The book I have been reading is Divergent. I have been reading this book for pretty much the entire school year. I never read outside of school so that is why. From where I currently am a highlight is when she found out she is classified as divergent and it changes her whole life. The weekly reading times encouraged me 0% to read more often. I dislike reading very much and I don’t think anything could encourage me to read more than I have to. Also to be honest even during the reading times in class I don’t think anyone actually reads. My takeaways from transcendentalism is that you shouldn’t rely on others to make yourself happy. To be really happy you must find the things you like and believe and don’t base yourself around other peoples common opinions. Just live your own life on your own terms and do what makes YOU happy even if that means not fitting in with other people. Also I took away that we cannot separate ourselves from nature. We are much more connected to it then we think and we tend to forget about it because we are so stuck up on society. I am kind of excited to watch vertigo mostly because I like watching movies and not having to do work with it but it honestly does sound interesting. I did not learn anything that will help me figure out what the movie is somewhat about so it didn’t really change how I thought about it but I learned that the actors/actresses are really good. I think the most difficult part will be not writing a review but a critique. I fell like my mind will just start reviewing the movie rather than strictly focus on the fact its only a critique. Other than that I do not think this should be too difficult other than just getting myself to do it without being lazy about it.
My first impressions of this writing is that it is hard to understand. I do not like reading this kind of stuff because the language they use and grammar is just too annoying to try and comprehend. Also the use of symbols and all that is annoying as well because I can never figure out what they are talking about. My reaction to our section is about the same. In the beginning of it I can understand what it is saying but as it goes on i lose understanding and i get lost. I think our section overall is his interpretation of what society should be and what is actually. Important lines are the first couple when he says about a boy asking what is grass. “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”.This developed the theme because the rest of our section is basically his answer to the kid which is his views on society. But he doesn’t really seem to know how to properly answer the question so he just seems to ramble about what it could be. His devotion to transcendentalism affects his writing because it makes it confusing to me. I do not like how philosophical he gets with references and symbols. Also it just kind of gets old reading about how nature and society is connected. I got tired of reading about grass and references that I do not even understand. I am having many difficulties with this work. One being the language use. I do not even know half the words being used in all these writings. Another thing i am having trouble with is all the symbolism. they way he writes i take everything literally and cannot tell if he is just using things as symbols and if I do I do not know what it is a symbol for. If you are into this kind of writings from this day and age i’m sure it is very good but in my opinion i do not like this transcendentalism stuff and style of writing.
In this section of “Walden”, thoreau and Emerson had lots of connections in their thoughts. Both of them loved nature and found it very important. They both feel as though People should experience nature and understand it. It can help you find your true self. They both believe that one should rely on themselves to find happiness as well as work towards their goals. Also don’t waste your time doing things that do not involve you or your goals. Other people and their problems are only a distraction from you finding happiness. They both think that your life should simply be about you and your own problems. This is just my guess because I didn’t completely understand this reading. The excerpt “where I lived and what I lived for” seems to be about his journey through life before and after entering the woods. Conclusion was about his thoughts after he left the woods. He realized that h]e doesn’t need special things to be happy but just to be grateful for everything he has and that he only needs the necessities. I think the benefit of his experiment is that he is getting away from the complicated and busy lifestyle in a city or town. Living in the woods was a more simple life. Also he was alone and could focus on himself and his own problems and had no distractions from his goals. I would miss family and friends obviously but getting away from that sometimes for a time isn’t bad because I could focus on myself. Also I would just miss the fact of seeing different things everyday while living in the woods its the same everyday. I don’t really know if I could do it or not. I could definitely live in the woods but I don’t know fro how long because I would get bored. A modern reader should take the theme of simplicity out of this story. Modern day is getting extremely complicated with all the problems society has and creates. But as an individual you shouldn’t focus on that and just think about yourself.
