I am reading the book Pocket Full of Dreams by Justine Wentzell. So far, it has dropped me into the middle of her relationship, and talked about a few red flags that popped up. She has described her boyfriend and how he's depressed and crazed almost, and shares some of his family history. She speaks without a direct timeline, but instead with her own thoughts and memories. She also reflects a lot on how she should've handled things or seen things.
My first impression is that the book will be about her experience and her reflecting on and building off of that experience. Because I have never been subject to abuse, I can't relate to what she says, but I'm instead learning more about that situation and what it's like for the victim. I think through that new perspective, I'll be more understanding and empathetic as well as aware if anything such as that happens to me or someone I know. I'm enjoying her book, and I am grateful for how much of her interpersonal thoughts she is sharing.
My prediction is that she'll share more of her past and also down the road share how she got out of the situation and what she is doing now. It's also a bit easier to create a prediction since it's a type of autobiography, and I have met and spoken to her in person. Her book is also less story and more of a self-aware memoir, which I enjoy.
As the night crawled over the sky, the saloon doors closed and opened in a rhythmic pattern. Rounds of beer were gladly enjoyed by those who wished to cherish the night, and those who wished to forget it. Tommy, who was a regular attender as well as an astute drinker, grabbed the nearest seat and ordered, "Fill me up." The bartender gladly welcomed Tommy back home, and filled up a tall glass of sparkling amber liquid, some rumored it to be the cup of life. Tommy smiled to the bartender and spoke in slurred words, "You, my good friend, gift me with such an infallible miracle." Tommy glanced proudly at his beverage of choice as if it were the first time he laid eyes on it, tilted his head back, and took a drink. The moment the beer hit his tongue, he felt at home and at peace once again. He swallowed it quickly and took another swig, but before it reached the bottom of his throat, it became warm and alcoholic. It was as if he was chugging gasoline, which he had only tried once, with little success or enjoyment. He delineated his misfortune to the bartender, who had set much higher precedent for his beverages. The bartender simply stated, "I didn't think you'd be able to notice it, considering..." He didn't go on, but only mumbled the last few words. It was true, Tommy was at best an alcoholic, but if anything that meant he knew his liquor. Honestly, this bar was interdependent on Tommy, the two running hand in hand in a field of daisies. Tommy had to ask, "Why is the beer so warm? I didn't want to drink scotch tonight!" The bartender only replied with, "We've run out." Run out of what? Tommy posed the question to himself, hoping to interrogate the situation. "Alright," Tommy yelled as he got out of his seat, wobbling, "if your beer is going to be the death of me, then I am going to resurrect by product of my beer, which will be exuberant, but still chilled." Tommy stormed out of the bar, racing to the nearest bus station he could find. Once the bus had finally arrived, he yelled to the bus driver, "Take me to a farm or bust!" The driver tiredly replied, "Sir, I can't do that, it isn't on my route." Tommy stormed away from the bus stop, angry and fired up with excitement. Suddenly, an idea sprung into his drunken mind. He raced to the pet store, and grabbed a baby pig. It had to be exactly twelve weeks old, or it wouldn't work. He then bolted to the convenience store, and bought two cups and a bottle of apple juice. After he had collected all of his supplies, he stumbled back into the saloon where everyone was waiting to view his new discovery. After a few oinks and trials later, he had created the perfect malt beverage. He gave it a sip, careful to ignore the pig discretion -- the secret ingredient -- when testing his invention. It stung the tongue, gave a blast of flavor, and tasted good warm! A success! "Alright, here you go bud." A group of men exclaimed to the bartender, bringing a chunk of ice into the warm saloon.
As the sun began to set, the sky lit up as a fire would in our small cabin, red fire engulfing the clouds. My eyes drifted downward towards our family barn, and the sky reflected upon the already red barn to create a deep burgundy. All of the cows mooed from the inside, harmonious in their consolidating voices.
"Are you alright? I heard the cows practically screaming out, and I wondered if there was possibly a stampede or fire of some sort!"
"Yes, papa. I'm alright, but just as confused. All I saw was a fiery sky, a burgundy wall, and then the sound of a hundred calling cows."
We both had no explanation for this mysterious and markedly obscure moment. I couldn't allow myself to wonder the true causes of this event.
"Johnny," papa said pithily, "I need you to listen to me. I must tell you a story. It's more important than any other."
I listened, scared it would polemics about how are colony came to be and why the Natives were so horrible. I couldn't hear more of those lies about "only beasts roaming the land, having it as ours for the taking."
"The year was 1524. I was just a boy, about your age, and my family had shipped me here on account of my conspicuous rebellion. I couldn't stand to stay in the muck of the city, living with the rats. I came to the New World running on hope of land and riches. They never told us that there were people, whole civilizations already living where we planned to go. It was a battle through ignorance to see past the lies they fed us. I couldn't stand to live in constant anger at another people. I would never act on my anti-anthropocentric views, but didn't understand why we had to kill to survive, when there was always the option of peace. Of course, this never flushed through anyone's mind, and they found war to be rewarding."
