October 31, 2004

Trick or Treat

I found it interesting how we were to read this story about a trickster rabbit and his friends over the Halloween weekend. We never really look at the funny things that happen in our day to day lives as amusing until later or after the fact. They become stories for us to pass down to our children. There are different perspectives on Oral Literature. Harris is mimicking the styles of African-Americans in order to make his point.

One of the distinguishing features of southern culture is an "oratorical aesthetic." Speech artistry, expressed through delivery as well as content, can still be heard in Georgians' political and legal oratory, preaching, and conversation. Central to the region's love affair with the spoken word is a strong narrative impulse, channeled in the telling of elaborately embroidered personal experiences as well as traditional tales.

Taken from the New Georgia Encyclopedia on story telling and folk lore.

Stories are used by our elders to teach us lessons in our everyday lives. The stories told of Br'er Rabbit by Uncle Remus to the Little Boy are no different. He used these stories to make aware to the child that even though we are all different we still have the same drives. Stories are also, as the quote says, used as a way to give off a certain political view. One can look at the stories and see the hatred between Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox. This could be copying the hatred of the time between African-Americans and white people. Where the rabbit and fox played jokes on one another, the people in the real world would be throwing fists.

We all have stories that were told to us growing up. We have all heard from our grandparents "I used to have to walk up hill both ways to get to..." But what were they really trying to tell us? What is Joel Chandler Harris trying to honestly get his readers to see by writing these stories? It was said that these stories were appealing to both white and black readers, why? What made them appealing to the white population? How do you feel about the different representations of language compared to Native American oral literature, and Huck Finn?

These are questions for you to answer.

Thanks Amanda for all your help!

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2004

Home Sweet Home...

So yes everyone. It's that time of year again. The second half of the semester has arrived. I don't know about the rest of you, but Fall Break this year and last year meant recharging the batteries at home and catching up on things that you have missed. Personally, coming home for me isn't really that big of a deal. Mostly it's just boring. I know that I should really be doing something productive with my time and spend it working on things for class, but I just can't seem to do that at home anymore. It's like home has become a vacation spot, a place I only visit now and again. I get to see old friends and even some people that I don't really want to see. Read on and I'll explain more.

My brother and I started our break off a little bit slow. George had a cross country meet on Saturday and I had to serve a wedding so we stayed on campus Friday evening. It was fun times for me in the room. Athena, Diana and I had some chick flick time with "Ned Kelly". Let's talk about this movie for a second. We had originally planned to buy "Troy" only to discover that it doesn't come out until January (good job on that one by the way Diana ;-) ), and so I ended up buying "Hidalgo" and Athena bought some crazy cd. Then it was off to Blockbuster. We had a terrible time picking out a movie. We went from one to the next and finally it looked like we were going to have to settle with Tom Cruise's "Legend", however low and behold I looked down and saw the ultimate chick flick (at least for us). There on the new releases shelf was "Ned Kelly" staring Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom. Now if you now anything about myself and my roomies you know that we are all absolutely obsessed with Orlando. We have (what we thought were) all of the movies he has been in hanging in our living room thanks to Diana. So we get the movie. There really isn't very much of a plot line, but we liked it anyway because of the hot guys.

Then, after a fast shower, Athena braided my hair. Now remember this point because it is very important for a later story.

I hung out with Dave for a bit after Diana left to go home and we watched "Pirates of the Caribbean" and we were going to watch another, but something came up on his end and he couldn't. And so I went to sleep.
Now here is where things get interesting.

I woke the next morning (Saturday) and just sat around my room for the longest time. I helped Athena take her stuff to her car and then after she left I sat around some more. Then I started getting dressed. Now what I was wearing also plays a huge role in the story I am building up to. I put on tan corded pants, a green sweater, and my brown shoes, but they didn't look right with my hair in the braids so I took them out and for once my hair didn't frizz into a huge frizz ball. It actually looked nice. I used a bit of hairspray on it and pulled back the front a bit, put in my contacts, put on some make-up, and headed to the wedding. Now I'm going to fast forward to Saturday night.

