Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Journal 6 by Matt

In The House On Mango Street my biggest takeaway was that no matter how hard you try you won't ever be able to escape who you are and where you came from. This was a big struggle for Esperanza to face. Throughout the whole book Esperanza try to convince herself that Mango street is not her. At the end of the book she is told that no matter how hard she tries Mango street will allows be apart of her. I feel that this is important because I feel that there is a lot of people who try to escape who they are and where they came from. This book does a great job of showing that you need to embrace where you came from and not be ashamed of it. I feel that In A Long Way Gone, the biggest takeaway is that the human spirt is stronger than most people think. In this book there is not a moment where Beah's human spirt is challenged. He is faced with some of the worst decisions a young kid would ever have to face. Throughout all this loss he keeps his head up and keeps pushing forward. This shows that even in the face of death and loss the human spirt is stronger than most people think.  one thing that i will not forget about Beah's experiences is the of brain washing. This young kid went from being a normal everyday kid to a cold blooded killer. In the book Beah says " The idea of death didn't cross my mind at all and killing had become as easy as drinking water"(Beah 122). This just shows the level of brain washing was done to these young kids.

This film made me smile. These kids came from a place kind of like Mango Street and were not as privileged as most kids. Mr. Raif had a huge impact on these kids. He wanted these kids to turn out to have better lives then they do now. These kids faced things such as violence and dug addiction in their neighborhoods . Mr. Raif tried to get these lids away from this ongoing occurrences by getting them all active in the classroom. This just showed me just how privileged I am to grow up the way i did. These kids did not have near the amount of opportunities that I had growing up as a kid and they still prevailed. One of the things that Mr. Raif said was that "this is just the beginning". I thought that was so cool to think that Mr. Raif got these kids ready for a bright future and that this was just the beginning for them.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Journal Five by Alisha

Part one: Two things I noticed about Beah’s use of diction from today’s reading is when Beah wrote “I was marveling at the glittering cityscape when the truck turned off the street and began galloping so heavily” (Beah 131) Beah’s choice of words in the sentence stood out to me. Especially the ruck galloping down the street. While reading this I actually started picturing what a truck would look like if it could actually gallop down the road. Beah also wrote “I looked at him with disgust and spat on the ground.” (Beah 144) this just showed how Beah felt about being there and how he did not respect any of the civilians. 

Part two: I had a friend that one day started running around with the wrong people. She met a guy who was always on something and was continuously in and out of prison. Out of her own foolishness she messed around and got pregnant and started using drugs and got lost along the way. She ended up losing her kid and her boyfriend was back in prison. My family then tried to help her out. They got temporary custody of the kid and let her move into our house to try and help her clean up. At this point she was already too far gone. My parents tried helping as much as they could but she could not give up the drugs. Her boyfriend later got out of prison and she went right back to him, she continued with all the bad things and lost her little girl for good. Shortly after she had another kid and lost him just the same. To this day she is just like her boyfriend. In and out of prison and addicted to whatever she can be and she will never have the chance of knowing her own children. 

Journal five by Ashton

Journal five
Ashton platt


 my best friend in high school, and for a couple years afterword, and I were always together. we would work together in the summer and blow the money we eared the same day. we went through a lot together, we had paralleled though law enforcement and firefighting training, and acted as a small security force at our school, stopping many fights and assisting in anything we could. after graduation he went into the army and i the marine corps, separating us. somehow though he was always dealt a bad hand and fell short in life, creating a drift, i had to keep moving. one of us changed, i don't know which, I just know we don't talk anymore.

Journal Five by Cole

     The two chapters that we have read are very important, as Beah takes on a whole new experience. He is taken from his war-like lifestyle, not knowing what is going to happen to him. The boys arrive at a brand new place, meeting others that had been affected by the war. Beah meets boys that had been fighting for the rebels, where he uses diction to strengthen the writing. A fight breaks out between boys from the army and those that were rebels. "It hadn't crossed their mind that a change in environment wouldn't immediately make us normal boys; we were dangerous, and brainwashed to kill."(Beah 135). "Brainwashed" really gives someone an understanding of what the boys are going through. They had adapted to their harsh lifestyle, and now had been taken from it. They still feel as if they are at war with the other boys that are there.

