Frank Barabas

Week One:

Over the past weekend I watched a new movie that came out, called the Wolf of Wall Street. In 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes a stockbroker job at an established Wall Street firm. His boss (Matthew McConaughey) advises him to adopt a lifestyle of sex and cocaine in order to succeed. Barely into the job, has the firm failed after Black Monday. Out of work and with a poor job market for stockbrokers, Jordan's wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) pushes him to take a job with a Long Island boiler room which deals in penny stocks. His aggressive pitching style soon earns him a small fortune. He befriends Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a salesman who lives in the same apartment complex as him, and they decide to open their own firm together. They recruit several of Jordan's friends; some of them experienced marijuana dealers, and his accountant parents and forms Stratton Oakmont. Despite the respectable name, it is essentially a pump and dump scam. An exposé in Forbes dubs Jordan the "Wolf of Wall Street", and soon hundreds of ambitious young financiers flock to his company. Jordan and his employees live a very decadent lifestyle with lavish parties, sex and drugs both in the workplace and in their personal lives. He regularly cheats on his wife with prostitutes and becomes addicted to cocaine and Quaaludes. FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) begins investigating Jordan's company. At one of his parties, Jordan meets Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and begins an affair with her that leads to him divorcing his wife. Jordan falls in love with and proposes to Naomi. They wed, and a few months later they have a daughter, Skylar. Towards the end of the movie Jordan Belfort gets arrested and gets frost into giving up all of his friends and losing all the money that he had scammed off of people.

Kelly Thompson's :

The discussion of Junior Portfolio becomes more and more stressful the closer we get to March. It is frustrating because it seems as though the class of 2015 are the "guinea pigs" for this and they still don't know exactly how everything is going to work. I feel that the administrators and teachers should have planned the whole thing out, and assigned the portfolio exhibition to a class when they are 100% prepared. Also, last year was when they were still figuring everything out and that seemed to be all the teachers talked about. So, my sophomore year I got a decent amount of rubrics. However, this year it seems like many teachers have completely forgotten about it because throughout the whole first semester, I only received 2 rubrics. Many teachers have not even talked about it this year and it is coming quicker than expected. Many students don't know what they even have to do because no one has fully explained it to us, or many teachers are telling us different things. We either need to have an assembly with the junior class, or we need to talk about it in depth in our advisory classes. Students cannot graduate without passing the Junior Portfolio, which is very stressful for many students, especially when we are not sure exactly what we need to do.

Week 2:

Last night I watched President Obama's state of the union address. Although I found most of it to be wishful thinking and politics, there was one part that stood out to me and reminded me of something we often discuss in class. The President spoke briefly about the current education system in America, "Some of this change is hard. It requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding parents to better support for teachers and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test. But it is worth it and it is working. The problem is we're still not reaching enough kids, and we're not reaching them in time. And that has to change." It was rather satisfying to hear our President recognize this fact because so many are still unaware of the problem. However, I found myself confused when he spoke of how difficult this change will be. How is it so difficult exactly? Many studies have shown that standardized testing doesn't work, yet the state of Connecticut just created another one that Juniors will be taking this year. If everyone can see what bad shape our education system is in why are we still doing the exact same things? School administrations are ready for new divergent and creative ways are teaching. They just need permission from those who pay them.

Karli Robertsons Comment:

In English class, we have been discussing the Junior Portfolio which is coming up very soon for us Juniors. Personally, I believe that teachers are putting too much stress on us students to collect all seven rubrics by the time it's time to present. I understand that they are trying to prevent us from failing but I think it's time that they give us some responsibility. If we don't have all the rubrics than it is all our fault, not the teachers. All of my teachers throughout my three years at Morgan have given me enough rubrics to cover all 7 and I've been hearing since day 1 to save all of them. I feel prepared enough and think that teachers and the faculty should stop drowning us in all the work. I'm kinda sick and tired of seeing the same rubrics on a daily basis and answering the same reflection questions. We should be focusing on the whole presenting thing because that is what I am most worried about. I have all the rubrics I just don't know how to make the presentation and organize everything into a clear and perfect presentation. Deep down, I think the Junior Portfolio is kinda stupid.

