Sunday, February 28, 2010
This past week we had 3 soccer games for JCHS in the 2010 Inaugeration Cup for all the new schools hosted by Lambert. We won our first two games, 1-0 and 10-1 but in our Saturday night game against Lambert we lost in overtime 2-1. It was a well fought game though and we played pretty well. I have been battling some sort of sickness the past couple days and havent really fully recovered from that so for the game I was forced to load up on some meds. Fortunately my massive dosage of acetometaphin was effective enough to keep my throat feeling good for a solid 90 minutes. That was our first real test against a good team and we held our own pretty well so I think we should have a successful season and were already 3-1 which isnt bad for a first year school in AAA. I got checked out of school early on Thursday and went in late on Friday because I was feeling horrible but this weekend has allowed me to rest up and I'm not feeling as bad as I did. On Saturday I was roaming around my house and saw this workout thing that neither me nor my dad ever use but it actually is a nice piece of equipment so I decided to test my luck and put it up on craigslist. Sure enough someone called me today and wanted to come pick it up for a hefty two hundred bucks; now that is a solid deal. I love liquidating my stuff. Recently I've been selling a lot of my old stuff on there and you can make absolute bank. I sold my old phone, some really nice headphones, and an old iPod. It's always nice to have some extra cash in my pocket considering I am always broke, and with Spring Break coming up I need to start collecting some funds for the trip.
On Friday night I went to see the new movie Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio and it was a great film. The movie starts out with two US Marshals that go to Shutter Island, a sort of Alcatraz for the mentally incapable, searching for a missing woman. A storm leaves the men trapped on the freaky island and tons of weird, bad things start happening to them. Eventually the plot is completely twisted at the end and it is nothing like the audience suspected to happen. Whoever wrote that movie had to have the most creative mindset because it truly is a creative plot line. Overall though, I really enjoyed it and I encourage anyone to go see it. I'd love to know what Mr. Glenn thought about it because I can see him either really liking it or thinking that it was horrible. We only have like a month until Spring Break now and I am so pumped; I have the official countdown in my agenda. And after that, we only have like 6 weeks until summer and then senior year and then college; man does life fly by.
This past week was one of endless reading with our continuation of reading both As I Lay Dying and The Great Gatsby. We were assigned an unusual assignment this past week in which we were split into groups of three of four and all we had to do was be a sort of voyeur to the other group members while they talked about what they had previously written in their journals. Of course in the least creepy way possible, I sat in my group with three girls and listened to their stories and eventually told my own. Then, we were instructed to sit down and make a table in which we listed the personality, gestures, clothing, and many other descriptions of each group member. By this time, I was sure Mr. Glenn was going to have us do some ridiculous assignment comparing a group member to a character in one of the novels that we're reading. But that was it. The bell rang and the class was thankfully over. We continued this assignment in the computer lab the following day when we had to choose a group member's journal to perform a close reading on. I personally chose Julia Wayne's just because I think she is interesting when it comes to writing. She is oddly intellectual if you will and her journals had the most rhetoric at first glance. With all our class practice with doing close reading I think I'm actually getting pretty decent at it. It helps to recgonize all the little details in the piece that is being analyzed.
This week I did a current event on an article from MSNBC that was talking about how Obama was going to reform education laws for states and only those who abided would continue to recieve federal funding. I find it interesting that Obama randomly seems to talk about something like this when there are so many other things in our country that I believe need his focus. Along with this article there was another recently that talked about how Obama was trying to introduce high speed trains in our country's infrastructure in attempt to go "green", provide jobs, and advance our country's transit system. At first glance I think that would be a great idea and it would be cool to be able to travel interstate via high speed train. The article mentioned that most trains would average around 150 mph but some would exceed speeds of 200 miles per hour at times. They say the first trains to be built would be from Los Angelos to San Franscisco and Orlando to Tampa Bay and Miami. The problem with this plan/idea about building a new train system would be our reliance on other high-speed train developed countries like Japan for help, resources, and plans. It also would be a billion dollar project; money that could easily be used to bail out America's everyday people from our so called depression. If this did happen though, imagine like 15 years from now when people would rely on train travel to get to work and what not.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Entry number two is going to mindless typing. Yesterday, I woke up around 10:30. I know it’s pretty late, but I have an excuse. It’s because I was at a debate tournament on Friday and Saturday. I think I got about an hour of sleep on Thursday night because I was preparing for the debates this weekend. I think it paid off a bit at the end, but still. Maybe not sleeping that much wasn’t that good of an idea. Being tired slows down my thinking process. Whatever. Anyways, I woke up around 10:30. My mom woke me up by yelling at me. That’s normal. She told me that I had to wake up quickly because she made breakfast for me, and she had to go to church. I didn’t really understand what that had to do with me waking up quickly, but I woke up anyway. It’s usually not a good idea to argue with my mom in the mornings because she likes to rant in the morning and evenings. I just try to not talk to her during those times. Actually, I try not to talk with her at all, but I really try my hardest when it’s the morning and the evening. I had a crazy dream the night before. It is sort of hard to remember now, but I think that I was in a huge tower. We knew that there was going to be an earthquake or some sort of destruction to the tower, so we tried racing down to the bottom. Unfortunately, the stairs were clogged with people. That’s why we had to take a super secret tunnel out of the tower. When we came out, we saw that some sort of giant had slashed the tower in half. It was a good thing that we came out of the tower. I should keep a dream diary because I remember that they dream was pretty crazy, but the tower part is the only part that I actually remember. My dog just barked at me. Well, he didn’t know that it was me. I just accidently knocked over a chair, and since I’m on the second floor and he is on the first floor, he got jumpy about it and barked in the direction of the sound. My dog is pretty jumpy in general. Sometimes, I just come home and the second floor is dark, but my dog growls towards the second floor. It sort of creeps me out. Let’s see, what else is there to think about. I remember that we had to do something like this for one of the assignments. We had to just type whatever came to our minds. That was a pretty fun assignment. Oh, I just noticed my deck of cards. It has the Korean Air logo on the back. I remember that I practiced cutting the deck in half with one hand, just to find out that there was a kid that could also do it. No one likes that kid, so I decided not to show everyone that I could do the trick as well. Yay, that’s more than 500 words.
