Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yusuf Mohamed


Most of us know it’s hard to find peace to your mind. But imagine a place where only “peace” exists, as you imagine your mind my take you to some fancy island or a paradise like place. For me though this place is a place where you’re all kinds of songs. Where the butterflies rum freely and breath with air. It’s a place where the sight of ants and their cooperation working as a group brings happiness to your mind. The smell of roses at this place put you automatically in a good mood. They sight of blue sky tells you to relax your brain. Little squirrels welcome to this place and wanting you to play along them and chase them. It’s a beautiful place where you see all kind of races, all kids, young, old, and all you can think of. Just like the butterflies, ants and squirrels enjoying the big field. It’s a place where I enjoyed the most when I was young. It’s not located in a rich neighborhood, but when your hear sounds, and joyfulness of kids, you feel rich inside. The sight of elderly walking around and making funny remarks about kids, makes you fell untouchable.
In spring the green grass begs you to sleep on them, and feel it. The tall trees with their shades makes want to hung them and touch them. It was a place to be. A place where my wonders are free to reach the sky. The small pond makes a sound, as if it wants you to come closer to the joy of this place.
I usually go close to the pond, and the sight of the fish tells me how eager they are to see me. This was my favorite play ground when I was young. It’s called Linden Park. Many say it’s located in a “ghetto” place but they didn’t hear the sounds, the smell, and the sight of this place deeply. Only few like me who understood this place will know. Everyone is welcome to Linden Park to feel the joy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


When I was in grade school my family would plan to go on vacation once a year. We usually went in the summer after school let out. The place we usually went summer was Top Sail Island in North Carolina. The Villa Capriani was the name of the resort we liked the most. My favorite part was a 24 hour bar that served the best pizza I have ever had. It smelled like a bakery once you walked in and on the walls were all sorts of family pictures, like what you would see at the restaurant Buca Di Beppo. They used fresh basil, you could tell because of the taste, and nothing in Delaware compares. I never thought such good food would come from a 24 hour bar.
When you walked out the back patio you could see the thee light blue pools, and feel the ocean breeze on your face. Our balcony overlooked the baby pool where you could always hear kids splashing and crying. This got annoying fast, so we didn’t spend much time out there. A pier about the length of a football field went out into the ocean which you could fish off of. At the time no one told us you couldn’t eat the fish. Good thing they saw us walking off the pier with the cooler and stopped us. The guy said they weren’t fit to eat. Who would have thought something out of the ocean wasn’t fit to eat? We got back to the room empty handed with our cooler smelling like fish. No one wanted to put any food in it because it would stink up anything we had in there. We ended up throwing it away before the drive back to Ohio in fear of smelling up the car.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Grandmother’s Village

A special place to me from my childhood is my grandmother’s village; almost every summer vacation was spent with my grandmother in a village called Kookosua #2. This village had about 600 inhabitants and almost all the inhabitants were farmers. This village had no electricity at the time and a full moon night was a party and hang out night for all the youth in the village. My grandmother’s house was inhabited with about five of my aunts and uncles, their spouses and their children so every summer vacation was the noisiest and chattiest because this when all the students had come on vacation.
Some of the things I enjoyed most was picking cashew with my grandmother on her cashew farm. I and my cousins were to pick the cashew head from the fruit and we could eat or throw the fruit away. The cashew fruit left a strange taste in your mouth like the taste a banana leaves in your mouth or the taste of orange juice of kind of acidic roughness. The rotten fruits smelt like stale milk and apple. We also went mango fruit picking with catapults and we will do challenges of who can get the most mangos. A real mango fruit tastes totally different from mango juice. The real mango fruit is not really sugary depending on how ripen the fruit is.
One thing I also liked was the moonlit nights I mentioned in the beginning. There was no electricity to disturb the grayish light that illuminated the whole village. The stars could be seen shining from the sky like a romantic candlelit night in a distance. The air smelt of dust and rain at the same time and just the smell of the trees and the mud was refreshing and relaxing. And you could always here the crickets chirping and the dogs howling. You would think living without electricity would “suck” but to me these were the best summers of my life and that small village is still a fond memory for me.

