The steaks have never been higher; Blog 11

The topic I have to debate is the legalization of recreational Marijuana. I am debating against the legalization of recreational marijuana. I don’t really favor either side too strongly. On the one hand, if it were to become legal for recreational use, the government could make money off of it. This could potentially boost the economy. Although, marijuana poses possible threats of car accidents, and health problems to those who smoke it. Marijuana can effect brain development. The use of marijuana can cause lung problems such as lung infections, and lung cancer. It lowers your awareness and reaction time which could lead to an increase in car accidents. When looking up the legalization of recreational marijuana, many sites come up about which states are legalizing recreational marijuana.  Also, many sites predict which states will legalize it in the future. There really are no sites about the pros and cons of marijuana though. My logical approach to the legalization of marijuana is that even if marijuana  becomes legalized, drug tests will continue to be given, and you can be fired from your job. Also, a business can not allow both alcohol and marijuana consumption, making it illegal to smoke it in a bar. Multiple public places will still prohibit the use of marijuana, so smoking it outside could get you arrested. Marijuana can cause lung problems, mental health problems, and heart problems. Drugs are bad, ask any doctor. Almost everyone will agree that taking drugs are bad, and that they should not be legalized. Marijuana is also a drug and has an addictive nature. An emotion related to this topic could be fear. The fear that car accidents will increase, and that marijuana could make some people addicted, and could ruin lives. I think the logical appeal will be the most effective, but the ethical and emotional appeal will help to persuade anyone who is still not sure of legalizing marijuana.

Blog 10: To Believe or Not to Believe?

The first amendment to the US Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Introducing religion in schools could potentially hinder religious freedom for students. Also, let’s not forget that there are laws in place to prevent the merge of Church and State. Religion is an important aspect in many American’s lives, although, we don’t all worship the same god. There are roughly 4,200 different religions in the world, each with it’s own belief system, higher power, and ways of worship. If religion is introduced into schools, how can we assure no student’s religion is left out? What religion would be taught? What if there is no school that shares your same beliefs? Student’s who have different beliefs than the majority of the school could be excluded from class discussions or activities, which could invite prejudice. This could potentially cause intolerance in children. Children would be separated by religion, so they might see other religions as alien and shy away from people who have a different creed. Religion can spark conflict due to strong opposing beliefs, which could cause violence, and bullying within schools. Separation of Church and State allows for religious freedom among impressionable children. There is a fine line between teaching and preaching, and if religion is taught in schools, beliefs could be imposed on students. America was built on the foundations of religious freedom, it’s why America seemed so appealing to many people. Of course, some people don’t believe in a god. According to multiple studies, the percent of American’s who do not believe in God, a god, or gods, is over a quarter of the population. Students are taught information, facts. With the amount of different religions, or lack there of, there is no set way to teach religion without discrediting any beliefs. Religious beliefs also go against some topics taught in schools, such as science. Also, with the inclusion of religion, some parents may be angered by the teachings in schools. They could want their child not to participate in religious activities due to different beliefs, which could take a toll on public schools, seeing as how they run on taxpayers. Of the American public, only 34% of people oppose separation of Church and State. Religion is very important, though to each person, that religion is different, which could cause unwanted conflict. No religion is wrong, although it may be better to keep religious teachings away from schools.

To Be A Better Person; Blog 9

 

