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April 27, 2006

I had a bad day...

I'm sitting in my Thinking and Writing class this morning when my mom calls me unexpectedly. Luckily, my cell phone was on vibrate, so I simply turned it on silent and I texted her back. She returned with a text that said, "She's going to the institute in Texas to help her with her anorexia..." Trying to hold back the tears, I tried to remember the many signs that my best friend showed that she was in fact an anorexic. Not that this is literature in any way, shape, or form, I felt that it would allow me to free the things that are in mind.

Let me start by saying that I have known this girl (we will call her "beth" even though that's not her real name) since I was in pre-school. Our first halloween was when I dressed up as the mouse and she dressed up as the cheese. We became the best of friends. We did everything together...Same kick ball teams at recess, same favorite color, same favorite soccer player; Everything we did, we did it together. Then we hit high school. We still were best friends; however, Beth began to isolate herself from me and the other sudents. We were both on the cheerleading squad and Beth had always strived for perfection. I noticed Beth's weight loss in eleventh grade. She was a 5'4'' blonde who usually weighed 120. (Note that she was a soccer player, baskeball player, cheerleader, dancer, and track athelete.) She was made of muscle and was so beautiful. For lunch, she would eat either lettuce, carrots, or cucumbers. She never let anyone see how much she was eating because she would hide her food. After we graduated and attended our first year of college, Beth dropped to a size zero in pant size and even had trouble getting them to fit because they were too big. She died her blonde hair black and began painting her nails black...come to think of it, she wore nothing but black.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I've never really been put in a situation where the person whom I really care about can do such a thing to their body. Beth is being sent away to Texas on Monday, May 1, 2006. This is twenty days before her nineteenth birthday. She is down o 85 pounds and refuses to eat anything. It just breaks my heart because this girl could have been anything she wanted to be. I'm not saying her life is over, but this is definately going to be an on-going problem, regardless of the help she receives. Looking back now, I wish I would have said something to her about her problem. I would have told her that she is perfect no matter what she looks like and thin ISN'T in. I would have told her anything to help make her be herself again. I am at a loss of words. After crying all morning and criticizing myself for not telling her that she had an eating disorder, I feel completely drained...both emotionally and physically. I wish I would have said something to her because I now realize that she would not have been in the situation she is in today. I feel like I am losing my best friend...I pray for her and I hope that the man above can make her right again. It is such a shame that she has to put herself through this along with her family and friends. I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense...I just needed to get these thoughts out of my system.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:09 PM | Comments (2)

I like quotes

Resurrection Blues Study Guide (online) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

In any study guide I have ever had, I have always enjoyed researching the quotes and learning more about them. In highschool, my teachers would test on the major quotes and I think this is why I tend to enjoy the quote section of a study guide more so than the other parts.

I am a sucker for quotes and I love looking into them. I will try to make them into something they aren't or just look deeply into them.

"Our dignity is modernization! Tell him he is going to die for all of us! (Felix, Scene 1)"

I disagree with this quote. While reading this book, I made several remarks, both on paper and in my head, about the modernization vs. love and spiritual relationships. Throughout the play, Felix keeps mentioning things such as modernization and money. But what he doesn't take time to look at, even at the end, is what REALLY matters in today's society. I'm not talking about just spiritual love, but rather love as a whole. People shouldn't care as much as they do about modernization and should instead focus on themselves and striving to be a better person. Modernizing a country won't make bonds tighter between people. Love, however, will. I felt as if Felix was the antagonist in the play although he never really did anything wrong. I also felt that Charley was the protagonist because he did change everyone at the end of the play. This was a different type of protagonist because Charley didn't seem to be the protagonist at the beginning because he was put behind bars. ...Good quote!

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

Resurrection Blues 3

Resurrection Blues 3 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Haha...well, I was completely wrong on my predictions for the conclusion of this book. It was worth a try though! I chose to blog about the last twenty pages of this book because those were the last ones that I read.

My most favorite quote in this section was when Jeanine said, "--Let's be honest, Felix; this man is full of love -- I think you realize that now, don't you; all he is is love. But we aren't. I'm not and neither are you. You've killed too many of us to forget so quickly."

