Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside Assignment: Post 3

Post 3

Refer to your notes on camera technique, camera angles, and camera movement. What scenes, in particular, do you remember where the film technique underscored meaning and added to the message the director was sending? Describe the shot, its significance, and its meaning in detail.

There are numerous scenes in the movie that use camera angles and technique to underscore meaning and send messages for the movie. During the opening scene they use a particularly long pedestal shot of the beach where Ramon was hurt to show that this is a place of high importance. Many times during the book they use a tilt at a downward angle when people are talking to Ramon to make him seem weak and small in specific scenes. In another important scene, where they show Ramon jumping into the water, they use a dramatic oblique camera angle shown from the top to show that this scene is different and it is a scene. When normal people are talking to each other the director usually uses medium shots but when people are talking to Ramon they use close-ups. This is probably because Ramon is usually lying down so they just show his face and there are people who are talking to him are very close to him. They use a lot of long establishing shots to establish setting like Ramon's house or other locations.

Assignment for The Sea Inside: Post 2

Post 2

Compare and contrast The Sea Inside to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. What similarities and differences do you notice? In your opinion, which was more powerful?

There are a few similarities between The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Sea Inside. One is quite obvious, both of the stories main characters, Ramon and Bauby, are quadriplegics. Another similarity is that there are many people that love the main characters. For Ramon, it is people like his family, Julia and his lawyers. For Bauby, it is people like his father, children and his numerous friends. A final similarity is that neither Ramon or Bauby particularly enjoy life. They are forced to live, as Ramon put it, without dignity.

There are also differences between The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Sea Inside. One of the main ones is that in the movie, The Sea Inside, Ramon has the ability to talk and in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Bauby is unable to talk and is only able to communicate through blinking his left eye. Another difference between the two stories is that Ramon makes it clear that he wants to die and Bauby doesn't really say much at all about him wanting to die. A final difference between the two stories is that they have two completely different plots. Bauby's story is basically about his memories, dreams, and daily routines as a quadriplegic and Ramon's is about him trying to get the right to die.

For me, The Sea Inside seemed to be more powerful. I think it was more powerful because you got to see what Ramon looked like and hear what he sounded like. You got to know what his surroundings truly looked like and to see what the people he interacted looked like. In The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, you never got to truly picture what everything was like and to truly experience what was going on. That is why I found the The Sea Inside to be more powerful because you got to see everything and feel like you were there with Ramon.

Assignment for The Sea Inside: Post 1

Post 1

What is your general reaction and response to the film? What do you think of Ramon's request for assisted suicide, the court's response to him, and his eventual actions? What do you think of his friends who agreed to help him?

My general reaction to the film was that it was very sad. The film was filled with such tragedy and pain not only of Ramon but of his family and friends who support him. Ramon 's desire to die was was killing Ramon's family because they all loved him so much. There are many scenes in the movie that could make you cry. Scenes like when Ramon is saying goodbye to his nephew or when he actually kills himself. There is one scene that I find particularly sad, when Ramon's lawyer speaks to Julia by the beach. Julia is a completely different person than she was before. She doesn't remember anything, not even Ramon and she looks at the lawyer, looking very confused. This to me is very sad because it was so awful how she didn't even remember Ramon who was a huge part of her life and to see the astonished look on the lawyer's face when she realizes that Julia has forgotten Ramon was one of the saddest parts in the movie.

My response to Ramon's request for suicide is that if I was like Ramon I would probably like to die. He puts it very well when he says that living as a quadriplegic is like living without dignity. I don't feel that there is much wrong with his request because he is a smart man and he truly wants to die and has been waiting 28 years to die. I think the court's response to his request was a wrong one. I understand that it was illegal in Spain to commit suicide or assist in suicide but I think if they let Ramon speak they would have let him kill himself. If they would have let him speak they would have found how smart and mentally stable Ramon was and that might have changed the courts eventual decision. I think his eventual actions were a last resort and I think Ramon did his very best to make sure that nobody got sent to jail because of it. I find it very sad how Ramon had to wait in pain for 28 years and that his last resort for suicide was something he could do all along.

I think that his friends that assisted him in suicide did the right thing as friends. They could see that Ramon wanted to die very much and they gave him his wish. I think it was very risky because they could of all gone to jail for a long time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Outside Reading: Final

Post 1: Summarize your final part of the book.

At the beginning of chapter 20, the climbers make there way down to camp 2 where the conditions are much warmer and bearable to the climbers as on higher up on the mountain. They organize a helicopter to pick up Makalu Gau and Beck Weathers which is very difficult because the icefall is very dangerous for helicopters. The helicopters ends up picking up both of them safely though. Krakauer begins to feel very sad towards the end of the chapter when he truly begins to realize all the friends he had lost up on the mountain. At the beginning of chapter 21, the climbers descend to base camp wher climbers with the worst injuries are taken to hospital by helicopter. Hours later, the group travels to Namche Bazaar where they get a flight on an old airplane to Kathmando where many Japonese climbers ask them about the death of Yasuko Namba which was big news in Japan. Some of the questions Krakauer couldn't answer because he was too emotional. Doug Hanson's family meet Krakauer at the airport and Krakauer gives them Hanson's belonging's and is to emotional to say anytrhing to them at all. Krakuer blames the disaster moslty on the arrogance of inexperienced climbers whose mistakes on the mountain would end up fatal. Krakauer ends the chapter and the book by describing other disasterous expeditions where climbers suffered from mostly alltitude sickness or by being caught in a storm and died.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Outside Reading :Week 5: Post 2

Post #2: Summarize part 5 of your outside reading memoir book. Also, write a personal reaction to the reading of part 5 that is 200 words or more.

