Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reviews to Read. From Mike Lohre


Please read the following links to reviews to get an idea of how different writers approach the genre.

As you read, think about why we use reviews and the different purposes these reviews take on.

Write a response to one of the reviews in the Comments section of this post.


  • What is the conclusion of the review? Do you agree or disagree?  
  • Is this review fair or biased?  How can you tell? 
  • What counts as evidence here?  Research? Comparison/Contrast? Personal experience and taste?  Storytelling? Historical testing? 
  • What values are implied or stated in this review? 


or any of these. . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Exploration 5

1)  Esther has undoubtedly made the biggest impact on me, besides Ishmael. Even though Ishmael kept fighting her, she still showed unbelievable patience and unconditional love towards him. I know personally I'm not nearly as patient as she is. Because of her diligence, Ishmael began to trust her, and eventually other people also. If you think about it, that is amazing. To get someone like Ishmael, to open up and change his personality for the better, after all he's been through, shows how wonderful she was. She obviously had a specific rehabilitation route in mind beforehand, because you can see how she systematically uses things Ishmael likes (Walkman with rap music) to get him to open up.

2)  Although I think Ishmael has turned for the better almost 100%, I'm not sure how i would feel about him moving in next door to me. What he went through throughout what came to be most of his childhood was absolutely horrible. However, people are most susceptible to learning in their younger years. Therefore, it may be hard to get those feelings of survival and violence out of him since he had to endure those things for most of his childhood. Not to mention who's to say someone, like Ishmael who has flashbacks of when he was blood thirsty in the army might not relapse. Therefore, I think it would take an incredible amount of counseling, and follow ups, to keep that from happening; however, if they were to do these things, he could very well be a functioning member of society.

3) I think Ishmael does a terrific job at pointing out and describing sensory details. He does a really good job describing his emotions and his environment. Whats even more incredible is he was writing it as he remembered it; which means that even the smallest troubles he had from the events in this time frame were scarred into his brain. He also uses metaphors towards nature that I've never heard, which made the book awesome to read. Therefore, in my opinion Ishmael's strong suits are his uses of figurative language and his brutal honesty in what he experienced.

4) My favorite passage from this section of chapters was when Ishmael was flashing back to his war memory on page 150 while chasing down some RUF boys in the forest. "The forest was wet and the rain washed the blood off the leaves as if cleansing the surface of the forest, but the dead bodies remained under the bushes and the blood that poured out of the bodies stayed on top of the soaked soil, as if the soil had refused to absorb anymore blood that day." I was damn-near speechless after i read that. The imagery in that sentence made me really realize how much blood was shed in those forests among those young boys.

Exploration 5

1.) The character that has meant the most to me throughout the book has been Esther. Although she has not be a character that as been around for very long at this point, I do not think Ishmael would have been able to recover at nearly the rate he has been able to. Esther was able to gain Ismael's trust unlike any other character was able to do post war and without having someone to trust Ishmael would have made little, to no, progress adapting back to somewhat normal life. At one point in chapter 18 Esther tells Ishmael to think of her like a sister and he reluctantly agrees to do so which really gave him the first feeling he had of family since his was killed in the war.
2.) At the point we are in the book Ismael's rehabilitation is going well. At first he showed no possibility of recovery from what he experienced during war but as time went on and he got to know and accept some of the people helping him at the camp he has started to show progress. I wouldn't have any problem with having Ishmael live in my neighborhood because although he still may have PTSD it seems as if he has gotten to the point where he can control it enough to be able to live around other people without being a threat to them.
3.) a convention of narrative Ishmael uses especially well throughout the book is his description of scene. He does a good job truly describing all the gruesome details of scenes he experienced during war that helps us as readers understand what he went through. The way Ishmael describes his scenes in the book are well written and help put us as readers in places we've never been and experiences we've never witnessed. 
4.)"we kept running until the sky swallowed the sun and gave birth to the moon. The bullets continued to fly behind us, but now their redness could be seen as they pierced through the bushes. The moon disappeared and took the stars with it, making the sky weep. It's tears saved us from the red bullets." Page 98

Takeaways from Beah. From Mike Lohre.

