Quarantine Memoir

Quarantine Social Life




     These past couple of weeks have been difficult being stuck under a roof with family your stuck with. It’s a difficult situation everyone’s in now and even though I don’t need to see them a lot, it’s the only people I really have seen in person for awhile which sometimes stresses me out. I like quarantine for the most part and it gives me almost the whole day to myself and I get to decide what I do with my day. I feel like I can go on awhile longer like this because after all I still get to speak to people online and through video games. However, not being able to speak to anyone else in person has a strange effect on my social life. I feel normal but being social is normally something I am used to is being halted for now. 


   Even though I have been stuck only with my family, my cousins spent around half the quarantine with us which was a good change from the normal routine. However, we can’t do a lot of the same things we usually do when they come over like go out to the supermarket and but soda and candy and than come back to our house and play call of duty zombies until we’ve eaten it all. But now the store we go to is closed and we are out of batteries for our Xbox controllers and the nearest hardware store is towns over. We also go through the trails behind my house and in their yard on their dirt bikes and quad bikes. 


    They were some of the only other people really that I have seen in person. But quarantine or not it’s always fun to hang out with them. And in these difficult times human interaction is something limited and valuable. And even if you can’t see anyone in person, my favorite part of my day is talking to friends online as it gives me that little bit of sociability everyone needs every day.



Final Reflection

Year in Review

9th grade English Class 


     “Books can only reveal to us ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.” -Henry David Thoreau 

    This whole year has gone by very fast and English class isn’t an exception. At the start of the year we read the Odyssey which took a long time. I can still remember in detail the meetings and discussions we had on it. We focused on the themes and characters of each chapter. We talked about how the characters changed and grew throughout the book. I personally got pretty bored of the book after awhile mostly because I felt like things weren’t moving fast enough and we had a literary reflection and test for almost every chapter despite how short or uneventful it is. It’s important to remember that this story is very old and doesn’t display as good plot and pacing. The book has many dull points and often seems like it’s repeating itself as the main character travels from island to island and fighting foes and meeting unimportant side characters. 


   Later in the year we read Lord of the Flies which was much more interesting and intriguing to me. It seemed that all the characters were thought out and each one had deeper meanings behind them and what they do. The book is full of metaphors and symbolism which I really liked. It makes some of the deeper and darker realities of life much more understandable. It was very fun reading the book and following the characters and their personalities. I read the whole book in just a few days because of how good it was. Despite the book being so short I learned a lot from it. I was really exited from the start and even though it didn’t include as much as I hoped for I still wasn’t disappointed. 


   Soon after we finished Lord of the Flies spring break started. And after that so did distance learning. It was very difficult to get used to. And juggling all the homework and classes was not an easy feat. I started to get very busy and had trouble finishing all of English classes assignments on the sheet in the short amount of time we could do them. English classes homework definitely took the most time for me but wasn’t too annoying because I personally like reading and writing. One assignment we started was an independent reading book and writing daily metacognitions. I think daily metacognitions took away from the reading experience and made enjoying the book a lot harder and made reading more work. Last year when we had an independent reading project we only had to write metacognitions every couple of days or weekly and got to write our analysis’s of the book less often and more towards the end which let us enjoy and get more into the book we were reading. 


   Overall this year in English was very educational and I learned stuff. There were some parts of the year and projects that I found to be very fun and enjoyable especially Lord of the Flies and even some parts of the Odyssey. 

Power of Reflection

Power of Reflection

Connor Soukup


    Being able to reflect is important because you need to be able to look back to your past experiences to reflect and learn from it. People can’t progress as people in maturity and wisdom if they can’t reflect. Reflection is something almost everyone can do and we do even without intending. 


    Meditation, praying and forced reflection isn’t very important or helpful because your mind does it by itself. Just remember not to fight the urge to reflect and let yourself reflect all day and not setting a specific time for it. Reflecting at one point in the day may negatively effect the rest of the day and how you take in information. Making the only time you can reflect and concentrate your thoughts being at the regular meditation time. So let yourself reflect and don’t worry to much about it. 


    Reflection is important because it allows us to learn from mistakes and past actions and reflect on them and process the outcome. Reflection is a natural human quality and not something you need to force. Reflection is incredibly powerful as it increases your knowledge and familiarity with the world and all your past experiences.

Blog post 1

Blog post #1



     Yesterday I kept to my normal after school routine of breakfast, protein shake, homework and reading, exercise, videogames, movie, and than sleep. I keep playing this one videogame sea of thieves, that has probably the most toxic community i’ve ever been part of. Everyone is always angry and yelling at their teammates and tanking everyone else just because they can. I might switch back to a more fast paced game without a lot of necessary online communication. Something I have found is crews without mics are a lot more peaceful and united as crews with mics. That’s interesting. But I’ve kept playing the game because when it comes to video games I like to play to win. In campaign games I reach 100% completion and unlock all the awards, achievements, and items. In shooter games and reach max level with all gun camouflages and costumes. I know video games aren’t that productive, but at least it’s something fun during these hard times.


