How Loss Affected Junior by Sanjay

After losing someone important in your life, you start to feel different emotions.  Most people refer to this as the five stages of grief.  In the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, Junior felt all of these emotions except for bargaining.  He felt these when he lost his sister, his grandmother, and Eugene.

The first stage is denial.  In this stage you feel lost and confused where everything around you feels meaningless.  This stage helps get through the loss.  One example in the book is when Junior’s grandmother gets killed by a drunk driver.  He tried to deny the fact that she died that way because it wasn’t the right way for someone his grandma’s age.  He also didn’t want to believe the fact that she died that way.  Many people act like this at first for certain deaths that they experience.

The second stage is anger.  In this stage, the person suffering from the event starts to heal from their loss.  Junior realizes his own anger from Eugene’s death after his funeral.  He looked back on all the anger that he brought out on others.  In his mind, he says; “I could have easily killed myself, killed my mother and father, kill the birds, kill the trees, and kill the oxygen in the air.  More than anything, I wanted to kill god.  I was joyless.”  Anger in the end is the first connection to others after denial.  Although there is no evidence that Junior goes through the third stage (bargaining), he does manage to go to the fourth stage.

The fourth stage is depression which happens after bargaining.  This is the stage where you feel the most grief.  When in this stage, you feel that it will last forever.  After losing his grandmother, Junior feels this stage for a duration.  “I wanted to fall asleep and dream about killer wasps.  Yeah, I figured a nightmare would be better than reality.”  Junior thought about this after his sister Mary died.  He was so depressed that he thought that practically anything would be better.  Junior felt the deepest emotions in this stage.  In the end, Junior would move on to the fifth stage.

The fifth stage is acceptance.  Most people think that the fifth stage is where you become okay with losing a loved one.  That is not the case; in this stage, people accept reality.  Junior goes through this stage a couple times including after his grandmother’s death.  “Each funeral was a funeral for all of us.  We lived and died together.”  He learns to cherish the ones he still has to love.

All stages of are important when recovering from a loss.  Most of the time, when all occur, recovery goes smoother.  These stages are important to people like Junior.  These stages make “loss” and important aspect of this book.

The Impact of Art in the Diary of a Part-Indian by Sherman Alexie by Amelia

The art in The Diary of a Part-Time Indian help convey Junior’s inner thoughts and feelings that you can’t always be described using words. The drawing style of the pictures also helps readers understand Junior’s perception of the people or situations that he’s drawing. Throughout the book, readers see all the different types of drawings Junior drew, and realize that all the different amounts of detail in the drawings relate to what he’s drawing. For example, when drawing Eugene, Junior put in a lot of detail, to symbolize how much he meant to him, and how much he’s been in his life that he can draw him in such detail.

Eugene, Junior’s dad’s best friend.

Drawings let viewers see into a person’s mind on how the artist truly sees things. You can try to describe something in words, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Junior’s pictures along with their captions and notes show you parts of Junior’s life that he might not directly write about, but he does allude to them sometimes. The drawings show us a little bit of what Junior’s life looks like, and the situations he’s put in. We also see some of the main characters, which helps us create a movie in our heads of what’s happening. Personally, I’m very glad that there are drawings in the book, because I like having a clearer picture of what the scene looks like in my head.

Junior draws many different events that he experienced, and they all have different emotions behind them.

Junior when he had first come to all white Rearden high school.

For example, when Junior first started at Rearden, he drew what it felt like for him to walk in, and be the only Indian kid there. Also, it shows all the racism and bullying Junior dealt with. The drawing shows the anger, hatred and distrust that the white kids have towards him, and his fear of what they could do to him. This is a moment of fear for Junior, but he also draws many other emotions, like when he drew himself playing basketball.

Here Junior is confused, about who he is, and what he is perceived and accepted as in both communities. Because of his choice to go to Rearden and get a better education, in his home gym he is not accepted. In the Rearden gym, he is cheered on, but doesn’t fit in truly with any of his teammates. The illustration shows that he sees how other people see him, but he doesn’t really know how he seems himself, or who he really is.

