Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love

1.       I do believe at love at first sight. You have to notice the person before you start the relationship. If you’re future spouse never noticed you, why would he/she become interested in getting to know you? However, love at first sight doesn’t necessarily mean that the two parties both feel the love. In some cases only one feels the love at first sight, but they fight to make themselves be noticed and to make the other fall in love with them.
2.       I do think there is a difference between being “in love” and loving someone. You can love your mother or your brother, but you are not in love with them. I love my dog, but I am not in love with him.
3.       I can love or be in love with someone who doesn’t love me back because if you truly love someone, you have to fight for them and believe that you will get your chance. If people gave up with loving and being in love, there would be a lot more lonely people in the world.
4.       Some couples who are married had to get married because of reasons other than being in love. However, there are many people who are married because they truly want to spend the rest of their life together and are willing to do whatever to protect the other spouse.
5.        
a.       Love is blind: I believe that love is blind. Love is spontaneous and unexpected. It’s something like no other, but you can’t chose who you fall in love with. Sure, you can try your hardest to be in love with someone, but if you really have to try, it’s not in the cards.
b.      Opposites attract: I think opposites do attract, although it might not be the best match. Almost no one wants to date themselves, they want someone knew and someone who will show them new things. Although opposites can be potentially dangerous, it’s more fun to be with someone who will surprise you.
c.       Love conquers all: This is true because true love can overcome any obstacle in life. Love can conquer fear, sadness, and loneliness.
d.      The course of true love never did run smooth: This is completely true. You can’t tell if you’re truly in love with someone if you haven’t gone through a rough patch. If everything was perfect, you wouldn’t know each other’s flaws and weaknesses, which can determine if you really love them enough to stick through it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Power of One Midterm Response

In The Power of One, written by Bryce Courtenay, Peekay is more influenced by the negative people and experiences in his life rather than the positive ones. If Peekay hadn’t experienced the horrible boarding school and the Judge when he was just a young kid, he might not have had the same determination and strength as he did. Although all the experiences were followed by a positive one, the negative experience remained in his memory throughout his life. “In my mind, although I’m certain at the time I would not have been able to articulate the idea, the mines represented a return to the fear of that first boarding school. But this time it was I who would win. The grizzly I worked would be the Judge, but this time I would not be broken.” (495) The terrible experience at the first boarding school scarred him for life, but also made him who he was; a strong, independent guy. If Peekay’s life was all positive and happy, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to be a boxer, nor would he have the high threshold of pain to stand being punched. In a way, the negative people and experiences helped Peekay become a kind and fair person towards others. He knew how it felt to be the bullied or to sorrow, so he wouldn’t judge or discriminate. Peekay knows both the good and the bad, but the bad sculpts him more than the good does.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 24 Reading Journal

1.       Ch. 24 page 493-513
2.       In this chapter, Peekay decides to continue being a grizzly man. However, one night he has a dream, which frightens him, but later actually saves his life because he recognized that there was a running fuse. After he continues to work, there had been an accident, where he was crushed by the grizzly and rocks. However, he still manages to live, although his friend had died to save him. Later, Peekay was trying to raise money in the bar, when his diamond driller, Botha, who actually was the Judge, started attacking Peekay. Peekay finally gets his revenge on the Judge, and ultimately wins the fight and leaves a mark so the Judge will always remember how cruel and nasty he was to Peekay.
3.       A. Peekay
B. “I was back on track, and all would be forgiven. The prodigal son had returned.” (507)
C. Smart
     Talented
      Good boxer
     Strong
     Dedicated
     Determined
     Brave
     Independent
D. Peekay was the main character in the novel. It started when he was young, na├»ve, and scared at his boarding school, which shaped him into everything he became. Without the Judge and other bullies, he might not have had the passion and anger to box, and if he didn’t box who knows where or what he might have ended up. Peekay evolved into an intelligent and determined person by all the troubles he had to face. He exemplifies the power of one and the hope of the people, or the Tadpole Angel.
4.  “The year of despair I had spent as a five-year-old in the hands of the Judge had tainted everything I had subsequently done. My childlike notion of camouflage to avoid being emotionally besieged had persisted. In my mind, although I’m certain at the time I would not have been able to articulate the idea, the mines represented a return to the fear of that first boarding school. But this time it was I who would win.” (495) This quote is significant because it shows how much the boarding school effected Peekay. The Judge almost molded Peekay’s whole life. When he was younger, he was afraid to be himself, so he hid behind a camouflage. But when he grew older, he faced the very thing he was scared of, the Judge. The Judge had taught him how to endure pain, which led him to pursue boxing. So Peekay knew he could defeat the big, he has done it before, although this time it would be more personal. Peekay had never lost a fight, and the fight against the Judge, especially, he would not lose.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 22 Reading Journal

