Sunday, December 19, 2010
Do you think Adams was making a point when he made Earth a computer?
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Immediately her world falls apart. All the strange dreams she was having turn out to be her lost childhood memories, she cannot trust the man who raised her to be the woman she is today, although now she is not quite sure who she really is, and most importantly, her mother is alive. Delia asks Eric to be her father's lawyer and they all move to Arizona, where the kidnapping took place. Fitz's editor flys him to Arizona to cover the case, though Delia is not aware of this.
Everyone seems to have their share of problems in this book. Delia, Eric and Sophie move into a pink trailer next to a seemingly odd woman named Ruthann. Sophie becomes very close to Ruthann, and so does Delia. Eventually, Delia and Eric find out about Ruthann's cancer. She secretly refuses chemotherapy and eventually committs suicide. Eric also seems to be having a lot of trouble with Andrew's case as the details unfold. He seems to be losing Delia, too. He is even unware of the fact that Fitz is in love with her and Delia may have feelings for Fitz, as well. Delia searches for her mother and once she finds her, she isn't the mother she dreamt her up to be. Her mother, Elise, was an alcoholic, and that is why Andrew kidnapped Delia soon after their divorce. But Andrew's problems seem to be the heaviest. As he tells his story, we learn that life in prison is a horrible place to be, even for a man in his mid-sixties who wants nothing to do with anyone. He is constantly harassed by gangs and even stoops so low that he helps deal drugs. Andrew is in such bad shape that he changes his mind about wanting to be found guilty. He knows now that if he is found guilty and has to stay in prison, he will be murdered.
Vanishing Acts is a very fast-paced, intriguing novel. It deals with issues of the real world and finding one's true identity. Delia struggles with her identity: does the past really matter, or is it who she is now that counts the most? Will Andrew be found not guilty because he had a reasonable excuse for taking his daughter and running? What will happen with Fitz and Delia; Eric and Delia?
1) Fitz is maddly in love with Delia and he knows she is engaged. To make matters worse, all three of them have been best friends since their childhoods. If you loved someone deeply but you knew they were engaged, would you tell the one you love how you feel? Do you think it'd be the right thing to do, or are these sorts of things better left unsaid?
2) Ever since Delia was little, she believed her mother had passed away, until one day, she finds out this is not true. Would you be upset if your father withheld this information even if he had a reason to do so? How would you feel if you grew up without a mother, or a father, as some of us sadly do?
3) Andrew kidnapped his daughter in order to protect her from her alcoholic mother. If you were in Andrew's position (divorced and only saw your daughter on the weekends) would you do all that you could, even if it meant kidnapping your daughter because he could not go to the police, to save your son or daughter? Do you think he had the right to do something like that?
Hacking Harvard, by Robin Wasserman, is a very unrealistic story about something all of us seniors surely know: the college admissions system. Three extremely intelligent teens (Eric, Max, and Schwarz) have decided to take on what they believe to be the ultimate challenge. This challenge is getting an average, run of the mill guy into Harvard. While this may seem like a long shot, these three teens believe it to be possible and want to prove their point, which is that "there's something wrong with the admissions system" (48) and "to prove it's not perfect" (48).
They choose Clay Porter, a below-average student who has no plans of going to college, as their subject. Though he was at first reluctant, he soon agrees to help them when money is put into the picture. With Clay, they help him with various college admission tasks that they believe should trick Harvard into letting him in.
One admissions procedure they "guide" him with is taking the SAT test. While many students longing to get into Harvard study for days on end to get perfect scores on the test, Clay does not study at all. Instead, Eric and the other two guys help Clay by cheating the system. They install a microscopic camera into Clay's glasses, which transmits the questions Clay is seeing infront of him to a television screen. They then are able to tell him all of the answers through a microphone which is synced to an earpiece Clay is wearing. All goes well, until all of these complex electronics decide to stop working. The teens are then forced to use their brains, and figure out that they can use the light reflected from the pond next to the classroom window to highlight the correct answers onto Clay's test (this part makes no sense to me).
All of their efforts are about to pay off when they start to think about how this will affect other people attempting to get into Harvard. Harvard does not let in many applicants as is, and if Clay, someone who does not deserve to go there, gets in over someone who does want to go there, that would not be right. They are potentially taking the spot of someone who has worked all their high school career to get into Harvard.
