Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Time of the Butterflies soundtrack

Today we handed in the first project of four (maybe). I did the project to make your own unit plan. As a part of the unit plan, I was making creative group projects. One of the projects I came up with I think would actually be a good assignment. It was create a CD of 10-15 songs that relate to any element in In The Time of the Butterflies. So I came up with a list of songs where some of the lyrics of the song relate to the themes, characters, or events in the book. The list is in no particular order. If you read the book, let me know if you agree/disagree or have any suggestions of your own. My comments/explanation are in blue.

1) Me and the Moon- Something Corporate
"i am a butterfly, you wouldn't let me die"
-The Mirabal sisters’ nickname was “Las Mariposas” which means the butterflies in English. The people of Dominican Republic did not let the spirit of “Las Mariposas” die. Plus, this is one of my favorite songs.

2) Fully Alive- Flyleaf
"All my complaints shrink to nothing. I'm ashamed of all my somethings. She's glad for one day of comfort, only because she has suffered"
-This is how I felt a little while reading this book. When I saw how much the people of the Dominican Republic suffered during the Trujillo Era, it made my problems seem much smaller.

3) Are We the Waiting- Green Day
"Forget me nots and second thoughts live in isolation. Heads or tails and fairytales in my mind. Are we we are, are we we are the waiting unknown. The rage and love, the story of my life"
-This song describes the uncertainty that many of the revolutionaries felt. They were constantly living in fear of what Trujillo would do to them next if they were caught. I can't imagine living such an unpredictable life.

4) We Intertwined- The Hush Sound
"Innocence was the key I was locked up never free until you turned me"
-This line from the song describes how each of the girls found their calling to help end the terrible dictators reign. Each girl had a pivotal moment, "the key", where they realized they wanted to help end Trujillo's regime.

5) Mistakes We Knew We Were Making- Mae
"no insurance for the unthinkable, blindly get us through. we've been searching for a lifetime, short as it may seem. Riding on the fumes that spark us, while igniting dreams. Mistakes we knew we were making. "
-This is another song describing the uncertainty of the revolutionaries' future. The Mirabal sisters are all so young, but that did not stop them from fighting. They were aware of the potential risks they were taking against the dictator. I don't think I could ever do something like that.

6) You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us in Prison- My Chemical Romance
"They say, "Come with your arms raised high!" Well, they're never gonna get me, Like a bullet through a flock of doves...To wage this war against your faith in me"
-Three of the sisters and their husbands spent some time in jail. They, for the most part, kept their faith and continued the revolution as best they could in jail. Trujillo tried everything in his power to stop them, but he couldn’t. Even killing them, their spirit still lived on.

7) Sonny- New Found Glory
"When you lose a part of your self To somebody you know It takes a lot to let go Every breath that you remember Pictures fade away but memory is forever "
-this song represents all the people that died while fighting for their freedom. The memory of them kept the people going so their death wouldn’t be in vain.

8) Where Is the Love?- Black Eyed Peas
"But if you only have love for your own race then you only leave space to discriminate And to discriminate only generates hate And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah Madness is what you demonstrate And that's exactly how anger works and operates Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight Take control of your mind and meditate "
-The connection is obvious with this song. Trujillo besides being a tyrant in his own country, slaughtered thousands of Haitians. He was selfish; he killed so many innocent people for his own benefit.

9) Hold On (The Piano Song) – The Starting Line
"Her mind steadfast through time, Her family stood by trying hard not to cry, With patience and virtue, kept strong through the night, oh. She never fell to her knees, her searching was over, over. "
-The Mirabal sisters and their husbands were all supportive of the revolution. They kept strong to support Minerva and the other two girls instead of running away. Minerva never fell to her knees, giving up and surrendering.

10) Believe- Yellowcard
" Think about the love inside the strength of heart. Think about the heroes saving life in the dark. Climbing higher through the fire, time was running out.Never knowing you weren't going to be coming down alive.But you still came back for me. You were strong and you believed. Everything is gonna be alright. Be strong. Believe. Think about the chance I never had to say. Thank you for giving up your life that day. Never fearing, only hearing voices calling out. Let it all go, the life that you know, just to bring it down alive. And you still came back for me. You were strong and you believed"
-This song captures the bravery of the people fighting against Trujillo. They fought against all odds for their freedom. They risked their lives so that their children and their country would not have to live in constant fear and panic.

11) Watch the Sky- Something Corporate
" And I will crawl, there's things that aren't worth giving up I know. But I won't let this get me I will fight. You live the life you're given with the storms outside. Some days all I do is watch the sky. "
-This is a very inspiring song. When lead singer of Something Corporate Andrew McMahon was diagnosed with Leukemia, the words "I will fight" were printed on bracelets sold to raise money for a Leukemia foundation. The Mirabal sisters also fought, even when it seemed like they were never going to win, they did not give up.

12) Do You Feel? – The Rocket Summer

These are the lyrics to Do You Feel? by the Rocket Summer. I feel that this song sums up the inspiring message behind In the Time in the Butterflies. These three girls saw an injustice and instead of letting it happen, they stood up and took matters into their own hands.