1.       Chapter 22, page 435-457
2.       In this chapter, it starts off with the death of Doc, and Peekay felt that Doc had cheated his death, that Doc had made death happen than to have it happen to him.  Peekay knew that Doc went back to the crystal cave for his death, so Peekay travelled back to visit the cave. Outside the cave, he found a note from Doc, saying his goodbyes, and Doc had encrypted a song of Africa. After the funeral, Peekay goes back to school, and continues to train with Solly, however, black men, including Gideon Mandoma, also train with him as well. Peekay then decided to open a school where Africans can learn to read, write, and do math. Although it was a great success, the police came with threats, and Peekay knew he had to shut down the school.
3.       A. Gideon Mandoma
B. “‘I do not come from a nation of slaves, but I have been made a slave. I come from a people who are brave men, but I am made to weep. I, who am to become a chief, have become what no man ought to be, a man without rights and without a future…I have killed a lion and sat on the mat of the high chief, but I have been given my place. That place is not a seat at the white man’s table, and that place is not a voice in the white man’s indaba.’” (447)
C. Athletic
    Talented
    Determined
    Kind
    Strong-willed
D. Gideon Mandoma had a big role in the novel. He was Nanny’s son, who she had to abandon to take care of Peekay. Nanny was Peekay’s most favorite person, whom he loved. They both share that feeling toward her. He was deprived of his mother till she was fired, and Mandoma could finally have his mother back. He was also considered to be the next chief, and he fought against Peekay to see if that was his fate. Although Mandoma had lost to Peekay, there were no hard feelings. Then, when he started training with Peekay, he was Peekay’s inspiration to open up a school for Africans. Although Gideon Mandoma has only been in Peekay’s life shortly, he had influenced Peekay a lot.
4. “‘Racism does not diminish with brains. It’s a disease, a sickness. It may incubate in ignorance, but it doesn’t necessarily disappear with the gaining of wisdom!’” (456) This is an important quote because it shows how Peekay feels about racism. He does not like it; however, he does not know how to change it. He is aware enough to see that even if an African was smart, it wouldn’t change how the African would be treated because people wouldn’t be able to get past the skin color. Peekay acknowledges that the helping with the African’s education wouldn’t make their skin color different, or how people see them. Although Peekay does not want to close the school, he knew that the school wasn’t going to last forever, because unfortunately the racism was too powerful.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ch. 19 Journal Response

1.       Ch. 19 pages 386-397
2.       In this chapter, Peekay and Doc go off to explore Africa. After a night of camping, the next day they found a huge cave. Peekay found that how Doc was acting was unusual. Doc wasn’t being careful about the equipment and being all secretive. Peekay also comes to realize that Doc could die, and as the trip started to end, he noticed how old Doc has become.
3.       A.  Doc
B. “Doc didn’t like to be wrong about his observations, which he would have permitted himself to voice only after a great deal of careful consideration.” (391)
C.   1.  Smart
       2.  Witty
       3.  Adventurous
       4.  Kind
       5.   Musical
       6.   Talented
                        7.  Leader
  
