Thursday, June 7, 2012

Evernote


Throughout the course of the year I have not really used Evernote as a note taking tool. Personally I do not like taking online notes because not having them in my hands makes me unmotivated to study. I am pretty busy a lot of the time and sometimes I do not have access to the internet. Though I think not having to carry around a notebook would be helpful, I would rather be able to have access to my notes at all times.   The ability not to print my notes, and work off the iPads was also a reason I did not like using Evernote to take notes.  During the one instance when I did use Evernote I liked to how it was accessible from the iPad, my iPhone, and from my laptop at home. These are some of the few reasons I did not use Evernote more often.

            To improve Evernote, I would recommend it being compatible with Dropbox. The ability to access my notes, and papers from Evernote, and then drop them into a Dropbox folder quickly would make the app a little better. Not having the ability to have a tab button to indent the first sentence of the paragraph was also a problem both myself, and other realized. Other than these two problems, I did not use Evernote enough to find more flaws in the technology. For some students I think that this is a very useful tool.

iPad Pilot Project


Let me start by saying I am not the most "computer savvy" person in this world. I know how to text, open twitter, write a word document, and Google. Beyond that I try to avoid using computers and technology as much as possible. Having the iPads was a learning experience to say the least. I enjoyed having the iPads in class, because for even a person who isn't an Apple fanatic I found it very easy to learn how to navigate the iPad. There are also many apps that help with both note taking, and projects. The availability of these apps have allowed for more creative projects, and a better use of new technology in the classroom. I also liked being able to research content in books and terms. Having the iPads was helpful in allowing us more access to the Internet. Also it was nice to not have to go to the computer labs anymore, because I was always late for class by the time I realized that I had to be go to the library computers. Overall I really liked having the iPads in the class room, and I think they are a really good tool for schools.

Though there were many advantages to having the iPads to the classroom, there were also a few limitations. When taking notes I am a classic pen and paper kind of person. I did not like taking my notes and emailing them to myself because I would rather be able to hold the paper in my hand to review. I also did not like how the iPad did not offer the ability to print. I would have been helpful to print articles or even the notes I typed on the iPad. I also found it hard to type quickly on the iPad without a keyboard. The iPads are very fragile and breakable technology. I was afraid of breaking the iPad, knowing that they are so expensive. The possibility of breaking it was another problem I had with the iPads. Last, the iPad disconnected frequently with the school Wi-Fi after just leaving the classroom. If this if there could be ways to possibly fix some of these issues, than I think that this could be a very valuable tool for learning in schools.


I think that the Grosse Pointe School District should invest in more iPads for the rest of the schools. Though they are very expensive I think that all schools should be introduced to them at least. For elementary students in a controlled environment it could be very beneficial in introducing them to new technology. They could also begin the exploration of note taking, and research. The iPads could be a costly addition to the schools, but if students could access their books from the iPads, books would not be lost and damaged as easily. The school could also save money on paper, with electronic worksheets. The iPad would also allow the internet to be more available in classrooms. Teachers can create more interactive websites, and blogs that keep the entire class more connected as well. The availability of the iPads in class could also allow for more research projects in class rooms which I personally believe are more beneficial to learning that just taking notes off of power points. The iPads are great technology, and being able to access those in more than one class room would be very beneficial to schools, teachers, and students.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 1


            A significant characteristic that Holden portrays throughout chapter one, that may create more difficulties later in the novel, is his careless attitude.

            He shows a careless attitude towards his own life, as well as his in school experiences. “That’s also how I practically got t.b. and came out here for all these goddam checkups and stuff. I’m pretty healthy, though” (J.D. Salinger 5). As Holden talks about smoking and getting sick he acts as if it was not a big deal to be so ill. He also ignores many notices about his poor grades, and progress, and probation in school. Without an education he isn’t going to be able to move forward and have the skills necessary for advancement later on in life. The very fact that this doesn’t bother him exemplifies his lack of character and poor work ethic. He doesn’t demonstrate a strong desire to pursue anything later than life, has a “bad boy” attitude, and acts as if he is too cool for everything. He uses very vulgar language which shows that he doesn’t really care how he appears to other people. This lack of respect towards himself may also be a result of something the reader might discover later on in the book as well.

