blog 15

I believe Emerson and Thoreau share a lot of similar beliefs and ideas. One of those similar views was about self reliance. In order to become better people we must prove so through our actions and behaviors. However when looking further in depth in this concept of self reliance you can see that Emerson believes we are capable of becoming someone as perfect as Jesus. Thoreau has more of the belief that you create the world you want to coexist in and to value what you have. Thoreau seems to believe that the less you have the more you have to gain. Emerson appears to have a greater appreciation of Nature than Thoreau based on my observations. Emerson points out all nature has to offer and how we are less than nature while Thoreau seems to pick out the parts of nature that arent perfect or are in another sense ugly in his eyes.I believe “Where I Lived and What I Lived For?” explains a lot about why he choose to go to the woods and endure its rough conditions. I believe this is mainly about the importance of a simple life that isnt taken over by materialistic things. Sometimes in life its the simple things that make you the happiest. You dont need a luxury car or a mansion on a lake to live a happy life. In the end its the simple things that you will always rely on. The main point of “The conclusion” is that you shouldn’t be a follower but instead should take the reins and be a leader. You have to be unique and cant be a carbon copy of everyone else. In order to do great things you have to break away from the standards, expectations and crowds. In life you have to do the things that make you happy and put yourself ahead.  I believe some of the benefits of Thoreaus leaving behind society is that the amount of drama would be majorly reduced. You dont have to deal with other peoples problems and pettiness and can instead focus on yourself and following your dreams. I however would miss my phone and miss all the technology that i have in my life if i were to follow Thoreau. Although i would like to say i wouldnt, i would end up missing materialistic items. I honestly dont think i could do it. I believe the reader should take out of transcendentalism is that idea that you should always be yourself because you control your fate. Instead of striving to be alike strive to do the unexpected and strive to be known as the one who didnt follow the pack. If we are all the same there will never be new inventions or new ways of thinking. Overall, the idea is just to be unique; be you and be proud of who you are.Image result for thoreau woods

Blog 15

I believe the purpose of independent reading is to allow students to read what they wish instead of being forced to read a particular book or novel. Independent reading can help improve vocabulary as well because the more you read, the greater your vocabulary will become. As a student I believe that some form of incentive would make students want to read more. Often with a lot of homework, studying and other activities reading slips students minds. The least they are worried about, especially if the dont like reading, is picking up a book.

I selected the book “An Abundance of Katherine’s” by John Greene for my first book for the 3rd quarter. I selected this book because I have read most of John Greene’s other books and enjoyed them so I figured why not. Im not exactly sure what to think after reading the first chapter. I wasnt a huge fan of the first chapter so im hoping it gets better. I believe that Colin will try to get Katherine 19 back based on the first chapter of the book. I dont really have any major concerns about creating a  book trailer.Image result for an abundance of katherines

blog 14

Transcendentalism….I still have no idea what it means. My initial thoughts were that I am gonna need a lot of explanation. I feel like this could be one long unit filled with struggles and possibly a fear tears of frustration. As for saying the word transcendentalism, I have concluded I am fully incapable of doing it properly. After getting a little bit of a grasp on the concept from reading the excerpts, im still not sure what exactly to think of it. Both of the excerpts game me a little bit of hassle trying to understand them, but once i understood them I believed that they are both pretty intriguing. I never really sat down and thought about the topics that Emerson expressed in the excerpts. The metaphors, when you understand them, really do help to add to the meaning of the excerpts and they are pretty cool. What he is saying I believe is true. Nature is more important and bigger than any human will ever be and it is true that when you follow others you loose your sense of self.

Im not sure if i agree with the idea of transcendentalism or not, im kinda in the middle. Humans can be gentle, sweet and caring to each other and have a lot of good in their hearts. On the other hand, some people are out to get you no matter what you do and I feel like that can kinda be qualified as evil. No human is ever going to be perfect when you look at the whole picture. The more I think about it the more I do lean towards the side of man being evil. People these days commit crimes without thinking much of it. In reality do they really have remorse for their actions or are they just afraid of punishments in store for them. These days people will do whatever it takes to get themselves ahead in life even if it is in the expense of others and i feel as though that in itself is wrong. To conclude, there is no such thing as a perfect human being but it seems as though we are leaning in the wrong direction and need society to have rules to keep from bad things happening.Related image

blog 13

No matter what stages in our lives everyone is going to have differing opinions on certain topics. Often people argue with each other based on what they believe is right and just. Most arguments are based on individuals emotions. They have a strong emotion about a topic and feel the need to explain why their view is the right one to have. Often people get upset over a debate and are very one sided. Someone who is arguing for one side of a topic will often disregard the other side which is a fatal flaw. Although you may not view the other side as correct, it is valuable to state facts of the other side and try to explain why they are negative. Often extremely one sided arguments that provide no fact of the other side are easy to shoot down. The topic of abortion in the class debates was one that had a lot of emotion tied in with it. Were we really getting the rock solid facts or were we getting someones opinion in an attempt to sound like a fact? It is often hard to listen to the other side of a debate because you often already have a personal stand on the issue. Our in class debates were pretty formal. They included a constructive, cross-examination, rebuttal and conclusion. We were very well prepared (at least most of us) for these arguments but in real life there are times you often have no preparation for an argument. If you meet some guy on the street who wants to argue about if marijuana should be legalized you dont have any facts to whip out off the top of your head. This often makes real life arguments harder to fight. I personally believe that the best debate in our class was the legalization of marijuana debate between Autumn and Alexa. They both did a really good job providing facts for their side of the argument but yet still addressed the other side. They had really good questions to ask each other during the cross- examination, some of which the other couldn’t answer. When it came to the rebuttal they both proved why the other side was wrong, pointing out fallacies each other used. Their conclusions were strong as well making it extremely hard, as a listener, to decide which side had won the debate.

