Friday, December 16, 2016

Found Poem Blog

What Is Best For The Family

Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion
Declaring what is Best For The Family
Teaching me how to be a lady
Try to behave

She fitted into the world of Maycomb
Secretary of the Maycomb Amanuensis
Scratch most folks in Maycomb

The last of her kind

They recieved a Crawford instead of a Finch
She was cold and there
Said wasn't supposed to do anything
That required pants

We are not run of the mill people
One had to behave like a sunbeam
I'm wouldn't be so sure of that
She must have put him up to this

Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion
Declaring what is Best For The Family
The last of her kind

 I commented on:
Melissa's Blog
Sophie's Blog
Lorin's Blog

Friday, December 2, 2016

Character Relationships Blog

Atticus and Aunt Alexandra

          Atticus and Aunt Alexandra from To Kill A Mockingbird, are similar in one way. They way they are similar is that they are both from the same pure bred family. The book states in chapter 13, "'Your aunt has asked me to try and impress upon you and Jean Louise that you are not run of the mill people, that you are the product of several generations' gentle breeding...'" This quote shows that Atticus and Aunt Alexandra are very important. Their family of one of the highest in the town.

         They are also different in many ways. One of these ways was that they acted differently. In chapter 9 it states, "...I decided that she was swapped at birth, that my grandparents had perhaps received a Crawford instead of a Finch." This explains that Aunt Alexandra is not kind like Atticus is. She seems like she is from another family. Another reason they are different is that Aunt Alexandra thinks that the kids should grow up now and Atticus doesn't think that. The book states in chapter 13,"' She asked me to tell you you must try to behave like the little lady and gentleman you are.'" This quote explains that Aunt Alexandra was telling Atticus what to say to the kids. Later in the same chapter it also states, "'I don't want you to remember it. Forget it."' This quote shows that Atticus didn't really want to say these things to the kids because he didn't want them to grow up already.

        Atticus' relationship with Scout is that he is her father. He is also her friend. She confides in him and asks him many questions. He answers her in an adult way, not like she is a child. The quote states, "'What's rape?' I asked him that night... He sighed, and said rape was carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent." This shows that Atticus gives her the real answer and doesn't try to sugar coat it. Scouts relationship with Aunt Alexandra is that she is Scouts "femine influence". This means that Aunt Alexandra is supposed to make Scout more like a lady and show her the ways of womanhood.

         These two people affect Scout in a few different ways. Atticus influences her by showing her how to be a good human being. In chapter 9 it states, “‘This time we aren't fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they're still our friends and this is still our home.”’  Atticus is trying to tell Scout to not fight her peers. Aunt Alexandra influences Scout because she in some way, tells her that her father is a 'nigger lover'. This influences her to think that her father isn't as amazing as she once thought he was. In the book in chapter 9 it states, "At a safe distance he called, 'He's nothing but a nigger-lover!' 'He is not!' I roared." This quote shows that Francis was calling Atticus a 'nigger-lover'. Francis learned it from Aunt Alexandra. Even though Aunt Alexandra didn't really positively influence Scout like Atticus did, she did influence her.

Monday, November 21, 2016

TKAM Setting Blog

         The picture I chose to represent Maycomb County shows a small town with old cars. One of the main cars looks very dirty as if it could be a farming truck. In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee it states, "As Maycomb County was farm country, nickels and dimes were hard to come by for doctors and dentists and lawyers." This quote shows that mostly everyone was a farmer in Maycomb County. The truck in the front of the picture looks to be a truck that carries produce produced on farms. The truck accurately represents the lifestyle of Maycomb County. This photo also depicts Maycomb because the man in the picture seems to be very hot. The book states, "Somehow it was hotter then: a black dog suffering on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum." This quote explains that Scout, the main character, remembers Maycomb to be excruciatingly hot. The picture shows this because the man in the car has his head down resting in the shade of his car. There seems to be a rag of some sort on his neck and head that could be helping him keep cool from the sun. This picture also represents the way people could have acted in Maycomb county.

         There was a few things that I thought about while looking at the photo. One of these things was that the main car seems a lot more dirty and beat up then all the other ones. The reason of this was that this could have been a farmers truck, since it needed a trunk for all the produce. Something else that I thought about was what the difference would have been if this picture was taken today. Well, one of the differences would be that all the cars would be a lot newer and have air conditioning. The "farming" truck would be a big SUV that you see on the highways with the logo of the store, restaurant, or farm on the sides of it. Another difference would be how the stores would have new companies like Apple, Forever 21, Zumiez, and McDonalds. Maybe the buildings themselves would be more modern with air conditioning and plumbing.

