Week 19: May 30: Write a 20-line poem about any of the Walker Evans photographs. Identify the title of the photograph. You do not need to respond this week to other blogs.
The Illusionexternal image th?&id=HN.608026541604799637&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0
She has been
Lied to
Broken hearted
And laughed at

Yet no one can see
How she really feels

Bright eyes
Lots of smiles
Looks of happiness
And excitement
No looks of depression
No sadness

She hides
The sadness
The pain
The fear

What she shows
Is just an illusion

Week 17: May 16 (no blog)

Week 18: May 23: Identify a poem that you enjoy from this website. What makes this poem so powerful>
Sarah Burr's Comment:
I chose the poem ocean which I pushed up. I enjoyed this poem because it is high in sensory. I like how it talks about the sensory feelings. It talks about touching the orange sand. This makes me receptive to the poem. In the last stanza it talks about warmth and the sun shining. This reminds me of summer. With summer coming up so soon it makes me even more excited for summer. I can't wait to have all the days being spent like this at the beach and in the warm sun. As much as I enjoy school and learning I think summer is a nice break. This poem is so powerful because of the senses of touch and sight used in it.

Rayann Hampson's Comment:
By Barbara Crooker

I chose this poem because it reminds me of summer and thats what i love. I always go somewhere on the boat for the Fourth of July and this year i am going to Newport. Hearing the crackling of them and then seeing them light up in my mind is so cool and it is a great experience at Newport, so if anyone has a chance to go there i would. Some people obviously view things differently, but i preferably like them.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I like that poem too. I like how it reminds me of summer. Summer is my favorite season. There is so much more to do in the summer. In the winter it is so cold so you have to stay inside with nothing to do. I also chose a poem that reminds me of summer. I like how my poem talks about the sun and water it reminds me of the summer.

Week 16: May 9: How have historic events over the last fifty years shaped how we view race and class in this country today? From your point of view, have these areas been improved upon or worsened? Explain.
Sarah Burr's Comment:
Over the last fifty years historic events have shaped how we view race and class in our country. In the early 1900s we treated the blacks and other minorities very poorly. People and groups (such as the KKK) were against them. We used to segregate them. They had to sit in different parts of public places. Employment was also segregated. They were forced to stay unemployed just because of the tone of their skin. In my opinion this has been improved. We now do not segregate people based on their skin. Anyone that treats someone different because of their skin is somewhat judged now. People think is is bad to be racist. So in conclusion people who were racist a long time ago were more popular but now racists are harshly criticized.

Amanda Auger's Comment::
My initial thoughts of Clybourne Park are a little confused because the story is hard to read, but other than that I like it so far. I like how it is an extension of Raisin in the Sun and how they both tie in. I really do not care for Karl so far though. I don't like how it is such a big deal that a black family is moving into their neighborhood. What makes their neighborhood so great and special? I am excited to continue reading this story in class because I really have no idea how this story is going to play out. So far, however, I like A Raisin in the Sun better because of the way each story was set up. I also like how the students picked for some of the roles fit perfectly with the characters, like Karli makes a good Karl and Justin makes a good Russ. They both play their parts well.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I agree with Amanda. Clydborne Park was difficult to understand. It was hard to read because the characters were talking about basically nothing for a long time and I had no idea why. When they started talking about the actual problem it was too hectic to follow. All in all i did like it. I thought it was a good play but I agree with amanda because I like a Raisin in the Sun Better.

Week 15: May 2: What are your initial thoughts about Clybourne Park?
Sarah Burr's Comment:
So far I like Clydborne Park. I like the characters in it. I also like how it is written. I think it is cool that the two acts take place if such different time eras. These eras had different views of black people. Like act one is in the 1950s when it was considered terrible to have a black family move into a white neighborhood. In act two it takes place in 2009 where there are black and white people sitting around talking and being friends together. I think it is interesting how Clydborne park is written so differently than a Raisin in the sun. In clydborne park the story is written in very short sentences where the characters kind of talk on top of eachother. In A Rasin in the Sun it is written in more long structured paragraphs. I liked A aRaisin in the Sun better because it had a better plot than Clydborne park. In Clydborne park there was too much small talk.

