Teaching my Mom Blogging

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We are trying to work on a blog for my family's business so I am showing my rents how this thing pretty much works. Not that it will be identical but hopefully they will get the gist.

They own a motel call the Glass House Inn, which is located in Erie, PA close to the lake and all our beaches!! Hopefully you can check out our blog soon!!

Go Class!

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This very well could be my last blog ever as a Seton Hill University student. Luckily I get to go out talking about my coursemates fantastic presentations and not so much about what I have achieved. Over the past few years I have learned a great deal from my peers and I think it is so important to experience the smaller classroom experience where we have the ability to make friendships, watch growth, and support one another in our educational careers. So here is to my fellow students and all they have helped me with over the semester and over the years at SHU.

Greta and Katie: "Teaching Lit. Crit"
I give you two mad props for trying to actually teach students about literary criticism. I think you should both be very proud of what you have accomplished in your task and your overall success. I think it is important to introduce the idea of criticism in a secondary education class so that they can be more familiar with critical thinking. Even if they don't exactly know how to ably it at this time, they can try to understand the purpose of the school so that they have the opportunity to look at literature the way that we do. I liked that you brought students in to support your accomplishment and great job!

Sue and Quinn: "Holden and Catcher in the Rye"
I thought that your skit and subject matter was very interesting. In our young adult literature course we learned a great deal about Salinger and his hermit like living habits. I thought you demonstrated the importance of the audience and the content of the novel well and I was interested in what you had to say. I just wish I could have gotten an exclusive interview with Salinger. How cool would that really be!!??

Derek and Angela: "The Dark Knight"
I absolutely loved your rendition of "The Dark Knight." Yes Derek your face absolutely terrified me...I couldn't look at you. Anyways I think you both captured the essence of your characters perfectly (Angela work on looking manly) and I was interested in your analysis the whole way through. When I saw the movie for the first time, I really liked the idea of justice throughout the three main characters, and I think you did a great job backing up the importance in each characters role as a form of justice or in the justice system. The website was awesome and I liked your performance a lot. Great job over the semester and thanks for the show!!

Jenna and Erica: "Pride and Prejudice"
I really enjoyed your look into Jane Austen's world. I never ever put together that "Bridget Jone's Diary" was an adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" and found it very interesting to see different interpretations. Also I think it was important that you showed us the historical significance of class and money. It was cool that you could see an element of these themes in all the adaptations, even if they were a little different. I won't lie, I'm NOT going to read the zombie version of the novel, but your pictures were FANTASTIC!!! Not only were they comical, they were relevant to scenes from the original text and expressed your purpose well. Your cast looked really familiar and so did your setting, can't wait to see it on the big screen ;-)

Mara and Kayley: "Boxcar Children"
I love the "Boxcar Children" books and I found your topic interesting and informational. Sometimes, in my opinion, good things are best left alone...especially series after the author passes. I'll say it, the originals are ALWAYS better. When has a copy cat been better? The background information on the original author was important to learn because it explains why the language was simple and the ideas were not "fantastic" but common. In a way, I feel that by leaving specific details out of the stories, such as the dogs name and description, she was trying to give the children a chance to be creative. Maybe simple is better sometimes because it lets the mind wander and wonder what it is all about.

Michelle and JR: "Rap: Gin and Juice"
Wow...I loved it. I completely agree with your ideas about objectification in rap music. I honestly don't like very much rap. I don't know if you heard me say that I usually only listen to some stuff and 99% look for the sound not words. However, I have always noticed in music videos that women are just objects for men to obtain. It's sick. Plus I've seen some of those behind the scenes, what happens to rap back up dancer shows, and it's scary. In the scheme of things, I think the essay from STW really speaks to women saying we shouldn't let these stereotypes happen, but we are almost supporting them by letting guys objectify us (not you and me but you know what I mean). I also think it was very brave to post a question. I'm sure some of the responses were shocking while others insightful.

