Short Story #3

She pushes the lettuce and beans around the large salad bowl she didn’t want to order but bought for the simplicity of its purchase. She looks at her friend, waiting, almost impatiently, for her to just tell her.

“Please, just tell me the truth,” her friend had pleaded, and she wants to, desperately, but, once a liar, always a liar, right? The tangle of lies she can’t keep straight are all the she knows, and the only thing she wants to know, really.

She’s not sure why it’s anyone’s business and hates her friend for pushing and prodding and hates herself for being a liar but terrible at lying. She giggles, forces a bubbly laugh out of her throat and smiles widely at her friend, wishing that she never agreed to go to lunch, that she never put herself in this spot in the first place.

Homework Help: General Chemistry Experiments

  1. A student wrote the following in their lab notebook and lab report: “Initial volume of NaOH = .3” They lost several points for doing this! Why?
    • Did not include proper units (mL)
    • Did not use correct number of sig figs (volume of titrant in buret is to the nearest 0.01mL)
    • Should be written as 0.30mL
  2. A student started the tritration using ~0.1 M NaOH, but forgot to add the phenolphthalein indicator to the analyte solution at the start. Upon adding 3 drops of indicator a while later, the solution was colorless. The student asks for help and would like to know if it is OK to continue with the titration. What would you tell them to do?
    • It is still OK to continue the titration (as long as initial volume of NaOH is known), because as of now, the experiment still has a ways to go before reaching the end point of the titration.
    • Finish the titration and remember to put indicator next time at the start of the titration
  3. What instruments will be used to acquire the absorbance spectrum of your MiO stock solution and to measure the absorbance of your MiO solutions?
    • Spectrophotometer to acquire absorbance spectrum
    • Colorimeter to measure absorbance
  4. To obtain a Beer’s Law plot, what will your plot on the x- and y-axes?
    • x-axis: concentration
    • y-axis: abosorbance
  5. In the reaction using nickel(II) chloride hexahydrate (NiCl2•6H2O), why will the product be washed with ammonia and acetone, and not water?
    • Washing the product with ammonia will convert Ni(OH)2, which we do not want, to Ni(NH3)xCly, which we do want
    • Washing the product with acetone will ensure that the byproducts of the reaction will be washed away, leaving only Ni(NHx)Cly, which is insoluble in acetone. Acetone will also dry
    • Washing Ni(NHx)Cly will make it impossible to get a 100% yield because Ni(NHx)Cly is insoluble in water. A minimum volume would have to be used, but a small amount of product will still inevitably be washed away
  6. If the Ni(NHx)Cly compound synthesized turned out to be a white powder, explain why you could not use colorimetry to determine the mass percent of the Ni(II) ion?
    • If the compound synthesized was white, the compound will reflect all visible light (white color is the reflection of all colors), so colorimetry will not effective to use because it measures the compound’s absorbance of visible light. The absorbance will be 0, and this value cannot be used to calculate mass percent.

