Monday, December 3, 2007

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Blogs/Letters

Dear Charles,
I read your letter you had sent me on the 25th of August. I don't know who this she truely is, and I don't really care that much about that. But where did you think sending letters to random people was a good idea, boy when I was your age we didn't waste stamps like they were candy rappers. And we didn't send out parcels to custodians at high schools I don't know if this she characters know who I am but if its that Senior girl Sam i think its okay, she was a nice lass who always took the time to clean up after herself, things that affect janitors like me. She would always talk to me about stuff at school, her problems and stuff like that. Sam would say I am a good listener, but that don't mean you got the right to write letters to me. I ain't no Unicef charity, solving problems for little kids, that ain't my bag. As long as I get no more letters from anyone else I think this will be okay.
Anyways back to your letter, this Michael kid seamed like a good friend. Its a shame when stuff like this happens, but lad, you gotta get over it. I am sorry for your loss, but you gotta move on. Anywho, your brother seams like a nice guy, taking you out to lunch like that, my brother did that sometimes with me and it was nice. He seams very upright, I had heard he had a good head upon his shoulders, its nice to know this school can produce some decent citizens. And your Aunt Helen seams good too, you should tell me what happens to her sometime. Anyways i gotta go, some kid spray painted something on the wall of the school as some summer school end of the term prank. I will check back with you later.

Dear Charles,
I got your letter you had written on the 8th of February. So you’re an actor now, eh? Acting in that Rocky play or whatever, pretty cool and landing a lady friend too huh? Way to get em tiger. This Mary Elizabeth girl seams interesting, but I though you were interested in Sam. Seams strange to involve yourself with someone who you don’t like the best right? I don’t know much about that kind of stuff, but I do know that its only gonna end in disaster and no one will be happy with you or the situation.
Anyways you’ve been reading a lot of books many of them seam all smarty fancy pants noodle bakers. Naked Lunch? Sounds like some weird artsy fartsy movie from france. But what ever floats your boat I guess. Its better than other things that you could be doing. But I really think that you should focus your attention on someone that you really do like, mainly Sam. After reading how you talk about her it only makes sense that you should focus on her. Messing with someone you not going to focus your heart on is cruel on you and the other person, Mary Elizabeth. Think about it.

Dear Charles,
Dropping acid? Since when you been dropping acid? You had better stop doing them drugs or you will get addicted or something. Like a buddy of mine way back when was addicted to the paint chips on the back of the garden shed in Dallas. Started when he got bored one day at recess and was hungry at the time. He ate one or two chips a day, but then kept eating more until the teacher made us repaint the shed. After a year Carl was but in one of them special people schools and I never seen him since. Crazy Carl, thats what we called him. And back at prison there was a guy who was addicted to crack, he was crazy too, point is quit taking them drugs or you will go crazy too! Hehe 
Anywho, I hope you learned your leason and will never do anything like that again, with any luck
you will realize that having bad trips isn't worth those good trips, You know? Plenty of more productive things you could be doing right now like learning from them books that Bill guy has been giving you. Your going through so much its a shame to waste your time on venues that will only make you unhappy in the long run. Its a shame to see someone waste there time on things like this. I would stop while your ahead.

Dear Charles,
I am responding to your letter written on June 2nd. Do you know who put all of them jello packets in the damn swimming pool? Do you know how much water needs to be replaced, and where we gonna put 100,000 gallons of chlorine filled kool-aid! Them punk kids, they keep making messes and don't realize that good folks like me gotta clean up? Dag-nammit! Anyways, how thrilled are you to be moving up a grade, not a freshman anymore eh? Hehehe. I remember my freshman year way back when, when 6 thousand packets of koo-aid would have cost over 20 dollars which was a lot way back then. I am glad you are happy for your friends departures. Sam and Patrick are good people, its glad to know they are headed in good directions. Whats it like knowing you wont being seeing them for a long time? That's gotta feel pretty crummy. What do you think that you will do next year? Still gonna read some of them fancy novels from that Bill guy? If so thats good, its them tv's that turn good people into whippersnapers. Anyways have a good summer!

