Blog #5: IR Imiatation

When preparing to write my short story, taking elements from “Gangs” did come to mind. One element that came to my mind was the way characters got brought up and developed. In “Gangs” the characters, such as Wesley McBride, are brought up to be hard headed and tough in handling gang affiliated crimes and also living in a crime filled Los Angeles. In my story, the protagonist (Sebastian) is going to war in a very harsh environment such as World War II, which isn’t a war one can just enter. The main character Sebastian will have to under go some sort of harsh training and mental challenging to make him ready for the war. Wesley McBride went through many hardships such as years of training and crime experience in his field to build up for position of sheriff and such. I chose this element because I want to try to incorporate physiology of the characters into my story and overall how they end up reacting to very real situations. “Gangs” is based off of true people and stories of gang violence, so I want to try to make my story as real as possible by maybe relating Sebastian and others to a real war hero from World War II with my own twist of my plot. My story, in the end, will only succeed by showing the way charters develop from the beginning of the war to the end. Like “Gangs”, characters don’t just turn into experienced workers/ fighters in a field and in my story I want to make sure the reader of my story knows what hardships Sebastian is going through as he fights in this war and prepares to fight for his country. The element of  character development will really be what makes my story a standout over others.

Blog #4: Setting in “Gangs”

Living in Bloomsburg , we never really experience any problems with gang violence and or criminal distractions on a daily basis. There are many factors to this such as our town size and or even the nice community we have, but the reality is that not every place in the world is as peaceful as our town. In “Gangs” we see the story base itself mostly out of Los Angeles, California, which is way larger than our current living area. Setting is hugely utilized because of how big and diverse Los Angeles really is! Characters such as Wesley McBride report about an area such as Los Angeles’s gang violence mainly because of its diversity and size. McBride also experiences many things through his career in California that maybe he wouldn’t experience in a small town such as Bloomsburg. It builds on to his toughness and wise mind, which is needed to be able to really report and help stabilize a situation such as gang violence. We also see in this setting that no only does it help develop characters, but it helps conduct more accurate studies. At the end of the day we all want to find the answer to a question in the best way possible, and researching a larger area would help a investigator/surveyor get a more accurate answer. Los Angeles brings in some of the most gang members in the US at almost 100,000  actual members contained in over 1,000 gangs! This helps us see how big of a problem gang violence is and that if we would’ve researched a small area like Bloomsburg, we wouldn’t have gotten as accurate of an answer and or seen the problem as that big of a deal. In the end, gang violence is something that is a major problem world wide, but in the end it is larger in some area than others. Los Angeles is perfect for the book “Gangs” because of how gang violence is so bad in the state of California that it needs to be addressed! In the end the purpose of this story is ti address and problem in the US, and setting mentioned is important so the reader can get accurate numbers and see the types of characters in the story that gangs possess.

Blog #3: Humor in “Gangs”

In the story “Gangs”, humor isn’t an element we get much of. Humor is seen as something that makes a group of people laugh, and in this story the goal isn’t for  the reader to have a laugh. “Gangs” is about the problem of gang violence and how we as a country are trying to resolve it. The element of humor isn’t commonly used due to how if used, the reader may think it’s offensive due to gang violence brings death and economic destruction. If humor is seen at all, is through comedy of manner. This is really because of how it is discussed that the media only focuses on low class African American males as gang members, and it is strictly funny how they only have this vision and don’t see the bigger picture. Other ethnic and social classes can be seems as gangs and the fact of how this is only seen by the media is overall humorous and ridiculous. Humor in “Gangs” really is only seen this way. The purpose of the book is to show the problem our country is undergoing with gangs, not to give us a chuckle. If humor was used in the book, it would most likely be very offensive and unjust. Joking about gang violence is like joking about someone undergoing death or a bank being robbed. This very real situation really would only be funny by someone saying something that maybe has a darker sense of humor. An example of humor that could be incorporated is maybe by main character Wesley McBride saying “Gang violence no longer is a problem to me because I’m retired”. This could be funny to some due to its dark nature, but overall gang violence very well is still a problem in the country to everyone, retired in law enforcement or not. Overall, putting humor into the story just isn’t the right thing to do. Again, the book is to bring about a very serious problem of destruction in The Untied States, not to make fun of it. If your looking for a laugh, this book really isn’t the answer.

