Monthly Archives: September 2013

Jonathan Mallard – Narrative

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September 6, 2012

The bright sun gleamed down on the golden dome of the capitol building as I stared out the window at the approaching city of Atlanta. On our return from visiting grandparents, my parents had decided to try to catch a midday Atlanta Braves baseball game–something I had been anticipating for many years. Because of this, my excitement for the event soared above all other things at the time as my mind was jammed with endless amounts of thoughts regarding what I was about to experience.

Upon our arrival the monstrous stadium towered above while the cacophony of the crowd could be heard from the parking lot in which we had parked— which was much louder than I had suspected. At the ticket box, a cashier cheerfully greeted us and gave us a brightly colored seating chart asking which seats appeared most appealing. Unfortunately, the general area along each side of the field was already jammed full of fans; the only seats left were either only affordable for a millionaire or a mile high in the upper decks in the un-shaded outfield. The cashier quickly scanned her computer for four remaining seats in the section of our choice and gave us a deal on the last four seats on that side of the stadium–what fantastic luck! Upon entering and gazing in amazement and awe of the incredible size of the stadium, I stared out from the back of the center field stands onto the radiantly colored field mowed into a pattern of light and dark greens. A curt, sudden crack caught my attention as I glanced up to see a baseball lined into leftfield–a base hit. Two figures in pale grey uniforms with bright red inscriptions on them raced around the bases in the light brown infield towards home plate. The throw rocketed in from leftfield, and the homeplate umpire waved his arms in a very animated fashion to signify both runners were safe. I squinted and peered across the field trying to read the jerseys of the players to identify the scoring team as high-fives erupted in the dugout when the players descended into it. Suddenly, it hit me that the megatron-scoreboard was standing adjacent to me; so, I checked the score. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Cardinals, the opposing team, had scored and taken a 2-0 lead. After this we ambled along the walkways marveling at the enormity of the stadium and finally found our seats. The seats seemed to be perfect as they resided directly under the second deck so that it provided shade. The distance behind home plate was not too far and, because our seats were in the back of the stadium located closely to the main walkway around the field, a cool, refreshing breeze funneled around the stadium to provide a pleasant environment, helping to make more of an enjoyable experience

As the game progressed, in the seventh inning, as a remembrance of Memorial Day, a family came onto the foul ground in rightfield and, as it turned out, the father was away in the Middle East in the military. Then, a video was shown on the megatron out in centerfield of the father giving his family a message. After he had told of how he missed them and how he wished he could be at the game with them, he paused, and then with a great, broad smile stated, “I hope that y’all can see me soon–in fact look to your right.” Saying this, he disappeared from the screen. Naturally, the family turned to their right. To their most utter surprise, there, swiftly running down the rightfield line, was none other but their father. With gaping mouths they all ran, streaming tears of joy and yelling in sheer delight, to embrace their father for the first time in a seemingly long time. He heaved up two of the children in each arm kissing them and demonstrating his deep, paternal love for them, while applause erupted from the crowd. After this brief yet emotional moment, the group cheerfully exited the field to take their seats, now, a complete family. Eventually, the Game ended (the Braves lost), but I regardlessly had enjoyed the experience that I had a looked forward to so greatly, which has given me something that I will always be able to recall with a smile.

Ecclesiastes – Patrick McGucken

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Patrick McGucken

Mr. Herring

Hermeneutics 10B

February 1, 2013


In the movie The Green Mile, Paul Edgecombe (Tom Hanks) plays a security guard for death row inmates. Paul has the monotonous job of leading inmates to their death. He then encounters a prisoner like never before, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan). John Coffey is an angel, who can sense evil in the world. This movie shares some of the same themes from Ecclesiastes. The Green Mile includes many acts of evil, John Coffey’s death being the most important. Coffey can see the evils of the world, and tries to right them. In the end all is vanity because Coffey could not change anything, and is probably forgotten after a couple of months. The Green Mile shows the world like Ecclesiastes does. In Ecclesiastes, there are many different messages that can be summed up in one phrase. It does not matter what you do, because in the end you will be forgotten, so make the most out of your life. This message can be taken out of context to mean drink as much as possible and have equal amounts of pleasure. However this is not what the verse means; it simply means that people should try to enjoy their lives. The purpose of Ecclesiastes is to encourage people to fear God. It may not seem like it, but the author uses depressing terms to show the one meaningful thing in the world, fearing God. Although it is hard to see at first, Ecclesiastes contains good news. Throughout this paper the term “good news” will refer to any information that gives hope to the readers.

