Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I cry.

Infants- cry for hunger, thirst, diaper change,
Toddlers- cry for attention
Children- cry from a scraped knee, want more toys; jealousy
Teenagers- death, broken friendships, back-stabbing, loss, pain, disappointment, aches, longing, damage, family

Broken Hopes, New Hopes

Why does my big sister cry?
Why does my mommy cry?

I see them laugh, but then they cry,
They box it up and I don’t know why.

When I’m a big girl, 7 maybe,
I’ll make all their pain go away.

Everything will turn out okay,
I’ll have it no other way.

But for now,
I guess,
I just have to deal.
I’ll stay strong for them too.
And I will help them heal.

Monologue

It should have been me.
I should’ve been the one to take that bullet.
She wasn’t supposed to die. Why do these things happen to me? To us? Why?
It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
We were just having a good time in the park.
Everything was… normal.
As it should have been.
Just two best friends having fun as we shouted and hollered on the monkey bars, up and down the swings.
And then just like that, my best friend was gone.
Forever.
I remember the moment right before she was shot.
‘I wish things would stay just like this. Perfect,’ she told me.
I agreed as I heard the gunshot and saw my best friend fall to the floor.
We should have never moved to this country.
If we had never met, she wouldn’t have been in the park that day.
But God chose this.
Funny how destiny works right?
But not so funny when a person who you loved dearly is now gone forever.
I want to die too; I can’t imagine a life without her.
But for her, I will try.
For both of us.

Dialogue: Mother & Daughter

“But Mom, I don’t want to move! I have friends here!”
“Honey, you are old enough to understand. The war is becoming too dangerous.”
“I won’t know anyone there…”
“You will meet plenty of new people once we get there!”
“What if I don’t fit in?”
“Just be yourself.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“I don’t want you to die.”
“I won’t, I promise.”
“You’re right. You won’t die in a new country.”
“I guess you’re right Mother. When will we go?”
“Soon, just be ready. This country is unpredictable.”

Coming of Age: 2 Voice Found Poem: Persepolis

Wealth
Invited Attacks
I was 10 years old
The “Islamic Revolution”
Execution
In the name of freedom
Capitalism
“Cultural Revolution”
My mother was really scared
Arab Invasion
Justice, Love & the Wrath of God!
Massacre
Ouch!
Forbade people to rescue 400 fire victims
God, where are you?
Down with the king!
God chose the king!
Pain
Destiny
I lived in poverty
I felt ashamed
The king is a killer!                                                                              The king is a killer!
Tomorrow we are going to demonstrate
We shouted from morning till night
New freedom.                                                                                             New freedom.

Foreword to Coming of Age Multi- Genre Project

Sometimes when we close our eyes, we see ourselves differently as opposed to when we have our eyes opened. Maybe we’re a small child, with big hopes and dreams, ones that reach farther than imagination takes us. When we then open our eyes and look in the mirror, we may see someone else. We close our eyes because we miss that child and we long to be them again. We still move on, happy to have actually been able to be that child once. I think part of coming of age, is taking who you were with who you are, to shape who you will someday be.

When I think of coming of age, I think of two scenarios. When I was younger, I couldn’t see well. I didn’t know I needed glasses. It wasn’t that I couldn’t see at all, just things weren’t so in focus. This is the first scenario. The second scenario is now. I have glasses and I can see clearly. You start out in life, maybe more na├»ve, but as you get older, you begin to see the world for what it really is and start the journey to find who you are as well.

For my multi genre project, my inspiration came from my life, and people in general. Some things I have actually dealt with or am still dealing with now, and others are fictional, but come from the real world. Stuff like this happens all the time and we should all be aware.

