Sunday, June 1, 2014

Masterpiece Presentation

      It has gone by quick but a lot of things have happened in my open source learning experience. It is definitely something that takes some getting used to but once you do it is so worth it. It took me some time to get used to a class that you can modify for yourself and I can't stay that I'm fully used to it yet. After coming out of this class I think that I do look at things differently so that means I did grow from my experiences. I am not an expert on literature now but I do look for and notice grammar mistakes without even thinking about it and I didn't do that as much before taking this class.
      There were many times this school year that I was very motivated to do something and then it just fell through. I either eventually did end up doing it or never got around to it and changed it completely like I did with my masterpiece project. After just being told what to do in school for so long it was incredibly different to be asked, "what do you want to do?" It actually caught me and probably everyone else off guard. In many ways it is almost too good to be true and it takes time before you realize it is real, no strings attached. Being treated as a colleague rather than a student is a huge change but I think opens up a lot more possibilities and brings a whole new level respect between student and teacher. However I honestly don't think that I personally deserved to be treated like a colleague at first but I did get used to it and I think I did earn that right but I cannot speak for everyone else.
      Finding your passion was a huge part of the school year especially the second semester. Through the year I was uncertain what I was truly passionate about and that lasted almost until the last couple weeks of school. I bounced from topic to topic until landing on something that I have always enjoyed doing but was never the best at, writing short stories. I found many things that interested me but I couldn't really find something that I was passionate enough about to use a whole semester moving towards. I feel as though it was time wasted but the time will come that I find out what I love doing and I will pursue it. As of right now I'm just going to continue on with school and my life in general and take opportunities as they present themselves until I am doing what I love.
      I did not get to witness all of the presentations but as for the ones I was there for there was one thing that really stood out in all of them. You could tell that everyone who was speaking really cared about what they were doing their masterpiece on. Some more than others but I could tell that there was real passion behind it by what they were doing and how they talked about it. Jon Garcia, Rachael, Roman, Jon Begg, and Analyssa's presentations really stood out to me because you could tell they were completely dedicated to what they were passionate about and they were excited about it. Everyone has enough motivation and creativity to make a career out of what they love but these five stood out the most to me. When Jon Garcia said he has been working on a story since freshman year I couldn't believe it and I knew that he was destined to be a great writer and same goes for Jon Begg. Another thing that proved to me they really cared was when Rachael sung a song in front of the class. It probably took a lot of courage to do that but maybe not since she loved doing it so much. There are many more examples but the final one was when Roman said he made a whole instrumental album just for this class. The work that was put into it was plentiful, I'm sure and you could just tell he was going to do great things in music.
      I can't say for sure if I completed the hero's journey. For what it's worth I think that I did not but I know that I could have. I did what needed to be done this year but I know I could have put in more work and effort to make my work that much better. Lack of motivation gets me every year and being a senior this year only amplified it. I feel as though I did the minimum on some things and went all out on others when I should have just put 100% in to everything I did. I responded to the call to adventure as I do with other things. I didn't. I sadly passed up a few opportunities in this class but I also took part in others. After writing the short stories I did feel enlightened but I just wish I had found that sooner in the year. I wouldn't call myself a hero.
      This class is definitely unique but in a good way. I think that more and more classes should and will be like this in the future. This is where modern day schooling is headed and I think it will be a good change. I know that if I had gotten into the rhythm of this class sooner I would have enjoyed it more and it would have been a lot easier but I still plan on using my experiences in open source learning out in the world.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


"No! Put that back right this second!"
"But mom it's mine I found it."
"Amethyst Rose Adler, put it back now. We don't have time for this. We were supposed to be at the museum to meet your father twenty minutes ago." "Fine," Amethyst walked back down the trail and knelt down to put the oddly fluorescent headdress back but instead of putting it on the ground, she put it in her backpack. She swiftly ran back up the hill and was greeted by her smiling mother. A short time there after they arrived at the museum and entered. "Where have you been? I've been waiting here for nearly half an hour."
"I'm sorry Robert. Somebody wouldn't put down this headdress thing they found in the woods today," Marceline said as she rolled her eyes towards Amethyst. "It's fine I just wish I knew you two were going to be running late so I didn't have to leave work so early."
"Can we see the reptiles first, Mommy?"
"We'll get there honey just be patient. We have all afternoon to see the museum." First they went to the American History part of the museum. (IN PROGRESS)


"Oh... Hey."
"Hey.. Is something wrong?"
"What the hell are you doing?" "..." "Wait, why are there cuts on your arm?!
He looked down. He saw the sleeve of his long sleeve shirt rolled up to his elbow. Below his hand he saw cuts, five of them that he had never seen before. The lights in the room grew more brilliant and scintillating and he began to feel weightless, as if gravity had given up on him. He fell to the floor and was motionless. She cried out and fell next to him in despair. She did not know what to do so she wept until someone, anyone came, but no one did. Many questions and thoughts raced through her head as she lie there nearly sleeping.

Monday, May 19, 2014

164 Barred's Way

He stands there waiting,  waiting for his train. His senses then begin to heighten. Every foreign noise whether internal or external permitting from inside him. The ever changing wind that passes by him switches from cold to hot then back again. The dull colors become vibrant, every variation of color becoming noticeable. His thoughts are clouded, it's his train. His vision becoming distorted,  images becoming bent. Bent by him. "I wonder if it will be like everyone says" he whispers to himself. "What if it's worse?" he utters. "What if it's better? If there's a possibility of it being worse than it can also be better." As the cool breeze hits his face, a sudden sense of euphoria lays itself upon him. With a brief look of relief on his face he began to get nervous about what was to come. Compared to the things he did before, this should be a calm-walk. He can see the smoke of the train in the distance and the closer it got, the more nervous he became. He glanced down "164 Barred's Way" was engraved into his forearm. He nodded and looked back up, the train roaring even closer now. "I hope she knows where to look," he says to himself as he stares down the oncoming train. With the nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach growing he stuck out his left arm and waited. Before he knew it the train had come and all nervousness and feeling had been lost. He was free.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mars One Expedition - Launch date, 7-8-18

Approximately two weeks after the crash...
She put a finger to his lips, "stop" she said. "We shouldn't."
"No! You're crazy."
Her once well nourished body is now a decrepit bag of bones.
As she staggers through the stream of blood, corpses lie in her wake. Nearly falling as she kneels down, she picks up the arm of her now deceased captain.
"Do you promise you won't mind?" she whispers as she slowly lifts the rotting limb to her mouth.
"Okay, but remember, this was your idea."
She opens her mouth and the flesh connects with her teeth.
Without hesitation she takes a chunk out of the limb as if it were at apple.
The smell putrid, the texture coriceous, the taste outré.
She starts chewing like she's never chewed before until she gets to the bone.
She whispers, "thank you" and waits for a response.
There is nothing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


