Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Loving Natalee Post 3B

This section of the devastating memoir is Beth shooting her TV commercial in Aruba to look for Natalee. Beth describes herself as not fearful about being on television but driven to plead for help. "The words somehow just come as I tell the reporter about Natalee and how uncharacteristic it is of her to not be on time for her flight, how dependable and accomplished she is."(page 61) After the commercial Alberto takes charge and gets more media contacts for them to advertise of finding and having people of Aruba look for Natalee. Beth also goes to an Aruban newspaper place to get the word out. They also go to a print shop to make posters of Natalee and give out the information of where she was last seen, her physical features and characteristics. As Beth does her interviews and commercials she says " All the while I'm wondering if Natalee can see me or hear me. I want her to know how hard everyone is working to find her. I want her to hang on."(page 64) Beth decides that it might be a good idea to get the word out about Natalee's disappearance in the United States as well. She calls her friend Sunny who works for a television station in Birmingham and Sunny warns her that once its out this wont be back but Beth says to go ahead and do a report on Natalee. She wants so badly to just find her daughter and as quickly as she can.

Loving Natale Post 3A

Vocabulary Words-

* indiscernible (page 62) : something that cannot be seen or perceived clearly, imperceptible.

*paraphernalia (page 71) : personal belongings.

Figurative Language-

"They stagger around like zombies."(page 71) This figurative language is simile because it compares how the people at the crack house were staggering around like zombies, but aren't actually zombies. It uses one literal thing and compares it to something thats not literal.
"We retire to our rooms by midnight, ready for the onslaught of crazy calls to come, waiting for the onslaught of crazy calls to come, waiting through the night of standyby to resume the wild goose chase."(page 90) This is use of personification because it is saying how the chase for finding Natalee is so hectic and it is like a wild goose chase, but not literally chasing geese it is just so hard to find and comprehend the facts of her disappearance.
"I'm paralyzed with fear, not sure if I'm actually breathing or not."(page 91) This figurative language is irony because Beth Holloway is so overwhelmed with her daughter being on this great trip one day then receiving a terrible call saying she is missing on a foreign island and Beth is trying to find her in Aruba and no one is being of much help.

"Spreading the word is our focus, and even with Alberto's guidance it's quite trying, because everything takes a very long time to accomplish."(page 61) I believe that this quote is significant because Beth is doing everything in her will to find her daughter, doing TV commercials nationally in the U.S. and in Aruba, doing interviews, putting up posters and putting ads in the newspapers everywhere.
One emerging theme I see happening is that Beth will find more pieces to the story but it will be false information.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Debate First Blog

A few debates that i am familiar with are:

banning smoking all over: these debates occur in states and people debate back and forth about health reasons and other reasons why people should not be allowed to smoke in public places and then people who are against this debate
abortions: the argues are people are either for abortion or against it and this debate occurs all over, is a structured debate and a tough one because there are many pros and cons of abortions and this is a touchy subject and people can feel very differently about this issue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Loving Natalee: Post 2B

In the beginning of this section Beth Holloway has just arrived in Aruba in search to find her daughter Natalee who did not make it home the last night of her senior trip to Aruba. When Beth is on the plane she goes over and over in her mind and tries to put the pieces together of how this could have happened to her Natalee. Natalee's friends told her some information. " She got into a car with a young man named Joran, or something like that."(page 33) This is usual and gives hope that Natalee is hopefully still somewhere on the island. Beth had a deep intuition that something bad was going to happen in Aruba. "A parent just knows when something is wrong."(page 34) Beth tells us how good of a daughter and person Natalee was and her leaving the bar, Carlos n' Charles was very out of character for Natalee. When Mrs.Holloway arrives to the Holiday Inn hotel where Natalee's high school was staying. At the hotel Beth meets two men named Alberto and Claudio who were assigned to help Beth in Aruba and help find Natalee. Everywhere Beth goes she brings a large portrait of Natalee and asks people around her if they have seen her anywhere. At the hotel the lady working at the front desk gives Mrs. Holloway Natalee's luggage that was left in her room. Mrs. Holloway also finds information about who Natalee left with from the front desk people. They say she left the bar in a silver car with two black men in the front seat and Joran and Natalee got into the back seat. Beth finds out that Joran lied and told Natalee he was a tourist but he really lives in Aruba. They find out his address and Beth, Jug (Beth's husband) and police officers and a DEA agent go to the house. When they get to the house Joran's father answers the door and says he is not home and tells them to go look for him at another hotel. Beth keeps saying " It's hard to comprehend that the beach patrol and the hotel staff won't pay attention to a tourist's crisis."(page 41) This is just terrible and I feel so sorry for Beth and her family.