Portfolio 3-The End

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I hate to say this, but we are FINALLY in the home stretch and it feels amazing. Throughout this semester I have learned so much about literary criticism. While this class was the most challenging course I've had at SHU I feel I've improved the most throughout this semester and course. When I look back I honestly can see a change in my understanding of literary criticism, an improvement in my literary analysis and a subtle development in my critical essays. Although I don't think I will be using literary criticism directly in my future career, I feel that the information and skills of analysis and critical thinking will help me in any job I seek out. I feel that my blogs have been beneficial to my learning process. Not only have my peers helped me further understand the different criticism schools, but I hope I have helped them better understand information. Over the semester we've had good conversation and have really utilized our blogs as tools to educate us.

Overall I feel that the most difficult for me this semester was staying on task on all our assignments. In the end I feel that I managed my time wisely and tried my hardest to have my blogs posted when my peers would be able to use them. I didn't always do such a great job commenting, but after my second blog portfolio I tried to step up where I had slacked off a little bit.

As far as our presentations go, I am very interested to see what Derek and Angela plan to present. Their website is fantastic and I think it will be a great presentation. I really enjoyed Greta and Katie's presentation about teaching literary criticism. I think it was very brave to go into the classroom and teach something that may not have gone over well with high school students, due to the difficulty of the subject matter. I thought it was great that they had students come into class to discuss what they learned and took away from the class. I'm also looking forward to seeing Erica and Jenna's presentation about Jane Austen, because who doesn't love Jane?

I'm also looking forward to Ellen and my final presentation. We are looking at the Three Little Pigs and will have a website and our own story to tell. We originally were going to do stuff on labrynths in literature and films, but we later decided to pick a lighter topic and more fun topic. Therefore we decided to look at the different three little pigs. I think it will turn out great and I am looking forward to the feed back from our class.

Here are my last two portfolios from literary criticism.
Portfolio 1: Shows the progress of my understanding of literary criticism. I feel I did a good job blogging and commenting this time around.
Portfolio 2 : I may have slacked off just a little bit, but I got all my blogs done and I feel I improved my timeliness since then.

Here's a look at how I have improved since my last portfolio!
Depth: A blog where I went into a TON of detail!
Ambiguity in Inconsistencies: Covers all the information I presented in my presentation on Feldstein analysis of "The Yellow Wall-Paper"

Discussion: A blog where my peers commented a lot and hopefully got a lot out of my thoughts, ideas, and analysis
Sympathy Misplaced? : Covers my frustration of specific analysis of literature...got the class talking and discussing their feelings towards interpretations that challenge our ideas

Timeliness: A blog I got in early and as a reward had peeps comment on it!
Knowledge Exceeds History: Got some great comments.

Wildcard:The blog I wanted you to see this time around!
ART: I really take pride in my ability to apply what I am learning in one class into another. I think this skill will help me in my future career, which is ultimately what college should be preparing me for. So I wanted to show you this blog where I use visual arts to further understand literary criticism.

Check out the other portfolios!

Ex 8/Ex 10: Redo Casestudy

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As a conclusion to this class and my casebooks, I wanted to do my re-do casestudy on historical criticism. Although we discussed some essays in class, I feel that we all may agree that this school of criticism can be used in essentially any literary analysis and is especially important to our insight into literature. New historical criticism “aims for readers to understand the work through its historical context and to understand cultural and intellectual history through literature, which documents the new discipline of the history of ideas.”

When it comes down to it, we are affected by the culture of the past and present, just as Greenblatt wrote. When I say that culture effects literature, I thought of the commonly known story of "Little Red Riding Hood." Although it is not an obvious example of a historical reading, readers may see the story as a warning against sexual predators and walking alone. Especially after Dr. Jerz showed us the modern day internet sites, I thought of the cultural message it sent out to readers.

In Belsey's article, we were re-introduced to the idea that reader-response and author's intent come into play in historical criticism as well. Although I realize this is subjective to the times, I feel it is still a relevant aspect of historical criticism. We have the ability to learn about the history through these historical readings, which we can see through further analysis by Delahoyde on New Historical Criticism.

Ever since I began my English literature career at Seton Hill University, I have realized the importance of history in studying literature. The first class that the historical light bulb turned on was Major British Writers. Before every literary time period, we would look into the historical background to help us realize any trends during that writing period and gave us the tools to understand what the author may have intended. Although I think we may need insight into the historical background of literature before reading and completely understanding the author's intent, new historical critics argue that the literature itself has the ability to teach us about the historical time period and culture. To a certain extent this is possible, but where does the historical information end and our outside education begin.

