10-Minute Writing: September 27, 2012

On Tuesday the 25th, our teacher was rhetorically murdered. I.e.: she came into the class, told us that in 10 minutes we were supposed to find her dead on the front of the classroom, and then left. Our only clues? She died at 10:40 that morning from 7 stab wounds. Go have fun.

The first thing that happened was that our small discussion or “pizza” groups began debating heatedly about who it was that had killed her. The majority of us turned on the discussion group that our teacher, Dr. Woodworth, had been in. Those closest to a victim are always suspect, right? Upon being accused, they began protesting their own innocence loudly whilst diverting all of the blame to their two counterparts. Aha! We cried. This proves that they are guilty! Louder protestations were made from the suspects.

I stood up and declared that I had been the murderer. My fellow classmates looked at me skeptically. How could I have murdered her? And why? I repeated that I murdered her, but I didn’t know why or how, so can someone please tell me why. No one offered. I was quite disappointed. We’d come up with all sorts of outrageous yet somewhat plausible explanations for the poor students standing accused at the front of the classroom. One of them had about as much reason to be the murderer as I did. How could no one have come up with an explanation for me?

My discussion group came up with many ideas as to how the discussion group murdered Dr. Woodworth. A packet of lens wipes was found on the table in front of us, so I suggested poisoned wipes for Dr. Woodworth’s glasses and phone, given to her by the murderer. When you use the wipes, the poison gets in to your skin and eventually kills you. The murderer, however, was impatient, so after giving her the poison, they stabbed her, just to make sure she was dead. My group-mates sort of like my idea… Then we decided that the poison in the wipes was administered through the air and got in to your system through your nose, and the murderer used the clothespin found in the classroom to plug their nose before stabbing her. This sounded more and more ridiculous, though, as we went on, so we decided in the end that the lens wipes had been used to wipe someone’s fingerprints off the lenses of the security cameras in the room when the murderer rewired them to show a similar room at the time of the murder. We have continued on this assumption.

And so it went on: each accusation growing wilder and wilder, and yet more and more plausible (my “detective’s report” will be available shortly on my blog).

My friend and I came up with a much better and more plausible idea, however. This idea shall also be released on my blog in the future, but at a later date than my detective report based on my group’s theories. Until then, you may have your own speculations on the mysterious murder of Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodworth…

New (Edited) Page

Hello, greetings, and salutations!

I just wanted to announce the fact that the newest project for my Honors English class is now a page under the header “AUM Honors English” or whatever it actually says. Please go look at it and tell me how much fun you had reading, because it was sooooooooooooo muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch fuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnn making and writing it. So please: Explorations Fall 2012! Go! Read! Comment! And then come back to read whatever crazy (or silly) thing I post next. 😀 Thanks!

Right Where You Are Sitting

Write ten things about where you are sitting right now that you hadn’t noticed when you sat down. Use your senses. Do it quickly. Do not censor. Okay, begin.

1. There’s an odd smell of cookies in the air.

2. The projector is humming.

3. The screen has been on with stuff on it already.

4. There’s a random chair at the front of the room.

5. The window blind is crooked at the bottom.

6. There’s a slight pain in my wrist.

7. There’s writing on the board! Amazing!

8. The computer on the table in front of me is in a different position than usual.

9. I just realized my phone is not on silent. Uh-oh…

10. My teacher has a stunning shade of hot pink in her skirt.

Group Blogs

So in my Honors English class, which is pretty amazing by the way, we got divided yesterday into “pizza groups,” which were groups named for a different type of pizza that our teacher assigned us to. 4 to a group; 4 groups. The bloggers in my group are The Dream is in the Distance, Jeeping and Beeping, and Dreamer In Comics (all cool blogs, of course). And now my assignment is to tell my favorite part of these blogs. Mwahaha *rubs hands together evilly*.

My favorite part from The Dream is in the Distance is not only the simplicity of the page and the straightforwardness of the writing, but the title. I mean, doesn’t it make you just want to stare out a window for a couple hours just thinking? It really does bring a bit of beauty and mystery to the mind as you read the posts.

The best part of Jeeping and Beeping for me is the title and tagline. Jeeping and Beeping: Paved Roads Don’t Control the Path: It gives you a sense of the author, their love of the outdoors, and it just plain sounds cool. Of course, the awesome background picture of a jeep driving straight into a huge pool of mud helps. 😀

My favorite element of the Dreamer In Comics blog is pretty much everything. The name makes you curious, and the amazing comic strips scattered throughout the blog give you a sense of fun and whimsy. The writing style totally fits with the blog theme, which seals the deal for me.

So, in all, I think my pizza group is pretty boss, and I hope this made you want to go check their blogs. Really! You should! Go! Away with ye! XD

I’ll see you soon!

Thinking About Writing (9/18/2012)

What do I find surprising about blogging? What about blogging is new and different for this class? Is it better to be able to read the work of your fellow students?

I love reading other people’s work. I always have. In my high school English class, peer reviewing other people’s essays was my favorite part (granted, we only had 6 people in the class, but still.).

Blogging is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but when I was younger and I started wanting to blog, my mom told me I could only have a private blog, and who looks at the private blog of a 10 year old? Really? I think I wrote 3 posts in 5 months, then I quit.

This class gives me a really good reason to blog. I mean, I HAVE to blog: there’s no other way to turn in assignments! And I love it. The ease of typing on a computer screen, the ability to see what people think of my work, is amazing and very soul-satisfying. Besides the fact that the click of keys in a room of 15 people all typing furiously is completely intoxicating.

