I agree that “that government is best which governs least.” I do not think that the government should be in control of every aspect of life and that the less they have to do with it, the better. However, I think that the government should have some power because if not there is no point. It would be unrealistic to have a government that barely governs. There is no reason that a government should be in control of all life in a country except that the people within the government want all of the power. Thoreau says “let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it…” which is true but it is just unrealistic to think that we could find a government that “commands everyone’s respect.” There is no way to make everyone happy in any situation, especially with the form of government we have. Sure, it would be nice to make everyone happy, and it would be easier to enforce laws if they were respected by everyone, but that is just unrealistic. I really have no idea what kind of government most commands my respect. Sure, I think that there are some problems with our current government, but I do not know what they are or how to fix them so we might as well just leave it alone. I am privileged enough to live in a country where I do not actually have to worry about the government and I am grateful for that. The role of civil disobedience today is peaceful protests. These protests are usually not, in my opinion, as important as older protests because they are about lesser things. Most protests now are more for wants than needs. Yes, there are still protests for equality being done, but in America, there are far fewer that are needed. I believe that civil disobedience is still the most effective form of protest because when fighting for things, even if you are fighting for a good thing, if you use violence you seem like the bad guy. Very few people who protest violently are/were seen as good. If you are not seen as the good ones in the fight, then you probably will not win. Peaceful protests are the best way to go about things and almost always have been. Also, I really hope that this blog is not actually worth 100 points, but if it is, I truly did my best.
Both Thoreau and Emerson believe in the true beauty of nature. They both said something along the lines of it would be most peaceful to live without attachment to society and to be as close with nature as possible. The main idea of the beginning portion of the excerpt, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For,” was that men are basically doing it wrong. Everyone is focusing too much on the things that are not important. He gives an example of railroads, saying that people spent so much time on building the railroads because people needed them to go places, but if everyone would stay at home and enjoy themselves there, then there would be no need for the railroads. That means that all of that work was done for nothing. I think his main point was that humanity as a whole is too focused on things we should not be. He says that poverty is something to value because if you are always trying to have more money and get better things, then you are not living life and enjoying what you have. The second part of the excerpt, “The Conclusion,” was about what he learned from the experiment. He says that sometimes the poorest people are those who are living the most, and that we tend to find faults in our lives more often when they are good than bad. He says that we feel poorest when we are richest and that men can even find flaws in paradise. The benefit of Thoreau’s experiment of him leaving society and living in the woods was that he learned that money and possessions are not everything. He learned that we live most when we are poor and that we should not feel shame in it. I would not be able to do it. Personally, I have way too many attachments to society, as much as I hate it. I would not be able to even survive by myself in the woods for one (1) day. Even if, by some odd miracle, I did end up surviving for a while, it would take only a few days for me to go crazy. I may not have that much social interaction, but without the little that I have, I would go mad. No joke. I’d die. No way I’d live make it more than three days and that is being generous. If the modern reader is going to take anything out of what we have read on Transcendentalism, it should be that we should value more what we have now, and not try so hard to earn money and possessions. Thoreau’s main point was that we need to focus more on simplicity. Emerson said that we need to appreciate nature more because it is the only thing that can show true serenity to the viewer. Basically, mankind needs to stop focusing so much on himself and what is wrong with life and spend more time on nature and how good everything is.
(I got the picture from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pinterest.com/amp/pin/480900066431849093/ when I googled transcendentalism)
I am not sure how my thoughts on arguments have changed. I mean, I knew that it is better to base your arguments on facts, but that is not something that people really do that. I did not know all of the logical fallacies that there are though. I knew what a couple of them were, but I did not know that they were actual things with formal names and everything. I argue pretty well with my family because they always argue with emotions but I do not with them. I am better at logically arguing when the other person brings a lot of emotion into it. However, when the other person comes at it with only logic and facts, that is when I do not do so hot. The worse that the other person is doing with arguing usually means that I will do better. Since we could not go through the actual debates I am not 100% sure how the people in this class argue. Although, I am pretty sure that they all argue pretty well. Yeah, when arguing with friends everyone here tends to go at it with only emotions, but both of the people arguing are doing it so it kind of cancels out. I feel like adults argue with more facts, but only with work or formal conflicts. When adults argue with friends or in relationships they tend to be just as bad at arguing as teenagers. The best way to develop an argument is to research both sides of the argument and put together why you are right and the other side is wrong, but sometimes there is no way to do that. When you are arguing on the spot with someone you can not really research anything. In any case, you should always take into consideration the other side of the argument. It is easier to prove that you are right if you also prove that the other side was wrong. I feel like not much has changed about how I think about arguing, but I definitely think of it as more of a skill than before. It was very hard to write the persuasive speech because I had no idea what Marrissa was going to say so I did not know what questions to ask. Also, I had kind of planned on writing out my constructive for most of it but then just kind of winging it until I hit the time requirement. I feel like it is much easier to argue verbally than in writing.
