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Trail of Tears

April 15, 2011

This is a video I made recently for my U.S. History class. My teacher said that she is going to use it as an example for next year. (I got an A on it, too!) Enjoy. :)

Beasts We Once Called Brothers

March 28, 2011

I saw and old candy shop,
While I sat, hidden from their eyes
When there was the silence before the storm
Then the bombs were dropped like lightening

And they hit the town like thunder
Red bricks rain through the gray sky and pollute the streets like blood
With death close at hand, I remembered a time
When the candy store was a place of excitement

Now, filled with smoke and tears
It’s become a place of pain and death
And makes me wonder if these beasts we once called brothers
Take joy or guilt in ruining our pasts and futures

I remember children with their coins and excited eyes
Their hearts accelerated with sugar
Now accelerated with fear of death
But even more with fear of pain.

The smoke spread over what was once a great city
And echoed the feelings in our hearts
And with all the sorrow in their eyes
I wonder if happiness can ever reign again

It is pain to see once a happy place burnt to ashes
Just as our souls are being smothered with hatred
And all this makes me wonder
Are the wicked overcome with pride or remorse?

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”: Deleted Scene

March 24, 2011

If you have ever read (or watched) the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, then you know what I mean when I say that there seems to be a scene missing at the end of the play. There is a large gap between when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern finish their conversation on the ship and when suddenly everyone in the Denmark castle is dead (the last scene in Hamlet).
Well I recently had to write what my thought was on this “missing” scene in the play. Even if you have not read or seen this play, you may still be able to enjoy it…

The ship pulls into the England harbor. Slight damages on the mast and deck from the pirates show how long and symbolic the trip from Denmark was. Pirates killed Hamlet in his attempt to look heroic. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern now realize that they are to be sentenced to death by the English king upon arrival. Their biggest problem at the present moment is how to go about this dreadful news.

Do they take the letter to the king as they were ordered to do? Knowing that it will lead to their deaths. Do they flee? Knowing that it will label them as cowards.

“We cannot just stay on the ship! It will take us back to Denmark, where the King has ordered our execution,” says Guildenstern.

“But I don’t want to get off the ship,” responds Rosencrantz with an edge of fear in his voice.

“We shall depart the ship and resolve on what to do afterwards,” says Guildenstern with impatience.

Once departed from the ship, instead of walking to the castle, they start walking to a busy area of town where they can blend into the crowd. Carts and horses are busily trampling through the streets. People are loud and occupied with their loading and unloading. Their selling and trading. Their conversing and arguing. There is a gray overcast in the sky that reflects off the gray buildings, making it all a very depressing sight, which reflects Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s emotions at the present. Once they have found a spot where they think they blend into the craziness of the crowd, they start to converse about what they will do with the letter. Standing on the sidewalk next to a busy intersection of horses, carts, and vendors, Rosencrantz buys an apple and nonchalantly leans on the side of the building with one foot cocked and starts chewing on the apple.

“I must say, this is a delectable apple. I wonder where it was picked…”

“There are larger topics to discuss at hand,” says Guildenstern.

“But the delightfulness of the apple…” responds Rosencrantz, “Well, it is much more enjoyable to speak of than the dreadful topic you are referring to.”

“Well, dear friend, in case you haven’t noticed, the dreadful topic is much…much more important to talk about than the enjoyable topic. Because, you see, this unfortunate topic refers to whether or not we shall make it through this day alive.”

“Well have you ever thought that perhaps death is like… like… this apple! Sweet, succulent… enjoyable! Perhaps it is not as you described it before, old friend. Maybe it is not the ending of all things, after all! So! I say that we talk about the apple and how enjoyable it is,” says Rosencrantz with lightness in his tone.

“I beg of you. Refrain from talking any more about the apple.”

“Maybe if you had an apple for yourself, you could see exactly what I’m talking about. It would make this enjoyable conversation easier for both of us, simply because then you would know what I speak of when I say that this apple is…”

“Delightful! I know!” exclaims Guildenstern.

“No need to raise your tone dear friend. What is this news you speak of?”

“Do you not remember? Well, come to think of it, I too am now having trouble remembering.” says Guildenstern with incredulity.

“Well I remember something of a letter…” replies Rosencrantz.

“Yes! A letter. Was it you or I that that held it?”

Rosencrantz pats his pockets, “Well it is not I that holds the letter.”

Guildenstern then pulls the letter from his pocket. “Oh yes! I remember now, this letter orders our execution. I knew it was something important.”

“Well that is such dreadful news,” says Rosencrantz. Bites into the apple again.

“We have two options: we can flee into the countryside or another city and avoid the king altogether or we can deliver the letter to the king ourselves. The former would label us forever as cowards, plus they could come looking for us, which means we would be on the run for the remainder of our lives. The latter would label us as bold heroes who face our fate no matter the situation.”

No comment from Rosencrantz, bites into the apple again.

