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After reading “Civil Disobedience”, I thought about some of the things that Thoreau said. He talks about the government and what is the best type. He says, “government is best which governs least” and I agree with him in certain cases. I do not think that the government needs to be so involved in everything that goes on in the United States or in other countries but there are times we need it. Individually I do not think the government needs to be in your business completely. I do not think it is right for things such as them listening to your conversations if they want to. They do not need to know every aspect of your personal life. The governments rule in individuals is to help keep our country safe, so of course, there are situations where there is a lot of investigation into peoples personal business occurring, and sometimes it is necessary. They need to control the things we are allowed to do to a certain extent, and that is what they do now. A government that gains my respect is one that does everything it can to better the citizens in our country but not abusing their power. In a democracy it should not be whatever says goes and things should be occurring and rules should be created or taken away because it is trying to genuinely help the people, not to just help whoever is in charge. Civil disobedience today does occur but of course, it also does not. There are many protests that are peaceful and get the point across and do a good job, and there are also protests that create more problems and havoc and are not occurring for the right reasons. As a whole, I think we still have civil disobedience but I don’t know if it is occurring for the right reasons. Martin Luther King Jr. used civil disobedience to fight for what was right and refused certain treatment and that was needed, but some people use this for selfish reason and it takes away from the point of it all, and why it started.
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Thoreau’s and Emerson’s work are similar in many ways. They both are dealing with life and how nature should and needs to be a part of it. Thoreau’s work was dealing with how you need nature in your life in order to live and get a true understanding of what life is and what you need in it. It also talked about how it is necessary because you learn so much from it. Throughout the work, you could tell that he was relying on nature to survive. He needed the clarity and the experience in order to feel like he lived and to be able to live on with the rest of his life. Emerson’s work deals more with how nature and man rely on each other and need each other in order to exist. This is similar to Thoreau’s works because he actually did it and relied on nature and realized how much you need it in his life. The main point of the beginning of Thoreau’s work was to explain to the reader what exactly he needed to find and talk about what life is. He discusses how you do not need materialistic things you need to live a simple life and that will make you happy. The ending was to clarify how his time in the woods was and to let the reader know that life is about happiness and your soul. I understand where Thoreau was coming from when he went to live in the woods, I just don’t know if I would be doing it for the same reasons. I would do it to take a break and to spend time really thinking about myself and what I have in my life so I would become more grateful. I would not last long because I would not be good at finding food and just surviving as a whole. I think that we should remember what we have and be thankful and not take it for granted because we need nature to survive and it is something that is so easily taken for granted and it should not be.
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Overall this unit has definitely helped me with my arguing skills. When I was researching I made sure to look up certain points that were important to my argument and my opponent’s argument. I think that for me personally, I was going to have to argue with a lot of emotion for my topic, but I also had to have facts that supported the emotional side of it or I would definitely lose. I think it is funny because as we learned about all the fallacies it made me realize how often people use them in their arguments. A lot of people tend to say things that are not true when they argue but since they state them as a fact it seems like what they are saying is true. I think that this is very common for people my age to act like they know what they are talking about when they don’t. They also use name-calling a lot when it comes to arguing. I think that at the beginning of the unit when I got my topic I did not know what to do or how to argue. I was really stressed that there wasn’t going to be enough information to talk about. I thought that my opponent was definitely going to beat me because I didn’t know how or what facts I was going to use to argue. I felt like mine was more based on your morals and less on facts. As I got into it I realized that I actually had a lot to talk about and they were very easy to research. I also found that it was so easy to incorporate all the things we talked about in our notes. I think that overall once I got into my debate I realized how much the notes helped and that it was much easier then I thought. I thought the actual persuasive written arguments weren’t very difficult to write but I struggled with the amount of time I spent talking about my topic. No matter how much I added, when I timed it, it still wasn’t long enough even though I felt like I had said everything I needed to say.
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My topic for the debate is the con side of abortion. I have the side I believe in for the debate, so I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. Abortion is a very controversial topic that many people have a strong opinion about. I know that abortion is not legal in all states. It also isn’t legal to have an abortion anywhere if it is passed a certain time that you have been pregnant. Many people also consider abortion as a very large problem because they believe you are killing a baby. When I research the cons of abortion there were many. One of which was that it has been proven that the fetus can feel the pain when this is happening. It also can be very dangerous for the mother. Some people also believe that the fetus’ are humans and are alive so they have human rights so being killed is not considered right. Abortions also decrease the number of babies that are available for adoption. I plan to argue abortion as a con logically with facts and data that help support my cause. Ethically, I am going to have to debate more in an emotional way. This is definitely more of an emotional topic for most, so in order to argue this, I need to use facts and emotion to argue my topic. The emotions you can bring in can be kind of depressing because essentially you are arguing that you should not be allowed to kill a fetus if you do not want to be pregnant and have it. I definitely need to do more research and really make sure I know what I am talking about because it can be really easy to get off topic. It can also be easy to be so worried about the emotional side of the argument that I am not really considering the main issue and argument. It will be important to make sure I talk about the actual facts and other downsides to the con of abortion because it will be very difficult to win with just emotion.
