Freedom at a cost: Lockdown Escape from Furnace

Through reading this book I have found that a lot of the events within the book and the themes within the book can have many connections to the audience of this book. One thing that is occurring within the book is the potential escape of Alex and his close companions. They are trying to escape from the prison that is advertised as a waiting place for criminals before they die. Also that it is impossible to escape from furnace penitentiary. Although the boys are constantly reminded of these facts, they believe that freedom is possible. But what will this freedom cost them? “But it was too late. The wheezer stabbed the needle into Donovan’s neck and the boy went limp and silent. “You can’t do this!” I shouted. “Donovan, I’ll come for you. I’ll come for you!” (Pg. 260). Their efforts to regain their freedom cost Alex and the boys one of their closest friends in the penitentiary, Alex’s cellmate. Along with the loss of one of the boys, this escape attempt comes with a high chance of failure, and death. Alex and his friends have to be willing to take that risk if they want to be free. When I think of this situation, it causes me to connect this to making hard decisions in life. When we make hard decisions there are always costs involved. No matter what, we always are going to have to give something up or take some risk in order to pursue that decision. What I think the author is doing in this story is he is trying to invite the youth of the world to take risks and make decisions that are going to benefit our lives even if there are costs involved. If we believe in something, and we want to pursue something in life, we should be willing to take the risk and pursue despite the costs.


Overtaken by Fear

Alex now lives in the most dangerous prison in the entire world, and lives each and every day in fear of what is around him. He lives each day in constant fear of what comes next. As he lives each day in the penitentiary, he grows close to a group of inmates. Their companionship helps calm the fear that they live in. When reading this story, it is hard to understand the situation Alex is in because I have never been faced with a situation when I was living in fear, or overtaken by fear. When I think of someone living in fear I think of the Jews living in the concentration camps, or the Africans living in slavery. When hearing true stories of the fear they were overtaken by I see the pattern of mystery. They didn’t know what was around the corner. They had no idea what was going to happen to them. Alex is living in that same mystery. He has no idea what is going to happen to him while living here in the furnace. And he has no idea if he is ever going to see the daylight ever again. One quote that I found when reading that shows how Alex is living in a mystery caused by this immense fear can be found on page 131. “He’s something rotten they dragged up from the bowels of the earth, something they patched together from darkness and filth. He’ll be the death of us all, every single one of us here in Furnace. Only question is when.”

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith

Right now I am reading the first book of the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. The title of the book is Lockdown. When starting this book, I found that the style of writing was very easy for me to get into and find myself lost within the story. The author writes in a way that keeps the reader on their toes, and is always wondering what may happen next to our main character Alex and his close friend Toby. What is very significant is how the author is using this big flashback at the beginning of the story to sort of help you as the reader to “catch up” to where Alex is within the story. When the story starts, Alex is already in Furnace Penitentiary. But the author begins with “I can tell you the exact moment that my life went to hell” (Pg. 7). The author is writing in a way where Alex is helping us catch up to where he is at. He knows that as the reader, we aren’t aware of how he even got to the penitentiary. A few characters that I found very significant in the beginning of this story were the mysterious black-suited men. They have had a lot to do with the framing of Alex and I know they are important within the penitentiary, but as the readers, we still are unaware of who these characters actually are. That aspect of mystery, along with suspense, and action is what makes this book extremely interesting to read, and easy to get into. According to Alex’s retelling of his history, it all started with some school yard bullying. But eventually it grew into breaking and entering, robbery, and he was eventually framed for murder. After he was framed, he began to regret his decisions thus far. And as he enters Furnace Penitentiary, I feel that he will begin to regret his decisions more and more.

Need for Blood Donations Rising, Number of Donors Lowering

How important is donating blood for the country? How important is a blood transfusion for the lives of patients needing them? In recent years, the need for blood donations is increasing, however the number of donors is decreasing. There are many patients waiting in hospitals for whole blood transfusions, and other types of transfusions. But due to donor deferral, and statistics showing mal-effects of blood donation, the amount of donors is decreasing. This problem is evident throughout America, but is also affecting our local community of Lincoln, Nebraska. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Nebraska Community Blood Bank work each day to help solve the problem of low donor numbers, and high need for blood throughout the community of Lincoln, and nationally. Efforts such as advertisement, and increased number of blood drives are used to try and increase number of donors per year. But factors such as donor deferral, and mal-effects of blood donation begin to cause people to refuse to donate blood. And most often, people don’t even consider donating blood because they either don’t care, or they are not aware of it being available.