Carmel Apples

When walking into my special place as a child, I experienced many different senses going on that when I went to that place again, the senses would alter. Walking in you can touch the sleek glass that holds all the sweet goodies. You can hear happy instrumental music playing over the surround sound speakers throughout the room, people talking, "oh" and "awing," and the nice and polite workers greeting and taking care of customer s one at a time. Just the smell of the room could make anyone want to come and buy so much! I always swore as a little kid that you could smell what they were making fresh all across the top floor of the mall. My favorite smell is when they are baking up some fresh caramel apples. Every time I walk into this special place my senses go crazy making it very hard to a decision on what I exactly want. After purchasing my goodies I always always instantly pull out my caramel apple and eat that first! The taste of a fresh, crunchy, warm caramel apple made my day so much brighter as a kid. It's when I would finish all of my little candy treats that would make me become very impatient and irritable until I got the chance to go back to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory again.

The Library

Growing up, my Father's house did not have a library. We had a family room with a large bookshelf, a wood burning stove and furniture. It became the library to me. I would sit, especially in the winter, in the oversize furry brown swivel chair and read for hours and hours.

The chair was like a bear. Its fur was like the softest silk when you brushed your hand downward. Petting it in the opposite direction was coarse, like a Labrador's coat pushed back against the lie, or an old painter's brush - a bit rough and gritty as if it has been used to paint before. My sister and I would write messages to each other by running out fingers against the grain to the chair's fur- leaving impressions and making our letters and words.

I said especially winter, because the wood burning stove would be my company-cracklin' and poppin'- whistlin' as it met ash or oak. The smell is like a dream. Burning ash. It smells like nature's wisdom, becomes a bold and smoky aroma that seems to wrap the room in a security blanket. I love that smell. I love that crackle.

Aha! I almost forgot. The crackle reminds me of he popcorn. The little white fluffy clouds of airy butter and salt were a perfect accompaniment to the book and fire. They disappeared into my mouth and melted away like the pages of the novel.

As if I didn't have enough olfactory stimulation- I would periodically lift the book up to my nose and smell the age of the book. Grandma's basement, humidity, history... I could feel the smell of the book-it was like wisdom, musty with knowledge. It's like a lecture from my grandfather... tender, firm, and understanding. The pages of the book were dry-but not too dry. They didn't suck the moisture from my fingers, but they also were parched just so, as to flick from the page with a fleetness designed to match my rate.

O'l Pine

The O’l Pine
The o’l pine was the largest tree on the property, even testing the tops of the telephone poles. Obviously it’s not as big to me now as it was then, but the old pine tree is still a massive skyscraper standing tall and proud as if it had received some award. My cousin Kyle and I would spend days upon days in this tree. The sap, which could be mistaken for superglue, would be on us head to toe, ruining some clothes that our parents appreciated more than we did. In every scenario the tree was a landmark of safety. Little did I know the tree would leave a bigger mark on me than just a fond memory.
We were up in the tree as usual but this time was different, this there was no game, there were no aliens or outlaws to be killed that day. The summer day had taken its toll on us and we had lost. We both sat on opposite branches talking about our plans of taking over the world and the different weapons we would bring along our journey. I became slightly bored with this conversation and decided to climb higher.
All of my grandma’s endless “becarefuls” and “you’re to highs” went right out the window. Each branch that I passed was as if I was getting ever so close to the top of a mountain. Just then my foot slipped, the entire gravitational pull had zeroed in on me and my two sapped covered hands. I gained momentum and tried to swing to another side of the tree, to the larger branches but at no success, then CRACK! My one support of life had just broken underneath my finger tips. I soared through the air as a hawk does for a kill. The difference is I had no prey, I had no control, and I had no wings. I hit the ground and a white flash takes my vision for a few seconds. When I come to my senses I’m slowly crawling away from the tree and have a sensation that someone had just put a hot iron across my back. The tree that was our safe zone had attacked me. I survived the attack but it took fifteen stitches and a scar I still have but after days once my stitches were removed I was right back up the tree. Some moments I would brag and show people the branch that had broken and assist the story with the new scar.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Sanctuary.....

