Monday, December 5, 2011

New Story! Beggining Section

Her legs began to tremble, then her hands. Her heart felt as though it was dropped on the ground disconectd from her body. Her mind drew all emotion humanley possible then instantaniously  went blank. She forgot how to breath for a moment then jumped into her mothers arms and let out a scream. This is was the most devastating day of her life.

Section 2( One year earlier)
The music was blasting so loud they could feel the bumping from their toes to their hair from the bass. The car zipped into the parking lot. The sunroof was open revealing the strong rays of the sun and the warmth of its touch. Jane was, as always, reciting every word of the song as if she was on stage singing it herself. Jane had this free about her like life was too precious to have a care in the world. Ann was sitting in the passenger seat, as always, just smiling contently as her mother put on a show. These were the moments. The moments were Ann felt completely at ease. Completely in a state of comfort. Completely happy. This was the best example of the contrast between the mother and daughter.
“Take it away sistah”
Ann just smiles and gave a slight laugh to her mother.
 Ann and her mother Jane spent all their time together yet they were completely different. Their bond was like no other and they relied on each other for everything. It was the kind of relationship were the other person makes you a better person.
“ Lets do this!” Jane joked attempting to release a laugh from Ann.
They were going shopping for summer clothes but most likely just window shopping due to their tight pockets. That never mattered to them, however. Upon arriving at the mall they entered many stores tried on silly outfits, things they couldn’t afford, and bought a total of two items. They had more fun than most people who have money to spend freely.

Ann naturally kept to herself and was very quiet yet content. Ann was extremely shy around people. However around her mother was she completely herself. Her mother brought the best out of Ann. Their time spent together was carefree and blissful. She admired her mother’s love life, high energy attitude. Ann could always count of her mother to brighten her mood.
As for Jane, she would do anything for her daughter and treasured putting a smile on her face. Proud doesn’t begin to describe how she felt about her daughter. Jane finally got a daughter after having three boys and she always said god had answered her prayers.

Section 2
“Hey honey, how was your day”
“Alright I guess, we had to make a presentation in History. I hate presentations”
“ I always tell you just picture the crowd in their underwear”
“ Ha-ha I tried!”
Ann always felt so much better being around her mother. They gossiped, shared every detail of their days and did all the same things.
“ What are your plans tonight hun”
“ I don’t really feel like going out wanna stay in and watch a movie”
“ Of course id love that. I just thought you would want to go out with your friends tonight. You’ve had a long week”
“ No just not in the mood”
Jane was never In the mood. She had a few close friends though. But no one like her mother. Jane would always try to push her into being more social by saying little things here and their but it never worked.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interview Questions!

Liz Bates Story!
1. What would you say the overal theme of your story is?
A: The theme of my story is that even after you hit rock bottom, with help and support from your family you can still make it through and gain forgiveness.
2. What do you wish to accomplish by telling your story?
A: I just want to prove that your family is always there to help you through your mistakes.
3. How do you want your story to effect the audience?
A: I want the audience to realize that no matter how many mistakes you make, or how bad they are, you can still get through them and gain forgiveness as long as you do not give up trying to get it. Also that your family will always give you the help you need when you ask for it.
4. Do your characters parallel any specific people in your life?
A: No, all of the characters are completely random.
5. What happens in your climax?
A: I haven't written it yet, but the climax is going to be Emily on trial to see if she was a part of the murder of the store manager.
6. If you could change one thing about your story what would it be?
A:  The story is still in progress, but as of now there is nothing that I wish to change.
7. How are you going to hook the reader?
A: The reader is supposed to get hooked because 
8. Would you say your conflict is minor or major?
A: There are multiple conflicts that occur in my story, but they are all minor.
9. Does the resolution of your story teach significant morals? How so?
A: Yes, the resolution proves that because Emily tried so hard to win forgiveness from her family and friends that she finally gained it.
10. Where, when does your story take place?
A: Present day, in Detroit, MI.
11. How did you create your characters?
A: I made a list of how many characters I needed, then based on the story decided if the characters should be men or women, and what ages.
12. Is their hidden meaning or lessons to be taught by your story?
A: No, the story is basic, and straight forward.
13. What challenges do they face?
A: Emily faces the challenge of having to watch the man she loves murder someone, then go on trial because she might have been a part of it.
14. What age group does this story target?
A: Mainly teenagers, and kids in High School.
15. Who would you recommend this story to?
A: Anyone in high school that is interested in complicated stories.
16. How are you starting your story?
A: In the present time, with Emily and her mother sitting in her kitchen fighting because her mother hasn't quite forgiven her yet for making the mistakes that she has made.
17. Is love involved?
A: Yes, love is what makes Emily misjudge the situation she is in, and agree with Ryan to rob the store in the first place.
18. Who would you say is your favorite character and why?
A: Emily, because she faces many struggles, but finds a way to get through all of them.
19. Is it a children's book or more mature?
A: This is not meant for children because it contains some more mature content including a murder.
20. Are you proud of this?
A: As of right now the story still has a lot more to be added to it, but i believe when it is complete I will be and it will be a good story.
To read Liz's Story Click here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Childrens Book... In the process!