The beginning of section 5 of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer innvolves the day after the horrible storm. Krakauer asks numerous climbers about who they might think are dead or missing. When he talks to Steve Adams he finds out that the guy he thought was Andy Harris last night was actually Steve Adams. This horrifies Krakauer because he had already contacted Harris' girlfriend saying Harris was fine and also that Harris was his good friend and is probably dead. Krakauer then goes onto describe the story of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer who were stuck on the mountain the night before. They are both stuck in the mountain in the storm without oxygen and are to exhausted to move. There are two search parties sent out to look for them but they are unsuccessful. They both end up dead. Krakauer then goes onto describe the story of two Japonese climbers and two Indian climbers. The Indian climbers were stuck near the summit without oxygen and to exhausted to move in the storm when two Japonese climbers walked right past them not helping them in any way in order to reach the summit. Krakauer then moves forward to the day after the storm again. Realising that most of his fellow group members were dead he goes searching for bodies with a group. Amazingly, they find two climbers that are still alive but are in critical condition, Beck Weatthers and Namba. Hutchtinson, a member of Krakauer's group decides that they are in an unfit state to descend and to leave them there and send help up there later. That night though something amazing happens. Beck Weathers thought to be dead by then, summoned the energy to descend to camp four in the middle of another terrible storm. Krakauer,in awe, and other group members give him lots of coffee and blankets. There is a storm that night far worse than the one on the night of the disaster that rips Weathers' tent to shreads. Miracoulously, she is still alive in the morning (the storm was so loud that nobody could hear him screaming.

The two things I really reacted to in this section were the Japonese climbers ingnoring the Indian climbes and when Beck Weathers summoned energy to descend to camp 4. When the Japonese climbers left Indian climbers while they concentrated on climbing the mountain, I really thought that was the saddest part of the book. It shows that people can be so selfish and evil at times. All those climbers cared about was reaching the summit, if they had any bit of goodness in them at all they would have those other climbers. It really angers me when people do things like that because I can't stand selfish people.

The other thing I rally reacted to was when Beck Weathers returned to camp 4 against all odds. It showed me that Weathers was a person of great mental and physical strength and I really respect those qualities. Also the shear amazingness of it all . Most of the climbers thought that she was going to die in a few hours they didn't even consider Weathers moving at all let alone walk all the way down to camp 4. I love stories like these because they are real and show you that physical and mental strength can you through some pretty tough situations.

Outside Reading: Week 5: Post 1

Post #1: Read two other students' blogs and comment on their blog about their level of insight in regards to their memoir, their blog in general and also something they could improve upon. If two comments have been submitted for a blog, go on to a different blog to comment.

I posted numerous comments to the blog with url:

I posted 2 comments to the blog with url:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Outside Reading: Week 4

Post #1: As we did in class with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, find one or two quotes from your memoir that you find compelling or telling of the tone of the story. Write the quote in your post, attribute it to the author, cite the page and the title of the book. Next, explain why that quote is so important to the book and struck you as so important.

"At 29,028 feet up in the troposphere, so little oxygen was reaching my brian that my mental capacity was that of a slow child. Under the circumstances, I was uncapable of feeling much of anything except cold and tired" Page 6 of Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

I think the quote is so important to the book because it shows that it is so hard to get to the summit of Everest that when you actually get there you are to tired and exhausted to celebrate or even feel good for a few minutes. I think this quote truly shows you how hard it is to reach the summit of the biggest mountain in the world. I found it really hard to believe that Krakauer didn't feel particularily grreat under the circumstances. I would normally think that reaching the summit of Everest would be one of the best feelings in the world.

Post #2: Summarize part 4 of your outside reading memoir book.
In the beginning of this section Krakauer's group makes there final accent from base camp to camp 2. They spend a sleepless night there before ascending to camp three and later on camp where a large crowd of well over fifty climbers have set up camp. Then the day comes to climb the summit. Krakauer reaches the summit before many other climbers but is to exhausted to feel really good about it. As he descending he sees that he is running out of oxygen and he is constantly frustrated by the traffic jams of climbers that slow him down on his way to camp 4. Andy Harris catches up to him after he reaches the summit and Krakauer points out to him where camp 4 is. By now the weather is awful and with many climbers running out oxygen, there fait looks dim.
Stuart Hutchinson goes out to bang pots together to help climbers find there way to base camp with the low visability of the storm but few turn up. In the end some climbers die less than one thousand feet from base camp.