      I had someone that was a very good friend of mine in high school. After we graduated, he began to hang around some new people that influenced him to make some poor decisions. We began to not be as close, and now I do not see him very often. He is in college, but misses a lot of classes. I believe that the biggest factor in this was his new friends. I think that he was persuaded by them and changed his lifestyle. Although we try to talk to him and make him understand, there is not much that we can do about it.

Journal 5: Jacob Ware

Journal 5

Jacob Ware

Part One: I think the biggest thing that Beah does and the thing that he really does the best, in my opinion, is they way he describes things in his writing. The example that I would take from this chapter would be where he was explaining when he got shot. Not only the actual event of him getting shot but also the way he described getting the bullet out of his foot was also very vivid. Another technique he used pretty well in this chapter and really in the entire book is his dialogue. The way he can just out a piece of dialogue in the middle of a paragraph is a way that really works, he really makes the story flow by doing this and it really works in his writing.

Part Two: One of my best friends from middle school was really a likable dude who really loved to be around me and all of our friends but then he started getting into relationships where he would jump straight into them and he would honestly forget about his friends and it was sad because when that girl wasn't there for him we always would be but thats the only time he would come to us and it would get pretty annoying doing that but thats what we did because he was our friend. We finally got annoyed with this and we would stop being there for him so he went out and got new friends who really got him into some bad stuff and I feel like he got into those things just to feel accepted by these other people. But the thing was that he started doing the same thing with his new group of friends (actually with a different girlfriend at the time) and eventually got tired of it too and I recently started to talk to him again and its sad because he really does feel lonely but i'll be here for him because he has been my friend for awhile now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Journal 5 by Kaylee

Journal Five
Kaylee Vance
English 1109 10:30 AM

In a Long Way Gone the past few chapters were described very vividly. Beah uses vivid descriptions of every detail and that allows an audience to feel as if they are there in the moment with the characters. If it does not make you feel that way I am sure it gives you a better understanding of what the characters are being put through. In chapter 15 when the boys are being stripped from their weapons and basically everything they have ever known for the past few years. You can understand the fear and how infuriated they can be. They are so mad they are willing to "jump" the guards. This could make a reader understand the mindset of Ishmael, which in a way, is always good. This is a great book for an outsider looking in because you can really put your own emotion and thought into it.

A friend I knew whose life spiraled downwards, was one of my best friends in middle school. She was a very honest girl and gave the best advice. She was so smart and it blew my mind everyday. I would come to her often my freshman year for advice. She started to be mean to my group of friends and myself and started to become very two faced and lie to us constantly. She would sit and talk to me about my "oh so serious freshman year relationship"with me for hours and then ended up stealing my boyfriend, which does not matter to me now but when I was fourteen, it was a big deal. Anyways, she became something she never said she would become but I guess that was just one of the many lies my friends and I believed. I talk to her now sometimes after two years of not talking and I would say her life has made a change for the better in a way. I would like to become good friends again, but for many many reasons, the trust is gone.

Journal Five by Kyle Ciballi

I saw a good use of diction on page 138 where Beah says " It was infuriating to be told what to do by civilians. I think that has a lot of power behind it, rather than Beah just using mad or angry. Another point of diction I thought was very helpful was when Beah says "On one of our scouting expeditions, we came upon a village", I thought expedition was a good choice for a journey or adventure !.

Honestly I heard from multiple people that you will lose your friends as time goes on. Well I never thought that would happen to me. I had four best friends at the start of highschool. Now I honestly just feel distanced beyond hell from them. They went off to colleges and all they evr do is drink. We cant get together any ore without drinking anymore. What we used to do is drive our slow cars fast, and play video games and go to late steak and shake runs. Now all they ever do is drink. And sometimes even drink and drive. It just sucks seeing your bestfriends you grew up with and would do anything for to just letting them float away like a cloud in the wind. But We all go through similar changes as mine so I guess we just all have to move on and find better people. I hate talking about this subject because I just want to be accepted by them but how far do I have to go before I say stop you know? But this is my story.

Journal Five by Ciara

Journal 5

   In chapters 16 and 17 in A Long Way Gone I feel like Beah uses flashback and overall descriptions really well in order to convey his thoughts about the situations he is going through at that moment. While he is trying to be rehabilitated Ishmael tends to replay major events that have happened in the past in order to cope with what is happening to him in the present. These flashbacks are so descriptive that the make you feel like you were there with him, this is to help you understand his thought process and why he handles things the way he does. The diction presented throughout these chapters is medium level. I feel like Beah does this so the reader can comprehend the book but he can also convey the mind of a child.