So the first virtue on the list was cleanliness. With copious amounts of access to showers, and hygiene products, there was no problem staying clean. The next virtue was empathy. I have never had a problem with empathy, and can easily understand what others are going through, and why they do what they do, usually. I had no struggle with this virtue. Frugality, what can I say? I have no money to spend randomly, so I had no problem with this virtue. The next was sincerity. I didn’t face any problem with being truthful. Just in case you were thinking i’m a horrible person. With this virtue, I had trouble because of my strong sense of sarcasm. I can’t remember any specifics, but I am 100% sure there were a few sarcastic remarks throughout the past five days. Temperance wasn’t hard, since I can’t drink alcohol, and also I was pretty busy the past five weeks so I had no time to binge watch Netflix, eating whatever I wanted. Moderation showed me no problems the past five days, I don’t really act out or go to extremes. Justice was not hard either. I wouldn’t harm anyone or anything unless in danger, or trying to protect another person. Silence was hard because I have meaningless conversations with everyone, about everything. I can’t help it, if I think of something, I strike up a conversation. Unless i’m in Spanish class, I maybe utter 10 words the entire class. Humility, of what I can remember didn’t pose any problems these few days, of course I am not perfect, but I don’t gloat or speak really highly of myself usually. Socialization wasn’t too hard, only because I actively tried to be more social. Though on Saturday I wasn’t too social later in the day. I’m not very organized, so Order was a bit of  an issue, but for the most part it was alright. I only faced hardship with Resolution on Wednesday, but I kept my word, and did everything I was supposed to the rest of the five days. My biggest struggle was with Industry, surprise, surprise. I procrastinate, a lot. I procrastinate on waking up. I procrastinate on doing everyday things. I procrastinate on homework, and I procrastinate on anything else that I have to do. I don’t know why, even If I know it will have detrimental effects, I still procrastinate. I stress about everything, so Tranquility was killing me. I worry about worrying too much, that’s how much I worry. And because I worry about everything, I over analyze every situation, picking apart every possible thing that could go wrong. Nuclear war starting when I wake up? Check. People I love dying? Check. Sun exploding killing everyone on earth, and the entire solar system? Check. This habit of over analyzing led me to have a couple dots for Adaptation.Though there wasn’t much that was changing these past five days. Over the past five days, I wasn’t a perfect person, of course. I have flaws, like everyone. At least i’m not a serial killer. Or Adolf Hitler, or Donald Trump, they’re the same person right? You see? There’s that sarcasm again.

 

Happiness is for the weak; blog 8

At first I found it very confusing, the amount of allusion and metaphors packed into each stanza proved difficult to grasp. After reading it 23 times, I still do not fully understand the true theme of the poem, but I do know it is quite deep. When you first read it, you will not understand it. There is no doubt in my mind- you can not read it once and understand it. In the first stanza, is the road the speaker is describing literal or metaphorical? If it’s literal, then I believe the speaker is walking through the desert at night during a thunder storm, If I were to take the imagery literally. Although, if the imagery is metaphorical, then the “road” could be a metaphor for the road of life, the path everyone takes. And the speaker is contemplating life, and how desolate and lonely it is. Or it could be that the speaker is going through an existential crisis, or reflecting on his perspective of life. Honestly, I am not one hundred percent sure what exactly the poem is about, but I think I have a general idea. As I have said before, the poem has a deep meaning. The speaker is saying how people live their lives without truly being happy, but do not do anything about it. He talks about society and tells how we are but a cog, we are just a small part of society. And goes on, implying that the only way we can change this is if we ourselves break out of it.  Smile, a simple solution is to smile. But that is not it, a smile can only run skin deep, and there can be no real emotions behind it. So the speaker has no hope because of this revelation, and says how we are just playing a part in a story, and that we don’t notice, that we are not aware. Then the speaker says there is no audience, which I interpreted as we are alone. There is no one to lead us, there is nothing we can do, we must carry on. I used the multiple allusions in the poem to form my thoughts on the poem. One poem that is very important is “Thoreau’s quiet desperation”, which says that most people go through life unhappy, which resonates with how I interpreted the poem. Also the allusion “dynamo of night”, which is alludes to how we are conformed into society which also helped me to come to a decision on what I thought the poem was about. To be honest, I feel like this poem is like a sophisticated version of a teen angst poem.

Blog 7; Poetry :P

 I’ve randomly been writing poetry on and off for a few years now. I love writing poetry. The complexity of it adds to it’s beauty. It’s different than writing a short story because in poetry, it’s about how it flows, and it’s more, to me, about presenting a theme, and not exactly like a story. I always write in free verse, it’s comfortable and easy to apply to every topic. Coming up with the theme and how to convey it is not the problem, putting it into specific rhythm and rhyme schemes is what I have trouble with.  When writing my first poem, it took me about five minutes to write out a ruff draft. I then spent about 2 days revising it, trying to add more detail and add a stanza that followed a specific rhyme scheme. When I wrote my second poem, it took me quite a while to figure out what exactly I wanted to write about in the poem. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep the same theme. At first I did but then i realized the theme to my original poem was not very developed, and it was more of a general theme, and I wanted to make it more complex.  After I found my new theme, the poem just flowed. I enjoy both writing poetry and reading poetry. Reading poetry actually gives me inspiration for writing poetry, and helps me explore other ways of writing, and ways of presenting a theme using metaphors. I used similar presentation for my first poem as the poem that I read that I liked, called Tricks. So this sentence is just a random one I threw in, without this sentence my blog still reaches the minimum word requirement, I was just curious if you actually read this far. When reading poetry, I usually prefer to read poems that do not utilize any specific stanza form, because when a poem has rhyming words throughout the entire poem, it kind of sounds childish and I don’t really take it seriously. Sometimes it do like when a few lines-not the entire poem-have rhyming words in it. Though I would much rather read poems in free verse because it gives the poem a unique quality, and it creates its own atmosphere and tone.  In free verse, a poet creates a story purely from their own mind, no rules, no specific form, just your thoughts and emotions. It has a life of it’s own, and it’s beautiful. I love reading poetry. I love writing poetry. Poetry is my favorite form of writing and my experience with it has been long, and sometimes rocky, but I love it, always have and always will.