I'm thinking 'bout other things I heard about today
All this week and tomorrow
And how these hands can create some better things for bettering
but you see for now I got my own things
I can't help it
I got too many issues I own
So I cannot help I'm afraid, yeah
But keep on preaching, preaching and heal the world
Lip service makes us look great

Do you feel
The weight of the world singing sorrow
Or to you is it just not real
Cause you got your own things
Yeah we all have our things I guess

I guess my mind wanders off
from time to time
Sometimes I convince myself
that all is fine in the world
It's not mine
Why should I
have to try
to fix things I didn't create or contrive

Do you feel
The weight of the world singing sorrow
Or to you is it just not real
Cause you got your own things
Yeah we all have so many things

Have the habits
Had you
Has it been for long
Can you feel the souls behind what's going on

Do you feel
The weight of the world singing sorrow
Or to you is it just not real
Cause you got your own things
Yeah we all have our things

Do you feel
The weight of the world singing sorrow
Or to you is it just not real
Cause you got your own things
Cause we all have so many things
And I can get past these things

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

piermont pictures

This Saturday, I went to Piermont, NY to go take pictures with my mom's digital SLR.
I made a slideshow on Photobucket. I hope it works.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"'We live in a very crazy time, and the suggestion of violence could trigger an irrational act by an unbalanced individual"

The title of this blog was a quote, that I found ridiculous, from a mother regarding the banning of In the Time of the Butterflies in a Port Washington school.

While looking for a book review on the New York Times website, I found an article that I feel should be discussed.
School Board Questions Fitness of Book Because of Bomb Diagram
In the Time of the Butterflies
was in the center of a debate in Port Washington , New York in 2000. The Board of Ed wanted to ban the book because of a sketch in the book depicting the set-up of a homemade bomb. It surprised me that this debate took place in 2000, a pre-September 11th society. The board president says the book should not be part of the curriculum because "'Especially in today's climate, we have problems with a book that gives out instructions on how to build a bomb. I understand that it is a good book, but I don't think it's appropriate that we should be condoning a book that gives out these instructions so easily. We are not banning the book, but we're just not approving it for use in the curriculum.'' How could people who have never read the book judge weather or not the topics are appropriate? The superintendent of this school makes another absurd point on why this book should be banned "I also understand that the drawing is not really relevant to the story. It has come up for discussion that maybe the publisher would be willing to reprint the book without the diagram." Asking the publisher to change the book is like asking an artist to change his painting because it might "influence someone".
Thankfully not everyone in Port Washington is being so closed minded. One mother said "I'm disturbed by the picture, especially because of the violent world we live in, but I'd hate to see good literature sacrificed because of one picture...I don't think that any kid would be influenced enough by a drawing to make a bomb. A disturbed person who wants to make a bomb would somehow find out how to do it.'' I agree with her 100%. This is an important book about a subject many Americans are unfamiliar with. Also, by making such a big deal of the ONE page, students are just going to look for that page first because of all the controversy.
"Whatever the outcome to the debate, it seems to have helped sales of ''In the Time of the Butterflies.'' Mr. Sussman, the school board president, said that since the board sent the book back for re-evaluation, it has sold out at local bookstores."
Denying students this exposure to a different culture would be wrong.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

missing camera

I lost my camera.

Not only did I leave my camera on the bus, but inside of it was my memory card that held like 800 pictures. And to top it all off, it was in my Coach wallet which I used for a case.
So I'm looking to buy a new camera. I might buy the same one, but I'm not sure. Does anyone have suggestions?

Some of the last pictures taken with my camera

(my sister & I picked up my littlest sister from school for her birthday & surprised her with balloons! needless to say we were bored because we got there early)

I would post some more of my favorite pictures taken with my camera...but blogger takes forever and it's annoying

next English related post sometime this week

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

one book down...two to go

Minerva, Patria, and Mary Teresa Mirabal

I just finished In the Time of the Butterflies and I really enjoyed it. Julie Alvarez is a great writer who is able to bring the Mirabal sisters alive to the reader. The book takes place during Trujillo's rule of the Dominican Republic, a time of fear and oppression. It follows the four Mirabal sisters, known as Las Mariposas or "The Butterflies" They were "symbols of defiant hope in a country shadowed by dictatorship and despair. (who) sacrificed their safe and comfortable lives in the name of freedom" according to the back of the book. The story is an inspiring tale that covers their involvement in the revolution against their dictator from the beginning to the end, when three of the sisters are murdered under the command of Trujillo.
I enjoyed this book, so I requested two books of poems, Something to Declare and Homecoming, by Alvarez from the library. With these books, I hope to start #3 in section B for my project which is "Find and read a short story, poem, or other work from one of your authors. In 2 pages, compare and contrast some of the elements between the novel and the smaller work".
In Alvarez's postscript she credits three other authors who have also written about the Mirabal sisters or the "Mariposas". One of the works was a poem "Amén de Mariposas" by Pedro Mir. I tried to look it up, but I did not find any English translations; I only found a translation of the first verse here.

"Cuando supe que habían caido las tres hermanas Mirabal me dije:
la sociedad establecida ha muerto."

"When I found out that the three Mirabal sisters had fallen I said to myself:
our established society has died."

It is a long poem, and with my limited knowledge of Spanish I was disappointed that I could not read it. If you know Spanish, here is a link to the complete Spanish version. I'll keep my blog updated as I come across more information. Overall, I highly recommend this book.