Thursday, June 30, 2011

Love in Casablanca

When Rick met Ilsa at Casablanca, although Ilsa was still as beautiful as she was in Paris, she was not free any more. There's a guy standing beside her all the time, which is her husband, Victor. Rick couldn't move his eyes from Ilsa, but his mind was filled with anger and confusions. Later he found out that Ilsa didn't show up in the train station because her husband was found out alive and sick. Rick finally forgave Ilsa when he realized that she's still madly in love with him. At the end of the movie Rick could just put his name on the visa letter and fly to America with Ilsa, but he didn't. Instead he transfered the opportunity to Victor under the danger of sacrificing himself, only because he thought that was the best for Ilsa.

The presence of Victor to some extent generates dislikes since Rick and Ilsa looked so happy in Paris. However, Under the background of war, Victor was thrown into the Concentration camp and disappeared for a year. It was during his absence when his wife fell in love with Rick. Nobody can blame him if he chose to be bitter, but he didn't. He chose to believe Ilsa and didn't ask her any questions about Rick. This is his way to love Ilsa.

Most war movies are so tragic, however Casablanca is definitely not one of them. People are so small facing a war, but they still can manage their lives by making the right choices as what Rick and Victor did.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Memory as Story

A horn blares, tires screech, children scream and onlookers gasp. This is how I spent one fateful lunch period of my elementary school years. Attending St. Peters elementary growing up had its positives and negatives just like any other school. Positives being good teachers and lots of friends; negatives being uniforms and having to walk three downtown city blocks to the cafeteria located not a hundred yards away. We were more excited than usual for lunch that afternoon, being that it was Friday; pizza day. The last bastion of hope for a disillusioned third grader. As we jostled each other to make it to the front of the line behind our teacher, Ms. Millie, she abruptly stopped us at the curb and waited on the light to change so that we might cross the street to the cafeteria. Being extra hungry that day I had managed to make it to the front of the line with my friend Seth. Both of us waiting in agonizing anticipation for the signal to go; like two thoroughbreds’s anticipating the gunshot that would set them free. Jumping the gun Seth darted out a split second before the light changed and was rudely introduced to the front fender of an old cutlass. A screech and a thud and it was all over, and me with a front row seat; and to think, pizza day was supposed to be the best day of the week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Running Scared

For the first time in his life, Danny was in a state of fear. He had been startled, frightened and scared, but never before had he felt like this. It was a week before the most important basketball game of his high school career, and he was bout to throw it all away. Grant, a fellow classmate who lived across the neighborhood was having a party, and as all high school parties do, it was busted. Knowing the consequence would involve being suspended from the game he loved, he took off through the back door.

Three strides out the door he heard two cops yelling for him to stop, however do to the lack of light behind the house, he knew if he were to escape it would be unlikely he was identified. As he ran through the neighborhood his adrenaline increased greatly, he could hear the footsteps of the cops chasing him down. He then turned on his final gear and separated himself from the officers, as the sound of the footsteps faded, Danny knew, he had gotten away.

Writing Assignment One

One of the advantages of a having a sister is that I always had a playmate around. We played many games together, and acted out many scenarios. One of our favorite “make-believe” games was playing restaurant. Our mother would allow us to use real crackers and water in our play dishes.

On one particular day, Susie was the waitress and my friend Sheri and I were the customers. We were out of crackers, so Mom let us use potato chips instead. In those days, potato chips came in a big can, very similar to the gourmet popcorn cans you see at Christmas. The can was big enough that a child could sit comfortably on the can.

That cold and sunny winter afternoon, we set up our restaurant in the living room. Sheri and I were sitting at our table, enjoying our meal of potato chips and water. Our waitress (Susie) pulled the can of chips over near our table to sit down. She must have forgotten that the lid was off, and her bottom slid into the can and made a funny sound. We laughed and yelled “You farted in the chips!” Susie denied it vehemently and blamed the sound on the can flexing as she fell in. Sheri and I were laughing so hard it was difficult to say a word. When I managed to catch my breath, I jokingly told Susie she was not a waitress but a “fartress”.

