Conflict – Blog Post

Central Idea:  What is the author’s central purpose in writing this non-fiction piece.  Can you detect a thesis or argument?  What is it?  Do you agree with his/her ideas?

Tragedy and fear can bring a lot out in people. Sometimes the result isn’t noble or something to be proud of. People abandon others, even loved ones, when the tragedy and fear are too difficult to bear. Children are abandoned in some countries due to birth defects, which could be for more cultural than personal reasons. People who are accused of crimes are sometimes ignored, neglected and overlooked by others, even close friends and relatives, even after their cases are dismissed. It’s just too frightening to be around a deformed person or someone who might be a criminal. However, this isn’t entirely our fault. When we were younger the cartoons taught us that the guy who looks different however the word may be described is the monster or the bad guy. In addition to this, our parents always taught us not to be bad and to stay away from the bad kids because at least in my case, they weren’t going to heaven.

However, in many cases, tragedy draws people closer together and reveals one’s true nature. The good and caring element of the human experience is that most people have a deep empathy for their fellow man. And when a loved one is in trouble, those who love him rally their support and see him through to resolution.

An example of conflict is illustrated in the novel Night by Elie Weisel when Elie says “first impressions of the Germans were most reassuring. . . . Their attitude toward their hosts was distant but polite.”
So many aspects of the Holocaust are inexcusable, but perhaps the most difficult to understand is how human beings could so willingly slaughter millions of innocent victims. Moreover, we know that the Nazi’s enjoyed the burning and hanging of jews as they referred to it as “Sunday’s entertainment.” Wiesel highlights this incomprehensible tragedy by pulling the Nazis into focus first as human beings, and then, as the memoir shifts to the concentration camps, showing the brutal atrocities that they committed. As this is the first time Elie realizes the conflict that is happening, not much change occurs as he hasn’t been affected by the tragedies too much. However, as the book continues the setting as well as circumstances change, becoming more hostile. The loss of unity allows them to adopt an everyone for themselves mentality, a clear example for this is once more when the Kapo says, “Here, every man has to fight for himself and not think of anyone else. . . . Here, there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends. Everyone lives and dies for himself alone.”

The tragedy and inner fear of the situation have caused the prisoners to forget their morals, religion, and most importantly family. The Kapo’s statement really captured the change of heart as self-preservation became everyone’s number one priority.

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Brain On Fire – Memoir

Susannah Cahalan, a young journalist working at a mediocre metropolitan newspaper, suddenly notices things going wrong. She starts having episodes of paranoia, becomes emotional to sound, light and cold. She suffers from loss of appetite and begins having “out of body experiences” and wild mood swings. Perhaps Susannah was able to accomplish this huge feat due to the simple fact that she was unaware of herself much of the time that her brain was inflamed. She begins with the first noticeable symptom; a couple of bed bug bites that were probably hallucinations and escalates from there. Some of it remembers in bits and pieces right up until her major seizure which wasn’t a good site neither did she try to paint it as such. Rushed to the hospital, her mind is blank for the next month until she is correctly diagnosed and begins the slow healing process.

Cahalan’s is a tale of survival. It is scary, in the 21st century, how much of the human brain is still unknown. According to the film Back To The Future, by now we were predicted to have hoverboards flying cars and self-tieing shoes. She was diagnosed by serious professionals as being bipolar, schizophrenic, psychotic and “probably a few more fun things from the DSM manual.”

So what are we to make of all this? Cahalan’s is definitely a story that comes from the heart. She had to struggle to reconstruct events from her life, events for which she was present, in which she was even an actor, but events for which she retained no memory. Scary stuff. Her journey through the medical Indian territory was frightening and her arrival at Fort Diagnosis was uplifting. We learn something new about the world and the information has implications for a wide track of diseases. Might it be that many who are diagnosed with autism, say, or schizophrenia, might have a treatable, biological, as opposed to psychological, disease? It might.


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One crucial element here is the personality of the narrator. How we feel about Cahalan can affect our reaction to the book overall. I did not feel much for this particular person. While she is certainly bright and writes well, I got the impression that she was not exactly the best possible human being. During one of her episodes, Cahalan experienced repeated fits in a car, while with her family. It is an appalling scene, yet seriously mitigated by the fact that this person is not well. However, it does make one wonder about how the indications of this disease reflect the underlying person. Her mother later recounts:
“Oh, and you were totally nuts. You walked into a restaurant and demanded food. Just demanded it. Although I guess it’s not too far outside your normal personality.”
Sorry, but it is tough to root real hard for such a person. Cahalan does offer a bit of perspective, with info on some other people who have been diagnosed with her disease. But there was nothing there indicating a correlation, or not, between disease-driven behavior and the personality of the sufferer. I suppose it should not matter.