I was shocked at hearing his story, as I thought he understood the same way as those who killed for fun. I believed for so long that he say the Indians as nothing more than a small obstacle to slaughter and forget.
"Johnny, are you listening? This is important."
"Sorry, yes papa. I was just thinking."
"well, anyhow, one of my friends who I had met on the farm we had built that year was determined to slaughter the chief and his baby of a nearby village. I had told him multiple times not to do it, but he could never follow along to rules of those around him. In fact, he may as well have thought of himself as king. I couldn't stop him, no matter how much I yelled, screaming for sense to be sent to his brain. His impious thoughts matched his actions, as he set out with a small group of rapacious young males to burn their village, aiming to bring the chief's heart back as proof of their declension."
"Papa, what does this have to do with our barn?"
"I'm getting to it. When he came back, he was alone, bloodied and red, seeming as if he completely missed the village and burned himself. He spoke with a shaky voice, 'They all cried out, spoke in ancient tongues. I-I couldn't... they didn't make it.' It was as if he had seen a ghost. The next day, the clouds were dark, charcoal colored. Rain began to pour down, a never ending stream of tears, wept by those who were taken by the selfish hands of the English. As the sun set, fiery hues tinting the sky. Our only farm began to darken, seeming as though an invisible fire died for it to char. We all could hear our cows clearly screaming out in a mix of moos and ancient callings. All of our people became frightened and paralyzed by the words shouting towards the sky. I don't remember much after, although once I awoke again, I was lying face down on the dirt. I could hear moaning and groans coming from limp bodies around me."
"Papa, I'm so sorry, but what do we do now? What if this happens to us?"
"It won't, as long as we repaint the barn with the brightest red we can find. It must pierce through the darkness of a charcoal sky."
"How dare thou doeth this! i was one of thy most loyal buccaneers!" I screamed with all of the might I had left in my body.
My lover from the last port would miss her John "Doe Eyes" if I wasn't allowed to keep her company, as my body would then be owned by the sea.
"Oh John, wherefore would I keep a traitor on mine beloved Black Death?"
The captain's soft voice disguised by the harsh wind, whipping in my face to force my eyes' tears. The impious crew shouted slurs at my half beaten body.
"We'll make an example out of you!"
"Traitor of Black Death!"
"If only we could burn you, but instead we'll sink you!"
My adept thinking only led me to one solution: To survive one must first recreate one's birth, anew in the endless opportunity of an infant world. To mollify the captain, I shared a story of my childhood years with no regard for his lack of exuberance or inclination to hurry the job up. I felt as though my poor upbringing could show my interdependence to booze, and therefore to the risk of the drinking. Gambling was a game I would never fail to lose, but the ignorance of drunken fun had overruled my prior opinion.
"Dear captain, I would ne'r let anyone steal this ship, Black Death, from any foe, e'en in mine depths of gambling at the highest of stakes, for we are pirates and doeth not followeth rules to keep our ship afloat."
The captain and crew nodded in despair, and he spoke with a sharp tone as though a blade were to slit my throat to disallow any talking back, "I pity the poor soul who wilt ever sink next to thou."
A pervasive sickness spread suddenly throughout my body, and as I held my hand in the air to signify surrender, my body had completed the task thoroughly, sending me down as my eyes shown nothing but black and my limbs became numb. A slip from the wood and I was a dead man, my lover would have to travel to the middle of the sea to ever beware of my presence in her lifetime. The captain belatedly said his last words, then opened his rapacious eyes to see the empty sky carrying nothing more than a lone seagull, the water with a large ripple sent outward, eventually to hit land or die as nothing more than one small wave.
For this discussion, we had to act as one of three representatives in one of three groups. I was a native woman who's husband had been killed by the colonists who decided to launch a surprise attack on my village. My children were killed as well, and it was devastating to say the least, at least I'm assuming that's how my character would feel. I channeled this explosive anger into the discussion when colonists said they were victims, and shared my story through yelling and frustrating tones. I felt that this was how best to show my character, as the discussion was heated and I had a right to be furious. We talked about different topics like "the effects of a bunch of poor people being shipped to the new world" and "the treatment of Irish and Native Americans". We were able to address these topics from our character's perspective, which led to everyone's statements clashing, and a lot of yelling and argument. All of it was in good fun between classmates, but the truth of the conversation was that it was extremely chaotic and going absolutely nowhere. I actually had to check with my teacher a few times to see if we were "doing it right" since it felt so wrong to just yell at each other and waste time pointlessly arguing and pointing fingers. It was frustrating to go nowhere and feel trapped with no perspectives understood and voices being heard. It was a traditional "if your voice is the loudest then you can speak" type of situation.