In the end, they don't care about the fact that they are taking someone's spot and submit Clay's application to Harvard to be potentially admitted, waitlisted, or denied.
1. The characters in this story believe they played a prank on Harvard. Do you consider what they did a prank, or do you believe what they did broke the law?
2. Clay potential could be taking someone who really wants to go to Harvard spot, though people helped him cheat his way in. In the end, he actually does get in and does go. Do you believe he should ever fess up for cheating his way in?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Winnie Foster a young girl about the age of ten, comes from a strict well-off family. For her entire life, her family has kept her locked away from the rest of the world by an iron fence that surrounds their house. One day, Winnie decides to venture out past the fence and into her family's woods. There she finds a boy drinking from a fountain named Jesse Tuck. Through Jesse, Winnie finds out that him and his family are immortal because they drank water from the spring over one hundred years ago. The Tuck family decides to take Winnie away to explain their secret immortality and to explain why their secret must be kept. While this is happening, a man in a yellow suit is watching them. This man came to town to try to find the magical well that his grandmother told him about and sell the water from it. He sees the Tucks taking Winnie as a kidnapping and uses this information to get Winnie's family to sell him their woods.
While all of this is going on, the Tucks introduce Winnie to their strange way of life outside of society. The more time she spends with the Tucks, the more she starts to love them like the family that she never really had. Unlike her family, the Tucks aren't strict and live in a modest house far away from town. The Tucks show Winnie that their secret of immortality must be kept, because if everyone else knew about it, they would abuse it. Plus if other people knew about it, it would throw off the balance of nature (the cycle of life and death). After a short while, the man in the yellow suit shows up after following them to their house. He tells them that he knows their secret and plans to expose them to the rest of the world. Filled with outrage, Mae Tuck (the mother) hits the man in the yellow suit over the head with a shot gun. The wound eventually kills him. Through all of this, a sheriff has been watching because he followed the man in the yellow suit. The sheriff takes Mae into custody and she is sentenced to be hanged. This is a problem because since she can't die the Tucks' secret will be exposed. I don't want to ruin the rest of the story so you'll have to read it if you want to know how it ends.
The story explains why immortality may not be as great as it seems, and why the natural flow of life is important to maintain and keep in balance.
1. If it was possible, would you take the chance to live forever?
2. Do you think it would be a bad thing to be immortal?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Have you ever wanted to become someone else? Obviously not going so far as killing that person to become them, but wanted to be able to live the lifestyle they lived?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Despite the fact that Jane seems to be rather lonely, a good friend keeps her company. Her friend's name is Michael. Michael is always there for Jane. He walks her to school each morning. He meets her after school. He takes her for ice cream at the St. Regis Hotel on Sundays, right before her mother takes her to look at jewelry. Anytime Jane has a problem or a feeling of insecurity, Michael is there to comfort her. Jane says, "You're a good listener..." (Patterson 33). Michael seems like the perfect companion for any person, however, Jane is the only one that can see him. As Jane's mother comes to get her for jewelry shopping one Sunday afternoon, Jane shouts at Michael, "Here she comes Michael...Look invisible" (Patterson 14). This remark is ironic, because Michael is invisible; he is Jane's imaginary friend.
Jane loves Michael like brother, even though he is only visible to her. He explains to her that this is his job, that his purpose is to help children like herself until they are able to manage on their own. Unfortunately, he explains, a time comes when he must leave her. This happens on her ninth birthday. As a nine-year-old child, she is considered old enough to manage on her own. She is devestated with Michael's departure from her life, but he promises that once he leaves, she will not even remember the time they spent together.
Many years later, as Jane reaches her thirties, she still finds herself rather lonely. She works for her mother, and even though she is a famous playwrite herself, she is not happy. Her mother now seems to pay too much attention to Jane, nearly trying to control every aspect of her life. Jane has a boyfriend who works in the theater industry, but he acts too much like Jane's snobbish and conceited mother that she decides she can no longer handle him. And worst of all, Jane still remembers her best friend Michael that she had as a child. For some reason she cannot forget him, as he said she would. She thinks of him constantly, and she even writes what becomes a famous play about an eight-year-old girl with an imaginary friend named Michael.