I found Susannah’s story absolutely fascinating. She fairly balances her experiences with simple medical terminology, cites doctors notes and tries to piece together a chronological picture of her sickness, interactions with those who love her, creating some sort of bibliography of her life. She describes her intense and insane mindset without previously establishing her basic personality. This is an excellent strategy as her writing style and quick sentences clearly defines her as an intelligent and engaging young woman. The fact that she is confident enough to allow the reader to arrive at this conclusion endeared her to me all the more by trusting the reader.


Word Count 653

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Blog Post #3: Butter Finale

This story has such a sad reality that I sort of felt guilty even reading it. I feel as though I’m one of the teens in the book, just wondering if Butter will actually go through with it. This book left me feeling a lot of things: disgusted, angry, sad, worried, concerned, hopeful, appreciative.

The writing is superb. The author Erin Jade Lange really does a good job in teasing you and taunting you, forcing you to read more. Butter had an amazing voice. It was easy to sympathize with him and it was easy to love him. I enjoyed how the author decided to convey him as a funny teenager rather than the more stereotypical depressed and dreary teen characters that are often associated with circumstances similar to Butter’s. Furthermore, I think Lange captured the modern teenage mind very well. The kids at Butter’s school were, sadly, just like a lot of teens nowadays. Although disappointing, it’s the naked truth. The part where Butter earned his nickname was so twisted and made me so angry inside. Then you have the fact that the kids tease him and egg him and bully him, even more, when word gets out about his plan. Not all of them, of course, but a small group. Although this may be just a book, these kind of actions, behaviors and circumstances are all too real.

Something that I found very interesting and true in the story was the fact that in the end, Anna and Butter became friends again. In the beginning, when we were first introduced to the relationship between the two characters, you had a feeling it would be one of those happily ever after stories that we all know. However, Anna was almost as gross as the rest of the students involved and the idea that Anna couldn’t get past Butter’s size is although very sad, is what is more likely to happen. I’m not “you’re perfect” is a phrase that I’m hearing more and more of. Personally, I don’t believe in perfection. However, according to Men’s Health, it’s something I can archive in just twelve easy steps! Anyways, back to the book. It begs the question whether Butter and Morgan would have ended up having some sort of relationship instead.

Moreover, truly tip my hat to the author for writing a book with an obese hero. I remember, one of my peers in school doing a ted talk on how characters are usually perfect. They are never overweight. They don’t have bad hair. They always have the perfect height and body. It was unique hearing the world through the eyes of Butter. This might be why the book was such a hit. This is a real issue that real people have to deal with. Not only did the book talk about teenage obesity. It also talked about suicide, highlighting how much of a growing problem it’s becoming.

In conclusion, Butter is a great story that is bound to take you on an emotional roller coaster. It gets you thinking, not just of yourself, but of People around you that you can connect to the characters of the book whether it be positively or negatively. I would recommend this book to everyone. Even if you don’t normally read books that involve bullying or depression or suicide. Butter is really a stand out the book that would cause you to forget the negative bias you have on such books. This book, although, childish and idiotic at first, has a strong message and a reality that should be heard by as many people as possible.

Word Count: 618




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Blog Post #2

Choice #18 Reactions. So far, do you love/hate/can’t stop reading the book? What makes you feel that way? What reactions do you have to your own writing, the writing of your peers, the world around you? What made you choose this book? Who recommended it?

I recently picked up the book Butter by Erin Jade Lange. Although I’m only on page 70 of 294, I’ve really enjoyed reading this book so far. In the first paragraph, the author introduces you to a young obese adolescent boy called Butter (the main character). Butter announces on his website that he will eat himself to death live on the internet, inviting everyone to come and watch. The confusion that this line inflicts forces you to read on. Would he really kill himself? Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 18.23.17

As you dig deeper into the book the author introduces you to Butter’s personal life and relationships. Exposing you to the poor relationship between Butter and his father. Promoting me to think that this could be the reason for Butter’s decision to kill himself. The consequences of an absent father could be very dangerous. Furthermore, Butter also has a hard time at school, constantly being bullied. So far as a reader I’m only aware of two. The first between him and his mother, the second being between him and his internet girl crush.

While the book is a real page-turner the story is really worrying. Highlighting the vile behaviors adopted by society. Although it’s still early in the book, you can already notice how people put look down on Butter. Including his father who is supposed to show unconditional love and others in school who encouraged him to kill himself.

Even though I personally I don’t suffer from obesity, I found this book very hard to put down. The whole idea makes this book impossible to put down. The whole concept is sickly and disgusting and just wrong and completely enticing. That said, it does scare me that so far it still looks as if Butter will kill himself which is another reason why I keep turning the page of this book. The only reason I stopped tonight was to write this entry.

The author really did a good job with the first opening paragraph which included the hook. Erin Jade Lange’s first sentence really captured you and forced you to read the rest of the story. What made the hook good was that it wasn’t aimed at any certain audience. Any who reads it might have different reactions but all outcomes will be the same. This something I feel like I need to incorporate into my writing.

