The Sea Inside post #3

I believe the most significant scene during The Sea Inside was a close-up of when Ramon hits his head on the ocean floor. This shot of his head takes up the majority of the screen and is focusing on when Ramon got in the tradgic accident. I think the director's intentions for this shot was a close up because he wanted the audience to be focused on this difining moment of Ramon's life and the whole basis of the movie. Another shot during the movie was was an extreme close-up. This shot was when Julia and Ramon were spending tim together and the shot is just of their hands. I think this signifies their closeness in their relationship with eachother. A third shot during this movie was when Ramon was leaving his house where he had been taken care of and loved by his family. The director used the firehosing technique and made it feel as though you were riding in the car along with Ramon. This is a very emotional part of the movie and i think the intentions for the shot was to make it seem very real because the camera moves with the car movements. Lastly, there was another firehosing shot. The shot continued along the hills and around his home. I belive this shot was significant because it showed where Ramon was no longer capable of going, he was unable to hike through the hills or even take a walk down the street from his house.

The Sea Inside post #2

There are many similarities and differences between The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Sea Inside. The main similarity is both the main characters Ramon and Jean were quadriplegic and confined inside their own bodies. However, Ramon is able to move his neck and head and able to speak, where as Jean was only able to communicate with others by the blink of his left eye and had no other movement. Another Similarity is that Ramon and Jean showed humorous and sarcastic tone towards their situations. They both tried to enlighten their depressing living style. The major difference between the two tales is in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was Jean Bauby has no desire to die. He does not want to end his life out of frustration and give up. Instead, He chooses to live his life to the fullest and to his highest potential. This contradicts the purpose of The Sea Inside because the whole idea of the movie was to show Ramon's emotions and why he wants to end his life. So, Jean was fighting for his life and on the other hand, Ramon was fighting for his death. In my opinion, The Sea Inside was much more powerful to me than The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Since The Sea Inside was portrayed on film it was able to show all the emotions and thought processes visually and by listening so it made it much more intense.

The Sea Inside post #1

Overall I thought The Sea Inside was a very interesting movie. It definetley kept me intrigued as I watched. At times it was confusing since it was spoken in spanish and to understand the plot we had to read subtitles. I think people should be able to choose whether they live or die but they need to realize that they are affecting other people that are in their lives who care about them. In Ramon's case he was living in a depressing situation and his life was not exciting. But he had so many people who cared about him. I don't see how he could kill himself knowing that he would be affecting all those people in a negative way. But on the other hand, Ramon could see it as him being a burden for his family to take care of him. So he would doing them a favor so they wouldn't have to spend their time helping Ramon stay alive. I think for his friends who agreed to help him, they were very sympathetic towards Ramon and really understood how he was feeling. It must of been really hard on them since they cared for him so much but they felt it was the best for Ramon.

Outside Reading Final Post#2

Even through the pain and suffering the author of this memoir was faced with in her lifetime, she did not lose all hope and she manages to turn her life around. The memoir, A Piece of Cake written by Cupcake Brown, demonstrates how someone should never give up on life no matter how many obstacles they face. Cup's message is to inspire readers to have hope when they have hit rock bottom and to know they are capable of changing their life around is expressed through passionate tone, key passages, and emotional loaded words.

The passionate tone demonstrated throughout the memoir is the only true reason for the reader to emotionally connect to the author and the book.

"Should I take the easy way out or, for once in my life, try to actually learn something, earn something, finish something ." (183)

This quote shows how Cup chooses the easier way out of difficult situations but now realizes she should maybe work her way through them. During Cup's lifetime she would try to avoid any obstacles she was faced with by turning tricks, downing hard liquor, and ingesting every drug she could find. These bad habits eventually caused her to stumble into worse ways like gang banging, drug dealing, hustling, prostitution and theft. This shows how Cup chooses the irresponsible way out to earn money instead of working hard to be hired for a respectable job. This quote also shows how Cup is willing to admit she has been making poor decisions and in order for her to make changes in her life she knows she needs to work hard.

The author is telling the reader through passionate tone that she realizes she has made many mistakes and knows in order for her to live a life of dignity and hope she needs to change.

