April 2008 Archives

Be one with nature.

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For Faith, Religion and Society, we were required to complete our last experimental learning activity on either Thursday or Friday. We had the option to attend class on Thursday, or attend an event on Friday which happened to be a tree planting ceremony. Seeing that I'm a huge environmentalist, I jumped at the opportunity to be outside and I chose the ceremony. At one o'clock, I hiked over to the front of DeChantal and met my fellow classmates for what would be an eye opening and truly peaceful experience.

After a short speech from Dr. Klaypack, Father Stephen lead us in a religious hymn for the blessing of our world and its people. Afterwards, he blessed the tree and read a very beautiful poem about life in general, and our continuous search for meaning. In addition, other people came up to the tree and read poetry about nature, and inner beauty, and honestly, one couldn't help but to feel a sense of inner peace and self satisfaction. Maybe it's the hippie in me slowly coming out, but I really enjoyed watching the tree be blessed and everyone coming together to admire it's first breathe into the world.

Dr. Klaypack said that a tree is so much more than just a tree; he stated that it was the lungs to our world. If one takes a step back from the rushed lives that we all lead, one can see that a tree is not just a plant, but rather a looking glass into the past, present, and future. A tree tells a story, whether it be from its aging rings, to the color and deterioration of its bark, we can see what it has been through, where it is at, and where it is going. We can look to it for shelter, for peace...for survival. A tree is so much more than just a tree. One just needs to open there eyes and see it for what it really is.

Going to this ceremony made me reflect on a piece by Annie Dillard that I read for my American Literature class titled Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Dillard can be compared to Emerson and Thoreau’s style of writing, for she focuses on the beauty of nature, and our ability to see a budding flower, rather than just a boring stem erupting from the earth. One quote in particular in Dillard’s piece really stood out to me. She states, “But the artificial obvious is hard to see. My eyes account for less than one percent of the weight of my head; I'm bony and dense; I see what I expect. I once spent a full three minutes looking at a bullfrog that was so unexpectedly large I couldn’t see it even though a dozen enthusiastic campers were outing directions. Finally I asked, "What color am I looking for?" and a fellow said, "Green." When at last I picked out the frog, I saw what painters are up against: the thing wasn't green at all, but the color of wet hickory bark (Annie Dillard 3019)."

While I was at the ceremony, I really tried to focus on the inner sight that she speaks of in her piece. I think that we as a society miss a lot of what is going on around us because we don’t take the time the appreciate small miracles and the intricacies of nature. The ceremony really put Dillard’s words into perspective and it was absolutely beautiful to see her thoughts and experiences come to life at the university.

(For further information about the concept of sight, see my blog entry on Annie Dillard)

Maybe following the light isn't so bad afterall.

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"Kelekian- This treatment is the strongest thing we have to offer you.  And, as research, it will make a significant contribution to our knowlege (Edson 11)."

I really enjoyed this play, despite my initial reaction to when I picked up the book.  I know that they say that you should never judge a book by it's cover...BUT, I'll admit that I did.  Technicially, it wasn't the cover though, it was the title.  When I saw that it was titled W;t initial reaction was "Oh God...It's a play about punctuation! WHAT NEXT!" I was honestly anticipating another Truss gone wild with punctuation book, but I digress!

I loved this play because I think that it teaches you a lot about life and your identity. When Vivian found out she had Cancer, I think that she took it a lot better than most people would (maybe because she had a PH.D. in Donne's poetry, and was surrounded by death all the time). She even had a sarcastic, but good, sense of humor about all the treatment plans and pain that she was going to endure in the next several weeks.

I liked that she tried to stay positive throughout the play, despite her lack of visitors, and uncaring doctors. Ethan stated in his blog entry that 'it's sad that after all the reader learned about Vivian, [that] she is reduced to a code.' Personally, I disagree with. For starters, to the doctors, Vivian was always a code to Jason.  She was merely a human guinea pig that endured experiements and treatment plans that the doctor's were going to add to their researched endeavors.  I especially hated when Jason would routinely (is that a word?) ask Vivian how she was feeling, and then not even care about her response.  It is human nature to say well, fine, ok... but I think it was obvious to see that she was in both mental, and physical pain.  Finding out she had cancer didn't destroy her, but rather made her grow as a person.  It caused her to reflect on her life experiences, and accept her faults and failures.  She came to peace with herself, and with her soon to be death. So she wasn't just a 'NO CODE.' As I wrote in my reflection, 'That's just medical terminology for they have come to pieace with death, and are ready to accept it.'

Now after stating that, I feel like I have to make one more comment to justify human nature.  I'm a firm believer that there is good (even if it is a little) in everyone.  I think that everyone has their moments, and that from something bad, can come something good. 

Code Team:

-It's a doctor fuck up (excuse mine and Edson's french)

-What is he, a resident?

-Got us up here on a DNR

-Called a code on a no-code?

Jason: Oh, God (Edson 85)

Right before this scenario, Jason screams "SHE'S RESEARCH!" I think that at this point in the play, the audience can see the true intentions that Jason had for Vivian, and that she was always just a experiment to him.  She wasn't his past teacher, she wasn't his friend, and she wasn't a scared patient, dieing from an incurable disease. BUT, there is hope for humanity, because after he verbally announces this, it is like a light bulb goes off in his head and he questions his actions.  It's almost like he didn't want to admit to himself that was happening, and after he said it, he constantly repeats, 'Oh God' several times. He realizes his wrong doings, and because of that, he will hopefully become a better doctor, and a better person.  Who knows, maybe the key to curing cancer is spending time with the patients, learning from them, and listening to what is happening to them as a person, not a guinea pig.  Maybe to cure cancer, all we need is to believe, and give that little bit of hope that will ease the pain and suffering.

Amen.

 

It's been a long day and I feel like writing.

