Sunday, December 23, 2007

Eagle Blue, Week 5, post 2

“There’s no quit in Josh, no quit in any of these kids. This is what Dave is beginning to see about this team.” (193.)

This quote is significant to Eagle Blue in several ways. One way it is significant is because it continues to show the emerging themes of hard work, dedication and perseverance. It implies this because the quote says that nobody quits. The fact that the kids play hard until the end of the game, and never give up, shows that they really do want to win, and this is what they love to do. Another way this quote is significant to Eagle Blue is because it shows that the coach is getting to know his team’s work ethic a little better, as well as the personalities of all the players. The knowledge of the work ethic etc, helps Dave to connect with the kids and trust that they will work their hardest one hundred percent of the time. An example of when this would happen in my life is when I am working on homework and trying to get good grades. Most of my teachers know that I always try my hardest to do quality work, do well on tests, and get good grades. I do whatever it takes to get my work done, whether that means staying up late, getting up early, or going in to get some extra help. An example of never giving up in the society I live in is when people go to work. They go to work to earn a living. Most people will do whatever it takes to make money to support a family, have a house to live in, and food to eat.

Eagle Blue, Week 5, post 1

2 vocab words:

Catatonic (187)-a syndrome seen most frequently in schizophrenia, characterized by muscular rigidity and mental stupor, sometimes alternating with great excitement and confusion.

Arsenal (190)-a collection or supply of anything

One emerging theme

An emerging theme in this book is favoritism. The crowd always seems to favor the Fort Yukon Eagles at the games. An example of this is when they were playing Tok, the crowd erupted with cheering when the Eagles came onto the floor, but not so much for Tok. Some of the players think it is because all of the kids on the Eagles are natives of the land, and many of the other teams have only 1 native, if even that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eagle Blue, week 4, post 2

“Matt’s up to his tricks again, trying those high- risk five- star passes when a basic two star would do. By the end of the first quarter he’s already thrown the ball away three times. “ (149.)

This quote is significant to the book, Eagle Blue, for several reasons. One example of how this is significant is that the coach of the basketball team often tries to do all of these sneaky plays, and tries to trick the other team. You would think this is a good plan, but most of the time it ends up backfiring, and costing the team a win. This happens several times throughout the book, not only on their four day trip. This quote also relates to life, in general. One example of how it relates to life is that if people try to trick other people, they generally end up being caught in the act. For example, many times when people lie to their friends or parents, most of the time it is quite obvious. The friend or parent can usually tell when a lie is being told, and will call the other person out on it. This relates back to the quote from this book, because lying is kind of like trying to trick somebody, or in the basketball team’s case, trying trick plays in order to confuse the other team. Both of these things usually end up backfiring, and costing you either a friendship, trust, or the game. This quote also relates to the media, somewhat. On many television shows, lying, and sneaky people are showed. Sometimes they portray that this is ok, and this could potentially teach people that this is ok, when really it is not. This aspect of the tricks is oftentimes showed at the end of the program when the lying and sneaky people are caught and punished.

Eagle Blue, Week 4, post 1

3 examples of figurative language

"These trips are the cherry on each season's sundae." (136.)
This is an example of a metaphor, which is figuraticve language. It is a metaphor because it compares two things by saying that one thing "is" or "are" something else. In this case it is the trips of the season, and cherries on a sundae.

"Its like trying to nail Jell-o to a wall" (139.)
This quote is an example of imagery. It paints a vivid picture in a persons mind about how tough the situation was...trying to get everybody back in the van after stopping at the store.

...All the pressures seam to dissipate, to vanish like the exhaust puffing out from the back of the van as Dave punches it south" (140.)
This quote is an example of a similie. This is a similie because it compares two things using the word "like." In this quote, teh pressures are compared to the vanishing exhaust from the back of the van.

Significant quote.

"The traps begin working. Matt and Josh begin feeding on steals. Chris hits two free throws for his first points of the season, bringing the Solom aon contingent to their feet." (143.)
This quote is significant to Eagle Blue because it shows that all of the practice of the team, pays off. They are able to grab and early lead, which would eventually lead to their victory. All of their hard work pays off in the end. Even though it is not always enjoyable, it truly is beneficial.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Eagle Blue, Week 3, post 2

“Dan always schedules his personal and business trips to coincide with the basketball team’s schedule. He figures it costs him about a thousand dollars a trip to watch the boys play…….so he always tries to kill two birds with one stone; taking care of business trips, catch up with old friends, visit the doctor or dentist(99).”
This quote is significant to the book Eagle Blue, because it shows the distance the team must travel, and how dedicated they have to be in order to play on this basketball team. Families have to pay boat loads of money for the team to play one game. This also means traveling to far away places. The families travel so often that they need to take care of business trips, and doctor/ dentist visits while they are out of town, otherwise they will not be able to fit them into their busy schedules. This quote also proves the significance of dedication in order to be on this team. They boys must be willing to travel all over creation, and miss a lot of their social lives at home, in order to do what they love. Most of the boys show up to every game, which also shows dedication. The fact that they need to take care of doctor visits, etc., on the road, proves that they are dedicated because they travel so much and give up much of their lives to this team. They could be out having a good time with their friends on the weekends, but instead they dedicate their time to the team, which really shows how much these boys want to do well this season.

