Spanish Benchmark Victoria Westaby

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Victoria, pero mi apodo es Vivi. Tengo catorce años y mi cumpleaños es veintiséis de agosto. Me gusta escritura creativa y a veces escuchar musica. ¡Ah, y dibujar! Tengo dos hermanas y un gato. Soy inteligente y más o menos baja.

Ella es Erica. Somos amigos por cinco años. Nos conocimos en escuela. Erica el pelo cafe y rubia. Los ojos pardos. Tiene catorce años, y su cumpleaños el cinco de marzo. Ella bastante adorable y algo baja. Asiste a Nuevas Fundaciones. Ella es mi mejor amiga.

Nosotras mi y mi hermana. Su nombre es Amanda. Ella es dos años viejo que mi. Ella es muy inteligente y guapa. Asiste a Lincoln la escuela secundaria. Ella es en grado once. Su cumpleaños es veinticinco de agosto. Nos encanta escuchar musica y pasar un rato con amigos. Nosotras también encanta dibujar .  

Ellas son mi mejor amigas. Ellas son muy inteligentes y bastante artísticas.  Alex es alta y muy cómica. Erica es bastante adorable. Les gusta dibujar y escribir. Ellas los dos asiste a Nuevas Fundaciones y es bueno estudiantes.

¡Eso es todo! Yo esperar te gusta y gracias por tú atención. ¡Adios!

Art Q2. final presentation Luke R.

My art mostly comes from a place of longing for something different for my community.  This is tied with imagination and realism about the world. I’m real about worldly topics, but also imagine something crazy and different. I enjoy pencil work because I like the versatility of the tool. Also a lot of this unit was making art for the sake of learning the techniques.

Q2 Sci & Soc Food Benchmark

Recipe: Light stir-fry chicken and vegetables with Chinese egg noodles

*This recipe can be vegetarian/vegan friendly by simply replacing the meat with eggs or tofu, or even taking meat out completely!


There is no specific measurements for most of the ingredients because it is your preference on how much vegetables, noodles, or meat you want to eat/use. Also, you don’t need to completely follow these ingredients, feel free to use whatever vegetables or meat you want. Anything that is laying around in the fridge that needs to be used such as leftover vegetables or different kinds of meat such as beef or pork is fine. And for the noodles, it is not completely necessary to use Chinese egg noodles, regular noodles that you have on hand can be used. And if you don't want to eat noodles, you can totally forget about it and just make meat and veggie stir fry and serve this over your choice of rice.

Adjust measurements according to how many people this meal will be serving to.


Boneless skinless chicken breast




Snow peas

Bell peppers


Soy sauce

Minced garlic

Chinese egg noodles


Black pepper

Red pepper flakes (Optional: only if you want it to be spicy)

Any kind of cooking oil (cooking spray or olive oil are the healthy choices)

How many minutes it takes to prepare and cook:

15-20 minutes

Everything will be cooked very quickly!


  1. Cut up all your vegetables and meat into bite size pieces.

  2. After you finish cutting up your main ingredients, get a wok or a big skillet pan and put it over medium-high heat. Add your cooking oil(1 tablespoon) or cooking spray. Let the pan heat up for at least 3 minutes.

  3. Depending on what kind of noodles you are using, if it is not cooked yet, you may need to get a saucepan and boil water, then add in the noodles and blotch noodles for 2-3 minutes, take it out and strain the noodles, then set it aside to dry. (This is an extra step if your noodles are not cooked. Skip this step if it doesn't apply to you)

  4. Finely mince the garlic.

  5. Throw the minced garlic and onion into the wok/pan and stir fry that until you noticed the pieces of garlic turn golden brown and smells very fragrant and the onion becomes translucent. If you are making this dish spicy, this is the time to also add in your dry hot pepper flakes. This should take 2-3 minutes.

  6. Turn the heat down to medium. Add in your sliced chicken or other choice of meat then stir fry until the meat is almost cooked through. You don’t want to cook it all the way yet because you haven’t added the vegetables yet (overcooked meat will taste bad and hard to chew). This will take a few minutes.(If you are using sliced beef, cook for only one minute!)

  7. After your meat is cooked about half way through, turn the heat back up to medium-high and add in all your vegetables. Stir fry until vegetables are slightly cooked but do not overcook or else your vegetables will become too soft or soggy (you still want that “crunch” when you bite into your veggies). This will take 2-3 minutes.

  8. Add in the noodles and stir fry with kitchen tongs or chopsticks until noodles are heated. (Tongs or chopsticks will be easier to cook with the noodles. If you use a regular spatula, it might break the noodles) This will take 2-3 minutes since you are just reheating the noodles.

  9. Turn the heat down to low and add two teaspoons of soy sauce and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir this for a minute and then turn off the heat. Do a taste test and see if you need anymore soy sauce or salt/black pepper. But don’t forget, too much sodium isn’t good for you.

  10. Serve this in a plate or a bowl and you are ready to enjoy your quick, healthy, light stir fry!

Analysis of the recipe:

In my recipe, the only ingredient that might have be processed is the choice of noodles you use. I used thin Chinese egg noodles that I bought from a local asian supermarket near my house. I’m sure they’re processed because I did not make these noodles from scratch, they pre-made. All I had to do is blotch them in boiled water for 3 minutes, drain it, then it was good to eat or use in any meal I prep. I would say 30% of the recipe is processed because I put in a good amount of noodles but there’s more vegetables than noodles. The vegetables and boneless skinless meat is whole food, not processed.

Since my recipe is overall healthy, the sugar count and fat count is extremely low because we did not use sugar at all in this recipe and since we used boneless skinless chicken breast and we only used a tiny bit of oil in the pan, this is very little fat. The calorie count shouldn’t be so high because these are mostly veggies, so I can’t estimate it but I am aware that the calorie is not high. If you eat this recipe every day, there wouldn’t be any possible health problem arising because it’s not high in fat, sodium, sugar or anything.

I am not really sure where most of my ingredients came from, I’m positive my vegetables and meat are from this country but I don’t know which state. I don’t think the travel is that far because I’m pretty sure there’s a farm or meat factory nearby. I think the Chinese egg noodles might possibly be from California because lots of Asian food are processed or made in California. I don’t know if my vegetables are grown organically because I bought my vegetables from Shop Rite, not from Whole Foods Supermarket or Trader Joe’s.

This meal does not cost that much, in all honesty. This stir fry recipe is very easy to make and you can use any choice of vegetables, choice of meat or choice of noodles or seasoning. If you have leftover vegetables that need to be used before it goes bad, you could simply cut it up and throw into the wok/pan. If you have raw beef in the freezer or leftover chicken in the fridge, that can be used to. Chinese egg noodles isn’t common in American households so if you don’t have it or can’t find it, some pasta in from the cabinet can be substituted. You don’t really need to make a trip to the grocery store to buy these ingredients unless you want to eat specific vegetables, meat or noodles. I would it’s as cheap as fast food because this recipe is for anything that is laying around in your fridge. I didn't even go to the grocery store to buy my ingredients, I already had it in my fridge and my mom didn't use it for her cooking so I just took all of it and cooked this. I know where we bought it from but I already had it at home.

All my vegetables that I used were grown from farms that I don’t really know about. So the intermediate steps could’ve included chemicals to grow it. I don’t grow any vegetables at home. So if I were to grow my green peppers, onions or garlic at home, I’d have to buy the seed, go through a bunch of steps to get the right kind of soil to grow my vegetables, maintain these plants and make sure I water it, and a ton of more steps. As for commercial production process, they handle it themselves and I just simply purchase these vegetables without the hassle of growing it myself.

Personal Reflection:

Although before this unit, I was aware of some of these issues that we have in our food system, however, this unit has taught me even more about our food system and I actually learned "numbers" and "statistics" involved in it. The biggest issue I see in our food system is how much the government lies to us about it. The "sugar free", "low fat" labels are just lies. These low content food is just being covered up with another kind of terrible chemical or make it taste as good it normally would be. I think that is the worst corruption in our entire food system because this is going into our body and we are being lied to. Some of the changes I can make to my food choices is to make healthier decisions in my diet. I eat healthy during weekdays because I usually eat homemade food since I'm not going out with friends(my mom cooks pretty healthy) but sometimes I should eat brown rice instead of rice. Or whole wheat bread instead of white, and greek yogurt instead of mayo, something like that. The impact of these changes if that I think I will physically feel a lot better and have more energy to go through my day. I also think this will impact while I'm exercising, I'll notice more physical changes if I eat right. I'm willing to make these changes because I want to be fit and I want to be healthy. I don't want to have heart disease or diabetes, it already runs in my family. I want to decrease my chance and beat my genetics by being healthier. I really enjoyed the warm ups we've previously done in this unit because I've read some great facts and educated myself more about this.

Food Rule: 
Food Rule
Food Rule

Liza's Food Project - Q2 BM

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.00.07 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.00.07 PM

Recipe and Food Analysis for Pasta E Fagilo

(Pasta with Pinto Beans)


Whole Grain Ditalini Pasta

  • if you can't supply whole grain pasta, a traditional kind is just fine
  • Ditalini Pasta is a small, cylinder shape pasta but any type of pasta works 

 2 cans of Goya Pinto Beans



Olive Oil


3 to 4 Clove of Garlic 


1. Fill up pot with water and put it to a boil (size of pot and amount of water varies for how many people you are serving)

  • The average size for a container of pasta would be 4 to 6 quarts of water. 

 2. Once water is boiled, add pasta.

3. Boil pasta for 10 minutes.

4. While the pasta is boiling, in a separate pot, heat 6 tablespoons or more of extra virgin olive oil. 

5. Add 3 to 4 cloves of pressed, chopped garlic into the same pot.

6.  a half of a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. 

7. Let that sautee for a few minutes. 

8. Add 2 cans of the 15 oz. Goya Pinto Beans.

9. Add 1 can of water (use the empty can of Goya Beans).

10. Let beans simmer while pasta is boiling for 10 minutes.

11. Before draining the pasta, take one full cup of pasta water to reserve for the final dish to mix.

12. Remove pasta from stove and drain well after 10 minutes.

13. Put half of the pasta into a bowl and add half of the beans.

14. Mix.

15. Add the rest of the beans and pasta.

16. Blend together with cup of pasta water.

17. Serve and enjoy!

Optional: Add chopped kale for color and flavor!

Food Analysis:

Although pasta is a processed food, there are benefits to eating it. It has an extremely large amount of carbohydrates which gives your body a lot of fuel. Whole grain pasta even includes dietary fiber. Pasta is also low on sodium and cholesterol. Keep in mind that too many carbs is not good but if you need to fill up on calories, pasta would be an appropriate way to do so. Even though pasta is a processed food, Goya pinto beans are incorporated into this mean - which is a whole food. Because of the canning process, a lot of salt is added to the whole food which increases its serving of sodium. To decrease your intake of sodium, it is extremely helpful to wash off your beans and put them to as much of a boil as possible. On the bright side, pinto beans give you a large amount of protein, such as 15 grams worth, along with fiber and iron. 

It is important to keep in mind that you can't control everything you eat. It is impossible to lessen the amounts of fat, sodium, etc into a food that is already processed, prepared, and ready to cook to serve. However, you must cook and serve responsibly so that you don't overdose on the negative factors that even meals that are good for you might bring. Too much pasta is never a good thing. However, you are going to come across situations where you need calories or more carbs. This is why pasta is a very popular ingredient that is served with many meals for athletes. If you were to eat this meal entirely too much, or any meal that involves pasta, it may not be in your best interest. Pasta is an extremely popular dish in most homes, which is why it is recommended to balance the serving size of pasta out with a salad on the side (for example). This way you are eating less pasta, but still having a full meal. 

The most popular brand of pasta is Barilla (which is the brand I am using for this dish). It comes straight from Italy but since it is packaged we know that it goes through a food process to arrive here. Luckily, Barilla advertises on their boxes that they try their hardest to minimize the amount of energy and water to import the pastas. Pinto Beans are grown in places like Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America. They are imported to the U.S. and are packaged at the Goya Headquarters in Syracuse, New Jersey. 

