Thursday, February 25, 2016

Journal Six by Chad Devore

     If I had to choose a character other than Ishmael that is meaningful to me, it would definitely have to be Saidu. I say him for a few reasons. For one, I believe that his death made the characters a bit more careful and grateful for their "sanctuary", if that makes sense. This is because they were all sitting there, wondering if death will come upon another one of them. Perhaps this has left a bigger impact on Ishmael mainly because I personally don't recall him experiencing death with someone somewhat close to him. There was the person in Chapter Two, but he didn't know him. That's just my opinion.
     As for Ishmael's rehabilitation, I feel as it may never come back to the way it was before the war struck. His innocence is permanently gone, sadly, and it really is NOT his fault (despite him hating to hear that). However, I feel as if he might become close to the person he was before, but still has the flashbacks and war memories from before. He isn't a dangerous person, but was temporarily brainwashed to the point of long-term damage. Because of this, I personally wouldn't have a problem with him living in my neighborhood. That is, unless he was from the opposite side.
     I guess the best thing to remember from this book is, sometimes life can drastically change for the better, and sometimes for the worse. It can happen in just the blink of an eye, as Ishmael went from being an innocent child with the love of rap music to a numb, war veteran in just a few years. Though, it was almost instantaneous, his morphing. This is evident when he gets the flashbacks from regular sounds and compares it to the war. He knows he won't be the same.
     So, if there is something I wanted to know about, I really want to know what happened to Ishmael in his adult life, and where he is now, not to mention where his family is and what happened to them. What about the other five boys that were with him? What about the friends that went with him to Mattru Jong? Where did they go? Also, what happened to the RUF? Well, the RUF actually became a political party and existed until 2007. So that's what has happened. As for his parents, I probably will never know.

This is the RUF flag for the Sierra Leone rebels.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Journal 6- Austin

        I think that Beah's friend Junior has meant the most to me in this book. In the beginning when their village was raided, the boys looked at Junior as a leader and he lead them to safety and mimicked his actions and movements. They boys also looked to him as a big brother figure "I slipped and fell,spilling the water. Junior gave me his bucket,took my empty one, and returned to the river. When he came home, the first thing he did was ask me if I was hurt from falling. I told him I was fine, but he examined my knees and elbows anyway, and when he was done, he tickled me."(Beah 39) This part in the book shows how much Junior cared about the boys without saying anything. When he saw that  Beah had fell, he instantly gave him his bucket and went back to the river. Upon Juniors arrival, he made sure Ishmael's knee's and elbow's were not hut, but then proceeded to tickle him. This tells me no matter what happens Junior wants a smile on the boys faces.

     I believe with Ishmael's rehabilitation that with enough work with professional doctors and therapists and groups that he will be able to put it all in his past and be a full functioning member of his community. I would want him to move into my neighborhood. I would be skeptical of it at first, but after he was around the community for a few months and showed he wants to better himself he would be just another person. On the other hand if anything ever happen like a natural disaster or a civil war, Beah has been through all of it before and he would know what to do, or have a better chance at survival than someone who has never been in that situation.

     Their are an un-countable amount of lessons you can learn from just this one book. The part that stood out to me though was when Ishmael was going to America and no one believed him, everyone always told him to not get his hopes up. An example of this would be when he is discussing this with his uncle and his uncle says "Don't let them get your hopes up, young man." (Beah 191)To me this means more then just crushing his hopes. This says that his uncle and his family have been taught or learned to never expect anything good to happen to you, so when something good does happen it is an extremely special occasion. But on the other side when something bad happens they just take it with a grain of salt and keep going with their lives.
   Something I would like to learn more about are child soldiers and their role in the war as a whole. In Beahs book it was focused around child soldiers and what he did. I know that their are thousands of child soldiers and that most to all of them are taken by force and brainwashed and told what to do, how to do it and when. Without any remorse the adult soldiers send the kids to die day after day.

Journal 6: Josh

The character that meant the most to me would probably have to be Allie. As Ishmael is taken in by Uncle Tommy and his family Allie is the one that truly tries to get Ishmael out and be a kid again. "If you to be a gentleman, you have to dress like one. He laughed. I was about to ask him why he had given me these things when he began to explain: " this is a secret. I want to take you to a dance tonight so you can enjoy yourself. We will leave after Uncle goes to bed" (Beah 183).  This this part of the chapter stuck out to me a lot because I feel like event though he is a little older than Ishmael he understands what Ishmael needs to move on and forget about the past. Even though Ishmael gets one of his flashbacks at the dance, Allie is really making an effort to help him in his time of need.

