Thursday, August 25, 2011

Schooled In The End

In the end Cap goes back to living at Garland with Rain. Cap is driving on the dirt roads on Garland property when he gets pulled over by the police. Cap tried to tell him that it is Garland’s property, but the police officer tells Cap that it now belongs to Skyline Realty and Development. Cap did not understand. When Cap is waiting for Rain at the police station a shiny new Mercedes car pulls up. A blonde lady talking on her cell phone got out. She reached back in and got a cane. It was Rain’s cane! Rain came in and talked to Cap about how she sold Garland because eventually she would die and Cap would have to live on his own. If Cap had very little experience, like he does now, he would have a very hard time. Rain had bought a condo. For now he is going to stay at the Donnelly’s house until the condo is ready, and will be attending Claverage Middle School again.

The ending of the book schooled was good. It was a very happy ending but it was not realistic. If someone had created and lived at a place like Garland for so long would they really just give up all of their beliefs that easily? Rain really did not like how the world revolves around money and has felt that way for so long. Why would she give up her life at Garland so quickly?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jeremy Fink: A box of rocks?

Would you ever expect a box of rocks to be special? In Jeremy Fink's life, the box was an amazing mystery to be solved before he turned 13. Each rock represented a different experience from Jeremy's Dad's life. For example, Rock # 8 was "from the cemetery at my father's funeral, 23." I believe Jeremy changed a lot from the beginning of the story. Jeremy was afraid of almost everything. His friend, Lizzy, was not afraid of anything! On a bus trip into the city, they had to lie about going to the flea market all by themselves. He was so scared that he would get in big trouble. At the end of the story, Jeremy was more confident because he did community service and performed in a talent show all by himself. Jeremy said, "Never in a million years did I think I could have hula-hooped in a grass skirt in a talent show. I wonder what else I could do that I never thought I could." Once, I had to perform Irish dancing in front of over 200 people at my Mom's school for International Night. I was nervous because I had not danced in a year. All the eyes were staring at me! But once I started, it wasn't so bad. I did a pretty good job, and everyone clapped and cheered. So I know how Jeremy felt. Does anyone else ever feel nervous performing in front of a crowd like Jeremy and I did?

"I Love Lubar's One-Liners" Mrs. G. said straightly.

Upon concluding David Lubar's Sleeping Freshman Never Lie, I find myself so touched by the themes of friendship, maturation, and change that the author has addressed. At first, I found the main character Scott to be a regular teenager, cloaked in sarcasm to protect himself from the the harshness of high school and  the world in general.  As I read, I realized how the narrator's language sounded much like some adults I've met.  As people progress from childhood through adolescence to adulthood, I am reminded of the coping devices we all acquire to get us through the process.

I also appreciated how the author unveiled the faulty inferences that Scott had made about people he hardly knew.  As Scott befriended Wesley, Lee, and Mouth, he learned more about the type of person he wanted to be. Sometimes that's how we know ourselves relation to others.

On page 92, Scott judges that "flux sux" in his advice to his unborn sibling. But by the end of the book, he admits that "flux rox."  A shift in attitude makes all the difference in how change is experienced.  Not to say that change doesn't sometimes bring disappointment, but Lubar wants to remind us how change gives us the opportunity to grow.

That said, I can't wait for a new school year to start.  I know that most of the world celebrates New Year's on January 1, but my year has always turned over in September. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Mrs. Grannemann