        While looking at this photo I had a few questions. These questions was, What was the exact purpose for the photographer to take this photo?, Who is the man in the truck?, and What time of the year was this picture taken?.

Evans, Walker. Untitled Photo. June 1936. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives, Library of Congress, Greensboro, Alabama

Friday, November 11, 2016

Election Reflection Blog

  • My thoughts about the election in general is that this was the most intense one I have ever witnessed. Both sides of the party were at each other's necks all the time. What I mean by this is that they were always insulting each other and trying to make the other person look bad. Both politicians had very strong and different beliefs so no one wanted both to win. It was also very intense because people predicted that they would be very close in the election. Clinton and Trump would change this country for the better or worse.

    My thoughts on the results of this election is that I wonder what kind of a country this is. How could so many people vote for a crazy man. I understand that I am being very biased, but it boggles my mind how people can see a positive future with him. For example many people will say that his beliefs towards women shouldn't effect how he is as a president. I totally disagree with this. If he shows disrespect and superiority towards women, then how is he going to make good decisions based on their best interest. He is a business man, so he will do things for the money.

    This election shows me that either many Americans are unreliable or that many democrats didn't vote for Hillary. I am just stunned how many people really believe in Trump. I still feel like someone on TV is going to say "Just kidding everyone! That was a joke he really didn't win". I am very disappointed in our country. However, I do understand that he doesn't have as much power as people think. Some people are afraid that he is going to build a wall and all the other extravagant things he promised. Congress, although will hopefully stop him from doing these things. 

    On the other hand, it is predicted that Congress is going to be Republican dominated. These Republicans will vote for his ideas even if they don't agree with them. They will do this because they want to keep their jobs. When the next election comes Republican citizens wouldn't vote for them because they didn't vote for Trumps bills. They would do whatever they could to keep their jobs.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Veterans Day Poem

"The Rows"

Cars lined up in three rows
This road has felt our car's weight for hours
Beeping and yelling arise from the sea of vehicles
I sit bored, staring out into the squabble

A old man of 60 walks along the rows
His long beard black and white
The baggy clothes fit loosely around his thin body
The baseball hat he wears shows the words "Vietnam"

A creased piece of cardboard is held up with his frail arms
It reads "Homeless Veteran. Please help"
The eyes of this man show pain and sorrow
His body shows guns and missiles

Loose change fills the mcDonalds up
The pennies and dimes that people don't care about
Are his only source of income.
He relies on the few cents that you get back at the store

He approaches our car

I can feel the plead he shows with his eyes
I can feel the pity that I myself encounter
I can feel pain in which many like himself have felt
I can feel the homesickness that haunted his mind

Thousands just like him
Roamed around the city

Friday, October 28, 2016

First Quarter Reflection Blog

        This quarter I have learned how to work well with others. Unlike previous years, I do not know a lot of people in this class. Many of these people I have never talked to in my life, opposed to people I have known since kindergarten. Conversations weren't easy, until a few weeks ago. I have learned to find things in common with students who I normally wouldn't talk to. This has helped me because I have become more social with my classmates, which helps me get my work done faster.

       There are a few things that I would like to improve on with working with others. One of these things is being able to have small talk. This would help me because I could get closer with my classmates and then be able to work more effectively. Another thing that I would like to improve on is engaging in conversation with my peers more. Sometimes I don't talk to my partner about our work as much as I should. If I talk more then my work could have more than one opinion in it.

       During this past quarter I have learned many things about the world. I did this by listening to other peoples AOW's during the last few weeks. One thing that surprised me in an AOW, was that almost half of teachers in a study were racist. This showed me that just because a law was passed, doesn't mean that peoples minds are changed. It is very hard to persuade someone to think another way. Another thing that I learned was that more people are getting pregnant when they are older. This surprised me because some of these women are 50 years old. It makes me wonder if the mother or the  baby have a higher risk of injuries than younger women.

      These next few quarters I would like to learn more things about the world. To do this I hope to get more involved with the news. That means that I would be watching the news more and looking at articles that involve the entire world. Doing this could help me understand the direction the world is heading in and how I could help make it better. It would have all started by doing my AOW.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Montresor's Confession

Montresor Task

        Hello everyone. My name is Montresor. I am here to tell you all my story. You all in the court and the stands have made up a situation that might be close or different from mine. This is what really happened, this the truth.