Dominique Ioveino's Comment: My favorite character from A Raisin in the Sun would have to be Beneatha. Although I played Mama in the play, Beneatha's character is sassy and witty. She isn't afraid to say what is on her mind or what she feels about certain subjects. She believes in living in the now and living off of her own beliefs and not the beliefs of others. And the fact that Jenna portrayed the character perfectly with the sassiness in her voice it just made the character come to life. Although Beneatha is my favorite character is beneatha, I am also a big fan of Mama. Getting to play her, I was able to pay more attention to what she said; and what she had to say most of the time was pretty powerful. Some of the things she said about life and the future made me think about my life and my future and if I'm doing enough to be successful in what I want to pursue. The play itself makes me think of my future and what I would do to get to where I need and want to be. I feel that all the characters, even Travis, could teach us all valuable lessons.

Sarah Burr's Response: Beneatha was also my favorite character from A Raisin in the Sun. I played Ruth in the play. But I agree that that Beneatha was very sassy. I liked her character. I also agree that she wants to live in the here and now. She is kind of like a feminist too. She believes what she believes. She wants to be a doctor so she is becoming a doctor. I admire her for that.

Week 14: April 25: Who was your favorite character from A Raisin in the Sun? Why?
Sarah Burr's Comment:
I really enjoyed reading a raisin in the sun. I thought it was a good play. My favorite character from a raisin in the sun was Beneatha. I thought Beneatha was a neat character because she wanted to go to college. Even before the family had any money she was set on going to school to become a doctor. I think it is sad that because Walter lost all the money her dream has to be put on hold. I did not like Walter. He was selfish. It was mean of him to put all the money into what he wanted. Some of the money was supposed to go to Beneatha's college fund.

Macy Lebert's Comment:
My favorite character from a raisin in the sun is Benetha. I liked Benethas character the most because she was a great example of feminism. She was a black woman growing up in the 50's and had all these ideas of going to college not just to be a nurse but to be a doctor. This shows she takes great pride in herself and that wiman should be able to succeed. Even with two boyfriends, that are entirely different, she has no problem telling them what she thinks or committing to one. She doesn't commit because she knows she is a strong independent woman that doesn't need no man. Benetha can get sassy but I think that is the best part of her, She can stand up for what she believes in and doesn't stay quite like most other woman. Benetha is a strong minded character and she inspires me to stand up for myself as a woman too.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I agree with you. Beneatha is my favorite character from the play too. I agree that she is a good source of feminism. She stands up for herself, especially when Walter tells her that she shouldn't be a doctor. I also think Beneatha is a great character because she wanted to follow her dreams. Beneathea decided she wanted to be a doctor and she was going to take the steps she needed to to get there.

Week 13: April 18: What are you reading over the break? Tell us about it.
Sarah Burr's Comment:
Over the break I have been reading The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. I like her books. Her style of writing seems real unlike other books where it can seem fake. I have read a few other books by her and I have enjoyed them. This book is about a girl named Emaline. She lives in a beachy town and the story takes place during the summer. Her family owns a realty company where they rent out houses on/by the beach. Also in the book she has a boyfriend but there is a new boy that comes to her town so she has mixed feeling about what to do. So far, i really like the book. I have been reading it for a long time because I got it in the beginning of the year. I just haven't had time to be reading lately because of school so I am glad that I have had time to read in vacation. I am also excited for summer because I will have more time to spend reading.

Viv's Comment:
Over the break, I am going to Washington DC. I will read in the train and in the dorms "The Hunger Games" which will be enjoyable. I hope that I will be able to finish it, so I can go on to read about the "Catching Fire." I am probably very behind from everyone who had read the series of the Hunger Games last year. I want to read about these book this year. I remember when the twilight series came out I read all the series and loved it. It was probably the only books that I was pull in. I love to read and have to make time to read it, so this April break i'll have to make room for reading. I love reading and being able to know the ending and accomplishing it by myself. In the Hunger Games, I am half way finish. I am at the part where Catness is in need of water. She wants her supporter to give her water to survive. She had a conflict knowing Peter's mind. (Peter is from the same district with Catness) What he is planning because at the end they will have to face off each other. There can only be one survival to win the game.

Sarah's Response:
I read the hunger games during the school year last year and Catching Fire over the summer. I enjoyed reading both of them and this summer I hope to read Mocking Jay which is the last book. I also read the last book in the Twilight series last year. I was behind on that series kinda like you are with this one. I am glad we have had a vacation from school. It has been giving me a lot of time to get stuff done, including reading. I have been so busy lately during school.Being able to sit and relax for a while has been so relaxing. I hope you have a good time in DC. Cant wait to see you when you get back!