Students, in the Comments section, let's make a final reflection and some "takeaways" from A Long Way Gone.

1) First, share your two very favorite passages from the entire book, and explain why you choose these.

2) Next, pick one of the big picture questions below and respond to it as best you can.


  • What rights do we have as human beings?
  • What does it mean to have universal rights?
  • What does the notion that humans have natural rights come from?
  • What are the political, social and economic costs of defending the rights of all people?
  • Do we have a social responsibility to help defend the basic rights of others?  Why or why not?
  • How do the arts affect change and give meaning to social responsibility?
  • How does the lens of a camera or the ink of a pen serve as a conduit for change, giving voice to those who have been affected by poverty, conflict and violence?  Even if sad or tragic, why are these stories and pictures important to us as humans?

Exploration 5

1. Esther has meant a lot to me. How much she has tried to help Ismael really stuck out to me. She got to know him and even gave him gifts related to things that she knew he liked, such as the rap music.

2. I think it is possible. I think it's just hard for him because it's the beginning of the process. And as long as he was kept under control I wouldn't mind.

3. The dialogue he uses is very powerful. You can really feel the fear he has when he describes his experiences with running from rebels.

4. ""You need to know how to cook for your palampo life" She would pause, give me a piece of dry fish, and then continue: "I want a grandchild. So don't be a palampo forever." Tears would form in my eyes as I continued my stroll on the tiny gravel roads in Mattru Jong." This impacted me because I like the sincerity of it and the humor. It was one of the only things in the book that made me smile.

Exploration 5: Reading response using Chapters 14-18 by Jenn Peddicord

Exploration 5
 1. One character that impacted the book so far is Alhaji. He has been with Ishamel from the start and has been with him through everything. Although, they are with a group of kids that really have mangaged to stay together for the most part, Alhaji and Ishamel have really had a tag team kinda of friendship. They are soo quick to defend one another and have the kind of friendship that challenges the other to be better, in this regard they challenge eachother to be a better soldier. In Chapter 15, when they were in the truck on the way to the rebahiltation center, Alhaji and Ishamel constantly kept winking at eachother for when a good time to hijack the truck would be. Also, to in the cafeteria when Alhaji tried to break the silence by asking where the others were from, that later caused a fight Ishamel was right there to back him up. I think his impact was made by pushing Ishamel to be a better fighter which helped keep him alive but now that they are in a safe place and no longer have to be on guard all the time I think now they are harming eachother unintentionally by continually reminding them not to let their guard down because of the past trauma they had been through.
2. I think it is possible but it will definitely take time. I think the key would be to separate him from the other boys in his squad. Even though they are so close and feel like family in the state they are all they are prohibiting eachother from growth, pyscologically. I would not want him to move into my neighborhood because of his aggressive temper and his imidate reaction that violence is the answer and that killing is nothing. You see him say that a lot in these chapters that he harms these people and even kills them and feels nothing. Even once is specifically said "I didn't care, " when he killed the rebel boy on page 135.
3. I think one passage that uses scene and sense effectively would be the passage on pg 124 through 125, when they have a contest for who can kill their prisoner the quickest. I thought it incorprated sense well because of the vivide details of mainly sight, touch, hearing in this passage. It was extremely discriptive which made it hard to read at times but it gave a very vivid scene of what was happening. I think scene was portrayed well in this passage because Ishamel made me feel as if I was right there watching this all happen.
4. Page 166, "The moon was out that night and we sat at the jetty and watched it. I told Ester about the shapes I used to see in the moon when I was much younger. She was fascinated. We looked at the moon and described the shapes we saw to each other. I saw the women cradling the baby in her arms, just as I used to. On our way back to her house, I didn't look at the city lights any longer. I looked into the sky and felt as if the moon was following us. When I was a child, my grandmother told me that the sky speaks to those who look and listen to it. She said, "In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering joy, and confusion." That night I wanted the sky to talk to me."
I really liked this passage because it was really profound thinking for Ishamel. I think this was kinda the turning point for him. He is learning that it is okay to let people in, that its okay to remember your family and not have to be fearful of the time you lost with them. Also, I liked this passage because he incorporated and essence of his childhood and family, as well as the growth he had expierenced since the last time he thought of them.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Emilia Martin- Exploration 5