I could not agree more with Karli's comment. When you tell a large group of teenagers that they're going to be the first ones to try a time consuming, lengthy presentation about what we learned in high school, they're going to be angry. Any time something goes wrong with it we're going to use that to fuel our argument that we shouldn't have to do it. At this point, most of us have accepted the fact that we have to do it and it is what it is so why are they continuing to shove it down our throats? It seems as though any time they make a minor modification they gather us all in the auditorium to tell us with endless power points that usually don't run correctly. It is the state who's making the administration do this and we understand, but I implore this school to stop re-explaining it over and over. I also agree with Karli when she asks for some responsibility, this is supposed to be a independent reflection on how far we've come in high school. I don't believe that sending a letter home about how many rubrics we've collected was necessary in the slightest. Let's face it, the only good thing about this whole experience is that it'll be over this year.

Week 3:

The other day we read a short story called "I am, too". This story talks about a colored ,am who one day wishes there was no difference between races. This can relate to the American idea because the main idea is equality. We wish that everyone was treated the same, and no one was ever left out. We wish that one day blacks and whites could be together and there was no racial issue that was happening. To this day we still have this problem, however there's less of it then it was in the past. In the past, this was the thing that everyone knew about. No one wanted to mix with different races and it was so bad that they had separate areas where blacks would go and whites would go. It isn't that bad anymore but we know its still out there. One day, we all wish that this problem disappeared, and that people didn't see others as a color but for what's inside. This would be the American idea, and its very well shown in this short story.

Jens Comments:

The other day in class we read a poem written by Langston Hughes called "I am, too". The poem was about the racial issue that Langston had to endure while he was a child. When company was over he was to go into the other room and not say a word because of his color. This represents the American Idea because people come to America and know that blacks are treated differently than whites. Maybe not to the same extent this day in age, but the blacks are still sometimes looked at differently. The poem though also showed the determination Hughes has to solve the problem. He knows that someday the racial issue will be overcame, bu right now he has to deal with it.

Jen wrote about the same topic as I did, and I agree with her. She did a better job of breaking down the meaning of the story, and it shows that this is a big problem that is happening, although it has gotten better. We need the American idea to not be an idea anymore but for it to actually happen. The conclusion to this idea would be for people to see what's on the inside of a person rather than the outside appearance. This would be important because we're all the same inside, the only difference between us is our color, and that's not important. What is important is what's on the inside, cause that's all that matters.


Week four:

Recently I went to the movies and saw Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor is a true story about the Navy SEALs and their failed mission that took place on June 28th, 2005. In the movie the SEALs team goes on an ill-fated mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush regions of Afghanistan. The mission was fairly simple. A select team of soldiers were sent out to stake out the village from the mountains around the area and move in on their target when the time is right. The mission was called "Operation Red Wings". Under the leadership of Lieutenant Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Matt Axelson (Ben Foster), and Danny Dietz (Emlie Hirsch) they reached their checkpoint and shortly after realized that another nearby hill will provide a better vantage spot.While continuing with bravery and skill they fell under attack and were trapped deep within their enemies boarders. Obviously the mission from there on was compromised. The only member of the team to survive the attack and managed not to get captured was Marcus. At the end Marcus was found by some village people who brought him down from the mountains to fix him up, bathe him, give him new cloths, and most importantly give him food and water. Eventually the Taliban found him and while Marcus was unable to fight for himself the village people helped protect him.

Jen's comments:

Earlier this week we read a short story in our literature books called "Teenage Wasteland." The story was predominately about a teenager who goes down the wrong path in high school. Donny, the main character, associates himself with the people who already have bad reputations and later involves himself in drugs and alcohol. His parents tried their hardest to keep him on track and once he began falling off, they did what they could to stop the situation from getting worse. However, his parents frustrated Donny to a whole new level. After Donny was sent to a supposedly great tutor, Cal, Donny started slipping again. Cal seemed to act as more of a friend to Donny than a tutor and Donny did not accomplish much. I have seen similar situations happen in real life with students who go down the wrong path and start becoming one of the "bad kids."