I think Ishmael's rehabilitation is possible but only time will tell. I have done some research on PTSD in the past and one thing that I have learned is that it varies with people on how long it lasts. It can last up to one month of an event happening up to the remainder of one's life. As much as I don't want to say it, I probably wouldn't want him moving into my neighborhood. Especially if I had a family of my own because you wouldn't know when a triggered thought might happen and there have been cases of people with PTSD that kill people because of their triggered flashbacks. One example of this happening is when Navy Seal Sniper and author of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend were shot by a man who had PTSD. Kyle and His friend had taken him to a gun range in an attempt to help the man cope with his condition. As much as I hate saying it, I probably wouldn't want Ishmael moving into my neighborhood. Even though it seems he does not get violent when his flashbacks are triggered you never know if that will change.

A lesson I took away from this book especially in these last few chapters is never giving up. Most people struggle a lot with PTSD and can't get away from this condition. It seems like Ishmael is trying his best to fight the horrible things from this past a lot better than what I initially thought before reading these last few chapters.

One thing that this book got me wondering more about some more facts about PTSD. I did a little research and I found some I popping facts. One thing that I found out was that on average 5 active duty troops try to commit suicide each day. The national survey of Children's exposure to violence reports that 60.6% of children have witnessed or been victimized in the past year.
This Chris Kyle who suffered from PTSD. He was also shot by a veteran he was helping that had PTSD. 
 More interesting facts about PTSD

Journal 6 by Mohammed Baseer

             The characters for me in A Long Way Gone apart from Esther, Uncle Tommy, Laura Simms is Ishmael’s grandparents- grandmother and grandfather. The reason for this is Ishmael in almost every chapter mentions about them or writes a story that they told him, or the things that he has learned from them. He remembers his grandfather when he is stuck in the middle of a forest for one month about the poisonous plants and medicinal plants that he taught Ishmael (33). The story that Ishmael's grandmother told about the sky,"That there are answers and explanations in the sky: pain, joy or suffering." (166).

             If Esther had not been there by Ishmael’s side he would have never recovered and ended up again as a rebel in Freetown. His dedication towards being normal and curiosity of exploring Freetown and the generosity and kindness shown by Esther towards not only Ishmael but also other kids helped them rehabilitate completely. Surely, I would love him to move into my neighborhood. There will be a lot of things to learn from him. I would love to him some extra details that’s not there in the book. It would be great prospect to learn about his culture and his tribe- Mende, about West Africa. It will be a pleasure to have spokesperson to UNICEF children affected by war staying with us.

           The biggest lesson I learnt from this book is “Hope”. I remember a dialogue from a movie that I can relate to this context “There can be no true despair without hope”. Never let yourself down, learn to fight and rise. The second lesson that I learned is there is always good people in this world, no matter how you are, no matter where you are from religion, caste or culture they will always help you out. The influence of Esther, Uncle Tommy, Laura Simms and other people on Ishmael made him possible to rise up to this day with such beautiful piece of Literature. As Ishmael says in the starting," I had stayed awake all night anxiously waiting for daylight, so that I could fully return to my new life, to rediscover the happiness that I had known as a child, the joy that has stayed alive inside me even through times when being alive itself became a burden" (20).

            As Ishmael reached the Sierra Leone consulate in Conakry he abruptly ended the book, He didn’t mention about how he returned back to America and his stay with Laura Simms , Also I learned more about Ishmael Beah he is a UNICEF spokesperson to children affected by war and has visited Sierra Leone. He has also united with Mohammed. He is the author of two brilliant books, A Long Way Gone and Radiance of tomorrow. Ishmael Beah is fighting for the children of Sierra Leone to promote education in countries. He has a website called for donations towards children of Africa.

Ishmael Beah in Central Africa surrounded by a group of children.


Journal 6 from Lali

The character that meant the most for me was probably Esther, The reason she meant the most for me because she really helps Ishmael out in a lot of ways, the way she helps him out is that she introduces him to rap music again and this gets him talking about his past. Also in general she's the type of person that changes lives everyday and I think that just great.

The way I feel about Ishmaels rehabilitation is that he is getting better and he can probably see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wouldn't mind if he lived in my neighborhood if I knew what he was and what he went through also he is in rehabilitation which shows me he is getting help.

The lesson that I took away from this book is that you should never loose hope no matter how bad it gets. What I want to remember the most from this book is all the stuff Ishmael went through while at war because it makes me thankful that I have a life here in America. A quote that I liked is "Things changed rapidly in a matter of seconds and no one had any control over anything."

The books leaves me wanting to know more about child soldiers and where else do they use this. So I found that in the last 15 years the use of child soldiers had spread to every region. Also I found that 10 to 30 percent are girls  are used for fighting and given to the commanders as wives.

Statistics of child soldiers around the world

Journal 6 by Lucas

     The character that has meant the most to me other than Ishmael is Uncle Tommy. He has meant the most to me because he shows that there are still good people in the world. He also shows that it is possible for someone to love somebody even if they have never been there to show it before. He was crying, which is when I began to believe that he was really my family, because his crying was genuine and men in my culture rarely cried (Beah 172). Later on as Tommy dies, Ishmael talks about when he was talking to his uncle after he was buried telling him he loved him. I told him that I was sorry that we couldn't find him any help, that I hoped he knew that I really loved him and that wished he could have been alive to see me as an adult (Beah 208).

