Sunday, December 30, 2007

Outside Reading Book Week 5 Post 2

A letter written by myself to Savannah in regards to her letter she sent to John

Dear Savannah,
I am writing to you to about the letter you sent to John telling him that you had fallen in love with somebody else. I think that it was extremely selfish and not thoughtful of you to break up with someone over a letter while not to mention someone who is fighting in a war in Iraq. Although you were extremely sincere and sympathetic in your letter you completely led John on into thinking you were still in love with him. You also made it seem like you were still in love with him but because you couldn’t be with him you broke his heart and fell in love with someone who will never be loved unconditionally by you. Not only is it unfair to John but also the man you are now with because they know they will never be able to replace John. Another thing, you knew that John’s father had had a heart attack and John was dealing with that along with the war and his relationship with you. You had to break up with him at the worst possible time in his life. You did not take one second into taking his personal life and his feelings into consideration when writing that letter and while falling in love with someone else. I just thought you would like some feedback on your letter and I hope you can do something to fix your relationship with John because you two were made for eachother.

Outside Reading Book Week 5 Post 1

pgs 143-190

  1. esoteric: pg 146- private, secret, confidential
  2. lilting: pg 148- To sing, play or say something in a cheerful or rythmic manner

Figurative Language

  1. pg. 150: "It stung like hell..." This is a similie because it is comparing the feeling of his cold fingers to the painfullness of hell.
  2. pg. 150: "I've done a lot of idiotic things for good old Uncle Sam and the Big Red One." This quote uses sarcasm to create a upbeat and cheerful tone for this part of the book
  3. pg 175: "...was beginning to feel like the spinning movement of a child's top." This is also and example of a similie because using 'like' its comparing his feeling of spinning-ness to a top.

Significant Quote

  1. pg. 186 "Even though you may not want to hear it, I want you to know that you'll always be a part of me." This quote is significant because it explains that Savannah is done with John but describes her feelings she still has for him. This is significant to the story because it throws a loop for the readers and the predictable ending of John and Savannah ending up together.

Emerging Theme

The theme that I see emerging from this part of the book is that it is important to take into consideration other people's feelings when making an important decision. After September 11 John enlisted in the army again without even thinking about how that would effect his relationship with Savannah.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Outside Reading Book Week 4 Post 2

A hypothetical letter written from John to his father after pages 109-142.
Dear Dad,
I would just like to start off by saying I am truly sorry for not accepting your differences. I was quick to abolish any sort of interest in your coin collection and I am just now realizing how unfair to you that was. Thanks to my wonderful girlfriend Savannah she has taught me about a condition called Asperger’s disease in which it makes one socially slower and extremely individual. I have come to believe and accept that this is what you have and who you are. She tells me non-stop what a great job you did raising me and I have nothing contradicting that statement. You did such a great job and I thank you for that. I know it must have been hard raising me alone under your conditions. I realize how hard on you it must have been having me ignore you for so long. I apologize and hope to make it up to you. I am leaving again for Germany soon and won’t be back for another year but it does make me happy to know that I can now understand you better and our relationship can grow stronger! I understand that your coins mean so much to you and I want you to know that I am willing to put my full most effort into understanding your love for coins and I want to be there for you because it is something that is your passion!
I love you dad!

Outside Reading Book Week 4 Post 1

pgs. 109-143
  1. chastened (pg 112): To restrain or subdue
  2. candor (pg 118): The state or quality of being frank, open, or sincere

Figurative Language:

  1. "I drove my elbow hard into his solar plexus and heard a sudden groaning exhale... I swung an elbow blindly and felt it connect; I felt cartilage crunch as I turned." (pg 119): This is an example of imagery and good details because it describes the situation intricately.
  2. "...and when i felt him place a genlte hand on my back, all I could think was that I hadn't felt this close to him in years." (pg 129) This figurative language shows how the touch of his hand on his back can lead to communication despite the lack of words.
  3. "We walked along the gravel paths, skirting clusters of wildflowers that bloomed a thousand different colors in the lazy southern heat." (pg 135) This is very descriptive language that helps describe the setting for the reader.

Significant Quote

"Not because you liked him, but because you wanted to know if you were right." (pg 116) This quote is significant because it is the start of the fight that John and Savannah had. It shows that John jumped into this head on because he is in denial that there is something wrong with his father and doesn't like to believe that it is true. This quote later is significant because it is what John reflects on saying that results in him feeling bad for how he blew up at Savannah.

Emerging Theme

A theme that is emerging in this part of the book is that John and Savannah have true love for eachother. Despite arguments they have their love always wins and it cannot be defeated.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Outside Reading Book Week 3 Post 2

A letter from John to his infantry squad in the army.

