Wednesday, May 30, 2007

English Final

The Final's Almost Here! Here is my paper for the final:

Everyone is an author, but many do not know it yet. Everyone has written something at some point: a journal, a letter, a narration of an event that happened to them recently. Writing is merely setting one’s point of view down on paper; the difference between a best-selling author and any old Joe on the street is training and practice in writing out one’s thoughts and ideas. In his article “Writing won’t kill you: Making your point is half the battle. Here’s how.”, Mr. Bill Marvel made several compelling and significant points about the writing process. He concluded that writing is a necessary skill for life, and that while writing one must articulate his ideas clearly and precisely.
Writing is an essential ability for all walks of life. As Mr. Marvel states, “Sooner or later everyone has to write something – a thank you note, a report on a PTA meeting, a complaint, an apology, a eulogy” (1). Everyone needs to know how to put cohesive thoughts together, and then transfer them all to paper. Writing skills separate the educated from the uneducated-- the cultured from the uncultured. People write essays to get scholarships, letters to get job interviews, love letters to get dates, journals to preserve memories, and signs to locate a missing pet. Writing is the bridge that connects us all, regardless of age, race, culture, religion, or location.
Writing also forges a common ground through the use of a mutual goal in all literature: all writers must learn to put their thoughts in words in a way that is clearly understood. For example, in Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, Hitler created labyrinths of words in his sentences; as a result, Hitler’s writing is hard to follow and understand. Thus, one of the most important aspects of writing is clarity and brevity of thought. As Ms. Diana Booher, a communications consultant, stated: “Clear writing is just clear thinking” (Marvel 2). So, when a person is learning to write, he is also learning to think more clearly.
There are many methods to writing comprehensibly—one method is to write an outline beforehand. Regina Montoya, CEO of the New America Alliance, says, “My writing’s better when I do an outline. [It] forces you to put down which points are the more important ones. The more thorough the outline, the clearer and more to the point your writing will be” (Marvel 2). Regardless of the method one uses, it is important to make sure that one’s writing is simply put so that any reader who picks it up can follow the line of thought.
Regardless of what a person is saying, people will not read it if they cannot understand it. They also will not read it if it lacks personality and enthusiasm. I deeply disagreed with Dr. Castilla’s point of view when she said, “I try to make my students understand their goal is to communicate, not to express themselves” (Marvel 3). Writing loses its essence and becomes boring and dull when the writer stops allowing his own personality to show and stops speaking in his own unique voice. Everyone must write at some point; whether writing a thank-you note or an autobiography, it is important to write clearly and with personality.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brain Damage

Ok, I no longer doubt that something is wrong with my poor little strange black and white kitty. Today she proved further weird-ness than I've ever seen from her before. I was sitting on the toilet, and she walked right up to the toilet paper holder, and took a giant bite out of the roll of toilet paper. Then, this evening, I was sitting in the living room with my kitties watching tv. Then, I heard a little crunch crunch crunch coming from Trinket's side of the room. I looked over to see what was going on, and saw Trinket with a death grip on a wooden pencil, chewing the end with the lead. I ran over and got it away from her. Maybe she just needs more fiber in her diet. Otherwise maybe I should inspect the ingredient list on her cat food for lead.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Monica's Story

Okay, one of the little girls that I work with wrote a short story today (it was Book Club day, so we read books for about an hour, and then the kids wrote their own stories). The prompt was: Once upon a time, there was a little girl named ________. One day she decided to go for a walk. While she was out walking, she saw something amazing!

This is how "Monica" ended the story:
What she saw was a kittin. The kittin came up and looked at the girl, and liked her. The girl took the kittin home and adopted it. The girl gave the kittin a bath, cut its toenails, and painted them pink. Then the girl gave the kittin some food. The kittin was hungry. The girl named the kittin Cutie. The kittin was black and white and it was a girl kittin. They lived happily ever after. The girl was married and her husband's name was David. The end.

