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Crandle, A.

Creating The Atmosphere

posted Jun 6, 2010, 9:44 PM by

I think that Anchee Min creates the atmosphere for the story
in the beginning when Madame Mao's
mother was bounding her feet. I am aware that since Becoming Madame Mao is about the life of Madame Mao, Min should have started off with something that took place in her childhood. But,
starting off with such a scene kind of foreshadowed the feeling and sense of the rest of the book. In most of the book, or at least from what I have read, Madame Mao is struggling or going through some sort of conflict that causes pain on either her or the people around her. So, basically, each chapter is laced with dark feelings like pain. Being that she had her feet bound at such and early age, and the simple fact that feet binding causes pain for your entire life, the feet binding kind of set her up for a life of pain in general. But, in a more metaphorical way, the feet binding kind of set the context of her her life, wether the pain was the kind that she experienced on her own or pain that she caused for someone else. In other words, I think that the feet binding thing kind of defined Madame Mao's life in a sense.

What Happens Next?

posted May 31, 2010, 9:08 PM by   [ updated May 31, 2010, 10:54 PM ]

After reading a little of chapter six, I basically said to myself, "Oh, I know where this is going." I
automatically knew what kind of relationship Tang Nah and Madame Mao was going to have (or had). I simply know relationships like the one they had because I read a lot about stories that have relationships more or less like theirs. In life, you are always going to have a relationship like Tang Nah and Madame Mao's. It's kind of impossible to avoid I guess. It's the kind of relationship that you want so very badly to stay in because either you are truely in love or you're not, but you think you are. The thing is that after you two have a fun time as a couple, and you have had your ups and downs, when it's over and you know it's over, you break up. You don't force it to work because you don't want it to be over. That only leads to breaking yourself up more than you would have been if you had broken up when you were supposed to, which ultimately leads to doing things like Tang Nah (suicide attempts). I could tell where their relationship was headed because the only person that was actually still in love was Tang Nah. Madame Mao was not. She was in love with the thought of Tang Nah being in love with her. Love can be easily mistaken. Maybe she truely was in love with him at one point, but it faded. After that, she was just stringing him on out of guilt.

Q&A: Salim and the Hitman

posted May 11, 2010, 2:00 PM by

In the book, Q&A by Vikas Swarup, there is a character named Salim. At a point in time of the book, Salim lived with a hitman named Ahmed that saved him from being murdered. At the time, Salim was unaware that his hero was a hitman until Salim became suspicious of the packages that were sent to Ahmed that contained images of people and their addresses and why he would laugh when the images of the same people would show up on a local television show called Crime Watch saying that those people were murdered. Once Salim noticed what was happening, he began to look into the envelopes that Ahmed recieved. Salim noticed that in one of the envelopes, there was a picture of a man named Rizvi that was supposed to help him into the film industry. So, Salim replaced the picture and address with a man that tried to kill him before and went to warn Rizvi about this. Rizvi went into hidding while Salim did the same. Salim's decision to switch Rizvi's information was very smart. He did not want his friend to die, so he replaced it with someone who was trying to take his life. I know that 's what I would do. It's like killing to birds with one stone. Save the life of a person that deserves to live while taking the life of a person that does not deserve to live. Plus, Salim didn't even really kill that guy. Ahmed did. Salim is innocent if you ask me.

Q & A : Choosing a Name

posted Apr 26, 2010, 9:45 PM by   [ updated Apr 26, 2010, 10:45 PM ]

Q & A by Vikas Swarup is an amazingly interesting book. It has been engaging since the first page. The main character is Ram Mohammad Thomas who is a poor waiter living in a slum of India. The book starts off with Ram being arrested in the middle of the night. He is curious as to why, but goes quietly. Once he is in the interrigation room, he quickly finds out that he is there because he competed in and one a game show called Who Will Win A Billion. Detectives are convinced that Ram has cheated because he answered all thirteen questions right with no help. Once the interrigation starts, Ram doesn't admit to cheating because he didnt. So, a dectective starts to torture him expecting Ram to tell how he cheated. The only problem is the fact that Ram didn't get help from anyone or anything. He simply answered the questions based on past events in his life that related to the questions he was asked. Ram went through numerous issues in his life from the time he was born to the time he went on the show. When Ram was born, he was left on the steps of a church where a priest gave him the name of Ram Mohammad Thomas. The priest says that he came up with this name of three different religions because he was unaware of his religious beliefs. I think that the author gave Ram his name purposely to show that he has had some major history from the time he was born. Ram has had a crazy life and you can tell just by saying his name.

