Sunday, 12 March 2017

Individual Blog Post 5: Border Patrol

    A personal sense of security can be a driving factor in individual decisions. When this sense of security is threatened, individuals are compelled to take desperate measures to protect it. This is reflected by certain circumstances that can result in illegal immigration. The conditions of one’s home country can be unforgiving and cruel. In order to find peace in the face of these harsh conditions, immigrants become desperate to escape. This desperation consumes their moral compass, as they become willing to break immigration laws to escape. There are those who are willing to manipulate this desperation such as “coyotes” and human traffickers; they are the type of people who make the situation worse by causing these immigrants further distress.

    Although manipulation goes against basic human nature, individuals still partake in such activities for personal benefit. Fearful immigrants find refuge in the belief that they will be safe, but they are disillusioned by those who promise false security. Greed and selfish intentions result in a corrupt desire for money; human traffickers often exploit the distress of troubled individuals in order to attain such a goal.

   Ahmed was a typical Syrian father until one day he was forced to move out of his country due to terrorism and extreme violence. As his personal security became threatened, Ahmed became desperate and chose to resort to illegal immigration. “Agents” promised Ahmed that he and his family would reach Libya. In reality, they were actually lead straight in the hands of several different Middle Eastern gangs. They were locked up in a single stable as other families were being tortured, beat, and raped. These traumatizing experiences had horrified Ahmed’s family and would have destroyed any sense of sanity if it weren’t for the prospect of eventual escape. The gangs promised safe journey to Malta if they were offered a great amount of money. Ahmed’s family managed to pay what was necessary, but as they were about to depart armed militiamen had wanted more money from Ahmed. They were unable to pay any more. Before Ahmed’s family was able to realize what was happening, they were shot to death. A few of the family members managed to survive but drowned on the trip to Malta.

    The desire for material currency has corrupted basic human values and has disturbed many desperate individuals way of living. Nancy Farmer has illustrated these issues with her novel “The House of the Scorpion”. Celia was promised safe delivery across the border by a “coyote” (human trafficker) but was betrayed and was left on a mountain with a bunch of others where they would be promptly captured by the authorities of Opium. While El Patron spared her, the others were not as fortunate. This reveals the harsh realities of human desire and the consequences we are forced to face.

Find out more about immigration:

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Individual Post 4: Worldview in Matt's life (Equality)

Matt’s ideology of an equal world is challenged by those who chose a path of bigotry and prejudice. As a child, his naivety forces him into situations that reveal and disrupt his “perfect reality”. People such as El Patron manipulate his innocence for unnecessary reasons which result in betrayal and a “gut-wrenching” feeling (speaking of organs…). In this situation Matt is not being betrayed by El Patron but rather his ideals are being shattered by a cruel and actual reality. This has become a typical story in our world today. Intolerance and external pressures have compromised our equality. Today discriminatory action inhibits and prevents equality, and therefore I believe Matt’s struggle against these circumstances emphasize the influence of “equality with others” in his life (the world of the House of the Scorpion reflects the values of our world). 

The circumstances Matt was placed in revealed many inequalities and injustices in his world and ours. Humans have the tendency to isolate and discriminate against those who appear to be different. Differences in our expectations typically result in unnecessary disapproval which can lead to harmful actions, and this is clearly demonstrated in Matt’s world as people patronize him for being a clone. Discrimination based on differences can be found in the real world. Donald Trump is an example of an individual who promises society with some troubling plans. Preventing immigration and raising security may help in the reduction of crime and terrorism but it also demonstrates rash and prejudiced intentions. Tom, Felicia, and Senator Mendoza are all people who clearly exhibit this hatred in the world of the House of the Scorpion. Adversity is inconvenient and can influence people to surrender but Matt’s patience and determination in order to attain his ideals have helped drive himself in a “better” direction.

The injustices from inequality  have influenced Matt and has provided him with necessary adversity in order to develop as a person. Adversity shapes people by forcing them to overcome a problem with new motivation and vigor. It develops an individual in new ways that prove to be different from traditional methods of developments.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Learning Education?

     Matteo Alacrán was living a very isolated life in his house, but when he was inflicted with a severe foot injury this would change. He was moved to the Big House where he learned new concepts through the interaction between teachers and different environments. His circumstances introduced him to a plethora of unique experiences which leads me to believe that education can be directly correlated to personal development.
    Common educational practices have revealed the qualities of teachers and their differences from effective mentors. It is clear that leadership is a quality that is not typical in most individuals but those that are exceptions can certainly expedite one's learning process. In other words, learning can develop through leadership. Tam Lin while being illiterate was still able to teach Matt far more than Mr. Ortega, a formal and traditional music teacher. Tam Lin’s survival skills prove to have much more value in Matt’s life than Mr. Ortega’s music lessons. Skills such as survival and the knowledge on El Patron’s resources prove to be more significant than the ability to play music. To reiterate, these opportunities could have only started through Matt’s injury which leads to believe me that traveling can be a powerful tool that can enable us to expand our understanding of the world, as Matt traveled from his isolated house to the land of Opium.

