April 2008 Archives

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

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   So, this semester is pretty much over and it is time for our last blog entry, our third portfolio!  This is the part of the semester where I come clean about my feelings.  When we were first required to blog, I thought it was one of the weirdest and dumbest things I've ever been required to do.  I do have different feelings about it now, though.  It gave me the opportunity to express my opinion somewhere, even if not in class.  Also, I can bettter express my ideas on paper than through conversation because I get more time to think it through.  I found myself enjoying writing blog entries and reading other people's responses.  Don't get me wrong, some blog entries were dull and boring, Hamilton mainly, but others were great!  I wouldn't be surprised if I continue to blog over the summer- I plan on reading the rest of the Ender's series.  So without further ado, my third, AND LAST, portfolio for EL150!

Previous Portfolios:

-A Journalism major could come up with a better title!

-Portfolio 2:I've Grown!



~My Stream of Consciousness is shallow. is my attempt at writing blank verse.  It is linked back to the course webpage and was turned in days before the due date.

~She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy...She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy discusses the importance of the refrain.

~Emotionally Disconnected simply discusses Vivian's inability to admit being in pain.


~A fun blog entry! (I do love my exclamation point!) is an interesting blog entry which lets you get inside my mind a little about exclamation points and Charlemagne!

~Just READ IT and you'll see! is just a fun entry!  I got words from urbandictionary.com and talked about their usage in ever day speech.


~Clowns and Literature Don't Mix! inspired discussion about Richard Wright, interrupting yourself in writing and clowns.  Three people had things to say.

~In Good Company is just a short entry that attracted a lot of attention.  The secret to getting responses, writing short entries.

~I DO like green eggs and ham! descibes my love of the book and sparked a lot of conversation!

~Three Cheers for MLA Works Cited Lists!-The purpose of this entry was to assist myself and my peers with writing our final papers, as a sort of reference.  Even though I only received two comments on it, I would like for my peers to be aware of at least the fact that the back of Hamilton tells you how to write a works cited list.


 ~Ender's torture will never end! showcases some of my feelings about the book.  I go beyond the one required agenda item and actually wrote two.  I made an interesting observation in this entry.

~Ender's Ugly Transformation sparked a lot of thought and actually fits into my discussion section because I put a lot of time and effort into developing a good argument


~Guilty as Charged struck a chord with its readers because they could relate.  I specifically called out my usage of the phrase, "It is clear..." because I use it ALL THE TIME!  I'm going to avoid it now, though.

~Ender's Ugly Transformation sparked a lot of thought amongst my readers and actually inspired one of my peers, Erica Gearhart to write The End of Ender in response to my opinion that Ender became a killer.

~Angelica's entry really made me think about the play W;t and Edson's use of the flashback to showcase Vivian's personality.

(Sorry about the different fonts and colors of fonts but I don't know how to change it!) 

Now back to the main page.

Emotionally Disconnected

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This is from W;t by Margaret Edson pg 10:

Vivian: So do I.  "Thoroughness"-I always tell my students, but they are constitutionally averse to painstaking work.

Kelekian: Yours, too.

Vivian: Oh, it's worse every year.

At first when I read this I thought, How peculiar...she just found out she has cancer and she's talking about her students?  What's wrong with her?  She's obvioiusly a tough cookie.  But by the time I got to the end of the play I figured out that this scene was Edson's way of showing the audience that Vivian is extremely disconnected from her emotions.  Even in the end, she has a difficult time admitting she's in pain.  We all know that, for the most part, it's ok to admit weakness but she can't do it until she's near death.  This scene is sad, especially considereing what happens to her in the end.  The inability to admit weakness is actually a reoccuring theme in this play.  Jason has a difficult time in the end admitting he didn't follow orders when he attempted to resuscitate Vivian.  Finally he gathered himself enough to admit he "MADE A MISTAKE!" (84). 

Funny little note.  If you have the copy of the play with the old lady on the cover wearing a baseball cap, check out page 67 where they randomly add a new character Ivian.  lol

Three Cheers for MLA Works Cited Lists!

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This will be useful.  I found it in Hamilton's Essential Literary Terms 263.


