Greetings to all the parents, brothers, sister, uncle, aunts, grandparents, cousins, friends, and friends of friends.

If you would give me the time I’d like to take a moment to talk about high school.

High school  is a place to spread your wings.

High school is a place to make new friends.

High school is a place to make mistakes.


Yep, I’ve made a lot of them, and I’m probably going to make a whole lot more in the future (probably after this speech). The point is that mistakes are common in high school. Mistakes allowed us to learn from our experiences, and that is what I think is the most important part about high school.

For really the first time, we were given a glimpse of freedom in the form of: Prom, Homecoming, driving, sports, etc. Of course, new opportunities lead to potential mistakes, but we took that experience and learned from it. You get a zero for forgetting to turn in a homework for biology, so you know now always write down tasks in a planner. Or you forget to cover your man in football and he slips away. Next time you’ll stick to him like glue. Perhaps coach thinks you free throws look like you are throwing a baseball.

My biggest mistake in high school was not taking it seriously. Freshman year I did not try at all. I did even know there was a text book for biology until the fifth six weeks. That’s at 210 days of biology I took without a textbook. And boy, did my grades and ranking show it. But like I said, mistakes are learning experiences. You can bet my sophomore year was buried in textbooks. But now as we move to another chapter in our life: the armed forces, technical school, the work force, state college, private colleges, and Ivy Leagues, you need to remember that once you leave high school mistakes are still okay. Just because you are not in a sheltered environment does not mean mistakes are now impossible to make. They will happen no matter how big like forgetting to show up to class for an entire semester or small like giving someone the wrong change. The concept still remains the same. Even when we all decide to become parents or proud dog or cat owners, we will want to instill the same values in our children. So if we learn to master them now, it will make their lives a whole lot easier.

Use your mistakes to learn.

What I leave you with is a message to never stop making mistakes and never stop learning.


Taco + coma = Tacome

What exactly is a “tacoma?” Firstly, it is a noun that is used to describe the sleepy feeling one gets after gorging on tacos.

Some sentences of tacoma in a sentence:

“Man, looks like Eugene is in a tacoma.”

“Dude, I’m going to be in a tacoma after breakfast today.”


Orange and Yellow

Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow

rothko orange-and-yellow

What do you think of when you see this painting?

A big slab of orange and yellow?

A big waste?

A big block of color?

No matter what you see though, it’s correct. I think that paintings’ value lie in the eye of the beholder. What I see though is a mixture of colors. Also I note how the edges of the square are blended together. This painting lacks a defined structure. A quick Google search yields some information about the style of the painting. Specifically, this painting is classified as abstract. In fact, the search presented some information about the painter like his other works. What I was most surprised by was the other similar paintings he had like Orange and Blue. This obviously indicates some sort of story behind these paitings.

Perhaps Rothko was a struggling artist and needed to make some quick cash. He gave into his need for basic resources and abandoned his pride as an artist to create essentially blocks of color. From there some Avante Garde buyers wanted to have some unique art for their new studio. As a result, they quickly paid Rothko for his work. Rothko sensing an opportunity for profit began a mass chain of these paintings and has become a mogul of the abstract art field. Or perhaps not. This is just what I think the story could be.

Creative Muscles are flexing

After spending a few days in upstate New York, I board a train to reach the city and catch a flight back home.

“Give me the box!”  a woman yells from behind my seat.

“Only if you give me the map!” shouts a deeper voice. More unintelligible sounds follow suit. Unfortunately, my nosy nature leads me to perform the “bend-down-to-tie-my-shoelaces-but-I’m-really scoping-out-my-surroundings-maneuver.” I quickly discover the source of all the unintelligible barking (and my entertainment) is a young man, who seems to be in his early twenties and an older woman, who is appears to be in her early sixties. The man seemed to be tightly holding a box to his chest. On the other hand, the woman was furiously rotating a map around in a steering wheel-like fashion. What.

“When the divorce papers come through that box is mine, so you might as well give it up now !” the woman bellows.

“This box is mine!” the man responds “the law can’t help you take what isn’t yours.” As expected more shouting soon follows. They don’t seem to notice my occasional glances, and the fact that I had been tying my laces for the past ten minutes. I use this opportunity to listen in more on their epic battle.