Homework Help: The Plague Chapters 1-4

  1. Describe the town of Oran:
    • Oran is “a large French port on the Algerian coast” (The Plague 3). Oran is an “ugly” (3) town due to “the violent extremes of temperature, the exigencies of business, the uninspiring surroundings, the sudden nightfalls, and the very nature of its pleasures call for good health” (5).
  2. What does the novel say about who is narrating this story?
    • The novel says that the narrator’s identity “will be made known in due course” (6), but at the moment, all that is revealed is that his only business is to say “what happened” (6) in Oran.
  3. Identify three (3) basis of authority on which this person writes/speaks:
    • What the narrator saw firsthand
    • Other eyewitnesses accounts
    • “Documents that subsequently came into [the narrator’s] hands” (7)
  4. Notice all the reports about rats and all the subsequent denials of their importance. What is the significance of the rats? Why do people insist on explaining them away?
    • The rats are the first signs of a problem in Oran. The rats foreshadow the plague and what will happen to the people who become infected with the plague. As the days passed, more and more rats came out “to die singly in the halls of public offices, in school playgrounds, and even on café terraces” (16). This is similar to what will happen to the people of Oran once they contract the plague: the plague will start slowly and then start causing the death of people en masse. The rats also were what spread the plague in the first place. People insist on explaining them away because they do not want to admit that there is something bad happening. Instead of trying to face the problem head on—the threat of plague—the people of Oran at first make up excuses for the dead rats. For example, M. Michel at first explains away the dead rats as “some youngster trying to be funny” (8). By choosing to explain away the rats, rather than address the problem, the people can live in blissful ignorance.
  5. Who is the first person to get the plague? What symptoms does he have?
    • Michel, the concierge of the building Dr. Rieux lives in, is the first person to get the plague. At first, Michel had a fever and pains “in his neck, armpits, and groin” (17). His symptoms soon get more serious: he vomits “pinkish bile” (20), has swollen ganglia in his neck and limbs, and develops black patches. He complains of internal pains. He later goes into delirium. His mouth was “thickly coated now with sores . . . his face had gone livid . . . his breath came in sudden gasps” (22).
  6. Describe Bernard Rieux:
    • Dr. Bernard Rieux is a doctor. His wife is ill with an unnamed disease, so he sends her to a sanatorium in the mountains. Dr. Rieux is “a man sick and tired of the world he lived in—though he had much liking for his fellow men—and had resolved, for his part, to have no truck with injustice and compromises with the truth” (12). This description of Dr. Rieux is seen as accurate when plague breaks out: Dr. Rieux risks his own life to continue working as a doctor and helping the plague victims. Jean Tarrou’s notebooks also provide a physical description of Dr. Rieux: “Looks about thirty-five. Moderate height. Broad shoulders. Almost rectangular face. Dark, steady eyes, but prominent jaws. A biggish, well-modeled nose. Black hair, cropped very close. A curving mouth with thick, usually tight-set lips. With his tanned skin, the black down on his hands and arms, the dark but becoming suits he always wears, he reminds one of a Sicilian peasant” (29).
  7. Describe Othon:
    • Othon is the police magistrate. He is tall and dark with “the air of what used to be called a man of the world” (11).
  8. Describe Raymond Rambert:
    • Raymond Rambert is a journalist who came to Oran to report on the living conditions among the Arab population. He is “short, square-shouldered, with a determined looking face and keen, intelligent eyes” (11).
  9. Describe Jean Tarrou:
    • Jean Tarrou is a slightly eccentric but good-humored man who was “always ready with a smile” (24). His profession and reason for coming to Oran in the first place are mostly unknown, although he apparently “had private means and was not engaged in business” (23). Tarrou kept notebooks of “seemingly trivial details which yet have their importance” (24).
  10. Describe Father Paneloux:
    • Father Paneloux is a priest. He is “a learned and militant Jesuit . . . who was very highly thought of in [Oran]” (17). He helps M. Michel walk to Dr. Rieux’s house when he first started getting symptoms of the plague.
  11. Describe Joseph Grand:
    • Joseph Grand is the clerk in the Municipal Office who sometimes complies “the figures of births, marriages, and deaths” (41). He is about fifty-years-old and is described as “tall and drooping, with narrow shoulders, thin limbs, and a yellowish mustache” (18). Grand is paid very little by the office, despite being promised a promotion and a comfortable pay. He does not bring up this issue to the office, as he “couldn’t find his words” (45). Dr. Rieux considers Grand as “something of a ‘mystery man’ in his small way” (43). In his personal time, Grand works on writing his book. (46)
  12. Describe Monsieur Cottard:
    • Monsieur Cottard attempts to hang himself due to a “secret grief” (34), though he does not do it “from a sufficient height, or very suddenly, for the collar-bone had held” (19). According to Joseph Grand and Dr. Rieux, Cottard is a traveling salesman who has “private means in a small way” (32). Grand also describes Cottard as a “queer bird” (32). Before his attempt to hang himself, Cottard was silent, secretive, aloof, and mistrusting. However, afterwards, Cottard was “always trying to strike up friendships” (53).
  13. Why are the city leaders reluctant to publicly declare a plague?
    • The city leaders are reluctant to publicly declare a plague as they are “convinced that it’s a false alarm” (47). If they do publicly declare a plague, they would have to “apply the rigorous prophylactic measures . . . but of [the plague] there was no absolute certainty” (49). They are also likely reluctant to publicly declare a plague because they had the “desire not to alarm the public” (51).
  14. What is the power of the word “plague”? What does it suggest? What words would incite the same response today?
    • The word “plague” invokes powerful, negative connotations. It suggests a disease so devasting that it can ravage cities and kill thousands. According to Dr. Rieux, the word “plague” brings to mind “not only what science chose to put into it, but . . . Athens, a charnel-horse reeking to heaven and deserted even by the birds; Chinese towns cluttered up with victims silent in their agony; the convicts at Marseille piling rotting corpses into pits . . .” (39). If Oran were to call the illness a “plague,” it could incite fear into the populace, due to the horrifying imagery associated with the word. Words that could incite the same response today could be “apocalypse” and “nuclear war.”
  15. Discuss the town’s “disbelief in pestilences”. What does this mean? Can you name other examples of communal disbelief?
    • The town’s “disbelief in pestilences” does not mean that they do not believe in disease in general, but that they did not expect for their town to be afflicted by it: “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blues sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise . . . A pestilence isn’t a thing made to man’s measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere body of the mind. . . they forgot to be modest . . . thought everything still was possible for them; which presupposed that pestilences were impossible” (36-37).
  16. Which character insists on naming the plague publicly? Why?
    • Dr. Richard insists that the illness to either be or not be named as the plague, as he believes that if the committee decides to “apply the rigorous prophylactic measures laid down in the Code . . . it would be necessary to admit officially that plague has broken out” (49). At the end of the meeting, Dr. Richard declares that the health committee should “take the responsibility of acting as though the epidemic were plague” (51), although he wants to clarify that they are not naming the illness as a plague. Dr. Rieux says that “it doesn’t matter to [him] . . . how [they] phrase it” (51) as long as they take the appropriate measures to deal with the it. He is the first person to name it as it actually is—the plague—though the first time he utters the word is in private.

