Monday, June 21, 2010

Catcher In The Rye (1-95)

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger is a fantastic book so far from reading it. This book seems very interesting to me, I don't know why. my dad first suggested it, and said it was a book I would like. And so far I do, very much. As I started reading it I realized that I can relate to it, and thats probably what sparked my attention to it. For the same reason my dad probably said I would like the book, and its very weird. but I actually enjoy this book.

The main characters name is Holden Caulfield. he is a very cynical character, and doesn't like much of... well, anything to be exact. He always finds problems with things and calls people "phonies" a lot. Holden goes to this school cal Pencey Prep. He hates this school. He finds out that he has failed 4 subjects and cannot go back the next term. HE is now sitting in his room, and this really annoying kid comes up. The "smart geek with all the freckles" is how I would describe him. He is always asking silly questions and bothering people. Stradlater comes in, I would like to describe him as a "jock" type of guy. Stradlater asks to write a composition for english for him. Eventually Caulfield does it, but thats not until later.

What the problem with this book is that it has a lot of things happen in a short amount of time, and it it often very hard to cover all the things that happen. A lot more things happen, but Im not going to lie; it is late :p

“Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules" (Salinger 23).

I think what Mr. Spencer said there has opened Holden Caulfields eyes a little more to the world. I think he maybe realized something about the world that he shouldn't have, and now he is this rebellious, type of guy that doesn't like doing things against his will. For example, he failed 4 subjects, he could've done better if he tried, but he didn't.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chopper (256-320))


Stealth Fighter Down in Serbia:

The thing that happened during this story was an F-117 stealth fighter jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, in 1999. This was the first stealth fighter to be ever sot down. This was very bad for the Air force. Never before has a stealth aircraft got into the hands of enemy forces. This was especially bad for the Air Force, because this aircraft cost a lot of money, and it was super secret to the Air Force. No one knew anything about it until now. "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. I'm VEGA 31, on the way down" were the words of the pilot. After parachuting down, he was very vulnerable. He had the oldest survival radio in his inventory, but the newest and most advanced fighter jet. He was also in enemy territory. This meant SOMEONE had to go and get him, or at least attempt to.

The pilots name is withheld, at his request. His callsign is VEGA 31, so that is what we will call him. When he was parachuting down, he decided that he would break the rules of his SERE(survival, evade, resistance, and escape) method they had thought him in survival school. He used his mediocre radio to call for help. The radio signal would get farther while he was still in the air. Not only did he have a mediocre radio, he had a parachute that was brightly colored, white and orange. When he landed the first thing he did was go and find a safe place to hide. The first person he had got in contact was a KC-10 Tanker refueling a F-16 over Bosnia. Then, he contacted a rescue team. Two Pavelows and one Pavehawk were called in. it took 7 hours to get him. They were in a 1 mile radius of the downed pilot for about 3 hours, but because of the darkness it made it impossible to see him. Finally, when he lit a road flare, they caw him, and got him outta there.

"We pulled off my rescue with a walkie-talkie, a road flare, and a $100 GPS: out success was a testimony to the human spirit-- and a wake-up call" (Dorr 287)

My reaction to this story was very frantic. This try kept me suspended. I could literally not put the book down, because I just had to know if the Pilot was rescued or not. What was amazing was how he got to survive. I was sure that he would be captured, but because of his intelligence and knowledge, he wans't.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chopper (196-256)


"Cobra In The Crosshairs":

A new kind of helicopter joined the Army in Vietnam on September 4th, 1967. This helicopter, or chopper, was called A AH-1G Cobra. It was the first helicopter designed to be an air-to-ground gunship. It's nickname was the HueyCobra. When Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Whitley climbed into one of these gunships, he said it felt more like a fight jet than an actual helicopter. The speeds the Cobra could reach were astonishing. It could reach 175 mph, and fired 2.5 Inch sidewinder rockers under its little "stub" wings.