        It all started 16 years ago. I was merely an adult, as was he. Words cannot describe the type of bond we had when we first met. It was Carnival and we stumbled upon each other in a drunken haze. Laughing, singing and shouting echoed throughout the streets and I had never been so happy. He was my other half and I was his. We went everywhere together and shared many secrets.

        We had the same secret. Both of us, now this is very hard to admit, we were...what do you call it? Um, we both were attracted to the same gender. I hear the gasps in your voices and see the astonishment in your eyes. My dear friends, this is what I wanted to keep a secret. This is why I killed my old friend Fortunato. You see we were together for quite some time, and I thought we would be together forever. He, on the other hand, didn't see it that way. His family had been suspicious for a very long time and caught on to our secret deed. They threatened to expose us and laugh in the punishment of our lives if we didn't stop.

         Fortunato had always been the type of person to want other peoples praise. The deal with his family was soon made right after they announced it. The day he told me of his plans to marry his future wife was a horrible one. He came to my house early in the morning with a determined look in his eyes. When I asked him if he wanted tea he agreed and we sat at the table. There was a long pause until he finally spoke. I must tell you, my audience, that I felt the worst anxiety and adrenaline I had every felt in those few minutes. I wanted him to tell me that he loved me and how nothing was going to stand in the way of us. I yearned for the simple words of  "I love you". Those words never came.

         Instead of those three syllables he said, "I am marrying Camilla."
         My heart sank with those words. I saw my future become black and with it, my heart. Even though my soul felt like it was breaking, my face showed understanding. He continued on saying how we would have never worked and that we were better off. I could not hold it in any longer. My lips released the words, "But I love you". Fortunato's  face became red and distorted. He slammed on the table with his mighty fist, spilling the tea.

        "How dare you say that! You mean nothing to me! Go and live your filthy ways!"
         Instead of just a black heart, it became cold and angry. I wanted nothing more than to kill him right there. In moments he had broken my heart and turned it resentful. I no longer felt sad. I felt like killing the man who had made me want to hurt myself. If I saw him with his future wife I would definitely kill myself. In that moment I realized that it was either my life or his.

        You people in the court probably have a lot of mixed emotions right now. But I am here to tell you that you shouldn't imprison a man for his personality. I am the type of person who wants to survive. I am a survivor. I simply couldn't survive if I ever saw Fortunato and Camilla together. So, everyone in the court, let me ask you this. Will you imprison a man for his lack of good character, or will you take pity on a man who got his heart broken by societies flaws?

        And with that statement I rest my case.

Image result for a court in venice

I commented on:
Sophie M blog
Melanie A's Blog
Kezia's Blog


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Life Line Poem "Together"


Muslims and Christians unite
Ethiopians and Eritreans hug
In this night
We are one

This should be daily
So we will not wear scars

He disliked me because I treated everyone like an
Not a monstrous black beetle
I focused on what we can give
Not what we can take

It means a measuring stick
Measuring beauty
Each other, to
Beauty to each other

It is that
Is our sister
Either throw us away with her
Or hug her with us

“She” is the million of refugees
“She” is the beetles
“She” is the angels

Saturday, September 24, 2016

AoW 9-23-16

          An idea that is similar in the book Of Beetles and Angels and the article "The unique programme that brings refugees to Canada" is that it is hard to adjust to life in another country. In the article it says," A report on the use of Toronto food banks released this week notes a surge in the first three months of 2016, linked in part to an influx of newcomers, including Syrian refugees." This quote explains that many Syrian refugees need food banks to eat. It is difficult for them to provide for themselves or for their family because they are in a new country. In the book it states, "Even with their constant suport, though, we still felt the deepest homesickness... We yearned for... A neighbor who spoke our language. For our people." This quote shows that Mawi's family missed their home very much as they try to adjust to life in America. Both quotes show the struggles of being a refugee.

           Another idea that is similar is that there is kind people in the world. In the book it says,"My brother had found him housing and a job, encouraged him, and even given him money when he could-even though my bro had so little himself." This excerpt shows that Mawi's brother, Tewolde, is very giving and generous. He gives even when he doesn't have anything himself. Tewolde was probably a role model for Mawi. In the article when it talks about all the refugees that Canada let in it states,"That generosity won "the people of Canada" the 1986 UN's Nansen refugee award, which recognises outstanding service to the causes of refugees..." This shows that many people in Canada sponsored and took in refugees. They did this out of the kindness of their own hearts and helped the less fortunate.