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So normally my Mondays are horribly long and tiring, but today was an interesting day on all accounts.  I woke up and went to History of Western Art II, then to EL150. You would think that having only two classes would be a pretty easy Wednesday but oh no. Wrong you are my friend.  My little over achieving ass decided that I was going to spend 4.5 hours at the museum today and do research on our next big exhibition "Painting in the US." Since I finished the Bienal work 2 weeks ago, I've been doing constant catalog work for this exhibition and let me just say that any exhibition that has Mr. Dali in it is well worth my attention!

So after that I came back around six or so, and got myself ready to go to English Club's second event.  It went really well.  All of our speakers were  fantastic. Karissa Kilgore spoke about her struggles as a free lance writer, but then told us all the cool advantages there are to it.  She gets to make her own scheduling, do her work in her pjs (hahaha) and basically be her own boss.  Diana Geleski then spoke to us about how much internet and website programing in general has helped her advance her English Degree. I'm not going to lie, but that kinda scared me, because let's just say that I'm pretty retarded when it comes to technology.  I mean if I didn't have my boyfriend, who is going to be an mechanical engineer, to teach me all the ups and downs and inside outs of computers and funky devices, I would be totally lost.  This makes me think that maybe taking Writing for the Internet  or some basic computer programming courses wouldn't be such a bad idea if they are going to benefit me in the long run.

So I got back to the dorm room about 9:30ish and decided that now that my day was completely over (not to mention that I couldn't even think about starting homework yet), I engulfed myself in guitar hero with my future roomies (love you girls). I don't know what it is about that game that entices me, but wow.  It might have to do with my slight addiction to video games or the fact that I have a secret desire to be a rock star (hahahahaha) but when my life gets stressful, there is nothing like sitting down and playing a fake guitar to make you feel awesome. I guess the point of this random blog entry is the following:

1. Dr. Jerz has got me completely addicted to blogging, and I'm finding out that it isn't so bad after all.

2. Writing is my stress reliever.

3. Guitar Hero is awesome and I wanted to share it with the world.

4. Mostly, I think I'm just becoming addicted to blogging.

 

Peace.

Poor, Poor Ender. You're still my favorite ;)

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"I've lived too long with pain.  I won't know who I am without it (Card 323)."

I really felt bad for Ender in the end.  He is who is he is because of all of the pain and suffering he has gone through.  He was brain washed from the get-go, and became so used to killing, that now he has slowly adapated and became a part of him.  I think it's safe to say that he finally found who he was, even if it's not the person that he wanted to be in the end. (Angela basically said everything that I wanted too, haha so check out her blog!)

Keep in mind though, living with pain isn't always a bad thing.  The strongest people sometimes are who they are because of the pain that they have dealt with.  Just because bad things have happened in one's life doesn't mean that they can't use it as a learning experience and grow from their suffering. 

(I have a really good story about how pain makes you grow as a person, but it's really personal, so I don't want to put it on here unless I know people want it here. So if you want to hear it, let me know and I'll either say it in class, or I'll edit it and put it in here)

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The Beauty of Freedom of Speech

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Free Verse:  also called open form verse, is distinguished from traditional versification in that tis rhythms are not organized into the regularity of meter; most free verse also lacks rhyme.  The term should not be confused with blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameter.

Ah free verse.  My all time favorite form of poetry.  I love being able to speak my mind freely, create my own rules, and completely run away from the confines of iambic pentameter.  To me, free verse is so much more free and expressive because someone can say exactly what's on their minds, without trying to fit in into the 14 lines of a sonnet, or 10 syllables in a line. 

Here is a free verse poem that I wrote for class:

 

"A Tempests' Kiss"

One kiss is all it takes.

Bittersweet irony to a dead man’s hunger

Swirling nonstop in his cavity of rage and darkness with no way out.

You make a deal with the Devil

And forever dance in the moonlight

While your fate is sealed with a piercing kiss.

Blood.

You can hear it pulsing in her veins.

Dark, crimson blood.

You long for the taste.

The Kill.

One bite won’t hurt.

Sweat.

Like a fountain pouring from your skin.

Convince yourself that it’s wrong

When you know it’s oh so right.

Her long, flowing hair and her creamy white skin

Glistens in the moonlight as you watch her from her

Bedroom window.

An angel soon to become a demon of the night.

Like a bat out of hell you scream metamorphosis

And define the similarities of man and beast.

A predator ready to pounce on his prey.

For what is the purpose of life and love

Because when you’re dead, you have nothing to live for.

One kiss is all it takes.

From a vampire.

A beast

Or a man.

 

Now here is an example of a sonnet that I wrote for class, while being confined to the 14 constructed lines, with 10 stressed/unstressed syllables (iambic pentameter) per line.  I'd be interested in hearing which one you like best and why! Which is more expressive, confined writing, or writing without restraints? You tell me!

 

“A Moonlight Waltz”

1 The darkness covers me in deepest night,

2 While whispering, “Child, follow me to bliss.”

3 It swallows happiness, it swallows fright

4 It blinds your heart with a seductive kiss

5 To capture innocence while breathing sin,

6 Like picture perfect moments lost in light

7 Enchanted spirits lead me to begin

8 To wander helplessly into the bite.

9 He speaks in rhythm, such sweet poetry

10 So alluring to the beat of my heart

11 My knees buckle at his presence fully

12 My soul does yearn to be whole from a part

13 A prince who became my one desire,

14 So masked in darkness; Hell’s own vampire

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EVENT REMINDER: BE THERE!

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Hi Guys,
 
Just wanted to send a reminder about the event tomorrow!
 
When :April 23, 2008
Time: 7:00- 8:30 (speaking in 20 min. intervals)
Where: Sully Hangout
 
Come to Sully Hangout where one can witness what they can accomplish with their degree. Hear accomplished faculty, and meet with the members of CareerWorks to help steer you in the right direction!
 
