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Protected: 5 things that came into my mind while reading A Question of Magic

February12

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Fashion Rebels: Text-to-World

January9

Almost like walking through a fashion hall of fame, this is a non-fiction book called Fashion Rebels. It is different from most non-fiction books owing to the fact that it is about iconic women in history who changed fashion and shaped how people are styled today.  In the book, it mentions fashionistas who rocked their styles, some such as Cleopatra VII, Marie Antoinette, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Frida Kahlo, Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama and many more. I felt this book connected to fashion today and the history of how it remodels throughout the ages. It gives a background for each person, fashion tips, and a historic timeline about when the idea was passed on by several other fashion designers. An example included in the book is the Coco Chanel-famed LBD. It as first brought by her in the year 1926. It’s amazing how this classic still lives on today. The idea of females wearing the color black, short just-under-the-knee dresses, pants and small hats came from Chanel as well. To summarize, if you don’t like to wear tight dresses, then you should thank Coco. Madonna is also an inspiration in this book, she said, “It all has to do with an attitude and loving yourself the way you are”. Flipping through her styles, she creates bold and a reborn in style, more original than the last. Katharine Hepburn (who is NOT the sister of Audrey Hepburn) agrees with Madonna’s fashion-stretching idea, adding “If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun”. We also cannot forget about Marilyn Monroe, when the craze of replicas of the ivory-colored halter-top dress were bought during the year 1955. This book is packed full with designers or fashionistas who played a role in the fashion universe. Lady Gaga took part to create the wildest fashion; Mary Kate and Ashely Olsen putting the most simple one-colored  clothing together; Venus Williams and Serena Williams who made the slightest change in clothing for sports.

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SHERLOCK: Season 1 Episode 1 Plot Summary

November10

The modernized series of Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the first character we meet is a wounded Afghan veteran Dr. John Watson. He then meets the main protagonist, Sherlock Holmes, who was introduced by an old friend named Stamford. Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant consulting detective; a job he made himself. The two moves in a flat on 211B Baker Street. Their landlady, Mrs. Hudson, acts as a housekeeper. The first case is called “A Study in Pink”. The story goes when Sherlock scavenges for clues for the connection between the recent deaths of three people. His special “power” is deductive logic. It shows at the beginning that

the desire for Sherlock is just wanting to solve mysteries, not having fame for the cases he solved. Some major questions I asked during the TV show were: will Sherlock solve the mystery? Will Mycroft or Mrs. Hudson be the serial killer? The following scenes and characters connect through Sherlock. John, on the other hand, is new and fresh to the small-minded town of people. He meets an interesting and powerful person, Mycroft, who reveals himself as part of the Holmes family. There are a lot of characters to keep in mind, but just about enough for the audiences to find the story entertaining. Important and supporting characters include DI Lestrade, Molly Hooper, Mycroft Holmes, Jim Moriarty (appears in later episodes), Mary Watson (appears in later episodes), Anderson and Sergeant Sally Donovan. The conflict was resolved, and all of the major dramatic questions were answered clearly. The external conflict of Sherlock occurs in Individual vs. Society would best fit in this Season. The characters in the episodes often reject Sherlock Holmes, the high-functioning sociopath.

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Cheque Timeline of Sr. and Jr.

November8

Cheque? Check.

“Order by Cheque” written by Wuther Crue, tells a tale written only by cheque. It tells a story through a cheque about the life of two: a father and a son. In this version I am writing a diary-like story, inspired by Julius Ceasar’s death. It reveals life behind the Exeter family in the cheque left behind.

 

You should always…

“Cheque the Time”

August 30,1903: A billionaire named Lawrence Exeter bought a baby bottle and baby stroller for $148.50. He knew it was going to be a girl, since his wife had told him. He even began to plan to name her Annabeth.

 

September 2, 1903: The following Tuesday next week, had he been happiest his whole life. Except, it was a boy. Lawrence was so bummed, he decided to name the infant after himself, just because of their similar facial features. (He used $100.00).

 

October 3, 1903: Lawrence Sr. and his wife watched the happy and healthy little toddler grow. “How do I become a dad?” he asked one day, “Why do I feel terribly stressed?”

“You should go see a therapist. My friend knows one, she’ll help you.”

Lawrence Sr. reached to the end of the street and found Dr. David M. McCoy’s house.  (He used $475.00).

 

December 19, 1903: Lawrence Sr. bought toys for his son.  (He used $83.20).

 

October 6, 1909:  The father of one gave grade-one Lawrence education at Palisades School for Boys, which the tuition costs $1,250.00.

 

April 18, 1910: One of the ways Dr. David told him to get rid of stress was to exercise more, which Lawrence rented a $52.50 bicycle from City Bicycle Co.

