Friday, May 26, 2017

Final Reflection Blog

The three most important things I learned this year is to live life to the fullest, advocate for change, and to be empathetic. I learned the lesson of living life to the fullest when I read the book Tuesdays With Morrie. In this book an old, dying man wants to enjoy the time he has left. This has showed me how every moment is precious and you shouldn't waste it. The lesson to advocate for change was learned when I read the book Night. The main character, Elie Wiesel, decides to tell people his personal experiences of the Holocaust. He believes that if he does this then he can help prevent another event like it from occurring in the future. The last lesson I learned, which was to be empathetic, was taught to me by the book To Kill A Mockingbird. During this novel Atticus, one of the main characters, tells his children to put themselves into others shoes. If they do this then they would understand why people do what they do. This has taught me to not judge a person right away, but to try to understand them.

The thing that we did this year that I will remember for the rest of my life is going to the Holocaust museum. This experience was very bitter and somber. However, it gave me a real glimpse of what life was like back then. I even got to meet a survivor, which was very inspiring. She told us her experience and how she was impacted by it throughout her whole life. I can still feel what it was like in that cattle car when we were all jam packed. The air felt very heavy and cold. I was extremely uncomfortable standing there. By doing this, I grew a respect for all the poor souls who were once transported by it. Overall the experience was one that I will never forget. 

The nicest thing someone has done for me in this class was providing food during the class. Some of these people were Sophie and Vince. They both brought snacks that helped me power through the class. Instead of staring at the clock wanting to go to lunch, I focused and did my work. I was more content and my stomach wasn't grumbling, which distracted me from class. These people didn't have to bring their own food, but they did. I am very grateful because it made the class better. 

Something that I taught my classmates was my opinions. My end of the year speech talked about how I believed in equality. Perhaps this speech made them think the same, or maybe it made them conjure another belief. Another time I taught them my opinions was when we did the socratic seminars for different books. When I participated and talked, everyone in the class listened. By doing this, they had an insight of what I thought. They might not have agreed, but I still taught them my opinions. 

The area that I made the biggest improvement was analyzing. Before this year I would just look at a meaningful quote and see what was on the surface. Now I can fully understand the contents. For example, how it affects people, why the person wrote it, or what message the person is giving. Something that I accomplished this year that I am proud of is my end of the year essay. I wrote this in a short amount of time, but I am still proud of it. I was also able to memorize it to a certain extent. This is an accomplishment for me because I am not good at memorizing. 

The most challenging part of this year was learning about the Holocaust. It was so gruesome and depressing that it was hard to listen to it. I know that it is part of history and we need to know about it, but it made me so upset. Sometimes I didn't want to come to class because it made me so distressed. However, I got through it and I learned a lot.

I think the best piece of writing that I did this year was the Montressor's Confession Blog. I think I did the best in this blog because it was very creative. The idea of it is way out of the box and it wasn't expected. I was excited to write it and didn't think of it as work, but as a fun activity.  It was entertaining writing it because I tried to make people astonished. Free writes are always my favorite. Since I liked doing the blog I put more effort then was required. This blog I have the most pride in. 

My favorite book this year was Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. This was my favorite because all the stories are intertwined. There was three narratives of how they required the same harmonica and what they did with it. They each found themselves by playing this harmonica. I found this very interesting because they were all connected. Even though their lives were completely different, they all shared something in common. Each story inspires you and makes you feel a strong emotion

Some advice I would give to next years students is to do what needs to be done even if you don't want to do it. If you just get your work done then the workload would be a lot less in the future. Then you get to have a lot more free time. If you don't do it then the piles of work will just increase as time goes on. When this happens you will be very stressed out. 

This I Believe Blog

"Equality is Unity"

The idea of being equal is simple, but it’s very hard to attain. All throughout history one group has been superior to another. As one human race, we have never completely been united. We think that we are better than someone else and this makes us alone. I believe that every person is equal no matter their status. I believe that equality, no matter what others say, is still not achieved. I believe that if we see each other as equals we will all be united.

