Thursday, December 6, 2012

All Boys, All Blogged: December 6, 2012

Focus: Student-led discussion of healing and other topics in A Long Way Gone

1. Warm-up: Memoir quickwrite

15 minutes: Think of a time in which you were mentally or physically injured.  
Describe what happened, then describe your process of healing.  

2. Fishbowl discussion #5: A Long Way Gone, Chapters 15, 16 and 17

HW: Study for tomorrow's List 9 SAT vocabulary quiz; start working on your final project; bring your book and annotations to class tomorrow.

74 comments:

  1. On page 143 it says, "I almost shot him, but recognized his dirty Rambo face." Do you think they have seen the movie Rambo?

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    1. Since it is said in that way i would have to assume that they did. Why would they say that if they never saw the movie Rambo?

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    2. In the beggining it talks about them watching rambo to desensatize the boys

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    3. They talk about it a lot and they discuss scenes from the movies, so they must have seen it. They also said that they saw Rambo on movie nights when they were at movie night.

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    4. Yes they have seen the movie Rambo. It was one of the mentioned things that was a part of their training.

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  2. On page 128, the soldiers start singing the Sierra Leone national anthem. The words Beah reprints are “High we exalt thee, realm of the free, great is the love we have for thee…” Why does he include that line in his story? If most countries,consider themselves free, what exactly does it mean to live as a free person in a free country? Does the U.S. meet that standard?

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    1. Like an iPod but they were used in the 90s. They don't use digital music but cassette tapes.

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  4. On page 141 it says, "'What is your name?' she asked as she dressed my hand. I didn't answer." Why is Ishmael so rude and doesn't trust other people?

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    1. I think that he just wants drugs and the "sissy civilians" had no idea what was actually going on in the war.

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    2. He has been trained to kill or be killed for all he knew at this point she wanted to kill him?

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  5. Before the war, Ishmael wants nothing more than him and his family to be far away from this war. After he gets pulled out of the war, he wants nothing more than to be back on the front lines, fighting for his country. Was this mostly the drugs, or the fact that he thinks that this is his life now?

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    1. I think it is just a culmination of all that he has seen and all those he had killed. The drugs were used to break down the bearer and num them. Then they used violent movies and showing them dead people to just fill those voids with the instinct to "kill kill kill"

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  7. Have they been so demoralized that they only will sleep outside? Why?

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    1. They sleep outside most likely because they like it. They're used to sleeping in trees every night or not sleeping at all.

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  8. Why did it make the child soldiers so angry when the staff repeatedly told them the things that happened weren’t their fault?

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    1. Cause I think they didn't know what they were talking about, they thought it was a good thing what they were doing.

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    2. @John Daniel
      I think the children are still "hyped up" from the drugs they've been forced to take, causing them to be in a constant rage, or to be jittery. When they meet someone who knows nothing about they way they've been living, then they react to it in a violent or bad way.

      -Matt Myers.

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    3. War is the only thing the kids know at this point. And when someone says that is not their fault, they erupt in anger because that is what they believe in. What if someone said wanted you to stop wrestling, and told you it was not your fault you got into it. It would make you upset because it is your passion.

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  9. pg. 126 "I felt no pity for anyone." What has caused him to change and abandon his ideals of being civilized? I can relate this to Killology because animals have an instinct to not kill their own kind, why does he have no problem with that?

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    1. I think that these people taking drugs while killing people is the worst thing and it altered Ishmael's mind to the point of almost no return. He has taken so many drugs that his mind was war. That is all he knows now.

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    2. He has seen so much suffering that it is just burned into his mind.

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    1. I think it has to do with the fact that he can't remember what his life was like before the war. All of the memories he has are violent, and he has nothing to hold onto that keeps him human. On page 149, he says "I would try desperately to think about my childhood, but I couldn't. The war memories had formed a barrier that I had to break in order to think about any moment in my life before the war." I think it is a combination of this as well as the fact that the army uses his rage and vow for vengeance as propaganda to get him to be a better soldier. He is so filled with rage that it is impossible for him to think about the lives he is taking.

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  11. After being in the military and seeing people get killed, it never occurs to Ishmael that he is able to be replaced, even though many people around him have been. "Most of his colleagues, Staff Sergeant Mansaray and Corporal Gadafi,had died... had also been able to replace his dead colleagues with other men" (Beah, 128). Why does Ishmael not realize that he can be replaced?

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    1. He might know that but doesnt want to except the fact that he can be replaced because he wants to feel special and act like he is important to the RUF.

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  12. Dose Ishmael mabey miss the war because now he basically has PTSD and is still a very violent and uncontrollable child?

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  13. They constantly say, "It's not your fault." Why?

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    1. @Reid
      They want them to feel safe, and take away all regret they might have so they don't have bad thoughts or ideas.
      -Matt Myers.

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    2. I think that they keep saying that to make not the boys feel better but to keep justifying in there head that what these boys had done to them and other people. It was a way for them to be able to keep helping.

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    3. They want them to feel like killing is not the fault of him but what the enemy did. It helps them feel better about them self.

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    4. I think they say it is not their fault to make the boys not feel guilty for what they have done. I think it is interesting that the only thing Ishmael truly says he feels guilty about is the death of his friends Josiah and Musa.

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  15. "Why did you get me this Walkman and cassette if we are not friends?". Why does the nurse insist on showing kindness and buying Ishmael things when Ishmael is being so rude and mean to her. I mean, i know Ishmael has been through a lot, but this woman is trying to help him get through his troubles, and he's just resisting her with anger.