Ecclesiastes was written during the time of Solomon. The book begins with the quester telling the readers that nothing matters. He then shows many examples of ways things do not matter, and tries to interpret the meaning of life. In the end, he discusses how the people need to fear God.  There are many messages that are prominent in Ecclesiastes. One of the key messages is that life is smoke. “Smoke, nothing but smoke. There’s nothing to anything-its all smoke,” (Message pg. 1). The term smoke does not simply mean the thick gas that flows from fire. Smoke in this case refers to something being meaningless. Another theme is that there is nothing new. In Ecclesiastes, it talks about how there is nothing new under the sun. He also includes that nothing changes, and that everything is boring, (Message pg. 1). The final prominent message in Ecclesiastes is that with knowledge comes suffering. “Much learning earns you much trouble. The more you know, the more you hurt,” (Message pg. 2). This verse shows the author’s negative view on knowledge. He continues the thought, and says that people who die young are lucky because they do not know much. This is because not all knowledge is beneficial to everyone.  Overall, there are many prominent themes in Ecclesiastes.

Furthermore, the purpose of Ecclesiastes is to encourage everyone to fear God. The author accomplishes this by showing how terrible the world really is, and how anything a person does is forgotten. That is except fearing God. The author writes in the final chapter that the only purpose to life is to fear God. “The last and final word is this: Fear God,” (Message pg. 16). The quester makes it quite clear that there is only one thing important to do on earth. Although the author encourages the people to live life to the fullest, he acknowledges that it will not matter in the end.  The author writes that the world is terrible and meaningless, to show what is really meaningful.

Finally, there is good news in Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes although depressing, shows some sign of hope for the future. Many believers look forward to being brought home to Heaven. Ecclesiastes shows this in many occasions. “And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil,” (Message pg. 16). Although this does not sound pleasant, it means when people die they will be with God. Even though God will judge them, they will spend the rest of eternity in Heaven with God. Another glimpse of hope is that God made people out of love, (Message pg. 10). This is important because earlier when the author mentioned God it was not so caring. He described God as someone just waiting to punish everyone for his or her sins. This verse however shows that God has a special connection with the people and will remember and care for them. Overall, even though Ecclesiastes is a depressing book, it has a few glimpses of hope for the future.

Bioplastics by Joey Gissendaner

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Joey Gissendaner

Mr. Carrell 10b Chemistry

October 3, 2012

It might be hard to believe that the plastic fork you used at the ball park while watching Auburn beat Louisiana Monroe the other day could have once been corn. In fact one percent of all the synthetic plastics manufactured is bioplastic or corn plastic ( Bioplastic is defined as “a form of plastic derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch…etc.” ( Environmentalists boast that bioplastics are better for the environment because they are biodegradable or compost-able, produce less pollution, and come from a renewable resource. However, all three of these reasons are flawed. The long-term effect of using bioplastic is not a world free from the evil petroleum companies, but the possible end of recycling as we know it and possibly also a lack of farm land used for food.

Firstly, bioplastics are not as biodegradable or as easily composted as is claimed. Companies that manufacture bioplastics say that their products decay similarly to an apple core. However, the truth is that it takes hot, moist temperatures like in commercial composting plants to make the plastic decay properly ( If bioplastics become prevalent, then gone are the days of the curb-side recycling. If even a few bioplastic items find their way into a normal plastic recycling batch, the entire batch is contaminated and prevented from being reused, due to the difference in melting points of the two substances ( It would take major changes in the recycling industry to be able to meet the demand. Recycling plants would need to find ways of either separating the two types of plastics or mixing the two. However, even if one decides to throw the fork or bottle into the compost pile in the backyard or it ends up in a landfill, the plastic will not decay at rate that the companies advertise (

And bioplastics do not actually produce less pollution, but a different kind of pollution. When the plastic decays it releases methane, a greenhouse gas ( Methane has been linked to global warming or climate change. Additionally the manufacturing of the bioplastics produces carbon dioxide ( According to eco-scientists carbon is the leading cause of climate change.

Finally, even the growth of the crops that make the bioplastics poses problems. According to article posted on by Jessica Marshall, a study by Landis Research Group found that the bioplastics have “higher impacts for eutrophication, eco-toxicity and production of human carcinogens.” In layman’s terms this means rivers polluted by fertilizer, harmful effects of chemicals on an environment, and radiation causing cancer, respectively. They linked these mostly to the crops that produce the bioplastics, specifically the pesticides used in their production.

In conclusion, bioplastics will, in the end, have negative effects. They will bring the end of recycling as we know it, and they will put composting into the hands of scarce commercial composting companies.

Works Cited

“Bioplastic.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. n.d. Web. October 1, 2012.
Lamb, Robert. “What is corn plastic?” HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks, Inc. n.d. Web. October 1, 2012.
Jewell, Mark. “Green Plastics Find Cautious Market.” Fox News. Fox News Network, LLC. October 2007. Web. October 1, 2012.
Marshall, Jessica. “Bioplastics not so Green.” Discovery News. Discovery Communications, LLC. December 2010. Web. October 1, 2012.
Vidal, John. “’Sustainable bio-plastic can damage the environment.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. April 2008. Web. October 1, 2012.