My mother and I were going to a Chicago Bulls game this past winter. We had gotten the tickets from one of our family friends. These tickets were very good because they were the kind that had an unlimited buffet right by the seats. There was also waitresses that would bring us anything we needed. I was so excited to go there because it seemed so fancy. When we got to our seats a waitress came to us and was very hospitable. My mother and I had never been to this kind of booth before so she told us everything we needed to know. Around an hour later my mom and I realized that we had finished our drinks and needed a refill. The people sitting next to us had their drinks refilled and they didn’t have a dirty plate. We tried to find our waitress but she was nowhere to be seen. My mom had to track her down in order to ask for more drinks. She also had to ask another employee to take our plates. Throughout the whole night we saw our waitress asking the other customers if they needed anything and if they were okay. Not once did she ask my mother and me this. At the end of the game the waitress finally went to where we were sitting and loitered by our seats, hoping for a tip. My mom and I left her without a penny because she had shown us complete disrespect. 

I do not know if that waitress was racist or discriminative, but I do know that she treated my mother and I unfairly. Perhaps because we were dressed in jeans and t-shirts, while everyone else was wearing suits and dresses, she thought that we wouldn’t have left a good tip. Maybe, she was very busy with a lot of other customers. However, she didn’t even ask another waitress to assist us. I even saw her and other employees talking and laughing at the minibar. On my ride home I thought how crazy this was. That a young woman would be so judgemental to my mother and I. I have never felt this way before because I had been so sheltered by where I lived. All around my community we all seemed to have the same status as each other. I have never been the odd man out.

From this experience I have personally seen the discrimination that resides in the world. My personal account was extremely minor compared to others experiences. I am also grateful because this has been my only experience. Now I understand what others go through on a day to day basis. I caught a small glimpse of the pain they endure. In the future I am going to use this to fuel my drive to change the world.

I believe that the world is changing, but not fast enough. Times have changed and I am grateful for that. However, I can see that there is a lot of room for improvement. I encourage all of the people in this world to unite as humans instead of one race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or status. What I ask of you is probably one of the hardest things to do. But, humans are evolving and so are our abilities. This will take time, maybe hundreds of years. When we do this, we will see each other for what we are on the inside not the outside. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Aphorism Project Blog


1.                 The aphorism that I chose was "There is no such thing as 'too late' in life". This means that you can do anything that you want at anytime. Your dreams can be achieved at ninety years old if you like. People shouldn't limit their time of when they want to accomplish something. Aside from achieving things, people can always forgive whenever they like. If it was years after you got into a fight with a family member, you still have a chance to make it up with them. You can even change things about yourself that you don't like. I think that Morrie's main message was that age and time aren't affected with what you want to do. Even Morrie, who was on his deathbed, decided to help an old friend write a book. This was something that probably brought him joy and 'comfort in his last months. If he would have thought that since he was dying that helping someone wouldn't matter, because he he wouldn't see the final product, then Morrie would have been deprived from joy. This is why I think he made the aphorism "There is no such thing as 'too late' in life". 

2.  I chose to relate this aphorism with an event that happened four years ago. This event was when an eighty year old man climbed Mount Everest. He won the title of being the oldest man to climb the mountain. This relates to my aphorism because the man didn't think that he was too old to do something like climb the tallest mountain in the world. He thought that eighty years old is as good as 20 years old. In his mind age didn't matter, only the drive to push himself did. This was a goal that he wanted to accomplish so his age wasn't a factor in his ability to do it. 

3. I agree with the aphorism. I think that there is time to do anything possible. The reason that people don't do the things they want to is maybe because they are afraid. For example maybe a person who is in their late 40's wants to start a new career path. One of their doubts could be that they already have a job and a family to support. They think that they should've decided to do this when they were younger. The idea of having a different life might scare them. Besides this fear, there is almost nothing standing in your way. An example of this would be how Mitch decided to reach out to his brother in the book Tuesdays with Morrie. On page 191 it says, "'You're my only brother,' I said. 'I don't want to lose you. I love you.' I had never said such a thing to him before." This excerpt from Mitch shows how he finally made peace with his brother after years of not speaking to each other. Mitch realized that it wasn't 'too late' to try to make everything right between them. He even announced his love for him like he's never done before. He changed the way he expresses his feelings. Mitch's actions demonstrate how there is enough time to make a stronger relationship with someone. The years of not talking didn't affect how the two brothers went back to being friends. 

5.    People compare themselves to the wrong people. If they compared themselves to the unfortunate, we would all be more grateful. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Socratic Seminars Blog

These past three Socratic Seminars have made my thinking of Tuesdays with Morrie and life different. As we went through the seminars we analyzed further into the meaning of the life lessons Morrie taught. One of these lessons that we discussed was happiness. We discussed what it really meant to be happy and why many people aren't. This gave me new insights on what makes other people happy. I compared this to my own opinions on happiness. That was just one way, but there are many more reasons that the Socratic Seminars influenced my thinking. 

