- No Day But Today
What do you think ‘live for a moment’ means?
I think ‘live for a moment’ basically means that we must take everything around us or anything that happens to us for granted as everything will have their own benefits to us. For example, if something bad happens to us, then we get to experience it and learn a lesson, if something good happens to us, then it will benefit us.
As a teenager, the author, Mary, says that middle school (Secondary School equivalent) is a hard time for everyone but she had to deal with more. What did Mary have to deal with?
She had to deal with raging hormones, screaming teachers and unforgiving peers together with the other students, especially her classmates. She had to deal with more than the other students as she was informed that her father’s upcoming death due to cancer and this is very important and a big matter to her. She knows very well that she had to take note of it and help her father by cherishing the time the family had with him.
Why would Mary have mixed feelings when her father passed away?
Her relationship with her father was too good that she was very sad at the time when her father passed away. On the other hand, she feels happy to see her father off without him having any regrets and unfulfilling their wishes, and also to see him off with him staying off the pain which he had at the time he was having cancer and was about to die.
Mary said that ‘We simply loved each other and tied up many loose ends as possible’. What could these ‘loose ends’ be?
These ‘loose ends’ could be something bad which happened in their relationships, or some things like their wishes which they had not fulfilled together or done together as a family in their lives that they think is important to fulfill before her father passes away.
Give at least three advantages of living each day like your last. Can you also think of a couple of disadvantages?
When you live each day like your last, you will feel that you should take everything for granted and cherish everything which you had around you, including the love from your family. You will also want to put all your effort into fulfilling your wishes before the day ends and this will make you really happy, especially when you fulfill your life-long wishes. Another advantage is that when you put in our effort, you will achieve better results in everything and you will feel that you are free of problems and that you may relax with nothing bugging you, and therefore you will feel more happier as you had more freedom.
There are also disadvantages to this, and they are that when we feel that we are living each day like our last, then we may think negatively, especially for people who feel very sick, they may sometimes think that since they are unable to live for a longer period of time, then they might as well spent all their money on the final day. Other than this, another disadvantage is that people will feel like giving up when they tried fulfilling their wishes and are unable to due to some problems, that will really make them feel frustrated.
- I Am No Longer Mad
Recall an instance you lost someone (could be through death nor through separation because you migrated, etc.) or lost a pet.
Yes, I have lost someone who is my relative through death and I feel that it is very sad for him to have passed away. He is my dearest grandfather and he just passed away. Our family really cherished him and took care of him when he was alive and everyone hoped that he could have live longer, as he is a good grandfather to me, a good father to my parents, but we were also happy to see him off without him having any regrets and having to withstand the pain which he had when he was alive.
If you have none of this experiences, consider how you will feel if you lost someone you love dearly suddenly.
I have this experience, but I want to answer this question. I will feel very shocked and sad or rather disheartened because the person is very dear to me and I would not want to lose him/her, and I had never thought or expected it will happen so sudden, that is why it will shocked me. I will feel sad because I have one less person to look up to when I need help or rather one useful person to help me in some things, as everyone have their good points.
Why does the author claims she is no longer mad?
She claims she is no longer mad with her father for leaving her alone when he died and passed away as she realized that her father actually loved her and that he always wanted to be with her, it is just that there is no more chance for them to be together.
Consider the ‘five stages of grief’ by Dr E Kubler-Ross on page 101. Does this ring a bell for you in your experiences with grief or loss of a pet/someone? If yes, describe how you dealt with the loss of a loved one (could be human or animal). If you were fortunate enough not have experience grief due to the loss of a loved one, what do you think your reaction would be if you know you will be losing someone / a pet in the near future?
I only have part of the five stages of grief, which is the denial, the depression and the acceptance. However, I think that this is considered as I had never experienced all of them, or experience the five stages of grief. I feel that if a pet or I lose someone in the near future, it will be more sadness that will loom over me and I will find it hard to deal with it, as I just lost someone in the past. I may not find it easy to handle two deaths at the same time, though I had already gotten over the first one with my family and relatives.
- My Gift of Life
This might seem morbid but what if you were told that you were diagnosed a terminal illness or a major disease such as cancer or a failing liver… What would be your first reaction?
My first reaction will be shocked, of course, because I had not expected that I had such kind of illness, unless I am already prepared to face the music and be prepared to know what illness I had. Sad or disheartened is surely another thing which I will feel, no matter on whether I am prepared or not, and I may not be able to deal with it and will be frustrated. I may sometimes think negatively when it is too serious.
How many surgeries did the author, Sarah, go through in total? What were they for?