   Growing up one of my friends since the seventh grade has always been a happy go lucky person that loved being with her friends. That all changed in the eighth grade when she started the first of many long and unhealthy relationships. Soon after she started dating a guy she would choose him over everyone including her family. These relationships were always on again off again. You couldn't have a simple conversation without her changing the subject to bring up the problems she was having in her relationship. It got to the point where we wouldn't hang out with her for months at a time and then when we did hang out it was only because her boyfriend broke up with her. A friendship is supposed to be equal but that wasn't the case with her, just last year we stopped talking and it honestly sucks because she's one of my best friends. Life goes on and hopefully we can reconnect in the future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Journal Five by. Brandi

While I was reading A Long Way Gone I stumbled on a unique diction " Lieutenant Jabati was present, too, and he was a little jovial that night" (Beah 128) . I was interested what that term even met  so I looked it up and it means to be cheerful or friendly. I also noticed another great use of a diction "The military ambulances took off, wailing into still new born night" ( Beah 136)  That sentence really helps you picture that scene.

Growing up I was involved in a horse club 4-H group. Throughout the years I became best friends with one of the group members. Every summer was spent hanging out with my best friend and showing against each other at horse shows. I never would of thought that late high school our friendship would dissolve. I noticed a change in her personality when she started hanging out with different people that partied a lot. She started going to party's and taking serious drugs and mixing with drinking. So I naturally drifted away and stopped hanging out with her, because she became mean and her new group of friends were sketchy and mean. After one year after graduation I received a phone call from her. At the time I was pregnant and I was working that night until 10 p.m. She landed herself in jail that night and needed me to pick her up, because she didn't have anyone else that could ( or who was sober at that time). So after my long shift at work I picked her up so I could take her home. When I picked her up she had me take her to another party that was going on that night. Then I  realized that she was just using me to get to point A and point B.
Drugs and bad influences were the biggest factors of my friend becoming a person who I no longer recognized.

Journal Five by: Chelsea

Chelsea Makowski

Journal Five
In the book A Long Way Gone in chapter 16 when the boys are in this camp and they are looking for violence every chance they can get they start fights and look for innocent people to hurt that are trying to help them. One big example of this is when Beah describes on page 140 how a civilian that talked to them in such a way and they unleashed blows on him, as he held his head and tried to cover his face the boys continued to kick him and one stabbed the mans foot. This shows that the boys are so angry that any type of violence they can have they will take. Beah even says " I missed my squad and needed more violence". The paragraph really shows how they were brainwashed and needed the high of killing and hurting others much like they have been hurt. This chapter you see the down spiral of Beah adapting to this way of life being safe for once and how he slowly accepts the help of the staff like on page 151 after his bad dream he describes to use how one of the staff members would wrap him in a blanket and and tell him " Its not your fault, you know. It really isn't. You will get through this." This paragraph shows how he is accepting the help and is changing able to sleep even though the nightmares still come but is trying to get better. This I feel is where Beah could get better with more help if he accepts it and change for the better and hopefully helps changes the boys around him since they all follow him.

When i was growing up I had my best friend since kindergarten her name was Sarah, we did everything together and even tho we were really different we got along so perfect. We never went more than a day with out hanging out with each other and seeing one another. One year when we were going into our Senior year of High school we had different plans on our life after school i wanted to go out and do things with the military see the world and have a purpose but Sarah didn't have any ambitions and wanted to smoke pot and stay with her looser boyfriend that never did anything with his life. As I was preparing to leave we seen one another less and less and she tried to talk me out of leaving but I didn't wanna just stay in the same town and get high every day. Once i left we haven't talked since and she never went on to college and lives with her same boyfriend at his parents house. We always talked about living together and having great jobs but i actually perused my life and have goals but Sarah still has noting and shes not doing anything with her life.

Journal 5 by Hannah

In chapter 15, the boys have been fighting a lot. In these couple chapters, I noticed quite a bot of diction. Towards the end of the chapter, I noticed that Beah started using new words to express the fight in a different way. He stated, "The jubilation was stopped by a group of MPs..." (Beah 136). He also used other words to express his emotions, like when he said at the beginning of chapter 16, "It was infuriating to be told what to do by the civilians." (Beah 138). Also in chapter 16, the lieutenant gave him the nickname "Green Snake" and then compared him to nature. I think that relates to how Beah was writing throughout the entire book. He'd compare a lot to nature and also mentioned many times how nature is going with the flow of what's happening during this time. Like it knows there's a war going on.

