In terms of numbers, Lisette came close to meeting expectations for blogging this month. In terms of quality, she exceeded expectations. Her reading blogs are charged with passion and supported with quotes from the books she read. Her poems are deeply felt, and well crafted. Lisette's web journals are personal, honest reflections on her life, and her responses are specific and positive. One of the most impressive aspects of this body of work is how Lisette uses the different genres of the blog to explore similar themes.
Take note of the different hours of Lisette's posts, she was blogging in class, after school in the school's lab, and at night at home. Of the 20 messages posted in February 2005, Lisette wrote:
- 7 Responses to 4 different students and the principal
- 6 Reading Blogs for two different books
- 4 Web Journals about different parts of her life
- 3 Poems using subjects explored in the web journal entries
RE: Letter From Mark (Principal), posted 2/28/2005; 5:13:44 PM
I've recently came to this school and so far I like it. It's an interesting school, unlike any other school I've been to. I like how it seems like this school actually cares about it's students.
In all my past schools, they treat the students like they're all bad seeds. It seems like I get to start over here. No one knows my past history with my ex schools. Even the people that do know, don't waste their time acknowledging old news. What matters now is the fact that I'm here now and I do want to do the best I can do. I'm thankful to have been enrolled in this school and just want to say I think I'm getting all the sincere help I can get.
We also had our own 9th Grade Poetry Exhibition in the art gallery. I've always hated performing in front of people, especially people who I don't know. I think my performance on Friday was okay but I know it could have been better. Part of the reason why I didn't perform as good as I should have is because I felt uncomfortable. Comfort has a lot to do with hw a person performs.
I want to thank East Side Community for accepting me as I am. I'm grateful to have had to chance to come to this school.
The moment was here, I had no where to run and hide. I wish I could just jump into bed and pull my covers over my eyes, Like a shield Protecting me from my mother's harsh words. I nervously looked over At him. He looked like he had something to say. I tried to smile But it was difficult When all I could think of was My mother. Would she accept him? Criticize him? Think he was too old? I heard her key in the door And my heart skipped a beat. I took a deep breath and approached her. We walked to the living room Together Her footsteps quick and steady. I was scared, nervous, anxious, worried, curious. What would she think of him? I nervously played with my fingers Not sure of what to do As she stepped into the living room And faced him Hopefully not for the last time.
Recently, I’ve finished reading The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson. Altogether, I read 131 pages. I was intrigued by this book. I liked the book because the author chose to write it in a teenagers prespective. I can relate to the boy at times, which is comforting.
The main characters is Bobby . The characters which play a big part of his life are his daughter, Feather and his girlfriend/baby's mother, Nia. There are also other characters such as his parents, his best friends, and Nia's parents. You can get a feel for the relationship between Bobby and his daughter, Feather on page 111:
"She just looks pissed an dares me to put her down. So I don't, and keep reading to her. When I'm done reading I sit holding her by the bedroom window and tell her what I did today."
I can tell Bobby loves her more than ever now that she's carrying his child. All he wants to do is make the right decision. You can get a feel for the relationship between Bobby and his girlfriend, Nia on page 56
"It's like a dream when I move my hands from her feet, up her legs and hips to her belly, and it kicks me."
The story is set in New York City. The significance of this setting is that I can see he's just like any other teen from the hood. He trys to make the best out of his enviroment and I admire him for that. Page 58:
"I cut through the parking lot and through the playground, an alley, and over and down a wall to get where I need to be. Perfect."
I enjoyed reading this book and look foward to reading more books written by Angela Johnson. I love how she chose to tell this story. She truly kept me interested. I wanted to see what happened next everytime I read a few pages.
Bobby knows how to show others that he does care. Bobby knows that he can't give up no matter what. Bobby, a teenage father, knows how to be there for his baby daughter. Instead of doing what he wants to do, he takes care of Feather, his daughter. This is important because the author chose to show us that there are young fathers out there that do actually stick around and help raise their children. The author allows us to see that not everyone is a bad person. "I sit at the foot of her bed and rub her feet 'cause I know the only thing she likes more is having her back massaged. But I can't do that now." -page 56
It's a interesting world that Angela Johnson creates in her novel, The First Part Last, a world in which love is everywhere, but giving up is rare. I'm enjoying this book, because I know a lot of young fathers out there who refuse to be a part of their children's life and that fustrates me. So, it's nice to be able to sit down and read about a young teenage father who has put his life on hold all because of his daughter.
