IRJE #4

 

This week I am reading a book named Legend by Marie Lu. The characters in the book are living in a dystopia. The world is at war and there is a plague spreading rapidly. The main character named Day is a criminal to the government. He is trying to gather enough money for plague cures for family before they die. His younger cousin Eden is currently suffering the most.

“From up close I can see that Eden’s dark eyes have somehow turned black. There is absolutely no reflection in them, and I realize with horror that they’re black because his irises are bleeding.” (pg. 152)

This quote from Day stands out to me because it emphasises his families suffering and the urgency of the situation. Eden not being able to get a cure without being wealthy tells me that the world they have to live in is a dystopia. There are many others without money which means there are many others suffering and dying.

 

Personal Writing #3

 

Every Sunday for the past seven weeks I have had basketball training with The Grind, a basketball organization with elite teams. I have one more week left of the training camp. My goal is to show myself and my skill to the coaches, so I have a better chance in tryouts. I will be writing about my last week’s performance. Getting through the drills is always the hard part because it requires critical thinking and understanding. The coaches do not explain the drill much.

“If you don’t know, go to the back of the line and watch!” Is what the coach tells us. Since it was the seventh week, I felt confident enough with the drills. Once they were over, we played scrimmage. I used my strengths which is mainly rebounding, defense, and layups. My best play of the game was when I got the defensive rebound dribbled all the way down the court like a point guard and finished with a spin move layup through two guys. Overall, it was one of my best practices. Unfortunately, it was also the one practice where the head coach wasn’t there.

IRJE #3

This week I finished the first book in the Narnia series named The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis. At the end of the story Narnia was created and protected from all evil due to the brave acts of the child Digory. He traveled far to fetch a magic apple which he planted in the soil of Narnia upon his return. This brought security to Narnia.

“For this fruit you have hungered and thirsted and wept.” (pg. 198)

This quote stands out to me because it acknowledges the effort and bravery that Digory had to go through. It also makes me feel like there is closure in the book. Digory has completed his journey successfully and now gets to return home knowing that Narnia will be safe.

 

Last Game of The Season

 

Two weeks ago, I had my last game of the season with the Jr. Brookes volleyball team at Belmont high school. It was not a surprise to us that we didn’t make the finals. Usually only five people would show up to practice. We didn’t have a coach for half the season, but when we did it went well. The members of our team consisted of a few soccer players, two basketball players, a golfer, a hockey player, and many more with only one real volleyball player. After learning our history as a team the outcome of the final game will make more sense. The score was 25 to 9 which set an all time low for us. Barely anyone could make a serve over and when we did the rally was lost. Half our points were from my blocks, but they didn’t make much of a difference when no one could serve. The other team looked bored and us defeated. Next year should be fun.

IRJE #2

I am reading the first book in the Narnia series named The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis. In this story two children and their uncle traveled to a strange unknown world called Narnia. When they arrived, the world appeared to have nothing in it, not even light. There was the sound of singing. It appeared that the singing was Aslan the lion using special magic. Slowly the world became Narnia.

“Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters.” (p. 136)

This quote stands out to me because it describes the creation and qualities of Narnia. Aslan summoned animals and enchanted them so they became talking animals. This way the beasts could use speech to keep a fair and serene world. The water he creates are divine which helps Narnia stay nurtured. Everything within is filled with magnificence and harmony.

Personal Writing- First game of the Season

 

This weekend I had a school senior boys basketball game at Spectrum. There were some highs and lows but overall was considered a success by me and my teammates. Most of us met at Brookes and departed as a team. Coming out of the van we were all excited and ready to play our best.

Inside the gym was abnormally hot which worried me because it would likely make it harder to run for long periods of time. Luckily almost everyone showed up to the game, so we had lots of subs. Our coach read out the starting lineup, which I was included in. We did our cheer and walked onto the court.  Immediately I looked and chose the biggest guy to be my check who was only around six feet. The whistle blew and I lost the jump ball. Within the first three minutes of the game their best player scored a shocking eight points on us before he broke his ankle. After this incident it was easy for our team to bounce back and hold a steady lead till 3rd quarter. Alex our point guard gave me nice passes for easy layups, I was getting the simple put backs through rebounds, and we always hustled back on defense. During the 4th quarter we pulled ahead and finished the game winning by 20 points.

Returning to the school I was very happy with how I played. I ended the game with 14 points. This leaves room for improvement, and I look forward to playing next game.

English Reflection, comparison, WW1 blog post

 In this Reflection I will compare a film and two writing pieces. They Shall Not Grow Old, All Quiet on the Western Front and Soldier’s Home. These pieces of literature are all about World War one. Each impact me differently.  

For example, In the book All Quiet on the Western Front, it focuses mostly on time spent on the front lines whereas Soldiers Home is about after the war.  Both stories make me aware and sad about the brutal conditions each soldier had to suffer through the war then coming home and struggling to feel like they belong. Reading both writings helped me understand the mentality of a soldier through descriptions. 

However, the film, They Shall Not Grow Old uses imagery to allow the viewer to experience the atrocities of the war such as the soldier’s conditions and circumstances. There are many videos of trench life in the film. You can see the rats, dirtiness, and sickness cursing through everyone who had to live there. Survivors of the war spoke during the film talking about their involvement. Several explained the constant danger of being shot in the trenches by snipers. Each soldier is forced to accept this circumstance and continue with their jobs. After the war it is mentioned how weird it felt to stand up straight in the trenches. 