                D. Doc is one of Peekay’s most important mentors and a really close friend to Peekay. He teaches Peekay many new things about life and music. Their relationship is almost like father and son. They care about each other so much; Peekay even helped Doc get out of jail.
       4. In chapter 19, Doc had said to Peekay, “The music of Africa is in the soul, and its instruments are the voices of its people… ‘Requiem for Geel Piet’ is not my music, it is the music of the People.” (388) This quote stood out to me because it exemplifies how Doc is his own person. He could have easily said rude things about Africans and their music, but he is smart and knows the truth. He isn’t racist towards them and he respects their musical talents. Seeing as Doc is a music professor, he knows good music. He acknowledges that the African music is good, and that it is hard to play. Doc respects their way of music and culture. He doesn’t try to do what they do because he it is not his place and he knows better than to take away someone’s culture from them.

Monday, February 28, 2011

THe Power of One Ch. 17 Reading Journal

1.       Chapter 17, page 349-378
2.       In chapter 17, Peekay has now grown and is fighting as a bantamweight, and is successfully winning his matches, with crowds growing more and more as the season goes on. He and Morrie had been making a lot of money off of bets and the Boarder’s Bank. Peekay also is going through puberty, which he finds difficult, and he feels like he is sinning every day and he then realizes how much other people had shaped him. Later, Peekay and Morrie were both candidates for Singe ‘n’ Burn’s “Sinjun’s People”, which was a great honor. Of course, Peekay and Morrie had made a place for bets for this occasion. Although Peekay was doubtful that neither Morrie nor he would be accepted, both were accepted and became part of Sinjun’s People.
3.      
a.       Morrie Levy
b.      “Hitler murdered six million Jews. He had to round them up and rail them to the death camps, and the world wept for man’s inhumanity to man. But underneath it all is the feeling that the Jews should have fought, should have resisted, should have died defending their kith and kin, should have died like men.” (366)
c.       1. Smart
2. Reliable friend
3. Businessman
4. Cunning
5. Strong-willed

d.      Morrie had a big influence on Peekay, changing who Peekay was. All of Peekay’s friends before were older and usually adults. The only kids somewhat his age he had known before were from the previous boarding school, and they were not kind. Morrie was Peekay’s first real friend who was his age. Peekay could confide in Morrie and know that he wouldn’t tell anyone, unless it would help Peekay as well.  Morrie has Peekay’s back and they help each other. They are peers and business partners.
4.       An important quote in this chapter is, “‘I’ve never been ashamed of who I am, except when I was made to feel that way the first time I went to boarding school. It’s-well, it’s just that I don’t want any Christian gentleman feeling sorry for me because my mum hasn’t two bob to her name.’” (377) This is important because it shows Peekay’s feelings. Although he narrates the novel, and we do hear his opinions throughout the story, we had never heard his feelings about who he is and how he feels about his past. This sums up who he has turned into and how he feels about the events he had to endure throughout his childhood.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 12-15 "This I Believe" Response

I reviewed the essay What Makes Me Feel Big written by J. Frank Dobie. In this essay, he talks about his personal beliefs. However, his beliefs are not just religious beliefs. He hits on almost every topic, such as honesty, and personal values. Dobie also writes about what he believes in beautiful. “For me, the beautiful resides in the physical, but it is spiritual…Not all hard truths are beautiful, but beauty is truth.” This essay makes him sound like someone who believes in many things, but knows who they truly are. He can believe in evolution and thinks it is fine to have faith, if you do not do so blindly. Dobie likes people thinking, having their own thought and mind. He doesn’t want to be part of the status-quo or just another blank face. He enjoys the simple things of life and his mind relentlessly thinks about freedom, justice, truth, and goodness.

