Whats it?-Chicken Glasses January 17, 2017

I brought my whats-it on tuesday jan 10th. What i brought were red-lensed chicken glasses. Chicken glasses were pinned into chickens top beak, in order to obscure their ability to see fellow chickens bleeding. If birds see an injured flock member, they will peck it until it dies. They are no longer used for chickens, but other farm raised birds still wear them by the flock. Pheasants for one still wear glasses, but they use blue lenses instead of red.

 

For the majority of people, they either guessed a part of a toy, or a machine even. For the most part, I gave them a hint that it had to do with an animal. After telling them it was for a chicken, everyone still couldn’t guess it. Only two people in total knew it. In the end most people have never heard of chicken glasses.

Get Philoshophical October 31, 2016

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ELA final May 25, 2016

Our family were slave owners. We were also a very Catholic family. You may think the two didn’t fit together very well, but we didn’t do anything too terrible to our slaves, like whipping, or beating. They often did their job just fine, and sometimes if they didn’t, they wouldn’t eat for a day or two. We had a plantation in Virginia. Our parents had 3 children. Jeb, who is my brother, and Elizabeth, my sister. My name is Robert, the oldest son. Our plantation was quite small, only about forty acres of tobacco crop, but it was the only source of income our family had. We had about twenty slaves all together, if you count the house maids. My brother moved away a few months ago, to the western part of Virginia, and was studying at a University. My father was a veteran in the Texas Revolution, against the Mexicans. He only participated in one battle though. He later moved to Virginia and bought the plantation. My uncle, lost his life at the Alamo, when Santa Anna took over the fort. Nobody made it out of that fort alive.
I felt nervous about what I was going to tell my family at dinner tonight. I just could not figure out how to say it. Virginia just recently joined the secession. They say war finally broke out between the Union and the Confederacy, after that attack on Fort Sumter. Virginia has been on the brink of breaking from the Union for quite some time. Although our family is mostly neutral on the North and South matters, our family would lose our estate in a heartbeat, once the new President, Lincoln, passed his bills, putting taxes on cotton, and taking away state governance over slavery. Something was calling me, I just had to join the Confederate States Army.
I was just finishing splitting the firewood, when my mother called me down to the house for dinner. Our servant, Marjorie, brought out the food, and set it out on the table for us. I hastily finished my meal, and quietly waited for the others to finish theirs. “That was a delicious supper, but I do have something I would like to share.”
“What would that be, Robert?” Asked my mother.
“Well, as we all saw in the paper a few weeks ago, Virginia recently seceded from the Union.” I told them. “I’m thinking of joining the Confederate State Army.”
“Excuse me?” My mother said. “Now why would you go ahead, and have a silly idea like that?”

“I don’t believe what the North is doing to us is right, Ma, if they have their way, our entire life would have to change!”
My father then asked everyone to leave the room, but me and him. I could already feel the heat emanating from him. That’s when my father spoke up. “So you think this war will make anything better? Son, all it’s going to do is get good young men like you, who believe in their own cause, killed!”
“Oh, c’mon father! You fought the Mexicans and still came back didn’t you? I believe this conflict will come to an end quickly, maybe a small battle or two. If you joined, why won’t you let me?”. I snapped back. “Are you telling me you support what the Northern states are doing?”
“There is a big difference between what I did, and what you are planning to do. I was defending my country from invaders, you on the other hand, are planning to kill your own brothers, fighting against your own country! Of course I don’t agree with what has been happening lately, but sometimes you have give up what you believe, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. This war will be a long and bloody one, if kids like you don’t accept what you’re given. That goes for both the Confederacy, and the Union.”
“I am not a child anymore, father, I have already considered that, this could be the next war of Independance! I’m heading for the train tomorrow, that’s final. I have already signed up anyway, so I have to go.”
On that note my father stood up, and left, leaving me alone in the room.
The next morning after packing my bags, I searched the house for my family, so I could say goodbye to them. The only person I found was Marjorie, our house maid. “Excuse me, Marjorie, do you know where my parents went by any chance?”
“I’m sorry, Robert, them all left to Richmond, to pick up a shipment of some kind. I don’t know where your sister went, but I reckon maybe she went with ‘em.” She told me sincerely. “They told me to tell you goodbye.”
“Thank you, Marj, I’m headed off to the station.” We exchanged farewells, and I headed off.

