Lab #11

Part One: Titles

Question Title: What Should I Do Now?

Short and Sweet: Teenage Girl, No Mom

Short Phrase followed by longer phrase: Teenage Life without a Mom: Coping After Not Having Your Best Friend There Anymore

A surprising statement: My Mom Died and I Am Okay

“How”: How to Move On

A twist on a well-word expression: If It happened for a Reason, What Is The Reason?

“The”: The New and Improved Teenager

Alliteration: Coping Can Comfort Countless

Can You Help Others While Helping Yourself?

Changes After a Life Changing Experiences


Lab #10

Part 1: Pruning


That reminded me of a situation that occurred at camp the past summer. Now I am a counsellor so I learn more about the campers’ lives in an emotional level. One evening, there was a program where the campers would write to their parents at home, without noticing one of my campers mother’s past away. I decided to approach this eight year old girl and I tried to open myself up to make her feel better. The one thing that I will always remember from this conversation as I told her that I don’t have a mom either she responded by saying “How are you so happy?”; I realized I am talking to an eight year old which is when they should not be worrying about anything however she feels that due to this event in her life she can no longer be happy.

This past summer I was a counsellor at camp. I learnt about the campers and their lives. One evening, there was a program where the campers would write to their parents at home. I decided to approach this eight year old girl who seemed awkward about this situation. She told me “she didn’t have a mom to write home to”. The one thing that I will always remember from this conversation was when I told her that I don’t have a mom she responded by saying “How are you so happy?”

Part Two: End it with Style

The death in the family will trigger many emotions. People say with time things get better but honestly it depends on the person and their support along the way. Having someone taken away from you is the hardest thing to deal with in our lives. I needed to deal with my mom dying at a young age but that was in the past the next thing is to focus in the future and deal with everyday obstacles. Finding a happy place, mine is being camp; doing things you love, mine is playing music; and being there for others in need. I am still a teenager, I need to still grow and even if my mom is not there following and teaching me what to do, I am not alone, it is important to laugh and know you could be happy.

Part Three: The First Sentence

  1. I wasn’t even there. I was at camp, my happy place, her happy place.
  2. My mom died while I was with my friends in my favorite place, camp.
  3. I learned to grow after the traumatic experience.
  4. I wasn’t with my mom when she died.
  5. I needed to experience the death of my mother when I was only fourteen years old.

Reading Response #9

Comments on Melia Tat’s 2nd draft:

Amazing article, I see that you are very passionate with what you are writing and talking about. You want to create a wider awareness to the issues of inequalities in many ways! Stereotypes are a huge issue that unfortunately we as a society need to deal with.  I like how you started your article saying how you and your mom do a walk which you are admired to do. It gives a very strong view of what you will be discussing within your article by stating how many people (Hundreds) who walked for a special cause. I like how you use questions because its questions that people don’t tend to say out loud however they are important to discuss. I like that from the beginning you use your example which gives us a broad idea of what will be mentioned. I really liked the ending sentence “…Wait, I just used a stereotype” because it shows your voice and humor in a matter that is needed to be spoken about and raised awareness. However, I would add more anecdotes and more rhetorical strategies such as pathetic arguments (Hypothetical or real examples).  Some things I would say is to review some of your grammar because there tends to be spelling mistakes so to do a few touch-ups. Overall I really enjoyed learning more about inequalities and a topic that should be heard more about.

Lab #9

Part One: Audience and purpose

  1. Adolescents after the death of a parent, age 12-18
  2. Hope to show teenagers who lost a parent they aren’t alone, there are different ways to react and grieve and you may think you are more unique than you actually are

Part Two: Outline, take two

  • Exposition: Personal event, paragraph
  • Complication: How could the death of a parent shape personalities of adolescents who lost a parent

-The personalities that are changed, needing to grow up, emotional,

psychological illnesses, bereavement groups.

  • Rising action: Events and research to prove points (Paperman & Sons, Hospital (Palliative Care), Reactions, Bullying)
  • Because of that: Sub-argument #1: Research, facts, ideas, dialogue, etc.
  • Because of that: Sub-argument #2: Research, facts, ideas, dialogue etc.
  • (repeat for as many sub-arguments as you have)
  • Climax: Who I am now.
  • Denouement:  There are many adolescents who go through the same issues as I am. Developmental issues are impacted from this experience. My views to this all changed because I originally wanted to see mental disorders only, I learnt that people grow and change. Teenagers who lose parents are different than many but they have a community of people who are always welcoming those in need with opened arms.

