September 28, 2011

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Iain Lawrence

The Lightkeeper's Daughter

Crashing waves and rushing water set the scene for Elizabeth McCrae's homecoming. After three years away from her parents and her island home, Elizabeth (nicknamed Squid) is coming back to Lizzie Island with her three-year-old daughter in tow. Squid detests the island. Returning to her former home, she realizes that it is now like a prison to her. Trapped by the crashing waves and rocky shoreline in a place she would give anything to leave. It wasn't always this way. It used to be paradise for her. When Alastair was still alive.

Squid's older brother, Alastair died when he was only fourteen. He was out on the ocean when it happened. All that was found was his kayak and his flute, washed up on the coast the next morning. Squid, her mother, Hannah, and her father, Murray, all torment themselves silently, each thinking Alastair's death was their own fault, and the subject is never brought up between them. It would be too painful.

Throughout the book, the reader is able to piece together the holes in the plot when instances and important junctures in the character's lives are revealed. Memories from the four main characters along with entries in Alastair's long lost journals shape the details and reasons for the night of his death.

Read the book to discover the reason this tragedy took place and unearth the unexpected answers along with Squid McCrae.

September 26, 2011

Days Of Waiting Response

In Language Arts, we wrote responses to a short film called Days Of Waiting, which is about a woman named Estelle Ishigo and her experiences in a Japanese Internment Camp in World War II. This is my response:

Days Of Waiting Response

How can humans be so heartless? That was the first question that arose in my mind after seeing Days of Waiting. This short film made me realize how much rash and foolish decisions can effect people’s lives. 28 minutes of pictures and narration really opened my eyes to the extremes humans are willing to reach in order to obtain a feeling of self-importance, self-righteousness, safety, and to obtain the trust of others. During World War ll, after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, FDR made a decision to “relocate” 20,000 Nisei and Sansei who had as little as 1/16 Japanese blood in their veins to Internment Camps all over the West Coast. 2/3 of the people relocated were born American Citizens. The majority of these people considered themselves American, and many didn’t understand why they were being taken away. FDR should have taken time to think about all the possible outcomes of his actions, but he hastily made a decision out of anger, fear, and a sense of insecurity. During World War ll, not one act of treason or espionage was committed by a single Japanese American.

Estelle Ishigo’s story was both sad and enlightening. She was the Caucasian wife of a Japanese American man named Arthur Ishigo. When he was ordered to relocate to the Pomona Assembly Center, she had the choice to go with him or stay. She chose to go with him. Later, the couple was shipped to Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Wyoming. Estelle had formerly gone to art school, and was a skilled painter and was good at black and white sketches and drawings. While in Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, she painted and sketched the people and the landscapes. In her paintings, she captivated the lives of the people in the Internment Camp using accurate and dismal facial expressions and body positions that outlined the forlorn and miserable lives these people were faced with. In the movie, the bit of narration that stuck out to me the most was when Estelle said that the people in the Camp and the Assembly Center accepted her as a Japanese American, for that is who she felt she was. Even though she had Caucasian parents and ancestry, the people treated her for who she was and not who people of her ethnicity were. Even though it was her race who insulted and severely mistreated these people, they treated her with kindness. Like an equal. They did not discriminate her because of her looks and ancestors. They did not take their anger out on her.

An instance like this is enlightening in a few extremely opposite ways. It shows how conceited and terrible humans can be; how miserably they can make other human’s lives. On the other hand, it evinces that even in the bleakest of moments, humans have the undying power of hope and a willingness to prevail that can trample any feeling of hatred, fear, or hostility. The dream these people had was death defying. Is death defying. These people were the true patriots. They were the ones that never gave up. They didn’t act out of fear and anger. They are true Americans.

More Information On:

- Estelle Ishigo

- Japanese Internment Camps

September 21, 2011

About Me

~I love music! My favorite bands are The Rolling Stones,
Pink Floyd, and The Who. I play the Baritone Saxophone as well.

~I also love to write. I like writing short stories and poems. I love to read too. I love reading fantasy, adventure, and anything that is always exciting.

~I am a fan of holidays too. My favorite holidays are Halloween and Thanksgiving because I love dressing up in costumes (Halloween) and I love my mom's homemade
STUFFING!!!!! (Thanksgiving)

~I love my dog, Buster, and my two cats: Ruby and Mia. Ruby is the largest cat I have ever seen, and my other cat, Mia, is as active as her namesake (Mia Hamm the soccer player). Buster loves broccoli, Ruby enjoys lettuce, while Mia prefers mice.

~I went to San Francisco, California over the summer and really loved it. I enjoyed seeing Alcatraz and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. I saw a San Francisco Giants game and the location of the 1915 World's Fair that took place in San Francisco called the Panama Pacific International Exposition. I loved California! I was ecstatic at how the weather was superb, but never too hot!!

~I am also really into acting. I have participated in the July 4th Youth Musical at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, Vermont for the past two years and have enjoyed it immensely. I was in their productions of "Annie" and "Hello Dolly".