          War affects individuals and societies in many ways. For example some people may have to move because of the violence or discrimination that is occurring there. These people are called refugees. This could cause great harm or distress to the people who are being uprooted from their homes. Another way that war affects societies is that in the places that the refugees are relocating to will be affected. In my article it states, "... the programme 'changes people individually, it shapes societies'". This is explaining that the program that Canada is using to move Syrian refugees is giving society a different outlook on life. With the more refugees going into these communities the more people are going to be exposed to how hard it is for refugees.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

All About Me

      Hello welcome to my blog! My name is Sofia and I am in the 8th grade. I live in Illinois with my mom, dad, and two brothers. Their names are Gabriel and Adrian. Gabriel is a sophomore and Adrian is in 6th grade. 

      I have many hobbies. Some of my hobbies are playing basketball, watching Netflix, watching sports,and hanging out with friends.When I am not playing basketball I am usually watching Netflix. I like to watch all kinds of genres, my favorite are TV shows from a few years ago and dramas. I finished the shows called One Tree Hill, Friends, and Glee. In school I am in National Junior Honor's Society, Girls Varsity Basketball, Our American Voice, Varsity Volleyball, Soccer, and Battle of the Books. All of these things keep me occupied throughout the year and helps me expand my horizons.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like the further posts!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Final Reflection Blog

       One thing that was very important that I learned this year was time management. I learned how to balance everything out and to make sure everything was done. I learned this because sometimes during the year we would have some things due in a certain amount of time and I would have to learn how to get everything done. Sometimes I would spend too much time on one thing and not have enough time to do a good job on the other. This took me some time to learn, but in the end I understood how to do it.

          Another thing that I learned this year was how to be focused. Before this year I would be thinking or doing something else instead of what I would need to get done. Now I have gained how to stay focused and concentrated. I needed to learn this because sometimes we would be doing some things that I wasn't interested in. I would get off topic and push the activity off to the side. By doing this I made myself get a lot more work and it was a lot harder. After this year, even if I am not interested in the topic, I try to stay focused and get my work done. 

         The third thing that I learned this year was how to gain perseverance. I learned this by working hard and by keep pushing forward. During this year there was a lot of work to be done and one of the only reasons why I got it done was that I persevered and persisted into doing it. This helped me because it made everything else after that a lot easier. I will use this tool in my life because in high school, college, and life I will need to persevere through most things.

         Something that we did this year that I will remember for the rest of my life is when we did our first socratic seminar for the book Bronx Masquerade. This was very memorable because I remember how deep the conversations were. We were all talking about things that spoke to us and made us feel a certain way. By talking about everything, we expressed our own opinions and thoughts. This will always be remembered because it helped me and some other people find how we really feel. It showed me that you aren't always going to agree with some people and that it is ok. 

         The nicest thing that someone did was that they helped me learn and grow this year. This person was my teacher, Mrs. Larson. She helped me improve the way I think and how I show it. My grades would not be the same if I had a different teacher. By guiding me and showing me how to improve I might have changed my life. I am very grateful that she was my teacher this year.

         One thing that I taught my classmates and teacher this year was how to think a different way. During the year I would express my thoughts and give my own opinions. By doing this I taught my classmates and teacher how to see some things a certain way. An example of this is when we did our first Socratic seminar for Of Mice and Men. During this seminar I said that I felt sorry for Curley's wife. This comment might have showed some people the other side of something. I taught then how to realize something that they might not have been able to realize without me. 

         The area that I feel I made my biggest improvement was writing essays. Before this year I was unsure of what to do for the essays. I didn't know how to format them or how long they should be. Now I know when you write paragraphs you use the TIQA format. This helped me a lot because I use it all the time and it makes my paragraphs and essays a lot smoother. Now I can take this skill and use it in the future. It doesn't just have to be ELA; it could be Math, Social Studies, or Science. The progress I made from a year ago to now is phenomenal. 

         Something that I accomplished this year is that I learned how to think outside the box. During the year we did a lot of activities that included us thinking about different ideas and topics. Everyone discussed what he or she thought and how he or she feel towards it. When people gave their own ideas it made me think about it and then made me go to another conclusion. I would think of things that other people haven't thought of. It might have been weird, but it showed that I have the ability to be creative. I am very proud of this because I now know that I can think of things that are original. 

         The most challenging part of the year for me was getting all of my work done on time. Most of the time after school I would have an extra curricular activity and doing homework would be delayed. Some nights I would be rushing to get it done and I would be stressed out. When I rushed to get it done the quality wouldn't be very good, then I would have to redo it the next day. During some part of the year I stopped this cycle and put my work before everything else. I would stay home instead of doing other things and got it done without rushing. I was straightening out my priorities. Before I straightened everything out, it very challenging and hard for me to handle, but I battled through it. 

