Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Reading Log for March

Final Entry:                                                                                         March 29, 2012

I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Lisa Schroeder

Part 1:                                                                                                                  

Reflect: I never thought I’d read a novel in verse. It was really my first time reading a book in free-verse style. I really had no idea that this book was in verse when I downloaded it. This book really surprised me because even though this book is small, it packs a powerful punch with just a few words. The poetry behind the story of Ava and Jackson adds nicely to the tone of what's going on. Considering that Ava is haunted, both literally and emotionally, by her boyfriend Jackson, the poetry adds to the haunting effect that is already established by her deep sense of grief. This novel is very modern and very young adult. I could picture a real teenage girl thinking and feeling these things. It's sweet--if you think haunting dead boyfriends are sweet. Haunting, yet captivating with a hint of creepy.

Connect: I never would have thought that a verse novel could make me feel so much. Even though I have no personal experience with what Ava is going through, I instantly connected to her. When something goes wrong, I have always blamed myself. But after I read this book, I realized that I’m responsible for what happens in my life, I eventually uncover and live more as that which is beyond both blame and responsibility and I find that it gets harder and harder to blame yourself or others for what is or is not happening in your life. I find myself taking appropriate action from moment to moment and allowing life to simply unfold as it does. Also, because I have friends who are always with me, I look up more to life with a brighter side.

Question: What did Jackson’s family do after knowing that he died because of Ava? Do they blame her or what? What did they do? I wanted to know their reactions because I am confused in that part because it is not much explained, and as far as I can remember, only Jackson’s mother is angry to her, the story did not mention his father or siblings. And also, I really want to know what was running in Jackson’s mind when he accepted the challenge that Ava asked? Even if he knew it would be really a bad idea to jump off a cliff so high, why did he do that? Is it because he really wanted to impress his girlfriend Ava so badly? What was Nick’s true intention for calling Ava frequently? Is it really because he is just worried about her or he wants her back? What happened between Cali and Lyric? Did they become a couple?

Prediction: I think Ava will find a new love. Even though it cannot replicate the experiences she had with Jackson but, she will find that a new love can be an equally good experience – and maybe even a better one. Their friendship between Ava and Cali will become much stronger because Ava gave way between Lyric and her. And as time passes by, Ava will come back to what she really is and will become a better person. 

Part 2:                                                                                                               

#13. Write a letter to the author

Dear Ms. Lisa Schroeder,

     I was not much of a reader until I read your book, I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I was amazed by how you managed to say a lot with very little words. The way you write verse is just beautiful, and you make me laugh and cry at the same time. Reading your book was an emotional roller coaster that was so worth the ride.  I’m really impressed by how developed the characters are in such a short novel, especially a verse novel.
     I am really looking forward in reading all of your books. Please continue to write more novels about life which makes us, your readers inspired and have a more positive view of life.  

                                                              Princess Rosshien L. Hortal

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Reading Log for February

                                                                                                   February 29, 2012

The Girl in the Steel Corset
Kady Cross

Part 1:                                                                                                                  

Reflect: I like the plot of this book. The plot instantly grabbed me and took me away. The plot starts off fast sucking you into the world of 1897 but a very different one to what you'll read about in the history books. It's a world full of automatons, organites and other fun technology that I'm looking forward to exploring more.  It was an interesting plot indeed but a little slow to get started and I did feel that the author gave too many hints about the mystery meaning I had worked out all of the twists long before the characters did. But anyway, I loved Finley; she was strong and independent and takes an active role in protecting both herself and others. I really liked her dual personality which keeps me interested in reading the book. She has good and bad side. Her bad side, which is like a beast, allows her to overcome impossible feats and has saved her many a time from injury or even death and the way she gradually starts to bring the two sides of herself together as the story progresses. 

Connect: The connection I had with this story is that when I am trying to fit in into a circle of friends. Even though I am new in their group, they accepted me with who I am. They didn’t hesitate to help me when I’m in trouble and they’re always there for me. But just like Finley, there are times that I feel insecure of myself because of the fact that I am new in their group. I am afraid that there comes a time when they can’t understand me and kick me out of their group but as time goes on, I realized that no matter what happens they will always be there by my side.

Question: Did Jack really kill Felix? Finley told him that Felix tried to take advantage of her and Jack seems to be angry but after Felix was killed, Finley asked him if it was him but he said he didn’t killed him. If it was him who killed Felix, did he only do it for Finley’s sake? What does Jack really feel towards Finley? There are times that he’s so sweet to her but why didn’t he pursue Finley, knowing that Finley has feelings for him?

Prediction: I think in the sequel of the book, they will all go to New York. They will save Jasper from being imprisoned. And while they’re trying to save him, they will uncover the truth about Jasper and meet more enemy while saving Jasper.

Part 2:                                                                                                                  

#5 Reflective comments: Refer back to the text to identify developments and changes in action and characterization and reflect on how they changed your thinking about what was happening in the novel. Comment also on the author’s purpose for using that development to build conflict or tension in the novel.

