Archive for the ‘School-related’ Category

Why I Chose My Outside Reading Book…

The following is a blog post related to Q2 outside reading.

Book Name = Anansi Boys
Author = Neil Gaiman
Year Published = May 2006

Copyright = ©2005 by Neil Gaiman


Evidence it’s challenging = Well… It’s thick (moderately)… It’s supposed to be a great book, and the last book I read from Neil Gaiman was incredible, but long. I have read most of Neverwhere (also by Neil, completely different book, though), and have found it to be one of those books that’s hard to put down. It has smaller print because it’s paper back, and the actual page length is 404 pages.

Why did you choose this book? I chose this book because I have enjoyed a couple of Neil Gaiman’s other books. After this book, I plan to read Stardust (now a movie), finish reading Neverwhere (also going to be a movie), and Good Omens, a book that is a comedy of the Apocalypse. I have read two other books by Neil, Coraline (a long time ago), and most of Neverwhere (we started school outside reading before I could finish the 404 page book).

The Sea Inside ..: Post 3 :.. Camera Angles / Notes

One of the most notable scenes was he first time Ramon went “flying” out of the window. There were two or three main shot types used.  When you saw Ramon at the end of the hallway, gearing up to run, he was at a medium shot. They then went from his point of view, running with some slight bounciness as if you were seeing that through him. As Ramon goes flying out the window, you are still seeing his POV until he pulls up from the ground, where you are still seeing from his POV, but the shot becomes an extreme long shot as you are able to see the entire lands around him from the height. This shot created a very real sense of what was around him that he was missing and could only imagine. The thing is that he wanted to do that. He wanted to just get up and flyaway; but he couldn’t and he knew it.

Diving Bell vs. The Sea Inside ..:at a glance:..

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly had many similarities and differences with The Sea Inside. Both memoirs are about quadriplegics. Jean-Dominique Bauby is a French writer for Elle, and naturally he goes about doing the one thing that he can do sitting there (with someone), write. Ramon Sampedro, a spanish man, lives in a similar way. Ramon Sampedro can’t walk or move any limbs, but he can talk and use his neck/ mouth. What does he do to help pass the time he is “tortured” by staying alive? He writes poems. He never realized that they could be made into a book until the lawyer (who’s name I don’t remember–how ironic…) told him how beautiful they were. Jean-Dominique wants to live life the way he used to, but he understands that it will never happen like that. That’s why he accepts the help Ramon refuses. Ramon doesn’t want to live in a lie. He doesn’t want to try to grasp his old life that he will never be able to relive. Ramon is in a battle for the right to die. He spent 30 years trapped, asking to be permitted to die, until finally he was able to have enough people help him die. These men are very alike in their condition, but the more able Ramon wants to die, and the less able Bauby wants to live. Yes, Bauby would have preferred to die originally, but after he learned to do some things and began writing he was in a more neutral state. In my opinion, Ramon’s memoir is more powerful. Ramon really talks about what it is like when you don’t have anything to look foreword to or you don’t want to have any help. Ramon’s death was not one made to be a statement, but one of his choice that happened to make a statement after it happened.

Final Week, Post (Final Post, Essay)

Mr. Hatten: I can not do all of the required formating on my blog because I don’t remember all of the HTML to do it. If you want a version of this in .doc format, email me or leave a comment.

Matt Norris
Mr. Hatten
English 10
11 October 2007

In Homer Hickam’s memoir, October Sky, there is a powerful message telling us to keep trying. Throughout the entire memoir Homer fills the book with facts about Coalwood, what it was like to constantly be under coal dust, and live in a society that is based off working in a mine you don’t want to touch. In this memoir, Homer conveys his message through detailed memories, people, and tone.
Homer brings his message of perseverance through detailed memories. Homer talks about the coal mine from an inside view. Homer had always lived in Coalwood, and he had always been accustomed to the coal dust: “Throughout my childhood, when I raised my blanket in the morning, I saw black, sparkling powder float off it.” (2) From my point of view, it would be discouraging to see the coal float off, just the same as how Homer’s socks were black by the end of the day. Imagine waking up and seeing your entire room covered in dust, so that if and when you move a a thing everything goes flying. Homer, through out the book, says that he doesn’t want to stay in Coalwood, but everyday he has to have that reminder. It’s kind of thing that gives Homer the will to continue fighting to build his rockets.
Another way that Homer shows his message of perseverance is through the people he talks about. One person stands out as a person which he takes forever to give up with: Dorothy Platt. Dorothy Platt is the one person in the world that Homer wants to date, and Dorothy Platt isn’t in the same spot. Homer is told over and over that she doesn’t care about him, but he does extra stuff for her anyway. “Are you still not over Dorothy? She doesn’t care at all about you!” (232)

The Final way that Homer shows his message of perseverance is through his tone. Homer always speaks positively in the book. After Ike dies, Homer has a hard time doing much for a while. It wasn’t until Ike’s wife was leaving town that he realized he had nothing to be feeling terrible for. The moment Homer realized he wasn’t responsible for Ike’s death things picked up…and three weeks later “Auk XXI was fired and my father, ignoring Doc’s orders, got up and went back to work.” (299) Homer had been in a bit of a slump, but the moment he didn’t feel guilty for “killing” a friend, things became optimistic once more.

