Hello Abigail, Vaishali, Jayde,

I look forward to seeing you organise and present your learning on this page. This is your space to present your notes, assignment work and Text Response Essay SAC.

Vaishali Space

Student: Vaishali Sudan
Text Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green

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Discussion Director
Five open ended questions.
Pp. 1-105

1. Why is Alaska really going to boarding school?
2. What is the “Labyrinth” and how does one escape it?
3. Why is Miles so attracted to Alaska?
4. What kind of feelings does Alaska have towards Pudge (Miles)?
5. Why does't Alaska want to go home?

Connections between the text and the real world.
Pp. 1-199

Text to Text
In Looking for Alaska, Miles is a teenage boy who isn't very popular at his public high school. His character at the start of the book reminds me of the main character Jac from Jac of Hearts by Jenny Mahoney. Just like Pudge (Miles), Jac is her own person, not every social. At the start of the book Miles is shy, socially awkward and doesn’t seem very interested in the small minded people surrounding him. All those characteristics reminded me of Jac. She also was a very reserved person who later upon meeting the right people came out of her shell.
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The text has also made many references to famous personalities biographies, particularly their last words. Some of those personalities include, Simon Bolivar and Henrik Ibsen. Throughout the book there is also a very strong reference to a particular quote from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The General in His Labyrinth;
“He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness. “Damn it,” he sighed. “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?!”
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Text to Self
At Culver Creek Preparatory School many students such as Alaska, Takumi, the Colonel and Pudge indulge in the dangerous luxury of smoking. Even though it is not permitted to smoke at Culver Creek, they go out of their way to make sure they have one whenever it seems necessary. They sneak into the bushes to their “smoking hole” so they do not get caught. Their decisions surrounded smoking reminded me of some of the students at my school. They also have their own spot where they regularly go out to smoke and risks being caught just to fur fill their needs. Of course anyone who smokes has their own reasons; the crew at Culver Creek do and I’m sure the people at MSC do too.
Alaska has an impressive collection of books lining her book shelves in her dorm room which she had called her life’s library; she claimed to read them all one day. Just like Alaska, there are many books I have heard of over the years which I would one day love to read. Whenever I think about reading one, some excuse appears and it gets put off. One day I wish to read all the books that have ever made me curious, especially Shakespeare’s play As You like It.
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Text to World
Looking for Alaska is mostly set at Birmingham Culver Creek Preparatory School is in fact is a real boarding school in Alabama. All around the world boarding schools seem to be an all the familiar thing. Many families and even kids make the decision to go to a boarding school, weather it is to escape their current location, people or like Miles go searching for something, in his case a “great perhaps”.
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In the book the fabulous four made up of Alaska, Miles, Takumi and the Colonel have quite the bad habit of smoking. Many teenagers find themselves getting addicted to cigarettes, in fact research done by The Lung Association showed that each day, between 82,000 and 99,000 young people start smoking around the world. Although this is a huge number, it has slowly been decreasing but of course has not completely died down yet.

Five events that take place, that I think could be illustrated in some way.
Pp. 1-199

1. Miles (Pudge) first arriving at Culver Creek in a hot and muggy summer.
2. The colonel attempting to iron his pink button down dress shirt before dinner with his girlfriend Sara’s parents.
3. Pudge and Alaska laying in the tall grass while sipping out of the one bottle of Strawberry Hill wine while Alaska reads out her favorite passages from Cat’s Cradle.
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4. Takumi, Alaska, Lara, Pudge and the Colonel sitting around a fire at the barn after succeeding in their mission of payback towards the weekend warriors.
5. Pudge kneeling, head down on Alaska’s dark mahogany coloured casket while the Colonel stood over him, tears cascading down his face onto to top of Pudge’s head while soft sobs left Pudge’s mouth.

Literary Luminary
Three special passages from the text and a vocabulary list.
Pp. 1-199

Passage 1: Page 111, from 114 to 115.
Passage 2: Page 136, from 137 to 147.
Passage 3: Page 73, from 79 to 83.
Passage 4: Page 45, from 46 to 47.

World List
1.Gratitude: the feeling of being grateful or thankful.
2. Condescending: showing an attitude of patronizing superiority.
3. Kitchenette: a very small compact kitchen.
4. Cupped: form into a curved, hollow shape.
5. Babylon: an ancient European city.
6. W-2 Form: wage and tax statement.

