Mar
15
2011
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Blog-versations

When commenting on your classmates’ posts, there are a few simple rules to remember:

1.  Be respectful and polite, both when agreeing or disagreeing.

2.  Comments should be relatively substantial.  You are commenting on someone’s post to encourage discussion, not simply to state an agreement or disagreement.  Always remember to explain the reasoning behind your basic premise.

3.  You will become someone’s constant reader.  It will always be your responsibility to read this person’s post and respond to it in a thoughtful manner.  Additionally, you will read and respond to other posts of your choosing; this will vary depending on each assignment.

4.  When responding to a post, address the initial post and any relevant comments.  It’s absolutely possible to have lively conversations through blogging!

5.  Use all rules of English class, proper net-iquette, and an appropriate tone.

Written by Jennifer Deibler in: Uncategorized |
Apr
17
2009
1

Blogging 101

1.  Blogging for school requires academic writing.  Follow all rules of writing, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

2.  Use net-iquette.  When responding to your classmates, be respectful and thoughtful.

3.  Read all parts of a post, including its comments, before adding your own thoughts to the mix.  Remember that blogging is meant to be a dynamic exchange of ideas.

4.  Keep all content school appropriate.

5.  Be yourself and be honest.  We want to know your thoughts and ideas, so be proud of the unique elements you supply to the boards.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |
Mar
28
2011
0

Nicole Esposito- Chapters 28-30

1. When Mark contemplates suicide, a lot is running through his mind. He wonders if anybody will miss him and if he is doing the right thing. I’m not sure if I feel Mark’s decisions are justrifyable because he has lived through more than many people experience in their lifetime at just the age of 10. The reason I feel that this is possible not justifiable is because he is a little boy who should not ever be considering suicide howver his life isn’t going to get much better than what it already is.

       When Mark witnesses the murder, his life changes forever. I think he realizes that this could happen to him if he isn’t careful with his life. When he is thinking about suicide, as stated before, he wonders if anybody will miss him. I think those thoughts are justifiable but the actual act of his suicide isn’t. If his mother wasn’t there to save him, I think that Mark would have actually, and unfortunately, gone through with the suicide.  After this event, Mark starts to appreciate his family more. As terrible as this event was, I think that it really taught him a lesson.

2. Chapter 27; page 162:

“Alexandra continued to be the decaying shantytown it was before I was born, the police continued with their raids; children continued dying of malnutrition; the gutters continued to overflow with filth, an hovels continued mushrooming all over the place; families continued being deported to the tribal reserves; I continued going to school and to the movies and playing soccer; waves of immigrant workers continued arriving in Alexandra-this time however, they were being housed in newly built hostels (constructed where houses has been demolished) instead of compounds, there was talk that eventually, the whole of Alexandra would be nothing but hostels; our neighbours continued accusing one another of witchcraft ; my father continued drinking and gambling, and quarrelling with my mother, often beating her up. In short, the suffering of black people continued on the increase, and I continued getting the feeling that we, black of Alexandra, were like animals, quarantined inside a cage-by the white man-fomenting ignorance and death-and that there was nothing we could do about it but await, each, our violent end.”
I chose this paragraph in particular not because it was a life changing moment for ME to say, but I think it clearly changed Mark’s life. Mark’s life sometimes comes across as monotonous and dreary. We can see from this paragraph that he is starting to realize how this same routine everyday of his life, between the violence and prejudice, can affect his will to live. He knows things in Alexandra are never going to change for the better as long as he is still living there. As much as he doesn’t want to believe that he is going to suffer through a lot of his life, Mark has accepted the fact that he will be facing many bitter times.

 3. 1.    When his mother comes out to see Mark with a knife in his hand, ready to kill, she stops and comforts him saying that she would “miss him more than anything else. I would want to die too if you were to die.” Why does Mark’s mother favor him more than any of the other children?