As far as physical goes, I wouldn't change much. I think the classroom is fine as is and changing something wouldn't make a big difference anyway. When it comes to structural I think just explaining things clearly and thoroughly would be the easiest and best way to hack the environment. For cultural I'm not too sure what you mean by that so I will probably have to update this later on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Raising a Moral Child

I agree that praise is the best way to teach a child from what is right and what is wrong. Children are like monkeys, they see and they do so it makes sense that modeling the correct behavior will help them in the long run. It was also very interesting to see the extensive research done on it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Crossroads Between Should and Must

I would say that most people feel that they should instead of that they must. For most people they get put on the should path early on in school. They're told just to do and not what they want to do. They're told that in order to be successful and happy they should do this and that. The article describes the should path perfectly in my opinion. If everyone or even just one person went down the must path it wouldn't be as easy as the should path and there definitely would be some bumps in the road. The challenges you have to face going down that path, I think, are worth it in the long run. The experience you gained alone would be worth it. The should path would give you experience also but the failures that you would endure on the must path would be far greater thus teaching you more. Personally the must path seems more appealing to me but it doesn't for everyone. Some people would prefer the should path because they are afraid of failure but taking the risk seems worth it in my mind. Each path you have an opportunity to succeed but the question is do you want to be told what to do or do what you want?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Literary Analysis: #3


Hairstyles of the Damned

1. This novel is about a teenage boy named Brian who doesn't really fit in. It takes place in the 90s' in Chicago around when punk bands were very popular. In the first part of the book Brian is actively falling in love with his best friend Gretchen and he doesn't know how to say he is without ruining their relationship. Brian knows Gretchen doesn't like him in that way but he really wants to build up the courage to ask her to the school dance. A little bit after the middle part of the book the chapters restart. It is the same story but I think it represents a new chapter in Brian's life. In that part he meets this guy named Mike who is a stoner and he starts smoking weed with him in his basement. He also meets a girl named Dorie and they end up "dating". It turns out she has a boyfriend but Brian loses his virginity to her and that is a big deal to him.

2. I'd say the theme of this novel is about a boy who is trying to fit in in a world full of stereotypes and labels. Throughout the book he moves from label to label experiencing different sorts of labels and trying to figure what works for him.

3. There are multiple tones in this book but I'd say the overall one would be hopeful yet aggressive. A very good example of the aggressiveness would be, "...Gretchen shouted back, 'Douche-Bags!' and then she did it: She jumped out of the car and went right up and snapped the Trans-Am's antenna right in two." (Page 32) At this part of the book Gretchen is being teased by a couple guys in the car nexted to her and her temper gets the best of her and she basically attacks them. An example of the hopeful-sweetness of this book would be, "But like I said, the thing I liked the best was the singing. I mean it-I would go there and really belt it out like a total retard, you know, because I was there by myself and didn't have to worry about looking dumb for doing it, and it felt nice to be singing the same song as everybody-you know, belonging-and, well, all the old people around me loved me for it..." (Page 40) And of course the sad tone of the book, "One time Gretchen and I were in the car, and she was smiling and watching me mouth the words along to 'Hope' by the Descendents, and she said, 'My dad told me he saw you singing in church,' and I said, 'No, man, I just mouth the words,' and she said, 'No, he told me you were really singing,' so I stopped singing when I went there, from then on..." (Page 40) I think this part describes the sad tone of the book very well because he found something he likes to do and he stops doing it because he simply is embarrassed. 

4. An example of the text's theme would be, "Gretchen and I would always go eat some place after school, even though she had this really big problem with being overweight. It was kinda fucking crazy. Like maybe I knew what we were doing but didn't want her not to be fat or she'd stop hanging out with me. I dunno." (Page 68) It describes the theme because Brian is being selfish in a way but he just wants to keep being friends with his friend. The way he described it was interesting, I thought. A really good example of the tone of the book would be, "OK, I was an asshole. A real, total, super fucking asshole. I sat in my bed all night feeling like shit, like crying-but I didn't-and I thought about calling Rod up and apologizing, but for some reason I couldn't do it." (Page 82) In this part of the book Brian tries to steal a record from Rod's dads record collection but gets caught. He only wanted to borrow it for a night so he could make a mix tape but Rod got really upset when he caught. The whole part was sad and went with the tone. "She looked hot - not pretty, but hot like a porn star maybe - but she had to check herself in the mirror again. We were sitting in the magnificent Escort and Gretchen was fixing her lipstick and more than anything in the world I wanted to grab her and kiss her;" (Page 91) This is an example of the theme and it basically is a perfect example of the temptation Brian feels towards Gretchen in the first part of the book. He wants her so bad but he is afraid of ruining it and he is a baby when it comes to telling her how he feels. "Bad-ass songs about the Devil to play while stabbing somebody like, I dunno, Tony fucking Degan maybe, as you off his soul up to fucking Satan for all eternity" (Page 110) This helped me understand the authors purpose by showing what Brian does when he is frustrated. He makes a mix-tape of songs to listen to. Mix-tapes are the physical theme in this book as they have been in it from the first page to the last. Tony Degan is the guy Gretchen likes and Brian hates it so he made a mix-tape about it. "I fell in love with a girl named Dorie. She was Mike's neighbor and the moment I met her, I was so into her it was not even funny. Most girls I didn't really fall for at first, like Gretchen, while had been my friend for long that it probably would have never worked out,..." (Page 141) This is an example of the romantic tone of the book. He really does love her and he ends up getting his heart broken by her in the end. "'Yo, can you keep a secret or not, dude?' he asked again. 'Yeah, I guess,' he said. 'Check this,' he said, pointing over to the cash register, 'I got a system.' 'A system?'...'Check it,' he said again. 'When the people come in, I don't ring them up.'...'I mean, I take their money, you know, charge them or whatever, and then pocket the money.'" (Page 157) In this part of the book Brian tries to do the right thing and then ends up getting screwed in the end. I think it is a good example of the theme and how if Brian did what Tom did then he wouldn't have gotten fired but he is a better person than that. "So Mike cut his hair because Erin's father had died, which was not a surprise to anyone, I guess. I had only seen the man once and then only for an instant, when Mike and I went over to Erin's house a few weeks before and I looked up the front staircase and saw a grayish man in a white robe crossing, with a walker and an IV on a wheeled trolley, into the bathroom, from where his bedroom must have been." (Page 188) Even though Erin and her father weren't in the book very much his death really went with the overall sad tone in later-middle part of the book. Around this time Dorie had "broken up" with Brian so the tone had already been sad so this just went right along with it. "One of the most tremendous feelings of joy swept over me, down my neck and hands and fingers, and my heart wanted to cry out, We are the picture of youth! We have trumphed over this thing death! You are gone and you were brave and good and than us in almost every way, but somehow, somehow we have found a secret passage! It is not the end! Dorie will not break my heart because we have found a way! We are still alive and the world is alive and we should all be singing!" (Page 190) I found this quote significant because I think it describes the authors purpose very well. The realization of death that Brian gets only inspires him to keep on living while he's alive and not to let something like a breakup get in the way of living. "Mr. Alba grabbed Keith by the back of the neck, maybe grabbing him too hard, I dunno, I wasn't there, but the kid, Keith Parsons, just snapped, punching Mr. Alba in the mouth. Mr. Alba tripped back into some lockers, and since it was between classes, tons of kids saw it, which was kind of weird and funny and a little sad..." (Page 254) This quote went very well with the utter chaos that was going on at this point in the book. The senior class was having two separate proms, one for the black kids and one for the white kids, and Brian even says that the whole situation made him feel strange. "Just because you have blue hair and fucked-up clothes doesn't mean you're better than everyone else. Because you know what? You're just conforming to someone else's code. Even though you don't wear khakis or sweaters or whatever, but to me all you guys look the same. You think you're so individualistic, but you're not. You guys-you can Kim and all the rest-you're like anti-snob snobs. But you're just as mean as the preppy kids. You're all just fucking lame." (Page 259) This quote really summarizes the authors purpose perfectly in my opinion. This is something Brian has been struggling with through the whole book and I could tell he had been wanting to say this all the along but he said it to the wrong person, Gretchen. She got upset as anyone would but Brian pretty much said that people put on costumes in everyday life just to fit in and he finds it ridiculous. That is the purpose of the book.


