Bitterness Poem

The Boat and the Wave

 

A boat sunk in the water, feeling entrapped,

a weight pulling it down from below.

 

The once welcoming waters began to crash,

and the sea had then turned on the sinking vesile.

 

Just one single wave turned into a storm,

a storm of silence and pleasant skies.

 

Right as the water began to calm,

and the waves were beginning to fade,

 

The one single wave lashed out again,

swallowing the innocent ship.

 

The boat still swam on,

its now weak engine still purring,

 

Escaping the raging yet familiar waters,

and floating into a sea of uncertainty.

 

The boat now saw that it no longer sunk,

and its engines regained power and will.

 

The ship would still look back at the once loving sea,

missing and hating the wave that had started a war.

 

But continued to swim forward where the uncertain lay,

not turning back towards the crashing waters behind.


Pelorus at anchor in Copenhagen, May 2008Creative Commons License Casper Moller via Compfight

 

Imitation Poem

Mickey the Cat

 

Mickey the cat sat up high in a tree

In the parking lot out front of the welcoming boat houses

and he stayed crouched meowing and puffing out his angry black tail

 

and out came running the worried old lady

a leash, a cage, and a small bag of food in her hands

it took an hour to capture him. Mickey the cat.

 

Taking away the cats life as a stray,

taking all its wild dreams away. The cat

still hissing and clawing, fighting to be free.

 

Mickey’s tail, still puffed out in anger

and when his claws were clipped,

the only thing left was his rage from the wild

 

still concealed behind his perfectly groomed coat,

He now sat on a perch not a tree,

and his only sense of his past was the window outlooking the sea.

Expedit CatCreative Commons License BMiz via Compfight

Earth Hour 2015

I think that Earth hour is a great idea. Earth hour is going to occur this saturday, and it will be an hour out of the day where lots of cities turn off there lights in order to help save the planet. Here is Earth Hours official website: http://www.earthhour.org/

I think that it is very helpful and a unique idea too try and spend one hour of the year without lights. I believe that this is important, because it shows how we can make a big change in very little time. I hope that lots of cities participate in this event, because the more participation that occurs, the more we are helping the planet.  I think that it will be helpful for people to spread awareness, because the more people that know about this event, the more cities will want to participate. I hope that Earth Hour is successful this year, and that many people and cities will try and make a difference.

I am going to try and turn off my lights like the cities participating. I want to help and make as much as a difference as I can, no matter how small, and put my part into this event.

Choker Conversation


In class we are all reading different books with small groups. My group decided to read Choker by Elizabeth Woods. My group gathered together and discussed what we had read so far, in a literature circle. Here is my reflection, and an attached video:

In my book club discussion I learned that by listening to other peoples views on the same text, it allows you to think in different ways that you might not have before. I think that I also had a deeper understanding of the book after the book discussion because I was able to get more opinions and details that I might not have picked up on. I think that this week my group did a good job of keeping on task. I also think we did a really good job of keeping the conversation flowing, and not having awkward silences. My whole group was very engages, which allowed for a steady discussion. Next week I think we should work harder on not talking over each other next week. We did have moments during our discussion where there were multiple people talking at once, and it was hard to listen and understand what was going on. Our lit circle talked about a lot of themes we had notices in the book. We also discussed our predictions based on evidence we had already read. For example, during our lit circle we were able to flip through our annotations we had made, and find evidence themes to begin discussing. Our notes ended up helping us a lot, and allowed for a bit of a guide in our discussion. My group also had some tough questions that we worked on trying to answer. I think that I did a good job of participating in our video. A strong point our group had was that everyone was fairly equal in how much they talked. We were all very engaged in the conversation, and this led to lots of participation from not only me, but also the rest of my group. Next time I will work on trying to not talk over people, and to help other make sure to take their turns when discussing our book.

Here is the video:

 

 

Writing from Seventh Grade!

Here is a piece of writing that I did in seventh grade. I thought that it would be interesting to share this story with you, so here it is!