I met with a load of other Virginia volunteers at the station. We were all heading by train to a camp somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley. We all loaded up on the train wagon, and it did not seem anything like what war should have looked like. People just like me, rowdy, telling tales, and singing songs the whole train ride to the camp, filled with pride. I joined with them, and it gave me some hope that I was probably right, this war is going to be over in a flash, I thought. I couldn’t help but wonder, however, why my family wouldn’t at least stay to say goodbye personally. Maybe they were in a hurry, I did get up kinda late anyway, tired of the event that unfolded last night. I felt kind of ashamed of myself, but I knew I was right about what I said. Our whole southern way of life was at stake here. It was getting dark, and finally I could see the valley lit up with campfires, and illuminated smoke rising from the garrison. We arrived at the camp, and unloaded the train. Our camp was massive, and tents lined the bottom of the valley. The whole Army of Virginia was camped here. 27th Virginia Volunteers. That’s the regiment I joined up for. I headed down to the south end of the camp where the rest of the Regiment was stationed. There was a short briefing NCOs (Non-commissioned Officers) were giving us. They gave us camp schedules, and we headed off to bed.
The next few days consisted of some basic infantry training. We didn’t learn to much, just how to load our rifles, stab a man with a bayonet, and listen to our officers. I guess they thought that’s all we needed to know. I met Wyatt Roberts, during one of our marksmen sessions. He was ringing pig sized targets at 200 yards.I introduced myself to him. “That’s some nice shooting you got there.” I said. “I’m Robert Watson, where did you learn to shoot like that?”

“Pleased to meet you, there, Robert. I’m Wyatt McLocklin. Well, my father was a trapper, and I took the trade from him. I’ve been shooting coons and feral pigs since I was just a little man. It’s all about knowing your gun, that’s all.”
From then on I got to know Wyatt pretty well. We had breakfasts together, and we shared the same interests. He had a story very similar to mine, except his family downright kicked him out. He was from Western Virginia, a well known pro-Union area of the U.S.. He spent a lot of time with his gun. It was an impressive set-up, he had. An old Hawkens percussion rifle, that he brought from home. I was simply issued the standard Springfield ‘61. While I let mine sit in the barracks, rusting from the residue, he wiped it down every time he shot it. Almost obsessed I’d say. Every single one of us at the camp couldn’t wait to get to the action.
We were just having breakfast when one of our Captains, told us our whole army was to be sent by train heading to Manassas junction, to reinforce our army, that was currently waiting there to battle the Yankees. This would be our first action, and also the first action of the whole war. A huge wave of silence covered the mess camp. Until one of the boys in the back got up and cheered. The train ride there was the same as the train ride to the camp, singing, yelling, and a bunch of proud men serving our Dixie.
Our regiment quickly deployed on the left flank of the Confederate Army, and we settled in an area of brush so we would have cover. Our regiment was one of the smaller ones, and they stationed us here knowing the Yankees would attack the right flank. The boys in my regiment seemed fine with that, once they saw the main Union lines, marching over the hill. We didn’t think much of it. The Northern Artillery batteries were already hammering our right flank, so we knew we wouldn’t see much action here. Our cannons were firing back. I could see the Union army wasn’t any better than we were when it came to their training. They marched in uneven columns, and looked as poorly equipped as we were. We stayed there for hours, waiting for the Union to engage our right flank, when one of our scouts pointed out something that made our entire regiment shudder. The Union attack on the right flank was simply a feint. They were marching hidden columns straight for our position. We quickly sent messengers as fast as we could to field command, but we knew they wouldn’t make it in time, with our reinforcements. We were going to see conflict here. One of our NCOs attempted an inspirational speech, but you could tell he was as scared as we were.
“Remember boys!” he yelled, shaking at the knees.  “This battle rests on our shoulders, so let’s make sure we at least give the Yanks a good fight.”
It sounded like he knew we wouldn’t make it. The Union forces quickly got closer and closer, until you could start to make out their facial features. I didn’t know what to expect from this. As they got closer, I started to get a different opinion, now that I was faced with the risk of death.