1. An example of direct characterization would be the main character, Brian, "In high school, I dressed the same every day: lame-blue flannel shirt over the white button down shirt and black tie I had to wear, black pants, and black dress shoes that were scuffed almost gray. I had dirty-brown hair that hung in my eyes, like a mop I guesss, and also my huge brown plastic frame glasses which I needed to wear because my eyesight was weak. Also, I had a wicked-bad case of acne on my face, on my neck, and even down my back." (Page 23)  A second example of direct characterization would be, "The only other friend I had in the world...was a kid named Rod, who was black and maybe even a homosexual...he was nervous, kind of glancing around the room, folding his arms across his thin chest. He kind of looked like a scared rabbit...he dressed very white: white dress pants and a white-down shirt, and he always wore a red, button-down cardigan sweater." (Page 48) An example if indirect characterization would be, "well in class, right behind her, I would trace the narrow crisscross of her bra strap which was visible under her white uniform blouse, all the time whispering, 'Dr. Fang, Dr. Fang, you are under the spell of Dr. Fang,' knowing at any moment Suzy Lee would turn and wink at me, just once-wink- falling under the wicked, perverse charms of the most fearsome Dr. Fang for all eternity." (Page 55) This quote shows how sexually eager Brian is and that plays a big role in the first part of the novel. A second example of indirect characterization would be, "'That's what I'm talking about, little dude. If I start being nice and acting cool and saying things and being on time, she starts acting, you know, fucking uninterested. But if I act like a total dick, then she calls me all the fucking time. It's fucking crazy, because I really like her and all, but when I say nice shit to her, she gets all freaked out and says she needs fucking space and all...'" (Page 74) This quote indirectly describes the character Bobby B. It shows how he thinks all girls are and how he acts which isn't very pleasant. 

2. The authors syntax and/or diction doesn't really change throughout the story. The only thing I would say that changes is when he is talking about guys and girls. He talks about girls in a romantic/sexual way while he talks about guys in a criticizing condescending way.

3. The protagonist is very much dynamic. Throughout the story you can see the changes he makes to himself and how he tries different things in order to fit in in a world full of cliches and stereotypes. He tries different things and hangs out with different people all in order to fit in and find his place. For example, towards the beginning of the book he is really into bands like Metallica and Guns 'n Roses then gets into Pink Floyd when he starts smoking weed with his friend Mike. He even eventually goes back to like bands like The Ramones and The Misfits which is ironic because his friends at the beginning of the book are all punk.

4. After reading the book I very much felt like I met someone. Nothing insanely crazy happened to Brian that made him unrelatable. Like when Brian and Mike were dropping off drugs to these "nerdy" kids that weren't in the book very long, "But then again, there was something kind of funny about them, kind of goofy, like they knew what they were doing was gay, but they didn't care. I mean, Peter Tracy had a fucking druid's robe on and he didn't care." When he talked about this in this part of the book I related because at first sight he thought the guys playing dungeons and dragons were lame but he changed his opinion when he saw that they didn't care and they were happy. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

This is Only a Test

I'm not exactly sure what I am supposed to do for my test. I thought I knew leaving class but when I got home I wasn't too sure. I need some help figuring out what to do.


After writing the essay in class and trying to view myself as an entrepreneur I can kind of see myself as one. I can see myself as one. My work hasn't really changed but from the definition we gave an entrepreneur in class I think I apply.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Super 5

-Michio Kaku
-Neil Degrasse Tyson
-Brian Cox
-Peter Higgs
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

10 Questions

My ten questions I would ask a neurophysiologist or a theoretical physicist
- Who was your greatest inspiration as a kid?
- What did they do that was so inspiring?
- What was the biggest challenge that you faced when pursuing your field of interest?
- What would you recommend I do to stay inspired in what I am interested in?
- What is your favorite thing specifically that you like to learn about?
- What made you really want to learn about physics, the human brain, and how things work?
- Do you prefer to do your work alone or in a group setting?
- What was the thing that you had the most trouble learning or understanding?
- Have you ever felt uninterested or uninspired to continue what you do?
- What is the biggest question you have ever asked yourself? 
- What do you do in your free time?

