Book Report // The Giver by Lois Lowry
The world that this book takes place in consists of several different communities. Each community is governed by an Elder. The Elders are like the mayors of the city. Almost everything in this world is totally controlled. For instance, people don’t get to choose what job they want to have. They are assigned their job at the “Ceremony of the Twelves”. The weather is somehow controlled and is always the same. Also they say “I am a Twelve” instead of “I am twelve”- another example of sameness.
The people in this world do not see color. They don’t know music. They do not know about death either. Their word for it is “release”. They are told that the people that are released go to a different community. People believe they then spend their lives in that community. The people do not have intense feelings either. When in the book they say that they are angry, theyre not actually angry, merely annoyed. Everybody seems happy. They also spend a lot of time sharing their feelings within the family unit, and trying to make each other feel better. One of the games that the children play is a war-like game. They pretend to have guns and shoot at each other. They don’t think it’s something bad because they don’t know what war is. Or what guns are either, for that matter.
The main character in this book is a boy named Jonas. In the book the main character’s age begins at the age of 11 and the book ends when he is 13. The Ceremony of Twelve is special for him because he finds out that instead of being assigned a job, he is “chosen”. He is to be trained to be the new Receiver. As the world they live in is totally controlled, they have enlisted a person to hold not only the historical memories, but also intense feelings, this person is The Receiver. The Receiver bears the memories of starvation, war, sunshine, sunburn, music, color etc. This is done to ensure that the people in the community do not experience the pain that can come with having these memories.
The old Receiver, who tells Jonas to call him The Giver, transfers the memories to him. Jonas then finds out about war, colors, music, snow, sunshine and about pain and joy and all kinds of other intense emotions that come with the weight of the memories. While this information gets transferred to him, he becomes confused and starts feeling ambivalent. On the one hand he feels people are deprived of something, on the other hand he feels that maybe life will become very complicated if everyone had all these experiences and feelings. In the end he decides that he can no longer live in these communities. He runs away, with the help of the Giver. By running away, the memories will return to the people. This is the only way in which the people will realize that there is more to life than what is fed to them.
The central theme that I encountered in the book is that somewhere in the past somebody tried to create a life with no pain, no war, basically no insecurities. But along the way that life also become a life without color, differences. A life with few individual choices.
The ending of the book is kind of ambiguous because it is unclear if Jonas lives and reaches a kind of world like in his memories, or if he dies. At the end of the book, the author describes a scene in which Jonas sees an image of Christmas, with singing and color. He also sees a sled and uses it to slide down a hill. The question is, is it real or is it just a vision before he dies.
Pan’s Labyrinth//A Review
Pan’s Labyrinth (origionally El laberinto del fauno) is a 2006 dark fantasy drama film written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. The story takes place in 1944 Spain in the summer, five years after the Spanish Civil War. The heroine is a girl named Ofelia. Ofelia is the kind of child who eagerly reads stories about fairies, princesses and magic lands, longing to believe that what she reads is real.
Mr. Del Toro obliges her wish by conjuring, just beyond the field of vision of the adults in Ofelia’s life, a grotesque, enchanted netherworld governed by the sometimes harsh rules of folk magic.
That realm, in which Ofelia is thought to be a long-lost princess, may exist only in her imagination. Or maybe not: its ambiguous status is crucial to the film’s coherence. Like the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, Mr. Del Toro is less interested in debunking or explaining away the existence of magic than in surveying the natural history of enchantment.
A Christmas Mystery (that doesn’t have much to do with Christmas) by: Me
It was the morning of Christmas Eve when self-proclaimed “amateur detective” Nami Jackson decided to go out and put flyers up, advertising her services. She was currently in the town hall hanging a flyer up on a large bulletin board near the front doors. The flyers read the following: Amateur detective, Nami Jackson. Ready to take any job, no matter how petty or otherwise. Call this number to negotiate details: xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Nami was already turning to leave when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned to face the person. It was a boy, maybe about twelve or thirteen years old. Nami herself was a sixteen-year-old sophomore, who had recently become very interested in the art of deduction.
“Excuse me?” The boy said, snapping Nami out of her self narrative.
“Yes? What can I do for ya?” She said casually.
“Uh, well I saw you hang up that flyer. And, uh, I was wondering if you could help me with something?” He asked nervously fidgeting with a loose string on his sweater. His nervousness was understandable, since Nami pretty much towered over him. She nodded, signaling for him to continue.
“Uh, so my friends and I are a band and we keep our band stuff in my garage, like the amps, the cords and drum set. Anyway, I went in there this morning and all of the cords where gone! Like, we need those to make sound! I think it might be my fault for not closing the garage door all the way? I haven’t told the guys yet.” He explained.
