April 2008 Archives

It all comes back to ya in the end!

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Well, here it is, the final blogging portfolio for EL 150: Intro. to Literary Study. So much has been posted, while even more has been discussed amongst peers. The various links provided below represent differing characteristics seen in blogs created by me. Each link will hopefully display a growth in each category.


Coverage: It's certainly the one thing that we can't live without, no matter how ya look at it. Listed below are two links to blogs that show adequate coverage for someone visiting my writings without actually being in my class.

Timeliness: Ahhh. There's nothing quite like a good bit o' time in which to get everything done that you need to accomplish. What's even better is getting it all done before the actual due date. So what can type? I like to have all of my worries out of the way and the best way to do that is to work ahead. The entries below display this particular will and investment of my time.

Sweep Off Those Stickies for a More Concise Look...This means you.

It's a kid eat kid space station - the worst school ever created


Interaction: It's okay. We all eventually have to come to grips with the fact that we human beings are social creatures. (Yes, even those old crabby, grouchy hermits are social beings. They're just a little out of practice!) The blogs listed below show a number of comments left upon a certain blog entry.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...I Am The Scariest Of All.

Garbage, garbage everywhere and...DON'T TOUCH MY BOOKS WOMAN!


Depth: And no, I'm not talking about how deep the ocean is, folks. Depth can be found in most any subject that inspires passion in the writer or teller. The blogs below allow you to see a few topics that really stirred my mind into action.

Color Coded Bunny Fishers

Self preservation is the same behind any masquerade mask


Discussion: Just as we are all social beings, we all feel the need to communicate in some fashion. So, discussion amongst peers is a big thing. Below you will find two links to responses that I've left on the blogs of peers.

“Meaning-of-life Garbage” by Greta Carroll

Varied Syntax by Angelica Guzzo


Well, that's it folks! Read ya later!

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Color Coded Bunny Fishers

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"'If you become a fish in a trout stream,' said his mother, 'I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.'
'If you become a bird and fly away from me,' said his mother, 'I will be a tree that you come home to.
'Shucks,' said the little bunny, 'I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.'" (W;t, pg. 80)

"SUSIE: She's DNR!

JASON: She's Research!" (W;t, pg. 82)

I simply have to write that I loved the children's story of The Runaway Bunny. Not only did it make me smile, but it caught my heart as well. A truly loving mother would say all of those things to her little one and Evelyn made a similar analogy between God and Man. So, you can run anywhere you want, but you'll never escape your mother a.k.a. God. I also thought that the story could be interpreted as someone trying to run away from Death. It's like saying that you can run till the end of your days and it will still always find you, no matter where you hide. Sometimes there comes a point when it's easier to drift off and let go than to hold on. Evelyn says to Vivian as she leaves, "And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." This came as a big tip off to me; Vivian was going to be meeting those angels first hand very soon.

Vivian fought tooth and nail to beat her cancer, volunteering herself as a research subject in the hopes that she might just pull through and beat the cancer. It simply wasn't meant to be. Though that's not to say that the moral of the play simply ends with Vivian's death. Jason only saw Vivian as a research subject, a lab rat. His only interest in her was attempting to cure her cancer with this new experimental treatment. In essence, he never actually saw Vivian, he only saw her cancer, never the woman that it was slowly breaking down inside. The second quote shows that it was Donne-ignorant Susie who cared the most about Vivian. Susie cared enough to stand up to both Jason and the Code Team when they tried to resuscitate Vivian. She attempted to do her best by her patient, something I think Jason could stand to learn from those he thinks are beneath him.

Sometimes there's nothing to be done but simply let go...
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Self preservation is the same behind any masquerade mask

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"Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be." (Ender's Game, pg. 231)

"The bugger war isn't twenty-four hours dead and the world down there is back to fighting again, as bad as ever. And all of them are worried about you. All of them want you. The greatest military leader in history, they want you to lead their armies. The Americans. The Hegemon. Everybody but the Warsaw Pact, and they want you dead." (Ender's Game, pg. 299)

The first quote is from the point in the book when Valentine is reflecting upon her alternate persona, Demosthenes. When Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game first began, Valentine was the guiding light of good. Now however, she has been forced by Peter to write from a political standpoint that she doesn't like. She can understand it well enough, but that doesn't mean that she agrees with it. Despite this fact though, Valentine is no longer the pure, innocent, childish version of goodness. She now recognizes that you sometimes have to hurt others in order for them to to what must be done. That's all too often the way of the world. After all, hasn't everybody heard the phrase, "Sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do." Everyone has the ability to hide behind masks, even if they're only slightly different from our true selves. But if you wear a mask for too long a length of time...and it will eventually become the mask that you show others more and more. After all, just look at Ender. He's worn the persona of a soldier, a grown up, and a great military commander that there's hardly anything left of the boy we used to know.

