Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Conference times for Monday with Mike

Monday, Nov. 2

10:30 Gabbie
10:37 Daniel
10:44 Patrick
10:58 Christian
11:05 Carli
11:12 Mohammed

11:30 Skyler
11:37 Ali
11:44 Natalie
11:51 Gunnar
11:58 Kyle
12:05 Estelle
12:12 Sydney

12:19 Jami

Journal 9 Philip Mattix

Watching the documentary film The Hobart Shakespearians  was awesome. It was great to see a teacher who who cared for his students. He taught them not only mathematics, geography,.... but also life skills that these children will use to further their academic careers and lives. Rafe has a very unique teaching style that causes the children to become more engaged in their school work. His class room is an environment where  striving for excellence is cherished. He sets up his students to succeed in the rest of their school years.  He has had students that go on to attend college at Princeton, Harvard and other colleges. He quoted " The real measure of teaching is where are these kids five years from now, ten years from now.'' Watching this documentary made me think about some of my favorite teachers in grade school and what I learned from them. Setting goals not only will help you complete the current task at hand, but also teaches you the skills and discipline to further your own career and develop your character.
   A personal goal I have set for my self is to stop using nicotine products. This habit is unhealthy and also expensive.

Journal 9 by Patrick Lynch

Watching The Hobart Shakespeareans has showed me a different side of education and had me thinking a lot about how schools are taught and also how Hobart elementary school compares to my elementary school. Its strange how schools are taught differently you would think the country would want to have a universal standard of teaching but with a country so diverse you need different teaching styles to accommodate that. Mr. Esquiths teaching style was one of the most unique ones I have ever seen. He teaches with such drive and motivation to make his students into successful people. He also describes his job as "Something I like doing, There are some bad days but in the end its worth seeing my students become successful students and people". I did think some of his techniques were a little unorthodox. Like when he slapped the kid even though he gave prior notice and asked if the kid was okay after hitting him I always thought that a teacher should never slap his student. It may have been unorthodox but I also thought maybe that it bridges the gap between a student and teacher. A lot of his techniques do this because it shows that the teacher is an actual person and cares for what his students do and accomplish. It shows that Mr Esquith doesn't have to be a teacher but also a life long friend.

The one thing that I saw that was different in my school was that the teachers supported each other more than the teachers in Hobart. In Hobart they started to resent Mr, Esquith instead they should have been supporting him and adopting his ways of teacher because he has proof that they work. I also noticed that their school looked different and was more diverse. I believe Hobart school has lot of positive stuff and I would of like to have some of them when I was in elementary school.

One thing that caught my eye during the movie was when Mr. Esquith discussed his class trips and how one of his former students that went to a college later in life helped Mr. Esquith set up a way to make money so his students could go on the trips. This reminded me of Cisneros and the theme of giving back to the community you came from because that community has played a significant role in shaping ones life. This is showed by the former student giving back to Mr. Esquith because Mr. Esquith showed the former student that his ways of teaching have worked and continue to work so he gave back to his former teacher because he wants future generations to continue to have the experiences Mr Esquith gives.

Next year I want to get my golf handicap down to a 10 so I can switch majors to professional golf management. I want to switch because I want to be able to play golf on a daily bases and have a career in it. Having a different major would limit my time that I can put towards golf which is the exact opposite of what I want to do.   

Journal 9 mohammed

Watching this film made me think about how lucky i am to have gone to the elementary school i did. It also made me think about how much Rafe cared for his students. I felt really happy to know that there is a guy out there, who could go find a safer job but still helps these children in need. I mean when i was ten years old i wasnt reading shakespeare like they were and i lived here my whole life. My elementary school was in a city called dearborn, Michigan it was small and really an arab community. they didnt have the best schools but they were safe. I learned basic things that every 5th grader should but nothing to the extent of these kids. Rafe says "is it worth it? most of the times no not really. i could go out and get a better job in a safer place but it wouldnt be the same". his goal is to take those children and teach them and give them everything they couldnt have. What i learned from that is that there is a great deal of accomplishment you get when you achieve your goal.
enough that it made Rafe stay in a sketchy neighborhood teaching the kids that other teachers gave up on. My goal for the next year is to get into the engineering school at osu. with hard work and dedication i know i can accomplish my goal.

Journal 9-Kyle Smith

I thought this was a great thing to make into a movie. We need to have more teachers like him. These people exist that can show the love and care that is needed. I had a teacher like this in second grade. My Teachers name was Mrs. Hupp. Seeing all the bond between student to student and students to teacher. It made a feeling of warmth inside. It made me think about doing homeless meals. Seeing them happy made me happy making the feeling of warmth inside.

The importance of a goal is to make something that is quantitative, it has to be measurable. The goal has to be specific to the person. His goal was to change his habits, not for him but his students. He started getting involved in the students lives. Having fun with them but teaching them life lessons.

The goal for next year is to become more active in student life/ community. Join a couple of groups that I can go to every week to become more socialized.

Journal 9: The Hobart Skakespearians

After watching the film The Hobart Shakespearians I came to the conclusion that there needs to be more willing teachers like that in our education system that actually care.  I think once you invest in an individual or a group and show them you care you individually gain from it to.

Growing up through highschool unlike now i was the troublemaking kid that always caused problems no matter what and some teachers just sent me to the office, but some teachers showed me true mercy and hospitality by mentoring me and relating with me. Showing kindness and that you care for somebody can go alot farther than just disciplining them.

