Thursday, November 29, 2007

Debate activity one

-political debate
People watch this type of debate on television. They are used to see how each candidate feels about a specific topic. From these debates, we make a better decision on who we want to represent us from the answers they respond with. It is a very structured debate which effects our decision because each candidate gets an equal opportunity to respond.

-sports report
Sports reports are on television and debate sports teams and are used to predict what they think will happen to each team. it doesn’t help us arrive at a decision because we can’t change the game’s results, but it helps us decide who we cheer for. It is a structured debate which helps because we hear both sides equally.

A trail is a structured debate that happens in court rooms that is used to decide if a crime was committed. The judge and jury decide if a punishment will be enforced. Since it is structured, the decision is better because both sides will be able to express their opinions.

-book club
Book clubs usually take place at home where people congregate to discuss a book that they have all read. It is used to evaluate the book read. The decision on whether or not you liked the book, which may be helped by debating, but it may not be because you already would know if you enjoyed it while reading. It isn’t very structured so one opinion may not be heard as much, so less people would side with them.

-class debate
A class debate would take place in a classroom to help the students better understand the topic. The class will arrive at a better decision because they will better understand the topic after the debate. It can be unstructured, but usually it is a structured debate so the students can arrive at a decision after understanding both points of views.

Monday, November 19, 2007

week four; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week four; post two

When John goes to meet Savannah’s parents, you can really tell the differences between the ways that John grew up, and the way that Savannah grew up (pg. 152). For one, John’s dad raised him on his own, without help. Savannah had two loving parents care for her throughout her childhood. It has always been hard for John to connect to his father. He was quiet, shy, and socially awkward. But when John meets Savannah’s dad, he enjoys spending time watching baseball with him, and conversation comes very easily (pg. 156). Savannah’s parents have a great relationship, and always have. Savannah has always wished to someday find a relationship as good as theirs. John however, never had an example of a healthy relationship. His mother left him and his dad when he was less than one (pg. 127). Afterwards, John’s dad never had a girlfriend, nor dated ever. Another difference between their childhoods was the financial situation. While John’s dad spent all of their extra money on his coin collection, they didn’t have any money to buy anything else except the necessities. Savannah’s parents had ample amount of money. She got a horse of her own for a birthday present. Savannah lived where there was land stretching for miles. She lived on a ranch and had the simple life (pg. 155). With the support of her parents, she always has stayed on the straight and narrow road. John lived in a city, but the better half of the city at least. He didn’t grow up with much money, so extra expenses like going to a movie with friends were out of reach. John didn’t connect with his dad, and they grew apart. He got involved with the wrong crowd in high school and his grades were bad. What is amazing to me is that even through all of their differences, they find a common connection in one another. As they say, opposites attract.

week four; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week four; post one

Barracks (pg. 144): Buildings grouped together to house soldiers
Dismal (pg. 148): characterized by ineptness; pitiful; causing gloom or melancholy

John says, “ …I’d get this sinking feeling, one that made me think that as much as we’d kept in touch, as much as we cared about each other, she’d somehow zigged while I had zagged.” (pg. 160). This is important because it shows the separation that their relationship suffered from him being away for a year. Even with how much they love each other, the time lost couldn’t be replaced. Space had grown slightly between them.

week three; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week three; post two

Nicholas Sparks does a great job of writing this book. It not only is very interesting and entertaining, it also has many literary tricks to keep us interested. Foreshadow is the most common in this book. One way Nicholas uses foreshadow is when John is leaving. John and Savannah promise that they will marry each other when John returns home, and although they are both fairly confident in the fact that they will, there are hints that lead one to believe that something will separate the two of them. The first hint is when Tim, Savannah’s best friend, warns how involved Savannah is in the relationship, and that he’d better not break her heart (pg.133). Then, in Savannah’s first letter to John, she too warns him not to break her heart (pg. 139). Another way Sparks hints at this is through Johns comments. He is totally committed to Savannah, and confident that they can come though and stay together, he makes a comment about how most couples don’t make it with a long distance relationship (pg. 134). One other way Sparks uses foreshadow is to hint that Tim has deeper feelings toward Savannah than just friends. He does this, firstly, by how intimidated John was of him at first. He was always suspicious that there was something more to it than friends (pg. 36). Tim also always speaks very highly of Savanna, and knows more about her than she does him (pg. 125). Also, when John is leaving town, he comments about how Tim will always be a better man than he, which leaves one thinking that John believes that Savannah should end up with the better man, Tim (pg. 133).

week three; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week three; post one

In a letter, Savannah writes to John, “If you come back, I’ll marry you. If you break your promise, you will break my heart.” This is an important quote firstly because it shows how seriously in love they both are, but it is also important because it leaves a hint towards breaking her heart, and wondering if he will.

