Farewell, Consol

It just seems suitable to write a final post to my wonderful school. However, more so, I have begun to realize that it hasn’t been just the old building that is Consol that has affected my life, but rather the people that make up this school. I don’t think my times of high school would have been nearly so happy if I had gone to CSHS.

Jill Faith, Bart Taylor, Matt Young: Thank you guys for being amazing teachers. You guys have continuously supported me in every endeavor. I’m not going to say much here because I’m still working on your letters and I hope to get them to you guys soon.

Lindner, thank you for being my English teacher. You’ve taught me how to write rhetorical analysis as well as things that I need to know for life in general. This blog owes it all to you as well. At times, your mandatory prompts were the only thing keeping this blog alive.

Stephanie Palazzolo: My little Chicago bean, I’m going to miss you dearly. You’ve been my best friend since forever ago when we were awkward little prepubescent teens all the way to now where we are still awkward high school graduates. Thank you for being there when times are tough and thank you for putting up with me. Most importantly, thanks for all the fun times at Consol.

Administrators: I’m not going to lie… sometimes you guys really frustrated me. It felt like a lot of times you guys cared more about implementing the rules than the logical decisions for your students. However, nevertheless, thanks for keeping Consol running and thanks for trying to keep our school as safe as possible (even though academic success really was a waste of time for a lot of us)

Lunch Ladies & Janitors: Thank you guys for always providing for us and always cleaning up after us. I can’t imagine the struggles of having to deal with so many rowdy high schoolers. In fact, I know many of these high schoolers haven’t always shown the respect that you guys deserve. I hope you know how much we all appreciate your hard work.

Consol, thank you for being my school for the past four years. I’ve had the best of times and worst of times at this school. Farewell, Consol…

 

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And, Commence…

Think back to when you first entered the doors of Consol… maybe you were a scared young freshman or you were confident and careless. Three years later, you’re probably now a more confident older senior or maybe you’re now a less confident more worried senior. Nevertheless, you all are still here sitting before me, and you must have done something right to get here. It could be that you finally decided that.. “yeahhh, you should probably turn in that final thesis despite not having read a single one of the English novels in the past three years”or maybe “you’ve haven’t slept in the past three years with the idea that that’s what was necessary to get to this place.” Obviously, we’re all here, and it doesn’t matter how we got here, but that we are.

We’re all about to embark into an adult life journey–another step into the future.  For some that may mean you’re going to keep doing what you’ve been doing. For other people, you’re about to enter a whole new world that you’ve never even imagined of. What I say today may mean nothing to you, but I was forced to write this so here we go. As we continue the journey of our lives, changes are going to occur no matter what. How we deal with changes shows who we really are as people.

The continuing theme for the 2016 graduating class has been the word “Legendary.” With this word in mind, as we leave high school, we need to continue to instill this idea into our lives. We have the power to be something and to be someone. From here, we need to go into the world with the mindset that we will make an impact each and every day

Recently, I wrote a letter to my past self with some advice about entering freshman year in high school. Here are some of the thoughts that I had written:

You’re going to receive a lot of rejection in the next couple of years. Failure and rejection doesn’t define who you are. Your grades and your extracurricular activities don’t define who you are. Even your friends don’t define who you are. You’re going to make new friends and you’re going to lose friendships. I’m sorry to say, but people are going to backstab you. Accept it, move on, and don’t become a bitter person. The things worth keeping will always find their way back to you, and what is cut out wasn’t meant to be a part of your life anymore. That is okay. Once again, some people are not meant to be a part of your life. You may not recognize it then, but the realization will come to you sooner or later.

Your parents love you. They may show it in different ways, but they always mean well. Listen to their advice! I know you’re probably thinking that you can figure things out the way you always do, and you’re right… you can. But, it’ll save you a whole lot of trouble if you follow your parents’ advice from the start because you’re more than likely to backtrack at some point.

Please continue to be that loving and cheery person that you are. Don’t change who are as a result of other people’s inability to understand you. You’re a sweet soul at the end of the day. Once again, please don’t ever change that. Believe in yourself. What other people think isn’t going to change who you are. Try to make new friends, to take new adventures, to worry less and share the person that you are to others. Continue to bring laughter into people’s lives.

I know you’re the type of person that hates holding regret, and there will be many regrets made in high school. Continue the mindset of letting your regrets go, and recognizing that there’s no use in dwelling on what you cannot change. You’re going to get a whole heck-ton amount of advice from a lot of people, but listen to your heart and mind.

These same ideas should be taken into consideration as we embark on our journey after high school. Wherever you go and whatever you end up doing, keep in mind that your life is worth something and you’ve obviously made it this far with this accomplishment. In conclusion, I just want to say, “Congratulations to us all!” Good night.