I agree that Donny went down the wrong path. Donny was a good kid, but he really lacked involved parents. When his parents became aware that Donny was doing bad in school they started to get involved. I think it was wrong of Donny's parents to wait to get involved in his life when he was making poor decisions. Donny's parents should have always been involved in his life no matter if he was doing good or bad. I also agree that Cal was not a really good tutor. He was acting more as a friend than a tutor. In the situation Donny was in he needed more of a leader that was helping him do better than a friend agreeing with Donny. Although he did help Donny become more positive and even his teachers saw a difference in his attitude. Teenage Wasteland was a good story and can teach you a lot about poor decisions and bad parenting.


Week Five:

Lately I've been talking to my parents about taking the SATs. A big question between them and I has been if I should study or not. I believe there is no honest way to study for that kind of testing. SATs are a really random test and you never know what kind of things will be on the exact test you get. Sure you can go to workshops that are offered at the town library or you can even go to programs and pay them to help you study. Although those workshops may help they can't guarantee you getting a perfect score. I feel as a lot of students go to those workshops and programs just so they don't look like a deer in head lights when they are going into the actual testing room. The only thing that could help you prepare for this test is maybe the vocabulary. Even if you can't predict what exact vocabulary is going to be on the SAT test that you are taking it doesn't hurt to memorize it at all. Vocab is easy to memorize therefore it doesn't hurt to know a few.

Maxx Bugg's Comments:

Today in class we read a short story called Tall Chairs. The story was about a young three year old boy who loved his father dearly. His father did not live with him though, the boy lived with his mother and would occasionally visit his father. However, every time he visited his father he loved it so much, he would look up to his father and do nothing but wish to grow up like him. The one thing the kid didn't understand was that his dad is an alcoholic. The boy just thought the dad was this amazing person, and even when the dad yelled at him for no reason and hit and abused him, the boy never thought anything of it. It was sad to see how much this boys loves his father, but doesn't realize what his father was actually doing. Meanwhile, the mom locked the dad out of the house and the boy was angered at the mom for chasing the father away. The whole story shows a misunderstanding.


I agree on how this story shows a misunderstanding. Everyone in the story showed a different view on situations. The father showed that he didn't care about his child, was abusive, and how he didn't understand that his son looked up to him a lot. Which I find it very typical for sons to look up to their fathers a lot because the fathers are the first male figure in their sons lives. The mothers role was that she didn't care about her son getting abused and didn't care that the father was a drunk individual who was abusive to his own child. The kid on the other hand is way to young to understand anything so what he thinks is right is actually wrong. Everything is just one big misunderstanding.


Week Six:

Recently I went and saw a movie called Ride Along. Ride Along was about Ben (Kevin Hart) who is a high school security guard hopes to marry his girlfriend Angela (Tika Sumpter), but first Ben must prove himself how he is a man to his girlfriends big brother James (Ice Cube). James is a detective for Atlanta and decided that Ben will prove himself to be a man by bringing him on a ride along. James' plan was to terrify Ben from marrying his sister. At the beginning of the the ride along James' plan works until right before Ben was about to quite he called Angela and she told him that it was all a joke that they pull on rookies. When James' comes back after Ben is off the phone, Ben takes this ride along thing to a whole new level. Eventually Ben and James attract the attention of Atlanta's most feared criminal. Before they even know it goes from Ben showing James he's a man to a test of them surviving. Together Ben and James must help each other in order to survive and they end up liking each other in the end.

Erica's Comments:

This week in class we read two short stories. The first one was in the book and was about how much evil is capeable in humans. It was about a society that had to pick a man's name out of a box of names, and then a member of his family from another box. The name of the family picked was to be stoned in the middle of the town. The beginning of this story reminded me of The Hunger Games in a way. When I found out that they were picking a name out of the box it reminded me of picking one boy and one girl's name out of the bowl in The Hunger Games. Both of these stories displayed how much evil is in the human race. When they are told by an authority figure that they need to do soomething it is most likely that they will do it no matter how evil it is to another person.

I also thought of The Hunger Games when reading that story. Having the boy's and girl's pick their names out of a box is very similar to how the districts pick one girl and one boy name out of huge bowls to see who is that years tribute. I also agree with Erica and how she said both stories depict how evil the human race can be. Now a days society would frown upon that because it is known as inhumane. Both acts are very inhumane actually. If you actually think about it, it is. Parents, especially the mother, name their child because they had to care for the child for the nine months of pregnancy. I feel it is wrong to take that right away from them.


