Pt2 – Abandoned and Left Alone

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I have been reading a book by Beatrice Culleton called, “April Raintree”. Recently, I just finished reading chapter 11. Because I am doing this for school, one of the assignments was to write 3 journal entries. This is the second one. My journal response goes from chapter 6-11.

In chapter 6, April finds a way to get away from the DeRosiers when she writes a story for a contest and adds in some aspects of her own life at the DeRosiers. In return, her teachers were the first people to finally believe her and during spring break, she changes schools. It was really nice to finally see April’s side of the story be revealed. She doesn’t deserve to be treated the way that the DeRosiers treated her. They treated her like a slave; like she was below them.

In chapter 7, while April was at St. Bernadette’s Academy, the school she transferred to, she told a lie that her parents had died in a plane crash because she was ashamed of her own heritage. I can’t really relate to that because I’ve never had to be ashamed of what or who I am because I’m confident that who or what I am is okay because that’s just me. But, one of the summers, April decided to get a job in Winnipeg instead of spending time with Cheryl. That’s where she finally saw the night life and the elements of that type of living. Cheryl felt a little disappointed and offended that April didn’t come to see her that summer and I don’t blame her. If my sister was the only family I had known for most of my life, I’d be really upset if she didn’t come to see me for the short amount of time we could every year. If I was Cheryl I’d feel like my sister abandoned me when I needed her.

By Chapter 8, April and Cheryl were no longer foster children. April attempted to look for her parents in the ghetto but she got grossed out and realized it was better not to search for them. April has, by now, become a secretary and works for Mr. Lord. Cheryl, on the other hand, has decided to become a social worker and has started studying at the University of Winnipeg. Garth Tyndall was Cheryl’s white boyfriend from university. He seemed like he liked Cheryl but was always embarrassed to be seen with her. Eventually Cheryl broke up with him. A university professor, Jerry McAllister, became April’s boyfriend. He tried to trick April into having sex with him. Although, one day April phoned his house to realise that he was married. April knew this lawyer who worked with her at the firm named Roger Maddison. April and him had a rivalry going where they never said anything nice to one another. Bob Radcliffe was April’s first husband. He came to Winnipeg on a business trip and he met April where she worked. He was a very wealthy person who was always a gentleman. He swept April off her feet

Bob Radcliffe was April’s first husband.  He came to Winnipeg on business and he met April at the law firm where she worked.  He was a gentleman and also very wealthy.  He swept April off her feet and at the end of the chapter they got married. Together, April and her new husband moved to Toronto. She didn’t realize how wealthy his is until they arrive at the new home. Bob’s mother lives with them and is very domineering.

In Chapter 9, Cheryl comes to Toronto to visit her sister in her new home. They soon realize that the two of them have drifted apart. April reached her goal of becoming wealthy and accepted into white society. Cheryl sees April as a fake and she realizes just how much April is ashamed of their native heritage. If this happened to me where my sister had lost faith in what she was grown into, I’d be distraught. My whole belief system is, “I am who I am. You either like it or you don’t.” Cheryl mentions she wants to search for their parents so April gives her the addresses she has, but neglects to tell Cheryl that she knows her parents were drunks. Me and my sister, thankfully, always talk to each other because we believe that when there is no one else left, at least you should have your sister to talk to and trust. April is all alone now.  She is envious of Cheryl because Cheryl has a reason to live. April begins to see all of her rich, high society friends as a bunch of hypocrites. Right here is where I think April takes a huge turn for the better. She’s starting to realize that everything she thought was so great, may be only a figure of her imagination or what others want it to seem like.

By chapter 10, April also discovers that her husband, Bob, is having an affair with Heather Langdon. She then asks for a divorce and moves into an apartment in Toronto. The letters from Cheryl are coming less and less frequently. The chapter ends with April getting a call from the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg telling her that Cheryl is in the hospital. Obviously, April flies back to Winnipeg to be with Cheryl.

