Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
I have been in English class for my whole life. But this one feels like I actually learned something. I think that my portfolio will show that, my work is so much better than it was when I first came to this class. Just looking at my work I think that people would notice how creative I am, I try to do things different but sometimes it doesn’t turn out right.
According to what I see in my work, my strength in this class is writing. When ever I start to write I can go on and on as long as I have good topics to talk about. But my number one weakness this year is remembering what work I have to do. If I remembered what work I had to do I think I could of got a A in this class. So, I guess all I have to do next year is pay attention to the work given to me and remember to do it.
I never did anything like this in my life, so this is my first time. So far it’s pretty fun and kind of easy. But on my first benchmark I deleted it from my computer so I had to write all the pages over, and my paper was more than 5 pages long. But I did it. I wrote all the pages over and I think it is much better. Going through all of my work from the beginning of the year to right now, I notice how much my work has change. My work sound so sophisticated and doesn’t look like a little kid wrote it.
I have to say my most favorite piece of work is the “Me magazine”. The reason why, is that once I made it the whole class knew about me and I didn’t have to go up to them one by one just to show them what I like to do and my interests. Also making the magazine was fun.
Introduction: My first benchmark of the year, and I did awesome on it. Macbeth was one of my favorite books to read and I think one of the books I didn’t fall asleep reading. On this benchmark I had to make a thesis about Macbeth and show why my thesis is true with examples and quotes from the book.
Thesis: Macbeth changes a lot throughout the play. At first he was a bold, awesome warrior. Then at the end he became a mean bloodthirsty killer.
In act 1 scene 3 of Macbeth, the witches said that Macbeth would become king. So Macbeth stands and talks to him self to see how it will be done. Macbeth wonders if he has a change to be king, but how will it be. Macbeth says to himself “If chance will have me king why, chance may crown me with out my stir” (Act 1.3) What Macbeth is trying to say is that if he has a chance to be king, can the chance make him king without him doing anything. Right now Macbeth is confusing about the king situation. When the witches came he was like (Huh?). He was thinking to himself when he said this quote but he said it out loud. Which means that he is wondering what will happen next? Now at this moment, Macbeth is trying to become a warrior to a king,
In act 1 scene 4 of Macbeth, King Duncan and Macbeth is having a conversation about Macbeth being promoted to Thane of Cawdor. King Duncan is making Macbeth promoted because he is being a grate loyal soldier at this point. Macbeth says to Duncan “Stars hid your fires, let no light see my black and deep desires., The eye wink at hand yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done to see” ( Act 1 scene 4 lines 50-53). When Macbeth is saying this line he means to say that he will become a good thane but he doesn’t want anyone to know what he is thinking inside. The thought of killing Duncan needs to hide at this point. But for now Macbeth is getting promoted to thane and now he has proven to Duncan that he can be trusted and become a more awesome warrior.
In act 1 scene 7 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth is having a conversation about killing King Duncan for Macbeth, so Macbeth can become king. But Macbeth doesn’t want to because Duncan trusted Macbeth so much that he is sleeping over Macbeth’s house. Now id he attempts to kill Duncan and fails it can lead to serious consequences that can lead to Macbeth dying instead. In line 1-2 of act 1 scene 7 Macbeth says “If it were done when tis done then twere will it were done quickly’. What Macbeth means by this like in that if Macbeth was to kill Duncan why not get is done right now and as soon as possible. Macbeth is still thinking if he wants to kill Duncan, but can he just make up his mind. At this point Macbeth is changing to a mean person and deciding to go and kill Duncan.
In act 1 scene 7, Macbeth is talking to himself about if he should kill Duncan or not. He does not know what to do and also is thinking what will happen if he succeeds or fails. In line 6-7 of act 1 scene 7, Macbeth says “But here upon thus bank and shoal of time we jump the life to come”. This quote means even though what happens when Macbeth kills Duncan he will move on no matter what happens. Now Macbeth does not know if he should still kill Duncan but this show that he wants to kill him even more even though it will hurt Macbeth. He is showing more of his evil side.
In act 2 scene 2, after the death of king Duncan, Macbeth and lady Macbeth is having a conversation, Macbeth is saying that he will not sleep ant more. From the quote in act 2 scene 2 lines 40-43 it states “ Sleep that knits up the revealed sleave of care, the death of each days life, sore labors bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, chief nourishes is life’s feast”. This is a quote saying what he did when he was sleeping but from the context he will not sleep anymore and no more of this will happen. But Lady Macbeth is making him go to sleep. At this point Macbeth is going a little bit insane after he had killed King Duncan.
In act 2 scene 2, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth is still talking to each other after the murder of King Duncan. Macbeth is dating that he will never go to sleep again because he had just killed king Duncan. After seeing himself kill Duncan he is feeling very guilty and Lady Macbeth is forcing him not to. In act 2 scene 2 lines 55-56 Macbeth says, “ I am afraid to think what I have done, look on’t again I dare not”. This means that after Macbeth killed king Duncan he is not scared to think about what happened but he does not want to look back. At this point Macbeth is becoming scared but is trying to stay strong about what is happening. Macbeth is becoming meaner and meaner by the second because he feels scared, also happy that his task is done and he will become king.
In act 2 scene 2, Macbeth and lady Macbeth are still talking to each other after the death of king Duncan. While Macbeth has blood all over him, lady Macbeth is telling him to wash off all the blood but Macbeth is still panicking and scared. In act 2 scene 2 line 58 Macbeth states “Ha! They pluck out mine eyes”. This means that Macbeth is going a bit crazy because he see’s blood on his hands and think that they are plucking his eyes out which means that he is surprised. At this time Macbeth is turning more insane then he was before because all he thinks about now is king Duncan.
In act 3 scene 1, Macbeth is feeling better after the death of Duncan but he has sent people out to kill Banquo now. Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and the Thanes will now meet to have dinner with each other. Macbeth states in act 3 scene 1 lines 63-64 “thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand. No son of mine succeeding” By this quote Macbeth means that Banquo will die and no son of his will be king. Macbeth is trying to keep the crown and is willing to kill ant one that steps I front of his way. He does not care who it is because Macbeth will kill who ever it is. Now, Macbeth is turning to be a blood thirst killer.
In the end of act 3 scene 1, Macbeth is talking to his servants that kills for Macbeth, Macbeth at this point is forcing murderers to find and kill Banquo as soon as possible before he gets in Macbeth way of becoming king. According to act 3 scene 1 lines 140-143 Macbeth states “ I’ll call upon you straight. Abide within. It is concluded. Banquo, they soul’s fight, If it finds heaven, must find it out tonight”. That was what he told the murderers. This quote means that Macbeth does not know if banquo will be going to heaven or hell, but either way, Banquo is going to be killed without a care in the world. He also said that if he were to find out where banquo will be when he is dead, it would be by tonight. At this point of the story, Macbeth has hit his bloodthirsty and mean self. Now all he wants to do is kill, just to keep everyone and everything away from his secret of the death of King Duncan.
In act 5 scene 3, Macbeth’s servant keeps coming to Macbeth to tell him that soldiers are on their way to come and kill Macbeth instead. I guess someone found out about the death of Duncan was by Macbeth. Macbeth understands that, but him and his negative attitude do not care. But anyway Macbeth gets ready just in case something goes down. In act 5 scene 3 lines 15-20 Macbeth say’s “Go prick they face and over – red they fear, Thou lily livered boy. What soldiers, whey face?” This means that he is telling the servants not the be afraid because no soldiers are going to come to me and try to kill me because they are all scared of Macbeth. At this point it is near the end of the book and Macbeth does not know the amount of trouble he is in. When the soldiers come Macbeth will be forced to fight for his life knowing that he might lose, he will battle until his death. Now Macbeth has turned to a crazy person and is going to war by himself against a whole group of soldiers.