Not only does this meal take a very short amount of time to prepare - around 20 minutes, but it is extremely cheap. Depending on where you purchase your ingredients at, the prices may vary. However, all of these ingredients you can find at any super market. A box of pasta usually varies from $1.25 to $1.60. A can of Goya beans costs around 98 cents. If you are interested in adding chopped up garlic to your dish, a clove usually costs 25 cents. These are how much the main ingredients cost. This is an extremely cheap meal that is just as cheap as fast food but is better for you and serves more people. These large cooperations like Barilla Pasta and Goya Beans are making money from every customer that invests in their products but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Its better than McDonalds taking your money. 

The process of making these ingredients yourself and buying them already ready for you in the store is completely different. There are plenty of people that can make their own pasta but this is usually not common in the average household, but it might be for Italian families. Restaurants and even some homes use a machine to make pasta. This is already a reason why people don't usually make pasta themselves. Even without a machine, making your own pasta would mean purchasing dough, rolling it out, cutting it, and preparing the dough with flour, egg, oil, etc. This is already a longer process and more expensive than going to your local super market. The same goes for pinto beans. You would have to purchase the beans and go through the process of growing them properly into bean stalks. If everyone was to home make all of their ingredients, it would be more expensive and a longer process. This is why we have supermarkets so people can afford to eat and the serve the meals they would like to make themselves but simply can't because it isn't in their reach.

Overall, this is a cheap, easy to make, not-so unhealthy meal that is great to serve for any family! Although there is a processed food involved, the dish supplies a lot of good nutrients but never forget to eat responsibly! Enjoy!


I was extremely passionate about this past unit. It was really convenient that all of this relates to what I will be studying in college - so it kept my interested even more. During this unit, I didn't necessarily learn anything new, but I definitely expanded my knowledge on topics and concerns that I was already familiar with. I learned a lot about where what food and what things connected to food are causes so many problems for people's lives in America. I learned about ways in which we can all do things like simply exercise 30 minutes a day or be more responsible when reading the labels of our food. There are simple ways that we can prevent deaths like heart disease, diabetes, etc. This unit also helped me realize where the problem is in terms of our country's food system. People are not knowledgable of what they are putting intro their body which is why they are putting themselves more at risk.

I have always been very careful with the foods I put into my body and have always been interested in living a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, I am going to continue the habit that I have been in for years now in terms of the way I eat and exercise. Watching the TED Talk in class was just another reminder of why I make the healthy decisions that I do in life and I never regret them. Unhealthy food tastes good but it not worth it in the end. I would like my habits and patterns of healthy living to hopefully rub off onto other people, to inspire them to do the same. People my age are not concerned with eating healthy but it is because they are so wrapped up in eating unhealthy, they actually have no idea what it is doing to them. And most kids are too stubborn to even give healthy food a chance - they think all healthy food is expensive and doesn't taste well. This is not always true and this has to become a more brought up topic of discussion so kids can turn around their bad habits.

I am studying athletic training and nutrition in college and I am definitely going to try to get to that point where I can reach out to a large audience and get them to change their lives around. I strongly believe that one day I will be able to say that I taught people a lot and people came to me for help, and now that they are making progress and healthy change. The way our food system has been looking doesn't look it's best and I am willing to take the time to make sure me and other workers on my team (whatever team that may be in the future) get society to be looking and eating the way they should be. 

Q2 BM Changing Worlds Essay

Analytical Essay:

After every war, or every deployment to war, there are always soldiers who come back with emotional damage being expected to mold back into society’s way of life. Changes such as the one Bartle was expected to go through when returning from war come in multiple phases. Soldiers are expected to come back and almost instantly get their normal lives together while adjusting to an environment that doesn’t have them constantly feeling like they are still deployed at war. As a result, they go through severe phases of depression and a lot of times, things like suicide is a popular option among these guys.

We saw this in chapter 7 when Bartle finally decided to go out with some friends for the first time since coming back from the war and leading up to that part of the book we learned pretty much Bartle’s daily routine after the war. We know that he is going through a depression and it all comes to a climax when he takes this small trip with some friends. He’s out with friends and decides to go out into the river while his friends are all still on shore not really noticing at first. As time goes on he kind of dozed off and ends up falling asleep face down in the water.

His friends then notice and see that their depressed friend Bartle is lying face down in the water and drag him out thinking that he has drowned which he probably did but that is not the point. The point that the writer of “The Yellow Birds” is trying to make that goes almost perfectly with the thesis of this essay is that soldiers coming home from war go through a tough time. It comes in a set of phases, now how many phases, nobody knows, it is different for almost every person coming from war. As stated in the thesis as well, a lot of times, this time of severe depression(PTSD) can and has a lot of times led to suicide.

Works Cited for Analytical Essay:

  1. Anderson, Pauline, and Désirée Lie. "Depression, PTSD Worsen Several Months After Soldiers Return." Medscape. Medscape Medical News, 15 Nov. 2007. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <>.

Narrative Essay:

So sophomore year was by far my worst ever academic year. I wasn’t motivated to do anything my self esteem dropped severely and I felt like an outcast at home. Well as time went on between February 2014 and April 2014, people(my parents) started to take notice(mainly because my advisor noticed and pointed it out at the first narrative conference of the 2013-2014 year.) Anyways my parents realized that the same ways they treated my two younger siblings(my brother and my sister) wasn’t going to do a good job of helping my situation with school at all.

As a result, people like my parents and my brother and sister started to hang around me a little more thinking that spending time would heal all of my emotional wounds. So the school year finished, I barely passed World History and my parents decided not to really punish me for the bad grades but they put limits on all the things I could do like play video games. So summer started rolling through and things were starting to go back to normal until mid July.

It honestly felt and until that point of the day had gone on as any other day, wake up, get dressed, do chores, eat breakfast, play video games, eat lunch,play more video games with friends, but around like 6 or 7 pm, I paused the game just to stretch out and I pulled out my ipod touch and saw that I had a bunch of messages on the kik messenger app. I open it up to see what was happening and I see that one of my friends had sent me a text saying that a mutual friend of ours had run away from home and left a note saying he was going to kill himself.

I stopped everything and started talking to a bunch of friends and everyone is going crazy. I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to go help search for him. I knew my mom wasn’t going to help search and I figured that my dad who had been the Leader of my scout troop the last time that kid had come would also not hesitate to help search and that no matter how much begging I was going to have to do, I was going to help in the search any way that I can. My dad came home from his night shift at work and he must have heard about the situation on his way home because he was scrambling to change out of his police uniform so he could go search. Honestly my mom didn’t really want me to go and at first so did my dad. It took about ten minutes of back and forth arguing before I just stopped listening and changed out of my pajamas into regular clothes.

We searched and searched for hours and couldn’t find him. By the time we got back to the house, we could see the sun rising. We knew that there would be searches going on all week until they found him and though my parents didn’t really agree with me going to all the searches, I went and we didn’t find him. Keep in mind he went missing on a monday or tuesday I believe, and that saturday, my dad had worked during the day and when he got home, again just your normal day for a teen during the summer, we had friends over and I remember my dad pulling me and my little brother and sister aside and telling us that a body had been found in the area where we thought my friend had gone missing and that they were trying to confirm his identity through DNA.

I had the feeling inside when I heard the news that it was him and we had been told that his mom had indeed ID’d him through just seeing him as they wheeled him away.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

By: Jules James


Dark chocolate chips (Milk chocolate chips are fine too but just note that they have less health benefits)

Coconut Oil

1 package of fresh strawberries



Put the chocolate chips in the pot

Put the pot on the stove

Put the stove on medium to melt the chips

Add the coconut oil

Dip the strawberries inside of the chocolate

Place a little bit of oil on the aluminum foil

Place the strawberries on the foil

Place them in the refrigerator to cool down 



Everything in this meal, which is dark chocolate covered strawberries,  is whole food. But the ingredients does contain calories, fat, and sugar. The body preforms a process called lipolysis to break down fats into glycerol and fatty acids. Then the fatty acids are broken down to receive energy, which is called gluconeogenesis. And to break down sugar, the enzymes from the saliva in your mouth  starts off by breaking down the carbohydrates and once the food is swallowed it digests in your stomach. Once your food gets there your stomach will break down carbohydrates into sugar molecules and molecules will pass through the lining of your stomach and gets sucked into your bloodstream. I believe that the dark chocolate is imported from Africa because it holds about half of the cacao species, the strawberries was imported from California, and the coconut oil is imported from Europe, which means the dark chocolate traveled the furtherest by a land-slide. This meal traveled 14532.0699miles to get to me, which is very far to only cost $17 for the whole meal. Even thought this cost way more than a Big Mac meal it's also more healthy and very fulfilling and it also benefits Walmart, Pathmart, Whole Foods, and the farmers. 

Dark chocolate is not only delicious but it's also very good for the body. Because the main ingredient is cocoa beans, which contains antioxidants, this helps fight off heart disease and keeps your organs and cells in tip top shape. Dark chocolate is also know to keep your blood pressure low. These are all benefits that milk chocolate does not provide. But the reason for it's chocolatey goodness is because it also have sugar and fat inside of it. These fats are called oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. Dark chocolate has 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 12 grams of sugar.

Along with the dark chocolate I will also be using coconut oil. Coconut oil is fatty oil from coconuts. This oil is much healthier than vegetable oil but it doesn't provide any evidence based benefits. It's suppose to protect your body form Alzheimer's disease but their is no proof of that yet. Coconut oil have 120 calories, 14 grams of fat, and no sugar.

And lastly, we have the fruit, which is the strawberries. Strawberries are not only delicious by themselves but taste even better dripped in chocolate. But strawberries alone lowers a person's risk of cancer and it also lowers blood pressure. This is because strawberries contain phytonutrient and potassium. Strawberries contain only 20 calories, zero grams of fat, and only 3 grams of sugar. Basically chocolate covered strawberries is very healthy.


Throughout the food section, I've learned that two thirds of America is either obese or overweight. The obesity level in the world today is increasing every year and one if the reasons for this is because we don't buy enough organic foods but more fatty sugary non-organic foods. I've figured out that heart disease is the number one reason of deaths in the U.S. and that's because of the obesity level. But the part of the world that is mostly effected by this is the southeast side. They are seen as the most unhealthiest part of the U.S. And studies have shown that watching too much TV, playing games, and being on the computer is the main way to become obese. We lack of exercise and eating right and this hurts us a lot. And from the TED talk I've also learned that eating school lunch is definitely not the way to go and people today is ignorant about how to show the correct way. 

Something I could change in my food choices is first how much I eat. I know that non-organic foods are not good for you but it's not like you can't eat it, you just can't eat a lot of it. And other thing I could change is what I eat. I need to try to intake more fruits and vegetables than sugar. I could also keep a calorie tracker, eat healthier, and exercise more. But making these changes I would have more energy lose some weight, and become happier. I will try to commit to make these changes.

Food Rule:

food rule
food rule


Aaron Tang 

For 4-5 people. For more people, double the ingredients. 


-1 table spoon of salt 

-2 eggs

-3 cups of rice

  • 2/4 vegetable oil 
  • 2/3 soy sauce 
  •  shredded chicken, beef or pork
  • water
  • 2 cilantro 


1). Pour rice on a rice cooker and make sure it is flat. (If you do not have a rice cooker, then use a pot).

2). Put water in the ricer cooker (fill water about 2 cm above the rice).

3). Wait about 15 minutes until the rice is fully cook (If using pot, stir it frequently). 

4). Cut the  2 cilantros into tiny pieces

5).  Pour vegetable oil to the pan (make sure the oil is evenly spread) and wait for a minute to heat up the oil.

6). Put the meat in the pan (If you're a vegetarian, you can skip step 5 and 6). 