Week 12: April 11, What are your initial thoughts about A Raisin in the Sun?
Sarah Burr's Comment:
At first I did not really like the play A Raisin in the Sun. I thought it was boring. But so far is a pretty good play. I like it so far and I think it is a good play. It has a good story line too it. It focuses on the theme of race and social class i think. This is shown with the new house. They are planning to move into a neighborhood with all white people. This is the race and social classes part. I also think it has to do with gender roles. Walter thinks that he should be the man of the house and in charge because he is the boy.

Viv's Comment:
A Raising in the Sun is an interesting play. I like the set up of the story and the history of what we can learn from in this time period. The chance for the African American's family having 10,000 is great. This amount of money was wroth a lot. At this time period African American was looked down by their race. This play had many meaning to it. It can be about race, family, class, society, the point of views of people's mind, religion, and gender. In this play, I think it's more towards to family relationships. This family has many problems on money problems. They are somewhat in the middle class society. Their point of view is similar to some household may look at the society. The part when Walter was saying that money is everything to survive. It's true but not exactly the truth. If money is so great why are there millionaire suffering with so much money. Life has so much more to experience. There are people who are barely make money but try to make the best of their lives. It all depends on the people's attitude to be negative or positive. Some how this play may somewhat relate to our society today. Over all I enjoy reading and listening to my classmates' reading this amazing play.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I agree with you. I think this is an interesting play too. The way they talk is interesting. Their relationships are also interesting. The characters seem to love each other and care about each other but they also do not hold back with what they are thinking. Like I said above i think the play relates to race, society, and gender. So I agree with you on that too. I think this is a good play. I like listening to my classmates read it because it makes it more of a fun experience. I look forward to reading more of it.

Week 11: April 4, Write about what you are looking forward to over the next few months.
Sarah Burr's Comment:
This weekend is prom so I am looking forward to that. I am also looking forward to April vacation this month. I may be going to Cape Cod. That would be fun. I really want to get my licence this month. Sadly due to sicknesses and snow storms I have been unable to get it. I don't think the universe wants me to have a licence. In May and June I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can go to the beach and we can open up our family cottage. I love spending time there. I like when my family comes down and we can have big cook outs. Also I am looking forward to the warmer weather. I am so sick of the snow and the cold.

Viv's Comment:
am looking forward for so much in these few months left of school. I have to take the ACT in April and the SAT in May. I'm going to Washington D.C during April vacation. It's exciting to experience this field trip with others and visiting important historical sites. Mr. Bergman will be coming along with us too. We would get the opportunity to go into the white house. Another important part of my life is lacrosse, I cannot wait for the games to begin and see how far our lacrosse team can improve this year. We have a lot to look forward and will work hard to face other challenging teams. Also in April, I will have to take my driver licence's test and eventually be able to drive soon. Then it'll be my baby cousin's first birthday! There are so much events happening. I can't wait to finish the year as a junior and to be a senior. I can't wait for the summer to begin either.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I am looking forward to take all my tests. I have to take the ACT and the SAT too. I am nervous but i am excited to just take them and then move on. I hope you
have a good time on the DC trip. It sounds like fun. I went there when I was younger with my family and it was a really fun experience. You are so lucky you get to go into the White House. I am jealous. I wish I could go into the white house. Also I have to get my licence in April too. I am so excited to get it because then i can drive myself without have to rely on anyone else for a ride. It would make life a lot easier.

Week Ten: March 28, read this link and answer the question? Why do we study literature?
Sarah Burr's Comment:
Literature should be studied for many reasons. One reason is because it ties into history. Literature shows our past. There are primary source documents and books based on true stories. They can tell us our past so we do not repeat ourselves. Another reason is that it is a good way to expand your mind. You can become more creative thus making you a better writer. Also studying literature and reading can widen your vocabulary. This can make you a better writer and a more well rounded person. I also think that studying literature is fun. It is good to take a moment to step away from the television and electronics to read for a little while.

