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Family History

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S: Reading Journal Task

1: The Running Man is a very interesting book about a boy called Joseph Davidson, a Vietnam veteran named Tom Leyton, and the mysterious Running Man. Joseph is asked by Caroline Leyton (Tom Leyton’s sister) to draw a portrait of Tom for school. To the Davidson’s nosy neighbor’s annoyance, Joseph agrees to draw the portrait. But there was always the Running man - always that phantom form somewhere in the distance, always shuffling relentlessly closer.

2: THE RUNNING MAN TASK 1 The initial impression I receive of the figure on the front cover is a mysterious man lurking in the darkness. I base my opinions on the image the man portrays. The man has his back hunched and he wears long shabby clothing not revealing much skin this gives me the impression that he is old and down trodden. The graphics on the cover also highlight “the running man,” in colossal, bold letters to grab the reader’s attention. The wording on the cover also suggests that the story may contain a journal or a diary of some description. The quote on the back cover alludes to a person trying to outrun their past but it is persistently pursing them. “Always shuffling relentlessly closer” According to the blurb it utters that the book is based on a young neighbor, Joseph Davidson indicating that this book would be suitable for young adults. It is also relevant to young adults as it deals with making rash judgments about people. The dangers that can result in stereotyping on a person’s appearance are missing out on a good friend. The most common reason we tend to judge a person right away by their appearance are for security reasons. This leads us to look down at people whose clothes are not in fashion, or if their hair is not deemed trendy, etc. Not because they like to be nasty, but because it helps them feel better about themselves.

3: But there was always the Running man - always that phantom form somewhere in the distance, always shuffling relentlessly closer. | Grandfather | Great Grandfather

5: THE RUNNING MAN TASK 2 After reading the first chapter, the story begins with Joseph attending a funeral. I predict in the immediate future that a close friend to Joseph will pass away. As the author describes, Joseph is with his mother in the front pew. I foresee in the short term that Joseph had something to do with death of his friend. Due to the quoting, "It's my fault”. To try and ignore the depressing atmosphere Joseph tries to visualise himself in a different place but the surrounding sounds of the clearing of a throat or the sharp echo of a shoe knocking clumsily against a hard wooden kneeler bring him back to reality.”. This seems to me that Joseph may be carrying some kind of guilt. When Joseph recalls the recent past, he sees the faces of three men - his father, Tom Leyton and the Running Man. He sees his father's face, the last time he had looked on it, bewildered, hurt and angry. Then Joseph sees Tom Leyton's face, silent as a stone, hidden deep within the shadows of his room. Last but not least he also sees the face of the Running Man. This gives me the impression that in the long run the running man is a figure in Joseph’s life, (whether he is an actual person or a figment of his imagination is not known) and has haunted him since he was a young child. I expect the story to flash back as Joseph recalls the events of the previous months. The six strengths of the first chapter was the writing of Michael Bauer as he has created the book, language, features, inference/deduction, showing not telling and characterisation.

6: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

7: THE RUNNING MAN TASK 3 | Character: Tom Leyton Describe: A full bread fanned out in streaks of grey below his mouth, but elsewhere shows reddy-brown patches. His hair is long and falls in sandy waves over his ears. Slight bags have formed under his dark green eyes with deep flecks of gold with in them. Has large hands and solid forearms. He wears loose dark clothing. Tinge of red visible in his complexion. Image: His eyes appeared only as the ghostly remains of fire that had been swallowed by the night and gone cold. imposes like a rock cliff Lizard shredding his skin His beard look like tea stains Significance: Has lost hope. No emotion, lifeless Beginning to change Does not sleep very well at night He has seen too much and doesn’t care to see anymore He is Awkward and slouched posture.