Loving Natalee: Post 2A

Vocabulary Words-

*adhering(page 34): to stay attached, cling

*mustering(page 34): to call troops together for inspection

Figurative Language-

"Her badge identifies her as a U.S. Homeland Security Office representative, and I hone in on her like a radar."(page 35) I know this is a literary element and that it is a simile because it uses like and compares the person to a radar when she know the badge isn't actually a radar.
"It would wash over us like the tide, then ebb."(page 36) Again I know this is a simile because it uses like and compares it to the tide and Beth Holloway is talking about how the tragic disappearance of her daughter is hitting them hard like a tide.
"He is tall. Good looking boy. Like a Dutch marine."(page 39) This third example of figurative language from the book is yet again another simile. I know its a literary element because the lady working at the casino is describing Joran the person Natalee was last seen with and comparing him to a dutch marine saying he is that handsome but Joran really is not a dutch marine.

"It's very frustrating that no one will take any action or offer any help. Perhaps this is just how they do it down here."(page 40) I choose this quote because I think that this could be an arising theme, that Beth comes all the way to Aruba in hope to find her daughter and the people
there are not willing to do much for her to help find Natalee.

One emerging theme I see happening in the book is them finding even more evidence that it was Joran who either kidnapped or killed Natalee.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Loving Natalee: Post 1B

In the first few pages, Beth Holloway the mother of Natalee Holloway is talking about her life today and then it flashes back to the days before Natalee disappeared. Beth talks about clearing out Natalee’s room and talks about what kind of person Natalee was.

“ Natalee always worked very hard at everything she did. She was and all-around success story: she made friends easily, she made straight A’s, she made the National Honor Society.” (page 6) This quote is important because it makes you realize how great of a person Natalee was and what she was like. Beth tells about how just days before Natalee left she had graduated from high school and was very excited for the trip. Beth warned her to stick close to friends at all times on the trip and was already nervous because she had heard bad stories about people’s trips to Aruba but knew that Natalee would stick close to friends. Beth talks about how she decided to take a trip to their lake home with her sisters the day that Natalee left to spend time with her family. Beth was out shopping with her sisters when she received the terrible phone call that changed her life. The travel agent said that Natalee had not shown up for the bus ride that morning and her friends said she did not come home that night from the Carlos N’ Charlie’s club/bar that they had gone to the night before. Beth said she instantly knew that something terribly bad had happened to her daughter. She drove nine hours at 102 mph to get back to their hometown in Birmingham, Alabama. She informed her husband Jug that they had to get to Aruba at once.

Loving Natalee : Post 1A

Vocabulary Words-

(page 1):to come into view as a massive, distorted image.

*municipalities (page 4) : a community under municipal jurisdiction.

Figurative Language-

1. "I feel like concrete". (page 2) I know this is a literary element( a metaphor) because Beth Holloway doesn't literally feel like concrete she is just showing how she is extremely sad and stressed with everything that is happening in her life.
2. "Apparently word of the fire didn't spread as fast as the flames". (page 17) This is a literary element because the news of Beth's daughters disappearance didn't literally spread as fast as flames it is just a simile showing us how fast the news spread.
3. " Certified as an electrician, he was talented as a jack-of-all-trades." (page 18) This also is showing use of simile and I know it is figurative language and it describes how Beth's father was a very good handy-man and fixed up their lake house when it burned down.

" I drove away not knowing that would be the last time I would ever see Natalee." (page 16)
This quote is significant because Beth explains how she was already apprehensive about Natalee going on the senior trip already and Beth's entire life changed when her daughter was reported missing. This is important because the entire plot of the story is about Natalee's disappearance.