Week Seven:

The American Idea is shown in so many different ways in literature. One example is when authors use social commentary. This is when they state their beliefs and thoughts on a certain idea. Social commentary can be more difficult to understand but its their way of stating their opinions without being so obvious about it. It also helps the author hide their bias opinion on their own topic. There are many topics that relate to the American idea and every author who writes about it has a different view on it. Some may see America as a land of opportunity while others may see the opportunity as a laughable idea. Some authors may show Americans as the heroes who go and save poor innocent countries. There are so many American ideas that some may view as great, while others believe them to be laughable. Thats okay though because every single person is entitled to their own opinion on everything and anything. That's what makes literature so amazing, it can show how a person truly feels without them having to be so obvious about it.

Sarah's Comments:

The American Idea shows itself in literature. I believe that if you wanted to learn about the American Idea through literature you should read american books. If you read a book by an american author who lives in america the book with probably have a lot of american ideas referenced in it. It will probably deal with anything relating to the american idea. A few examples would be youth, equality, and opportunity. I have read many books dealing with youth. I think this is an american idea because the youth is the future. I think equality and opportunity are american ideas because they are things that our country advertises. People come to america in order to be treated equally and to have new opportunities. I think that if you read a book that is written by someone who isn't american and doesn't live in american there wouldn't be very many american ideas in it. There would probably be more ideas of whatever country they are from.

I kind of disagree with her. The American idea shown in literature, but I don't agree that only American authors can write about the American ideas. Many people come to America, learn our traditions, learn our customs, and study us as a whole. Those people later go back to their homeland to write about their opinion of the American idea and how they picture it for people to read about. Sure American writers will probably be able to explain more about the american ideas they are writing about, but writers from around the world will still be able to express their opinions on the american ideas. Writers from america will probably be more up beat and encouraging of american ideas, whilepeople from other countries may support or laugh at the american ideas. As i said before no matter where you come from, most people learn about foreign countries; therefore those who know about the ideas of america can still comment on them. Just because someone is not american and does not live in america does not mean that they do not understand the american ideas


Week Eight:

I think SATs are pointless and out of date. I'm one of those kids that has not taken them yet nor have I even attempted to even study. I believe that the test shouldn’t be the reason why a college accepts you because some kids might be better test takers than others. SATs are a poor way to see students levels of knowledge in certain subjects. Some kids, like myself, might be a better hands on than visual. Plus even though a student cannot test well it does not make them stupid. Why should one test determine your future when you will never use what is on the test? College is the place that you go where you learn all the stuff you need to do to make sure you can perform your job at the right level and with little mistakes. The reading part of the SAT is pretty pointless because most of the words that are on it you have never seen before. Scoring low on the SATs doesn’t not mean you can’t not be successful for example, "Stier had received a 410 on the verbal and a 480 on the math, scores she characterizes as “very bad.” Still, she attended Bennington College and went on to a successful career as a book publicist." She did worse in the verbal part and still got a job in a field where all they do is have big words and writing better vocab words.


Joe's Comments:


I read the article that was assigned and was honestly confused. I believe it was a story about someone taking the sats when they are in there forties but like I said I'm not sure. but I do think that the article was trying to say that the sats are ridiculous and that once your there taking them you truly realize this. I also agree with this statement mainly because, how can you judge how a student will do in school by asking them to take one test for you? I believe that if you want to find a students true potential you need to test them on the subject on what they are going to college or tech school for. I also believe that if a student is just flat out not good at taking tests then it doesn't matter what they do there not going o get as good of a score on what is portrayed as he single most important of your life then say someone who has never failed a test in there life. it is these reasons that I believe that we really shouldn't have to take a "standardize test" because not every student is the same so how can you teach or test them in a standard way?

Just like Joe I was also confused with the article at first. I actually had to read it a couple of times before completely understanding it. I also believe SATs are not a good judgement on how well a student will do in college. A student can get really good grades on class participation, projects, papers, and homework but be a horrible test taker and still pass the class. Standardized testing in general is really tough to go by and almost impossible to show how a student will really do in college.