            Holden is also very careless about his schooling.  He did not feel badly about forgetting the equipment in the subway. “I left all the foils and equipment and stuff on the goddam subway. It wasn’t my fault though” (Salinger 3). This lack of responsibility and ownership for his mistakes reflects how he doesn’t care for anyone else besides himself and his reputation. He doesn’t put any effort towards school and his education. He was told many times that he was close to being kicked out and once he finally reached the point where they had to remove him from the school, he behaved as if it was no big deal.  He didn’t want to try in school and this lack of effort resulted to the end of his education at Pencey. This school is very distinguished and has a stellar reputation. To have the honor of being a student Holden should been  proud and exhibit a concerted effort toward a high scholastic record. His poor attitude led him to lose the honor and privilege to go to this Pencey and left him to try to find another place to attend school. When he got expelled from Pencey he played it off as it was an occurrence that often happened and that he wasn’t the only victim of this type of situation.   These together led show Holden as having a lack of care for his life, and schooling which can possibly cause him difficulties later on in the book.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gothic Story

Spring had just begun in Grosse Pointe, newly blossomed trees were full of soft lilacs, and the fragrant pink roses filled freshly painted window boxes.  The lake was still, and the rising sun created a pink and purple hue over the sky. Emma Harris was on her early morning run, the cool air brushed swiftly over her skin and her feet rhythmically tapped the cold cement. Emma Harris was a well know wealthy Grosse Pointer. Her father’s family had developed a respectable law firm, and she lived in an old family home along Lakeshore Road. She achieved high marks academically, was the top scorer on the Varsity soccer team known for her triple hat tricks, was on the Homecoming court, and quite popular among the junior class at Grosse Pointe South High School.

Monday morning Emma was sitting quietly in the back of her AP biology class, when suddenly there was a disruption at the door. A tanned and slightly disheveled looking guy walked through the door, wearing worn jeans, a red plaid shirt, and broken in work boots. His unique look caught Emma’s attention, and when he introduced himself, his slow southern drawl entranced her. From this moment, she knew she needed to get to know this mysterious new guy from a small town in southern Louisiana.

After class, Emma made sure to introduce herself. “Hey, I am Emma. I know my way pretty well around here, so if you need any help I am happy to direct you. I know this school can get pretty confusing!”

“Hi, I’m Jake. Yeah, I know I got lost finding the entrance into the building. This school is the size of my entire old town!” he replied with a deep chuckle.

Together they walked to tutorial class which they coincidentally had together. The entire hour they talked about their lives, school, and Jake told her all about his old town. He told her about the one grocery store, the corner gas station where old Mr. Jones, the owner, still pumped gas for the customers, and the popular BBQ restaurant where the kids hung out every weekend.

“My family knew I couldn’t get far in Ida, so my dad took a job at a Ford plant in Detroit, and moved us here so I could get a better education.” Jake said sadly. She could see the pain and genuine sadness as he talked about moving from his old home- the life he knew, and his friends and extended family.

Over the next week Emma and Jake became really good friends, talking from the moment they woke up, until they could barely keep their eyes open at night. That weekend Emma invited Jake and few friends over for a welcoming party. Jake pulled up to her house, and without even stepping inside, just the plain size of her house overwhelmed him.  He felt intimidated by Emma; he compared all of her luxuries, to the little his family had. Afraid to lose the one friend he had made though, he went up to the large oak door and slammed the large eagle door knocker at the immense entrance.  The door slowly opened with a loud creak and Jake walked in cautiously. The house foyer was dark, and a large stuffed moose hung over the fireplace mantle in the room to his right.  The furniture was old - likely inherited antiques and the marble tile was cold underneath his bare feet.

“Emma?......Emma?” Jake called cautiously from the door way. His voice echoed through the long corridors of the old house.