One thing I would like to do through youth ministry in the future is be more of a teacher like this more than I already like to believe I am.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Journal 9: The Hobart Shakespearians By Christian Poncsak

After watching, The Hobart Shakespearians I became encouraged to realize something that I struggle with which is having the determination to do something in life that can be done by one's own set of mind and ignoring all the possibilities of failure that can come with it. Seeing Rafe's class of young elementary school aged children learn Shakespeare which is hard to grasp made me realize that failing doesn't have to exist according to one's own set of mind. I felt determined and empowered to go do what I want to accomplish in my life no matter what my current situation may happen to be. These kid's aren't growing up in a good part of Los Angeles and they for user aren't going to let where they come from label them.

I had a great elementary school experience. I had teacher's that really encouraged me to be different in the sense of not conforming to societies standards. I teacher that I will never forget is my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Kraft. She pushed me and encouraged me like no other teacher prior or afar has and she was my biggest fan. She wanted to see me grow as a learner and a person. I use to be a special need's student on an IEP program and because of her as my teacher in fourth grade I had gotten off of the program which is hard to get off of and she cried tears of joy when I was taken off of the IEP program.

What I learned about setting goals and expectations from the film was that to never set your goals to where your comfortable with them. Let them be big goals that scare the socks off of you! One thing that I loved about the film, The Hobart Shakespearians was the goals the children made at the end of touring UCLA's campus. Rafe said to the kid's, "Don't be ordinary, be extraordinary." He wanted the kid's to not be conformed because he wanted them to think "outside" the box about life.

I DEFINITELY know that a specific goal I would like to accomplish within the next year is starting the  steps to creating a very successful business. I am absolutely determined to create something that better's the world through laughter and blissfulness. I am planning to take an idea I've been experimenting with and go full throttle with making it into a brand name. I hope to have it only be regional and not national. I want to have control over the product and the operations so I know if it goes any further then I loose some of that control. This is what I plan to accomplish within the next year. The building blocks to making it go bigger than I could imagine.

Journal 9 By Gabbie Schilling

Watching this video made me think about how lucky those kids were to have such an amazing role model. I wish I could have had the opportunity to experience the care and dedication that Mr. Rafe had to making his students better. I believe that it is most important to show kids a good role model at a younger age, so that they will be able to learn and adapt to those good behaviors. When I was in elementary school we only went on a few school field trips a year, mostly local educational experiences. I loved all of the teachers I had, they were a good influence on me. Although none of them could compare to Mr. Rafe, he put every once of his heart and soul into the kids he taught. He didn't only teach them about math and english, but about important life skills as he states "There are no shortcuts". This is an important lesson not only for kids but for everyone. People in our society are becoming more and more dependent on other people. A personal goal of mine would be to earn my degree in psychology, and help people who suffer from PTSD as well as other mental disorders.

Journal 9 - Skyler Buschman

I found this film to be incredibly powerful. It made me think about how the future of the world is in the hands of younger generations, and when you are able to have them bloom into incredible, hard working people, then it can produce a better world. 
In my elementary education experience, I cannot say that I had as much encouragement and determination shown towards me than the teacher did in this class. I had a much more private education, as I was a quiet and shy student. I did however, hear a lot of inspirational and useful advice that the teachers had given in previous years that I still remember today. It's amazing how bug of an impact having a good education when you're a child can have compared to when you're an adult. It's a whole new world.
What I took from this film, that instilling goals and inspirations into the minds of young children can lead to amazing achievments in their lives. When pushed and encouraged to do great, hard work, and are shown the rewards that they can bring, that can light a flame in any kid to push themselves to succeed and get to where they want to go in life. They are powerful things.
My goal for next year would be to dedicate a little bit more of my time to fully completing all of my work to completion and understanding. I do not want myself to push through a course and not fully understand the material because it can have very bad consequences.

Journal 9: Sydney Alspach

Watching the film The Hobart Shakespearians it really made me think about how I want to better kids education and make them feel excited to go to school everyday when I become a teacher. In the movie Rafe shows the students what is the importance in school and in life.  Rafe's main message to the students was "be nice and work hard", I truly believe that is what teachers all over should tell their students. Teaching kids at a young age how important work ethic is now will help them for the rest of their life. This film also made me feel proud of those students who over came all of their struggles in life with their family, having violence and drug problems and didn't let that stand in the way to better themselves as students.

When I was in elementary I had a great experience learning, although I will say I never had a class like Rafe's! When I was in the fourth grade we all took a class field trip to a college campus, which was a trip the school took every year but to a different campus each year. Also when I was in the sixth grade we took a class trip to Mochian and stayed there for a week. Watching that film reminded me how excited I was for those trips back then, and really showed me what to look forward to in life.

I learned that having the kids set a goal in the beginning of the school year really helped motivate the students to be want to reach their goal by the end of the year. Having a higher expectation for yourself and as well as those students provides a stronger work ethic in the long run.

My goal for the rest of this year and semester is to be more determined and motivated. I tend to slack of at times because I think I can just breeze by and I'm starting to realize that will only make me worse as a person and student than better.