Junior playing basketball on the gym for his reservation school, and Junior playing basketball in the all white Rearden school gym.

“I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny lifeboats.” – Junior, page 6.

Junior’s life has been extremely harsh and difficult, so he uses his drawings as a way to save himself, to keep him from giving into the pain and giving up on everything. He uses them to help understand what’s happening, and process it. He hopes to use them as his ticket to a good life, to be successful and escape the reservation by being an artist. They are his hope, his chance to get away from the loss and hopelessness of the reservation. The art in the book really helps convey Junior’s personality, and gives us a better look inside his world.

Is Sherman Alexie’s Depiction of Alcohol Accurate or Fiction? by Charlotte

In the book the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie one major theme is the impact of alcoholism. This book is about a 14 year old boy named Junior who is living on the Spokane Indian reservation and struggling with his of heritage. Alcoholism affects Junior’s life on the reservation drastically. Many of Junior’s family members and friends have lost their lives to alcoholism related tragedies, Sherman Alexie’s depiction of behaviors of alcoholics and impact drunk driving are two ways that help readers feel sympathy for Junior.

One of the most common behaviors is being in denial. The different types of denial that are seen throughout alcoholics are “What problem,” “I’m not that bad,” “I just want a little bit of relief,” and “I’m not hurting anybody but myself “(3). In the book alcoholics, including junior’s dad are portrayed as like they are drinking away their miseries. For many Indians, life on the reservation is terrible and they want to drink away the pain.

Alcoholics can also have violent behaviors. “His father is drinking hard and throwing hard punches, so Rowdy and his mother are always walking around with bruised and bloody faces.” “My mother and father are drunks, too, but they aren’t mean like that. Not at all.” (Alexie page 18). In this book Sherman uses both types of behaviors in two different characters. 7.2% or 17 million of adults are alcoholics (2). In the book the percentage of alcoholics on the reservation is inaccurate.

Drunk driving is a huge problem in America. It is also a problem in Junior’s community. ”Grandparents are supposed to die first, but they’re supposed to die of old age. They’re supposed to die of a heart attack or stroke or of cancer or of Alzheimer’s. THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GET RUN OVER AND KILLED BY A DRUNK DRIVER!” (Alexie 158) Many people he knows and his close family members have been killed from drunk driving. 32% of people ages 21 to 24 are drunk drivers (1). In the book drunk driving has occurred many times, in the book drunk driving seems more common than the statistics. On reservations the number of deaths caused by alcohol, including drunk driving is 1 in 10 (4). Sherman Alexie is not accurate based on national statistics.

Based on statistics from MADD (1), NIAAA (2), Floyd P Garett, M.D (3), and NBC Addictions (4) the depiction of behaviors is accurate but the number of alcoholics and drunk drivers is higher. Being an alcoholic is more likely because the people on the reservation are drinking away their problems. Drinking puts your brain in a “different universe”. Many people drink to escape to another universe. Sherman Alexie had very accurate behaviors in his book although, he had more alcoholics which led to drunk driving. Overall Sherman Alexie used behavior and reservation related statistics.

Stereotyping of Native Americans by Ross

Indians have been portrayed as killers and ruthless people in movies. Every movie needs a villain but the way people in the movie business make Indians is very wrong. There are hundreds of stereotypes out there saying that Indians scalp people, kill people, and are vicious and ruthless people with no respect for life but that is what the movie people want you to think and they do this for money.

 

This is an image of an Indian tribe attacking a peaceful wagon train making people think that the Indians are the enemy’s in this. The Indians are using bows, flaming arrows and spears to wipe out this wagon train and for no reason making the Indians the enemy’s in this, making people believe that the Indians are ruthless killers who kill men for sport.

This is an image of an Indian doing a war cry as the Indians supposedly used to do. I think that the movie makers purposely made the Indians have a war cry to make them seem hostile when really the white people where the ones being hostile by coming and making Indians seem crazy.