Recipe: Corn Soup

A recipe my mom used to make for me.

When I was a kid, my family used to eat soup in our household, maybe once or twice a month. The soup was always the same simple soup, either corn soup or ham (spam) soup, which my mother would make because she said it was both easy and delicious (and it was). When I grew older, I would help her make the soup. This is the recipe as I remember:


  • 1 can sweet whole corn kernels
  • 2 can sweet cream corn
  • 2 can chicken broth (can be replaced with vegetable broth)
  • 1 can water (refill the corn can with water)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tin spam (optional, to make ham soup)


  • Pour corn, cream corn, chicken broth, water, and spam into large pot
  • Place pot on high heat and wait until soup just begins to boil
  • Stir in eggs
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Ready to serve!

This dish makes approximately 12 servings (1 serving = 1 bowl). To store, wait for soup to cool down and place in fridge.

Homework Help: A Raisin in the Sun Act II Short Answer Study Guide Questions

Scene 1:

  1. What was Beneatha’s family doing when George came in?
    • Beneatha is in the Nigerian outfit that Asagai gave her, and Walter is drunk. They are dancing and singing Nigerian songs, and Walter is standing on the table shouting.
  2. What are “assimilationist Negroes”?
    • They are, according to Beneatha, “someone who is willing to give up his own culture and submerge himself in the dominant, and in this case oppressive culture.”
  3. What did Mama do with her money?
    • She bought a house.
  4. What was Walter’s reaction to Mama’s purchase? Ruth’s reaction?
    • Walter was very upset and bitter. He claimed that she has “butchered up” his dream. Ruth, on the other hand, was elated. She felt that she would finally be out of their miserable old apartment and have a proper home.


Scene 2:

  1. How did Ruth find out Walter hadn’t been going to work?
    • Walter’s boss called, telling Ruth that Walter hasn’t been to work in 3 days.
  2. Where had Walter been going instead of work?
    • He has been driving and walking around the city, watching people.
  3. What did Mama do for Walter?
    • She gives the remainder of the insurance money to him, telling him that although he must put $3000 in the bank for Beneatha’s schooling, he could use the rest for whatever he wanted.


Scene 3:

  1. Who was Karl Lindner, and why did he visit the Youngers’ house?
    • Karl Linder was the representative of the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. He visited the Youngers’ house to ask them not to move into Clybourne Park, as it was an all-white neighborhood, and they are black. He also told them that the association members were willing to pay the Younger’s not to move.
  2. What was Walter’s reaction to Lindner?
    • He tells him to get out of their apartment.
  3. What presents did Mama get?
    • She gets a set of new gardening tools from Ruth, Walter, and Beneatha, and an elaborate, wide gardening hat from Travis.
  4. What news did Bobo bring to Walter?
    • He tells him Walter that Willy has never shown up to the place where they had planned to meet. He has most likely took all their money and ran off, without a trace.