7). Stir for 2 minutes 

8). Put all the rice onto the pan along with the salt 

9). Gradually stir for 5 minutes 

10). Eggs on the pan while stir it around 

11). Pour the soy sauce, add cilantros and stir, so all the rice can be golden brown. 

12). Enjoy your Fried Rice!


I feel like this particular food is a lot healthier than deep fried food because the food contains a lot of proteins and carbs. Since fried rice is an asian culture, people have different styles to make it. You can either add spice or adding any type of meat.  Besides soy sauce, oil and white rice are processed, this type of food has couple natural ingredients. Fried rice is very easy to make, and any one can make this at home. If you are a vegetarian, you can simply still make this dish.  Either way, our body needs salt, oil, carbs and proteins. If you eat this everyday, try to not eat a lot of carbs because eating a lot of carbs. Carbs will actually make you become obese since you are not going to eat other stuff from the food pyramid. To make it healthier, you can try it with brown rice! Brown rice will make the body resist on this.

Fried rice originated from Asia and most countries in Asia have a unique style of making their own fried rice. Generally you will need rice, and eggs to have fried rice.  Rice is the base food from Asia. Rice can be grown all year round as long it has a wetland and people will have to pick the rice. once it is pollinate. Immigrants came to America and started to embrace their culture by making this type of food. 

It is always cheap to cook at home. Generally the ingredients cost about $5 or less and when you go outside to buy it from a restaurant, it will cost about $10. Fast food will always be cheaper and it depends what you get. Since fast food places do have meals that include with a drink, some people would prefer the unhealthy food than fried rice.  Fast food joints tend to be everywhere than healthier food, so people would drive there.  Chinese Restaurants will always have fried rice and if people want Chinese food, just go there and order it or go home to cook the food. 

In Asia, people will like to add anything to their fried rice. There are so many different styles and different families make it differently. Rice can be process differently because at the super market there are many different colors. Rice is have different forms and sizes which makes it harder for buyers to really know what type of rice they can use to make fried rice. It is personal reference what rice you like to eat.  Meat can range from couple companies in the United States. Each company process their meat differently, and it depends what kind of food the animals eat. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.35.14 PM
Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 1.35.14 PM

Q2 Benchmark- Julian Makarechi & (Andre Gallagher)

Julian Makarechi & Andre Gallager 

Instructions on how to make Pasta al Pesto


- pasta (500 g)

- pesto (5oz)

- salt (pinch)

- water (fill pot & 1 table spoon for pasta bowl)

- parmigiano cheese


1. Boil pot of water. Put a pinch of salt in the water. 

2. Once water is boiling, put pasta in the water for about 8-10. You want the pasta to be a little bit had and not extremely mushy. 

3. Once done cooking the pasta, strain the pasta. 

4. In a large serving bowl, put your pesto at the bottom and put 1 table spoon of water to make the sauce creamy.

5. Dump the cooked pasta into serving bowl, mix well and add parmigiono cheese.

6. Ready to serve.


Since most people do not make homemade pasta, the pasta used in this meal is almost all processed. Pasta is made of mostly flour, eggs, wheat, in other a lot of gluten. However, the pesto is 100% whole foods if you get it fresh.  

In one box of Barilla, there is about 8g of fat, 336 carbs, and 0 sugar. The carbs and fat will cause weight gain but also a lot lipids to fight of viruses. Carbohydrates give your body with a lot of energy that we our bodies need. The process of how we digest pasta is quite simple. As soon as the pasta hits the tongue, the saliva immediately starts to breakdown the carbohydrates so it is easier to go through the stomach.  The cell walls and acid then deconstruct the pasta. Eating pasta everyday is not a good idea, it will make you gain way to much weight, and too much gluten isn't good for you. 

The pasta was probably made in Italy, but they probably got some of the ingredients from other countries in Asia. Since Barilla is such a large company, the pasta was manufactured  commercially. 

This is a pretty cheap meal, because pesto costs about 7$, and then box of pasta is 12$. A whole box is about 500 grams, which feeds 4-6 people. So per person it would be out 4$ per person, if there are about 5 people. 

Making pasta at home takes a lot time, effort and precisions. I think that just buying a good brand of pasta is a lot more convenient. Especially since it takes so long for the pasta to go bad, so you buy a lot at a time. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.18.31 AM
Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.18.31 AM

Q2 Benchmark

Dylan Long

Science & Society Q2 Benchmark


(1 serving)

2 Fresh Avocados

1 Lime

1 Package of Cilantro

1 Onion




1 cutting board

1 sharp cutting knife (large)

1 spoon (large)

2 bowls (1 large 1 small)

1 tupperware


  1. Take your avocados and split them open by cutting the outer shell open in a 360 fashion around the entire shell. Once you have completed the cut, twist the avocado open into two halves. Take your knife and whack the center of it onto the pit so your knife is wedged in the pit, turn your knife 90 degrees and remove your knife; the pit will come with it!

  2. Use your spoon to scoop out the avocado from each of the halves and empty it into your large bowl.

  3. Once all your avocado is in your bowl, throw out the shells and pits and mix your avocados to a pasty texture.

  4. Take out your cutting board, large knife, cilantro, onion and lime.

  5. Chop up your cilantro and onion into small diced pieces and dump them into your large bowl.

  6. Cut your lime into eighths and squeeze anywhere from 1-8 pieces of lime into your guacamole at your preference.

  7. Use your spoon to stir your bowl thoroughly so that all of the ingredients mix together with the avocado.

  8. At your own discretion/preference, add a couple sprinkles of salt to your guacamole.

  9. Use your spoon to scoop your guacamole out of the bowl and into your tupperware.

  10. Enjoy your fresh all-natural guacamole with some chips or tacos!


The ingredients that I used in my recipe are simple, all-natural, healthy and can be found in the local grocery market or supermarket. All 100% of this food is whole food and not a single ingredient is processed; only vegetables, herbs and fruits! With my dish, there is no need to worry about any added sugars, fats, preservatives or artificial additives. Unless you have an allergic reaction with one of the ingredients, this is a healthy meal that will yield only good things for your body! In addition to being a great standalone dish, my guacamole is a fantastic way to increase both the flavor and nutrition of many common dinner meals! Going to a party and need to bring something along? My guacamole takes a quick ten minutes to concoct and tastes delicious. It can also be added onto tacos, enchiladas and more.

The ingredients that go into this guacamole (there are few) all come from the local grocery, which likely comes from all over the place. What I do know is that these fresh ingredients are not mass produced with artificial additives and preservatives. My ingredients come from real plantations and farms, and are transported to the local markets while retaining their fresh and authentic essence.

This meal does not cost much at all! With the finer ingredients, this meal falls under the $10 range. In comparison with fast food, guacamole and chips is far more healthy, filling and budget-friendly than fast food. In addition, you can make it in your own home! No need to make any side-tracked pit stops on the way home, guacamole is easy to make it under ten minutes! The thing that I enjoy the most which is another comparison that can be made between guac and fast food is that buying fast food supports massively corrupt corporations, and buying the ingredients for guacamole supports small, local businesses!

There are very few (if any at all) social ramifications of my guacamole. The economy prospers from the buying and selling of the ingredients, the one(s) consuming the guacamole are obviously extremely satisfied, and the ingredients are all natural! The avocados and cilantro come from the farmers market around my home, specifically in the 9th Street Market. Natural ingredients are sold there in the masses by Spanish families. The ingredients presumably come from all over the world! Avocados grow on trees, cilantro grows on farms, et cetera! Once all of these ingredients are combined, you are in for an absolute treat.

I learned a lot about nutrition this quarter! I learned about the various body parts and how many different ingredients and nutrients affect our body. I learned that sugar and fat are the leading cause for obesity, and that a LOT of America is obese. Even more of America is destined to become obese in the near future too! I learned that exercise is only half of staying in shape, you must have a healthy balanced diet on a consistent basis. The biggest problem for nutrition in America is the fact that we make consistently poor decisions about our nutrition and we feed ourselves pure garbage. I am very eager to continue making positive changes towards a better and healthier diet and lifestyle as time goes on.

food slide

Quarter 2 Benchmark

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe: 
  • 3 zucchinis sliced long
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of ground turkey or beef (optional)
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 12oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 16oz various shredded cheeses
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg



  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sauté onions until golden over medium heat. 
  3. Then brown ground beef or turkey in the sautéed onions. 
  4. Then add the sauce and tomatoes and let that simmer. 
  5. Mix the ricotta, the beaten egg, nutmeg, 4oz mozzarella and parmesan cheese together.
  6. Grab dish for lasagna.
  7. Place the sauce at the bottom for first layer
  8. Begin layering the zucchini layer (salting slices to draw out moisture if wanted), then ricotta mixture layer, sauce again, then the shredded cheese. 
  9. Repeat this process until you have completed 3-4 full layers. 
  10. Place basil on top.
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for half an hour then let rest for 15 minuets and serve!




Although a lot of this meal has pre-packaged ingredients can easily be considered processed you can find organic non GMO versions of these ingredients. All of the packaged ingredients besides the meat are either vegetable based or dairy. You can also find organic meat that wasn’t injected with growth hormones. I’d say depending on your availability the meal could be partially processed or not at all.

This meal would not kill you if you attempted to eat it everyday. For many of the products including the cheeses and the tomato sauce the one problem that is seen is high sodium. But there are many other pros that come along with them such as low sugar, vitamins and no cholesterol. If you were to eat this meal everyday I would’t include the ground turkey or beef in it all the time because that is high in cholesterol which can lead to stroke and diabetes. Although cheese is a great source of protein if you are going to take the vegetarian route for this dish. The one thing that makes this dish healthy is by substituting the lasagna noodles for zucchini strips instead. It cuts down the carbs by a plentiful amount. 

I think pretty much every ingredient was made in the United States. I think if you were to find organic zucchini that would have to come from somewhere that’s able to sustain it’s growth. I would be using Barilla pasta sauce in my dish. They advertise that it is imported from Italy. This means that there is an extensive process that goes into keeping it fresh and getting it here in a reasonable time. 

I think this meal is especially economically friendly because many of the ingredients can be stored again to be used for another time and making lasagna comes with a lot of servings where you’ll have leftovers that you freeze or refrigerate for a later date. Compared to fast food it’s definitely a better choice, the preparation is quick and easy and it will go a longer way than fast food ever could. 

If you were to chop tomatoes instead of buying them in a can surely that’s the way to go if you have the time to spare but a lot of families don’t which is why they’re already buying fast food they feel as if they already don’t have time or money on their hands. Depending on whether the tomatoes were organic or not they would be grown either in a field or industrially. While at home you have your Oprah Winfrey styled garden and the vegetables are as fresh as can be because they still don’t need to be packaged and shipped. 

Personal Reflection

I've learned a lot about this unit that isn't just knowledge to harbor in my brain but is knowledge that can be applied to my everyday life. I liked it a lot because of this reason. My perception of what I think about food has changed dramatically from doing this unit especially when we relate it to certain diseases that can arise from eating poorly. 

I think a lot of people are familiar with the typical diseases that come along with having an unhealthy diet like obesity and diabetes but suffering from strokes is never something that I even considered to be dietary related. I think the negative effects with eating poorly is something people so easily overlook. They say that they’ll change their habits constantly but the promise is never followed all the way through. I think my role in the larger food system would start with me promoting a healthy lifestyle and also following through with it. The fact that the way American’s eat has a specific name for it that has such a negative connotation is a huge wake up call for me. So I’m going to continue to try and eat as healthy as a I can and encourage others to do so as well. 

I think some of the biggest problems with our food system is that they’re only priority is money and efficiency. They more stuff they shuffle out in a shorter amount of time means more money. This is all about the the means of production. The big businesses that control how most of the packaged food in America is produced are using such little expenses but making a huge profit from it. This is one of the problems with the systems; actual lives are not being accounted for. 

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with my food choices but I could definitely benefit from eating less candy. If I made these changes I’d be sad but healthier I guess. 

