Sunday, September 29, 2013

CHARACTER STUDY (IV)

     The mist in the air was thick and blanketed the night sky as if it was trying to inhibit their journey. Ozamataz's knuckles turned white as he clenched the steering wheel of his antique taxi, no one knew if it was because of the fog or because of Kristen's incessant flirtation that was both unwanted and very inappropriate given the circumstances.
     Jacob sat in the back next to Quatro who was visibly nervous. Jacob pleaded with him to calm down but the arrogant football star that always had his act together couldn't stop shaking. He kept blurting out ideas of where Xmus could be that Ozamataz took no heed to. Jacob was worried about his friend but just focused on the goal of finding Xmus.
   

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CHARACTER STUDY (II & III)

     After the victory in the game, Jacob was on top of the world, he was physically exhausted from the three and a half hour long game, but he couldn't have been more ecstatic for the team. As Jacob dwelt on his pride, one of his teammates, Quatro Quatro, approached him and invited him to his frat house for a celebration. Jacob was eager to go and even more eager when he heard that his friends from school Kylie and Lindsey were going to be attending.
     Jacob never really liked Quatro, he was a very arrogant and cocky guy, the way he walked around campus you would think that he owned the school. Nevertheless, he was a good friend and Jacob was excited for the party tonight. When they arrived at the party there was already at least one hundred co-eds there, doing everything from dancing to drinking alcohol, and a lot more in between.
     As soon as he walked in to the dank and crowded frat house he immediately noticed Kylie and Lindsey standing in the corner by themselves, they weren't holding cups and they didn't seem to comfortable in this environment, they were both staring in the same direction and pointing so Jacob wanted to go see what the hubbub was about.
     They were both pointing at Kristen Crockett, who definitely seemed comfortable in this environment. He didn't even know that she went to their school but Lindsey informed him that she got her parents to pay for airfare under false pretenses so she could attend this party. She was dancing with a rather large man that looked heavily intoxicated. Kylie said his name was Ozamataz Buckshank, she also mentioned that he came across as dumb when they met him.
     An hour or so into the party, their friend from back home named Kendall arrived with her cousin, Xmus Wackson Jackson Flackson who immediately darted off to go indulge in drinking. Kendall was upset and kept rambling about how she had to leave soon but never did. An hour later, Quatro came up to us in a panic, Xmus was missing! We all rushed outside and Ozamataz said that we could drive in his taxi cab, and Kristen seemed eager to sit next to him and seemed to be flirting with the taxi cab driver. Quatro looked nervous and kept offering ideas of where Xmus could be. Ozamataz shifted the car into reverse and hey pulled off into the night.
     And that is when their journey began.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CANTERBURY TALES (I)

In this very dry opening to a glimpse into the past, there is a lot of irony used and also upon further reading I found that Chaucer did take the pilgrimage, that was a question that our class seemed to be struggling with. Why do you think this type of literature is so important? Is it just historical or is it more?

NETVIBES SETUP

I found the netvibes set up very hard, I couldn't figure out how to get new widgets or gadgets where I wanted them or exactly what I wanted. The apps were pretty self explanatory but they weren't specific enough to my needs. Maybe in class there was a little more explanation on how to manipulate the dashboard to your desires, but I couldn't figure out an effective homepage.

CHARACTER STUDY (I)

     Sweat rolled down his arms when he thought about the struggles the future held for him, he stood at six feet tall, but felt dwarfed by the journey that was before him. However he had a quiet confidence, he had been working for months leading up to this moment, hard work seeped through his veins, he always did what his coach asked of him without being a sycophant. He was a leader and and he knew he couldn't be scared, he couldn't allow a moment of weakness or relapse. With a stern brow and a complacent expression on his sunburned face, he marched forward out of the tunnel. Without fear he placed his helmet over his tangled and sweaty hair, took his lengthy strides out to the fifty yard line and met the rest of his team for the biggest game of his life.

