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

1.    Mark contemplates suicide on these pages.  While influenced by one main event, he also considers his life-long struggles as he ponders this decision.   The gravity of this idea is even more tremendous given his age.  Are Mark’s thoughts justifiable based on what he witnesses and experiences in his life?  Include specific details that support your thoughts.  (2-3 paragraphs; min. 5 sentences/paragraph)

 

I believe that Mark’s thoughts are justifiable based on what he witnesses and experiences in life. Though he is so young at only ten years old, his experiences have forced him to age beyond his years, and to grow up more quickly than he is able to deal with. From the beginning of his life, Mark is confronted with horrific poverty, daily violence and the imminent threat of violence. He must care for his younger siblings, deal with his father’s alcoholism and emotional instability, and constantly wonder and worry whether he will eat every day. The one specific event which seems to trigger Mark’s thoughts of suicide is when he witnessed the murder of a man by the tsotsis. The man was gutted and his throat was cut. Mark claims he witnessed the light and life leave the man’s eyes. Though he has seen unspeakable amounts of violence in his lifetime, he has never before witnessed a cold-blooded murder. Mark has nightmares of the incident for months, and his mind is too young to cope with the gravity of the incident. He is too young and emotionally incapable to deal with the horror of the murder, which leads him to contemplate suicide. Though it is shocking that someone so young would think of killing themselves, Mark’s thoughts and feelings of desperation, abandonment, and loneliness are absolutely justifiable based on the horrific situation of his daily life.

 


2.    Chapters 25-28 focus on a number of life-altering moments.  Choose one specific passage from these chapters that struck you as the most significant.  Record the entire passage, the page number(s), and 3-5 sentences explaining your choice.

 

I found 2 passages, one from chapter 25 and one from chapter 28 which I believe correlate with each other, and show the contrast between Mark’s attitude towards his situation and position in the world, especially as a black child living during apartheid.

 

Chapter 25, page 158:

“Has anyone since fought for any rights?” “No.” “Why?” “Because everyone is afraid.” “Afraid of what?” “Afraid of dying, silly. Now stop asking questions and go do your homework.” “When I grow up, Mama,” I said stoutly, as I took my books to go do homework with a friend who lived in the neighborhood, “I’ll fight for my rights.”

 

Chapter 28, page 167

“I was weary of being hungry all the time, weary of being beaten all the time: at school, at home, and in the streets. I felt that somehow the whole world was against me. I felt that the courage, the resiliency and the unswerving, fanatical will to survive, to dream of a bright future, to accomplish, to conquer, of early years had deserted me.”

 

In chapter 25, Mark learns, somewhat, of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in America, and that he died fighting for the rights of black people. Mark vows that when he is old enough, he will continue fighting for the rights of himself and other blacks. However, in chapter 28, Mark begins to feel the weight of his situation and loses the will to fight that he had earlier.

 

 

3.    Present 1-2 open-ended questions that you are wondering as you read the book.  The question may be one to which we’ll find answer, or it may be one that will never reach a definite solution.  Be sure that the question or questions are open-ended (yes/no responses will not work).

 

Do you think that the mood story is colored by the fact that Mark is writing about his experiences from an older, and arguably wiser, perspective? For example, do you think his recollection of the day he contemplated suicide would be different if he wrote it at 12 years old?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
0

25-28 Murfin

1.    Mark contemplates suicide on these pages.  While influenced by one main event, he also considers his life-long struggles as he ponders this decision.   The gravity of this idea is even more tremendous given his age.  Are Mark’s thoughts justifiable based on what he witnesses and experiences in his life?  Include specific details that support your thoughts.  (2-3 paragraphs; min. 5 sentences/paragraph)
2.    Chapters 25-28 focus on a number of life-altering moments.  Choose one specific passage from these chapters that struck you as the most significant.  Record the entire passage, the page number(s), and 3-5 sentences explaining your choice.
3.    Present 1-2 open-ended questions that you are wondering as you read the book.  The question may be one to which we’ll find answer, or it may be one that will never reach a definite solution.  Be sure that the question or questions are open-ended (yes/no responses will not work).

Prompt 1) Although suicide is not a good way to solve his problems, I do think his thoughts are justifiable because of all the hardships he has gone through. I can even imagine what he is going through. To think that suicide is the best solution, then the situations that he is going through must be really hard on him. With everything that he has gone through such as his dad not wanting him to go to school and him beating his mother then it is gonna make mark think of a way to get out it.

Mark doesnt know what to do because he is just a little kid. Kids going through hardships like that are only gonna think about what an they due to stop what they are going through so he resolves to possibly commiting suicide which is reasonable in the circumstances he is in but not what anyone would recomend. We all think suicide is such a wrong thing to do but in marks situation it could be a pretty good idea, but I hope it wont happen.

