Blog 14: Read-entalism-tigo

The book I am currently reading is “The Hate You Give”. I honestly have been reading this for a while. Probably since October or November, I’m not really sure. Basically, it’s been about a girl, Starr who is in the car with her old childhood friend Khalil. A cop pulls them over for no reason and asks Khalil to step out of the car, and ends up shooting him. This is a huge issue because it is in a town mostly full of black people and the cop was white. Starr is worried about standing up to the rumors about Khalil, some say he was a drug dealer, and the cop claims he saw a gun in the car. It was a hairbrush. The part I’m at now is that she is starting to feel more confident and realize that she is the only one that was there with him when it happened, other than the cop. So, they are organizing interviews and trials for her to tell her side of what happened and hopefully get justice for Khalil. Whenever I read in class it makes me want to keep reading more outside of class, but I never do. So, I usually only read on our Fridays in class, and that is why it is taking me so long to read it.

From “The Song of Myself”, I have learned that Transcendentalism has very important thoughts. The ideas make a lot of sense once they are explained. I did not like the poem though, just because it was so long and hard to understand. I seriously wouldn’t mind poems at all if they would just say exactly what they mean and not try to make you try to understand all the mysterious parts of them. I watched the trailer for the movie “Vertigo”, and it didn’t seem too terrible. It is definitely very old fashioned and poor quality, but the storyline seems good. I think the hardest part about the film critique essay will be completely understanding what’s going on in the movie. A lot of times I have a hard time understanding following the movie.


I have tried 5 pictures to add and it won’t let me, I’ve tried multiple ways to add them in and I don’t know what else to do. 🙁

Blog 13 – Song of Myself

My initial impression of “Song of Myself” was annoyed. I expressed my negative feelings about poetry during our poetry unit a few months ago. Here we are reading another long, confusing poem. I have never been good at understanding the deep meanings behind the lines. I’m a black and white thinker, so it’s hard for me to understand and think about what the lines are trying to express and the secret meaning behind them. I never would have thought that Whitman was talking about himself when he was saying he was observing a blade of grass. Never. I would’ve said he was observing maybe just other parts of nature, and I would have thought I was a genius for coming up with that. But anyway, I do not like this poem. First impression I didn’t like it, and I still don’t like it. Although I do not like it, there does seem to be a lot to learn from the poem. I just hate when authors write all smart and mysterious. Just say what you mean and get on with it. For the project, my group was assigned fourteen and seventeen. Reading through them and starting with the project, it seems like it’s going to be difficult to analyze every line and understanding the meanings. Whitman’s devotion to a Transcendentalist philosophy affects his writing because it forces him to write in a way that is telling his readers what to do, and not what to fix. Meaning there’s nothing to fix, they just need to do things differently. One of the most important lines from my sections is, “I am enamour’d of growing out-doors”. This is because pretty much this whole section is about the outdoors and nature. This line helps express how the outdoors are amazing and how much Whitman appreciates them. This also helps express the theme because one of the main themes has to do with life and living and how you should be living. The outdoors and nature are important reasons for you to be living. There are many ways to improve your life and make it worth living, and nature is part of that. With the project, I am just having difficulties figuring out the meanings of the lines, which with time we will uncover the meanings.

Blog 12 – Thoreau’s Attempt

There are a lot of connections between Thoreau’s thoughts and Emerson’s. The excerpts from both of these men talk about people and how nature affects them. Nature to both of them is somewhere that people should go to be able to find their true selves. They both think that we are all brainwashed in society and just conform to the people we are around. You will never know who you really are without being by yourself for a while. These men think that nature is the perfect place to figure that out. They both give personal experiences of being alone in nature and how amazing it was and how helpful it was for them.

The main idea of the first part of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” is about Thoreau’s views on life and how they changed over time. Being in nature by himself is what helped change his original views and thoughts. In the Conclusion, he explains how people should do the same thing he did at some point in their lives. He wants people to experience what he did and see how it helps them grow and see a new meaning of life. It’ll help them learn about themselves and take all the lessons into the real world to just help their lives become better and healthier.