Schooled Chapter 21

Poor nonathletic Capricorn Anderson,now popularand famous 8th grade president, finds himself at the bottom of a 20 man dog pile of football players because he is wearing the other teams uniform. The best tackle on the , Daryl, hit him first. Cap is so hurt, he cannot even get up himself and is helped off the field. The football team hears the coach yell while they're all thinking about Cap in the nurses office, especially the tackle, Darryl. The teachers find out that Hugh put Cap in the uniform and he gets the principals full wrath. Darryl seeks out Zach quickly after realizing that Zach and Hugh planned this. After arguing, the fists come out. Cap shows up and whimpers, "violence is not the answer", but no one heard him. Cap jumped in the middle of the fight only to be knocked out in one punch by the only one who cares about him now, Darryl. An ambulance shows up. The nurse escorts Cap to it. Darryl bursts out of the office and yells to Cap "I'm sorry! It was an accident, both times!" but it was too late. Cap was gone.
There are 10 more chapters in Schooled by Gordan Korman and many more lessons to be learned. I learned not to judge a person by their looks, get to know them first. I also learned not to be a bystander in a bad situation, my action can start a chain reaction to switch the situation around. If you want to know what happens next, I suggest reading this wonderful book. Will Sophie pass her drivers test? Will Rain walk again? Will Cap ever return to Claverage Middle School? To find out, take my advise and read the book.

Schooled Chapters 16-20

Sadly, after only a few days, Mr. Donnelly left without a goodbye. Sophie was crushed. She wouldn't receive her birthday bracelet. Cap realizing that she would never get the bracelet buys the same one with the schools money for the dance and engraves, "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE". Most of all though, Sophie has no one to show her how to drive. Mrs. Donnelly doesn't get home until later and Cap cannot legally drive so Cap kind of ignores the situation. As Cap is watching a TV show, Trigonometry and Tears, Cap learns that sometimes, things just fall into place. He likes this theory and begins using it in his own life. This is one reason he is ignoring the Halloween dance. As Cap's acquaintances buy materials for the dance, Mr. Kasigi, a committee volunteer, gets mad at Cap for not consulting the school budget. Later, Mrs Donnelly calls Mr. Kasigi 4 times and leaves 4 messages before he actually returns a call. She calls for a check-up on Cap. She learns a lot about what's going on at Claverage such as the tie-dyeing clinic, Cap's Tai Chi classes, and finally starting the Halloween dance. Sophie thinks she finally received her birthday bracelet. Cap's bracelet came in the mail. Sophie was overjoyed to read "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE", and it changes her feelings about life as well. Sophie becomes nice.... Well, nicer than before when she would want to kill Cap. Sophie and Cap watch Trigonometry and Tears together and not one harsh statement is said as opposed to the usual Sophie and Cap argument over a TV show.

Nice things can come up in the blink of an eye. Opening a present, hitting a home run, scoring a touch down... These are all great surprises that sometimes change your way of thinking about life or a person. Have you had something great happen to you?
Oddly, at the next Tai Chi meeting, Hugh Winkleman, Cap closest acquaintance, is tripped by most likely, a jock. Now that Cap is "popular", Hugh is next on the "to be bullied list". This is a huge step in the right direction for Cap as a student at this school,but what about Hugh? Also, Naomi, the girl who directed Cap to the hospital, was a soon to be a target. Her crush on her best friend's boyfriend got out, and her popularity status went down. Therefore, she started making moves on Cap, trying to up her popularity again. She also told Cap about the school participating in the March of Caring and donations being needed. Cap pulled out a checkbook which held all the money for the dance and wrote a check for $1,000.00 and gave it to Naomi. Everybody in the room went nuts over the fact that the check is real and how generous Cap is. Cap and Hugh ran to the bathroom and hid because the commotion was too much for them. Cap had not meant to, but he insulted Hugh by saying he couldn't believe the feeling of having so many people like him while Hugh hasn't had one second of popularity in his life. Hugh was through with Cap. Naomi, on the other hand, was just getting started and burst into the men's bathroom, hugged Cap while planting a kiss on his lips and left. While leaving, she said "To be continued".