Macbeth started of as a hero, a person that people wanted to be. He was a strong and brave warrior that always followed the kings commands. But as he moves on with his life he starts to change. He didn’nt know what was right or wrong because lady Macbeth making his choices. If it wasn’t for Lady Macbeth King Duncan would of still been alive. But after King Duncan died, all Macbeth wanted to do was kill everyone that gets in his way. At the end of the story Macbeth finally finds out that he can’t do nothing no more. So he fought for his death. He wanted to die showing that he is a brave warrior so he fought until he died. This proves my thesis because in my thesis I said Macbeth changes from a good guy to a bad guy. The message Shakespeare is trying to tell is, is to think about what you are about to do and make sure to never let anyone force you to do something you don’t want to do. No one can control you, only you can.
Michael Levin died August 1st 2006. Every August 1st please take the time to remember who he was, even ONE minute of silence.
June 25th 2006, the day Gilad Shalit was captured. June 25th is coming up soon and I would like for you to get the word out about it. Just like I mentioned about Michael Levin, just take part of your day to commemorate him and I am only asking for ONE minute of silence.
Introduction: This shows me a lot about my child hood. When you are reading this and is kind of afraid don’t be. Because everything that happen at this time I think was just a coincidence. I just took what my mom had told me and wrote a story about it. Well I hope you guys enjoy it, I had fun writing about this.
Do you believe in ghosts? If not this will change you thought of them. What you are about to read is a story of me as a young boy. The situations that have happened to me were very ironic. It was 2 things that happened to me that built up to one. So, while I was around 4-6 months old in my mom’s stomach. One day my mom went to get pictures of me inside her stomach. The doctors did what ever they would do to take the picture, but saw nothing at all in my mom stomach. My mom knew that I was in there put someone the doctors couldn’t see it. But I wasn’t the ghost in side my mom stomach. It was a ghost preventing people to see me inside of her stomach. Everyone jumped up in fear and they all wonder how is this possible. The doctor’s became worried and all you heard was “ahhhh” and “oh my god” So that day my mom went home scared, panic and crying. Worried of what had happened at the doctors today. So, she decided to pray that night because she was very worried of this situation. The next time she went to the doctors, just to make sure nothing was really wrong with her. They happen to take pictures of her stomach again. But this time I was there, in side my mom stomach. My mom face became as bright as a sun and everyone became very surprised, one of the doctors were like this is impossible this can’t be happening. My mom was happy but she still had worried because what had happened was very odd.
Now the second part of this story is when I was born and grown up a bit more. It all started off when I was 3 and had became very sick. Sick to the point where I could not eat and all I did was sleep. Everyone wonder how did I get so sick and it has been for a couple of weeks now. They say it’s not a disease it was just regular sickness. In my religion, when something bad happens to a family member they have to call monks over. I am Buddhist and in my religion we believe in many things. It so seeing ghost and stuff are common for monks and talking to them. But for a person like you it will seem really awkward. So, the monk’s had put me in the middle and sat around me while my family sat around them. The room was as quiet as the nighttime. My family was just sitting still and quiet. The monks were sitting all peaceful and calm like they do this everyday. They started praying and stuff then somehow got to talk to a ghost. I don’t truly know how they where talking to the ghost but they did somehow. They found that the ghost was making me sick And That ghost was trying to go into my body but no one let it so, it keep making me sick. I do not remember if I went to the doctors but I know that I was diagnose with some medicine to help me feel better. The crazy part of this was that they said, the ghost was my grandpa. The reason this happen was that the ghost wanted to go in side the body of my dad son, and that was me. My parents and family were all worried and scared. They didn’t know what to do so they just left the monk’s do their work. Then they were still talking to the ghost. I know it was awkward for them but that’s what they do. The tension in the room was very crazy because at this point I could have been died. But the ghost said that he would not leave until he gets what he wants and that was to take my body. No one let him so he said that well if he can’t then I would keep getting sicker and sicker. So, my family was to scared to help think of what they should do, but for sure they wouldn’t let anything happened to me. Then someone found a great idea. The ghost had said that he wanted to go in the body of my father’s son, so if I had change fathers in my religion it will stop. So as monks they did all this stuff that I don’t know. Then I had become a son of a monk. The ghost could not do anything any more because it has less power than the monk does. I was pretty much safe after this. Just incase you are confused my dad is still my real dad but in my religion he’s not. After all of this commotion was over I had become so skinny that I had to keep eating so much to stay alive. It didn’t matter what the food was as long it was food that will help me gain pounds it will help. But after I had got everything back and my health my life became all right nothing bad like this ever happened again. My mom had never told me about this a day in my life. I found out because my older cousin told me, she said it was the scariest thing she ever saw. But one day I asked my mom why she never told me this of this happening; all she told me was that it was crazy and explained it a bit more to me because I had keep asking questions. I knew she didn’t want to talk about it but its about me and I wanted to know.
So, know as I am grown up I now realized that if all those people in my story never helped me then I wouldn’t be here writing this story right now. Also till this day I am still afraid that something like this might happen again so I now, know that I got to be careful and be aware of supernatural things happening around me.
Introduction: This is my paper about Odysseus vs. Evertt, 2 characters that have a lot in common. When I wrote this I think it was kind of challenging to find the difference between the 2 except for their appearance. Read more to fins out why I choose Odysseus vs. Evertt instead of anyone else.
Odysseus Vs. Everett
Odysseus and Everett are both brave warriors who can do many things because they are not afraid to and also love to hang with the crew. There are many ways to explain and compare the two and how are they the same. Even though Odysseus from The Odyssey and Everett from O Brother Were Art Thou may have differences, they can also be compared by their similarities and the way one and the other looks and their personality.
Odysseus is strong in the brain but weak in the body. He lets his soldiers and others do his work for him, but take all the credit. Odysseus can go to war and all he would do is manage to just sit and let his men fight. Then when Odysseus comes back from battle, he can look all bloody for some reason, then all credit goes to him, even if all he did was just sit down. But other than that, Odysseus still loves his crew but he is just too cocky and wants to be noticed. Odysseus does his tasks by himself sometimes, and he has his crew in the back to back him up just in case anything horrible happens. Since Odysseus was a Greek Demi god, Odysseus looks different from the way people look today and in this modern world, in his time he did not have the kind of weapons and armor that people have today. So in his time Odysseus has disadvantages against enemies, unlike Everett.
Everett, is in love with his hair and that is his best feature, according to him. Everett was a brave person to escape from the chain gang that he was in. But also the other two people that left with him are also very brave. Everett went through a lot after that. But he keeps going until he got back home. Everett is a strong person but what he did in the movie changed the way he looked. Near the end Everett became a jerk because he had lied to his escape buddy’s that he left the chain gang for a treasure that he is trying the find but the truth is that he only escaped to go find his wife and stop her from marrying another guy. Everett only weapon he uses in battles are his arms because when he escape he had to go look for weapons like guns but wasn’t able to get any. He had a long journey with his crew that he loved a lot. But then one of them got left behind because the crew lost him so there was only 2 of them left. This time when Everett fought the Cyclops, which was big Dan in the movie, he lost and got beat badly and big Dan managed to get away and take all Everett and his partner’s belongings.
Odysseus and Everett are a lot alike in some ways. One way they are alike is that they are brave. When they do stuff they never show their weak side. When they battle they never show there weak side. They both love there crew even if it looks like they don’t they really do. Odysseus and Everett would do anything for the crew.
They would protect the crew from no matter what. Like in the odyssey Odysseus told all of his crew to block there ears and put ear wax in there ears so they can get pass the sirens but Odysseus didn’t he wanted to see how it feels t hear the siren. In O Brother Art Thou Everett and his crew had a conflict because they found out that Everett had lied to them. So, they started ageing and all that stuff then his crew wanted to leave Everett. But Everett said wait, he apologize and everything to the crew because he cant lose them and he needs there help a lot, if it wasn’t for his crew Everett would of ever got his wife back and be called the soggy bottom boys.
To sum it up, now you see the difference and similarities of Odysseus in the odyssey and Everett in O Brother Art Thou. They both went threw a tough battle in there ways but succeed only because the help of there crew and friends.
Q4 BM Portfolio
Going through my 9th grade English portfolio, you will see a lot of growth in writing. This Q4 Benchmark has made that growth obvious to me. I am glad that SLA puts emphasis on reflecting on your work once you are finished. Without that process it would be easy to go by a year without realizing how much you grew as a person and writer.
