Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?

Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?

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Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?

In the contemporary world, advancement in technology has modified the learning environment. Education was predominantly delivered in the confinement of a classroom in the past. However, owing to the lifestyles and availability of internet communication devices such as smartphones and personal computers, students are increasingly enrolling in online courses. Academic institutions also embrace the trend in order to meet both the demand and interests of learners. Accordingly, there is a need to establish whether online education is as effective as the traditional face-to-face type of pedagogy.  Although face-to-face learning enables interactions among students and educators, e-learning is equally good not only for its convenience and flexibility but also because learners show similar or better performance.

Online learning is easily accessible. Typically, in the face-to-face format, students travel to their academic institutions to attend classwork. However, traveling raises transportation issues. Jaggars claims that most learners live a long distance from the school and do not possess a car or have to share one (6). Even though some have or share a vehicle, the frequent trips to campus require a person to purchase gasoline, which is costly.  In contrast, provided that a student has access to the internet, they can engage with their instructors online at the comfort of working at home or from any geographic location (Jaggars 7). Thus, online learning reduces transport cost and enables students to access education from any location.

Electronic learning also allows flexibility. While some students are employed on a full-time basis, others have unpredictable schedules working either during the day or at night. Some learners have other responsibilities such as parenting (Jaggars 6). Owing to the busy scheduling, it is inevitable that the students should enroll in online courses to pursue their profession. Furthermore, a group of learners believes that a lot of time is wasted in face-to-face classes either because of the instructor’s choices or disruption caused by other students (Jaggars 7). Kemp and Grieve also pose that students prefer to complete learning activities online at their own time (5-6). Accordingly, the busy schedules necessitate people to learn through the internet.

Ultimately, students show similar performance in both settings. Most studies establish that there is no significant difference between students’ achievement in the face-to-face and online learning formats. For instance, Nguyen reveals that about 92% of all the studies, investigating the research topic, pose that e-learning is as effective as or better than face-to-face format (315). On one hand, learners report that they are able to provide good results when they experience student-to-student and instructor-to-student interactions. Others believe that e-learning encourages self-directed learning resulting in better achievements (Kemp & Grieve 8). Nonetheless, the studies reveal that learners achieve well in both settings.

Learning through the internet is as good as the face-to-face form of education. While face-to-face format necessitates students to attend classroom, e-learning reduces the frequency of visiting the academic institutions and lessens transportation costs. Moreover, some learners have other responsibilities such as parenting and working. Online learning offers a flexible schedule enabling people to attend to other activities and embark on learning at their own convenience. Ultimately, studies concerning the difference between learner’s performances in the two cases establish either equivalent or better achievement in online learning as compared to face-to-face format. Thus, e-learning is as good as face to face learning.

Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?

Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?

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Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?

Technological advancements have contributed to the widespread use of cell phones. Over the years, people have adopted the use of mobile phones to execute specific tasks. The discovery of Smartphones has transformed the access to sources of knowledge in diverse fields. It is possible to retrieve large volumes of information from the Internet. One of the areas where cellphones have had significant impact is the education sector. Mobile devices have provided many opportunities for learning. The use of these devices coupled with modern technology has replaced the traditional ways of learning. Cellphones have proved to be essential tools in the classroom. As educational tools, mobile phones can be used in a variety of ways.

One of the ways in which cellphones act as educational tools is by connecting students to the resources they need. Phones are useful in the classroom since students can use them to capture pictures, especially for courses involving visuals. Moreover, it is possible for learners to take a video their teachers demonstrating concepts. Students can later refer to these records during their studies. Teachers can utilize phones to keep the students engaged. For instance, some websites allow students to take part in interactive activities where they answer questions related to the course contents. Cellphones also enable students to access information from websites. Learners can conduct research about their respective subjects by browsing the Internet, which has a lot of resourceful data (Zaphiris and Loannou 305).

Cellphones can also work as educational tools by enhancing access by students who are unable to attend classes physically. In the recent past, online classrooms have become common. Learners who cannot manage to pursue their education through the traditional setting may opt to study at the comfort of their homes. This is mostly the case for individuals who are studying and at the same time working. For such students, it is possible to pursue studies based on their schedule. Since mobile phones are portable, learners do not necessarily need to be present in the classroom or learning institution. Rather, they can access the class materials and complete assignments while at home. Besides, there is increased access for students in remote areas (Tynan, Willems, and James 115).

The third way in which mobile phones act as educational tools is through facilitating discussion forums. Teachers and students alike can make use of some features in Smartphones such as ‘chat’ to initiate an online discussion. This encourages students to participate in topics even after classes. As a result, their understanding of concepts is enhanced since they engage in thorough discussions. Learners can tackle a topic with or without the help of their teacher. Students can also form discussion groups and contribute towards class work assigned to them by the teacher. Further, teachers can code links; this enables learners to access further resources and solutions to tasks covered in the classroom (Mallia 86).

