Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Power is a Plentiful Thing

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! *drumroll pleeeeeeease*…….


Can you guess what our theme is?........ 
Wrong! Guess again!

Our theme is “Power can be poison”, because, throughout this book, Matt, Tam Lin, El Patron, the keepers, and pretty much every single other character struggles with the fight for power. 

“When you’re small, you can choose which way you grow. If you’re kind and decent, you grow into a kind and decent man. If you’re like El Patron… just think about it.” (p.70)

This is a quote stated by the one and only Tam Lin. You will be missed :'(. When Tam Lin talks to Matt about growing up, he mentions how you have a choice of how you want to grow. He mentions that El Patron chose to tower high over the forest, though most of his branches are twisted.

So we thought we could take this literally. We made a forest of trees, but one tree was corrupt. His branches were all twisted, he towered over the other trees, he had no leaves. This tree is the one and only El Patron. He is dead, covered in black (which we chose to symbolize power and greed). Below the tree of El Patron is black paint, seeping into the ground to symbolize El Patron spreading all of his corruption. Other trees were mildly corrupt, some more than others. For example, Tom and Celia. Celia is pure and an innocent green, but Tom is dark and greedy for power. So, that's about it.

As you can tell, our trees are not any trees... They are truffula trees!! (Just kidding, but we noticed the resemblance.)

Thank you for reading yet another one of our blog posts on The House of the Scorpion, and we hope you stay tuned for more!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Harkness discussion #7: Child Labour

Welcome, all you crots and keepers!

Today we completed Harkness discussion #7!! This time, we talked about the very serious and scary topic of child labor. No. I'm not talking about those dishes you washed for your mom yesterday, I'm talking about the serious stuff. Slavery, abuse, lack of education.
Here it is, hope you enjoy!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Harkness discussion #5: Empathy and Sympathy

Hello once again everyone,

Welcome to Harkness discussion #5! Yes, we skipped 4. This time around, we were asked to do something a little different. We, instead of the regular storyline based, focused on the topic of empathy and sympathy, and how they relate to the characters in the book.  

So, this one's a little bit longer :) Anyhow, enjoy!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Harkness Discussion #3.5: Old Age: 12 to 14

Hello all you eejit flower girls and soon-to-be fertilizers,

Welcome to harkness discussion number 4. Yes, we skipped one. Jk we just did a practice one and our teacher said that counted. If you STILL don’t know what a Harkness discussion is, PLEASE go look at our first Harkness discussion post, near the bottom.

Nonetheless, welcome to Harkness discussion #3.5. We barely got through one question, throughout the whole time period (both of the moderators are supposed to bring 5). It was pretty noice.

So, our discussion was very diverse, and pretty much everyone was saying stuff. But sometimes we stopped to ask the people who hadn’t said as much as us so far if they had anything to say about the topic. But overall, I don’t really think anyone didn’t say anything. We basically all were the more talkative people in the group, so we didn't really notice who said the most until we looked at the map at the end. But the more talkative people pretty much spoke their mind, and we all listened to each other, (and by that we mean never stop talking and talking over each other). We all like to interrupt each other too, because that’s very kind. Nothin’ new.
Our best moment in the discussion was probably from 3:03-7:00 (pretty much the entire thing was great though) because we brought up the fact that it was cruel for Matt so be smart, and aware of his inevitable death, or for him to be damaged in the brain, and not have the opportunity to really live. We also brought up Maria, and Maria’s mom and how that may play out in the rest of the book, as well as memories, and hints of his purpose.
Our main goal for next harkness discussion is to be more inclusive of everyone because we kind of got carried away and just kept on talking over the other group members. Fun stuff.

Thank your for your time, and stay tuned for the next episode :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Characterization: Tam Lin

Hello, bodyguards and skorpeeuns.

For the past few weeks, we have been investigating the book “The House Of The Scorpion” (which you probably already knew from previous posts). This time around, we had the challenge to create an Instagram account for a character from the novel. Of course, we picked Tam Lin. Waddup title reference because he can't spell and is a bodyguard!

We’re very involved in the technologies of the modern day, to the point some would even call us “screenagers” (best movie of all time I think it should get every oscar that is ever given out #notspons)! Sooooooo this was our time to shine!
You best prepare yourself for the feuds (what a funny sounding word), the comments, the posts, and the cursed direct messages. DUN DUN DUUUUN.

I hope you enjoy these wonderful examples of our interactions between the other characters and make sure to stay tuned for more :)

First of all, we found that something that definitely represents Tam Lin's effect on others is his humor. He likes to make jokes about things like Maria’s dog, which Matt agrees with. Sharing common interests with Matt makes him feel better about himself being a clone, so Tam Lin does his best to tell him everything. Though Tam Lin also does say some very intelligent things, which allow Matt to re-think his situation, such as on page 138.

“Any rat in a sewer can lie,” Tam Lin had said. ”It’s how rats are… But a human doesn’t run and hide in dark places, because he’s something more.” (p. 138)

Tam lin and Matt are bros for life, as you can see. This post represents that Tam Lin is a very dynamic character, and has grown to like Matt. He enjoys Matt’s company quite a bit despite him being an AWFUL CLONE!!!! (just kidding he’s great) But near the beginning of the novel when he didn’t know Matt very well, as shown on page 67, he wasn’t as caring for the young ‘laddie’.

