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Merrik Saunders Q1 Benchmark

Merrik Saunders

Story From Crazy Mans Perspective

I have been called many things according to my situation.  Today I spot a little girl all by herself.  Probably a runaway just like all the others, perfect.  When I approach her she seems scared and alone.  She is just so trusting of me.  So desperate for help that an old man like myself would seem harmless.  She tells me of how she wants to be a blacksmith.  Stupid little girl doesn't she know in this time they would never allow a girl to work as a blacksmith.  But somehow she hopes to become one.  Just what I like, for them to have hope so I can take it away.  I tell her I know the best blacksmith in town and that I am a craftsman.  All we have to do is ride up to my house to get my supplies.  Surprisingly she gets in the car with me so willingly.  Does she really think that I can make her dream come true, is she that hopeful?  Well this makes my job easier and more fun.  I’ll show her soon.  As we drive she tells me how hard her life was were she came from.  As if I care about where she is from or how she got here.  All I care about is how hopeful she was to be a blacksmith.  Something about that makes it all the better.  When I get down to business its gonna taste so good.
It is night now and we aren’t to my house yet.  I tell the girl that we will stop at an Inn and stay for the night.  When we get to the Inn she tells me that her name is Sam.  We go up to the room and she goes straight to bed.  It has been a long day for her.  The only thing she had with her was a small backpack.  I decide to look through it.  Just the usual travel bag.  At the bottom of the bag there is her diary.  Now I can see what is really going on in her head.  Sam only lived with her dad.  He wasn’t the meanest person but also wasn’t the nicest.  Whenever Sam would mention becoming a blacksmith he would scold her.  Any of Sam’s dreams that she had her Dad would shut them down no matter what it was.  He must of made up a plan for her.  Also Sam wrote that her mother disappeared.  It was around the area where I live, where we are heading tomorrow.  I’ve learned a lot and can use this to my advantage.  Her pain will make this so much better.
It is the morning now and we get ready to check out.  As we wait, I tell her that I may be able to find her mother.  Sam looks surprised and happy that I have this information.  Luckily she already told me about her mother in the car ride up to the Inn.  I need to pay attention now on getting to my house the fastest way possible.  I tell Sam I have a surprise for her when we get to the house.  Sam looks up at me with joy in her eyes.  Little does she know I’m just playing with her emotions.  How can one chilled believe and trusting so much of a stranger?  I’ve seen many runaways and they are all the same.  They think that their life is hard but when they have no one they really see how bad life can be.  Now Sam is all alone; desperate for someone to help.  But no one is coming for her.  That is why she is perfect for what I do.
We finally arrive at my house.  Its show time.  As I lead her up the steps to my house I try to contain myself.  I have to stay in character until the time is right.  Sam asks me where are my tools at?  I say in the basement, they’re always in the basement.  As Sam reaches the bottom of the steps I quickly go down with her closing the door behind me.  It locks and I’m the only one with the key.  She sees that there are no tools for crafting of any sort.  No, these are my crafting tools that I use to cut up and eat my victims.  Sam tries to run but her head meets my bat.  Let the feeding begin.
First I take out my false teeth to reveal my sharpened ones underneath.  I get my tools ready and I bound Sam’s hands and feet to the table.  I can already tell this one is going to taste so good.  My bounded meal finally awakes.  Sam drastically tries to shake herself loose from the table but my knots are far too tight.  I sit at the table and began my feast.  This is the surprize that I had for her.  To trust an old man like myself was the worst mistake ever.  Now she will wish she had never left her father or anyone else.  I tell Sam that I have one last thing to show her.  I go over to my chest, trying to find what i need.  I have found it.  Slowly I bring it over to the table being very careful to to let Sam see what it is.  I place it on the table and force her head to look at what was on the table.  I saw that look in Sam’s eyes that she knew exactly what was on the table.  It was a head but not just any head.  This was the head of her mother.  Yes I was the one who took poor Sam’s mother and now she knows the truth.  Sam came to these parts to find her mother and that she did.  She was never missing at all.  I made sure to make it seem like a business trip gone bad.  Now Sam knows what happened, I think I will show her first hand what I did to her mother.  So now I sit at the table and begin my feast.  I take a meat cleaver and chop off one of Sam’s fingers.  I take my first bite of the delicious flesh.  I knew this would be good.
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English Benchmark video !

Script bellow 

Robbie McCormac Benchmark Script 10/21/12


Bateman(Calmly)- “Come on in Paul I have been dying to show you around my apartment.” I have a very modern upscale apartment right in the heart of New York City I love being showvnistic about it especially since all Paul talk’s about is wanting to live here.

