CYOA Self-Reflection

In my opinion, I did a okay job at this CYOA, however I don’t think this one was as good as my previous one, and that is because my time management wasn’t as good.  Also, near the end, our story got thinner and thinner, I think I could have improved on making my writing longer and not making everything thinner  near the end.   That is mainly because we had no time.  Even if I did want to make it longer, my peers gave me a kind suggestion for me not to because there was not enough time.  At least we finished the story.  I could have elongated the pages, but I did not have enough time, so this shows how our time management went.  That may be because the tie limit was actually A LOT shorter than I have expected so I had to finish a ton of  work by the last two days.  It was pretty hard, but we got through it.   I have reminded my friends that we had to have 4 choices, but they said it was fine, because quality above quantity was more important.  So I am not very sure about what will happen to our grade in the end.  Even if each of our parts had at least more than 3 or 4 paragraphs, there are some pages with only one path way by the 2nd choice.  Again, I have tried hard to make things longer, but there was just not enough time.  At times, I wouldn’t know how to do some things and my team mates would help me, and at other times, at times my team mate may also have a writers block so we helped too.  So overall, our communication and cooperation turned out very well and cooperative teamwork was no problem for us, our team were very swift when it came to brainstorming ideas because we agreed with basically everything one of us suggested, so this team was a good choice.  My teammates made very good suggestions.  If they hadn’t told me not to make that many choices, I wouldn’t have finished even by now.  I really enjoyed working with them and they were really nice to work with.

Overall grade (Self): AE+

Overall grade (Team): ME-



Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry (Reviews)

There were many different reviews with different opinions, however, there was one reveiw of the book that I 100% agreed with.

“Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a beautifully told tale spoken with the fine voice of its young narrator, Cassie Logan. It is the story of the Logan family and their struggle to maintain both their small piece of land and their dignity in one tumultuous year, two things not permitted a black family in Mississippi in the early decades of this century. The author brilliantly captures the times of which she writes but, even more important, captures the people she writes about. There are not characters here who can be simply called victims or survivors or fighters or any other single term. These are fully developed personalities, particularly the children, that speak with authentic and complicated voices and spool out a tale that is heart breaking with equal parts despair and hope. A wonderful book for children.”

-Ricky Hunter

In this review, the writer mentioned how the tale was spoken through the eyes of a 9 year old, and how it was most brilliantly told.  I agree with this because it was so amazing how Cassie narrated the story through her own eyes, and she applied her own personality so much into how she described each situation her family was going through in such detail.  There aren’t many book in this world that is written so wonderfully through the eyes of a young child.  Through the book, it tells you many things about how Cassie was confused about how she wasn’t treated fairly, and it was a mystery to her.  At the same time, the book also gave clues about WHY Cassie was neglected and treated so badly.   The book shows Cassie’s confusion and does not allow us to know why she was treated badly, but at the same time the book clearly shows us the time period of this book, and why Cassie was treated badly.  The time period of this book was shown clearly throughout the book, through how they spoke, their accents, their traditions and their transportation tool.  However, the part the showed the time period the most was obviously how the African  Americans got treated so badly by the white people.  It was very clear that at that time, people were still very racist.   Other than that, the book really let each character’s personalities shine through, so we can see all the differences and similarities.  These characters are not “this type” or “that type” of character, they have their own unique pattern.

However, there were a few comments that I agree on, that are negative towards the book too.

“If you are a sensitive person, this story might be difficult for you to read. I thought it was really good, but there were many times I felt sad and angry at the situations that went on. The family in this story is very close to one another. They don’t have much, but they are happy with the things they do have. The young girl in the story is a nine-year old named Cassie Logan. She always stands up for what she believes in and she is always looking out for her brother. But it’s hard for her to get her voice heard because she an African-American and the story take place in the 1930’s. There are many rude people in the town she lives in, and they don’t care who they hurt. The adults in the story try to protect all the children by not letting them see what’s going on with all of racism problems, but the children know what’s going on. They get slapped at school for things that aren’t their fault.
This story was very interesting to read, but sometimes it was hard to follow when they were talking to one another. A lot of the dialogue was slang words and sentences. There were times when I had to re-read the sentence to realize what the author was saying. But after reading this, I would recommend it to others.”


In this comment, it added many things that I thought were right and I agreed on.  It is very true that the book had many parts that were very quite touching and pretty hard to take in, in my personal opinion.  For others, it might not be as bad, but for me, some of the situations in the book left me very sad, frustrated or even angry.  The book brought all the characters to be so alive, that I felt I was in their situation right now and everyone was real.  At times I wanted to help and talk to the characters, bu t of course I can’t.  Also, the book had many hard to understand dialogue parts that I had to re-read over and over again the finally understand what they are trying to say.  I find the dialoge difficult because the author used a lot of slang, and sometimes the grammar was using slang, so I didn’t really know what they were trying to say.