1. In chapters 14-18, the character who has meant the most to me would be Esther. I really like her because she is a genuine character who really means well and can see the good in all the boys, especially Ismael. I have also really come to like her because Ismael has began to trust her which throughout the whole book a common theme was that there was trust in anyone. For Ismael to be able to trust someone is a huge change and jump forward in his rehabilitation. One example of this would be when Ismael started to open up about his nightmares. It was difficult for him to dream those dreams let alone talk about them with someone who he has just met so when he was able to tell Esther and she just listened to him, was a big breakthrough and a moment of pure trust.

2. I feel that Ismael had a rough start to his rehab, he was struggling with various withdrawal symptoms from not having access to any drugs or his gun which served as his protection from everything. However, after awhile he began to make friends and settle into his new life in Freetown and ended up becoming a spokesperson for the center talking to large groups of people about their experience there. I definitely believe that Ismael rehab is possible; he is a strong and smart boy who may be a trouble maker but wants to have a good life for himself. I can see why some people think that it would be unsafe and they would be a little skeptical about having a former child soldier living next door to them. However, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Those kids weren't always dangerous, they weren't always killers, they have just been deprived of a childhood that was rightfully theirs. Just because of this, doesn't mean that there is no hope for them to recovery and become "normal" citizens where they go about their lives like civilians rather than armed children.

3. One specific convention that I think Beah uses well is sense details. There are so many passages where he describes in such detail the experiences or what he sees, hears, feels, etc. On page 145, Beah is talking about how he and some of the other boys were still traumatized from the war, he says "whenever i turned on the tap water, all I could see was blood gushing out." This particular passage is not even one of his best but it really gets the reader to understand what he is constantly seeing in his mind and what he is thinking about..war, blood, bodies. When I read that, I got chills and the next time I turned on my water I was expecting blood to come out. Beah really connects to his audience with his use of sense details.

4. My favorite passage in this section was from the very first paragraph in chapter 15. This short passage that Ismael wrote really stuck out to me because it shows how broken and empty his life has become. Everything he knew and believed in was striped away from him and replaced with drugs, guns, and murder. He specifically said "The extent of my thoughts didn't go much beyond that. We had been fighting for 2 years, and the killing had become a daily activity. I felt no pity for anyone. My childhood had gone by without my knowing, and it seemed as if my heart had frozen." To say the least, this passage is just sad and really makes me think about what is must be like to always be on the run and murdering someone in cold blood every day for two years. The boys were so brainwashed in the war that nothing felt right or wrong to them and to lose that sense of humanity would be unimaginable.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Exploration 5

The lieutenant was one of the characters that has mean the most to me so far. He is the one that orders Ismael and the other boys to kill, take drugs, and to kill the rebels in a horrifying way. Pg. 151 quoted by the lieutenant “It will be a waste of bullets to shoot them”, as he has the boys make the captured rebels dig their own grave and then stabbing them in the legs with bayonets and then burry them alive. The lieutenant is the one responsible for Ismael’s new attitude and anger towards everything and humanity itself.

Ismael’s rehabilitation is a good thing for him even though it starts out rough for him. I would be afraid if he were to move into my neighborhood; however, Ismael needs to return back to his age and lifestyle and not the one of a soldier.

 Once again on pg. 151 Ismael uses scene very well as he dramatizes the killing of the rebels. He describes not just of their eyes and sadness in them, but of how pale they were. He also dramatizes how they screamed and kicked while being buried alive as him and the others just laughed as if it was nothing to him.

On pg. 138 Ismael quotes “As soon as they started speaking, we would throw bowls, spoons, food, and benches at them. We would chase them out of the dining hall and beat them up. One afternoon, after we had chased off the nurses and staff members, we placed a bucket over the cooks head and pushed him around the kitchen until he burned his hand on a hot boiling pot and agreed to put more milk in our tea”.  This passage really struck me as I began to realize that Ismael has turned into one of the rebels himself. He is blinded from his actions, as he is use to killing and torturing other humans. He went from a sweet innocent boy that wanted to pursue his dancing career, to becoming a rebel himself as he harmed innocent civilians for absolutely no apparent reason.

