Blog 21

The Adventures of Huck Finn has been a very pleasant surprise. I had never read any of Mark Twain’s works except for a chapter from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in middle school. My memory isn’t the best, so I didn’t know what to expect. Mark Twain was a baller because he said whatever he wanted and didn’t even care about society’s rules at the time. That attitude and mentality are at times hidden, but most of it was out in the open. This book exposes social views in a more progressive light which is pretty cool judging by the fact that it was written during a time where this was considered taboo. I also really like the fact that many of the characters are very superstitious because it pulls the reader into the fantasy world of Huck Finn, and has made the story a lot more fun and appealing. Another thing that I noticed right away is that the story is from Huck’s point of view, which is different because it’s written from a child’s perspective. Normally this is very rare for me, and I found that this enabled Mark Twain to reveal (in many spots) Huck’s naivety and innocence, examples being his confusion with how prayer works and his belief of genies etc. Something else that’s been achieved so far, is that The Adventures of Huck Finn has managed to stay interesting rather than dry. This may sound ignorant, but I have noticed that sometimes many of the books authors have written from earlier time periods are, at times, boring, flat, and unexciting. I know some people like that kind of stuff, but I don’t so that’s what I was half expecting this book to be like. I guess “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”…or time period is true. Overall, there hasn’t been anything that I have not liked from this book, and it has been very enjoyable. This blog isn’t going to hit the word count but its okay because I think that I’ve successfully been able to answer the prompt given. Oh, wait now I have hit the word count that’s good.

Blog 20

  • “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was a very entertaining read. Mark Twain is a very respectable author because he trolled high society during a time when that was frowned upon, rather than supporting it or keeping his thoughts to himself. I also liked the fact that the whole story was written in the colloquial style of the area it was set in because it made it more amusing and helped me get into the story.
  • I really enjoyed how the third quarter AR was handled because it allowed me the opportunity to be creative and have fun with AR (which rarely happens). Plus I got to include my lil’ peanut Nakita. Another nice thing was that I only had to read one book this quarter, so I was able to find the time to actually finish it. Lastly being able to start my book in class helped motivate actually start it rather than pushing it off until the very last second, so overall, this was definitely a better way to do AR.

Blog 20

What is your experience with satire and humor? I’ve had a lot of experience with satire and humor because a lot of the TV shows I watch on the daily are ones that are always filled with satirical messages. (ex: The Office, Portlandia, Bob’s Burgers) 

What kind of humor do you enjoy the most (google humor types if needed)? Provide an example (explained or Youtube clip) of “your” type of humor.

– crude humor because it really butters my egg roll.
– What do you know about Mark Twain and his style of writing? Look up a little information about him and post something you find interesting.

I know that he was a pretty weird guy who wrote exactly what the though with no filter. 

Mark Twain was obsessed with cats. 

Blog 19

Before we started watching “Vertigo”, I was super worried that it was gonna be this long, boring, low-key racist, black and white film, but I was proved wrong because it’s actually been very enjoyable. I can see how it’s the number six ranked best film of all time because the storyline isn’t garbage and there are weird twists that the viewer sometimes doesn’t always see coming. My favorite scene so far was definitely when Midge made the painting for Scottie, of her face “photoshopped” onto the body of Carlotta Valdez. That part was hilarious, especially when Midge was so shook that Scottie hated it and started hysterically sobbing. Another thing that I thought was really funny, but wasn’t meant to be funny, was when Scottie was following Madeliene and she never noticed that he was tailing her for two days. Even when they were the only two cars on the road for most of the time, and he parked right behind her at the bridge. Although this film has been good, one thing that I don’t like is how the women in this film are portrayed. Madeliene seems like the damsel in distress, and is weirdly falling in love with Scottie even though they’ve only known each other for two days, and her love interest is actually a creepy stalker who’s become obsessed with her. Midge also seems to be chasing after Scottie even though he’s clearly friend zoned her and is chasing after the heart of another woman. Midge and Madeleine haven’t been shown as powerful independent women, so that’s my biggest critique. My big predictions are that Madeliene and Scottie are both gonna end up dying, probably from falling off a building because Scottie is afraid of heights, or Scottie might kill Madeline by pushing her off a building because he’s obsessed with her and normally that kind of thing happens.

