Monday, December 15, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #8 105-120

The start of these 15 pages picks up where the last passage ended with Baba forgiving Hassan for supposedly stealing Amir’s watch and money. Baba is pleading for them to stay and has forgiven them, but Ali gives hints to Amir that he knows what happened to Hassan in the alley. Ali believes that it isn’t possible for them to be living with Baba and especially Amir. While Baba pleas he begins to cry. Amir has never seen Baba cry before. He believed grown men couldn’t cry and it was also the first time he had seen fear in Baba. Baba’s endless begging was at a loss; Hassan and Ali decided to leave. In the next chapter Baba and Amir are forced to leave their house because of the invading Russians. They are put on a refugee bus to leave Kabul. During the ride they are stopped at a checkpoint. A Russian solider lifts the covers from the truck and searches the passengers. He finds a young woman holding a baby with her husband. He asks for 30 minutes with her. She bursts into tears fearing the worst. All of a sudden Baba stands up in defense. He tells the solider that this is wrong and will tear him to pieces. Amir tries to sit him down but to no effect. This makes Baba even more disappointed in Amir because it shows that he hasn’t taught him anything about standing up for him self. The solider threatens to shoot him, but Baba replies that he would take a thousand bullets from him. Baba is saved when another Russian solider intervenes. As they drive along the husband comes over to Baba and kisses his hand. This is familiar to Amir, as he has seen this many times before. They arrive at a house to switch trucks. They are shocked to find that the truck would need repairs. Baba goes in a rage and begins to choke the driver, Karim. The woman with the baby calms Baba down saving the Karim’s life.
The traits of Amir are consistent throughout the book. He is portrayed to be a coward and it does not go unnoticed. Baba notices that Amir doesn’t stand up for him self and is somewhat disappointed in his only son. This is relevant when Baba is standing up for the woman with the baby and her husband. Amir tries to sit him down, but this only angers Baba because it embarrasses him making him feel like he had taught nothing to his son. This is not the only event, Amir also never stood up for Hassan numerous times including the alleyway. Overall, Amir made choices in the book which portrait him as a coward.
There were many words that I need to define. Tarpaulin is a protective covering of canvas or other material waterproofed with tar, paint, or wax. The definition of Precipitous is extremely steep. The definition of Retching is to try to vomit. The meaning of exasperated means to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely. The meaning of Silhouettes is a drawing consisting of the outline of something, especially a human profile, filled in with a solid color. A carburetor is a device for mixing vaporized fuel with air to produce a combustible or explosive mixture, as for an internal-combustion engine.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #7 90-105

The start of these 15 pages reveal that school has provided a gate way for Amir to forget about what happened to Hassan in that alley but it would not prevent would ensue. One day, Amir asked Hassan if he would walk up the hill with him to read stories. Hassan eagerly joined him. They sat under the cool pomegranate tree, when Amir started to pick the fruits. He hurled one at Hassan, which left him in shock and pain. Amir urgered Hassan to throw one at him, but Hassan stood still. Amir began to pelt him with tons of pomegranates as he soon fell tired and dropped to the ground. Hassan walks over with a fruit in hand. To Amir’s surprise, Hassan cracks it on his own forehead, and walks down the hill in dismay. Amir finally knew what needed to be done with Hassan. The summer of 1976, Amir turned thirteen. Baba and Amir have grown apart again, and have gone back to their old habits. Insight of that, Baba decides to throw a big birthday party for Amir. At the party Assef confronts him. Assef charms Baba by talking about soccer, while Amir is annoyed by it. Amir sees straight through Assef’s fake smile and charm. Assef’s gift doesn’t please Amir either, as it is a book about Hitler. During the party Amir sneaks off and is found by Rahim. Rahim tells him of his only love and how she left him. The next day Amir carries through with his plan about Hassan. Amir plants money and a watch that he had received as gifts in Hassan’s bed and informs Baba that Hassan had stolen it. Hassan and Ali are left sadden and are asked if this is true. It ends with Hassan making yet another sacrifice for Amir by replying yes.
Why does Hassan always sacrifice for Amir when he knows he gets nothing in return? I believe this is because Hassan wants to show Amir that there is more to life than just your self and sometimes you have to make sacrifices for other people. Why is Amir such a selfish person? I believe it is because he was spoiled from birth. He comes from a rich family and gets waited on for his every need. He is used to people doing things for him and not doing things for other people. Why doesn’t Amir tell Rahim about Hassan’s raping? I believe that it is because Amir is afraid of the truth and is a coward. He should tell Rahim because Rahim would accept it and resolve the situation.
There was no vocabulary that needed defining.

