Friday, June 6, 2014

Fault In Our Stars - Symbolism

The Fault In Our Stars is a book about two teenagers that fall in love while trying to live in spite of their cancer. There are many examples of symbolism in this novel. Each one has some deep back story to it, and each one is equally important. Although some are deeper than others, like Augustus’ metaphorical killers, or Hazel’s grenade, they all express to very powerful points to the reader.

Hazel has an oxygen tank that she named Philip. Throughout the story Philip is a constant hassle. For example, in the book there are times when Hazel is trying to smell things. In order to really be able to smell she has to take her cannula out, but then she only has a little bit of time before she feels like she can’t breathe. A cannula is the rubber tube connected to the oxygen tank that feeds air to your nostrils. Also, while doing everyday activities like getting dressed, the cannula often gets stuck. Another problem with the oxygen tank, is that people notice it. When Hazel, Augustus and Hazel’s mom were in the airport waiting to board their flight to Amsterdam people were staring at her. “I could feel everybody watching us, wondering what was wrong with us, and whether it would kill us, and how heroic my mom must be, and everything else.”

After reading the fictitious book “An Imperial Affliction”, Hazel begins to think of herself as a metaphorical grenade. This idea begins to worry her on many occasions. She no longer wants to add new people to her life in fear that she will hurt them in the future. She says,“Gus I’m a grenade. One day I’m gonna blow up, and I going to obliterate everything in my wake, and I don’t want to hurt you.” In response to Gus’s statement where he says. “I hope you realise you trying to keep your distance from me in no way lessens my affection for you.”

On page 19 Augustus shocks both Hazel and the readers by pulling out a pack of cigarettes after a support group meeting where he had just talked about being in remission for a year and a half. Then Augustus Waters reached into a pocket and pulled out, of all things, a pack of cigarettes.He flipped it open and put a cigarette between his lips.” Then Hazel says:  “Are you serious?” I asked. “You think that’s cool? Oh my god you just ruined the whole thing”  Where Augustus replies: “They don’t kill you unless you light them,” he said as Hazel’s Mom arrived at the curb. “And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”

This book is about two teenagers falling in love. Throughout the book there are many symbolic or metaphorical points that have a powerful meaning. Each symbol is something that the characters rely on to live through their cancer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Argumentative Essay

There are many different types of schools. Some are public and some are private. Some private schools have uniforms.  People who send their students to private schools often believe that having school uniforms has some impact on the students. I feel that having school uniforms could possibly cause more harm than good to a school environment.

A number of private schools enforce a dress code or uniform for their students. With school uniforms, students are less distracted by fashion. This also makes getting ready in the morning easier because you already know what you have to wear, as stated in “The uniforms make dress code easier to follow because it is already laid out for you.” -(The Pros of School Uniforms: Why Students Should Wear School Uniforms) Additionally a uniform policy helps with the cost of buying clothes, because uniforms are generally cheaper than brand name clothing.

There are arguments defending school uniforms because it stops bullying. This isn’t necessarily true. Bullies don’t just stop being bullies because of what you wear. In fact, wearing a school uniform can make you a target from kids outside of your school that don’t wear uniforms. “Having uniforms won’t necessarily put a block on bullying. Bullies will still find other things that students and teachers can’t change and pick at them instead.” -(Arguments about Uniforms) Students are individuals. As they grow up they are trying to express themselves. If you go to a school with uniforms, it becomes harder to express yourself. “If uniforms were used at schools, students would have less of a chance to express themselves.” -(The Arguments Against School Uniforms)

School uniforms are the answer for some people. Some people believe that uniforms can solve most problems in schools today. While other people believe that school uniforms are a waste of time. Wearing uniforms is not as beneficial as wearing everyday clothes. I feel school uniforms cause problems. They don’t prevent bullying and  they make expressing yourself more difficult. Uniforms aren’t the answer

Monday, December 9, 2013

Theme of The Book Thief

I believe one of the themes in The Book Thief is bravery. This is demonstrated when Liesl purposely scraped her knee so it wouldn't look suspicious when she ran into the house to tell Mama that the soldiers were there  to check basements. Another time this is shown when Liesl shouted "I hate Hitler!" when she was at the lake. Bravery was shown again when Liesl was stealing books. All of these were acts of bravery because if she would've been caught, she could' have been killed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Judgment On Character

I think my character is rebellious because she goes against what everyone is supposed to do or what she is told to do. For example on page 42 Deborah would finish her chores early and go behind her “House Father’s” word by trying to listen to the boys’ tutor lessons because she was interested in learning more. This piece of evidence shows rebellion because women were not supposed to be interested in learning. They were just supposed to do the house-work and care for the children.