8: When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

10: The Running Man Task 4 In the story The Running Man the author describes various settings. Two settings that help the reader relate to the emotion of the characters are the mango tree and Tom Leyton’s room. One of these significant sceneries is the large mango tree at the back of the Davidson’s yard. This tree had been one of Joseph’s favorite places when he was younger. When Joseph leans back on the trunk of the mango tree he thinks that the outside world seems to no longer exist. The board welcoming of the solid smooth-barked branches reminds Joseph of when he was child. Playing inside the large friendly branches, imagining that he was Tarzan in his jungle hideaway. Other times Joseph would pretend to be a pirate in the rigging of a sailing ship and would climb to the uppermost branches and poke his head through the canopy, thinking that he was in a crow’s nest. High above, the patchy ceiling of the leaves arched like a cathedral. Basically, the mango tree was a place where Joseph could let go of his imagination and take a break from what was happening in reality. According to the description of Tom Leyton's room, it advocates that the man who lives there is as ordinary as anybody in the neighbourhood. The room contains an old, floral green carpet that covers the floor. Down the middle of the room the carpet had been rubbed away, exposing patches of brown underlay. The bare walls were a non-descript dull tan colour, a neatly made bed, double windows, and a large closet, two bookcases which contain a few old newspapers, a desk which has several pieces of stationery placed on top of it and a cork notice board which has a few pieces of paper pinned onto it. None of the furniture in the room gives anyone the feeling that the man who lives there has dark secrets and is mysterious to the neighbours.

11: All their lives in a box!

