Solar Storms

Coming into this class and hearing that we were going to be having an indigenous people unit was honestly frightening. I don’t like to admit or think about the effects and truths about what white people have done to others, even if I knew very little to nothing about what white people have exactly done. I knew that African Americans were enslaved throughout the country. Even before that, I knew that Indians were forced out of their homelands. I was obnoxiously oblivious to knowing how or why this was taking place. I knew that whites tend to think they are superior to others, for no reason. Coming into this unit, I lived a single story point of view and was nervous to find out what had truly taken place. 
The first thing brought to my attention was the definition of imperialism and colonization. Imperialism is having a sphere of influence over several areas. Colonization is a group of people going to a new place and making it their own. The first real eye-opener was the Ted Talk video we watched about single stories. A single story is sticking to believing what you hear, only sticking to what you think is true, or logistically showing one side of a story rather than several. This made me think because I didn’t realize that the thoughts I was thinking were merely of what I’ve heard or envisioned before. I completely misunderstood what other countries are like. My favorite thought was from the video, stating, single-stories create stereotypes, which aren’t exactly not true, but they’re incomplete. 
After being assigned books, I began to relax about the topic of having to deal with cultures other than the one I am in. The book I received was Solar Storms by Linda Hogan, a novel about an Indian girl, Angel, finding herself by backtracking to her past. She had grown up with “only thin, transient bonds to other people” (pg. 67) which left her feeling lonely and longing for her background. Throughout the novel, there are several encounters of imperialism and colonization. One major example is when the white people were taking over several islands from the Indians. They, the Indians on these islands, began to wonder “how these men, young though they were, did not have a vision large enough to see a life beyond their job… and guilty of the sin of land killing… Maybe like us they had only fear” (pg. 288). After discovering how much land they were attempting to take for the use of golf courses and recreational activities, they began to fight back. 

The Indians had deep connections with nature and animals. Each had a different and deep meaning to them, such as the island that “was a place for hope and beauty, and no one was permitted to walk there” (pg. 265). In order to attempt to keep their land, Angel and her relatives went to the workers and pleaded for them to cancel the project. Her aunt especially felt strongly about this and began to explain that they’ve “been here for thousands of years” (pg. 280), but the worker continued to call them “remnants of the past and said that he wanted to bring [the Indians] to the twentieth century” (pg. 280). 

The moral of the story is that the Indians were forced out of land, forcefully, that had great significance to them and their cultural beliefs. White invaders didn’t understand or care about the impact they were putting on them. They we ignored, injured, and killed off because they refused to leave the places that meant so much to them. The land they built up was beautiful and pure, full of natural gardens and rivers. Their home is much more than a piece of land where their houses sit, it was a worship ground, safe place, and much more. 

Throughout this lesson, I learned more than a powerpoint or article could have ever taught me. I learned other had their hearts ripped out as their homes were forced into golfing ranges and other irrelevant places. I have also learned that it is important to view the whole picture, not the section that is being shown right in front of me. Always look around the whole area before making assumptions about a place or culture. 

La Paz

Background

Opening over 26 years ago, La Paz is a family owned and operated Mexican Restaurant in Lincoln, NE. They have been named Lincoln’s number one Mexican restaurant for fifteen years and running. Rick and Julie Holm have successfully ran this restaurant for several years and have high expectations for their workers and the food that comes out of the kitchen. 

Julie, the owner, said, “we have been making every recipe and every plate from scratch, every day. Our goal was, and continues to be, to use the best, freshest ingredients available and to deliver to our guests the finest Mexican food in Lincoln.”

There is around 50 mexican restaurants in Lincoln, yet La Paz is number one. La Paz means peace in Spanish, and I’m sure has significance value to the owners. As for the Lincoln community, this restaurant adds diversity and culture to the town. 
First Impression



My first impression was different from what I expected. The parking lot is smaller than I thought, so I wasn’t sure if they got a lot of business. It also wasn’t the easiest to find parking. My friend, Leah, and I drove around a little bit to find a spot the vehicle could fit in. While walking in, the smell was perfect and instantly made my stomach growl. Despite the smaller parking lot, there were already several people there in the early evening. 