“We are in the recreation room!” Emma’s voice echoed back to him. “It’s the 5th door on the right!”

Slowly Jake made his way to the unmarked fifth door, trying to keep track as he walked.  Family photos filled the walls of the hallway. He counted the doors as he passed. 1, 2, 3, 4….then he came upon the 5th door. It was different than all the others. The door was an eerie blood red, and before he even touched the silver engraved handle, the door opened. Jake pushed it open the rest of the way and began to walk down the stairs. Suddenly there was a loud creak followed by giggles, and a BOO!

“Goodness, Emma! That is not a way to welcome someone!” Jake shouted with a hint of fear in his voice.

Emma’s recreation room was a teenager’s paradise. To the right was a mini movie theater with reclining chairs and a large screen. There was a small nook straight ahead of the stair case that was filled with arcade games of all sorts as well as a pool table.  Then to the left was a room with a tile floor and sitting in the center was a hot tub. Next to the hot tub was a full on snack bar completely stocked with candy, chips, and drinks. Jake felt as if he was in a movie, no one in Ida could afford a place for fun like this in their home. This was clearly a fantasy come true.

“I hope you brought your swim trunks,” Emma said jokingly. Jake smiled backed and his smile revealed perfectly straight teeth.  He began to form feelings for her, and, by the way she was acting, Emma felt the same. They flirted the entire night and during the following days at school they became inseparable.

Not too long after Jake moved to town he and Emma started going out and quickly after they began dating the entire school knew. They hung out every day and would sit in her rec room and do homework, or go practice soccer in her back yard. Emma felt like what she and Jake had was perfect.

After some time, Emma’s parents start to become concerned because Emma began to lose all contact with her old friends, was forgetting to turn in homework, and she was missing soccer practices which was so unlike her.  Uneasy about this situation, they finally, confronted her about how her declining grades and sudden changes, and about their worry about Jake’s influence on her.  She was adamant in her explanation. She said Jake wanted to spend time with her, and only her, because she was his only friend in Grosse Pointe. He needed and relied on her to help him feel a part of his new community. Jake would make all kinds of plans for them after school; walks around the parks, exploring parts of Detroit she hadn’t even know existed, and trying new restaurants and cuisine. Slowly, as time went on, she realized just how isolated from her old friends and family she had become. She tried to slowly include others in the couple’s plans. She was startled, but also flattered by Jake’s possessive and seemingly intense attraction and attachment to her. Jake calmed her fears by assuring her of his love for her and how he just wanted to take care of her and keep her to himself. She believed that this was the meaning of true love.

Jake resisted any newcomers joining their twosome and finally people stopped even trying to include themselves.   She spent less and less time with the family and friends. The more her family tried to intervene and keep Emma from Jake, the more time they spent together, sometimes leaving their sheltered Grosse Pointe.

One Friday it was essay day in AP biology and after class Emma asked Jake how it went. “I didn’t write a word, I was staring at you the whole time. It was as if I couldn’t get you off of my mind.” Jake said flirtingly with a hint of seriousness. Emma was flattered, and a little startled by his actions. She knew he cared about her but seriously, to the point of distraction? During lunch she went to go grab Jake’s AP biology book when she found his pocket knife sitting at the bottom of his bag. She grabbed it to cut her fresh red apple and when she opened it, the sleek blade was covered in a layer of a deep burgundy dried blood. Concerned, she asked him about the blood and he suddenly became very defensive and slightly hostile.

“It was from a time when my dad and I went hunting before we came to Grosse Pointe,” he said with a slight stammer. Emma could sense Jake’s uneasiness, so decided not to pursue this topic. It did however make Emma wonder a bit about Jake. Emma began questioning some things about Jake. She asked many times to meet his mom and dad, and was put off each and every time. There was always some excuse. Emma and Jake always met at her house or in her car when they spent time together. Jake never made any reference to any of his family and friends. It was puzzling and slightly concerning to Emma. Something just did not seem right.

