Thursday, May 21, 2009

The End ofa Great Year

WOW! I cannot believe that we have already made our journey through a whole sophomore year. Everything zipped by faster than a roadrunner running from a coyote. All the seniors are gone. I miss them so much, but in two more years, we will be the ones going off to bigger and better things.

This year is full of so many great memories. The girls track team won state again, I was so happy. I enjoyed all the track meets so much. I have found that I love to run so much, and all the pain is worth it in the end. We had a wonderful play this year, Oklahoma. All the students involved did a tremendous job performing the play. I had no idea that Andrew Cox could sing until I went to the play. Another little event that I will never forget is our English Debates. Those were so much fun. I was scared at first because I had no idea what I was doing, but when time to perform came along, I was in it to win it.

I have learnt so much this year. I have a better idea of what field I want to go into when college rolls around the corner, and I have a plan all made out. One subject that I have learned that I never thought I would be able to comprehend, that I was afraid of trying to learn, was the human body. I now know what makes the human body tick, where all the bones and organs are, along with their proper names, and how the heart works to keep us alive. I have also learned that there are lot of No No’s in writing, and my English teacher has broke me of them. I used to say the word it all the time, and now I get annoyed when my little brother says the world three times in the same sentence.

Next year we will be juniors, how unbelievable is that? I just cannot wrap my mind around that concept, and I probably will not fully do so until the third week into our junior year. This year was great and I am sad that it is almost gone, but I am ready to reach higher heights, and reach a deeper knowledge. So come on let us go rock out this summer and come back ready to take the world on headfirst.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Of Mice and Men

Everyone knows about the Dust bowl of 1931, but not everyone knows what life during the Dust bowl was like. John Steinback was there in California at the time of the Dust bowl and he knows how life was. John Steinback wrote the novel Of Mice and Men to show how life was during that time. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinback, is a great novel. I have to be honest; Of Mice and Men stunned me to my core. Of Mice and Men is a very eye-opening novel.

The main characters in this novel are two men named George, and Lennie. George is a skinny defined man, while Lennie is a more rounded. Lennie is also special, which becomes very evident within the first few pages of the novel. Lennie is slow minded, and his favorite thing to do is pet soft objects or animals. Lennie also tends to mimic Georges movement. If George rests his head on his hands then Lennie looks at him and tries rest his head on his hands just like George are. George is like a father to Lennie. George protects Lennie and has been watching over him ever since Lennie’s aunt passed away. George and Lennie are traveling partners, and they travel from job to job collecting their stake.

The two men have a great dream in mind. They intend to take all the stake that they are saving up from their jobs and buy some land over their own. George promises Lennie that is he behaves he will let him take care of the rabbits that they will have on their future ranch. George tells Lennie that he can feed the rabbits the alfalfa that they will grow. The dream to own land was not only a dream of George and Lennie. All the men at the time of the Dust bowl wished to own their own piece of property in which they could run on their own, without someone bossing them around. Hardly any men reached that dream, because times were very hard and everyone needs to find their own comfort to get them along, and sometimes such comforts cost money.

John Steinback really captured the life of men at the time of the Dust bowl. I will admit that the men had fowl language, but what is to be expected of men living in such hard times. Steinback showed the hardships that men went through and all the hard decisions that each man had to make. Some men were privileged, such as the ranch owners and their families; while other men were under privileged, such as the ranch workers that bucked barley and lived in bunker houses. John illustrates that the people living in the time of the Dust bowl lived with only the bare essentials of living.

I highly recommend that everyone read Of Mice and Men at sometime in their life. I would recommend that younger kids wait until they reach high school before reading the novel, because of the language, but nonetheless they should read it. I loved how close George and Lennie were. They only had each other, which is why the ending of the story really surprised me. John Steinback really knew what he was doing when he wrote this story, and because he was alive during the time of the Dust bowl, his knowledge and passion on the subject really shown through. I hope to read more of his books to see how great they are. I plan to read The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, and Travels with Charlie.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The House on Mango Street

Have you ever been the new kid at school, or been the new kid in the neighborhood, because you and your family just moved? Most of us have moved before, and most of us can say that at some point we have been the new kid. Sometimes being the new kid is easy, and making friends is a breeze. This is not always true, unfortunately. Every so often, a person will have problems when he or she moves. Some families move a lot; therefore, some kids never get to make new friends that they can keep. This can be tough on kids and adults alike. In the novelette, The House on Mango Street, the main character Esperanza Cordero is a child that does not have an easy life. This creative little novel by Sandra Cisneros was interesting and the whole story captivated me.

Esperanza is a sweet timid Hispanic girl that lives with her family of five on Mango Street. She has two brothers, a sister, Nenny, and her mom and her dad. Esperanza is embarrassed by the home that her and her family live in, but she likes the house they live in now better than the houses they lived in before. Her and her family has moved so much that she cannot think of a time when they have not been moving from home to home. Esperanza constantly dreams of getting a house of her own away from Mango Street and the people that live there; a house that she can be proud of . Throughout the story of Esperanza’s life, she meets many people on Mango Street that influence her growth. Esperanza sees herself as an ugly duckling, but she loves to protect the ones that she loves. She writes down all the adventures that she goes through, and all the information she found interesting about the people she meets while living on Mango Street. Once she is grown she realizes that no matter what life she escapes to Mango Street will always be a part of her, and she cannot change that.

The author Sandra Cisneros wrote this novelette in a way so that you get to see little parts of the main character’s life. When reading the novelette one gets a peek at all the small happenings that mold Esperanza throughout her life to make her strong and noble. Sandra Cisneros also show the reader what life is like for some Hispanic people. Life is not always gentle and easy. She shows the reader that life should never be taken for granted and that life is different for everyone.

