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IRJ-QR#11 October 20, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Quick Response.
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Misplaced Magic: Using Two Eyes

When Snooty Buttoo makes an irrational comment to Rashid, Haroun has an epiphany. He thinks to himself, “…the real world was full of magic so magical worlds could easily be real,” (Rushdie, Salman. Haroun and the Sea of Stories. London: Penguin Books, 1991. 50. Print.)

After he observes Snooty Buttoo’s skepticism, Haroun makes a connection between what reality is, and what can become reality. The distinction that Haroun makes between magical worlds and reality is that in reality, the magic is seen less easily but is shoved forward into sight in magical worlds. Magical worlds may be exactly the same as real worlds, but are visualized through different eyes.

As in the beginning of the book The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, the professor can see things that the children can’t because he has journeyed and understood that the world is magic in itself, while the children still don’t know what to look for.

In the real side of our world we know what to look for, while in magical side of our world we must look through open eyes, observing everything at once. Not everybody is able to look for nothing and find something, but that is what magic behaves like. The word ‘magic’ describes what is in plain view, but what can’t be seen.

Proposition: Humans naturally want to focus on one thing at once, but it can be an epiphany to a person when they realize that magic is nothing to look for, but something to be.


IRJ-CP#10 October 15, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Creative Piece.
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What Goes up, Comes Down: A Lost Soul

“Ok Class. You guys just got back from trips week and I decided to bake cookies for you.” Everyone suddenly became enticed in what Mr. Raset was saying. “When I read your name, come and get a cookie.” Mr. Raset picked up a stack of papers

I became uneasy at the sight of the papers. I could tell others were feeling the same way. “Rachel Angyl,” Mr. Raset cried out with a smile on his face. Rachel walked around the line of desks to receive her cookie. “Wait,” he said right before she grabbed a cookie. “First you need your test from the other week.” Rachel reluctantly grabbed her test and cookie and clambered awkwardly back to her seat. Once she had seated herself, she gradually lifted up her test to see her score. She pushed it back onto her desk with a look of awe in her eyes.

“I must have traded brains with a smart person,” she said to our questioning looks.

“Phillip Anum,” Mr. Raset called.

“What did you get?” someone asked Rachel as Phillip stolidly received his grade.

Rachel showed us her test. “A 48 out of 50.” David scoffed at her.

Mr. Raset called through the rest of our names and we all got cookies and good grades. “Alright guys. Like normal, I am going to take any questions you may have about your grade right now.”

Jane Reyn raised her hand. “Can I go to the bathroom?” she asked.

“Do you mean may you go to the bathroom?”


“Of course.” Jane rose languidly, expressing the pain she still had in her knee. She sinuously walked around the desks to the door which she softly closed after she left.

“I’ve got a question,” Jackie said.

“Ok, shoot.”

“When we get the equation of the slope of a tangent line from the division quotient, why is it that we set ‘h’ equal to ‘0’ only as an approximation?”

“Who has their calculator? Michael, can I borrow this?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Rachael, can you close the shades?”


Simon,” he said to me. “Can you turn off the lights?”

“Yep,” I said quietly. I hopped up from my seat and reached for the light switch. Just then the door flew open onto my finger and Jane fell in onto the nearest desk. Her hands were stained with a dark red from holding her stomach. She picked up a pen next to her and wrote ‘CU’. She tried to keep writing but she fell to the side, the rest of her life draining from her body onto the floor, the handle of the knife was the only think foreign to her body.

The class looked incredulously. All at once, people yelled and thronged around her to aid. It was too late.

