May 3, 2007

Reflection of Denamarie Ercolani's Final Paper

After reading Denamarie's rough draft on the psychoanalytical criticism of The Tempest and Cinderella was a bit rough, but had many interesting points. I think that she went into plot summary a bit too much, and needed to place more emphasis on her argument. Her paper has a great thesis paragraph, and nice mechanics. I believe that if she changed her argument slightly, using the ID vs. Superego, it will tighten her paper up considerably, and she will do dynamite on the final paper.

There is also a bit of repetition with the words "dreams" and "desires" but some of them are necessary to her paper. I think that she implements them well, but she might be using them a bit too much in order to create an argument. I also think that there is a little too much "quotage" from critical authors, than from her own thoughts, and that will not take much to revise. She has a great style of writing: to the point, no flowery style like myself. I think that if she incorporates more from her own argument, and more quotes from the literary texts as well, she will be able to create a very sound paper. There is also a slight difficulty with subject-verb agreement, but that won't take much to fix.

Overall, I think that her paper is good, but it still requires some work in developing the arguement. With some time, dedication, and hard work, she will be able to create a criticism that will be very good to read. I would suggest more quotes from the text, less plot summary, and more critical arguements about the ID vs. Superego will boost the depth of her paper considerably, and knowing Denamarie, she will have no problems in accomplishing these tasks. I wish her the best of luck!

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 7:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2007

The FINAL (Yes...the Final) Blog Portfolio

Portfolio III -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

This is it! This is the final blog portfolio of my college career. While I am definitely excited about the conclusion of this course, there is a part of me that will miss it as well. Did Dr. Jerz put a blog spell on me? Because I am now convinced that I enjoyed this course, and for the most part, the blogging. So what did I learn about the Weblog Portfolio? I have learned that there is another way to communicate besides speaking in class. I have learned that people who are shy and meak in class, and geniuses on the blog. I have learned that more ideas come from a group of people than just myself. And I have finally learned that the arguing is not always the method to get your point across; it needs to be exactly what it is: a forum.

As for my favorite criticism, I still would have to say that the Mimetic Criticism is my favorite, with intertextuality second, and this new historicism a close third. I really enjoyed learning about different criticisms, and I certainly liked to create my own criticism: the idealism criticism. I really have had some fun with this course, and my most memorable moment was working with Karissa Kilgore (the Kiz) on the term project concerning AIM. I have never had so much fun in an English class, unless you consider the Shakespeare presentation to which I was in tights, and Stephan Puff was in a red dress.

I have been very reflective of my experience at Seton Hill, and I must say that I have really gained as a person. I have grown from the pompous, arrogant freshman who considered himself as an athlete, to the future teacher with a greater knowledge of Literature, and the history associated with it.

Without further a due, here is the final (I can't believe it) Weblog Portfolio. I hope that all will enjoy:


De Man Tells it Like it Is
Loose Ends are Intentional: A Miko Essay
Guetti Gets Down to Business
Feldstein and the Reader-Respoststructuralist Criticism
Keesey Chapter 7 Introduction
Eagleton and Culture as the Base
Belsey and Representation of History
Greenblatt and A Different Spin on Culture
Garson and Keats's Historical Knowledge
Barker and Hrume: Reading the Readings
Dock and Friends: Show Me the Struggle


The Kiz and I totally tore this project apart. I was so excited whenever we were compiling this project, and I was definitely satisfied with the outcome. We put a lot of hard work into this, and I think that this class was my favority yet because of all of the creative presentations. Kudos to all of you, they were simply awesome!

EL312 Term Project: Me and the Kiz


Here is the reflection of the content and writing behind Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels:

Term Paper Draft Completed: I Think...

Here is a reflection of critiquing Denamarie Ercolani's Final Paper on the Psychoanalytical Criticism of "The Tempest" and "Cinderella"

Reflection of Denamarie Ercolani's Final Paper


Tiffany decided to host a blog carnival that takes a look at the Educational side to literature. I was definitely excited about this one!

Blog Carnival: The Education Perspective


Valerie Masciarelli's "A History Lesson"
Kevin Hinton's "Growing Up Guetti"
Karissa Kilgore's "We're Fictioning All the Time"
Denamarie Ercolani's "De Man Showed Me the Sign"
David Moio's "I Wonder if Miko Drives His Lunchmates Crazy"
Mitchell Steele's "Garson a Little Fem?"
Vanessa Kolberg's "The Irony of Wallpaper - Feldstein Presentation"
Tiffany Brattina's "Marx? A Literary Critic?"
Gina Burgese's "Society Dictates our Life"
Kevin McGinnis's "A Return to Innocence: Don Keesey's Exile to Historical-Cultural Criticism"


Here is a wildcard entry on the influence of my four year experience at Seton Hill University:

The Difference Between Change and Growth: A Final Reflection

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:07 AM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2007

Term Paper Draft Completed: I Think...