In chapter 11, Cheryl is in the hospital. She has been under the influence of alcohol and was suffering from hypothermia. April finds that Cheryl has dropped out of university and has been living with Mark DeSoto for the past two years. Cheryl asks April to pick up her things from Mark’s place because she’s done living there. When April arrives at Mark’s place on Elgin Avenue, some men grab her, take her to a remote area and rape her. I wonder how Cheryl is going to respond when she finds out that her sister was raped? What if this rape was meant for Cheryl and not April?

Pt. 1 – Hatred with a touch of revenge

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I am reading April Raintree in school. So far I have just finished the 5th chapter. April and Cheryl Raintree are two Métis girls who are still under 6 years old. Near the beginning of the book, they got taken away from their parents to live in foster care because their parents are alcoholics.  When I first read the part where April and Cheryl were separated from their parents, I could remember leaving my parents in Surrey to stay at a friend’s house for 2 weeks in Powell River when I was 9. Even though I was separated from my family for only 2 weeks, I missed them so much that I cried myself to sleep on the first night of the visit. My friend’s family treated me so nicely but they still felt like strangers and I didn’t feel at home until the last week of the visit. April and Cheryl, on the other hand, were separated from their family for much longer than my visit to the friend’s house. Imagining that they would never be able to live with their family anymore, I felt very sorry for them. My mind was literally blank because it was just too hard for me to believe that they had to live years with families that they had never met before. What made me more upset was the  heartbreaking fact that April and Cheryl’s situation was not just unfortunate, but also common for many Métis children. I couldn’t control my anger when I read the part where April was treated like she was below Ms. DeRosier. Who did she think she was? She treated April with absolute disrespect. I couldn’t stand the fact that there could be such a person existing on the Earth with no understanding of others’ situations. As I kept reading about how Mrs. DeRosier treated April, my mind was constantly spinning with thoughts of how someone could be so disrespectful and rude. She definitely took her children’s side over April’s.  Even if they were the ones who provoked April it never mattered. When the DeRosier children tricked Cheryl and almost got her killed, I felt angry all over again. I was relieved that Cheryl was safe though. I wasn’t too happy that April and Cheryl punched and kicked Ricky and Maggie until they had bruises and scratches. Although what Ricky and Maggie did wasn’t right, neither was the retaliation of Cheryl and April. All in all, I have to say my most common feelings were anger and sadness.

I Survived It All

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Before my Adventure Co-op class went on these 3 hikes, my perspective on the world was much different. It taught me that there’s more beyond the hustle and bustle of the city. This class showed me the beautiful part of beautiful British Columbia. Thanks to this class and my amazing teacher, I have grown to appreciate the inner life of the city as well as the exploration involved with hiking our glorious mountains.Image

The first hike we did was up to 3 points on Dog Mountain. It was the first time I was able to see all of Vancouver from so high up! It was breath taking. That hike was the initial break into my addiction to the wild outdoors. It amazed me more and more every time we went hiking how calm and serene I was. I’m generally a very upbeat and hyper person. It seems to me that when I’m on top of any mountain, surrounded by fresh air and gorgeous blue lakes that I can’t help but be silent with excitement.

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The second hike my class did together was The Grouse Grind. Before I got there, I thought that The Grouse Grind would be covered in snow and that it was just one big side of a mountain that was straight up. When I got there though, I thought I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of walking up a sloped mountain side, it was all stairs. I perceived this to be quite easy at first and was quickly mistaken. The farther up The Grind you go, the harder it gets. By the time I reached the ¾ mark, I was so excited to be almost done that I pretty much ran up the last 1/8th of The Grind. When I reached the top, I was absolutely exhausted. It was a little cool though taking a huge gondola down the mountain. =)

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The third hike we did was the overnight hike up to Panorama Ridge and back. This hike really let our class grow as individuals and as a group. We found friends we never thought we had and we help each other the whole time. This hike made the largest impact on me because it really showed me what I could and couldn’t stand. I know that I won’t be going on any overnight hikes ever again, but I also know that a good day hike is a nice medium.

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All in all my view on life and myself changed drastically. In the span of just under 2 months, I learnt judging  people before I meet them creates judgements that could be incorrect and i learnt that there is more to British Columbia than the tall office buildings and loud schools. In the end, I came out better than ever before. I survived it all.