The key passages throughout the memoir are ideal to connect the reader to Cup's emotions.

" I was confused. How could Mr.Burns be my daddy? So what if we had the same last name? I never saw him before in my life. He wasn't there when I had to go to the hospital to get my tonsils out. He wasn't in the front row for my first violin recital. He didn't build my fancy red stove. My daddy did ." (16)

This quote is significant because it was during the time when the judge was deciding who would have custody over Cup and her brother Larry. Their biological father, Mr.Burns, technically had the rights to have custody even though he had never been apart of their lives. He wanted them for the money and could care less about them. The man who they considered "daddy" had been a part of their lives, paid child support, and could still not have custody. This quote shows how confused Cup is and how unfare the situation is. Cup and her brother Larry are heartbroken.

The author is showing the reader through this key passage how she was faced with such difficult situations. This is also the whole basis of her life because I believe if the judge would have gone against the California law and allowed their "daddy" to have custody, Cup's life would have been a whole lot different.

Cup's emotional loaded words has a huge impact on the story and the reader. These words help create intense moods throughout the memoir so the reader felt as though they knew Cup personally and were experiencing the traumatic times in her life right along with her.

"What was surprising was that suddenly I was so horribly despondent and dismayed that that I didn't want to bargain. I just needed help-anyway I could get it and from whomever I could get it. " (332)

Cupcake Brown is showing the reader by using loaded words such as despondent, dismayed and bargain how desperate she really was. Cup had no other choice but to talk to God, she knew if God couldn't help her then no one could.

This quote demonstrates how Cup is ready to turn her life around. She took a drastic step in the right direction by talking to God and is ready to begin a new lifestyle. This simple decision would shape the rest of her life in many positive ways.

Even though Cup had faced endless amounts of terrible situatons, she was able to overcome obstacles and in the end live a happy life. This is inspirational for readers to see how Cupcake Brown had been at such a low point in her life and see that today she is successful and fulfilling her dreams.

The passionate tone, key passsages and emotional loaded words were demonstrated throughout the entire memoir and were ideal to express to readers how to they should never lose hope when faced with difficult situations and to always have faith in yourself to be able to overcome obstacles.

Life is a gift, don't waste your time by making poor decisions and live it to the highest potential.