If a source does not number pages or paragraphs, follow the year with a period instead of a colon.  Some periodicals have dates; others have volume and issue numbers instead-volume 10, issue 3 should be listed as 10.3, following by the year (in parentheses).  See the following examples."


Author's Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Date of Volume.Issue (Year): Pages pars.    Database. Database provider. Library. Day Month Year of access <URL>.

Bowman, James. "Moody Blues." American Spectator June 1999: 64-65. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Paul Laurnece Dunbar Lib., Wright State U. 15 Mar. 2005 <http://epnet.com>. 


Note: I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to indent the second line of the examples.  I thought this would come in handy, so I figured this would make a great blog entry!  I always forget how to do a works cited in MLA style, especially for things as complicated as online periodicals.  I hope this helps everyone when we start our papers!

Ender's Ugly Transformation

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"Peter might be scum, but Peter had been right, always right; the power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can't kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you" (Card's Ender's Game 212).

Poor Ender.  He has been completely brainwashed.  Yes, he can think for himself but only within certain constraints.  If he simply gave up, stopped trying so it just looked like he was slipping and not the kid they thought he was, he could stop them.  He has been told what he should be so much that he does not even see this option.  The once sensitive boy seems to have this inner killer.  Society has taught him that nobody would protect him.  They cannot help someone who cannot help himself.  It goes all the way back to when they took his monitor off.  They had to know that he'd get beat up by the two biggest bullies in his life, Peter and Stilson, and yet they still did it.  What did this result in?  Stilson's death.  But throughout this book, Ender goes from a boy who does not want to really hurt anyone to someone who is desensitized to such killings.  He never really means to kill anyone or anything without necessity or remorse...Does he?

"A wasp circled her, then landed on the raft beside her head.  She knew it was there, and ordinarily would have been afraid of it.  But not today.  Let it walk on this raft, let it bake in the sun as I'm doing"

   "Then the raft rocked, and she turned to see Ender calmly crushing the life out of the wasp with one finger.  'These are a nasty breed,' said Ender.  'They sting you without waiting to be insulted first.'  He smiled.  'I've been learning about preemptive strategies'" ( Ender's Game 235).

Wow!  The wasp was not hurting anyone and he killed it.  This sequence of events and dialogue is what I feel to be one of, if not the most, important sequences in the book.  Ender displays his killer instinct, and what's more, with a complete lack of remorse (he did it calmly and then even smiled).  With this one scene alone, he goes from a defensive murderer to an offensive murderer.  His previous killings were just him trying to protect himself, whereas this one is initiated by Ender.  Yes, I do realize it's just a bee but this little bee is representative, forshadowing if you will, of the Buggers.  Later in the book, Card even refers to the buggers as being like bees who take orders from a queen (268).  Therefore, this little bee IS a big deal.  Card included this specific scene, inner thoughts and all, as a way of showing the transformation Ender has undergone.  (I also found it ironic that Ender says, "They sting you without wiating to be insulted first" and then he squishes it.)

"A refrain is a word, a phrase, a line, or a group of lines repeated at intervals in a poem" (Hamilton's Essential Literary Terms 230).

This line took me back to a past lifetime (at least it feels like it) to when I played the piano.  I played for five not-so-glorious years and today I can't read music at all really.  It's a shame.  Anyway, enough about me.  I believe that a refrain in music is when you go back and play a certain line, or sometimes all you've played to that specific point, over again.  How cool is that!?  Songs do this ALL THE TIME; it's called a chorus.  The chorus usually tends to reveal the main idea of the song, while the verses go more into showing or telling why whatever the chorus says is true.  Here's an example though if you need one.  It's Kenny Chesney's song "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy"

Plowing these fields in the hot summer sun
Over by the gate lordy here she comes
With a basket full of chicken and a big cold jug of sweet tea
I make a little room and she climbs on up
Open up a throttle and stir a little dust
Just look at her face she ain't a foolin me

She thinks my tractor's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always staring at me
While I'm chuggin along
She likes the way it's pullin' while we're tillin' up the land
She's even kind of crazy 'bout my farmer's tan
She's the only one who really understands what gets me
She thinks my tractor's sexy

We ride back and forth until we run out of light
Take it to the barn put it up for the night
Climb up in the loft sit and talk with the radio on
She said she's got a dream and I asked what it is
She wants a little farm and a yard full of kids
One more teeny weeny ride before take her home

She thinks my tractor's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always staring at me
While I'm chuggin along
She likes the way it's pullin' while we're tillin' up the land
She's even kind of crazy 'bout my farmer's tan
She's the only one who really understands what gets me
She thinks my tractor's sexy

Well she ain't into cars or pick up trucks
But if it runs like a Deere man her eyes light up

She thinks my tractor's....

