Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dear Diary,

For the next blog I wanted to do something a little different than what I did last quarter, so I came up with the idea of a journal entry. I will write the entry from the point of view of the main character as she struggles with the obstacles in her life. The main character of Please Ignore Vera Dietz is Vera and here is "her" diary entry.

        Dear Diary,

Charlie won't leave me long! And he's dead, how is that even possible? I know I need to go to the police with the information I have, but I can't, at least not yet. I'm still mad at him, I'm not ready to face it. I'm still mad at my dad. I can't believe how controlling he's being. I understand he doesn't want me to turn out like him, but I know what I'm doing. I don't want his future, but sometimes I need to let out some steam. I will admit that my drinking has gotten me into some difficult situations, but I'm completely stressed out! That doesn't make me an alcoholic, at least not in my eyes. The christmas party was a disaster and I now know I need to cut back, but the pain is still there. My best friend died for gosh sake, what am I suppose to do?! Charlie keeps "haunting" me. I'm in the car with James and bam! 5000 Charlies. Why? Why can't you let me do this on my own time? I'm working on getting to the point of being able to face what has happened. I'm still mad at him for ignoring me, treating me like crap, and sending me to the pet store so I could witness the terror. Honestly the list could go on and on. I know I need to face the facts and set Charlie free. I could really like James, James is a good guy, who cares about age? Why can't my dad see that? He hasn't even met him, he just assumes he's bad for me because of the age difference. I mean do we even need to talk about his love life? Mom left us and he still loves her. He won't let go and he won't face the fact that she's gone. Her clothes are still in the closet... His advice for my boy problems is to work more. Dad, I don't think thats going to help. Oh, and he got my work schedule changed so that James and I don't work together anymore. James is a good guy, honestly. On a more honest note, even after everything Charlie put me through and even after how horribly he treated me after meeting the "detention heads", I still love him. I imagine a part of me always will and thats something that is hard to face. I know I should make it right but there's so many secrets...so many questions...so many memories. I almost forgot about my vocab words, so here is me using covenant in a sentence. Charlie and I are not in covenant about when or even if I will tell the truth about that terrible night. I'm not even sure if thats right, but the sentence is true. Well it's time to shower and go to bed, I had a full day of delivering pizzas. Goodnight diary.

Here I Am Again...To Vlog!


Here is a link to view the vlog I did with Melinda Cox...I'm sorry its so cropped.

"Letters About Literature"

Dear Ms. King,
Hello, I’m a junior at Carbondale Community High School. I recently read your book, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and let me start by saying how much I truly enjoyed the book. It was humorous yet very real and sad at the same time. As I was starting to get to know Vera better throughout the book and her relationship with Charlie, I kept wanting him to be alive. You could see that actually he was a good guy that just simply got mixed up with the wrong crowd. Obviously from the beginning you know Charlie is dead but whenever there was a flash back, I was wishing he was still alive. I wanted him and Vera to have a chance to truly be together, especially after he said, “I love you, Vera. I always will”. Now I know that it defeats the purpose of the story if he were to still be alive, but I still hoped. I liked the way the story was told. I liked that the chapters skipped back and forth between present day and memories. You got to see what triggered her memories and why certain events had the effect they did. I haven’t read many stories that are written in that form and I thought it was very creative.
I felt that Vera was a very easy character to relate with. While I can’t exactly compare events in my life to events in Vera’s life, she was very real. She was the underdog that you wanted to cheer for. I truly wanted Vera to find her happiness. I wanted her to find a way to release Charlie’s secret. I’ll be honest and say that the book started off a little slow for me, but it was a constant page-turner as it began to pick up. My absolute favorite part was the connection Vera and her father have at the end. They have both been to counseling and they have realized that the main problem is Vera’s mom leaving. I feel Ken, Vera’s dad, has never left go of Vera’s mom to be able to move on. I thought it was really interesting when Vera and Ken make the signs to wear that have something written about them on the sign. Then while they are driving in the car on their road trip, Ken’s sign flies off. Its very symbolic of him letting go therefore the label no longer fits. I really did love that part. Vera and her father found a new connection at the end of the book that I feel they did not have at the beginning. The story wasn’t just about Vera finding her way through her guilt; it was also about Ken finding a way to accept the truth of Vera’s mother leaving. It was a powerful story that I would read again and again. And in the end I’m glad Vera and her father were able to find peace. Once again, I truly enjoyed the book.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reading Helps Us Learn...