Back in high school, I had a friend that I was in marching band with. She was younger than me. She always had such a bubbly personality and an amazingly positive attitude. She was a great leader. Right after football season during her senior year, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd and eventually started dating a guy who had a bad influence on her. He convinced her to get into hard drugs with him and then she ended up dropping out of high school. I had kind of drifted away from her as she was going through this transformation. One year later, we ran into each other at one of our mutual friend's daughter's birthday party. Well we started catching up, and that's when she told me about everything that had happened. But by that time she had found a different boyfriend, who I had already been friends with for some time. She also decided to work for her GED, already started her career, moved out on her own, and now she's engaged and planning their wedding. They had asked me to be a bridesmaid. The guy she is engaged to had also went through a similar situation. So I think after they found each other, they helped build each other up and are encouraging each other to accomplish many things.

Journal 5 by Matt

One of the things that I have seen. Is the fact that Beah is still hardened by the war. This is the point that he will not even give his name to the nurse. " what's your name? she asked as she dressed my hand. I didn't answer her"(Beah 141). This just shows how much the war has hardened Beah. He's so traumatized that he wont even give a nurse his name. Another part that I saw was when Beah talked about that he had to run the sink or the shower for a while to realize that it was not blood coming out. "Whenever I turned on the tap water, all I could see was blood gushing out. I would stare at it until it looked like water before drinking or taking a shower" (Beah 145). This is also another way Beah shows how the horrors of war affected him. This just shows the reader how badly this war effected these young kids. He's at the point where he cant even run water without seeing blood.
All of us have had a friend go down a wrong path or change in a way that was not for the good. Mine was my friend named Brendan. We were friends all through elementary into high school. Every weekend he was over at my house. he was practically my brother. As we got into high school, he started to hang out with the wrong crowd. He felt that if he hung with these people he would become more popular. This later got him into drugs, at this point it wasn't fun to be with him anymore. all he wanted to do was drink or do drugs, and I didn't want to take part in that. As time went on we lost contact and haven't talked since. I feel that his reason for changing was the need to become popular.

Journal 5 by Ben

The first one that  would pick is probably where they first got to the camp with the UNICEF. They were given the bowls of rice and scarfed it down before the man was back with his. The other group did the exact same thing. The to group were weary of each other at first but came around when they found out that they were on the same team. I just thought that this part was an opening to the rest of the major events of the section. The second would have to be when they beat up Poppy to get new mattresses that they ruined in the first place. I don't blame him for turning them down, but they savagely beat him up anyway. I find it funny how a few days later when they were eating, Poppy comes up to them at lunchtime and almost mocks them about how it isn't their fault that they did that.

Ismael has gone through a big transformation. Early on in the book, he was petrified by the sight of blood and death. Now in these later chapters, he is causing the blood and death. it seems like he is enjoying it as well. I just think back to the very first chapter to the woman and young child that was shot through the back. He saw that, and was horrified. Now I can't help but wonder what he would think about it now. I had this friend growing up probably elementary through our sophomore years. He started drinking. It was slow at first but then blossomed into an everyday occurrence to the point where he would show up to school drunk. we tried to help he, but and person can only be helped so much. One day he got into a horrible car wreck. Drunk of course. Killed the family of three in the other car. Injured himself badly. He was treated and is currently in jail for underage drinking and driving. I think the biggest thing was obviously the alcohol that sent him into a downward trajectory.  

Jeremy Journal Five

     In todays reading, I would like to emphasis on diction.  Beah has been doing a great job keeping me wanting to read more and more of this story.  His word choice is very dead on with the aspect of being in war.  As Beah writes, "My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen" (Beah 126.)  Using the word frozen to me indicates that being in war so long has made his veins pure with ice water, having no values other than that of his peers with killing.  Also with diction the facility workers for UNICEF, keep saying "It is not your fault that you did such a thing to me" as Poppy says to the boys returning from the hospital (Beah 140.)  Very powerful use of reverse psychology on the boys to try and return their normal childhood life.
     Through a particular time in my childhood I lost a best friend from the adaptations we take on in our own lives.  My best friend whom, played basketball with me, was in every class throughout middle school with me, and even spent about everyday together.  We had a very close brotherly love relationship for many years.  I knew he was into music and even played on his drum set everyday he could in his past time.  He became very good and very noticed by local bands.  This is where I lost my best friend and had no way of  reaching out to get him back.  He gave up playing all sports, including basketball, he quit coming to hang out, and didn't even answer any of my phone calls, let alone return them.  His mother had spoke to me one day when I did get an answer from his house. She had let me know that my friend had taken on playing for a band and the outcome was too much for her to handle.  My best friend had become very tied into his band and everything they were into, such as drugs and late night activities.  He had hit a downward spiral of being lost without a cause.  Living for the moment as we say.  His choices hit me hard because I was under the impression that him and I were to play basketball in college together.  This never happened and I was forced to move on with one less friend in my life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Journal Four from Kaylee