     I do believe that rehab is possible for kids like Ishmael. I believe that if they were brainwashed into being the horrible people they once were, that they can once again be "brainwashed" back into being good people. With that being said, I would not have a problem with him moving into my neighborhood once he was rehabilitated.

     One lesson I can take away from this book is that some things happen for a reason. Ishmael often wonders why he has survived so long and why everything had to happen to him. Well I believe that he was put in that situation for a reason so that he could tell his story and help others by bringing awareness to the issue with his speeches trying to end child soldiers. I most want to remember that there are good people in the world too and that they can do unselfish things for others for reasons we sometimes can't understand. "Why does she do it? Why do they all do it?" (Beah 181).

     The book leaves me wanting to know what has happened to Ishmael since where the book leaves off. After doing some research I found that Ishmael was appointed UNICEF's first Advocate for Children Affected by War on November 20, 2007. He pledged to give a voice and hope to children whose lives have been scarred by violence. He has also published another book since then, Radiance of Tomorrow, A Novel.
                                                  Image result for ishmael beah radiance of tomorrow
                                                This is Ishmael's latest book 

Journal Six Reflections 2.0 (rememberd title edition)

There are many great charecters in the book along way gone but there is one who i find to be the most impactfull in ishmeals life for a very subtle reason and the reason is kinda dark but true.Sadly the influence came from Josaiah primarily during the gun fight. While they were fireing at the rebels an rpg goes off sending josiah flying into a tree stump and shortly after ishmael gets to him dies resulting in the change in ishmael that allowed him to survive so long. Ishmael had changed resulting in him not being reluctant to pull the trigger on another living beings life as seen on page 119 "I angerly pointed my gun into the swamp and killed everything that moved, until we were ordered to retreat". Though had that not happened would he have survived as a soldier or just died in hesitation.

Ishmaels Rehabilitation is a great example of how you can save people from their previous lives. No matter what Ishmael did as a soldier they had eventually recovered a human from the monster that was green snake the child soldier showing that it is possible for anybody. In the end everybody can be helped the only reason it may not work is if the people supposedly helping are doing it to make them look good or they are not even trying their best to save another s life.

Lessons from this book are among the biggest and most monumentall parts of it all truthfully. Though the one that affects me most is one little part early on that taught to me Not all people are untrustworthy off the bat from page 56 "There is no need to know my name. Just refer to me as the old man who got left behind when you get to the next village". which admittedly it still shocks me to this day due to most my life since growing up i just grew to distance and observe, pick and choose, judge whether some one is saving face or genuine. so to me I now question whether if i may have missed out on experiences due to my cynical and pessimistic veiws on people other than most of my friends and family.

I honestly want to know what happened to Ishmael and freetown shortly after the book ends for a couple of reasons. First off i wish to see what happened to the rest of Ishmaels cousins such as did they survive? if so were they recruited into the invaders? or did they try to escape in a desperate attempt to flee. Seconedly I wish to really see Ishmaels attempt to recover once more from his traumatic past just seemingly chasing/ haunting him both mentally and a recent time where it was litteraly.
Not gonna lie I REALLY wanted to know more but i just left the two big questions i had

Uncle Tommy from Matt

This is a picture of Laura Simms the famous storyteller

Journal Six

     I feel like the character that means the most to me in this book is Uncle Tommy. Uncle Tommy is an amazing person. He took in other members of Ishmael, but never had any of his own children. When Tommy took Ishmael in as his own this really showed how great he was. He knew Ishmael was a child soldier. I can relate to Uncle Tommy a little bit. I grew up in foster care and jumped from foster family to foster family. My parents were at one point my foster family. It’s a pretty cool story how I came to meet my parents. My foster mom in Columbus was going out of town for a weekend. So, they sent me up here to Marion for two day. I never left. We hit it off and got along. They became my foster parents. Two years later when I was in eight grade I was adopted. Like Uncle Tommy my parents adopted my two brothers and sister before me. They never had any of their own children. It is very hard for a person to accept someone else’s kid as their own. The crazy thing is people do this every day. They are heroes in my book. My parents are my heroes for sure.

     We have seen that Ishmael has taken steps forward and took some backward. We know now that Ishmael has beat most of his problems. Of course he still lives with the PTSD. Ishmael hated the fact that people were there to help him. He was trying to get back to the front line, so he could fight again. At the end of the book Freetown was being attacked. People were dying. Ishmael decides to leave and make the journey to New York. Ishmael kept writing that he could not become a soldier again. They would kill him for saying no when asked to fight again. If Ishmael lived next door to me only knowing he was a child soldier. I would fear for my family’s safety. Most likely get up and leave. Now after reading this book and seeing how Ishmael really is like. I’d love to meet him. He was faced with challenges but he overcame them. I live my life based on adversity and that’s what Ishmael is all about.

