Monday, September 29, 2014

Nick Reetz
Comp 3
Spoiled
Nicols Fox
HarperCollins, 1997
380 pages

"The key word to put back into our complex relationship with food is respect- for the lives of animals, for how foods are grown and harvested, for the conditions of those who do the harvesting and the preparing, and finally, for ourselves and our families and what we put into our bodies." (378)

The second half of the book Spoiled by Nicols Fox continues in a very similar way to the first half of the book. It resumes talking about the food from which we get diseases, but switches to different diseases and different sources, such as getting Salmonella from chicken, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as Mad Cow Disease, from beef. However, as the quote suggests, it begins to mention the respect we should have for our food, between preparing it correctly, treating it right while it is still alive, and keeping it fresh. This connection was fantastic to the first half of the book, where the author talked about "the right way" to prepare food in her opinion and her families opinion. People got sick less often from food when Fox was a child than now, partly because of the respect the prepared had for the food being prepared. Food was always cooked well and done, and this led to the bacteria inside being killed off. Bacteria like Salmonella.

Salmonella is a disease causing bacteria most commonly found in poultry, especially chicken eggs. When a person is warned not to eat raw cookie dough, it is because of the danger of contracting Salmonella from the raw eggs in the dough. The author points to the living conditions and the slaughter process as large reasons for the spread of Salmonella and other infectious diseases. According to Fox, the process allows contaminates to be spread very easily. Feathers are plucked after bleeding, making feather contamination extremely likely, and the same set of mechanized fingers used to pluck chickens can be used on thousands of chickens. If that first chicken had a dangerous bacteria on it, the rest will too.

The living conditions also play a factor, as chickens live in close proximity to each other. Having thousands of chickens in one large coup is not uncommon. With many chickens in a small area, disease is likely to spread extremely easily, and because chickens themselves do not contract certain diseases, they can go completely unnoticed. Thousands of chickens can all be infected at the same time, with all of them having the potential to cause disease to the person who eats it. This goes back to the respect we should have for our food. If we give the chickens better living conditions, don't produce them in such large quantities, and test them to make sure they are safe for consumption, we can cut down on the number of disease contracted from such foods. This doesn't just apply to chicken, this applies to all foods. Whether it be beef, chicken, pork, vegetables, or fruit, we need to do a better job of making sure our food is safe to eat and providing good conditions for the food before and after harvest. Perhaps we do a better job today than we did nearly 20 years ago, but there is always room for improvement.

Overall, I have a decent opinion of the book. I think it was well written, with good examples, good facts, and it seemed to flow very nicely, However, I feel like it dragged on and on. It could have been ended 100 pages sooner and not have lost anything. It continued with more and more facts and evidence that simply added padding to a solid argument. Again, the book seemed to have a scare tactic to it, trying to press for that safe food initiative by intimidating the audience. It is a good book with a good concept and out of date facts, but I would recommend it to anyone interested in disease and the food chain.
The Blind Side
Michael Lewis
W.W Norton & Company 2006
153 Pages
Marshall Owen
Composition 105

"I feel like I could a did  something, if I were to start over and do it again. I didn't know how close I was. All I had to do was knock on the NFL door."

             This quote tells me that he gave up his dreams so that he didn't have to work at sports and school as much. This quote came from Michel Oher's older brother who dropped out of school to start his family. When Zach took his brother Mike on the basketball court he was amazed by his performance. Mike's troubles in the second half of the Blind Side is that he can't decide what college to pick to play football at. Mike has a lot of pressure on him because a lot of good schools want him but he also wants to make his family happy and go to a school they like. I believe this can be a tough situation for any person to deal with because they want to do what is right for them as well as what is right for their family. Mike also has to talk to the NCAA and during this meeting he gets very frustrated with all of the questions being asked and takes off and goes and hides. Mike is worried that he is doing the wrong thing and won't make his family happy. In a way I feel sorry for Mike he has never had to deal with this much pressure and probably doesn't know what to do to make himself happy. It seems as though when things get tough for him he would rather just go and hide and let it pass weather then fight the problem and over come the situation.

             Blind side is one of my favorite books I like to see myself as Mike and being able to just handle people on the football field like they are not even there. I wish I was as good at football as Mike and have to go through the recruiters and have them want me to play on their team as badly as they wanted Mike. In my opinion everyone is recommend to read this book, it just touches me to see a family that can take in someone who has nothing and raise them to be a big name football player who can get free ride scholarships to big schools to play football. This book can teach a lot of life lessons like have faith and to never let go of something you have.