Outside Reading Week 5 Part #2

During this section of the book, the police officer who Cup refers to as "Preacher", pulled her over because she had failed to yield the right-of-way. But deep down Cup knew the real reason why, he had spotted her leaving dope street. When Preacher was walking towards Cup's car she was nervous that he would give her some sort of ticket, but instead he gave her advice. He told her that he knows God has a plan for her and she is special, but before she turns her life around she will hit rock bottom. After that incident, Cup talked to him three other times during that year. He continued to keep her out of trouble with her dope issues. At Cup's work, her boss Ken would be taking work off to help take care of his newborn daughter. So Cup decided she would be sneaky and also take off work. But the new secretary thought this violated Cup's provision, fortunately Ken who was on cloud 9 after his baby girl was born told Dorothy to forget about it and Cup was fine. As the book continues, Cup and Tommy's drug use gets worse and worse. The side effects of the drugs was causing Tommy to have problems with his bowels and Cup to loose control of her facial muscles and not being able to close her lips. But Cup eventually becomes immune to the drugs and could not even get high anymore. She wanted to stop because they had effected her body and her life. Daddy and Jr. were concerned about Tommy and Cup's drug problem and decided they needed to take action. They both admitted to their drug problem and wanted the help. The first step to recovery for Cup was a 12-step program for coke addicts. She and Daddy had gone to a meeting together where they showed them characteristics of coke addicts. After the meeting, Cup was convinced she was not an addict even though she could relate to most of the topics of discussion. Tommy's attempt was even worse, he didn't use for one day but then used dope the next night. Daddy was given $500 out of sympathy from his co-workers after the death of his father. He left for Tennessee for the funeral, and before he even boarded the plane Cup and Tommy spent every cent on drugs. Cup had stolen money from someone she loved for the first time. When Daddy returned, Cup had to inform him that she stole his money. Daddy was heartbroken, he lost their trust and he could no longer watch Cup and Tommy kill themselves. Once Daddy was gone, Cup and Tommy felt as though they had no reason to be responsible. So they used all of their money on drugs and had none left for their rent payments. With no money, they were forced to leave the apartment and had to live in a car. But after 2 days in the car, they found a new apartment and Cup left Tommy. She left Tommy for all the wrong reasons, she thought he was just getting in the way and she figured she could get more high on her own. Tommy threatened Cup and said if she left him Cup would leave with nothing and he would get everything, including the car. Cup could care less so she walked to Mona and James's house. They agreed to let Cup live with them under 3 conditions: they would control her drinking limits; no crack in the house and she had to keep a job and pay rent. At Cup's work, Ken was realizing all of the mistakes she was making. Cup knew she had to step it up in order to keep her job. She tried to get more energy and work harder, But eventually she gave up. With all her drug use she developed depression and became suicidal. She was still figuring out her plan, so she would go to her "dope spot" and smoke until she figured out how to kill herself. She met her dealer there and he had left the rocks on the table and stepped aside for a moment. So, Cup took two rocks and slipped them in her shoe. He then threatened to kill her and he induced him to shoot her. She woke up four days later, in a dumpster, filthy and smelling horrible. Cup was unable to recall anything that had happened the night before. Cup was in a great amount of pain so she called Ken to take some time off work. In order for that to happen, Cup lied and told him she had Colon cancer. Cupcake would spend most of her time thinking of schemes on how to kill herself. Cup was still up to no good and Mona caught her with her pipe for the third time and kicked her out of the house. Cup had no where to stay so she decided to go to the dumpster where she had woken up that one time. Looking at her reflection, Cup decided right there she needed help. She talked to God and a voice told her to go into work at Ken's office and tell him she was quiting because of a drug problem. With that she walked sixty blocks to her boss's office to confess she had a problem and she would be quitting to receive help. Ken being the man he is, called several hospitals and facilities to do what he could. She eventually got into the Mesa Vista Rehabilitation Center. As Ken was driving Cup to the hospital, Cup kept changing her mind on whether or not to get help. She was also experiencing withdrawal symptoms. When they arrived to the hospital, a lady named Sam asked her numerous questions to figure out what part of the hospital would fit her best. One of Cup's first assignments in rehab was to write good-bye letters to her drugs. Also, she began to attend 12-step meetings at Mesa Vista. Cup attended all of the meetings and she also got a sponsor. With all of her hard work and dedication, Cup was released.

