Lesson 3

Ask a family member to explain a little bit about where your family is from.  This could be a state, country, or a city or town.  Then write about what you learned and how it made you feel about your family history.  Where you surprised?  Excited? Sad? What emotions did you have when you heard about your family?


Lesson 2

Pick two inventors from the list below and write at least three paragraphs on your blog for each person you picked and tell me  what you like about them.

Wright brothers (flight), George Washington Carver (science), Alexander Graham Bell (communication), and Thomas Edison (electricity)

Then read one of your fellow students’ blog and post a comment on why you liked what they wrote and something they could improve.

Lesson 1

Use informational writing and use RACE to answer the question on your blog.  Give it the title of Native Americans.

What were some of the problems Native Americans had when the Transcontinental Railroad was being built?

I can’t say what I can’t say

I am in a relationship with someone that I don’t to be with, but she also doesn’t want to be with me.  The catch is that to get what we want we have to be friends in a way because each of us holds the card that the other needs.

It isn’t a very good relationship because she holds more of the cards that I want.  The more I think about it, she has the power over me in the short term.  I hold the trump card, though.  I have power that people don’t realize I have.  She knows.  I mentioned it once during a tense conversation and she closed her mouth and did whatever I wanted in that moment.  She was willing to give me almost everything that I wanted, but I wanted something else.  Until that moment, we have passed each other in the hall knowing that the secrets are always there.

I have powers.  Not super powers, but the ability to get information that you don’t even know people have access to is my power.  I can find out where celebrities live and how much they paid for their home. I have the power to find out how much money you make and how much your business makes.  I know how to get things that you have no idea about.  That may be a super power.  I can bring people down with information.

Mortified and no way out

I’ve paid the piper.  Gave him money and then some.  I have seen things that nobody should see and done things that nobody should, but they were pretty fun.

I have written stories about some of the most amazing people that exist in every town, but have seen things that you can’t unsee.  I was a man that I didn’t want to be, but it had its benefits.  I got to interview very powerful people in the world of politics.  I even interviewed a man who worked for the Queen of England.  I met sports stars, and I have been called a liar to my face when I had their words on tape.  (That was the best part.)

The best part was the great people who do spectacular things without anybody knowing.  I saw people cry when they left their job after decades of service, a man a little older than me face death in the face and struggle with it, and watch someone relive their life through a gesture someone gave them.

I was more than happy to take on the opportunity that I had chosen.  I met all of those great people, but I had some of my best times defying the rules, which were encouraged by my bosses.  I have slipped passed the cops so many times it should be looked at.  A firefighter let me get on top of truck to take pictures, but I climbed up the ladder to get a better shot, which made the photographers proud.  I went ducked under lines to be close to the murder scene, but not close enough to where I would cause trouble.  I can say that I have seen many things that other people want, but it comes with a cost.

Then came the part that I couldn’t live with anymore.  The calls at midnight to see what major car crashes or accidents happened.  Wondering on the scene of a dead man who walked off the highway and fell dead when he reached the grass.  The worst part is when I walked up on the scene and the officer took off his latex gloves to shake my hand.  One of the weirdest and most horrifying things was putting together the sexual offender list.  I had to stare at those images of people who did horrid things to people and put their offense with their name so we could print it for the county.  I actually spent some time with the officer who’s job it is to watch over those people and the stories were so vile that I did not sleep for a couple of days.  All of the stories haunt me.  They still come into my mind every so often, but that was the life I chose.  The most evil of evils was trying to get a quote from a family member after their child was murdered or the murderer.

Be careful what you wish for.

The Weird concept of what is News

I am a news junkie.  I consume every article, editorial, and feature story that interests me.  Mostly it is politics, but there are times when I venture off into the Science realm because there is some really cool shit going on out there.  This all stems from my days as a reporter and my natural curiosity.  When I was journalist I covered all kind of government agencies and people.  You have to be prepared before you interview a politician, even if it the local city council that makes decisions for a couple thousand people.

As I venture around the Internet to visit various news sites, The Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc., I will go to The Onion from time-to-time, which is a very funny satirical site if you didn’t know.  They have all kind of categories like every newspaper, but they are completely absurd.  They have profile pieces with titles like Aging Mother Knows any Wrong Move Could be Taken for Telltale Sign of Dementia or Bobby Jindal Lies to Parents About Winning GOP Nomination.

After spending 30 minutes on The Onion, I will go back to reading real news and I will read it as a comedy that is not real.  There are stories in the media that don’t seem real, like Donald Trump leading for the GOP nomination, but there are others that are just straight news, and just for the record I only go to reputable news sources.  I don’t dabble in conspiracy theories or speculation about a candidate for office unless it is corroborated by another source.  I do have friends who get in discussion with me about current events and try to point to these sites as proof that someone is guilty of something.  I have a degree in Political Science, so I generally wipe the floor with them.  Now back to the premise of this post.  After reading the satirical news and venturing back to real news or vice versa, I find myself reading one genre as if it is the other.

I find it funny that the brain can trick me into switching from one to the other without me recognizing it. One of the more plausible things is that the real news has become such a farce that you don’t know who to believe.  I knew I left the profession for a reason.

I Don’t Want You to be Here

You won’t like me.  You really don’t like me.  Then you might love me.  Then you might loathe me.  You will tolerate me.  You will like me.  You will love me.

That is the emotions of someone who goes through my writing phase in a few days to a five-day period when I sit down to seriously write.  I have tried to explain this to many people that it isn’t fun to be me, and that it is horribly wrong to be me when I am in writing mode.  To be honest, this is not writing for me.  I get words on a page, but that doesn’t mean that I am writing.  It is the equivalent of some of my writing days when I was a journalist.  I came back to the newsroom, which was mainly at night, and the editor told me how many inches of copy I needed to fill.  I wrote to fill space.  I had to.  I did have fun and did things that most people never get to do, and saw things that many people don’t even get close to.  Some of the things I didn’t want to see or do.

Writing for myself is different.  I go into a world that isn’t meant for human consumption.  It is weird.  The world gets a little blurry, the walls seem to bend a little bit, and I am the most incorrigible person you have ever met.  I sit in the dark.  I eat very little.  I lack communication skills.  I hate the world, but I go through the daily duties of being a human being.  As one of my friends put it after reading some of stories, “You are pretty funny, but it is very dark.”  At least I keep my sense of humor.  My compassion is heightened, my sensitivity is off the charts, and my love for people waxes and wanes with the tides.  The rest of me falls away into the abyss of my mind and my life.  It isn’t pretty, and nobody should be around me, but the weird thing is that if I don’t do it then I wouldn’t be myself.  It isn’t much, but it’s a living.