Monday, October 31, 2011

Exploration 7

What struck me most on the documentary "Restrepo" was how easily the men out in Korengal Valley moved from complete chaos to every day activities so easily. Also, how casually and seriously they speak about death. One minute they would be shooting off their guns and firing missals and the next they would go back to eating, singing, building, or playing games as if nothing had happen. The two extremes seemed almost unnatural in a very realistic way. The me could talk about the war and its effects so casually and humorously, but they could also talk about them seriously with the full weight and devastation it caused. For example Hijar said, "The only hope I have right now is to maybe process it differently...I never want to forget it". This was in regards to what had happened to him and how it affected him afterwards. In contrast, another soldier said, "He's fucking pink mist right now". It is amazing how these soldiers talk about what goes on with such carelessness yet, they also speak with such weight about some of the things that went on in the valley.

The scene that was most memorable to me in the documentary is a toss up between rock avalanche and the scene where it shows the soldiers going home. Rock avalanche was memorable for me, because it showed the true magnitude of what was going on in the valley and that the soldiers were not only fighting for our country, but fighting for their lives. The scene where the soldiers are going home was very memorable to me, because of the pure joy and happiness each soldier showed not only by their words but by their body language and facial expressions. Not a single soldier was sad to go. The chaos made them appreciate what they had at home and made them so excited to return home to their families alive.

I would definitely recommend this documentary to friends and family. This film shows what really went on for american soldiers over seas and what their lives were like while they were fighting for our country, I think it is important for people to see this so they can understand what is going on and why it is so valuable that we understand why we are there and why we are fighting. I thought it was a very good documentary and enjoyed watching it.

Exploration 7

I really enjoyed this film and thought it was a good wrap up after reading The Things They Carried. I thought it was good to see a film tapped in the "real deal". No blurred out things, no beeps for cursing, just the real deal. I enjoyed how they interviewed a few of the soldiers after the recording and got their direct thoughts about the war after they had been sent back home. I thought this was good to see how they were feeling once they made it back home. I could relate many of the soldiers to Norman Bowker in the sense that they were confused on what to do with their lives after being home. Luckily the soldiers in the film seemed a lot happier and hopefully weren't suffering any post war depression like Bowker. My most memorable part of the film was when one of the soldiers said he was taking 4 to 5 sleeping pills a night in order to be able to fall asleep. He said that all the visions of war enable him to be capable of resting and clearing his mind enough to fall asleep. I thought this was a very powerful quote because you don't think about how hard it would be to fall asleep in an environment like that. They never knew exactly what was going on around them and that had to be such an uneasy feeling. I think about lying in my own bed at night knowing that I am safe and everything quite around me. I can't imagine falling asleep in a dark unfamiliar place. The soldiers had no choice though which is why I'm sure a lot of them were on sleep medication. They had to get rest somehow for the next days attack. I would definitely recommend this film to my friends and family. I think they would really appreciate seeing this film and understanding a little more clearly what a real war situation is like and some of the emotion struggles the men went through similar to the ones the soldiers went through in The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

Exploration Six

This article is about the Iraq war and it points main events that have happened during the war and it includes Obama's plan to pull all the troops out of Iraq.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Exploration Six
This article explains how the US plans to leave Iraq and the after effects of the leaving. The article is a good article because it shows what war can do to a country and how there is so much planning in just returning home! Enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Exploration 6

This is the summary of the War against Iraq after 9 years being there. It has alot of great information if anyone is interested about the war starting from 9-11.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exploration #6

I believe this is a good article because it is unbiased and very objective. The article deals with planning by the Iraqi Prime Minister and the U.S. President to slowly pull all of the U.S. troops out of Iraq by Christmas. After the troops are back home the Iraqi miltary will seize control of all military operations.

Our brainstorming on Happiness and creating inner peace

Here is our list that we came up with in class, plus a few I thought of to add to this.  If you have more ideas that came to you, can you please add them in the comments below so we have a more complete list.  I find things like this to be very encouraging and helpful, because it makes me realize we have it within our grasp to change our lives and create a sense of peace and well-being.  To me, this is a wonderfully hopeful thing to realize.  Thanks all!