Bubbilacious

Bubbilacious: Laughing so hard your stomach begins to hurt, tears start to stream down your face and you have to make sure you don’t wet yourself.

This word applies to that feeling you get when you’re hanging out with your friends and someone says something funny, everyone begins to laugh and pretty soon you get the bubbilacious feeling. After spending time with a bunch of my friends this weekend, I thought it was pretty fitting.

Here’s a picture of my best friend and I at prom. This picture doesn’t exactly exemplify the bubbilacious feeling, but it’s pretty close. (It was a candid of me saying.. “There’s a bug flying up my nose”)

ellen, stephanie--0994

Here’s a video that gives me the bubbilacious feeling:

Honestly, bubbilaciousness depends on you. The description may make it out to be an awful thing, but it’s actually something that I believe every individual should experience. Basically, it’s laughing and happiness combined to the extreme. Don’t ask me how I came up with this word… it’s 2 in the morning at After Prom Bash and that’s one of the first things that popped in my sleep-deprived brain. Also, don’t ask me why I’m doing this at After Prom Bash… perhaps, pure dedication or I just stink at Black Jack & rock climbing.

Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist”

the-old-guitarist

I’m in a poetry-writing mood. Thus, I thought I would tell this story through a poem. Hopefully, that’s okay.

blue by: ellen li

sometimes I can’t help but feel blue

I sink into the feeling of blue

elongated arms and feet swept beneath,

sadness is not a feeling that can be seen

expressed only through the color of blue.

 

I’ve come a long way to get to here

and my heavy guilt-ridden arms can’t even move

my mere fingertips strum a chord or two

and I sit here every day after my walk through the woods

in my solace of blue

 

A traveller once said to me,

“why do you do what you do?”

I barely tilt my head over to whisper

my sweet little melancholy tune,

“It’s not like me to not be so very…

so very very blue. It’s who I am

for it wants me to stay true.” 

 

Today, I return to this point of blue

my thin waxy skin sheds blue

under the cast of a shadow, blue forms

And from here, I have not yet moved.

 

I can only bring myself to clutch my guitar in-hand.

I can only breathe through my blue.

only my guitar brings a color to my life.

this is not how I really am

this is not how I really look

this is exactly what it seems to be

how I feel.

depression is the color of blue.

Making A Scene

Here’s the scene: You’re in a train station. A train arrives, but it’s not the one you’re waiting for. As you watch a few people come and go, you notice a strange scene in the last car of the train. Only two people are inside–a young man and an older woman. They appear to be having a very animated discussion. The young man is clutching a large box to his chest. The woman is wearing a bizarre hat and holding a large map, which she continues to turn this way and that.

I stand there silently. My brim hat covers the entirety of my face, but I can see into all of the cars of each of the trains that zoom by. A train comes to a stop into the station, and as it gears to slow down, I notice two figures looming in the final car. A young man stands there clutching a large box to his chest; meanwhile, woman wearing a bizarre hat and holding a large map continues to turn this way and that. I recognize the two people. In fact, I was sent out from my agency to get a job done. Obviously, they were clueless.

Quickly, I gather my briefcase and hop onto the last car, much to the dismay of the people on the train. As soon as the young man and woman spot me, they go silent. I chuckle to myself as the looks of surprise cross their faces. These two were taught to keep a neutral expression as they worked out in the field, but obviously, they had trouble doing so as soon as they saw me.

“Veronia,” the man whispered, “Nice seeing you around.” Before either of them could move, I quickly grab the box and make a jump off of the train back into the station right as the train begins to move again. Before I exit the station, I spot the two in my peripheral vision– they attempt to regain their bearings before beginning their chase after me. I run up to the front of the station to see my driver waiting for me.

I smirk as I see the two trailing behind my car in their attempt to catch me. The front of my car begins to rumble and it explodes. The explosion sends me and the box flying out. “Ugh,” I groan– going to end up with a concussion. The man and woman run up to grab the box after handcuffing me. Before I slip out of consciousness from my head injury, I whisper to them, “Good job Agents. You’ve passed the test… although could’ve done without the explosive shenanigan.”

 

If these blogs could talk…

Status Kuo: Painting and poems

This blogger describes a painting and shares his personal thoughts about it. He also incorporates a poem as some means to aid analysis of the poem.

laughing my way out of awkward situations: Blogs

This blogger mentions her qualms with the recent blog prompts. She writes a pretty solid personal opinion to explain her feelings about these blogs.

