The good, the bad, and the ugly

Overall Junior year kicked my butt and caused a lot of stress, however I made it through. The year seemed to go extremely slow but as soon as it hit February it seemed to fly by. I honestly cant believe that we are going to be seniors because it seems we were just coming into highschool as freshman.The amount of nights I sat at 11:30 hoping to get my blogs done by 12 is too many to count. I liked working on assignments in groups because some of them were rather lengthy. I liked Huck Finn probably the best out of all the work we have done this year. I was not a fan of the poetry we did because I struggle to interpret the meaning behind the works. I wasnt a fan of AR but then again who really is. I found myself struggling to even find the time and motivation to read any books yet alone write an essay on them. Not gonna lie the essay was done less than a week before the due date.  I would have liked to see the classcraft used a little bit more but other than that i really dont have anything negative to say. At times it was a lot of work, but I feel like I benefited from it and it will help me going forward in highschool and college. I liked that the class had a casual atmosphere and that you werent afraid to joke and have fun with us. A lot of teachers dont try to include humor in their class ,but as a student its nice to see a laid back teacher who isnt strict all of the time. My goals next year are to maintain my grades and try not to procrastinate as much as I did this year. My procrastination came back to bite me most of the time. I am trying to challenge myself with my classes next year to prepare me for college. Its important to be able to balance your social life with your “school” life so thats something I will definitely be working on and improving.

Blog 25

One things for sure and that is that all 3 poems themes tie into depression and not being able to find your way in the world as well as a theme of passing time. In Prufrock’s poem it is all about a high class man. Hes trying to fit in with those around him while attending a fancy social gathering. People are socializing but he is just existing. He is viewing what all is going on around him but isnt doing too well himself to fit in. This poem gets at the idea that you wont always fit in no matter how hard you try. You may just end up on the outside looking in. It also shows that you can be so close to fitting in but just not quite reach it. The poem has the theme of time embedded in it as well. The speaker measures his lives by spoons from his drinks in the mornings. He is nothing more than a spoon every morning which is actually super depressing when you think about it. He has no meaning in his life and views himself as useless and just there. In Disillusionment the speaker believes that only drunken sailors have pleasant dreams. The rest of the people are just exisitng and are boring to society. This poem brings the idea that even though you may feel alone you aren’t actually alone. The last poem ties in time and depression/loneliness in the world. The poet uses words such as anyone and someone. These words are not of much importance as they are very vague which makes it feel as though you dont belong. Time is represented through the seasons and the use of words such as sun, moon, stars and rain. This shows the progression of time that is unable to be stopped. no matter how hard you may try. Time continues to pass whether you want it to or not and you can not get back the time that you have wasted. Many days are passing for the speaker and he is still in a depressed and lonely state. Overall the poems are connected by the central themes of depression, time and the state of loneliness that can exist in humans. No matter where you may go or what you try to do the feeling of loneliness still lurks.

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Huck Finn

I would say that Huck Finn is mediocre at best. Im not a super huge fan ,but I have read way worse. I was expecting it to be worse than it was based off the beginning of the novel but thankfully it picked up which made reading it a little less painful. I believe it does a good job portraying the themes of southern romanticism, friendship, slavery, adventure, etc. Most of the novels we have been given throughout our high school career have been rough because they fall far outside of my interests,so even though Huck Finn is only mediocre, it is one of the better ones I have been given. The end of the book actually made me really frustrated especially with Toms character. I didnt like how it ended because it never states Hucks decision for the future on whether he will stay and be adopted by the Phelps or move out west in search of more adventure. I would change this part of the ending if I could, that way readers would know Hucks fate. I believe that readers now adays should take out the lesson of how important friendship is. Also a lesson about greed can be taken out of this novel because the King and Duke were all about greed and ended up getting tarred and feathered. Greed always comes back to get you in the end. I believe it still does relate to today because of the greed that is going on in society. People are worried about benefiting themselves and only themselves. Racism is also still prevalent in today’s society much like it is Huck Finn. People are often discriminated against still in today’s society even though we have come a long way.

Part 2: For our project we decided to make a southern meal with each of the foods relating to a theme. We decided to make fried chicken, peach pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet tea, cornbread to describe each of the themes in the novel. These themes include friendship, slavery, southern romanticism, realism, etc. We decided that each of these foods incorporate key events in each theme. Our goal is to make a project that the whole class enjoys and thinks is unique/interesting.