Eagle Blue, Week 3, post 1

2 vocab words

Wayfarer (p. 99)- a noun meaning; a traveler especially on foot

Archaic (p.101)- an adjective meaning; marked by the characteristics of an earlier period; antiquated

One emerging theme-
One emerging theme in Eagle Blue is dedication. This is shown when the team has to travel all over creation by plane, just to play one game. This shows dedication because all of the team usually shows up, as well as many fans and family members.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


1. Curfew, with parents. This debate could occur at home. It serves the purpose of the child possibly getting a later curfew. It does help arrive at a better decision, because if the parent can hear the child's point of view, they might be able to understand and relate more to their child, rather than sticking to only what they want. This debate is unstructured, because there is no written evidence, or a specific schedule to follow. This effects the decision making process because the parent can hear the child's point of view, see/ hear the evidence, and then make the decicion.

2. In a Courtroom This debate occurs in the courtroom, in front of witnesses, judges, defendents and prosecuters. The purpose of this debate serves as a way of justifying your side of the story. You can try to prove yourself innocent, or prove the other person guilty, or prove the point of the reason of being in court. It does help arrive at a better decision, because the judge can hear out the different people in the court, and get to recognize each of their stories, and base the decision upon those stories. Generally this is structured, because they have schedules to follow, and written evidence.

3. Presidential debates-occur in a variety of places, usually in a well known place. The purpose of the debate is to win votes for their potential presidency. Sometimes it helps arrive at a better decision, but usually people have their mind set on who they want to vote for.
Structured. It effects the decision making process because people can hear what each of the candidates have to offer, and then decide who to vote for.

4. Religion- there is not one specific place where religion is debated, but one example is in the middle east. The purpose of these debates is to prove that one religion is more supieror than the other. This usually does not arrive at a better decision because people stick to their religion, and often times people end up dead. This is not usually structured. It effects the decision making process because the people of the opposite religion need to decide what to do; whether to convert, or stick to what they believe in.

5.Amount of Homework- This is debated in school, with the teachers.. The purpose is to (hopefully) reduce the amount of homework students get. (student perspective) the teacher's perspective would be that if there is more homework, the students would learn more. It doesn't usually result in a better decision. It is usually unstructured. This effects the decision making process because the decision is up to the teacher, and if they agree with the students, the homework load could possibly be reduced.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eagle Blue, Week 2, post B

Letter to the Author/ Main character

Dear Mr. D’Orso,

I have just begun reading your book, Eagle Blue. So far I am enjoying it very much. However, I have a few questions for you. I am a bit confused when I begin a new chapter because I am not sure if I am reading a new point of view, or the same as the previous chapter. I eventually figure it out, but it takes me a little while. Also, I am confused about who the kid is who has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It mentioned something early in the book, but I haven’t figured out any way it is affecting him in his home life, or at basketball practice. Does this eventually affect his basketball skills? Or is it just a known fact, and nothing really will happen? On a different note, I really like the way you use vivid imagery throughout this book. During a few of the chapters, (4 and 5 in particular) I actually feel like I am right there with the players during their practice, and almost can feel their pain afterwards, when they are sitting on the bleachers. A vivid picture was also painted in my mind in the beginning of the book when you talked about the kid running away from school, and somebody needed to go after him. The details of this scene were so particular, I could envision the town, and even the woods near the town, in my mind.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my letter, and I am looking forward to your response, and answers to my questions.

Jenna Long

Eagle Blue, Week 2, post A

ONE EMERGING THEME: There are many themes that are emerging through this book, one of which being perserserverance. This is shown on page 61 when they are describing Wes James, a small freshman, who wants to play basketball. He shows up at all of the men's pick up games because he wants to learn all he can. All he wants to do is play basketball, so he works extremely hard to get on the team.