Outside Reading Week 4 Part #2

In the beginning of this section, Cupcake moves in with her boyfriend Tommy and their friend Nancy who offers to pay for some of the rent each month. Soon after they move in, Cup discovers she's pregnant and gets an abortion without letting Tommy know about anything. She just continues to live her life of bad habits without learning from any of her mistakes. Although Cup and Tommy love each other, he starts to become a different man. He gets jealous when Cupcake looks at another man assuming she has feelings towards them and starts to be very abusive towards her. Whenever Tommy would hit or kick Cup she would hit or kick him back just as hard, they had a very unhealthy relationship. One day they got into a huge fight and Tommy hurt Cup real bad, they both got out of the car and Cup cussed him out. He felt terrible, he cried and apologized to Cup. She was nice enough and took him back because she thought he must really love her for being so apologetic. She also thought he would not continue the abusing, which Cup says he didn’t for almost a year. Tommy and Cup moved into their own apartment together and to keep up rent Cup and Tommy continued work but Cup would also do crime in the night. Tommy’s insecurities were still a big problem and he thought the solution was for him and Cupcake to get married. Tommy wants Cup to get a job so she searches for different ones over the next few months, the main reason for the money is to get more drugs. Tommy's insecurities continued to be a problem and he thought if they got married in would fix it. Cup was unsure but went along with it. So she agrees and Tommy's mother flys in from out of town to arrange the wedding. Soon after, Cup applied for a job postion as a legal secretary and got the job at a small law firm. Cup’s boss and co-workers were very patient with her and although it took Cup a long time for her to learn things she’d get them down perfect once she learned them. After working at the firm for a few weeks, even though she had been in denial, Cupcake begins to realize she might have an addiction to crack cocaine. So she approaches Tommy and suggests they quit smoking for a year. As a team they do this for about 7 months but stil contnue to use other drugs.
The only thing Cup wanted to pick out for her wedding was her wedding dress. She wanted her dress to have roses on it because that was her mother’s favorite flower. Since Tommy's mother was generous, she sent her money to buy a dress. She spent $100 of the money on a dress and the other 900$ on drugs. On the day of the wedding, Cup was very hung-over and had drank and smoked before the wedding. From her addiction and bad decissions, she blacked out at the wedding and it was a blur to her. She couldn't even recall marrying him, and was shocked that she even had gone through with it. After a few months of being married, Tommy gets more and more abusive and with Cupcake's experience from growing up on the streets, she fights back. Cupcake convinces herself it's normal but one night it gets way out of hand, Tommy thought Cup was cheating on him when really she was making a drug deal. He starts cussing at her and all of a sudden squeezes her head so hard and throws her to the ground. He could have easily killed her so she had to call 911 for emergency medical attention. So she ends up staying at her friend Mona's house. Cupcake quits her job at Jack's firm and her dad moves in, helping pay the rent. Cup gets a job interview at a firm for a man named Ken and quickly is hired as a secretary. While Cup is still roaming the streets, getting busted for drugs, a certain Cop that goes by the name of "Preacher" takes a liking to Cupcake and tells her he believes in her. That she can change her life if she just tries. Cupcake brushes off his advice and doesn't listen to him, assuming he's crazy.

Outside Reading Week 4 Part #1

" I was confused. How could Mr.Burns be my daddy? So what if we had the same last name? I never saw him before in my life. He wasn't there when I had to go to the hospital to get my tonsils out. He wasn't in the front row for my first violin recital. He didn't build my fancy red stove. My daddy did."
-Cupcake Brown; pg.16; A Piece of Cake

This is significant to the memoir because it was during the time when the judge was deciding who would have custody over Cup and her brother Larry. Their biological father, Mr.Burns, technically had the rights to have custody even though he had never been apart of their lives. He also wanted them for the money, he could care less about them and didn't want anything to do with it. And the man who they considered "daddy", the one who loved them, had been apart of their lives, had been paying child support, and cared for them so deeply could not have custody. This was so heartbreaking for them and this quote shows how Cup feels about the situation. She is confused and realized some of the times when her "daddy" had been there for her and how Mr.Burns had never been there for her. If the judge would have gone against the California law and allowed their "daddy" to have custody, I believe Cup's life would have been a whole lot different.

Outside Reading Week 3 Part #2

Dear Journal,

I am so intrigued by this memoir, "A Piece of Cake". Cupcake Brown has dealt with so many struggles in her lifetime and even though it is difficult to read at times, I enjoy it because it is such a change for me to read a book so real and written with such honesty. This memoir begins with the tragic death of her mother, and it shows how the effect of the death causes her life to change drastically. Cup and her brother Larry were given custody to her biological father who was a complete stranger to them and only wanted them for the money. So soon after, they were given up to a foster home. At the foster home Cup was abused mentally and physically, she was raped, cleaned all day and was poorly fed. Cup felt so unsafe and depressed, she had no other choice but to run away. Once she ran away, she began to learn the ropes to prostitution, drug dealing and being apart of a gang. Cup also became very addicted to alcohol, weed, crystal meth, cocaine and acid. I personally believe that this memoir has many strengths. It is very descriptive, it is written with honesty and it intrigues me in wanting to read more. As I read, I feel as though I know Cup personally and care for her and want her to turn her life around. I do not think this book has any weaknesses, there are no suggestions that I could give to make it any better, I like it just the way it is. There are many difficult issues brought up during the memoir; such as dealing with alcohol and drugs, prostitution, who has custody, gang violence, and abortion. I know many people, some even very close to me who consume alcohol and drugs. So as I read this memoir, its tough to see how it can change your life in such a negative way and how there is never any good that will come out of it. I would never want anything bad to happen to my close friends and even though I can try to lead them in the right direction, in the end it is their own decision and I can't do anything about it. Prostitution is such a sad situation. It's hard to believe that someone could ever be that desperate to sell themselves for money. I am so strongly against this and feel heartbroken for those who choose to take part in this. Also, the issue of who would gain custody of Cupcake and her brother Larry when their mother died was represented in the memoir. They had been raised by a different man and they were given custody to their biological father instead. I disagree with this law and I think the court needs to decide based on each individual situation. In Cupcake and Larry's case, they were raised by a man who loved them and who they loved back. They wanted to live with him and instead they were given to a strange man who wanted them for the money. Another issue brought up in the book was gang violence. I do not know much about gang violence but based on what I've read, it seems like usually people will join if they are missing the feeling of being accepted or wanted in their life. In order for them to fill that need, they will join a gang and make poor decisions with others that are up to no good. Lastly, another issue was abortion. I feel so strongly about this issue. I believe that there are very few cases where people should be allowed to have an abortion. I think it is morally wrong and such a sad situation. I know usually when people have an abortion they are not able to take care of a baby, but then you should put it up for adoption.
Based on the part of the book I am at right now, Cup is making bad decisions and throwing her life away even though she has so much potential. I predict that she will slowly start changing her bad habits and ways and start to realize her potential and how her life could be so much better.