This image is a tribal chief saying that they should wipe out all White men and after he says that the people in that tribe start attacking that white man to tie him to a post. I bet that the white man will break out and win because in these types of movies the white man always wins.

It is hard to think about growing up in that time where Cowboys and Indians were a big thing and being an Indian would be very hard. There are a lot of stereotypes out there and these were just a few.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome by Phoebe

In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part- Time Indian by Sherman Alexie the main character, Junior’s life is affected by alcohol. In between Junior getting beat up, deaths of people he loves, and having a hard life at home, readers often forget that Rowdy faces even worse consequences from alcoholism. It started before he was even born. The fact that his parents were both alcoholics made Rowdy start life at a disadvantage. The novel never clearly states, but instead gives small clues to lead the reader to learn that Rowdy may suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is disorder caused by a pregnant mothers drinking alcohol while pregnant. It’s expected that in the United States 1 in every 750 infants is born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Rowdy shows most of the common symptoms caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Some symptoms Rowdy struggles with because of fetal alcohol syndrome are:
1. Poor socialization skills, such as difficulty building and maintaining friendships
2. Poor problem-solving skills
3. Behavioral problems and Impulsiveness
• In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part- Time Indian on page 20 states,

“Then Rowdy grabbed a shovel that somebody has been using to dig barbecue holes and went after that van. Just beat the crap out of it. Smash! Boom! Bam! He dented the doors and smashed the windows and knocked off the mirrors.”

4. Inability to concentrate
5. Social withdrawal

Another symptom Rowdy shows is social withdrawal. Such as on page 103 the novel states,

“I walked away. But I stopped at the end of the driveway and looked back. I could see Rowdy in the window of his upstairs bedroom. He was holding my cartoon. He was watching me walk away.”

Page 102

A new example is on page 209. The novel states,

“Yep, Rowdy had been hiding in the woods while he watched the burial.”

6. Learning difficulties

A different symptom I believe Rowdy displays is learning difficulties. For example on page 23 the novel states,

“Rowdy isn’t a fast reader, but he’s persistent.”

Rowdy

Page 23

I think that this shows that he has to work harder to read than most kids his age and the cause of this may be fetal alcohol syndrome.
I don’t believe that it’s fair that Rowdy and so many other kids start life at a disadvantage. The fact that some kids will fall behind in school just because of their mother’s drinking before they were born is wrong. Rowdy was born will of sorts of symptoms from his mother’s drinking. The fact that he lives on the rez where no one is expected to be or do great things makes the little hope he has even more dismal. If you live with one challenge after another soon people start to lose hope. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can snowball into horrible things and make a person’s life awful.

http://alcoholrehab.com/
http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/fas.html

My Favorite Sport by Donny

My Favorite sport is golf. I started golfing when I was 4 years old. When I started playing after a week or two I thought I wasn’t good because I did think I was getting better. My dad kept me practicing every day so I would improve. I usually play every day in the summer except for Mondays because our country club is closed then. In the summer I play with a few of my friends so we can get better for high school golf.

This summer I was voted one of the three best players for 18 and under at my Country club. Then, we three and the pro played in the pro-junior/ pro-am golf tournament. The golf tournament was played on the Gateway golf course. Bellerive, which was my team, won the lowest gross (lowest number of strokes) and the lowest score. The tournament was played as the best ball which is where you all agree which ball is the best to play and Bellerive, my team was 17 under.

When I grow up I want to be a professional golfer and play on the PGA. When I was 4 years old and hit my first golf ball I thought I was bad but my dad kept telling me to practice more and more to get better. So now I practice every time I can to get better at my favorite sport so that I will be able to accomplish my dream. The golf tournament I remember the most was walking up hole #18 to finish and it was so dark I couldn’t see the pin from 10 feet away so they had to tend the pin there were also at least 40 people on the green watching so I was really nervous. Fortunately, I made that last put to win for the Bellerive team. All of the years that I’ve been playing I have never had a hole in one and I can’t wait until my first one.