Paul(Walking around the house)- “Wow Bateman I’m truly In pressed” He stares at the the Polo rug I have sitting by the T.V.(Sit’s at counter) “Any good channels to watch?”

Bateman- Cinemax and HBO something you don’t know about I say smuggle in my head. “Yes you can put on HBO if you’d like, Do you want anything to drink?”

Paul- “Can you make me a Vodka with Cranberry?”

Bateman(Laughing to himself)- I knew he was a bitch but really a vodka and cranberry? “Yes of course I can let’s go to the outside bar though.”


Paul(Sitting at chair relaxed)- “You really have it good out here Bateman , Your own little private peace of the American Dream.”

Bateman( At the bar making the drink) “Yes I suppose so Paul but Isolation start’s to slowly consume you, It’s a very odd feeling” (Notices an ax by the side of the wet bar)

Paul( Staring at my Louise vitton chair’s) “I’m sure everything will be fine with that Bateman we all have been there, work start’s to make you go a little insane ahah right?”

Bateman(Smiling) “Yes I would agree with that Paul I really would”

Paul (turning on the outside TV) “Amazing you get HBO outside here too? Simply perfect.”

Bateman( Hand’s drink over) “Here you go Paul your drink’s done.”

Paul- “Thank you.”

Bateman(At the bar Pouring himself scotch),(Put’s a rain Jacket on and pick’s up the AX) “Paul, Paul, Paul I don’t know about you but I hate work so goddamn much it’s a pain in the ass, And I dread seeing the same low life scum’s everyday. In fact let’s change that right now.” ( Goes run’s at Paul and put’s the ax in his head)

Bateman (Staring at the body) “Goddamn it there’s blood on my Ralph Lauren chair. THANKS PAUL.” No matter I have business to attend to.

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A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great: Book Review

In the month of December 2010 the National Football League postponed an Eagles football game due to snowy conditions. Governor Ed. Rendell, when asked to comment, stated that the United States was becoming a “nation of wusses.” This sparked a debate in which he used the metaphor attacking governmental policies that have lead the US in a downwards spiral. Rendell received a lot of media attention when in his opinion US lawmakers were “wusses.” This metaphor and constant media attention gave Rendell the title of his new book "A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.”  The book explains different experiences the former politician had while he was in his numerous offices, and criticises policies lawmakers have put into the political spectrum.

Before you open this book and take a look at what is in between the pages. Understand that the book is separated into two parts. To start the book you must have an open mind. Rendell talks a lot about how the liberal agenda and government is the best response to tackling a lot of America’s domestic policies, so naturally people with a conservative agenda will put down the book and not even bother to read it. The second being, half the book is just him praising himself of his own accomplishments and successful terms in office as Philadelphia’s District Attorney and Mayor, in addition to his eight years as Governor of Pennsylvania. He proceeds to sing the praises of Bill and Hillary Clinton while talking about how collectively they are the best leaders America has ever seen in it’s existence.

A lot of people before opening the book may think it will talk a lot about political theory and be very bipartisan not just one sided. Rendell has a reputation for “stepping over the party lines” and compromising with conservatives, he does mention it more than a few times in the book but it’s all about the liberal agenda, which means people who don’t agree with the agenda won’t even glance at it. Rendell does criticize President Obama and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.“Mistake number one: letting Congress write the specifics of the bill. The administration deferred to Congress, and the well-meaning progressive leadership in the House put in dollars for many social programs that did not create or retain jobs.” (A Nation of Wusses 153). He attacks Democrats in Congress who he feels were given to much power to edit and change provisions in the bill. He also attacks the Democratic controlled congress by changing provisions that suited the interest of their party.  

We all like to talk about our accomplishments and build our ego. But writing it down word for word in a book with a big reputation at stake is not the best of ideas. Rendell spends half the book from chapters 1-12 talking about his achievements and accomplishments. (I understand how you have to build up your reputation in the beginning to make you seem more believable and reliable but you shouldn’t take half the book to do so.) I love Rendell as much as the next Pennsylvanian but the Rendell we all know is a modest man who speaks from the gut. It’s apparent that he gave in to the numerous editors and advisor telling him what he should write. It didn’t feel like Rendell wrote this book at all. Which would make him a wuss wouldn’t it?