Blog 18

This poem was mediocre at best. Even though I’m no poet, neither is he. “Song of Myself” is basic and just repeats the same concepts over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Just kidding, that was mean. “Song of Myself” really wasn’t that bad. Although I didn’t really know what he was talking about at first, after the class analysis it was a lot easier to enjoy and appreciate the poem. It was also very cool how he used aspects of nature as a metaphor for things such as himself, society, and life. The most interesting stanza was Canto 51 because not only does Walt contradict himself, but another speaker is introduced (the voice of God). Walt also questions why he has only been a talker rather than a doer, which can relate to many people in today’s society, including me.

Specific elements that represent society today include:

  • The terms “talkers”, “trippers”, and “askers”  (examples of people in society).
  • “this grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers” (society is young, fresh, and healthy).
  • “urge and urge and urge, always the procreant urge of the world” (basic human instincts; we care to only produce what will benefit us).
  • “showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age” (this statement means that older generations still highly influence youths).
  • “knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss, I am silent and go bathe and admire myself” (speaker is self-consumed and vain, like society).
  • Questions: I’ve heard that Wlat Whitman was racist, is this true? If so how could he preach his ideas of transcendentalism and equality? Did Walt Whitman ever become a “better” person to his standards?

After careful considerations, this poem earned a solid seven out of ten.


blog 17

1.) Do you agree that “that government is best which governs least?” What is the role of government and what is its role in relation to the individual citizen? I would say that I don’t agree with Thoreau’s statement because right now, the US government has already been completely ineffective in getting anything done, especially since Drumpf’s presidency. The most recent examples being the Parkland shootings (ongoing lenient gun laws) and the two government shutdowns (that did accomplish something, but took millions of dollars to do). As a country, it seems that we’re also not making any progress in moving forward when it comes to social issues. For the most part, we’re actually moving backward and the government hasn’t taken the initiative to change that. The role of the government is to make sure its citizens are being taken care of. The government is supposed to create a safe environment and try and benefit their citizens as much as possible. 
2.) Thoreau states that “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. . .” What kind of government commands your respect? Why? A government that is open minded and beneficial to the lives of all its citizens is the type of government that commands my respect. It’s obvious that government = corruption. Many times the average citizen is taken advantage of and the rich just get richer (which is only a small percentage in the US). People who are morally good and accepting of everyone have always been respectable in my eyes because it shows that they are open to new ideas, not just their own.
3.) Thoreau’s essay has influenced major figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the way they approach to protest, which has, in turn, become the guide to modern protest movements. What is the role of civil disobedience today? Is it still effective? Why? The role of civil disobedience today is to allow people to be able to voice their opinions on issues with hopes that they get heard.  I do think it’s effective because when people cause a stir (even if it’s peaceful) others just walking by or seeing it on the TV will wonder “what’s going on?” and most likely look into the topic and what it is. This then makes people more aware and possibly can influence them into becoming fellow believers. With a huge following, the government will eventually listen. 

Blog 15

Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ideas were very similar in the fact that they all revolved around nature. The main idea of the first portion of the excerpt “Where I Lived and What I Lived For?” and of “The Conclusion?” was that simplicity is key. If I were given the opportunity to go live in the woods all by myself for two years, I would decline the offer. I am a fairly social person and that just seems like it would be super lonely. Just having to talk to myself and only hear my own voice every day would drive me crazy.  The only benefit I could see coming out of that experience would be the fact that I would probably develop a deeper appreciation for nature.

Stuff I would take with me:

  1. my dog
  2. Funyuns (my fav veggie)
  3. solar powered charger and phone
  4. farm
  5. tiny house equipped
  6. leprechaun
  7. pope francis
  8. shoes
  9. internet
  10. wardrobe
  11. Duba
  12. chocolate milk
  13. satellite TV
  14. foam mattress
  15.  soap
  16. eating utensils
  17. a tree (to put in my tiny house)
  18. a camera
  19. eyebrow comb
  20. tweezers
  21. toothbrush
  22. toothpaste
  23. shampoo
  24. conditioner
  25. hair brush
  26. lots of toilet paper
  27. loofah
  28. towels

The modern reader would learn that transcendentalism is cool and intellectual. They would also learn that humans are not the center of the universe and nature is what makes the world what it is.

