What Makes and Breaks a Good Relationship?

Trust and loyalty form the foundation for any meaningful relationship. It doesn’t matter if someone is a friend, family member, or lover; without trust, how can we genuinely open our hearts to the people we share our lives with? This fundamental base gives us structure and stability to create a space where we feel safe to continue building upon the relationship, to expand the love and appreciation for that person. In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, four lovers find themselves in a forest enchanted by mischievous fairies, where, thanks to some magic, their loyalty and trust, the very foundation of their relationships, are tested. By examining the loyalty and betrayal portrayed through romantic relationships as with Hermia and Lysander, as well as platonic relationships with Hermia and Helena, we can better understand the importance of being able to be trusted, and the ability to trust.

Hermia and Lysander’s relationship clearly illustrates the importance of trusting and being loyal to one another. Unfortunately, their loving  relationship isn’t welcomed by all. Hermia’s father doesn’t approve of Lysander, and tries to force Hermia into a marriage with a man named Demetrius. Lysander tells Hermia of his aunt who’s “ house is remote seven leagues” and is a “place the sharp Athenian law cannot pursue [them]” (I.i. 159-64). He tells her to run away with him so they can be together without the risk of execution. Hermia, knowing this plan risks both of  their lives, agrees to follow through. The plan has many dangers, but Hermia and Lysander know it is their only chance to be free. They trust that the other will do their part to fight for their freedom. Their loyalty and devotion to one another gives them a sense of safety, even in the face of danger.

In contrast to Hermia’s trusting relationship with Lysander, Hermia’s relationship with Helena is tested due to a lack of loyalty. Hermia tells Helena, her best friend, of her escape plan with Lysander, assuming she will keep the secret like she’s done in the past. But Helena, blinded by her love for Demetrius, betrays her friends to him, as he is out to kill Lysander and to marry his lawful fiance. She tells “him of [their] stealth unto this wood” (III. ii. 310). While confessing, Helena reminds Hermia of how she “did ever keep [her] counsels” and “never wronged [her]” in the past but it is too late; the damage has been done and the trust has been broken. Later into the night, after the fairies use the flower’s magic juice and confuse the lovers, Helena is convinced the swooning men are playing a trick on her. When Hermia shows her confusion, Helena sees it as her being in on the joke. Helena, distraught and confused, loses all trust in her friend. The betrayal and miscommunication from both people results in the relationship quickly deteriorating. As their relationship’s foundation cracks and crumbles, they ultimately lose the bond they have worked so hard to build over many years in one night.

Like any foundation, trust can be patched up or rebuilt, but sometimes the damage is to extensive to repair. By examining William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we see how strong relationships are built up gradually from a strong foundation, and how it is something we must continuously work towards. Sure, a building may be strong when built, but being neglected can cause it to break down; continuous effort must be put into maintaining it. It is important we keep this in mind when making decisions that may impact our relationships, so as not to harm ourselves and those around us. Be weary of your relationship’s foundations breaking down, as damage can quietly build up without us noticing until there’s nothing we can do to mend it.


In-Depth Blog Post #4

I am truly proud of how my In-Depth has been going! I am making a lot of progress and am excited to continue.

For the past two weeks, the group runs have been getting longer and slower, and the individual runs have been getting shorter and more physically demanding. The talks are also getting more and more informative.

Last Saturday, we had an amazing trainer from Fully Fit Vancouver come in to talk about some of the science behind our training. Most of the talk was about the different “zones” of intensity and about blood lactate. To briefly summarize what we talked about, blood lactate is what makes you fatigued. The harder you work, the more blood lactate you produce and the harder it is to get rid of. We talked about how zones one, three, and five are the best for training for long distance, shorter distance, and sprinting respectively, where zones two and four are typically for specific events. For 10km races, we should be aiming to run in zone one.

zone chart

Now, running in zone one was worlds different than what I’m used to. In zone one, you keep your blood lactate levels very, very low, meaning you run very, very slowly. I was running as slow as I possibly could, which was still faster than my mentor wanted! I asked why we needed to run so slow and learned that even though it feels like you are doing nothing, your body is learning to get rid of blood lactate faster, allowing for you to run longer without tiring in the future! This has given me new perspective and has shown me that there are many ways to train, and that not everything is about pushing yourself as hard as you can. My main takeaway from these last two weeks has been, as stated by our guest speaker, “do the fast stuff faster and the slow stuff slower!”

