An Authority on Courage and Integrity

I am Elizabeth Schuyler. My sister came to me asking for help to do the right thing and this is what I said to her. I said, “Courage is not an action but a state of mind. It is admirable to do a brave act but it is courageous to live a brave lifestyle. Continually loving someone is courageous. Giving them a chance shows integrity. You know what you were born to be Angelica, you may have to marry a man you don’t love but you can learn to love him, show your integrity and try doing that. Be courageous and have a family. Go and do anything you would have done with any other husband. You can make what seems like the hard right and make it easier. Overwhelm him with honesty, tell him what you feel. Tell him your intents and your frustrations. You can come back to New York if it doesn’t work out. Angelica, be courageous and have integrity.”

Blind Spots

A mob is made up of people. The scariest thing about a mob is not the individuals in the group, but rather the size of it. Mr.Cunningham would have never gone to the jail by himself to lynch Tom Robinson. Yet, I don’t agree with Atticus’s statement that it’s ‘just’ a blind spot. Going to kill a man and beat up another is bad no matter which way the light shines on it. You can’t be excused just because of peer pressure even thought that had a lot to do with it. There’s also the other side of it though. Mr.Cunningham didn’t end up hurting anyone. He’s the one that called it off. Would he if Scout and just talked and then left? We’ll never know. This is all about morals. If Atticus is right then you could say everyone is a good person with blind spots, some just have more than others.

Persistence

You never truly know if your going to lose until you give up. I think it is still worth trying because if you don’t try then you truly have no chance of winning. Atticus is a very persistent character but not just in the trial but also in fatherhood. His parenting style is not anything like Aunt Alexandra would have him have it be, but it is an admirable one. He lets the kids trip and fall on their own, get into fights and have quarrels. Yet, he also doesn’t let them mess with things to above their head. He is taking his family into a losing battle, but if you have the right support system then isn’t any battle going to be alright in the end. It is worth all the trouble for honor. Atticus is not winning over the town by doing this, he’s not doing it for them, or even for Tom Robinson. He is doing this for himself and so he can face his family like it says in chapter 9. He is not sacrificing anything but his pride for his honor. His family will be okay, and so will he. The same cannot be said for Tom Robinson, but things are on the way to change.

Climbing into Another Person’s Skin

In To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus teaches Scout that you need to walk around in someones skin and to see their perspective. This, he said, would help her get along with all kinds of people. To put it into context with Scouts first day of school, he is saying to imagine what it would be like for Miss Caroline and not be too quick to judge. This will not only help her to get along with people she has trouble with now, but also in the future. At least it has helped me. When you try to see someone else’s point of view it can often be difficult and revelatory. I used to try to do this when in arguments with my siblings. Although this can be used in more meaningful ways than guessing what someone will say next to win an ice cream bar. Scout could use it to understand Calpurnia when she is struggling to get along with her. She could use it to understand how things like playground friendships work at school. I think trying to walk a mile in someone’s shoes is very helpful. Good lesson Atticus!

Beliefs and Actions

Our beliefs shape our actions. Which is why I think you should be aware of your beliefs. So when one day you do something stupid you’re not left wondering: what made me do this? A “belief window” is not something of a new idea, just a new name. I don’t think that anyone was shocked when reading this like “Whoa! I have beliefs?!” However, maybe some were thinking, like me, “Why do I not have control of my decisions?” At first I thought this was unfair like why do I just have this thing clouding my view of reality? I thought it was unfair. Yet, somethings can clear reality. I think knowledge is a good example, the more we know about something the less foggy the subject seems. You also gain more confidence in making decisions in that field. I don’t think our beliefs make our actions. Like if I believe you shouldn’t drink tea, I’m not going to drink it, but I’ll still love my friends that do. Some people would call that an action “not drinking” but I think its more about the second part of thinking, “I still love so and so when they drink tea”. We get to choose our beliefs and they influence our thoughts and subsequently maybe our decisions.

The End is Half Way Upon Us!