My argument for the debate project was the federal legalization of Marijuana. I had the con side of the argument. This isn’t really my actually stance on the argument because I do not really have an opinion on it. But it helped me rely more on facts than opinion. During the research I went through I actually learned a lot about the topic and all the impacts that could happen. For me, making a persuasive speech wasn’t hard because my topic had a lot of valid points during the research so all I had to do was write on them. But what was hard for me was the questions because I didn’t know what they would be talking about. But I am also not good at on the spot calling them out for false facts and all that stuff. I have only seen four debates s far but the best was probably about the border wall. I am not much of an arguer I don’t think because I just let people have their opinions but I will say if you know you have a valid argument and that your going to win it is a good feeling. Also when they ask the cross examination and you stump them you just feel good about it. But from observation of peoples everyday arguments I will say that we aren’t very good at making good valid arguments on the spot. This project really showed me how much work and time goes into making a good argument. Even adults don’t make good arguments. They use just as many fallacies as us kids do I would say. Also when they are arguing with us kids they just use their power as an adult to tell us we are wrong or assume they know we are wrong just because they are adults and we are just stupid kids. Although I will continue not being a big arguer do think the actual debate was pretty fun but I didn’t enjoy the work it took to make it a good valid argument.
We have been talking about debates and how to argue correctly to achieve better chances of winning. I for one have never been the best arguer because I don’t tend to try and get in arguments about things because people are allowed to have their opinions. My topic for the debate is if marijuana should be federally legal. I don’t believe this to be to challenging of a topic because I am familiar with it. I’m not the most knowledgeable of it but it isn’t something I know NOTHING about. I am on the con side of the debate. I am mostly towards that side of the debate any way so it isn’t like i’m arguing against something I like. I already know that marijuana has health benefits which is pretty much the main argument for the opposite side. Also I know that people get high and are either very sleepy of they are crazy. It Also slows down reaction time and messes with your brain in other ways. When i look up marijuana on google many medical studies and stuff like that come up. Also a variety of arguments come up relating to the topic. The way I plan to argue this is I will mention many studies on how marijuana effects the brains such as slowing reaction and vision changes. After I will discuss a variety of dangers relating to these topics like car accidents and other ways of self harm. Although it is argued that marijuana is not addictive, it is still a big ethical issue. Drug addiction is a huge problem among teens and adults and so making marijuana free to use whenever to whomever could cause dependencies on the drug. Also the work place and schools will be full of people who are high which could be a big problem for the economy and businesses. Emotions I can bring from people is worry. People should be worried if this drug becomes legal. Businesses could collapse, grades could start going down, and people could die because of the effects. Overall I am happy with the topic I got for this argument and I believe I will be able to come up with a strong argument.
Over the past week, I completed a self-evaluation chart where I marked every virtue on our list that I broke. I Wasn’t completely shocked at the results but it is surprising at how much effort it actually takes to not break any of these virtues ever. Sometimes I broke a virtue and didn’t even realize it. The virtue I broke the most was science but I feel like this is common because if I only speak when needed or asked to then I would not be able to have any conversations with family of friends and that would make life boring. Another virtue I broke a lot was temperance because of course it is the holidays and if you think I am not going to stuff my face then you are crazy. Also I broke industry a lot because I am a kid and I do not have time for any job but on Christmas eve I helped out with preparing food for Christmas. But this is also effected by time of year because with wrestling season in right now I do not have time for an actual job unlike summer time. I think these virtues are a little ridiculous because basically it is saying that since I ate a lot and talked to people and I don’t currently have a job that means I am not a very good person. Frugality I didn’t really break often because everything I bought was needed but one day I took a trip to Hershey and spent a good amount to have fun which isn’t technically needed. Another virtue I didn’t break much was Understanding. One day I saw a very odd person is Walmart and I snickered at it after I left so I was not being completely understanding of their situation. Other than that I did a good job at being understanding. I also did a good job with tranquility except for one day. I just wasn’t having a good morning and I kept dropping things and got really mad. I never broke Open minded. I am usually open to doing new things and trying things outside of my comfort zone. Also cleanliness I never broke because I hate being dirty or anything so I always keep myself in order and clean. All my days were pretty planned out in advance but I guess I broke this a lot thinking about it now because My room is an absolute mess with clothes everywhere. Resolution I broke everyday because I was procrastinating doing this blog until the day it was due. Overall I think these virtues are little much. I do not think a person has to follow these in order to be a good person. Also there is not such a thing as a perfect person because everyone has their flaws. I would not consider myself a bad person because I broke a lot of these virtues but i’m not definitely no where near perfect. I think trying your hardest to follow these virtues is more of a burden to ones life than it is a good thing.