Screen shot 2015-01-15 at 12.46.02 PM
Screen shot 2015-01-15 at 12.46.02 PM

My Truong- Summer Rolls

Ingredients: 6 summer  rolls

  • 4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles

  • 12 rices paper

  • medium fresh shrimp -  1 pound

  • Chicken breast - 1 pound

  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves (or Italian basil leaves)


  • Boil the water in the pan then place rice vermicelli noodles inside while the head still for 5 min or until the water reboil

  • Boil the chicken breast then cut them until small pieces

  • Boil the shrimp then peel off the skin.

  • Wash the basil leaves then cut them to small pieces

  • Cucumber cutting straight

Fill up large bowl with warm water

Tap the warm paper on the rice paper and spread it around then wait for about 10 second for the rice paper to soak in ( this help the rice paper soft and easy to roll later)

  • Place 2 piece of shrimps + 2 pieces of chickens in a straight row

  • Place basil leaves on top of the meet

  • Add  rice vermicelli noodles on top of basil leaves add cucumber

  • Carefully lift edge of summer roll skin nearest you up and over filling. Fold sides over filling and continue to roll away from you until edges are sealed.

  • Continue building the rest of the rolls. You should make around 12 rolls depend on how much ingredients that are being put inside the rolls


  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

If you like peanut you can add 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter if you like. I’m not putting it in because some people might be allergic to peanut.

  • Whisk together sauce ingredients in a bowl until smooth


Food analyze 

Summer rolls are made out of fresh ingredients, since most of the ingredients are being boil. The only food being processed are the hoisin sauce. The rest of the ingredients are whole food. Hoisin sauce are made out of lot of different ingredients such as sweet potato, wheat or rice, water, sugar, soybeans, sesame seeds, white distilled vinegar, salt, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes preservatives or coloring agents. These ingredients are being process. But other than the sauces the rest of the ingredients are made out of whole foods. Summer rolls are very healthy, it is not greasy nor very butter. It cover a lot of nutrient that we need daily, and it also fill you up. One summer rolls are around 117 calories. However it only contain .9g sugar from sugar, and .5g total fat. Most of the calories come from the noodles. So it also depend on how much noodle you put into each rolls. Summer rolls contain a great amount of Vitamins A and iron. However eating too much of summer rolls are not good for your health. You can get high blood pressure if eating too much shrimp. Normal servicing summer rolls should be around 3 to 4 rolls.

Most of the ingredient in summer rolls can be produce in the US farmer. However the only ingredient that might need to travel is the sauces, but summer rolls can eat with different sauces that are made in the US. There is no restrict to one sauces for summer rolls. Most summer rolls are being serve with this type of sauces because it was easy to found. I spend around 20$ for 25 summer rolls. Compare to fast food, home made meal are alway chipper. But with summer rolls it cost about 1.35$ per rolls. Spending around 5.40$ for a full serving of 4 rolls with only about 468 calories. That contain less than 5g of sugar and fat. Summer rolls are way more nutrition. During the summer time most of the vegetable use in summer rolls can be growth at home which make it cheaper to make summer rolls.


I really enjoy this food unit. I learn to read what I should eat, thing that I think is healthy in up being very unhealthy. I also learn that America depend a lot on process food. That had so many chemical that affect their health in a long term. I was so lucky to growth up in family, where they make not only good but healthy food. My mom cook everyday and the food she cook are not come from process food. It actually whole food that she make to a meal. Instead of putting it in a microwave and call it a meal. I also an big fan of vegetable. When my mom doesn't make vegetable I usually make it myself. Most of the time I pan fried whatever I had in the refrigerator. Sugar are also a big issue in America. Since I live in Vietnam for a long time before I moved over here, it was hard for me to adapt to eating American food. I don't like butter, however I love sweet, I realize that it is so easy to access with food that are load sugar and/or butter. Which is also the reason why diabetes and obesity become a major issue in America. When it come to eating I’m really picky. I like Asian taste and I refuse to try other food. If I could change my food choices I would like to try more other foods then the one I normally eat , try to eat less sugar, become the habit to read the ingredients.
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.29.24 AM
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.29.24 AM

Q2: Self and Changing World

Analytical Essay:

Since the first world war many books have been published about the experiences people have had when they were deployed, my class has recently just finished reading one these books. The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers follows the story of private John Bartle and his platoon as they enter in a bloody campaign to control the Northern city of Al Tafar. Like the narrator in The Yellow Birds  Kevin Powers was a soldier in Iraq for two years serving in Mosul and Tal Afar, his very own deployment had changed his whole world. A changing world could result in one’s self to change as well, whether the change is good or bad. An environment can either nurture, or drive it’s inhabitants to madness.

Kevin Powers in the past has described the problems he had when trying to describe those types of experiences that not a lot of people share, which includes the madness, and the extreme violence of war. For example in “The Yellow Birds” the main character John Bartle describes his time during war, “They lay in the dust, broken and shattered and bent, their white shifts gone dark with blood”. When I read this quote I was moved by the main character’s poetic analyzation of the dead bodies around him, almost as if the environment he grew up in didn’t even exist anymore.

To be deployed into war means to adapt to a new environment, but war isn’t always easy to adapt to. War can make soldiers or victims forget their past and their essential learnings that has made them into the human beings that they may be today, nonetheless nothing can prepare American soldiers for the toll war has. In “The Yellow Birds” the main character John Bartle gives his own input on what war does to people, for example “ We hardly noticed a change in September. But I know that everything that will ever matter in my life began then”. This quote relates to the essential question of self and changing world because it gives a reader a time sequence about what was going on at that moment, then goes right into his life and how war has changed all of that.

A changing world could result in one’s self to change as well, whether the change is good or bad. An environment can either nurture, or drive it’s inhabitants to madness. The environments that we call home have many meanings, and we have our own memories about our home. But adapting to a new environment isn’t always the easiest, it could either have a positive outcome or a negative outcome. This sort of change for many people isn’t the easiest and can introduce itself as an obstacle course that can mentally challenge one’s self. The essential question of “ What is the relationship between the self and the changing world” is a powerful message that I believe Kevin Powers has shown numerous times. During the reading of “The Yellow Birds” me and my group members were introduced to a very important character, Murph. Reading about his story and to read about his horrific death was shocking, me and my group members had come to the conclusion that in order to survive in the changing world, one must adapt to become it’s inhabitant. Although people may react in ways that they believe will help them cope , the outcome could be life changing for others.

Works Cited for Analytical Essay:

1).  MailOnline, Stephanie Cross for. "THE YELLOW BIRDS." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

2). Tobar, Hector. "Kevin Powers' Haunting Iraq War Novel." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Narrative Essay:

For many generations many people have lost family members in wars that America has participated in, or lost them through their mental suffering. This is a sensitive topic that is rather difficult for people to discuss around others, although it is currently taking place in this very moment many families of soldier urge people in higher positions to provide help and service for the men and women returning from deployment. I currently have two family members that are deployed in two different countries, and one family member who recently returned to the United States from deployment. At times it is very hard for me talk about it because they helped raise me as a child when I first came to the United States many years ago, so to know that this is their job and what they have to do can be very worrying at times. Many people don’t usually realize how connected they are to each other, whether it’s through blood or through marriage. People who have family members that are deployed or have been deployed to other countries are connected in more ways than one.

Both my uncles and my cousin have been deployed to other countries, my uncle Mario is in the army and he is currently deployed in Columbia and my other uncle Alejandro recently came back from South Korea. As a child I always looked up to them and admired them, and I still do today. When I founded out that they were both going to be deployed to different countries around the same time I was really confused and at times upset, because I was around 11 or 12 I didn’t really know much about the world and the wars that were going on. Knowing that there was a possibility that I would never see them again was a feeling that I know I will never forget, at the time I felt like I was the only person going through a situation like this and at times I pushed people away who wanted to help me. It wasn’t until I enter the 6th grade when I had met people who were going through the same situation that I was going through.

As I child I always kept to myself and never really let people know how I was feeling about my family, I always thought no one would know what to do If I even let them have some information about my situation. When I enter the 6th grade I was very shy and wasn’t really interested in making friends, on the first week my teacher Ms.Palumbo gave the class our first assignment of the year. The assignment was to write a personal narrative on who our role models were, and of course I chose to write about my uncles. On the day we were scheduled to read our narratives to the class I laid my head down until it was time for me to present. One of the students in my class was called up to read his narrative, he started off explaining who his role model was and why. I couldn’t believe what I had heard, his name was Durrell and he also had a family member that was in the air force too. My head was suddenly lifted by the joy of his words. After everyone including myself had finished reading their personal narratives Durrell came to me after class and told me that he understood where I was coming from and felt what I was feeling. It was the first time I felt like I could relate with someone else and know that they understand what it feels like to be in my situation.

Many people don’t usually realize how connected they are to each other, whether it’s through blood or through marriage. People who have family members that are deployed or have been deployed to other countries are connected in more ways than one. When I met Durrell it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I didn’t have the responsibility to deal with my own problems. Knowing that there are other people that go through the same situations as me makes me feel positive about the future and hopeful that my family members and the other men and women serving will come home safe and sound.

Q2: Self and Changing World

Analytical Essay:

We face hardships everyday. We face positive things everyday. The actions, the things we say, the gestures we make, can impact what happens next in our lives. When we are put into a new position, such as a new school, a new job, a loss of a home, loss of a loved one, etc. It's visible to see how much is put on a person mentally. It’s like we’re in a whole new “universe”, dealing with things that seem so foreign to us. Ones mentality begins to change when put into certain environments and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are in a new position, which in fact can better them or destroy them.

When drafted into the war, O’brien was not used to that type of scenery at all. he wasn’t used to the big tanks, the long cold nights, the people with the crazy attitudes. He wasn’t used to having to worrying what will happen next, who will die next. Things such as that was out of the “norm” for him.

The war also put each individual into a position they did not expect:to care for others. Now, often many people may say “what’s wrong caring for others?” Yes, that may be very thoughtful, however, to care for someone during a war, to put them before others.  They shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.” The war was more than just a battle to kill the enemy. It was the battle to stay alive. Most people would just make sure themselves as a person were just okay. “everyman for himself”. However, in the Things They Carried, they made sure they put their friends were safe first, even if that meant sacrificing themselves to do so. The men who thought they were just going to be with themselves, not interact with people, turned out to befriend each other. They saw that they not only had the responsibility to follow the general’s orders, but they made each other a priority, and a responsibility.  Also throughout the whole journey of they were all they had to each other.

Another example of a changed perspective that was given, was the thought of death. O’brien did not expect to meet death so subtly. “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.”

O’brien and his peers went through a lot during the war. They loved, they lost, and they all dealt with it in different ways. However, it is clear to the reader that none of the soldiers were ready for it. They didn’t see Kiowa’s death coming, nor any of the other tragic deaths that followed.  An individual’s mentality begins to change when they are put into certain situations, and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are not used to the new position they are now in.


Narrative Essay:

As a child I was born with a genetic trait that caused a bone in my foot to grow in the opposite direction, which lead to complications early on in life and worsened throughout my years. At the age of 12 months I began to take my first steps and started my journey of walking. My mom noticed that once I began  walking I would fall more often than most kids. Fast forward to 4th grade when I first started playing for a soccer team in my neighborhood. After and during practices and games I would feel this abnormal discomfort in my right foot.          Running for a long amount of time would cause my right foot to “lag” or stumble into the other foot. As years went by the problem only increased.

I myself did not fully realize my foot and the troubles it came with till high school. So my parents took me to see a podiatrist freshmen year. He explained a lot of my unanswered questions and told me the problem would gradually worsen. They gave me many options like wearing special funny looking shoes, or getting customized inserts, and the last option I was told about was a surgery procedure that would realign my bone and fix the arch in my foot. At first I was terrified by the sound of surgery... Someone cutting open your foot and breaking bones to realign them was not something I wanted. So they gave me customized inserts to try for a year or two.

