Thursday, January 17, 2008

Top Ten List Blog

Top 10 List for A Charmed Life by Liza Campbell
Father’s Problems
Through out the book her father battles alcoholism which leads to domestic violence, and anger management and financial problems. Alcoholism is the main focus in which she talks about her father in the book. In the book she describes her father with a drink in his, passed out from drinking, or drunk. His drinking worsens with money problems and having to have tours by visitors in their home to make money. When the alcoholism worsened violence wasn’t far behind. He was always attempting to put karate moves on his wife while he was under the influence.

Cawdor Castle
This is the one of the main settings in the book. It was one of her two homes that she grew up in. Cawdor Castle is located in Nairn, Scotland. It was passed down from each Thane of Scotland. It was originally built in 1454 by the first thane of Scotland William. Its claim to fame was that Shakespeare based one of his most famous plays off the castle Macbeth.

Liza Campbell
She is the author of the book A Charmed Life and she is telling the story about her childhood growing up in that type of royalty. She was the daughter of the 25th Thane of Scotland. She grew up between two castles in Scotland and attended boarding school for most of her education. After she grew up she lived in Kenya with her husband and had two children, but years later divorced him.

Parents Divorce
Her parents divorce was both a happy and sad experience for the family. After years of fighting, cheating and silence between the two her mother finally compiled enough courage to leave her husband after being married for 22 years. The children had been waiting for this so they could finally stop worrying that their mom would be endangered. The sad part of this was their family became more disconnected after this. Holidays were never the same after that because they were split between their parents homes.

Thanes of Scotland
Liza Campell’s father was the 25th Thane of Cawdor. A thane had the same ranking of the son of nobleman’s or also known as a lord in the feudal system. The first thane of Cawdor was Donald who became the thane in the year 1295. After he father died her brother Colin became the 26th thane but they no longer live in the Cawdor Castle because it is now used as museum.

Boarding School
Liza’s education consisted of going to multiple boarding schools over the years. She was first sent to boarding school she was about 8 years old. Her older sister Emma also attended the same boarding school as her Hanford. In the first few months there Liza had gotten terribly sick with hay fever. Then when she was 11 she was sent to another boarding school this time without her sister with her called Cobham Hall an all girls school. She graduated early from Cobham Hall.

Family Vacations
This memory of Liza’s was her favorite and one of the only happy one’s of her whole family together having fun. Every year they would go up north to visit their grandparents. They would always leave in the night time so they could drive while the kids were sleeping which of course didn’t happen. The trip took about 11 hours to get there and the children were only allowed to ask “are we nearly there”(106) 5 times during their trip. During the trip they would sleep and wave to cars and make silly faces at them.

One year when Liza came home from boarding school because it was the holidays she found someone new staying with them. Her father had hired a martial arts teacher to teach him and live with them. His name was Tia Honsai and he taught her father a special type of martial arts aikido. This type was of marital arts was used for defending and to give the energy to the defender’s side.

Death of Grandfather
The death of her grandfather Jack happened when Liza was about 9 and attending Hanford. The death of her grandfather came as a shock when he died suddenly of a heart attack. Her grandfather’s funeral was the first funeral Liza had gone to. The funeral was very large and tons of people attended because he was the 24th Thane of Cawdor, which made her father then next thane of Cawdor. This is the start of her father’s problems because of his new job and responsibility.

Life After Cawdor
After she moved away from Cawdor she went to live in Kenya where her sister Emma and her husband David. While exploring a little village Shela with Emma and David she met her future husband to be Will. After falling in love with Kenya and Willie she decided to live there after it took awhile in contacting her family to tell them the news. She and Willie spent a couple of months exploring Egypt and got to learn more about the religion Islam. Then they moved to a remote island where they didn’t have a telephone and to fish for food everyday. They had two children and a couple of years later they got divorced. Now she lives in London, England with her children.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Outside Reading 7 Post B

Personal Reaction:
This final section of the book wrapped up her feelings about her father, and said that even though he had his flaws, he also had his good qualities as well. Overall this book in my opinion was kind of dull, and very repetitive. She talked endlessly about her hate towards her father, and is having a hard time letting go of her terrible childhood. Then she would go into these boring sections about her family tree which dated back into the 1200’s which was very confusing at parts and very complicated. Although in the end she talks about how she moved on from her life at Cawdor, and found a new life away from it all. She realized she could sort of start her life over in a way, and start her own family. Her father’s life ends which you would expect would make her feel relieved, but they never really cleared ends, or forgive and forget. When she found out her father had died it was days after his death because she had been living with her family in a remote island in Kenya. So she missed her own father’s funeral, and goes to visit and finds out her father left everything to his new wife, and leaves a fountain pen to each of his daughters and one house to his only son. So as I said before overall the book was kind of dull, and complicated but had some good messages that everyone could relate to in their own life.

Outside Reading 7 Post A

absconding: to leave suddenly, or secretively(297)
primogeniture: first born child of a family with the same parents(307)

Emergering Theme:
One theme that has been emerging in this section is that even though there are rough patches in life, you can get through them and move on with your life.

Outside Reading 6 Post B

Personal Reaction:
This section was very similar to the other sections in this book. It talks extensively about her father’s abuse of alcohol, and his mistreatment of his family. I have found this book to be very repetitive and focusing just on her father, and expressing her anger towards him over and over again. Although she did talk about her school in this section she talks a little bit more about it. Her parents weren’t really involved in her education, but she was very successful and graduated a year early, but was very uncertain of her future. During those years her mother finally gathered enough courage to leave her husband, and his problems behind. Liza was relieved that her mother and her family was now safe, and they could partially move on from in their lives. Also they learned much more about their father, and his affairs he had while he was married to her mother. Now these “affairs” didn’t have to be private because he was no longer married. He had a couple of women which he rotated and of course didn’t know about each other, which was typical of her father. But finally he settled down again and remarried one of the affairs and her name was Angelika. The most difficult thing about the separation of her parents was holidays and splitting them up between her parents. Her father made things difficult once again her in life, but fighting over that would spend Christmas Eve with him, or Christmas Day. Her father once again was making her life difficult, and couldn’t seem to spend one minute thinking about his family rather than himself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Outside Reading 6 Post A

exasperated: to annoy or irrate alot(235)
ethereal: delicate, light, heavenly(247)

Figurative Language:
"As if she was a parrot in a comedy sketch"(235)
This is an example of a simile because it uses like or as to compare two unlike things.