  1. 2.    It’s ironic that Mark names Part Two “Passport to Knowledge.” Why would he want to include something that causes so much trouble in his family (passbooks) in such a pivotal moment in his life?
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Mar
28
2011
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25-28 Elle Patton

Question #1:

Although Mark had seen many murders before, the murder that occurred in chapter 27 made a big impression on Mark.  This is just one experience in Mark’s life that happened to push him a little too far into thinking that the suffering and pain that he goes through daily is too much to handle for him.  While contemplating his death, many thoughts pass through Mark’s mind: “Should I leave a note for my mother? Would anyone care? Did I have the courage?”  I believe that Mark’s thoughts are reasonable because of the experiences he has.

Almost any person in our time period that had witnessed these types of events in their life would most likely have post traumatic stress disorder and would also probably contemplate suicide, as Mark does in chapter 28.  The events that Mark has witnessed in his life are not appropriate for a child of such a young age to witness, although Mark, along with many others, witness murders everyday.  The thoughts running through Mark’s head would be very reasonable, however, if we would step into Mark’s shoes.

Question #2:

“Through some superman effort, it seemed, the man, now bleeding heavily from gaping wounds, managed to break through the cordon of butchers and make a mad dash for the street.  The tsotsis didn’t chase after him immediately, tarrying a while to rummage through the packages he had dropped.  The wounded man staggered left and right, clutching his slashed throat, which spewed blood.  I was now bathed in perspiration. My breath was coming out in spurts.  As the wounded man staggered past me, I detected tube-like things unwinding like a spool of thread through his slashed overalls.  His guts were spilling from his belly! Nausea overcame me. I wanted desperately to faint and be away from it all.  I thought I would panic any minute.  The fatally wounded man turned his bleeding head in the direction of the fortified shacks, as if pleading for the m to open and let him in.  There was a dreadful glint in his eyes, the glint of death creeping in.  I can never forget the look on his face for as long as I live. “ Page 163-164

This passage struck me as the most significant in the chapters because of the detail. Mark describes every thing that is occurring so well, I feel like I can see the man attempting to run away from the tsotsis.  It is so graphic that the image in my mind of the bleeding man, begging for them not to kill him, makes me feel sick and makes me feel like I am actually watching the murder.

Question #3:

1)   If you were in Mark’s shoes during the street murder, what would you have done?

2)   What would your reaction if you were in Mark’s mother’s position, walking in on your son about to commit suicide?

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Mar
28
2011
0

Jackson Corrigan— Chapter 25-28

Although Mark has gone through terrible things in his life including watching a horrible murder I still don’t think it justifies suicide. Suicide should never be the answer no matter what you are going through because nothing happening in your life could be worse then death. Mark witnessed a murder which is terrible for a kid at the age of ten but the idea that he was about to attempt suicide is even worse. I think that Mark needs more help from his family and friends to help solve his problems and that he needs to be more open to getting help. His life in Alexandria is terrible and painful but if he kills himself he can’t help himself or others in there attempt for freedom.

Marks life can’t get any better if he would kill himself. If he just listens to his mom when she tells him to go to school and work hard he has a chance at improving his and others lives. I think he needs to continue on fighting and trying to improve his living conditions. Although it won’t be easy for him to do i think it can be done. Suicide is not the answer the only answer seems to be to try to continue to improve his life.

2. Page 163– “As I turned the corner into thirteenth Avenue , I saw , coming down the street, a group of about six tsotsi chasing two men.”

I chose this passage because this is the start of the horrible murder that he witnesses. After witnessing this murder he is scared mentally and emotionally for life and even makes him contemplate suicide. this event is clearly one of the most life changing because it makes him have a whole new perspective on life and makes him think about his own life and whether he should continue living.

3.  Why do the tsotsi murder and steal from other black people who are just as poor as them instead of the white men who have more luxuries?

