I can’t fully agree or disagree with the statement “the government is best which governs least.” I disagree in the sense that the government is here to keep the people in control by laws, and not letting everyone do whatever they may please. On the other hand I agree with it in the sense that the government can be in too much control, and try to run the lives of others. The government can try to influence others beliefs based on theirs instead of what is beneficial for the people. The kind of government that commands my respect is the kind that respects everyone, not a government that is trying to perfect the way of living. We are human, and nothing is going to be perfect nor close to it. Civil disobedience makes a difference in a way that people approach protest. It has allowed protests to become more effective in them resulting in being more peaceful. Allowing that gives the protester the higher position.
Reading “Walden” by Thoreau was a whole lot easier than reading “The Divinity School Address.” Giving my brain a break, and reading through Walden was good. Although Emerson and Thoreau are different. One, being all talk and saying how we should live our lives than not doing it. While the other is actually doing what they preach, both thoughts have the same connection with nature throughout. The thought of we is a part of nature nor greater nor smaller. The main idea of the first portion of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” was where are you living? Where are you spending your time to find yourself? Thoreau goes to Walden and spends two years of his life there. Then throughout the conclusion, we see what Thoreau gains from that experience. You could benefit a lot by leaving society to and live in the woods. Even doing that temporarily you can benefit from that. You can find out who you truly are. Who you are when others are not around. Typically people will paint a different persona on when there are others, but can you really be fake to yourself? Not only can you find yourself but you can learn to be thankful for what you have and using the resources that nature gives to you, hence simplifying your life. Thoreau learns how to simplify his life. It’s a word he couldn’t express enough. You can learn what your real necessities in life are. The biggest thing a reader should take out of the material we have read for Transcendentalism is again, we are apart of something so much bigger than ourselves.
My perspective for arguing has definitely taken a 180 and changed over the course of this unit. Having to debate really put me in the position of the proper way to argue. Seeing people who argue in the wrong way, and making a fool of themselves is something that I don’t want to do. If I took anything from this lesson, it’s to back everything up and know what you are arguing for. The way I argued has for sure changed. I would always ramble on and blurt out any little thought that popped into my head. I never really would think about what I would say, and what could be said against my argument. Even watching my peers argue was a game changer. Right after the constructive was read, you knew who did their research and who didn’t. One of my favorite debate’s was the debate of the legalization of marijuana. Alexa was very prepared and backed everything up, and It was entertaining watching her counter-argument try and argue back. It’s crazy to think that we argue every day, it’s a daily thing, yet little do I think of the proper way to argue when I do, but I do think highly of those who are lawyers or on a debate team. Having a proper argument is based more on just emotion and opinion. It’s all about backing up those opinions with facts and not using fallacies.
I was very intrigued when I first learned we were going to be learning about Transcendentalism. It was neat to see a concept based on the term “transcend.” Something that we can grow from or become a better version of ourselves. I also liked how we used can use analogies to make connections with everyday things that we already know to make a better understanding of something we don’t know. Using those analogies were a really big help when it came to reading the excerpts from “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” by Emerson. Reading both of those excerpts were very difficult, and I would constantly have to reread both excerpts numerous times again and again. Seeing the connection of Transcendentalism to everyday life was pretty cool as well. Something that I also was intrigued with was how the topic of nature was connected throughout both of the excerpts. Reading how we are apart of nature. Were not greater nor below it. Although understanding the excerpts was difficult, It didn’t change my interest in the topic of Transcendentalism. My stance on the belief that Transcendentalists that man is naturally good is something that I don’t agree with. I agree with the belief that man is naturally evil. According to religion, we were born out of sin, and not only going by religion people naturally have bad thoughts. People covet and are greedy, which is associated with being naturally evil. We need things such as laws to keep people in a civil matter. I can see how people argue for the belief that people are naturally good. People who aren’t considered religious can argue that we were born pure, and haven’t done anything wrong. It’s all necessarily based on what you believe in
Independent reading is a good skill to have, but do you think it’s a skill I have? No. If I had the motivation and time of day to read for my own enjoyment, then I don’t even know. I have to force myself to sit down and read so I can get the points for AR, but all in all, I support independent reading. Independent reading is a base for very important skills that people use in everyday life.
