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It's Complicated Reflection by Nick Ryan

Nick Ryan
Blue Stream


This chapter in It's Complicated was very controversial but, informative. It brought up so many good points about cyber-bullying and bullying itself. When I was reading this, I started to question what I defined as bullying. The author tells her audience about Olweus' definition of bullying, Abigail and Ashley's story(among many others such as Taylor and Chris), and how we describe bullying.
The author kept telling her audience that teenagers such as me, use "drama" as a replacement for the word bullying. I started to think, "Wait I do that don't I?" Then, I started to wonder where have I done this. I realized that I use the word "drama" to describe what could be described as acts of bullying(not in this school of course.) Then, I started to think why do teenagers do this?
I started to think about our motives behind calling bullying "drama." I thought maybe it's because we just came up with a new word for bullying, like a slang word for it. I soon began to understand our motives. I think it is because the media makes bullying look so horrible and inhumane, we start to reject the word. So, whenever we see what would be bullying, we get a little bit scared. We go into denial about the situation and call it drama. This was the conclusion I came to while reflecting on reading this book.
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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 83 by Sergei Mass


The piece below is what I would've imagined Cormac McCarthy having in the final copy of The Road, but it was not placed in the story. I felt that the story was missing the essential component of why exactly is the man continuing his trek down the road even though he knows that there is not much to live for. I felt that the explanation for this would best fit in a part where only the man is awake and the boy is asleep, but earlier in the story which gives support for the use of page 83. It was quintessential for the boy to be asleep so the father could drift off into his thoughts without an interruption from his son. I imagined this scene to be a flashback with the man and his wife were discussing what would be happening after stuff went down with the nuclear winter. The man and his wife were meant to have a back and forth so it showed a sense of tension in a situation like this. I felt that the man in the whole book was walking the road to give the boy a life and show him the world while being by his side. I felt that, that message was not flat out stated and was not revealed much and it was needed to be brought out in this piece.

Life is the main theme of this piece; the rest of the novel is very dark and gray, but with this I wanted to bring some light into the book. Although it does not scream “flowers and unicorns everywhere” and “ding dong the witch is dead”, I wanted to show the value of life and others lives in the piece.

The style aspect of this was hard due to the lack of quotation marks and the straight to the point language, and when I read a book, I usually come across a lot of beating around the bush and wordy sentences. It was tricky to be less wordy with my piece and to be straight to the point. I wanted to be blunt, but not too blunt that it was very boring to read.

Creative Portion:

Insert at page 83 after “Yes because we are carrying the fire.”

The man sat and thought to himself in the wee hours of the morning as the boy rested beside him.

Are we really carrying the fire? I feel that I am failing the boy. I want to show him the proper life, but god, look what is around me.

He looked through the forest as if he was looking for the answer all around him; he could not seem to find it.

He imagined the conversation he had with his wife just before she left. She was pacing back and forth, wondering what was going to happen to her, the man, and the boy. Her palms were growing clammy like the dew in the morning which the man and the boy would wake up to.

What are you going to do when the shit hits the fan? How are you two gonna survive.

We will… we will have to make due with what’s left.

What do you mean what is left? There will be nothing left.

The boy has quite a life to live, even though this shit happened. Look you have to realize that. You need to stop being so negative. I want the boy to live a somewhat normal life.

How do you expect to do that?

I don’t know… I guess it will just come when the time comes. I’ll teach him about life, i’ll show him the world; shit I’ll do the best I can. I need to do this for him. The boy means the world to me. I know my condition is worsening, but i’ll have to keep on going for the boy.

*End of piece*

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Kyianna U2 #8

  • What TV show did you watch in class?

  • Today in class we watched a show called Digital Nation.

  1. What was this show about?

  • Digital Nation was a show that shows the different ways to use the internet. It shows us all the ways the internet can be used. It was people of different ages using it and the dangers that it can come with.

  1. What is the most memorable thing to you about this show?

  • The one thing that I can remember was that it showed how the internet can really have a negative effect on you.

  1. Why/Why not -  is it important to watch shows like these?

  • It's important to watch shows like this so it can teach you what not to do on the internet. It also shows you how to trust the internet when it comes down to online safety.

  1. How will you keep your future family safe online?

  • I will make sure that they are on websites i approve of. I will make sure that i have a code on my computer for the safety and for the websites they can not get on. I will also want access to there accounts for anything.

  1. Why is it important to talk with your family about internet safety

  • I think it's important so they don’t find anything online bad about you or about what websites you have been on. I really would just tell them not to trust the internet.

  1. What advice would you give to parents that don't know how to keep their children safe online?

  • I would tell them to just make sure you are mindful for what websites your child is on. Please make sure that they are being respectful online.

  • Find a copyright-less photo/image to enhance your post

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road Page 260

The passage I have molded below represents an opportunity that I have capitalized on in the hopes of establishing a deeper understanding of a character in the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Creative Piece

The man focused on what he perceived to be the wind without answering the boy's statement. He drifted on into his own thoughts forgetting about the boy and the world around him. The man opened his eyes shortly afterwards only to find the boy gone. There was a camp fire set up despite the fact that the man had no tools to light one himself. He quickly arose and began to panic in search of his boy only to have a shadowy figure approach him. The man quickly aimed his flare gun at the figure.

Where’s my son

A young handsome man arose from the shadows with a face that seemed oddly familiar to the man.

Is he important to you

Are you an idiot

I’m whatever you want me to be

did you take my son?

If I did

Then you’ll die

What gives you the right

My son does

He’s just a boy

He’s everything to me

Would you kill for him

It’d be the right thing to do

The fire


You carry it don’t you

What kind of bullshit-

Don’t let it consume you otherwise it’ll burn out

Wait who are-

It’s your serah after all

The man awoke to the sound of the boy yelling at him

Papa you’re coughing blood

It’s fine

It’s not

I said it’s fine go back to sleep I have medecine.

