May 17

I’m a Big Kid Now!

I will gladly say that I have definitely changed since August of 2019. I was involved with the wrong crowd that was very toxic in 8th grade and I have since grown from those experiences. In the beginning of the 2019 school year, I was shy around my teachers (like every year), but towards the end, I have made some of the best relationships with 2-3 of my teachers. I haven’t really  had that at the beginning of 2019 or in 7th/8th grade. I have also changed my opinion with online schooling. I use to be jealous of my friend who decided to do online schooling for this year as it was the best fit for her. I am a little different than her, and can become less motivated with online school. I seemed to get a lot more assignments from teachers I don’t have a relationship with, and it really brought me down and gave me some bad panic moments toward the end of the year. But, I will say that I have sadly not learned as much this past term, because I got fed up towards the end. I hope it wasn’t like this for everyone, but I am happy to say I gave it a good fight. I tried my hardest and have (going to have when teachers enter grades) all A’s. Maybe a couple -A’s, but it’s a pandemic. I would’ve gotten straight A’s without a pandemic, but that’s not the world we live in. Be proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished and been through. Because you did it all through a global pandemic and you’re still here. You survived/surviving school. That’s all we can ask right now.

April 17

How I Feel About “To Kill A Mockingbird”

Going in and reading the first chapter or so of “To Kill A Mockingbird” wasn’t great. I could’ve probably had a little better attitude toward how the author wrote or her style of writing. I wasn’t negative, but I didn’t know if I would understand it easily. By the end of the book, I realized that this book wasn’t hard to understand at all and that I very much enjoyed it. I got hooked in and got to see what the title meant. When I heard all the hype for this book, I was hoping to like it, but I was scared that it wouldn’t be a book for my taste. I won’t say that the book is way to hyped up, but it was kinda like reading any other book. The only difference being that the whole world believes that this one left the most impact. It left a great impact on society I believe (more than underrated ones) but I would suggest reading it to any other person. It was overall a pretty good experience and wasn’t hard to understand or forget any characters. I also would suggest not just seeing the movie. I’ve only seen one snippet of the movie versus the book and they left a couple interesting details out of the movie, because it’s stuff that belongs in books. So, read the book, not the movie.

April 15

Things Have A Way Of Settling Down

I think we all can agree that this Corona Virus isn’t ideal, but if you look into the past, there have been other outbreaks of viruses just like COVID-19. I know it is difficult to stay on top of work at home when you don’t have to motivation you would get inside a classroom setting, but you need to remember that it isn’t permanent. It may seem like it, because of the recent extension of staying home, but similar viruses aren’t even talked about today which were also a big deal back in their time. I wish I knew when this will end as well, but it all depends on society. If people ignore the situation, avoiding it everywhere they go, e then it will go on longer than needed. But, if we address the idea of social distancing and put it into practice, I guarantee that this will be over a lot sooner that if people are coming in contact with strangers every 5 seconds. Even though our society has not been effectively handling COVID-19 very well in some instances, we all just need to calm down and enjoy what we can. If you struggle financially, take a breath since we all know you’re doing your best. It’s not always an easy road and this may seem like the end of the world to people without jobs. It will get better. It could always be worse. You are alive, and I’m proud of you for doing that in this crazy pandemic. This could have been a way smaller problem, but I don’t know how it will effect us in the future. I don’t even know when it will end, but at least I know it probably will if people realize they have a brain to use efficiently. I strongly believe that this virus will be like the other similar viruses in that it will be a laugh to talk about in the future. Not near future, but future. Don’t let me fool you though; I am worried as well. That won’t stop me from trying to stay light during this time, because negativity does nothing to help our situation. Just remember that you are still valid by staying home and doing nothing. You’re allowed to do that (believe it or not) in this big pandemic. Just stay safe and try your best because that’s all we can do right now.

