The World Is Our Oyster

    Every day that passes is a day closer to the elections. Every night, there would be a headline on the news about this candidate having a problem with another candidate or anything concerning our politics. A major problem about our government or our justice system would pop out once in a while and I’ve noticed that more and more people are paying attention to what’s happening today. More importantly, I’ve seen that more of the youth are voicing out their opinion and saying what they believe in.

    I remember hearing from my sister that there are people asking why we are getting involved with political issues and voicing out our opinions about the government when we are minors and not yet eligible to vote. Personally, I was rather confused about this and slightly offended. Just because we are minors doesn’t mean we can’t pay attention to what’s happening in our country. It’s important to be able to learn about the issues of the country and not censor ourselves to what really is going on today.

    In To Kill a Mockingbird, a book I’ve recently read, I’ve learned a many amazing lessons and here are some of them:

Think for yourself.

Bad things happen.

Do not be afraid to stand up for what’s right.

You can never fully understand a person until you see things in his point of view.

    For me, these lessons are what the youth should always keep in mind. Thinking for ourselves is important because not everything the crowd likes is what’s right. Bad things happen. Of course. The world isn’t perfect, but we shouldn’t try and hide from the awful things that happened previously and what’s happening right now. When we voice our opinion, there will definitely be people who believe we are wrong and that we are not saying the truth. Instead of insulting them or pushing them away, we should try and understand what they believe in and what they’re trying to say. Most importantly, always stand up for what’s right. If there are people who are pushing you down, use them as a stepping stool to rise up. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be afraid to expose ourselves to reality. The world is our oyster and we should welcome whatever life has to offer us.

Why “To Kill A Mockingbird”?

    The moment I started reading To Kill A Mockingbird, I kept wondering why that was the title. I couldn’t piece together why that was chosen to be the name of the book. Many chapters in, I’ve finally learned why. Long story short, Scout and Jem received air rifles as gifts. Atticus, their father, tells them to shoot tin cans, but never shoot mockingbirds. He tells them that it is considered a sin to kill one. It’s considered a sin to kill a peaceful mockingbird because they do nothing but provide music for us. They don’t do any harm to us and we shouldn’t harm them back. “Do unto others what you want them to do unto you.”

    I was very fascinated with the meaning behind the title, so I made a two artworks related to mockingbirds.


To Kill A Mockingbird

What is the meaning of boldness?

    Boldness means to have confidence that what I say or do is true, right, and just.

    For the past few months, I’ve been reading a book called “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In this book, there is a man who has this specific character trait in his personality. His name is Atticus Finch. He is the father of Jem and Scout Finch and he is a lawyer. From what I’ve read, I’d say he is a very respectful and kind man. It is said in the book that he is working on a case and his job is to defend Tom Robinson, a black man. Back then, racism was particularly common, meaning that black people weren’t seen as equals yet. For him to defend a colored man, he would need to be rather bold to not only say the right words, but know that they are appropriate ones to state.

    In my point of view, his biggest challenge isn’t his job, but how he has to treat those who speak unacceptably about him. Their neighbor, Mrs. Dubose, would tell his children that he’s no better than the “niggers” he defends and quite a lot of people would call him a “nigger-lover”. Aside from the foul sayings folks say about him, he’d still keep his head up high and respect each and every one of them. As an example, he would still greet Mrs. Dubose with a smile every time he passes by her home. Isn’t that nice?

    He’d still manage to respect everyone no matter how rich or poor they are or if they’re colored or not. He sees everyone as equals. Luke 6:31 says, “Do for others just what you want them to do for you.” If we want to be respected and treated nicely, we’d have to treat others the same way as well.

    From the moment Adam and Eve sinned, we are born into this world with a sinful nature. I believe that one of the most common sins we commit is to judge others. We’d think that we’re higher than them or better than them. God says that we must be humble at all times. He is the ultimate Judge in this universe. Every one of us is created in God’s image and we shouldn’t look down on others.

    Tragically, once we sin, we hide it with another. Our sins multiply without God and they separate us from Him. If we want to be the best person we could ever be, we should let Him in our lives. Once we let Him lead our lives, it would certainly be easier to to be bolder in everything we do or say.

Technology Takes Over

    As you’re reading this, it’s the 21st century. Of course, you all know that. A ton of us have our own mobiles/tablets and social media accounts. We’re practically being taken over by technology. The question is…have you ever thought of how we’d be able to survive without computers?

    I’m currently reading a book called The Sign of the Beaver. Matt, the main character, was left by his family to guard their cabin in the wilderness. The story takes place in 1768 and do you think they have gadgets? Nope. Matt basically has to hunt for his food, build his own weapons, and cook his meals on his own. He also meets two Indians who help him polish his survival skills while he teaches one of them to read. In my words, the book is basically Matt’s survival story. As I was scanning through the book, I wondered, “What if the 21st century humans jumped back in time? How would we live without technology?”. It definitely would be quite difficult for this generation.

    Why would it be difficult? Well, it has come to my attention that there are a lot of kids who don’t look away from their gadgets or perhaps hold a book and read. Sometimes, there are children who play games on their tablet in church. It saddens me how society has definitely changed due to technology.