In this memoir, Homer conveys his message through detailed memories, people, and tone. Homer remembers the gray tint of Coalwood and the dust of his covers in the mornings. He will always remember not giving up with Dorothy; and he will never stop being optimistic.

Week 5, Part 2.2

My personal reaction

As I continue to read this book, I have started to see the real meaning of the book (which I will discuss in the next book post). Coalwood life is in for change as coal is needed less and less by the steel company that owns them. In the previous section of this book, Sonny has really had some hard things hit him. Ike, his neighbor and friend, has died, while his father is now blind in one eye, and he himself was nearly killed from a huge cut in his hand. If Sonny had never seen Mrs. Bykovski, it might have been the end of the book and Sonny’s rocket carrier right there. Sonny is going to teach himself calculus (after not getting into the class he worked so hard to create), and this alone is a feat that most (all…) students would never try today. I think this is a great example of the personal motivation that Sonny has. As I keep going I am starting to remember some of the movie October Sky…and I am able to recall differences in the book and the move. Perhaps it might be worth my time to rent the movie and compare it to the book when I finish :^) …

Week 5, Part 1

Directions: Post #1: Read two other students’ blogs and comment on their blog about their level of insight in regards to their memoir, their blog in general and also something they could improve upon. If two comments have been submitted for a blog, go on to a different blog to comment.

Here are the blogs I commented on:

Hope I did this the right way…but it seems I am the only person to comment at all! Again, I will be writing my summary in the next hour or so, but I might get side tracked looking for comments in other classes! :P

Before I Do My English Blog Post…

Here is an interesting tid-bit:

Of my entire first hour class, 27 people, only five of them, six including myself, have done their blog posts for the last week. What happened to the other 21 people? Well, about 1/3-1/2 of them did week 3 posts…and the rest either haven’t posted at all or only did the first assignment. First off, I’d like to congratulate the 5 other people who did their posting…and I hope they find this one ok. Next off, I am gonna hate to see the complaints when Mr. Hatten does his grade updates and just half of the class will be passing. I do realize that these posts are time consuming, and they really are longer than they should be for homework with no in-class work time…but how hard is it to write a summary and click post? Oh well…I guess it’s not mine to argue…my post in coming in about 1-2 hours for week five, so stay tuned if you need to comment!

Attached you will find a picture of the 5 people that have posted updates. NOTE: this is a picture so you CAN NOT copy and paste the links. If you need the links, please goto Mr. Hatten’s blog at [] picture-4.png

Week 4, Part 1

My 2 quotes from “October Sky”:

1. “Okay, Sonny, let’s go over this one more time. Don’t blow yourself up. Got it?” -Mrs. Hickam (190)
2. “It didn’t take long before every missing thing in the town was blamed on ‘those rocket boys’.” -Homer Hickam (172)

My first quote from the book is from Homer’s (Sonny from here out) mother. When Homer started building rockets, the first thing he did was blowup her garden. While she was ok with the idea of Sonny learning to make rockets, she had one thing to say: Don’t blow yourself up. This particular quote was just after Sonny had been melting a new rocket fuel with Quentin, Sherman, O’Dell, and Roy Lee…and a bit of it dried and exploded next to the house. I think that this quote shows that Sonny’s mother wants to encourage him to keep learning, but to be a little safer while doing it.

My second quote is actually just before the first. Sonny had taken the heating element from his father’s toaster, and Sherman had taken the battery from his dad’s garbage truck. The morning after each had taken these things, Sherman’s dad couldn’t get his truck started and Sonny’s dad was no longer having toast. News spread quickly through the town about this, and the rocket boys were being blamed for everything that went missing; including dogs. I think this quote shows how the town generally feels toward the rocket boys and their BCMA (Big Creek Missile Agency).

Edina HC!

Well…today is the Edina HC parade and game (which, for those of you who don’t know, is against still water)! I went all-out and changed my desktop picture to reflect the day [View my desktop] !

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly –Reflection–

I don’t know how to begin summarizing this book as to what I thought of it…but I think overall this was a short insight into a trapped person’s life that was well-worth reading.

Why was it well worth reading

This book was worth reading because it gave us a insight of what it is like to be trapped and to have communication to others being limited to the blink of an eye. I liked this memoir…but it confuse me in the way that things jumped around from past to present to dreams to reality. I can see how this book is an international best seller: the man writing it is lucky to have the amount of communication he does to tell people what it is like…and that alone is special. Bauby talks about how he is denied simple pleasures he once enjoyed ..such as food. Now all he can do is imagine the taste…. but he makes the best of that. This book / memoir is really a story of survival. He talks about how he makes it through the days…and even the ones he hates (such as Sunday). Bauby talks about the last time he remembered doing this or that…and how it felt like it was so long ago. He is constantly reading something or remembering something… and even revising this book in his read. This is how he keeps from going nearly mad trapped inside his “Diving Bell”.

My Final Opinion

I liked this book in general…even where I was confused. I think that this book shows how quickly things can change in your life…and to appreciate what you have while you have it. Here we read about a man with in “Locked-in” syndrome, who talked about the tedious mistakes of the hospital, yet made the best of his time there… always looking for something that was right. I think a lot of us would benefit from looking to the good of what we have instead of what we don’t have… and to occasionally take some time to look around and see where we really are in the world.

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About Me in 10 Seconds

I am Matt. I do as much as possible. I'm always busy, but that's how I like it and hate it. My goal is to be the best.