Thursday, November 29, 2007


Different Types of Debates:

Arguments with parents:
--they usually occur at home between mother, father and child/teenager
--these usually don't help much with arriving at a better decision, unless the child is a skilled argumentor; or a very persuasive person, and sometimes willing to compromise.
--These debates are unstructured
--the decision making process is usually the parent saying, "if you live under my roof then you'll live by my rules!" (or something to that degree)

Outside Reading --2nd Quarter--post B

So far in "Broken Prey" there have been many characters introduced and so quickly as well. The main characters are Lucas and Sloan. Who are two of Minneapolis' best cops and detectives. They work together to solve an occurance of similar murders throughout Minnesota; trying to connect the two, but always seem to be coming to a road block. One of their lead suspects, a already tried and convicted sex offender, Charlie Pope is on the loose. He was set out of prison but then broke his parole and cut off a monitoring bracelet; so they can only assume at this point. The Larson and Rice murders are very similar in the fact that both bodies were placed in locations where they would be easily found and seen. Another similarity between the two was that the bodies were scourged; they were, what appeared to be, whipped by some sort of wire all over their body, and then their throats were both cut, by what they assume to be a straight razor. Then both victims were raped before the killing, tortured, and then "positioned" or "posed" by their killer. Lucas and Sloan at this point can only assume that what they've now got on their hands is a serial killer. And they must find him before he kills another.

Outside Reading --2nd Quarter--post A

Vocab Words:

1. Scourged (pg 8)--

2. Noncommittal (pg 32)--

Figurative Language:

1. 'Rice made an awkward pile in the middle of a large puddle of blood. The light fixture on the ceiling was bent, cocked far off to one side: a lot of weight had been put on it.' (pg 32) This shows imagery. It really sets the scene of the murder of Adam Rice.

2. 'Four more people, including three women--civilians--and a cop sat in an aging Buick on the grass beside the driveway.' (pg 27) This also shows imagery; this paints the picture for the reader of the turn out for this unfortunate event of the Larson murder


"Cutting their throats with a straight razor and scourging them with a wire whip? Where do you even get a straight razor these days?" (pg 64) The significance of this quote is to explain that there are many murders occuring in the same fashion. This also is setting the theme of this novel. Explaining to the reader that what they are to expect in the on coming chapters.


The theme of this novel is a murder mystery set in Minneapolis. There are murders that happen very much in the same fashion. With the best cops and detectives working on the case trying to catch a serial killer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Outside Reading --2nd Quarter

My second quarter outside reading book:

Title: Broken Prey

Author: John Sandford

Year Published: 2006

Genre: Fiction

Number of Pages: 481 pages

Proof that Book is Challenging: This book is considered "Adult Fiction", both have my parents have read this book as well, and then while reading the introduction page the wording of the passage, the tone used, and then the imagery used created a very vivid picture in my mind as to the setting, time, place, and characters of this book. The book doesn't seem too easy, it does remind me very much of a Stephen King book or a J.R.R. Tolkien passage. "Broken Prey" is a book with nonstop tension and detail.

Why I Chose This Book: I chose this book because I am a lover of horror stories (I'm a huge Stephen King fan....sadly all of his books were first published many years ago) and also because my dad suggested it. Another reason as to why I chose this book was because it was the only one in my house that was published in either 2006 or in 2007. And finally, I also chose this book because of the fact that it was a murder mystery, and I love books that are thought provoking; I also liked the fact that it is set in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Outside Reading Final Project

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Outside Reading Book Essay

When am I going to die? A question that most people find themselves asking; but no one ever knows exactly when they're going to pass. Morrie Schwartz knew that he was infact going to die at some point in his life, but after being diagnosed with ALS then he knew he only had a short period of time to live his life to the fullest. ALS is a disease, which causes degeneration throughout the body, so it basically eats at your muscles slowly throughout your entire body. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is about Mitch and Morrie’s conversations, discussions, and stories during Morrie’s last months of life. The message that is portrayed in this memoir was the importance of life; which is shown through the descriptive passages, the tone, as well as the imagery.