“A Nation of Wusses” is a lot of things but bold is certainly not one of them. Rendell over killed on the whole liberal agenda and his accomplishments which are unnecessary. A lot of emphasis was put in on the Clintons that made them seem like political gods and may have been used to create some sort of hype for Hillary to run for president in 2016. The book has it’s moments where I feel Rendell sneaks some dirty politics that occur in his own party in a metaphorical sense. It could be Rendell sticking it to his editor and advisors. It’s all up and down and if you’re a strong liberal who loves the Clintons this book definitely for you. But it has no outreach to target someone else and the writing is definitely not the gut speaking Rendell we all know and love. But keep in mind Rendell spends most of the book railing his praise and talking about one agenda, is this the wussification of Ed Rendell?

Rendell, Ed. A Nation of Wusses: How America's Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2012. Print.
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Reflection of Sean's Web page "World of Warcraft. Night of the Dragons"

In this story and more specifically in this part of the story you can feel a very great sense of what justus where the Dragon Korialstrasz wants to hold up as his duty of being a consort of life. But as he is going along the land he keeps seeing the dead rise to slay the living but he is forced by his queen to not enter himself into the human acts. Then when he finally enters the battle you can see his great power unleashed before he flies away. As he get hit though you can see how strong the enemies are when they strike him and weaken him to the point of falling out of the sky.

As I started this this project I thought “Hey lets make a web page because I learned from my Web Design class”.  So as I started to work on the Html Files but when I went onto my CSS code it didn’t work so instead I didn’t use any CSS. Then went onto my java code learned I wouldn’t be able to learn the code in time to complete this project so instead I just made a scratch project. After running into a bunch of bugs and fixing them I finally finished.

I made this a game because the book itself is based off of a game and I wanted to practice my coding skills so I saw this as perfect project to do just that. As I worked through the web page and it was going along well and to make it interactive I Made the game to go along with the Web pages. The challenges that went into this project that I need to overcome and or change to make this work were. Java not working and the overall Css bugs that I could not fix although I didn’t want to use Scratch in the end I used it just as a fall back.

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An abstract project of, "The Lover's Dictionary"

​Click link to presentation:

I spent merely a couple days reading this book, “The Lover’s Dictionary” by David Levithan. It didn’t take me long at all to read, as I found myself so wrapped up in this amazing book.

 I love the structure of how it’s written and how imaginative it was. Other books I have read just blankly told me a story. Though, “The Lover’s Dictionary” made me figure out what each word meant, as I unfolded piece by piece of the story. 

I tried to put Levithan’s words in my perspective.  In which the idea of my benchmark came. My project has no purpose, but to give a story from one word.

During my process of making this project, I found so many more meanings to the simplest words. Words that I didn’t think could be as heavy as I found them to be. By making one word define a story, it happened.

So I found my favorite quotes, wrote them down, and posted them through out the school. “Spreading a Lover’s Words” I then asked my friends to write their own version of what Levithan did. They posted theirs as well.

I also am leaving it up to who ever wants to be apart of this project to spread their words and do the same. 

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Keystone Pipeline Monologue Project

​In this assignment we were asked to write monologues for history class about the Keystone XL pipeline. I chose to approach this projects by writing my monologues about peoples point of views of the pipeline. One fact I learned that it might destroy our planet

Beginning Of The Days by Pierce Meier

My Land

(sits outside with his friend sitting on a chair)
Hey danny? did you hear about some pipe that they going thought here. they said its going to go to a company south for oil. some of the pipe is going thought my land but i think its not fair that they get my land. Sell it! no This will not be there as long as charile johnson is here. Yes I will never give up my land for nothing. Well I got to answer this phone. Hello? Yes Brought in the crops for today we are having turkey tonight. yea ok see you tonight. sorry about that. what? no im not going to sell anything what are you a sellsmen now if you dont mind I have to get dinner ready ok bye.
A Day at the Office

Hello? no you hes not here please hold. hello? yes I will tell him that please hold. Hello? no please hold. when will this day end. hello? No like ive told you for the 50th time no we are not a fastfood restrunt I work for thw white house not a restrunt bye. why wont he understand. I DONT SERVER ANY FOOD YOU SDPIT IDOUT. mom! sorry with crazy people just phoneing asking about restrunts and that crap sorry about that. no im find. vacation? i wish i have not taking a vacation in two years. hold on got anthor call. Hello? you want the president to hear ok ill do that what do you want to tell? about the keynote pipe line. ok I understand you consered ok I will tell him ok bye. To think i get payed 7$ an hour just to just anwer calls well if he want to talk with the presdent talk to someone higher than me well back to work.

Lets Get Started

Sir, I think we are a go to clear the trees. yes no one is in the area ,yep alright. (gets in the bulldoser) all right lets start the show. (radio rings) yea? we got protesters a head. well just get them out of the way. (stops at postesters blockcade) Oh come on! (picks up radio) I told you to get the protesters out of the way! call the police to remove them! (puts down the radio) man my job makes it hard with people blooking my way!