Week Nine:

I agree with the article. The grading system should be changed. The point based grading system gives points to students for completing work and then retaining the knowledge they learn long enough to take a test a week later and then most likely forget it right after taking the test because honestly students don't care enough about remember that information, unless they find that it may have some use to them later in life. It does not grade based on how well a student actually learns how to use and apply the material. If we changed to a standards based grading, people would have to actually learn the material and show how well they know it in order to pass the class and move on in their schooling. If and when this new standard is started all school systems should follow it because if they don't somewhere along the way their will be faults found.

Sarah's Comment:

I am okay with point based grading and letter grades. Although I think they are okay it doesn't mean I agree with them. I think that letter grades do not judge how much a student actually learns. Students memorize information so much in order to get an A on the next test. But what usually happens is they end up stressing so much. Because they stress they don't get the grade they wanted or think they deserved. Or they do get the grade they wanted but then by the next class they lost all that information. I do think they are an acceptable way of judging how much effort a student puts into their school work. Even if a student doesn't maintain what they learned then it still shows if they got an A they they really tried or if they got a F that they put in little to no effort in studying. I personally do not agree with all of my grades. For some classes all I will do is study and then I get a C. I do no think that is fair for the student because it isn't their fault that the teacher grades harshly.

I agree with Sarah on the point based grading. We are so used to the typical point based grading and we know, as students of the system, we know how to work it and obtain the good grades. Also the letter grades do not judge how well a student does in a class. We simply learn the information for the test, and then forget everything. We no longer know the information for later years; therefore we don't actually learn it simply memorize. Also when it comes to tests, we stress out so much trying to do our best, so we can get a good grade. We just work the system. If we switch to a standards based system those who cannot take tests will still have a fair chance of getting good grades because they will learn and know the material well, even if they can't pass the test.

Week Ten:

People study literature for many different reasons, but according to this article, we read literature to get smarter. I don't agree with that simply because not everyones reasons will be the same because everyone's different. Some reasons people may have to study literature is for pleasure, to learn more about a time era, for a school project, and so on. But if every little detail in a book has a meaning behind it and you constantly have to think about it, it just kills the book and makes me not interested anymore. That why school kills students interest in reading. Teacher's force students to read a book because if they don't then the student won't pass that part of the "curriculum". The students who don't read the book won't pass simply because they won't know the answers on pop quizzes, quizzes, or even tests. Sure sparknotes help, but not completely because it could keep out important descriptions that your teacher might touch upon. Also while reading most to all teachers have you take notes while reading and write them on sticky notes to put on the page you took the note from. That takes away from reading because the students are so focused on getting the exact number of notes the teacher asked for and completely forget about the actual book not allowing them to actually get into it.

Joe's Comment:

Literature is studied for many reasons. There never is and never will be just one specific reason why someone would choose to study literature. One reason people could study literature for some sort of research paper so they can learn more about a culture, country, or time period. Studying this literature gives us more evidence and information about what the time was like. Another reason to study literature is for pleasure. Books give us a chance to travel the world without leaving our house and escape the real world. Stories create this fantasy world for us that we can picture and allow the reader to grow close to the characters. Literature is one type of art. Art opens up the doors to the true human character that we would never be able to see. Literature helps us get a closer view into so much, and although people study literature for different reasons, in the end it comes with a similar outcome.

I agree with Joe on their will never be a specific/general reason why people study literature because there are to many reasons. Not one person is the same so their reasons for doing things are not the same as the person standing next to them. I also agree that literature is a type of art, although I know some people who would disagree with literature being art. Literature is one way someone can express themselves. There are also many different forms to express themselves with as well. For example, writing poetry, writing novels, writing jokes, writing a script to a play or movie, and so on. There are just to many possibilities when it comes to literature.

Week 11
These next few months should be a couple of really good ones! I think that lacrosse this year should be fun! I do not know if i will get sa much playing time as i did last year though. Last year the starting goalie got hurt so i got to play varsity for while and that was really fun! However, this year he might not get hurt which would be ok i suppose because then i could practice worry free so that next year i do a really good job. Also i can not wait to be exempt from all of my finals! The third quarter went very well and i got above an 85 in every class except for english. This means that if i do as good next quarter, and better in english, i will not have to test! The SBAC's are ending soon too! those are super lame, i thought they were tedious and tough, maybe in the years to come the SBAC's will become better.


