Posted in 9th Grade, English 1

E1 L60 – Washington’s Memories

In Booker T. Washington’s monumental book Up from Slavery, there are many memorable scenes which he paints. With his use of graphic language, he paints pictures of vital people, events, and distinct random memories. Some examples that stick in my mind were the potato-hole when he was a kid, Mrs. Ruffner, his college examination, and the widow’s gift to Tuskegee.

The first one was the potato hole. At the very beginning of the book, Washington starts with a recount of his life under age six – the random food, flax shirts, and a particular hole in the floor of his cabin. That hole was used to store potatoes and other crops like them; Washington wrote that in the process of putting the vegetables in or taking them out, he would get one or two. His humor in stating that he basically stole the potatoes makes this passage memorable.

Another prominent scene is much later in his life when he first procured an apprenticeship with a Mrs. Ruffner, wife of General Lewis Ruffner. She started him out with cleaning an old woodshed that hadn’t been cleaned in years. The story was not recounted in the book, but he describes the bare-bones tale in the book. This story in full was posted on the internet later, and it is still found here. It’s very descriptive, making it one of the more exciting and memorable stories.

Soon after he finished with Mrs. Ruffner, he left for Hampton University. Washington states in the book that he probably looked like a tramp when he walked in, but he was permitted to clean a room as a test. Thanks to Mrs. Ruffner’s focus on detail, he was able to clean the room satisfactorily, and he was accepted to the college as a janitor. 

Long after that incident and the starting of Tuskegee, he paints a vivid picture concerning a certain woman in the community who gave all she had to the institute: a half-dozen eggs. The story starts with other donations, all of extraordinary value, and the community donations of a reasonable amount. Then it talks about this one; She hobbles in, wearing nothing but rags (though they were clean), and said to Washington: “”Mr. Washin’ton, God knows I spent de bes’ days of my life in slavery. God knows I’m ignorant an’ poor; but,” she added, “I knows what you an’ Miss Davidson is tryin’ to do. I know you are tryin’ to make better men an’ better women for de coloured race. I ain’t got no money, but I want you to take dese six eggs, what I’s been saving up, an’ I wants you to put dese six eggs into the eddication of dese boys an’ gals.”

Those four scenes are the ones that I remember most from Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery.  The potato-hole, Mrs. Ruffner, his entrance exam, and the six eggs all stick in my memory as firmly as burrs. They represent major turning points in Washington’s life, and he paints four very colorful pictures representing them. For more information on the stories, check out Washington’s book. 

Posted in 9th Grade, Business 1

B1 L60 – Reallocating My Time

I have a hectic schedule. As I described in my last essay, I don’t have much “me” time because I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. But what if it wasn’t my stuff to do that was killing my time? What if it was how I allocated the time… and how I wasted it?
I had a revelation recently. I was sitting at my desk, staring off into space like I often do. All of a sudden, I realized that trying to avoid the essays was killing my time, not the compositions. I can keep up, I’ve just gotta buckle down, get over with the paperwork, and stop wasting time in the car to and from public school.
I tend to slack off on everything that doesn’t involve a bit of fun, so essays are my worst foes. However, as I explained last time, they are only a small part of my schedule, though they take up a large portion of the time. But what I didn’t explain last time is that a large portion of that large portion of time for essays is spent goofing off and getting in trouble. So if I just sit down and write quickly, it should only take me about 45 minutes max to write an essay. It ordinarily takes me at least an hour, so cutting it down should take less time and get more stuff done. Plus, it might even leave a little bit of time for me to play around in the back yard between public school and swimming.
That leads to my next item. I already said that I slack on anything that’s not fun, and a lot of my schedule is work. So I really just need to stick with it, not screw off, and get it done. I’m especially bad about the every-day public speaking practices. The teacher says to practice the speech every day after a lesson _1 or _6* (when I write it), then record it on the next _5 or _0**. I skip them, and my grades are starting to reflect it. So I need to, as the shoe company Nike says, “Just do it.”

My last reallocation change is to bring homeschool to public school. I use a computer for homeschool, so I can bring it to public school on formation days. (See my icebreaker speech for more on that.) Then I can work on homeschool at public school for an hour instead of wasting half that time in the car. I can get a little bit more work done – maybe even an essay if I work hard enough. Then I do formation and go home. I do a little bit more school before we leave for swimming, and then the day is over, and I got all my stuff done.
This is one of those things where it’s easier said than done. But I think that if I just buckle down and get it done, that it will work and I’ll finally have a chance at going to the academy.

