Journal entry 2


Cujo Entry #1



    So far Cujo has been a very great book starting with a kid who thinks there’s a monster in his closet and is set very unsettlingly and eerily. Even though Iv’e just gotten into it I am already exited for the rest if the book and the dark wisdom it may have like many other Stephen King books. The book is set very visually and it’s very easy to make a picture in your head on where and how the book is taking place. So far he dog hasn’t been introduced yet but it wouldn’t be a Stephen King book if the main antagonist wasn’t introduced for the first half the book.


Journal entry 1

Intro to Independent Reading

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“...it was amazing, wasn't it, how bad you could hurt when there was nothing physically wrong.” ― Stephen King, Cujo

      I chose to read Cujo because I really like Stephen King’s writing and I really liked reading pet cemetery and this book seemed very similar. Pet Cemetery is about a family who’s cat dies and they bury it in an ancient cursed burial site where the cat comes back to life but different. As if it saw death, anything that came out of that graveyard was hostile and feral. Cujo is about a friendly dog that gets bitten by a sick bat and gies feral and attacks people. This is a lesser known book of Stephen King’s but it’s still one I have heard of before and given my limited selection of books I chose this one. I’ve read a couple of Stephen King’s books and they were very good so I don’t have any doubts that this one will be good as well.  


Lord of the Flies Metacognition


Live or Evil?

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    “The mask was a thing on it's own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-conciousness.” ― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

 

    There is a beast inside every one of us. Some people conceal it with as much joyousness and peacefulness as they can, but deep down everyone has that putrid evil in their heart. In the book, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the idea of evil and morality is evident. 

 

    Simon, the wisest of all the boys was walking through the jungle when he happened upon the choir boys hunting and killing their second pig. They had recently broken up from the rest of the group because Jack was turned down as leader again which made him feel powerless and power hungry. After they killed the pig they cut off the head and put it onto a stick as an offering to he beast. When they left Simon had a silent conversation with the pig head. 

 

Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go; Why things are what they are?

 

This conversation explained that there isn’t a physical beast that you can kill. And that the beast is in everyone, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t kill it. The pig head represents the beast in the way that the faults in humanity lead to the monstrosity of sacrificing a pig head to a non-physical beast. By this terminology they were sacrificing the beast to themselves. Making them feel better or more protected by this sacrifice.

 

    It is important that we understand that the beast isn’t something you can catch and kill, and that it resides in everyone of us and we all are capable of evil things. The boys use masks and face paint when they are partaking in hunting or violence. It masks their true identity both figuratively and literally. The masks allow the boys to function within the realm of a new identity, and in these new identities, they can release the beast inside all of them. This brings up the question of what kind of society is better? One that hides every humans hatred and ability to partake in evil acts, or one that accepts the darkness in every mans heart. 

 

    I believe that even though hiding our anger and hatred is safer and creates a more harmonious society. However, we can’t forget or ignore humankind’s mishaps and faults. Because like a caged lion, locking it away only makes it more hostile.

 


Lord of the Flies literary analysis 1 (hair)


Hair In Lord of The Flies

 

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     “The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable.” ― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

     The human race has always had a sense of carelessness and savagery. Often times carelessness and laziness leads to savage behavior in that it takes effort to be civilized and some don’t always work to remain on the path of sophistication. In the book, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the boys hair symbolizes their battle with savagery. And them fighting to keep the hair out of their eyes represents their desire “fun” and their overall carelessness.

     After a couple weeks on the Island, all the boys at this point in the story had long hair and were dirty and a lot of them were getting careless about their hygiene.

Piggy was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow. The rest were shockheaded, but Piggy’s hair still lay in wisps over his head as though baldness were his natural state and this imperfect covering would soon go, like the velvet on a young stag’s antlers” (Golding page 64)

This quote shows that Piggy, the most reasonable one and most civilized, had hair that never really seemed to grow. As the other boys all seemed to creep into savagery including Ralph, Piggy never seemed to. Their hair represents their transformation into savagery.

     Ralph has an ongoing battle with keeping his hair out of his eyes which represents his fight with savagery. “Ralph stood, one hand holding back his hair, the other clenched” (Golding page 66). This quote shows how his hair represents more than just hair and that is is more like a blindfold for civilization and leads people into savagery. “Not one of them was an obvious subject for a shower, and yet-hair, much too long, tangled here and there, knotted round a dead leaf or a twig…scurfy with brine” (Golding page 110).

    The growth of the boys hair is equal to their growth into savagery. As their hair grows, so does the desire for fun and recklessness. Piggy and Ralph’s hair show how some of the wiser and more intelligent members of society deal with the problem of civilization and the fight to remain civilized. 


A Child’s Christmas in Whales Literary Analysis

Child’s Imagination in Writing

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw

 

 

     You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. In the book, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, by Dylan Thomas, we see how a child’s view of the world is drastically different than how adults see it. And oftentimes children's creative imagination’s shape the way we write and tell stories. Children see the world much differently than adults. This story expresses the creative nature of a child’s mind.

