Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Ode to Light

You light up my world
With your fluorescent, incandescent beauty
Making sure I don't run into the door
At night when I need to see

Son of Thomas Edison
Yet as brilliant as he
Without you we'd be blind
Primitive cavemen we would be

Your glow assists the learned
Who work into the night
Essential to everything everywhere
Without light, would this poem be a sight?

Now tell me young Padawan
Speak like Yoda you must not
Bulbs left and right must be
For the readers attention be sought

Monday, March 8, 2010

Old Man and the Sea Essay Prompt

We encounter many, many obstacles throughout our entire lives. Almost everyone happens to have some sort of struggle every now and then and they vary in length and severity. Some of them affect us for a short time and some of them affect us for life. Obstacles could be physical or mental. In The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago struggles against many obstacles throughout the book. Santiago must struggle to survive, to stay fed and to catch the audacious and vexed admiral of all Marlin. Obstacles will always affect you in the long term no matter what is the subject.
Santiago is in the worst situation that anyone could be in, it has been 84 days since he had last caught a fish and selling his fish is his lone source of income. "Do you think we can buy a terminal of the lottery with an eighty-five? Tomorrow is the eighty-fifth day [of no fish]" (17). As of now, all Santiago is doing is surviving off what he can find and off the food that the boy can give him and he does not like this because a boy taking care of a man makes Santiago seem inferior.
This three month streak of bad luck affected Santiago because he was extremely hungry and worried that he could not catch a fish. He is an old man and obviously needs food more than anything because of his frailness. But, the 84 days of not catching a fish yet he is still fishing shows that he is devoted. This proved to be a great obstacle since it was more than physical but also mental because it lowered his morale.
When Santiago is on the boat, he had been holding the line leading to the hooked to the energetic marlin patiently for nearly a day now, and the one thing he needs when holding that line is strength. Santiago has been completely detached from the pain in his hand"Eat it now [the tuna] and it will strengthen the hand" (58). Holding a line with a 1500 pound marlin on the other side is no easy task, and a lonely, old man attempting this task must be even harder.
The tuna that Santiago has just caught was symbolic of his strength against the marlin which he needs to pursue and hold the line. This was an obstacle for Santiago because he needed all his strength to pull in that marlin and catching a separate fish on a separate line is much harder when you have an extremely large fish franticly pulling the boat.
Santiago did not know for sure the true size of the marlin. All that he knew was that "He is two feet longer than the skiff,..." (63). This is seems exaggerated even for a marlin because the skiff along is 16 feet long. The one thing that he did not know about the marlin was his weight, which of course you could not even tell by looking at him.
Even though Santiago had that 16 ft skiff, "...but four hours later the fish was still swimming steadily out to sea, towing the skiff, and the old man was still braced solidly with the line across his back". If a fish can tow you and a 16 ft boat out to sea, it must be big. This marlin was his big break, his winning lottery ticket and his pot of gold and he was optimistic and ecstatic for the catch. This is an obstacle to Santiago because how could a 1500 pound fish towing you out to sea NOT be an obstacle?
Santiago struggles very much as a fisherman in many ways, both mentally and physically. Being a fisherman is an obstacle in itself, the fish is the objective. What separates Santiago from the rest is that Santiago faced his obstacles head on, whether it be catching two fish at the same time or catching a three fourths of a ton marlin. At the end of the day, he figuratively won over these obstacles by persevering.