Jason Bires
Intro to Fiction
Writing Exercise Two/ 06-30-2010
My Sanctuary
Even on hot summer days, the concrete surrounding me felt cool to the touch on all surfaces: the rough walls, the polished concrete floors; all of which was cool enough to create condensation in my sweaty palms. It was, after all, my sanctuary where I turned to for comfort and relief from the ridicules of the world around me. In the far corner off the landing sat the washer and drier. Opposite of that wall under the stairs were the household appliances. Dividing the room were three support poles six feet apart, with steel beams perpendicular to the stairs eight feet from the floor. The only impeding structure from these beams was a clothesline along the last two-thirds of space from the support pole to the concrete wall. The rest was mine!
My sanctuary became a place that kept me safe from everything. It kept me out of trouble, it channeled my anger, and became a place of hope; an area where dreams were made and broken, but never forgotten. In this space of mine, I had all the tools needed for my success: an Olympic Bench, Vertical Leg Press Machine, and 600 pounds of Olympic plates at my disposal. Various bars and dumbbells were strewn about, all of which reciprocated the temperature of the walls. The smell of sweat soaked into the leather of the machines gave me a sense of pride; a sense of self-worth while the scent of the musty old couch allowed me a place for reflection. Even the sound of the weights clanging together, echoing off the walls, sent chills down my spine with each rep. This place was where my dreams came true as a result of my hard work. This place gave me the confidence I needed to stand above my peers. This place was my sanctuary, my gym, my learning block of self-control and dedication to myself. This place was our basement.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Park

Throughout my childhood, I spent my time consistently at the towns' public park located in Bristol, England. It was about two blocks away from my house, and every went and their business followed. I would spend every evening after school swinging on the swings and going down the long loopy slide of full of dirt, rain, and grass. I could never forget the smell of the freshly cut grass and the tree's surrounding. When I would reach the top of the high wooden slide I could see my house out in the distance which always appeared so much smaller than it truly was.

Most days were bright and unbelieving sunny with heavy winds, I always heard the metal of the swings as they banged together and the sound sent an unusual feeling down my spine.
My favorite was the sandbox, there was no better feeling in the world than feeling the warm grains of sand below my feet and run through the spaces of my hands. I would lay on the sand and stare into the brightly colored sky, full of clouds and occasionally I would daze and get lost within them.


I simply could not wait to get there. When we finally did I was ecstatic! The day was perfect; warm, almost hot, but not quite, with a gentle breeze creeping inland over the magnificent blue lake. Not a cloud in the sky above. The air smelled of sweets and treats and the sizzling cooking grease that was used to deep-fry the delicious delights.
Above me was where I found my eyes constantly searching. The coasters were magnificent and my heart beat faster when I pictured myself strapped on one of the steal contraptions, flying hard, high and fast like hawk in attack mode. And the sounds that echoed forth accompanying the sights of flight were every bit as exhilarating. The screams and shrieks that involuntarily ejected from the passengers aboard only boosted my excitement.
We moved toward the living legend and entered into the snake of waiting. With each step closer to boarding I lost a little more breath. The line wasn’t long but with my heightened expectation and excitement time seemed to crawl. Finally we reached the loading zone and I climbed aboard. With my sweating hands I clasped the belt and then tugged the loose end until it was snug against me. I lowered the shoulder-locking device into position and was now ready for blastoff.
Click, click, click, we climbed skyward, higher and higher up to the peak. We inched forward, creeping now, seconds from freefall, I could hardly breathe, and my pulse was the only thing that I could hear. Suddenly I was falling, yet flying at the same time. It was like no feeling I had felt before. My stomach was still at the crest, my knuckles were ghost white with a death grip on the handles, and I screamed.”AAAHHH!” It wasn’t a scream of fear, as I thought it might have been, but a scream of delight, release, joy, and pride. I would be the first among my friends to claim victory over the Magnum XL 200 and in my own childish way I began to see myself as a man.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


In Casablanca I believe the film is such a classic because of the conflict of the characters trying to go to America. Ilsa stood out to me the most of how she was married and thought her husband (Laszlo) was dead and moved on by finding Rick. Rick never knew she was married and was very depressed of how Ilsa didn’t get on the train with him. Towards the end it made more sense of why she left him. It hurt Rick pretty bad. Rick tricked her by telling her to go with him to America, but really he wanted her to be happy with Laszlo. For Strasser it was important that he didn’t let Laszlo leave because he was influential on other people.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Casablanca is considered a classic because it is timeless. After more than 60 years (released in 1942) the characters and the story still ring true. I can see Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg making this movie today. Add to that the stunning beauty of Ingrid Bergman (does anybody cry that pretty?) and the cynical bad boy character of Rick played by the incomparable Humphrey Bogart, and I can understand the accolades and respect this movie has been given. The screen sizzles with Rick and Ilsa's unspoken feelings for each other.

What stood out to me this time is the dialogue. Rick's cutting and witty repartee with the other characters, especially with Capt Louis Renault, are wonderful. The dialogue (so much of it considered Hollywood classic movie quotes) is another character in this movie.

The Club is the perfect backdrop, including Sam, Sacha (the waiter), Carl, and the drunken girl who pined for Rick. It supported Rick's character and rang true to the man he was.

