Wednesday, April 30, 2008


in character

Scarlett O'Hara had an impact on our culture because she was a different kind of woman than what was usually depicted in novels. She was selfish, she believed she was better than pretty much everyone but a lot of people still like her and want her to succeed. Scarlett was a strong woman in the time of the Civil War- when women needed to step up and take control which is what she did. She showed that they can survive and be resilient but she also had a nasty side because she held a lot of views of her own superiority.

Indiana Jones had a large impact on our culture because it seems almost everyone has seen the three Indiana Jones movies. He is a fascinating character because as a teacher he seems almost boring and lecturing but then he goes into the field and Indiana Jones becomes a full adventure character. Indiana Jones has many characteristics which are good in society today such as he is courageous and can problem solve but most of his methods of archeology are not right and that has had an impact on our culture as well.

Harry Potter has had a big impact on our culture because so many people, adults and kids, have read all of the Harry Potter novels mulitple times. I think that he has had such a big impact because it is such a fantasy world with witches that is allows people to escape their everyday life and just imagine themselves friends with Harry Potter. Harry is also a good guy, many bad things have happened to him throughout his life but he proves that good triumphs over evil and throughout the many books there are many questions about Harry's character that make him more intriguing and make you want to keep reading.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


characteristics of a well-told story

1. why in childhood?
I think that stories are so important to childhood because they introduce kids to so many new ideas and fantasies that they hadn't even known existed before. It opens up a whole new world to them and also allows them an escape if they just want a little quiet time in their room or something. People read stories to kids to get them to like reading from a young age and if young children really enjoy books it is probably more likely they will still like to read a lot when they are older. Kids learn a lot from the stories and the experience even if they do not fully understand the message because I still remember a lot of story books from my childhood and now I get the message of what the author was trying to portray.

2. why later in life?
Older people read stories because they want to read about something different from their everyday life and see how other things work, for example how lives in a previous time period works or if they want to read a fantasy adventure book they want to just escape from all the everyday chores plaguing their lives. Readers get a lot from these experiences because it could influence them to make changes in their lives based on the books they read. Older people learn a lot from actual stories because they can fully comprehend the message and how it applies to their lives.

3. why in our nation?
People flock to buy the books listed on the New York Times Best Seller List because I think that they believe they will be good and because enough people have read them and bought them to put them on that list. Stories are important to our nation because they allow us to see how other people in the world today are living and how things were in the past. Many novels also create discussions and bring forth issues that concern are nation which is a very good thing because if only one viewpoint is shown then people only know that and aren't able to see both sides of the issue.

4. your stories
I remember my favorite book that my parents used to read to me every night was "Goodnight Moon" with the Berenstain Bears and another book I loved so much that I memorized was Arthur's Baby. My dad also used to make up stories with princesses and dragons and magic horses before I went to sleep that I still remember. These stand out because I heard them so often. I connect my dad and my mom most to these stories.

5. characteristics of a well-told story
Readers need to care what happens to the characters and the characters need to be flawed because no one loves a perfect character because no one in real life is perfect. Stories also need to have a central message that they portray throughout the whole thing. Stories should be descriptive and give good insight into the characters mind and why/how they act the way they do. Lastly, the story should not be predictable, the author should have enough creativity to think of a unique plotline that it is captivating until the end.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