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Blog 23

There are a pretty good amount of important factors in chapters 30-33. The most important is probably the fact that the King sold Jim for $40 and now Huck must go and try to get him back before anything terribly bad happens to him. The king shows just how terrible of a person he is by doing this. It proves that he would do anything just to make a quick buck. The con men are out to benefit themselves and dont care for anyone else. Its important because Twain did hint at this by using foreshadowing in previous chapters. Huck starts to see Jim as an equal in these chapters. He realizes he is no better than him and accepts him as a real friend.  Huck realizes that he really does need Jim and Jim really does need him and that they are a team. Huck also starts to realize what is right and what is wrong. He gets rid of the con men because he realizes that what they are doing is morally wrong and he doesnt want to be associated with them. Huck is starting to show that he is becoming mature. This choice leads Huck in a positive direction as a person. I believe as the chapters go on Huck will continue to show us how more mature he is becoming. We meet the new characters of the Phelps family who happen to be the aunt and uncle of Tom Sawyer, Huck’s old pal. Sally and Silas are decently welcoming considering they took in Tom who was “a stranger” but it ends up becoming a joke. The farm is a cotton farm and the family does own slaves. I feel like the farm will tie into the Southern Romanticism theme. It could be the thing that Huck and Jim are in search of. It could be the happy ending that Huck wants. He faked his death to get away from pap and widow douglas all so he could try to live the life he wanted. I believe that Huck and Tom will end up staying at the farm and the book will end happily.

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Blog 22 4th Q IR

I chose Sue Monk Kidd as my author. To be completely honest she was my 4th pick because my previous choices were already chosen. I chose her because I like some of her quotes that she is famous for, one of which is “Someone who thinks death is the scariest thing doesn’t know a thing about life”. I feel like her quotes are deep because this particular one is saying that life isnt easy and there will often be times where you are scared and unsure what to do. Kidd’s main form of writing is novels. My favorite form of writing is novels because I feel like they are the easiest to understand so that led to my decision of choosing her. I think that her book “The Secret Life of Bees” seems interesting because the main characters mom died and her father is an abusive mess of a man. The main character believes that she is to blame for her mothers death after picking up a gun and accidentally firing it when she walked in on her parents fighting. I also believe “The Mermaids Chair” seems interesting because it is about a mysterious chair that has mermaids carved in it and is said to have been dedicated to a saint who previously was a mermaid. It is located in the Benedictine monastery off the coast of South Carolina. The main characters mother has a “tormented” past. This causes her to want to try and unlock her mothers past. The third book that seems interesting to me is “The Invention of Wings”. This novel follows 2 sisters who are abolitionists and a slave named Hetty. One of the sisters is given Hetty for her 11th birthday present. The two become friends because she refuses to accept ownership of Hetty and wants to try to let her be free. Sue Monk Kidd was born in 1948 in Georgia. Her writings contain things that are important to her such as western religion and spirituality. For her book “The Secret Life of Bees” she has won several awards for new writers. As a young child Kidd enjoyed writing and wrote for the newspaper. She discovered Thomas Merton and C.G. Jung and they were the reason for her spiritual life and writings. Her time period has an impact because feminism is starting to become popular and people are starting to form strong opinions on topics that wouldnt have been talked about in different time periods.

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Blog 21

Huckleberry Finn….a well known classic,which either means it will be extremely interesting or extremely painful to read. So far Huck Finn has just been mediocre. Its not fantastic but it could be a lot worse. I was expecting it to be a little bit more interesting but hopefully it gets better as the chapters go on. However, I do admit it is a lot better than the beginning chapters so that gives me hope its going to get better. I am not a fan of the diction because I don’t like the southern twang Mark Twain uses. I feel like you never really get a good feel for the characters when they are introduced. I dont fully understand the character Tom Sawyer because I feel as though we should have read Toms Sawyer’s book first since Huckleberry Finn was intended to be a sequel. The satire that’s included is actually kind of confusing because I cant quite pick out what hes trying to make fun of or criticize. Once I fully understand it, maybe the book will become funnier but as of now im just confused at what hes trying to get at. I do like that although Huck Finn may seem like a children’s story at first, it is actually quite dark when you think about it. I think by including Hucks dad it gives an insight on some issues that are going on still today. Huck struggles having to deal with his fathers alcoholism and it has even come to the point where he was chased around the house with his father threatening to kill him. There are children who grow up with abusive and alcoholic fathers and mothers and I think this book helps point out that it does happen and isnt something that only happens in the movies.He also points out about slavery when the genie in the bottle is mentioned and i think that comparison is actually quite clever. Slaves like genies must listen to what the master (or person who finds the lamp) wishes. The story addresses issues a lot of issues which I think is really good. Overall, the story is decent but I was expecting more.