Why do u think the murder affects Mark  in this way? Do your think you would respond to a murder similar to Mark? why or why not?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
28
2011
0

Thoughts- Wright

1.             Mark thinking about suicide at his young age is scary.  A child of his age should not even know what suicide is. He has seen many scary events in his lifetime, which I think is the main reason for him thinking about killing himself.  I think that because he has experienced such life scarring events that it is okay that he was thinking about doing it.  When he was thinking about who would miss him, and like how he would do it, I could tell that he was really scared and that he did not actually want to do it. In the back of his mind I think he did know who would miss him.

When he talks about all of the crazy things that go on at home and at school, I think that it is somewhat okay to think about committing suicide even though it is a scary thing. If I was Mark, I would have just run away but he probably would have been caught. His thoughts about it are way more understandable when you know what has actually happened to him. Suicide is not something you joke about. It is something that if someone says they are considering, then they must be going through something really terrible. I am really glad Mark’s mom came at the time she did.

2.            Page 167 “ I felt unloved, unwanted, abandoned and betrayed by a world that seemingly denied me an opportunity to find my niche. A world that seemed to hold out nothing to me but hunger, pain, violence, and death.”

I chose this passage because I think it really showed how he felt about how the world around him was horrible and he had nothing to live for, even though Mark does not know about the opportunities that will come his way. When he was thinking about committing suicide, I think that there was a little piece of him that wanted to live so he could see what would happen with his life and that there might be hope. I love what his mom says to him when she walks in on him with the knife, I really think that it motivated him more to be a better kid and not think about suicide. It makes him stronger and I just loved that because he is such a smart boy and really has an opportunity to do many things in the future if he stays in school. I do think it was a good thing that he got caught and is told to go back to school, because he is such a bright and caring student.

3. Why do you think tsotsis killed that man? What were some of the reasons why he did it?

Do you think it was a good thing to give mark the books, comics, and puzzles? Why?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
1

Chapter 25-28 (Madeline)

1.   I don’t believe that it is ever okay to commit suicide ever. It is as bad as taking someone else’s life, but at the same time, I can understand why Mark would think like this. He has gone through tremendous hardships in his life. His dad is abusive, a drunkard, and ultra-demanding. He is constantly beat at school, and he has to live everyday with raids by unmerciful policemen. He grows up with apartheid, so his life is extremely unfair.

I can understand why he would want to die because he feels like there is no more hope left in the world, and I think that if I were in his situation, I would feel the same way. He sees his race constantly being attacked and persecuted, and he doesn’t see anyone, except white people, succeeding in life. He is black, so he feels like there is not much hope for him because of his race. Basically, the reasons why he wants to die make sense, but I do not think it is okay at all to commit suicide, because I believe that there always is still hope.

2.

“An icy chill of death froze the world around me. For a long time I remained stock-still in the tall grass, in the limpid night, scarcely breathing, watching the naked, mutilated, lifeless body contorted on the ground, in a pool of blood. Each gaze made it seem to come alive, to stir, to slowly rise, like an entombed Egyptian mummy coming back to life. I panicked, and shot out of the grass as though I had been shot out of a cannon, howling like a maniac, as if tenscore devils were after me. Blinded by terror, I was mindless of my safety as I ran all the way home without stopping, dodging cars, bumping into obstacles and people, and leaping over dongas. Upon entering the house I fainted. My mother revived me by pouring water over me.”

Kaffir Boy pg. 164

I really believe that this moment was extremely significant because it was so terrifying for him to see this happen. This is the main event that led to him wanting to kill himself. In this event he doesn’t understand why someone would do such a thing to another person. He says, “to me life meant love, understanding, compassion” (Kaffir Boy 166). This event kind of makes him realize that those are the key elements to life and that those are the feelings in life that are really important.

