April 2008 Archives

Humor in Tragedy: It Does Exist

| | Comments (4)

Jason: Thyroid, diabetes, cancer?

Vivian: No- cancer, yes.

Jason: When?

Vivian: Now. (Wit 24)


Vivian: This is much easier.  I just hold still and look cancerous.  It requires less acting every time. (Wit 37)



Although this play is emotional and dramtic, there is still an element of humor.  I chose a couple of quotes that literally made me laugh out loud.  When I looked over the desciption of the play, I felt like I was going to start reading something that would depress me.  Yes, it is depressing at the end, especially when she is suffering from a large amount of pain.  It reminds me of how some peoplebelieve that it is not the end of a journey that matters, it's getting there that's worth while.  The end is tragic, but the journey itself was amusing with irony, humor, and real life lessons. 


Just a side note of something that bothered me:

(Susie returns with an orange two-stick Popsicle.  Vivian unwraps it and breaks it in half.)

It is really hard to break a Popsicle after unwrapping it because my hands get sticky or it doesn't break right.  It's easier to break the Popsicles while they are still wrapped.  That way, when they are unwrapped, they are broken well and there is no mess.

Prose = Free Verse, Free Verse = Prose

| | Comments (3)
"What distinguishes free verse from prose?  One of its main features is the deliberate division of the lines, which may consist of very long units or of single words, and which may be divided in mid-sentence or even in mid-word." (Hamilton 239)

Prose can be free verse and free verse can be prose, according to Hamilton.  Splitting the lines of a prose work turns it into a free verse.  However, combining a free verse turns it into prose.  Right?  Who knows.  This explanation of the difference between prose and free verse is not very clear.

Ender's Ending Could Not Have Been Better!

| | Comments (2)
"And always Ender carried with him a dry white cocoon, looking for the world where the hive-queen could awaken and thrive in peace.  He looked a long time." (Ender's Game 324)

There could not have been a better end to this book.  I was amazed, it ended differently than I would have expected and was great.  When I first began to read this, I was a little irritated because I thought that after reading this book, I would then have to read the others in the series (this was a problem because I already have an elephant long list of books I want to read).  After finishing this book, I decided that the sequels were not necessary to read.  The ending was so perfect that I felt no need to read more books. 

Freedom in Sonnets

| | Comments (0)
"The rhyme scheme of the octave is usually fixed- abba abba, but that of the sestet may vary: cde cde, or cdc cdc, or cdc dcd."  (Hamilton 231)

Yes, sonnets are limiting- but at least there is a variety in the selection of rhyme.  I like sonnet because there is a pattern to follow and I find them easier to write.  However, I still like to have the freedom of choice, and the different possibilities of a rhyme scheme give me that choice.

Ender's Games are as Real as Ender

| | Comments (1)
"He made his way down underground, through the tunnels, to the cliff ledge overlooking the beautiful forest.  Again he threw himself down, and again a cloud caught him and carried him into the castle turret room."  (Ender's Game 117)

It is almost unbelievable to me how real Ender's world and video games are.  I feel like they are real whenever I read about his video game world.  It contains imagery and is clearly described.  During this story, I continue to find myself looking forward to reading about his video games.

Ender's Experiences Are Our Experiences

| | Comments (6)
"'I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one.  Or at least as close as we're going to get.'
    'That's what you said about the brother.'
    'The brother tested out impossible.  For other reasons.  Nothing to do with his ability.'
    'Same with the sister.  And there are doubts about him.  He's too malleable.  Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will.'" (Ender's Game page 1)

Since I like science fiction, I was excited to read Ender's Game and decided to read it over Christmas break.  My favorite parts of this book are in the beginning and in the end (especially the end).  How everything was introduced in the first couple of chapters impressed me.  I love it when novels begin by throwing the reader into a situation they are unaware of.  Ender's Game begins with dialogue between two mysterious people.   Who are these people?  Why isn't the author allowing us to know their names?  What are they even talking about?  As the story continues, the characters mention random things in the future that are unknown to the reader.  Slowly, the reader learns what those things are and what the purpose is for those things.  It gives the audience a good reason to keep reading. 

The next question to ask is why Card is setting his novel up this way?  As Ender starts his journey, he does not know what is happening and the reasoning behind what he is doing.   The reader feels a sense of confusion and ignorance as well as a desire to ask questions, just as Ender does.  As he learns things, so does the reader.  Card has planned his novel this way to allow the reader to continue through the story with Ender.

Trial and Error in Paper Writing

| | Comments (0)

  • You start with one idea, you test it, and you hit on something better.
  • You might end up somewhere unexpected. If so, that's good -- it means you learned something.

This happens to me a lot.  I will start writing about one thing, but my finished paper will have gone in a completely different idea.  It seems like trial and error.  If I start with one topic, I usually find I do not have enough evidence to support the claim, so I change the topic.  By this point, I have done enough research to know which direction to go.  Eventually I will find a topic that I can write about and support.

