Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ain't Scared of your Jails

Watching the documentary about the beginnings of the civil rights movements opened up some interesting thoughts. I loved this film. The whole thing stood out because that time in history is an incredible American achievement for black people in America. It is hard to understand a hard time in history because sometimes it is too difficult to endure, or it does not seem like that big of a deal, or like this time period when America seemed to be an embarrassment. I loved the line where the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee said, "I answered that question morally since I am a man." He mentions this after answering very truthfully about how he disagrees that a person should not be discriminated in a restaurant or refused service based on the color of their skin. I loved Diane Nash and how she was the one who asked that question. I am ashamed of the time where people were so ignorant and even stubborn about the racism in America. How could anyone honestly treat a human as if he or she were a nobody.
The fact that the college students had so much bravery gave me the chills during this film. They were making a stand and doing what was constitutionally fair and right. The sit-ins were a brave step towards many movements to come like the bus boycotts and the freedom rides. I enjoyed this film thoroughly and hope to see more like it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ain't Scared of your Jails

Ain’t Scared of your Jails was a fitting title for that documentary. The Freedom Riders in that video were scared of nothing. It was very inspirational to me for the people who would take blows to the head, name calling, and violence without retaliation. Also, many seemed to have a relatively gentle and forgiving spirit toward their abusers! It’s hard to take a hit without retaliation. It’s even harder to take it without hating those who hurt them.

They also had a strong desire to do what they did. Besides taking physical abuse, they also took jail time. In the documentary, many of the demonstrators chose 33 days in jail over their 50 dollar fines, because they didn’t want to support the arrestors. As a response to going to jail, one man stated, “It became a crusade. It became a badge of honor.” The demonstrators were strong, relentless, and devoted. They were the Freedom Riders.

Freedom Riders

After watching Ain't Scared of your Jails, I learned many new things. One thing that really stood out to me were the Freedom Riders. The freedom riders were a group of people who rode on interstate buses into segregated southern United States. The freedom riders were brutally beaten many times throughout their journey. Many times there were white freedom riders that were beaten as well. An African American freedom rider talked about one of instances a white freedom rider was beaten, he said, "Its like they didn't see the rest of us, for like about maybe 30 seconds they didn't see us, they didn't see us at all." The freedom riders were taught not to fight back, so all they could do is run or take the beatings. The freedom riders stood out to me because I feel that it was amazing how these men and women continued to ride these buses even when they knew the consequences to come. It takes a lot of courage and strength to do what these men and women did.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Keep Your Eyes On The Prize, Hold On"

I learned about the Freedom Riders. I never knew about that aspect in the Civil Rights Act. The horrible things that happened to them when they rode the bus anywhere; they were beat and ridiculed and the "n" word was used a lot. They knew when they got on the bus what could and would probably happen to them. Even they white supporters who rode the bus with them were severely beaten. One man was beaten so horribly that he would be damaged for the rest of his life. This entire movie is pretty powerful and sends out such a strong message about following your beliefs and doing what it takes to be heard and make a change for the better; it shows that you don't have to be a violent extremist to make a difference in the world. Peaceful action can take you further than violence. The ones who were in the wrong were the white community who violated their neighbors' rights as citizens of this country. They only wanted to be treated equally. The Negros paid the same state tax; they put money into the economy by shopping in the same stores as the rest of the community. They hold jobs as teachers, lawyers, clergymen, doctors; they work in stores and businesses as the cleaning crew they are seamstresses, receptionists and secretaries. They were well educated, sometimes even more so than many of the whites that despised them. They were a large part of any community and yet they were largely ignored and treated poorly. Dr. King came into the picture and helped to keep the black community inspired and to not give up hope on something that they all deserved and what he knew was coming if they remained a united front and kept going. "Fear not, for we have come too far to turn back now" is what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told them.
The Department of Energy has announced its selection of 23 businesses and 13 educational institutions to allocate roughly $151 million dollars in the first round of grants for Advanced Research Projects - Energy (Arpa-E). This funding will go to the advancement of projects such as liquid metal batteries that will drive down cost, creating bacteria that could naturally produce gasoline, and crystal growth technology research for low cost LED lighting. The graphic above describes the investment in research by the US government over the past 56 years in selected fields.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Food Coloring can cause hyperactivity in kids

