Monday, 20 March 2017

House of the Scorpion #6

We have recently watched the movie Gattaca in class to look at the similarities between it and The House of the Scorpion. After the movie, we were challenged to create a theme statement for the movie that would also fit other films/books. The theme statement that I came up with for the two was actually told to me by a coach. That statement is “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard”. What this means is that if you are not naturally talented at something, or don't have the right skills/requirements right away you will have to work hard to achieve what it is you want to achieve. And if you work hard and someone who is talented doesn't work hard, chances are you'll be better than them because you put in the work to get there.

Matt and Vincent are the hard workers in this circumstance. They are discriminated against and do not have what other people think they need to be as good as others. But, they work hard to achieve their goals and will do anything to get them. All the odds go against them but they both finally reach their goals. In the movie, Vincent says to Anton after one of their swims, "Do you know how I beat you, I didn't save anything for the swim back".  He puts his effort in when it matters and doesn't worry about what comes next. That is the same for Matt when he is climbing out of the pit. He doesn't worry about what comes next he just focuses on then and now.

These two characters have many similarities. Not only what I just mentioned, but also the fact that they both go to a new place that isn't home to them and they feel more at home. In the end of the movie Vincent goes to Titan and at the end of the book Matt goes to Aztlan. They also both realize the harshness of their past homes. Where people were not accepted and not welcome if they were different or not living up to "standards".  These two works have taught many lessons and show that just because you are different doesn't mean you can't do things that other people can. Hard work wins out.

Friday, 10 March 2017

House of the Scorpion #5

Have you ever been in such a terrible experience that you wanted to leave home?  And not just go to your friend's house for a couple of days, but completely move countries. Probably not because you live in one of the safest most accepting countries in the world. People in many countries (some of these being fictional and some not fictional) flee because of something that has happened. Matt loves it in Opium and he thinks that everything is perfect there. Until he gets to the outside world and finds out he was mistaken.

Matt finds out that he is actually not living in as nice of a place as he thinks when he gets to Atzlan. Most of the people there despise Opium and want it to be overtaken. Matt wants to be the ruler of Opium when he grows up, however. He does not realize that most of the people living there want to leave. And this goes back to the question of “why do people leave their homes?” It might not only be because of a traumatizing experience or a bad day. It might also be because of discriminatory behaviors of others. And even not having the best life you could have somewhere else. Even though Matt is one of the most discriminated against he still wants to stay and become one of Opium’s greats. And this brings us to another point of, some people might not be having the greatest time ever but, they might have gotten used to it and it might be the norm for them. This is Matt’s case.

People leave their homes for many reasons. And right now, the reasons are forever and ever growing. And because of “bad presidential elections” other countries have taken on more responsibility to welcome newcomers. Although Canada is a very welcoming and nondiscriminating country we might not be able to take on as many people as need a safe home. If our world was more welcoming and we did not discriminate against certain people because of their race or religion we would not have as many problems in our world. We could also have all countries that would accept people and not have to worry about people leaving their homes. Our world is in need of love and peace more than ever. And we need to welcome people to our homes. Right now.

Monday, 6 March 2017

House of the scorpion #3

Matt has been affected by many people in this story. He has also been affected by many aspects of worldview. The most influential being "Relationship's between humans and nature". This being because when the natural way of things is played with there are many side effects. The eejits are a great example of this. They are taken away from the world they were in to be used as slaves to the opium farmers. They have a brain chip planted into them that lets the foreman control them. They can't even drink without being told to do so and if they are lagging behind and don't hear the foreman then they die of dehydration. Not only do humans have these implants, though, Animals can also get them. Horses are sometimes given the implant too. This makes it so that they don't have to be trained to be ridden and they are safer for the rider. The downside to these horses is that you also have to tell them to drink water. Because if they do not they will also die. 

The drug lords of opium have almost everything at their disposal. They can get anything they want at any time. So not only have they altered their humans and horses, they have also changed their crops. Almost everything they have has been modified so they can get the best possible product out of the crop. The drug lords have started to use world-class scientists to create clones for them. The clones are grown from a single piece of skin. They are grown into embryos which are placed inside of cows to grow till they are ready to be harvested. These clones are a way to get the quickest possible organ transplants and not have to wait. Now you do have to let these clones grow up so their organs will fit you. The brains of these clones are usually destroyed at birth so they don't have any sense of anything. This also makes it so they don't mind having their internals taken out of their insides. 

The biggest thing is that when you mess with nature it won't always be good or will not always have positive effects on the world. So the easiest thing to do is just not mess with nature. We have tried it many times in the past and sometimes it has helped us and sometimes it has not. 