One theme I see emerging in the book is more of the story of the entire tragedy and what happened when Beth actually got to Aruba.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2nd Quarter Reading Book Choice Write Up

1. Loving Natalee by: Beth Holloway
2. Copyright 2007
3. Nonfiction
4. 231 pages
5. This book is sufficiently hard for a high school because my mom and my older sister who is in college had to read it in a class so that obviously says something.
6. I choose to read this book because my mom and sister loved it and said I would too. It's about a girl who got kidnapped on spring break and I might be going on spring break to Mexico with a friend this year so the book will teach me to really stick with that friend.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside Post 3

The scene that affected me most was the scene where Julia is reading some of Ramon's poems and pictures it goes to a flashback of when Ramon jumps and hits his head. When it shows the close up of Ramon's head under the water it is very intimate and sad. It shows the pictures of his growing up and younger years very quickly like life happens fast. Much of the movie was medium shots to close ups and in some cases extreme close ups. I believe that the director wanted us to feel connected to the characters and this is why he used extreme close ups. Another scene that affected me was in the establishing beginning shot and throughout the movie where they would show extreme close ups of the ocean. These shots represented calmness with the waves crashing.

The Sea Inside Post 2

The Sea Inside and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly had a few similarities and many differences. Yes, both men were quadriplegics and unable to move but Bauby had could not communicate with anything but his left eyelid and Ramon could talk just fine. Another similarity is that both of these courageous men wrote books on their stories of life living in their conditions and also to remembrance on their lives before the accidents occurred. A major difference in Bauby and Ramon is that Ramon was way more of a pessimistic person and Bauby was optimistic. Although Bauby was sarcastic and at times angry with his situation he did his best to keep going and remember old times but try to make the most of new times and being unable to move. Ramon on the other hand was pessimistic in that he just wanted to die.I believe that The Sea Inside was more powerful because Ramon was more with it and could interact and speak his mind. I felt so badly for him when he wanted to express his feelings to Julia through things other than talking but couldn’t. Simple everyday things that we take for granted are impossible for Ramon and also for Bauby.

The Sea Inside Post 1

I thought that The Sea Inside was a great movie! At first I did not think I would enjoy the movie because of the subtitles, but surprisingly I could understand some of it because I take Spanish. I thought that the storyline was well thought out and it was a very interesting movie. I couldn’t really stop watching which is uncommon for me in movies at school. I think that Ramon’s request for suicide was understandable. If I were in that situation I most likely would feel the same way, living in a bed for 28 years does not sound enjoyable to me at all! The court’s reaction to Ramon’s request was the way I expected them to react. It’s unlawful for them to just tell a man who needs help with the suicide, to sure go kill yourself! I think that Ramon had friends who truly cared about him and they know he just wanted to be put to rest so badly and respected his decision. It was obviously very hard on his friends when he finally did die but his friends loved him so much that they agreed with his decision and Rosa ended up helping him and loved him very much.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

week 6, parts 1 and 2

I choose option #2 for the alternative assignment and handed it in.

