Monday, January 12, 2009

What is Race, Anyway?

When we were given this theoretical artical about race to read, I wasn't quite sure what it would be about. However, after reading the first paragraph, I was completely appauled.

The first paragraph of my artical, "What is Race, Anyway?" talked about a principal calling for a meeting to gather the student body together. Once everyone was all together, he asked how many people were planning on going to prom with dates outside their race. Several students raised their hand. He then said that he was canceling the prom. He said, "How would that look at a prom, a bunch of mixed couples?" Then this poor who had a white dad and a black mom said, "Who am I supposed to take to the prom?" After readind this paragraph, I was just outraged! I couldn't believe that a prinicipal of all people would be this racist. He couldn't even accept the fact that people like other people who who they are inside not outside.

This artical then continued to talk about more scientific stuff. It was asking the question, "What if we divided the human race using catergories other than skin color?" "What if we used a different gene instead?" This proposes a great question. Why did we start using the color of people's skin to define who we are? It is just outrageous to me that after all these years we put so much emphasis on skin color. Why didn't we use hair color instead? Or the color of people's eyes? And who chose that skin color was going to be what classifies who we are?

The last few paragraphs in the artical talk about how to get rid of using race as a classification of who we are, because honestly it shouldn't matter. However, since we have already put so much emphasis on race we can't just erase it. As Carlos Fernandez states, "You can't erase differences between people by ignoring them." Now that we have made skin color a big deal we can't just pretend it never happened, but we can do everything in our power to stop it from ever happening again.

Monday, January 5, 2009


When I first started reading Caucasia, I just couldn't get into it. In the beginning it was just a little too slow moving for me. However, once I made it through the first few pages, I really got into the book and it's characters.

For starters, Birdie is such a spunky eight year old. Especially in the scene when the police try to accuse her dad of kidnapping her at the park. This random white couple assumed that since Birdie was white and her father was black that he had kidnapped her. After the whole fiasco happened, she walked passed the white couple that called the police and flipped them off. This just shows how spunky she truly is. Birdie is also a who desires attention. All she wants, is to get love from her father and please her sister, Cole. One example of this, is when she goes and spends the weekend at her fathers house. He plainly ignores her, while she listens to every word he says. Then she tries to add in her opinions at times and her random thoughts. She also tries to please Cole and act like Cole. I thought it was cute when she tried to start speaking in a slang like the kids at school.

The mom is another very interesting charater. She confuses me. I know that their is something missing in her head because she acts kind of crazy. I mean she plays games with her kids like I'm not your mother. Then the kids will cry and be truly scared of her. What kind of game is that? When I was younger I would play hide and seek with my mom or tag not I'm not your mother.

I like the fact that this book has interesting characters though. It keeps me interested in it and wondering what is going to happen next. Like I am wondering what is happening with the Redbone guy and why is he taking pictures of Birdie. To me he just seems like a creeper. Well, I just can't wait to see how this book ends!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Speaking in Tongues

It took me a while to read the story "Speaking in Tongues". At first it took me some time to actually get into the story. However, once I got into the story, I really started to enjoy it. I liked it because it was interesting and it kept my attention throughout the rest of the story. Although, it was confusing at times.

I first was confused because I wasn't quite sure what was meant when the author said speaking in tongues. I still am not quite sure what the author meant. (If you know, feel free to comment and clue me in.) The story said things like, "You could only speak in tongues when all worldly matters were off your mind." I am just not sure what is meant by this or what the author is trying to get across to us.

One thing I thought was strange, was Tia's church. In the middle of the church service, everyone would get up and dance. They just did things that I have never heard of any other church doing. I know that in my church no one gets up and dances in the aisles. Another thing that I thought was strange, was how when Tia laughed in church class it was a crime. She later got put into a closet and practically choked by her church class teacher. This is the strangest chruch I have ever heard of.

However, this story became really interesting when Tia ran away. This is when I really got into the story. I new that something terrible was going to happen to her right when she met Dezi. I could tell that he was a creeper. Especially when he insisted that she go to his apartment and that she stay with him. I know that she really didn't know much better but still she should have used some common sense. I had a feeling when I was reading this that she was going to get d and then before I knew it she practically did. The one thing that I thought was really neat was how Marie just helped Tia out of the goodness of her heart. She knew that Tia would never be able to give her the money back or help her out later in life, but Marie helped her anyway.

All in all, I thought this was one of the best stories we have read so far. I really got into the characters and I really felt bad for the bad stituation that Tia was in. She honestly had no place to go. She had trouble living with her grandma and she really had no mom or dad. Poor .

Monday, December 8, 2008

War Letters

At first, I had a lot of trouble finding war letters. I could not find a single one that I liked or that seemed to be real. Then I looked up the Gulf War. I found a lot of interesting stuff. I really got into finding more letters and reading about what the soldiers had to say.