The sun slowly begins to rise on the small quant town of Plainville. The town meets the expectations of the name; it is quiet, small and calm. Nothing out of the usual happens in Plainville. It is a town where everyone knows each other some way or the other. Outside the dew was settling on the cold ground. The only sound was the crisp whistle of the cools air dancing through .It is Monday in Plainville which means the streets are bustling with commotion and filled with children headed to school and parents headed to work. It was a cold December morning and Christmas cheer was in the air. Every house in Plainville had lights and decorations. Down School Street lay a cute little property with yellow paint and green shutters. Inside lives a girl names Vicky. Vicky is an only child of two of the nicest and well known  in the town.

Vicky awakens stretches big and wide as her mom softly says,

“Wake up sweetheart, time to get ready for school darling”

In the sweetest, calming voice you have ever heard Vicky’s mother repeats this for a few minutes.

“STOP MOM!” yelps Vicky.

This draws no reaction from Vicky’s mom surprisingly.

“But I made you your favorite, chocolate chip pancakes!”
Vicky opens her eyes glares at her mother and said,

“Ew I don’t like chocolate chip pancakes anymore, make me French toast. Her mother sighed disappointed.
“Okay honey please get ready soon, you’ll be late” replied her mother calmly
After Vicky snapped at her mother multiple times Vicky was off to school. When Vicky left her mother was left hurt, as always. Feeling as though her daughter didn’t appreciate anything she did for her. The nicer she was, the less respect she received from Vicky. She felt she couldn’t do anything right. Vicky was her only daughter and she felt as though she had failed. Vicky’s mother felt as though she meant nothing to Vicky. Down the road a little wasPine Street
and on Pine Street lived Vicky’s best friend Mia. Mia and Vicky did everything together and were best friends they could remember. However, the scene in Mia’s house was very different from Vicky’s. Two hours earlier Mia awoke to her alarm clock buzzing like crazy. She hopped out of bed because she new she must go feed her little brother and do some of her chores before the day even started. Mia’s mother was a single mom of three and Mia was the oldest so she, in turn, had to help around the house everyday. Mia had to stay in on weekends and babysit, clean the house, do the dishes, and do the laundry. All without and if, and or but.  Mia never complained because of the tasks she had to take on, she did them with dignity and out of love and respect for her mother. Mia respected that her mother worked so much, because her mother single handedly provides for her entire family. Mia didn’t dare criticize her for anything and never even thought of it. By the time Mia was done getting her little brothers ready she decided to make breakfast for her mother, just because she had a few extra minutes. After two hours it was time for Mia to get ready for school. She quickly threw on cloths and barley had time to eat anything so she popped in piece of toast waited about 30 seconds then grabs it and ran. Mia rushed out the door down the bus stop and as she was passing Vicky’s house she saw Vicky making her way out.
“Hello Mrs. Short, have a good day, hope all is well!” yelled Mia,
“You to sweetheart” replied Mrs. Short.
Vicky’s mom smiled from ear to ear almost wishing Mia was her daughter but she didn’t dare let those thoughts enter her mind.  Vicky whipped her long blond hair around and said
“Bye mom.” Then under her breaths he mumbled “Ok go away.”
In a tone that alternated hinting to her mother that she was annoyed. Mia was always so surprised at how Vicky’s treated her mom but she never wanted to say anything about it. She thought she was a nice lady and Mia was always a guest at Vicky’s house and rarely the other way around. Mia always kept to her self and rarely talked about herself because she never felt the need to. Mia is very mature for her age, but doesn’t know it. She always does the best she can for her family. Sometime, however, this meant she had to sacrifice doing kid things with all her friends. However she would shrug her shoulders and say

“whatever it’s fine, really!”