These human rights activists are sure annoying. They keep talking on and on about how we should protect human rights across the globe. Obviously, we should. However, protecting these human rights is not the same as complaining about the military and going against its efforts to help the world become a better place.
The recent events with the NATO airstrike are what sparked this rant. NATO attacked a group of mini-buses that were suspected to be an insurgent convoy that was planning on attacking Afghan forces. Unfortunately, the people were not terrorists, but civilians. Thirty three were first said to be killed, but now they claim that twenty seven were. Either way, a handful of innocent people were killed.
This was a tragic incident. The NATO commander apologized about the number of innocent people who were killed and promised to redouble efforts to gain back their trust. Yet, human rights activists still complain loudly. They don’t know what they are talking about. They just want to have something to complain about, and they want to make themselves feel better about themselves, so they choose to go with the popular route and attack the western efforts to help secure the world. They don’t understand that it is very difficult to take care of the situation. Of course, there would be some civilians killed. After all, these are dealings with terrorists. They also don’t realize what would happen if the US and NATO forces retreated. Do they not realize who would be able to come out of hiding? Insurgents would, and it would be a nightmare situation in the Middle East. Human rights would be stomped on without a second thought from these guys. Middle Eastern instability could spiral out of control and would most likely lead to war. Would they be able to keep their human rights during war times? Nope, not at all.
The people that annoy me the most are those that criticize the US’s motives relentlessly. It is very understandable to criticize the US and its motives from time to time. After all, freedom of speech is one of the best things about this nation. Yet, they need to know when it is time to stop. Some people criticize the US’s presence in the Middle East claiming that the US is trying to control these populations. The US is Otherizing these brown people. They are trying to control their lives by enforcing the state upon them and forcing them to become like us. If they don’t become like us, then we will kill them.
This argument is pretty flawed. First, if the US was truly Otherizing and creating cycles of violence, I don’t think that they would just attack buses filled with civilians. Second, I think that the US is trying to keep the peace. We might have different ideas on the details of peace, but unless we do something, there wouldn’t be any peace at all. Just sitting there, criticizing the US day in and day out will not get us anywhere. We need to take action.
In the novel As I lay Dying, William Faulkner tells the story through many different characters points of view. The story is confusing and hard to read because of this because the reader is always switching his mind to in the place of that new character. Also, I am a little bit confused on the whole outlook of the story and why they are building a coffin for there mom Addie, when she has not even died yet. The husband Anse, is a selfish husband because as soon as Addie dies, he says that he can finally purchase a brand new pair of fake teeth because Addie’s death gives him an excuse to go in town for a couple of days. Nevertheless, going from reading each novel on separate nights can be very confusing at sometimes. The novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a lot more enjoyable to read than the novel by William Faulkner. I do not like books that are based on farms in the early nineteen hundreds because they always end up as very boring books to read and someone always dies in the end.
AP Statistics is a little bit easier in my opinion considering that it is one of the easier AP classes, however that does not mean that it is an easy class overall. Honors Pre-Calculus is the hardest class on my schedule just because I have trouble with solving trigonometric equations and proving identities. That is the hardest thing that I have been asked to do in math so far. I also get my ACT scores back on Monday and I hope that I see some positive results. I thought I did well on the test, so I am eager to get back my scores. It is a lot different test than the SAT. The ACT you have to answer every question no matter what, or you get points off against you. In the SAT, the only way that you get points off against you is if you answer a question wrongly, then you get a quarter point off your final score. If you do not answer a question, it does not count against you, however you also do not receive any points. It is basically the same thing in the long run, however I like the SAT format a lot better. It is starting to become the end of February and the weather outside is getting warmer and warmer. I am sick and tired of the cold weather that has been reoccurring over these past four long winter months including February. We even had a snow day with a lot of snow. We have also had many different ice days in which the roads have been iced over.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
First is obviously the economic recovery act. This act is instigated in response to the shocking job ratings that were exposed on December (which is almost 10% unemployment). Now this act covers a lot of grounds. Some of the policies in this package include the job reform, the bank reform, budget freeze, etc. Obama has been trying to make it clear that this recovery act is on top of his agenda. Now obviously that is a political move to get support from the public seeing that the public obviously wants some policy that would help the economy.
Second is education. Obama also announced that he wants to reform the ESEA (which stands for elementary and secondary education act). This reform has been done in the past but is largely neglected in the years. Obama calls for this reform mainly to reform the funding for schools and the payment for teachers. This could also be a pretty political move to get the public’s support.
Third is START. This is a treaty with Russia that is suppose to reinvigorate our relations while at the same time disarm our nations so the world would be a better place. Though these foreign policy matter lie heavily on the president, they still need congressional consent before any action could be taken.
Fourth is Afghanistan. Obama wants another troop surge in Afghanistan as of January (now I am beginning to question if we will actually get any troops out at 2011). Anyway, this is another war-related bill that needs congressional approval. It seems to me that Obama is doing this to garner some support from the Republican Party (which would not happen).
Fifth is don’t ask don’t tell. Now I don’t want to get into detail with this one (fearing that I might sound offensive). Basically this effectively allows homosexuals into the military without having to hide that they are homosexuals. All we need to know is that Obama thinks this is a messed up policy and there is a bill in congress that repeals it.
Those are just 5 things in Obama’s huge agenda. The fact that Obama is pushing for all these stuff should be a worry for him. The mid-term elections are coming up and already there are a lot of empty democrat seats that are ready to be filled by republican. The only reason that Obama was able to get anything passed so far was because of the democratic supermajority in the senate. After November, that supermajority will be gone and Obama’s agenda would effectively be dead (unless something weird happens). The goal now for Obama is to actually concentrate on something and get it passed (and function under the idea that something is better than nothing) or campaign like mad and try to retain the democratic majority (which probably won’t happen anyway).