With this growth, you begin to lean towards certain types of writing, and avoid others. It is best to challenge yourself and try a style of writing that is really difficult for you. These different writing styles become your strengths and weaknesses. I feel that my strengths are mostly projects that require a certain level of creativity. Comparing and contrasting have always been difficult for me. However I like to view my weaknesses as things to make into strengths next year.
Putting together this portfolio was somewhat easy but mostly intriguing. It is extremely entertaining for me to look back over my writing and go, “Did I really write this?” Overall, I think this portfolio project is a great way to overcome weaknesses and learn about yourself as a writer.
First, I have the Q1 Benchmark. The Macbeth Character Analysis was one of my favorite projects because I found Lady Macbeth a very complicated and thought out character. A requirement for this Benchmark was that we needed 10 quotes from the book Macbeth that helps prove your thesis. Although I liked this project, I don’t think it was my best work of the year.
Macbeth Character Analysis
Thesis statement: Lady Macbeth transformed from a controlling housewife to a guilt-ridden person with a mental illness.
In Act One, Scene Five, line 64-65 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband Macbeth saying that he and his fellow co- worker Banquo stumbled upon three witches. And the witches hailed him as thane of Cawdor and King. Macbeth explains how he is intrigued by the royalty and possibility that maybe HE could be king. Meanwhile a messenger tells Lady Macbeth that King Duncan himself is staying the night at their house. This news gives Lady Macbeth her first inner conflict, should they kill Duncan? Macbeth comes home soon after that from war. Lady Macbeth gives the news that Duncan is staying the night and maybe it was foretold that they should kill him tonight. Now Macbeth is worried. This is when she says to Macbeth, “Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.” She means conceal your true self, don’t look so evil and conflicted. She is trying to control Macbeth and the way he portrays himself in front of guests.
In Act One, Scene seven, line 36 of Macbeth, they are about to go through with their plan of killing Duncan. Macbeth is having last minute regrets. He also is saying that they shouldn’t do this. Lady Macbeth is getting frantic and getting a little defensive. This is when Lady Macbeth says, “Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself?” She means what were you thinking before. Where did all your confidence go? Lady Macbeth is trying to make Macbeth do something he doesn’t want to by making him feel guilty.
Act One, Scene Seven, line 48 of Macbeth, they are still debating whether or not to kill Duncan and Lady Macbeth is getting angry and even more defensive. Macbeth is frightened at the consequences. As a responding Lady Macbeth takes the argument to the next level by questioning his manliness, which is a blow below the belt. “When you durst do it, then you are a man.” She means before you were a man. You’re not the man I married. Again lady Macbeth is using guilt and peer pressure to stab at Macbeth’s manhood. It is obvious that Lady Macbeth liked Macbeth’s Wild side and ruthless side.
In Act one, Scene four, line 61-62 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are hosting a dinner for all the thanes. Banquo is not there because Macbeth had him murdered. The other thanes don’t know that though. At the dinner Macbeth is about to sit and start eating when he sees Banquo sitting in his chair. This is an illusion, and a Banquo of the mind. Macbeth is scared. None of the other thanes or his wife can see him. Macbeth is freaking out. Lady Macbeth pulls him aside to give him a pep talk. “Oh proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear.” She means that this is your illusion of your fear; you’re creating fear.
In Act three, Scene four, line 110-111 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is angry because all of the dinner guests had to leave because of Macbeth’s hallucinations. Lady Macbeth is furious and is embarrassed to be married to Macbeth at that moment. When the dinner guests leave Lady Macbeth rounds on Macbeth
and says, “You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting with most admired disorder.” She means, you’re an embarrassment. Are you happy with yourself; look what you’ve done. Again making him feel less important. This now makes Lady Macbeth look like the real person in power.
In Act Five, Scene One, line 36-37 of Macbeth, a doctor and Lady Macbeth’s
maid are watching Lady Macbeth sleep. The maid told the doctor about
past nights when Lady Macbeth had tried to wash her hands while sleep
walking. The maid is worried for Lady Macbeth and is scared of the things
she says while washing her hands. While sleep walking and pretending
to wash her hands, Lady Macbeth says, “Out damn spot! Out, I say! One-two-why ‘tis time to do’t.” She is seeing things and is feeling so guilty she is saying this in her sleep. She cannot get the imaginary blood off her hands or clean
In Act Five, Scene One, line 38-40, of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is still sleep
Walking. She admits to something that she would never admit if she had any
control over it. Lady Macbeth says, while sleep walking, “Yet, who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him.” This shows that even though she didn’t show it, she did have regrets and fears about killing Duncan. This proves that Lady Macbeth does have feelings, even if she hides them when she is awake. She is not a robot made for killing. She has feelings.
In Act Five, Scene One, line 51 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is still sleep walking, and continues to try to get the “smell of blood” off of her hands. When washing them does not work, she comes to the conclusion that the smell and the guilt will never leave her. This is when she says, “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” She has given up hope of ever cleansing her soul. Nothing will make her hand stop smelling like blood.
In Act Five, Scene Two, line 61-63 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is wrapping
up the procedure of washing her hands, and is having a sleep walking
déjà-vu of what she said to Macbeth in the beginning when they had first
killed Duncan. It is not an exact repeat, but is very similar. Lady Macbeth
is obviously reliving the moment of the killing, which is haunting her.
Lady Macbeth says, “Wash your hands, put on your nightgown, look not so pale. I tell you again, Banquo’s buried. He cannot come out of his grave.” She
Is also connecting this to the killing of Banquo. That fear, which is mostly
Macbeth’s, still is shared by Lady Macbeth.
In Act Five, Scene Two, line 66-67 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is concluding
her sleep walking and is having another flashback. This flashback reflects
the moments after Duncan was murdered. In the quote she mentions that
you cannot change the past. This proves that she is feeling remorse and
wishing she had not done what she had done. Lady Macbeth says, “ Come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone. To bed. To bed. To bed.” Notice how she says, “give me your hand.” This indicates that she does need Macbeth and is not talking down to him.
In conclusion, we can see the transformation of Lady Macbeth from just a controlling housewife who got what she wanted by sexual tension and peer pressure, to a guilt ridden body of pure emotion, hate, and fear. At the end of the play she cannot deal anymore with the guilt so she kills herself. The guilt was overpowering and caused a brain malfunction due to bottling it up. It was interesting how Shakespeare did the suicide of Lady Macbeth off-stage, because it makes her death mysterious, just like her character. Overall, Lady Macbeth was a complicated and well-described character. She is the most developed character in the play, Macbeth.
This next piece is our Q2 Benchmark. After reading The House On Mango Street, our class became mostly about vignettes. In this project, we did our own vignette based on a real-life experience. Mine was a story from my trip to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Extravaganza
The cool Costa Rican night air ruffled my hair like a whisper. I lay awake in my single bed unable to sleep, restless, for the next day was a day of “canyoning.” I wasn’t totally sure what “canyoning” was but it sounded dangerous and exciting. I had the energy of a six year old on Christmas Eve. Just thinking about “canyoning” gave my stomach a serious case of butterflies. After long hours of twisting and turning I finally fell into a delicate slumber.
Before I knew it I had my daypack packed, ready to get on the road. We all piled onto the bus with enthusiasm. The bus driver quickly turned around in his seat with a frown. The group fell silent. That frown quickly turned into a joking smile reveling a set of old battered teeth, “Ready!?” asked the bus driver in his thick Spanish accent. Before the group could answer the bus gave a loud SCREEEE! And we were off.
The bus strained against the harsh mountainside hills. Reaching the top, the bus came to an eerie stop. Pushing and shoving the group got off the bus, me getting off last I went up to the tour guide and asked “excuse me sir but, what exactly is cannoning?” He looked puzzled at the question “ I didn’t tell you guys?” He seemed surprised at his own forgetfulness, “I don’t think so” I said reassuringly. “Oh… sorry about that, cannoning is when you repel down waterfalls and zip-line.” YIKES I had no idea it would be that crazy! “Thank you sir” I was ok about the zip-line but REPELING down a waterfall that’s a whole other story! After many minutes of franticly thinking, I came to a conclusion. These people aren’t trying to kill us. How big could these waterfalls be?