End Book Blog

Ben Wellendorf
Composition 105

Marley & Me
John Grogan
HarperCollins Publisher, 2005
305 Pages

“But now I had a few minutes with him before the doctor returned.  I thought back over his 13 years--the destroyed furniture and goofy antics; the sloppy kisses and utter devotion.  All in all, not a bad run.   I didn’t want him to leave this world believing all his bad press.  I rested my forehead against his and said: ‘Marley, you are a great dog.’ ” (pg. 303)

The second part of Marley & Me was the telling of Marley as they grew older, and how Marley still stayed a riot until he passed.  Marley was there for the Grogan family through their thick and thin times, even though was still a dog that was eating everything, running through screen doors, and stealing women’s undergarments.  The Grogan family thought that maybe obedience school would help out with Marley being a nuisance; Marley got kicked out within the first week.  Even though Marley seemed like the biggest pain in the world, he still had a heavy heart for the Grogan family, and was by their side through their first pregnancy, which was huge plus in their life, and there for when they had a miscarriage, which broke their heart.  While they lived in Florida, Marley also experienced a stabbing.  A 17-year-old girl was stabbed in the middle of the night, and Marley heard the screams of her as she was stabbed, which alerted the Grogan family.  
When the time came for when Marley had to go, everyone was devastated.  Marley was their family member for many years, and even throughout the kids’ whole life.  This part hit hard at home, because I’ve experienced putting down a dog that was there throughout my whole childhood, and how hard it was for me.  Before we had Emmet, the chocolate labrador we have now, we had Hattie, who was also a chocolate labrador.  Hattie was our dog when I was born through when I was about eight or nine.  Hattie one morning woke up and had a stroke, so she could not move her back legs.  I remember seeing her struggle to walk, and trying to act like she was okay, even though everyone including her knew she wouldn’t be able to live like that.  I was so sad after my parents had to describe to me what they had to do for her to be in a “better place”.  I don’t even want to think about how bad it’ll be when I have to put Emmet down.  I got him for my birthday in sixth grade, and even though he reminds me a lot of Marley, I love him to death and it would be such a struggle for me to actual put him down.
Overall, I really liked this book and would suggest anyone to read it.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, but after reading this book, I would really like to watch the movie, too.  The book itself made me really sad in a sense, because it reminded me of my dog and having to put him down, but it also made me laugh because Marley sounded like my dog, Emmet.  

Book Blog

Hayley Boes
Composition 105

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
Wes Moore
Spiegel & Grau, 2010
228 pages

“We will do what others expect of us,” Wes said. “If they expect us to graduate, we will graduate. If they expect us to get a job, we will get a job. If they expect us to go to jail, then that’s where we will end up too. At some point you lose control.” (page 126)

I thought the first half of The Other Wes Moore was interesting, but I couldn’t put the book down while reading the second half of the book. The second half of the book details the two mens’ lives during their last years of high school and the years beyond including the struggles they faced in creating a family and the struggles they faced in finding a job. The author describes his experience at military school and how the school helped shape him up and change his life perspective. The inmate describes his life of messing around with different women and ending up with four children from two different moms. The inmate also continued his drug business, but later declared to a friend that he would like to get out of the business and find a steady job. This friend helped Wes get involved in the Job Corps, where Wes became very successful, graduated the program early, and began work as a carpenter.

As talked about in my first blog, the major focus of this book is the idea of how family life and surroundings affect an individual. The author talks about how much military school and the officers in charge of him there inspired him to turn his life around. While the author was moving up in the ranks of military school, becoming a sergeant and a paratrooper, the inmate was struggling with his inconsistent job of carpentry and found himself on the run from the police after a jewelry store robbery. These different paths taken seem to be the major turning point in the two mens’ lives that separate their futures. The Other Wes Moore incorporates the debate of nature versus nurture within this story. The author talks about the main question of this book, “What made the difference?”, on page 179. The author states that the answer can never be found because each individual is so unique and every person has their own life story. The author believes that some points in a person’s life are more crucial than others, such as the moment he found mentors who trusted him with responsibilities, which forced Wes to get serious about his perspective of life and his future.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learning about the unpredictable turns taken in these two mens’ lives. My favorite part of this book was hearing about the author’s experience at military school and how much of a turnaround the author made throughout his years at the school. He started out as a troubled plebe trying to run away from the camp, but ended up as a respected sergeant in charge of his own soldiers. The author is sure to include how much the officers in charge of him at the camp intimidated him, but also inspired him to get his life together.