Throughout the book Vera's dad is constantly worrying that Vera will become an alcoholic, because at a early age he became an alcoholic as well as his father. He is aware of how being an alcoholic ruined his life and he doesn't want that for Vera. This website talks about if alcoholism can be inherited from your parents.

Vera loves animals and its her dream to work at the local pet store in town, but she's too young, so she has to volunteer first. Her dad doesn't exactly approve of her volunteering, but she loves it. Exploring this website can give you an idea of why Vera loved it so much. There are pictures of animals that are in shelters and success stories of animals who were mistreated. I think Vera would love this website.

This website is a video trailer for the book, Please Ignore Vera Dietz. It allows you to get a summary but it doesn't give away the ending. This trailer can really hook you on the book.

This website is advice with how to cope with grief and loss. Vera has lost her best friend Charlie and even though she doesn't want to accept it yet, she's having a hard time dealing with it. I think this website would be very helpful for Vera and the reader.

Here is a website about the book and author. It gives you a preview to what the book is about and information on the author.

Vera's mother leaves her at a very young age and for most of her life she has had to grow up without a mom. Her mom hasn't been in communication with Vera basically at all, its just been Vera and her dad. This article is about a girl who, like Vera, was without a mom at the age of 13. You can relate the real live experience of the article to Vera's experience in the book to understand why Vera feels a certain way.

This website explains why teenagers with fall into the wrong crowds, like Charlie did. The website breaks it down to the deeper reason of why children go looking for trouble.

This is A.S. King's blogspot. The blog is very interesting and gives you a perspective of who she is and a little more about the book.

This is a video trailer for the book that I really enjoyed. If you aren't hooked before watching this, you will be after.

If you scroll down just a little bit on this website you will find a picture and a description of a pagoda. The town that Vera lives in has a pagoda not to far from Vera's house that she visits a lot. A lot of main conflicts happen at the pagoda, and before I looked up a picture, I was unsure of what a pagoda looked like. Having a picture in my head helped a lot with picturing the story.

I would recommend reading this review after reading the book. I know the point of these websites are to read before, but I think this is better read after. I really like the way this reviewer talks about the way the book is set up and the story line. It was something I had never thought of.

Vera's father is having a hard time facing the facts of what has happened to their family. He doesn't want to accept that Vera's mom left and that he deep down still loves her. Its something that bothers Vera throughout the book, and this site explains maybe why he acts the way he does.

This website gives information on teens who may be dealing with a close one dying and the grief they may feel. I feel this is very important to understand to even begin to understand what Vera is going through.

This is information about teen alcohol abuse. Vera's father was an alcoholic by the time he was a teenager and he is scared that Vera will become one too. Vera is drinking only because of stress and this website gives information as to why.

Vera repeatedly drives after drinking thinking that it is ok. Vera's father is scared for her and is completely against this. This website gives information and teens drinking and driving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Advice? Help? Criticism?...Here's What I Think...

My post on Melinda Cox's blog.

We have very similar feelings as far as blogging goes. I felt that my first quarter grade could have been better just like you. We also need to improve in the same areas. I had trouble with the length of my response just like you. I think the main important thing in achieving the appropriate length is to really take the time to think about what your going to say. I sit there with you while blogging and I know we are both guilty of opening a new post and starting to write without even thinking it through. Sometimes this can be good and sometimes this can cause you to run out of things to say rather quickly. I know that if you really take the time to think responses out you will have a better outcome. We are also reading the same book this quarter. I'm excited that Mrs. Hayes has given us the option to do a couple group blogs. I think it would be interesting if we could put our thoughts together in a vlog and describe both of our feelings for the book. This way the reader could get two different opinions and views of the same book. I think if we put the right amount of time into the thought process we could get a good outcome. I look forward to working with you and seeing your advancements. Good luck!

