Happy Poetry Month!

Because this month is Poetry Month, I have written a couple poems.

Imitation of “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

The green turtle eats
the little red strawberry
gnawing at it slowly
until it is satisfied
and hides away
back into its green shell
and falls asleep in the darkness

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Gratitude Poem

There are many things
to say thank you to
for all they have done
for me and for you

I’m thankful for trees
for helping me breathe
and for the bees
feeding my sweet tooth

I thank all my friends
peers and family
for all the the ends
of the books I read

For my eyes and nose
my mouth and my toes
how everything goes
in this lovely life

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Question: What are you thankful for?

Earth Hour 2015

Watch this year’s official Earth Hour 2015 video!

And visit the Earth Hour website to learn more about this day!
http://www.earthhour.org/

I think that Earth Hour is a great thing for the planet! I find it amazing that countries and cities all over the world participate in this event. Even the Eiffel Tower’s power gets shut off! I think this video is really cool because it shows the Earth Hour in action, and it is very informational!

Some ways I will participate in this event is to turn off the lights, not use any electronics, conserve water, and not emit any gas into the air.

What are some ways you will participate in Earth Hour? Comment down below!

Cara’s All Choked Up

In our Literature Circle today in English, we had a regular book talk, but this time we filmed ourselves! It was very interesting and funny to watch ourselves talk about the book we are reading called Choker by Elizabeth Woods.

This is the video of our Literature Circle. Enjoy!

From our Literature Circle, we talked about themes we have been seeing, we did some character analysis, talked about things we noticed so far in the book, and some important events from specific pages. We all suspected that Zoe, Cara, the main character’s best friend is up to something. There has been a girl drown in a pool and another girl go missing ever since Zoe showed up. These girls were very mean to Cara, so we are suspecting that Zoe targeted those girls and is the reason for these mysterious events. Also, we noticed how the author repeatedly mentions how Cara’s eye starts twitching whenever she gets stressed and mad. We were wondering why this keeps happening and why it keeps on being brought up in the book.

I think that I listened well in the Literature Circle and contributed thoughtfully. Next week, I will make sure that I speak up a little more because I wasn’t projecting as much as I could’ve/should’ve. Also, I want to refer to certain pages more and share what I specific things I noticed. I think that by recording our discussion was a great way to find ways we can make our talks better. I noticed after watching the video that we were talking over each other a lot, and we didn’t take turns sharing what we found. We also weren’t very organized. We planned on going chapter by chapter, but we kept skipping ahead and talked about other chapters. Also, we weren’t very organized with talking about themes, characters, and important events; we just blurted out different things. Next book talk, I think by following an organized plan, it will make our discussion a lot more formatted.

Finish my Story!

Student Blogging Challenge

http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/

Activity 4

Here is a story I have started inspired by the picture below. Leave a comment saying how you would add to and end the story!

waves-5

“Hey! Young girl! Hurry and get a life jacket on, now!” I stared at the man trying to process what he was saying, but I couldn’t get my body to move. He waved his hands in the air frantically to get my attention, and finally I realized that I needed to get up. I ran to receive my life jacket and put it on. “Okay, now hurry and jump onto the emergency boat!” he commanded, pointing to the small, crowded boat. I climbed into the boat and sat next to another young girl. “Am I going to die? Will I ever see my family again? What is happening?” she rambled, tears rushing down her face. I comforted her and held her hand. The boat dropped into the water and two men paddled against the aggressive waves. We rocked up and down, back and forth, but suddenly a monstrous wall deep blue fell over me, and that’s the last thing I remember.

By now, it’s been around four days I’ve been stranded on this island, and there is still no sign of other people. No people, no food, no water, no boats, no life except for the birds and giant tropical trees. I was lost, physically and mentally, spending the last four days asking countless questions to myself, becoming a nervous wreck, going on erratic outrages, and all in all, turning into a complete mess. I spent my days looking for any source of food I could identify, collecting sticks, leaves, and rocks for shelter, and staring off into the ocean to seek anyone or anything. At night, I ate whatever was left of the food I collected in the day, and lay in the bed of leaves I made from the large leaves of the trees that surrounded me. And before I went to sleep, I stared up into the stars and and said out loud words my mother would say to me before going to sleep every night when I was little, “You are my someone, and you will always be my someone, and you must remember and never forget that.”

A few days later, I woke to the sound of a cry. I thought it was just the birds, but it was a persistent cry and one that sounded faintly familiar. I quickly got up from my bed of leaves and followed the cry to the edge of the water, where I spotted a girl with short curly brown hair. I sprinted toward her. She was the first human I’d seen in about a week. She lay there soaked with water with seaweed clinging around her ankles and arms. She wailed and had a sudden shock when i touched her cheek to calm her down.

A Story I Wrote in 7th Grade!

Student Blogging Challenge

Activity 2

At the end of 7th grade, I wrote this story. I was reading through my old stories that I wrote and I came across this one. I enjoyed reading this story again, and I thought that I’d share it with you all!

Question: Do any of you have a twin brother or sister? 

I don’t. I just have a younger brother.