Enrique's Journey: The Holy Grail Search

posted Apr 15, 2010, 7:34 PM by

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario is a book of adventure. The adventure is taken on by Enrique who is illegally immigrating to the United States to find his mother, Lordes. Lordes left for the United States when Enrique was a very young boy. Her goal of immigrating was to get a better job so she could get enough money to support herself and also send some to Enrique. She would save money so she could eventually bring Enrique to the United States with her. Unfortunantly, this didn't go as planned for Lordes. Multiple reasons put her chances of bringing Enrique to her and even contacting him on the
back burner constantly. Since Enrique feels the distance between him and his mother grow bigger and bigger, he takes it upon himself to attempt to immigrate to the United States by catching trains through Mexico. Many kids in Mexico have done the same to get to their mothers who have left to the U.S. Sonia Nazario stated that for these children, finding their mothers becomes a quest for the Holy Grail. She says this because searching for the Holy Grail is a mission that is impossible to do. The Holy Grail is impossible to find, and that's what it is like searching from Mexico to the United States for their mother. The kids have to endure many things to get to the U.S. Catching a train by running is dangerous and can kill them easily if they do not know what they are doing. They also have to keep a look out for immigration officers who will deport them back to Mexico. Also, they have to protect themselves from people along the way who rob and abuse them. Immigrating children have to overcome multiple dangerous situations in order to get to their mothers. It's a long, painful and risky trip, but in the end, to these kids, it's worth it.

Enrique's Journey: Moments

posted Apr 15, 2010, 7:01 PM by

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario is really interesting. There has been multiple serious moments in
the book . There has also been moments that were funny, sad, strange and so on. One particular moment in the book that contains all emotions in one. The scene involves Enrique's mother, Lordes, her boyfriend, Lordes' boyfriend's bar pal, and Lordes' new baby. Lordes ends up in labor with her new child and instead of being there for Lordes, her boyfriend decides to go to the bar to "celebrate" with the bartender. While Lordes is busy giving birth at the hospital, her boyfriend is off getting wasted at the bar. Lordes spends two days at the hospital with her new born child until they are ready to be released by the hospital. Lordes gets home expecting to meet her alcoholic of a boyfriend when she walks through the door. Instead, he is not yet home. She waits with her baby until he shows up. Soon, after a little waiting, her boyfriend walks in the door with some assistance of getting there by his drinking buddy from the bar. Seconds after entering the door, the man attemps to speak. His words were, "Has it arrived?" Directly after he just barely finishes his question, before Lordes can even respond, he passes out. This moment, I think, is pretty funny. It's funny because he's so drunk that he can't even stay awake for a response to his question. This is also quite pathetic, though. For nine months, he's known that he was going to have a child. He didn't bother to clean up his act at all for his baby. He decides to waste the money that could go to his child on alcohol instead of staying by his girlfriend's side.

They Poured Fire: Surprising Info

posted Apr 5, 2010, 7:39 PM by

What did i find surprising about the information given in the book? I found almost everything surprising. Africa, in general, is completely different from America's culture. Just reading about
their culture was surprising to me. Having a lot of cattle, to them, is to be wealthy. They also do not circumcise their kids until a certain age, whereas in America, most people, if wanted, circumcise their kids when they are infants. Another thing would be the teeth situation. Citizens have to have certain teeth pulled so that other tribes won't mistake them as one of their own. The marriage situation was also pretty surprising. Men of Africa are allowed, and most definitely take advantage of the fact that they can have more than one wife at a time. In America, this is against the law. It is also called cheating on the woman you married first, but that is another story. Another thing that is different between Africa and America is education. African children actually want to learn and find it fun to be taught things. They enjoy practicing what they have learned. In America, the terms "fun" and "school" no longer stay in the same sentence after elementary.

They Poured Fire: Trauma

posted Mar 23, 2010, 5:05 PM by

Your childhood is the most important part of your life
 because it effects your future. Most people have pretty typical childhoods that are filled with memories that they most likely won't remember when they are older. The memories that they would remember would be the ones where something extremely serious or traumatizing
happened. Most people do not have to endure such events. The boys of They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky went through numerous terrible events that simply shouldn't happen to children or a human being in general. Benson, Alepho and Benjamin had to live through a senseless war
that gave them a list of consequences that they had to overcome in order to survive. They have survived starvation, dehydration, injuries, refugee camps and more. It's no wonder why these boys remembered everything that happened to them in such great detail. They went through a very traumatic childhood. Most people only remember things of their childhood if it was an extremely funny or serious experience. The Lost Boys didn't have a decent childhood that was filled with moments they wouldn't really remember by the age of 23. Their childhood was nothing but a horrifying experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives as if it happened yesterday.