The quote above was a statement made by the inmate. This quote upset the author because he was appalled by the idea that the inmate could shed all responsibility so easily and blame his future on others’ perspective of him. The inmate didn’t care about controlling his future, unlike the author. I believe that this perspective also helped separate the two mens’ futures because the author was motivated to turn his life around for the better while the inmate eventually gave up on his future.
Cody Wardell
Composition 105

Tenacious
Jeremy and Jennifer Williams with Rob Suggs
Copyright 2013 by Jeremy and Jennifer Williams
270 pages

“Jeremy would say that whether you are young and healthy or whether you, like him, have a little more than a shaky thumb, Jesus has you in his powerful grip, a grip that nothing can weaken, no one can threaten, no circumstances can overcome. Once you know how infinitely, eternally tenacious his grip is, then you, through faith, can have the same tenacious grip on him.”(266)

This story was a book that had some very sad events in it. But because of the strong faith of both Jennifer and Jeremy, the story has more positive accounts than negative ones. The Williams want every experience they go through to reflect God. Because of that, a very positive story emerges despite distressing circumstances. The love of family and God shines through in this story. They are concerned that people need to understand the only way to get through life, especially one as challenging as theirs, is to be a follower of Christ. I am glad I read this story. It is amazingly uplifting.
In the last half of this book, they talk a lot about Jeremy Williams’ job as a head football coach. In high school, Jeremy earned his spot on the football team playing free safety as just a freshman. He worked his way up through the depth chart over the season and he finally became the starter in the middle of the season and played it for all four years. He then went in to play college football. He played safety at the University of Memphis in 1990-1993. He had as much dedication then as he does as the head football coach at a school in a town of fewer than 1,000 people playing in small-school Class A since 2001.. He had led his teams to a 47-37 record and three state playoff appearances. Williams coached his squad to a perfect 10-0 regular-season record in 2009 and then they were eliminated by the eventual state champion in the second round of the playoffs to finish 11-1. Jeremy never ended up getting his team to a state championship but he made them a team with a championship attitude and because of this, he drew the attention of many people. Soon after, his team and their story was made into a national movie and had a large article written about them. The movie was called Season of a Lifetime. The article was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was written by a sports writer named Michael Carvell. Jeremy’s passion for his team even when he faced the challenge of his ALS, is truly inspiring.

I give this book a great rating. I loved the last half of the book more because of all the football talk and stories and it made it easier for me to connect to than the first half. The book started out with a bang and it ended with a bang. I recommend this book to people who love inspirational or sports stories. This book truly inspired me to be thankful for all I have in life and to never take life for granted. This book has also told me to live each day to it’s fullest. This book was a true inspiration to me and if you read it, I believe it will be an inspiration to you and you will love every second of reading it just like I did.

Zach Riddle Outliers The Story of Success

Zach Riddle
Composition 105

Outliers The Story of Success
Malcolm Gladwell
Little, Brown and Company, 2008
308 Pages

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.” (150)

When Malcolm Gladwell talks about hard work, it makes perfect sense. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, all the work that you are doing is going to seem pointless and you will not enjoy it. For example, when Gladwell is talking about people who have been successful, he talks about how much these people enjoyed doing the work in that specific field. It makes it much easier to get to that ultimate goal of ten thousand hours if you enjoy what you are doing. Hard work is not the only thing that contributes to being successful.
Outliers The Story Of Success talks about how important your original family ties are. Teachers will always tell you about how you decide your own destiny and what you want to do as a person, and that is true to a certain point. Where you come from especially determines how successful you are going to be as an individual. Gladwell gives a few specific examples that support his theory. This first family have a small Tailor/Garment Shop. The original parents work hard for what they have and teach the importance of hard work to their children. The Children then also become Garment Makers but they are much more successful because they already had the work and experience working with the parents in the original Garment Shops. The children of the successful Garment shop owners then become professional Lawyers. The hard work is passed down through the generations which contributes to the success of the people.
His next example was a family of leather tanners. They have three children and they all become bag manufacturers. The three bag manufacturers have a total of five children between them. Out of the five children, two become doctors and three become lawyers. This is a phenomenal success rate for that family. The children learned how to be successful through the hard work instilled into them by their parents. “He’d had to make his way alone, and no one-not rock stars, not professionals athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses- ever makes it alone.” (115)
No one ever makes it alone no matter what people say. The story of the families and how success was passed down through generations in the form of hard work. I think that hard work and having a good work ethic is one of the most essential characteristics of being successful. Gladwell shows that it is important through the examples of the families and they hard work they gave in order for their family to be successful. This book gave great examples of people who became successful and how they got to the position that they got to. I believe that if you read this book and use the tools that it gives you in every day life, you will become successful.