IRJ-QR#8 September 29, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Quick Response.
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Providing Hope: Tricked into Security

In the short story “The Fifty-First Dragon”, Gawaine le Cœur-Hardy kills fifty dragons by saying the ‘magic word’ Rumplesnitz. When the Headmaster reveals to Gawaine that this word meant nothing, he said, “’It wasn’t magic in a literal sense … but it was much more wonderful than that. The word gave you confidence,’” (Broun 6)

In the context of the story, this quote describes the way Gawaine was tricked into becoming a hero by the Headmaster. Gawaine had been psychologically tricked because of his fear of failure. He depended upon his ‘magic’ to do the fighting for him. Similarly, Mr. Wright, who had cancer in the lymph nodes, had high hopes for the drug Krebiozen, and doctors gave it to him. After 13 days he left the hospital. Later, he relapsed because of news reports that questioned the efficiency of the drug. The doctors lied and told him that they were going to give him a double dose of the drug when really none was in the shot. Mr. Wright left the hospital with no symptoms, but months later, when he found out that the drug was useless, he died within days.

This psychological ‘trick’, sometimes called the placebo effect in medicine, provides the brain with the natural phenomenon of false wellness or welfare. The beliefs and the ideas that a person may have about their condition produce the result. This idea in the brain allows outside effects to change the situations that aren’t completely in our power. Without this, people wouldn’t be able to change the inevitable, or have hope for the future.

It is this hope that powers people to move forward, and although things may be changed by point of view individually, they remain the standard for anybody to break, in a good way, or bad way.

Proposition: Humans can be tricked by their own inclination to have hope, and the way that things may be perceived allows for the future to turn out any way they wish.

IRJ-OP#7 September 24, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Open Prompt.
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Now or Never: Setting the Table Today for Tomorrow

Today during lunch, a friend in my class was discussing her personality from when she was young. She said, “When I was in Pre-K, This girl’s grandmother died and she was very sad. I told that everybody dies, and got sent to detention in the principal’s office,” (Lunch Discussion).

Etiquette – Top Ten Etiquette Rules

Book Review – Review of the book Do Hard Things

I have mixed feelings about this statement. I feel that it was rude to tell a girl in pain something that will make her sadder. Death is a sad thing and the principal was going in the right direction. However, the principal didn’t need to send this young classmate of mine to detention for something like that. I think that the principal should have discussed the implications of the words said by classmate and figured out a simple solution.

Discipline must have a careful balance. If you punish harshly for something minor, the recipient will feel that they are treated unfair. Still, if you don’t punish enough, the person may think it is ok to do again.

I think to fix the problem of unruly discipline, there must be etiquette rules set and understood. Teachers in schools and parents at home should teach by doing and exemplify the good qualities that are necessary to being a polite well trained person. Not enough children know what is expected of them, described in the book Do Hard Things.

Proposition: Humans need guidance to be able to be part of society but don’t like to be forced in any one direction.

IRJ-CP#6 September 22, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Creative Piece.
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Against all Odds: Like Any Other Day

Like any other day, I woke up, strolled around, and then stood at the corner with my sign, ‘Unemployed with no place to sleep’. I stood there until lunch time and then went into the park. It was April 1st, and the third year in a row that nothing special had happened to me. When I was younger, nobody could forget that today was my birthday. Now I have no one that would remember. My view of life was askew, and as I thought about this, I knew nothing would change for a while.

Two years before, my first birthday on the streets: I woke up, strolled around, and then stood at the corner with my sign, ‘Without a job, need help please’. I had been out for almost two months and my expression was deadpan. I was fired the month before right at the beginning of the economic downturn. Thousands were losing their jobs.

My second birthday on the streets: I woke up, strolled around, and then stood at the corner with my sign, ‘No food, no money, no shelter, please help’. I have now been allocated by the city to a specific spot, and every day I watched people and felt like I walked among them. I recognized people and their daily routines.

That third year, I guised myself in an old suit after my lunch hour. I used this as a façade so that people wouldn’t think ugly of me when they passed. I hated the feeling that people would think contemptibly of me just because I don’t have a job.

It was about 5:30 when a large SUV stopped at the light next to me. I aimed my sign at it. Someone in a dark hat rolled down the window and I walked toward it. In my first few months, I would be cautious of the open window because of the consternation that I would get hurt or killed. After three years though, I didn’t think anything can get worse than it already was. I was wrong.

