Blog 21

Honestly, as much as I hate to admit, this novel is not as bad as I thought it was. It has definitely grabbed and somehow held on to my attention. The dialogue and language is difficult to understand at times, but if you think as if you had the mentality of the narrator, it become significantly easier to float through. The sequence of events has flowed nicely up to this point as well. The transition between chapters and different stories is easy to follow and understand. The element that draws me in the most is that it the story seems to be written from the point of view of a child, or someone of an age that is not yet mature, but the way the character thinks and his actions and what he has to live through seem to be traits of someone who is a bit older. In one minor way, I feel that Huck is wise beyond is years, but only in a very tiny, small, itty bitty, little aspect. As far as other characters, I think Huck has a person for every need. He has Miss Watson, who does her best to keep him in check and on track. She tries to make a decent person out of him without letting his leash too lose. Then there’s Tom Sawyer, the devil on Huck’s shoulder. Someone to keep him on the edge and tell him all the wrong things that he wants to hear. There’s Miss Watson’s Jim, who is a bit of an entertaining outlier for Huck; someone to take the hit of being less intelligent than Huck. The last significant character, I think, is Pap Finn. When Pap Finn is introduced, I think the readers gain an understanding of why Huck is the way he is. Pap Finn is an essential character to develop the kind of character that Huck is. I see him as the best and worst thing on Huck’s list of favorites. Huck enjoys time with his father because he has no school, no responsibility, but he also hates it at the same time because he is locked up in complete isolation and alone with just an old abusive drunk. I see this as an eye for an eye kind of deal, and I believe that explains Huck’s character very well.

Blog 20

I found “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” a very interesting story that happened to be written quite well. The irony of the story turns out to be the most intriguing factor, as the narrator describes Simon Wheeler as a dumb, bald, moron when he actually turns out to be the smartest character in the whole big deal of the entire story. He actually is extremely intelligent and even fires some shots at the narrator. I found the greatest humor when the gambling man, Jim Smiley, bet that a dog with only two legs would win a fight against a dog in it’s prime. It’s difficult for a dog to live on two legs in this modern age, let alone back then…not to mention winning a fight in which he was clearly the disadvantaged opponent.

As for the Independent Reading assignment for the 3rd quarter, I’m still on the edge. However, as time goes on, I am realizing that I enjoyed something different. Instead of the dreaded AR test, it was a dreaded book trailer, which almost all of us still allowed ourselves to procrastinate over. It was something new and something that made us think deeper into the story rather than just what the test questions were.

Then we have Huck Finn. To this point, I don’t have any reason to really not like it. It’s a story that I think I can get interested in and actually want to read. I am guessing that it will be an action filled story where Huck Finn joins Sawyer and follows his footsteps. 

Blog 19 Satire

I am pretty sure that I have been surrounded by forms of satire my whole life. I come from a family who’s always engaging in some sort of dry humor and smart remarks. We all have a strong sense of sarcasm, and often use it when we are implying the exact opposite. It’s something I grew up around, and it clearly shines through in my personality. I would google types of humor, but my WiFi is being so incredibly slow that it took my add new post page ten minutes to load, so I’m not even gonna try to load another site. I pick on people a lot, but I’m the person who only picks on people who I like…I don’t target people I don’t know or am not close friends with to make jokes about or pick at. My closest friends get picked on the most, and if I make smart remarks towards you or am sarcastic about your remarks, chances are, I can deal with your company or maybe I even enjoy it.
In this SNL skit of Hillary at the Bar, the script picks at detailed actions and phrases that Hillary often uses. The actual Hillary Clinton plays as the bartender and her script is to finish the sentences of the acting Hillary. The satire here is mainly touching on Hillary making a big deal of little things and not having a straight story, https://youtu.be/6Jh2n5ki0KE
It seems that Mark Twain, whose real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens, tells of his childhood through the settings of his work. He often sets his stories in places that resemble is hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. His fictional river towns are pretty from the outside looking in, but the reality deep inside is full of drunks, loneliness, cruelty and poverty. Sam experienced a lot of death as a child, watching a local murder a cattle rancher, and a slave dying after being beat with iron. I think that is what I find most interesting. Mark Twain was trying to draw attention to the what seemed to be hopeless lives of misfortune that were being lived.

