For part one of this blog, right now I am currently reading “Me before you”. I’ve been on and off reading this book for a couple months now. The highlight so far have been the friendship that is starting to form between the caretaker Louisa and the disabled man, Will. Louisa took the job of being his caretaker, Will was very depressed. He is a very wealthy young man that was in a terrible accident and became paralyzed from the waist down. But now that Louisa is around he is becoming compassionate again and despite their differences, really starting to hit it off. I like how the story is very raw and emotional. It shows the struggle and heartbreak of someone who was once full of life be completely stripped of things he took for granted. I feel like the weekly reading times are a nice break from the rest of the day. Sometimes I even forget I have a book that I’m interested in in my bag. I think reading is very important and can help with many skills, it’s just unfortunately something that slips my mind. For part two, what I took away from The Transcendentalist unit and specifically Walt Whitman an
d his work is that nature has so much more meaning on such a deeper level then I realized. For part three, my initial thoughts going into vertigo is that I hope the movie it’s actually enjoyable. If it’s not interesting the paper we have to write is going to be really tough to write. But if the movie is surprisingly good, It actually might not be that hard to write about. Through the research I conducted, I learned that the director Alfred Hitchcock was very well known and respected. This gives me some high hope for the movie, also because he was sort of a perfectionist, the acting probably won’t be bad at all. I think the most difficult part of the critique essay will be to conduct an analysis on such a mind twisting movie. Also, if the movie is as good as everyone says it is, it’s going to be difficult to find things wrong with it.
After reading my assigned section, section 6, my initial impression and reaction is that it sounds very confusing. But after we were told about some of the metaphors it started to make a little more sense. Section 6 talks about death and how no one really ever dies. Grass is a symbol of a person, maybe himself or someone else. He mentions offspring multiple times, this indicates that it is most likely a very important piece of what he is trying to convey. Being a transcendentalist, Whitman is very passionate about nature and the physiological side of death. He is devoted to nature and the ways it affects us as society and the part is play in our lives. Some of the most important lines in my section of the poem are “A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.” Some things about life we just don’t know. But here in this particular line, instead of the figurative version of the grass representing a person, here it is literal. What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,” Whitman believes that when us as humans die, we don’t actually die and that we are better off that way. These lines are important to conveying the meaning and developing theme because section 6 is the first turning point in the poem. The first section was very optimistic and had a calming tone. This section presents complicated questions and theories about death. It is the topics he discussed are depressing but he still had a glass half full kind of optimism. Some difficulties I am having with the work is the fact that if I misinterpret one thing, it affects how the rest of the poem is interpreted. Also the metaphors he uses are simple but complex at the same time and that makes it hard to concentrate on reading while thinking about the meanings of every word.
After reading Emerson and Thoreau’s work I think a pretty basic conclusion is that they both loved nature. Both of these men were also very simple. They both spent some time on a lake to get away from society and enjoy nature. They also both had similar but not completely the same opinion about the government. Thoreau didn’t want people to act out against the government but at the same time didn’t want the government getting into everyone’s business. Emerson thought that the government should have power but not so much that they can control our lives. But the point they agreed on the most was how something as simple as nature can affect your mood and your emotions. I think the first main idea of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” was how nature really can affect you. He strongly believed that the simplicity of nature affects your emotions and can reveal your truest self. The main point of “The Conclusion” was that rather than a change in scenery, like taking a trip to the woods if you live in the city, you should look deeper into your soul to make an impactful change. I think the benefits of Thoreau’s experiment would be the change in pace, sometime people start chasing one goal after another and don’t necessarily stop to smell the roses. Personally if I did this experiment It would be nice for about a day but then I would probably go crazy knowing things are going on and I can’t be involved. Pretty much the fear of missing out on everything happening while I’m away. Hypothetically it sounds very relaxing but in reality I think I could really only do it for a limited amount of time. I think the modern reader should take away from the transcendentalists the fact that appreciating the simple things is important. Simplicity can be fulfilling. In the fast pace world we live in it’s good for all of us to take a second. Breathe. And evaluate ourselves. We need to take time away from all the craziness and smell the roses figuratively and in this case physically too.