Lab #8

Part One: Organizing your ideas

How does the death of a parent as an adolescent impact the future life of the child?

  • How does one interact with a teenager in the grieving process?
  • How common/unique is the death of a parent as a teenager?
  • How does one cope with a large event where a parent should attend?
  • What support is needed?
  • What are different reactions teenagers could get?
  • What are the emotions?
  • How could emotions lead to psychological disorders?
  • Could the death of a parent influence the well-being of the child?
  • What is the most common illness after the death of a parent?
  • What is a psychological illness?

Part Two: It’s all about scenes & Part Three: Organize your scenes

List of scenes:

  • Discovering my mom’s death as I was about to eat breakfast at camp, my happy place
  • Going to the family hope and cope psychologist and walking out of the room
    • Being forced to get psychological help when it was unwanted and wanted to be alone
  • Being in palliative care, sleeping there for nights
  • The Shiva house, sitting on the uncomfortable chairs (Frogalina)
  • The funeral, no tears, there to support other family members
  • Bullies in high school laughing at me that I don’t have a mom
    • Living in fear that someone will hurt me, rumors behind my back, did stupid things to make me feel better
  • Ran the bereavement group in high school for other students who lost a parent
  • Seeing the ambulances outside Brady’s house as his mom was getting taken away from him and his family
    • Hearing the news that Debbie won’t be coming home
  • Having panic attacks very often re-picturing/ imaging the situation.
  • Thinking everything I do will trigger something else and leave in constant fear and panic
  • Recurrent memories and flashbacks to the event

Part Four: Creating an Outline




Lab #6

Step one: create a scene

Walking to the dining hall for breakfast trying not to scratch the itchy mosquito bites from the night before. The smell of the vile green eggs with the side of greasy potatoes was what filled the air as we approached our destination after our twenty minute walk. Enjoying my life as a twelve year old, laughing and smiling with my best friends. We sat down to sing the wonderful opening prayers until my heart dropped. I could overhear my unit head and camp director say my name and just then they called me over. I was able to see the confused looks on my friends’ faces as I was taken away, I was not baffled, I knew exactly what was happening. I got a bunch of flashbacks of my life, all the happy memories with my mom until they broke the news, my mom died that morning. My favorite place on earth became my living nightmare. I though I was going to faint, however I remained quiet and did not have any emotion. The death caused me to become who I am today and even though I went through ups and downs there are many different ways to cope with grieving.

Step two: Using Hyperlinks/Combining sources

After suffering the death of a parent, people could be impacted by developing a mental illness such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). The grief process could impact people in different ways although for cases that involve PTSD and if that is the case psychotherapeutic and psychiatric help should be looked upon. (more common)-> study shows

PTSD and PTG (Post-Traumatic Growth)–> PTG, adversity ability to bounce back after event


Lab #5

Part One: Research Directions
How do adolescents deal with the death of a parent?
1.Grieving process
2.Loss of a parent
3.Key moments in life where parents are needed
4.Psychological impacts of experience
5.Reactions to losing a parent
7.Common/uncommon in lives
8.Sympathy of others
9.Feeling of incapability to help
10.Changed needed to be made
Part Two: Non-academic sources
From the traditional to the creative, there are many ways to remember a loved one at a wedding:

  • Creative ways to have our lost one present on your important day/Wedding day
  • Tribute
  • A way to comfort someone in an emotional time to make it
  • Different creative ways to have them there Central

The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief:

  • Different stages, not necessarily in specific order
  • Stage1: Denial and Isolation- block of reality
  • Stage2: Anger
  • Stag3: Bargaining- If this then outcome will be different
  • Stage4: Depression- 2 types: 1) sadness and regret, loss 2)subtle, private (need comforting)
  • Stage5: Acceptance

“Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, nor one “right” way to do it” -Cancer Care
Helping Teenagers Who Have Lost a Parent

  • Each teenager’s grief experience is unique- Different factor of how to react
  • feeling different is uncomfortable, don’t want to be like an outsider
  • Teenagers need privacy, don’t force them to talk
  • Stick with daily routines Therapy