Junior year! One of the most stressful years of a teenagers life. Also the year I decided I wanted to get the surgery for my foot out of the way. December 18th the surgery took place and along with that surgery came many personal complications. The whole experience not only fixed my foot but fixed my perspective on everything. I stayed in the hospital for four days and some of the nurses were not particularly kind. I remember pressing a button for help to get out of bed in the middle of the night and a nurse came in but didn’t seem quite thrilled about me calling for assistance and had a poor attitude. After she left and closed the door I laid there and thought, “Wow.. how could someone treat someone like that. What did I deserve to be belittled just because I could not move on my own.” This little experience lead to many more and with each “event” I began to realize more and more about how people act toward people. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean everyone is gonna treat you with care.  

Analytical Essay:

We face hardships everyday. We face positive things everyday. The actions, the things we say, the gestures we make, can impact what happens next in our lives. When we are put into a new position, such as a new school, a new job, a loss of a home, loss of a loved one, etc. It's visible to see how much is put on a person mentally. It’s like we’re in a whole new “universe”, dealing with things that seem so foreign to us. Ones mentality begins to change when put into certain environments and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are in a new position, which in fact can better them or destroy them.

When drafted into the war, O’brien was not used to that type of scenery at all. he wasn’t used to the big tanks, the long cold nights, the people with the crazy attitudes. He wasn’t used to having to worrying what will happen next, who will die next. Things such as that was out of the “norm” for him.

The war also put each individual into a position they did not expect:to care for others. Now, often many people may say “what’s wrong caring for others?” Yes, that may be very thoughtful, however, to care for someone during a war, to put them before others.  They shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.” The war was more than just a battle to kill the enemy. It was the battle to stay alive. Most people would just make sure themselves as a person were just okay. “everyman for himself”. However, in the Things They Carried, they made sure they put their friends were safe first, even if that meant sacrificing themselves to do so. The men who thought they were just going to be with themselves, not interact with people, turned out to befriend each other. They saw that they not only had the responsibility to follow the general’s orders, but they made each other a priority, and a responsibility.  Also throughout the whole journey of they were all they had to each other.

Another example of a changed perspective that was given, was the thought of death. O’brien did not expect to meet death so subtly. “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.”

O’brien and his peers went through a lot during the war. They loved, they lost, and they all dealt with it in different ways. However, it is clear to the reader that none of the soldiers were ready for it. They didn’t see Kiowa’s death coming, nor any of the other tragic deaths that followed.  An individual’s mentality begins to change when they are put into certain situations, and have to be faced with certain responsibilities because they are not used to the new position they are now in.

Narrative Essay:

As a child I was born with a genetic trait that caused a bone in my foot to grow in the opposite direction, which lead to complications early on in life and worsened throughout my years. At the age of 12 months I began to take my first steps and started my journey of walking. My mom noticed that once I began  walking I would fall more often than most kids. Fast forward to 4th grade when I first started playing for a soccer team in my neighborhood. After and during practices and games I would feel this abnormal discomfort in my right foot.          Running for a long amount of time would cause my right foot to “lag” or stumble into the other foot. As years went by the problem only increased.

I myself did not fully realize my foot and the troubles it came with till high school. So my parents took me to see a podiatrist freshmen year. He explained a lot of my unanswered questions and told me the problem would gradually worsen. They gave me many options like wearing special funny looking shoes, or getting customized inserts, and the last option I was told about was a surgery procedure that would realign my bone and fix the arch in my foot. At first I was terrified by the sound of surgery... Someone cutting open your foot and breaking bones to realign them was not something I wanted. So they gave me customized inserts to try for a year or two.

Junior year! One of the most stressful years of a teenagers life. Also the year I decided I wanted to get the surgery for my foot out of the way. December 18th the surgery took place and along with that surgery came many personal complications. The whole experience not only fixed my foot but fixed my perspective on everything. I stayed in the hospital for four days and some of the nurses were not particularly kind. I remember pressing a button for help to get out of bed in the middle of the night and a nurse came in but didn’t seem quite thrilled about me calling for assistance and had a poor attitude. After she left and closed the door I laid there and thought, “Wow.. how could someone treat someone like that. What did I deserve to be belittled just because I could not move on my own.” This little experience lead to many more and with each “event” I began to realize more and more about how people act toward people. Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean everyone is gonna treat you with care.  

Surgery has taught me so much about life and how different life is when you’re restricted from 

doing so much. You can not always depend on people to always be there for you. Sometimes you 

need to push through it and get things done on your own. Also with time things will become easier and 

you begin to adapt to certain situations.


Hello, my name is Dejah Smith. I would like to give a 5 star book rating to Modelland By Tyra Banks. This book is great for young teens of any kind.

The book Modelland takes place in a city, and it  follows a teen girl Tookie, who is not the “Prettiest” one. She is known as the “Weird Looking” girl. As a matter of fact she wasn’t even noticed. And being noticed was a big deal in the city she lives in. Modelland is a book fiction book with lots of plots. I believe the books main technique catches many people eyes. It gives hope to young girls who think they are not pretty enough to have certain dreams or be like certain people in the fashion industry. The main thing Tyra Banks wants to make out is Weird is also beauty. Which is the main idea of this book.

¨Have you ever seen her? The girl whose face not even the meanest person you know would describe as yuck but who you’d in a million-no trillion years describe as alluring either. The girls whose eyes are 3 centimeters too far apart and whose mouth is four centimeters too wide. Not that you’d break out a ruler, but when you look at her, it’s enough to say there is definitely something wrong.“  Pg.1

The quote above describes how people will never think that a person who has weird futures will be looked at as pretty, or beautiful. The quote starts off by explaining how it is rare for someone to consider this girl attractive. Then, it goes into her looks. None of them are bad, or ugly. They are WEIRD. Her looks catches peoples attention. This quote is also telling you that Tookie is the main character, indicating  that her looks will soon get her somewhere in life.

“Have you ever seen Tookie De la Cremé?

I bet you have.

Maybe you’ve even met her.

You just don’t remember her.

No one ever does.

For as unusual-looking as she was, Tookie was a Forgotta-Girl, one of the most forgottable girls in the entire world.

But maybe not for long.”

This quotes is an perfect example of how a “weird girl” looks makes her forgettable. But, that may soon all change. After years of being walked passed and unnoticed, Tookie De La Cremé may soon have her chance to show the world what she haves.

Now, this is used in the books main idea because these two quotes come from the first chapter of the book. It gives the reader a clear, detailed understanding of Tookies looks and how she is never acknowledged in school, but something is going to happen that will have everyone knowing her name.

I am not the only one felt Tyra Banks motive was really good. Tookie lives in a world where life revolves around fashion, and people idolize the most fashionable women of all: the Intoxibellas. Tookie has always dreamed of going to Modelland, a school for these famed characters, but because of her "ugly" face and physique, she feels there's no hope for her. Her family pushes to get Tookie's sister, Myrracle, discovered for Modelland.”

This quote is basically telling reader that this books is going to weird and interesting. The made up words with a fairytale is always enjoyment. And it is going to show that there is no such thing as ugly.

think the structure is important because it gives it a spin. What everyone think is going to happen does not actually happen. Also, all of the made up words and magic gives the readers a reason to continue to read on. It also gives young adults pride.

The Outsiders

The book I read was The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. This book is mostly about a boy name Ponyboy gets attacked by a group of Socs, The socs are a group that  the greasers are beefing with and after he decides to come and walk home alone from the movies, they attack him. The author communicates Ponyboy’s outsider status through the mood, tone and wording choice. This technique has a lot of effect overall. It makes the reader feel like they’re in the book as the character. It makes the reader feel that they know that the greasers and the socs don’t like each other. This makes the reader think about many different things like why don’t they like each other, did someone get killed because they didn’t like each other, and many more other questions. The reader influence their understanding by careful looking and understanding the mood, tone and word choice.

His rescuers are his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. The next night, they all go out and go watch a movie with Dally. Darry slaps Ponyboy, which he has never done and then Ponyboy flees. He sees Johnny which is a kid they found in the lot who was beaten up by the socs, then the both of them decide to go to the park. The Socs come to the park and start to attack both of them then they drowned Ponyboy . When he wakes up he is laying next to Johnny and Bob, one of the Socs, who is dead. Johnny had to kill him because he was going to drown Ponyboy and then beat him up after that. They look for Dally so they can get help. He gives them a gun and some money then sends them to an abandoned church. Dally, Ponyboy, and Johnny are on their way back home when they see the church they were in was on fire, so they jump into action. They get the kids out but then they wake up in a ambulance. The greasers beat the Socs in a rumble. They found out that Johnny is dying. Ponyboy wakes up in his bed at home.

There are a lot of techniques but there is only one great one. The technique is the quote sandwich is first introduce the idea that the quote will support. Then, your quote and after explain your quote support your idea. This technique is the best to get a quote and explain and its very simple to use.

In chapter 1, ¨WHEN I STEPPED OUT into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.¨ He is leaving the movie house alone and he knows he not suppose to. Page 3-4, chapter 1, “Greasers can't walk alone too much or they'll get jumped, or someone will come by and scream "Greaser!" at them, which doesn't make you feel too hot, if you know what I mean.” He knows the dangers of walking home alone rather than go to the movies with one of his brothers. He could get jumped anytime because he is a greaser and because they don’t like each other. Page 5, chapter 1, “I knew it wasn't any use though the fast walking, I mean even before the Corvair pulled up beside me and five Socs got out.” He knows now that he should of brought someone.. He already knows what is about to go down. Page 5, chapter 1 “I was sweating something fierce, although I was cold. I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back. I get like that when I'm real scared.” The author is trying to makes us feel like we are in the story and or the character. By the tone and the word choice by the author, we can feel it.

Page 5, chapter 1 “I finally thought of something to say. "No." I was backing up, away from that knife. Of course I backed right into one of them. They had me down in a second.” Ponyboy is a smart boys but doesn’t use his head. But he stood up for his self and said something back. Us as the readers could feel this intense moment between Ponyboy and the socs. Page 6, chapter 1 “ I lay there and wondered what in the world was happening people were jumping over me and running by me and I was too dazed to figure it out. Then someone had me under the armpits and was hauling me to my feet. It was Darry.” He doesn’t listen to his brother but he is the only one who comes and sees him laying down. The author is trying to show with his wording to explain what happen and who came basically.

There was any different things said about the book from a reviewer and or a fan. Some people said good things and some people said bad things. A reviewer said, “They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.” The readers will agree with the reviewer because its the truth. For example I have something to back this up from the book, page 4, chapter 1, “We're poorer than the Socs and the middle class. I reckon we're wilder, too. Not like the Socs, who jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks, and get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. Greasers are almost like hoods; we steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while.” The greaser grew up poor. They had to do things they didn’t want to do to stay alive. The robbed, stolen, do wild things, have gang fights. Another example is on page 3, chapter 1, “. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.” This shows that Ponyboy is an outsider by the way he looks.

This structures of the Outsider is very important. It is important because the books starts off very great and then the book doesn’t take sometime to tell the story, it just goes right into it. I think this was a perfect way to start off the book. It makes the reader want to continue to read the book unstop. The structure of all the fighting scenes, when he leaves the movie house, decides to walk home alone makes the book how it is. The scenes makes you feel like they are really outsiders. For example, on page 5, chapter 1 “I was sweating something fierce, although I was cold. I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back. I get like that when I'm real scared.” The author is trying to makes us feel like we are in the story and or the character and like we know what is about to happen. The author communicates Ponyboy’s outsider status through the mood, tone and wording choice as the readers could see.

Q2 Benchmark: The Warmth Of Other Suns

Perspective can be used in many ways in storytelling. An excellent example of perspective being used to show diversity is in The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This book’s use of three diverse perspectives leads to a more accurate conveyance of the massive scale of the Great Migration. The technique used in the book is to switch perspectives to create the feeling of urgency or size. Three protagonists are followed in this tale, exploring the diversity of an event lasting for several decades.