As Jane finds her life spiraling downward, she needs something to lift her spirits. One day, as she is having lunch with a friend, a very handsome young man approaches her. Jane recognizes him immediately as being Michael. Even though this is the grown up Michael, she knows it is him. They begin talking, and Jane is estatic when she learns that this truly is the Michael from her childhood. She explains to him how she had never forgotten him as he said she would, which he finds to be strange. He explains to Jane that his immortal life is in a transitional stage right now; he is inbetween assignments, so he has a chance to live a normal life for some time.
Shortly after they return home from their vacation, Michael feels this sensation that he must go to the hospital. Is Jane the victim in the hospital bed, or is it someone else that he has come to assist?
1. Michael explains that an imaginary friend helps children feel less alone and helps them find a place in the world. Do you feel that children have imaginary friends to help them cope with things in their life? How else do we use our imagination to help us deal with life or hide from it?
2. By the end of the story, Jane becomes rather rebellious towards her controlling mother by running away with Michael. Do you think this was the right thing for her to do? If you had a mother that constantly made you feel as though you were not living up to her expectations, would you have done the same thing?
Pretty Little Liars is a novel full of deceitful girls, fabulous clothes, and a secret no one can ever talk about. Alison DiLaurentis, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, and Emily Fields are unlikely best friends. Spencer is the only girl with enough gall to stand up to the marvelous “It Girl,” Ali. Aria is just lucky to have friends because she’s known as a weird outsider. Hanna is a pudgy wanna-be, and Emily is completely confused. However, on the last night of seventh grade, the girls have a sleepover in Spencer’s refurbished barn, and get in a huge fight when Spencer refuses to by hypnotized by Ali. That is the night Ali disappears.
Over the next three years the girls all go their separate ways—Hanna gets skinny (by making herself throw up), becomes best friends with Mona, a girl they all used to tease, and the pair becomes the new “It Girls” of Rosewood Day school. Aria moves to Iceland (after her dad cheats on her mother with a student of his) and returns with a new attitude, style, and superiority complex. Spencer throws herself into school-work and is obsessed with beating her older sister Melissa (this includes stealing Melissa’s British fiancé, Wren). Emily gets involved with the swim team at school and her and her boyfriend, Ben, are the sporty couple (though, she shouldn’t be with him because she might be gay. She’s not sure).
When new neighbors move into Ali’s old house and start to tear apart the backyard to build, Ali’s body turns up. It’s now quite clear that this was a murder. Once the body is uncovered, the four girls start getting mysterious messages from someone named “A,” and A knows all of their secrets. Could A be Alison? Or her murderer?
1. How would you feel if you started getting texts from a random person who knew all your deepest, darkest, possibly illegal, secrets? What would you do?
2. In any of the girls predicaments (bulimia, boyfriend-stealing, dad-cheating, or sexuality issues), what would you do? Who might you turn to?
3. If you had a group of friends and one suddenly went missing, would you drift from your friends, as these girls did, or would you stick with them.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
1.Do you think it is possible for a so called Utopia to take place in the world?
2. What do you feel the definition of Utopia actually is? Because Utopias always fail they are never the perfect society they should be..Why? Is perfect an unrealistic term?
3. If you had the chance to stand up to the leader of a nation like Winston decided to do, would you do it?
1:) If you had adopted a child and found out it was actually a parents child who had been kidnapped and was looking for it, would you return the child or hide the fact you ever knew about it?
2:) If you were in Ellen's situation and you and your sons lives were in danger, what would you try and do to save the two of you? To what length would you go?
Thirteen Reasons Why, a fictional novel by Jay Asher, takes the reader through the tragic journey of Hannah Baker. The novel opens up with Clay Jensen, receiving a package with no return address. When Clay opens it, he finds thirteen cassette tapes labeled one through thirteen in nail polish. The contents of the tapes horrify Clay because the tapes are the voice of Hannah Baker who recently committed suicide. Hannah explained that the tapes were to circulate to thirteen people who helped push her to commit suicide. Clay had found a map in his locker that would help guide him along Hannah's journey.
