Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Great Gatsby Cover Response

1. The first thing that really catches my eye is that it looks like there is an abstract drawing of a woman who also appears to be crying.
2. The woman's eyes are not naturally coloured. Her irises are yellow and the whites of her eyes are blue
3. The irises aren't even yellow, they are people trapped in her eyes!

One paradox I picked up on is the fact that this woman is crying *silently and she looks very sad and miserable, yet the city lights in the corner give you a happy, party-going mood despite the woman's looks.

*not actually known

Question about the title: Will the image on the cover relate to the story closely, or only one section?
Answer: I believe that it will relate to most of the story since it's about the "Roaring twenties" and this woman looks like she's dressed in flapper attire and there seems to be some sort of party/general excitement in the bottom corner

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chapters 6-8 Response (The Color of Water)

Ch. 6: The New Testament
Why was the mother so loud and vibrant about her singing? Was she just passionate, or was this an example of ignorance? Is Reverend Owens actually in a "spiritual trance" or is that a coverup for him taking a nap during church? Why did Mrs. McBride only bring in a few of her children instead of all of them? And where are the missing children? In daycare or at sunday school? Why couldn't the Reverend read, if he was supposed to be preaching a text that had a very complicated language? If there were plenty of others who could probably read, why didn't they do it instead of having the Reverend stumble during his own sermons? The reverend seems to only have the ability to throw "amen" around to make it seem like he is a good preacher. Is their church the only one in town? It's mentioned that Ruth talks about the "old timers": "She considered them old-timers, men of dignity and dedication who grew up in the South and remembered what life was like in the old days. They knew how to fire up a church the old-fashioned way, without talk of politics and bad mouthing and negativity but with real talk of God and genuine concern for its parishioners." Where does Reverend Owens lie on Mrs. McBride's list of good pastors, and does he fit in with the old timers, or the new ones who bring in cultural references? It certainly doesn't seem like he even fits on that scale, with his blubbering, "amen" filled excuse of a sermon. Why would the mother cry tears of joy at the sermon, other than because of her love for God? Does she actually have underlying reasons from her childhood that are affecting her life now and her religious capabilities, i.e. when she was a Jew? Why was Richie so incredibly rude to his younger siblings, or more specifically, James? I know he had the role of the big brother, but there's a line to where you're messing around with your siblings and just straight up bullying. Also, when Richie is in church, he is extremely rude and provocative towards everyone else and made the entire church uncomfortable. Was this because Richie was going through his rebellious phase and needed attention, or because he was genuinely curious to know and just made a giant deal out of it? After reading, it almost seems like a mixture of both. Why wouldn't the children decide to start studying their bible verse before the day of the reading, if most of them are so terrible at memorizing? Shouldn't they have learned from years of messing up that they should be memorizing beforehand? Especially considering that their mother was furious and ended up beating them for messing up so terribly and embarrassing her in front of the whole church. Also, why would they just accept that kind of suffering? And when he quoted "Jesus wept" I actually started laughing. Of course he would pick the shortest line in the bible. In conclusion, the title "New Testament" seems appropriate for this chapter in terms of showing the "new" chapter of their life and how it really began. Other than that, it doesn't really seem to connect. I'm not sure what other connections could be made to the chapter's contents and its title.

Ch. 7: Sam
Were the Sailors actually asking them to join them on the ship or was that their form of flirtation? Did Ruth's mother actually know any English, or did she just identify the noises that alarmed her, i.e. "Come with us"? Was anyone in her family afraid of the KKK? Ruth mentions that there's a lot of death in Suffolk, why doesn't this information concern her? She's a little jewish girl in a small town, easy to pick on. Why didn't Tateh take more care of his clothing as opposed to his gun? Why was he racist towards his black customers and only found them suspicious and charged them more? I understand that Tateh is her father, but after all the abuse she went through, why was she so worried about Tateh blowing his own head off while cleaning the gun? Why does she still carry this distant love for her terrible father? What exactly did BC have in it (other than cocaine) that helped its patients? Was their actually any medical value to it, or was it just a pep boost? Ruth once again mentions the death rates of her days. Is the constant sickness why she's so indifferent towards the amount of deaths? I wonder if this death rate has affected the woman that Ruth is now, especially with the losses of her husbands. When Ruth watched the black folks get dressed and cleaned up for church and become, quite simply, joyful beings, did this inspire her rebellion of religion? Otherwise put, did seeing others be happy in their faith cause her to leave the one she felt helpless in? Was Tateh actually hateful towards black people for a valid reason, or was he just scared, intimidated, or jealous? He could've been scared about the lies that had been told about the black people (i.e. that they were rapists and murderers, etc.), he could've felt intimidated by their general sense of joy even in bleak situations or ability to cope a bit better, and he could've felt jealous that despite having no money, they were happy. Tateh was rich and it's clear that he was miserable and rude. He punished his children for not knowing something that was actually more common to not know. Was he trying to elevate his family to seem superior in some way, despite him being such a terrible person (and being terrible at his job)? Was Sam the main target of Tateh's abuse because he was the only boy in the family? I feel like if there had been another brother, maybe the punishment would have been distributed more evenly instead of all being lashed out at Sam. Why was Ruth's aunt so rude towards Ruth if she couldn't have controlled talking/communicating with Sam for a pretty decent portion of her life? It's really difficult to get back in contact with someone you haven't seen in years, especially considering Sam ran away. Did Ruth's parents feel any guilt or remorse after Sam had left? Or when he died, even? In conclusion, the title "Sam" seems only semi-appropriate. Sam was mentioned in about the last 1/4 of the chapter, in detail. He's mentioned briefly at other points, but I feel as though the chapter could have had a different title and made a bit more sense.