Dear Squad,
Hey guys its John and I’m writing to you to tell you about the most wonderful person I have ever met. Her name is Savannah and she is out of this world. She is here working for habitat for humanity. How I met her is really a interesting way. I was standing on the pier after a day of surfing and her and her 3 friends were also standing nearby. She had a purse with her and while she was taking a picture it fell into the ocean. I jumped off the pier and recovered her bag for her and returned it. She was so thankful and in return invited me to come to her groups’ house for dinner. From the moment I met her there was an instant attraction. We’ve gone on 3 dates and it seems to me she is the one. She even wanted to meet my father and you all know how socially awkward he is. I even thought he seemed happy when she came over! I have kissed her once since we met. She has been through a lot and has changed the way I feel about girls and how I should treat them. I was lucky enough to share the words ‘I love you’ with her after the 3 date. It’s incredible. She is super conservative and is complete opposite of me. I think the term ‘opposites attract’ really means something. Anyways I hope all is going well in Germany I should be back soon regardless of how in love I am. John

Outside Reading Book Week 3 Post 1

Dear John pgs. 60-109

Feigning: (pg 62) To pretend, dissemble
Eluded: (pg 83) To escape the understanding, perception, or appreciation of

Figurative Language:
  1. "The water stung as it ricocheted off my chest and shoulders, and my face made me feel as if I were running a low fever." (pg 60) This is an example of imagery because its using description words to describe things that affect your senses.
  2. "The sun was beginning its slow descent, and as I pulled out, the sky was a swirl of fruity colors that contrasted dramatically with the evening skies..." (pg 62) This is also an example of imagery because it paints a picture of the setting.
  3. "I waited, drinking in the sight of her." (pg 94) I don't really know what type of figurative language this is but it is very deep. Using the word drinking instead of a different word really creates a cool sentence.

Significant Quote:

"I had no regrets about the way I'd turned out. Regrets about the journey, maybe, but not the destination." (pg 71). This quote is significant because it really shows how John feels about his childhood growing up with a father who shows no intimacy. He is saying that growing up he regrets some of the ways that he treated his father and some of the fights they had but in the end he ended up to be a good person and thanks his father for raising him well.

Emerging Theme

One true theme that can be seen through this section of the book is the ability to love. John is learning that you have to take the good from the bad. Although he doesn't have a great relationship with his father he realizes that he should love his father because he did the best he could.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Debate Activity

Debate #1: Abortion
1. Normally occur at political debates
2. The debate makes it so everyones opionion is heard
3. Yes because it creates a better decision because all aspects are seen
4. The debate is most likeley structured
5. This debate ensures that the majority of what the people want get.
Debate #2: Use of Steroids in Sports
1. Normally occurs when important sports figures talk
2. The debate talks about the safety and equality of the players in the sports
3. No because it should be based on health and not the equality of playing, the health of the players should be more important
4. The debate could be structured or unstructured
5. The debate could effect the players health and safety
Debate #3: The Use of Guns for Protection
1. Normally occurs at political debates
2.The debate allows all sides to contribute their opinions to their sides
3. Yes because both sides are very complicated
4. The debate is most likely structured
5. The debate could end up saving a lot of peoples lives if the right decision is made and new laws could be enforced
Debate #4: Having teens under the age of 18 only allowed 2 others in the car
1. This debate occurs at political debates
2. This debate allows each opinion to be analyzed and proposes a lot of info to be looked at
3. Yes because there is a lot of stuff to be considered when making a decision
4. The debate is structured
5. The debate could prevent a lot of teen involved accidents
Debate #5: Teens Curfews
1. This debate most likely occurs between a child and their parents
2. The debate gets across both the kids view and the parents
3. Yes because kids a lot of times have good points and should be allowed to share them
4. This debate is unstructured
5. The parents could change their mind after hearing the kids point of view

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Outside Reading Book Week 2 Post 2

"Passion is passion. It's the excitement between the tedious spaces, and it doesn't matter where it's directed...passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary..." (pg 57) This quote is very intriguing to me. I agree with this quote when saying that every person should have a passion because it is something they can focus on in their lives and then receive satisfaction when achieving a goal they set within their passion. In my book John's father's passion happens to be coin collecting and although John and his father don't get along John realizes that coins make him happy so he doesn't bother telling him how boring he thinks they are. In life you may receive happiness from small things in your life but you receive fulfillment from achieving happiness when it concerns something your are passionate about. In my life my passion is hockey and it is the best thing in the entire world when you succeed in hockey because it is something I care so deeply about, whereas if I did something worth honorable mention in a different sport or activity it wouldn’t matter to me as much because it’s not my passion. Also a passion is important to everyone because your passion can be anything you can imagine and you don’t have to be an expert or professional at it because making yourself better is what gives you satisfaction. Overall I think this quote is very inspiring to me and is something that everyone should keep in mind.