In the first quote I have selected, the narrator reflects on George Swanson Starling’s views on the Civil Rights Act and how it affected him as a middle aged black man, rather than the more commonly portrayed hopeful young man or woman excited for their heavily revised future.

“The revolution had come too late for him. He was in his mid forties when the Civil Rights Act was signed and close to fifty when its effects were truly felt.
He did not begrudge the younger generation their opportunities. He only wished that more of them, his own children, in particular, recognized their good fortune, the price that had been paid for it, and made the most of it. He was proud to have lived to see the change take place.
He wasn't judging anyone and accepted the fact that history had come too late for him to make much use of all the things that were now opening up. But he couldn't understand why some of the young people couldn't see it. Maybe you had to live through the worst of times to recognize the best of times when they came to you. Maybe that was just the way it was with people.” 

Clearly, Starling was coming to grips with the fact that it was too late for the Civil Rights Act to help him, but he was still had a kind of excitement for the future like the typical young protagonist of a Civil Rights era story. The size of this landmark event was not lost on him, and you can feel a real sense of pride in the tone of this quote in particular.

Wilkerson uses the two male perspectives in the book as tools to represent the diversity of even two people who would be classified as the same “type of person” officially. These two men took completely different approaches regarding their new lives in the North, as seen in this quote from the New York Times’ David Oshinsky:

“Both Starling and Foster represent the contradictions of the Great Migration. Starling took a porter’s job on the same Silver Meteor that once brought him north. The life he led in Harlem was richer than anything he could have imagined. But he also knew that the migrants now riding his train would reap the blessings of a civil rights movement that were unavailable to him: history had come too late for the once promising student from the citrus groves. Foster, for his part, matured into one of Los Angeles’s finest surgeons. But his rejection of his Southern roots was so exaggerated, Wilkerson says, as to leave him adrift, nursing ancient wounds, unable to relish the blessings of his life.”

Foster and Starling took two vastly different approaches, leading to two vastly different lives. Foster felt the need to dispose his old live almost entirely, even changing his name once he moves out West. When Starling became a porter on the Silver Meteor, perhaps it was not out of necessity, but out of duty. Later on in the book, he raises money for others in need, contributing the most he can. In doing these two things, he shows a spirit of charity unlike Foster or Gladney.

Ida Mae Gladney, the sole female representative in the book, is a case study of what we imagine an immigrant from the South to be. However, just because her story is typical, does not mean it is not interesting. Mr. Oshinsky reflects on her as well:

“The first of Wilkerson’s three main characters, and plainly her favorite, is Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife from Mississippi. Married at 16, the mother of three, Ida Mae lived to serve her husband, George, whose dire prospects reflected the feudal Southern agriculture that had replaced slavery after the Civil War.”

One of the more poignant parts of Gladney’s portion of the story is when she is with her childhood friend many years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and she sees a cotton plant on someone’s private property, They decide to pick the cotton of their own accord. After trying so hard to avoid picking cotton, she decides to pick someone else’s cotton now that she is free to do what she wants.

Without this frequent change in perspective, the reader would not be able to grasp the size or diversity of the Great Migration. The three unique stories also add a personal aspect to what would normally be an intimidating event to understand.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns. New York: Random House, 2010. Print.

Oshinsky, David. Book Review - The Warmth of Other Suns. New York: The New York Times, 2010. Web.

The Absolutely True Diary of Part Time Indian; Tone and Mood

Any reader may take a first look at the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, and come a automatic conclusion that it was meant for little kids. The book has an interesting cover to it that can simply throw you off from wanting to read it. It brings a little kid vide to the book, and as you read you can see that the author wanted you to understand the seriousness of it all, but still grasp upon the humor. It was a way of keeping the book interesting, fresh, makes it unique. The book was able to give off a tone that would keep the reader interested, and make sure that it would be able to stand out.

Within the first page of the book the protagonist, named Arnold or Jr, tells us about his birth. We know that he’s a Indian boy living in a society of people that are also Indians. Where they live isn’t the best community, but it was the only place that they could go to because the “whites” didn’t want to live with them. They were thought of as monsters, lesser of a person, and for that they were placed distant from them. Now back to Arnold, we learn that he had excess cerebrospinal fluid and that was stuck all inside his skull. The doctors had to take it out so that he could live a normal life, but the way that he decides to tells us was unconventional. He says “And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast. But weirdo me, I was born with too much grease inside my skull, and it got all thick and muddy and disgusting.” He didn't want to be all technical, boring the reader so he made it seem less of a problem. First he calls it “brain grease,” and that changes the whole mood that you feel about the situation. Saying “brain grease” makes it funny which takes away a lot of the seriousness making it a humorous comment. Also, he says “But weirdo me” like he had a choice to be born the way that he did. The way that the author words what happened is an example of the tone of the story, and that helps to change the mood of the reader. He was making you feel happy and not so much worried about Arnold.

We skip ahead a few pages and we come across another example of a change of tone. On page 26 we have Arnold telling us that is about to start high school. You start to get more information about how his education has been before that. He’s a smart kid, but the school he’s at now within his Indian community just isn’t right for him. He needs to get out of that and go to the school with the white kids because that’s where he could be more of himself. So with him starting high school, he follows that with telling us that he’s like every other boy that likes curves, but he just doesn't go crazy about them like the others. He’s the other boys but doesn't show it much, but what we do get to know is that he masturbates a whole lot. He says “Yup that’s right I masturbate, I admit that I masturbate….If there were a Professional Masturbators League, I’d get drafted number one and make millions of dollars.” That’s something that you could possible expect but you’re just not ready to hear it. It throws you off a bit, but you still are able to get a few laughs about that statement. He says “drafted number one” meaning he does it often and that’s a nasty thought to has in your head. It’s just funny for most readers when they hear that. An unexpected turn of event that just throws the reader off but stills gives them a nice little laugh while reading. It makes sure that you stay invested in the story. Just a good thing to do.

Last but not least we have on page 62 more insight about how Arnold’s life was like growing up. We know that his dad gets drunk a lot when he should be buying stuff for the family, we know that his sister just moved about after meeting some guy at the casino, Arnold’s mom is trying to keep things together with the house, and that his life wasn’t really private within the community. They share within there, and anything that happens like a funeral or wedding, everybody is expected to attend. Also, you find out that you’re fighting a lot. There are many rules about it, but to sum it up you’re basically always fighting every time you run into someone. For Arnold that’s not so swell because he can’t fight. He says, “My all time record was five wins and one hundred and twelve loses. Yes, I was a terrible fighter. I was a human punching bag. I lost fights to boys, girls, and kids half my age.” Maybe he’s emphasizing, but maybe he’s telling the truth. Who really knows, but what you do know is that that’s a crazy number difference. Winning 5, and losing 112 is ridiculous. He shouldn't be fighting but he can’t help it. It’s was the way that Arnold was brought up.

As you go back and think about all those cases, there are clear other options to give that information to the reader, but this author decided to be differently. He didn't want to bore you with the easy way of telling you. He wanted the reader to be focused on the book 24/7 and making those little jokes in between with the serious made it a whole lot better of a book. The author knew that you can’t always be the same. You had to mix it up a bit. Be something different. Be the change that you want to see and so he made it his reality. This book portrays a tone that makes the reader laugh. Makes the reader want to read more. Makes the reader want the book to never so that he or she can vast in its glory.

The Self and the Changing World

Analytical Essay:

Of the billions of people on the planet, all of them have different experiences. Eventually, unfortunate things happen to them. Something as simple as a new, inconvenient class schedule at school, or something as serious as the death of a loved one. When these things happen, some sort of lifestyle change occurs. Maybe, as a result of the schedule change, a student has to wake up earlier. Or maybe, as a result of a spouse’s death, a man has to live without a wife. People can change, but change isn’t easy. All people have and need a coping mechanism in order to survive their changing world.

In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Jimmy Cross is a platoon leader in charge of O’Brien and a group of American soldiers in Vietnam during the war. Cross is still infatuated with a his teenage crush, Martha, from years ago. This quote on page 1 shows his obsession: “he [Cross] would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending. He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there.” Cross is still attached to Martha not just because he can’t help it, but because it’s his way of coping with being a soldier in Vietnam. Each day, their troop wakes up at dawn, walks practically the whole day, then sleeps for a few hours. Day in and day out. It’s understandable that Cross needs to remember Martha to remember what home was like and to remember that if all goes well, he can get back to her.

On page 239, O’Brien explains the importance of storytelling during wartime to the reader: “We kept the dead alive with stories. When Ted Lavender was shot in the head, the men talked about how they'd never seen him so mellow, how tranquil he was, how it wasn't the bullet but the tranquilizers that blew his mind. He wasn't dead, just laid-back.” By telling each other stores, O’Brien and his comrades can, for a little while, escape the war, socialize, and have fun. A good story engages the listener and takes him or her into a different world. Without them, it would be much harder for the soldiers to deal with the gruelling daily routine. Storytelling is another coping mechanism that O’Brien and company utilize to survive the ever-changing war.

On page 33, O’Brien describes the character of Ted Lavender, a fellow soldier: “Like when Ted Lavender went too heavy on the tranquilizers. ‘How's the war today?’ somebody would say, and Ted Lavender would give a soft, spacey smile and say, ‘Mellow, man. We got ourselves a nice mellow war today.’” The tranquilizers make him sleepy and happy but still able to walk, so they’re the perfect mechanism to make the world a little more tolerable. Soldiers in Vietnam, particularly O’Brien’s crew, had to walk miles and miles every day. Without a coping mechanism like tranquilizers, they wouldn’t be able to deal with the drudging routine of war.

Here’s a quote from O’Brien in an interview published in the New York Times: “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is. In Vietnam men were constantly telling one another stories about the war. Our unit lost a lot of guys around My Lai, but the stories they told stay around after them. I would be mad not to tell the stories I know.” Again, the soldiers tell stories to other soldiers so that they can briefly escape the war they’re in. “The harder the situation, the more essential it is,” implies that O’Brien has been in plenty of difficult situations and probably has experience where storytelling was necessary at varying degrees to tolerate and get through the situation. His account confirms that having a coping mechanism, such as storytelling, is necessary to survive a changing world.

Tranquilizers, stories, and even dreaming, are all coping mechanisms. When people go through tough times, such mechanisms are essential to carrying on with their lives. Coping is simply a part of human survival. Change arrives in some form, and something has to be done to adjust to that change. That’s what coping is, and it’s how change happens in a person.

Works Cited for Analytical Essay:

  • Bruckner, D.J. "A Storyteller For the War That Won't End." New York Times Online. The New York Times. April 3, 1990. Web. October 20, 2009.

  • O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.

Narrative Essay:

One morning, two and a half years ago, my dad gave me an ultimatum. He told me that I had to take up some sort of physical activity. The options he recommended were sports and crossfit. I wasn’t a fan of the competitiveness of most sports and I had never heard of crossfit, so I asked him about crossfit. He explained that it was a fitness regimen for all ages designed to increase cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, speed and strength. I thought that sounded interesting, so I acquiesced.

At the time, I was really skinny for my age and height: 78 pounds. For some reason that I still don’t really understand, I wasn’t hungry often. Even when I was, I usually found whatever I was doing more interesting than food. Though I was told by parents that my weight was unhealthy, I had a bad tendency to ignore them. It didn’t seem unhealthy to me - I was never in pain, and except for occasional pangs of hunger, there weren’t any repercussions.

I started crossfit at the Sweat gym on Main Street, just a few blocks away from my house. I went two days a week to get personal training from Jim, who has been awesome throughout the whole session. I was an awkward kid and I remember saying very little for the first session we had because it was new and scary to me.