The tour guide chopped at the thick vegetation like a chef, with his machete through Costa Rica’s rigorous mountain terrain. After hours of hiking we reached a intimidating clearing where we stopped at the zip-line. Our whole group was thinking the same thing: HOLY… the whole group was in awe. This zip-line stretched far as the eye could see out into the distance and was at least 300 feet up. “Okay! Who wants to go first?” Our tour guide was making sarcastic jokes about the scariness of the drop. Feeling brave I raised my hand. Surprised, he shrugged and waved me over to him. I was strapped into a harness and attached to the zip-line. Before I was ready, I was hurled off the ledge, free- falling. I yelled, and clung onto my rope. After what seemed like minutes of falling, I was zooming through the beautiful wild canopy. Holding out both hands, happily, I closed my eyes. The air felt pleasant, gently pressing against my face. I could have been flying.
After the zip-line, I was more confident, ready for whatever came my way. But when I saw that waterfall, all of my confidence was blown away by the cannon of realization. That waterfall was huge and I mean HUGE. 100 feet high drop, and thousands of gallons of roaring water was incredibly intimidating. Just the sound made all of our stomachs cringe. The only way home was down that slippery waterfall. It took me awhile to finally muster up the courage to do it. When I did bounce parallel to the ground all the way down, I was soaked, tired and beaten by the extreme power of roaring water. My tour guide landed next to me. “Well, was it worth it?” he asked. I thought about the fear I had overcome, and the things I now felt capable of accomplishing, and croaked, “totally.”
This next piece is our 3rd quarter Benchmark. In this project, we had to compare two characters from The Odyssey. I found this project to be very difficult because I have trouble with the concept of comparing and contrasting.
Odysseus And Telemachus
The Odyssey is a tale of a hero named Odysseus and all of his obstacles. One can view this tale as a story of one man, but a hidden sub theme coexists. This is the story of a son and his lost father. Telemachus' story is an important but subtle chunk of The Odyssey. Odysseus and Telemachus may be very different in personality but the physical resemblance when they are in the midst of battle reminds us that they are father and son.
In The Odyssey Telemachus appears to be wimpy, shy, and weak, nothing like his father. In Book 1 page 81 Telemachus is daydreaming, wishing that his father would just solve the suitor problem. Homer writes of Telemachus, “ Sitting among the suitors, heart obsessed with grief, he could almost see his magnificent father, here in the mind’s eye—if only he might drop from the clouds and drive these suitors all in a rout throughout the halls and regain his pride of place and rule his own domains” (Book 1, Lines 133-139). This quote shows that Telemachus feels that he has very little power. He thinks his father is all-powerful and wishes that his father would just drop down and solve all of his problems. At this point, Telemachus sees Mentis (Athena disguised) and views him as a mentor and friend; that build his confidence because at this point he lacks it.
With the help of Athena Telemachus realizes that his father will not solve his problems for him. This gives him the mental strength to call the first town meeting since Odysseus left for Troy and also set out on a trek to find his father. The Odyssey tells us that Telemachus looks like his father. On the trek, when Telemachus meets King Nestor, Odysseus' friend from Troy, Telemachus musters up a lot of bravery and boldness,. “Your father, yes, if you are in fact his son . . .I look at you and a sense of wonder takes me. Your way with words—it’s just like his—I’d swear no youngster could ever speak like you, so apt, so telling.” (Book 3, page 111, lines 137-140) King Nestor says that Telemachus’ way with words is just like Odysseus’. This is one of the key transformation moments when Telemachus is complimented on his similarities to his father. When this happens Telemachus feels one of his first real connections opening, like he has a piece of his father’s leadership and power inside of him.
At the end of the Book 21, page 438, lines 471-479, Homer writes and Odysseus said, “’Telemachus’ Odysseus looked at his son and said, ‘Your guest, sitting here in your house, has not disgraced you. No missing the mark, look, and long labor spent to string the bow. My strength’s not broken yet, not quite so frail as the mocking suitor’s thought. But the hour has come to serve our masters right—supper in broad daylight—then to other revels, song and dancing, all that crowns a feast.’ Odysseus is making a father son joke about his frailty stringing a bow. This is a good-natured teasing between a father and son that builds a relationship, one of their first real bonding moments.
In the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus and Telemachus fight the suitors together. This is their strongest place of father son bonding. In Books 21 and 22 the resemblance between them is striking. On page 428 of Book 21, Telemachus is swaggering and taunting the suitors with crude bravery not unlike his father. As the suitors are challenged to string the bow, Telemachus eggs them on saying, "Why sing my mother’s Praises? Come, let the games begin! No dodges, no delays, no turning back from the stringing of the bow"(Book 21, Lines 125-130) This does not sound anything like the early Telemachus we met at the beginning of the book, shy, depressed, and hopeless. He knows that this is all part of the plan, and that Odysseus is disguised and ready to string that bow. Moreover, in Book 22 father and son operate side by side. When Odysseus was on his trek home he was a great and ruthless fighter. In fighting Polyphemus, he yells, “Cyclops—if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded your eye, shamed you so—say Odysseus, raiders of cities, he gauged out your eye.” (Book 9, page 227, lines 558-561.) This shows that Odysseus also is taunting the opponent. They are both very independent and bright in the midst of battle. For the two of them, quick thinking is never a problem. On page 453, lines 487-489 Odysseus gives an order to slit the throats of the maids. Telemachus chooses to put the maids to death in a more brutal fashion because he does not feel it is a cruel enough punishment, “No clean death for the likes of them, by God! Not for me—they showered abuse on my head, my mother’s too!” This proves that he has sounds just as ruthless as his father.
Odysseus and Telemachus are very different, but in places the father and son are alike. Telemachus is the proud son of a great warrior. People would expect him to be just like his noble father. What comes as a surprise is that he is actually more of the quiet type, although he still has his animal side hidden underneath. It is ironic that the first time they really meet is when they are most alike, in battle. The journey of trying and failing to find his long lost father probably sculpted Telemachus into becoming a leader like his father. Implied is that Telemachus’ and Odysseus’ relationship would have been weak if it were not for Telemachus’ transformation into a man.
This next piece was one of my favorite projects because we were allowed to choose the way we presented our work. I chose to present my work in using a program called Comic Life. This is one of my favorite pieces of work that I have done all year. Enjoy!
Macbeth Creative Project
(To see the creative project go to the bottom of this post.)
Below is my second semester book review. The book I read is called Amarillo Slim In A World of Fat People. This book is written in the style of a memoir. Enjoy.
Amarillo Slim has been called,” the greatest gambler who ever lived”. His memoir is called Amarillo Slim In A World Of Fat People. He truly has done some amazing things with his talent such as, winning the world poker tournament, beating a world famous tennis player at ping-pong with a frying pan, and winning a game of pool against Minnesota Fats with a broom. All of these incredibly weird and interesting things happened without any training of any kind.
Throughout the book you will follow Amarillo’s adventures and see him gamble and swindle multiple people at their own game. It is incredibly entertaining to watch the story progress from a smoky back room to a world-class casino. This is all told in his somewhat comical Texan drawl. You will hear his personality told in the first person: “ If there’s anything I’ll argue about, I’ll either bet on or shut up. And since it’s not very becoming for a cowboy to be arguing, I’ve made a few wagers in my day. But in my humble opinion, I’m no ordinary hustler you see, neighbor, I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him.” Just in this phrase you can hear his swagger, boldness, and charm.
I personally could not relate to Amarillo since I rarely gamble, even though I enjoy poker. Some parts of Amarillo’s wisdom makes total sense to me, though. He writes about being brave, making friends with yourself, and being kind to your opponent. If that happens, they will most likely want to gamble with you again. It can be interesting to read about someone who’s life is so different than everyone else’s. He started gambling when he of high school age, our teenage years are so different in every way. I wonder if that life style is still possible in these times. Some say that is the last true Cowboy gambler.
Overall I liked this book because of the wild ride he takes the readers on, reflecting the wild ride of his life. Some weaknesses of this book were telling a tale too slowly, with too many minor characters. It was difficult to keep track of all of the folks he swindled and admired. I enjoyed the Texas slang. Because of his legendary stunts, there was even a song written about him.
