PW #4 Paty and Miguel

Let me tell you a little story about a boy and a girl, Paty and Miguel. Paty was late to her first day of high school. There were no seats available because the classroom was full. The teacher told Paty to go out, and find a chair to sit in. Miguel, a chivalrous boy, stood up and gave Paty his seat. For Miguel it was love at first sight, for Paty… he was just a nice friend. Time passed, and they became each other’s best friend, confident and easily explained, each other’s ride or die. Whatever Paty decided to do or wherever she wanted to go Miguel followed. On one of the last days of high school, they knew that they loved each other, and wanted to continue to be in each others lives. Miguel asked Paty if he could be his boyfriend, and well, as they say, the rest is history. They got married and have three gorgeous daughters Melissa, Ines and Regina.

IRJE#3 Hunger Games

I just finished reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. If I am being honest I could not stop reading it. This book is about Katniss Everdeen a girl that volunteers so that her little sister would not be a  participant in the hunger games.  A game you fight till death. While she was in the games, Katniss made a friend, Rue. Rue remembered Katniss about her sister, Prim. When Rue’s got killed she was unmotivated, and uncaring about her own life.

I’ve lost the will to do the simplest tasks, to do anything but lie here, staring unblinkingly through the canopy of leaves. For several hours I remain emotionless. As usual, it’s the thought of Prim’s anxious face as she watches me on the screens back home that breaks me from my lethargy. (p. 248)

After reading the whole book this is definitely one of my favorite parts. Just from the thought of her sister, Katniss starts to motivate and fight for her life again. My both sister Ines and Melissa, are that for me. My sisters are my best friends, and honestly one of my biggest joys in my life. Thinking just about them makes every situation better, and if I had to think of something for motivation they will always be one of my first choices.

PR: “All Quiet on the Western Front”

All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, it is a powerful pacifist novel. The book talks about a German group of soldiers: Paul, Tjaden, Kat, Müller, Detering and Kropp. Paul Baümer, the protagonist (the reason the book is called All Quiet on the Western Front), reveal us the truth about war. How they confront a harsh, cruel, and murderous life. The physical and emotional effect war have on the soldier’s lives. The novel points out in an obvious manner how they become dehumanized in such innumerable ways.

As a pacifist, I was shocked while reading the pages 205-206. So shocked I know the number of the pages by heart and needed to put down the book for a while. Tjaden ask “what exactly is the war for?” Kat  doubting responds that “there must be some people to whom the war is useful”. Tjaden grins and says he is not one of them and neither are the soldiers fighting the war. Tjaden insist by asking again, for who the war is useful?… it must not be for the Kaiser because he has everything he wants. Kat answer to the question by saying that every full  grown emperor requieres at least 1 war to become a well known emperor the children learn at the school.

This is true, most of the emperors and generals are generally known because all the territory and power they achieved. It is true, there are people to whom war is useful. But, it is also true all the losses and the dehumanization society experience, and this cannot be forgotten. The importance of learn history from a more realistic and human way (not just figures of casualties)  like this novel, it is so useful to avoid repeating the same mistakes all over again.

PW#3 Día de los muertos

Día de los muertos in english day of the dead, is an important and recognized Mexican tradition. If you have watched Disney movie Coco, you might have a pretty clear idea of what this day is about. Coco a well known Pixar film called the attention worldwide about this Mexican celebration. What is día de los muertos?

The day of the dead is a Mexican tradition celebrated the 1st and 2nd of November. We honour the memories of the people deceased, it is celebrated in all Latin American countries, specially in Mexico where is one of the most important celebrations. Its a colorful celebration with delicious food like calaveritas de azúcar or pan de muertos (if interested google them).  Families gather to create altars in cemeteries. The altars are decorated with food and things that the deceased liked. Cempasúchil flowers, candles, calaveritas de azúcar, pan de muertos and a photograph of the person you are remembering are indispensable in the altar!

The day of the dead is a cheerful celebration in which people believe the spirits of the dead comes back to visit their loved ones.

IRJE #2 “I do not know this”

“None of us would dream of asking him to lend a hand.”

“Aggression, physical or verbal, makes people walk on eggshells, makes them close in on themselves in order to avoid exposure. I know this very well from my own family.” (p. 266)

Understanding the impact of aggression in Ulf Kvensler’s “The Couples Trip”. Anna, the main character talks about how she has been several times in an aggressive relationship. The first and most important one with her dad.