When she would miss out on birthday parties, carnivals, and slumber parties. She would mean it. Mia and Vicky quickly examined each other outfits.

“I love that shirt, it’s so bright!” said Vicky

Mia gave a small smile exhausted from her Monday morning chores. However, Vicky was well rested and had a belly full of French toast.

“You missed out on a lot of fun at Jennie’s slumber party this weekend” said Vicky.

Mia’s expression quickly changed.

 “Oh really, well I’m glad you had fun, maybe next time” she said softly
“You always say that Mia” said Vicky

“I know” sighed Mia jokingly.
They entered room twenty one, Mrs. Green’s class. Mia and Vicky were always in the same class. Mrs. Green announced,

“Good morning boys and girls, today we will start pre algebra."

The class groaned at this remark. Vicky began to get nervous because she new she wasn’t very good at arithmetic, Or reading, Or writing. Vicky tried hard in school however she always came up short and Mia always got very good grades in school. This angered Vicky very much. However Mia didn’t brag or ever talk about her self and her excellence in the classroom. She kept quiet and to herself.
            “Ring ring”

It was lunch time. The girls hopped out of their seats and walked quickly down to the cafeteria Vicky opened her lunch box filled with goodies. While Mia was rummaging through her pockets trying to find some change to buy lunch, or maybe even something from the vending machine. Vicky always offered to share, and they always did. It was like a silent agreement that took place almost everyday. Mia hated asking her mother for lunch money because she knew her little brothers needed it more than she did. Mia knew she could count of her best friend. Vicky never questioned Mia about not having lunch or even about not able to hangout on the weekends or after school. They used to play a lot more until Mia had her two little brothers. Vicky was always a very good friend to Mia.
The school day was finally over and Mia and Vicky headed home on the bus.
“My parents want to know if it would be okay if I stayed at your house for the weekend, because my parents are going away to Canada
“Why the heck would they wanna go there!”  Exclaimed Mia.

The girls chuckled for a few moments. Then the expression on Mia’s face completely changed.
“Umm, yeah, I’m sure that will be fine. I have to ask my mom” she said nervously.

Mia felt uncomfortable with this and she couldn’t find out why.
“Okay great, this will be so much fun!” yelled Vicky

The next week passed slowly with the same routines on both parts. It was finally Friday and Vicky and Mia were ready to go back to her house for the weekend.
“So what do you wanna do when we get home?” said Vicky
“ Well first I have to pick up the house, go get my brothers off the bus, then make dinner, and depending on if my moms working tonight, maybe babysit” replied Mia.Vicky sat there shocked and she didn’t know whether to laugh or take her seriously. Vicky knew Mia had to babysit a lot but she never knew about all the other chores. The bus rolled slowly and screeched then halted to a complete stop. The girls stomped off the bus and headed towards the house.
“Home sweet home” Vicky joked
“Are you hungry” Mia asked
“Not really” replied Vicky
The girls entered the house and Mia made Vicky at home and blew up an extra air mattress in her room. Mia was running up and down collecting laundry from her little brother’s room.
“What in the world are you in such a rush for” laughed Vicky
“ Ha-ha sorry, I like to do all the laundry Fridays before my mom gets home so she doesn’t have to deal with it, she is usually very stressed”
“ Is she cranky and yell at you if you don’t?”
“ No not at all!”

Said Mia, surprised at the that response

“I just like her to relax before she has to go back, so we can talk about school and stuff. I don’t like when she comes home and has stuff to do. I want to spend time with her”

Mia usually doesn’t give long explanations or justify herself. However she was angered by the comment Vicky mad about her mother.
“I don’t even know how to do laundry, my mom always does it!”
“ I cant teach you”
“ HA no thanks!”
They both laughed loud and joked around for a bit. The girls never took anything to seriously or rarely had disagreements. They just love being with each other. They thought they were similar in everyway. They liked the same clothes, music, games, and boys and told each other everything. However, the girls were far from similar when it came to their life at home. Vicky reluctantly spent the night babysitting cleaning up and watching Mia’s little brothers. However she bragged and said how she wished her parents would never come back.....

Climax to come!
Main idea- she will realize how ungrateful she is and how terrible she is towards her parents and will start to miss her old life very much. I will also add in more to the decription of Vicky to paint a clearer picture of her home life. Show her realization and acceptance of her awful attitude.  