Jessica Cheney- Book Blog

Jessica Cheney
Composition 3
The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life                         
Thomas F. Lee        
Harpercollins, 1991
323 pages

“The urge to understand how we and other living organisms function at cellular and molecular level has been a major impetus for scientific investigation.”  (p. 183)

The second half of the scientific nonfiction book The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life discusses the processes that are used to discover the contents of the human genome. As the above quote shows, the Human Genome Project is a result of the desire to understand the basics of life functions that the DNA shows. A large portion of the second half details the use of information acquired from the project in order to possibly cure genetic diseases. The final portion of the book covers many of the problems, particularly ethical one, that are created by the Human Genome Project. I recently, did a lot of research on bioethics and a lot of the same topics that relate to genetics that I studied are discussed in this last portion of the book.
Lee does a very good job when discussing genetic diseases because he provides a lot of information on each one including symptoms, detailing what part of the population is most likely to have the disease, and how the Human Genome Project has helped to create treatments. Lee also does a good job when discussing ethical issues of providing multiple opinions that a variety of professionals have on these issues, including those that are opposed to the Human Genome Project. This book shows how with each new genetic accomplishment, there are a myriad of possibilities for how this new knowledge can be applied.
There are several ethical questions that are asked in these chapters such as: Who should be responsible for controlling the information that is discovered during the Human Genome Project?, Is it ethical for humans to choose the types of genes that embryos inherit (also known as Eugenics), and How ethical are controversial methods of curing diseases such as gene therapy? The impacts that the discoveries of the project are capable of having on the human life are very substantial. Genes are something that seem unimportant at first, but a lot of genetic diseases take many years until symptoms start appearing. Many people depend on the research that is being done by the Human Genome Project because of how genetic disease effect them or their loved ones. The book even discusses how genes may effect everyone in the future because of the possibility of future genetic screenings for employment or insurance coverage. This book made me realize the effect genetic diseases can have on my life. For example Alzheimer’s is a disease that has genetic but also undetermined factors. Alzheimer’s is a disease where 90% of people over the age of 80 show symptoms. Therefore it is very likely that people such as my grandparents.
My overall opinion of this book is that it provides a lot of necessary information for anyone who wants to learn a lot more about genetics. However, there were still some parts where I found it hard to understand. Specifically, I got a little lost when the book discussed all of the organization that effect the Human Genome Project. These are usually referred to using acronyms and it often got confusing as to what organization did what. I thought this was a great book and would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about genetics because it covers a lot of information and isn’t just specific to the Human Genome Project. I learned a lot from this book and I think this will help me in other classes such as biology because I now understand a lot more about genetics than before I read this book.
Jazmin Cruz
Comp 3

The Lost Childhood                                                                                                            
Yehuda Nir                                                                                                                                     Scholastic Press, 2002
283 Pages


"I wondered how much time I had left to live. One week , maybe two at best, if they took me to an extermination camp like Buchenwald or Ravensbruck." (227) This quotation by Yehuda Nir, was a great one that he thought about every day of his life since the war started.
     The main character, Yehuda has just turned thirteen years old and he has gone through so much already. He has lost father, his friends, and has almost lost his life numerous times. Finally, after a couple years later his mother, sister, and himself are able to find a place to stay and jobs. They are all actually working for Germans so they have to keep their guard up at all times. Many different times they are scared for their lives and whether or not they are all going to make it another day, but they do. All of them try to make every single day of their life count because they don't know when could be their last day. Although, there was one time when his mother and sister actually did caught while they were making their way home to see some family to let them know they were alright, but they made their way out of it!
     Once things were actually going well, Yehuda's mother decides that they should have a small birthday party for Yehuda since they haven't been able to do much with hiding and everything. The birthday party goes well and everyone had fun. For once everyone was able to forget about the war going on and that they were all in danger. Soon after the birthday party, bombings started to occur more and more frequently which was scaring everyone. Luckily, no one was hurt by them. Another book that The Lost Childhood reminds me of is The Book ThiefThe Book Thief is about World War II and it talked about bombings and how people had to go and hide to be safe and not get hit by them.
     Just like in the beginning of the book, The Lost Childhood keeps me on my toes. Whenever I think that Yehuda or one of his friends or family members might die, they seem to always get out it. They have been having some really good luck considering everything they have gone through together. Once the Russian army started to come in and people were fleeing to American-occupied territory, things started to really look up, for most of Yehuda's family and friends.
     All in all, The Lost Childhood was a really great book. I love it. I also love all the historical information about World War II that is given in the book. I also really liked how the main character, Yehuda Nir made me feel like I was actually there, and a part of the book. He was so descriptive about everything that happened to him and he had some flashbacks of how his life was before the war, which made me feel awful because he and millions of other people didn't deserve to be treated how they were during World War II.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Noah Wittrock
Composition 117