There was a few trends that I noticed with myself and personal goals. Some trends that I noticed with my personal goals was that I always wanted to be more involved in the conversation. I usually get caught up in what everyone else is saying that I don't think about what I want to say. Another trend was that I wanted to help the group get back on track instead of talking about things that weren't relevant. This was an important goal because a few times people would bring up things that were not about what we were discussing, and I would keep the conversation moving along. A trend that I noticed about myself was that I always listened more than I talked. By doing this I really tried to understand what the person was saying instead of what I was going to say. 

One personal goal that changed was pulling my classmates into the discussion. This goal changed because as the seminars went on, most of the people participated so there was no need to pull anyone in. Something that I always tried to change throughout the discussions was the amount of me talking. Sometimes I would talk too much and other times I wouldn't talk enough. A healthy balance was needed to make my participation satisfactory. 

Some trends that I noticed with the class was that the more seminars we did, the more people were involved. I think that kids might have been timid or shy the first few times we did it. Then they got more comfortable talking and expressing themselves. Another trend was that I noticed was how we got into deeper topics as the seminars progressed. We would start off with pretty simple ideas and then we would end on entire life lessons. One thing that I noticed that hindered the first seminar was that only certain people were talking the most. This made it so that there was similar opinions all the time. There wasn't a lot of contradictory ideas.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Perfect Day Blog

Many people have different ideas of their perfect day. Some people would want to lay on the beach by themselves all day, with a cold drink in their hand. Others, would go to Great America and ride every roller coaster. Morrie's from Tuesdays with Morrie, perfect day was just a simple ordinary day. He would eat his favorite food, enjoy nature, hang out with family and friends, and dance. This seems like a normal day, but to Morrie it was perfection.

My perfect day would start out by waking up at my cousins lake house. It would be early in the morning, right when the sun would touch the lake. The water would be glistening with what looked like diamonds. I would watch this for a while by myself and then go back to sleep for a little bit. I would be awakened by the smell of bacon and pancakes, with my family and cousins in the kitchen and living room interacting. I would eat my breakfast talking to my cousins and catching up on our lives.

Next, after breakfast, my family and I would get our bathing suits on and jump in the water. We would swim for around an hour or so and then come out and rest. Then all of us would get on my cousins boat and we would take a fast ride around the lake. He would then let me drive the boat and I would go really fast. After that we would go back to the lake house and get tubes and life jackets. My brothers, cousin, and I would take our turns going tubing. After this we would all laugh at how horribly one of us wiped out on the tube. We would go on another boat ride to just take in the sun. Then we would return to the store and eat lunch with root beer.

After lunch, I would go with my mom and cousin on the Rhino. We would go on trails through the forest while my cousin's dog ran next to us. I would sit in the back without a seat belt on and feel the wind blow on my face and hair. Doing this would make me feel free. This would go on for a while. When we got back we would go swimming again. Then I would go on the kayak and try not to fall off. By this time is would be getting around dinner time, so my dad and cousin would be grilling. While they were grilling, my brothers, cousin, and I would go to the volleyball court and play sand volleyball. After being exhausted we would walk back to the house and eat hamburgers, hotdogs, or chicken. When we finished dinner, there would have been a beautiful sunset. We would all watch in awe.

Since it would be dark outside, we would look up at the stars that you don't see in the city. My dad would start a fire in the fire pit and and we would make s'mores. Then we would watch a firework show from the top of the boat house with our feet dangling off of the ledge. Or instead of watching from the boat house, my cousin would take us all out on the boat and we would watch the fireworks from the lake. After the firework show we would take a night boat ride around the lake and look at all the different properties. When we got back on land we would make JiffyPop and watch a movie on their couch. We would all fall asleep there and I would wake up in the middle of the night to return to my bed. This would be the perfect day for me.

To make this a reality, I am going to have to talk to my parents about going to their lake house. They would need to organize it with my cousins so we all meet up together. We would also need to schedule it on the 4th of July so there would be fireworks. In addition to this we would have to look at the weather forecast to make sure that it is a warm sunny day. All of this is very achievable.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Family Tuesday Blog

The topic "Family" has had the most impact on me. As I read the chapter and the part about Mitch's brother I related it to myself. Mitch says, "Yet he remained the family favorite. When he visited home, in his wild and funny presence, I often felt stiff and conservative"(95). This reminds me of my younger brother and me. He is always the energetic and likeable one of my family. I too feel very timid around him like how Mitch felt around his brother. A separate way I can relate this to myself is that like Mitch and his brother, my brother and I are opposites. Mitch states,"...I was obedient, he broke the rules..."(95) This is the same for my sibling. This made me think that maybe the ordering of siblings had a thing to do with their behavior and personality. Mostly, these quotes made me relate to my brother and our relationship with each other. 