The author, Sarah, went through seven surgeries in total. These surgeries were all for curing and treatment to her severe kidney damage and her jeopardized life due to fluid building up all around her tiny internal organs when she was younger and just came into the world.
Why would Sarah be ‘embarrassed by the whole situation’ (bottom of pg. 105)?
She was embarrassed by the whole situation as she knows that none of her classmates or rather her friends is going through a severe kidney damage, or a kidney failure, or rather is going to go through a kidney transplant, and she does not dare to tell anyone about it except for her close friends.
Sarah cried when she realized her mother had to spend Mother’s Day in the hospital with her. It was obvious she felt that her mom should not have been stuck in the hospital with her. What does it imply about the kind of Mother’s Day her mother should be spending?
This implies that her Mother should have been celebrating Mother’s Day with freedom instead of being stuck in the hospital with her just to take care of her. She should also have been celebrating such a day by doing the things which she like to do so that she can relax and it will be a better day for her as she will be without problems.
With kidneys that had only 10% kidney function, Sarah is still very active playing competitive softball. How is this possible?
This is possible as she may be well-committed to her softball team and she wants to lead the players to wins. This is also possible as when her kidney is still functioning, she is still being able to play softball with her friends and able to move without even feeling any pain in the kidney.
The few weeks before her final surgery, Sarah’s parents were crying and talking on the phone a lot? What do you think was happening & why?
I think what was happening was that her parents were crying because they were desperate to find a donor for their daughter, Sarah, and they were worried about her illness and her kidney transplant when it was postponed to August 8. I think this was happening because her parents wanted her to be a person wanted her to be able to be well in school and do not want her to feel left out.
If you were in Sarah’s position, with such weak kidneys, how would your parents react to your insistence on playing competitive softball? Why do you think they react that way?
If I were in her position, with such weak kidneys, my parents will definitely not allow me to play competitive softball as they will think that it is going to be very dangerous for me to play sports, especially competitive ones as I may injure myself and make my kidneys worse.
- A Broken Fence
Recall a time you would have liked things to been different.
I have this type of feeling a lot of times, no matter whether is in school or is it a home, or whether is it good or bad for me, though I want it to be good for me. Most of the times was when I had expected something to happen but it did not happen, but only for serious things. When I face some problems in school or at home, or rather I do feel lonely sometimes when there is no one around, I would want somebody to be around with me.
What vehicle did Heather and her friend ride in?
They rode in a go-kart, a type of kart which is like a car but it requires the driver to put on a helmet, though both have four wheels.
Heather said ‘ I leaned beside her, this not making sense’? What was it that didn’t
make sense to her?
She did not budge or move a bit on the ground by the bush, which also means that something bad may had happened to her.
‘She’d escaped death’s grip but the damage was done’ tells you that Heather’s
friend didn’t die. However, what do you think could have been the damage that
I think she hit her head on the hard ground when she flew off the vehicle and she may also have broken or fractured her hand when she hit the hard ground. This can also help to explain why she did not move and budge in the first place.
- On face level, the title ‘Broken Fence’ refers the section of the fence that
Heather and her friend hit and broke. However, ‘Broken Fence’ could mean
more than just that. What do you think it could mean with regard to the whole
With regard to the whole incident, it can also mean that the author, Heather Steadman, had broken up with her best friend after that incident as she had caused her best friend to suffer and her best friend just could not accept her apology. It can also mean that they had started to ignore each other due to the accident which caused her best friend to lose something very important to her. They may also had stop talking to each other.
5. Chain Reaction
Do the experiment on the bottom half of page 116. If you still haven’t found close friends, it’s perfectly fine and normal. Just do the exercise based on three classmates/school mates you are generally comfortable talking to.
The names of my three best and most comfortable friends in school are Siah Wei, Zhi Wen and Brendon. As for Siah Wei, I met him in secondary school on the first day of school. Though some of my classmates do not really like him, I had an good impression of him and wanted to be friends with him, and of course, he was wearing the school uniform of our School, SST Singapore. I did not really like to think of other people or make assumptions about him, and this includes my other friends. The first day of school, the day when I met him, he was very quiet and we connect immediately, and my most memorable time with him was during the orientation camp, where both of us were together most of the time.
Zhi Wen is my primary school best friend and even nowadays we still meet up when we had time to play badminton or do other things. Since he is my primary school friend, I did not know or rather I forget whether I do connect with him or not, but what I can remember is that I did not really realise anything before we became friends just naturally. We were wearing our primary school uniforms, and my impression of him was as good to, as I do not want to look at the bad side of people, but instead the good sides, or at least I will not say anything bad about anyone as they may feel offended.