I think there might just be a little subconscious symbolism there- what do you think?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Okay, this is the reason I love education- it gives me great subject matter for later rants. plus cause for deeper thought and introspection. Today in my composition class, we discussed racism, and read a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. called "The American Dream". It was about how he wanted Americans to forget about race and become a brotherhood of Americans, and how the value of a person is based on the fact that they were created by God, and not on how much money they have, or how much pigment is in their skin. I agree. What I don't agree with is the kid in the last row who said that his boss is racist because he asked him not to come to work with dredlocks, and in gang clothing. What I don't agree with is the Mexican kid who says that there is a white conspiracy to keep the other races down. What I don't agree with is the kid who says that I'm a racist because I kicked them out of the center (at my work) for cussing and fighting. It's not my problem that they are black and I am white. I didn't choose to be born the color I am, and my parent's financial situation is also not my fault nor to my credit (depending on whether their situation is good or bad).

There is a Mexican kid in my class who says that white people make all the rules in society because they are white and it is written in their DNA it conquer and control other races. What a dum-dum. White people don't make the rules of society. Rich people do. You know why? Because they control the resources of the country- they have something that everyone else wants. Isn't that the way it usually works? The kid with the best toys decides under what conditions the other kids get to play with them. I'm not saying it's right- that's just how it is. It's a little thing called truth. Poor people will never set the agenda of the country because they have no leverage.

Now, if I had my way, I would make it so that everyone was treated with dignity regardless of life circumstances. I would make the rule that anyone who was hungry would get food, everyone who was cold would get some clothing, and everyone who was homeless could have a place to live. All of that is pretty easy to accomplish- it already exists. There are homeless shelters, church pantries, and thrift stores. What is hard to accomplish is the next part- Love and Respect. I would make it so that white people could speak the truth and no one would call them a racist. So that men could be manly without being called chauvinists. So that women could be women without being accused of being anti-feminist. So that black people could speak the truth without being accused of being too white, or any other variety of insult. Sometimes I wonder why people can't just be who they are without everyone else having an opinion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Too Funny

Ok, this was too funny to pass up. Tonight, David and I were sitting in the computer room, and while we were sitting there, Gizmo decided that David was in her spot. So, she decided to fix the problem by jumping up into the chair and trying to push him off. She ended up just getting wedged in between David's back and the back of the chair. Here's a picture:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Self Expression

Another paper I wrote for my English class. I am so proud of myself!

Self Expression

When I write, I feel joy in the written word. Writing is a beautiful catharsis of the soul; it is my moment to work out my feelings and share them with the world. Nothing compares to the experience of feeling a feeling, gestating the idea in the depths of my mind, then displaying it on paper in a verbal painting. I can display my deepest fears and highest hopes with the chiaroscuro of language. I am never more myself than when I am putting my personality into words and writing. In the beginning, God created the universe by speaking, and there is a deep meaning to that. Language is a very powerful thing- it makes the difference between success and tragedy. When I use language to tell of myself, I bolster my character and personality. On the flip side, if I fail to share myself with others through written or verbal communication, who I am becomes dimmer and begins to fade into the grayness of the unknown. When I write, I am declaring myself to the world.
I love to write creatively. My favorite thing to write is either a fictional short story or a poem. When I spend time writing, it gives me a chance to work out how I feel; I can brood and cogitate and sort out the feelings that get bottled up and placed on a shelf until a more “appropriate” time. After they have cocooned themselves in the attic of my heart, and hibernated for awhile, I am ready to break them out and show the magnificent butterfly within. On the other hand, because I feel so deeply about writing and regard so highly my brooding time beforehand, forced writing is torturous. I can be tremendously creative in finding alternate activities or necessary errands when I have to write something and feel uninspired. My strengths quite often become my weaknesses. I have always been the sort of person who says little until I have something to say, then comes out with something well thought out, either funny or serious. I rarely spoke as a younger child, but when I did you could bet on the fact that I would be determined and stubborn about my statement or opinion. I guess that translates into my above-mentioned struggle between writing spurts and procrastination.
So, reaching back to the original prompt, what are my true feelings about writing? When I write, I feel happy. When I write, I feel sad. When I write, I feel anxious. When I write, sometimes I feel bored. When I write, I feel angry. When I write, I feel hopeful. When I write, I feel. Period.