Blue Wings

I tucked a straggling piece of my honey colored hair behind my ear as I stared out at the old and rugged fence. The palm trees were caving in towards the blunt edges of the fence, and the stinging orange bursting from the birds of paradise stood out against the rest of the green palms and foliage. Carefully, I cupped my hands around the fence, the melon color painted across my nails standing out from the dirty brown beneath it. I stood on the tiptoes of my not-so-white converse, craning my neck like a giraffe to try and peer over the edge. I gazed down to see a silky blanket; a glistening pool of blue surrounded by soft green granite splayed itself out across a graveled pathway. In the pool three children were playing and splashing around, their skin a glowing tan from the hot and alluring sun that sat itself up in the cloudless sky. It was a beautiful, serine, dreamful, paradise. Above me, I heard a sharp rustling, which as I looked up, appeared to be coming from a yellowish set of claws grasping onto a billowing branch. Slowly, the fierce set of claws unleashed themselves from the tree, and showed a set of eye-catching cerulean wings. The bird swooped down, gracefully, and landed on my left shoulder, delicately. It let out a shallow coo, and gazed over at a small yet nail bitingly painful looking cut sitting on the underneath of the birds sapphire belly. I glanced back up into the bird’s bright amber eyes that had filled themselves with sorrow. I walked across the concrete floors of my backyard and opened up the sliding door, which let out a screeching shriek. I could feel the bird flinching from the sound as I walked into the marble countered kitchen. I carefully stepped over towards a mahogany wood drawer where I pulled out a cotton ball that resembled the tail of a hopping rodent, a small and worn out box of Band-Aids, and a jar filled with antibiotics. I craned my neck to the side, and dapped the cotton ball smoothly across the wounded area. After cleaning up the cut, I sealed it with a brightly colored blue Band-Aid in an attempt to blend the injury in with the rest of the bird’s fluorescent feathers. I walked back over towards where the creaky door stood half opened, and the bird began to spread its magnificent wings, and eventually flew away.

 

 

How wild it was, to finish this book.

Today in our literature circle we talked about the ending of the book wild. We talked about how the ending was able to give a lot of closure to the book. Another thing that really struck us with this book was that everything in it had actually happened to someone, and how Cheryl Strayed’s memoir really became a story and not a biography. The way that she wrote the book we were able to notice lots of changes to the character throughout the story. I think that change was a huge theme in this book. She helps to display this theme by giving small examples where she does things out of character from what she originally described herself to be like. This book also showed a lot of determination and power to ones self, which made it very motivating and inspiring. Another thing that our group talked about was how the books ending showed how her life had ended up turning out years later. One specific part where this was shown was when she talked about how she had two children names Carver and Bobbi. This brought a connection to the time she was talking about her mother, Bobbi, and recognized all the things her mother had done wrong when she raised her. She ended up actually naming her daughter after her mother in real life. Cheryl wrote, “When she died. I’d lost that too- the Bobbi she’d been, the woman who was separate from who she was to me.” I think that this shows why she named her child Bobbi, and displays how Cheryl’s mothers name was much more then a name to her, but a feeling.

We also discussed how throughout the book it felt like we were going along on a journey with her, stepping side by side with her and following her steps. The way she was able to write to make it feel like you were actually there made the story even more impactful. It was interesting how a biography was able to tell a story like this, because none of the plots in the book were thought up by an author, they were things that actually happened to her. We also discussed how near the end of the book Cheryl chose to have Doug become very prominent. When Doug appears in the book, he is always talked about in a great and sacred way, and in the end where he makes his final appearance; it is very focused on just him and not the other people that he was traveling with as much. In the end of the book we learn that while Cheryl was researching where her fellow hikers had ended up, she found that Doug had passed away. I think that this shows how this book was trying to memorialize Doug, and how this book was helping to show what an amazing person he was and how much he helped to change Cheryl’s life.

This book really helped me to be able to appreciate myself, and I learned that getting to spend time alone, and getting the opportunity to think outdoors can really open your spirit and change you in a way that nothing else can. It has really inspired me to try and find myself more, and to spend more time out in nature. It has also taught me that no matter what happens, everything turns out better in the end, and to never look down on your life, and to look forward optimistically.

Overall, Wild was an amazing book. It was filled with vivid details and lots of deep messages throughout the story. I would really love to read it again and look closer at the relationships she had with other hikers and try and notice more places where I see change, or connection.