Journal entry 2

Cujo Entry #1

    So far Cujo has been a very great book starting with a kid who thinks there’s a monster in his closet and is set very unsettlingly and eerily. Even though Iv’e just gotten into it I am already exited for the rest if the book and the dark wisdom it may have like many other Stephen King books. The book is set very visually and it’s very easy to make a picture in your head on where and how the book is taking place. So far he dog hasn’t been introduced yet but it wouldn’t be a Stephen King book if the main antagonist wasn’t introduced for the first half the book.

Journal entry 1

Intro to Independent Reading

“...it was amazing, wasn't it, how bad you could hurt when there was nothing physically wrong.” ― Stephen King, Cujo

      I chose to read Cujo because I really like Stephen King’s writing and I really liked reading pet cemetery and this book seemed very similar. Pet Cemetery is about a family who’s cat dies and they bury it in an ancient cursed burial site where the cat comes back to life but different. As if it saw death, anything that came out of that graveyard was hostile and feral. Cujo is about a friendly dog that gets bitten by a sick bat and gies feral and attacks people. This is a lesser known book of Stephen King’s but it’s still one I have heard of before and given my limited selection of books I chose this one. I’ve read a couple of Stephen King’s books and they were very good so I don’t have any doubts that this one will be good as well.  

Lord of the Flies Metacognition

Live or Evil?


    “The mask was a thing on it's own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-conciousness.” ― William Golding, Lord of the Flies


    There is a beast inside every one of us. Some people conceal it with as much joyousness and peacefulness as they can, but deep down everyone has that putrid evil in their heart. In the book, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the idea of evil and morality is evident. 


    Simon, the wisest of all the boys was walking through the jungle when he happened upon the choir boys hunting and killing their second pig. They had recently broken up from the rest of the group because Jack was turned down as leader again which made him feel powerless and power hungry. After they killed the pig they cut off the head and put it onto a stick as an offering to he beast. When they left Simon had a silent conversation with the pig head. 


Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!” said the head. For a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go; Why things are what they are?


This conversation explained that there isn’t a physical beast that you can kill. And that the beast is in everyone, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t kill it. The pig head represents the beast in the way that the faults in humanity lead to the monstrosity of sacrificing a pig head to a non-physical beast. By this terminology they were sacrificing the beast to themselves. Making them feel better or more protected by this sacrifice.


    It is important that we understand that the beast isn’t something you can catch and kill, and that it resides in everyone of us and we all are capable of evil things. The boys use masks and face paint when they are partaking in hunting or violence. It masks their true identity both figuratively and literally. The masks allow the boys to function within the realm of a new identity, and in these new identities, they can release the beast inside all of them. This brings up the question of what kind of society is better? One that hides every humans hatred and ability to partake in evil acts, or one that accepts the darkness in every mans heart. 


    I believe that even though hiding our anger and hatred is safer and creates a more harmonious society. However, we can’t forget or ignore humankind’s mishaps and faults. Because like a caged lion, locking it away only makes it more hostile.


Lord of the Flies literary analysis 1 (hair)

Hair In Lord of The Flies


     “The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable.” ― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

     The human race has always had a sense of carelessness and savagery. Often times carelessness and laziness leads to savage behavior in that it takes effort to be civilized and some don’t always work to remain on the path of sophistication. In the book, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, the boys hair symbolizes their battle with savagery. And them fighting to keep the hair out of their eyes represents their desire “fun” and their overall carelessness.

     After a couple weeks on the Island, all the boys at this point in the story had long hair and were dirty and a lot of them were getting careless about their hygiene.

Piggy was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow. The rest were shockheaded, but Piggy’s hair still lay in wisps over his head as though baldness were his natural state and this imperfect covering would soon go, like the velvet on a young stag’s antlers” (Golding page 64)

This quote shows that Piggy, the most reasonable one and most civilized, had hair that never really seemed to grow. As the other boys all seemed to creep into savagery including Ralph, Piggy never seemed to. Their hair represents their transformation into savagery.

     Ralph has an ongoing battle with keeping his hair out of his eyes which represents his fight with savagery. “Ralph stood, one hand holding back his hair, the other clenched” (Golding page 66). This quote shows how his hair represents more than just hair and that is is more like a blindfold for civilization and leads people into savagery. “Not one of them was an obvious subject for a shower, and yet-hair, much too long, tangled here and there, knotted round a dead leaf or a twig…scurfy with brine” (Golding page 110).

    The growth of the boys hair is equal to their growth into savagery. As their hair grows, so does the desire for fun and recklessness. Piggy and Ralph’s hair show how some of the wiser and more intelligent members of society deal with the problem of civilization and the fight to remain civilized. 

A Child’s Christmas in Whales Literary Analysis

Child’s Imagination in Writing


“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw



     You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. In the book, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, by Dylan Thomas, we see how a child’s view of the world is drastically different than how adults see it. And oftentimes children's creative imagination’s shape the way we write and tell stories. Children see the world much differently than adults. This story expresses the creative nature of a child’s mind.