In this article it is talking about that it is not the natural sugar that makes kids hyperactive but actually the artificial coloring that is in the foods. Food coloring is used in frostings, sprinkles, drinks, cake mixes, and other packaged foods. In 2008 the Food’s Standard Agency (FSA) requested major food manufactures to ban six artificial food colorings. On the foods containing these food dyes there is a warning on the label about how the activity of kids can be affected. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) also called out 8 food dyes. This being another reason why it is better to stay away from the packaged foods and eat real foods, such as fruits, veggies, grains, and eggs. The dyes that are being called out by these two organizations are: Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40 (both groups) · Yellow 10, Carmoisine, Red 4 (FSA) · Blue 1, Blue 2 Green 3, Orange B, Red 3 (CSPI)

- Give Up Meat To Save The Planet -

I came across a very interesting article titled, Climate chief Lord Stern: give up meat to save the planet. So essentially, stop the global warming crises by giving up meat. This is from a leading authority on the all-mighty quest to save the earth.

The article mentioned that methane emissions are twenty-three times more powerful than that of carbon emissions. It goes on to mention that methane emissions from cows and pigs play a significant part in the amount of greenhouse gases. Talk about a fart joke!

Essentially, what is being asked here is to simply give up meat because of the dangerous emissions it gives off. To quote Stern, "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better."

People want to feel important, they want to matter. If humans are to blame for global warming, the gut reaction of people is, "What can I do?" By doing this, you are willing to solve this so called problem, at any costs – even if it means higher taxes, more regulations, purchasing different light bulbs, driving fuel-efficient cars, and giving up meat. Essentially, surrendering your personal freedoms, liberties, and your way of time at the expense of contributing to the "cause."

It amazes me to think that the United States it the leading country to fight this "challenge." Why haven’t more populated countries, like China and India caught on to this, or even share the blame? Look at their pollution size to ours.

The Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and has endured volcano eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteor impacts, earthquakes, tsunamis, and so on – so how can it be that breathing CO2 emissions is going to make or break us?

Yes, recycling and conservation is crucial and a vital piece of survival. There are only so many resources in the world, and it is important to conserve them. And of course, if you witness someone deliberately polluting such as littering, polluting the oceans, dumping chemicals in a lake and so forth, that’s stoppable. That can be fixed. But to go to the drastic measures of claiming that man made actions are altering the climate is absurd.

One more thought – how are the proposed taxes on all energy usage in the future going to stop the alleged man-made global warming – ah, excuse me, I mean climate change, or whatever name this will be changed to in the future to help further this cause?
What you didn’t know about renting
The new trend is to rent, many people would rather have their own things and that is a valid point, but there is clear and great advantages for renting. For one when you rent you don’t have to keep the thing, which you would have to find room for it in your already clogged house. What does it for others is our current economic situation; people do not want to spend $150 dollars in a power tool that they may only use for half an hour. That is the prospect of the use of power tools. It is not just good for your budget, but environmentalist strongly supports this cause. Renting avoids having to use fine and limited resources in the making of a tool or other objects; it also avoids the hassle of packaging. By implementing this simple technique, environmentalists say that the environment is greatly relieved. It is incredible the wide range of things you can rent, from bikes to dogs to gardens to caskets. Regardless of how outrageous it may seem you can probably rent it. it is hard to understand why anyone would borrow a dog, but a family may want to see if there are any allergic reactions with a certain breed. For us college students there was a website where we can borrow books for 10% of its original price, for every book borrowed a tree is planted. Next time you think about buying something consider renting.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Seven species that won't survive global warming

I found an article that talked about Seven animals that will not survive in global warming. these animal are sea Otter, Jaguar, Arroyo Toad, Elkhorn Coral, Karner Blue Butterfly,

Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope, and Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle. these animals lived in different parts of the earth. The Center for Biological Diversity, in recognition of's Day of Climate Action, has produced a sobering portrait of 350 U.S. wildlife species at risk if we humans fail to rein in our fossil fuel emissions.

In Teeming India, Water Crisis Means Dry Pipes and Foul Sludge

In New Delhi, India, citizens are facing water problems. Many days, there is almost never running water in the pipes. As such, people are forced to call private water tankers for water, and repeatedly calling them over and over again because many times, they won't show up, and when they do, it takes a very long time.
India's rivers are highly polluted, there is trash and waste chemicals everywhere in the water, so clean water is hard to come by naturally. New Delhi isn't the only Indian city with this problem. Many cities nationwide are having troubles in maintaining sanitation and long-lasting water supply. 2.1 million children (under the age of 5) die each year due to unsanitary water.

