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.