Troubling a Star-Betrayal

Salvador Gomez
Mr. Cottom
H English 10 P.5
4 May 2016
Trust is a powerful feeling that humans feel for each other after bonding for some time, this bond allows them to feel safe and to believe others; however, not everyone appreciates trust. Both the novel Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle and the poem You Think by Melissa Rose B. Bulaong are both about breaking trust to form betrayal. Both give an explanation about how the protagonist deals with these certain situations.
In Troubling a Star, the protagonist Vicky Austin and her crush Adam Eddington have always been great friends until one day, she got a letter from him. The letter stated, “Dear Vicky, Thank you for your letters. I think it’s probably best if we don’t write anymore… But I hope you agree that we’d better cool it. Sincerely yours, Adam.” (L’Engle 166). In reality, the letter was actually meant to stop them from communicating, because someone else was reading their letters. Yet, this betrayal is ironic, because after Vicky felt betrayed she began to cheat on Adam with Prince Otto which is another form of betrayal. Another example of betrayal is when Esteban is used as a sacrifice by Nausinio as stated by L’Engle, “Nausinio grabbed Esteban so that he was in front of him, like a shield. The shot cracked the cold white air. Esteban gave a horrible jerk and then he was in the water. He went down like lead.” (L’Engle 277). Even though Esteban and Nausinio had known each other for quite a while, and Esteban even tried assisting Nausino by trying to kill Adam and Vicky, he was still just another pawn in Nausinio’s plan. It is ironic that even though Esteban tried killing Vicky and Adam by pushing them in the freezing waters, that he is the one who got both shot and froze to death in the water. In both situations the characters were betrayed by someone who was close to them, which goes to show that no matter how close people can be together, betrayal is still a possibility.
The poem You Think by Melissa Rose B. Bulaong is another story about betrayal. Bulaong states, “I guess I made my biggest mistake, when I became loyal to you. You’re one of those friends who is fake, in everything you say and do” (“Bulaong” 9-12). These lines show that trust can be gathered with time, and it is displayed by loyalty. However, gaining the loyalty can be a trap itself, because sometimes people are not who they seem to be, some may pretend to be kind, and then they use the gained trust to manipulate their friends. Bulaong later states, “I thought your kindness would last. But now, I feel so used. Because when I think of the past, I thought you’d never give my heart a bruise” (“Bulaong” 13-16). When Bulaong said that she thought her heart would never get bruised, she implies that she did which is an exaggeration, because if her heart was actually bruised she would likely be dead. There is also personification when she says that kindness could last, only humans can make kindness last because kindness is manipulated by humans, it itself cannot have actions itself. Melissa Rose demonstrates that no matter how long a person is known, they can still betray.
Not everyone in the world believes in trust, yet those who do are the ones that end up suffering. Both Troubling a Star and You Think are both examples that anyone can betray another at anytime and anywhere, even in a freezing iceberg. However there are still many people that do trust such as Vicky and Bulaong, and does that do betray such as Adam, deserve a second chance.

Works Cited
Bulaong, Melissa Rose B. “You Think.” Family Friend Poems. Web. 04 May 2016.

L’Engle, Madeleine. Troubling a Star. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994. Print.