...I feel like im going more in the direction of a childrens book while others are getting very deep and complex.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Media Reflecting American Values?

           I like to be aware of what is going on in the world around me. I feel I need to know what is pressing in society and the major stories locally, nationally and internationally. Reading the newspaper, watching the news, and catching up on world affairs in my Journalism class keep me on top of the ball. This year, I have had a large realization about the media in society. Primarily due to the study of news in my journalism class. I have noticed the uneven scale of how news is, presented, chosen, and filtered based on priority.             I recall my first shocking realization of the depleted values of the press and the media. The main story or link on major news websites was about Lindsey Lohan or Justin Beiber's baby scandal. At the same time, I happened to stumbled upon a sickening story from Pennsylvania, where mental handicapped people were kept hostage and tortured and then died in order for these criminals to steal there identities and collect their social security. This story was horrific and sickening. I belive it held enough signifigance to be recognized.However, the media just blew over it quickly and then got back of the so called  'major story' of  Lindsey Lohans dysfunctional pathetic life. Who decided what issues are first priority news and what is just ok news. To be honest, whoever the men and women are whoare responsible for organizing the importance of news story, can be assumed, very succesful in the field of journalism and media. However, I find it completely outrageous that these people of such high stature seem to be incompetent morons. The industry of media is filling our brains with junk instead of what we should be aware of; the real issues. If we wanted to know the latest gossip about famous people, who are famous for all the wrong reasons, we should go read those tacky tabloids filled with mindless drama. As for me, I’d rather be informed of really pressing world conflicts, emergencies, and disaters. I have heard more about Kim Kardashians pathetic 72 day marriage and her divorce then the war overseas. That purley sickening. Not only is is sickening, but disrespectful and undermines the values of our society. At the begging of the war, it consumed the news. However now the media seems to just push it to the side or give a few second clips; always sending us different messages. Something is seriously wrong here and we need to evaluate where are attention should really be going. I recall at the beggining of the year we watched a video of Tom Brokaw because it somehow realted to our moral compass. Tom spoke about the importance supporting our troop and making sacrafices. He also touched on the lack of recognition or news coverage. His words stuck with me.
            If our news, media, and press is any indication of where our country is going, I am very scared. As a society and as a country we need to start looking at real issues. Yes, it is entertaining to know the latest celebrity gossip, however, when a tornado kills many and destroys live I don’t think the buzz should be about Kim Kardashian.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dennis the Menace

‘Dennis the Menace’ was always a favorite movie of mine growing up. After I re-watched it I discovered so many more underlying moral guidance’s. The distinct characterization and traits of each of the cast members gave me inspiration for my characters. Strangely enough, it seemed like a whole new movie when I was searching for ideas for my own book. After this second mentor text/movie, I was able to craft my characters in a way that connected to the moral of my story, powerfully. Having a mentor movie compared to mentor text helped me so much more. The character illustration was so vivid and easy to follow. It enhanced my awareness of character intentions and underlying causes. I had a clear sense of the characters intentions and their morals. In 'Dennis the Menace', Dennis's character was so powerfully portrayed. He wasn’t predictable however his actions only added to the characterization of him. Dennis’s character and actions in the movie help me shape my main character Vicky into the story. Maniac Magee gave me the basics of her characteristics; however, this movie let me integrate her into situations that prove this point. In turn, I created a plot line of events to go with my characters. Vicky, in my story, will get herself into many situations before she completely realizes she needs to change because her behavior is not appealing and that she should respect important people in her life and make them happy because they do so much for her.
            In 'Dennis the Menace', I believe Dennis's character is so powerful because he is virtually begging for attention, good or bad. Dennis has no consideration when it comes to his mother who try’s her best to provide for him and love him. Dennis is fiercely independent also.  I Believe characters always do something for a reason, and Dennis feels that his mother is always abandoning him and dropping him of to be somebody else. In turn, he is mischievous and gets attention from that. His characteristics and his actions that coexist with his personality helped me shape my character Vicky. My character Vicky attempts to be very independent,however, she cannot do anything for herself. Vicky is extremely bitter because she isn’t as smart as others. Vicky then feels like she needs to be superior in everything else in order to be equal. Her perfectionist attitude mixed with her insecurities create her downfall. 
            Also, after watching ‘Dennis the Menace’, I was able to craft my minor characters as well. I got ideas for Vicky’s and Mia’s parents. I know that with Vicky I could use Mrs. Wilson as a comparison, because her parents are going to be pushovers. Mrs. Wilson always defends Dennis saying ‘kids will be kids’. Denis’s mom also can represent Mia’s mom because she is very busy and works a lot. These minor characters gave me a lot of guidance on which direction I want to take my story and also how to make my characters unique. It goes to show minor characters are not o minor because they play a big part in why the main character acts a certain way. They are more indirectly involved but they cause many events to take place.
            Watching ‘Dennis the Menace’ again was so helpful in developing my story. It let me go into my rough raft with ease because I was able to construct characters that were powerful. Compared to Maniac Magee, 'Dennis the Menace' is definitely more the direction I would like to go in. The powerful character of Dennis helped me make a just as powerful main character Vicky.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ready, Set, Go