3.    Like Mark mentioned, why do people hate so much? Why would they waist their energy harboring bad feelings toward someone?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
1

Chapters 25-28 (Franklin)

1.Response

                Mark’s decision to contemplate is suicide is justifiable given the events in his life that he witnesses. At age ten you don’t expect him to even to think about killing himself but given that he has already seen someone murdered you can see where he’s coming from. Mark is a strong and brave ten year old and considering that he has lived through poverty, has been without food for months, and has had to deal with his parents fighting about everything, I wonder if he had  contemplated killing himself even before the murder. Mark constantly lives in terror, starvation, and poverty. Frankly I don’t even know  if his family would be able to function without him. His family just needs someone to be strong and tell them that everything is going to be okay and I think that Mark could become that someone.

                Mark has had to deal with family issues such as seeing his parents fight continuously. How is Mark supposed to ask for his parents advice on how to deal with his feelings when his parents can’t deal with their own feelings of confusion. His father would beat his mom quite often and seeing the man of the house beating someone you love dearly is unbelievably hard to deal with. Mark has gone through many life threatening events and he is very mature to deal with all of this. As I stated earlier I do think that Mark’s decisions were justifiable but i do not think that suicide is the way to end your life.

2.Quote

” Thus, as I stood dreamily by the stoop, twirling a switchblade knife between my trembling hands, oblivious to the world around me, I thought of killing myself. How was I going to do it?”- pg.167

This quote struck me as the most significant because if I were to read this quote knowing nothing about the book I would assume that this was someone older saying this. He describes how his hands are trembling which can be of sign of uncertainty, nervousness, etc. This is when I realized that Mark really has no clue what to do or where to go for guidance so as a result the only solution he can think of is suicide. Thank goodness his mom came through for him and was there for him in the end to show him that ending his life wasn’t the right answer and that she’s always there for him.

3. Questions

1. Will Mark ever find his safe haven and overcome his emotions from Alexandra?

2. Does Mark realize how far he can go in life?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
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Chapters 25-28- Mathias

1.Mark’s thoughts of suicide are very justifiable based on all the things he has experienced. This boy is only ten years old and in those short ten years he has been beaten, starved, betrayed and all together gave up hope. He wanted to end his own life because he didn’t see any reason to live. He felt unimportant and unwanted. For the first ten years of his life, he couldn’t make sense of why he was on this earth. Being in a situation like this would make anyone feel as though they should end their lives so they didn’t have to struggle through it any longer. Even though Mark’s mother loves him very much and has so much hope for him, he cannot see what she sees which is frustrating for him. His mother tells him constantly to keep going to school and learn as much as he can each day. She is older and wiser and has a vision of what Mark will do in the future. Mark can’t see what she sees because he is not looking at it from her perspective and hasn’t made it to the point in his life when he understands what an education means like his mother does.

Mark also experiences a horrible murder. This effects him greatly. Mark really starts to think about life and what it really means. He doesn’t feel as though he should be alive, and starts to think about the man that was murdered all the time. He has nightmares about him and his mother sees that something is wrong. Mark wants to take his own life after this event occurs. He wonders what his family’s lives would be like if he was gone, if anyone would miss him, and if it would upset his mother at all. These thoughts are washed away when Mark has an almost attempt with taking his own life away and his mother assures him that he would be missed so much by his sisters, and her.

2.In chapter 27, Mark experiences the murder of a man by the tsotsis. He was on his way home from playing soccer when he saw a group of tsotsis chasing two men. Mark immediately remembered what his mother once told him about the tsotsis. She said “When you see tsotsis, child, run for the nearest cover until they’re gone.” (Page 163).  Mark runs and hides in the grass in someone’s yard and watches as the tsotsis torture the one man. They want everything he has, and they basically do anything to get it. The man continuously begs for his life saying “Please don’t kill me, I have ten children. Please don’t kill me.” (Page 163). Mark is terrified and keeps quiet the whole time, hoping that the tsotsis don’t see or hear him. The group of vicious men stabbed the other man, and as he tried to get away he dropped all of his belongings. The tsotsis look through everything he had, and then chase after the man and kill him.