how unpoetic

I am soooooo excited for summer to come because this year has seemed so long. I'm going to Canada this June for my sister's hockey tournament which should be really exciting because I've never been to Canada before. Also I'm going to be a nanny for my aunt and my cousins which will be fun. My cousins are ten, eight and four and they are really easy to watch so it will hopefully not be too hard. We can go to the pool and go see movies and just play outside a lot because it will be warm out. It'll be weird having to go to college in August rather than going to back to high school but everything will be ready and hopefully I'll know where I'm going because I haven't decided yet. I think my family is also going to Colorado this summer to visit my aunt who lives there which will be fun because we usually stay at this hot springs pool and go horse back riding and white water rafting. I think my cousins are going as well and we all usually just have a lot of fun playing game together and swimming and going out to eat.
Also, I'm really excited for spring break because that is in less than two weeks and it will be nice to have a break from school! I really wish my family was going somewhere this spring break because we've gone somewhere every single other spring break and this is the first one we've stayed home for which is weird. But I can understand why we are not because my mom, sister and I went to Cancun in November for my birthday and she didn't want to go to Mexico again right now but she is thinking about booking a last minute trip to Florida or Arizona for the family. Over spring break I am also going to Coe for the weekend with my dad because that is one of my top choices for where I am going to college next year and he hasn't seen the school yet and I don't want to make a decision without both my parents seeing it and I will be competing in a scholarship thing. It will be good to see the college again because the last time I was there was last summer when my mom and I did a college road trip and most of them run together in my mind so hopefully after I look at it again I can make a final decision.
Another thing I am very excited for is lunch today. One of my absolute favorite things to eat are the Caesar salad wraps from Byerlys and I have one for lunch today and I am so excited to eat it. I meant to bring it yesterday but I forgot it so I hope that it is still good because I will be really disappointed if it isn't good anymore.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Five: Poetry Critique

My Wish
Rascal Flatts

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
and each road leads you where you wanna go,
and if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
if it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.

But more than anything, more than anything...

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but you never forget,
all the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
and you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
and always give more than you take.

But More than anything, yeah, more than anything...
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you,
and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish. Yeah.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you,
and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

2. I chose this song because I really liked the message of it and it is kind of like the poem and songs we talked about in class yesterday, like the listing of things that people wish for you or someone else. I find it interesting because most of all the wish is that they want someone to be happy and fulfilled in life and find their place in life with someone who loves them.

3. The title of this song is 'My Wish' and I think it fits very well with the work because most of the song is just stating a wish for someone, like 'my wish for you is that this life is all that you want it to.' I like the title and think it really goes along well with the rest of the song.

4. This song uses the poetic device of repetition to get the point across because some lines, which include the lines which state the wish, are repeated throughout the entire song. There is also a lot of good imagery in the phrase 'when one door opens, another door closes' and you can just see different possibilities coming and going as people move through life and travel from place to place. There is also one instance of personification where the song says show the world the warmth of your smile, because a smile cannot physically be warm but it can give off warm feelings. These all influence the song and make it flow well and make it progress from beginning to end. The repetition of "my wish" creates an emphasis on those phrases and words and focuses the attention on them. The feelings created by this song are reminiscent and looking back but also looking towards the future.

5. The tone is uplifting and reminiscent and all the poetic devices used in the song strengthen the tone. I really like this song and feel the tone of it is a reason why.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Four: Writing Territories

I like to read a lot. Mainly I like to read fiction novels and I also enjoy many mystery novels. I like them because you never know what the end is going to be and I can try to guess what is going to happen next. I like to read because I like learning and seeing the characters grow throughout a novel. Also, I like to read some short stories and plays but reading full length novels are my favorite. Poetry is not my favorite thing in the world but my sister loves to read it so sometimes she convinces me to read some poem that isn’t that bad. I read at least an hour every day, mostly before bed. I like to write mainly short stories because I think they are the most entertaining and can show a lot of character growth. When we did the play assignment with Mr. Miles I really enjoyed writing the play and I didn’t think I would! I don't write that much when it is not a school assignent, I used to do it a lot more than I do now because I used to have so much more time but now with all of the college applications and all of those essays and things to do there just never seems to be enough time to write. There are many topics that intrigue me and I think that any topic could be intriguing if the writer can show it in an interesting way.