1."The squeak of their shoes on the hard rubber floor is like sweet music to Dave, like the infield chatter and the crack of line drives at spring training in Florida..." (61.)
This is an example of a similie. It is a similie because it is comparing two things, (squeaky shoes, to spring training in Florida) using the word, like

2. "He looks like a skinny dockworker playing ball on his lunch break." (62.)
This is also an example of a similie because it compares one of the basketball players to a dockworker, using the word, like

3. "They flop in the stands, a couple sprawl on the floor, mopping their brows wih their shirts" (63.)
This quote is an example of imagery because it paints a vivid picture in my mind of what is happening at that exact point in the story, and makes me feel like i am actually looking at, or even with the team after basketball practice.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Eagle Blue, week one, post B

Thus far into Eagle Blue, I have seen many quotes that relate to events happening in the world. One of these quotes is “Just like the empty beer cansand cigarette packages tossed in the snow, the bags were a sign of these don’t give a shit times.” (20). This quote relates to the world I live in because it describes many of the lazy people we have living in our society who don’t care about what happens to the environment. They will just throw their garbage out the window, and assume somebody else will pick it up, which obviously isn’t true. All this does is damage the land we live on. Another quote from the book that can be related to the world is “He hasn’t given much thought till now to this college thing. He wouldn’t mind going away, but it’s not as if he’s never been anywhere ” (27). This quote definitely relates to high school kids in this world because many kids don’t start thinking about college until they realize they need to take their SAT’s, ACT’s , etc. This really pulls a trigger in their mind, thinking about where they want to go to school, or if they want to go to school. The decision about where to go to school is usually a pretty big school. Generally, kids always think they want to go far away from home, but as the time draws nearer, they realize how weird it would be to be away from their family for so long, and end up going somewhere semi-close to

Eagle Blue, week one, post A

2 Vocab Words.

1)Panhandling p.14
to accost passers-by on the street and beg from them.

2)Naysayers p.16
a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views

Significant Quote-

"They were short- five foot six and five foot seven- but they ran like flushed rabbits and, with practice, they learned to shoot basketballs as well as they shot rifles." (47)

This quote is significant to the book because the people the author is reffering to, are the kids from Fort Yukon, who would eventually become High School Basketball champions. It shows that they had a small disadvantage (being on the short side) but were able to hold their own and compete well against all of the other schools.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2nd Quarter Outside Reading Approval

*The name of the book i chose is Eagle Blue, by Michael D'Orso.

*Eagle Blue was published in 2006.

*This book is nonfiction.

*There are 323 pages.

*This book is sufficiently challenging for me, a high school sophomore, because as I was flipping through the pages, I found many vocab words that I did not recognize. This will be challenging because I will need to either use context clues or look words up in the dictionary in order to understand the meaning of the book. Also, it seems like there are a lot of details in this book, which means I will have to pay extra attention to what is going on, especially since it is a fairly long book.

*I chose this book because generally I like books that have to do with sports, and their achievements, and that is what this book is about. I also chose this book because it was on Mr. Hatten's list of recommended books, so I figured if he was recommending it, it must be a good read.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 6, part 2 (essay)

A Troublesome Childhood

The life that we are living today seems so complicated at times. We have most of the things we need in order to survive, but yet we always seem to “need” more and more. Frank McCourt probably would give anything in order to live the way we live today. Throughout his childhood, his basic needs for survival were hardly met, which led to a dysfunctional family life, and many other social problems among the family. Frank McCourt wrote the memoir Angela’s Ashes using tone, imagery, and figurative language to show the struggles his family went through while he was growing up in Ireland.
To begin, Frank McCourt used tone in several ways throughout the text of his memoir to show people the struggles he went through during his childhood in Ireland. An example of this is when Frank is talking to the men from St. Vincent de Paul.
They want to know why it isn’t in the back of the house and I tell them it’s the only lavatory on the lane and it’s a good thing its not in the back of the house or we’d have people traipsing through our kitchen with buckets that would make you sick. (103).
This quote shows an example of humorous tone used in the novel. This shows that even though Frank knew he had a very tough life, he always was able to make light of a situation, and always look beyond it and know that eventually things will get better. This shows one of Frank’s struggles because there is only one bathroom for the entire neighborhood. This is not a healthy way of living, and many diseases can be contracted from sharing an outhouse with the entire neighborhood. Throughout the novel, Frank also uses many other types of tone, but humorous was one of the more prominent types of tone portrayed throughout the memoir.
Frank McCourt uses imagery to show that his struggles in life. To be more specific, an example of this is when Frank is trying to find food to feed his younger brothers. He says; “I tell Malachy I’ll be back in a minute. I make sure no one is looking, grab a bunch of bananas outside the Italian grocery shop and run down Mertyle Avenue…” (32). This quote shows struggles of Frank’s life by using imagery to paint a picture in our minds of how hungry the children must be, and how desperate they are to find food for themselves. Being hungry was one of the major struggles that Frank had to deal with for a long time as a child, which is one of the reasons why he probably would give anything to live as we do today.
In Angela’s Ashes, figurative language is used to demonstrate many of the struggles that Frank and his family encountered daily and had to overcome in order to survive. An example of when figurative language is used in this memoir is when Frank uses a hyperbole. He uses this to describe his mother’s reaction to the fact that he didn’t like the baby’s name. “Mam slaps me across the face and sends me flying across the kitchen.” (182). Clearly, Frank did not fly all the way across the kitchen, but he is exaggerating. He probably fell backwards a few steps. This is one example that demonstrates a struggle from Frank’s childhood. He must always please his mother, in order to avoid being slapped across the face. His mother was always stressed out about money, the babies, or other situations of this importance. If mom wasn’t happy, the family would suffer. Frank used several other types of figurative language in this memoir to show struggles of his everyday life as a child.
I believe that Frank McCourt wrote Angela’s Ashes to let the reader know of the hardships he went through as a kid, and how much times have changed since that time period. He did this by using tone, imagery and figurative language. One example used to help this conclusion to be drawn is when Frank was using humorous tone to express the reason why the lavatory was in the front of the house, rather than the back. Another is when Frank uses imagery to show that the family was so desperate for food, that Frank was willing to steal from an Italian grocery store. The third and final example used to draw the conclusion that Frank wrote this memoir to show the struggles of his childhood was when Frank uses a hyperbole (part of figurative language) to describe a time when his mother slapped him across the face. He says he flew across the room, but in reality it was probably only a few feet. Frank McCourt wrote this novel to show the struggles he went through as a child. In our society, the way Frank grew up was bizarre and unfortunate, but realistically, it is probably happening in other places of the world, right now. As Americans, we are very lucky to be able to live the lives we do.