Being able to see the images of war and hearing veterans speak rather than imagining them from descriptions gives me a new level of empathy for the soldiers who fought. All of them educate me about WW1. 

The Hobbit, Independant Reading Journal Entry

The Hobbit- IRJE

In the book named The Hobbit written by J.R.R Tolkien, the main characters, which include thirteen dwarves and one Hobbit adventure back to their homeland to reclaim there rightful treasure and mountain from an evil dragon named Smaug. Once they achieved this Thorin, the Dwarf king is unwilling to give up a portion of the gold he owes to the men and elves who live below. Thorin grows evermore greedy as time goes by especially for the Arkenstone. This is a family heirloom which he must be in possession of to feel like a true king. Bilbo, the one Hobbit has stolen this heirloom and justifies it as his fourteenth share of the treasure. In the night he sneaks away in hopes to support the Elves and Men in their bargaining. Bilbo is doing what is necessary to prevent bloodshed. During Bilbos time negotiating with the men and elves, he explains,

“This is the Arkenstone of Thrain,” said Bilbo, “the Heart of the Mountain; and it is also the heart of Thorin. He values it above a river of gold. I give it to you. It will aid you in your bargaining.” (Pg. 248)

This quote stands out to me because it emphasises Thorin’s intentions and tells the reader more about Bilbos values. This allows you to connect more with the character. Even though bilbo could keep all of the gold with Thorin he decides to take a more ethical path.

Soldiers Home Comparison + Blog post

In this comparison of Harold Krebs and Paul Baumer I will go over some of the similarities and differences that they experienced in combat and how it affected them during their time at home. Each of them enlisted in the war, but on opposite sides. Paul fought for the Germans and Krebs fought for the Allies.

Even though they both fought in serious combat, what they experienced was very different.  Paul lost everyone he cared about, and it crushed him emotionally. He constantly questioned the purpose for the war. Whereas Harold felt that it was his obligation and for him fighting came effortlessly. For example, the author writes,

“All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally.” (Pg.1) This quote reiterates Harold’s feelings towards the war and further supports the differences between the two soldiers thoughts.

Even though each of them had different perspectives on the war it affected their life at home the same. Both soldiers struggle to adapt to home. Paul did not live to see the end of the war but did get a fourteen day leave to go visit his family and town. For the duration of his visit Paul struggled to connect with his family feeling that he there was too great a difference between them. Paul states,

“There is my mother, there is my sister, there my case of butterflies, and there the mahogany piano—but I am not myself there. There is a distance, a veil between us.” (Pg.160) In this quote Paul explains that he is with his family in there nice home, but he does not feel he belongs. It is like he comes from a separate world, and he cannot fit in with the one he grew up with.

Instead of coming home briefly during the war Harold comes home a year after the war ends. Harold missed all of the celebrations for soldiers after the war and finds himself needing to talk about it. After all of the terrible stories people have heard, the realities he experienced bore his friends and family. The author writes,

“At first Krebs, who had been at Belleau Wood, Soissons, the Champagne, St. Mihiel and in the Argonne did not want to talk about the war at all. Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it. His town had heard too many atrocity stories to be thrilled by actualities.” Harold is forced to bottle up his feelings making it harder for him to adjust.

Both Paul and Harold reacted to war differently but the negative impact on their relationships and home stayed the same. Overall, both stories tell the struggles a soldier faces in and out of combat.

 

 

All Quiet on the Western Front- Personal Response

In the book All Quiet on the Western Front, there are many examples of powerful imagery that evoke different emotions. In chapter four during the artillery fire on the Germans, Paul had to listen and watch the German horses suffer an agonizing death. The description of the animal’s death emphasizes the horror and cost of war and revealed to me the bigger picture where more than people were affected.

“The last one props itself on its forelegs and drags itself around in a circle like a merry-go-round; squatting, it drags round in circles on its stiffened forelegs, apparently its back is broken.” (Pg. 64). This description makes me feel frustrated and shocked, because to me the horses symbolized many of the other innocent lives lost during the war.

Another example of Remarque utilizing imagery is when Paul is forced to wound a French man out in no man’s land. The stab wound the man endured from Paul did not kill him quickly. Paul had to watch him suffer until finally he passed away. I feel this quote from chapter 9 facilitates a better understanding of Paul’s mentality, a soldier’s mentality during combat.

“If only I had not lost my revolver crawling about, I would shoot him. Stab him I cannot.” (Pg. 221). This quote makes me imagine and compare the scenarios of stabbing or shooting from a soldier’s perspective. I feel the reason Paul was unable to put the dying soldier out of his misery without his gun is because it takes much more effort to stab someone. The more effort I put into something the more responsible I feel for it. This is why I understand Paul’s decision. Regardless the rational thing to do would be to end the soldiers suffering, this is an example of one of the many ethical dilemma’s soldiers have to face during the war.

Remarque uses imagery to engage the reader in the story such that they empathize with what it would be like to live in the characters place. The book ends sadly and almost feels like fiction even though it was a reality for many. I feel after reading this book I better understand what it was like to live during this tragic time.