Journal 9 Ali

I absolutely loved this movie and how much of an impact the teacher was having on these kids. This movie gave me hope for the future generations, that everyone is an American; and that everyone deserves to be treated equally. The way he taught these kids was something completely abnormal to me. When I was in elementary I wasn't one of the best students. And many of my teachers seemed to give up on me, like what happened to Alan. Rafe allowed his students many opportunities. These fifth graders went on two field trips out a state; they also met many celebrities. The importance I learned about setting goals for yourself is incredible. Most of the kids in Rafe's classroom lived in bad neighborhoods,and lived with family members who consumed drugs. Rafe stated "all children deserve an equal opportunity". This made a big impact on me. I totally agree with this statement, regardless from where you came from everyone deserves to be treated equal. My personal goal for next year is to attend main campus and continue success in being a child psychologist. Rafe stated "The good ones don't give up". And I won't.

Journal 9 By Jami Riegel

The documentary we watched called " The Hobart Shakespearian" was a great short film. The teachers name is Rafe Esquith. While I was watching this I kept thinking about how my youngest son would really benefit from this teacher. He is gifted and he needs someone to motivate and challenge him. He really doesn't have that at Harding. Rafe Esquith seems to really challenge his students by making them study at school and at home as well. Also having them give up TV and video games and having them read more.
                 When I was in 3rd grade the school I went to wanted to hold me back but my mom would not hear of it so she decided to home school me. She did that from my 4th grade year till my 8th grade year. At the time I loved it. I could do school work in my pajamas and wake up whenever. But being pretty much thrown into high school in the long run I don't think it helped me because I am shy and can't talk in front of people(class)with out feeling sick. I didn't get that chance to learn how to handle that. But he gets these kids to do a hard play and even gets them to understand what they are reading.
                  Setting goals and having expectations for your future is so important. When I was younger instead of having the goal to go to school(mainly because I did not know what I wanted to do as a career)and further my education I chose raising my children to be great human beings, to work hard in school rand in life, to be polite, and to respect people. I will never regret my decision.
                  Rafe says to his students" To always be nice and work hard" just like I tell my kids. My goal for the next year is to finish this school year and help my son with school. He is so smart but does not push himself like he should.

Journal 9 by Daniel Van Dyke

The documentary "The Hobart Shakespearians" made me think how Rafe truly cares about these kids and my schooling career. I think that most teachers in this situations wouldn't have much hope for these kids to succeed. We see in the film that students who would ask the teacher for help would get turned down because the teacher doesn't want to go over material again. This isn't the case in Rafe's classroom he wants his students to understand. He would tech his class life lessons for example the money system in his class. By having this it teaches the kids how to smartly use money. We normally don't learn about how to use money until later in middle school or even once your in high school. I was happy to see that Rafe teaching the way he is because these kids are growing up in rough neighbor hood s and need something to bring hope that one day they can get out of this neighborhood.

I can relate to these kids because I am half Japanese and struggled in my early years of elementary school. At the time i was able to speak both English and Japanese but when i got into the second grade my English was really bad and the school didn't want my parents to keep teaching me Japanese because it was effecting my English. I had to go to summer school after second and be in extra reading help to get back on track. I had great teachers in these reading groups who helped me just like Rafe helps his students. My mom still speaks Japanese in the house and I can understand bits and pieces of it but not how i use to when i was younger.

In the film the kids sent goals like doing well in school, stay off drugs, become successful, ect. The reason why they do this is so they have something to work towards. Rafe tells his students " To always be nice and work hard". The students fulfill the work hard part by completing steps necessary to reach their goals. Also with this attitude the students gain a good work ethic which is really hard to find in today's generation. A goal I have is to finish my freshman year in college strong.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Journal 9 -Carli

The documentary “The Hobart Shakespearians” was a very moving video. While watching this it got me thinking about when I become a teacher. The teacher of the class is Rafe Esquith and he does an absolutely amazing job with the kids I his class. He is all about teaching them but also making a change in them. I says in the video “I want the kids to feel American”. I think that with the kids that he has this is a very good goal to have because they are all new to the U.S.  And need to understand what the American traditions and customs are. With everything he did for these kids it really made me think about what kind of teacher I want to be. My goal is to be the like the teacher that Esquith is. I want to change kids’ lives and make them feel like they can do anything they want if they just believe they can.

My experience in elementary I don’t remember to be like what these kids had. I don’t remember a teacher that cared so much about how we did in school and in our lives. I Still received a good education and help with things I didn’t understand. From this film I have learned that setting goals and expectations is a very important part of life. IF you don’t set goals then when you accomplish something it is not as rewarding. A goal I have for the next year is to use the opportunities given to me through school so that I can better myself and become a teacher like Esquith is.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Post your Holding On research results in the Comments section here. From Mike Lohre

One association I thought of when reading about Steam Train was music I know that has the theme of travel and hobos in it from the post-Depression era.  I actually love this song and it speaks to the pride we can feel when we learn and take risks on our own path.  Hobos surely did that, and I admire the people who risked much for not only personal reasons but for the families they were trying to support.  This song reminds me of those brave people, and inspires me to take risks and be original.

Enjoy the lyrics and the links if you wish to learn more about Merle Haggard.  He's a total classic.


