Some blogs I enjoyed

By the end of my year I have noticed some blogs I really enjoyed to read. One was Mike’s Machinations, after reading some of his posts you can really tell he strives for perfection on every post. The passion in each post is noticable. His post about other peoples blogs is quite amazing, even though it is not posted yet you will see how much effort went in to this post. And you can really tell he read other blogs over and over again.

Another blog I enjoyed reading was Evan Speaks for the People. In this blog Evan does really speak for the people. His post about Parcc testing shows everyones concerns and it’s funny at the same time. Also his post about hockey is very relatable. He brings up some great points on why hockey is such a fun post to play and watch.

 

Writing My Speech

When Mr. Jahnsen visited our class I learned about how to speak clearly and proper etiquette while in front of a crowd. So much goes into puplic speaking than I could have imagined. During his visit I was thinking about speeches I have done and eveything I have been doing wrong.

To decide on my position I looked on both sides of the argument and wrote about both sides to get a feel for thne whole situation. This really helped me understand everything I needed to. The strongest of all my argument points were the points I really cared about.

What was good about my specch? Well my speech was filled wih definitive speaking. Very desisive speaking will make it seem like I am for sure about everything. Great for better arguing. The part of my speech that makes me proud is the ethos. I am very good at presenting my speech.

Delivering this speech will be fun, I really look foward to reading my speech in front of everyone. I have learned many things from this process, one thing is I realized how important revising is in writing an essay. I replaced 3 out of my 5 paragraphs in just my first read over the Essay.

Who Is Boy Nobody?

The book I am writing about is Boy Nobody by,  Allen Zadoff, a great writer of many books I like. The main character is a kid assassin who gets assigned to kill CEOs. What I really like about this book is the main character’s progression.  In the beginning he has no problem killing people he has befriended. By the middle of the book  he realizes how many people he is hurting,  and starts to defy his leaders orders, he also becomes very attached to his next victim.

By defying his leaders orders after years of being like a robot the main character has shown great progression. He is more like a person and less of a killing machine.  The novel explores the power of emotion to make a person reflect on his or her actions.  A machine does whatever its programed to do without questioning or regret.  As Boy Nobody develops, he gains emotional intelligence and becomes sensitive to the feelings of others.

The Fox

Fox StareCreative Commons License Anthony Quintano via Compfighto

As many of my friends know I am not much of an animal person, but I do have quite the soft spot for foxes. I don’t know why I love them as much as I do, but they really appeal to me. Every time I see a fox I can’t stop staring at the beauty of it.

Foxes are in the canidae family along with dogs, wolves and jackals, but they stick out from their relatives because of their thin frame, bushy tail, and pointy nose. Foxes can be found in every continent except Antartica. There are many diffirent colors a fox could be, such as the arctic fox.

IMG_6100.jpg Mark Dumont via Compfight

The Arctic Fox is my favorite type of fox. This fox is so pure and cute, I can’t resist them. The fox is purely a scavenger. Their meals are just scraps off others meals, I couldn’t imagine living offf another creatures meals.

Orange

I certainly have a favorite color, I feel pretty strongly about it. If you know me you probably know how I am a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, and I am always sporting my orange Flyers t-shirts. Well my favorite color is orange, and I think it is probobly because of my favorite team in the world, the flyers.

Another reason the color orange is my favorite is because it can be super bright and neon, but it can also be darker and more like a fire. Maybe I like it so much because it’s not that popular of a color and I just want to be abnormal. I don’t think anyone can say for sure why something is their favorite, it just is. There is actually a poem that is about the color orange. Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O’neill is a cool poem, here it is.

Orange is a tiger lily, a carrot,a feather from a parrot, a flame,

the wildest color you can name.

Orange is a happy day saying good-by

in a sunset that shocks the sky.

Orange is brave, Orange is bold,

it’s bittersweet and marigold.

Orange is zip, Orange is dash,

the brightest stripe in a Roman sash.

Orange is an orange, also a mango

Orange is music of the tango.

Orange is the fur of the fiery fox,

the brightest crayon in the box.

And in the fall when the leaves are turning

Orange is the smell of a bonfire burning…

 

 

Camping Day

 

For a new holiday I have decided to make an international camping day. Camping day would be a good and fun holiday because it forces people to go outside and spend time with there family. If you wanted to go extreme you could not bring any electronics just so you would have to spend quality time with your family.