The odd part was knowing whether to seat yourself or wait to be seated. There was one lady at the front and seats to both your left and right. After Leah and myself proceeded to seat ourselves near the front counter, we soon realized the correct answer is, you wait to be seated. After being brought menus, the waitress came over and kindly asked what we wanted to drink. 

Much to my surprise, there weren’t many authentic workers. I expected several who are able to speak Spanish, but there were little to none. 

The restaurant is beautifully decorated with Hispanic heritage items and colors. The walls are painted a dark red, but splashes of yellow and blue brighten up the room. There were also several personal and homey decorations around, such as garlic on the wall, sombreros, paintings, and flags. There were several tables, large and small for all different sizes of groups. The booths are located along the walls and each include a small archway entrance, which is unique and something i have never seen before. 

Rate: 7
Food



The menu has an unspeakable amount of variety. There is something for everyone on the menu. Even if you aren’t 100 percent into Mexican, there have a few choices of American food. An example of this is a chicken sandwich, which is simply grilled breast of chicken with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato and is served with steak fries.There are even options for those who are vegan or vegetarian. An example of this is potato enchiladas, described as country style potatoes grilled with green peppers, onions, cheese, and spices. All of this rolled up in two flour tortillas and covered with red enchilada sauce, sour cream, and scallions.

They instantly bring out chips and salsa for you to enjoy as you look over the menu and wait for you food. The salsa is calm with a hint of spice and matches well with the lightly salted chips. One popular entree is the House combo, which is their best selling combo comes with one cheese, chicken, or beef enchilada, a flauta and a beef and pork burrito. Another is Cream Cheese & Chicken Enchiladas, which includes shredded breast chicken melted in smooth cream cheese and rolled in two flour tortillas, topped with spicy green chile and pork sauce. One last restaurant favorite is Burrito Supreme, a shredded beef in a large flour tortilla with rice, beans, and some sour cream inside all topped with lettuce, tomatoes, scallions and spicy green chili and pork sauce.

After looking over all the options, I decided to go with the chicken enchiladas with beans and rice (pictured above). After taking my first bite, I was overly impressed with the flavor and taste. It wasn’t at all what I expected and tasted better than any Mexican food I have ever had. I was also pleased with the amount of food given, which was more than enough for me. 

Rate: 9
Overall Thoughts

Overall, I would easily request this restaurant to anyone. It’s look is unique and unlike one I have seen before, but incredibly inviting and warming. The home-felt decorations really make the experience enjoyable. The staff is extremely kind and quick at getting what you need. The food is scrumptious and mouthwatering good. Even if you’re not a big fan of spicy or Mexican food, I could ten out of ten recommend this place. 

Overall Rate: 9

Hamlet Final Project

Overall Theme: Guilt


Hamlet: 

…It is not madness

That I have utt’red. Bring me to the test,

And I the matter will reword; which madness

Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,

Lay not that flattering unction to your soul

That not your trespass but my madness speaks.

It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,

Whiles rank corruption, mining all within,

Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven;

Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come;

And do not spread the compost on the weeds

To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;

For in the fatness of these pursy times

Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg

Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.

Queen:

O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain.

Act 3, Scene 4
In this scene, Queen Gertrude admits to her guilt and sorrow that she has been feeling, much as a person who is getting pulled over might feel. The officer pulls you over and always asks if you know why. Then some guilt might settle in because you know that you broke a law, whether it was speeding, missing a tail light, or others. Queen Gertrude knows of the mistakes that have been made and Hamlet is telling her to confess to God, but she doesn’t even have the strength to do that. When you get pulled over, you have the fear of getting a ticket, and if you’re at home with your parents, wondering what they are going to say. After that, you know that if you wouldn’t have just don’t that one unlawful thing, this wouldn’t have happened, and the guilt settles in. 