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #6 75-90

At the start of these 15 pages Amir finds Hassan cornered by Assef and his two friends. They want to steal the prized blue kite that Hassan has so thoughtfully ran down. This encounter is different from the last. Hassan is found defenseless without his slingshot. Even with out the needed protection, Hassan thinks of the promise that he made to Amir, doing anything to keep the kite in his possession even if it means harm. Hassan is forced to strip down his pants and submit to Assef. Little resistance is giving as Assef proceeds to rape Hassan. While this horrible act is happening, Amir watches in shock and horror. He debates on whether to save he so called “friend” that stood up for him so many times before or cower in the street corner. He judges in favor of him self to run away and not halt Assef. He recalls the look on Hassan’s face before Assef took control. Amir describes it as a sacrificial sheep submitting to the inevitable fate for a high cause. Amir believes that the higher cause is him self-gaining the kite in order to win over Baba. Later, Hassan and Amir meet up. Nothing is said. Amir returns home with the kite to a picture perfect ending or so he thought. The sacrifice of Hassan paid off for Amir. Baba was finally accepting him as his son and paying attention to his interests. But it only made things worse for Hassan and Amir. They stopped seeing each other. Hassan tries to end the bitterness but he is put down for Amir’s guilt is to great for them to talk. In the end, Amir and Baba begin to plant tulips in the garden because spring is about to begin. Amir asks Baba if he will get new servants. He is met by the anger of Baba. Baba is in rage because he thinks of Hassan and Amir as family, and would never throw them out.
In Kite Runner, Amir is portrayed as a selfish person. His acts are based on his
well-being and which would benefit him. This trait is well defined in this passage. When Assef confronts Hassan, Amir had a choice to save his friend or flee. He chose to run. He ran because he thought of him self first and he didn’t want Assef to hurt him as well. Amir describes when they had to sacrifice a sheep for a high cause. In this case the sheep is Hassan and high cause is Amir. He was also glad when Hassan didn’t hang around because it gave him more time to spend with Baba, which is what he always wanted.
There were a few words that needed defining. Periphery means the external boundary of any surface or area. Guileless means sincere; honest; straightforward; frank.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ritual Poem Lazy Saturday

1. Prying open your eyes to the intense morning sunlight that descends upon the swaying palm trees
2. You walk down the stairs to a aromatic kitchen with food spread across the counter
3. You search for the couch to rest your lazy body from your long night sleep
4. Stretching your lifeless arm for the distance remote
5. Sift through the hundreds of channels
6. Discovering an epic football game for a mellow Saturday
7. The thought of your team losing clenches your stomach into dozens of knots
8. You gorge on the scrumptious breakfast put before you
9. The memorizing taste of the bacon seduces you into a daze
10. Falling deeper into the comforting arms of the couch
11. Collapsing into a inevitable nap