Munich Response

What would life have been like for the non-Jewish residents of Munich who did not support the Nazi ideals?

They may not be in as bad of a place as the Jews, but I don't think that they would have any say in how things went. Hitler was not as against the non-jews as he was to the jews.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Patriot's Pen

What does patriotism mean to me? Well, first off what is it? There isn’t really a correct answer for that. It’s what you personally believe it is. When I think of  patriotism, I think about our country and what makes it the U.S.A.

Start with our soldiers, veterans, and police officers. I think about all the people who risk their lives for us every day, and have risked their lives for us in the past. I think of the soldiers who have died protecting our country.  

I think about many different things that make up the U.S. From: Nathan Hale, who was caught by the British during the American Revolutionary war, all the way to the  Fourth of July, with grill outs, Red, White, and Blue,  and fireworks. Both moments in time are very different, but they both have one thing in common. Our country’s independence.

Then I think of the other views of the U.S. These sides are not as pleasing. When we think of America, we also think of taxes and bills. No one likes paying taxes, but in order for our country to stay in order, they need to be paid. Why should we focus on the taxes if there are so many better aspects of our wonderful country?

Although patriotism isn't used a lot in my everyday life, it still means a lot to me. In school we say The Pledge of Allegiance every day, but because we learned it at a young age, and have been saying it since then, no one really thinks about it anymore. It just rolls out of your mouth without meaning. Now think about your day, not on the holidays about our country or independence, but the average school day. Do you really think about patriotism other than that? Personally I know I don’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Words Taken Too Far

My name is Amia, I am 14 years old, and I am the reason my sister left.
I woke up to the yelling and screaming of my parents. I ran to the kitchen and found my mother  sobbing in one of our kitchen chairs, and my father rubbing her back, trying to calm her down. Where was Lea? How could she sleep through all of that yelling? Her room was closer to the stairs than mine!
“What’s wrong?” I asked. I was so confused and still half asleep.
“Sh-She’s gone.” my mom barely got out before she started crying again.
“Who? Who’s gone mom?” I questioned, still extremely confused.
“Lea.” My father answered. “She isn’t here.” I could’ve sworn my heart stopped. I was now WIDE awake, and living a real-life nightmare. Flashbacks from last night ran through my mind. Lea barging into my room, The two of us fighting, Me telling her to leave, and Lea storming out.
“Oh no.” I whispered.
“Do you know where she is?” My father asked.
“No, But. I think it’s my fault she’s gone.” I responded. My mother instantly stopped crying and glared at me.
“Does this have anything to do with the yelling I heard coming from your room last night?” she growled. I was too afraid to respond so instead I nodded my head. “Spill, all of it. What happened last night?” I explained everything. Word by word all starting with when Lea walked into my room, to the second she left slamming her door shut. I had thought she just went back to her room.
“I didn’t mean it mom. I didn’t want her to leave, she just wouldn’t leave me alone! I’m sorry.” I cried out after I had finished.
“Well you probably shouldn’t have said Get Lost, and Just Leave!.” She shot back. That’s where our conversation ended. Both mom and dad didn’t talk to me at all for the rest of the day. They called in to the police and left around noon to put up posters and ask around. When they came home that night they didn’t say anything, and went straight to bed. I waited about an hour before I went to bed myself, and when I walked up the stairs I could hear my parents whisper-yells coming from their closed door. Although I couldn’t make out what they were saying, I knew that they were fighting and it had something to do with me.

