Sunday, December 4, 2011

File size for video uploads

Must be under 100 mb I believe, so convert or shrink your video before uploading, as needed.  Another way would be to post to You Tube and then link to it, if that is easier.  Good luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Essay two Thesis

A Long Way Gone teaches us that the effects of war and brainwashing can bring out the underlying strength of a man.

Extra credit for English 110NNW

For extra credit, you have three choices:

One: you can do a review of a current popular Music CD.  You must record this review on video and post it to our blog.

Two: you can attend an artistic performance (dance, music, theater, exhibit, etc.) and write a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the performance.  Again, you must record this on video and post it to our blog.

Three: you can write a poem about an American icon and perform it for the class during our last class on Thursday, Dec. 1.  You must also write an intro for the poem for our blog, and then record yourself reading the poem and post it to the blog as video.

If you do this well, I will raise your overall grade up to half a grade.  In other words, if you are at 85 percent, you can go up to 90 percent.  This would take you from a B to an A-.

The idea here is to be creative, have fun, use your brain, and use technology well!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The World as a Polder

The focus of Diamond's research is natural resources. He was trying to learn how the patterns of civilization have affected our natural resources. *Humans are destroying or losing natural resources such as: natural habitats, wild food sources, biological diversity, and soil. These resources are all part of a cycle that cannot function properly without one, and we need to be aware of that.*

Natural habitats are very important to human survival. We need the functions of natural habitats to continue and remain healthy if we want to stay healthy ourselves. If we continue polluting our earth we will be polluting to food we eat and the water we drink. We should be conscious of these issues. I believe this is the most important topic Diamond brings to our attention in this entire essay. Without Natural habitats we will not survive.

I thought these paragraphs were important in the essay.

But biodiversity losses of small inedible species often provoke the response, ”Who cares? Do you really care less for humans than for some lousy useless little fish or weed, like the snail darter or Furbish lousewort?” This response misses the point that the entire natural world is made up of wild species providing us for free with services that can be very expensive, and in many cases impossible, for us to supply ourselves.” (pg474 p7)

Thus, because we are rapidly advancing along this non-sustainable course, the world's environmental problems will get resolved, in one way or another, within the lifetimes of the children and young adults alive today. The only question is whether they will become resolved in pleasant ways of our own choice, or in unpleasant ways not of our choice, such as warfare, genocide, starvation, disease epidemics, and collapses of societies. While all of those grim phenomena have been endemic to humanity throughout our history,their frequency increases with environmental degradation, population pressure, and the resulting poverty and political instability.” Wow, frightening! (pg483 p31)

Four definitions for this essay:

Natural resource: a material source of wealth, such as timber, fresh water, or a mineral deposit, that occurs in a natural state and has economic value.

Natural habitat: the environment in which an organism: plant, animal, insect, bacterium or virus lives.

Biological diversity (biodiversity): the number and variety of organisms found within a specific geographic region.

Soil (don't laugh, I'll explain): The top layer of the earth's surface consisting of rock, and mineral particles mixed with organic matter.

Plants only grow in certain types of soil. (there are different types) Some soils cannot support plant life. These are called dead soils. This could potentially happen to our healthy soil if we continue to not pay attention to our natural habitats, for example.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The themes that stood out to me was power of having family, and how people need help finding there family. It's amazing how people start to lose themselves with there roots, or their family. One lady from Congo spoke about how she just want to know where her kids where. I thought the goal of the Refugee united is amazing, on how they use just little details to try and get people together. The two brother that start where ask what they would put and it fun that they said almost the same thing. one brother said his brother would say something about there cat, and how they would also say something about there tattoo. "we both share the same tattoo on our left arm." It amazing how just some little detail united us to someone else and how we all sometimes just forget about these details. But these little details are uniting refugees who lost their families.

