Friday, May 9, 2008

An End

First, thank you for this class. I really can't communicate how much I appreciated it. You have made me want to take more English classes... To be honest, I didn't think that was possible. Again, thank you. Here are my final works:

1) I remember (Creative Piece)
--probably my favorite. There was something about that day.
2) The Violinist (Photo Analysis)
--Definitely fell in love with this photo, despite the context.
3) Of Permanent Shade (Group Effort)
--I read these poems over and over. I think this is the best I've written in terms of poetry.
--I had a bit of trouble composing this one, but I think I said what I wanted.
5) A Burial Party (Photo Analysis)
--It gnawed at me.. I couldn't leave it out.
6) Which is which? (Group Effort)
--I think Sarah and I worked well together. I wonder if can tell our stories apart.
7) Dear Grandpa (Letter #2)
8) Free Rice (Medium Pusher)
--Can you imagine a world where rice is free?
9) The Host (Creative Piece)
--This was one of my previous posts that is now revamped and completely different.
10) A Dream (My Own)
11) So then Mockingbirds (Fun One)
-- I really do like this poem. I think it turned out better than any of us anticipated.

Free Rice (& empowerment)

I went to and entered the word "hunger." I wanted to see what kinds of sites would appear. Well, I found what I thought I would, but there was something missing. Over Thanksgiving last year, my mother had been told about this vocabulary game online. I thought "oh great, she's going to suggest that my siblings and I play this game instead of the other things we do online." Then, she started playing it often. I also started playing it, and I was hooked. The website that hosts this "game" is called For every correct definition of the word you are able to produce, TWENTY grains of rice are donated to help curb world hunger. Now, I can go and look at the thousands of websites that pop up on Google to help fight world hunger and possibly war (we all know there are many wars that stem from food), but to me, they are nothing in comparison to this game. With this game, I feel like I am doing something that I've never done before. Sure, I've donated money and canned goods and whatever else, but this is something I can do with my mind. In the end, intellect is more powerful than anything, even hunger.

I would have never been able to do something as simply with my mind to help others without this silly game. So, I am challenging whoever reads this to go to
freerice and see how far and how long they will play to get that rice. (my record is four hours on Thanksgiving.. can you beat it?)

A Dream

I was running. I could feel my heart pounding. My arms were tingling but they liked it. I couldn't stop myself. I couldn't stop myself from running. What was i running from? I didn't know and nor did my body, so we kept going. I thought about the way the rain hit my back. Did I like the way it pelted me? The way it hit me and made my skin bleed; it felt like needles that didn't miss a micro spot. No, it wasn't that or the ground either. Maybe its the way my face glows. Wait, I can't see myself. What about the air? It's warm, a distinct contrast to the rain. Then, I stopped. That was it. Running didn't matter if I didn't have a choice to stop-- the difference between water and air showed me this.

[Now, sitting here, I can make a comparison that I couldn't make during my dream. Yes, I did have this dream.. I'm not really sure why, but I can guess that it is as a result of the recent book I can't put down. Also, I didn't know how to craft my own post, so I may have been running from that-- who knows? Still, there is so much in this book. It has renewed my desire to be human, despite war. In it, our world has been taken by a species of aliens called souls. I'm not going to provide a larger summary, but there is one quote that will be in my mind forever. Because of it, I now understand war and am oddly ok with it. I'm not saying that I think war should be condoned, but I recognize the beauty and absolute incandescence of its opposite. Stephenie Meyer has articulated it better than I could have ever hoped. She asks:
"[Is human love] simply better somehow? Because these humans could hate with so much fury, was the other end of the spectrum that they could love with more heart and zeal and fire?"

To answer, yes, I definitely think they can.]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

So then Mockingbirds

Early in morning she is
Not ecstatic but rather tired
Where’s coffee

How will she survive?
A mockingbird quietly flies intently
Towards the window
Determined to fulfill destiny

Will it succeed?
What purpose compels flight?
Mockingbirds have no intentions
But to do morning awakenings
She still sleeps soundly

With anger said mockingbird,
Refuse failure continue mocking
Woman does not awaken
Spray with hose…retreat

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dear Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

You were never a soldier to me. I never once saw any amount of anger or aggression leak through your character. You seemed so passive, so fragile. The way people talk about you makes me believe that they define you somewhat by your military life. I just didn't see it. I still don't see it. It is so hard for me to understand why people wouldn't let that go. I suppose all veterans face that kind of containment. I wonder if you minded. I'm sure others mind their state upon returning. Was it difficult for you carry that part of your life with you forever? I would hope not, but I can't be sure. You were so quiet, so peaceful. Nothing could shake you. I hardly remember your voice. I probably don't remember because I don't remember ever asking you to tell me stories. I don't know what your childhood was like or how you lived. I don't know what it was like when you went to war. Perhaps, your personality was shaped by your experiences there, on the battlefield.
I know the one house we used to visit, but I haven't been there in four years. Well, I'll have to rely on my father for the rest. Thank you for doing what you could to make sure he didn't have to face war. I don't know if I could ever have lived without him.

love manda

The Host

A new novel comes out in four days. It will tell a story of a war many of us are familiar with, yet it is still its own. The Host is by Stephenie Meyer. It is a preview of a world where an alien species referred to as seekers take over the human race. They implant themselves into human bodies and are normally able to completely consume their hosts in both physical control and memory. However, there is one human that does not succumb to her invader as easily. As far as I have read, this is the element that drives the plot and makes it relevant when discussing war within the human world. Even a species that is considered "inhuman" cannot escape our condition or the wars that result. "That's what I like about science fiction," Meyer says. "It's the same thing I like about Shakespeare. You take people, put them in a situation that can't possibly happen, and they act the way you would act. It's about being human." And sometimes there's nobody quite as human as somebody who isn't.
--I am so excited to read this novel that I could just sleep through the next four days. That's going to be another battle I have with myself.. go to class or sleep until the host comes out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Of Permanent Shade

Their thoughts are frozen
And decay is lost

The soul is gone, but
So is the body

Immortality is attained
through a blotted still

Each is trapped
Unable to escape--
the gruesome death
that was never revealed in light.
(A memoir of the Hiroshima shadows)

Here are my group member's poems using eight of the same words:
Shadows frozen in time
Immortal they died
Unable to escape the gruesome light
The everyday life they lost
Is still blotted in our minds
Forever frozen are the Shadows of Hiroshima
I am frozen in time,
Secured by the light
Blotted by the soot,
And gone by night
I am lost from reality,
I’ve escaped from life
Devoured by a gruesome death,
Fueled by international strife
I am still in the shadows,
I am unable to grow
This is no mortal grave,
On this wall, my death shows
Failure to escape
The success of being frozen in time
Forever still, a once living memorial
Lost in light,
A life blotted out
The shadowed ash cannot be lost