What happend during this mission was very scary for the pilot. He was going to an area where there Army called "Song Be", but then he got a call on his handy radio that a MEDEVAC helicopter was going in to retrieve a wounded solider. Whitley as offered the job to cover the helicopter, with his new AH-1G Cobra. He accepted. I mean, why wouldn't you accept. If the soldiers didn't have a MEDEVAC option if one of them got hurt, then they probably wouldn't fight as well. He was going north, toward where the MEDEVAC was supposed to be. Then, all of a sudden he saw .30 caliber bullets flying his way. Then, a BIG explosion shock the cockpit. He was diving. Finally he hit the ground. Suprisingly, both Pilot and Co-Pilot got out alive, and called in for another MEDEVAC for them. Another chopper came and rescued them. Later that day, when he came back to base he found out that the MEDEVAC mission that he was assigned to had gotten the wounded solider out of there without his help.

"I'd knew I'd never get out of Vietnam alive". . . And then: "No, I'm immortal. I can live through anything" (Dorr 223).

My reaction to this quote and when I read this in book was emotional. it's amazing how much determination you can have when your life is at stake. it's kind of like that feeling when you're getting chased by someone at night. The adrenaline kicks in andyou start going faster then you ever were before.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chopper (127-196)


"DUSTOFF Mission in a Hot Zone (II):

Basically, a dustoff is a mission where a Helicopter lands on the ground and evacuates a wounded solider and heads back to base so that the doctors can get to him and save him in time. The main hero in this mission was Mike Novosel. He logged thousands of flight hours, and did many other great feats. Such feats included rescuing Hundreds of wounded soldiers in the frontlines of battle.

One time, he had to go get a friendly soldier. He got separated from the main force, probably because he was not paying attention to where he was going. Novosel had to go get him, all while being shot at from all directions. He was trying to maneuver his helicopter so that some of the bullets would miss. He went and rescued that soldier. He could hear rounds hitting the Huey Chopper. Dustoff's, generally meant a medical evacuation, but it could also mean a troop evacuation just to get them out of hostile territory. Basically, the Huey chopper would come in as quick as possible, and try to get out as fast as they can. It was very dangerous to preform dustoff's, but it was well worth it, saving a soldier's life.


"Was I the only pilot in Vietnam who knew that sometimes you could use maturity and knowledge to break rules?" (Dorr 205).


I never really understood why people could not do this in the armed forces. I mean, sure, you see a lot of this happening in military movies. Main characters would be breaking rules to be badass. Such as in the movie Top Gun. Tom Cruise, or the main character, "Maverick" broke so many flight regulations that you could not count how many he broke... One time he flew right over the carrier on purpose. he could have gotten kicked out of that. but then again, it's a movie.

but yes, if you have knowledge and know what you are doing, in regulation you could break rules if they are necessary.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chopper (64-127)


"The Battle of la Drang Valley":

In 1961, there was a helicopter pilot named Leland C. Komich. He made a lot of landings under heavy fire from oppositional forces. These flights were very dangerous. His army helicopter, the UH-1 Huey could be shot down. But, he risked his life to save over 33 wounded and 7 normal infantrymen. This comes at a high price though-- your life. You're endangering your own life to save another's. That is honorable and everyone should give the most respect to these type of people. He was constantly interested in the Army. He was born and raised in Massachusetts, and enlisted in 1960 to the Army. After 4 years he had pinned a lot of pins and ribbons to his suit.

Anyways, what happened in the battle of la Drang Vally, was ....well alot of things happened. That's why it was called a Battle. While pilots such as Komich were in the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter, they got shot at, a lot. Komich stated that "when you can hear the popping, and see the muzzle flashes, then that's when it's really, really bad". One time, he recalls that he was transporting troops some ammo, and all of a sudden a bullet from an AK-47 entered the back of his helmet. "All you could see is blood spilling all over the place". Komich then decided that he had to go back to base to get he copilot treated for this injury. it wasn't a big injury, because it said in the book it only grazed his head, but still blood splattered all over the place. Another thing that happened during this Battle was many ambushes. The helicopter sometimes goes over the hills in Vietnam, and there, waiting for it is a convoy of Vietnamese soldiers. This was bad, and you had to know how to get out of one of these situations. Quickly and swiftly, you must have known how to pilot this chopper.