Exploartion 5: Jess Miller

A  Long Way Gone
  1. In A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a character that really impacted me the most was Esther.  The reason that she impacted me the most was because she was the nurse that took him in after the war and took care of him.  She did little things for him through his post-war trauma, such as bring him a mixed tape full of rap music as a form of therapy.  Since Esther was so understading and helpful with Ishmael's situation, he now trusts her and goes to her when he needs help or advice.  Also, he has opened up and has been able to rely in others now too. 
  3. As Ishmael went through rehabilitation, I feel as if he definitely recovered under good circumstances. What I mean by that is how he is surrounded by such caring and understanding people, they all help him to recover because they allow him to gain that trust back with strangers and people who are close to him.  As far as wanting Ishmael moving into my neighorhood, I don't feel like it would be a bad idea, although I do feel like I would have to keep a close eye on him for he will always experience post traumatic stress and many different forms of trauma. 
  5. A specific convetion that took place in A Long Way Gone was when Ishmael Beah speaks on behalf of young people around the world whose childhoods have been scarred by violence, deprivation, and other violations of their personal rights.  This really opened my eyes to a lot of different things because as ayoung soldier you are constantly being violated and told to do things that you aren't necessarily comfortable doing.
  7. One of my favorite passsages from the book is when Ishmael states "I knew it was temporary and that we were only passing through".  I chose this passage because it is so powerful and gives us the perpective that he hasn't lost hope for his life or his friends life and he remains to have a positive attitude toward things.  He feels as if they are going to be lost forever but he wants to contiune to have hope that they will find their way.  

Cory Smith Exp. 5

In chapters 14-18 in A long way gone, Esther has been my favorite character and meant the most to me so far. She constantly goes out of her way to make Ishmael feel good and comfort him. She didn't have to buy him anything but she she went out of her way to learn about what he loves and bought him the walk man. In the beginning when Ishmael first meets her, he is constantly rude to her and shows no interest in her at all. If it was me I would have given up on Ishmael but she continued to get to his heart. Everyone in the rehabilitation center constantly tells him that it's okay and it' not his fault. He never takes it to heart until one day when Esther said it. he gained her trust and actually believed it. 

At first Ishmael is so blinded by the war and hes become a young killer without any heart left. Hes been through so much. I think it would be hard to trust or care for a lot of people, if we were in his situation. Obviously he his a good example that rehabilitation is possible. He gained his innocence and childhood back. In the beginning of his rehabilitation, it would definitely be kind of scary if he lived in my neighborhood. He is a really tough kid.

At the end of chapter 17, the moon returns. He says, "The moon was out that night and we sat at the jetty and watched it. I told Esther about the shapes I used to see in the moon when i was much younger. She was fascinated..."This whole last two paragraphs are really important because I believe the moon not only represents happiness but also in him.When he began to change because of the war all the nights were black but then after his rehabilitation the moon returns. The sky has a way of speaking to us like Esther's grandma says.

"I would run outside to the middle of the soccer field and rock back and forth, my arms wrapped around my legs. I would try desperately to think about my childhood, but I couldn't. The war memoroes had formed a barrier that I had to break in order to think about any moment in my life before the war." I really like d this passage from pg. 149 because this is the turning point in his rehabilitation. He begins to really ant his childhood and innocence back but has to defeat his nightmares of the war still.

Exploration 5-Jonathan Shim

1.) A character that has meant the most to me in chapters 14-18 is Mohamed. Mohamed is one of Ismael's childhood friends that he used to do performances with back in Mattru Jong, and lived together at Mogbwemo. In chapter 18 Mohamed arrives at the center where Ismael is at, and upon seeing him, Ismael can't believe it is his friend who he hasn't seen since the beginning of the war. Once Mohamed and Ismael are finally reunited, the first thing they do is talk about there childhood, something Ismael has had trouble doing because of the memories of war that follow them. "We sat together on the stoop and briefly talked about our childhood pranks" (p.170). As soon as this encounter happens, it seems as if the arrival of someone Ismael knew before the war is able to trigger his happy memories of his childhood. Along with the arrival of his uncle, Ismael is now able to tell stories to his uncle again about the past, and his usually migraines and nightmares momentarily stop.