Now before I could go on and rant about how reading two books is bad, I guess I need to qualify my assertion that these two books have nothing in common. The first difference is time. The Great Gatsby is set in a city in New York right after World War I (which is a time where there were lots of parties). Although it might be a little bit primitive by today’s standards, we had lights and some sort of electricity and a hint of modern civilization. Now regardless of when As I Lay Dying is set, the people are in the middle of nowhere, in a cabin, and has no electricity. The second difference is the plot. The Great Gatsby seems to be a novel about parties and people and emotions and this strange, mysterious guy named Gatsby. As I Lay Dying, on the other hand, is about family problems, what the mother wants, dead mothers, wagons, and maybe some hillbilly-esque stuff (and probably anything that doesn’t have to do with The Great Gatsby). Third is the theme. It seems to me that the only thing that these two novels could possibly share is the theme, but that obviously is not true either. It seems like The Great Gatsby is talking about trusting others or maybe something to do with relationships, while As I Lay Dying is perhaps something to do with the value to life (bottom line is that they are not really cohesive).
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get to some bashing. Because these two books are really different in style, theme, and plot, it makes it almost impossible to follow especially if the students were asked to read them in an AB pattern. It makes it really easy to mix elements of the plot and perhaps the theme and definitely cause more confusion. Even though these two novels are very dissimilar, that does not mean that the we could easily distinguish which plot or theme goes with which. I find myself (frequently) asking myself which event or phrase happened in which book. Also the sheer contrast in these two novels is another reason that reading them together makes it hard for the reader to remember the details of the stories, because we have switch to foreign gears too fast.
As it stands, I am obviously opposed to this idea, I think it makes us actually have to rush ourselves, which makes it really hard to retain information which in turn makes the reading very much ineffective.
Or maybe they are bad, its just that I don’t care much for ranting anymore…Who knows. Anyway, on to the stories. The Great Gatsby follows protagonist Nick Carraway who also serves as the central narrator. Unlike other members of the upper class, Carraway informs us from the very beginning that he is a man who reserves judgments because others are not as fortunate as he. This however, we soon learn, is a lie. Nick constantly makes judgments about other characters allowing the reader to get some sort of emotional picture for them. For one, he describes Tom Buchanan, as an arrogant yet well-built man who relishes his “salad days” and wishes he were still playing professional football. It must be said though that Nick’s judgments are not far off the mark. Based on the dialogue, we see that Buchanan really is a fool and raging white supremacist as well.
The only thing I really don’t like about this book so far is that like all other “American classics” its plot consists of trivial, meaningless events, which fail to thread into a coherent story. I mean think about it, we’ve read about 60 pages or so and what has happened thus far. Nick has gone to Buchanan’s house, then to New York to a party with Buchanan, and now Gatsby’s party. That’s it.
As I Lay Dying is a confusing novel in its own right since its narrators consist of numerous random characters throughout the novel. That/s the problem with this book, there are so many characters its hard to keep track of whose who. The other thing that’s annoying is the fact that every character talks in their own stupid dialect making you want to shoot the author. It’s different though, ill concede that. Different enough to actually keep my attention for some amount of time. Unfortunately though, like The Great Gatsby, its plot is just boring. A pair of brothers are going to town to sell something for their neighbor while their mother is in her death bad along with the rest of the family. Why don’t any of these American classics have any action in them. Im not asking for much…just a few explosions or something like that. Seriously though, I don’t want to “think” I want to be entertained. Either way I’m not going to sit here and philosophically brood over the symbols and the motifs found in a trivial storyline because I don’t care. That’s the truth. I just don’t care at all. Maybe this is why books aren’t so popular anymore- because the so-called “good” books are just straight up boring. No one wants to read about how some upper-class guy with far too much time on his hands maneuvers through his over-privileged community. Most people just don’t care.
Anyway as me and my mom finally arrived at the dentist’s office it was time for my procedure. A nurse led me to a back room with a big chair which I promptly sat down in. Then she told me to relax as she stuck a huge needle in my hand (my IV). I was very relaxed. Then she put a bunch of dots on my chest to monitor my heart rate and breathing. The heart rate monitor thing is probably the most annoying machine ever. Especially if you have to listen to it beep for the next 30 minutes or so like I did. Afterwards, I just sat in the chair for 30 minutes or so while my surgeon was in another room chatting it up with one of her “employees” or maybe it was a patient. Once thirty minutes were up it was time for the procedure to start. The nurse let that weird goo in my IV flow through my veins and I was out in an instant. From there all I remember is little snippets of the procedure. Then I remember waking up and the first thing I see is…that nurse! I hate that nurse. Anyway I don’t remember much past then or the car ride for that matter.
Fast forward to now. I feel like crap. After my procedure I was actually feeling surprisingly only hours afterward. My lower lip was completely numb so I wasn’t feeling any pain. Then about 12 hours later or so the pain hit me and it sucked. Since then Ive been taking vicodine and ibuprofen every 8 hours or so. So anyway, as you can probably foresee my weekend wasn’t great so yea…that’s all I have to say about that.
In class, we are writing character descriptions for The Great Gatsby and As I Lay Dying. I am really enjoying The Great Gatsby. The characters seem relatable and easy to follow. I like how the story is going so far. I am very intrigued as to what Gatsby said to Jordan Baker. I also cannot wait until Gatsby is in the story more, or at least I hope he does.
I am starting to like Nick a lot, and I am curious as to if he and Jordan Baker end up dating. I really do not like Tom, and I feel bad that Daisy has to put up with his cheating. I also feel bad for the daughter that they share. Hopefully, something will happen between the two, causing them to break up. Or maybe, like the back of my book suggests, Daisy and Gatsby will end up together! I don’t know, but I hope that something good happens soon.
As I Lay Dying is really getting on my nerves. I mean, honestly, why would you ever make us read it while we are reading The Great Gatsby. The characters in the book are all intertwined and I honestly could not tell who was who. When I was reading, I thought Jewel was a girl and Dewey Dell was a guy. After a while, I figured out that Dewey Dell was a girl because the book said outright that she was (or I think they did). The only part of the book that I do like is how Faulkner really captured how we perceive truth. There are always several versions of the same story. One is more exaggerated; another has next to no details. It all depends on the person. There are also several quotes that I felt were really cool. I actually underlined them in my book, and I hate writing in books.