     The lesson I took away from this book was there are good people in this world. I again am going to talk about Uncle Tommy. Ishmael was told that the goal of his rehab was to end up back in society. Beah brings up that his father had a brother in Freetown. Ishmael did not get his hopes up for him never met Uncle Tommy before. One day Ishmael met his uncle for the first time. Ishmael did not respond at first. Uncle Tommy offered to Take Ishmael in as his own and take care of him. Ishmael told his Uncle Tommy thank you but we don’t even know each other. Uncle Tommy’s response is the statement I’ll never forget. On page 172 mid way down. ‘“Thank you for coming to see me. I really appreciate that you have offered me to stay with you. But I don’t even know you.” I put my head down. “Like I said, we cannot go back. But we can start from here. I am your family and that is enough for us to begin liking each other,” He replied, rubbing my head and laughing a little. I got up and hugged my uncle, and he embraced me harder than he had the first time and kissed me on the forehead.” Out of all the bad in the book. Ishmael deserved to have this. Uncle Tommy understands Ishmael isn’t perfect. But Ishmael is my blood and I’ll do anything for him.

     I could not stop think what happened to Ishmael after the book ended. The book stopped before he even reached New York. So I did my research and found out some facts about Ishmael currently. I found out that Ishmael married Priscillia Kounkoa in 2013. Ishmael is 35 years old. He was born November 23, 1980. Ishmael did get an education. He went to United Nations International School and Oberlin College. A little fun fact is Oberlin College is right here in Ohio. Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college. Ishmael moved to New York City in 1998.  Ishmael is a member of Human Rights Watch Children’s Right Division Advisory Committee. Ishmael founded Ishmael Beah Foundation. The foundation finds new lives for former child soldiers giving them a second chance. Ishmael currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.


This picture is of Ishmael Beah's Wife

Journal 6 By Addison

The character that meant the most to me is Esther. She helped Ishmael learn to trust and again. She also helped him feel like a child and move on a little from his past. "I didn't completely trust Esther. I only liked talking to her because I felt that she didn't judge me for what I had been apart of; she looked at me with the same inviting eyes and welcoming smile that said I was a child."

I feel Ishmaels rehabilitation is possible. Once he wants it he starts to get better. she cant help him move on until he decided he wanted to talk. He may never fully move on from it but he will be able to live a happy life. I think getting to know Ishmael would be a major thing for me to want him to live in my neighborhood. I have a child so of course he is main concern but knowing he is getting help I would want him to love in my neighborhood and feel like a child again.

What I would take away from this book is don't take anyone or anything for granted because you could loose it all. We think its normal to have a happy childhood and think getting grounded is the worst thing ever but there are children out there that lost there families and had to fight for their lives. "To survive each passing day was my goal in life" When I think of my goals in life I think of graduating college and getting a good job to support my son and give him a good life.

This book leaves me wanting to know about where he is now.
Ishmael now travels the world as a UNICEF ambassador raising money for the plight of child soldiers. After everything he has been through people today are still judging him. Laura is still Ishmaels mother and I believe what she did was an amazing thing to do.

Ismael finally has a family

Journal 6 A Long Way Gone Caitlin Williams

    The character that meant the most to me in the book was Laura. Where would Ishmael be now without her? She saved him. I don't know where he is now or what he has been doing since he got to America but he is not in Sierra Leone. She is his new mother. Without the money she sent him how would he have escaped? He wouldn't have.

    Ishmaels rehabilitation is possible. It seems to be very difficult but possible. His friend Mambu rejoined the front lines when he had no where to go. I think I would want Ishmael to live in my neighborhood. He has insane survival skills and even when the war broke out again and his uncle died he still stayed strong and didn't lash out.

    The lesson I want to remember is that if I believe I can, I will. Ishmael believed he could contain himself when the war came to Freetown and he did. He never lost sight of who he wanted to be which was not to be a soldier. Ishmael writes in the book, "This was becoming too familiar. I stopped next to a utility pole for a bit, exhaled heavily, and threw some angry punches in the air. I have to try to get it out, I thought, and if it doesn't work then it is back to the army. I didn't like thinking like that." (Beah 209)

    The book leaves me wanting to know more about Ishmael's new mom, Laura. I want to know where Ishmael ended up and how he doing today. I wonder about Mohamed and if he survived too. I found an interview with Ishmael and Laura and in that interview she states, "His appreciation for me, his growing trust, really introduced me to a trust i my own goodness, which was a great gift. There's this deep connection between us that is unexplainable. It began a conversation, which still goes on today. We learn from each other the importance of storytelling-the importance of speaking one's truth." I didn't find much on him growing up with Laura or anything really along those lines but I do know they are still together as a family and they are happy about this.
Ishmael and Laura today. 