Ch. 8: Brothers and Sisters
Did Ruth purposefully let her children create a hierarchy based on their age? If so, did she do this to make them learn a lesson or just because she knew she couldn't control them like the average parent (because, I mean, 12 kids is a lot to handle)? Why would their mother buy giant containers of peanut butter or brown sugar when there was most likely a slightly healthier and cheaper way to do so? And also, why would she allow the kids to get shocked on the toaster instead of just keeping them away from it or asking them to use someone else's toaster? If Ruth was so dreadfully bad at cooking, why would she bother to do so, instead of letting her kids cook or something like that? Was the mother ever self conscious of her cooking ability? If the "boob tube" didn't even work very well and she didn't allow them to watch it, what was the point of them keeping it? Couldn't they have sold it and made a little profit off of it so that they could afford more food? And also, if Dennis is just ever-so-rich, why couldn't he have helped out the family and given them some money or food? He's becoming a doctor, he's successful. What's the point in not helping them? Helen seems like she is extremely outspoken in her political opinions. Why does this bother Ruth so much, and why can't she seem to accept it and move on like she did with Dennis? Okay, Helen is only 15...why is she so opinionated in her political sense? Does she actually know what's going on? Or is this one of those "phases" that most kids go through and she just doesn't come out of it? In conclusion, this chapter's title is very suiting. It discusses the deeper mindsets and passions of the children in Ruth's household and gives you a closer insight on how their lives worked and what truly went on.

In Class:
  • Her pancakes had white eggshells in them
  • Before the masses devoured it
  • Still dressed and fast asleep
  • On the pages of someone's homework
  • Worst housekeeper I'd ever seen
  • All the boys slept in one room, the girls slept in another
  • Snuck in by night to trade secrets, argue, commiserate, spy, and continue chess games and monopoly games that had begun days earlier
McBride uses diction to suggest that his home is chaotic but also functional.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chapters 2-5 Response (The Color of Water)

How was his mother able to ride the bike if half of her body had become unusable? (Note: I think I misread and the mother of Ruth is the one who has the unusable body) Why would the narrator be embarrassed of having a white mother? If she preaches about not caring about skin color all the time, then why don't her children feel the same? How is the mother able to afford college for her older children and still able to keep a roof over their heads? In Chapter 2, the voices between Ruth and James are switched skillfully and this helps show the fuller picture of James' family and their life's challenges. Most of it is chronological but tends to focus on specific moments, like when Hunter dies. Both the mother and her son crash and burn after Hunter is gone. James becomes a street kid since he doesn't have a father figure... but if his mother remarried, do you think he would go back to being a good kid? Why does Ruth avoid all questions about race? Why isn't she straightforward with their kids and tell them her opinions of racism so they stop asking? His part of the narrative shows all of the crazy questions that he's raised because of being a mixed raced child, while the mother's narrative helps shine some light on the questions, but only much, much later when he's an adult investigating his family's past. Why was the father's first threat sending them back to Poland? What kind of a father even does that to a family? (note from the future: Good lord, I now know that he never actually loved the mother, it was all about arrangement and money.) Why was it that when her grandfather died, she was no longer allowed to say death? Why did it suddenly become some sort of "sacred word"? Why would she feel claustrophobic after her grandparents died if they were so loving and warm? How does Ruth remember such detailed Jewish customs, if it's been (more than likely) 40+ years? Why are James' brothers so rude? Why do they bully him so cruelly? Why would James punch the kid on the bus if he literally did nothing wrong? Did James face any severe consequences because of this action?Why couldn't the dad, being the rabbi he was, preach what was supposed to be preached, instead of preaching his opinions (At least from what I gather)? That way he wouldn't have to constantly move around with his children. Why did the father sexually abuse Ruth?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dead Metacognitive

"Chapter 1 - Dead" Metacognitive Response

Literally dead? or just dead to someone else? If fifty years has passed wouldn't they most likely be dead literally? What is the interview for? Watching Dallas do what? Who is the narrator referring to about if her father saw "you"? What's her new name after getting rid of Rachel? What's kaddish and shiva? Did the family really never say I love you to each other? Were these people rich? By her saying that her father's pants were "glazed and shined and were ripe enough through to stand on their own," was she saying that he never washed his pants?

Final Response: I had a lot of questions about this chapter and didn't receive a lot of answers due to how short it was. I don't exactly prefer the metacognitive response so in the next one, I will be using the other form of response.

MMM - Song of the Towers

Moment (What makes me stop and think?): I really enjoy just looking at the colors and visually pleasing aspect of the overall painting. The warm tones in the center make me think that everything in the painting is happy and joyous. Looking closer, I notice that the man in the middle is almost like a representation of a warm, happy man with a saxophone, almost similar to the derogatory term and explanation of a Jim Crow or Sambo. Upon closer examination, I notice that the men in the corners of the painting are crawling desperately towards the warmth and the light, the freedom of america, yet the icy cold holds them back, like invisible hands, invisible chains keeping them restrained.

Movement (What kind of motion is implied/suggested? What kind of patterns are there?): The motion that I see is the man in the middle is walking or dancing towards his brighter future while the men in the corner seem to be desperately crawling towards it.

Meaning (What is the big statement of the painting?) I think the big statement of the painting is that after a lot of struggling and crawling (like the men in the corner) you will finally be able to stand, both physically and mentally, for your freedom. But like all the men in the painting, you must work to get there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I hear

I hear the sound of the rushing waters
flowing through a thriving environment
soothing me into a relaxed state
the only thing on my mind is peace.

I hear the wind in the trees,
making the leaves dance to the music of spring
the sunlight trickling through them
as I lean against a trunk.

I hear the sound of laughter
echoing through the park
makes me miss the summer sun
and the friends I once believed in