“Make ready boys!” Our NCO exclaimed. We put the percussion caps on our guns and cocked back the hammer. I aimed the muzzle somewhere at the line of blue coats.
“Open it up!” I pulled the trigger and huge puff of smoke filled the air, and the familiar musky smell of black powder reached my nose. The Union quickly returned fire, and although I didn’t see, I could hear chunks of lead, breaking up into the flesh of our boys. We were massively outnumbered, and were only getting out two shots a minute. I flinched every time I saw the puff smoke from their side, or heard a bullet, whizzing through the air toward us. Tree limbs were torn up as bullets reached our line, missing us by inches. It felt like hours of torment, of a possible stray ball, having the possibility to hit me any second.
Bugles then rang loud over the gunshots, and you could hear a great cheer coming from the blue coats. They quickly charged into our line. I stood there, waiting to defend myself from one of them coming to kill me. I saw one of them catch my eye, and we both knew we were enemies. We approached each other, and I quickly plunged my bayonet into his abdomen, with the full weight of the rifle behind it. His eyes quickly went lifeless, as they stared at something in the distance that wasn’t me. For a second, an image of my brother behind the blade stuck in my mind. This man looked strikingly similar, I thought. He probably wasn’t to different than me, actually. I realized I couldn’t get my bayonet out of him. The bayonet was stuck. Of course. My adrenaline took over my mind and I dropped my rifle, and took off running, as far away from that graveyard as I could. Hours passed as I wandered around the back of the line, when a few Confederate Cavalrymen approached me, rounding up the stragglers that routed. Great, I thought. I deserted my line, we probably lost, and these men are coming over here to punish me.
“You, soldier, get over here!” The messenger yelled, as I approached him. “You’re from the 27th aren’t ya?”.
I nodded.
“We won! Thanks to your boys holding off their attack, it bought us time to send forces from our reserves to fight ‘em back. You boys sent ‘em running all the way back to Washington D.C!” The messenger said excitedly.
Although that news was great to hear, I didn’t think about it much, about three quarters of force lied dead on the battlefield, or lie wounded, awaiting death on the battlefield. It certainly didn’t feel like a victory to me, maybe a few hours ago, I would be yelling, drinking, and singing all night for this victory. No one won this battle, I thought. Our regiment was regathered on the train, and we were given the option to drop out of our service. I decided to head back home. Me and the rest of the men who decided to do the same, loaded up on the train wagon again. It seemed strikingly similar, to how we used to load cattle up for the slaughterhouse. The ride back was quiet. I had no idea where my friend Wyatt was, but I assumed he made, it, and is marching North with the rest of the ‘Heroes’ to Washington. I gathered my stuff up at the camp, and in a few days,  headed back on the station back to Richmond. As shocked as I was, I knew I wasn’t the worst off. I did make it, after all. Those who fell around me, those who didn’t run, were the true heroes. They truly believed in a just cause. The headline on the paper was already made. ‘First Manassas-A True Confederate Victory’. Both sides of the casualties list published. I was relieved when Wyatt was not on the list. I quickly scanned the rest of it, and saw too many names I recognized. I decided to look at a few names on the Union side. ‘Jeb Watson-NCO of the 1st West Virginia Infantry.’ I stared at the name for a second. Must be someone different I thought. Then, that image of the Union soldier dying in front of me, flashed again. I knew that wasn’t him however, it just didn’t look like him.
I arrived back home to see my family there waiting for me. The moment I saw them, I felt a tear running down the side of my cheek. I saw my father, expressionless.
He said “Apparently the University of West Virginia drafted a bunch of University students to the  Union Army of the Potomac.”
I knew the Army of the Potomac didn’t truly engage in battle, so at least he was alright. I didn’t care that he was fighting for the other side.
My father, who was reading the paper, knew he was right about our argument, and knew what I was thinking. This war was pointless. War apparently brings glory and fame to some, but certainly not to those who bear the true weight of it.

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Twitter Essay

Austins tweet: That is already happening, in a sense with the wealthy people. We want what they have, so in order to get what they have, we try other means to get it.

 

Technology is very similar to a firearm. It is a tool, there are many different uses for it. Many of the uses for a firearm are for the better, providing food, fun recreation, and simply a cool thing to have. Technology, is the same in that sense. There is plenty of great things technology allows us to do, from talking to our friends all over the world. However, just like a gun, there is many ways to use technology incorrectly. In the tweets above, there is both good uses for technology, and some poor results. Technology can easily disconnect us from the rest of society, and it can replace the social needs we have. We have to be careful that technology doesn’t take over our lives. In the story the Veldt, technology replaced the children’s need for other people. It replaced, and killed their parents. Although today that isn’t really the case, it has the same idea. If we begin to rely on technology to do basic things, one day we will begin to rely too much on it. The thing is, technology fails. Humans fail too, but when technology fails, who do you blame. Do you blame the machine, the creator, or the person who uses it incorrectly? The problem with technology is just that. We don’t know who is liable for it’s mistakes. We throw the blame all over the place inconsistently. Technology cannot become superior because it can not accept it’s mistakes. The parents in the Veldt accepted their mistake, and wanted to change things, the room, and the children, who were being turned into machines figuratively. The room and children blame the parents, so they simply killed them. A machine also doesn’t have morals. Does a machine care, if it accidentally malfunctions and hurts people? The machine is never responsible for this, even though it malfunctioned. The blame will always be on a human. That is what we have over technology. It is simply a tool, and it can only ever be a humans fault if it malfunctions. So it is our responsibility to own up to our accountability and use technology wisely. It is all about how you use it.