One of the benefits of Thoreau’s experiment of leaving behind society to live in the woods is learning who you are. So many people just conform to the expectations of society and don’t do anything for themselves. If they were to go into the woods for a week they would find out who they really are and then hopefully bring that with them back into society without feeling any judgment. You would also benefit from the lack of distractions and being able to have a clear mind and getting rid of the every day worries. During this experiment, though, you would likely miss interacting with people. Seeing your friends and family every day, and then suddenly not for a week. You might go crazy like some people do in the movies. But those are just movies. Most people would also likely miss all of the technology that we have today. Technology has become a big part of everyone’s life now, so going without it for a week would probably be a challenge. But this would actually also be beneficial to get away from the technology for a while because that is not a good thing to have a reliance on all the time. I definitely would be able to do this experiment. I already struggle with finding the real me and who I really am deep down, so I would go chill in nature for a week. I also already love nature so I would enjoy it for sure.

Blog 11 – Argumentative Reflection

Over the course of this argumentative unit, my perspective on arguing has changed. I used to think that when arguing you just throw out all your points and try to counteract their points. When I would argue it would be very unstructured and random. Now I know that in debates, to get the best points across, there is a structure and format that you have to follow. You start by giving your strongest points and backing them up. Your points should go in order from 2nd most important, least important, and then most important. This ensures that the person you’re arguing with comprehends the more important points, and has a harder way to argue back. Then you give them time to ask you questions about everything you just said and you answer them to the best of your knowledge. Next, you switch and they give all their points and then follow with your questions. Then come the rebuttals and conclusion. This is more the structure for a debate, an argument with a friend won’t go exactly like this obviously. But from learning this structure it is easier for me to know how to put together my argument. One of the best things I learned was the order of my best points. I haven’t really had the chance to argue with anyone recently since we started this unit, but I would hope that my skills have increased. I will organize my points better and listen to everything my opponent says so that when I go back for my rebuttal I will have good things to point out. My peers and other kids my age argue very similar to me, although I feel they were better at putting their arguments together. I was never really the best arguer, except with my mother. Then I’m always good at putting points together and thinking things through. Most adults are good at arguing because they construct it well and provide good points. To develop a  valid argument you have to have a lot of knowledge on the topic, so if that requires research then you need to do it. The only part that was difficult for me about the debate assignment was finding out all my information. Website were giving me a lot of different information and it was hard to tell what was true and what wasn’t. Especially about the health effects. I also have not been doing well and struggling with motivation to do things.

Blog 10 – Topic Selection and First Thoughts

For the debate in my English class, the topic I have is legalizing marijuana. I am assigned to the pro side, meaning I will be arguing that marijuana should be legalized. I don’t know that much about this topic, but I do know some things. I know that at young ages marijuana can affect and change your brain. I also know that it is used medically and that some people use it to relax and avoid pain. It isn’t considered an addictive drug but I think people get addicted to the high it gives you. But stoners will argue that they aren’t addicted. But it is illegal yet many people are still able to make illegal drug deals and misuse the marijuana that is meant to be medical. With a basic Google search, I find websites arguing if it should be legalized or not. Many people’s lives are ruined by getting busted with the drug, even if they are just using it to get high and not in any other bad way. People are just trying to have a good time and not bothering anyone, yet they get arrested for that. Being in prison then turns them into hardened criminals when they get out. Real crimes, like murder, become harder to solve because they focus on drug busts. It is also proven that marijuana is a lot less harmful than tobacco and alcoholic products, and it’s far less addictive. I plan on taking the crime approach because of how police trying to bust drug deals takes away from solving murders and other more important crimes. I don’t really know what the ethics part means. There could be emotions affected because people have strong feelings about the topic. There are so many people that smoke weed on the daily safely, and that would want it to just be legalized. Some people probably have an emotional attachment to it and would love for it to be legal so they didn’t have to be criminals for selling and buying something illegal. Another thing that would cause emotion is people going for jail for this reason and then having their whole lives changed for the worst.