King Claudius:

Sir in my heart there was a kind of fighting

That would not let me sleep. Methought I lay

Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly,

And praised be rashness for it–let us know,

Our indiscretion sometime serves us well,

When our deep plots do pall;and that should learn us

There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will…

Act 5, scene 2
In this quote, the king is admitting to the guilt he has about killing his own brother for the power he was greedy for. He is realizing that he messed up and feels guilting for the actions he has pulled. Much with the same situation with this barn. This is my family barn and we have let it get old and worn down. I have had server all talks with my great grandpa about wishing it was still in top shape like it was several years ago. Several of us feel the guilt of not keeping it up to shape like we should’ve. Admitting to it wasn’t easy, much like how it took King Claudius the whole book to admit it to Hamlet, but the guilt will always sit there, whether you admit it or not. This barn means a lot to my family, and to let it get weathered like it has, leaves guilt in us. 


Queen Gertrude: 

Be thou assured, if words be made of breath

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me. 

Act 3, scene 4
Within this scene, Queen Gertrude is admitting that losing her husband has caused guilt and it has built up inside of her. Having the opportunity to do community service events for the people city missions can cause great guilt. Guilt of not doing more for the community and for those who might not have it as great as you have. Doing this helps you see how great you truly have it, and also helps you see how much needs to be done in the community to make it better. The guilt settles in and opens different parts to the mind. Much like how Queen Gertrude didn’t know that the act of her husband dying would have such a large effect on how she thought of things and acted. Her mind was confused and depressed. Much like the effect of realizing how much can be done in the community can have on someone else. 


Claudius:

…hath the primal eldest curse upon’t…

Act 3, scene 3
King Claudius in alone in this scene and confessing that was he has done is awful and regrets it, to an extent. He knows that was he has done is said to be the ultimate sin, and it’s taking its toll on how he is feeling. Much like this situation, my job lost a dear friend and coworker of ours and we felt the guilt of not knowing that she was feeling this she was. We felt the guilt of not showing enough affection and telling her how much she means to us, because you truly never know when you are going to lose someone in your life. Hamlet must have left this pain as well, but Claudius must also feel the guilt of being the one who took King Hamlet out of each of their lives, when so many cared about him. This wasn’t easy for my work, much as I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Hamlet. 


King Claudius:

O, ’tis too true!

How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience.

The harlot’s cheek beautied with plast’ring art,

Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it

Than is my deed to my most painted word.

O heavy burthen!

Act 3, scene 1
In this quote, the king is reacting to Polonius’ speech about hiding the truth. He acts out so much because he knows that has done wrong. In the photo above, my mom killed a spider that my sister was screaming about, but then once the deed was done, my sister was crying because we just killing a spider that was alive and not bugging us. My sister was upset because she said she could have just thrown him outside rather than killing it (even though there is no way she would have even come within five feet of the spider). She was upset that she told my mom to kill the spider, even though it didn’t seem to do much harm to anyone else. King Claudius was also feeling guilt for killing his brother and then marrying his (then) widowed wife. 