Expected Speakers:
 
Dr. Jerz: Associate Professor of English and New Media Journalism / Speaking on Lemire's book and the diversity of being and English Major/Minor.
 
Becky Cambell: Director of CareerWorks / Speaking on internship and job opportunities
 
Alumni: Real life stories, advice and experiences that they have had with an English Major.
 
Thanks,
Stephanie Wytovich, Secretary
724-825-9343

Ender's Game vs. Stay Alive

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Personally, my money is on the dead woman with shears, but I digress.

"Sometimes they were funny things.  Sometimes exciting ones, and he had to be quick to stay alive.  He had lots of deaths, but that was OK, games were like that, you died a lot until you got the hang of it (Card, 62)."

Ender's game can be comparied to Stay Alive. Ender played his game at his study desk in his room, trying to outsmart the entities of those inside it.  He battled lanscapes and giants, and was forced to pick his poision, literally.  Unfortunatley, he always picked wrong and always died a gruesome death.  One time, when the giant told him to pick his poison, he kicked it over, and attacked the giant by digging out his eyes. Live or die. You or them. Who are you going to pick?

In Stay Alive, there are certain similiarities to Ender's game.If you play, you die.  For instance: science fiction turned to realism, the theme of death and the ability to conquer. Stay Alive is based off of a video game to which one battles the depths of hell.  Each character is equipped with a weapon of choice as they aim to kill the evil bitch, I mean witch, and her demonic dead zombie children.  The only catch is if you die in the game, you die in real life. For example, if you die in a torture room stabbed in the throat with sheers, be prepared to die when you find that your bedroom has been turned into a midevil torture room.  There are similiarites in the game but the extreme is obviously the difference.

Watch your back

Ancy, Amiable, Alliteration!

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"Alliteration, the repetition of sounds in nearby words or stressed syllables, is frequent in both poetry and prose. Usually, the term applies to consonants that appear at the beginnings of words (Hamilton 217)."

I love alliteration because I think that it aids in the natural poetric flow of the words. For example, in one of the poems I wrote for class, I utilized alliteration to not only aid in the flow of the words, but to show my poetic skills as well.

Here is a copy of my poem "The Tongue Twister." I have marked and bolded all the examples of alliteration that I used:

“The Tongue Twister”

I cringe and crumble as I butcher words

Unrelenting, ubiquitous rhythm!

Accidentalatrocious adjectives!

I am a slave to paper and pencil;

A mere mourning minion of mantra.

Poetry! You slaughter my slavish soul!

Your meticulous, menacing meter!

Your scrupulous, soul sucking similes!

I bow to you, clever master of words.

I remain staring into the abyss.

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This is my kind of book.

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"That you for this, Peter.  For dry eyes and silent weping.  You taught me how to hide anything I felt.  More than ever, I need that now (Card 45)."

-Talk about living without feeling.  Being programmed to kill. Being alone and isolated from other and living only through murder....

I would first like to say that I love this book.  I honestly can't put it down.  Sci-fi, and war, and advanced technology bascially has "Stephanie read this book" all over it! Although a lot of people don't like Ender right off the back, I have to admit that I think he is a pretty sweet kid. So yeah his temper gets the best of him sometime, but hey! It happens.  If I had people picking on me and constantly riducling me everday, I would probably retailiate too (in a more diginified way of course).  But when you feel isolated and and alone, naturally its going to build up and eventually beg to be let loose.  I guess I'm just saying that I like Ender. Maybe that's the devious, falling in love with the antagonist/protagonist type thing that I have going on.

I had a couple points that I wanted to bring up in the first 5 chapters.  First off, has anyone ever read Feed? It has the same feel as this novel does, and is also really good.  It deals with advanced technology and smart children and the problems that go along with the feed that they have programed in their necks.  So if you like this book, I highly recommend reading it.

Secondly, I thought that Orson Scott Card had an excellent example of showing on page 3.  He writes "The doctor was twisting something at the back of Ender's head.  Suddenly a pain stabbed through him like a needle from his neck to his groin.  Ender felt his back spasm, and his body arched violently backward; his head struck the bed.  He could feel his legs thrashing, and his hands were clenching each other, wringing each other so tightly that they arched." -- This reminded be of C3PO in Star Wars (yes I'll admit that I'm a proud geek when it comes to intergalactic battles!) At one point, C3PO is being put in the garbage shop and because he tends to talk so much, they open him up and click off his power source and he powers down.  Card utilizes the theme of robotics to show that the children in story aren't normal.  Their special, yet they have their weaknesses, which is why I think he wrote this passage.  I mean yes, they children are being brought up for war, but everyone has their weaknesses.

And last but not least, I wanted to bring up the point that I made in class.  The comparison between Ender's Game and Blood Diamond. It amazing how science fiction can relate to realism in the most accurate of ways; perhaps that is why I find myself drawn to it so much. Nevertheless, the two have a striking reality of children being brought up and processed for war. Ender was trained from a young age, but it had a choice of whether or not he was cut out for this lifeIn Blood Diamond, the children were taken from their village and forced for kill people and live the lives of the rebels. Ficiton vs. Reality.  Is there really such thing? You decide.

Enter the Millenium Falcon here. 

 

Ms. Inventor

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Ectograph:

ecto= outside

graph=writing

defined- writing that takes place outside

ex: The ectograph was inspired by the environment of Central Park.

 

 

Sarcasm in Advice form. I LOVE it.

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"The "it talks about" and "As you can see from this quote" are very weak attempts to engage with the ideas presented by Kittler.  "In the book... it talks" is wordy and nonsensical (books don't talk). "

^hahahaha.