Outside Reading Week 3 Part #1

Part 1

1) At the start of this section Cup is 16 years old. She is living on her own in an apartment. This lifestyle is very different than having to run away, she loves being able to set her own rules and having so much freedom. The only rules she needs to oblide to are going to school and being employed somewhere. Other than that, she can do whatever she wants until the emancipation is settled in the courtroom. So in order for her to continue living on her own she needed to search for a job. Cup found one and was employed as an "alarm monitor." This was simple for her, her daily rountine was going to school, getting drunk and high then going to work. Then once she was at work she would fall asleep then wakeup the next morning for school. Eventually, Cup was legally emancipated. She dropped out of school, but stayed with her job because she needed money to live off. Since she stuck with her job, Cup was also able to still live in her apartment. This is where she became close friends with her next door neighbor Rich, who was a 25-year-old drug dealer. Whenever they hung out they were up to no good, usually smoking weed.
One morning, Cup had woken with a sharp pain in her abdomen. Rich immediatley called 911 and she went to the hospital. After numerous tests she was informed that an IUD was left in too long and moved into her uterus, also she had a sexually transmitted disease of gonnorrhea. At that point in her life, Cup was going through such a physical and mental crisis. Then Later on, Rich had to move for the army. He offered Cup his business and customers. Cupcake agreed, so she then quit her job as an alarm monitor. Cupcake loved selling weed because she always had cash and her house became the happenin' place to be. Other than weed, Cup also started selling meth, cocaine LSD and sherm. With all the cash she was making from her illegal activity, Cup decided to throw herself a 17th birthday party. With all her connections of 'using' friends, it was bound to get out of hand, which it did. The police showed up and busted into the party. Cupcake got upset and mouthed off to the cops. She was also almost taken to jail for underage drinking. After most of the people left, Cup and her friends were really hungry. One of her friends went to the store to pick up some chicken for them. As they were cooking the chicken, Cupcake started to feel nauseous from the smell. She remembered having this similar feeling before and instantly knew she was pregnant for the second time. So Cupcake went to the free clinic to get examined and sure enough she was pregnant. She figured out that Calvin was the father and forced him to give her money for an abortion. Cup’s life of selling drugs ended and she was out of money, so she decided to live with her dad.

2) Today, Cupcake Brown is a successful author and attorney living in San Fransisco. She has written a memoir of her life and was an attorney for one of the 25th largest law firms in the nation. She also speaks all over the coutry by sharing her life story to others of turning her life around after going through such difficult times and still having hope. Cupcake also graduated college without having a highschool diploma. Cupcake also has received numerous scholastic awards such as the University of San Francisco School of Law's Judge Harold J. Haley Award for Exceptional Distinction in Scholarship, Character and Activities; the McAuliffe Honor Society; the National Law School Dean's List; and San Diego State University's Donald Leiffer Outstanding Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.



