Blog 17: Civil Disobedience

After reading Thoreau’s excerpt of “Civil Disobedience”, I think that a government should be able to govern, because that is the point of having a government and without it governing what is the point of having one in the first place. The role of the government is to help the people and do things that the average citizen cant do because they don’t have enough power. A kind of government that commands your respect is a dictatorship, because if you disrespect the government in places that have a dictatorship, then you will either go to jail or just get publicly executed. Martin Luther King Jr. has become the guide to modern protests movements because he started the marches, and stand ins and other peaceful protests like that, and his were the first time they were really listened to and big in the news. The role of civil disobedience today is still pretty prominent, from the women’s march to the school walkouts happening soon, people are still peacefully protesting maybe even more than ever. It is still effective because protests like these make national news all the time showing that people are listening.

Independent Reading Blog

 

The purpose of independent reading is to keep kids reading in schools and not have it die out, I think AR is a pretty good way to keep kids reading because it threatens them with a grade so that they read. The book I selected is called, Living With Jackie Chan, I picked this book because I couldn’t pick a book for myself so I just picked one of the blind date books and this is what I got.So far in the first chapter Josh, is leaving his old town to go live with his uncle, Larry, and he just got to the house and that’s when the chapter ends, I think that eventually we are gonna find out the reason Josh left his old town. So far the book sounds pretty good. I think its really cool that we are creating movie trailers for the books, because my brother did this a couple years ago, and I have been excited since then to do this.

Blog 14: Transcendentalism

 

My initial thoughts on transcendentalism is that it is very confusing, especially all of the excerpts we had to read. I found that once reading and going over the excerpts they were much easier to understand. Overall I think the transcendentalism is a good concept though, showing that we should be one with nature and that we should be our own person and not copy anyone else and just be who we are. I think that a man can be naturally good, but without society and its rules there would be havoc all around the world because people are more like followers than leaders. Society in our world keeps order and keeps people from doing things they shouldn’t and without this then people wouldn’t know what to do and they would run around and do whatever they want which would be terrible. An example of this is this little boy who was at skatetown the other day, now i work there so I have to enforce the rules, but this kid did not follow any of rules, he ran around and opened employees only doors, and went onto the skate floor without skates on and even stole skates from inside the skate rental area, now if this kid knew the rules he would not have done any of this, but since he didn’t he decided to just do whatever he wanted.

Blog 13

 

I think that my view on argument in general has changed throughout this debating experience, because after lots of research and class time working on my argument, I learned how to argue better then I ever have before. Before this I used a lot of fallacies in most of my everyday arguments, like calling chad stupid for example, but after debating though I did use some, I used a lot less fallacies than I would have if I never learned about them. Now for my peers, I think that most of their arguments were pretty solid, there were some that were weak but for the most part everyone had a good idea of what they were doing and made a legitimate argument for their topic. I think that some kids could have been more confident within their debates and that would have made all the difference. Adults on the other hand have a lot more experience than us kids have with arguments and which is why they argue a lot better than us. The speech that I wrote for the class was one of the hardest parts of this though, because I had to find credible facts for everything I said, and the citing was difficult since I forgot to do it at first and had to go back and find all of my sources again, but overall it wasn’t that bad of an experience, I learned how to argue a lot better and how to argue in front of crowds, even though it was only a class full of people. I think that the best debate I saw in our class was Alexa’s debate, I liked hers because I think that she was very well prepared and her questions killed, she basically got the other person to admit to being on her side, I think that right there is exactly how you should argue she did it perfectly.

Quarter 2 Book 2

 

 

 

This quarter I read the 5th Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. I had previously watched the movies, but it was cool to see how different they were. The details in the book revealed so much more than the two hour movie. Reading the books was almost like seeing 7 other movies. For example towards the beginning of the book, J. K. Rowling describes Bellatrix and Narcissa discussing Malfoy’s future. In the movie it was kind of unclear on what was happening with the unbreakable vow. The book explained it well, and set up the 6th movie where Malfoy has to kill Dumbledore. Another shocking revelation the book introduced was Dumbledore’s connection to Aunt Petunia. The movie’s show that Harry’s Aunt and Uncle certainly do not like magic, but the book takes it a step farther. When Petunia wants to kick Harry out of the house Dumbledore sends them a letter. It says something along the lines of, remember my last letter Petunia. This reveals that Dumbledore had made an agreement with Petunia long ago, and it guilts Petunia into letting Harry stay. Petunia’s character was just surface level in the movies. In the books we see how haunted she really is. Harry reminds her of her sister, and in book 7 we see how much she did care for her sister. Seeing this magical world not only reminds her of a tragic time in her past, but the jealousy she felt as a child. This letter in the book foreshadows a later character reveal, which does occur in the 7th book.