The man picked up something next to him and threw it at me. I stumbled back as he drove away. I picked up the faded yellow paper envelope that looked so formidable laying on the cement in front of me, and I slid open the slit at the top. I pulled out a stack of dollars rubber banded together. On top of the first dollar bill, there was a note. I decided I’d read that later. I flipped through the stack and surprised myself when I found that every note but the top one was a twenty.

IRJ-OP#5 September 17, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Open Prompt.
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False at First: Truth takes Majority

The other day in Human Development class, we were discussing current problems in the Unites States that are trying to be resolved. One class mate said, “People who aren’t citizens of the United States shouldn’t get healthcare,” (Class Discussion). This struck me as a very interesting statement.

News Story: How illegal immigrants deal with healthcare now

Citizenship Info: The rules and guidelines for becoming a U.S. citizen

This quote shows an unfair argument. While it is true that illegal immigrants don’t deserve all the rights of a full American citizen, they should still be able to see a doctor to help them when they are sick, or in the future be able to go to a health kiosk. I think the criteria for getting healthcare should be, you should have a job currently or have had a job in the past 6 months. This would only be the case if you are over 18. I also think that Finland’s healthcare system for children will also apply. If this was the case with healthcare, then children would be covered even if their parents didn’t work, and if you don’t have a job for a short period of time, you can still be covered.

In this American society, we want people to work for themselves and make the American public a better place. Although we can use healthcare as an incentive for people work, they could still get a job for a week every two or three months and still be receiving health care (although that would be very tough to pull off). People should prove that they are able to keep a job for at least six weeks so that they can continue to get healthcare.

Every decision has its consequence and even with the plan suggested, some people will not be happy with it. That is a fact that can’t be changed about humans. The goal of any important decision is to make more people happy. It is beyond a happy medium, but a happy majority.

Proposition: Although humans try to make important decisions, they can’t always make other people see what they see as right or fit, because everybody has a different background.

IRJ-CP#4 September 16, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Creative Piece.
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Captive: A Normal Day

When a strangely dressed man on the sidewalk yelled at me to jump in his car, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911. Well, I’m not really telling the truth. Let me try again.

When a strangely dressed man blocked me from walking down the sidewalk to school, I stood very still. He didn’t give me time to answer the random questions he yelled at me, and I tried to shuffle around him. Instead of letting me pass, he grabbed me by my collar and dragged me to his car. I was choking by the time he threw me in, and I must have been knocked unconscious when he slammed the car door into my head. I woke up with him pulling me from the car next to a dumpy house that looked like it was bombed in the First World War

Hi. I’m Jake. I am a freshman attending Xavier High School on 16th Street, and I take pride in my B average. Not many exciting things occur in my life, but I live in New York City, where the ordinary here appears extraordinary anywhere else. When walking to school I see odd things but don’t really take notice of them, like pedestrians being hit by bicyclists or businessmen dragging skis. That is why I didn’t really take note of the old man nearing me with 18th century clothes on. That is what I’ll tell to the police, I thought. Some sort of story that can inform them of my situation quickly.

My feet started to work again, and I reached the front door of the World War I house with the man pinning one of my arms against my back. The old man knocked on the door four times with a strong, muscular hand. I winced each time because my head still throbbed from being hit so hard. After a few seconds, the door swung open, and a young woman stood on the other side. She looked about as happy as I did and I could tell that she wasn’t thrilled with our arrival. The old man bent me over, and kicked me through the door.

IRJ-CP#3 September 9, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Creative Piece.
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Earthen Fire: Beneath the Unknown

The ravine felt chilly, and when I looked up at the gloom above, I noticed the sun couldn’t seep through the thick trees hanging overhead. I rubbed my arms to keep warm until we neared the end of the path. The man leading me took a long, rectangular key out of his pocket. He quietly slipped it into the small square hole in the rock surface. The rock face slid almost silently into the sides of a dank, mundane tunnel. I kept thinking, as I resigned myself to groping through the dark, that the guide may abandon me at any moment, leaving me stranded. His indiscriminant mutterings, however, reassured me of his presence. After what seemed like half an hour, I could see a faint glow in the distance and followed it.

