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Monday, October 25, 2010

Journal #17

Bonding with nature is hard, especially when I do not like or care about nature. So, instead, I think I want to make something up that sounds more interesting than some random information I might know about nature. Although, I do not really know what that information would be because I have never really thought about something like that. Anyway, I think I am going to tell a fictional story about an adventure I had in the woods. It was a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) that I last had a good nature walk, so I decided to relax in nature. The day was October 21, and I was becoming one with nature. At first, I thought it was just simply sort of odd that all the little forest creatures were following me, but then a fox came, followed by a coyote, an eagle, a mother black bear and her three cubs, and a small heard of elk. The only real clues I had were the occasional sounds of huffing and snorting from behind me. I was very good at listening and could distinguish sounds from others and place them with the correct owner. But, every time I tried to turn around to get a glimpse of all the perculiar animals, they were gone (sort of gone, I suppose, because they tried to hide behind trees and bushes, and six elk cannot all fit behind a bush, no matter how large that bush may be). So, I would turn around, and all the animals would come back out. It was like they already knew I was turning around before I really did. It was so weird. So, that is the story. Did you like it? I enjoyed writing it just for you because you are my favorite audience - the one that can be transposed into anyone who reads this journal post. So, now I am done with this post, and I hope you have a wonderful day (or night).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Journal #16

This is my journal about my favorite (and least favorite) foods. My favorite food is probably Hamburger Helper, which is a magical combination of noodles, hamburger, and secret sauce (may also contain cheese). In fact, I am having my favorite food tonight for dinner, and I am so stoked. It does not have anything nasty like tomatoes or asparagus or liverwurst. I am a very picky eater, but I really like to eat because food is so yummy. I also really like spaghetti, and I like to eat chicken patties on a bun. Actually, chicken is delightful in general. And, there are so many things to make using chicken. Like I said, it can be put on a bun, or cooked on the grill just plain, or baked with crackers crumbled on it, or roasted whole, or fried. It is so versatile! And, chicken is one of the healthiest meats. I also really like Thanksgiving dinner because I love mashed potatoes, and I love stuffing, and gravy is the most perfect liquid binder available because it is so full of flavor and goes so well with everything. I am getting hungry, now. Actually, now that I think about it, I am a sucker for comfort food, like macaroni and cheese. It is so rich and cheesy and tender but full of texture simultaneously. I think I could eat macaroni and cheese for a solid year if I wanted to. But, that would probably not be too smart because I think I would get sick of it during that year-long period. A year is really long. Eating macaroni three times a day, that would be 1,095 meals of macaroni and cheese. That is a lot of noodles. There are probably like 300 macaroni noodle in each bowl, so there would be over 320,000 noodles entering my body over the course of a year. I like macaroni and cheese, but I am not sure about that much.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Journal #15

Well, personally, logic and reason are how I live. It is not really too possible to stumble yourself through life without thinking about what could be happening while you go along. However, apparently, there are some people who do not use logic or reason to make any sort of decision. None of them are very smart because they are unable to do what they want. In other words, there are a ton of stupid people, whom I am forced to live with. For instance, one of my partners for the "project" we are doing has gotten almost nothing done on time. He did not participate in making the list of seven virtues because he did not even have his own thirteen to give his input. Even if the descriptions were at the level of a second-grader, it would seem logical to do even a little bit of work on it. It might seem reasonable to help the group a little, and that is why I, personally, did what was assigned. However, since he does not care about me or my third partner, I guess he is not very reasonable. I really hate people in general, actually. It might be a little bit better if people would think about the stupid things they are saying, but luckily, people are stupid because no one understands that their sentences do not make sense. It seems like it could be logical to think about the stupid things people say, but I suppose it is pretty hard to pay attention to what you say. It might be deemed reasonable to consider the thoughts of other people to be personal, but, honestly, I do not care about the feelings of other people. For the amount I care, they can all just live by themselves under ground for their stupidity. So, now I need to have about twenty more words, but that is really everything that I feel needs to be said about the lack of logic or reason in this world.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Common Sense" Criticism

