Monday, June 2, 2014

Last Essay of High School

Marriage is a three ring circus- engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering.  With the topic of espousing, that was a joke I couldn't resist.  But as I type, I am able to formulate some connections.  Learning isn't always easy, and that's why some people give up on it.  But as there isn't anyone happier than the couple that has been together for sixty years, there is no one happier than the man or woman who dies with a mind as in love with learning as it was on the honeymoon as a child asking "why?"  With this in mind,  I want to keep learning a part of my life as I experience my own bildungsroman.  This course has been a reminder to maintain that passion and it could not have been more timely; graduations present the division between those who continue to learn and those who do not.

I came into this class unprepared for the choices I would have to make.  I understood that it was different, but I was hesitant to manipulate to course to my whim.  I couldn't comprehend that I teacher was actually telling me to ignore the rules and make my own.  So I set out on my OSL journey, young and naive.  Or perhaps the opposite, as learning on our own is inherent to us when we are young, then trained out of us by our senior year.  Along the way I faced several monsters that included vocabulary and literary term exams and the dreaded AP Test.  Through my journey I found friends and mentors.  I witnesses beauty in the projects of others, giving rebirth to my confidence in others, or in internet speak, "faith in humanity restored."  This entire senior I rose to a challenge.  Whereas many of my friends were cruising through I took my hardest course load.  I can confidently say that I beheaded senioritis.  I will admit that some rose up to the challenge presented by OSL more than I.  With a second go I would like to match their efforts.  But at the very least I received some enlightenment from their altruistic passions.

We were given some serious liberties in order to pursue these passions.  Looking at all the masterpieces, I would say we deserved it.  It's funny I was going to say we took advantage of these liberties.  But that would leave an ambiguity I didn't desire.  We did not abuse these liberties, we took advantage pf the opportunities to pursue our own passions.  The quality of our masterpieces can be seen a a reflection on how we honored our privileges, I was generally impressed.

As I prolong my marriage with learning, the key element is that there is passion, because who wants a passionless marriage? And I know that I have found a passion in nature.  In my pursuit of adventure is where learning happens effortlessly for me.  I learned and continue to learn about the ocean because I want to surf the best waves possible.  I learning how to be eco-friendly because I don't want the Earth's beauty to go away.  As long as I continue my adventures, I will continue to learn.

What really made me laugh in this course was the novel Catch-22.  This book really was the lie that told the truth.  This is a book I will revisit, and probably will not be alone as at one point "every student who went off to college at the time took along a copy of Catch-22."  Some other texts that stuck with me were Brave New World and Poisonwood Bible. I don't want either of these books to match my journey to much as they do not turn out well for the protagonist.  Still they can serve as a cautionary tale for me.  If I am to be John Savage, I will be sure to surround myself with a better world than the New World State. And if I find myself in the jungles of African, I will be sure to not impose my ideas onto a preexisting culture's.

Lastly I would like to address I common thread I was in the masterpieces.  And I am proud to say it was altruism.  I hear Lisa talk about how to be an empathetic friend, and I see true goodness from her heart.  I watch Miranda's video about seizing the day and enjoying high school and I know she desires happiness for others.  I check out these blogs like UClassy and the Adventures of US and I see camaraderie and sharing of tips that demonstrate human kindness.  Experiencing the emotions from Maira and Uri presnting was tough, but hearing the support that everyone offered afterwards was heartwarming.  All these projects and more really as I said early "restored my faith in humanity" and I am proud to be a member of the class of 2014.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Literature Analysis Indian Killer

1.  John is an Indian child adopted by an attractive white middle-class couple.  As he grows up grows distant from his parents and struggles with his identity.  His descent into insanity is depicted through several anecdotes of his own and his parents.  He gets an urge to kill a white man, believing it will settle his troubles and he spends time thinking which white man will make the most difference.  Meanwhile, there is a killer on the loose who is assumed to be Indian because he scalps his victims and leaves two owl feathers by their bodies.  It is strongly hinted that John may be the Indian Killer, though never explicitly confirmed and remains a suspicion.  As the murders continue, an inflammatory radio talk show host incites numerous hate crimes.  There are numerous accounts of whites beating up Indians, Indians beating up whites, whites beating whites, and Indians beating Indians; all stemming from tension caused by the Indian Killer.  In the midst of all this is Marie, a college student taking a Native American studies class.  She battles the professor every step of the way, questioning his knowledge in front of the entire class.  She also feeds sandwiches to the homeless Indians regularly.  She meets John and is intrigued by him, as is Jack Wilson. Jack Wilson is a writer claiming Indian heritage who writes detective novels about an Indian detective, resenting by true Indians as a poser.  The novel ends with John scarring Wilson and committing suicide, leaving the reader unsure if John truly was the Indian killer.
2.  The theme of the novel is vengeance.  John and other Indians are seeking revenge on the white man, while whites affected by the crimes of the Indian Killer attack random Indians to get revenge.  The novel depicts the chaos that occurs with this mindset.
3. The author's tone is blunt an objective.  The bluntness can be seen with lines like "politcally correct bullshit." There is little subtlety seen from many of the characters.  Still the fact that he presents both sides makes his tone objective.  He captures the bigoted and from the radio show host, Truck, him calling Indians "angry, bitter people."  His bigotry only makes him look foolish to the reader.  On the other hand, Reggies attack doesn't make Indians look like angels either, as he "dug into his eyes, searching for whatever existed behind them."
4. Duality of meaning is used in the title.  Indian Killer could mean a killer that is native American, or a killer of Indians as Marie pointed out.  The novel also uses many anecdotes, as seen on page 76. This is an anecdote of the flak John would receive from his classmates for having an attractive mom.
Irony is evident on page 65, where a man tells his son "this is our land... this land has been in our family for years," after they shoot at Indians to scare them away. The irony is missed by the child but clear to the reader.  A metaphor is used during chapter 8 when John likens white people to flames who would tear "eveything down and rebuilt it in their image."  Father Duncan serves as a symbol; a symbol of an Indian turning his back on violence and vengeance.  His presence is foiled by Reggie, who is extremely combative and searches for retribution every chance he can get. Another technique is dialogue, used to describe Reggie's relationship with his mom for the entirety of chapter 14.  Another technique employed is juxtaposition when a Robert de Niro and John Savage film is juxtaposed into a group of white men's conversation.  This is contrasted later when John Wayne is Juxtaposed into a group of Indian's conversation.  Another technique is an allusion to Hemingway.  This allusion adds character to a victim and makes it more upsetting when he is murdered.

