Kayla Lesko: December 2009 Archives

Writing About Literature: The Final Portfolio

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You should know how these go by now.

Coverage:
Love With Just a Snap of the Fingers-Anton Chekhov's play "The Bear: A Joke in One Act"
In a Nutshell-Ch. 7 of Writing About Literature
Unstressed Stressed Unstressed Stressed-Ch. 13 of Writing About Literature
Well... That was Unexpected-Robert Browning's poem "Porphyria's Lover"
Are There Any English Majors in the House?-William M. Chace's essay "The Decline of the English Department"
Classic-A Christmas Carol Staves 1-3
This Ghost is Actually Kinda Scary-A Christmas Carol (finish)
What the Heck is that Supposed to Mean?!-Ch. 10 of Writing About Literature
Get Out of Your Box!-Ch. 16 of Writing About Literature

Depth: Everything above except Unstressed Stressed Unstressed Stressed and Well... That was Unexpected

Interaction:
Josie Rush:
More From the Moors-Anton Chekhov's play "The Bear: A Joke in One Act"
Reading For the Right Reasons-Ch. 7 of Writing About Literature
Quit Your Books... Wait, Where are You Going?!-William M. Chace's essay "The Decline of the English Department"
Let's Do the Time Warp Again-A Christmas Carol Staves 1-3
Staking Out the Allegories-Ch. 10 of Writing About Literature

Brooke Kuehn:
Poor Toby-Anton Chekhov's play "The Bear: A Joke in One Act"
Why So Drab?-Ch. 7 of Writing About Literature
Scared Into Submission-A Christmas Carol (finish)
Universality Saves the Day-Ch. 10 and 16 of Writing About Literature

Karyssa Blair:
Shooting a Chicken-Anton Chekhov's play "The Bear: A Joke in One Act"
Selfishness Prevails-A Christmas Carol (finish)
Allegory is a Pretty Word-Ch. 10 of Writing About Literature
Awakened By Chapter 16-Ch. 16 of Writing About Literature

Jessica Orlowski:
Can You Use That in a Sentence?-Ch. 7 of Writing About Literature
Pro-Nunt-See-Ay-Shun-Ch. 13 of Writing About Literature
The Ultimate Horror Love Story-Robert Browning's poem "Porphyria's Lover"

Jessica Krehlik:
Prosody Tutorial-Ch. 13 of Writing About Literature
I Love You So Much I Just had to Kill You-Robert Browning's poem "Porphyria's Lover"

Melissa Schwenk:
Easy to Say-Ch. 13 of Writing About Literature
Not Always Necessary-Ch. 16 of Writing About Literature

Aja Hannah:
One Thing I Can Tell You-William M. Chace's essay "The Decline of the English Department"

Glady Mares:
The Ghost of Economic Hardship-A Christmas Carol Staves 1-3

Discussion:
Love With Just a Snap of the Fingers
In a Nutshell
Well... That was Unexpected
Are There Any English Majors in the House?

Timliness:
Love With Just a Snap of the Fingers
In a Nutshell

Xenoblogging:
Prosody Tutorial
Easy to Say
Scared Into Submission

Wildcard:
What the Heck is that Supposed to Mean?!

Others...

Get Out of Your Box!

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Ch. 16 of Writing About Literature.

"We are always a part of our greater culture, and our observations and thoughts are a constant function of the attitudes, idioms, ideas, and customs of our time and place" (232).

I'm not going to lie, there were and still are times when I won't watch an old movie because of the special effects. This doesn't really happen with books, but it use to. There would be times when I couldn't seperate the time in the novel from my time. Obviously, the time and culture at which a book was written would be different (I'm referring to classic literature, since that's what I mostly read). I think a key in being a good writer is being a good reader: being able to seperate your own bias' in order to not only write a story, but also enjoying it as well.

Point, no, I mean click! 

What the Heck is That Supposed to Mean?!

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Ch. 10 of Writing About Literature.

"In determining whether an object, action, or character is a symbol, you need to judge the importance that the author gives to it. If the element is prominent and also maintains a consistency of meaning, you can justify interpreting it as a symbol" (151).