“ Do you dare make a bet with Amarillo Slim?
You play his game with one condition for him.
From Ping-pong to golf or baskets in the gym.
Do you dare make a bet with Amarillo Slim?
Hell, the devil don’t bet with Amarillo Slim.”
This song is still played to this day, every year, at the World Series of Poker. I would definitely recommend this book to people who want an exiting but slow paced journey. This book is perfect to bring on vacation and read on the beach. You may even want to use some of his secrets when you next meet up to play you gambling game of choice.
Throughout the year in class we have been doing journal entries. Usually they are serious topics such as, “What are some expectations put on you by others?” Next you will see four of mine that I picked out to show.
1) What makes someone a good storyteller?
A good storyteller puts emotion in his or her voice. A good storyteller makes eye contact with the crowd, doesn’t say “um” or any word stalling the story, and has very different voice volumes for different parts of the story. Monotones are NEVER good in story telling because you want the audience to be attentive, NOT bored.
2) Do you prefer stories that are real or fictional?
Personally I like both. On one hand you have the amazement of reading something stunning that actually happened, and on the other you have a journey possibly into another world. Those two choices are too hard to pick from for me. I like a good blend of both.
3) What makes someone an adult?
In my eyes, an adult is not necessarily someone who is over 18. Someone could be 30 and still be a child in my eyes. I think what makes someone truly an adult is how they deal with difficult scenarios and problems. Whether we deal with it maturely or not is purely our choice. That, is what I think being an adult is.
4) What would you do if you pulled off an incredible trick?
I would probably try and keep it a secret for as long as I could. Eventually I would tell my good friends, and from there it would spread. The difficult part would be trying not to tell anyone. For me, it is incredibly hard to keep secrets.
Part of the year the class focused a little bit on Greek mythology. A project we had to do was pick a God, Goddess of Nymph and write about a myth that they were in. We had to create a poster as well, I chose the character Persephone. Here is the written part of the project.
The Fabulous Myth of the Goddess Persephone
The name of the Goddess/character I am writing about is Persephone. When Persephone was younger they would call her kore, which means the maiden. She is the Goddess of the Underworld. Her husband who is the king of the Underworld is keeping her prisoner. His name is Hades one of the three brothers, Zeus and Poseidon. In this myth Persephone makes a mistake and ends up in the Underworld with Hades. Before she is allowed to leave she is tricked and eats 7 pomegranate seeds. The epithet for Persephone is an innocent child, because she was clueless on what to do and was tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds.
Some people used to say she looked like an innocent child. This shows how much she didn’t know about the flower she picked and how clueless Hades thought she was. This is a symbol of a beautiful young girl. When I think of this symbol I think of a child. Some symbol having to do with the myth is pomegranates. Because she ate the pomegranate seeds and therefore had to stay in the Underworld. Another symbol might be flowers and nature because she is the Goddess of spring.
Persephone is related to Hades, Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter and many other Gods, Goddesses and Demigods because of her relation to Hades, Zeus and Poseidon. Her mother is Demeter Goddess of grain and fertility basically harvest. Hades is the God of the Underworld and all of the souls. Her father is Zeus, brother of Hades. So Persephone is married to her uncle.
Once upon a time a beautiful goddess named Persephone went into the meadow and started to pick flowers. Her eye spotted the most amazingly wonderful looking flower she had ever seen. When she picked it Hades came and took her down to the Underworld. Her mother Demeter was devastated, and didn’t think her daughter could ever come back. Demeter persuaded Zeus to make Hades let Persephone go. All the time this was happening Persephone did not eat anything. But Persephone ate 7 pomegranate seeds. As a result of this she had to stay in the underworld 7 months out of a year. Meanwhile Demeter is so sad the earth becomes cold and barren. When Persephone is in the Underworld the season is winter. When she has her allowed time away from the Underworld it is spring.
Persephone absolutely hates her husband Hades because he is sort of keeping her hostage. She wants to be on earth and she also wants to be happy with her mother and friends. Persephone is from Greece originally. Persephone as portrayed in Rome is Proserpina.
This myth is very important because it explains why we have the seasons winter and spring. When Persephone is away it is barren and cold because her mother is very sad. If you look closely at the myth you can see that it is a chain reaction as to why some things in the end up the way they are today. Each myth is basically a reason why the earth and the way we do things are today. This myth can be put into modern day text or play form. Some creep abducted Persephone a beautiful teenager. She was scared and she didn’t want to be there. She refused to eat anything she just wanted to go home. Then she eats something and is forced to stay with the creep for 7 months out of the year. The mother is so upset her feelings affect the people and the things around her. Therefore this myth and some how all myths can relate to modern day times or explain why things are the way they are today.
Persephone, greek goddess of innocence and receptivity and queen of the underworld. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/greek_goddess_persephone.htm
Aaron J. Atsma, AJA. (2000). Retrieved from http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Persephone.html
June 24, 2008 . (2008, June 24). Retrieved from http://www.paleothea.com/SortaSingles/Persephone.html
With this hidden love comes the exploration my strengths and weaknesses in English. I can’t spell to save my life, you can even ask my English teacher Ms. Dunn. We learned new complicated fancy words that we added to our vocabulary. We learned words like brood and Malinger. I had to use spell check for both of those words I can’t spell. With weaknesses includes certain strengths. A strength I find very useful is the ability to plan out what I want to write and how I want to write it. As I write this introduction I know how I wanted this to lay out and the style I wanted to write it in. I need to work on the vocabulary words we learned. They’re good words to know but I just can’t spell them.
This portfolio holds many memories both good and bad. Going through my work I look back and I remember the time when I was writing my me magazine. It was the first benchmark I have ever done. I sat there with a blank sheet of paper and thought to myself, what will my classmates think of me? What should I write? What will they think of me if I write this? But now I feel as if I can say or ask anything from my fellow peers. A bad experience I’ve had is frustration with my Character Comparison with my Odyssey project. Frustration will always get the best of you in every situation. There are a select few though that know how to deal with that frustration a positive way. I had to compare a character from the odyssey to another character. But I decided to take on the challenge of comparing a real life historical figure Al Capone with Odysseus. I was difficult comparing those, even though it might seem that they have lots of similarities at first they always connect with one being a real person and the other fictional. I eventually connected the two in the best way I knew how.
I’ve done so much work in for this class. It was exhausting but the feeling you get at the end of each project is amazing, it’s a feeling of accomplishment. The piece I’m most proud of has to be my character comparison. It may not be the most written but I spent hours on it, finding ways the two could connect. I got an 87 as a final grade for it but I accepted the challenge and I tried my best, and to me that’s what matters the most. Thank you Ms. Dunn for teaching me the beauty of English.
Macbeth has changed tremendously throughout the story; he went from a war hero to a dead traitor who was killed by one of his friends. In the beginning of the play everyone liked him. He had strong connections and he was the second most powerful man in all of Scotland towards the middle of the play. Then towards the middle of the play he started to change into a new Macbeth one that was in control and wanted to keep it that way, for a long time. He killed his best friend Banquo and attempted to kill his son to ensure that his kids wouldn’t be kings. He also did the same thing to Macduff. In the end Macbeth seemed to slowly come back because he felt guilt and fear. If he were spared he would’ve returned to normal eventually. Here is proof to all my reasoning.
In Act 1 scene 2 of Macbeth, King Duncan is with the Captain. Duncan is very grateful is for what the captain did for Macbeth. Duncan was so pleased because now he is able to kill the current Thane of Cawdor and replace him with Macbeth. “This is the sergeant who like a good and hardy soldier fought ‘gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend; say to the king the knowledge of the broil as thou didst leave it.” (Act 1, scene 2, lines 4-8) This quote reveals that Macbeth is kind and grateful for this man who has saved him. Which shows that Macbeth is a kind and gracious man, even the King respects him. He is strongly connected with his friends now in the play.
