Blog 12

(*Sigh*) I think this is the most confusing five pages of literature I have ever read, not gonna lie. I am not sure where I should even start. I understood the story line for about the first 4 sentences and then I just got completely lost. I am not sure if it is the old style language or if I am just having a rough day today but I did not understand the plot at all. Do normal 16 year olds understand this? I feel like I’m on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”, because I am pretty sure I am not supposed to be as confused as I am (currently waiting for Jeff Foxworthy to pop out of nowhere). I will try to answer the questions posted on the Google Classroom to the best of my ability. I think one of the main connections between Thoreau’s work and Emerson’s beliefs is that they both believed in following your own path to better yourself. In Thoreau’s case that involved moving into the woods and living alone. This provided time and space for him to better himself. Another connection between the two is that they both discuss how crucial nature is for self development. I think the main idea for the first section of the story is just having a belief and following after it 110%, even if it is unorthodox. The main idea of the conclusion is that life is only as good/bad as we allow it to be. Personally, I do not think living in the woods sounds that terrible. I have always been a big fan of the outdoors and I think living out in the wilderness would be a genuinely interesting trip. There are some drawbacks to living outdoors though. I would definitely miss proper plumbing and hot showers. And also I would not be able to do it alone like Thoreau because I would get really bored and lonely. Also, the longest I have ever camped is for a week, so I do not know if I would be able to handle a much longer period of time.Image result for jeff foxworthy are you smarter

Blog 11

To tell the truth I do not think that my opinion on debating has changed a whole lot from the section, but I actually kind of enjoyed the section and I am not lying. Before writing this blog I read through a couple other blogs to get an idea for my blog and what points to hit. While reading some blogs I realised that a lot of people were not thrilled with this section, which to tell you the truth I have a completely different opinion. This has been my favorite section of English this year and I am not trying to be a teacher’s pet or anything like that, I just really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it made my mind open to more ideas and ways of thinking. While listening to some debates I genuinely started to question my former stance, and other debates strengthened my former beliefs. And I know I am not that only kid that has had a change of heart while learning about the different debate topics. With all the research I did for my topic I think it actually deterred myself away from my stance. While researching it seemed easier to find hard facts in favor of keeping the drinking age at 21 and it was hard to ignore those facts in favor of the opposition while writing your constructive. I also liked this section because it opened kids up to civil discourse. Nowadays if two people disagree on a topic they usually just start yelling at each other and are close minded. This way of debating is way more effective in the real world because it forces both people to be open minded and to stay under control. If I had to choose the best debate (even though Connor and mine was pretty good) I would have to choose Erica and Lindsey on the topic of climate change. I just thought that both sides used a lot of facts that I had not heard before and it liked that they stayed away from the emotional side of the debate and focused on the facts.

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Blog 10- Let the boys drink

For the class debates the  topic that I received was lowering the drinking age to 18 and I was chosen to be a supporter of this. Lowering the drinking age is something that has been a hot topic lately in the U.S. The U.S has one of the highest ages for being able to consume alcohol in the world so I think it makes sense that people are considering lowering the age. Especially since we have countries that we know very well that have lower drinking ages than us. Such as Canada, U.K and Mexico. To be honest I had not heard about this topic being debated before I heard about it in class. I think that the drinking age is something that I never questioned. It is kind of like being 18 to vote, I never really questioned why it was that age, but I just accepted it. But after thinking about it I still haven’t come up with a definitive position. I see both sides to the debate. I understand the supporters of it because you become an adult at age 18 so I feel being able to consume alcohol would be something adults should be responsible enough to do. But I also understand those against it because 21 year olds are a lot more mature and those extra years can prove to be important when someone is considering doing something dumb when they are drinking. So I do not have a strong opinion on this topic which I think is good because I am going into this with an open mind, which I think will help me when I am researching my topic. One thing I did learn while researching my topic is that countries that have a drinking age of 18 have fewer drunk driving accidents than the U.S. I thought this was an interesting fact and I kind of expected the opposite. A logical example I can use while debating this is how when you are 18 you are an adult so shouldn’t that mean you are mature enough to drink? Image result for beer meme

