Intellectual Musings of Mr. Walsh's Two Sophomore English Classes.
I really like the book so far. I kind of knew Kate wasn't going to get into MIT because if you think about it there wouldn't be much of a story if she did. I thought it was pretty irresponsible for her not to apply to any other colleges. Her actions reminds me of the saying, "don't put all your eggs in one basket!" My parents say that to me all the time... I'll take it I won't make that same mistake.
I really like this book. Kate has bcome the mother in the family since her mother has died.I like how she refers to herself as two diffrent people its interesting to see the diffrent opionions she has and what she actually does. I agree with Malik when he said that it was irresponsible for her to apply to only MIT but she worked her whole life to get in so she thought she was going to. Im excited to see what going to happen!!
I as well like the book so far. I like the fact that i am reading a story from a woman’s point of view since pretty much all year long i have been reading about guys. Its nice for a change. I like how Kate is very strong (mentally) but i think at some point she will crack under pressure. And because she said that her mothers death doesn’t affect her since she says it is so long ago in fourth grade, then I think in the future it will be ironic that if something tragic of misfortunate were to happen she will be devastated.
I too like the book so far. I agree with Malik that it was irresponsible for her to only apply to MIT. It was a stupid choice for her to make. I also agree with Marissa that Kate has become a mother figure in the family since there mother had passed away. Kate has to take most of the responsibilities and her father doesn’t seem to be involved much into their lives. Or is that Kate’s fault because she seems to push him away when he tries to talk to her about colleges?
I can definitely see two personalities in Kate, but no so much "good" and "bad" Kate. I see more of a really responsible young woman at home with her brother and all the house work she does but I see a fairly careless side of her too only applying to one college. What is she going to do? Is she going to go to school at all and how is she going to break the news to her peers? By the way I thought it was funny when she said she could be a "crack cooker" that made me laugh. I think its kinda good that Kate can at times poke fun at her flaws maybe she's trying to escape her troubles. Well let me let the rest of you discuss...haha It's just so easy to write about a book you like.
I predict that Kate isn’t going to get into any college because she was too focused on getting into MIT and not thinking of a plan b to fall back onto. Now she has no where to go. I think she’s going to find a job, and with her talents she would find one pretty easily. I would never guess that someone like her would apply to only one college seeing how smart she is. It was a stupid mistake and hopefully she can recover from it.
This is definitely one of the best books we have read so far (second only to Animal Farm, in my opinion). Kate’s dual personalities seem harmless right now but I think it may develop into something later on (bipolar disorder?).Her two personalities seem to be too different to just be figments of her imagination. I also agree with the past statements that she probably will not gain entrance into MIT and that applying to only one school will most likely hurt her in the long run. I do wonder what the “catalyst” will be though, her life seems normal and fine now and I predict that after she is denied entrance into MIT it will continue to be this way for a while until this life-changing event occurs.
I really like this book usually books for independent reading are ok but this is like a book that i would pick on my own. Kate is really relatible. I agree with Andy were he sais that she will not get in any were else because she was so focused on MIT. I hope she will do well i like her character!!
There is really nothing negative that i have to say about this book. Marissa, i completely agree with you, I would definatley recommend it to anyone. Also Amir makes a good point and i think that for the discussion tommorow we should start making preditions about the title of the book and how it relates to Kate. See you all tommorow.
So our predictions were true and she does not get into MIT, now what will she do? She may try to reapply and plead to the admissions office, but that will not get her anywhere, so she will most likely search for a new college. The book is starting to “dull down” and become boring, this the life-changing “catalyst” may be close to occurring. I have noticed that Kate herself is very over reactive and also overly dramatic (While going to the guidance counselor’s office she thinks of other jobs and comes up with a janitor, soup kitchen employee, crack crooker and shirt presser). I have also noticed that Kate and her father seem to be polar opposites which could lead to something big occurring later on in the book.