My argument was particularly not in my favor. There are so many preconceived notions out there right now that go against vaping. This made it difficult to refute. I had some points that I wish I had gotten to explain more thoroughly but I got nervous during the debate and completely forgot. When thinking about the concept of arguing I tend to think of people impulsively arguing. Something sets someone off on another person, they don’t think they react. This project was a look at a completely different angle of arguing. Giving us time to construct this argument was very stressful. I feel like I could’ve done so much better and I’m kinda annoyed. I’m honestly not that mad we have to write this paper because there’s so many things I would have worded differently or gotten to elaborate on. Developing my constructive and all the other parts of my argument wasn’t hard. I just wish the research didn’t take so much time. Watching my other classmates debate before me was helpful because I got to see what types of information influenced me as an observer and how to answer tough questions without adding to their argument. It was also nice to see what types of strategies they used to win. My understanding of each topic has changed slightly after every debate. Either the pro or the con side of every argument made a point that I’ve never thought about before. I feel like this whole project forced all of us to go out of our comfort zone a bit. This challenged everyone to think from a different point of view. It was nice to do research on topics that normally we would deeply dive into. Um I really don’t know what else to say other then I wanna get all my thoughts down in this persuasive paper but I also really don’t wanna take the time to write it. But of course I will obviously end up doing it. Hopefully it doesn’t sound awful because my creative flow has been off lately so sorry in advance if it’s the worst thing you’ve ever read.
My topic for the debate project is “Vaping Ban” and my position is to defend that vaping should not be banned. I personally don’t think vaping should be fully banned however, I think there should be some stricter laws. I do think there are benefits in regards to helping adult smokers stop smoking. The downside is that teens are not using them to stop smoking, but rather doing it to be cool and as a result are becoming addicted. I also know there are health risks involved but I do not know if they outweigh the health risks involved in smoking. With a simple google search of “Vaping Ban”, articles about the current debate on a political level, and also news on banning certain fruity flavors that appeal to teens. I plan to approach this debate by finding out why they were created in the first place. Right now all I have is that they are helpful to people trying to quit smoking and hopefully there are statistics that back this up. One major issue is that no matter what the good reasons for this product are, kids are still addicted and will find ways to purchase them. If I can find stories about people who used this product in a positive way and show people that It has been used to improve someone’s life, then maybe they will open to listen to this side of the argument. If used for the right purpose and the right way, I think vaping could be very useful for people that are looking for a way to quit smoking before they develop major health issues. It’s going to be hard to argue something that has clearly negatively affected a lot of people but hopefully I can find ways to make it not look as bad as the media makes it seem. It’s going to take a lot of research to develop a solid debate, I need to make sure I have a way to either answer or explain possible question someone could ask me. No one expects me to have a good argument for this topic but if I can come up with a way to defend it then that will make it even better.
Over the course of the last week, I conducted the virtues experiment based on the 15 virtues my group decided on. After the first couple of days it really started to become natural. Sure I slipped up a little but striving to meet all 15 virtues made difference. Even though I might not have been perfect everyday, setting that goal made me a better person. I think Benjamin Franklin was really onto something when he came up with this experiment. Because I need like a ton more words and don’t really know what else to say, I am going to break each virtue down and explain how it affected me. As a group we chose our virtues to go in order from best to least hardest. The first virtue in the list is order. This is very essential to life if you have a job or are in school because without order homework would not be turned in on time and you would be late for work. Keeping things in order is one of the most important characteristics for a successful life. I mostly kept things in order these past couple of days. I normally try to do this the best I can so it wasn’t that hard to try and follow. Next on the list is respect. If you want to receive respect you must show it first. Having respect for other people will make your life so much easier. Drama is created when respect isn’t being shown in a situation. If we all respect each others opinions instead of challenging opinions, the world would be so much more loving. Showing respect is very important to me but sometimes showing respect to your parents is hard and a couple times over the last few days I found myself not showing them the respect they deserve. 3rd on the list is tranquility. Staying calm and collected can really benefit your life but since Christmas was right around the corner, it was hard to stay calm because I was excited for presents. Number 4 is forgiveness. I think forgiving people is so dramatized. Life is too short to hold grudges, literally the number one reason people don’t forgive is because their egos are too big. Long story short set your ego aside, forgive people for their mistakes and move on with your life. At this point I’m at virtue 5 of 15 and already at 400 words so I’m going to change this to explaining the top 5 virtues instead. So with that in mind, the fifth virtue is industry. This virtue was probably the hardest to not break during this experiment because there were many times over the break where I found myself bored. I hate to admit it but not having school was boring, especially because it was Christmas my friends would always be with their families when I wasn’t so I ended up just staying at home and being lazy. I really could have gone to the gym or done something productive but it was nice to not be going full speed ahead for once. Overall, I think this experiment was very beneficial.