Blog #2: Characterization

In the book “Gangs”, characters seem to be either the criminals or the ones hunting the criminals. Today I will be discussing a specific character who is hunting the bad. This character is Wesley McBride, a former Los Angeles County sheriff who is tough and has seen a lot in his time of work. McBride can be seen as a statistics-type of person due to how even though he has been on the field and seen crimes in person, he also conducts studies to help people see how these gangs and their destructive matter can affect a community. This, along with the fact of how he contributes to the community by speaking in front of schools and troubled young people, makes me believe McBride is a loving person who knows when to act upon a situation but also is very intelligent in a “street smart and book smart” matter. I feel the author presents this in the story due to how it mentions McBride’s background and his credentials. Some of these are that McBride has served over 35 years in the Los Angeles County Shieff’s department (obtaining the rank of sergeant), worked 28 years also in the gang unit of Los Angeles, worked in the Safe Streets Bureau, and is now currently the president of the California Gang Investigators Association. McBride truly put a lot of time in his work field and the author mentioning his credentials goes past what McBride says about himself. When discussing how McBride’s personality affects the story, he mostly seems to contribute to the youth. The reason this is said is because of how McBride speaks to the future to change past results. Gangs grow very quickly and it all starts from the roots. McBride seems to have such a strong passion to change gang size and trouble that he is willing to go to the source and speak publicly when other people do not. McBride contributes to the community because he doesn’t kill or handcuffs a villain, but prevents future ones from growing. Overall, McBride is a character who is loving and dedicated to his work and the author reveals this through his credentials and his contribution to his community.

Blog 1: “Gangs”

Have you ever been interested on how the police handle the enemy? I am one of these people and that’s why I chose to read about the preparation. If you couldn’t guess what this is, it is on the huge problem of gang affiliation. The book I am reading is called “Gangs” by William Dudley. The story is about the major gang violence in Los Angeles and around the world in general. We see the different narratives and viewpoint of gang members and law enforcement all around to get an understanding what it is like to not only be a gangster, but how police departments work to stop the threat and how it has hurt cities and such. The book was published in 2005 and really centers around a police officer who goes through the tribulations of detecting gangs and stopping them. The book overall is really unique so far on how it tells us how big the problem really is and we can only guess it got bigger due to the books date of publish. The reason why I chose to read this book was because I have family members in law enforcement and I wanted to see how it works and operates to stop gangs and these type of affiliations overall. This book seemed like it may be a good start. An outside influence that I saw that helped me chose this book was “60 Days In” .The reason why this also influenced my decision was because watching the show made me realize gangs also expand widely even under the police and justice system’s nose. The show puts a regular person in the shoes of a criminal and challenge them to go 60 days without being caught. While watching this show, I started to see that the people participating in the show were wanted to join gangs and some faked their identity to keep going deeper and deeper into the gang system.This was interesting to me because of how I really saw how a gangster is committed to his gang and I wanted to see how they operated and can be stopped by seeing how they represent themselves. This outside influence and my uncles profession was the main reason I chose this book. “Gangs” seems like it’ll be a great opportunity to learn about my uncle’s profession and about how gangs work around the world. I’m excited to continue reading it!

Daniel`s Story Reflection

  1. Before I read the book “Daniels Story" I had known of the Holocaust, but my knowledge wasn't the best and I always wanted to learn more about it and what actually happened. As I read through this book and checked out online websites, I was starting to wish that I haven`t ever even heard of the Holocaust and or haven`t looked into it. This was not out of disrespect or anything of that matter, I really just could not handle what had happened to the Jews and I felt extreme sorrow and sadness from there experiences and losses. No one, no matter what the situation or problem, should have to deal with the pain or sorrow the Nazi`s brought upon the Jews. This is how I felt before and after gaining knowledge about the Holocaust.  
  2. If I had to choose a character from Daniels story that stood out the most to me, it would most likely be Father Joseph. The reason why Father Joseph would be the man that stood out to me is because of how he was a enormous part of Daniel and his survival. Father Joseph was a very smart and mindful man who knew carpentry and many other life skills. He always risked breaking the rules in Lodz, Poland, Auschwitz, and even Buchenwald. He gave (not only to Daniel but his whole family) himself up to ensure that they would be safe and that is a skill that makes me think highly of him and isn't a skill that is in every human being. Father Joseph stood out to me the most because of his unselfishness and his love for his family.  
  3. Of the four parts in “Daniel`s Story”, the part that made the biggest impression on me would have to be Pictures of Auschwitz. This part of the story really made a big impression on me because of how it showed me what really went on in the concentration camps and what suffering the Jews went through. Parts in particular that made me show sorrow and grief were when the Jews suffered starvation, family`s (like Daniels) were split apart either to work or to be sent to the gas chambers to die, or even when Daniel had to take pictures of the pit of burning bodies in the camp. All of these parts made me realize that these actions were very unnecessary and that the Jews endured unthinkable physical and emotional pains. Pictures of Auschwitz was very hard for me to read but it really left a impression on me about what really happened in the Holocaust.
  4. If I met a teenager who did not know of the Holocaust and its events, I would do everything in my path to convince that teen to study it. I would convince the teen to study the Holocaust by showing him/her brief explanations and personal stories from Jews and others involved with the Holocaust to see if the teen would be interested in the topic. I said early that I would even do more than this or “anything in my path” because of how the Holocaust is a very important event that made a very large group of people suffer for no reason. This must be widely studied because of how we cannot have another event like this happen in society occur and bring pain to this mass extent of people again. I would try everything I can to convince this teen by using factual information and my own reasoning.