Another reason why this chapter has had the most impact on me is because it showed me the need for family. It illustrated what it would be like if someone was familyless. When talking about what it would be like if you didn't have a family, Morrie says, "I'm not sure I could do it. Sure, people would come visit, friends, associates, but it's not the same as having someone who will not leave"(92). I wonder what Morrie means when he says that he wouldn't make it. Does this mean that his personality would decay, or that his body would die? However, it does give me some insight on what my own life would be like if I didn't have a family. It makes me grateful for the family that I do have. It also demonstrates the difference between family and friends. Family will never leave you, but friends might. This chapter made me look at my life differently. 

This topic was very important because it spreads the message about the importance for family. Siblings can be your best friend. When Mitch recalls a time his brother and him went sledding he said, "I grin at my brother and we are united with childish pride"(99). This shows that brothers can gave lots of fun together. It also depicts that this was an important part in Mitch's life, so it had to have some meaning to him. He probably remembered this moment because he felt so connected and happy with his brother that it was part of their bonding experience. This kind of relationship can only be possessed through being siblings. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bucket List Blog

What are your initial reactions to what you have read in Tuesdays with Morrie thus far?

My initial reactions is that Morrie is a very down to Earth man. Morrie doesn't care about the material things in life and instead grasps the natural beauty of living. The way that Morrie shows that he is a peace with dying, displays how different he is from other people. Most people would be terrified that they know they would die in a short amount of time. However, Morrie embraces it and tries to make the most out of what little time he does have. He knows that during his life he lived it to the fullest he could. Now that he knows he is going to die soon, he barely has any regrets. 

Another reaction that I had was that Mitch is always trying to be something that he is not. Before and after college Mitch tries to portray someone who isn't him. Before college, he tried to look older by working out, wearing baggy clothes, and pretending to smoke. This was all in the effort to fit in. Now after college, he works crazy hours, gets paid a lot, and has a very stable life. This was not his dream when he was younger. He wanted to help the world and make it a better place. Mitch realizes how unsatisfied he is with his life after he visits Morrie again for the first time. Mitch wants to be that person who tries to help people, but instead he is just a regular nine to five guy.

My Bucket List-

  • Go skydiving
  • Become as educated as I need to
  • Live in another country for a while
  • Help underdeveloped countries
  • Go to a Blue Man Group concert
  • Live in a city apartment
  • Go to Niagra Falls
  • Have a dog
  • Invent something
  • Go to a Broadway musical in New York City 
  • Be alive until 2100
These things that I listed include things that interest me in accomplishing. For example going skydiving has always been something that I wanted to do. I have always wanted to see the world from that angle. The invent something bullet point means that I just want to make something that no one else has. It doesn't have to become famous or make me lots of money I just want to create something of my own. It might not be possible but I would like to make it to the next millennium. It would be so cool to think that I am living in a new time period from when I was a kid. I would only have to be 97 years old to accomplish it.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Small as an Elephant Blog


The book Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson is about a boy who was abandoned by his mother at a campsite in Maine. The boy, Jack, is eleven years old, lives in Boston, and is obsessed with elephants. His mother and him go on a camping trip at Acadia National Park for Labor Day weekend. When he wakes up in the morning his mother is not there. This isn't the first time this has happened, he just wishes should wouldn't be gone long. He must survive on his own searching for his mother all over Maine. The story shows Jack's adventure and survival story of a young boy living on his own with only the clothes on his back and a small plastic elephant.

Do you like what you’re reading? Why or why not?

I did like what I read. I enjoyed the book because it was full of adventure and it was relate-able. This poor boy had to live on his own for a week while trying to dodge the police. He had to hide in some very unusual places. One of these places was a garbage bin because the police were looking for him. Jack also was trying to get to a certain destination so he needed some sort of transportation. The book says on page 124, "Before anyone else pulled into the lot, Jack jumped into the back of the truck, scurried under the tarp, and lay there facedown." This shows how he would jump into a complete strangers car in order to get where he wanted to go. He was desperate to not walk the entire way. I liked how he did this because it shows how he wasn't fearful of what might happen to him. This book is relate-able because it is about a boy who is around my age. I can imagine walking in his footsteps and thinking what he thought. 