Answering the proposed question, I want to bring up a topic that we spoke about in class. While reading the essay Garson, many students reacted to idea of Keats possibly reacting to the English obtaining Greek urns. While reading "Ode on a Grecian Urn," would students today capture the historical references? I'll be honest, without the history Garson gave us, I would never have understood this historical reading.

I think it is important that we understand the importance of our changing culture, which Greenblatt discussing in the essay and if we combine the history we learn outside of class with the history we learn through the literature itself, we have the ability to learn a great deal about the past cultures.

Performance vs. Reading

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"each text is more than simply an instance of the operation of a discursive network. We have tried to show how much of The Tempest's complexity comes from its staging of the distinctive moves and figures of colonialist discourse." Barker and Hulme p 449

I felt that Barker and Hulme's did a good job explaining how they could perform actions about the history and how important that was to the play. I guess I am just wondering if the actual literature has a different effect than a performance would when it comes the discourse. Do the ideas that B and H talk about only work with plays that are being performed or can we use these ideas to study other literature? What do you guys think and how can we do it?

Go back to Barker and Hulme's


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"Many feminist critics of the 1970's accepted--and perhaps even required--a publication history that cast Gilman in the role of beleaguered heroine. Later feminist critics did not question their predecessors' work and lent their own authority to this history." Dock p 475

In Dock's essay, I found this quote that seems rather strange to me. Feminists actually required to know the background of Gilman to prove what? In the 70's did you have to prove you had been put in a negative situation such as Gilman to be able to write about it? Maybe I misinterpreted what Dock was saying, but it seemed as though Gilman was disrespected by females, which seems strange for feminists.

Did anyone else find this weird? Let me know what you think.

Go back to Dock

Sympathy Misplaced?


"Among Keats's readers the sympathy is usually for the would-be ravisher, not for the potential victim." Garson p 456

I can't believe I didn't think of this!!! Honestly, for how many times I have read "Ode on a Grecian Urn," it never struck me strange that I felt so bad for the guy you couldn't "ravish" the woman of his desire. I would actually like to get opinions from you guys on this one. Do you think Keats wanted us be feel sympathy for a possible rapist?

I don't think that is his point, but after reading this aspect of Garson's article I started looking at the poem in a different way. Why do we feel sorry for the would-be ravisher? Is it because Keats uses aesthetics to glorify the subject matter on the urn?

Some times I can't help but hate these articles because they change my opinion on the literature in negative ways. I don't want to think about my sympathy towards a possible rapist. I wish sometimes I could just stay in my own little literary world. Now I'm just babbling, so please let me know what you think about this quote and Keats's intentions.

Go back to Garson

Knowledge Exceeds History


"Literature or fiction is not a knowledge, but it is not only a site where knowledge is produced it is also the location of a range of knowledges. In this sense the text always exceeds the history of its reception." Belsey p 432

I picked this quote because I thought it was interesting. As far as knowledge goes within literature, it only makes sense that it "exceeds the history of its reception." When it comes to history within literature, it cannot be the only aspect of it. In many cases, literature and fiction incorporate historical information and background, but usually there is much more in and behind the story.

For example, James Joyce's Dubliners although fictional, has historical significance because it shows life in Dublin and the landscape surrounding them. I have always appreciated this about literature. Especially upon attending university level lit. classes, I have understood why it is so important to understand the historical significance behind a story. There is so much you can miss if you don't understand what each period of literature is about and how it influences the writing of authors, such as Romanticism, Elizabethan, Modern etc.

Go back to Belsey



"Art is an important agent then in the transmission of culture." Greenblatt p 439

As some of you may have noticed, I love art, in its many forms. I picked this quote from Greenblatt's article because I felt very passionate about his argument. Throughout history, art has been used as a teaching tool to cultures of the past (who were experiencing the culture first hand) and to present day views looking back on unfamiliar lives.

