Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Period Four - Catalyst Group A


Ngoc
Belinda
Thanh
Elaine

Feb. 1 - 1-78
Feb. 7 - 79-149
Feb. 14 - To the end


Please Post by 8 p.m. before the discussion date.

30 comments:

Thanh N. 4 said...

I've just finished reading to our part and I thought the book was really good so far. I definitely can connect to the main character Kate Malone. I've noticed that she likes to think of herself as two seperate people. So far, she's my favorite character because she's so great at everything and I envy her for it. What do you guys think about the book so far? Who's your favorite character as well?

Elaine T 4 said...

I like the book so far. I think it shows how stressful highschool can be and how much pressure there is from the people around you. Also, Kate Malone is my favortie character. I really like how she sees herself in two different lights; the good and bad Kate. I like this about her because I sometimes see myself in this way too. I admire her drive and perseverancet also. However, I think one of her flaws is that she's scared to show her vulnerability. What do you guys think about Kate? Any other flaws that you've noticed?

Belinda L 4 said...

I also really like the book. I feel like I can relate to Kate for looking at herself in two different ways. I feel the same way growing up in an asian family. It is like they expect so much from you to do the right thing and be the "good girl" but really all you feel like doing inside is yell back but you don't because you know it's just not done. I think it relates to the same pressure that Kate goes through since her father is working in the church. Also I do not feel that Kate is my favorite character. Although I like the book, I think there will me a more interesting character that comes along. As of now I am still enjoying the book. So how are things going along with you guys? Oh and Kate's boyfriend seems to be great. They seem to be in love but do you think he is really good for her? After all, she seems pressured from him being "early acceptance to harvard" and how she cannot share how she feels with him when he is suppose to be there for her.

Thanh N. 4 said...

Kate is like every nerdy teenager. She's always trying to find ways to make herself better. When she was running at the meet, she thought of ways to make herself go faster. Kate seems like the person that has to analyze everything in order to be perfect at it. One flaw I've noticed about her however is that she always think her life is worser than other people.

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I finally got my book, so yay =]
I didn't get so far in the book yet, but so far, I enjoyed the book. I don't know if Kate is my favorite character yet because it's still early in the book. Like everyone, I can also connect myself to Kate. I think everyone has that inner demon that no one knows about but you. I think it's neat that the chapter titles are all related to Chemistry.

Mr. Walsh said...

It would be awesome of some of you looked at the meanings of the Chem titles!!! :)

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I just finished what we were supposed to read. As much as I want to say Kate is my favorite character, I can't (sorry, don't hate me =\ ). It's quite the opposite, she's a little over-dramatic, how she said she's going to be a janitor, a shirt presser, etc...because she's not going to MIT. If she's thinks she is smart enough to go to MIT, then she should be smart enough to apply to safety schools. To me, she's a bit conceited. She say that she is smart, but where is the proof? I didn't like it when she took her anger out on her boyfriend when he is just trying to make her feel better.
Thanh, I disagree with you about being a "nerdy teenager" because "nerdy" to me is those people with too tight and short pants that studies night and day with no social life at all. The way she's with her boyfriend is nothing like a "nerdy teenager" (I don't want to go into details)
Kate to me is those people who always get their way, and when something don't go their way, they totally burst and thinks the world is over. They get annoying sometimes.


I did look at the title, and it's interesting because 1.2 is called Atomic Family and in the chapter, she talks about how her brother and she are the proton and neutron; and her dad is the unstable electron. Also 2.0 is called Delay Reaction when she woke up late for school.

Elaine T 4 said...

I find it interesting that her father is mentioned as the unstable electron because I think she's the one whose unstable. She's really nervous and she's finding it hard to focus becuase she's so stressed out over her acceptance letter. She has her mood swings too. Her father seems to be pretty stable though; usually cheerful and upbeat. As a reverand, people rely on him to help them solve their problems. I wonder why Kate doesn't talk to her father about her problems. Beside the whole religion thing, about her not liking God, do you guys think there's another reason why she doesn't really talk to her father about her life?

Also, this book kind of reminds me of Sarah Dessen's works. Does the book remind you of anything?

Belinda L 4 said...

I agree with Ngoc that I don't really like this book. Kate is too over dramatic and I just think she sees herself too highly to apply to only one college and become immature and stupid about it when she doesn't get in. I also don't think that Kate talks to her father about her problems because he is not very father like to her. He was before as we saw when she first reads the letter. But right after he says he has to go to a meeting "in a minute" and that gives off the impression that Kate wants him there to talk to but he is never really there for her because he is too busy with everyone else's business since he is a revered. This causes Kate and her father's relationship to grow apart and that is how it mostly is. She doesn't want to share because she feels like he would not pay full attention to it. So I think that Kate and her father had a good relationship until her mother passed away which seemed to have an impact on the responsibilities of her father.

Mr. Walsh said...

About Kate and perhaps not relating to her overdramatic personality - what problems might arise from it? How can or should she grow from it?

Ngoc D. 4 said...