The man ignored his own blood in favor of pondering what exactly he just experienced.


My rationale behind the creation of this passage is that I wanted to further define a motif often present in The Road. Throughout the book the boy and man have conflicting ideologies of righteousness and perseverance which leave them at odds with one another. Despite their differences however the man and the boy still agree that they are both “carrying the fire.” This phrase is important to both the man and the boy as it drives them forward in their pursuit of survival. For my passage I wanted this motif of fire to be defined more clearly for the man and thus I had the man have a dream where he comes into direct contact with his own personal “fire.”

For my dream I wanted the man to realize that the fire he possessed was defined as his right to deal justice and his integrity as a human being. To do this I had the man placed in a scenario where he was given the upperhand as a the judge, jury and executioner. I did this also bearing in mind that the man was already recently placed in a similar scenario where his boy believed he made the wrong choice. I had the shadowy figure in dream be one who didn’t seem threatening to the man to have him further question if killing him was the right choice if he had taken the boy. This was important to me because it allowed me to show that the boy’s well being dictated what the man perceived as justice and integrity. The boy was fueling the man’s fire. I wanted this also to be shown as a serious problem for the man which I did by having the shadowy figure mention that the man’s fire could consume him. This was to show that if the man focuses too much on the boy then he could wind up hurting the boy along with himself in the future.

At the very end of the passage I had the shadowy figure mention that the man’s fire could consume him. At this point I had the man refer to the fire as the man’s “serah.” The purpose of this word was to represent the man’s convictions and and approach to life. The man’s serah up until this point in book was to isolate the boy from the world in order to survive. I wanted this be the point in the book where man question if his “serah” was right. The man constantly brushes off the righteous morals of the boy throughout the book and I used this dream to have the man question if the boy was right to have his morals.

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 276

This passage is one that I have imagined as a piece of the road that was cut, prior to the book's release;

In the morning they walked along the river, following a small trail of old footsteps that mixed the sand with mud and grime. Hollowed trees littered the riverbank and the excess of water had long since drove the trees into the murky grey water. A small village stood ahead, with homes that sat covered with ash and half flooded. A tarp sat in the middle of the village covering a three-legged stand. The man lifted the tarp to find an old painting of a man and a dog running down a green road with the joyful sun smiling down on them. A tragic reminder of the bright and simple past.

Can we bring it with us?

No, it’s too big for the cart.


The boy looked at the buildings around them as they stood and swayed in the blackened swamp.

Should we look through the home?

No, there's nothing here.

He left the tarp covering the painting and walked away, the boy looked at the painting for a moment before following him, the faded blue tarp left on the stand to guard the ancient oiled canvas. They made camp further down the trail, the boy was still looked back towards the sunken village.

Papa, are their any more paintings?


Can I make one

Yes, when you're safe


The man felt a cough building in his long-damaged lungs and turned away from the boy as his throat released a stream of ash and dead air.

This is my Rationale to explain why I feel that these choices should have been made;

In my piece, I started out with a description of their location, as most of the Road segments begin. As the piece fits in on page 276, I mentioned the tidal river with the broken bridge and used it to set up a broken flooded environment where they are forced to go around, following a path left by previous travelers. I decided to bring in a village in order to provide a place for the painting to feel natural and show a subtle piece of character development for the boy.

I choose to add in the painting to show a small remainder of hope in the barbaric world of The Road. Additionally the painting would work to give the boy an understanding of why to live on, showing him a small image of the world before and the idea that their can still be beauty in this world. The painting also allows a closer look at the boy who is shown to be quite creative at some points such as towards the beginning when he paints his face-mask with a piece of charcoal. The boy also asks if they can keep it, given that it’s his trademark response to almost all of the new things he finds.

Another smaller moment I added in was the boy asking if they should search the houses. The boy has constantly expressed fear when it comes to searching the houses, but here he understands the need to live on and is willing to take a chance in order to live on. This also sets up the ending where he is willing to take a chance and join the group. However the man is more guarded and disagrees with taking the chance as he knows he doesn’t have much time left and doesn’t want to take the chance and have his luck finally run out.

The boy later asks the man if their are any more painting and if he would be able to make one. The man’s response of “Yes, when you’re safe” rather than “when we are safe” is a subtle foreshadowing of the man’s approaching death that the boy doesn’t catch on. Finally the man’s cough shows how close he is to dying at this point.

A McCarthy-esque vocabulary word that I used was murky, I choose to use it to describe the river they pass by and I feel that it’s a good description of the greyed and damaged world that the story takes place in.
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Q2 ​Artist Statement

 As an artist, I work hard to create drawings and paintings that speak to me about beauty that exists. Every artist has an inspiration mine is just straight out beauty. The word beauty these days is used so easily used, leaving no real meaning. Yet my art is to define the true meaning that lies right beneath our eyes. I try with every finished piece of art to create beauty that all are starting to neglect. I merely do not just want to capture an image but to define it. Each painting or drawing has something of mine in it not only that I made it, yet that their is something in their that can help define me as a person. When I work with a pencil I know that this pencil can create so much. I begin with a image in my mind and soon look at real life examples. I know a piece is done when I know that there is something that hints something about me and true beauty. When my work is going well I am filled with a sense of feeling good and knowing that my work has paid off. When I want people to see my work I want them to see a good job and attract allure. Hopefully all can see some good in my work, as I do. For trying is also a main key.
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McCarthy Unabridged: Page 25

Creative piece: 

She stood there, on the edge of the woods. The blade in her hand was gray, and dull.

Don’t do it, he said.

She looked at him, blankly.

If there was another option, we wouldn’t be thinking about this. They’re going to rape him. Or kill him, or worse. But maybe this was supposed to happen. I wouldn’t be able to watch them suffer anyway.