My initial reaction to the Dodo’s Conundrum was confusion. But after reading it a few more times it started to make more sense. I think the theme was easy to pick out but it also might not be right. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be as straightforward as it seems or if it has a more complex meaning. Like is the dodo just a metaphor used in the title or does it resonate throughout the entire poem. Personally I think the sound and sense questions were a lot easier to answer for Eldorado. Mostly because it was a little less complex than the Dodo’s Conundrum. Eldorado had no free verse and was very simply structured. On the other hand the Dodo’s Conundrum has free verse every other stanza and has lots of texture in the sense of how it’s set up and worded. The involvement of questions in the Dodo’s Conundrum also threw me off a little This made it difficult to follow the first time reading it through but it ultimately just took a couple reads to piece it together. Writing poetry has affected the way I read other poems by makes me more aware of the rhythm. The smaller details like syllables and the different types of stanzaic form and also stick out more. It makes the poem easier to read and understand. I don’t feel completely lost now when I read a new poem for the first time. This theme essay is about to be rough.
After reading poetry and analyzing different types of poetry I think I’ve started to like it more. My reaction to the poems we’ve read is that at first I didn’t understand them but after taking them apart and really thinking about them, I actually enjoyed it. As I was coming up for the theme for Eldorado, I automatically thought about the obvious answers. But, as I started to type, I realized there might be a completely different approach to the entire poem. With this in mind I reread the poem and my theory seems to make sense. It might be really far fetched and kind of depressing but I think I might have figured it out. Taking apart the poem and analyzing it from a different point of view was actually kind of intriguing. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I have a new respect for poetry and don’t dislike it as much as I used to. I am also very happy with the poem I chose to “like”. It really inspired me. I’m glad we are focusing on different authors then we’ve learned about in the past. I know we are probably to eventually write our own poems and It first I was scared but now I think it might be kind of cool. It’s hard not to over think it though, because the more a read into my own work, the more I start to dislike it. I remember reading a poem by Robert Frost, The Road not Taken, in 6th grade and recently reread it for the best and worst poems assignment. It’s crazy how just by getting older and having different experiences can change the way you interpret poems. I think it’s cool how some poems give you the freedom to decide what angel you view it from. Even the situation someone is currently in can affect how they read a poem. I really hope we don’t actually have to write an essay on Eldorado. I can probably do it, it’s just probably going to be assigned over Thanksgiving break and that is not ideal.
When I first read the six word short stories I had no clue what to write. I had some ideas but I hated pretty much all of them. Then I came across the six words I’m basing my story around, “please, this is everything I swear” and ideas started falling into place. At first I had a conflict but no idea how to introduce it. I asked my table for some input and they gave me some great ideas that I ran with and started piecing together a story. My story didn’t change a whole lot because I took a long time to create the concept that I liked. I definitely liked my story more at the beginning but as I continued to write, I started to hate it. Even though i picked a tone that in my opinion is easy to write in, I still don’t think I did a very good job. I really need to polish us the ending of my story and add more detail. Also, I need to characterize Mr. Watson better than I did in my rough draft because right now it feels irrelevant when it’s the main focus of the story. Other then that, I think I did a decent job writing it. I like the contrast that Lucy and Sophie have, their stereotypical but I like it. I think reading The Devil and Tom Walker definitely impacted my writing. I was constantly trying to figure out ways to mimic the style so my story sounded better. I used recognized where I could implement foreshadowing into my story because of the analysis we did on The Devil and Tom Walker. I’m glad I took time on my rough draft because now I can just touch up where I think I could do better.
One element I can take from the book I am reading and use in my short story is deep characterization. The author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children goes very in depth when introducing the characters. He gets very personal with his character writing and gives lots of details and background. This makes me as a reader feel more connected to the book, so when something happens to a specific character I feel sad or happy for them, depending on the situation. I think this is especially important when writing a horror story. If the reader isn’t scared, the entire short story has no purpose. The more the reader knows about a character and he/she’s background the stronger the emotional bond will be. I can also take the suspenseful tone from the book and use it to enhance the scary elements of my short story. I will do this by deeply describing the setting and how my character is feeling before a big event takes place. This will keep the reader reading because the will want to find out what happens. This all ties together. First, I will develop an emotional connection to the characters. Then I will create suspense because the reader is so worried about the characters, they don’t want to stop reading because by human nature they have to find out what happens. This is why choose to write a thrilling short story. Also because I think it will be easy to develop an interesting setting. Since this short story is going to be 8 pages long, being able to have a very detailed setting will make it easier for me to meet the limit. The development of my character will also be very important. I plan to give a thorough background on each person I introduce.