12: Mother | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother

13: Task 5 Significant events; 1.Funeral that Joseph attends- unknown decreased person 2.The rumors of Tom Leyton 3.Caroline asked Joseph to draw her brother Tom 4.Joseph agrees to the suggestion of drawing Tom Leyton 5.Joseph remembers the first time he encountered the running man 6.The first meeting of Joseph and Tom Leyton 7.Joseph learns the story of Tom Leyton’s past – the photographs In the event, the reader is positioned to see through Joseph’s perceptive, when Mrs. Mossop is chitchatting to Joseph’s mother about his next-door neighbors, The Leyton’s. Mrs Mossop reminds Joseph of a bird because of the way she stands and behaves. She sticks her nose into everything, hunting around the neighbourhood for juicy gossip. It didn’t take long for the Davidson’s to be filled on the local history. A Vietnam Vet, Tom Leyton lives in his family home with his outgoing sister, Caroline, and devotes his time to raising silkworms. One afternoon Caroline Leyton makes a suggestion for Joseph’s art project to draw Tom Leyton. A nosy neighbour warns Joseph and his mum about rumours that Tom was asked to leave his teaching position due to improper behaviour toward a student, but Joseph perseveres, with Caroline's encouragement. Mrs Mossop's, Laura Davidson's and Joseph's attitudes towards Tom Leyton are not positive. In fact, he is considered as a tantalising riddle for the whole neighbourhood. Mrs Mossop thinks that Tom is a dangerous, sick man. On the other hand, Laura Davidson believes that he has gone through a lot and has seen more of the world than he wanted to. She believes that this is the reason Tom behaves so strangely. For Joseph, Tom Leyton has become an accepted unknown, like the dark interior of a house passed by every day but never entered. Another key incident that the reader is able to is see through Joseph’s eyes was the first time he encountered the Running Man. His mother referred to the ragged figure that scuttled down the footpaths of Ashgrove as that ‘that funny fellow,’ but as far as joseph was concerned there was never anything funny about the Running Man. He was, quite literally, the matter of nightmares. Joseph was eight at the time, and had only just started Grade Three at primary school attached to St Jude’s Church. It was the second day that joseph would make the journey home by himself without his mother’s guiding hand. Just when the walk home seemed as if it would be as uneventful, Joseph spotted a large pile of sand. A glint of light came from the far side of the sand pile and appeared to be caused by some kind of medal or coin lying with a sliver of its rim exposed. All he needed to do was jump over the water, take a few steps across the sand, pick up whatever it was, and return in the reverse manner to the footpath. Quickly taking one large step forward, he leapt easily across the watery sand. But when Joseph’s right foot made contact with the sand, instead of finding a firm footing, his shoe plunged deep into the cold and didn’t stop until most of his leg was engulfed by a thick mixture. After the initial wave of panic passed, Joseph focused his efforts on extracting his foot. Then he looked back towards the school and the tall brick tower of St Jude’s Church. And that’s when he saw him. And that’s when he saw the Running Man. One more key element that is described through Joseph’s eyes is when Caroline proposes to Joseph to draw her brother Tom Leyton. It was a Saturday morning and Joseph had just finished mowing the lawn when he heard his name bring called. He looked up to see Caroline at the fence. Caroline asked politely if Joseph could mow their lawn for some extra money and Joseph approves. The next day after he had finished mowing the Leyton’s lawn he and Caroline sat together on the cool concrete. Shortly Caroline asks Joseph how is school going and Joseph replies by explaining he has a big art project next term. Joseph must draw a portrait of a real person, like someone you know. That’s when the idea of her brother entered Caroline’s mind for Joseph to draw him as his masterpiece. But When Caroline suggests to Joseph that he draw Tom Leyton for his school project, he reacts badly and feels surprised. It is as if something unspeakable has been thrust between them that cannot be taken away. Joseph tries to search for words to say no but he remains struck dumb, with a half-smile frozen on his face and his cheeks burning with embarrassment. | Task 5 Significant events; 1.Funeral that Joseph attends- unknown decreased person 2.The rumors of Tom Leyton 3.Caroline asked Joseph to draw her brother Tom 4.Joseph agrees to the suggestion of drawing Tom Leyton 5.Joseph remembers the first time he encountered the running man 6.The first meeting of Joseph and Tom Leyton 7.Joseph learns the story of Tom Leyton’s past – the photographs In the event, the reader is positioned to see through Joseph’s perceptive, when Mrs. Mossop is chitchatting to Joseph’s mother about his next-door neighbors, The Leyton’s. Mrs Mossop reminds Joseph of a bird because of the way she stands and behaves. She sticks her nose into everything, hunting around the neighbourhood for juicy gossip. It didn’t take long for the Davidson’s to be filled on the local history. A Vietnam Vet, Tom Leyton lives in his family home with his outgoing sister, Caroline, and devotes his time to raising silkworms. One afternoon Caroline Leyton makes a suggestion for Joseph’s art project to draw Tom Leyton. A nosy neighbour warns Joseph and his mum about rumours that Tom was asked to leave his teaching position due to improper behaviour toward a student, but Joseph perseveres, with Caroline's encouragement. Mrs Mossop's, Laura Davidson's and Joseph's attitudes towards Tom Leyton are not positive. In fact, he is considered as a tantalising riddle for the whole neighbourhood. Mrs Mossop thinks that Tom is a dangerous, sick man. On the other hand, Laura Davidson believes that he has gone through a lot and has seen more of the world than he wanted to. She believes that this is the reason Tom behaves so strangely. For Joseph, Tom Leyton has become an accepted unknown, like the dark interior of a house passed by every day but never entered. Another key incident that the reader is able to is see through Joseph’s eyes was the first time he encountered the Running Man. His mother referred to the ragged figure that scuttled down the footpaths of Ashgrove as that ‘that funny fellow,’ but as far as joseph was concerned there was never anything funny about the Running Man. He was, quite literally, the matter of nightmares. Joseph was eight at the time, and had only just started Grade Three at primary school attached to St Jude’s Church. It was the second day that joseph would make the journey home by himself without his mother’s guiding hand. Just when the walk home seemed as if it would be as uneventful, Joseph spotted a large pile of sand. A glint of light came from the far side of the sand pile and appeared to be caused by some kind of medal or coin lying with a sliver of its rim exposed. All he needed to do was jump over the water, take a few steps across the sand, pick up whatever it was, and return in the reverse manner to the footpath. Quickly taking one large step forward, he leapt easily across the watery sand. But when Joseph’s right foot made contact with the sand, instead of finding a firm footing, his shoe plunged deep into the cold and didn’t stop until most of his leg was engulfed by a thick mixture. After the initial wave of panic passed, Joseph focused his efforts on extracting his foot. Then he looked back towards the school and the tall brick tower of St Jude’s Church. And that’s when he saw him. And that’s when he saw the Running Man. One more key element that is described through Joseph’s eyes is when Caroline proposes to Joseph to draw her brother Tom Leyton. It was a Saturday morning and Joseph had just finished mowing the lawn when he heard his name bring called. He looked up to see Caroline at the fence. Caroline asked politely if Joseph could mow their lawn for some extra money and Joseph approves. The next day after he had finished mowing the Leyton’s lawn he and Caroline sat together on the cool concrete. Shortly Caroline asks Joseph how is school going and Joseph replies by explaining he has a big art project next term. Joseph must draw a portrait of a real person, like someone you know. That’s when the idea of her brother entered Caroline’s mind for Joseph to draw him as his masterpiece. But When Caroline suggests to Joseph that he draw Tom Leyton for his school project, he reacts badly and feels surprised. It is as if something unspeakable has been thrust between them that cannot be taken away. Joseph tries to search for words to say no but he remains struck dumb, with a half-smile frozen on his face and his cheeks burning with embarrassment.