The second quote above really emphasized the nature of human beings to ensure self preservation. Earth has just been saved from a "supposed" conquering alien race, and they're now turning on each other. That being written, there were quite a few strong influences undermining the alliance: pseudo Demosthenes and his all too real supporters. And isn't it just convenient that Lock, the guiding force of reason shows up to present a peaceful treaty? Peter played his game quite expertly. He made his sister write an argumentative counterpoint to his peaceful writing. His brother won the war for him and he restored world order after the countries turned on each other. What more could people want in a world leader? He presented himself in proverbial white robes, while he still held a wretched darkness and craving for unadulterated power.

Now children, you see this big red button? Good. I want you to nev-...Jimmy! Git away from that BUTTON!

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Verses without rhyme motivate the hands?

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Free Verse (open form verse): is distinguished from traditional versification in that its rhythms are not organized into the regularity of meter; most free verse also lacks rhyme." (Hamilton, pg. 239)

I realize that free verse poems are just about the easiest thing you can get away with in the realm of poetry, but there are times when I don't think of it as reall poetry. I mean, poetry that rhymes has a greater impact upon me. I find it fascinating that people can configure words to not only rhyme, carry a rhythm, and convey a point. That's hard work sometimes (like when we write sonnets) and so I actually prefer to read rhyming poetry. That doesn't go to write that I'll never read free verse poetry though. Sometimes if you're simply talking to someone about a difficult subject, a few lines in the conversation could actually be free verse poetry. Little bits of wisdom often sound like poetry, and then there's always the love lines that manage to melt even the most wintry hearts. I suppose it's all how you view poetry. In the end though, I think I'll stay on the fence for a little while.

Well, I'll leave y'all with this lil' bit o' wisdom:

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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...I Am The Scariest Of All.

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"This game knows too much about me. The game tells filthy lies. I am not Peter. I don't have murder in my heart. And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter ever was; that it was this very trait that pleased the teachers. It's killers they need for the bugger wars. It's people who can grind the enemy's face into the dust and spatter their blood all over space. ....I'm your tool, and what difference does it make if I hate the part of me that you most need? What difference does it make that when the little serpents killed me in the game, I agreed with them, and was glad." (Card, Ender's Game, pg. 118-119)


What do you do when you come face to face with the darkest part of your soul, the smudge upon your cleanliness that is so often perceived as evil? Well, that's just what happened to Ender in the mind/computer game. Peter was his personification of Evil, just as Valentine was seen as everything good and fair in life. So logically Ender fell in between the two spectrums, as so many people do. However, when playing this level in the game, he finally comes to grips with the fact that the same darkness that lies within Peter lies within Ender, himself. With his superior intellect and measure of sensitivity, Ender is much more capable at creating more elaborate schemes, battles, and ways in which to use people to his advantage.

Ender knows that those in charge are simply using him, inevitably breaking his ties to Valentine and all that was good to him while seeking to make him into a greater killing machine than Peter ever could be. All the while still being controlled by the higher-ups. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for Ender, he has still managed to hang onto a small piece of his former humanity (at least in terms as before he came to Battle School). Ender is still able to look upon his deeds, strategies and thoughts as something to be detested rather than cheered. Peter no longer has this mentality, if he ever did. Peter feels no remorse for the things that he's done, Ender does, and that is the supreme difference between the two brothers.


Watch out for speeding lasers!!

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Onomatopoeia: using a word or phrase that seems to imitate the sound it denotes. (Hamilton, pg. 221)

Couplet: a pair of rhymed lines of the same length and meter. (Hamilton, pg. 226)


Most everyone probably has a favorite word that represents a noise as well as sounds like said noise. These can list from splat, meow, clash, glug, thud, and so on. Feel like checking out a few strange-sounding words? Then click on over to this list made by English Banana. I absolutely love to use onomatopoeias in not only my poetry, but my writing as well. It definitely assists in the showing aspect as opposed to the telling problem!

Little rhyming couplets are often seen in works for children because they're simple, catchy, and not mention...they rhyme. As a kid, I used to love to read Shel Silverstein, a famous children's author who wrote books such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, and Runny Babbit (compiled shortly after his death). The couplets were always fascinating to read, the pictures interesting, and probably gave me a true love for poetry today. Wanna check out some of Shel's rhymes? Then scoot on over to Giggle Poetry.com!