J. Frank Dobie wrote, “However, I believe in questionings, doubtings, searchings, skepticism, and I discredit credulity or blind faith.” This can relate to The Power of One written by Bryce Courtenay. Peekay during Sunday school would always have some questions to ask the teacher, searching for more insight on a religion he was skeptical about in the first place. However, the teacher, Mrs. Kostler, who has blind faith, discouraged Peekay to ask any more questions. “We mustn’t question the wisdom of the Lord. When you are born again, you’ll understand his infinite wisdom and you won’t ask such silly questions.” (258) Peekay still hasn’t really understood the whole Christian “thing” and constantly doubts the Lord’s powers and his followers. Peekay throughout the novel had a constant questioning mind, always looking for more answers.  Dobie also wrote, “I make no pretense to having rid myself of all prejudices, but at times when I have discovered myself freed from certain prejudices, I have felt rare exhilaration.” Throughout the book, we have seen that Peekay isn’t as racist as most people then, but yet still isn’t completely freed of being a prejudice. The same day Mrs. Kostler told Peekay to stop asking questions, Peekay had asked if black was equal to white in heaven. After a hard explanation, Peekay goes and asks, “Will they still work for us?” (258) He still sees blacks as workers and below him, however he later says, “The photograph captured the exact moment when I understood with conviction that racism is a primary force of evil designed to destroy good men.” (265) So in this way Peekay is very similar to Dobie, he can be racist, but yet knows it’s wrong.

I can relate to this essay because I like to focus on the good things and what makes me happy, or “big”. In the essay, it states, “We actually believe in what we value most. Outside of the realms of carnality and property, which men appearing in public generally pretend not to notice, I believe in and draw nourishment from whatever makes me feel big.” I believe in my family and friends, which are the most important thing in my life. They make me smile and make me strive to be a better person. I believe in the people that give me hope when I am down. When people start believing in things that either don’t help them or isn’t something/someone they should believe in, they can become hurt, estranged, or dangerous. I make an effort to believe in the good things in life. If you keep looking at the negative, it won’t get any better. Why dwell in sorrow?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Power of One Chapter 7-9 Prompt

In the novel, The Power of One, written by Bryce Courtenay, the main character, Peekay, had lost his childhood from many traumatic experiences he had faced. The journey from his boarding school to his new home made him grow up fast. “The two days between the first tackies and the snuggly fitting ones I now wore were the beginning of the end of my small childhood, a bridge of time that would shape my life to come.” (122) Peekay had grown up and learned so much from the people he met on his journey and the new experiences he had never faced before. His journey opened up his eyes to a new perspective and culture. Peekay’s childhood ended very abruptly, “As I sat on the rock high on my hill, and as the sun began to set over the bushveld, I grew up. Just like that.” (142) Peekay let go of his lonely feelings and decided it was time to grow up and face the world.
Since Peekay’s childhood ended, his perspective on life and loneliness had changed. The boarding school he attended almost forced him to grow up and learn to adapt on his own. His adaptation in life was his camouflage, of not showing fear. “Of course, she did not know she was dealing with a veteran of interrogation and punishment since I had suddenly grown up on the hill, I was uncrackable. A real hard case.” (147) He became resistant to punishment or fear. Being grown up, he thought it meant not being scared, and it almost made his heart resistant and cold. Also, Peekay’s perspective of loneliness had changed quite a bit. “The loneliness birds had flown away and I had grown up and made a new friend called Doc and had learned several new things.” (148) Peekay was done dwelling on the past and the people from the past, and wanted to focus on the people who he was with and who he had fun with. Peekay, being mature and all, decided to forget the past and have fun with the present, and even if there will be punishments, he won’t be afraid.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Power of One Ch. 4-6

In The Power of One, written by Bryce Courtenay, Peekay’s allies on his journey are Hoppie and Henry Crown. Henry Crown was a shoe seller, and gave Peekay the name Peekay. “Peekay! Ja, that is a nice name for a brave person who is traveling by himself to the lowveld to meet his granpa.” (58) Henry was nice to Peekay, and also gave him multiple suckers for him to enjoy. He helped Peekay find his shoes, although they did not fit, and gave him more confidence.  Hoppie became Peekay’s good friend while they were travelling together and learning about boxing. “While my faith and my love were invested in my beloved friend, I’d been around long enough to know the realities of big versus small. Big, it seemed to me, always finished on top, and my heart was filled with fear for my newfound friend.” (90) Peekay finally found a friend, and cared enough about him to worry about him. Also, Hoppie was against Hitler and his actions. “Hitler is a bad, bad man and we’ve got to go and fight him so you can grow up and be welter-weight champion of the world.” (86) Not only did Hoppie agree that Hitler was a bad man, but also, Hoppie had faith in Peekay, which little have before. Also, Hoppie gave Peekay a dream and knowledge of becoming a boxer. “‘I know,’ I said excitedly, ‘you keep it coming all night into the face until you close his eye, then he tries to defend against what he can’t see and in goes the left, pow, pow, pow, until the other eye starts to close. Then whammo!’” (84) Peekay had found a new passion and he was excited to learn about boxing and how to fight bigger guys, like the Judge. Both of these men helped Peekay to grow as a person and to be more confident about him.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Room