Dear Charles,
I am responding to the letter you had written on the 23rd of August. I am really confused as to what happened to you when you were watching the TV that wasn’t on. What was that all about? You just zone out all comatose like, or were you taking them drugs again I don’t even know. I guess I will never find out either, seeing as how that was your last letter. Or perhaps you left it up to my imagination and my opinion of you and your history to decide what actually happened to you.
It is nice to know that you are exited for next year though, that’s what I think is important especially looking at all you’ve been through this past year. Glad to see your looking ahead, but its interesting because the past letters you had been writing you were only focused on the present and bits of the past. Its interesting having you looking ahead and talking about it. Maybe now that you are doing this you don’t have to write anymore and that is why you are stopping your letters. Regardless I have really enjoyed reading your letters they have been very interesting. You’ve come along way.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Speak Journals

11/12/07-Describe your first day of high school. Do you remember what you wore? How did you get to school that day? Was there an opening day pep fest? What were your impressions and feelings? Please reference the first chapter: WELCOME TO MERRYWEATHER HIGH. Now that you’re a senior, review the list below (from p 5-6 and/or MORE LIES on p 148) and write your own list of lies about high school:

My first day of High School was similar to Melinda's but different in many different ways. Firstly I was lost confused and disorientated, but I had friends and knew where they were. I was bitter about being a freshman in high school, but not to the extent that she is. There was an opening day pep-fest as I recall, but I did not attend. To this day I don’t understand them, could be because I don’t have massive amounts of pep. It was easy to see the clicks and social trends. I felt disorientated but I didn’t let it ruin the day. I find it interesting looking back on my high school career and realizing that it was easy and a highlight. There weren’t many days I was really truly depressed at school. I guess the grass is always greener, and you don’t know how good you have it until you lose it. I think that a lot of what is on this list is biased to some extent.
“The first ten lies they tell you in high school:
1. We are here to help you. True but only if your a help to the administration
2. You'll have enough time to get to your classes before the bell rings. Easily true 8 min is enough, funny how I am usually tardy though
3. The dress code will be enforced. Lie, except for hats why I wonder?4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds
5. Our football team will win the championship this year. Haha Jefferson's football team sucks
6. We expect more of you here. True expectations are high7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with your needs in mind. True, but they fail to consider timeliness
9. Your locker combination is private. Who uses their locker?
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly.” True, I already do

I don’t have a list of lies, but I do know one truth from my own experience and from reading this book- High School is what you make it, you get what you put into it. It is what you make it. Go into it bitter it’s gonna be bitter back. Make it sweet and it will treat you nice. Griping and causing trouble with the administration is only gonna because you trouble. High School is what you make of it

Melinda has ambivalence and even spite for some of her teachers. How do you feel about your teachers at Jefferson? Can you find both positive and negative things? Write about a teacher who has affected your life in some way, either positively, or even negatively. (Please do not mention this teacher by name.)

I think that being a teacher is and can be a very stressful job. I work as an aid at a daycare center and I know how difficult it is dealing with kids. So dealing with kids that have free will and having issues with authority must be exceedingly difficult. This I think gives some reason to why some teachers are a bit crazy, or "bad teachers" this doesn't exclude all teachers though. Being crazy and depressed all the time like one teacher I had is a bad occupation choice. If you have issues dealing with kids don't be a teacher. It’s that simple. Most teachers understand this, so the majority of all teachers are either good or decent. One English teacher was really smart, but eccentric and a bit loony. Although he was very intelligent he was not that great at teaching. Another teacher that I had a Jefferson left the room for roughly 15 minutes every day and one time straight up left for the entire class period to buy a printer for a computer. Some other teachers are really patient which a great quality is. This one teacher lets the class have a lot of class time to do work despite the majority of the class is using them for personal, not educational

CODE BREAKING (p 100) is all about symbolism. What is that? Why does Mr. Freeman make Melinda draw a tree? “Tree. Tree? It's too easy. I learned how to draw a tree in the second grade…” (p 12). In many cultures it is accepted that images represent beliefs, groups, organizations and things. If you had to get a tattoo, what would you get? If you were able to symbolize your life with one picture, what would you choose? Choose an image (a symbol) to represent yourself. Post this image to your blog and give at least three reasons why you chose this picture

First of all i would get an anchor tattooed on my arm because then I could say I am holding it down! The page basically describes how symbolism works and how much Melinda dislikes it. She wishes that people would just say what they mean. It’s ironic how much symbolism is used by her and what she is saying. Say for instance the tree; in most cases trees represent growth and experience life and beauty. Its sort of a symbol of how much Melinda has grown as a person. In the novel she speaks as if she is much older than how old she actually is. The usage of the mascot and how it represents the class populous. Like the Trojan, which coincidently is the name of a condom was the representative of the school. A symbol of promiscuity? Its interesting that Melinda finds this symbol funny as well she jokes about it something a long the lines of "cheerleaders...pride of the Trojans" she sees the symbol and laughs about it cynically. I don’t know why but it would seem through the course of the novel that Melinda hates herself more than her peers, what with all the minor self-mutilation.
If I were to pick a symbol that would represent me it would probably be an anchor. Although mostly unseen it is the basis for keeping things grounded and essentially down to earth.