 

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Fort Mac Fire-Found Poem May 24, 2016

Smoke clouds blind the city

Like a thick, warm blanket,

covering a child.

Who would have seen this coming?

Who would have wanted this to happen?

Those who say this fire is justified

Are simply fueling the fire further.

Nothing can escape

once the fire reaches it.

The fire doesn’t care for schools

for hospitals

for homes

It eats what it gets.

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Barney 2.0-Derek-Very Unfinished but Better than Nothing

September 18th. I have finally received the ratt they have kindly sent me. I knew the humans would have enough reason to leave me be here. She came in a box.  As I opened the box a young nice ratt walked out. I shell call her barbara. Only one? I was hoping their would be more, but one will do. barbara does not know things like I know things. I can tell barbara and i will become very good friends. I will put her in my old cage so that she can get used to this place.

September 19th. I do not know who else is on this island, but someone managed to open the lock on her cage. I found her eating  scraps from the old scientists plate. She also managed to explore around the lab. A curious rat she is. I might find some good uses out of her yet. Hopefully I can share some of my knowledge with her, because I really am smart. I think I will take her out for a walk today. I will see how she reacts to that.

September 20th. The walk went fairly well, i think. barbara found some cool things on our walk, including pair of pliers. I think i will let her keep it, because I can tell she really likes them.  Unfortunately I should have her locked up for longer, so I can do a few more tests. These tests I am doing will be a win-win for all, except barbara of course. Those dang scientists were only testing on me and a few other male rats. How dare they. Wait until barbara and other females see how it feels to be treated on.

 

September 23rd.

 

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Response to Afrika Road- May 17, 2016

There are many walls and fences throughout the city, but none was quite like me. I remember when they first built me, back in 1961. My father, Khruschev, recommended that I was built to keep the Western fascists out of East Germany. I remember while I was first being built many sullen, a few in tears, East Germans. My father said that it was in the city’s, and the worlds best interests to keep Berlin divided in two. I grew up fast in my childhood, from a little barbed wire fence to the mighty 15 foot concrete giant that I have grown up to be. I have seen much more than any wall in Germany has seen before. I look to my west side, and I see a normal city, going about it’s daily business, with occasional traffic going across my checkpoints, filled with people visiting the many memorials across the city of the event that made Berlin, and Germany, what it is now. Life went on. However I started to notice something quite peculiar. On my west side, people were continuing with their matters, but when I looked to the East, I started to notice some changes, for the worse. Traffic has stopped moving back and forth out of my decreasing amount of checkpoints, and an increasing amount of people were leaving the East and going into the Western controlled parts in Berlin. I also saw an unfortunate desire from most of the people on the east side, to leave their homes for the west. Diplomats from the U.S. were coming in more heavily guarded convoys, in order to reach their destinations on the other side. My father did not like that. He ordered to me to keep out all western authorities and people out, unless they had express permission to do so. I did what I was told. One night, I was panicked as I awoke to a deep rumbling sound coming from the west. I squinted and saw several American m48’s rolling toward one of my crossings, Checkpoint Charlie. They revved up their engines and hurled black smoke into the air, as they approached me. Not too long afterwards, my father ordered some of his own war machines, T55’s, to meet this new enemy at the gates. For hours they stood, watching each other. Waiting for the slightest movement from the other, to have a reason to fire their guns. This is the end, I thought. Soon these two superpowers are going fire upon each other and start another war similar to the same one that razed Germany not too long ago. More hours passed, and the night chill got to me, my bricks turning pale in the moonlight that was gazing on this event with anxiety, just like I was. Much to my relief however, our T55’s pulled back, in order to prevent what could have been one worst events in history. Soon all of these giants pulled back. I have let many bad things happen since then. I watched as many of the Easterner’s were shot and captured in their attempted escape from the East. The same East that promised justice and equality for everyone. Everyone in the East was equal, that part was right. However it is different if everyone was living in the same poverty, suffering and discrimination. You could call that being treated equal, or you could call that mutual suffering. I started to question the true reason why I was built in the first place. My father, Khruschev, may have told me it was to protect the citizens from the overwhelming influence of capitalism, but I knew it was actually to keep the people in, to prevent them from escaping. I felt ashamed from myself, and on November 9th, 1989, I knew what was coming. The guards left their posts, people came from both sides, dismantling me. They knocked down large sections, and reunited themselves with their fellow neighbours. Being separated for almost 30 years, they were happy to finally be free of my terror. I suppose my destruction was for the best, all I brought these people in the east was suffering and inequality. Only small, unused sections of me exist today, and I knew my destruction was necessary for the good of the people.