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debate blog

I believe that my views have stayed pretty much the same over time. I still believe that illegal immigration is a big problem because it is unfair to those who are here legally. I think the most interesting fact was that the government spends 113 billion annually on illegal immigrants. I never imagined it would be such a high amount of money. I didnt know these exact statistics before researching them for my debate. Forbes.com gave me the information on this statistic. I believe my topic can trigger sadness, pity and anger.  People often feel anger for illegals because they indeed are here illegally and are taking things away from legal citizens such as jobs and tax dollars. It can trigger sadness and pity because of the fact illegal immigrants get housing aid when veterans and american families are left to sleep on the streets. I believe my debate topic is emotionally charged by itself because a lot of people have differing opinions on the topic. My topic is one that has a big impact on ethics. Ethics means having justice and fairness but when it comes to illegal immigration its hard to find anything exactly fair about it. One ethical argument for illegal immigration is that it gives people a chance at their dream but one against it is that legal tax payers are spending their hard earned money to pay for illegal immigrants which isnt fair. I believe emotion is most important for my topic because each person has different emotional views of illegal immigration. Illegal immigration causes many people to feel a wide variety of emotions. As said before, in my case, there is anger about illegal immigration but those in favor of it may say they feel sadness for them because they want to make a better life for themselves. I feel like there is some slippery slope against illegal immigration but a lot of appeal to emotion in favor of illegal immigration. Ive learned that when debating nobody cares about your opinion. If you put the words i or i believe in people are less likely to be persuaded. I believe in the future i wont be using any of my opinions in debates but instead using valid facts. Image result for illegal immigration

Blog 11 Topic Selection

My topic is immigration, specifically the question “is illegal immigration as big as a problem as it is perceived to be?” My side of the argument is pro so I will be arguing that illegal immigration is as big as a problem as it is perceived. Id say this is my personal opinion to when it comes to the topic of illegal immigration. I believe that immigrants should be welcomed but they should go through the process legally instead of coming here illegally. I know that there is a large amount of illegal immigrants entering the country yearly. Those immigrants dont pay taxes like American citizens must, so essentially they are are benefiting majorly. When googling this topic multiple sites pop up stating both the pros and cons of illegal immigration. The pros being economics, especially farming. Many illegal immigrants are used to farm produce. I plan on addressing both sides of the argument in my debate in order to further support my stance. Pity can be brought into the debate because people often feel bad for illegal immigrants because they are supposedly just trying to make a better life for themselves. The immigration process is often long and strenuous and many immigrants dont have the time to go through the process. They are so far into poverty they must do whatever necessary to try to turn their lives around for themselves and their families. To support that illegal immigration is bad you can hit the emotion of anger because American citizens have to pay for things but illegal immigrants dont. This is unfair to many many Americans, some of whom are barely making it by money wise. How is it proper that someone who is here legally must contribute money when those who come illegally get off free? I believe this topic can be debated strongly in favor of and against which will make it quite challenging.

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Blog 10

My article argues the fact that Orcas win the battle of apex predators over Great White sharks, but what if Great Whites are actually the winner? Great White sharks are the largest predatory fish in the world. They have razor sharp teeth that can be 2.5 inches long and are used to rip chunks of flesh off. They often attacked unseen, unheard and lie in shallow waters. Great Whites have great speed allowing them to suddenly attack their prey and they are located close to the top of the food chain. Great Whites have an incredible sense of smell and can smell blood in the ocean from far distances away. 3 miles away is the range in which they can pick up a scent. They can detect electrical signals that come from other living animals naturally. Sharks can sense vibrations as well which helps them hunt well. Great Whites don’t need oxygen in order to survive so they can stay submerged when hunting their prey. The sharks use their large powerful bodies to help attack the prey that they are after. Sometimes they go after seals but ultimately it comes down to what prey is available in their location at the time. These massive sharks can weigh between 1500-2400 pounds and can grow up to 21 feet in length! The sharks can swim up to 35 mph which allows them to quickly reach their prey. The bite force of a Great White is 4,000 psi, that is 10 times the bite force of a lion. They are also smart, the sharks tend to hunt early in the mornings when visibility is low which makes killing prey easier. Not to mention the fact that they can jump up to ten feet above the surface of the water to catch their dinner. Great Whites often are over looked on how powerful they truly are. These sharks are capable of things far beyond our beliefs. Don’t automatically assume that Great Whites are less powerful than Orca’s. Whos to say a Great White couldnt beat up on an Orca? If you dont judge people by rumors why should you judge the Great Whites from rumors? Just because some sites say that orcas are more powerful doesnt mean you should automatically believe it. Do thorough research and learn for yourself. If your like myself, you will see that Great Whites have a lot of power and are capable of many things, one of which I believe is taking down an Orca single- handedly.Image result for great white eating orcaImage result for great white