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the advent of cellphones has significantly changed the education sector. Students and teachers consider mobile phones as essential learning tools, both inside and outside the classroom setting. Access to important education materials is done using cellphones. Students can get a lot of information regarding their course content by conducting a Google search. In addition, there is ease of access for students who cannot manage to visit the classroom or their respective learning institutions. Online classes have enabled learners in rural areas to attend classes while at home. Mobile phones have also enabled students to have efficient class discussions.

How Early is Too Early for an iPhone?

How Early is Too Early for an iPhone?

Keeping Children Safe: How Early is Too Early for an iPhone?

 

Futurists, authors, and other creatives alike have long cautioned against the overpowering effects of new technology. Conrad Gesner, a 16th-century Swiss scientist, worried about the over saturation of information after the birth of the first printing press, saying that there was a “confusing and harmful abundance of books,” (qtd. in Blair 11). There are modern threads of this type of thinking when it comes to the most prevalent technological advancement of today, the iPhone. One of the biggest risks that children can face while using a smartphone is contact with possibly traumatic, age-inappropriate content, and children younger than 12 should only use an iPhone under strict, parental supervision.

In a study on the online habits of children ages 9 to 16 in the UK, it was found that nearly 25% of children had seen sexually inappropriate images in the last year (Livingstone et al. 8). As well as seeing inappropriate things online, young children are also at risk of contacting strangers that could be harmful on social media sites. According to the study, almost 20% of children online talk to people they’ve never met in real life. (Livingstone et al. 8).

Aside from safety issues, child development scientists have real concerns about the effects of smartphones on children’s mental growth. In a review of the benefits and challenges of early childhood smartphone usage, Radesky et al. outline the dangers of apps replacing valuable

human interaction. They assert that while educational apps can provide much-needed introductions to reading and phonics, they can also take away from the rich language learning that happens when children interact with their parents or caregivers (Radesky et al. 2). These interactions form the basis of a child’s language learning, socialization, and emotional connection with parents. It’s also difficult to assess what “educational” means in terms of apps for children, and because there’s no unifying body that gives out this designation, developers could label any app as educational to get more downloads.

One last issue with smartphone usage under the age of 12 is lost play time that occurs when children are attached to their screens. What most people don’t realize is that time spent being active as a child is a good indicator for the likeliness of adulthood or even childhood obesity. A study on children from different countries and their time spent being sedentary or using a smartphone by LeBlanc et al. had startling results. It was found that there was a high correlation between children’s screen time and their BMI (LeBlanc et al. 4). Children that spent more time playing were found to be radically healthier than their technologically inclined peers.

Smartphones come with a lot of responsibility and risks and are unsuitable for children under 12. Children can face many risks by having constant access to a screen and the web, such as being exposed to explicit content, facing developmental delays and missing out on critical learning milestones, to becoming obese from lack of playtime. By the time a child reaches the age of 12, with the right instruction, they should be responsible enough to mitigate these risks with the help of their parents. By understanding the limits of the iPhone and taking precautions against the risks that it can face for small children, parents and others can raise informed, responsible smartphone users.

Should Companies Collect Information About You?

Should Companies Collect Information About You?

Should Companies Collect Information About You?

In the modern world, the widespread use of smartphones, tablets, and personal computers ensures the consumption of data by almost every user. The metadata of a user’s activity: their search and browsing histories, time of activity, and even location, is often collected and analyzed by browsers and websites for targeted advertisement, improvement of search engine performance, and content recommendation. While it is inevitable that some of this data will be used by user-interface platforms to improve ease of access, speed, and performance, with no limitation or regulation, these companies have access to private information. Limiting the data these companies are able to access may hinder the performance and accessibility of some platforms, but the privacy of this information outweighs the benefits of its unmitigated use; data collection on users on this grand scale must be restricted or at least made explicitly opt-in in a user-friendly manner.

Privacy concerns from a decade ago may have been about social security numbers and credit card information, but this has now expanded to include shopping preferences, home addresses, and even exact daily routines. A study done at Vanderbilt University on Google’s data collection found that over ninety requests per hour were sent from an Android platform phone during a typical day of use, including an average of one location request roughly every three minutes (Schmidt 24). These are able to provide a user’s location, accurately, down to the individual floor they are on in a multi-story building (Schmidt 11). While this information is necessary for the use and traffic updates of Google’s navigation application, Google Maps, it also informs Google’s Location API, which in turn informs Google’s Ad Personalization, providing location based advertisements for stores nearby the user (Schmidt 28). Additionally, Google’s email service, Gmail, has scanned through contents of emails both sent and received by users in order to further inform Ad Personalization, though this was officially reported to have been discontinued in 2017 (Schmidt 29, 30). The main purposes of Google’s data collection may be improvement of their platforms and ad personalization, but the amount of personal data it collects is alarming.