Angela's Ashes, week 6, part 1

Frank turns 14. When he shows up for his first day on the job, or so he thought, he realizes that his real first day isn't until the following Monday. The people at the post office laugh at him because his clothes are old and torn, so he went out with his aunt and they bought him new clothes. The first day on the job, Frank finds out that he is a temporary worker and can't stay at this job after he is 16 years old. He delivers a telegram, and gets his first pay. He is happy because he is able to tell his little brother that he can buy fish and chips and lemonade, instead of rummaging for a slice of bread. Frank decides to set aside some money from each payday so that he can go to America when he gets older. Frank stays with Ab Sheehan during the school year, with Michael. Angela moves in with them, as well as Malachy, because he is back from Dublin. Frank is very happy because most of the family has been reunited. Frank is assigned to deliver a telegram to a girl named Theresa. When he gets there, he had fallen off of his bike, so he was bloody, as well as wet because it was raining. Theresea helps him get cleaned up, and then they end up having sex. Frank sees Theresa for weeks after that, and when Theresa isnt sick, they have sex on her couch. One day Frank is delivering a telegram to Theresa's mother, and realizes that Theresa had been in the hospital and died. He is afraid that she is in Hell, and that is where he is headed, so he goes to confessions, and begs for forgiveness for both him and Theresa. Frank is assigned to deliver a telegram to an old woman, and agrees to help her write strongly worded letters to her debtors, in return for a little bit of money. When Frank is about ready to take the test to become a permanent worker at the post office delivering telegrams, he is talked out of it. He is told that he will have a wife, five kids, and will be out of his mind by the time he is 30. He doesnt want this, so he takes a job delivering newspapers. On Frank's 16th birthday, Pa Keating takes him to the pub, because Frank's father is not in the picture anymore. Frank gets extremely drunk and when he goes home he tells Angela that he knows she has been sleeping with Laman Griffin, and picks a fight with her. He slaps her, and afterwards feels bad about it. The next day, Frank goes to church and talks to Father Gregory. He tells him about everything that he has done wrong, and everything that is troubling him. He finds out that since God has forgiven him, he must forgive himself. During this same time, Malachy works for a Catholic school, but is soon fired because he acts happy, rather than demoralized. He then moves to England and gets a new job, and is anxious to join Frank in his trip to America. Frank spends three more years delivering newspapers and writing nasty letters for the old woman. The old woman eventually dies. By this time, Frank has saved up enough money to book his trip to America. The night before he leaves, the McCourt family throws him a "going away party." When Frank gets on the ship headed for America, he realizes how much he misses his family and country. This changes soon. When he gets to America, his ship is re-routed and when it lands, he ends up going to a party, and having sex with a girl named Frieda. Now Frank thinks this is the greatest country ever.

The Sea Inside, post 3

* An eye level shot is used several times in this film. One example of when it was used was when Ramon was sitting in his bed, looking up at one of his care-takers. This is significant to the meaning of the movie because this is the way Ramon looks at people throughout the whole movie. He has to look up at them, becaue of his situation, laying in bed.

*Another shot used in this movie a low angle. This was when Ramon was having a flashback of the day he became a paraplegic. He is standing on the top of a cliff, looking down at the water. The camera though, was at the bottom of the cliff, making Ramon look big, and powerful. This is significant to the message the director was sending because he wanted to show that Ramon felt that nothing would hurt him, or get in the way of him living his life to the fullest, when, in reality, he was wrong.