    Exploration places us in a different environment, where we are influenced to interact with individuals with different ideas and opinions. In doing so, we are able to utilize these ideas to help us develop as individuals. Matt Alacrán is put in a separate environment and therefore he has developed far more than he could have in Celia’s house. Celia had shielded him from the outside world and therefore he was introduced to previously unknown concepts when first arriving at the Big House. Matt’s ideal and unscathed world was ruined by people such as Tom and Rosa but they may have also introduced adversity and struggle to Matt which may have him allowed to develop a sense of resilience. 

    Matt was born into a path of adversity in which he had no time to prepare or retreat. These endeavors have educated him by providing him opportunities to build relationships and to develop skills that were necessary for overcoming externalized conflict and his own shortcomings. The relationships that one chooses to develop are the basis of all education whether this is with their circumstances, environment, or others.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The First 100 Pages

The book "The House of the Scorpion" does well in intriguing and capturing the attention of the reader. The introduction seems to present an interesting narrative that is unique and differentiates itself from typical science fiction books. Nancy Farmer brings upon interesting points about certain concepts. In essence, a clone is an exact replica of their counterparts which implies equality between the two. The book emphasizes a discriminatory prejudice against the clones which may be an allegory based on racial bias. Matt, El Patron’s clone is treated as if he were a dog, and this is emphasized through the direct comparison between him and a dog named Furball. The comparison between Matt and Furball, who is fearful of its own shadow, highlights how people victimize a certain group of individuals based on harmful preconceived notions. Circumstance is another concept emphasized by the relationship between Matt and El Patron. El Patron is described to be senile and weak; however, the other characters seem to be fear this fragile man. This seems to imply something sinister; it seems that this frail man is not what he seems to be. These foreboding qualities contrast to the qualities of Matt. Matt’s innocent characteristics are revealed by his unfamiliarity with death (the dead eejit on the field), and his naivety (believing a future where he could be recognized as something different.) This directly contradicts the disposition of El Patron. This comparison brings up these questions: Will he become El Patron? Will he become “large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest but with twisted branches?” (Tam Lin’s description of El Patron). These questions emphasize the significance of decisions and circumstances and their influence on one's fate. While El Patron had no one to help him through the traumatization in his childhood, Matt has supporting friends and associates that helped him overcome certain struggles. Nancy Farmer intrigues the audience through these ideas and the interesting plot.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Individual Post 1: The Scorpion Project

The House of the Scorpion is an intriguing narrative that introduces new ideas and interesting concepts. My comprehension and analysis is lacking and I hope my study of the novel is not "held back" by my lacking attention to detail.

Monday, 24 October 2016


The government, our leaders, our friends, and possibly our greatest threat.  A regime gains its power by eliminating the knowledge of a better system from the minds of the people. Who defines creative? Bureaucracies who instill a policy where free-will is limited will indubitably take advantage of its population which in turn can influence and harm people in many ways by changing cultural and ethical values. The malicious influences of sovereign system is accepted as a social norm but yet countries such as North Korea use this tactic to their benefit. Did you know that this country won all the Soccer World Cups from 2000-2014? The population of North Korea were informed that they were successful in attaining these ludicrous victories. If people are able to be deceived by the fallacious claims of a corrupt government, it would be logical to assume that an alteration of values would be viable as well. When the government can alter what goes on in one's head how long will it be until the security of people are compromised?

Bacteria and viruses give you a cold, spread stomach bugs, and collapse civilizations as a termite colony would devour trees. What would happen if these antagonistic forces were to develop into a quintessential world-ending inferno? This is a reality with the assistance of new antibacterial soaps and decontaminants. These microorganisms learn to inoculate themselves from their opposition to evade their own destruction. Innovation and the ability to adapt is important to counter new threats. Using orthodox methods (old and methods that have been used in previous situations) has grown obsolete and non-applicable to the circumstances of new issues so it is important for children to become aware of alternative conclusions to resolve their issues. Whimsical ideas are a seed to creative freedoms which leads to the prospect of innovation. Problems that typically evolve are not limited to organic bacteria but can exist in the technological world as well. The agent.btz virus devastated US security networks and compromised sensitive information. It evaded detection and extermination due to the fluctuation of its rudimentary code making it unidentifiable. To prevent another breach it would be wise to create new modernized contingencies that improve upon our current counterparts by utilizing “outside the box” type strategies and this advice can be applied to other problem solving situations. Encouraging new and outlandish ideas provide one with the ability to identify solutions that are typically unfamiliar with one's current solutions. In a world where the world develops at such an exponential rate it is critical to consider the benefits of new methods. Next time will you be the one who stops the solution to a crisis by telling your children that they sound like a primitive imbecile?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Litspiration Round Table

  1. Identify the timestamp section at which you feel  your group was having the BEST discussion moment. Everyone was engaged, all were contributing, no one was ignored/sitting out.
- Although there were no moments in which everyone was included due to an organizational choice, it could be said that 0:37 was when everyone was engaged to some sense.
  1. What was your group’s final theme statement for the short story “Day of the Butterfly?”
- Kindness can make a dark situation brighter in most circumstances
  1. Include 2 other examples of literature or movies, etc. that would fit your theme statement.
-Orbiting Jupiter and, the book Wonder demonstrate that kindness can brighten a situation.
  1. What could YOU as an individual do next time to make your roundtable more successful?
-To make this discussion more successful I believe, that the group could have incorporated other topics. Our conversations consisted of one main idea, and I think we could have improved the conversations quality by focusing on many other ideas.