Search engines and web browsing platforms are not the only companies collecting data on its users. This year, Facebook was involved in a scandal with political-profiling company, Cambridge Analytica, in which user information, such as page likes, content likes, and other user behaviors were collected on over fifty million accounts, almost all of them without the user’s consent. This information was used to target digital campaign ads, model voter turnouts, and determine locations with the highest efficacy for campaigning. Additionally, this data may still be in the company’s possession despite orders to destroy it, as a former employee reported “hundreds of gigabytes on Cambridge servers, and that the files were not encrypted” (Rosenberg et al, “Trump Consultants”). Though it is no secret that social media is not a private documentation of our lives, the accessibility of this data to third-parties raises concerns, as psychological profiling through social media has emerged as a new marketing strategy.

A third major sector of companies collect personal data: online shopping. Whether it is Amazon tracking a user’s pageviews to advertise “products you may like”, or websites for otherwise brick-and-mortar stores, such as Torrid or Target, providing options to ship online products to local stores based on location information, online shopping outlets collect data and profile customers to increase sales. Algorithms used by these companies track purchase history, pageviews, account information, and spending habits to deliver more relevant advertisements, but there is a growing fear that this profiling done by these companies may be used to determine medical risk or exploit user systems, thereby reducing privacy rights of internet consumers (Carlozo, “Online Retailers”). Though there have been no major breaches of privacy through online retailers yet, the increasing data collection by these companies posits credible threats to users.

Catch 22 Summary

Catch 22 Summary

Catch 22 Summary

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Setting

Catch 22 is set in Pianosa, a small island off the coast of Italy.

Main characters

John “Yo-Yo” Yossarian- he is the novel’s protagonist. Yossarian is a captain in the US Army Air Force who becomes tired of flying dangerous missions.

Chaplain Tappman- he is the group’s chaplain. Tappman is a shy man who loves his wife and family, loves God, and wonders what exactly he is to do in the military.

Doc Daneeka- he is the group’s medic. Daneeka is not allowed to ground soldiers on account of insanity, according to orders issued by Cathcart.

Chief White Halfoat and Flume- he is A Native American soldier and assistant to Captain Black.

Aarfy- he is a former fraternity man in college.

Milo Minderbinder- is the group’s mess officer. Milo ends up starting a business that delivers black-market goods throughout the Mediterranean.

Colonel Cathcart- he is Yossarian’s chief antagonist

Colonel Korn- he is Cathcart’s assistant. Korn makes most of the strategic decisions that Cathcart then claims are his own.

Generals Dreedle and Peckem- are commanders of distinct units of the Italian campaign in the US Army Air Force.

Plot Summary

Yossarian is in the hospital with a fake liver ailment, is visited by a chaplain named Tappman. The chaplain feels uncomfortable talking to most officers, but Yossarian is kind to him and invites him to return in the future. Yossarian asks Doc Daneeka, the group’s medic if he can be grounded from flying on account of insanity. Yossarian is sane enough to ask to be grounded; he is sane enough to fly. Only those crazy enough to want to fly are crazy enough to be grounded.

Cathcart, the Colonel in charge of the group, keeps raising the number of missions required for soldiers to be sent home. Yossarian believes this is unjust, but Cathcart and his assistant Korn do not care. Korn merely wants a promotion to Cathcart’s job, and Cathcart wants to be made general, replacing Dreedle and Peckem, the two warring commanders in charge of the Italian campaign. Dreedle is mostly concerned with his mistress, and Peckem does not care what gets bombed so long as bombs fall in an appealing “bomb pattern” for documentary photographs.

Cathcart signs the men up for a dangerous mission over Bologna. In this mission, Yossarian has a close brush with death, as his plane is nearly downed by enemy fire, and he runs off to Rome where he meets a woman named Luciana, with whom he spends a single night. Soldiers begin dying or disappearing on a more regular basis. Dunbar, another friend of Yossarian’s, is “disappeared” by the military brass, for his complaints about unnecessary bombing runs. Orr has to crash land his damaged plane in the Mediterranean Sea and floats away on a raft. McWatt, buzzing the camp once more, kills Kid Sampson by accident and, in recognition of this, flies his plane into a mountain. Nately, Havermeyer, and Dobbs are killed on the same mission.