As a school, I feel like we are taking the right steps to encourage independent reading, We have a plethora of different books that accommodate to the diversity of different interests that the students of BHS have. BHS’s library is also a very comfy and cozy environment. Having to keep reminding students of the benefits our library has and being in the library more often should allow students to browse for much more than an AR book.
Going to the library and picking up a number of different books, I selected the book ‘Release’ by Patrick Ness. It is about a boy who is gay and is faced with the struggles of living with a very religious family. I was drawn to this more than the other books I looked through due to how this book can relate to a friend of mine. I could connect with this book because of that friend, and see how a book can depict her situation, I can receive a better understanding of what she is going through. After reading the first paragraph of “Release” we see that the protagonist, Sam, lives in a strict household. He is getting ready to be going to a going away party. Sam wants to escape this small town in Washington, and my expectations for this book are going to be his journey of leaving Frome, Washington. My initial reaction to the first chapter of “release” was how relatable it was. Being a teenager and living with strict parents was pretty relatable.
As McGarry was walking around the room with the purple hat filled with possible topics I would have to argue for, I was pretty nervous. Not nervous in the sense that I was scared, but I was anxious about the possibility of topics I could choose from, I did not want to argue for a topic I didn’t agree with. As McGarry finally made his way to our table, I picked out a slip of paper, unfolded it and read “Abortion-Pro.” I was anything but ecstatic when I read those two simple words. With myself being pro-life and passionate about pro-life I knew this was going to be a challenge, and I knew I was going to struggle to try to argue for something that I have always argued against.
When you type the word “Abortion” in the Google search bar and click enter, the information for Your Loving Choices pops up on the right side, providing you with the phone number, email, website, and address. Other websites such as Planned Parenthood and WebMD, and even a list of very current articles that involve abortion pop up as well. Arguing for abortion, a logical way of approaching it would be talking about how legal abortions are one of the safest surgeries, and illegalizing abortion would put women in an even more uncomfortable position. An ethical issue regarding abortion is for sure women’s rights and religion. People who are pro-choice are usually all for women’s rights. Pro-choice argues that politics shouldn’t be in control of a woman’s body. Pro-life argues that abortion is murder and abortion interferes with their morals. Having religion being a foundation on how you think and how you form your opinions, issues such as abortion draw in a lot of emotion.
Reading the title “a smile,” I immediately thought this was going to be a nice, happy, and laid back poem. Boy was I dead wrong. This poem did everything but make me smile. My first read through this poem had me so lost, and I had no clue what was going on. My initial thought was that it looked like a bunch of words were thrown onto a piece of paper. Having a number of different stanzaic forms for sure threw me off. My first question I would have would be why the different types of stanzaic forms? Why was the poem organized the way it was? I had no idea if it was just for presentation, or if there was some sort of deep philosophical meaning behind it.
After reading this poem a billion times, and barely knowing what the hell was going on, I came to the conclusion that this poem was about someone who’s hurt, depressed, anything but smiling, faking a smile and painting a persona of happiness. The bear is a metaphor for problems. This person is being chased by his problems, and he can’t escape. I merely thought the title “a smile” was ironic due to this being one of the most depressing poems I’ve read. Well after a discussion in class, we were told that the title is so much more than just the title. It plays a big role into the theme of the poem. So I scratched that idea of the poem being a joke, and started fresh again. I was struggling a lot trying to decipher what in the world was going on. If it weren’t for the help of other classmates and the footnotes at the bottom I would be completely lost. Other than complaining, I was a big fan of the Eagle’s reference and having Hotel California, Already Gone, and Love Will Keep Us Alive being used as allusions throughout the poem.
I’m not saying I disliked the poem, yes it was very confusing, but if it’s a good poem you can’t just read it once and understand what’s going on.