“Interesting…” Nami commented, “Did you go in there yesterday? Or the day before?”
“Actually, I don’t think I’ve been in there at all these past few days.” He answered, looking guilty.
“Alright! I’ve decided! I’ll take your case! If I may ask your name?” She said energetically, finally having something to do over winter break.
“My name is Anthony, but I can’t really, uh, pay you…” he said a little embarrassed.
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll solve your case free of charge. I’m only doing this to vanquish my boredom anyway, you’re doing me a favor.” She reassured, patting him lightly on the shoulder.
“Lead me to the crime scene child!” Nami said, dramatically placing a deerstalker hat on her head and pointed towards the door leading outside.
Anthony looked a mixture of uncomfortable and confused. He was confused about where the hat came from, she seemed to pull it out of thin air.
“S-sure… follow me.” He said and lead the eccentric teenager out of town hall.
She was lead to a small nearby neighborhood. Anthony’s house was an average two story house with a garage door. He brought to into the garage and showed her the supposed ‘crime scene’.
“Very interesting…” Nami mused, stroking her chin like a beard, “You said all of the cords disappeared within the time you were not in the garage?”
“That’s right, the rest of the gang and I have been preoccupied with studying for exams.” He answered, taking his coat off and placing atop a speaker.
Nami nodded and asked, “Have your parents been in here? Maybe they moved some stuff.”
“I’ve asked them, they told me to ask the others.”
“Hmm, and did you?”
“I was on my way to the one who lives closest to me when I saw your poster.”
“We’ll go to them first then.” Nami announced and spun around, theatrically causing her trench coat flutter behind her.
Like before, Anthony lead her to the house. They knocked on the first door. He asked for ‘Sam’ to come down. After explaining the situation to the other band member, they came up with nothing. He had no idea where the cords could be.
“Onto the next suspect!” Nami announced.
They came up with nothing at the other two houses as well. The two walked back to Anthony’s neighborhood feeling dejected. They sat down on fold out chairs in the garage. Nami had taken her hat off and put it near where Anthony’s coat was. Then suddenly, out of the corner of her eye… Nami caught something hiding beneath the Christmas lights bundles up in the corner. She swiftly put her deerstalker back on and stood up to go investigate. Anthony followed close behind with a curious look on his face.
“Aha!” Nami cried in success, lifting the bundle of lights.
“What? What did you find?” Anthony asked, exited about finally finding a potential lead.
“The culprit left footprints.” She answered, exposing animal dirty paw prints that left damp spots from the snow.
“Let’s follow them.” She said to Anthony with a grin.
The two of them found that the animal to whom the paw prints belonged to, had come through the gaps between the stuff on the walls. From this Nami deduced that the animal was not very big and couldn’t be the be the neighbor’s dog.
“So? What conclusion have you come to, detective Nami?” Anthony asked, making fun of the teenager’s self proclaimed title.
“A raccoon.” She stated, “Only possible explanation.”
“Huh, makes sense. We had a minor raccoon problem in the area a short while back. I thought was taken care of, but I guess not?” Anthoney said.
“Does anyone know where we could find the nest?”
“It’s probably somewhere in the tiny forest behind the house. I can ask my dad.” He suggested.
Nami nodded and waited for the boy’s return.
“He said they’ll probably be somewhere close to the edge of the forest, but he told me not to go over there ‘kuz its dangerous.” Anthony informed.
“And your dad would be correct. Want to call animal control?”
Emily Dickinson // Mini Biography
Emily Dickinson was a reclusive American who was unrecognized in her own time. She was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Dickinson was an excellent educated at Amherst Academy (now Amherst College) for seven years and then attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for a year. Throughout her life, she rarely left her home and visitors were few. The people with whom she did come in contact, however, had an enormous impact on her poetry.She was particularly stirred by the Reverend Charles Wadsworth, whom she first met on a trip to Philadelphia. He left for the West Coast shortly after a visit to her home in 1860. She called him “my closest earthly friend.”
By the 1860s, Dickinson lived in almost complete isolation from the outside world, but actively read books. She spent a great deal of this time with her family.
Dickinson’s poetry was heavily influenced by the Metaphysical poets of seventeenth-century England, as well as her reading of the Book of Revelation and her upbringing in a Puritan New England town. While Dickinson was extremely active as a poet and regularly enclosed poems in letters to friends, she was not publicly recognized during her lifetime. After her sister’s death, Lavinia Dickinson discovered hundreds of poems that Emily had written over the years. The first volume of her work was published in 1890. A full compilation, The Poems of Emily Dickinson, wasn’t published until 1955. Dickinson died of kidney disease in Amherst, Massachusetts, on May 15, 1886, at the age of 55. She was buried in her family plot at West Cemetery.