I noticed that you guys were saying you don't think she'll get into any other college... She didn't apply to any other college meaning she can't get in. Kate would have to wait for a whole year to wait to apply for ANY college. I also think Kate is a bit snobby, remember when she was talking about how state colleges nauseate her? I don't think there is anything wrong with a state college its gonna be better than what she's up to now. Finally I was wondering if Kate would be able to leave her family, would they be able to get along without her?
What elements of coming-of-age literature have you found so far? Theme of Exile? Maturation Process?
I see Kate maturing as she is somewhat able to go on with everyday activities although she was rejected from her dream school. Kate is also TRYING to be welcoming to Teri and Mikey although she isn't really happy about the conditions. I don't think it's very fair how Kate's dad invited the Litches to live with them, but pretty much relies on Kate to take care of them. Do any of you think that Kate will ever accept that MIT just didn't accept her? I don't believe that MIT made a mistake, Kate's just in denial.
Kate will eventually get over that she wasn’t accepted into MIT but she will probably never forget it. It was her top school choice and she wasn’t accepted and worst part is that she had no back up plan. She is probably going to regret the choices she made and have a hard time recovering from it. Is Teri mean to everyone? She gets welcomed into Kate’s house since they didn’t have any other place to go and she is rude to Kate and she steals from her too. I wonder how much longer the Litches are going to have to live with Kate.
Kate seems to be trying to put distance between her and her friends. For instance she does not want to talk to Mitch and tries to avoid him, as well as being at odds with her father. Kate will definitely get over the fact that MIT did not accept her although I think she may be using this entire denial case as a scapegoat for her not applying to other colleges. She knows she’s in trouble and may not start college (in any college) this year and is instead focusing on the fact that MIT did not accept her to try to relieve stress from her true problem.
I agree with Andy when he said that Kate will have to get over no getting into MIT and she will.I can not believe that Terris house burned down and she is staying at Kates house. When i read the thing with Mickey pooping in Kates bed i was like omg.I think this is a comming of age novel because it is Kate maybe going from her high school grade ubsessed self to i dotn know a more accepting of herself.
Well i can definatley see a coming of age theme starting to show through kate. I think that Kate will have to mature in which she and Terri have to get past their differences and dislike for each other. I wonder what started the fire in the first place? And has anyone noticed the connection between Mikey's fire truck and the fire itself (im just throwin that out there).
Yea i wonder how the fire did get started and i can see how you are connecting the fire to Mikeys fire truck. He is also very attacked to it. I agree with Amir from before when he said she is taking herself away from her friends. She is also an opposite from her father and it might become a conflict but the good Kate may not let that happen. How much longer do we think the good Kate and bad Kate are going to go on??and if so will she eventually give into bad Kate???
I think I might have figured out what the “catalyst” is. It could be Teri and Mikey moving in with Kate. Every since that happened I’ve noticed that she had slowly been changing and moving towards a more careless/reckless state. Also, good point about the connection between the fire truck and the original fire Mat, I didn’t really think of that before. I think that Kate’s personalities have disappeared or merged into one, but it’s probably the former. Good Kate and Bad Kate are nowhere to be seen.
Is Kate's personality merge into one a good or bad thing? Speaking of the title "Catalyst", it reminds me of Kate's life speeding up a bit as she is "forced" to help out with not only her family but her new extended family. I don't know if I would be able to live even temporarily with a person that has purposely mistreated me in the past, especially if they don't appreciate my effort. Kate is dealing with the situation a lot better than I thought she would. I think by merely living with Teri and her brother Kate is learning a lot socially because she is forced to interact with them. I think this experience is also an important part of a person's educational experience. (By the way I'm sorry I posted a bit late, I got back a little later than I thought from a forum at Tufts University about Racial Integration. )
I agree with Malik that Kate living with Teri and her brother is helping her socially because it is forcing her to interact with them. Kate said that her Dad usually gets some big ideas but they usually end up getting them into some sort of trouble. Like when their dad "decided Christmas was not about gift-giving and almost started a riot at the mall." I think the house might turn into a disaster and the Litches might have to live with them forever? I wonder how Kate would react if they have to live with them forever.