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Q1 English BM: My Sister's Keeper Book Review

A book review on My Sister's Keeper a novel by Jodi Picoult:

Imagine this. You have a older sister who is dying from cancer. She constantly needs blood donations, and transplants in order to survive. Envision that you are her donor and that her life depends fully on you, and only you. Well...welcome to the life of Anna Fitzgerald, a girl who was specifically born to save her sister’s life. 

In this book review we have the novel “My Sister’s Keeper,” a book that is written in multiple perspectives and time periods. Published in 2004, written by New York Times Best Selling author Jodi Picoult. 

Anna, is a 13 year old girl in middle school wants to be just like every other girl her age. She has a passion for playing hockey and has crushes on boys in her class every now and then. However, due to her older sister Kate’s cancer relapses, Anna is always pulled away from all of her leisure activities. 

Anna has always loved her sister and has always without any complaint, fulfilled her duty as Kate’s donor. It is very clear that Anna thinks of herself incomplete without Kate. Since Kate is the only reason that she exists. It is unmistakable that Sara and Brian, Anna’s parents always have their full attention on Kate and only refer to Anna when they need something from her. This time it’s Anna’s kidney. At this point in the storyline there are multiple unanticipated events and everything in the lives of the characters swivel to whole new directions.

While reading book the book “My Sister’s Keeper” something that I quickly noticed was that the chapters are all narrated by different characters. This is something that I found really unique about Picoult’s writing. Whenever the story is told in Anna’s perspective she is telling the story during present time. Whereas when Anna’s mother Sara is telling the story in the past to let the readers know how the lives of Anna and Kate turned out the way they are. 

When I first started reading this book I was a little confused because I couldn’t grasp the fact that the story was being told in different point of views and the events that were taking place were during different years though there was only one main character, Anna. However after reading a good chunk of the book it became clear to me that the same story was being told through different lens and that the was being told in different puzzle pieces so by the end of the book everything fit together into one picture as a whole story. I think Picoult did this on purpose because she did not want the reader to judge the characters based on just one perspective. She wanted the readers to know what mindset the other characters were in also.

Jodi Picoult used a very interesting method to help readers become comfortable with the different narrators and the years the story was being told throughout. The chapters were all written in different fonts. Each font dedicated to one character. This was something that helped me know who was speaking because whenever a new chapter began, since I tended to jump right in with out reading the title of the chapter.

I think for me this book was a very smooth and fast read. I was able to finish the book with in a week along with all of my academics. I was really drawn in to the story even though it had a really melancholy feeling to it and was at times was a little boring and slow. But In the back of my head I knew I was going to finish this book because I loved Anna’s character. Even though she is really young in the book she was really strong and was going through what all teenagers do. She was trying to figure herself out which is something that I think every teen including myself can connect to.

I highly recommend this book to any young adult who likes a realistic and emotional story. I think this book has a lot of hidden messages about family bonds and important relationships that every person has. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to watching the movie interpretation of “My Sister’s Keeper” a novel by Jodi Picoult.

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A review of "Out Of My Mind"

Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs. Every word my parents spoke to me or about me I absorbed and kept and remembered. All of them.

...But only in my head. I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old....”
excerpt from chapter 1 from “Out of my Mind”

Sharon M. Draper is an accomplished writer and a winner of many awards for her compelling pieces. She has received much praise for all her publications, and she continues to write more. Draper loves to write she says “words flow easily from my fingertips, and my heart beats rapidly with excitement as an idea becomes a reality on the paper right in front of me.” With such ambition, Draper captivates readers with every single word that’s read in her books. The most compelling is Out of my Mind, which is a story about a young girl having a battle between her distinctions and “normality.”

Melody Brooks is an eleven year old girl born with cerebral palsy. This disability hinders Melody from communicating ideas, and she has never spoken a single word. Unlike any ordinary fifth grader, Melody is unable to walk and care for herself. This disability may have fractured 10 year old Melody Brooks’s body, but it has not affected her mind. Melody is a brilliant child with a photogenic memory that allows her to store and analyze everything that happens in her life. Melody is a genius, but nobody knows it. How would you feel if you were brilliant and you couldn’t communicate any of your thoughts?  

Out of My Mind is a book that should be read by everyone. Ten year old Melody Brooks displays a positive way to deal with difficulties of her world by living above all expectations people set for her. Melody’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge encourages her to move on and not quit. She has the help of an electrical word board thats connects to her wheelchair. This device allows her to create phrases, and it speaks her words aloud. This machine allows Melody to express some of her thoughts but its not capable to prove her real intelligence.