In section 6 of my book

Thursday, October 25, 2007

week 5, parts 1 and 2

Part one: commented on two people's blogs

Part two: In part 5, the man known as the "Preacher", pulled Cup over because she had failed to yield the right-of-way and she knew it was because he saw her leaving the dope street. Cup was afraid that he would do something bad to her, but instead he just told her some important information. He told her that she did not belong out there, I think this means that the "Preacher" doesn't think Cup should be living the way she is. He also tells her he knows that God has a plan for Cup and that she is special, but before she turns her life around she will hit rock bottom he tells her. Cup talked to him three more times that year and he kept getting her out of trouble with her dope problems. Ken (Cup's boss) had a baby girl and would be taking off work to help take care of her. Cup decided she would be taking off work too then, but Dorothy( the new secretary) thought this violated Cup's provision but Ken still in a different world from his baby girl said to forget about it and that Cup was fine. The physical effects of Tommy and Cup's drug use were getting worse on their bodies. Tommy had problems with his bowels and Cup would loose control of her facial muscles and couldn't keep her lips closed. Cup said she did not even enjoy getting high anymore and everyday said she would stop getting high but it didn't happen that way. Cup couldn't even get high but she could not stop and hated what the drugs were doing to her body and her life. Daddy and Jr. were discussing Cup and Tommy's drug problem and decided they needed help. Tommy admitted that he wanted help and Cup agreed too. The first step to recovery for Cup was a 12-step program for coke addicts. She and Daddy went to a meeting where they showed them characteristics of cocaine addicts. Cup said that the meeting had convinced her that she was not an addict but she could relate to everything that they described as one. Tommy didn't use for one day but then used dope the next night. Cup stole $500 from someone she loved for the first time, from her Daddy. Daddy went to Tennessee for his father's funeral and said his co-workers had given him money as sympathy of his father, before Daddy even boarded the plane Cup and Tommy had spent it all. When Daddy returned Cup told him how she had stolen his money and he moved out. Daddy said he could no longer watch Cup and Tommy kill themselves. Once Daddy left Cup and Tommy had no reason to try and be responsible and used their money on drugs and had none left for their rent payments. After 2 days of living in a car, they found a new apartment and Cup left Tommy. Cup left him for a terrible reason, that he was just in her way and she figured she could get more high by herself. Tommy threatened Cup and said if she left him she'd leave with nothing and he'd get everything even their car, Cup didn't care and walked to Mona and James's house. They agreed to let Cup live there under 3 conditions, they would control her drinking limits, no crack in the house and the third condition was she had to keep a job and pay rent. Ken was discovering the mistakes Cup was making but she knew she couldn't quit so she tried to get more energy to work harder and one day came up with an idea to commit suicide. Cup was going to her dope spot one day and still thinking of ways to die. She decided she was going to steal dope, when the dope man returned he chased her, smashed her cheekbone into the ground and held a gun to her head. To the mans suprisement Cup told him to kill her and he was astonished from that everything went black and when she woke up she was lying behind a dumpster. Cup could not remember anything, where she'd been the night before what had happened or anything else. Her right temple was hurting very badly but she could not seem to remember anything that had happened. Cup called Ken and so she could take some time off work so she lied and told him that she had Colon cancer. Cupcake came up with a plan for her suicide and it was to get AIDS. Mona caught Cup with her pipe for the third time and kicked her out of her house. Cup decided she would leave at the dumpster that she woke up that one time. While at the dumpster, Cup had time to talk to God and a voice told her to go into work at Ken's office and tell him she was quiting because of a drug problem. So, Cup walked all the way to his office and told him this. Ken told Cup he wanted to help her and got on the phone to get Cup sent into Mesa Vista Hospital. As Cup was on her way to the hospital she kept changing her mind on wither or not to get help and was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. When Cup got to the hospital a lady named Sam asked her numerous questions to figure out where to put her. Cup experienced terrible withdrawals where her hands shook, she was burning hot then cold etc. One of Cup's first assignments in rehab was to write good-bye letters to her drugs and she spent a long time on this.She began attend 12-step meetings at Mesa Vista also. Cup talked to God a lot through her recovery period and attended a lot of meetings on her road to recovery. Cup went to a place called the Alano Club for alcoholics and recovered alcoholics.Cup asks Venita to be her sponsor and met her at the Alano Club.

Monday, October 22, 2007

week 4,part 2

In this portion of the book at the beginning Cup had just gotten another abortion. This became a piece of cake for her, she’d go into the hospital get the procedure done, come home and get high and drunk and live her normal life. She never learned anything from her mistakes and continues to use her birth control inconsistently. Cup discusses as in a ton of pain and cramps from her abortion and how she has a hard time loving people. Cup had taken sick leave for a week from work and when she returned was fired. Tommy had encouraged and pushed Cup to get a job for many benefits, mainly so they would have more money to get drugs. Mr. Collum( Cup’s boss) had found out that Cup had been smoking and high on the job and was coming late to work and that is why she was fired. The entire third shift (the night shift) was all fired along with Cup for the same reasons. As Mr. Collum was talking to her she didn’t even care she got fired all she cared about was getting high. Cup’s party friends teased her for getting fired and told her that they knew from the start of her job that she wouldn’t keep it. This made Cupcake very frustrated but determined to always quit a job before getting fired. Cup lived by this rule and went through many different jobs. As Cup began to earn more money for drugs then Tommy was making and this made him very insecure. Tommy became almost a different man and started physically abusing Cup. He would also verbally abuse her and yell at her for looking at another man and assume that she had feelings for him. Whenever Tommy would hit or kick Cup she would hit or kick him back just as hard, they had a very abusive and unhealthy relationship. One day the abuse got very bad and Tommy hurt Cup so bad in the car that she got out of it and cussed him out. He got out of the car and cried and apologized and Cup took him back because she thought he must really love her for being so apologetic and she thought he would not continue the abusing, which Cup says he didn’t for almost a year. Tommy and Cup moved into their own apartment together and to keep up rent Cup and Tommy continued work but Cup would also do crime in the night. Tommy’s insecurities were still a big problem and he thought the solution was for him and Cupcake to get married. Cup didn’t really know about this but agreed to it and Tommy wanted a huge wedding so his mother planned the entire thing. Cup applied for a job postion as a legal secretary and got the job at a small law firm. Cup’s boss and co-workers taught her a lot and were very patient with her and although it took Cup a long time for her to learn things she’d get them down perfect once she learned them. Cup discovered a new drug, crack and became instantly obsessed with it. She could not live without it but still convinced herself she did not have a drug problem for whatever reasons she could. But, Cup wanted to see if she could quit smoking crack for a year and she and Tommy did that for about 7 months but still did numerous other drugs. The only thing Cup wanted to pick out for her wedding was her wedding dress. She wanted her dress to have roses on it because that was her mother’s favorite flower and Tommy’s mother sent her money to buy a dress. Cup got roses sown unto it and it was only $100 she spent the rest of the $900 sent from Tommy’s mother for the wedding dress on, you guessed it more drugs. On the day of the wedding Cup was very hung-over and drank and smoked before the wedding and she blacked out at the wedding and it was a blur to her. She didn’t even recall getting married to Tommy and was shocked when she found out she had gone through in marrying him. Cup got reacquainted with her old friends from elementary and they became close again. Tommy’s domestic got worse and worse but no one helped Cup with it or educated her on what it was. Their marriage was definitely on the rocks. On day Tommy got way out of hand because he thought that Cup had cheated on him, when really she was just making a drug deal. He got very abusive, was cussing and almost killed Cup by squeezing her head super hard and throwing her head to the ground. Cup then called 911 and they came and took Tommy to the hospital. Cup went to visit him, but just to get money for dope.