I Take A Lot of Pride In What I Am 

by Merle Haggard (traditional country music artist)

Things I learned in hobo jungle
Were things they never taught me in a class room
Like where to find a hand out
While bummin' through Chicago in the afternoon

Hey, I'm not braggin' or complainin'
I'm just talkin' to myself man to man
This ol' mental fat I'm chewin' didn't take a lotta doin'
But I take a lot of pride in what I am

I guess I grew up a loner
I don't remember ever havin' any folks around
But I keep thumbin' through the phonebooks
And looking for my daddy's name in every town

And I meet lots of friendly people
But I'll always wind up leavin' on the lam
Hey, where I've been or where I'm goin'
Didn't take a lotta knowin'

But I take a lot of pride in what I am
I never travel in a hurry
Because I got nobody waitin' for me anywhere
Home is anywhere I'm livin'

If it's sleepin' on some vacant bench in City Square
Or if I'm workin' on some road gang
Or just livin' off the fat of our great land
I never been nobody's idol but at least I got a title

And I take a lot of pride in what I am
I never been nobody's idol
I take a lot of pride in what I am
I take a lot of pride in what I am

Here's the link to the video so you can hear the song.

Here's his Wikipedia page for basic biography and info on Merle.

Journal 8 Philip Mattix

   Something really stood out to me in watching the the short film "The Marlboro Marine''.What James Blake Miller experienced in the Iraq War greatly affected him. He struggled a lot with PSTD. He talked about recurring bad dreams, that he constantly thinks about the war and became suicidal.
   I learned a lot about Hobos in reading Holding On. I never realised that the Hobos had a culture. They were men who traveld the counrty looking for work in exchange for food or otheritems paid for in trade.

Journal 8 Natalie

The most important thing I noticed in the short film "Marlboro Marine" is how much war can effect a person. War can be very toxic for a person, they do many things to protect our country and sometimes today we don't appreciate the things they do for us. One idea i think we can help veterans when they return from war or understand and better support them is getting the word out there that PTSD is something we all need to take very seriously.
In holding on the thing that struck me most was that there is a difference between hobos and bums. hobos are willing to work. But bums just bum off of people and expect free handouts with nothing in return. I would go to my family's farm and work for them if i had no job or car. I could walk there because it is not too far away, and also, they are always looking for help.

Journal 8-Kyle Smith

  This is an important film because it really captures the effect that war has on an individual and the people around. His whole life changed because of the war. Every thing he considered normal before entering the war has all changed to something different. When going about your everyday life you tend not to think of theses things. It brings a whole new perspective to my eyes. In the short documentary film the most important things I saw was how hard his transition was back to normal society. He felt as if he wanted to be alone pushing all the people in his life away as people were pushing him away just like the congress man did when he wanted to talk.
  I think when vets come back from war they should be greeted with government officials, family, friends and anybody apart of the community to show that these people are very appreciated for what they do for this great country. We should welcome them back with open arms and listen to what they have to say. Help them through their struggles. Give them the option to go through rehabilitation.
  The sense of community between them all. They work hard and will help each other if needed. They work together as one. Bums are completely different than hobos. They could be described as leeches. Only take with nothing in return. They are completely lazy unlike the hobos.
  If I had no car and had to look for a new job or opportunity. I would go to a big city. They would have many opportunities for jobs and or a place to further my education. I would work for what I have because good things come to people who strive out and get it.

Journal 8 Mohammed

The Marlboro Marine is a short video talking about James Blake Miller and when his was in battle in Fallujah. Most of the film was focused on his battle with his post traumatic stress disorder. He says that he keeps getting reoccurring dreams of him looking down a barrel about to pull a trigger going to take another human beings life. Blake talks about how nothing can be the same after war, and that you yourself have changed. The thought of war lives on with them every day. It gets so bad that he thinks of suicide all the time. he says that hes happy for it and that maybe he wont have to feel anything anymore. at one point he says that he put the gun in his mouth and was ready to do it but on of his buddies found him before. eventually he was admitted into a PTSD Clinic in Connecticut. Only six weeks later he drops out and goes back home to his wife,who divorces him in October of 2006. He didn't want to bring her into all the problems he has.

I believe if we take more time to sit with them and just talk to them we can get through to them. none of us know what the horrors they have been through, and the struggle they endured. With the help of family and maybe other war vets they can talk it out cause they actually do understand them and did go through their pain.

What struck me the most about the hobo life was that they actually worked for their food and belongings. they enjoy the life they have because they feel free. If i was out of work and had nothing i would go to my family, because they have always been there for me and i can feel comfortable asking for help to get back on my feet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Journal 8 By Jami Riegel

        The important thing I took from the video Marlboro Marine is how for some people it is extremely hard to come back home and be that same person they were before they went over seas. Killing people changes a person. That's what it did to James Blake Miller. He could not stop thinking about what happened over in Iraq and even had nightmares of looking down the barrel of his gun and shooting people. 
        He married the love of his life but he also needed to be alone. He states: "Where do I draw the line between the space I need for myself and how I communicate with other people? Trying to find that line is what drove me over the edge." He even went to D.C to talk to a congressman about PTSD but he blew Miller off and had his secretary tell him he didn't have time for him.  Everything took a toll on him and he contemplated suicide but his buddy Luis Sinco took him to a clinic in Connecticut for people that have PTSD but Miller only stayed there for 6 weeks. He needed to be home. After divorcing Jessica he joined a motorcycle group. It made him feel whole again, saying it made him feel like he was in the marine core again being around his buddies. 
         One way to help people with PTSD is instead of throwing them a party, sit down and ask them how they are doing, how are they feeling, and is there anything I can do to help. They just need someone to listen to them. They deserve that much after they risked everything for our country.