They Poured Fire

posted Mar 1, 2010, 1:54 PM by   [ updated Mar 2, 2010, 8:19 PM ]

In the beginning of the book They Poured Fire, there is an African proverb. It says, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled.” That proverb is a very powerful one and can mean anything that you interpret it to mean. To me, it means that when two people fight, the people around them or the ones they care about are the ones that get hurt. In this case, the people fighting are considered the elephants and the loved ones are the grass. The proverb is very true. More damaged is caused to your loved ones than you and the person you are arguing with, especially if it is a senseless fight. For example, starting in June, last year, I had to go seven months without talking to one of my best friends because of an argument that was blown way out of proportion. It was a really stupid conflict that had a bunch of misunderstandings in between. I thought I was hurt the most, but the truth is that my other friends were hurt the most. They couldn’t hang out with the both of us at the same time and that sucked. It also seemed like sides were put on the situation and our friends were forced to choose. Luckily, all of them were neutral and didn’t jump into the senseless chaos that was going on. Long story short, this proverb is a strong proverb that says that you’re being selfish when you argue over stupid things.


posted Feb 21, 2010, 9:21 PM by   [ updated Feb 21, 2010, 11:09 PM ]

Hi! I'm Akira and I am 16 years old. I was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. I lived there until my dad, who is in the military, recieved orders to San Diego when I was 13. When I moved here, I attended Taft Middle School. A lot of people complain about how bad that school is, but I liked it way better than my old middle school back home. I met most of my best friends at Taft. I met Angelica first, then Ashley, and lastly, Dezirae. Now, I am a sophomore at Kearny DMD and I am loving every minute of it. It's a pretty stressful school, but I wouldn't be here if I didn't know that I can handle it. As of now, I am trying my best to live my life the best way a teenager can. I love being around my friends. I admit, sometimes that love can get in the way of my school work, but I found a way to work it out: school first, get good grades, and then, I can spend as much time with my friends as I want to. With my friends, I can get pretty crazy because around them, I can be myself and goof around. We do anything, everything and nothing at all together. As stupid as it is, we love to fist pump randomly and dance for no apparent reason even though we know we don't truly have any skills at it. That actually makes it that much more fun. We always spontaneously hang out--we don't really like to plan things. For instance, if Kade wanted to hang out with Lili, but she already had plans on hanging out with Ashley, who wanted to see Akira, who was with Dezirae and Dajia at Cotixans where they ran into Audie and Angelica..then we have ourselves a party! Another thing that we are passionate about is mall adventures! A mall adventure kind of self explanatory. We get together and go to the mall-simple. The thing is, we can never just go to the mall. Every trip is different. One moment, we are all at Mission Valley, the next minute, we are going in the wrong direction on a  trolly that is supposed to be going to Fashion Valley! One second, we are getting kicked out of an R-rated movie, the next, we are back at Mission Valley where no one cares if you see an R-rated movie! The point is, my friends are my life. We're down to do whatever. Just shoot a myspace message or a text saying that we wanna hang out and whatever shananagins we get into are unpredictable! As for me, I simply love life. I love sunny days where the sky is partly, but not too cloudy. Summer is my favorite season because I'm free to get into whatever trouble I want to, haha. I am addicted to Carne Asada fries, thanks to Kade. Music owns my heart-everything about it is amazing. I can play the drums and I teach myself how to play songs on the keyboard. My favorite band is Paramore because there is not one of there songs that I do not love or can not relate to and Hayley Williams' voice is absolutely amazing. Film is my calling. Photography is beautiful and for a career, I want to become a film maker. Yes, I am that loser who sits around watching T.V. and Youtube videos all day, but that's because I love the film making arts. I write books because someday, I want to see them on the big screen. Letting go of an idea is my pet peeve. One of my favorite quotes is, "Someday, your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure that it's worth watching." I am completely obsessed with the idea of college. The best possibilities can come true in college is how I think of it. Living with my friends, Kade and Lili, I already know it's going to be an interesting experience. I want to go to San Diego State to major in film of course. Intelligence is the key to life and is enormously important to me. You can't really get places in life without intelligence because you'll just get ran over and you'll go nowhere. As the song says, "If knowledge is the key, then just show me the lock." -A Tribe Called Quest.

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