The Reason This Blog Is Even Here

This blog is to showcase my work throughout school, with a (somewhat) fabulous salt-and-pepper blend of achievements and scholarly opinions thrown in!

Konata_Izumi

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First Photography Class Sketch

See, I’d been (still am!) super excited to have Photography I as an elective this year. SO, I figured – why not document it? Expect updates throughout the year!

This was our first assignment – “Draw any object in your pocket”, he said.

Continue reading First Photography Class Sketch

How Do You Make Decisions?

Well, Iv’e been missing for quite a while, huh? Oops.

This post is actually residue from my 8th grade year, a draft left unfinished that I find no harm in dabbling in now.


“The Lady, Or The Tiger?” by Frank R. Stockton got my class wondering how the princess made her decision of which door to send her (former) lover towards – a future with another woman, or a violent death? I do suggest you read the story, I found it entertaining – despite the huge cliffhanger.

When I make decisions, I first weigh how much it’ll affect me in the future. Then, I weigh how much those decisions would affect the people around me, specifically the people I hold close.

To be honest, I hadn’t – and after two years – still don’t have a single clue which fate the princess chose for her beloved. On one hand, I believe she’d want the best for him, considering the love they share and her ability to make that life appear before him with a single point – even if it is with another woman. On the other hand, she wanted him as her own, her own to marry and beget children with. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the princess was raised with the same semi-barbaric mentality as her father, the king. Who knows, perhaps out of jealousy and anger the princess decides to kill him off.

However, what we do know is this story, as well as its ending, will remain a mystery.

MAUS II: Discussion

Write an overall impression of what Vladek went through in Auschwitz and how it changed him. How has it affected Artie and Francoise?

Vladek’s experiences in Auschwitz consisted of harsh mistreatment, anxiety, and constant fear for his life. He was left with diabetes and a bad heart. Instead of being the strong, confident character he was when he was younger, he became weak and easily shaken, dependent upon others. Artie and Francoise found him listless and worrysome, but understand what he’s been through and respect him for his strength and perseverance throughout it all.  They now all live together in New York City with Artie and Francoise’s daughter, Nadja Spiegelman.

Interesting Links:

Nadja Spiegelman’s Facebook Page

Art Spiegelman Facebook Page

MAUS: Discussion Chapters 4-6

Chapter 4

Although Jews were allowed only limited rations under the Nazi occupation, Vladek manages to circumvent these restrictions for a while. What methods does he use to support himself and his family?

Vladek bought materials from the black market, and called in favors from friends that owed him some. He also did business on the black market, and occasionally bribed the Nazi for materials.

Chapter 5

How did Vladek care for Anja after the destruction of the Srodula ghetto? Contrast his behavior toward his first wife, during the worst years of the war, with the way he now treats Mala.

With Anja, he was loving and caring, doting on her much, while with Mala, Vladek doesn’t seem to have a single nice thing to say, and they bicker often.

Chapter 6

Why does Artie call his father a murderer? Is he justified? Who else has he called a murderer, and why?

Artie calls his father a murderer because he decided to burn all the journals/diaries belonging to Anja, his first wife. Artie is mad because he could have had his birth mother’s words, a way of getting to know her. Words he couldn’t have growing up, and now can’t ever because of his father ridding of most likely his only opportunity to get to know his mom on a personal level. It was as if his father killed the very memory of her for him.

MAUS: Discussion Chapters 1-3

Chapter 1

 This is a graphic memoir. A graphic memoir tells a person’s life through text and drawings. Why does Art Spiegelman use mice instead of people to portray the characters in the story? What do the mice represent?

First off, all characters in Maus are animals, and the Jewish characters are represented by mice to play off an old stereotype that Jews are pests, vermins, etc. As if they were less than human. (Sidenote- Notice how the Germans are cats?)

Chapter 2

Why does Ms. Stefanska go to jail? What role did Anja play in Ms. Stefanska’s going to jail?

Ms. Stefanska goes to jail because she agreed to hide a package of communist papers for Anja in her shop, and then got caught when her shop was searched and the package was found. Communism was looked down upon at the time. Being true to her promise to Anja, she pretended to know nothing of how it got there or who it belonged to.

Chapter 3

What does Vladek mean on page 50, when he says, “Well at least I did something.” Do you believe that he is justified in feeling this way? Explain.

Yes; He just fought and got captured. If that had happened to me, I would be angry if I hadn’t harmed any of their forces or did anything. He was there for a reason, and not doing anything doesn’t help the cause. I feel like it gave him a sense of purpose, like he didn’t waste his time or suffer for nothing.