1. We need to work on creating communities.  It helps us not feel lonely and gives a sense of teamwork to life.
2.  We should do things that make us happy and give us joy.  This could be doing things we have a passion for.
3.  Practice meditation.  Find quiet time to relax and find new ideas.
4.  Maintain or create a healthy prayer life.  Relationship with God through religious practice.
5.  Be thankful.  Give thanksgiving, and not only on the holiday.
6.  The power of now.  Don't be too anxious or speculate overmuch on the future.  It can be crippling.
7.  Keep communication open, even when there is conflict.  Silence can create and maintain barriers.  Listen to people, even when you don't always want to.
8.  Praise and worship is a big thing for many religious groups, or create a form of worship that fits your own beliefs.
9.   Music.  Either making it or listening to it.  Along these lines, being creative or involving yourself in the Arts or something that involves creative work, is very fulfilling for some.
10.  Exercise.  There is a connection between physical health and mental and spiritual well being.
11.  Avoid the gossip or negative news culture when you need a break.  Keep your hope and motivation strong by focusing on more positive things.
12.  Get to know and spend time in the natural world.
13.  Be around animals.  Take care of one or visit one's world.
14.  Provide service to others.  Get the focus off of yourself.  Pay it forward!
15.  Laugh.  Humor is a great thing and perks us up.
16.  Get around children.  They are awesome and remind us of the power of life and innocence.

Exploration Six
This article is about the withdrawal of the troops in Iraq decided by President Obama.

Exploration 6

This is a great find. thier is no bias on this because it is all facts. This shows exactly were the deaths in the war have been happining and how much.

This CNN article explains the end of the war. President Obama has announced that almost all troops will be back by the end of the year and the war will come to an end.
this article is about the war in libya and how ghadafi's son is on the run. the war isnt over, but it is pretty close

Exploration 6

This article is about a fuel tanker that is blown up near a US base in Afghanistan. It shows how much of a deadly place Afghanistan can be and how this war is still in full gear.

Exploration Six

This article is from the Columbus Dispatch. It tells about Gadhafi's life in Lybia and how many people had advised him to leave the country or stop running entirely. It also tells about his death and what is to become of the country of Lybia now after his death and fall of the dictatorship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Exploration 6

This article I think is very touching. It talks about how a soldier had just gotten back from Iraq and has a very welcoming greeting from his family. Which I can personally relate to from when my boyfriend got back from Iraq in June.

In Iraq, Diplomatic Perspectives on a Deal Not Made

In Iraq, Diplomatic perspectives on a deal not made. A story about International Diplomacy in Iraq.

The News on War
It is a website which shows the latest news involving war.
The most important story to pass the website was about Gaddafi's death.

Coming Home


This article is talking about the trials soldiers face when they return home.

Exploration Six

The article is titled,
"Flight Engineers : The Muscles Behind the Chinook Missions in Iraq."
This article is around the second article posted on the web page, so as long as you scroll down it should be easy to find. I really thought that this was interesting, and even though it wasn't something that you'd normal read about in the "top war news" section. The article explains how, "Flight engineers play an integral role during CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter flights. They are the eyes in the rear of the aircraft providing vital information to the pilots, the muscle that handles cargo, and they ensure the safety of passengers that are strapped in for the ride."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Exploration Six - News Article

This article talks about the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warns Iran to not exploit the U.S. pullout of Iraq. There has been hostility between the two countries for decades and pressure from Iran because of its nuclear ambitions. Clinton talks about how we have good relations with Iraq and how it would be a mad idea if Iran was to exert its influence on Iraq after the U.S. troops left.

Exploration Six

I thought that the qoute from Abizaid was very enlightening in this article. He says, "I think the country is going to face more of these (ground wars) in the years ahead." It follows by saying, "That was a widely accepted, and often dreaded, view at the time." I think that it is important to be reminded that world peace is far from the hopes of American citizens. We need to stay alert of issues and continue to take action to keep our nation safe and strong against the world on terror. As much as we want to see all of our soldiers home to their families, it just cannot happen.

The article also talks about how costly the war is. I feel like this is a factor that a lot of people don't take into consideration when thinking about the war. With our economy weak and having to continue to supply the military and research on war, the United States is exceeding the limit.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interpretive Questions: Cody S., Meagan B., Megan M.