How U.S. houselholds could cut emissions of greenhouse gases

I found this article to be very interesting and informative. If Americans are able to change certain aspects of their lives, the U.S. would be able to cut greenhouse emissions by eight percent. The changes that are suggested for this to happen are not very dramatic at all. Carpooling for example is one suggestion. Many people often carpool today to work or different events. Not only would it help to cut emissions, but it can save money on fuel expenses as well.
Another change that is suggested is insulating your home. People would probably be less willing to make this change because of the cost of insulating a home. There are solutions being thought of however to help with the cost issue. These include offering simpler and more immediate financial incentives for insulating a home, or buying an energy efficient appliance. More public awareness about the benefits of insulating is being considered as well. Insulating your home can also help your home to keep heat inside during winter months.

In Response to “How U.S. Households Could Cut Emissions of Greenhouse Gases”

Without a doubt, “global warming” is a concern that is quickly rising with many people. Is the there even going to be any consequences 10 years, 100 years, or even 1000 years from not? Who knows? Since man has only studied the earth’s climate for a relatively short time, a couple hundred years, why is it such a concern? Reliable studies of this have only been recorded since 1850. The earth has been around for thousands of years and here we look at the past century and a half claiming the world is going to fall apart?! Quite frankly, this isn’t a plausible reaction. This doesn’t, however, mean we should close the door to different ideas. It is very wise to listen and test all theories.
In the article, the writer simply discusses the benefits and reasons for making households efficient. Not only is it easier on everyone’s pocketbook, but it also is good for the environment. Whether or not you believe in “preserving” the earth, the idea of changing your house insulation and energy usage is good for everybody. Some people are just ignorant to change because they hate movements like this, but is that the right approach to take? Certainly not. In the article, Elizabeth Rosenthal provides us with statistics and data that reveal the good in changing your house. Thomas Dietz, a professor at Michigan State University came up with these assumed results from just following 17 easy household actions. “They concluded that, over 10 years, shifting behavior could save 123 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 20 percent of household emissions in the United States” So are these global warming fanatics going nuts with their ideas? Probably, but are these changes worth it? YES.

Plastic found within the stomachs of Birds

Somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean there is a large trash buildup called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is an area where trash from humans has constantly built up over the years, and has caused quite a ruckus amongst people concerned for nature. Many have concluded that it is about the size of Texas, if not bigger and it really makes you wonder how we’ve let something go as far as this has. To explain the sudden arousal it has been argued that this trash heap is also almost impossible to see as the majority of the pollution/plastic lies beneath the ocean, affecting the marine life around it.

It was then that a photographer by the name of Chris Jordan was able to find proof supporting the fact that marine life had indeed been affected by this pollution. It was in the fall of 2009 that Jordan visited the Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. Only then to find birds known as Albatross containing plastic within their stomachs. The albatross that he happened to come across were chicks that had been fed the plastic by their unsuspecting parents. The parents had mistakenly thought the trash was food thus resulting in the poisoning, choking, or suffering from deadly blockages in the throat. Thousands of albatross chicks had also suffered the same fate.

This really makes a person wonder at all the other things we as humans contribute to. If we have caused the death of many of these albatross chicks, what else have we endangered in our lives? What other creature have we laid harm upon and how will this affect our future as American citizens? Are we poisoning, choking or making our lives suffer just as much?

350 Day of Climate Action Awareness Protests Across the World

Yesterday began a stream of rallies to raise awareness of the "350 day of climate action". These protests took place in over 181 countries. 350 is a special number, as it is what scientists believe to be a safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in parts per million. As of now the carbon dioxide concentration is 387 parts per million. These rallies took place in order to raise awareness about this. For example, in the above picture mountain climbers hung a giant 350 banner on the cliffs of Table Mountain in South Africa.

Which Term To Use and Why?

The article "Is It Global Warming Or Climate Change?" by Trystan L. Bass poses a fairly simple question with an answer that has many political implications. The article asks whether we should refer to the issues affecting the environment as global warming or climate change. The two terms carry different meanings in that global warming addresses one aspect of changes to the environment while climate change addresses the whole picture. Global warming is used to describe the warming temperature of Earth's atmosphere, an important, but somewhat small aspect of the changes to our environment. Climate change however, is defined by the UN as, "a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods" ( Climate change is much more all-encompassing than global warming, though the writer states that global warming is the much more popular and well known term.
Some politicians have used the term global warming to suggest that human factors may not be involved in changes to climate and that furthermore, the only change that will occur is slightly hotter temperatures. Either term is okay to use, but the writer makes it clear that both terms point to the same thing: a change in the atmosphere we can affect positively that may or may not impact the human race.

