Monday, March 20, 2017

Clones or DNA?

Discrimination happens so often, whether it is in your genes, cultures, physical appearance, intelligence, and even parents. There are so many movies, books, thoughts, and such about inequality. one is Gattaca.

The movies about a guy who has to fake his genes with his disabled friend because he wants to go into space. His name is Vincent and he is the protagonist of the movie. He is discriminated because of his genes. In our world, people are discriminated because of their cultures, physical appearance, intelligence, and even parents. Matt from The House Of The Scorpion is also discriminated because he is a clone. That is one similarity between Matt and Vincent, they both are deemed inferior by society.

The main differences between them are that Vincent can hide his inferior self with his superior friend's DNA. Meanwhile, Matt can not hide his identity, he can only really run away. That is another main difference. Matt's story is about him running away from the discrimination and finally coming back to overcome it. But Vincent hides his identity to get to his dream, to go to space. Matt has no choice but to hide his identity and run away from it but Vincent wants to hide it someone's he can go to Titan. Another difference is that Vincent is just one of many "invalids" similar, Matt is the only clone with his brain intact. Vincent learns that genes don't tell you everything when he has to save Anton but nothings wrong with Matt, he's normal, but people think that he is just worse. They are both similar in the way that they overcome and escape what deems them as lower to get them into a better life. They both are someone else, whether it's taking someone's genes and pretending their yours or born from someone else's skin cells. They both let that effect what makes them themselves but don't let it define themselves. They both believe that their society is flawed and make a move to change it.

But what makes them different or the same? Could it be the setting that they grow up and live in or maybe the views of people around them? Vincent lives in a world where good/better genes are something someone always wishes for making him one of many who has that goal of getting better. But Matt grows up where not being a clone is normal so he is the only one who wants to escape, making him the only one who just wants to get away.

Do you think that one is better than the other? Or maybe even that Vincent has it better or even Matt?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Real Life Farm Patrol?

Chapter 25, The House Of The Scorpion

"He put on an extra burst of speed, but the Farm Patroller grabbed Matt's backpack and reined in his horse. Matt undid the snap holding his waistband and slid ou the straps. The changes in speed sent him stumbling across the border into one of the oily black pits, where he fell on his stomach and skidded out the other side in a plume of goo. Matt sat up, frantically wiping his eyes. He saw the Farm Patroller ride away."

In The House Of The Scorpion, crossing the border is one of the greatest challenges. Many who switch borders or try to, believe that the other side is a better place, a free world, etc... but that might not always be the case. I think that we can all agree that the security on the border is pretty tight, both in this world and in the world of The House Of The Scorpion.

In chapter 14 we learn about Celia's story of crossing the border. She talks about her miserable life in her old village and finding a coyote. A man or woman who traffics people across the border. We learn that the coyote abandoned her and she got caught by the farm patrol, only to meet El Patron. The thing is this whole system exists. There are people out there who smuggle illegal immigrants over the border and abandon them in fear of getting caught.

A news article I found talks about how people are held back, at the Kenedy Airport, from crossing the border (link is at the bottom). It speaks of an executive order from Donald Trump decreeing that Syrian refugees entry to the US would not be allowed indefinitely, barring all other refugees for 120 days and blocking the entrance of citizens of the seven mostly Muslim countries. Three people were being held there, all in the third category. An Iranian mother of a US soldier, an Iranian Ph.D. student at the New York University and a Yemeni mother of a couple due to be married. This is seriously unfair, people like these deserve to be let through the border.

If we look at The House Of The Scorpion, immigration is also another big issue. In fact, it's downright illegal. "Illegals," or what people who are illegally immigrating are called, try to go from Aztlan to the US, or vice versa, thinking they will be free there. But to do that they must cross the Farms or Opium. Farm patrols make daily rounds there and have no problem killing, KILLING, people to stop them. They leave orphaned children to run back to the border, only to be put to work. Nancy Farmer has used some real life aspects in this novel. We can see this happening in real life, probably without the killing. Something has to be done!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Matt's Worldview...