Looking for Alaska is the debut novel by John Green, released in 2005. It is a unique and touching text. The book is written as one of a young teenager named Miles Halter. Miles life is quite boring and very much ordinary and although for some people all that is enough, for Miles, who’s one wish is to witness a ‘great perhaps’, it simply doesn’t not do. He makes the decision to leave his home town of Florida and makes his way to Alabama to start fresh at Culver Creek Preparatory boarding school. It is there he meets new friends and encounters a fierce green-eyed girl who changes his world. In her labyrinth, Mile’s experiences loss, beauty, forgiveness and friendship that exceed his expectations. Miles, in the end, goes from shy, reserved and unsatisfied from life to being more experienced, knowledgeable and also more capable of dealing with life’s challenges.

When I first picked up Looking for Alaska I wasn’t too sure what to expect out of the book. To be honest I thought the title referred to the place Alaska and that this book would be a light read about the journey of one getting lost around America; I was wrong. Looking for Alaska is the kind of book that makes you second-guess everything you believe in life. It makes you want to experience new things; take risks and rewrites your dreams and beliefs. The way John Green has expressed each and every feeling in the book is truly remarkable. It’s is the type of book that has you hanging onto each and every word, it makes you feel like the people you are reading about aren’t work of fiction, but real people just like yourself. There were many quotes in the book that made me want to grab my highlighter and stain the words; they are so very inspiring and truly make you understand difficult circumstances in life. Looking for Alaska hits you right in the heart and leaves you breathless.

Looking for Alaska can be read and enjoyed by all different kinds of people from all different age groups; it is a flexible text which can teach people both young and old a lot about life. However I this book has more of an impact on younger readers who are closer to the age of the main characters. Reading about first love, loss, excitement and exhilaration from another teenager’s point of view seems to help and appeal more to teenagers as they can relate to many of the feelings and emotions felt only when you are young. We read to know that we are not alone and Looking for Alaska does just that.

Rating; four stars

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Wordle Glossary

1. Absentmindedly: Having or showing a lack of attention.
2. Extricate: To free someone or something from a restraint or difficulty.
3. Adirondack: A mountain range in New York
4. Spawn: The eggs of fish.
5. Nonchalantly: Seeming to be unconcerned or indifferent.
6. Blitzkrieg: A swift, sudden military offense/campaign using air and mobile land forces.
7. Dissipated: Overindulging in sensual pleasure.
8. Encroached: To intrude with someone's personal belongings or life.
9. Cacophonous: Making up harsh or discomforting mixture of sounds.
10. Pleasantries: A remark made as part of a polite conversation.
11. Antagonise: Causing someone to become hostile.
12. Ambrosia: 'The food of the gods.' made up of five parts milk and one part vodka.
13. Hemorrhoids: swollen vein or group of veins in the brain.
14. Haphazardly: To be put in a random order or manner.
15. Monotonous: Lacking enthusiasm, variety or interest.
16. Disconcerting: Causing someone to feel unsetted.
17. Ambiguities: The quality to be open to more than one point of view.
18. Purportedly: Assumed to be something.
19. Enigma: Someone who is mysterious or difficult to understand.
20. Euphemism: A word or phrase used to harsh or mean when referring to something embarrassing or unpleasant.

Abigail's Space by BOO0005MSC

Student: Abigail Booth
Text title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green


John's Green book Looking For Alaska is a marvellous book it is the Story of a guy named Miles Hulter narrating the story of *spoiler* a girl's death. The story of the book is based at the boarding school Culver Creek the main characters are written as believable characters, like when you meet a new person and they give off the best first impression. The main characters are Miles Hulter (Pudge), Chip Martin (Colonel), Alaska Young, Takumi Hikohito and Lara Buterskaya.

Looking for Alaska has a well thought out story, well done John Green. It is a book created with so many highs and lows that this book cannot be suited to just one genre. It reads particularly well on the delicate topics and issue, Looking for Alaska investigates so many topics that young people are dealing with these days. The book deals with new surroundings, peer pressure, depression, suicide, grief and the tragedy of loss.

I would highly recommend this book to be read by others, I don’t believe this book to be assigned to any one person to be able to fall in love with this book or find some sort of connection to it. It has a compelling love story and moments that just pull on the heart strings for female readers. Then on the other side it has mischievous pranks, them just breaking the rules of smoking and drinking and also in detail experiences. But it’s definitely not a book that you’ll be reading to your new born child.
When John Green first began writing his book his intention was for it to be a girl narrating the story of a boy’s death. I'm pleased that in further writing that the roles were reversed, not that I'm happy *spoiler* with the death of Alaska Young but in that the way it panned out it turned into more a compelling story. It opened it up to a story, that as I read the chapter of the book where the tragedy happens to Alaska. It made me unable to continue reading due to the event that had unfolded. Just because of me in shock and simply me just crying.
The thing that I believe the book does differently was that in most books, when a death occurs at the end of the book is usually where the story ends. But the book makes you pick up the pieces and continue reading. The upside to it all is that most of your questions at the end of a book do get answered and you hear the stories behind why and understand. Overall this a great thought provoking book that I'm sure anyone would enjoy, if you gave it a chance. I gave this book a rating of 5 stars.

