Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside post 3

One scene that reflected the director's point was in one of Ramon's dreams, more specifically the one where he flies around and finds Julia on the beach. The camera usage seemed like it was just a huge dollying while Ramon is flying around, but I am not sure what the technical name would be. This reflected his point because it showed how Ramon wished we could walk, which would be like us human beings wishing we could fly (that's how much Ramon wishes he could move). Another camera selection that was important was at the end when Ramon is talking into the camera just before he dies. The sequence was a zoom-out (slow) while he was talking, followed by a zoom-in as he is dying (after he drank the potassium cyanide). I am not sure what the real meaning was, however I know that the shot was a great pick (especially the slow zoom-in as he was dying) because it intensified the scene so much and it was a great pick.

The Sea Inside post 2

"The Sea Inside" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" were very similar. One example, of course, would be that they both deal with a main character that is quadriplegic. However, the difference there is that Ramon wants to die while Jean-Dominique Bauby simply knows that he will die in a short time. Another difference is that the only way Bauby can communicate with the outside world is by blinking his eye, while Ramon can speak freely. That leads to another similarity, which is that they both wrote books about their experiences, however, Bauby had to blink his entire memoir while Ramon had it much easier (he could speak it and people could write it down). When it comes to which one of the two were more powerful, I would have to say that the Sea Inside definately wins. The movie gives a lot greater of insight into Ramon's life and all the struggles that he has to go through. One example would be when Ramon is leaving the house to go and meet Rosa at a hotel (the one he ends up dying in). This was a very sad moment for that family and I do not believe that the intense emotions of that scene could've been expressed in a book.

The Sea Inside post 1

The general response to this film is that I enjoyed it because it really got the audiences emotional about what was going on. Also, I think the movie's interesting because it sparks a world wide debate about whether people should be allowed to die with dignity. In Ramon Sampedro's case, I believe that he had all the right to want to commit suicide because he was sick of being a vegetable and thought he had nothing else to live for. The court, though some people may disagree with me, was right to deny Ramon the right to assisted suicide because it is against the law. Even though I am saying this, that doesn't mean I was happy that the court made that decision. As far as the friends of Ramon are concerned, I give them a round of applause for having the courage to help Ramon even after it was declared illegal and knowing they could've gone to jail.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

week 6 part 1

The last section ended with Aron chopping off his arm and leaving trying to find help. While he is leaving, the rescue team has found his vehicle. There were messages sent out to a few states: Georgia, Utah, and Colorado. The messages were to send all cars to try and locate Aron and his Toyota Tacoma with license plate "Eight-Four-Six-Mike-Mike-Yankee." After looking around for a few hours after the messages were sent, Ranger Glenn Sherrill contacted Kyle Ekker, the man who sent out the message, containing information of the whereabouts of Aron's truck. The news of the truck's discovery got to Elliot, Aron's roommate, around 9:37 am. He began calling people, as did Rachel, Aron's sister. After a couple hours, they had coordinated two groups of friends and rescuers that were making immediate plans to drive to Horseshoe Canyon. They called Ekker to reassure that they were looking, and Ekker welcomed them to join the search.

At 11:34 am, Aron sets off to find help with a plastic grocery sack wrapped around his stub. He makes a sling out of his empty CamelBak backpack. Next he sorts the rope into 2 knot-free stacks, and then he takes his Air Traffic Controller rappel device to bend each rope strancd through one of the twin slots in the mouth of the gadget. He then uses jerking motions to trigger the ATC and hopefully help him get up the wall. Aron keeps telling himself "No stupid mistakes, you're almost there." He sees people with Germanic accents, who are encouraging him to rest while he knows he needs to hurry and get help. However, the people are able to supply Aron with a few Oreos. Still trying to get help, Aron runs into Ranger Steve Swanke, or to Aron, his rescuer. At the hospital, Aron is able to call his mom and others (such as Elliot) to tell him that he is ok.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

week 5 part 2

This section begins at day 5 of Aron’s entrapment. He once again attempted the amputation of his right arm but failed due to the dullness of his knife not being able to break his wrist bones. Another problem is his deathly case of dehydration. Right now, he is solely relying on his own urine as a beverage, being that he drank all of his water a day or two ago. At first, he planned to not even make it to Tuesday night, which is where is now, so his new goal is to survive until Wednesday at noon. As night enters Aron’s realm for the fifth time, so did the cold temperature. He constantly dozes off and has flashbacks of events that have happened in him that he would enjoy at that specific point. One example would be while he is at his grandma’s and he is enjoying a 7-Up in a Styrofoam cup with cylindrical ice cubes. He continues escaping into trances all the way until the next morning. Aron also continues to etch things into the wall with his knife as well as leave love notes in his camcorder. Believing that he will die very soon, he etches his name “ARON” and then “OCT 75-APR 03” with a “RIP” just above that. Suddenly, he envisions a little boy, perched on his right shoulder, giggling and prancing around, and Aron realizes that he is going to live, somehow, someway, he is going to live.

