Friday, June 6, 2008

American Dream

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Wow how many times have you thought about being a star? You’re standing on stage while thousands watch you perform or you’re making millions on a new movie you just made. Maybe or maybe not. Maybe you don’t want to become famous like Curly’s Wife, from the story Of Mice and Men. Perhaps you just want a place of your own. A place you can stay on and be happy for as long as you live like George’s, Lennie’s, and Candy’s dream. Probably you would be just as happy with a family or the chance to be treated fairly. What’s your American Dream? Do have one of these dreams in mind as each day goes by?
As we mentioned Curly’s Wife’s American Dream was to be a famous star. She dreamed of traveling around the world doing shows for billions. About a 93 percentage of people want to be famous. They’ve dreamt about being a famous celebrity. Whether it was a singer, dancer, model, or maybe just president. She wanted to own the stage and let everyone know it.
Dwelling was another dream. It was a dream that was dreamt by George, Lennie, and Candy. They dreamt of living on a land they could call their own, a place where only joy and happiness exist. George always reminded Lennie of this haven and while he was telling Lennie the story Candy overheard it and couldn’t help but be a part of their American Dream.
Even though George, Lennie, and Candy had the American dream dwelling on a haven. They also had a dream of being a family. As you read in the book Of Mice and Men, you noticed that George and Lennie had their own little brotherhood. You read that George always tried his best to keep Lennie out of trouble and protect him. Later on in the story Candy wanted to be a part of there haven and insisted on helping them get the money for it. So from that moment on Candy became part of the George and Lennie brotherhood of traveling men!
Now we all know everyone in this world wants to be rich and wealthy and one person in this story who wanted it was the Boss. The Boss, whom ran the ranch, didn’t want to be rich and famous. He just wanted to be rich. Most people who want to famous are really in it for the money anyway.
As you read this story you read about each character’s American Dream, but what is your American Dream? Do you want to be famous like Curly’s Wife, rich like the Boss, or just simply dwell with your new family like George, Lennie, and Candy? Maybe you’ve had other dreams in mind, but whatever it is you can always fulfill them.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Character Analysis (Empire of the Sun)

For my Empire of the Sun project I’m going to talk about character development. I’m sure as you sat and watched the movie you saw the change of Jamie and Basie. In my opinion I think they both took out routes. Jamie’s character went from bad to good and Basie went from good to bad.
We’ll start off by describing Basie’s character change. When Basie first entered into the movie he was helping Jamie. He welcomed Jamie to his home, fed him, and let him come along with him and Frank. Even when they were captured he taught Jamie what to do with his food and how to get what he needed. At first Basie was a great role model and some what of a father figure for Jamie. However, later on in the movie we found out that Basie only cared about Basie. Basie wasn’t letting anyone get in his way of surviving the war.
When the movie began we saw that Jamie was a spoiled rich Britain. Jamie was extremely ignorant of what was going on, but he soon found out. He learned new skills and tricks to surviving and becoming a man in the process. By the end of the movie Jamie became a whole new person. He had learned how to take care of his self, family values, and not to depend on others for his needs.
These two characters took two opposing roads to survive. During the war Basie looked out for himself so could stay alive while Jamie learned the keys to survival during the war.

Motifs (Grade This)