Twelve years. Twelve years of joy, exploration, discovery, excitement, friendship, highs, lows, changes, adjustments and most importantly,growing. Twelve years of so much more than School. I’ve  done a lot of learning these past twelve years. I’ve learned through experiences, through my mistakes, and through the wisdom of others. Simply, these twelve years that have shaped me and given me so much. I’ve undergone countless changes, and well, life. This chapter has been filled with listed responsibilities, guided instruction, and encouragement. Personally, it’s extremely difficult to fathom the idea of this all ending to abruptly. And what is so frustrating is I cannot pin point what is so upsetting about starting a new chapter. Starting a new chapter in my life should be exciting and thrilling. But, for now I am stubborn and angry at the simple fact that life goes on.
            However there are so many who say they cannot wait to graduate and leave. In their defense, I have said that aswell. My question to them is; what is the rush? What’s so bad about this place? We are constantly showered with support encouragement and care. Pessimism that coexist with daily tasks angers me. Do what you have to do. Life is not a breeze, and most of the time we struggle.
            The blatant fact of leaving this comfortable life and going to college, terrifies me. It’s milestones like this that reminds me that I am aging and life is flying by. I know someday I will be saying “I wish I was in high school again, those were the days”. I never want that day to come. Never. Overcoming this fear is difficult, but I have to do it anyway. My largest obstacle is fear of change and proceeding. Right now, I am more than content with where I live, the people I surround myself with, my routine, my job, and my perception to other people. Then BOOM, thats all going change.
            For now, I am truly enjoying every second. So cliché, but I truly take everyday as it comes and make the best of it. I am trying to change my way of thinking and think about all the years I have to look forward to and all the wonderful things that will happen. Some call this the beginning of the end or the beginning of a new chapter. I picture life after high school as an enormous amount of life alerting decisions, paths to follow and people to impress. This is all a little intimidating for me. I rarely step out of my comfort zone. I feel like I am just standing still, with my mouth dropped to the ground while life is chaning so rapidly and I'm approaching one of the biggest changes of my life. When did all this happened? I don’t think im ready, but I have to be..

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Maniac Magee

The children’s story I am producing is involving a girl named Vicky who is very ungrateful and selfish. She constantly receives love and kindness from her parents who do not ask anything from her. In return to all their kindness, she treats them awful. She constantly gives them attitude and rarely thanks or acknowledges what they do for her. Vicky's best friend Stella, is the complete opposite, and carries many responsibilities at her home because she lives with her single mother. Stella has many responsibilities at home and is very selfless. When Vicky’s parents go away for vacation she stays for the weeks at Stella’s house. This experience is eye-opening for Vicky. She wants to return home so bad and misses her parents immensely. She comes full circle in the book to realize how grateful she should be and how awful she was to treat her parents so poorly.
      Maniac Magee doesn’t parallel my plot closely at all; however, there are many similarities within characterization, and theme. Maniac Magee is a story of a boy whose parents died when he was young so he stayed with his aunt and uncle; he left home and ran away due to their constant fighting and unstable relationship. Maniac was on the run and rarely ever slowed down. Maniac Magee, ran and ran to find the answers or to find the place where he belonged. I believe this shows similarities in my character Vicky because she treats her parents poorly cause of her own internal insecurities and problems. Jeffery, known as Maniac Magee, is constantan on the move and doing something. I believe he does these things to keep his mind of what he doesn’t have. He’s not only is similar to my character Vicky but to Stella as well. Maniac Magee knows he just simply has to do some things when he is not told to. When Amanda takes in Maniac Magee in, he is so helpful around the house does chores and takes care of the little ones without thinking twice. His environment has shaped him into his character of independence and selflessness.
   However I honestly do not find many other similarites between this work and mine. This novel deffinatly gave me the building blocks for more exciting and edgy characters. This book allowed me to think of other quirky or different personalities I could make them into.