The end.

Real Blog 14

Image result for gifLet’s be honest: the majority of students probably wouldn’t read if they didn’t have to. So independent reading forces students to have to read so their grade doesn’t drop a whole letter grade. Now I know, reading is good. It exercises your mind and entertains the reader in a far better way rather than watching a screen, which requires very little thought. I don’t really know any tricks that BHS could use to encourage it’s students to read because I normally just don’t have time to read. Honestly, AR is just a huge inconvenience and is just more added stress. It really doesn’t make me enjoy reading anymore then I already do, and if I find the right book I can read it in one day. So  BHS, just let me read when I want to and can actually be able to tolerate the book that I’ve so carefully looked for and researched.

The book I chose to read is a memoir called “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I basically just chose it because at one point it was really popular and raved about, and it seemed a lot more interesting than the cheesy teen drama garbage that I was finding a lot of (@BHS library and Mr. Burrell: that wasn’t a dig at you, I was just lazily skimming the titles in the limited time I had to find a book). In the end, I’m guessing the speaker is probably going to find herself spiritually, and have a huge life altering change for the better after she finishes hiking the Oregon Trail. So far the first chapter was a very detailed description of how her mother died from lung cancer so it was extremely depressing, but it sets up the rest of the story and also shows the beginning of her real-life character development. I have no concerns about making a movie trailer because I’m a boss and will rock the socks off of Mr. McGarry.

Blog 14

Image result for puppet monkey meme

My first thoughts on transcendentalism were that it seemed very pretentious. That is probably very unintelligent of me to say, but I do not care. I think I felt that way because I was ignorant to the subject at hand. Now transcendentalism really is not that bad,  because after I  reviewed it a little bit more, I came to understand what Emerson was talking about. “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” were both very interesting and intriguing because Emerson was very descriptive and although you had to take a minute to interpret the many metaphors, it wasn’t hard to decipher.

According to transcendentalists, man is naturally good, but in my opinion, it depends on the environment that they grow up and live in. It also depends on the rules of the society that you live in. If society taught children that it’s okay to harm or hurt other people, then the child would grow up believing that idea. This can already be seen in countries that have child soldiers. People will naturally follow the “wrong” and “right” way that they are taught. There are very few exceptions that people break away from the rules and do whatever they want. If there were no rules in society, most people wouldn’t do “evil” things based their own intuition or self- conscience, but there are the psychopaths of the world so there is always that small exception. So I do not have a concrete answer to this question because the question, in my opinion, is a bit more complicated than a “yes” or “no” response. Sorry if my response is confusing though, hopefully, I explained my thoughts the best way possible.

Blog 13

My thoughts about understanding an argument haven’t really changed over the course of this unit because the tools I used in my debate I already knew to use in debates from the previous year in Mr. Stett’s class. There was one thing that I did notice immediately after I did my debate though. My dad is the type of person who thinks he knows everything so you can guess that we argue a lot. The thing is that when he argues with me, he always uses a bunch of bogus facts that he supposedly “heard from a reliable source”, but he can never name the so-called “reliable sources”. So just the other night we were debating and I kept pointing out that he could not persuade me because he had no actual statistics from a reliable source, and me telling him that just made him more annoyed and eventually he just dropped it. That was a very satisfactory feeling. That interaction also made me realize that adults ALWAYS think they are right because they are older, which in many situations, is not the case.  I would also like to say that with the amount of pressure Elizabeth Roberts was put under, she did a fantastic job against Mr. McGarry. She did really awesome with everything, especially when answering his questions that may have seemed unanswerable. If that were me, I would have been quaking and probably would have internally gave up after the first question, but she looked completely unfazed by him. My favorite debate to watch was probably Cody Weaver -vs- Iris Barrett. Even though Cody had some fallacies *cough *cough “Canada isn’t real”, they both provided very strong cases and had some very valid points. In the end, the biggest thing I learned from this unit is that debating is an acquired skill. For me, the hardest thing was answering questions on the spot. I can not think quickly on my feet like that. So that’s the end of this blog. Overall, I would say I definitely polished my skills and will be very comfortable the next I have to debate.