But maybe he wouldn’t suffer. He’s young. He still needs someone to protect him. I’m going to die, you’re going to die. Why kill yourself?

There’s is no hope. Nothing is going to change. He is going to die. It’s going to be long and painful. He will see things no child should ever see. You’re going to let him suffer through that for you’re own selfish desire to live. I can’t stay. I can’t stay with you, and I can’t stay with him, she said.

Crying was something the man rarely did. He could feel his eyes burning. He watched the red blood slowly well up on her wrist. He watched her go pale, and all the life disappear from her. He wanted to comfort her, but there wasn’t anything he could have done.

She was going to die.



As Cormac McCarthy never explicitly stated what happened to the boy’s mother, I chose to to write a story about what happened to her. It’s pretty commonly theorized that she commit suicide because she saw the situation as hopeless, or that something was going to happen to her son and family. She didn’t want to live to see the day that any of that happen.

It’s commonly accepted as human nature that if people can see the end, or they can see a way out of things, they will continue. And from the standpoint of biology, the goal is to continue the human race as far as you can. Suicide is a human idea. We are the only species capable of planning it’s own demise out of pure psychological misery.

This is not even anything that is ever explained to the boy and McCarthy knows that death is never going to be explainable. You don’t die and live to tell people about it. You can’t explain something you don’t understand because you’ve never experienced it. The boy never understands what happens to his mother, and honestly the man probably doesn’t understand either.

However, it’s understood that in this world that the only end goal is to avoid dying. It’s not to advance yourself, get more money, or have nicer and flashier things. It’s literally not to die. So to them, suicide is to fail ultimately and I think she knew that.

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Luke's Podcast final product

Luke Sylvia_1
Feminism and Identity is the topic. 


Entering this project my goal was to try something new. I didn't want to do a subject that I would be on board with and I wanted to do one where I'd actually learn instead of doing one I'll contradict. I've known many feminist but often times it has came up but this time I wanted to discuss it with someone who would know more with the experience. So I decided that I'd break the cliche of doing your own parents and work with a friend of my mother's who I've known since birth. It was interesting especially because my mother and her went out and fought for many of the same causes. So my ultimate goal was to learn something new. The work ended up going well as I had trouble cutting from 51:09 to 12:51 and it was disappointing I couldn't add more.

I experienced a lot through this. One thing is that I need cleaner audio as I had to clean it up myself which made it difficult. I originally had two takes but one wasn't as good. The discussion overall went well. We remained on topic and afterwards I learned a lot about their life and family afterwards. Another thing that went well was addressing each question, as they were unavoidable and we clear that I could understand them to which question they correlated too. Another struggle was dealing with background noise. At home I have a pair of brothers who decided it was dinner time and you could hear them a little. I really feel like I learned about feminism and why so many view this patriarchy in the way many people who believe women's rights see it. Finally, it has given  me more insight to an issue that could be hard for me especially as a male to understand

I believe music is distracting
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Reflection for second slide.

Untitled presentation (2)
​The main critique of my slide was that they had a hard looking at the picture because it was cut of at a weird spot.  The slide was not really proportioned correctly.  I fixed this by replacing the picture. I was told that the picture was good and did good job drawling your attention but it was not complex enough that I needed to stare at it.  After thinking about the comments on my slide I started to agree with what they were saying.  I learned that  I needed to proportion it a lot better.  The other main change  I had was making the words to closer the picture.  This helped it be easier to read and then look back it at me.  I also removed my name from the slide since that was not needed.  


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Desmond O'Donovan, Q2 Art Portfolio

​This quarter I did a lot of nature related drawings. It started with the Fern drawing. I like how it turned out, but hated drawing. I have to draw plants a lot for the backgrounds of my animal portraits, and I find them tedious to draw. Ferns especially, are just a long continuous pattern. The block print was supposed to be nature inspired, so I picked an animal to use for y negative space drawing and print. I decided to choose an animal that could be well represented by negative space. a pure black raven worked well. 

The Golden Ratio Collage was my favorite piece to draw, and I think it is the best one that I did. I've never done one before, but I really grew to like drawing patterns and shapes. It was hard, but fun to create. A lot of these pieces were pretty difficult to execute, but I appreciated the challenge. I also liked experimenting with color for this one, because this was the only drawing that I did in class this quarter that used color. 
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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, page 49

​The below passage is an imaginary addition of what Cormac McCarthy might have added to The Road before the final edition of the book was published:

She paced the dark kitchen while the man sat staring.

Will you just stop trying already? You dont always have to try and help people.

But I do.

Stop it. No. You need to survive for yourself, and let me worry about us as she held her stomach. There is no me and you anymore. There is the smart and ignorant.


Please? The want to live is an individual barrier. Surviving isnt good enough. This is my life choosing and your life is revolving around choosing to burden me. Your life should be defined by yourself, not me. I am done once he is out. There is no point. There will never be a light to give you hope and I have lost hope too long ago.

She leaned on the gloomcroaked wood. He looked at her with sodden eyes. But you are my purpose.

No. That’s not true.

Without you there is nothing. There are not that many people left.


So nothing. They dont mean anything but you mean something.

What happens when I am gone? There will only be those who are unknown, lonesome roaming with no particular destination.

She leaned her head down to lean against her hand. He stood up to reach out and comfort her but she pushed his grey familiarness away.