The character description for As I Lay Dying is proving to be more difficult. I do not understand how I am supposed to write a physical and emotional description when none of the characters are described. In some of the chapters, Darl, Jewel, and Anse are partially described, but I do not know what to do for the other characters. For Addie, I do not think that it is sufficient enough to only write that she is dying and lying in her bed. I could mention the hand thing, but that freaks me out a little bit.
I think the book has potential, and it could turn out to be a really great book, but I think that we, as students, are just too lazy to actually think things through. Why would we do that when we could just spark note every chapter. I like the class discussions about the book because I actually like understanding what I am reading. I like that I am being challenged too. Plus, when the chapters are no more than four pages, how could any of us complain? Oh well.
This entry is a bejumbled little collections of my life. So here goes the next story. On Saturday I had to go out and sell these stupid coupon books for baseball. I don’t care how good these coupons might be, NO ONE USES THE BOOK! Knowing this, I feel bad going door to door asking people to give me money for a piece of paper that they will never use. So what did I do??? I went to my friend’s house in St. Ives to sell with him. I wanted to go in there because in the Ives people will just buy the thing no matter what. Example: one lady after hearing the sob story of our team, she bought two at twenty dollars each. She came back with a fifty and said that the rest could be a donation to the program. THAT is why I went there.
The next story is of my friends getting arrested by the DNR today. After church, and Zaxby’s and Bass Pro, they wanted to go fishing. They had known about a stretch on the Hooch that could be easily accessed but there was a gate. The gate was open so they just drove in. They got out and were fishing for about twenty minutes when the DNR came. The DNR all got out and told them they were trespassing and fishing without permission. They tried to tell them that they didn’t know but the DNR told them no. Suddenly one of my friend’s dad came driving down the road. It just so happened that he was friends with the DNR guy. Thankfully my friends got away fine after that.
Ok, I hoped you loved that little intro, I know I did. Well, I’m going to ask a question to you Glenn that you won’t get until much later but I don’t think it will really matter. My question is can I write about the play in the class section? I mean technically it’s not a part of class but you did spend some time talking about it. Also, an assignment involves the play musical. (I know that probably kills you when people call it a play). Anyways, about this musical...Knowing the musical was coming up by all the hoop-la that was being generated; I knew that most likely there would be extra credit. So, I planned on buying a ticket when all the cast members were selling tickets. But I then learned that I had to pick the day I wanted to go ahead of time. This was an issue. I went to my friends and we decided that Friday was the day to go. But then I never brought money so I never got a ticket from my friends.
But that was probably good because I found out the next week that I had a scrimmage at Wesleyan on Friday night. At that point I thought that I probably wouldn’t go to the show because I thought all my friends had already gone. But, I learned that I could go with some of my baseball friends. In Physics class (where we do absolutely no work) I got Mark to put aside a ticket for me. I was really nervous that I was going to show up and the show would be sold out and there would be no ticket. But Mark pulled through!
After all it took for me to get the show I could finally enjoy it. Now Mr. Glenn you must know that I am not usually a big musical fan but this show was a good blend of acting and singing. It had an interesting story from a time in history that is not talked about too much. It was easy to relate to the characters and get involved in the story. My favorite person was Grant Brown! It was funny to see him up there because I couldn’t imagine him being good at that at all! Also I loved the accents. Everyone did a good job keeping the accent the same throughout. It was a well put on show. I’m sure you did a lot of work to make it all happen. Thank you
This may be a frustrating ambivalent statement but I do not think some people can fully handle the harsh truths of the world. People who can not deal with the responsiblility of knowledge and insight often have very dim futures when they try to comprehend it. This rule kind of applies also to the things you choose not to think about such as how you got to this planet via mother, and that parents still kiss. These things are the innocent bliss of human nature. The denial of things the conscience tells us is disgusting or too intense to think about.
The fact that Daisy never wants her daughter to have to face reality is actually a quality most parents wish for. No person would willingly, in their right mind, introduce a soul to the world if they thought it would suffer pain, and heart ache. For Daisy to stand up and say what the silent majority is all thinking is honorable of her and resulted in my respect for her character.
On the literary side of things, Daisies insistence on being ignorant is a brilliant character choice. She is able to put her husband’s affair aside with her acute spaciness skills. Although she is most likely a brilliant girl, she covers this fact with a low intelligence level to push all confrontation and hurt out of her life.
Living separate from emotion ensures you will never experience hurt, pain, and envy. Parallel to this, you will never taste the feelings of love, joy, or inspiration. That is why Daisy, as a character, forces one to look into the mirror and see which one they would personally like to have; a world full of emotion good or bad, or a world experiencing no true forms of emotion just samples of each. I personally would rather experience grief if in return I would be able to feel true happiness. This tradeoff is worth it to me personally.
Ignorance may be bliss however it blinds you from what true bliss really is. Therefore can ignorance truly be bliss or is it just bland? But if one never lived in anything besides ignorance will they even be able to tell the difference? Probably not, unless one day they break the pattern and realize there is more to life than just getting by.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, State for wrestling was being held. Being the head trainer, I had to go and support my team. Well, more like the two people that made it to state. One guy got out in the first round on Thursday, and the second guy got out on the second day. The second guy ended up placing eighth place. I was surprised that he could actually make it that far.
I ended up sitting in the Northview section because they had three guys at state, and I am friends with the trainers. Plus, the Northview wrestlers actually were in a good mood since they made it past the first day. Thursday, it was only Jenn and Tamra that came with me to watch. I was excited because I got to see my friend wrestle. He goes to another school now, so I never see him anymore. He did really well. He ended up pinning his opponent in the first period (out of three).
Friday, after school, Jenn, Tamra, Amanda and I went to watch Steven wrestle. The other two wrestlers got out while we were in school. It was almost eight o’clock, and Steven was about to go on. His opponent was from South Forsyth. I knew who he was since his family is the most annoying family ever. They ended up sitting behind us during the match. The kid’s mom looks exactly like Mrs. Murphy, except ten years older and with gray hair.