2.) The rehabilitation center seems to have started off to a rough start, but know, seeing the actions of Ismael and the progress he has made, I feel that is a good program to try and help ex-children soldiers. Ismael, since the start of his rehabilitation has been part of a talent show, just like the ones back home, become to spokesperson of the center making speeches for large audiences talking about child soldiers and how the rehabilitation program is working. Although he still has some trust issues, and is scared of the idea of being happy again, he seems to be making some progress that can show a promising future. If I was put in that situation, and knew that an ex-child soldier was moving into my neighborhood was moving in, I would be really nervous that they might snap one night, but knowing that they have been through a rehabilitation center would help ease the worry a little bit. I wouldn't want them to be able to have any access to any weapons though, just in case they have a nightmare and start shooting around randomly.

3.) A convention of narrative that Ismael seemed to use exceptionally well is his use of writing the memoir is the use of sense detail. Especially when he has the flashback of previous scouting missions, base raids, and when he describes his near death experience. Through the sense details Ismael really helps put the image in my head of that is going on in the book, the emotions he felt throughout his struggles, and the gruesome pain he felt.

4.) One of my favorite passages in chapters 14-18 was when in chapter 18, Ismael and his Uncle Tommy finally meet and upon the first time meeting, one of the first things his uncle says to Ismael is, "After you are done here, you can come live with me. You are my son. I don't have much, but I will give you a place to sleep, food, and my love.". Addressing Ismael as his son, I feel, gives Ismael the sense of finally having a family again, just when he felt he had no purpose to live because he didn't have a family.

Exploration 5: Haia

1. I think Esther means the most so far in A Long Way Gone other than Ismael. Her number one goal is to have Ismael open up to her and talk to her about his struggles. She wants him to be better and is genuinely trying to help him. Even with Ismael continuing to ignore her, she managed to keep trying with him.For example, she kept trying to have him come back to the hospital to see her and even though Ismael ignored her for multiple days, she finally thought of gaining his trust by getting him the cassette tapes he used to listen to with his brother and friends before the war.

2. I think it is possible for Ismael's rehabilitation because he is finally to say what he feels and remember the past before the war. Honestly, I think I would feel uncomfortable at first looking at the situation he was in before, but after getting to know him and actually knowing more about what he has gone through, it wouldn't matter to me anymore.

3. "The war memories had formed a barrier that I had to break in order to think about any moment in my life before the war." This part of the passage really explains how Ismael felt. The figurative language shows how awful he felt. Instead of actually saying he couldn't remember his life before the war, he explains that there is a barrier.

4. My favorite passage in the past chapters we just read is: "He was crying, which is when I began to believe that he was really my family, because his crying was genuine and men in my culture rarely cried." When Ismael mentioned that no one in his culture cried, it really proved that his uncle cared about him. The people in his culture try so hard to be strong even with the war going on. They never try to show anyone when they are weak. I think that puts a big impact on everyone.

Exploration 5

Mitchell Huge

Exploration 5

1.Esther has been in my opinion the most influential person in the book. She has not given up on Ishmael even though he has showed her barely any respect. She gave him a Walkman and some rap and R&B cassettes. Initially he didn't like the gift but as he got into the music it really started to affect him more and more. Eventually he and his buddies did a talent show and performed to these songs.

2. After Esther gave Ismael the Walkman his rehab started to move in the right direction. I believe it deficient is possible because hes still so young. He has to relive all his memories and once he puts them in the past he will do alright. I would have to say that i wouldn't like Ishmael in my neighborhood at all. Especially at this age, maybe 20 years after the Sierra Leone incident. I would not like to raise a family with a man that has taken the lives of many people away without even caring about it.

3. One part of the book that i found surprising and something i didn't expect in the earlier reading is when he says. "All i could think about was what was going to happen with my G3 weapon and what movie my squad was watching that night, what good Marijuana and cocaine were at their disposal". This really surprised me because i couldn't picture him saying any of this through the chapters 1-10.