Blog 19 Vertigo

I am so extremely frustrated with this film. I am half convinced that Madeleine is lucid enough to mess with Johns mind. There is no way someone could be so manipulative without knowing. Not to mention, she has to have realized that John is follows her. Maybe she thinks that his stalking is more out of a love struck interest. NOT TO MENTION, John is such a terrible stalker. However, i found faith in him when he played the “i’ll just go with you” card… that was a smooth move executed by not-so-slick john/scottie. At this point in the film, I feel that johns fear of heights has taken a mild pause. It hasn’t been very relevant in the plot recently. Not since he looked out the hotel window, in fact. I’ll give the film some credit, though. I was fairly emotionally involved by the time the period ended last week. Our notes on the film are pretty humorous, all while being accurate, and I think that analyzing and taking notes as we watched is an explanation to why i was getting so involved. My attention was entirely on this film by the time that Midge painted herself as the woman in the painting. I was irritated about how John didn’t even stay behind long enough to act like he had no clue what Midge was referencing. I was ready for a show…or ready for Midge to completely tear John apart. The other thing i noticed is that Kim Novak (Madeline) was quite beautiful in her youth. I’m sure that everyone on set probably fell in love with her at first sight. I am very curious to see what else happens in Vertigo, because if I am emotionally involved now, what’s it gonna come to as this twisted love story progresses?

Blog 18

After listening to each of the groups analyze their designated sections in front of the class, as well as answer specific questions that were asked, I was benefited with a much better understanding of what this piece is really all about. I am extremely grateful that we were only given fractions of the entire piece to tear apart and understand, because even with less material included, it is still significantly challenging. I think that each of the groups did outstanding work to help the rest of the class understand the meaning behind their assigned sections.

I think that the presentation on sections 4 and 9 was the most appealing to me. It really focused on being your own person and to believe in your own desired values. These sections explain that you are the person who chooses how your life goes. Whitman says that sometimes we need to sit out of the fight because we make the same mistakes over and over. This particular section of the work actually gives me a push of motivation. It irritates me that he wants us to give up and not fight through to find the answers to the same old problems that reoccur. He also points out that people live through unimaginable circumstances and it makes others wonder how it’s possible. In other words, he says that uncertainty is life’s biggest obstacle.

“Song of Myself” relates to today’s society because there is so much pressure on young adults and even middle aged people on deciding how they want to live the rest of their lives. Students are questioned in as early as elementary school of what they want to do for the rest of their lives. The questions becomes more and more realistic as middle school rolls around, and most accurately- high school. This work explains that decisions made now can affect us for the rest of our lives, which is what we are told time and time again.

What questions/thoughts/concerns do you still have about the work? How would you rate this poem?

There are parts here and there that I feel weren’t elaborate enough throughout presentations. It was difficult to take notes while listening to and considering the discussion of each line. I would now rate this poem at around a three out of five, only because its schoolwork, which makes it unwanted to begin with, and it is difficult to interpret without the help of someone who does understand.

Blog 17

I think that the whole “that government is best which governs least” thing is a pile of rubbish. The role of the government is to ensure a secure and stable environment to enable free trade and innovation. The government is expected to secure it’s country’s borders, protect against threats from the inside, and protect it from threats from the outside. The government is expected to allow citizens of the country to better themselves as much as they can. The government is supposed to encourage it’s citizens to do better for themselves. The government is assumed to be responsible for keeping the peace among citizens and other countries.

Every government commands your respect. In order for a government to work, it needs to be respected by its citizens. However, the government also needs to respect it’s citizens. Its a domino effect. If the government does something that citizens don’t like, citizens react. If citizens cross the line and do something that the government doesn’t like, the government reacts. Its an ongoing battle that I don’t see any end to. Strict government leads to rebellious citizens, loose government leads to citizens not necessarily rebelling but being able to do what they want with minimal restriction or punishment. Honestly, I think humans need to figure themselves out because things don’t look like they’re going to start looking up any time soon.

Civil disobedience is an immensely influential factor in how today’s society works. The peaceful protests of the past few years have been noticed by even the most isolated of cavemen, and most have them have been causing great change, mostly unproductive change. From “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter” to “Take A Knee” and “Me Too,” the face of rallying and rioting has hugely altered. I think the greater issue at hand is civil obedience, mainly because it seems so uncommon and seems to go unnoticed so often. Wait, that’s the point. People are only noticed if they break the law or cause inconvenience to others. This is what makes civil disobedience effective. Society has shyed away from taking consideration of those who strive to make a difference and has rather been attracted to rewarding the disobedience by giving it attention. I believe it is an effective technique but only to a certain extent, that extent being the the line between remaining civil and crossing into the land of hail marys where people go to extreme measures in only hopes of making a difference. 

Blog 15

After reading the excerpt from Thoreau’s “Walden”, I have concluded that both he and Emerson believed deeply in the beauty and meaning behind nature. They both believe that an individuals meaning of life can be found through their own thoughts or actions. However, they expressed different elements of why they believed so much in the meaning of nature and natural doing. Emerson leans heavily upon each individual having an understanding in religious studies and that they looked for truths in nature. He also explains how the mind of a person is influenced by the beauty of nature. He says that human minds and nature are compatible, meaning that neither have any beginning or any end. Emerson believes that if one can understand nature, they can understand themselves. On another note, Thoreau explains his longing for living in the heart of nature. In a language much easier to understand than Emerson’s, he describes his dreams of building a home in which he can live his life; somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the common people. They both support the understanding that we have everything in this world is connected to each other somehow. The next thing that I noticed that the two have in common is their opinion towards government. They each wanted to see a change in the overall condition of their government. Thoreau believed that the government should not brown nose into peoples’ personal business, but also encouraged that common people remain civil towards the government. Emerson had a similar belief in that he wished for the government to remain in such power but that they not control the lives of others.