Reading this webpage really helped me recognize a lot of my flaws that were unintended (I swear!) and ones that I need to work on.  I know that I personally tend to use fillers quite a bit, but I didn't realize how dumb they sounded until I read this page.  When I read the above statement, I literally chuckled because I realized that I sounded like a moron.

There were two other points that I thought were incredibly useful:

1) In other words... = Don't waste words. Say it correctly the first time

2) It is clear that...= The students know darn well the meaning is not clear at all; this is a weak attempt at fooling the reader into seeing structure that isn't there

I mean, we as students, can't deny that we have all used those phrases at some point in our academic career.  But reading this made me realize how unprofessional it makes you sound.  Stick to the point, and trust yourself.  Don't try to beat around the bush.

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Yo Mama.

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Oh the joys of Urban Dictionary. For my Intro. to Literature class, my teacher told us to go on Urban Dictionary and find some interesting words and teach him something.  Turns out, I learned a few things myself!

I was sitting here trying to explain to myself why I picked these words, and how I could write a blog entry on examples, and depth, and all that fun stuff and I said to myself, "Self, if the world dosen't appreciate a bald duck wearing a Christmas sweater while living in Champlin MN, then there is no help for any one them."

(Insert chuckle here) - I picked them because they were random and funny. There is no explaination.

-Xakquevenuvaire

1.) To utterly dominate (preferably at a game of scrabble)
2.) a bald duck wearing a Christmas sweater living in Champlin MN
3.) a form of slightly molded Spanish cheese sitting in the sun
4.) a type of white, sliced bread
5.) a traditional professional Spanish cheese chef who is also a prostitute.

Examples used in a sentece:

1.) I totally xakquevenuvaired you in scrabble, 2000 to 0.
2.) Why did the xakquevenuvaire cross the rode? To get to the other side.
3.) I dare you to eat the xakquevenuvaire!!
4.) I'll have a 6 inch sub with xakquevenuvaire bread.
5.) My first time was with a xakquevenuvaire... I'll never recover...
*NOTE* If you are able to spell this word in a game of scrabble you automatically win, and are granted bragging rights for 100 years.

-qazwsxedcrfvtgbyhnujmikolp

This word is basically just every letter on the keyboard from top to bottom, going in vertical lines.
Also used is: pqzm. This represents the four corners of the keyboard.

qazwsxedcrfvtgbyhnujmikol p.

which is the same thing as:

ugh im bored

-Zabiegalski

A hairy guy who uses stencils and nair to create masterpieces on his chest. He also enjoys the thrill of getting hit by paintballs, and shooting other people with them.

Dang Zabiegalski you can so braid that.

-Raajapakisaurus

The definition of a raajapakisourus (Pronounced Raaj-A-Paki-Sour-Arse)
It is a fat dinosour which always goes around giving the impression it is hard and that no one can beat him up, it does have a few close relations in the bibbysketasaurus and the zoeyscarestheshitoutofmea sourus. It is thought to weight between 5 and 10 tonnes and to be at an estimated hieght of around 6ft tall, approached with extreme caution, it is dangerous to approach illegal immegrants and if u find him call 07934427848

 

The above information was taken directly from Urbandictionary.com.

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theSYNTAXofAstoryDOESmatter

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"Most writers strive for variety in their use of syntax; for example, striking effects can be created from varying long, complex sentences with short, simple ones (Hamilton 191)."

I'm a huge fan of syntax, as dorky as that sounds.  I honestly believe that the writer has the composition in mind as they are writing, and that it never happens on accident. For my American Lit class, and for the English Club's Genocide Poetry event, I picked the poem "Deathfugue" simply on the basis of its unremitting syntax. 

For those that have never read "Deathfugue" it is a poem about the Nazi soldiers making the Jews dig graves and sing while they watch their loved ones being slaughtered. The poem has no punctuation at all, making it into one, big run-on sentence. Why would the Celan do this? One reason could be that seeing that it was written in such a heightened state of terror, the author was franticially writing it and trying to get all of his thoughts down. He was so scared and breathless, that he simualted that in his writing.  Not only does it provide for an interesting read, but it also opens the door of his emotions to his audience. 

For a more elaborate read into how syntax effects writing, I'm going to quote a few paragraphs on "Deathfuge" that I wrote for my American Literature course:

"Universally, syntax is seen as a means of conformity and culture (Rosen). The rules of the human language were written by humans and therefore can be broken to reveal stylistic qualities and to convey messages. Celan applies a ceaseless syntax to this poem to exhume unpalatable emotions from his readers, and to present the scene through fast paced speech and broken structure. These entities are intertwined within to represent an unending nightmare for the Jews, as well as their broken faith and shattered conformity (Wytovich 1)."

"A fast paced speech is instantly recognized when reading the first stanza. The reader will notice that it, along with the entire poem, is one large run on sentence. Because of its structural complexity, it causes the reader to use a quickened speech combined with short breaths. Rosen’s lecture sparked my belief that Celan did this to show his audience the fast paced lifestyles of the workers, the era, and the event of the Holocaust itself. Everyday people were being thrown into the crematories, tortured to death, and abused on a regular basis. They lost a sense of time because they were in such a constant state of awareness and shock, that their time figuratively became a run on of each and every day (Rosen). There was no longer a Monday, a Tuesday, or a Wednesday. It was only morning and night, with little time in between to breath. Syntax conveys this picture to us as we read straight on through the poem (Wytovich 2)."

"The broken structure allows the audience to feel the emotional attachment that we get to the words. By not giving us the chance to pause when we read, it makes us pay greater attention to the word choice and plot. We feel the need when to yell and whisper even though there is no exclamation point or period. We can almost hear the song that is being sung through the lyrical repetition in the poem. At Dr. Rosen’s lecture, I pointed out that the absence of syntax allows us to feel and to visualize, but most importantly, it allows us to understand (Rosen) (Wytovich 2)."