Course Site

Urban Dictionary Terms

| | Comments (0)

A nun that, in a secret personal life, kicks ass by using anything from throwing stars to nunchucks


From a news story in "The Sun" Sister is a Nunja Warrior

    "PRAY take care around Sister Rhonda Rice ? she is the first nun in Britain to win a black belt at KARATE.  Nunja warrior Rhonda, 44, only took up the tough martial art 3½ years ago.  Now fellow nuns are used to seeing her practise her fighting moves in her long habit at All Hallows Convent, Ditchingham, near Bungay, Suffolk.  But Rhonda was embarrassed to admit she was a nun when she first joined the Ditchingham Satori Shotokan Karate Club.  She said: “I kept it quiet. I turned up in the habit and quickly changed. I wasn’t sure if the class would like it if they knew I was a nun."

I chose this term because it made me laugh.  First of all, it gave me the image of a ninja-nun.  Second of all, ninja and nun are combined to one word, "nunja".  It is such a random term that I had to pick it.

Daddy's Plastic:
Credit card of one's father


From an article on "Slate" The Black Laguna Beach

    "The linchpin of the series is Staci, who lives not in the Hills but somewhere much closer to Crenshaw Boulevard. While the girls who live up the hill think nothing of charging $500 to Daddy's plastic for a single party outfit, Staci has to borrow a Jackson from her mom, and then spend $41.10. At the register, she asks if they're hiring."

I chose this term because it is one I have actually heard of.   Who hasn't heard about those rich girls who can get whatever they want simply by pulling out "daddy's plastic"?  I find it amusing because on the show "Laguna Beach", it seems like all of the girls are this way.  I have never watched the show (or have been interested in watching it), but from hearing about it and seeing commercials for it, I can come to this conclusion.

Short Bus:

A bus that people who can't spell derogatory take.


From Jonathan Mooney's website

    When his teachers decided Jonathan Mooney needed special ed because he couldn’t follow directions, sit still, or read well, he feared he’d lost his chance to be a regular kid. Suddenly he was “not normal.” Suddenly he was a short-bus rider destined to travel a harder road, a distinction that screamed out his “difference” to a hostile world. Along with other kids facing similar challenges, he was denigrated daily. He almost lost hope. Yet ultimately, Jon shocked the skeptics, graduating from Brown University (with honors). But he could never shake the voice that insisted he would always be “less than.”

The use of this word makes me feel bad because it jumps on the bandwagon with "speds" when it comes to words describing learning disabled kids.  However, I chose this word because short buses are a funny concept.  Half of a bus?

Scanning Is Important After All

| | Comments (1)
"The value of scansion is not in mechanically showing the understructure that it exposes but in the access that it can provide to the poem's tone" (Hamilton 205).

OH!  This is why we scan poetry!  I thought it was just something that English majors did because they could and I thought that poets wrote with certain stressed and unstressed syllables to follow a pattern.  Now I understand WHY we scan poetry and WHY poets write with syllables in mind.  It is another device to create tone.  Not just a silly compilation of words whose syllables follow patterns, but a technique that is actually effective.

Sideshow Kangaroo

| | Comments (1)

The kangaroo is jumping ‘round the pen

In search of blissful leisure.  Should she play

Her fav’rite game?  Use dirt to make mud pies?

The kangaroo does wonder what to do.

With gliding motions, creatures pass her by.

With one leg up, the other remains on

The dirt.  To not hop boggles her mind, and

What odd fur they have, rough and striped and bright.

The young ones pointed, laughing at her moves-

She somersaulted, ‘round and ‘round she went.

Surrounding audience spun by her fast

The kangaroo welcomed laughter.

The group of creatures grew and watched the show,

A spectacle, a prodigy indeed.

Blank verse, yay!

"Narrators, and the authors behind them, also make choices about the pace at which they tell a story, speeding up or slowing down some parts, and omitting others all together"  (Hamilton 170).

It is easy to relate narrative pacing to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears since Goldilocks encounters porridge that is too hot and too cold.  Just like the porridge, sometimes narrative pacing can be too slow and too fast.  How many books have you read that seemed to drag on... and on.... and on?  I have read a number of books like this.  It seems as though the author could have sped up the pace to keep the reader interested.  On the other hand, there are books I have read where I think the pace was too quick.  It seems like some books with a fast pace have so many good ideas and story lines that I feel rushed reading them.  An inbetween pace moves slowly enough to feel comfortable or at ease reading and also moves quickly enough to maintain interest.  Goldilocks prefers a narrative pace that is just right.

Additionally, though the reader may not like it, the author often creates a slow or fast pace to create a tone.  A slow pace can give the reader a sense of boredom, lengthiness, and according to Hamilton can "replicate the inescapable suffering" (Hamilton 172) whereas a fast pace gives the reader a sense of urgency or a feeling of being rushed.  It is clever of authors to do this because it gives the readers the same feelings as the characters and is effective at pulling them into the story.

