Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week two

A Long Way Gone
By: Ishmael Beah
Week two reading blog

Loaded words

-Young boys (pg 37): Young boys are being forced by the rebels to murder. When using the term “young boys” it reminds us and makes us think of them and little, innocent, people who are killing. It makes it much more dramatic.
-Chief (pg 38): Chief of the village captured the boys. By saying “chief”, it shows how much power and authority this person has. Since they are captured by him, it the possibility of them getting hurt by the chief becomes much more real in our minds.
-Elders (pg 45): the elders were blessing Ishmael’s family’s new house. The word “elder” makes us think that this person is respected, smart, and the spiritual capability to bless the home.
-Sorrow (pg 46): “Sorrow” gives us more emotional feeling that just sadness or upset. Deep sorrow about losing his family.
-Human (pg 47): Ishmael hasn’t been in contact with humans in six days until now. Saying “human” makes them sound uncivilized, less emotion than actual people.
-Brutal (pg 49): His brutal hunger sounds more desperate and painful then just bad hunger.
-Charging (pg 53): Wild pigs were charging at him. Saying charging shows us how fast and strong the pigs were that were attacking him. Gives us a sense of the strong pigs.
-Fatigue (pg 55): His fatigue after being in a forest for one month. “Fatigue” reminds us of how tiring staying alive in a forest was for him.
-Chopped (pg 57): A person being chopped with a machete. “Chopped” makes the situation sound like it happens all the time. It is common to be chopped by a machete.
-Host (pg 63): The host took care of them. “Host” refers to a waiter, or a servant that assists and helps them whenever they need, when actually it was just a fisherman helping heal the boy’s feet after walking on hot sand.

In the second week, the boys again had close encounters with rebels. While staying in a town, they helped farm and produce food for the villagers daily. The rebels attacked the town quickly and without notice. Ishmael was separated from all of his friends, and after the rebels cleared out of the town, he left walking all by himself. Ishmael got very lost and ended up spending a month trying to find his way out of a forest. By coincidence, as leaving the forest, Ishmael found people he recognized from his home town, and joined them. This made a group of seven boys, trying to find a safe place to be, away from the war. Rumor spread that there was an island off of Sierra Leone that was protected by soldiers, so that was their target. They found a village on the beach, but instead of the townspeople helping them, they took their shoes and scared them away. Shoeless was awful on the burning hot sand, and they could hardly stand it, until they found a fisherman that helped them out.

Through his struggles, I am realizing how smart Ishmael has to be to stay alive. He has to know different plants to eat, how to make shelter, how to find water, and much more. I can hardly believe he made it through living in a forest for one whole month. I feel so bad for him and all of his misfortunes, especially not knowing if he will ever see any of his family again.

Week one

A Long Way Gone
By Ishmael Beah
Week one reading blog

A Long Way Gone jumped right into the action, and grabbed my attention right away. It started off in the small town of Mogbwemo in Sierra Leone. Ishmael and his friends, Mohamed and Talloi, and his older brother, Junior, loved to practice and perform rap and hip-hop dancing. There was a talent show a few towns over in Mattru Jong that they decided to perform in. They left Mogbwemo and planned to return the following day. On there way to the talent show, they stopped in their grandmother’s town and visited her for dinner, then continued on and reached Mattru Jong that night. But when they finally reached Mattru Jong, the villagers heard that their home town of Mogbwemo was attacked by rebels. In hopes of finding their family, Junior, Mohamed, Talloi, and Ishmael went back home. Ishmael had clear memories of their family. His parents divorced when he was young. Ishmael’s dad paid for Junior and Ishmaels schooling, and in return they lived with him. His mom took care of their younger brother Ibrahim. When they reached their grandmothers town, it was a deserted village. Everyone was running the opposite direction, away from the rebels. Ishmael and Junior realized they couldn’t go back home without being captured by the rebels, and went back to Mattru Jong. Soon after they returned, troop arrived to protect the town, knowing that it was the next rebel target. Ishmael was scared of what was to come. He tried to think of the good time he had at home. He recalled his grandmother saying “be like the moon,” meaning that when the moon comes out, everyone is happy to see it. He has dreams of killings and dying painful deaths. All he wants is to be happy like he was. The rebels sent messengers to Mattru Jong, warning of their arrival. Everyone soon after went into hiding, and shortly the rebels came, just like they said. Shooting and killing civilians, everyone that could still walk raced to get out of the town, by the only exit, the river. Ishmael and his friends all made it out, but more pain was to come. Feelings of starvation and fatigue over whelmed them, so without a choice, they went back to Mattru Jong for food and money. Even though it was a dangerous trip, it was also successful by getting the food and money they needed. While walking on a path, three rebels captured them, along with fifteen others, and took them all to a nearby town. The rebels plan didn’t work how they wanted it to though. While interrogating and choosing strong fugitives to become rebels, the rebels were distracted with shooting close by. The fugitives used it to their advantage, escaping and running far away.

So far, I have loved the book. It captured my attention right away, and hasn’t bored me at all. It is so interesting to me how the rebels treated people and what kind of things they did to the community... and they thought that they were doing it for the better good of Sierra Leone. The rebels scarred many people for life, even if they didn't do it physicly, it was done mentally. From the title, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, I think that Ishmael will be captured by the rebels and become a soldier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This I Believe

1. A link to the essay

2. Author
Chris Huntington

3. Title
Becoming a Parent Is a Gift

–4. One sentence of what the belief is
I believe in adoption

–5. 2 examples from the story that showed their belief
ex 1:becoming a parent is a gift you make to the universe and that the universe makes to you

ex 2:I can see that becoming a parent is much more than our biology.

–6. 1 favorite passage
People think we're good or generous because we're giving a home to an orphan, and giving her a family but the truth is she'll be giving us a family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

One goal for my sophmore year is...

For my sophomore year, my goal is to get as good of grades as I did last year. Since this is the first year that counts toward college, I want to start it off right. I really want to get into a good school, and I have a lot of pressure to do so, and the first step is getting good grades. I know that it will be hard, but it is important to me, and I know that I can do it!

The thing I am most anxious about at Edina High School is...

This year at school, I am most anxious about keeping up with my homework. Since we no longer have an a-day b-day schedule, I am nervous that I will fall behind in some of my classes work. I am also nervous about how hard the courses will be. All of the teachers give the impression that there class is much different from middle school classes, so I just hope that it isn’t too hard for me.