I would say my reading so far in this class has not been too bad. I am a decent active reader, but I find myself highlighting too much or not enough in some chapters. I sometimes have a difficult time trying to figure out what is worth highlighting and what should be left alone I usually highlight as I go though. I have found it to be easier to write the characters names down in the beginning. I feel as if that gives me a little insight about who is going to be in the chapter. I love The House on Mango Street.  This book is so fun and very humorous in my opinion. The funny aspect is the strength. The weakness of this book is the fact that I find it hard to understand the true meaning or story behind it. What is it leading up too? Why are some of the chapters even included? It is kind of hard to understand what the book is even suppose to mean, but it is interesting.

I honestly do not like A Long Way Gone. It is WAY to repetitive. All it is about is a group of boys going to a new village every so often where they run into a tragic incident and that makes them leave that village and continue onto ANOTHER journey. They even have been captured twice and both times their cassette tape has saved them. It's so boring too me. I wish I could get into it. Its a descriptive book though. The way everything is described is pretty cool and can make you feel as if you are there. A survival skill I have learned is to persevere no matter what, and that is exactly what the boys do. And have done the whole book. They make sure to fight everything out and continue their journey without losing too much hope, so staying faithful and hopeful could be a survival skill also in a sense.   

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Journal Four by: Alisha

So far my reading is going well. I’m not use to writing in my book at all so sometimes I forget I’m even supposed to. When I do I just underline something that stands out to me or that I can somehow relate to. When I have questions about something that is said I usually circle it. Mostly what I do in my book is kind of write a summary at the end of each chapter that way I can look back at what I think were the most important facts but then later on I can go back through the chapter and underline where the important details came from.

I think the most important survival skill is confidence and courage. Throughout all the readings I feel like Beah has made it through the hard times by being positive and still having hop that he is going to find his family. In chapter 11 where Beah writes “My eyes followed the brown dusty path that continued down the hill to the thick forest.” It just shows how excited Beah is to get to the village and see his parents.

Journal 4 by Ash

Journal Four

        So far my reading is coming along haphazardly, i usually end up reading late at night, and i mean 2 in the morning. This is partially due to my inability to have a normal sleep schedule, not in part due to any medical reason, more due to a vast of various things and personal hobbies that eat up my day, I can't complain though, i do this to myself. I do like to read books slowly in order to let the stories sink in, and yet I don't take the time to go through and highlight things. At most I will mark names of people, I have a hard time recalling them.

        Currently i favor A Long Way Gone far above A House on Mango Street. This is due to Beah's drama and story line, combined with an actual struggle and graphic storytelling it is exciting at times and actually inspires emotions for the character. I can't get into Cisneros nearly as well, there's is not nearly enough drama or conflict of a solid story to build up and get me to read the next chapter.

      one of the most important survival skills i see in Beah, throughout his story, is his ability to keep moving i think it is very under looked and unappreciated. life is movement. "we ran for hours,deeper into the forest. the path fad ended, but we kept running until the sky swallowed the sun and gave birth to the moon". this is just one of the many times throughout the book where Beah is forced to flee and survives.


Journal 4 by Hannah

So far my reading is going okay. I have a hard time writing stuff in the margins. I know it helps when I'm looking back trying to remember things, but its hard for me to pay attention to the reading when I'm also trying to focus on what I should write down. I really like A Long Way Gone, it keeps me on my toes and I'm more interested in reading it. A House on Mango Street loses me sometimes. I get kind of confused here and there and I'm not really sure how everything relates to each other.

I think one important survival skill to have is hope. Many times throughout the book many of the characters rely on hope to keep them moving forward. At on point Beah was reflecting back on  a memory of when his father use to tell him "If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die." (Beah 54).