The Lifelong Effects for a Child After the Death of a Parent

  • “As the life span progresses and the individual reaches adulthood, the psychological and interpersonal consequences of this disturbance may manifest in long-term mental health problems”
  • Environment is important (Family)
  • “younger a child was at the time of the loss, the more likely they were to develop mental health problems, including anxiety, mood, or substance abuse issues”
10 Things That Changed Me After the Death of a Parent
  • Never prepared, grief never goes away
  • Could tear families a part or get them closer
  • Losing a parent makes you want to have a child so you could finish unfinished childhoods for them

Part Three: Academic sources

Kuntz, B. “Exploring the Grief of Adolescents After the Death of a Parent.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 4.3 (1991). Print.

“The study conclusions were that adolescents do grieve differently from children and differently from adults”


Stikkelbroek, Y, P Prinzie, Graaf R. de, Have M. Ten, and P Cuijpers. “Parental Death During Childhood and Psychopathology in Adulthood.” Psychiatry Research. 198.3 (2012): 516-20. Print.

Dietrich, DR. “Psychological Health of Young Adults Who Experienced Early Parent Death: Mmpi Trends.” Journal of Clinical Psychology. 40.4 (1984): 901-8. Print.

Ellis, J, C Dowrick, and M Lloyd-Williams. “The Long-Term Impact of Early Parental Death: Lessons from a Narrative Study.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 106.2 (2013): 57-67. Print.

Nickerson, A, D.E Hinton, I.M Aderka, S.G Hofmann, and R.A Bryant. “The Impacts of Parental Loss and Adverse Parenting on Mental Health: Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication.” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 5.2 (2013): 119-127. Print.


Lab #4

Don’t Blame the Eater by  David Zinczenko

Part Two: Logical Argument

“Before 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder — only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity-related, or Type 2, diabetes. Today, according to the National Institutes of Health, Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country. “

Part Three: Ethical Argument

“I tend to sympathize with these portly fast-food patrons, though. Maybe that’s because I used to be one of them. ”

Part Four: Pathetic Argument

“I grew up as a typical mid-1980’s latchkey kid. My parents were split up, my dad off trying to rebuild his life, my mom working long hours to make the monthly bills.”

Part Five: Analogy

“Drive down any thoroughfare in America, and I guarantee you’ll see one of our country’s more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants. Now, drive back up the block and try to find someplace to buy a grapefruit. ”

Part Six: Begin to write a logical argument for your draft

Children who need to deal with the unfortunate scenarios where a parent has past away are most likely to have psychological issues in their future. There was s study that was created by Yvonne Stikkelbroek which was published in Psychiatry Research journal. The study that was conducted was longitudinal and had a large sample size of  7076 people. The results showed that a large portion of the people (541) who had a mental illness had lost a parent before they were sixteen years old.

Part Seven: Begin to write an ethical argument for your draft

As someone who experienced the loss of a parent, I feel that children who losses a parent as a young age will need to grow up faster. I also have a sister who now has PTSD which is a mental illness due to the death of my mother, so I have a practical knowledge of what the outcomes could be.


Lab #3

Part One: Identifying a writer’s voice

  1. The author that I brought in today is Candace Bushnell who is the writing of Meet Carrie before Sex and the City, as well as many other  novels.
  2. Some techniques that Candace Bushnell uses and short and to the point sentences. She makes each sentence interesting that would make the reader want to know what will happen next. The vocabulary she uses is quite simple, whereas she makes it sound that the main character, high school student Carrie is the one who wrote the book and she is writing things down in a diary or talking aloud to herself.

Part Two: Memoir

Ice is very dangerous as well as garbage bins. It was a few days before winter break in the 9th grade and I was walking to my bus stop early in the morning. I never minded walking because my best friend Hilary would be there and we would wake each other up. It was freezing so Hilary’s dad decided to drive her and wait in his car until the bus arrived, they nicely asked if I wanted to go into the car so I would not freeze. As I was going in to the car, I slipped right onto black ice and flew in the air and landed directly on my ‘butt’. So embarrassing, I know!