Sam Anglin's Comment:
I believe people study literature to get an understanding of what life can hold. We read stories for entertainment, laughter, sadness, and to learn about other peoples mistakes. We read poetry for the same reasons. But why do we study it? I really don't quite understand why we study it. Sometimes literature is so boring, and other times it can be exciting and fun. Literature helps the mind of a younger human by them reading about other peoples mistakes and by reading other people successes. I guess what I am trying to say is that we read/ study literature to help ourselves in the future by thinking more clearly about our emotions and action.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I agree with you Sam. If we do not we have less ways to learn about new experiences. I think you made a good point when you said that we read literature for all these different reasons. I like when I read a book and I can't put it down. I also agree with you when you say literature is either boring or exciting. I only get excited about reading when the book is really good. If it doesn't peek my interests then i put the book down and i have a hard time picking it back up. If i do at all. I chose your comment because we both chose entirely different reasons to talk about why we study literature. I think it is good that people have such different takes on the assignment yet they are still positive.

Week Nine: March 21, read attached article and respond about grades.
Mr Bergman, Please read my week five make up completed below.
Sarah Burr'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.

Rayann Hampson's Comment:
Today I read a story about the SAT's. I thought that this story was very interesting because a lot of it is extremely true. I took the SAT's this month and I thought some of the questions that they had asked were extremely ridiculous. The vocab words that they had given us were unbelievably difficult and even my parents I bet wouldn't be able to understand some of the vocabulary presented in the SAT's. This test had multiple sections in it, and I thought that the math was the most difficult. This story talks about the preparation for the SAT's, and how some kids study extremely hard and others not so much. For my first SAT I did not study because I wasn't exactly sure how to study. I am taking another SAT in May and I will most likely try to prepare for this SAT and look up practice tests online. It is important to do a good job on these because most colleges look at these scores. It is disappointing to know that when you apply for college they mostly only look at the SAT's, and not anything else. The SAT's in my opinion should not have anything to do with applying for college. They aren't good, beneficial ways to accept students to a particular college based off of a score. I will most likely only take 2 SAT's in all, so hopefully I do well on both of them.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I have not taken the SAT's yet. But i am nervous to take them in the upcoming months. I think it is interesting that you say your parents wouldn't be able to know what the words meant in the test. That is kind of unfair forus who have to take the test. The test should be testing the ability of high school students. Not past the ability of a normal adult education.

Week Eight: March 13, read attached article and respond. Use text from article. SAT

Sarah Burr's Comment:
I have not yet taken the SAT s. I plan to take them in May and June and also maybe the ACT s too. I am not really looking forward to taking them either. They seem like a waste of time. Lots of colleges don't look at the Sat s as strongly that they used to. Now colleges tend to look at grades the most. But if you get great grades but do terrible on the SAT s i am a little confused as to what colleges would think. I also feel like it isn't an accurate measure of student's knowledge. I don't think there are any tests that can properly measure a student's ability to do well in college. Everyone is different and some people don't test well. In the article it talks about a student who is taking their Sat s. The student taking the test seem nervous and not really prepared. I think everyone feels like this when they take the test.

Maxx Bugg's Comment:
Last weekend I took the SAT's. It was not the most fun thing in the world to be honest with you. I actually did not like taking it at all. I felt that the test was very repetitive and was a poor measure of your capability to do good in school. It only tested things that you would and or "should" know which I did not feel that it did well since the vocabulary they tested you on was useless because nobody uses the vocabulary that they tested us on. In life I feel like good things happen to people who work hard in life. This test does not test your work ethic and in the long run of life the person that has a much better work ethic will become much more successful than the person who is smart but is lazy his whole life. As a boss and as a teacher I would much rather support and or help the person who is a much harder worker because one day all of his hard work will pay off. If there is a person who is very intelligent but does not care at all he might never aspire into the human being that the hard worker would. Honestly. after taking the SAT I personally feel as if it is an unfair measurement that most schools and people base your future off of. There is no test in the world that can measure you will and want to do good along with your work ethic, and those are the things that truly matter about one's future.

Sarah Burr's Response:
That is good you took the SATs. I wish I had known about taking it this month before it was time to take it. But even though I wish i had taken it this month it was helpful to hear what everyone's opinions of the SAT s were. I heard a lot of people say they didn't know how it tested your knowledge which is something you mentioned in your comment. Although i haven't taken the test yet I actually agree with you. I think it is good that the colleges aren't taking SAT scores into as much consideration anymore. A lot of people do not test well. People can show their capability to do well in college in a bunch of different ways. I don't think it is fair to give everyone the same test and expect people's scores to come out well, especially since everyone is different. I haven't heard very fun or good things about the SAT s so I am not really looking forward to taking them but it has to be done.