Journal 6 - Reflections - by Andy

1. One of the people in Ishmael's memoir that had a big impact on me would be "the lieutenant".  The reason I use the lieutenant would be due to him allowing Ishmael to receive the necessary medical attention when he was shot and most likely would not have survived.  The lieutenant's kindness, in this case, saved Ishmael's life.  The lieutenant could have easily dismissed Ishmael and left him to die or perhaps even have the medic or another fellow solider kill him to put him out of his misery from the gun shot wound.  Another example of how the lieutenant saved Ishmael's life would be the lieutenant selecting Ishmael to be freed from the wrath of war and begin the rehabilitation process with UNICEF.

2. Ishmael's rehabilitation was much needed after his wartime and tragic experiences.  I believe the rehabilitation helped Ishmael to a great extent, but he will always be forever robbed of his true youth due to violent conflicts he had to partake in.  I also believe he will always have that "kill or be killed" mentality ingrained in his mind even though it is not needed once he begins rehabilitation, but Ishmael obviously did not know that until more time passed during the rehabilitation process.  Obviously rehabilitation helped Ishmael or else I'm sure he would not have been selected as a candidate to speak in front of multiple people at the United Nations conference.  I personally would not have any problems having Ishmael live in the same neighborhood as myself.  My  main reason would be due to the environment.  There is no war here, nor will/should be.  Ishmael would not have to rely on his "kill or be killed" mentality and would be able to live a "normal" life.

3. The biggest lesson that Ishmael taught me to personally relate to would be the will to survive and push on.  Ishmael was placed in multiple situations in which people he loved and was close with were torn away from him by violence.  He somehow adapted to life without them and continued on.  I have not suffered losses as great as Ishmael, but I could not imagine being placed in his life at that age and those awful situations.  One of the most powerful quotes by Ishmael Beah was "Because if I get killed upon my return, (to Sierra Leone) I knew that a memory of my existence was alive somewhere in the world." (Ishmael Beah 200) which made me feel a bit sick to my stomach to think about how isolated Ishmael's situation was in Sierra Leone.  I almost feel like we take communication for granted and Ishmael had the thought process of people not remembering him, even though I'm sure many people he encountered in Sierra Leone would remember him to an extent, but not the same impact as those he met during his time in New York City for the United Nations.

4. I was honestly a bit disappointed about how Ishmael ended his book.  I wanted to know how his journey continued after he had reached "freedom".  His ending felt like he had reached a point in which he had told us enough and no longer wanted to continue.  If this is how Ishmael felt, I could completely understand the almost abrupt ending.

Ishmael is currently listed on the UNICEF website "Ishmael Beah - Advocate for Children Affected by War" and this quote listed under his image is as follows: “I know the nature of what it is to be forgotten, what it is to lose your humanity, and more importantly, what it is to recover from it and to have another life.” – Ishmael Beah

That is a very powerful quote and I wish he included that in A Long Way Gone.

Ishmael also started "The Ishmael Beah Foundation (IBF)".

"IBF was created on the belief that providing opportunities to children prevents them from re-entering a life of violence and enhances their capacities to become positive members of their communities. Opportunities strengthen young peoples’ resilience to discover, use their talents, and live meaningfully for the betterment of their communities and nations. And with this comes a genuine understanding that their humanity is as worthy and valuable as anyone else’s anywhere."

Ishmael Beah representing UNICEF and was used as a promotional picture for when he was going to discuss his journeys on May 10, 2012 at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, California

Monday, February 15, 2016

Journal 5 PTSD Gabrial

Child Soldier Living in the civilian Front.
chapter 16 it starts off explaining how the children soldiers initially get used to civilized life as they go through withdrawls of drugs and violence causing fits of violence and rebelious and or un moral actions. as the chapter progresses Ishmeal aswell as the other children start encountering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder causes a major migraine and later on it causes major issues.Nearing the end of the chapter Ishmael starts to remember major events such as nicknames and gruesomely burying people alive while laughing about it and being assured that it wasnt his fault.

The idea or theme of the chapter is Recovery and PTSD. It effects Ishmeal and other children soldiers in a number of ways. First of all the PTSD causes everyone to react in different ways such as Ishmeals migraine and others act in violence atd some just break down in tears and halucinations of brutal or past events causing them to relive their previous life. Secondly the withdrawls made the children into violent little beasts off the bat willing to fight each other till it became bloody or violently lashed out on the staff helping with their recovery. Lastly they became desperate in order to make their addiction feel better such as stealing pills or rolling up papers inorder to try to fool himself so that they feel better.

It may not have been PTSD but i sometimes when I am worried i remember detail by detail a stressful part of my life. Around 2 to 3 years ago i was sitting at a computer watching a yugioh video when suddenly an explosion caused the floor of my house to shake. Within seconds my family and I raced outside just to sit in shock as we saw our neighbors house three houses down was on fire and i mean almost all of it was consumed by the flame. the smoke was so dense that it made me scared that i was a victim to get attacked when i least expected it and my parents faces as well as my sister crying didn't help my fear. Fire trucks had pulled up and everyone scrambled trying to make sure no one was inside the house while all i could do is sit in horror as the building started to collapse. Movement was everywhere and curses could be heard from everyone except my old neighbor (who finally got locked up a month or two later)hours had passed when they finally put it out we all knew who had done it but no one had any proof to get him locked up so against my parents will i stayed up till 3 am armed with a kitchen knife desperate to protect my home till he was caught.