These niggling questions would not leave Emma’s mind. After hours of just tossing and turning in bed, she got up and went online and did a search on Jake and Ida, Louisiana. She just wondered if there was more to the Jake story than what she was being told.  Ida had an online registry of every family that has ever lived there in the last 200 years, and to her surprise Jake’s family was never recorded as living there. Becoming a little afraid of his possible lies, Emma started to distance herself. Jake began texting her message after message and when she didn’t respond right away he became angry. She often saw him following her in school. She tried to be friendly but separate a bit from Jake.  She began to hang out with some of her old friends but kept a cautious friendship with Jake.

Feeling desperate to get Emma back, Jake wrote her a note during tutorial in bright red pen,

“Dear Emma,

        Meet me in Cleminson Hall during 6th hour, I have a surprise for you :)

                Love, Jake”

Emma’s curiosity weighed out her slight uneasiness about Jake’s behavior, so she planned on going to Cleminson. All of fifth hour she sat unable to focus on her teacher.  Her mind pondered what Jake had in Cleminson to surprise her. The bell rang loudly signaled the end of fifth hour. Emma ran quickly out of her room at the top of the IA building, and pushed down the many stairs through the crowds of people.

The doors of Cleminson were large and their carved metal handles were cold underneath Emma’s soft, freshly manicured hands. She slowly pulled open the heavy doors and cautiously entered the dark room. She walked across the soft red carpet but there was no sign of Jake, so Emma continued into the room. A sudden ice cold breeze came and sent shivers up Emma’s back. She made her way to the black spiral stair case, carefully taking each step up. When she reached the top she stood over the railing to the balcony scanning the room for a sign of Jake. Still she couldn’t find him, so she climbed back down the stair case, and walked around the entire room observing all of the old South memorabilia. She made her way over to the window and stared out at the large lawn where random patches of red flowers bloomed. Suddenly, she felt hot breath run down her neck. Quickly she turned, standing behind her gripping tightly around her arms, was Jake.

“I knew you couldn’t resist a surprise, Emma” Jake said slowly. “Finally we are alone, I have been waiting for this moment since the day I saw you in AP biology. I have done nothing but think about you Emma. You are mine and only mine. If you don’t want me, then no one gets you.”

Emma began to panic, realizing the seriousness of this situation. How could she have been so na├»ve? Emma strained to wrestle out of the tight grip of his hands around her arms, but she couldn’t escape. She let out a loud shriek but through the old, thick walls no one could hear her.  She was trapped with Jake, and fearful of what might happen next. Jake slid a knife out of his pant pocket and held it up to Emma’s neck. The metal felt icy against her neck. He slid the knife across her neck, quickly warm red blood covered his hand. He released his grip and dropped her on the ground next to the window. Jake ran from South, leaving behind his beloved Emma.  

Later on that night the janitor came to clean Cleminson and found the stiff, stone cold body laying mangled on the floor. Police cars soon surrounded the school, and the body was taken out on a stretcher and carefully lifted into the back of the ambulance. The police and family soon suspected Jake, Emma’s most recent and possessive friend.  When they could not find him, they did a complete and thorough search. They retrieved his old files from Ida, where Jake went by a different name. Jake’s family had not moved here because of education, he ran away from his old town by himself because he was wanted for murder, and stalking charges on two other female students. Jake was found 3 weeks later in a small town in Indiana, was captured and later tried on all charges. He was found to be guilty and put in jail, without a chance for parole. People have said he was writing and professing his true love to a college student at Michigan State University and urging her to come visit him at the penitentiary in Grayling, Michigan.  It is said that his case is up for appeal due to a technicality.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poe's Obsession with Death

Throughout his short stories, Edgar Allan Poe gravitates towards the theme of death. In each story, Poe emphasizes different ways death has effects on people and their behaviors and subsequent actions towards death. In the stories, The Black Cat, Berenice, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Masque of Red Death, and The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe illustrates society’s reactions to death and touches on the fears people have in dealing with the difficult concept of death.

