Monday, March 31, 2014

Dying After Your Time

Should scientists try to help people beat old age so we can live radically longer? Why?
I don't think that they should. It would throw too many things out of balance. Our population is already massive, and it would just grow much more if life expectancy increased. It would also throw off economies, because too much money would go towards keeping people alive longer than necessary. 

How long do you want to live?
I would want to live until I felt that I had lived a full and prosperous life, which I think I will feel I've done when I'm 90. After that, there's too much maintenance involved in keeping someone alive, and it's not worth it if im in a hospital for most of the rest of my life. 

Do you agree with the author that "adding years to your life doesn't necessarily make it fuller?"
I agree with that statement, because if you're just adding years to your life just to live longer, then you probably won't be spending your time enjoying your life. There would be too much involved in purely keeping yourself alive that you wouldn't enjoy it and wouldn't even want to live any longer. Death is just another part of life, and there's no way to get rid of it without having massive repercussions. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

This I believe podcast

This podcast is a project that we did where we wrote an essay about one of our beliefs. Mine was about having reasoning for your beliefs.
No matter where you come from, your religion, your upbringing, or even your age, you have beliefs. Beliefs can be as simple as doing the right thing, or as complex as worshipping your version of God. No matter what they are about, they should always have a reason behind them. If you believe that there is a god called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then you need to do a reality check. The whole point of having a belief is to have logic and reasoning behind it, or else you'll have false expectations of yourself and others, and that's my most important belief.
           My parents raised me to respect everything, from strangers passing you on the street, to the plants that grow in the woods. I grew up playing in the woods with my brother, climbing trees and pretending to have sword fights with sticks. We would spend hours out there, just using our imagination and our surroundings to come up with dramatic tales and plots for battles. My brother and I absolutely loved the woods, and we would be out thee any time we had free time. However, we would always make sure to be careful not to destroy plants, because there's no reason to. They never did anything to hurt us, so why hurt them?
          No matter what you believe in, you should always back it up with reasoning. Beliefs are like a thesis paper. You have to state your thesis, and have research and facts behind the thesis. No teacher will accept your thesis if you have nothing to back it up, even if they don't agree with the thesis. You can think of society as your professor, and your belief as your thesis paper. If you tell someone you believe in a certain thing and have nothing to back it up, people will just blow you off. If you think something is true, stand behind it with everything you have, because you have a reason to believe in it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Belief reflection

Something that worked really well for me this week was getting my beliefs into words for my essays. Like I've mentioned in previous posts,  I often have trouble finding the right words for my opinions, but I think it did a good job at it this time. I wrote about something that I've believed for my entire life, so that definitely helps with knowing what I'm talking about and ha ingot he words for it. My family and I have talked about beliefs at dinner many times, and we usually agree on things. This is one of those things, because it's the way my parents raised me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Self Encyclopedia

Cousin My brother and I were the first kids in our family. We grew up as role models to all of our cousins, and still are. My oldest cousin, Kiernan, is 5 years younger than me. He basically worships us, and occasionally used to cry when we left his house. He's more mature than many of the kids my age, and he's only 10. I can tell he's going to grow up to be like his uncle, who's a stock broker. I'm glad to be a role model in his life.

Longboarding: My summertime passion is longboarding. Anyone can do it, and you can do it many different ways. I use it for transportation, having fun with friends, or just to get some exercise. Some people do downhill races that can reach speeds of over 70 mph., but there's no way I would ever do that. Whenever I have free time and the weather is nice, I'm either longboarding, swimming, or camping. It's just nice to be able to basically stand and go down a hill at the speed of a car, and then feel that satisfaction again after climbing a long hill.

Social: I'm a very social person. I can't stand being out of touch with my friends, and I'm sure most people feel the same way. Whenever I lose connection with someone that I was previously close friends with I wonder what they think about me and if they still consider us friends. I start to question if it's my fault that we haven't stayed in touch, so I usually try to talk to them again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Twitter biography

Outdoorsy, dog lover, dirty hippy, longboarding, reading, music, instruments, people lover, sports, culture, Something jumped up and bit me in the butt-tox (Forrest Gump)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Writer's Craft

             My most recent writing piece was about the comparison of McMurphy and Nurse Ratched. I thought that this essay turned out very well, because I had been thinking about this topic the entire time we were reading this book. I had a fairly strong opinion on this topic, so my essay came to me pretty easily.