Steven’s match was the most nerve-racking thing of my life. He was down by like five and ended up beating the guy by a lot. All of the Northview fans were cheering because Steven was in the top four already. This is the first time in Northview history that someone has placed in state. The South Forsyth guy’s family was getting so mad. It was funny. They kept yelling at the referee saying how he needs to learn how to watch the match. They were just jealous because Steven is amazing.
Friday was also filled with several entertaining moments. One match, these two guys were wrestling when all of a sudden one guy gets punched in the face. The other guy then runs after him, but then gets tackled by four coaches and two security guards. The other guy runs away. These two guys were in the 215-weight class, so the guy couldn’t run very fast. He then tried to hop over the barrier and run up the stairs. The funny thing was that his last leg did not quite make it over. Another funny thing that happened was a trainer was really into the match. Her team lost, so she started yelling at the referee that he “needs to learn what to do” and how he “is the worse ref in the world.” After that, security kicked her out.
Saturday was a huge day. Finals started at five and Steven was supposed to be wrestling first. Amanda, Jenn and I all made t-shirts and posters for Steven. The shirts ended up being really cool. Steven ended up getting second, but nonetheless, we are all so proud of him.
This whole rehearsal process was a trip. To start out with a partner that quits before we even started was not encouraging. However, it all worked out for the best like all shows always do. The thing I will miss the most is getting to act on a daily basis. Acting is something that is a true passion that I have slowly fallen deeper and deeper for. For me, the most rewarding thing in acting is that you can never act wrong. It all is dependant on what point of view a character is interpreted. This art also never hinders growth in an actor. The feeling of improvement or more strongly connecting with your character is unexplainable.
I enjoyed every second of this production and I wish I was able to bond closer with my fellow cast mates earlier. Some of them I have been bonded with since before I can even remember. Saying goodbye to all of the seniors this year was hard. I have grown up with Taylor and performed in half of the shows he managed with Fossum and been close friends with him for even longer. Rachel has been such an amazing friend and an even more impactful inspiration. Travis, Chris, and Andrew I have grown up with and grown close to over this past year especially because of the comfort we sought in each other at a new school. Realizing this would be our last Fossum show as a bunch was a hard realization I had to digest.
Despite all the depressing matters, dramatic backstage, and the stomach virus that never quit, the cast pulled through and together we performed a memorable show for the school. I was extremely proud and honored to be the role I was but I was even more grateful for getting to learn from the directors and choreographers that I did. Coming from Chattahoochee a well rounded team of producers was unheard of for a cast. I feel that I grew immensely as a performer and it refreshed my love for performing. Not to mention, the crowd Saturday night was prime and was a phenomenal way to end the show. Overall I think a reunion is in need. The only thing I will not miss is getting farted on by Grant, and even that is not really a negative just a preference.
So The Great Gatsby sort of has me thinking about relationships. Like affairs and how they happen all the time and that despite what society deems as acceptable; love will appear when and where ever it wants to. In The Great Gatsby Tom and Myrtle are having an affair. I used to just assume if a person was going to have an affair, unless they were a sex addict, it was because they loved that person. Yet, with Myrtle and Tom I don’t think their really is any love. I mean I am assuming Tom told Myrtle that Daisy is catholic and doesn’t believe in divorce but that doesn’t really make sense since in that time men were in control and could leave a woman if he wanted too. Also Tom totally broke Myrtle’s noise! I don’t care who you are male or female you don’t break the person you love noise because they’re taunting you. That’s not love thats abuse and it’s definitely not okay.
As I was writing about Tom hitting Myrtle I realized that abuse has been a big part of the book so far. I mean really not only has Myrtle had her noise broken but there’s also been a pretty intense car accident within the first few chapters and that car accident was evidence of alcohol abuse. I mean if there is entire group of classic books in literature that has sex, drugs, and violence I am guessing that this is one of them. Which kind of excites me though because I am sort of starting to dig the novel. It has the potential to be really entertaining and the last book that we read that I really liked was The Scarlet Letter so I think it’s about time that we read something that doesn’t make we want to drill a hole through my brain.
As for As I lay Dying I can honestly say that despite our little session of let’s discuss As I Lay Dying on Friday I still don’t know what’s going on. Which only bothers me to an extent because in all honesty I don’t like it. It’s boring, the characters aren’t all that interesting, and it’s not like there’s a character in the novel I can relate to so that I find it more entertaining. Also it doesn’t seem to have any real point and I would be very happy to walk into class tomorrow and find out that we no longer have to read it. I mean I try really hard not to judge things too quickly and I’ll be the first to take back my judgement if it’s wrong but this book is totally horrible and makes utterly no sense. I mean the book has potential to be funny: there’s a fat doctor can’t walk up a hill, people having wild forest sex, and people abusing the one they love by building a coffin outside their window. That stuff would make for a really entertaining story if Faulkner had written it that way but he didn’t and that’s annoying. I hope it turns out that I am wrong and As I Lay Dying does a one eighty and totally becomes entertaining but for some reason I just don’t think that’s going to happen.
This weekend was not that bad actually. I thought it would be a lot worse than it was. Friday Jessie and I sat home and just hung out because there was not much going on. Saturday I hung out with some friends and that was alright. Since now that it is Sunday, there is nothing to do. I wish I was allowed to go out on Sunday nights. I mean technically it is still the weekend. I think on Mondays school should start later. It would give everyone the chance to recover from the weekend even if it only meant sleeping in for two more hours. Also, it would save money in this bad economy. I mean they are already shortening the school year so they should just cut back another couple of hours each week. I think the bus drivers would be appreciative of this change, too. They may be bus drivers but I am sure they have somewhat of a social life and would like to sleep in on Mondays too. I am trying to hurry up and type another one hundred and thirty words so that I can just hit submit and the computer will not die on me …. Again.
This coming week, starting tomorrow, is going to be so long and stressful. I can just feel it. This week and next week are cheerleading tryouts, also known as the bane of my existence. I am dreading tryouts just because I am so out of shape. I have not tumbled as much as I should have since my injury last March. I can also feel the work piling up for this week. Since I have been doing homework all day I am hoping that I have made somewhat of a dent in it but I guess I’ll have to wait and find out tomorrow.
