Monday, June 2, 2008

Service Learning 5/28

On Wednesday May 28th 2008 in my service-learning group, we discussed what we were planning to do with seniors. Jada and I made several phone calls to the nursing home concerning what we wanted to do there. The first phone call she made, confirmed that we were still planning to come over, what day we will be there, how many of us will attend, what we have planned, and also that there are two speaker of fluent Chinese in our group, as well as Spanish. The next phone call that I made was about what we have planned. I asked Agnes if they have the game Bingo, and she said they did and they could also set it up for us, when we're coming, which are excellent. During the last hours of our meeting, Jada and myself emailed them and asked what foods or snacks should we are allowed to bring. To name a few we, us students had pie, cakes, brownies, fruit, and other things in mind but weren't sure, so we're still waiting for a reply and the list of what we can and cannot bring in.
The whole 90 minutes was basically spent on what should we bring in for the seniors. During our trip over there, one of the ladies said to us those flowers was so nice, and she would love if we brought them in again. However, we went through ideas of how we can raise funds to buy the flowers and nothing seemed to work. We had ideas of selling water ice, cotton candy, and even smoothies, but nothing seemed to be going our way. We finally came to the conclusion that the whole flowers deal isn’t promised so maybe they’d just be happy with our presence. When we told Agnes the news, she said it was ok, and she was happy that we’d be coming. Even though we aren’t sure about the whole flower deal, we aren’t giving up just yet. The treat deal however is still planned though. We hope to bring over some treats that’ll say thank you for having us, and we really want to be here. Well I’m excited for the turnout and to see how everything goes!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Service Learning 5/15

On Thursday's service learning meeting, the elderly care group actually went out and did something for a change, and boy was I glad. It was about six of us, because two students go to the library to help out with the ESL classes. For the rest of us, we wanted to make things happen, so we were off. First we went to the park, where Mr. Todd showed us a newspaper, and told us that the month of May was seniors month. He then told us to examine the paper, and see if we find anything interesting that we could possibly do. I found something interesting which was a seniors arts and crafts class, happening right then and there so it was too late, but I never knew there were so many activites for seniors to do. Then we left the park, and heading to the nursing home where Jada and I went last year in the garden group; Saint George. Jada, Ashley, and myself went in to talk to the lady Agnes who we spoke to on the phone. She was really busy with a long distance phone call, and school was about to be over for us, so we just left an email, and telephone number and took her business card. She said our idea sounds like a good one, and thinks something shall happen. Also, while there, lots of seniors talked to us, and were quite interested in what we were doing. One guy even called us cute young lady's, while another lady asked us to bring flowers again. I do look forward to going to the nursey home again, because you always get something positive out of it.

A. I got frustrated a couple times who we were never doing anything just always planning.
It was like everytime we had aservice learning meeting the flew by, and nothing got done, just always talking about what we needed to do.
However last Thursday, we finally made progress by going there and talking to the people about our mission and what we wanted to do.
Also, a time when I became doubtful is thinking that we're not going to get anything done but I was proved wrong. Mr. Todd told us that right now, we're just getting our feet wet, and what we want to do will probably happen more in the fall of nex year, and that does sound reasonable.

B. Through service learning I've learned the art of patience. You can't always get what you want, and you just have to wait sometimes and see how things come through, even if it isn't how you want them. In the end if we work hard enough, we'll probably get done with what needs to be done.

C. Through this experience, I've learned that seniors aren't boring, they always have wonderful things to share and tell about their life experience day by day. I've also learned that they have a seniors month, and that they have tons of activities they do to keep theirselves entertained.

D.Through service learning, I've learned about myself, that I really like to get things done. If I have a goal, I want to achieve it and settle for nothing else. I guess that explains why I got so annoyed with the whole patience thing, but in the end I learned things take time, and you just have to wait to see how they turn out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Of Mice and Men Motifs

"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. . . . With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don't have to sit in no bar room blowin' in our jack jus' because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us." One huge motif in Of Mice and Men is definately lonliness and companionship among the main characters.