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Vocabulary #3

pulsar - a celestial object, thought to be a rapidly rotating neutron star, that emits regular pulses of radio waves and other electromagnetic radiation at rates of up to one thousand pulses per second

x-ray - electromagnetic radiation of high energy and very short wavelength that is able to pass through many materials of high energy and very short wavelength that is able to pass through many materials opaque to light

telescope - an optical instrument designed to make distant objects appear nearer, containing an arrangement of lenses, or of curved mirrors and lenses, by which rays of light are collected and focused and the resulting image is magnified

research - the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions

earth - the planet on which we live; the world
Earth is the only known planet with life on it.

radiation - the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, esp. high-energy particles that cause ionization

gas - an air like fluid substance which expands freely to fill any space available; irrespective of its quantity

particle - a minute portion of matter

impact - the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another

light year - a unit of astronomical distance equivalent to the distance that light travels in one year, which is 9.4607x10^12 km (nearly 6 trillion miles)

relativity - the absence of standards of absolute and universal application

heat - the quality of being hot; high temperature

milky way








Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spring Literary Analysis: #2


Looking for Alaska

1. This novel is about a boy named Miles, nicknamed Pudge, and how he is in search of "The Great Perhaps". He decides to go to a boarding school for his last two years of high school and meets interesting people and actually has friends, something he lacked growing up. He learns a lot about life and death and all the suffering that happens in between. The observable conflict in this novel is dealing with death and suffering in life. The deeper conflict in this novel is trying to find out who you are and how to make the best out of what you have.

2. The theme of this novel is that no matter how boring or bland your life may seem, unexpected things will happen whether they be good or bad. Life presents itself and you have to take every opportunity you can. No matter what it is whether it be something big like moving to a different state to go to school or something small like smoking a cigarette for the first time, everything leads to something much bigger. 

3. The author's tone throughout the story is a hopeful sort of loneliness throughout the first half of the book and an obvious sadness throughout the second half. An example of the hopeful loneliness would be, "And when that final Friday came, when my packing was mostly done, she sat with my dad and me on the living-room couch at 4:56 P.M. and patiently awaited the arrival of the Good-bye to Miles Cavalry. Said cavalry consisted of exactly two people: Marie Lawson, a tiny blonde with rectangular glasses, and her chunky (to put it charitably) boyfriend, Will." (Page 3) Another example of the hopeful loneliness is, "'So this guy,' I said, standing in the doorway of the living room. 'Fracois Rabelais. He was this poet. And his last words were "I go to seek a Great Perhaps.' That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps." (Page 5)

4. "Dolores insisted that Alaska and I share the bed, and she slept on the pull-out while the Colonel and was out in his tent. I worried he would get cold, but frankly I wasn't about to give up my bed with Alaska. We had separate blankets, and there were never fewer than three layers between us, but the possibilities kept me up half the night." (Page 92) I think this quote describes the text's theme quite well. It's one of the examples that things are always just out of reach in Miles' life especially when it came to Alaska. The first half and the second half of the book have two themes in my opinion. Miles changes pretty heavily in the second half when Alaska dies. An example of this would be, "The Colonel sat down next to me in religion class, sighed, and said, 'You reek of smoke, Pudge.' 'Ask me if I give a shit'." (Page 157) Pudge eventually calms down and isn't so withdrawn and rude to everyone but he is for awhile after she dies. He seems to be very depressed and frustrated and always takes it out on others. "The Colonel pulled a cigarette out of his pack and threw it into the water. 'What the Hell?' I asked. 'For her,' he said. I half smiled and followed his lead, throwing in a cigarette of my own. I handed Takumi and Lara cigarettes, and they followed suit." (Page 193) This quote describes the tone of the second half of the book quite well because it's a sad sense of closure. These four friends, previously five, all joined together at their favorite spot to commemorate their dead friend by throwing cigarettes into a stream. "'I walked to Montevallo.' 'Forty miles?!' 'Forty-two,' he corrected me. 'Well. Forty-two there. Forty-two back. Eighty-two miles. No. Eighty-four. Yes. Eighty-four miles in forty-five hours.' 'What the hell's in Montevallo?' I asked. 'Not much. I just walked till I got too cold, and then I turned around.' 'You didn't sleep?' 'No! The dreams are terrible. In my dreams, she doesn't even look like herself anymore. I don't even remember what she looked like.'" (Page 149) I know this quote is long but it really shows the difference between Miles and the Colonel when it comes to how they dealt with Alaska's death. They each have their own way of dealing with what could have been prevented and you can't help but feel bad for the them. "...and for a few moments, it was just the three of us-three bodies and two people-the three who knew what had happened and too many layers between all of us, too much keeping us from one another." (Page 152) There is an obvious tone of sadness and hopelessness in this quote that is hard to ignore. Miles wishes he could have done many things before Alaska's death but one thing is that he wishes he told her how he felt about her. I think the author has many purposes for writing this novel but one that really stood out for me was a cliche one and that is Carpe Diem. "I hadn't thought of her smell since she died. But when the Colonel opened the door, I caught the edge of her scent: wet dirt and grass and cigarette smoke, and beneath that the vestiges of vanilla-scented skin lotion." (Page 153) Something as simple as someone's scent is something you almost always take for granted until they are gone. You shouldn't let anything pass you by and you should appreciate everything while you're here. "He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness. 'Damn it,' he sighed. 'How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!'" (Page 155) This is a quote from Alaska's favorite book and it was when Pudge went to her room to find it. What Alaska got out of the quote was that the labyrinth of suffering. Not life or death. I think this is important to note because it is probably the biggest and most obvious theme of the book. Alaska takes her own life because she wants out of the labyrinth of suffering and that was the only way she saw fit and it drastically effected the other characters in the story. "'Okay. This is it, though.' He poured a sip of vodka into a Dixie cup, swallowed, pursed his lips, and squeezed his hands into tight little fists. 'Oh god, this is bad. It's so much better with milk. This better be two-four.'" (Page 179) After both of them had their frustrations let out and their mourning period was over they wanted to figure out what drove Alaska to committing suicide. The Colonel had been wanting to do that for awhile but Pudge just told him off every time. This created a tone of curiosity and investigation that was sensed throughout the last quarter or so of the book. "'I know it was y'all,' said the Eagle. We looked at him silently. He often bluffed. Maybe he was bluffing. 'Don't ever do anything like that again,' he said. 'But, Lord, 'subverting the patriarchal paradigm'-it's like she wrote the speech.' he smiled and closed the door." (Page 210) You can't help but smile when you get to this part in the book because it's so sweet and unexpected of the Eagle and the fact that they pulled it off flawlessly was perfect. You feel a sadness for Alaska not being there to do the prank herself but when it was over and done with you feel a happiness that they did it for her and that was the only reason they did it and they all had a part in it. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Edison's last words were: 'It's very beautiful over there.' I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful." (Page 221) This is the last paragraph of the book and I felt it was appropriate to put as the last quote. It is part of Pudge's essay final and it goes along with the biggest theme that I got out of the book which is finding a way out of the labyrinth but living in it while you can and getting the best out of it. The author is pretty much saying that living is full of suffering so it is like a labyrinth but you should try to make the best out of it while you're here because it will be beautiful and worth it once you get out of it.