The Tiger's Child
Torey Hayden
Simon & Schuster Inc., 1995
127 Pages

        "For a short, shining moment, color was sovereign. The wet asphalt of the roadgleamed black against the sudden gold of the sunlit wheat. Beyond the ruffling grain rose dark remains of the storm clouds, pierced by a rainbow. Only a very short part of the rainbow was visible; there was not even enough to form a clear arc, but that small section shimmered brilliantly above the restless wheat." (p. 128)
       I included this quote because it showed how great the details are in this book. The details help convey the authors point and bring color into the reading. The author uses these details a lot which helps make the book more interesting and keeps me interested. If it weren't for good detail, readers would become board and stop reading.
      In the second half of the book, there is even more going on. Sheila and Torey are still spending time together. At the beginning of the second half they are in a hotel. They decide to take advantage of the pool and while they are looking at the stars Sheila seems depressed. She is unhappy with herself. They talk about it but come the next morning everything is back to normal.
     Later they go to the house of a man who used to be with Torey and helped Sheila. They go and meet his wife and kids; but it all turns into one big disaster. After causing a scene at supper Torey leaves angry. When they arrive back at the hotel room Sheila and Torey get into and arguement. Sheila tells Torey that she messed up her life because Torey made her realize how bad her life really was when they first met. Sheila storms off and Torey has to go find her.
     Sheila is helping Torey with her summer program and seems to be having a good time. It is the last day and they were doing a messy project for fun. One of the kids who Sheila had taken an interest in was dirty so they were going to wash up. Now they can't find either so they are looking. They still can't find them. They called the police and Sheila's dad came in. The police are asking him a lot of questions including if she was a "runner" or not. He says that she wasn't until she was molested by one of the men running one of the foster homes she had been in.
     Sheila and the child showed up at Torey's late that night. Torey calls the child's parents and they come to pick him up. The next morning when She wakes up, Torey tells her there is a lot to sort out. Sheila says she doesn't want to go home. After time past Sheila had been gone and Torey hadn't heard from her. Torey is going to take a trip to Wales.
     When she comes back she finds a letter from Sheila saying that she is going to kill herself. She finds out it was sent over a month ago. She is shocked. Sheila writes to her again down the road saying that she is sorry and that she is still alive. Again they get in touch but Sheila dissppears again.
     At they end Sheila and Torey come back into contact and begin to try to sort out Sheila's life. She is about to graduate and has a lot to figure out but they're going to do it together.

   This book was interesting. It had a lot of detail which allowed me to keep interest. There were a few of parts that seemed to be confusing because the author would say something that seemed like it was a big deal and wouldn't explain anymore about it. Other than that I liked it. It was a little different than what I usually read but it was still good.




Jacob Kelly
Colton Simpson
St. Martin’s Press 2005

“The tumbling dominoes of my life events lose their velocity” I think this quote means that Colton Simpson’s life is starting to slow down from his hardcore gangbanging life, to being in prison, Colton is controlling operations of the Crips cell that he controls from prison, while he has help from his various underlings. Shorty(his best friend) has an asthma attack in his cell and the guards kill him for being a “pig killa.” During Colton’s incarceration, the world is constantly changing. His friends are dying in drive-by’s or shoot outs. His girlfriend got married and had a kid. His aunt who saw the Colton side, not the gangbanger side, passed away from blood cancer.
A mixture between his aunt passing and his best friend Shorty dying, Colton goes into a deep depression in prison. After 15 years in prison Colton finally gets out and gets a nice job. He stays out of the hood. He goes to a car show when he’s thirty-three years old and sees an officer from one of the correctional facilities he was in.
“Crip is who I am, but God is who I love. Death is what life brings, but life is what I bang for. Harlem is my dedication, but faith is my obligation. If I die, let my life not be in vain. Let no man judge me but God.

Book Blog - Nathan Nelson

Nathan Nelson
Composition 105

Believe
Eric LeGrand
HarperCollins Publishers
214 pages

"I believe that I will someday get out of this wheelchair and walk again. I believe that I'll stand and shake someone's hand again. I believe that I'll be able to take care for myself someday. That belief fuels everything I do."

