English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: pocallaghanjones

The Blog About Eleanor & Park

The Blog About Eleanor & Park

*WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS* TARA, TOTALLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU DON’T RESPOND TO THIS BLOG (cause you should absolutely read Eleanor and Park!)

Not sorry for this blog being late!  Okay, a little bit!  But totally worth the wait to finish Eleanor and Park earlier this week.  I loved it!  I had completely fallen in love only to have my heart broken and left with a million questions.  Here are my biggest questions:  Will Eleanor and Park ever reunite with later in life?  At all?  I am curious to know if they’ll reunite at all, not necessarily in a relationship or even in friendship.  Perhaps pen pals?  Or maybe just pass each other on the street one day?  Or this where there time together ends?

My next series of questions is: Will Park ever find a love that intense again?  After finishing the book, I went onto Rainbow Rowell’s website and to paraphrase a blog she had written was that at 17, there are no happy endings, only beginnings.  I completely agree.  However, at the end of the book, Park moves on and certainly doesn’t have the same emotion for the new girl in his life has he had for Eleanor.  Was Eleanor the great love of Park’s life?  Or was she simply the beginning?  These are the questions that keep me awake at night!

Anyways, in the end I did love the book, however, I had THE hardest time getting into it.  It wasn’t until Park figured out that Eleanor had been reading Park’s comic books over his shoulder, that I finally got into it.  And once Park held Eleanor’s hand for the first time, I couldn’t put it down.  I was relieved, that Rainbow Rowell didn’t make it a love at first sight story.  I wouldn’t have picked this book had it been that way.  In fact, I really liked that part of their relationship, that they at first, the couldn’t even stand sitting next to each other, let alone look at each other.  Once, they finally get together, they couldn’t stop thinking about each other.

This book felt somewhat sentimental.  When Park pulls Eleanor behind the RV to kiss her for the first time, and then every night thereafter, reminded me of high school.  I am still together with my high school boyfriend so it was a cure reminder of sneaking around to be able to kiss him past curfew.  My boyfriend also lives next door to grandmother so it was funny that Park also lived next door to his grandparents.  Both families, never lock their doors….weird.  

From an educator’s standpoint, Eleanor’s story is absolutely heartbreaking.  Eleanor was close to asking her guidance counselor, Mrs. Dunne, for a toothbrush.  Aside from that, so many of Eleanor’s needs were not met once she went home.  What can we do as educators to identify and help these students?  I can point them to resources or hand a mature enough student this book.  How can I directly help this student?  Eleanor was right, if she had just asked for a toothbrush, Mrs. Dunne would have given her one, but then other details of her home life were at risk of getting out too.  How can I help the student who fears speaking up?tumblr_mldgvb97re1r3ibgko1_400
I look forward to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s books!  I recommend this book and any Rainbow Rowell book to anyone!  I plan on reading Fangirl this summer!

The Blog About Smile

The Blog About Smile

I loved Smile! I would recommend it to anyone at any age! A colorful graphic novel set in San Francisco during the late 1980’s and into the early 1990’s it follows the author throughout her braces treatment. It was so cool to see how the braces treatment was the underlying timeline for the entire story. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. Away at college, I picked up Smile and it brought me back home for a little while. After reading it, I had it out on my desk at work. A co-worker picked it up and felt the same nostalgia of being home. It turned out that he went to the same high school as the author in the book and began telling old high stories of lunch in the courtyard.

In a classroom setting, I would use it almost any English class. Primary grade will love the easy-read colorful pages. Middle school can relate to the awkwardness and feel hopeful that indeed things to get better. High schoolers in English class can look at how the author used the braces treatment and underlying timeline.

Totally read Smile, you be able to help yourself from smiling :)

The Blog About All the Poems

The Blog About All the Poems

Poem created from lines found Inside Out & Back Again:

Just like that Mother amends our faith,

Saying all beliefs are pretty much the same.

 

Where am I?

 

Mother chooses ten and burns the rest.

 

Not that far away after all.

 

My shot at imitative poetry:

so much depends

upon school

 

upon education

entire future

 

his, hers, yours

eyes staring back

 

you are in control

don’t miss

The Blog About Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Blog About Diary of a Wimpy Kid

For my series book, I read Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.  Both of these books were so funny! I honestly thought they were going to be so gross.  I never read these books or saw the movie, but my younger sister worshiped these books while she was in elementary school.  The only thing I knew about the books was that the older brother in the book had a band called “Löaded Diaper”.  Back in elementary school, she thought that was the funniest thing ever.  