The in story The Black Cat, Poe uses guilt along with death to emphasize the feelings people have after killing another being. As the main character’s irritability and instability is heightened through abuse of alcohol, he began to hate everything in his mundane and ordinary life. In the end after killing a pet cat, which later ended in him killing his wife, he began to feel immense guilt.  “I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom” (Poe, “The Black Cat”). The previous quote shows how the guilt of killing someone can cause force people to turn themselves in as in this story. When the police had come to look for the reported missing cat, the killer felt responsible to turn himself in, albeit appearing subconsciously, for the murder of his wife. This leads to him purposefully hitting the wall where the cat and his beloved wife were buried. Poe’s take on death in this story is playing on the reasons why people feel the need to kill others and the feelings they have after a murderous event. Poe uses death and guilt to show people how it is very difficult is must be to deal with the culpability people feel after killing someone else. This also shows how they may feel remorseful or at the very least great unease once the person is gone, and they will never get to see them again.

Throughout the story Berenice, Poe shows how people are afraid to completely lose someone who has passed away and moves into the heaven or hell. In the story, the character unearthed the tomb of his cousin to obtain her teeth. He had had an intense and weird obsession with them before her death, but after she died he was compelled  to get them because he didn’t want to lose all of her. “Yes its memory was replete with horror—horror more horrible from being vague, and terror more terrible from ambiguity” (Poe, “Berenice”). Losing people that are close to you can be very devastating and life altering. During this short piece Poe uses death and the teeth to show for the longing of having that person alive again or at the very least some part of that person’s very being.. In the story the character is afraid to completely lose his lover so he went and retrieved her teeth as a way to have something tangilbe to remember her by due to her death. The teeth were an object he had a fixation with before she had passed, so it  seemed very fitting  that this is what the piece de’resistaence when he dugout her tomb and went in search for a special rememberance.

Poe relates death to time in the story The Facts in the Case of M.Valdemar. In this story though the characters try to elongate the time it takes for a person to be actually dead, the outcome is no different than if the person had died months before. “no person had as yet been mesmerized in articulo mortis. It remained to be seen, first, whether, in such condition, there existed in the pation any susceptibility to the magnetic influence; secondly, whether, if any existed, it was impaired or increased by the condition; thirdly, to what extent or for how long a period, the encroachments of Death might be arrested by the process (Poe, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar). This story relates hypnotism, time, and death all together. The story ties in the ideas of many scientists of the time who were working very diligently to find a way to stop death. This story also plays with death and time, and the ideas of how death is not as strong as time. In the story though they can keep a man alive through hypnotism, the end result is death. Time in the end over takes death, and no one can last longer than time. This idea puzzled many people in the late 1800’s, and Poe used this in his advantage to create a sense of panic in the reader. This relationship between time and death occur multiple times in different stories Poe has written.

            The Masque of Red Death also relates to this story because it also directly relates to time, and how even death cannot out last time. “…gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form (Poe, The Masque of Red Death). Throughout the years, scientists have tried to create ways to cheat death, and escape its vicious cycle. This story contradicts scientists’ hopes and plays along the lines of death in all its power even having to submit to time. The story

           

In the story The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe directly writes about the fears of the people of that time period. Being buried alive was a common fear for many in society during the time period this story was written.  The disease which had thus entombed the lady in the maturity of youth, had left, as usual in all maladies of a strictly cataleptical character, the mockery of a faint blush upon the bosom and the face, and that suspiciously lingering smile upon the lip which is so terrible in death” (Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher” 13). Poe successfully captured the audience, and created a fear within the reader by playing off what frightens them outside of the story and on a daily basis.

Despite the fact that the story plots could have taken a more positive turn Poe chose to continue the path of death. In The Fall of the House of Usher the sister could have escaped her tomb, and not of ended up dying, but Poe wrote the story to end in death. The fact that the outcome of many of his stories ended with death contributes to his obsession of death, and manipulating death. Poe’s obsession with death also contributed to the outcome of his stories. Without this obsession Poe’s stories would not be as well written, with as much fear, and suspension. The obsession with death fueled his writing and made his plots so twisted and gothic.