4."I Imagined capturing several rebels at once, locking them inside of a house, sprinkling gasoline on it and tossing a match. We watch it burn and I laugh". This really stuck out to me because it just shows how ruthless he has become over the past couple chapters. He started as such an innocent child and now he has turned into a blood thirsty warrior seeking revenge.

Exploration 5 Chandler Fullenkamp

1.  I think Esther has meant the most the most so far because she is the symbol of hope for Ismael.  Without her help, Ismael probably would've never committed to getting rehabbed and never would have gotten better. She said, "Just talk about it out loud and pretend I am not here.  I won't say anything.  Only if you ask me."  This shows how patient she was with him and truly wanted to help him.

2.  I think he definitely needed his rehabilitation because without it he would have had psychological issues for the rest of his life.  That's only if he would've survived the war.   I think it would be a little uncomfortable to have him live in my neighborhood knowing that he killed a lot of people, but since he went through rehab I wouldn't mind it that much and would feel a little more safe.

3.  A theme in the book and is also dialogue was when the nurses and rehab workers continuously told Ismael that "None of these things are your fault."  It was said multiple times throughout the time he was at the rehab center.  At first he got mad whenever one of them said it, but towards the end he didn't mind.

4.  "I do not know what happened, but when I woke up the next day I felt as if i had had nails hammered into the bones of my foot and my veins were being chiseled.  I felt so much pain that I was unable to cry out loud; tears just fell from my eyes.  The ceiling of the thatched-roof house where I was laying on the bed was blurry.  My eyes struggled to become familiar with my surroundings."   I liked this passage because it has a lot sensory details to help imagine the situation better and what he was going through.  Also, it shows the consequences of being in war.

Exploration 5

1. The character that has meant the most to me is Saidu because of the story he told about his family, and just the pain he has had to go through really impacted how I felt about the book. When he told the story about what happened to him at the beginning of the war, and how his sisters were raped and taken and how his parents couldn't do anything to help them. It was just such an emotional part of the book that really impacted me, especially after he died. 

2. I feel that Ishmael can be rehabilitated with the right help, and as long as he wanted to be rehabilitated I believe that he can do it. I wouldn't personally mind if he moved into my neighborhood because he is obviously working on his problems and is getting help, so it shouldn't bother me.

3. I believe that Beah describes things really well. He is able to really bring the reader into the place or see the thing that he is describing. When he tells the stories from when he was a child it feels as though you can see the moon he is describing, or were there as he learns to skip a rock. 

4. "I didn't know what to say and also didn't trust anyone at this point in my life. I had learned to survive and take care of myself. I had done just that for most of my short life, with no one to trust, and frankly, I liked being alone, since it made surviving easier." Pg. (153)
 This impacted me because it really shows how much being in a war can change someone, especially a child. For a fifteen year old to think this way and to have lost so much already is devastating to think about. It makes you think about how fragile our minds really are, and how hard it is to put them back together once they are damaged.

Exploration 5 Danny Lucia

1. The character that has meant the most to me is Esther. The reason why she means so much to me is because she actually cares for Ismael. She tells him to think of her as a sister, which I think is really cool that they get that close. I like how she is one of the only ones that can get him to talk about his experiences. One event that had the biggest impact on me is when she buys the Walkman and cassette for Ismael. This really allows him to open up and trust her. If she hadn't gotten him to trust her we wouldn't have heard his stories.

2. I think that Ismael's rehabilitation is going really well. At first he does what he wants, but now I can see him calming down. He really opens up with Esther and this helps clear his mind. I think that it just will take him time to rehabilitate. The images will still be in his mind, but he will have an easier time living. Also I think that his head pains are going down a little bit too. Yes, I would want him to live in my neighborhood after rehabilitation because I would like to listen to his stories. It would also add some spice to the neighborhood.

3. I think that he really gives a really good personal description when he talks to Esther about when the bullet hits him. He really does a great job describing his emotion and physical details. These are key when doing personal descriptions.

4. I was really shocked when he showed positive emotion towards Esther because he would rarely do this. This part was very interesting to me. He says, "I began to look forward to Esther's arrival in the afternoons. I sang for her the parts of songs I had memorized that day. Memorizing lyrics left me little time to think about what had happened in the war. As I grew comfortable with Esther, I talked to her mainly about Bob Marley's lyrics and Run-D.M.C.'s too." I just thought it was really strange how all of a sudden he opened up to this person after all the people he wouldn't talk to.

