Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jane Eyre

For English class we have been reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. So far I have read 140 pages plus the intro. At first, I thought that this would be just another awful and boring book that we are forced to read in school, but I have come to actually enjoy reading it. It's written almost like old English, but not quite because its pretty easy to understand. It's actually a good book. The first few chapters were really slow but the farther into the book, the better. I'm excited to read more and see if the book is really as good as I think it's going to be.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Strong Claims vs.Personal Reviews

 Strong Claims

"His high sing-song voice shouting his heart to the rushing cars on a lost street transform him into a toy monkey slamming the tambourine in a worried insanity to block out the craziness that destroyed his father." --- Reading, Reflecting, and More Reading

"The black wall serves as a reminder that death is imminent, while the colorful chalk etchings cast a light of hope for all dreams to come true." ---More Cowbell Please

Personal reviews:
"As for the style of the book, I am very impressed.For an informative book, my attention is so well grasped." 

"And by me playing that sport it allowed me to gather numerous of friendships that are partially still intact in high school."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Submission 4- The Beach

     I've always wondered what it is about beaches that everybody loves. Why is it that whenever people picture there ideal vacation, many choose to picture it on the beach? 
      Perhaps it's because it offers a sense of adventure. For this picture, the adventure lies beyond the large boulders on the far side of the bay and pushing past into a great sea. The boats are just waiting patiently for someone to hop on and travel far away. Far away from the habits and routines of everyday life. Perhaps the beach is ideal because of the scenery. The soft white sand lays hot on the ground while the water  gleams a soft sea foam green. The big boulders shoot up from the ground and seem to touch the big blue sky. Perhaps beaches are a symbol of peace and relaxation and everything "bigger then life".  If beaches are really "bigger than life", it also offers some inspiration to those lacking it. There's something about looking out as far as possible but realizing that  the other side can't be seen that makes people question what they think they know. Or perhaps people love the beach because of the sun,because the sun makes people happy. Maybe it's because the sun brings color and joy and hope to people. As someone once said, "It's impossible not to smile when your world is full of color."
There is more to the beach then the sand, and the palm trees, and the ocean. There's happiness, and relaxing, and adventure. Everybody could use a break from reality every now and then, and where is a better place to do it then on the beach?

Out of My Mind

My book for this week is called Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. This book is extremely interesting because it written from the view of a special needs girl named Melody. In the story, everybody assumes that because on the outside she has disabilities, that she is dumber then most children and that she can't learn. However, Melody is actually extremely smart but she can't express it to anyone because she can't talk. It's kind of hard to explain I guess but it makes sense once you've read it.  Anyways, the book is about her journey to finding a way to speak the words she was never able to say before. I really like this book because it's different then most of the books i've read. It makes me think a little bit harder that looks don't show you what a person is like and there is so much more to people on the inside. I would recommend this book to people looking for a new perspective on life and for people with an open mind. Not to sound completely cheesy, but I would say that it's one of those books that is life changing.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Short List

The Book Surgeon
 Brian Dettmer carves sculptures using knives, tweezers and surgical tools and manipulates the pages and spines to form his own unique sculpture. He folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create them. I think this guy is unbelievably creative. It's just a really cool way to look at art and this is one of my favorites pieces by him because it is chaotic but clean and neat.

I really love the water. I think it's beautiful and relaxing and interesting and natural. Who wouldn't want to stare at something so beautiful? Who wouldn't want to be there? I know I do, but for now I guess i'll just have to daydream.

Stereograms are 3D images hidden within another picture that have the ability to turn your computer monitor into a 3D TV. If you look at this particular picture long enough, you will see dinosaurs hidden in it. Don't ask me how this works because I don't have a clue, but I have been obsessed with these pictures since I was a little kid.

Middle School

There are times where I wish I was still in Middle School. Middle schoolers,  don't have very many responsibilities yet. Their grades are important, but not as important as they will be in High School, and there isn't as much pressure to figure out what they want to do in the future. But after listening to This American Life's "Middle School" podcast, I realize that going back to Middle School wouldn't be nearly as fun as I envisioned before.

