Blog 8

I’m gonna be straight with you, at first, this poem seemed like word vomit. There were a lot of phrases and allusions that seemed to not relate to the work at all. After reading the footnotes the allusions became more clear.  Confusion is also a word that would describe my first time reading this poem. It didn’t really come together until I read it a few more times. I think this poem is about how you can’t rely on a simple thing, like a smile, to bring you happiness, and that in order to be happy you have to do it yourself. I came to this conclusion because the speaker tells the reader about how mermaids aren’t singing to him, and also refers to Thoreau who believed that many people go through life unhappy, but didn’t make it better for themselves. He also claims that the sirens are singing, but not to him. These lines reinforce the idea that you are the only person that can make yourself happy. The Thoreau reference is also one of the most important allusions because, again, it reinforces the theme the poem. Another important allusion in the poem is the author’s reference to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay Self Reliance because it also reinforces the idea that people are unreliable and that you are the only one who can make things happen for yourself. Some questions I would have for the author are:

  • What event in your life motivated you to write this poem?
  • Why did you include the detail that the speaker is “pursued by a bear”? Why choose a bear? Is there some kind of deeper meaning that I, as the reader, am not getting?
  • When did you write this poem?
  • Have your opinions on the subject you wrote about, changed since the time you wrote this poem?
  • Do you still have dreams or have they all been crushed?
  • If so, has your soul also been crushed in the process of your dreams being crushed?

(P.S. feel free to check out the link:  http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20521915,00.html) -just looking out for you.

That’s the end of blog 8!

 

 

Blog 7

After gaining experience from writing the two assigned poems in class, I give mad respect to poets. It was pretty hard coming up with topics, so that made me come to the conclusion that “everyday poets” must be pretty emotional people. Before this year I would say school has made me strongly dislike poetry, but this year, to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. One thing that I didn’t like before was how teachers *cough *cough Mrs. Zimmer would make us read the poem over and over and over again and overanalyze it. Obviously, that would make me hate the poem and get sick of it.  Poetry is also meant to be open for your own interpretation of it, so I don’t like how some teachers are like “there is only ONE correct theme/ meaning”. Like, no dude, there could be more than one correct answer you aren’t the poet who wrote this poem. Whether I like or don’t like poetry pretty much depends on the day. Somedays I don’t mind reading it, and other days I’m just like “f this”. That’s mostly because some poems are like a puzzle, and you have to take the time to decipher them. I am the type of person that has very little patience to deal with stuff like that on a certain day.

Before I started writing I thought I would be able to utilize free verse, but my dreams were quickly diminished once I read the directions. Since I didn’t have a reason to write in free verse that meant I was forced to write my poem in stanzaic form. At first, it was pretty hard, but once I got into the rhythm of things my poem only took a few minutes to write. What I took from the poetry unit is that, yes, we can all be poets, but obviously most of it is gonna be terrible.

My Awesome Story That’s Better Than Yours…

 

I chose the six-word story “Nothing would grow there, ever again” because it gave me creepy and ominous vibes when I read it the first time and I’m in the mood for Halloween. The basic premises of my story starts with a girl named Charollette. She has had a pretty sad and depressing life because many people who she loves have died. This includes her mother and aunt who were hung after being accused of witchcraft, her only child, and her husband. Many of the villagers see Charollette as crazy, not only because of the negative connotation of witchcraft but also because of the fact that she see’s things no one else can. No one else believes her anymore and no longer come to her aid when she calls for help. One day a huge and mysterious fog called the “Black Mass” covers some of the forest surrounding her village and can only be seen by Charollette in the distance. She warns many, but no one believes her. Some villagers still venture into the woods and never return or return, but with a strange illness. More stuff happens after that but I don’t want to give too much away so that’s it. The idea for this story originally came from the movie The Village. In The Village,  many of the community members are afraid to venture into the woods because of supernatural creatures and never leave the community.

At first, Charollette wasn’t going to be seen as crazy and untrustworthy and she was going to have an optimistic personality.  The “Black Mass” also wasn’t going to be visible by anyone at all.  I ended up changing it so that  Charollette would be a very unhappy and quiet character when filling out her interview so that the reader may pity her and respect her choices in the end. That is my short story so get ready to feast your eyes on this amazing masterpiece that will blow your socks off and is probably the equivalent to Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso’s artwork.

Blog 4

When my mom planned a beach trip to Ocean City Maryland back in August, little did she know a small storm called hurricane Maria was going to be occurring at the same time, but one of the first obstacles my family faced was our car air conditioner breaking. We were about 40 minutes into the trip when suddenly the cool air stopped coming and instead hot air began filtering into the car. The rest of the trip was spent with the windows down, and four hours of wind blowing my hair into my face all while trying to read my AR book. Luckily, the car ride actually went by quickly so it felt like we were at the beach in no time.

Although the effects of the hurricane on the east coast were not catastrophic, it was still cloudy, rainy, and super windy. Arguably though, the worst result of the storm was the humidity. As someone who has dealt with curly hair for the past sixteen years, I have NEVER seen my hair act the way it did on this trip. Yeah, it gets super curly when it’s wet, but I’m pretty sure the thickness and mass of my hair actually grew just for this trip. One of the days the humidity was at one hundred percent and all hell broke loose. Damp? check. Tangly? check. Frizzy? check. All applied, so that was pretty annoying to deal with. My mom was also very paranoid that my brother and I would get swept away by the waves just from standing on the beach so we didn’t swim in the ocean which was pretty reasonable. In the end, the trip was surprisingly relaxing and I went home with a seafood “food baby” which was also very satisfying. My hair even returned to its natural state of “moderately curly” as soon as I got home which made my food baby and I very happy.