1. Which weighs more, The emotional or physical burdens of war?
2. What role does superstition play with the troop of soldiers?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Interpretive Questions: Sarah Ryley & Scott

What was some of the pain (physical or mental) that went along with being a soldier?
What made any soldier "stronger" than another during the war?

Monday, October 17, 2011

From Tim, Leslie, and Rachel

1. What does Elroy represent in "On the Rainy River"

2. "I Survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to war." Do you think people generally view war this way?

Leon, Samantha, Emily, and Courtney

1. What defines an Enemy/ Friend on the battle field?
2. Why did the soldiers have to fear each other in battle?

From Ryan Abby and Raymond

Question 1: Why does O'Brien use so much repetition in his stories?
Question 2: Why does O'Brien consider going to war cowardly?

From Richard, Zach, Amy, and Claire

1. Why did Curt Lemon insist on having his tooth pulled out?

2. Why didn't Jensen kill Strunk?

From Natalie, Casey, Alec

Question 1: What makes a hero?
Question 2: Do the soldiers ever forget?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shannon Ethridge

Shannon Ethridge is the author of Completely His Loving Jesus without Limits. I attend a life group at my church and this book was assigned to us. I can say that the story in this book has had a major impact in my life these past couple weeks. I have been going through a lot of struggles, and she has taught me to have faith, and that God will get me through it all. This novel is about how she experienced a horrible accident that happened in her life when she was 16 years old, and how she turned to Jesus to get her through. This novel is about loving Jesus without limits, and guides women to lead a better and more joyful life with Jesus. As I am going through these hard times in my life right now there was a scripture that really stuck with me “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4)

A powerful narrative: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful"

This director, Mr. Inarritu, has had a profound affect on me the last few weeks.  When is the last time you saw a movie where you can't stop thinking about the characters?  The story in Biutiful moved me so much that I really have a hard time expressing all the emotions I had when watching the movie.  It is the story of a man who in some ways should not be a "hero" to us.  He's working in a very dubious occupation, and has many conflicts and troubles in his life.  Yet somehow his struggle to take care of his son and daughter feels like all of our struggle.

Most movies today are knock offs.  They are sold to Hollywood saying, "Hey, this is just like Superbad!"  And then they get the movie made because producers think it will be successful.  But what we lack in this formula is movies that truly are original and make us think and feel deeply.  We get a shallow form of storytelling and very superficial story lines and characters.  Think basically any movie by Jerry Bruckheimer and you will know what I mean!

This movie restores my faith in surprise, mystery, and the depths of the human experience.  It is hard to quantify in a way.  It's in Spanish so you have to read subtitles if you don't know Spanish.  That will be too much for some people.  It's about a man who finds out he is dying and faces some crazy tough situations.  That will be too much for some people.  But in my view, what it is really ultimately about is the power of love, friendship, and family.  I wept both tears of bitterness and happiness in watching this movie, and I'm not the least bit ashamed of that.  It felt real and I was fully connected to the characters.

I can't express enough admiration and gratitude to Mr. Inarritu for making this movie, and if you have the patience and interest, I think it will really be worth your time to watch it.  It is available on Netflick and many other places.

All best,


Here is an interview that the film's star did about the film:

Here are photos from the film, and of the director:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lee Ann Womack

Lee Ann Womack is one of my favorite artist because of the song she did in 2000. One of her greatest hits "I Hope You Dance." My mom asked me to listen to this song with her one day and that became our song. Womack and I actually have a lot in common. Her father was a DJ and used to bring her in the studio and let her talk with him on the radio, as did my father. He let me come in and sing Jingle bells around Christmas time. She is absolutely in love with her daughters, Aubrie Lee Sellers and Anna Lise Liddell, as I was and still am with my mother. This song still brings me to tears after almost 10 years. This song is such an amazing song. My mom and I danced to this song together at a wedding and I even danced to it at my mothers funeral. So needless to say, I love reading about Lee Ann Womack and have even written her thanking her for the song and inspiring me to be a great mother. My mother though was my greatest inspiration to be a great mother. And I will make sure when I have children that they know who my mother was.