My topic for the debate is standardized testing. My assigned position for the debate is pro standardized testing. This is not my personal opinion on standardized testing. I know that standardized testing is the easiest way to test a student’s knowledge. It is impractical to even try to test each student individually on their knowledge. There is little to no way of making an individual test for every child in the United States every year. Standardized tests also set a baseline for where the average student is and helps to show colleges and universities how much a student knows. After a basic google search of standardized tests, I found that most of the websites that come up are the problems with standardized testing and the pros and cons of standardized testing. The first five websites that show up in order are 1) https://standardizedtests.procon.org/ 2) http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar99/vol56/num06/Why-Standardized-Tests-Don%27t-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx 3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standardized_test 4) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/19/34-problems-with-standardized-tests/ 5) https://educationpost.org/does-standardized-testing-help-students/. The pro arguments for standardized testing from these websites are that without standardized testing, people who make the policies would have to rely on each individual teacher and administrator at each individual school, making each test score relative to the area and therefore inaccurate as a measure of the student’s knowledge. They also use China as an example of why standardized testing is good because in China there is much more standardized testing than there is in the United States, and China is now “number one in reading, math, and science.” I plan to approach this topic logically by talking about how it is the easiest, cheapest, and simplest way to test a student’s general knowledge. Logically, it does not make sense to have an individual way of testing each student’s academic ability. An ethical argument is that it would cost a lot more money to test student’s if we got rid of standardized testing, and that is something that should not be using a lot of money because there are a lot of other things that we should spend that money on. The only way that I can think of to bring emotion into this argument is that there would be even more testing done if we got rid of standardized testing because teachers would need to “test out” the different tests for each student, and I doubt that anyone wants more testing.
(taken from https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj32vWWze3fAhXImeAKHU4xDzwQjhx6BAgBEAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Feducation.cu-portland.edu%2Fblog%2Fnews%2Fdo-standardized-test-show-an-accurate-view-of-students-abilities%2F&psig=AOvVaw3M05L2_6qqnKRSfIV2sMeA&ust=1547566604590313)
Part One: Okay so, this is a stretch because I had trouble thinking of an issue that would not be one that would cause major fighting in this class. I love the show Botched, and my mom and I were watching it when my grandmother came over. My grandmother had a lot of problems with the show and hated that people were “allowed to do such things.” I feel that it is up to each person what they want to do with their bodies. So, the issue that I am going with is plastic surgery, and if it should be as available as it is. The two positions are those who are for and those who are against it. The “for” arguments would be that it can boost a person’s self esteem, the only person that it hurts is the person doing it, it makes people happy, and people should be able to modify their body if they can (financially) and want to. The “against” arguments would be that it is a waste of medical training and supplies, it is a waste of money and time for the person doing it, it can hurt others’ self esteem because it feeds into the idea that everyone needs to look “perfect” with whatever means necessary, and there is a risk of complications for the surgery. I am for plastic surgery because I think that if a person wants to change their appearance in a way that only surgery could do, I think they should be able to. They are “wasting” no money but their own (unless someone else gives it to them, which is on that person), they should be aware of the risk of complications (and if not then they deserve it), and people should be able to make decisions about their own body.
Part Two: I am going to be completely honest here, I have very little memory of the beginning of the school year. I know that my grades for the first marking period were not very good, especially in this class. I remember not doing a couple assignments and I think that that is why it was so low. So, to improve on that, I will actually do the assignments. This week I can read the rest of my IR book and do the vocab for AP psychology. One of the only things that can prevent me from doing these things is my own laziness. That will probably be the case. I am a very lazy person, so I will probably give up later today.
