Before I Let this Blogging Portfolio Beat Me Down, I'll Die with This Entry on My Screen, Lord, Lord.

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.....That's just the sort of week It's been. For anyone who hasn't been studying the John Henry legend, and reading John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead for the last week or so, that's what the title was adapted from. Anyway, as John Henry defeated a steam drill, and then died, I'm really starting to relate to him. I'm taking 24 credits this semester, and it's coming to that special part of the year where all the really big things are due (2 Research papers, Senior Seminar portfolio, grad school application, a handful of poems, a few short reflection papers, undoubtedly some reading, and most likely several things I've forgotten about are due next week). So while I'm still optimistic that I'll win this "competition," at this stage I'm not ruling out the potential for a very dramatic death upon my victory. (I'm thinking brain aneurism or just fatigue....or my brain might melt into a little puddle of goo and drip out my ear, though I'm not sure what the medical term for that is).

Anyway, all frustrated complaints aside, this is my third portfolio for the class, Writing About Literature, . The first one explained the class, so skip to the next paragraph if you've read it. Anyway, the class is pretty much about, as the title suggests, writing about literature. For this reason, the entries that will be referenced here are a blend of responses to text-book chapters, and responses to various works of literature, including an editorial, a textual novel, a graphic novel, poetry, and a few stories. The collection of literature has been entertaining for the most part, and especially varied, as there is no set genre, form, time period or any other governing factor for the collection, all that matters is that its literature, and can be analyzed, and thus written about.

This portfolio is designed simply to showcase the work I've done since the last one. To begin with, I'd like to present a few blogs that I feel are reasonably well written, in terms of addressing the literature, and providing insight about the material. One of the several entries for John Henry Days, by Colson Whitehead, is especially good (and really long). It goes into the entire idea of oral history, and compares it to youtube, and other internet forms of storytelling. (it even discusses the "Dramatic Chipmunk"). Sailing From Romanticism to Realism, is a rather in-depth blog about a rather short poem, entitled "Cargoes" by Masefield. I found a clever interpretation that is nothing like that given in Roberts' text. Editorial: Stimulating Incumbency was a bit different as it discusses an editorial (you can tell from the title) rather than a piece of "literature." This was just a fun one for me to write, as I sort of miss being a journalism major (who prefered to write opinion pieces) at times. I liked Crazy Room Colors which deals with Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," which was fun, because rather than arguing for a certain meaning, I argue for the lack of one.

 The reason we blog, rather than write lots of little essays, is that they offer a chance for discussion. Blogs are an online conversation, rather than a work of writing. These next few are blogs of mine that show some interaction and discussion with my peers. Framed Comic Frames and Arbeit Macht Frei both dealt with Maus by Art Spiegleman. The first deals with the narrative form (and provided part of the idea for my research paper) the other dealt with the end of the story. Editorial: Stimulating Incumbency which I mentioned, got some chatter and Definately a Student, which discusses "Theme For English B" by Langston Hughes got a couple comments. Wow, so THAT'S what irony is....I NEVER knew that, about Roberts' chapter on irony got some spam from laser hair removal Manhattan. (With the years adding up quickly, and the hairspray and dye taking its toll, I'm currently more concerned with keeping my hair, than removing it)


With any communication, it is necessary for it to go both ways. Thus, it would be remiss of me to not mention other people's blogs that I participated in discussions on. In Diana Griffin's blog, entitled "You Can't Always Get What You Want," I completed the lyric, and then was about Maus by Speigelman. In Josie Rush's blog "You Can Judge an Editorial By Its Title" I joined in a rather lengthy discussion that slightly strayed from the subject of editorial writing, to the subject matter of the editorial...though I think I brought it back on topic toward the end. In Jessie Khrelik's blog about Hughes' poem, "What is True?", I joined in a large discussion of the poem, and an interpretation completely different than what I blogged about.    

 To increase the chances for communication, it is important that my blogs are done early enough that others get a chance to comment on them. Sailing From Romanticism to Realism, Arbeit Macht Frei, and Definately a Student, which I already mentioned, were all done a day before they were due. As was, Freelancin', Social Interaction and Air-quotes Gone Wrong,  which discusses the first part of John Henry Days....and to be honest, as I explained in the intro, this steam drill of a course load is just beating me down, and I've really been slipping up on the blogs. Once I cut any sort of social life, recreation, household chores, and sleep out of my life, but needed more time, blogs were the next remaining step. It looks like things lighten up soon though, so hopefully I'll do better for the rest of the semester.    

We were asked to pick a favorite blog, and it need not even be related to this class. I selected Tom Sawyer's Degradation of Jim?, which is about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Samuel Clemens, which we read in American Lit.. It's not particularily long, but it's one of the few blogs that isn't in another portfolio. I like it because I use (and possibly coin the term) Don Quixotian. It's also a bit witty, and gave me the idea that I'm using for my research paper in that class.  

To sum everything up, here is a list, in order of every blog required for the class since the last portfolio :

Framed Comic Frames ------on Art Speigelman's Maus

Arbeit Macht Frei -------on Art Speigelman's Maus

Sailing From Romanticism to Realism ------ on James Masefield's "Cargoes" and Roberts chapter 8 

Crazy Room Colors------on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"

Setting --------on Roberts chapter 6

Editorial: Stimulating Incumbency --------on George Will's "Stimulating Incumbency"

Alliteration, Repetition and Snappy Lines--------on William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30"

Butchering Allusions in Famous Poems---------on John Keats' "On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer"

The Words were Pictures, Visual like Hieroglyphics-------on Roberts chapter 9

Impressive Imagery--------- on Katherine Mansfield's "Mrs Brill"

Redundancy-----------on Roberts chapter 18

Definately a Student-------on Langston Hughes' "Theme for English B"

Wow, so THAT'S what irony is....I NEVER knew that-------on Roberts chapter 11 (not the type of bankruptcy declaration, just the eleventh chapter of his book)

Freelancin', Social Interaction and Air-quotes Gone Wrong-------on Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days

Views-------on Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days

Oral tradition and the Internet...and a random funny bit.-------on Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days

The End-------on Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days  



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