I’m proud of how I did this semester. My main goal this year was improving writing that’s very broad but I thought I needed to improve on all counts. I have discovered within that vast pool what I actually need to work on and what I have already mastered. I need to still work on sentence variety, word choice, and mood.  I have improved this semester with figurative language, writing long narratives, and also being able to express my thoughts in a short way like blog posts. Iv’e always loved reading and am glad I’ve had a chance to do it so much in this class. I have read 15-ish books so far and am still hoping for 50 so I’ll have to kick it into high gear for next term. I’ve always believed that reading makes you better at everything else but I also think I need to start reading more challenging books so I can learn new vocab from them.

P.S. It’s really annoying to be typing away and hear the classroom next door watching polar express. :/

1% Gain

I’m going to do an academic goal and a personal goal. My academic goal at the beginning of the year in this class was something broad like “become better at writing” and that hasn’t helped much. I have noticed that I haven’t been finishing books very quickly and I wondered why. Was I becoming a slower reader. Was I picking harder books? I found out that the answer has been even simpler. I just wasn’t reading as often as I need to. I am now going to make a goal to read at least 15 minutes a day. I already do this on A days in class, but I usually don’t on B days and that needs to change. Especially if I ever want to finish the 50 Book Challenge.

My personal goal is to be more grateful. At the time of Thanksgiving everyone always says things they’re grateful for. That’s good. But it’s better to show you’re grateful for something. I want to do this by helping my parents clean up after meal to show my gratitude for preparing it for me, like thanking people every time someone holds the door open, hugging my siblings when they say something nice. I am starting in the spirit of Thanksgiving but want to continue this as it will hopefully become a habit. Grateful people have better mental and physical health.

Writing Realization

When I lived In Connecticut I did a boat-load of writing. We would have smaller sections where we focused on all different types , but creative writing was a theme throughout. I had a two plus page narrative due basically every week, we did book reviews, prompts-a lot of lame ones-persuasive (my favorite) and informative and all sorts and types. I loved persuasive because it gave me a chance to be persuasive but in a more structured way that’s not just a prompt. That’s been the hardest part for me, coming up with story lines. People will always tell me I’m a “good writer” but that’s because I can write long stories or convincing essays, but I’ve never been good at just plain creative writing. It was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone to make up story lines one after another. Even now I keep looking back at the prompt to see what I can do to answer the questions. I’ve learned that I need structure and this was a little bit lacking but it kind of made up for it in the fun factor. It was cool to just write all the time. Even if my writing wasn’t very good, I loved to read other people’s stories and give them feedback.

Literature Reveiw

 

I’ve recently been reviewing an unnamed story by the author of Ally Seal. She submitted a few pages near the beginning of her narrative and asked me to review the characters and the story overall. Since I wasn’t reading the first page or two I couldn’t get a sense for the exposition, I was just thrown into the story. Even though this is not how I typically review I found it quite easy to get a feel for her characters. However she does need to improve her word choice if she want to make it to a publisher. I saw a mood but it wasn’t really reinforced with her word choice well or practically at all. However, one things she did very well was use her dialogue meaningfully. I see too often that authors begin a conversation with small talk that doesn’t die away quickly enough. She got right to the point and didn’t stray off topic when she created conversations with her characters. I was impressed with her character dynamic and would recommend this story, when it is published, to anyone who is struggling with the letting go of a loved one who passed on. I enjoyed this story because I love reading realistic fiction with a twist. I am excited to see what you do with this Miss Seal! I give this book a 7 out of 10. Editing alone will get this up to an 8!

Tell Me About It

 

I’m craving cookies. Or anything sweet really. I’m just happy and cookies would make me happier. I’ve barely said two words today because there has been so much going on in my mind but the right person to talk to isn’t available. My brother Nate is on a mission, he’s been gone for three weeks. When you go from them sharing a bathroom with you and most of the time being two steps away  from a conversation to only communicating through email once a week. Well, it’s a big adjustment. We say things differently when we’re typing them to when we say them out loud, like right now if I were to start a conversation, cookies and my brother would not be at the top of my list. I miss him, but that’d “normal” I guess.  The worst thing is that my brother is a horrible writer and doesn’t get through much in his personal emails, but I love his general email to everyone. I miss him, but what am I gonna do? Who else has a sibling on a mission? Where are they serving?