(By the way, the Literary Analysis Terms are in bold.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Third Quarter ORB Essay

Siddhartha , which may be one of the most influential novels of the 20th century, is the story of a man's life and his journey to find the meaning of his life. Siddhartha is a man who learns to think for himself after being allowed by his father to leave his family for a group of simple nomads to find a use for his life other than being a Brahmin's son. Towards the end of his life, he finally develops his own views on the meaning of life.
"[Siddhartha is] The true profession of man is to find his way to himself"
Herman Hesse is one of the most proficient authors I have ever read from, using an extremely large amount of description. The amount of description is not comparable to Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea because Hemingway describes the most insignificant elements of the plot in his book. Hesse makes sure he uses metaphors to ensure that the reader understands that they understand what Siddhartha and the characters of the book are saying.
Siddhartha is allowed to leave the Brahmin village by his father to find contempt in his life. He is lead to a group of ascetics, who learn to both pity and envy the world by living simply, fasting for months on end and wearing nearly nothing. After he hears of the Illustrious One, Buddha, he takes a pilgrimage to see him and leaves his friend Govinda who would like to continue to learn from him. He finds his way to a trading city and is consumed by lust and greed when he is taught by about love by a beautiful woman named Kamala. Disgusted by what he has done for the past two decades, he comes to the river and attempts to take his life, until he hears the Om, the word of perfection.
"Just as the potter's wheel, once set in motion, still turns for a long time and then turns only very slowly and stops, so did the wheel of the ascetic still revolve for a long time in Siddhartha's soul: it nearly come to a standstill." (76).
This book has taught me that the material is not the most important thing in life, but your beliefs are. Siddhartha is the book that has taught me the most that I have ever read, and I'm not talking about information, I am talking more along the lines of philosophy. This book has taught me more about life than anything I have ever experience. The book is a must read for everyone, this book is not only a work of fiction with a great plot but a lesson about life as well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Fire shooting in the air, jet fuel leaking on the jungle floor. Twenty-five light years away from Earth and our transport ship is imbedded five hundred feet into the crust of Fomalhaut. The last fifty years of our civilization was hell, nuclear war and pollution was anything but fun. Russia sent fifty nuclear missiles to Antarctica to raise the sea level to drown out Washington D.C. Our planet has been polluted with carbon dioxide from vehicles for the past two-hundred years and our planet was f***ed to all end. It took twenty years to create a transport ship to take the population of the United States twenty five light years away to the closest inhabitable planet. Cryogenic pods and hyperspace drives made so that ship traveled that distance in one year. That year has passed and now the population of the United States is surrounded by the indigenous species or Fomalhaut, the Nooblarg. As the transport ship began crashing, evacuation pods with Special Operations soldiers were jettisoned around the crash site to defend it.
One of the evacuation pods landed six miles away from the crash site. The contents of the pod included Captain John Price, Staff Sergeant Forrest Gump, and Private James Ryan.
"Where the f*** are we?", shouted Cpt.Price with ringing ears,
"UAV tells us that were 10 clicks from crash site", answered SSgt. Gump.
The squad started heading towards the crash site, step by step. The plant life on this planet, so vivid and fluorescent, was unbelieveable. They heard large howls that they definitely knew that were not from any animal on this planet. Leaves started crunching around them when they stopped moving, and shadows were visible against the jungle floor.
"I don't like the sound of this dude, there is some bad mojo going on here", SSgt. Gump exclaimed.
"Ditto", replied Pvt. Ryan.
More and more thrashing was heard, and Cpt. Price was getting nervous. Cpt. Price began moving faster and faster by the second. Nearly smacking the rest of his squad in the face as he pulled back each sapling to make way for the juggernaut that he was. More running was heard, and it definitely wasn't the squad, along with the distant voices of the indigenous species. They sounded like they had a Norwegian accent and spoke a language that they could easily understand to their disbelief.
"Follow them before they get away! Interrogate the outsiders!", the horde shouted.
"We, are, screwed", Cpt. Price said to himself, as they all ran full speed ahead, traveling at half a click an hour.
As they ran forward, they could see a beam of light come at them from the direction they were heading to, almost a doorway of light. They came closer and closer as they realized that it was a dead end that led off to a five-hundred foot waterfall. Pvt. Ryan pulled the pin from a smoke grenade and threw it behind him with no remorse, it was evident that fire could not be created in this region of Fomalhaut. They stopped abruptly, thinking that the smoke was in fact a poisonous gas when it was actually made of the ignition of certain minerals. Smoke is used to obscure the vision of enemies in modern combat, but the gullible Nooblargs thought it would hurt them. This gave enough time for the squad to figure out what to do. The Nooblargs were wanton firing through the smoke, wastrels to their own supplies, and hit both Pvt. Ryan in the leg and SSgt. Gump was KIA from a gunshot wound directly to the left temple. Cpt. Price could hear enemy infantry moving in by the thousands, as they thought this was reconnaissance from a neighboring tribe.