April 8

What Is My Code? “The Limits of Empathy” Article Response

David Brooks says that it’s not enough to feel bad for someone’s circumstances: we need to act on those feelings. Basically, he’s calling us out, and rightfully so. He explains that having a “sense of obligation to some religious, military, social or philosophic code.” Basically a sacred code that helps us know when and how to act in situations. In “To Kill A Mockingbird,” you may realize that Atticus has a sacred code of his own. Quotes like “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” (33), “I do my best to love everybody” (124), and “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down” (87) leads us to believe that these are some of his. I personally think that Atticus’ sacred code is pretty good. I believe in those, so I guess that’s part of my code as well. I think that this article should be talked about more on podcasts, social media, etc. because it’s a really good topic. I hadn’t heard this talked about before and I genuinely believe that this subtle call out was very much needed.

April 3

Good Stuff from To Kill a Mockingbird

“If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?”

I didn’t here many people as of right now talk about this quote, so I thought I’d talk about what it means to me. The thing that all these quotes have in common is that they all can be used in real life. A lot of people like to put people in groups to make themselves feel better about their own problems. Sometimes, people will hurt people mentally, emotionally, or physically just to get what they want; it happens. This quote reminds me of people like this who don’t think about everyone else in the moment. They need to realize that we are all human. That we all came into this life almost the exact same way, but some were born into different circumstances. That still doesn’t make them any less of a valid human being and it doesn’t give anyone the right to disrespect them. If we all learned the definition of respect and followed it, I think a lot of problems would be solved. To answer the question in the quote, I honestly don’t fully know. Some people have different views and think higher of themselves than anyone else working just as hard. But we shouldn’t disrespect those people until we understand why they chose to despise someone. It’s always important to know the full story in the end. I hope that everyone in this world will learn that we are all people. We are alive, human, and are a force to be reckoned with. We are all human and deserve a life of happiness, clear of toxicity. I could talk about any of the quotes recommended all day, but that’s the main part of what I’m trying to say. I’m not very good at putting my passion about something into words, but I hope it gets the point across.

March 27

“Harlem” Poetry Response

I am finding myself to like all of these poems that I’m reading. It might be because of the ominous dark tone they all have in common, but they also are big statements in their time periods. I liked that this poem starts off with something that a lot of people can connect to- a dream deferred. I think that most people have had a dream or goal that they’ve had to let go of because of the unfortunate mishaps in their life. So, they would be able to connect with the story a little bit and have a better understanding because of that connection at the beginning. I like how Langston Hughes describes the lost dreams as a question. It makes it sound more soft or subtle, but still gets the message across. The way he describes the dreams; “Does it stink like rotten meat?” and “Or crust and sugar over— like a syrupy sweet?” I like how he takes two opposites and somehow combines them to give off the same effect. It makes the reader feel immersed into the story by making them feel, visualize, and taste all of what he’s describing. It makes people want to read it that much more, because they all have something that they recognize. I like how he ended it by saying “Or does it explode?” because it’s the most aggressive phrase out of all of them and it gives a sense of silence after, almost like a jump scare is suppose to happen, but not all at the same time. I also liked how he called the poem “Harlem” after the New York Neighborhood that was like a safe place for colored people until it was taken away during the Great Depression. I made the connection that it must’ve felt like Harlem was a false dream that was taken away, decayed with time, and that it was to good to be true. I just thought that that was a cool connection between the two. In the end, I really enjoyed the poem and even more when I made the connections I did.

March 26

How I’m Dealing With This Corona Virus Stuff

I’m going to try to keep this light hearted, because everybody seems to want to complain on social media at this moment. The only thing I will say is that it is taking over my life and I hate that, but that’s it. Anyways, I haven’t gotten bored, like the rest of the world as of right now. I see that a lot of people have resorted to baking and making cakes, which is really fun to watch. I have not, because I will be tempted to eat it all the time, but I kinda like this new trend. I like to see what people come up with with decorating and colors. Another thing I’m happy about is some of the things I’ve read online. I know, not a lot of sources are trust worthy, but I think some of the things being posted are, to some extent, true. Apparently, with the virus going on and now a lot of people driving everywhere, things being shut down, etc., pollution is getting a lot better. Some animals are coming back in certain parts of the world. The world is slowly healing with mankind not using it up all the time. I think the Corona virus is bettering ourselves in some way. Some people get to connect with themselves and bond with their families. Yes, some of peoples “bonding” is arguing with families, but it’s a chance to bond is what I’m saying. It is very unfortunate for the people who’s homes are not safe and I wish all the love and support for you all fighting with that struggle. But just know that this is not permanent. Make the best of it. If you hated school, but miss your friends from school, just try to remember the stress you experienced at school, relax, be thankful, and enjoy the home experience. You can try new things if you get bored at home. If you’ve never drawn before, try it. It can be very therapeutic if you don’t try to be the ideal “perfect artist.” Or, like the rest of the world, start baking. Read a book. Just please enjoy what you have right now, so when you go back to school, you don’t say that you wasted your time and that you wish you could go back. I hope all of you are happy and healthy to the best of your ability and I hope this stayed light hearted for the most part. Have a great Corona vacation and I’ll see you at school… probably. 😉