 

August 25, 1915: Lawrence sent little Lawrence to the Columbia Military Academy for $2,150.00.

 

February 18, 1927: Lawrence Jr. started to sign checks as his father had taught him.

 

August 23-30, 1929: He heard about the land’s richest person, Tony Spagoni. He owned the Spagonian Beaches next to the infamous University Club Florists. He was known for his aggressiveness towards his employees. Lawrence worked at the club, with a master degree in computer science and technology.

 

November 15, 1930: Lawrence Jr. married Mrs. Lawrence Exeter. They paid the wedding shop and the photographer $5,000.00 altogether.

 

In the year 1931, on the first and second of July, Jr. had a meeting with Tony, and signed a check that held $200.00. That same week, he found out that Tony had been shipping weed to the North and East of Hollywood through the delivery truck ever since 1912.

Jr. ran off to the police station one night. DONG! He looked west to the gigantic church bell vibrating in the distance. DONG! DONG! DONG!

VROOM! A car drove in, and a spotlight was following him. He could just make out the plate number 32K8N9. When he realized it was the Tony Gang, Lawrence kept running faster and faster.  He was almost there when the car screeched to a hault. It knocked over two huge, green trash cans, squashing Lawrence Jr. under it. It was a sudden blackout, and Lawrence’s whole life flashed before his eyes. Then, the car did a U-turn and drove off.

 

July 15, 1931: “Can you help me? Can you help my son? How do I deal with the grief of my wife AND my son?” Lawrence Sr. asked Dr. David. (He used $175.00)

 

People never knew what happened to Jr., but he was placed in a $1,280.00 coffin at the Hollywood Mortuary in July 16, 1931. Lawrence-the-older stood next to Lawrence’s wife, between his two graves. Lawrence looked at his last cheque, and tearfully crossed out his Sr.

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From the Mailman: “The Tell-Tale Heart”

October26

Original Passage:

“If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye –not even his –could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out –no stain of any kind –no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all –ha! ha!

When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o’clock –still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, –for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, –for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome.”

I started out as a perspective from the old man’s evil eye. In my interpretation, I retold the story with a completely new person, the mailman. He may seem distant, but I elaborated more on the setting and described the tall, broken and haunted flat. I changed all the “I”s to “he”s, so it is quite limited. I also asked myself if the madman threw away the old man’s body instead, what would have been done differently? Who would’ve answered that door? And what would that person be holding? Could it be old man’s body? Hmm….

The Tell-Tale Heart: from the perspective of the mailman

POV: third person limited

A scream was heard on the 28th of October. It was at 6:40pm, 2 hours before Charlie work up with a start. His boss came in and asked, “There’s a new box that came just now. Can you deliver this package to 278B on, uh, Kingston Street?” He looked at the slip of paper in his hand.

“Another Kingston Street package?”

“Yes, and do hurry, your night shift is almost over.”

Charlie hesitantly picked up the newly-delivered package, Oomf! It was as heavy as an adult’s head. It rattled a little bit, making a bumping sound. He wasn’t sure if the sound was coming from inside the box or was it just his stomach growling. He hadn’t eaten in 8 hours, and was only able to afford a few rice crispy treats down the neighborhood. In fact, since the Manhattan burnt down, all people has been living in minimum wage. He was so hungry and tired that when he was biking to the empty alley of the Kingston Street neighborhood, he lost his focus and almost crashed into a car. Slightly lifting up the cardboard box, he dragged it all the way to gates of house 278B.

This house looked truly abandoned. A line of tall trees concealed the broken-down house; as it echoed a dark silhouette, like death has sprung onto a sealed coffin. And the only light of moon shedding its luminous glow between the tiny holes from the leaves on the trees.

“Hello? Delivery!” Charlie thought leaving the package outside the gates was rather rude and unsafe. He knocked again, and this time the gate opened at his slight touch. He started walking, and wince when the hinges of the gates gave a sharp and devilish squeak.

Charlie approached on the cracked surface of the brick path. He placed the package onto the floor. Buh-Bum! Buh-Bum! went the box. Charlie just stared at the box, what could be in it? He rang the bell twice. A minute passed, he was not sure if the person of this house had heard him.

Just before he knocked and rang again, the door opened, and a tall man popped out from behind. He looked –oh so bloody and dangerous– and his eyes, a menacing glare. But he covered it well, with a dark and broody cloak.

“You are?” He asked gruffly.

“StarPost Delivery Service. Please sign here for this package you ord-”

The man cut him, “I never ordered a package. Who sent you?”

This was quite odd for Charlie, he questioned, “Is this Kingston Street, house 278B?”

“That is correct, but I’m sure you’re mistaken. Check again, and don’t ring unless it is sent to my house number.” With that, the man slammed the door.

