Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Memoirs of a Semester in English 111

I am a first-year college student about to finish English 111, my first college-level English class. English 111, also known as College Composition, is a class in which your writing skills are perfected through multiple essays, blogs, and other short literary works of that nature. This course was a rather enjoyable learning experience. Through it, I greatly improved my writing skills, as well as my ability to think critically about the world around me. I would recommend this course to any prospective college student.
My teacher, Paul Gasparo, was an excellent teacher. He had an extremely sharp wit, was always able to get the information across, and most importantly, had a genuine desire to see his students succeed. Every assignment he gave us helped improve a different aspect of our writing skills. At the beginning of the year, he assigned us a diagnostic essay. The prompt for this essay was, “If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and why?” We also had to talk about what we would do with this power. This made us use our imaginations to think up a superpower to have, because I’m sure not everyone went with the generic super-strength or flying. We also had to think critically when it came to how we would apply our powers, how our application of these powers would affect others, and if society would accept us if they knew our true nature. The biggest part of our grade was our argument essay. This gave us an opportunity to take a stand on an issue that we felt strongly about, and not only express our emotions on the topic, but also defend our argument through logic.
We also read pieces of literature from other writers. Through their work, we got a much better idea of how our work should look. These essays and short stories were also very interesting, and in many cases, highly informative. Some of these pieces of literature were actually about how to write a good paper. We also watched videos like “Super Size Me,” a video about the connection between fast food and the fact that America is the fattest nation in the world. “Maxed Out” was also a good one, informing its viewers of the dangers of credit cards, and out hard it is to get out of debt once you’re in.
This course helped me develop not only my skills as a writer, but also my ability to think for myself. Through English 111, I was able to improve not only my technical and grammatical writing skills, but also my ability to get my views across through writing. In conclusion, English 111 is a highly useful course that I would recommend to any college student.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Telekinesis and Me


If I Woke Up With Telekinesis
Ever since the introduction of comic books into society, and the countless cartoons and movies that came about as a result, there has been that classic question. “What superpower would you want to have?” Many children, and surely even some adults, daydream about being a superhero. Whether it’s being able to stop a freight train in its tracks with one arm, or being able to fly into outer space, almost everyone has that dream superpower they would love to have. Personally, if I could wake up with any superpower, it would be telekinesis.
In case the reader does not already know this, telekinesis is the ability to move objects with the mind. If given to a person with enough intelligence and creativity, telekinesis could be a rather versatile power. One could use it for anything from reaching things they would normally be too short to reach, to carrying their own body with their power, and thus also attaining the power of flight. One could also use it to move heavy objects that they could not move with physical strength, making telekinesis a rival to superhuman strength. Not to mention, it would be an entertaining power to use. Just think about it. What person in their right mind wouldn’t want to sit in a swamp on Dagobah, lift an X-Wing out of the water, and say, “Judge me by my size, you should not?”
To be completely honest with the reader, I haven’t given much thought to how I would use this extraordinary ability. Perhaps I could use it for the betterment of mankind, to protect the weak, and defeat evil. Or, I could go the super-villain route, taking all that I want and annihilating all in my path, until the entire world bows at my feet. It’s not as easy a choice as one might assume, when one really stops to think about it.
If I had this power, and told people about it, I believe it would radically change the way people thought about me, the way they looked at me, and even the way they treated me. Many people would probably be fearful of my power, even if I didn’t mean them harm. I might be feared, hated, even shunned from society. Or, if I moved to a tribal society, I might be revered and worshipped as a god.
Being a telekinetic would definitely make my life somewhat interesting. A power like that would make me capable of almost anything, but could also have negative consequences. Then again, almost everything in life is that way. In conclusion, if I could wake up with any power, it would be telekinesis.


