Stories to Think About

The two pieces I have read in this unit that has made me think the most deeply are The Man Who Plated Trees by Giono and Down the Mine by George Orwell. Firstly, the piece by Giono made me reflect on what a single person can do to restore nature. How a single person can dramatically change the future for the next generations, just by planting trees. Secondly, Down the mine made me think about what people would do for money. Instead of searching for a new job, miners rather keep suffering every workday for the rest of their lives, and it’s not for a great paycheck either.

As for the pieces that touched my feelings, the first is Letter From a Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King Jr, and the second is The Man Who Plated Trees by Giono. MLK is able to touch people’s feelings, it could be because of his tone of voice, his way with words, or his ambition for equality. The Man Who Plated Trees made me feel that I could change the world by myself. It also made me think of all the good things humans could be capable of doing if everyone was like the old man.

The best use of storytelling to express their ideas in the stories are in a Letter From a Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King Jr, and in Why Are We So Cruel, by Roger Ebert. They both have a way with words that express their ideas perfectly and clearly. They also give a lot of clear examples to understand better their ideas. As well as, an advanced-writing and more difficult concepts in both of the writings.

Brookes Westshore Basketball Team

This last weekend, the basketball team (which I’m a part of) had three games in GNS. We all played very well and won all three of the games. Winning the three games, if I’m not wrong, put us in third place of 1A basketball of Victoria Island. And, it also gave the team a chance to go to play the provincials in Vancouver from the 8th of march to the 11th. As a team member, I’m really excited about this opportunity.

“Down the Mine” Personal Response

After reading Down the Mine, written by George Orwell in 1930, I felt awful. I wasn’t aware until now of all the suffering and pain going on in this so-called “underground hell”. Everything that happens down there made me feel pity for miners. Miners have to crawl every workday “from London Bridge to Oxford Circus”(p.3), that’s an estimate of four to five kilometers, while there’s suffocating air and horrendous heat in the cave. As a result, I think miners have the toughest job out of all. And now, I’m left wondering if things have changed for good for miners. For instance, is there new machinery to help miners do their job, or is the world less in need of coal?

Working on my Converse

On the day of January 19, I finally accomplished something I procrastinated on for so long. That day I embroidered my converse. It took about two hours to finish. And as for the results, I’m very proud. The thing I embroidered is kind of vulgar; that’s why I don’t wear my converse to school now. However, I recently decided that I wanted to embroid another design on my converse, but that has to wait because I’m working on another thing at the time.

“Searching for Home”

When I read Searching for Home, by Peta Rush I felt understood. I haven’t been too connected with my mother’s side of the family. So when I read about Peta trying to figure out her family ancestry, I felt the curiosity of asking my mother about her family, but unfortunately, she is in Mexico. My mother left her hometown in Italy to live in Mexico, and later on, she got me. Since then we have gone to Italy a couple of times for vacation breaks. I met my uncles, aunts, and my grandmother, however, I never got to meet my grandfather as he is long gone now. My family doesn’t know much about my grandfather’s side of the family as he didn’t talk about it. So that side of the family is a mystery to me that I wish to uncover.

“The Man Who Planted Trees”

After reading The Man Who Planted Trees, by Jean Giono, I was left speechless. A man who single-handedly restored a forest? It seems an impossible task that would require a lifetime to do, and it did. An old man gave his life to replanting trees on forgotten land because he thought that the world needed more trees. And he did that in solitude, and without seeking recompense. It’s an impressive accomplishment that requires a lot of dedication, and discipline.

The story of this solitary man raises a lot of questions. For example, what if everybody contributes to make earth a better place like the old man? Maybe that way the world wouldn’t have any problems, because all the people are restoring what they take from nature. Or, how can this old man plant trees all his life, and be happy while doing it? A normal person would get bored of doing the same task everyday for their life-time.

A Man. A Woman. Just friends in 2022?

Can a woman and man be friends nowadays? Since the article of William Deresiewicz of 2012 (10 years ago), a lot has changed. Teenagers in 2022 have a bunch of friends of the opposite sex. I don’t believe that “the sex thing gets in the way”, and that “It’s harder for the young, of course- all those hormones and so many of your peers are unattached”. Personally, some of my best friends are of the opposite sex, and I never think of them as something more than my friends.

It’s so common to see people be good friends with the opposite sex. Maybe, in 2012 was rarer to see it in popular culture; like William said “if it’s so common now for men and women to be friends, why do we rarely see it in popular culture?”. Well, that changed since then. We can see celebrities have friends of whatever sex. People became more open about the friendships of girls and boys. And also, with the LGBTQ community.

In 2022, we can see that the roles of friends are really important in people’s lives. We can love our friends no matter their sex. It’s not based on “sex and blood” anymore. Now, it’s okay to “love whom you want, in the way you want”. We still haven’t completely taken “it out of the closet”, but we are getting there.

How Act 3 of “Our Town” Changed my Opinion

The third act of the play took an unexpected turn. For example, from being clichéd to being a really deep and controversial ending. Moreover, when they start talking about death and life in a meaningful way; it makes me want to enjoy every moment of life and every breath. Also, it makes me think what’s after death? is there a moment to forget about the past one or just a moment to enjoy it? As well, how people grieving didn’t realize what is after and that they have to enjoy life to not have regrets after. But, one of the things that bothered me was how much Emily talked; that was kind of corny.