Josh's Journal 5

Chapter 16 takes place in a rehabilitation center where Ishmael and the other boy soldiers are being cared for. The boys act barbaric and misbehave for the staff. They attack the cook, throw bowls, and silverware at the nurses, and break into the medical closets in search of drugs. In their free time they attack villagers and fight each other. Ishmael gets a gash on his hand and is bleeding on uncontrollably. He goes into the hospital thinking he would steal a first aid kit and bandage his own wound, but is greeted by a kind nurse who cares for him. While in the hospital he goes through a withdrawal from drugs and is cared for by the nurse. On top of that the boys are overwhelmed by the kindness of the staff and begin to recall events of the war. This causes them to have violent outbreaks. The staff  forces the boys to do a few hours of school each day and are rewarded with trips into the city, but the schooling becomes stressful for the boys considering how little they know. Later in the chapter Ishmael begins to have a flashback of a time when him and his friend Altai slaughtered a whole village by themselves. After doing him and Altai are given nicknames and Ishmael's is "Green Snake" do to his ability to be sneaky. He is happy with the name.
The theme that I got out of this chapter is loosing your innocence. Ishmael and the other boy soldiers have lost their innocence at too young of an age. Not only are the staff of the hospital trying to restore the boys backed to health but they are also helping them become kids again. They are kind and helpful to the boys which is strange to the boys considering they have been brainwashed and drugged to fight. The boys are having reoccurring thoughts of war which should not happen to boys at that age.
In our culture for as long as we have existed there comes a time in a persons life when they must grow up and learn to "fight" for themselves no matter what they are doing. Most of the time in our society it is when you turn 18 or graduate from high school or college. Ishmael and all the boy soldiers are being robbed of this opportunity to be a kid and to grow up and learn. They loose their childhood and are now soldiers as a teenager.
This picture best represents innocents something that Ishmael had taken away from at a young age  

Journal 5 Chase Wedding

In Chapter 17 of, A Long Way Gone, Beah begins reliving his painful memories and the migraines he gets from this are very painful as well. Esther gives him some rap music to listen to and begins asking him to try and make his own raps. As Ishmael begins opening up more, he starts to tell Esther of his war memories. Particularly one very gruesome story of surgery without pain medication. Overall, the part that seems to stick out the most is the rap relating to before the war. As well as him opening up more. Both are strongly enforced things in this book.

For my theme I figured it would revolve around the idea of him reliving his childhood. Good and Bad. The rap cassettes remind him of a more innocent time before the war. it probably reminds him of when he would listen to it with all his friends. But the other significance of his childhood is the memories he shares with Esther. They were painful to tell her but he finally opens up. These are both huge because its a different Ishmael than he was when he was in the war.

This theme is hard to relate to my own life unless I think of me moving to Arizona and then back to Ohio. I lived my teen years in AZ so when I moved back it felt like I was a kid again. All the memories I had were as a little kid. It felt extremely weird but it felt strangely home like. Obviously in contrast to my life I was not in a war as a child.

                                       This is how I imagine Beah's emotions in this chapter.

Journal 5-Weakness by Charles White

       When Ishmael Beah was first in the hospital in chapter 16 after him and his friends decided to punch the panes of glass in their classrooms as a way to get their anger out that they are confined and transforming back to civilian lifestyle. Ishmeal said his plan was to "steal a first-aid kit and treat myself,but the nurse was there"(pg.141.) This shows me that when they had to ask for help with injury's they were looked down upon by their peers, and with the situation he was in the last thing he wanted was to look weak in front of child soldiers who killed and hurt people for the fun of it.
    As the nurse was pulling the shards of glass from his hand she was searching for him to show any signs of pain or emotion. He showed none. When she was done she told him to come back tomorrow so she can change his  bandage and make sure his hand was not infected. He had no intention's of ever going back to the hospital and when she asked if he wanted his head treated he refused, got down and walked out of the room. He passed out and ended up back in the hospital later that day. To when again he refused treatment and left. Ishmeal all the time was refusing treatment ans trying not to look weak in front of his friends.

 The next morning Ishmeal woke up again in the hospital and puked up something green, then was told to drink water but refused. After the nurse insisted he drank the water and threw the glass against the wall, even when he is sick he still wants to show dominance and show that he can still protect himself. He tried leaving but was restrained, the nurse injected him with something to go to sleep. The nurse then cleaned up the glass and Ishmeal woke up to the sound of the same nurses voice, but then a different one. It was a lieutenant who was suppose to be checking on him and making sure he was not trying to harm himself anymore then what he already had, but the lieutenant was more interested in the nurse that was taking care of Ishmeal.