Week Seven: March 7, how does the American Idea show itself in literature?
Sarah Burr's Comment:
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.

Rayann's Comment:
Today in class we had read a story called A worn Path. This story is about an older woman who travels down this path, although it may not feel like a path that everyone else says. She has been through a lot and it is mostly about the hard times in your life, and has taken this long path but now is done. It may have to do with her age although it is mostly about her life and what she has been through. We had to answer a question about if this woman were to walk in our community today and ask medicine for her grandson then what would we do. Most likely the people in our community today wouldnt help this older woman at all they would probably think sh is just going to use these for herself, maybe overdosing or something else. People wouldnt want to help a dirty, poor woman. Also money is harder to get nowadays so therefore, people will be working more to supply food and shelter, and medicine for their family. In that case nobody wants to spend their money on a stranger.

Sarah's Response:
I agree with you Rayann. We read this story in our class too. I agree that normally n our community people probably would not help her. This is sad because she is just a nice woman looking to get medicine for her grandson. I also agree that money is harder to get now. People have to work a lot more and a lot harder in order to get their money and support their family. Because of this people wouldnt want to spend their money and help a stranger.

Week Six: February 28, any English subject, please include the words story, character, plot in response- MAKEUP- ABSENT

Sarah Burr's Comment:
In English class we have been reading short stories. While reading these stories we have been discussing how a journey can work as a story. A journey can work as a story because when you go on a journey there is a beginning, middle, and end. Usually the beginning of a story shows how life is normally, the middle the characters deal with some sort of conflict, and the end usually consists of a resolution to the conflict. Through this you learn about the plot, you also learn about the different characters and how they develop. A good example of this is in the Wizard of Oz. This movie shows a journey. In the beginning we learn about Dorothy and her normal life at home. In the middle she gets on the yellow brick road and she confronts her fears in a dream through other characters. In the end Dorothy meets the wizard and conquers her fears. By doing this she gets home. Because of this we know that a journey works as a story.

Vivian Tran's Comment:

I actually read "The Lottery" last year in Mrs. Frydenborg's class. This story has a twisted plot where the town's people follows traditions and never question why they are doing so. Everyone decides to stone a person to death if he/she receive a dot on a piece of paper. The main character, Mrs. Hutchinson is being punished for no reason. She is getting stone thrown at her. Even her family and kids are being encourage to throw stones at her. There's no way that she can get out of it, unless some people decides to realize and break away from tradition. Maybe this society is a reflection of how small towns seems to be innocent and perfect, but has darkness deep down. In a small town, there can be many problems that people do not realize. I cannot stand this story because of their tradition in continuing to harm others without questioning it, and living in a society of always following the authority is absolutely wrong. Everyone has their own idea and should speak up for themselves.

Sarah Burr's Response:
We read the lottery in Mr. bergman's English class. The people live in a small town and follow traditions and don't question why. The tradition they follow is that the whole town stones one person if they receive a peice of paper with a dot on it. This is a ridiculous tradition. In my opinion it is also a stupid one. I also think it is stupid that they do not question why they follow the tradition. I agree with Vivian because lots of people think that small towns are perfect little suburban towns. This is true to a certain extent. But by living in a small town i know that we deal with things that big cities also deal with. I hear about drugs and that is a problem. I also know we have bars in town, pawn shops in town, and a tattoo parlor. These don't necessarily follow the stereotypical suburban Connecticut town.

Week Five: February 21, any English subject
Sarah Burr's Comment:
I have recently been reading more lately. I have enjoyed reading in the past. Normally I like reading if it is a book I enjoy. I have to be able to get into the book and it has to be interesting. Over the summer I read five books when it was only mandatory to read two. I have enjoyed reading in the past and look forward to getting back in the habit of reading more. I have a list of books I am looking forward to reading. I currently have two books at home that I need to finish though before I can get more books. I think that I tend to do more reading in the summer because I have more time. During the school year I have school, homework, and other commitments like sports and extra curricular activities. I am going to try to start reading a lot more and not let my school get in the way of my reading time.