To this day, 40 years later, we still share the joke of the worst waitress in the world. We laugh just as hard as we did that day, and I cherish every moment with my sister, the Fartress.

A destined meeting

The evening was approaching, and all I could think about was getting to that a houses. At that house was a stoop and a backyard stoop of the apartments in which we spent our after school hours. I had just finished what felt like hours of homework, when a light of hope rose like the sun. "Son, you can go over Derrick's and play for a little bit". Those magnificent words turned wheels in my head and turned off the obedient school boy who constantly got in my way. The sun was setting, but not for me. My red huffy bicycle could not move fast enough for me to catch up to were my mind already was. A big tin bowl in between my hand and the handle bar and a backpack with instruments of our awaiting enjoyment.
I roll past the school yard, headed straight for Derrick’s house. A boy my age stops shooting basket ball and calls my attention. He looked immediately familiar and in seconds I realized he was one of my past class mates, who had changed schools last year. “Hey, what is that for?” he asks, pointing at my tin bowl right after we exchange greetings. “This is for Beyblading” I reply assuming that every kid on the block had to be familiar with the battling spinning tops imported from Japan. It even had an amazing cartoon to go along with it.
His face lit up in a way that only someone with a similar understanding of boyish and nerdy expression could understand. He either new exactly what I was talking about and played with Beyblades, or had yet to do get one himself. Suddenly, Derrick’s house had become miles away, as my past classmate Tevin said “I have one too! You should come over my house, so we can play!” From that moment on, the friendship of two mighty Beyblades had slowly began to form. Derrick was to later join us in an unstoppable force. This pivotal moment in my childhood was a fertile ground that bred the greater aspirations of what I am today. A gladiator.

My Big Blue Couch

The time has come to move into my own place. I loaded up the truck with everything frome clothes to bed, TVs to refrigerator. But most importantly my big blue couch, I love my big blue couch, it served many perposes. A place where all of my friends could sit, no matter how many there were. Or as simple as a bed for when I feel asleep watching TV on the weekends.
I had finally made it to my new home. I unloaded all of my belongings and it seemed as though everything was in place. Now I only had one more thing, my big blue couch. It was meant for a room upstairs and would make my house perfect. However, the darn thing wouldn't fit. So I had to come up with some way of getting it upstairs. I tried pushing and pulling, I even tried the window, but it just wouldn't fit. So I decided to unstaple the cloth, and take it a part. It finally made it upstairs. The only thing now was it wasn't as couch it was a pile of wood with a big blue piece of cloth.

The Meatball

It was the Lunar New Year again. Mom and Dad invited auntie Wang and her families over for dinner. Auntie Wang has a daughter and a son. Ying, the son, was five years old. Although I was six years older than him, I was never able to tame him.

Mom spent the whole morning in the kitchen preparing for food for the guests. My mouth was filled with saliva when Mom set the jumbo pork meatballs in front me. After Dad give a simple New Year’s toast, everybody started grabbing food by chopsticks except Ying. Instead he was looking at his mom and waiting for the food. My eyes were locked by a juicy meatball. I reached out my chopsticks and tried to pick it up. Unluckily it slipped from my chopsticks since it was huge. The second time I stuck my chopsticks into the meatball. Right before I pulled it up, Ying started yelling at me, “It’s mine. It’s mine.” My hand froze in the air for a second, then I heard Mom’s voice, “Guang, you’re the big sister. Give that meatball to your cousin.” “Ma,” I insisted, “There’re so many in the plate. Why does he just want mine?” Mom stood up, walked over to me. She snatched the chopsticks from my hands and dropped the meatball in Ying’s bowl. Ying smiled at me with his little slanted eyes. Although auntie Wang then picked the biggest meatball for me, my appetite was totally gone.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Grapes of Wrath