Although she is so young she has experienced so much already. Dealing with bullies, being misjudged, not having a choice in some decisions, and the worse part, not being able to say anything. Discouraged by her peers, Melody is afraid to venture out. Until one day when Melody takes the greatest challenge of her life and competes against her “normal” classmates. She joins a quiz team and all goes well in the first competition, but then things stir up when she is betrayed. Melody’s world comes crashing down, and other tragedies that happened at the same time. Melody continues to push on through all of this and every challenge thrown at her. In the end Melody is victorious. I highly recommend this book to everyone! This book is enjoyable and attracts any age group that has a thirst for learning and discovering just like Melody.
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Mohamed Adowa, Lucidchart, Homenetwork

When you talk about Internet most people know what you are talking about but what lies behind that is a mystery to most of us. On my I.S.P ( stands for internet service provider) which is Verizon, I have a Sony laptop, Macbook pro, Psp, Psp Vita, printer, Ipod, and a smartphone. All together I have seven devices connected to a modem with wireless capabilities. The amount of devices in an average household has increased in the last 5 years, so we should be aware of this process in order to fix any problems we encounter with our devices ourselves.  

Something new that I learned that amazed me is how fast our computer send packages to the web in order for you to receive the information that we need. This is a long process but yet we have advanced so much that is does even take a minute to search something anymore.

One thing that I would advise all people who have wireless connection is to put a password on it because if you don’t there are people out there who can use your internet access for their needs and think about, you pay money for your connection but if you don’t lock it others can use it for free. Also if other people are using your internet it is also going to decrease the speed of your internet.

AmohamedLucidHomeNetwork (4)
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Gonzalez, Esperanza, Lucid

My internet is Verizon. I get my internet connection with an ISP. My connection comes to my house from a modem using a cat 5 cable. That when my ethernet connection comes in. Then, I have my wireless airport router which gives internet to all of my devices such as ; 5 iPhones, 3 iPods,2 iPads, 1sidekick,1 mac book pro, and an hp touchscreen laptop. Since I have computers, I'm able to have a printer. I can print wirelessly. I have an hp printer. I'm very surprised of how many things are connected to my house. There's too much stuff that needs to be known in order to understand your network. I honestly had a hard time understanding how my network works. I learned that there are a various amount of devices that can get internet signal at the same time! What I would tell other people about their network is that they need to able able to identify at least what type of company gives them internet. Sometimes I've met people that never know what connects them to the internet.
Screen Shot 2012-11-02 at 8.46.15 AM
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        My benchmark will be on a book I have read earlier this quarter called ‘ The absolutely true story of a part time Indian’. The book focuses on the main characters first year in an all white high school. The book deals with race and poverty. The main character is an Indian living on a reservation, where the education isn’t as good as the other schools. He decides to travel 24 miles from the reservation to a high school in a mostly white town. I would like to know why the artist and the author decided to create the book in that format and does race play a factor in the way people are treated.

Outline of book cover and drawings   Friday 25th
Colored in drawings October 31st

The absolutely True Diary of a Part- Time Indian is a fantastic novel. Published in 2007 The absolutely True diary of a Part-time Indian has become one of Sherman alexie best books. The book is partially based on Sherman’s actual first year in high school. Born with hydrocephalus, a seizure prone teenager attempts to better himself threw education. The book talks a lot about race, death, pain and education.  
The book has had its own controversy because of the content inside of the book.  Even though the book is rated young adult, people have been concerned that the content with in the book is too explicit for high school libraries. The book definitely isn’t for children under thirteen but Sherman alexies thinks differently. He has said that “I don’t write to protect [kids]. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons—in the form of words and ideas—that will help them fight their monsters”.  He brings many of his own experiences into his books.  He talks about alcohol, sex, poverty and racism.  

I personally liked this book very much. It was very realistic and funny. Even with all of the sex, violence and racism the absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian is fantastic novel. The book is an emotional roller coaster. It has its very sad moments but also its comical moments. The book shows he point of view of a poor teenager. I recommend this book to people who love witty comedy and a very interesting story.

           The absolutely true diary of a part time Indian tells a very good coming of age story. It talks about life and has given me a different view of the world. The authors style of writing made me feel the same emotions as the main character.  Along with the art work the book makes you feel compassion for the characters. While reading the book I laughed and felt for the main characters.