In the article “Seven species that won't survive global warming” by Dan Shapley, he talks about seven animals that he believes will not survive the effects of global warming. Due to ocean acidification, sea otters will be affected and most likely will not survive. Sea otters eat clams and other forms or shell fish that are deeply affected by acidity in the oceans. Therefore; if there are no clams, sea urchins, or abalones, then there will be no otters. The jaguar will also not survive because the climate change continues to push the jaguar population into small pockets and decreased sizes continue to push into different regions. Migration for these creatures will be limited.
The Arroyo Toad will be affected in terms of the fact that they need moisture to protect their delicate skin. They burrow themselves in the sand to keep cool and shed their skin. With the reoccurring droughts, this species will not survive. “One of at least 46 corals and 85 invertebrates [are] threatened by climate change.” Warmer waters are killing these species and causing them to get diseases.
Because of heat stress and loss of food the karner blue butter fly will also not survive. Drought will also cause harm to the sonorant pronghorn antelope. They are the fasted land mammals in North America and are devastated when droughts happen because they also migrate. And lastly is the sea turtle. The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle is the smallest sea turtle. Not only would higher sea temperatures affect the animal but also the temperature of sand since that is where the nesting occurs.
The realization that many of our favorite and delicate creatures will go extinct may create a feeling to do something in order to help. Is it natural what is happening? Are humans the cause of this phenomenon? What can we honestly do to help? Most feel hopeless.

Save your energy to Save your money

The average American household spends about $1,900 annually on energy and also creates more than 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Collectively, residential energy use accounts for about 20 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

You can take steps in your own home with little to no cost. Doing things like lowering your water heaters temperature to 120F, or lowering your thermostat or turning off unneeded electronics when not in use are some easy steps you can take to make your home greener.

Low cost steps like sealing air leaks in your home and installing more efficient shower heads will help lower your energy cost and save you money in the long run.

Government allocates $151 million to Advanced Research Projects for Energy (Arpa-E)

The Federal Government will be funding research projects by businesses and educational institutions to fight climate change and produce cleaner more efficient energy. Some of these projects include developing new liquid metal battery technology, bacteria's that will convert sunlight into gasoline, and crystal growth research for low cost LED lighting. The graphic above displays the past 56 years of federal investment in Heath, Space, and Energy.

Solar Trees

Above you see The Solar Trees®, located in the Dell employee parking lot at their corporate headquarters in Texas, which are making a new and incredible step toward green power. Dell has completed the solar-powered parking lot ("solar grove") which will not only produce carbon-free energy for their building directly from the sun, but also equip the parking lot with the ability to power future electric/plug-in vehicles through their CleanCharge™ solar charging stations. These Solar Trees® will shade 50 parking spots at Dell and produce upward of 130kW of clean energy. Sometimes we do not have to eliminate a "destructive" behavior or even modify one, but think of ways in which we can be more efficient and environment friendly. Dell has done this and will most likely inspire many others to do similar.

Algea Farm & Vertical Garden Proposed for Vacant Boston Landmark

Although this is only a artists rendition and the building appears like something right out of a science fiction movie, it is very much a realistic concept.

The idea is to build a temporary home for research and bio-fuel production. These interlocking pods contain algea-incubators on the inside, and plants on the outside.The algea is a primary source for bio-fuel. These individual pods would be rented out to researchers for algea-based projects. The spaces between the pods allow for planting and creating a vertical garden.

Whats your footprint size?

I really liked this calculator blip. Its not really an article but it does show where you can cut back & how much CO2 you yourself emit every year. The average American emits 9.44/CO2 a year. Mine is above average at 12.7/CO2 a year. Its shows how much you emit at home, on the road in your car and in the air if you fly. Its kinda a fun thing to do and shows you helpful tips for cutting back in your life style so that you reduce your own emissions and help to make a better place for tomorrow.

Find your carbon footprint here:

Make a plan to reduce your footprint here:


So this article made me sad as i read it. It was about birds mistaking the trash in the ocean for food. After the birds die and decompose you can see the trash that they accidentaly consumed. Humans are the main reason of this because of littering and not putting trash where it belongs such s recycling. Because of this the oceans are filled with trash and really far out in the oceans they is such a thing called a trash island. you can not actually see it because it is underneath the surface of the water but it is there and is where the birds are confusing trash for food.

Saving Clothes and Saving Money at The Same Time.