The Nooblargs were ugly creatures, resembling golems, but purple and green. They were the slightly less intimidating version of Barney the Dinosaur, running as if they were drunk and had a few piece of rebar stuck in their legs. They were about seven feet tall, a formidable adversary of Yao Ming.
The Nooblargs weaponry was unparalled to anything they had ever seen. Their weapon systems were infallable, barely capable of jamming when fired. The form of ammunition was kinetic energy, a form of energy not capable of seeing, but in this case it was visible because it propelled dark matter that had the characteristics of tracer rounds. They had a similar design to the humanity's weapons, despite the fact that the Nooblarg's rifles had internal magazines.
Though their weaponry was superior, their tactics lacked precision. They had the usual rudimentary hand signals 'Hold, Advance, Fire, Retreat', but no specifics so whatever they needed to do was shouted and easily heard by the squad. Their "captains" and their incorrigible squads weren't tactical enough to surprise a cow. Maybe it was the captain's fault since the obsequious squad took orders from him, and those orders werent exactly clear.
"Pvt. Ryan is injured and SSgt. Gump is KIA, waiting for orders sir!", Price yelled anxiously into the field radio.
"Do what you can, do anything necessary to bring Pvt. Ryan back to the mothership", General Patreus ordered, "We need minimal casualties".
The radio signal immediately turned into garble, and was quickly disposed of. Cpt. Price quickly administered a dose of morphine to quell Ryan's pain, but proved to turn Pvt. Ryan into dead weight. Price thought fast and pulled of his digital watch, turned on the alarm and set it to 'Project time' mode. He threw it into the smoke to distract the enemies. He remembered that he had a protoype energy bridge on him and deployed it across the deep chasm. As he ran, he made sure to turn it off and take it so they could not cross. To the Nooblargs, it seemed like an impasse. Cpt. Price was a paragon of Elite Soldiers and as hardy as a lumberjack. He ran with Pvt. Ryan in a fireman's carry for five hours. He told himself that if he could make it the next three clicks that he could make it to the transport ship and release the rest of the United States Army. Time flew and before he knew it he could hear enemy reinforcements come from the east. He was almost there, so he pushed harder and harder to go as fast as he could. Being in the military for thirty years was no joke. The transport ship was in sight, he ran down to the end of the ship, the shiny red button in sight.
"Deploy armed forces, hmm sounds like a plan.", exclaimed Price sarcastically.
A loud whirring noise began and he could hear the millions of footsteps race frantically out of the cargo bay door. They set a bolstered the ship, feeling like the future of humanity rested in their hands. It actually does.
"This ought to give me the congressional medal of honor", Price mumbled,"and Pvt. Ryan a couple thousand purple hearts"
Enemy fire proceeded to hit the transport craft, making barely dents in the space age aluminum frame. The marines proceeded to clear the area with their weapons in a scythe motion, trying to conserve the little ammo they had on short notice. Thousands of enemy troops were whittled down to the hundreds, until nothing but piles of bodies where left surrounding the ship. A new life started, and hopefully a better one on this planet.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Second Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. The Random House Publishing Group. (THGTTG) 1979, (TRTETU 1980). Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is Douglas Adam’s, a British Comedy Writer, brilliant brainchild. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy takes place in Magrathea, a dead planet that once built planets for galactic billionaires. Arthur Dent and his Betelguesian friend Ford Prefect, hitches a ride off of Planet Earth as it is about to be destroyed by a Vogon constructor Fleet. They hitch a ride with Ford’s cousin, Zaphond Beeblebrox (the galactic president) on the ship “The Heart of Gold”. Zaphod takes Ford, Arthur and his girlfriend, Trillian, to the world of Magrathea to discover the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything and also to get a large amount of money. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is the sequel to Adam’s first book. The main character is again Arthur Dent, one of two of the last humans alive. As the crew are leaving the planet of Magrathea, they are attacked by another Vogon Ship. Zaphod’s ancestor then saves them from annihilation. They then show up at Milliways (the namesake of the book) and find a stunt ship that they cannot seem to get out of. Marvin then finds a teleporter and everyone passes through it.
“With droll wit, a keen eye for detail and heavy doses of insight…Adams makes us laugh until we cry” – San Diego Union/Tribune
This book series is uncomparable to any book published. The author, Douglas Adams, has a unique writing style unlike any other author. He fits sarcasm into his prose as if you were actually talking to someone. The book is a mixture of Saturday Night Live and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The series never ceases to please with its ridiculous humor such as Marvin, the manically depressed robot, or the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.” (90)…”Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as if fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now” (91).
Douglas Adams is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time because he has a great way of writing in a comical way. This book affected me by opening my mind up to different genres of books, I had no idea that an author could express so much humor in writing like this.This book made me realize that writing doesn’t have to be boring and can be as comical as you can make it be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Sounds of Music during Christmas

