Lab #12

Titles and Transitions 

Part One: Titles 

  1. We Are Doomed
  2. Are We Eternally Doomed to Xenophobia?
  3. Why Are We Ignoring the Echoes of the Past?/Are We Ignoring the Echoes of the Past?
  4. Human Nature: Judge Quickly, Hate Quickly and Fear Quickly
  5. The Fear of the Unknown
  6. Perception is Key
  7. Does History Repeat itself?/Why Does History Repeat Itself?
  8. The Fear of the Stranger
  9. Going Beyond Fear
  10. Ignorance is Not Bliss


  1. Discrimination: A Deadly Action
  2. ? (3 word title)
  3. How to Avoid the Trap of Racism
  4. Why do We Fear The Unknown?
  5. Misinformation leads to ignorance
  6. Ignorance is Bliss

Part Two: First and last sentences of paragraphs 

Since my second draft still needs some significant rewrites, I could not really do this exercise to it’s full potential. Also, my paragraphs need to be reorganized. I did begin to work on this during the lab. I made my paragraphs more lengthy and placed them in an organized and logical sequence.

However, I did change some of my first sentences. I like the new ones better but since my draft is not finalized yet, I will still continue to work on them in the upcoming week.


Reading Response #9, comments on Jem Bajala-Tuazon’s second draft

Hey Jem. In general, I really enjoyed reading your second draft. It is very informative and I learned a lot of new terms, such as the bystander effect, the diffusion of responsibility and pluralistic ignorance. You explained these phenomenons in a clear and precise manner. You incorporate your research in a brilliant style that makes it easy to read and understand. Your fantastic use of examples is amazing as well.

Your lead is awesome. It really sparked my curiosity. I like how you say, “her face turned bright red” instead of just blandly saying, “she was embarrassed”. Your detail and emotion here really makes your piece interesting from the start. Also, I think it’s super charming how you add your own opinion and emotion. You say, “Knowing what it’s like to be self-conscious in public, I sympathized with her.” This makes readers sympathize with you and appreciate your piece even more.

The organization and details of your article are phenomenal. Way to go!

I also really love how you included videos and pictures. Not only does it make your page super pretty but it aids the readers in understanding your topic even further. By seeing that little girl get run over by a car, it might make people double think about helping someone in a situation as little as getting stuck between the metro doors.

I don’t really have much constructive criticism to give. The only thing would be when you mention that cultural differences may influence the bystander effect. Maybe, you can give an example or two. What makes the United States an individualistic society as opposed to a friendly and good-natured like Latin America?

(This is really all that came to mind about how you can potentially improve your draft).

Finally, your ending is also amazing! I like how you say “the point of all this isn’t about being the hero.” Once again, you put in some personal opinion, which makes it more relatable.



Lab #11

Part Two: End it with Style 

It may be difficult to escape the trap of conventional wisdom, however a good beginning would be by treating people as individuals rather than members of a group. And, as Syria is crumbling, we are still prospering. But, the best way to avoid the trap; the trap of dividing the world in two is by granting these mysterious newcomers a chance at peace and serenity.

Because, if we let our fear get the best of us and we discriminate against one part of humanity, then we are eternally doomed to discriminate against all of humanity.

Part Three: Rewrite your lead 

Hearts fluttering, legs shaking and palms sweaty. The SS St. Louis, a ship of 908 Jewish refugees was turned away from Florida in 1939. These refugees were thrown onto a ship, squished together like sardines and sent off to America where their faith would be determined. Sadly, the ship returned to Europe, where half died in the Holocaust. This is something worth remembering when Donald Trump and his fellow republican leaders and supporters say that America shouldn’t take in any Syrian refugees.

Part Four: The First Sentence 

#1) The plight of Syrian refugees is regarded with much scepticism and untamed bigotry.

#2) The fear of the unknown rules our life.

#3) We are ignoring the echoes of the past.

#4) It is part of humanity to judge and hate quickly.

#5) Fear is the product of a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding.