To completely understand the topic of blood donation and what is associated with it, it is important to know what a blood transfusion (the typical use of the blood that is donated) is. Also the many types of blood transfusions that are used to treat patients, and the parts of blood used and their purpose in the treatment process.

Firstly, a blood transfusion “is a safe, common procedure in which blood is given to you through an intravenous (IV) line in one of your blood vessels” (“What is a Blood Transfusion?”). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, blood transfusions are done to replace blood lost in a patient during surgery or trauma. They are also done when a patient is suffering from an illness that affects the body’s ability to create proper blood. These factors help enforce the claim that blood transfusions are vital for the lives of patients needing that type of treatment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute gives a statistic that helps enforce the claim that the need for blood donations is vitally important for the lives of patients in need. In America, almost 5 million people per year need a blood transfusion (“What is a Blood Transfusion?”). And taking a look at The Nebraska Community Blood Bank’s website, they inform each visitor that “every 2 seconds someone needs blood” (Nebraska Community Blood Bank)

Secondly, there are many types of blood donations, and blood transfusions. And these transfusions are used in order to treat certain conditions. The American Cancer Society has extensive information on the different types of blood transfusions, and the specific purposes of each type. The most common type of blood transfusion is a red blood cell transfusion. A red blood cell transfusion is most often used to treat anemia, or low red blood cell counts, or for patients with a low hemoglobin level. Along with that, red blood cell transfusions are used for patients in surgery. To add, the parts of blood are “red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma” (What is a Blood Transfusion?”). And these parts of blood are collected through whole blood donations, double red cell donations, and platelet donations (NCBB).

Another type of transfusion is a plasma transfusion. “Plasma can be donated in a process called apheresis, or sometimes called plasmapheresis” (“Blood Transfusions for People with Cancer”). A specific condition that requires plasmapheresis to treat it is called Multiple Myeloma. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. Along with multiple myeloma, a plasma transplant is used to treat people who are not able to clot their blood correctly. Plasma, once donated, is usually frozen and stored for up to a year. Platelets, like plasma, are transfused into patients who are not able to clot correctly. However, platelets are not identified by type. So unlike other parts of blood, platelets are universal and anyone is able accept them. “Platelets can also be collected by apheresis. This is sometimes called plateletpheresis” (“Blood Transfusions for People with Cancer”). According to the American Cancer Society platelet transfusions are used to not only treat patients who are unable to clot, but they are also used to treat patients whose bone marrow cells don’t create enough platelets. This problem is caused by chemo or radiation therapy.

There are two other types of transfusions, cryoprecipitate transfusions, and white blood cell transfusions. Cryoprecipitate “is the name given to the small fraction of plasma that separates out (precipitates) when plasma is frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator” (Blood Transfusions for People with Cancer”). These transfusions are given to patients who are missing critical blood clotting factors such as Factor VIII, Von Willebrand Factor, and Fibrinogen. However, this is a rare type of transfusion. Along with cryoprecipitate, there is one last type of transfusion which is a white blood cell transfusion. White blood cell transfusions are used when white blood cells are damaged due to chemotherapy, or when patients show critically low white blood cell counts. Like cryoprecipitate transfusions, white blood cell transfusions are quite rare due to new drugs that replace the need for transfusions. These drugs are known as “colony-stimulating factors or growth factors” (“Blood Transfusions for People with Cancer”).

Although types of transfusions is important, an even more important part of blood transfusions and blood donation is blood type, and the parts of the blood. There are many types of blood which include, A, B, AB, and O. And each type is either positive or negative. Transfusions depend on the type of blood because blood type has to match the type of the patient when a transfusion occurs. However, type O blood is universal. The parts of blood are “red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma” (What is a Blood Transfusion?”). During a blood donation, the blood bank conducting the drive “collect, test, and store blood” (“What is a Blood Transfusion?”). And before donating, phlebotomists, test blood to make sure donors are healthy enough to donate and to determine each donor’s blood type. Phlebotomists “draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some explain their work to patients and provide assistance when patients exhibit adverse reactions after their blood is drawn” (“Phlebotomists”). A phlebotomist is an important part of the donation/transfusion process.