As for the props and scenery I really liked it. Such as the way they had actors sit on chairs imitating graves was something I would never think of. What’s more, I enjoyed how they went back to her memories of the morning of her 12th birthday, and it was like the beginning of the play when Howie delivers the milk and the mother yells to her children to hurry and have breakfast. In conclusion, the act changed completely my mind, and I loved the change it had for the end

My Personal Opinion in “Our Town”

There are some things that I liked about this play. For example, how the use the stage manager to explain the play, but also have him play some roles like Mr. Morgan (p. 65). As well, the stage manager gives us a timeline of the past and future, such as Joe Crowell’s death some years later in WW1 (p.18). Something curious about the play is that they don’t use curtains, props, or scenery which is something innovative. Finally, something I really liked is when the stage manager mixes reality and the fictional play, for instance when he’s talking about Cartwright building a new bank in town “the Cartwright interest have just begun building a new bank in Grovers Corners- had to go to Vermont for marble, sorry to say. And they’ve asked a friend of mine what they should put in the cornerstoner people to dig up… a thousand years from now… Of course, they’ve put in a copy of The New York Times and a copy of Mr. Webbs Sentinel“(p.35).

In the play, there were also some things I didn’t like. In particular, the story is just boring it doesn’t captivate my attention at all. On top of that, reading the play is kind of annoying, because it was actual play script. Furthermore, it didn’t show us much about how George and Emily started dating, just them confessing their love and their wedding, and that’s about all I can think of.

Starting to Read “The Catcher in the Rye”

In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, a teenager tells a story about this “madman stuff” that happened to him around last Christmas, but he likes to keep the audience intrigued by rambling about a bunch of other stuff. Soon, we see right away that this guy enjoys talking and telling stories.

“Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy. I mean that’s all I told my brother and all. He’s in Hollywood. That isn’t too far from this crumbly place, and he comes over and visits me practically every weekend. He’s going to drive me home when I go home next month maybe. He just got a Jaguar. One of those little English jobs that do around two hundred miles an hour. It cost him damn near four thousand bucks. He’s got a lot dough, now.”(p.1)

This is just one example of the writing in the book. From talking about what the book was going to be about to start talking about his brother instead, and his Jaguar. Its funny because he sure dosen’t know how to get to the point.

 

Personal Response to the Movie Carmen

This movie was more boring than other movies we watched. This one had so much dancing for so long it became boring. At first, the dancing was artistic, but as the movie progressed, I, personally started to get annoyed by it. Also, the story wasn’t that entertaining; it went on and on about this guy who’s in love with a girl who cheated on him and had a husband.

The story was so long and it disappointed me. I hoped to see the cast do the play what they had practiced in a theater. On top of that, I didn’t like the ending, because it was so confusing. Besides, there were more characters I wanted to see be more active; like the best female dancer, or the husband of Carmen. I would only recommend this movie to someone who likes dancing or likes movies like this type.

Romeo & Juliet – A Tragic Love and Hate Story

Romeo and Juliet is a story of love and hate. This story made by Shakespeare is now a famous and enjoyable one. The forbidden love of these teenagers, and how they give their lives for their love is very entertaining. Somehow, the love between the two seems so real but also makes me wonder if a person could love someone that much from first sight. And yet, it’s incredibly romantic, passionate, but very violent.

The movie and the book are sometimes hard to understand. For example, the writing is very complex and sometimes has double meanings. William Shakespeare was a genius writer, but his way with words made it difficult for me to enjoy it that much. Also, you have to pay attention to every detail, because they’re very important to understand the whole book/movie. Finally, the movie was filmed almost like a play; so it was even harder to understand.

Sonnet by Miguel de Cervantes

Amadís de Gaula a don Quijote de La Mancha

Tú, que imitaste la llorosa vida
que tuve, ausente y desdeñado, sobre
el gran ribazo de la Peña Pobre.
De alegre a penitencia reducida;

tú, a quien los ojos dieron la bebida
de abundante licor, aunque salobre;
y alzándote la plata, estaño y cobre,
te dio la tierra en tierra la comida;

vive seguro de que eternamente
(en tanto al menos que en la cuarta esfera,
sus cabellos aguije el bello Apolo)

Tendrás claro renombre de valiente;
tu patria será en todas la primera,
tu sabio autor al mundo único y solo.

Traduction

You, that imitated the crying life that I had, absent and scorned, over the great flock of the Poor People. From happy to reduce penance; you, to whom the eyes gave the drink of abundant liquor, although brackish; and lifting you up the silver, tin, and copper, the earth gave you food in the dirt; live safe eternally (inless then the fourth sphere, his pierced hair of the beautiful Apolo) you will have clear renown of brave; your homeland will be first in all, you wise author to the one and only world.

Rhyme Scheme

In the first 8 lines its: A B B A, A B B A. Then for the last 6 lines is: C D E, C D E.