Refugee United Film Response

This film is very power and it is talk something that most refugee going through . This film is talk about how there are we was billion displacement people and they don't know there their family are. This two guy create the Refugees United ,so they can help the refugee find their family and they can help their-self.This refugee the thing important to them is know that they are not only who are live. I think it sad how young man has be the father of his two brother and sister., but that is something that big in the refugee. It remember of what my family went through when we was living in Somali , just because we were a different tribe and we had money . Young man only want to know if his father was live . He was job less and he didn't go to school because they raise his brothers and sister. They burn our houses. No one in this world doesn't want to the only in their family .

Refugees United

"It is the worst thing that can happen for a mother to lose her children." Solange is a refugee from Condor who had lost her children. We saw the sadness that overcame the witnesses who had lost loved ones in Condor. One great theme about this video is hope. Through Refugees United, which is an online search method to help people find lost friends and family, refugees gain hope to live another day. With that same hope many refugees have already found their loved ones and will continue to do so. "At the end of 2009, there were more than two million sociably displaced individuals worldwide." Obviously Refugees United can help to change this statistic, and bring hope to many who are lost. "It is my only hope that I can get connected to them."


What stood out to me was the most is how people have no idea where their family is. It is crazy to me that people around the world do not even know if their family members are alive. I know how much my family means to me and I can not imagine what it would be like to not know where they are or to be split up. I think the website refugee united is a great idea. It gives them a chance to be able to reconnect with their family members again. Even though it is not 100% that they will, the video shows that many people did. "There is only one thing that keeps you routed in this world, and that is family".

Refugee United Film Response

The two main themes that stood out to me were the loss of family and the struggle living in poverty. It seemed that every single refugee had seen or heard of a family member being murdered and they had no idea where the others were. All the refugees wanted the same thing- to find their families. They also struggled with not having enough or any money. They had all been taken from their families, communities, and country's. They had no money to survive and they were doing things like picking up bottles to get enough money to eat. One quote that stood out to me was from the girl that spoke at the very beginning from Congo. She said, "I try to forget but I can't." This quote reminded me a lot of Ishmael and how he wasn't able to forget what he had been through. I can't imagine having to live with those memories for the rest of your life.

Refugees United

The main theme throughout the movie clip was refugees being taken away from their families unwillingly . One of the refugee women didnt know where her kids were and her husband had been killed. Another refugee young man didnt know where his father was, his mother had been killed and now was facing poverty along with taking care of his three younger siblings. This was very sad and depressing to see, that people lost their loved ones through tragic ways . They didnt know whether the people they love were safe, happy, or even alive. Refugee United is an organization devoted to finding refugees families . How it works is that each refugee creates a profile with their name, date of birth and things about them that their families would know. There has been many success stories of a refugee feeling as they were alone in this world without a family, finding their loved ones. I didnt know there was such an organization, and I was actually surprised at the success of families actually finding each other. Refugee United gives a sense of hope, that families can be reunited again.

Refugees United

I thought this was a really neat idea for the refugees to be able to use this website. A lot of them are going through hardships and missing their families. This will help them to possibly reconect with family members and have happier lives. the two main events that stood out in my mind was the girls story of being raped and the boys story of how his mother was shot and he had to protect his brothers from then on out. "End of 2009 43,000,000 forcefully displace" I think it is amazing how many peole don't know where their family is it is very sad.

Refugees United was touching!

Refugees United is one of the best ideas I've heard about as far as helping others. I couldn't imagine losing my family. The fact of not knowing is what would kill me and these hundreds of thousands of refugees are experiencing this issue. It is very depressing to witness these families in lonely conditions without family members. The one woman's husband was murdered, and she had no idea where her children were and there was nothing that she could do about it. Now with Refugees United, there is hope for her and other refugees in her situation. One of the brothers said, "Family is what roots us." This line is so true, and that is why these refugees are motivated to continue because they long to know what happened to their families. Life in poverty is difficult enough, but life in poverty without your family is much worse. I am glad this organization has been created!