“If we take the letter to the king, we are practically committing the act of suicide! But, we are men who do as we are told. Even if that makes us fools. But it also makes us loyal and trustworthy. But, it is truly not worth my reputation to die. I say we flee. Yes! Flee, I am not cowardly if I am saving my life and harming no one else’s. We shall find a place to stay for the night, then we will depart first thing tomorrow morning. We will go to a desolate countryside village were we can live in peace for the time being.” Guildenstern goes about planning their escape from the city, “We could hop on a cart before the sun rises and take that to…”

“Oh. My apple is gone…” says Rosencrantz with a disappointment.

Guildenstern goes from a relaxed, thoughtful position to jumping up and pacing, “Have you not been listening this whole time?” he exclaims with anger.

“Well…”

“I am only talking about our lives. It’s not like it’s very important anyway! You know what?” Guildenstern is somewhat furious now and pacing back and forth.

“Calm down, friend. You are causing a scene,” advises Rosencrantz.

“Oh, NOW you are worried about things?” Guildenstern starts backing away from Rosencrantz with his arms spread wide with sarcastic disbelief.

“Wait, stop,” warns Rosencrantz.

“Before you were more concerned with the juiciness of your apple than you were with your life. But now you are worried about causing a scene?” Guildenstern is still backing away from Rosencrantz.

Rosencrantz suddenly reaches for Guildenstern and grabs a hold of his shirt. Guildenstern suddenly trips on the edge of the sidewalk and starts falling into the street filled with trampling horses barging through the intersection. Rosencrantz tightens his hold on Guildenstern’s shirt and starts to pull him back to the sidewalk. As he is helping his friend back, a group of playing children run by and bumps into Rosencrantz. He suddenly loses his footing on the edge of the sidewalk. Both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern tumble into the intersection. Discombobulated they look around and see that there are horses coming from all sides. Both friends are trampled and killed together. Lying in the middle of the road. The two friends lay side by side, there is an apple core in one of Rosencrantz’ hands and a letter of importance in Guildenstern’s.

The people on the street stop and stare at the scene, and when a young man from the King’s court runs to see if the two strangers are okay, he sees the letter. Then immediately delivers it to the King himself. The King of England then sends two ambassadors to Denmark to deliver the news that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

Once in Denmark, an Ambassador speaks to Horatio at the gruesome scene in which the King, Queen, Laertes, and Hamlet are all dead.

“The sight is dismal; and our affairs from England come to late. The ears are senseless that should give us hearing to tell him his commandment is fulfilled, that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.”

Is music a distraction to the youth?

December 18, 2010

This year for British Literature, I had to respond to a prompt. For some reason, this prompt really interested me. I love to listen to music. I find it to be a great way to escape. So, when my teacher gave me this prompt (below) I took interest in giving a good and thorough answer…

Many teens and young adults have personal music players, such as MP3s, that allow them to take their favorite music with them wherever they go. Such devices require earbuds, and users can often be seen with at least one earbud firmly in place, listening to music as they go about their daily business. Some critics of these music players, however, argue that users tend to be isolated in the world of their music. Users, these critics say, do not really pay attention to what is going on around them; and they behave rudely when they carry on conversations with others while wearing at least one earbud.
Do personal music players such as MP3s isolate their users and hamper social interaction? Should such devices be set aside in some situations to promote social interaction and even safety?

There are extremes to every side of the criticism. The teenagers that these “critics” see are the extremities in the current generation. And the critics who judged the teens are often “old-school,” were they didn’t have any technologies to “plug into” in there younger days.
If you were to look at the extremities of the teens, they do always seem to have their headphones in. But they also always seem to be texting, and if the older generations were to get serious about their criticism, then they should also complain about the teen’s phones, music, and social networks (such as Facebook).
However, there are many teens and young adults that are not lost in the world of their music. They may listen to music occasionally, text their friends to make plans, and post photos for their families on Facebook. Do these teens seem worthy of negative criticism? Not to me. When it comes to the older generation of critics, they are also the extremity compared to their peers. There are many older generations that listen to music, text their friends, and participate on Facebook.
So, when its comes down to the question, “Do personal music players such as MP3s isolate their users and hamper social interaction?” I would have to say yes, in some situations it does. But in other situations, such as workouts, studying, relaxing, etc. then the MP3 players affect no one but the subject.
“Should such devices be set aside in some situations to promote social interaction and even safety?” Not in my opinion. While the MP3s may affect the subject’s life and socialization, it is also up to the subjects to decide that for themselves.
To conclude, I think that it is the teen’s choice to decide to be in their own world or not. I also think that the older generations perhaps need to come to terms with the technological advances in the world today. That doesn’t mean that they have to put up with bratty teens who are “plugged-in” all the time, but perhaps let them make their own decisions, just like they did when they were younger.

What is your opinion on the prompt?

Powder

December 17, 2010

Sometimes it’s nice to just slow down and write, or read, poems.

So, now, take some time. Take a seat. And take a deep breath.
‘Cause I’m taking you to the mountains.