Along with the definition of a blood transfusion and information about blood transfusions and donation, it is also important to understand who requires blood transfusions for treatment. How many people are waiting for/receiving transfusions in America per year? To reinforce the statistic, there are approximately five million people in America that wait for/receive a blood transfusion per year. Within that five million, patients requiring blood transfusions for treatment range from cancer patients, patients suffering from diseases of the blood, and trauma patients. According to the American Cancer Society, “some cancers cause internal bleeding which can lead to anemia from low red cell counts.” Their findings show that low red blood cell counts are usually what causes a patient to need a transfusion. Specifically, cancers of the bone marrow such as leukemia, or cancers that originate from blood-making cells cause low blood counts. Cancer also affects blood counts by affecting organs such as the kidneys and the spleen, which are both extremely important in the blood filtration process. Along with cancer’s individual effects on the blood of a patient, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and bone marrow transplants sometimes cause a need for a transfusion (“Blood Transfusions for People with Cancer”).

Although blood transfusions are often a useful treatment for the effects of certain cancers, there are also patients suffering from other diseases that are in grave need of a blood transfusion. An article written by The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on “Who Needs a Blood Transfusion?” there are many different disorders and diseases that require a blood transfusion to treat it. Severe infections and liver disease impedes the body’s ability to create blood, so a transfusion is used to give the patient healthy blood while they are recovering. Also illnesses that cause anemia, which include a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, require a blood transfusion to help treat the patient. Lastly, bleeding disorders often cause patients to need a blood transfusion for in most cases survival. An example of a bleeding disorder is hemophilia. (“Who Needs a Blood Transfusion?”).

The last example of a patient who is most likely a candidate for a blood transfusion is a patient who experienced bleeding during surgery, or a traumatic injury. Blood transfusions are a “vital and integral part of modern health care” (Kaur et al. 103). Severe injuries from war, car crashes, or natural disasters that result in blood loss require blood transfusions for treatment. Also, an interesting fact given by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “about one-third of all heart surgery patients have a transfusion” (“Who Needs a Blood Transfusion?”).

This compilation of knowledge regarding blood donation and transfusion leads to a few questions. If this is such a problem, why isn’t anyone stepping forward and changing the system?” There are organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Nebraska Community Blood Bank that work to solve this problem, but why are donor counts still low? What causes people to donate blood? And what causes people not to donate blood? How has donor deferral been such an impacting factor on the amount of blood donations in recent history? And how has the effects of donating blood seen in others caused others not to donate?
When considering an option to solve the problem of low blood donation counts, it is important to know what causes people not to donate. It is also important to know what causes people to donate, and to use that information to influence those who choose not to. A study done in 2007 by B. Nilsson Sojka and P. Sojka of the Department of Laboratory Medicine (Transfusion Medicine), and Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation (Rehabilitation Medicine) investigated the motives for donating blood along with some reasons for why people don’t donate blood. To conduct this study they administered a questionnaire to 600 blood donors with a history of at least one previous whole blood donation. Although they administered to 600 people, only 531 people actually filled out the survey. Once the survey was finished, it was concluded that “altruism was the most common general motive for donating blood and also for continuing to be an active donor” (Sojka and Sojka, 56). According to Meriam Webster’s Dictionary, altruism is an “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.” In other words, altruism is doing something due to the belief that someone is in need of your help. Along with altruism, the second most common reason for why people donate blood was social responsibility/obligation (Sojka and Sojka, 56). In this case, the donor feels like because they are healthy and able to donate, it is their social duty to give to others. According to the study done by Sojka and Sojka, other reasons for why people donate that the study found were influence from friends, health care occupation, and recruitment by blood bank or military service.

When trying to help increase the amount of blood donors, knowing what causes people to donate blood is extremely important. But there are also factors that cause people to not donate. The most common reason for why people choose not to donate blood was laziness. “This reason was reported by 19.1% of the donors,” (Sojka and Sojka, 61). And the second most common reason for why people chose not to donate blood was a fear of needles. However, when considering the mass amount of patients that are in need of a blood transfusion per year (five million), it is quite sad that laziness is the leading cause of low donor counts.

