Jeff Dunham-Laughter

     

     I’m not entirely sure when was the first time I saw a Jeff Dunham stand-up show, but I know it was before High School on an afternoon where I got lost in the world of YouTube. Since the first time I saw him perform, I knew I wouldn’t regret becoming a fan, especially since he had me laughing within the first minute of his show. His crazy “friends” accompanied him in making that afternoon as joyful as possible. Whether it was Peanut, the white and purple monkey, with Jose the Jalapeno on a Stick arguing with each other, or Walter insulting the audience, his stand up show had me in stitches! His passion and devotion to revive and thrive in his art of ventriloquism should inspire us all to find our passion and prosper and achieve great things. Like Jeff Dunham demonstrates, that passion, that devotion, that dedication can be towards anything; usual activities like music or sports, or unusual activities like Cosplays, or carving egg-shells. Whatever the hobby is, we must do our finest job to find passion and thrive in it. Success wasn’t effortless for Jeff Dunham and his vertically impaired friends. Jeff Dunham worked all over his home town of Dallas; he performed in all types of places to try and get discovered. Dunham performed at school talent-shows, cafes, at his job at Six Flags, and around him college campus at Baylor University. Being allowed to execute his skits at these locations didn’t come easy for Dunham either; with him receiving his first puppet at age eight, he continued to improve his skills to his teenage years for the opportunity to make people laugh at small gigs. After performing in sophomoric establishments, Dunham would perform on Broadway and the Westbury Music Festival. It wasn’t until 1988 when Dunham received his big break thus skyrocketing his career as a ventriloquist. With Dunham’s success also came controversy with his ventriloquism style, often being criticized because of his cheeky friends. Time magazine described Dunham’s pals by saying, “All of them are politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting and ill tempered.” His ventriloquist style has often been described as “a dress-down, more digestible version of Don Rickles with multiple personality disorder.” Never the less, Jeff Dunham and his “multiple personalities” have been, and continue to be very successful in not only ventriloquist shows, but stand-up shows as well. Dunham has been credited with not only reviving the art of ventriloquism, but also in doing more to promote the art form than anyone else since the late Edgar Bergen, a famous 60’s/70’s ventriloquist whose routines Dunham often studies.

 Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthyFile:EdgarBergenandCharlieMcCarthyStageDoorCanteen1.jpg

     Jeff Dunham is an american ventriloquist and a stand-up comedian who has appeared on many T.V. shows, such as Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents, and the Tonight Show. Jeff Dunham have 5 specials running on Comedy Central: Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity, Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself, Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas, Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos, and Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters. Jeff Dunham began at the age of eight when his parents gave him a Mortimer Snerd dummy for Christmas in 1970. He immediately fell in love with ventriloquism as he practiced imitating his idol Edgar Bergen. Jeff Dunham, a native from Dallas, Texas, began his career as a ventriloquist in his middle school years performing for banquets attended by celebrities, such as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback (at the time) Roger Staubach. Jeff Dunham’s careers went through phases, much like one of a successful doctor or surgeon; must attend Elementary, Middle, and High School before they go off to Medical School, then commence their career in the medical world improving people’s lives. Jeff Dunham began as a mediocre, like most, if not all entertainers do. After Dunham’s performances for his parents in the living room at the age of eight, Dunham and his parents felt like it was time for Dunham to showcase his talent and passion for a larger audience, so on multiple occasions Dunham entered Elementary and Middle School talent shows. In the fourth grade Jeff Dunham decided that not only did he want to be a professional ventriloquist, but he wanted to be the best ventriloquist ever. Dunham practiced, rehearsed, and practiced even more in front of the mirror and attended camps. In the sixth grade, Jeff Dunham attended the Vent Haven ConVENTion in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Since then in 1977, Dunham has only missed one ConVENTion.

 