I thought the discussion, as I said before, was extremely chaotic and it gave us a good view of how meetings went back in the day. It was so frustrating to move nowhere in the conversation, but just keep blaming. It honestly just made me feel extreme distress, but I also got distracted from that by playing my character. As the conversation progressed, it was easier to organize my thoughts and use evidence to argue our point, and in the end come up with a reasonable solution.
I feel that the Natives -- my group -- best represented and expressed the ideas or points we had because we used textual and statistical evidence, didn't falter from our main argument and claim, were all on the same page, and had ethical, moral, and logical reasoning backing up our claim and opinion. We didn't simply shut down others perspectives, but instead disproved them with accurate information and relevant facts.
The most interesting points made were probably when colonists argued they weren't given women when they got to the New World, when in fact the were in the sense that they stole native women and raped, tortured, and hurt them, with no care for their human needs and emotions. I also found it important to hear what each group had to say, as the promoters played the blame game, the colonists played pity party, and the Indians played the angry middle aged "let me talk to the manager" woman.
What was most confusing was where the conversation was supposed to go, as I'm used to civil discourse in a classroom environment, not allowed arguing and belittling of others. It was of course all in character, bu nonetheless was all we did for a solid half hour.
Some questions I have about this historical period and the events, people, and ideas that were discussed are:
- Were the perspectives we shared in the conversation the same as those of the real Natives, Promoters, or colonists?
- Was there ever any actual peace or agreement made between the colonists and Natives that benefited both parties?
- Did the promoters sell the Native's land, or free land around their villages?
- Why didn't other countries seize the opportunity to take this "free" land or the New World? Where were other countries during this period?
- What is the general timeline regarding colonist and Native relations and evolution of both cultures and societies during this period of 1450-1700?
“My love is so strong for him, but his love for me is only beginning to germinate. If I have such discernible love to give, why is his so invisible to the eye?” As I drank another sip of my white, Mary agreed subtly with my statement and joined me in my pity party of sorrow. “Camille, he gives polemics as excuses and sets a precedent for blindness and ignorance being allowed and praised in a relationship, you sound like nothing more than his pawn.” I had to agree with her statement, as he had created precepts for justifying a dangerous -- if not fatal -- relationship. “I feel as though I was a puppet and his cold hands were inside of my stuffed lining, controlling my every move and function.” I had to whisper this part to Mary, as we were surrounded in this pub by women prowling for gossip and men hoping for drunken luck. “Camille, let’s go dance and waste our worries away!” I quietly agreed, shaken by how fast she passed off the conversation as a small conflict. She had delineated my relationship down to the last bit of truth, but as swiftly as she had knocked down walls, she began cruising towards the dance floor. Before she could move her feet, she yelled, “Waiter, please bring me the bottle!” I had to follow, hoping the live music could numb the dead blue of the mood. We were an interdependent duo, and she always knew how to heighten the mood. As I danced I felt the weight of the world leap off of my shoulders and warmth spreading throughout my body. My head became lighter as my feet tapped on the floor. My soon to gleam smile became conspicuous, not just to everyone in the room, but to a familiar stranger. I closed my eyes and gave power to my body, gliding where it must, mollifying my mind and moving slowly, swiftly towards my next adventure. A sorrowful ending must always lead to a beautifully tragic beginning, and he was mine. As soon as you could drop a pin, my body leapt into his and I could feel such exuberance race to me. Just as quickly as the excitement had come, it had left once my body tip-tip-thudded onto the hard dance floor. What a sight of embarrassment! I thought to myself, which is shocking since my thoughts now became a fiery collapsing building. I had lived in a pseudo-reality of love for some time, yet this past relationship brought me to reality, although I had first refused to face the music. I had new hope in this rank and drunken bar, but as history will repeat itself, I’ve left with nothing more than a stained dress and empty glass. As I ran down the dark alleyway, I could hear the small and tired squeaks of vermin passing me, searching for some old apple core or, if they were lucky, an only slightly moldy pizza. What rapacious creatures they are, taking what they please as if the world is theirs. You can’t blame them though, who else would want the scraps?
This week we had an opportunity to go to Balboa Park and search for different items on a scavenger hunt. We then were about to connect it to our current project that was launched a few days ago.
Some patterns and connections I noticed during the scavenger hunt is a common history between different races, where they adapted or brought something to the table of America. I also saw that many of the things we had to find have some type of influence on art or history the way we see it today. I also realized that there were patterns in mediums such as painting or sculpting, even throughout different cultures.
The artifact that interested me the most was the architecture of the buildings. It was absolutely amazing to see how dynamic and intricate every bit of the structure was. I also was very drawn into the paintings because of the colors and designs in each piece. It was breathtaking to see just how detailed every one was. I wonder what the story is behind these paintings, and what influence led to the architecture as it is.