Here is a post that I posted on the ning. It was on the blog post about the book Stotan posted by Connor Helsdingen.
Hey i'm Simone Corpora from Carbondale Community High School.  I saw your blog post and the book cover caught my attention. I've been swimming since I was six and just recently quit due to a shoulder injury. Swimming books have always been my favorite because they its easy to find a way to relate to the characters, but I've never read this book. I know that you can share such strong bonds with the people that are on your team. You go through gruesome workouts and you don't think your going to be able to make it, but your friend next to you in the lane is there to push you on. It's an incredible bond and I can't imagine what kind of connection you would share after going through what the boys in the book went through. I really enjoyed reading your blog, it has encouraged me to go and read this book. I'm really curious as to how they learned about life and swimming through a week of military style training. I can't even begin to imagine 4 hours of practice every day for a week. Once again, great blog!

Here is a post I made on Arielle's blog.

  Dear Arielle,
I agree with your thoughts towards sparknotes. I feel that only reading a summary of a classic book takes away from the reason to why it is a classic. But where I disagree with you is that sometimes with classic books the writing can be a little tricky to understand. I think sparknotes can be helpful to read along with the book. For example, while reading Othello I found I had a difficult time understanding what the characters were trying to say. I would read the assigned reading, and then after go onto sparknotes to read more about the parts I didn't understand. So no I don't think sparknotes is completely off limits, but just needs to be used in the correct way. That way you understand the book and are ready to write the research paper. I am enjoying your blog very much, keep it up!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflecting On the Previous Posts

      Honestly I was not happy with my first quarter blog grade. I felt that I put an adequate amount of time and effort into my blog to not get a very good outcome. Regardless, I'm here to reflect, not mob about the grade I received. Lets start with the things that I need to improve so that we can finish on a good note. First, I need to improve the length of my responses. When responding to other classmate's posts I felt that it was better to get to the point than ramble on. I need to work on my critiquing ability. I can sometimes be too nice, but it's fine to give criticism in a respectful way. This is something I've always known, but have never been good at executing. My responses in general need to be longer. Mrs. Hayes kept underlining the word "analysis", and I'm not exactly sure what that means. I mean, I know what the word analysis means, but I'm not sure what she is exactly wanting from me. That's something to take up with her though. My final mistake was when doing the animoto and photo blog I simply had pictures to explain the plot. I need to expand the variety and add pictures to represent theme and symbols that are presented throughout the book.  Now that's enough with my mistakes, let's move onto things I did well. First, I received good feedback on my link up. I spent a lot of time looking for sites that would give a better understanding of my book, and I guess it paid off. One of the assignments was to create a vlog. This was the first time I had ever vlogged in my life. I rambled and probably talked too much, but I spent about 3 hours trying to complete it. Unfortunately, my teacher was unable to view the vlog and so it did not get graded. I'm not very good with technology and I'm not sure where the break down was, but oh well. Even though the vlog was not graded I felt it was something I did well on none the less.
      Goals. Goals are very important to make any advancements in life, so it would only be appropriate to set them for blogging as well. Goal number one is to strive for a better grade, but I think that's obvious. My next goal is to really take this blog in my own direction. This will be an easy goal to achieve because this time around Mrs. Hayes has given us more freedom to make the blog more personal. My next goal is to improve on the areas that I had trouble with in the first quarter. I need to stop worrying about my grade for blogging. For spanish and math I need to worry to keep those grades high, but that's not the case with blogging. I need to relax and not be mainly concentrated on word by word what we are suppose to do to achieve the grade I want. I think blogging will then become more natural and in the end I could end up with a better grade. I would think that blogging would be a difficult item to grade. Since blogging is such a personal thing every person in the class will have a different type blog, and I think that would be hard to grade. It's time to let the grade part of blogging go, and well, just blog.
        My opinion towards blogging is slowly changing. At first I was really excited because it was a new thing that I had never tried before. Then in the middle of blogging I kind of hit a slump and seeing my grade didn't help that either. Now that Mrs. Hayes is letting us take the blog which ever direction we want, I'm excited again. I have lots of ideas for possible blog prompts. For example, making a playlist that the main character would make to get them through a problem they are facing. Then explain why each song was chosen, and why the playlist title was chosen. I also liked the assignment that Mrs. Hayes gave us to find pictures that describe the book. This time I'll promise to do more than just the plot summary. My final idea I will share with you is to write one blog entry as if I was the main character and describe what is going on in their life and their feelings on the subject. I'm really excited to make this my own.
         My second quarter book is called, Please Ignore Vera Dietz. So far I've only read a few pages but the book immediately starts with a funeral. It's sometimes hard for me to read books that start off slow, but I love that this book just jumps right in. Stevie Dailey, a classmate, read this book last quarter and she strongly recommended it. I read her blog and her pictures and sites made me really interested in this book. Vera the same age as me and, for me at least, it's much easier to get hooked on a book when I can relate to the character. I also am looking forward to how this book gives the view point of a few different characters and not just one like most books. Over all, I think this quarter will be much better than the last. The last quarter was a warm up. Now this is the real deal.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Movie Trailer

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This is my animoto. With only 30 seconds all my photos were not able to be displayed. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

not a blog...a vlog!