Letters To My Mother

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Author’s Note
Dear Reader,
When I was beginning this assignment, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do letter to my mom from when I was little, to show how my view of heroism has changed, or letters to my mom showing how she is hero in specific events. I began to write the two different kinds of letters and decided that it would be more efficient to show my progression of understanding of heroism.
These letters will see have errors and mistakes, even after several revisions. I struggled with not trailing off and leaving my main topic of explaining how my mother is a hero. In the beginning, I also had a hard time with using the correct grammar for the correct age. It was sometimes hard to put myself back at the middle school level, but this really showed me how much my writing has improved since then.
Another aspect I struggled with was the length of the letters. I knew as a younger child, I wouldn’t be writing longer letters, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get my point across. After some tweaking, I thought I was able to stay within the age range, but still say what I was wanting to say.
One strength I had was expressing how my mom is a hero to me today. My mother has a large impact on my life, so sharing how I would like to be remotely like her, was not something difficult to do. It was simple to share how the little things she does can mean so much to me.
Another strength that I thought I had was using descriptive words and specific events where my mother’s heroism really stands out. For example, when I said “You constantly repeat your daily routines of going to work, carpooling to soccer, basketball, and football games, prepping dinner, folding clothes and being an avid listener to your kids, especially me with all my complaining.” I was able to explain several experiences where my mother does things that are heroic to me.
Over all, I will be proud to share these letters with my mom and I will be getting a positive response. Thank you for taking the time to read my letters, and I hope you find enjoyment for some time.
Love the english senior,
Jordyn Popple
Letters To My Mother
November 2005
Dear Mommy,
I want to be like superman. He saves people. He has really cool powers like flying and x-ray vision. I want to save lots of people like him. It is really cool how he is a normal person around everyone and then he takes of his glasses and now he can save people. I want to be a hero like that.
Love your little girl,
Jordyn
March 2009
Dear Mom,
I want to make a difference in the world. After learning about the things people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ (I know I can’t do anything remotely close to what Jesus did) have done to the society, I know I can have an impact on people in this world, and I long to do just that. Martin Luther King Jr. started out as a normal person just like me, so why can’t I make a large impact on someone’s life much like they have?
I’m not sure what kind of movement I need to stand up for, or what problem I can bring forth and make a statement about. Maybe something drastic in the world will happen and then I can jump on the opportunity.
I want to make you proud someday and show you that I can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Love your growing girl,
Jordyn
December 2016
Dear Mom,
I used to want to be like a superhero or like some big famous person. Now, I know I want to be like you. I used to think you had to have powers or be some big figure in the society in order to make a difference in someone’s life. Growing up, I began to realize there are heroes all around me. One big hero in my life that I used to be so oblivious to is you. You are the one who always makes sure I have clothes on my body and a roof over my head. You always bring dinner to the table, even if you have to put in extra hours at work. You never fail to get me what I need and provide nearly everything I want. You show me that heroes don’t have to do something drastic to make a difference. Your time, love, selflessness, and knowledge are all things that prove to me that you truly are my hero.
To me, it seems as if you’ve never have enough time to do the things you want, but somehow you manage to get anything and everything done. You juggle your problems, work, and being there for our family at all times. You wake up at three in the morning to listen to my problems. You wake up before dawn to make breakfast and go to sleep long after sunset to make sure I’m home safe and in bed. Even though you’re tired, you still manage to go about the day with a smile on your face.
No matter what I do, what mistakes I make, what I say, how much sass I give you, or how much I upset you, your love for me will never subside and will always be unconditional. I’m always the one who will push you away, or lock myself in my room for the night, but you will still knock on my door and ask if there is anything I need. Even after a big argument at night, you still hug me and tell me that you love me before we part and go to bed. No matter how big the fight or disagreement, I can always count on you to resolve the issue, because we both know I am too stubborn. Your smile is truly contagious and your love is everlasting.
You think of our family first, and only us. Day in and day out you give and don’t stop giving. You constantly repeat your daily routines of going to work, carpooling to soccer, basketball, and football games, prepping dinner, folding clothes and being an avid listener to your kids, especially me with all my complaining. Although I think you are overprotective when it comes to rules, I know it’s because you’re only making me a better person.
You are the one who supports my dreams when no one else will. When the world turns its back on me, you’ll be standing there with open arms. You’re the unbiased opinion I need once drama strikes and you get me out of trouble when I need it, such as the time when I went out to lunch as a freshman when I wasn’t supposed to. You’re my person (like the Grey’s Anatomy reference?). Nothing is as valuable as your presence. This is proven because I look for you at my basketball games and am instantly able to calm down. I swear you know me better than I know myself. You sense my pain, like when I get stomach aches from eating too much dairy, and you radiate positivity. You can read my mind in situations of awkward silence. You know me like the back of your hand.
Mom, I want you to know that I am so thankful to have you in my life. I only hope to be half the woman that you are and I’d like to dedicate this to you for being the strongest and most incredible woman I know. Thank you for being my hero and several others too.
Love your senior,
Jordyn

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 

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Friendships throughout movies and books show the dramatic gossip and over exaggerated laughs and cliques in school. For example, in the movie Grease, the viewer experiences the friendships, romances, and adventures of a group of highschool kids in the 1950s. A wholesome exchange student, Sandy, and a leather-clad, Danny, have a summer romance, but that could cross the clique lines. Their “love” gets in the way of friendships, but they seem to stick with each other. Another example of a friendship that develops is the show Friends. This is about six young friends in the struggle to find success and happiness in life. The group of friends stick together through anything, and even have relationships throughout the 10 seasons. The crew in the shows and movies Scooby-Doo, stays together past all the monsters and the creatures that continuously try to pull them apart, following the same theme with the show Friends. They each have their different talents that pulls them together and makes them stronger as a whole. 

