Sunday, September 30, 2007

part 2 (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)

1. creepy-crawlies (page 54): This word is loaded because whenever I hear it or read it, it sends a kind of jitters down my spine. The author uses it because it is a creative and very connotated way to talk out bugs and spiders and what not.

erode (pg 58): This word is loaded because it makes me think of a cruel, well, almost explosion or burning. The author uses it to better describe the how he is trying to break down the chalkstone (unfortunately it's not working).

daze (pg 64): This is loaded because it somewhat calms me down or makes me feel tired. The author uses it to speak of a sleep that he begins to enter as a cool breeze hits his body.

chill (page 65): This is loaded because it makes me think of a deep cooling or freezing. The author uses this to better describe how cold the night air is in the canyon.

dexterity (page 67): This is loaded because it is mysterious-sounding, yet intelligent as well. The author uses this because it is complex and adds depth to his writing.

obliterated (page 75): This is loaded because it creates a greater image of something being destroyed. The author uses it to really emphaseize how, in this case, the wind was so powerful that it can destroy his footprints in seconds.

burros (pg 77): This is loaded because it makes me think of a deep hole. The author uses it because it is a good alternative word to use instead of using the boring term, hole.

flamboyant (pg 77): This is loaded, to me, because I believe that this is a very funny word and I use it a lot. The author uses it to spice up his writing and keep it from being dull.

binge (pg 85): This is loaded because it reminds of a bad diet. The author uses it to show that he did a lot of skiing that vacation.

bushwhacking (pg 91): This is loaded, to me, because my family calls packer fans "Bushwhacking cheese heads," and I have always found the word to be funny. The author uses it really described the torture he went through the previous night.

2. Aron endures his first night being with his arm wedged between the rock and the wall. He is still trying to break the chalkstone with his knife, but is still unsuccesful. He calculates in his head that it's going to take at least 150 hours to break the rock enough to get his arm out, so he gives up on that idea. While he is stuck, he thinks about the first time he visited Utah and all the people he met and all the things he did. Aron then came to day two, and he was feeling an increase of energy from the light in the canyon (that same boost from when he hiked through the night). He also is able to slide a piece of webbing onto a horn that would make it easier to move the boulder. After many unsuccesful attempts, he finally is able to slip the webbing into a fissure to the right of the horn. Unfortunately, the system was too weak compared to the immense strength of the boulder. Aron is beginning to become doubtful about his survival.

3. I'm just going to start out by saying: I am happy to not have to go through what Aron is going through. Even with his amazing wit, he is still unable to free himself of the boulder.

outside reading part 1 (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)