The Cold, Hard Truth

This is one of the papers I wrote recently for my English class. Enjoy!

The Cold, Hard, Truth

I used to believe that when I was an adult, I would have all the answers. Now I believe that no one ever knows all the answers. I used to believe that one day I would arrive at adulthood, and feel all grown up. Now I believe that for the rest of my life, I will still feel like a little girl inside, and that’s how I want it to stay. I used to believe that when I got married my problems would be solved. I know now that marriage only creates even more problems- but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I used to believe that adults could do whatever they wanted, and couldn’t wait to be one. Now I believe that children are really the ones that can do whatever they want, and sometimes I wish I could still be one. I used to believe that if only (fill in blank here) would happen, then I would be happy. I have learned that no matter what I get or achieve, or who I am friends with, I will not be happy unless I can be happy right now, in this moment, because it is my choice, and not a circumstance.
I am only 23 years old, and yet I have already learned much in this life. I have learned that it is possible to either be 23 years old, or to live the first year 23 times. I have learned that in order to learn from life, I have to be open and aware. I have learned that the only peace I will ever experience will be the peace I give myself. I have learned that I am responsible for my own problems, and that most of my problems I have created for myself. I have learned that I am not the center of the universe- that the majority of the time the way people act towards me is a product of their own issues, and their own wounds that they are struggling to heal and overcome. I have learned that I am responsible for how I feel about things, and that I am not responsible for how others feel about things, and because I learned that I am free. I am free to be me, to do what I want, to feel how I feel, and do what I need to do, and I no longer have to carry the burden of controlling the universe. I have learned that in order to love someone, you have to accept their rejection. I have learned that the more I try to be in control, the more of a slave I am to others. I have learned that there is always a choice, and for every choice there is a consequence, be it good or bad. And most of all, I have learned to never attempt to gain a free five hundred dollar gift card from anyone online. It costs too much in time, money, and mental health, and it’s doubtful that you will ever see the gift card.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Hearty Weekend

Okay, it has been a while since I blogged, but for good reason. My dad is in the hospital, and is facing a quadruple bypass. His surgery is scheduled for Friday. I have to admit, I have been somewhat of an emotional wreck lately. The other day I called him before he went in for surgery (to see if they could fix it with a couple of stints), and when I hung up I cried for about an hour straight. My cats started freaking out. Gizmo ducked for cover- the only other times she has heard me cry have been when she scratched me, so she was expecting David to come chasing after her and throw her in her room any moment. She looked highly concerned that no repercussions were being wreaked upon her yet. Trinket just looked confused. She didn't really know what was going on, but let me hold her for a couple of minutes when I picked her up without squirming and moaning. Right now I am in the hospital room with my dad. My mom is doing a crossword puzzle, so consequently the whole room is doing a crossword puzzle. This is the way it goes: she reads a clue and then the argument ensues over what the right answer might be.

Today was also sort of a rough day at work. I only worked from 3-6, but by five o'clock, I was practically in tears. They were being so bad. I can't describe just how bad it was, but let me try. Within the first thirty minutes I sent four kids home for wresting in the computer lab. They were all intent on yelling, cursing, hitting, kicking, and running around, acting like they had never been inside a building before in their lives. Maybe it was because I took a long weekend. Most of the kids I hadn't seen since last Thursday or Friday. Anyway, I was in no mood to deal with it today. At 5:05 I sent every last one of their little ghetto-thug behinds home. As Christian (a 10-year-old boy I work with) says :"They need to get them some home-learnin'!"

My sister Carrie and her new husband Bob are back home from their honeymoon now. I am very glad, too. Mostly I am glad that the hubbub of wedding preparedness is over, and things are settling back down into normalcy again.

Ok, that's all I got for now. Back to the crossword puzzle.