March 2008 Archives

Babie's ----> Baby's

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"The vast majority of concerned misplaced apostrophes" (Truss 49).

I have seen SO MANY people misplace apostrophes in situations where it was obviously wrong.  I remember in high school, I watched as one of my classmates wrote on a chalk board "[The name of the teacher] eats BABIE'S."  WRONG.  The classmate nudged his friend beside him, and pointed to what he wrote.  The friend shook his head and erased the "ie" and changed it "y", so it read "BABY'S."  STILL wrong.   It bothers me when people mess up basic grammar.

Using Correct Grammar is Essential in Communication

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"Why else would they open a large play area for children, hang up a sign saying 'Giant Kid's Playground', and then wonder why everyone else stays away from it? (Answer: everyone is scared of the Giant Kid.)" (Truss 41)

It is funny how misplacing one apostrophe can change the meaning of a sentence.  It just proves that knowing how to use an apostrophe isn't just for English majors or, in the words of Truss, punctuation "sticklers."  Knowing how to use apostraphes, and correct grammar in general, is for everyone so that they can communicate more clearly.  Using grammar and apostrophes incorrectly can lead to misunderstandings and making the writer look like a fool.

The Pole's Crucifixion

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"'He didn't have to come in the first place,' she repeated, emphasizing each word. 
The old man smiled absently.  'He came to redeem us,' he said and blandly reached for her hand and shook it and said he must go" (O'Connor 239-240).

Mrs. McIntyre has a moral conflict within herself about firing Mr. Guizac.  She wants to, but cannot do it.  Instead of needing someone to reassure her that it is the right decision, she needs someone to tell her it is not.  This is why she keeps telling the priest reasons for her to fire the Pole.  I liked how as Mrs. McIntyre talks about how the Pole didn't have to come while the priest was watching the birds and talking about Christ.  In the quote I chose, Mrs. McIntyre refers to the Pole as "he" and the priest takes the "he" to mean Christ instead of the Pole.  This makes a correlation between the Pole and Christ.  Towards the end, after all the persecution Mr. Guizac endured and the accusations of being sent by the devil, the Pole is killed.  "She heard the little noise the Pole made as the tractor wheel broke his backbone" (250).  Crucifixion?

"Chose Your Own Scare" in Second Person POV!

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"The third major point of view is the second-person, in which the narrator addresses the audience directly using the pronoun 'you,' and assumes that the audience is experiencing the events along with the narrator" (Hamilton 120).

I can't help but to think of the "Give Yourself Goosebumps" books when second person point of view is mentioned.  These books, for those who don't know, are Goosebumps books where you choose your own ending.  I really liked reading this when I was younger (and I still do now).  These books are told in second person point of view.

Here's an example of a book

Hulga and the Boy are Two Peas in a Pod

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“She murmured, ‘aren’t you just good country people?’… ‘Yeah,’ he said, curling his lip slightly, ‘but it ain’t held me back none.  I’m as good as you any day in the week’” (O’Connor 193).

Hm, this was defiantly a surprise ending.  The boy turned out to be terrible, and to me, it seemed as though Hulga was the innocent one in the end just because she was the victim.  I think O’Connor used the quote above as a way to remind the audience that in reality she is not innocent.  When the boy says that he is as good as Hulga, he is putting things into perspective.  The boy, although has a corrupt plan, is no more sinful than Hulga is on an average day.  Hulga may not do something as extreme as the boy, but she has her own ways of not being good.  O’Connor, who has been comparing the two from the beginning by means of heart problems and impairments that keep them from walking or standing normally (for Hulga, the wooden leg & for the boy, the heavy suitcase), continues to compare these two characters until the end.
"But on another level it also suggests Christ's rebuke to Peter when Peter tried to call him good, and Jesus responded that no one should be called good (Mark 10:18) - a mistake the Grandmother makes repeatedly in her encounter with the Misfit" (Desmond 129).

I thought that Desmond made a good argument here.  He introduced the reader with and example and proceeded to explain his point.  Also, the fact that he made a claim concerning religion and used the Bible for information made his argument more reliable.  I found his claim easy to understand and was able to agree with his argument since he explained it well.

Laverne Knows

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"Laverne stood looking at her and after a second she folded her arms and very pointedly stuck her stomach out and began to sway back and forth" (O'Connor 73).