Sorry for the rambling!

Information to Help You Learn

This site will supply information about twin behavioral traits. It talks about twins that were separated but still had similar personalities. It also talks about traits that twins inherit and ones they learn on their own.

This link gives you information on the author of the book, Caroline B. Cooney. It tells you information about her childhood and all the way up to present day. Reading more about the authors life can give you in site as to why they wrote the book, and where they got the inspiration.

Claire and Geneieve are both from different parts of New York. They talk about how they will go into the city on different occasions. This gives you information and pictures about different things that go on in the city, which can give you an idea as to what they would have done.

Missy is from Connecticut. This site gives you an idea of what Missy as grown up around and what she might do for fun. It also shows the scenery Missy would see and what the weather is like.

Missy and Claire find out they are adopted at the age of 16. They went through the beginning of life thinking that their parents were their biological parents. This site will give you information for adoption and the legal procedures that are involved.

In the book Missy and Genevieve's fathers both quote an article about black swan theory. "Black swans: events that are hugely important, rare and unpredictable, and explainable only after the fact." This website can give you background information as to where the author got the idea for the title.

This is a review of the book, Three Black Swans. This women gives her own opinion of the book which could be helpful before reading to see if you would be interested. There's nothing worse than starting a book and realizing its not a topic you are interested in.

During the beginning of the book Claire's father is unemployed. He doesn't tell his family though and Claire finds out through a friend, because her father was laid off as well. This website gives information that might help a reader understand where he's coming from and why he doesn't want to tell his family.

Claire and Missy discover that not only are they possibly twins but there is possibly another twin, making them triplets. On this site you can read about the characteristics of  identical triplets.

This is a picture of three black swans. This way you can have a visual of three swans when thinking about the title.

This is a students summary and opinion of the book. This can give you an idea of what other people are thinking about this book.

This is a youtube trailer that another student has made. It gives you great visuals to have while reading the book.

This is an image of Grand Central Station. This is where Missy and Claire arrive in New York. This provides a visual of what it's like for them when they get into New York before taking another train.

This website is how to find your biological parents. While Missy and Claire don't set out to find their parents they find Genevieve and in the process they find their parents. If they were not to have found them, they would have started a search just like this.
This website gives you information on exactly what it means to be identical. All three girls are identical triplets and they have found each at the age of 16. Throughout the years even though they haven't been together they have developed similar traits.
This website has advice for parents who have adopted children. This can help you understand why Missy, Claire, and Genevieve's parents never told their children. They wanted the children to believe that they were their real parents.

This video is excellent. The person who created this showed a lot of detail. If I had not read the book before watching this, I would have wanted to after. This video really draws you in.

This is a blog dedicated to teen books. It gives information on the author and the book. 

This website lists reasons as to why a parents might give their child up for adoption. Missy and Claire find out why they were given up for adoption, but here are other reasons people would do it.

This website can give information about why Allegra wanted to forget she even gave away two of her babies to begin with. Allegra didn't want to children but 16 years later meeting the two she gave away makes her feel embarrassed. This gives information on the grief parents feel.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Heres What I Think...

Emalee, i enjoy how honeset and straight forward you are. It's refreshing to see a student give their 100 percent honest opinion on a specfic assignment or class. Sometimes students will feel the need to say they enjoy the assignement just to stay on the teachers good side. Your completely honest, and i love it. The book you chose to read looked like an emotional rollercoaster. I look forward to hearing your opinions on the struggles the main character faces on a day to day basis. You said there were only two books you saw yourself reading, and I think you should be more open to other possibilities. I think it would surprise you what other books you might enjoy.