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #5 60-75

The beginning of these 15 pages describes the start of the annual kite-fighting tournament. Hassan tells Amir of a dream that places them in front of thousands of people by a lake. The people fear that there is a monster swimming in the lake so they fear to enter. Amir, along with Hassan shows bravery by entering the waters. They swim to the middle of the lake and wave to show no danger. They are viewed as heroes, but Amir thinks nothing of it because it is just a dream. Amir is nervous because he wants to impress his father and fulfill the prediction Baba made the previous day. Hassan calms him down by referring to his dream and reassures him that there is no monster. As the day went on the tournament grew intense. Amir was among the few fighters left. He kept checking on Baba and Rahim sitting on the rooftop to see if they still were interested in his competition. Amir had made it to the final two kites. A single blue kite was left and Amir set his sights on it. The blood on his hands ran thick, but he ignored the pain. With one swoop of his kite, he sent the other kite fluttering down. Hassan and Amir were filled with joy, they could hardly believe what happened, but the tournament was still not over for them. Hassan made a promise to run down the last kite for his friend Amir. Hassan runs off to pursuit the kite. Amir pictured himself showing Baba the prized kite and winning him over finally. Close to darkness, Amir goes to find Hassan. He comes to find him cornered by Assef and his two friends. It ends with Hassan guarding the kite because of the promise he made to Amir.
The word choice and diction in this passage was great. The author does not just quit at telling you what something is briefly. Instead he goes into extensive details like the smells of food coming from peoples houses, and the distinct snow on rooftops . The way he described kites fluttering down from the sky and the look of expression on Hassan’s face when Amir had won the tournament. The overall description of each action by the author was deep and went into great detail. There was no vocabulary that needed defining in this passage.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini #4 45-60

In the next 15 pages, Hassan lip surgery is completed. He continues to smile after the surgery, but we learn that something made him stop smiling that winter. Winter in Kabul is every child’s favorite season for schools shutting down, snow, and the annual kite-fighting tournament. Hassan and Amir have a passion for running and flying kites. They relate fighting kites to war because of the serious atmosphere. The two boys usually make there own kites, but this winter is different. Baba takes them to the best kite maker in Kabul. At the shop, Hassan can purchase any kite he Amir can. This offends Amir, making him think his not the favorite of Baba. According to Amir, the real fun doesn’t start when the kites are flown; it starts when the kites are cut. People crowd the streets and everyone chases after the elusive kites. The most fought after prize for kite runners is the last fallen kite. It brings honor and glory to who ever captures it. Amir believes that Hassan is the greatest kite runner he has ever seen. It ends with Hassan catching the kite in his out stretched arms.
““You know… I like where I live.” He was doing that, reading my mind.” This quote can draw many things. I believe that Amir doesn’t realize that Hassan knows him well and knows what Hassan really thinks of him. I can also infer that they are alike and think the same. “Baba was fattening his pipe and I was asking him to tell the story about the winter a pack of wolves had descended from the mountains in Heart and forced everyone to stay indoors for a week, when he lit a match and said, casually, “ I think maybe you’ll win the tournament this year. What do you think?” I think this is an important exchange between Baba and Amir because it shows that Baba somewhat ignores whatever Amir says. It further more shows that Baba and Amir aren’t very close. It’s not all negative though. It shows that Baba still cares about Amir, addressing that he will win the tournament tomorrow.
I found a few words that I was unfamiliar with in these 15 pages. Epilepsy is any of various neurological disorders characterized by sudden recurring attacks of motor, sensory, or psychic malfunction with or without loss of consciousness or convulsive seizures. Eerie means uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird. The last word is indignant which means feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SII, Graded Post #1: Story Starter