I did three letters from three different wars: the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and World War I. I really enjoyed all of the letters, but my favorite one was the letter from the Gulf War. This was a letter sent by Major General Paul E. Funk to his soldiers. I liked this letter a lot because he was just telling his soldiers how proud he was of them and their courage in the war. One of my favorite lines he wrote was, "Spearhead soldiers fought with heart, tenacity and fearlessness of a Montana grizzly bear, the guts of an Army mule and the compassion of Bambi's mother." Then he goes into further detail about how compassionate his soldier really were to the Iraqi prisoners of war. He was saying that his soldiers were capturing prisoners who were very hungry and thirsty. However, his own soldiers gave the prisoners their own rations and water which would mean that his soldiers would have to be short on food and water themselves. This was extremely surprising to me. I just couldn't believe how our soldiers were so giving to the enemy. I thought this was an amazing thing that these soldiers did. It also states that the soldiers did all of this knowing that the Republican Guard would never have treated them so well. They would have most likely been killed on the spot. Then the general continues to go on about other things he is proud of his soldiers for and so on.

While this was my favorite letter, I still did like the other two letters I read too. I think that I liked reading these letters so much because when my cousin went to the war in Iraq, my entire family would write him letters and send him care packages. So this just reminded me of doing that and now being so grateful that he is home safe.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Thoughts on Slaughter-House Five Thus Far

Slaughter-House Five is quite different than I originally thought it would be like. I figured it would be just another one of those strange, boring books that we are forced to read. However, I was wrong. I really liked how in chapter one Vonnegut kind of set the scene in his life. He gave us a little background information on him and a little look inside of his personality. In my point of view, Vonnegut seems like a pretty cool guy. He is quite random at times and yet it makes the book more interesting. I also like when he talks about how he is a drunk dialer. He says that when he gets drunk, he tends to grab the phone and call people, like his old friends, while his wife is upstairs. Strange man. Then when he called his friend, O'Hare, I thought it was sweet of O'Hare to invite Vonnegut over to talk about war. It was funny that O'Hare's wife, Mary, was upset at Vonnegut right from the start. Although, I did think that it was very cute that Vonnegut told Mary that he would dedicate his book to her and that he would make war sounds awful for the young ones.

I liked the second paragraph just as much as the first. However, before I started to read the second paragraph, I had to go and look in the back of the book to see if the last line was exactly what Vonnegut said it would be. And it was. Then I went back and read the second paragraph. After reading it, I felt really bad for Billy Pilgrim. He had so many unfortunate events happen in his life. For one, he survived a plane crash, but while he was recovering in the hospital, his wife dies of carbon monoxide poisoning. What are the chances? Secondly, he has to go to war. Not only is it unfortunate for him to go to war, but while he is there it is winter and he has thin-ripped clothing, broken shoes, and no hat or gloves. Then while he is there, he gets beat up by his own kind while the Germans watch. How sad. One thing that is pretty cool in this chapter is the idea of being unstuck in time. Like when you are , you aren't really it is just a bad moment in time for you. Whenever you want, you can go and visit other moments in time. I thought that this was pretty neat.

After reading both chapter one and two, I decided that I like the direction this book is going. It sounds like it is going to be pretty interesting and make a good story, with some parts true and some parts false. We don't know which is which. That's the fun part!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Jimi Hendrix Story

As I was reading the story "Because My Father Always Said He Was The Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' At Woodstock," (wow that's a long title), I really learned to like the writing style of Sherman Alexie. When we read his other short story, "Every Little Hurricane," I became very interested in his unique style. Although he always seems to add in some details that are a little out of the ordinary. For example in this last story we read of his, he talked about the little boy Victor falling asleep to the sounds of his parents making love. He said that he enjoyed listening to that which to me is very strange. I was also surprised at how open his family was. His mom would just upright tell him that she loved when his father and her would make love while they were drunk. Then he would pass out on her while they were doing it. She even told Victor that this was how he was conceived.

Another interesting part in this story is the relationship between Victor and his father. They weren't like your average father and son who would obsess over things like sports. Instead Victor would help his father enjoy the Jimi Hendrix song when he would arrive home drunk. However, in the morning when his dad would wake up he would always feel bad. To make up for it, he would tell Victor all of these stories about his life. Then in the end of the book I felt really bad for Victor as he stood outside waiting for his father to return. It made my heart break. I wasn't sure how old Victor was, but I could just imagine a little boy with a broken heart yearning for his dad to come home.

This story was one of my favorites that we have read so far. I really like this author's writing style and his different views on normal. This was a good story!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

When reading the story, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, by Flannery O'Conner, I first thought that there was nothing to strange about Tom T. Shiftlet, but then as I continued to read the story I realized that he was some sort of creeper. He randomly showed up at Lucynell Crater's house and then, without even knowing him, she told him he could stay the night. Then he was telling her his life story. He told her about all the different jobs he had and what he was doing now. After that the old women asked him if he wanted to sleep in the car while he did some work around the house for her. However, when Mr. Shiftlet saw the car he became obsessed with it. He would always stare at it and admire it. I believe that the only reason Mr. Shiftlet came to the Crater's house was because he wanted to get money from them and he wanted to get the car from them.

The other thing that I thought was strange in this story was how the older Lucynell begged Mr. Shiftlet to marry her daughter. She kept saying throughout the story that she didn't want her daughter to leave her, but then she was trying to pawn her off to some strange man she barely knew. Then once they did finally get married, right after their wedding, they were going on their honeymoon. However, they didn't make it to their hotel. He left this poor deaf , who could only say the word bird, at a restaurant in the middle of no where with only a sandwich. Then he randomly picked up a hitch-hiker and started telling him how wonderful his mother is. That was also very strange to me.

All in all this whole story was quite strange.