A Piece of Cake outside reading post # 2

10 Loaded Words

1) prostitution(page 78): This word represents something Cupcake was willing and risking to do to survive. It has so many emotions behind it because it is so sad when when people decide to take this route in life.
2) druggie(page 81): This word is categorizing someone as a person who takes drugs, this is a negative term and you do not want to be known as this. This is sad because this is a bad situation when people involve themselves in doing drugs and it messes with your mind and life.
3) asshole(page 96): Just like every other swear word, this word can be very offensive towards people. You should never say this word to anyone, especially someone like your grandmother or a teacher because it shows you have no respect for that person and it shows poorly of you.
4) gang(page 106): This is a loaded word because the word gang symbolizes violence. Violence is something that is clearly bad and is never represented in a good way for obvious reasons. Some people are a part of these types of groups andthe rest of us are scared of them. Usually people join gang so they can feel needed or wanted like Cupcake did.
5) nigga(page 113): This word is an extremely hurtful word and should never be said. It is a very racist and is an offensive word, mostly towards black people.
6)shooting(page 117): This word can be interpreted in many different ways. But in the context of this book, it is representing the violence Cupcake faced and was involved with.
7)homies(page 120): This word can be used as a fun name to call your friends but it can also be represented as a negative name, directing towards a gang member.
8)miscarriage(page 146): This word can be very emotional for some people. For anyone who has ever delt with a miscarriage, it can bring back thosehard times you went through
9)gang banger( page 146): This word can be offensive or just hard to comprehend and try to understand how a person could have such a sick mind to do this to someone. These people will do this to feel powerful and have complete control of a vulnerable perosn.
10) abused(page 154): This word is also a touchy subject because people who have been experienced abuse in their life would see this word and it would remind them of all the pain and suffering they went through, and for the people who have never been abused know that abuse causes emotional and physical damage.


This section of the book is very similar to what was going on last section. Cupcake continues her bad habits and ways of smoking and drinking. She is once again back living with Diane and then running away. Despite Diane's diagnosis of diabetes, she continues to be just as mean as ever. Cupcake also continues the pattern of running away and being forced back into Diane's house several times. Cupcake also gets pregnant in this section but has a miscarriage. Diane does not support or comfort Cupcake through this time, instead she makes her suffer through the physical and mental pain at the house and does not even allow her to go to a hospital. After this tramatic experience, Cup runs away and goes to Hollywood. Once she arrives in Hollywood, she joins a gang. Everything keeps getting worse and worse and she is slowly throwing her life away by all the bad decisions she is making. She continues her drug and alcohol addictions through these sections. In the end of this section, Cup returns to the man she once called "daddy."


Dear Journal,

My feelings of this section were just like the last. I feel so badly for Cupcake and I can not see how she can remain living with such poor conditons and scary situations. While I continue to read this memoir it seems so real like I'm right there with her, wanting her to change her ways and turn her life around. I almost feel like i know her personally and am with her as she faces so many difficult times and because her descriptive and real-life writing helps me visualize and makes it feel like this were taking place in present time. I can't even imagine how she must have felt through that and all the emotions she must have been feeling.