As we get closer to the date of the run, I am getting increasingly nervous, but also getting excited! I can’t wait to see the results of all the hard work I have put into my training!

In-Depth Blog Post #3

The past two weeks have been difficult, but I’m seeing lots of improvement. Not only am I getting faster, I feel myself gaining more endurance, even when running longer distances.

A big issue I’ve had to face recently is the weather. There’s so much snow! Since the sidewalks and trails are so icy, I made the decision to not run outdoors. Safety first! I went to the gym at Hyde Creek to run on their treadmills instead of having to fumble around in the snow. Unfortunately, my treadmill at home broke down a week before in-depth started. What bad timing!

The pre-run talks these past weeks have been very informative and fit well with my goals. The first week we talked about stretching. My mentor showed us which stretches are best for runners, and how they can prevent injuries runners are susceptible to. She also mentioned how she personally finds yoga helpful and that “If you can find a way to incorporate yoga into your [after-run] stretching routine, it can be very, very beneficial.” After, she got us to try the stretches out for ourselves. They all felt super nice and I was able to get a good stretch, except for one. I asked her for help, and she showed me a quick adjustment I needed to make which made the stretch very effective!

The talk the second week was about “Building the House.” This is all about building yourself a strong foundation with the basics, and then slowly building up a stable house. You can’t build your roof before the walls are up! The base is all your basic running skills such as being able to pace yourself, injury prevention techniques, and building up your confidence. The walls are your endurance and strength. This is where you build up muscles for the roof: speed. When talking about “Building the House,” my mentor said that “Just like in real life, whenever something isn’t working, you have to go back to the basics,” meaning you must go back to the base. For example, my mentor’s hip wasn’t feeling too good this week so she talked about how she went back to the basics of injury prevention and stretching so as not to further injure herself.

The last big thing that happened was I got fitted for a new pair of running shoes by my mentor. Up until now I have been running in a pair of my mom’s old runners – not very good. First, my mentor got me to walk in my socks back and fourth, so she could see what sort of gait I have. She told me I have a late-pronating gait, meaning my foot lands neutral and then my ankles roll in. To correct this, she got me to try on four different pairs of supportive running shoes. The first two didn’t fix this and the third pair over-corrected this and caused me to supinate. The fourth and final pair were perfect! They hold my ankles nice and straight and are probably the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They are quite unique; the back heel is completely reinforced by plastic or a similar material. I know that these shoes will keep me supported and prevent injury throughout my running journey.

Overall, these past two weeks have been very productive, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

Image result for pronating foot


My new shoes!




A Letter to Demetrius

Esteemed King Theseus,

My name is Demetrius. I am writing to convince you that I should receive your blessing to marry Hermia, instead of her marrying Lysander.

All my life I have been a loyal, rule-abiding citizen of Athens. To not marry Hermia would break the very laws of your Kingdom. Hermia’s father, Egeus, who’s consent I have to marry this fine lady, sees me as the best suitor for his daughter. If she does not agree, by law she will have to either die or be shut in a nunnery for the rest of her life. Me getting married to her would save her from this dreadful fate, an act to save my true love. How can Lysander say he loves Hermia if he is willing to put her life at risk?

I am the perfect candidate to be this lovely woman’s husband. I am well off financially and will be able to provide her with the comfortable life she deserves. She deserves nothing but the best, and will receive all my love.

There is only one explanation for Hermia’s confusion surrounding her love of Lysander. He has obviously cast a spell on her! I know first hand how confusing this can be; I was once tricked into loving Helena! But I managed to break that dreadful curse, and with my help, I know Hermia can too.

My beloved King, I truly hope you can see why I am the best fit for Hermia.



In-Depth Blog Post #2

My In-Depth Project has been progressing well, and I am working hard to implement the strategies learned from Edward de Bono’s “How to Have a Beautiful Mind”. Over the past two weeks I have met many milestones when it comes to my running; much more then I expected.

Two weeks ago, I attended my first session with my mentor, Wendy. We started off by running 3km. As that week progressed I ran two more 3km runs by myself. I made a conscious effort to follow her advice and use techniques she recommends such as the 10:1 rule: every ten minutes of running should be followed by one minute of walking. By following her advice, I found myself quickly improving; even within the first week! On my last run that week, already five-and-a-half minutes faster than my first!

