Digital Citizenship

4 09 2013

I found myself relating to a lot of the statistics about digital citizenship. Out of all the digital media, I use my phone the most because it is the most handy and contains everything that I need on it. One upside of having this technology is  is retaining information quickly, and one downside is depending on it so much.  

A digital footprint is anything that you have done or participated in that is now online. It is public because everyone can see it online and even though you may delte something on the internet it, most likely, never is really deleted.

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All About Me

30 08 2013

Hello, I love listening to music.

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First Week Back To School

30 08 2013

     School. It has not been like the previous years I will say. This year I am a junior so that means I have to step it up and take control and really go after what I want to do in my high school career. This week has not been difficult at all, if anything, managing my bladder and stomach growels has been the hardest part about it. I think this year will be good and something to look forward to. :D

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1.Summary of Plot

26 05 2013

Gene, who is a inverted and smart young man, is friends with Finny, his total opposite. Finny is good at sports and is very outgoing and spontaneous. They both attend the Devon school during the year 1942 and go on risky adventures during the summer that could get them into lots of trouble, if it weren’t for Finny’s talent of talking himself out of things. During the summer, the two boys form a club called the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session, at every club meeting it was tradition that the two boys jump off of a tree limb together. As the days go by Gene begins to feel insecure about his importance in the friendship and also becomes very envious of Finny and his skills. Gene reasons that Finny is actually distracting him from his studies because he is jealous of his smarts. At the next club meeting, Gene subconsciously jounces the limb and lets Finny fall hard. The result are two broken legs for Finny and the whole tragic fall is considered an accident and no one thinks to blame Gene. However the amount of guilt Gene feels adds up even more when he learns that Finny can’t participate in the one thing that he loved most, sports.

Although Gene tries to confess to Finny that he was the cause of his broken legs, Finny refuses to listen to him and even threatens him to shut up. Gene drops the subject altogether and continues on with his schooling at Devon. The summer session has ended and world war 2 is now the main priority to Gene. He tries not to focus on sports by becoming a manager of a team and then makes it a plan to enlist in the war with Brinker. However, that same night he made that plan was the same night Finny returned back to school. When Finny finds out that Gene is going to enlist in the war rather than play sports, he makes a point that the war is all a big joke made up by fat old men. Of course, Gene buys into his theory and continues to follow Finny’s orders. Gene even trains for the Olympics in place of Finny just to satisfy his dreams.

During a winter carnival, that was set up by Finny, Gene receives a note from Leper, a sweet and nature-loving boy who went into the war with high hopes, is now crying out for rescue. Gene goes to Vermont and finds Leper has a crazed mindset. That is when Gene becomes scared of the war and runs back to Devon to confide in Finny about it. Later on, Brinker becomes suspicious that Gene had something to do with Finny’s accident so he arranges a tribunal with his peers and snatches Gene and Finny into the auditorium. There the boys throw around questions at Finny to see all of what he remembers about that tragic day, and when that isn’t working out, the boys summon Leper to the auditorium to justify what happened. Leper knows that he has important information so he tells them everything, besides the fact whether Gene pushed Finny off the tree limb or not. Suddenly, Finny remembers everything and becomes furious with the fact that his best friend would be involved in such a cruel action, so he storms the auditorium and heads for the stairs. Rushing onto the stairs in the dark, Finny falls and breaks his legs again.

Not knowing what to do that night and only acting on his emotions, Gene visits Finny at the hospital who then rejects him from being there and being his friend. Gene leaves that night and sleeps under the school football stadium until the next morning when he goes back to the hospital. The two make peace with each other after explanations and apologies. However, later on, Gene finds out that Finny has died from some bone marrow that has entered his bloodstream and went into his heart killing him instantly. Gene takes the news rather well and doesn’t cry for Finny when he attends his funeral. Gene feels like he died with Finny because he was always a part of him. In the finale chapter, the boys are seen graduating and off enlisting into the war. However, Gene claims that he has already fought his war in Devon and has never killed anyone beyond that point. Gene reflects that everybody he knows consist of hatred and ignorance that drives them to be violent. gene believed that this was something Finny never obtained which made him different from anyone else he has ever come in contact with.

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9.Theme Sentence

26 05 2013

“When they began to feel that there was this overwhelmingly hostile thing in the world with them, then the simplicity and unity of their characters broke and they were not the same again”

I feel like this embodies the theme of A Separate Peace because it’s inferring the transition one has to make from adolescence into adulthood. I am at the moment in my life where everyday I am realizing that quote is true. This world isn’t as marvelous, big, and magical as I thought it was a few years ago. Slowly, but surely I’m beginning to understand what it takes to mature into an adult, and to be honest I don’t like it. Things become so complicated and then you realize you have to deal with it on your own. The boys at Devon are going to experience this when they go off to the war. Obviously, Leper couldn’t handle it so he came back changed and scarred; mentally and emotionally scarred that is. The whole book beats around the fact that change is upon them at all times, but it’s only during winter when the boys come face to face with it. During the summer, the boys lived in a secure bubble where being a teenager was acceptable, but just as the season changes, so does their life. The expectations are higher, the mood is much more serious, and their actions are more noticeable. These are the same things that come with being an adult. We all have to go through that transition from fairytales to reality and although it’s not always a delightful journey, it’s a necessary one that shapes us for adulthood.

