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.