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English 10: Teacher Writing  

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Other Teacher Writing Samples:

Current Sample
Autumn Goals Paragraph
A Difficult Freedom
Essay on Teaching and Learning
Boilerplate Sample
Folktale: The Refusal
"If I'd Been on the Train"
A Foolish Language Learner
Keeping Burglars Away (Essay)
Life Without TV (Essay)
More Sample Essays
On Freedom
Persuasive Writing
A Real Jam
Sample Standard  Essay
Short Short: The Bike
Solving Student Cheating
The Senses: Walking on Autumn Days
Solving School Cheating
A Summer Lesson
Two Essays in Revision
Using Past Unreal: The Witch
Writing a Mood: Lingkuan Gorge
Writing: Using Gerunds

 

Ice Storm in Montreal

The sound is almost musical,
jewel-like tinkles and everywhere
ominous cracks as branches give way
and surrender to the ice.
A blue light flashes on stone houses.

Burnt wire and ozone fill the air
as smoke drifts down the street.
The rain sounds like tiny nails
restlessly playing over the windows,
where candles flicker from behind shades
like small eyes peering out into darkness.

Brad Hyde (January, 1998)

 

I wrote the poem, “Ice Storm in Montreal,” after viewing news reports from Montreal during the winter of 1998. The ice storm that winter left millions without electricity for several days during severe cold weather. An ice storm occurs when rain turns to ice when it hits the ground, causing power lines to fall, trees to break, and the roads to become like skating rinks. We call this rain, “freezing rain,” in B.C.

 

This is Brad Hyde's personal response to "What's a 13-letter word for 'compassionate aide'?" by Hayley Linfield.

 

An Old Man on Broadway

I saw him one rainy day in Vancouver, walking down West Broadway. He wandered from one homeless person to another, his hand outstretched, a few coins in his palm, giving each his spare change.

He was short—only inches more than five feet—with a cap the colour of putty. He said a few words of quiet greetings to each one. He leaned heavily on his cane as he made his way to two men dressed in garbage bags, sitting on the sidewalk in the rain. Perhaps he was giving for a reason. Perhaps he too was once on the street and cold, the rain hurling itself on his head. But, most likely, he just wants to make some small difference on that wet Vancouver street.

Most of the busy shoppers that day respond typically to the appearance of more and more cold and hungry people on the street. They are probably thinking, “Why don’t they get a job and leave us alone to do our shopping?”

Here we are, we citizens of Vancouver, the city at the heart of “lotus land.” The number of homeless has doubled this year—we saw them at the Woodward’s squat, we watched a tent city go up by False Creek, we walked a path between the beggars on many city streets.

The old man, cane in hand, could teach us all a lesson. He taught us that a few words or coins can be a comfort, can mean facing a human tragedy square on, can mean “offering assistance to anyone, even those who look different or act in ways we don’t understand.”

Even the beggars on West Broadway.

(276 words; first draft by Brad Hyde)

 


The following is a co-written essay for Our Attitudes toward Disabled People, responding to The Globe and Mail article, "In among the ordinary, a sudden universe of grace," by Solange de Santis.

November 10, 2003

Attitudes towards Disability

     When we read the article, "In among the ordinary, a sudden universe of grace," we felt disturbed and thoughtful. Something about disability bothers us and though we had all experienced it first hand, we don't often think about it. In our groups, we discussed a number of important and interesting issues.

     One thing we talked about was that becoming disabled can be difficult for the victim and for the family. For example, one of the student's fathers-in-law had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side of his body. He was very angry about it and refused to speak to others in his family. If someone tried to help him with eating his dinner, he would say, "I'm not hungry! Leave me alone!" As a result, other family members would avoid or ignore him. The attitude of the stroke victim made life even more difficult for him and his family.

     Another thing we talked about was the differences and similarities in the treatment of people who have a disability in Canada and other countries. In China, for example, society has different attitudes about access. In Canada, many buses have a lift; in China, however, very few have the same capability. In both China and Canada, officials talk about equal opportunity for work for disabled people. The models are good. However, in both countries the practice is far behind the words, and many more disabled people are unemployed than able-bodied people. Thus, we found that we are both similar and different in our treatment of disabled people.

     In addition, we discussed how people can be indifferent and cruel to those who have a disability. One student mentioned a young woman with a mental disability who lived in her neighbourhood in Russia. People would laugh at her and children were even crueler. The kids would touch her, tease her, and so on. Eventually, she was sent away to an institution. She was in and out of the hospital and one day became pregnant. Soon after, she disappeared; no one paid any attention to what had happened to her. Indifference and cruelty are worldwide problems for disabled people.

     Therefore, we covered a broad range of ideas in our discussions about disability. It is important to pay attention to this issue. Although many of us give it little thought, all it takes to become disabled is to take one bad step at any Vancouver intersection.

—404 words (including title). Note the relative size of the body paragraphs and how the introduction and conclusion are shorter by about 50%.

 

 

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