(this is a picture of George that my mom sent me during school today)
When we first looked at Ben Franklin’s virtues, I judged him because of how hard it was for him to complete them. I thought that it was wrong and weird of someone to create virtues that they themselves cannot follow. Then you made us make our own virtues and I realized that all of the virtues that I made, I had trouble following. So sorry to Ben Franklin for judging him and his failures so much because I did much worse than he did. The virtue that I think I struggled with most was humility, because I’ve been doing pretty good with grades and work so I’ve been bragging to my mom about it a lot. I am also very bad with separating myself from technology. Even if I discount my use of technology for schoolwork, I still use it way more than necessary. I am on my phone for most of the day, or I am watching something on TV, or playing some sort of video game. I really did try to keep myself from using technology constantly, but I just get bored and that is what I go to first. Silence is another virtue that I struggled with a lot because most of the things that I say are unnecessary. If you have not noticed, I talk quite a lot, and almost everything that I say is useless. To be fair, I did not think that I would be good at silence, and did not even really try for that one. I was pretty good at not using my energy on unnecessary tasks though. For example, I knew that there was no way that I could do silence so I did not focus all of, or even most of, my energy on that. I was also pretty good with tranquility but that is probably just because I always try not to worry myself with unnecessary things, so I was used to it. Cleanliness was one of my best because it really is the easiest. Just wash yourself. It really is that easy. As the week went on I think I did better at not violating the virtues, but I am still far from perfect. The virtues I didn’t mention here were the ones that were in the middle for difficulty level and my success/failure rate was due to the events of the day. I did a lot better than I thought I would for keeping up with the virtues, but after the first day, the bar was set so low that paper couldn’t even get under it.
First off, I would just like to say that I was the one who figured out that you were the one who wrote “The Dodo’s Conundrum” so go me. Now for the real stuff. My first impression of “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was “okay, this kind of rhymes, that is pretty good I guess.” Then I actually read it and thought that it was pretty good but it was about something deeper than just a model town, but I am not good at finding that sort of thing, so I just hoped that I could google it. I was wrong. Thank you for that. I think that the theme has something to do with the fact that the town has everything it needs, but is not real, just like the Dodo bird has wings but can not fly. I still do not know the actual theme, but that is what I have. I am still confused about the metaphors and allusions in the poem. The sound and sense questions were easier to answer for “The Dodo’s Conundrum” than for “Eldorado.” This poem was much easier to understand than “Eldorado” was. I was really confused for “Eldorado,” but I was only moderately confused reading “The Dodo’s Conundrum.” I am kind of upset that it only took you thirty minutes to write a poem with all of the requirements of the poems that we had to write. It took me over an hour (whether it seemed like it or not) and I did not meet most of the requirements. Writing poetry made me be more understanding of the people who write bad poetry, but that does not mean that I excuse it necessarily. Those people still choose to write poetry, and I will hold that choice against them until I die. No matter how much analyzing we do, I will probably never answer all of the questions, and definitely will never get all of them right. Just because I said that “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was easy to understand, does not mean that I understood it completely. This was the easier poem to analyze, but that does not mean that it was easy. That is just because I am not good at analyzing poetry though.
(this is one of the pictures I chose for the poetry picture thing and I got it from https://www.suzemuse.com/2015/05/what-to-write-about-when-you-dont-know-what-to-write-about/)
Part one: I still hate poetry, but I hate writing poetry even more than I did before. I understand more why poems do not always rhyme, but that does not mean that I still do not like them. If you could not tell from the poems that I wrote, I have no clue how to write a poem with any rhythm so I completely understand why some poems do not have any. Poetry is awful and I do not, and most likely will never know why anyone would choose to write it or read it. I stand by my prior statement that poetry is the devil’s work. Why would anyone willingly put themselves through the process of writing poetry? It is not even that good. Also, I do not think that most poems have any kind of rhythm pattern and are just broken up where it “feels right.” Again though, I am so sorry to anyone that had the misfortune of reading my poems. Poetry was already bad but I somehow made it worse. The only people that like poetry seem to be English teachers, people who make money off of writing poems, and those weird college kids who do slam poetry in coffee shops. That is about it, and although there are some exceptions, I doubt that there are many of them.
