April 2009 Archives

One Last Hurrah (Final Portfolio)

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This will be my final portfolio. It will only cover the work from the second half of the semester. In order to see earlier work, visit my first portfolio.

Coverage
These are my blogs that specifically quotes lines from the text and were blogs about the quotes.

Avant-Garde
Too Many Ideas

From looking through my blogs, I noticed that most of them did not involve direct quotes. I had a tendency to select overall themes and blog about broader ideas rather than choosing a specific quote and dwelling on it. I'm not sure if that was so bad. I think that in these specific blogs where I did quote the text that I was able to dig up pretty strong analysis. I'm especially proud of my blog about the Avant-Garde because I did a research paper on it in high school and I felt that it was a particularly good find when I discovered the quote.

Timeliness
These blogs are the blogs which I submitted on time. Only those that were up on Friday are listed.

Too Forward? I think so...
Being Marked for Greatness
Avant-Garde
The Ambiguity of Flight
Wonderfully Unique
Too Many Ideas

Here I made yet another discovery. At the beginning my blogs were all on time, and so too at the end. However a section in the middle, around March 21-29, most of my blogs appear on Saturday or Sundays. It appears as though I had a busy few weeks towards the middle of march there. Nevertheless, I also got my blogs up before Monday's class and I feel like even those that were late were still very substantial in the material. I'm also very glad that the trend did not continue and that the last several assignments are all on time once more.

Interaction
These blogs are the ones which sparked exceptional discussion. Only my blogs with the most comments and with the best discussions are included here.

Being Marked for Greatness
Not what you'd expect
Play on...names?
The Ambiguity of Flight
Wonderfully Unique

These blogs are the ones in which good discussion were started. I noticed that one or two of them do not actually include responses of mine. This frustrated me somewhat that during that particular week I did not have time to answer my peers. However, they left me very eloquent feedback and I felt compelled to point out their success. I was, however, proud of the over all compilation of this section. I feel like I have a solid amount of blogs with large amounts of comments that one of them even prompted feedback from you. It was very uplifting to have my peers respond in such high amounts to my work.

Depth
These blogs are the ones which I am especially proud of. Some of them are included here because of the length, while others are simply average length but a blog in which I feel that I made an especially good or unique point. Some of them are here because I blogged about something that I feel others did not know about.

Too Forward? I think so...
Not what you'd expect
The "Southern Cross" reference
Play on...names?
The Ambiguity of Flight

This section was very uplifting because as I reviewed my work I found several blogs to take pride in.  Not what you'd expect is what I consider to be a pretty deep first take of My Papa's Waltz. When I consider the fact that our blogs prompted a very heated discussion that week, I believe that the blog counts in the depth section. The "Southern Cross" reference is one that I am very proud of because that line is pivotal to the poem. Without understanding the reference then the setting is not clear to the reader. I was very happy that I could point that out to my peers. I feel that the reason which I did not receive any comments is because there were multiple poems to read and thus my peers commented on different poems. Play on...names? is another blog in which I feel I brought something new to the table. I don't think that many people new about the Ellison Emerson connection and it was fun for me to be able to bring it up. I am just as proud of my prior knowledge as I am of what I learned in this class. Finally,  I consider The Ambiguity of Flight to be a very deep analysis of Foster. I took one of his main points and pointed out how it could work just the same but in a different way. I doubt Foster himself even inteded to write it so, but I saw the connection in his work. I think it was pretty deep.

Discussion
These blogs are not mine, but rather of my peers. Here is where I have left particularly good comments that sparked discussion.

The Little Things
seX, sEX, SEX
Attention Grabber
Mixed Emotions

I seem to struggle with this section because it is difficult for me to track down my comments. That said, I think that these five represent a pretty good job of commenting. In most of them I don't just leave normal comments, but spark a discussion. People tend to come in later and either argue with me or else build off of what I say and agree with me. Over all I'm pretty content with how well I gave feedback to my peers. I know how much I appreciate receiving comments and so I tried hard to leave good, constructive feedback.


And so that's it. All the books are read. All the blogs are blogged. Everything's all put together except the final. And this, my final portfolio, is my last ditch effort to convince you of how well I've done and how much I've learned. I hope you agree with me that I always tried my very best, and I always brought a new perspective on things. I think I did a good job of bringing in background knowledge to the works and also of analyzing the text present. I tried to also bring something unique to the table so that I wasn't simply giving the same cookie cutter answers.