Throughout this project, you will follow the story of 3 sisters and how their coming of age each differs, yet help each of them to be who they were meant to be.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coming OF Age Reading Response #1

Maybe our life is measured by what we accomplish in it. Maybe it's the changes we go through. From past to present, Rachel's character goes through many changes. From trying to deal with a new life in a new country to wanting her Pop and trying to be a "teenager". In the book, The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow, Rachel has to move in with her grandmother who is unfit to raise a child due to "contributions" she drinks daily. The book is a journey that leads you in a whirl wind of events. Flashbacks are intricately woven to fit in the story as they help clue you in on what happened that tragic day. What eventually brought Rachel to be where she is now.

Moving to a different country after having lived elsewhere your whole life can be hard. One way her family coped with the new life was trying to forget by experiencing fun things. "Dear Mrs Warner, thank you for giving us the money to go to the amusement park. We are going next week. I can't wait. Love, Rachel. (25)" Even though her family tried to deal with their current situation as best as possible, it was still upsetting to live in a new country with most of her family dead. At night, Rachel would cry and scream. She would have nightmares almost every night thinking back on how she could've stopped her brother from dying. " 'Poor thing. It's alright. Go ahead. Let it out. It's hard to make sense of,' she says. 'But you're safe here.' (31)" She felt regret from that day. The regret doesn't stick with her the whole story though. It's human to feel regret about many things. I myself, have a regret that made me be able to connect to Rachel's chararter. She regretted the way she could've prevented her brother's death but didn't, and I regret my past and how I wasn't able to help out my best friend before her untimely death.

The only family she really knew was her Pop. In the beginning, it is unclear of why her Pop isn't with her. The only thing you know is that she longs for her father all the time. After losing your mother, younger brother and younger sister, I can understand why she would want her father so much. "I am waiting for Pop to come back - for Pop to come get me and take me home... (51)" After having moved to new country and then faced with a tragic event, all she wants to do is just go back home. Away from the country that her family lost their life in.

As Rachel began to grow older, she began to adjust to her new life in the new country. Her yearn for her father became less spoken about and more subtle. She began to go through the stages that most teenagers go through. She began to talk back to her grandmother and began to "defy her power" in the grandmother's words. She was always a very intelligent young lady. She also began to lie and have her intelligence make excuses for her. "Kissing John Bailey felt really good... When John Bailey touches me, I know this is the skin I want to be in. Sometimes when his mom works nights and he doesn't have basketball practice, I go to his house after school. When I come home late, I tell grandma I was at the library. (150)" Her grandmother doesn't believe her and Rachel knows this, but I think this is what most teenagers drive on. Trying to be their own person with power and not being stopped from doing what they want to do.

I am really enjoying reading The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. It's fun to track Rachel through her journey as she tries to find who the person she lost in that 9-story fall. Maybe the wind was blowing really hard that day and blew away her sweater, but I hope some day soon she finds her sweater so she can move on to the race known as life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2nd Prompt

What are the main similarities and differences of childhood and adulthood?

Similarities:

  • both lie and make mistakes, but that's only human
  • Personality- okay so personality may not be the exact same, but who you were as a child will stay with you as an adult. It will sort of guide you through life in a way.
  • Goals- Short term goals I seriously doubt will still be the same. Long term goals on the other can stay the same in a way. For example, even though I may not have reached adulthood yet, I still want to earn another charm for my bracelet although medically I may not be up to that task.


Differences:

  • "Hard" decision making- You know, as a child, your hardest decision may be choosing which new toy you want for Christmas. As an adult, your hardest decisions may be deciding whether or not investing in a new car will help you out in the long run,
  • Physical- Quite obvious, but appearance is different. Sometimes that same baby ace is there, but as you grow older you grow taller and maybe develop a few muscles. Who knows?
  • Intelligence and Mind- When you're young, everything is pretty straight-forward. 1+1 will always equal to 2. When you're older, you're faced with more complex questions that may not be so straight forward.
  • Authority- Adults have the authority while children not so much. As a child though, you do not question the authority. You go with it because "Mommy said so" and it just seems reasonable to do as Mommy says. As an adult, you actually get to be the one to speak with authority.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming of Age: #14

             There are many aspects of life that may cause you to come of age, or grow up, faster than maybe God intended for you. Those aspects may be disillusionment, pain, loss, war, etc. We watched a movie called Persepolis as a class in the beginning of the year and it was about a girl living in the year 1978 as a 9 year old child during the Iran- Iraq War. She was sent away to a different country because she was more outspoken and her parents were afraid for her life if she began to stir things up. Having to deal with the war and being different from her own culture made her come of age. She had to see the realness and cruelty of the world.
            