The above was written for Dr. Patterson's American Literature 1915-present course / February 18, 2008 / Titled: Every Civilian Discourse Hides Behind a Mask of Identity

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The Tongue Twister.

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I cringe and crumble as I butcher words

Unrelenting, ubiquitous rhythm!

Accidental, atrocious adjectives!

I am a slave to paper and pencil;

A mere mourning minion of mantra.

Poetry! You slaughter my slavish soul!

Your meticulous, menacing meter!

Your scrupulous, soul sucking similies!

I bow to you, clever master of words.

I remain staring into the abyss.

Honestly... who is walking down that dark, scary, alley?

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"Setting: the time and place in which the events in a work of fiction, drama, or narrative poetry occur.  Individual episodes within a work may have separate, specific settings (Hamilton 150)"

I think that setting gets the boot a lot in literature, or at least the lesser amount of attention. I know that when a teacher asks me to analyze a piece of writing, my immediate thought is 'where is the symbolism?' 'What is the theme?'  Setting doesn't begin to sink in until later, and the fact of the matter is, the setting of a story and/or poem can really make or break the piece.

For example, in Dr. Patterson's class we are talking a lot about regionalism now.  Regionalism is the tendency of authors to write about their own place of geographic region.  An good example of a Regionalist writer would be Flannery O'Connor because she typically focuses on the south in her work.  Why is this relevant to setting you might ask?  Well, as we know from reading O'Connor, she not only uses the south as a setting, but she absorbs the culture, mannerisms, and dialect of those in the south. Would her stories have the same realistic effect of southern culture if she dropped off the Misfit in Maine?  Probably not.

Setting also influences conflict in the piece, and in some cases, setting can be the conflict.  For example, if the story takes place in Alaska, the conflict of nature and darkness are in effect because naturally Alaska has bad snow storms, and it also goes through a period of darkness for several weeks (like in 30 Days of Night, minus the vampires).  Even so, setting can influence the conflict within the story.  Trifles would be a great example of this.  The house was set out in the middle of no where, isolated down in a hill almost. Their neighbors were slightly far out of reach, thus leaving Mrs. Wright basically isolated and deprived from social contact. Mix in a domineering husband, a dead canary, and a slap against the gender roles of women, and we have a murder! 

Setting really does have a HUGE part in the role of literary analysis and criticism. I mean if we're reading a story about a girl walking down the road at night, and is faced with the fact of walking down a dark scary alley, you know that that is only trouble waiting to happen (insert suspense here)! It wouldn't be the same if she was walking through a field of flowers and cute bunnies (insert sarcasm here).

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Hello Everyone!
 
English Club is planning another event titled, So You're an English Major...Now What?
 
Below is the information we have thus far:
 
Date: April 23, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Sully Hangout (as of now, this might change, and if it does I will let you know)
Audience: Freshmen-Seniors
Schedule: 20 minutes per speaker
 
We're looking for the event to be about an hour and a half long.  Dr. Jerz is going to be speaking about the Lemire book (which our event is named after) along with some other tid bits, and CareerWorks is going to be speaking about internship opportunities and what you can do with an English major (or journalism, creative writing, poetry, etc.).  I've been in contact with two alumni, Karissa Kilgore and Diana Geleski, and both are going to try and make the event (Diana is def. scheduled in).
 
I'm working on the posters since I work at CareerWorks, so I'll take care of the marketting this time.
 
If you have any questions, please let me know! I really hope to see you all there because it is something that we all could benefit from!
Thanks,
Stephanie Wytovich, Secretary

Well folks, once again it's time to see my collection of entries over the past 2 months or so. For those of you that are not familiar with the blogosphere world, you can reference my previous portfolio for a more in depth evaluation on the system. 

After my first portfolio, I have really opened up to the idea of blogging and I have found that I'm doing it more frequently even when I'm not being assigned to.Seton Hill University has really opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available to writers, as has Dr. Jerz's Intro. to Literary Study course. I really like the idea of knowing that whatever I write can be read by anyone and I welcome comments, even if they are bad because I write to elicit an emotion, and anger is def. an emotion.  So get comfortable, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take off ladies and gentlemen!

Coverage: These entries include links to our class's homepage, so you can get an idea what the assinment was, and even check it out yourself if the mood strikes you!  In some entries, I have also included links to other websites for research and clarification purposes.

Poor Odeipus...If only you would have listened to the blind genius: Oh Odeipus, how I love thee.  This is a rather interesting piece about the use of dramatic irony, and personally, I don't think there is any better use of it than in this play. 

Sometimes I think the author is writing to me!: This is a very relatable entry because it deals with how writers can hate what they are writing about, but still make it sound good. Be honest with yourself...we have ALL been there.

Life is a game

Aren't we all 'Displaced Persons' in our own way: This is one of my favorite entries, because it is a response to Flannery O'Connor's short story The Displaced Person.  I talk a lot about how we can relate it to society today, and our situation with Darfur and Africa.  If Darfur doesn't ring a bell for you, I strongly urge you to visit this site and learn about the genocide that has been going on there since 2003.  I have linked a site to the STAND website, and want to reiderate that one person can make a difference.  Please help those that are reaching out to you.

I will not admit that I'm starting to like this book...nope, won't do it

So I'm comma happy, whatcha goin' do bout' it 

Hyphens: The English God's gift to the world

Timeliness: These entries were all posted 24 hours before class and they are on a variety of subjects! If you're feeling dangerous, give them a go!

READ READ READ

English Club: Silent Voices Heard- A Genocide Reading: This is a summary of an event that SHU's English club held in collaboration with STAND.  I think that it opened a lot of peoples eyes to Holocaust/Genocide literature and also to the genocides that are still going on today.