1.  Alexie indirectly characterizes many strangers through their dialogue.  Their words reveal their prejudices and values.  He also indirectly characterizes Truck Schultz.  All of his bigotry is evident through the words he chooses to use on his talk show.  At other times Alexie uses direct characterization.  John is described as dark, handsome, and six foot six.  His attitudes are presented to the reader through the author, his actions only confirms the narrators characterization.  Marie is characterized directly initially as Alexie describes her appearance and her presence at a protest powwow.
2. The author switches to shorter, more direct sentences when focusing on character.  For example, he list actions and attributes to define John as "a successfully integrated Indian boy."
3. The protagonist is dynamic and round.  He start out as an innocent boy.  But his self-identity is muddled through various experiences and as his confusion grows, so does his insanity.  By the end, we are not sure if he is a killer or not, but he is certainly not an innocent child.  His suicide is actually an enlightenment; he feels free to find his true identity in the afterlife.
4.I felt like I had met a sincerely troubled person at the end of the novel.  Alexie used enough anecdotes to make John's descent into madness realistic and tangible.  I was impressed with his ability to make characters capable of extreme actions seem realistic with realistic motives for acting that way.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Act 5

Lady Macbeth talking and moving in sleep
Found dead
Revealing guilt and grief
Angus of Macbeth-"giant's robe upon a dwarfish theif"
Men are marching to battle
10,000 English Soldiers
Macbeth puts on armor early
Slays young Siward
Father accepts loss, died in honor
Doesn't fear anyone "not born of a women"- thinks he is invincible
But McDuff born in C-section
Beheads Macbeth

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Crossroads Between Should and Must

In a post entitled THE CROSSROADS BETWEEN SHOULD AND MUST please write a brief essay in response to the article (which you can read here).  Where are you in relation to the crossroads, and which way do you see yourself headed? Due Monday, April 14*

After reading the article "The Crossroads Between Should and Must," I find that I am farther away from Must than I Should be and closer to Should than I Must be. I have obligations that are set not by me and I follow them because that is what is expected of me.  There are times when I can fit Must into my schedule.  Those are usually times when I am happiest.  But my life as a whole is spent on Should Drive, with Must Road far in the distance.
 All week I am filling obligations.  Going to school, doing my homework, finishing my chores, going to practice. I don't see any potential for me to get where I want to be without doing these things, I suppose I must do them.  But they aren't things that allow me to be free; they are me playing it safe.  I want to improve my Spanish by traveling to Mexico and speaking only Spanish.  I want to spearfish because the thought of it scares and excites me.  The only way things like that are going to happen in my life is if I tell myself that they must happen. No thoughts of "it would be cool if...," only demands that I do it.  I must psychologically create a pile-up closing down the Should path leaving me the only option to take Must road.
 Fortunately, the summer presents itself with ample opportunity to change my path.  With more time and less obligations, I have no excuse not to travel must road.  Honestly, it is the only way my summer will be truly productive.
As my senior year winds down, I can see the crossroads coming.  It will be a difficult turn to make, I will not be able to predict what I will see down that road.  But if I keep heading straight, a plain and ordinary life is ahead.  And who dreams about that?

Act 4 Notes

Witches brewing-ingredients reflect prejudices
                   -"liver of blaspheming Jew"
                   -"Nose of Turk"
"Something wicked this way comes"- Macbeth on his way
Witches advise with apparitions to beware Macduff, but also say Macbeth has nothing to fear
Macduff fled and leaves family
Mother says he is a traitor
Dialogue between mother and son- Bird metaphor, mother feels abandoned
Son Killed
Macduff dialogue with Malcolm- they are on to Macbeth
Despise lust for throne
Malcolm's mother a good, very religious queen, unlike current one
Grieve for country, suffering in Macbeth's rule in their view
Ross breaks news to Macduff
Says children are fine at first, then tells that entire family is killed
Macduff clearly broken up

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Act3tive Reading Notes

Banter between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth- reveals frustrations with each other
lady Macbeth man killer- calls out Macbeth in front of everyone for seeing ghost
Unlike Hamlet, only Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost
Yet Hamlet is the one widely regarded as crazy...
Lady Macbeth attacks Macbeth during moment of weakness
Also must remind Macbeth to carry out the act of grievance
Macbeth would fear the ghost less in any form other than Banquo's
Macbeth questions how Lady Macbeth can maintain her composure- showing he is unaware of how cold she really is
Hecate- head of witches;"mistress of their charms"
Says there will be a "fatal end to the night"
Critical of witches actions; meddling in affairs
Lennox suggests that Fleance killed Banquo, or that is at least the common belief