    There are a shedload of ways to entertain ourselves that is not the television or Twitter or video games. Instead of playing Draw Something, why don’t we literally draw something? Instead of playing Just Dance, why don’t we join a dance workshop? For me, it genuinely feels GREAT to take a break from the internet from time to time.

    From this day on, I would like to reduce the amount of time I spend on the computer and accomplish more activities in the real world. Now, I challenge you to do the same.

Bilbo Who?

     Far over the misty mountains gold
To dungeons deep and caverns cold
We must away, ere break of day, 
To find our long forgotten gold.

     If you are wondering where those lyrics are from, it’s from the book I’ve chosen to read for this quarter which is The Hobbit. I’m not really a Lord Of The Rings fan, but I decided to read The Hobbit. I’m a massive fan of the Harry Potter series, so I was determined to read something different. Since the two book series are quite similar, it seems like I would enjoy the book. 
     I’ve read the first few chapters and I’ve been enjoying it so far! I’m just a bit confused with the story and the characters. Since every book has a main character, who is the main character here?
     If you read the title, you would probably guess that the “star” of the book is a hobbit. You are right! The main character, a hobbit, named Bilbo Baggins. He lives in a comfortable and peaceful hobbit hole in The Hill. His father is Bungo Baggins. His mother is Belladonna Took. The Bagginses and the Tooks are actually the exact opposite of each other. The Bagginses prefer a life of ease and comfort while the Tooks seek out adventure. Bilbo was like his father until Gandalf and the dwarves stepped into his home. Once they told stories of their adventures, Bilbo was starting to become like his mother. He wanted to go on the adventure with them. Guess what? He did. He stepped out of his comfort zone and tried new things. 
     For me, I would have to be a “Bilbo” more in terms of food. I must admit, I am a picky eater. If I try this type of food and I love it, I tend to stick to it and eat it for the rest of my life.  I need to be a “Bilbo”. I need to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I would definitely LOVE to try out new things and not just stick to what I know. 
     I’m very excited to read the next chapters of The Hobbit and if you’re looking for adventures, I suggest you read this! 

The Giver

   For Reading this Second Quarter, I read The Giver.  At first, I wasn’t excited to read the book because it isn’t what I read normally. As I was reading the first chapter, it started to become more interesting to me. I loved the book and I recommend it to everyone who are bibliophiles. 
   Below are the book review questions I had to answer and actually enjoyed answering! NOTE: If any of you are actually planning to read or are reading the book, do not continue reading because…there are spoilers. Hehe. Let’s get started!

1. List the characters and describe them. 

a) Jonas – He is the main character of the story. At the Ceremony of Twelve, he is chosen to be the next Giver of the community.

b) The Giver – He is the most recent Giver of the community. He is also Jonas’s mentor. He is called the Giver because he gives the memories to the next Giver. While he is STILL in that honored position, Jonas is the character known as the Receiver.

c) Asher – He is the best friend of Jonas. He has difficulty using the correct words when he speaks.

d) Fiona – She is Jonas’s friend who appears in his dream.

e) Jonas’s father – He is a Nurturer in the community. He cares for the newborn infants.

e) Lily – She is Jonas’s younger sister. 

f) Gabriel – He is one of the babies Jonas’s father takes care of. He becomes extremely close to Jonas.

2. List five new words you learned in the book. Write down their dictionary meanings. 

a) Placidly – calmly or quietly 
b) Strewn – spread about
c) Imploringly – desperately 
d) Languid – slow and relaxed
e) Lethargy – a lack of energy 

3. Where did the story take place? 

   The story took place in an unseemly perfect community. The citizens did not know anything about thirst or hunger except for the Giver. 
4. Did anyone in the book do something you did not like? Why? 

   Jonas’s father “released” an infant. By release, I mean death. Jonas’s father killed an infant. The Nurturers did not tell the truth on what really happens in release. They just say that they have been released to the Elsewhere! 
5. If you could continue the story, what events would you include? Why? 

   I would include what happened to Jonas and Gabriel at the end. I want to know if they lived or not. The book’s ending was a major cliffhanger for me, so I want to know what happened to them after! 
6. Did this book give you any ideas about yourself? Why?

   This may sound weird, but what if I can see things people can’t? It’s like how Jonas can see colors, but the other citizens can’t.What happens if there are Elsewheres in this world? Something like new planets! This is so awesome. 
7. Compare two of the characters in this book.

   I would like to compare Asher and Jonas. 
   I would say Asher is a clumsy, usually confused boy. He does not use the right words while speaking. I honestly think I am like Asher. I am clumsy and I don’t really use appropriate words when speaking or writing.
   I imagine Jonas as a neat boy. He could be a perfectionist! At the start of the story, he really thinks about the words he will use before actually saying them. 
8. Identify one problem in the book and give an alternate situation one not given by the author. 

   One problem is definitely the release. Instead of killing the infant, the Nurturers could maybe nurture the child even though it is weak. The infants could maybe become really healthy children in the future! 
   It is different with the elders. What if they really applied for release? It’s a very different situation from the release of infants. 
9. Did you like the way the story ended? Why or why not?