To start off, Lennie and George are an awesome example of two people who have an special companionship with eachother. Mentioned time after time, they are so close they even look after eachother in the worst and best times. For example, Lennie was looking out for George when Crooks told him, what if something was to happen to George. Lennie thought that was unacceptable, and told Crooks, no, nothing is going to happen to George.

Then, there's Crook, the only negro on the ranch. Because he is black, Crooks is not allowed to bunk with the white workers, and has his own little place. He is the definition of lonely. Readers can see this, when Lennie comes in and visits him. He yells at Lennie and tells him since he isn't allowed in their bunk, he isn't allowed in his. Lennie's illness puzzles him, and Crooks takes advantage of him, by telling him George isn't always going to be around. Why does he do this? Well that saying must be true, misery does love company!

Curly's wife is another victim of the lonely disease. She herself said, all she wants is a friend and someone to talk to. Being the boss' son wife, all the men on the ranch stay away from her to stay out of trouble. To them she even comes off as promiscuous, but in reality she just needs a friend. She even talks to Lennie, who is just about the only one who doesn't mind talking to her. When they talk, she even pours out her deepest secrets that she never told anyone but Lennie. If that isn't a sign of true loneliness, I don't know what is.

Last but not least there's old Candy. Candy is extremely old, at the ranch they make him sweep and look after the chickens, while the younger and healthier guys do the "real work." Candy is even missing an arm, and completely useless but George develops a relationship with him. Lennie and George even abduct him into their plan of getting their own place, with the money they put together.

In conclusion, Of Mice and Men is a novel filled of tons of things, and motifs being one of them. Unlike most books, there's more than one theme, symbol and even motifs. A lot of the time you see and feel the emotions of loneliness and companionship amongst the characters. Must read this book, if you want to impress you friends, parents and even teachers. In all honesty it's a fantastic book, and in reading it, you'd have something intellectual as a topic of discussion amongst people!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Of Mice and Men Symbols

"Evening of a hot day started the little wind to moving among the leaves. The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones." (Chapter 1.)
Of Mice and Men is a film that is drowned in symbols to show what Steinbeck wants reader to see. He does a fantastic job of using animals and how they relate to the characters.

First, Candy's dog for example is extremely old, and useless. Just like the dog, Candy is old, broken down and really no use around the ranch. They boss even gave him the job of sweeping up, and keeping up with the chickens, because of his one arm. When reading about the dog, readers think of sickness and how he symbolizes that. Carlson even tells Candy him as "Got no teeth, he's all stiff with rheumatism. He ain't no good to you, Candy." They then tell somehow persue Candy to let them shoot him, because he's sick and if he really loves him, he wouldn't want him to suffer.

Although Candy's dog is alive, he pretty much represents death. Old, miserable, and really is no point for the dog to be alive. Candy's dog and himself are both old and on the verge of death it's kind of pointless for them to be around. However, they are around because they have some life in them. It would be just cruel to kill them but they are suffereing. Bit of a dilemma, wouldn't you say?

Candy and his dog represent, death, sickness and even the ending of dreams. Although they are old and uesless doesn't mean they can't be cured from sickness and off life support, and it surely doesn't mean they can't have dreams. However, Candy for example is a perfect example. He makes plans with George and Lennie, but his dreams cease when Lennie kills Curly's wife and everything is forced down hill. I guess things don't work out in your favor, when you over think things.

In conclusion, Of Mice and Men is a mega awesome novel filled with symbols that represent or reflect a character. This book is a must read because it's filled with loads of english class appliances that any teacher would want their student to read. Trust me, you don't want to upset them, you know english teachers and their lessons on symbols...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Of Mice and Men Themes [Grade This!]

