- Alan Gratz
- American Revolution
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- Amy Tan
- Andrew Norriss
- animal souvenir
- Book Cover
- Boxer Rebellion
- Found Poem
- global issues
- Graphic Novel
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Lissa Price
- Marissa Meyer
- Raina Telgemeier
- Rising Action
- Russian Revolution
- Sound Track
by: Chessy Si
A gate stands before me,
With its arms opened wide.
It’s welcoming me to
A world filled with disguise.
A noise echoes behind me,
With each step I take.
My pace suddenly quickens,
As I finally reached the gate.
A pair of great, tall trees,
Standing forever straight,
With batches of green leaves,
Guiding me through the gate.
A world with new wonders,
Was waiting just for me.
I prayed for the right choice,
As I began to leave.
My feet carried me across,
To the world unseen.
I stood there in bewilderment,
Waiting to be seen.
Standing there in silence,
I waited for my fate.
Before I looked up,
And saw another gate.
This photograph shows many gate within each other. These circular Moongates make a tunnel-like trail that stops after meeting a wall. Each one may look the same, however, they all have a different story between their intersections. They are what is used to divide the space into sections. Bright, green leaves circle around the top with their strong bodies holding them up.
Just like essays, what matters the most, isn’t the quantity of friends, but the quality. One could have hundreds of ‘friends’, but there may be none who is actually there for them when they need it the most. In ‘Friends for Life’, by Andrew Norriss, a group of students who were experiencing depressing times stick together with the help of a ghost, Jessica, who has had the same experiences as them, but failed to reach for help and ended up committing suicide. With the help and support from each other, they soon learned the power of trust and ended up saving another student’s life. Through the encouragements of each other, it can be seen that their self-confidence improved magnificently and by the end, even without Jessica, they became proud of their personality and body. This heart touching story describes the unbreakable bonds between true friends and how close friends are essential to everyone, every day. I decided to write a postcard that really emphasizes the friendship between Francis, the main character, and Jessica, especially after Jessica was forced to leave, for her mission of saving teenage lives was complete. Francis wasn’t sure where he should send this postcard to, so it can be seen that the address section had been left blank. A postcard is a unique way of showing the deep relationship between to people, because it is usually used for important occasions and meaningful conversations. While creating this postcard, I had to face challenges such as creating the words and events that Francis wanted to tell Jessica. One other really significantly hard area was to analyze the personalities of these two characters in a deeper form and try to incorporate it into this postcard by weaving it into words and stories.
Due to technical difficulties, the hyperlinks don’t work, below are the links,
Committing Suicide: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html
Changed me: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-friendship-doctor/201110/five-ways-friends-help-build-our-self-confidence
Image Citation: https://www.iloveretro.co.uk/postage-stamp-rug-1707
Stalin had won, he had broken me, deep from the heart. My big, beautiful family had all left me. I stared at a poster that stuck on the top of the wall. ‘Our King, Our Ruler, Our God’. What nonsense. What god would let his own people suffer? What god would send his own people to death? These propagandas were everywhere, plastered on every wall on the street, erasing the brains of peasants like an eraser on a chalk board.
After the death of Lenin, along with chaos, came baby Sergio. It had been such a joyful day, for Sergio had been born in a new world, different from before. However, after his birth, my wife fell ill. There was nothing I could do, we had no money for medicine. Time flied past and I lost track of it. Day and night, I stayed by Dasha’s side, feeding and watching her die, slowly, painfully. Things only got worse. Samantha’s life was taken during the famine and guilt immediately surged into me. I was the one who had decided to rebel along with the others and destroy all of our crops when forced to use Collectivistion. I was the one who had killed our sheep and cattle. Now, my family is dying and it is all my fault. I wanted to do something, something that would help. Every day, I woke up earlier and earlier to work in our farm, then going to work. I couldn’t feel pain anymore and sorrow filled my heart. The famine had gotten worse, soon my brother, Erik, fell to the ground. On the day of his death, we mourned by his side before going to work.