So this movie was interesting to me, not only does it deal sociologically with the effect of displaced families during the depression, but the exploitation of those individuals. I'm not sure whether Steinbeck intended this, but the emotions evoked were enough for me to be shocked when i saw a policeman in the movie shoot an old woman. this is especially a shocking scene for me as the movie was censored a lot as it was yet the violence was still throughout. I liked Tom Joad, he's a man set on correcting his past wrongs but is always tempted toward evil. He never takes an inherently evil path. He even leaves his family so that they won't be pulled down with him is he does get dragged down. The kind of self sacrifice he shows is one that many probably had to show in the Great Depression.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Favorite books and movies

The books i have enjoyed have been Neuromancer and Count Zero by William Gibson, the Vampire chronicles (Interview with a vampire, The vampire Lestat, Queen of the damned) by Anne Rice, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the Hong Kong murder mystery books by David Rotenberg, The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (I've only read up to book three at the moment) 1984 by Orwell, thats pretty much it for novels. for short stories; Sound of Thunder, Harrison Bergeron, Anda's game. I'm a bit of a sucker for fanfiction if it's well done (most aren't) for Graphic Novels, Sandman by Neil Gaiman, 300, I'm a fan of the Japanese graphic novels known as Manga. for those I've read Black Lagoon, Bleach, and Black God, Ghost in the shell, and Akira.

For movies, my all time Favorite is Fight Club(have yet to read the book) then the rest are the good ones i've seen in the last 5 years. Donnie Darko, Weird Science, anything Quentin Terrantino, Inception, Forbidden Kingdom, Clive Barkers: Nightbreed, Let me in, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Akira.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

The book that I mentioned on the first day of class was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. A nine year old boy named Oskar loses his father in the 9/11 terrorist attack and is completely devistated in a way that he can not accept it. Upon going through his father's things, he finds a key in asmall envelope in a vase on an unreachable shelf labled "Black". Without his mother's permission, he decides to seek out everyone in New York with the last name "Black" in hopes of finding what this key was for and why his father had it.

Meanwhile, his grandmother that lives across the street from him is emotionally drawn to him as she has lost not only her son(Oskar's father) but her husband has been gone for a long. Even with her desperation to confine her love into Oskar, her husband has been sending letters trying to make up for his inability to be with her because he does not know how to love.

Favorite Book

The book I choice was King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild. I had to read this for History class. The book is about King Leopold II of Belgium and the crimes he comitted in the Congo, like slavery and human rights violations. This book was interesting to me because its something that really no one knew about back then, and still many people haven't hear of what happened. The writer uses sources like diaries and newspaper articles to give the reader good facts about the time. It also surprised me to learn that even today people in Belgium still praise Leopold as a great man. This is a interesting book and my not be for everyone, but if you have some free time you might try cracking it open and get into it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Grapes of Wrath

The film started with Tom Joad on his way back to his family's farm in Oklahoma. The truck driver first rejected to give him a ride by showing a "No Riders" sign. But Tom told him to be a "good guy", then the trucker changed his mind.

After Tom got off the truck, he met Jim Casy who used to be a preacher in his neighbour. Jim told Tom that he had to stop preaching because he couldn't control his "sexual appetite" towards young women. Also he believes that human spirit is the holy spirit.

Accompnied by Jim, Tom got to his parents' house and met an old neighbour, Muley Graves. From Muley's mouth, Tom found out that people were driven off the land because they were unable to generate enough profit to satisfy the land owners and bankers. Also his parents moved to Uncle John's.

At Uncle John's Tom finally met his parents and other families. They decided to go to California to start a new life by picking fruits. Grandpa refused to go with them. He sat in the front door grabbing a handful of soil.

The overloaded truck with people and little possessions left Oklahoma for Califonia. The Grandpa passed away on the road and was buried nowhere. They couldn't afford a funeral for him. Tom left a note in a glass bottle saying the death was caused by a stroke. The truck got back on the road again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Favorite Book

The best book I've read recently is Steig Larson's The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Give it a chance - it's a great book.