She thinks my tractor's sexy
It really turns her on
She's always staring at me
While I'm chuggin along
She likes the way it's pullin' while we're tillin' up the land
She's even kind of crazy 'bout my farmer's tan
She's the only one who really understands what gets me
She thinks my tractor's sexy

She thinks my tractor's sexy
She thinks my tractor's sexy

See what I mean? 

"A refrain is a word, a phrase, a line, or a group of lines repeated at intervals in a poem" (Hamilton's Essential Literary Terms 230).


Ender's torture will never end!

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I love this book so very much I could not just pick one agenda item!

1) "'How I'm trying so very hard to do well at school, but you know it's driving me crazy becauase I can never talk to anybody intelligent, everybody always talks down to me because I'm young, I never get to converse with my peers'" (Ender's Game 129).

   This line explains a major theme of this book.  Ender and his siblings are lonely because they are so darn smart.  Nobody can match their intellect which separates them from everyone else.  At least Val and Peter have each other but poor Ender.  Any time he gets close to anyone or anything, they move him and give him more challenges.  Don't get me wrong, challenges are good but he's JUST A BOY!  I've often thought about how much it must stink to be a super genius.  Oh yes, it sounds so wonderful.  You wouldn't have to study, you could correct your professors at the age of 11 and you'd get an amazing job with an amazing salary; but it is nice to feel like you belong.  Ender doesn't, even amongst a bunch of other geniuses (or genui as I like to say).  I believe it is his superior intellect that gives him these violent urges.  Because of his intelligence, he can find the weaknesses of others and exploit them well.  He does it several times and I don't doubt he'll do it several more times.

2) This second one is a question having to do with shifting perspectives:

   "Dink Meeker had finally accepted command and succeeded Rose the Nose in Rat Army's command.  All is going well, very well, I couldn't ask for better-

    So Why do I hate my life?" (139).

   So how do we get into Ender's head?  Why does Card switch to first person?  He is telling the story from a third person omniscient point of view and then he suddenly switches and then switches back...Is this a fluke?  We know Ender is miserable because he's lonely, partially because of his superior intellect.  What does everyone else think about this shift? 

   Ender's teachers made his obautoment more severe because he did not want to be responsible for the death of a whole race.

(obautoment=self hatred)

I DO like green eggs and ham!

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"They laughed together, and two other Launchies joined them.  Ender's isolation was over.  The war was just beginning" (Ender's Game 53).

   Thank God!  I'm so happy that Ender finally got some friends!  The tone has shifted (at least for a little).  Ender went from fighting against EVERYTHING to finally being able to lower his guard.  At home he had to watch himself.  The only person he liked really was Valentine.  Peter was a horrible influence and an ominous person who has definately caused Ender some serious psychological damage.  He felt, for a while, like a failure, a disappointment because he thought he was inadequate.  He had no friends at all, his parents weren't really even there for him so he was alone.  It is starting to look like things were going to start going Ender's way.  He outsmarted the system, beat an older boy, dethroned the bully and now has friends.  But I also have reason to believe things are going to get worse now because "The was was just beginning."

     I love the way this book reveals so little at a time.  It was difficult to figure out that Ender and Andrew Wiggin were the same person, why he is called "Ender", who Val was, the purpose of the monitors, what the heck was going on and who the people are that are speaking at the beginning of the chapters.  The cryptic way this book was written is really holding my interest.  It is also inspirational, a tactic I will definately have to apply to my own story writing.  I think that it is a shame that I have never heard of Orson Scott Card before.  I also think the reason why I love this book the way I do is because the laws and restrictions remind me of 1984.(This is crazy!  I found the whole book online so you don't even have to buy it if you want to read it.)  If you haven't read 1984, you NEED to!  It's SO good!