Some people come of age faster than others, and different people come of age for different reasons. I can say I came of age when my grandfather died suddenly, but that would be false because I didn’t know him much. I was too young when he used to visit, but too say that I don’t miss him and that I don’t love him would still be untrue.
       
 I think something that did help me to come of age though, was the death of one of my best friends last year in April. Her name was Daisy and she committed suicide. For a while after that, I was in a dark place although I hardly let it show. It is tough though to have to deal with the pain and loss. And I can say now that I am a different person because of what happened. That’s what it means to come of age, I think.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

if i stay

The worst thing you can feel about life, is that it is over. I still have flashbacks and nightmares, daymares if you may if they are during school, about the summer of '09. On that particular August rainy morning, my life was almost taken. I've been in 3 car accidents before, but that had definitely been the worst and most traumatic. My neck banged and cracked against the driver seat and the glass from the window next to me rained down on me. Luckily, none of the glass cut me, a miracle from God my mom says. Unfortunately for me, I did have to go to the hospital due to the damage on my neck and x-rays for my sprained ankle. I remember thinking for most of the rest of the year, that I should have been dead. I even felt a bit dead. Like along with that crushed car, a bit of me as well, was also crushed. 


I went on with life because life doesn't stop, not even for the traumatic things it decides to put you through. I think that may be one of the biggest life lessons you'll ever receive. Unfortunately for me though, I got the lesson at an earlier age than most, and at a more intense level. While reading if i stay by Gayle Forman, I felt I could relate to Mia on a deeper level. 


Gayle Forman has a gift when it comes to describing a scene. In a way it hurt me more to be able to revisit such a horrendous chapter of my life again by reading this book, but it also helped me to understand the story better. While reading the book the first time, the accident came so unexpected to me that when I read it, it hit me like a four-ton pickup truck going sixty miles an hour plowing straight into me with the force of an atom bomb. And that's exactly what happened to Mia and her family in their car on that surprisingly similar rainy day. The scene was so descriptive that I found myself living my car accident again. 


Unlike Mia, I did not go into a coma and have to make my decision of whether I should stay in the world or exit as my family before me had done. I'm pretty sure that if I had been in that same position, I would have driven myself crazy and out of this world on my own. 


I don't want to get too into the book, because I want you guys to read it on your own. I think people who are Twilight fans will definitely enjoy this book a lot. I recommend this book to all, and maybe not all will like it, but at least give it a chance first. Just take a chance and live life.


~Hillary.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Narrative Poem

I watch her from a distance,
I stray not too close by.
She sits at Mura everyday,
But I still haven't figured out why.

She sits alone day-to-day,
Cause she doesn't like crowds.
She sits at Mura everyday,
And I still haven't figured out why.

The waiter guy comes in a big ol' tie,
He sets down the tray
to pour some sauce.
I watch a big huge grin appear.

She sits at Mura everyday,
And I finally figured out why.

Sonnet 13

I look around to notice it is Spring,
The flowers are in bloom and Spring revives.
I listen to the birds as they will sing,
The bees fly in and out of their a' hives.

I watch some clouds and lay in the a' grass,
I listen to the bird with special tune.
The animals buzz 'round so very fast,
I smell the air to smell the month of June.

The sky falls dark and the sunshine goes away,
The rain pours down and lighting comes after.
I pray & pray, hoping for a new day,
As I continue to watch the thunder.