My parents have been fighting ever since Lea ran away. She was always the favorite, and now their baby girl has run away leaving them with the other one. I haven’t been sleeping well, because every time I fall asleep I wake up to her voice. She isn’t there but my mind is playing tricks on me and driving me insane. That annoying voice that used to give me headaches daily, is now the only voice I want to hear. My parents aren’t helping either. Mom cries throughout the day, and since the day she ran away, when my dad gets home both of them watch home videos they made of her. Neither of them acknowledge me, other than the frequent “This is all your fault.” and glare. I get it, it is my fault and the guilt inside is eating me up, but you telling me this every day is making it even worse.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know where she was but I was going to at least show how much I cared. I left home and walked to the edge of town where the woods are. It was about a five minute walk because of how close we live. There is a spot where my parents would take our Easter pictures each year. It was a stone bench in a small clearing with trees all around, and if you went at just the right time the sun would shine directly on the bench. I continued walking until I came to the bench and I just looked at it. I pictured two little girls running around together and laughing. One was about five with a light pink dress on, and the other girl was about 3 and her dress was blue and purple. They looked so happy. I just couldn’t take it anymore, I let it all out, dropping to my knees in front of the bench while crying my eyes out. This was all my fault. Words couldn’t describe how horrible I felt. I got back up and spent a good two hours looking for Lea in the woods. Then it got dark, and the brisk autumn air was now starting to get colder as the sun was going down. When I got back to my house, my mom was crying again; this time she stopped the second I walked in the door.
“Where were you?” She yelled with a panicked look slowly turning to one of anger.
“I-I was looking for Lea.” I stuttered, slightly scared by the sudden outburst my mother was displaying.
“We thought you had left us like she did!” my mom yelled slowly getting quieter, until the last word was a whisper. She began to cry again, and embraced me in a hug. It felt so good to know that she still cared at least a little. So there we stood in each others arms just crying. That night I was able to sleep, and almost forgot that Lea was missing when I woke up the next morning. Almost.

Everyday the cops call and tell us the same news. I wish that they would just stop calling us. I wish that instead of getting our hopes up just to be let down every time the phone rings, that they would only call if they found her. And that’s exactly what they did. The calls came fewer and fewer until Thursday night. The phone rang and the caller ID was the police station. It continued to ring, but I just stood there. I couldn’t make myself pick up the phone, I was frozen. My mother barreled past me and quickly answered it. Although I couldn’t hear what the person on the other line was saying, I could tell by watching my mom.
“Hello?” She asked shakily when she answered the phone.She then continued with a couple mhm’s, and yes sirs. This continued for a couple minutes, but then I watched as her face crumpled and her eyes welled up. The next thing I know, the phone is on the ground and my mother is running to the living room to go talk to my dad. Again, I found myself frozen, not knowing whether I was welcome in the living the room or not, and I couldn’t get any information from the police officer, because from where I stood I could hear the buzzing that indicated the call had been ended from the other line. I slowly walked into the living room. My dad was hugging my mom in the middle of the room.
“What’s the news?” I asked with my voice barely above a whisper.
“It was a car.” My mom’s muffled voice responded. They were looking at their phone when it happened. The moment the words left her lips my knees gave out and I was on the floor. No, this couldn’t be true. I couldn’t think straight, and the room was spinning. I was crying so hard that my throat hurt. I just didn’t know what to do. I was then embraced by both my mom and dad. They were trying to calm me down. When I was finally able to take my volume down about 20 notches, we got in the car and drove to the police station. We were aloud to see her body, but I couldn’t make myself do it. I wanted to remember her how I know her, not what she looked like now. Instead of following my parents to go see her, I trailed after the police officer to go see her things. That is when my heart shattered even more. In the bag that she had with her was a picture. Not just any picture though, the picture of the two of us sitting on the bench laughing on Easter morning. She was wearing her blue and purple dress, and I was wearing my pink one. I broke down again, full-out balling on the ground. I couldn’t stop, this was just too much for me. How could I do this to her? Why did this happen to my baby sister. Everything in me was aching. That should’ve been me, not her.

My name is Amia, and I am the reason my sister is dead.