The problem that Kate has right now is that she's so set on one thing: to get MIT to accept her. However, I think that as the book progresses, she'll learn that not getting into MIT is not the end of the world. She'll be able to accept the fact that not everything will go her way and that she'll have to adapt to the changes.

Aside from that, what do you guys think of Teri? I read a book similar to this book called Vegan Virgin Valentine, the main character was a smart girl like Kate, and she's perfect. And there is her niece who came to live with her, who is like Teri. They started out hating each other but ended up being friends. I think this book will turn out like that too. By the end, they'll learn and grow from each other. What do you guys think?

Mr. Walsh said...

What elements of coming-of-age literature have you found so far? Theme of Exile? Maturation Process?

Elaine T 4 said...

I read Vegan Virgin Valentine too and I do find this book similar to that. I think Teri and Kate will end up being friends in the end. I think Kate’s too focused on being perfect and not letting people down that Teri will help her express herself more. I think Teri will somehow show Kate that it’s okay to not be perfect and just show her true feelings.

An element of coming-of-age would probably be Kate learning to pick herself up and keep going on. Though it’s still kind of early in the book, I think Kate will accept the fact that she didn’t get into MIT and she’ll have to deal with that fact and think of a different option. What do you guys think?

Thanh N. 4 said...

I agree with what Elaine said before, about how Teri and Kate will become friends. However, I don't think Kate will ever get over the fact that she didn't get admitted into MIT. I noticed how stubborn Kate could be sometimes and since MIT was so big to her, she'll never give up.

Since Teri and Kate doesn't like each other, it'll be easier to accept what Teri is saying because it's harder for someone to believe what the ones they love say. I think maybe further into the book, Teri and Kate will become friends, but not as easily. I think that Teri has a lot going on her mind that no one really knows, which could explain her attitude. Teri is also a stubborn person as well, so it might take time for their friendship to form.

Elaine T 4 said...

I agree with Thanh that Kate is really stubborn because when she gets into arguments with Mitch, she doesn't say she's sorry or anything even when she wants to forgive him and just end the fight. I also think that Kate is too set on certain goals, like going to MIT. Kate didn't get in and she keeps going back and forth with plans to try to get in and she just keeps running away from the fact that she's not wanted there. (She also keeps running away from Mitch.) I think this is a major flaw of Kate and I predict that Kate will learn to walk away from MIT, although it's not what she wants to do. I also predict that something horrendous will happen to Mikey, maybe a fatal accident of some sort, and this'll help Kate realize that life is too short to dwell on little things; and that she should live life happily and focus on important things.
Also, is anyone worried about Mikey? He's so young and innocent and adorable that I really don't want anything bad to happen to him. (He's my favorite character.)

Thanh N. 4 said...

I think that something horrible happened to Mikey. However, I don't think it will help Kate realize anything. Maybe everyone was scared about him for no reason at all. Unfortunately, that's not what I think. I agree with Elaine, I really hope nothing happened to Mikey because he's so cute and innocent. Other than that, I think Mikey was a factor that helped Kate and Teri get closer.

If something was to happen to Mikey, I hope that Kate will take the incident and learn to see the world differently. Kate is still constantly thinking like a lunatic because she didn't get into MIT. Sometimes I just want to yell to her, "Get over it! You can find something better." What are your reactions on what we stopped reading on?

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I agree with Elaine and Thanh that Kate will eventually get over that she didn't get accepted into MIT. And I do get frustrated sometimes when she keeps going on and on about MIT and how they have made a mistake. And where we stopped reading is such a cliff hanger!!! I hope nothing happens to Mikey too, he's too young to have something bad happen to him, and I think that he's the one that is keeping Teri grounded right now.

Some elements of growing up that I found is that Kate is beginning to realize that there is more to life than MIT, because she added more stuff to that list of hers. Also, she's learning to realize that other people, like Teri, are not as fortunate as her.

Belinda L 4 said...

I also feel that Kate will learn a lot from Teri but and I think she will realize the issue about MIT a lot faster than the others predicted. Kate is beginning to grow and mature a little more. At times she still freaks out about the whole MIT issue but now she is helping Teri and Mikey like driving them around and learning to deal with the people in school and also, she pays more attention to other things instead of just the subject of MIT. She also asks Teri to help rebuild the house because she knows that they both don't like the conditions they are living in at the moment. That shows that Kate, instead of making a big deal about it like in the beginning, she has begun to find solutions and ways around the problems. I feel like this is how she will become during the rest of the book.

Elaine T 4 said...

How do you guys think Mikey affects Kate? How does Teri affect Kate? What are your thoughts on that?

Belinda L 4 said...

I think Kate has become like another sister to Mikey. She is with him most of the day since she drives him to school and then stays with him sometimes during lunch and then is at home with him too. They are probably still sharing the same room with Teri. By having Teri there, I feel that Kate is more sensible in the things she does. She takes on responsibilities like helping Teri and Mikey and she also has learned to deal with Teri, a person who she hated before. Now they get along fine. I think this is a part of growing up, to learn to deal with those you hate.