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8.Opposite Words

25 05 2013

POWER/SUBMISSION

Phineas/Gene Obviously Phineas is the dominant one in the friendship causing Gene to just go with whatever he says. This makes it harder for Gene to stand up for himself and say what he wants. Consequently, Gene’s identity gradually gets covered up by Phineas’ over-confident and poignant personality until the end when Phineas dies then do we see Gene. Their friendship is so off balance, it reminds me of a parent-child relationship rather than just two buddies having each other’s back.

Gene’s jealousy/Gene’s actions While Phineas is embracing his love of sports and adventure, Gene’s jealousy gets ahold of him and manipulates the whole reason as to why Phineas acts the way he does. Gene’s conclusion is that Phineas is secretly jealous of him and is distracting him from becoming valedictorian of his class. Clearly, Gene has become hysterical and only believes this so he feels like Phineas isn’t perfect and needs something from him like he does from Phineas. By allowing his jealousy to get the best of him, Gene stirs up negative thoughts towards his “best friend” and then subconsciously, he jounces on a tree limb causing Phineas to have a tragic fall. He might not have done it on purpose, but he did let his actions submit to the power of his jealousy.

Old fat men/Young fit boys  This goes along with Phineas’ theory of “The fat old men who don’t want us crowding them out of their jobs. [Who've] made it all up.” The old men carry all the power and responsibility, whereas the young men are expected to continue fighting and pick up the slack of the previous generations. Whether this is true or not, it is a legit theory that Phineas, Brinker, and at one point, Gene believed in. ”He and his crowd are responsible for [the war]! And we’re going to fight it!” states Brinker as he refers back to his dad and his generation.

Broken leg/Broken dreams After Phineas experiences his tragic fall and injures both legs, he doesn’t submit to the limits of being crippled, but he does end up loosing his integrity. He obtains a selfish and dishonest sense towards the war after the accident because he doesn’t want to believe that he really is handicapped. He manipulates Gene into believing his theory and being on his side, against the war, so he’s not alone. However, all this time, Phineas was sending letters to try to get into the war secretly. Instead of finding a new profession or making things work for him, Phineas submits to what he was supposed to do before the accident causing him to be a miserable young man in the end.

Athletic/Brainy According to Phineas, sports mean everything to him. That’s his passion and basically his only reason to live. Well, I wouldn’t go that far but that’s all he does and all he wants to do. It doesn’t matter the game as long as it’s daring and consists of good tactics. Because he is so athletic and loves sports, he carries on with his life not taking a second to look at his studies. Phineas thinks poorly of himself when it comes to being book smart so he immediately puts the books aside and picks up the ball. In his world, being athletic is everything and being book smart is a bonus on the side.

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2.Title Significance

25 05 2013

I believe the title, A separate Peace, refers back to how we all have our own peace to reach in life. Whether it be within ourselves, with others, or with nature, it is a human truth that we will all find peace within life, or after. For Gene it was more than physically seeing Finny gone. For Gene, learning a lesson about why things are the way they are was his peace. Knowing that his friend, Finny, is in a better place than he would’ve ever been here on earth, brings Gene comfort. In addition, Gene finally grasps the meaning of war and see’s beyond the black and white lifestyle that’s provided for him. Gene states that his war is over ever since attending Devon. There we see that he’s gotten over his falsehood of lying about his background, and now he isn’t compared to anyone and may shine in his own field. All of this contributes to Gene finding his own peace. He accepts all that has happened and grasps the fact that he is now free, as is Finny.

Another conclusion I have made goes along the same lines, but is a tad more concrete. When I hear the word separate, I imagine that at a time two things were latched onto each other, like chains, and now they have become their own thing. Easily I can compare this to the relationship Gene and Finny had. Also, I think the author used this pun to point out that Gene was a part (or piece) of Finny, and now, he’s his own person who is at peace and not in pieces. Gene is a free bird now.

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10.Review of book

23 05 2013

I liked how the book started out, it was gripping and I was hooked onto the characters, Phineas and Gene, because they were very relatable. I could see myself and my peers throughout these characters which helped make the read easier and more enjoyable. The beginning of the book was mysterious and intriguing. It was only after I had read majority of the book, that I had realized that this all ties in with the beginning objects that Gene focuses on. Gene’s character is alright for the most part. However, being inside his head drove me mad! I saw a different and darker side of Gene when I was listening in on his manipulative and crazed ideas towards Finny. I also got to witness how the subconscious mind works and the fact that our actions all hint out our thoughts even when we’re not meaning to.
If I were to change one thing, it would be the fact that the author shared Gene and Finny’s thoughts. This would have been much more interesting and would have made choosing sides much more difficult. Also, this would’ve allowed us to see, rather than infer, the reasons for their decisions.
A very good and symbolic point that John Knowles introduced has to do with the seasons. Using the seasons to contribute to the tone helped set the scene and differentiate more between the rising action and the falling action. I believe the summer represents their childhood and final carefree moments, whereas the winter struck them with responsibility and sadness. Another very important aspect of this book is the war going on in the background. I thought he did a good job of making it a flexible theme for anyone to grasp when he didn’t shove the war down your throat like I would imagine other books about war to do. By doing so, Knowles also set a different pace without the war being talked about nonstop giving this book a more relatable outlook.
Throughout this book I found that the plot and characters were acceptable, but the conflicts are what pushed this book through making it seem very complex and almost helpless. It’s this way because the conflicts are all within each character. There are more man vs self conflicts than man vs man or man vs nature, that it almost settles you back in for a crazy and long ride on the human brain. All in all, the resolution was reassuring and it made up for the dull spots in the book. However I can’t say that I would recommend this book to anyone mainly because it wasn’t my cup of tea.

