Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Power of Society

In P.T.I. many instances show the influence of society on many characters including Arnold. In the story, Mr. P is an old teacher who has been on the reservation for decades. He was the same teacher who taught his sister and probably knows as much about Arnold's family as he does. After becoming particular frustrated with the old books in the classroom, Arnold takes the book that his mother had once used. This pushes him to a point of great frustration with society, the world and everything. He acts rashly, throwing the book directly at Mr. P and breaking his nose. The repercussions of this are a long talk with Mr. P. At first, Arnold thinks he is going to get yelled yelled at but that is not what happens. Mr. P ends up telling Arnold that, "“If you stay on the rez, they’re going to kill you. I’m going to kill you. We’re all going to kill you” (Alexie 43). What Mr. P wants to tell Arnold is that society is impossible to beat in the reservation. He is suggesting that Arnold should leave the reservation so that he can seek out other opportunities without the impossible pressure that is placed by society on the rez. Arnold doesn't seem to particularly like this idea but maybe he will be swayed. He has had a tough life on the rez and as Mr. P sees it, going off the rez is the best route for a bright young mind like Arnold.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Struggles of Mob Mentality

Mob mentality can be something that can lead to tears of joy but usually results in arrests. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, mob mentality creates many negative situations throughout the book. Many factors influence mob mentality and how it effects the characters. In this book, the boys are alone and unsupervised. Without a strong sense of authority, many events escalate far past what would be acceptable in the real world. One instance where Golding shows mob mentality is when the boys play the game of hunter and prey. This game would have instantly been stopped if they were still in England. However, since they are alone on the island the game quickly turns more than violent. All the boys in their group are the hunters and poor little Robert is the one chosen as the pig. The boys reenact a fight and Robert is shoved, punched and pinned to the ground. He seems to be getting hurt, but the boys don't care. Another example of this is when the group of boys beat up Simon and kill him. The group of boys feed off each others energy and nervousness which leads to the boys becoming overly violent.

The Stanford Prison Experiment

When good people are placed in an evil or harmful place surprising things happen. Examples of this are found throughout The Stanford Prison Experiment and Lord of the Flies. The Stanford Prison Experiment is an experiment that was run by professors at Stanford on their students. The students were broken up into two groups; prisoners and guards. The guards quickly became violent and abusive of the prisoners. This shows how quickly good people can become power hungry and evil. In Lord of the Flies, this is similar to how the kids on the island slowly become savage without supervision. A great example of this is when Jack ties up Wilfred and beats him in plain view. This shows how the boys become savages and their actions change as they stay on the island longer. I think these examples show how evil triumphs over people. In both these examples the characters slowly become corrupted and evil because of the situation. Good people in bad environments lose sight of their morals and become different people.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Figurative Language Blog Assignment - Lord of the Flies

"The maze of the darkness sorted into near and far, and at the high point of the sky the cloudlets were warmed with color" (99).

The quote I chose compares the darkness of the night to the mystery of a maze. This quote explains how easy it is to misinterpret something that takes place during the night. The next section of the quote describes the beauty of the sunrise and how perception changes during the day. The quote explains how things become more clear and defined during the day opposed to during the night. Golding uses figurative language at this moment in the book because early that morning, Sam and Eric claim to have seen the beast. This is actually just the darkness playing tricks on their minds and twisting the image of a parachutist into this "beast" like creature. They boys describe the beast to Ralph and the whole group becomes fearful of the beast that was truly only the darkness. As the sun comes up, Golding uses this quote to compare the difference between day and night. If Sam and Eric were there during the day they would not have seen a "beast". They would have only seen the parachutist in the clarity of the daytime.

This image shows an example of a tangled maze that Golding compares to the night. Just like a maze, darkness can make things seem complex and unfamiliar.

This picture shows the sun piercing through clouds. The area where the sun hits the ground is much more clear and defined then the areas outside of the suns rays. This shows what Golding was trying to describe with the sun bringing clarity in the morning.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Can You Teach Empathy?

Empathy is a crucial skill to have in successful relationships. In the article, "Can you teach people to have empathy" by BBC Magazine, the steps to learn empathy are discussed. I think that it is definitely possible to learn empathy. There are many ways to do this that are discussed in the article. Marshall Rosenberg believes that, "What is essential, is our ability to be present to what's really going on within - to the unique feelings and needs a person is experiencing at the very moment". Listening is a building block of empathy. Without it, there is no way to understand what someone is going through. Another good exercise is to be curious of the strangers around you and you might just learn something and gain new perspectives (BBC Magazine, 4). These suggestions seem efficient but I don't believe most people learn through these "methods".

As a child, I remember my parents trying to teach me empathy. If I look back at it, they didn't use that word, but now I realize that it was what they were trying to imply. I didn't discover empathy though chosen methods. I learned it through my parents teaching and just living life. You might see a homeless man in the streets and wonder why he is lying on the sidewalk. It can be confusing as a child but as you grow up, things like this get easier to understand. The way I see people learning empathy is very similar to what John Green believes. He talks about how his 3 year old son obviously doesn't empathize much with him. However, he doesn't see this as a bad thing. He knows that he can assist his son to gain a stronger understanding of empathy as he grows up.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Persevering Through Mental Illness

Television is an incredible way to depict the struggles of those with mental illnesses and can help people to understand those who struggle with mental illnesses. One great example of this is The Big Bang Theory. One of the main characters is a theoretical physicist named Sheldon Cooper who has Asperger Syndrome. His struggles are illuminated in the show during many episodes. Even when he first wakes up the viewers will notice his unusual routine. He has a rigid time for using the bathroom despite the fact that he only shares the room with one other person, Leonard Hofstadter. Leonard follows his rules and understandingly puts up with some of Sheldon's unusual behavior. Sheldon is extremely stubborn and cannot give up an argument. This can be extremely frustrating at times but Leonard, a long time friend of Sheldon, finds ways to get past these arguments he has with Sheldon.

Sheldon also struggles greatly in many other social aspects. He has many difficulties reading people's body language and cannot tell when someone is being sarcastic or humorous. This can lead to many problems for Sheldon including him being very offended with something which wasn't meant to be hurtful. Not being able to read body language is also problematic for Sheldon. It can lead to misunderstanding and confusion with his girlfriend Amy. Some may find it surprising that Sheldon has a girlfriend but what is incredible is how they find ways to understand each other even when the situation can make it very difficult. Sheldon also avoids as much contact with others as he can. This can certainly be challenging and very awkward when a social situation calls for something like a hug and Sheldon seems reluctant to give one. The show truly helps explain the difficulties of having a mental illness but also shows the ways Sheldon and other characters find to cope with his mental illness and still do great things scientifically.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Forgive or Don't Forget?

I read an article called The Healing Power Of Holding a Grudge. I completely agree with the points that Doonan was trying to make in his article. I think that there are some things that take time to forgive and others that are completely unforgivable. I found the many cases of people forgiving rape and murder mind boggling. It's incredible how quick people are to forgiveness without allowing themselves to process what happened. I also agree that there are many good ways to channel these emotions into something positive like sports. As Doonan states, "grudges and bearing... in some instances can be quite invigorating". He mentions how you can use these chips on your shoulder to motivate you to do better in sports or elsewhere in your life. I think this article is definitely something to consider the next time you rush to forgiveness in your life.