I would suggest renting and watching this movie another time. You might be surprised at how much more you catch.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Movie

Casablanca was a classic because its flawless script, acting, and music. its love triangle in an exotic location in midst of war, and the difficult life choice we make during the war. At first I though its going to be a boring movie because of its black and white and the age,it was my first time watching Casablanca and I wouldn't mind watching it over again.All the characters stood out and did every script right in this movie, every quote used meant a lot. Rick was talking to the Captain and the captain asked what was Rick's nationality and Rick answered "I'm a drunkard", who can say that back in 1940's in middle a World War? I guess only Rick and the Casablanca crew. Everything about this movie just was right, it was a kind of movie that was for many generations to come.


This film I believe was made classic due to its focus on the war and the believe that no matter the circumstance there were people fighting for a good cause. The conflicts, the mystery, the suspense and the small comedy added to the viewer being focused on the movie throughout. The conflict of the love triangle between Rick, Ilsa and Victor added to the mystery of the movie in that the viewer wasn't able to decipher Rick's action in whether Rick was going to betray Victor in the End. What stood out to me in the story was how Louis was trying to please his superiors and trying to help his friend Rick. The character that meant the most to me was Ilsa because you could see that her love for both men were genuine and even though a viewer wants to blame her for playing with both men, that viewer can't because all that conflict came about because Victor lied about his death even if to protect her.


What makes Casablanca a classical movie is the storyline and the characters. The story line is an important because it was during world war two, and it outlines what the world was going to through. Rick gives up the woman he loves to save the life of others. Rick meant to the most to me because he gave up illas to help other lives, and he was not selfish. That really showed his character, and the he was a loving guy.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I think Casablanca was a classic due to its on-going suspense and mystery. It was able to keep the views captivated til the very end. Not only does it include two men vying for the same womens love in a love triangle, it also deals with wartime conflict which many people from that time period could relate to.
All the characters added humor and drama through the clever dialouge but the one who stood out to me the most was Rick. His whit was unbelievable, and he gave an impression to be ignorant and selfish but in the end we see that he only wanted the best for Lisa.


I feel that what makes Casablanca a classic film is its characters and environment. The music makes you feel like you are back in time and the way they interact with one another shows a different type of respect and approach. The drama that occurs throughout the film, especially with Ilsa and Rick, makes the movie more classic too; the way they act with each other and the fact that they are living a life behind everyone else's back. I feel like some over dramatization makes the film a classic too because even though today's films might be the same way, they are better at making things seem a little more real.

What stood out the most in this movie was the love between Ilsa and Rick, but the fact that they had to hide from everyone and yet they did not end up together. They went through so much and Rick still ended up giving her up to Mr. Laszlo when it was time to part. Another thing that stood out to me was Captain Renault's loyalty to Rick. Throughout the movie I thought that he was going to betray Rick but he stuck by his side all along.

The character that meant the most to me was Rick. He always had a serious face and made everyone seem that he only cared about himself, but his actions said otherwise. It seemed to me like he was the one that everyone went to and trusted. I think that his love for Ilsa made him who he really was deep inside, the one that no one could really see.


I personally think this movie is instantly made a classic just because of what it is based upon and what era in time it's released to the public. It's the thing that people were constantly talking about during this time, "all the rage." It's what people were gossiping about, of course it will be a hit.

I think just the whole war aspect of the movie stood out to me the most. Going into this movie I really had no idea exactly what to expect. I can honestly say I had heard the term, "Casablanca" but never heard about the movie and what it was about/based upon. So, coming into class and watching this I definitely had an open mind and had no clue what was going on at first.

The character that meant the most to me in this movie, but more so, stood out to me the most was Rick. He is introduced into this movie by first showing all the carelessness he has for everything. It showed us how he never "sticks his head in for nobody" ever. But as we watch the movie and become more familiar with the characters and what is going on, Ilsa and her husband come into play and change everything. When Ilsa in introduced and there is a flashback of the past, Rick's "front" he put on in the beginning takes a complete 360 turn. It's interesting to see a man crack just like that, no matter how long it has been since he was hurt.


Casablanca has such a strong storyline. But what really makes it a classic are the characters. The characters are so solid and each role was cast brilliantly in my opinion.