 I know that whenever I played sports, or was in the weight room with my friends no one wanted to be last in the sprints, or lift the least amount of weights. Yes it was a friendly competition unlike Ishmeal Beah's situation, but none the less whoever was the weakest usually got made fun of, or they hurt themselves trying to life weights that were way too heavy for them. I guess looking back it was stupid to make fun of them for that, but a bunch of high school guys are not the nicest people nor do tyhey make the best decisions.

I chose this picture because I always think that if you put your mind to it you can acheieve anything,

Journal 5 by Mohammed Baseer

In the book, A Long Way Gone, Chapter 16, Ishmael and his friends are saved by UNICEF and are brought to a rehabilitation center called Benin home to recover from their pasts. All the boys were given medical check ups and psycho social therapy as a part of the recovery program. Sometimes boys resorted violent acts such as throwing the tables, fighting, tying up the cook and beating him up. One day the boys beat up the in charge of storage for not providing them new mattresses. Ishmael craved for marijuana so much that he sometimes roll a paper and smoked it, His migraines returned and he saw flashbacks of his past which makes him faint all the time and ended up being in hospital bed. All the boys were given school supplies to start their school, Ishmael and his friends decided to sell their supplies and with that money they decided to go to freetown on their own. The boys had to unfortunately go to school so that they can go to freetown for weekend trips. One day the boys resorted to violence by breaking all the windows in school. After this Ishmael hand started to bleed profusely and he was once again in hospital.

Ishmael also discusses about the memories from the past, how he and his friend Alhaji were given the names Little Rambo and Snake Eyes when they went to a village to get food and supplies and ended up killing all the people in the village, this memories of Ishmael would always ended up resulting as migraines or nightmares. One day Ishmael had a nightmare of a rebel tying him up and slitting his throat with the edge of his bayonet. He also discusses the memory when the soldiers had to search for food and wood for rainy season and their long fight with rebels which bruised and almost killed him..

One of the main theme that stoods out for me in this chapter was the outbursts of sweat, nightmares and migraines the boys were going through making them more violent like hitting the wall like his friend Alhaji did. Ishmael's pain increased excessively as he rolled up all over the floor from the torments of the past, he saw blood gushing out whenever he opened the tap for water. It took more than a month for him to sleep without medicine's as he was getting adjusted to the new environment as a normal human being in Benin home.

I can relate this to my life during my high school examinations ( It's considered a big deal in India).There was a lot of peer pressure, family pressure on me to score good and I was actually stressed out. There were sleepless nights for me thinking how I would be performing in the exam. Sometimes studying without proper breaks made my head hurt so badly and the only thing I could do was to sleep well and rest and I figured out later that they were migraine attack. Thankfully I took proper medication and overcame that and also did well in my exams.
This picture depicts how a migraine feels during has a migraine attack. The condition of Ishmael when he is rolling over the ground with pain can be understood to this.

Journal 5 By: Addison Stoneburner

     In chapter 17 in A Long Way Gone  Ishmael decided to go back to the hospital for rehabilitation. He meets a nurse named Esther. At first he would not talk to her because he did not trust anyone anymore. Esther gives him a Walkman and cassette tape to start showing him that she does care and he can trust her. She keeps the Walkman and cassette tape at the hospital so that he will look forward to coming back. When she examines him she asked how his bullet wounds were treated. He did not want to talk about but he told her anyways thinking that if she heard what happened to him she would be to disgusted to ask any more questions, but then he started to tell her all about his recent past. He finally starts to trust her and starts to believe that none of what happened was his fault.

     The main theme to me is "trust". Ishmael can not move on from what had happened he can not talk to anyone about it. Once he starts to trust Esther and tells her what all happened his migraines stopped and for the first time since he has been running away from the war he dreams of his family. This is really big mile stone for him and as he continues to open up to her he will only get better.

     Trusting people is hard for not just myself but for a lot of people. We end up realizing we can not trust some of the people we used to. But no matter what you still need someone you can trust because  if you can not talk to anyone then you can never improve.