​The below passage is a rationale to explain the choices of the imaginary addition of what Cormac McCarthy might have added to The Road before the final edition of the book was published:

After the line “Who is anybody?” on page 49, I decided to place a flashback with the man and woman because it encompasses the change in the man. In many early flashbacks with the man and woman, the characterization of the man is to plead, and the woman’s tone is harsh and unattached. Later in the book the man becomes more like the mother, not exactly unattached to the boy, but more protective which comes off as being hard on him. Since the placement is early in the book, it had to encompass the man’s want for the woman, and the woman’s loss of hope and will. With the man’s want for the woman to stay and survive together, it got me thinking about what the woman means to the man. The boy obviously means a lot to the man, but the woman was the man’s main purpose to live, and to care about who he was. Once she was gone,  he didn’t really identify as anyone, and the identity of anyone else didn’t matter. So one of the essential question is who do you persist for and what happens when it’s gone. This explains the actions in from the flashback to when the man and boy pass the lightning struck man. What this leads into is the theme of the passage: the purpose of living. The man and woman don’t see eye to eye on surviving. I chose to continue this argument of living because the man believes there is some good left out there, but if he truly believes that nobody has an identity, then good and bad people don’t exist, which would mean origin doesn’t matter to the man. Although it is evident in the book the man constantly reflects on the past, and his past matters a lot to him. So the plot of this passage is to show the love the man has for the woman. The woman is apart of the man’s identity, and they are fighting in this scene because they need to figure out why to live and for what reason. The boy stemmed from the woman which is another reason for the man to continue on. The last part of the scene that is crucial is the motif of grey and light. I decided to choose the woman as a light for the man, but everything to due with the woman is dark. Reason being is the woman has lost hope, and everything around her is dark. Without the woman in the man’s life, the greyness becomes greyer. Grey is unclear, so when the woman is gone identity is not a big part because the man is nothing with his light.

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 287


*This a short piece adding onto the ending of The Road because I did not enjoy how the book ended.

It is now nightfall. The wind is slowing down. The man and woman tuck the boy into many blankets near the fire to keep him warm.

It is time for you to go to sleep, says the man.


If you need us, just give us a little shove.

The boy suddenly falls asleep and wanders into this childish dream. The boy’s vision blurred out and changes into a beautiful playground. The boy is jumping around seeing all of the colors that he barely sees everyday. He saw stuffed animals, toy cars racing, and other children his age. The boy is smiling so big that he is ready to burst into joy. He runs as fast as he can to other children, but they seem to get farther away as he is trying to get closer. The dream is suddenly turned into darker colors and interrupted by a spirit.


Yes it’s me. What have I told you about having happy dreams?

I’m sorry Papa I am just confused.

It’s ok. I’m not mad at you. I just want to protect you. I miss you so much. I’m sorry I had to die in front of you like that. I love you my son. These people will take care of you. Never give up.

The boy wakes up from his dream and rushes over to the man and women and gives them a huge hug and says thank you.


*Here is my ideas and decisions on why I chose to make this scene.

I wish The Road ended in a different way instead of the way Cormac McCarthy ended the book. I wanted it to continue and have at least another scene with the boy and the new man with his wife. I decided to create a short scene for the ending of the book (continuation of pg 287). Throughout the story of The Road the main point of view was focused on the man. I wanted the scene to focus on the boy’s point of view because since papa died, the boy was on his own and he was able to meet up and became allies with the new man and his wife.

One of the main themes I wanted to use for my addition to the story was survival. For survival it was a main point in the book because we don’t know what happened or what made the world like that. People were eating other people and trying to find food. The man and boy were heading towards the east coast trying to survive and find shelter and food just to live. This leads onto the other theme and that was dreams. Dreams are mostly throughout the book and usually the man and the boy have bad dreams and I remember in the book page 189, the man said to the boy that if you have bad dreams that you are not giving up and you are surviving but if you have a happy dream nothing dark at all then you officially given up on life.

The themes of the short scene help me lead up to these questions to ask. Is surviving enough? Can dreams predict your future? Since the boy has lost his father and now is with the new man and his wife, I want the creative scene to show that the boy can survive without his father. I want to make the scene where the boy is camping out with the new people and have the boy talk the ghost of his father. That brings it to the next question about dreams because in the story the bad dreams keep the man and boy survive. So I decide for in the boy’s dream it will start off happy meaning that the boy will give up on his life, but the ghost/spirit of his father will stop the boy from doing so. I still want the ending to show that there is still hope left. The boy may have nothing else to live for but he still has a life to live and keep learning how to survive and start a new life with a different family.

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Podcast English- Lukas Supovitz-Aznar

Lukas's song #2
In this podcast I wanted to get to the essence of what makes a person tick. I feel like it took a little bit but I finally scratched the surface when I spoke to Ella. I found our conversation to be really intriguing because she was honest, which was all that I could ask for when I was interviewing her. As the interview continued I really started to get a sense of how I would craft my podcast. My goal was to make my podcast as dramatic as possible, and I think I accomplished that goal with the help of my music. I took all factors into consideration while making my podcast, including how the story would flow and when my climax would be introduced. 
When I was crafting the podcast it was hard to find parts that I wanted to use and other parts I did not. Two factors hurt my project; her voice was not clear and was a little hard to hear and also there were some random sounds which ruined sound clips. This was frustrating but I learned to just deal with what I had, and had success with it. I learned to not use a computer that is given by the school because the recording is pretty terrible. Other than that I learned that music is really important when crafting an emotion that you want to give off to your audience. My favorite part was putting in special music so I could control the flow of the podcast.
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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 265


They left you here, didn’t they?

I left myself here.

He turned and went limping down the stairs and opened the front door and went out into the street backward watching the house. When he got to the cart he pulled it upright and piled their things back in. Stay close, he whispered. Stay close.

Are you sure you are really ok poppa

Yes, I'm fine


The two stood there for a brief moment. Standing in the cold of the harsh winter. For just a moment, he wished that he could die. This was not an option though, he was no longer living for himself. These thoughts running through his head seemed to leave a remnant of bitterness in his heart. But he knew it was not the fault of the boy so he tried not to take his anger out on him. The man could see that the boy did not understand life yet. He thought the only way he would feel better is if the boy understood his actions.