Is what you are reading believable? Why or why not?

The book is believable. It is believable because there are many mothers who abandon their children. For whatever reasons that they do, it happens a lot. The mother in the story also had an illness so you could imagine that there was something that compelled her to want to leave. It is also believable because a kid can live alone for only a week. In the beginning, Jack collected old cans to get money. The book says, "That meant that he could get five cents for every drink container he took to the store". (57) This knowledge is something that many people know so a kid would probably use it for his advantage. This book is believable in another way because Jack is obsessed with elephants. Many people have something that they absolutely love and think about all the time. His passion for these animals drove him to continue on with his adventure.

Friday, March 31, 2017

3rd Quarter Reflections Blog

The area that I think I made the biggest improvement in is being organized. Before this quarter, I would often forget about homework in other classes and then do them in the morning. Now I list all the homework I have everyday. This helps me visualize what needs to be done so I can see how much time I need to do my homework. By doing this, I now have time to do other things at my house besides schoolwork. It gives me a lot more freedom too. 

Some things that I have accomplished this quarter that I am proud of is my Battle of the Books reading. These last few weeks I have really read a lot more than I have before. I persevered through a 500 page book. I have never read a book that long before. The book that I read was Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan. This book was very interesting in the way that all the stories meshed in with each other. It really captivated me to continue reading even though it was a very long book. Now I am on to my final Battle of the Books novel. 

The most challenging part of the third quarter was learning about the Holocaust. The material that we were exposed to was very brutal and inhumane. When you learn about something that dark and horrible for weeks, it can really take a toll on you. However, I know that we need to learn about these things because the past affects the future. By being educated we can prevent it from happening again. Even though there was all these horrendous things that we researched, I am really interested in it. It is intriguing to know why this happened and who it affected. Also, how we can stop it in the future. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life is Beautiful Blog

The movie Life is Beautiful and the book Night, are very similar. One of the ways the two pieces are similar is that they both show father-son bonds. In Night the main character is the son and in the movie the main character is the father. In Life is Beautiful if the father died then the little child wouldn't know how to survive in the camp alone. Joshua, the son,  was living there in secret and he thought that it was a game. Unknowing of the real circumstances that he was in, Joshua could have accidentally gotten himself killed. If the father died in the book then Elie wouldn't have a reason to live and continue on. His dad was the lifeboat that kept him afloat. In both pieces they depend on each other to live. Another reason the movie and book were alike was that the concentration camps both worked in a similar way. The men and women were separated into different barracks. Elie lost his mother and sister, while Guido lost his wife. There was also selections that made the old and very young go to the crematoriums. In addition to selections there was physical examinations. Elie had to run, and Guido was looked at. Both Elie and Guido were tattooed their serial number. One of the last things that was similar was that if both the main characters would have stayed at the camp a few days longer, then they would have been free. They both decided to try to run away, but in the end it caused more of a burden. 

The movie and book were also different in a few ways. One thing that was different was the ages of the main characters. Guido was in his 30s or so, and Elie was a teenager. Another thing that was different was how the characters were treated. In Night Elie was beaten and yelled at multiple times. It seemed as if he was treated a lot more cruelly than Guido or Joshua were. There wasn't a lot of detail of the conditions that Guido was in. Life in Life is Beautiful seemed a lot more relax than they did in Night. Another thing that I noticed was different was how there wasn't as much security. In the book it made it appear that someone was always watching them and overseeing their work. However, in the movie Guido and Joshua were always doing something that they weren't supposed to. An example of this was when they were walking at night after Guido was a waiter. They got to their barracks without anyone suspecting or seeing them.

The tone of the movie was a lot more carefree than the book. In the movie Guido is making jokes and laughing with the hopes of cheering up Joshua. He makes it seem like it isn't really a horrible place to live, compared to how Elie made it seem. Joshua's perspective on the camps really affected his experience of his time there. Since he was innocent and didn't know what was happening, the realness of his situation never got to him. For example, when he was hiding in the box at the end he must have been nervous. He was nervous because he thought someone might find him and he would lose the game, not that someone would find him and kill him. If he was Elie, for example, then he would have been terrified waiting in the box. The levels of suspense between the two people are very different.