Outside Reading Book Week 2 Post 1

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks


  1. Lapsed: to come to and end or stop (pg 43)
  2. Portending: to indicate by prediction (pg 45)

Figurative Language

  1. "'I mean he was smiling, just as happy as a kid could be.'" (pg 40) This is an example of a similie because its comparing his smile to the happiest kid ever.
  2. "Above me, I could see Orion's belt; just over the horizon on the water, Venus had appeared and glowed a heavy white..." (pg. 41) This is an example of imagery because it paints a picture of the setting and uses very descriptive words.
  3. "Surfing is a solitary sport, one in which long stretches of boredom are interspersed with frantic activity, and it teaches you to flow with nature, insteat of fighting it..." (pg 44) This is an example of a metaphor because its describing surfing in a connotative way and not very blunt.

Significant Quote

  1. "Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because ther's nothing to make it last." (pg 57) This quotes significant because it explains John's idea on his surfing and is kind of making a connection with his father and his father's fetish with coins.

Emerging Theme

A theme that I can see emerging throughout this section of the book is the learning that each John and Savannah gain from being with eachother. Each will contribute to one anothers learning and will gain different perspectives on things.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Outside Reading Book Week 1 Post 2

Post B:
pgs. 0-38
So far in Dear John there have been clear examples that John (the main character) is having and internal conflict. In his mind he is struggling with the relationship he has with his father. He knows that his dad loves him very much by the way he makes him breakfast every morning no matter how disappointed he was at the decisions that John made such as drugs and drinking while he was a teenager. But he struggles at the fact that he and his father broke a bond that they had after an argument over his father’s coin collection. From that time on John’s dad seems to be a lot less talkative and show no physical love for John just the support in his heart but not vocally. After John joined the army his father wrote him every month but showed no intimacy or genuine support. I think that John is struggling because he wants to have a bond with his father but doesn’t know where to start in order to build one. I predict that while John is back staying at his father’s house that they will continue to grow closer and their relationship will be a sub-conflict of the story, and Nicholas Sparks will continuously refer to their conflict to show how both characters have matured and changed and to show their changing relationship. This is not the only conflict that will occur in the story but in the first 38 pages it is quite clear that this is one of the hardest things for John.

Outside Reading Book Week 1 Post 1

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
pgs. 0-38.

2 Vocabulary Words:
  1. Estrangement (pg.12): to turn away from, to keep at a distance
  2. Infantry (pg.17): A branch of the army used to fight on foot

3 Figurative Language Examples

  1. "I was as blind as a snail, and as dumb as a camel..." (pg.12): This is an example of a similie because it is comparing the blindness to a snail and dumb to the camel.
  2. "In time, the color of the ocean began changing form iron gray to orange, then yellow." (pg.22): This is a good example of imagery because it is very descriptive in defining the colors of the ocean.
  3. "...I felt something click, like a key turning in a lock." (pg.27): This is another example of a similie because it explains how he felt in relation to an object.

Significant Quote

  1. "He was, I've long since come to belive, a far better man [father] than I'll ever be." (pg.18): This quote is significant because it shows the true feelings that John has for his father. Although he describes his frusteration he has for his father, this quote is significant because it exemplifies the fact that he really deep down loves his father.

Emerging Theme

A consistant theme that I see emerging from the book is the maturity and self-reliability of John and how self-motivated John was as a kid and how it has helped him help himself while being in the army and living on his own.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quarter 2 Outside Reading Book Approve

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Published in 2006

271 pages

This book is sufficiently challenging enough because it says that it has "temendous emotional depth". The story is deep and has extensive vocabulary that makes this book challenging.

I chose this book for 3 reasons. The first being that I have read Nicholas Spark's previous novels and have enjoyed them greatly. The second being that I really like love stories. The third being that it is a current novel relating to a significant situation that occured recently (9/11).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sea Inside Post 3

The camera movements used in The Sea Inside helped a lot with the message the director was trying to send. When the characters were experiences important sequences/'speeches' in the story the director did an almost similar sequence of shots. He would create an eye-level medium shot while the character started the speech. As the character went further into depth the camera would zoom in to a close up shot. Also he would pan the listeners of the speech to show their reactions. Lastly the director would make a long shot to show both the speaker and the listeners at the same time. The juxtaposition of these camera movements were smooth and gentle, just like the way the characters were talking. This sequence of shots was used numerous times throught the movie some examples being: when Ramon and Javi were talking about Javi's grandpa and his stubborness and noseyness, Ramon and Julia were discussing Ramon's inability to love due to his condition, and Ramon and Julia were talking about getting his writings published. Those were just many of the important sequences that those shots were used. They help the movie watchers focus on what they are saying instead of how the camera is moving. The angle shows that during the speeches everyone had equal say. The gentle juxtaposition gave the effect that nothing was too harsh.