So George and I decide that on our way home we were going to stop at the Serra (our high school) football game and meet some friends. Well apparently when I waved at the one friend who was sitting with my ex didn't recognize me. The conversation as later told to me by CJ (my friend) went as follows:

Sean (The ex): "Who is that waving at us? She is F***ing hot!"
CJ: I don't know, maybe it's Drew's new girl friend.
Sean: I don't think so.
*I started walking closer to them at this point*
Sean: Oh my God! It's Tiffany."
CJ: No way. It is.

And so I sit down and am totally oblivious as to why they are looking at me funny until later when he tells me about this conversation.

Well, that was my extremely long story and I'm sorry you had to sit through it all. When it's told in person I promise it really isn't that bad. Well, I'm off. I hope you all had an amazing break!


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 11:08 PM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2004

Fall Part 2

So last year about this time I posted about how much I adore fall.

This year my feelings are pretty much the same, but with a twist. There is still the insane weather changes and the twisted ankles, but I finally found that peaceful effect I was looking for. The other day I went for a walk in the woods. The tranquility I felt there was the first moment of peace I have had for the longest time. With all the insanity of yet another room mate disaster in my long list, followed by the workload of the midterms, and finally rounding it off with production week for the Setonian, I thought that my head was going to explode.

I am starting to enjoy fall up here on the hill even though there are all the problems that are going on in my life right now. The trees this year are amazingly beautiful, and I have started taking walks. My new found love is to just walk down into the woods and follow the nature made paths to the back of Caritas Christi. I even enjoy just walking around Caritas. That area is beautiful. I can't wait until there is a clear night. Star gazing in the fall has got to be one of my most favorite things to do.

Well I guess that I have ranted enough. I hope everyone has a wonderful break and that you all come back refreshed and ready to finish off the semester. Just think, only a little over two months to go and then Christmas will be here!


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

The Semester in a Nut Shell

I can't believe it's midterms already. I feel like my head is spinning in circles. A paper due for this class, a profolio due here, production week for the Setonian! I just feel like I need to scream.....

Well, now that that is out of my system, I wanted to do a little bit of a wrap up. We have covered several huge writers this semester already including Bierce, Melville, Hawthorn, Emerson, Poe, Dickenson, and I have even had time to write some of my own poetry.

It's been insane! Now through the blogs I have been able to meet several of my classmates. Such as Katie Aikins, Se-Ann Williams, and Janice Antal. I hope to get to these and more people better as the semester continues. I also hope that I can continue blogging on a more regular basis. It's been a bit crazy here on the hill and things can only go up from where they are now.

Bye for now!

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 11:55 AM | Comments (2)

October 10, 2004


For someone who is just reading "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe they would not understand the craziness that I heard in my head upon reading this poem. Like most of my class I read this poem in high school, however I learned it in a different way. We had an amazing lit teacher who found a puppet raven some where in a flea market that actually stated "Nevermore" when you opened the mouth. I could not help but remember those times in class. However, that is enough of a trip down memory lane.

Simply put, the raven in the story gave me the chills. I think if I would have been the narrator I would have broken down into tears and they would have had to carry me off the the luny bin for some shock therapy to bring me back. I know that for me when people stare at me or just answer with one word it drives me insane. Therefore I felt for the narrartor of this poem. He was just trying to find out information from the Raven about his wife and he was totally shut down by that one simple word.

I also felt for the narrator at the beginning of the poem when he thought he darling Lenore had come to find him. I always thought of the raven as the container for bringing Lenore and the narrator together. All throughout the poem the raven is speaking "nevermore" and I even mentioned in a paper in high school that the raven was saying that the narrator will never again have to look for his loving friend because he would be with her again on that night. My reasoning for this is because in the last two lines of the poem he says:

"And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!!

I always believed that he is outside his body now being taken to heaven. That the shadow floating on the floor was the shadow of his dead body lying dead and it shall never be lifted again because he will never again be soul and body except in heaven.