Did you notice how I never asked for his name?


The robber

Yes poppa

That's just in case I had to use the pistol

But poppa we’re the good guys, and the good guys don’t hurt people

The man knew he had done nothing wrong, but wished the boy could see that too. They began to walk, slowly down the road not knowing what the future had in store. The boy was not settled, he seemed to be preparing for the worse.

They put up in a store building at the end of the town. He wheeled the cart through and into a room at the rear and shut the door and pushed the cart against it sideways. He dug out the burner and the tank of gas and lit the burner and set it in the floor and then he unbuckled his belt and took off his bloodstained trousers.


In the Road by Cormac Mccarthy, the writer seems to paint a picture of a place with no life. When reading his writing, you can almost feel the setting of the book. Characters don’t seem to show joyous emotions often which leads to a gloomy feel. You can see this in his style of writing. For my creative piece I tried to mimic the style as best as I could.

The story uses a lot of short conversations followed by a paragraph or two of new information. These conversations are very short and to the point. I feel like this is an important factor to the story. I found it strange that the questions asked didn't always seemed to be directly answered. It feels like the dialogue was just right. Nothing more was said than what was needed to be said.

He even makes it a point to use some words that not many other writers use, or use word combinations to make the writing better. I tried to take this into consideration as I described situations and events in my piece.

The story has a lot of themes and ideas that are left untouched in the writing. This is not because they are not important but instead because Mccarthy tends to be a mysterious writer. You can interpret his work in a few different ways, and it is up to the reader to decide how they want to do  this.

I also felt like scenes in the book were very similar. It was like the writing followed some type of formula. The characters would walk down the road until they see something interesting and then go search it. Sometimes they got lucky and found things to help their journey, and other times they weren't so lucky.  

In the beginning of the story it seemed like nothing would happen that the characters couldn't overcome, but by the end of the story you could begin to see that this was not the case and eventually someone had to die. The boy had a generous heart but the man understood that in times like these generosity would get you nowhere. The generous people would be the ones that died and those who looked out for themselves would survive.


McCarthy Unabridged: The Road (Page 61)


The boy could tell that his father was nervous. They had experience road rats before, but there was something around them that seemed to be communicating with the boy. Was there someone else around? Not yet. The boy already ruled that out. What was it? The boy soon began to hear the sounds of heavy footsteps coming from the tunnel. Footsteps coming from multiple people. The boy didn’t have to read his father’s expression to know that the road rats were getting closer. But something else was catching the boy’s attention: Everything around him began changing. The leftover leaves in the trees began to dance in the wind. The wind began moaning and groaning. The leaves on the ground began to shiver with fear. Everything around him was sounding like it was dying a second time. The boy still didn’t think the trees were afraid of the road rats. He looked at his father. Somehow, the boy knew when to look. He glanced at the man’s pocket, even though he was extremely tire from the traveling. The silver gun was now visible. He wouldn’t do that, the boy thought. Why would he kill them? The army of footsteps began more distinct. The man never broke eye contact with the tunnel entrance. The boy knew that they would be getting out of the car soon, but all he could watch was the gun slowly making its way out of the ripped pocket. He wouldn’t actually kill, would he?


The piece that I have written would be inserted into page 61, when the man and the boy first encounter road rats at the entrance to the tunnel. This piece is essentially supposed to represent a couple of small things. I wanted to write from the boy’s perspective since in the book, we hear a lot from the man’s perspective. The boy is probably from eight to ten years old, so I wanted to take a closer look at how he would react to surprising elements in a broken environment like this. The boy, in my piece, is very curious about what his father is capable of doing, and if he’s actually going to try to kill the road rats. The boy has just been following the man’s path in the journey, and audiences never really get to read about the boy’s thoughts, opinions, questions, or fears. The boy is a very important character, and that’s why I think McCarthy Another element I wanted to add was sound. I have read enough of the visual aids in The Road probably by the end of the first few pages. I wanted to take the story and tell it an another, interesting way. I wanted to describe now only what the environment looks like, but also what it sounds like. The trees creaking and cracking, the leaves rustling and shivering, the wind “moaning and groaning.” A theme that I think should be considered is the idea of murder. Even though the boy is in a state where anything could die, he’s never actually seen somebody get killed. When the boy finds out that his father has a gun, he automatically guesses that he is planning on killing the road rats. I wanted to explore this topic, especially since murder would be soon witness by a small child. I also wanted to tackle the idea of knowing the difference between a good guy and a bad guy. When the man and the boy hear the road rats coming, the man is already getting ready to jump out of the car and later pull out his pistol. The boy is trying to understand that the road rats are bad guys, but that is only because of how the father is reacting to only the sound of footsteps. In a world like this, it would be automatic for someone to not trust anybody, as they are afraid of being backstabbed. However, I wanted to use my piece and describe the boy’s confusion as to how the man knows that the road rats are, in fact, bad guys.

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 277

This piece of writing is a personal interpretation of what would have been from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road had it not been edited:

Creative Piece:

The fire continues to pierce the dense night even as the boy sleeps. It's soft glow surrounds his head casting a shadow onto the man. Yet he still feels its warmth. The gun lies in the dirt between the two. One real bullet remaining. The man lays staring at the golden reflection of the fire die down through its silver barrel. He feels a pounding on the back of his eyes as they climb up to the boy’s face. A soft quiver jolts through his hands and gets more sporadic as he reaches for the gun. He holds it loosely by its bloodfelt grip. The gun tumbles its way to the boy’s forehead. He takes aim. The gun drifts from position to position across the boy’s forehead. Powerless to hold a single target. He released his grip and droped his arm. He looked into the face of his sleeping son. A lone tear drifts down the man’s cheek. He shifted himself to look at the ever present void above him. The glow of the fire sits in the corner of his eye. You’ve taken my son from me, the man croaked. Or maybe you’ve always had him. The man looks to the yellow glow. I guess we have to thank you for the bunker and the boat, he says. At least I know you’ll be safe. The man closes his eyes. He feels the soft glow of the fire from the direction of his son. It soothes him to sleep.

