Literacy and Liberty

Guiding question and introduction blog
Posted by: , November 18, 2018, 4:40 pm
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Guiding Question: “What is the correlation between conflict, domestic and/or global, and illiteracy of a population?


All of human history has been shaped by conflict. The way we think and act as a society depends a lot on what we read and which authors and thinkers we choose to follow. However, what if the population of a country can’t read, write, or understand what is on a page? One could argue that there is a discernable difference between the treatment of an educated population and that of an uneducated population. Governments that oversee an uneducated populous have a large amount of power over those they govern because those that are oppressed by said governments only have a limited worldview due to the fact that they are illiterate and thus incapable of learning from certain authors and enlightened thinkers. Once the oppressed population notices the various injustices that their government has committed against the people, conflict is sure to rise. While there is absolutely no question that conflict, major and minor, exists in states that have an educated population, those nations tend to be on the democratic, rather than the dictatorial, side of the governmental spectrum which deters violent action. To put it simply, there is a strong connection between illiteracy and conflict on a domestic and global scale.

The Gunners
Posted by: , November 16, 2018, 6:38 pm
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Soldiers span the field,

Arranged in precise formation.

Awaiting the perfect opportunity,

A chance to strike behind enemy lines.


The leader barks orders,

His raspy voice, piercing the cold air.

Civilians watch eagerly from afar,

Their hearts yearning for victory above all else.


A moment.

A moment is all it takes.

Invincibility, the ultimate trophy.

A group of international mercenaries.


United under a single cause.

A slip, a lapse in concentration,

An opportunity to strike arises.



The gunners take the lead,

The boys in Red.

Posted by: , November 16, 2018, 1:17 pm
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Waves of haze wash over me


Dementors sucking the life out of me


A hand squeezing my wind pipe


Letting go and taking a step forward


Finding weights on my back.


Asking if I should keep going

My choice.

Vocabulary Poem Blog
Posted by: , November 16, 2018, 12:49 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am not confident this posted yesterday, I don’t think I was logged in!!


Running out of all of my time

In circles I race to finish before bedtime

Running faster to beat opponents

Foot races have too many components


You can practice your speed twice a day

But it won’t keep your busyness at bay

You always dash from function to function

To skip would cause you severe compunction


Stretching yourself ever so thin

Even more things you want to begin

Stretching your muscles preparing to race

Not many chances left to get a good place


Am I running out of time to run?

Too late of a start after hearing the gun

Am I racing others or just my own clock?

I find myself in such a mental deadlock

Weather in Carlisle
Posted by: , November 16, 2018, 12:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“what a sunny day!”
I went out in the morning and say

Wishing the good time could last longer
I did not bring umbrella
And chose to trust broadcast man

After English class
The temperature went down 10 degrees
And I spent a free showers
Ran back to dorm with new boots and jackets

Stepped out of dorm with umbrella
And found out
The rain has stopped
And the sun showed up
With beautiful rainbow
Hanging in the sky

I stood there
Don’t know what to do
With this stupid weather

Posted by: , November 15, 2018, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

2:00 pm

I sit on my bed

legs crisscrossed with my hands on my knees

Deep breath in, breathe out

In through the nose, out through the mouth

The candles that surround me offer a soothing atmosphere,

flames flapping in the air.

Deep breath in, breathe out

Focused on the music,

my body begins to relax,

and my mind follows.

Deep breath in, breathe out

I am deep in my mind

and my conscience is clear.

A feeling of peace washes over me.

Eyes open,

2:30 pm





Instant noodles
Posted by: , November 14, 2018, 9:53 pm
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Instant noodles


Hurried breakfast

Easy breezy lunch

Late late night snack

You name it

Any way, any time

I can never resist myself

From the temptation of

Vietnamese flavoured instant noodles.


It used to be everywhere

As a rather nationwide, ordinary “bowl”

It used to be everywhere

Since the subsidized era, when people didn’t have anything to eat

It used to be everywhere

With its diverse savory and irresistible fragrance.


Because of its prevalence

I never thought one day I would say

“I miss it”

The hot, flavorful broth

The sipping and slurping

The side dishes: eggs, sausages and veggie

The facets that are closer to my true nature:

Being a Vietnamese and enjoying the national “delicacy”.


Three months since I last had my bowl of boiling noodles

Searching high and low

But America cannot offer me the taste

Of my beloved memories

My familiar ambience

My breakfast, lunch and snack

My Vietnamese flavoured instant noodles.

Posted by: , November 14, 2018, 7:19 pm
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Is the key today.

We all grew up getting awards for

Merely showing up to school

And doing our work

Like we were supposed to.

Now, as I grow older,

I feel weak when I

Don’t get a gold star for

Participating in an event

That I don’t care about.

We all participate and

We have been taught that

We should be applauded for

Work we should already be doing.

My Last Season
Posted by: , November 14, 2018, 4:49 pm
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This was going to be it.

There would never be a season like this one again.

Because this year we had made it the district championships

after playing against the best teams in the state.

Realizing if we didn’t give it our all it would be the

end of an era we had been a part of for six years.

Because this was a team of my closest friends,

And we been competing together for as long as we could remember.

All the time together in the weight room, at practice, in film,

On the bus, and off the field. It had all been for this moment.

Because I wanted to win,

Not just for myself, but for my friends, my teammates, and my coaches.

If this game was going to be my last, how I could walk away a loser? How could

I have played my last game letting everyone down?

Because this was my last season,

And we all deserved to go out as winners.

And when that final buzzer sounded in the stadium, we had lost.

But I didn’t feel the extreme sadness and grief I had expected.

Because feeling sorry for myself was selfish, and my boys deserved more.

Because this was my team, and we had given it our all.

Specialized Vocabulary: On Agriculture and Other Things
Posted by: , November 14, 2018, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are farms on four sides of my house, four sides of my school, two on either side of every road,
endless rows of crops, the sea come to land.
Every year we plant the tiny garden, seeding the plot,
tomatoes we will steal off the vines as we play,
the soles of our feet blackened with earth.
We seed the same tomatoes over the kitchen table,
globs of gelatinous matter on paper towels.
When the first one of us is drawn away,
Teased out by social expectations and a desire for something ‘more,’
(something money)
we continue, every spring as the sun sets, to sit around the table,
the produce pile conspicuously bigger without one more person.
Two, three, four, all follow one to bigger things than
the seeded garden plot, row upon dying row,
and we sit, in an empty home,
surrounded by the guts of a life that didn’t need to be improved,
and we seed the tomatoes and it takes long long long
without them here.
It is quiet in the garden where we played and the fields,
with slow surety,
are replaced by fierce warehouses,
sown into the ground by angry men who grind tobacco between their teeth,
cursing wages and corporations
doing nothing about it but hurting the fields.
So they spew black disease into the sky
and the stars disappear into a northern pink haze
and I seed the tomatoes silently.