Blog 9

To be completely honest I think being on a long school break affected my results. I was looking over my results and they were the same virtues popping up again, while others stayed untouched. Some of the virtues that I commonly broke included moderation, order, industry, and silence. Some of the virtues that I followed pretty well included humility, courage, and justice. As I stated before, I think being on break affected my results. Since I have been home every day with almost nothing to do that has definitely impacted my industry virtue. While I am going through my normal school and weekend routine I honestly can say that I am usually pretty industrious. I feel that I use my time efficiently and I am  productive with my time. But since I have had almost no homework and I can go anywhere, or go outside I commonly found myself on my phone, or just straight up napping all day. My moderation virtue plays off of what I have stated about my industrial virtue. Since I have not been used to having this much time on my hands I decided to use it by doing things in lack of moderation. One example of this is that I decided to binge watch “The Office” again, I watched “Star Wars- The Last Jedi”, “Star Wars- Rise of Skywalker”, and I noticed that the entire Simpsons Series had been uploaded to Disney+ so I decided to start watching that too, because why not? Also, since it is Christmas I lacked moderation in what I ate and drank. I ate way too many mozzarella sticks, and too much buffalo chicken dip, and I practically drank a whole bottle of sparkling cider by myself because my Dad bought a bottle and it turns out I am the only one in the family that drinks the stuff, but hey it’s the holidays (*shoulder shrug*). I felt this was actually a very interesting experiment. It definitely is more difficult than you would expect to keep track of every wrong doing that you commit for a week. But at the end of the week when you look back at all of your tally marks it makes you think “what if I was more productive with my time?” or “would I be in better shape if I had a little more self control?” But even though this experiment makes me recognize all of my wrongdoings, I am not sure if it will make me change. Even though while typing this out I am recognizing how mean that sounds it is the truth. I guess I have the mindset of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Since I have gotten this far in life by doing what I do, I think I’ll just stick to my ways because I think I am doing pretty good if I do say so myself. 

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Blog 8

My first impression of “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was that I was confused. For me to really be involved in a poem I have to be able to picture the setting and just imagine the story progress, and for me that was difficult to do after the first time I read through the story. Then I read the poem again and I began to pick up on some words that helped me follow the story line. So I think this poem was one of those stories that the more you read it, the more you understand it. So far I think the theme has to deal with how some people are felt as an outcast in society because the dodo bird looks around at all the other birds and thinks to himself “all the other birds can fly, why can’t I?” I think the questions that were easy to answer for the sound and sense were the basic questions such as, what’s the setting, the paradox , and the diction of the poem. The questions that I found it hard to answer the questions on the allusion, imagery, and what is the occasion? I felt that the questions for “El Dorado” were easier to answer because I think I understand the ins and outs of that poem better than “The Dodo’s Conundrum”. I think writing poetry has affected my reading of poetry a lot. Now when I read a poem I look out for the literary devices whereas before I wouldn’t have cared or noticed if there was an allusion or hyperbole in the poem.The Terminator meme

Blog 7- Poetry

To be completely honest this section on poetry has made me realize that poetry was a lot more complicated than I thought before. Before this section I understood how some poems had rhymes and other did not, but I never realized the deep patterns of a poem. For example the types of rhythms such as iambic and trochaic made me realize that when a poet is writing his poem it is much more complicated than just telling a story. Before this section I used to think people only needed to worry about how many syllables they had in a line when they were writing a haiku… I was wrong. So far my favorite poem that I have read this section is the one that I chose, which is “Fishing on the Susquehanna in July” by Billy Collins. However, it still hasn’t beat out my all time favorite poem which is “Do not go gentle into that goodnight” by Dylan Thomas. My opinion on “Eldorado” is a mostly positive one. I have always liked Edgar Alan Poe even though I have not read many of his poems. I always liked his mysterious and horror genre poems because I felt there were not that many people who made popular poems in those genres. “Eldorado” I liked because it was easy for my to imagine the story. I could picture in my brain the knight traveling all over the country for Eldorado which makes the reading more enjoyable for me. Finally, I feel my opinion on poetry has generally stayed the same, besides for me realizes it is a lot more complicated than I thought before. I still think that poems can be fun to read as long as I’m choosing which poem. I feel the same way about poems the same way I feel about books. It’s hard for me to openly decide to read one, but when I do I usually don’t regret it.

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Blog 6

My story has changed a lot from when I first began thinking of an idea for when I was reading through the list of Six Word Short Stories. When I first decided on the option of “Reaching for the phone, he knew” I thought I was going to go in a more historical fiction direction. My idea was that it was going to be a story about 911. My idea was that a wife was going to be watching the news and see the breaking news about the 911 hijackings. She was going to recognize the plane and it’s scheduled destination of that of her husband. She was going to call his phone and thus it was going to give me the six word short story “Reaching for the phone, she knew”. The part she knew was that her husband was going to be on one of the hijacked airplanes and that he most likely was going to die. But I scrapped that idea because I thought it was way to depressing and I personally think that complete fiction stories are more enjoyable to read. So, I decided on the story I have now which is much more light hearted. What I like about this story is that it has a life lesson hidden within the story and I genuinely kinda liked writing. Personally, I think my still has a lot of work to be done. I want to add more to my main characters journey than I already have because I think that will make it more enjoyable for the reader. I definitely think reading “The Devil and Tom Walker” helped because it gave me the idea of a man going on a journey or a quest. It also just helped give me tips on being creative while writing a story.