What really is value? To many people, value means something that has monetary worth. Most of these people are the greedy, materialistic type. But what does value meant to you? To me, value is something that I hold close to my heart, something I think of every day. It’s something that I use every day. This is what value means to me.
Months have passed since I had had my precious ear buds keeping my ear canal warm. That's ninety days since i have heard my music, floating playfully around my head. Too many bus rides wasted staring through the smoked glass of my school bus. The immature yelling, screaming in my ear and asking me the useless, redundant questions that will have no use to me or anyone else later on. They twist my words into bad jokes that drive me insane. My music is the fine line that separates my annoyance to me "going postal" on these fifth graders.
The first legitimate MP3 player i have ever had was an Ipod Nano. This thing was large and you could clearly see if i had this behemoth in my pocket or not. When i bought my first, i made the investment of twenty dollars towards the one year warranty. I am glad i bought this because someone threw my Nano into the washing machine (wink wink). The one year warranty ensured me that i would get the newest available model as a replacement if i had ever broke it. Just as the Nano broke, the new Nano third generation was released. This was just my luck. This Nano was smaller, looked flawless and even performed flawlessly. It could even play movies!
The drive to Best Buy was a happy one. The whole entire ride i was fumbling my fingers and smiling ear to ear, even my father noticed. As we left the Interstate, i saw the big, yellow price tag secured to the building. At this point, i was pretty much jumping for joy. We pulled into the parking lot, walked through the door and met Customer Service at their designated desk. I handed my plastic-gilded piece of rubbish to the employee. He inspected the ipod meticulously, looking for the evident problem of water damage and if he could possibly fix, even if he knew he couldn't. He couldn't turn the ipod on, and this ensured me the new ipod. My grin grew even larger, all the customers staring at the child in the corner of the store who wore the stupid grin. He handed me the the shining silver square that was the new Nano third generation. I couldn't think that my grin could grow any larger but it definitely did.
The moment i stepped into my house I ran to the computer and uploaded my large library of audio bliss onto my new baby. As you can see from the joy i exhibited on my trip to Best Buy, my music means very much to me. My music is my personality, its how i express it. My Ipod keeps me company when i'm lonely, and it's also something for my friends and I to listen to when we're together. It has helped me through the rough times and i've also had countless hours of happy times with it. I love my music, and i love it more now that i can keep my portable bliss concealed in my jeans.
It's that time of year again, where sand and shovels are your best friend. That's right kids, it's winter! I love winter, just not specific parts of it. Winter is the time where tiny bits of two-faced, frozen water fall from the sky and land inconveniently on my drive way. Its my least favorite season but i always look forward to it for one specific reason. That reason is Christmas. Christmas is the time of family, where most familys are together. My favorite part of Christmas is not in fact getting presents on Christmas Day, but picking out the Christmas tree.
I walked down the stairs one morning and i find that there is this one huge spot being cleared in my fireplace room. My mom is rearranging furniture away from the large patch of carpet and also away from our front door. My little brother had been talking about it for a while and its what the guys in the family had looked forward to. Today was the day when we get to pick out our Christmas tree. Both of my brothers had infinite glee in our eyes, because this is the moment in the season that we all wait for. We gathered our bungee cords and drove down Route 116 to Class Grass.
We jumped out of the car and we find that there are millions of trees to choose from. There are short trees and there are tall trees, skinny trees and fat trees. The tree we were looking for was a tall tree that was also fat. We browsed for an hour until we found the perfect tree. The tree was nine feet tall and we were not even close to wrapping out arms around the green hunk of joy, a Douglas Fir. We paid for the tree, which was a reasonable price. We threw the tree over the top of our van and tied it down with our trusty bungee cords. My family and I then rode down Route 116 with pine needles flying off of the tree.
These are the things in life I most value. I value my music because it speaks to me, understands me, and describes me. My music keeps me company when I'm alone, and the opposite when I'm with friends. The Ipod may have cost money, but to me it means more than that. I value my music the same way I value that moment every year when we pick out the Christmas tree. We bicker about the perfect tree not in anger, but we anger United. I would never miss this moment in the year for the world. We all decide on the object that symbolizes the season. This season is meant for family, and family is what matters.
Both moments cost money, but that's not what matters. Whether the song is ninety-nine cents, or the tree is one hundred dollars, it's the feeling that matters. Both make me happy, and that is what really matters. To me, happiness has no real price.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

First Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer, Miramax Books, 2005 Genre: Science Fiction

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception is the fourth book in the Artemis Fowl Series. The book is about a teenage genius trying to stop a narcissistic pixie mastermind attempting to stop her from revealing the People, a race of fairies that live below the Earth’s surface, to the human race. The story takes place in Europe, over many locations, and also in the Lower Elements where the People live. At the beginning of the story, Opal quickly disposes of Commander Root, who kills him with the help of a bomb that she herself is controlling and in turn tricks Holly, Commander Roots’ comrade and friend, that she can stop it. By the video that is on the surveillance camera that had been monitoring them, it seems that Holly had shot Root, and she becomes a rogue agent, and escapes to save Artemis from the rest of Opal’s plot. They gain the help of an infamous troll named Mulch Diggums, whose expertise includes but not limited to a tunnel digger and a walking stink bomb. He escapes from jail and helps Artemis and Holly to help stop Opal’s terror plot

“Agile Prose, rapid-fire dialogue, and wise-acre humor ensure that readers will burn the midnight oil”, Publishers Weekly states.

The book starts with Artemis in Munich stealing a certain portrait named The Fairy Thief. As he is working on this plot, Opal Koboi, the pixie mastermind is working on her plot for revenge against the people who had put her into an asylum, who are Artemis Fowl, Captain Holly Short, Commander Julius Root, and a genius centaur named Foaly. This book shows Artemis’ personality and morals from before he was put under a mesmer by Holly Short. Artemis then shows his true colors by being generous in the face of death.

Artemis Fowl’s life is packed with a lot of action made exponentially greater by his writing style, stated in the quote by Publisher’s Weekly. The book has the same writing style as his other books, with the same description in high action situations by stating every miniscule detail. Its wide range of vocabulary keeps the reader interested but not necessarily confused. This book is great for young readers and adults alike.

I have read previous Artemis Fowl books, but by far this is my favorite out of the ones I have read. It has more action than the rest of his books. I also like that the view of this book is not just from Artemis’ point of view, it is also in Opal’s point of view and as well as Holly’s. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, as well as a book to teach you about morals.