Sea Inside Post 2

There were many differences and similarities between The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. One of the main similarities was that both Ramon and Jean were quadrapalegic. . Another similarity was the way that the men handled their situation. Another similarity was that both patients showed a sarcastic and humorous mood towards their disease. As these to examples are similarities, there are also some differences between the stories. An obvious difference was the fact that Ramon was quadrapalegic for a much longer time than Jean was 'locked-in'. Also another difference was that Ramon showed a desire to die while Jean only thought about it and never came to a conclusion about whether he would rather be dead or not. Thirdly, Ramon was able to talk while Jean was limited to only being able to blink his eye. Lastly an important difference was that Ramon spent a lot of time expressing his hope through his 'flying' while Jean used his stories and memory to express rememberance and embraced the things he did have and accepting his state of being rather than hoping to be better one day. I think that the Sea Inside was more powerful because the plot dealt with death and dying is a very extreme option when it comes to situations and causes the situation to become more intense and powerful.

Sea Inside Post 1

The Sea Inside was a very interesting movie. I thought that the plot was decent but definately intriguing. It was entertaining to me to see the different reactions each character had towards Ramon and how they acted around him during different emotional states. Although it was difficult because of the fact that it was in Spainish and subtitles were used; I think that having to read and understand all the important testimoneys in the movie helped me make sure I understood it completely and forced me to read and listen to it. Also it was neat to see how a family of a different culture handled the situation, it was interesting to try to see how my family would react and handle that situation. I think that it was completely reasonable for Ramon to want to die, his life is not exciting for him and if he wants to go to heaven and have his life better than that is his perrogative. The government should have no say in that if Ramon wants to die and is unable he should be able to because if he were in a condition that he could kill himself he could and have it not be illegal. I believe that Ramon has a legitimate excuse for wanting to die, as in he is not only upset with his inablility to do anything but he is a burden to his family for having to take care of him. I also think that the friends that are helping him are being good friends and helping their friend be happier and live a better life. Friends should want whats best for their friend and deep down they know that this life Ramon had was not making him happier. Overall the story was a very interesting and made me think a lot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Outside Reading Book Final Project