"My brain seems to go sideways," Michael Sims: I highly encourage anyone who does not know Michael Sims to read this entry because he truly is a wonderful writer and scholar.  He came to our intro. to lit class and spoke to us about English careers and writing and I speak a lot about what I got out of his lecture.

I MEAN...ARE WE SERIOUS

So many unanswered questions:This entry is in response to SHU Undergraduate Humanities Conference. This was an opportunity for students to present their scholarly work in front of faculty, students, family, and friends.  I talk about my presentation, which is on the conspiracy theories of the JFK assassination.  I have included a LOT of links to research that I have used, so if this is something that interests you, or you're a history buff (like myself!) you should def. check it out :)

Interaction: The entries that are listed below are ones that were so controversial, that I couldn't get people to stop debating on them! haha, no but seriously, these ones exhumed some pretty good topics.

Here's a mouthful for a little story

Um, I don't know about you, but I barely have time to sleep: I wrote this, in a rather angry tone, in response to one of Lemire's excerpts.  He made the stereotypical claim that all college students do is drink, have sex, and don't study. GRR. If that makes you mad, read this entry and please leave you opinions! Maybe if we acquire enough feedback, Lemire himself will stumble upon it and give us a rebutle. mwhahahahaha. 

Oh, I'm sorry.  I didn't know that you could pick and choose jobs when you're flat broke: This is a

"Hello Handsome!"- Young Frankenstein: That's a little quote from the best movie EVER, Young Frankenstein (which I HIGHLY advise watching).  It talks about the importance of showing rather than telling.

I can actually understand where Rudy is coming from

I finally had a gasp of horror: If you're a geek when it comes to the annoyance of mispelled words and improper use of punctuation, you will def. get a good chuckle out of this.

Depth:  The entries are some of my more thought provoking ones.  I really found a deep connection with the topics at hand, and I wanted to share my opinions in a deeper context rather than just writing my initial reaciton.  For anyone that is reading this, I really do appreciate your opinions!  Let me know if you had a similiar opinion, or a completely different one for that matter!

Watch what you say: Need I say more? Hope you're curious ;)

Indiana Jones, Osiris, and Jesus all in the same story! YES: Talk about a crazy way to combine all these three together, but I guess the heart can do that sometimes. 

This sounds familiar, and trust me, that's not a good thing: This entry is a response about Nickel and Dimed, and how my summer job as a waitress compares to what the author is writing about.  It's one thing to read something, but it's another when you can fully relate to it and see it on an everyday basis. 

Surprise, Surprise! I disagree with you...AGAIN

The Story of my Life on page 207

So um...WHAT?

The antagonist owns my heart...but you probably already knew that:  For those of you that don't know me, I'm in love with horror and suspense literature, and I almost always fall for the bad guys in the plot.  I mean how can you not love a handsome, dark haired, brown eyed, devious, evil genious?

Dr. Patterson helped me to 'see.': I wrote this after an adventure I had in my American Literature Class the other night.  Dr. Patterson took the class outside in order to meditate and become one with nature, as Annie Dillard did with her story, Pilgram at Tinker Creek. It sort of has an Emerson and Thoreau feel to it, if you're into that kind of thing!

Faith and Rainbows: I wrote this for my Faith, Religion, and Society class, and it is an interesting comparison of how a simple rainbow can relate to the entire concept of religion.

Discussion Entries: The following links are links to my classmate's blogs entries that I have commented on.  They have some really interesting and thought provoking commentary!   Whether it's from Maddie's entry on her mom *trying* to throw her books away being, to Tiffany's entry on the punctuation family with the A.D.D. brother, I tried to bring there commentary into my own ideas.  I must say though, I agree with what these girls are dishing out!

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MadelynGillespie/2008/04/garbage_garbage_everywhere_and.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KatieVann/2008/04/i_rarely_use_colons_and_semico.html#comments

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KaitlinMonier/2008/04/no_comma_before_the_and_not_fo.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/TiffanyGilbert/2008/04/my_little_add_brother.html

 

I finally had a gasp of horror.

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"The dash is nowadays seen as the enemy of grammar, partly because overtly disorganized thought is the mode of most email and text communication, and the dash does an annoyingly good job in these contexts standing in for all other punctuation marks.  'I saw Jim - he looked g8- have you seen hik - what time is the thing 2morrow - C U there.'  Why is the dash the mark a la mode? Because it is so easy to use, perhaps; and because it is hard to use wrongly; but also because it is, simply ease to see (Truss 157)."

Ah the art of text messaging, email writing, and short hand in the 21st century. I'm going to be honest with you when I say that I dislike it.  I mean sometimes it has it perks, and I'll just it when I'm on AOL and typing a long story to someone, but I really do try to make an honest effort to type everything out in my texts because it irks me when things are mispelled. I do utitlize the dash, but not overly to the extent that one will think I've contracted dash fever.  Sometimes, you just need to know when to call it quits.

Jessie made a comment on one of my earlier entries stressing the importance of grammar and how I need to come to terms with my lack of affection for it.  Well, the more I keep reading this book, the more I find myself finding other's mistakes and sadly, it's driving me crazy.  For instance, I recieved an email today that lacked all basic forms of punctuation, and had no capitalization.  They used the A.D.D. exclamation mark to the extreme and I just sat there horrified.  How could one honestly type that and not feel guilty?  I mean I can understand it in poetry because you're trying to create a specific stylistic flair, but what is your excuse in everyday writing! After I gasped in horror, I just chuckled to myself because I realized Jessie was right, and I can now understand where he is coming from.

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Hyphens: The English God's gift to the world

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"Churchill said hyphens were "a blemish, to be avoided wherever possible."  Yet there will always be a problems about getting rid of the hyphen: if it's not extra-marital sex (with a hypen), it is perhaps extra marital sex, which is quite a different bunch of coconuts (Truss 168-9)."