This I Believe

      The giant blue bus roared into the parking lot; The crowd of perfect-looking families fidgeted in anticipation for their visitors to arrive. The young men and women filed out of the bus, their faces animated from the excitement of their trip. Honestly, I was more excited about holding my homemade sign that sparkled in the sun from the glitter glue with our guest’s names on it, than actually meeting the boys themselves. The lengthy, dark haired boys strolled over and met us with warm embraces as they excitedly said nearly uncomprehendable phrases with their thick accents and broken English. I was 8-years-old that summer and only now have I begun to full appreciate the significance of that summer with those boys; it was a humbling one.
            As a naive, simple minded 8-year-old, blinded to many of the truths of this complex world, I saw this experience as simply an exciting adventure. These boys, both 12-years-old, came from Russia through the Chernobyl Children’s Project. They arrived with two suitcases; one suitcase had nearly one change of clothes, and the other completely empty. They were in dire need of proper heath care and dental care, good nutrition, and things you simply can’t but a price tag on. The nuclear blast in Russia left the boys with thyroid cancer. In remission, more than ever they needed access to proper heath care and there families could barley get by.
            I will never forget every time the boys were exposed to simple American amenities. Their faces lit up and their eyes glittered as their smiles stretched from ear to ear. I was equally impressed with their reaction to visiting places, like the doctor’s offices and the dentist. It was like they were in a utopian place that they explored vigorously. Being an 8-year-old, who was terrified of the doctors, thought of it as a chore. Seeing these boys praise us with thanks upon leaving the doctors shut me up real quick. Many of us our guilty, especially children, of taking for granted the things we have.
  My mother always prepared large meals for the boys. I recall my mother cutting up a plethora of fruit for them. The variety of colors made for an edible rainbow that amazed them. The boys’ eyes widened as they shoveled all the colors in their mouth and mumbled words about the bountiful display. Later that day, was a first trip to the grocery store. What an adventure. Before even entering the grocery store the boys played with the automatic doors and danced around in the camera screen. After a significant amount of time spent just entering the store they began exploring the rest. They Galloped through the isles, picked up everything they could, and looked with amazement at the plethora of food. It was like an amusement park to them. That day I realized that I was so caught up in my own world, my own mind, and I didn’t take the time to appreciate or even recognize others cultures or societies. It devastates me to see many whine and complain about senseless things. Ungratefulness is a human trait that makes me cringe. Having an experience like this, opened my eyes and gave me the powers to open others.
        Filling their suitcases, receiving their endless thanks, and finally sending them off was extremely bittersweet. Bitter because I knew thousands of unfortunate kids are in need of help. Strangely, it makes you feel bad about yourself. Almost selfish because your power  only did so much. However sweet, in the sense of, the intense emotional satisfaction and warmth you feel. So cliché, but you get that warm fuzzy feeling. It’s almost indescribable. However days pasted with a weird silence in calm in the air but knew we must go about our own business and proceed with life. Through this remarkable experience I have unlocked the power of gratitude within me and it’s done brilliant things. Unlocking the power of gratitude can transform your outlook on life. Graditude can transform your perception of this complex world. I believe that with gratitude you can transform every moment of pessimisms into ongoing optimism.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cider House Rules: Characters Moral Dilemmas