So, Thomas Paine could just have easily made this paper about three sentences by saying something along the lines of, "I hate all people because they are stupid and make stupid rules, and it would be so much easier if everyone would just have some sense about them." Obviously, because of time constraints and my general lack of wanting to read the entire article, I only read the section that was assigned to me in class. In just that part, Paine is destroying the King of England because he is creating ridiculous rules and enforcing them in unfair ways, usually benefitting himself or his friends. "This shall be the manner of the king that shall reign over you; he will take your sons and appoint them for himself for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots and he will appoint him captains over thousands and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground and to read his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots; and he will take your daughters to be confectionaries and to be cooks and to be bakers and he will take your fields and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants; and he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give them to his officers and to his servants and he will take the tenth of your men servants, and your maid servants, and your goodliest young men and your asses, and put them to his work; and he will take the tenth of your sheep, and ye shall be his servants, and ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen." (Paine). Do you see it now? Paine is complaining that the kings are dictoral and completely one-sided - that is, he is always on his own side. Living in a time like that would certainly upset me as well, so I really cannot blame Thomas Paine for writing this. However, I can certainly blame him for making it the full twenty one thousand, five hundred words it is. Honestly, I think the man could have gotten his point across just as well by limiting himself to maybe one or two thousand words, but this style is part of the time period because, for some reason, Rationalists decided it be important to overly explain every tiny detail. As I pointed out before, Paine clearly uses plenty of support for his ideas because of the stories and accounts he gives with each point. Amidst the quote mentioned earlier is a story of the Bible character, Samuel, where he is spreading the word of his Lord. Connecting to the quotation, also, is the idea that God is, too, against monarchial government. In fact, Paine directly conveys this idea by saying, "That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchial government is true, or the scripture is false." (Paine). So, apparently, just in the section I read, Paine displayed two ways of support: by blatantly saying what must be said and by supporting what should be said with a more or less "real" account of the matter.

Works Cited

Paine, Thomas. "Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' - Text Version." Archiving Early America. Ed. Don Vitale. 1996. Online. 19 Oct. 2010. .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Franklin's Autobiography and the American Dream" Reflection

Actually, I thought the article was fairly interesting. Every single part of it was well thought out and clearly organized. Lemay did a wonderful job writing this criticism. Despite its extreme length, I was very happy to read "Franklin's Autobiography and the American Dream." Lemay gave both very detailed information and some information that should probably be deemed unnecessary, such as "Most sentences in Franklin's Autobiography are unrevised..." (Lemay). This has nothing to do with the rest of the paragraph as he goes on to say "and he carefully reworked it," (Lemay) which is a clear redundancy. The style of writing is also extremely advanced. Lemay uses many words with more than just five letters, sometimes spelling out such words as "obscurity," "theological," and "voluntarism." I, for one, did not know the definition of "voluntarism" until i looked it up - the theory that the will rather than the intellect is the ultimate principle of reality. Lemay was also not one to skimp on any details. Everything he thought about saying would come out on paper, it seemed. For instance, it seemed necessary for Lemay to state that "Franklin's Autobiography is the first great book in American literature." (Lemay). If that is not a good way to start the paper, I do not know what is. Even the details not pertaining to the meat and bones of the paper are still, naturally, included. Also, that statement in itself is quite bold, despite its placement and reasoning. Yes, it certainly does promote Franklin's Autobiography, but it simultaneously puts down pretty much every single other book written before it. By saying that it is the first "great" book, Lemay is saying that he is not a big fan of all the other books written before this one, including, possibly, European writers who wrote about America and in American styles. Many of those European writers could have been writing hundreds of years before Franklin, leaving room for a whole lot of books to be written in that time. Also, I really liked how Lemay described the American Dream because, like I said before, he did not leave any room for misinturpretations (yes, that is a big word). His description of the American Dream really helps readers better understand the American Dream as it is according to Franklin. Unfortunately, however, Lemay's description is too long to fully describe in a five hundred word blog. Once again, Lemay wrote this essay to be extremely informative, but also very dull and monotonous. He explained the American Dream in his own terms and in Franklin's terms in a total of five aspects. Each aspect bounced off of the last, but they were all distinct in explanation. It is quite amazing that Lemay is able to sit down and write that entire thing mainly because he was interested in Franklin. I am happy to be enthusiastic, but he took it to the "know-it-all" level. If he ever writes something like this again, Lemay needs to concentrate a little more on keeping the audience's attention by changing up the tone every once in a while. I got really bored really fast, but I still certainly learned a whole lot.

