed to be pretty relaxed to me, which I enjoyed. However some lectures could become a bit monotonous and boring. The opportunities for group work were appreciated, I would have enjoyed more time in groups of 4 or 5 to work through certain texts, perhaps have a work sheet to fill out. This helps alleviate some of the repetition of class every second day.
     Finally, this course has forced me to do something that I forgot I enjoyed doing, which is writing. I have enjoyed maintaining a blog and could see myself doing it again in the future when I have more time (especially if it could become a source of income)! As for essay writing, while I don't agree with some of the expectations for our essays in terms of format and structure (such as the repetitious return-to-thesis sentence to close each paragraph) I feel as though my skills in essay writing have increased somewhat during the course. Overall, english 1080 has been a good course, considering it is only a first year general course. Job well done.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Week 12: How To

Properly Exiting A Chair Lift:

For any snowboard/ski enthusiasts like myself, you will know the pain of trying to exit the chair lift smoothly at the top of the hill when there are beginners around. For any beginners, do not worry, I am not here to hate on you for doing a bad job of leaving the chair behind to hit the top of the hill. What I am here to do is to give you tips on how to exit the chair lift properly without making a fool of yourself, or causing an accident with the people behind you. Ones first time performing this task can be a bit unnerving...if any of you are new at the sport or thinking of trying hopefully you will benefit from these tips:

1-Be ready! Obviously you chose to get on the lift knowing the eventuality would arise when you would have to get off. Be ready for when this time comes. It isn't fun to be caught mid-conversation and suddenly have to rush off and fall, or do another lap around the lift cycle. Being mentally aware of your upcoming exit might seem to be common sense, but I have personally seen too many unexpected and rushed exit attempts to know the opposite.

Myself (on the right) with my helmet undone,
taking a selfie with my cousin. Perfect
example of what NOT to be doing while learning
how to exit a chair lift.
2-Skis on, board on! For heavens sake please make sure your skis, board, poles, helmet, and whatever other gear you're carrying is either on or secured to you. This is something you want to check over during the ride up the mountain. When you actually get off that sucker you are in fact skiing/snowboarding for those few seconds as the chairs momentum pushes you off onto the mountain. Therefor, you would need you skis to be on, and at least one foot secured in a binding to your snowboard. Everything should be ready for action or at least secured to you so that is doesn't get stuck on anything while you're exiting, or worse, left behind to fall down the hill.

3-Skis up, boards up! The landing zone on which you exit the ski lift is a platform. On this platform there is (usually) ice and snow. When the lift pushes you onto it keep your skis/boards up to prevent them from digging into ice/snow or the platform itself. A hook while getting off leads to a rather awkward and uncomfortable face plant onto the platform which you must struggle to recover from in order to not be run over by the people behind you.

4-Glide! As I mentioned before, you will be snowboarding/skiing once you stand up from the chair. Be ready for this! You will need to quickly find and keep your balance, just like when you are speeding down the hill. Make sure you glide for as long as possible so that you move OUT OF THE WAY of the people who are disembarking behind you.

5-Keep your distance! Holding hands, grabbing one another for balance, and being too close are all things you want to avoid. Different people have different size and weight, meaning they carry different momentum. Often times holding. grabbing, or bumping the person next to you will cause you and/or them to fall due to the differences in your respective speeds. Not to mention that you both will be a bit wobbly trying to find a balance. Keep your distance to avoid a domino effect when one of you bumps the other.

6-Move out of the way! Did I mention that you should probably, more than likely, move out of the way of the people behind you as quickly as possible? If I had a dollar for every time I have crested the hill to see people sitting at the bottom of the ski lift exit runway (leisurely putting on and securing their gear) and then have had to panic maneuver to avoid a collision with them, I would be a rich man.
After a smooth chair lift disembarking!

7-Admit you're learning! If you are like me, you will want as many runs down the mountain as possible and will jump in the line as a single rider to cut some time down bottom. Don't be afraid to let the strangers in the chair with you know that you are still learning, and they should take caution at the top. If they are anything like me they will be more than understanding and perhaps offer you some advice.

While first seemingly menacing and hard, exiting the ski lift can quickly become a fun and enjoyable activity when done correctly. Do not be discouraged if you take falls, practice makes perfect! Hopefully you've found this post helpful and insightful on disembarking a chair lift. There are pictures you might find helpful here. If you have any further questions, or happen to find me extremely good at advice and would like tips on other things to do with snowboarding, let me know in the comments!

Happy Shredding!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Week 10: Quotes

"You'll be dead an awful long time." --Charles Warford

While probably not originating from him, this is a quote my pop used to always use.  He would always use this quote when himself or anyone else was debating whether or not to do something. It is from him that I know this quote and have come to use it myself. To me, this quote speaks to our short time on earth, something that we often under-appreciate. The quote means take risks, take advantage of opportunity, and most importantly do what you want, because "you'll be dead an awful long time."

"Well, life is (too short), so love the one you got..." --Sublime

Hailing from Long Beach, California, Sublime is a band with a laid-back style and some good messages in their lyrics. This particular quote is from the song What I Got. The song speaks of love and peace. I particularly like this quote because of it's message. Life really is short, so love while you can. If there are important people in your life you should love them while you can. If everyone took this view I believe the world would be a better place with more caring and acceptance. With our short time on this planet we need to take advantage of opportunities when we can, and hence love the ones we have while we can.