Monday, September 23, 2013

VOCAB #6

obsequious (adj) - obedient/attentive to an excessive or servile degree
Ex: People thought that Ryan Leaf was obsequious, but really he didn't want to obey anyone.

beatitude (n) - supreme blessedness
Ex: Ryan Leaf being drafted number 2 overall was definitely a beatitude.

bete noire (n) - a person/thing that one particularly dislikes
Ex: Apparently, good quarterback play was one of Ryan Leaf's bete noires. 

bode (v) - to be an omen of a particular outcome
Ex: His immaturity didn't bode well for Ryan Leaf's career.

dank (adj) - disagreeably cold/musty
Ex: Most of the time, Leaf's attitude was dank and cold.

ecumenical (adj) - representing a number of different Christian churches
Ex: Leaf's behavior was so out of control that an ecumenical conference was called to discuss his actions.

fervid (adj) - excessively passionate
Ex: Some considered Leaf's actions as fervid excitement for the game, but really it was just gaudy, uncontrollable, rudeness.

fetid (adj) - smelling extremely unpleasant
Ex: The back of his jersey smelled fetid because Leaf was always on his back after being sacked.

gargantuan (adj) - huge, massive
Ex: Ryan Leaf was a gargantuan in college, but looked small and unimportant in the pros.

heydey (n) - [slang] prime, peak
Ex: Ryan Leaf has passed his heydey, now he is in jail for cocaine use.

incubus (n) - a sneaky or suspicious person
Ex: When he is on cocaine Ryan Leaf is an incubus.

infrastructure (n) - the frame or structure of something
Ex: The infrastructure for the case that Ryan Leaf was a good NFL quarterback doesn't exist.

inveigle (v) - to persuade by deception/flattery
Ex: Ryan Leaf tried to inveigle some more playing time after he got benched, it didn't work.

kudos (n) - praise/recognition for an achievement
Ex: All the kudos he received in college went to Ryan Leaf's head.

lagniappe (n) - insignificant extra/bonus gift
Ex: Ryan Leaf's million dollar signing bonus was no lagniappe.

prolix (adj) - [in writing] lengthy or superfluous wordiness
Ex: Ryan Leaf's fake apology was definitely not defined by its prolixity.

protege (n) - a person guided by an older mentor
Ex: Ryan Leaf really could have used a protege, but instead he tried to do everything on his own.

prototype (n) - example or first draft
Ex: Ryan Leaf is a prototype of a draft bust.

sycophant (n) - basically a suck up
Ex: instead of being a sycophant, Ryan Leaf took the opposite course and disrespected everyone.

tautology (n) - literary mistake where you say the same thing with two different words
Ex: Ryan Leaf was a bad quarterback that couldn't throw the ball or lead a team.

truckle (v) - to act obsequiously
Ex: Unlike a sycophant (who would be obsequious) Ryan Leaf never truckled anyone.

accolade (n)- a privilege or award based on merit
Ex: In the NFL, Ryan Leaf didn't receive any accolades.

acerbity (adj)- sharp or bitter speech
Ex: After losing (which he did a lot) Ryan Leaf's post game interviews were usually acerbity.

attrition (n)- action of reducing someone's strength
Ex: All that cocaine was an attrition to Ryan's body.

bromide (n)- a trite or unoriginal remark intended to sooth
Ex: After he got cut, Ryan's mother offered him a bromide, it didn't help much.

chauvinist (n)- someone with aggressive or excessive patriotism
Ex: Ryan Leaf hates America, he is definitely not a chauvinist.

chronic (adj)- persisting or recurring for a long time
Ex: Ryan Leaf has a chronic addiction to cocaine.

expound (v)- present systematically or in detail
Ex: Ryan Leaf tried to expound to his coach why he should still start, but he didn't go for it.

factionalism (v)- splitting a group into 2 factions
Ex: There are two main factions, those who think the Chargers wasted a pick on Ryan Leaf, and those who think they should have picked someone else, that's factionalism.

immaculate (adj)- only possible through divine intervention
Ex: It would be immaculate if Ryan Leaf was able to be not doing cocaine.

imprecation (n)- a spoken curse
Ex: Some blame the fact that someone gave Leaf an imprecation for the reason he sucked.

ineluctable (adj)- unable to be resisted or avoided
Ex: It was ineluctable that Peyton Manning would be picked first and Ryan Leaf second.

mercurial (adj)- subject to sudden mood or mind changes
Ex: Ryan Leaf was extremely mercurial, he had massive mood swings.

palliate (v)- to make less severe/unpleasant without uprooting the cause
Ex: They tried to palliate the Chargers by adding better players, but they really needed to just remove Ryan.

protocol (n)- necessary/mandatory in a workplace
Ex: Wearing a helmet is standard protocol in Ryan Leaf's old profession.

resplendent (adj)- attractive through rich color
Ex: Ryan Leaf always wore dull colors or black, he was never known for his resplendent fashion sense.

stigmatize (v)- to describe as worthy of disgrace or disapproval
Ex: There is only one way to talk about Ryan Leaf, through stigmatization.