Many of his characters in stories are faced with illness and insanity. Disease, leading to sickness and death was another common fear in the world at this time and even today.. Poe used the unknown treatment and cause of some diseases to create anxiety and terror in the reader. These also allowed for different ways for him to create diverse plots within stories. In the end many of these unknown diseases caused character to pass away. Insanity was another common attribute  Poe used to personify his unique characters. The insane, and mentally instable,  people in his stories commonly were the one who killed the people at the conclusion of the novella, or the character’s who’s emotions were affected by the passing of certain characters.

            Poe’s use of death and the way he twists the idea of death in his stories successfully creates suspense and fear in his works. Throughout his pieces he uses death frequently and often to create many different moods and intense feelings in the story. The main theme of death is worked into many of his stories, each with a unique plot, and a alternating use of the idea of death. The reoccurring theme of demise in his literature lends one to the idea of Poe having an obsession with the topic of death. The numerous deaths, and ways Poe uses this theme to create fear in his reader also adds to his fixation on deceased people and the reactions of those close to the people who have died.  If Poe did not have this obsession with death his literary works would be not be as strong, because he used this fascination to help him develop creative, and enthralling plots that keeps the reader disgusted, as well as intrigued by the story.




Bibliography

Poe, Edgar A. "Berenice." PoeStories.com. N.p., 1835. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://poestories.com/read/berenice>.

Poe, Edgar A. "The Black Cat." PoeStories.com. N.p., 1845. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. <http://poestories.com/read/blackcat>.

Poe, Edgar A. "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar." PoeStories.com. N.p., 1845. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://poestories.com/read/facts>.

Poe, Edgar A. "The Fall of the House of Usher." PoeStories.com. N.p., 1839. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://poestories.com/read/houseofusher>.

Poe, Edgar A. "The Masque of Red Death." PoeStories.com. N.p., 1850. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <http://poestories.com/read/masque>.










Friday, March 2, 2012

Faust Legend



It was a dark and humid evening in Soldotna, Alaska. The cloud filled sky was dim, and created an envelope of gloom over the old log cabin of the Smith family. Lucas Smith was a young high school graduate visiting his family cottage for a few weeks before the fall semester of college. Though he excelled in school, and was good looking in a Jimmie Dean sort of way,  he felt something was missing in his life. He would watch movies and aspire to have the glamorous and frivolous life of all these movie stars. He wanted the attention of all the girls, and to have money he could spend in whatever way he pleased.  In other words, he wanted a life of the rich and famous.

            One early morning, he decided to take a walk along the edge of the crisp, transparent lake. The air was brisk, and with every breath he could feel the cold encompass his whole body. The lake was clear and every few minutes you could see birds fly frantically across the water.  As he kept walking, the air began to thicken, and a dense fog started to form, increasing in thickness with every step.  Through the intense mist he started to see an ominous figure.  He cautiously began to near the unknown object, and as he got closer, Lucas could identify parts of this being.  It appeared to be a female creature towering 8 feet. She had long jet black hair with piercing red eyes. Her skin was a deep bronze and she wore a tight red dress that matched the color of her eyes. Resting on both shoulders were jet black crows with the same penetrating eyes as the she devil. In the distance, the loud squawking of the birds could still be heard. Lucas was frozen in panic. Suddenly the mysterious person advanced towards him.

She began talking to him in a soft and enchanting tone. “So Lucas, you want fame and fortune? You want all the attention of innocent, sweet, young girls all over the world? You are so naive; you don’t think those people are famous by chance do you? They are all mine, or at least their souls are. I am the devil and I can give you fame and fortune; I can make the girls swoon at your feet? Just say the word, and promise me your soul and all of these luxuries can be yours.”

Lucas stood on the cool damp ground, unable to look away from this devil whose words entranced his very being.  He knew he shouldn’t listen to her, but the thought of all she had to offer made him think of what his life could be, all without having to really put forth much effort to get obtain financial security or extreme popularity. The birds in the distance stopped, and Lucas slowly begins to move toward the devil. As though he had no control, he quietly says “You can have my soul, just make me famous.”