         I think that my best piece of writing this year was my "Where I'm From" poem. I believe that it is my best because I really had to think about it and it describes who I am and what I came from. Whenever I read it I think of when I was little and my family history. The poem itself can't be related by anyone because it is my own feeling towards my past and it shows me. It is one of a kind and people who don't know me don't understand the meaning of the poem. Every line has a story behind it and a memory that means something to me. I feel like this poem is my best because I expressed myself in a different way instead of just talking about it. 

         My favorite book that I read this year was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This was my favorite because the book was so interesting. It was through the perspectives of multiple people, which appeals to me. Everyone in it has different races and backgrounds. It takes place in the 60s in the south, which by itself is an engaging topic. Most of the perspectives are of black maids who write a book of their own personal encounters being "the help". Throughout the book you see racism and people dealing with it. Sometimes it makes you laugh, cry, and feel anger. It was so intriguing that I would read for hours and couldn't put the book down. I will always remember it and how it gave me a different perspective on the life I have now.  

         For kids next year I would like to advise them on a one particular thing. I would say that they have to be prepared to work very hard everyday. They can't get through the year with slacking off and expecting everything to be easy. If they don't focus and persevere then everything would be a lot harder and more difficult. They have to put forth the effort because in the end it will pay off.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Of Mice and Men Movie Reflection

Section 1-

         The director made the "incident in weed" different from in the book because he actually shows us what is happening instead of George just telling Lennie and Slim what happened. There is an actual scene that shows what happens. Also is shows that they run in a field, this is not described in the book. I think he chose to do it this way because we can understand what is happening instead of inferring the events that it made. We see exactly the scene and who the people looked like, which can give the viewers a better understanding. He could have also added this scene because it adds more time to the movie. The reason that he would need extra time was that novella was very short so if he just did every scene word by word, then the movie would be very short. This changes the story because it shows what George and Lennie came from. It makes the story more understanding by showing the exact moments that occur that make them end up at the ranch.

         The director had the first scene be George on a train because it indicates that the story following it is a flashback or memory. He could have been showing that George was by himself. This could have been a clue as to what is going to happen in the future. By doing this he was telling us that George's life would not include anyone else. Also that he is alone and he has a troublesome history that he needs to contemplate. The train sort of symbolizes him moving on, physically and mentally.

        I think that the director's choice to have Sharilynn Fenn play Curley's wife was a decent decision. I feel like she fitted Curley's wife. I imagined her to be more flirtatious and to have more makeup on. Her dress was too plain because I thought that it would be more extravagant. In the movie I thought that she should have used her body more to get the mens attention. This would have showed that she was flirtatious on another level. I would have chosen Anne Hathaway to play Curley's wife. I would have chosen her because I imagined her to be brunette and with a big smile. I feel like she could have been a movie star in the 30s like Curley's wife. Also she would be taller than Curley which would emphasize Curley's shortness.

   Section 4-    

        My general thoughts, feelings, and reactions of Of Mice and Men is that it was a phenomenal novella. It made me feel sorry, angry, and hopeful for different characters. I was on the edge of my seat on some parts of it. The novella had a deep meaning to it that once you found it out, you were given a bunch of feelings. The thing that had the most impact on me was that it showed how back then everyone was on their own. This makes me think that now people are much closer and have more people they can rely on. I feel lucky that this time period shows that friendship is common and suspected of people. I would recommend this book to people who can see the meaning that is below the surface. If someone who doesn't deeply think about the events in a book, then they wouldn't know the true meaning of it. I wouldn't recommend this book to young children because they wouldn't be mature enough to read the parts that are meant for adults. They also wouldn't understand it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Conflict for Of Mice and Men Blog

          One of the conflicts from the novella, Of Mice and Men is that there is tension between Curley, George and Lennie. Other than mutual hatred between George and Curley, there was a fight between Lennie and Curley. This was caused when Curley thought that Lennie was laughing at him. In the novella it says, "His eyes slipped on past and lighted on Lennie; and Lennie was still smiling with delight at the memory of the ranch." This quote is saying that Curley thought Lennie was laughing at him and got mad. This would't be a huge issue if Curley hadn't always hated Lennie. He hated him because Lennie was a big guy and Curley wasn't, he was envious. In the novella when Candy talks to George it says, "'Well tell you what. Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys...Kinda like he's mad at 'em because he ain't a big guy." This shows that Curley hates big people.