Charlie checked again: 278B Kingston Street, Kingsly Avenue, New York, USA. There was obviously a disconnection to this. Ignoring the man, he rang the doorbell again. This time the man looked frightened, but after seeing that it is the same delivery person, he relaxed.

“What did I tell you, boy?” He growled.

Charlie picked up the little slip of paper, “It says here that I am supposed to deliver this to house number 278B, see?” Charlie continued, “Your order for this package came today at 8: 43pm. So I don’t see the misunderst-”

“Fine, just give it to me.” The man snatched the box from Charlie’s grasp. Buh-Bum! Buh-Bum! Buh-Bum! The man’s eye widens, and the box flipped when he pulled it too hard. Charlie bent down to help, but nothing came tumbling out. The box was empty! It was a dead silence; until, that is, the only sound was coming through the man’s chest. Buh-Bum! Buh-Bum! Buh-Bum!

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Difference is a New Kind of Confidence

September11

Found Poem HERE

Have you ever felt different and wanted to break out of you secured boundary to encounter a new surrounding? In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, author Sherman Alexiecreated a round character named Arnold Spirit, also known as our misfit protagonist in the book. The story goes as Arnold tells us the worst thing about poverty, and gives an example of putting his dog Oscar out of misery by shooting it. The character goes by Junior, as he thinks himself as stupid, ugly and poor, because he’s an Indian. The fourteen-year-old lives in the Indian Reservation in the town of Wellpinit with his parents and his sister. He goes to school and was given the same book his mother has used before, which angered and frustrated him. Then one day, teacher of his, Mr. P, suggested to Junior that he should attend to a different school. One, meaning that leaving could potentially change his life around forever. Two, he is given more chance to have a better education, because he cares about his life and growth as a person, he wants more than just a poor environment with a book used in decades. Opposite of that is leaving, also means betraying and leaving his best friend Rowdy. This conflict can be expressed through Junior’s thoughts, Sherman Alexie,

“But I had to stand eventually,

the first one to leave the rez

when I did,

The Indians around here are going to be angry

and my best friend had become my worst enemy”

In our found poem, one of the stanza that stood out to me was:

“My sister is running away to get lost

but I am running away to find something.”

To me, this seems relatable in a way that if we were put in Junior’s position, the thing we are finding is a balance. A peaceful balance between life within the Indian Reservation and Reardan High School. Skipping the next line, the turning point of the poem is the seventh verse, which we put in:

“I suddenly understood

if every moment of a book should be taken seriously,

every moment of life should as well.”

A question you may still ask is: why is Junior different? Why does it tie with confidence?
Junior was “born with water on the brain”, in which the condition gave him a stutter, lisp, seizures, a large head, irregular amount of teeth, and a variety of physical differences. These diseases made him a common victim of bullies. However, with these differences, he spends a lot of time drawing cartoons and spending time with his best friend, who protects him and is a smaller version of a bully himself. As you read halfway through the diary, you will begin to see how Junior finds confidence within himself because he IS different from the rest of the people back at the rez, and positively views it as an advatage.

The Different View of The Wild Wall

May24

 

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of China is the Ancient Great Wall. It is known for the greatness of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, and an ancient wonder of the world, but for young hikers, it is the legendary wall, an adventure they would never forget. Forty students from the International School of Beijing’s 7th grade Futures Academy enter the Wall and collects trash for their Project “We Are One”. They discover the new pathways for the Great Wall, which now still stands on the peaks of the Gobi Desert and Inner Mongolian mountains. As the mysterious trail lingers on, it is soon not a wall, but a series of several fences.

The students are led by an expert; William Lindesay, the author of The Great Wall Explained, who has lived in and explored China since 1986. The Chinese people have been awestruck that a foreigner would make his way through The Great Wall; traveling further than any man in the past few years, discovering ancient parts of the awaiting dragon. “When I was at school, my first head teacher told us we should have an atlas by our bedsides. So I when I was about 11 years old, I looked at China in my atlas, the place were very difficult to pronounce. And then I saw a battlement and it was labeled the Great Wall of China,” he began, “And to me that was a natural journey, a very interesting journey, you know, had a start and a finish. And I thought when I grow up I’m going to do that. And I did my growing up, and luckily, about fifteen years later, I was a keen marathon runner in England. And we have a long wall in England, built by the Romans; it was called Hadrian’s Wall. My brother, Nicolas, and I ran along the Hadrian’s Wall, and that was when it made a connection.”