The Cider House Rules is full of intense moral conflict. Conflict that still is a highly debated issue in society today, abortion. The two main characters Dr. Larch and Homer Wells are constantly struggling with the morals involving abortion.  Dr. Larch, being prochoice, upon seeing all the unwanted children he delivers at his orphanage, try’s to shine the light on the goodness of prochoice. Homer, an orphan himself, makes a home at the orphanage and is almost a son figure to Dr. Larch. After learning a lot about delivering babies and helping at the orphanage Dr. Larch wants to teach him his practice of performing abortion properly.
This causes the ethical debate between the two. Although, Homer finally transforms to see the positives of abortions near the end of the novel. Homer was very uncomfortable with abortions but never thought Dr. Larch was a bad man. Homer’s character completely contradicts my belief that your environment shapes your morals. I was proven wrong by Homer’s feelings towards abortion. Homer believed it is wrong and that every child deserves a chance to live. You can sense that he is uncomfortable about abortion. Being raised in this environment where abortions are daily occurrence you would think Homer wouldn’t be opposed to it. The most powerful side of Homer is shown when he actually performs his first abortion on Rose Rose. He saw that this poor, innocent, tortured girl needed his help. And for the first time he didn’t care what he was doing, he believed it was right. Rose Rose, who was sexually abused by her father, was impregnated with her fathers child. This gruesome situation led Homer to become a strong moral person. He realized that bringing that child into the world would be remorseful and strange. As bad as abortion is portrayed some women need an escape. Homer realizes that is wasn’t about the ethical issue, it was really about helping someone in need, and he had the skill to do that.
When Homer is away at the orchard going about his business and he makes a call to the orphanage to talk to Larch he is informed he is dead. This devastates him. “He knew what Larch would have told him: that his happiness was not the point or that it wasn’t as important as his usefulness” (Irving 576). I believe this sentence perfectly describes Larch’s moral compass. Larch wasn’t concerned with the acceptance of society but what he could do for people with his skills. “Wilbur Larch would have told him there was no such thing as playing a little God: when you were willing to play God-at all- you played a lot”(Irving 582). This is insightful line describes how Dr. Larch lived. He knew he has the ultimate power and he has the skill to help these woman, and he did. He played God, good or bad. He had the power and used it to help. “After the first one, thought Homer Wells, this might get easier. Because he knew now that he couldn’t play God in the worst sense: if he could operate on Rose Rose, how could he refuse to help a stranger? How could he refuse anyone? Only a god makes that kind of decision. I’ll just give them what they want, he thought. An orphan or an abortion” (Irving 583).  Homer now suddenly evolves in Larchs mind set. He realizes what impact he can have on women and he simply does his job. John Irving does a brillant job showing how these characters deal with morality by testing them in some of the toughest of situations.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So many direction: Following my moral compass

      The difficulty I encountered in creating a moral compass for myself, baffled me. I don’t know if it’s because I truly don’t know what’s most important to me or I simply couldn’t decided. Morality and importance in life stumps me. Instead of spending hours searching for my true guiding powers that are were hiding in my heart. I simply listed whatever came to my head when I thought of living the most fulfilling life I possibly could.What I came up with was love, kindness, thankfulness, and courage. These sound so cliché and simple, but its what I choose to fill my life with. Being in control of my moral compass is a large responsibility. I have learned that if I stay on my path I succeed and if I rome away, I face concequences. Navigating my way through life I’ve chose to just take it in as I go. I have transitioned directions many times, because i realized my compass was malfunctioning.

            Love is such a powerful word and i belive is undefinable. However Love is defined as this: “Love noun, verb, loved, lov·ing. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection".Love is the root of happiness.  Love guides me in many ways, because I am loved and I love others in my life tremendously. These feelings allow me to live a life of happiness knowing that love exists. Like we said in our video “You have to give love to receive it”. The feeling of love within a family or simply two people is so profound and comforting; it leads you through life almost fearless. I believe every positive influence or experience in our life makes us a better person as a whole. And with love being so positive it gives us that motivation to succeed and be great.

Kindness is so important in guiding my moral compass. We all have intense sensitivity and emotional connection. Conflict, gossip, and disrespect infuriate everyone of us. Kindness is the only remedy. Kindness is easy to give and great to receive. Kindness is so forceful. Kindness can be a cycle. Like in the movie “pay it forward’. I truly believe people who are not kind have reasons they are not. Life issues, dilemmas, and situations can so easily alter our personality. We have to realize it shouldn’t; letting other problems make us hostile to the world is senseless. I’ve learned that opening your heart and letting kindness be bountiful will allow yourself to let go of those issues, rather then bottling them up. Kindness not only makes me happy, but others as well.

Thankfulness is absolutely on my moral compass. Sometimes we are just completely ungrateful, we are all guilty of it. There is an abundance of things I am truly thankful for. We don’t realize how lucky and blessed we are. The transition from childhood to adulthood is full of realizations. You begin to see the weight so many people have been carrying for you and the countless favors and endless support you’ve received. We have basically been the center of attention and everything revolved around us in our child years. That is so profoudn to me. When I look back on my entire life I am so grateful for my every blessing and even more excited to see what is to come.