One thing that I don't like though is that I have no idea where that baby's mother is. Hopefully the author chooses to tell us later on in the book.
"..the whole world is just fine for my caramel, sweet-faced, big-eyed baby.." -page 42 As this quote shows, Bobby will succeed at being a good father. There are a couple of other important character's in Bobby's life. There's Feather, his daughter and Nia, the baby's mother and his girlfriend. These two characters are important to Bobby, because they play a major part in his life. He loves them both dearly and it's obvious that he cares for them and would do anything for them.
I look forward to finding out what Bobby does next.
I'm debating whether or not I should tell my moms about my boo, Andrew. I mean, would she mind that he's 19 years old, about to be 20 this summer? Hell ya, I think she gon' have a problem with that. She won't whyle out though 'cuz she do know that I do associate with people older than me. Now that I think about it, it aint really that big of a deal, we only three years apart.
Why do people tend to make a big deal over age? Come on' I can understand if he was 30 but he's only 19. There's only a three year age difference. Can't they understand that it all depends on how old someone is mentally and emotionally?
People tend to think that 'cuz he's older he gon' take advantage of me. That's bullshit. He can take advantage of a grown woman so why must they act like he can ONLY take advantage of me? And do people really think I would sit around and let some dude take advantage of me?
I didn't just jump into this relationship. I knew what he had to offer, I knew what type of person he was. His age doesn't make a difference. That's why I tell people, don't make a big deal over his age.
ComplicatedShordee's Xanga site
Compare the above message with a post Lisette (a.k.a ComplicatedShordee) wrote several weeks later, posted 4/15/2005; 11:56:17 PM
Writting this to basically clear up any false rumors. I'm sick of all the rumors I hear around school. Makes me sometimes think people have nothing better to do than start rumors.
- No, I am not going out with Andrew from this school. I mean come on, common sense would be to realize I've been writting poems dedicated to an Andrew before the Andrew from school actaully came to our school. The Andrew which I constantly talk about is not from our school!! Damn, I mean how many times do I need to tell people this? I have my boo who I cherish so god knows I don't want no other but him.
- If you think I talk shit about you, guess what? I have some news for y'all... Do y'all really think I wanna waste my breath talking shit about you when I don't even know you? Do y'all really think I'm grilling y'all or giving y'all dirty looks when y'all walk past me? Most of the time when y'all walk past me, I don' even notice because I bee in my own world. Pulezz, I have better things on my mind then to be worrying myself over y'all. I honestly dont give a rats ass about y'all. Sorry to break it to y'all but y'all really don't concern me and I shouldn't concern y'all neither.
- No, I don't think I'm stuck up. I'm tired of people asking me why I always looked pissed or why I look like I think I'm better than y'all. I aint never claim I was any better than any of y'all so get y'all facts right. I bee in my own lil world 'cuz I find no need in trying to become none of y'all friends when most likely y'all talking shit behind my back or silently cursing me out in y'all heads. No need to pretend when I'm only gonna keep it real.
As for any other rumors....if you choose to believe them then that's on you. Just thought I would let y'all know what was on my mind 'cuz these rumors sometimes try to get out of control and I aint having none of that. Last thing I have to say before I leave is, basically people need to learn that rumors are childs play. If you really are as mature as you claim you are then why not act it? This aint junior high, people need to grow up and stop acting up.
Look at myself one last time in the mirror, Grab my keys, Lock the door, Head into the elevator. Apply one last coat of lipgloss On my smooth lips which are Eager to join with his own lips. Calmly walk out my building, Keys in one hand Confidence in the other, Wrap my scarf around my neck tighter As the wind blows across my bare face. Catch sight of his car, Tinted windows, Siliver paint job, Gleaming in the dark. Can already feel him by my side Even though I haven't reached my destination. Approach his car, Push back my hair, Step inside, Look over at him And smile as if he were the Sexiest thing alive. Drive away into the dark night, Past all the unneccasary scenes... What? You thought I was gon' tell you what happens next? (Dedicated to my boo, Andrew)
Recently, I’ve finished reading "A Hip-Hop Story", by Heru Ptah. In total I read 402 pages. I definitly liked this book. The reason why is because the author captured my attention from begining to end.
At first I was confused only because the author chose to include so many characters. But after awhile I felt as if the author made the right choice by including so many characters because it only made the book more interesting. I loved the fact the even though there was alot of characters, they were all somehow connected to one another.
