LR#3 The Maltese Falcon


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 12, 2014


The story of Detective Spade makes me think of an adult version of Sherlock Holmes. There is affairs, murder, and gun violence. The story of Detective Spade starts the suspense by killing off his partner and admitting to the readers that there was an affair. And though they leave that part right there, they continue with the theme of sex by adding a relationship between Spade and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the initial client who faked her name and real motive for following this suspicious character Floyd Thursby. The cops like in Sherlock Holmes seem kind of behind a dumb witted, always looking for reasons to blame Spade. But Spade, though a little sarcastic and confident has a reason to be. He smart and though he may not seem like much and doesn’t like guns — like Sherlock Holmes– , he can fight and knows his way around a gun. Spade is the definition of a confident detective.

– Kyle Volk

R#3 “The Earthquake”


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Reflections | Posted on January 12, 2014

"The Earthquake"

“The Earthquake”

Here is my own depiction of John Muir’s writing: “The Earthquake”

LR#2 Hetch Hetchy Valley


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 9, 2014


“Garden- and park-making goes on everywhere with civilization, for everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul.”

When reading this line, I felt that John Muir is making a sensible argument for trying to keep Hetch Hetchy Valley, he is not attacking people for ruining the land but is just letting people know his opinion. By not attacking, he is not making people be on the defense about building homes but people also need nature. Nature gives “strength to body and soul.” Muir is making it seem that even though we need to build, we need to make sure to not just use it as a tool but we see it as a necessity for our survival.


“That any one would try to destroy such a place seemed impossible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing for Hetch-Hetchy is its destruction. These arguments are curiously like those of the devil devised for the destruction of the first garden — so much of the very best Eden fruit going to waste; so much of the best Tuolumne water.”

Here I found that Muir is making his final and strong point in his argument towards keeping the valley. Here he is going more on the offensive then the last quote. Here Muir is making a final attempt to tell people that destroying this park is wrong to do. To support his points and make his argument stronger Muir uses words such devil, first garden, Eden, and the phrase Eden fruit going to waste. Muir is no longer just making it an argument but a sin against God. If you vote to destroy the Valley than you are being a part of a plan that the “devil devised” against God and God’s first garden – Eden. Muir’s argument is a strong argument to end the essay with and is placed perfectly.


– Kyle Volk

R#2 My Home


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Reflections | Posted on January 9, 2014


When thinking of my home town, the first thing that comes to mind is dirt. Growing up, dirt was a part of life. Every year I got a new pair of shoes because my other ones got so dirty that they needed to be replaced. But to go along with the dirt, were tall trees, large fields of tall grass. The best part of being home was the sky though. Being able to look up when walking out in the morning and see the beautiful blue skies has always been one of my favorite things. Though that my be one of my favorite things, nothing beats laying down on the trampoline surrounded by trees and looking up at the stars in the night sky. Unfortunately, time has taken a toll on my little town and there is less trees and less open fields than before. Though this makes everything a little less calming and peaceful, a lot of the land is still great, and the skies still beautiful. But this is not all that makes my home what it is. The people in my town are another reason for the town being what it is.

About 10 years ago, the road to my house was finally paved and made into an actual road instead of just a gravel path that we drove on. Since then the town has grown about double in size. It started with community homes being built, then it moved on to apartments and multiple main stream pharmacies and grocery stores. This may not seem like a big deal but when I think back to my childhood where everyone knew each other in town, and there were family rivalries in the community sports leagues. This was a fun loving environment, always running into people at the store or going out to dinner. Its not like this anymore. The town has grown to an alarming size in just a couple of years. There was no way of expecting it. And though as a kid I may have not liked the fact that the town was so small and full of dirt, I miss it now. Every once in awhile I get depraved and dirt and need to go out and get dirty, do something to get my hands dirty and feel like I was in  the country again, back at home in my dirty shoes.


– Kyle Volk

LR#1 Joaquin Murrieta


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Lit Reviews | Posted on January 8, 2014

three fingers

The story of Joaquin Murrieta was a very interesting story, I found that it could almost be made into a movie. The way the story is told makes Joaquin Murrieta a proud Mexican hero of the Mexican-American people; a young orphaned man heading to America in search for gold. He came from Mexico in search of the “American Dream” and found that with the riches came a title of outlaw. But he wasn’t just any outlaw, he was a “Robin Hood” type outlaw, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Towards the end of the song, a reader can tell that Murrieta ended up getting his riches when it states that he has a “silver platted saddle.” He wasn’t rich enough to have a gold saddle because he shares his wealth, but he was still well off with his “silver platted saddle.”

– Kyle Volk

R#1 What is California?


Posted by kjv1 | Posted in Reflections | Posted on January 7, 2014


When thinking of California, the first thing that I think of is Northern California. Northern California to me is a place full of change and differences in both the people that reside there, and the drastic setting/environment change. It is a place where not only the weather changes, but within a couple miles of each other, the entire environment, the people, and the way of life can all change. Nor Cal is a place I can walk outside one morning and have the sun shinning bright on my face, but within a couple hours that can change and it can be pouring down rain. Nor Cal is a place where a person can move a couple hours away and feel like there in a completely different state.

I have grown up in Northern California all my life. I have traveled much of Northern and little Southern California because of baseball and basketball and every time I go somewhere I get to see how unique this state really is. My home town is a little town on the outskirts of Sacramento. Though it has grown a lot in the last ten years, it is still a town full of nature, dirt, and family. When thinking about home, I think of my childhood, before it began to grow, where everyone seemed to know everyone and if a person had clean shoes, it meant they were only a weeks old at the latest. It was a dirt town and though I miss it, it is nice to be able to wear white and keep things cleaned for more than a couple hours. Every place all the over world has a little thing that makes it unique, Northern California’s is that the place is a place of change.

– Kyle Volk

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