Progress – Will

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This past week was a mixture of editing and writing new content, so I thought I’d share some of the new content here. This is an excerpt taken from a scene where my narrator is conferencing with the other lieutenants of his group and the group’s leaders. For my narrator, this is an especially stressful time as some of the warriors he’s responsible for are missing.

“If there are no other problems with this plan,” Bazgal looked around the room, “We’ll move forward. Shane, you go back to Johnson as fast as you can and tell him we need him here with all of the Scouts immediately. Thank you for bringing back Thane.”

“Of course,” Shane said, before strapping on a light pack and hurrying out of the tent.

“Aside from that, we need to be prepared for the worst. Fara, how long would it take us to pack up camp?”

“Couple of hours at most, if everyone was told about it now.”

“Good, I think we need to be prepared to move as fast as possible out of here.”

“Hold on a minute,” I said. “We can’t just, just… run away now! How will my warriors know where we are? Even more so now that the Scouts are returning soon. They’ll be completely alone!”

“He does have a point, Bazgal,” Said Sharpe, nodding in my direction. “If they’re still alive we need to be here when they return. Besides, it might be a little dangerous to move Thane now. It could kill him”

“That’s right,” said Junger. “He’s in far too bad of a position to risk that now. The risks are far greater than the rewards here.”

“Alright, so we’re staying,” conceded Bazgal. “Can we all agree that we will not stay any longer than two to three days?”

All of the heads around the table nodded except for mine. I said, “I agree as long as I can take out a search party early morning tomorrow if my warriors aren’t back.”

Sharpe and Bazgal looked to each other for a long moment and both shook their head. Bazgal turned to me and said, “No, we can’t risk it. We’re specifically calling the Scout’s Vanguard back so that we can have a reinforced position. We’re not going to lose some of our strength now.”

“WHAT? YOU HAVE–”

“One more word, Carter, and you’re done as our lieutenant. Do. Not. Test. Me.”

I was fuming. Did they not care about the lives of my warriors? Time and again during this meeting, I had been treated as a fool for wanting to save their lives. Was I really the fool? Truly? Perhaps, but it was them who were heartless. Their brothers and sisters, my warriors, were out there, and I was fighting for them in here. And I was the fool. But I knew that Bazgal was serious. Her threat carried weight. If I offered another word of protest, I didn’t doubt that I’d be demoted into irrelevance.

I nodded to Bazgal and said, “I’m sorry. Please, continue.”

“Right, well, Fara, I need you and your builder working hard to build a defensive perimeter. We hopefully won’t need it at all, and even if we do, we won’t need it for long, but it’s better to have it now. Could you get that done?”

“It’s as good as finished,” said Fara and strode out of the tent.

“Alfred, Junger, and Gormly, return to your to your brothers and sisters and make sure no one ventures outside the perimeter. All necessary supplies are to be pulled from the Cache. And Junger, see that Thane lives.”

The three men stated their compliance and walked from the tent.

“Carter, we want all of the warriors on perimeter watch. If someone must go beyond the perimeter, they will do so only under the guard of a handful of your warriors and they must not go more than a half mile out. Help Fara set up the perimeter if need be as well. Understand?”

“Got it,” I said, and turned to make my exit.

“Don’t leave,” Said Sharpe. “We’re not done with you yet.”

I sighed and turned back to face the Alphas, ready for what was to follow.

 

I hope you enjoyed that excerpt and I just started a new book: A Star Called Henry. If I can learn from the authors lyrical and poetic brilliance, I might stand a chance of improving my writing.

My thoughts on James A. White Sr.’s “The little problem I had renting a house”

“Fifty-three years ago, James A. White Sr. joined the US Air Force. But as an African American man, he had to go to shocking lengths to find a place for his young family to live nearby. He tells this powerful story about the lived experience of “everyday racism” — and how it echoes today in the way he’s had to teach his grandchildren to interact with police.” – Ted.com

Blatant racism. Although others in this story may have tried to make it seem as if it had nothing to do with race, or there were just “no more vacancies”, I know, they know and James White and his family knew that they received the “no’s” they did because they were black. There is no way around it.

The story that James White shared is one that thousands, if not, millions of Black Americans experienced and still experience today. It seems a bit crazy, or completely “insane” as Mr. White puts it, but this is reality too many people.

In class we have talked a lot about how the history of the housing market in our country is deeply entrenched in racism. For years, Whites have had lots of “economic incentive” (based on the fact that houses were family’s greatest investment at the time) to leave neighborhoods that Black people were moving into or simply not let them live there at all. The practice of “blockbusting” (Links to an external site.) was very common. You may also have situations like the one in Raisin In the Sun where groups claiming to help improve neighborhoods actually pay Black people not to move into the houses they’ve bought in all-White neighborhoods. The lengths (White) people went through truly were “insane.”