The best part about golf is seeing how far you can hit the ball but that is not what is important at all in the game of golf. What is really important is how accurate you are and playing smart golf. Accurate and smart golf is not trying to whack the ball over the lake to get it on the green, or to get the ball further, it is playing the ball safe and not making penalty strokes. I have learned and always heard this from my dad. I have never taken a private golf lesson and I can play my course under par. Just because I think I can under par my golf course does not mean that I will be able to walk into a tournament at any golf course and say it’s easy, because I do not know what the course will look like Since in the rules of golf you can only have 14 clubs in your golf bag I practice with more so I can take the ones that I do not hit well and put them away so I don’t use them. My favorite club is my driver because I can hit the ball 270 yards with all my practice. I also hit my hybrid, sand wedge, and irons really well. The hardest part of golf is putting. Putting is where you take a small stroke back and tap the ball or hit it medium. You do this because you are trying to get the ball in the hole or close to it. Putting is where most of your strokes come from. This is because if you putt two times which is the most you should have to put on every hole throughout 18 holes you automatically end up with 36 strokes for putts. This is why it is good to play smart golf so you don’t make a crazy shot and end up with more strokes. Jordan Spieth is the best golfer in the world right now, he has won 273 tournaments in his life. I hope that I will become a professional golfer in my life.

Taking One for the Team by Sanjay

I had just entered the Vetta building in Concord, thirty minutes before the start of the game of our season.  We were playing on the left field so I started walking in that general direction.  Our team has had a tough season, but not all terrible.  We had lost some close games, games we had no subs, or games where I was sure some of the other team’s players were older than us.  We also had some great games, shutting out the other team where in indoor it is really hard, games won in the last minute, or games where we just outplayed the other team.  This game though may have been our best game all year.

We were playing W.C. Saint Louis.  They were about our skill level.  Last time we played them was earlier this season.  We almost beat them, but they came back by scoring three goals last minute to win.  It was a devastating loss so now was our chance for redemption.

I was looking for my teammates and I found them warming up.  Only a few were there, but we started warming up.  While I was passing coach pulls me aside to talk about my position.

“Are we going to be missing any players today?” I ask as we are walking over to the bench which is confined in a small area.

“Only a couple…” Coach Bruce replied.  Unfortunately, the people we were missing were both midfielders so I was going to have to help out extra there.  “You will be playing left midfield, and be prepared to stay on the field for a while.”

“Okay,” I said.  I joined our team for our warm-up jog.  More of my team started to show up as there were approximately fifteen minutes until game.

As warm up ended, captains were called and the rest the team headed towards the bench.  After the coin toss, Nick started heading back.

“We have ball and are scoring on that goal,” Nick says as he points at the goal on the other side were the other team warmed up.  “We also need to redeem ourselves to end the season at 500.”

We all huddled up.  Nick always leads it.  “On three; one, two, three, FSC!” we said as a team.  Then the referee blew the whistle, so it was time for us to get on the field.  As I ran on the field, I could hear my teammates prepping us and the parents cheering for us.

The ref blew the whistle and the ball was kicked to me by Phillip and take the ball back.  I find Daniel at right defense and pass it back to him.  We keep the ball in our possession near our goal for a little time.

After keeping ball in our possession for a while, I receive the ball from Daniel.  I find Carter again.  He then takes the ball and dribbles up a little.  “I’m open,” Phillip says as he is open while next to one of the other defenders.  Carter passes it pass him so he can get the ball before the defender.  In the box Phillip shoots and just like that we are up 1-0.  Parents are already cheering for a goal when ten minutes haven’t even passed.

The ball is kicked off and the other team is quickly moving the ball around on our side of the field.  After some passes, a long shot is taken and it goes in.  1-1 is the score.

We kick off the ball and push onto the opponents half.  I receive the ball out of the air.  I look to move forward almost in the box, but quickly pass back to Alex.  He shoots from outside the box and misses, but Ben able to recover the ball shoots.  He scores to make the game 2-1 which is led by us.

The other team has the ball keeping it away from us.  Then I am subbed out which will possibly be one of my few breaks.  I quickly get off the field.  As I am getting my ice cold water, I hear cheering, but I hear it from the parents of the other team.  I look up and the other team is celebrating as they have tied the score at 2-2.