    A boy and his friends were venturing through his town on Christmas Day. They walk through the town during a blizzard.

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills, and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior.”

These kids take a quaint little town and turn it into a harsh wilderness where they were hardy traveler’s barring the cold to survive. In their minds they were able to take a seemingly boring town and turn it into whatever they wanted.

  This ability to see more than present is frequently explored by writers. A lot of story telling uses this technique to exaggerate the story and keep the listeners captivated. A child’s imagination is something that many people find interesting and may have a deeper meaning than just their growing and developing minds.

    Throughout this short story the author exhibits childlike imagination in his writing through images, actions, and detailed descriptions. He also uses similes and metaphors to greater amplify his writing to help set the scene and captivate the reader.


Mid year exam narrative

Why Follow Tradition?

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“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”Leonard Bernstein

 

     Tradition is a powerful aspect of humanity. We often follow tradition to ease the stress of our daily lives with something that remains tantamount. 

    One tradition I follow is running. Every morning I run on the trails behind my house purely for the repetition of it. With the stress and change everyday in my school life and extracurricular activities, I need something that stays the same. Because change is stressful. And nothing is less stressful than absolutely nothing. 

    Traditions are not always chosen but developed. Something you enjoy will make its way into your head as something you want to do again. So find something you like to do and stick with it. I know that life is short and to try as much as we can before we die is a desperate desire for mankind. But stress is like a glass barrier between you and your dreams. Stress pulls you apart and sorts you to what you want to accomplish. Keeping part of you in work, part of you in your aspirations, and part of you with your family. Getting pulled apart between things you love to do is not what life is short so make it sweet means. You can’t reach your full potential of your not whole. Travel the world and try new things as one. Without your ambitions and hopes holding you back.

    I run as a means to remain unstressed and able to reach for everything I want to without overwhelming myself or pushing away other things I like to do. So find your tradition as it may give yourself back to you. 


Odyssey literary analysis books 1-12

The Odyssey: Books II-XI

Trust and Fate

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     “Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.” ― Homer, [The Odyssey, Book I, Lines 37-40]

 

    Trust plays a major factor in people’s lives and feelings. And in the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust your fate. In the first twelve books of The Odyssey, by Homer, the idea of trust and fate were exhibited throughout the book. Trust was interpreted as more of a damnation than a gift from the gods. It was used to test the characters and trial them and their decide their fate.

 

    Odysseus and his crew were sailing for months, barely surviving countless atrocities and roadblocks on the way. Finally they reached the island of the Sun. Odysseus wanted to avoid the island, however Eurylochus insisted that the crew was too tired and needed rest so Odysseus made the men swear an oath not to eat any cattle because if they did, Helios, the sun god, would punish them as they were his cattle. Odysseus and his crew stayed at the island for a month and eventually ran out of the stored food they had on their ship so they began to starve. One night Eurylochus convinced the men to eat the cattle of the sun and betraying Odysseus’s trust. Odysseus and Zeus felt deeply betrayed and which enraged them.

“Father Zeus! the rest of you blissful gods who never die —you with your fatal sleep, you lulled me into disaster. Left on their own, look what a monstrous thing my crew concocted!’ Quick as a flash with her flaring robes Lampetie sped the news to the Sun on high that we had killed his herds and Helios burst out in rage to all the immortals” [The Odyssey, Book XI, Lines 405-409]

Odysseus was enraged with the actions of his crew mates and even though they received justice in the form of the wrath of Zeus, he may never trust anyone again. His whole journey is recurrent with mutiny and betrayal. The story also exhibits the theme of forgiveness and mercy, especially from Odysseus. Throughout the book, Odysseus forgives and shows kindness to his crew mates when in return only given disrespect and betrayal. The effects of this exchange take a toll on Odysseus and it is shown as Odysseus changes throughout his journey.

 

     After Odysseus had journeyed for eighteen days across the endless sea, he caught sight of a distant island hoping to find asylum. Suddenly Poseidon, god of the sea, sees Odysseus who he has seething rage for. Poseidon sends monstrous waves obstructing his way. Poseidon knows he can’t kill Odysseus because it against the will of Zeus. Odysseus swims to the island for two days in the harshest of storms. He finally collapses on the sand. 

    “A heavy sea covered him over, then and there unlucky Odysseus would have met his death—against the will of fate—but the bright eyed one inspired him yet again.” [Lines 479-482–The Odyssey book five].

While Odysseus was close to death, the power of the gods and fate saved him and inspired him to survive. This event shows that the gods are always looking over us and influencing our fate and future. The gods threw hardships at Odysseus and helped him out during hard times as well. The gods have a plan for Odysseus even though they can’t see the future. 

 

    Even though the gods can’t generally be trusted, you can still decide the mortals who to trust which will predominantly determine your fate. Trust can often be deadly, and as shown in The Odyssey; who you trust can ultimately determine your fate. 