The author makes you comprehend what Anna feels in her situation. Anna talks about how she was always feeling embarrassed and guilty for not stepping up to defend herself. She talks about how she always wanted to go far away from her house. It is quite comic how she goes back to a similar aggressive situations but with a different guy.

The quote that I choose to put in my IRJE, made an impact on me while reading the book. I am absolutely grateful that I do not empathize with her. At the beginning I could not even read it, the chapter made me mad. How can she didn’t stand up for herself?  However reading more about her life made me appreciate more my life. The book changed not only the way I think about  Anna’s  situation how she  might think and  feel, but also other people that have been victims of aggression in the world.

PW #2 The bet I lost

The bet I lost. The movie Toy Story can brainwash most kids, myslef being one of them. From the ages of 4 to 7, I was pretty sure all my teddy bears and toys could listen, move, talk and even feel. Just like humans, but the toys in the Toy Story movie can only move and talk when there are just toys around. Ines and I where both playing at our house, my parents and Melissa had already left. We did not have class that day because it was a Mexico’s historical day.

We were bored, so we started playing with my toys. Ines decided to play with my one of my most precious possessions at that time. It was the cutest fluffy, yellow teddy bear with a red shirt, that loves honey and if you hadn’t guess what bear is it let me tell you… Winnie the Pooh. See, the thing is that I had something special with that teddy bear. Ines was playing somehow rough with him, I remember that I get pretty mad and I started yelling and crying. I told her to stop, she could do that with any other of my toys. “Pleaseee don’t do anything to him, Pooh is my adventure partner in the worst of my nightmares” I told her. I also start arguing with her saying that toys could feel and get hurt. She told me that it was scientifically impossible, so we decided to make a bet.

We bet some candies from our kitchen. I threw Winnie the Pooh from the second floor to prove to my sister that toys can get hurt. When I ran downstair to see what had happened to him and saw that nothing happened; I grabbed my teddy bear, immediately ran to my mom bedroom and draw him a red bruise with my mom lipstick. I saw Ines so suprised that something had happened to my favorite Teddy Bear and she did not believe me. When my mom arrived, Ines gave her my bear, my mom looked and me and told me that she was going to try to remove the lipstick yet she saw it quite impossible. I started crying and Ines gave me a hug and a chocolate so I could feel better. My mom decided to donate my favorite teddy bear and I cried myself to sleep evey night for the next couple of weeks.

Months later we went to Disneyland. It was late, and we where going back to the hotel. When we were about to leave Ines ran to a Disney store and comes running back to me screaming my name. She made me close my eyes and directed me to a shelf where at the top they had enormous Winnie the Poohs bears. My family gave it to me as a gift and it was perfect. Winnie the Pooh was bigger and larger than me at that time, now I still have it but he is not that giant. He still is my favorite toy.

IRJE #1: “I know where I’ve seen him before”

In the couples trip, by Ulf Kvensler, the main character, Anna, tells her boyfriend Henrik where she has seen the new boyfriend of her friend Milena, Jacob. When they looked for information, and think he changed his name and doesn’t earn much. Anna tells Henrik that he needs Jacob’s ID to see if the person they are going with to a trip is a convicted abuser.

“I know where I’ve seen him before.”

He looked blank. “What?”

“Jacob-I know where I’ve seen him before- I told you yesterday that I recognized him.”

“I explained that I was sure he’d been involved in a domestic abuse case when I was working as a notary.” (p.87)

The line “I know where I’ve seen him before” is something I use in a normally in my life. When you see someone and you do not remember the name and suddenly you remember and saying that is a fulfilling emotion I believe everybody has felt. Moreover imagine what Anna feels to remember who he was and finding out he is a convicted abuser.

PR: They Shall Not Grow Old

If we talk about war, I will always be scared. I think it all started when all of my friends were obsessed with World Wars or Anna Frank. I never understood their enthusiasm and their passion about any of this; In fact I am quite sure I exhausted my dad in this topic. It became a regular thing that for three years, from when I was seven to ten years old, there was not a week that passed without me asking him once or twice a week, what would happen if a terrible war started in Mexico? What would he do? Would he stay and fight? or would we move to another country; He always answered me the same thing like something prerecorded. “I’ll stay here and fight for my country, but you my little girl, I will always make sure that your sisters, your mom and you are safe.” Then he would see me with my red eyes nearly crying and try to calm me down saying that I had nothing to worry about, that Mexico could not get into war, even if they tried. I was terrified of war and he knew it.