Film response

The most important theme that stood out clearly to me was the importance of family. Aside from your name, one of the first possessions you come into this world with is a family. There is a theory called Maslows hierarchy of needs, and it basically lists the necessities of life that one needs to survive not only physically but psychologically as well. One of the sections in this pyramid of needs is called love/belonging, which are to be given by people like friends, a mate, and FAMILY. The first lady in the film said "makes me feel lonely to not know where my family is". This phrase emphasizes the importance of her family to her. The fact that she doesn't know of their whereabouts bugs her and puts her in a state of depression. Personally myself, I've been left with occasions where my family would leave me and I'd have the house to myself for a weekend or sometimes a week. At first its cool, but after the first couple hours I begin to feel a large sense of loneliness. As a matter of fact, I never stay at home or if I do I try not to be alone, so I invite a friend over. Family is a significant idea that people often take for granted. Don't take such a blessing lightly.

Film Response

One theme that stood out to me was sort of the theme of new found hope. In the film everybody had a devastating story to tell of losing a loved one or not being able to find certain family members. Then when this group came to help refugees find loved ones that they'd lost there was a nice sense of relief in everybody because there was actually a chance to find family members. At one point near the end of the film one of the women said "I can die now because I know where my family is." Refugees United is just like a big relief to everybody because it's already hard enough for them to live in those conditions, but it makes things a lot easier knowing that you can have your family by your side.

Refugees United

My response to the film we watched was I felt really bad to picture that all of these people had gone through similar experiences to Ishmael. A quote that stood out to me was when one of the women said "Even if I die it is ok because I know my family is alive." This quote stood out to me because it showed how their love for their families is so strong they would rather die than live without knowing they are alive. A theme that stood out to me was how the brothers related themselves to the refugees. I think that if we put ourselves in their shoes you will want to help like these brothers were able to.

Kristi's Thesis!!

Ismael's desperation for survival lead to him making unfortunate decisions. His story demonstrates the problematic nature of making decisions under pressure. This leads to poor choices that under normal circumstances would not have been made.


The film that we saw was very powerful. Its amazing how those two bother gave up much of there lives to help those people out. I think its great to see that so many people can be helped out and can find there loved ones now. Those brother really used teleology to a really good uses. The kid that is taking care of all his younger siblings is amazing. He says "hes not ready to be a dad" but he is making the sacrifice so that his brothers and sister can live the best life possible. What those brothers and all the people that work with them are doing is giving hope to people that used to not have hope.

Refugees United Response

This website that allows refugees to connect with there families is the one thing that can help connect people that have nothing to the one thing they care about. At a point in A Long Way Gone Ishmael plans on going to a village he knows is under attack from rebels for the slight chance he may find his parents. He was willing to give up his life to see his family one last time.
One of the refugees in the film said " Even if I die it is ok. I know my family is fine." This website gave this too her, peace of mind with knowing her family was safe.
There are so many people that feel hopeless and this website is exactly what they need. The future for this website is going to be a miracle for so many people that could really use one.

Refugees United

The idea that so many people are separated from their loved ones due to war is horrifying and it is good to see that Refugees United is trying to help. It is a very good idea to use the internet to bring bring displaced family members and friends to try and get them back together or at the very least know that the others are alive "even if I die I know that my family is safe". The tales of the refugees were very saddening however it is nice to know that the sisters are now aware that the other is still alive. I also hope that the boy finds his father and can in some way escape the poverty from which he currently is trapped in.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Your welcome

As Ishmael tells his story, we witness the process of brainwashing along with the atrocities that result from it.