Over the next few weeks, I learned a lot of techniques and forms. Deadlifts, presses, front and back squats, cleans, jerks, snatches, and so on, became like second nature to me. Still today they’re embedded in my muscle memory. Knowing form sped up the training process - now I was really doing crossfit. Jim started assigning me actual crossfit workouts. They included a strength and a WOD (“workout of the day”) portion. The strength portion was dedicated to getting PRs (personal records) and the WOD portion was dedicated to completing an amount of exercises as fast as possible or completing as many exercises as possible in a given time.

After a month or so, I was gaining weight. Slowly, but surely - as a kid, I was always growing, but it was happening faster now. My dad had to tell me before I noticed, but when I did, that got me excited. I noticed that I was enjoying crossfit more than I used to. Two months after I started, I went to see the doctor for a checkup. I was now above the eighth percentile in body weight. This is about the time when my trainer opened up his own gym on Ridge Avenue, which is where I worked out from then on.

That’s my favorite part about crossfit, or any sort of exercise regimen. The more you do it, the more accustomed you are to doing it, and the better you get at it, and it’s uphill from there.

Soon, summer ended, and I went back to school - my first year at SLA. Things got complicated pretty quickly. When school ended, I had to take the train to the gym, which made my schedule hectic, given that I get out of school at very different times each weekday. I would walk up the hill on Ridge to the gym, then get driven home by parents. Fortunately, I settled into the not-so-routine routine well enough, and eventually, I went to the gym three times a week.

I did this for about a year and a half. I was gaining weight and increasing in body weight percentile, and the doctor told me during a checkup that my resting heart rate was lower than average (which is a good thing). When 2014 came, Jim bought a new gym. It was this huge, spacious building with a high ceiling just a few blocks away from the previous, and much smaller, location. It was also closer to the train station I got off at, so it was perfect. I went a solid three days a week for months.

Unfortunately, in the recent months in junior year, school caught up with me. I’m still doing crossfit, just at a slower pace - two days a week instead of three. But, crossfit has been immensely helpful in my weight gain process. Two and a half years ago, I was 78 pounds and around the eighth percentile for my weight. Now I’m 128 pounds and nearing the 40th percentile. Crossfit has been the perfect mechanism for me to change myself.

Lone Survivor Of The Mood And Tone

 In “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson. The main specialty is the mood and tone which make this book stand out.   The “Lone Survivor” book makes a reader get into so many emotions like being on a rollercoaster with every possible mood. The tone of the “Lone Survivor” makes the reader feel that you're ready to flip to the next page, yet you want read over the page you just read one more time; just to double check you didn’t miss anything. This all causes a reader to love a book. The lone survivor makes the reader go through so many emotions in just seconds; one second the reader is cheering, the next second the reader is crying. These emotions get to the reader by going through the mood and tone.  The mood and tone of the “Lone Survivor” is all shown in a way that most books are not; the “Lone Survivor” tells the story by telling quotes of what has been said or done already like a memoir. The “Lone Survivor” is about a survival story that has already been experienced by it’s author; he is just telling you his experience in the best way possible.  

“Lone Survivor” is about a group of 4 navy seals on a mission to kill a captain torrist. Along the way they find more trouble than thought. I am focusing on the tone and mood and how it effects on the reader.  Marcus is the main character and author; he tell us about the mission in a first person sense making so many points of the mood and tone more dramatic. The author's tone is the author's attitude towards what he is saying; making the reader’s mood get set up. The mood of the reader is not only the part of the emotion the reader’s feel; but it is the atmosphere and the vibe that the reader feels.  

The mood and tone of this book makes it so different compared to other books. The reader may be waiting for a sad scene and when it comes it turns out to be something to smile about.  “ Even his goddamned teeth were black. You look like shit man! Fix yourself up! Mikey laughs. I notice that he had been shot on the way down blood pouring out of his stomach. “ This quote shows how the book sets the mood in a way that makes the reader want to read more to see what will happen next. The tone at this point of the book makes the reader see Marcus’s attitude while it is a quote of what he said a while in battle. This makes someone eager to find out what will happen next, will they survive together, or will one bleed to death?  

“Danny, Danny, for Christ’s sake, get that fucking thing working.. Marcus no option now, buddy kill em all.“ This quote makes you run faster to see what will happen next. Over and over this happens in the book making the reader fall in love with the book; because it is making the reader to flip to the next page. The tone shows how they are caught in some type of trouble but are still laughing about it.  “BIG GLOOM (remember, this a series of events)  As if it weren’t bad enough, now it gets worse.  They are surrounded again, shot at, Danny is captured and killed.  They are all wrecked and none of their phones work.” This a quote from Pat Verducci a regular book blogger. Pat V. also shows how he believes that Marcus Luttrell once again is laughing in a serious moment. Marcus gives the reader a sense that makes most readers feel like, it’s ok as long as we are laughing and cracking our jokes everything will be fine. The reader loves that because you know there is a problem but you don’t have to worry about but you still want know how it will be resolved and when; making the reader jump over to the page.

“The story told by Marcus is written in a very conversational tone. It’s almost like you’re sitting in a bar with him as he recounts what happened to him and his buddies. I didn’t even realize that he had a co-author until I read the acknowledgments. That’s how well his voice is carried throughout the book. He’ll tell a story about how an insurgent beat him and then end it by calling the insurgent “a little prick.” He uses some other colorful adjectives to describe them as well.” This is a review by everything nonfiction which is an online book blogger. Which also shows the Marcus tells us his story in such a way to get the reader so interested like the reader is talking to their best friend. The more an author writes in a conversational tone the more the story gets real to the reader. Just like “there is a lot of self deprecating humor.”

Marcus makes the reader run with him throughout the book. He gives us such a tone that makes us want to know more, which also creates our mood. “Tumbling over, feet in the air, sometimes digging the toes of my boots in, fighting for a foothold, any hold would be fine. I rockted straight past that lower pool and kept going, I can’t even imagine how fast I was going, but I could see it was hell of a long way to the bottom, and I could not stop.” Our mood at the moment that we create in our minds by reading what the author gives us; makes us look at the tone and our setting the most. The tone given to the reader in this quote is Marcus is in danger making the reader come to the edge of our seats and making the reader’s eyes go faster and faster over the page. Marcus shows his every effort in the book of him doing his best to survive making the reader more concerned mood.  “You’d have needed a chain saw to pry me off that cliff face. All I knew was, if I fell, I’d probably plummet several hundred feet to my death. Which was good for the concentration.”

Marcus’s tone is like a friendly conversation with your friend. Making his book to come and reach out to the readers. Giving off the mood of being happy, excited, sad, and wanting to know more and more. With Marcus's chatty tone and attitude the mood of the reader will only to think whatever Marcus tells the reader making the reader turn to the next page to the end of the book and love the book in the end.  The “Lone Survivor” is a great way of reading and going through a reading experience. Marcus uses such a great tone and mood that so hard to find but that just makes the reading experience even better for the reader.


Corsetti, Emilio. "Review of "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell." Everything Nonfiction. 15 Nov. 2007. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <>.

Verducci, Pat. "Pat Verducci: Screenwriting and Beyond." : LONE SURVIVOR Three Act Structure Breakdown. Blogger, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2015. <  >

Tone of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

                   The Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams book The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy is written from third person point of view from the view of a narrator this is usually done often in a science fiction book this makes the book itself much funnier is a way that can only be described as humorous. I think that the author did this with the story to make it seem like he wanted to make a type of connection with the reader through hummer.

The narrator starts the sentence of the story describing the house of the main character and how it was nothing much to look at and even of it was gone it would not matter to anyone even if one day it had gone just poof. He talks about the only reason that the main character likes this awkward looking home is because he lives in it. He starts of the story trying to be funny and make this humor show in the beginning trying get people to feel it as well and it was clear and noticeable. It had a nice and calming tone and that is the way that he keeps it throughout a part of me in my head is picturing all these voices in my head that he could have and the way that he is saying the story part of me keeps having this thought of him being a character. When you read it you feel as if he is a character in this adventure that they are having and he is just telling them everything that has happened and how they got there to the situation they are in. I feel a that is happening with the narrator because the way that I get the tone off of him is comedic and funny but also as like he is a character.

The tone that is shown that the Narrator uses  use is something I have not seen before while reading and that is why it is interesting to me because  when read I read feels like in a way we are having conversation for example “What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with”the way that he is describing it is like he is telling me its like he is trying to talk to me the reader as if we are swapping stories and discussing characters and what was happening. I think without this the story would be missing a part of its tone that made it comedic and enjoyable.

The narrator uses this comedic tone on a very nice way is the best way to describe it because the comedy he uses is essential for this stories to work because you must have the it you must have the guide the narrator in the story to tell us the story in a way we did not was able to be said and with him added the tone is uplifting funny and very strange in a good way. The narrator brings out the best of the characters and the adventures they get themselves into and that is very good because who doesn't like hearing a voice tell you all these crazy adventures and side stories and how get out them it a great way that the author does it he makes this narrator seem like he is a character and that influences the tone and the characters and how they feel act and what they feel in a way.

I think that this story's tone works as it does due to the fact that narrator switches back from the narrator the book to the narrator of the story his way of doing this leads to this great comedic tone being made and  “The Guide Says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” I used this quote because it shows that one side he is the book and he says it in a ways that is amusing to the mind and that makes the characters seem more amusing as well because they end up taking that drink and that changes how they feel in the story because of the drink and you have an idea of what they feel do to the description the narrator gave and that makes you think wow. I know I thought that because was intense and funny and made me feel like he was giving me advice about the drink I thought to myself afterwards.

I will know be showing some reviews from people that had read the book and this is to show their enjoyment and to see what they thought of the book.” I loved the whole series. It is preposterous, ridiculous, British and just so...unreal. If you want to just not have to think too seriously about anything and just want to escape for awhile...take a chance on this and find yourself somewhere else. I'm only 25 and the first time I read it was ten years ago but it's a quick laugh worth a quick read.” As you can tell she loved this series as much as I did because was a funny crazy unreal book that had good laughs and unreal circumstances its a great book with great theme and tone and if you get chance to read you should.

Book MLA Format

Adams, Douglas. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GAlAXY.New York: Harmony Books, A Division of Crown Publishers, 1980 Print

Persons Review

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)." Barnes & Noble. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

Private ways of style

Sometimes In writing, authors have a way of capturing the reader’s mind and emotions through deep description of each and every moment occurring in the book. They can be descriptive of the setting, where the main character is or where s/he is going, they can be descriptive of the actions/events, what is happening to the character or what will and they can also be descriptive of the kind of person the main character is. In Private the author, Kate Brian, use much description of her character’s surrounding. Her main character, Reed Brennan has been through a series of events through transferring into high school, amidst from struggles of her family. To give readers a clear perfect understanding of what they’re reading the author must write much description of every moment in the book, which will grasps all the book’s feels as along with the reader’s.

From the start, Reed begins to say of her hometown and she discuss in detail the surroundings of herself. She says it in a way that shows feelings in sorrowly boredom way, as if she wanted to be elsewhere wishing that she had better. “Where I come from is gray. The bland, square strip malls. The water in the lake at the center of town. Even the sunlight has a murky quality. We barely get spring and we never get autumn. The leaves fall off the sickly trees early each September before they even have a chance to change, tumbling down on the shingled roofs of the standard- houses, each one exactly the same as the last.” Of this quote, the author uses much detail of describing her hometown. It gave the reader a clear understanding of how her town is. For it said, “Where I come from is gray,” had given the reader a sense that where she lived was moppy and dull. Then she wrote, “Even the sunlight has a murky quality. We barely get spring and we never get autumn,” which is out of the ordinary cause its supposed to happen, so that made the reader feel that since its nature is not normal, then it may be boring because what’s supposed to happen, isn’t happening.