The same theme of friendships is found in the book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The children are brought together and stay together, through thick and thin. In other words, each peculiar child in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has their own specialty and input for their role on the society and each other in the book. 

In fact, Miss Peregrine is the main reason that all of the children are linked together like they are. Miss Peregrine is the headmistress of the school. She is a delicate woman who enjoys a pipe and adores her charges, although she can be strict at times. As she was first discovered in the book, she didn’t seem like anything peculiar, “but the headmistress in the picture was smoking a pipe, and her name was Peregrine, a kind of hawk” (Riggs, 81). She uses her birdly powers, to spy on Jacob in bird form when he first comes to the island and has yet to find out about the peculiar children. 

At the beginning of the book, Miss Peregrine is a mystery with a strong personality, also wear a pipe between her lips and a long black dress. The book begins with leading the mind to wander and make assumptions about who she is, which are later cleared and reveal her complicated day to day life. She takes care off all of the peculiars and teaches them how to stay safe. They are all the strong independent people that they are because of Miss Peregrine. 

Miss Peregrine takes care of the peculiar children because the world can be dangerous for them. She happens to have two evil brothers who are the reason that there are evil-doers, Hollows and Wights, roaming the earth trying to harm peculiars. Her evil brothers are trying to create a realm where they can become immortal, only they need the power of ymbrynes, “we who can manipulate time fields consciously,” to do so. Her brothers created hollows and wits, which are the ones who eat and try to destroy peculiars to get the the ymbrynes. 

For instance, Dr. Golan is one of the sneaky wights who uses his tricks to find Miss Peregrine’s loop where her and the peculiar children stay. Dr. Golan is a wight who eats raw meat and helps the hollowgast achieve immortality. You can tell who a wight is by looking at their eyes because they have no pupils. Coincidentally Dr. Golan always wore sunglasses, to hide any suspicion. 

He started off as a likable normal person trying to help Jacob through the loss of his grandpa. This later turns into his true side coming out and the discovery of him being a wight. He’s working with another wight named Malthus on Cairnholm Island, and his plan seems to be twofold. This plan is to kidnap Miss Peregrine for the hollowgasts ultimate plan, and feed Malthus as many children as possible. In order for this plan to work, he has to trick one peculiar, who, at the time, wasn’t even sure he was a peculiar yet, Jacob Portman. 

Jacob Portman is the narrator of the story and the key component to putting it all together. When he was little, he wanted to be an explorer, thanks to the influences from his grandfather. His grandpa encourages his imagination, helping him plot “imaginary expeditions with trails of red pushpins and telling [him] about the fantastic places [he] would discover one day” (Riggs, Prologue). But sadly, Jacob stops believing in his grandfather’s stories. Together, Jacob and his dad write off Grandpa Abe’s rants about monsters and magical realms as a sign of old age. 

All this changes when Jacob’s grandfather dies in his arms. Jacob’s grandpa is killed by a monster that only Jacob and no one else can see. While this is the kind of thing that would change anyone, it changes things more than Jacob ever could have imagined. Jacob suffers from nightmares after his grandfather dies, and his psychiatrist, Dr. Golan, suggests that maybe they are a sign. That youthful crave for adventure appears back up inside Jacob, and he’s kind of excited and rejuvenated when he finds out that his “grandfather’s last words began to make a strange kind of sense” (Riggs 82). It’s the beginning of his adventure to discover the peculiar children. 

Jacob starts the book as a timid boy who rolls through the motion of his everyday life. This instantly changes the night that his grandfather dies in his own arms. He realizes that is grandpa’s last words lead him to an island, where he once lived with other children his age. His grandpa always told stories about them when he was little, but Jacob now knew it was his time to go find them. Jacob takes on an adventurous side as he and his father venture to the island in England. After several days of searching, Jacob finds the children and opens the door to his peculiar side. He becomes brave and breathtakingly stronger as he realizes it is him who is to protect the other peculiar children. In fact, Jacob finds much about the peculiar children through Emma, who is the peculiar to find Jacob and take him to the home of peculiar children. 