A Long Way Gone Theme/Thesis

I think that a good theme from the book would be the way that rehabilitation workers and nurses impact the lives of child soldiers. Thesis: The impact nurses and rehabilitation workers have on child soldiers is imense and life-changing. They allow children to be released back into society and make a life for themself. Without these people in A Long Way Gone, Ishmael would still be fighting, or even dead.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


In the book A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah shows us that brainwashing is the most powerful weapon in the war.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Ismael witnesses some of the worst aspects of humanity in his journey throughout the story A Long Way Gone. However none is more frightening than the capability of humans to commit such acts of violence upon others. What is it about war that drives people to commit such heinous acts against other people without feeling remorse? It is possible for anyone to become a killer and A Long Way Gone illustrates this point perfectly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kayley's Thesis:)

A Long Way Gone teaches us the incredible truths about the power of memory.

Theme of a long way gone

In the book A Long Way Gone, we see a young boy Ishmael go through desperate lengths in order to survive, which results him from being a young innocent boy to a cold blooded killer. Through his story we learn much about the power of manipulation and its tragic results.

Thesis Statement Essay Two: PTSD

Ishmael Beah suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the violence he witnessed during the war in Sierre Leone. Throughout A Long Way Gone we realize the overwhelming effects this disorder has on his everyday life.


Ishmaels violent behavior during the war was influenced and justified by pop- culture and his adult leaders.

Theme in A Long Way Gone

The book A long way gone shows how the sense of belonging can be a destructive but also a virtuous feeling.


In A Long Way Gone we see how Ishmael loses people that he care about in the war. That is one of big in the wars because most people loses her family or they would get killed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Exploration Se7en

I thought that this book was really well written and a great narrative. The way he told the story and brought scenes to life throughout the book was very well done. I felt like I was right there in the action sometimes. He described some things in so much detail that I sometimes didn’t want to keep reading because they were so vulgar. I think this book will be a good choice if they decide to use it for the common book next year for incoming freshman. I feel that the events at the end of the novel show how strong of a person Ishmael really is. When given the choice of either having their mom or dad to live most people would crumble under the pressure. The story tells how it was a rough life in Sierra Leone. I thought it was pretty remarkable that he was able to tell the story the way he did, it taught us a lot about how life was there.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Exploration 7

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not expect the book to end
that way at all. I thought that after he started living with his uncle that
things would just get better from there. Right after everything was going so
well, they attacked the town where his uncle lived. He was scared that he was
going have to fight. In fear he said, “I couldn’t return to my previous life. I
didn’t think I could make it out alive this time” (203). He knew that if he
stayed there that he would turn in to that person, so he had to leave. It is
crazy what he has gone through and I can’t imagine being him. I am very happy
that he ended up getting away, even though it was very difficult. I think he
should have stayed in New York the first time he visited. The purpose to the
ending of the book is to show that you have to choose things in life and give up
one item for another. Ishmael had to give up living with his family, to make a
new life. The character meant the most to me was his uncle. I felt like I really
knew him and was really upset when he died. I think he is the one that had the
biggest impact on Ishmael’s life. Even though he did not know him before, he was
the only family that could take him in and be there for him. I think he changed
his life and helped him get better.

Friday, November 4, 2011

a long way gone

I thought the book was amazing. It had its ups and downs, and scenes that were hard to read, but also scene that just seem to flow off the page and make you feel better. The book had a strong message and it show the struggles of Ishmael Beah life. In the last chapter at the end, his last word really conclude the book well. “When I was seven I had an answer to this question that made sense to me. I never discussed it with anyone, though, for fear of how my mother would feel. I concluded to myself that if I were the hunter, I would shoot the monkey so that it would no longer have a chance to put other hunters in the same predicament.” This quote really captures his view on the war in Sierra Leone, and how he doesn’t want other to feel that pain.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A long way gone

I was a little disappointed in the ending. I wanted to know how he makes it to New York, if he marries, if he has kids, how he goes to school ect. I feel like the ending kind of left the reader hanging because throughout the book the reader becomes attached to his character and wants to know where he ends up. He does end the book with the story about the monkey, which I feel is a little clever. The ending almost ties in the previous quote I mentioned, “I’ve come to learn that if I’m going to take revenge, in the process I will kill another person whose family will revenge; then revenge will never come to an end.” I feel that this ties to the ending of the book in a clever way. The story about the monkey goes as follows. The monkey at the end gives an ultimatum; if he is shot, then the person’s mother would die, and if he isn’t shot then their father would die. Both is a lose/lose situation. One of the last sentences in the book is Ishmael stating, “I would kill the monkey so that it would no longer have the chance to put other hunters in the same predicament.” In his first quote he talks about how revenge is never ending and at someone always dies. The second quote ties in with the idea of Ishmael getting rid of the problem in this case, the monkey, so other people would not be put in the same predicament.