Over all, I enjoyed blogging very much. Never before have I experienced something like it. It was wonderful to engage in discussions with my peers outside of class and it was nice to "show off" my good work. Sometimes when you discover a new conenction in the text or come up with something pretty smart it can feel nice that you can blog it and get it out there isntead of having to share it in class. I really enjoyed these exercieses.

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Too Many Ideas

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"He says that Russians have always had more ideas than any other people in history and ended in the pit. The Americans have no ideas and they have one success after another. "

 

I'm not sure what to make of this quote yet. I think it's extraordinarily funny the way it's been simplified. People have complained about philosophy since it's been a profession. What's the point in sitting around pondering the meaning of life? What good does it bring us?

That said, I don't actually believe this. I'm a huge fan of philosophy and I think it feeds the mind. But as always, everything needs to come in moderation. I think that for someone who is suicidal, it's the perfect advice not to have thoughts. If you really study philosophy, it can get quite depressing. You'll never find a real answer and you constantly find out how crappy the world can be and how short life if. Too many thoughts easily lead to the "what's the point" approach to life.

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Wonderfully Unique

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So far, Niffenegger has captivated and worried me all at the same time.

I'm a tad concerned because I can tell from the first few chapters that the book, by nature, is not as easy a read as I had hoped. Sure the language is simple, the diction is user friendly and won't take long to get through. But the story is much, much more. It is clear that the story is going to capture me emotionally. At times it is going to back track, details will be omitted, and gut wrenching, emotional scenes are going to take place. It might be easy TO read, but that doesn't make it an easy read. I can already tell that the book is going to get slow, get boring, then get wonderfully interesting. It's going to get sad, and get funny, and perhaps most of all, get frustrating at the things that the reader doesn't know or the things that Henry doesn't know.

And yet, I'm so captivated by the story. The very idea is so unique, so new. Time travel must have been done a hundred times. Alternate worlds? Boring! But this?! This is something so new and intriguing that I doubt that I could stop reading if I wanted to. I only worry that I'm ready for this book. It has all the making of am emotionally taxing read.

That being said, major props to Audrey for one of the most unique story ideas that I've ever stumbled across. I can't wait to see how it ends!

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The Ambiguity of Flight

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I know Chapter fifteen deals with flight. I really liked everything that Foster had to say about flight and the characters who posses the ability. However, I was left wondering about the other meaning of the word flight; as in, from something.

I think, especially through the books that we've read so far, this kind of flight has been much more obvious. Whether it was Gatsby and Daisy fleeing from the murder that they committed or the Joads fleeing west. The young woman also attempt to fly from her life and responsibilities.

That said, I don't think that this changes Foster's thesis. Flight still equals freedom, even with the new definition. The Joads think that they are fleeing to a great land where all of their problems can be solved. The young woman thinks that everything will be better if she kills her husband. It seems to me that in much the same way that literal flying frees the characters; so does the act of fleeing. Running from something seems to be just as liberarating as flying. Did Foster mean to present this ambiguity? Probably not, but I can appreciate the double edged side of his statement.

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Avant-Garde

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"Nor do I know whether accepting that lesson has placed me in the rear or in the avant garde."

This quote stuck out to me in particular because it is one of the few times throughout the book that the narrator and the author seem to mesh for a moment. The Avant Garde movement was a style of art and especially literature that focused on pushing the norm and breaking tradition. It often involved elaborate sexual tension, homosexuality, or simply topics such as domestic abuse which, although they may have happened often, were always kept behind closed doors.

Simply off the top of my head, I can't think of any other blatent references to literary or artistic movements off of the top of my head. Also, based solely on my knowledge of the narrator, I'm surprised that he would recognize the Avant Garde momenet. After all, he is only semi well educated. Still, it's more surprising because movements are generally named after they are over. People didn't wake up one day and say "Today the middle ages are over and it is now the Renessaince." The fact that Ellison would refer to a movement still going on suprises me.

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April Minerd on Too Many Ideas: I like that you chose this quo
Alicia Campbell on The Ambiguity of Flight: Although I took Foster's chapt
Julianne Banda on The Ambiguity of Flight: I also agree. Like Andrew said
Jennifer Prex on The Ambiguity of Flight: I agree with Andrew in the sen
Dennis G. Jerz on Wonderfully Unique: I'm glad to hear that you foun
Chelsie Bitner on Wonderfully Unique: This book is exactly how you d
Andrew Adams on The Ambiguity of Flight: I don't think he meant to pres
Christopher Dufalla on Wonderfully Unique: The story progresses in an int
Carlos Peredo on Wonderfully Unique: On the one hand, I agree. I ha
Matt Henderson on Wonderfully Unique: But don't you find that when y