A Piece of Cake outside reading post # 1

The memoir of A Piece of Cake starts out very sad. The author of this book, Cupcake Brown is telling the story of her life. It begins in Sandiego, California in 1976 in a poorer part of town where Cupcake is growing up. In the first chapter of the book, Cupcake wakes up late wondering why her mother hadn't waken her yet. She went into her bedroom to find her 34 year-old mother dead . 11 year-old Cupcake was in complete shock and unsure what to do. Her first instinct was to call her dad and he told her to contact the police. But Cupcake knew if the police came she would barley have anytime with her mom, so she sat with her dead mom and held her. Then later the police came and informed the family that her mom had an epileptic seizure, swallowed her tongue and choked on it.
Throughout chapter 2 Cupcake's family mourns over the death of Momma. The only family Cupcake had was her dad and brother Larry who lived separately from her and her momma. Also she had her Grandma but she suffered from Alzheimer's and barely remembered anything. Last she had her Uncle Jr. who she loved. On the rainy and depressing day of the funeral, Cupcake expresses her anger towards God and blames him for not saving her momma. A few days after the funeral Cupcake and Larry go to the lawyer's office to see who will be getting custody of them. Either the man who Larry and Cupcake called daddy would be getting custody of them or a strange man named Mr.Burns would. Mr. Burns turns out to be Cupcake's real biological father. The lawyer decides that Mr. Burns will have custody of Larry and Cupcake because he is the biological father. The man that Cupcake had grown up with and called "Daddy" married a lady named Lori to try and get the children for himself but it did not work. Mr.Burns who wanted them for all the wrong reasons still got full custody of them just so he could inherit Momma's money.
Once Mr.Burns gained custody of the children he left them with a strange lady or also known as a foster parent, Diane. Since he didn't want anything to do with them. Cupcake and Larry disapprove of her because she swears a lot and seems cruel. She also tells stories of other foster children dying in her care.Their new house is in Lanchester, California and Cup thought it is a very nice house, especially compared to her last house in the hood. Everything in the huge house was fancy and beautiful. But the way Diane treated Cupcake and Larry was no where nearly as nice as the house. Out of nowhere, Diane punched both Cup and her brother hard!Also, Diane yelled at them. Cup knew from that moment on that life as they knew it would never be the same. Diane also only allowed Cup and Larry to be in three places: a tiny den, a bathroom and the back yard. They were not even allowed in their own rooms unless cleaning or sleeping in them. Diane had six other foster kids coming in so they would not have their own bed rooms.
Diane’s biological daughter, Connie was given special treatments like having her own bedroom and being allowed to go in rooms the foster children could not. Diane’s nephew, Pete also lived in the house. One of the first nights Cupcake and Larry were there, Pete and Diane started drinking. The more they drank the happier they would get. Pete decided to give Cupcake what he called rum and coke. She liked feeling it gave her after drinking it. So she named it her feel-good liquid. Also, when she drank it she felt pretty and not alone. Pete ordered Cup to go to the bathroom with her and all of a sudden he became very angry. Pete slammed Cup to the ground and wrapped a towel over her mouth. Pete of 21 years of age then raped the poor and innocent little 11-year old Cupcake. As Pete raped Cupcake, she thought again of her hatred toward God. She wondered why he was doing all of there terrible things to her. She decided to hate God because God hated her. Afterwards, Pete threatened Cup and told her if she ever told anyone that he had raped her, he would kill everyone in her family. He also told Cupcake to not even let telling Diane cross her mind because the only use of the foster kids was a paycheck to her. Two days later, Pete raped her again. The six other foster children arrived and all eight of them were treated just as terribly and were also basically paychecks and maids for Diane. Diane was extremely abusive towards all of them.
After such pain and how unsafe Cupcake felt at Diane's house, she could not handle life their anymore. She needed to run away. Cupcake ran for a long time. During her journey of leaving Diane's house, she met a girl named Candy. Cupcake described Candy as a pretty white girl. Candy gave Cupcake her first hit off the joint , more “feel-good” liquid and taught Cupcake the ropes to prostitution. Cupcake told herself she was only in it to survive on her own. That night Cupcake was faced with her first trick of prostitution at nearly 12 years old. Candy let Cup spend the night at her place and explained to her what a pimp was and how one lived in her home. Cup listened to the pimp named Money and all his rules.After hearing what he had to say, Cupcake knew in her heart that prostitution, smoking weed and drinking was not how she wanted to survive and ran away.
When she ran away, she had no plans on where to sleep, her only worry was getting out of Candy's house. The only means of shelter she could come up with was to sleep on a tree stump for the night. But the police spotted her and had to bring her back to Diane's house. When the police brought Cup back, Diane acted as though she was so concerned and worried. But as soon as the police were gone, the tables turned. I was right back to normal. Diane began yelling and abusing Cupcake. The abuse began to get worse and worse. Later on, Diane decided to enroll Cupcake in a school mainly made up of white people. But Cup did not mind this, she needed a break from the foster home. But the kids at school influenced Cup in a negative way. She began smoking weed and drinking every chance she got. She made friends with the wrong crowd at school with the kids who also enjoyed drinking and smoking. Cupcake began to follow in her friends footsteps. She watched her friends shoplift and started to do the same at just the age of twelve. Cup began stealing small things like wallets and cigarettes which she also started smoking. Once Cupcake started making unmoral decisions, Diane could see her change in behavior. It kept getting worse and worse. So a whip became Cup’s new frequent form of punishment for not cleaning things well enough.
Cupcake decided to run away again. She went to the tree stump where the cops had picked her up before and hitchhiked until a black man, named Bob picked her up. Cupcake turned her second trick with Bob and he paid her and drove her to Thousand Oaks. When Cup arrived at Thousand Oaks, she did not know what to do and decided to call Uncle Jr. Even though she had not spoken with him in months, he was still generous and came up with a plan to send her money to get on a bus to get back to San Diego. Jr. was so happy to see Cupcake and brought her to live with Aunt Pam. Once Aunt Pam saw the marks on Cupcake from all the abuse she had from Diane, Pam had no choice but to call the welfare agency of Diane. Cup had to go to a large family facility in San Diego, also known as Hillcrest Receiving Home. This place housed children who had been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Since Hillcrest was not a long term place to stay, Larry and Cup had to be sent to foster homes in the San Diego until they were notified by the court of who would take them. Momma had not even been dead six months at this point and so much had already gone wrong. Cup and Larry were then sent to live with Mrs. Bassinet, a woman very similar to Diane. She forced the kids to clean much of the time and was always drunk. This meant Cup had easy access to alcohol so she would steel it from them. Mrs. Bassinet was not as physically abusive as Diane, but she swore a ton at them.
Cupcake had a vision of being a cheerleader, but Mrs.Bassinet objected. But understanding Mr. Bassinet, or so she thought, told Cup he approved and would take her after school to the practices. On the way to her very first practice, Cupcake was very anxious and excited. But strangely Mr.Bassinet decided to pull into the Kmart parking lot. He then gave Cup a pill called LSD to take and then all of a sudden raped her. They never made it to cheer leading practices and did these three times every week. Mr. Bassinet also introduced Cupcake to cocaine and at every “practice” they’d smoke and drink together. Mr. Bassinet protected Cup until one night the police woke up Cupcake and she was taken back to Hillcrest, probably because Mrs. Bassinet found out about the “practices”. When Cup returned back to Hillcrest, they forced her talk to a psychiatrist because she had been through so much trauma. Her psychiatrist decided to tell the judge Cup should be sent back to Diane’s house.