     I love to laugh. Laughter, as researchers say, is beneficial for our mental and physical health. Stressed individuals have higher levels of a hormone called cortical, and studies show that laughter lower cortical levels in the body, thus reducing stress in individuals (‘Laughter is the best medicine’). I enjoyed every single one of his stand ups, so an evening watching him perform with his whacky friends will only bring more joy and laughter. High levels of stress can cause headaches, muscle tensions, chest pains, stomach upsets, and fatigue (. High levels of stress not only affect you physically, but mentally as well as it could cause anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, anger and can lead you to a state of depression, and this is where Dunham and Melvin the superhero come to save the day. If you find an old man insult the audience and wish death upon his wife, or a dead terrorist threatening to kill you funny, then Dunham is indirectly beneficial for your health. According to R. Morgan Griffin “Laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step.” “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist (‘Give your body a boost–with laughter’). “They might be healthier too.” Although people aren’t certain that laughter helps people feel better, it certainly isn’t hurting; we change physiologically when we laugh. People who believe laughter is beneficial say it can be like a mild workout, and may offer some of the advantages of a mild workout. The act of laughing stretch our face muscles, causes our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, which causes us to send more oxygen to our tissues. Laughter isn’t only beneficial for us mentally by making us less depressed and have a more positive look on things, but it is also beneficial for us physically and our relationships with others as well. A recent study shows that “Humor and laughter can strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress”. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and/or conflict. Having a good laugh lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. As stated by Paul E. McGhee, Ph. D. “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” The ability to laugh is frequently a tremendous resource to cope with problems, enhancing relationships, and supporting our healthy bodies both mentally and physical. Laughter is also beneficial for relaxation as a good amount of laughter can leave our muscles relaxed for at least 45 minutes.

     From personal experience, this school year has been the toughest of them all, what with the higher advanced courses, the amount of school work, work/jobs, and extracurriculars, like NHS, etc. It seems like school has really taken it’s toll on our daily lives way more than it has before, and along with the amount on our plate comes stress and less time for ourselves. Comedians like Jeff Dunham strive to make people laugh. Laughter can change a person’s attitude towards the day, and can help relieve stress. Laughter is needed for hard-workers because of this reason. Everyone needs a break now-and-then to help clear one’s mind to achieve a moment of relaxation. This is why is it essential for everyone, but teens especially to watch comedians, such as Jeff Dunham, or comedies so that we don’t crack under the pressure of us entering the “real world” soon and all of the preparations building us up to either join the workforce or college. Laughter and our humor helps us in 3 main ways: physically, mentally, and socially. Physically by boosting your immunity, lowering stress levels, decreasing pain, relaxing muscles, and aid in the prevention of heart diseases. Almost everyone in high school can honestly say that they’ve been stressed because of multiple reasons: they have a project due in two days but they’re no where close to finishing, they have a test over material they haven’t studied in a while, or simply having to be eligible to participate in their passions, like sports or fine arts. Individuals can be stressed at work as well for presentations for their boss, if it’s either for your job, or for school, lowering stress level when possible. Mentally by adding joy and zest in our lives, easing anxiety and fear, relieving stress, and improving moods. And socially by strengthening relationships, attracting others towards us, enhancing teamwork, help defuse conflict, and promote group bonding. The mental and social benefits of laughter and humor go hand-in-hand because most people tend to be more gregarious when they’re in better moods, and most people would also want to be social with people in positive moods. Because of this, watching a little Dunham from time to time allows us to improve our moods which could indirectly improve our status at work as well. If a higher position is available at work, most bosses looks for active team-members ready for higher roles at work. They need someone who can communicate with their colleagues, and higher positioned workers as well, so communication and overall attitude is immensely important, both in and out of work. For high school students, these attributes are important as well for students who want to take leadership roles around school, whether it’s for extracurricular organizations, sports teams, or fine arts positions, good communication and attitude is significant to achieve the positions. To be a good leader, other must be able to come to you for help whenever needed and it’ll be way easier if you’re easy to approach. Jeff Dunham makes people laugh, and laughter allows you to be more sociable and have a better mind set, which in turn, can help you become a better person for your job, or school.

 

Reading Evalutaion

My goal for this year was to read 10 books.

List of books read:

  • Dog on it-Spencer Quinn
  • Little Bee-Chris Cleave
  • Chomp-Carl Hiaasen
  • Mockingjay-Suzanne Collins
  • Wonder-R.J. Palacios
  • The end-G. Michael Hopf
  • Oxygen-Andrew Miller
  • Ella Minnow Pea-Mark Dunn
  • Scat-Carl Hiaasen
  • iBoy-Kevin Brooks
  • Columbine-Dave Cullen

The book I enjoyed the most is Dog on it by Spencer Quinn because I really love animals and in this mystery, Chet, a dog, is the narrator of the book, so the whole story is told from the point of view of a dog; the scents, the sights, the sounds. It was fun reading the book through the point of view of a dog and how different the perspective is compared to that of a human. It also added new mysteries to solve since a dog’s knowledge is inferior to that of a human, so sometimes Chet doesn’t understand what’s going on with the case and it’s left to the readers to figure out what Chet is missing for being a dog.

