1. The narrator of this story has a change
of mood or outlook. Describe this change. What causes him to
2. Does telling this story in the first
person (I) change the story in any way? Do you trust the
3. The story conveys ideas to the reader
(theme). Discuss these ideas and write a one-sentence summary
for each one.
4. Describe briefly the character of the
All of us have met someone in our lives who
has changed our outlook or mood. Tell the story of one of
these encounters, but do not mention specifically your change
of mood or outlook.
Like the author of “Lingkuan Gorge,” let the
story details give the readers the information about the
You may write a paragraph, or a longer
composition if you wish. See the examples for ideas:
Student Writing Sample: “Jin’s
Change of Mood”
It was last spring when my son and I first landed in the
United States. When we were the first person waiting for
checking our luggage in the LA Airport, a security officer
regarded us as cutting in and rudely made us to go to the very
end of the line, just because I stood on the short white line,
and my son played before it. This impression made me sad. During
the first weeks at home, which was in San Antonio, Texas, I was
so closed to the outside world that I even avoided to talk to
our landlord who has small business at home.
Two weeks after that, one Saturday morning, my landlord
took my son and I to the McDonald's Restaurant which was far
from our home, then she went away. My son enjoyed the playground
so much that it was difficult to make him go shopping with me.
After we bought three heavy bags of food, we waited at a bus
stop for about half an hour. But no bus came, and then I
suddenly realized that there was probably no bus on Saturday. We
had to walk back home and I didn't even know the right way. It
was so hot under the sun, and there were no people like us
walking along the road. I asked several persons who were in
stores or gas stations, but no one knew about the bus schedule.
I gave up asking, and just walked by instinct, until my little
son sat on the ground and didn't want to move anymore.
I held the last hope to find someone for help. I saw a
middle-aged lady whose yard had several workers planting grass.
I went to her, "Could you please tell me how we can get to
"I'm sorry I don't know, but I can take you there." She
looked at our red sweaty faces and the three bags. I couldn't
believe my ears, and I asked again.
"I can take you home if you like." she repeated. It took a long
time to arrive at my home, because all of us didn't know the
way. The next morning I became a volunteer clerk in my
landlord's office, and my son as well. Meanwhile, I began to
learn to drive.
Teacher Writing Sample: In
It had been a long day. Earlier, I had taken a train to
the Glasgow airport only to find that no planes belonging to my
airline flew to Vancouver from there. Now, in the amber late
afternoon light, I trudged along the banks of the river, my
paper bag of hot fish and chips held close. I sat down heavily
and began to eat. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a woman
dressed in ragged clothes approaching me. I thought to myself,
"Oh no, now I'm going to have an even worse day than I've been
having already!" She merely asked me if I would share what I had
to eat with her, although with her thick accent it was hard to
make out the words. I agreed, so she sat down and we ate
together in silence. Later on, after I had returned to the
hostel, my step felt somehow lighter. All the next day no wait
seemed too long, nor any obstacle too great. I flew home to
Canada, and that very night my mother cooked me my favourite
meal: sweet and sour spareribs, hot potatoes, salad, and apple
Index of Winter 2005 Lessons
Index of Fall 2004 Lessons
Spring 2004 Lessons
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