Once the action starts, this book is a roller coaster ride. There are several intense relationships that are explored and resolved. This book not only kept my interest, I had trouble putting it down in order to get anything else done :)

Mikael Blomvquist is a flawed man and that makes the character interesting. He has his own moral belief system, which seems quite different from the "typical" (is there such a thing?) American Judeo-Christian morality. I think it's because he is European, as is the author. Whatever the reason, I find him fascinating. I want to read more about him - in fact, I have already purchased books 2 & 3.

My Movie

The movie Donnie Darko, was the selection I chose from the movie's I have seen in the last 6 months in which interested me most. The reason I chose this movie is because it required full attention to really understand the movie. I even recall having to rewind it a few times to make sure I was understanding the plot correctly. The reason why this movie is so mind boggling is because it has many different things going on at once, and in order to understand what is happening you must pay full attention. Some of the themes introduced in this movie include time travel, betrayal, and sacrifice. The main character, Donnie Darko, faces many tuff decisions throughout the film, and what he decides changes the lives of everyone and makes a great ending.

My hometown

I'm from Hebei, China. Ok, where's that? It's in the north of China. From Beijing, the capital, it takes about 45 minutes to get there by car. I'm really lucky that the weather at Columbus is quite similar to Hebei, despite too much snow for last winter and too much rain for this spring. Wuhan is in the center of China. It's much hotter and wetter than Columbus. It takes over two hours to fly to Wuhan from Hebei. I have never been to Wuhan, but my dad was once positioned in Wuhan when he was in the national air force. It's too sad that Wuhan is experiencing a flood right now. However, the students from Wuhan University has been positively dealing with it. The picture on the right shows a little bit of it.

Big fan of movie's

I first saw Eat Pray Love last summer. A couple of month later I bought the book, by Elizabeth Gilbert, with the same title at Amazon. I'm always a big fan of movie's. If I had never seen the movie of Eat Pray Love, I probably would never pay attention to the book. I like different kinds of movies, excluding horror movies, science fictions, and some comedies. I love animated movies. It doesn't matter if it is Chinese, American, or Japanes. One of my favorite comedies is Meet the Fockers. I saw Midnight in Paris, directed and written by Woody Allen, last weekend. Anybody who loves movie and literature should go and see it.

Kite Runner

I read this book too. We don't appreciate how blessed we are in this country.

~ Kathy

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Welcome to our Blog!

Hello students, and if you've made it this far, you've found our blog.  Good job!

As a way to develop and expand the introductions we did in class Monday, I'll say a few words here. 

I'm originally from a farm in southwest Minnesota and was the first in my family to go to college.  Before I became a teacher, I was on a road crew and built grain bins in Nebraska, worked as a Schwan's Man (meaning I sold food prouducts door-to-door in Oklahoma), a warehouse manager in Texas, a journalist in Minnesota, and a graduate student at The Ohio State University.  At 33, I attained my Master's of Fine Arts in both fiction and poetry, and have been teaching at OSU ever since.  I have published a few stories and poems in my days as a writer, and hope to publish a book of stories and a novel in the future.

I really look forward to teaching this class and hope you will enjoy it!

The last good book I read was the novel The Kite Runner.  It has also been made into a movie, but I did not see it yet.  The book is a coming of age story and involves two main characters who start as young boys in Afghanistan.  It is a very good story of the differences in class and race and how this affects them.  At its heart it is about a character who has to face some bad choices he has made and the way that these choices hurt others close to him.  It has many tragic elements to the story, but the strongest part of the book is the characterizations and the inner lives of the true main characters, plus the relationship between the boy and his father.  I'd give the book at 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.  The villian in the book was a bit over the top and hard to believe at times.

All best,


P.S.  HOW TO USE BLOG:  To do a post, sign in first.  Then you should see your e-mail address in the upper right hand corner of the blog.  Also, you will see a link to click called New Post.  This is how you write an entry.  You will also see the Comment feature, and the Edit feature.  Play around with using these and you will see the blog has many features we can use, including adding pictures, links, and even video.