After perusing through I found an excellent article called "Saving lint for Lent" After reading this article I came to conclusion that I can save alot of money by NOT using an electrical or gas powered dryer on my clothing. When you use a dryer and see how much lint you collected your seeing what has been torn and taken out of your clothes. Try using a line outside and air dry your clothes. Your not destroying your clothes by any mean, also your saving power and money by not using your dryer. I found an interesting passage in the article where they explain:

In my experience, gently washing your clothes in cold water and drying them on a clothes line instead of shaking-and-baking them in an electric dryer can as much as double the life span of many apparel items.
Theoretically, that means you could cut your spending on clothing in half just by being careful about washing and line-drying them instead of using a machine.
Given that the average American family spends about $1,800 a year on clothing, that $900 savings over, say, thirty years with a compounded interest rate of five percent could build you a nice little nest egg of close to $70,000. And that's before factoring in the additional savings on energy and appliance costs when you line-dry instead of use a machine.
The article later goes on to tell that only about 5% of Americans throw out clothes that are truly "worn out"

Money for your broken ipod

No matter how old your ipod is it can still be valuable to some one. If you have any extra ipods you can try giving them away to a free recycle group. Apple is trying to recycle the metals and plastics that make up the ipod. They do this by letting customers turn in their old ipod for a 10% discount on any new ipod. Another way to recycle is by selling your broken or working ipod to websites such as they recycle all parts of your ipod so nothing is wasted and then they resell them. You get an immediate estimate for your device. For example some one turned in a dead first-generation iPod could earn about $4, while a working iPod Touch would garner nearly $100. BuyMyTronics also takes cell phones, PDAs, laptop computers, and game consoles.


This new green hammock was hand woven out of recycled seatbelts. They are water resistant and completely comfortable. They come in very bright colors such as: hot pink, orange, camel, turquoise, chocolate or black. Every color for every mood! The company also does recycled pillow covers. Slightly overpriced, yet still very relaxing.($585.00)

Dell prepares for plug-ins with solar-powered parking lots

Dell has just finished construction of a solar-powered parking lot called a "Solar Grove" for their corporate headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. Coulomb Technologies, battery maker Axion Power International, and aluminium structure builder worked together to produce the CleanCharge stations located in the parking lot. This parking lot was built to provide power for future plug-in vehicles, and it also produces carbon-free energy for the building. The Solar Grove is made up of 516 individual solar panels which will cover about 56 cars. These panels are capable of producing 131,00 kWh a year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

M-16 Round

I chose the poem “M-16 Round” because I think it was written very well. When I read it the first time I only looked it as a round from an M-16 penetrating the human body. When I read the poem the second time I realized that the actions of a gymnast were being portrayed as the bullet. This is a really great poem because of the ways it can be interpreted

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

M - 16

I choose this poem because it was short and sweet. He really managed to say a lot with few words. I like how he used to gymnast as an allegory for the M-16 round. The round moves just as a gymnast moves....clean, quick and precise. "One blink in an ambushed eye, and you're already there."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

- So We Shot -

"So We Shot" was the poem that stood out the most for me. Their fascination with weaponry and death was the most persistent factor in the poem, and their love for simply shooting up everything.

The feeling of helplessness, in terms of combating the enemy seems to cause an outburst of anger, which is directed at destroying their surroundings.

After the amount of bloodshed, carnage, destruction, and death they have witnessed, simply killing anything all seems like part of the environment that they live in. In some cases, this can consume people, eventually leading to their own downfall.

For them, death seems like a way out – first by killing any and everything they encounter, before alleviating themselves.

This poem is a great example of the effects of war, and how people deal with its effects.
On a side note, I have been able to with numerous veterans of various wars who fought on both sides, and both tell the sheer destruction they all witnessed. It’s amazing to hear their stories, and especially how they were able to "adapt" to such hostile environments, as well as adjusting to post-war life.

So We Shot

SO We Shot
I felt that “so we shot” was a very powerful poem that clarified what the soldiers actually did in Vietnam. In the beginning the poem starts in a normal tone and how boys love to shoot by boys being boys. But, then the poem continues to a darker side as the author talked about how the soldiers kill almost anything that came to their way. I find it interesting how Micus mention how the soldiers weren’t killing what they intended to kill. He said “Because we rarely saw them, we rarely shot the enemy.” It was very sad that the soldiers kill innocent women and children who had nothing to do with the war. It’s crazy to know all the different animals that the soldiers had killed. At the end, it was very heartbreaking to finally see what the soldiers went through after the war to the extent that they kill themselves. Overall, I loved all the poems that Micus wrote. He is very powerful poet.