When first introduced to Emma she is intimidating and drags Jacob into an alleyway. From there she pushes a knife to his neck and threatens to “water the grass with [his] blood” (Riggs, 124). It is quick to realize that this is a face she puts on as a way to protect herself. Miss Peregrine says Emma “has a certain flair for the dramatic” (Riggs, 146). Though she put on a strong face, she has a shy and loving side to her that she quickly shares with Jacob. 

Jacob and Emma begin to have a intriguingly close relationship. At first, Jacob reminds Emma a lot of her first love, Jacob’s grandfather. With the loops, the peculiar children stay young, and while Emma may look like a teenager, she is around eighty. She continues to show Jacob around the Island and how the peculiars live their life day by day within the loop, and they fall in love.

 In the beginning, it always seems like all fun and games until you zoom out to the bigger picture with the stormy background, but flower filled field. Jacob had a one-sided sceptical view of the world, until he lost his grandfather. The lense were pulled back and the bigger picture was released. Everything started out as stories, when visiting made it all come to life. Each character throughout this book changed page by page. They endured challenges and realizations that shaped the decisions and realizations discovered. The friendships and relationships are what shaped the book and each peculiar child. 

Works Cited

Riggs, Ransom, Doogie Horner, and John J. McGurk. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk, 2011. Print.

The Town That Built Me

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A long two hours had slowly passed by from staring out the car window into the darkness of the night. The headlights on the car made a subtle right turn, which pointed down another highway. The long blacktop roads seemed to never end, until seeing the small white sign embroidered with bricks and the words, “Axtell The Windmill City.” It wasn’t a large town, with the school, two churches, and the grocery store taking up most of it. The dead of night left it dark, mysterious. It was late so the town was quiet, not a person in sight. The sounds of the engine roaring and tires along the pavement seemed to be the only noise being made. One left turn and two blocks straight led to a house on the corner with the lights still shining through the windows. The car slowed to a halt and my dad opened the front door to the house, leaving a loud screech in the dead of night. After a hug and few exchanged words, I was grabbing my bags out of the back of my mom’s car with my head low and eyes watery. 

My life, before living in Axtell, was very different compared to who I am now. I watched myself walk down the hallways, day after day, staring down. I swear I could memorize the different kinds of flooring that were in that school. One peek up, and I would see the foul look on someone’s face or the whisper and laugh spread between two. I could hear my name being spoken between voices and the giggles or remarks that escaped their mouths shortly after. The daily routine followed with sitting down in class and staring forward, looking at no one and avoiding everyone looking at me, falling deep into the white walls with the blank stare on my face. In that time, the skies were gloomy and dark, even if the sun was shining. There wasn’t much meaning to anything. The gaping hole in the middle of my heart was just waiting to be filled with a place to call home. My eyes wandered, searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it was subtle. 

I came to Axtell knowing about the country and always wanting to experience it, but never getting the chance. Axtell is a small rural town just twenty miles south of Kearney, Nebraska. It’s a small town with roughly 730 people and just enough in it for it to be considered a town. Axtell is only about 282 acres, keeping everyone in town nice and close. The attractions in the town include Kat’s Corner, the grocery story, with a park right behind it, the school, which is kindergarten through 12th grade in one school. There’s the library, the bar, the post office, and community hall that are all located along Main Street. The only reason why other people may know about this town is because of Mosaic, a place which serves people with intellectual disabilities. 

Coming to this town threw my past away and kept in out of my mind.

The darkness may have come from the schools or the people, but it didn’t feel right. This wasn’t how things were suppose to be. I saw the light in others eyes, and they seemed to miss the darkness in mine. Although now, I see the light shine brighter and brighter, as I’ve turned from the past, and look to what new opportunities one little town has gave me. My life changed in a day. The new school changed everything. I was looking up, from face to face, smiling and even getting one in return. People would say my name with purpose and with meaning. I was not reaching out to others, not afraid of being judged for my every move. I walked with dignity and talked with others in class. My life changed, in a matter of a day. 