Screenshot 2015-03-27 at 9.51.16 AM

Just Write Something About Me, Anything

“Just Write Something About Me, Anything”

by James Conte’s 23-year-old brother

My three favorite things in the world to do are play pond hockey, go to concerts, and watch sitcom reruns.

The best sport in the world is pond hockey. That’s right, it goes, 1) pond hockey 2) baseball 3) actual hockey 4) curb ball 5) ping pong 6) body-surfing 7) getting dressed without sitting down 8) March Madness 9) jump rope, but only with the little rhymes…wait, what am I talking about? Oh, yeah, pond hockey. It’s like actually beautiful.

If you haven’t tried it before, let me give you a quick primer:

First, you’ll need some skates. You can find them at a consignment shop where the portly man behind the counter who you shot the shit with said that they used to belong to one of the kids on his nephew’s travel team, or you can pick them out from under broken furniture and a pile of Disney VHS’s that you can also contemplate taking on your town’s town-wide trash day, or you can inherit them from your neighbor, it doesn’t matter – just get any old skates, and they’ll serve you well.

Once you’re at the pond, put the skates on. Tie them tight as you can. Offer to tie the skates of the eight-year-old sitting next to you. Tell her that her Penguins jersey is stupid.

Join the game. Use thick branches or two-by-fours as goal. Pond hockey is about making smart passes, and making crisp passes. Play a single game that has both an over 50-year-old and an under 10-year-old. Scrape frozen snot off of your face. Lose ten pucks, but have eleven.

And if there’s no one there when you go, invite your little brother. If he’s anything like mine, he’ll have no problem skating with you for four hours, just passing the same black biscuit back and forth and back. He’ll come even though it’s getting warmer and it’s getting hard to skate in the slush, he’ll come even though he’s on actual ice every day with his travel team, because he knows that you want to skate and don’t get many opportunities to do it. He’ll indulge your fantasy scenarios about Game Seven of the Stanley Cup. He’ll wear your old jerseys. He’ll listen when you’re telling him about the sport and what he’s doing wrong like he’s actually valuing your opinion, even though he’s much better than you ever were.

 

I can’t imagine what it’s like for my friends who don’t listen to the same music as most of their friends. I listen to a metric ton of music that no one (my age) I know likes, and I love going to concerts. There was once a time in my life where it seemed like the most important event was when my father would sit me down, whether it be in the living room, the musty, box-filled attic closet where the record player and stacks of dirty, old, beautiful records resided, or the back seat of the black Honda, old and dirty but comfortable on a drive to nowhere in particular, not to listen as much as completely absorb what music had to offer and what words of explanation, both anecdotal and definitive, he had to offer about the music. I took in all that he said, and, in my mind, formed legendary images of these fondly-spoken-of idols that became firmly cemented within myself and everything that I knew to the point where they became more than men, more than mere mortals: gods in their own right, up on a stage above the rest of us, lights flashing behind them, illuminating the outline of their magisterial bodies, thousands of body-less hands groping for a piece, a pick, a drop of sweat, or even just to get closer, as if the greatness of one person could rub off on the not-so-great mortals filling the audiences and make their lives better in ways they could only hope for by day and pray for by night. I’ve since grown into this insane, warped reverence for what Kurt Vonnegut and I agree on the only definitive proof of a higher plane of life. I can’t imagine not sharing music with someone. I can’t imagine having a secret like that, one only I know about and can’t speak out loud to another single human being in my everyday life.

Nowadays, I’ve also expanded and grown my tastes away from the classic rock based sensibilities of my father, and can’t necessarily share all of these millennial-type modern musicians with him, which is where that curtain-climber comes into play again. Wait, did I say curtain-climber? I guess he’s not that small anymore. He seems kinda small to me.

Anyway, it’s wonderful being able to share all of my own personal discoveries with someone who’s willing to listen. The kid is an avid learner and a willing listener, to both my lectures and stories, and the music that I’ve thrust upon him. I used to do it all the time in subtle, secret ways. Upload an album as the soundtrack to one of his video games, or burn a copy and put it in my mother’s car, the one he gets driven around in.

Eventually it became more collaborative, as we made mix CDs together, and dreamt up the perfect setlists, and browsed record stores together. Sure, he was annoying when he was born, but if you had told me that he’d be twelve and rocking a badass Ramones t-shirt on the regular, I might have changed more diapers. There were a few years there where I thought that I would never be able to experience that feeling of awe I used to feel walking down the steps on Christmas morning. Then I watched James do it. Sharing music is kind of like that. It’s given me the chance to be on both sides of everything, and it’s given me a partner. I think this aspect is really just getting started.