Journal Four: Ciara

Ciara Workman

English 1109 10:30 AM


As a whole I feel like my reading is going pretty well. My active reading has improved tremendously in both of the books we are reading. I read a chapter all the way through and when I am finished I skim over the pages to highlight/ make a mental note of things that stuck out to me. On the first page of every chapter especially in “A Long Way Gone” I write a list of the main events that occurred during that specific sequence. Both books are great reads but if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be “A Long Way Gone” because I can relate more to the lessons that are subliminally taught as the book goes on. I also appreciate how the events are in chronological order versus randomly placed stories. Although “The House On Mango Street” is a fun book to read I can not stand how each chapter is a different story with a different theme.
One important survival skill I have noticed in "A Long Way Gone" is that no matter what is happening you have to do what is necessary without panicking. I feel like this skill was developed pretty early on for the young boy.  This skill is utilized when Gasemu becomes shot while trying to flee the rebels attack. As Beah points out, Musa couldn't bear the sight of blood any longer. He fainted. Alhaji and I took Gasemu's shirt off and tied it around his side to contain the blood.  Instead of fainting like his friend did Ishmael and his friend did what they had to in order to try and save Gasemu's life.

Journal 4 by Kyle

 Hello everyone ! So I would say I am active but not as active as i should we all have our strengths and weaknesses. On of my strengths are that Once I start reading and stay focused i can normally be in the book like there is no tomorrow ! I'm also very good at pointing out certain plot points and creative titles I would like to say.

 My weaknesses are just not being responsible enough to read and I will forget to read the assignment. Then I will come to class and be so out of it from missing the reading or active topics that should have been wrote down in the book.

I Between the two books of Cisneros and Beah I think I prefer A long way gone better. I like cisneros writing its great, But just seems a little cheesy to me. I like the serious tone in a long way gone and the lessons we can learn from it. A long way gone is a great book so far. Cisneros is kinda confusing but Mr.Lohre said it will all come together in the end.

One important survival skill I noticed or was described in the book on page 47. Beah writes "I was already at the top of the branches and plucking coconuts" (Beah 47). when I read that it tells me that Ishmael is learning to survive and kinda revert back to the hunter gatherer stage and hes able to find himself food. Hes learning simple things to adapt and overcome hunger and find nutrition.

Journal 4 By Cole

     The class readings are going very well. I have seen much improvement in my active reading from the start of the semester. I am able to pick up on the key parts of both stories, and it has allowed me to read much more effectively. I have a few weaknesses in both of the readings. In Cisneros, I think that the chapters are too short. These short chapters often make it difficult to grasp exactly what Cisneros is writing about. Out of both of the readings, I prefer A Long Way Gone. I have found it to be much more interesting and has definitely been the most exciting.

     The war in A Long Way Gone has completely changed the way of living, and the survival skills that are used are more important than ever. In chapter 11, Gasemu had been shot while running away. He was losing blood quickly and fainted. "Alhaji and I took Gasemu's shirt off and tied it around his side to contain his blood" (Beah 98). They then continued to carried him as they went on their way. Although he did not make it, Beah had done everything he could to save him. They knew exactly what to do when Gasemu was injured.

Journal 4 By Jacob Ware

Part 1: My reading is going pretty well right now. To be honest, I usually do not read really anything outside of some articles here and there but when I find a book I really like it is very easy for me to read and that's how it is for me with A Long Way Gone. I am very active in this book and I enjoy every chapter, sometimes it is still hard for me to find the time to read it but I almost always complete its readings. The House on Mango street is another story though because I do not enjoy it as much and I also get very confused by the short 'chapters' and how the story kind of jumps. I do not always get the reading done for this one probably because I can't really get my self into it. My active reading usually consists of highlighting very well and I usually get a title and if I have time, I like to write random things in the margin.

Part 2: I think one of the biggest survival skills they have learned really is to almost not be frightened as much by death. You see this when Beah states, "His body was still sweating and he continued bleeding. We didn't say a word to each other. We all knew what had happened." (Beah, 99). It's weird calling it a 'skill' but really with out this experience they might have gotten caught up in Gasemu's death and maybe even been killed themselves trying to save him or being to startled by it that they might have stayed behind and let the rebels catch up to them.

Works Cited:
Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. New York. Sarah Critchon, 2007. Print.