Prompt 2) “For years afterward, I was to think of that suicide attempt in the following terms: whenever the troubles of the world seem too much, it helps to have someone loving and understanding to share those troubles with; and life takes its true meaning in proportion to one’s battles against suffering.” Page 169-170

I chose this quote because mark was contemplating on commiting suicide. But he does learn from every thing that his mom taught him and everything he has heard from his family and those around him that he is wanted and loved. So he thinks to himself why am i even thing of this because not only am i hurting my self, i’m hurting those around me.

Prompt 3) Do you think Mark should even talk to his dad after everything he has done? Explain.

If Mark doesn’t commit suicide what should he do?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
1

Ch. 25-28 Prompts

Prompt 1) despite the very severe situation, i think that mark’s thoughts are justifiable. throughout his life, mark has had to experience things that no one should have. starvation, poverty, sickness, and violence are just some of the countless things that he has to deal with, and on a daily basis at that. in addition, i think he realized that none of these things would be getting better for awhile, as he was not even old enough to start a job or make a difference. the enormous amount of pure stress and suffering he had to endure does give his contemplation of suicide some justification.

However, to contradict myself like i normally do, i know that he did not realize all of the consequences of suicide. he does mention some things, like how his family would miss him and such, but he was not looking into the situation deeply enough. firstly, mark was, at that time, the only hope for the family in the near future, as his siblings were still much younger. his mother wished so much that he would continue school and get a job, thus supporting the family more. im positive mark really only focused on the current effects, like people mourning and such, and not the possible problems in the future.

Prompt 2) “Through some superhuman 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 tubelike 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 them to open and let him in. There was a dreadful glint in his eyes, the flint of death creeping in. I can never forget the look on his face for as long as I live” (pg 163-164). This passage was possibly one of the most gruesome and horrible ones in the novel so far. it really demonstrates the total brutality and unjust rage the tsotis use against blacks. i think mark really became angry at this, confused and enraged that such a thing could be done so quickly and easily, with no one helping. also, the fact that they were blacks as well probably angered him, because the police, who had probably witnessed the brutality of the police when they were younger, were now performing the same horrible deeds that they had hated as children.

Prompt 3) -In Mark’s situation, do you think suicide is an acceptable way out?

-Why do the police, who were probably in a situation similar to mark’s at one point, commit such violent acts against the people in alexandra?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
0

Chapter 25-28 Prompts – Tang

Prompt 1

Having gone through all the struggles, I believe Mark’s thoughts can be considered justifiable. At home, Mark had to deal with his father being drunk and abusing his mother, and trying to fight the hunger. At school, he would feel indifferent and be beaten by his teachers constantly. For a boy Mark’s age, this certainly proves why he must have felt the way he did. In addition, Mark said he”felt unwanted, abandoned and betrayed by a world that seemingly denied me an opportunity to find my niche.”

Soon enough, Mark would have a knife in his hand, wondering about the feeling of death. He wondered when he died, who would care? If he died, would he be missed? He would had to confront his mother about his suicide attempt. His mother was the one to change his mind by reminding him that he had a family. If he did indeed die, she would also end her life. His siblings would miss him and would not have an older brother to look up to. He would not be able to have a successful future. Knowing all that, Mark begins to realize his life is more important that he thought it was.

Prompt 2

In chapters 25-28, the protagonist encounters numerous life-altering moments. The most significant was from chapter 27, the scene where Mark witnessed a murder. “Through some superhuman 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 tubelike 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 them to open and let him in. There was a dreadful glint in his eyes, the flint of death creeping in. I can never forget the look on his face for as long as I live (Mathabane 163-164).”

Following the event, Mark would constantly have nightmares  that replayed the terrifying incident in his mind. This caused him to isolate himself from others. He could not sleep, eat, or concentrate on school work. Most importantly, he remembered his mother had warned him about the tsotsis and the lady with the dead son, whom was also killed by the gang. His was now beginning to reflect on his life and the choices he had made.

Prompt 3

If you were in Mark’s position with all the struggles he has in life, would you attempt suicide? Explain.

How do you think Mark’s perspective on life changed after witnessing the murder? How will the incident affect his character and his future?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
27
2011
--

Connor Norton Chapters 25-28

1. As Mark flips his switchblade, he also flips whether he should live or die back and worth. Living through what he seems is a dead-end life, he certainly has justifiable reason to kill himself at that moment. Mark has seen first hand what his future most likely will be. He sees the families struggling to survive and going nowhere in their lives. At age eleven, he witnesses a gruesome murder that hurts him deeply because of what the tsotsis do to a man running away. The unjust that he sees in the world and the corruption of segregation makes Mark feel as though he is trying to push and immovable object.