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A big issue that could easily be debated is the legalization of marijuana. Many states have already legalized recreational marijuana, and many more are debating whether they should. People that are for legalization of marijuana argue that it isn’t addicting and that it is not any worse than alcohol. They also can argue that it would be good for the economy. People against the legalization of marijuana say that it is worse than alcohol and is a gateway drug. It is more difficult to measure how much it has affected you. My personal opinion is that I do not think that it should be legalized. It is proven that the marijuana and alcohol are very very similar but the one major difference that I think is a pretty big issue is that marijuana stays in your system for much longer than alcohol and it also does kill brain cells which alcohol does not. Now that 2019 has started school has hardly crossed my mind. It is definitely going to take some time to get back into the swing of things. I don’t really think there is much I need to change when it comes to school. I did pretty well last year so why switch it up. I really just need to not procrastinate as much. I can do that by not waiting until the night before something is due to complete it. I need to start starting things in advance and being on top of things. I could start by reading my books for IR. I am not very far in either of my books so I need to read like 20 pages every night and I will be fine. I think that sleep and basketball would prevent me from being completely on top of things. I always get my work done but I just do not do it in an organized manner. I get so tired that I put things off which is not smart because I am always tired. This school year I just need to stay focused and get my work done on time and make sure that it is done well.
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When we were given this assignment I immediately thought that this was going to be bad. When we went over what these virtues meant in class, I realized how specific and broad they are. I would say that it is practically impossible to follow all of these. The ones that I found most difficult to follow were temperance, silence, and moderation. I overeat all the time so in order to follow temperance was just too difficult. I broke moderation many times, which is to keep a level head. During basketball, I lost my cool multiple times a game so that just went very bad. One that I found I hardly every follow is cleanliness. My room is always a mess, even when I say I am going to clean it, I don’t. I don’t think it is fair to say that I am not a good person though because I do not follow it. In school, I am clean and follow the virtue orderly even though at home I typically do not. I think that it is all relative. As I went through the day trying to follow these, I realized why Franklin had such a hard time and gave up. Truthfully I don’t think it is fair to ask anyone to follow all of these at once. If everyone or even most people followed these we would all be so similar. It would make life so boring. Not following these things to their full extent is what makes life interesting. Franklin had such high expectations for himself, which I understand, but I don’t think he even realized how difficult it would be to follow them. Once he figured out how hard this would be, I think that he realized it wasn’t possible for everyone to follow it, especially if he couldn’t. Overall I learned that it is not possible to completely follow all of these virtues. Instead, you should just try to follow them sometimes and do your best to be a good person. In the end, as long as you are trying your best that is all that matters.
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My first impression of Dodo’s Conundrum wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. The poem wasn’t very hard to understand so that was nice, but I didn’t love it. I mean I liked it some but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I liked that he used many allusions because it made it easier to understand what was going on in the poem. It allowed him to not have to explain exactly what he was thinking or feeling and left it up to the reader to interpret it. I think that the theme is that if you want to change your experience then you have to change your patterns. I think that throughout the poem the author made it clear that what seemed to be the perfect model world wasn’t enough and what was his life wasn’t good enough either but he wasn’t doing anything about it. He was just observing everything but not taking action. I didn’t really have any questions after I did the sound and sense questions. Once we did those it helped everything make sense and come together. The sound and sense questions were much easier to do then they were for Eldorado. I still have some trouble identifying the rhyme scheme and patterns, but it is getting easier the more I do it. I liked this poem more than Eldorado because I thought it was easier to understand. I also thought that the topic and theme was more relevant to my own life. In Eldorado, I couldn’t relate to what was going on or the idea of searching for wealth and material things but never finding it, where Dodo’s Conundrum was easier to relate to because sometimes you are just an observer and are not doing anything to change the events in your life. Now that I have had to write some poetry I pick up on some literary devices way quicker, which makes it so much easier to understand. When I was reading this poem all the allusions that are in it stood out to me so much quicker. It didn’t take so long for me to find them and to figure out what they had to do with the poem.