Being able to read other people’s work, being able to tell them what I think, and seeing what people think of my work: just sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

Henrietta’s Firefly

Henrietta Lacks was born and raised and lived her whole life between Baltimore, Maryland, and Clover, Virginia. She and her family were all poor black tobacco farmers or miners. She married her cousin, and they had 5 children together.

River Tam was born on a planet controlled by the Alliance, which took over when Earth got too crowded, and terraformed new planets to support the ever-growing population. She went to an Alliance school before her brother rescued her, after which they lived on a ship which took on semi-legal jobs around the fringes of the galaxy.

When we meet River Tam in the TV show “Firefly,” she is 17 years old. When we meet Henrietta Lacks in the book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” she is dead. Sort of.

River Tam was a fictional character.

Henrietta Lacks was real.

When you compare River Tam and Henrietta Lacks on the surface, they appear not to have anything in common. But when you dig a little deeper, there are many similarities.

Henrietta and River were both taken advantage of by doctors: Henrietta, because she was poor, black, and uneducated; River because she was young, privileged, and brilliant.

While Henrietta was under anesthesia for surgery to treat her cervical cancer, the surgeon took a sample of the cancer for his lab without Henrietta’s consent. When River went to the Alliance school for gifted children, doctors performed extremely damaging surgery on her brain without her consent.

Henrietta’s cancer cells turned out to be the first immortal cell line ever grown in a lab, and since the 1950s they have been used all over the world in testing vaccines for and doing research on diseases such as polio and HIV/AIDS. We never really find out what the operations on River’s brain did for the Alliance doctors, but the result of those operations proves very important in saving the lives of the crew of Serenity, the ship River and her brother are on.

At first, the families of Henrietta and River had no idea what had happened to them. It took Simon, River’s brother, several months on board Serenity before he was able to get to a place where he could find out what had been done to River. It took years for the children of Henrietta Lacks to even find out that cells had been taken. And even quite a while after both Henrietta’s children and Simon found out what had happened to their mother and sister respectively, they didn’t know why those things had been done, and they didn’t know what to do about them.

I believe Simon never found out why the Alliance doctors had performed the operations on River, and he never found a way to completely reverse the damage. After Henrietta’s children learned that their mother’s cancer cells had become immortal, they tried to get their mother’s name known as the person behind the cells. Years passed before Rebecca Skloot came along and was able to help them.

Henrietta Lacks and River Tam were both taken advantage of by doctors.

They and their families were damaged by their operations.

They were both loved.

Of Music

Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietszche

This is how I live my life. Without music, my life would be a mistake. I feel like I was born to play music. Two of my favorite pieces to play are Tango de Lejos by Maximo Diego Pujol, and Day Tripper by the Beatles. They can always cheer me up, and they are incredibly fun to play.

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.” Plato

When I don’t listen to music for several days in a row, my brain physically hurts from music deprivation. The one time this has happened to me (so far), it was assuaged by OK Go. Primarily, This Too Shall Pass and Get Over It. Rather appropriate, don’t you think? When I study, I also really enjoy listening to music, but I can’t concentrate during songs with words, and after playing classical music for 10 years I’ve heard a lot of it, so I’ve turned to video game soundtracks. Some of my favorites are the Angry Birds theme played by the London Philharmonic, the Tetris theme also played by the London Philharmonic, and the Honeyhive Galaxy music from Mario Galaxy.

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” George Carlin

I have always danced. The dances at my summer camp for two years were the parts I looked forward to the most. When I was little, I actually took dance classes for ballet and tap, and when I was older I did a bit of jazz and hip-hop. But I haven’t always been able to take classes. So I dance at home. Sometimes when there’s a piece I just love, I’ll dance a little bit. Mostly while sitting, but sometimes I actually get up and try to remember my old ballet lessons. I’ll also be walking in a grocery store sometimes and a rhythm just hits me, and I’ll do some weird sort of psudo-hip-hop move just because I feel it. Whenever I’d go visit the house of one of my friends who still does ballet, she’d turn on music and we’d choreograph a dance to it. Some of the best music I’ve found to dance to is Caribbean Blue by Enya, Just Dance by Lady Gaga, and the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II.

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Victor Hugo

I leave you with these songs to go throughout your day and your life, and to think about when you’re asleep: the Appassionata Sonata, and Here Comes the Sun.

None but ourselves can free our minds.” Bob Marley

Rebecca Skloot

Questions on Henrietta Lacks? Everybody? Anybody?

I missed going to my class’s Brown Bag Lunch, which was a discussion hosted by my class about the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. But I have to write about it anyway. Good thing I like the book. ;D

The assignment is actually to write about a question we had about the book, but the truth is that I have no questions about the book! Granted, I am curious to know how Rebecca Skloot felt when it seemed that it was pointless to continue pursuing this story, but I know people who are so passionate about certain things that they’ll spend forever on them (I am not one of those people), so it is not so much a question as a want to be inside her head.

So I have no questions about the content of the book. I have no questions about how Rebecca Skloot wrote the book. The only other thing I might have a question about is if I can meet Dr. Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield, but that has nothing to do with the main parts of the story.

So that’s it for me.

What questions do you have?

Additions!

Hey!

This is just a quick note to wave hi at the end of a weekend with nooooooooothing on the blog, and to say: I just edited some of my pages! Please go check them out, and tell me what you think! I do actually take comments into consideration to try and make my blog even better.

Can you believe it’s been a month of classes already? Time sure flies when you’re eating up books…And other stuff…

See you soon!