Onward as the reader reads, the author includes more detail of the moment Reed rides to her new glorious high school. “As my dad drove our dented Subaru through the sunny streets Easton, Connecticut, it was all I could do to keep from pressing my nose to the dog-slobbered window. The shops here had colorful cloth awnings and windows that gleamed. The streetlamps were the old-fashioned kind that were electric now, but had once been lit by a guy on a horse toting a pole and flame. Potted plants hung from these lamps, bursting with red bright flowers, still dripping from a recent dousing with a garden. Even the sidewalks were pretty: neat and lined with brick, topped by towering oak trees.” Of this quote, the author is describing just the pathway to Reed’s beloved high school. She has memorized the campus’s map and read everything about the high school itself, so she’s clearly obsessed with it. Then on her way to it she couldn’t help to daze out of her original state and admire the beauty in her surroundings. When in thought of the beauty, “the shops here had colorful cloth awnings”, which gives the reader a sense that she’s comparing her hometown to high school’s city by saying “here” and there it has color, whereas back home there was none. Also by the author describing all things being “pretty” and “neat”, which gives the reader a clear understanding that the pathway is where the rich walketh upon.  

When Reed step foot on the campus she gleamed of joy and awe of the amazement around her but she then also felt as if she were the girl that hadn’t belonged. The girls around her had far more than what she ever could have, such as designer brand luggage, purses, clothing and appearances that were snobby. She then went to the her advisor for her room and schedule. "Her basement office was dark, the walls made of stone and lined by shelves full of dusty leather-bound books. It was lit only by two windows set high in the wall." This quote helps the reader visualize where Reed is going and how the scene is set up gives a better understanding what’s going on because it provides a picture how it would of looked in actual real life. “Her basement office was dark” already starts off with giving the reader a sense that she’s into an office that's going to be where much information of the environment will be mentioned. When she meets her advisor she breaks down the rules and expectations in a “good luck, you’ll need it” tone. “Full of dusty leather-bound books”, shows also that already her advisor has been well adapted to the high school and knows all the do’s and dont’s in a critical form of way.

A story that can truly relate to connecting of how the author can use description the capture the book’s emotion/feelings in from the Russian Sleep Experiment. Of that story it tells of Russian researchers who conducted a study where five prison inmates were placed in a sealed airtight chamber with an experimental gas that tested the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation, for 30 days. “On the ninth day the screaming began. First one subject, then another, was observed running around the chamber, screaming at the top of his lungs for hours on end. Just as disconcerting was the reaction of the other subjects, who began ripping apart the books they'd been given to read, smearing the pages with feces, and plastering them over the mirrored windows so their actions could no longer be observed.” The author  of this story uses visual descriptions of things happened and how the reactions of the character is which establishes the kind of atmosphere or environment for the reader. This affects the reader by the description being in sequence and helping the them visualize each moment occurring, so they feel as if they were the Russian scientists testing the experiment. It also gives them the feels of them being anxious for what’s going to happen next, of the tester’s actions.

Back unto Private, another last example of how the author uses visual details is though Reed’s thoughts has also been said in the sense of smell, to give the reader a not just an emotion of the atmosphere but an experiencal moment of familiar recollection. “Dozen of girls crowded on around the couches and chairs, chatting and laughing. The place was packed and the decibel level was staggering. A thick concoction of perfumes and scented hair products and scented lotions choked the air”. The phrase “dozen of girls crowded on around the couches and chairs, chatting and laughing”, puts the reader in thought that Reed is considered to be alone, without friends watching them the other girls have joy of friendly pleasures. Which also gives the reader an assumption that Reed is antisocial unless spoken to, for she doesn't fit in with the other girls. The author uses the word “staggering”, to clarify that Reed is in astonish of the thick scent of lotions and perfumes were wearing, which puts her down, giving the reader moment of where she is different, unlike the others. For if she were like the others then she’d be used to the scent, but she isn’t.

Wherefore this structure has such an importance to the book because it establishes a knowledge within the reader, which can develop feelings for the main character through the knowing of what's happening as if it were themself in the occurring moments.

The Format Matters

Random Acts of Senseless Violence By Jack Womack is written in first person perspective and in a diary format. This technique gives the story a deeper meaning into it.  Since it is written in first person it's easier to follow and understand the story. The story is also written in diary format making the story more personal . Which makes the reader want to finish reading it. This leads into the reader feeling more connected to the main character because since it is in first person the reader can connect to it in a deeper level. Reason being the reader might of had the same experience as the main character making them feel more attached to them. All of this affects the book overall because it changes the perspective of how the reader should interpret the book. The format of writing in a diary is typically used to to describe how someone feels about their day. A famous example for this type of writing is the book of Anne frank where she talks about the Natzi and stuff. That book did a great job getting the readers attention and setting the mood of the story. Even though most of the readers never experience what she did the author was able to use the emotion fear to connect the reader the the main character. By this I mean that since not everyone experiences the same thing, the author tries to connect the reader to the story by using an emotion everyone has experienced before like fear. I say fear because everyone when they were younger had fear towards something either it being the dark or monsters.

on page 85 The main character name is Lola. Lola is at her friends katherine house. They are talking about how their school day went and stuff. Then they start looking at magazines about clothing. After that they start  talking about what's the worst thing that have ever done in their life. Later on Lola wrote in her diary “We kissed longer and it was nice but that was all. She smiled. How was that? I asked.” This quote connects to the thesis because it engages the reader's emotion. The author uses emotion as a way from him to connect the reader to the book. By using emotion the author makes it easier for the reader to feel more attach to the book. Imagine the author just describe something that you never done before you wouldn't really be able to connect to it. Thats why the author uses emotion when describing something so that the reader has something to connect to. Therefor making the reader want to continue reading to see what will happen next. Also the perspective on how the author wrote it makes it more engaging since is written in first person the reader can connect and focus on the main character instead catching feeling for multiple characters. If it was written in third perspective it would be harder for the reader to make feel linked to the story. Another thing is the format is written in is written in diary form it makes easier for the reader to see what the character is trying to express.

In the book, Random Act of senseless Violence The main character is walking with her group of friends. Lola is walking with Izzy , Jude , and Weezy. They are just coming from the subway going back home. Thats when Weezy starts arguing with Jude about why Lola is in the group. Later on that evening Lola writes in her diary “ Before I knew what was happening she kicked up her foot and knocked the knife out of weez hand. It fell on the sidewalk and the blade broke.” The way the author decided to write this was interesting. The author wrote this quote almost as if it was meant to be a cliffhanger. Giving the reader a different perspective on the book how it slowly changing form a nice cheesy diary to a harcorde vilence experience diary. Thats whats unique about writing in diary format because you don't have to stick to a theme. Since you're writing what you are experiencing in your life which changes each day making the book more interesting. Also they gives the reader options on how they should interpret the book unlike other books that just stick to one theme. ANother thing that the author did is  a good job describing what the main character was seeing. Or if the author said “she saw betty kick up her foot” theres nothing really you can connect to the main character because you can't really put yourself in the main character shoes. When written in first perspective you can put yourself in the main character shoes because it uses “I” so you can imagine actually see yourself as the main character.

In the interview with Jack Womack, the interviewer asked when he started writing the story. Then the question of why he decided to write the story the way he did came up. Jack Womack replied with “I wrote it like it was a diary. Every day would just be a new day. I’d advance the plot like that.” So Jack Womack or should I say the author of the book Random Acts of senseless violence. He decided to write in a diary format so he could have different plots each day. Which made the book more interesting overall because different things occurred also there were different conflicts and solutions.  He also states that every day was a new day making the story easier to follow because everyday theres a new problem the main character faces that she has to overcome. Using this technique makes the reading want to finish the book because with everyday theres something different that happens.  The structure for this book is really key to why a reader would want to read it. Imagine if the author was to tell the story using a different structure it would change how the reader interprets it. If it was written in another perspective it would of made the reader experience worse because they would be confused on what character.They need to focus on and what emotions they should  be feeling. Since is written in first person and also written in a diary format it gives the reader a way to connect to it on realistic level instead of connecting to it just knowing is a fictional story. When its written in diary format the author can connect the reader to it knowing that people in real world write in their diaries every day making it easier  for the reader to connect to the story. Its not just making the character connecting to the story or feeling attach to it. The plot of this story is what really This gives the reader the impression that the book structure ties in really well with the story itself making it unique from other book structure.

The Coldest Winter Ever

When people think of a good story they usually think of interesting characters, a unique plot, and a great setting. But what people fail to realize is that in order to have all of those things you need to be a great writer with a lot of different techniques to enhance the passage. In “The Coldest Winter Ever” the author Sister Souljah used her artistic abilities to give vivid details and descriptions to allow her readers to experience the book with the characters. A author’s skillful use of similes and metaphors helps paint a vivid picture of whatever scene she is writing about and helps the reader picture and connect to whatever she is writing about. It also makes the story more enjoyable. The author’s writing style strongly affects and influences the finished work.

In the book “The Coldest Winter Ever” Winter Santiaga, the main character, is describing Midnight, her crush, while he is playing basketball. Winter say’s ”But what really got me was that black skin. It was smooth and perfect. It laid on top of his bone structure like tight Saran Wrap.” This works because we all know what Saran Wrap looks like when it’s over top of something. It is generally smooth and shiny. This helps us to picture how nice Midnight’s skin and how his bone structure is really defined. Also the use of words like “perfect” and “smooth”  help the reader to feel the same attraction Winter feels as she tell us about her crush. Had she just said she has really nice skin and she likes it the story wouldn’t be the same. But because she put the emphasis on this particular aspect it helps the readers to share the same emotions as her.

In this part of “The Coldest Winter Ever”, Winter is helping the reader get familiar with the setting and introducing the readers to the characters. She begins by telling the readers about growing up in Brooklyn with her family in the projects. Winter then continues on to say,“Chemical warfare is the only way to describe what happens when cheap perfume, body splash, body spray, underarm deodorant, curl activator, hair spray, and pissy Pampers collide.” Sense of smell and memories are closely linked together. One scent can trigger a memory or emotion. Because of this I feel as though it was very smart for sister souljah, or any writer for that matter, to mention all of these different scents. The pampers remind me of annoying crying babies. The curl activator and hair spray and perfume remind the reader of black hair salons. With all of these scents with my own personal memory attached to them I can easily picture what it’s like standing in the hallway that was mentioned.

In this part of the book Winter had assumed that Sister Souljah and Midnight were dating  and Winter grew jealous because she wanted him. Winter finds the letter’s that Sister Souljah and Midnight have been sending to one another and finds out that they were not dating. Midnight only went to her to get his life together. In the letter Sister Souljah is describing why he should change his ways and give up selling drugs. Sister souljah says, “Drugs rob every person, man, woman, and child of their beauty. Drugs turn people into animals who can only respond to instincts. Drugs are so powerful they eradicate the God in both the taker and the giver.”Sister Souljah could have easily just said drugs are bad for everyone. Had she said that it would have erased all of the emotion that is linked to what she originally said. By her using words like rob shows how unexpectedly, forceful, and harmful drugs are to users and their families. By her using such harsh words it helps the reader to feel the same disgust and sadness she was trying to portray. is a website where people can read and write book reviews and create reading list. On the website a user by the name of Kay Prime left a review on the website expressing how much she enjoyed the book and how great of a writer the author is. Kay prime said,The voice that Souljah gave Winter is still there. She is well- written, raw and real.” This shows how the character is relatable. The only reason that she feels this way is because when you can picture everything that is going on. When the author uses very brilliant descriptive details it helps the reader to connect to what’s going on. This is especially true when the author makes references to things that you can understand which adds to the “raw” and “real” feelings you get while reading.

Writing is so much more than putting words on a page. Writing is about using your skill set to get creative and write stories with different techniques like similes metaphors, symbolism, and different story structures. A book without descriptive details would be very dull. The writing wouldn’t be as impactful. This also adds emotions and helps guide the tone and the mood of the story.

Works Cited

Souljah. The Coldest Winter Ever: A Novel. New York: Pocket, 1999. Print.

"A Review of The Coldest Winter Ever." Goodreads. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <>.