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Now that we are taking a look back at all the poetry we have done I still do not like it. I still don’t understand the rhythm and rhyme schemes. What does iambic and trochaic even mean? I don’t understand how you can incorporate a rhyme pattern so easily and still have your poem make sense. I also don’t know how the syllables work, and how you determine whether it is stressed or unstressed. I just can’t wrap my mind around it all. The only thing that changed throughout this unit was how I understood poetry. I think that I can interpret it better. I also think that it is easier to write poetry since we looked at so many examples and realized it doesn’t have to be that serious. My second poem is just like my first one. I took the same concept of death and just changed the way I looked at it. I used the emotions from when my grandmother died and I incorporated them into my poem. This time I go through the process of blame when someone you care about dies. I think that this poem is better than my first one because I think it is more accurate for most. I think that more people could relate to what goes through your head when you experience death and grief. After watching Billy Collins Ted Talk it made me think about what I could/would do if I had to do the same thing as him. It makes you question how you incorporate images without giving the entire poem and meaning away to the reader. I think that I would use one person going through the events after the death of someone, but I wouldn’t completely give it away that someone died. I would just show the actions they did and hope that the reader can pick up on what is going on. I would want it to flow well and have it go from one thing to another quickly because the way I wrote my poem I think that it all happens so quickly and your emotions change so rapidly. I would use dark colors as well just for a symbolic reason since death is always “dark times”.
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When we started taking a deeper look at poetry, I was a little irritated. Honestly, I do not like poetry, so when we started learning about what all these little things mean and how rhyme schemes work it just seemed like a lot of nonsense. Once we actually started looking at poems and how these elements of poetry are used in them it makes it so much easier to understand them. You start reading poems and the things start jumping out at you. It made it so much easier for me to understand. I really liked the poem Eldorado. I thought it was interesting and I also was able to understand it much easier. I thought the author did a really good job of adding certain allusions like the “Valley of the Shadows”. It made it clear that he was essentially chasing death, and that he was never going to find “Eldorado”. Our class discussion just made me realize that the theme was more about the chase for something he loves. Once I realized that that was the theme, it made so much more sense based on what we know about Edgar Allen Poe. He lost so many loved ones in his life that it makes sense that all he wanted was to find something he really loved and for it not to go away. The poem I am writing is about death. I decided to write about how I felt when my grandmother died when I was ten. Since it was so long ago I had to really dig deep to try to remember all the emotions I went through when it happened. I blocked most of it out so having to remember it all again was difficult. Some of it is a little dramatic. Some of the feelings I felt I had to amplify to make the poem more interesting or to make it more clear about what the poem is about. The biggest struggle I had was trying to find the stanzaic form and rhyme scheme. I needed it to rhyme but I didn’t want it to seem forced. Overall I am starting to like poetry.
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The second book I chose to read for independent reading was Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. My overall reaction to this book was good. I really liked it. It was a very easy read, but I also was emotionally connected to it. I was very attached to the characters. Since it was the third book to the All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series I have known the characters and how they act so it made the book even better. I went into this book expecting for me to like it and I was completely satisfied. I would completely recommend this book to anyone, as long as you like romantics then you will love this book. It is a bit cheesy at times but I can’t deny that it is still good. It is also good if you want a feel-good book. It isn’t a depressing book in any way. Honestly, the only thing that I did not like was the ending. It ended in a very good way, but it stopped so abruptly. The main characters Lara Jean and Peter got into a pretty bad fight. They essentially broke up but it all happened so fast. All of a sudden they made up and were together again. The only problem is that they did not solve any of their main problems. The book ended with them getting ready to go to college, but since they did not solve their problems I don’t think they are going to work out even though it seems like they will. I would have rathered the book ends with them in college and how things were going or a flashback to after college to see if they were together or not. It just ended so abruptly that it seemed like the ending was forced, and it made it less realistic. Besides that, I really liked the book. My favorite character in the third book is Lara Jean. She is the main character. I love her personality. She is smart, confident, and doesn’t care what people think about her. Even though she dates one of the most popular boys in school, she stays true to herself. She doesn’t change who she is to fit the role of what most people would think she should be because she dates Peter. My least favorite character is Margot. She is Lara Jean’s older sister. Throughout this book, she acts like a stuck up brat. There are a few times that I like her but most of the time she is very irritating. She does not like that her dad is remarrying and she causes problems in their family dynamic which makes things very awkward. While I was reading this book I noticed a lot of similarities to the events that occurred in the book and things that happen here at Bloomsburg. One example is that Lara Jean and Peter want to go to the same college. They both plan their futures based on them being together in college. As dumb as this is, kids in high school do it all the time. They make their decision based on their girlfriend or boyfriend and then when things do not work out as planned it goes very bad. That is essentially what happened in this book. Luckily, it all worked out but that does not typically happen in real life. Another thing I that they did in the book was after they graduated they went to the beach for a week with all their friends. They called it Beach Week instead of Senior Week but it is the same thing as what most high school kids do now. I thought it was funny when I read it because it was so similar to how high school is for us. Overall I really liked this book, and am so glad that I read this series for Independent Reading.