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Wild Horses-Brian Fawcett April 29, 2016

Our family has two horses. One me and one for my sister. It’s too bad our lame little brothers don’t like horses as much as we do, otherwise maybe our parents would buy another one for us. First, there is Jane. She’s my horse. She is a small, brown and white pinto, miniature pony, and blonde trimmings. However, unlike her small size, she has a big attitude. Broken fence posts, shattered barn window, and I can’t even count the amount of lead ropes she frayed up. Jane is a trouble maker. My horse actually resembles me quite a bit. I’ve been told many times that I have quite the big attitude, and that I can be quite the trouble maker. Whatever trouble me and my sister get in, I’m usually considered the instigator. My sisters horse, Skeeter, is quite the contrary. Skeeter is an older mare, nearing 26 years old. She is an old blue roan, and has never caused trouble in her life. Skeeter is gentle, and always a pleasant ride, and is almost never spooked by anything. Skeeter is just like my sister, now that I think about it. My sister always avoided doing anything that would get her in serious trouble. We got Skeeter from our Aunt Joanne, so she has been with us for a pretty long time. Joanne used to do barrel racing and other gymkhana events, and you can see that history in how sore she appears to be all the time. I was planning on taking Jane in some cart events, so that she has something useful to do, since I can’t ride her anymore. That seems to be the way horses are, they always mirror their partner, in my case, Jane mirrored me, and in my sisters case, Skeeter mirrored her.

 

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Anne Hart-The Friday Everything Changed- April 25, 2016

What qualities make this story entertaining? Does it have a significant message for readers?

 

This story really appeals to us because it tells us how we got to where we are today. This story takes place in a time where gender stereotypes were accepted, and the treatment of both genders was based on these stereotypes. For example women were looked at as the weaker sex, and people had no problem telling them that. Even women believed that themselves. Now, however, it is much harder to find people openly accepting this stereotype.

I believe the message behind this story is that women are stereotyped, and that gender should not decide what kind of person you are. Men and women are biologically different, and for the most part, have different characteristics. However even with some pretty big differences, they should still be treated equal to each other. For example in the story it tells us the basic stereotype, boys are stronger than girls. For the most part, that is true, and in the story it is pretty obvious that they are. However the boys do not treat the girls as their equals. They are only looking at how they are better than the girls, instead of looking at how they are similar, or what the girls might be better at than boys. Maybe the girls are getting better grades than the guys in their class. You should not be looking at someones sex to judge what a person is like. Even though there is some actual differences between men and women, they can easily be overridden by an individual. There is women that are stronger than a lot of men, for example. Many people bring in the wage gap to support that there is discrimination among the genders. I think this is more of an individual discrimination. The common statistic  that women make 78 cents per a mans dollar, is a very wide and low detailed census. This doesn’t take into account women majors, and the experience level that women lose due to maternity or parental leave. Statistics show some women also take more vacations and days off. In general I don’t think the wage gap is based on gender, rather individuals.

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Barney-Will Stanton April 19, 2016

How did you respond to the surprise ending? What has happened? What was the foreshadowing of this plot twist?- The end plot twist really wasn’t that much of a surprise to me, considering how it really made the rat appear. The story writer, or the scientist, only saw the rat how he wanted to see the rat. He looked at the rat as a hero when he saw it snickering as he climbed up a dangerously frayed rope. He looked at the rat jokingly when it escaped and ditched the key in the well, which is right where Barney, the rat, wanted the scientist. There was a few details hinting towards Barney, being the real bad guy. From the sloppy job of framing Tayloe of poisoning him, to Barney dropping the key down the well. The rat had the scientist exactly where he wanted him. It is uncertain on what Barney’s real motivation was, but we can infer that Barney was doing it, over a simple matter of a young rat, wanting to be alone with some young girls, thinking he will find happiness that way.

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