Meanwhile, the chaplain has been crusading on behalf of Yossarian, to send the pilots who have flown enough missions home. Cathcart, Korn, and other higher-ups rebuff the chaplain. Government officials investigating the group for supposed forgeries of letters settle on the chaplain as their prime suspect. He is tortured and threatened with imprisonment, but later set free. Although the chaplain’s faith is tested throughout, he eventually decides that he does believe in God and that only by standing up to Cathcart, Korn, and other superiors will he aid the soldiers with whom he serves.

As Yossarian’s friends die, he begins to feel it is genuinely unjust for Cathcart to raise the number of required missions, especially since the war is almost over, and many missions are no longer militarily necessary. After a final visit to Rome, which is now devastated by war, Yossarian says he will no longer fly. Cathcart and Korn offer him two options: court-martial, which would place him in prison, or a deal sending him home. The deal’s only catch is simple: Yossarian must pretend to like his commanding officers.

Although Yossarian is tempted by this deal, the chaplain subtly convinces him that it would be unfair to his fellow men. Yossarian thus finds a way to escape his Catch-22 altogether: he will no longer fly, nor will he be a lackey to his commanding officers. He resolves to flee to Sweden, where he believes Orr now lives, to wait out the end of the conflict.

The Hobbit Summary

The Hobbit Summary

The Hobbit Summary

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Setting

The Hobbit is set in middle-earth, a fantasy land created by the author.

Main characters

Bilbo Baggins- is the protagonist in the novel. Bilbo initially seems content with his peaceful life in hobbit-town, but Tolkien hints that he secretly desires adventure and excitement.

Gandalf- is the old wizard who recruits Bilbo for a quest. Gandalf is enormously wise, resourceful, and helpful to the dwarves during their journey to the Lonely Mountain, frequently saving their lives.

Thorin Oakenshield- is the leader of the thirteen dwarves traveling to the Lonely Mountain.

Smaug- he is a dragon who heard of the treasure amassed by the dwarves of The Kingdom under the Mountain and then proceeded to attack and expel the dwarves from their former home.

The Elvenking- he is The leader of the wood-elves, who imprisons Thorin and the dwarves and later marched to the Lonely Mountain to claim a part of the treasure after Smaug’s death.

Plot Summary

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who lives in a large, comfortable underground house in the Shire and has no interest in adventures. One day, he encounters Gandalf, a wizard who knew Bilbo’s scandalously adventurous grandfather. Though he is uncomfortable that Gandalf talks about Bilbo joining an adventure, Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea the next day. During tea, Gandalf brings with him thirteen dwarves, lead by Thorin Oakenshield, who are trying to reclaim their ancestral home and treasure under the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. Gandalf and the dwarves offer Bilbo one-fourteenth of their treasure in return for his serving as their burglar. Bilbo does not explicitly consent to this agreement, but he is excited by the dwarves’ stories of treasure.

The next day, Gandalf tells Bilbo that he must meet the dwarves at the local tavern. Bilbo rushes there and finds himself traveling with Gandalf and the dwarves on their quest to the Lonely Mountain. Shortly thereafter, Gandalf goes missing, it starts to rain, and the dwarves see a light in the distance. Bilbo goes to investigate the light and finds three trolls eating their supper. The trolls catch Bilbo, but he slips free. The trolls then capture the thirteen dwarves. Gandalf imitates the sounds of the trolls’ voices, leading them to fight for so long that the sun rises and turns them to stone. The dwarves free themselves and find two swords. Bilbo finds a large knife that will work as a sword for him, too.

The group rests in the Elven city of Rivendell under the care of the elf-lord Elrond. While there, they learn that they will be able to enter a secret passageway on the side of the Lonely Mountain on the first day of the dwarf New Year. They travel through the Misty Mountains, where they are all imprisoned by goblins, except for Gandalf who escapes. Bilbo and the dwarves are taken before the Great Goblin, but Gandalf reappears, slays the Great Goblin, and frees Bilbo and the dwarves. In the ensuing flight from the goblins, Bilbo falls down a cavern and loses consciousness.

Bilbo reawakens in a dark cavern and finds a ring lying on the ground. Not long after he encounters a treacherous creature, Gollum, with whom he holds a riddle-telling competition: if Gollum wins, he eats Bilbo; if Bilbo wins, Gollum shows him the way out. Bilbo wins the competition, but Gollum goes to find his ring, which makes the wearer invisible so that he can kill Bilbo. When Gollum discovers the ring is missing he is enraged and plans to kill Bilbo. But Bilbo accidentally puts on the ring and realizes that the ring makes him invisible when Gollum, searching for him, ends up rushing right past him. Bilbo follows Gollum out of the cave and eludes goblins to escape from the Misty Mountains.