 The podcast started off with a girl named Annie who said, "You always wonder whether other people are going through the same things as you." She talks about why middle school was so bad for her. She explained how middle school is full of a whole bunch of socially awkward kids full of drama and are trying to figure out who they are. Her middle school experience was full of drama and pressure. She was made fun of for smoking, for not smoking, and for being bilingual. But when she was asked what she thinks could be done to make middle school better, she replied, " I don't think you can really do anything about it." She explained that everyone has to grow up sometime, so middle school would be a good time to get it over with.
Another segment of the Middle school podcast is Stutter Steps. In this segment, This American Life takes you though a typical middle school dance. It is explained that older kids will stand in the middle and younger kids will stand on the outside.The gym is full of tightly packed clusters of awkwardly jumping kids. Most kids just pray that the dance will be uneventful with no humiliation. When the slow songs come on, most kids leave the floor. The couples who choose to stay are accompanied by friends who stand only feet away and talk with them the entire time. When one boy was asked if he slow danced or planned to slow dance with a girl at the dance, he replied, " I just don't know how to do it. I just don't know if I'm ready." The stress and anxiety that these kids feel before the dances, suggest that they are scared about growing up and they don't know what to do or how to react. 

Middle school is that time in life when everybody is awkward. It's when kids worry about how others think of them, and they are trying to figure life out. Girls and boys stand on opposite sides of the school dance floor, and couples aren't yet comfortable standing alone. "This American Life" does a great job reminding people of the truth about life as a middle schooler and I'm certainly glad that part of my life is over.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Babe In Boyland

This week I read the rest of Babe In Boyland. I really liked this book. The book was so good because it was exciting and fun and awkward at times. It's the type of idea that you wish you could have the courage to do but it's just as much fun to read it. As I said before, it's a lot like the movie, "She's The Man" but it is obviously more detailed because it's a book. Still, it's a fun book and I would definitely recommend it to friends. It's definitely a chick book though. I suppose that guys could read it too, but I don't think it would be nearly as funny to them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This American Life

My favorite podcast on This American Life is "Middle School". It goes through some of the things that some kids go through during their middle school years. Many of the things, I am able to relate to, but there are also some that I have no relation to. As middle schooler Annie said, "You always wonder whether other people are going through the same things as you." I listened through a few of the segments of Middle School, such as the "Stutter Steps" and "Grande with Sugar". They are all funny and interesting at the same time. It brings me back to the days of middle school when everybody was extremely awkward and we were all trying to figure things out and grow up. I pretty sure I can say that I do not miss those days.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

reading log

This week I read 42 pages of the rest of When You Reach Me. And about 100 pages of Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman. When You Reach Me was a really cute and interesting book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is up for a little suspension and fun.  Babe in Boyland is a really good book so far. It's about this girl who has to write a paper for school and she goes undercover for a week as a boy in an all boys boarding school. It's a lot like the movie "She's The Man" which is probably why I like this book so much. It's really funny and awkward and it's just a really good book.


I would say that an average teenager spends way too much time on the computer and especially on social networking sites. However, I totally understand why Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and now Stumbleupon are  unbelievably addicting sites. The access that these sites gives us to everyone and everything in the world, makes us feel powerful.
My personal favorite is Stumbleupon, a site that finds random but interesting websites based on your interests. (Stumbleupon is also helpful for finding interesting sites to blog about for Etymology!) It's one of those sites that make you feel as though you have the whole world at your fingertips. You just have to think about the types of things you feel passionate about and you stumble through website after website of unbelievably amusing sites. It's almost overwhelming to stumble your way through; like a kid who walks into a candy store and is told he can have as much as he wants.
 Stumbleupon offers an amazing opportunity of exploring the world through websites. It suggests  to you mind-blowing and stupefying sites that can keep you interested for hours. These are reasons why I personally love this site. I like that it points me to new and interesting places that I wouldn't have found otherwise. It also, in a way, slowly makes you more open minded by trying new sites.