I would first like to comment on how much I like Truss's style of writing.  While I admit that I'm starting to like the book, it dosen't really catch my interest like a good suspense novel does.  Nevertheless, I like her acute sense of realism and humor within her writing.

Personally, I'm a big fan of hypens.  When I write, I tend to utilize them quite often because I love that they can just keep extending my thoughts.  I'll admit that almong with being comma happy, sometimes when I'm really trying to get my point across, I become adjective happy as well, and this is where I thank the God's of English.

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"Traditionally it joins together words, or words-with-prefixes, to aid understanding; it keeps certain other words neatly apart, with an identical intention (Truss 169)."

Faith and Rainbows

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This is a reflection paper that I wrote for my Faith, Religion and Society class this semester, and I really liked the message that the Dr. Klaypack was trying to send to us, so I wanted to add it on here and see what other people thought.  Enjoy!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

According to answers.com, a rainbow is defined as ‘an arc of spectral colors, usually identified as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, that appears in the sky opposite the sun as a result of the refractive dispersion of sunlight in drops of rain or mist.’ In my opinion, it is composed of various supplements that make it whole, and it is typically viewed as the happiness after the storm.

When we were instructed to draw a rainbow in class, my first instinct, obviously, was to draw a decent sized curvilinear shape and add the colors that ROYGBIV told me too. Ok, so I’m a conformist, but that’s what I drew. When we were then instructed to draw a rainbow again, I decided to release my creative side and draw a curvilinear shape made out of bows surrounded my rain drops. When we held up our drawings, everyone was looking around staring at everyone else’s and I noticed that one person drew a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. In a weird way, I found the parallel between the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and the Bridge of Chivat in Zoroastrianism. It was like the actual rainbow was the bridge, and the pot of gold was Heaven. That is when it clicked! So there was a connection between a rainbow and religion!

The truth of the matter is, when one is simply given a task with no rules, one has freedom to interpret the subject however they want. There will be various perceptions and compounds of subjectivity, but that doesn’t make any one person wrong for their take on the topic. It just means that there is no right or wrong way to think, just as there is no right or wrong religion.

God didn’t appear one day on Earth and yell this is the religion that everyone needs to follow in order to get into heaven. He didn’t leave us with any specific directions, or any hints of what to do. Every religion has a different spin on what they believe and how they go about believing.

I was raised as a Catholic and still remain one today. But, even though I have declared a religion, I will admit that I have a very open mind to other cultures, and this is one of the reasons why I was so excited to take this class. Just because I have my own beliefs, doesn’t mean that I think the Buddhists’ have it all wrong. In fact, I agree with a lot of what they have to say, and I try to incorporate it into my own lifestyles and beliefs. For instance, I’ve recently been doing yoga and meditation, and I will honestly admit that it does clear your mind and bring you closer to God. It cleanses and empties your body of the impurities and I think that they are on to something as using that as a method of ‘prayer.’

I learned from this exercise that there is no right or wrong answer to how you perceive your beliefs. As I said, just because I’m declared as a Catholic doesn’t mean that I don’t believe bits and pieces from each religion. I try to live in the way Confucius taught, and I mediate to release impurities and become closer to God. One can learn a lot about themselves and their beliefs if they open their mind to the ideas of others.

4.2.08

So I'm comma happy..whatcha goin' do bout' it.

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My favorite quote (since I feel pressured to pick one) would have to be on page 70.

Thurber was once asked by a correspondent: "Why did you have a commin in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living-room'?" And his answer was probably one of the loveliest thigns ever said about punctuation. "This particular comma," Thurber explained, "was Ross's way of giving the ment time to push back their chairs and stand up (Truss 70)." (insert chuckle here)

Music to my ears.

Honestly, I'm having a really hard time picking one quote from this section because I loved it all.  Alright here it goes... I, STEPAHNIE MARIE WYTOVICH, ADMIT TO LIKING THIS BOOK. Gah.  Ok I guess I feel a little better now.  Anyways, the introduction of the comma section owns my heart because it sounds like a familiar battle between my mom and me.  I would write a paper, put commas in any place that my little heart pleased, and send my paper off to my mom would would then get out the red pen, mark up my paper, and glare at me saying, "Are all of these commas really necessary?"  I was shocked! Are they necessary? OH MY GOD! Of course they were! How could they not be?  She broke my little 10 year old heart. Sound familiar? I guess I'm Harold Ross, and my mom is James Thurber.

But I digress.

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"But sadly, anyone lazily looking for an excuse not to master the colon and semicolon can always locate a respectable reason, because so many are advanced.  Here are some of the most common: they are old-fashioned, they are middle-class, they are optional, they are mysteriously connect to pausing, they are dangerously addictive, the difference between them is too negligible to be grasped by the brain of man (Trus 109-110)."

As stated before, I admit that I'm not a stickler for grammar like some out there, and I will be honest when I say that this is probably because I had a lot of difficulty with it when I was younger. Needless to say, I'm still a little shaky on the rules even as a college student. That I will admit.

I liked this passage because I always was a tad confused on the usage of the colon and the semicolon (especially the semicolon). I was, and still kind of am, torn between even attempting to use a semicolon because I know that 9 times out of 10 that I will use it wrong, haha.  Maybe that's why I just try to avoid it at all cost. I'll either just break it up into two sentences, or cleverly infultrate my previous one to fit it all it (insert evil laugh here).

Just a note: When I saw the excerpt of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, I was stunned. My jaw almost fell right off my face because I was astounded that someone could write something like that, and that writing like that even exsisted. Wow. That's all I can say.  Kudos to that person :)

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So many unanswered questions

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This past Sunday was Seton Hill's Undergraduate Humanities Conference, to which I was a participant. For those that do not know what it is, it is a chance for students to present there scholarly achiechments/papers to faculty, students, family and friends alike. (If you get the chance to do it next year...DO IT!)