Bilbo reunites with Gandalf and the dwarves, who are impressed with his talent for deception and concealment. As they travel down from the mountains, they are forced to hide in some trees from some wargs. When a fire breaks out, Gandalf summons the giant eagles, who agree to take the group to the Carrock, where they stay with the shape-shifter Beorn. Gandalf reveals that he must leave Bilbo and the dwarves as they begin the next stage of their quest through the dangerous Mirkwood forest. Despite Gandalf and Beorn’s advice to stay on the path at all costs, Bilbo and the dwarves are lured off the path by the sight of wood-elves eating a feast.

Candide Summary

Candide Summary

Various real and fictional locations in Europe and South America

Main Characters

Candide- he is the novel’s protagonist. Candide is a simple man with good judgment and a pure heart, who spends time in search of his beloved Cunégonde.

Cunégonde- she is a beautiful young woman and daughter of the Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh.

Pangloss- he is Candide’s teacher, a philosopher who follows the teachings of the philosopher Leibniz.

The Young Baron- he is Cunégonde’s brother and the heir to the Barony of Thunder-ten-tronckh.

Farmer- he is an old farmer who offers a meal to Candide, Martin, and Pangloss at the end of the novel.

Plot Summary

Candide is a young man who lives in the Barony of Thunder-ten-tronckh. There, he is instructed by the philosopher Pangloss, whose doctrine is that we live in “the best of all possible worlds.” One day, the Baron’s daughter Cunégonde comes across Pangloss having sex with Paquette, her mother’s chambermaid. Inspired, she approaches Candide, intending to do the same. Unfortunately, the two are caught kissing. Furious, the Baron kicks Candide out of Thunder-ten-tronckh. Candide wanders from place to place and is eventually tricked by two Bulgarian soldiers into joining their army. He performs well in military exercises but flees like a coward in the first battle.

Candide makes his way to Holland because he has heard it is a rich country. There, he begs for money, generally without success. The wife of a Protestant orator dumps a chamber pot over his head after he refuses to say that the Pope is the Antichrist. Eventually, he is taken in by the altruistic Anabaptist Jacques. Shortly thereafter, he comes across Pangloss, who is ill with syphilis. Jacques takes Pangloss in and also pays for his cure. Pangloss loses an eye and an ear to the disease but survives. The three travel to Lisbon, debating philosophically on the voyage there.

As soon as they reach the Bay of Lisbon, there is a terrible storm. The ship sinks, and Jacques the Anabaptist dies. Pangloss and Candide float to shore, but as soon as they land, the terrible Lisbon Earthquake takes place, killing thousands. Candide and Pangloss survive but are soon after arrested by the Inquisition, which is holding an auto-da-fé; a public festival for the punishment of heretics in an attempt to prevent future earthquakes. Candide is publicly whipped, and Pangloss is hung. Candide despairs, beginning to doubt Pangloss’s optimistic philosophy.

An old woman approaches Candide and leads him to a house in the country. There, he is reunited with Cunégonde, who is being sexually shared by the Grand Inquisitor and a Jewish merchant named Don Issachar. Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor both enter the house shortly after thereafter, and Candide kills each one as he enters. Candide, Cunégonde, and the old woman flee all the way to Buenos Aires in South America, where Candide is put in charge of a military company mustered for the war against the rebelling Jesuits in Paraguay. The Governor, Don Fernando, wants to keep Cunégonde as his mistress. News arrives that the minions of the murdered Inquisitor are about to land in Buenos Aires, and Candide flees with his valet Cacambo.

Cacambo takes Candide to the Kingdom of the Jesuits, where he discovers that the Reverend Commandant is none other than the young Baron of Thunder-ten-trench. Their tearful reunion takes an unexpected turn when Candide announces his intention to marry Cunégonde, the Baron’s sister. Outraged, the Baron attacks Candide, who stabs him through the stomach in self-defense. Candide weeps, overcome with remorse for having now killed three men.

Candide and Cacambo flee the Jesuit Kingdom and head for the wilderness. There, a mishap results in their capture by the savage Oreillons, who take them for Jesuits and prepare to eat them. Thanks to Cacambo’s charisma, the Oreillons release them. Candide and Cacambo wander through the wilderness for a long period of time. Totally by accident, they reach El Dorado, a utopian society filled with precious metals and happy people. Candide concludes that this must be the “best of all possible worlds,” which Pangloss described. Though they are happy in El Dorado, a desire for fame and glory causes Candide and Cacambo to leave.