Virtues

It didn’t take very long for me to start breaking the list of virtues created by our good old pal, Ben Franklin. Wednesday night my gram came in clutch and made her specialty, lasagna. She makes the best around and I pretty much ate my body weight in lasagna. I felt like I was in a food coma, so there goes the virtue of temperance. We also made some homemade sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies over the weekend and I managed to eat half of them myself because once you start you cant seem to stop. Industry was broken quite a few times, including right now, by procrastinating on my homework. Instead of getting it done right away, I found myself on the couch taking naps. After I woke up from my naps, I searched for any excuse possible to dodge doing the work. So here we are once again, 8:57 at night (which is early for me) doing my homework. The cleanliness virtue was broken too because I decided I was too lazy to put my clean clothes away, so I sat them on the chest at the end of my bed. Who knows when i’ll actually get the motivation to fully put them away. Maybe tomorrow maybe the day after that, who knows. Even when I do decide to put them away, more seem to magically appear. I swear its a repetitive cycle of clothing. Don’t even get me started on Order because 99% of the time my decisions are spur of the moment. I find myself never setting specific times for things or making lists of things that need to get done. I found myself randomly deciding to binge watch Christmas movies on Saturday when I should have devoted that time to getting around because we had to be in Hershey that night. Frugality is one that I will probably always struggle with. Do I really need that pair of Uggs, that Northface jacket, or those leggings? No, but I want them. I find myself buying things, wearing them once and never wearing them again. Even worse than that, when I clean out my closet I often find things new with tags that I just refuse to wear. The question “why would I even buy that?” floats through my mind in situations like those. I honestly thought that it would be easier to try to follow the virtues. I obviously proved to myself that I am far from perfect, but then again who really is? Everyone makes mistakes and everyone does things they aren’t proud of, but that’s what makes us human.Image result for spending money

Blog 8

My first reaction to the poem, A Smile, was that I was confused and wasn’t a big fan of it for that reason. The poem had a lot going on with no rhyme or reason to it. The poem didn’t follow stanzaic form and didn’t have a specific rhyme scheme that I was able to pick out. However, I did find that the poem had some allusions buried within it . The allusion that helped me understand it a bit was “so much depends upon”. This statement means that life depends on the small things. Also when it is stated “reliant self” I was able to understand that everything in life depends on your choices and you have to make yourself happy. I feel like if we analyzed and read it together in class I would understand better but for the most part I’m pretty clueless about the overall message. My question is how do the footnotes tie in to the poem because I found they were throwing me off even more. The poet made sure to include some pretty complex vocabulary most of which I didn’t understand. I had to read lines multiple times in order to have half a clue what the poet was trying to get across. Some questions I have are why does the poem not follow a specific stanzaic form and why are there so many allusions found within? Also what is the theme that is trying to be presented? The poet has a very negative outlook in this poem. Maybe someone in the speakers left them but besides that guess I’m unsure of why it turns so negative as the poem goes on. I guess the end of the poem is meant to say that although life may be awful and miserable at one point you need to live it to its fullest. I’d say that, in my eyes the poem is about having to create happiness for yourself because you are the one that has any control over it. It’s your choice to be miserable in life or to have a positive outlook and live your life to the fullest.

Blog 7

My experience with poetry was a pretty rough one and I have concluded that I am far from being a poet. Having to write poetry made me realize just how difficult it is. While writing the poems there were times I wanted to throw something across the room and scream. Just when I thought my poem was sounding half decent a problem would arise, usually in the syllable count. Coming up with topics to write about and trying to make meaning of them was pretty difficult but I survived. Before this year, I avoided poetry like the plague because it was always taught in such a boring way. In 8th grade the same poems were played over and over again until you wished you hearing would just go. A lot of teachers would shove one specific theme down your throat instead of allowing you to interpret it your own way which made me really hate it. Interpretation of poetry has always been a weakness for me because I usually have no idea what is going on because some poets feel the need to whip out all these fancy words. My experience with poetry this year has been better than the rest, but id still prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist.

When I was informed we were writing poetry, I wasn’t too thrilled but I figured I could whip up a nice free verse poem. Then I read the directions and my hopes and dreams of my poem being a simple free verse were squashed like a bug.Writing the poems in stanzaic form stressed me out but once I got the hang of it I was able to stress a little less. Once I got the rhythm down I knew I could do it, even though I didnt want to. After creating poems, I give some serious credit to poets. I couldnt imagine writing poetry on a regular basis. After the poetry unit I have decided to give poetry more of a chance instead of automatically hating it. Overall I believe I kind of have a love/ hate relationship with poetry because some poems have good life lessons but some I just cant understand at all which makes me frustrated.Image result for i dont like poetry