When I entered the factory, I was suddenly stopped by two men who punished me for being late. Before I knew it, I was dragged to a gulag. By then, I was so beaten in the inside, I didn’t want to live. At first I tried everything that may get me killed, being late to work, starting fights, not working hard… but all the guards did was beat me up. I was on the verge of death when I finally realized that I was meant to live. To live for what’s left of my family, Vera, Daria and little Sergio. Pain stabbed my heart, they had nothing left. No one was there to protect, care or feed them. It was up to me to support this family, to rebuild it. I worked my hardest, trying to reach the third cauldron every time, bribing the guards with small pieces of gold that I had snuck from the mines for more meat and saving the extra food for emergency use. I forced my way through the five years of being imprisoned and felt relieved when I was released.
I traveled by foot back to my village, eager to meet my family again. Maybe Sofia and Alexandra had come back to help support the family. Maybe our farm was flourishing. Maybe we even had extra money. Sergio must have been ten already and Daria would have been a young lady, I stayed in this fantasy world until I reached the village. A pile of ruins stood before me. Farms have been burnt and blood stained the pavement. I trembled, shook, screamed. What did I ever do to deserve this?
There is nothing to now but wait, wait for the future. What was to happen to us? When would Stalin finally realize what he had done? The signing of the German peace treaty didn’t lighten my mood. Peace with other countries didn’t change anything, us peasants still suffer and will always suffer under the rule of Stalin.
America is a well-known country. Although they can be described as full of manners and peaceful, there were still brutal times. If it weren’t for the American Revolution, there wouldn’t be such a thing as being American, because Britain would still have power over America. Without the British always hovering above them, the Americans are now free from the horrible taxes. They are free to do what they want as a country. Poor peasants can now become rich despite their family history. With the combined courage and perseverance of the peasants, they were able to fight for their own rights and grasp their path to independence. However, not everyone gained their equality. Women are still not allowed to be the heir of her family or even vote and even though slaves were promised their freedom after fighting for America in the war, many are still being enslaved. As we can see, the American Revolution brought both a good and bad impact. While most believe that the good outweighs the bad, there are still those who disagree.
Although we all say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, everyone still does it. Whether it is intentional or accidental, it is impossible to prevent humans from labeling each other. Labels are what we use every day from calling someone nerdy to criticizing them for their skin color. Many may be harmless but others can be deadly. When the lunars, a group of genetically mutated humans that live on the moon, were discovered, everyone decided to believe that their whole species were evil. Therefore, the book clearly conveys the theme, a person should not judge or label others without knowing who they really were.
Labels that are given to different people are a significant problem today. Labels have started conflict between people. Throughout the history of us humans, the attempts of preventing further segregation can be seen from physical wars such as the American Revolution or simple actions such as not giving up a bus seat for a white man just because your black. Humans hate to be labeled but yet they still label each other. The society in the book, “Cinder”, occurs in the future and emphasizes the true problem of judging without really thinking. Even people who are being labeled can also be labeling others. When Cinder, an unwanted cyborg, was told that she was lunar, she automatically deduced that the scientists were lying because all lunars “murdered their shell children […] brainwashed each other because they could […] and didn’t care who they hurt, so long as it benefits themselves” (Page 178, Marissa Meyer). This stereotypical thought was not true and can be a huge burden to the lunars who were kind. Just because an object belongs to a certain category, does not mean it would be the exact same as all the others.
What is important is not the appearance of an object, but what it is deep inside. Tara Brach, a psychologist and meditation teacher, once made up an example that has helped people reflect on their way of judgment by using a dog as a metaphor. A cute dog could also bite, but just because they bite, does not mean that they are heartless. Not everyone knows that Cinder is a cyborg mechanic, however, those who do, thinks of her as something disgusting. People would walk past her as if she were invisible and when Sunto, the baker’s son was playing too close to Cinder’s shop, his mother yelled at him until her eyes “met Cinder’s gaze, knotted her lips, then grabbed her son by the arm and spun away. (Page 5). Although Cinder’s identity changes hugely from a degraded cyborg to a praised and respected princess, her personality stays the same. It did not matter who she was to the world, the real her is still an average girl. Clearly, it did not matter if she was a cyborg, a lunar, or a princess, all that matters is that she would always be the dedicated and caring girl who was ready to sacrifice her life if it would save others.
