Weedflower 1&2 responses

Posted on April 29, 2008. Filed under: Reader Response |

Reading Activities- Loneliness: I think that loneliness is a very complex feeling and I think that for each and every person it is comprised of different things. Some feelings that come to mind when thinking of loneliness include sadness, anger, feeling unwanted or left out, and or feeling disliked. These are feelings that are all obviously negative and I think being lonely shows a few of the personal aspects in which we are all flawed because we are most likely lonely because of our own fault. There are those few things that can altar that theory but for the most part I think to not be lonely you have to get yourself out there to the world and make yourself known!
Memories: When I think back about my favorite memories I immediately think of my family and friends. I think of all the fun things that I’ve done with them because all of my favorite memories has been with a favorite family member and or friend. These things include family vacations, game nights, movie nights, road trips, birthday parties, or just doing activities together like scrapbooking! I hold onto these memories by things I’ve made in the past like crafts etc and also by photo albums. I’m definitely a girl who is all about photos and I have them up all over because I like to remind myself of all the great people that I am blessed to have in my life.

Pre-Reading – Before I read the first half of this book I honestly have to say that I was pretty kept in the dark about what happened to the Japanese during the time of World War II. I saw these websites before I started reading and was absolutely appalled at what I saw and read. I just can’t believe the conditions the Japanese survived through and I can’t believe how we as a country let this happen after we saw this same thing happen to Jewish People over in Europe during the Holocaust. I’m moreover appalled that if at all the subject of the Japanese interment camps were barely brushed upon in my classes at school if at all. The websites gave me an idea of what I thought was going to happen before I read all that I did and the fact that these websites also gave me alot of visuals before starting to read the book gave me a setting in my mind of where this all took place.

Post-Reading- The first half of this book had such an impact on my thoughts and my mind. In the middle of this first half I honestly had tears in my eyes the whole way through these many chapters. This book as the most of you have already read is about the life of a young girl named Sumiko and the many challenges she deals with in her life mainly because she’s Japanese. The other very large factor of this book is that it takes place during World War II and it discusses how she and her family travel to these concentration camps after they have been pretty much banished or forced out of their community. Since we only read half of the book this week, we only got up to the part where they went to the first camp which was temporary at a race track, their “homes” for the very large families that they all consisted of was a single or double stall where the horses use to stay at this race track. The conditions were unbareable and the stalls smelled like manure. They later moved to their “permanent camp” where it was out in the middle of Arizona with scolding temperatures and a climate that of a desert, as it pretty much was a desert. Sumiko’s reactions, thoughts and feelings are all expressed throughout this whole book, how she doesn’t understand why they have to go through this, why way back in the beginning of the book she got turned away from a party that she was invited to, because of her ethnicity. She deals with so many things that most girls her age wouldn’t deal with for atleast another 10 years, she does all that she does because she has to, she works in the flower fields, takes care of her brother, cooks, cleans and so much more. Well, while she was in the new camp towards the end of the last chapter that we had to read she meets this young Indian boy on an Indian reservation. She soon finds out that this camp her and her family has been placed on is pretty much right on top of this Indian reservation. I’m excited to read what happens next and to find out what becomes of all this dealing with the boy and the reservation and how it affects Sumiko and her family’s harsh life in the concentration camps.I think it is really important to bring this into the classroom because it can help kids see that others out there are different from them because Sumiko, in this book is there age, and the fact that she tells it from her perspective gives it a unique quality which will help kids see Sumiko’s point of view and will most likely be on her side. Now there are always those special cases to deal with and those parents out there that are racist, bringing their kids up the exact same way. I’m a little worried but I’m ready to help kids figure out what is right, and maybe just maybe they can become friends with a friend of a different race in their very own classroom, and maybe just maybe this would help this kids parent(s) realize that racism is wrong, everything about it and maybe they would realize that they’ve been all along. Now this is definitely me dreaming here but it hasn’t been until I’ve gotten to college that I’ve realized how racist people can be. I grew up in a very diverse community, a popular college town, and there everyone is accepted, all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, sex, everything. When I got here to App, I still felt really accepted as a dwarf which was a definite perk of me coming here but it wasn’t until I became friends with some that I did and realize how everyone comes from different places, and in all of these different places people grow up with different morals of what they think is justifyibly right. It has honestly made me more passionate in my beliefs and a little more independent because I have always stood up for what I believe in but this is different. I know that racism is wrong, absolutely WRONG and as I’m sitting here writing my post I’ve realized I need to make my voice heard so that my students will have someone to look up to and they can have some one to relate to if they want to do the same. In our classrooms we will have those future genius’s that invent the cure for cancer, that create world peace or something….I’m saying all of this in order to say that I think once, we as teachers break down on those injustices I think if they see positive action taking place, they will definitely be able to feed off of it and those that catch that will be the powerful ones who will be able to make change. I think we can help our students become more passionate by helping each kid realize what is special about each and every one of them, because once they have confidence, then they have friends, and once they have friends right there they have become passionate before your eyes. Not only do I think it would be important to make kids realize what makes them special but also help them realize what commonalities they have with other kids, no matter what they look like. This is definitely important because once you realize what commonalities you have with others, it helps you connect with those on an even more intense level where you feel in sync.

The first part of this book has had such an impact on me where I think I feel most connected with Sumiko than any other of the special characters from those stories. Sumiko seems to like to please people, as do I, she has lost some close family members that are close and dear to her heart as have I. She is dealing with a physical appearance difference that makes her separate from most of the others in the world as have I. Now my difference hasn’t led to such harsh conditions as she is going through, I’m not saying anything like that, but I can say I know what it feels like to be turned away from something because of my appearance, and it truly does hurt. I honestly just wanted to jump in the book and slap Marcia’s mom and ask her what has gotten into her. I understand that this was a common thing that was happening at that time but still, there is no need, no need at all to crush a girl’s hopes and dreams. I’m going to leave with one last thought which is that next time you hear someone talking down about another, in any way, about their size, shape, color, ethnicity, religion, or anything of the sort, SPEAK OUT, let your words be heard, because if no one speaks up then what is suppose to become of all of this? If you don’t say anything in their defense who will and how can we go foreward?

Part 2





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