     I feel it necessary to mention that I am pleasantly surprised by this book.  It is good.  I have never read any science fiction before and from this book l am learning that I should expand my horizons more and read some different things.  I'm just like "Sam I am" and guess what!?  I DO like green eggs and ham!

Guilty as Charged

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Never have I written a journal entry and known what to call it before I actually wrote it...I guess there's a first for everything.  I'll be getting on with what's important now.

In your examples of what not to say I noticed one specific example and had to grimace...

"It is clear that..."  "The student knows 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" (Dr. Jerz's website)

When I read this, I had to say, "Oh snap!" because I am guilty as charged.  Yes, I use this, have used this and will NOT continue to use this phrase.  I guess I thought that when I said "It is clear that..." I could incorporate my opinion while still being able to back it up with fact.  I guess I get what you're saying here though.  If it "is clear" then why write the paper in the first place?  The purpose of the paper is to argue a point that could go in a number of directions depending on opinion.  Your job as the write of the research paper is to make up a darn good case for your favorite view.  Make your point and opinion, the reader's opinion through effective writing.  Clearly, the phrase "it is clear" is just ignorant.  You know there is another point.  Just because you say "clearly" or "it is clear" does not make you automatically right.  Wow, I never thought about that before.  Thanks Dr. Jerz!

Just READ IT and you'll see!

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So these words are from urbandictionary.com:

1)  irregardless- without lack of disregard; Used by people who ignorantly mean to say regardless

-Tim Moynihan makes up a pretty good, funny case for the word (as he argues it is) irregardless.  I HIGHLY suggest reading his reasons why he thinks that irregardless is not only a word, but also, it is actually the "baddest-ass word of all time."

"It practices what it preaches: Irregardless of the rules of grammar, "irregardless" is a word. It's self-reflexive. It's the exception that proves the rule. It talks the talk and walks the walk. Is there another word like that? No, because "irregardless" is bad-ass. It is a text-based Chuck Norris, roundhouse-kicking everything else in the dictionary into submission."

 *When I saw this word, I thought of a conversation I had with a friend about this word.  I didn't know this wasn't a word and when he informed me, I was surprised.  When I thought about it, it made perfect sense.  It's a double negative and redundant!  Why is it not taught in schools that this is not a word?

2)  ba donka donk- a large ass or boody. a nice big ass.

-This word makes me think of Trace Adkins's song

"Husslers shootin' eightball
Throwin' darts at the wall
Feelin' damn near 10 ft. tall
Here she comes, Lord help us all
Old T.W.'s girlfriend done slapped him out his chair
Poor ole boy, it ain't his fault
It's so hard not to stare
At honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
And ooo-wee
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma
There outta be a law
Get the Sheriff on the phone
Lord have mercy, how she even get them britches on with that
That honky tonk badonkadonk"

 *I love this song, the video and the lyrics.  Never EVER did I think I would be writing a blog entry about this word or this song but I'm happy about it!  This is one of the funniest and, in my opinion, best country songs EVER!  It's hilarious because it's the hick version of the song "Moneymaker" by Ludacris (see word below.)  I think the video itself is just like a rap video complete with women shaking their behinds, slutty clothing (obviously they read up on how to release their inner sluts-see below) and your infamous over-sized rings that spell out words.  Trace Adkins has such a marvelous deep voice and he's a great businessman. (Yes, I did, in fact, watch The Celebrity Apprentice!)  The word badonkadonk is a great one because it makes me think of when I was a little kid and made up words.  It's such a catchy word and I think that it should definately go into the dictionary.

3) moneymaker- yet another word for butt, booty, or ass. Probably derives from Jennifer Lopez and her famous backside.

The song by Ludacris and Pharrel showcases this word:

Shake your money maker
Like somebody's bout to pay ya
Don't worry about them haters
Keep your nose up in the air

You know I got it
If you wanna come get it
Stand next to this money
Like - ey ey

*Gosh this song is such mind waste, but I know every word.  Great word, great song.  I personally think that it would derive from strippers being that their bootay could actually make them money.  I have indeed used this word in my everyday speech.  In fact, I have used all of these words.  Here's the video if you're interested.