Holding On: What I thought was interesting about the hobo lifestyle is that there is a difference between hobos and bums. Hobos never worried about being broke because they could work for their food. When they would sleep at a place they called the "hobo jungle" there would be a collection of pots and pans and when they were done using them they would wash them up for the next group. They looked out for each other. Bums would only look out for themselves and beg people for money.
If I were out of work and had no car I would stay with any of my husbands family because they would do anything for us. Just until I found a job and saved enough money for a cheap car and home. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Journal 8 - Skyler Buschman

The most important thing that I took from the video about the Marlboro Marine, was just how substantial the impact of being in combat can be on someones mental health. The man in the video previously had a healthy relationship and believed he was destined to marry his then girlfriend, but upon returning to the states, he felt uneasy about it because he had an urgent feeling of wanting to be alone. And that loneliness took a huge toll on him. This brings me to the point that if someone has come back from war or combat of any sorts, asking them how they're doing and being there for them makes a huge difference. He said if he would have had a buddy around him who was also a veteran as someone to use as a crutch to lean on and to talk to, he would have been in a better condition. Communication and therapy are necessities to rehabilitation of those involved in traumatic experiences. Be open to talk to them and let them vent and be a shoulder to lean on.

The thing that struck me the most was about the differences between Hobos and Bums. He described that Hobos were nice people looking for honest work, and are supportive of others deemed as Hobos, while Bums are considered to be slackers that want things for nothing in return and they aren't supportive or as nice as Hobos.
Also, how you can distinguish a hobo and a bum by carrying around small pebbles. In a "Hobo Jungle" you can throw down a pebble and immediately be accept as a part of the group and will be treated with respect, while Bums do no such thing. It's interesting how small little things like pebbles can come to mean a big signal.

If I was out of work with no car and had to work or travel somewhere for opportunity, I might call upon friends to stay with while I worked at a place nearby until I could afford a car and then live out of my car until I can afford a place to live.
Another alternative is trying to use things such as government assistance to get the basic necessities I need, and then using shelters as a place to stay, as well as friends and family until I could get on my feet.
Another alternative is more of a longshot, but it would be to hitchhike/backpack/train hop my way to places for work and opportunity. Maybe getting enough money to be able to go to Europe and see the world rather than living in one place for my whole life. The idea of traveling makes the Hobo lifestyle slightly appealing to me, but I don't think I could do it like the man in the book.

Journal 8 By Daniel Van Dyke

Marlboro Marine was a video about a Marine named Blake who suffers from PTSD because of the attack in Fallujah Iraq. This video was done by Luis Sinco a journalist of the Los Angeles Times. The one thing i noticed in the video is that PTSD doesn't only effect Blake it also harms his family. He was married to Jessica for only two years. He loved her but at the same time wanted to be left alone. We see in the video Blake would isolate himself and Jessica would be around him trying to be there for him. Blake felt bad that he put Jessica through that and didn't want her to go through it any more. This lead to them getting a divorce.

One idea I have to provide more support to the veteran community is to provide more consoling at the work place and universities. With this groups we could have meetings and let the veterans talk about what they are feeling and let them know that their is people who care about them. The only problem with this is that the veteran him/her self has too make the decisions where they want the help.

In Holding On it talks about a hobo lifestyle. One thing that surprise me was that hobos and bum were two different things. Hobos wanted to work for food or money and cleaned after them selves like not leaving trash. Where a bum doesn't want to work for food they want things to be given to them for nothing. The hobos also seem to be a class higher than the bums because they are willing to work.

If i was out of work and had to basically start over i would try and find a safe community where people would welcome me in to their community. I would try to find a Church or a group that would help me get off my feet and right away i need to find a job. Since i don't have an address and can't fill out the paper work to get a normal job this leaves jobs that are only labor intensives like taking care of someone yard. I know this will be tough but after while i would be able to get back on my feet.

Journal 8 by Patrick Lynch

In the short film "the Marlboro Marine" the most important thing that I noticed was that Blake Miller was going through depression and suicidal thoughts but he had help from Luis Sinco. This is important to me because going through those emotions can be very serious and the fact that Luis wanted to help shows how much he cares for his friends well being. Luis did the right thing by getting Blake into a program that would help with these problems. The best thing to do is always help others and stay with them through their struggles because it shows that you care about them no matter the situation.

One thing that I think is important to help veterans come back to the life they had before is to show that we want them back and help them through the problems they may have from the war or adjusting to life after it. If we show them that we want them back it shows that we care about them and lets them get comfortable so they'll talk about their experiences and open up more to help if they need it. If we help them through their problems it shows that we care and and it is like we give them a helping hand. This lets the stress go away and lets them be more comfortable with their lives.

In Holding On The thing that struck me most about how hobo lived was how dangerous and caring their lifestyle is. They talk about how hobos look after each other. This is show in the book when Maury Graham ran away from his home at 10 years old and the hobos taught him the skills to survive as a hobo. It also struck me that being a hobo is dangerous because of train hooping and other people or dogs that guard certain areas.

If I had no job or a car I would head to a farm out west. The way I would get there is by walking or hoping somebody would let me hitchhike. The reason I would pick a farm in a rural area is that they seem more likely to be nice and let me work for food or money.