Even though the movie was based in a concentration camp, there was beauty shown. One of these instances was when Guido talked over the speaker with Joshua. He talked about his dream and that Dora was in it. Dora listened with hope and love. This experience showed her that her family was still alive and well. This also shows beauty because Guido risked his safety to let Dora know their existence. A guard could have walked in at any moment and shot both of them on the spot. Despite these risks, Guido still knew in him that talking on the loudspeaker would help his wife more than anything. Another moment that beauty was shown was when Guido played the song for the entire camp to hear. This one song transported Dora and Guido to a time when live was good. They were in the opera house once again. The song makes them remember how life used to be.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Argumentative Articles Blog

The most pressing argument that I learned today was the children boarder crisis. This was Aine's article and it talked about what steps should be taken to handle the crisis. In her article "How should we handle the children boarder crisis?" the two sides were very different from each other. The Pro side described how the US government would provide visas when necessary, also that they would try to help the kids as much as they could. Of course the children caught would be put into detention centers, but attorneys would act as their lawyers with the case. Attorneys would have to do this because the children weren't considered refugees so they were not provided with a lawyer. The Con side, however, believes that all illegal immigrants should be deported. They didn't want to give them a chance to earn a visa or become a citizen. Beside deportation, the author wanted to close the border all together. The main reason for this was because the author thought that if the government did these actions, then there would be a decrease in drug or human trafficking. These two sides are very controversial because the opinions are completely opposite. I believe that this article is the most pressing because this is a huge topic today in the media. Many people have very straightforward ideas on what should happen to immigrants and the border. 

This argument doesn't personally affect me. I am not an immigrant with the chance of deportation and I am not a person who decides the fate of the children. If there was a law made tomorrow that the border would be closed, my life would pretty much stay the same. Although, I would be emotionally affected by it. Many of my family members had to go through the process of becoming citizens. So to know that other people can't would be very upsetting. Even though I am not really affected by it, many other people are. There would an abundance of children and family members who's lives would change because of it. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Night Blog

Throughout the book Night by Elie Wiesel, the main character, Elie, loses his faith. In the beginning of the memoir, Elie was very close with God. He prayed all the time and never doubted anything different then what he was taught. During the first pages of the book it says, "By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple.”(Wiesel 3) This shows how dedicated he is to the Jewish religion. However, this is before he is sent to the concentration camps. The horrible events that occur during his time in the concentration camp make him to believe that God is to blame for all the injustice happening in the world. Elie states, "For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank him for?”(33). In this quote Elie begins to realize that God isn't going to do anything about saving the lives of all the innocent people. He becomes mad at him, putting all his hate into God. From the beginning of the book Elie goes from being a very pious boy, to a faithless person.

Another way that Elie was changed was through his personality. Being a prisoner for so long made him think of only himself. When his father is slapped in front of Elie he states, "I stood petrified. What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal’s flesh. Had I changed this much? So fast?” (39). This shows the difference between Elie's actions in and out of the concentration camp. Before he was placed in Auschwitz Elie had a lot of pride and would defend his father for any sort of punishment. After residing in the camp for only a little amount of time, Elie remains silent. He thinks that if he acts out then he will be punished as well. The fear of being penalized, makes him a different person.

Elie's personality was altered in a similar way. During his time in the camp, Elie has to take care of his father. Most of the time Elie feels like this is the right thing to do. The novel states, "I brought him water. Then I left the block for roll call. But I quickly turned back. I lay down on the bottom bunk. The sick were allowed to stay in the block. So I would be sick. I didn't want to leave my father."(Wiesel 111). This quote shows how devoted he is to taking care of his father. Elie doesn't want to be without him. However, his total devotion changes. After his father is taken to the crematorium, Elie says, "And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last!..."(112). Elie is showing how he really felt about his father. He thought that he was a huge burden that restricted him from an easier life. Before his dad died, Elie would never have been able to admit it. Now, he can say that his father was a hardship.

Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Butterfly Project

"Preparing For The Commission's Visit"

The commission, because of which a transport left and the three-layer bunks were torn down, has departed, and I believe they were satisfied. They didn't see through very much, stayed scarcely a half day, but that seems to have been only a rehearsal. The camp command issued new orders about the "beautifying campaign" that must be finished in two months.
           It's ridiculous, but it seems that Terezin is to be changed into a sort of spa. I don't know why I was reminded of the fairy tale "Table. Set Yourself!" But that is how everything seems to me. The orders are recieved in the evening, and in the morning everyone's eyes are staring with wonder, where did this or that thing come from? For three years it never occurred to anyone that streets might be named anything but Q and L.... But all of a sudden the Germans had an idea, and overnight signs had to be put on every corner house with the name of the street and at crossroads arrows pointed: To the Park, To the Bath, etc...
            The school building that had served as hospital up to today was cleared out overnight and the patients put elsewhere while the whole building was repainted, scrubbed up, school benches brought in, and on the morning a sign could be seen afar: "Boys' and Girls' School." It really looks fine, like a real school, only the pupils and teachers are missing. That shortcoming is adjusted by a small note on the door: "Holidays." On the square the newly sown grass is coming up, the center is adorned by a big rose plot, and the paths, covered cleans, yellow sand, are lined with two rows of newly painted benches. The boards we wondered about for so many days, trying to puzzle out what they were for, turned into a music pavilion. We even have a cafe with the fine sign "Cofeehouse"
           ....They have already got quite far in painting the houses... In two of the barracks some bunks and shelves were painted yellow and they got blue curtains. In the park in front of the Infants' Home they put up a luxury pavilion with cribs and light blue, quilted covers. In one room there are toys, a carved rocking horse, and so on. None of us can explain why they are doing this. Are they so concerned about that commision? Perhaps we don't even know how good the situation is.

By: Helga Weissova

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Holocaust AOW Impressions Blog

One impression that I had was that there are things about the Holocaust that people don't think about. When you think of the Holocaust victims you probably think about Western European Jews. Many of these people were killed, but there was another demographic that was victimized. According to Kezia's article, mentally ill and physically disabled people were rounded up and killed. They were first gassed, but then neighbors complained so they starved them to death. People forget that these people were also part of the enormous massacre. Another thing that people don't know is that the Soviet Union and the Nazi's starved innocent towns, according to Dylan's article. These powers would cut off all of the food supplies going into the towns. This was the way that they controlled them. The cause of this was that one in five people died in the Ukraine. These are facts that are overlooked because people aren't fully educated. 
Another impression that I had was that Holocaust related events are happening today. Some people compare Syrian refugees to Jewish refugees. Jackson's article says that many Jewish refugees weren't allowed into the country because they were thought they were spies. Americans didn't want to be in fear of people watching them, so many were turned away. Today, Syrians are turned away because they are thought that they are terrorists. Again, Americans are afraid of refugees. It seems that history is repeating itself over again. Another event that is related to the Holocaust that is happening today is that siblings have been reunited. Hazelle's article talks about how a brother and a sister have been reunited after sixty-six years. These siblings were separated when the sister had to go away to a working camp when they were young. Very recently they saw each other with the help of the Red Cross. The Red Cross has helped over 500 families with the same impact. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Character Traits Nicks Story

There was around three traits in the video that I though of while I watched the video about Nick. One trait that Nick possesses is courage. He can go around without being embarrassed of his disability. Many other people wouldn't want to go out in public in his condition. Another trait that I thought of is  perseverance. There was probably many times in his life that he didn't want to go on and he wanted to quit. However, he persevered and now he is extremely happy about his situation. The third trait that I thought of was uniqueness. The disability that he has is extremely rare. This means that he is unique, this could have been good or bad for him. He made it the best of what he has and he isn't mad at life. So, he made it for the good.

I can relate to this because of when I persevered through swimming. A couple of years ago I couldn't go in the water without holding my nose. I would be scared if I let my hand off of my nose because water would go up there. This past summer, I had learned how to to do it without holding my nose. It took me a long time and water would keep going up my nose but now it is barely a problem. This relates to Nicks story because I didn't give up and he didn't give up either.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Berlin Memorial Activity Blog

        During this activity I learned a few things about how Hitler and the Nazi's enforced their laws. One of these things was that at the very beginning of the Nazi rule, the laws were mild. They didn't go full out cruel on these people yet. Very gradually, they turned the Jews into objects. Another thing I learned was that Hitler and the Nazi's destroyed the Jews psyche. By enforcing all these laws and restrictions, they made the Jews outcasts. They didn't have the same rights as the Aryans so they felt different. An example of this was that they couldn't go to the same schools. This made this kids think that they weren't good enough which lowered their morale. The point of the Nazi's doing this was to make the Jews weak so they wouldn't fight back.

         I think this monument was built because Germmay wanted to honor those who passed. Perhaps they felt like they owed it to them to memorialize them. They probably felt horrible that they sheltered the murder of millions of people. By putting up the monuments, Germany might have been saying sorry. The dead can't be brought back so they educated people so this wouldn't happen again. The monuments showed people what could happen if history repeats itself.