In this dystopian society, the prejudice in our world today can be seen. Labeling is popular, but the appearance of someone should not affect how they are treated. Cinder is still the ordinary girl from the beginning of the story, even if she is now being identified as the princess that might save everyone from the lunar queen. How others are treating her is not fair. A teacher would not be able to know exactly who is the smartest student within a single class just like how judgments should not be made within a single glance.
Cinder’s life had been turned upside down within a few weeks. Maybe she was cyborg and maybe she was just worthless slave, but she knew. However, after her little step sister caught the plague, everything changed. She began to realize that she wasn’t just part human and part robot; she was someone everyone feared, but yet love. In this book, written by Marissa Meyer, Cinder’s life twisted and turned. By piecing the puzzle together, the picture of her true future became clearer. The turning points in this story changed Cinder’s emotions and view of her world. Her feelings are important, but weren’t described in detail, since this book is in the third person view. A diary seemed to be the best choice for her to write out her true thoughts. In the link from above, within each entry of her diary, there is a picture that describes and symbolizes her experience. It had been a challenge for me to try and make four out of the six pictures original, because it took time and imagination. These journals are all based on Cinder’s actions and what she sees instead of an overall view of a certain event. As the journal progresses, it can be seen that her personality and her way of speaking has changed.
Due to problems with uploading Powerpoint onto my blog, you cannot open the hyperlinks. Here are the links that were supposed to work below:
Every once in a while, a person would go through some struggles; whether it is related to work, school, or the society. They become stressed until someone opens their bedroom door and comes in to comfort them. Their family. Sisters, a book by the well-known graphic novel author, Raina Telgemeier, describes the ups and downs she experienced as a child with her family. Although she had asked for a sister, it was clear that they never got along. At a young age, Raina decided that she wanted a sister because she wished that she had someone to play with. Day and night she prayed but when her wish came true, she began to regret “why did I ever ask for a sister? (Raina Telgemeier, page 3)” She tried to give Amara, her sister, a chance and offered her toys. However, she soon realized that Amara was not interested in anything that she likes, except drawing. Through fights and tears, both realize that although their might be conflicts, your family is always there for you.
One common stressful topic for parents is the rivalry between siblings. Even the slightest things such as goldfishes were worth debating about. Irritating each other becomes a habit for Raina and Amara. Another example can be seen when after knowing that her sister hated snakes, it became a goal for animal loving Amara, to have one as a pet. This nightmare became reality when their parents decided that Raina was old enough for her own room and Amara should get the snake she wanted. Despite knowing how her sister hated snakes, Amara still chased her around to taunt her. Every day, Raina would hear “Aw… He’s actually pretty cute! Look at him slither! Raina, you sure you don’t want to come meet Mango?” (Page, 146). However, with each fight, each family member learns more about each other and even though they occur quite often in a family of five. Deep on the inside, they know that without each other, life would be changed dramatically.
Moments of joy of being sisters may not seem frequent in this novel but can also be seen hidden in some areas. One of Amara’s favorite places in the world was the zoo and there was no wonder why she wanted a pet desperately. After asking for a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, a turtle, a ferret, a hermit crab, a hedgehog, a parrot, a bunny and a hairless cat, they settled on a goldfish. Even though they argued about their goldfishes, together, they were the ones who convinced their parents to get pets. Both Raina and Amara were annoyed by their little brother, Will. When he was first born, they spent time in the dark night together, as they listened to the wailing of their baby brother. On the car trip, they agreed that they were “hoping it would be like, ‘bears eat you little brother state’” (Page, 65) instead of just the centennial state. Even though hated each other, together, they were the ones who complained about their little brother. When Raina and Amara were stuck in a car together in the middle of a desert, they had no choice but to work together so that they could capture the hungry snake.
Raina and Amara did fight once in a while, there was no denying that they still loved each other. Throughout this novel, Raina’s love and care for Amara can be seen when she offers her small things like colored pencils and a teddy bear, but these small acts shows her kindness. Raina may pick on her sister and tease her, but she knew that she was still her sister after all and she should look out for her. Towards the end, Raina and Amara understood the true meaning of ‘family’ when they were forced to work together despite what they thought of each other, in order to be safe.