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5.Major Change in Character

23 05 2013

Leper enters the war with an open mind and a love for nature. He even dedicated a whole day to search for a beavers dam. Leper is a nature lover and he just wants to enjoy all of the beauty and simplicity that this world has to offer before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the thing that draws him into the war, his passion for skiing, caries him straight into a trap. Leper wasn’t prepared for what was ahead of him. He was a mere child in a man’s over sized and ill-fitting army jacket. During war, Leper hears and sees things that he’s not used to; his imagination runs wild and drives him to run away from the war altogether. After he has escaped, it is crystal clear to see he’s changed into a psycho to say the least. He’s completely opposite of what he was before. The old Leper has left the building, and the new Leper is hiding in the bushes in front of the building. Leper is very insecure about his position in life now, but when he is wanted for information he stands up for himself and doesn’t give it away so cheaply like he would have done before. Leper now understands that he holds some sort of power, one that he never knew existed. Nowadays, Leper see’s things concrete and to the point. There’s no point in slowing down and smelling the roses. I personally think that Leper is not a psycho, and he’s only in this state of mind because so many other people said he was, so he started believing it himself. The real Lepper is in there some where. I imagine around his eyes are wrinkles caused by uncertain pain and a tiredness of life. However, deep in his eyes is a child wanting to live and be adventurous again. Someone desperately wanting to be amazed by life’s wonder’s again. Leper has matured, none the less, into what is fit for an adult life, but he still seeks a sense of peace and happiness and wonder that he can’t seem to find in himself or life anymore.

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7.Three Truths / Human Nature

22 05 2013

“I couldn’t help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little.”

It is, and will always be, human nature to envy, or some might say, be jealous of what someone else’s lifestyle, achievements, and reputation are. We are striving to become someone great and powerful, so when we spot that someone else has achieved these things, we question why that is and then lead into how it should be yourself instead. To envy, is to count someone else blessings instead of your own. ALthough it is not considered a good feeling to have, at times it can drive us to be better. Most of the time though, it can and will bring out our ugly side. The side that causes back and waste our own time.

“Over my cot I had long ago taped pictures which together amounted to a barefaced lie about my background-”

Those who don’t feel confident about where they come from or who they are will do their best to come up with a “better” and “more interesting” lifestyle for themselves so they can be socially accepted. This is commonly done because there is a standard for what’s “normal” and what is “weird.” No one wants to be the weird kid; no one has the guts to be that kid. And the one’s that do get picked on for being themselves. A lie is always easier to pass by than the truth, because then questions are asked and self-confidence is shattered. Obviously Gene is too insecure and ashamed of his true background so he gives out false information to be accepted with the other boys. Gradually though, Gene learns that he no longer needs this vivid false identity. Now he is acquiring a sense of his own real authority and worth, and he has had many new experiences and is growing up. Also, that’s what life is all about, growing up, experiencing things for yourself, and finding out who you are.

“My fury was gone, I felt it gone, dried up at the source, withered and lifeless.”
“The one thing that I had loved here, the peace, the measureless, careless peace of the Devon summer”

It is human nature that we go throughout our life searching for peace, love, and happiness. That is what Gene experiences during his summer days at Devon. There he felt like he belonged and nothing would ever change that. That same feeling goes with eating a homemade meal, or cuddling up on a rainy day. Nothing else matters, because it is perfect the way it is; it’s tranquil. That’s very hard to find, and a bit ironic considering a war is going on throughout this time period, but somehow Gene manages to find peace and happiness during all of this chaos. I believe that when we come across what we’ve always been looking forward to, we normally don’t know how to go about it considering we’ve never had it before. However, I think the best thing to do in these situations, is to hold on to it for as long as you can and enjoy every second because it won’t last very long. Gene does a superb job of that when he finally realizes he’s at peace with himself even though the world isn’t at this moment. That is why it is very important to cherish the moments of peace because they allow us to be ourselves fully and focus on what matters most. After working our whole lives, we expect to age and gain an overwhelmingly amount of success that come with peace and happiness however, that is not the case. You don’t work your life away and expect peace to show up at your door, you take time and be one with yourself. Understand what’s going on around you and within yourself. Peace is a state of mind in my opinion.

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