The Whale Rider- Women can do anything Men can

Salvador Gomez
Mr. Cottom
As time went on men gained power while women’s place in society fell. Today, at a time where social justice between both genders is nearly complete. There are still many examples of media showing how men and women are equal. Two examples of this are the novel, The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera and in an online article on Forbes, “Motherhood is not liability to a woman’s ability in business” by Amy Rees Anderson. These two articles show women are more than capable of doing anything men can.
In The Whale Rider, every leader or chief of Maori in Whangara has been a male ever since the appearance of the whale rider. However, during the time of Koro Apirana something went wrong, a girl named Kahu after the Whale Rider was born, this came to anger Koro as he states on page 13, “ “A girl” Grandfather, Koro Apirana, said, disgusted. “I will have nothing to do with her. She has broken the male line of descent to our tribe” (Ihimaera 13). Due to Kahu’s gender, Koro has come to hate Kahu for many years of their lives. Koro even went as far as to look for a boy in the tribe that was worthy of becoming, even though Kahu has proven that she can do things that past leaders who were male have done, such as swimming underwater for a very long time, the ability to communicate with whales and she is able to speak the old Maori language that only male chiefs have known.. Later on Koro states, “You’re the best great-grandchild in the whole wide world,” he said. “Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter.”” (Ihimaera 149). After Kahu was taken away by the Whale Rider’s Whale, Koro realizes that a women could be as great of a chief as a man and that everyone has their own values regardless of gender. Koro even goes on to tell Kahu that once she gets well she can take her place as chief. In the end, all other people including Koro who once doubted her capabilities, because of her gender discovered that a women could do anything a man can.
Something that people fail to see is that everyone has something to do, sure while we look back men usually had more occupations compared to women back in other times. Yet times have changed, women have many things to take care off and things like this are what women think affect their social status and helpfulness according to men as stated, “What I remember about was whether people would perceive the fact that I was a mother of two small children to be a weakness in business.” (Anderson). It’s not that just some men believe that women are inferior, this symbolizes that since women have been in men’s shadow for quite some time, they themselves believe not to have some time, and they themselves believe not to have much authority as men. Yet, when Anderson realizes that a male employer is in a similar situation, and speaks up, that she should be able to get the same rights just like him. Anderson states, “The next time someone asked to Schedule a meeting when it conflicted with one of my children’s events I simply spoke confidently and unapologetically and told them that we would need to pick a different data… they were FINE with it!” (Anderson). By telling everyone what she could do and couldn’t she found out that she had the same power as a man. In reality everyone is equal, it’s just that insecurities that everyone has are what stops us from moving forward and what makes society seem like an endless loop in which men have always been superior. Yet if people do not overcome these insecurities nothing will never change, it must be an effort between everyone to lead to a more socially equal future.
Both stories have one similar message that a woman can do anything a man can. Even though in today’s society some people consider men superior these two articles show that women can do as much if not more than men as respected members of society.


The Man from the Other Side: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Salvador Gomez
Period.5 H English

Many people are discriminated, because of their race, gender, and personal characteristics. However, not everyone understands that physical appearance is just half of a person, the other half is their personality. The big idea of The Man from the Other Side by Uri Orlev and Peter Ramse and Clacton’s Simon Fitzpatrick to feature in Alan Powdrill’s exhibition Covered by Alan Powdrill is to never judge a book by its cover.
In The Man from the Other Side, Orlev talks about the prejudice against the Jews during World War 2. The main character, Marek states, “Such people had always seemed strange and ugly to me. Maybe it was their odd clothes, or their beards and sidelocks, or the strange language they spoke…” (Orlev 14). People should not be judged by their physical characteristics or their belongings. The Jews are not all the same, maybe if others got to meet a Jew they would realize that what is spoken about them is not true. One of Marek’s friends, Janek states, “They’ve got lots of diamonds and gold besides the money… a Jew lover or something?” (Orlev 26). The Jews are being discriminated for being rich while all they really want to do is survive, they are not being greedy people who buy everything. Instead of judging people by their property, they should be judged by their personality. The Man from the Other Side focuses on racism towards the Jews to demonstrate how people are judged by their appearance.
In the article Peter Ramse and Clacton’s Simon Fitzpatrick to feature in Alan Powdrill’s exhibition Covered, Powdrill discusses the criticism towards people with tattoos who are judged, because of the tattoos. Simon Flitzpatrick states, “He said: “If I’m in my vest some people are a bit vary of me. I don’t like that…We’re just normal people, we just like art on our skin and that’s it,” (Powdrill). People misunderstand the use of tattoos. The stereotype is that people with tattoos are in gangs; however, some people with tattoos actually use them for self-expression just like Flitzpatrick, who uses tattoos as art. Powdrill states, “There were two reasons Peter, 37, was keen to get involved – to show off his tattoos and to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease, which he has suffered from since he was a teenager and is the theme of many of his tattoos,” (Powdrill). This statement adds support that people use tattoos for self-expression, because Peter wants to show them off. Tattoos can also be used to raise awareness of conditions such as Crohn’s disease just like how Peter is using his to show the effects of Crohn’s disease. Not all people use tattoos to seem threatening, they use them for self-expression and to raise awareness, however the stereotype that people with tattoos are dangerous is hiding the true intentions of tattoos.
The big idea of both articles is, don’t judge a book by its cover or a man by his tattoos, which is shown by containing several example of misunderstood people, just because they are a different race or have an odd appearance.
Work Cited
Orlev, Uri, and Hillel Halkin. The Man from the Other Side. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. Print.
“Never Judge a Book by Its Cover… or a Man by His Tattoos.” Gazette. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.


