Tuesday, December 12, 2017

GINS Book Study: First 1/5

Who is Junior?

Junior is the main character in Sherman Alexie's novel 'The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He grew up on a reservation in a place in the world referred to as Rearden. He was born with MANY medical conditions such as a major CSF Leak (leaking spinal fluid in the brain). The treatment left him looking very different from everyone else on the "rez". He was (and still is) always bullied due to his condition but, luckily his life-long best friend Rowdy is always there to back him up. They were both born on the same day and have spent every day together since then.
Both of Junior's parents are alcoholics and are almost never sober. This really impacts Junior because due to this, he cant get that much support from them. His sister never comes out of the basement, so nobody really ever sees her or hears from her.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Grade 9 Novel Study Post #1

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
By Sherman Alexie

What drew me to this novel?
I saw the novel and noticed the very abstract cover page. After picking it up I looked at the blurb about it on the back. It talks about a lot of issues that a First Nations kid might have to face. It won the national book award as well so I know that it has to be somewhat good. I can tell from reading the font that it will be somewhat childish and playful.

I believe that this book will give an interesting view on the struggles of poverty and first nation rights from the perspective of a young kid. It ties into racism because he leaves his reservation to go to a “all-white” school. It states that he is bullied a lot because he has medical issues and the only person he isn’t bullied by is his best friend. I think that this is a book that I will end up learning a lot about and it will be very interesting for further blog posts!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Individual Blog Post 6

Do you believe that it is possible to accomplish anything if you give it 110%? I think yes. Gattaca and The House of the Scorpion showed many similarities around that overall theme. Not just between the characters but in the plot too!

The characters that I saw lots of similarities between each other were Matt, Tam Lin, El Patron, and a little bit of Celia. We can begin with Matt. I think Vincent really represented Matt because of their similar worldviews. For example, Vincent showed the characteristic of never, ever, giving up. He would find a problem and try and try until he got around it. He would always know what to do. Just like when they were at the dance, the detectives broke in and told everyone to not move. Vincent (or Jerome at the time) went out of the back entrance and managed to beat up the guard who was guarding the back entrance. Matt shows similar goals in the book, just like when Matt and Chacho were thrown into the bone pit. Matt never gave up and eventually, he made it out (with the help of others, though). He also made sure that Chacho made it out alive. Vincent also made sure that Irene made it out alive.

For Tam Lin, I think that he is the real Jerome Morrow because he assisted Vincent in reaching his goals. Jerome allowed Vincent to make himself identical to Jerome so that Vincent could go to space. Tam Lin also did this for Matt so that Matt did not have to do the surgery for El Patron. This part may be a stretch but they both did kill themselves at the end. Although, they did do it for different reasons. Jerome did it because he was always 2nd best and Tam Lin did it because the moral consequences of accidentally killing the children were too powerful. This also shows that they did have different personal beliefs.

The plot also had many similarities such as how genetics played a huge role in changing the beliefs that each of the characters had. In Gattaca, the genetics were shown by people being chosen in the womb. The only problem with this is that is would change the fates of the people. For example, Vincent had a 99% chance of dying at the age of 30 due to Heart Failure.

Thank you for reading my newest blog post. Please keep a lookout for more of these.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Individual Post 5

In this post, we have to find a news article that connects to Matt trying to cross the border without using the proper procedure.

This article says that a new law has been enforced on Tuesday (March 7th) to put all asylum seekers in Hungary into container camps in an effort to halt terrorism in Europe. Viktor Orban (prime minister) called immigration "the trojan horse of terrorism". An asylum seeker is someone who has left their home country and is looking for refuge/asylum in another country. A refuge is a place of safety and asylum is somewhere where someone has found refuge (usually known to be in Europe). Hungary, recently, has been having trouble with terrorism. The people who have been causing the attacks were recently asylum seekers. One of the more recent attacks happened on September 24, 2016, where there was a bombing in which the terrorists were targeting officers. I believe that this is a good law because there has been so much terrorism going on recently and many, many countries are taking measures to secure their countries. For example, Hungary is detaining asylum seekers, Donald Trump is having a wall built, and at many events, they have been tightening security.

As many people know, Donald Trump has recently become President of the United States and many people are worried because he has many views on terrorism and immigration. He believes that a wall needs to be built at the USA - Mexico border to keep Mexicans from immigrating to the USA because he sees it as a threat to the safety of Americans. Trump thinks that all Mexicans have come together with a campaign to send all "rapists" and criminals over the border to terrorize America.

This all connects to Matt because of Matt trying to cross the border without the proper procedure of walking up, giving your ID and your immigration VISA and then they let you pass. The article shows how there are other people in the world who do the same thing as Matt. Some of these people make it but many get caught and are punished in different ways.