Exploration 5 by Nate Allen

Nate Allen

Exploration 5 

1.) Esther is a character that I believe is imperative to the story because she has the patience and understanding to work with Ishmael. She also has courage to be with him and help him because when she met him he was still in a stage of violent behaviors with uproars due to things like receiving the walkman as a gift that reminded him of how things used to be.

2.) Ishmael was a cold blooded killer. Whether or not he is truly rehabilitated or still has violent tendencies, I would not want him living in the same neighborhood as me. Is it too unbelievable to think that he could snap again and start killing innocent people. 

3.) Page 131. "It was getting dark outside. as the truck slowly rocked along the busy street, streetlights flickered on. Even the shops and kiosks were lit. I was amazed how many lights there were without a generator. I was marveling at the glittering cityscape when the truck turned off the street and began galloping so heavily that we were all shaking like we were in a vibrating machine"
I like this paragraph because it is a lot like all of his other ones where he relies on his sight and hearing to paint the landscape.

4.) Page 127. "I killed the owner of this gun in our last raid. He took out a lot of us before I could get him. Since then I have used it to do some damage myself" I like this passage because it has the severe implications of other graphic paragraphs but without plainly saying it. It also shows that the boys are becoming less in touch with reality. 

Exploration 5-Nick Bogdue

1. Even though we just met her not that long ago, I think Esther has meant the most to me. I think she will end up making the biggest impact on Ismael. I think she will help Ismael work through his mental struggles, and help him get over his past so he can move foward in his life. She was being really nice to him, and was one of the first people in this book to show she cared for Ismael.

2. I feel like Ismael's rehabilitation is much needed. I deffenitly feel like he was on the wrong track, and if he kept up living like he was, he wouldn't have lived much longer. I think with the help of Esther, he will be able to power through his addiction. Right now, I would not want him to move into my neighborhood becuase of the crazy mindset he got into with the RUF. But, once he cleans up, I would have no problem with him moving into my neighborhood.

3. One thing that I pointed out immediatly when I read it was the mental struggles Ismael is going through in rehab. He was so dependant on drugs to get him through life, that he is having a hard time dealing with his thoughts without him. Addiction is a theme that really stood out in these chapters to me, along with escapism. Ismael not only was addicted to taking the drugs, but was addicted to the mental escape that went along with them.

4. My favorite passage in these chapters was at the end of chapter 17, the very last paragraph.  Ismael was talking about advice his grandma gave to him. "When I was a child, my  grandmother told me that the sky speaks to those who look and listen to it.." She said there is always answers in the sky, and Ismael talked about how he wanted the sky to talk to him. I thought this was a pretty cool passage, and thought it was really interesting. I think Ismael remembering things like this is what got him through the hard life he was living.

Exploration 5

1. A character that meant a lot to me in the story besides Ishmael was the man that helped the boys out and gave them a place to stay after they severely burned their feet.  This man showed such kindness for the boys and was so willing to help even though he would get in trouble with his village if they knew about it.  He helped them a lot and I believe he was a very important person for the boys to meet.

2.  Even though in the beginning of his rehab, Ishmael was unwilling, he soon began to want to get better himself and was able to make some progress.  I believe that it is possible to recover from the things that Ishmael saw and experienced but his memories of it will never be forgotten.  He can learn to live with what happened in the past and continue on his life after it.  Ishmael with most than likely suffer from post traumatic stress disorder for a long time but eventually it will be possible to fully recover from what hes been through.
I personally don't think that I would like to have him living in my neighborhood just because of the fact that he has a very violent track record.

3.  When Ishmael was going through training as a soldier, the way he went from being almost afraid of the gun he was given, to not wanting to give it up in such a short period time showed a lot about him.  The time he spent training with his friends, then later watching some of the friends who trained with him died, hardened him.