Secondly, an interesting question to consider when analyzing why blood donation needs to increase is, “How has donor deferral been such an impacting factor on the amount of blood donors in recent history?” A study done between 2001 and 2006 aimed to “analyze actual deferral and return donation data from the American Red Cross to further assess the impact of donor deferral on donor availability” (Zou et. al, 2531). When conducting the study, they analyzed the deferred donors and classified them into three groups based on their donation history. No prior donation or deferral, prior donation but no deferral, and prior deferral. “A mean (average) of 12.8 percent of a total of 47,814,370 donor presentations between 2001 and 2006 resulted in a deferral” and “an additional 1,042,743 donors were lost due to deferrals for donor safety-related reasons during the same period” (Zou et. al, 2531). Out of the total donor presentations in a five year span, 7,162,928 of those donors were deferred from donating. That still leaves around 40 million people that were not deferred. However, according to the author this number leads to one conclusion. “The results call attention to the impact of donor deferrals on donor availability and the need to monitor and assess the necessity and effectiveness of such deferrals” (Zou et al, 2538). To eliminate some of that massive number that is causing a drop in donation counts and blood units available the deferral process needs to be addressed. If the process is minimized without compromising safety, it only allows for an increase in donation counts per year.

Lastly, a reason why blood donor counts are not completely compensating for the great need for blood units is the effects of donating blood seen in other donors. These effects, when made known to first-time donors especially, along with returning donors, often deters people from donating blood. A study was done in 2003 with a goal to report adverse effects in blood donors after donating whole-blood. During this study, 1000 donors were examined three weeks after they gave a whole-blood donation. “Thirty-six percent of the donors had one or more adverse effects. The most common systemic adverse effect was fatigue (7.8%)” (Newman et al. 598). Along with fatigue, bruising, soreness, and hematomas were common effect of whole-blood donation. Although the study wasn’t intended to give reason to why people choose not to donate, a simple deduction can be made. Once a potential donor who is hesitant to donate hears about people experiencing these effects, it causes them to change their mind. With this study finding many different adverse effects, there is possibility that this information causes potential donors to make a final decision. To not donate their blood. Instead of sharing adverse effects of donating, advertisement should be made to show the positive effects of donating blood on the lives of donors and transfusion recipients.

There are endless statistics and facts that attempt prove that there is a problem within the blood donation/transfusion system. However it’s believable when the problem is publicized within popular media. According to an article written by Mikaela Conley for ABC News, in 2012 “The American Red Cross today reported dangerously low levels of blood and platelet supplies, with 50,000 fewer blood donations than expected for the month of June” (Conley). Along with that statistic, Stephanie Millian, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross reported that “donations are down more than 10 percent across the country,” and that “We have almost half the amount of available blood on the shelves compared to last year” (Conley). This problem is real. There is a need for 38,000 units of blood every day for patients throughout the United States according to Stephanie Millian. If the Red Cross is losing 50,000 donations per month, that results in at least 600,000 units of blood not donated per year. With this knowledge, it emphasizes how important it is to spread awareness. How blood donation is vital for the well-being of the community of Lincoln, and the entire country.

Although the need for blood donations is increasing due to the extremely high amount of patients whose treatment demands a blood transfusion each year, the amount of donations are not keeping up. Factors such as mal-effects of blood donation scaring others to donate, and donor deferral are causing those who donate to choose not to donate. This problem is growing to a larger issue as the health screening process begins to be more specific, requiring more and more from donors. And as donor recruitment is becoming increasingly difficult. However, finding proper ways to recruit, exposing the positive effects of blood donation on donors and patients receiving transfusions, and encouraging others to donate, the need for blood donations hopefully won’t be so grave.

