Last day of the trimester…

Hi scholars. Just a reminder that this is the last call for all kinds of things: lab books, Task 2 drafts/reflections/rubrics, and discussion. Most of you are doing GREAT. 🙂

If you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place on your deadlines, please take a moment to remind yourself that it is YOUR responsibility. I’ve given a TON of advance warning, class time and support to be able to get things in. If you procrastinated, these are your consequences.

I will accept any of your work until 8 a.m. FRIDAY MORNING. Is this extra, super-duper kind? Yep.

  • I will NOT accept it at 8:01. I will NOT accept it at 9:07.
  • I will NOT take something electronically that was supposed to be printed (reflections and rubrics).
  • I will NOT take something printed that was supposed to be electronic (drafts and proposals).
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7 thoughts on “Last day of the trimester…

  1. (Not sure if this is the place to put a comment for the socratic seminar on L4A but I’m putting it here.) Talking about how Alaska is a christ figure, I think when they made the prank for her it was like christ ascending to heaven or something because she went from being dead to being remembered by the whole school. The scene where the the old group of friends got back to together and even gave a cigarette as an offering to Alaska was an important communion scene, because it shows they can forgive each other and still be friends even after what happened to Alaska.

  2. The passage on page 147 really stood out to me. First, I want to say that I really don’t know whether or not it was a suicide and I think it is better left a mystery. However there are some things on this page that could point to either a suicide or accident. Pudge says “POOF” a lot after Alaska died, and besides the obvious effect of being gone, POOF signals that it was sudden, so maybe it was an accident. Not that suicide can’t be a sudden decision. I think if she did commit suicide, it would likely be a sudden decision because she is so unpredictable. It says,”her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air or blood to her brain.” Although, her heart did burst, I don’t think this means that she is a bad person. I think that this means she has had enough and once she has found her way out of the labyrinth she is free. Her personality has two sides, like we said in class, one bad and one good. Her heart bursting lead to that bad side to come out and is expressed throughout the other characters in the second half of the book. Also, the fact that there was no blood or air to her brain could mean that she wasn’t thinking and made a sudden decision. I also noticed that she was driving north, and as Foster said going south is running amok, north must be the opposite and more appealing option. No matter if it was a suicide or not, this proves that this “straight and fast” way was how she got out of her labyrinth of suffering. Her intentions (going to her mom’s grave with flowers) were good and she was finally at peace.

    • I totally agree that this incident does not have one “right” answer. Alaska is a fairly private and mysterious person, so I believe her death is supposed to reflect this. Also, whether it is a good or bad trait, Alaska did enjoy being the center of attention, and if her death was a definite suicide or definite accident some of this attention would have been taken away from her character. I also wanted to discuss if Alaska did escape her labyrinth with death. I personally am not so sure that she did, as all of her that is left on earth (other’s memories of her, etc.) are of her in this labyrinth. This leads me to conclude that maybe the only true way to escape is self-forgiveness, as Miles did.

  3. I wanted to discuss whether Alaska’s death is a suicide or not. I don’t believe it was suicide but a reckless decision and she was drunk and emotional because of the fact she was going to see her mother. At the end of the book, Miles noted that the way out of the labyrinth was to forgive. Alaska never forgave herself for not calling 911 for her mother and she was so upset with herself I don’t think she wanted to swerve otherwise she would have, drunk or sober. I think she may have seen death as a way out of suffering. The World Religions class that Miles is in brings up Buddhism and in the Buddhist religion, to end suffering is to end desire. I think to end her suffering, Alaska ended her desire to keep living.

  4. I wanted to talk about the hero’s journey, and more specifically how the plot of Looking for Alaska is structured like one. On pages 140-141 right after the announcement of Alaska’s death, both Pudge and the Colonel react in very different ways to Alaska’s death alone in very different ways. Miles runs to the trash can and tries to vomit but fails, then goes into a temporary state of denial in which he believes that Alaska is still alive before returning to the gym to find the Colonel screaming “I’m so sorry.” I think that this scene is the abyss of this book. However, I feel that the abyss lies in the denial and not the vomiting, although it is very significant as the vomiting is what leads Miles into the abyss; the feeling of being sick to his stomach is what made him run out of the gym and to the trash can. When he realizes that he can’t vomit and rises back to feet, and stands there alone with his intense feelings of regret -So intense to the point where the only way he can momentary deal with them is to deny the fact that Alaska is dead- he is then at this lowest point in the entire novel. And it obviously goes without saying that Miles was not ready to go into the abyss, as he went into the abyss involuntary, and it also goes without saying that he was not able to tame whatever was in the abyss.

  5. I wanted to talk more about some things brought up in class. First off, I wanted to talk about the dream scene on page 147. In Pudge’s dream, he pictures Alaska completely physically. He first pictures her naked, and then a rotten corpse being eaten by bugs. I think this shows Pudge’s greatest mistake, which was not valuing who Alaska was enough after her death. Finally, when Pudge is able to accept that while he will never physically be with Alaska again but her force will impact him every day of his life, he finds peace. Pudge displays this in his final essay on page 220, where he wrote that “there is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.” Another thing I wanted to talk about was the students relationship with the Eagle. I think that while the kids considered (or did they?) the Eagle to be a bad person, he generally looked out for them as best as he could. On page 185, when Takumi tells Pudge that him and the Colonel don’t have a monopoly on liking Alaska, I interpreted it as not only her friends, but also the Eagle had a right to mourn for her. The Eagle feels just as guilty for not being able to stop her as Pudge and the Colonel do, so he has the same right to mourn for her as they do.

  6. I totally agree that this incident does not have one “right” answer. Alaska is a fairly private and mysterious person, so I believe her death is supposed to reflect this. Also, whether it is a good or bad trait, Alaska did enjoy being the center of attention, and if her death was a definite suicide or definite accident some of this attention would have been taken away from her character. I also wanted to discuss if Alaska did escape her labyrinth with death. I personally am not so sure that she did, as all of her that is left on earth (other’s memories of her, etc.) are of her in this labyrinth. This leads me to conclude that maybe the only true way to escape is self-forgiveness, as Miles did.

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