Maggie's comment:
As SAT's approach I've been thinking about what is worthwhile in my life. Money is a controlling tool in America and all around the world, it controls many lives and is the power behind crimes, pollution, death, as well as success in material objects, the improving of technology, promoting people/products, and determining the power of our country in the competition of other countries in the world order. I tell myself I do not value money, I believe I do not value money, and I dream that money did not exist. None of this makes money go away, and it does not change people who are in the positions to make a difference in the world. After filling out a form for the SAT's it is so limiting to understanding a person and seeing the beliefs a person has. A person can cheat their way through life, buying their way through things or copying off of other's hard work, and the result is money and a nice home/ "success". Could it be true that those who have a solid grasp of what is important end up with the shorter result in life, or could they take a deeper meaning away. Either way, SAT's do not go away, nor does college debt, nor does determining your field of study and where you plan to go after graduation. Looking back to last year, I knew nothing, and knowing that, I know nothing now. How is it possible for me to make a decision on what I value when I have never experienced much out of this small bubble we call life in Clinton. Everything is rapidly approaching and High school was supposed to be the place to figure your future out, however how is that relatively possible when we all know nothing and anything and think we know everything about everything.

Sarah Burr's Response:
Maggie I completely agree with you when you talk about how we don't know life beyond Clinton. I think that I have been fortunate enough to visit and vacation in different places like California and Florida. But I still spend the majority of time in Clinton. We don't know life outside of this town. I personally think that we as a town are sheltered. We do not have to deal with many issues like crime or poverty.

February 13, 2014- WEEK FOUR
Sarah Burr's Comment:
In English class this week we read the short story Teenage Wasteland. It is about a boy named Donny who has difficulty in school and with his parents. It seems as though his mom tries to do a good job parenting him but his dad just doesn't really care. Since Donny doesn't try hard enough in school his mom does everything she can in order to help him. She sits with him while he does his homework and gets him a tutor. His tutor tries to take control over Donny's life at school. He tells the teachers that they should report to him instead of his parents. I think that is sort of crossing a line just because the tutor isn't supposed to have more of a say in Donny's future than his parents. Donny gets into trouble at school and gets expelled. Because his mother tried to make him responsible for his actions he runs away. I think Donny's mother was nice and she tried hard to turn his life around but she couldn't do that without Donny being equally willing to change. I don't think Donny's tutor really helped him other than making him more positive. His grades stayed the same and even went down. We don't know if Donny returns home but I think that if Donny was willing to turn his life around once he realized that his mother was just trying to help him he may come home. But it seems like Donny just didn't have enthusiasm to do this. Because of this I don't think Donny would come home anytime soon.

Jen Dawson's Comment:
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 highschool. 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."

Sarah Burr's Response:
I agree with you that Donny went down the wrong path once he entered high school. I think that Donny was a good kid but just lacked involved parents. As his parents became aware of Donny doing bad in school and making poor decisions they started to get involved. Also agree with you that Cal was not a really good tutor. He was acting more as a friend than a tutor. I think Cal did help Donny somewhat. He helped Donny become more positive and even his teachers saw a difference in his attitude. I also have seen similar situations. Kids make friends with the wrong people and they start to experiment and become more of a rebel. Perhaps this is why Donny ran away because he felt more rebellious.Having Cal support him with whatever he said probably didn't help him in this situation. I think that Teenage Wasteland was a good story and can teach you a lot about poor decisions and bad parenting.

February 6, 2014- WEEK THREE
Sarah Burr's Comment:
Recently in English class i have been reading the book Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Although I have only read the first few chapters I like it so far. I think it is a good book. It is about a girl named Annabel who has a problem with her ex-best friend Sophie. Although I know there is a problem between the two I still dont know what the problem is. This seems to be the main conflict of the book. In the past few chapters I have read there are flashbacks to when Annabel and Sophie became friends in the first place. I chose this book because I have read a few other books by Sarah Dessen and I really liked reading them. I am curious to see what the problem is with the two girls and how it gets resolved. I enjoy reading this book and look forward to reading more of it.

Rayann Hampson's Comment:
What i am reading right now is the book Suspect. This book really drags my attention right in because it gives me a good summary of what some people have to do in life, the job they have. Also i want to go into criminal justice so it helps me a little bit. There are bad people in this world, and it is important that we get rid of those bad people. i am enjoying this book because it is something i find exciting to read about. It is sad that people are dying, although its a splash of reality. This is the real world, and i need to learn more about it so that when i get out of college i know what to do, and most importantly who to trust.