Two characters who appear to be the most sane, in actuality, have the most severe psychological problems. Both Ratched and McMurphy feel the urge to act as the most dominant members of the Ward. Each needs to be the most powerful individual, and as a result, they subtly battle one another in an attempt to gain the support of the patients. However, each of them has varied methods to attract the power needed to rule.
Ratched, a woman who has controlled the ward since before Bromden arrived, has sent the wheels of motion into play, and took control of everything around her. The entire ward functioned in conjunction with her very thoughts; everything was attuned to her senses. From the actions of the black men, to the strict day-to-day procedure, Ratched knew every small detail about the ward. Even the glass separating her workstation is crystal clear. Nurse Ratched even held precedence over the Ward doctor, the supposed top authority of the building. She controlled and manipulated him, just as she did to anybody else that set foot in her little world.
McMurphy, however, proved to be the only one that could resist her rule. As he began his stay at the ward, every one of his actions invariably found a way to break one of Ratched's rules, or just annoyed her. He did not give in to her control, instead, he began to form his own empire. He began by trying to win the support of the men around him. Unlike Ratched who ruled through her reputation and the fear she generated, McMurphy attempted to act friendly with the men, joking around with them and promoting their manly instincts which Ratched had put away. He showed them pictures of nude girls, encouraged them to gamble, and incited them to fight in support of something they wanted; the World Series.
Although these two psychological conditions are essentially the same, the thirst for power, the approach that each individual takes towards the same problem is completely different. Since the mindset requires the individual to be in total control, it is impossible for two people with the same condition to coexist. They would be in turmoil until one ceased to exist, just as was the case in the novel. Furthermore, the completely different approaches to the same issue show the extent of difference between the two individuals. To McMurphy and Ratched, the situation upon the ward was turned into a survival of the fittest scenario, where both individuals continually battled towards the same goal.
Personally, if I had to chose, I see myself living with the philosophy presented by McMurphy. He chooses to lull the people he wants to control in a sense of security by becoming their friend and mentor. He plays a psychological game with their head, making them think that they are in control of themselves, when in essence, McMurphy's every wish is carried out by them. Furthermore, I do not believe that ruling through fear is a smart idea, simply for the reason that given a proper incentive to rebel, the incentive in the novel being McMurphy, the people will immediately begin to rebel, and what you worked so hard to create will slowly deteriorate. We see both approaches in both history and modern day society, as rulers attempt to take control of their people, through one method or the other. Although both work, one must always dominate over the other.

McMurphy Characterization

           Another one of our essay prompts was to write about what we think about McMurphy's decision to keep fighting back at the Nurse even though he knows that she can keep him in there for as long as she likes. There isn't much to say that isn't in my essay, so here it is.

  McMurphy just made a huge decision. He knows that he could stay in the hospital for life,
and he just possibly made that his fate. He punched the window in the front of the Nurse's station,
but not only that, he took cigarettes. All of this was after he found out that the nurse could keep him
in the hospital for as long as she thought was "necessary," but he thought it was still something that
he needed to do.
I think that he did this because he doesn't want to give in to the Combine. He wants to show
them who's boss, and wants to set an example for other patients to show them that they control their
own life. When he said that the window was "so spotless he forgot it was there," he was symbolizing
the Nurse's control over them. He was showing that her control is sometimes so invisible that they
forget she's controlling them, so she can do whatever she wants to the patients. McMurphy was
symbolizing the breaking of that control by punching it out.
McMurphy seems to have gotten over the fact that the Nurse can keep him in for life,
because if he was worried about it still he wouldn't have done something that serious. I think that he
has become less selfish, because nobody that was worried about something happening to them
would do something like that. He sacrificed his chance to get out of the ward to help other people
take control of their life. This was a very selfless act of martyrdom, and people have started to show
less respect for the Nurse.
My prediction is that McMurphy will continue to act this way and try his best to be a good
example of sticking up for yourself until he can't anymore. I believe that the Nurse is going to try
electroshock therapy on McMurphy, but it's not going to effect him. It usually takes more than a few
times for it to really set in to people, unless they give in to it. But McMurphy isn't that type of person.
He's a leader

Book Review

One of our projects was to make a review video on the book we read over the summer. I did mine about The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I thought this book was something every teenager should read, because it has a lot of lessons that will help you enjoy your life. I still have to work at applying these lessons to my life, even though I talked about them in my review. It's very hard to change the way you think, but this book definitely gets you on the right path.