In Act 1 scene 3 of Macbeth, Macbeth is with Banquo. They are talking about the witch’s prophecy. Macbeth seems very confused with his side of the prophecy. It seems like he is iffy about what they predicted. Banquo is very pleased about what the witches have to say to him. He likes that his son’s and his son’s children will be king, that there will be a long line of kings in his family. “ If chance will have making, why, chance may crown me without my stir.” (Act 1 scene 3, lines 144-146) This quote reveals that Macbeth is starting to have thoughts about him being king. He’s starting to question the prophesy the witch’s have told him and Banquo. It’s the making of a new Macbeth and his personality changes. He’s beginning to have thoughts but doesn’t plan to take any action. It seems like he’s going to wait for the moment when he just automatically becomes king. Macbeth seems to assume that no one will find out what is going to happen and his friends will remain loyal to him.
In Act 1 scene 7 of Macbeth, Macbeth is at his house. He’s having a feast with King Duncan. Macbeth is starting to talk to himself about the plan of the assassination of Duncan. “If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well if were done quickly. If the assassination could trammel up the consequence and catch with surcease success.” (Act 1, scene 7, lines 1-4) This reveals that Macbeth is willing to go through with the assassination of Duncan. He seems semi confident that this plan will actually work and Macbeth will rule Scotland as King. He seems to be turning into a new Macbeth because he’s talking to himself about an assassination, the old Macbeth would never do that. That’s why there are two sides of Macbeth arguing with one another. He’s being very secretive which is why he’s alone.
In Act 1 scene 7 of Macbeth, Macbeth is still talking to himself about the assassination attempt on Duncan. He’s debating weather he should go through with it or leave it alone. He is alone during the soliloquy and has left the room where the feast is being held. “He’s here in double trust: first, as I am his kinsman and his subject, strong both against the deed; then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself” (Act 1, scene 7, lines 15-16) This is the good none treacherous half of Macbeths personality who is talking. He says Duncan trusts him and believes he will be Duncan’s right hand man. He doesn’t want to feel like a failure and traitor to his own country. Which is why he’s currently debating the subject on weather to kill Duncan or betray his wife by not executing the plan. Macbeth doesn’t want to lose his trust in anybody close to him that includes Duncan.
In Act 2 scene 2 of Macbeth, Macbeth is at home and it’s the middle of the night. He has just killed King Duncan and his hands and cloths are bloody. He is currently talking to Lady Macbeth he’s in shock and can’t believe what he just did. “I’ll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; look on’t again I dare you not.” (Act 2, scene 2, lines 55-56) Macbeth is regretting killing King Duncan, he has no idea why he has done it and Lady Macbeth is trying to toughen him up. Lady Macbeth is doing that by sexually bring him to her and telling him to finish what he’s started. Not to back out that he will be rewarded for what he has done.
In Act 3 scene 1 of Macbeth, Macbeth is talking to the assassins about killing Banquo. He is trying to convince them that its his fault that there lives are pretty bad. “Not i’ th’ worst rank of manhood, say’t; and I will put that bosoms whose execution takes your enemy off, Grapples you to the health but sickly in his life, which I his death were perfect” (Act 3, scene 1, lines 103-108). Macbeth is convincing them that this is the time to take back their vengeance and strike back. The assassins seem to agree; Macbeth seems to reveal a very convincing side of him. He will go to any lengths to get what he wants and will even kill his best friends to get to were he wants to go.
In Act 4 scene 1 of Macbeth, Macbeth is explaining his evil plot. He’s going hire the assassins and they’re going to everyone in Macduff’s house. They’re going to go into the house and kill everyone who’s in there to stop Macduff and his family in becoming King. “The castle of Macduff I will surprise, seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line” (Act 4, scene 1, lines 172-174). Macbeth reveals his inner evil he had all these years. He is going to try to shut down Macduff mentally to strike fear in others. This reveals a brand new Macbeth, one that is willing to take it a step further than he should, even if it does mean breaking the line of friendship with Macduff.
In Act 5 scene 3 of Macbeth, Macbeth is in his castle talking to himself. He has just found out from his servant that a force of ten thousand man have come to try to kill him. Macbeth is afraid but will fight to the death he has nothing to lose. “The devil, damn the black, thou cream-faced loon” (Act 5, scene 3, line 11). Macbeth reveals that his transformation from good to evil is now complete. If you observe from past scenes he would never say that to his servants or other people. But he is now showing that he is the ruler so you should fear him. Which means he wants to stay in control for a long time and will not rest until he knows his position in power is safe. At this point in the story he has no one to trust, the closets person he has to a friend is Seyton his servant.
In Act 5 scene 3 of Macbeth, Macbeth is talking to himself. He starts to reveal himself a little bit in these lines. He’s in his castle waiting for the invasion to start. He is putting on his armor and getting into his mood to fight “My way of life is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf, and that which should accompany old age” (Act 5, scene 3, lines 24-25). Macbeth reveals that he’s starting to show weakness and give up. Macbeth has never shown to ever give up. He always has the never give up never surrender attitude toward everything he’s encountered. Until now, he finally realizes that all hope is lost and will fail, but he jus won’t give up. He has nothing to lose his wife is mentally dead, he has no friends, and everyone in Scotland fears him.
In Act 5 scene 5 Macbeth, Macbeth is in his castle and has just heard a scream. The scream is from Lady Macbeth she has just committed suicide. All the women in the castle are in shock. “I have almost forgot the taste of fears”(Act 5, scene 5, line 9). Macbeth is showing weakness again and has almost shown almost no sign of it. But only recently towards the end of the play has he started to slowly return to old Macbeth from the beginning of the play. But even though he seems to be showing no emotion in these lines he feels fear for the first time in a long time. He has nothing to lose, so there is no reason to give up.
Macbeth changes from a good person and war hero, to a traitor, to slowly coming back to the Macbeth from the beginning of the play. But he is killed before he can completely transform to old Macbeth. In my opinion he only changed out of fear. He lost his wife to suicide and his once best friends were coming with a giant army to kill him. No one likes him anymore not even his own wife. He knew his time was over, but his personality will never give up. So he worked with what he had, he lost and died.
Throughout the year we as students had to read two books and write a book review on it. My second book review was on the book “Shug”. But for this book review the students were allowed the choice of something creative, I chose to do a podcast.
Throughout the year we as students had to read two books and write a book review on it. My first book review was on the book “The Skin I’m in”.
The Skin I’m in
I can not believe it has been seven years since I was last in the Galapagos. It feels like it just happened a couple of months ago. But there are parts of that memory that have blown away like wind blowing a leaf. But I still remember the things that were most important to me on the trip. The flight to the islands from Guayaquil Airport was around an hour and a half. I did what any eight year old would do; I asked, “are we there yet?” I did that constantly throughout the whole flight to my dad. Imagine the annoyance in his face.
When we landed in the airport it was fairly small. It had a security team, metal detectors, the whole shebang. But it was as small as a motel room. Right after security you walked a couple feet and you were at the entrance of the airport to go to the islands. As soon as you walk through the door you look for the tour guide that has the name of the people that employed him and everything you need to get ready. We waited for other people to arrive and we were off.
First we took a tour of a small zoo. The people of the island let the animals roam free but these animals were found very sick or stranded. The workers of the island put them in the zoo to be cared for and watched over until they were well enough to go free. We saw plenty of tortoises. It seems kind of obvious because the island is known for its vast population of tortoises. There were also magnificent birds like red and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and even flamingoes! My eight year old mind could not take all of the exotic colors on all the birds. When we arrived in town the tour guide let us off his “leash” to let us explore the town. My friend Alex and his parents came a long with us to the islands as well as my grandma and uncle Rob. I bought a pair of sunglasses (which I later lost, I was going through the losing everything phase). We walked back to the tour guide who was at the docks. He explained to us the amount of crewmen and the type of boat. I remember it being a yacht but I was not excited about being on a yacht then. Boats were boats and they were all the same to me. But now I think back and… wow…I was on a yacht. We walked the dock which seemed to be old but newly refurbished. The boat was pearl shiny and white as paper. The friendly captain and his crew immediately greeted us. He explained to us everything on the boat and like the sun deck the bar and so on. There were about twelve passengers on the boat.