Macie, I'm very impressed with the pictures you were able to find to represent the book you read. At first glance at this book I didn't think i would be interested in it. It seemed, for lack of a better word, depressing. Your pictures really intrigued me though. After each picture i wanted to know what was going to happen next. I think this book is very relatable to students in high school. Good job with your picture collage, keep it up! -Simone

Melinda, I think you were able to find a song that represented the book you read very well. While I haven't read the book, I felt like the description really showed the connection very well. You also were able to find a classical song that wasn't too boring or just kept dragging on. I think this is very well developed and thought through. I know you took the appropriate time in class to find the perfect song. Good job! -Simone 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Music Expresses What We Cannot Say...

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       The song i chose to represent my book, Three Black Swans, is Scherzo for Violin and Piano in C Minor by Johnannes Brahms. The song starts off very up beat and a little bit dark. This represents the beginning of Missy's grand idea to do a hoax on the entire school. She pretends that her cousin, Claire, is her long lost twin and announces it to the school. Claire isn't sure if she wants to play along with Missy's shenanigans because deep down they both know they have a stronger connection than most cousins should. Claire gets very upset while filming the school news where they plan to announce their big surprise. Missy then tells her classmates that it was just a hoax, that Claire is really her cousin. Her classmates get furious with her and claim that Claire can't just be Missy's "cousin". As the music starts to progress and get stronger it symbolizes Missy and Claire's fight. They have spent every friday night together since they could remember and after the video is released they decide to spend some time apart. The music then starts to calm down as well and Missy and Claire. Before you know it, the music has picked back up again to show Genevieves arrival. The music as a powerful ending to display Claire's race to the train, parents of all three girls discovering the video, and Missy and Claire's trip the Genevieves house. The music as well as the book ends with a "bang".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

This is Missy.    

Missy's Cousin Claire.
At an early age their parents stopped them from dressing alike. 
Missy has to do a hoax for biology.
They are going to pretend to be long lost twins.

They announce it on the school's TV show.
Missy's classmates were excited.
Missy confessed to her lie

This upset her classmates.
but Rick already put the video on YouTube.
No more friday night sleepovers

Geneieve sees the video

Geneive contacts Missy and Claire on facebook.

They are going to meet in Grand Central Station

Genvieve's parents are mad.
Geneieve canceled

Claire and Missy go to Genieve's house

Geneieve's parents are the parents of all three girls.

Claire and Missy's parents are worried

Monday, August 29, 2011

There's a First for Everything...

      Hello my name is Simone Corpora. I am currently a junior at Carbondale Community High School. Blogging is a new concept for me and honestly I'm a little nervous. My older brother, Nic, is starting to make a career out of networking for different companies. He has talked about blogging for a while and how interesting it can be. He has tried to get me hooked on blogging but I never felt I had anything interesting to talk about. When I think of bloggers, I think of someone who is very intellectual, drinking coffee, and just returned from traveling the world. Unfortunately that's not me. But I'm going to have to put that picture out of my mind and consider myself a "blogger". I'm hoping that throughout this project it will become less of an assignment and more of a way to express how I feel about the topics I choose to read. Bare with me, I'm new to this.

This blog isn't going to tell you when I eat a sandwich or how I'm feeling on a certain day. No, this blog is to express my opinions of books I read throughout the year. Read for a Lifetime is a program that is encouraged at my school. Or least it has been the past two years, but this year its mandatory. There is a committee that decides on a book list of about 30 books. From there you, as a reader, are required to read at least four of them. For the class I am currently in this equals out to a book per quarter. The book I chose to read for the first quarter is, Three Black Swans.
I read and research many different young adult novels, but I had never heard of this one. On the back cover of the book it says, "events that are hugely important, rare and unpredictable, and explainable only after the fact", which first drew me to the book. Something about that quote really draws you in and makes you wonder how the inside of the book is going to play out. I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

Every Thursday is going to become a blog day. Meaning every Thursday I'm going to have to think of something to write about the book I am currently reading. Seems easy, right? Well, fingers crossed. There is a wide range of possible prompts that could be used throughout the quarter. For example, taking the problem the man character faces and finding a way to connect it to your life to show some kind of understanding. You could also write the blog as if you were the main character and describe what the character is feeling and what is going on in there life at a certain point of the book. Finally, you could find a song that would best fit the characters mood at a point in the book and explain how it would connect.

I hope you enjoy my blog,