I thought the poem “the Dodo’s Conundrum” was okay. It’s hard for me to like a poem simply because I am not a poetry fan. I have figured out that the poem was about a person who isn’t happy but he has everything too make him happy. Everything he has isn’t good enough for him. I determined this by the title because dodos have everything they need to fly but they just aren’t good enough. Also there are two settings and one setting is a world he would be happy in and the other setting is the real world where he is not happy. But i’m not totally sure I am correct on the theme. It was pretty confusing with the whole situation of two settings and the different stanza types representing each setting. Also other than the symbols and allusions in the footnotes I couldn’t find or point out any others even though I know there is cause we were told there was. The sound and sense questions were about equal to the ones for “El Dorado”. that poem was also pretty confusing for me so they were challenging. But those questions do help me develop an idea of the theme. I do not think actually writing a poem myself has affected the way I look and analyze a poem. Overall poetry was not my favorite thing nor will it ever be. It’s boring to read and too complicated to understand. When I read something I just like to understand it right away and not have to analyze it.
Most of the poems we read I have been able to tolerate. I don’t dislike them but I do not genuinely enjoy reading them. This is because I am just not a poetry fan. They were all easy to understand and nothing was difficult to understand either. My favorite poem we have read so far is probably Eldorado because it was a very simple poem with a good message. It was probably the easiest poem to read and understand what it is saying and find all the symbols and metaphors. I really dislike scansion tho. I just dislike all the questions we have to answer. But if it is an easy poem it is not that bad. Poetry still is not something I like despite how it is not that hard. I for one never thought about it as some terrible thing that is so hard and lovey dovey but it is not as bad as I thought it was. I am still not going to want to read them and do scansion because I still do not like it. I’m sure once we get into more complicated poems I am going to start to dislike it more but for right now it is alright. My favorite poems are ones that are short with stanzas that aren’t long and not a tone of figures of speech like metaphors and allusions because they get me confused and I can not find one specific thing they could represent. I like shorter poems better because there is less things I have to go through and think about what is going on and what they are really talking about. Overall my opinion on poetry has not really changed, I still do not like it because I personally find it boring and I do not like having to read it multiple times and find what the true meaning is.
There a a couple differences between my original story idea and my old one. At first my idea was a farmer who ended up killing his wife or something and he gets haunted by her spirit and bad things happen to him. But it changed to being a business man killing his partner/friend because of a decision they made but still being haunted by his spirit. Also my original idea was based back in the 1800s but it changed to being sometime in the future because I could create my own town and didn’t have to base it off specific events. I changed it because I wanted to be more original with my story and make it my own. I think my story is okay but nothing special. It still has changes to be made as well as things to be added. I would like to put more dialogue in and give greater detail about the events that happen when his life starts to go downhill. In my draft I was really specific with details in the beginning up until he kills him but then I just gave the overall idea of what started happening and stopped giving specific details. I like how my story involves supernatural forces. I’m a fan of movies and stories that involve supernatural things. I also like how its based in the future and could get creative about what happens and events that happen and stuff like that. Things I don’t like about it include how much dialogue is in it but i’ll add some more of that when i add details about his life coming to an end. Reading the devil and Tom walker affected the way I wrote my story because it had things that you really had to think about and figure out and that is what I wanted to try and include in my story.
A story element I could incorporate into my story is setting. The setting of the book I am reading is a big city in the future. This would go good in my story because I want to be able to create my own world and create my own events. Also a big city would be good because I want my characters to be business owners and cities are full of business. The setting would also create some extra challenges for my character to get away with the murder he will commit. Because it is the future crimes will be easier to solve and in the city there is a lot of people. I can develop my character based off of this as well. Businessmen who live in the city usually are only focused on themselves because they have a lot to do and I can incorporate that to my main character. I could also incorporate extra conflicts such as Man versus society. Eventually the people of the city would start hating the main character and he would have to deal with it somehow. The diction I will use based of setting is a more educated vocabulary because my character is going to be smart. The tone of my story will develop throughout the story. It will start off a happy tone because everything is going good and the shift to a more dark and serious tone as the main character deals with the guilt he has. The characters will have drastic changes as they will be good friends at first then one will begin to hate the other and end up kill him leading to him going insane. The main conflict of my story is going to be man versus himself as he has to deal with his guilt which ends up driving him crazy as his life begins to get destroyed.