I would abandon a book because it honestly didn’t interest me as much as it did when I first picked it up. Like for Life of Pi, I thought I would really enjoy the story because a boy being stuck on a life raft with a tiger really interested me, but as I kept reading the book, my interest diminished. I gave up on the book after about 30 pages in, but this only happened only 2 or 3 times this year. This didn’t happen often because of the books I chose, I usually really enjoyed them, or had to read for a project. Some books, like Columbine, I was really close to giving up on, but I didn’t because I had to finish it for a project, and I’m glad I didn’t abandon it because I actually really enjoyed Dave Cullen’s study on the shooting.

When we did Book Clubs, I read the books and discussed them in our groups. By discussing the craft that the author uses, I was able to implement the different writing styles into my own writing. Personally, the news articles (Pitts Jr.) helped me the most because we were instructed to include his writing style in our blogs, and because we had to do this on our blog posts for a couple of weeks, I was able to keep some of the craft in my future writing. Adding the different writing styles was actually a fun challenge because I know it made my blog posts more interesting and provided me with a road map to follow and complete with my thoughts and ideas.

Reading has definitely helped me be a better person, especially the non-fiction books with conflicts. Books like Columbine by Dave Cullen made me realize how there are bad people in the world with bad intentions. The parents of the deceased children were interviewed in this book and it made me appreciate my loved ones more because of the world filled with surprises that can happen at any moment. Books that made me understand the point of view of my parents, like when they don’t allow me to be out after a certain time; it’s not because they want to punish me, but because they want me to get home safe and sound. Reading different books also opened me up to the world and allowed myself to view the world from all different angles and perspectives.

 

The most challenging book for me to read this year was Oxygen by Andrew Miller
The most challenging book for me to read this year was Oxygen by Andrew Miller

 

My favorite book that I read this year
My favorite book that I read this year was by far Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Courage

To be courageous and to have hope tie closely together because if someone has courage and acts toward something, then that means they have hope in something better to be achieve through the acts of courage. To be courageous means to fight. To be courageous means to stand up for what you believe in. To be courageous means to not take “No” for an answer. To be courageous means to persevere through difficult times. To be courageous is to not fear failure, but rather fear not trying/giving up. To be courageous means to live life to the fullest.

As stated by Muhammad Ali, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

An excellent example of one’s courage being exercised is epitomized through Martin Luther King Jr. anti-segregation movement in the 1900’s. King Jr. had hopes of a better America; an America that did not judge one-another because of the color of their skin, sexual preference, or culture. Through his courageous acts, he was able to rally other men and women that had similar views as his to stand against the racism and segregation being conducted in America. Martin Luther King Jr., like every other person showing courage, wasn’t sure he would succeed, and unfortunately, there was a time where he was momentarily failing, like when he was imprisoned in 1963 for his civil disobedience during one of his campaigns against segregation. This imprisonment was a minor set back, but through King Jr.’s perseverance, courage, and hope for a better America where segregation will one day be considered a crime, he continued to have multiple campaigns against segregation that would ultimately lead to the end of segregation in America.

 

Courage is required in everything we do because courage is what allows us to step out of our comfort zones and go for our goals without limitations set by our own insecurities. Once we get courage to help us with our goals by learning that “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” (Maya Angelou) Angelou is trying to help us realize that without courage, trying to reach any goal is pointless because there will always be that sense of doubt placed on ourselves created by no one else but ourselves, and if we continue with those doubts, we will never amount to anything because we will always be fearing out ultimate defeat.

Our insecurities are our own fatal diseases, and courage is the only treatment for them.  

Accountability

Accountability can be described as, in ethics and governance, the  answer-ability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving.

Although being accountable and responsible for one’s actions is highly important, many lack it. Being ethically accountable is important for all internally and externally.

In school, being accountable is important for the student because it not only shows his or her understanding of the subject, but it also shows their character and how they want to be perceived by others, not only by fellow peers, but also by the teachers, administrators, and their community. The student will be a direct and indirect representation of their community, school, and parents, meaning that what the student does will show what they were taught was right and wrong. Would you want to represent a cheater? Would you want to be a dishonest person?

Accountability is equally important after school at one’s place of employment. Every employee, no matter their position or level of seniority is equally responsible in the aid of the success of a company or organization. To achieve goals, both long term and short term, it is crucial for all under the company or organization to share accountability. 

Everyone must be accountable. Everyone must take responsibility for their actions and learn to over come it.  The determined, the dedicated, and the diligent are all accountable for their actions. Doing this allows, authorizes, and allocates success in everything.