While reading wild my group had a specific way of tracking our thinking through notes. We all decided that keeping continuous written annotations in our books tended to lose our focus and kept us distracted from the actual story. We wanted to find a way where we could keep thoughtful and meaningful annotations that would help us to keep attentive to what we were reading. We decided that we would do a sticky note on the last page of a chapter with three sections. The sections were: themes we noticed, questions we had while reading, and reflections – we defined reflections as comments or notings of big ideas. I think that this was a great way to keep track of my thinking, because it really allowed me to notice change, which was a major theme in this book, through the themes that I noticed throughout characters journey. I also felt like it was a good amount of keeping track of my thinking, because I was not constantly being interrupted by needing to annotate everything, instead I was able to notice bigger things that jumped out at me, and more pressing questions that I wanted to ask. I would also underline specific places or dog ear some that had an excerpt I really liked, or an important idea that I thought would or had already connected to something else from the book.

I think the literary element that was most important to me was themes. Finding themes was not only beneficial to figuring out the plots and big ideas in the story, it was also helpful for me to try and find something in the book. For example, if one theme I noticed was Cheryl’s mother, If i was looking for a place where Chery talked about her mother, it would be easier to find. This made it easier to keep track of my thinking and make connections from other parts of the book. I also think that asking questions was really helpful for me because instead of just finding smaller questions throughout my reading, I was able to think of bigger questions, which engaged my thinking more.

While looking through my notes, a theme I noticed was Cheryls influence of men in her life. A lot of the book talks about Cheryls relationships with men and very quickly in the beginning of the book we learn about Cheryls divorce with Paul. She talks about how even though they had a good relationship, she became detached from him and caused their relationship to fall. On page 36 Cheryl said, “Just behind that longing was the urge to call Paul. He was my ex husband now, but he was still my best friend. As much as I’d pulled away from him in the years after my mother’s death, I’d also leaned hard into him. In the midst of my mostly silent agonizing over our marriage, we’d had good times, been, in oddly real ways, a happy couple.” This shows that although Cheryl and paul had a strong and good relationship (even after they were divorced), Cheryl still couldn’t manage to stay with him and become committed in a time of her life where she was weak. In the book Cheryl ends up cheating on Paul multiple times and becoming a bad partner.  Cheryl describes herself as “detached”(p. 78) when it comes to men, and I think that this is a great connection to her and Pauls relationships. After Cheryl’s mother died, she became “detached”(p. 78) from her relationship with men and as she describes it, “like a guy”(p. 78). Later in the book we learn about Cheryl father, she talks about how her father left her mother when she was young, and how he was in a constant struggle of staying at home or leaving them, beating and screaming at them or staying hidden. I think that this shows how from early on in Cheryls life, she was shown a lack of commitment in the two people she looked up to most, her parents. Cheryl describes her father as, “A liar and a charmer, a heartbreak and a brute.”(p.78).I think that this related to Cheryl with her own relationships. She says that she had never been broken up with, meaning that Cheryl was always the one to end relationships, making her a heartbreak. She is also described in a way that makes her a charmer. She lied to Paul initially about her relationship, making her three of the four things that her father had been. The one thing Cheryl never displayed was being a brute. A brute is defined as, “a savagely violent person or animal.”. I think that Cheryls hike could connect to her not wanting to become a “animal” like her father, and her establishment to nature almost signified that in a way. I think this connects to how her relationships ended up becoming when she grew up. I think that from an early age she had a sense of extreme detachment and inconsistency in how her father handled relationships. I think that she was afraid that if she became too committed, her partner would do what her dad did, or she would become like her dad. I believe that this connects to not wanting to become an “animal”, and going on her journey, because it shows how she is trying to become a better person and not be like the man that her father had become. Instead Cheryl wants to be in control of the path she follows in the wild.

 

This connects to how people in real lifes views of relationships while growing up influence their own relationships when they have grown up. This book shows how powerful an early onset of unright in someones life can influence them to be afraid or become what they are afraid of. This idea also illustrates how people need to take control of their own lives, and try to figure yourself out completely to have a clear mind, and in order to form better partnerships. This is an important message for people to learn through books, because once someone is more aware of how they are being influenced by something in their past in one way, it becomes easier to avoid that obstacle.

 

I would give this book a 10/10. I think that this book was very powerful, and gave vivid details that intrigued the reader. This book made it seem like you were walking alongside Cheryl as she walked through the Pacific Crest Trail. It also made something that would seem kind of boring to read about (someone hiking) really interesting and captivating. I also feel like I learned a lot in this book, and that I was able to see through the eyes of someone else very clearly. I also enjoyed how everything in it was true, and how the plot was actually her life, not something just made up inside an author’s head. This made the book a lot more powerful and interesting to me.