    -Matt Myers.

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  16. On page 134 it says "We do not want to be bothered anymore, and we do not want to answer any questions from a civilian"

    why do you think they don't want to answer any questions from civilians?

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    1. They also said that they don't want to be told what to do by civilians. This is because they think that since their in the army they tell civilians what to do. Its like how a big brother tells the little brother hat to do, when the little brother tells the big brother what to do it gets ugly.

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  17. Why do they still rely on drugs?

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    1. For one, the drugs help them forget about the war and all the horrid memories. Also they still have wounds that need to heal and it helps the pain.

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  18. on page 133 the tall boy after alhaji asked where they were from the boy replied in anger "And who F*&^% are angerly why do think that Alhaji didnt get mad at him?

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  19. Dose him throwing the Walkman maybe show how changed he is because before he praised anything he had to do with music

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  20. "Come back tomography so that I can change the bandage. Okay?" (Beah Pg.141) What was the reason why she was so nice to him?even when he has done bad things?

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    1. I think this might be because if they are nice to the boys, it will help them realize that they have done bad things but yet they are still helping them. The boys will view them as good people and it may speed up the rehabilitation.

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    2. I think she knows that she can help him. In other words, she sees the bright side of him, shes just trying to make it show.

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  21. On page 144 When he gets the nick name "green Snake" why does he strive so hard to be like that.

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    1. To him it was a honor, that his LT. who was practically his father gave it to him and that he wanted to keep his "father" proud.

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  22. On page 127 towards the bottom it says they are sitting there quietly and said "I killed the owner of this gun in our last raid. He took out a lot of us before I could get him. Since then I have used it to do some damage." And they chuckled and high fived each other and ever since reading that article about training soldiers to kill it makes me realize that wearing down the soldiers emotions really does work and it turns them into killers. Do you think this kids have any emotions left or are they going to be killers the rest of their life?

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  23. On page 157 when the lieutenant at the rehabilitation base says, "We have to send him to the former base then. Do all you can to make sure that the boy stays alive." Does hearing this make Ishmael trust them more and will his experience make him fight for the soldiers to protect the civilians from the Ruf?

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  24. Are they addicted to killing? Do they strive on killing?

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    1. I don't think they are addicted to killing but if they were directly pulled out of the war i think they would go crazy and kinda crave to kill.

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    2. They have been desensitized and now they associate killing with a higher rank, more drugs, and happy.

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  25. On page 166, she said "in the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion." Do you think that Esther is a mother figure? Also why does she always put up with all his violence?

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  26. Dose him being brainwashed make him want to kill no matter what and even if they take away the drugs 100% will he still fell the urge to kill? and if in the future if he ever held or shot a weapon would he re gain the urge to kill again?

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    1. I think that if Ishmael ever held a gun again, especially and AK-47, I think that he would get too many horrible memories and he might end up shooting someone who resembled the RUF.

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  27. He always refers to his AK-47 as his best friend why does he think its the only thing he has.

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  28. "The drugs from the previous nights...had begun to subside...My head began to hurt." (Beah 137)Do you think that the lack of violence also had something to do with his frequent migraines?

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  29. I think Ishmael has become addicted to violence. I think your mind will be expecting it a lot because of where he is at. When it stops he doesn't know what to do.

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  30. On page 141 Ishmael is with the nurse because of his hand, the nurse said "What is your name?" why do you think he didn't answer her?

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  31. Why did Beah change his mind about Esther?

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    1. I don't think ever really changed his mind. He still struggles to trust her but he is beginning to see that people in the city aren't that bad.

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  32. Adam is talking about when the man got shot in the foot 3 times... Why do you think he wasnt being drugged up when they were removing them?

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    1. He was always drugged up. They just didn't have anymore drugs

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  33. "The villages that we captured and turned into our bases as we went along and the forests that we slept in became my home". How many villages did they capture? Did he know how bad the crimes he was commiting were?

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  34. When Ishmael is in the rehab center and the child soilders get mad at the counselors that they have been desensitized to smiles and the type of life that he had before the war?

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    1. They do that cause of all the drugs.

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  35. On Pg.151 it says " I would feel one of the staff members wrap around me saying, "this isn't your fault. it really isn't. You will get through this." He would pull me up and take me back to the hall." Do you think that it would be so difficult for any of us who had a good childhood, do you think that you could change into a war and forced to fight, or after it was over, could you return to civilian life.

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  36. if Ishmael never did drugs, how different do you think he would be?

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    1. Well he wouldn't be going through withdrawals, but he would suffer from a much more serious form of PTSD. He would show more PTSD-like symptoms than drug withdrawal symptoms.

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    2. I think that they would be the opposite of what they are now and i dont think they would be able to function about the war and the life they live.

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  37. On page 134 the boys are walking around and talking to civilians and treating them like they are nothing and they run into a guy named Mambu. Mambu stood up for the civilians and started trash talking the boys, "If anyone is a civilian, it is you boys. You are wearing civilian clothes. What kind of army person wears civilian clothes? Did these sissy civilians who brought you here make you wear those clothes? You must be a weak soldier, then." With Mambu saying that it made the boy mad and he took his shirt off to fight Mambu and he sees that the boy had the RUF tattoo. "They are rebels!" and war broke out again. Why don't more civilians stand up for them selves?

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  38. With Ishmael loving music will it be the soul reason why he becomes rehabilitated? (and also Ester)

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  39. If a rebel kills another rebel does it cause them to get into trouble or does it make the rebels happier of him?

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