Clay listened to all thirteen tapes in one night. The further he got in the tapes, the more upset he became. Hannah had decided to commit suicide because she was tired of people taking advantage of her. She was too low to ask for help and she decided to give up. Hannah decided her best means for suicide would be an overdose of pills.
Hannah's tapes left thirteen people changed forever. Hannah let them know exactly what part they played in her decision to end her life. Some of the thirteen really did Hannah wrong but Clay could not understand why he was on the tapes. When Clay got to listening to his tape, Hannah said that Clay really should not be on there but he was part of the process. Clay had a crush on Hannah and Hannah had a crush on Clay so when they were hanging out at a party, they ended up making out. Hannah then freaked out and told Clay to leave. Clay tried to reason with Hannah but she would not have it. Hannah had already decided that she could not reach out to anyone or trust anyone. She had successfully pushed someone away who would have helped her.
Clay is left a different man after the tapes. He knows that he can never be afraid to take risks again. He was too shy to approach Hannah and now it is too late. Clay cannot undo the past but he can live the rest of his life taking risks when the time is right. It is too late for Hannah, but the people she left behind in the tapes will lead their lives differently.
1) If you received tapes that pin-pointed you as the one of the reasons for someone committing suicide, how would you respond? Would it change you as a person?
2)Do you think it was the right thing for Hannah to address the people who caused or contributed to her misery?
3)Why do you think Hannah put Clay on the tapes if he really did not do anything to contribute to her decision to commit suicide?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
1. Rand struggles to bring nations together to save the world. Why do people have difficulties putting aside their past wars and cultural differences to work together.?
2. During the novel, Rand stops being human and buries his emotions. He uses cold logic to make decisions about everything from who to trust and the fate of millions of people. Is this a good way to lead one's life and others? Why or why not?
3. One of Rand's main problems is that he holds in his anger so long that it blows up, and he almost kills his father. Have you ever held something in so long that it ended up hurting you or someone else?
Monday, December 6, 2010
The Catcher in the Rye is a novel about the misadventures of a sixteen-year-old adolescent named Holden Caulfield. He is telling a story to the reader about the events that occurred earlier in the year. Holden does not have a knack for school, and the novel begins with him being notified that he is being expelled for failing four of his classes. This is the fourth school he has failed out of. He is to leave to go to New York to live back with his parents, but this is not for several days. The story is about what happens before he returns to his parents.
When Lynn Spradley is finally born, she appears to be a perfectly normal and healthy child. She has no physical deformities,and she also has no noticeable mental deficiencies. Thomas admits in the book to having still lingering fears for months to come. However Lynn continues to grow and develop in a perfectly healthy manner. Gradually, her parents stop living in fear and they start to relax.
Around the 6 months, Lynn and her parents attend a Fourth of July celebration and of course there are fireworks. A child Lynns age would be startled by the noise but Lynn didn't even wake up from her nap. She didn't have any reaction to the loud sounds. This was the first time Thomas and Louise suspected their daughter might be deaf. After 2 years of testing Lynn was pronounced to have profound hearing loss. She is beat by her teaches when using her hands to sign and is forced to learn how to talk. Her parents however find a new school that appreciates her.This book shows the struggles of deaf children and the difficulty that parents have raising a deaf child. And if you want to know what happened then you have to read the book :)
1) What would you do if you found out your child was deaf, or had any other disability?
2) Living in this time (late 1960's) would you allow your child to go to a deaf school that forces them to talk and not use sign language? Or would you find better alternatives like the Spradleys did for their daughter Lynn.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
1. At home, Marcy's father complains about his life, his children, and how much of a failure Marcy is at being his daughter. Her mother does absolutly nothing besides take a tranquilizer and tell Marcy everything will be alright when nothing ever is. Basically, her mother takes drugs and her father wishes she never existed. What would you do if you and a younger sibling lived in the type of environment Marcy lived in?
2. Ms. Finney completely changed Marcy. Marcy used to be shy and quiet but then she began to stand of for herself, be more outgoing, and even runs a protest for Ms. Finney. If a teacher your class absolutely loved and changed them just like Ms. Finney did, would you and others protest to get that teacher back? What do you think, by Ms. Finney being suspended because of her teaching methods, says about teacher independence and student protest?