    A boy and his friends were venturing through his town on Christmas Day. They walk through the town during a blizzard.

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills, and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior.”

These kids take a quaint little town and turn it into a harsh wilderness where they were hardy traveler’s barring the cold to survive. In their minds they were able to take a seemingly boring town and turn it into whatever they wanted.

  This ability to see more than present is frequently explored by writers. A lot of story telling uses this technique to exaggerate the story and keep the listeners captivated. A child’s imagination is something that many people find interesting and may have a deeper meaning than just their growing and developing minds.

    Throughout this short story the author exhibits childlike imagination in his writing through images, actions, and detailed descriptions. He also uses similes and metaphors to greater amplify his writing to help set the scene and captivate the reader.

Mid year exam narrative

Why Follow Tradition?


“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”Leonard Bernstein


     Tradition is a powerful aspect of humanity. We often follow tradition to ease the stress of our daily lives with something that remains tantamount. 

    One tradition I follow is running. Every morning I run on the trails behind my house purely for the repetition of it. With the stress and change everyday in my school life and extracurricular activities, I need something that stays the same. Because change is stressful. And nothing is less stressful than absolutely nothing. 

    Traditions are not always chosen but developed. Something you enjoy will make its way into your head as something you want to do again. So find something you like to do and stick with it. I know that life is short and to try as much as we can before we die is a desperate desire for mankind. But stress is like a glass barrier between you and your dreams. Stress pulls you apart and sorts you to what you want to accomplish. Keeping part of you in work, part of you in your aspirations, and part of you with your family. Getting pulled apart between things you love to do is not what life is short so make it sweet means. You can’t reach your full potential of your not whole. Travel the world and try new things as one. Without your ambitions and hopes holding you back.

    I run as a means to remain unstressed and able to reach for everything I want to without overwhelming myself or pushing away other things I like to do. So find your tradition as it may give yourself back to you. 

Odyssey literary analysis books 1-12

The Odyssey: Books II-XI

Trust and Fate


     “Ah how shameless – the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.” ― Homer, [The Odyssey, Book I, Lines 37-40]


    Trust plays a major factor in people’s lives and feelings. And in the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust your fate. In the first twelve books of The Odyssey, by Homer, the idea of trust and fate were exhibited throughout the book. Trust was interpreted as more of a damnation than a gift from the gods. It was used to test the characters and trial them and their decide their fate.


    Odysseus and his crew were sailing for months, barely surviving countless atrocities and roadblocks on the way. Finally they reached the island of the Sun. Odysseus wanted to avoid the island, however Eurylochus insisted that the crew was too tired and needed rest so Odysseus made the men swear an oath not to eat any cattle because if they did, Helios, the sun god, would punish them as they were his cattle. Odysseus and his crew stayed at the island for a month and eventually ran out of the stored food they had on their ship so they began to starve. One night Eurylochus convinced the men to eat the cattle of the sun and betraying Odysseus’s trust. Odysseus and Zeus felt deeply betrayed and which enraged them.

“Father Zeus! the rest of you blissful gods who never die —you with your fatal sleep, you lulled me into disaster. Left on their own, look what a monstrous thing my crew concocted!’ Quick as a flash with her flaring robes Lampetie sped the news to the Sun on high that we had killed his herds and Helios burst out in rage to all the immortals” [The Odyssey, Book XI, Lines 405-409]

Odysseus was enraged with the actions of his crew mates and even though they received justice in the form of the wrath of Zeus, he may never trust anyone again. His whole journey is recurrent with mutiny and betrayal. The story also exhibits the theme of forgiveness and mercy, especially from Odysseus. Throughout the book, Odysseus forgives and shows kindness to his crew mates when in return only given disrespect and betrayal. The effects of this exchange take a toll on Odysseus and it is shown as Odysseus changes throughout his journey.


     After Odysseus had journeyed for eighteen days across the endless sea, he caught sight of a distant island hoping to find asylum. Suddenly Poseidon, god of the sea, sees Odysseus who he has seething rage for. Poseidon sends monstrous waves obstructing his way. Poseidon knows he can’t kill Odysseus because it against the will of Zeus. Odysseus swims to the island for two days in the harshest of storms. He finally collapses on the sand. 

    “A heavy sea covered him over, then and there unlucky Odysseus would have met his death—against the will of fate—but the bright eyed one inspired him yet again.” [Lines 479-482–The Odyssey book five].

While Odysseus was close to death, the power of the gods and fate saved him and inspired him to survive. This event shows that the gods are always looking over us and influencing our fate and future. The gods threw hardships at Odysseus and helped him out during hard times as well. The gods have a plan for Odysseus even though they can’t see the future. 


    Even though the gods can’t generally be trusted, you can still decide the mortals who to trust which will predominantly determine your fate. Trust can often be deadly, and as shown in The Odyssey; who you trust can ultimately determine your fate.