Rather lenghty quote, no? I thought it was important. I guess this is why we write academic essays, so we can provide evidence for why we think such and such stands for this or something like that. I know that I'm better at decoding what something means (at least most of the time) in a story, but I'm still not quite there with poetry. I don't go looking for a symbol every time I read or watch something, but it is nice to say that I figured something out that no one else noticed (and then when you try to explain it to them, they're "Huh? What are you talking about?"). I'm looking for a pat on the back, but it's nice to see that paying a ton of money for an education is starting to show some results.

More insights this way>>>

This Ghost is Actually Kinda Scary

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The end of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I also did a presentation about mythology, so I combined the two in this entry.

"It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand" (84).

What always struck me most about the last ghost was that it actually was more ghost like than the other two. It's fitting that Dickens decided to described the ghost this way because the future is uncertain and can be terrifying, like the third ghost.

At this point in the book, Scrooge seems to have already changed, but I guess Dickens wanted to make sure the change was permanent by showing Scrooge his future if he didn't fully change. Obviously, everyone will die someday, but showing Scrooge that if he didn't change than no one would feel anything except joy at his death is what really changed him.

Okay, now on to the academic article that I used in class about mythology.

"The representational frames Dickens uses to set fantasy apart from reality--the dynamics that give A Christmas Carol its mythic or fairytale quality--turn out to be fully operative in the 'real' world" ("Visuality and Ideology in Dickens' A Christmas Carol by Audrey Jaffe, 258).

All right, so in Dickens time, Christmas wasn't celebrated like how it is today. What Jaffe means by frames is that Dickens is showing Scrooge and readers snapshots of what he thinks Christmas should be: spending time with family and having a feast of sorts. The date for Christmas is near the Winter Solstice, which was celebrated with a feast. See the connection there? So in a way, Dickens revitalized Christmas.

God Bless Us Everyone...

Classic

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Staves 1-3.

"...every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart" (13).

In this famous quote, Scrooge isn't necessarily saying he hates Christmas, he just doesn't see the point of it. 'Humbug' means a hoax or jest. In Scrooge's mind, when people say 'Merry Christmas', they don't actually mean it because as he states earlier, it's just another day and people lose money.

Bah!

American Lit Portfolio 3

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My last portfolio for American Lit.

Coverage: Stuff about what I read for class.
Twain and the People He Confuzzled-Essay by David L. Smith called "Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse"
It's All About the Money-Essay by Steven Mailloux called "The Bad-Boy Boom."
No, no, Come Up the 'Lightning Rod'-Last part of Huck Finn
I Heart You-Ch. 23-24 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
I Choose You, Irony!-Ch. 25-26 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
I'm a Jerk to Everyone Equally-Kevin Michael Scott's essay "'There's More Honor:' Reinterpreting Tom and the Evasion in Huckleberry Finn
Oh Henry-John Henry Legend
We're All to Blame-W.E.B. Du Bois: Chapter 3 of "The Souls of Black Folk"
Just Shut Up and Do It!-Booker T. Washington
At the End-Last chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
The Boring World of Oz-What do you think it is?

Depth: Entries where I actually had something to say.
Twain and the People He Confuzzled-Essay by David L. Smith called "Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse"
It's All About the Money-Essay by Steven Mailloux called "The Bad-Boy Boom."
No, no, Come Up the 'Lightning Rod'-Last part of Huck Finn
I Choose You, Irony!-Ch. 25-26 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
I'm a Jerk to Everyone Equally-Kevin Michael Scott's essay "'There's More Honor:' Reinterpreting Tom and the Evasion in Huckleberry Finn
We're All to Blame-W.E.B. Du Bois: Chapter 3 of "The Souls of Black Folk"
At the End-Last chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
The Boring World of Oz-What do you think it is?