Exploration 7

I think it is a great book because it formal the people about what going on in the world. This book is an eye open people to see what the children and mothers are going through just stay life .I think it good for people to read so they know how good they have it . People in the American Culture have easy and not be in war, but they always want more then they have. I think this book is about have peace in your country and being thankful for what you have in this world like family , friend , and a home . There is no book like this book because this book is going to detail about the kids solider .One of my favorite quote is when Saidu said “ Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us , I close my eyes and wait for death .” I think he is talking about how he don’t know if he going to live tomorrow or not. I think it is wrong to put kids to put the kids into the war, but some country that is people live everyday .

My Exploration 7

Ishmael’s story gives us a very disturbing image of the county Sierra Leone while the entire county is brought to madness by a war that no one really understands. The country is in a state of complete chaos now that the rebels have started attacking citizens and stealing everything that they can get their hands on. I also found it fascinating that the soldier’s charge so much money just to get out of the country legally and some might even kill you if they catch you fleeing the city because they needed you to work there. As for amnesty for war crimes I am not so sure that it can simply be forgiven. The crimes of the child solders should be forgiven however I do not believe that the adults should be so easily forgiven. The commanders and leaders need to be brought to justice and I think that they need to pay for their crimes against the human race.

Exploration 7

I think that the end of the story leaves us with a overall good feeling. It is good to see Ishmael coming out of the horror that he had to face. I think it really pulled me in when more violence erupted, because it seemed he would never escape these terrible things. The end brought up a lot of important questions about life. At one point Ishmael runs into a soldier and describes him as having a look that said "I will kill you if I want to and nothing will come of it." He goes on to say that the look was familiar to him and this is because he knows what it is like to be the one feeling like a soulless killing machine. This part in the book really makes you think about how close we all are to becoming like animals.

Exploration 7

"Which character meant the most to you, other than Ishmael himself?"
The mother who had the baby on her back which was shot, and had bullets sticking out of it really struck me. I hate hearing about children being harmed. They are so innocent of everything that is going on at that age. I wondered throughout the book how she felt. I know if something happened to one of my children I would wish to die. That must have been an overwhelming amount of pain for the mother to bear. It is so heart wrenching, that it makes me cry to think about it.

Exploration 7

I thought the book was good. I knew there were a lot of wars like this in the world with kid solders but I had never been told in such detail about what went on there. Every time he said his age I was amazed and I compared him with me at that age. Of course the only thing to compare was our age because I never came close to going through what he went though. I can see why a lot of people liked this book. There are not any books out there like this because the kids going through the wars, some if any make it out. It’s really brings to life of what those kids are going though.

Exploration 7

I was very happy that Ishmael was finally able to escape the war the plagued him and his country. Though it should not have been as difficult as it was, I was so glad he made it to a better life in America. I was satisfied with the ending but I still want to know more about what happened when he got to America. After reading the book you develop a strong connection with Ishmael and hope for the best for him. It was a little disappointing that he didn’t tell of his story in America. I think the purpose of this ending was to leave the reader with the message that Ishmael found peace. He ends by concluding what he would do if put in the situation in his grandfathers’ friends’ story. This is much like his concluding that chapter of his life, finding peace, and moving on.

In some cases amnesty should be given!