Colonization and Imperialism reflection

My knowledge on imperialism and colonization before this unit in English was limited to say the least. Certainly not enough to have an idea or view on it to be honest. The topic was just never something I really put time into thinking about. However my idea of imperialism and colonization has not only changed, my knowledge on the topic has also expanded because of the last unit.
​Before starting this unit, my knowledge of imperialism, colonization, and their effects was not extensive enough to have a true “opinion” on it. And personally, I haven’t been affected by imperialism and colonization at all really. But through the book we read in particular, I have learned a lot more, and can make a valid opinion now. There are many examples and quotes from Roots that show how much of an effect imperialism and colonization have on indigenous peoples. One quote that I found to show this very well can be found on page 27. “Scaring Kunta most thoroughly, for the old grandmothers spoke often of the hairy, red-faced, strange-looking white men whose big canoes stole people away from their homes.” This quote helps the reader and me realize how much of an effect imperialism and colonization can have on the people of an area. What this quote causes me to believe is that in every situation where imperialism and colonization occurs, the native people of that area are negatively affected.
​Within the quote, it says “scaring Kunta most thoroughly.” Just the thought of people coming into his home land was frightening. And throughout Kunta’s time in Africa, he was constantly taught to be watchful of the “toubob,” or the people who were imperializing this land. Imperialism had no positive outcome for the people who had to submit to the higher powers. All they could do was try their hardest to avoid it. These people are scared to death of others taking them from their homelands and overpowering them. These people lived their lives in constant fear because some people think that they can force themselves over others. Although the people of this area in this specific story tried to avoid imperialism and colonization of their homeland, eventually it was just impossible. “In a blur, rushing at him, he saw a white face, a club upraised, heard heavy footfalls behind him. Toubob!” Pg. 192.
​Along with Roots, the few stories that Mrs. Jank shared about people’s experiences with imperialism and colonization has also affected my opinions. She explained to us how Native Americans were forced out of their homelands by “white man” and were not allowed to carry out their cultural and religious practices. And were forced to live their lives according to what others said. And it made their lives horrible. The ones who were imperializing and colonizing were undoubtedly benefiting. However, the indigenous people who were invaded upon were left to live their lives outside of their true culture. It helps reinforce my opinion that imperialism and colonization can only be negative for the native people of that area. It causes them to live in ways that they don’t want to live, in places they don’t want to live, and under the power of those they don’t want to serve.
​Through specifically reading Kunta Kinte’s story in Roots, and listening to stories about some Native American tribes my views on imperialism and colonization have drastically changed. Before experiencing the many stories reflecting the effects of both colonization and imperialism I did not have a solid idea or opinion on either of them. But I believe that after reading Roots, hearing Mrs. Jank’s stories, and many other in-class experiences, my idea and opinion has changed. I believe that colonization and imperialism is very negative for the native people of the area being colonized or imperialized within. It causes the people of the area to change their way of life according to how the colonizers want them to live. I believe that both colonization and imperialism is always positive for one side, and always negative for the other.

La Paz Mexican Restaurant: A Lincoln Staple


As I drove south on Cotner Boulevard near 32nd street, I drew near to my destination. The building, tattered and looking a bit run down, was La Paz Mexican Restaurant. To give it my honest opinion, while driving by you can definitely mistake this place for your average dive. It isn’t all too impressive. But when you hear what Lincoln has to say about this place, and when you taste the food, your opinion will definitely change. And I know mine did too.

I had never been to this amazing restaurant until that night I walked into the doors, into a front room surprisingly small. The warm energy of this place excited me. I was immediately greeted by an employee and a smile, and was invited to take a seat in the dining room. The service was exceptional, and I could tell the other guests agreed. The waiter proceeded to bring me to a table surrounded by themed decorations. The ambience of this place really made it special for the experience. I felt as if I was wisped away from a Midwest urban setting, to a home deep within the Mexican culture.

Before arriving at this place, I decided to look online to find some information about this restaurant. I found myself reading a “about us” page on La Paz’s website. According to them, all their food is made from scratch, and their goal is to deliver the finest Mexican food for Lincoln, NE. They also strive to provide the guests with a family-feeling experience. After experiencing this place, I agree 10 out of 10!

I was greeted with a basket of fresh chips and salsa. And the taste was like nothing I have ever experienced. What I found interesting was that the chips and salsa were free of charge. You can tell from the way this restaurant treats their guests that they cherish providing Lincoln with an experience that is worth coming back for. Because of this, it leads me to believe that these little things, change the community in many ways. These little nice gestures create a shared feeling of happiness and joy within the community.

I also found that the people eating within this establishment were seemingly affected by the spirit of this place. It feels as if the excellent service, the cultural diversity of this restaurant, and the amazing food bring happiness to the guests, and the community. The people around me had no problem suggesting to me what I should order off the menu. I think they may have overheard me saying I don’t know what to get. But almost immediately they recommended getting one of La Paz’s staples, the cream cheese chicken

First off, I would like to say that this is most definitely the best Mexican-style dish I have ever had the privilege to eat. But also I was surprised at how willingly people around me were to suggest a meal choice. At most restaurants, you wouldn’t experience it. Because of that I was convinced that La Paz Mexican Restaurant has a big effect on the community of Lincoln. But there are more reasons that help provide a look into how much this wonderful place does for the great community of Lincoln.