Interaction: Classmates blogs I commented on.
Meagan Gemperlein:
Life's What You Make It-Essay by David L. Smith called "Huck, Jim, and American Racial Discourse"
I Trust My Soul-W.E.B. Du Bois: Chapter 3 of "The Souls of Black Folk"
That's All Folks-Last part of Huck Finn

Heather Mourick:
Lost-W.E.B. Du Bois: Chapter 3 of "The Souls of Black Folk"
Whistle While You Work-Booker T. Washington
Recess is Important-Last chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
 
Katie Lantz:
Praise... I Think Not-W.E.B. Du Bois: Chapter 3 of "The Souls of Black Folk"
Oh John Henry-John Henry legend

Jennifer Prex:
Foster Class of 09-Last chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor
If I Only Had a Brain-The Wizard of Oz

Gladys Mares:
So the Shoes were Silver-The Wizard of Oz

Jessica Pierce:
A New Way of Thinking-Last chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Discussions: Comments on my blog.
Just Shut Up and Do It
At the End

Timeliness: Entries posted before class that started a discussion... I got nothing

Xenoblogging: Blogs where I was the first to comment.
Praise... I Think Not
Foster Class of 09
A New Way of Thinking

Wildcard: Because I actually feel like it.
Creative Project-A poem written by me that pokes fun at the course.
And So it Come to This... The End-The last installment of the series.

More portfolios...

Creative Project

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This is for my American Lit class. It's a poem and not a very good one. I usually don't write poetry and this isn't to be taken seriously. I just like poking fun.

Nutshell (A Poem for Class)

What had I missed from taking part two instead of one?

Maybe taking part two, I jumped the gun

No, not really, but I'm really not a fan of the newer stuff

Prior to 1915, stories didn't seem to have random filler puff

But I had to do something different for this class

Blogging, HA! I know what word you're thinking, but I'm not crass

The usual poets were there, Poe being dark and Dickerson with them dashes

Hawthorne hitting us with religion and Melville with some guy, the Scrivener, and their clashes

A crazy woman looking at wallpaper thinking there was someone there

Oh, and don't forget Thoreau, who could make a good rant about a chair.

Wait one second, I need to leave comments on some blogs

But frankly, they leave me sawing logs

This poem is starting to seem like Huckleberry Finn, with no plot at all

Even Washington's and Du Bois' essays were more on the ball

Wish I could say that for Foster, who never stuck to what he said

Kinda like the John Henry legend, except everyone agrees he dropped dead

"How shiftless!" cries Cousin Ophelia, who seems to say only that line

My apologies for ignoring that blog of mine

I don't do it purposely you see

It's just that I'm here for an English degree

 


And So it Comes to This... The End

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This is the third and last entry of the series. Sorry, no pic cause I'm lazy. lol Anyhoo, I really tried to get into this whole thing, but that didn't happen. I know that blogging is supposed to replace tests, but honestly, I'd rather deal with tests than this. I got nothing out of this experience even when trying to find something. So yeah, it was worth a try, but I'd rather not do this again. No offense.

The Boring World of Oz

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The Wizard of Oz (book).

"When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand over her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears" (13).

Aunt Em sounds like one of those people who could suck the happiness out of a room just with her presence, but Dorothy doesn't let it get to her. It does say that Em use to be a pretty young wife but I can't help but think that her was also brought on by marriage. She was confined to being a homemaker.

Oh, and just for the record, I can't stand the movie. lol

There's nothing like clicking...

No, No, Come Up the 'Lightning Rod'

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The last part of Huck Finn.

"It ain't no use, it can't be done. What you reckon I better do? Can't you think of no way?"

"Yes," I says, "but I reckon it ain't regular. Come up the stairs, and let on it's a lightning-rod" (560, at least in my version anyway).

This is an exchange between Huck and Tom as the latter tries to find a way to get back to the room because he can't climb the lightning rod. I thought it was odd Tom didn't come up with the solution himself since he's known for that sort of thing. The two of them switched roles; Huck has a clever idea, and Tom has no idea what to do.

I reckon ya better click

Oh Henry...

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About that dude who competed against a machine. This post is about John Henry and also the numerous songs that retell the legend.

Let's see, the first I ever heard of the legend was from the Disney cartoon that had a version of the song, but sadly no singing inanimate objects. You could interpret the legend on many levels such as race and technology. If you really don't feel like clicking on the link, all the songs are different in some way or another such as the wife's name, the color dress she wore, or what led up to the contest. It's kinda like the stories where the fish was 'this' big changed after a few times into the fish was 'THIS' big.

Fish? What fish?