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Blog 20 IR, Twain and Finn

I liked the short story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County, once I understood it fully. The first time reading through is hard to pick up the actual meaning of the story. Reading through I was very confused until we went over it some in class . I believe the satire used was very thoughtful and smart. It has a good meaning behind it because it makes the point that although you may be a “higher class” than someone it doesnt mean that you are better and more intelligent than them. Wealth doesnt define people. I believe it was pretty well written. I actually really enjoyed the movie trailers because i felt like I could use my creativity and show how I viewed the story to be. I would much rather do a book trailer than an AR test because I tend to forget bits and pieces of the book im reading by the time im ready to take the test. I liked that we had some time to read in class and do some activities based on our reading. I feel like having to make a trailer made me pick a book that didnt already have a movie so I couldnt accidentally use any ideas that were already being used in the actual trailer. My first reaction to Huck Finn is that it could be interesting but a little tricky to understand what is being said . I think this book is going to be about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finns friendship and adventures that they go on. Huck Finn seems to be a wild child who just cant be tamed so im sure the book will be about the crazy things he does.

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Satire

I like to surround myself with humor and sarcasm on the daily. I like to check out memes on instagram and share them with my friends. Chances are if they get a snap chat or text from me they are expecting a meme to pop up when they open it. I feel like life is so much better when you can joke around and make fun of each other and not get offended. I like shows like the office when im looking for some good humor. Also Americas funniest home videos never fails to put a smile on my face. I would say i like physical humor because something about people falling and doing stupid things really entertains me. The clip I included is a video of a guy trying to skate board but ends up falling flat on his back  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nULHCy4-wQs

I dont really know much about Mark Twain other than the fact he wrote Huckleberry Finn. I find it interesting that Mark Twain wasnt his actually name and he tried many other names before settling on it. His original name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

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Vertigo

The beginning of the movie was rough to say the least. I found myself getting quite worried that the movie would be terrible and make me want to fall asleep. Thankfully the movie got way better as it went along. I didnt really like the credits in the beginning of the movie it just felt super weird. I also didnt like that at some parts the movie was quite confusing, there were parts that just threw me for a loop. Some of the scenes are a little too over dramatic and cheesy like when Scotty faints off the stool in the beginning. I like that the film has some mysterious aspects to it and that the music adds effect to what is going on in the scene. I feel like the addition of Midge in the film is crucial because she seems to be almost jealous of Madeline and Scotty. I think the acting is actually pretty good for how old the film is. They portray the story pretty well. I also like the sense of mystery thats added by having Madeline look at the portrait and the grave. I feel like those scenes make the movie good. I predict that Midge is going to somehow interfere with Madeline and Scottys “relationship”. She seems quite jealous and upset over what is going on because she at once was engaged to Scotty. Scotty was sent to follow Madeline for his friend since that was his wife, but instead hews hitting on her and trying to pick her up. Scotty will probably end up with Madeline in the end because it seems as though they have a special relationship. Overall I would say that the film is decently interesting, it could be a lot worse. I feel like the more you watch it the more it draws the viewer in. I expected the movie, based on the beginning, to be a lot worse than it is so im thankful that it is actually intriguing.

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End of the song

Breaking down the poem by sentences and interpreting its meaning as a class through the presentations really helped me understand what the poem was about. My reaction to the poem is that Whitman gives good advice to those and has a lot of faith in society becoming better, but doesnt seem to do the things he preaches. However i like how he gives advice to society and delivers a sense of hope. That hope is that those in society will better themselves. I feel like Whitmans poem makes me want to become a better person and helps me realize that even in the rough days there is hope. I think section 52 was the most interesting because this is the section where Whitman realizes that he has been doing the exact opposite of what hes been preaching. He also comes to sense with the fact that he will be dying soon in this section. He tells readers that when hes dead you can search in his poetry to find him. His poetry will be his legacy and his thoughts. This is plain to see this poem is one of the most influential because poets nowadays are basing their works off of it. Many lessons that are in Whitmans poem are also embedded in those of the modern day. I believe it relates to today because everyone seems to be looking for ways to better themselves and find who they really are. People feel rushed to find their true identity and figure out what they are going to do in life. Another big thing is equality. Whitman expresses his love for equality in section 6. Equality is still something that we struggle with today because unfortunately not everyone has as open as a mind as Whitman. People are quick to judge others based on things they cant choose such as race or gender. As a reader I question why Whitman write this poem. Was he himself lost or was he trying to leave something for future generations to seek for advice? Did Whitman actually live his life the way he is telling readers to or did he fall short? Lastly I wonder what Whitman was in search of when writing this poem. I would say this poem is about an 6/10 because from the beginning i didnt understand it. It required a decent amount of time to figure out the meaning behind it and the poem itself was pretty long. However, I do like the message that Whitman gets across in the poem. He does a good job of providing hope for those in the future.

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