Keeping the Public in Mind: Portfolio 2

| | Comments (0)
This portfolio is a continuation of the blogging I have done for EL 150 Intro to Literary Study.  I feel that by blogging, I have been able to direct my writing towards an audience rather than only for myself or a homework assignment.   Considering that I would like to be a freelance writer, I am glad I am improving on this skill.

Coverage: Includes a direct quote, identification of the source, and a link back to the course website.

Nobody Goes Back To School?  Of Course They Do!
That's Not Enough To Live Off Of
Who Said Writing Is Easy?
To Teach or Not to Teach- That is the Question
Desmond's "Flannery O'Connor's Misfit and the Mystery of Evil"
"Choose Your Own Scare" in Second Person POV!
Commas Add Style
Comma Before the AND... Not for Me
Brits vs. Americans

Timeliness: Agenda items posted 24 hours before class time

Lost an Arm in the Arm Services
Background Does Not Determine A Person's Success
The Pole's Crucifixion
Babie's----> Baby's

Interaction: Conversation through my blog

Name Stealer
Old People Sure Are... Special

Depth: Entries which include depth

Born to Late
Snowball and Napoleon Love Allegories!
Laverne Knows
Hulga and the Boy are Two Peas in a Pod
The Pole's Crucifixion
Using Correct Grammar is Essential in Communication
Exclamation Mark Creates Tone

Discussion: Conversation through classmates' blogs

Angela's Blog about "The Life You Save May Be Your Own"
Ethan's Blog about "Good Country People"
Lauren's Blog about "The Displaced Person"

Brits vs. Americans

| | Comments (0)
"American grammatarians insisting that, if a sentence ends with a phrase in inverted commas, all the terminal punctuation for the sentence must come tidily inside the speech marks, even when it doesn't make sense. 

Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was 'out of his sense'. (British)
Sophia asked Lord Fellamar if he was 'out of his sense.' (American)"
(Truss 153)

I would first like to point out that she refers to quotation marks as "inverted commas".  Although the British and Americans share the same language, there are still many differences such as the words "quotation marks" and "inverted commas" and the placement of punctuation marks in quotes.  Personally, I think the British have the right idea.  I like to have the punctuation of the sentence outside of the quote.  Putting the punctuation marks inside of the quotation has sometimes thrown me off when reading and writing.  When the punctuation of the sentence is combined with the punctuation of the quote, they both seem to run together.  I think that text would be clearer if the punctuation of each were separated.

Exclamation Mark Creates Tone

| | Comments (0)
"The way this symbol '!' turns 'I can't believe it' into 'I can't believe it!' is the sort of dizzying convention" (Truss 153).

The exclamation point is another punctuation mark where the placement can change the sentence.  Although it doesn't change the meaning, it changes the tone.  When someone says "I can't believe it", the tone seems to be sad, more subdued, or calm.  However, when someone says "I can't believe it!", the tone takes on a more energetic, excited, or loud quality.  The tone changes with the use of exclamation marks, and although it does not change what the sentence means, it changes how we, as the readers, interpret it.

No Comma Before the AND... Not for Me.

| | Comments (4)
"They [commas] divide items in lists, but are not required before the and on the end" (Truss 83).

In high school, we were taught to always put a comma before the and.  We could not write "The trains, birds and grocery stores."  Rather, we wrote "The trains, birds, and grocery stores."  Coming to college, I learned that what I knew (or thought I knew) about commas is skewed.  I personally would rather place a comma before the and in a sentence.  Maybe it is because it is the way I was taught, but I also like it because it separates ideas better.  I feel that not placing a comma before the and groups the last two items.  Thankfully, my concerns were addressed by Truss,"The extra comma prevents confusion, as where there are other ands in the vicinity."  Good, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

Commas Add Style

| | Comments (0)
"'Why do you have a comma in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living-room'...'This particular comma... was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.'" (Truss 70)

When I first read that someone questioned why a comma in this sentence, I was angry and confused.  As a writer, I have used commas in this way.  I did not understand what could be wrong with using the comma.  I really liked the answer that was given.  It is used stylistically and gives the reader a better sense of how events are happening and which ideas are important.  Using this technique is helpful for me when I write short stories.

November 2010

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
  1 [2] 3 [4] 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        


{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf1038\cocoasubrtf320 {\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 Monaco;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;} \margl1440\margr1440\vieww9000\viewh8400\viewkind0 \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\ql\qnatural \f0\fs24 \cf0

Twitter Updates

    \ Follow me on \ Twitter\
    \ \ }
    Powered by Movable Type Pro
    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf1038\cocoasubrtf320 {\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 Monaco;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;} \margl1440\margr1440\vieww9000\viewh8400\viewkind0 \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\ql\qnatural \f0\fs24 \cf0

    Twitter Updates

      \ Follow me on \ Twitter\
      \ \ }