A coyote, in this case, would be someone who helps someone else get across the border and that's exactly what Celia did by helping Matt get across. She did this because she loves him and would do anything for him to survive. It's the same thing as motherly love. Parents would also do anything to keep their kid from danger. I think that Matt and Celia would risk their lives because that was the only thing that they could do unless they wanted to die. It was a life or death situation and Celia helped Matt get out of the situation by being a coyote.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Individual Post 4

Today, we have a question to explore. That question is what do you think Matt's main worldviews are? I think that Matt's main worldview is the view of the good life because you can see Matt throughout the book battling with his value which in this case are probably adventure and love. He has a love for Maria and a love for adventure. For example, Love, Matt loves Maria, Celia, Tam Lin, and El Patron and would do almost anything for them. But he also loves adventure, as you can see near the beginning he would love to adventure. He wouldn't have found the secret passage if it wasn't for exploration and that sure came in handy (for the most part).

 In life, I think that Matt wants to get personal accomplishments out of life but while helping others. I've noticed that Matt cannot leave anyone down or alone (unless it's Tom, Steven, Amelia, or Benito). He wants personal accomplishments such as adventure like I talked about above. One of his other worldviews is Equality with Others. This one is huge because he is trying to understand why clones are looked down on so much, unlike humans. Matt believes that everyone should be equal and that no one deserves special privileges like how El Patron has so much control over the eejits and making them do all of the hard work such as harvesting and they must be told what to do they can't act for themselves. This really bothers him because while he is a clone he also needs to have his feelings attended to (he believes). 

Everyone around Matt also thinks that the feelings that everyone has towards clones are absolutely wrong and that they have been trying to do things to fix this. Just like how Celia stood up for Matt when El Patron needed his transplant from him. Tam Lin has been helping Matt but he wasn't exactly standing up for him. For example, Tam Lin knocked out Matt but then took him to a spot near the oasis and helped him escape the terrible place that he was in.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Page 0-150 Thoughts

We have now read to page 150 in the novel and now we can expand or create some new inferences based on what we have witnessed in the novel. It has been pretty crazy with all of the things that have been occurring with El Viejo (death) and Maria.

There has got to be more to do with El Viejo because he died without us knowing like anything about him really. Moving on to expanding my inferences. My first inference that I made was that Matt would die near the end because El Patron's skin wouldn't be able to be used for cloning anymore and that he would have to use Matt to keep him alive. Expanding on this, I know think that they could just use Matt's skin instead of El Patron's and use the clone of Matt's body parts to help El Patron.

I'm starting to get really interested and intrigued in the book because of all the stuff with Maria and El Viejo. For starters everything with Maria. I was really hooked when she defended Matt at the church because it was just not something that I expected.

We also have a question to explore and that question is: What is education and how do people learn about their worlds? What are ways that people "get educated?" People learn about their worlds at school or in many different ways which we will discuss later in this post, but, the main way that people learn about their worlds is by delving deep into their own world and learning about their own history. For example, if you were Mexican you could delve deep into the history of the Aztecs and possibly learn a bit about the Spaniards. Some ways that people can be “educated” is by a) going to school b) having a tutor c) being home schooled.

That's all I really got for this one! Keep a look out for more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Page 0-100 Thoughts

The House of the Scorpion (page 0-100)

So now that we have read up to page 100 we can begin to talk about what we have seen so far. Near the end of the 100 pages, it got fairly interesting with Matt meeting El Patr贸n and Tam Lin. I have been very engaged with how this book is going and I have some inferences that I would love to discuss in this blog post.

My first inference is what may happen at the end of the novel. With El Patr贸n getting older, he is becoming weaker. Due to the clones that El Patr贸n is using to stay alive, I think that maybe the supply of clones will run out or that the cloning method is no longer working and he has to use Matt's organs to keep him alive. Some more evidence to support this theory is when Matt said that he really liked El Patr贸n and would hate to see him go. (page 61)  El Patr贸n's heart would be the main thing getting weaker because that's just common sense and El Patr贸n skin would be dying as well so it wouldn't be able to clone anymore because the cells are dying.

I'm really enjoying the suspense that this book constantly holds because I don't typically like to read books but this book always keeps my attention and I never want to stop reading it. For example, the parts at the birthday party where Matt was being extremely rude and also the part where Tam Lin took Matt to the oasis that no one knew about. So far my favorite part of the book was either when Tam Lin took Matt to the oasis and they explored around there, when Matt was being very controlling at El Patr贸ns birthday party or when Matt first met El Patr贸n.

Look out for more posts about this book on my blog.