Homework Help: A Raisin in the Sun Act I Short Answer Study Guide Questions

Scene 1:

  1. Why did Walter ask Ruth what was wrong with her?
    • He asks that because she was acting somewhat angry.
  2. Why was Ruth upset when Walter gave Travis money?
    • She is upset because she already told Travis that she won’t give him money, because they don’t really have enough to spare. Walter also undermines her authority as a parent by giving Travis money, when she specifically told him he will not get money.
  3. Who are Willy and Bobo?
    • They are people that Walter is “friends” with, who want him to invest in a liquor store with them.
  4. Walter said, “Damn my eggs… damn all the eggs that ever was!” Why?
    • He says this because he is frustrated that whenever he tries to talk to Ruth about himself, she just tells him to eat his eggs and go to work. He feels like she doesn’t support him and his ideas.
  5. Who is Beneatha?
    • Beneatha is the younger sister of Walter, who wants to become a doctor.
  6. Why was Mama getting a check for $10,000?
    • She is getting a check because it is the life insurance money of her late husband.
  7. Why did Beneatha say she wouldn’t marry George?
    • She thinks he is shallow and that his family is snobbish. Although she admits to liking him, she says that she does not love him, and he also does not approve of her becoming a doctor.
  8. What was Beneatha’s attitude towards God?
    • She does not believe in God and is tired of Him getting credit for all the things the human race achieves. She thinks that “there is only man and it is he who makes miracles.”
  9. What happened to Ruth at the end of Act I Scene I?
    • She passes out.


Scene 2:

  1. Who is Joseph Asagai?
    • He is a friend of Beneatha, from Nigeria, who she calls “an intellect.”
  2. What did Ruth find out at the doctor’s office?
    • She finds out that she is pregnant.
  3. Why is Asagai’s present to Beneatha appropriate?
    • Asagai’s present, clothing from Nigeria, is appropriate because it symbolizes Beneatha becoming wrapped up in her current fad, when she literally wraps the clothes around herself. It also foreshadows her “putting on” a new life.
  4. Why is Asagai’s nickname appropriate?
    • Asagai’s nickname for Beneatha, Alaiyo, means “One for Whom Bread- Food- Is Not Enough.” This is appropriate because Beneatha, along with Asagai and Walter, both want more from life than just survival: they want to a better quality of life.
  5. What does Mama say is “dangerous”?
    • She says that it is dangerous “when a man goes outside his home to look for peace.”
  6. Where did Ruth actually go instead of the doctor’s office?
    • She goes to a talk to a woman about having an abortion.
  7. Why did Mama call Walter a disgrace to his father’s memory?
    • He has become overly concerned with money has lost his traditional family value, so much so that he doesn’t even try to convince Ruth not to have an abortion, despite his mother’s prompting.

Homework Help: English: Romeo and Juliet Timeline

Day 1:

  • (Morning) Fight (between Montague & Capulet servants and Benvolio & Tybalt)
  • Prince separates fighters and threatens them with death
  • (Night) Ball at the Capulet House
  • Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love
  • Balcony Scene


Day 2:

  • (Dawn) Romeo goes to Friar Lawrence to ask to get married
  • (Afternoon) Romeo and Juliet get married
  • Fight (between Tybalt & Mercutio)
  • Mercutio dies
  • Fight again (between Romeo & Tybalt)
  • Tybalt dies
  • Romeo is banished
  • Romeo goes to Friar Lawrence for help
  • Romeo goes to Juliet’s chamber


(Some unspecified time after Romeo’s banishment, Lady Montague dies)


Day 3:

  • (Dawn) Romeo leaves Juliet’s chamber
  • Romeo goes to Mantua
  • Capulet tells Juliet that he arranged a marriage for her
  • (Afternoon) Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence for help
  • Juliet receives potion
  • Juliet goes home and apologizes
  • Capulet moves marriage
  • (Night) Juliet takes the potion


Day 4:

  • (Morning) Juliet found dead
  • Funeral


(Some unspecified time after Juliet’s funeral, Romeo is told of her death by Balthasar)

(Some unspecified time after Romeo is told of her death, he buys a poison)


Day 5:

  • Juliet has been asleep for almost 42 hours
  • (Night) Romeo goes to Juliet’s tomb
  • Romeo fights Paris
  • Paris dies
  • Romeo sees Juliet’s body
  • Romeo ingests poison
  • Romeo dies
  • Friar Lawrence enters tomb
  • Juliet awakens
  • Friar Lawrence leaves tomb
  • Juliet sees Romeo’s body
  • Juliet dies


Day 6:

  • (Morning) Romeo and Juliet’s affair is discovered
  • Peace between the families

Poetry #1

I knew that

we would not last.

The same way I knew

snow melts in the spring.

I kissed you anyway,

placing my lips softly on yours.


I wanted

to be your forever,

and for you to be mine.

But I knew that

we would last

As long as snow in the spring.