I am able to say this is the place that built me. 

Growing up, I visited Axtell several times throughout the year because both my parents were raised there. My grandparents lived there as well, so we went west for the holidays. I loved it even as I was growing up. I loved going to the farm and playing around in the barn, or talking and feeding the cows. I remember going on tractor and combine rides with my grandpa and uncle, those were my favorite. To most people it’s a boring back and forth motion, but I was fascinated with the sight of the corn being knocked over and “magically” going into the trailer, or with the soil parting behind us in straight lines. 

Visiting my great grandparents house was one of my favorites. My great grandma always had all kinds of sweets around the house, especially the windmill cookies. I would sit on her lap in the recliner with the blue blanket draped over the side. She would tell me how much I’ve grown and how I become more and more beautiful each day, even if I had just seen her the day before. My great grandpa would take me out back and show me everything he had growing in the garden. We would go through picking cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, crab apples, and check on the watermelons as he told me stories about times in his life. 

He had even told me the story about the time when my mom had got bit in the face by their dog and had to get stitches. My mother was young when my great grandparents had a german shepherd. The dog was eating and my mom was playing with her toys nearby, but apparently she had got too close. Their german shepherd was very protective and territorial, especially when eating. My mom may have reached for the food, but my grandparents only know about her running into the house with blood running down her neck. This called for a trip the emergency room and several stitches. 

His stories always lit up my day, no matter what mood I was in.

Great grandpa and grandma always had this special pew that they sat in at church, and the rest of my family would always gather around them, as if our names were imprinted on the back. 

Something that really changed my life was going to church. In Lincoln, that wasn’t something I did. I used to think that I didn’t have time for it, that I was simply too busy, when in reality, I was being lazy. I had gone to church before, but not on a regular basis.     

As for people in a small town, God is a very important factor.

I guess you could say that because I had been going through such a hard time, I had lost some of the faith that had built up inside me over the years. I was constantly questioning, “why me?” Most people are going to question that at some point in their life because of the trials and tribulations that occur, but i had completely let it destroy me. I had never known that I had let go, but I know I see what had happened. I had sat in bed awake so late at night wishing I had known the answers as to why any person should have to go through what I was, that I forgot about how my actions may be affecting what was going on around me. 

I know what happened because my actions were much different and I was doing things solely for myself. For example, if I did anything to help my mom around the house, it was for myself, like cleaning my room. Now, I know to do things not only for myself, but for the benefit of others. 

The first time going to church was nothing I didn’t expect. Bethany Lutheran Church is painted white with beautiful stain glass windows and flowers that surrounded the church. We walked through the glass front doors and took a right, leading to the several rows of pews, both upstairs and on the main floor. The church was beautifully decorated with fall colors. The service was wonderful and I had a strong realization moment in my life. I had been struggling for quite a while now, and I was already beginning to trust in God and His plan for me, after just one sermon at church. I remember the sermon was about having faults, but getting back up stronger and trusting in God. I knew that this was speaking to me and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

There were times when I would stay after church for a while just to talk to my pastor about things that were happening in my life, like the struggles I was facing and having to completely start over at a new school. He was very good at listening to what I had to say and returning with godly answers that helped me realize why these things were happening. I realized that sometimes you truly do have to fall down only to get up stronger than ever before. 

Since I was new to town, I seemed to be the center of attention, which wasn’t something that I was ever used to. Everyone was so interested in who I was, but the more and more I got asked that question, the less I knew the real answer. I was lost.

The first day I went to school, I had several people wanting to show me around, which made me feel welcomed. The teachers were all inviting and everyone seemed to be interested in the new girl who came to town. I was instantly invited into many events and people wanted to hang out with me. 