The Water Mirror: How Enemies can become Friends

Salvador Gomez
Mr. Cottom
English 10 H Period: 5
The Water Mirror: How Enemies can become Friends
Many people despise others and may even consider each other enemies. However, contrary to popular belief enemies can become friends as shown by Merle and Serafin from The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer and Jacob Maclin, a former drug dealer and Ray Robokowski, a police officer from the streets of Milwaukee. The big idea of the novel is that even the worst of enemies can become friends.
In the fictional novel, The Water Mirror, Merle and Serafin, are two former enemies that must work together in order to save Venice from war. Before Merle and Serafin stumble upon the Egyptian envoy and the council traitors, they start talking to each other about their past. Serafin stated, “No, I lived on the street. As I said, sometimes here, sometimes there. And during that time I picked up a lot of stuff. Things that not everybody knows.”(page.105) If what Serafin claims is true, why would he tell Merle that he used to be homeless unless they were good friends? The logical explanation is that Serafin trusted Merle enough to explain his past to her, just like she requested. Later on, Serafin states, “All honor to the Flowing Queen!” he cried out, while Merle used the moment to spring to his side “Follow me!”(page.135) The evidence demonstrates Merle’s trust towards Serafin as they try to escape the Egyptian envoy and the traitors, with the essence of the Flowing Queen. Their trust is a symbol of their new friendship, before this they did not trust each other at all; therefore if they attempted the escape before, Serafin may have just left Merle behind since they would still be enemies and he would have no reason to care over her safety. These two are now friends, because they trust each other enough to talk about their pass together and they trust each other in moments of danger.
How two bitter enemies became best friends by Steve Hartman, is an article based on Jacob Maclin a former ex-con who wants to turn over a new leaf and Ray Robokowski who used to be a police officer who was responsible for Maclin’s change as stated,” It was Maclin who changed the cop’s mind. Eventually, over the next couple months, Jacob proved to Ray that he wanted to get a job and turn his life around.”(Hartman) According to the author’s text, Robokowski did not trust Maclin, but Maclin’s determination started to grab the cop’s attention. So in the end Robokowski decided to help Maclin by sending him to multiple places for job interviews, eventually Maclin joined the Community Warehouse. However, Maclin was not the only one willing to change. The article states, “Through Community Warehouse, with his new friend Jacob, Ray has now helped more than a dozen other ex-cons leave their past behind.”(Hartman) This statement demonstrates that Ray is changing his enemies from criminals to good people which in turn is also making him many friends. It also shows that he is willing to put his time and devotion in order to help others who are in need and who are willing to change. Ray’s goal is to change the lives of criminals which is why he became their friends.
According to the previous examples, it is true that enemies can become friends. However, most of the time both people have to work together to achieve a goal. It is the bond and trust they form while they are helping each other that converts them from enemies to great friends.


Girls try out for tennis

Girls try out for tennis

Every year many students ask themselves if they should try out for a sport. Thirty-five girls are attempting to make it onto the girl’s tennis team by demonstrating their potential.

“I have learned that I can compare tennis to my life. For me, tennis changed my daily life, I learned that you must have respect and patience in tennis and toward your team mates,” said Kimberly Guardado, a former tennis player and junior from the Business & Innovation small school.

“Maybe 26 girls will make it onto the team, but it’s just an estimation. Since signups, only 35 girls have come to tryouts,” said Eduardo Rodriquez, the tennis coach. Tryouts for the girl’s tennis team started on Thursday, April 30 and end on Friday, May 8. Since tryouts have begun, girls have shown up, so that they can have a chance to join the girl’s tennis team. On Tuesday, May 5, Coach Rodriquez will begin cutting out the girls who were not able to make it into the team this year.