Poetry is so much more than rhyme and putting your emotions into words. I give so much credit to poets, because I have no idea how they do it. I don’t hate nor dislike poetry, it’s just something that doesn’t get me excited. My experience with poetry wasn’t half that bad. It was better than most. Indulging yourself into a piece of work and depicting the meaning of every stanza, line, and word was for sure an experience. I’ve been a fan of the work we’ve read so far in class, except my dislike poem. I thought having to go through the sound and sense questions were a pain, but they honestly really did help with trying to figure out what the meaning of the poems were. Finally being able to understand what a poem’s true meaning was after analyzing felt pretty good, and my dislike for poetry grew smaller and smaller. Writing a poem put me in a completely different perspective. It was pretty difficult, even to think of what to write was hard. When finally coming up with an idea and trying to put my thoughts into a poem is what really threw me off. Having to write a poem, and instead of analyzing one really allowed myself to go more in depth with poetry. There is definitely more to it. Although struggling trying to write in stanzaic form I do prefer it over free verse. It helped me keep my ideas and words organized, instead of spilling my words out on paper. Through all the struggle of reading and analyzing poems, I love the use of repetition in poetry, when it’s used correctly. My like poem, “ O, Captain! My, Captain!” by Walt Whitman, uses repetition throughout the poem. The use of repetition showed the importance of certain words or lines throughout the poem, but it also created a beautiful flow to the poem as well.
Poetry will never be my forte, but I might as well get used to it because it won’t be leaving me anytime soon. Although I have for sure gained a better respect for poetry.
Out of all the six-word short stories, I chose “It costs too much, staying human.” It for sure caught my attention out of all the others in the list. You can really use your thoughts and fill in the blanks. You could take the story to whole other meaning. I wanted my story to take place now in present times. Having the story take place now allows readers to connect about how they feel about current issues. Taking place in a small town in Maine, the story is set in the United States. The United States currently is already messed up in itself. They’re so many controversial issues going on, and a lot of hate. This time and place really set the mood for the story, symbolizing the brokenness not only in the country, but in the protagonist as well. The story revolves around a teenage girl with schizophrenia. All she wants is to be happy, but sadly she is her own worse enemy. She already has to deal with all the problems that being a teenage girl brings, so she really feels like her world is tumbling down. All Wendy, the girl, wants to be is happy. She constantly is surrounded by negativity from her own broken family. They’re embarrassed by her and her mental illness. Her family is very old-fashioned. Everything is done the way it would have been done years past before technology took a toll on the world. Wendy is confused and the schizophrenia doesn’t help one bit. “It costs too much, staying human” ties into the story by Wendy just wanting to be happy. Being happy to her is something that should be free, not bought. She is willing to risk anything and everything just to be happy instead of moping in her sadness. What will it cost for her to be happy?
From the beginning of working on this concept, I was lost. I had a whole other story set in mind, but honestly going through what I previously had, I needed to change my story. There was no connection, there were so many blank spaces that I did not know how to fill. The concept really developed from working on the character development assignment. Getting the point of view from my character changed the story completely. It was easier to come up with a new concept, and much easier to explain than what I had before.
A full week of notes wasn’t as bad as I thought as it was going to be. It was kind of a nice way to ease our way back into the swing of things. Refresh our minds from some of the knowledge that lapsed from our brains, but the second week of school we talked about the elements of a short story. Discussing setting was definitely a game changer for me. I never realized how important the setting of a story really is. I always just thought it was the time and place of a story and had little relevance. The setting plays a huge role in any story, so learning that, I also learned a new term “milieu.” The milieu is defined as the specific feeling of a specific people at a specific time. Talking about this term and comparing into events such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Holocaust really put it into perspective. The milieu isn’t just mood or tone, it really is something deeper than that. I also found out how unoriginal authors really are. Just changing the setting and certain rising action events makes a whole new story. This for sure reminded me of every Nicholas Sparks book ever written. Every exact story is the same! The only thing that I’d consider different would be the setting and character’s names. I don’t understand how Nicholas Sparks is considered an “excellent” author for basically repeating every single one of his stories, but that’s the business and he’s making money.
The second of week school was a little bit of a drag. Monday was really an eye opener showing me that we are really back in school and that my summer is over. Other than reviewing the majority of material that we learned in the past year, it wasn’t that bad. I joined more clubs such as SSA, and environmental club. We also had another football game that we “surprisingly” lost too, but yet again I got to take more and more pictures.