Four

Quick summary/ background information;

This is the illegitimate fourth book in the Divergent series, though that is not why it is called Four. It’s a prequel to the Divergent trilogy. This book is from the point of view of Four, also known as Tobias Eaton. This book contains different short stories written from Tobias’s point of view. In the original divergent series, people were separated by faction. There were five factions; Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless. The Abnegation faction is selfless. Candor is all about honesty. Erudite focuses on knowledge. Amity is peaceful, and work with the land. And finally, Dauntless is fearless, and the other factions find their bravery stupid, and obnoxious. Tobias Eaton was originally from the Abnegation faction. He lived with his mother and father until his mother ‘died’. In fact, she actually ran away because she was divergent and because her husband was abusive, which is dangerous. A divergent is someone who doesn’t fit into any faction, in fact they fit into all factions. Mrs. Eaton became a factionless, someone who failed at initiation in a faction, someone who does not fit into any faction at all, or someone who did not want to be in a faction. Tobias is also divergent, he is aware of when he is in a simulation, and obtains qualities from each faction. There is a conspiracy within the factions, leaders do not want anyone to be divergent. Once many people reveal to be divergent, the factions will disperse, and the people will be reunites with the rest of the world. Outside of their city boundaries is whats known as the fringe, people who live there are not complete, only divergents are complete, or whole as some would say.

 

More in depth summary;

The first story starts with Tobias taking his aptitude test to decide which faction he belongs in, although his abusive father told his what to do in the test to receive abnegation as a result. On the Choosing Day, against his fathers wished, Tobias chooses Dauntless and leaves the Abnegation faction, along with his father. It is discovered that Tobias only has four fears, which is extremely low, and is given the nickname Four. The second story follow Tobias as he goes through Initiate training to become Dauntless. He leaves behind what he was taught in the Abnegation faction and just let go. He goes through more training but has to be careful in what his decisions are during the tests in order to not be discovered as a ‘divergent’. His mentor is found dead a week later, and Tobias expects foul play because Amar is a divergent. In the third story, Tobias is offered to become a leader in  the Dauntless faction. He also discovers the leader of the Erudite faction is up to no good. He then hears from his thought to be dead mother, and meets with her, in an encounter in which she solidifies his suspicions of the Erudite leader. The fourth story takes place a couple years after the first story when Tobias is an initiate instructor, at this point he has already meet Tris. He’s been in contact with his mother while also closely watching the leader of the Erudite faction. He bonds more with Tris and protects her when he finds out she is a divergent. He confides in her when he has no one else to turn too. The final stories are parts from the original series, but in Tobias’s point of view of when and how he became close with Tris.

My thoughts;

I absolutely loved the Divergent series. I became emotionally involved with the characters. The original story follows Tris, who eventually finds herself in the Dauntless faction where she meets Tobias, her love interest. After reading the previous 3 book, I really like Tobias, he was strong, fearless, protective, and courageous. He had a painful past, but it just added to his character, and shaped his personality. Reading stories from his point of view is refreshing and makes me feel closer to the character. I loved this book.

The Innocents

Quick Summary;

Charlie, an outgoing, no-one-will-stand-in-my-way kind of girl. Alice, a laid-back, private girl. Charlie and Alice are sisters, just one year apart. When their parents split, Charlie and Alice are uprooted to their mothers new husbands home in Connecticut. After finding themselves in an upscale town, in a fancy estate, Alice and Charlie get caught in a whirlwind of events that uncovers family secrets. This story takes place in a town called Serenity Point. This book centers around teenage girls in a rich town, with a rich stepfather and flaky mother. Alice and Charlie’s father abandoned them and their mother. Suddenly, the girls along with their mother are whisked away to start a life with the other 1% of the population.Many things  about Alice and Charlie’s life is veiled in secrets and lies, but when they get to Serenity Point, those truths become uncovered.