Last week was our 4km week. Not only did we increase our distance, we had our first pre-run talk. That talk was about running shoes and different gaits (pronating, neutral, and supinating). During this talk I was able to work on “how to agree”. I made sure to pay careful attention when she was talking about her experiences with running shoes, so I could see where she was coming from. By asking questions I was able to learn much more from the talk. For example, I learned that Wendy works with an orthotist, so she gets to see first hand how different shoes affect different runners. She’s even dissected shoes to see their inner workings! During this talk I realised the importance of asking questions. Without being inquisitive, I would have missed out on a lot of valuable information!

It was also during this talk, and during the talk from yesterday about running apparel, I worked slightly on “how to differ”. When discussing shoes and athletic wear we got to share experiences, comparing and contrasting everyone’s point of view. These discussions about what works for some people and what doesn’t for others showed me how important it is to try different things and find was works best for you.

It was difficult to practice “how to disagree”. Everything that Wendy and the other speakers said was insightful and helped me progress on this journey. The only thing I was able to disagree on was how one of the other Running Room employees gave me free laces (My dog chewed through my old ones, so he gave me a new pair. I insisted that I should pay but he said the pair of shoes they previously belonged to were going to be thrown out anyways. He was so persistent I eventually had to give in)!

Currently, we have pushed the distance up to 5km per run and I couldn’t be prouder of the progress I’m making. I am slower then where I would need to be to make my goal pace time, but if I continue receiving amazing coaching, I have no doubts I’ll be able to reach my goal. And I know that these strategies from “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” will greatly benefit me along the way.

ZIP Post #5 (Reflection)

1 .

Throughout the course of ZIP, my inquiry question changed, but only slightly. My original question was “to what extent can illustrations, specifically in a graphic novel format, be used to meaningfully convey poetry?” When deciding on a topic, I was torn between creating graphic novels and writing poetry. They were both topics I was passionate about and wanted to explore further. So, I decided to combine them! As I progressed through the project, I discovered that I wasn’t only interested in putting poetry into a graphic novel format, but that I was also interested in representing poetry through single illustrations as well. This changed my inquiry question to “To what extent can illustrations and graphic novel formats/comic strips be used to meaningfully convey poetry.”



During ZIP, I learned many important skills for writing poetry and representing poems visually. A lot of the research I did at the beginning of ZIP was about various poetry styles and rhyming patterns. However, I quickly learned that with the task of representing these poems visually, having a set rhyming pattern felt limiting. Because of this, I found a way to adapt and began writing free-verse poetry. Without having a certain pattern or structure, I felt like my creativity could fully be uneased, and allowed for me to have more control. Writing free-verse was very beneficial when planning different ways to break up the lines to fit in comic panels. I also learned to research other poets whenever I became stuck or needed some inspiration. For example, I looked at free-verse poems by Rupi Kaur, and looked at other Poetry Comics created by Lauren Haldeman. Through my research and work on ZIP, I didn’t just learn about creating Poetry Comics; I learned how to be creative and adapt what I have learned to fit my goal – a skill that will prove useful in both the near and far future.



Poetry can be represented effectively through comics and illustrations in a way that adds to the overall meaning and tone, but it can be difficult to do. Putting the poetry into the graphic novel format wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. As Anne Carson stated, she “was struck by the similarities between comic strips and poetry—the constriction of form, the manipulation of pacing.” [1] The hardest part for me was writing a poem that could be represented without the illustration being too literal. I created so many drafts before finding the perfect poems! After finding the poems that I wanted to work with, I kept editing them until they work seamlessly with the format of the graphic novel. I found once you find the right poem, it just clicks and allows for you to create an amazing piece.



My final artifact showcases that poetry can be represented with both illustrations and in comic strip format very well. Not only does it show off my final pieces of how I represented my poetry, it shows my process and how putting poetry into a graphic novel format can be difficult. I believe that my artifact relates back to one of the big ideas for English 9 of how “Language and story can be a source of creativity and joy.” My final poem conveys a positive message and has a happy tone. Not only will my poetry hopefully bring joy to the reader, working on this project made me happy. I got to work on a project that I actually cared about, which made ZIP very enjoyable.

Here is a photo of the illustration and poem I created to convey a joyful tone:



[1] Harball E. (2012, September 25). Poetry Foundation: Drawing Verse. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69859/drawing-verse

This article was one of the first I found about incorporating illustrations into poetry. It showcases the relationship between comic strips and poetry, as well as poets who use visuals in their work. This article really helped inspire me, since I was able to later research the poets mentioned and see what techniques I could pick up from them.