The diversity this restaurant offers Lincoln is something that isn’t very important to most people. But I believe that in the changing times, cultural diversity is very important. And for Lincoln, La Paz provides help for people to become more culturally diverse. Lincoln is a city that is full of cultural diversity including  immigrants, refugees, and people from all corners of the world. But I believe that in most cases, “Lincolnites” don’t appreciate what this has to offer. La Paz offers us an opportunity to not only experience some diversity, but to dive deep into it. Through my experience at La Paz it feels as if I can appreciate what the Mexican culture is all about. And the community of Lincoln can also appreciate it.

According to La Paz’s website, they have been “family owned for 26 years a counting,” and have been named “best Mexican restaurant in Lincoln for 15 years and counting.” Lincoln is proud of family-owned businesses. The community of Lincoln cherishes the average Joe, and supports local businesses along with the big franchises and corporations. I believe that without La Paz, Lincoln would lose its unique characteristics. It needs those individual places that provide amazing experiences for its guests so that Lincoln is special for everyone within it.

The owners Rick and Julie Holm pride themselves on their “made from scratch recipes.” And their homemade recipes give that feeling of a meal at grandma’s house every time you take a bite. The taste sensation that each dish I partook there gave me comfort and joy. It felt like a warm hug each time the food touched my taste buds. Not many restaurants in Lincoln provide homemade, from scratch food anymore. This place not only provides a different cultural atmosphere and a family-owned feel. But it also provides each and every guest with a meal that was made with care and special consideration for perfection.

After visiting La Paz Mexican Restaurant I am shocked at howmuch of an affect this had on my views of the community of Lincoln. I feel that through the atmosphere of this place and the cultural diversity it adds to the life of each guest that walks in, a visit to La Paz will change your view of the community of Lincoln and help you realize what an affect this place has on the community. Also the food at this place, the family-owned qualities add to the uniqueness of the community of Lincoln. All of these characteristics of La Paz Mexican Restaurant affect the community of Lincoln, and the people that reside within it. And I feel that without La Paz, the community would be so much different. I can assure you that I will return to La Paz with the hopes to experience this again.
Elijah Frost


Picture source: La Paz 








Caring for Others

Throughout the city of Lincoln, caring for others is evident in the entire community. There are numerous organizations that work specifically to help those who need it. And there are many people who take extra time out of their lives, to improve the lives of others. I feel that this center adds to the feel of the community of Lincoln. When people say that Lincoln is a happy place to live, I can honestly say it is a happy place to stay. In my life, I believe that the main characters of my play are my parents, my brother, and my friends. They make the most impact in my life and have the most influence on the parts of the community of Lincoln I experience every day. I thought that using caring as a center from Hamlet would be a new look on the plot because the center is not extremely evident. It is a more unique project because there isn’t a whole lot of examples of the center of caring throughout Hamlet. In the story, the character Horatio focuses on caring for others and loyalty. In Hamlet, his caring is extremely evident because it is such a different feel than the rest of the story. The entire story is focused on hatred, revenge, selfishness, and power. And only portions of the story really have anything to do with respect and caring for others. I believe that this project will be one of the only projects that is focused on the center of caring.


Help me! I need you!

“Here, sweet Lord, at your service.” “Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man as e’er my conversation coped withal. (Act 3, Scene 2)

I titled this picture “help me! I need you!” because the picture is of an exam room. And when you are visiting an exam room, you are visiting the doctor. And when we visit the doctor we are in need of the help they are able to give us. We come to an exam room when we are sick, and need the support of a professional to get us back to health. Horatio was that doctor for Hamlet. When Hamlet needed someone to care for him and comfort him Horatio was right there waiting. Horatio was ready to care for Horatio whenever he needed him. And he “had his doctorate” in caring for others. Horatio was definitely good at what he did, just as a doctor is good at treating our illnesses. Hamlet even complemented Horatio on his caring in the quote used to caption this picture. “Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man as e’er my conversation coped withal.” What Hamlet is saying here is, you are the best man I’ve ever known. We like to visit doctors we know are good at what they do, just as Hamlet went to Horatio when he needed someone to care for him. He knew Horatio was good at what he did. The table in the picture represents support for Hamlet when Horatio isn’t always there. While Hamlet isn’t around Horatio he can still rely on Horatio’s caring. When we are sick, we can rely on the comfort the exam table can give us if we are in pain when we wait for the doctor to provide the complete caring we need.