I decided to present a powerpoint presentation on a paper that I wrote for Dr. Kollar's HY103 class last semester.  It was on the conspiracy theories of JFK's assassination (Nov. 23 1963). What an interesting topic for those of you that are history buffs like myself.  From the autopsy, the zapruder film, and the warren commission, there is sufficient evidence that there was a conspiracy in his murder. 

The zapruder film was first noted as part of the conspiracy in the early 90s and was said to be revised to support the claims in the warren commission. This thesis was based on the fact that the film wasn't released publicly until years after his assassination, and that when it was it was in black and white and very hard to see. After extensive research, there is evidence that claims that the film was tampered to go only with the statments of the warren commission such as: The speed of the fill, deleted scenes (def. 6 slides are missing out of the 486 that we see now), the wound mistake, and the blurr/pincoushin mistake. 

The Warren Comission states: Oswald was the lone gunman, that there were 3 shots fired form the 6th floor of the Texas School Depository buildinding, the first one missed, the second was deamed 'the magic bullet,' and the third and final bullet struck Kennedy in his head, ultimately causing his death. 

The autopsy was what really got me to go further my research in this area. After the third shot, JFK's body was immedietaly flown to DC, to where it was examined by those unqualified to do so (government officials perhaps?). Brief summary: their orignial notes on the autopsy were burned, Connally's clothes were scrubbed and cleaned, they missed the wound in the neck becuase they didn't track the bullet's pathway, the organs were not separated or traced, and the tissue, brain, and x-ray slides are all missing to this day.  Oh and the kicker is that the autopsy photos taken at Parkland Memorial Hosptial do not match up with those taken at the Besthda Naval Hospital.  Werid huh?

I've hyperlinked some of my favorite links within this entry, and for those of you that are interested in the brief summary that I've written, you should def. check them out.  It's crazy to see some of the stuff that's out there.  Mind you, I admit that I have a bias on the subject, but I am not close minded to hearing other objections to why people think that there wasn't a conspiracy. The fact of the matter is that I like puzzles, and this one is the hardest to solve yet! 

If you have any questions for me, or would like to know more about the topic, I would be happy to try to answer your questions or lead you to some books/sites that I used for my research!

"I don't know why you are treating me like this. The only thing I have done is carry a pistol into a movie." Lee Harvey Oswald

mysterious deaths

very detailed

Dr. Patterson helped me to 'see'

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"But the artificial obvious is hard to see.  My eyes account for le than one percent of the weight of my head; I'm bony and dense; I e what I expect.  I once spent a full three minutes looking at a bullfrog that was so unexpedly large I coulnd't see it even though a dozen enthusiastic campers  were outing directions. Finally I asked, "What color am I looking for?" and a fellow said, "Green." When at last I picked out the frog, I saw what painters are up against: the thing wasn't green at all, but the color of wet hickory bark (Annie Dillard 3019)."

For my American Lit. class (1915-present), we had to read a piece by Annie Dillard entitled Pilgram at Tinker Creek.  For those of you that don't know, Annie Dillard was a local from Pittsburgh, so automatically, people from this area can feel some type of bond and relation to her. The piece that we read could be compared to something by Emerson and Thoreu, to which Dillard actually acknowledges in her story.  She is fascinated with nature and the world around her, and tries to escape the complications of everyday thinking.  The main point of this piece would be that because we are so focused on the obvious, that we are missing the true meaning behind everything.

For example, the quote above explains this perfectly.  When we think of a frog, immediatly we are inclined to say that it is green.  When in reality, how many frogs have we seen in life that are just plain, straight up green?  I liked that she compared this delima to what painters are up against because it's absolutlely true.  If an artist just painted a green frog, you would be like ok nothing different.  Just an ordinary, everyday frog.  But if the artists tried to capture the color mixed with mud, grass, water, and blood, then we would see the piece actually come to life.  It's the arfical obvious.  We construst what we believe is obvious, or well known, when we should be looking past that.

After briefly discussing this in class, Dr. Patterson decided to try an experiment and take us outside in front of Admin. to observe nature, meditate, and try to 'see.'  We walked outside in complete silence, and tried to empty our minds of all thoughts and emotions and simply get lost in nature. One of my classmates noticed that it looks as  the trees were constucted out of different material / bark, and another noticed the vast amount of action going on in a small area of the ground (with special attention to the ants).  Sounds crazy, but I noticied that one of the trees really looked like the main tree out of Sleepy Hollow where the headless horsemen jumps out of.  The fact of the matter is, is that we limit ourselves to what we are allowed to see. I learned and noticied so much more about nature and the place that I was in, simply because I opened by mind to it. It really was a great experiment, and it helped me to understand Annie Dillard's perspective a lot more.

So why do we focus on the obvious? Is it because as a society, we are so focused on time and getting ahead that we don't take time to appreciate the little things?  Is it because some people have it and some people don't? Or is it because we are trained to only see the obvious?  I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this topic!

I know my initail reaction was a response to the left brain, right brain way of thinking.  For example, I'm an English Literature and Art History major so when I look at a painting my brain goes in a thousand different ways.  Is there symbolism?  Is this a genre painting with a metaphorical meaning? Is the tenebrism used to portray an emotion?  So I'm getting all of this out of the painting, and then my math/science thinking brother is like "Steph, I'm pretty sure that you're making all of that up.  There is no way that that is all in that painting."  So maybe we do just limit ourselves.  I'm not saying that just because I can analyze art that I have the ability to 'see' everything, but I think that you really have to open your mind to what you want to see, or you won't be able to see it.  Understanding and feeling the subject as a whole, is so much more powerful than just seeing it and focusing on the obvious.