Student Paragraph Models - Taft School (The) | Haiku Learning

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Grandfather Description/Tribute
Everybody knows that my grandfather, Gong Gong, isn’t the sharpest tool in the
shed. Gong Gong has always reminded me of Forrest Gump—he will remain a child
forever, with a simple but accurate outlook on life. Unfortunately, Gong Gong is
nowhere near as lovable or as sweet as Forrest Gump. When my mother feels
particularly annoyed, she’ll tell me, “Connie, now you know why your grandma
regretted marrying Gong Gong. Your poor grandma!” There is a reason for why
everybody dislikes Gong Gong’s so much—he is rash, stubborn, and obnoxiously
loud. Although old age has caused Gong Gong’s personality to mellow, his
uncooperative nature remains evident. Gong Gong’s pickiness (he’s unwilling to try
any red colored food), nosiness, and deafness are just a few of his many flaws. The
unreasonable arguments, dislike of showers, bad memory, and the despicable hobby
of picking up trash make it unbearable to live with Gong Gong for more than a week.
Model Response to Summer Reading Zeitoun
The summers in Korea are fraught with rain, with monsoons and hurricanes striking the
peninsula. When I was younger, watching the newscasts showing houses in the south (where it
rains the most) submerged in water would kindle my innate craving for adventure and evoke a
recurring fantasy of mine: I would dream of Seoul being flooded and riding a raft to school. As I
matured and became more cognizant of the damaging effects of floods, and with my mother’s
shrewd observation that I would not be going to school if there was a flood, my summer fantasy
had faded from my memory, until I saw Zeitoun in his aluminum canoe. While Zeitoun is anything
but a lighthearted read, my childhood fantasy lead me to be drawn more to the adventure and
humanity of the book, rather than the shocking and politically provocative accounts of the injustice
and chaos in post-Katrina New Orleans. Zeitoun’s kindness even in the most dire situations is
what makes the book so inspiring. In a world where everything has been found and charted, the
“new” underwater New Orleans becomes an unexplored frontier, devoid of order. The drastic
conditions drive most of those in New Orleans to an “animalistic state”(175), but for Zeitoun and
some others who choose to ride out the storm, it brings forth their yearn for adventure and
extraordinary courage as they go out to explore the devastated city and help others. As the
people are pushed to rely on their most basic instincts, the book also seemed to highlight power
of love. It was Abdulrahman’s love and respect for his older brother Mohammed convinces him to
stay in the destroyed city. In a way, his decision is a tribute to his great and extraordinary brother;
it is a way Abdulrahman can live up to his brother’s achievements. Through Zeitoun’s love, a
positive power of love is demonstrated. However, the destructive power of love is also
documented in the story. While Zeitoun is in prison, the love of Zeitoun’s family for him slowly
eats away at them. Kathy becomes mentally unstable and Aisha, Zeitoun’s daughter, starts
shedding hair because of the distress she feels from losing Zeitoun. The family’s break down is
both haunting and deeply poignant. The shocking and horrific report of Zeitoun after he is
arrested did make an impression and made me question the stability of justice and order.
However,the humanity that can be found in Zeitoun amidst all the destruction and despair
enabled me to find hope in people and love.
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