More in depth summary;

Close. That’s how Alice and Charlie would describe their relationship, but once they move in with their new stepfather, they begin to drift further and further apart. Richard is Alice and Charlie’s new stepfather. He had a daughter named Camilla, who tragically died a year earlier. Alice finds herself falling for Tommy, Camilla’s ex boyfriend. Charlie goes after Jude, a guy who is a cliche, he’s the bad boy type. Their mother comes across as self-absorbed and fake throughout the story. Alice looks eerily similar to Richards deceased daughter, and finds many other clues that lead her to uncover a secret kept by Richard and her mother. All the signs and clues Alice comes up with makes Charlie think Alice is paranoid, which results in them drifting apart, along with the fact that Charlie is flaky. Tommy is an okay character, but he seemed empty, although he was given a backstory. Jude is mean to both Alice and Charlie, and i’m not sure why Charlie would be drawn to him, except that she might see his alcohol addiction, and rude demeanor attractive.  Richard was definitely hiding something. He took down every picture he had of his dead daughter, and he was very touchy about certain things.

My thoughts;                                                                                                                                                                *warning: spoiler alert

Honestly, I found the book slightly predictable. It was less, huge-crazy-plot-twist, actually, it hinted heavily on what was to come. There was very little action in the book, though it was very dramatic, and full of romance. It was disappointing that the only major twist in the book was Alice being Richards kid. Also, the way Charlie abandoned her sister for her terrible friends made me mad. She brushed off Alice’s thoughts as paranoia and didn’t believe her.  I didn’t quite understand the point-of-view. At first, the chapters went back and forth between both sisters, but then it focused more on Alice. I guess it’s understandable since Alice is the character who unveils the major conflict. I liked Alice the most, all the other characters were either too far out their, flat, or shady. I actually kind of like Camilla, Richards dead daughter, but she was dead, so uh, that wasn’t going anywhere. I thought Charlie was hard to relate to, to me her personality was hard to connect with, along with the fact that she made so many stupid choices throughout the book. The book was kind of suspenseful, and I still have questions yet to be answered. I wasn’t really as emotionally involved with the book as This book is a part of a series so it makes sense that it leaves off on a bit of a cliffhanger.  The whole book just seemed more like a set up to begin a series, rather than having an actual plot. This type of book is just not exactly what I like. I did enjoy the writing style a bit, and the plot was interesting, and I liked that it involved more than just a mystery, it also had lots of romance. For the most part, it was pretty fun to read.

Blog 5; My story

“Please, this is everything, I swear”. I chose this six word story because it’s very flexible, and i can use it it many different ways. A girl named Vesdace, who lives in Isnaden, on the planet Ayvin, has the ability to control light and emotion. Its not uncommon for people to be born with powers, and usually they live a

normal life. The corrupt Isnaden government started a war with a neighboring country, and decided that the only way to win the war was to take Vesdace’s power to fuel a machine. They chose Vesdace because she was extremely powerful, and they figured they should take her powers to; remove a threat, her family was known to have connections with rebel forces, so it was possible she would one day lead a rebellion, and also win a losing war. Vesdace is taken to the government headquarters, where she meets Srg. Javen. He seemed like a bad man, fulfilling such a horrible request to win a war. The story continues, following Vesdace and her struggle to break free from the governments prison. When I first read the line, “Please, this is everything, I swear”, I immediately thought of government officials searching someones house, and from here I formed a reason why they would be searching a house, and the circumstances around that person. At first the story was going to take place on earth, and Vesdace was going to be the only person to have powers. I completely changed the end of the story multiple times, and added more conflicts. I was going to end the story by having Vesdace win, and everything is good, and somehow this loss ruins the government. Then I was going to have Vesdace lose, but I realized I didn’t want her to lose. The end then was going to be the machine failing, and Vesdace’s power returns. I finally decided that someone from the government would destroy the machine and the government HQ. I also added the element of a corrupt government, and from there I formed a rebel group that Vesdace joins. When I first started writing this story I already knew Vesdace was going to have a warrior personality. I added Srg, Javen when I had to develop an antagonist character. When I originally formed the character, he was going to be ruthless, and horrible, but after finishing that section, I decided I wanted to make him conflicted. I changed his personality, making him sympathetic and giving him a painful background. Anyone can create a character who has no inhibitions, but it’s harder to give the bad guy a conscious and have him be misunderstood and self conflicted.