When applying this to my personal life, I couldn't agree me. Because Jack, or by the end of the story, "Charley", represent Jesus ( I think he does), I was able to make a connection of Jesus Christ and Charley. Jesus has played such a major role on today's societ. When looking at all the church goers, I realized that all of these people felt that Jesus was full of love. Now, the characters in this book are sitting back and taking in Charley because of his love.

I thought the ending was a little long. I guess for a play it would have been alright...kind of corny. All of the characters seemed like they had their special turn in saying goodbye to Charley. However, not all of them actually had a special connection with him! On an ending quote, I will leave you at this,"Emily: ...Stay where you are and you will love in all our imaginations where the great images never die..."

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:13 AM | Comments (3)

April 26, 2006

Resurrection Blues

Miller, Resurrection Blues 2 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

What would happen if Christ were to appear in the world today? Jack, Ralph, Juan Manual Francisco Frederico Ortuga de Oviedo...I'll stick with Jack. I believe Jack is the Jesus Christ that gives people something to live for.

"That depends on what you mean by 'exist'; he certainly exists in the mind of the desperately poor peasant -- he is the liberator; for the General his crucifixion will powerfully reinforce good order, so he must exist...and I know a suicidal young woman of high intelligence who insists that he has restored her will to live, so for her he certainly exists. And needless to say, for you, of course...his execution will sell some very expensive advertising, so you are commited to his existing."

When I read in the Prologue about Jeanine jumping out of a window, I thought that this was because she did not want to live anymore. However, after finding out that she is Jack's girlfriend...or a female that Jack is interested in because he finds females confusing...and men too...but that's a different part, I feel that Jeanine jumped out of the window to try to crucify herself. I am sure Jack was her guidance and because she was with him, she wants to be crucified and become a "light".

I feel that Jack is an escape for the oridnary persons...just like Jesus is today. "I am convinced now apart from getting fed, most human activitiy -- sports, opera, TV, movies, dressing up, dressing down -- or just going for a walk -- has no other purpose than to deliver us into the realm of the imagination. The imagination is a great hall where death, for example, turns into a painting, and a scream of pain becomes a song. The hall of the imagination is really where we live; and this is all right except for one thing -- to enter that hall one must leave one's real sorrow at the door and in its stead surround oneself with images and words and music that mimic anguish but are really drained of it -- no one has ever lost a leg from reading about a battle, or died from hearing the saddest song..."

I believe that Jack is the "light" to all people who chose not to question his magical skills such as walking through a wall to escape jail. Ordinary people do not walk through walls. Speaking of light, I found sexual tendencies when reading the text. Such language can be found on pages 61, 64, 82, and 84. I know that Andy already mentioned one of them in his blog, so I will go into further detail in another one.

"Emily: I know, but what supression has spread down and down and down...until it's finally clobbered...your willy. You're simply going to have to let your feelings out, Felix, is all I'm saying."

I also snickered when Emily and Felix were out to dinner and Emily was talking about how she was interested in how her partner was at making love. Felix never heard of such language coming from a woman and Emily replies: "One needs it when one is not marvelous to look at." As a matter of fact, above the quote in the book, I wrote "Ouch! That's a hit below the belt!" That HAD to hurt his self-confidence...just a little bit?

I will probably be finishing the book tonight...now that I actually OWN a copy! This may sound like a weird prediction for the conclusion, but....I predict that Jeanine was never really alive in the first place. Jeanine is another light and that is why she is with Jack. I also predict that Felix and Emily will go to New York however, Felix will be fired from his job. Hmmm.... :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2006

Utopia

Hayles, ''Is Utopia Obsolete?'' (Online) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Imagine your own self in a world of utopia...everything is seemingly perfect. Or is it? While reading the Diamond Age, I noticed that everyone was trying to be perfect...wasn't that why the primer was made? However, in the book, I don't think that all the characters reach perfection. For example, Tequila's husband...perfect? FAT CHANCE. He is probably the most interesting yet the most imperfect character in this book. He's rude, mean, and treats people as he doesn't love them. Is his world a world of utopia?

Hayles talks about the Diamond Age is not really a utopia and instad is a mutopia. I don't quite understand this part because Nell is pretty much striving for pefrection. In a world of mutopia, that doesn't happen...