The story is set in New York City. The significance of this setting is important because the author chose to name certain locations which were familiar to me. The setting played an important part of the book too because things happened in the book that happen in New York City everyday.
My final thoughts are that any teenager should read the book especially anyone aspiring to become a rapper. The book dealt with alot of everyday issuses which are invovled in the music industry. I look foward to reading more books written by Heru Ptah.
I'm sitting here in da crib all alone debating whether or not I should go outside. I mean, is madd cold out there. Do I really want to walk down the block as the cold brisk air hits me? Do I really want to feel the freezing air attacking my smooth skin?
My boo, Andrew was supposed to come through today. Unfortuanlly, he had to go to work this morning so now I'm all alone in the crib trying to decide what I should do. Who else can I chill with? Hmm..I wonder what Ron is doing right now. Maybe I should give him a call. Ya, I think I will.
RE: Answering Chasterie's questions about where to get a book, posted 2/17/2005; 2:14:35 PM
No, it's not my book. I took it out of the library and unfortunally I just returned it yesterday. You should try going to the library though. The books title is "A Hip-Hop Story" and its written by "Heru Ptah". Trust me, it's a really good book, alot of interesting things happen. You'll really like it. I liked it so much that I read it twice.
RE: Responding to Miguel's Reading Blog, 2/17/2005; 2:06:33 PM
I liked your blog about "Ramecks Jail Time" because you added good quotes to your blog. Reading those quotes made me wonder about the book you're reading. Is it good? Bad? Boring? Thrilling? So good you can't keep your hands of it?
The part of your writing that stood out to me was where you gave facts about the book. You also made sure to include an opinion which I think is good.
Your blog does make me want to read the book you're reading because it seems like it invovles drama which I like reading. I know too many people who have been in jail or are in jail, so I think it would be nice to read that book.
I look forward to reading your Reading Blog again because I like how you make sure to include quotes from the book. You tell enough without givng the whole story away.
RE: Janay's Freewriting about looking forward to vacatioin, posted 2/17/2005; 11:09:28 PM
I can't wait 'til vacation start neither. I can't wait 'til that whole week off. I need some time away from this school anyway. It's okay but I'm just not used to schools like this. It kinda reminds me of being back in junior high and that was awhile back.
Damn, let me see....I was in junior high like 3 years ago. I know you like, "What?!?" I know I'm in the ninth grade but I'm really supposed to be in the eleventh grade. (got left back twice, so ya this is my third year in the ninth grade) Don't get me wrong, I aint stupid, it's just I always seem to hang with the wrong crowd.
Anyway, I'm hoping I can start over here at East Side Community. It seems like girls don't start shit here like they did in my past schools. O wells, we'll see how I do this year.
(I know you aint really wanna know all that bullshit about my life but I sorta got caught up into the moment. Sorry)
I know at times it may seem like Ron isn't a good friend but in realilty he is. He's unique, unlike others and I can tell he truly cares for me. He's the only one who understands the real me and for that I adore him. People tell me we shouldn't be friends though, I mean he's twenty-five and I'm only sixteen. But the age doesn't matter to me. What matters is what he has to offer which is much more than any other person at the moment. People just don't understand how much we do have in common. All my life I've had to deal with alot so I've matured faster than most girls my age. What people don't undertstand is that Ron and I have alot in common and find it so easy to talk to each other. We can sit and talk about just anything. I adore him and thank god every day for having him in my life.
Flawless knows he is the best rapper in the game right now. Flawless knows he must let his sister, Erika make her own decisions. Flawless, a handsome rapper who has it all, knows how to rap better than most rappers. He knows this and the society knows it too. Not only is he skilled but he's also wise and chooses to rap about the important things in life rather than rap about cars, money and girls. This is important because it shows he's unlike others. I can see he takes the rap game seriously. He deserves to be where he is at right now because he has worked extremely hard and never gave up.
"Like an eparch, Flawless imbibed all of this from on top of the Seventy-second Street floor, mumbling the words, Take over the world." -page 175
It's a realistic world that the author, Heru Ptah creates in his novel, "A Hip-Hop Story", a world in which pride and honesty is everywhere, but silience is rare. I'm enjoying this book, because I can relate to many of the characters. Every character is going through their own issue but I love how they all somehow are connected. Everyone else's problems affect every character. I love how the author chose to involve so many characters in one story.