week 4, part 1

"Soon, I didn't have to think. I didn't have to feel. I didn't have to remember."-Cupcake Brown (page 176)
I think this quote represents what the overall tone of the story is, that Cup uses drugs and drinking to get through any and all obstacles she faces in her life. After her mother's death Cupcake was left with a crazy foster parent and her life was changed dramatically. Cup began using drugs heavily and in this quote it means that after Cup would get high off of the drugs she wouldn't have to think or feel or remember all the things she dealt with such as death of a parent, rape, homelessness and having several abortions. Cup also frequently would get so drunk she'd black out and her entire life revolved around how she would get a hold of more drugs and more alcohol, nothing else really mattered to her. I believe that she coped with her issues by using drugs and drinking because she did not have to feel the pain she has.
"Should I take the easy way out or, for once in my life, try to actually learn something, earn something, finish something."-Cupcake Brown (page 183)
This quote also represents the tone of this memoir because all throughout the book Cup's was looking for ways to get the easy way out of things. From age 11 to her mid-twenties her entire life is just one big party and all she cared about was that, drinking and drug use. This quote is talking about the particular part of the book when Cup pays Sara one hundred dollars to update Cup's records and make it seem like she took her required courses of college and this is how Cupcake got her certificate of graduation for "completing" college. Cup also took the easy way out with the death of her mother. Instead of dealing with this great loss and talking to people about it, she covered up her tears with a smile and a joint. Cup became pregnant many times and each time she took the easy way out and got abortions. I think if she would have kept the baby she would have learned alot and had a better life, but I believe she was afraid to love because she didn't feel much love from anybody in her growing up except for Daddy and Jr.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Dive Bell and the Butterfly Reflection Blog

We just got done reading the memoir, The Dive Bell and the Butterfly and I honestly was not much of a fan. When I found out that we'd be reading this memoir in class I thought the book sounded very interesting and I was excited to read it but it was not what I was expecting. I thought the book had way too many metaphors. The memoir was also quite depressing which is not unexpected starting the book and knowing about the author's accident. The memoir was just boring and it seemed to drag on, it is incredible that Bauby could write the entire book with communicating with his left eye lid but he could have wrote a book that more people could understand and that had a little more going on with it. This book to me did not really seem like a memoir just because it was mostly him thinking of his life before he suffered from locked-in syndrome and I do not know if it really was a memoir. Dive Bell and the Butterfly seemed more like Bauby wanted the readers to feel bad for him when he maybe could have tried a little harder to find some positive things to what fate had happen to him. Some parts of the book that were interesting and fun to read about was when Bauby talked about his children. I cannot even imagine how tough it must be on him and his family to be in this state of locked-in syndrome. One positive to the book was that I got to learn more about locked-in syndrome coming into this knowing nothing. It was interesting to read things from his prospective and things hit hard like wheelchair and having to be fed through feeding tubes the rest of his life. In conclusion this book had its positives and many negatives. I would not recommend this book to anyone but it was interesting to learn more about what locked-in syndrome really is.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Week 3, part 2