Humanity

Humanity can be defined as the human race; human beings collectively, or humaneness; benevolence. People all over the world express their humanity in multiple ways. Here’s one:

A stranger noticed that a local citizen left his car windows down before a huge storm, so he ran inside to a local grocery store and got many plastic bags to close the gaping entrance for the rain drops.

Many people say that our sense of humanity has been lost, and many people attempt to argue that our sense of humanity can never be restored. Faith in humanity is lost. They may have multiple reasons behind their saying of humanity being lost, like in some cases due to racists, the greedy/stingy, rudeness, or inability to show respect. In many ways, people notice these terrible attributes that allows them to see the reasoning behind faith in humanity lost, and it’s very despairing, dismal, doleful, dejecting, but not always true for everyone.

A police officer once bought a homeless man shoes and socks after seeing the poor man quivering in a ball on a cold December night.

A doctor once offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy to help those desperately in need, especially those who lost everything in the hurricane.

Or the rescue team that went out during a major winter storm to save a dying sheep from being buried alive under all the dense snow.

Many people notice these acts of kindness and goodwill and praise the heroes for their efforts in bettering humanity’s reputation in the twenty-first century. Even talk show hosts notice these acts, and to show our appreciation, the hero is often gifted with anything as simple as a nice dinner at Olive Garden to a brand new 52′ television. Although these people don’t intend on being rewarded for helping the helpless, feeding the hungry, or quenching the thirsty’s thirst, but knowing that they are appreciated help them continue doing what they do and often encourage others to do the same.

Even though they’re not humans, but people who save animals and humans alike still better humanity’s reputation for simply committing good deeds.

A pair of teenagers saved a drowning kitten after a large storm that knocked the defenseless cat into a rushing stream.

Or the man that comforted the dog that kept him from committing suicide by swimming with him in Lake Superior to soothe the dog’s arthritis. 

It’s true that people may be committing malicious acts upon one another, directly or indirectly, that causes us to see humanity as corrupt and down the drain, but there are many who strive to reverse the people’s effects by helping both other humans and animals. Their attempts are inspirational, impelling, and impressive, because of the few that are “saving all faith in humanity”, many people follow in their footsteps and commit acts of kindness, which in turn inspire more people that sets of a “domino effect” for all to not only notice, but praise as well.

Civility

Civility is something a lot of people-not necessarily everyone- but a good majority of people lack every once in a while. Maybe they don’t mean to be vindictive, but their cruel, hollow jokes for a cheap laugh from their friends may ultimately comes across as malicious towards the person targeted. Maybe they are trying to convey hatred towards one another because they simply don’t like each other due to an intense rivalry between the two. Maybe they’re having a bad day and their short temper went off on the wrong person, at the wrong time. Maybe they’re a troll.

With more and more people getting connected to the internet in all different types of ways, and with the internet inventing new ways to block true identities, “Trolls” are emerging and reeking havoc in the internet world. A huge controversial issue facing mainly teens today is the growing number of trolls thus causing a growing amount of cyber bullying. A major topic that was trending all over the news and internet was the Amanda Todd issue that occurred a couple of years ago. Her actions weren’t that bad for her to be bullied as bad as she was, and the actions she committed to be bullied wasn’t that uncommon and brand new to the world, but in her case, it’s like she was the first to ever move schools, or have more than one boyfriend. Her bullying was so bad that she committed suicide in 2009. In her famous 9 minute YouTube video prior to her suicide, she explained her reasons for leaving our earth. When she was being insulted in person to the point that the confrontations may become heated and physical. No one tried to help her, and when she got home, her bullying did not cease because of social medias. The insults and hateful comments committed against her were so malicious that she took her own life. Teens in this example were being vindictive towards Todd because they didn’t like her or her actions. The lack of decency by the teens show how harming its effects can have on a teen.

On the other hand, simple compliments can make someone’s day. The compliment, that will literally take a few seconds, can change a person’s whole attitude. The compliment can be a simple “I like your shoes”, “Cool shirt”, “Nice jeans”. The compliment can be anything and will be a complete 180 from what the trolls’ insults do. Instead of insulting, let’s try complimenting for a change and prevent anyone else to cause self harm and for a change feel good about themselves. This simple change will also allow for people to be comfortable in their own skin, no matter their size, age, sex, or race. It is important to feel great in our own skin no matter what anyone else has to say, but sometimes it become difficult hearing all of the hateful comments.