So I managed to create 15 1/2 quality pages about Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, and I think that it is a well written paper. I think that I applied two different criticisms, authorial intent and mimesis, and rather than bashing one, I said how both of these were a necessary combination to this argument. Now that that's said, I'm sure that Dr. Jerz is tearing my paper a new @$$****.

I decided to argue that in order for Jonathan Swift to portray his message that humanity is flawed, and needs to change, he has to create some realistic characteristics to these characters in order for his audience to see these flaws. I argued such points about views of politics and government, religion, morality, instinctive behavior, human interaction and communication, and the optimistic hope for a new society. I also argued that Swift needed to portray the worst and best case scenarios in the Yahoos and Houyhnhms in order to lead his audience into heading in the positive direction. This is the basis of my paper; there is much more that went into this.

The "blood, sweat, and tears" that was put into this paper can not be described by words. Not leaving your keyboard for 5-6 hours at a time is something that I would like to think is dedication, and I hope that the material that I have acquired over the past 3 1/2 months was integrated into this final paper. Now, I am just waiting for feedback, both from my peers and from my professor. I hope that the people that read this understand the effort and dedication that went into this paper, because I understand that you are going through the same process that I am.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

The Difference Between Change and Growth: A Final Reflection

Dana Lightman wrote that “…our greatest success comes when we can meet the changes we encounter with flexibility, adaptability and resiliency.” Through using these qualities, the potential to grow occurs. As I conclude my four-year journey at Seton Hill University, I have learned the difference between change and growth. What I have learned is change is constant, and growth is a long-term process that requires both achievements, mistakes, and other experiences that one can learn. I have made achievements well beyond my belief and capability, but I have had my fair share of mistakes, which I have learned from and have made improvements toward never making those mistakes again. Seton Hill University has shown me that both positive and negative experiences are a part of one’s full academic growth.

As an English major, I wanted to explore more into the reading of novels, poems, and other forms of literature, but like many others, I was in complete shock with the variety of different English courses and requirements. After all of these challenging projects, I now have a positive and confident outlook on entering my future career. I wanted to be prepared for educating others in English, and I feel that I have been prepared for much more than just English, I have been prepared to enter a new career. After receiving my placement for student teaching, I have also understood that I am now entering my rite of passage into adulthood. Graduation is next week, the love of my life and I are moving in together, and the future of teaching in North Carolina is right around the corner.

Some may say that I have changed; I would like to believe that I have grown. First of all, I would like to thank all of you for reading my weblogs over the years, I would also like to thank my professors for helping this process of growth, especially Dr. Wendland, Dr. Silvis, Dr. Leap, Dr. Murray, and Dr. Jerz. Without them, I would not have had the greater knowledge of literature, and the greater knowledge about myself. Finally, I would like to thank my family and my beautiful love April. All of these people have made such an influence in this maturation, and without them, I would not be the man that I have become. So once again: Thanks to All of You!

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

Blog Carnival: The Education Perspective

Tiffany proposed this question to us for this blog carnival:

"With all of the different methods that we have studied, I'm sure that you all have your own ideas of how to introduce a work. My question is which way do you think will be best for you and your students? Why? Will you use more than one method?"

First and foremost, I would need to make sure that the students are engaged into the material. If the students do not care, or cannot relate, then they will not be interested when they are done with the novel. I would personally simply introduce the work, then become more and more creative as the lesson progresses. Also, I think that concerning high school students, a direct teaching style will have to be necessary for some of the lessons. I spoke to my co-operating teacher for my student teaching, and he told me to be prepared to educate and the creativity will come with the lesson.

I think that finding a cooperative learning strategy about halfway through the literary work will be what makes or breaks the students' interest. Having a student act out a play, or construct the Globe Theatre are just a few ideas for a Shakespearean play. I think that a combination of teaching styles are important. But more imporantly, I think that the students should learn more about THEMSELVES when they are learning about the literature. For me personally, I loved my English classes in high school and college because I learned more about my own philosophy of life in general. I would love to be the one to present this to my students whenever I enter the field.

If you are talking about criticisms, I think that there are multiple criticisms that could work for a high school setting. Authorial Intent, Reader-Response, New Historicism, and Mimeses are all criticisms that could be effective, but it really depends on the age group. For juniors, which I was I received to student teach (WOOP WOOP!), I believe that all four of these could be integrated into the literature. But for a middle school/early high school setting, I think that to establish understanding, the student can really only be able to relate (reader-response), or look at the author's background (authorial intent). I just think that the other criticisms are a little bit advanced. Not to mention, in high school, plot summary and characterization were the two most imporant qualities to literature.

Overall, I have multiple teaching strategies that I would like to integrate into the secondary classroom, and after typing this blog carnival entry, I am only more excited to student teach. I think that we can use a diluted version of literary criticism into the high school setting, as long as we can still make the literature interesting and engaging to them. I was glad that education got mixed into this blog carnival, because I think that there are people who would like to discuss the actual teaching of English. Kudos to you, Tiffany.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:55 PM | Comments (1)