1. An example of direct characterization would be when Miles is describing his two "friends" who show up to show him off to boarding school. He describes them as, "Marie Lawson, a tiny blonde with rectangular glasses, and her chunky (to put it charitably) boyfriend, Will." (Page 4) These two characters aren't in the story very long but the way the author describes them paints a pretty clear picture in my head. Another example would be when he first meets his soon-to-be "best friend" Chip, nickname The Colonel. He describes him as, "...I saw a short, muscular guy with a shock of brown hair... He stood five feet and nothing, but was well-built, like a scale model of Adonis... 'I'm Chip Martin,' he announced in a deep voice, the voice of a radio deejay." (Page 9) It is quite clear how the author portrayed Chip, especially when he says that he is like a scale model of Adonis. An example of indirect characterization would be around the same part as the last quote when he is speaking with Chip. "As soon as he finished 'unpacking,' Chip hit me roughly on the shoulder, said, 'I hope you're stronger than you look,' and walked out the door, leaving it open behind him. He peeked his head back in a few seconds later and saw me standing still. 'Well, come on, Miles To Go Halter. We got shit to do.'" (Page 12) Just this part near the beginning of the book sets in stone that Chip is comical and very much a boy when it comes to rough housing and expecting people to understand what he wants them to do without saying it. A second example of indirect characterization would be when Pudge is talking to Alaska about the labyrinth. "'Suffering,' she said. 'Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?'" (Page 82) Alaska is big into books and in her favorite one it talks about getting out of the labyrinth and what the labyrinth is exactly. Her take on it is that the labyrinth is suffering and that life is suffering so you must find a way to not suffer while you're here. This part really shows how deep she is and how much she thinks about life even though on the outside she is a trouble making rebel and a prankster.

2. The author's syntax or diction doesn't really change when he talks about the characters. They stay the same throughout the whole story. I think this is okay though because he describes characters very well.

3. The protagonist is very much dynamic. Pudge is this sort of loner who doesn't have any friends and focuses on school work and reading people's last words at the beginning of the story and quickly changes once at boarding school. I think it starts when he meets the Colonel and goes to see Alaska for cigarettes. The first time he smokes is the first time he does something that he has never done before and never thought he would do. From then on he is doing things he never would have done before like participating in pranks, getting drunk, and staying at the boarding school on holidays even though his parents wanted him home. He does all of this while still holding onto his old self by trying to keep up with school work until Alaska's death.

4. I very much felt like I had met someone after finishing this book. I felt that I would do the same things that Pudge had done in certain situations but he was different because he acted in his own way that I wouldn't have sometimes. I could see why he felt like he did at certain parts like after Alaska died and he was frustrated for letting her go. "I kicked off my comforter and, my fist balled, smashed my hand against the wall with each syllable as I said, 'I! DON'T! KNOW! And you know what, it doesn't matter. She's dead. Is the brilliant Colonel going to figure out something that's gonna make her less freaking dead?'" (Page 160) This quote really shows his frustrations with Alaska dying and how he takes it out on other people. I would do the same thing if the girl I love died.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welcome to the Interdisciplinarity


With A Little Help From My Friends

As I progress in what it is I want to do I have to find out what resources I have. A big one is the internet which is what I will use the most as will most likely everyone else. There are probably many books that I have yet to discover that will also make good resources. By using these resources I should get a much better understanding of what it is I want to do.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Careers in astronomy:

Space Math @ NASA:

Why would people be interested in the field:

Discovery News App:

National Geographic: Origins of the Universe:

Universe Today:


There are not many things that I find interest in or am intimately passionate about so when asked to choose something I had a hard time. I am interested in things that involve nature such as plants, the human mind, and space but making a career in these things is easier said than done. After several emails and talks with Dr. Preston, I ultimately decided to choose space but more specifically stars, black holes, time, the origins of us, and the Big Bang. I am not a math wiz so just that alone makes it complicated to study these things but I am hoping through using the tools I have this semester I can get on the right track to pursuing this field. In order to have no regrets by June I will have to learn a lot about my topics that I am interested in and figure out what I have to do to get a career in this field. I can impress others by showing what I have learned and doing whatever I can to the best of my ability. To make my idea a reality I will have to work hard to find out what kind of opportunities are available and how I can feel confident about what I want to do. I am not too positive on who will be in my network yet.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Vocabulary

neutron star - stellar remnant of the result of the gravitational collapse of a massive star

gravity - the force that attracts a body to any physical body that has mass
Gravity is what keeps you and I from floating away into space

event horizon - a theoretical boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape
When you get passed the event horizon, your fate is sealed.

worm hole - a hypothetical connection between widely seperated regions of space-time

binary star - a system of two stars that revolve about their common center of mass

collision course - a course of a moving object that will lead to a collision if it continues unchanged

planetary - of, relating to, or belonging to a planet or planets

asteroid - a small rocky body orbiting around the sun

lunar - of, determined by, relating to, or resembling the moon

dwarf star - a star of relatively small size and low luminosity, including the majority of main sequence stars

wavelength - the distance between successive crests of a wave

nebula - a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter

infrared - having a wavelength just greater

comet - a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a "tail" of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun

galaxy - a system of millions or billions of stars,  together with gas and dust, held together by gravitational attraction

astronomical - extremely large

cosmic - of or relating to the universe or cosmos, esp. as distinct from the earth

Big Bang - the rapid expansion of matter from a state of extremely high density and temperature that according to current cosmological theories marked the origin of the universe

supernova - a star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass

infinite - limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Spring Literary Analysis: #1



1. The book I read is called The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It is about a 16 year old girl named Hazel Grace who has lung cancer. She's pulled out of schol early because of it (the cancer) but she has her GED. Her parents make her go to support classes because they fear she is depressed. On one of the days she went to the support group she meets a boy named Augustus and they pretty much instantly become friends. Hazel is big into reading and looks at the world in a unique way. The author of her favorite book that she reads over and over is the only person that seems to get her and he doesn't even know she exists. The main conflict in this novel is that she's living with cancer and the boy she loves, Augustus, was cancer free but at the cost of losing his leg. I think the author had many purposes of this book and the narrative fulfilled them. In the book Hazel talks about how certain things are a side effect of dying such as depression and even being heroic and goes on to say that cancer itself is a side effect of living and the human race. I agree with that and it is a sad but true way of looking at things. 