Dear Journal,
I am reading the book "A Piece of Back" for my outside reading memoir. The memoir is about a girl, Cupcake Brown and how her life changes after she finds her mother dead when she was just 11 years old. Her real father was then given custody of her and her brother, Larry but he only wanted them for the money and gave them up to a foster home. At the foster home Cup was abused and raped and lived a terrible life cleaning all day long and getting nasty meals. She decided to run away and learned the ropes of prostitution, drug dealing and gangs. Cup became very addicted to alcohol, weed, crystal meth, cocaine and acid. The book has many strengths, the main one being that it is very descriptive and makes you feel Cup's pain right along there with her. One weakness is that the book is very long. I understand that Cupcake's life has many different aspects and parts she wanted to put into her memoir its just a long read. The issues brought up are all very tough.Drugs and drug dealers are a scary topic but yet appear in my life in that people I know do drugs and is hard because i do not agree with their decisions. Abortion is also brought up in the book which is a very tough topic. I personally am torn up on this topic. I think it should be the mothers choice whether or not to keep the baby, but if the mother is in Cup's situation and sleeping with many different men and for the wrong reasons. I am for abortion if the situation is different and has to deal with rape. Another topic brought up is alcoholism. My best friend’s mom is an alcoholic and so I know how difficult this can be on family. I predict that Cupcake will turn her life around and make something out of her life in the end and get through all of her struggles.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Week 3, part 1

At the beginning of this section Cup is sixteen years old. She just found an apartment to live in and loves living alone, it is much different from her having to run away all the time. The rules for her living alone until the emancipation was settle in the courtroom was that Cupcake must have a job and be in school. So, Cup went out to find her first job and she got hired being an "alarm monitor". It was a pretty easy job for her, she'd come to work after school drunk and high and then fall asleep on the job and wake up in the morning for school. The day that Cup was legally emancipated she quit school but stuck with her job. Cupcake became close friends with her next-door neighbor named Rich. Rich was a twenty five year old drug dealer and they would smoke together. Cup awoke one morning with a very sharp pain in her abdomen, Rich called the ambulance and she went to the hospital. The doctors told her that an IUD was left in too long and moved into her uterus, he also told her that she had gonorrhea, which is a sexually transmitted disease. Rich had to move for the army and asked Cup if she wanted to take over his business and customers. Cupcake decided it'd be good to get that money and she could then quite her alarm job. Cup loved selling weed for a few reasons. She liked it because her house became the happenin’ place to be and because she always had cash. Besides weed Cup started selling meth, cocaine LSD and sherm. On her seventeenth birthday Cupcake threw herself a huge party. It got out of hand and the police showed up and busted the party. Cupcake mouthed off and cussed out the cops and was almost taken to jail for underage drinking. After the party Cup and her friends had the munchies and one of her friends went to the store to get some chicken for them. When they started cooking the chicken, Cupcake felt nauseous from the smell. She knew she was pregnant because this is how she had felt last time she was pregnant. Cupcake went to the free clinic to get examined and sure enough she was pregnant. She called Calvin who she figured out was the father and made him give her money for an abortion. Cup’s life selling drugs sure enough ended and she was out of money, so she decided to live with her daddy.

Cupcake Brown is now a very successful lady. She has written a memoir of her life and is a lawyer at a large firm in San Fransisco where she lives. Cup also speaks all over the country telling her story of how even through all of the negative things that had happened in her life she still found hope and made her dreams come true.Brown realized she wanted to change her life around when she saw a reflection of herself in a window and saw really just how much the drugs were effecting her. She then went to college for eleven and a half years then to law school and ended up graduating in the top 10% of her class!Cupcake Brown is a one of kind person to have that much courage to change her life around and make something of herself. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/14/earlyshow/main1399040_page2.shtml
http://www.cupcakebrown.com/index2.html(picture and info)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Piece of Cake-Part Two