Stressed, depressed, and not well dressed: When you find dirty Hamlet fan-art (Horlet? Hamtio?)

This blogger finds some very interesting Hamlet art. She goes into analysis on one of the more “normal” works of art that depicts the scene where Hamlet watches Claudius react to the play.

 

AP Poetry: Side-By-Side

the exhaustion is too real, but here we go…

The Prompt:

In the two poems below, Keats and Longfellow reflect on similar concerns. Read the poems carefully. Then write an essay in which you compare and contrast the two poems, analyzing the poetic techniques each writer uses to explore his particular situation.

Poem 1:

“When I Have Fears”

-John Keats (1818)

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,

Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;

When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love—then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Poem 2:

“Mezzo Cammin*”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1842)

Written at Boppard on the Rhine August 25, 1842,
Just Before Leaving for Home

Half of my life is gone, and I have let

The years slip from me and have not fulfilled

The aspiration of my youth, to build

Some tower of song with lofty parapet.

Not indolence, nor pleasure, nor the fret

Of restless passions that would not be stilled,

But sorrow, and a care that almost killed,

Kept me from what I may accomplish yet;

Though, half-way up the hill, I see the Past

Lying beneath me with its sounds and sights,—

A city in the twilight dim and vast,

With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights,—

And hear above me on the autumnal blast

The cataract** of Death far thundering from the heights.

*from the first line of Dante’s Divine Comedy: “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita” (“Midway upon the journey of our life”).

**A large waterfall

 

ANSWER TO THE BIG QUESTION: what is being compared and contrasted in these two poems? what are the situations?

Both writers reflect on the past up to this point of their lives and what the future holds for them: death.

Keats: focuses on what he has missed

Longfellow: focuses on regrets

-SMALL: what devices were used to accomplish this?

Figurative Language, Imagery, Tone

THESIS: Both authors, Keats and Longfellow, indirectly address the inevitability of death through relating their fears– Keats admits to fearing what he has missed in life when he ends up alone while Longfellow shares his fear through possible regrets in life.

Metaphors help the reader delve into the deeper feelings of the authors.

Poem 1: “Hold like rich garners”

Poem 2: “And hear above me on the autumnal blast
The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights.”

Poem 2: “a city in the twilight”

Imagery highlights the past of the authors and what contributes to their current fears.

Poem 1: “Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance”

Poem 2: “Before high-piled books”

Poem 2: “A city in the twilight dim and vast, With smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights”

Tone conveys the fear and uncertainty in both poems at the prospect of death.

Poem 1: “When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face”

Poem 2: “The cataracts of Death far thundering from the heights”

Madly Hamlet: “We’re All Mad Here”

Hamlet tells his friends that he will pretend to be mad. His act is extremely convincing, though. Is it really an act, or does Hamlet slip into madness during the play?

I believe it is possible that a person acts mad, but has a sane mental state. In regard to Hamlet, it’s fairly difficult to be sure of Hamlet’s actual mental state. His feelings of anger and need for revenge were possibly what allowed him to act the way he did. Since it’s impossible to measure Hamlet’s sanity, a closer look at the way he acted throughout the entirety of the play is what allowed me to determine that Hamlet’s madness was just an act.

From the beginning, Hamlet makes the conscious decision to act mad. He even tells Horatio “how strange or odd soe’er I bear myself (As I perchance hereafter shall think meet to put an antic disposition on) that you, at such times seeing me, never shall” (I.V. 171-174). This initial scene was the basis of some of my analysis. Hamlet obviously makes a very intentional decision about becoming mad rather than just an accident of “slipping” into madness. In fact, he even makes his friend promise not to blow his cover. However, as the play progresses, it does become harder for the reader to differentiate whether his madness is still an act or if he just slips into it, but we can continue to see how Hamlet’s conscious decisions play out.

On several occasions, Hamlet would choose to no longer act mad. This indicates that he could gauge during which situations were dire for him to accomplish his end goal by being a sane person and when it was necessary to put on the mad act. In the end, we can blame Hamlet’s death on multiple things, but in my opinion, his demise relates most strongly to his tragic flaw (what you may deem that to be is another discussion). Since I cannot blame Hamlet’s death on account of him acting mad, I cannot fully suggest that he slipped into complete madness. Furthermore, comparing the extent of his madness to that of Ophelia, I believe her death is a direct result of her madness. Hamlet never reaches the same level of madness that Ophelia does.

