A Humble Hero (Assignment in Englo8)

Directions: Read the following short story. Answer the questions that follow (items 1-10 only). Submission will be on Thursday, 10 April 2008. Print the questions and your answers. Submit a hard copy. Use a letter size bond paper.

A Humble Hero
by Sean Russell Strickland *



I gazed at my Great-Uncle Benny, sitting in the sturdy rocking chair. His massive hand rested on my shoulder as I stood proudly before my class. I grinned at him and then at the class. From the back row, Mrs. Winkle nodded to me with a warm smile. "Go ahead, Jacob."

I swallowed nervously as I spoke my first words. "For show-and-tell today, I brought my best friend." I paused and watched several of my classmates’ eyes double in amazement. "This is my Great-Uncle Benny. He was a part of the greatest invasion in American history—D-Day."


Several kids gave each other stunned looks. Whispers erupted in the room. "He," I paused, "is a true hero."

I sat down with the rest of my classmates as Uncle Benny began to tell his story. "Today I’m going to tell you a little about D-Day. That day changed my life, and actually, life for all of us—even you," he said in a deep, gruff voice as he waved a long finger at his young audience.

"I remember the day starting out like any other," he began. "We ate breakfast, even slept some. All my fellow soldiers were stuffed into boats. We squeezed so tightly together that it felt like we were a can of sardines," he said with a smile. "Well, because of our nervousness and the roughness of the seas, they gave each of us a little bag in case we felt sick."

Christopher Thomas shot up onto his knees. "Barf bags?"

"Christopher!" Mrs. Winkle said crossly. Christopher’s grin quickly disappeared as he sat back down.

My uncle nodded. "Only a few of us didn’t get sick during the long journey to the coast of France."

Super Show-and-Tell

As my uncle continued, I sat with the rest of my classmates, thinking how lucky I was to have someone like Uncle Benny. Most of the other kids brought in a hamster or a brand new fishing pole for show-and-tell. The day before, I’d told my friends that my show-and-tell was going to be the greatest of all time.

"What is it?" Tony Frank had asked. The other kids were anxious to know, too. When I didn’t reply, they begged me to tell.

"A real superhero’s coming to class. My great uncle. He was a U.S. Ranger," I said.

"For real?" they asked.

"He sure was," I said as I walked toward an abandoned swing.

"He wasn’t no hero," Billy Thornton said mockingly. "Especially not a superhero."

"Wait and see," I said, taking a seat in the swing. "A long time ago, before your parents were even born, he fought in World War II."

"So?" Billy replied unimpressed.

I ignored Billy’s words as I began swinging until I was over the heads of my friends, scraping the blue sky with the bottom of my shoes. Finally, I spoke up.

"So he fearlessly charged onto a beach with bombs and bullets flying everywhere. He wasn’t afraid of nothing! In fact, I hear rumors that the enemy soldiers wanted to surrender just at the sight of him. I know I would’ve."

"A U.S. Ranger? Wow!" Tony said. "And he’s coming to our class?"

"Yep, sure is!" I hurled myself off the swing, landing squarely on my feet. "A real superhero."

Remembering

I grinned at the events of the previous day. I had been right. This would be the greatest show-and-tell of all time at Washington Carver Elementary.

"As we came closer to shore, " my uncle’s story broke into my thoughts, "we could see the tracers of bullets flying everywhere, bombs exploding and kicking dirt up into the sky. Hundreds of soldiers covered the front of the beach. We were all scared, but it was for folks like you that we fought. It was our job," he said, looking each child in the eye.

"Without warning, our personnel carrier stopped. The ramp lowered and one of our men leaped off only to find himself in deep water. The boat operator had become scared and stopped the craft too far out from shore. We pulled our man back inside. When the carrier stopped the second time and we leaped out into the cold water, it only came up to our knees.

"As we scurried up the beach, I looked around. An incredible sight met my eyes. As far as I could see, ships littered the ocean. Thousands upon thousands of men were coming ashore.

Unfortunately, many did not survive that day," Benny said as he paused and looked down at his trembling hands. Silence filled the room.

At that moment, I realized something was wrong. Why had he stopped? Then I noticed tears rolling down his white-whiskered face.

"I’m sorry," he said, removing his glasses and wiping his eyes quickly.

Oh no! I thought. Panic overtook me. My uncle was crying. I looked at Tony, Billy and the others. What would they think? Some superhero, they’d snicker. I knew for sure they’d soon be laughing and mocking me.

"On that day," Uncle Benny finally continued, "many men gave their lives, some of them . . . my friends. Many men had been wounded and fallen to the ground as they’d come ashore. When the tide began to come in, some of them were slowly swept out to sea or drowned. D-Day was a day of triumph and a day of tragedy." He stopped again as his emotions welled up.