This memoir is a recapping of the life of a young girl’s life growing up with two siblings, an alcoholic father, and dysfunctional mother. Jeannette Walls tells her story and shares her emotions that she feels as she lives a tough day-to-day life. Throughout this memoir, The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls wanted to present the message of the necessity of individual drive and self-sufficiency; She demonstrates this message by the use of imagery, tone, and word choice.
The imagery that Jeannette uses throughout her memoir is a key component in getting the message of her story across to the reader. The first passage that shows imagery supporting her message of the story is when Jeannette is talking about Welch High-School and the description of the kids attending it. “Some of the kids looked as poor as me, with home-cut hair and holes in the toes of their shoes. I found it a lot easier to fit in than at Welch Elementary.” (199). This passage gives the reader a picture that they can put in their minds that describe what the Wall’s kids looked like and how they felt. This shows individual drive because each of these poorer kids need to look after themselves due to the lack of money. Jeannette looks for these kids because she knows that she will be able to fit in better with them. Another passage that shows good imagery comes from when Jeannette is writing about how at school when she was in 12th grade she would sneak into the cafeteria and eat the food. “I could sneak into the cafeteria one everyone had left and dig through the garbage pails. I’d find industrial-sized cans of corn that were nearly full and huge containers of cole slaw and tapioca pudding. I no longer had to root through the bathroom wastebaskets for foot, and I hardly ever went hungry again.” (232). This passage shows just how desperate Jeannette was for food and how hard her life must have been. The imagery in this passage can help the reader picture Jeannette a 17-year-old girl digging in the garbage for a little something to eat. This goes to show how self-sufficient Jeannette was towards getting herself food to stay alive.
The different tones that Jeannette uses throughout her memoir help create a mood that sends the message of the importance of individual drive to the readers. The first passage is when Jeannette is explaining how she was driven to find a place where she felt like she belonged. “I wanted to join some club or group or organization where I could I feel I belonged, where people wouldn’t move away if I sat down nest to them.” (203). This passage’s tone is desperate and yearning. Jeannette wants to be accepted so much and have a reassurance that they would not leave. Jeannette did not receive this acceptance in her home but she uses her individual drive to find this place of acceptance. Secondly, another quote that portrays the author’s message was when Jeannette was recalling an incident where she was ‘raped’ when she was 8. A boy had kissed her and told her that she had been ‘raped’ by him. Jeannette had a hunch that it was not a good thing so she took it into her own hands to find out what ‘raped’ meant for she didn’t know what it was before the boy had said it. “At home I looked up the word in the dictionary. Then I looked up the words that explained it, and though I still couldn’t figure it out completely, I knew it wasn’t good.” (87). This quote has a tone of curiosity and determination. Jeannette is intrigued and is resolute in finding out the definition. This shows how self-sufficient Jeannette was for an eight year old to look a word up in the dictionary because she had an idea that it was a bad thing. The tones used in this memoir are a great help in showing the readers the central idea the author had intended the book to show.
The carefully selected words used in Jeannette’s story help the reader feel the same emotion that Jeannette was during specific events. The loaded words are chosen to send Jeannette’s message across of the importance of self-drive and individuality. This quote was stated in the beginning of the story when Jeannette is describing her apartment she worked so hard for in New York City. Growing up so poor, and having no motivation from her parents to do well and go to college, Jeannette worked very hard to do as well as she did and live a well-off life. “There were turn-of-the-century bronze-and-silver vases and old books with worn leather spines that I collected at flea markets. There were Georgian maps I’d framed, the Persian rugs, and the overstuffed arm chair I like to sink into…” (4). This quote uses lots of description words that show a lot of wealth and class within her apartment. These words help paint a picture of the apartment for the reader. This picture is helpful because it shows the extreme contrast between that and her childhood houses. The next passage was written when explaining the frequent fights that occurred in Welch. Jeannette shares about the most memorable fight that she and her siblings had. “Our most spectacular fight, and our most audacious tactical victory…”(165). This quote helps send the message because it shows that the kids were for themselves when it came to brawls and being self-sufficient in surviving them without getting too hurt. Words like ‘audacious’ and ‘tactical’ give the readers the feeling of how risky the fight was and how dangerous they could be. The word choice used in the memoir helps Jeannette portray her message a lot more clearly.
Many times throughout the memoir Jeannette Walls uses imagery, tone, and word-choice to get her message across about the importance of individual drive and self-sufficiency. Whether it was fighting against the neighborhood bullies, stealing food from the cafeteria, or finding the club that would be the most accepting, the literary techniques used are very important towards showing the message to the readers.

Final Outside Reading Book Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
pg 218-288

This chunk of the book starts off with Lori arriving home from camp and Mrs. Walls coming home from being a student at a unniversity. After coming home both mentioned that they were so much happier being away from the Wall's house in Welch. Mrs. Wall's quit her job as a teacher and as a result there was no steady income. Another important part of this portion of the book that is really important is a falling out between Jeannette and Rex. Jeannette flips out at Rex for stealing money from her for his alcohol. That spring 2 filmmakers from New York City, Ken Fink and Bob Gross, came to school and inspired Jeannette. The Wall's family purchased a car and named it Elvis. Lori is graduating and is moving to NYC she expresses a lot of nervousness. In the Fall of the same year, Lori moves to New York City. Jeannette becomes the editor of the school newspaper the Maroon Wave, and becomes very interested in the idea of college and becomes occupied doing lots of extracirricular activities to possibly give her a leg up in getting a scholarship to college. Jeannette goes to Miss Katona the school guidence counselor and tells her that she would need to move to New York so she could be 'in state' and would have more of a chance of getting into college. Jeannette moves to NYC and lives with Lori, Rex becomes very upset. Jeannette and Lori buy an apartment together in a not so good neighborhood. The Walls' parents come to NYC to live with the girls because they were evicted from their house. Eventually they are forced to leave and they become homeless on the street. Rex and Mrs. Walls make it through the winter but Rex becomes sick and stays in the hospital for 6 weeks. Jeannette marries Eric but then later on marries John. Lori becomes a freelance artist. In the end Rex dies. That was the end of The Glass Castle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week 5: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