The main reason why it was called a battle was because there were a lot of casualties, and frequent ambushes, and many other things such as bullets being shot at the helicopters.

"When Dallas Harper's Helicopter went down right in the middle of the la Drang Battle, we had a lot of complicated things to think about." (Dorr 95)

I could imagine that they have a lot of things to worry about. Such as bullets flying everywhere, when you're trying to save one of you're buddies. things were tough in that battle, and I could not even comprehend the way it must feel to have bullets being shot in your direction. Must have a lot of adrenaline...

Chopper (1-64)


For this term's ROAR book, I chose "Chopper" by Robert F. Dorr. This is a book about this history of American Military Helicopter Operations. This book has a wide variety of mission, it has them ranging from World War 2 to the War on Terror.

"A Night Mission That Couldn't Happen":
Captain Richard Kirkland was a pilot of a H-5 Chopper. While he was partying, the phone rang. It was a lieutenant, and he said that he had a soldier, shot in the darkness. He was oing to die if he didn't get help before dawn. But this soon became a problem, a big problem. The H-5 Chopper could not be flown at night. it had to light, or navigation equipment to support it. Another reason why it couldn't fly at night was because it was against regulations.

But, to save a life, you must risk something. Going into enemy territory was dangerous-- especially at night without any lights. How did they get to the wounded solider, you ask? The wounded soldier was lucky, he had US Army troops around him and they flashed truck lights so the H-5 chopper knew where to land. As soon as it landed, Roger(the medic), bounced out and went to retrieve the wounded soldier. As soon as he was on board they took off. When they were just in the air, they heard, and saw "little red golf balls" coming towards them/ The Vietnamese were shooting at them. The H-5 was being shot, and the helicopter was struggling to leave the hostile situation. But for some reason, the enemy fire stopped. As soon as it stopped, they were back on there way home.

The wounded soldier lived.

"Abruptly, they stopped shooting. I don't know why." (Dorr 46)

That had me wondering too. WHY, did they stop shooting. They has a perfect visual of where the helicopter was. The helicopter was making some lgiht from the exhaust. This way, it could move. But then again it wasn't made for night flying. It was especially dangerous when you're flying at night, not to mention if you have fire coming from the exhaust. But...why did they stop shooting. The world will never know..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The blind side (Movie Comparison)

Well, I just finished watching the movie. The first thing I want to talk about here is what the movie changed from what has happened or was said in the book. The first thing I noticed about it that was different from the book was that in the movie Micheal Oher, went to a school called "Wingate Christian High School". In the book however, he goes to a school called "Briarcrest Christian High School". Also, Micheal graduated High School with a 2.52 GPA, which was what he got in the movie and in real life. It said in the movie that you needed a GPA of at least 2.5 to play for any college. The movie lied, in real life you would need to get a 2.65 GPA to be able to attend college and play sports for that college. Micheal got from 2.52 GPA in real life from some High School Credits which raised his GPA to a 2.65. I also noticed some other things in the movie. It might seem in the movie that Sean Tuohy is a... I can't really explain it. In the book Micheal Lewis(The author) praise's him about being rich and owning a chain of restaurants, and they explained how he got to that point, being the richest man in Tennessee. In the movie however, they make it seem as it is not important. They mentioned it once that Micheal Oher can get free food from Taco Bell, Long John Silvers and other food chains, because Sean Tuohy owns them, but they didn't really emphasize that long and arduous process of getting there, to be the richest man in Tennessee.
The movie was great, anyhow. I was very pleased with the great acting from all the characters. The one part I loved in this movie was when he was writing that essay about courage and honor. I loved this movie and would give it a 6/5 if I could. I would recommend to watch it sometime if you didn't yet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The blind side (173-278)

Well, what can I say. It was a great book. I learned many things in it about football. I also learned some history about it and some famous players such as Joe Montana and Orlando Pace. I learned that good things can come out of kids with mad past/childhoods. I mean, Micheal Oher had no father, and his mother was addicted to drugs. What type of childhood that might have been, I cannot and never will be able to imagine.

