This school year I have matured a lot and learned a lot. This year has been so fun, but also really hard. I have had a lot on my plate this year. I made a team of all older girls this year, and it has been a lot of practice. Along with that, I have had so much homework this year. On top of all of that I was trying to find time to spend with friends and family. I was so busy this year, but it’s okay I’m really glad that I was. I learned a very valuable lesson from having such a packed schedule. I learned how to schedule and manage my time. After getting used to being so busy, a pandemic hit and then everything changed. I went from never being home, to having to always be home. I am grateful I got to live through this, because I have been able to spend time with my family and loved ones. I have learned this year that no matter if you’re crazy busy or if you have nothing to do at all, there is always a way to find happiness!
Overall, I really loved reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Honestly, at first I didn’t love it. I thought it was a fun story, but I didn’t find it very interesting, so it was really hard for me to get into. After a few eventful things happened in the book it started to draw me in more and more. I started to be interested in the book and I really enjoyed reading it. Once the book was over I had a big reflection on the whole book and I realized that I really enjoyed it. The book took me on a whole journey, and I honestly kind of got attached to the characters. Harper Lee does a really good job of making you feel like you’re there, and like you know the characters. I really liked the theme of the book and the feeling it gave me. The book helped me understand history from an everyday perspective. It showed me what life could have been like in the 1930’s in the South. It also shows how horrible racism is. The book made me want to be a kinder person. It made me want to make sure I’m kind to everyone, no matter their circumstances. I think that To Kill a Mockingbird is a really good book!
There is a lot going on right now. Between the virus and the earthquakes I think that this is a pretty crazy time for everyone. I think that pretty soon things will start working their way back to normal. I don’t think that everything will go right back to how it was all at once. But, I do think that over time, things will go back to normal. I think that slowly things will start back up, and we’ll be able to do more and more things each week. Then, eventually, I think that people will stop talking about all of this stuff and we will continue to live normal lives. Although the news will eventually stop talking about covid-19, and we’ll stop seeing commercials and billboards about prevention, I don’t think any of us will forget about this unique time in our lives. I think that most people will stop taking everyday life for granted, and people will be a lot happier. I think that people will start living their lives to the fullest, because now they know what it feels like to not be able to. I think and hope that once this is all over, people will live better and happier lives because of it.
I thought that the article “The Limits of Empathy” was very interesting. It made me think about things from a new perspective. I have always thought that empathy was such an amazing thing, and that when people have empathy it makes the world a better place. The article helped me realize that just having empathy doesn’t do much for anyone. The thing that can really make a difference is taking action from your empathetic feelings. If you just have empathy for someone, it doesn’t make their situation much better, it just leaves you both feeling bad. But, if you assess your feelings and decide to act upon your empathy, you can help people a lot! Taking action can really make the world a better place. The author of the article talks about how everybody has their own “code” that makes them who they are. For some people, their code has them take action on their empathy, and some other codes do not. When I read about this authors theory in the article, it made me wonder what my code is. My code has been shaped my many people in my life. I’d say mostly by my family, close friends, and teachers. One of the major rules in my code is if someone needs help and you are capable of helping them without causing major, or long term damage to your own life, help them as best as you possibly can. Going along with that, always have good intentions when helping someone. Don’t just help someone because you want something in return, or because they seem cool or they’re really attractive, or anything like that. Help people out of the goodness of your heart and don’t expect a “pay back” or something in return. Another rule that I go by is, do not wait for people to ask for help. Be quick to action, and if you see someone who looks like they might need help, or even if you have a feeling that you need to go do something or go help someone, go do it! Another rule in my code is, once you decide to help someone, do not ask, “do you need help?”. Always say, “What can I do for you.” or “How can I help”, or something like that. I believe that if you say something more like that, people are way more accepting of your help, and they feel better about it. That is how I felt about the article, and a little bit about my own personal code.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, on page 246, Miss Maudie is talking to Jem about the events and outcome of the trial and she says, “Were making a step–it’s just a baby-step, but it’s a step.” I like this part of the book because the turnout of the trial is really sad, but this quote shows the positive side of things. Although Atticus didn’t win the case, it took the jury a long time to decide to appoint Tom Robinson guilty. That shows that things are at least getting somewhat better regarding racism in the south. Usually it would only take a couple minutes to come up with the verdict, especially when it’s a white mans word against a black mans. The fact that they took so long means that it was a close call, the jury had to have at least considered concluding that Tom is innocent. Although that didn’t happen, it is still a small progression, or a “baby-step” towards eliminating racism. I think that this quote applies to our current lives as well. I think that if we improve a little bit each day, it will all add up to be a lot. Amazing things can come from baby-steps if they are consistent. I like how Miss Maudie points out and celebrates the baby-steps. I think that we should recognize the baby-steps in our own lives and be excited about them. Any progression and improvement is better than nothing, and I think we should give ourselves credit for that.