I chose this passage for being the most significant life-altering moment because it really changes how Mark views the world. This event makes him feel depressed and very unsure about life. I think it also changed Mark’s life by making him eventually realize that an enducation is important so that he doesn’t end up being in a gang and living the way the tsotsis do.

1.What really makes Mark understand why his education is so necessary?

2. How would Mark’s life be without his mother?

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Mar
27
2011
2

Olivia Rasp ch. 25-28

1.) Yes, in my opinion, Mark’s thoughts are justifiable based on all he has seen and been through.  He states that he felt that he should end his own life a few months after the murder he witnessed and he could have felt guilty that he did not do anything to possibly help the man who was brutally murdered.  So as a result of his guilt for that, the only way that he could have felt better was to take his own life.  On that lone, winter afternoon, he had been finally been penetrated by the force of suffering which had been with him for years, and his soul had been affected.  Mark had been through so much at such a young age that he was not sure that he could handle it.  He stated that he felt that life could never, would never change for him. He was tired of how things were, and he could not bare to think of how things were going to be for him in the future.

Having to deal with poverty, fear, pain, and suffering were too much for him to handle at such a young age.  However,  I may think that his actions are justifiable, I also think that his actions are not justifiable by all he has been through.  He might not be able to deal with all of the pain, suffering, and poverty, but he does not have to go through it alone.  As his mother told him, his sisters would miss him very much.  They too have to go through the same things as Mark.  He might have felt that there was nothing left to do, but there is always another choice.  For Mark, his mother made that other choice for him.  That choice was to take away the blade, and have him live fulfilling life as she has been telling him he will lead on eday.  Although as he stated that the doors of opportunity were shutting more the harder and more persistently he knocked, he should not give up. His mother has been trying to get him into school, and get working papers, and kept getting turned down. She, however, did not give up.  If anything, it made her go after it more.

2.) page 168-” While standing there, lost in a world of confusion and fear, my mother expectantly joined me.  I tried hiding the knife behind my back, but she had already seen it.  She remained still alongside me, alternately loking at me, then at the knife.  Overwhelmed with guilt, I dropped my eyes.  A few moments passed in tense silence. Still she didn’t say anything, seemingly waiting for me to say something, to explain the reason for the knife, and why i was trembling.”

This passage struck me as the most significant even thoughh there were many runner ups. It did so because it was (in my opinion) when Mark realised that he was not going through all of his struggles, which made him contemplate suicide, alone.  His mother taking his knife away and making him promise that he would never do anything so drastic again was something he needed to make him know that he is not being neglected and that he has people that care for him.

3.) -First off, who are the tsotsis? Second, what do you think happened to the second man they were chasing?

     -Does the school care enough to send people after Mark themselves, or did his mother ask the school to send people put to receive him? Also, did Mark get beaten for not being in school because he was beaten so badly for not being in school? Why? Wouldn’t they get that they were the reason he wasn’t there and lay off the beatings for a little while?

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Mar
27
2011
0

Brennan Scott chapters 25-28

1. I can completely understand why Mark would contemplate suicide given his circumstances throughout his whole life. Although he has every reason in the world to want to end his life, that does not justify his decision to commit suicide. Honestly, I think witnessing the murder was not the main factor in his suicidal thoughts. In my opinion, I think that the true motive for his morbid thoughts was the fact that for years he did not have a father or anything to eat. All of these emotions finally built up and became seemingly unbearable to Mark. Also, Mark may not have been able to think clearly because he was malnourished.
Mark also very seldom felt loved and appreciated. The feeling of having nothing to live for also played a major roll in his suicidal thoughts. From an extremely young age Mark was beaten and bullied emotionally and physically by his father. His father only cared for himself and would beat Mark and his family, especially Mark’s mother. Throughout the years Mark has had to put up with all of these living conditions, which are starting to take over the way he is thinking. In his mid he thinks that if he ends his life he will not have to live with the fear of the police breaking into his house, demanding money, food, possession, and just taking whatever they please. He also is on his own most of the time and does not have parental guidance. For years he did not have a father at all, and even when his father was hoe he did nothing but beat him and make him feel useless.