pg 197-220

This section of the book starts off with Mrs. Walls becoming a teacher in Davy (a town just north of Welch). She was one of the only legit qualified teachers in the area. She taught reading in the elementary students. Jeannette shares her memories of going to the bank on her mom's paydays. Jeannette becomes concerned about her orthedontia and the look of her teeth. She takes a trip to the library to check out a book about orthedontia. Jeanette attempts to make her own set of braces. She uses a wire hanger and rubber band to close the gap in her teeth while she sleeps at night. Also Jeannette starts working at her school newspaper, The Maroon Wave. Miss Bivins was one of the teachers that ran the school newspaper and was also one of Rex's favorite teachers from when he was a student at the school aswell. Rex's cigarette and alcohol addiction gets worse and he is lowering down to asking his children for money to buy cigarettes and booze. Jeannette goes to a bar and meets Robbie. Jeannette and Robbie dance for a while and develope some chemistry. Robbie told Jeanette he had an apartment above the bar and invited her to come up. She knew he was a creep and decided to leave with her father who had won some money at the bar. Rex disappeared for a while after that incident. He came back a later and invited Jeanette to go to a bar with him but she said no. Jeannette had a fetish with getting a watch. Mr. Becker was the owner of a jewelry store. Jeannette visited him often and knew that she would never be able to afford anything so she resorted to stealing. She felt so horrible that she felt she had to return it to the store but without anyone noticing.

I think this story so far has been like really entertaining and super fun to read. Its totally thrilling to watch Jeannette grow up into such a lovely young woman. She has so many qualities that are so great. I think that this story is still kind of boring at points because sometimes it’s like ‘BAM!’ exciting but sometimes its out of this world boring and I fall asleep, but right when you least expect it the story flips and it gets entertaining. As I indulge myself further into deeper analysis of this memoir I come believe that it is more a story of personal relationships and understanding of life’s deepest hardships. Jeannette has suffered so much and gone through so many tough obstacles in her life that I admire he strong personality for dealing with such issues. She is so brave to bear with her alcoholic father and be there for him even though it is not mutual he is not always there for her. This book is difficult for me to read occasionally because it is real and I can relate to Jeanette is so many ways and it’s hard to believe that she went though so many hard times. I predict that Jeannette will become frustrated with her father and leave him and go on to college on scholarship.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 4: Post 2

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

pgs 149-196

In this portion of the book it starts off with Mrs. Walls going back to Pheonix leaving the kids at their petifile grandma's house to see if they could go get any of the belongings they left behind. Once the parents returned Grandma Erma said that they needed to move out because the kids were extremely rude and bad. So the Wall's family moved out and into a small house in Welch. The family tried to make it as 'homey' as possible. The family got to know the people that lived in Welch and the kids got to meet a lot of new friends. Jeannette tended to get along a lot better with the boys in the neighborhood and spent a lot of time playing football and games. Also Jeannette tells the readers that there was a lot of fighting in Welch. Not just with enemies but to fit in. The fight that she tells the most about was "the Battle of Little Hobart Street" against big bully, Ernie Goad. Jeannette mouthed off to Ernie and that started the fight. Brian and all of the other kids on Hobart Street joined the Walls kids to defeat Ernie. Jeannette talks about how the weather was changing and the changes that the kids adapted to while living in Welch. The following chapter is about how Rex disappears a lot more often and how he was 'looking for a job' when really he was spending more and more time at the local taverns. Jeannette starts school and is teased relentlessly. With Winter approaching the Walls family had to find ways to keep the house warm without speding too much money on coals or heat. Each kid pitched in on chopping wood for fires because Rex was never home. The next chapter is about Grandma Erma dying. Mrs. Walls claims it was suicidal but Rex denies it. The Walls family went to the funeral although none were very upset. Also another important part of this portion of the book was that Mrs. Walls took to taking a job at the local school.

Week 4: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

In "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls the tone of the story is solemn and meaninful with lots of morals. "When Dad went crazy, we all had our own ways of shutting down and closing off, and that was what we did that night." (115). This quote made an impact on me. It makes me very grateful for having a sober dad. Especially since this passage occured on Christmas, it makes me sad to think that on such a happy holiday Jeannette had to celebrate with a drunk dad that did horrible things like light their Christmas tree they spent a fortune on. This quote makes an impact on the story because it is only one of the many rules that Jeannette had to follow as a kid in order to live with a alcoholic father. She says that everyone has their way of shutting off. This means that everyone in their family adjusted differently when their dad, Rex, was under the influence. It's sad to believe that Jeannette in esscence had two dads, a sober and a drunk. She had to learn the personalities of both and how to get along with both which wasn't easy.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Diving Bell and Butterfly Journal

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby was a very interesting and intriguing story. Although very difficult to interpret it kept me entertained. I'm not sure if I would recommend the story to others. I thought that it was incredibly boring. Their was no plot and it switched from the prospectives of the 'butterfly' and the 'diving bell' without any hints. The stories he told and the thoughts he recorded were very difficult to decipher and it took me a long time to interpret what he was saying in a literal manner. Also I thought the story was very difficult to follow because the chapters were not related to each other at all. All of the stories he told were really random and had no correlation to the previous chapters nor the upcoming chapters. I think that it is really amazing that Bauby was able to write this book. It was one of the reasons that kept me reading; just because of the fact that he blinked it. I felt bad not reading it because he put so much time and effort into it. It shows so much character and determination of Bauby to finish the book and not give up. I was thoroughly impressed. My favorite part of the book was when he described what it was like to live in the hospital being a quadriplegic. This was my favorite part because I thought it was really interesting to learn about and to figuratively experience what it would be like. And how drastically your life would change. My least favorite part was when he talked about the future and his predictions. It was extremely metaphorical and hard to understand. Also I think it was hard to understand because I would never be able to understand what he is thinking because I could never imagine what it would be like to be paralyzed. Overall it was not my favorite book but I definitely found it interesting enough to hold my attention.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 3: Post 2