4) breezy- the word breezy is a combination of the two words which describe a woman that is easy. The word "broad" (slang for a woman) is combined with the word easy creating the derogatory word "breezy."

-My example of this one is hilarious!  There is actually an article written by Margaret Mason which I intend on reading when I'm done with this page about-I kid not- "Releasing Your Inner Slut."

"You can’t be breezy if you’re limping. You know you’re going to be walking from bar to bar and dancing the night away, so don’t toddle along in ten-minute shoes. It will annoy everyone who has to wait for you to catch up. Save the spike heels for sedentary tête-à-têtes. Little kitten-heels, open-toed shoes, and sling-backs all have slut-appeal and they’re much kinder on your delicate arches."

*Oh, Penn Hills High School, I love you.  Yes, I was introduced to this word, as well as bouty, in high school.  Once again, I think it's a great word and I think that it should go into the dictionary.

In Good Company

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When I read this, I let out a sigh of relief:

"Any variant foot within a line that consists predominantly of another metrical pattern is called a substitution.  The most sommon substitutions are the following:

A spondaic foot, or spondee, two stressed syllables in a row..." (Essential Literary Terms Hamilton 202).

Yes, this means, to me, that if I'm unable to fit the meter exactly, or I just feel it would do the poem more justice, I CAN deviate from the given meter!  I'm not a weakling because Wordsworth (this really cannot be this man's name), Yeats, Donne and Shakespeare, the father of all literature, used substitutions all the time!  I detinately don't mind being able to compare myself to these gentlemen.

Clowns and Literature Don't Mix!

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"In Black Boy (1945, 1991), Richard Wright's autobiographical novel, the narrative sometimes departs abruptly from the usual structure, a chronological account of Richard's troubled childhood and youth, depicted in dramatized episodes...For the reader, the list is a sign of the curiosity, candor, and imagination that have miraculously survived the abuses to which Richard is subjected" (Essential Literary Terms Hamilton 177).


   Surprisingly, I remember this part of this book from when I read it last year-let's just say the book didn't leave that great of an impression on me.  I remember reading about all of these horrible things that happened to Richard and the horrible things he did and thinking that it was amazing he was still standing.  This random list however, detracted from the text surrounding it.  It was difficult to stay focused on his work when even he was interupting himself!  This goes back to discussions we have had in Dr. Jerz's class about writing.  You don't write for yourself, you write for an audience.  Although Hamilton says it proves things to the reader, this, for most people, is simply not the case.  When you have an audience's attention, the last thing you want to do is point out the window at the clown who's juggling flaming bowling balls while riding a unicycle.  The audience will stop paying attention to you and start paying attention to the clown!  This is why this kind of shilft in style should be avoided unless there is good reason. 


By the way, if you like exciting books that are a little disturbing, I'd highly recommend reading one of Richard Wright's other stories, Native Son.

My Stream of Consciousness is shallow.

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Here's my attempt at blank verse!  I am quite proud of it.  It is in stream of consciousness so in a weird way, I'm multi-tasking!


You want to know what's on my mind? 


Here lies the problem.  I am quite angry.

The poetry that's enjoyable t'me

Is NOT this kind for I like mine to rhyme!

The beat is good.  It sounds very pretty,

but I just feel like something is missing!

And now, am I only half way finished?

So now what I will do is talk T.V.

Jeff Corwin is a great educator.

Watch Animal Planet regularly,

learn and laugh for Corwin is quite funny! 

A fun blog entry! (I do love my exclamation point!)

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Two-in-one again from Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves


"'Hang on, this writing's gone all wobbly'?"(146). paired with

Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was "out of his senses". (British)

Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was "out of his senses." (American) (153).