Brendon, he is my secondary school friend too, and we get along well, except for the fact that sometimes our opinions are different. Siah Wei, him and me are of the same class ins secondary school and he does his homework. When I first met him, I think it was the first day of school, but we did not really communicate immediately. I cannot remember when we start communicating, but now I feel that he is still okay for me, at least he is not bad and will give good and valid suggestions for ideas in group works. For him and Siah Wei, most of the times we stay in a group when there is group work, but we do change.
If you met someone like Ashley with her hair in knots and wearing shoes covered with holes, what would the three things you would naturally think about her straightaway?
I would think that she was someone who does not really like to be neat and tidy in everything she does, even in some of the things she does to herself, but I will not say anything about it just in case she gets offended. I would also think she is someone who does not think her outlooks is important and that she does not care about other people’s impressions of her. On the other hand, I may also think that she is someone who cherishes her things around her well, as I will think that maybe why she was still wearing this type of hole-covered shoes may be because she was unreluctant to throw it away.
What was the chain-reaction that the title was referring to?
The chain-reaction in the title was referring to a sudden change in the way the author, Megan, looks at Ashley, the sudden change in the impression she had on her. It was also referring to the move in the author’s heart when Ashley, the person who she had a bad impression of at the start, actually went to help her when they grew older and when Megan’s car actually broke down by lending her her car instead.
Imagine you were Ashley’s mother. What were the words you would have said to Megan to help her cope with Ashley’s death?
I would have have told Megan that words like ‘Don’t be sad, it is not your fault’ as she did not expect that it will turn out to be like this. I will also tell her words like ‘Everyone is also feeling the same way as you, being sad and numb about the loss of Ashley’ as I want her to feel and know that she is not the only one and alone so that she will not feel as sad as she was.
6. The Day an Angel was Made
In your opinion, how old should one be at least before death takes him/her away? Why?
In my opinion, there is no limit to how old someone should be before death takes him/her away, as everyone at anytime may encounter some problems or get into an incident or rather an accident which may cost them their lives, even for young people, like teenagers and even children. When they do face big problems they cannot handle themselves, they may sometimes think about committing suicides and die.
The two friends, Shayln and Mackenzie talked about all the fun times they all had
with Devon who had recently passed away. Why do people do that?
People normally do that as they want themselves to recall how much fun they had with the people who they lost in such a way that it will cause them to cry out more tears and this will only make them feel better after that. They do that also because there will be no more times whereby they will get along with the people they lost, particularly their best friend or closest family members or relatives.
How much should Devon’s brother be blamed for her death?
Yes, Devon’s brother should be blamed for her death, and it may not be acceptable for some people like her parents as it was too much. They did not care about the sweeping water and the rushing current underneath them when they played together fiercely and when they had been swept down into the water, Devon’s brother could not save her in time to recover her from the water and prevent her from being drowned.
Life ‘can never be the same’ when you lose someone/ a pet you love and in this
recount, Mackenzie used at least three ways to keep Devon’s memory alive.
What were they?
After Devon died, Mackenzie started to look at a torn photo and the memories of the lifetime which she had with Devon. During the ceremony of remembrance, she sang the songs that Devon used to sing when she was on the bus or during recess to her. After Devon left Mackenzie, Mackenzie still goes to Devon’s spot in the graveyard, while she sit and cry there asking Devon to help her overcome what had happened, or rather the death of Devon.
The title was ‘The day an angel was made’ and ‘the angel’ referred to Devon.
What were her attributes that made Mackenzie call her ‘an angel’?
She had a loving and a caring spirit which will always stay in Mackenzie’s heart, and she also has a passion of life that is seldom seen in other people. She usually smiles and never ever turns her smile to become a frown. She even live one day at a time and take everything around her for granted; she did not want more than she had everyday.
What one thing would you like to be remembered for if you had to leave this
world before your friends?
I would like to be remembered for been a caring and helpful or maybe kind student who helps my friends when they have problems in both their studies and their personal problems, especially in studies, whereby I am patient enough to teach them and help them clarify their doubts without being or getting angry so easily.
7. My Star Girl
When you care for someone, how do you show it? Just name one way.
When I care for someone, I do not normally show it by words that I said, but show it by my actions, the things which I had done for them, especially for my parents, one of the people who I cared for. I will try not to make them angry and offend them as I am big enough to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong and I shall not do things which they are displeased for.
What changed Elyse for the worse?