The main character is a boy named Greg, who reassures his audience that he writing in a journal and not in diary.  The diary was a gift from his mom who insisted that he write to pass time and express his feelings.  My favorite moment with Greg between two the books, when his mother notices he’s upset at dinner one night and comes to his room check on him after the meal.  His mother, doesn’t badger him (a gesture Greg appreciates), but tells Greg that whatever he is going through, he should do the right thing.  To Greg, doing the right meant allowing his best friend, Rowley, take the blame for something he did.  The next day, Greg’s mom followed up by asking if he had done the right thing;  Greg was excited to tell her that he had done the right thing and is even more excited when she treats him to ice cream.  Eventually, it all backfires on Greg and it was hilarious.  

I loved how honest and genuine Greg’s emotions were throughout this event and throughout series.  The honesty of how he appreciated his mom not badgering him is a feeling that can be appreciated in middle school as well as in college.  It was also funny to see that Greg really did feel as though that letting Rowley take the fall for him, was the right thing to do.  Author Jeff Kinney did a fabulous job tapping into a child’s innocence and brutal honesty.  Kinney was also honest about the horror of middle school.  Middle school is a hard time in adolescents and Greg is honest in expressing that he does whatever is takes to avoid being picked on.  

Something that I disliked, liked and appreciated all at once was any interaction Greg has with his siblings.  What I disliked but appreciated was the relationship between Greg and his older brother Rodrick.  Being a big sister myself, I hated that Rodrick was an awful, horrible, mean older brother who took advantage of Greg.  I can only hope that when my sister read this, she didn’t feel that I was a mean older sibling.  At the same time, it was what I appreciated it.  Being the eldest sibling, I cannot imagine having an older sibling.  However, reading this series, I feel as though Kinney has given me some insight to what it might be like to have an older sibling through Greg.  I adored the younger brother, Manny!  I thought the illustration of Manny was just adorable.  When Greg wrote about his interactions, I was able to relate to being the older sibling feeling that the younger could get away with more or that the younger sibling would always be the tattle tale.  
This series seems to be written for students between a fourth grade and fifth grade reading level.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid is definitely a series that can be used in a classroom because everyone can relate to it.   Students of the fourth and fifth grade also are anxious about the transition to middle school.  Greg would be an excellent character to introduce students to middle school.  Hopefully Greg could ease the nerves of students who aren’t exactly excited about transitioning to middle school.

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The Blog About Miller Chapter One

The Blog About Miller Chapter One

When Miller described her daughter in the introduction, it reminded me of me in middle school as the Twilight series hit its peak of popularity.  However, I saw myself more in Miller predicting the likely future of her daughter’s friends.  The friends who will eventually grow up and stop reading for pleasure as life will get in the way and school will suck the fun out of reading.  

Ideas that are resonating with me but am also afraid of is the fake reader.  When observing my own classroom one day, I am sure that I will be able to spot a fake reader or two.  The challenge and fear, come from not knowing how to address the student so that they will continue reading but not view reading as a form of punishment.  

However, I really am looking forward to teaching reading and mixing it up.  My personal reading habits consist mostly of short articles found on the web and magazines.  In school, when I get to pick, I stick to short stories.  In my classroom, I am hoping to avoid workbooks but rather encourage actual books.  Students should have the freedom to choose what they read at levels appropriate for themselves.  Ideally, I would rotate books in my classroom library so if I wanted students to read a book with a particular theme, the library would books with a common theme.   Students could pick whatever book they wanted and would never have to know that their books all have the same underlying theme.  By doing this, I believe classroom discussion will be diverse and interesting to see how books connect to one another.

The Blog About Cinderella

The Blog About Cinderella

No fish, no food to cook

But indeed there is a hook.

Prayers cannot save her dying mother,

Still needing to escape her father.

No jewels nor broken kitchen,

No stepmonsters sneaking

But rather a godmother to be witching.

The Blog About Me

The Blog About Me

Hi, I’m Paige O’Callaghan Jones and I love learning. It’s true! I’ve always loved school and have always known that I’ve wanted to be a teacher. I am a sophomore here at Chico State with a major in Liberal Studies and a minor in Special Education. I have one teacher in my family, my aunt. She’s taught in private primary schools, middle school English courses and after sometime as a principal a private school in California, recently moved and became a principal in a private school in Portland, Oregon.

What it means to be a teacher is someone who always has a book in their hand, who’s reading it for pleasure and for academic reasons. Outside of school, I read pop culture magazines, both paper copies and online. Something I took away from reading the article was that choice is very important when it comes to reading. Choice keeps students engaged and usually driven by passion.