Through the descriptive passages from the memoir, Mitch shows the importance of life. ‘“There’s a big confusion in this country over what we want versus what we need”’ (126). People are constantly being told what to do based on peer pressure. They are blind to the fact that life is not just about what other people think. “I did not keep in touch” (14). Mitch went a separate way after college, and forgot over the years about the meaning of life. “a thousand miles away, in my house on the hill, I was casually flipping channels. I heard these words from the TV set- “Who is Morrie Schwartz?”- and went numb” (23). Mitch got so wrapped up in his own life that he forgot about his professor. The message is explained in passages from the memoir.

Tone is used to help show the message of the memoir. “everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it”(80). The tone helped him say that life is too important and people need to think about death, but most of the people in the world do not believe that this will happen.
‘“Sometimes, in the mornings,” he said. “That’s when I mourn. I feel around my body, I move my fingers and my hands--whatever I can still move-- and I mourn what I’ve lost… but then I stop mourning…I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life’” (56-57).
He mourns, but gets over it because life is too important to waste time on such little things such as mourning. Also, Mitch gives up all his Tuesdays to be with Morrie. The message is shown through tone of the book.

Also, the importance of life is shown through imagery. “Morrie was in a wheelchair full-time now”(18). To be able to walk or not being able to walk, is important. Also: “his shaky handwriting was now indecipherable to everyone but him”(82). His body has become too weak that other people can not read his handwriting anymore. He is decaying quickly, his muscles in his legs went first and now hitting his hands. “Morrie weakly lifted a hand, halfway to his belly”(161). Now barely being able to lift a hand, his body had decayed even more. It shows one important thing in life, being healthy.
Though Morrie is decaying, he can still send the message of the memoir. From not being healthy, not mourning, and not keeping in touch, shows how life should be about people, not get wrapped up so tight in life, that people cant find the meaning of life until its almost too late.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Sea Inside: Post 2

The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are similar in many ways. The one similarity that immediately comes to mind is the fact that both of the main characters are both physically incapable of moving. Ramon being a quadriplegic and then Jean-Dominique Bauby being in the situation of having looked-in syndrome. They both were trapped in their bodies but had a mind that flew freely in and out of memories and dreams and hopes. Yet another similarity is that they both happened to write books while sitting in their nursery beds or their rooms. However Ramon wrote a book of poetry and Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote about his life before and during his looked-in syndrome. There are also many differences between the two, and the main one was that Ramon had more advantages with communication, meaning that Ramon was able to talk and interact with his friends and family. Bauby however wasn't as lucky; the only form of communication that Bauby had was blinking with his left eye. So obviously the progress of their books was very different; Bauby's book took soo much longer because the only way he could have anything written would be if someone was in the room with him and holding up the new alphabet he created. Also the other main difference between the two is how they both eventually end up dying; Ramon ended up commiting suicide to end his limited exisitance and then Bauby however died when he ended up dying. I felt that the movie The Sea Inside had a bigger impact on me because it had a very strong and powerful impression on me. It showed to me the strength that Ramon's loved ones had. Seeing how much love they had for Ramon, first taking care of him for such a long time and then to have all that hard work go to "waste" and end up helping him with his suicide. It had such an impact on me emotionally and mentally. I could never imagine helping my family member or loved one kill themselves.