sub rosa (adj/adv)- done in secret
Ex: When they cut Ryan Leaf they did it sub rosa, no one knew about it.

vainglory (n)- extreme vanity, excessive pride in one's accomplishments
Ex: Everyone knows that Ryan Leaf was an extreme vainglory.

vestige (n)- a trace of something that doesn't exist anymore
Ex: I thought i found a vestige that Ryan Leaf is a good quarterback.

volition (n)- the faculty or power of using one's will
Ex: Ryan Leaf had no volition.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WHAT A CHARACTER

My favorite character and the most memorable character for me is Holden from JD Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye. Salinger uses indirect characterization to describe this nonchalant, confused young adult. His actions speak for him and we are able to view his inner thoughts and they way he sees other people to understand his troubles. I love the way he embodies an arrogant, judgmental, know-it-all yet we really sympathize with him throughout all of his troubles. Also, Salinger uses repetition with Holden's "catchphrases" that he repeats throughout the novel. All in all, Holden is my favorite character that I've ever been lucky enough to meet.

Monday, September 16, 2013

DECLARATION OF LEARNING INDEPENDENCE

My big question revolves around what our society finds valuable and beautiful. This year I plan to dive into a learning experience that focuses on worth and why we think the way we do about things that have value to us.

VOCABULARY #5

obsequious (adj) - obedient/attentive to an excessive or servile degree.
Ex: Jadeveon Clowney demands obsequious respect as captain of his football team.

beatitude (n) - supreme blessedness
Ex: Some would say Jadeveon Clowney's incredible athletic talents are beatitudes.

bete noire (n) - a person/thing that one particularly dislikes
Ex: Jadeveon Clowney's bete noire is his coach, because he benched him once.

bode (v) - to be an omen of a particular outcome
Ex: The fact that Clowney isn't playing well right now does not bode well for his Heisman hopes.

dank (adj) - disagreeably cold/musty
Ex: When he doesn't wash his shoulder pads, Clowney's pads get pretty dank.

ecumenical (adj) - representing a number of different Christian churches
Ex: A little know (untrue) fact about Jadeveon is that he enjoys studying ecumenical works to give him a lot of different perspectives about the Christian faith.

fervid (adj) - excessively passionate
Ex: Some would say that he is fervid about football, but Jadeveon just really loves the game.

fetid (adj) - smelling extremely unpleasant
Ex: After a long practice the cheerleaders tell Jadeveon that he smells fetid, but he doesn't care what they think.

gargantuan (adj) - huge, massive
Ex: At 6'6, Jadeveon Clowney is a gargantuan football player.

heydey (n) - [slang] prime, peak
Ex: Howie Long says that in his heydey he was better than Jadeveon Clowney, but that is just untrue.

incubus (n) - male demon that has sexual intercourse with sleeping women
Ex: Clowney is so sneaky and quick on his feet that some people compare him to an incubus, which is a totally inappropriate comparison.

infrastructure (n) - government/country's roads, buildings, signs, and bridges
Ex: Jadeveon Clowney has never publicly announced his position on Obama's stance on infrastructure.

inveigle (v) - to persuade by deception/flattery
Ex: Jadeveon has been trying to inveigle his coach to let him play running back for years now, it hasn't worked thus far.

kudos (n) - praise/recognition for an achievement.
Ex: Jadeveon won many awards after last season's performance but he isn't content with kudos and accolades, he wants a championship.

lagniappe (n) - extra/bonus gift
Ex: While being recruited, Jadeveon was offered a lot of lagniappes, but he didn't accept them because that would be wrong.

prolix (adj) - [in writing] lengthy or superfluous wordiness
Ex: Clowney enjoys succinct writing, nothing with too many words.

protege (n) - a person guided by an older mentor
 Ex: Jadeveon's backup considers himself a protege of the All-American, too bad Clowney doesn't even know his name.

prototype (n) - example or first draft
Ex: Jadeveon is the prototype Defensive End, if you drew one up on paper, you'd end up with him.

sycophant (n) - basically a suck up
Ex: Jadeveon's backup is also a sycophant, he always acts like a servant in hope to gain an advantage.

tautology (n) - literary mistake where you say the same thing with two different words
Ex: Jadeveon Clowney is a great football player that plays football.

truckle (v) - to act obsequiously
Ex: Again, the back up to Jadeveon truckles way too much.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

LIT ANALYSIS

1. The novel is told from the perspective from the caretaker of an older house to a man looking to buy this house. The story is about the family that used to live in the house, they were a rich family with a caring father who took in a dirty and grimy orphan named Heathcliff. The father dies soon after bringing him home and the rest of the family is mean to him (with one exception) with includes both physical and mental abuse. The one exception is Cathy, his adopted sister, he eventually falls in love with her and is emotionally destroyed when she marries another man. Cathy dies in childbirth and Heathcliff never leaves the property and is always haunted with guilt about Cathy and hatred for most everyone else.

