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“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." – Roald Dahl

Archive for January, 2017

my internal conflict / part three narrative

January 31, 1924.

And with Josef’s death following my father’s, I never really felt the same.

Like the world had drained me of everything I had. I felt numb. I feel numb. Until the day of January 24th, when my fellow high ranked officer, Nigel, had broken the news to the Red Army that Lenin had passed away.

Regarding my behavior, I heard my brothers and sisters ask about me in the hushed serenity of our cramped kitchen. There would be concerned whispers traveling like mist.

“He doesn’t really feel anymore does he, Ma”,  Albert grunted softly and glanced to his mother waiting for a response.

“Albert! Of course he does, he’s your brother. He’s just well…” She paused, “-he’s been through a lot.”

“But, Ma, he’s filled with so much pain. Why

“Go set the table, dear. There is to be no more discussion of this.”

I was unfortunate enough to eavesdrop on countless conversations like these after coming back from long hours in the army. We tried to make the majority of Russia believe that the Soviets were right and to support the Sovnarkom was to support the people. It was ironic really, the broadcaster of the statements didn’t believe them in the first place.  When civil war broke out, I was inwardly screaming in triumph for the Czechs and anti-soviets who had taken a step forward, praying that I could once be on their side because I had lost respect for mine.

Transferred to the heart of the chaos and selected as a high ranking officer in the Red Army to fight the anti-soviets down, I tried to convince myself I was fulfilling my father’s dream but the nightmares of the bullet decimating my brother made me feel confusion and pain. The act of  even grasping Lenin’s hand in a firm agreement to take the Tsar’s family into the basement and murder them was torture, I felt like whatever I did I had betrayed either my father or my brother.

Nonetheless, I carried on, with an indifferent stare at all who dared to question my loyalty to Lenin. I showed similar disregard to the Cheka who were widely feared amongst Russia. The Soviets had gotten desperate and showed no hint of mercy. I wasn’t harmed, the others however, weren’t so lucky. Families plucked apart, turncoat soldiers shot dead. The consequences of rebellion were far too much and I couldn’t handle the death of another loved one or Trotsky’s suspicious gaze whenever I walked into the meeting room. That man is downright vicious, so vicious, that he took out one anti-soviet group after another and leave the whole White Army in shambles.

“What do you mean there isn’t a way you can get more food?”

“Well, Alexander, the food is being rationed.” My little sister had cowered in fright at the force of my question.

Rationed!” My voice had transformed into a loud piercing screech. “The family has six people and they are only giving out rations for three! Why didn’t Ma tell me!”

Beth cringed at my voice ringing in her ears and quietly replied, “S-she says you have too much to think about, she didn’t want you to worry”.

A familiar shadow of disgust washed over me. I hated that Lenin didn’t even stop to think about the ramifications of the war communism policy including rationing of food or the famine that ravaged Russia killing seven million people, and my little sister was facing the brunt of it at a mere seven years of age.

Lenin’s body was sent to be embalmed and feelings stirred inside me. I felt like I was on fire consumed with confusion. Russia had been renamed; the USSR, with the hope of a promising future for the people. But I felt disillusioned.

I don’t know which one is worse, this government or being led by no one.

review on coaching process / about narrative copies

What changes did I make on my journal? How was the coaching process?

I changed a number of grammatical errors and made my sentences make more sense in the context. This helped me improve on the organization and the sentence fluency of the rubric. The coaching process was really helpful and the information back was very informative and it helped me make my writing more concise and by working in additional facts. 

alexander’s conflicted emotions / narrative two / edited copy

I glance towards the bedridden soldiers, weaving my way through the small beds that fill up a tightly compact room. I shouldn’t be here. My eyes follow the trail of bodies on beds until I reach a rolling compartment. I grasp the handle and it creaks like a musty old door, the man lying on the thin sheet of clothing is dead. Dead. Now I know for sure. Tears drop hotly down the corner of my eyelids while I read the tag on the clothing, Josef, it says. I ferociously blink the tears away.

When Papa died, I was determined that the road of a revolutionary was the only road to take. However, I could have never expected that we would be getting land and food because of our new Prime Minister Stolypin. I remember thinking to myself, ‘why are we getting land, we’re just measly peasants’. Alas, I was alive and well. My twenty year old self thought that that was enough and the pain of my father’s death ebbed away and so did my promise of joining the revolutionaries.

I behaved selfishly and my disgusting behavior didn’t deserve a pardon.

The circumstances that followed Stolypin’s assassination gave my family a fate worse than death.

Rasputin was not good for my family. We were in a lousy shelter with hardly any food while my elder brother; Josef, left to fight in the battles against Germany. My other siblings were sent home from the factories due to lack of raw materials. My mother was in a state of severe hypothermia with no access to treatment. Everyone was livid and helpless, the mutiny of soldiers spread unabated. I heard the soldiers discussing animatedly amongst each other. Rasputin died? The provisional government succeeded in overthrowing the tsar? This was just the calm before the storm.

I had resorted to stealing to survive and I don’t regret it.

On a cold afternoon in August 1917, everything changed for me. Men walked on the street while carrying loaves of bread and piroshki and were distributing it among the people. The pies made my mouth water. They offered me one, they were the Soviets. The man introduced himself as Vladimir Lenin, he enthusiastically explained that he could make Russia a land with enough resources for everyone by taking the provisional government out of power. He extended his hand out towards me as a sign of recruitment. I accepted. 