What does Matt believe in? What does he follow? How does Matt determine what is right or wrong? What does he consider the most? All these are questions we should be asking to determine Matt's worldviews.

A worldview is what you follow/consider/believe in the most, what makes you, you. Seven main elements make up your worldview:

-View of Human Nature, the concept of good and evil while judging intentions and actions

-View of The Good Like, the main achievement of someone, the end goal, whatever that is most important to you

-Equality With Others, considering if an individual is greater than one or if someone is just "better" than another, ex: status

-Responsibility With Others, the thought when you walk past a homeless person, should I help him or should I just walk past him pretending I don't see him?

-Relationship Between Individual and The Group, the belief about the comparison between the rights of the individual and the group, is that one person's rights worth more than the entire team?

-Relationship Between Humans and Nature, exactly what it states, the belief that one should value and care for the environment

-Sources Of Ethical Wisdom, what you believe best sums up the definition of right and wrong and what beliefs you choose to follow

So what makes Matt's worldview? Below are some quotes that I believe defines what makes Matt who he is.

" 'Saint Francis says it's good to give stuff away to the poor,' Matt suggested."

-Page 183

"Matt gasped. That meant El Patron was dead. No matter how often he'd thought about it, the reality came as a blow.

'I-I'm sorry.' Silence tears began to roll down Matt's face. He could keep himself from blubbering, but there was nothing he could do about the grief that welled up inside."

-Page 238

These two quotes above show that Matt does believe in equality with others and responsibility with others. He felt as if he should have done something about El Patron's death but couldn't/felt as if sacrificing himself was too much. Matt also takes the views of his love ones very seriously, using them as his sources of ethical wisdom. After Maria had told him about Saint Francis, He began to think like Saint Francis. And after Tam Lin tells him that El Patron might not be all right, he begins to consider his opinions. Another example is when the household said that clones were bad, dumb, stupid, etc... he considered why they thought that.

Thanks for reading and have a good day!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What Makes Us Good Or Bad?

How is someone "good" or "bad"? Well, I am here to argue that no one can be either. I believe there are two different factors that we need to consider,  intentions and actions. Which lead us to my point, is someone considered "good" or "bad" because of their intentions or actions?

Personally, I don't know the answer because each cause is changed by the writer of that scenario. Let's use The House Of The Scorpion as an example. We all think that Tom is evil or "bad." That is because the author is writing from the perspective of Matt who thinks that Tom is bad. Tom could have good intentions just doing the wrong thing. Most of the things that he has done has no proof that he has done it. Although, the idea that he put Furball in the toilet and potentially killed him is pretty certain. As you can see the author, Nancy Farmer, apparently wants you to think that Tom is evil (he probably is, though).

" 'He's always drinking out of the toilet,' Tom said. 'He must have fallen in and pulled the lid on top of him. I'll call a maid to give him a bath' He went out but not before Matt saw a flash of real anger on his face. Tom wanted something and hadn't gotten it."

-Page 96, The House Of The Scorpion

Another example is Matt, we all see him as a good character, the protagonist. But we also see him doing things that would be called "bad." Like kidnapping Maria's dog, Furball. The only reason why we still think him as "good" is that we know his intentions were good, he only wanted to talk to Maria. Or the time when Matt threw the orange at Tom? So what's to say that Tom isn't good when all that we know are his actions, not intentions?

I think that what makes someone good or evil is the winner's or the authors chose. Whoever wins gets to write the story. An example of this is every single fairytale ever known. The princess or the prince will always win and say that the villain is evil, but who is to say that the villain is just trying to do the right thing? Everyone will always think that they are right, probably to convince themselves that they are right. Whether their reasons are revenge or anger or even love. They will believe that they are good, not evil. But what they do could make them what we see as evil.