Four years ago he was in the front row at his first concert at Asbury Park’s legendary Stone Pony, snagging the setlist and successfully requesting an encore song. There’s nothing like a concert, like hearing that song that you’ve pumped into your brain thirty times a day for years be created from nothing directly in front of you, and then to look around and realize that you’re amongst hundreds of other people who’ve pumped that same song the same amount of times into their brain. I love that, but I also love that I don’t even need to go to a concert to feel that, because he’s right there, across the hall, pumping the same song into his brain right now.

 

And finally, TV: it’s the reason that he forgot to tell me to write about him until midnight the night before it was due.

Sitcoms are our drugs. Hangout sitcoms, complex in-joke shows, completely procedural episodes where everything is back to normal by the start of the next episode. We’ve spent many days doing nothing but watching Seinfeld. We DVR sitcoms like they’re the Olympics. We straight up run the TV sitcom Jeopardy! categories. What is Radar from MASH, Alex? James and I were up all night watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, which is probably why he forgot to mention this to me, until now.

My three favorite things in the world to do are play pond hockey, go to concerts, and watch sitcom reruns.

There’s only one person in the world that I can do all three of those things with.

Shit, I just realized by best friend is a god damn 14-year-old.

Is The Internet Making Us Smarter

I know many people think spending too much time on your phone is making us dumber, but actually studies show the internet is making us smarter.  How much time do you spend on your phone a day? Cause using the internet might actually  be helping you learn and become a smarter person.

Everyone is always arguing we should spend less time on the Internet but, after doing some research I found out that, our IQ has gone up dramatically over the last 65 years, according to Ed Combs, author of,  Is Technology Making Us Stupid? I think this fact is the most important thing I could have found, that we have in fact gotten smarter. IQ measures how much we know and right now we know the most we ever have. Mike Murphy declares 87% of adults say that the internet is making them smarter. Another fact that is very staggering. I have asked some people what they think and my mom, who has been a teacher for 16 years agrees that  kids seem to be getting smarter.

The internet is making us smarter in other ways too. With the internet we are a lot more informed. For example we always know what is happening in the world. In the 50s people would not be aware of all the things we are. We also know how to research more and get the info we need faster and which is the most reliable. I believe that how much we know about current events is another reason we are smarter.

Although the internet is making us smarter I do believe there are some downsides to it.  Aatekah Mir’s  studies show that 53% of adults say they waste an hour a day on the web. Another crazy statistic is almost 30% of those under 45 said the use of these devices made it harder to focus. When looking over all these numbers I do think the internet is way too distracting and we should have a little self control when using it.

In conclusion I agree we are getting smarter, and will get smarter as the years go on. I hope after reading this piece you will have a change in mind and you will agree that technology is distracting but making us smarter. We need to have self control when using technology and I suggest we find out methods not to get to distracted.

 

Sources

“Most Americans Say the Internet Is Actually Making Them Smarter.” Quartz. Accessed December 09, 2014. http://qz.com/308602/most-americans-say-the-internet-is-actually-making-them-smarter/.

“How Distracting Is Technology?” Digits RSS. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/05/18/how-distracting-is-technology/>.

 

“Thomas Crampton.” Thomas Crampton RSS. Web. 03 Dec. 2014. <http://www.thomascrampton.com/internet/debate-the-internet-is-making-us-stupid/>.

Villanelle, The Book Thief (Rudy)

He runs around town, and loves to steal.

Friends with all, he wants a kiss on the lips.

Always needing more, he savory every meal.

Going to Hitler Youth, his athletics are ideal.

Defying them, they use him to crack the whip.

He runs around town, and loves to steal.

Hitler Youth tortures him, listen to him squeal.

Leisel and Rudy have a real kinship.

Always needing more, he loves every meal.

Leisel inspires him, making him want to feel.

Friends with all, he wants a kiss on the lips.

Runs around with Leisel, they love to steal.

Going to Hitler Youth his athletics are ideal.

Rudy won’t bow to Hitler, not to his Kingship.

They always need more, they savor every meal.

We, all love Rudy, towards Leisel he kneels.

Friends with all, he wants a kiss on the lips.

Running around town, they love to steal.

Needing more, they savor every meal.