January 2009 Archives

Fight or Flight! Or neither...

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I am anxious for Daisy. She doesn't seem racist, but Tom is very openly so. Tom is also obviously abusive (not only to her) and they don't love eachother and he's cheating on her. I am upset that our main character Nick or Jacob (one of those two) hasn't done anything. On page 16, at dinner (which is unlike what communion is supposed to be according to HRP) the narrator says about the tone of the evening, "To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing - my own instinct was to telephone immediatly for the police."

Why doesn't he do this when is cousin is obviously in danger and hurt?  Is the narrator scared to face giant Tom? Does he feel like it's not his place because he isn't wealthy or he isn't married to her? On page 38, Tom wacks Mrs. Wilson across the face and the narrator just walks calmly from the room. He doesn't call the police or confront Tom. Perhaps for the same reasons or it may be because he doesn't care if Mrs. Wilson gets hit. Maybe he was too drunk to care about another woman unrelated to him beat up.

Page 21: "It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of the house, child in arms - but apparently there were no such intentions in her head." I also don't understand why Daisy doesn't leave Tom. I think, aside from the child, Daisy doesn't leave because of the money. Perhaps she fears that as a woman she can't support herself or her child. Or maybe she tolerates him for his money like a gold-digger. I think that's what Nikita is suggesting.

Great Gatsby

Ladder to Heaven

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So I'm pretty sure the guy dies during the winter at the end of After Apple Picking. At first, that was all I really got out of the poem besides that it was sad and weary. But, I was confused as to how he harvested apples in the winter. Isn't that done in the autumn with all other foods? 

I'm not very good at poems especially long ones so I searched for what others thought about it and found a bunch of different explanations. From all of this, I gathered that he did indeed die at the end and the apple picking could be a metaphor for his life.

The apples are the desires he wanted to accomplish before he died. There were many things he looked forward to doing, many apples he wanted to pick, but many fell to the ground (he did not reach those goals). In the end, he didn't even fill his barrel (desired amount) of goals before he died, but he was so tired that he couldn't continue. "For I have had too much / Of apple-picking: I am overtired / Of the great harvest I myself desired."

The ladder "toward heaven still" was like his life in stages I suppose. Trying to get to the top of the corporate ladder maybe. Or as he goes higher (lives longer) the closer he is to heaven (or dying).

Classmates' Takes

Edward Cullen and the Holy Grail

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Was it odd to anyone else that in chapter three of How to Read Like a Professor (HRP) that the author compared a quest for bread to a quest for the holy grail? I was amused that getting bread and going to whack a guy in Vegas were considered "tasks of varying nobility" (2).

The part about communion on page 9, I thouroughly enjoyed. Not just because of Foster's choice of words or examples (although those are quite riveting), it was that I could actually apply the idea of communion in a story to books I have read (literary and otherwise). I see in Twilight (it's what's popular now) when Edward and Bella have a spontaneous dinner that it showed she was comfortable with him. Even though he could kill her. It was also a dinner that focused more on conversation and getting to know one another than eating.

Actually, the dinner there was more of a date. Would a date then be different than communion because it serves a different purpose? Or would the fact that it took place while eating still signify she was comfortable with him?

More About the Book

The Fate of the Times

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CosmoGirl, a teenager version of the popular adult magazine Cosmopolitan, ended production with its December 2008 issue. Across the United States, subscribers will receive letters and a copy of the magazine Seventeen. Heart Magazines, owner of both magazines, decided to fold the contents of CosmoGirl into Seventeen.

Many paper industries suffered a similar fate including Elle Girl, Teen People, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, and almost The New York Times. Print news main source of income comes from advertising and subscriptions. Newspapers and magazines cannot compete with sites like Google and Monster for advertising space. Also, much of the information in the news or in the magazines can be found online for free. More people can now read their articles while checking their email or Facebook and they don't have to pay.

It is interesting to note that the magazines that have folded still have running sites. All of the information that would have been placed in the magazine is now online and open to anyone who visits the site.
Should newspapers then "transform into local marketing service companies" to make money? Or join the Green crowd and print their work somewhere other than paper. Perhaps on the web.

Journalists today need to pull away from print as their main source of revenue and move toward publishing work for the Internet. In his book The Vanishing Newspaper, Philip Meyes says "the final copy of the final newspaper will appear on somebody's doorstep one day in 2043." But, I don't think news will stop there. It may be the last paper article, but blogs and online news-sites (easily updated and interactive) will prevail. 

More News About News

Not the Road Less Traveled By

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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is not about beating the march of your own drum like many people think. I just read in A Practical Introduction to Literary Study that the poem is really about the choices/decisions that people make in life. These decisions create the paths/roads that people take and determine the outcome of who they are and their life.

Robert Frost doesn't take the road less traveled by. He thinks he does at first, but then he finds as he is walking the other path that "Though as for that passing there / Had worn them really about the same, / And both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black."

So really both paths had been walked the same amount. He just says he took the one less traveled by because that is how he distinguished the differences in the two paths at first. He wanted to take both, but "doubted if I should ever come back."

In the end, he sighs and knows he will be telling someone this story, which path he chose, and it will have made the difference in his life.

As for the other poems, I enjoyed them. Fire and Ice has long since been my favorite poem, but now with close reading I have a deeper understanding of it. Robert Frost is my favorite poet (mostly because he is the only one I can understand) and another one of his poems that really provokes thought in me is Love and a Question.

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