         This conflict is Man vs Man because George and Lennie are going against Curley. This conflict has affected the plot because it causes Lennie and Curley to fight. In the text it says, "'Looks to me like ever' bone in his han' is crushed." By crushing Curley's hand, Lennie could get George and himself in trouble. They could be fired and this makes another conflict. George and Lennie's feud with Curley also jeopardizes their dream because they might no be able to get enough money to fund their dream if they are fired.

         Another conflict in, Of Mice and Men is that Crooks is very lonely because he is black. Many people don't respect him so he is by himself all the time. This conflict is Man vs Society. In the novella when Crooks talks to Lennie he says, "'You got George. You know he is coming back. S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you could't go into the bunkhouse and play rummy 'cause you was black.'" This quote explains that Crooks he doesn't have anybody like George. He is all by his lonesome because he is black.

         This conflict has had an affect on the plot when Crooks said that he could come along with George, Lennie, and Candy to their ranch, even though he dismissed his comment after. He probably said that he wanted to go because he didn't want to be alone and he could actually enjoy life instead of just reading and playing horseshoes by himself. This could affect the plot because if people find out that they might allow a black person to be around them then there could be fights since people were very racist back then. It could also affect the plot because he could reveal to Curley or the Boss that they are planning on leaving. Then they could be fired or payed less money.

          A third conflict is that Lennie has a mind of a young child. This conflict is Man vs Self. Lennie can't think like an adult and he can't remember very well. This shows that he probably has some sort of mental disability. In the novella it says, "'So you forgot that awready, did you? I gotta tell you again, do I! Jesus Christ, you're a crazy bastard!'" This quote explains that Lennie can't remember things and people suspect that he can't either. This conflict has affected the plot because people have become suspicious about him. They don't understand why he does what he does so they think that he is crazy. The Boss already has an eye on him because Lennie wouldn't talk because George told him not to.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Dreams Of Mice and Men Blog

A rose bud smashed
Petals on the ground bashed
Not given the chance to live
Not given the chance to thrive

A dream smashed
Hopes in the ground smashed
Not given the chance to live
Not given the chance to thrive

Once beautiful feelings of change and ambition
Are now turned into dingy dark thoughts
Nothing lies there where masterpieces stood

Skyscrapers caved in
Being sucked into a black hole
Seconds go by

Not one window or door is still there
An empty lot full of promise
In the middle of tall towers
Stands out

Nothing to go back to
Nothing to look back to

Dreams diminished

A rose bud smashed
Petals on the ground bashed
Not given the chance to live
Not given the chance to thrive

A dream smashed
Hopes in the ground smashed
Not given the chance to live
Not given the chance to thrive

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Of Mice and Men Blog

         In the book, Of Mice and Men by John Steinback the atmosphere of the bunkhouse and ranch is that everyone knows everyone else's business. The personal information is known by most of the people who occupy it. For example most people know why Curley keeps a glove on his hand. This is said when Candy is gossiping to George, "The swamper warmed to his gossip. 'You see that glove on his left hand?' 'Yeah. I seen it.' 'Well, that glove's fulla Vaseline." By having Candy openly tell George about Curley's personal life it shows that people know what is happening in the ranch. This quote also shows that Candy is a big gossip. He will tell a stranger things that aren't openly told to everyone. Another example of this is when Candy says, "Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys...he's mad at 'em because he ain't a big guy." This quote is showing that Candy knows why Curley does some of the things that he does. He could know this maybe because he could have been listening to different conversations, or he could have saw how Curley acts between small and big guys. Candy knows a lot about Curley from what I can tell. That quote also shows that Curley is jealous of bigger men and is mad at them for being bigger then him.

         I think that Curley's wife doesn't have a name because she is being treated as Curley's property. She isn't her own person, just something that belongs to Curley. Curley might want to see her as an object because she is so flirtatious. In the book it says, "'Well-she got the eye.' Yeah? Married two weeks and got the eye? Maybe that's why Curley's pant are full of ants.'" This shows that Curley's wife is very flirtatious and that could be one of the reasons why Curley is so tense. If she doesn't have a name then she is basically owned by Curley and she can't go flirting with other guys. The no name thing is sort of like a leash that Curley has on his wife.

        The message that John Steinback is sending by not giving her a first name is that she does not have peoples respect. Her name is "Curley's Wife" because the respect that she does have comes from the fact that she is the boss's son's wife. It shows this when Candy tells George, "'Well, I think Curley's married...a tart.'" This is saying that people see her as a tart and don't respect her. By Steinback not giving her a first name he is contributing to the evidence that the only reason why people have the small amount of dignity towards her is because she is married to Curley.