*When people walk in and out of Ramon's room, the film-makers use tracking/dollying. They use this by following the character all the way across the room, as if the camera was that person. This is significant to the meaning, because it shows how often Ramon is visited, and how much his family and friends care for him.

* Ramon has a dream that he jumps out of a window, and flies. In this dream, the flim-makers use a sequence of a long shot, medium shot, and a close up. The long shot is when he initially jumps out the window, the medium shot is when he is falling towards the ground, and the close up is of the ground, when Ramon almost hits it, but then flies upwards. This is significant to the message the director was trying to send because it showed what we thought was Ramon committing suicide, but then changing his mind. This showed the thought process of Ramon during the 28 years he has been living in this condition.

*An oblique angle is used in this movie was when Julia is having a heart attack on the stairs. The camera is at an angle, to try to put the viewer in Julia's position, and seem like they were right there with her. This is important to the message of this movie because it shows that bad things happen to good people sometimes.

* A tilt is used when they are in the courtroom, appealing for Ramon to be able to have assisted suicide. They scan from the top, down, in the courtroom to show how many people showed up to hear Ramon's case. This is significant because it shows how many people supported, or at least were interested in Ramon's case, and plea.

There were many film techniques used in this movie that were significant to the meaning, and the director was trying to portray through the film.

The Sea Inside, post 2

The Sea Inside compares with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in many ways. One way the two are similar is that both of the main characters are quadriplegics. Also, both characters are miserable in the life they are now forced to live because of unfortuante events that occured in their life. Also, both of them feel that they might be better off dead. Another similarity is that the main characters both wrote a book, expressing their feelings about their condidtion and telling people what their situation was like. The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and The Butterfly also have differences. In The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby becomes a quadriplegic because of a stroke, and in The Sea Inside, Ramon becomes paralyzed because of an accident while swimming. Another difference between the two is the care-taking. For Jean-Dominique, he is taken care of in the hospital, by hospital staff, while his family comes to visit occasionally. Ramon, on the other hand, is taken care of by his family in his brother and sister-in-law's house. A third and final difference between the two is that in the end, after their books had been published, they both died, but in different ways. Jean Dominique died because it was just his time to go, and Ramon died because he commit suicide.

In my opinion, the Sea Inside was more powerful because it really showed how miserable Ramon was, and how badly he wanted to die. Also, his family and friends were by his side all the time and I saw their emotions toward Ramon.

The Sea Inside, post 1

My general reaction/response to the film was that it made me feel bad for everybody in that situation. I felt bad for Ramon, because of his situation and how miserable it was. I also felt bad for everybody taking care of Ramon, because even though he probably is thankful, the family doesn't always see it because he is always talking about how he would rather be dead. I was kind of neutral about Ramon's request for assisted suicide because even though the condition he is in is hard for him to deal with, he should try to look at the positive side of things, and feel lucky that he is even alive. I think the court's response to him was probably a good idea because if they let somebody help him commit suicide, they might feel guilty, or could possibly get other people in trouble. His eventual actions of assisted suicide was a bittersweet moment. I felt sad that he was dead, but happy that he was finally taken away from his pain and misery. I think that the people who chose to help him commit suicide must have been really good friends to him. They must have loved him so much that they would be willing to help kill him, in order for him to finally be happy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week 5

Frank makes a band with his brother and his friend Billy. He cuts out hearts from one of his mom's dresses and uses them to make part of the band's uniforms. While he is looking for the dress, he finds his birth certificate and it says he was born 6 months after his parents got married, and wonders if he is a love child. Frank has a neighbor named Mr. Hannon. He needs help delivering coal to make a living, so Frank helps him. One day Frank's eyes got really irritated because of the dust from the coal, and Angela wouldn't let him work. Mr. McCourt comes home for Christmas, and after coming home a day late, the only gift he gives the family a half eaten box of chocolates. By this time, Angela owes rent for many many weeks. They have to conserve energy and burn one of the walls in order to make firewood to keep the family warm, beceause they have no other way to pay for anything. One of the boys knocks the beam that holds the ceiling up, and the ceiling starts to collapse. The landlord see's all of the damage that has been done, and evicts the family. The family then goes to live with Angela's cousin, who is pretty stable, financially. When they get their, her cousin's husband makes Angela clean his chamber pot, which is very embarrassing. Also, the family continues to fall apart. Grandma dies, Uncle Tom and his wife die, and Malachy leaves for the Army School of Music. Frank goes to the library quite frequently. The Librarian realizes how intelligent he is, and tells this to Angela. She also says that he should continue school. Angela then takes him to a Catholic school to ask about schooling, but the priest says there is no room there for Frank. Frank then gets a job as a telegram messenger. This job seems intriguing to him.