Ever since I was little, I wanted a dog. My entire family always wanted a dog except my mom because she never had one growing up. She always had cats and so we always had cats. But when I was ten years old, she finally relented and decided the Shulls could get a dog. It took us forever to agree on what kind of dog because my mom didn’t want to get a dog that was too big and could hurt that two cats that we already had or my little sister, but after months of debating we settled on a golden retriever. My brother MC was the most excited; the dog was going to be his best friend because my sister and I already had been given kittens that were ours. We found a breeder in Wisconsin and picked a weekend to drive there and look at the litter of six puppies. My brother immediately found "the dog." This one dog came running over to us and jumped on my brother so we decided to take him home with us. Because the dog was going to be my brothers, he also got to the pick his name. He chose the name Ranger because of his fondness for the Power Rangers. Ranger immediately became an integral part of our family and we all took turns playing fetch with him and taking him on walks around the neighborhood. Soon he was sleeping in my room every night. When I was a sophomore my family found out that Ranger had cancer so it was a very hard time for my family when he passed away that fall.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Three: Toward the Future/From the Past

Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed writing the play. At first, I thought it would be hard to write and come
up with ideas and write five pages but it wasn’t that bad. I found it hard to come up with an idea at the beginning but once I did, I really liked finishing the play. The limitations in the form that I found frustrating were that I couldn’t really write reactions of the characters from what the others were saying, like I usually do in fiction writing. Another limitation was that you couldn’t really describe what the characters were feeling; you had to show it through their actions and dialogue which was hard to do at first. I think that I would be interested in another drama writing sometime in the future. I liked how it was so different from what we usually do and it was really fun.

If I had the choice to give advice to either a ten year old or a five year old, I would pick the five year old because they actually listen and try to follow the advice whereas a ten year old would probably think they knew better and not listen at all. So, if I were to give advice to a five year old I would tell them to make their own choices. Doing that, they have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes which always works better than being told to do something because it is better. However, I would also give some advice based off of my own experiences because being older I will have experienced so much more but the world they are going to grow up in will probably be a lot different than the one we did. With my advice, I would have to take into account their personality and thoughts otherwise the advice would do them no good. I would choose to give advice about their choices and to do what they want and tell them to go to school and try to do the best they could because that will open so many doors for them later on. I gave that advice because I believe that it will help them most in the long run.

I think that some great literary works can survive time because their themes are timeless. The issues they are centered on can be encountered in any age and any person could possibly be facing them. Every generation it seems, some new ideas seem to be garnered off of these old novels which also are a reason which helps them survive. They offer inspiration. I believe that great literary works live forever because the characters are memorable. I don’t think that anything I write will ever last for 2000 years like Euripides’ Medea did. The authors, like Jane Austen, Anne Bradstreet and Euripides, probably spent a lot of time writing these works and it is fitting that they lasted a long time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Two: Luigi Pirandello, playwright: "A man will die, a writer, the instrument of creation: but what has he created will never die!"

I think that theme is very important when you write. All pieces of writing should have a theme and express at least one central idea that guides the reader along as they read. A great piece of literature needs to have a theme otherwise it feels like the author is just writing random events that lead nowhere and for literature to be great, something needs to happen along the way and usually that is through the development of the theme. An example of this is the theme in the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley where the control of society is brought forth and challenged which leads to many of the problems and resolutions throughout the novel. Using the opposing viewpoint, I would say that characters drive the work and there need not be a theme just enough events and characterization to allow the reader to really get to know the characters and understand their feelings and motivations.

A theme I would consider communicating through my play is one of self discovery and how people need to be comfortable with themselves before they are truly are comfortable in the world. Also another theme I would consider using is bringing awareness to the poverty in Africa (from the first post) and how that impacts someone’s life here. Theme is important to me because it is something that readers can follow along throughout the entire play and would help the play stay focused around a specific subject or idea. This theme would be important because I believe that having a theme is a good idea and that all literature should have at least one central idea and the theme goes along with that.

There are many potential conflicts that could be written for my play. Throughout the course of the entire play, there could be internal conflicts and external conflicts. A conflict that I would like to explore is a person vs. self conflict where the main character would have some issue, maybe involving not believing they are able to do something and have a big internal struggle regarding that issue and then resolving it in the end. Another conflict that I would probably work into the play would be a person vs. person so they would have a problem with another character because that creates drama and a feeling of tension around those two characters. If I ended up doing a play that had a theme about the poverty around the rest of the world, there could be a person vs. society conflict because society is not really trying to help the poverty on a unified level.