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They’re nice and all—I’m not saying that—but they’re also touchy as hell. Besides, I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy.
Last Christmas, a tragedy, a catastrophe, and an apocalyptic event. Many people see Christmas as a joyful event and can’t wait to celebrate it. The chaos that consumed that Christmas insured to ruin yet another holiday. As it may seem, people think it’s my fault what happened to me, all I can say is that my parents had a hand in the downfall of my disaster. There isn’t enough I can say about my parents, but they just wreck my life. I can only wish and hope that my parents process it in their minds what I can go through with their torcher. They are so self centered and only care about them selves, but what about me? Their priorities are not in order, I should be on the very top of the list, but it seems like I’m in their dumps. Enough about them, the Christmas that should have, could have, would have been the greatest, and took a turn for the worst.
Winter break rang in confidence for me. I gave all my boys handshakes and we shared a few laughs. I was excited and anxious. The cold wind couldn’t brace my upbeat mood. I would finally get to spend quality days with my girlfriend. She gave me reason to escape the torment of my parents. She gave me the best gifts anyone could give me. I felt bad I couldn’t get her a present worthy of her; I would if I could, but my parents never gave me an allowance or funding. They were to busy spending the money on them selves buying designer bags or the newest set of golf clubs. Another thing my “wonderful” parents did for me.
A few days before Christmas, the night was cold, and I was home alone. It was a somewhat perfect night to stay home and watch a comforting movie with her, the only person I really cared about. We came close and were snug, protected from the cold under a thick blanket. The front door opens with a burst of cold air. My parents arrived home from their pre-Christmas party as they say. Drunk and unaware, they wrongfully accuse my girlfriend of being a whore and a slut. She busts out the door with tears falling down her face.
The next morning I tried to explain but she had nothing to say. It was over between her and me. I couldn’t believe my parents. Of course my parents awoke with no knowledge of the prior nights events. I began to think this is just a silly excuse they use every time they know they’ve screwed up big time to hide the real truth. Soon they’ll realize the truth, that they ruin the life of their only child. I want to believe that it’s them that have a problem, but sometimes I wonder if it’s really mine. Only time will tell what I don’t understand.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini Cycle 7 30-45

The beginning of these 15 pages has continued with Amir’s interest, reading and writing. Amir writes his very first story about a man who’s tears turn into pearls and later succumbs to greed, killing his wife. Excited to show Baba, Amir tells him of his accomplishment in his smoking room. Baba grins and shows no interest in reading it. Rahim Khan relives the pressure and accepts the paper from the outstretched arms of Amir. Rahim believes that Amir’s writing is amazing and should hone his skills. These reviews have boosted Amir’s morale and have him wish that Rahim were his father. I believe that the smoke in the smoking room serves as a metaphor that shows that Amir and Baba’s relationship is clouded. The reviews do not stop there. Hassan is also excited to here the story, especially because Amir had written it. He imagines Amir to be a great famous writer one day. Something changes the mood during the chapter; it also changes the way of life for the characters in the book. Gunshots ring out during the night, which frighten Hassan and Amir because they are unfamiliar to the loud noise. They later find that the monarchy has ended in Afghanistan and a republic has begun. Amir and Hassan need to escape reality in the only place they know where to, their tree. The long walk up the hill is interrupted by Assef who is known to be the neighborhood bully. He believes that Afghanistan should be rid of Hassan’s people. He confronts them with his infamous brass knuckles. Hassan pulls out his slingshot and saves them from a brutal beating, for now. These pages weren’t all negative, some positive events occurred.
For Hassan’s birthday, Baba usually got him a toy or cowboy hat, which Hassan was always pleased with. This time Baba receives something not of material, but something that could change his life, surgery that would fix his cleft lip.
I can many connections from the book to my life. When Assef confronted Amir and Hassan is very similar to an experience I had. A group of boys had come up to my friend and I. My friend was much smaller than me so he looked for cover behind me. These boys were taunting us and looking for trouble. Suddenly they had started to back away. I looked for an explanation, turning to find a stick in my little friend’s hand. These connections reflect that even in the face of danger small and innocent figures can stand up for them selves, showing courage and loyalty.
There were words that I somewhat understood, but were still unfamiliar to me. Indecipherable, which means to make out the meaning of (poor or partially obliterated writing, etc.): to decipher a hastily scribbled note. The word staccato, which means shortened and detached when played or sung: staccato notes. The last word is trepidation, which means tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Found Piece