As quickly as he ran into the devil, he was back at the cabin as if nothing at happened. Unsure of the situation that had just occurred he went to lie down to reflect upon this unique and highly unusual encounter with the devil woman.  Slowly he drifted into a restless and fitful sleep.

A few hours later he awoke, not sure of where he was or who he was anymore. He got out of bed and walked into what used to be the kitchen. He was surrounded by maids and butlers who dressed him in diamonds, and a silk robe.  The old family cabin had been transformed into a large mansion with the highest quality goods all around. He ran to the window and outside was the large HOLLYWOOD sign.  He couldn’t believe that this vision who had just appeared in the woods could have actually made him famous.  Though skeptical about the whole situation he didn’t care how it happened,  he was just ecstatic to be rich and famous. Clearly, his greed and narcissistic personality came shining through his very being and soul.   

 As time went on his fame grew, and he starred in movie after movie while his stacks of millions accumulated in his safe.  His fans adored him and he was loved by most people until he one day began to let his fame get to his head. His greed kept increasing, and he began to only want even money and more grandiose material possessions.

Years passed and Lucas’s income kept increasing and so did the amount of possessions he bought. Greed had overtaken him, and all he wanted was more money. One day he was filming a new movie. While getting ready in his dressing room a thick fog quickly filled the room. Again the devil appeared. 

            “I have made you famous, and you had your wealth, but you have abused it. You have become greedy.  I can’t let you and your greed continue on the earth. You had promised me your soul and I am taking it to hell with me” said the devil.

Almost instantaneously, she wrapped a long rope around Lucas and he was brought kicking and screaming down into the deep underworld.  Shortly after he was dragged into hell, the flock of birds flew over the cottage in Alaska and soared over the building where they were filming. Unexpectedly, there was just one lonely, isolated last black bird that flew with them squawking loudly as they glided fast.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Huck Finn Verdict Response

My overall involvement with the Mark Twain Mock Trial was that it was a great learning experience.  When my character Huck was on the stand, it was a little nerve racking because  as a character one is  not sure what to expect when being cross examined. Huck’s character was a really fun one to portray. It was a lot of work though because Huck is a very large character as he is the narrator throughout the novel. I was worried that I would be unable to represent him well as a character. Huck also was a very important character to the defense’s side because he befriends Jim, so I felt the pressure to answer correctly.  The amount of questions being asked becomes very overwhelming on the stand, or at least that is how I felt. It was necessary that to take time before answering questions so I did not contradict a previous answer.
 Both sides asked questions that made the jury really question some of Twain’ s intentions through different characters.  The sides both asked rebuttal questions that caused all the lawyers to think on their feet and be quick witted.    The prosecution and the defense both brought very clever points to the trial. The trial was a good way to do a review of the whole book, and bring emphasis to important themes in the book. As the trial was unfolding  the reader was not sure what the outcome would be. Both sides had very strong arguments to why Mark Twain should be guilty or not guilty. When the verdict of Mark Twain being not guilty was determined, I was happy and surprised. It could have reasonably gone either way, but because my character was on the defensive sides I was happy that our hard work had come with a matching and  victorious outcome.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Huck Finn Blog Post 3