“Powder” By Dailyn Lewis

Silence.
Soft white powder tapping my nose.
Cutting through clouds of white.
Trees passing by.
I do not think.
Leaving my mark the untouched ivory.
The board beneath me.
Not beneath. Connected.
Moving together.
In perfect harmony.
Like a sweet dance.
The world is forgotten.
All of its sorrows.
All of its pains.
Gone.
This world is so sweet.
So constant.
So treasured in its silence.
This is the world where I belong.

Teen Drinking & Driving: 3,500 Deaths Per Year

December 17, 2010

Teen drinking is a rising issue in the world we live in today. However, it is not the drinking that is the issue, it’s when these teens choose to drive while under the influence. Alcohol is dangerous no matter the circumstance. But, when teens drink they often do not take time to consider the consequences. Almost any and all teenagers think that they are capable of dealing with situations beyond their experience. They often feel that they can handle anything, including driving while intoxicated.
One mother felt the full effects of drinking and driving one day when a drunk driver killed her teenage daughter. Her 14 year old daughter was walking along the sidewalk when she was hit, and killed, by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. He was on parole for causing a car crash while under the influence.
This mother was extremely hurt by her daughter’s death, but instead of wallowing in misery, she decided to take a stand against drunk driving. So that other mothers around the United States would not have to endure what she went through. She started the organization, M.A.D.D. Which stand for, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
This organization talks about the dangers of drunk driving, how to be a better, and more alert defensive driver. But, most importantly, it talks about how to get it through your child’s head that drinking and driving is one thing they could regret for the rest of their lives.
Now, we all know the story of the mother who started this amazing organization. But one subject we have yet to consider is the driver who was under the influence, the one who was responsible for the girl’s death. This person now has to live with the fact that they are responsible for an innocent person’s death. Drinking and driving was an issue that didn’t seem so problematic at the time, but it quickly turned into a very big deal. An issue that the driver will have to deal with for the rest of their life.
Drinking and driving may seem like it is not an issue when one is actually under the influence of alcohol. But one must also realize the consequences, intoxicated or not. Drinking and driving never has a happy ending. “It’s a stupid choice,” Courtney Wagner, a teen talking about her peers choosing to drink and drive, “I don’t understand why somebody would choose that.” The percentage of teens in Colorado that participated in binge drinking in the past month was 20.7%. How many of these teens do you think had to drive home? Likely all of them. Just in the past month, 392 teens were arrested for drinking and driving. “It definitely frustrates me,” Courtney says.
Considering the legal drinking age is 21, it is only natural for more accidents to be caused by adults. Unfortunately, underage drinkers definitely play a large role in the amount of crashes caused by drunk drivers. According to a 1999 study, drunk drivers under the age of 21 cause about 3,500 deaths per year. Courtney Wagner, a teenager who attends Hillsboro High School in Missouri, explains how she feels when she sees her peers drink, “It sounds snooty, but it just kind of makes me glad that I choose not to drink.”
However, drinking does not affect one’s driving only. “I have an old friend from school. And ‘it’ all started around junior high,” Courtney explains how a friendship was ruined by alcohol, “She almost immediately lost all of her friends and her grades dropped drastically within weeks.” Drinking affects every aspect of someone’s life. “She started not caring about her appearance, and her attitude became almost… kind of vulgar.”
Heavy drinking changes appearance, attitude, and most importantly priorities. The worst part of drinking in Courtney’s opinion is that, “They will have trouble getting where they want to in life.” Drinking often blurs the decisions one may make. “It’s a gateway to bad things,” Courtney says. This leads back to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Teen drinking and driving is a rising issue in the world we live in. Drinking and driving does not just affect the driver, it affects everyone around them. Including friends, family, and complete strangers. Teens are often overwhelmed with the feeling of being able to handle any situation. But even the most experienced drivers cannot control the effects of alcohol. Drinking and driving is a decision that should not be taken lightly. In fact, it is a decision that should not be considered at all. And organizations like M.A.D.D are doing everything in their power to stop decisions like these from being made.

Jobs. Dreaded by most. But, Do they have to be?

December 3, 2010

So many adults, and teens alike, absolutely dread even the simple word, “work.” Clocking in on Monday at 8. Do mundane work until 5. Go home. Repeat.

I am fortunate enough to say, “Not me.” I love my job. I am a photographer’s assistant. That means flexible hours, decent wages, and no uniform. I am optimistic enough to say that I will never have a job (or life) as monotonous as the “eight to fivers”. I may sound like a “silly teenager that doesn’t know what having responsibilities is like”. I will not deny that accusation. I am a silly teenager, and I don’t know what it’s like to have big responsibilities. But, I also believe that you don’t have to live an bland life to deal with those responsibilities. I have set a goal for myself, it’s not the common goal of becoming rich or getting into Harvard. It’s a simple goal of not living an average life. I believe that the base of this goal starts with a job. However, I also believe that your job doesn’t make your life what it is.
You do.
Make it count.