At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 30th, Aron’s manager at work, Brion After, came into work and realized that Aron has missed his second day of work (which is extremely out his character). Brion begins to worry, and from that point on, Aron’s search begins. Brion begins by calling his mother, and the two decide to try to come into contact with someone who Aron had spoken to regarding his whereabouts for the previous weekend. Brion calls his roommate, Elliot, as well as the Aspen Police while Aron’s mom tries to hack into Aron’s e-mail to see if he sent out any e-mails telling people where he would be. When Brion gets a hold of Elliot, Elliot is sent to search Aron’s room and finds his Denali ’02 file (the file of his climbing team). Brion then sends out an e-mail to the leaders of that team, Janet, Bill, Jason, and David. Brion then has Elliot come to work to keep up with the e-mails and messages regarding Aron because he was scheduled to go on a 2 week vacation the next day. Aron’s mom contacts Sonja, Aron’s sister, as well as his dad to discuss the issue even though both are already busy and are unable to come and help. Brion and Elliot were also able to talk to Brad Yule, the last known person to see Aron. Brad informed them of his canyoneering schedule. Another helpful resource was Daniel Hadlich, another friend of Aron, who was told that Aron would be at Holy Cross Couloir on Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, Aron’s mom and Elliot are having a rough time locating his truck because they both are unable to recall his license plates. Leona, however, was able to figure out his license number and would call the sheriff’s office in the morning when they opened.

It then becomes day 6 for Aron, and he cannot believe that he is still alive. He shocked that he has survived the nights’ hypothermic conditions. He then adds another portion to his camcorder journal. He attempts one final time to chip at the boulder with a smaller rock, and once again fails. Angered, he begins to thrash his body from side to side, when he suddenly feels his arm bend unnaturally. That’s it. He realizes that he can bend his arm enough and break the bones, virtually splitting his arm in two, which would make very easy for him to cut through his arm. He then keeps attempting to break his arm when POP. It’s broken. Aron quickly grabs his knife and begins cutting and opens up a hole in his wrist. He moves his fingers around, making a mental image of what he needs to do to free himself. His first pattern is sorting, pinching, rotating, and slicing the nerves and veins. After a while, he comes to a very strong tendon which he can’t break. Eventually he takes his pliers and rips it apart, and he then continues with a new pattern: grip, squeeze, twist, tear. After a good hour, Aron is free. However, he now needs to hurry up and get to a hospital, which could take 6 to 7 hours.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

week 4 part 2

In the winter of 2003, Aron was focused on the 9 14000-ft mountains that he was climbing. He was adjusting his energy week-by-week to another challenging peak or route. Some of his different adventures included skiing Mount Sopris in Colorado as well as a solo trip to Cathedral Peak. He took his skiing trip with a friend, Rick Inman, and he says that it felt amazing to be free
of his powder-hound attitude (which he got from his friends) that had lead him into some trouble. On his solo trip to Cathedral Peak, he climbed and skied the east gully on the south ridge.

It's day four for Aron, and he has been awake for 57 hours (and trapped for 50). He feels that he is suffering some odd type of hypothermia. He cannot sleep, nor can he stay awake. Aron continues to think obsessively about water, and he believes that it is driving him insane. It's midnight, on Tuesday April 29. After several hours of debate (with himself), Aron decides to try drinking his urine, being that he only has a half-cup of water left. He takes a sip of the salty, tangy, and bitter beverage and doesn't gag nor puke. He questions whether it is safe to drink his urine and figures that since he drank about half of what he peed before he feels queezy, that he is even more unsure. However, the next morning, he decided to gulp down the remaining sips of his water supply. Just minutes after Aron realizes that because he is out of water, he is "f***ed."

week 4 part 1

"Surprising myself, I press on the blade and slowly draw the knife across my forearm. Nothing happens. Huh. Repeating the act, I press harder with my palm on the tool's grip. Still nothing. No cut, no, blood, nothing. Extracting the short knife, I vigorously saw back and forth at my forearm, growing more frustrated with each unproductive attempt. Exasperated, I give up." (page 165, said by Aron Ralston.)