The second half of the book deals with how Eric dealt with being paralyzed. Everything had been going great for him. He was in his junior year, and he definitely felt that he had a chance to make it to the NFL. But in one game, everything changed. On a kickoff, he was running toward the returned to make a tackle. His helmet hit the returner's collarbone. All of a sudden, Eric went stiff.
He was escorted away by the paramedics. The entire time, it was difficult breathing. The somber mood of the stadium along with his mother crying made Eric know that it was not good. He was not able to move anything. He could lift up his head a little bit, but he was unable to lift his arm or hand. Little did he know that this even would change his life forever.
In the hospital, he was told that he was paralyzed. Eric underwent a nine hour surgery to align his spinal column. He also needed help breathing. Many people came to visit him. His mom and his girlfriend were by his side as much as they could. His coach came by every night. It took a long time, but eventually he started breathing on his own again. Rehab helped improve the strength in Eric's muscle's. He took part in a lot of public speaking roles, and he even helped broadcast a Rutgers game. It is yet to be seen if Eric will ever be able to walk again, but he remains optimistic. He has not let him being paralyzed stop him from living life. He has helped numerous people going through the same thing.
This book has so many lessons. One of them is don't take anything for granted. Before the accident, Eric was living the life. He was a star football player with aspirations to go to the NFL. Then, a fluke accident took away his ability to move. Had his head been a couple degrees up or down, he would have gotten up like it was nothing. I have realized that anything can change in a split second, and I need to appreciate what I have. Also, Eric's dedication to rehab was very inspiring to me. I complain about having to do school work, while Eric would be extremely happy to be able to type or write. His hard work to getting better has taught me that instead of complaining about doing something I don't want to do, I should appreciate that I have the ability to actually do it. Anything can change in an instant. Eric has an extremely positive attitude, no matter what it is. If I want to get anywhere in life, having a negative attitude will do nothing to accomplish that. Having a positive attitude will help you get places. In the end, it is crucial to appreciate life and I have realized just how blessed I am. I need to make the most out of any situation I am put in, and constantly be grateful for everything life has provided me.
Austin Stoelk
Composition 117
I Fought with Geronimo
Jason Betzinez with Wilbur Sturtevant Nye
Stackpole Company, 1959
99 pages
“Every one of us replied to Geronimo that we wanted to go back right away. We believed what he told us.”
The start of the second half of this book is very interesting, and still includes many disputes, but everyone seems to always listen to Geronimo. To start off, Jason explains their territory as having a grass fire. The fire grows and grows until it almost gets to him, but he gets out of the area with his horse just in time. After the fire, they go to a canyon where they set up two teams to stop oncoming Mexicans: one to directly target them in their attack and another group on the hills to roll boulders down on them as they approach. The Indians win the battle, but do not excessively celebrate. They lose two men and when they lose any men in general, they don’t find the issue to be totally a victory.
After their dispute with the Mexicans, the Indians go on a raid to Chihuahua to take Mexican prisoners for trade and for hostages. They take some men, but end up mainly taking Mexican women. These people, as well as many Indians, go to the plains to get one hundred cattle. Once they get these cattle back to their camp, they butcher and eat them instantly. When they get back, Geronimo informs the Indians gone that those who were left at camp are taken by U.S. troops led by General Crook; everyone continues to do what they’re told and listen to this statement with truth, just because Geronimo said it. General Crook was led to their camp by an Indian everyone calls “Peaches.” Geronimo and another leader go down the canyon to scope out what is going on. General Crook greets them warmly, and Geronimo goes back to get the rest of the Indians to meet the U.S. officials. After meeting General Crook, many Indians are happy in the aspect that they don’t have to worry anymore about who’s in charge and battles; they also have help if needed when fighting the Mexicans. Many Indians that are not at the scene disagree with General Crook being so close, but Peaches persuades them to be okay with the situation.
One of the first things General Crook does is sends the Mexican women back to where they came from. The Indians end up settling with this decision, even though they don’t necessarily agree. Then, they head North with Peaches and General Crook leading the way. They encounter the Mexicans and other roadblocks, but are able to get through them.
Their next destinations are San Carlos and the Fort Apache reservation. At these locations, General Crook reminds them to stay busy doing duties for each other such as continuing to plant crops. Geronimo and his men try converting themselves from Indians to farmers. While at the reservation, Geronimo sends two women to Mexico to tell authorities he wants to have a meeting, which is a great example of doing what their leader says. Geronimo then meets with General Crook and disagrees with him; The general wants to make peace with the Mexicans, but Geronimo doesn't want this because the Mexicans have only given them harm. The Mexicans end up coming, but Geronimo tells them they are too late. He then escapes with his men until he hears gunshots from drunk Indians and has to return; he thinks a fight had broken out, but that’s not the case. General Crook then asks to step down, and General Miles replaces him.