How can all these people sign in for war? If you ask me despite the fact that I am not an expert, I would blame the imagery. Looking at the pictures of the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” I am in fact convinced that a picture is worth a thousand words. If a thousand words can change your opinion about something I assure you that a good picture can too. There is a huge variety of images in the documentary, however I have decided to separate them into two categories:
Propaganda imagery that uses sexism to make people stand up with weapons by using well thought phrases directed to men and kids, for them to get soaked in courage and have no regrets at all! By using phrases such as “It’s just a big game!” clearly directed to kids and “Just a job!” for men gives us a tremendous importance about people’s perspective in that time that sadly is still there currently.

The other type of images I call them “look what we can do” or “look what they did to us”. What these pictures do is just make people mad. This is not direct propaganda, but still is. Historical pictures taken in war that you might see in a museum wake up emotions of frustration and anger, making most of them at that time nationalist. The consequence of this was that no matter what people lived in that living inferno that they refused to talk about, they were just trying to have more people signing in. It did not matter the life you had ahead of you, because they did not have the time to think about that.

For me it is really disappointing that after all, now and then, images of the terrible things that happened in war are still going to “play” or “do the job” if necessary. I think we as humans can not relate or even try to empathize with what happens or what they suffer. We only want to feel courageous and powerful no matter what.

PW #1 The reason why I was never alone

When I was little, my parents were always working. They always believed in me and still do, I think… I always did my homework and different types of exercises like ballet, gymnastics, athleticism, swimming and even fencing so that I didn’t stay alone in my house. I was never alone though. I had my two older sisters, who showed me the basic things about life and all the how to’s. They were, are and will always be my best friends, so if I have to blog about anything I like, this is probably one of my favorite topics to talk about.

Melissa is my oldest sister, she is the smartest girl I know. She gives the best advice and sees the potential in every situation and person she knows. She is studying to be an engineer.
She was my fashion icon, she still is, but please don’t tell her that. We both love sushi, yoga, the color pink, and even though we see life in a different way, we complement each other. She is literally my ride or die when riding roller coasters, and I couldn’t have asked for a better big sister in my life.

Ines is the middle one, now…
She is the best one I know at sports. She is a lovely and patient girl. We always always see the best in each other. We are really close to each other, and we are always there for one another in the good and bad times. A funny thing is that her laugh makes me laugh and the other way round. Ines can always make my days better just by talking to her.
I have always admired her, because even though she is extremely gorgeous, and has everything she could dream of, she still is kind and generous with others.

Thanks to both of my sisters and my amazing parents I am proud to be who I am. I love my family and my two older sisters and even though we sometimes might fight, it’s just normal sister fight and I would never ask them to change. They are a gift for my heart and a great fortune in my life.

Regina: childish in a mature way

Hi! My name is Regina Castro Jaime. I am a 17 year old mexican. It’s my only year at Brookes.  I love doing exercise but not sports, there is a massive difference. I can’t resist hamburgers, sushi or gummy bears. My family, my two older sisters and parents  and friends are the most important people in my life. They are my greatest adventure, like Olaf in Frozen would say “some people are worth melting for”. If you ask any of them how to  describe me they would say I am childish in a mature way, and honestly it is so accurate. I love disney, my desire is to work with toddlers when I am older and I am an optimistic and enthusiastic person, even though I am responsible, strong and independent. 


Now… if you ask me how I am as a reader, I would thank my dad. He taught me the excitement and how fun it can be if you read the right books. We always joke around that buying books and reading them are whole different hobbies.  He always tells me “buy another one when you finish the one you are reading right now.” Both of us have the good or bad habit of reading two books at the same time, one for learning and one just for entertaining. I love romantic books for losing time but for learning things I am open to psychology and better habits and lifestyles. 


In contrast, even though I try my best  to be a good writer, I am not sure I am. The problem I think that happens to me is that even if I’m writing in my native language, which is Spanish,  I have in my head at  so many ideas per second, I get lost and I mix up all my sentences, but just as in life I try my best.