During dinner we had a world-class chef. Now when I say world-class chef, I mean world-class chef. This guy was the next Bobby Flay. I have never liked shrimp before but his shrimp was exquisite. It is because of this chef I love seafood so much. The great thing about the fish was that it was freshly caught daily by the crew mans spare time when they go fishing. They also had a shrimp net in the back of the boat that had shrimp. That also must have played a big role in the excellent cooking. After dinner, I was exhausted so I went to bed. My grandma offered my dad and I some pills that would prevent seasickness. My dad happily took one, but I, being as stubborn as anyone could possibly be, did not want one. When we got to our room it had a very sweet smell that clogged up your lungs. It was strange to me and my dad later told me it was diesel exhaust from the engines. I slept as well as a newborn baby, with no seasickness. The next day we woke up and immediately went upstairs to greet one of my best friends Alex. We put our feet in the water and when I first touched the clear pacific water…it was warm!!! It was even warmer than heated a pool water; it was amazing, one hundred percent natural!!! Even my dad was surprised by how warm the water was. I was getting closer and closer to my utopia.
Before breakfast my dad challenged one of the crewmembers to a diving contest. Really bad idea dad. He is an excellent swimmer and I thought that he would easily beat the crewman. But now that I look back at it, 36-year-old man who is starting to feel the affects of vs. late twenties man who has probably spent his whole life swimming in the islands. Not very good odds. I have no idea to this day what was going on through his head. My dad took his first pencil tip dive off the boat and into the water. It must have been a good minute before he came back up to the surface. When he got pulled onto the boat he proudly said, “I could make out the bottom.” The crewman smiled a smile that only bad guys in movies smile. He dove into the water in about a minute he came back up. “I touched the bottom” he said while smiling. Everyone was awed by what just happened. I do not know how deep that was but I am pretty sure no passenger on the boat would dare touch the bottom.
After that extraordinary event, breakfast was called and everyone left except for the crewman and my dad. The crewman agreed to teach my dad to the secrets of Ecuadorian diving. I had yet another exquisite meal of bacon, pancakes, and eggs magnifique!! After the last plate was cleared, our tour guide explained to us what we were going to do for the day. We were going to an island that was covered in sea lions. The reason for that is the sea lions just had their young and they were caring for them. But he assured us that there were other things to see. I was so excited, my first island! I went down as fast as a person with ADHD on red bull. I changed, brushed my teeth, and grabbed my disposable camera in a matter of minutes. I, of course, was the first person to be ready and was waiting for other people out on the deck. There were two different black boats that would take us out to shore. When we were close to shore I could make out gold figures and my dad told me they were sea lions. I was so excited, I wanted to just shout at the sea lions to come and get me. We got to shore and they were everywhere. It was like a cockroach infestation. We were told not to touch any of the animals unless they touched us first, or we would have major problems, like being mauled by the head hancho. Who was big, very big, humongous, giant, like, like 5 me’s. We’d have no chance against him. The tour guide said watch out for scorpions or their sting would sting for two to three hours. He pointed them out and I became paranoid. When we reached a cliff he pointed out to us a blue-footed boobies nest. I kind of giggled a little bit for obvious reasons but it was interesting to see. He also showed us bones from baby blue-footed boobies and told us that they were being taught to fly. The mother would take them in the sky and if the bird did not fly, it would die. The next thing we saw were frigate birds. It was mating season for them and they would puff out their bright red chest and would make a drumming noise. It was actual drumming like an African drumming circle. It was insane to see and one of the things I would never forget. The next bird we saw were albatrosses. It was matting season for them as well. When I saw them walk they automatically became my favorite bird, and still are to this day. When it takes a step, its head bends over to the side it is stepping. It is the cutest and funniest thing I have seen a bird do. Also when the male chooses a mate they walked up to the female and they put its long yellow beak next to the females and opens them and closes them very fast. The sound is like two pieces of wood clacking together really loudly. We moved on to the center of the island and we saw pink flamingoes. They were in the lake sleeping eating and caring for there young. I loved those flamingoes. Some were very troublesome, like when one tried to steal a man’s camera. It walked over to us and everyone was in their “oh-my-god-there-is-a-flamingo-walking-over-to-us” mode. The flamingo stood there for a moment, and then quickly grabbed a mans camera as if it were a berry. The man was cursing and shouting in German and it was some sight to see. It is not everyday you see a German man and his friends fighting a flamingo for his camera. The tour guide shouted while waving his arms and scared the flamingo away. We turned around and walked back the way we came to the boats. We went back to our luxurious yacht and had a wonderful meal of fish.
The next day we woke up, ate breakfast, and went to an island with just sand. There were some trees in the middle of the island. But we only stayed on the beach part the whole time. The adults went snorkeling while Alex and I went scavenging. We found some fish bones that had apparently been regurgitated by a sea lion. I had no idea what that meant but now that I know…ewwwwww. We went back to the boat and spent the rest of the day on the boat. In the afternoon I was pretty bored. I put my feet in the magical Pacific water and moved them around. There was a small piece of rope hanging from the side of the boat. I started to wave it around the water and out popped a small sea lion. I assume it was a baby sea lion because of the small size. It grabbed onto the rope and started pulling it. Than I started pulling it, it was challenging me to a game of tug a war. He pulled on his end and I pulled on mine. He lost his grip in a matter of a few short minutes. Than I started to tease him by whipping the rope up into the air and back down, he jumped out of the water and grabbed the rope and pulled it out of my hands and I never saw him again. I hope he’s making good use of that rope because I later found out it was to tie the boat up to the dock.
The last night on the boat, my stubbornness finally caught up to me. I got seasick during dinner. We were having shrimp and blue-footed boobie drinks which were like sunshine in a cup. I told my dad I wasn’t feeling too good. It went something like this: “Dad, I’m not feeling too good.” “Really, what seems to be the…” The next thing you know vomit is going all over my dad. I can not even begin to explain how disgusting that was so I am going to skip the description of the vomit. I could not sleep all night, this goes for anyone, take any measure to prevent seasickness. It is not the best thing to have, trust me on that.
The last day was a very emotional one for me. I had such an unforgettable time with my friend and even to the crewmembers like when they let me play video games with them and I beat them all. You can imagine the embarrassment that they felt. I would also like to thank the sea lion spot for playing with me when I was bored. He had a big spot around his eye and so that is what I decided to call him from then on. We said our last good byes to the captain and crew and the tour guide escorted us back to the motel-sized airport. We said our good byes and thanks to him and I was crying. I did not want to leave. This is as close to a utopia as I have ever gotten, and I had to leave it. We went past security, back to our plane. We took off and I left my utopia for so far seven years.
Laurie Halse Anderson
I have been reading a book called Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. Most of you guys know her by the book called “Speak” which was New York Times bestseller. In this book report I will be telling you guys about the adventures that the main character Tyler miller goes through in this story and you guys will find out what happens to him if you continue reading.
Tyler miller was a 17-year-old kid, who no one ever noticed. His popularity was so low that almost no one knew he exist, until the day where he decides to go do graffiti on the school. He does graffiti during junior year. Tyler had to pay for the consequences so he was forced to do outdoor summer work. But when he goes back to school, he becomes so much popular. Everyone noticed him, especially a girl named Bethany Millbury. Tyler and Bethany relationship do go up along in the story. But Bethany father tells Tyler that if he doesn’t stay away from her, her father will fire Tyler’s dad because he works for Bethany’s father. But also the fights of his angry dad go up. One day Tyler decided to go and get drunk at a party, which made him kind of crazy. Also the way that the staff members at his school treated with disrespect was very awful. After, when all these situations happen and he realize that being popular is really not that cool, thoughts of suicide came up on his head.
The Main Character of this book is Tyler, the person that the book is about. Cha
cha is Tyler’s best friend. Tyler dad is Tyler’s dad. Bethany
Is the girl that Tyler had a crush on. Bethany’s father is Tyler’s dad boss.
The conflict of the story is basically trying to tell you that once something good happens, there is always a after shock which hits you right after. In the book when Tyler was not popular nothing bad really happened to him, until he became popular. Then thoughts of suicide came up, which was a big deal for him and everyone around him. The type of conflict in this story is man vs. self. The reason I think so, is because Tyler is basically fighting with his own mind if he should kill him self or not.