I chose this book because I was planning to read it a while back, but ended up reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Which so far, is quite similar to this.Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 18.23.25 After I grabbed the book on the shelf, my English teacher gave me even more motive to read it. Although hesitant on reading the rest of the book due to the unknown fate of Butter, I’m sure I’ll go through this book very fast.


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Blog Post #1

In the book Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, the conflict is established right from the get-go, With the main character Lina Vilkas saying “they took me in my nightgown.” The author doesn’t take a long time to introduce the main character of the book. Her shy yet gritty nature is something all of us can relate to. This caused me to immediately take her side, also due to the fact that I know that the N.K.V.D (Russian Police) was governed by Joseph Stalin, who might bring up a red flag or two. In the first paragraph of the book, you are prepared to go to war against the Russian police. As I said earlier it was her strong and courageous character that caused the readers to fall in love with the character. Despite the situation Lina is placed in at the young age of fifteen, she audaciously chooses to write about the terrible cruelties the Soviets are doing to those around her as well as her family and herself. Lina is an artist, and she uses this talent to depict the ghastly scenes she’s forced to witness on a daily basis. She then hides her drawings where the NKVD, hopefully, won’t find them. In this she hopes that, one day, someone will find the proof of what really occurred, and make sure that it never happens again.

Furthermore, I really liked how the author connected to the reader through discriptive words, making us fell as though we were in the middle of the scene with her. My favorite example of this so far is When they woke up, the officers loaded them into the back of the truck and drove off. When they reached their destination, the mother asked the officers where they were. They said at a bathhouse. The guys went first and stripped naked and everybody turned around. When it was the girls turn, Lina was very uncomfortable with taking off her clothes. She did anyway and hid her body with her hands. This one grimy officer came up to them and looked them up and down, and forced Lina to take her hands away from her body. She was disgusted with how he treated them. Mother pulled Lina behind Ona to hide her body. The guard screamed, and mother took off the rest of her clothes while they headed into the bathhouse. Personally, this scene really established the empathetic tone of the book. Exposing the terrible things people can inflict on each other. With all that said, so far I have absolutely loved the book. Although my reading time has been interrupted by some other responsibilities, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in history because it not only teaches you about he tragic events of the Lithuanians war against the Russians but it’s also a very well written personal narrative.

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The Alcatraz

The Alcatraz was the most secure prison in the world. It was also referred to as “the Rock”. The prison was built 1.5 miles away from the San Francisco Bay the water around the prison was shark infested water making it more secure and less likely for someone to escape the prison it was tough but it wasn’t impossible as a few men demonstrated.

In 1962 the men managed to escape the prison they were put in jail because of attempted robbery of a bank. These men were believed to dig them selves out of the prison with spoons until they hit the shore of the island and made rafts using raincoats as a sail. The fooled the guard by making heads likes theirs and putting them on their bed the even stole hair from the prison barber to make the heads more realistic.

Officers are not completely sure if the three men made it to the San Francisco Bay or not even now 50 years after the incident. Police are saying that these men could be leaving right next us but we don’t know it.



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Shark Guardian

Im my opinion Shark Guardian was the most interesting and informative presentation I’ve heard this week it gives you a clear image showing you what we are doing to the sharks and how we are making them an endangered animal. Cutting off their fins and dumping them back in the water leaving them to die at the bottom of the sea all this for a tasteless soup to sell in restaurants.

The media presents sharks as a dangerous animal but did you know that falling vending machines kill more people than sharks do but nobody calls them killers or dangerous sharks kill about 7 or 8 people each year but people kill more than 100 million sharks each year I don’t know about you but I don’t think thats a fair ratio.

Take a stand help the sharks without them the food chain in the sea’s will be disrupted because no sharks means that there is nobody to eat the fish and if there is nobody eats the fish the algae that fish feed on will end and then there will be no food for the fish which causes them to die.

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What Kinda Law is This

Laws, Laws are what keep order in the country without them a country could easily go into war with each other. Some agree are reasonable some are just stupid and unnecessary different governments in the world have different minds and different ways to control their country. In Alabama, USA the government past a rule the past week saying that you can’t flick mucus in the streets because America is becoming one of the top country’s in the world for pollution

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Choice Project

In the beginning of this quarter I choose to do photography I was interested to find out how to use all the different settings that are on the camera and as the quarter went by we were told to pick a project we want to do we could either do photoshop or we could take pictures of different thing and objects. I choose to take pictures because recently for my birthday I had gotten a camera and I hadn’t used it much and I chose nature as the topic im going to focus on and work on.

My Pictures


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Am I An Addict?

Technology is starting to become a main aspect to our lifestyle Facebook and other social networking sites help us communicate with the world and with families but they can also start messing with our efforts in school, how our minds think and how we do things. I can say from a personal perspective that when I get home from school sometimes I go strait to texting or to my computer it starts to be less of something you think about doing and becomes more like and instinctive decision. 

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