Tony LaMorte's Response:

Over the course of the months to come I am specifically exctied for April Vacation. April Vacation gives every student a break from the stressful life of school, if you do not have work that is. The break can either be helpful or hurtful towards a students school grades. Some students will come back more prepared or caught up on their work while others have fallen behind and put off all their current assignments. Overall though, every student enjoys the time they get off during April Vacation. Many kids go to another state for vacation so it allows them to spend time relaxing. Personally I do not go on vacation out of state that much but I will be able to enjoy the time in state. In addition to vacation, spring sports are starting which means golf is starting. This is great because it allows me to practice and get better at the sport. I enjoy spending time at the country club and it can be really relaxing compared to a sport like lacrosse. Golf also allows you to play until you are put into a retirement home because it does not require as much rigorous activity that adults could not keep up with. In conclusion, upcoming months will be more entertaining the the last few that have gone by for me.


Comment:

I could not agree more! I love april vacation. i get to sleep late and play lacrosse. It is a little bothersome having to bust my hump over vacation but i enjoy the sport. I play goalie which does mean that i run a little bit less, but it also means i get rock hard balls thrown at me at 90mph. As scary as that sounds the feeling you get when you make a save is outstanding and by all means worth it. Vacation also means my one year anniversary with my girlfriend. I am especially excited for this! I really like Emma and im happy we have been together for so long. We are also going out to eat at Assagios in Branford and even though its a $100 meal for two it's so tasty.

Week 12
I like the story, A Raisin in the Sun. However, i was absent on the first day we had started reading and so i find it a bit confusing. Travis is the son of Ruth and Mama is his Grandma and Walter's mom. Walter is Travis' dad and i think he is Beneatha's brother. And George is Asagai and he is dating Beneatha.But him and Beneatha got into a fight last time we had read. Mama had also bought Walter a house! I hope everything goes well for their family i like the characters, i think they're funny and nice even though Walter is a litle crazy and gets mad sometimes. They are just stressed about money and things, but they just got a ton of money! I assume the grandpa had passed and they got the insurance money from that. I do not know another to get $10,000 of insurance money.



Jordan Corrigan's Response:

So far while reading the play i have come to enjoy reading it. at first it was a little slow with nothing happening and nothing significant was occurring. but then once the check came in the mail and the wife became pregnant things started to heat up, after this we could see how the husband wanted things to be in the house. i want to know how this story progresses while we read. it seams like there is going to be more problems in the future for this family. i would like to know how they are to overcome these problems.



Comment:

I could not agree more! This story seems to bounce of problems and arguments the characters have. In every scene the characters have bickered in some way! I'm sure that something will happen with the wife being pregnant, that tends to be a really big thing when it happens. It's not necessarily a problem by any means, but it is always something popular and something to talk about.


Week 13
Over vacation I did not get a chance to read a book. I was busy with work and I went to Boston. However I played my first match for golf and shot a 58 witch for being my first match is somewhat good. In this match I was hitting my irons good but I was losing many strokes on the green with my putting. Later that week I played at bridge water in Boston. On this course I did fairly well again, however I was playing with a friend so it wasn’t a competition. If I did have time I would have read a book, but I was focusing on my work and improving my golf game. I also look forward to be playing in my first varsity match on Tuesday.
Maxx responce
Over this break I am actually not reading a book I am reading some magazines. Mostly sports illustrated and golf magazine. These two magazines really have great articles that get me very interested with what I am reading about. I have read articles on Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson. It mostly talks about their childhood and what they use as their drive to want to win and work hard. I really enjoy these because I love golf and want to be the very best that I can be at the sport. All of these players have gone through what I have gone through so I can almost relate to them on how they can relate to me and I think that might be why I love reading their articles so much. Other than that I have not really been reading a novel it is just sports illustrated and golf magazine.
Responce
I think this is interesting that although you are not reading any books, you’re still picking up a magazine to read. I myself read magazines about lacrosse and it clearly shows your interests in your commentary. You have a very strong interest in golf and it’s interesting to hear that you look up to such incredible people to better your self. This is what any athlete would do and is important if you want to better yourself. It’s also good to know that although you don’t read novels, you’re still picking something up to read.