During this time, Jason begins applying to places for work. He spends nine years in Carlisle Indian Industrial School and works in Darlington, Oklahoma, for eighteen months. After working in Oklahoma, Jason works at the Pennsylvania Steel Company, then ends up moving back near Fort Sill. Jason starts showing authority; an example is when General Miles shows back up and ends up getting drunk, gambling, and dancing excessively, he kicks him out. Geronimo then goes back to Florida and meets with his family. Geronimo dies two years later due to issues such as drinking problems, but ends his life as being a great leader that all Indians worshipped and listened to. Jason gets married to Miss Heersma. She becomes ill shortly after marriage, and Jason gets in a car accident. They both end up in the hospital for over three months, but then are released. Jason’s wife remains severely sick, but Jason is feeling great. He sells some of his land to the city of Lawton, and is doing great now in his eighties.
This book was an excellent book and it definitely kept me on my toes from beginning to end. The endless disputes and roadblocks that Jason and Geronimo have are very interesting. I am amazed that they’re able to fight through all their issues, and in the end, they prove to all listen to Geronimo. Geronimo ends his life as a successful leader, and Jason is happy with his at the end of the book. This book gave me a great outlook to life: Life is full of positives and negatives, but no matter what, instincts should be trusted and follow your leader. Whether it is an important figure such as Geronimo or one such as a parent, respect and trust should be shown. They give much more than life: They give respect, responsibility, and love.
When the Wall Came Down Alyssa Buren
Serge Schmemann      Composition 117
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006
60 pages
“There are people in the world who really don’t understand, or they say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin!”
This quotation is from President Kennedy’s famous speech to the West Berlin people when he went to Berlin on June 26th, 1963. He gave this speech to more than a million people. He gave a tribute to West Berlin and to freedom. After President Kennedy's speech many politicians came to West Berlin to show how much the wall was the most infamous barrier around.
When the Wall Came Down contines to explain that in East Germany, the rulers controlled everything part all life all the way down to religion. In East Germany, they rebuilt the country up and in became a strong economy. They had better living than most of Eastern Europe. At the same time, Western Germany was rebuilding into one of the most prosperous countries in Europe with the third-largest economy. The West Germans had a much better living life than the East Germans. All through the 50’s, there was no wall that separated west and east Berlin until the ruler decided that East Berlin people were leaving to the west to rapidly that they place a wall in between the city. After the wall got up, when people tried to escape the east, the border control had orders to shoot and during the walls time 244 people out of 5,000 died trying to cross.
In March of 1985, Gorbachev came to power in Russia. This began a revolution in eastern countries when people started to get more freedom. Countries started becoming freer and Hungary let off their iron wall allowing East Berlin people out to escape to West Berlin once again. Protest were now a normal thing in Berlin. Many of these protests weren’t able to be stopped by the Communists becoming a big turning point, showing their lack of power. When Serge wanted to cross from East to West, it wasn’t hard with his American Passport. It was just timely checks and sometimes they went as far as putting rods in his gas tanks to check for smuggled people.
East Politicians were having a conference about the travel laws. So people from both West and East Berlin were gathered on either side of the wall. The crowds grow so large the an officer on the East side had no choice, but to open the gates so people wouldn’t get crushed by what would soon be the collapsing of the wall in the pushing got any greater. People swarmed through the open gates. People didn’t stay in the west as they didn’t think the wall would ever be closed again. The people of Berlin began to chip at the wall as their obsession to bring the hated wall down. Reuniting Germany became a big debate. The leaders of Germany debated but then West Germany’s Chancellor decided it couldn’t wait and would work to get Germany reunited. Germany became on again to October of 1990. Once Germany was reunited, many Germans wondered if it was the right thing to do because of the large cost of reuniting.
What comes to mind when thinking of Germany reuniting? What came to my mind was the American civil war. The United States had a situation that is similar to the wall in Germany. The American civil war didn’t have a wall like Germany, but it was fighting between the same country. The American civil war was more of a physical battle than the cold war in Germany. The separation of the countries is very similar between these two events. Both of the countries had different looks on how their countries should be ran causing separation in the countries. Both of the countries had revolutions to reunite that countries into a whole again as they are today even though there still may be different views with the people.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in history and other countries. This book has a good viewpoint to look at the Berlin wall and separation from. This history has a lot more involved in it than I ever knew was all included and attached to the Berlin Wall making it interesting to read and find out new things.
Lincoln’s Generals                                                                                            Millicent Cameron Gabor S. Boritt                                                                                                  Comp. 3
Oxford University Press 1994
198 pages