Character Analysis


Wordle: Glossary

Endeavour: Try hard to do or achieve something.

Labyrinth: A complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one's way; a maze.

Ambrosia: From Greek Roman mythology "food of the gods".

Antagonize: Cause someone to become hostile.

Condescend: To show that one feels superior, or to be patronizing to another.

Nostalgia: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

Nonchalantly: Feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm.

Incorrigible: Of a person or their behaviour not able to be changed or reformed.

Insubordination: Defiance of authority; refusal to obey orders.

Pretentious: Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.

List of Favourite Quotes

“When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

Why: I love this quote from the book because it has the ability to end the book so well, still ripping at your emotions. Then with this quote I just connect to so many different parts of it, this quote speaks truth.

“What the hell is that?" I laughed.
"It's my fox hat."
"Your fox hat?"
"Yeah, Pudge. My fox hat."
"Why are you wearing your fox hat?" I asked.
"Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.”

Why: I like this part of the book because it elaborates into Takumi's character and he is such a wonderful playful character. Also it is a very entertaining part in the book.

“They love their hair because they're not smart enough to love something more interesting.”

Why: This quote is used in the sense that there is much bigger and greater things to consul in then to their hair. It's said in that they don't have the capacity to love or believe something greater than an aspect that revolves around them. Or in fact something that is just materialistic.

“Sometimes I don't get you,' I said.
She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, 'You never get me. That's the whole point.”

Why: I thoroughly enjoy this quote, it's practically she believes that she knows that she is impossible to understand when she clearly fully doesn't understand herself. In example you want me to help you understand for you to try to help but when you don't even understand yourself.

Words and images of things I believe the text will relate to:
Alaska, a girl, First Friend, First Girl, Last Words, Teen angst, Loss, Love

Related Images:

Discussion Director
Come up with 5 open-ended questions about the section of the text you have just read. Pp. 53

1. I wonder how Sara truly feels about the Colonel in the end deciding to not go on their date with her and her parents to the opera.
2. Was it necessary or either reasonable for Pudge to be sent out of class that day for only staring out the window.
3. What is the full story behind Alaska’s home life, there has been hints but would like to know the full story.
4. Is Pudge morally okay with liking Alaska while she has feelings for another to that she is dating Jake?
5. Does Pudge carry more judgement to the person by their last words or to how they lived?

In 4 sentences that use connecting words, explain connections that you can see between the section of text you have just read and the real world. Pg: 116

Text to World

To what I would insist to connect this to would have to be to our generation, not to generalize it but yes. To what I mean to connect this too is to the character Alaska, of the topic of her situation and our teens today. I connect this to her situation and what she’s going through. Alaska is dealing with the passing of her mother from a tragic incident due to an aneurysm and now with her Dad being a single parent and practically living in a broken home. Many people today have loss several family members and friends to tragic disease like so have I. Alaska is also concurring her own demons by drinking and smoking to control her own demons inside her and baring the feeling of that she has just screwed up one too many time. So many people today in our society are dealing with this inner turmoil on an everyday bases.

Text to Text

When connecting it to a text I have read before I would connect to the Manga series Genkaku Picasso that book has a supernatural side but I'm not connecting to that. This book connects to Looking for Alaska by the similarities with Picasso and Pudge they both struggled with the same set backs loneliness, lack of confidence, a feeling of not being accepted and both a passion for something. But both in their own find the first group of people who accept their qualities and talents. But as cheerful as that all sounds they do connect on a similar saddening moment. In the book Picasso he loses one of his dearest friends and seals away his after not being able to accept the deaf of Chiaki. In Looking for Alaska after Alaska dies in a tragic car accident Pudge is in termoil of the fact of being gone with out every telling her how he felt, or never knowing how Alaska felt.

Text to Self

As me connecting this to my self, I would connect by on how Pudge is feeling that day when Alaska just lied in his arms crying. By this new experience Pudge didn't have a full understanding for her tears but wanted to be there for her. I connect this by the over growing statistics of depression in today's population and to people who are close to me. I don't need to here the entire story but people will give the love and support to help you and solve this epidemic. This is also to how it effects people on the outer Pudge felt by the choices of Alaska, Pudge presumed he felt that this person he had become so close to had not even who he believed to know. From the act of to when they believed Alaska to committed suicide it left Pudge with all these questions that he would never have answers to and began to believe he must of never knew her. I listened to this from a you tuber "If you thinking of committing suicide just don't do it, you're going to leave all the people you love with all these questions of what and why, I still ask these questions in therapy".

Choose 5 events that take place in the section of text you have just read, that you think could be illustrated in some way. List your choices in chronological order.