Below is an explanation of the different factors that make up the piece above and how it would fit into the overall story:

The Rationale:

The passage above is meant to round off the world of the book The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. I chose to add to the end of page 277. This moment is the perfect opportunity to insert more information on the father’s acceptance of his inability to kill his own child in the name of protection. On the page itself the father is dying and he notes how his son is an honor to all prophets. I feel this to be the moment that the father is most understanding of the implications of his son’s value as an important figure. The page overall sets up a great contrast between the son’s importance and the man’s fleeting life, helping to expand on the conflict. Should the man kill the boy to protect him, or allow him to live to spread his hope to the wasteland?

I began by drawing a connection between the boy and the fire, mentioning how fire keeps going even as the boy sleeps. The fire itself is a symbol of hope and positivity, and throughout the story we see how this boy spreads this through his kind actions. The man also believed the the boy has something special in him as well, but he often alludes it to be in a more spiritual manner. The fire is portrayed respectively as a light in the dark, alluding to the boy being a hope in the dreadful world. Even the lifeline of the boy is shown to be connected to the fire. As the man looks at the gun, to kill the boy, and  the fire is seen dying in its reflection.

The story then moves into developing the character of the man,  justifying his later acceptance towards the predicament. He attempts to shoot the boy. Every step the man took from picking the gun up to aiming it is dreadful for him, to reflect the father's feelings towards attempting this action. Even when he has the gun aimed, his sickness makes it hard to aim. This man comes to the conclusion that God is protecting the boy from his death, of course this is kept open to interpretation as to why he could not kill him. The man believes since his son will be protected from anything, including his own father, he no longer fears for his safety.

The scene shows the hopelessness of the situation and how the man must accept his son’s responsibility to carry the fire. This rounds out the character more and explains his latter actions to accept his son’s survival even after his son wants to die with him. In the end he sleeps sure his son will be safe.

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 281

In the final version of The Road, much of the boy’s dialogue has been cut out, that is until now. This is his story.

There’s fog covering the road, blocking the view. A figure catches his eye, standing behind the tree staring at him. Coldly. A rush of wind behind him, there’s another figure. The last thing he feels is the cold metal of the barrel against his head and the sweet release of worries. Papa, I’m coming, he says. Silent. If there is anything that can describe this moment it would be...barren. This world is devoid of life, of love, of purpose. This world is barren. Beside the resting boy is his papa. The man died yesterday, but the boy couldn’t bring himself to leave his side. Papa I can’t go on like this, said the boy. He sat up and stared at the fire crackling in the dark. The dreams have taken over, clouding his vision of any hope. His hand slides over to check inventory. Pistol, water, gas, he says softly. He picks up the gun and looks into the chamber staring at the round. Cold, smooth, instant. A frigid wind blew through the site, but the boy sat unbothered.

You’re stronger than this.

Papa, I want to be with you and mama.

Mama and I are on a journey.

Can I come?

Who’s going to stop the bad guys?

I don’t know.

You. You carry the fire, the way into the light. I believe in you.

The voice was gone. He placed the gun down and stared out to the road. I carry the fire, Papa, for you.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes to my unabridged version of The Road

For my creative, I chose to tell the story of what the boy was doing during those 3 days he stayed in the cave with his father after he died. My impression of the boy switched as we watched the movie, so by the end of the book, I saw him older than when I began reading, which we estimated was 4-5. I didn’t agree with the idea that he should be older at first, but the behavior towards the end of the book started to draw me closer to it. I specifically chose to write into this part of the story due to the fact that it’s the most flexible, allowing dialogue for the boy to be inserted without disrupting the flow too much. Towards the end, the boy’s attitude towards his father has changed. He’s more upset with some of the things his father does and says, but that’s the result of facing so many harsh realities. There’s been multiple times where the pair had the chance to help others, but the father always turned them down, which went against everything that the boy thought they stood for. The new environments and people he interacted with changed his perspective of the world as well. There’s possibly no future to look forward to or any chance of anything getting better. This ultimately lead me to idea of him thinking of suicide. In the book he wants to be with his mom, but we know she left him long ago and that she’s dead. The wound of his father’s death is fresh. Offing himself would bring them back as one family. The idea forms around the essential questions of who/what do we live for and what is our motivation in a world that’s so damaged? It seems that in this world, one’s action can’t simply be written off ad good or bad because the end goal for everyone is to survive. When that’s not possible, you start to think realistically. The sequence in the beginning of my piece doesn’t come off as something terrible, but peaceful. Though there is a a good amount of violence that takes place in the book, there’s always a counter of peace resting in the grey overcast. Writing in McCarthy’s style was not at all easy, especially the vocabulary. I chose the words barren and devoid, similar in meaning, yet both powerful enough to stand alone. There’s no true description to how this world actually is. Yes, there’s ash everywhere and bodies are strewn across the ground, but it’s also a barren wasteland of lost attempts. Attempts at making it out alive, of holding on to that hope that keeps the fire burning so bright.


Q2 Artwork

This quarter, my biggest inspiration was the first assignment (a collage), and I wanted to really explore that medium in my other projects. I began with a collage inspired by one of my favorite musicians (David Bowie), that I was just fooling around with as a laptop decoration. That blossomed, and is now something I am very proud of. The body is made of a sticker I received at an art exhibit at Haverford College, and the head and tail are made from a cut-up iconic image of David Bowie. The wings were a later addition, made up of the open mouths of baby birds. 