2. The theme of this novel is how differences in social status, patriarchal discrimination, and abuse can cause bitterness and remorse.

3. The author's tone conveys bitterness and remorse. Throughout the novel she uses her characters to express different emotions.

Ex 1: "You loved me- what right had you to leave me? What right- answer me- for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will did it. I have not broken your heart- you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you- Oh, God! Would you like to lie with your soul in the grave?"

Bronte uses Heathcliffe's anger to portray his bitterness.

Ex 2: "'I'm tired with my journey, and I want to go to bed! Where is the maid-servant? Direct me to her, as she won't come to me.'
'We have none,' he answered, 'you must wait on yourself!'
'Where must I sleep, then?' I sobbed..."

Bronte uses this quote to show how social classes can cause discrepancies.

Ex 3: "He took to Heathcliff strangely, believing all he said... and petting him up far above Cathy, who was too mischieveous and wayward for a favourite."

Bronte uses this quote to show the patriarchal differences and how Cathy was portrayed as a weak character throughout the novel.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ALL OF THE ABOVE

I scored a 32 out of 67 which I am pretty happy about, last year on the AP test my weakness was the multiple choice section and my essays really picked up the slack to receive a four on that test. I know I can improve exponentially on this portion but I am overall pretty happy with my results. Most of the questions that I got wrong were grammar related because I think that's my weakest area of English. I definitely need to improve on the technical aspects of my reading and writing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

VOCAB #4

accolade (n)- a privilege or award based on merit
Ex: Kevin Durant's accolades include the Rookie of the Year and the NBA scoring title.

acerbity (adj)- sharp or bitter speech
Ex: When asked why his team lost the Finals, Kevin Durant responded with acerbity.

attrition (n)- action of reducing someone's strength
Ex: Kevin Durant's offensive style is a patient one, he utilizes attrition to break down his opponents.

bromide (n)- a trite or unoriginal remark intended to sooth
Ex: After a loss Durant hates bromides, they just make him angry even if they are said with good intentions.

chauvinist (n)- someone with aggressive or excessive patriotism
Ex: Kevin Durant's teammate has red white and blue underwear that he never takes off, he is a chauvinist.

chronic (adj)- persisting or recurring for a long time
Ex: Kevin Durant has a chronic habit of scoring more than 30 points a game.

expound (v)- present systematically or in detail
Ex: Even though Kevin expounded his idea, the NBA decided not to make it against the rules to guard him.

factionalism (v)- splitting a group into 2 factions
Ex: Kevin Durant displays factionalism when he splits the zone defense in two without effort.

immaculate (adj)- only possible through divine intervention
Ex: Kevin Durant's game winning shot against the Mavericks can only be described as immaculate.

imprecation (n)- a spoken curse
Ex: Even though the creepy old lady chanted an imprecation, Kevin Durant's team still won the game.

ineluctable (adj)- unable to be resisted or avoided
Ex: It is ineluctable that Kevin Durant will score at least 30 points in a given game.

mercurial (adj)- subject to sudden mood or mind changes
Ex: Kevin Durant's mercurial aunt sometimes roots for his team and other times wants them to lose.

palliate (v)- to make less severe/unpleasant without uprooting the cause
Ex: When you stop the other four players from scoring, your defense palliates the Thunder.

protocol (n)- necessary/mandatory in a workplace
Ex: It is protocol to wear basketball shorts during a game for Kevin Durant.

resplendent (adj)- attractive through rich color
Ex: Kevin Durant's new neon orange shoes are very resplendent.

stigmatize (v)- to describe as worthy of disgrace or disapproval
Ex: The Miami Heat's attempts to guard Kevin Durant were stigmatized by everyone in the media.

sub rosa (adj/adv) done in secret
Ex: The idea to vote Lebron as MVP instead of Kevin Durant was done in sub rosa.