Enough of my ranting or writing, but seriously, I hope you will consider my points. Thanks for reading this!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Thoughts So Far...

Many things have happened so far in The House Of The Scorpion. Personally, I think that the author, Nancy Farmer, has done quite well in the story line so far.

Nacy Farmer has led Matt through series of challenges and accomplishments. She introduces much thought to provoke subjects that could even be related to the real world.
For example, the entire idea of an "eejit" or zombie for Spanish. Those people with transplants inside their heads will work hard until they die. They literally can not stop working unless commanded. They won't drink or eat unless told to. Could our real world come to this eventually? We see this as not "humane," but history could repeat. Like, in the 15th century when the slave trade was brought to this world? The slave traders only intention was to make their country better with labor from other places. A quote from the conversation between Matt and Tam Lin after spotting the eejit on the dry fields" indicates that they don't view it as "right";

" 'You're as bright as a button, lad,' said Tam Lin. "The man we saw on the ground probably lagged behind the other workers and didn't hear the foreman tell them to stop. He might have worked all night, getting thirstier and thirstier-' 'Stop!' cried Matt. He covered his ears. This was horrible! He didn't want to know anymore"-Page 82

Anyway, moving on through the book. I love how Nancy Farmer has given Matt his own little secrets that only we are aware. Like the secret passage that he found when listening to the piano. What I find sad though is the fact that this is one of the only few pleasures he has in his life. His entire existence now revolves around him being El Patrón's clone. People will never treat him the same way because they know that he is only a fragment of a piece of skin that was grown inside of a cow. He has been left to bleed and thrown in a room full of deep litter because he is a clone. The only thing that he can rely on is the fact that the most powerful man on the Alacrán Estate loves him because he is him. Doctors will fuss over a tiny scratch because of this, people will treat him kindly in front of El Patrón just out of fear and respect.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on just a few subjects of the book. Thanks for reading this and have a good day!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Welcome To The Scorpion Project!

Hey, guys welcome to the Scorpion Project! We will be reading through the House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer for about a month and reflecting/discussing about it on this blog. My next few posts will definitely be about the Scorpion Project (see the link

The Scorpion Project will be about the House of the Scorpion. My class and I will be analyzing the text and the book to see how this book can connect to all the big things that are happening now and understand the Arthur.

I am really excited to read this book, I have read the back, and I’m already hooked! Like who doesn’t want to read about a boy who grew up inside of a cow? Though I am kind of nervous of the upcoming projects and taking notes as I read (I haven’t really done it before) but I really hope that I like this book. I am also kind of nervous about the inquiry section, to be honest, but I know I can get through that. Well enough of my doubt, I am really excited to read this award winning book. Well now I am going to end this blog post, so I can start reading it! I hope you all are having a good day and bye for now.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Whimsicle Ideas, Good or Bad?

Hello, my name is Ella, I am in 8th grade.

Recently, my class and I have watched The Little Prince (you should watch it, it’s a great movie) and we were debating on an idea. Should children’s exposure to whimsical ideas be limited in order to effectively prepare them for adulthood? Personally, I believe that children should believe in whatever they want when they are growing up. Let them grow up believing in creativity and imagination!

We were all children at one point. We all wanted to be a princess or a ninja. We all believed in Santa or the tooth fairy. These were all whimsical ideas, but that was what shaped us to be who we are today.

In the little prince (spoiler alert) my favorite quote was “It is only with a heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”. To me, the quote means that what makes us human is what is in our heart. Like our emotions and what shaped us to be who we are. Like the little girl, the mom had influence over her whole life and she grew up just like a robot. But then the old man came into her life and in just a couple weeks he completely changed her whole life and personality.

Sir Ken Robinson who is an expert in learning and children’s education says “imagination is the source of all human achievement”, thus one of the key components of creativity and innovation. And, as Albert Einstein said “creativity is contagious, so pass it on”

Thanks for reading!!!