I think that Flawless will not succeed at ending the "beef" with Hanniball. I think Hanniball won't give up no matter what. In that case, Flawless will continue to try to look strong for society, even though emotionally and mentally he's losing it.
I look forward to finding out what Flawless does next, because it seems like he's already starting to lose it. He's starting to see things and have nightmares every night. I think all this "beef" and publicity is too much for him. He got into the rap game so he can be heard, so he had teach others with his wise words, but now it's more about proving to others who's the best rather than truly speak from the heart.
RE: Short but sweet, posted 2/9/2005; 10:55:54 PM
I liked your poem. It was short but sweet. I can relate to you on missing a neighborhood because I've moved from neighborhood to neighborhood all my life. I've constantly had to deal with the fact that I couldn't get too comfortable just in case we had to move again. You get used to it after a while.
So far, I'm loving the book I'm reading which is "A Hip-Hop Story" by Heru Ptah. It is very intense and keeps me on the edge of my seat. There's drama on every page, keeping me hooked. I can't wait until I get to the last page. The author makes sure to keep my interest at every moment. I heard there's supposed to be thinking about making a movie to this book. I hope they decide to, that way I could go see the movie and compare the book to the movie.
I recommend any teenager to read this book. You'll definiatly be dying to finish the book as soon as you pick it up.
I stood silent as the wind brushed past me, blowing my hair around. I was at peace as I allowed the silience to take over and erase my worries. I knew all my troubles would come rushing back to me as soon as my foot stepped back into my apartment but I didn't care. I cherished every minute of being here. I was alone and it felt good. I knew when I was up here no one and nothing mattered. I glanced over at the surrounding buildings and smiled. No one could ever take this away from me, I thought to myself. The sun managed to peak out from behind heavy clouds to shine down on me as if to thank me for appriciating nature's beauty. I heard my mother calling my name and I almost answered until I realized I was miles away from her and that there was no way she could be calling out for me. I shaked my head and turned to look at my surroundings. Glancing at my watch I realized I had been up here for the past hour. I smiled one last time before I headed back down to reality.
I stood silent as the wind brushed past me, blowing my hair around. I was at peace as I allowed the silience to take over and erase my worries. I knew all my troubles would come rushing back to me as soon as my foot stepped back into my apartment but I didn't care. I cherished every minute of being here. I was alone and it felt good. I knew when I was up here no one and nothing mattered. I glanced over at the surrounding buildings and smiled. No one could ever take this away from me, I thought to myself. The sun managed to peak out from behind heavy clouds to shine down on me as if to thank me for appriciating nature's beauty. I heard my mother calling my name and I almost answered until I realized I was feet away from her and that there was no way she could be calling out for me. I shaked my head and turned to look at my surroundings. Glancing at my watch I realized I had been up here for the past hour. I smiled one last time before I headed back down to reality.
Recently, I’ve been reading A Hip-Hop Story, by Heru Ptah. So far, I like this book because it is a very complex book with plenty of characters. The book is basically about two rappers, Flawless and Hanniball. They've been enemies for the longest. They had thought they wouldn't have to deal with each other ever again until Hanniball came up with his new albulm.
So far there's been alot of drama between every character. I predict that the more I read, the more beef and drama is going to happen. I predict there might be some deaths ahead awaiting atleast a few characters in the book.
RE: Response to Chasterie's Reading Blog, posted 2/3/2005; 11:47:21 PM
I liked your blog about "Coach Carter" because you gave me an equal amount of facts and opinions. It's nice that you wrote about certain parts of the book to keep me interested. I would really love to read the book and go watch the movies so afterwards I could compare both.
The part of your writing that stood out to me was where you wrote that youfelt as if you were actually watching the movie. That's a good thing because that means the author was descriptive enough for you to be able to visualize pictures in your mind.
Your blog does make me want to read "Coach Carter" because it seems you enjoyed the book so I would like to see if it's really as good as you made me believe it was.
I look forward to reading your Reading Blog again because I like the way you put pictures in my mind. You make sure I can see what you're seeing and that's a good thing.
RE: Response to Pebbles's Reading Blog, posted 2/3/2005; 3:08:20 PM
I liked your blog about that book because you captured my interest. You have just enough information without telling us the whole story. I would definitly like to read that book sometime. It might help me understand certain things about certain people. I might get an insight on how certain people feel when their spouse's are doing things they dont agree with.
I'll make sure to pick up that book soon and hopefully enjoy it as much as you did.