It was only eight days ago that Thespian Troupe #7451 left Columbus, Georgia. Yet, it honestly feels like it was eons ago that ThesCon’10 happened. For the first time ever I did sound tech for a musical and it’s a good thing for me to find out now that I have no future in it. Working on the musical this week was a really hard learning experience for me. It may have been the mics we were using or the set up, I can honestly say I don’t know, but the sound just didn’t work out has planned. The musical was amazing and the actors were phenomenal... I just hope that the audience could see that even with the wretched sound job that was going on. It wasn’t that sound was hard to do; it was that when the mics didn’t work the responsibility of this failure landed on the sound person. Which is totally true but it just leaves one feeling a little bit helpless and I that’s an inky feeling. It was also really frustrating to kind of be a go between person. I am not good with confrontation and I would much prefer that people do their own dirty work but that’s not always how things works out. I mean I wouldn’t take back this last week though, I mean I definitely learned a lot and gained valuable life experience.
I sometimes forget just how passionate about Theater you have to be to put things together like Glenn, Mrs. Polaski, Mrs. Fossum, Taylor, and Abby did over these last few months. They dedicated so much effort and time to Guys and Dolls and their hard work showed in the way they conducted themselves in every situation. For some people shows are what Theater is all about but it’s really so much more than that. It’s the rehearsal process and the backstage stuff that really makes every little thing about Theater so important. I am so amazed by how wonderful these people are and I have so much respect for them that it saddens me to know that their hard work was in some way diminished by something I had a part in. There are times when the word sorry just doesn’t really fix anything and this definitely one of these times.
It’s weird the way time flies, on some level I am really happy that things can calm down again but I also know that Guys and Dolls is most likely the last show this year I’ll have anything to do with. I am so happy to have been given the opportunities I was given this year though. I’ve met amazing people who I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for everything I’ve been a part of. There’s hope that new clubs will be created for the performing arts later this year and hopefully in the future this school won’t just focus on it’s athletes but acknowledge it’s also an amazing performing arts school as well.
The worst thing about reading two books at the same time is remembering the characters. I always have trouble remembering the name of the characters; after I finish a book, I would remember the whole detailed plot, but not the characters’ name. When I have trouble remembering one book’s characters, two books are too much. There are more than ten characters to remember and they are all mixed up in my head. I am glad there aren’t any same names seen in both novels, but the names are still the hardest thing for me to remember.
Another disadvantage is that the two stories distract each other. The two completely different stories are getting mixed in my head and now I don’t understand either of the stories very well. I personally feel better reading deeply into one book and thinking it over after it is over, but reading two books break my concentration on one book and distract me to the second story. It can be compared to playing game and watching TV at the same time. They both require a certain amount of concentration, so when they are done together, it is likely that you will die more easily in the game if you are watching TV at the same time. If you are reading two books together, you might loose track of one book, or concentrate on one book more than the other. Also as a person, you can like one book more than the other, so the other book you are reading with might seem worse than it really is because it is being compared to a good book that you are actually enjoying.
I was trying to be positive and think of a good thing about reading two books at the same time. One thing I finally came up with is that I can compare the two different books as I read them. People may forget what the first story was about while reading the second book, so reading them at the same time lessens the possibility of forgetting the stories.
If I could choose whether I want to read two complicated books at the same time, I would definitely choose not to, but since we are reading two books, I am trying to think positive and concentrate on understanding both novels well. But I wish that whoever is taking this class next year would not have to go through the process of trying to fit in two books into your head at the same time. Watching two movies at the same time will make that person seem like a weird and unusual person, and I think it is the same for books.
I hate As I Lay Dying. It is so frustrating to read from the perspectives of multiple characters at a time. I truly feel that William Faulkner just likes to mess with little innocent eleventh graders who read his books. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a little less annoying than Faulkner’s novel. Although Fitzgerald’s book is not quite a page turning, I would have to say, it at least is possible to understand what is going on. However, I still resent the fact that our class has to read them both, not only in a year or something, but at the same time. Why?! Torture. That’s why. Another torturous thing is when you get called on in class but do not know the answer. It is definitely a day ruiner to not get a smiley face next to your name. I do not know what they taught in school while becoming a teacher but usually when someone has their hand raised it means they know the answer. However, you, Mr. Glenn, decide to pick on the people in class with their hands down and simply ignore the ones (cough Brittany cough) who know the answer. That is cruel and unusual punishment. It is humiliating. Humiliation is mean and hurtful and if you do not believe me then maybe you should re read The Scarlet Letter. Back to the whole reading two books at the same time mumbo jumbo, I feel like instead of reading these two books together we should read two better books at the same time. For example, our AP language arts class should read Twilight and Harry Potter at the same time! Now those are two fantastic books that should be praised through the reading by eleventh grade students. I really wish I could remember what else I said in the class entry blog I wrote that got erased because as of now I have thirty nine words that need to be filled in order to turn in this blog! Now it is twenty four words. Anyways, this week was just really bad and this whole journal erasing was just super duper fantastic, too.
On a positive note I do enjoy the allusions of the day. Words-of-the-day are boring definitions but allusions allow us to garner greater knowledge of literature in general, plus they help you look really smart if you casually bring one up in daily conversation. Or at parties. Suit yourselves. But honestly, in today’s society an understanding of popular allusions and classical literature will serve us better than fancy words that will not be used unless seen on the infamous SAT vocabulary sections. And along with their usefulness allusions are also more entertaining to discuss and study. We, as a class, are now prepared to reference some of the worlds most treasured pieces of literature and actually know what we are talking about. Allusions provide a whole new layer of understanding to many modern works along with, as I said earlier, making the user look very well read and intelligent. And one never knows when appearing smart may come in handy.
I do have a small question regarding this class. Why are we required to enter these blogs every week? I don’t mean to sound like a whining teenager, but I suppose that I am. I will continue to complete the assignments and put thought into what I am writing but I am simply curious as to what we are intended to gain out of writing these? We complete many writing assignments in and out of class and I suppose that I am simply failing to understand why these blog entries are important, especially since all of the time we have spent writing these has not been reflected in the grade book. Sorry to complain Mr. Glenn. I will see you in class tomorrow and am looking forward to the next allusions of the day.