"O time, thou must untangle this, not I. / It is too hard a knot for me t'untie." --William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night is arguably one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. While I haven't yet read the play, a good friend of mine told me about this quote and I have taken a liking to it. The quote means that with time, all problems will be resolved. With time, everything will become less significant and make sense. I chose this quote because it is in relative contrast to the first two. While they speak of our short time here, and making the most of this time, this quote says to take your time as time will resolve your troubles. The image of untying is symbolic of problems being resolved. If one might take anything from this quote it should be the virtue of patience. With patience it will all work out in the end.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Week 9: Flash Fiction

He was a good guy. All his life he had done nothing but try his best. Yes there were times when things went a tad bit off-track, but he was a hard worker, he worked hard. His eyes were golden brown and sometimes he would wear a smile that was the least bit fake. He worked hard his entire life. He wasn't a quitter, but knew when to end something that should not be. His young age and enthusiasm masked some of the sights his eyes had seen, and his personality gave no indication of experiences he had endured. Maybe a little flawed inside, but overall he was a good guy and he worked hard.

At a young age it was clear that he knew to use his head. Strict, but fair parents instilled in him an appreciation for good grades. This grew with him, he strived to excel in anything he involved himself with. He worked hard to achieve this excellence.

His parents would always tell him "Hard work pays off".

After elementary school he put himself on the honour role and didn't ever come off. He worked hard for this. Mainly, his work paid off. Things in his life went rather smoothly. His parents were pleased with his schooling and his life was on-track. Most importantly, he was happy with how he lived. Despite not wanting to admit it, he always tried his best to please his parents. After all, they had given him life, had they not?

"Yes mother, but I tried my best and that's all I can do" is what he would say anytime he felt something was not up-to-par. Being the fair people that they were, they accepted this. He appreciated their support as he always worked hard.

And his parents would always tell him "Hard work pays off".

When the time came he went off to university. Big plans were in his future, and he longed for the old-time prestige and good money of holding a university degree. All through these years of his life he worked tirelessly, striving for excellence in an environment no soul had prepared him for. His marks fell, quite unlike his attitude. Always enduring the way soldiers do, he pushed on, never losing sight of his ultimate goal.

"Nothing they can throw at me here is harder than anything I've done in training..." he told himself to ease the pain of his stressful life. Which was true, he had endured worse and could work harder still.

His parents were pleased with his attitude, "Hard work pays off" they reminded him.

The time came when his hard work paid off. He was to receive his degree. On the day of his convocation he was a happy man. His new degree insured him the success he was used to. He was excited to start his career.

The day after, he was still optimistic, and ready to start his "real life".

The second week after his convocation he handed out the last of his résumés. He remained hopeful.

The next month, he lied to his mother when she asked how his career hunt was going.

The year after, he moved out. Refusing to burden anymore the man and woman who had given him so much.

The second year he was still a hard working man. He had managed to keep himself fed and off of drugs.

The fifth year after his convocation, on the anniversary of the very day he had worked hard his whole life towards, they found him floating down the river.

The note found in his pocket read: HARD WORK PAYS OFF.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Week 8: Open Letter

Dear Mother Nature,

     Let me begin by thanking you for the wonderful job you've been doing. Things seem pretty harmonized, job well done. However, there is one issue we need to discuss: "Spring". Don't get me wrong I get the whole rebirth idea, new life, and whatnot. But, I mean please, give us something to do or enjoy other than months of rain. Summer is a beautiful warm season for swimming, adventuring, and countless outdoor activities. Fall is known for its beauty, with the many extraordinary colours. It is also hunting season. With Winter we get snow and ice, perfect for skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing and many winter activities. But what about Spring? What have we to do during this sometimes depressing rain-filled season? The snow is gone, ski hills shut down, it is too cold to do anything enjoyable outside. Frankly, I don't like it, and I want it changed. My proposal goes as follows: two extra months of winter and lots of snow, followed by a week or two of gradual warming (for snow melt) which will lead into the 20 degree sun of early Summer. If you could do this, I would be very appreciative. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Andrew R. King

Monday, 6 October 2014

Week 6: Spoof News Story

(This is a spoof news story playing off stereotypes and does in no way describe my view of events involved.)

Canada To Be 'Water Boy' Of Campaign Against ISIS

     It is no secret that the scale of Canada's Armed Forces does not match that of the United States, but Stephen Harper won't let that hold him back. With the reality our smaller Airforce and bickering cabinet Obama seeks to cut his losses and move forward in the campaign against ISIS without Canadian support. After hearing this, an upset Harper pleaded and cried to the Americans, begging them for more time to sort his mess. A tearful Harper said to reporters "But...but...I just want to help and be able to fight like the big boys!"

"...fight like the big boys"

     However, Obama stood fast in his urgency to move forward. Being given only 1 day to put forth Canada's stance on the campaign, Harper refused to sit on the sidelines like a young boy who hasn't quite made the team. Instead Harper has chosen to succumb to the opposition party, and play the "water boy" role in the campaign. "It's better than sidelining the whole event" stated Harper in a press release. 
     Canada has agreed to refill American food and water supplies while they bomb ISIS into obliteration, as well as send aid to refugees and civilians caught in the conflict. This decision has come much to the joy of President Obama who said "I can't believe they're done slowing us down and have decided to do something useful for once." It comes at no ones surprise that the aging CF-18 jets that Canada carries aren't up to par, leading the U.S. to adopt this view.
     ISIS, who have been challenging the world record for 'Most 21st Century Beheadings Without Major Consequence' have yet to comment on this latest development. Experts predict the conflict to be over by the time the U.S. control 30% of Iraqi oil reserves. Canada however, has agreed to receive none of these benefits for their role in the campaign. At least we won't look like wimps to the Americans.

October 6th 2014