Just Your Everyday Telekinetic College Student

It was a quiet Monday morning at Tidewater Community College. Not much was going on at the time, given that it was only nine o’clock in the morning. I strolled out to the gazebo between the library and the Blackwater building to sit down and enjoy the steadily improving weather outside as more people started to show up. They greet me as they come in, and I return their greetings. They have no idea. It has never even occurred to them that I can rip a telephone pole out of the ground with a passing thought. If ever they should pick the wrong day to anger me, they would be rather surprised to leave their last class for the day to find that their car has been mysteriously relocated from the parking lot to the middle of that really pretty lake we have on campus. The day went by as uneventfully as it always does, and soon enough, 1:45 p.m. rolled around, signaling the end of my school day. I went out to the parking lot, got in my car, plugged in the iPod, and left for home. After about ten minutes, I finally made the usual left into my neighborhood. I got about halfway to the first right I had to make, when all of a sudden, a form materialized out of thin air onto the hood of my car. Then everything around me disappeared in an instant. Then it all reappeared, but it looked very different. I also felt an odd sensation in my gut. And then it hit me: My car is upside down, and falling. I barely had enough time to jump out of the car, and no time to save the car. It landed with a loud crash, crushing the roof in and shattering all of the windows. I looked around, and there was my younger brother, the teleporter. Apparently, he teleported himself and my car about twenty feet up, except we reappeared upside down. “Sean, what was that for?” I shouted at him. “Well, Rob, I guess you should have thought twice about making my bed float while I was on it, and then flipping it over,” Sean retorted, “I guess you telekinetics aren’t so big and bad after all.” “Really?” I asked. “Then tell me what you think of this!” With that, I ripped the lamppost behind him out of the ground and threw it down at him. He quickly vanished, and then reappeared on top of my car. The two of them then vanished. I looked around me, but saw nothing. Except for a car-shaped shadow on the ground below me. One that was getting larger by the second. I looked up to see what was left of my car falling down towards me at an alarming rate. I put my hands up and stopped it less than half a foot from me, and then set it on the ground. I then saw Sean appear about twenty feet behind me, but acted as though I hadn’t. As soon as he attempted to rush me, I looked at him, put a hand out, and stopped him in mid-air about five feet from me. “Hard to teleport when I’ve got hold of you, huh?” I said to him, and then sent him flying toward a set of power lines. Right before he hit the lines, he managed to teleport, and popped up at the foot of the telephone pole. “You think you’re so tough?” Sean shouted, “This isn’t over!” Then he vanished. I used my power to flip my car back over, raised the roof to its normal height, and drove home.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My thoughts on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"

Last night, I went to the midnight opening of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” It had amazing fight scenes, and great special effects. The storyline was also very deep and emotional. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The way the writers developed Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, was very well done. There were many events in the movie that resulted in dramatic turns in Wolverine’s story. For example, when Logan was little, he witnessed a man shoot his father in his house. Logan, in a fit of rage, pushed his claws out of his hands for the first time. He charged the man, and stabbed him in the chest. However, just before the man died, he told Logan that he was his father. This caused Logan to run away with his brother, Victor Creed, who told him that he had to become “hard” to survive. If this hadn’t happened, it probably would have taken a much longer time for Logan to find out about his powers, and he most likely would not have been so heavily involved in the military. There are many other events like this, but I won’t go into them for fear of summarizing the whole movie.
I have seen the other X-Men movies, and I have a brother who knows a great deal about comic books. Due to this, I enjoyed the appearances made by characters such as The White Queen Emma Frost, who was the one with the diamond skin, Scott Summers, who was later called Cyclops, and last but certainly not least, Professor Charles Xavier himself. Deadpool was pretty good too, although they did mess up a few minor details from the comics. In the comics, Deadpool couldn’t fire beams from his eyes. Also, while he could teleport, it wasn’t a power he had, but rather a device. Also, he still carried his swords; they did not come out of his hands.
I liked the whole “origins” concept of this movie. It told Wolverine’s story in a brilliant fashion. Most people didn’t know that Wolverine had claws before he became Weapon X. What is also little known is how old he really is. I knew he was pretty old, because I had read comics where he was fighting in WWII, but I didn’t know that he was in the Revolutionary War. I also found it somewhat funny that he was on the same island as Professor X, who he would meet years later, and one of the mutants whom he rescued was a young Cyclops, who would later save him from a sneak attack by Sabretooth, a.k.a. Victor Creed in the first X-Men movie.
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was an excellent movie. It told the story of one of the most popular, and most awesome, comic book characters ever created with a great deal of skill. It showed not only the fighting side of Wolverine, but also the compassionate human being who just wanted to lead a normal life. In conclusion, whether you’re a comic book fanatic, or you’ve never read a comic book in your life, I would highly recommend that you see this movie.