Suddenly, Ashley Parker stood up and walked over to the rocking chair. I watched in surprise as she extended her arms and hugged my uncle. Another second passed before the others in the class also gathered around. Before long, most of them were crying—even Mrs. Winkle dabbed a tissue at the corners of her eyes. Probably no one knew why they were crying, exactly—they just were. Perhaps they just wanted to share the burden, to offer a little comfort.

A large part of me felt very ashamed. I’d cared more about myself than my uncle’s feelings.
When the hour was up, the class clapped enthusiastically. Some kids even asked for my uncle’s autograph.

Just then, Billy Thornton walked over to me. I braced myself for the sting of mean words and mocking laughter.

"Your great-uncle’s cool," he said as he gently hit my shoulder. "I wish he were my uncle." I nodded, both surprised and relieved. I realized that his approval mattered less to me now than it had a few moments before.

I walked my uncle to the classroom doorway.

"Did I do a good job?" Uncle Benny asked. "I was a bit nervous."

"You? Nervous? After what you told us you did?"

"Well, I hope I didn’t embarrass you, Jacob."

I looked down sadly.

"What’s wrong, Jacob?"

"When you began to cry, I was worried more about what the other kids would think about me than about how you were feeling. I only thought about myself." I looked down, unable to look my uncle in the eye.

Then I felt long fingers lift my chin until my tear-filled eyes met his—eyes that seemed as vibrant as they were ancient.

"It’s okay, Jacob," he said calmly. "Thank you for having me. Thank you for remembering."

Note: On June 6, 1944, thousands of American, British, Canadian and French soldiers stormed a 50-mile stretch of Normandy beach on the coast of France. By the end of the day, more than 2,500 Allied soldiers had been killed. This story is based on a firsthand account of D-Day from Victor "Baseplate" Miller.

* The author, a published writer, is one of my best buddies - a Kuya and Tatay to that matter. He once lived in Maryland, USA and is now living in London, United Kingdom. He is currently writing his novel entitled "Vietnam Summer House."

Answer the following questions:

Submission: 10 April 2008 (Thursday)
1. Explain the title. In what way is it suitable to the story?
2. What is the predominant element in the story - plot, theme, character, setting?
3. Who is the single main character about. whom the story centres?
4. What sort of conflict confronts the leading character or characters?
a. external?
b. internal?
5. How is the conflict resolved?
6. How does the author handle characterization?

a. by description?
b. conversation of the characters?
c. actions of the characters?
d. combination of these methods?
7. Who tells the story? What point of view is used?
a. first person?
b. omniscient?
8. Where does the primary action take place?
9. What is the time setting for the action? Period of history? Season? Time of day?
10. How much time does the story cover?
a. a few minutes?
b. a lifetime?
c. how long?

Submission: 12 April 2008 (Saturday)
11. How does the story get started? What is the initial incident?
12. Briefly describe the rising action of the story.
13. What is the high point, or climax, of the story?
14. Discuss the falling action or close of the story.
16. Does this story create any special mood?
17. Is this story realistic or true to life? Explain your answers by giving examples.
18. Are the events or incidents of the plot presented in flashback or in chronological order?
19. Was the selection written as a short story or is it a condensation or excerpt? Is it taken from a collection of stories?
20. What is the general theme of the story? What is the underlying theme? Can you name any other stories with a similar theme?

Submission: 15 April 2008 (Tuesday)
21. Did you identify with any of the characters?
22. Does this story contain any of the following elements?
a. symbolism?
b. incongruity?
c. suspense?
d. surprise ending ?
e. irony?
f. satire?
23. Was there a villain in the story? a hero? a dynamic character?
24. Can you find any examples of figurative language?
a. simile?
b. metaphor?
c. personification?
25. Does the story contain a single effect or impression for the read er? If so, what?
26. Name one major personality trait of each leading character, and tell how the author makes the reader conscious of this trait.
27. Does the story have a moral? If not, what do you think the purpose of the author was?


This resource sheet was found free at www.englishresources.co.uk© 1999, English Resources, all rights reserved

2nd Quiz in HUMA02 (FINAL PERIOD)

2nd QUIZ IN HUMA01
(PHILOSOPHY OF MAN)

FINAL PERIOD


ATTENTION:
HUMA01 C2, I2, AND BA SECTIONS



Directions: Read the following questions carefully. Give what is asked. Explain your anwers in essay form by posting them here in this website.



10 GREAT QUESTIONS ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF MAN
By Thomas Michael Powell



1. What is the nature of the universe? Where does it come from? Of what is it made? How did it come to exist? What is its purpose? By what process does it change? Is it evolving or devolving? Does it function by itself or would it degenerate to chaos without some kind of intelligent control?