Journal 8: PTSD and Society, and Holding On hobos by Christian Poncsak

The short film, Marlboro Marine was truly inspiring to see a new outlook on what a U.S. soldier went through in the battle to fight for the country he's most proudest of. Seeing the photos through the short film really made me feel a sense of compassion for Blake because of what he's experienced in war. It was upsetting to see how a man who killed for this country and stood up for everything the United States of America stood for, was denied his request to speak to the United states Congressman. I loved how the Los Angeles Times photographer Luis Cinco saw right through Blake as a lost soul and decided to take him to a treatment center in Connecticut. The way Blake described his suicidal behavior was nerve wrecking for me because he had a story to tell just like Ishmael Beah. He could have supported other war veterans or educated the public about soldiers coming home from battle.

A good idea to help war veterans when they come home is by having war veterans connect with
American families in a way of having the veteran visit a family once a week and share a meal with them. This would allow a sense of closeness and protection by the family to the war veteran by letting the war veteran know that a whole family is there for you and will support you through whatever the veteran is going through in the moment.

What struck me the most about the hobo lifestyle in the book, Holding On was that they are a higher class next to a bum. A hobo is someone who wants to work in exchange for food, shelter, etc. I was intrigued when the question, "How do you know a hobo?" Was asked on page 19 of Holding On, I was eager to find out for myself about what really does make a hobo a hobo? I read on to find out that you can tell if someone is a hobo by the way they're dressed, and by their conversation which typically isn't shady. So I concluded that a hobo is more respectable than a bum. What also struck me about the hobo lifestyle was how polite they seem to be in the way of looking out for one another in the terms of finding work. they had signs that where code for other hobos about the best and worst places to find work. They would write markers on telephone posts or leave sings to show that a certain place was a good place to work. On page 21 of Holding On, it describes a good turn-in sign would be a tic-tac-toe board and a bad place to work would have two jagged lines for sets of teeth.

If I was out of work and had no car and had to get to another place for work or opportunity, I would hitch hike or ride public transportation of some sort. I would go to a city and live in the city because of transportation and because of many opportunities in cities. The place i would go would have to be Miami, Florida. It's warm all year round and it's a big city that's well-known meaning there's many prospering opportunities there to be involved in.  

Journal 8 - Gunnar Flavell

The most important thing I noticed in the Marlboro Marine would be the feelings that the marine is feeling.  Watching that clip I actually teared up not because I have experienced war from his perspective but I have seen PTSD effect a few very close people in my life.  One particular person my brother who has also reached out for help from the veterans affairs office.  Before when i was slighly nieve i did not understand the hurt my brother feels on a daily basis but as i got closer I could see things in his life that were just out of the ordinary.  The first time I knew it wasn't an act was when my mom woke me up at 1:30 am with my brother on the phone saying to talk to him. i was 17 at the time and this was 3 months before my borthers contract was up.  He was crying on the other side and it was really muffled. I remember hearing loud sounds in the background but didn't ask what it was.  Thank god my brother got out safely and is still with us today it was just a real eye opener.  I later found out that the sound I heard were mortar rounds exploding into the building where they were trapped and my brother really thought it was the end. As we were watching the short clip I could see that same attitiude and hurt in his eyes that I see in my brother on a daily basis.  PTSD is real, its not a source for attention and soldiers really do experience it.  As a Biomedical Engineering major I have come up with virtual reality simulator type of therapy's that could help veterans with PTSD, allowing them to experience simulators that incorporate home life in america and the tents and bunkers and command chain in the military.  Its something that has just been an idea on paper for months based off of the Oculus technology that has came out, but hope to someday incorporate it into everyday veteran lifes.

Before i reading this part of Holding On I had never understood the truth behind hobo's, I never knew that they actually worked.  I had put the word hobo right there with bum thinking they were the same thing and had the same meaning.  So that was a big shock to me finding out the struggles they faced and that they were actually hardworking.  If I was in the situation of a Hobo and I had to try and get another place I would post on craigslist to try and find people that are willing to house me while I helped them and while i traveled.  I would travel to somewhere warm so that my winters werent so harsh and defiantely somewhere industrialized.  I would try and find rides through craigslist like the movie about traveling across america with no money all through craigslist.

Journal 8 Ali

Within the video Marlboro Marine the most important thing that I noticed was how his past was still effecting his future. The marine talked about how nothing seemed right. When he returned from Iraq all he wanted was for someone to ask how he was doing, or how was he feeling; not a celebration or party. When he returned to Kentucky he just wanted time alone, and time to himself. Since no one around him could understand the trauma he experienced. But the thing that stuck with me most from this video was, "What have we gained as a country other than losing good people that are willing to fight for their country". I think this is so important. What is the reason to have war than to raise the amount of deaths each year. No matter what someone is going to get hurt.

In the book Holding On, the hobo lifestyle was very funny to me. Hobo's are like families; they look out for one another. I also liked how the book explained the difference between hobo's and bums. Hobo's are willing to work for food and a place to sleep at night. On the other hand, bums have no work ethic and just expect to be handed things. But one thing that I learned about the hobo life is that it is very hard to leave it; because no one wants you. You learn to take care of yourself;on your own terms of survival. Even if that means working day and night just to find your next meal, and catching a train to find work some place else.