[2] Poetry from the Plains Team. (n.d.). Illustrating Poetry: An Imagery Exercise. Retrieved from http://poetryfromtheplains.org/resources/lesson-plans/illustrating-poetry-an-imagery-exercise/

This article is actually a lesson plan for students between grade 7 and grade 12. I was so excited to find this exercise since it fit perfectly with my ZIP. In the exercise, one student would read a poem while the other world draw what came to mind. I modified this activity to better fit my needs; I read my poems out loud to myself and then drew the first thing I visualized. This proved to be very useful since after a few [very] rough drafts, I was able to zero in on what my final piece would look like.

[3] Haldeman L. (n.d.) Digital Storytelling: Poetry Comics. Retrieved from https://laurenhaldeman.com/poetry-comics/

Lauren Haldeman was one of the poets who I looked to for inspiration. She has many of her Poetry Comics posted on her website that came in handy. I was able to see her unique perspective on how to combine comics and poetry. Everyone has a different, creative way to do represent their poetry visually, so it was nice to see a fresh perspective of someone other then myself or my peers.

[4] Family Friend Poems Team. (n.d.) All Types of Poems. Retrieved from https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/other/

This was the main source I used when researching different styles and patterns of poetry. Though I ended up using free-verse in my final pieces, the structures I learned about gave me a strong foundation to work from. Whenever I felt stuck for ideas, I would return to this list to see if a pattern could inspire me, even if I didn’t follow it perfectly.



I had one new questing pop up while I was working, and that was “how can an epic poem be effectively turned into a graphic novel?” This question came to me while talking to Jasmine about ZIP, whose project is about epic poems. I find this interesting since epic poems are long poems about heroic quests. I believe that the plots of these poems would work well as a graphic novel. However, I am curious as to how the poem could be put into a graphic novel format while still being recognized as poetry and not just a narrative of a graphic novel.

In-Depth Blog Post #1

For my 2019 In-Depth Project, I will learn how to properly train for a 10K run. I have always wanted to learn how to train for longer distances, however, I never had the opportunity to start. In-Depth has given me an amazing opportunity to set aside time to not only begin running, but also enroll in great running courses and find experienced mentors along the way. I am looking to not only learn how to train for a 10K, but how to train without injury, how to train mentally, and so much more.

I am incredibly excited for tomorrow (January 19th, 2019) since I will meet my mentor for the first time and attended my first running class! I am especially excited for the guest speaker who will be talking to us before training. Every Saturday morning training, there will be a different guest speaker such as a nutritionist or motivational speaker. This will allow me to get other perspectives on running and training other then from my mentor.

Throughout this week I have been preparing myself for this first training session. I have been doing research on various topics such as motivation, recipes, etc. by reading running blogs and magazines. I have also planned how I would like to keep my running journal and purchased some small items for running such as new running socks.

Overall, I am extremely excited to begin my In-Depth study, and I cannot wait to see where this project will take me!


ZIP Post #4

2019-01-18 >

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself at the start of the inquiry.

Knowing what I know now, I would give myself these 3 tips to make my ZIP project run a bit smoother:

  • The more specific your schedule, the easier it will be later in the project. The more details you have, the easier it will be for you to see if you are still on track, and if not, how far off you are. It will also help you to feel more accomplished (I personally love checking things off lists!).
  • Don’t get too caught up in trying to make everything perfect! You gave yourself time to edit in your schedule! Just write!
  • Similar to Number 2, don’t be too critical of your work. No one is going to judge you for your rough draft. It’s so important to get a second opinion from someone, don’t let your fear of your work not being good enough keep you from that!

ZIP Post #3

2019-01-15 >

Take a moment to reflect on your inquiry plan (calendar). Do you need to make any revisions to your original plan? If so, why? If you haven’t made any changes, why do you feel you have been so successful sticking to it?

I ended up combining two of my tasks, writing/editing poetry and making illustration drafts, into one. I discovered that it is easier to draw your draft when the poem is fresh. I found that the meaning is still bouncing around your head and it’s easier to become inspired by it. And for the dates I set to complete these tasks, I combined them too; I didn’t give myself any more or any less time than was originally set. Other then that, I believe I’ve been fairly successful sticking to my schedule! In fact, I am currently ahead of schedule. I have already chosen my poems and begun to do my final edits on them – a task I was scheduled to start tomorrow! I believe that I am ahead because I have made effective use of my in-class and out-of-school time for ZIP.







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