I was taken into the group of advisors and brought out of my peasantry to help take over the government. Planning the Bolshevik revolution was my duty. I was doing this for papa, for my family. We planned the armed uprising in the disused Smolny institute with the help of inside soldiers and fortress guards. I commanded the Red Guards to barge straight into the palace. I heard a voice through the misty fog, “Alexander! eh! Is that you?” My brother Josef was running towards me, grinning with delight at the sight of seeing me after ages. I found my lips forming a grin but the loud crack of a gunshot echoing around the palace made my heart skip a beat. Josef stopped square in his tracks, a mortified expression on his face and blood dripping steadily from his mouth.

The war ended with Bolsheviks coming to power. But the man, that once was my brother is now gone. For more hours than I can count, I stand rooted to the spot, where my brother lies in the mortuary, my tears meandering their way down and staining my cheeks.

alexander’s conflicted emotions / narrative two.

I glance towards the bedridden soldiers, weaving my way through the small beds that fill up a tightly compact room. I shouldn’t be here. My eyes follow the trail of bodies on beds until I reach a rolling compartment. I grasp the handle and it creaks like a musty old door, the man lying on the thin sheet of clothing is dead. Dead. Now I know for sure. Tears drop hotly down the corner of my eyelid while I read the tag on the clothing, Josef it says. I ferociously blink the tears away.

When Papa died, I was determined that the road of a revolutionary was the only road to take. I never expected that we would be getting land and food because of our new Prime Minister Stolypin. I remember thinking to myself, ‘why are we getting land, we are peasants’. I was incredulous but I was alive and well. My twenty year old self thought that was enough and the pain of my father’s death ebbed away along with the promise of joining the revolutionaries.

I was an ignorant and it was disgusting behavior.

Stolypin was assassinated and what replaced him gave my family a fate worse than death.

Rasputin, the leader left my family and I with a lousy shelter and hardly any food while my older brother; Josef left to fight in the battles against Germany. My siblings who worked in the factories would be sent back home because the factories closed due to lack of material and my mother was in a state of severe hypothermia with no access to treatment. Families like ours were everywhere and they were livid, everyone turned against each other and mutiny of soldiers filled the air. I heard soldiers talking about how Rasputin died and in a flurry the provisional government succeeded in overthrowing the tsar but it was the calm before the storm.

My family was still exceedingly poor so I had resorted to stealing. I had to, I don’t regret it. I stole anything and everything.

Until I was recruited to the Bolsheviks party on an afternoon in August 1917. Men trudged on the street while carrying loaves of bread and small pies. The piroshki’s made my mouth water and they offered me one while explaining that they were the Soviets who gave out more than enough food for the poor, I was elated and graciously took the bread. The man introduced himself as Vladimir Lenin, he enthusiastically explained that he could make Russia a land with enough resources for everyone by taking the provisional government out of power. Extending his hand out towards me as a sign of recruitment I accepted. 

I was taken into the group of advisors and brought out of my peasantry to help take over the government, planning the bolshevik revolution was my duty. I was doing this for papa, for my family. We planned to uprise in the disused Smolny institute with the help of revolted soldiers and fortress guards. The revolution went brilliantly, I commanded the red guards to barge straight in towards the palace. The mist of the day traveled around me and I heard a voice, “Alexander! eh! Is that you?” My brother Josef was running towards me, grinning with delight at the sight of seeing me but I had heard a shot echoing around the palace and he stopped in his tracks, a mortified expression on his face and blood pooling out of his mouth.

The war had finished, the bolsheviks have won but my I’ve lost more of my family because of them and the Bolsheviks are only to blame. I stand next to the body for hours more than I can count.

Rachel the film.

And next..on “Truthful News” is our section of THE HORRORS OF HIGH SCHOOL!

AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THOUGHTFUL FILMS EVERYWHERE. 

Sunday January 14, 2012-

A socially awkward, narcissistic senior at Benson High School is pressured into creating a good bye documentary of a
girl; Rachel Kushnar who suffers from life threatening cancer called Leukemia. The film consists of mismatched 
patchwork elements such as  documentary footage, confessionals and puppetry all put into one. The prologue of the film
are the directors of the film apologizing for their attempt on the film as it is incoherent and badly organized.  

Draft Statements from documentary that never really got in, include (to Rachel): 
"I have to say I don't know you that well" (222). 

"You're in my class, but we've never really talked" (222). 

"In eighth period, I wrote a song that I want to sing to you. Are we ready? Can I sing it? OK. 
Rachel Kushner / Don't you push her / She's got leukemia / and she probably wants to scream-ia / 
But she's everybody's friend! / You know her life's not gonna end!!!" (222). 

(Rachel's Mother) "She was never really much of a fighter, she's a;ways been a quiet girl, just so sweet, never 
wanting to fight and now I don't know what to do. I can't make her fight, Greg" (226). 

The film was shown in front of entire school at formal assembly. Filmmakers; Greg Gaines and Earl Jackson squirmed 
in the seats while other students glared intensely at them both for the entire length (forty-five minutes) of 
the film. Students thought it was "weird and confusing" (270), teachers put on a facade of liking it because the 
directors made an effort of making it. The filmmakers later fled from the site and sources say that Gaines later
disposes of all his previous films as this incident is evidently "extremely embarrassing" and the thought is 
"unbearable".  Greg has not been seen at school for days.

Update!

Rachel Kushnar has passed away to Leukemia. "Rachel The Film" will be remembered.

~~~~~~~~~

Please understand that while I did write this in the template of a News Broadcast. News reporters are not as blandly critical and snarky as this section. This was merely a different approach to explain the climax of the story.

Bibliography:

Andrews, Jesse. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl. 1st ed. New York: Amulet Books, 2012. Print.