I like to think back on a' yesterday,
And just hope & pray for new bright day.

*sorry it's late, I lost it but then I just took the revised draft in my notebook*

Extra Credit Response

This week, I am deeply immersed in a book called The Red Pyramid, which is a book about Egyptian gods and goddesses, and kid magicians who have to go on a mission to save the world. Carter and Sadie have to travel national and international to save their father from the evil god, Set. The thing is, this book is almost IDENTICAL to Percy Jackson and The Olympians. I was introduced to this book by my younger brother who has a passion for greek mythology. It is also by the same author, Rick Riordan who is also starting to worry me.

These two books are about different religious beliefs, but in reality they have the same format. A girl and a boy on a mission, with a magical friend or creature (Carter, Sadie and Bast, Percy, Annabeth and Grover). Your basic fantasy story.
 

They have to save a parent figure (Carter and Sadie's dad, Percy's mom) by traveling around the world and even traveling down to different underworlds. They each have a magical object, which just so happens to be the same one (Carter's sword, Percy's sword).

As much as I love Rick's writing, descriptions, and chapter titles (I almost got killed by a french dude was my favorite), I think that Rick needs to start writing with a little bit of a different story plot. And when he learns how to, maybe he can meet up with Sarah Dessen and help her out too? There's nothing wrong with a little extra funk guys. But hey, maybe I'm being overly critical.



 I am only halfway through the Red Pyramid but I have already planned out what is going to happen. Despite the similarities both books have, they do have one variation. Much like some of Jerry Spinelli's books, the narration changes from chapter to chapter. Talk about too confusing to follow along! I shall continue to try, and I shall succeed! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Revised Looking For Alaska Response

I enjoyed reading the suspenseful Looking For Alaska by John Green because its format kept you engaged. Each chapter beginning at 143 days before to the day before kept me intrigued. The book kept me really excited. After Alaska died, I resented the author, and the book itself so much. How could he take the very character i related to completely out of the picture? It angered me. I related to Alaska in several ways as she is bright, crazy and spontaneous like me. She gave the book life and energy and by taking her out to early, there were things about her we would never find out about. 


I enjoyed Alaska. She was definitely a flirt, but she still had her boundaries. She liked to laugh, much like myself which was one way I felt I could relate to her at times. Throughout the whole first suspenseful half, I found that Alaska lived by my motto. This seemed to prove my theory further of us being alike. My motto is "live life as happy as you can, and keep your head up," or something along those lines. 


Sometimes what I do best, is concealing my true feelings and shutting the world out, while acting in my own play where I fool everyone into thinking everything's okay. I could also see Alaska hiding things at times. Watching her mother die, and then being blamed by her own father definitely put a damper on her life. Then she would take out her anger on her friends and not realizing she was doing so as she hurt them. As most bullies would do, they would cause harm to other people which would alternatively make them feel better as well. Alaska seemed to play pranks on the other kids, and she did this to make herself feel better, but she never really meant to injure someone drastically. Although I also believe that it made her feel better about herself knowing she inflicted it onto someone purposely, without hurting them how she hurt herself, her mother, and her father.


Although I can relate to Alaska in more than one aspect, I wouldn't say we're Gemini's. Some of her choices, would most definitely not be one of mine. For example, drunk driving will not be the way my life will end. And although Alaska did some pretty terrible things, I do not hold that against her completely because when her mother died, she lost a bit of herself too. She lost some of herself and sadly could not find herself in time to save herself from her own death. 


RIP Alaska. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Looking For Alaska by John Green

This last week, I finished the book, Looking For Alaska by John Green. I enjoyed the beginning half, and I think the format was definitely suspenseful. Each chapter starting at 143 days before, all the way to 1 day before, and the day before kept me intrigued. It definitely got me really excited. When Alaska died, I resented the text so much. I hated the author. How could he take the me (I can relate to this character Alaska very much, as she is bright, and crazy, and spontaneous) out of the story? She was the heart of the story and he just goes and takes her out like that? Not cool! There was still so much that I had yet to learn about her, but now there was no chance. UGH! It made me so mad.