Anyway, basically what I read in these 100 or so pages was alot. I started on page 173. It started off with Micheal Oher being investigated because the NCAA thought that the Tuohy's, or basically parents of Micheal Oher(not biologically), thought that they just took in Oher so that he could play for Ole Miss(A college football team), where the husband of Leigh Ann, was a coach on. It was a violation because the Tuohy's were basically forcing Oher to play for Oher because they bribed him with shelter, food, clothes...and general guidance. How can this be true? He didn't even start playing football until his junior year. He only then saw his true greatness and power in Americas Game. He was meant to play basketball, until he stepped on the field and proved himself of what he was worth. So basically all chapter 8 was talking about was the NCAA accusing the Tuohy's...

The next part was pretty boring, because all it talked about was the evolution of the left tackle position, the position which Micheal Oher played on. After that, was about how Ole Miss became to be a good college and talked a little bit about its history. It also talks about the Egg Bowl The coach of Ole Miss, does not think that he will play freshman year, because of his suffering grades. Although when he stepped on the field, he showed his true power. He showed that he was a beast. In these pages I read, they also talked slightly about Micheal Oher's childhood and his parents childhood. It was a very brief chapter.

"To get into the NFL Micheal Oher needed to first get into college, and to get into college he needed to meet the NCAA's academic standards (Lewis 184).

This was a very great book, It taught me alot of great things about football and in general about Micheal Oher, a natural at football. This quote is very true. Even if you have top notch colleges offering full 4 year scholarships, you still need to have a decent GPA. It doe snot exclude you if you had a full sport scholarship, you still need to do good in school.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The blind side (114-173)

By the time he was a senior, he now knew and was fully accustomed to the fact that he was a great football player. He was very good at it, very good at it indeed. However, one part of him was struggling. That part was schoolwork. He had a 1.67 GPA(Grade Point Average) when he was in 12th grade. There was no way to get ANY college to accept him. Even thoguh colleges were offering him FULL scholorships, he could not attend becaus eof his low GPA. Now, Liegh Ann, the "mother" of him, had to work on him and set him straight.He ha dto study hard for tests, go home straight after school, and do all his homework; and it still would not be enough to pass. She made a deal with his teachers. If he does all his work, and tries his hardest he might have a chance of going to college or playing football that season for the Briarcrest Football Team. He needed to get a GPA if he wanted to play football this year. She gave him a tutor, and everything. She gave him all the resources.

The coaches from all over the country started seeing him. He was a popular celebrity now, and was going to be a future NFL prospect., or at least that's what they were expecting. when they saw the size of that beast go, they automatically, after one play had enough and said " That was all I needed to see ". Micheal got really angry with this one kid, which said things like "Hey fatass, I'm a kill you" or "Hey fat ass! Fat peopel can't play football! I'm a run your ass over" (Lewis 117). This got him infuriated, and then he picked up that kid, ran him aklll the way down the field and mashed him against the fence. Oher said he would put the kid back on the bus if he kept using his trash talking mouth.

In 2004, the Briarcrest Football team went on to win the State Championships. They couldn't have down it without Micheal Oher, the future Offensive Tackle of the Baltimore Ravens. This kid will most likely be a legend. It is his first year playing for the Baltimore Ravens(2009-2010).

When she tried to give him a flue shot the second year in a row, he said " Your white people are obsessed with the flu shot". You don't need one every year" (Lewis 155).