Although this might be a small detail, Prefect notices are left out of the movie. Upon further research I learned that there are two prefects chosen from each house every year. Prefects have responsibilities, like giving out detentions and they get some special privileges. In the book Ron and Hermione were named prefects of their house, leaving Harry out. This was smart on J.K. Rowling’s part because it further isolated Harry from his friends. As Harry has grown up through these books he has gotten progressively lonelier. In this book Harry does band together with his friends, however there are small details that indicated his loneliness. Including that Harry was not chosen to be a prefect is a small part, but it continues to reiterate that Harry is different from his friends. This detail also goes along with the theme that Harry experiences in every book/movie. It is always him rather than others that ends up getting put in dangerous situations. Although his friends often help him, it still makes Harry feel as if there is something wrong with him. Ultimately all of these indications of loneliness culminate to his brief death in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

My favorite part of the novel to me was the ending when they go to the Department of Mysteries to retrieve the prophecy. In the movie they simply enter the room and there are rows and rows of prophecy’s. When reading the book though, this one scene was several intricate chapters, it really did the Department of Mysteries justice. J.K. Rowling wrote a vivid description of several rooms that kept changing. This might sound confusing, but Rowling did it in a way that made it exciting. Instead of just entering the room with the prophecies, Harry and his friends had to weave through perilous situations. The way Rowling depicted this scene made it so much more real than just describing the different rooms. She created suspense with Harry’s uneasy tone, and continued it through the dark and mysterious descriptions of the rooms. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book, it was my favorite movie, and now my favorite book. “The book is better than the movie”, definitely holds true in this instance. The book was pact full of magical details that the movie didn’t even touch. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone who loves the excitement of the fantasy genre, and especially to anyone who has seen the movies, but not read the books.

Blog 9

 

 

So this blog is slightly late, like over a month so I’m just gonna go through some virtues I violated throughout this month since I can’t remember everything I violated the weekend this was assigned. So to start off the main and most important virtue I violated was Industry which is basically about how to keep your time organized and not procrastinate, but seeing that this blog is a month late I think I procrastinated pretty badly, and all the times that I could have done it I chose not too because I had better things to do, like watch Netflix. Now one thing I do remember from the weekend this was assigned is that I slept over at Joeys house and ate a whole box of zebra cakes along with a whole of captain crunch, but just the berries kind, so I violated the temperance virtue since I ate so much. Another virtue I have violated many times and every single day is the sincerity virtue since I basically make fun of chad all day everyday.  Another virtue is silence, I violated this because a lot of the stuff I say is said not to benefit people but to put them down and make them sad or angry, and I’ve made fun of a lot of people in the past month, but all in good spirits because I’m not a bully or anything like that. And finally the last virtue I violated was frugality since I bought a 15 dollar pick of destiny, from the greatest movie of all time Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, and I don’t really see it as a waste of money since its a guitar pick forged from the tooth of Satan himself, but my mom thinks its a waste so I guess I violated that virtue.

Blog 10

 

 

 

The article I chose for this blog is, “Why these friendly robots can’t be good friends to our kids.” The article talks about how there are these new robots being made that are like little friends to kids, and their argument is that the kids won’t learn any social skills with these robots since they are not real people, and have no actual emotion. But my argument against this, is that robots actually teach kids more social skills at an early age than anything else. One reason I think this is because I found a story about a kid with autism who had a robot that talks to him and makes him feel loved. Anthony, the kid, had many different therapy sessions with Zeno, the robot, and every time he went to one of these therapy sessions he started feeling more and more relaxed, until Zeno was like one of his best friends, and for a kid that has no friends that really means a lot. Another way robots are actually helping kids is how some of these social robots are being used to teach kids. These robots were being used in pre-schools to help kids learn math, and even art skills. Eventually these kids would grow to love the robots and take them everywhere because in the kids mind these robots are just like anyone else, they feel and think and love. The main reason that people are fighting against this is that they think its ethically wrong to make a child be friends with something that isn’t real and doesn’t think at all, but I think its the opposite because these are young kids we are talking about, and a lot of younger kids especially with disabilities don’t have a lot of friends and these robots can teach them basic social skills that will help these kids in the future. Also for the people that say that these relationships are not authentic, yoiu have to remember that people have relationships with non human things everyday, whether that be a pet, or a car, or anything you hold dear to you, ell this is all the same with these robots, you can love them and hold them and they can be just as a good a friend to a kid as a pet. So in conclusion, robots are actually very good friends to children and can teach them social skills rather than deprive them of the skills

Blog 11: Gun Control Con

 