“As soon as, I figure out how this subway map works, everything you currently own and will own shall be mine!” a shrill voice declares. Unfortunately for them and me, one of the train conductors approaches them and asks them to quiet down for the sake of the other passengers (its unfortunate for me because they are my entertainment source). As I expected the couple or soon to be divorcees are still going at it harder than before. Despite the pleading of the conductor, both ignore his presence. Soon my entertainment is escorted off the train. As the train leaves the station, I can still hear and see the couple yelling. The man throws the box and the woman, so she pushes him off the platform and onto the train rails.



After initially reading and studying the title, I found interesting things about both of the poems. In “When I Have Fears,” by John Keats, he writes about dying young, and a concern over doing so. The speaker is afraid to die young, before doing everything that he wants and before getting everything out of his brain that he can. Moreover, he is concerned that he will be forgotten and die before he has a chance to actually do something with his life. Some initial devices that struck out to me where rhyme scheme, alliteration and metaphors. Similarly, the second poem “Mezzo Cammin,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow discusses life. The speaker feels pain about not doing all that he would have liked to do in his youth. However, he also feels hopeful about the future and what he will be able to accomplish. He knows that death is the only thing certain about his future.

The big question is what are the poems situations and circumstances, with also comparing and contrasting the two poems together. The first poem answers it by his situation being wanting to get everything done he wants to before dying. The second poems situation is someone who has regrets about his past, yet hope for the future and certainty in death. Devices for Keats poem are rhyme scheme, imagery, alliteration and metaphors. Some examples of imagery in the poem are “hadows with the magic hand of chance” and “Of the wide world I stand alone.” Devices for Longfellow’s poem are rhyme scheme, imagery, metaphor, and symbolism. On symbol is at the end of the poem when Longfellow talks about autumn, which is a symbol for ending of life and the end of ones journey. For my essay, I would spend one paragraph talking about imagery and the second paragraph talking about symbols.

Thesis Statement:

In “When I Have Fears,” by John Keats, the speakers situation is one of fearing death and wanting to accomplish everything they can before dying while in “Mezzo Cammin” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow the speakers situation is one of regret regarding his youth but hope regarding the future.

Topic Sentence #1:In both poems, Keats and Longfellow apply imagery in order to convey their respective situations.

detail 1: “When I have Fears”:”hadows with the magic hand of chance” and “Of the wide world I stand alone”

detail 2: “Mezzo Cammin”: “half of my life is gone, and I have let the years slip from me” and “with smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights”

Topic Sentence #2: Additionally, in the Keats and Longfellow poems both authors use symbols in order to enhance the speakers situations.

Hamlet II

My original panel discussion question was “What does Shakespeare say about women through Gertrude and Ophelia?” However, in my opinion, this question was more straightforward than the other questions presented in the discussion. Therefore, the answer I  developed was quite similar to those in my group as well as the rest of my classmates. This has motivated me to blog about a question that can result in polar opposite responses: Was Hamlet really mad? In my opinion, Hamlet was not “mad” at the beginning of this play; however, as his plot for revenge consumed him, he lost control over his actions.

The first part of my assertion can be supported by the fact that Hamlet makes a conscience decision to feign a spell of madness. After discovering the truth about his father’s murder, Hamlet discusses with Horatio and Ghost about a plan to “put on an antic disposition” (I.V.170-172). In this specific scene, it is easy to observe and note Hamlet’s actions as being somewhat rational. In order to take revenge for his father, Hamlet devised a course of action that will help fulfill that goal. Hamlet’s clear state-of-mind is clear to readers in this section of the novel, for the protagonist is able to find reasonable solution to solve his conflict. Unfortunately, this clear minded Hamlet did not last too long. Soon after, Hamlet descends into madness as he further pursuits his end goal.

I think that the turning point of Hamlet’s sanity occurs when Hamlet observes Claudius praying for forgiveness. It is clear to any reader that Hamlet is conflict about how to further proceed. He could simply accomplish his goal by killing Claudius, who has his back turned and has admitted to killing his brother (King Hamlet). Unfortunately, Hamlet, engrossed with his plot of revenge, chooses to spare Claudius only because killing him would allow his soul to rise to heaven. Immediately after this event, Hamlet’s actions become much more irrational and illogical. This is notion supported when Hamlet kills a man in cold blood.