English // Pilgrimage to Mkhitarean Congregation, questions and answers
1. What kind of city is Venice?
It’s a historical noteworthy, antique city, with lots of canals.
2. What are Venice famous for?
It’s tourist attractions and venician masks.
3. Why is it noteworthy city for Armenians?
It’s where in 1512 Hagop Melapart the first Armenian printed book.
4. How was the first published book called?
5. Speak about the Island of San Lazzaro?
When you look at it your heart swells with excitement.
6. What can you see at the bay?
The “Armenia” ship
7. Who was the founder of the monastery church?
A man named Mxitar.
8. Who was Mkhitar Sebastatsi?
A Catholic monk
9. Where did Mkhitar Sebastatsi arrive from?
10. Thanks to whom could he found the Congregation?
The local government.
11. What can you see in the museum?
Painting by Armenians, the sword of Levon 5th, old parchments and other stuff.
12. What mission does the Congregation carry out up to this day?
They preserve old Armenian artifacts.
English // About my blog
This is the only blog I have. The only reason I made this blog was for educational purposes. It was mandatory for school. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy managing and monitoring it. My favorite page would probably be either this one or my translation project page. I like those the most because they are the pages I write for most willingly. The reason for me not having any other blog is that frankly, I’m lazy and wouldn’t be able to easily commit to a project long enough to show results on an independent website.
English // Advantages and Disadvantages of New Technologies
There are, in my opinion, more advantages then there are disadvantages in new technologies. Some advantages would be: There is more modern technology in hospitals, reducing the mistakes made by doctors and evolving the patients’ treatments. Modern technology improved our methods of communication. Information can be easily accessed at any time, anywhere. Our housing and lifestyles improved, most of the items that we have in our homes today are automated. Traveling has become more convenient and is very important in our lives and in the business world. Efficiency and productivity, helping businesses increasing production, saving time and money. And more.
Even with all the advantages there are still a few disadvantages: Robots are replacing humans causing people to lose their jobs, (although there are jobs created by new technologies such as anyone who works for website companies like YouTube or BuzzFeed). Increased dependency on modern tools that reduces our creativity and intelligence. New technology can be used to create world destruction weapons (like huge bombs) increasing endless wars, etc.
All in all, I believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of new technologies seeing as most people rely on it.
English // Getting to know each other
1. Tell me about yourself. Where were you born?Where do you live at the moment?What have you studied?
I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I currently live in Yerevan, Armenia. Besides regular school subjects, I have studied classical drawing and I am currently studying different things at TUMO creative center.
2. How long have you been studying English?
My whole life.
3. Are you good at cooking/swimming/etc?
I enjoy swimming. I’m not very good at sports in general. I enjoy cooking, but I’m not very good.
4. Who you want to be, what you want to do?
I have no clue.
5. What are your future plans?
I just want to graduate from a good university and become successful and steady in life.
6. What did you do yesterday?
I went to school.
7. What are you going to do tomorrow?
Go to school.
8. What have you seen before you came here?
My bed and other humans.
9. Do you remember your last dream or any particular dream?
I had a dream a few nights ago in which I was in school and had forgotten my charger and my iPad’s battery was low. The school day had just started too.
10. Tell me a story that you remember from childhood.
When I was around three years old I broke my arm through a window pane in a door. I had ripped some of the skin mostly off and it left a large scar.
11. Do you remember any strange or dangerous situation from your life?
I don’t remember any situation like that, besides the event I already wrote in the previous question.
12. Do you live in a house or an apartment?
I used to live in a two story house, before my family moved to Yerevan. I am currently living in a apartment.
13. Have you ever lived in another country?
Yes. The US.
14. Have you ever met a famous person?
15. How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy watching documentaries about murder mysteries.
16. What are your hobbies?
I draw, read and (I don’t know if eating is considered a hobby).
17. What is your motto?
Being judgmental is a waste of time and energy you could be using to to something beneficial to yourself of others.
18. What kind of people do you like?
The kind that are smart, don’t dislike many things, aren’t extremely religious, and don’t care much about what other people might think of them.
19. What languages do you speak?
I speak English and Armenian.
20. What’s something you do well?
I can sing. I guess I can make friends easily.
21. What is your goal in life?
To be successful.
22. Are you a ‘morning’ or ‘night’ person?
I am usually night person.
23. When do you feel best? In the morning, afternoon, or evening?
I usually feel best around afternoon.
24. Why do you want to learn English?
It’s an international language.
25. Would you like to be famous?
I would not, because I would get no privacy. Also being famous doesn’t necessarily mean I’m well off. So I don’t see many benefits if I am just famous.