Blog 9 – Virtues Experiment

Over this week, trying to stick with the virtues was difficult. Most of them are hard to live a fun life. Humility was difficult because I don’t always work hard or use my own knowledge. I look to others for help with things and don’t always use my own unique way of knowing. Loyalty was one that I never broke because I don’t have a spouse to cheat on, and I’m always loyal to my friends. Order was inconsistent because most of the time my room is organized, but it slowly becomes messy. You can see on my chart the days where it wasn’t the cleanest. I also usually do not have a plan for the day, things just come out of nowhere and I just go with the flow. Cleanliness was the easiest virtue to stick to because I shower every day. I hate feeling dirty so I always shower right when I start to feel gross, even sometimes when I don’t need to. Healthful is a virtue that I’ve been struggling with even before the experiment. I used to be really good about going to the gym and staying in shape, but lately, I haven’t had any motivation to do so. I also used to be good at eating the right healthy food, but now I haven’t been caring too much about what I eat. This carried over into the experiment. Somedays I worked out, and you can see those days on my chart. Most days I tried to eat decently healthy, but that was difficult over Christmas break. So pretty much every day I ate some sort of junk food because it’s hard to control myself around all the sweets that come with Christmas. Persistence was one of the difficult virtues too because this goes along with healthful with how I haven’t had very much motivation. I’ve been half-assing pretty much everything I do. I do try to give my all but it’s just been challenging for me to do so. I’ve been feeling lazy, especially over break. Justice was easy because I did my job throughout the week, even if I wasn’t trying my hardest, and I never physically or emotionally injured anyone. Moderation was also easy because I’m not the type of person to blow something out of proportion. If someone pisses me off, I talk to them about it, and then it’s over. I hate drama. Frugality was decent because I don’t like spending money, I try to save it. But my family does waste a lot of plastic and such, which I do disagree with but my parents don’t really care that much, which is kind of awful. I would spend my money on things I don’t need, like eating out when I didn’t need to, or gifts for people. Tranquility was easy because I never sweat the small stuff. If it’s small, it’s small, and no big deal. Chrismas day was the only day I violated temperance because I extremely overate and felt really awful afterward. But it was well worth it. Resolution was one I broke every day because I never make goals, therefore I cannot follow through with them. I broke sincerity every day because I don’t think before I speak most of the time. I also swear a lot, which is not keeping my mind and mouth clean. I also broke industry every day because I do many things that I don’t need to do.  I never broke chastity, simply because I never had sex. So all in all, I didn’t do a good job at sticking to the virtues. I don’t understand how one could live by these every day.

Blog 8 – The End of Poetry

My first impression of “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was that it wasn’t very easy to understand. After reading it a few more times I started to see and understand what it’s about. I realized that I actually relate to the poem, as I’m sure a lot of people do. I have figured out that the theme has to do with that you don’t get everything that you imagine. I am still slightly confused with all the allusions because I don’t know exactly what they are about. I wish I was more familiar with all of them to understand the poem even better. The sound and sense questions were a lot easier to answer for “The Dodo’s Conundrum” than “Eldorado” questions. I think they were easier because I understood the poem a lot more. I didn’t have to think much when I was answering the questions. Writing poetry has helped me analyze this poem because I have a better understanding of how poetry works. I can see more into the poems reasoning for writing what they write, when they write it. I also understand the structure of poems better, and more of how to do the scansion. In the beginning of doing scansion I didn’t know when to put which / or when to put U. Now I actually understand why and when I do each. It also helped me realize that you have to read a poem a couple times to completely understand the meaning. I feel like I still don’t even completely know what this poem is saying, so when I begin my essay I need to read it a few more times to fully understand.