2. The theme of the novel is that the universe wants to be noticed and that we want to be noticed by the universe. Humans are examples of the universe experiencing and noticing itself and cancer is one of the many things the universe does to get noticed. The world wasn't built for us but we were built for the world. Hazel and Augustus and even the author of her favorite book talks about this several times. Even though that's not what the story is about, that is the theme and feel that I got out of it after reading it.

3. The author's tone throughout the story is a mellow kind of sadness that I found unique. "The world is not a wish-granting factory". This quote is said several times in the book and I think it expresses the authors tone nicely. It's sad but also calming in a way knowing that nothing is perfect and you can never have everything you desire. "As his parted lips met mine, I started to feel breathless in a new and fascinating way. The space around us evaporated, and for a weird moment I really liked my body; this cancer-ruined thing I'd spent years dragging around suddenly seemed worth the struggle...". The tone the author was portraying was unique at this point of the book because this is the only time I sensed it and felt different than I did through the rest of the book. As I read it the tone changed and right when the sentence was over I felt it slowly evaporate and it wasn't felt again throughout the whole book. "I could feel everybody watching us, wondering what was wrong with us, and whether it would kill us, and how heroic my mom must be, and everything else." The tone here is pretty much the tone through the whole book. They were at the airport going to Amsterdam and everyone was staring at them and she explained how they must all wonder what's wrong with them and it's something she constantly has to deal with along with the cancer itself. The tone was hopeful because they were going to Amsterdam but also sad because she almost wasn't able to go and the whole time reading it you had an ominous feeling that something bad was going to happen cancelling out the hopefulness. 

4. As I've said before the overall tone of this novel is a unique kind of sad, mellowness but also romantic. "So of course I tensed up when he touched me. To be with him was to hurt him - inevitably... I felt like I was committing an act of violence against him, because I was." (Page 101) This quote from the book is a good example of overall tone of the text and it helped me understand it better. It is sad because she wants to be with him so bad but knows it will only end in sorrow but it is also mellow because she has come to terms with it. John Green, the author, tended to describe things in a way that made sense to me and that I haven't seen before like when he says, "...which made me worry that when I died they'd have nothing to say about me except that I fought heroically, as if the only thing I'd ever done was Have Cancer." (Page 100) I feel like that is so true about everyone who has died who has cancer and no one has admitted it before and it helped me understand one of the author's purposes which is being remembered when you have passed. I felt like the tone changed several times throughout the story but it was mostly sad and mellow but an example of it changing would be, "I nudged my head into his shoulder. "Thanks for offering to come over."' (Page 122) I got a sense of a happy and tranquil tone during this part of the text which is far different from the overall tone. John Green has a way of using a lot of detail to describe what means like most authors but the vocabulary he uses complex but not overwhelming. An example of this would be, "there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars". "The weird thing about houses is they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives." This quote may seem like it is just talking about houses and it might be but I think it is also a metaphor for how you can't usually physically see cancer but it dominates the hosts life and it helped me understand that better. The made-up author in the story, Peter Van Houten turns out to be a curmudgeon old man and doesn't do what he says he would for Hazel and Augustus but there's a quote from him that reveals why he was like that, "Writing does not reconstruct. It buries." When he says this he is talking about the daughter he lost to cancer and how the main character of the book he wrote was based off of his daughter and writing that book only made it harder for him, kind of as a "would have been" type scenario. When Hazel shows up to his house dressed like Anna he is somewhat surprised and thrown off by it but also drunk so he was rude about it. The sad tone of the book is emphasized when Hazel says, "You get all these friends just when you don't need them anymore", (Page 266) in regards to Augusts's memorial wall after he passes. She already knows that it will be like that for her when she dies. Throughout this book romantic gestures are made that bring the mood up only to be brought back down again. An example of the cute and romantic tone would be, "I nudged my head into his shoulder. "Thanks for offering to come over.' 'You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you,' he said." (Page 122)


1. One example of direct characterization is when Hazel first sees and meets Augustus. She explains his voice as, "low, smoky, and dead sexy". You could tell by just reading it that she liked him from then on. A second example of direct characterization is when she meets Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, for the first time. She explains him as, "a potbellied man with thin hair, sagging jowls, and a week-old beard". The way she described him painted a perfect picture in my head of what he would look like. An example of indirect characterization is in the same part of the book when Peter Van Houten is being extremely rude to them saying how he didn't literally mean he wanted them to fly to Amsterdam to visit him and he wasn't going to tell them what happened to the characters after the book ended like he said he would. It shows that he just a curmudgeon and very rude man without actually saying it. Another example would be Patrick, the support group leader. Every meeting he would talk about how he had testicular cancer and how he was ball-less now and how hard it is for him and it showed that he was repetitive and tiresome even though he had good intentions. The author uses both to describe characters as a way for the reader to create their own understanding of how the characters were without actually saying it but at the same time explaining what they looked like to put a clear picture in the readers mind. It left an impression on me for some of the characters like Augustus who I can picture clearly and I understand how he would act and react and think if he were a real person. It didn't leave a lasting impression for all of the characters but the main ones it did for sure.

2. The authors syntax and diction changes when he talks about characters like Augustus and Peter. The vocabulary becomes a bit more complex and sentences start to be more metaphoric because that's how the characters are. On the same spectrum the vocabulary and sentence structure becomes more simple when he talks about the parents of Augustus and Hazel and characters that don't show up as much like their friend Issac.

3. The protagonist in this story is cancer itself. There isn't a person that the characters have to deal with it is the thing they have to live with and deal with. That being said the protagonist is mostly static but also dynamic. The cancer is in both of the main characters but Hazel has it and Augustus was cancer free for months and later found out the cancer had spread all throughout his body. The cancer symbolizes change and how fast it can occur and alter the way people think. Hazel and Augustus talk about how cancer is a side effect of dying and they are not glad that they have it or had it but they've come to accept that there is virtually nothing they can do about it. Augustus lost his previous girlfriend to brain cancer and (spoiler) Hazel loses Augustus to his cancer. Both of their lives are drastically changed by something that doesn't change throughout the whole book.