Guide me through life

“If your mind dislike anything, obey it. I will forestall their repair hither and say you are not fit.” (Act 5, Scene 2)

If you are in need of some guidance, the guidance center is the place to go. You go to the guidance center when you need someone who cares about your wellbeing, to lead you down a path that will result in positivity. During Hamlet, Horatio was always there for Hamlet just as Mrs. Fredericks is there for all the students at Lincoln Lutheran. Horatio was always willing to care for Hamlet, especially when he was in great need of guidance. Hamlet was facing eventual death when he received the information about the joust, and to protect him Horatio tried to guide Hamlet towards the safer option. He cared so much about Hamlet that he was willing to lie just to protect him. Mrs. Fredericks is always willing to protect our well-being in times of trouble by guiding us towards the proper path. Horatio tried to care for Hamlet and protect him from death. The sign of the guidance center is above everything because in a proper community, caring for others and guiding others should be the top priority. However, in the community in Hamlet does not value caring for others, and guiding others down the right path. Horatio was the only one within the community that valued caring for others. If every character valued caring for others like Horatio did, the characters wouldn’t have all died.


Caring for everyone!

“Hello, sir. God bless you.” “May he bless you, too.” (Act 4, Scene 6)

Through the community outreach team, students at Lincoln Lutheran were blessed to show caring to those in the community of Lincoln who may need it more than others. Horatio was the entire community outreach team for the community within the story of Hamlet. Horatio was a worker for the highest of the high within this community. He had a job working with the King, and he was the prince’s best friend. He definitely was not on the bottom of the totem pole. But that didn’t stop him from caring for all those he encountered. The sailor, who was definitely lower on the socioeconomic pole in comparison to Horatio, came to Horatio. As usual, he used this as an opportunity to care for others no matter what status within the community they withheld. He could have disregarded the comment made by the sailor. But he decided to show a tender caring spirit towards the sailor, and respond with “may he bless you, too.” This is very closely related to the community outreach team because when students go on servant events, they are taking every opportunity they have to care for everyone they encounter. Whether it is through making meals, building a house, or fundraising, the community outreach team takes this time to care for others. Just as Horatio cared for others. He didn’t ask for anything in return. It was out of the goodness of his heart. Just as the community outreach team does. They both receive no benefit, except the warm feeling caring for others bring.


You got a friend in me.

“The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.” “Sir, my good friend; I’ll change that name with you.” (Act 1, Scene 2)

Horatio and Hamlet throughout the entire story were great friends. Horatio’s caring heart fueled the friendship and it is obvious throughout the story, that Horatio’s caring behavior held their relationship together. It took a strong caring mindset to stick to Hamlet as he was crazy throughout the entire story. And Horatio was that exact friend Hamlet needed. As you can see in the picture, there are two friends. And it requires caring for one another to keep a friendship together. What is very interesting is that not only was Horatio a good, caring friend to Hamlet. But he was humble about it, and wasn’t full of himself. And Hamlet respected him for that. Caring, respect, and loyalty are all required in a friendship. And Horatio showed that throughout the entire plot. And it definitely took a lot of caring to make sure Hamlet didn’t get into too much trouble. This quote is found in Act 1, Scene 2. The beginning of the story. Horatio’s caring heart created a center of caring throughout the entire story. Horatio kept the caring center afloat for the entire story, and it began in the beginning. It didn’t grow as the story went on. Just as these two became friends and showed caring towards each other in the beginning of them knowing each other. And that center of caring has fueled the relationship they have now throughout the entire time they have known each other.


I can’t find it!

“Well, my lord. If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing, and ‘scape detecting, I will pay the theft.” (Act 3, Scene 2)

This picture shows things scattered all over the place. And it would be hard to find certain things within this scattered mess. It would be much easier to find specific things if they were laid on the top. In Hamlet, caring for others was scattered throughout the plot, and there weren’t many examples anyways. Horatio seemed to be the only character within the entire community that actually cared for others. For example, the quote used above is one of the only examples of caring for others within the entire act. If the center of caring for others was constant throughout the story it would be much easier for the reader to notice. But because there is so much scattering of this center, it is hard to even notice that it is a theme of the story. For example, the small pack of gum is the center of caring within the story. But the center of hatred, power, and selfishness are the government text book, the ethics notebook, and the government notebook. These centers for example, blanket the other centers like caring for others, friendship and loyalty because they are much more evident and large. But when the centers are scattered, the less obvious centers can get smothered by the more obvious centers. And the small pack of gum can often become lost within the pile. And caring for others becomes less important because it isn’t found. But Horatio’s efforts to care for others shined in scattered areas of the book, just as  the pack of gum is showing its true colors among the other items.