May 5, 2005

Tiffany 2.0 Insanity 1.5

I don't know how many others out there feel like this, but personally I am glad this semester is over. This has been one of the most trying semesters of my life. This second half of the semester has included many works of many different backgrounds. We've studied how two sisters interact with one another and how a young girl is growing up. We've looked to see how being lonely can drive you crazy, how two words can drive a reader crazy, and how very important foreshadowing is. We have also seen little miracles happen, the search for love, how love turns poorly, and just how we get our meat. And finally we have seen people want to live and sadly pass on to the next life.

I've done for this semester an interesting look at how the internet can help people out for their many projects, and even bring creepy views of the future as well. I have used some help from my peers in creating ideas that have come from class and that I agreed with highly. I have also had some amazing discussion on my blog this semester like the constant use of the same words and about how much people bring things upon themselves.

I have also enjoyed getting know those on the blogs such as Scott, John, and Moira.

It's been a long semester and I know I am looking forward to the summer.

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The struggle

For cancer patients it is always questioned by others whether the patient wants to live or not to live. Most do want to live and that is the case for Mrs. Wilson of Thom Jones' "I Want to Live!" The woman is told that she has cancer and that she can hold it off through Chemo, which she takes. This is sign number one that she wants to live. I don't know how many of you have watched someone go through this sort of thing but it is not pretty to watch. I've stood by the sidelines and watched as a person does go through it and that woman is my hero. Anyone that can do what Mrs. Wilson did, fight until the end, is a hero in my eyes. Sign number two that a person wants to live is their resolve to partake in the aforementioned fight. To go to the doctor's every week sometimes twice a week is not easy.

The thing that interests me the most is how Jones draws out certain words like cancer writing it "can...cer" or passages like "She...came to...went out, came back again...went out." He has a very choppy writing style that draws the reader to feel what Mrs. Wilson is feeling in the constant struggle for her life.

This was another story that pulls on heart strings and one that I know will always be close to my heart.

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How could you?

How could you just send out children into the cold without a care in the world to their safety? Most people, let alone the mother's of children, could not, but the stepmother in Elizabeth Bishop's "The Farmer's Children" did. During class there was a lot of discussion about how horrible the two little boys' parents were and I agree. If the father didn't like to drink then he would have been home to send the boys with an extra blanket and if the stepmother would have cared just a little bit more she would have realized that the boys should not have been sent out to that barn in the first place. It amazes me as to how much these two people showed such little care for these boys. I don't think that I could ever send a child let alone my own child outside on a night like that. This story is one that really tugs at the heartstrings of humanity and I hope that we can all learn something from this.

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Grusome, I think not

Annie Proloux's "The Half-Skinned Steer" brings about the unique picture of what happens on a ranch when the butchering comes about. I can remember when our class went over this story and many people were saying how they couldn't believe that people were going through this type of thing and how skinning the steer really grossed them out. However as Sue puts it: "It's real life, it's what goes on at a ranch, especially during that time, everyone butchered their own animals." It makes me think how my classmates thought they were getting the meat in packages at a grocery store.

I come from a family that hunts, and it is a fact of nature that what you kill you eat and in order to eat what you kill it needs to be cut. I know it sounds gross but when an animal of any kind is being butchered you need to cut out all of the organs and most of the bones. It's a fact of life people. Most of us eat meat in order to get our protein and this story just shows how one family got theirs.

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It's a miracle!

Miracle. That is one word that people look at with such hope. I don't know how anyone can deny that it is a word that does inspire hope in the rest of the world. It was the miracle of a little boy in Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride that helped four African-American soldiers in WWII to survive the odds. There was a lot of discussion on the day this book was presented that the book was not one that was very well written and that it was basically not a very good book. I just don't think that is true. There is much that one can learn from this novel and it is told in a very simplistic way. Throughout the novel the characters go from four men with a true dislike for one another to banding together to save this one little boy. There is something in that. It shows how people can one day do what needs to be done to help one another. The novel give me hope and shows that miracles can come in small packages.

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May 4, 2005

A Secret Life

It is strange some of the things that bring us together with others in our lives. For Lily of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, bees brought her to the family that she never had in the Calendar sisters. With these women, Lily is able to find the maternal nurturing that she has been lacking since her mother died and is able to grow into the young lady that all knew she could turn into in the end. We are also able to look at how she is finally free to interact with other children her age and how she is able to begin entering adolescents.

Through the passages that Lily shares with Zach we are able to see the awkwardness that a young girl goes through when she is dealing with crushes. In one such passage Zach and Lily share a moment in which they both proclaim how much they like each other but because of their skin differences Zach says:

Lily, I like you better than any girl I've ever known, but you have to understand, there are people who would kill boys like me for even looking at girls like you.

It is interesting to see the changes that go through this young girl. Throughout the story she grows and, as a wise person once said to me, it's hard to believe this is being written from a 14 year old's perspective. However the stage that Lily is going through is a stage that all girls and boys go through and it is interesting to see how one girl deals with the changes.

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Two Worlds - One Family

Say you have a family in which there are two girls or two boys. Did it ever make you wonder if they were anything alike or if they were polar opposites? I can tell you that it is not as rare as it would seem. In Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire we are thrown into a story where two sisters are just that. They are so different that they seem to come from two different families.

Let's start off by going oldest to youngest shall we?

Blanche Dubois is a girl who needs some help. She grew up taking care of her parents and has even had the unfortunate responsibility to take care of her family's failing plantation. Also, she is dealing with the fact that her husband went and killed himself. And we were wondering why she went insane. Though she has had all of this responsibility on her shoulders she manages to pull through but she does need to get away from her present surroundings and go to her younger sister for help. She wants to give up the responsibility part of her life and turn it over Stella.

Stella Kowlaski is a free spirt that has left her past behind her. Without a want or a care, Stella is married to Stanley Kowlaski who, like Stella is also a free spirt. Moving away from the responsibility that her sister has undertaken, Stella ellaborates upon the life that she and her husband have made for each other whenever she writes to her sister. But when her life is meshed with Blanche's one can see the difference between the two immediately. For instance, Blanche puts much stock behind her appearance where Stella does not.

One can see that these two characters care a great deal for one another, however age and differences will always divide a siblings. The difference here is that Stella is much more down to earth than her sister and Blanche has just given up on life to the point that she loses her mind.

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): A Streetcar Named Desire

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The Best Girlfriend You Never Had

This short story written by Pam Houston is one that shows how a girl can continue searching for love and still not find it. I myself can sympathize with this character. I am also in a search for love as are all guys and gals whether or not they admit it. As Moira states "Is Lucy so different from the rest of us?" She also quotes a very important passage in the story that makes us all think about what waits for us just around the corner. We all search for that one true love in our lives and Lucy just gives us insight into how her dating life has gone. Life usually isn't easy, and searching for love is one of the hardest things that we have to do in our day to day lives until that special someone is found. On that day we become complete. I am one that believes that there is one special someone out there for us, and until he or she is found, we continue to search like Lucy searches.

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Houston, ''The Best Girlfriend You Never Had''

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