So We Shot

I felt that "So We Shot" was one of the more interesting poems in this packet. The poem starts off rather light tone as it speaks of how boys love to shoot things. Even I myself, at a young child found myself with a fascination about guns. I know I wasn't the only one either. Its hard to say why many young boys have such a fascination about such a dark thing. For me it was because of the sense of excitement that they brought to me. At the time I was far to naive to think about death and the guilt of being a murderer. Then the poem proceeds to get darker as it speaks of how they shot animals, people, and finally themselves. Perhaps some people don't realize the horror of murder until they have have already done it and too late to correct it. Perhaps others do such evils because they have to or for the greater good. But I know one thing, death is a terrible thing.

So We Shot

Of all of the poems, I felt that So We Shot was the strongest that we read from Micus. His writing in this was direct, both in format and meaning. Though direct, this poem also acted as an almost carnival mirror in that it showed me, the reader, a distorted image of what I expected to see when imagining a war like Vietnam. Whether manipulated by my patriotism or just a simple lack of understand of the events that transpired, I generally envisioned American soldiers standing above a dead member of an opposing force, carrying upon him both an American flag and a smile. This poem was just more proof that things are not always what they seem.

These boys went over and their youth coupled with training resulted in trigger happy soldiers, shooting anything and everything that they saw, but as Micus said, "Because we rarely saw them, we rarely shot the enemy." Just as this poem showed someone like me a truth I was not expecting, so did Vietnam to these soldiers. They shot, and they shot a lot. They shot at whatever they could; they shot just to shoot. As the poem progresses, so does its severity. Their targets begin as birds, parrots, and gulls and then all of a sudden those simple birds have human faces. They shoot women and children and old men, but they do not shoot the enemy, because they do not see the enemy.

The last line in the poem was the one that hit the hardest. He goes out with a bang, literally. Many soldiers, especially the young ones who didn't necessarily understand and consider the reprocussions of their actions, had serious trouble when they returned home. It is only speculation since I have never been involved in a war, but I would think it would be most difficult to deal with death when you go home, away from the war, and have plenty of time to think about it. In battle, a soldier is often blinded by his instincts, by adrenaline, and by a yearning to live so he does what he must. PTSD occurs when they finally have a chance to think about and question their actions and when they finally have the chance to judge themselves. I think the transition from youth to death makes this is a really sad poem, but this is a very real poem.

(Sorry for the late response, Mike. I was in Oxford to bring my girlfriend back home and finally have access to a computer this morning.)

M-16 Round

M-16 round is a poem that has strong meaning. While the poem only has 9 stanzas the poem tells a deep message of a bullet from an m-16 round. The metaphors used are trully amazing and create such vivid imagery in my head. My favortie passage of the poem is the first line, "Little gymanst, how you spin,". That line give you an imagery of beauty and athetics, but very next line after give you a different transformation of the imagery in your mind. I must also say I am not really into poems but found myself reading one after another with pleasure.

Good job, half of you!

Well, maybe some people had trouble blogging, but as of Saturday morning, there are only 12 posts. But what's here is great. If you have any trouble or any more questions about the Essay Two prompt, please just email me at or and I will respond tomorrow. I'm going to Barnesville, Ohio today for a celebration of my friend Marcie Williams' life, held in her hometown today, but I'll be back tomorrow. Hope you all have a nice weekend, and take care.


Essay Two prompt from Mike

Essay Two Prompt

Analysis essay on an interpretive question taken from

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The goal: write a 3 to 6 page (800 to 1600 words) essay that explores deeply the possible responses to a good interpretive question from The Things They Carried.

The essay should be a traditional academic style essay with a thesis, body, and conclusion. You should mostly use third person point of view, but you may use the “I” point of view if you want to make a personal connection or comparison to the evidence. If something in your life helps illustrate or interpret the evidence, then connect it and use the first person, but overall, you should write from a more objective distance in this essay, and bring in the evidence from the book.

You will use your skills in paraphrase, of course, and you may use direct quotes as well, but make sure you do not overdo the use of quotes.

MLA style should be used for all in-text citations, and of course for the Works Cited page.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Regret to Inform

This poem is about a mother who gets the feeling that her son has died in the war long before she receives word of it by telephone, telegram, or in person. It's about her trying to deny hearing the truth and trying to live in her own world where her child is still alive. Her daughter comes into the son's room and sees her cleaning the place as if there's still a need for it to be cleaned, a need to appease the one that lives there.
I feel bad for the mother. I haven't experienced anything like this myself, and I hope it will be a while before I do, but to have someone dear to you die definitely seems like it would be a heartbreaking experience.