1. It's a Saturday Morning, April 26th, and Aron Ralston left his truck and set off on a bike ride along the Canyonlands National Park. This journey would take him most of the day, and in his backpack is 25 pounds of supplies and equipment. To eat, he has a gallon of water in his CamelBak hydration pouch, a one-liter Lexan bottle, two burritos, and a chocolate muffin; he's going to be hungry at the end of the day. Most of the weight, however, comes from his rapelling gear, which includes 5 total carabiners, a combination belay and rappel device, a climbing harness, his rarely used Leatherman-knockoff multi-tool (with two pocketknife blades and a pair of pliers), etc... Along with those items, Aron is carrying a CD player with several Phish CDs, some AA batteries, a digital camera, and a mini camcorder. Aron is wearing some running shoes, thick wool socks, Lycra biking shorts under a pair of beige nylon shorts, his favorite Phish t-shirt, and a blue baseball cap. Tomorrow will officialy cap his 5 day trip, and he will end it by biking a 108 mile trail called the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. He leaves his bike and begins to hike, and on his way hiking, he spots two young women and begins conversation with them. One is named Megan, she is a brunette who seemed to be the most outgoing of the two, and the other is named Kristi, who is a blond with freckles along her forehead. Both women are in their mid-twenties and both live in Moab. As they the three conversate, they learn that they all enjoy slot canyoneering. Aron states that his favorite slot canyon is by far Neon Canyon, a named branch of the Escalante River system in South Central Utah. Just a few minutes later, the three come to the first section of difficlut down-climbing, which is a steep descent where it's better to turn in and face the rock. Thirty feet later is another drop-off. After Megan has descended from this drop, she finds that her bag is soaking wet. It turns out that her hydration system hose lost its nozzle when she threw her bag over the ledge. She quickly grabs the nozzle and puts it back on, which saved her from having to return to the trailhead (though she did lose precious water). The air above them is hot and only getting hotter, while the air where they are located, down in the canyon, is crisp and cool. The three of them come to the West Fork in the canyon, which means Kristi and Megan are going to separate from Aron. The three agree on meeting up at Granary Spring Trailhead when Aron is done, being that his hike is going to be longer. Continuing on, alone, Aron begins to listen to his Phish CDs and gaze and the beautiful world. As he comes to another drop-off (where a waterfall would be if there was water) he begins to realize just how deadly his hobby can be, and how one wrong move can kill you. He conquers it. He comes to another ledge that is just slightly taller than the one he just did (about 12 feet high). However, he sees a chalkstone ledge that, if he can step on it, should get him to only 9 feet to descend. He decides to go a different way, however, and begins to dangle from the ledge. As he is dangling, he feels the stone shaking and instinctively lets go. When he looks up, he sees a boulder falling, and he can't move backwards or forwards because then he will fall off a ledge. He quickly decides to get his head out of the way, but his arm suffers. The rock pinches his right arm between itself and the wall. The pain begins to ease a little bit, but when he goes to get a drink of his water, he finds his container to be empty. Luckily, he manages to reach his one-liter bottle, but unluckily, he drinks over a third in three seconds. The farthest part of his arm that he can feel is the wrist. Aron realizes that he is "f***ed." However, he still has most of his utilities, and he begins to brainstorm ideas about how he can get out, most of which involves his friends sending out search teams for him. He keeps considering possible ways to get him out of there(self-amputation, pouring battery acid on the rock, and also to excavate the rock around his hand), and none seem appealing, or do-able, to him.
The next chapter is about him when he was younger, living with his family. He moved from Indianapolis to Colorado. Before the big move, he looked over some encyclopedia books to view where he was moving, being that he had never been west of the Mississippi River. He hated it already. The pictures of all the mountains terrified him. However, his parents reasured him that he wouldn't have to ski to school and he wouldn't have to climb a mountain just to get to his friend's house. His parents took him out there before they moved, and he decided that Colorado was not so bad after all. When he moved, he joined the ski club, and by the second day, he was racing down the hills beating all his new friends. But the fun did not stop there. That summer, he went on a backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. After that two weeks, he "was poised on the brink of a love affair." He climbed his first 14,000 feet-high mountain, Longs Peak, in July of 1994 with his friend, Jon Heinrich. The mountain is the 16th highest in the sate and one of the most known. He did many more trips, such as whitewater rafting, which eventually lead to him becoming a rafting tour guide. He also graduated from college with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, a double major in French, and a minor in piano performance. One time, on a camping trip, he encountered a bear, but only suffered a few cuts on his foot (and some lost food).

2. Aron Ralston is a great person who is very intelligent and very nature savvy. By the sounds of it, he has done a whole lot of mountain work (such as treks, adventures, etc...) and seems to have a complete and utter passion for it. I feel very bad for him though because when he got his arm stuck, it was a complete freak accident that no one could have avoided. I also do like his ability to handle (or somewhat handle) the pressure as he tried to slow things down and try to figure out what was going on. As for his past, before he moved, I don't think he even remotely thought that him moving would end up giving him his greatest passion(s) in life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This I believe ASSIGNMENT (not essay)

2.David Gessner
3. Experiencing a Feeling of Wildness
4. He believes in wildness inside ourselves and in the real world.
5. One example is that he uses a quote by Thoreau, an author, about how wildness is the preservation of the world. Another example is that he says he experiences "wildness" when he was holding his dad's hand during his last breaths.
6. My favorite part is when he says that he saw a big hump-back whale jump out from the water. I like this because I have always liked whales and it would be really cool to see one.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Goal for Sophmore Year

I have quite a few goals for this school year. I'd say that my biggest goal would be getting an A- or A average. I am not sure what that is as far points go, but thats what I want to achieve. This is my goal because if I manage to do that, not only will it look good on my college transcript but also it will let myself know that I am capable of achieving that as well as pushing myself to do well in school. That is my main goal for this year.

The thing I am most anxious about at EHS

The thing at EHS that I am most anxious about is probably not getting into trouble. I am anxious about this because in my past I have gotten into trouble at my other schools before this. My problems have varied, from disrupting a class to making fun of other kids. I'm not trying to scare you Mr. Hatten, I am just pointing it out. Hopefully I will be able to not get into trouble because it will go on my college transcript, and that just doesn't look good to colleges. That is what I am most anxious about here at EHS.