Erie and weird, I awoke, my window had been open and a midnight breezy brought chills down my body. A quick look at the clock revealed it was 4 o’clock. Something troubled me. Outside my window, a loud and clear a Hawaiian chant had arisen. A choir of angels seemed to be singing a harmonious melody. I lay there awestruck, frightened, and frozen. A dream perhaps, but the harsh reality of the haunting chant combined with the choral was all too real. I let the music lay me back to sleep.
“She’s passed on”
My mother’s voice pierced my ears and wedges my shut-eyes open. An end to hope itself. It isn’t true, and worse, does you no justice if we call your death the death of anything but you. A person so loving, so caring, so generous, taken from our lives. It’s hard to believe that someone like that could be gone. It became even more strenuous to cope with. Inevitable but, unthinkable. Sudden and saddening. How I’m I supposed to go along with my life? From my upbringing to present day, always keeping vigil over me. Nostalgic and heartbroken, my memories transport me back to the past, playing ball and laughing. Snapped back to the present, my eyes flooded with everlasting tears. The arduous task of waking up and going to school added on to the heavy and depressing mood. She is the reason I can go to school, forever indebt will I be to her. She has given me the gift of opportunity and changed my life.
I summoned the courage to go to school, with my eyes red and rivers pouring down my face. The most awkward and sad morning I’ve ever had, will remain with me always. I will always wonder, what was the chant and song outside?

John Lennon
By Mary Jo Salter

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini Cycle 6 15-30

At the start of these 15 pages, Amir and Baba have a serious talk about what is sinning to Baba. Baba explains that the only real sin that matter is theft, taking anything that doesn’t belong to you. Baba does not share many personal stories with Amir. Instead, Rahim Khan informs Amir about his father. One story that is told to him is when Baba’s father was killed and had his life stolen from him.
Read further into Kite Runner, I learn that Amir and Baba not really close and rarely have one on one talks. Baba is kept at the orphanage and his business leaving Amir at home by himself, restricting the time they have to spend together. Baba envisioned a son that was just like him, unfortunately he sees Amir as the complete opposite. Amir interested in reading books, he discovers his interest while reading his mother’s books. Baba wants him to be a great soccer player or at least have an interest for the game. The realization that it wasn’t possible for Amir to love the game of soccer disappointed Baba. This leads to an argument with Rahim Khan, Baba’s best friend. Baba is accusing Amir for having no fight in him and he won’t be able to stand up for him self. Overall, Baba thinks he doesn’t recognize his own son because he does not resemble him in any aspect of life.
Amir and Hassan are brought closer together by the books that Amir reads. Since Hassan is somewhat illiterate, Amir reads him stories, poems, or riddles. These spark Hassan’s mind and bring joy to him. When Amir stumbles upon a word Hassan does not know he teases him for it, but Hassan’s smiling face doesn’t show any anger.
Amir has a loving relationship with Hassan, but I don’t think that he appreciates all the things that he does for him. This reveals that Amir is somewhat spoiled and isn’t grateful for what he has compared to others like Hassan. Even though he does make fun of Hassan for being illiterate, Amir tries to help him by reading him books. This shows that Amir is a helpful and caring boy. The patterns that I see with Amir is that he is trying to find his own way in life, instead of following his father. He is an independent boy with his own aspirations like reading. I think the reasons for this is to show that Amir is going to do something other than run the family business when is older.
These 15 pages were full of words I didn't understand. The definition of mullah is (in Islamic countries) a title of respect for a person who is learned in, teaches, or expounds the sacred law. Shambled was used to described how Amir walked around on the field. The definition is to walk or go awkwardly; shuffle. Impeccable means faultless; flawless; irreproachable: impeccable manners. Nemesis means something that a person cannot conquer, achieve, etc.: The performance test proved to be my nemesis.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini Cycle 5 1-15