        The bench mark was one of the more exciting ones that I done. I got to draw the cover which was fun for me. I decided to do the cover like many of the drawings in the book. I wanted it to show a lot of emotion and pain. I pictured what he would look like at one of the many funerals he attends during the book especially his grandmother. I wanted my drawing to somewhat resemble the other pictures in his journal. The drawing was somewhat hard for me since I didn’t want to completely copy the style of the original artist.

I also wrote a review for the book which was hard. The book did have many things to talk about but saying most would spoil some of the stuff in the book. I wanted tell what the basic plot without telling many of the things that happen.
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Middleswarth Jacklyn, Lucidchart, Homenetwork

1) My internet connection is hooked up to Verizon and my modem has a family laptop and computer hooked up to it. A printer and speakers are connected to my computer. The wireless router that is connected to the modem has three Iphone's connected, and two laptops.

2) MY OMG moment was while we were learning about the internet connection and how packages came through to your computer, there were so many things that had to be done but it was done in such a quick amount of time. It shocked me that a computer or device could move so quick and people get irritated if it takes longer than ten seconds.

3) Other people in the world should know about having an ISP/Home network that you should always have a password if you have a WIFI connection. Random people near you can connect to that network for free if it's not password connected. If there is a password only people who know of the password can connect, so that way it's easier for you and you're not paying for multiple people than you need to.

JMiddleswarthLucidHomeNetwork (1)
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A Review Of Holidays On Ice

For the past week I have been reading David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice, a short collection of essays, each of which is a reflection of our culture’s attitudes and behaviors around the Christmas season. I do not consider myself an avid reader, but I found this comical collection hard to put down. While at times I found the book discouraging, I feel that it was well worth reading and would recommend reading it if to anyone who haven’t already.

David Sedaris is a well known author and comedian, making regular appearances on many National Public Radio programs such as Fresh Air and This American Life. He is the author of many bestselling books including Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed In Flames. He is known for his ability to make everyday situations into hilarious comedy sketches. The humor in his works are further enhanced when he reads them aloud.

Sedaris opens his book with a memoir called “The Santaland Diaries” in which he describes his experiences working as an elf in the Santaland at a Macy's in New York. He talks about his experiences with a combination of humor, spite and cynicism. In one section, he recalls the different requests made by customers regarding Santa’s racial identity, “...a woman approached me and whispered, ‘We would like a traditional Santa. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.’” Sedaris sends her to one of the store’s two African American Santas. “Two New Jersey families came together to see santa. Two loud unattractive husbands with two wives and four children between them. The children gathered around Santa and had their picture taken. When santa asked what the ten year old boy wanted for Christmas, His father shouted ‘A WOMAN! GET HIM A WOMAN, SANTA!’” Mr. Sedaris does a very good job of conveying humor while still putting out intelligent and meaningful analysis of our society’s holiday culture. In The Santaland Diaries, he’s depicts the greater american populace as a swarm of rude, impatient, and self important shoppers who pay little respect to anything other than themselves.

Many parts of the book however, do not reflect as much of his humor as they do his spite. An example where I see more spite than humor is in this excerpt from “Dinah, The Christmas Whore” “Kettles boiled over and steaks were routinely left to blacken on the grill as my co workers crept off to the stockroom to smoke and play cards or sometimes have sex. ‘It suddenly occurred to me that people are lazy’” There may be humor here, but to me this just sound like another person complaining about their job. It almost irritates me because if I want to hear this type of thing I can just talk to my friend who works at McDonalds. That being said, I found that changing my perspective as a reader and prepared myself for a book that was more analytical than comical it made things a bit more tolerable.

As I write this review, I feel I may not be giving the book it’s due credit. I feel that as a teenager, some of the humor may go over my head. While I do find much of the book funny and have often laughed through much of the santaland diaries, I feel that it is meant for a more mature audience.  While teenagers who read this collection will find some things funny, much of the humor is aimed at a more adult audience. Much of his humor comes across as a deterrent rather than an incentive to keep reading. This passage from “Season’s Greeting to Our Friends and Family!!!” is something that many adults I know found funny but I found overly cynical and even angry. “When his tour of duty ended Clifford returned home, where, after making the second biggest decision of his life (I am referring of course to his brief eight month marriage to Doll Babcock), he and I were reunited.” I do understand that there is humor here. And I understand why it could be funny, I simply Don’t get it. I feel like the older you are, the funnier this would be. Since People my age have not yet experienced or are currently experiencing interactions like this it is hard to look back and laugh. I look forward to reading this book once I reach adulthood when I will understand more of his humor.

