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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