So We Shot

"So We Shot" is a poem that portrays the progression of a soldier in war. As a soldier begins war, he is almost excited, relating it to being a young boy playing and shooting at anything he can find. As he is exposed to more violence, we see the poem take a darker turn when the author describes shooting women and children. The poem ends on a sad note, with the author referencing the vast amount of Vietnam veterans who have committed suicide due to post traumatic stress disorder after the war. The poem is clear and concise and shows the clear transition from innocent young man to traumatized soldier.
The poem also points out that the soldiers in Vietnam often had no idea who they were shooting, simply referring to them as "the enemy". The Vietnamese women and children are given no description other than the color of their skin. The soldiers do not remember any details, or perhaps they do not choose to take any note of details. The Vietnam War took a toll on the psyche of soldiers, and "So We Shot" allows the reader to understand just what they may have gone through.

M-16 Round

M-16 Round was a good poem to me because the details he uses help me to picture a gunshot going off. It says it ricochets off bone and that is such a vivid image that it grosses me out. The last sentence is so simple yet sums up the whole poem because it says that the boy is dead and all he will hear is quiet because he's dead. It was a short poem but I like short poems because they are easier to understand for me and I get more of a meaning out of it.

Boy in a Rice Paddy, Head Shot

My intial reaction to this poem was, "Wow." This piece of literature is filled to the brim with beautiful symbolism and structure. You feel as though you really can connect with what the writer wants you to. My favorite line, "and a smile on the sniper's lip," really got me connected and allowed me to see that we take so much for granted in out lives. Sometimes we never even glance at the simple pleasures when that is all we need to see the light in dark situations. "Like a frantic mother." With this I was able to connect and see the fear and tragety of war. Sometimes I begin to wonder how any one person could survive the horrors and psychological traumas that these soldiers do. I mean dealing with the death of anyone is hard, but what is it like for them to see death constantly? To look it directly in the eyes every time they step onto that fighting plane. This was exellent illustration of both of the physical and psychological hardships of war.

Firebase Red

I chose this poem because it confused me. As a read on through it a few times i still couldn't understand the first 2 stanzas but the last 2 stanzas were very powerful and stuck out to me. This poem shows a sentimental side of it all with the way the boots are portrayed. In the 3rd stanza
Willie asks him what he did with his army stuff. He gave it away to the goodwill and that seemed very strange to me that he would give something like that away. Then he goes on and says "i keep a pair in the back of my head"( referring to a pair of boots). I think this shows that he wanted to forget everything that happened in the war by giving his stuff away. He cant actually forget it because it is always in the back of his head. The last line is very powerful and gave me chills as i read it because it seemed wierd but that is how he remembered it. The boots to him remind him of vietnam.


I found this poem to be the most interesting to me. It is talking about all the different things that the soldiers shot in the war. After reading this poem I just thought to my self wow that is really gruesome. Its crazy to find out all the different animals and people that the soldiers shot during the war. He mentioned deer, pigs, turtles, water buffalo, tigers, elephants, and even women and children. For the reason of only boys being boys. It almost saddens me to the point to where i really feel sorry for all those women and children and all those families that were affected by the lost of loved ones. The part of the poem that hit me the most was the very last two sentences where he says "And if that were not enough, we shot each other. Then we went home and shot ourselves". It is a very deep poem and even disturbing to an extent. I enjoyed reading all of his poems he is a very powerful writer.

M-16 round

I really liked this poem because it had a nice tone and easy flow to it. I like how he compares the round to a gymnast. That first line gives you a strong visual and it's a nice and strong comparison. As i was reading the first stanza I was able to have a vivid image because of how descriptive he is. Also the comparisons throughout the poem create strong images. I think this poem shows you how strong their weapons just are and how strongly the soldiers feel about their weapons. These weapons are what helps them save their lives but also takes other lives. This poem lets you know just how powerful this weapon is. The last line in the poem is very powerful. I think it is there to let you know how fast it all happens and then it is completely over for the person this weapon is used against.

So We Shot

This poem talks about how the soldiers shot almost anything they saw from animals to Vietnamese women and children and in the end themselves. I chose this poem because it reminded me of the story professor Lohre had told us about the author, and also because it made me feel sorry for the soldiers. I got the feeling that these soldiers didn't really know why they were fighting, maybe because of their age. For example when he says, "We liked to shoot things. Boys being boys." This made me think about how these young men who were still young at heart, were brought into this war to do things they were not ready for or mature enough to do yet. Unfortunately causing these men to kill themselves.


