Monday, 20 March 2017

Compare and Contrast- Final Blog Post

For our final blog post about The House Of The Scorpion, we have been asked to connect what we know about Matt (the protagonist in The House Of The Scorpion) to what we know about Vincent (the protagonist in Gattaca).

For starters, they are both round characters that we know a lot about. When talking about characterization, there are 2 types of characters, flat and round characters. Flat characters are not developed and do not have much information about their background included in the book or movie. A round character is a well-developed character that the reader and/or watcher knows a lot about who they are and where they come from.

Vincent wanted to go to space so desperately that he gave up his identity and became a new person because of his heart problems. Because of the heart problems, Gattaca (the company) would not want to send Vincent to space because his heart had a 99% chance of failure and he said that his heart is 1,000 beats over his limit.


There is also another two types of characters which are dynamic and static. A dynamic character is a character who undergoes change during the course of the story and a static character in the total opposite. The change can involve going from good to evil and vice versa. It can also be a change in values and/or motives.

I think both Matt and Vincent are static characters because their motivations stayed the same throughout the stories.

Both Gattaca and House Of The Scorpion had similar themes. I think that the theme for The House Of The Scorpion would be “Reluctance to look deeper than the skin will blind your vision” because almost nobody bothered to get to know Matt and to understand him and in the end, he escaped Opium because no one knew where he would head to.

I think that these two stories were similar in terms of theme and characters. They both wanted something that was hard to get. One of the only differences was; Vincent tried harder to get what he wanted.

Matt wanted to be treated as a normal person and to not be considered as a clone. He had limited friends and wanted to be with them all the time and wanted everyone else to treat him like they did.

I think the theme statement for Gattaca would be “you can’t underestimate the things you can’t justify” because Vincent was told he would die at a specific age and he did not. From what we know, Vincent got to go to space and only a few people knew who he really was. Vincent thought that he couldn't do it because he would get caught or because his heart would stop and it would be over.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Real Life Farm Patrol -Individual Post #5

In class, we are reading a novel called House of The Scorpion. There have been many other opportunities to connect scenes in the book to the real world. For this task, we connected things that are happening in real life to Celia’s story in The House Of The Scorpion.
Celia has taken care of Matt (the protagonist) for most of his life. In chapter 14 (P. 136-145), Celia’s story is explained.
She started off by working in a factory on the edge of the U.S border. She was practically a slave working to make sure she had a home, food, and water.
Celia says, “As a girl, I went to work in Maquiladora- a factory- on the border. All day I sat in an assembly line and put tiny squares into holes with a pair of tweezers. I thought I’d go blind! We lived in a big gray building with windows so small, you couldn't put your head outside. That was to keep the girls from running away. At night we climbed to the roof and looked north across the border” (p.141).
Celia continuously worked but it seemed like the work was endless. One day, she and some of the other people from the factory met a coyote at night (a coyote is someone who will take you across a border for a high price). The coyote gathered their money and lead them right to the border. Little did they know, farm patrol was waiting for them. The coyote ditched them. The farm patrol got to them and was going to turn them all into eejits but luckily, El Patron was from the same small town and saved Celia and made her a maid to work for him.

This is similar to what is happening right now except in real life; People are illegally crossing the U.S border into Canada. They have found points across the border that are not being watched and they are passing through without checking with Immigration Officers first. The government has decided that people caught illegally crossing the border will not be sent back anymore, they will just be arrested. The people crossing the border say they want to move to Canada because of the things Donald Trump has said and the welcoming tone of Justin Trudeau.

I think that Celia chose to follow the coyote out of Aztlan because she was tired of working and she was looking for something better. I think she was thinking about her future and what would have happened if she stayed in that place. I think that's what is happening right now in real life too. People are thinking about where they will be in the future and what will happen.

I think we still have more to learn about Celia and what Matt views Celia as. I also think that Celia will come back again even if it is just for a short period because Matt loves her and (she doesn't want to admit it), she loves Matt.