4. After finishing the book I strongly feel like I knew the characters. More Hazel than Augustus because sometimes I felt like I was reading a character when it was about Augustus. I really feel like I met and knew Hazel throughout the whole book and it was probably because I could relate to how she looked at the world and I could see what she meant even when I didn't think that way sometimes. For example when she says, "I  nodded. I was crying. I couldn't get over how happy I was, crying genuine tears of actual happiness for the first time in maybe forever, imagining my mom as Patrick. It made me think of Anna's mom. She would have made a good social worker, too." (Page 298) Her thinking that made me think about what I would do in a situation like that and I also would relate it to a book I had read or a TV show I had seen, which Anna and her mother are characters in her favorite book that she was referencing.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vocabulary: Spring #4

accolade - an award or privilege granted as a special honor as an acknowledgment of merit
When the football season was over our whole team got an accolade for a season well played.

acerbity - sharp or forthright
His acerbity showed when he noticed his wife choking right across from him.

attrition - the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure
The union wore down the confederate army by attrition.

bromide - a trite and unoriginal idea or remark, typically intended to soothe or placate
Bromides that feel good create the illusion that the problem has been solved when in reality it hasn't.

chauvinist - a person displaying aggressive or exaggerated patriotism
John was being a chauvinist by having a confederate flag on the bag of his windshield.

chronic - persisting for a long time or constantly recurring
She suffered from chronic depression and needed help fast.

expound - present and explain (a theory or idea) systematically and in detail
Stephan Hawking expounds a great argument when talking about the creation of the universe.

factionalism - the splitting of a group into factions
Democrats and Republicans are examples of factionalism in America, they both want to do good but in different ways.

immaculate - perfectly clean, neat or tidy
I showed up to the party wearing a rather immaculate suit.

imprecation - a spoken curse
The psychic spouted out her imprecations at all who laughed at her.

ineluctable - unable to be resisted or avoided
Black holes are ineluctable, nothing can get away.

mercurial - subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind
I feel as though I am mercurial and subject to random bursts of depression.

palliate - make less severe or unpleasant without removing cause
This specific kind of treatment works by palliating symptoms.

protocol - the official procedure of system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions
Protocol clearly states that we cannot go into the woods during our mission.

resplendent - attractive or impressive through being richly colorful or sumptuous
Courtney was resplendent in her dark, blood-red dress.

stigmatize - describe or regard as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval
The hotel we ended up staying at was stigmatized as a last resort.

sub rosa - happening or done in secret
I often times have a feeling that the whole government operates sub rosa.

vainglory - inordinate pride in oneself or one's achievements; excessive vanity
Richard Sherman is very vainglorious.

vestige - a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists
The last vestiges of the body were found when it was almost too late.

volition - the faculty or power of using one's will
Without conscious volition Debra eerily backed into her room.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Life during high school is a lot more simple than life after high school. In high school you are required to go and most want to achieve good grades regardless of whether they pay for school or not. Life after high school, however, is more difficult because you have to pay for classes if you choose to go to college and you are far more inclined to get good grades because you have to pay to be there. Even if you don't go to college it is equally as difficult because you have to find a job (without a college degree) or you can join the military which is always a challenge. I think people always take their habits, good or bad, with them after graduation. Some might lose a few habits and some might gain a few. I personally will probably lose some because I will be moving to Colorado to go to college so living there will take some getting used to. I balance the things I want to do with the things I have to do by trying my hardest to get the things I have to do out of the way before doing the things I want to do. It is often easier said than done but until I find out a better way of going about it that is what I am going to do.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Vocabulary: Spring #3

apostate - a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle
Tony was now titled apostate by the people in his church because he had given up his faith in Christianity.

effusive - expressing feelings of gratitude, pleasure, or approval in an unrestrained or heartfelt manner
Albert, being unexpectedly effusive, voluntarily explained the meaning behind the poem.

impasse - a situation in which no progress is possible esp. because of disagreement; a deadlock
The situation came to an impasse because the husband and wife couldn't decide on a color of paint.

euphoria - a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness
Oddly enough, he felt a sense of euphoria after nearly being ran over by a passing car.

lugubrious - looking or sounding sad and dismal
The girl was acting rather lugubrious and it concerned her parents.

bravado - a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate
The mans impressive bravado intimidated everyone in the room.

consensus - general agreement
The jury finally came to a consensus and found the defendant guilty of manslaughter.

dichotomy - a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different
They ultimately rejected the dichotomy of left vs. right politics.

constrict - make narrower, esp. by encircling pressure
The python kills its prey by constricting it or wrapping its body around it and in turn suffocating it.

gothic - of or relating to the goths or their extinct east Germanic language, which provides the earliest manuscript evidence of any Germanic language
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most well known gothic writers.

punctilio - a fine or pretty point of conduct of procedure 
They will not part with the least punctilio in their opinions and practices.

metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages
The child seemed to go through a metamorphosis that day when he saved all of those people.

raconteur - a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way
The school teacher was a real raconteur and held the students attention for the whole class period.

quixotic - exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical
His theory about the universe was completely quixotic because he thought the sun and stars orbited the earth.

vendetta - a prolonged bitter quarrel with or campaign against someone
The congressman accused the papers of pursing a vendetta against him.

non sequitur - a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement
Having a character blurt out random things during the show was non sequitur and ruined it for me.

mystique - a fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power surrounding someone or something
There was a certain mystique about him as he walked in the room and it drew everyone's attention.

quagmire - an awkward, complex, or hazardous situation
When Robert rushed home from work only to find his wife with another man, he found himself in a real quagmire.

parlous - full of danger or uncertainty; precarious
The two heroes embarked on a parlous journey of epic proportions.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life After...

My vision for my life after high school is simple. I envision and plan on moving to Colorado during the summer. It will probably be after my 18th birthday in August but it might be before. I'll be going to community college there for two years then transferring to a university. I don't know what I want to major in but I'm still thinking about it. After college I have no idea what will happen but I'm sure while I'm in college I'll figure it out. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Visual Storytelling

One technique that makes visual storytelling effective is the music that creates a feeling that the director wants to convey. It is a very easy way to create a mood whether it be a sad one or a happy one and everything in between. Another technique is having characters have noxious conversations or have them bicker about pointless and tedious matters. The noxious conversations are usually about things that are tough to talk about and it makes the viewer feel as if they are part of the conversation while the tedious bickering shows that they have conversations that are more day to day and normal. Finally, every story, that is told visually or otherwise, needs a contretemps. It wouldn't be a story without it and the unfortunate occurrence is usually the driving force. Some of the occurrences hit more home with people and it makes the experience more effective.