Wrestling blog post

How Wrestling Shaped My Life

Connor Soukup

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This is a sport (wrestling) that has turned many boys into men and many men into leaders. And it is a sport in which you can be a giant regardless of how big you are.”- Carl Albert, former Speaker of the House

 

 

    Many people believe wrestling to be a cruel or dangerous sport. Or that it’s for people who are troubled. This isn’t just false, but people who wrestle tend to be more developed mentally and physically than any other sport. Wrestling has been widely misunderstood for generations. It isn’t any more your backyard sport as soccer or football. Wrestling matches require various equipment and referees. It is a very organized sport that is appreciated by many types of athletes. 

 

    Wrestling is known as one of the oldest sports in history. Referenced in the Iliad and depicted in 15,000-year-old cave drawings in France. Early Egyptian and Babylonian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport. This fact  can be off putting to some people. Thinking that since it is old it is wrong and barbaric because of its heritage being around when gladiator arenas, lion or bull fighting, and other sports of that nature. It is actually won of the tamer sports, having evolved over time to be more safe and more responsible. 

 

    My experience with wrestling has shaped my life. I started wrestling in third grade at a local high school. My older brother was on varsity wrestling team there and It was my goal to one day make the varsity team in the many years to come when I would be in high school. That goal was deserted when I changed schools in sixth grade. I joined my new schools wrestling team at The Fenn School in concord MA, I started on the middle school team which I quickly didn’t feel like I belonged. I was wrestling first time wrestlers when I had already been wrestling for three years prior. I couldn’t practice the moves I liked and I felt like wasn’t reaching my potential. It wasn’t until my next year that I got to try out for the varsity team at Fenn. I worked hard and was determined to work my very best and learn the most from the experience. My first couple of matches on varsity went pretty well. The coach put me up against new wrestlers who I got to practice my new moves on. When the season progressed I started going up against harder and harder opponents. I started losing and I felt really bad for myself. I was going from winning most of my matches to winning few of them. I became discouraged and was ready to give up. It wasn’t until I realized the reason I loved wrestling. It was because of hardships and vicissitude that came with it. Because you need to experience sadness and failure to appreciate success and happiness. It is one of the main reasons why I love sports. You gain strength from your failures and it shapes you as a person. I have become who I am today because of wrestling. 


Book seven literary reflection Odyssey

Power of Pity

Connor Soukup

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Do not pity the dead, Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” - J.K Rowling

 

 

    Pity can be stronger than you think. In the Odyssey, book seven, Oddesius gains a lot of help from Narcissa and queen Arete’s through the form of pity. It helps him find asylum and food as well as a ship to journey home in. And even though it somewhat damaged his reputation, he found all the help he needed and more.

    While reading this book, I found pity as a way to get what you want or to get people to help you. Like when Oddesius comes to the city begging queen Arete’s for help. He debates whether to use the strategy of confidence to get her help, or the strategy of pity and sadness. Go goes with sadness and self-pity which works well enough for him. This encounter plus when Oddesius meets Narcissa and he gets her to help him, are some great examples of how people use pity to benefit themselves.

    While reading this book, I found pity as a way to get what you want or to get people to help you. Like when Oddesius comes to the city begging queen Arete’s for help. He debates whether to use the strategy of confidence to get her help, or the strategy of pity and sadness. Go goes with sadness and self-pity which works well enough for him. This encounter plus when Oddesius meets Narcissa and he gets her to help him, are some great examples of how people use pity to benefit themselves. 

    Pity, however an important aspect of human life, can’t always be depended on. This book of the Odyssey displays when and how it can be used to your advantage.

 

 


The Odyssey Book 1-6 literary Analysis

The Power of Fate

Connor Soukup

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                        “You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it” - French Proverb

 

 

     Since the dawn of man, people have believed that something out of their control determines their future. In the Odyssey, the gods have complete dominion over mortals lives. As Telemachus sails to find his father and oddesius attempts to journey home. The gods influence their fortune at every turn. 

    After oddesius had journeyed for eighteen days across the endless sea, he caught sight of a distant island hoping to find asylum. Suddenly Poseidon, god of the sea, sees oddesius who he has seething rage for. Poseidon sends monstrous waves obstructing his way. Poseidon knows he can’t kill oddesius because it against the will of Zeus. Oddesius swims to the island for two days in the harshest of storms. He finally collapses on the sand. 

    A heavy sea covered him over, then and there unlucky oddesius would have met his death—against the will of fate—but the bright eyed one inspired him yet again. (Lines 479-482–The Odyssey book five). 

While oddesius was close to death, the power of the gods and fate saved him and inspired him to survive. This shows the gods are always looking over us and influencing our fate and future. The gods throw hardships at oddesius and help him out during hard times as well. The gods have a plan for oddesius even though they can’t see the future. 

    The gods have dominating control over the lives and fate of mortals. Like the gods you can’t decide you fate but you can influence it.