Ngoc D. 4 said...

So, we reached the end of the road =] , what do you guys think of the ending? What did Kate realize?

When I read that part about Mitch defending Katie, I didn't think that he was being a jerk. He doesn't understand the whole situation so I don't blame him for acting that way toward Teri. From the perspective of an outsider, Teri would seems menacing, just like how Kate thought of Teri earlier. However, this might seems cliche but Teri fits the "don't judge a book by its cover".
Do you guys think that Mitch was being a jerk?

Just a clarifying question: does everyone know that Mikey is Teri's son or only Kate knows?

Belinda said...

So yea, I personally don't really like the ending. I think there should have been more to it. It doesn't seem like Teri has finished maturing when the story ended but I think Kate has matured a lot since she is no longer worrying about MIT and instead of other larger problems in her face at the time. Also I see that my prediction was right, she decided to take a time off of school before she goes back, that is a wise choice, i feel for her since all this just happened, going back to school will just make it even harder. I don't understand why Teri wouldn't talk about Mikey though, yes it did hurt her a lot but not thinking about it will only bring her more pain later. I also agree with Ngoc about Mitchell because he was only doing that because he feels like he needs to protect Kate. buy on the other hand i feel like Kate doesn't deserve Mitchell because he does so much for her but she ignores/pushes away from it.

Answer to Ngoc's question, on page 173 that "They must have seen it on the news. Everybody knows. Everything. Every stinking little thing" so i would think that yes everyone knows about Mikey being Teri's son.

Thanh N. 4 said...

Kate has changed so much since Mikey's death. I never knew how much he affected her life. Maybe Kate cannot handle death upon someone she knows. For example, when her mother died, her therapy was running. Her mother's death made her change the way she wants to be. I noticed that Kate has been trying to be exactly like her mom. Her mother went to MIT and was a runner as well. You can see that Kate's life is reflected upon her mother's actions. Mikey's death was a change to her, like death makes her change the way she is. The death of Mikey's made her become careless and change her actions toward the people around her. Instead of trying to be the good Kate that she's always been, she's going for the bad Kate. Did you guys notice any change from Kate?

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I agree with Thanh how a death of a person changes the person.

The changes that I noticed in Kate was mentioned by Belinda and Thanh. That she's not worrying about MIT anymore. I think it's a good thing that Kate takes some time off school, because school is not the best thing for her right now since she is basically doing nothing in school right now, like not doing homework or paying attention in class. Also, Kate sees the world differently now. At the diner, she said something like "I can't believe I used to be like that" when all her friends was talking about prom and the unimportant stuff.

Thanh N. 4 said...

I agree what Ngoc was saying. Kate has become a completely different person now. What surprised me the most was how she's not interested in chemistry anymore. When she's really depressed, she would mix active chemicals together and create something dangerous. I think that this is a sign of how Kate wants to kill herself. Maybe she hasn't accept what has happened and just wants to die.

At the diner, Teri also gives back Kate all of her items, the watch and the necklace, why do you guys think she did that? That part was confusing to me because I didn't why it happened. In the book, is it Teri that is coming-of-age or is it Kate? I'm not sure.

Belinda said...

I think the book shows coming of age from both of the characters Kate and Teri, also of Toby and Mitch too. I feel that they all have grown due to Kate's MIT thing and how she treated them, they have all matured more to become who they are now. At the dinner thing, I think that by Teri giving back the items, she is like saying, take your sympathy back like she doesn't need or want Kate there anymore, while before she sort of became use to having her there. what do you guys think?

Elaine T 4 said...

I agree with you Belinda. By having Teri give back the things to Kate, its her saying, in her own way, she doesn't need them anymore and that she's able to stand on her own. I think that was probably the major turning point for Teri; like she was grown up then because she no longer needed to rely on people. How do you guys think Mitch, Kate and Toby matured?

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I agree with Belinda and Elaine about why Teri gave back Kate's stuff.

I don't know much about Toby, and Kate, I already mentioned before. But I think that everyone's maturity is all connected with Mikey's death. Mitch's maturity is a bit different from Kate and Teri because he realize that he should be doing something to help the people right here, right now, instead of living in the past. Also, he cleaned his room, which I thought it showed that he's a grown person because only teenagers have messy rooms. Did you guys like the ending? If not, what kind of ending would have been better?

Belinda said...

I really didn't like the ending, I thought it left you hanging there and there was no result to all the other characters besides knowing that Teri and Kate are now friends. What do you guys think? how do you like the ending?

Elaine T 4 said...

I agree that the ending did leave me hanging a bit but then again it also summed up the coming of age part of the story. Teri learned to let people in and to let go while Kate learned that she wasn't the center of everything. In the beginning, Kate only worried about herself and only complained how she was the only one not accepted into her chosen college. In the end, Kate learned to put aside her goals and feelings to be there for someone else, someone who really needed her. Kate learned that life has bigger problems than not gettin into MIT and she learned that it was okay to let people in and to have them see her for who she really is. I think that's how Kate matured throughout the story