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.