After his brief view into Claudius’s room, Hamlet goes to speak with his mother. The conversation between the two quickly turns sour as Hamlet berates his mother for marrying Claudius. During the heated exchange, a noise behind a tapestry alerts Hamlet, and he quickly thrusts his sword into it. The material is removed to reveal Polonius who was spying on Gertrude and Hamlet. The protagonist drags the body away and proceeds to tell his mother to stay quiet about the incident. This is a prime example of the moments in the play that shows Hamlet losing control in pursuit of his revenge. The lack of reaction from Hamlet after killing a fellow human effectively displays the lack of human regard held by Hamlet at this point in the play. Even after committing the deed, Hamlet insults the recently deceased by calling Polonius a “fool” (III.IV.31).  Clearly, the ability for  a human being to commit murder and also display no remorse is a sign for someone who has fallen to madness. This downward spiral of madness continues until the end of the play and Hamlet’s demise.

Painting and poems

My initial reactions to the painting are truly underwhelming. Glancing at this painting for the first time, I felt an intense sense of “why?” The painting looks like someone got really bored and lonely so he or she decided to use their spare paint and throw it, flick it, etc. at a large piece of canvas. In fact, I kind of thought that it looked like someone used a canvas for paintball practice. However after taking some time to really examine the painting , I relived the little details that went into the painting. If you closely inspect the painting, you will notice the various colors used in the actual painting. Instead of being a blob of random colors, the dots seem to complement each other.

The actual size of the painting would have a massive effect on how you would perceive it. There are unbroken lines of paint on the canvas, which indicates that the painter had to devise a system to allow them to paint without interrupting the flow of the painting. Also, I think that observing the this massive painting would make you feel slightly inferior because this meant someone was willing to paint of 54ftsquared of canvas.

Nancy Sullivan also had some opinions and reactions about the painting that she wrote into a poem. In the poem, I think that Nancy is simply trying to assert that there is no meaning behind the painting. All it is is simply paint. This can be supported when she say, “but just paint.”

I also think that Nancy Sullivan thought that the painting was a reflection of the painter’s mind or inner state. Perhaps the painter was conflicted when he wrote this? This can be supported when you states that the painting is “a mural of the mind.” But enough of Nancy reactions, you should see how you react to this painting.

Oh Ophelia


This wonderful piece of art is called ‘Hamlet’, Act IV, Scene 5, Ophelia. It was created by Ferdinand Piloty II and can be viewed as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the The National Inventory of Continental European Paintings.

I believe that the line of the play that best corresponds with this painting is:“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray,  love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.”

I think that perhaps the author’s interpretation of Ophelia is more “Gaia-esque” or more “Mother Earthy.”She is holding flowers and even though my botany is not up to date, I think that she is holding some pansies and some rosemary.

The dark colors in the painting all seem to blend together to create a moss green. This is so dramatic to the point that the water is even the same shade of green as the plant life that surrounds it. Moreover, the contrast in Ophelia’s white robes and her dark surroundings emphasizes her figure as an angelic figure or goddess. This effect can most readily seen  in this painting below.  Think that Piloty was going for the same effect.







The Bad Quarto

Going back hundreds of years ago, there were no patent offices or ways to protect one’s own ideas. As a result, it was easy for people to steal ideas from one another. That being said, it does not mean that the stolen product would be any good. A perfect examples of this is the “Bad Quarto” which is a pirated version of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

You can find a copy of it here.

One of the most significant differences between the First Quarto and the Bad one is the difference in character names. The adviser to the king is called Corambis instead of Polonius. The Bad Quarto has a character named Cornelia. It is easy to tell the difference in quality between the Quartos. Although I would not exactly call the Bad Quarto laughably bad, I still feel that the difference in quality would have a significant impact on the play. For example, instead of having a character named Francisco in the  beginning of the play, the name “First Sentinel” is used instead. Once again, I can almost physically feel the rift in quality as there is an absence in a character to the play.

Another difference between the Quartos is the stage directions. At one point the Ghost is told to move under the stage. This does not make sense to me because everyone in that scene already knows about the ghost, so there is no need to hide. Also, why would the ghost move under the stage if he still has dialogue (which he has). Without a doubt, there were some major confusions when this person tried to pirate the play. Perhaps,  he or she did hear it correctly. Or maybe, their seat was not good enough to see the stage, so they simply guessed on the positions of character.

If I had to pick a version of the play I would definitely go with the First Quarto.