The scavenger hunt confirmed and widened my view of the claim I had made earlier about the project. I claimed that the project is about different perspectives - historically speaking - and how America was affected and influenced by Spanish and Latin culture. The scavenger hunt showed just how many cultures and groups of people contributed to what shapes America today. It showed the evolution of immigrants and different countries' histories, and how powerful their influence was on America.
I can now add further evidence about the Spanish influence, the sculptures depicting a past, and the dark and twisted past of America as well as other countries. I feel like I only began to question more, about the history of different objects and their owners or creators.
In a lot of areas, it was presented in a homely or easy manner, right in front of your face and rarely in cases or tucked away behind red ropes. It was amazing to see some scenes set up for interactions, such as the chest with costumes in it, ready to play dress-up with. There were some sections where there were glass cases since the items were delicate, but it was still in good lighting, good condition, and with information and artifacts surrounding it. Many of the sculptures were unguarded, easy to touch and get close to. Everything was very open and trusted to the public in a way.
We watched a puppet show called Peter and The Wolf, and it's everything I didn't expect. Instead of a regular hand puppet or Marionette, the one actor in the whole show played with everyday items to create a story, and would be anything from the landscape of green hills and blue ponds, to the main character or bird made of pheasant feather which he got himself. I appreciated the innovation and creativity shown in the show, and how he was interactive with the little kid in the crowd. It's odd to think I might have watched that show seven years ago when my mom would bring me to that same puppet show.
My first impressions of 11th grade are that it's an exciting step up, and a great push in the right direction. I've enjoyed what we've been working on in general so far, and I'm excited to get started on the first project and to work on my Honors project. I'm looking forward to more independent work. I'm nervous about internship and tests because both of those are high stress situations for me, but I've been through enough to know that I can get through this too.
I'm loving this school year so far in Humanities. Although it's only been one week, I feel extremely comfortable in the classroom and am engaged in what we're learning. It feels like the class is laid back and relaxed, even when we're learning a lot or taking notes on a lecture. I feel that the discussions and activities we've done have been really beneficial and everyone seems pretty intrigued by it. I feel that the reading could be less of an author more or less whining and disproving something, and more primary source accounts. I would also love to get into the American Colonies book. I feel I learn best with a mixture of notes and discussion. I enjoy lectures, but I know it can get boring for me if every class is simply learning through slides. I would love hands on activities and things that take real effort to complete. I feel my strengths are note taking, leadership and creativity. I hope to improve on patience, essay writing, and listening to others.
After looking at and analyzing each poster, I feel that the topics of gender roles, the six nations, biodiversity, the great awakening and witchcraft are all very interesting and diverse subjects. I feel that gender roles have evolved so much since the 1500's, and that there have been so many movements and different ideologies and steps taken through history because of it. The way our society works and functions now is a result of hundreds of years of build up to this point. The six nations seems like something that has to do with a bigger issue and a very human one at that. The colonists think that it's right and correct to steal from the natives, and use them as laborers to accomplish their dreams. They feel that it's empty land, and that the Native Americans were nothing more than an inconvenience and something to quickly clean up. Biodiversity is a subject that I feel could be extremely important to learn about since America is basically a nationwide melting pot of different races, cultures, and influences. I would love to get to know the origin story of not only America, but the people living in it, and how the world was before, during, and after. The Great Awakening is something that interests me because I am religious myself, so to learn about the history of a religion and gain more information and knowledge regarding that seems like it would beneficial and eye opening to understanding what others see and what it means. Finally, witchcraft along with cults and conspiracies are all topics that I find very intriguing and would love to get to the bottom of. I feel that it could also lead to very colorful discussions in class and will push my thinking. The one thing I wouldn't love to learn and go in depth about is Aztec and Mayan culture and life. We already went over a lot of that last year, and learned about the 1000-1400's regarding native tribes and their history. I would love to learn instead about the more human aspect and the experiences and first hand stories. To delve into the moral debates and political conversations.
My images were turned into a very interesting story, but one that was mostly false. It was mostly misinterpreted into something other than what I intended. However, it is a good metaphor for the mental and emotional hurricanes I've experienced throughout my life.
The actual meanings of my images were a mixture of very literal and metaphorical. The swirl of dark lines represents my mind, and how boggled and twisted it can become, so much so that I can barely interpret my own thoughts. The number 12 colored in represents not only my favorite and most lucky number, but my favorite colors as well. The lightning and clouds are somewhat tied in with the swirl of lines and just defines the storms in my life. The [aw is to show my love of animals, especially dogs. The Adidas logo represents not only my athleticism, but love for soccer and volleyball. The three lines of color with scribbles through them show how my perfectionism can fail, and how messy real life is.