Other than this, there were many negative comments about the book that I disagreed with too:

“I kept waiting for Logan’s house to get burned down, or for Papa or Mr. Morrison to get revenge, or even better for Uncle Hammer to come be beat the snot out of the Wallace family. Yet none of this ever happened.

The author also never really went into the details of who Jeremy was and why he was friends with the Logan kids. The biggest complaint is that Taylor never wrote about what happened to T.J., was he set free, hung, what?

I was truly disappointed in this book, yet could see such great potential for this book.”



I agree with most parts of this review because the climax didn’t come until the last few pages of the book, and I also thought that Uncle Hammer would’ve done something to those Wallaces.  3/4s of the book was only talking about how the Logan’s lived.  Plus, it didn’t really explain Jeremey in detail.  Yes, they did describe their personalities, but WHY they were present was not very clear.

Over Scheduling

Firstly, what is over-scheduling? Does it really affect children in a negative way?  Over-Scheduling is when people schedule their children with things to do every minute every second.  It’ll give a minimum amount of time for them to do their homework.

However, even if this might sound quite negative at first, lets compare the pros and cons of  it.  You might even feel depressed, or under stress,however, those stressful times, teaches you HOW to deal with stress. In reality, over scheduling does not affect children in a negative way.


If you, as a child have not been through stress or difficult situations, then you will suffer much greater consequences in the “real world”,also known as teh life you will encounter later on in life. In the future, you’ll need to be able to deal with all the stress and the complications thrown at you.  Many say that if you are not stressed when you are a child and do not have experience, you may suffer depression when you are older, and that it may lead to worse happenings. If you are suffering depression now, it is a good way to learn the ins and outs of life.  During school you can ask a counselor to help bring things into perspective.  It is a good thing, your counselor can’t stop your over-scheduling problems, because it can teach you that not everything can be taken away in a blink, and that you really need to deal with things by yourself.  Just because you go to the counselor doesn’t mean that your worries will be gone, they are still there, your counselor is only there to sort out your thoughts and filter them, as for your worries, you have to conquer them yourselves. Most people have different ways of taking control of their stress or depression.  First you need to think through your problem is it REALLY a big deal? Will it affect you 20 years later?  Is it a real problem that you might face yet again 20 years later? If not, then just sort it out and get over with it.  Most children get stressed because they don’t WANT to do something their parents have planned.  Such as swimming, chinese class, writing classes, or instrument lessons.  These people are quite ignorant because you really don’t understand that your parents are doing something to HELP you not destroy you, these classes or lessons will teach you not only new knowledge but will also build you up emotionally.  As a summary, if you face stress and depression as a child, it is not a bad thing but a good thing  because you will learn how to deal with stress and bounce back and show resilience.  These activities help you prepare for the bigger problems in the future that you will go through.  This is just one of the reasons why over scheduling is NOT a bad thing and can even HELP you.

Other than feeling “stressed”, children also say that they are losing their childhood, but is that really true?  What IS childhood really? Is it having fun all day long? Video games? Letting yourself do EVERYTHING you want?  Childhood is basically the period you go through when you are young and still immature, and developing your brains,  during this long period of time, if you play and have fun all day, you definitely will not develop your brain in a good way.  If you develop a routine of getting everything you want and being undisciplined, then that foundation will stick with you all your life and if you do not understand that what parents do for you is the best, and that those extracurricular classes are for your best, and that you can’t always have EVERYTHING your way, you will probably become a very undisciplined, not smart and ignorant human being.  By the fact that your parents force you to go to as many classes and lessons as possible, it is molding you into a person that is very easy going and able to go through hard times.  Childhood is the time that your innermost personality forms, and by getting everything you want, it is very likely that as you age you will become a very stubborn person.  If you don’t get everything you want and understand how to handle stress, it is very likely that you will become a very easy going and hardworking person.  Children these days always look at things in a very negative way.   When children are taking their classes they often think that their childhood is ruined and that there is no fun in whatever that are doing, and that extracurricular activities are bad and taking their childhood away because it is wasting their time but, you can always look at things in a positive way, maybe you can play a game while you are taking chinese such as trying to race with the time.  It isn’t always as bad as many people think it is and it even helps people when they are older and going through rather stressful times it teaches them to make things happy and lively so that they won’t go through depression or stress.  So really, extracurricular activities aren’t really taking away your childhood or any time because you are at the same time having fun and being a kid, it is also building up your developing brain.