Due to the Billy's success with his hounds, Billy's grandfather entered him into a racoon-hunting contest. Although Billy did not have the best dogs in the contest, his presious Little Ann won the beauty contest on the first day. Although there was some mishaps that happened during the comptition, Billy and his dogs proudly walked a way with over one hunderd dollars!!
Billy was very prud of his dogs, and continued to hunt. One night however, changed his life. While the team was hunting at night, a mountain lion attacks Old Dan. Billy tried to save his dog, but in the end they saved him. Although they defeated the mountain lion, Old Dan passed away from injury. Billy was heart broken. This was not the end of his sorrows, however. Little Ann was so upset, she did tot want to love any more, and also passes away with in a few days. Bill's family was greatful for these dogs, because they earned money for them to move into the town. Billy did not want to leave his dogs though. When he went back to visit their grave, a huge red fern grew right where they were burried. This is a plant that only an angel can plant. Billy felt that his dogs were at peace now, and he was ready to move on in his life. He never will forget them though.
1)Do you think it is better to work for something that you want, or have it handed to you? Why?
2) Do you think that a person or animal can die because they miss another animal or person?
Saturday, December 4, 2010
1. Do any of the characters in this book relate to people in history? What are the comparisons?
Let me preface this by saying with fantasy it can be difficult to follow characters, locations, and the what the world is like in general if you have not read the book but bear with me. Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov is the first in a trilogy of fantasy epics that follow master thief Shadow Harold in his journey to Hrad Spein, a centuries old tomb for humans, elves, dwarves, and ogres encased in a mountain that has been sealed for centuries, and all recent expeditions to it have not returned. Shadow Harold has made his living stealing valuable goods for other people for many years. The book begins with Shadow Harold taking a job from his friend, an owner of a bar for people outside the law, that seems easy enough. However, after Harold is captured by the city guard he realizes that the job was much more then it seemed. It turns out the the King set Harold up in order to recruit him to go to Hrad Spein to find an artifact that is the key to saving the kingdom from destruction by the hand of the book's villain, The Nameless One, who has begun stirring again in the northern wastes after centuries of inactivity. The rest of the book follows Harold as he prepares for his treacherous journey, and Harold realizing the gravity of the situation as assasains and members of a previously unknown cult are suddenly after his life. From the Forbidden Territory in the center of the capital city, an area desecrated by misuse of magic where the dead walk and spirits run free. To gaining the company of an Elfin princess and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in the world, and of his traditional nemesis in the castle guard for his journey. Harold also faces a demon who will suck out his bone marrow if Harold does not get something for the demon. On his journey Harold battles with fatigue, exhaustion, unknown magic, horrible monsters, and his lingering mental reservations about the journey that he considers to be basically a suicide mission. Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov is everything you want from a fantasy epic, great characters, magic, a classic theme, monsters, and a teeming, vibrant world. If you are a fan of high fantasy I greatly recommend this book. This book is the only fantasy book that has held my attention as well as The Wheel of Time series, in my opinion the best fantasy series ever created (yes better than Lord of the Rings).
1) In the book the captain of the city guard is forced to work with Shadow Harold by the order of the king. The captain is apprehensive and has trouble trusting Harold as Harold is a known thief, lier, and killer. Do you think you could work effectively and fight alongside someone who you knew has committed several serious offenses, such as the ones described above? Why or why not?
2) Harold could have run away from the King and his request and lived a comfortable life in the country, but he didn’t even though he regards the quest as madness, and has never thought of himself as a hero. What makes people do things like this? A sense of duty? Money? Have you ever done something like this?