The theme for this novelette is that no matter where you go in life, you cannot change your upbringing or the past that has shaped you. That past will always be a part of you, and will stay with you until the day that you die. No one can change their past; they just have to accept that the past is part of them. Esperanza realizes this once she is grown and ready to move on in life on her own.

This novella could take place anywhere. The events that occur with the main character and all the changes that she goes through could happen to anyone at anytime. I myself have gone through many moves and drastic changes that have shaped me into the person I am, and that is exactly what happens with Esperanza. People do not realize how hard life can be for people that are different from them. The difference could be race, religion, or political view, and people handle them all in their own way.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. I found The House on Mango Street to be a cute little read, with deep meaning, and an important message. People of all ages should read The House on Mango Street, and maybe even experiment on writing their own little novel about their live on their street. Sandra Cisneros wrote did a phenomenal job writing this novel, and I intend to read more of her works. Some more novels that she has written include Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, Bad Boys, Caramelo, and Vintage Cisneros. These are just a few of her many popular pieces of work.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Giver

Can you imagine living in a world with no color, no sun, no snow, and no choice? In The Giver that is the very life that a boy named Jonas lived in. The novel The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, is by far one of my favorite novels. Aside from The Giver, I have read three of Lois's many books, and I have loved all three of the books. The other books that I have had the privilege of reading are Messenger, Giving Blue, and Gossamer. All three of the books are truly captivating, but The Giver is the book that really hooked me in, and kept me enthralled throughout the whole adventure.

When I sat down and began reading The Giver, I was instantly engrossed and I wanted to keep reading. The book is set some time in the future, and everyone lives a life of sameness. In this world of sameness, there is no fighting and no war, but there are other differences as well. In Jonas's society, there are no colors, no weather changes, no animals, and no choices. The people of the society are not able to experience the joys of colorful flowers, or beautiful snowfalls. They are not able to experience the bliss of beautiful fall leaves falling from the trees, waiting to be racked and jump in. Everyone is a "whole," and everyone has their life decisions made for them by the city council. The city council decides whom people marry, when they will marry them, and when they are ready to be given children. The city elders also assign the citizens the jobs they will have for the rest of their life when the people are only 12 years old.

The main character in this novel is a young boy named Jonas. Jonas is different from the rest of the people is his neighborhood. Jonas is much more observant, and watchful. Jonas can see beyond. At the beginning of the novel Jonas is very nervous about the "ceremony of twelves" that was approaching, because in the ceremony Jonas would be turning twelve, along with all the children born the same year as him, and he would be assigned his career. Jonas had no idea what to expect. He had no idea what job the Elders were going to assign him, because he had not focus on one activity in his past years. Later, Jonas attends the ceremony and receives his job assignment. He is given the respectable job of Receiver. When he obtains this job, Jonas gets to meet the Receiver that was before him, and that receiver now known as the Giver. Jonas goes to his first day of training and learns a lot. Jonas receives the memories from the past that the Giver has had passed down to him and that he has held for years.

As Jonas receives these new memories of color, war, love, and much more, he becomes frustrated with everyone around him. Jonas does not understand how they can all live without the memories, whether the memories are good or bad. Jonas feels that the people should know all about the past, and that the people should be able to experience all the great experiences that they are missing. Jonas and the Giver talk, and deliberate about Jonas's feelings and what actions they should take. When all is said and done, Jonas has to make a hard and hasty decision.

I love the way that Lois wrote this book. Her portrayal of socialism is somewhat similar to Ayn Rand's in her novel Anthem. Both authors wrote in a way that truly pulled me in. I devoured both of their books within hours of starting them. I could not bring myself to put the either book down for one second. Lois, and Ayn, created a very strong, independent, courageous, influential main character. Both were also able to create very vivid images, and scenes in my head with all the detail they used. Lois Lowry and Ayn Rand are two of my favorite authors.

I am trying to get my little brother to read The Giver, because The Giver is an outstanding novel. Everyone should read this novel; I highly recommend that everyone have his or her own copy. After reading this novel, I recommend that everyone read The Messenger, and Gathering Blue, because they are, in a way related to The Giver. Jonas is not the main character, but you find out how he and one of his friends are doing. I am afraid that if I say much more ten i will ruin t novel for everyone so this is my curtain call. Go out and enjoy a great novel!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Color Purple a good Classic

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a stunning novel. This novel is about a black girl by the name of Celie, and all the hard times that she goes through. The novel is hard to read in my opinion because of the language. There is some bad words in the novel, but those words are not the language I am referring to.

The whole novel is Celie writing letters to God. Her sister and her have been split up, and Celie never receives any of her sisters letters. So Celie writes letters to God because she has no one else to write to.

I mentioned that reading the novel was hard for me because of the language, and I was talking about the incorrect use of words, and the incomplete sentences. While reading each letter to God I have to think about what is going on to figure out what is meant by some of the sentences. Now I do not want anyone to think that the author just could not write. The reason the sentences are improper is because this book is set back years ago when there were still slaves, and uneducated people. Poor Celie never received an education so she does her best when writing her letters. Her dad pulled her out of school when she was young, insisting that she was not smart enough; that her little sister was the smart one in the family.

Celie goes through so many ups and downs, and experiences so many weird and cruel situations, yet she stays strong. She is truly an inspirational character because she keeps moving forward. Everyone can hope to be that strong. I recommend that everyone read this novel sometime in their life.