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 4:11 PM | Comments (5)

Normalcy or not....

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the grea man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
From his essay "Self-Reliance"

I open my entry with that quote from Emerson becuase I believe we should all live by it. People always say to be normal is to be good, but I challenge that belief and say that normalcy makes life boring. We all have our little quirks and we all believe in different things. That is what society truely is. Society is the meshing of our quicks to make us a people.

I must confess that after reading Emerson's "Self-Reliance" I was a bit confused by all the fancy words. I didn't really understand what was going on in the essay until I came to class and we had the discussion with Stephan. Stephan notes that "Emerson seems to negatively run over the themes of conformity and consistency." I would have to agree with him.

I agree with him because Emerson believes in individualism, as my opening quote shows. He believes that society kills everyone's dreams and that if one does not conform to what the rest of a given society believes in you are whipped into the ground by the displease of your fellow man. For an example just look at history. The Christians were persecuted for what they believed in by the Roman emperors before Constantine saw his sign from God. In America's own history, Africans were made slaves by the Englishmen and forced to work under slave drivers. Even after the Civil War when they were made citizens of the United States they were separated from society just because of the color of their skin.

Emerson also goes on to say that even those who have proven themselves to be out of the ordinary and have become some of the most acclaimed people in history have been shunned or misunderstood. He states that "to be great is to misunderstood." I agree with him. What is wrong with being misunderstood? I have spent my whole life be ridiculed for the way I dressed, acted, or even spoke. People believe that if you are not just like they are then you are not worthy of their respect. Emerson lists Pythagoras, Socrates, Jesus, Luther, Copernicus, Galilo, and Newton as some of the most famous people who were misunderstood. Where would we be today without them? We would not have become advanced in Geometry, science would not have the laws of physics, Christians across the globe would still be Jewish.

Because people dared to be different we now have a society with moral values and things beyond Emerson wildest dreams. Without people like Emerson and all those mentioned before we would most likely not be sitting on computers right now and we might even still be trying to decide whether or not the world is flat.


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 3:17 PM | Comments (1)

Past Memories

You are on my thoughts and in my dreams
It's all so much clearer than it seems
A simple glance in my direction
Fills my soul with your affection
Our friendship grows stronger at the core
But my heart yearns for so much more

The soft touch you place upon my back
As you stop me from falling on a crack
Concern fills your voice at my misstep
I just laugh because I was inept
A smile crawls across your face
As you brush my hair back into place

Moments slip by when we are together
With you in my life everything seems better
The shining sun warms our hearts
Is this the way all good things start?
Hope is dawning and driving away the cold
As I remember this day when we are old

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 2:36 PM | Comments (2)

The Refusal

In everyday society people are expected to do certain things. In America, people are expected to work for a living and do anything they can to gain wealth for their family, or even just to put food on the table. However, when one does not do their duties in their job they are asked to leave or in harsher terms are fired. This is what should have happened to Barleby.

If you have never read Melville's "Barleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street" then don't. As Renne so wonderfully put it, "I feel like I wasted 23 pages of my entire life, hours of my precious college time, and so forth." It was a HUGE let down for me. I could not believe that the narrartor would just let this go on without taking further action, and then when did try to take action he gave into Bartlby. I just wanted to take the narrartor by the neck and force him to grow some backbone.

Ok. Now that that is out of my system I can explain a little bit more in depth. First of all, after the second "I would prefer not to," I was getting a little bit angry. Who in their right minds would not do what their boss wants of them and expect to keep their jobs? My feelings on the subject are that Bartleby doesn't know how to work with others. Not only does he not do what he is asked, but he takes advantage of his job and starts living there! That is just creepy. Amanda and others thought that he was a ghost, but personally when he started refusing to do certain duties, I thought that he was just a lousy mooch.