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Overall Summary:
So far in this story there are some things that I like and dislike. I really enjoy the fact that it is fast pace and doesn't stick around on one subject for a long period of time. And I also like that every chapter you feel like your getting to know more and more about the characters. I don't really like the fact that there is no climax and nothing to get excited for. It is really generic and hard to make predictions on what is coming up. The story makes me very appreciative of my life and everything I have. Not just tangible items but a loving family and a sober dad. I think that it is so unfortunate that Jeanette has had to go through and meet so many horrible people that treat her so terribly. In the upcoming chapters I predict that the Wall's family will move out of their grandparents house because of how vile it is and Rex will get a job. So far the story relates to my life because I am kind of like Jeanette in the sense that I am very self taught. I like to do things on my own and I work hard for the things I acheive. I feel like we are similar in the fact that we don't ever want to hurt others so we often keep things to ourselves in order to protect other people. I really am enjoying this book and I am looking forward to seeing how it ends up.

Week 3: Post 1

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. pgs. 102-148

This section of the memoir starts off with Jeanette sharing with us about the gypsies living in their town. The next chapter is about the Walls' family's trip to the zoo. Rex climbs into the lion cage and almost gets arrested. Rex loses his job and the Walls family is poor again. Jeanette's mom resorts to stealing in thrift stores and Rex finds a way to rig getting money out of the bank. Rex resorts to alcohol more and more often in this section. Christmas was a disaster because of his drunkeness; so for Jeanette's 10th birthday she asks him to stop drinking. He is sober for a small while until a family trip to the Grand Canyon goes wrong. The family decides that it is time to move to Welch to live with their grandparents. The kids meet their weird grandparents for the first time and aren't pleased. The house is gross and the grandma is a pervert. The kids are enrolled in school in Welch. All three kids are bullied a lot but they don't say anything to their parents.

Author Biography:
Jeanette Walls was born in Pheonex, Arizona and traveled to various cities in the southwest region. Her and her family finally settled the city of Welch, West Virginia. She grew up there and ended up going to Columbia Universtity's Bernard College. She graduated with flying colors and then worked for New York magazine, Esquire, USA Today. Currently Jeanette is working for She has had many TV appearances including the Today Show and PrimeTimeLive. She is now living in Virginia and is married to a writer John Taylor.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Outside Reading Post #2

Post #2 pg. 42-102. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Ten Loaded Words:
  1. car (pg 46)- To me this is a loaded word because I will be getting my license in 4 days and a car is going to become an important thing in my life.
  2. Sun-bleached (pg. 51)- This word has a positive connotation because it remindes me of bleached out summer hair and going to the pool in the summer.
  3. Piano (pg 52)- Piano to me is a loaded word because it is something that I have played for 10 years now.
  4. Fools-gold (pg 59)- This word is a loaded word to me because my brother and I would always buy fools-gold at this little store when we would go to Beaver Creek, CO when we were little.
  5. Sulfer (pg 65)- This word has a negative connotation because it reminds me of the horrible smell.
  6. Drug-dealer (pg 73)- This word is a negative connotative word because it is a bad thing that is a big problem in our society today.
  7. Halloween (pg 74)- This word is positive connation because it is a very fun holiday that is coming up soon!
  8. Rape (pg 87)- This word has a strong negative connotation because of the fact it is a horrible thing.
  9. Gun (pg 89)- This is a loaded word because it is a super controversial word that can have both positive and negative connotations
  10. Gazillion (pg 100)- this word has so much uniqueness to it and emphasizes so much that it is a loaded word