vainglory (n)- extreme vanity, excessive pride in one's accomplishments
Ex: Even though he is the best player ever in existence, Kevin Durant isn't a vainglory

vestige (n)- a trace of something that doesn't exist anymore
Ex: I found a thread of Kevin Durant's Texas University jersey, it turned out to be a vestige.

volition (n)- the faculty or power of using one's will
Ex: Kevin Durant's ability can be described as a volition.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BEOWULF ESSAY

Jacob Fowler
Period 5
Beowulf Essay
                Our culture is one of change; our lives are completely different than they were just five years ago. That being said, our values and morals parallel those of the Danish people during the Dark Ages. We still share our basic human nature and it is human nature to search for a hero; we all want to know that where our capabilities end there will be someone with the strength to protect us. Whether a fictional character or an actual role model, our quest cannot be quenched until we find our hero. Centuries ago, in the Middle Ages, the Danish other Europeans found their hero in Beowulf; the twenty-first century finds theirs in Thor. And although Thor is a Norse god that has been “Hollywoodized” and although he is just one of the dozens of superheroes in circulation, he is the perfect example of the twenty-first century hero.
The most defining feature in both of these heroes is their pride, both are extremely confident in their own abilities; they find their courage within themselves. Beowulf shows his ego as he strips down and fights his enemy in the nude, although this might be conceived as cockiness, the original text seems to indicate that really he came to depend on himself and God rather than the primitive technology of the day. It was important to the culture of the Middle Ages to forgo the strength of modern innovations and rather depend on the raw power of God. Speaking of raw power, Thor carries the strength of the heavens inside of an iron hammer that he is willing to use in every situation possible. Thor is confident to a fault, he is confident in all of his abilities although some of his strengths are actually weaknesses and they lead him to the point of downfall. We see both of these heroes find their strength within themselves and their respective religions, they do not depend on others to give them power, their abilities transcend human capabilities.
Both characters share one interesting characteristic; they both share a peculiar motive that is defining to their cause. Thor is an out of world god who lives on a planet outside of the Milky Way, he is prepared to take over as king for his dying father when his brother Logi places Earth in harm’s way. It would have been extremely easy for the Norse god to forget about a distant planet and indulge in his evident arrogance and rest as king, however his confidence is his abilities led him to go out of his way to save a people in need, the authors of Thor use this sequence of events to indirectly characterize Thor’s ambition and courage. Beowulf is similarly portrayed in his epic poem where he places himself in danger so he can save a foreign land from a monster that has no intentions to harm Beowulf or his family. The main difference between these two motives is the ultimate question of honor versus glory. Thor does his actions to seek honor for his family, to redeem his brother’s crimes, and to save public perception of his clan. However Beowulf does it for glory, so people will remember him and stories will be told about him forever centuries.
In addition, both characters faced more than one villain. In Beowulf’s case he faced three different physical enemies; Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon that ended up killing him. Thor faced three enemies as well; his brother, the government, and himself. Thor’s villains were much more metaphorical as he struggled to find his identity outside of his planet and cope with being on Earth with a woman he fell in love with while also struggling to fight his own brother while evading the United States government and the CIA. Beowulf’s enemies were much more simplistic but they still brought Beowulf to the edge of his strength (and in regards to the last enemy) past his abilities. Both literary examples use the same style and technique that metaphorically explains to the reader that the hero can only be brought down by three different enemies.

All in all, the way these stories were presented changed the way the reader perceives the hero. The author(s) of these epic literary examples show that heroes will always be needed in any culture, society or empire. Overall, these two heroes are very similar in both who they had to fight and how they fought them, the only difference between the two is their motive, why they did what they did. The main question we as readers need to ask ourselves is the question of honor versus glory. We need to be able to differentiate between vain glory and admirable honor, then we will be able to revere our heroes with more sincerity. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

WILL STUDY FOR FOOD

I went on the website scholarships.com (thanks Mia Levy) and found a weekly scholarship where you write a 3 sentence essay (300 character max) about the given prompt and you can earn up to $1000 in scholarship money. I'm not sure what it is called but it's through Zinch.

Collaboration is Key

Since collaboration is such a sine qua non in this class, just wanted to update everyone on some great collaboration happening outside of class, Colter Knight, myself and another student worked hard on a physics experiment as demonstrated below. Some 14 students participated in this experiment and I was proud of everyone in AP Physics.



video

Sunday, September 1, 2013

WHY THIS BOOK?

I chose to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

I chose to read this book for two main reasons, first my sister recommended it and I trust her advice and secondly because it has appeared on the AP Test more than 10 times.