1. The Colonel and Pudge’s dorm room with their coffee table that is actually box with the word "coffee table" written on it.
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2.Their classes that they all share together.

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3. The Colonel, Pudge, Alaska and Takumi around the smoking hole.
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4. Pudge with his family on Christmas day all sitting around the dinner table, back at home.
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5. The Colonel, Pudge, Alaska, Lara and Takumi all gathered around the barn playing best day, worst day. After their pre-prank against the weekend warriors.
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Literary Luminary
Select 4 special passages from this section of your reading. You might select a passage because it is, humorous, well written, important, surprising, thought provoking, informative, confusing, controversial or other.
Passage 1: Pg: 99. From 99 to 117.
Passage 2: Pg: 202. From 202 to 207
Passage 3: Pg: 153. From 153 to 155
Passage 4: Pg: .123 From 123 to 149

Word List:
Record 5 words from your selected passages and look up and write down their definitions
Precisely: In exact terms; without vagueness.
Condescending: Having or showing an attitude of patronizing superiority.
Quizzically: Suggesting puzzlement; questioning.
Aneurysm: An excessive localized swelling of the wall of an artery.
Emotionless: Not showing any emotion; unemotional.

Jayde space
Come up with 5 open ended questions about the section of text you just read. Pp.118-230
1. Did Alaska kill herself on purpose?
2. Why did Alaska kiss Pudge?
3. Did Pudge & Colonel kill Alaska?
4. Where was Alaska driving to when she was in the accident?
5. What were Alaska's last words?

In 4 sentences that use connecting words, explain connections that you can see between the section of text you have just read & the real world:

Text to Text

I can't really connect this piece with a text i have read. I don't really read often, if anything it kind of reminds me of things you see in the papers, like when there was a freak car accident & lives were lost. You never really think how it effects the family & friends. The person that passed was an actual person with actual feelings. You feel sorry for the family & friends, but never really stop to think about what it would be like if that person was one of your friends or family members.

Text to Self

If i was to relate this text to my life personally, i would connect it to the part where they are called into the gym to be told about Alaska's death. It reminds me of when a close friend of mine passed away & i found out through social network, i just kept running through my head that i was never going to see her again, then after that it was similar to Colonels reaction, a lot of screaming & crying. I could hardly keep myself up right, I had to sit down because it was so hard to stay standing. When you lose someone close to you, there isn't really a rule book on how to deal with it, you just have to kind of go through things as they come along.

Text to World

I hate to point it out, but teens smoking, doing drugs, self harming, drinking & other damaging things are way to common. It is getting ridiculous, seeing teenagers walking down the street with their infant children because they were too drunk or too out of it to remember contraception. But i guess that is just how us teens deal with things these days. Alaska drank & smoked away her troubles, as do many people i know. It is a way of escaping the real world i guess, I don't really have any right to say i understand. But it is obvious that Alaska was going though some pretty serious stuff & as she didn't really open up to anyone, she just kept it all inside until she exploded like when she cried to Pudge, or when she came into the room screaming because of something she had forgotten. But there are so many people who do the same, it shows that even though the support is available to them, they might not want to burden others with their problems or they are just simply to scared to ask for help.

Book Review;
I don’t know how to write this review. I don’t think I was really prepared for this book I read this one last, but this is actually his first and all I have to say about this is: REALLY? This is John Green’s first book? Holy $£%^! Expletives aside, I was expecting something I didn't get, but what I got was so much better. This is probably his most serious and thoughtful book which is to say a lot, because all of his books are to some extent, serious and thoughtful. It is also a painful book to read but I didn’t know how much until the halfway mark when BAM, surprise, surprise and this is partly what makes this review a difficult one to write because Looking for Alaska is a book that can’t be spoiled and I therefore, can’t discuss some parts of the story the way I would have wanted – but I believe this is for the Ultimate Good because this is a Wonderful Book!
Are these Grandiose Exclamations with Capital Letters really a necessity, you might be asking yourself, to wit, I say, yes, yes they are and they are actually quite fitting as well, given as how this book deals with the meaning of life, with guilt and grief, with last words and first loves; all from the point of view of Miles Halter, 16 year old, a skinny, nerdy guy. He is friendless, lonely, and his greatest quirk is to read biographies in search of last words. François Rabelais’s is:
“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” and is in search of his Great Perhaps that Miles decides to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School where he hopes to start anew. There he makes friends with his roommate Chip, aka “the Colonel” (who immediately starts calling Miles, Pudge) , a guy named Takumi and their best friend, a girl called Alaska Young. Alaska is the wild, beautiful, intelligent, moody, mysterious, unattainable girl whom Miles falls irrevocably in love with.