Sarah Burr's Response:
I think you have a good perspective about this book. I like how you say you have to learn who to trust. When you get out of college you have to learn who to trust and what is safe. It is good that you think this way because it kind of gives you time to learn what is safe and who to trust so when you are out living on your own you know right from wrong. This book probably teaches you somewhat of life lessons in those terms of trusting people. I also think it is insightful that you are saying the book has some reality in it. Reading books that are happy and everything is okay all the time is good but it kind of shelters us from the real world. And as easy as it may be to live a sheltered life, it isn't good for everyone to just think around the bad things that go on. I would consider reading Suspect. It seems like a book that is interesting and captures your attention.

January 30, 2014- WEEK TWO
Sarah Burr's Comment:
I read The Road Not Taken in the American Reader. It is a poem by Robert Frost. In this poem a speaker is in the woods when he comes to a fork in the road. He says that he will come back another day and take the path that is less traveled by. I think this poem has a deep meaning. I think it means that there are times in life then we have to make choices. With those choices we can't go back to that time and change our minds. Because of this we have to make the best choice we can. Since we can't go back and change our choices we have to make the best of whatever path we have taken.

Mikayla Jones's Comment:
This last week, when trying to find something to write about in the American Reader I found the folk song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" by Pete Seeger. This is on page 553. Pete Seeger has written many folk songs that helped inspire different movements, such as the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement,and the environmental movement. We listened to one of his folk songs in class called "If I Had A Hammer" we watched this in honor of him since he recently died. "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" is a folk song that was used during the anti-war movement. The song is very repetitive, it repeats the same lines with just changing a couple of words. This may not seem influential; however, the repetitiveness really did work. The song symbolizes that everything effects each other, and when the last stanza repeats the first it shows that the war is just a vicious repetitive circle which will just end up with the death of soldiers, and the restart of the cycle. The first stanza asks where have all the flowers gone, and then says that all the little girls have picked them. Second stanza asks what happened to all the little girls, the response is that they have all gone off and gotten married. The third stanza asks where all the husbands went, the answer is that they are all in uniform. Fourth he asks where have all the soldiers gone, they have gone to graveyards, every single one. Next is where are all the graves, and the answer is that they are now all covered with the flowers. Lastly is repeat of stanza one, where the girls pick all the flowers. This shows that life repeats itself, especially during war time. Flowers get picked by little girls, the girls get married, the husbands go off to war, the soldiers all die out, the graves get covered by flowers, and the circle of life can start all over again. One line that is in every stanza is " Oh, when will they ever learn?" Perhaps Pete is trying to tell everyone that we all need to see that this circle will never end unless by any chance we stop one of those stages. Had we not sent the men off to fight, they wouldn't die so young; thus it would take longer for the circle to repeat. I really liked this folk song, and thought that it was very important since it can still work for us today.

January 24, 2014- WEEK ONE
Sarah Burr's Comment:
I recently watched the movie The Notebook. It is a romance film. It is about a couple and their love. In the movie a man reads their love story to his wife. His wife has Alzheimer so he reads to her in hopes that she will regain her memory. He reads from the beginning of when they are teenagers to the end of when they are older and have their own lives. I enjoyed this movie. It is based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. I liked the love story and the characters. I also liked how Noah and Allie are able to accept each other for their flaws in the end. I thought the movie was very good. I would recommend it to anyone who likes romance films or drama films because it did have a few dramatic moments.

Kelly Thompson's Comment:
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.

Sarah Burr's Response:
Hi Kelly. I completely agree with you. I am really starting to believe that our class is the tester class for all the new ideas. I think it is unfair that we have to suffer through all of this even when the staff hasn't really even figured out exactly what is going on. It seems like the Junior Portfolio isn't fully planned out. Our class as a whole still doesn't really know what to do. Most of our class also doesn't have all the rubrics we need. The sad thing is that we will be penalized because the teachers did not fully prepare us. I think it is unbelievable stressful to have on our plate for junior year on top of making good grades and looking at colleges. I don't think we should have to do this in order to graduate. I think it is too much work for the amount of information given to us. I agree with everything you have said. I think we should have an assembly with the Junior class. I think it would be very helpful for everyone to hear the same information in one place rather than a million different things from a million different people.