One emerging theme from the book is to accept people as they are. John’s dad has always been socially weird, but Savannah pointed out to John that he may have Asperger’s, a learning disability. Now John has to accept his dad in a new way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

week two; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week two; post two

In many ways I see similarities between Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook and Dear John. One similarity is the simple heartedness of the main women characters. In The Notebook, Allison is a girl with a fun-loving spirit and a huge heart. Similarly in Dear John, Savannah is very pure, religious, and very honest. One of the first times Savannah and John are together, they go to church (pg. 48). It defiantly wasn’t John’s idea either. Also, Savannah doesn’t fall into peer pressure. Although she is in college, and surrounded by people drinking and doing drugs all of the time, she doesn’t feel the need to do the same. She knows that she can be different (pg. 72). Another similarity between the two stories is the type of love that both couples share. In The Notebook, Allison and Noah start their relationship in the summer. Although only they were only together for three months, their love was young, and deep. In Dear John, They are beginning to feel the same way about each other. They will also be separated, because he has to go back to the army in one month, but you can tell he is falling for her (pg. 18). There is also foreshadows showing us this. For example, John says, “…wonder how I could be falling for a girl that I’d met only the day before.” You can tell from the quote that the author is hinting at the fact that the relationship is going to become very strong.

week two; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week two; post one

Dilapidated(pg. 63) : a state of ruin or decay.
Consummate(pg. 65): to fulfill; to bring to a state of perfection

A theme emerging in this book is to stay close to the ones you love. John suffers deeply from the separation he feels from his father. From becoming a rebel in his teens to not going to college, John really could have used support from his father to keep him on track. Always trying to close the gap with starting new conversations, but nothing ever comes of it. On the other hand, Savannah has always been close to her parents, and she is perfectly content with being herself, and being a good person.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

week one; post two

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week one; post two

I really like the beginning to this book. It has grabbed my attention and I want to keep reading. The Protagonist in this book is named John Tyree. He and his dad live together in Wilmington, North Carolina, a city close to the beach. His mom ran off when he was less than a year old, and they never talk about her (pg. 9).His dad and him have an emotional gap between them that really effects how John lives his life, and it started when John was just getting to become a teenager. His dad didn’t make much money, but what he did make he spent on collecting coins. The lack of money never bothered John until he started to notice differences between him and his friends because of it. His friends would go to the movies, but John couldn’t pay so he would be at home. He then started to take his anger of his dad. One night, John exploded at his dad about spending all of their money on coins, and their relationship was changed forever(pg.14). Before that, coins was the only thing that the two of them had in common, but since they couldn’t talk about that anymore, the conversations grew shorter and shorter. The space between them grew larger as the conversations grew shorter. John found a new group to hang out with that money wasn’t as much of a factor, but they were the wrong crowd. His grades dropped and his instead of going to college, John wanted to get a job. Fired numerous times, one night, it struck him how meaningless his life was, and how with not much time left with his dad, he wanted to make him proud, so he joined the army(pg. 17). Without he and his dad growing this gap, I think that John would have stayed focused and gone to college instead of being unmotivated and lazy.

week one; post one

Dear John
Nicholas Sparks
Week one; post one

Monkish (pg. 20): acting with self-denial
Autism (pg. 39): A development disorder found in children with symptoms of impaired communication, excessive strictness, and emotional disconnection.

“He lapsed back into his own thoughts, and all I could think was that the same thing could be said about our conversations.” (pg.43). John said this after his dad said that his job was the same today as always. John means that his conversations with his dad are always the same, short, uninteresting, and meaningless. He and His dad have a distance between them that is shown by their short conversations.

book choice overview

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Published in 2006
276 pages
This book is a number one New York Times bestseller. It deals with very deep emotions with strong meaning. It is about a man that falls in love with a woman just before going to war. She vows that she would wait for him until he returns. But when he comes back, he has to make some sort of choice between love and country, I’ll figure out what the choice is when I read the book. But even without knowing the choice that he has to make, you can tell that the book has many deep conflicts that will be challenging to comprehend their emotions and reactions.
I chose this book because the author, Nicholas Sparks, wrote The Notebook, which is one of my favorite movies. I know I like the authors style of writing, and I found that Dear John was published in 2006. The summery of the book sounded very interesting so I decided to get this book.