People do nice things all the time. It makes us feel good. There are so many examples in the real world such as buying someone just what they wanted or in Cap's position, donating to a cause. Have you ever done something really nice? If so, what?
Zach Powers, the coolest kid in school, becomes jealous of Cap because he took over his place as best known in school. Cap took over this position by donating thousands of dollars to several charities. As coolest kid in school, Cap took Zach's chair at the lunch table. Zach angrily turned away and collided with, now, the biggest dork in school, Hugh Winkleman. Instead of hitting Hugh as usual, Zach looked at his face which had the same expression as Zach's, my friend(s) doesn't want me any more. So Zach and Hugh sat down together to talk. What started as a talk became a confession about how Zach set Cap up to be the 8th grade president. After the talk, Hugh and Zach make a plan to set up Cap at the upcoming pep rally. Then, out of the corner of their eyes, the two of them see Naomi wipe Cap's face for him. Hugh mumbled, "To be continued."
Jealousy is an emotion in which you feel upset that something did not go the way you had hoped. Right now Hugh and Zach are jealous of Cap's sudden popularity and they do not know how to handle that emotion. They take it to the extreme and Cap gets hurt. People are always jealous of others. Sometimes bad things happen when you get jealous of someone, you might do something you would normally not do. What is a situation in which you have been jealous?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wrap It all Up

It's Jeremy's birthday! This was the chapter that answered all of my questions. Did it answer all of yours? When Lizzy gave Jeremy her present I couldn't believe that she surprised him with the last key, I didn't expect that at all. I really thought that there was no other way for them to find the last key. Did you think that at the end of the book Jeremy would get all of the keys? I also didn't expect there to be rocks in the box, but eventually I understood it. Jeremy's dad wanted Jeremy to understand that when good things and good moments happen, recognize them. The meaning of life is..."Life's not about how many breaths you take, but how many moments that take your breath away". Well, I love happy endings and it looks like this boy got one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This One's For You, Procrastinators!

If you are reading this blog on August 18 and you have not started your summer reading yet, then you might be a procrastinator! (A procrastinator is someone who puts off doing something.) Here is some advice for you!

I think we have all procrastinated at some point in our lives. Yes, even your teachers are probably guilty of waiting until the last minute to do something important. Why do we procrastinate? I guess we all have our own reasons, but I know that I sometimes procrastinate for the following reasons:
  1. I don't think I will be good at the task that I am supposed to be doing, so I would rather avoid it and hope it disappears!
  2. I don't think I will enjoy the task very much.
Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Yes? No? Maybe? Do you need to think about it for 20 minutes? Don't! That's procrastinating!

It doesn't really matter why you have waited until the last minute to start reading. What you need to do now is develop a plan of action!

  1. Step One: Choose a book! This sounds simple, but it is not. Believe me, I make a living out of matching people to books, and it's not always pretty. Look at the books that I have recommended. Does anything interest you? Still haven't found a book that you like? Ask a good friend or a librarian for a suggestion. Then beg your parents to take you to the bookstore or public library as soon as possible.
  2. Read the first 50 pages. Yes, I said 50 pages. (Some experts actually recommend reading the first 100 pages, but we have limited time here...) You should take no more than 2 or 3 days to read the first 50 pages. You can't read the first 10 pages and complain, "Nothing is happening. I'm bored." Listen, nothing happens in the first 10 pages of most books. The author has to introduce you to the characters and the setting and the problem in the story. (Remember learning about the exposition last year? Yep, that's what I'm talking about here.)
  3. If you don't like the first 50 pages, choose another book! You read that correctly. I am a media specialist telling you not to finish a book. Sounds crazy, right? The truth is that there are plenty of great books out there, but it might take a while to find the type of books that are right for you. Since you don't have a lot of time left, you will need to commit to a book eventually, but reading is always easier and more enjoyable when you have chosen the right book.
  4. Gain some momentum with your book. Would you ever take 20 days to watch a 2 hour movie? (Well, if you have a toddler at home....) I'm guessing that you wouldn't do that. I'm not suggesting that you read the entire book in one day, although that can be great fun.! What I'm suggesting is that you read a few chapters per day every day IN A ROW until you finish. It really makes reading easier. You won't forget what you are reading about, and you will be drawn into the story.
These are my tips for all of you procrastinators. I have to go now, because I have some important tasks of my own that I am avoiding!

-Mrs. Kleinknecht