By this point, O'Connor has made it obvious that Ruby is pregnant.  Previously O'Connor simply described her feeling sick and showed her relating the stroke of good fotune the palmist told Ruby she would have to the mother telling her child he was "Little Mister Good Fortune."  They were subtle foreshadowings.  Here, Laverne is sticking out her stomach and is described doing this a couple more times.  Laverne now knows, despite whether or not the audience knows, that Ruby is pregnant.  Also, if the audience knows about Ruby's pregnancy, they may not know that Laverne has suspicions.  I thought that O'Connor described Laverne as sticking out her stomach to give the reader more clues about the pregnancy.  However, in re-reading it, I noticed that by this point Laverne probably knows herself.  Laverne first looked at Ruby and THEN stuck her stomach out.  I think she was trying to lead Ruby to the conclusion that she is pregant herself rather than telling her, which would have been a bigger shock for Ruby and it was. 

To Teach or Not to Teach- That is the Question

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"If I could do it over, I would have either minored or double majored in education or communications" (Lemire 207).

When I first applied to Seton Hill and declared myself as an English/Creative Writing major, I have been worried about being able to find a stable job after graduation.  My dream to be a children's author will not provide me with a good, well paying job.   My first thought was teaching, but I was reluctant.  However, I am now pursuing an education certification.  I have been debating whether or not to drop education completely, but (as of now) I have decided to stick with it.  I considered this quote from Lemire.  I do not want to graduate and regret not becoming a certified teacher.  Actually, I am starting to like the field of education so I am feeling confident about sticking with the program.

Who Said Writing Is Easy?

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"Because the form of a poem, a play, or a work of fiction may look so inevitable and move so smoothly on the page, it is easy to forget that the work is a product of a series of deliberate choices that the author makes in the course of drafting and revising it" (Hamilton 99).

What I found most interesting about this quote is that it perfectly describes the job of the writer.  Readers are not supposed to take notice of how long something must have taken the writer, they are simply supposed to read and analyze.  The writer is the one who make this possible.  It may be tedious to find the right words, revise, revise again and revise some more, but it the hard work is paid off if the audience is able to read it more smoothly.

Background Does Not Determine A Person's Success

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"Take away the career and the higher education, and maybe what you're left with is this original Barb, the one who might have ended up working at Wal-mart for real if her father hadn't managed to climb out of the mines." (Ehrenreich 169).

Background does not determine a person's success.  Ehrenreich says that she would not be where she is today is her father hadn't of "managed to climb out of the mines."  If her father hadn't have left the mines, couldn't she have still tried to achieve more than a job at Wal-mart?   Some people start at the lowest possible economic status and pull themselves out of it with their own talent and perseverance.   J.K. Rowling, for example, started writing on napkins and was a struggling single mother.  Now, she is one of the wealthiest people.  Who's to say that Ehrenreich would not have been Barbara even if her father had remained in the mines?

That's Not Enough To Live Off Of

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"There is no industry standard for freelance editing rates, although twenty to twenty-five dollars an hour is not uncommon" (Lemire 143).

I always knew that freelance writers/editors did not make steady pay, but it just hit me how unstable their pay is.  They do not have a concrete  income.  This would be very hard to live off of.  I want to be a freelance writer, but I am also glad that I am pursuing a teaching certificate.  This gives me a sense of security that I will have job opportunities that offer a static pay which I can use to pay off college loans.

Nobody Goes Back To School? Of Course They Do!

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"Graduate school is so different from college, you're not going back to anything; you're walking into an entirely new situation, with a wholly different set of demands, expectations, and challenges" (Lemire 43).

When I first read read the title of the chapter, "Higher Ed: Nobody Goes Back To School," I was confused and irritated.  I have been considering going for my Masters and I kept thinking of adults who have all gone back to school.  Of course people go back to school.  However, I read this quote.  The chapter title does not mean that nobody goes back to school, but no one goes back to school in the way they expect.  It is different.  It is strange to think that Graduate school would be different from college.  I always figured they went hand in hand.  It is nice to learn that there is a different structure to it, for future reference in case I decide to pursue my Masters.

Old People Sure Are... Special

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"The residents start drifting in forty minutes before breakfast is ready... If someone rejects the French toast we're offering, Linda and I make toast or a peanut butter sandwich... I make an effort to learn names:... Letty, a diabetic who has to be watched because she sneak doughnuts from other people's plates.  Ruthie, who softens her French toast by pouring orange juice over it" (Ehrenreich 62-63)

I have read this book before and my favorite part is when she works in a nursing home.  I worked in a nursing home also as a dietary aide this past summer and during my senior year of high school.  I don't know how many times the old people would come to dinner an hour or so too early and I would have to persuade them to leave and come back later.  They would always argue with me and claim that they were exactly on time, and then they would forget what they were doing on the first place.  They never wanted what was offered for dinner and I constantly found myself heating up leftover food and making PB&J sandwiches for them.  We had a Letty where I worked, his name was Paul.  He always collected the cookies from everyone at his table and ate them even when we told him not to.  We also had a Ruthie, her name was Mert.  She would dip her toast and pizza in milk to soften the food.   It is defiantly interesting to work with old people.

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