March 26

Consider Things from Her Point of View

I just recently finished chapters 17-21 on “To Kill A Mockingbird” and I cannot say that I am surprised with the outcome of the Tom Robinson case. I’d like to take a second to have some perspective, though. I feel like doing the perspective of Tom is a little more understandable, so I’ve decided to talk about Mayella Ewell. Now that I know all the details, I can understand why some things went down the way they did back then. First off, I think the author was trying to tell us that Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, was abusive and was most likely the one who “took advantage of her.” I say this, because on page 213, Atticus asks Mayella if she screamed at the sight of her father first or Tom Robinson. She had no answer. Then Atticus asked if Tom or her father beat her up; no answer. I think that part of her wanted to tell the truth, but she knew better than to expose her father, so she didn’t answer in the end. I think she couldn’t come forward herself to say what was really going on, because that is a really hard thing to do. Personally, I think she just needed to get out from the mess she made, even though she liked Tom Robinson secretly. I get that she had to do whatever it took, because that was one of the most disgraceful things you could do in the past, so she needed a way out. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t excepted today, but back then, I understand her circumstances, which is unfortunate for Tom Robinson. He was just doing what was asked and even tried his hardest to avoid conflict. It’s a shame he got caught in the middle.

March 20

“Strange Fruit”

I recently read the poem called “Strange Fruit” and I would highly recommend reading it, because I personally loved it. I think that the author of the poem did amazing on the metaphors. They weren’t necessarily vague, but in a way they were. They weren’t just flat out saying how disgusting people treated blacks, but made it into a beautiful poem that made you uncomfortable because of how innocent sounding it was. For instance, in the poem it says “scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,” but then goes on and says “Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.” If that doesn’t intrigue you, still read it. I think that this genuinely helped a lot of people realize how disgusting we were to black people and how much we have and need to change in the future. It really puts things into perspective for me and it made the idea come to life. It wasn’t just something that happened in the past. It HAPPENED happened and when you realize that you would’ve walked outside on your porch to see a colored person hanging there from a poplar tree, that’s insane and I’m glad the chances of that happening are extremely low; where I live at least. I love how she compared the blacks from being plucked by crows, rotted by the sun, and dropped by the trees. They were the strange fruit that people refused to accept. Again, I think that everybody should get the chance to read this poem, because it is so eye opening and worth the time.

March 20

Blind Spots

In chapter 16 of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus tries to explain to the children Mr. Cunningham’s role in what is happening. Atticus explains that  “‘Mr. Cunningham’s basically a good man,’ he said, ‘he just has his blind spots along with the rest of us.’  I think this is a semi true statement in my opinion. For instance, if you think about doing something terrible, but you either don’t realistically think of doing it, or it doesn’t stay in your mind for a long time, I think that’s an example of a “basically good man.” If you do things to cope with not doing something terrible, you could also be considered in a “basically good man” category, because you don’t want to do it and you show it in your resistance. In Mr. Cunningham’s case, I don’t think he fits in there, but to Atticus he could, because he lives in the same time period as him. I live in 2020, so his actions wouldn’t be excepted all that much here, but maybe it’s more of a normal thing in the book, because racism was still kinda around. Plus, if you take out the racist remarks and intentions, Mr. Cunningham could be a normal farmer, but he is racist so you have to take that in account. I understand Atticus’ perspective, but I also see mine as well.