     When Huck encounters the Grangerford family, the family shows many allusions to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The dispute between the Shepherdsons and Grangerfords is a humorous allusion. The family feud very much resembles the dispute between the Montagues and the Capulets. Similar to the two families in the book Romeo and Juliet, Shepherdson and Grangerford families have forgotten what they are fighting over. “…but they don’t know now what the row was about in the first place” (Twain 309). This quote strengthens the point of not knowing the reason behind the fighting of the families. The feud has been running for so long, that generations have grown up with the idea that the opposing family is very much an enemy. There has not been to assume a leadership position and try to resolve this dispute peacefully.
    Another allusion to Romeo and Juliet is when Sophia Grangerford runs off with Harney Sheperdson. This resembles the taboo of Romeo and Juliet, the offspring of the two disputing families who fall in love and defy the rules made by their own families. “Well, den Miss Sophia’s run off! ‘deed she has. She run off in de night some time-nobody don’t know jis’ when; run off to get married to dat young Harney Shepherdson…” (317) These two characters have to meet secretly because their love is forbidden, just as in Romeo and Juliet. The love between them could possibly bring together the two families but because of the strict parents, they are to afraid to share their love for each other with anyone else. The children are not doing this to be rebellious. Many children who grow up in such strict household would go and marry someone out of spite for the parents’ rules. These two characters in both book are truly in love with each other.
     The death of two of the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons is a sad allusion to the deaths of many Capulets and Montagues in the play Romeo and Juliet. The Grangerford and Shepherdson families are hurting each other to win a feud with no ending. “Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?” “Why, nothing-only its on account of the feud” (308). The deaths are also sad because there is no reason behind them. The Shepherdson and Grangerford children have not done anything to each other. The children go out and kill each other because that was what they were told to do as they were growing up. Many have died and it makes both families lives difficult. Nobody can leave their house without a weapon. Together they go to church and both fathers and many sons sit with riffles between their legs to protect themselves. This resembles the difficulty of life between the Capulet and Montague “gangs”. They could not leave a home unprotected for fear that if they did they would be killed for just a mere walk around town.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Huck Finn Blog Post 2

   Throughout the story, Huck and Jim form a very strong relationship. This connection very much resembles a father son bond. During the time frame of this story, society frowned upon this friendship because Jim is an escape slave and Huck is a runaway white boy. “Jim, this is nice,” I says. “I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else but here” (Twain 159). This quotes exemplifies the relationship between the two characters. It shows that Huck enjoys spending time with Jim. Furthermore, they like each others’ company which is very much the way fathers and sons act when two people care about each other and have common interests. . In Chapter 12, Jim and Huck spend time fishing and sharing time outdoors. The activities they were engaged in are very much what young boys around Huck’s age do when they are able to spend quality time with their father. Without a strong father in the picture, it is very positive for Huck to allow Jim to take the role of a father in his life.
      While the adventures of Jim and Huck continue, Jim shows a very protective and sheltering demeanor over Huck. “Come in, Huck, but doan’ look at his face-it’s too gashly”(161). After they come across the dead body in the float away house, Jim wants Huck to stay away because of the atrocious sight. At this point in the story the fatherly instincts Jim has begin to show. Fathers do all they can to protect their children and he is striving to do all he can to keep Huck out of harm’s way. Jims also attempts to teach Huck new things that will eventually help him as he grows and matures. He tells him about good and proper morals as they come across the floating house and the abandoned boat. Together throughout their journeys, Jim and Huck teach each other important values, life lessons, and knowledge. The time they have together, gaining insights into each other as human beings, shows the strength in their father son relationship.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Huck Finn Post 1

Throughout the first 10- chapters, the story of Huck’s life unfolds. His life is everything- but ordinary. His life experiences have led him to become very independent. Huck likes to do much by himself and believes that he is capable of living alone. “All right; I can stop anywhere I want to.” (Twain pg.129) This quote is from when Huck was packing to leave the cabin where his abusive and alcoholic father was keeping him isolated. Huck does not have a stable father figure. This quote portrays to the reader that Huck has the determination and drive to make it without parental support.  A lack of parental responsibility has caused Huck to become more self-sufficient and self-reliant which becomes even more apparent as his life journey unfolds.

Huck is also a very mischievous character. Despite the fact that he is not allowed to “get” involved in shenanigans, he finds himself in much trouble with his side-kick, Tom Sawyer. Huck gets joy out of knowing he’s not allowed to be so roguish.  “Tom made a sign to me-kind of a little noise with his mouth-and we went creeping away on our hands and knees”.(Twain pg.55)  Huck and Tom went sneaking around late at night, fully knowing that they were breaking the rules. The two boys also established a band of robbers along with other impish friends. Both of the boys are very creative and imaginative. Their ingenuity leads to many of the problems they encounter.