Rick is the main character and his sarcastic and dry tone was fun even while his serious and sad face stayed straight. He rarely smiled in the film, and even came across a bit harsh at times but I found myself immediately rooting for him. Rick is very bitter- but strong. Ilsa was sad but strong and proud. The love triangle must have been a reason for the films instant acclaim.
The humor that the town Captain (Renault) brought was throughout the film. I really enjoyed this character. He was a true neutral character until the end where he let Rick off the hook.

Sam was another great supporting character that had great expressions and was genuine and lovable.

The characters were the driving force that made the already good plot into a classic.


I can really see how this movie is a classic, it really grabs the audience from the first scene and doesn't let go until the end. The entire time your caught up in the misery of the people being stuck, romance, and the realization of how cheap human life can really be. Rick stuck out the most to me. He was kicked out of his home country for the qualities people loved him in another. he took his second chance and completely rebuilt who he was.

Anyone else see the similarity?

Jason Bires
Intro to Fiction
Journal Four/ 07-02-2010
Journal Four
Not knowing a lot about films and their characters, my guess to why the film is such a classic is because of the storyline. This became a classic because of its separation from other movies of that era: it dealt strictly with corruption and the black market. It relates well to a movie that I watched from the present day called “American Gangster”. Rick’s character is relatable to Frank, who portrays the stereotypical mafia or gang lord that had control over the police, the government, and the black market within there decade. For as many movies and stories that were produced around that time, I believe this storyline probably led to other movies being produced with the same plot of violence and corruption such as “Scarface”. I am not at all saying this was the starting point for movies such as the two mentioned above, but I’m saying that because it is an original work that held a storyline so similar to the others, that this was merely the movie of this type, of the decade, when it was released. I believe every decade had a great corruption/ black market movie, and this was merely the starting point where I recognize the pattern (based on my limited knowledge of movies) of every decade having one of these classics.
I liked Victor’s character. I liked everything he was about. I really enjoyed watching how he handled situations, his intelligence about how to get around throughout the movie, and his ability to know what to do and say exactly when it needed to be done. Very similarly, Rick held the same character, which is why Ilsa was attracted to both of them throughout the movie, because they were essentially one in the same. If you liked one, you liked them both, and in this case Victor and Rick were the prominent characters.


I think the movie is a classic because it has great suspense and mystery which keeps the views captivated throughout the movie. Not only are there two men vying for the same woman's love in a love triangle, there are also many wartime conflicts that many people from that time period could relate to.
All the characters made the movie humorous and dramatic, the dialouge is very clever. The character that stood out to me the most was Rick. His whit was unbelievable and he seemed very ignorant and selfish, but in the end we see that he is very caring and only wanted the best for Lisa.



This movie is a classic due to the characters presented and the storyline. There is a mix of love and tyranny underlined by shady actions, until blurry irony is seen clear. You are not sure whos side to stand on at first and wanted to see Rick with his love, but the end is such a twist in so many different ways! I am so used to color movies with jaw dropping visual effects, that I would not have given this black and white film a chance. I actually would love to see a remake of it. The amount of black market taking place stood out to me. The most memorable characters were Rick and his secret lover Capt. Louis Renault. Rick was the over sarcastic protagonist. As the movie went on you kind of understood why. He never drank with anyone, because the last person he drank with was the girl who broke his heart (Ilsa). He never really let anyone close to him or see his vulnerable side, besides the piano player, because Ilsa was the last person who got close enough to burn him. I like the Capt. for sheer humor purposes. You want the good guys to win, but usually there is a casualty in the process-during a film. In Casablanca, all of the good guys, with the help of the Capt. won. He also stood out, due to promoting the protagonist so much; almost to the point of being obsessed with him.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I really enjoyed this movie. I thought that it unfolded simply yet precisely before the audience and kept them wondering right up till then end. I think that this film may be considered a classic for several reasons; the actors and actresses playing the main characters, at least from what I know, were extremely popular, the themes of the film were that of good overcoming evil and good character, even in shady situations, always surfacing. I also think that this film is considered a classic because it genuinely is entertaining, and it was produce in a very intense time for the world. It caught a lot of people’s attention and I think could have served as a motivating factor for patriotic acts.
My favorite character for obvious reasons was Rick, but I really enjoyed the character Sam. I don’t know why but every time I saw him on screen I was drawn to him. His facial expressions in some of the scenes were priceless. I think characters such as Sam, as well as many others, really contributed to the film.
. This film was full of, and I think I missed a lot of it, humor. I continuously found myself chuckling throughout. I think that the humor itself was one of the biggest things that stood out to me. Overall I would agree that this movie is a great classic and I would recommend it to anyone, ranking it just as high or higher then any modern show.