Being on the basketball team with the girls at my school completely changed my perspective of things. Being in Axtell Wildcat made me realize I was where I needed to be. I had never been so close with a group of people before. We would call each other family and support each other. Everyone was patient with me as I needed to learn the plays. They accepted me into their family even though they usually don’t get new members. Before every game we prayed together, and that was something I had never experienced before, especially for a public school. We also hold hands and we would squeeze our fingers along with the beat to the national anthem that the band was always playing. I had never felt like I belonged somewhere in my life, more than these moments. It is a true statement that Wildcats are family. 

Now that I’m living in Lincoln, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do was go back. I fell in love with the community and the people who surrounded me. I loved how close everyone was, even if someone was always in your business. I loved how much the teachers and coaches cared about how you were doing and would talk to you at at any time. I loved how small my class was and how i knew every person on a personal level. I fell in love with the town, Axtell. 

This is the town that showed me what I want to do for the rest of my life, that pulled my head up and held it high, and that gave friendships to last a lifetime. 

Book Response #1

After just finishing the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

The first thing I noticed about this book is the way everything is described. From the characters to the setting, it continues to pull you deeper and deeper into the reading. The author takes his time on piecing together what each character is about and their personalities, or peculiarities, which is vital for this book. Each child has their own peculiar talent, which he states right when introducing them, but it’s the personalities of each that makes them distinctive. He takes it beyond how they feel or act and expresses the impact that other people and the environment has had on themselves.

The next thing I saw was how easy it was to be drug into the book. The exaggerated descriptions, compared to our world today, and use of metaphors make the writing simply jump out.

The author made the concept of taking Jacob’s, the main character, childhood stories, told by his now deceased grandfather, and turned them into reality. The author made Jacob’s edgy and brave, yet shy personality change throughout the book as he discovers more and more about these “stories”. One example of this is when he realizes he is peculiar himself, but the author didn’t stop there. The suspense continues on, making you want to see what his talents really are and why he is the one who can save the peculiar.

Overall, the book was one I couldn’t put down.

Journey through Lincoln 

Lincoln isn’t the place I was born, nor the place I intend to stay. It’s remotely a place where I am. With little meaning to where I want to go, Lincoln is simply a stop along the way. We all have dreams and destinations, but people seem to forget out the path it takes to get there. Though my dream may not take place in Lincoln, this place still has some value. 

From the thousands of mall trips and days spent in school and the friends who came along too, Lincoln can be a great place to be. 

The malls aren’t too big, but they’re not small. Not to mention, there’s more than one. They contain a variety of stores, filled with items ranging from clothing to shoes to food to home decor. Some might say the malls are too small or outdated, but they’re just right to most in Lincoln. You would think after going to a place over and over again, it might get a little old, but not for 15 and 16 year old girls who could spend their money on coffee and cheap shirts any day. 

That’s one of my best memories in Lincoln, watching people walk down the mall halls with bags in hand and a typically quick pace. I enjoy gazing into windows and looking for something just begging for me to get it. No, I’m not much of a shopper, but I’d say it’s the friends who go with that only make it that much better. Much like, if you eat cake on a random night, you get a little guilty, but if you eat cake at your friend’s birthday, you don’t even worry, it’s their birthday right? That’s much like the mall because when I go alone, I get guilting for wanting all those things and even purchasing some when I have most of the things I already need, but when I’m with my friends, it makes a whole difference. 

Another stop along the way includes countless hours of boring school. School isn’t exactly the most fun place to be, but it’s the people there who make it somewhat enjoyable. Classes are long and seem to drag and the meals are questionable, yet seem to still taste okay, but it’s the laughs and the chatter that makes it all worthwhile. Though I’ve spent many hours and days in schools, it’s all another stop along the way of my destination. 

Lincoln may not be my choice of place to stay, but it’s a chapter in the book that I wouldn’t replace. From the thousands of mall trips and days spent in school and the friends who came along too, Lincoln can be a great place to be. 

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Expectations for English 4

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  1. What are my expectations for reading in English 4?
    • reading the full 800 pages a month
    • writing reflections based on the books
    • reading multiple kinds of genres
    • picking out books I will actually want to read and be interested in
  2. What are my expectations for writing in English 4?
    • to use stronger and more powerful word and formatting
    • to learn the correct way to make a citation
    • help me create better writing so I can be prepared for college