Now what I found interesting was when the narrator fires him and gives him the money to leave, why didn't he just take the money and go? I mean yes being compensated is part of everyday works, but the narrator gives him money on top of that just to get rid of him. Bartleby doesn't even flinch though and just puts the money back. I could not believe what I was reading as the story continued and he just stopped doing work all together. It must really be a bad thing when a business has to pick up and move because they can't get rid of one trespasser. It kind of reminds me of a situation I am in right now in my personal life. Come next month I have to open a new checking account because the one I have now is being broken into somehow and the bank doesn't know what is going on.

I also want to talk about the other characters a bit, especially Turkey and Nippers. What is with these two? Two different personalities in the morning and afternoon? I have heard of this before, but never really believed it was possible. Were they both bi-polar or something? I think that was another reason I disliked the story so much. I never could tell who was who. I guess it was because of the multiple personality switches. I had to keep reading over and over again sections with these two in them to make sure I understood what was going on in the situation and who was going after Bartleby in that section.
Speaking of the relationship between Bartleby and the rest of the workers. If I were them I would have been angry at my boss's reaction to the Bartleby thing too. Here I am working my butt off while there is this guy who is supposed to be working too just standing there staring out the window responding to requests with an "I would prefer not to." I would end up quitting and finding a new job. I don't know if I could handle working in that kind of a situation.


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 1:33 PM | Comments (4)

The Poor and Misunderstood

Poor Pearl. I can't help, but feel for that child. Ok. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about let me fill you in. We had to read "The Scarlet Letter" in class. Pearl is the daughter of the main character and she really doesn't have any interaction at all with what is going on in the life of a child.

While I was reading this story I grew sympathetic toward Pearl. That girl did not have nearly enough interaction with children her own age growing up and then she had all of the towns people staring at her. She would overhear people saying that she is a devil's child, and that she acted like the devil herself. What is a little girl supposed to do in that sort of situation when she doesn't understand the things going on around her.

The chapter pertaining to Pearl that I found most interesting would have to have been Chapter 8. During this chapter Pearl is questioned by the minister as to where her origins came from, but Pearl, not knowing how to interact with adults or even children, refused to speak. Finally, after being pressed by the minister for an answer she shouts that she "had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mohter off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison-door. This shocked the minister and they wanted to take Pearl away from her mother for they believed Hester was being a bad mother. Now my take on this is had Hester not been such an outcast after what happened to her, then she would have felt comfortable taking the child to hear the weekly sermon given by the minister instead of having to teach the child herself. This would also have assited in the child learning the skills she needed.

Another fact that I would like to point out about this section is that the minister forced the child to answer. Pearl was only 3 years of age when this event took place. She did not have the cognative abilities needed to produce the answer wanted by the minister. I believe anything she would have said would have brought her to her answer. Also, 3 year olds are famous for being shy around people that they do not know. I have a 3 year old cousin myself who doesn't really know me and is extremely shy when I come around where otherwise she is a very outgoing little person. As far as Pearl's answer about the roses is concerned, she replied in the best way she knew. Pearl was raised in the woods. That is where she felt the most comfortable, in nature. She had been looking out of the window and the roses were the first things that she saw and so she came up with an answer.

As I said before, I feel for Pearl. She is never really understood and she never really gets a chance to learn how to be like everyone else. She never learns those interactive skills that we see of.

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 12:38 PM | Comments (2)

Listen to you instincts

Listening to your instincts can be for good or bad. In many cases it ends up being for the good of you or even the good of someone else. In Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" the main character listened to his instincts and he wound up dead. I really did not like this story at all. Unlike Amanda I was highly confused by the imagry displayed in the short story. It's just something about all the flashbacks to his life that are distracting.

I enjoyed the way Bierce discribed the dreamlike state Farquhar found himself in in the moments while his life was being taken from him, but at the same time it annoyed me. I was just like, WOAH! he just escaped. I was excited and was able to read faster and faster. Then it was like hitting wall when you found out that he actually died. I couldn't believe it. I felt floored and angry and Bierce for building up my anticipation that Peyton was going to live and then he ended up dying on the end of the rope. I believe I even mentioned in class that I was just a tad bit upset about the whole situation.