He trusts that his father will catch him

Journal 5 by Chad Devore

     Based on what I've read in Chapter 16 of A Long Way Gone, the overall theme for this chapter would most likely have to be "brainwashing". I say that due to the fact that the majority of recent events are overtaken by Ishmael's training. They were taken in by a village a while ago and were trained to fight the rebels, and they eventually grew to a lifestyle that caused Ishmael to feel nothing when killing rebels.
     Meanwhile, the trainees were taking a mixture between cocaine and gun powder, on top of a white pill with the claim that it will help them fight better, in an attempt to allow for the full force of their blow towards the rebels. This eventually catches up to Ishmael when he and the others are taken to a rehabilitation center by UNICEF for a new life. While in the rehabilitation center, they end up living a very barbaric lifestyle and attack those around them. This is due to their previous training, and how they were to attack anyone in the RUF.
     Especially in the case of Ishmael, he is suffering from the lack of the drugs and is having constant traumatic experiences over what he experienced in the battles. It's beginning to cause him to turn into a very chaotic mess, and he has overall developed into this brainwashed animal that lost their sense of innocence. Basically, that is what happened with Ishmael. He used to be this innocent child with a love of rap music, but he was taken in and transformed into a mindless soldier, and when taken away from that lifestyle, he went mad due to the abrupt change of his settled lifestyle.
     I believe that this chapter is very important to present how innocence can be taken away for a bad purpose covered in what's known to be a good cause. It happens all the time, and appears to be the basis for overcoming conflicts, especially in cases of warfare, like with Ishmael. What we can interpret is that innocence can be taken away very fast, and can cause the good nature of people to go sour when there are those who need to take advantage of that. At least, that is my interpretation.

A proper representation of the mind of Ishmael, and how it has abruptly changed him.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Journal 5 - Chapter 16 - Changes - Written by Andy

    Chapter 16 in A Long Way Gone continues Ishmael Beah's story of his time spent with UNICEF during his transition from child soldier back to civilian in society.  Ishmael discusses his anger, lack of power, confinement, withdrawal symptoms and flashbacks of horrific acts he committed as well as endured.  Ishmael illustrates to us moments of his life that seem to be the most traumatic during his time at war in which I feel is his way of clearing his conscience.  I am selecting the theme of changes due to his experiences of slowly adapting to his new surroundings.

    Changes relate to every character in the book.  These changes have been major for most of the lives discussed so far, but some are minor changes, and not as much of a life-changing impact overall.  Examples of positive change in chapter 16 first include Ishmael's surroundings.  He is no longer in an environment in which he needs to kill and fight to protect himself.  He has medical aid available to him as well as trained employees that want to help him, as well as the others, achieve a stable state of mind in which each of them can become a functional member of "normal" society.  The most negative changes discussed in chapter 16 would be the casualties of war, especially those who were tortured during their last moments of life.
    Other changes were Ishmael's withdrawal issues from the lack of drug use during his time under the care of UNICEF.  His description of "My hands had begun to shake uncontrollably and my migraines had returned with a vengeance.  It was as if a blacksmith had an anvil in my head.  I would hear and feel the hammering of metal in my head, and these unbearable sharp sounds made my veins and muscles sour.  I cringed and rolled around on the floor by my bed or sometimes on the verandah.  No one paid attention, as everyone was busy going through their own withdrawal stages in different ways." (Ishmael Beah 140) is very vivid and you can almost feel his pain of his body changing back from what it had relied on for quite some time.

    As I briefly touched on in this journal entry, changes can be both good and bad.  Most of the time changes are controlled by you.  Each day you face different changes and you can sculpt them to create a positive or negative output.  It all comes down to your attitude and outlook on life.  Ishmael obviously was put in a much different situation in Sierra Leone compared to our current lives, especially when we were his age.

The photograph above, taken by Lincoln Harrison, is a time-lapse photo of stars in the night sky.  I selected this photo due to it's illustration of changes through time.  The movement of the earth, brightness of the stars, the overall aging of the various trees as well as the aging of the building.  Changes are always occurring. They never end.

Journal 5 from Lali

In chapter 17 Ishmael is in rehabilitation and his nurse Esther buys him some rap cassettes. This makes Ishmael angry at first but when the music starts playing he starts opening up to Esther about his past. He tells her about a battle he was in and he was shot three times in the foot and how a doctor performed surgery on him to take the bullets out without any medication. Ishmael fainted during the surgery because of the pain and was given cocaine. Then his lieutenant told him that he has to kill the man that had shot him in his foot. As Ishmael is telling his story Esther begins to cry and tells him that it is not his fault, this angers Ishmael and throws the Walkman at her. Esther continues to use music with Ishmael he exchanges his memories for hours listening to Bob Marley. She also gives him a notebook and tells him to write lyrics again. As time goes on Ishmael begins to look forward to their sessions but he still get migraines whenever he recalls his childhood.

The theme that I picked for this chapter is trust because Ishmael has a trouble time in trusting anyone. The only person he trusted was his lieutenant and he lost that trust when he handed him over to UNICEF. But as he starts going to the rehabilitation center his nurse Esther tries to gain Ishmaels friendship and trust but he doesn't at first. But as Esther keeps meeting with him and plays music for him while Ishmael is re-telling his past Ishmaels first sign of trust comes at the end of the chapter when he believes Esther for the first time that all the violence that he committed is not his fault.

In todays world you got to have someone you can trust either bestfiends, parents, or siblings because trust can really define your relationship with that someone. For me I really trust my dad I can go to him and talk about anything with him. I have noticed that if you try to keep everything to yourself and not have enough trust to talk to someone it can really destroy you but once you start talking to someone about your problems or anything it can really help.

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