 

 

Ocean Tides; Blog 4

on Saturday the 30th, I went to my Grandparents farm. At their farm they have 3 barns, one for storage, one for cows, and one for hay. Many wild cats live in the hay barn, and recently a cat gave birth to 8 kittens. My dad, my grandfather, and I went to greet two new cows that arrived a few days earlier. I always go into the hay barn to see the cats. My grandfather went in and I went in behind him, he picked something up off the ground and turned around to face me. In his hands was a small gray kitten, which he handed to me. She was very tiny and didn’t move much, my dad said that she was probably sick. I held her close to me and she opened her eyes a bit, she had beautiful stormy blue eyes, so i named her ocean. We walked back to my grandparents farm, and I sat outside in the newly attached sun room outside the house. I thought that maybe the kitten seemed sickly because she hadn’t eaten, she was really small so it would make sense if the other cats ate all the food before she had a chance to eat. I held her in my arms with a tear dropper filled with warm milk in my hand and tried to feed her. She shied away from the milk, not wanting to drink. ‘Maybe shes just tired..’ I thought. I sat there with her for awhile, petting her soft fur. I laid her on a pillow in the sunlight, so she’d be warm, and went inside for a little bit. I came back out to see if she would eat, but she wouldn’t. I sat there with her, her breath labored, movements slow and eyes weary. I watched her for awhile while we sat in the sun, her small blue eyes drooping. I thought that maybe going back to the warm barn would be good for her. I wrapped her in a blue little blanket and walked slowly to the barn, holding her in my hands like she was something so precious. She laid her head on me, feeling my warmth, closing her eyes. When we got back to the barn, I laid her on a stack of hay, she let out a small meow and closed her eyes again. I pet her gently and walked back to the house. A few hours later I came back to the barn, she was still in the same position she was when I left her. I stood there heartbroken, the small kitten I tried to save was gone. She passed away in her sleep, peacefully. Me and my dad buried her in a stone wall and marked her grave by writing “Ocean” on a rock. I’m not really sure what life lesson I learned from this. I could say something really depressing like, no matter how hard you try, you can’t save everything. Or you can take away a lighter life lesson, even if you can’t save someone, you can make their last moments better. She died loved, and I guess that’s all you can hope for in life.

 

The Princess Bride

“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”. If you have no idea what this is from, your life is about to change. The theme of the Princess Bride is true love conquers all. The story takes place in the kingdom of Florin, where a girl named Buttercup falls in love with a farm-hand named Westley. Their love is tested by Prince Humperdinck, a man who wants to marry Buttercup so he can kill her and blame it on a neighboring country that he wants to go to war with. Westley, the farm-hand, wanted to marry Buttercup, so he set out to sea to earn a fortune. While sailing, Westley’s boat was captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who was not the original Dread Pirate Roberts. Upon hearing this news, Buttercup feared the worst. After this, Prince Humperdinck asked for Buttercup’s hand in marriage. She told him that she does not love him, and that her heart belongs to Westley, but she agreed to marry him. Years later Westley comes back as the Dread Pirate Roberts, you see, when his boat was captured, the Pirate offered Westley the title of Dread Pirate Roberts, so he could retire. Taking him up on his offer, Westley learned how to be the Pirate. Once Westley returned, he found that 3 men kidnapped Buttercup upon Humperdinck’s request. Westley throughout the movie, along with 2 of the kidnappers he befriended, tries to save Buttercup from the Prince.

A kingdom is the perfect setting for true love, just watch any Disney Princess movie, at least one character talks about Princes and marriage. Many people think of a happy love story between a Prince and Princess when they think of true love, so inevitably they think of a kingdom. The setting challenges the characters both physically and mentally throughout the story, making the bond between Buttercup and Westley stronger. Westley is a strong, loyal, sarcastic man who would die for Buttercup. He is helped on his journey by Inigo Montoya, who was initially an antagonist when we were first introduced to him, but later he helped Westley save Buttercup. When Inigo was young, he watched his father get killed by a man with 6 fingers on his right hand. Inigo swore he would avenge his father, so he became a highly skilled, ambidextrous, swordsman. He is strong and saves Westley from being “mostly dead”. The movie’s mood was humorous and suspenseful, which added immensely to the story.

The love between Buttercup and Westley was so strong, Westley risked his life to save her. All he wanted was to earn money so he could wed his true love. Throughout the story, love had a major role in what the characters did, and in the end, true love won.