 

Wild: Chapter 10

Title of Book: Wild

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Pages read: 146-174

Today, we discussed what we had just read and what we noticed through our reading and how this connected to what we had read previously. We talked about how we were noticing how the main character, Cheryl, was subtly showing that she was changing throughout her hike. Throughout the book we learned that Cheryl was not good at saying no when it came to men, and had she often thrown herself at them, becoming a major downfall with her ex husband. In this chapter we see Cheryl change and not feel the need to say yes to every guy. Instead, she was able to focus on the trail and what she really wanted to accomplish. We noticed themes of determination and how despite Cheryl’s many opportunities to give up and go back home, she stuck with her journey and continued onto the path of the PCT. We also reflected on what had happened in the chapter, where Cheryl had to kill her dead mothers horse, and how this impacted her. This part was filled with a lot of emotion, and you could see how hard it was for Cheryl to go through. We also noticed how chapter 10 was filled with a reoccurring theme of regret, whether it is about her mother or her ex husband Paul. Another reoccurring theme that I noticed was bravery. From the beginning of the book we were able to tell how brave Cheryl was. Whether is be running into a bear, or being charged at by a buffalo, she always remained on the trail and kept on fighting through. I think that this really connects with her determination because it shows why she is able to become so determined.

I think a big idea in this book is change. I think that this whole book is trying to show how this hike changed Cheryl’s life and helped to show herself what she could actually do and what she was capable of. I think Cheryl is trying to express too us through her writing how despite her rough patches and struggles in life, this hike is not only showing how she can complete something like this, but how she can slowly try to overcome the roadblocks in her life that drove her to start it in the beginning.  Another big idea is the will Cheryl has to keep going through her hike, even though there aren’t the perfect conditions, and she had many opportunities where she just could’ve simply dropped out and go back home. I think Cheryl shows this by adding a lot of reflections into her writing. I think that this is an effective way of writing, because it gives an insight into what Cheryl was thinking throughout the hike. It helped to tell the reader why she went on the hike, and over time shows how her attitude has changed from before the hike to during the hike. I am curios to see in the end how much the hike has helped Cheryl to get her life back together, and how it has impacted her relationships when she returns home.

 

 

Wild: Part one

Title of Book: Wild

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Pages read: 1-44

I am currently reading the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. My group and I just started and have so far read the first 44 pages and have finished the first of five parts. In the first section of the book we read about Cheryl, the main character, and learned some background information. In the first chapter she talked about her mother, who had passed away. She told the story of finding out and coping with her cancer and also gave some insight into her life growing up as a child. The next chapter was more focused on her divorce with her husband Paul, and how she handled her mother’s death afterwords. Both of these chapters were very detailed and emotional and you could see the thinking process that Cheryl went through during the tough periods of her life. These chapters were narrated as if she had already finished her hike through the Pacific Crest trail and was looking back. The third chapter was when she officially started her hike, and was about her preparation for the journey she was about to embark on. It also shared her uncertainty of embarking on a three-moth hike without any experience. I think that the first part gave a lot of necessary details that we needed to know before diving deeper into the book. The way that it was written also helped to establish the personality and attitude of the main character.

Today in my literature circle with my group I am going to try and bring up some important and interesting points. I am going to bring up how the book is told, how it is almost looking back at the events, and how this helps to orchestrate the author’s story. I also want to bring up what we think will happen later on in the book, and how the information we already know could shape what might happen later. I am also curious to see what my other group members thought about the fact that the main character, Cheryl, and her divorced husband were still friends, and if the decision she made to separate him was a good idea for her.

In our literature circle we discussed Cheryl and her mothers connection and how this impacted how she took the loss. We also talked about how Cheryl’s other siblings never visited her mother, and how this just made everything harder on Cheryl because she had to carry all the weight of the grief on her shoulders. I learned from my fellow group members that this was a very important part of the book to getting to understand the character. I also learned that there was a lot of deeper insight into some of the excerpts that we read.

A line that my group and I thought was very meaningful was the last line before the part ends (p. 44), “I knew that it was time to go, so I opened the door and stepped into the light.” I really liked this as a last line because we thought it showed how Cheryl was embarking on a new journey and a new beginning in life. The light seemed to be a symbol of her embarking on her journey. I think that this shows how the author is very good at describing what the character is doing by going inside her mind and giving her thoughts.