I liked Alaska. She was a flirt, but she had boundaries. She liked to laugh, much like myself, which is kind of how I could relate to her at times. Throughout the whole first suspenseful half, I found that Alaska lived by my motto, which proved my theory even more. (My motto is "live life as happy as you can, and keep your head up" or something along those lines.)

I also saw times where I could tell she was hiding something. Its hard to do everything they try to achieve. Her mother dying while she was watching and her father blaming her definitely put a damper on her life. She would also take this out on her friends when she was feeling that pain. She almost didn't realize that she would do this. I believe she would also play pranks on the other kids in her school to make her feel better. Never to seriously injure. Though I also believe that it made her feel better about herself knowing she inflicted it onto someone purposely, without hurting them how she hurt herself, her mother, and her family.



Though I can relate to Alaska in a way, I wouldn't say we're exactly alike. I mean, for one thing, I won't die driving drunk. And although Alaska did do some pretty bad things, I can't completely blame her because I believe that when her mother died, she lost a bit of herself. She lost some of herself and sadly could not find herself back in time to save herself from death. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

3 Noteworthy Peer Blogs

I commend Fiona Socolow on her poem, 'Poem in the Mirror'. She is a true poet. I almost believe her, but not quite. And that's only because I actually know her and who she is as a person. She's so much more than a 'monster with crimson puffy eyes'. Her posts are descriptive and very clear. She always has a focus and her interpretations are beyond amazing.

I also enjoyed Gabriel Sturdivant's poem 'Narrative Poem'. It was really funny although i'm not sure if it was supposed to be. It uses descriptive language and was a really enjoyable poem since it was so relatable. I could totally hear his voice.

Sarah Safran. She is my 8th grade idol and her blog posts can even show off why. Sarah has a gift. And I am truly jealous of it. She can elaborate like there's no tomorrow. Her interpretations reach for the stars and don't come back. I also really enjoy her poetry. Her details are sharper than, shall I say it? My sister's stare.

Congrats to all my fellow bloggers!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

My Papa's Waltz


The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.


We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.


The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.


You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.



When you're young, mostly everything is all fun and games. Life is a breeze. You get hurt, Momma can kiss the boo boo away. I guess in a way, you aren't aware of things as much than if you were older. When you're older, you understand things better, you see things differently, and you have your own opinion.


When I first read this, I thought this was just another 'family moment' poem. It seemed almost natural since the tone of the poem was a little subtle. I honestly think the boy believes he is waltzing with his 'tipsy' father too. But after reading it a couple more times, I no longer believed that was necessarily the case. 


The idea of abuse or not though, still confuses me though. It's like. I want to believe they're just having fun dancing, but there are lines in the poem that just shout ABUSE! to me.


At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle. I mean, if you look at it in an innocent way, the dad's just a bit tipsy and of course naturally, you aren't in complete conscious control of your actions. Obviously you'll be slipping a bit, but is that just automatic abuse? Then if you look at it in a more complex view, the poem could be saying that this made up character is being abused for the mistakes the papa makes. Because of these mistakes, your 'missed steps', 'my right ear scraped a buckle'. This could possibly be saying that this poor character is being whipped.


My mother's countenance/ Could not unfrown itself. When your spouse acts the fool and is acting all tipsy, I don't expect you to be jumping for joy. Obviously you would be a bit annoyed. But at the same time, if abuse is happening in this situation, I know not everyone will speak up against it so this poem could also possibly be saying that the mom stood idly by not stopping it.