The King of El Dorado helps them depart from the isolated place, giving them many riches and a flock of red sheep as a parting gift. A few days after leaving El Dorado, Candide and Cacambo come across an African slave who is missing his hand and left leg. Knowing that he will be arrested if he returns to Buenos Aires, Candide sends Cacambo to search for Cunégonde, promising to meet him in Venice. Candide himself heads to Suriname, where he tries to arrange passage back to Europe. He is tricked by the shipowner Mynheer Vanderdendur, who steals his flock of sheep and abandons him. At this point, Candide is almost ready to abandon his optimism completely.

Nevertheless, Candide manages to arrange a journey to Bordeaux with Martin, an impoverished scholar, and pessimist whom he chooses as his traveling companion. On the way there, a battle takes place between two ships, and one of Candide’s red sheep floats up from the wreckage, alive. He takes this as a good omen. Candide and Martin arrive in Bordeaux and then head to Paris. In Paris, Candide is tricked and robbed by the devious and superficial Abbé of Perigord and Marchioness of Parolignac, along with many other minor characters.

Candide and Martin briefly go to England and then move on to Venice. There, Candide finds Paquette in the arms of Friar Giroflée. She has become a prostitute. Candide and Martin visit the home of Pococuranté, a wealthy Venetian Senator who is dissatisfied with everything he has. Soon after, they have dinner with six kings who have been deposed. At the dinner, Candide finds Cacambo, who informs him that Cunégonde is working as a servant in Turkey.

Candide, Cacambo, and Martin travel to Turkey. On the ship which takes them there, they find Pangloss and the Young Baron, both of whom have been enslaved. Candide pays to have them both free. When he arrives in Turkey, he does the same for Cunégonde and the old woman. By now, after lengthy journeys and countless misfortunes, all of the major characters have been reunited.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah Summary

Americanah Summary

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Setting

The novel is set in Lagos and Nssuka, Nigeria

Main Characters

Ifemelu- she is the novel’s main protagonist. Ifemelu is an intelligent, stubborn, outspoken Nigerian woman who moves to America to attend university.

Obinze Maduewesi- is a calm, thoughtful, intelligent young Nigerian man. Obinze is raised by his mother, a professor, and is very well-read and obsessed with America.

Aunty Uju- she is Ifemelu’s aunt, and an intelligent, strong-willed doctor.

Plot Summary

Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman living in America, gets her hair braided at an African salon. She interacts with the women there and remembers her past. Meanwhile, Obinze, a rich man living in Nigeria, emails Ifemelu and remembers his own past. Ifemelu grows up in Lagos, Nigeria. She is close with her Aunty Uju, who becomes the mistress of The General, a wealthy married man. Ifemelu meets Obinze at school and they fall in love. Obinze introduces Ifemelu to his mother, a professor. Aunty Uju gets pregnant and has The General’s baby, named Dike. The General dies and Uju flees with Dike to America.

Ifemelu and Obinze go to university together. They start having sex and Ifemelu has a pregnancy scare. There are many strikes and the university is shut down. Ifemelu considers going to America, and she gets a visa and a scholarship to a university in Philadelphia. When Ifemelu arrives she stays in Brooklyn for the summer with Aunty Uju and Dike. Uju seems stressed out and unhappy. She gives Ifemelu a fake identity card to find work, and Ifemelu goes to Philadelphia for school. Ginika, her friend from Nigeria, helps introduce Ifemelu to American culture and its racial politics. Ifemelu cannot find a job, and she starts using an American accent. She makes friends with some African students.

Ifemelu’s money runs out, and she accepts a job helping a tennis coach “relax.” He touches her sexually and gives her $100. Ifemelu goes home and feels guilty and depressed. She breaks off contact with Obinze and stops eating and sleeping. Ginika finds her a job babysitting for a wealthy woman named Kimberly. Kimberly and Ifemelu become friends. Ifemelu visits Aunty Uju who has gotten married and moved to Massachusetts and flirts with a young man named Blaine on the trip there. Ifemelu starts dating Kimberly’s cousin Curt, a rich, handsome white man. Curt takes Ifemelu on many trips and helps her get a good job and a green card.

Meanwhile, Obinze is hurt by Ifemelu’s sudden silence. He graduates and moves to England. He stays with friends but cannot find a good job, and his visa expires. He rents an identity card and finds menial work. He makes friends with a boss and coworker but then is turned in as an illegal immigrant. Obinze borrows money from Emenike, an old friend who has gotten rich in England and pays for a green-card marriage with a girl named Cleotilde. On the day of his wedding, though, Obinze is arrested and sent back to Nigeria.