Friday, April 8, 2016

3rd Quarter Reflections

In what area do you think you made your biggest improvements in English Language Arts?  
What is something you have accomplished this quarter that you are proud of?
What has been the most challenging part of 3rd Quarter for you and what did/can you do to help overcome this?
What have you learned about the world?

        In the area that I think I made my biggest improvement is learning the different aspects of writing poems. Since we did a poetry unit I now understand how to write a poem. Before this quarter, writing poetry for me was a struggle. I did not know what it should look like or how it should sound. Until we went through everything, I realized that a poem can be whatever you want it to be. It can have rhythm, alliteration, metaphors, and much more. I feel much more comfortable with writing poems now.

       Something that I have accomplished this quarter is finished reading my Lit Circle book on time every day I needed to read it. This was a struggle because some days I would have to read around seven chapters in one sitting. It was very hard because the book itself was very depressing, so it was hard to keep continuing. Another struggle was that I would have something after school and I didn't have a lot of time to finish my part. When I finally finished the book I felt very proud that I didn't give up or slack off. 

        The most challenging part of 3rd Quarter was writing the Poetry Reflection Blog. This has been the most challenging because for me talking about poetry is very hard. I sometimes don't have good words to describe it so I can't get my thoughts across. What I was saying in the blog didn't always meet with what I was thinking. To help overcome this I can try to talk my ideas out with other people. I feel that if I explain my ideas then other peoples ideas can help me find what I am trying to say. 

        I have learned a few things about the world from this quarter. One of the those things is that poetry can affect peoples lives. When I read the book Bronx Masquerade it showed me how poetry can make people open up more and make everyone connected. Another thing that I learned was that many women around the world have a lot less rights then we do in the US. We learned about how in Pakistan girls can't go to school, have a job, wear whatever they want, etc. By learning this I realized that the world hasn't grown like the US has. Some countries believe that women are inferior to men. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"First They Killed My Father" Lit Circle Blog

         One of my Essential Questions is, "What obstacles does Loung overcome during the revolution?", this EQ ties in with my novel study. My novel that I studied was First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung. The EQ ties in with my novel because the main character, Loung, survives the revolution of the Khmer Rouge and we wanted to know what she had to do to survive it. Loung had to endure many obstacles during the revolution. One of them is hunger, in the villages and labor camps that she lived at, she was barely given any food to survive. Many people around her died because of it and she almost didn't make it either. Most of the time during those times she would be depresses and tired because eating was one of the best things in the world for her at the time. Simply eating a few grains of rice would fill her heart up with joy. An example of this is in the 11th chapter Loung says, "Of course, all that no longer matters to me; my thoughts are focused solely on food." This quote is saying that nothing else matters besides food. Another obstacle that Loung had to endure was she was always in constant fear of the Khmer Rouge. This group had all the power and they would kill anyone who showed any signs of rebellion or weakness. In the book it says, "The soldiers have the right to punish thieves any way they see fit, killing them if they chose. Their power is so omnipotent that no one dares question their actions." This quote is saying that everyone, not just Loung, is afraid of the Khmer Rouge. Many people disagree with their beliefs but are too afraid to say something about it. These are just some of the obstacles that Loung had to overcome during the revolution. 

         The authors from the book, First They Killed My Father and "Cambodian Genocide" use some of the same information, but produce different texts because they interpret the information differently. The book is from a young girl's perspective and life. Throughout the book the girl mostly exposes her feelings and emotions towards the revolution that is occurring at that time, she doesn't give off facts that talk about what is happening. For example in the second chapter of the article when it talks about the evacuation of Phnom Penh she says,"After each round of rifle fire, people push and shove one another in a panicked frenzy trying to evacuate the city." This quote uses the words "panicked" and "frenzy" to show that she had strong feelings towards the event. What she is writing is what she directly experienced.

          However, in the article, the author doesn't express any emotion, just facts. They do this because they didn't directly experience the event that they are writing about. For example when the author talks about the beginning of the revolution, they say, "On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge army marched into Phnom Penh, the modern capitol.  Khmer Rouge soldiers, young peasants from the provinces, mostly uneducated teenage boys who had never been in a city before, swept through town.  They set to their job right away, evacuating Phnom Penh and forcing all of its residents to leave behind all their belongings and march towards the countryside." This doesn't show any emotion, imagery, or opinions it just explains what, when, where, who, and why. The quote is just informational.