 

On Friday (the day after we returned from vacation) I went on a kayaking trip with the outdoors club and that was a really fun experience.  Not only did I develop washboard abs from kayaking, but I also witnessed Cody Weaver and Ryan joust while in their kayaks, which I didn’t even know was possible.  I also learned that teachers can actually be fun outside of school, because it turns out that Mr. Yates (outdoors club supervisor person) is actually pretty cool.  So that was my fair week.

Blog 3

Browse the titles and try and figure out what all the movies listed have in common: Sharknado, Mega Shark -vs- Giant Octopus,  Jersey Shore: Shark Attack.  What do you think? The answer is they’re all terrible. JAWS, on the other hand, is a killer shark movie that is actually pretty good and I can guarantee won’t be a huge waste of your time. The theme of this story is “don’t underestimate someone or something’s abilities”. The setting of a small beach community and characters with very limited knowledge of the dangers that can be found in nature add to the theme in a very big way. The point of view, and diction the characters use, also play a big role in supporting the theme.

The setting of JAWS is a place called Amity Island, which is a small/ tight- knit beach community that only sees tourists once a year. Many of the locals living in Amity Island have a very headstrong attitude about the attacks and don’t take into account how dangerous the shark actually is. The protagonist, Chief Brody, also supports the theme. In the beginning of the film Chief Brody is the “new guy” in town and many of the locals don’t take his authority seriously yet. Although he wouldn’t have been able to defeat the shark if it hadn’t been for Quint and Hooper’s help, Quint ended up being killed in the end and Brody killed the shark with his own wit. Many of the characters also speak in “fisherman slang” and have accents so this adds to the location of the setting. Although most of the film is seen through a third person perspective, there are some shots from the shark’s point of view. This adds to the suspense and creates tension for the viewer. In the third person perspective, the movie also shows some of the gruseome attacks , and the damage the shark is actually capable of doing.

The theme of JAWS is, “don’t underestimate someone or something’s abilitites”. This is supported very well by setting, characters, p.o.v, and diction.  So next time you’re at home and can’t decide what to watch, JAWS is  a great choice and won’t dissapoint.

Blog 2

One thing that I have never noticed until the discussion, is that authors like William Shakespeare have been using the same tactic in every thing they’ve ever written. Authors always use the stereotypical “dumb jock” or “damsel in distress” as their minor characters in order to keep the storyline moving.  Sometimes, authors also use a similar storyline to previous books they have written because they know it will definitely sell if it appeals to a broad variety of readers.  A story that this relates to is “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins. In the first book and the second, “Catching Fire”, Katniss Everdeen is forced to participate in the arena. Both books also include topics like love, adventure, defiance, and inequality which could interest many people. Peeta and Katniss’s sister, Prim, also always play the role of the “damsel in distress” in both books because Katniss sees herself as their protector.  She is constantly looking out for both of them and saving them whenever they get themselves into trouble.  In my opinion, this is a pretty smart move for the author, and if I knew about these tactics before reading “The Hunger Games” series I would have still read all three books and recommended them to other people. Suzanne Collins really knew how to captivate young and older readers with the storyline  (even if her tactic has been used millions of times before).

Week two of the school year has made me realize how much work I am actually going to have to do this year. Every night of this past week I have been up until 11 studying and doing homework. In the past, I remember seeing tired and sad juniors and seniors walk into band every morning only to have to frantically finish their homework during homeroom, but now, I’ve realized that I’M that junior. It’s only gonna get worse from here after high school so I guess it’s a good thing that I’m getting used to it now.

My First Week of Junior Year

This first week of school was pretty mediocre to be honest. So far the biggest obstacle I’m going to have to deal with this year is pre- calculus, but that is all I can tell so far. Other then that I enjoy all my classes and am ready for the cross country season to start. While listening to my peers speaking about themselves in class the other day, I was quite surprised to hear that Elizabeth Roberts owns an aggressive llama who enjoys spitting on people. I also had NO idea that Cody Weaver’s favorite band is Tenacious D, and his favorite movie is “Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny”. (If you could not tell that was sarcasm.)

My favorite story ever written is the episode of The Office called, “Safety Training” in season 3.  After being undermined by the warehouse workers, Michael Scott, the regional manager, tries to highlight the many dangers of working in a modern day office. One of these dangers includes “seasonal depression”, so Michael orchestrates an elaborate plan to show the office and warehouse workers why they should take this so seriously. He plans to pretend to be depressed and jump off the building onto a trampoline below. In his first test, he throws a large watermelon onto the trampoline, but it bounces off and lands on one of the employee’s cars and breaks the windshield. Seeing that this clearly will not work, he rents a bounce house to use instead of the trampoline. The tests are going terribly but he still decides to go through with the plan. In the end, one of the warehouse workers who originally taunted Michael (causing him to start this whole episode) convinces him to come down from the building by telling him that he has a comfortable life worth living surrounded by people who care about him.

Sophomore Expectations

I have pretty standard expectations for this sophomore year. First off, I would like to make honor roll/ maintain an 85% average (or above) in all classes. I know this is going to be hard because it’s only been a week and I’ve realized I’m not that good at geometry and from what I’ve heard chemistry isn’t that easy either. I would also like to make it to districts for track in the 4 x 8 relay and the 800m event. Those are my 2016/ 2017 school year expectations.