14: The Silkworms All their lives in a box! What generations, "What centuries of masters, not meaning to be cruel But needing their labour, taught these creatures such patience That now though sunlight strikes on the eye's dark jewel Or moonlight breathes on the wing they do not stir But like the ghosts of moths crouch silent there. Look it's a child's toy'. There is no lid even, They can climb, they can fly, and the whole world's their tree; But hush, they say in themselves, we are in prison.

17: Monday, 21st July 2004 As a general rule I try not to have regrets; I believe that all our experiences make up who we are good or bad, mistake or success. Having said that as soon as I saw ‘regret’ on that little paper from my journal box. My duties would be to assist him with his major art project. He would help with breeding silkworms, extracting them and placing them in their cardboard boxes, gathering mulberry leaves for their feed etc. etc. At the time I was not very social able, and the thought of having a boy drawing a portrait of me for a week was more than I could bear; My secret fear. He soon became my best friend. I regret giving trust, I regret giving love, I regret caring, The chaos within, will now begin. I don’t believe in regrets, but I can’t help but wonder "He would tell you the truth, the first time, but I couldn’t do the same.” My heart is broken, the pain just lingers, my chest is heavy, my heart beats fast I wonder why I’m here, I feel like nothing. The difference between what is right . . . And what is wrong. Or the difference between what is good . . . And what is bad I question every action . . . Truth is. . . I don’t want to be me. Tom Leyton

18: Mother | There is no word to tell them that they are free, And they are not; ancestral voices bind them In dream too deep for wind or word to find them. Even in the young, each like a little dragon Rampant and green upon his mulberry leaf, So full of life, it seems, the voice has spoken: They hide where there is food, where they are safe, And the voice whispers, 'Spin the cocoon, Sleep, sleep, you shall be wrapped in me soon.' Now is their hour, when they wake from that long swoon; Their pale curved wings are marked in a pattern of leaves, Shadowy for trees, white for the dance of the moon; And when on summer nights the buddleia gives Its nectar like lilac wine for insects mating They drink its fragrance and shiver, impatient with waiting, They stir, they think they will go. Then they remember It was forbidden, forbidden, ever to go out; The Hands are on guard outside like claps of thunder, The ancestral voice says Don't, and they do not. Still the night calls them to unimaginable bliss But there is terror around them, the vast, the abyss, And here is the tribe that they know, in their known place, They are gentle and kind together, they are safe for ever, And all shall be answered at last when they embrace. White moth moves closer to moth, lover to lover. There is that pang of joy on the edge of dying — Their soft wings whirr, they dream that they are flying.

21: Great Grandparents | Parents | Grandparents

23: Our Ancestors

24: Parents | Grandparents | Great Grandparents

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  • Title: Family History
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