This quote is important because it explains how tough it was for Aron to amputate his arm. This is his first attempt, which was on the third day. However, Aron actually cuts off his arm on the fifth day (so the quote is about his first attempt). Being that this whole book is based upon Aron's self-amputation, I feel this quote can fit the category of "important".

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reaction DBATB

I had a few reactions to the memoir, "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly." One of them was that I couldn't wait for it to end, and not in a good way. To me, this book was very slow, which I didn't like. I feel bad saying this because I know that Bauby put his heart and soul into that book but I just didn't like it. I know that everything that the author was telling us was significant to him and he really wanted the readers to like it, but I just think I didn't enjoy reading this book. It was also confusing how the book didn't really have any flow or plot. It was just a bunch of stories put together, and none of them really based on each other or didn't build action.
On the other hand, another reaction was that I have a lot of respect for Jean-Dominique Bauby. It really shows a lot about his character when he makes a memoir when he can't even move. To me, he is a hard working and intelligent man who loves the people who matter to him. I mean, who doesn't have a lot of respect for a man who is fully paralyzed and still manages to write a novel? My personal opinion was that one of the ideas for his book title (besides the Diving Bell, the Eye, and the Pressure Cooker) could have been "Iron Man." It's kind of cliche I know but it's true.
If Bauby would have been able to recover, I think his life would have been a lot different. He would have spent a lot more time with his friends and family and less time at work. I think he would've enjoyed more of his "Mitra-Grandchamp," and would have tried with all his might to do so. All-in-all, Bauby was a tremendous man who deserves the respect from everyone who reads his memoir.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

week 3 part 2

There have been many events occurring in my memoir up to this point, and it definitely has it strengths. One example of a strength that this book has is that it is extremely detailed. I really like how the author describes thoroughly and gives the readers an in-depth look at all the experiences he has been through in his past and all the struggles he going through now. One weakness, however, is that it is perhaps too detailed. Don't get me wrong, the details are excellent when he's in action but sometimes nothing is really happening and he still feels the need to use a lot of details. This sort of makes the book slow, which I am not a big fan of. It's kind of hard for me to talk about the issues in this book because I have never really experienced any of them. The only thing I could say was that it seems like he has an interesting life, but I don't think I would want to live the same lifestyle as Aron. This is so because the mountaineering he does is so complicated and dangerous, and I just don't think I would be up to it. Because this is a known event, I don't know if predicting would be necessary. I already know what happens: he eventually amputates his arm.

week 3 part 1

1) Aron is talking about how much luck he acquired within 12 months after he retired from the corporate world. He came across many close-calls while on his mountaineering trips in that time. One example was when he was climbing Longs Peak, which was the last summit of the Front Range. While Aron was climbing, he attempted to throw his backpack onto the summit, which failed. The pack ended up hitting an overhang, and it bounced back over his head, free-falling over 100 feet. Luckily for him, the pack got wedged between a two-foot crack and stopped (instead of sliding 2 thousand feet down the mountain). However, he realized then that he could not make the descent that he planned because now his crampons and ice pick were not available. He finished his descent with just an ice axe, and nearly fell a couple times from a drop-off that would've led to his death. After that chapter of close calls, he spoke of day three on being stuck. By this time, he has stopped trying to chip away at the boulder and expects to live another 1.5 or 2 days unless he is able to get himself out of there. He continues to think about his water supply, and with only 10 ounces left he'll have to make that last at least one more day. With his survival doubtful (at least in his mind) he begins to pray, which is something he failed to do before. He asks God for a sign to tell him what to do, and then claims he will trade him his arm, his soul, or anything if God can get him out of there. He struggles through the night as his pain grows and so does the struggle. He is getting very cold and is having a tough time heating himself up. He is running out of hope, and he attempts to saw off his arm for the first time. Nothing. The blade is too dull.

2) Aron Ralston was born October 27th, 1975, in Indianapolis, IN. When he was 12 years old, he moved to CO with his family. There, he found his passion, mountain climbing and trekking. He is most famous for when he self-amputated his arm when it was caught in May 2003 (the reason he is writing this book). He cut off his lower right arm with a dull knife after 5 days of trying to separate his arm from the boulder. Since the incident, he is a public speaker and is still climbing mountains.

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