Another part of childhood children think they are losing is their social time with friends, however that is not true at all.  During school children are free during break to have fun with friends or maybe when you have classes you can communicate with your friends and talk to them while you are sharing your work.The last part of childhood children think they are losing is their physical and mental freedom to speak and to act.  Even if you don’t get a say in some things, it does not mean you don’t have a say in other things.  For example, only 18 and above are allowed to vote, and have a say in what they want to say, why don’t younger children do? The answer is easy, younger children are not responsible enough and don’t know as much as older people do.  Same with this situation of “over scheduling”, parents don’t give you a chance to protest on extracurricular activities for a reason, and that reason is that they care for you and they love you and want you to let your inner capabilities shine out of you.  Even if you do not get a say in your extracurricular activities, you can most definitely tell others what you think on other subjects.  Imagine if EVERYONE had their say and nobody would listen to each other’s commands including their own parent’s suggestions.  The world would wind up in chaos this act of listening to what their parents say encourage a child to be more obedient and easy going now and in the future.  By not letting you have as much time and giving you some more work to do than your other classmates are prohibiting you from playing but it opens another path for you because it gives many other paths and choices in life.


Other than that, children think that parents are not giving them chances to do anything you want to do in the future, however they are. By letting you go to these extra curricular classes, they are introducing you to many new skills.  lets just say that you want to be a news reporter when you are older but, your mom or dad is forcing you to take those Chinese classes, even if you feel that Chinese has nothing to do with news reporting, it is very still important you take those lessons because what if you were to take an interview from a native Chinese person? Wouldn’t you regret that you didn’t take those Chinese lessons? Or what if your parents are forcing you to take swimming classes and you absolutely despise it and want to quit because you see no purpose in it? You better think through that again because studies show that it is much more likely for a student that participates in a sport to get into a good collage compared to a student that does not participate in a sport.  Some others think that learning a musical instrument is useless, but yet again studies show that if you learn a musical instrument people typically have better memory skills than those who do not learn an instrument.  Plus children who do learn an instrument or have musical skills usually have and increased academic performance, ability to think creatively, and better emotional expressions and  understandings.  Even if the extracurricular activity has NOTHING to do with what you want to be when  you are older, you might change your mind, and also, these activities might as well lead to new hobbies and direct you in a better way of living.  For example, essay writing classes may seem useless at first but it can be a contributor to your job in the future such as a newspaper editor, fashion magazine writer, or maybe even a lawyer.   Parents spend their money on you so that you can discover new things and so that you can open new doors to new findings.  Parents are not shutting the door to a future but are opening a thousand more to better ones.

In conclusion, over scheduling does not harm you in fact it prepares you for the “real world” and teaches you how to handle stress and depression.  Also, it does not ruin your childhood in anyway, in fact, it enriches it in many diverse ways.  Lastly, parents do not only limit you to these activities because they want to keep you away from the outer world, infact they are opening new doors to new things.  You only get to go through childhood one time.  You can only develop your brain once.  Use this time wisely.

Idiom Free-write

Sherry and the rest of her family sat at the hotel’s lobby, trying to decide when to leave and where to go.  Thomas, Sherry’s younger brother was busy looking at a picture of a turkey printed on a brochure and criticising it for having too many wrinkles.  As Sherry peered over her brother’s shoulder at the zoo brochure, a thought suddenly popped up inside of Sherry’s head about the local zoo here in Japan.

“Hey mom, can we go to the zoo today afternoon? I really want to go, because I heard that they put a giant anaconda in just last night.” Sherry asked

Sherry’s mom rested her eyes on Sherry’s and glared.  Sherry felt as if her mom’s eyes where burning holes in her skin.

“No, Sherry, me and dad have already discussed out schedule, and it was hard enough.  We have to be at the sushi  restaurant at 5:30 exact so we have time to eat, and we have to be back at the hotel by 8:00. ” Mom replied harshly.

“But mommy! I wanna go to the zoo!” Sherry’s brother Thomas whined pulling at his mother’s sleeve.

“No, we can’t, O.K, done deal, lets get into the car.” Mom responded, raising her voice.; causing several heads to turn.  Thomas immediately backed away silently.

Sherry’s dad placed a hand on her mother’s shoulder.

“Well, we could just play it by ear today,” Dad suggested glancing at Sherry’s mom for approval,” it would be MUCH more relaxing.”

Sherry’s mom’s facial expression relaxed a bit as she said to Sherry’s dad, “Fine, I’ll see if I can book a different time at the sushi restaurant,  or maybe we can get a takeout meal or something.” Mom sighed, “You take the two kids to the zoo, and we’ll see how it goes. But if you guys aren’t back by six, you all are in the doghouse.”

“Sure!” Sherry yelled back at her mother over her shoulder, for she was already heading out the hotel doors.