The Sea Inside: Post 1

I would have to say that I was initially surprised that Ramon's friends and family were going to help him commit suicide. If I were in their position that would be such a difficult decision for me to make; while seeing a loved one suffering and not getting much better, I would want to help them in anyway that I could. But if the only way they'd be happy would be if they were dead, I would troubles with that one. Another part of the movie that surprised me was when Julia and Ramon made the suicide pact. That the day the book was published she would bring him the first copy, and then they would die together. Except that's not the part that surprised me, the part that surprised me was when she mailed him the first copy of the book and then just sent along a letter with it (explaining her reasonings i'm sure for not being there.) I believe that no one could be so unhappy with their life that they would want to take it. But for some reason when I think about Ramon's situation, he is perfectly happy with all those around him and himself; the only part about himself that he isn't happy with is the fact that he is a quadrapalegic and that he won't be able to do much with his life. When he went to the courts to seek what he wanted, they had denied him of it. I have mixed feelings about this decision from the courts. What Ramon ended up doing at the end and the fact that his friends assisited was in my opinion a good thing. If I were in Ramon's position I would much prefer my friends and family help me than the have the government help me. Most see what they did as assisting in a murder, I don't agree with that statement. Because it technically wasn't murder if the "victim" wanted to die. He voluntarily took his life. In my eyes it takes a very strong person to help their friend/loved one/family member/husbad...etc. kill themself. Admire isn't the right word...but I admire their strength in their spirit and also the love that they have for their loved one.

Outside Reading week 6: Final Summary

It has finally reached the 13th Tuesday. Their conversation was about what Morrie's perfect day. His day was described as the ideal day for Morrie, but to Mitch it seemed quite ordinary and normal. When Mitch finally understood Morrie's point he realized why it was such a perfect day; he realized that you should take the time out to be thankful and take in everything around yourself. See everything for it's true beauty and appreciate everything that you have in your life. On a less happier note, Morrie was coughing all the time now and then informed Mitch that after he died he wanted to be cremated.
The 14th Tuesday came; and it was a sad day because it was the day that Mitch and Morrie were saying their goodbyes to each other. Morrie could barely talk by this time, and he was sleeping most of the day.
That Saturday Morrie past, and when he did he was surrounded by his immediate family. The next Tuesday there was a small funeral for his close friends as well as his family members.

Outside Reading week 5: part 2

This part of the book is making me have a feeling of saddness. Mainly because Morrie is decaying very rapidly. The difference between the first and last Night Line interviews is mind-blowing. During the first interview Morrie was able to eat solid foods, but now that the ALS has attacked his lungs, all he can stand to eat is liquid supplements and they're eaten through a straw. The saddening part of this whole situation is that this only happened in a span of about 6 months. Once the ALS has completely taken over his lungs he will no longer be able to breathe, which of course will then lead to his eventual death. The part that really amazes me is that not too long ago Morrie used to be able to dance, move around, and just have fun with those he loved outside of his home. Now, he gets to choose between his chair or his bed; he can't walk, he can barely lift his arm past his belly. Listening to the effects that ALS has on a person's body is terrifying to just picture, I cannot even imagine having to actually witness a loved one going through this. The conversation of their's that I would have to agree with most is the one they have about forgiveness. Forgiving those around you for mistakes they did is great, but when you do something, the only way to truly move on from whatever occurred is to forgive yourself for any wrong doing that you did. If you do not forgive yourself then you'll live with that held above your head for the duratoin of your life; which can be very unhealthy for a person.

Outside Reading week 5: part 1

It is now the 10th Tuesday, and Mitch decided that he would bring along his wife Janine. Now at this time in the book the ALS is just starting to reach Morrie's lungs; which meant that he was almost on full oxygen throughout the night, he was eating mostly liquid supplements, and also eating through a straw. On this particular Tuesday, Mitch, Morrie, and Janine talked about marriage. Morrie was explaining that in Mitch's generation there were more people getting divorces and more often than before, and he believed it was because people are either too selfish or that they rush into marriage and end up realizing what they did later (and divorce quickly).
The next week, which would be the 11th Tuesday, the two talked about culture. Within this week the disease has covered more ground on Morrie's lungs. Their conversation on culture mainly consisted of Morrie's outlook on the reasoning behind negative feelings people have towards others. Most people are mean or negative only when they are feeling threatened.
Night Line came back for their third and final interview with Morrie.
The 12th Tuesday had come, and Mitch and Morrie discussed forgiveness; Morrie explained that people need to forgive others and most of all theirselves. Forgiving yourself about things you didn't do and not to wait to start forgiving others.