My reaction to this chapter is that it is very sad, and the family’s luck continues to go downhill. The McCourt family seems to have only encountered sad times throughout Frank’s life, at least this far into the memoir. His father continues to be an alcoholic, the family is still short on money, and still moving from place to place. Even reading about the conditions his family lived in disgusts me. I cannot even imagine living the way they did; with lice in the house, my mother being sick all the time, my family members dying, not being able to pay the rent, etc. I think the McCourt family, (or what’s left of them) must have been very strong in order to deal with all of this. Somehow they always seem to get through the tough times and in many situations look at the positive side of things. I give them a lot of credit for this, because given their situation; it would be easy to be pessimistic. This memoir uses very good imagery. Sometimes I feel like I am living in the same world that the McCourts are living. I find myself feeling sorry for the family, and wishing there was something I could do to help them. So far, this book has kept my attention, for the most part, but it is so detailed that sometimes I get a little side-tracked.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week 4, post 2

In the beginning of this section, Frank and is friend are invited over to one of their classmate's house for lunch. Instead of him feeding them, he just sat in the corner and ate his sandwich. Frank and his friend then skipped the rest of the day of school and stole apples and other food from the local grocery store. Frank gets scared and stays with his friend for the night. Angela gets mad because she has been worried sick about him. Frank has a friend named Mickey, who started off with a lot of siblings, but slowly, one by one, they die of consumption. Frank is jealous because when each of his siblings dies he gets a week off of school, and many other nice things. When his little sister becomes sick, he tells Frank that he will be invited to the wake, and miss school. This does not happen. Then Mickey gets sick and dies, and Frank is somewhat happy because now he doesn't have to be jealous of him. Frank's Grandma insists that he helps his uncle deliver newspapers. Frank agrees, but soon regrets it. His uncle mistreats Frank because when its raining, Frank has to deliver the papers, and doesn't pay him well at all. While he delivers papers, he gets to know Mr. Timoney. He reads to Mr. Timoney to make a little extra money for his family. He soon becomes friends with him. The next summer comes along, and Angela has another baby. This time a boy. The baby almost chokes to death, right before its baptism, but a friend saves it. Frank gets confirmed, but a few days later is diagnosed with Typhoid fever. He knows he will live though, because the doctor farted in front of him, and if he were really dying, the doctor wouldn't have farted. Frank thinks about his father. Sometimes he likes him, and other times he doesn't. The bathroom outside of the McCourt's front door is beginning to smell very bad, and now their house is infested with rats and flies. The Father decides to go to England to work for a factory. The boys' mother then promises an egg a week, which seems like the best thing in the world. The only problem with this is that Malachy never sends any money to the family. Angela gets sick with pneumonia and is taken to the hospital while the boys stay with their grandmother and their aunt. Their aunt is abusive to the boys.

Week 4, post 1

"That's right, no hope in heaven for the infant that's not baptized."- Frank McCourt's grandmother, page 182.

This quote is important to the book because Frank's grandmother is a very religious Catholic.
Anything that happens, according to her, is a work of God. If you do something wrong, you better go to confessions. She does not like people who are not Catholics, or people who say they are but do not act like it. This is huge in this memoir because even when her own family does something that other Catholics might not agree with, she does not associate with them, whatsoever.

Another Quote that is important in this memoir is; "Dad, you're not to go to the pub. Mam said you're bring home the money. You're not to drink the pint."- page 183

This was said by Malachy, Frank McCourt's younger brother. This is very important to the book because the father is an alcoholic and loses jobs quickly because of it. When he is able to maintain a job, he usually spends the money at a bar, instead of buying food, etc for his family.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- reflection

In my opinion, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was overall a good book. It had a lot of intriguing similes and imagery throughout the memoir. The struggles that Jean-Dominique Bauby went through were incredibly sad. The way he described what it was like to be a paraplegic, and stuck in your own body, made me realize how lucky I am. I am able to do simple tasks such as get myself dressed in the morning, walk around and eat, which to Jean-Dominique Bauby were big events in his daily routine. It also made me notice that when he had his stroke he really wished he could have done so much more with his life, or even just taken out a little extra time to capture all of the moments he had, while he could. It was one of his goals in life to write a book, and it wasn’t until after his stroke that he realized he could do it. He focused all of his energy on this book, and it was basically his reason for living during this rough time in his life. I admire him for this, and the fact that he kept looking on the positive side for most of the book made me like this memoir a lot.
Though I thought this book was interesting, I thought parts of it were very hard to follow. I thought this because sometimes it would jump from a dream, back to real life, to another dream, etc. It really made me think about what I was reading, and why he would tell about those dreams, etc. and how they contributed to his story. Also, Jean-Dominique Bauby mentioned many people during this fairly short book, so at times it was hard to keep the characters straight.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 3, part 2

Angela's Ashes has many strengths and weaknesses. One strengh is the use of terms and vocab in this book. The vocab in this book vividly describes the situations that Frank and his family are going through. Another strengh of this book is the imagery that is created. It really makes you feel like you are right there, living the situations with him and his family. There are also weaknesses in this book. During some parts of this book, it is a bit choppy and you lose the sense of "flowiness" and it is hard to follow. Some of the issues brought up in this book are very sad, but also seem very real. An example of this is the alcoholic father. This is a very sad thing, but i know it happens in real life. A person who lives a few streets away from me is an alcoholic and i know that sometimes the family has to reach out on a limb in order to eat that weak, or even get to school. I predict that the familys problems will only continue to get worse, and considering the title of the book, i am predicting that Angela (the mother) will die in the end. I also predict that the fathers alcoholism will only continue to get worse.