Ten Loaded Words

*prostitution(page 78): I think this is a loaded word because people know what this means and it is so sad that people would disrespect themselves that much just for money.
*druggie(page 81):
This is a loaded word because someone who does drugs would feel bad being categorized like that but at the same time being a druggie is not something you should want to do and is very unhealthy.
*asshole(page 96):
Just like all swear words this word can be very offensive to people.. You'd never say this word to someone like your grandmother or a teacher but some people say it when they are really mad at some
gang(page 106):
This is a loaded word because the word gang symbolizes violence. Violence is something that is clearly bad and never represented in a good way for obvious reasons. Some people are in them, some people are scared of them. The word can have different feelings for different people.
*nigga(page 113):
This word is very hurtful and should never be said. It is a very racist word and is super offensive to black people.
*shooting(page 117):
This word can having different meaning for different people. A person who hunts would think nothing bad of this word but a person who is against guns would think of this word in a non positive way because it is representing violence.
*homies(page 120):
This word can be a fun name friends call one another or be represented as a bad name for a gang member.
*smoked(page 141):
This word can also having different emotional meaning for different people. For people who are smokers this is just a common word in their vocabulary. For people who are against smoking this word can mean something different to them and be a non positive and very unhealthy word.
*miscarriage(page 146):
This word is a very touchy and sensitive word. For anyone who has ever had a miscarriage this word can bring back those saddened times.
*gang banger( page 146):
This word can be offensive or just hard to understand because it means people who are apart of a gang that all have sex which is definitely not good because they are doing things for the wrong reasons.
*abused(page 154):
This word is also a touchy one because people who have been abused would look at this word and re live the pain, for those who have not been abused they know what abuse can consist of emotionally and physically.


In this section much of what was going on last section. Cupcake continues her smoking and drinking and is back living with Diane and then running away. Diane finds out that she has diabetes in this section but is still mean as ever. Cupcake runs away and gets back with Diane several times as well. Cupcake gets pregnant but has a miscarriage and Diane makes her suffer through the physical and mental pain at the house not even the hospital. After this Cup runs away and goes to Hollywood. In Hollywood she joins a gang and everything keeps getting worse and worse. She continues her drug and alcohol addictions through these sections. In the end Cup goes back to the man she calls "daddy's" home.


My feelings of this section were just like the last. I feel so badly for Cupcake and do not see how she can remain so strong and keep going with all that she has been through. In hearing her writing in this memoir it seems so real like I'm right there with her going through all these hard times with Cup. I can't even imagine how she must have felt through that and must have felt just so disrespected her entire life.

A Piece of Cake- Part One

The first section of my book, A Piece of Cake was very sad. It starts off taking place in the year 1976 in San Diego, California. Cupcake Brown is the person telling the memoir and it is about her life. In the first chapter she finds her mother dead. She had wondered why no one had awoken her that morning and she went into her moms room to find her dead on the floor. The police came to the house and told her that her mom had had an epileptic seizure, swallowed her tongue and choked on it. Her mother was 34 years old and Cupcake was 11 years old when she passed away.
In chapter two Cupcake's family is mourning on the death of Momma.The only family she had was her Daddy who hadn't lived with her and her Momma, her brother Larry who she did not get along with her Uncle Jr. and her grandmother. The grandmother had Alzheimer's and didn't remember anything though. It was a rainy and gloomy the day of Momma's funeral. On this day Cupcake talks about God and blamed him for not saving her mom. A few days after the funeral they go to the lawyer's office to see who will be getting custody of them. Either the man Larry and Cupcake called daddy would be getting custody of them or a strange man named Mr.Burns would. Mr. Burns turns out to actually be Cupcake's biological father.The lawyer decides that Mr. Burns will get custody of Larry and Cupcake because he is their real dad The man that Cupcake had grown up with and called "Daddy" married a lady named Lori to try and get the children for himself but it did not work and Mr.Burns still got full custody of them. The only reason he wanted the kids though was for Momma's money.
After this Mr.Burns drove off with the children and left them with a strange lady. The woman is Dianne and is Larry and Cup's foster mom.Dianne does not seem like a very nice lady she swears a lot and tells a story of when she got forced out of Los Angeles for having foster children of hers die in her care.
Their new house is in
Lanchester, California and Cup says it was a very nice house. This house was in a much different neighborhood then her last house in the hood! Everything in the huge home was fancy and very beautiful. Diane out of nowhere punched both Cup and her brother and hard! Diane yelled at them and Cup said she knew then that life as they knew it would never be the same. Diane only allowed Cup and Larry to be in three places, a tiny den, a bathroom and the back yard. They weren’t even allowed in their own rooms unless cleaning or sleeping in them. Diane had six other foster kids coming in so they would not have their own bed rooms. Connie who was Diane’s biological daughter got special treatments like having her own bedroom and being allowed to go in rooms the foster children could not.