Links to the news articles I used:



Sunday, 5 March 2017

Worldview Elements- Individual Post #4

Throughout the year, we have been (and are still) looking at worldview elements. For this blog post, we are asked to share our thoughts on what worldview elements we think are most influential to Matt.


I think that the number one element that influences Matts thought and actions are equality with others because he knows he is a clone and everyone (even Matt) thinks that clones have less purpose and should not have the same privileges as a human. I think that he should be treated like everybody else because he looks like a person, acts like a person and needs the same things as a person. Even though Matt has not had his brain wiped like a normal clone, he is still treated unfairly and like an animal.


I believe that another one of the influential worldview elements that could be associated with Matt would be View of Human Nature because Matt thought that El Patron loved him and that he valued what Matt did but in reality, El Patron only made the clone (Matt) so that he could take the organs and live for a longer time. The only reason Matt didn't get killed is because Celia has been putting small amounts of arsenic in his meals. Celia did not add so much that it would kill him, but she added enough that his organs would not work in another person.


The last worldview element that influences Matt is Sources of Ethical Wisdom. This element influences what he does and thinks because he is taught to think that clones are horrible beings. Even if Matt’s brain isn't wiped, he thought of himself as unworthy and exactly like the other clones because he has the same DNA as someone else. Everyone made him think that he should be treated like an animal and even though Matt hated it, he agreed.


There are a few other worldview elements that I think influence Matt but the three I just mentioned are the ones I think affect him the most and are hinted at throughout the book.


I think that Matt should be treated like a real person and that he should start thinking about himself as a real person. He is almost exactly like a normal person with only one difference; he was harvested.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Questioning The Book- Individual Blog Post #3

As a class, we are reading a book called The House Of The Scorpion. We are only about halfway through the book but the plot keeps getting more interesting. Right now, we are about 150 pages into the book and the characters are much more developed and we know a lot more background about them now.



Some of the questions we answer in our blog posts are given to us by Ms. Groeller so that we can talk about it in our groups. The question I am considering right now is: How can you justify that a person can be both good and evil at the same time?

As we read the book, we are using a strategy called talking to the text. It allows us to think about the book in more depth and ask questions that come to our mind while reading.
I am using El Patron as an example to answer this question because I have been questioning whether he is a good person or not since the beginning of the book.
El Patron likes to keep his possessions even if there is no use for it. Another example that I have pulled from the text is at El Patrons 143 birthday party.  Matt remembered when Tam Lin (Matt's bodyguard) said: "He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted". Tam Lin was referring to how El Patron is powerful and can seem nice but he has many twisted things about him and secrets he hasn't told.
I think that El Patron is both good and evil at the same time because his intentions are not bad but sometimes the outcome can turn out in a way he didn't want and a way that might hurt people. I also think that he believes in things that sound harmful and don't always seem like the right thing to do but he sticks with them anyways because he is so used to it and still believes in the things he does. I think that El Patron will stay this way throughout the book but near the end of the book, he will do something that will make you question whether he is a good person or a bad person even more than I am questioning now. I'm not sure if the thing he does will have good or bad intentions but I think it will definitely affect my idea of him.

El Patron is one of the more developed characters in the book (we call them round characters). He is 143 and owns a poppy farm named Opium that lies between the United States and what was once called Mexico. He is an extremely wealthy person and has never stopped at getting what he wants. Sometimes, never stopping can lead to many problems and disagreements with people. For example, Celia (one of the maids in the house) said 
"Felica ran away with MacGregor, oh, years ago. I guess she got bored hanging around here. Only it didn't work out. El Patron had her brought back- he doesn't like people taking his possessions- and MacGregor let him do it. Felicia was beginning to bore him" (P. 124).