The Donald Trump collage, made after watching a GOP debate, was the most fun. I wanted to capture both the absurdity and danger that the Republican front-runner poses to our country. I picture him riding atop a giant feminine leg beast to demonstrate both his blatant disrespect for women's bodies and the millions he has made off of the Ms. Universe competition. In this post-Trumpocalyptic scenario, heads roll (specifically Hilary Clinton's head) and nuclear and terrorist threats abound. Of all my pieces, this is the one of which I am most proud. 

The fabric pieces were incredibly difficult for me, especially since I struggled to re-create them after losing my originals. I chose fabric draped over a basket because I liked the way the fabric shadows complemented the detailing on the basket.

The photo editing was the easiest for me, as I am also in the Photography elective. I chose this photo because I liked the depth of field and thought I brought out the colors best out of all my photos. 

I was at a loss for what to illustrate, but I thought back to a poem (Alone by Edgar Allen Poe) I used in a play I wrote last year, and was inspired by the lines: 

"From childhood's hour I have not been as others were- I have not seen as others saw"
I've always felt a connection to the shape of the human eye, so I attempted to re-create that line using imagery based on literally seeing what others see. 

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Macbeth Creative Project (Matthew Milligan and Sofia Powers) The Scottish Puppetry

Sofia and I created a dramatic and humorous take on Macbeth, as an amateur puppet. Our puppet show simplifies and adds a comical aspect to the play Macbeth. We modernized and combined all of the extensively-worded Shakespearean text to make it understandable material for any age group. This project was designed to create a unique understanding and perspective of the play Macbeth. We used our ¨vaulting ambition¨ to create an interpretive puppet show like no other project.

In interpreting the whole material for our script, we deliberately left out some scenes to minimize distractions from the meaning and basic plot. We deleted scenes like the comic relief from porter character to really bring out the lies of the Macbeths. Our version instead goes straight from them plotting to be sad to them pretending to be sad right away. We also cut the murder of Macduff’s family because it is dramatically discussed later, and start late in scene 4.3 because Malcolm and Macduff’s droning on distracts from Macduff’s reaction to the murder of his family.

Our production consists of many sound effects and background noises. We utilize these to create a setting because the background image cannot be changed. In 1.6, there are birds chirping softly to add to Duncan’s announced comfort and also portray that they are outside. Later, crickets can be heard to symbolize nighttime. In addition to setting, dramatic music can also be heard beneath many of the soliloquies to amplify the mood. We feel drama should be ever-present in our show as it is in the play, so suspenseful sound effects are also used.

When working with puppets, one cannot change their facial expression easily. To fix that issue, we often change the tone and style of our voices. In one scene at the end of Act 3, we describe our scene when practicing as “thane gossip”, so we changed the usual dull voices of our thanes to those of gossiping teenage girls, because gossiping is what is occurring in that scene. We also make the character Macduff very sassy sounding, because in the play he clearly “throws shade” at Macbeth and disses him on multiple occasions. Lady Macbeth was portrayed as a loud and over the top drama queen, because that's exactly what she was. Shakespeare wrote in very dramatic speeches for her such as “unsex me here” as well as her dramatic actions, like fainting at the sight of Duncan (on purpose).

Overall, we thought this project choice would be great for group work and equal collaboration. We worked outside of class making puppets and filming for many days, even weeks. For us, making a hand/finger puppet show was a very smart choice. Our minimal artistic skills were used to make funny puppets that acted out our strength, our well written modern script. We painstakingly translated almost every line of the play, and are extremely proud with the outcome. While our show may be long, the drama and comical aspects draw the audience back in.

​Progress Pictures
Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 10.11.43 PM
Screenshot 2016-01-27 at 10.11.58 PM

Life as Immigrants

 This radio piece summarizes the struggles many immigrants face when coming to a foreign land. This topic holds close to our hearts because we are also first and second generation immigrants.  We conducted a series of interviews, in an attempt to uncover the mindset behind those who seek to accomplish the "American Dream." Our goal was to show what America is like from the viewpoint of immigrants who try to coexist when they come to America and their struggles.

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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 125

​Heres a dream of the boys that could of been cut from the original version. 

To be inserted on page 125 after “... stopped shaking and after a while he slept.” breaking the current paragraph into 2 and making a new one in the middle.

The boy and the man had just arrived. They were scouring the house looking for anything to scavenge. Just as they were about to exit they noticed a trap door on the floor. Before the boy could speak the man opened the door and jumped down. Cemented in place, the boy just stood watching. The man ran back up the stairs and slammed the door shut. He started screaming but the boy couldn’t make out his words. The man screamed and grabbed for the boy when the door slammed opened. Before the boy could blink the man was dead. Shot in temple right in front of him. The world around the boy began to ring and blur. The boy fell to his knees he began to scream but the ringing drowned out all sounds. The woman who shot the man grabbed the boy and covered his mouth. The boy struggled to break free but could not succeed. The man accompanying the woman walked over to the trap door and opened it. They threw the boy down the steps and into the pit of half eaten people. The boy tried to run but was instantly pinned down. The half eaten carnivores began to tear at the boy, limb by limb. Scratching and biting until their nails bled. The boy could hold on no longer, everything went dark.

This is a little piece to help you understand what I wrote and why it would fit into the book. 