The first few pages of Kite Runner explains a lot about the main character, Amir. The book places Amir in San Francisco, but refers back to his past childhood when he lived in Kabul. 1975, a year that is mentioned where something happened to Amir that changed his life forever. Little is known about this event only an image of a deserted alley is hinted to us. His childhood is focused on greatly in the first 15 pages. Hassan, a boy with his share of problems as well, lives on the same property as him. Hassan is viewed as less fortunate than Amir because Hassan lives in a mud hut and his father, Ali, is a servant to Amir’s family. Amir also has more benefits because he lives in one of the nicest houses in Kabul and his father is one of the richest men in town. Hassan and Amir have their share of differences, but also similarities. Both of their mothers have left them, either in death or abandonment.
Ali, stricken by Polio had been blessed with Hassan. Even though Hassan was born with a cleft lip he was still proud and loved his son. However, Hassan’s mother, Sanaubar, thought of Hassan as ugly and wanted nothing to do with him. The surrounding community feels the same as Sanaubar about Hassan as he is ridiculed not for his looks, but for his unloving mother. He is confronted by soldiers and told how much of a whore his mother is. His father had also run into some mocking and scornful abuse from older children of the neighborhood. They tease him for his crippled leg suffered from Polio and for his characteristics. None of this bothers him because Ali is kept happy by the joy of his son.
Both Ali and Baba have made sacrifices. They have their critics that doubt them whether it was when he was opening an orphanage or living while your wife left you.
What really makes the first 15 pages of this book interesting to read is the excellent and descriptive word choice. There are many examples but here is one. Amir brings up 1975 and how his “past claws its way out”. I believe this to be a great choice of words because viewing this image would be very vivid and spectacular, instead of just saying the past would come back to me. Amir also describes what his friend Hassan looks like. He is described in a rather usual way, “a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire.” The details that the author had put in gave me a clear visual on what Hassan looked like. At first making him appear beautiful and magnificent, then bringing up his flaws and imperfections. “And the cleft lip, just left of the midline, where the Chinese doll maker’s instrument may have slipped, or perhaps he had simply grown tired and careless.” These phrase from the book helped to enhance and make the book more enjoyable to read.
A few words that were unfamiliar to me in this reading were congenital, squatty, and hemorrhaged. The definition of congenital is of or pertaining to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, esp. the uterine environment. The definition of squatty is short and thick; low and broad. The definition of hemorrhaged is a profuse discharge of blood, as from a ruptured blood vessel; bleeding.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Mr. Carter or better known as Lil’ Wayne has jumped into the music world and revolutionize the business. He and his music is an icon in American society. Lil’ Wayne uses persuasive lyrics, out of control beats, and raps with a sense of passion. He is considered to be among the greats of his craft with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Tupac, and many others. His dedication to his work has produced 3 solo cds before the age 30. That doesn’t include the side songs, various other projects, and underground mixtapes.

The southern rapper grew up in Hollygrove a neighborhood in New Orleans heavily hit by poverty and crime. At age 11 he was seen as a prodigy and recruited by Cash Money Records. Dropping freestyle raps for the owners he caught their attention and offered to record a few songs. A middle school dropout, many people may view him as a failure in life but, he had a dream to become the greatest rapper alive.

His success was overshadowed by near tragedy. Right after he signed
his contract and got the opportunity of a lifetime, he accidentally shot him self with his step father’s gun. This almost ended his life and could have changed the way we view music now.

Lil’ Wayne’s newest cd Tha Carter III has the likes of T-Pain, J-Zay, and Bobby Valentino. This corroboration of highly popular entertainers make it one of the best collection of songs of the decade.

Everyone has their own opinion of Lil’ Wayne, his raunchy, violent, and sexually suggestive lyrics are viewed by some as a bad influence for children listening. Others see him as a symbol of greatness and passion for the music is second to none. I believe that Lil’ Wayne’s songs are an expression for his passions and what he loves.
Got Money - Lil Wayne