         In both of these quotes they talk about the same event, but they are told in different ways. The book has a lot of emotion, imagery, and opinions while the article has facts and information. The article's author interpreted the information as by just explaining to the readers what happened and why it happened. In the book the author didn't have that information so they told what they saw instead of what she knew. The effect of the author being the main character is that the author didn't really interpret the information, they lived it instead. The book is based on first hand accounts instead of secondary sources. When the author/main character was writing the book she told it by how she experienced it. Since she didn't know what was happening she only wrote what she knew or thought what was happening in that moment. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Poetry Reflection Blog

          Poetry has a minor impact in my life. When I create poetry I don't find it very inspirational or beneficial to me. Although, sometimes when I read it, I start to how understand how people feel certain ways. For example when I read some of the people in my class's poems I started to see how they really feel instead of the wall that they put up. Another thing that poetry does for me is make me think in different ways. An example of this is in the poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost, it makes me think that nothing is permanent and that anything can change. I wouldn't have thought of this if I never read this poem. Overall, poetry doesn't affect me a lot, but in some ways it can help me.

        Poetry does belong to everyone. I know this because poetry is more of a feeling than a writing style. Everyone has feelings so everyone can have poetry too. When you write poetry you are expressing your ideas and feelings in a way that people would be able to understand. If you can write down or express these thoughts then you deserve the right for everyone to see them. This can also give people a sense of relief if they express somethings that they might not have expressed before.

        The life and experiences of a poet affects the poem he or she creates in different ways. The poet can have a hard childhood and then express it in their poem. For example Edgar Allen Poe, his childhood was very rough and his poems were considered dark and creepy. This shows that his childhood was negative so his poems were negative too. Different experiences could affect a poet poem too. An example of this is in the book Bronx Masquerade, the character Chankara Troupe. She was hit by her boyfriend and in her poem she talks about it. 

This is a poem I read, it is by anonymous. 

         A poem's form and structure contribute to it's meaning in a few ways. One way is that if it it has the form of a image from the poem, then the reader could get a visual of what the poem is talking about. You can visually see what the poet is trying to express. An example of this is in the poem above. The poet is talking about a tree and the poem is in the form of a tree. This contributes to the meaning because now the reader can fully grasp the content that the poet is trying to express. The structure of the poem could also contribute to the meaning of the poem too. If there is a certain way the poem is being written again and again, then the poet is trying to get something across. For example, in my poem below the words "If" and "I" are repeated in each stanza. This contributes to the meaning of the poem because every stanza talks about the same thing just different examples. By doing this the meaning is being repeated over and over again. 

"If" Poem

If I were to speak
my own opinions
loud and clear
would you cheer?

If I came with confidence
and honor,
uplifting a flag
would you taunt me?

If I saw the beauties of the world
each masterpiece
natural, and by the hands of man
would you take it away from me?

If I sang with beauty
and melody
causing tears
would you jeer?
Or would you sing with me?
I wonder

        Words/phrases, rhyme, alliteration, repetition, and figurative language have an impact on poems.  Words and phrases impact poems because it is the way readers understand what the poem is. If there wasn't words or phrases then people wouldn't understand what the poet is trying to say. Rhyme impacts poems because it gives the poem rhythm and tempo. For example, there is rhyme in my "If" poem. Alliteration impacts the poem because it can add humor or give examples. The poem of the tree above shows this when it says "bark, branches".  Repetition impacts poems because it gets the point across. An example of this is in my "If" poem, the words "If" and "I" are repeated so it makes the point of the poem clearer. Figurative language impacts poems because it makes it more vivid either with adding imagery, metaphors, etc. An example of using imagery is in my poem, when it says "and by the hands of man". This makes it sound more animated. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Different But Similar"

As riots and screams spout from the streets
Footsteps and breaths of 116 people
Travel from house to house
Like tiny ants that swarm around a sugary sweet

A 18 month old boy sits in his house
Experiencing a normal day
A 16 year old teenager terrorizes people and buildings
Both different, but similar
Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara are the words that tie them together
Both of their faces next to each other

The teenager runs away like a cat
The boy sits in his house
Policemen come into the child’s home and tries to take him
When they realize the youth of the “culprit”
Taking the father is their only option

Guilt hits the boy with power
Joy hits the teenager immensely
Relief is created when they set the dad free
Fear was brought up when the idea of imprisonment came into the picture
Anguish and sorrow surround the family
Injustice plays a part in the feelings that this family suffers

Finally justice finds out the truth
Identity was switched and the boy was released from chains

Inspiration for poem:
"Egypt: Officials claim mistaken identity after toddler sentenced to life"