A Miracle

I woke up to the sound of the crashing waves and the feel of the fresh, damp sand beneath me. I didn’t know where I was. Next to me was my twin sister, Kelsey, washed up on the shore, but my parents were no where to be seen.

“Kelsey?” I asked, wondering if she could hear me.

There was no response. I started to walk towards her to see if she was okay. Her arms were collapsed by her side and her hair draped over her eyes like curtains. The cruise boat must’ve gotten lost and crashed. Becoming worried and scared, I picked her up and layed her down in the shade. I explored the island, which was covered with palm trees and wildlife and not much else. I found some fruit and snacked on it going farther into the green wall of leaves. After finding some more food, I traveled back to Kelsey to check on her.

When I got back, Kelsey was sitting up with a very confused look on her face. I called her and she looked at me, still confused, almost like she didn’t remember who I was. As I walked closer to her, her expression turned into a scared one. Every time I took a step towards her, she took a step away. Soon I started to sprint towards her trying to get a hold of her, so we could talk.

“Kelsey!” It’s me, Kristen!” I yelled to her, but she wouldn’t stop moving away. Finally, I got a hold of her, her arms flailing around to try to escape my grasp.

“Kelsey, why don’t you remember me?” I cried.

She must’ve lost her memory when we crashed onto the island. I sat down, defeated, wondering why this was happening and what I was going to do. I was lost inside and out.

I started from scratch. I found some shelter and found some more fruit. I tried again to persuade Kelsey into coming with me, but she refused. That night I fell asleep to the calming sound of the rustling palm tree leaves.

“Where am I?! Help!” I woke up, thinking it was a dream, but when I sat up, I still could hear the shouting girl. Everything was still really fuzzy because I wasn’t fully awake yet, but then it clicked. The shouting girl was Kelsey.

I sprinted as fast as I could following her voice, and eventually saw her tall, skinny silhouette in the distance. I ran towards it and screamed her name. She turned around and in a flash, she recognized me. She sprinted as fast as she could in my direction and we hugged, relieved. I heard her stomach starting to rumble like an erupting volcano. I could tell she was starving, so I led her back to my camp and we feasted on some more fruit. We talked and planned out how we were going to try to be rescued from this island.

“It’s impossible, this island is in the middle of the ocean,” Kelsey whined.

“But there must be someone sailing near by. It’s worth a try,” I reassured her, trying to be optimistic.

Kelsey took a giant stick and wrote “SOS” in big uppercase letters to draw attention to some rescue helicopters, while I found some big leaves that we could wave around to steer boats our way. We did this for days, hoping that someone could help us, but no one came. Beginning to feel doubtful, we started towards our camp early one day, but then a blink of brightness caught my eye. I thought I was hallucinating, but then it blinked again. I turned around and there, starting to ride towards us, was a big cruise ship. It was a miracle.

“Kelsey! Look! Look! A boat!” I screamed excitedly.

Kelsey looked in the same direction and then a look appeared on her face that I had never seen before. It was the look that you get on your birthday when your mom comes into the kitchen and puts the biggest, fattest chocolate cake right in front of you. We ran faster than lightning to the edge of the water and waved our hands in the air like window wipers.

Eventually, the boat arrived right in front of us and a couple of people brought us onto it. We were saved. They took us to our closest relatives, my Aunt Marie and Uncle John. We told them about our experience, and they were very surprised and thankful that we were able to get back here alive.

Although I lost my parents and almost starved, I have gotten so much closer to my sister and have become a much stronger, independent person. This experience has showed me that miracles do happen. I lost hope in surviving very early, but now I believe in anything and never lose hope.

 

Finishing Wild By Cheryl Strayed

Today in our literature circle, we talked about the whole book because we all finished the book. We talked about reoccurring themes, questions we had, and things we noticed. Some themes that we talked about were loneliness,  sadness, being broke, and meeting new people. While being on the trail for a very long time, Cheryl was alone a lot, and she talked about it many times throughout the book. There were also a lot of sad things that happened to Cheryl that she talked about in her book, like how they were a very poor family, how her dad abused her mom and was very mean, when her mom died, when she drifted from her siblings and friends, how she divorced Paul, and many others. When on the trail, there were many stops that she made where she had boxes sent to her containing food, money, clothes, and other things. She always looked forward to the boxes because it contained money that would get her through to her next stop. However, she needed to limit herself many times because she would only have $20. Cheryl met many people on the trail. She met mostly men, but also some women. They were various ages and almost all of them were very kind and supportive of what she was doing.

Some questions and things I brought to the discussion were:

Chapter 16: I thought it was weird that Cheryl listed all these bad things about her mom on her mom’s birthday.

Page 299: When she was laying next to Rick on the back of the pickup truck, she didn’t make any physical contact with him even though she was very attracted to him, which shows how far she has come on her journey. Before this, she would’ve definitely wanted to have sexual contact with him.

Page 311: A very good friend of Cheryl’s who she met on the PCT was a man named Doug. She was very close with him, and he gave him a black feather for good luck in the future. She kept that feather the whole trip. On the last page of the book, she said that she read an obituary nine years after she finished her hike that belonged to Doug. It was very sad that he died because Cheryl was very good friends with him.