         Over the years of the Nazi reign I noticed that the laws were not passed all at once. The first year they passed many laws to show who had power. All of these laws acted as a new playground bully saying that they were in charge and no one could disobey them. Also, many new leaders have many different rules once they come into office so it wasn't that unusual. Then the next year they didn't pass as many laws to maybe not scare anyone off. The Nazi's didn't want there to be a huge outbreak with other countries so it was milder. As they had more power they made more laws that they could easily enforce. This resulted in the harsher laws that applied to many people.
        One restriction I would have the most trouble dealing with was not being able to graduate. This would really get me distressed because I could have been going to school for many year to be a doctor, for example. To be a doctor you have to attend school for more then 4 years. All of that hard work and money would go to waste. I would have to start another profession that I wouldn't be as passionate about. Another restriction that I would have a lot of trouble dealing with would be the inability to testify in court against an Aryan. This would be problematic because an Aryan would most likely do something violently towards me or my family. I would want justice and compensation for whatever they did. The German or Germans would get away with putting me in danger and I couldn't do anything about it. This would really make me distressed.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Quarter 2 Reflection

*What is something you have accomplished since the new year that you are proud of?

        Something that I have accomplished since the new year is that I have not had any missing assignments. I am very proud of this because I have not had to go to working lunch at all. To achieve this, every day I make sure that I have everything done for each class. I make a mental list of all my classes and all the assignments that come with them. It has really helped me throughout the year. For ELA I always check Edmodo, this comes in handy when I can't remember what Mrs. Larson had said. This makes me very happy that I have accomplished this and I hope that it will continue.

*In what area do you think you made your biggest improvements in English Language Arts?

        The area that I think that I made the biggest improvement in English Language Arts is analyzing a text or quote. Before this year, I would only explain the quote and what it means. Now I dig deeper into the meaning so I can really pull apart the text or quote. I explain how it effects people in life and how it effected people in the text. By doing this it could possibly show another side to it that your wouldn't have seen before. I can see this based on my performance of analyzation last year. 

*What has been the most challenging part of 2nd Quarter for you and what did/can you do to help overcome this?

        The most challenging part of the 2nd Quarter is keeping up with my 20 Book Challenge. I have had so much to do after school that reading for entertainment wasn't one of my priorities. The books that I have picked out were interesting, they just didn't come before homework or after school activities. One thing I can do to overcome this is to read in the mornings. I could wake up earlier so there could be maybe 10 or 15 minutes of just reading. Doing this can wake my mind up so I can be alert in the morning. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Juxtapose To Kill A Mockingbird blog

1.  What do you think is the most important difference between the written and filmed version? Provide evidence with specific details.

         I think that the most important difference between the written and filmed version was that the perspective of the movie was different from the book. In the book, the whole story is shown through the eyes of Scout. However, in the movie it is shown through the eyes of multiple people. In the movie some of the perspectives are Atticus and Jem. In some scenes Scout wasn't present, so she wouldn't have been able to know what was going on. An example of this is how when Jem and Scout were waiting in Atticus' car, while he was in the Robinson's house. Scout was fast asleep so she wasn't able to see that Mr. Ewell came to their car and spit in Atticus' face. 

          I feel like this is an important difference because it makes the tone of the movie different from the book. When it is told through a childs perspective the mood is more mild and light. When it is told through and adult, however, it can be harsher and darker. And example of this in the movie, is when Judge Taylor talks to Atticus about the Robinson trial. He explains to him that he wants Atticus to take on the case. The makes the movie feel more serious. We didn't get this scene in the book because Scout wasn't a part of it. She was around playing and messing with Boo Radley. At that point in the book we didn't feel that sense of reality. It was all just children's games.

3. What is the purpose in having different versions of a story? Think about how different versions contribute to the overall understanding and interpretation of that piece of work. Use specific concepts to support your opinion.

          There are a few purposes in having different versions of a story. One of these purposes is giving the viewers a better understanding of the scene. For example in the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, you had to make inferences and guesses based on the textual evidence to understand what the people looked like and the setting. In the movie, it gives you exactly what they looked like and their surroundings. Another example for a purpose is that you might be able to understand the occurrences of a story more. In the book, when the attack of Jem and Scout occurred, I was very confused. I did not understand what exactly was happening and it didn't make sense to me. However, in the movie I was able to see what was happening and I wasn't as confused.