Journal 4 by Ben

To be completely honest, I'm really terrible at active reading. I started the beginning of the books alright, but then as we have progressed I have just gotten much worse at it. I get to wrapped up in the books to do the active reading. I prefer A Long Way Gone over A House on Mango Street. My strengths and weaknesses. Like I have stated before, I cannot stand to read. If I am forced to because an assignment, I get distracted so very easily. I prefer A Long Way Gone mainly because I like Beah's writing style. It also helps that A Long Way Gone holds my attention a lot easier.

One important survival skill that I noticed is adaptation. At the end of chapter twelve, he has been recruited for the fighting and that is not something that he was expecting to do. He had to adapt to his environment in order to stay alive. Beah at the end of chapter twelve talks about the other kid humming, I imagine it almost brining him comfort, especially when he says " His voice would echo into the dark forest, and whenever he stopped, the night got quieter" ( Beah 113).

Monday, February 6, 2017

Journal 4, Monica.

Part one: I would have to say so far my reading is going okay. I'm not much of a reader though, and I really don't like reading. These books have changed that for e a little bit though, they are some good books, but I still hate reading. I'm pretty active with them both though, more so A long way gone than The house on Mango street. The most thing I do to help me keep interest in the two books is to skim over and find apart that will catch my eye to read the chapter, if I don't it's very hard to get into the book, much less the story or chapter we have to read. So like I said the book I prefer the most is A long way gone. The reason why is because it has more to the story's and makes you wonder and your mind run wild, like you feel like you could figure it out but once you read it, it is the complete opposite. As for The house on Mango street, I'm just ready to be done with book. It's so many short stories and seems like it has know point of a book or even knowing where the end is going to end up, like it makes me wonder are they just going to end back up in Mexico?

Part two: One of the survival skills I notice in this reading was that they kept going from village to village to make it each and everyday. They had to get what food they could and take with them because they had no food or water source when they was traveling, They couldn't be picky either, if it was edible they ate it, even though sometimes they probably shouldn't they still did. " That night we stole a pot of rice and cassava leaves. We ate it under coffee trees at the edge of the village, washed the pots, and returned them." (Beah 84) I can say that I have been through that once in lfe before, I choose a wrong path in my life before that I picked my partner over family and they cut me off and when I needed them or something the most I had to learn the hard way, I had to steal food and hope I didn't get caught and put family before others. I understand these boys were only doing what they had to so they could survive.

                                                                          Work citied
Beah, Ismael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier. New York: Sarah Critchon, 2007. Print.
Chelsea Makowski

Journal Four

      So far in my active reading I believe im doing really well, I find my self getting chapters mixed together and the stories are starting to jumble together. A Long Way Gone I am reading it a lot more intense and i am a lot more into the book than i am in Cisneros. Im really interested in the story of Beah and to me going from the two books Cisneros doesnt compete and i try to really read and comprehend her book but its hard to do when I want to read the other book and Beah just has an incredible story line. The two books are so different and have such a different story line but Beah is my favorite out of the books. I feel the strength in House on Mango street is the language how you can imagine exactly what she is saying and kind of plays with words to figure it out. When Cisneros is describing a feeling to you and wants you to feel it she descibes it in such a unique way where your mind automatically runs with magination. The weakness of Cisneros I believe is its not a story line so hard to follow or see where she is going with this. Their is no a key point in it or where the story is going. The strength in A Long Way Gone is the story its self, you get pulled in and filled with such emotion cause  you cant imagine what these young kids are going threw so you never know what is going to happen. The weakness of the book is when it hits a couple chapters its like he is dragging on and hard to follow exactly what he is saying.
      The survival skill tht Beah and his friends show is just incredible the point of adapt and over come has to be taught to people but being put in the situations that they find them self in they show how much of human nature it is to survive. The book describes how they learned how to use a bayonet to stab a tree, they never had to learn this skill but once the corporal told them " Is that how you stab someone who killed your family?" (Beah 112). They ways he describes this and you can feel the anger come out of them and the hate.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Journal 4 by Matt