From a young age, Mark had been resilient to keep on fighting through his tough life. Now looking back at his life he feels as though the whole world is against him. Mark has reason to kill himself because of the lack of improvement that his life seems to be heading in. He has no freedoms and now say in any of the rules that govern his life. With such hopelessness, Mark sees no more reason to live, and that is justifiable.

2. “For years afterward, I was to think of that suicide attempt in the following terms: whenever the troubles of the world seem too much, it helps to have someone loving and understanding to share those troubles with; and life takes its true meaning in proportion to one’s battles against suffering.” Page 169-170

I chose this quote because what Mark’s mom taught Mark changed his life forever. Mark learns that people do love him and there is something to live for. He learns that during any hard times in his life, having someone that loves to share with can help soothe the problem. Mark then regrets his thoughts of suicide and changes his outlook on life for the better.

3. Since Mark was raised in an environment that hated white people, does his style of writing reflect this? Because of this, do you think Mark over-exaggerates to get his message across more forcefully?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
26
2011
2

Response to Chapters 25-28

1.        Mark’s thoughts about suicide are justifiable. Despite only being ten years old, he has gone through more than most people have gone through in their entire lives. Although suicide is never the right answer, I can understand why Mark was contemplating it. Not only did he witness a gruesome murder, but he receives a beating every day at school. It is not even his fault that he receives the beatings, he cannot control whether his family has enough money to buy clothes and books for him.

Mark also endures the pains of hunger all the time. He never knows when he will get his next meal. Even when he does receive food, he shares it with his younger siblings. He constantly fears the police raids. At any moment they could change his life for the worse, if it is even possible to become worse. At this point he just envisions his life being the same every day. I completely agree that his thoughts about suicide are justifiable, however, he should not actually do it.

2.    “Through some superhuman effort, it seemed, the man, now bleeding heavily from gaping wounds, managed to break through the cordon of butchers and make a 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 tubelike 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 them 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 as long as I live.”  Page 163-164

I chose this passage because it changes Mark’s life forever. If he had any innocence left in him, now it was all gone. It was this event that put him over the edge and led him to contemplating suicide.

3.

Why did Mark’s mom wait so long (3 weeks) before confronting Mark about not going to school?

Why didn’t Mark tell his mom that he witnessed the murder?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
25
2011
2

Chapter 25-28: Kuntz

Prompt 1:

Mark has been through challenges that make him more mature than his actual age. This makes him understand and experience things that are not what other ten year old children go through. Mark is living through poverty and is seeing murders, like when the six men murdered the man they were chasing after, and other events, for example, the dead baby in the junkyard, that make him mentally and emotionally more mature. He is still very young and I believe that it is not justifiable because he is going to open many doors because he is receiving an education. Yes, he does witness murder and is beaten everyday but having an education can help him and his family in the future.

Mark obviously feels scared and horrified over what had happened but he is strong and brave. His mom is able to convince him not to kill himself. Maark has to think about his sisters and his other family and what would happen if he was to die. They love him so much and do not want to see him go. Mark is a great help to everyone, he is smart and respectful towards others. If he ends up killing himself, it will not help the fact that he is leaving events that are worse and leaving people who love him. He felt abandoned and lonely but his mother convinced him otherwise.  

Prompt 2:

Mark experiences many obstacles and events through these chapters but the one that struck me as most significant also has a large impact on Mark. In chapter 27, page 164, Mark encounters an event that changes his life. The passage is, ” 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.”  I believe this is most significant because Mark has seen something that no other ten year old would have probably seen. He has seen a gruesome murder that has left him scared and caused him to have nightmares. Mark has been through many challenges but I believe this is the worst. He becomes depressed because of seeing this and because of other obstacles and challenges that causes himself to want to commit suicide.

Prompt 3:

Since Mark is doing so well in school, do you expect him now at this point in the book, to have a chance to move to America, go to college, and expect him to have a new start? Explain.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
25
2011
3

Chapters 25-28 Response Laventure

His actions are not justifiable no matter what his situation is. Even though he has had problems in his life, and has seen so many bad things happen in their lives, Mark should have never thought that killing himself was the a viable way out of the situation that he was in at this point in his life. He may have thought that the only way out was to kill himself, he has been exposed to such a harsh environment, witnessing murders and dead people, all of these factors have made Mark feel like he had nothing to live for. He had the right to feel the way he did, witnessing a murder is something that can have grizzly affects on a person. Mark questioned his life because he felt unloved, unwanted, abandoned, and betrayed and wanted to get rid of the things that lead to him feeling that way. He had experienced a bad day when he had decided to kill himself, and it was a good thing that his mother found him and stopped him from killing himself.

