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Friday, October 25, 2013

Global Issues Novel Study (GINS) Post 1

Hello everyone!
We have started a new project where we read a book about real world issues, called the Global Issues Novel Study, or GINS. For mine, I chose to read the book "Thunder Over Kandahar." I will be answering questions on this novel in my posts as I read. So far, I have read 20% of the novel. 

-What is the main issue being addressed in your novel?
I think that so far one of the biggest issues being talked about is Women's Rights in Afghanistan. Things are very different over there, and Women must where burka's, pieces of cloth that cover the entire body. If men even see them that aren't their husband, it wouldn't be good. The talk a lot about this and how much of an issue this is. Women are regarded as much less intelligent than men, and are treated as such; like garbage. Women typically need to have a man with them at all times in public and can get beat up for attracting too much attention to themselves.
-Why did you choose this piece for your project?
I chose this piece mostly because I enjoy action and suspense. I really enjoy a genuinely gripping novel.  I was reading the back covers of books when I found this one, and it talked about the Taliban, Suicide-bombers, land mines, and much more. This book seemed very interesting and intense, so naturally I chose to read it.
-What background knowledge do you already possess on this issue?
Prior to this novel, I knew that things were very different in third world countries than they are here. I may have read some articles about how few rights women have, but I am not an expert on it. Reading this book has shown me how bad things really are, and I am only 20% done it.
-What questions do you have as you begin to read?
For starters, I wonder about a few words they say in the novel that are not English but that is a given (praise Google Translate). A question I have is what will happen next? So far, the two main characters, Yasmine and Tamanna, have become best friends, and things are going very well for them. A school has just been built at this point in the novel, and they are about to go. Things seem perfect, so something bad is bound to happen.
-What characters/players have been introduced so far?
As I discussed in the previous question, the two main characters are Yasmine and Tamanna.
Yasmine is a 14-year-old girl from England. Her family has decent money, which is considered pretty wealthy in Afghanistan. She moved to Afghanistan with her family because her father used to live there and he is working on his novel. They are considered foreigners and still are getting accustomed to this new life.
Tamanna lives in Afghanistan, and from what I can gather has been there her whole life. She is very accustomed to their ways, and still has to get used to Yasmine and her family, who she has been sent to work for. She lives with her uncle and a person called Mor, which I assume is either her mother or aunt. They are poor, and she delivers bread to Yasmine's family. She has trouble taking compliments and generally talking to Yasmine's family because that is what she is accustomed to, not being able to speak, whereas Yasmine's family is very open and nice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Litspiration: The Lightning Thief

For my newest Litspiration Challenge, I chose to make a short game/animation that covers the first few chapters of the novel Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. In the game, I took some of the most important events from the novel and converted them to a game. I did this because I felt like this book really painted a picture in my head. With this in mind, I tried to visualize with the details given what the characters would be like and used some quotes from the book such as when Gabe, Percy's stepdad states that the trip to camp Half-Blood would come out of their clothes budget. In other lines I would add dialogue that I thought the characters might say. I chose this project format because Scratch is very easy to use to make games on, but the programming is very slow. For this reason I do not have more than the first few chapters, with the limited time. Still, the character art except for the Minotaur is mine as well as the programming. This task was pretty difficult due to limited time and lots of codes to put in. Sometimes I work for months on my Scratch projects, so this one was a challenge, but still very fun. I feel like this was a good pick for a litspiration challenge because it challenged me to determine importance in this novelm a critical talking to the text skill.

Although the finished product is short, it took a long time to make so I hope you appreciate it:
http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/13050143/

Tuesday, October 8, 2013