The only way to appreciate the Great Wall’s viewpoint is to stand on its walls and watch it snake across the Gobi Desert and China’s placid mountains like a ridge-backed dragon. The “Long Wall” has a history more than 2,300 years, and it is important to keep it as it is. However the view now is long gone, since people often throw trash along the side of the wall hoping no one would see the trash that they left behind.  Climbing up upon a steep mountain, the students see half empty and empty plastic bottles built up off the road. Most people would climb up the hill, eat breakfast, and just toss it away. “Not everyone treats the wall in a respectful manner,” says Mr. Lindesay, “The future of the wall will be in great danger as the Chinese population gets bigger as the economy gets bigger. So I thought I was in a good position to defend the Great Wall from what I call ‘modern attacks’.” The forty students started their hike on a Tuesday morning, only appreciating the glow of the soft glittery stars. A student once recall, “I had never seen so many stars in China’s night sky before”. Mr. Lindesay answers to that, “Pollution does not need a passport or a visa, it just runs free. That’s why there are no stars at night in Beijing.”

The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest defensive fortification; it stretches through Datong, to Lop Lake in the west, and along the arc on the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. There are different types of walls, whether it is around mountains to fight nomads or deserts for trading routes. Surely the ones on the mountains tend to have better quality, due to the fact that they could gain better resources, such as granite and limestone. Though not powerful, the wall on the Silk Road trade had one built with reed and gravel built in order to protect the wall. The Ming Dynasty Wall (1368–1644) is still here today, but people who live on the foot of the mountain have houses made from the bricks that the Chinese wall builders used to make the wall. As the students collected trash, one of them stated, “I have never expected so many garbage on a single bush!”

“I collaborated with the first Great Wall explorer, William Geil. I took pictures, and put the old view and the new view side by side to evidence the changes, and in some places this formula showed that there were no change, but in another it would show that in 1908 there were magnificent towers there, and now there are no towers,” he explains, “ Most people thought the Great Wall was tourist sight, but I made it known that most of the Great Wall is wilderness, taking over by nature, and that’s the true Great Wall, because this is the period of the Great Wall’s history.”

“I stood up as an individual, and said the Great Wall is a national icon, the Great Wall is a world heritage, but the fact of the matter in reality is in great danger. It is an outdoor museum, and often the local communities and provinces didn’t really care about it, and we have to change this,” Mr. Lindesay is not satisfied with his work over the few year, “Of course I want to do more. I don’t believe the Great Wall has a great future unless it is studied more, like most problems in the world, education is the key to solving the problem, and I think it’s a tragedy that the Great Wall is not studied seriously in University level in China, so I have proposed a semester length course in Great Wall studies.”

To the students, with eyes of admiration, knew it would be the best adventure they ever had!

 

Sources:

Owen, James. “”Lost” Great Wall of China Segment Found?”News.nationalgeographic.com. National Geographic, 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 May 2016.

Interview. Lindesay, William. Interview

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The Land of Stories Book Trailer

May13

This is a book trailer from a series by Chris Colfer’s #1 Land of Stories.

Bailey twins, Alex and Conner, has just recieved an old story book from their Grandmother. But the book is not an ordinary book, at night it flashes and things disappear or come out of its pages. Then one day, Alex tumbled into the book, followed by Conner. Insides includes the world of the fairy tales we read today. But not every story background can the same. Goldilocks is wanted fugitive, Little Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Cinderella is becoming a mother. The kids find more about themselves as they encounter the world’s most frightening villian: The Evil Queen.

Will the kids return safely back to their world? Or will the Evil Queen get them before they reach home?

Author Chris Colfer blends in different fairy tales as puts in comedy and action-packed adventure, for he has also won the Golden Globe Award and has been New York Time’s Bestseller.

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The Monkey’s Paw

January20

There are 5 main parts when coming to a short story:

Exposition: We start with the setting at night in a village where the Whites live. The son won the chess game. Then suddenly Sergeant-Major Morris appears.

Rising Action: Sergeant-Major Morris has a cursed Monkey’s Paw, but he won’t let the Whites touch it. He says there’s dangerous dark magic. The Whites thinks it’s like Arabian Nights, or a piece of toy.

Climax: Mr. White wished for the $200 pounds. His son was crashed into a machine. A messenger came to their house telling them that it came with the $200 pounds.

Falling Action: Ever since the messenger came to the house telling them that their son was hurt but not in any pain, which means he was so hurt, in fact died, that he couldn’t feel the pain, the mother and the father wondered for days how to get their son back. The mother suddenly got an idea, since they had two fingers left to wish for on the Monkey’s Paw, they wished for their son to come back alive.

Resolution: Then there came an unexpected knock on the door: “Knock! Knock! Knock!” There it came again! “Knock! Knock! Knock!” The wife rushed to meet the stranger, but the her husband pulled her away from the door. The woman yelled at her husband, who still grabbed her on “What if he’s not in his human form?” he muttered quietly. As the women ran to the door, he wished his third wish; to make his son disappear again. He caught his breath as the woman opened the door only to see the silent wind flowing pass them.

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