I believe that yes in some cases amnesty should be given. In war it’s a tough time and like in the book you are just trying to survive. Although the goal of war is to win, the ultimate goal is peace. To gain peace we must forgive at some point the burden’s those have caused us. If the actions happen justly in a just war, then I absolutely think there is room for amnesty. You should forgive those who are acting accordingly under the laws of the just war theory. If some people who are involved in the war are acting out for no other reason than self-gain or anger, then that may need some negotiation on how to move forward from that particular situation.

Exploration 7!!

Ismael Beah had gone from a happy young boy, to a blood-thirsty army boy, back to a young boy. His progress after war was incredible, and going back into the horrifying war would ruin his life. “I hated what was happening. I couldn’t return to my previous life. I didn’t think I could make it out alive this time.” (Beah, 203).He was so fearful of getting sucked back into the war, his only option was to leave behind everything for a new life in the United States. I really enjoyed this book, at times, I couldn’t put it down. It is hard to believe that such tragedy was occurring just a few years ago, and many people my age were unaware. How could anyone think that putting children in the army is acceptable? Thankfully, Ismael made it out alive and was able to recuperate. During his rehabilitation process, his nurse Esther was dedicated to helping him. I believe she was one of the most important characters because she was always there for Ismael at all times during his post-war, and withdraw from drugs issues. If it weren’t for her patience, Ismael would have had no one to believe in him, no one to listen to him, and no one to understand him. She brought him out of his dark place and he was finally able to smile again. He hadn’t shown a real smile since before the war.

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Elie Wiesel

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Sammy Sosa

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Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Comment for Taylor

On your link for your blog...
The teacher said one of her kindergarten students shot his little brother three times in the stomach. I think that children don't really realize that a lot of what they see on television is surreal. For example, In a non-specific cartoon, a character gets punched in the face, gets up, walks away, and he is fine. The child sees that but they don't see the pain that the character feels. I feel that is an important step for them to process to understand reality. A child touches something hot, they remove their hand quickly, and don't touch that hot object again. Their mind processes what they learned through an experience where they felt or understood pain, and they lean from it. They will also not learn empathy from watching cartoons. They will not understand that if they pick up a gun and shoot at someone that that person will die. Children that young do not understand death. That is very sad. I feel bad for that child. He may not have realized that the gun he had was dangerous. He was probably playing, but will now be scarred for life because of something he imitated on the television. Where was the parent? I will never keep a gun in my house.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Violence and its affects

America is lucky in the sense that war is almost never fought on our home turf. We are also
lucky because we do not recruit child soldiers. Violence and war does still
affect our culture. It divides our country; supporter and protestors. It causes
tension among everyone and can induce fear. It makes children become fearful
and/or violent themselves. Seeing violence on TV makes children think its ok
and they learn to be violent. After watching a 9/11 documentary, my brother
began to think that violence was the way people dealt with their differences.
When he had an argument with my parents he would slam his door, throw things,
break things, and hit things. He would throw things at me or hit me and expect
that after the fight, things would be better. My parents had to tell him that
violence will not automatically solve the problem. I think violence changes our
behavior by making us more fearful and more aware of our surroundings and what
we are doing.

Impact of Violence and War

Violence and crime greatly affects American culture today. Violence especially affects the vast majority of Americans including young children. Every day in our own nearby cities people and shot, robbed, kidnapped ect. The sad part about this is that it isn’t far away or only on TV. Kids growing up in poorer cities or in urban areas see this as a regular. Some kids grow up not knowing anyone that hasn’t been to jail or drugs or shoot someone. They grow up thinking that it is something okay to do and end up doing it themselves. Some kids say that one of their friends or family went to jail, as if they were saying they had gone to the grocery store which is awful to think about, but it is true. This is becoming a great issue especially in mainland cities. War is also having a great impact on young kids as well. Kids are behaving in a bad way towards certain types of people because they believe that they are the cause for violence. If a young child grows up in a family that believes the cause of all violence is Middle Eastern people because of what had happen in 9/11, the child will grow up hating those types of people because of what they were taught and had went on.