Courage is one of the most important things, but i confess I barley let it guide me. To be completely honest, it’s on my compass but there are many times I yield to courage. I have never considered myself a courageous, strong, or confident person. I simply know I have to be. Little by little I’m gaining courage. Surprisingly courage will bring you a long way, and it will never go unnoticed. I beleive through the ough times in my life I had no choice but to be courageous, and it wasn’t easy. Courage is a mindset that I put myself in to overcome obstacles. Surprislinly, in the end,weakness will break you more than courage will.

I believe my moral compass is less ambitious and more simple than others.  My main objective is to take life as it comes and just love and live. I am realizing stress and anger never improve the condition of things. My bearings are set and my moral compass has done good guiding me were I think I want to go.  Now i am fully prepared for my next malfunction, and i can confidentley deciede which direction to go.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Morals in society: Decoding Morality

   Morals, good and bad, are far from simple. There is always an, “if”, “and” or “but”. It’s never black and white. What shapes our morals? It would be easy to believe that we have our own morals as a part of the person we are, apart of our internal self. That is simply not true. People are mainly guided, almost forcefully, into morals. Society influences almost every aspect of our life. Morality is undiscoverable.
For example, Jeffery Kluger of Time magazine wrote an Article  on morals. He questions what makes us moral. Kluger remarks about learning right and wrong when you are a child and how everything is broken down into right and wrong. Kluger remarks about the difference of morality and social convention. He explains that if a teacher says do not eat in class, you do not until that rule is lifted. However if a teacher says do not push, and then also dismisses this rule, would the child still have a desire to push another? Most children would say, “No, the teacher shouldn’t say that”. That’s where authority and morals collide. That’s where temporary guidelines and structure collide with the real right and wrong. When dealing with the real right and wrong, then you are dealing with morality. We are told how we should act and feel upon acting a certain way. We are told guilt coexist with wrong doing. The same could be said with cheating. If one cheats and is not caught and inurn receives an excellent grade, they feel great. However, if one cheats and is caught, they immediately feel sorry for what they’ve done. But are they truly upset with themselves or upset with the fact that their plan didn’t succeed? So, if you are not caught, you will feel no guilt. However, when you are caught suddenly your morals kick in? I think not.
      I discovered something very intriguing while discussing with my edcafe group. We read the speech by this leader who was not identified. We read the speech out loud and came to the conclusion that it was about improving society completely, breaking down racial barriers, and becoming more equalized, we thought the speech was empowering and morally correct. This anonymous voice said things like, “our aim has been to educate slaves to be citizens”, “To grant equal rights to those social strata that hitherto were denied such right, and “For the first time in our history, The German people have found the way to higher unity than they ever had before; and that is due to the compelling attraction of this inner feeling”. Unknowing to who was the speaker, we fell for these words. We fell for the simple fact that this was a sugarcoated excuse for an awful thing; we were convinced just like those German people were. The speaker was Hitler. In short, the point is we are not really so complex intellectually, and we virtually know nothing about moral codes. We simply lured into things that sound good. Its that easy.
             Another point about culture influencing our beliefs is how we simply judge others cultures. People are raised in numerous different cultures everywhere around the world, and just because we are raised in America we tend to have different morals then those other cultures. Our minds simply cannot grasp the concept of culture diffrences.Just because things are different, they are ‘weird’ or ‘wrong’ to us. That is just ignorance. Things Americans consider extreme are considerably normal in other nations. We all, in some ways, are guided into our morals by the unsaid rules of our select society. The same can be said for other cultures in comparison to ours. Who made our morals extremely different from other cultures? How do they know something’s wrong if that’s how they were raised, and its normalcy to them? For example, in other cultures or religions it is custom for women to cover their whole body, even their faces. Many are outraged by this custom and call it immoral. However, those cultures could also allege us of being immoral by wearing clothes that reveal too much. Are we really ones to judge or to tell what their freedoms should and should not be? Differences turn into moral claims and that’s were the moral dilemma lies. Since when did anybody gain the authority to accuse others of immorality? We still don’t fully understand the world around us and all the differences and issues, but now as young adults we start putting the pieces together. And that’s why the question of morality is so broad and intimidating to us.  
   As strange as it seems, i belive humans try to be to intellectually complex. Morals do exist in many forms but decoding morality and trying to make sense of it is immpossible. Humans have things such as morals because of our intense senistivity and deep empathy. Its unavoidable how we feel about things.