This is my review

Monday, January 13, 2014

My History of Reading

My first writing piece this school year was about how I group up with reading. I found this essay to be fairly easy to write about because it's a topic that I'm fairly passionate for. Here it is:
My first distinct memory of reading is from when I was very young. I had a book called The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and it was my absolute favorite book at that time of my life. I would read it a couple times a week, and it would never get old. That’s when I got hooked on reading.
Everyone person that helped raise me encouraged reading as soon as I was born. All of my relatives would have books at their house just for my brother and I, since we were the first grandchildren and nephews in the family. My parents would bring us to the local library every Saturday for children’s reading time, we would get books instead of candy at Easter, and every relative would get us a book or two at Christmas. I didn’t realize how amazing my family was and how they affected my future in reading and in school.
My school would also have book orders a couple times a year, which I absolutely loved. They would give each kid a little magazine that had more books than you could imagine. I would bring it home and sit at the table with my parents and ask them how many books I could get, and we would sit there for the longest time just looking at books and choosing which ones I would get. Of course, right after those book orders there would be a book fair in our school library. I would ask my parents for some money, and I would go and get a couple of books that looked good. I would usually choose the longest ones, because I liked being able to be “in” a story for as long as possible. We all know how disappointing it is when you realize that a great book is over.
Every night my parents would let me choose a book for them to read to me. Eventually I had memorized a lot of the books, so they would only have to read the first couple of words on every page and I would “read” the rest. This actually made it take a little bit longer for me to learn how to read from home, because I would just say the words that I had memorized instead of actually reading them.
My brother and I had a bookshelf that was filled to the brim. I started reading all of the books that my brother told me were good. Once we had both read them my brother and I would always talk about the storyline and what we liked about the book with my grandmother, who loves reading just as much as we do. She then started suggesting books to us, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings once we got a little bit older. We would often go on trips to the local bookstore and my grandmother would let us chose a couple of books for her to buy for us.
Once I got a little bit older and wanted to show my family how well I could read I decided to read The Mitten to my entire family on Christmas. This was really important to me because my family showed how much they supported reading at such a young age. After that I started reading more advanced books, like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This book and Hatchet really changed my life. It gave me ideas of things to do outside and just be a kid, and that’s also what got me interested in survival camps and primitive living.
Another book that really changed my view of life is the one that I read this summer, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It really showed me how I should just enjoy the moment and participate. If you don’t you won’t experience something to the fullest, and your life won’t be as interesting. People these days keep their faces behind their cameras and phones and don’t just look at the beauty of the moment that they’re actually living.
The biggest reason that I enjoy reading is that I can almost always find something in the story to relate to. I also like to imagine being physically in the story, because I start to understand different character’s feelings better. For example, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower Patrick is trying as hard as he can to hide his relationship with the quarterback of the high school football team, because he knows that they both would get their “behinds” kicked if anyone found out. I can understand why he’s doing this, because if I was in this same situation I would definitely feel the same way.
My writing career started a little bit later. In kindergarten the teacher would give us each a small book that was only pictures and would tell us to write about what we thought was going on. I loved doing this because my grandfather had a book that was only pictures, and he would have us make up a story about what was going on in the book. We would change the story every time, and when I got better at telling the story I would go into much more detail.
My favorite part about writing is the fact that I can literally write about anything I want. I love being able to write about my feelings in a way that isn’t obvious. For example, I can give different characters in a story traits that I have or feelings that I’ve felt, and nobody will ever know. By far my favorite story that I’ve written was from eighth grade. Everything that happened in the story was something that happened to me, but the events were all spread out between the characters. Every character put together became me.
A big part of my writing career has been my English 9 class. I really enjoyed writing to you last year in my daily journal, because I could express myself and not worry about people judging me or being graded. It feels great to write about my feelings and experiences and know that somebody is going to read it.
It really helps me when a teacher reads my essays or stories and writes feedback. That is a huge part of how I’ve improved, and I can always benefit from some constructive criticism. I always look forward to getting my essays back to see the comments, because I enjoy learning. I like to improve, because there’s always something that I can get better at. That’s why I enjoy reading and writing.