*For example, lessons 11, 26, 41, 86, etc.
**For example, lessons 10, 25, 40, 85, etc.

Posted in 9th Grade, Public Speaking

PS L55 – Speech 7 – Bengal Kitties

Posted in 9th Grade, Business 1

B1L55 – Cutting my Schedule

There is such a thing as taking scheduling too far – doing so many things each day that there is no malleable time in between. My schedule feels like that – too much to do and too little time to do it. Swimming, Spartan, Scouts, regular school, and Public school, as well as occasional service time for scouts at the SPCA, all eat my time until there’s nothing left. I’ve been wanting to cut back on my schedule for a while, and I finally figured out how.
Most of my time is engaged in extracurriculars, like Swimming, Spartan, and Scouting. Swim includes meets on some weekends and two-hour practices on weekdays, while Spartan is the personal trainer on Fridays and the occasional race on weekends, like this week’s Stadion. Scouting consists of one meeting every Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 at night, plus scattered camping trips, always on the weekends. The extracurriculars aren’t hard to keep up with, but the problem is that I also every other day have public school for two classes. This takes up another three hours of my day and reduces my time to get stuff done on an average Monday from eight hours to only six. I have seven homeschool classes, three of which have essays, so they eat a ton of time. I tend to procrastinate on articles, so I often don’t get them done on time. Then the next day, I get another essay, and I dawdle on that one too. In that way, I fall farther and farther behind because I’m slacking and don’t want to do the work.
It’s funny, really, because I just studied the 20/80 principle in Business this week, and it gave me some insight into what I can do for my schedule. Homeschool takes up about 80% of my time in the day, but it’s only about 20% of the stuff I have to get done, but since the 20/80s nest, there’s another 20/80 in that. Essays are 20% of my work for school, but they take up 80% of the time I’m in school. So, my logic was, If I take out the essays quickly and do them well, then I will start getting free time between the end of school and the extracurriculars.
So far, I’ve been a slacker and haven’t put my plan into action, but if I did, my schedule would be a little more like a schedule and not a manic mess. I wouldn’t have to worry as much, which would bring my grades up and lift the restriction, which relieves even more stress, bringing my classes up even higher. In short, it would reduce my schedule’s craziness to just hectic instead of manic. I can also kill some bad habits like snacking constantly.
So overdoing a schedule is possible, but there are always ways to cut back on the table to create free time. For some, it may be different, but in my case, it’s essays that kill my time. If I cut back on my essay time, I can get more stuff done in a smaller partition of time, and have real free time, not the time when I’m slacking before an essay. I finally figured out how to cut back on my schedule, and I plan to start doing it today.

Posted in 9th Grade, English 1

E1 L55 – Washington’s Arguments Explained

One of the most famed public speakers in the history of the United States, Booker T. Washington, is also known for playing a crucial role in the ending of any discrimination. In his speeches, he outlines four main arguments against racial discrimination: 

 1) The offense is temporary, while the damage to the offender is   

  permanent;

 2) The practice is immoral,

 3) Ignoring a third of the population will not make it go away, and

 4) If blacks were to produce in the economy alongside whites, 

  the country would be much more productive.

 The first one is “The offense is temporary, but the damage to the offender is permanent.” It looks complicated and sophisticated, but it’s not. It’s just saying that a black can go shrug off the insults, but getting practice humiliating blacks eventually leads that white guy to abuse another white in the same way. The same principle applies to worse crimes: lynching, debasing, and immorality all fall under that category. By immorality, He meant the abuse of the “lesser” race. So basically, immorality would be a white guy assaulting a black woman, or anything else lewd.

 Washington’s third argument was that though the whites tried so hard to isolate the black population, it wasn’t going to work. The blacks would all still be there when the ostracism ended. And being a full third of the residents in the South, there wasn’t really any point in trying to ignore them. This point also leads to his next point.

 Among all the don’ts, he put one little do. And that was: allow blacks to have good jobs and they will make better quality stuff at lower prices. In other words, if blacks were to produce goods, the entire country’s productivity would spike.

 In conclusion, Booker Taliaferro Washington, the great public orator, played an instrumental part in ending racial discrimination. His four arguments against discrimination were:

    1) The offense is temporary, while the damage to the offender is         

        permanent;

    2) The practice is immoral,

    3) Ignoring a third of the population will not make it go away, and

    4) If blacks were to produce in the economy alongside whites, 

        the country would be much more productive.

Hopefully, those are a little better understood now that his four main arguments have been explained.

Posted in 9th Grade, Public Speaking

PSL50 – Speech 6: Feraj and the Magic Lute