Lab #10

Part One: Outline, take two 

Exposition: Opening – Give the example of the SS St. Louis carrying 908 Jewish refugees being refused entry into the United States. Relate it to today’s current Syrian refugee crisis.


Are we doomed to xenophobia and racism? Does history repeat itself?

Rising Action:

Because we are fearful, we are racist.

Because we are racist, we forget the past.

Because we forget the past, we repeat it.

And the cycle begins again…


Social Action/ Social Change – explain how a difference can be made. Include dialogue with Nancy: “We look at things that make us different, as opposed to looking at everything that makes us similar. And so if we start focusing on all the things that make us similar, then perhaps we wouldn’t be so fearful.”


By being racist and bigot, we only perpetuate a cycle of fear and with fear comes forgetfulness. There is a human tendency to forget the past and all its lessons, thus leading to its repetition.

Part Two: Structuring your entire piece around one narrative

I’m really not sure how I can do this for my piece. I can maybe mention the Syrian refugee woman who came to speak to my class last semester and use her as a starting and ending point. In the beginning, her life was miserable but she didn’t let the fear of others stop her from prospering in society. Now, she is studying at Concordia with hopes to be a teacher.

This is just a thought

Part Three: Writing a short narrative to prove a point 

Point: Sponsorship may help in eliminating the fear of the newly arriving immigrant group

My narrative will be about the time I was on Facebook and came across a post asking for support in a flower sale for mother’s day. All the proceeds of this sale will go into helping a newly arriving Syrian family.



Lab #9

Part One: Organizing your ideas 

  1. Investigative question: Are we doomed to xenophobia and racism?
  • What is xenophobia?
  • Why do we fear the unknown?
  • Why do we fear “the other”?
  • Is psycholog the foundation of xenophobia?
  • Why do we ignore the echoes of the past?
  • Does history repeat itself?
  • Why is collective memory essential to understand a nation’s identity?
  • Is it possible to learn from the past or from others?

Part Two: It’s all about scenes 

  • Child in Syria fearing for his life – walking in the streets of Syria in broad daylight and witnessing death due to bomb explosion
  • A Muslim family seeking refuge in North America but being denied entry
  • Horrors of war in Syria (in general)
  • Being rejected from a job or proper education due to ethnicity

Part Three: Organize your scene 

  • Horrors of war in Syria (in general)
  • Child in Syria fearing for his life – walking in the streets of Syria in broad daylight and witnessing death due to bomb explosion
  • A Muslim family seeking refuge in North America and being denied entry
  • Being rejected from a job or proper education due to ethnicity

Part Four: Creating an outline 

Work on it on our own time ! 🙂

Lab #8

Task One: Creating similes with concrete objects

Donald Trump, the wall, immigrants

  • Donald Trump is as bitter as coffee.
  • Trump’s desire to build the wall is as useless as VHS nowadays.
  • Immigrants are as important to our country as healthcare.

Task Two: Creating similes with abstract objects

Racism, Xenophobia & Fear, Repetition, Ignorance

  • Racism is like looking at a box of crayons and not seeing all of the colours, because you are too focused on “the best one.”
  • Fear is like a dark hallway, because you never know what’s at the end.
  • Ignorance is like someone trying to drive stick for the first time, because it will get you nowhere.


Lab #7: First Draft, take 2

Imagine you were helplessly stripped of your human rights. Forced out of your home, malnourished, and deprived of a proper education. Imagine you were treated like an animal – actually, worse than an animal- and left to die. This is what Muslim refugees from Syria experience on a daily. They experience the death of their loved ones – bodies shattered in blood and dismembered from limb to limb. Their reality is an average human’s nightmare. However, they are being refused from safety and shelter in Trump’s America. [Analogy (animal part), Pathetic Argument]

It has always been, and probably always will be, human nature to fear what we do not know. This is apparent right now in Trump’s America. Being discriminated against because of your ethnicity and religious beliefs can leave one feeling confused, unworthy and unwanted. [Pathetic Argument]

As humans, we are quick to categorize and judge others. “We are susceptible to prejudice and [the] unconscious desire to divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them'” (Psychology Today).