Of Mice and Men; The American Dream

“Fame, fortune, platinum records. It’s every boy’s dream!” (Viva La White Girl by GCH) When reading John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men I noticed the theme of having the ideal American Dream comes up more than once. A lot of the characters often wonder what life would be like if they had a family, fortune, and even fame.

First, there’s the idea of having a family. George, and Lennie are often seen as brothers, or even cousins as George once said, but they would seem more like a family if they had a permanent home. It’s George’s dream to buy his own little farm, for himself and Lennie. When reading this book, they even invited Candy to join them because of his old age. Lennie is obsessed with tending with the rabbits, and possibly getting his own dog. George on the other hand will have a garden and basically run things. With their money all put together they desire a better life for themselves.

Alongside the ideal of family, fortune is also a theme of this great novel. The boss, for example still makes money regardless of being in a depression. When readers first meet him, he comes off as “bossy” (well duh!) because George and Lennie are a day late, and he needed work to be done. George explains that the bus driver was too lazy to drive them all the way, but is interrupted when the boss tells him he doesn’t give a damn. The only thing the boss is good for, is giving food, shelter and pay (which isn’t all that good to be honest). His main priority is do the work, so you can make me money, no matter what it takes.

Fame, ahh yes, at times we all want it, believe it or not! A character in the book that probably wanted it more than anyone was in fact Curly’s wife. Being the only women on a ranch must get lonely at times, and all she wanted was someone to talk to. The guys see her as promiscuous, but in all honestly she just wanted a friend. She got a chance to have a friend when she talked to Lennie about her dreams. Lennie being the first person she ever told, she explained how she wanted to become a movie star, and a guy she met was going to make that happen. Being so na├»ve she believed him and it never happened. Because her dream of being a famous movie star never happened she’s stuck at a ranch being married to Curly, the jerk. Maybe if her dream could’ve come true, she may actually have an identity!

To wrap this all up, Of Mice and Men is a novel about the American Dream. If you like myself, hate being unable to pursue your goals and dreams in life I wouldn’t recommend this book to you. However, if you ever want to expand your horizons and read something very intelligent, read this book!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Of Mice and Men Quiz

1.  Do you know of a situation, when you had a friend like Lennie, who wasn't able to take up for themself and you had to be George?
-I know of many situations when people have friends like Lennie and they have to be the George of the friendship. One major example is when bullies are involved. They tend to pick on the more vulnerable people than the ones who are more outspoken. George would come into play, by taking up for his friend and telling the bully to back off. Many of these events occur more than once in the novel Of Mice in Men with these two main characters George and Lennie. George being the protective shield to Lennie, the prey.

2. How was the event of Lennie killing Curly's wife, similar to Bigger killing Mary Dalton ?
-I believe the killing of Curly's wife was similar to killing of Mary Dalton because both Bigger and Lennie we're alike in those murders. Believe it or not both Lennie and Bigger became nervous and scared, and that was what caused the two deaths of the women. Lennie became afraid that someone would hear Curly's wife and then get in trouble by George. Bigger was afraid Mrs. Dalton would find him in Mary's room, and he would get fired. As you have it, both women's death in Of Mice and Men and Native Son are very similar thanks to the characters that killed them.

3. What do you think was going through Lennie's head when he came to the conclusion that Curly's wife was dead?
-Because Lennie is mentally ill, I'm guessing when he found out that Curly's wife was dead he must have felt confusion more than anything. He felt as though George would be mad at him, for again getting in trouble at a new place, and because of that he wouldn't be able to tend the rabbits. You can tell he was feeling scared and nervous at the same time because he went right to the secret hiding place George showed him if something was to happen. I can imagine that's how Lennie must've felt.

4. Have you ever been in a sitauation when you were told not to get in trouble but you did anyway? (Lennie for example)
-I've been in plenty situations when I was told not to do something but did it anyway. I can't remember exactly what they were but I know one great example. that is when a parent tells a child not to touch the hot stove and they do it anyway. The outcome of that is the child get's burnt for not listening to their parents. Although George isn't Lennie's parent, he looks out for him because he knows what's best and what and what not Lennie can do. Whenever Lennie disobeys George, the outcome is usually bad. Just like a child disobeying their parent.