“When it is my senior year, I would like to get into league and go to the quarter finals,” said Jazmine Salazar, a junior in the Health & Science small school. Some students are entering tennis, because they want to win league in their senior year. Other players are returning as veterans or just really want to join. Evelyn Lopez, a past player and a sophomore from the Tech & Media Magnet said, “I can’t explain why I joined tennis. I just had a feeling that I really wanted to get in.”

Guardado is also a past player, she has been playing tennis since her freshman year, but she is still nervous that she might not make onto the team. She said, “Truthfully, I think that there might be possibilities that I will not get chosen or that I will get chosen, because if you are a returner, it does not mean that you will automatically be on the team, but everyone has an equal chance of getting to the girl’s tennis team.” Coach Rodriquez believes that Guardado is a good example of student athletes. He said, “Kimberly is one of those student athletes that you want as a coach, and a student that coaches enjoy teaching.”

Tennis has changed the life of some veteran players, so new players should know how to manage their time for tennis and their classes. Even the players that just joined are already experiencing different ways way that tennis has changed their lives. Salazar said, “Tennis is very relaxing and a stress reliever. Honestly, it helps me take things off my mind.”

Diana Jacobo, a junior in the Visual & Performing Arts small school said, “It is a big group of girls, but they will get better and better as they practice.” After barely a week of practice, the girls who are trying out are showing progress. The girl’s tennis team will be practicing over the summer so that they can be ready for the first semester of next year.



Steel Thy Shovel

By Salvador Gomez

Steel Thy Shovel

Dig into a new side scrolling adventure, as Shovel Knight travels the land and takes down the Order of No Quarter on a quest to defeat the Enchantress and save his loved one, Shield Knight.

Shovel Knight is a new game made with the latest technology, but looks like it was made in the 1990’s. Esai Morales, a freshman in Health, Science, and Environment small school said, “I think the graphics work best with this game. I love the music, and the gameplay is awesome and precise, so you feel like every mistake is your fault.” According to the Nintendo eShop, the 8-bit graphics make this game look like a true classic, as well as its flawless gameplay, incredible music, memorable characters and creative stage designs. This game makes people feel that their death in the game is their fault, not the game’s fault.

“ I love this game, because it reminds me of retro games, especially of Duck Tales,” said Morales. The game is inspired by classic games such as Mega Man, Duck Tales, Super Mario Bros. 3, and The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link. Similar to the classic games, Shovel Knight is a 2D side-scroller that has a balanced difficulty, depending on the player’s playing skill. There are many check points in every stage that can help casual players pass the game, expert players can destroy check points in exchange for gold, but if the player dies he or she must begin from the beginning or from a previous checkpoint.

Aside from the stages, there are different towns that players can visit to acquire magic, health, armor and shovel upgrades in order to buff up Shovel Knight for the upcoming challenges. The villages are filled with many characters including Croaker the frog, Bard the musician, and the Troupple King. Morales said, “The game is a medium or hard difficulty depending on the player’s skills, because players can destroy a check point in exchange for gold, but once the player destroys it; if they die they must start the stage from the last check point or the beginning, it is a factor of risk vs. reward which expert player might most likely take.” Shovel Knight is a great game that anyone can pick up and enjoy.

Luis Rodriquez, a freshman from Justice & Law said, “I like how the game has different items that let you do many different things, every time I search a stage and find a new relic I feel accomplished.” Shovel Knight is a game that rewards players for exploration. Every once in a while, the player may encounter weird looking walls or branching paths, with a swing of the shovel the player can unveil many secret areas that reward them with gold or relics. Relics are mythical objects that allow Shovel Knight to shoot fireballs, become invincible, throw anchors, and go fishing and much more. Shovel Knight has many secrets to uncover and collectables that add more replay value to the game.

Shovel Knight is an amazing new classic that has smooth gameplay, memorable stages, awesome music, exploration, and is packed with fun. The game is currently available on the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and on Steam for just $14.99. Shovel Knight deserves a 4.9 out of 5.