Ifemelu, feeling the pressure of her interracial relationship, cheats on Curt and he breaks up with her. She gets depressed again. Her parents visit. Ifemelu starts her race blog and it gets very popular. She becomes well-known and is asked to give talks. She meets Blaine again and they start dating. He is a professor at Yale and very principled. Ifemelu also meets his domineering sister Shan. Ifemelu and Blaine start following Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy. They have a fight when Ifemelu skips a protest Blaine arranges. They get back together but are mostly united by their shared passion for Obama. Ifemelu wins a fellowship to live at Princeton. After a while, she grows restless and decides to quit her blog, break up with Blaine, and move back to Nigeria.

It is a week before she plans to return to Nigeria when Ifemelu goes to the hair salon. As she leaves the hair salon, Aunty Uju calls to tell her that Dike tried to kill himself. Ifemelu rushes to be with him. Obinze has become rich selling real estate. He is married to the beautiful Kosi and has a daughter. Ifemelu spends lots of time with Dike and then goes to Lagos. Her old friend Ranyinudo helps her readjust, teasing her about being an “Americanah.” Ifemelu goes to a club for Nigerians back from living abroad. She starts working for a women’s magazine but then quits and starts a new blog about life in Lagos. Dike visits her.

The Call of the Wild Summary

The Call of the Wild Summary

The novel is set in Yukon, Canada

Main Characters

Buck- he is a one hundred and forty pounds, half St. Bernard, half Scotch shepherd mix. Buck is a proud, strong, and intelligent creature.

Hal- he is An American settler. Hal comes to the Klondike in search of gold and adventure.

John Thornton- is an experienced gold miner and outdoorsmen. John Thornton is Buck’s final owner and his ideal master.

François- he is an experienced and “swarthy” French-Canadian “half-breed.” François is a courier for the Canadian government, who teaches Buck how to become a working dog.

Dave- he is a dog and an “experienced wheeler” on the mail run sled dog team. Dave instructs Buck on how to be a sled dog.

The man in the red sweater- he is this dog trader and trainer who beats Buck into submission following his release from a cage-like crate.

Plot Summary

Buck, a proud and strong St. Bernard mix, lives a princely life on Judge Miller’s estate in Santa Clara. Living an insular life, he has no idea that the discovery of gold in the Klondike has created a demand for dogs like him. Manuel, a gardener on the estate desperate for money, kidnaps Buck, selling him to a dog trader. The man throws Buck into a crate on a train headed north. Four days later Buck’s crate is unloaded from the train. He leaps out the first chance he gets, attacking a man in a red sweater. The man stuns Buck with his club, beating him into submission until Buck learns to obey. Buck spends his days watching other dogs suffer the same treatment, until two Canadian couriers, François and Perrault, purchase him, Curly, Dave, and Spitz for their sled dog team. They sail on The Narwhal to Dyea, Alaska, where Buck encounters snow for the first time.

Within hours of making landfall, Buck sees Curly attacked by a husky, then trampled by the rest of the sled dogs. Her death teaches Buck a valuable lesson about the law of club and fang. He learns to always strive for his survival by never letting his guard down. Buck’s lessons continue on the trail, where François harnesses him to the traces for the first time. Under the tutelage of Perrault and the dog’s Spitz and Dave, Buck transforms into a working sled dog. He learns not only from their experience but also from the wild instincts awakening within him.

Mastering his ability to scavenge, steal, and fight, Buck’s desire to dominate the sled dog team increases, and his rivalry with the lead dog, Spitz, intensifies. A pack of mad huskies attack the camp, Dolly subsequently goes mad from rabies, and the team struggles to cross treacherous stretches of thin ice. Buck also initiates a rebellion among the weaker dogs. One night, while Buck leads the team on a rabbit hunt, Spitz makes his attack. The rivals spar for supremacy of the pack, but Buck manages to break Spitz’s leg, claiming victory.

Buck becomes a masterful leader, making record runs across the Klondike. On the trail, Dave falls ill, compelling the Scotsman to shoot him out of mercy. Exhausted from this journey, the team is handed over to Hal, Charles, and Mercedes, American fortune seekers, who mistreat Buck and his team terribly. They force them to toil under dense loads, starve them and beat them incessantly. Barely alive, Buck’s team arrives at White River, where the ice is starting to melt. A local camper, John Thornton warns Hal against crossing, but Hal belligerently beats his animals into moving forward. Buck, sensing danger, refuses to rise. Hal, incensed, beats Buck with his club. Thornton tackles Hal and cuts Buck out of the traces, saving him from the brink of death. Hal, humiliated, proceeds towards the riverbank, while Buck and Thornton watch the sled fade into the distance and suddenly drop beneath the ice.