In my heart, I truly want to believe this is all play. I'm a true kid at heart. I can't see things in any other way because pain is one thing I don't take too well. Even if it's not my own pain, I feel the weight of that burden. But even though I can be blind at times, I won't be blind to the possibility of abuse. I'll just choose to be ignorant and ignore it.









RED.

I watch the pain behind those eyes
the tears fall as she begins to cry.
It isn't fair, why must he die?
I ask myself and I continue to cry.

I run to my room,
it's too much to handle,
This good young man,
This nice young groom.

I pray to God,
ask him to take me instead,
I have nothing ahead of me,
Not even a piece of bread.

My life is going downhill,

No job,

No money,

No food,

No clothes.

I have lived enough,
I have breathed too much.
He's far too young to experience death,
Perhaps it shall be me instead.

I watch the pain behind those eyes,
The tears fall as she continues to cry.
I punch the mirror,
And it begins to rain glass.

I watch through the reflection,
I see that poor woman.
She picks up some glass.

RED.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

9/11

The streets were bare,
With smoke in the air.
This is what I called Brooklyn.


Eyes closed,
And head down
There was no one to be found.


My dad sighed,
and my mom cried.
I didn't know what to do.


So I looked on out the window
But all I could see


Bare streets and smokey air.
I didn't know if I should care.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Northern Lights I Wish to See

Northern Lights
(Finland Northern Lights)

The sun rises,
The sun sets,
The stars come and go.
But alas I wait for thee,
These Northern Lights I wish to see.

With snow on the ground,
Or birds in the  trees,
Anytime of year,
I stay up after bedtime to watch these lights appear.

I eat,
I sleep,
Till the clock strikes eight
Promising Momma I won't be too late.

I lay in the snow,
I lay on the grass,
I watch faithfully beneath my eyeglass.

I stare away,
And let the silence take over,
Waiting for this magical dazzler.

I wait for my breath to disappear,
Because at last,
The Northern Lights are here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Response to "The Starry Night" by Anne Sexton

During class, we established Anne Sexton's poem, "The Starry Night" was a vague representation of her life and how she perceived it. 

Anne Sexton wrote "The Starry Night" in 1961. All throughout her poem were, what we interpreted as, potential suicide hints.

Among these lines, such include; 
Except where one black-haired tree slips up like a drowned woman into the hot sky.
This is how I want to die.
To split from my life with no flag, no belly, no cry.

At first when we began to read this poem, I didn't think much of death or suicide. My first impression of this poem was, Wow! She must really think of this painting as out of this world beauty! As our class continued to discuss it, we boiled it down to a last attempt for someone to realize that she was a bit suicidal. I think what she most hoped to receive from this, was help. Her whole poem screams HELP! with beauty and elegance.

This poem is beautiful and depressing rolled into one. 
One last suicide note.  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Interpreting Art

Observations: Top- Sunset or Sunrise skies; very textured; blue mixed in as well. Different shades of orange, pink, yellow, peach, and blue. Middle(ish) - Blue water . In the background- island shaped land with people on it under a big tent- like thing. 2 people are walking away from another person on the boardwalk. Person is screaming.
Inferences: Probably Sunset since most people aren't awake to watch the sun rise. Also the sun is not visible. The water looks like some sort of river or lake winding down to the boardwalk.Or is it a bridge? The screaming person seems to be scared or frightened. The other people walking ahead don't seem to notice. They don't turn back and they continue walking. The island- like structure in the distance has a few tiny figures that appear like humans. Above them, there is a blue- ish tent. It also looks a little like a boat. 
Interpretations: I like this painting because of all the colors. When Edward Munch painted this, I think he was trying to emphasize that the person was screaming and no one was paying much attention. Everyone else continued doing what they had been doing all along. I think this shows that not everyone will notice, or care, but you just have to get over it and continue walking down that boardwalk. I think the bright colors from the sky can represent the lighter issues, or the issues that aren't as huge as the darker (represented by the dark blue water) issues or problems in life.
  
Scream by Edward Munch