Giving the boy this nightmare about what previously happened is one of the best ways to show his development. Nightmares are our worst fears presented to us in the worst way possible. The boy having this nightmare but being virtually unfazed by it really shows how he is developing into more of a man. Not being scared and facing your fears is a huge personal development. 
This scene plot and placement have a lot to do with each other. There is a lot of reflection going on with the boy because it's the first time these people come back up in his mind. The encounter they had doesn’t come back up until after the boy sleeps and wakes up for the second time. By placing this dream here it also shows foreshadowing as to why the boy brought up the conversation of good guys and bad guys directly after my scene. It is important to know that because that’s how my scene is connected to the theme, essential question, and motif. This scene addresses the theme of survival. Survival is the whole point of their journey and these carnivore people are the only ones who can stop the man and the boy from surviving. The man and the boy try their hardest to stay away from people like this, making them a sort of unknown variable. In this case unknowns lead to death and death means no survival. 
My essential question and motif are pretty similar to each other. I wanted to tackle the question why be the “good guys?” and the motif of actual good guys and actual bad guys. When the man and the boy are in a situation where they have no food, they still refuse to eat people but it can be a little unclear why when the ultimate goal is to survive. There’s no one around to tell them they did something wrong so why bother worrying. This scene shows exactly why they choose to be good. They don’t want their worst nightmare to come true.
The motif really comes through when you consider what makes the carnivore people bad. Even though there isn’t someone to tell them right or wrong humans still have morality. Killing someone is completely against all morals and so is eating them. The true difference here between good and bad are the people who can stay true to their morals and that's what the man and boy do. 
Lastly I feel like I wrote this as similar to McCarthy as possible. I used a sort of monotone while writing and used words like dark, scavenged, and carnivorous to mimic but not mirror his writing. 
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McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 1

McCarthy Unabridged

By: Ameer Forte

Being Human - Giknis


  • PLACEMENT: My excerpt will be inserted into McCarthy’s “The Road” on the very first page. Right before the very first paragraph.

  • The passage below is what I have imagined was cut from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road before the final edition was released-

Creative Piece:

The unforgiving blows to the surface landed like that of an astrobleme sinking itself into the atmosphere. He would pray to God most nights. He would ask him to protect his family to keep them alive. And if that wasnt possible to at least let the child inside the womans womb live. The woman resented that the man did this. She believed that God was only a barmecide part of life humans made up to make the bad in the world easier to cope with. She said to him:

Why do you bother? There is no God.

Yes there is.

How do you know?

I just do.

What God would let this happen to us? I’ll curse his name and die before I ask him for anything.

Dont say that.

What has he done for us?

Hes given us faith. Hope.

In what?

He gave me that child. That child is a gift from God. That is how I know. That child is my hope. My faith.

When the man was sure the bombs had stopped falling he opened the cellar door to find that the remains of his house were just rubble. When he opened the door he was climbing outside for the first time in so long he had forgotten what the sunlight looked like only to find color had been vacuumed from the sky. When the woman made her way out of the bunker the man saw the darkness in the world corrupting her. Dimming her fire. But when he looked at her stomach he saw the light. He almost thought he saw God himself.

  • Below is a rationale explaining the choices I made and why regarding this excerpt-

The Rationale:

My scene is meant to be placed on the very first page, right before the opening paragraph. It is set in the past as an opening prologue to the current timeline of the story. I chose this placement because I think that a small backstory on how The Road came to be should be in the beginning of the novel. I also chose to leave out apostrophes and commas at areas they would typically belong because I think Coric McCarthy would have written it this way, in his unique style.

I chose to create this scene in The Road because it includes two very important themes that also stay consistent throughout the novel. God. Is there one? Does it matter? And the light vs. the darkness. Throughout my excerpt the man and the woman grapple with their views of God. God is an important motif in the novel which is another reason I incorporated this theme in my excerpt. I chose to make the man a believer of God, although throughout the novel I don’t think that that is so clear. But I chose to do this because I do think that the man views the boy as holy and I interpret that as him viewing the boy as a gift from God. All through the novel he believes that God entrusted him to protect the boy. “He knew that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.” (Pg. 5) Here is just one example of that.

This holy view of the boy the man has is also the reason I included the latter part of my scene, where the man looks at the woman's stomach (which is bearing the boy) and sees the light. As opposed to him looking at the woman and seeing the darkness. I believe the purpose of the light in this novel is to show hope within someone. When that hope is lost they become corrupted by darkness. The scene in the novel where the woman left the man and the boy to, we speculate, kill herself, is a scene where I feel the woman lost her hope. I chose to show a little of that beginning in my scene with the man seeing darkness.

The essential questions I addressed are, what is the role of God? What happened before this world? And what made it occur? The first question I answered when I brought out in my scene that the role God to the important characters in my scene (those being the man, the woman, and the boy) is the light and the provider of hope in a world otherwise dark and hopeless. The second and third questions I answered in my first sentence, which was describing a nuclear war going on. That’s what was happening before the current timeline and what caused The Road to come about.


Q2 Art Work - Ilker Erkut

In Quarter 2 I was pushed more to my artistic limits.  This quarter was very successful because I put more time into everything that I completed.  They are all very unique.  I plan to continue drawing and see the amazing things I can produce with more time and effort.  

In the Collage I used a picture of myself from years ago and made a college out of it.  I used materials from trash that I was currently using and I thought it was a master piece because of how unique it was.  The fabric was an interesting task.  It pushed my limits of a drawer significantly because I chose not to trace.  I wanted to challenge myself.  I think considering I did not trace it is very good but I have to work on my shading.  The photo editing was by far my favorite because I find that I am most creative when editing photos.  That was a photo I took in New York City.  Originally it was quite boring with a nice view.  But with a new filter, a lot of saturation and more I was able to make it almost look like it was stitched or colored in.  The illustration was very difficult because my drawing abilities are not good enough to really draw anything other than very specific objects.  I also am not very good at drawing people.  But the message behind the drawing that connected with the quote is very nice.  I enjoyed this quarter and cannot wait to do it next quarter as well.  

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Slide 3

For this slide i removed the guitar because it was bleeding out too much, and at an awkward upside down angle that distracts the viewer. I moved biggie's head image so that his head was not bleeding off the page and that his body was not blending with my name, the center attraction of the page. 
Untitled presentation
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