Have you thought about all the different motifs that occurred in the story Of Mice and Men? What about how the women in the book corrupted others. Loneliness and companionship was also a motif along with strengths and weaknesses. You see them multiple times through the whole story.
Let’s start by pointing out the motif, corrupting women. First, how about the flophouse girls that were briefly in the book. It’s easy to see how they corrupted the men. Even in their short appearance in the book they managed to corrupt the men by simply using man’s known weakness of their strong hormones. Secondly, Aunt Clara played her part of being corruptive. I mean have you ever thought about about the difference in the story if the “sweet old” Aunt Clara hadn’t given Lennie soft things to pet. For one Lennie would never had killed his new puppy whom he loved and cherished and two he would have never killed Curly’s Wife. Just the fact that Curly’s Wife would have still been alive is a big difference. Lennie would probably never been shot and he probably would have been able to tend the rabbits. “Thanks a lot Aunt Clara!” Thirdly, we all know about Curly’s Wife corrupting powers. She was like Little Nicole. Her name was nothing but trouble for any man she came near. If it wasn’t for flirtatious behavior Lennie would have been alive to tend the rabbits.
Don’t forget about the motif of loneliness and companionship. Lennie and George were like brothers as you may interpret it. However George of course was the older brother. He tried his best to look out for Lennie and keep him out of trouble. Later on in the story Candy made his offer to become a part of their companionship. What about the lonely people though like Crook and Curly’s Wife. Even though Crook said he didn’t want any whites in his home. It was obvious that he was dieing for a friend he could talk to. The same goes for Curly’s Wife. We saw that her life was everything but a good time. All she did was sit around and wait for Curly to come home. That ain’t right!
Last but not least, strengths and weaknesses were a motif in this book, especially with Lennie. Lennie had weaknesses were his retardation and his lack of gentleness with fragile things. Just them alone got him into more trouble then he could handle. His strengths were his strength when working out in the fields and his acceptance of other people. Both gave him some benefits in the story, however his strength of being accepting of others also got him into trouble with Curly.
I’m sure you didn’t even realize all these motifs in the story. Just to remind you they were corrupting women, loneliness and companionship, and strengths and weaknesses of Lennie. Besides the ones identified what repetitive acts did you see?

Symbols in Of Mice and Men

While reading the book Of Mice and Men you may have noticed that there were many symbols that appeared throughout the story. For example, the farm that George, Lennie, and Candy were supposed to buy together was a symbol. Other symbols were Lennie’s puppy, Candy’s Dog, and water. These symbols resembled something special to each of the characters.
I’m sure we all remember the wonderful farm. The farm was kind of like the Promised Land in the bible. It was the place they would end up after all of their hard work. The farm was there success and goal in life. When they reached their precious Promised Land was a haven where they would experience endless peace and satisfaction.
As we mentioned Candy’s Dog also was a symbol that appeared in the book. I’m sure you’ll all agree with me when I say that the death of Candy’s Dog was an event that really opened up Candy’s eyes to realization. It made Candy see that just as his dog’s time on the earth was over and done with; his time to pass was also coming up fast. So in a way Candy’s Dog’s death was a symbol for his death and someone else’s. The dog also was a symbol for the end of dreams. It showed that everything that’s new will one day experience an end.
New beginnings were symbolized in this book by Lennie’s puppy. Unlike Candy’s Dog, Lennie’s puppy’s end was no where in sight. Lennie’s puppy brought new dreams, hope, and joy to Lennie’s life.
Now for the last symbol I’m going inform you about that was this story is water. Water usually symbolizes fertility, growth, creative potential, life, or healing, but not in this story it doesn’t. In this story water symbolizes trouble. In the beginning of Of Mice and Men Lennie and George were running from men who chasing after them to most likely kill them. Also if Lennie was to ever get in trouble he was to run to the lake and wait for George to find him and when George was washing and drinking water soon after trouble brewed close by. I guess water was supposed to cover up Lennie’s mistakes.
As you read symbols were a big part of this book. Whether they symbolized new dreams, ending dreams, trouble, or success and peace they all gave there own special hidden meaning.. We will always come across symbols in our own life, and like the story I’m sure symbols also occur in your life and story.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Meeting With Dr. D

During lunch last week we met with Dr. Davidson to dicuss our ideas of the school store. In my opinion my group's metting with Dr. Davidson went well. We presented our ideas about making a school store in the room down stairs in the lunch room. We told him that we planned on selling school supplies, candy/treats, and school hoodies and shirts. We also presented him with the idea of having a NHD season. During the season we would be selling items needed for NHD projects. Dr. Davidson responded to our idea by simply saying he thought it was a great idea and that he was waiting on an opportunity to work on the school store.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Service Learning Meeting 5

This week we did pretty good we revisited the school store to check out what we would have to do in there. We counted 4 sockets however we weren't sure if they worked or not. We got somewhat of a draft or blueprint of how we would set up the shelves and cash register. Then we went up to the IMC to complete the bill and find more supplies needed for our school store.

Service Learning Meeting 4

This week was better than the last we completed everything we could do without Dr. Davidson's permission. We completed the letter, we had a bill rough draft, contacted companies that may donate suppies to us. Everyone worked extremely well also. There was a little bit of noise coming from the other group but in spite of it they completed their work. Now all we have to do is meet with Dr. Davidson and find out if he believes if the school store is a good idea.