21 February 2010
Sports, Sports, and More Sports
This has been a week of sports. All week I have been managing my homework levels to accommodate watching the Olympics. I actually start my homework routine identifying which assignments can be done while watching the games and which ones require my full attention. Luckily, and I suppose unluckily, for me, the Olympics start at 8 p.m. While this would usually be perfect for me, the good events usually don’t start until after 10:30. This creates a problem because, though I usually stay up past then anyway, my dad doesn’t see the television as a reason to be sleep deprived. I disagree, but I am not really the deciding vote in this situation.
Because I used to figure skate, I obviously enjoy watching the figure skating events. My dad used to ski, so I enjoy the skiing events too. Shaun White is awesome, so I planned on watching his snowboarding as well. Other than these events, I really wasn’t planning on watching anything else. Until I watched speed skating once. Then I fell in love with mostly short track, but regular speed skating as well. While most people are focusing on Apolo Ohno, and I admit I do love that guy, my favorite short track skater was J. R. Celski. Yesterday, Saturday, watching another skater literally grab onto Celski preventing him from moving into a qualifying position, I was horribly angry. Then, just when I thought the camera couldn’t lie and the judges would have to be smart enough to let Celski move to medal rounds anyway, the judges decided that the other skater should move on. I was so angry I yelled at the television for a solid 5 minutes.
I am actually trying my best to get these journal entries done in order to watch ice dancing tonight. When I figure skated, I liked ice dancing the best. If I would have continued to skate, I probably would have given up skating women’s individual free skate in order to do more with ice dance. I love the passion and the expression in ice dance that has really been missing in the other types of figure skating since the scoring system changed a while back. Interestingly enough, once the new scoring system became fully accepted at all competitions, I coincidentally started disliking skating. The acceptance of the new scoring system, although instantaneous on the international level, actually took a good bit of time to spread throughout the rest of the skating world. This new system puts too much emphasis on jumps in my, and many other past international champions’, opinions.
Then I found fencing, which made everything better. Continuing with the sports theme, I had the last high school fencing tournament of the regular high school season. I won the tournament completing a perfect season and am ranked first in the state for the high school league. I still have to do well at the state championships not only because I want to but also because if I don’t, I could lose my ranking. The state championship is worth triple the points, I think. So the pressure is on.
21 February 2010
Books with Character(s)
I suppose the reason that we are reading The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald and As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner at the same time is that we will eventually compare the two novels. I certainly hope that is the plan because I really hate As I Lay Dying. Fitzgerald’s classic novel, on a different note, is turning out to be one of my favorite novels of all time.
You can’t help but notice and appreciate the way Fitzgerald develops his characters, an interesting aspect of his novel that we haven’t really analyzed directly. I must admit that we have analyzed character developments on our own. The character lists we have completed, though painful and not anything near enjoyable, really are helpful. I would not have truly analyzed the different ways that Fitzgerald and Faulkner develop their characters without being forced to.
With those things being said, I will now take the character lists a step further by vaguely discussing the ways characters are developed in these two classic novels. Both authors utilize the method of taking a character frame and adding more and more depth to it. Fitzgerald takes a more direct approach by helping the reader out with more detailed and straightforward physical and characteristic descriptions, however. Once Fitzgerald introduces a character, we as the readers have a strong concept of who the character is and why that character is important to the novel or scene.
As Fitzgerald has ingeniously showed us as the readers, to have a solid understanding of a character, and that character’s role, is not necessarily to know very much about the character at all. George Wilson, as a prime example, has made only one appearance so far in our reading. Already, however, it is clear that he is intimidated by Tom Buchanan and completely oblivious to Buchanan’s affair with Wilson’s wife.
With Faulkner’s novel, I feel like I am constantly in the shadow of important information I have no access to. I also feel like this important information is essentially what is keeping me from not just understanding it but appreciating its depth and method. I can say that I have a general understanding of what is going on in As I Lay Dying, but, given one of Mr. Glenn’s infamous pop quizzes, I would probably fail. I can understand the general idea of Faulkner but cannot grasp the small details and nuances that make great American literature so great.
The Great Gatsby, in comparison, is a challenging but infinitely more rewarding read. I have to take time to truly read the novel for Mr. Glenn-level depth, but I at least am able to achieve that depth with The Great Gatsby. I really can’t say the same for As I Lay Dying.
I also like the characters in The Great Gatsby a lot more than in Faulkner’s novel. I actually get the impression, and probably correctly so, that all of Faulkner’s characters are rednecks. Fitzgerald’s characters seem to be a bit brighter. I do still have some hope for As I Lay Dying. I keep telling myself that it is probably one of those novels you only enjoy once you are done reading it.
Having to read one boring book in High School is almost a guarantee. Reading two boring books in a year is manageable. But, reading two boring books at the same time is what kids call H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. Mr. Glenn has devised a master plan that has our AP Lang class reading two books at the same time—The Great Gatsby and As I Lay Dying. There is no conceivable way that William Faulkner had a childhood. He is so incredibly dry and depressing, that it takes me a good three to four minutes to read a single page of his book. I read one line…think about…think to myself, “this makes no sense”… read it again…then tell myself, “it’s okay nobody else will get it either,”… then keep going to the next line. This process has been repeated for about eighty pages. F. Scott Fitzgerald is a slightly different story, both literally and metaphorically speaking.
I would like to withdraw my previous statement that The Great Gatsby is a boring novel because in all honesty I somewhat enjoy reading it. Gatsby has a certain sinister quality about him that makes you want to get to know him. Fitzgerald does an admirable job in characterizing Gatsby to have these qualities. I don’t yet understand how Nick can be in love with Jordan. She seems like such an immature little twerp. Nick shows composure and good morals and specifically states that he is tired of immature people. I have a feeling that there will take place some event that will spark his interest in her that I have not yet read.