So far I am very intrigued by Cupcake's life story. I am amazed on how drastically her life changed in such a small period of time. I am also heartbroken though because Cupcake had faced so much trauma at such an early age, and a lot more trauma than anyone would face in an entire lifetime. I predict that when Cupcake is sent back to Diane's house, she will be just as unhappy as before. Then she will be tempted to run away so she can start over and not deal with an abusive living situation.


The thing I am most anxious about at Edina High School is meeting new people, and to get use to having the same classes everyday.

One goal for myself in my sophomore year is to try to stay focused during class and to not be so social .

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a memoir written with passion and determination. As Jean-Dominique Bauby was faced with "locked in syndrome," he went through so many obstacles that he neeeded to overcome in order to still have some hope. One of my phylosophies in life is that everything happens for a reason and after reading this book I realized that maybe this tradgey happened to Bauby in order for him to value his life and appreciate the simple things. Once he was cut off from his old lifestyle of simply having a fully functional body, being able to speak with others, and show emotion, he needed to rely on his the ability to move his left eye instead. His left eye was his only link to the outside world. Just one eye helped him communicate with others, be able to see, and even write this book. Instead of losing all hope, which would have been easy; Bauby stayed strong and did anthing that he was capable of doing. I think Bauby was trying to tell readers to value their lives, and not to wait to realize how valuble and precious it is until you are faced with a tradgedy such as his. Also, i think he was trying to tell us to not take anything for granite, everything and everyone in our lives is a gift.