Profile in Courage

My first impression of the movie was that wheelchair rugby looks difficult. I also immediately knew that nothing could stop these guys. They can drive, go to the grocery stores, dress themselves, they even would fight if they had to. One of the things that one of them said was, "you want to hit a kid in a wheel chair? Go ahead I'll hit you back". That was humorous and he was stating that just because he was in a wheel chair doesn't mean you can fuck with him and he won't fuck with you back.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Vocabulary: Spring #2

accouterments - additional items of dress or equipment, or other times carried or worn by a person or used for a particular activity
On the hike this morning, John's countless accouterments slowed us all down.

apogee - the highest point of development of something
After reviewing my essay I feel that the apogee for it has been met.

apropos - with reference to; concerning
I watched the New Years fireworks in the Colorado Rockies at the beginning of the year; apropos, what did you do on New Years?

bicker - argue about petty and trivial matters
When my brothers were smaller, it seemed like they were constantly bickering about pointless things.

coalesce - come together and form one mass or whole
After it had rained, the puddles outside had coalesced and formed a much larger puddle.

contretemps - an unexpected and unfortunate occurrence
When leaving the gym the student had a bad contretemps with a fellow student and it escalated to a fight.

convolution - a thing that is complex and difficult to follow
There are a lot of convolutions of math for me and there always has been growing up.

cull - select from a large quantity
When you cull cattle you must select the thickest one to slaughter.

disparate - essentially different in kind; not allowing compassion
The two students were too disparate to be friends.

dogmatic - inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true
Without being dogmatic, he tried to assert his opinion.

licentious disregarding accepted rules or conventions, esp. in grammar or literary style
The report was so licentious that it was nearly impossible to read.

mete - dispense or allot justice, a punishment, or harsh treatment
There are many accounts of harsh sentences meted out for crimes that should call for no more than a caution.

noxious -  harmful, poisonous, or very unpleasant
Many people have noxious conversations every day.

polemic - a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something
Polemic against politicians is common.

populous - having a large population; densly populated
The island of Malaysia has a very low populous.

probity - the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency
Politicians try to have probity but it often never seems that way.

repartee - conversation or speech characterized by quick, witty comments or replies
Courtney could easily exchange repartee against at least a dozen at once.

supervene - occur later than a specified or implied event or action
The fair had to be supervened due to rain

truncate - shorten by cutting off the top or the end
Gangrene has caused many people to have to truncate their limbs.

unimpeachable - not able to be doubted
The president's speech was so unimpeachable that the entire crowd was moved by it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Choice

          Keep the dog, or send it to its death? That was the decision I was faced with when I was a freshman. We had been wanting a dog for some time now and we had finally found him. He was a purebred rottweiler and we decided to name him Franklin.

          He was an about twelve week old puppy when we got him. He was really cute, as most puppies are and he was larger than most full grown dogs. After the first week we obviously had a couple accidents like him peeing on the floor, chewing up pillows, and digging in the trash, normal puppy things. At the time that we got him we were also fostering kittens so the messes the puppy was making were a bit much to handle but we did it and we managed.

          After about three weeks with the puppy my parents were pretty much fed up with it. My littlest brother really wanted to keep it so he practically begged my parents to keep it. They agreed in hopes that it would get trained and break its bad habits. About a week after this we went to the beach and when we returned we found our pet rabbit dead lying at the foot of our stairs. We immediately knew who had done it. My mom started crying and wanted to get rid of the dog that second. We had the rabbit for quite a long time and we all really liked him. It was an awful sight to see. That night we decided to take a vote on whether or not we keep the dog.

          When we put it to a vote it was only my brothers and I. My littlest brother was upset about the dog killing our rabbit but he voted to keep the dog because he has wanted one for a long time. My second youngest brother voted to get rid of the dog because he never wanted it from the beginning so the killing of the rabbit was like icing on the cake for him. Finally it was my decision to either vote yes, keep the dog or no, get rid of it. I was torn but mostly because I was the deciding vote. I knew we would either put the dog in a shelter or "send it away to a farm" if I voted no. If I voted yes, however, we would keep the dog but it could potentially do more damage and cause more heartbreak. The decision was tough but I ultimately decided to get rid of the dog. I really loved the rabbit and it was getting frustrating cleaning up the messes he would make. I didn't want a dog in the first place but he was cute so I figured that would help him get adopted if he went to a shelter.

          I know we shouldn't have taken the killing of our rabbit personally because it was only instinct but we felt that he wasn't the dog for us. He also should have known better because we introduced him to all of our animals before hand in hopes that something like that wouldn't have happened. I think I made the right decision because Franklin wasn't the dog for us but there is someone out there that he would be perfect for. It was a tough choice but I felt I made the right one.

Vocab #1 Performance Review

I got a ten out of ten on the vocabulary quiz that we took today. I know that this is a reflection on how well I studied the material. I didn't study it nonstop but I did study for about 10-30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday and that was how long I needed to memorize the definitions for each word.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vocabulary: Spring #1

adumbrate - report or represent in outline
Sherlock Holmes adumbrated the crime scene and handed it over to the police chief.

apotheosis - the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax
Playing Khan in the new Star Trek movie was Benedict Cumberbatch's apotheosis of his career.

ascetic - characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons
People who are part of religions that make them fast live ascetic lives.

bauble - something that is superficially attractive but useless or worthless
Some people go out of their way to find baubles when all they are really doing is wasting their time.

beguile - charm or enchant (someone) sometimes in a deceptive way
Some are still beguiled by Houdini's magic tricks.

burgeon - begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish
When plants are given the correct kind of fertilizer it seems like they begin to burgeon.

complement - a thing that completes or brings to perfection
Just by adding a dash of salt, it complemented the mash potatoes in such a way that it made the entire dish that much more divine.

contumacious - stubbornly or willingly disobedient to authority
The teenager was contumacious towards the teacher.

curmudgeon - a bad-tempered or surly person
The old man that lives down the street is curmudgeon especially when you go on his lawn.

didactic - intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive
The book was intended to be didactic in that it teaches that everyone is equal.

The Choice (First post of 2014)

1.) The choice has to do with the girl and whether or not she wants to take the poison herself or have it shoved down her throat.

2.) It is a real choice because she literally has to choose between two different things. They both have the same result but she has a choice on whether or not it's done violently.

3.) The author uses the word poison in the first line because it has similar effects that poison does.

4.) The child wants to play with a toy that is intended for older kids because even she knows she might not make it to the certain age so she might as well play with the toy now. I do agree because the child seems like they are smart and would know not to use the toy in a wrong way if they already knew what might be a possibility.

5.) If I thought I wasn't going to live until the age of thirty I would finish school and even go to college for however long I needed to all while spending as much time with my girlfriend and family as possible. I would have a job but I would always be saving up money to take my girlfriend to new places and have new experiences. I wouldn't change a lot but I would want to be happy for as long as I could be.

6.) This circumstance is a good of example of why it makes sense but only if everyone involved has agreed that it is for the greater good.

7.) I think that yes suffering is a necessary condition of life and love because it makes you appreciate love so much more and reminds you that not everything's perfect.

8.) We empathize with the author because we can all imagine a loved one being in the situation and what it would be like if that happened to them.