I am pleased that we have not had a quiz in a while. I feel like when there is not a quiz I actually understand what I read better. I read without pressure and am able to understand the content. When I know that there is going to be a quiz I feel like I have to memorize every little detail and I don’t get the major theme developments that go along with the reading. I like the quizzes that Mr. Glenn does orally, however. Those seem like they involve less pressure, and as a result I do well on them. It is hard to do well on the paper quizzes because if you misinterpret or forget one minute detail that is included on the quiz, then you are already down to at least a B. Not cool…
I am turning into a fan of daily allusions. At first I was a little skeptical of their use, but now I am sold. I can’t even say how many times I have heard an allusion on TV or in the movies that I would not have otherwise known without the daily allusions. I have heard many remarks about Big Brother and “cogito ergo sum.” My favorite allusion is drinking the kool-aid. I think it is insane how one man can mislead over nine-hundred people. Don’t drink the kool-aid if a psycho man named Jim Jones made it!
Ok, wow so I feel like I have rambled enough about the joyous weather, maybe I should move on to something more interesting. Oh! The play was really good…but I don’t really feel like writing about that seeing as though I already have to write a whole page about it for extra credit. Blehh. Hmm, what else could I write about? Oh ok, so me and three of my friends took a trip down to Decator this Sunday to visit a church called All Souls and it was basically amazing. I’m not even kidding, it was probably the coolest church I have ever been to. It was super hip and was in the middle of a really cute and hip town. Like, I’m pretty sure I am in love with Decator. For some reason I always pictured Decator as a gross ghetto place, but it was to my great surprise to find out that it was far from gross and ghetto. After church, my friends and I decided to do a little gallivanting in the town because it was just really cool and we tend to do cool stuff, you know. Ha, just kidding, but it seriously was really fun and a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Oh did I mention we took picture on train tracks? Well we did. Yeah I know I’m cool, no need to tell me. Is it illegal to stand on railroad tracks? I just thought of that. Hmm, interesting. Did I mention I love the weather outside? Well, I do and having to be indoors writing this journal write now is somewhat depressing.
A four day weekend is great and all, but when it is followed by three tests the day you return it is not so great. Tuesday was a rough day, to say the least. The day started off okay in AP Lang, but took a quick turn South. Due to the long weekend of relaxation, I felt like I had to work extra hard in weight training that day. I went all out in the weight room during second period then was off to AP Statistics. Exhausted, I could not remember any statistical formulas or anything. Conveniently, I had a test. That test was rough…
Off to AP Calculus where I had another test. There is no such thing as an easy calculus test. After a difficult statistics test I had no idea how I was going to make it through another exam. The test took over an hour and a half. When the first bell rang to let us out to lunch, the entire class remained in their desks diligently working. Slowly but not surely, people finished up and exited the classroom without speaking a word. It was…what is the word I’m looking for… IMPOSSIBLE! I am just oh so excited to take the AP Exam in Calculus. I better get at least a four or else my mom will kill me! Plus, my brother got a five on the exam and I am extremely competitive. Anything he does I have to do better. We’re tight…it’s all good.
The rest of the week went by rather smoothly. Wednesday seemed non-existent. The day was easy because I had a test in practically every class the day before. Thursday was a good day. My basketball team had our first region game at Columbia High School in DeKalb. We got out of school early to depart to our four o’clock game against Clarkston High School. This team only had three wins on the season. We were highly favored in this game. The team was better than expected, but we managed to pull of the victory in overtime. We were pumped after the win. Two more wins and we were headed to the state playoffs. Friday’s game, however, was a wake up call. We played Washington High School. This team was the number two seed in the region bracket, and had about twelve wins. That is solid in such a difficult region. We started off the game pumped up. The score was somewhat manageable for the first three minutes. Then, out of nowhere, their team took off. They were a short team, but extremely fast. It felt like every time you would turn around, one of them would be right up on you scrapping for the ball. Their aggressiveness was something that we had never seen before and the game got out of hand quickly at that point.
Our hopes of getting to the state playoffs were shattered. This team was the real deal… or so we thought. It turns out that the next day, Washington got beat by twenty points against an even more impressive Druid Hills High School. I can’t even imagine what they would do to us if we played them.
Lacrosse starts on Monday. I’m pumped to start the season but skeptical as what this new sport has to offer. The first game is Tuesday. You’ll hear about it next week.
In class we have been reading two books called The Great Gatsby and As I Lay Dieing.
I along with probably most of the class hate As I Lay Dieing. The moments where the reading is straight forward is good and I like reading it but the constant narrative changes are annoying. All I get out of the reading really is a major headache and a sudden need to put the book through a shredder or see if my fire really does need to be 451 fahreinheight to burn a book. The family is a completely creepy and need to get back to reality. I absolutely want my coffin built right in front of me, not really. The son is building the coffin in front of the mom’s window. She can hear the sawing and pounding of the labor work of building it. There is a few instances that show characteristics of the characters such as the one brother who walks through the old building and not around it. We had a big discussion over this but maybe he was just lazy? If saw a abandoned building I would definitely go looking through it. There could be really cool things and if its abandoned people could go in and break walls and windows. Boys always love breaking things. Its just plain fun and it rarely happens, meaning to happen anyway. In The Great Gatsby it is a lot more fun to read because its really plain English. I love the quizzes for it because I am actually getting good grades on them. I enjoy the drunken scenes because they are really funny. I love the scene where the guy in the library is like LOOK REAL BOOKS WITH ACTUAL PAGES LOOK! LOOK! LOOK! I would have felt really weird and would have said something like sweet bro I am going to go. Later he ran his car into a ditch and was like wait my car can’t drive? What’s wrong with my car? I think Jordan and Nick are going to get married or something. He must really like her when he accepts the fact she cheated in golf and doesn’t care when he is so bias on people in the world. I was expecting Gatsby to be a old guy and a loner. He is actually middle aged and throws huge parties. I do not know if the people there are actually his friends or not especially since he stands off to the side a lot during the party. Some of the people come to the parties due to it being open bar so they can freely get completely hammered. If you throw a party and say it is open bar you will probably get some people over who you never talked to in your life. Now it is time to go write that extra credit paper.