Tam Lin’s original display towards Matt:
“Matt sat on the floor with tears pouring down his face. He made snuffling noises like a pig and hated himself for doing it, but he couldn’t stop. Celia would have comforted him if she’d been there. Tam Lin only shrugged and went back to his sports newspaper.” (p. 67)

Some of Tam Lin’s new kindness:
“”Tell you what, laddie. We’ve got something to celebrate. Let’s go on a picnic.”
“A picnic?” Echoed Matt, trying to remember the meaning of the word.
“I’ll explain it to you on the way,” said Tam Lin." (p. 74)

These two photos show some of the captions to our posts on Instagram. Though Tam Lin is a very experienced person and has a rather large vocabulary, his writing is definitely NOT one of his strengths. He does, though, have very intelligent speech. These captions represent how he isn’t very educated in reading and writing, but he can still represent what he is thinking, as stated on page 149.

“I was a proper fool. Turned my back on my family, ran with a rough crowd, and did the thing that brought me here.” page 138

“Deer Matt, I'm a lousy writer so this won't be long. El Patron says I have to go with him. I cant do anything about it. I put supplise in this chest plus books. Yu never know when yu might need things. Yor frend Tam Lin.”
(p. 149)

Now, another aspect of Tam Lin is his actions. He has many hobbies, like when he is bored, he lifts weights. This example represents how Tam Lin does a lot of different things, obviously including lifting weights. He hikes, he guards El Patron, he teaches Matt about nature, he goes on picnics with Matt, etc. He helps Matt with things, unlike other people. His actions define most of who Tam Lin is as a character.

“They came to a giant boulder that seemed to block the trail until Matt saw a round hole in the middle. It was worn smooth like the hole in a donut. Tam Lin climbed through and reached back to help Matt.” (p. 79)

We posted this picture to show what he liked to do but didn’t show his face because we think that since he is a bodyguard, he wants to be slightly secretive about his identity. This photo doesn’t completely show his looks, but the quoted evidence shown below from page 63 may clear up some of your thoughts on him!

“They were thick-necked and brutal, with flattened noses and scars wandering across their arms and faces. They both had curling, brown hair that grew low upon their foreheads, ruddy faces, and bright blue eyes.” (p. 63)

“That one’s Daft Donald–he likes to juggle bowling balls. Tam Lin is the one with the interesting ears.” said El Patron. (p. 63)

“Tam Lin’s ears appeared to be chewed, they were so misshapen.” (also p. 63)

Here is some mad beef between Felicia and Tam Lin!

This shows that Tam Tin; although he seems very quiet and reserved, and won't start conversations out of nowhere. He does have his defensive side. I mean, he is a bodyguard so that's kind of his job. But still, he is quite the stranger to people like Felicia, despite having lived in the big house for around 7 and a half years.

He certainly has his opinions on others, though.

“I’ll tell you this, El Patron has his good side and his bad side, very dark indeed is his majesty when he wants to be, when he was young he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or another, he grew large and green, until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.” (p.70)

This is what our temporary Instagram page looks like! The bio we created for him shows his name, and a phrase that says: “i reely luv mowntins”. This was our kind of joke to show what he would say, as he is not an educated writer or reader really. So basically, every photo, comment, and dm was made to represent Tam Lin as a character! If you ask me, I think it really shows who he is as far as the pages of this novel have told us. (Also, we definitely killed that unplanned theme.

So that's our Instagram fun! I hope you enjoyed looking at it. AND, make sure you stay tuned for more in the near future!!!
–Operation Scorpio

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Harkness Discussion #2: Middle Ages: 7 to 11

Hello all you opium poppies, yes we went there.

Welcome to our Second Harkness discussion!! WOW!!! And if you’re sitting here like
“Ummmmm… what the eejit is a Harkness discussion??!”, it is explained in our first Harkness discussion, and I would highly recommend checking that out before this one.

Since our last Harkness discussion, we have continued reading from page 52 to 145. And *breathe in* boooi has it been a blast!
*!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!* if you haven't read the book “ The House Of The Scorpion”. STOP, DROP, AND ROLL TO YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE! (maybe don't roll all the way, you may get some looks that aren't positive) Seriously, it’s amazing!!

Nonetheless, enjoy this Harkness discussion!

Below are our recording and a reflection for this discussion. Hope you enjoy listening :)

During this discussion, when quieter people were going to talk, we made sure to wait until they were done talking and didn’t interrupt them. This allowed those people to share their ideas.
To support the louder (*cough* Lucas B *cough* ) people in the group, we made sure to listen to what they were saying, and reply if we had ideas. This allowed us to be sure everyone was included in the conversation and was able to have a satisfying reaction from the others.
The timestamp that we found was most intriguing and engaging was from 6:08- 7:08 minutes.
This seemed most appropriate because we were discussing the origins of Mexico and how they made a toll on this amazing story. Shorty after, we began to discuss theories and ideas with evidence, on why the clone is there in the first place, and who El Patron really is. This was a juicy part of the discussion because everyone had something to share about it, even if it was just their opinions.

Our goal for the next Harkness discussion is to is to talk clearer. A lot of people were too quiet, some were too loud, and some people were just plain-old-hard-to-understand. We should also stop and ask the quieter people next time if they have anything to say about it, so people like the cartographer can share if they haven’t yet.

I hope you enjoyed episode 2 of our ongoing Harkness discussions, and tune in for episode 3 :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Land Of Opium

Hello y’all!

If you’re not already aware, we are Operation Scorpio! (As you can see from the name of our blog). We are a group of people investigating the incredible work of Nancy Farmer herself, The House Of The Scorpion. We have officially reached page 101! And let me tell you, stuff’s going down!

A big factor of any novel is setting, so we made a map. This map shows the geography and the time period of this book, of what we know/believe from the first 100 pages!

We really hope you enjoy looking at this map as much as we did making it.

And therefore;
Welcome to the land of The House Of The Scorpion!

–Operation Scorpio