Works Cited

Lemay, J.A. Leo. "Franklin's Autobiography and the American Dream." InThe Renaissance Man in the Eighteenth Century. Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 1978. Quoted as "Franklin's Autobiography and the American Dream." in Bloom, Harold, ed. The American Dream, Bloom's Literary Themes. New York: Chelsea Publishing House, 2009. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. (accessed October 14, 2010).

Journal #14

This is the Declaration of Freedom. I am a citizen, so I should be able to say whatever I want in school. Why is it that teachers put so much pressure on students by giving them so much homework and so many tests. No one likes tests or quizes because, for the most part, they are entirely about memorizing something the night before just to forget again as soon as the test has been taken. It seems I should be able to pick and choose what I want to do, and that includes skipping school whenever I want. Actually, going to school all year long would basically solve the problem because it would give me more evenly spaced breaks that are not just three days here and there. Those kinds of breaks are really just slightly elongated weekends. Students are not quite able to catch up on sleep, but they still have to think about doing homework with only one extra day to do it. We should be free to say what we want in school. We should be able to miss classes or talk a little bit in class. A lot of teachers now are so hung up on the class being completely silent, and it really makes the class much more boring. That is the real reason students fail classes; they are unable to pay attention for the whole period because it is so monotonous. If teachers would change up their teaching styles every oncde in a while, I think more children would be happier in school and more motivated in class. We need to be free to think what we want about the other people in school. For example, there are obviously many teachers whom students do not exactly respect because they are not good teachers. But, the people in charge of discipline are not as easy about these thoughts because they are apparently "mean and rude," even though they are actually entirely true. There are really a lot more stupid people in a school than one might think.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Journal #13

Homecoming week is pretty dumb in general because everyone hates each other and expects everyone to participate even though all the days are really bad and boring. It is just a week of everyone complaining about how no one cares about the class and how dumb everyone else is for not dressing up for the day. It is really annoying how all the "cool kids" think they can just yell at all the other people because they think the whole homecoming week is stupid. It is fine to be excited about your school, but you are actually just being annoying. They really need to think of better themes for each day because they were very uncreative this year. We need toga day! That would be pretty funny. Or, like SHS does, we could have a senior citizen day where everyone dresses up as old people. Things like that are able to be used in very clever ways. For example, there could be floral wreath hats and chariots in toga day, and you could get props for senior citizen day like an oxygen tank or a cane or a walker or wheelchair. See, for cowboy day, what can I really bring? How about a fake horse? That is creative. There is not much diversity in cowboy day; plus, not many people need to try to dress differently anyway because three quarters of the school is already a bunch of hick farmers. Then, also, Thursday's "class color day" and Friday's "spirit day" could be combined to leave room for a better day to come in. Also, hat day is getting really, really old. I have seen everyone's hats, and I actually do not care about them anymore. It is not funny. It is just dumb. The whole school needs to calm down about spirit week, especially because our football team is garbage anyway. I do not care about them, and I am sure they return the favor.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Journal #12

Ok, so apparently when I started typing this blog in class, my computer decided to hate me, and when I got about half way through and Mr. Langley told us to stop, it just really did not want to save the blog I had worked so hard on. Thanks, Blogger. :) I really appreciate getting to do more work than is necessary. But, that is fine; it is not like this week has sucked already or anything. Working with a partner is something I usually do not like at all. There is one person who does all the work and one person who sits there and talks to the other people around them, leaving the first said person to pick up the slack for the second. I usually get stuck with the job of the first one, where I get to do the entire project and share half the credit with the idiot partner. On rare occasions, however, I get to work in groups. Groups I can handle. There is more than one person to pick up the slack, but there is hardly ever any to pick up because the other group members tend to gang up on that person and yell at him or her to start working instead of being their normal self (off track and essentially useless to the collaborative efforts of the group). I am also fine if my partner is someone who I know will at least try to help me. Since the majority of the school is only there because the government says they have to be there, the majority of the school consequently does not care to try very hard. But, in these few cases, I get a partner who is not part of the majority of the school. I get the "smart kid," and we split up the task to divide and conquer. So, there is not much else I want to say about working with partners because most of the rest would be calling out names, and that is not something I really want to do on the internet because I do not know who might read these. But, trust me, there are many students who are totally stupid and I really, really hate. I actually just do not like people in general.