Week 3, part 1


Frank McCourt is going through the process of his First Communion at his church. His new teacher is named Mr. Benson and teaches him catechism. One of the boys in his class named Mikey Molloy tells him a story about "Cuchulain’s wife, Emer, who was the “champion woman pisser of Ireland” and won her husband in a pissing contest." Frank was very worried that he had committed the worst sin there was, so he went to confessions. He ended up showing up late for his Communion, had a hard time swallowing the wafer, and ends up throwing it up in his Grandma's backyard. Frank's family doesnt end up getting along very well...his grandmother doesn’t speak to his mother, his mother doesn’t talk to her siblings, his father doesn’t talk to Angela's family, and no one talks to his uncle’s wife. His parents had to go to the dentist and get fake teeth because they were constant smokers. Also, Frank finds out he needs to be rushed to the hospital to get his tonsils removed. Later on in the chapter Angela signs Frank up for Irish Dance Lessons. He gets embarrased by this. He tells his mom he is going to his dance lessons, when really he is ditching them. Malachy wants Frank to be an alter boy, but Angela thinks it wouldnt work out because he hardly has clothes decent enough for school, let alone church.

Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt was born on August 19th, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York. This was the time of the depression, and his family had a hard time dealing with it in Brooklyn, so they decided to move back to their home country of Ireland. His father was an alcoholic, who used his weekly wages to purchase alcohol, often leaving no money for his family. This meant that they had to go without food for the week, or borrow from the grocery store, promising to repay them. This also left his father without a job, more than once. 3 of the 7 kids in his family died because of diseases caused by malnutrition. He quit school when he was 13 to work, to try to feed his family. Then he was drafted by the Army. He attended New York University, even though he never attended high school. He taught in New York schools, for about 27 years. He is still living today, telling the stories of his childhood, and accepting rewards for his memoir “Angela’s Ashes.”

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Angela's Ashes Blog # 2


1. Fright. page 47. This word is loaded because it shows the extent of how scared the boy was when the dad snapped at him. The author is using this word to show that the child wasn't just a little scared, but very frightened by the tone of voice and context his father was using.

2 Grown- Ups. Page 50. This is a loaded word because it shows that the people in the story were older than the other characters in this story, as well as having mature conversations about serious issues. The author used this word to express that these people were older and viewed as GROWN UP children , who no longer liked to do child things.

3. Free. Page 52. Free is a loaded word because it means taht a country has freedoms, and the people are allowed to do what they want, but it is not always controlled as well as it was when another country had control of it, and some people liked it better that way. The author used it the way he did in this story because he needed to show the level of thought that was going through these characters heads, and how they expressed them.

4. American. Page 57. This is a loaded word because people in other countries tend to dislike American people. They think that they are rich, and wealthy, as well as stuck up and rude. The author used this word because he wanted to show the reaction of people to the American people.

5. Ancient Ireland. Page 60. This is loaded because to different people ancient can mean different things. To an elderly person, ancient may mean something completely differerent than what a younger person may believe. The author used this word to show what ancient meant to Malachy.

6. Child. Page 62. This is a loaded word because adults always look at kids as children, but kids always view themselves as young adults, or something along those lines. The author uses this term to show how the adults are viewing the kids' behavior and being during this chapter.

7. Immortal. Page 65. This is a loaded word because people think they are immortal, but really everybody dies at some point. The author uses this word to show how people are thinking during a part of this story.

8. Poor. Page 66. This is a loaded word because people that are poor do think of themselves as less fortunate as others, but do not dwell on it because they need to find ways to manage and come up with food for the week, etc. Frank McCourt (The author) uses this word to describe how the family was feeling and was viewed as when they moved to Ireland, and had a hard time coming up with food, and money, from day to day.

9. Millionaire. Page 67. This word is loaded because people who are millionaires still want to have more money, and the people who have less money want to become millionaires. This term was used by the author to show that just like all over the world, people in Ireland have varied salaries based on jobs, as well as how many people in the family need to be provided for, etc.

10. Lunatic Asylum. This is a loaded word because this word has other meanings which could be less offensive to people. Frank uses this term in the book because he wants to show the language that was used in those times, as well as showing how people were feeling when they said that somebody should be thrown in a Lunatic Asylum, or when they felt that with everything going on, they would need to be admitted.