In Speak Melinda barely speaks. Why is this? What is finally revealed about Melinda’s experience at the party? (Use pages and descriptions from the text to support your answers.) How would you react if something similar happened to you? Looking back at your ideas of symbolism, explain her repeated use of the following images:
- Mirrors-Mirrors are usually used to express a reflection of one’s inner emotions. She uses the mirror to see beyond physical appearance and focus on her inner emotions.
- Seeds- Seeds usually are a representation for birth and the beginning of growth. I think that her using the seeds is an important metaphor for her recovering and growing.
- Rabbit- I think that the rabbit is a symbol of innocence. Bunnies in particular are associated with childhood. I think what happened to Melinda essentially stole her innocence. When Heather kicks the bunny aside in her room its like Heather is neglecting Melinda’s feelings. Heather wants to use her to make the prom d├ęcor, she refuses and Heather kicks the rabbit across the room.
- Lips-Usually lips are physical symbols of love and primarily affection. I think that the usage of lips is a symbol of something special that was tarnished after she was assaulted. She was raped and it is hard to establish a clear connection between love and assault, due to her physical abuse. I think the lips are again a symbol for something that was taken from her.
Melinda does not speak because she was raped at a party over the summer and called the police because she didn’t know what to do. She becomes silent because everyone knows that she called the police but not the reasons as to why. This is why no one that knows about the ordeal wants to associate with her. Also why she does not speak. She blames herself for the assault. If something like this were to happen to me I would probably act the same way. I would try to cover it up and disassociate with society and other people, clearly I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone.

Pages 141-165
Melinda has been spending a lot of time in the janitor’s closet-- cleaning it, decorating it, making it smell better. Why does she do this? Write about a place you like to go to be alone. Describe the place in vivid detail. Explain why you like this place. Does this solitude help you think or meditate or pray? Compare your place to Melinda’s closet.

I really don’t have a particular place that I go to, to collect myself. But I can relate to the concept of this “quiet place.” I walk to work everyday after school and then walk back home. This kind of gives me the same feeling. A time to connect with myself and reflect. The trees and the sunshine and the wind are all really nice. The walk there is uphill and the trees frame the road after the hill stops. When I walk home it usually signals the end of the work portion of the day. After this I can relax and put my feet up. Really, really nice. The reason why she decorates the room with such vigor is because of how important this room is to her. Looking at her perspective, she hates school and dislikes everyone there. It only makes sense that the one place in school she wants to go to is important to her. She wants to make this place even better almost to distract her from everything else. The more she feels comfortable in this place the better school will become.

Pages 165-198
Spring has come to Syracuse. What does spring mean within the context of the story? Use your knowledge of symbols and plot to explain the following things and how they are related:
Melinda cleans up the leaves in the yard.
I think that this is a great metaphor for her reconnecting and making amends with her parents after a year of distrust and disregard. By her raking up the leaves it’s like cleaning the slate. When her parents get home they are proud of the work Melinda has done and stop arguing. They become a near picture perfect family if only for that singular moment.
Melinda plays tennis in gym.
I think this has a lot to do with Melinda reconnecting with her old friend Nicole. Her competing with Nicole and participating on the same respect level is a great way to see eye to eye with her. Finally there is a way for Melinda to succeed where so many times she failed in gym class. She is proud to be on the same skill with Nicole and puts the two on the same level.
Melinda connects with Ivy in art class.
This I think is the way Melinda reconnects with another old friend, Ivy. Ivy, like many of her old friends hasn’t talked to her for the majority of the year. Ivy and her regain this connection and like with Nicole come to the same level. They essentially become friends again.
Melinda says she won’t help Heather with Prom.
I found this to be pretty interesting. Heather for a long time was a suck up to Melinda, and always wanted to be all friendly. Near the end of the story she basically wants to use Melinda to gain respect from the Marthas. When Melinda says no Heather flips and storms off. I think that this is a very strong turn for Melinda. She has had no one for the longest time except for this false friend Heather. Only when Melinda becomes happy with herself does she realize that she doesn’t need anyone else. She overcomes the needy Heather and respects herself to say no to her.

This entire closing chapter was one of the coolest endings to a book I think that I have ever read. The strong metaphors about finding, learning and being joyful with one ’s self are very entertaining. The closure of the whole thing was really cool. Everything was put back in the place it should be. I think that it was very symbolic that us as readers never know what happens to Andy. Melinda had gotten over it so she really didn’t care what happened to him. She found power in herself and stood up to him. She already has the closure she needs with the situation. It’s really cool that the author doesn’t bring it up I feel that it gives an even more pressing symbol to Melinda finding happiness within herself. It was a really good ending.