Journal 8: PTSD and Society, and Holding On hobos: Sydney Alspach

In the film Marlboro Marine I really understood more PTSD after war in Iraq. James Blake Miller was the icon for this film because of all of his difficulties with PTSD. One thing that James said really make me think a little bit about the way society looks at people in the army when they come home. James said "Questions that needs to asked after Iraq should be 'How are you doing?' 'Are you okay, or need to talk?'" That really brought to my attention because I always see videos of welcoming home surprises or party's. I've always thought how sweet they were to watch that sometimes it would even bring a tear to my eyes. But I never thought what about after that? Do they go back to there normal lives? We never see video where people ask how they are doing coping with the war, we only see the big grand gesture as soon as they come home.

I think as a community we need to ask more questions and get more involved with out veterans. They surived our country to make sure we were free and could live life the way that we want to. We all need to take more action by helping them with whatever they need like PTSD. I really believe it is the least that we could do. Lets make our veteran get to feel just as free as we do living in this country.

Reading Holding On I thought it was very interesting learning about the hobo lifestyle. I thought it was a odd but nice that after they would use pots and pans to cook their food they would then clean them and leave them there for the next hobo's to use. I would think they would have just taken them ti keep so when they need to eat the next time they were able to use them.

If  I was out of work, had no car or phone I would walk all crossed the state that I lived in to find a job. I would try to the closes place to me to work because then as soon as I get payed I could try it would be easier for me to find a place to stay. In this day and age many people wouldn't want to take me in to help me or even think twice about if I was a good person looking to work. I would need to find a place I could make shelter and still be safe.

Journal Eight By Gabbie Schilling

Part One: The most important thing that I gathered from the short film was that PTSD is extremely real. It may not effect every person who has ever experiences trauma, and the symptoms may not all be the same. I observed that although he had a normal life returning from war in Iraq, he wasn't the same person. He tried to make his life work, but something was missing. The feeling of being apart of a team. He needed to feel like he was apart of something more. He brought up suicide a few times and how he thought it might be his way out. He talked about suicide as if it were the best option for him, while also saying that he would try anything. He said that the thought of suicide made him happy in a way because it was a way out of feeling the pain. As a Psychology major I plan to use my education to help people with mental disorders. Many men in my family are veterans, so I plan to focus my career on helping not only veterans, but any and all active or retired war soldiers. I feel that it is important to help those who offered their lives to save others. I plan to someday be able to travel and help as many people as I can.
Part Two: I found it odd that even though these people were homeless and without food often, that they stuck together. They don't just think about themselves. Hobos leave clean pots and pans behind for others to use, they leave markings to signal whether the location is good or not. These people really treat each other as one big family, that is just amazing to me because they have so little yet give so much to one another. If I had nothing left I would try to find a community where I was welcome, and try to find a good support group that would help me get back on my feet. I would try to find a place like this because I would want to be able to return to a life where I had a job, and a house to live in.

journal 8 -by Carli

In this short video there was one thing that really stood out to me. As I watched he kept talking about how he had to kill people. I can only imagine what it was like to have to do that and then be reminded of it everyday. I think It took a lot of strength on his part to not kill himself a couple times after experiencing what he did in war.
I think a way to help veterans when they return is to give them help and consoling and just make sure they know that we are there for them if they need anything.

Holding on
The hobo lifestyle was very different then what I thought. I didn't know that they went and looked for jobs so that they could get food and clothes. I also thought it was interesting that they would clean the dishes after using them so that the next hobos could use them. If I had no home or job or food I would try and go to the closest place hiring for work and then try and start from the bottom and work my way up so that I could get clothes and food for my self and then find shelter or a place to live. I wouldn't want to live on the streets my whole life and be a hobo. I would want to try and make something of myself.

Marlboro Marine link. From Mike Lohre

Link to the short film we will watch in class.  We know PTSD affects children and adults and makes life very difficult.  This film helps us understand it from one American perspective.

This film will help us think about what we will write about in Journal 8, here on the blog.

All best,


James Blake Miller in Iraq, 2004.  This photo became one of the most iconic images of the Iraq War.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Links to Beah and Cisneros interviews

Part of any active reading assignment has to include an analysis of the credibility of a writer.

The internet makes this easier and more complicated.  Easier because it brings us information quickly, and more complicated because you really have to work to make sure you  understand who produces the source and make sure you are getting objective information.

Here are a few links for our authors as we have finished the books:


Ismael Beah is a writer and activist.

UNICEF links


Sandra Cisneros has stated:  "The only reason we write—well, the only reason why I write; maybe I shouldn’t generalize—is so that I can find out something about myself."

