Reading Assignment: pp.78-118 in Out of the Dust

Writing Assignment: Clearly, playing the piano gives Billie Jo enormous pleasure. She talks about having a "hunger" for it; and the way she is playing it is "sizzling."* Playing, for her,  is "heaven."

Please open your assignment by identifying the book's title and briefly describing Billie Jo's love for the piano. Then use a transition to describe what it is that makes you feel the way Billie Jo does about the piano, something along the lines of  "Although I don't play the piano, I understand how Billie Jo feels. It's the same way I feel when I .... 

Briefly describe the thing you love, whether it's riding a dirt bike or painting a landscape (an area of land)

So there are three parts to the assignment (1) introduce the book and Billie Jo's love for playing the piano (2) introduce what it is you love to do and (3) describe the activity. If at all possible include a simile or metaphor in your description of the activity or how you feel about it, for instance, "When I'm on my bike, I feel like the wind and I are one."

 

*Used in this way, "sizzling" means exciting, but it can also be used to describe food, as in "He had three eggs along with a plate of sizzling bacon." That means the bacon is hot and giving off drips of fat. 

Last edited by Laraine
Original Post

Here is Alice's response:

 

In the book, Out Of the Dust, the main character Billie Jo shows big interest of playing piano. Well, I love piano too, so I can know the feelings when she plays it exactly. For myself, I do not only enjoy playing piano, but I like oil painting too. I had just started to learn oil painting two months ago, but I learn fast, so I can paint very well now. (I hope I can send you some pictures) When I paint pictures, it just feels like dreaming. When you are modulating the colors, it’s so magical that just one or two color can became so many other beautiful colors, just like playing the piano, only a few notes can became a brand new music, isn’t it brilliant.

 

 

Alice, this is altogether lovely. I especially like that simile, "When I paint pictures, it just feels like dreaming." I think the simile perfectly captures what artists feel when they are in the act of creation.  And I love how you link the piano playing to the painting.  Really great response. 

In Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust, playing the piano makes Billie Jo very happy. Her family was really unlucky, her mom died and her dad was sad and sick. The only thing could made her happy was playing the piano. When she plays piano, she throws all unhappy things off. Although I don't play the piano, I understand how Billie Jo feels. It's the same way I feel when I play my electric guitar. I turn up the volume and play my favorite song. At that time, I forgot all the unhappy things. I only felt the hunger for playing music. Only felt happy.

 This section is beautifully written, not an error to be found: "Although I don't play the piano, I understand how Billie Jo feels. It's the same way I feel when I play my electric guitar. I turn up the volume and play my favorite song. " Plus a nice smooth transition (see bold), and I love the metaphor about wanting to play music being like a hunger for food. Excellent work. 

 

In Karen Hesse’s book Out of the Dust. The main character Billie Jo love playing piano. Piano for her is just like food. Also piano is her only hope and interest. Even I don’t play piano, but I understand what Billie Jo think about piano is. Like my hobby drawing. When I am boring, sad or something wrong with my life. I will start drawing and that makes me happy. Drawing for me is like something in my life that can’t pass out. And for Billie Jo the piano is the same thing.

In Karen Hesse’s novel Out of the Dust, the main character, Billie Jo, was crazy about piano. She thought playing the piano was just like lying on the beach or walking through the flower sea, beautiful and comfortable. In the story, her teacher had invited her to play the piano for money. She did it because of enjoyment instead of money. At first, her mother didn’t agree with that, but her enthusiasm in piano touched her mother. I couldn’t agree with Billie Jo more because I loved piano, too. There was an old piano at my place. It was my aunt’s gift from my grandmother, which was a nice instrument but also a beautiful memory to all the people in my family. Through the music, I could forget all the unhappiness and really rest my body and mind. Music washed out all the filth on my mind. When I touched the keys, all the nervous things disappeared right away. I was in cloud nine every time I played the music.

@Cindy, This is lovely. Your feelings about drawing really come through. I'm reading a novel right now with a character that I think you could identify with. Every time she needs to feel better, she picks up a pad and starts to draw. And I love the simile you used that playing the piano was like food, a necessity of life. Nice work. 

@Alfonso, This is perfectly beautiful. I didn't realized you played the piano. Many of these sentences, like these examples, are perfectly written: "At first, her mother didn’t agree with that, but her enthusiasm in piano touched her mother. I couldn’t agree with Billie Jo more because I loved piano, too. There was an old piano at my place. It was my aunt’s gift from my grandmother." I love, too, the idea of the piano being a memory for your family. Wonderful work!

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