The Girl in the Steel Corset starts at a point where a lot is happening, and nothing is really being explained. I am a quiet lost in the beginning of the story, but after a while I started to get a grasp on what was happening. I also think some things happen a little abruptly and something are sometimes left unexplained. There are those parts when how did they managed to save Sam from death and why did Sam the only one who fight against the machines but despite those flaws, I did find myself being submerged in this novel, and by the time I started to really love it, I didn’t want it to end.

I was confused because the story is frequently switching perspectives. But as I reread it, I actually understood on what was happening. The development was a bit slow and it takes a chapter to find just a small clue. But anyway, I have enjoyed on how they fit all the pieces in a puzzle. Finley plays the role of the strong heroine that can do take care of herself. You can’t really get to see into her thoughts that often because there are times she was hot and then cold. When she meets up with Griffin and the gang, she finally finds a place where she may belong but at times she felt like she belonged, the next she didn’t. But at the end of the story, she finds herself too attached in the group and finally she let herself trust others again. Griffin plays the accepting friend role allowing Finley to stay at his house while Sam on the other hand was against it and he has always doubted Finley. This doubt leads Sam to get into a fight with Finley which tangled their group but at the end, they find themselves trusting each other.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Reading Log for January

                                                                                                     January 30, 2012

Cat Clarke

Part 1:                                                                                                                  

Reflect: What caught my attention was the very interesting plot line, and I was so excited when I started reading it. The book left me in streams of tears; it really caught my heart and ripped it into pieces. It talks the truth, it shows that the life of a teenager isn't just fine and dandy like many adults seem to believe, but instead we are forced to put up with a lot of drama. The character of Grace was told perfectly. You could really bond with her and understand her pain completely. Normally for me a book where the heroine is self harming will normally just make me want to drop the book, because normally the characters end up coming across so over dramatic and pathetic, but I never felt that whilst I read Entangled. It sort of fit into the book, which I think is quite a hard thing to achieve, and you still could bond with the character.

Connect: As a teenager, I totally relate myself to Grace. Like Grace, there are times that I feel so lonely and alone, like there’s nothing to talk to and nobody cares.  But, unlike her I do not let loneliness overcome me. I understood her struggles and fears.  Also, I had a friend in high school that was in the exact same position as Grace (self-destructive spiral for the same reasons) and nothing could stop her from dealing with the pain this way. Like Grace, she didn't really know why but it wasn't hurting so much when she was cutting, and she always said she was in control. I found it uncomfortable and upsetting to read. Equally, as with my friend, I found it utterly infuriating. It is not an issue easy to raise or to try to fix. But it is worth trying.

Question: Why did Sal do that to Grace? She just came across too needy and self orientated, and what she did was inexcusable. It just proves that she had this layer of bitterness below her nice girl mask. She was probably the worst.  Just thinking about what had happened between them made me want to punch Sal in the face. I am so glad I don't have a friend like her. If Nat really love Grace, why did he betray her? He even acted like a perfect boyfriend and make Grace fall for him too hard. Even though he knows that Grace loves him so much, he did that to her. If he was just going to betray her, he should not have proposed to her in the first place.

Predict: I think Grace will survive. Well, she can hear voices. She can hear and recognize whose voices are those, her Mother, Sal and Nat. And she can also comprehend what they're saying. I just hope that once she wakes up from coma, she will change her way of life. I hope she can move on and see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Part 2:                                                                                                                  

#9. Describe your feelings about characters. Copy down a quote from a character and tell why you think it’s meaningful.

"It’s not that I mind being alone, not really. I can distract myself with silly fantasies and daydreams for hours, but in the end it always comes back to me. That’s what I’m left with: just me. And that’s what scares me more than anything. Me."

The characters are very realistic in their personalities and actions. It made me want to scream at certain characters and to punch others in the face. These characters will have you hyperventilating with rage. I could picture them talking in my mind the whole time.

As the story progresses, I started to see Grace as the tragic figure she was. She’s the type of person who decides to be alone and face her problems alone and thinks that nobody understands her. I think that she’s just scared of herself, like some other people, because she doesn’t know what she can do once all of her fantasies and daydreams are gone and she’s back to reality; the reality where all problems gather that makes one suffer. Grace is scared because she assumes that no one cares about her but in fact, she has Sal, her best friend and her mother. But even if someone is there, no one can really help her but only her, herself. It is about seeing yourself clearly as others see you and seeing them as they see themselves for often the most important truths are the ones we intentionally blind ourselves to.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Invention Proposal

A proposal to invent ballpoint pen to improve the writing mechanism.
From Dipping to Rolling

People are having a hard time in writing using the quill pen. As to that problem I propose your Magnificence that we should replace the quill to ballpoint pen. The ballpoint pen operates on simple principles. It is easier to use and more efficient than quill pen. People will save time in writing. The ballpoint pen will surely satisfy the huge need of our countrymen.

