April 2009 Archives

Portfolio Dos

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It's the end of the semester folks and here is my American Literature portfolio that will demonstrate the work that I did for that class and what I learned. I think from the blogging I learned to analyze (and did analyze) books more than I did in the actual class. I didn't learn much about America during the 1915 to present, but the reflection on the changes (or lack of) in culture was interesting.

This blog, like all the others, are seperated by sections: Coverage, Timeliness, Interaction, Depth, and Discussion. To see more info on these individual topics (like what they mean or the criteria) or to browse other students' blogs, visit the highlighted sections.

Coverage:

Timeliness:

Interaction:

Depth:

Discussion:

Mullments with Jesus

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There were a lot of moments to mull over in Resurrection Blues. It took me a while to figure out they were somewhere in Latin America. I'm just so used to everything happening in America (especially since it is American Lit) and I'm used to hearing of communists as bad and Americans as good that I just assumed.

That was my only real hang up. It was pretty clear from right off the bat it the story was about new Jesus or some figure like him. I enjoyed all of the deep thought and I'm still not sure what side I would be on. Crucify or not? There are so many reasons, but (with the way their culture was and our culture is now) I don't feel crucifixion would help at this point. Like in the book, we would make it too novel and materialized.

This brings me to a question: If there is a God and a Son of God who was incarnated to human form, would he have the same impact today? Would he have any impact? How would he have to be changed to get the message across? Or are we all doomed to no further salvation and just the rapture?

I also really liked the idea of imagination and what we feel or what we think we see isn't really anything compared to what it could be and how we could really, strongly feel like how that Jesus guy would weep for hours. "The hall of the imagination is where we usually live; and this is all right except one must leave one's real sorrow at the door..."

I liked this (and the rest of this quote) so much that I can still not wrap my mind around the full meaning.

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It's Just Sex...

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This is the approach I have to keep reminding myself to take as I read this book. "It's just sex." A lot of people do it so why am I disturbed when the author talks about his cock, her desire to have him, or sexing up his younger self.

Although the scene is never really in there, its in there. There are enough clues and graphic language to make it too obvious. Perhaps its because I'm used to sex being covered up in literary novels. Or I don't expect to see it in a novel I read for class. Or because I don't normally read anything with (so filled with and with so many types of) sex.

I think its because as Foster says in latest chapter that everything is about sex unless it is sex. Sex is ugly and animalistic and there is no way to truely capture that passion. Also, I don't see how Niffenegger really uses sex for anything except sex (which is normal in a marriage or any relationship) and to move along the plot (in the sense of Henry getting caught with himself and starting the predeterminism thought).

Or is the graphic language/idea of sex trying to say something serious? Something that I can't find. Something related to predeterminism or his infertility? I don't think so. Then again I don't know.

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Fly Away Dirty Minds

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So this entry is not much about the sex chapter, although I really did enjoy them. I agree that sex is everywhere in literature unless it is specifically a sex scene. Then, it is just graphic sex. Those were another couple of chapters where I knew everything already. I was just hearing it said out loud (and not for the first time either).

I probably really enjoyed those chapters just because they were about sex. It's a taboo subject so its fun (and strangely alluring) when we actually get to read about it. What this blog is really about is flight. "Flight is freedom" (128) really struck me because I started to connect all the ideas and sayings that we use to describe freedom and flight. It's almost synonymous and yet we can't truely fly.

In a bad situation, we respond by either fight or flight. If a person not very tied down, they are described as "flighty." When your dreams take "flight" they are realized/set loose/freed.

What other metaphors or sayings can you think of? Do we do this because its something that everyone wishes they could do? I know when I used to be stuck in practice or at school I wished I could literally fly out of the buildings. I knew no one would be able to catch me because (gasp) people can't fly. 

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Forming of New (Sometimes Bad) Habits

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New Levels of Stress: Anxiety & Depression

College is a time of growing and should be filled with new challenges and friends, but the stress can trigger new responses in a student's body: anxiety and depression

(First tell signs of a real anxiety or depression disorder)

Told from the Eyes of the Students:

What stresses them/Things that set off anxiety attacks, panic attacks, depression episodes

·         Freshman 15

·         Scheduling Classes

·         Work load in classes

·         Hovering Parents

·         Peer Pressure

·         Living away from home

·         Roommates

·         Finals/Midterms/Crunch Time

·         Making new friends

·         Grades and scholarships

·         Fitting in

·         Being undecided

How do they feel about it/Makes them feel

·         Grouchy

·         Want a change or to go home

·         Confused

·         Frustrated

·         Sad

·         Tired

·         Angry

What do they do about it (good and bad?):

·         Yoga

·         Sports

·         Counseling Center

·         Disability Office

·         (Self) Medication

·         Nap/Shower

·         Hobby

·         Procrastination

·         Video games

·         Shop

·         Exercise

·         Breathing Exercises

·         Hang out with friends

·         Dropout

Sidebar: What Seton Hill Can Do For you? Or How SHU responds?

·         Counseling Services

·         Disability Relief

·         Visiting Doctor may prescribe stuff

People I can interview:

·         Any Student (friends or strangers) *Can we make it anonymous quotes?

·         Myself

·         Disability & Counseling services

·         Teachers and their POV working with these students

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Emerson said...Or was it Ellison?

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So reading this article I felt a little confused. I kept getting the names Ellison and Emerson mixed up when I was reading. It wasn't until a couple pages in that I even realized that I was making this mistake. The names are really close and (from what I gathered) their ideas are very similar.

I also think that I would have better understood this article if I knew more about Emerson or Ellison as real people and actually read Emerson's "Eloquence." I feel like this article is speaking more (making judgments) about the author more than making a claim about the actual book. Or did I also overlook this?

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The (Non) Rape of Sybil!

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So in chapter 24, Sybil wants to be raped (kind of. Is it really rape if she wants it?) and she tries to seduce the narrator to do that for her. This whole sequence is quite odd because Sybil wants it to happen and the narrator doesn't (at first), but then he starts to get into it and Sybil just pases out from the alcohol. The narrator loses his nerve and backs off, but when she wakes up and asks what happens he tells her he did it. He pretends for her that they never met and all that junk.

What is Ellison trying to say about the narrator? That he is honest? Or he has morals? But then he does lie to her...Is it that he just wants to please everyone? But he is trying to hurt George by being with Sybil, right? So he's not pleasing everyone. Perhaps this is some comment about race then?

Another thing I found interesting was Ellison's slight comment about women's rights. On page 519, Sybil says she thinks she is a nympho because "Men have repressed us too much. We're expected to pass up so many human things."

Here she is talking about women's sexuality. Is Ellison trying to show how women were also treated unfairly, but still keep the focus on black racism and not sexism?

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