Part two: I do not really know how I could incorporate visual elements to present my second poem. My second poem was basically just complaining about how I can not write poetry and how I think that it is dumb. I mean, there could be pictures or a video of someone struggling to write a poem but that is about all I can think of. For my first poem though there could be pictures or a video of George because the poem is about how much I love him and if anyone saw him they would understand why I love him so much. I thought the thing that they did with Billy Collins’ poems was cool, but I do not think that it would work for poems as bad as mine.
(that is a picture of George)
Before we started I did not know much about poetry and I hated it. Now I know a little about poetry and I still hate it. Even the “like” poems that I picked I did not really like. Some of the poems that I read were less bad than the others but most of them were garbage. I do not understand why poems can not rhyme, have weird formation, not make sense to read, be super long and have dumb titles and still be considered good. I do not get it and probably never will. Also, I understand the idea behind the stressed/unstressed syllables but I have trouble figuring out which is which when actually reading a poem.
You suggested “The Cremation of Sam McGee” to me because I said that I wanted a poem that would rhyme and you thought that I would like it. I did actually enjoy that one more than I thought that I would. I did not make that one be the poem that I read during my vlog because it was too long for that. The only reasons that I chose the “like” poem that I chose were that it was short and you said that any poem by Billy Collins would work.
The poem that I did for my “dislike” poem was just weird. It did not make sense to me, it did not rhyme, there was no rhythm that I could easily find, and the lines seemed to just be split up randomly. Also, it was just called “Untitled” which is dumb.
Eldorado was an okay poem, but then we started analyzing it. I thought that it was okay because it was short and it rhymed, which were the only two rules of a poem before now. I still am not 100 percent sure what the theme was of Eldorado. I mean it was by Edgar Allen Poe so it was probably about death but I do not know. Someone said that it was about how he could never find love but that seems like a reach to me.
I still do not really know what I will be writing my poem on exactly, but I am working on it. I am going to try my best with writing it but I know that it will not be good so I am sorry for that.
(this picture doesn’t relate to the blog but it is my mood for the week. I got it from https://teachprivacy.com/the-funniest-hacker-stock-photos-2-0/)
My second independent reading book was “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. I enjoyed reading the book even though I did not quite understand what was happening at some points. I think that the book had a good message that would have been even more relevant to people during the time period it was written, the Cold War, but the message is still relevant today. I think that what Ray Bradbury wanted to say with “Fahrenheit 451” was that we, as a society, need to be careful with what we get rid of and who we believe. The characters in the book thought that the reason that books were burned was that they did not make people happy so the government was doing them a favor in not letting them have books. The reality was that the government was burning them because they wanted people to be in an ignorant state.
People should read this book because it shows what can go bad if we both get rid of things that upset people and if we let the government censor us. When Beatty was explaining to Montag why they burn the books, he made it seem as if it was the people who had decided it, and that because of that the government made them burn the books because of their upsetting messages and thoughts. This was probably just what they wanted everyone to think so that they would continue on without knowing much of what was real.
Many of the things in the book that people did were not too unimaginable for people to start doing now. People keep driving faster and more recklessly, we are constantly getting bigger and bigger televisions, fewer people read books and the news every year, and everyone is always trying to rid the world of things that upset them. If we continue on this path, it not unlikely that we will end up the same as the people in the book.
The way that Mrs. Phelps talked about how she did not quite care what happened to her third husband in the war because he told her to just remarry and not worry about him seems horrible, but again, not unimaginable.
I both loved and hated the way that Montag had flipped out on the ladies. I hated that it was ruining the plans that he and Faber had made, but I loved that he did it. He was genuinely trying to wake these women up from their comfortable blindness of what life was and is like. They did not understand and hated that it made them confused and sad. One of the women even started to cry because of it. Montag was enraged that the women did not understand even though, only weeks before this, he would have reacted in the same way.
There were some reasons that I did not really understand what was happening. There would be large parts of dialogue that would have no label so I wouldn’t always know who was talking. Ray Bradbury also gets super into metaphors and similes to the point where I did not even know what he was talking about. When Montag was in the river, I thought that he actually had gotten out of it and found a farm because it took about three pages before it said that he really got out of the river. Another thing that confused me was that he called almost every electronic item a beetle. Whether it was the things he put in his ears to talk to Faber, the cars, firetrucks, or what were essentially Apple Earpods he called them all beetles and always said that they were buzzing.