Pete also lived in the house and he was Diane’s nephew. One of the first nights they were there Pete and Diane started drinking and got happier and happier the more they drank. Pete gave some of what he called rum and coke to Cup and she really liked the way she felt after drinking it. She called it her feel-good liquid because when she drank it she felt pretty and not alone. Pete told Cup to come to the bathroom with her and he became very angry and slammed her to the ground placing a towel over her mouth. He then raped her when he was 21 years old and she was just 11 years old. While the raping was going on Cupcake thought again of her hatred toward God. She wondered why he was doing all this to her and decided she hated God because God hated her. Pete threatened Cup and told her if she ever told anyone that he had raped her he would will everyone in her family. Pete told Cupcake to not even think of telling Diane because all the foster kids were was a paycheck to her. Two days after they had gotten to the home Pete raped her again. The six other foster children arrived and all eight of them were treated terribly and were pretty much just paychecks and maids for Diane. Diane abused the children often.
Cupcake couldn’t handle life at Diane’s house anymore and decided to run away. She ran for a very long time and then met a girl named Candy. Candy was white and very pretty. Candy gave Cupcake her first hit off the joint and more “feel-good” drink and taught Cupcake the ropes to prostitution. Cupcake said she was in it to survive on her own now and had her first trick of prostitution that night at only 11, almost 12 years old. Candy let Cup stay at her place that night and explained to her what a pimp was and that one lived in her home. Cup listened to the pimp named Money’s rules and decided prostitution, smoking weed and drinking was not how she wanted to survive and ran away.
Cupcake ran away and decided to sleep on a tree stump for a night, the police found her that night and brought her back to Diane’s house. Diane pretended like she was so worried about Cupcake but the second the police left she yelled at Cup and abused her. The abusing just got worse and worse. Diane enrolled Cup in a 99% white school but it was a nice break for Cup to get away from the foster home even if just during the day. Cup began smoking weed and drinking every chance she got. She made friends at school like her who drank and smoked together all the time. After Cupcake watching her friends shoplift she began to do it too at just age twelve. Cup began stealing small things like wallets and cigarettes which she also started smoking. Diane’s whip became Cup’s new frequent form of punishment for not cleaning things well enough.
Cupcake decided to run away again. She went to the tree stump where the cops had picked her up before and hitchhiked until a black man named Bob picked her up. Cupcake turned her second trick with Bob he paid her and dropped her off in Thousand Oaks. When Cup got to Thousand Oaks she didn’t know what to do and decided to call Uncle Jr. She hadn’t talked to him in months and he came up with a plan to send her money to get on a bus and get back to San Diego. Jr. was very happy to see Cupcake he brought her to live with Aunt Pam. Once Aunt Pam saw the marks from Diane abusing her she called the welfare agency of Diane. Cup had to go to Hillcrest Receiving Home which was a large family facility in San Diego. It housed children that had been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Sense Hillcrest was not a long term place to stay, Larry and Cup were going to be sent to foster homes in the San Diego until after the hearings of who would take them. Momma hadn’t even been dead six months yet at this point. Cup was sent to live with Mrs. Bassinet who had similar traits of Diane’s. She had the kids clean a lot and was always drunk which meant Cup was always drunk and stole booze from them. Mrs. Bassinet wasn’t as physically abusive as Diane but swore a lot at them.
Cup said she had wanted to be a cheerleader and Mrs. Bassinet objected but Mr. Bassinet said he would take her to practices. On the way to the first practice he pulled into a Kmart parking lot, gave Cup a pill called LSD to take and raped her. They never made it to cheer leading practices and did these three times every week. Mr. Bassinet also introduced Cupcake to cocaine and at every “practice” they’d smoke and drink together. Mr. Bassinet protected Cup until one night the police woke up Cupcake and she was taken back to Hillcrest, probably because Mrs. Bassinet found out about the “practices”. When Cup returned back to Hillcrest they made her talk to a psychiatrist and he told the judge that Cup should be sent back to Diane’s house.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

First Post

The thing I am most anxious about at Edina High School is being in a new place and being with new people. I think it will be very enjoyable to have classes with new faces, like those from South View and new students from other schools. It is a little bit intimidating to be with so many older students though but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. The school is still a little big and new to me but it will be a lot of fun I can already tell! I am very anxious for dances and football games as well.

One goal for myself in my sophomore year is to try and get all A’s and maybe B’s and to complete all of my homework and turn it in on time. This is my first year that I have been really busy after school with Comp Cheer so it will be interesting and probably stressful at times but I’m sure I can do it! I hope I will get good grades and do well in the high school and hopefully not get lost anymore.