Friday, December 3, 2010
A Man Named Dave, by Dave Pelzer, is a conclusion to the novels A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy. The novel starts off with a flashback to David's childhood. One of Dave's encounters with his mother is expressed by "a jolting thud strikes the side of my neck. My knees buckle as I turn inside the doorway..." (Pelzer 8). It reviews how he was beaten by his mother and how other children treated him. The novel then proceeds to talk about his life with his foster family. When he was in foster care, he worked because he knew he would need money later in his life. He was different than most kids who played on the playground and had friends. Then, David turns eighteen and wants to start his own life. He ends up quitting high school, but he obtains his GED by himself and enlisting into the Air Force. While in boot camp, David has many nightmares about his mothers abuse, which makes him stay up all night to prevent him from waking up in a screaming fit. His dream is to become a firefighter just like his father. "The only thing that mattered was Father's badge," states Dave (Pelzer 66). The main thing he cherished and looked up to his father for was him being a firefighter. David did not have the skills and education to become a firefighter; therefore, he went to college. Once college was completed for him, his papers became lost and he was not able to obtain his dream. Soon after, David finds out that his father has become ill with cancer and is going to pass away soon. He goes home to see his father before he passes. Dave's real mother acts like she is devastated by Dave's father's illness; however, she will not visit him. Since Dave's father is no longer alive, he does not have a reason to earn his money. He wanted to earn money, so he could buy his father a house since he was homeless. Finally, he feels like he has something to live for when he enters a team of cooks within the Air Force. When he returns to the Air Force, he meets a woman who becomes his wife. David ends up asking her to marry him once he finds out she is pregnant. No one really supports their marriage. Since David's job was very time consuming, he had little time to spend with his wife and children. This caused tension between them two and lead to their divorce. Both his wife and Dave found new people to live their lives with and Dave was able to still see his child at any free time he had. Dave always had a fear that he would turn into an abusive father, like his mother was and he did not like that thought. Throughout the novel, Dave goes back home many time to visit his abusive mother and his grandmother, which both give him an uneasy feeling. All of the actions that occurred in Dave's life added up and taught him to leave his past behind him and to trust and love others in the present. The novel teaches that forgiveness is key, because if people do not forgive, then their other relationships may be affected. David had a hard time forgiving his mother, which lead to distrust in his marriage which led to their divorce too.
1)David had a hard time moving on with his life, because he still had not forgave his mother. His distrust in his mother, led to him having distrust in others too. Until he forgave his mother, he had altered the way he treated his wife due to his emotions still rattled by his mothers actions. Do you think that peoples past affect their future greatly? Why is it hard for many people to let go of their past?
2)David’s father was a role model to him and when David saw his father struggling, he wanted to do everything to help him. Do you have someone in your life who you would give up anything for? If so, who and why?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Suzy Favor-Hamilton is a female Olympic runner and motivational speaker; she is arguably the best middle-distance runner in the entire United States. However, one of her most defining moments as a person in my opinion occurred during one of her Olympic races. She was expected to win the race with little difficulty; but unfortunately, she dropped out with only a very short distance left to go. After she had finished, she attributed her inability to finish to the fact that she simply was not ready. However, she later confessed that the actual reason behind her collapsing and dropping out of the race was that as soon as she slipped from first place to second to third to not even medaling, she simply could not handle the defeat and the fact that she was expected to win and had failed to do so. She told people that the reason that possessed her to do such a thing was due to all of the stress that was building up in her personal life, and the expectation to win only added to that stress. I think this is truly remarkable for her to come clean like this; not many people would be willing to tell the truth in this situation, so it says a lot about her character. Her motive for writing this book was that she wanted to share training and nutrition secrets of her own that have allowed her to become so successful in her career in order to help young female runners improve in their own careers, regardless of their level or ability. This book is targeted to female runners, but I think it has many valuable lessons that can be applied to both men and woman in various sports. Suzy won eleven state titles in high school and was named one of the top 100 high school athletes of the century. Additionally, she became the most decorated female collegiate athlete at the University of Wisconsin which is where she attended college. Here she won nine NCAA championships and four Big Ten Athlete of the Year Awards which are now referred to as the Suzy Favor awards in her honor. Furthermore, she is a three-time Olympian and holds seven U.S. National Championships. She still runs today in Wisconsin where she lives with her family. She wrote this book as she was preparing herself for the 2004 Summer Olympics; she worked with a man named Jose Antonio, Ph.D., an exercise and sports nutrition scientist, who helped Suzy write this book. The book is divided into various sections, all of which target a specific aspect of the sport ranging from nutrition to advice for the actual race day. She talks about varying the severity of work outs and when it is important to rest so as to prevent overtraining which she accredits to being a common source of injuries. Suzy also talks about the positives of cross training which she is a firm believer in; cross training is training an athlete does that it is outside of the norm of their sport in order to target other muscles that are not used as frequently in his or her primary sport. For instance, two great examples of cross training for runners is swimming and bicycling; both relieve stress on the joints of a runner that are often overworked. Also, she talks about the positives and negatives in relation to strength training, stretching and various other non-running related exercises. She talks about her own life experiences both on and off the track in order to persuade young runners from making the same mistakes she made, mistakes that are typical of young runners. Suzy goes on to talk about the benefits of her specialized diet plan and the reasons why a good diet is so crucial for runners. Suzy’s experiences of competing at the highest, most prestigious level of sports in addition to Jose Antonio’s immense amount of knowledge regarding exercise and nutrition science allow for this book to truly reach out to both the highly competitive and leisurely runner while providing valuable lessons that can virtually be applied to any sport.