“You are strong enough to attack and defeat the enemy before he can effect a crossing. Act upon your own judgement and make your generals execute your order. Call no council of war. It is proverbial that councils of war never fight. . . . Do not let the enemy escape.”
(page 103)

This quotation, made by Halleck, is an example of what the rest of the book is about. The rest of the book gives different viewpoints of what people said or thought during the war. Whether they were letters, orders, or some information on what was happening.

In the book, some other quotations will say something like: “the best standing points were ankle deep in mud, and the roads half-way to the knee. . . .” (page103). This quotation and others tell what the war was really like.

Other quotations said something like: “They have but little courage!” (page 103) or “subdued and sad” man, but “calm and resolute” (page 106). In the book, when these quotations were stated, it would talk about how people involved in the war really felt about how the war was going. It would state how discouraged or encouraged people felt while fighting in the war.

Along with all of these quotations, many other details were stated on where people were while they were fighting. Before a quotation, they would give you a kind of setting that had to do with that certain quotation.  

This was a great book. It gave interesting perspectives on what happened during the war. It was interesting reading not just about straight facts, but reading specific quotes from people who were actually there and had something to do with the war. It gave nicely-detailed settings of where people were and what kind of state they were in at the point they made a specific quotation. It is a great book to read if you like to read about war history and read actual quotations from people who lived it.
Ghost Towns of the American West
Robert Silverberg                                                                               Emily Koenck
Thomas Y. Crowell Company 1968                                                      Comp 105
294 pages

“ This sandstone country beats all the boys, and it is amusing to see how excited they get when they go round to see the sheets of silver which are exposed all over the different reefs. . . . This is the most unfavorable looking country for mines that I have ever seen.”

Would you like to pick up all of your belongings once a month and move to a different houses all the time? Well, Barbee and Robert didn’t have a choice, because mining was making money and once everything was gone there was no money so they had to pick up and move all the time. Barbee was the main character of this book. Barbee and Robert traveled from town to town in search for the mines. Every town they settled down into to mine they wiped out the mines and Barbee, Robert, and the rest of their town picked up and moved to a different spot to start mining. Barbee was the kind of guy to start bar fights with people in the bar for no apparent reason.
Barbee and Robert had to deal with a lot of problems along the way with moving and mining. The problems they had to face was people rebelling to keep moving. Some of the town got tired of moving all the time and not living in a stable home. When Barbee and the rest of the town just left the people that wanted to stay, the people that wanted to stay soon realized it’s almost impossible living in the West with no money.
The book Ghost Towns of the American West doesn’t really connect to my life a whole lot, but the way it mostly connects would be because I have moved three time in my life. Barbee and Robert have moved a lot more times than I have, but I have also had to move between three different houses. My opinion of this book would be, it wasn’t as bad as I intended, but it wasn’t my favorite. The book was a little out dated to what I am use to reading, and it talks a lot about the old west and how times were then. I don’t know what it was like to live in the old west, so I thought it was very interesting how they had to go about life. I would recommend this book to a reader who would enjoy western movies, and older people.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The Pigman and Me   Gunner C
Paul Zindel   Comp. 117
Paul Zindel, 1991
168 pages

“I stopped a few feet away from him and put my fists up”. This quote describes exactly how Paul is. Paul is an independent and smart kid. Although he did not want to fight he had to defend himself
Since summer is ending Paul has to go to start school in Travis. Paul already knows that not too many of the kids will like him at school. Since Paul is not Polish he knows he will be discriminated against considering that Travis is a primarily Polish community.
When Paul gets to school he is hated immediately and during gym he hits a boy with a baseball bat and the boy wants to fight Paul on Monday. Paul is afraid to fight this young man and Turns to Nonno Frankie for help. Nonno teaches him his way of fighting and hopes the best for Paul. Monday at school a group of children surround Paul and the boy he is about to fight. Paul unfortunately loses the fight and is beaten up pretty bad.
Paul is spending more and more time with his Pigman Nonno Frankie. Nonno helps Paul overcome a lot of his problems with his advice. Paul is very grateful of Nonno and appreciates him and looks up to him.
Paul’s mother is starting to have a hard time in Travis because she got puppies and now can not sell them. This is simply because no one wants a puppy around the Travis area especially from the Zindel family considering that the Zindel family is not Polish and the community they live in is a Polish community.
Connie and Paul’s mom get into a spat because she was telling Paul about sex and Paul’s mother is very against speaking about this topic. The fight gets so out of hand that the Zindel family is going to move along to yet another town to try to find a new home. Paul at the end seems pretty upset because he was just becoming comfortable in Travis. Just as he was starting to get along with kids at school and making friends his mother’s behavior forces them to move on.
This book was interesting. At times, it did not even feel as if it was a bibliography. In fact, often it felt as if the book was more of a fiction book. Fiction books are usually plotted to have a climax that will put the reader in ooh and awe. This book didn’t quite do that but on the other hand it was not as factually and “boring” as most people would consider a non-fiction book.
The Pigman and Me would be a good book for any teenager. This book is written in Paul Zindel’s POV and he is a teenager with some struggles. Most teenagers have struggles that they go through every day just like Paul. That is why this is being recomended for that age group.
There are many questions that the author could be asked. These questions just have to do with the Zindel family”s life and they probably have no real answer other than “that is just how life goes”. People say that because they have no clue what could happen next and when something bad happens, such as the Zindel’s not being able to sell their puppies and having to move from Travis, they stay optimistic and move on.