Sandra Cisneros is also a writer and activist.
Sandra as a teenager.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Journal 7 Philip Mattix

    In reading chapters 18 through 19 in A Long Way Gone, a character that stands out to me is  Uncle Tommy. Uncle Tommy was very kind and patient man. He acts as a positive father figure to Ishmael and helps him any way he can. When he first meets Ishmael he says ''After you are done here, you can come and live with me. You are my son. I don't have much,but I will give you a place to sleep, food, and my love.''. Through patience, humor and love Uncle Tommy wins over Ishmael. He calls him his son and welcomes Ishmael in to his family. Uncle Tommy was a very important person in Ishmael's rehabilitation.
     I believe that Ishmael's rehabilitation was successful and that it is possible. I would not mind if he moved into my neighborhood as long as he still had some kind of a support system and or supervision to help him.
    A scene that stood out to me was where Ishmael used sensory details to describe a hot day. '' It was already midday, but the tar road was already too hot. I watched a flying plastic bag land on the road and immediately began to melt.'' (Beah 185). Instead of just simply stating that it was hot out, Ishmael uses a visual example that makes the reading come alive, in a such a way that it pulls you in to the story. Beah uses this writing technique very well throughout  his book.
    A memorable passage that Beah writes, '',but I worried whether his family would accept me the way he had--without asking me anything about my war years.'' made an impact on me. At this point in his rehabilitation he has opened up to uncle Tommy but is still unsure about other people. He is afraid of people asking him about his past. This gives us an insight on what he is thinking and feeling.

journal 7 mohammed

In my opinion uncle Tommy, Ishmael's uncle meant the most to me. he showed real emotion toward Ishmael the first second he saw him which mean that he truly wants to be a part of his life and help him rehabilitate. he shows this when he calls him his son and when he doesn't tell his kids about Ishmael's past.

I believe Ishmael's rehabilitation is going well. he shows it when he starts to open up to Ester and his uncle. it is definitely possible for him to do it because he is still a kid and was brainwashed once and still can be unbrainwashed but it takes time. if i knew someone like Ishmael was moving into my neighborhood i would be cautious but i wouldn't go out of my way to shun him or try to get him kicked out.

Through out the whole book Beah uses scene really well and effectively. he does it so well that you actually picture and and can see whats going on. he uses so much detail to put the images in your mind. When he talks about all the war and killing and death he tells it just how it is all the terrible things that happened it gives you chills reading something like that.

"Some people were injured, but not so severely as to keep them from fighting; others, like my self, had received many bullet wounds that they ignored" (Beah 156). this really stuck me. he is just a kid getting shot at and actually being hit with bullets and he just ignores it and brushes it off. it just shows how brainwashed and broken these children are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Journal 7 By Daniel Van Dyke

In Chapter 18-19 in A Long Way Gone Beah finishes his rehabilitation at the center and moves in with his Uncle Tommy. The character that has meant the most to me is Esther. She was the one who was able to get Beah to be rehabilitated. She made the connection with Beah that made him feel he wasn't alone even though at the time he thought his whole family was dead. She acted like Beah older sister and listen to anything Beah needed to talk about. If Esther wasn't there to care for Beah he wouldn't of been rehabilitated and probably would be sent back to the front lines of the war.

I feel that Ismael's rehabilitation is possible. Each boy has to make the decision whether or not he wants to be normal again in order for rehabilitation to work. This isn't a fast process either as in took Ismael five months until he was able to leave the center and live with his uncle. The memories of what Ismael did will always be apart of him and will have to live with those memories. He has learned how to deal with these memories by talking about them and not taking massive amounts of drugs to cover them up like when he was in the war. I think I would let him in the neighborhood after his has finished his rehabilitation and is under some kind of supervision. I know that at first I would be very worried that he might acted out and harm someone. But Beah is a boy after all even though he had to go through this war he is still just a boy.

Throughout the book Beah does a very good good explaining the scene that is going on in the current situation. This helps the reader create a picture in their head of the situation. I would mark in my book and say whats going on in my own words and describe what I see. When Beah would talk about how his uncle joked with the fact about Beah going to New York i can picture the two jokeing with each other. Earlier in the book he would tell us detail of war scene and often times this would give me the chills and can't believe he had to go through that.

My favorite passage was in Chapter 18 were Beah is debating on continuing living or not. He writes, "I feel as if there is nothing left for me to be alive for, I have no family, its just me. No one will be able to tell stories about my childhood". During this time Esther is working on rehabilitating Beah who is showing signs of PTSD. The quote shows that PTSD doesn't only just affect adults it as can affect kids. Stories in Beah's culture is very important and with the lost of his family he loses the stories of his early years when he can't remember things for himself because he was too young. Later in the chapter he does find his uncle which and makes him feel that he does have a family.

Journal 7-Kyle Smith

I think Ishmael's uncle because that he still made the connection with him even though he knew what he did. Most people would shut someone out who did these terrible things to many of people.  He took him in like a son  and didn't judge him on his past, but his present and future. "..., but I woried whether his family would accept me the way he had-without asking me about my war years" (Beah 176).

Its hard to answer this because I could go either way. I am glad he has made it this far but it still would be hard not to fall back under this influence. Its sort of like alcohol or even drugs, you can easily fall back under after watching the rehabilitation shows. The PTSD effects him hard, making it easy for him to get hostile because this being one of the possible side effects.

What he does really well is putting you in their shoes. he describes the places as if you were there. "One side of the sky was completely blue and the other was filled with stagnant clouds. The quiet breeze caused a branch to snap in the distance. The echo sounded like a cry, a wailing" (Beah 90). I like this because the words used to describe the area and the personification of the branch snapping caught my attention bringing the story to life.

These kids became robots that cause traumatic damage and great amounts of it. This was hit life so he speaks this casually. "Some people were injured, but not so severely as to keep them from fighting; others, like my self, had received many bullet wounds that they ignored" (Beah 156). Its scary what these kids had turned into, mini fighting machines. They are only kids but got turned into terrible things. For most of them screwing up them for the rest of their lives.