I dont think that Kate's household will turn into a diaster but like you said Malik, it will force them to interact. I Think this is what we can see as "coming of age." In my opinion the whole "catalyst" is the fire of the Litches. From now on, Kates life is even more complicated in addition to rejection from college. Maybe Kate and Terri can learn from each other and possibly in someway Terri will help Kate get into another college vice-versa?
I didn’t mean that Kate’s household would become a disaster. I meant the project with rebuilding the Litch’s house might become a disaster and Teri has to live with Kate for a longer time?
This book is not the same withour mikey but he brought out alot of subjects. His death also brought up alot of surprises twists.
I agree, Mikey's death was a shock that I did not expect to happen. The book does seem to change after his death though, and I hadn't noticed it until Marissa pointed it out, it seems to be far more pessimistic and more dismaying than before. I think that the true catalyst is Mikey's death, if you have read far into the book, then you will realize that almost everything does change, from the tone of the narrator (Kate) to the way the characters interact with each other. I think that Mikey's death will cause Kate and Terri to become closer friends as well as change Kate's attitude and outlook.
Teri seems a little out of it since her brother/son died, which is totally reasonable, but I think she'll resort to something drastic to cope with the tragedy. Its also come to my attention that if Mikey is Teri's son than Charlie (Teri's step-father) is Mikey's father. I think this was subtly mentioned by after finding out Teri's real relationship to Mikey, Kate asks her dad if Charlie really is Mikey's father. To say the least it is appearant that Teri and Charlie had some sort of relationship whether it was forced or not. I really like the book and am looking forward to seeing what happens at the end!
It never occurred to me that Mikey might have been Teri's son, as the book mentions that Mikey was her little brother. Although now that I think about it, it does seem true. Although I still am not 100% sure that Teri is the mother. She was hit far harder than her mother (emotionally) when Mikey died, but then again her mother has suffered some brain damage and I'm not really sure that she even knows that Mikey is dead. This would be a good topic to discuss tomorrow, thanks for bringing it up Malik.
Amir, when the accident had occurred, Teri kept telling Kate, “He’s my son, my son, my baby, my boy.”(Pg.154) So that’s how you can infer that Teri is the mother. Mikey’s death was a real surprise. Right when everything was going well too. Was Charlie Teri’s step father? I thought that was her real father.
Oh i'm not sure actually Charlie might be Teri's real mother I'll look it up and mention it during the discussion. Amir, Kate also says that Teri is Mikey's mother... I still find it hard to believe no one realized that Teri was pregnant and had a baby, you would think they would be able to tell by her stomach at least. I realized that even after having a rough night with Mikey's death and all, the next morning as they entered school Kate questioned the security guard for not giving Teri a hard time about her I.D.. This shows Kate's juvenile mentality or what's left of it, she is unable to let Teri just keep to herself during this hard time. What do you think about Kate's progress if any?
Well I can definitely see a change in Kate in a way that she has matured since Mikey died. In a way, she seems to have grown on Teri and Teri on Kate, which seems natural in the face of tragedy. This is defiantly an element of coming of age for Kate. But do you think that Kate has her priorities straight in the sense that MIT is more important to her because it seemed like she didn’t care when the guy from the funeral home was making casket arrangements?
Wow i never connected that when we learned the Mikey was Terri son that then Charlie the stepfather, does that mean that she had a realationship with him or did he rape her. I wonder. Kate has definatly changed Mikeys death was her growning up time. Mikey's death was the catalyst of this book.
Having a relationship with your father or stepfather is just not right which is why I believe Teri was raped by Charlie. When she talks about him, she doesn’t seem to be all that excited about him so he must have done something to make her dislike him. Teri and Kate are in somewhat of a similar position. They both have suffered from something tragic in their lives and will they be able to recover from it? Kate doesn’t get accepted into MIT and is still in denial, and Teri had just lost her brother/son.
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