My topic for the debate we will be doing in class is for gun control, and I will be fighting on the con side of the argument. So I will mainly be talking about how having gun control is a bad thing. This view on the topic is not particularly my view on the topic. My view is that there should be some restrictions on gun control like background checks and limits to what guns you are allowed to purchase, but not too many to where it limits our second amendment rights to where its basically not there anymore. I already know that background checks are required as of now with buying guns and that some guns are illegal to buy unless you’re like some big government dude. With a quick google search on gun control one of the first thing that came up was a pro con website giving differing views on either side of the gun control issue. Another website that showed up with a google search was the Wikipedia page and a page with facts on gun control. For a logical approach on this topic i’m going to find credible graphs and charts on differing topics within the fight on gun control. An ethical issue in this is that people might think it unethical to be able to buy guns without any control on how you get to buying it like background checks, because then anybody could buy a gun which can be very dangerous because hat if that person is a serial killer or just any mentally unstable person. One big emotion that I can bring in to play in this argument is patriotism, since it is our second amendment right to be able to own guns, and if you deny anyone that, then you are bringing shame to our country.

A Smile

 

So my initial reaction to the poem “A Smile”, is that it is a very painfully boring poem and makes me want to die. First of all, when I first read it, it was so boring and very confusing. I had no idea what I was reading, but after reading it a couple of times I started to understand that I was never gonna understand this poem and reading it over and over again will not help me, so I might as well just curl up in a ball and rethink my whole existence or why I even do school. Also every single person I talked to about this poem before class on Tuesday had no idea what it was about, not even the smartest people in the class knew what it was about. So that basically sums up how I feel about the poem. The first question I have about the poem is just why. Why does it have to be so confusing, why cant it just be easy to read instead of making me go through an existential crisis after reading it? My next question is for McGarry, and that is do you enjoy making our lives terrible? I have no idea what this poem is about, but i’m guessing its about a guy who gets attacked by a bear or something, and then something with mermaids and eagles and thunder. Honestly the allusions in this poem probably helped with the understanding, but I didn’t care enough to really go into depth with understanding the allusions, because I hate poetry. Now in order to get up to 350 words i’m gonna go back to talking about how this poem makes me feel since that’s easy to do. So lets out it this way, I’m usually a pretty happy person but once I read poetry It brings out the dark part of me and makes me want to drive a car into a day care. So lets just put all this poetry stuff behind us and go on to do more fun stuff like reading real stories, and now i’m almost at the word count so thank god and i’m tired and this isn’t a week late so just ignore that.

AR Book Blog

 

Detailed Summary

In a futuristic London Alex and his friends are all in the Korova bar where they all sit around and drink. But when they leave the bar they go on crime sprees in the night of London. They do many things like assault, robbery, car theft, and even rape. But the final crime out of all of these is the most brutal. Alex and his friends break into someones house and beat up the husband, and then rape the wife while the husband watches. After that Alex and the gang all go back to the Korova bar where Dim, one of the gang members, gets into a fight with Alex and then Alex punches Dim in the face. The other members of the gang don’t like this and slowly start to turn against Alex. On there next spree they break into a women’s house, but she calls the police so before Alex could escape Dim knocked him out. Alex was then apprehended by the police, where he learned that the woman he raped earlier had died. Alex gets sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He has a very hard time at first in prison, he gets beaten, and some inmates want to rape him. But after a few years it gets better because the jail chaplain becomes friends with Alex, and he teaches Alex about the Bible. Alex likes the bible because he enjoys the fights and drinking he can find in the book. Alex then kills another inmate and is selected to be in a new experimental program called the Ludovico’s Technique. It is a form of brainwashing that you inject Alex with a serum that makes him super sick, and then they make him watch violent movies so that he associates violence with being in pain. After going through 2 weeks of this treatment he is completely crime free, and is released from jail after only 2 years because he is harmless. Once the other gang members get news of Alex being released, Dim and an old enemy named Billy Bob take Alex into the middle of nowhere and beat him up. Alex then finds a house and begs for shelter, and he notices that the man is the husband of the woman he raped and killed a few years ago his name is F. Alexander. Once the man hears about what happened to Alex and ho the state brainwashed him, he tries to rise up and take down the state. They want Alex to make public appearances, but Alex does not want too, F. Alexander then recognizes the language that Alex and his friends used to speak, so he locks Alex in a room and blast classical music, which reminds Alex of violence, until Alex throws himself out of a window. Alex does not die from the fall and then because of this the public is outraged that a man could try to kill himself from a treatment, so they repeal the Ludovico’s Technique, and they restore Alex to his old self, and he starts a new gang and goes back to crime.

My Thoughts

I think that this book was really good, I liked how it wasn’t just them doing crime all the time, there was a whole story line involving the corrupt government. I especially liked how he started the book all bad, and then he turned super innocent for at least half of it, but by the end he was the same person that he started out as. So It’s kind of like nothing really mattered to Alex, but it did matter to the corrupt government, because Alex’s actions got rid of the experiments that drove Alex to try to commit suicide.