Posted by ElyseBranam at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)

Diamond Age III

Stephenson, Diamond Age 3 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Whew! I can't beleive I just read a five hundred page book. Hey folks, it's not about the quantity but rather the quality!! RIGHT?! I really enjoyed this book. Everything came together near the end. I'll have to say that I did enjoy the first part much better than the second part. I don't know why this was, but the first part was more interesting to me when I was able to read about each character and his or her different adventure. Stephenson did a very good job in depicting the main character, Nell. Obviously there were other characters, but Nell was by far, my most favorite because she was talked about throughout the book.

I liked how Stephenson decided to explain about the primers. "There were three coppies in all. The first on went to my granddaughter (Finkle-McGraw's granddaughter)-- as you will appreciate, I tell you this in confidence. A second went to Fiona, the daughter of the artifex who created it. The third fell into the hands of Nell, a little thete girl."
-----Before then, I didn't know exactly where the primers were located nor how many there were.

*There were alot of symbols of drummers and a drumming noise. Was this symbolic of anything or foreshadowing anything to come in the future? Also, is there a movie about this book? I wouldn't mind seeing it so I can compare my imagination to the movie.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:44 PM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2006

The Diamond Age II

Stephenson, Diamond Age 2 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

The Diamond Age is such an interesting piece of writing. I don't know how one man allowed all these different ideas to flow inside his head. One can tell that there has been an extreme amount of effort, planning, and detail that has been put into this book. I would like to comment about one specific passage that I found very alarming. While reading this book, I tend to day dream and sometimes get off track...don't we all sometimes? This part, however, captured my attention and as a matter of fact, I reread it just to make sure I was reading what I read, correctly.

..."The drumbeats and the dancing speed up very slowly. The erections tll Hackworth why this is taking so long: He's watching foreplay here. After half an hour or so, the excitrment, phallic and otherwise, is unbearable. The beat is now a notch faster than you basic pulse rate, lots of other beats and counterrhytms woven through it, and the chanting of the individual singer has become a wild seim-organized choral phenomenon. ....The dancers reach down, grip the flaccid reservoir tips of the radioactive condoms, stretch them out. Someone runs out with a knife and cuts of the tips of the condoms in a freakish parody of circumcision, exposing the glans of each man's penis. The girl moves for the first time, tossing her bouquet up in the air like a bride making her move toward the limo;...."

The passage is longer than what I have typed but, I'm sure you all remember reading it because it was so out of the ordinary! This passage just goes to show a reader how creative Neal Stephenson is when it comes to writing and creating this book.

I also liked how Neal was creative when beginning the second part of his book. By now, he was probably thinking that one, the reader was very interested or two, the reader was bored to death. Either way, the he does an excellent job in brining the audience back into the book for another round of creativeness and interesting readings.

This book is coming together very nicely. The one area where I am confused about is Dr. X. Is he someone else who is just given another name? I was a confused about what he does. I always seem to miss something when reading the sections that involve him.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 07:54 PM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2006

21 and 26

Foster (selections) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

IRONY DOESN'T WORK FOR EVERYONE!
I think this statement is very true. There is irony everywhere, but just like symbols, some people just don't get it. I try to look for irony but I tend to get confused at times. I try to listen, but I'm not going to lie, it is pretty difficult when what you are reading is full of irony and you don't get it till someone explains it to ya. I don't really know about these two chapters...there was a lot of talk without anything really being said.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:39 AM | Comments (0)

The Diamond Age I

Stephenson, Diamond Age 1 (rescheduled from 14 Apr) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Where does one even begin when wanting to blog about this book? I was absolutely amazed when I read this book; chapter after chapter; page after page. I have never seen anything like it before. I was in shock because this sounds like what the future will be like.
--->"On a previous visit to the mod parlor, two years ago, he (Bud) had paid to have a bunch of 'sites implanted in his muscles--little critters, too small to see or feel, that twitched Bud's muscle fibers electrically according to a program that was supposed to maximize bulk. Combined with the testosertone pump embedded in his forearm, it was like working out in a gym night and day, except you didn't have to actually doa nything and never got sweaty."
---> "As Bud took it from the banker's hand, the blank page generated a nice animated color logo and music. The logo developed into a peacock. Beneath it, a video presentation commenced, hosted by a similar-looking gent -- sort of Indian looking but sort of Arab too."