The white door is almost closed besides the tiny sliver of pink light coming through. Entering, it looks like an explosion of pink and a tornado happened all at once the night previous. In every inch of this bedroom, there was something with the hue of pink. A queen bed stands beside the middle of the baby pink wall with hot pink sheer crumpled curtains hanging from it and lights swinging from one side of the bed frame to the other. The sheets that must have been made during some point of its lifetime were going three different directions. The pink and orange bubbled sheet was falling off the right side of the bed, the same patterned comforter pulled up over to cover the pink and orange polka dotted pillows, and the bright pink throw blanket with pom poms hanging from it is halfway off the left side of the bed. None of them touching.  At the edge of the bed, a huge stuffed blonde dog is hanging over the rail and a pink beaded necklace is wrapped around the cold metal.  On the other wall to the left is a big wooden Tansu with a huge red bow on the top. Next to that is a full length mirror where the outfit decision making happens. A huge quilt made by third graders hangs on the wall to remember the young days with the people who were thought of as friends. Skip a white double door leading to the bathroom and closet, both larger disasters than the bedroom, lays two desks. The desks mirrors the closet, random things strewn across the tables such as books, homework, CD’s, a variety of colors of nail polish, and picture frames. Obviously someone had been working hard, things are knocked over, drawers are open, the iPod speaker was still warm from blasting music that fit the mood, and everything is just completely unorganized. The now empty black cushioned chair is facing away from the desk.  Look to the right, there are glass doors leading to my yard and large windows, now looking out to darkness, but when the daylight hits, you see tall Eucalyptus trees, and a view of San Francisco. Everything was still. The basket of clothes on the floor and the shoes thrown across it just laid there waiting for someone to come back. The door opens slowly. The black nose pokes through the only sliver of openness the door had, and shoves the door to the side. He walks in. Jumps on the bed and curls up, trying to find a comfortable position. My Golden Retriever fades into resting slumber.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chapter 5 Response

In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates through Curley’s wife that one should not judge someone when they do not know them. Through the book, all of the male characters looked down upon Curley’s wife. “Well, I think Curley’s married… a tart.” (28) This was a mutual feeling throughout the ranch because they all have seen her flirt with all the boys, and not Curley. However, there is a reason she is all over the other guys and why she’s never with Curley. “Well, I wasn’t gonna stay no place where I couldn’t get nowhere or make something of myself, an’ where they stole you letters. I ast her if she stole it, too, an’ she says no. So I married Curley. Met him out to the Riverside Dance Palace that same night” (88) It wasn’t that Curley’s wife wanted to marry Curley, she didn’t love him or anything. “I don’ like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella.” (89) She only married him because she was, one, rejected by a Hollywood guy who worked in movies, and she didn’t like living with her mother. If any girl, married someone they didn’t want to or they didn’t like, of course they would have “the eye”. Curley’s wife was living an unfulfilling and unhappy life. She wanted more in life than what was given to her. “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes-all them nice clothes like they wear.” (89) Curley’s wife was overall disappointed in her life, her choices, and her husband. She was only trying to make herself happier, but others saw it as being “jail bait” or a “tart”. She was so misunderstood. No one truly knew who she was, she was a victim of others perceptions. Does someone deserve to die because others judge them without knowing them? No, it wasn’t fair for Curley’s wife to die. She didn’t mean harm.