What I found most fascinating about this video was his remarks on his family and conversations he has had with them about their own experiences. Firstly, I thought it was interesting that he had to point out in the beginning that none of his family members had served any jail time or had teen pregnancies and that they all were getting a good education. My first thought when hearing this was, “Great, but I wonder when Black people will be able to enter a conversation where they do not have to mention or prove at all that their family members have not had those problems.” Why is it that White people never begin conversations about their families in that way? Well, I believe I know the answer, but when will American society understand this and want to change it?

I enjoyed the advice that he tells his grandchildren and admire the way in which he strives to live out his life. Although not having the “luxury to be angry,” he takes his passion and dedicates himself to challenging racism wherever and whenever he sees it. I was inspired by his words as “systemic racism” often seems like an awfully large task to begin to analyze and eradicate and he made it sound like something anyone could do. He said if we elevate our “level of societal knowledge, awareness, and consciousness, we can truly begin to do this.

I believe these were Mr. White’s words for saying that people need to awaken to the realities of systemic racism and the fact that this problem has not gone away (only taken other forms) in order to most effectively eradicate the issue. This was exactly what I read from Joe Feagin’s book, “Structures of domination shape everyday existence, but an insightful understanding of these structures and their recurring contradictions can assist people in forcefully resisting racial oppression.”
This is something we have discussed a lot in class and something I felt this man has said so eloquently in his TedTalk. I am excited to further “challenge the insanity” in my own life that for years I have been afraid of confronting.

Blue Valentine – Why Isn’t Love Enough? | Cynthia Ruan

For my project, I’ll be writing reviews on films with the broad theme of love. I’ll focus more on the analysis of characters and storylines instead of the technicality of filmmaking since it’s not my area of expertise.

In light of Valentine’s Day, I watched Blue Valentine by Dereck Cianfrance this week, and here’s my complete review on the movie.

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Continue reading

Picture Films – Ria

This week I wanted to focus on the film clips I am watching and next week I’ll focus more on the storyboarding process. I watched a film clip this weekend called “The Miseducation of Dylann Roof”. While watching it I realized that many of the documentaries we watch are picture based. I never noticed this because when we think of a picture film we think of something slightly boring and not so interactive. There is a way to use pictures to tell a story and a way to make pictures seem as though they are a piece of film instead. While paying attention to the craft only, I realized how much technique goes into these types of films. I think I will find times throughout the filmmaking process where I get frustrated due to running out of ideas on how to craft the pictures and what techniques to use on them. I want to compile a bunch of links with films that do a good job of engaging with pictures, one of them being the recent film clip on Dylann Roof. This is not a problem for me because I love watching documentaries, it would just be watching with a different intention: technique and craft.

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Here is the link to the video incase anyone is interested in the craft or even the topic (

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB6A45tA6mE&sns=em

 

The Hidden Gem of Westtown School – KC

This semester during my Junior year, I am enrolled in the Independent Study Program and having the time of my life diving deep into material that specifically interests me in a subject I excel. After hearing about this unique offer during my Sophomore year, I seized the opportunity. After a proposal, I was accepted into the History Independent Seminar where I’ve been study legislation and sex education in Pennsylvania.

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Sex Education Policy Is Scarier Than You’d Think!

Upon first impression, I thought this class would simply be a time to learn all about the history of legislation and sex education in Pennsylvania and continue my learning in my favorite subject — but it is far more than that.

Westtown’s Independent Study has challenged my writing, reading, researching and critical thinking skills. I’ve noticed considerable improvements in many disciplines as a result of my deep study of sex education and legislation. I’ve worked with the Chair of the History Department, English Teachers, and Health Experts.

This is a unique program I would recommend to all students who are pursuing a unique discipline. Current students should seize this opportunity for next year. Few schools allow for students to explore their interest in a particular subject the way Westtown allows. Not only have I been able to learn more through research, but I also have a plethora of resources and faculty who have been incredibly supportive and helpful.

Read More: Learn How To Contact Your Representatives!

The Independent Study Program is one of the hidden gems on our campus that needs more recognition. I hope prospective students have a chance to hear about how students are excelling in different disciplines through this program.

This week I wanted to hear from all my fellow peers about unexpected ways they’ve improved their academic and research skills through Independent Seminar. What skills have you improved?

Image from Westtown School “Student Life” (www.westtown.edu)

 

Week 1 of “The Sociology of Race, Power and Inequality”

My independent study is very different from others in the sense that it starts off as an intensive college course and ends with my own research. The course is called “The Sociology of Race, Power and Inequality” and is taught by T. Mauricio Torres ‘08 who actually taught this course at Syracuse University last year. Continue reading

Ratio Analysis – Ricky

Ratio Analysis

Ricky Yu

2017/2/13

 

Ratio Analysis is a very self explanatory subject, as it is really just analyzing situations using different kinds of ratios. Ratios are very handy when assessing risk, liquidity, and profitability, because they can be used to accentuate competitive advantages and warn for potential trouble. Continue reading