Holidays on ice is a book that will appeal the most to those who share Sedaris’ cynicism and dark humor. Even if you are not a fan of this sort of humor I would still recommend reading this book purely because of the variety of interesting content that it offers. It is also worth it just to have the cadence that is David Sedaris’s Writing course through your head. I feel that Sedaris set out to write a comedy and ended up writing a comedy as he planned, but ended up doing  so much more. The book has a wide enough variety of humor that anyone can read and enjoy it, and he made it have enough of a plot so that those who don’t understand his all of his humor like I do can still enjoy this book. If you have not already, I seriously recommend reading it.

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Nocella, Veronica, Lucidchart, Home Network

The internet connects to my modem from my ISP, which is Comcast. My modem then connects to my wireless router through my ethernet. My router is connected to my printer, my desktop computer, and both of my laptops. 

One thing I learned from this that I didn't know before was how many connections had to be made in order for me to access the internet through my computer. When casually using the internet for social networking, I never thought much of the fact that I was connected to the internet. 

Something that I would like someone else to know is that once something is on the internet, it no longer belongs to you. When uploading a picture, video, or any other kind of media to the internet, you no longer have any control as to where it goes. 
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alphabet lesson

Learning the alphabet is the necessity for further actions in life. 
But learning to in spanish can be rather difficult which i why we have made this lesson. here is a chart to make it easier 

we have created this short lesson so you understand 
A now say a 
b now say be
c now say ce 
d now say de
e now say e
f now say efe
g now say ge
h now say hache 
i now say i
j now say jota 
k now say ka
l now say lee
m now say eme
n now say ene
~n e~ne
o now say o
p now say pe
q now say cu
r now say ere
s now say ese
t now say the
u now say u
w now say use
x now say doble
y now say ye
z now say zeta 

The video you will soon see is a brief song example of the alphabet its catchy and will be sure to help you learn the alphabet.
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English Benchmark Quarter #1

By Jalen C. Smith 10/31/12
Zeitoun Book Review

All Is Not Lost When You Have Determination        


Could you ever imagine losing everything that was important to you? Ever visualized being so close to death? It is hard to believe it, but some people have experienced those things. On August 23, 2005, America encountered one of it’s most devastating and deadliest hurricanes. One of the worst hurricanes America has faced was called Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina has impacted many innocent lives in a way that many people will never forget. Dave Eggers, the author of an award winning book entitled, Zeitoun, is a well known American author who wrote a memoir  about the dangerous experiences one individual faced during Hurricane Katrina. In his efforts in crafting such a life changing story, Eggers wanted to inform the readers that with hard work and determination people could make a difference in the eyes of danger.

The story Zeitoun is about a man named Abdulrahman Zeitoun. Abdulrahman Zeitoun is a middle aged Syrian American who is the father of four children. Zeitoun is a successful owner of a painting and contracting business. Because he wants the best for his family he values hard work. Zeitoun is married to a woman named, Kathy. Zeitoun and Kathy both went through numerous problems, racism being the main issue. Many Americans demonstrated prejudice acts towards the Zeitoun family all because of 9/11 considering their similar appearance to former terrorist. Despite all of the downfalls, his family manages to overcome these boundaries and carry on with their lives. Since the incident of 2001, Zeitoun has demonstrated great strength and determination for his life and the lives of others.

Two days before the storm arrived, thousands of people were already aware that the storm was coming. Many people were preparing to migrate away from the storm. However tensions arose in the Zeitoun household. Kathy decided to take the four children with her to Baton Rouge in order to get her and her children away from the storm. Kathy had persuaded her husband, Zeitoun, to come with them in order to get away from the terrible hurricane, but Zeitoun denied her requests and remained in Louisiana to keep watch over their home and business. Because Zeitoun was born in Jableh, Syria and worked as a sailor for most of his life, he believed that he could survive the tragic storm. At that time Zeitoun didn’t realize how dangerous it was. The next day Hurricane Katrina hit, tossing roofs off of houses and flooding many areas of Louisiana. Louisiana declared a state of emergency and that it was mandatory to evacuate the state.

Zeitoun realized that he was stuck in the worst hurricane of all time. He could no longer save the house from the forces of the hurricane because the repairs had become too expensive. Later, Zeitoun left his house and went out on a canoe to observe the effects of  Hurricane Katrina and to help other people in need. After seeing the impact, he had realized that his whole neighborhood was flooded in ten feet of water. Kathy heard on the news that the Coast Guards were making efforts toward Louisiana, bringing supplies to help people in need. The whole time Kathy was worried for her husband's safety. Kathy called Zeitoun and begged him to leave Louisiana, but Zeitoun once again denied her. Zeitoun declared that he had a mission to fulfill and that he wouldn’t leave Louisiana until he accomplished that mission.