Blog 7 – Poetry

I hate poetry. So much. And what we’ve been doing in class makes me hate it even more. My mom always tells me I am a black and white thinker, meaning I can’t look deeply into things and they have to be one specific way. Poems are not like that at all, and you have to look so closely at them to understand what they’re trying to say. I never understand the metaphors or anything like that in the poems, until someone tells me what it is saying. Then it makes sense. Poems were easy in middle school when all we did was read them and say how many lines and syllables there are. But now I do not enjoy, or care about, what we are doing. Maybe it’s because I don’t know the terminology enough. I thought I liked the poem I picked until I started analyzing it. For a big chunk of it, I didn’t know what it was comparing things to, until my friend helped me understand it.

All the poems that we read in class and had to analyze and scan, I had no idea what the storyline was or really anything about them. The part that I absolutely do not know how to do is writing the rhythm of the syllables. I don’t get how you know which syllable is supposed to be stressed or not. I could read it in so many different ways, making different syllables stressed each time. But somehow I am supposed to know the specific way the author wants me to read it. I don’t get it. The poem “Eldorado” that we started reading in class kind of makes sense to me. I think it’s mostly about death, and the speaker is in search of death and dying. He’s on a journey for the spot that he wants to die, and searching for the land of the dead.

Basically, to conclude, poetry is the awful monster that I thought it would be. Well, it’s worse than I thought it would be and I feel it’s a waste of time. I understand that some people enjoy poetry, so they should be the only ones that have to read it. Or the unit should be shorter because I so strongly dislike this unit.

Blog 6 – Finishing Your Story

My original vision of what my short story would look like is only slightly different from the final version. The main difference is that Erin’s husband wasn’t in it as much as I thought. When I first looked at that 6-word story, I thought the guy was going to run into his ex-girlfriend. She was going to have a husband, Tim, who was going to be a jerk and constantly messing with the main guy’s life. In the final version, though, the main guy only talks to the husband once and they say about 2 words to each other. Also, I went into more detail with things I didn’t plan on. I like the storyline of my story and how it flows together. The story makes sense and is realistic with how the Grayson, the main guy, and Erin, his ex, don’t get together in the end. The chances of someone actually leaving their husband for a high school ex are very slim. I don’t like that I really rushed the ending of the story. The beginning I have so much detail because I thought I was going to struggle with having enough written. Then, in the end, I was getting tired and really rushed things to the ending. When I write the final draft, I need to space things out more and take detail away from things that don’t assist the plot. I also don’t like how I didn’t develop the characters enough. I need to do better at making each character be their own self, instead of them all being pretty similar and not unique. I also forgot to add any symbolism at all. I’m not good at that kind of stuff though, so I’ll have to figure that out. Reading the Devil and Tom Walker helped me write the short story because it showed me how to set everything up.

Blog 5 – Imitation

Imitation is using parts and elements from other stories in your own work. I am going to use the characterization for the character the Colonel. His real name is Chip. Chip was raised really poor, living in a trailer park with just his mom. He never got exactly what he wanted, and was not at all spoiled. This lead to him being a grateful young man, for everything that he has. In the short story that I’m writing, I plan on making my main character very similar to Chip. He is going to be raised poor also, so that when he’s older he becomes a respectful man. One of the issues with this childhood, though, is Chip has slight anger issues. This will be important in my short story too, I haven’t figured out how yet, but there will be parts where his anger shows.

I want to use this kind of characterization for my main character because I like in stories when a character came from a bad background, and then end up being the better person. This shows how you’re raised can really impact who you are shaped into. It also shows what the important qualities are about people, not just their money or reputation. In my short story, the main character’s ex-girlfriend s going to have a husband who is very rich, but he has a terrible personality. He was born into his wealth, and this is going to really show that how you are raised, makes you into who you are. This is important to the development of the story because the main character has the better personality, and is the better person in general, but the wife is going to end up staying with the rich husband anyway.  I really hope to use characterization to demonstrate the reason why people act how they do.