Besides, quill pens only lasts about a week before it is necessary to replace them, there are other disadvantages associated with their use, including a lengthy preparation time, it leaks and it doesn’t write very far. The quill pens are delicate and it uses water-based ink that writes poorly on several different kinds of paper. One that uses ballpoint pen is at a huge advantage because:
  1. The ballpoint pens are less likely to leak than quill pens.  It is because of the socket that secures the ball firmly.
  2. Ballpoint pens are very durable and do not break as easily as quill pens do. Since quill pens are made of feathers, too much force or pressure will break it.
  3. The quill pens may allow different thicknesses of lines to be applied, ranging from soft and thin to broad lines but it takes a lot of practice to use them right. Ballpoint pen on the other hand, can be controlled easily with precision that can achieve very tight renderings. 
  4. Quill pen user should have a coal stove to dry the ink as fast as possible. Ballpoint pens, however, do not need a coal stove because it uses a quick-drying ink.

Ballpoint pens will be an enjoyed dominion in being known as one of the most sufficient pen types there is. They can be used by professionals, students, and anyone who has an immediate need of a tool they can use for their writing longings.


A proposal to invent an internal combustion engine to improve the transportation.
Need for Speed

The people in our country seem to be having difficulties in transporting from one location to another. I believe that your Magnificence would take pleasure thereof, and that herein I hope to do you service.  So in order to help our countrymen, I humbly ask for your approval with regard in making an internal combustion engine carriage so that our people can transport at a faster pace. 

The main idea for an engine is the existence of a combustion chamber, in which fuel-air mixture exists. Then, this mixture is allowed to burn; either using a spark or by increasing its temperature and pressure of the mixture. Due to combustion, energy is liberated and the piston is forced to move. Accordingly, it transforms the produced power to the gearbox using the crankshaft. It should also be noted that air is allowed to enter and mix with the fuel using the camshaft mechanism.

This study proposes to replace the horse carriage by a horse-less carriage, so that to increase the distance human beings can endeavor into space. Here are some reasons as to why we should replace horses for ICE carriage.
  1. The horses produce prodigious amounts of manure that then has to be shoveled and barge out again. The odor and flies are awful and in the summer heat it is almost unbearable. Carriages on the other hand, need no food or water and since it doesn’t produce manure, there is no fuss and no muss.
  2. One should depart earlier if he is using a horse for transportation while in carriage, there is no need to worry about the departure times and delays.
  3. Pulverized horse manure is a much worse pollutant, than the exhausts of carriages. It is because horse manure carries a lot of deadly pathogens.
  1. People can travel faster if they use carriage in transportation.
With this, our country will improve and have a brighter future.

Human Speech

Man is a talking animal. Communication via speech is uniquely human. This separates us clearly from the animal kingdom ... In addition to the necessary “software” for speech, we have also been provided with the required “hardware”. Among all other creatures of the earth there is no other that uses articulate speech for communication. It is true that some animals use sounds to communicate, but their cries can hardly be called articulate. And while certain birds can produce an uncanny imitation of human speech, they communicate nothing by their parroting.  In fact, there is no animal that is capable of speaking in the manner in which people can speak.  Speech is a peculiarly human trait.

In this characteristically and uniquely human activity, man has developed an intricate apparatus made of bits and pieces of anatomy  whose primary functions are quite different from those they perform in speech. For the present we need only recognize that from diaphragm to the lips, the various organs that take part in producing talk all have other work to do that is biologically more fundamental.  So obvious are the primary functions of lips, teeth and tongue, nose, throat and lungs.

Evolution cannot go to the hardware store and pick the parts it needs to produce organs it has in mind because evolution doesn’t know what it has in mind. It just seems to keep tinkering with what is there until something happens. In the case of the speech machinery, it tinkered with a miscellaneous group of organs dedicated largely to the basic tasks of eating and breathing. Out of them and the very breath of life itself it made speech.

This complexly modulated stream of sound is not mere random or instinctive behavior. It is under the direction of the most remarkable of all Nature’s patchworks, the brain. All but a minute of fraction of speech – the cry or groan of pain, the grunt of extreme physical exertion – is purposive. It is produced to evoke a response, to assist man in his lifelong task of controlling his environment. In order to do this, it somehow gets formed into patterns, which are themselves purely arbitrary, but which are associated in the brain with notions about world around us and how it works.

The circuits of the brain which will ultimately store a vocabulary of thousands of words, along with a complicated set of patterns of arranging them, are at birth completely nonexistent.  While voice and the capacity to articulate are inborn, speech must be learned.

Most of us have watched a baby develop from crying to babbling, and from babbling to the momentous utterance of its “first word” (w/c sounds like “mama” to Mama and “dada” to Daddy). But because of this process is going on at the same time that the baby is learning other things – to stand up, to grasp and hold, to fit together, and so on – we may not realize that it is really a different kind of learning.  A baby kept by amiable apes would eventually learn to stand, to grasp and to hold, but it would never learn to speak unless, someone would teach them. If this period (critical period hypothesis) is skipped over, the individual will never achieve a full command of language—especially grammatical systems.

Here, then, is a paradox. Speech, the universal human activity, the very mark and defining criterion of humanity and its unique possession, is not an innate part of man’s nature at all. Each individual must experience in himself the task of learning it from other humans. By learning to speak we have certified our humanity and claimed our place in society. But no matter what else we study and learn, all our life long we are aware of our dependence on speech to done the things we feel must be done.