2. Is there a Supreme Being? If so, what is His nature? Did He create the universe? Does He continue to control it personally and if so, at what level? What is his relationship with man? Does he intervene in the affairs of man? Is this Being good? If this Being is good and all-powerful, how can evil exist?


3. What is the place of man in the universe? Is man the highest fruit of the universe or is he just an insignificant speck in infinite space—or something in between? Does the spirit of man descend into matter from higher spiritual realms, or has it evolved from matter? Is the universe conscious or unconscious of man? If it is aware, is it warm and friendly to him, or cold and indifferent, or even hostile?


4. What is reality? What is mind; what is thought? Is thought real? Which is superior: mind or matter? Has mind created matter or has matter evolved mind? Where do ideas come from? Does thought have any importance--does it make any difference in our lives--or is it just fantasy? What is Truth? Is there a universal Truth, true for all men forever, or is Truth relative or individual?


5. What determines the fate of each individual? Is man a creator and mover of his life, or does he live at the effect of forces over which he has little control? Does free will exist or are our lives determined by outside factors—and if so, what are those factors? How does life work: is there a Supreme Force that intervenes in our lives? Or is everything pre-determined from the beginning of time? Or is life just random, full of coincidence and accident? Or is there some other control mechanism we do not perceive?


6. What is good and what is bad or evil? What is moral? What is ethical? Who decides good and bad, right and wrong; and by what standard? Is there an absolute standard of good and bad beyond one’s the personal opinions? Should good and bad be determined by custom, by rational law, or by the situation? What if the decisions of others (society, authorities, laws, etc) determining good and bad are contrary to one’s personal beliefs or freedoms? ¯should you obey others or follow your own conscience? Moreover, if as an answer to FIVE, we do not have free will but are ruled by outside factors, what difference does good and bad make? ¯we have no choice. If so, we have no responsibility for doing bad.


7. Why are things the way they are? How should things be ideally? What is the good life —for the individual and for the many (society)? What would a Utopian society, a heaven on earth, be like? Is it even possible to create a Utopia? If so, how? Would not a Utopia assure personal freedom? What, then, should you do with those who don’t cooperate and violate the Utopian system? If you control or punish them, is there no longer a Utopia?


8. What is the ideal relation between the individual and the state? Should the individual serve the state or the state serve the individual? What is the best form of government and what is the worst? When is a man justified in disobeying the dictates of the state? To what extent should the majority rule and thereby act against the freedom of the minorities? When is a man justified in rebelling against the established order and creating a new state? What are the relative merits of the different economic systems (capitalism, communism, etc.).


9. He who controls education controls the future. What is education? How should the young be educated—what is important and what not? Who should control education: the parents, the student, the society or the state? Should a student be taught to think for himself or to adopt the beliefs of the society? Should man be educated to be free and live for his own interests; or to subjugate his desires to serve others or the state? ¯see Question EIGHT.


10. What happens at death? Is death the end of everything or is there a soul in man that continues to exist beyond death? If so, is that soul immortal or does it too eventually cease to exist? If the soul does continue to exist after death, what is the nature of that existence? If there is an existence after death, is “good” rewarded and “bad” punished? If so, how do you reconcile this with the concept of predestination? And if there is a God of INFINITE LOVE and FORGIVENESS, how to you reconcile punishment?





A Wonderful You

Dianne Marie G. Baliat
HUMA01 / I2


A Wonderful You

Sometimes we are lucky enough
to meet a person who stands out
among all the other people
as being extremely special
who knows what we are thinking about
who is happy for us at all times
who is always there to talk to us
who cares about us selflessly
who is always truthful with us
Sometimes we are lucky enough
to meet someone who is
extremely wonderful inside
For me that person is you



Wanted: Bestfriend


WANTED: BESTFRIEND
By: Dianne Marie Baliat



Looking for someone to talk to

Looking for someone when

I feel sad and lonely

Always there in times of trouble

Someone who I can share my

Joy and laughter

Someone who understand me

Someone who will love me

Someone, someone, someone....



IS EDUCATION A KEY TO SUCCESS?

IS EDUCATION A KEY TO SUCCESS?
By Arnhel Ramos


From the beginning of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal -Arroyo. She pointed out that Filipinos have recognized eduaction as the key to our next generation in order to get ahead and get a better job.


The govenment has allocated billions of pesos to education.

Imagine billions of pesos and that's a lot of money but why is it that the government always saying there's a shortage? It means corruption on the government is like a cancer that can't be healed.

So, it means each one of us should help ourselves in able to achieve our goal and dreams with or without the help of the government.
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