There are actually a total of three things which changed Elyse for the worse, which caused her to start smoking and be addicted to drinking and marijuana. One of the things is that she had a past, whereby her mother is addicted to smoking alcoholic and drugs when she was born. Another thing is that she had opposing decisions and ideas or rather suggestions at her stepmother, and she had to smoke and drink to relieve some stress. Lastly, it was due to an influence from her cousin, where once she actually leave home to go to her cousin’s house to smoke and drink.
The author of the article claimed that ‘there was nothing I could do’ and insist
that ‘there’s nothing we can do when a friend takes a turn down the wrong path’
and that her friend ‘had to find her own solution to her problems’. If you had to
disagree with these claims, how would you argue your opposing perspective?
No, I do not really disagree with any of this claims. For the claim on the ‘there was nothing I could do’, I agree with this because I feel that people will have to bear the consequences of what they had done, especially when they had done something wrong or is not appropriate in the first place. Nobody will be able to help us and this links to he second point on ‘there’s nothing we can do when a friend takes a turn down the wrong path’, which is the smoking and drinking path for Elyse in this case. The author will not be able to help her and Elyse had to find her own solutions to her problems(the third point).
Complete the quiz of 5 questions on page 129 ‘Where do you stand?’ For every
answer you give, give a reason why you took that stand.
For the first question, I had chosen ‘keep an eye open’, as I do not really want to get involved in the situation too early when I still do not have a clue about what is going on as I may mistaken something and offend others. Neither do I want to be the ‘none of my business’ that type, because I will surely have to be careful in such situations and at least check it out first since it does concern me.
For the second question, I had also chosen to ‘keep an eye open’ as since it is my friend, I do not want him to turn down the wrong path like Elyse in this story, and neither do I want to get involved because again it may offend him when I get it wrong; he may not have been taking alcohol because I am not very sure of it first. That is why I have to check it out before taking action.
For the third question, I had chosen to ‘get involved’ because since now I am already sure that I had notice her grades had started to improve due to her not concentrating on revising and preparing for tests. I cannot possibly just say it is ‘none of my business’ as it is my study buddy and she was at least for some time the one who studied with me and helped me to prepare for tests. Neither do I want to ‘keep an eye open’ because I feel that I cannot stand it anymore and I want to help her with her grades so that she will not feel let out.
For the fourth question, I had chosen to ‘get involved’ as once again I cannot stand it anymore and I want him/her to try to spend some time to put first things first by setting priorities and even simper things like setting his/her own goals so he/she will know what he/she wants to achieve. I do not want him to waste his time and that is why I am unable to stop caring about him and continue to ‘keep an eye open’.
For the last question, I had chosen to ‘keep an eye open’ as I need to get it and understand why she is feeling unhappy or feeling this way. I will do this by maybe looking out about what she does at school which is very unusual and strange for her to do so and also asking her politely about what is going on with her, like what is bugging her mind, and I will not be angry when she shouts at me for my kindness. I cannot just leave her alone or ‘get involved’ to early.
Read ‘Codependency’ Pg. 130. Are you in a co-dependent situation? If you are,
then think of what you should do to get out of that state. If you are not, then
what would you do to ensure you do not end up being in a co-dependent state
with troubled friends?
No, I do not and I am not in a codependent situation, and actually my friends did not have big problems like drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana. The only things which I help them with is their homework, their studies, but though I sometimes try to help them in their personal things, these personal things are not as serious as smoking and drinking, it is just small things like why they are feeling unhappy and unusual and why I feel that they are strange.
8. An Unforgettable Storm
In your opinion, what is the best way for your friend to support you if you had a problem?
In my opinion, I feel that the best way for my friend to support me if I had a problem is to encourage me instead of helping me, as I will become dependent on him/her and I feel that I need to be independent instead. By encouraging me, and even by small things like clapping their hands, they had not done anything to solve my problems, but only to help me in guiding me, while I am left to solve my problems myself.
When the floods came after Hurricane Katrina, people in New Orleans reacted in differently. From the article, list at least three ways people reacted in the article.
One of the three ways the people reacted is that they put their goods onto higher shelves, or rather the products which can be damaged. The second way how some of the people reacted was that they became looters and steal goods from other stalls around the author, either for luxury or for food and water. The others did not care about their stores and they flee from the city of New Orleans for safety.
Gabrielle was only going to visit her Mother and new brother for Christmas. Why do you think she isn’t going back to New Orleans for good?
I think she is not going back to New Orleans for good or rather to stay there and instead she prefer to spent Christmas with her mother and her new brother because she had her best friends in her school in Minnesota who has brought lots and lots of joy for her, who actually make her feel like she was celebrating her birthday everyday.
Sorry for the late submission as I did not know that i need to post this.