4.  "The rebels are responsible for everything that is happening to you" (p.113) was a really powerful quote that stood out to me.  All of the awful things that Ishmael has to deal with and go through was because of what all of the rebels had done.  The loss of his family, friends, home, and anything else he took comfort in was taken away when the rebels invaded.  This quote impacted me a lot because it made me feel anger for him towards those who were to blame for his unfortunate situation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Research exercise for Sierra Leone. Post research in Comments here. From Mike Lohre.

Our Topics:
Freetown and its unique origin story. JENN
This is an arial view of Freetown. It helps show you how large of a city it is and a feel for the terrain surrounding it.
Charles Taylor, who some call the most evil man in Africa. NATE
This Charles Taylor in his days as a Liberian Warlord and on the day of his sentencing. I like this image because I believe the look on his face in court says it all. That he knows he will never be free again
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf HAIA
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf giving a speech mentioning key political, economic and social issues affecting her country Liberia.
Mende tribe and culture BREE
The most common form of art in the Mende tribe is jewelery, masks, and headpieces.
Temne tribe and culture EMELIA
This is a picture of the inauguration of the Chief Imam Shiek Ibram Kamara of theTemne people in a social gathering to honor the ritual of the ceremony of one becoming a Chief in the Temne tribe.
Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee JESS
What a powerful picture.  When I look at this picture, I can just feel the passion that she has for leading a women’s peace movement.  You can almost hear what she's saying and you know it comes from the heart.
The RUF rebel group MITCH
A group of RUF soldiers no older than the age of 18 smile for a picture in Sierra Leone. The age of these young men is the most striking part of the RUF because they take boys that are 12,13,14 years old and turn them into killers.
Mercenaries as a factor in the Sierra Leone civil war and Africa NICK
This is a picture of the mercenaries that helped fight the rebels in Africa. This goes along well with my reserch, and gives you an idea of what a mercenary looks like!
The Lome Peace Accord DANNY
This is a picture of president Kabbah(the president at the time) and a RUF leader signing the agreement. They are both looking over the documents thoroughly, making sure they didn't miss anything. They have a person in he middle who helps them with any disagreements and tries to suggest solutions.
TRC in Sierra Leone (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) KELEN

This is a picture of people in Sierra Leone coming together in the TRC to hear the brave victims tell their stories and to expose the perpetrators responsible. 
Cassava as a food source and the things you can cook or make with it CORY

Cassava is a root, native to Brazil. It is a good source of carbohydrates being the 3rd largest source in the world. It is one of the good sources Ishmael used to aid in his survival.
Climate and Geography in Sierra Leone TORI
From the palm trees you can tell that Sierra Leona has a tropical climate.  Because it is so hot during this time of year, the locals dress in minimal, thin closing to keep themselves cool.  The picture does a good job of displaying the unfortunate living style in Sierra Leone.

Religion and Economy in Sierra Leone CHANDLER
This picture is showing a diamond mine in Sierra Leone.  There isn't much machinery, just mostly simple tools like shovels and picks. This shows how hard the work and conditions are. This makes it difficult to produce a lot to improve their economy.
Fourah Bay College and University of Sierra Leone (higher education) JON

Fourah Bay College and University of Sierra Leone may not seem like much, but this is one of the most well-known colleges in West Africa promoting higher education on a level that students can compete in local and international job markets, and also promoting the spread of Christianity.
Child soldiers in Africa (How many? Who uses them? Methods of capture and training?) MARY
Imagine your baby boy becoming a solider at the earliest age of 7.
When children are supposed to be having fun in their neighborhood these children are playing with guns and bombs. Different world. Different playground.
Liberia and its origin story JARROD
Here is a photo of modern day liberia. As you can tell Liberia is very close to Sierra Leone, therefore, tons of refugees fled the war by heading for surrounding countries.
Joseph Cinque and Amistad revolt TONY
This picture really stands out to me as you see Joseph Cinque who is the only one standing in the court room, determined to fight for his rights and freedom. His stance shows no signs of weakness as he takes initiative of the problem in order to seek justice.
Sir Milton Margai and the SLPP NATHAN
SLPP Political Rally in Sierra Leone gathered almost 200 people to parade the streets as onlookers watch.
--You will report your research in the Comments section below this post.
--You will send an image and caption to me at and I will add them to this main part of the blog so they are all in one post.