1) If you were in Suzy’s position during the Olympic race where she dropped out, what do you think you would have done? If virtually everyone in the world was expecting you to win, how would you have handled that pressure when you knew you were not going to win? Would you have confessed as she did?
2) Suzy is obviously a very successful runner, yet she is possibly one of the nicest, most down to earth people you will ever meet (I had the chance to meet with her). Why do you think this is? Most exceptionally successful athletes are often very cocky and full of themselves. Why is she so willing to share all of her secrets regarding nutrition and running?
3)Do you think this book would help you at all? Do you think it’s important that even for those who are not runners or not involved in sports to be familiar with this type of lifestyle and the hardships that come with being so passionate about something like a sport? Is there a universal message relating to work ethic, etc?
Monday, November 29, 2010
1. At the end of the novel, Clare realizes that not being present during the majority of the first few months of the twins’ life has had an impact on her children. The babies both recognize Jenna as their prime caretaker and develop a deep connection with the nanny over their mother. Clare, however, still feels completely obligated to continue her overbearing involvement in the business world. The choice between building relationships or following her passion becomes excruciatingly difficult. If you were forced to chose between what you are passionate about or the relationships in your life, what would you chose and why?
2. Although Jenna never gets emotionally involved with Clare’s husband, Clare continuously wonders if Jenna and Marc are hiding an affair as Marc becomes more and more distant. As Marc becomes secretive, Clare and Jenna also become closer. Clare sometimes wonders if Jenna’s supposed trustworthiness is an attempt to cover the truth. Would you ever allow someone, such as a nanny, to become so intimately involved in your family relationships? Would you be willing to trust that your spouse is remaining faithful despite the incessant temptation present in your household?
1. If, like Izzy, you had to go through something like this and lose a limb, how do you think you would you deal with it? Would you even be able to?
2. Sometimes people find friends in the most unusual places and those new friends aren't always the type of people they would normally want to be around. Have you ever become friends with someone who didn't really fit the description of someone you would normally be friends with? If not, would you ever consider befriending someone who seems "weird" to you?
While this is going on in the story, Bella tells Edward that she misses her best friend Jacob, the werewolf and she would like to see him. Even though Edward does not like the idea of Bella being around Jacob, he permits it. Jacob however kisses Bella and tells her that he loves her and wants her to leave Edward for him. Bella responds by punching Jacob in the face, and breaking her hand.
With the battle coming soon, the Cullens ask the werewolfs for help defending the girl both sides love, Bella. The two opposing sides join forces and go over battle tactics weeks before the war. The night before, Bella is taken up into the mountains with nboth Edward and Jacob. The two men are at opposing sides all night and even right before the battle. Jacob, the next morning threatens to join the battle and die if Bella does not kiss him willingly; while kissing him, Bella realizes she is in love with him as well. Victoria soon tracks Bella's scent in while the battle is raging and fights Edward to the death. Victoria ends up dead and the rest you will have to read the book to know.
Hint: There is a special surprise of an engagemnet between Bella and one of the boys she loves.
Questions: 1) Do you believe that it is possible to love two people at once?
2) Do you think it was fair for Bella to allow both clans/families risk
their lives for her?
3) Would you be willing to die for someone you thought you loved?