At the end of the tunnel, there was a large cavernous room with a structure more profound than anything I had seen before. I inferred that this was the alien vehicle that I had been told about. The ship had a thin oblong hemisphere at its base, while the upper section extended out into a grand platform. On top of the platform was a large windowed structure in the shape of a ‘U’ that seemed to imply that it was for indulging oneself in the beauty of the outside world. The ship fit into context with the rest of the room as it was made of a platinum colored metal. The viewing room at the top was different and was a vibrant white. It was from the inside of the windowed structure that the glowing seemed to be coming from.

IRJ-QR#2 September 8, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Quick Response.
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Understanding the Truth: Lost in a Sea of Anger

After Curt Lemon, Rat Kiley’s good friend, was killed by booby trapped ammunition while they were playing a game, they climbed higher into the mountains and found a baby water buffalo. At first Rat tried to feed it, then, “… Rat took careful aim and shot off an ear. He shot it in the hindquarters and in the hump at its back. He shot it twice in the flanks. It wasn’t to kill; it was to hurt,” (O’Brien 78-79).

Rat Kiley is sad and angry and decides to take it out on the buffalo. He isn’t able to handle his sadness and it overwhelms him. No one else really could blame him for what he had done, but overall, their reactions were pitiful. Rat was trying to prove to himself that he was still strong, when really, he couldn’t control himself. This useless violence was wicked.

Just as sport hunting is cruel and pointless, this act was as well. When some sport hunters go out to hunt, they think that the killing of other creatures makes them strong. Those hunters don’t understand the animals. Similarly, Rat Kiley doesn’t understand his anger, his sadness, and the buffalo. He thinks that the pain of the buffalo will make up for the pain inside of him.

Whenever a person doesn’t understand something, they like to pretend they do. Rat Kiley doesn’t quite understand his inner self coming out, but he tries to show the others in the group that he does. Rat and the others don’t yet understand the most important part of their lives, life.

Proposition: Humans try to understand themselves but can’t truly until they understand others too. Understanding life is what makes us change and become better people.

IRJ-QR#1 September 8, 2009

Posted by andrewg2013 in Quick Response.
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Fear of Failure: The Dangerous Culprit

When Melba Beals, a young African American girl in Little Rock, Arkansas, arrives at Central High for the first day of school, there is a large crowd surrounding it. As she and her mother inch through the crowd, they see Elizabeth Eckford, another girl planning on integrating Central High with Melba. Melba noted, “Not one of those white adults attempted to rescue Elizabeth. The hulking soldiers continued to observe her peril like spectators enjoying a sport,” (Beals 50).

Elizabeth was trying to get to school among the hecklers and people who wanted her dead. The Arkansas National Guard were supposed to be protecting her but instead were enjoying her pain. Everyone was being cruel to her just because she wasn’t the same. People didn’t know what African Americans were like, and were afraid. They didn’t know what the African Americans were thinking or what they wanted, but the segregationists still wanted to be in control of the situation. They wanted to prove their power. Similarly, the Chinese Government on June 4, 1989, was afraid of what the protesters could do to them in Tiananmen Square and other places throughout the city. They decided to try to control the situation by sending troops and tanks. They attempted to show their power, but were cruel.

People don’t like major change. They don’t want to risk not having control over what is happening to them. They are afraid that if they let go of the situation, they won’t have power over themselves.

People are stubborn. When everything is fine for them, they don’t want to risk it not staying that way. Even if they may know that everything will work out, they are used to their current situation and don’t want to give that up.

Proposition: Change can lead to bad or good, but as humans, we need to take change as an opportunity. As much as we don’t like change, we don’t like to do the same thing forever.