5. Have you ever found yourself being a human predator to someone in a worst state than you like Curly, Carlson, and even Crooks?
-I think it's in human nature to attack someone when they are feeling or doing worst than you. I personally can recall a situation when I've done that but it wasn't on a serious level. My time came when I was failing math class, in junior high. I found a couple of other kids who were failing too, and we all compared grades. Out of all of them my failing grade was the highest, and I kind of took that opportunity to rub it in their faces even though that was stupid because in the end we were all failing higher grade or not. From then, I learned making someone feel bad doesn't make you a good person, unless they deserve it, and in most cases they don't.

6. How do you think George felt when after murdering Lennie for what he did.
-Overall, I think George had many emotions he was feeling but I think he was feeling sad. He knew whatever Lennie had done it wasn't on purpose but on accident because of his disability. I also know he more than likely was angry with himself right after it happened because again of Lennie's disability. I think in the back of George's mind he wasn't intending to kill Lennie but maybe escape with him again, just like in Weed.

7. Can you infer, what happened after George shot Lennie. What do you think George's life is like. Choose his ending.
-I believe after killing Lennie George did return to the ranch and continue with his life. Although he is clearly not over the death of Lennie he has to go on with life. I think his plan with Candy is dropped because Lennie isn't around and things just aren't the same. For George life is hard, and he does think if Lennie often, but there's nothing he can do but continue with life on the ranch until something better comes along.

8. How do you think Curly felt when he first found out that his wife was dead?
-I think Curly was mad more than anything that his wife was dead. Not because she was dead, but because she was killed by a man that he hated; Lennie. Slim even told him to stay with his wife, but no instead he wanted to go after Lennie and kill him himself. When the news came to him that George had killed Lennie he was probably more angry then before. for the simple fact he wanted to kill Lennie himself. Curly seems that selfish, it wasn't about his wife, it never was it was just being bossy and taking things into his own hands.

9. How do you think Candy felt when Lennie died? (Think of his plans with Lennie and George)
- I think Candy felt a sense of defeat when Curly's wife and even Lennie died because the plans just don't matter anymore. They could still matter to George and himself but I don't really think so. From the point on when Curly's wife was killed it was all over for the threesome. I think Candy is just gonna be in the same position until he dies, if that isn't too harsh to say. In all truth you never know if him and George did continue their plans.

10. Compare yourself with one of the characters. who are you most like and why?
- if I had to compare myself with someone it definately would be Curly's wife. I'm definately not married to a loser, and not planning on being murdered by a mentally ill person, nor promiscuous but at times I feel lonely. Each day I am surrounded by tons of people I love, but I still feel alone, because I just don't feel understood. I feel as though people don't get me, because of my personality and I do tend to isolate myself from people because of how human nature is. In the end like Curly's wife I have a dream of becoming a movie star too, and I don't want anything to hold me back or have any regrets and end up dead, lonely and miserable like Curley's wife.

Friday, May 2, 2008

5/1 Service Learning

In the elderly care service group yesterday, Mr. Todd's group discussed once again our schedule.
Jada and I were assigned to contact the Nursing Home that we visited last year. Since there was no email address, we called and spoke to a lady named Agnes, who told us that what we wanted to do sounded like a splendid idea. She also said asked if we could fax our email her what we wanted to do and what days we were coming so they could expect us. I told Mr. Todd what Agnes said and we plan to contact her again so we could get an actual date. So far our schedule seems to be library one week and nursing home the other. The group also out voted me when it came to seeing how long we stayed. I wanted 45 minutes so no one gets bored but they all went for 90 minutes. I'm ok with it now but we just have to wait and see what happens.