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

First 100 Pages Thoughts- Individual Blog Post #2

In The House of the Scorpion so far, we have found out many things about Matt and the Environment he is in. Matt is the main character in the book and he is El Patrons (the leader of Opium) clone and is supposed to cary on the legacy of El Patron but there is one main problem with that, no one likes or trusts clones. Normal clones have their brain wiped but Matt has gotten to keep his memory because he is the most important clone. From where we are at in the book, Matt is still confused about what is happening and what he is. 
The book has answered many of my questions so far and I do not doubt that it will answer many more.
One of the first questions I had that I am still trying to find out the answer was; why did the author choose to make a character map and not just explain the characters in the book? Was it because it would take to long? Was it because she thought it would be a different way of showing it? I think that she did it to make it more clear to the audience of where the people came from and where the people are now. 
Another one of my main questions was on page 60 and I asked what would happen if Matt died? I have not yet figured out the answer to this question either because she does not explain it very much in the first 100 pages (we have only read 100 pages so far).

One of out tasks while reading the book is to talk to the text and pull out information that you thing is significant or has a purpose. There has been a lot of good and bad things that have happened in the book so far and they all spike different emotions. The part in the book where I felt the most bad for Matt was when he was being kept in the prison with almost no food and water, sawdust everywhere and no bed, pillow or blankets. Basically, he was being kept like and animal. I felt so bad for him because this book gets you really attached to the characters as you read and I can imagine him feeling very miserable and scared.


I think that at the end of the book, Matt discovers that people don't like him not because of what he does, but because of what he is and he will learn to except it but at the same time, not abuse the power of being El Patrons clone.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Starting a Novel Study; The House of The Scorpion- Individual Blog Post #1

We are starting a novel study in class. The book we will all read is called The House of The Scorpion. Our individual task is to read the book and talk to the text by pulling out things that we think are significant to our learning and to the end of the book. We have to keep up with the time line that Ms. Groller has set for us and will (most of the time) be reading at home.
I think that the hardest part for me in the individual task will be to talk to the text and write the sticky notes to put in the book because writing down something on a sticky note means that I have to stop reading which is very hard for me. If I tried to remember what to write on the sticky note at the end of the chapter, I would most likely forget something significant depending on how much I read.

There is also a task that we have to do as a team. We have not gotten our teams yet and I am not sure if we get to choose them or if Ms. Groller chooses them for us. The tasks for the team are to pull out the information that we think is significant (just like in the individual task) but with the team, we will be putting our ideas together and presenting them to the class.

I think that the novel inquiry is a good way to learn and practice how to talk to the text and how to be prepared because we have a specific timeline and some people might not have very much free time to read so we are going to have to find somewhere to read. For example in the car or on the bus on the way to school.

I am most excited to start the book and to talk with the teams because a lot of people will have different ideas and opinions about the book and I think it will be cool to learn what their ideas and opinions are.
I think that the most challenging thing for me will be to not read ahead because if the chapter ends at a climax, I'm going to have to hide the book from myself to keep myself form reading ahead.

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Little Prince; My View

I believe that children's exposure to whimsical ideas should NOT be limited in order to effectively prepare them for adulthood because children need to experience the different worlds and ideas that books can present to them. The worlds in books can be totally unique to children and it gives them ideas to use in the future. Whether the ideas are used for a game they want to play or something at school they need to create, it helps them think and create strategies that they might need. Children can also share these ideas with different people like friends and family. 

It is proven that children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills and have a higher vocabulary. This is useful for them when they grow older and have to do a book study, read something in a textbook, read to other people, etc. Also, children who read have better communication skills because when they hear or read people conversing in the book, it teaches them how to approach someone or how to start a conversation and even teaches them proper grammar. Reading books with whimsical ideas may contribute to a love of reading. Children that love to read will probably read more in the future. 

In conclusion, I think that children's exposure to whimsical ideas should NOT be limited in order to effectively prepare them for adulthood because it exposes children to new worlds and ideas, it expands their vocabulary, and they are more likely to read more in the future.