MAUS I and II

A quick skim-over what’s going on right about now.  I’ll get more in-depth when I finish reading the book- as a book review(*poorly executed wink*)!

And also the mandatory questions and such given for them, but that’s besides the point.

This last semester of middle school (shocker), we’ve started reading Maus, which shows Spiegelman (American cartoonist Art Spiegelman) interviewing his father about his experiences surviving the Holocaust as a Polish Jew. Originally published in December 1980, Maus is  entirely a graphic novel-score!

A Possible New Hobby?

SO.

(Like my very very weak little jump-scare there?)

(Don’t worry, I’m not too much a fan of caps lock.)

(Ha-ha.)

I’ve been writing these book reports/personal reviews for a while as homework assignments, and all throughout I haven’t been negative in doing so in the least. I actually found them quite not-terrible-maybe-kind-of-completely-and-utterly-enjoyable. I’m thinking of just doing them on books I read that I find interesting as something to do over the summer. Besides regular bodily functions, chores, and summer homework.

My “Uglies” Quiz!

Remember that wonderful book I was gushing over? I made a quiz for it!

It is on Qzzr.com, as I have found that it is more convenient for those who want to take the quiz, but don’t want to make an account to do so (something I couldn’t do with QuizUp…).

If you are new around here, check out my Uglies review here, it might even help with the quiz!

*poorly executed wink*

Quiz link: https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/218359/uglies

My “Identical” Quiz Game!

Yes, here it is:A little quiz game using a fun new app/website I’ve been messing around with- QuizUp

http://quizup.com/topics/_e81fba23-4ef5-4978-8208-a5c3703a28b7

Warning: It does require an account, which you can make, or sign in with either your Google or Facebook account.

For those of you who don’t want to go through the trouble of making an account, I’ll make the quiz on a different website and link it here (not as much fun in my opinion, but does have features QuizUp doesn’t).

I am adding more questions over time, more difficult and detailed and all that jazz- not trying to make it easy on you.

Heh heh.

If you’re new around my blog:

1: Hello there! Stay a moment, why don’t you?

2: You should probably check out my review on “Identical” by Ellen Hopkins, I promise I only fawned over it for a moment!

My Barrier: Indecision

We face barriers every day in life, they are pretty much inescapable. My own personal barrier is indecision. My indecision stops me from progressing positively in life, and inhibits my used-to-be-keen ability to try new things out of my comfort zone. Barriers exist in everything from teams to age, race, gender, even social status! How you deal with them is what shapes you as a person, and what displays your character. Even Jackie Robinson faced a racial barrier during his shocking career, battling it with his nine core values: courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence. Out of this nine, teamwork, courage, and justice help me slowly break through my indecision.

With occasional teamwork, I am able to work through my indecision and confusion with a semblance to a support group. Everyone’s logical opinion can help me make a final decision, and feel confident in that said decision. Let’s say, I don’t know what I want to eat at a restaurant I’m attending with my parents, I just ask our assigned server what’s good on the menu, and go with that. However, I don’t always need other’s help in making decisions. For example, one day I hadn’t known whether I wanted an apple is the last slice of strawberry shortcake in the fridge. I weighed the effects of each, and ended up with the strawberry shortcake with whipped cream in place of frosting, which made it better with every bite, and I regretted not one. Why, you ask? I regret nothing because One: I am in great health, and the cake couldn’t have affected me greatly, and Two: I honestly would prefer camera to an apple any day, especially when there’s only one slice left, and I love whipped cream.

On the other hand, other’s opinions can make decisions difficult. With justice, I can ignore them and choose the right thing, instead of all the whispers of those who want me to fail. Just for a moment, I feel guilty for ignoring them and ignoring their advances, but that immediately fades and disappears when I come out victorious, smugly looking down on all of those wimpy shadows exposed to my light of awesomeness, and right then and there, we all know who holds the true shame.

True, it takes a little courage to go against what everyone is says and doing, especially when they all gang up on you supporting the same cause, practically  shouting what they think is the obvious right decision. With courage, I can tell them all to just back off and let me make MY choice. True, I’ve been wrong in the past, and nobody ever hesitates to throw that fact and every incident back into my face, but the important fact is that I can make my own decisions, knowing right from wrong.

Jackie Robinson is a great role model for calmly and professionally breaking barriers and I’m glad I was and am still able to apply some, if not all, to my daily life.