Outside Reading week 4: part 2

This part of the memoir is about the many conversations between Mitch and Morrie. Which range from the fear of aging to money and also to how love lives on. For most they discover, aging is a very common fear of the population today. Most are afraid of getting older because they are physically aging but also because they are getting closer to death; in Morrie's opinion, aging isn't simply getting older, but aging is infact gaining more knowledge. Morrie also states that those who were wishing that they were younger, really haven't found the meaning of life. The money conversation consisted of Morrie explaining that people have it set in their minds that they need money in order to be happy in life, but infact they are way off target; no one needs money in order to be happy in life. The conversation they had about love living on was mainly Morrie telling Mitch that when he does die he wants all of his family around him, because he would not want any phone calls or telegrams given about his death, like those similar that were given to him about his own mother's death.

Outside Reading week 4: part 1

'"Everyone knows they're going to die," he said again,"But nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently."'- Mitch Albom (81) Tuesdays with Morrie.

I find this quote to be important because it so accurately describes the majority of our world's populations outlook on death. As the quote says, no one ever knows when they're going to die, even if given two weeks notice no one can ever accurately estimate when a human being will simply stop living. Death is one of the biggest fears that people have simply because they're afraid of the unknown. If every person on this Earth knew the exact day and time when they were going to die, I'm almost 100% positive that they would all live their lives alittle differently. They'd go on that trip around the world they've always wanted to go on, they'd get married to the love of their life and have a family, they'd go a jump out of an airplane for the exileration of it all; the people would be basically finish their list of things to do before they died. How this all relates to the book? Well Morrie has an idea of when he is going to die and so he's adjusting his life to fit his time frame of life left in him as well as to work well with his decaying body. This message is very important becasue if he had no idea of his disease or of his short time left, then he'd still be living his life as he was before (which by no means was bad, just not as fulfilling).

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly Reflection

I would have to say that I have mixed feelings about this particular book. The parts that I do like however are just the basics of this story; the amazing story of how a man who wrote an entire book about his looked in syndrome only being able to blink his left eyelid; to me that's inspiring and proves the statement nothing is impossible. While other students may think that the metaphors used to describe situations in this novel are confusing and out of place, I find them to be very descriptive and show the true workings of his state of being as well as his thought process. Even though there is so little for him to do, he shows his readers that his physical state of being can never stop his mind from flying free as a butterfly would.

The aspects of this novel that I did not like would be when the author would be talking about present day, and then all of a sudden we'd switch into his dream world without warning or a transition. Bauby would constantly be switching from the present time frame from which the story was written to his fantasy dream world, and then suddenly to his past. Some of those parts to me seemed choppy or unconnected from the memoir; I do agree that most in the end did tie in somehow to his current state either emotionally or they would help explain the reasoning behind his current relations with these people. Jean Bauby wrote an amazing life story that I'm sure has inspired many; and without even knowing it proved the old saying, "nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it." Also he reminded us that we should never let our minds become like a diving bell, but they should fly freely as a butterfly would. There are no limitations to your imagination.

Outside Reading week 3: part 2

The book has many strengths, one mainly being that the story being told is very compelling as well as a one that hits emotionally. Another strength of this book would have to be just the tone of the book as a whole; most books today are about an event that is either very dark or one that revolves around teenagers and the stupid choices that they make; this book however is learning about the value of a human life and the effects of a long drawn out sickness and how that event can being everyone closer. Even though there are many strengths to this memoir, there are also a few weaknesses. One in particular is the fact that Mitch doesn't spend enough time to fully explain the entire effects and the severity of them that ALS has on Morrie. This story does in fact relate to my life, not because a family member or a loved one had ALS, but because I do know the feeling of having an on-going battle with a "disease". The "disease" that I do have isn't a life threatening one, but it does cause complications on some parts of my life. Having epilepsy isn't the end of the word in my mind, but having to adjust my life to work with my new restrictions is challenging. But knowing at the end of the day that I'm alive, healthy, and able to do everything like I could before is enough to keep me happy and loving my life and what I choose to do with it.