My favorite character in the book is Tyler. Some reason I alls find the main character of the book interesting. Well, the reason why I think this is my favorite character is because Tyler goes through a lot and for some kids now if thoughts of suicide come up they attempt and sometimes it works. But for Tyler he thinks everything through which makes him very smart. In the story he had the gun ready to blast his head off, but then he thought to him self that living with his father makes him dead already.
This book teaches a lesson. It shows that when even something is going wrong talk to the person about it. It may end up bad but at least that person knows the he or she is the bad one. And also try to stay calm but keep your guard up at all times just incase anything happens.
I can relate the story just a little bit. It was a long time ago where I had problems with my dad happen similar to Tyler. But instead of me wanting to kill my self it was my mom. The way my dad treated the family was kind of horrible but my mom stood strong basically watching two kids and handling with all of that. The only did I did that was similar to Tyler was doing something wrong and being popular after that. So, one day some boy decided that he wanted to go get people and jump me. It was a long time ago in the 7th grade. I let it go until the next day at school where people keep saying things to me about what happen. So I decided to affront him he was scared. He knew if he said something I would of just hit him. After this day people started talking to me and everything became great.
Honestly I like this book. I really don’t like ready books but when I read this it was a bit confusing. But it keeps me interested when all the drama happens. I think that the only problem I had of with this book is that they keep changed their mood, which made me feel confuse. I couldn’t tell if it was an argument or just a talk. But the easy part of this story is that it keeps me ready until I feel asleep. Usually when I first read I just knock out but with this book I don’t knock out until 1 hour. I think this book is fine the way it is. It’s like a book that cant be change because if you change it, the story will be horrible. So, I would love for this book to stay the way it is.
I would recommend this book to most teen readers. Because a lot of teens these days are going through the same as Tyler miller. So, they can have a story where they can relate to and also enjoy.
Even though Al Capone is a real life figure and Odysseus is a mythical character, their legends are both connected. Al Capone was a famous mobster for his crimes, including the Valentines Day massacre, which started the end of the North Side Gang. The way the North Side Gang was executed was very crucial. it was executed was Al Capone and his crew were disguised as policemen. They ordered the rival gang members to stand against a wall and shot them with Tommy gun till the dropped dead. Odysseus on the other hand is a famous character from many ancient Greek tales including Homer’s famous story of the Odyssey. Odysseus also fought a war against a rival. He was fighting the Trojan War and during it disguised himself and his men. But instead of them disguising themselves like Al Capone and his men, they hid away in a statue that the Trojans thought were an offer to the gods. The Trojans brought it into the city and at night they opened the gated to the city and the Greeks killed everyone. As you can see their legends have already been tied together.
In addition both Al Capone and Odysseus both show signs of being strong men but sometimes not so intelligent as leaders. For example when Odysseus leads his men through Scylla and even though Circe told him that he would lose some men she told him to resist and to let it take some of his men. It’s better to loose a few men rather than all of them. “Scylla’s no mortal, she’s an immortal devastation, terrible, savage, wild, no fighting her, no defense just flee the creature, that’s the only way. Waste any time, arming for battle beside your rock, I fear she’ll lunge out again with all of her six hands and seize as many men” (Book 12, lines 130-134). Odysseus stubborn as he is, prepares himself for battle to fight it and Circe’s warning is forgotten as he decides to keep his pride high, rather than deny the challenge as he was told. “I donned my heroic armor, seized long spears in both my hands and marched out on the half deck.” (Book 12, lines 245-246) “Now Scylla snatched six men from our hollow ship, the toughest, strongest hands I had, and glancing backward over the decks, searching for my crew I could see their hands and feet already hoisted, wailing down at me, comrades riven in agony, shrieking out my name for on last time!” (Book 12, lines 264-270) Even though Odysseus’s adventure was mythical Al Capone had a similar thing happen to him. Al Capone had everything going for him; he was in charge of Chicago for the 1920’s till the early 1930’s. Even though he thought that his illegal activity was tax-free his tax lawyers told him it was not. He being as stubborn as Odysseus was he did not listen to them. He was then sued buy the U.S. government for failure to pay his income tax. He owed $215,080.48 in taxes, which in today’s modern dollar money is worth $2, 408,901.38.
Furthermore Odysseus and his men was part of a famous war known as the Trojan War just like Capone was part of a gang war against the North Side gang. The Trojan War was fought by a group of ancient Greek city-states. This includes the ancient empire of Ithaca lead by King Odysseus. The way they fought their wars was way different than the gang wars. They had battle tactics and battle formations, but their motives were the same. The reason the Ithacans fought the war was to eliminate a common enemy and competition in wealth. The Trojans had a very popular trade route that would make them very wealthy. In comparison, Al Capone had competition in the same nature. Al Capone had very many rivals in the alcohol industry during the prohibition era. (1920-1933) In order to eliminate the competition and plundered all their riches he declared war with them. The end of one of the wars was the Valentines Day massacre the marked the end of the North Side gang which was smartly planned by Al Capone, just like Odysseus had planned the Trojan Horse which marked the end of the Trojan War.
As a result Odysseus returned home after 20 years away from home to be greeted by suitors, just like Capone returned to his gang after 7 years in prison only to know that it was in the hands of a new leader. Odysseus after 20 long years away from home returned to Ithaca with nothing and had to fight for everything he had lost after those years. “These suitors are not just ten or twenty, they’re far more you count them up yourself now, take a moment…” (Book 16 Lines 276-277) Al Capone faced a similar task after he was let out of prison in 1939. He had to get to get in control of his gang once again. But just like Odysseus he had obstacles to get through before he could get it back. Odysseus had to make sure Penelope was safe and to be careful because it was Odysseus, Telemachus, and two servants against about 120 men. Al Capone had to fight off his numerous dieses that he developed in prison.
Even though Al Capone is a real life figure and Odysseus is a mythical character, they’re legends are both connected. This statement might be true, but I’ve found a small catch to it. They have different endings to their stories. Al Capone gave up and retired to home in Florida with his wife in 1949 and died of pneumonia, which was unrelated to any of his dieses. Odysseus on the other hand killed all the suitors and everything returned to normal. But one thing is similar about there endings. Al Capone may have died in the end but died a happy man, living happily ever after with his wife in his beautiful home in the Florida countryside. Odysseus also had a happily ever after ending with his wife and son in his giant palace in his country of Ithaca.
7. A time when you wish you could drop a part of your identity...
There have been many times when I wanted to drop a part of my identity. But one is when I wanted to drop what race I am. When first moved to Philly and went to school people used to always make fun of me because of Asian. But they all thought I was smart so they keep copying my work, and when I said no, they told me not to leave school. I already knew what that meant. But to be safe I left. But I learned to live with it and as the year went on everything change. School for me was fun after that.
8. A time when you were part of a group but didn’t want to do what the group was doing...
Once me and my friends were bored, so we decided to go rob someone on the streets. I was in the 5th grade but had a smart mind. I couldn’t decide if I should do it or not. But be the careless me I did. So we saw a random boy on the street and hit him, we didn’t notice but there were cops right near us and 2 of my friends got locked up, except me because I didn’t do nothing but watch. Now I think if I did join them that night my life may have been kind of different. I mean being dropped home by cops after being looked up, my mom would of never looked at me the same way.
9. What are people’s expectations of you? What are your own?
I have high expectations being given. A C in my family is a failure. But I always get a C. I argue with my mom all the time telling her its not that bad, but you know most Asian parents are strict when it comes to school. My expectation is that, if I am working my ass off in school and still get a C that is perfectly fine. At least I know I tried my best.
15. What is a “hero”? How would you define it?
To me a hero is no someone you look up to or adore; it is someone who makes a change in the world. For an example Rosa Park is a hero. If it weren’t for her, colored people would still be sitting in the back of the bus. Why would you call someone like lil wayne a hero when all he did was influenced drugs, and make music to the world. Where you can have someone like Obama as a hero because he is the first black president ever.
Throughout the year we as students had to read two books and write a book review on it. My first book review was on the book “The Skin I’m in”.
The Skin I’m in
Throughout the year we as students had to read two books and write a book review on it. My first book review was on the book “The Skin I’m in”.
The Skin I’m in
The Skin I’m in