Open Letter to an Author Reassessment

Dear Spencer Quinn,

Over the past two weeks, I have read the book “Dog on it” and I have really enjoyed the book. This book has definitely made my love for animals grow. Seeing how much Chet loved, admired, respected, and cared for his owner Bernie made me realize once more how animals, for dogs in particular (because of this book), main goal in life is to basically love their humans as much as they can, even though sometimes the human may not deserve it. Bernie loved Chet as much as he could  “Chet. You all right, boy?” (54), but sometimes he would become a little irritated with Chet because after all, he is still an animal. Sometimes Bernie would have to get on Chet’s case for acting silly in serious times with the occasional “Chet!” (122) and ” ‘What’s going–‘ he began. ‘Chet!’ ” (122). Overall, Bernie and Chet have an amazing relationship. Although it hasn’t really decreased, but my spark for the love of animals and desire to become a successful veterinarian immensely grew, especially reading how Chet was violently attacked while he was napping under a tree; Chet was stabbed and hit by a car, but his love on Bernie helped him live through the hideous attack. Even after Chet was kidnapped, locked in a cage for days without water, choked by a choke chain, nearly whipped with a horse whip, nearly shot, nearly mauled by a mountain lion, and barely escaping being euthanized Chet only had one thing on his mind: “Get back to Bernie!” It terrible, yet obvious that there are people who truly hate animals and just want to cause them harm. Years ago I realized I wanted to be a veterinarian. Why? Because I love animals, they’re defenseless from aggressive and abusive owners and I want to make their world better because they deserve it. One of the first things that was taught in my Vet Med Class was that unlike doctors for humans, veterinarians don’t know what is wrong with the animal because they don’t speak English. Like this book and book series, being a Vet means that we have to solve the mystery of what is wrong with animals that step into out clinic. Chet was the narrator of the books, so we know exactly what is going through his head, which unfortunately Vets wouldn’t know what was going through dog’s heads. This book rekindled my love for animals and I thank you for showing me, once more, the great amount of love that dogs, and most all animals, have for humans. I also thank you for writing this book series in the point of view of a dog because even with the serious missing persons case occurring in “Dog on it”, having the voice of the dog kept things light and funny at totally inappropriate places because of Chet smelling a cat, dog treat, or even an old dusty Cheetoh under someone’s bed. This goofy, yet serious mystery told from the point of view of a dog has definitely given me a new positive look on how I see dogs, which in turn will help me become more determined at dedicated in becoming a vet, meaning I have to try harder to improve my grades.

 

Sincerely,

Adolfo Gonzalez

Dog On It

 I am currently reading “Dog On It” by Spencer Quinn. I’m on page 73 out of 305. A quote that really stood out to me was “Madison smelled just like her pillowcase, except now there was sweat mixed in; sweat and a little marijuana, too. Sweat, human sweat, is a big subject. There’s a kind that comes from exercise and has a fresh tangy smell. Then there’s a kind that comes from not showering enough, less fresh, with faint nonhuman elements mixed in. The kind that comes from fear–what I was smelling now–is somewhere in between.” The reason this quote stuck out to me was because this was the entire reason I was interested in reading this book; it’s written in the point of view of a dog. To humans, sweat is sweat; everyone had produced it before and we all find it repulsive, but to a dog it’s was more complex than how we see it. Dogs have a greater sense of smell, so they smell things we don’t, and through those smells they’re able to identify multiple characteristics that seem simplistic to humans. The first sentence was “I could smell him–or rather the booze on his breath–before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours.”

     I would definitely recommend this book to anyone I know because it’s interesting and unique; an entire book told solely from the point of view of a dog. Spence Quinn has multiple mystery books, and all of them are told in Chet’s (Bernie’s dog) point of view. Just because it’s told from a canine’s point of view doesn’t mean we miss out on the actual story line. The book isn’t describing how Chet buried a bone in the backyard, then chased a couple cars and squirrels before he fell asleep, but since Bernie is divorced and his son lives with the mother, Chet is always with Bernie when he goes out to do his detective job, and when they’re even just relaxing on the porch as well. Since Chet is always with his detective owner Bernie, you’re allowed to read the conversations Bernie has with people in order to get closer to solving the missing person’s case. You lose no knowledge for reading the voice of Chet, sometimes being a dog is humorous. Chet has a friend named Iggy who is a neighbor’s dog and Chet would gloat how he gets to go everywhere with Bernie in all places “Unlike poor Iggy.” Also, Chet is content how he doesn’t need to wear clothes, except for his collar, “Unlike poor Iggy.”