I am drinking my water while watching the game.  Sebastian gets the ball and dribbles into open area.  That allowed him to find Gabriel and give him an open pass.  He finds Nick who passes back to Gabriel getting the defender chasing everywhere.  Gabriel shoots and the ball barely gets by the goalies hands allowing us to take the lead again.  While we are celebrating, I take Sebastian off so I he can get a break.

As I came on, the man I was going to mark was subbed of for a guy who was probably a couple heads taller than me.  He was also their best player and the one who scored the winning goal the last time we played them.  I get the ball and pass it back to Daniel.  He attempts to pass it to Nick, but his pass is wide in my direction.  I chase the ball and my man follows me.  I get to the ball and so does the giant guarding me.  I turn and his leg attempting to get the ball trips me.  I am tangled up and pushed aside by him.  I land on the turf, knee first.  I am in pain while the ball is still in play.  I get a quick glimpse as the other team scores with a goal by my man.  I am in pain while Coach Bruce walks onto the field in this game which is tied at 3-3.

I had jammed my knee into the ground which made it hard to even walk.  It didn’t look painful, but it was.  I knew that because not everybody believed I was hurt, for example, Carter.  As I was helped off the field, he thought I flopped so he was laughing hysterically.  He would think that until I showed up to school the next day with my knee all bandaged up.

“Do you think you will be able to play at all?” coach asked.

“No,” I replied.

“Okay,” coach said.  “This is going to be tough.”

The whistle blew signaling half time.  Our players who were just on the field ran back to the bench.  After discussing game plan, we took the field defending the other goal.  I obviously sat on the bench.  The second half started slow and one of the other team’s players got injured.  While he was recovering, one of our midfielders was tired and asked coach for a break.

“Do you think I will be able to get a break,” I heard as I was listening to their conversation.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think there is much we can do about it,” Coach said.

Knowing it would be hard, I had to take one for the team.  “I can play if I need to,” I interrupted.

“Are you sure Sanjay?” Coach asked.

“Yes.”

I got on the field just before the ball was in play.  Luckily, my knee recovered a little so I could move more, but I wasn’t able to run at full speed.  The ball was passed to another player and passed back with the opponent’s possession.  I was having trouble keeping up with my man who was now in the box.  The ball was crossed and my man scored of the cross, and I wasn’t able to cover him.

I was subbed off because Coach though I wasn’t able to play.  Just then we scored again.  The parents were going crazy and I knew I was eventually going to ask coach.

“Coach Bruce,” I called.  He started to walk over.  “Do you think I will be able to play?”

“We’ll see,” he replied.

I was waiting on the bench when he called Sebastian off for me to come in.  I wasn’t part of many plays when I first came on.  Alex and Daniel were doing a great job at defense while keeping the ball away from the other team.  The other team was only able to get one shot which was stopped by our goalie Charlie who made a great save.

Then Charlie threw the ball to Carter who dribbled up.  Then he passed to Ben who kicked the ball right after past the defender to me which made the perfect chance to shoot.  I shot, but it went wide.  Luckily Ben was there to recover it once again.  He shot, but his shot went wide and bounced right to me.  I shot it right out of the air and went in.

I was so happy about my dramatic goal putting us up 5-4.  I hear my teammates telling me “good job” and “nice goal.”

I was taken out after that which was good because my leg was about to give out.  I was on the bench hydrating.  That would end up being my last time on the field.  I still knew that the game wasn’t totally over.

The other team still could come back.  The other team quickly pressured our goal after kicking off.  We played defense well, but there offense scared me with little time left.  The Charlie made another great save and was able to clear the ball out.  Gabriel got the ball and dribbled up.  He in Phillip made a one-two to get Gabriel in the box with an open shot.  He shot and got a great goal.  Most importantly, we were winning 6-4 which basically secured our victory with little time left.

After we won, everyone was congratulating us.  It was a great redemption and a great way to end the season.