Jon Krakauer

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Homework- October 8, 2007

For me, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a very good book. Time and time again people said to me how confusing it was paticularily with his random dreams that are scattered throughout the book. That is one of the things I liked the most about the book. I am a very focused reader. When I read, I go into a zone where I just concentrate on the book. In The Diving Bell and the Butterfly you really have to concentrate. To know that his adventures of being in a Napoleonic battle or being a pilot of an airplane are just dreams. I just had to keep reminding myself that Jean-Dominique was a quadripilegic and it was impossible for him to do these things.

Another one of the things I enjoyed the most about book was its simplicity. There were very few words that I didn't understand. In some books there would be tons of words that I didn't understand at all and it would damage my understanding the story. The one thing I disliked about the book was that the ending was, in my opinion to short. I don't like when books abruptly end with "and that was my story" or "I hoped you enjoyed my story" because it doesn't really leave you anything to grasp onto and say what a great eding to a great book. Overall, I would say this is one of the best books I have read all year and I have read alot. What makes it so good is that it is very well written by a guy who was forced to right by blinking his left eye.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Section Three of Memoir Project: Part 2

1) Write a journal entry post of the entire book up to this point. Discuss the book's strengths and weaknesses in your mind; talk about your feelings about the issues brought up; relate the book to real life and perhaps your own life; make predictions; discuss your feelings related to the book.

This book, so far, seems very good. It has alot of strengths and also some weaknesses. One strength is that is very interesting. There is something interesting on each page which makes easy to read. Another strength is that it is very educational. Every chapter is packed with useful facts and things like science and chemistry. The one weakness I see in the book is that you know what the climax is going to be. On the front cover it says "A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster". That tells you basically the basic plot of the book. That a bunch of people climb a mountain and die while doing it.

My main reaction from the book so far comes from Chapter 8 where Fischer's Sherpa, Nagwang gets sick with altitude sickness. The doctor at basecamp sends people up to help but he refuses any oxygen because he didn't want to tarnish his reputation as a Sherpa. This amazes me because this is a man close to death and all he could care about was his reutation. To me this shows great strength but also great stupidity because living is most important and your reputation doesn't even come close. I feel that this guy should be respected. I showed me that in real life you should always have your priorities in order.

My predictions for the book is that most people of the people in Krakauer's group is going to die from a terrible storm and that there is going to be a shortage of bottled oxygen which will cause alot of problems.

Outside Reading: Section 3; part 1

Chapter 8
In this chapter Hall decides that Krakauer's group should spend a few days at camp 1 and 2 in order to get used to the thin airand how high up they are. Krakauer is one of the first to get to Camp 1 and he finds it really hard to set up camp. After a night at Camp 1 they begin their 4 mile journey to camp 2. The freezing weather turns really hoy when the sun begins to reflect off the glacier. Krakauer then sees a dead body Iof a sherpa. When they reach camp 2 they see that it consists of 120 tents. They spend two nights there and it is very hard because of the high altitude. They then descend to base camp where the doctor gets a message from Ngawang, one of Fischer's. He has come down with HAPE, a form of altitude sickness. They send doctors up to help him down because the only cure for HAPE is to descend the mountain as quickly as possible. When they offer him bottled oxygen, he refuses even having altitude sickness becuse he as afraid it would tarnish his reputation as a good Sherpa. He reluctantly descends the mountain but later dies in hospital.

Chapter 9
In this chapter Krakauer's group goes from camp 2 to camp 3 which is at 24,000 feet. They spend a few days there. When they begin there decent the temperature is 40 degrees below zero. Krakauer underdresses expecting there to be alot of solar radiation. There isn't. Krakauer hands and feet go numb and other members of his group are suffering fom frostbite and other ailements. At base camp everybody is in a bad mood and Hall starts a big argument with the South American climbing team. Everyone hears then about Ngawang's death. Lopsang, Hall's sherpa, descends the whole mountain to see him and then reassends but is completely exhausted.

Chapter 10
In this chapter Krakauer makes another ascend to camp 3 and it is extremely difficult. Krakauer then goes on to describe the mistake of Beth Weathers who decided to climb the mountain in a set of of new boots and had great difficulty climbing. At camp 3 again he develops a form of altitude sickness and is miserable for days with coughing that separated his ribs and an awful headache. At camp 3 they are about 1 vertical mile beow the summit and Hall makes plans to reach the summit on May 10, a very successful and lucky day for summiting Everest.

Biography of Jon Krakauer
He was born Oregon in 1954 where he was introduced to climbing as a child. He went to Hampshire college where his love of writing and adventure made a great combination. In 1996 he summited Everest in one of the most disastorous expeditions ever. In 1998 for General-Fiction hee won the Pulitzer prize and also recieved an Academy Award for Literature. His two most famous books Into Thin Air and Into the Wild won numerous awards. Today he is contributing-editor of Outside Magazine and lives with his wife in Seattle.

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