     I haven’t read that much to predict how the book might end, but I can definitely say that I’m looking forward to see what might happen, and if the missing person, Maddison, will be found. Already, there’s been a “hit” almost on Chet, what with Bernie’s car’s tires being slashed, and Chet being slashed with a knife, then hit by a car! I will say that it’s a mystery, so the events are fast paced. On chapter four, the duo of Bernie and Chet, along with a reporter, are on a stakeout. The previous chapter just talked about the reporter asking to interview Bernie for the newspaper and mentioned nothing about the stakeout. I was a little confused while reading chapter four, so confused that I w\had to go back and reread a little of chapter three which didn’t help me. I kept reading chapter four and I quickly found out why and how they were brought to the stakeout. Through dialogue between Bernie and the reporter I soon found out why they were waiting outside a guy’s work; “So your client suspects that her husband’s cheating on her?” It might confuse me at first, but I enjoy when Quinn answers our questions through dialogue between characters or through actions in the book because it gives me motivation to keep reading so I’ll know what’s going on and how the situations would play out.

Open letter to an author

Dear Chris Cleave,

Over the past month or so, I’ve read Little Bee, or as it is known in other regions of the world, On the other hand. This book has definitely given me a new perspective on my views towards the things I have and the people in my life. Seeing how dramatically Andrew O’Rourke’s death affected Sarah’s and four-year-old Charlie opened my eyes to how I’ve been treating important people in my life, like my parents. I may have had a bad day and have a head ache or I may have been in a grouchy mood, but it’s no excuse to behave like a stereotypical teenager towards my mom and dad. I’ve been impatient with them lately, and it could be for the slightest thing. I know it’s wrong, and I feel terrible afterwards. My parents aren’t young anymore, and both my parents and I know that, what with my dad being close to retiring, so I shouldn’t become moody with them because some woman was complaining about her popcorn being too salty, or teachers piling homework and projects that I procrastinate on till the last minute. I’m glad this book made me realize this before I was off to college where I would only be able to see our ceiling instead of their faces which my parents claim the webcam is pointed directly at, or, God forbid, before I see them with only the sound of the hospital’s machine flat-lining in my ear. I will not take my parents for granted anymore much like Sarah took Andrew for granted when she was having an affair, and once they were patching things up, he’s ripped away from her and Charlie. “I sat in the front pew of the church with my arms around my son, and realized I had begun to tremble. The vicar was delivering the eulogy. He was talking about my husband in the past tense. He made it sound very neat. It occured to me that he had never had to deal with Andrew in the present tense, or proofread his columns, or feel him running down inside like a piece of broken clockwork.” (40)

 

Little Bee

I am currently reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. There are 266 pages and currently I’m on page 179. One quote that stood out to me thus far was “In a few breaths’ time I will speak sad words to you. But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this story-teller is alive.” In this quote, Little Bee is having difficulty in acknowledging the horrors of the world and the task of still being alive in the world. Her seeing the girl with the scars shows her that if Yevette could make through it, she can too. This stuck out to me because of a couple years ago, when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, my house burned down and I didn’t realize it that much back then, but it was difficult on my parents, especially since it was the one unfortunate month that we missed our home-insurance bill. We were really contemplating on just picking up what’s left of our belongings and move down to Corsicana, but we toughed through it and were able to rebuild our house to live in. Much like Little Bee found hope in scars, we found hope in flames, in a hammer and nails, in each other. We received lots of help and held our head heads high in low parts of our lives.

I am enjoying this book so far because it’s a simple read. Not simple as in 5th grade diction, but simple as in an easy read. The way the author add so many details makes the book easier to understand in some ways. It’s descriptive, but not to an exaggeration. The amount of details is just the right amount to keep me entertained and not drive me away with the over-descriptive text. I noticed that in countries outside of the U.S. and Canada, “Little Bee” is titled “On the other hand”. I somewhat agree with this title over “Little Bee”, because the book is mainly about the two different lives of a Nigerian and of and English woman; two different worlds, two different narratives throughout the whole book. Then again, it is mainly about Little Bee, so that title fits as well. I personally prefer “On the other hand” because I find it so interesting how the contrast between the Nigerian culture and English culture is demonstrated in the book because of how similar cultures in New England and the United States are, so it’s almost like comparing Nigerian customs with ours. Out of the choices we had, I would definitely recommend this book for other AP students.