Finally, I wanted to comment on Katie's entry on this very subject. She compares Farquhar to Jesus. She mentions that their physical descriptions were very similar and I agree with her highly. After reading her entry, I went back and read the discription again and could definetly see where she was coming from. I commented on her entry that I have always thought the main character was a good person and that I did not like the fact that he was tricked into going to the bridge. It was kind of like a betrayal the way Christ was betrayed by Judas. It was very tricky and undermining.

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2004

That's right....here comes the Poetry.

So the other day in class we had a poetry slam with Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Dickenson poems and/or short stories. I blogged on the poem the Bells before class and how I prepared for it. Let me tell you, getting ready to read such a repetitive poem was extreamly difficult. I had to practice slowing down and make sure I kept telling myself to slow down. If you guys thought I was reading quickly in class then you should have seen me in my preparation.

In the evaluations that you guys gave to us there were many things that people seemed to disagree on. Some said that you thought it was good that we stayed in place and others thought we should have moved around more. One person even contradicted his/herself on the evaluation form saying that we should have moved more and then told us that they like the way we positioned ourselves like bells and stayed stationary. However, all in all I thought that you guys seemed to enjoy yourselves when we were doing the poem. I know that it moved quickly and we spoke quickly, but if you think about it that is the way bells are. They start off slowly, then their melody quickens as they ring, and finally they slow to a resounding silence.

Now on to others and their interpretations of the poems. I really enjoyed seeing everyone do something they wanted to do, and especially enjoyed hearing the same poem read by two different people. I thought that it showed ius all that it depends on the person as to how the poem will be read and interpretation. I know that I myself can take a poem and expand upon the religious or emotional aspect of it and go from there, but that is just the way I think. Another person my look at the same poem and tell me that I am full of the stuff that comes from the rear.

Another part of the two days that I enjoyed was seeing different people give their versions of short stories. I really enjoyed the person who read "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. Although she was reading by herself she broke it up in such a way that she was able to read the most important parts of the story and yet she still gave us the whole story. I thought that the way she broke the short story up and still made it work well was amazing.

Well that's all I have for now. Check back later for more. Maybe I'll write on Beirce next. Who knows?


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 4:42 PM | Comments (4)

October 4, 2004

A letter to the editor

My dearest Tiffany,

Where have you been? You only update when you have a class assignment and even that is not up to your usual standards. You have slacked and done only the simplest of things for me. I have become starved from the lack of postings. When will you grace me with your words of love or the happenings that have gone on up at SHU? Please, even if your road has become rocky, abandoned, and has fallen into disrepair, I need to hear from you. In the past we have had such a wonderful relationship. I listen to all that you have to say without fail, and I even bring others in to give you help with your growth. Speaking of the others - you owe them an apology as well. You have been away for so long that people have stopped coming to visit me. This again is hard on me because I love interacting with all of your friends. And so I close with my pleading heart that you write to me soon and with the same vigor that you had before.

Your loving and caring Friend,

Dearest Blog,

I apologize humbly for the lack of writing, however life here on the hill has become monotonous with very little excitment. However, there has been one bright spot in my life. I think that I have finally found someone to start a relationship with. He is amazingly sweet and I don't deserve him. He has a wonderful heart, and although we are starting off slowly I think that we will have a beautiful realtionship.

Other things have not been so hot. I am having room mate problems with one of the girls in my room. She is disgusting. She never cleans up after herself in the bathroom (I live in one of the apartments in Farrell), she never puts things back after she uses them, she never comes out of her room, and she is just an all around ugly person (inside and out). I have never disliked someone so much until I had to live with her.

Classes are going well. At least I thought so until I realized I had been neglecting one of my good friends, you. Hopefully I will be doing better in this second half of the semester. I will also apologize to you and to my visitors for never coming in to have some fun. I hope you will come back to me and keep me company in this lovely blogosphere, and please bring along new friends. I would love to start chatting with you all.

For now I must bid adu and continue on with my life out in the real world. I will return soon though. That is a promise.


Posted by Tiffany Brattina at 11:06 PM | Comments (6)