2. “’Look at your sisters over there…. They’ll miss you very much…They’ll have no big brother to help them and to protect them. They’ll have no big brother to look up to. They’ll have no big brother to help them go to school when they grow up…I would miss you more than anyone else…You’re the only hope I have.’” Page 169

In my opinion this is the most influential passage because it made Mark realize that he was hurting every one he loved by attempting suicide. Mark realized that he was the only hope for his family, especially his sisters. He began to tear up when he thought about how devastated they would be if he were no longer around to guide and mentor them. His mother opened his eyes to the fact that he was the main reason she was still able to have hope and overcome her everyday obstacles. He also realized that if his sisters were gong to live a better life, he was there only passage out of Alexandra. I am the oldest child in my family and have two younger siblings like Mark. Reading this passage made me realize for myself how important I am to my younger brothers and how big of a roll I play in their life

3. Does Mark’s father not want him to attend school for a realistic belief or is out of fear that Mark will overpower him one day, or is it jelousy because he did not have the chance to attend school as a child himself?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
0

Lindsay Midgett Chapters 25-28

Prompt 1

I  think that Marks thoughts of suicide are justifiable due to his experiences throughout his life. I do not agree that committing suicide is an appropriate way to face your life and problems, but i do see his thinking in wanting to end his own life. The main even that made him want to end his life was after seeing another man be killed. I have obviously never seen someone being murdered, but I can only imagine how tragic and horrifying the experience would be. I imagine it would have a very strong impact on me, and I can only imagine the impact that it had on Mark as a ten year old boy. I can understand his thinking when he explains that he doesn’t understand why he should be alive after having the terrible experience. Along with this life changing experience for Mark, there are many other events in his life that I believe led to his thoughts of suicide.

I also believe that the many other sad events throughout marks life cause him to have these thoughts. For instance, I believe that watching his parents being taken away by the police force time after time causes depression in marks life. After seeing them being hurt and always having to run must make him not want to grow up and have to live the life that they do. I also think that being whipped and abused by the school teachers and his father had an impact on his thoughts of suicide. I believe this because while he was standing with the knife he was thinking about if anyone would care or miss him if he was dead. I think that the abuse contributed to these thoughts because they had made him feel unloved and uncared for. There are many other sad and harmful events that very well could have contributed to his thoughts of suicide, but as you can see, the ones that I have mentioned must have had a deep impact on his thoughts and life.

Prompt 2

Page 163

I craned my neck to see what was going on. What I saw made me gasp with horror. Having drawn gleaming, sharp knives, meat cleavers and tomahawks, the tsotsis began carving the man as he howled for mercy. “Don’t kill me, please don’t kill me. I have ten children, please don’t kill me. Take everything I have, but please don’t kill me”

The tsotsis paid no heed to his pleas; in fact, they grinned at his cries.

This is the passage that struck me and affected me the most. The first reason that I chose this passage is because of how merciful the man was and how rudely the tsotsis treated him. It really makes me think about how horribly the blacks had it and how they had very little control over what happened to them. It also struck me when he was pleading about how he had ten children at home and how the tsotsis didn’t care about that at all. The fact that they smiled at his cries made me feel so sorry for the man, his family, and all other blacks living in Apartheid at that time.  I thought that this scene was the most significant in showing how poorly the blacks were treated and it really convinced me as the reader that blacks were not cared for and there was no true reasoning of why the whites hated them.

Promt 3

1. Why do you think that Mark’s mother didn’t say anything when she first saw him with the knife?

2. Do you think that Mark’s father actually doesn’t believe in going to school or is he upset that he never was able to go?

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