Overtime Zeitoun made sure to call his wife daily to let her know what was going on. Later on in the story, six armed soldiers showed up at Zeitoun’s house.  At first Zeitoun thought that the soldiers were there to help him, but they actually threatened him with a gun.  After a few days goes past Zeitoun turns out missing and does not ever get in contact with his wife, Kathy. Kathy then believes that Zeitoun is dead and that he would not be coming back. This was very hard for her because she has mixed thoughts about her husband's whereabouts.

Shortly after this alarming event she received a phone call saying that her husband was arrested along with three other men. This was due to FEMA issues. Zeitoun was accused of being a possible terrorist in the United States. The men were held at a facility. This meant Zeitoun could not call his wife to let her know what had happened to him. Later in the story, Kathy found out where he was and bailed him out. After everything was resolved the whole family traveled back to Louisiana to help rebuild their home and community.

After reading this inspiring memoir I encourage other young readers to read this book. The book Zeitoun really touched my heart because it showed me that there are people in this world who are in need, but we as citizens don’t stop and take the time to help them. Instead we care mostly about ourselves and not others. When I think of what Zeitoun has done, knowing that he isn’t a US citizen, it really touched my heart and made me want to make a difference in this country. Zeitoun placed his life on the line for others. Not because he wanted to but it was because he cared. Despite losing everything in the storm he still made a difference in other people lives.

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Respect Your Elders!

In spanish culture, it is important for young people to respect the elders. They do this through the way they speak to an elder, it may not seem like much but when addressing and elder it is important to add "usted" to the end of your sentences. Many common greetings are changed; for example "de donde eres tu" which you would say to a friend changes to "de donde es usted"

Take the time to notice the right time to use 'usted' and the right time to use 'tu' by looking at the chart below.
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Go Ask Alice by Laura De Jesus

By: Laura De Jesus

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous is a 4 million best seller. It’s that good of a book, you never want to stop reading. Sends chills down your spin, keeps your mind wondering “What’s gonna happen next?” 

I didn’t want the story to end.

Go Ask Alice is about a girl named Alice, she’s your average 15 year old girl who lives in a small town. Her father was offered a job in new job in a slightly bigger town. Thats when everything started changing. Alice was no longer the innocent young girl anymore. She was not the most popular girl in her old school, she thought she could start again, with the wrong crowd of people.

After Alice attended a party back in her old town in the summer her world turned for the worse. She was introduced into the world of drugs. It was planned that she go to a party once a week and do it only it during that time period, that lasted barely anything.

This is when the story went into a turn.

Alice started using drugs daily, with people, by herself and with her new boyfriend, her boyfriend was a college student who did everything in the book. He took her into a new world of fun and excitement, but never was she sober. The high was what she looked forward to.

I knew I was reading an amazing story when I hit the first page. "Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice Acid & Smack & No Way Back." The quote explains the whole book. Once you  start to use drugs, especially heavily they play an important part, had to go back, thats what the quote is explaining.

I managed to read this book in less than a week, and me personally I dislike to read, but this book… this book made the way I look at reading change for the good.

As the story goes on you begin to see why the things that happened to Alice were her fault. She went so heavy into her addiction that she would sell drugs to kids in middle school. Working for her boyfriend is how Alice and her friend made money to support their habit. It was a shock to the both of them that their boyfriends were gay. Reporting them to the cops was the best option, but they had to escape before they got put into the issues too.

Alice went from the girl that her parents adored flaws and all, into the biggest bitch to walk the planet. She ran away on various occasions, she was never alone. In the mist of "finding herself" as she liked to call it, she went through rape, sexual harassment, and overdoses. Home sickness is what brought her back to her home.

Reading this far into the book, my jaw dropped. 

Trips back and forth, getting sober and falling right back into the trap was her biggest problem. There was no more hope for Alice. Her parents placed her into an Institute. She overdosed as she was babysitting, it was a trap. Bugs were eating her female parts away, her hands were gone, her feet was fractured in casts. There was nothing anyone could do for her. She was a lost cause at the moment.

Months and months went passed, Alice received an education within the Institution and figured she would want to work with people in the same predicaments as her when she got older. Home Sweet Home. Sad to say Alice died three weeks after she made her decision to no longer keep a diary. No one knows the cause of death.

The story did not end the way I thought it would which makes it even better, its an excellent book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading books in general but more to the people who love reading books full of suspense. That's what Go Ask Alice is all about. Young adults would fall in love with it, just as I did.

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