Greenblatt explained, "it (art) is one of the ways that the roles by which men and women are expected to pattern their lives are communicated and passed from generation to generation" (439). Throughout my college career, studying literature and the visual arts has taught me that this is true. For example, during the Romanesque and Gothic art movements, artists commissioned by churches used their paintings and sculptures to teach the viewer religious lessons.

Check out Gislebertus's sculpture Last Judgment found on the tympanum of Saint-Lazare. This Romanesque sculpture taught depicted the heavens and the hells, all the symbolism was known by the people of the past and now we also learn from this art because it gives us a look into their culture. Just as art work, literature has the same effects!

Go back to the Greenblatt page

Ambiguity in Inconsistencies

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Rather than choosing a quote to blog about, I am going to give a general overview of the essay due to my presentation tonight.I would first like to introduce the essay by saying, I felt this was my ahhh haaa moment. It came right on time for my presentation. Anyways here goes the overview:

Feldstein opens the article to giving inconsistencies throughout Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." He first talks about the discrepancies between whether the story is a short story or a novella (402).

Continuing down the list, he discusses the disagreement in Gilman's name and the proper form. For example, is it Charlotte Perkins, Charlotte Stetson, Charlotte Perkins Stetson, Charlotte Gilman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, or Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman? (402)

Looking closely at the text Feldstein then brings up the confusion of the spelling wallpaper. Throughout Gilman's story, she uses wall-paper, wallpaper, wall paper and paper. The shift in the use of wallpaper is doesn't specifically follow a pattern of logic (402).

In Feldstein's article, he looks at two main issues, "John is the story's antagonist and the narrator/protagonist succumbs to a progressive form of madness," and "If we read 'The Yellow Wall-paper' ironically and not simply as a case history of one woman's mental derangement, the narrator's madness becomes questionable, and the question of madness itself, an issue raised as a means of problematizing such a reading" (402-03).

In his first article, Feldstein says critics agree that John's diagnosis of his wife of "a slight hysterical tendency" imprisons the narrator within the prescription of the cure" and we can all agree that the narrator becomes mad when she stops writing in her journal and finds an obsession in the wallpaper (402).

I really enjoyed that within this argument, feminist critics went against the grain and said that the protagonist cannot be seen as a feminist. If she is a feminist, Karen Ford asks, "why is the narrator tearing it [the wall-paper] down (403).

Feldstein's ironic reading of "The Yellow Wall-Paper" says, the narrator's obsession with the wall-paper represents the regression from a linguistic presentation, the one she would write if John would allow her to 'work'(404). The narrator's "regression becomes purposeful--a cunning craziness...which gains the narrator authority"(404). These two main ideas are discussed and I will look more closely at in my presentation tonight.

A third point that I found significant to the essay was the uncertainty of the protagonist being the writer. Feldstein said that critics and readers have a difficult time distinguishing between the "protagonist who stops writing in her journal and the narrator who produces that journal, which becomes our narrative" (404). Phrases such as "We have been here two weeks, and I haven't felt like writing before, since that day," I am sitting by the window now, up in this atrocious nursery, and there is nothing to hinder my writing as much as I please, save lack of strength," and "I have found out a funny thing, but I shan't tell it this time!" All these examples suppose the confusion of the narrator and the protagonist (405).

I believe that Feldstein wanted us to realize that "We configure our own fictions" and may interpret the story in many different ways(406). Instead of giving an easy answer, Gilman asks each of us to analyze the story and figure out the answers to the questions which Feldstein produces in his essay.

For more info check out Greta, Mara, and Jenna's blogs they did a great job questioning both the text and Feldstein's essay.

Check out the whole class

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Recent Comments

  • Jenna: Bethany, I did not notice that quote. However, that does read more
  • Derek Tickle: I truly think that "The Tempest" represents history in many read more
  • Greta Carroll: Bethany, I like how you made a comparison to the read more
  • Derek Tickle: I think that Art is a great tool to use read more
  • Derek Tickle: I think that Art is a great tool to use read more
  • Ellen Einsporn : Bethany, I completely understand your frustration; however, I think that read more
  • Sue: I agree with you Bethany, and I also love that read more
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  • Angela Palumbo: I think that we may feel sympathetic to the read more
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