As Buck heals under Thornton’s care, he develops a deep affection and loyalty for his “ideal master.” Buck demonstrates his devotion for Thornton many times over, defending him in a bar fight, saving him from drowning, and winning a $1600 bet for him by pulling a sled loaded with one thousand pounds. With the winnings, Thornton takes Buck deeper into the Klondike in search of a lost mine. While Thornton pans for gold, Buck, haunted by visions of a caveman and the wild’s beckoning call, explores the forest. He runs with a timber wolf and hunts prey on his own, but returns to Thornton’s campsite when he senses that a catastrophe has occurred. Seeing the Yeehats dance over the ruins of the camp confirms Buck’s suspicions that they have murdered Thornton. Driven by rage, he launches into an attack, killing the chief and overturning the law of club and fang. Buck answers the call when a wolf pack initiates him into their ranks. He runs with them, eventually becoming their leader and a legend.

Themes

  1. Domestication to Devolution. While Buck is deeply influenced by his human masters, the novel is about Buck’s transformation from a domesticated dog to a wild wolf. Like an evolving organism, Buck sheds characteristics ill-suited to his environment and takes advantage of traits that help him thrive

My Favorite Season Essay : Fall Is My Favorite Season Sample Essay

My Favorite Season Essay : Fall Is My Favorite Season Sample Essay

It is certainly a deep and reflective question when I am questioned about my favorite season of the year. I like the brightness and colors of the summer along with all the outside activities that can be done daily. I also enjoy the flourishing of the spring and the nice natural breeze in the air that follows me during my evening walks. I love the looks of the winter and the enjoyment of being inside enjoying my coffee or hot tea while watching the beautiful view outside of my window. Although, all three seasons have many pros to them, I believe that fall is my very favorite considering the mix of the warmth of summer and the cold winds of the winter, along with the dark evenings and the looks of the leaves falling from the trees after being hit with the winds alarming that the winter is coming soon.

One of my favorite hobbies is to go on walks, sometimes I like to walk around in busy areas such as downtown or at the mall, sometimes I go for a natural look and feel of a local park, and sometimes I visit hiking places in the country to change the views and mix things up a little. I enjoy walking in the fall the most, mainly because the as the sunset hits I can see the transition from a busy day of work to an evening rest that people express in their body language either when driving or walking past me. I also enjoy walking in the open around trees, lakes and grass, where I can hear the birds, feel the wind and enjoy the purity of the air while appreciating the view of nature. I also enjoy the falling of the leaves and the new colors and look that the nature gets with the approach of the winter.

I enjoy watching college sports including football, soccer and volleyball which are all fall sports and can keep me busy by keeping track of results, watching highlights and going to the local college to watch and support them in person. As a former student-athlete I know that I will always have a competitive spirit in most things that I do, and simply by attending games and following my favorite teams perform, I fulfill my competitive spirit to a certain extent. I also like to follow the growth of the players who develop throughout the years to become better and better throughout their college career. Another aspect of fall sports that I really enjoy are the arguments and debates between my friends and I on plays, coaches, games and players all over the country. We usually have weekly gatherings to talk and get together and the only subject that matters during the fall is sports.

Fall is also when Thanksgiving happens. Family and friends get together usually at my grandparent’s house to enjoy the most delicious food of the year as well as to catch up and update one another of what is going on in their lives. It is really enjoyable to meet my family members who I do not get to see very often and play board games, throw a football around and watch movies after filling up with the special traditional thanksgiving meals that everyone makes and brings as their contribution to the meal preparation. Another event that I really enjoy is Halloween. Although, I am an adult now and do not get to go over from one house to the next trick or treating but I still get to dress up every year and get creative with costumes based on shows that I watch, superheroes, basketball players such as James Harden (my favorite costume ever) and book characters that I bring to life. I usually get together with some friends, and we go out and enjoy the night by looking at other people’s costume, playing with kids along the way and distributing candy to people that we find on the streets. It is a lot of fun because we get to have a different spirit after we put on the costume. We are just children once more and get to enjoy simple things such as being gifted with a chocolate bar or our favorite candy. That is all we need in order to put on a smile in our faces and move on to the next interaction of the night.

Lastly one of my favorite aspects of fall is simply the temperature outside. It is usually an inviting temperature that makes me wear my favorite clothes and feel a calm, peace and empowering breeze while having the view of the change of colors of the trees as well as the leaves falling. It is a very pretty season where nature just puts on a show of colors and design and many times, we take it for granted being caught up in our busy schedules and our daily routines. It is incredible how often in the fall nature just catches my eyes and make me reflect on how beautiful our lives can be if we focus on the little things, which most of the time is not bought but given by the beauty that is nature around us.