Week 14
We just finished the play A Raisin in the sun, which is a play that was about an African American family who are waiting to get a check from the health insurance company after Walter senior passed away. This play had a many character Walter, Ruth, mama, Travis, Beneatha and many more. Ruth was Walter wife who is baring a child and is worried that the new child will be born into the broken world that they are accustom to by living in a tiny apartment, Beneatha is Walters sister who is a young outgoing lady who wants to become a doctor. Walter, who is my favorite character from A Raisin in the Sun, is a younger African American male who all he wants to do is provide for his family. He is dead set on using the ten thousand that they get in the check to start a liquor store with his friend, however his sister wants the money so she can go to med school, and mama wants to use the money to get a new house. However in my opining Walter was a man who only cared about his family he didn’t want them to has to suffer he wants to start a business so that he can become rich and provide for his family. Conversely at the end of the play Walter ended up giving away the 6500 that he was giving to put into the bank to his friend who just took the money and left. Also mama also put a down payment on a house. All and all I enjoyed his play and feel it could be something that I go and see.
Connor Moran:
My favorite character from a raisin in the sun is Asagai. I really like Asagai because of his upbeat and positive attitude. It's always an eyeopener for me when a person from another country comes to mine and is so happy and loves everything while most people couldn't be unhappy with how they live. People like Asagai make me appreciate how i live. I realize that running water and having food every day is pretty nice! Most people in the world live this way now; however in some parts people still have it rough, especially 60 years ago. I feel like Beneatha should go to Africa with Asagai, it would be a great experience and it would really make her appreciate all the little things that us Americans take for granted. Everyone should travel to a country other than theirs at least once. That way we can see what life is like outside of our American bubble. Americans are so ignorant and oblivious to the rest of the world, I do not want to be like that i want to be uplifting aware like Asagai.
Response:
I agree that the differences in countries around the world are great. I also found it interesting that Asagi is happy with his life in Africa, even though it was not as adapt as the life that Americans live. Asagi is defiantly a great guy and he does seem like he can be happy anywhere, as long as he has his culture with him. It also shows hoe strong he is to be able to endure the way Africans are treated in America , unlike how they are treated back at his home. I also thing that people should travel to a poorer country than theirs to be able to appreciate the life they were given.

Week 15

After finishing the play Cliburn Park, a play that regards mostly to racism was asked why is it sometimes difficult to speak about issues of race, class, and socio-economic status. The topic of race is difficult because you have to choose what you’re saying carefully. You don’t want to make a comment that will tic someone off. However there is no reason to talk about someone’s race, because it doesn’t matter where someone is from. America is a land made up of immigrants who came from their homeland looking for a new life for their families. My ancestors came to America to get away from Hungry, there is no difference between my family and an African American family.


Joseph DiGianni's Comment: My final thoughts about Clyburn Park are simple, "what the hell". I understand that the purpose of this is to bring up issues that everyone is naturally unwilling to talk about. But simply stating that the issue is present in the first place would've helped a lot. I found myself lost a lot of the time during this play, I’m not saying that I don’t understand what the play was saying I’m saying that I can’t seemingly understand why the author wouldn't make the characters just come out and say what they mean, it got rely annoying listening to these characters beat around the bush more than anyone else who ever lived. maybe it’s just me I’m a no BS kind of person if you’re going to say something say it don’t butcher it for a year ND a half just come out with it. With all this being said the play did accomplish its job with producing and planting there ideas of racism and property laws into the viewer’s minds it just took its sweet time with it.


My Response: I agree with Joe completely. Clybourne Park is simply a "what the hell" play. I really enjoyed the play 'A Raisin in the Sun" it was interesting, held my attention, and talked about some major issues during that time; however "Clybourne Park" is just not the same. As Joe said I fully understand what is going on and appreciate that they are talking about issues that naturally people are uncomfortable; however they just don't discuss it. I understand since they are difficult subjects to talk about that people would beat around the bush for awhile but eventually you need to get straight to the point. I agree with Joe that it did get really annoying just talking about random topics and avoiding the true issue that they wanted to talk about. I didn't understand the need to talk about the capital of Morocco for about 5 pages. Then the fact that they are always constantly talking over each other and arguing over random topics. One of the characters should have stated the main issue earlier on. The play itself holds great potential, and discretely tries to discuss some major issues that were still around in 2009. It's not a bad play what so ever but it just didn't hold my interest.