   The ending was good, but it would be better if we (the readers) found out if they survived or died. 
10. Which character in the book would you choose for a friend? Why?

   I would choose Asher. He is exactly like me! He’s not the main character, but it would be cool to have him as a friend!
11. What did you think was the most interesting part of the book? Why?

   What I found interesting was when the Giver was transmitting memories to Jonas. One more interesting part was when I found out that Jonas and the Giver have the capacity to either see or hear beyond. If the Giver has the capacity to hear beyond, what does the community listen to or hear? It just makes me so curious. Imagine if there was a capacity to taste beyond…
12. In The Giver, the setting is in a “perfect” community. Would you want to live in one? Why or why not? If no, what would you change? 

   I would NOT live in a perfect community. I would definitely change the fact that they have never seen ANIMALS or heard music! I would change the way they just give all the pain and suffering to one person, The Giver, instead of bearing it together. It’s unfair. I also would change the rules of the community. For me, they’re quite impractical. It would be awesome to spend a day in the community and observe their ways though!

Island Of The Cloud Turtles

   Guess what? I finished reading my first book for the first quarter, which is Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The book is about a girl who lost everything, but managed to survive in solitude on an island. At first, I thought it was a fictional story, but as I read the Author’s Note on the last pages of the book, I learned that a girl actually lived upon the island from 1835 to 1853. How shocking is that? Eighteen years on an island without anyone with you. Honestly, if I was in that situation, I wouldn’t even live for a month! The story fascinates me very much! Now, it’s time to talk about the island she lived on. 
    The island is called Island Of The Blue Dolphins because dolphins live in the seas that surround the island and it is shaped like a dolphin. It not only has dolphins, but it has sea otters, sea elephants, and some sea creatures called devilfish. There are also wild dogs roaming around the island. For food, you can either eat abalone, fish, devilfish, and other plants. Speaking of islands, I decided to create an island of my own!
   So this is Island Of The Cloud Turtles! The reason why I named it that is because the island, for me, is shaped like a cloud, and turtles are very common on the island. As of the moment, turtles are my favorite animal. You might ask, “What is the play area?”. Well, that place is just for passing time. If you want to make bracelets or socialize, that’s where you go! Southeast of the island is a sanctuary where you are not allowed to fish there. Why? Sea otters, sea turtles, and dolphins live there, so you wouldn’t want to mess with their habitat. Northeast of the island is where you can fish for food. There are actually wolves on the island, too. Why? It won’t be an island if there are no dangerous animals. It would be absolutely cool if someone just discovered an island exactly the same as the Island Of Cloud Turtles.

   Now, back to the book. I throughly enjoyed it and I learned so much whilst reading. Once disaster strikes, you gotta learn how to survive. The situation in the book doesn’t quite happen to modern people right now, but what happens if there was a drought or a flood? What if there was a disaster? I learned that all the things you learn now can help you in the future if there’s a disaster or not. We should also be content with what we have; we shouldn’t buy more things we don’t need, too. I recommend this book for all of you because it’s very easy to understand. Plus, it has an amazing story!

Pandas or Koalas?

   Pandas or koalas? What would you answer if someone asks you that question? If you didn’t know what to answer, you would probably want to go home, research then compare and contrast. Well, I’m going to do that right now starting with pandas:

   Where are they usually found? Pandas, also known as Giant Pandas (to distinguish it from the Red Panda which is a bear), are native to China. 
   What do you call their babies? Pandas’ offsprings are called cubs.

  How do they look like? They are easily recognized by the black fur patches over their eyes, ears, and across their body. 

   How long do they live? They live around 20 years in the wild and 30 years in captivity. 

   What do they eat? The pandas’ diet is composed of 99% bamboo. Wild pandas usually eat other grasses, and maybe even meat such as birds and rodents. Captive pandas often receive bamboo, but may receive honey, oranges, bananas etc. with other prepared foods.

  Are they sociable? Pandas are usually solitary, but females don’t allow other females in the area. 

  Do they hibernate? They don’t hibernate, but they will move to areas with warmer temperatures instead. 

  Are they herbivorous or carnivorous? They usually eat like a herbivore, but they’re classed as carnivores! 

   Where are they usually found? Koalas are native to Australia. 

   What do you call their babies? A baby koala is called a “joey”. They are blind, hairless, and have no ears. 

  How do they look like? They are similar to wombats, but have thicker coats, longer    limbs, and larger ears. Their coat is color gray.

   How long do they live? They can live as long as 18 years. 

   What do they eat? Koalas are herbivores. They eat eucalyptus leaves. 

   Are they sociable? They are NOT sociable. 
   Do they hibernate? They don’t hibernate, but they sleep everyday up to 18 hours. (Oh how I wish I was a koala! Haha.) 

   Are they herbivorous or carnivorous? Koalas are herbivores.

   Similarities between pandas and koalas: They both do not hibernate, have a herbivorous diet, live until about 20 years, and they are not sociable! 

   So, have you decided what to answer? 🙂

Credits to/Source: Click here

Credits to/Source: Click here