Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

laughter or money? which is more important?

Laughter or Money? Which is more important?

In a society based on material wealth, it is hard to decide what is and isn’t valuable. Is it really the expensive, flashy items we own that we value the most? Or is it the priceless moments that we’ve shared with our friends and family that we truly treasure? The moments when they’ve made you smile, no matter how depress you might be. Most people value their pricy possession because they usually take their friends and family for granted. They are always there for you, while on the other hand, you have to work to save up money for whatever you want to buy.

Snow gracefully swirled down from heaven and softly embraced the ground. The sun gleamed on the freshly fallen snow as the wind whipped a crystal covered branch against my window pane. It was the day before Christmas and the excitement in the air was high. My mom bustled in the kitchen, preparing our breakfast. I let my nose lead the way to the kitchen, inhaling the aroma of fried eggs and sizzling bacon with a hint of toast.

Every year after breakfast, my sister, my mom and I would spend the day packing for our annual Christmas trip to grandma’s. I’ve always looked forward to this because it is the one time of the year that I get to see all my family members that I usually don't.

As the dark slowly upon crept us, we eagerly got into the car and we would drive all the way to New York City, the city that never sleeps. As our car pulls into the driveway of our destination, my sister and I would jump out of the car and race each other up the stairs.Then, we would wait patiently, or at least we tried to, for everyone else to arrive. We were all excited to finally see our families again.

The adults would sit together and share stories of news and events that happened since they last saw each other. Us “kids” however would chase each other around the house, play hide and seek, and even Simon Says on few occasions.When we finally got tired of catching our breaths every few minutes, we would sit down and talk the night away.

On Christmas morning, we would wake up extremely early and bang on the doors of everyone else’s room. Soon, they would all come out of their room, annoyed that we’ve woken them up so early. Then, our uncle would hand out the neatly wrapped presents to each one of us. We would all rip off the wrappings with lightning speed to reveal the gift that is concealed inside.

I slide my thumb around my sleek, purple ipod, choosing the song I want to played then plugged my ears with the earphones and I’d listen to the music blasting away. I would often stay like that for hours and hours and not notice the time flying by.

I value my ipod because one, it’s expensive and it’s not something that I would want to lose, but also because I can just get lost listening to the music. It takes my mind off of whatever that is bothering me and calms and relaxes me when I’m stressed out or nervous.

It also makes time pass faster and doing unpleasant things less torturous, for example, homework. Doing hours of homework is agony, but if you add a little music to it, it’s not half so bad. It also helps when you’re waiting in line for something. When you listen to music, it’s like you fall under its spell and you become totally unaware of everything surrounding you. Before you know it, your turn will be up and you will be wishing that you were still somewhere in the middle of the line.

I value Christmas with my family and my ipod for similar reasons. The two are similar because they both bring me up when I’m feeling down. My family can always make me smile and laugh until tears pool around my eyes no matter how upset I am. My ipod makes it so that I can forget all about my worries and take me away from all my troubles, even if it is just for a short period of time. I personally value my family a little more because with an ipod, you can always misplace it and you won’t be able to rely on it to make you feel better. But with family, they are always there for you no matter what. You can try to push them out of your life, but they will still fight to be there for you. You can never lose them and can always trust them to turn that frown upside down

Monday, October 12, 2009

1st Quarter Orb Review

Anna Wang

October 03, 09

Mr. BG


First Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Delacorte Press, 2003. Genre: Fiction

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray is a story of love, friendship, and magic all mixed together into one thrilling book. Taking place during the Victorian period, Gemma, age sixteen, is sent to London and enrolled in Spence Academy after the strange and unusual death of her mother back in India. It is at Spence, that she discovers secrets about the mystical Order and her connection with it. She also finds that she can do magic in the realms and more importantly, she is able to see and speak to her mother. Along the way, Gemma makes valuable friendships with some of the girl at school who helps and encourages her throughout the book.

“A Victorian boarding school, a gothic mansion mystery, a gossip romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other worldly fantasy – jumbled together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.” - review

A Great and Terrible Beauty shows Gemma as she tries to fit in at Spence with all the other girls. She had almost no luck until she finds Felicity together with a Gypsy boy named Ithal. Felicity made Gemma promise to tell no one, and that was the beginning of their friendship. Pippa, upset that Gemma has taken her place as Felicity’s best friend, or so she thought, tries to exclude her out of their group and becomes closer to Ann. Bray creates a realistic situation in which jealousy leads to detest for another. It draws the reader’s attention because they can easily connect with it. Bray also uses sarcasm in Gemma’s thought which adds humor throughout the book. The reader can also accurately picture the Victorian age, where girls were brought up to be possessions for the lives of rich men, thanks to her vivid descriptions.

“Maybe it’s the steady downpour that’s driving me mad. Maybe it’s the thought of lovely Pippa, married off to a man she doesn’t love, who doesn’t love her, only wants to acquire her. Maybe it’s imagining Ann squelching her voice to work for pompous aristocrats and their hateful children. Or Felicity trying to hold back her tears. Maybe it’s that every word that she said is true.” (315)

This is the first book I read by Libba Bray. I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty. It shows me how the life of the girls was and how they were treated like possession, not someone to love. I thought it was interesting the way people thought at that time.