I really liked the poem Harlem. I thought that it portrayed a great concept in a great way. The poem used tons of similes to get it’s point across. I liked the use of similes, because the topic it is talking about is really dark and heavy, and sometimes being straight forward with it is a lot to handle. This poem still got the point across to me, without making me too sad, because of it’s use of similes. This poem had a good meaning, and it really got my mind going. The poem “Harlem” is about how African Americans were not able to pursue some of their dreams because of racism. This made me really sad, but it was also cool to read about, because I had never really thought of things in that way. The poem also made me want to make sure that the racism that was going on back then, never happens again. It also makes me want to work hard to achieve my goals and dreams, because I realized that not everyone has the opportunity to do so. I feel lucky that I am able to do that, and I don’t want to let it go to waste. The poem made me think of the book To Kill a Mockingbird, because they have a common theme. One of the themes in TKAM is how unfair life was for black people in the South. This poem is about how unfair and sad it is that black people couldn’t chase after their dreams freely because of their race in past times. These two ideas really compliment each other. Overall, I really liked the “Harlem” poem.
I decided to write about things from Mayella Ewells point of view, because I think that she gets a bad wrap in To Kill a Mocking Bird. In the book she is considered a “bad guy”, because she is the one that is accusing Tom Robinson, and everyone knows she is lying. Even though what she does is very, very wrong, I think that she is a good person, who is in a bad situation. Mayella made it clear during the trial that she gets no respect whatsoever. When Atticus was speaking to her with respect , she thought he was making fun of her. During the trial she also hinted that she has no friends at all, and I don’t think she is treated well at home either. Her dad abuses her, and she lives in poor, horrible conditions. The right thing for her to do is obviously to tell the truth, but think about what would happen to her if she did that. Any hope of her getting friends would be gone. She would loose any respect she had from any towns people. Her father would probably go to jail or possibly be killed. Her siblings would probably hate her for ratting out their father. She’d have to become the head of the household since she’s the oldest. Lastly, if her father got his hands on her he’d probably beat her so badly. Overall, I think Mayella Ewell is a good person, and I think she even wants to tell the truth, but she knows what will happen if she does. If anything, I feel bad for Mayella.
This whole virus thing came very rapidly and everything happened suddenly, so at first I was a little bit shocked and freaked out. I am a really social person, and a definite “people person”, so not seeing my friends or anyone besides family has been hard for me. Along with that, many things that I was looking forward to have been cancelled. So, overall this has been a frustrating and sad time for me, but I have found many ways to cope with that and turn it around. One thing that has helped me a lot is focusing on the positive, and on what I can control. There is so much that is going on, that is out of my hands, but it is nice knowing I can still control some things. Some things I know I can control are what I eat, how I spend my time, how I react to things, my attitude twords things, and how hard I work to improve and progress. I have set a lot of goals, since I have a lot more time on my hands to work on them. I really enjoy improving myself and becoming better, so having goals gives me a reason to wake up in the morning, and something to be excited about. I have decided that I am going to come back a better person than I was before all of this happened. Having goals and seeing improvement makes this time exciting and fun for me! That’s pretty much what has been getting me through this whole virus outbreak.
I thought that the strange fruit poem was really sad, but it was written very thoughtfully. I think that the purpose of the poem was to show people how horrible lynching is, and to stop the awful southern trend. In some parts of the poem the author uses a very casual tone to talk about very serious stuff. I think this was done intentionally to show that people were taking lynching way too casually, and that it was way too common. I agree with this. I think that lynching should never be done, and that it is absolutely awful. The poem used some gruesome descriptions, such as, “Blood on the leaves, and blood at the root” and “Then the sudden smell of burning flesh”. These descriptions made me really sad. They also helped me understand how horrible the treatment of black people was in the south. For some reason, the graphic descriptions made everything seem a lot more real to me. I can’t necessarily say I enjoyed the poem, because it was really creepy and gruesome, and it was about some really serious and horrible stuff. But, I appreciate the poem, and I think it had a really good purpose, and it was interesting and helpful for me to read.
I agree with Atticus that we all have “blind spots”. Nobody in this world is perfect, and we all have problems. I think one reason why everyone has blind spots is because everyone is different. Everyone has gone through different life experiences and veiws life differently. Different people are sensitive about different things, because of things that have happened to them or the people they love. I think that because of this, it is important to realize that we all have blind spots. It is important to acknowledge that we have our own blind spots, so we can be more sensitive twords others feelings. When talking to someone it is important to think about them and not say things that may hurt or offend them. It is also important to realize that others have blind spots, so if someone hurts, or offends you, they may have not meant to. It is hard to realize and understand the blind spots of others, and I think it was really courageous of Atticus to be so mature about Mr. Cunnigham’s blind spots.