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The Key to Befriending Your Enemies (A Reflection After Reading 70 Pages of Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis's Tea With Hezbollah)

This nine weeks I decided to pick out a nonfiction book. I wanted to find some type of memoir and what a found was a story about two North American men’s’ journey to other side of the world in search of answers to one question: Is it possible to love one’s enemy? I started the book, titled Tea With Hezbollah last week and since then, I’ve been reading it every chance I got. I’m about 70 pages in currently. In the book the authors Ted  Dekker and Carl Medearis journey to the Middle East, an area which is frequently portrayed in American media as an enemy not only to America but to democracy itself. We hear of the poor conditions and the corrupted government; we hear of terrorism and religious wars. This was the place the authors were expecting to meet. Instead what they found was a place that reminded them a lot more of home than they initially expected.They found that in many Middle Eastern countries, society holds many of the same values as we do in the West and they even practice so…
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What It Means to Be Human

Over the course of the last weeks, I've done a pretty good job of reading (if I don't say so myself) I've been doing a good job of keeping up a steady pace and reading not only in class, but also in my spare time as well. And while I haven't been able to read every night because of work and other extra-curricular activities, I've been able to read at least one every day thanks to the SSR time allotted to me in class. As it was one of my goals to start reading every day, I'm pretty proud of this.       For this post I chose to reflect on Jose Saramago's Blindness. I felt it was worth writing about because, as Saramago explores the darkest parts of humanity in his novel, he also unintentionally highlights the brighter parts of humanity.       Saramago's Blindness tells the story of a city that is overcome by a highly contagious disease causing its victims to suddenly go blind indefinitely. In an effort to contain it and prevent it from spreading, any o…

The Problem With Thinking "Positive"

This nine weeks, I was given the opportunity to choose any book that I wanted to read. I chose Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I'd hear a lot of good things about it from friends and online, and I was excited to read it for myself.
Milk and Honey was a new genre for me: poetry. I had no idea what to expect but as soon as I started I found it hard to put the book down. I started by just reading 20 pages the night I got it, but each night when I started reading, I found the urge to keep reading got stronger and stronger. It's a short book (about 200 pages, but there are lots of illustrations) so I finished it in about 5 days, reading at about 40 pages per night.      The book features short poems that tell stories of lessons the author has learned. It is divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. One of my favorite poems in the book comes from the fourth section. It says "It is part of the human experience to feel pain, don't be…

The Choice

For my AP reading assignment, I decided to read The Color Purple by Alice Walker. It was a favorite of one of my past English teachers and I had always wanted to read it. So, when I saw that the book was listed on the AP reading list, I realised I finally had an opportunity. I've been reading 20 pages every night over the course of the few days and last night I read 50. Sometimes I find myself having to reread sections to get a good understanding of what's going on. The narrator of the book is an uneducated black woman living in poverty and her style of writing can sometimes make the text difficult to understand. But overall, I'm really enjoying the book thus far. The story pulled me in very quick and is very intriguing.
The Color Purple tells the story of a poor black woman in rural Georgia named Celie who experiences significant hardship. At only fourteen years of age, Cellie describes being raped by her father and having to protect her younger sister from suffering …

Old Passions

Hello. My name is Michael Johnson, but most people call me Mikey. I'm 16 years old, a sophomore at Hebron High School, and I currently have a complicated relationship with reading.
     You see, When I first learned to read, I fell in love with it. Even as a child I was fascinated by the fact that the thoughts and ideas of one person could be shared with another person in another place, possibly in another time period, and that these thoughts could vary in complexity and depth. Starting with my first book Pat the Cat, I went on to read bigger books about people from far away places and people from different worlds, people with magic powers and secret pasts. Eventually I discovered my favorite book series of all time: the Harry Potter series.
     It seemed like reading was something I could never loose my passion for. And I never completely did. But suddenly, around the time I started middle school, reading wasn't as fun for me anymore. The books I found didn't captur…