Another point of discussion is how far did Hamlet go in terms of madness when he did act mad. In the same way that an actor or actress may immerse themselves into method acting where they completely become the character they are playing, Hamlet did the same thing in regards to his acting as a mad person. Only in that sense did Hamlet slip into madness. More accurately, he allowed himself to slip to that point, and not because Hamlet had actually become mad. In conclusion, during Hamlet’s acts of madness, he may have been able to slip into it so far that during that time we may not deem him sane, but since he chose at what times he wanted to act mad, we should give Hamlet more credit on account of that.

Jackson Pollock

no-1-1948(1)

Often times when we see are like this, I think a lot of us scoff and think to ourselves that we can produce our own art like that if not better. Not going to lie, that’s kind of what I was thinking about this piece of paint splatters; however, a much closer look of the cohesiveness of the piece as well as the complexity gives me a slightly different outlook. At first glance, I may have passed judgment too quickly on this piece and even undermined its eminent effect (My exact thoughts may have been something along the lines of…this kind of looks like mold). Each of the continuous splatters of paint probably required much skill and finesse. The layers and color choices would have been part of the artist’s creative process. Furthermore, hanging at 6 feet tall and 9 feet wide, the full impact of this work was not reflected in the digital jpeg. I imagine that the sheer size of the painting would make it far more magnificent in person.

The first thing Sullivan points out that makes me realize I had failed to notice is the painting’s title. I actually hadn’t realized that the title of the painting is Number 1A. Although technically, when she states “no name but a number,” that’s slightly incorrect in my opinion and somewhat oversimplifying the title, but she gets her point across since I obviously hadn’t noticed the painting’s title up until this point. Throughout the rest of her poem, she goes into her own depiction of the painting with what seems like a series of analogies that leads to her main point.

Sullivan’s one line, “But paint. Such purity” actually helped me truly connect with these painting. Her line made me just get the whole concept of the piece. The piece revels in the purity of just paint. And, the way she ends her poem with “How to realize his question
Let alone his answer?” reminds me of my initial thoughts of the painting but with a far more sophisticated point of view. Rather than explaining what may seem like globs of paints to produce art, she zooms in on the purpose behind the painting with a highlight on the painting’s abstractivity and intricacy. However, what yields the most complexity is not even the artist’s question, but rather even if there is a question, what would the artist’s answer be that lies within this piece?

Artistically Hamlet

This piece of art below is called Hamlet created by Mihály Zichy in the second half of the 19th century. He used pencil and tempera on paper, and this piece is currently in a private collection.

Mihály_Zichy_-_Hamlet_-_WGA25979

This piece of artwork depicts the scene where Hamlet interacts with the ghost in front of Gertrude which causes Gertrude to believe that this is part of Hamlet becoming crazy. This painting represents the passage in Act III Scene IV.

GERTRUDE
O, speak to me no more!
These words like daggers enter in my ears.
No more, sweet Hamlet.
100 HAMLET
A murderer and a villain,
A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe
Of your precedent lord, a vice of kings,
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule,
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket—

GERTRUDE                                                                                                                                              No more!

HAMLET
A king of shreds and patches—
Enter GHOST
105
Save me and hover o’er me with your wings,
You heavenly guards!—What would your gracious figure?
Oh, angels in heaven, protect me with your wings!—What can I do for you, my gracious lord?

GERTRUDE
Alas, he’s mad!

110
HAMLET
Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command?
O, say!

115
GHOST
Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But look, amazement on thy mother sits.
O, step between her and her fighting soul.
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Speak to her, Hamlet.

HAMLET
How is it with you, lady?

125 GERTRUDE
Alas, how is ’t with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy
And with th’ incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the sleeping soldiers in th’ alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements,
Starts up and stands on end. O gentle son,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?

130 HAMLET
On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares!
His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.
(to GHOST) Do not look upon me,
Lest with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects. Then what I have to do
Will want true color—tears perchance for blood.

GERTRUDE
To whom do you speak this?

HAMLET
Do you see nothing there?

GERTRUDE
Nothing at all, yet all that is I see.

135 HAMLET
Nor did you nothing hear?

GERTRUDE
No, nothing but ourselves.

HAMLET
Why, look you there! Look how it steals away—
My father, in his habit as he lived—
Look where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
Exit GHOST

The author highlights Hamlet pointing out the ghost with a crazed look on his face. One may choose to believe that the author is interpreting the ghost as part of Hamlet’s insanity. On the other hand, in the picture, Gertrude purposefully bows her head down, looking away from the ghost, as if she wants to hide from it. I like how the artist depicts the king in an almost godly manner with white sweeping robes illuminating and a crown upon his head. Alos, we can see Polonius’s head below the chair by Hamlet. I thought it was interesting how the artist incorporated specific details in some components of the piece, but left mere outlines with his pencil in other portions.