His mother comforted her son and talked him out of killing himself. She persuaded him by talking to him about his brother and sisters and how they would feel had Mark taken his own life. They too probably would have started thinking about committing suicide because of the profound impact that Mark had on them. She comforted him while she was telling him the problems that would ensue if he did kill himself, and gently persuaded him not to kill himself. Now, when Mark looks back on the suicide attempt, he sees that having someone loving and understanding to share your feelings with is necessary for people in order to see the true meaning behind life, also seeing that what he wanted to do was not the answer to fixing his problems.

The wounded man uttered hideous guttural sounds through his slashed throat. Gradually the sounds grew fewer and fainter. Suddenly his body lurched forward with outstretched arms, and his limbs twitched violently; he pitched forward, uttering one last, ghastly, gurgling sound, as if some beast were lodged within him and were struggling furiously to be set free. He slumped to the bone-dry ground, like a bundle of old newspapers. Before the corpse even hit the ground, the tsotsis were already upon it, stripping ans searching it, like a bunch of ravenous hyenas wrenching pieces of flesh from a carcass. The tsotsis turned the dead supine, and removed its shoes, its not-worth-anything coat and frisked the back pockets. In a matter of minutes the six shadowy figures had accomplished their dastardly act and were heading for the shadows of the eerie moonlit night, the spoils of their foray ensconced between their murdering paw, their bloodshot eyes gleaming and their teeth grinning like those of the cannibals after a kill.(Page 164)

I chose this passage because it had the most impact on the story to me. He witnessed a cold blooded murder where the people treated the corpse as if it had not been living at all. This event also lead to Mark trying to kill himself, an important event also.

Why did no one in the neighborhood help the man? Why are the tsotsis so ruthless on getting what they want, that they have to kill?

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
25
2011
2

Walia 1 and 2

1

I think his thoughts are justifiable because he just witnessed a murder and gets abused everywhere. He gets hit in school, at home, and even on the streets for not major reasons. He got punished by teachers because he did not have books, books that his family can’t afford. He has to take food out of a dumpster because because his family can’t afford to buy food. He has to run out of his house when the raids occur, so he does not go to jail.

It was bad enough he is beaten almost everyday but then he witnesses a murder, it just put everything or the top. He is only 10 years old, seen his mom getting beaten by his dad is a very scary moment for most of us but in front of him a man was killed by two people. He has nightmares about it everyday. A full grown man gets pretty scared when a man is killed and he is only 10 years old which is 100 times worst. I think his thought were justifiable under his circumstances.

2.

The tsotsis caught up with him before he even reached the street. Their gleaming weapons of death remorselessly went about their unfinished, infernal mission. Pg 164

I chose this because it would be a horrible thing to witness and you would have nightmares about it everyday. Another reason why i chose it was because it basically summarizes the chapter about what happened to the man and how mark was feeling. Mark later tells us that he remembers it everyday and keeps him feeling down. It was the turning point of Marks life because he wanted to end his life.

Written by in: Uncategorized |
Mar
25
2011
1

Re: Chapter 25-28 Miller

1.Contemplating on ending his life is not the correct choice he should make. He had not done anything wrong for him to even consider this.  Some people may say that he could have stood up and helped the man but what would that have done for both of them? He would be killed just like the man who was attacked. Also there would be no chance, there were 6 men against one helpless man.

When Mark began thinking of ending his life he was also thinking of some previous encounters he had in his past. A few things could have possibly been concerning the baby at the junkyard, family issues, and some others. Another thing that may have taken to into account is that he is still young and has not learned how to handle these situations. They may not have been present to him when he was younger because he did not have as much freedom before. Therefore he was shielded from the truth and what really happens in the world.

2. “An icy chill of death froze the world around me. For a long time I remain 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 if the grass as though i had been shot out of a cannon, howling like a maniac, as if tenscore devils were after me.”

I chose this passage when the tsotsis had killed the man in the street right around Mark. It had a huge impact on his life, scaring him half to death as it happened. It also was the main factor for him to consider ending his own life. Mark realized from this situation that the world is a cruel place and is not something to get tangled up with.

3. -Throughout the book Mark starts to tell more and more lies. Will this lead him to more trouble? Will he learn to stop lying about everything?

-Marks mother talked him out of ending his own life at the end of chapter 28. Will he consider it again later on? if so will his mother be able to stop him this time?

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