The purpose of “Where I Lived, And What I Died For” is essentially to make clear of the expectations in which life should be lived. I believe that the conclusion of the work is to convince us as society to just wake up and smell the roses; realize we’re digging a deeper grave than we think. I think that Thoreau’s wishes to leave society behind him and to live on his own is something I would definitely consider. I’m a social person at most times, but I also really enjoy being alone. I believe I could successfully handle being on my own.  

Independent Reading

I think that the purpose of independent reading is to offer a student some down time to doze off into someone else’s world for a while. The issue is, the school makes it nearly impossible for students to have any downtime. With the overwhelming homework and constant studying required to be efficient in classes, the last thing students care about is independent reading.

My first book is Katie Cotugno’s Top Ten. My reasoning behind choosing this particular book is mainly because I am really drawn in to sappy romances novels, happy ending or not. And it really helped that the book cover was cute.

Upon completing the first chapter, I feel like the friendship/relationship between Gabby and Ryan is either going to soar to new heights or plummet to the ground and become so awkward. My initial reaction to this book was knowing that I was obviously going to enjoy it because it’s simply the kind of beginning story line that I can get into.

My biggest concern about the movie trailer focuses mainly on who will be used to mimic the events in the story. I’ll have to find some couple to star in the trailer, that is, if I am understanding this assignment correctly.

Transcendentalism

Initial thoughts are a vague topic. I really have no clue where this is going. It’s something I don’t quite understand. I still have to look back at the classroom to check the spelling. Honestly, I thing it’s too big a word with too much meaning. Why do it this way when you can have lots of little words with simpler meaning? Another bout of honesty, the notes that were given are overwhelming. I really could use a period to go over them in class because they reflect on a lot more than what is quickly digestible by the average 11th grade student. I think that this big t word relates to the ongoing circle of life, or the concept in which everything is connected. I believe that man is naturally good. I believe that it is the big man upstairs who gives individuals their own battles. He puts them to the test to see how much they can really handle. Men are naturally good until they are pushed to the breaking point. It is at that moment that they get to decide whether to take the path of least resistance (path towards evil and cowardliness) or the path that guarantees more obstacles to be laying ahead but the potential of a better outcome when the end is reached. Take a look back to the beginning of it all. Man does not need society to succeed. If that was true, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing away right now.  The homo-sapiens and neanderthals didn’t have any form of government or written out society to follow along with. They survived for a significant period of time to eventually evolve into what we humans are today. On another note, I think that transcendentalism is an over exaggerated term for describing how it is crucial to stay true to yourself. We covered in class that imitation is suicide, and I believe that 100%. Society can create concrete walls, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stay between them. We are allowed to be unique and independent and special. Society restrains us to do the exact opposite. That is my argument. We are all different, and it’s meant to be that way.

Blog 13: End of Argument

I had the general concept of formal argument understood. However, the essay part of this assignment taught me more. The whole time that I was working on my outline for the essay, I thought it was way too much work for the end result and that I wasn’t going to use it anyway. Surprisingly, I’m really glad that I put so much time into the outline because it made the rest of the assignments so much easier. All my work was already organized, and in a format that was simple enough to alter into a guide for my debate and into the APA essay. I never understood how a former teacher of mine always seemed to be right about everything. Not that he was right every single time, but he was always confident and somewhat prepared to win whatever argument he was going to get into. I always thought that he had too much time on his hands since he more or less claimed he was nocturnal, which was true. But it turns out he just looked in the right places for his general understanding of information and he was confident, even if he had the slightest concern that his argument was invalid. I wish I would’ve known how to do this in the past, simply so I could catch him in cross examination and maybe a rebuttal just to show that sometimes, sometimes he wasn’t right. I tend to argue in a way that ends all debate because no one else knows what to say or they realize that they’re probably going to be wrong, or I simply dodge the question and make it backfire. My peers, well, those are the ones I’m usually arguing with, and unlike me, they’ll take a loss. Adults on the other hand… if you’re a smart kid at all, you’ll just shut your mouth and let them be right because you’ll keep your chances of minimal punishment. In respects to the way that they construct arguments, parents are always right so the “because I said so” statement is actually full of evidence and statistics and at that point, they’ve already won. I think that the best debate was probably the debate on text books vs technology, mainly because of the cross examination. It was a lighter topic that offered some unintentional comic relief. However, I was disappointed in the lack of hot comebacks from both sides. The second best argument was the one of lowering the drinking age to 18, mainly because one side openly admitted that they were not prepared 😉