Monday, 27 February 2017

House Of The Scorpion #3

Over the course of reading this book, a common theme of “What is a caregiver” Has popped in and out. The reason I am choosing this topic is because I think Matt thinks that he is not worthy of having a parent because he is a “beast”. I don't agree with him however because he stills needs a parent or guardian to take care of him and look after him. Matt has been treated unfairly ever since he was brought to the big house. I think he deserves to be treated the same and Celia and Tam Lin gives him that chance. They treat him fairly and give him the opportunities to succeed in life. This is one of the things it means to be a caregiver. You see the good in the person even if everyone else despises or discriminates against that person. The Alacrans servants don't like matt much either. This is also because he was a clone. Even though they fed him and made sure everything was done for him in order for him to survive. This doesn't mean they are caregivers for him, though. They do not care about him like someone who loves him does.

The other thing it means to be a caregiver is being able to trust the person who is your caregiver.  Matt trust Celia and Tam Lin very much. He will let them take him scary places and do stuff to him that he wouldn't let most people do. He trusts them and they won’t break his trust.  If Matt was in a life threatening position he could trust Celia or Tam Lin to rescue him. This is like when Matt was held in the Jail by rosa and the doctor. Matt almost gave up hope but Celia came through for him. This shows true trust in Celia. Matt knew somewhere deep down that Celia would rescue him. Even if he didn't have much hope he still knew.

These things I talked about are also what it means to be a parent. Matt doesn't have parents or grandparents. The closest thing to a mom he had was a cow turned the t-bone steak. But I think that Tam Lin and Celia are as good as real parents could be for Matt.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

House of the Scorpion #2

In the first 100 pages of "The House Of The Scorpion" Matt has discovered he's El Patron's clone and that he is considered a beast and not wanted anywhere.

One of the things that I would've liked to talk about but didn't get the chance to in the Harkness discussion is why Matt does not get treated the same even though he is the clone of one of the most powerful men in all of the world. Matt was not technically born he was harvested from a cow. A small piece of skin was taken from El Patron and grown into an embryo and the embryo was grown in a cow.

Matt is not a human by most people's terms but El Patron loves him and doesn't want anything to happen to him. The Alacrans and servants are very discriminatory towards Matt. Maria is nice to Matt even though he is not even close to the same as her. Maria has been raised without a mom and matt has never had parents. This is partly why they get along. But when Matt misbehaves Maria will put him right back into his place as being a clone.

In the discussion, we talked about what we thought the bird flying into the jail cell meant. Most of us felt like it was indicating freedom that was going to come to Matt and how he would soon be released.  I also think it might represent a sort of Hope. It shows that even when you are in tough situations and you might not be having the best of times there is always a bright side.

The bright side was Matt was eventually released from the prison and went on to living a pretty happy and good life.

I am excited about the coming chapters to see what happens with Matt and the other characters. I feel like Matt will start to realize his true potential in the next bit of the book.

Friday, 10 February 2017

During the next few months, our class will be conducting a project on the "House of the Scorpion" book. This project will have many blog posts and even some group projects but, to end it all off a big debate.  We will be putting most of our time into these blog posts. I think this is a great way to demonstrate our inquiry-based learning style in a fun way.  I think I am most excited about the debate at the end. It should be very entertaining. The thing I'm most nervous about if I will like the book or not. This will be the focus of my blog for a while, so please enjoy.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Whimsical is Critical

Have you ever thought something was impossible or improbable, then later on someone went on to achieve that very goal? Then perhaps maybe you weren't exposed to enough whimsical concepts when you were little. Studies show children who are presented with a variety of whimsical ideas when they are younger are more likely to succeed when they are adults.  Whimsy establishes more creativity and deeper thinking in adolescence.

Gordon Korman wrote his first book at the age of 12. It was a fiction book based on a real-life situation. He then went on to be one of the most successful writers alive. Based on his unusual and mischevious writing, we can assume Gordon Korman he encountered whimsical ideas early in life.

When children are exposed to eccentric ideas they are able to grasp larger ideas they might not be able to without those ideas. The little girl in The Little Prince proves that idea. The old man dies and she is able to handle this pain because of her exposure to the fictional book that the old man wrote. It made her able to understand that it's normal for everyone to grow up and die. Dr. Seuss was one of the most influential writers in history. Every one of his books was a fictional book based off of real life problems/situations that people and creatures might get caught in. I know for millions of people that he helped me understand complex ideas in a simple manner.

The movie The Little Prince made me realize that not only do whimsical ideas help to make good adults but, they make you excel as adults.

“Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else has ever thought”
-Albert Einstein