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“The Da Vinci Code”- Imitation

I think the main story element that I can use from “The Da Vinci Code” in my short story is characterization. Characterization is important in a story is important because it make sure that the reader understand the characters and it allows for the reader to relate to them. For me characterization is the most influential element in “The Da Vinci Code”. In “The Da Vinci Code” the author, Dan Brown, is always adding to the characters story, when you think you know the character he adds an aspect to them that you would not have thought of. For example, when Sophie is at the crime scene the reader just thinks she is a random cryptography from the police, but then we learn that she is Sauniere’s granddaughter which influences the whole plot of the story. I also think this story element is important for my story because my main character is very active. In my story the main character is a homeless man who is travelling the country so there is room for me to give him a backstory which would help the reader relate to him more. Also, since he is going on a trip country I can elaborate on some of the people that he meets along his way. I also, think character development is an important element for my story because of the main characters journey. Since, he is going on a journey it can symbolize both a physical and mental journey. In the short story the main character is worried about his job life instead of himself, when he goes on his journey and hear advice from new characters it can change his perspective on life. He can understand that he has to worry about himself first and then all of the other pieces will fall into place.

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Setting- The Da Vinci Code

“The Da Vinci Code” is actually heavily influenced by the setting. The main setting for the story so far is Paris, France, specifically the Louvre. France is a deeply Roman Catholic country with the majority of their citizens following the religion, so it makes sense to have the story take place there due to the heavy use of religion as the main topic. But not only is France a deeply religious country but also has a deep scientific and intellectual side. This makes it the perfect setting for this story due to the convergence of science and religion in this story. On the religious side we have Opus Dei and on the scientific side we have the Priory of Sion, and the story shows the view from both sides while the reader goes through the book. One example of the setting influencing the story is when Professor Langdon is accused of the murder. Since, Langdon is in a foreign country the police look upon him as an outsider before looking at the critical evidence. This also influences the story when Sofie suggests that Professor Langdon must reach the U.S Embassy for him to be safe from the French Police. Specifically the Louvre is also a major part of the plot due to what the Louvre represents. The Louvre holds some of the most influential works of art from the most famous thinkers and artists of all time, so it would make sense for such a historically important secret to take place within the Louvre. On a more physical view of the setting is how it traps Professor Langdon within it. When Langdon discovers his tracking device he decides to throw it out of the bathroom window onto a truck to make it appear as if he was fleeing the murder scene. This is important because it leads the police on a chase throughout the city, which allows for Langdon to escape. I believe that was the most influential moment that the setting had on the story. Also, when Sauniere is killed it is difficult for the first responders to get to him due to the Louvre security gate, this then leads to Sauniers cryptic message.

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Humor in “The Da Vinci Code”

   Humor is relatively common in “The Da Vinci Code” which I thought was surprising because it is a murder mystery. Most situations that I found funny take place between Professor Langdon and Captain Fache. Since they have polar opposite personalities when they interact the awkwardness is amusing. In my last blog I compared Professor Langdon to Sherlock Holmes and I think another connection between the two men, besides their intelligence, is their humor. Both of them are sarcastic which is shown while they are displaying or withholding their smarts. One example of this is when Professor Langdon and Bezu Fache are meeting each other for the first time. In the beginning stages of the book Langdon tells the reader about the French people’s opinion on the architecture of the glass pyramid that is the Louvre. He says that many Conservative French “felt it destroyed the dignity of the Renaissance Courtyard.” Later on in the story Bezu Fache asks Professor Langdon about his opinion of the Louvre’s architecture. Langdon and the reader both know that the question is fishing for a wrong answer and Langdon gives it to them. He responds with “yes, your pyramid is magnificent.” This just demonstrates how tired Langdon is from his late night and it also adds some humor to a serious story. In my opinion it is difficult to add more humor to this story because all of the humor comes from one character, which is Professor Langdon. Realistically, if anymore humor would be added to this story it would have to come from him, otherwise it would mess up the characterization. But if I had to add a comedic situation into the story I would love to see Captain Fache do something funny because of his usual serious nature. In the book Professor Langdon requests to go to the bathroom and Captain Fache responds with “Shall I accompany you?”. In the book Langdon states “not necessary”, but instead I would just have Langdon peer at Captain Fache as if he was waiting for Captain Fache to rephrase his question. I think this would be funny because it would add Captain Fache to a cringe worthy situation.

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