Week 16
Why is it sometimes difficult to speak about issues of race, class, and socio-economic status?
I believe that it is sometimes difficult to talk about the issue of race, class, and socio-economic status because we know that what ever we say, well either offend someone, or get in trouble saying our comment. Ever since we were little, we were told to keep our comments to ourselves, and whenever we didn't we would get judged or would get someone else's comment that would completely argue your own opinion. Were so afraid to say how we truly feel and that's why its difficult to speak about these kinds of issues. If people didn't criticize our opinions, we would probably talk about it more. I know for example that when we talk about a topic like class and government actions, there's a few of us who don't want to speak up because in someone else's eyes, were completely wrong and shouldn't have said that.

Viv's Response:


It is sometimes difficult to speak about issues of race, class, and socio-economic status because of the history of the past, and feelings of interacting with each other. The history had all sort of issues that people faced such as the color of people's skin, social level and their rank. Race had lessen over the years and had become better. Still today there's little segregation among some people. The class and socio-economic status has also become less problematic. There are possibility that judging their class whether they are poor or rich. People is looking down on others. When interacting with one another, people feel uncomfortable to talk about the issue like in Act II of the Clybourne Park. People know to not offend others due to their race, class, and socio-economic status. People starts to avoid the talk and hurting others because it's a subject that are not suppose to be mention. Overall, people's mind are has a racist thought and does not really consider of the other's point of view.


My Response:

Those are my thoughts exactly. People don't know who will be offended and who won't so talking about the racism is always uncomfortable. There could be one person who is completely against black people where another person has a black spouse. If racism was an issue to everybody, there would be no troubles discussing it, but everyone has their own views. The major reason it is sometimes difficult to talk to other is because you never know how they will react.

Week 17
none

Week 18

The poem that I read would be Submerged City by Adam Zagajewski. This poem was really powerful when I read it because it was talking about the end of all life that we know. It starts off by saying The city will be no more. This line really drew me in to the poem just because of all the power it had at once. This was a great way to open up a poem and really capture the audience in. The author continues with taking away things in life that we normally would have and ends all possibilities of it. I think this poem is kind of dark, yet really speaks to the audience. The author is really able to grab your attention and hold it the entire poem. If it wasn't a powerful poem, then I wouldn't have read it and continued reading it. The other poems didn't quite pull me in with the starting line like this one, and i really thought this was the best poem that i read just because of what it has to hold.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/178229


Maxx:

I read the poem, "Work Boots: Still Life" by Jim Daniels. I thought that this was indeed a very powerful poem. It was very relevant to life. Mostly to the stereotype of it you work hard in life you will be rewarded. That is the theme that I felt it was based on and the theme that I had gotten out of it when I read it. What to me made this poem very powerful was the ability to link/create a relationship between the boots that lay open and a tired working man at the end of the day. This makes complete sense to me on how this man was able to create a relationship between the two. The shoes go through the entire day with you. Through the though and the good, the sweat and the cold, and also the blood and the tears. When a man goes home after a long day of work he sleeps and he sleeps hard, with his mouth wide open. That is the exact same thing that shoes do. When you take them off after a long day of work they rest with their mouth wide open. This is why this poem seemed so powerful to me because I have been through what this poem explains and I can relate to it. That is what makes this poem so great


Maxx, this poem sounds very interesting. I like how this poem is relevant to life and you can really relate to it. Most poems you cant relate to it at all yet this one you do. I like how an author can write such a powerful poem. I really do recommend reading this poem as well as mine to really get drawn in.

Week 19:
Photograph: Tony and Maria: 1935

This graveyard is no different than the one a town over.
Each one overgrown, unkempt,
and constantly growing bigger.
If only the government saw what we saw.
If only they understood the pain,
the pain of having to bury a relative.
One who passed away due to lack of nutrition,
lack of sanitation,
lack of a caring person.
Those rich people who are not as affected by the Great Depression,
they live, thrive, and dine.
We barely survive, fighting for scrapes of food.
Turning against one another to get a job.
Someone dies, we mourn, we bury them,
and then we move on and try to take their job.
If only the government would help.
If they showed some compassion.
Perhaps then we would be in a better state.
The graveyards would be better, and the dead have a more respectable place to live.
Perhaps if they saw what I saw in this graveyard, then they would care.
If only they saw, what we do.