   When I read the first line I said to myself Wait a minute...I thought the question mark was supposed to go inside the quotation marks.  Oh crap, I'll never remember that!  I then read the second thing about the difference between the Brits and US I was obviously relieved.  I have to admit that sometimes I'm extremely confused by Truss's Britishness, especially her spelling.  I've NEVER claimed to be a good speller and when I see Truss spelling things the British way, I get confused and question my spelling.  Her spelling of the word "capitalisation" and "organisation" and such really upset me because I second guessed my own spellings of things.


"That's why they came up with the emoticon, too-the emoticon being the greatest (or most desperate, depending how you look at it) advance in punctuation since the question mark in the reign of Charlemagne" (192).

   I chose this quote for several stupid reasons.  First of all, I love the word emoticon.  It's such a fancy word for such as simple concept.  Second, I have a very personal relationship with Charlemagne.  I had to do a group project on Charlemagne.  My friends and I were going to ask random people what they knew about him and decided to get a head start on it with the pizza man.  I asked him, and, to our surprise, the pizza man knew all about Charlemagne and actually lived in France!  The last reason, a legitimate one at that, was that I just really like how Truss wrote this sentence.  I love parenthesis (and hate when people forget to end their parenthesis), and any sentence that has the two words addressed above in it is an awesome sentence!  Truss displays her ability to write, and do it well, about an incredibly boring subject.  The kicker is that she actually makes it interesting.  I think that this book should go on high school English lists because as Katie said, I really could have used this back then.  I don't want my students to go into the SATs and college with bad grammar.  It would make their life so much easier long term.

Side thought...What is with Truss's obsession with the renaming of Opal Fruits to Starburst?


Speaking of punctuation this youtube clip is really funny if you like punctuation and dark humor.  I definately think that Truss would appreciate this one!

Portfolio 2: I've Grown!

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   So, WOW, we're almost done with this semester and it has been over a month since our last online portfolio.  For those of you who have not ever run across one of my blog pages, consider this your lucky day!  I'm writing for Dr. Jerz's Intro to Literature class at Seton Hill University.  This portfolio is a recap of some of the best entries I've done.  I've grouped the entries by category, once again.  They are coverage, timeliness, interaction, depth and discussion. (As you can see, I'm not a fan of the Oxford Comma!)



 ~Mr. Shiftlet makes me hot (and I don't mean aroused)! discusses how Mr. Shilftlet, in The Life You Save May Be Your Own, is a hypocrite.  I also ponder the true meaning of the title.

 ~I'd pay about a Nickel or Dime for this book (lol j/k) sums up my feelings on the book and poses some new questions about Ehrenreich's actions.

~Limited time offer! BOGO blogs! is a good entry that not enough people read.  I blow off some steam about Truss's book and then admit to liking it.  I also had three agenda items even though only two were required.

~A fun blog entry! (I do love my exclamation point!) is just kind of funny.  Make sure you check out the Youtube clip on it.  This guy's videos are hilarious!


 ~Freddy Kreuger meets My Little Pony is an intresting entry that discusses tone and my favorite poem, The Raven.

~Lemire is an ingenius idiot describes what I've learned from Lemire and Michael Sims. 


~ Irony Comes Out of the Closet is a blog entry where I discuss the strange differences between what we are taught in high school and how they don't always-or even often-coincide with what we learn in college. 

~N&D=leech displays my opinion of Nickel and Dimed and sparked a lot of comments from my peers.

~Trusst me. You WANT to read this! sparked a lot of conversation about punctuation and the title.



~Am I Missing Something? demonstrates my ability to draw connections between different works we were required to read.

~Hamleton demonstrates how I am able to take what I've read for class and apply it to works of literature I've read in the past.

~If you're seeking perfection, this is NOT where to find it! shows my ability to analyze a text and build up a case against a claim the author made.  Sounds a bit confusing?  Just check it out and you'll see what I mean.

~O'Connor....You SON OF A.....carpenter? She's a GENIUS I tell you! demonstrates how I can draw parallels between stories.  It also shows that I am willing to go beyond what is required.


 ~Surviving is a blog entry written by Juliana Cox in which I elaborate on what Ehrenreich said in her book and apply it to real life situations.

~Irony and No Good Country People was written by Tiffany Gilbert.  I commented on her entry and drew a connection between Good Country People and A Good Man is Hard to Find.