This portion of the story starts off with the Wall's family living in Blythe, California. All 3 of the childred started school. As a result of Jeanette being very advanced educationally she was teased and called a teachers pet. She was beaten up numerous times on her was to and from school. Also Mrs. Walls has a baby and names it Lilly Ruth Maureen. Rex Wall's soon decides that it was time to pack up and leave again. So the family rented a U-Haul and left Blythe.
The next stop for the Walls' family was the Battle Mountains in Nevada. Rex brought them there in hopes of prospecting the gold. The town was small but they found a nice place to stay. The family gets accustomed with the new hometown. The kids explore the desert while Mrs. Walls continues painting and Rex works as an electrician in a mine. The neighborhood was filled with kids and the Walls kids met many friends. They liked their new home although the budget was extremely tight. The next couple of chapters are descriptive of the days of the Walls' family not containing and exciting or unusual happenings. The kids get to know the 'employees' of the Green Lantern, which was an unwritten whore house. An important event in Jeanette's life was when she learned to swim. Things got difficult for the Walls family a few times throughout this portion of the story. They went for days without a solid meal. Mrs. Walls got herself a job as a teacher to gain more income for the family. This extra money helped the family out a lot. Also in this part of the book Jeanette meets Billy Deel. This boy is eight just like Jeanette at the time and claimes Jeanette to being his girlfriend. Jeanette isn't so sure about this but goes along with it until Billy comes close to 'raping' her. After the incident Jeanette told Billy that she was no longer going to be called his girlfriend. That night Billy came her her house and started shooting a BB gun at her house. In self-defense Jeanette's older sister shot back with her father's pistol. The police came and this resulted in another move for the Walls' family. The family moved into Mrs. Wall's dead mother's house in Pheonix, Arizona. It was the biggest house the family had ever lived in and came with beds, a grand piano, and a counted 14 rooms. Rex got a job as an electrician and the income for the family was good. The family now has enough money for luxerys they couldn't afford before.

I think the story is getting a little repetitive with all of the moving to different places. Its the same ideas just in different parts of the western united states. Although there are some exciting parts they last for a very short time and then it is just filler in stuff until the next somewhat exciting part. Hopefully something more dramatic will happen for the next part!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Outside Reading Book Post #1

Blog #1 pg. 1-42 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The story starts off with the main character, Jeanette, sitting in a taxi driving to a party. On her way she looks over to see her mom digging through a dumpster for any useful items. This brings the main character to re-tell the story of how her parents and her family went from a well-off life to rags and living on the streets.
The first recalled memory of Jeanette occured when she was 3. She was trying to make herself a hotdog by putting it in boiling water. She ended up burning more than half of her body. Jeanette was taken to the hospital where she was bandaged and recovered. Her father, Rex Walls, was not happy with her staying in the hospital for very long so one day he came and took her out without nurse's permission.
Next, one random night Rex came and woke up their family from bed, he told them it was time to leave so they packed what they could in the car and left. Their first stop was her grandmother's house in Pheonex, Arizona. Rex and her grandmother got into an arguement one night and ended up leaving. The family drove from town to town sleeping in a sandy desert or a cheap motel. One of the most detailed stops of their adventure was Las Vegas where Rex had found a way to rig the system of blackjack and ended up winning a lot of money. The Wall's family lived a life of the riches for the time spent in Las Vegas; but eventually the casinos caught on to his scam and chased the Wall's out of Nevada. The next stop on their drive was San Fransisco. Rex got a job in the mines.
The next and last portion of my book so far was about the Wall's family christmas spent in a cheap motel in the desert. The family had no money for presents so Rex (an admireror of astronomy) took each of his 3 kids out to pick out a star for Christmas. This was his way of giving his children something for Christmas.

So far I think that the story is really interesting. I'm just starting to get to know the characters by the things they say and the actions they make. The one thing that stands out to me is how mature that Jeanette is. At the age of three she was boiling her own water to make herself lunch. And also living in a car at the age of five. I think that it shows extreme maturity. I predict that the family finally finds a place to live and that Rex's alcoholism gets worse. And the alcohol is what leads the Wall's family to poverty.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This I Believe
By Judith Jamison
To Thyne Own Self Be True

Her belief is that during the short period of time that we are on earth we should do our best to be as good as possible and by being honest shows goodness.

Ex.1 : Judith is a dancer and in the studio she tries to be completely honest with herself and tells her and her students her honest opinions to better herself and others.

Ex.2 : A true performance (while dancing) involves showing your emotions and your personal journey. Judith realizes that you have to be honest with your emotions otherwise the dance cannot be as good as it can be.

Favorite Passage: It's about reaching for perfection, and, most of all, it's about honesty. I like this passage because being true to yourself creates a feeling of perfection because you can only be as good as you can when you strive for complete truth in yourself.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

anxiousness and goals

This year I am very anxious for many things and also have set a few goals for myself. I am very looking forward to being with all of the older kids and also with my friends from Southview. I'm glad that I get to know so many more people. I also am anxious to have shorter classes. This year I hope that I can continue to get good grades even though I am busy with hockey and church. Also I hope I can gain new friends along with staying friends with my new friends.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Hello this is my english blog