Majora’s Mask Review

Salvador Gomez
72 Hours Remain to Save the World

The land of Termina will soon meet with a terrible fate. With the power of mask, Link will travel across the land and time, in order to stop the moon from crashing down on Termina.

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D is a remake of the odd and spooky classic. In this game Link must save the land of Termina by transforming into different species of creatures, each with their own unique ability. Link must also save the world before the moon falls in three days. The greatest strength about Majora’s Mask are the huge compilation of side quests. Anthony Frias, a freshman from Justice & Law small school said, “It is hard and stressful to try to pass the game in three days, that is what makes Majora’s Mask awesome!”

The story of Majora’s Mask is unlike any other Zelda game. In Majora’s Mask Link starts out by looking for a lost friend, when he is suddenly attacked by two fairies. Link falls off his horse Epona, as a character known as the Skull Kid with a peculiar mask, steals Link’s belongings and Epona. Link gives chase and falls into a trap.

The Skull Kid then uses the power of the mask, also known as Majora’s Mask to turn Link into a Deku Scrub. One of the fairies known as Tatl is left behind while the Skull Kid and her brother Tael escape. Link and Tatl team up and give chase to the Skull Kid. Then they encounter the happy mask salesman, who offers to change Link back to normal if he returns Majora’s Mask. So Link exits out the door and finds himself in a place called Clock Town, he then explores the town while he happens to notice that the moon is getting closer every day. On the third and last day, the clock tower opens and he enters it to fight the Skull Kid.

He manages to get the ocarina of time back, and he uses it to travel back in time to restart the three day cycle. Esai Morales a freshman from Health, Science, and Environment said, “The three day cycle makes the game perfect, there are tons of side quest and there are some that must be done in the three day cycle.” Link then learns a melody from the mask salesman that helps him return to his normal form. The Deku powers he had, turned into a mask that he can use to transform again when he puts it on.

Link can now travel to the four regions in Termina, so that he can free the four giants that will help him save the world. After getting all four giants, Link is ready to confront the Skull Kid. He climbs the clock tower once more and summons the giants. The giants stop the moon from falling, but Majora’s Mask that the Skull Kid was wearing comes to life and goes in the moon. Link then jumps inside the moon’s Mouth and confronts and defeats Majora.

Players must learn to manage their time unless they want to have a lot of pressure. Players can change their items and mask on the bottom screen. The bottom screen also has a map, and the life and magic meters. Link has four transformation mask that allow him to change into other species including a Deku Scrub, a Goron, a Zora, and the last mask is a secret to everybody. Morales said, “I like the mask, they have their own unique ability and are really fun to use.” The Deku Scrub allows link to use flowers to fly to other locations and spit bubbles. The Goron can carry very heavy objects, roll at great speeds, and is the strongest of these three. Finally the Zora, the Zora is a really good swimmer, has boomerang projectiles and can breathe under water. The last mask is obtained by getting the other 23 masks. The gameplay is pretty easy. Link basically has to save the world in three days, if he fails, he can use the ocarina to restart the three day cycle. Morales said, “It was awesome, and exciting because you have a time limit to save the world.”

This remake includes new things that are meant to enhance the experience in Majora’s Mask. The first change is obviously the graphics, Majora’s Mask looks outstanding in 3D! Two fishing ponds have been added to give players more things to do. Frias said, “The graphics from the N64 version of the game made it look freaky, but now it looks better.” A few side quest were added and the bosses were also changed up quite a bit. The user interphase is also better now, the clock that tells players what time it is, is easier to use.

The only bad change is the Zora’s swimming, it used to be really fun to use because the Zora used to swim like a dolphin and it was fast. It has been slowed down and it can’t swim like a dolphin unless magic powered is used, and it runs out fast. The save system is also different, players could only save and exit and then continue when they come back, but now it is permanent save which allows players to continue their save point without the rest of their progress being deleted. One last enhancement is the use of a 360 degree camera; however, the Circle Pad Pro or the New Nintendo 3DS XL are required to use this function, but are not necessary to play the game.

Despite the new changes, Majora’ Mask 3d is a really good game. The only thing against it in my opinion is the swimming, but it is very minor. My final rating for this game is a 9/10. I highly recommend Majora’s Mask to newcomers to The Legend of Zelda series.