I was in shock and was in so much pain. Hilary’s father was nice enough to drive me back to my house where my father drove me to the Children’s Hospital. Surprisingly, slipping on my ‘butt’ was not the worst part. My dad got me a bag of frozen beans and I placed it into my sweatpants lying on my ‘butt’. In the moment I was in so much pain and then I realized I will need to sit for probably an hour until I get to the hospital due to traffic.

Finally as I got to the hospital, I was taken right away because the tail bone (which is where I fell) is connected to the spine. I was slowly walking o the x-ray area when people started to laugh, that is when I noticed the ice of the beans have melted and look like I made an ‘accident’ in my pants! OH MY GOD! I needed to put of a hospital gown, luckily so my dad could dry the wet stain that was left on my sweatpants. The x-ray finally arrived and I did not know was to expect. I thought possibly it was bruised and would heal but no. My coccyx was broken! I thought my life would be over, I would miss so much school, how could I sit for so many hours in a day with a broken ‘butt’?! The doctor told me there are special donut pillows that people use in these circumstances and I would need to bring it to every class AND I would be on crutches for two weeks!

I get to school the following day and everyone is freaking out wondering what happened. I then went to class and I received a new nickname; Pillow Girl!

Part Three: Object

I never thought that I could fall and slip on ice. I thought that only happened in movies. Until one sunny morning, ice is the reason that started my embarrassing and very long grade nine winter break. Ice is very slippery, very cold, very wet; although there are some ice that are camouflaged into the pavement where it is called black ice. Black ice is something that is much more slippery and looks like there is nothing there.

Part Four: Location

One bright and sunny yet a freezing Montreal winter morning, which happened to be  a week before winter break was the day I broke my ‘butt’. I was walking to my bus sop that is only a three minute walk from my house where I would meet up with my friend Hilary. Her father decided to drive her to the bus stop that morning due to all he ice on the ground. As Hilary was waiting for the bus in her dad’s warm escalade car with seat warmers inside, they asked me if I would like to come in. The bus stop happened to be on the corner of two well known street in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Manuel and Roger-Pilon where the sidewalk curves slightly. That morning was right after a ice and snow storm the day before where he city of Dollard obviously did no clean up he snow yet. I needed to step over a huge snow bank that was extremely shinny due to the ice covering the snow and was getting a reflection from the sun. The two seconds that would take to get into the car, actually took one second to slip on black ice that was camouflaged into the sidewalk that caused me to slip and fall directly onto my ‘butt’. That corner where this all happened, where I broke my ‘butt’.

Part Five: Person


Part Six: Cultural or Ethnic heritage

Dollard-des-Ormeaux has a circle just where the ‘Jews’ live. We all live walking distance from each other. We are also the complainers of the suburb when we disagree with what the city does. Our parents are always worshipping their children and always want what is best for them, and if ever us children get injured, it is as if i’s the end of the world! One sunny early morning, right after a huge ice and snow storm, a Jewish child would expect their parents to drive them to the bus so nothing dangerous would happen. Unfortunately, that day my dad did not bring me and I got injured. My very good friend Hilary who also lives in the ‘Jew Circle’ of D.D.O. and her father who is very protective drove her to the bus. Obviously the city never came to clean up the stow or but salt on the roads and as a Jewish person living in Dollard, now that is what I would mostly complain about. Ice was all over the streets that were very visibly seen expect for one par. It was black ice. I was getting into Hilary’s father’s car and that is when I slipped. I slipped on black ice while it was a very busy morning on the streets due to the Jewish parents bringing their children to the bus stops or even driving them to school. Everyone stopped and stared, they were freaking out just like I would expect any Jewish mother to react.

Part Seven:






Lab #2

Part One: Specific Event, Ideas

Specific Event: The loss of two mom

1.A 14 years old, my mom died battling cancer and hat day changed my life. A year later, I met Brady who changed my life for the better. A 16, another tragic moment happened, a phone call from Brady changed my life again; His mom died. It is awful to get so close to someone and without any explanations and at a young age, they could leave and we could never see or speak to them again.

2. Emotions: Sad, Scared, Determined, Sorry, Alone, Hopeless, Love, Heartbroken

Part Two: Initial Research

Part Three: Possible investigative questions

  1. Why should the ‘good’ people be taken away at a young age?
  2. Why should we suffer from grieving the loss of a parent as an adolescent?
  3. Why do I need to be going through the pain again?