I was also shocked to see the F bomb being dropped so many times. Obviously, this is definately a college read, however I wasn't expecting to read profanity in every other paragraph. I'm not complaining, I just wasn't prepared.
--->"Harv was presumed by both Bud and Tequila to be Bud's son. He was five, which meant that he had been conceived in a much earlier cycle of Bud and Tequila's break-up-and-make-up relationship. Now the bitch was pregnant again, whcih meant that Bud would have to bring even more gifts to her place when he came around. The pressures of fatherhood."

I was a little confused about the many different stories that were being placed throughout the book just randomly. I know that it will all tie together; however, it is confusing right now. There are a lot of characters and a lot of different story lines...

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:23 AM | Comments (3)

April 09, 2006

H-Y-P-H-E-N -dash-

Truss 4 & 5 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

"If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad." WELL...prior to reading this chapter, I was beginning to think that I was going mad. I was able to understand the dash when Professor Jerz explained it in class; however, I was confused about the hyphen. While Jerz gave us a sturdy foundation to start with, Truss was able to go into further detail about hyphens. I suppose I was more confused about why dashes and hyphens had different names, when they looked exactly the same. I now know that they are called different names because they have different actions that they take.

A hyphen is used when spelling out numbers, such as thirty-two. A hyphen is also used to link nouns with other nouns, such as the London-Brighton train. Certain prefixes also require a hyphen such as un-American, anti-Apartheid, pro-hyphens (giggle), quasi-grammatical. Also, when certain words are spelled out, a hyphen should be used to indicate what you want to be pictured---> S-E-T-O-N H-I-L-L... A hyphen is also used for hesitation and stammering.

A dash is used when a writer is concerned about connecting or seperating phrases and sentences. A dash can be replaced for a comma. This is how I remember what the difference between a dash and a hyphen is.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 04:47 PM | Comments (5)

April 04, 2006

Second Part

Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 2 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

"People believe in God because the world is very complicated and they think it is very unlikely that anything as complicated as a flying squirrel or the human eye or a brain could happen by chance. But they should think logically and if they thought logically they would see that they can only ask this question because it has already happened and they exist. And there are billions of planets where there is no life, ut there is no one on those planets with brains to notice. And it is like if everyone in the world was tossing coins eventually someone would get 5,698 heads in a row and they would think they were very special. But they wouldn't be ebcause there we be millions of poeple who didn't get 5,698 heads."

*Can I first start out by stating the obvious- the kid doesn't know how to use commas and it is driving me crazy! I keep running into the next thought and then I have to reread the sentence over again because I got a little confused. Maybe he should attend Jerz's grammar class. Then he'd get straightened out!


**This autistic boy is such a critical thinker. I don't think he can even think of anything outside the box of his little world. He can't imagine something that he can't see and therefore, doesn't believe in a religion because he can not seem to grasp the fact that just because something isn't visible to the naked eye, it doesn't mean it's not there.


***I thought the endingc came to soon. The ending of the book really was when Haddon announced that Christopher's dad killed the dog. After that statement, I think that alot of the readers whom I have talked to quit reading the book or became less interested in the book.

Do you think this book is literature? (even though it seems like an elementary read...?)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:38 AM | Comments (5)

April 03, 2006

Curious Incident

Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 1 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

"These are some of my Behavioral Problems
A. Not talking to people for a long time
B. Not eating or drinking anything for a long time
C. Not liking being touched
D. Screaming when I am angry or confused
E. Not liking being in really small places with other people
F. Smashing things when I am angry or confused
G. Groaning
H. Not liking yellow things or brown things and refusing to touch yellow things or brown things
I. Refusing to use my toothbrush if anyone else has touched it
J. Not eating food if different sorts of food are touching each other
K. Not noticing that people are angry with me
L. Not smiling
M. Saying things that other people think are rude"


* This was one of my favorite parts when I previously read this book for the Freshman Summer Read and, looking back over the book, this part is still one of my favorite parts. Christopher Francis Boone is such an intellecutal character who takes a notice to every surrounding detail. I specifically enjoyed this part of the book because he allows the readers to know specifically what he dislikes. The poor boy, I feel so bad for him because he doesn't know how to read people's emotins and gets easily confused.

I thought Haddon did a very good job in describing his autistic symptoms. I am in a class this semester where we are learning about Autistic children and this book describes pretty closely to how a child would be.

Up 'til now, this book is entertaining due to the real life symptoms. The book is definately one of my favorites so far.

After reading and rereading this book, I still don't understand why the cover is like it is. Hmmmm......

Posted by ElyseBranam at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)