When the family arrives in Ireland, they stay with Malachy's parents. They are told that there is no work in Ireland, so they are advised to go talk with the IRA to set something up where they could recieve money to support the family until a real job offer comes along. In Dublin, Malachy tells the IRA that he was in the service, but the man cannot find record of this, and refuses to give them any money. The family then goes to a local police station, and spends the night there. The family then goes to Limerick to stay with Angela's family, for a night. Her family then helps them find a room to stay in, with only one mattress, that ends up being infested with fleas. A few days later, Angela wakes up with a white face, and blood spots on the floor, indicating that she had a miscarriage, and must go to the hospital for a few days. They find out that they will only be getting 19 schillings a week, which will hardly keep them living. Oliver then becomes ill, and dies. The day after the funeral, Malachy spends all of his money on drinks. The family moves again, and the boys begin school. 6 months later, Eugene dies from Pnemonia. Malachy once again copes with the loss by drinking.

Personal Reaction.
My reaction to this section was that this family has had a very unfortunate life thus far. They have had to deal with many losses, including many of their children. The father still has a drinking problem and sometimes fails to support his family. The other members of the family seem to cope fairly well to all of these tragedies, considering how many their have been. Thus far, Frank seems to be the strongest memeber of the family.

Angela's Ashes Blog #1


Frank McCourt's parents, Malachy and Angela, fall in love, have children together and get married. Malachy grew up in Ireleand, commits a crime, and escapes to America. The children's names are Frank, Malachy, Eugene, Oliver and Margaret. Their father had a job, but would spend most of his weekly earnings on whiskey, leaving almost nothing for the family to buy food, etc. Angela then would have to borrow food from the grocery store, and promise to pay it back later, which she always did. When baby Margaret was born, it stopped Malachy (the father) from drinking, for a short time. Frank must help out with taking care of his younger brothers while Angela tends to the baby. One night, Margaret becomes ill and dies. Angela falls into a depression, and fails to care for her other children. The neighbors do the best they can to help the family by feeding them, and taking care of them, but the situation only continues to worsen. The family then decides to move back to Ireland. This is hard for Frank and the other boys because they have become accustomed to playing at the playground with their friends. On the ship on the way to Ireland, the mother becomes sea sick, and vomits over the edge of the boat.


This chapter was very interesting. The family life that these boys have is not what seems normal in today's society. They seem to have a very messed up life, with the father being an alcoholic, the baby sister dying, and the mother falling into a depression. Also, with the father spending most of his weekly wages on Whiskey, the family is left with hardly any money left for food, which has got to be the worst feeling in the world. Especially when they have to borrow food from the store, promising to repay them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This I Believe

1. A link to the essay

2. Author
Chris Huntington

3. Title
Becoming a Parent Is a Gift

–4. One sentence of what the belief is
Becoming a parent is a gift, not only done the old fashioned way, but also by adopting children.

–5. 2 examples from the story that showed their belief

* Our friends would bring their kids over to visit and we'd hang up their tiny coats, hoping some magic would rub off on our hands. When it didn't, we started avoiding any place we'd see the one thing we wanted so desperately.

*I used to believe that becoming a parent was part of our biology. It was something everyone could do. When I couldn't make a baby, I felt a little less human.

–6. 1 favorite passage
*People think we're good or generous because we're giving a home to an orphan, and giving her a family but the truth is she'll be giving us a family.

I like this passage because it shows that love goes two ways.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

my anxieties of EHS and goal for sophmore year

The thing I am most anxious about at Edina High School is being able to make time for both homework and sports. This makes me anxious because in past years I have had a hard time balancing the two with only four classes per day. Now, having six classes plus a zero hour will increase my homework, making my time limited. Adding a sport into my life in the spring will just increase the stress that comes with being busy. I will need to work extra hard in order to keep my grades up while continuing to focus on my sport. This is very important because these are the years that count for college and if i don't keep my grades up, most likely I won't be able to get into a school that I would like to attend. Balancing several activities such as sports with homework is my biggest anxiety about being a part of Edina High School.

One goal for myself in my sophomore year is to expand my friendships. I have many friends at EHS, but there is always room for more. Most of my friends came from Valley View, just like me and i would like to meet new people who came from Southview or even another school district. This will benefit me in so many ways such as knowing more than one person in my classees to talk to about homework , what happened in class that day, or even the things we can't believe our teacher said. This will also be a benefit to me because i will get a chance to learn about other people's backgrounds and possibly other cultures. Another reason i want to expand my friendships is because i will meet people with different interests than my current friends which could potentially give me new people to hang out with on the weekends. I will also be able to have new life expiriences with my new friends which will teach me a lot about myself and other people. I am excited to meet and become friends with new people at EHS.