Matt Hall
Professor Mike Lohre
English 1109.01
30 January 2017
            Throughout these two books this semester I have tried to read activity, and understand the book at the same time. I find myself having trouble trying to comprehend the book while reading actively. I often have to go back and reread passages, because I will get more focused on what I am writing down, then what is actually going on in the book. In both books there are strengths and weaknesses. In Cisneros, I think the book is too jumbled up and random to get a true feel to what the book as a whole is about. I also feel that the chapters can be too short. As soon as you start to get a feel about what the chapters about, it ends. I don’t know if this is a weakness, but I consider it to be for me. In Beah I feel that the book jumps around in time too much. I often get confused when they go back in time and show flashbacks. Both these books have a lot of strengths. In Cisneros, the chapters are short, and simple. This really allows the reading to pick up more and understand the language more. In Beah, there is always something going on. This book is action packed and really makes the reader feel the need to read more. Out of these two books, I prefer A Long Way Gone over The House On Mango Street. I am a person who loves a book with a lot of action.  A Long Way gone is easily my favorite.
            Some of the survival skills these kids have to pick up is amazing. In this last chapter You really see the emotional, and physical toll these kids are put under. One of the survival skills the boys had to learn was to be mentally strong. Seeing all this death in the war really hardened these kids minds up. It’s almost as if they don’t want to get too attached to anyone, so if anything happens to that person, they wouldn’t get hurt as bad. Beah shoes this when he says “Everyone else was crying, but I couldn’t cry. I felt dizzy and my eyes watered (beah 85). This just shows how much the war changes these kids. Not allowing death to bother you is a survival skill to these boys and helps to allow them to stay safe in the war.

Journal 4 Jeremy Johnson

     In this point of our reading, I am having a wonderful time reading the books for this class.  More than I had imagined I would, being that I don't read too often.  The way that the active reading is set up makes it a lot easier to get into the reading and not just read words on pages to get an assignment done.  Paying close attention to key points of the chapters and main characters being highlighted over and over anytime their names pop up in the reading really helps remember what the reading is about and who we have in our plots.  I love reading Beah, A Long Way Gone, more than that of Cisneros, A House on Mango Street.  I just relate more to Beah and his struggles with the war and how close to the struggles of my own war of fighting Anxiety everyday, unsure when my next attack will come, much like Beah, running from the rebels everyday.

     Much like the survival skills in Beah, A Long Way Gone, I too face my own adaptations of everyday life.  Dealing with my anxiety relates to this book on so many levels and this is a reason I find it hard to put the book down this far in the active reading.  Being plagued with fear is hard to manage, yet in life all we can do is push on and look for a brighter day. I worked at Honda for many years with no issues of anxiety, and when it hit me, it never let go to this day.  As Beah mentions in his reading " Apart from their fatigue and malnourishment, it was evident they had seen something that plagued their minds, something that we would refuse to accept if they told us all of it" (Beah 5.)
Just like my anxiety, I know I have had it for over two years now;  I just find it hard to believe it has happened to me.

Works Cited
Beah, Ismael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier. New York: Sarah Critchon, 
               2007. Print.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Journal four By. Brandi

Part One: So far active reading is going pretty good! I feel like its helpful if you are reading a lot in your other classes and it helps you to remember what you have already read. If I wasn't recording what I have already read I think I wouldn't remember as much or pay attention or appreciate to the writing style of the author. I feel like I record more of the plot, writing at its best, and nutshell of the paragraphs. I also keep an eye out for metaphors, alliteration, and dialog.

The House On Mango Street, strengths in my opinion is how Cisneros describes things in the book with her creative metaphors. I also can appreciate how she uses good dialog. Also her strength is indirect dialog but at the same time its a weakness because it gets kind of confusing at times when you are reading some of the chapters.

I feel like A Long Way Gone has a lot of strengths when it comes to describing location, characters, and events.  Beah really takes you back to where he was when he was a young teen and it causes your heart rate to go up with each intense event that he faces. So far the only weakness that I see is that Beah leaves you hanging sometimes and forces you to assume what happens instead of just telling you. For instance How did Saidu die?

I honestly can't pick which book is my favorite. I like reading the House On Mango Street because its a shorter chapter book for someone who has A.D.D and I also like learning Cisneros writing style. I like reading A Long Way Gone because I feel like its very descriptive and I like learning about different cultures and the history.

Part Two: One of the most important survival skill I have noticed while reading A Long Way Gone is Beah and his group do not spend a long period of time for grieving and being depressed about their situation. Despite their disadvantage and life circumstances they don't give up and they keep moving and looking for a safe place. In chapter eleven Beah writes "we all knew we could grieve only for a short while in order to continue staying alive" ( Beah 89).

Works Cited
Beah, Ismael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier. New York: Sarah Critchon, 
               2007. Print.