We also discussed things about her life now. Jamie did some research on what was going on in Cheryl’s life now and found that she has a husband and two children and lives in Portland. She mentioned at the end of the book that she wanted to have two kids named Bobbi and Carver and actually ended up naming her children those names. Her husband is named Brian, and we found that she dedicated the book to him. We all really enjoyed the book so much because it was really amazing reading how much Cheryl had accomplished on her hike on the PCT.

I think this book can relate to a lot of people because, like Cheryl, there are many people that have felt they have lost control of their lives and do things that they regret later. Many people feel that they need to find themselves, and Cheryl did this by being practically alone for about six months. She was able to go back and think about everything she had done, and I loved how the book showed all the progress she had made from before hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and after the hike. There were many different emotions in this book, which helped make it very enticing. There were parts of the book where Cheryl was sad, happy, alone, regretful, hatred, and grateful. But in the end the victory that Cheryl felt is one of her best emotions of the book. I even felt some victory for Cheryl after reading all the things she’d been through. It was really a rewarding book, and I had a great time reading it.

I give this book a 5/5 and I highly recommend it.

It’s Getting Wild! Chapter 10

Title of Book: Wild

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Pages read: 144-174

Today in our literature circle, we discussed themes, questions, and things we noticed in chapter 10. Some themes that we noticed are resilience, determination, people she met, and the progress she has made on her trip on the PCT. A couple goals I had for our next literature circle was to pay more attention to figurative language. I also want to improve on keeping better track of all the characters in the book because there are a lot, and I find my self forgetting who a lot of them are quite often.

A few questions we brought to the literature circle were “What was her wish?”, “What was the connection of Paul and the horse?”, and “Is she going to go back to Joe?” At the end of chapter 10, she met a guy named Brent. They stood next to each other staring up into the sky and talked about making wishes. Cheryl had made a wish, but then she started thinking of other wishes she could make. The last line of the chapter was “I made my wish.” This was a hard place to end because it was such a cliff- hanger, and I wanted to know what her final wish was. Also, Paul and Cheryl got matching horse tattoos when they divorced. There was a big part of the chapter on page 157 that talked more about when they had to kill her mother’s horse, Lady. But we weren’t sure what the real connection of Paul and Lady was. Joe was Cheryl’s ex-boyfriend, who didn’t have a very good influence on her, introducing her to heroin and having a lot of sex. Joe was the only person who wrote to her when she claimed her mail while on the PCT. In chapter 10, she decided to write a postcard back to Joe because it was his birthday, and she felt like writing back to him. I really hope that she doesn’t go back to him though because he didn’t have a positive effect on her life. Ideally, I want her to get back together with Paul because I think they have a really good connection.

Cheryl showed a lot of progress in this chapter on page 173 when a bartender was attracted to her and invited her to his trailer. Before this trip, she would’ve gone with him, but instead, she answered saying that she had to wake up early the next morning. I think this is a big step for her, and this shows resilience.

This is what I’ve noticed so far in the book, but with her constant changes in personality and ego, I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next in the book.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I am reading a book called Wild by Cheryl Strayed with a couple of my classmates. We have read to page 45, and I already really like the book. So far, the main character Cheryl, has lost her mother to cancer. Her mother was a really big part of her life, and losing her was really hard. Her mother had to take care of her, her brother and her sister mostly all on her own, and since Cheryl was the oldest, she had to help take care of her siblings too. Already, only in the first chapter of the book, Cheryl is in the hospital next to her mother, who only has about a year to live, taking care of her. But her mother is in very critical condition only after a few months and dies earlier than they expected. Then the book is in the time period of four years after her mother died. In those four years, she lost many friends, lost touch with her siblings, and divorced her husband. She had always had this idea to travel the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to the very north of Oregon. She had been planning this trip for a very long time and prepared for it very much. Finally at the start of the new year, she started her journey. This book is very sad and intense, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

In our discussion, we talked more in depth about the connections between Cheryl and her mother and the trip that Cheryl is about to embark on. We also talked about themes we saw in the book so far. A couple were sad things we noticed and all the people she lost.

Of Mice and Men Chapter One Lit Circle

In a student lead literature circle, some things that you can discuss are themes that you notice, questions you have about the book so far, and other literature signposts that you notice like “again and again”, “words of the wiser”, “memory moment”, etc. A good literature circle discussion is when everyone is actively contributing and people are always talking. It could be hard to run your own literature circle when people don’t know what to talk about or everything is not organized. I like literature circles because they allow me to go more in depth into the book, and it is fun to hear what other people have to say about the book that we are reading.

OMAM Chapter 1 comments/questions

1. How did Lennie’s Aunt Clara die?

2. How was George chosen to take care of Lennie?

3. I think that it is sad when George gets annoyed at Lennie on page 11 and says, “God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want.” Lennie was very sad to hear this from George and said that he would be okay walking away and live in a cave if George didn’t want him to be with him. (page 12)