Part Four: Writing about a particular experience from your past


When I was 14 years old the worst day of my life happened. I woke up on summer morning at sleep away camp and the director came up to me. I knew that something terrible must have happened and the first thing I thought of was my mom. She was in the hospital battling cancer. Just as that thought crossed my mind, he told me that my mom died. July 15th, 2011 changed my life forever. I remember not knowing how to react. I just stayed quiet, no tears, did not want to talk to anyone, I was in shock. How would a 14 year old react finding out her best friend and go to person will not be there for the rest of my life?

Through the grieving process I met this wonderful person who changed my life. A year later, on July 15th 2012, a person walked into my life and it still in it today named Brady. We’ve been through so much together. A year and a half later, once again my life changed when I received a phone call from Brady a 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 4th, 2014. Hysterically crying, and hearing ambulances through the phone, I knew something happened. I woke up my dad and he rushed my over to be with them, we were praying with his grandparents that everything will be okay. At 5:00 a.m., Brady’s father walks into the house after coming from the hospital and telling all of us to come to the living room. I just knew by the sound of his voice, he was holding back tears and the news would not be what we want to hear. Brady’s mom died.

I knew I needed to be there for him and his family knowing how difficult it will be for them.


The worst day of my life happened on July 11th,2011. Waking up and going to the dining hall at camp and having the director Josh come up to me. I immediately thought “oh, no, My mom”. Just then Josh told me, “I’m so sorry but your mom died this morning.” I did not have any emotions. I said “okay, let me get my stuff”. I stayed quiet for the full hour drive back home. One emotion was I was in shock.

A year later, the hardest moments of the grieving process, my life changed again. I met this wonderful guy named Brady. I became very close with his family especially by having the mother figure there. On January 4th, 2014 once again, my life would be forever changed. After a phone call, I rushed over to Brady’s house and immediately felt all the sympathy for them. His dad later walked in at 5:00 am and told us the terrible news “Debbie will not be coming home”. I lost it although I knew I needed to be there for them as I went through this process before.

Part Five: Give it to me straight

Grieving through the death of a mother is extremely difficult at any age, but having to do it all over again as an adolescent is even worse.

Part Six: Bad Writing Exercise

At 14 years old, growing up is not required. It was my case, it was mandatory. My life was over on July 11th.2011. My favorite place on earth, Camp B’nai Brith which was also my moms favorite place became a nightmare. I hoped it was a nightmare. The director of camp came up to me before eating the lovely green eggs that camp is known for and the first thought was no. I was in disbelief, I couldn’t imagine what Josh needed to tell me. My mom, it needs to do about my mom. Should I go pack my stuff up now or what? Then he told me my mom died and I felt like my world was crashing into a billion pieces. My best friend will not be there for me. She won’t know all of the funny stories that happened at camp this year. I remained quiet, and tried to be a tough as I can. I did not say goodbye to anyone, not eve my best friend. I was 14 and I knew my life would never be the same and that July 11th is the worst day that I would need to live with forever.

I was never able to get over growing up without my mother and I knew how much she loved camp so I wanted to go back again the following year. That was the best decision of my life because that is when I found the “love of my life”. Brady who changed my life for the better. Exactly a year from my mothers’ passing, July 11th, 2012 was when this wonderful person walked into my life. Every moment was amazing. A year and a half later the craziest thing that any couple or person at any could go through happened. A phone call, my heart began to pound because it was 2:30 am and I knew that nothing good could happen when text messages are was most teenagers do instead of calling. I heard crying, I heard alarms, I heard breathe, breathe and I knew I needed to go over right away. He told me his grandparents are coming over and they’re religious so I knew something important was going on because they never drive during Shabbat. We were saying prayers for her and we became very tired. We knew we wouldn’t be able to fall asleep so we were lying down all of us in his parents bed, him his two sisters and I. His grandfather continued to pray in the living room. Brady wanted water so I went to the kitchen to get him and suddenly the front door opened. It was his dad, grandmother, and aunt. I saw in their faces the same way that Josh (the director of camp) looked at me. His dad told all of us to go to the living room and he said the news. That their mom, Debbie, will not be coming home. Second worst day!