I liked this section in the book a lot. I enjoyed reading it because it talked about the actual things that Micheal needed to do in order to successfully graduate from High School and what you neded to get for college, even though almost every college was offering Oher a full scholarship. You don't normally see colleges like LSU or Oklahoma State giving out FULL, and completely free scholarships. My reaction to this quote was pretty normal, but I laugehd when I read it. i have never had a flu shot in my life, and have never gotten the flu yet. I'm not crazy for the flu shot either.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The blind side (55-114)

The kid didn't even have a warm place to stay. He always went to the gym, even though he had no basketball practice that day. Sean Tuohy, practically his second father, asked him where he was going. He said, that he was going to the gym. Sean asked Why, because Micheal didn't have basketball practice that day. He said, but it has heat. He wore the same clothes everyday, until Sean's wife, Lee Ann Tuohy, took him out and bought him some more. He finally was getting everything paid for. His lunch at school, his clothes, he would get driven to where he could sleep for the night, and school paid for because the Tuohy's were nice enough to give this kid a shot.

During these 60 something pages, Micheal Oher found out that his father died... He found out 3 months after his death because they could not identify him. He keeled down on the grass for a very long time. Even though he didn't know his father, he still had respect for him. Finally, Lee Ann got tired of driving Oher around to different peoples houses that she took him in. He was now living in a house; a real house. He was guaranteed a place to stay every night now. These people were practically his parents.

Once they flew to Memphis for their final game for the basketball season, everyone started booing him and calling him names such as the N-word. He got pissed off and upset so he started to play better. By then end, they won, he got 15 assists and 27 points. After that, he started playing football. Everyone saw how good he was, so they just stared with awe. During practice, bug shot coaches from all over the country came JUST to see him in practice. they could not speak to him until his senior year though. They saw his enormous size, and knew immediately if this kid didn't get in the top 3 NFL draft, then someone done him wrong.

"That's it," she said, "Get all your crap. You're moving in with me." (Lewis 75)


Pretty nice of her to do this. I think she got enough trust in him, and that he was going to keep going. She believed in him, and that made all the difference. If she didn't, then maybe he wouldn't be the Offensive Tackle of the Baltimore Ravens now. I believe it was a good thing that his mom was an alcoholic, and his dad left him. It taught him a lesson to be strong, and never give up. If you get everything handed to you in life, you will never amount for anything.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The blind side (1-55)

As I read into the first 3 chapters of this new and intriguing book, there really was nothing interesting. Micheal Lewis basically all he says is the backstory of some of the great players, and how much they got paid and stuff like that in the fist two chapters. The second chapter talked about great players such as Lawrence Taylor, Joe Jacoby, and Joe Theismann. The third chapter started talking about Micheal Oher, the main character. Micheal Oher was a kid that didn't have any foundation, but people saw things in him. "When Sean Tuohy first spotted Micheal Oher sitting in the stands in the Briarcrest gym, staring at basketball practice, he saw a boy with nowhere to go but up" (Lewis 52). The question was, of course how to make him go up. He had no dad, and his mom was in rehab. The only person he had was 'Big Tony'. He was a giant, a freak of nature they said. 300+ pounds, 6'+ ran a 5.5 in the forty year dash. Now, this was only when he was 16. Imagine how big he is now...

Basically all I read so far is that his(not legal), guardian, 'Big Tony', sent him to Briarcrest Christian School. He was flunking every class in the beginning, and they didn't know how to set him on the right foot. They knew he could be something if he tried really hard, but how can you educate someone that didn't even have a foundation.

And that's when I stopped reading...

"The goal was: lets idetntify where Lawrence is on every play." Talyor moved around alot, to confuse the defense, but he and his coach were happiest when he came from his own right side and the quarterbakcs left. Teh big reason I put him over there," said Bill Parcells, "is the right side is the quarterbacks blind side (Lewis 18).

My reaction when I red this was I had to read it over and over again so I could memorize what "The blind side" really was. I don';t know why the book was called "the blind side", but at least I now know what "The blind side " is.