I felt that this poem was pretty powerful in a sense thats from the authors point of view but then shows the girls point of view at the end. It talks about the bars in An Khe. They are named after states in America. They have decorations that will remind the soldiers of home; football pennant, plastic fruit, and the Beach Boys on the jukebox. Talks about a bar girl who is supposed to be 17 and calls you babysan which basically means baby or sweetie. the author talks about taking her upstairs to a room at the bar where the women would "entertain" him. But then its about what he wont do, he wont touch her in places. He wants to ay next to her and look and wonder what you both doing there. And not for the obvious reason either. In the last paragraph he says "she'll still go down/on you for five dollars MPC,/she'll still pretend you didn't/ burn her village to the ground,/ she'll light you up like napalm." This shows that she will forget the horrible things that you as a soldier did to her people and village but she will still render services for money. It was probably one of the better ways for girls during that time to make money.

Ambush Moon

Ambush Moon

One of the reason why I chose this poem, is because it gives the reader a setting, and somewhat of a plot, but it doesn’t tell you what exactly happened. Partially is left up to the imagination. Reading through these poems leads me to believe that poetry is a channel to express more then just the grip that gore print in memories. It reflects the beauty and power of language which eases, or attempts to objectify the memories of the past. Mr. Lohere told us what actually happened that night, but the poem Ambush Moon doesn’t retell what actually happened, it gives us the setting the essence, the beautiful children, but it doesn’t tell us what happened to the beautiful children or the village. It leaves it up to the imagination, it hints to that there is something else to do but just arriving to the village, but it doesn’t tell us what happened. Excellent use of language, short and well written.

Boy in the Rice Paddy

How is it that poems can say so much but hide so much at the same time? I am not sure what to think of this poem. It is not beautiful, it is not fluid, but instead it is honest and fascinating. I suppose poetry can be used as therapy for people who have suffered from war but this poem suggests something else: sadness and terror. I especially like the line "eggshell skullback blown away," because it is descriptive to a very visual point. I can actually imagine this little boys head (unfortunately) blown away. I also thought the line "and the smile on the sniper's lips" is such a powerful personification in this poem. This poem is upsetting and I can just imagine a soldiers reaction after the war to such a terrible situation. Having to carry a dead little boy after he is dead--incredibly hard.

Regret to Inform

Regret to Inform was a written work that portrayed the emotion of mothers whose sons were in the war. Reading it, I could get a whole picture and scene in my head of what was going on. I saw her standing up from the noise of a car running down the long driveway. Looking through the window curtains as the car finally stopped and a disciplined young man walks out, she held her hand over her mouth with her eyes wide and big. All this I saw when I read this. The way the author presents this moment is remarkable. The point in this writing that hit me the most was when she went to her sons room to dust it, to admire the success in that boys life, to be proud of him, and to relive the very memories of her son’s life. I could only imagine the hundreds of emotions and thoughts that went through her mind. It almost brings tears to my eyes…

Thursday, October 8, 2009

General Westmoreland

General William Westmoreland
Gen. Westmoreland was an American General who commanded American Military operation in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. William Westmoreland, the son of a prosperous textile manufacturer, was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, on 26th March, 1914. Before the Vietnam the Vietnam War The general commanded the 187th airbourne Infantry in the Korean War. Westmoreland adopted a strategy of attrition against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. He employed an aggressive strategy of search and destroy, he wanted to draw the forces of the Viet Cong into the open where they could be eliminated. He believed that the Viet Cong could be defeated through a large scale of use Artillery, air power and large unit battles. In the late 1976, Viet Cong began striking US bases across the Country. Responding in Force, Westmoreland won a series of fights such as “ The Battle of Dak to.” Victorious, US forces inflicted heavy casualties leading Westmoreland to inform President Lyndon Johnson that the end of the war was in sight

Jane Fonda- "Hanoi Jane"

Jane Fonda is an American actress best known for her work in the 1968 movie, Barbarella. Throughout the Vietnam era, Jane was a vocal critic of U.S. troops engaged in the Asian country, referring to them as “war criminals”. Fonda caused a stir in August 1972 when she travelled to North Vietnam in order to protest the American bombing campaign. While sitting in the seat of anti-aircraft cannon, Fonda gave a radio interview in which she called upon the U.S. to halt the bombing, calling then-President Richard Nixon a killer. The full interview transcript can be found @

Fonda’s reception in the United States after her trip to North Vietnam was chilly at best. She began receiving death threats and letters condemning her betrayal of the United States, and was dubbed “Hanoi Jane” by the press. In 1988, she sat down for an interview with Barbara Walters and admitted that she had some regrets, apologizing to American POWs and their families for hurting them, but also stated that she was proud of her anti-war activism.