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WHAT IS THAT THING?!

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New Word:

macronihilioid: something large that resemble nothing.

Prefix: macro: large, long
Root: nihil: nothing
Suffix: oid: resembling, like

Sentence: There's only one term we can use to classify this new species: macronihiliod. From here on out, it's not a monster...it's a macronihilioid!


Be wary of dragons (or macronihiliods) because they think you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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It's a kid eat kid space station - the worst school ever created

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"If you don't like getting pushed around, figure out for yourself what to do about it. But I warn you-murder is strictly against the rules. So is any deliberate injury. I understand there was one attempted murder on the way up here. A broken arm. That kind of thing happens again, somebody ices out. You got it?" (Ender's Game, pg. 40)


What we have here Ladies and Gentlemen, is the principle foundation of Battle School and the subsequent soldiers it produces. Very few rules exist in this place save following orders and those mentioned above. The government wants these kids to grow up hard and fast; the best way to accomplish that goal in a short amount of time is to force them to fend for themselves. Graff's already alienated Ender from the other children, so naturally, they're going to team up against him. Ender's then going to have to defend himself as best as possible, because he's just been told that no one is going to help him besides himself. The other children have just learned that they can hurt another, but only if they employ a strategy that makes the injury look like an accident. That being said...the Battle School considers a broken arm to be an attempted murder? Yes and no. It would certainly be bad publicity if a child died while at Battle School, it would shake the people's blind faith in the government's ability to produce future leaders, but the school also needs to mold said children into hardened strategists and soldiers. The worst part of it is that none of the children at Battle School want to be iced out. It would be seen as a shame. So, you've got no going back and a maelstrom to face ahead of you. Only one thing's for sure in Ender's aspect, he's got one hell of a fight on his hands in times to come.


You may not know it...but they're watching you. Hey, jus' 'cause yer not paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out ta get ya!

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Sweep Off Those Stickies for a More Concise Look...This means you.

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"Sally still injects her own opinion, but she is offering specific comments on complex issues, not bumper-sticker slogans and sweeping generalizations, such as those given on the left." (Dr. Dennis Jerz)


As soon as I read this bit in Dr. Jerz's web page on how to correctly write Short Research Papers, I loved it! I realize that people often times seek to tackle a large, controversial topic in their research paper...forgetting that it's supposed to be a short research paper. Perhaps the idea of being a Champion for their version of the Truth appeals to everyone in turn, but that still doesn't mean that you can go off making grand generalizations. When it's all well and done, you need to have facts in order to sufficiently support both your issue as well as your own opinion about said issue. in my opinion, bumper-stickers that you read on passing cars (or Facebook as has no become the norm) are meant to either give you a laugh or tell you what relative state of mind the driver (or web user) has. That being typed...just because someone has it on their car or profile doesn't mean that it's true. If you have the crazy itch to go off, spouting out your own opinions and generalizations without any significant back-up proof, then you're really just asking for someone who does have a bit of proof to come along and blast you right out of the water. Stick to clear, concise evidence, or at least try to put it in layman's terms when dealing with the masses; just make sure that for whatever you say, you've got tangible proof to lay your hands on.

Okie dokie kiddies, I'm just gonna go sit o'er there an read my lovely newspaper, 'kay? You just mill around and wait for the lil'- I mean the fairy folk to come, ya hear? Good kids!

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What was that you just said?!

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Urban Dictionary:

z-bomb:the act of throwing an uppercut and connecting so perfectly that you crush your opponents face and put them to sleep, literally.

What I found on the net: Z-Bomber safety glasses. Complete with varying degrees of shade!

t off: to hit someone first to start a fight.

The net search: Three Smallcaps to 'T" Off - investment advice, though admittedly somewhat strange.

B Dup: 1. a west coast slang for "beat up." 2. a character in GTA: San Andreas

The world wide web revealed: "B Dup," the popular character of the GTA video game mentioned above. That being typed, I can easily envision people using this abbreviated form of the words "beat up" in chat rooms and such. Most speakers (unless they're of the refined and staunch sort) emphasize the "b" sound, drop the sharp "t" at the end, and the rest really does sound like "dup."

Anyone else like and yet somewhat despise the meanings they found on urbandictionary.com?


Warning! Warning! the slang is quickly fragmenting your proper English! Click here to lose them (and maybe yourself)!

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Scansion: the process of analyzing and marking the type and number of feet in each line of verse. (Hamilton, 205)


Attention ladies and gentlemen! We have an epidemic on our hands! We've finally found the scientific name to an activity that has brought joy to others, while others seem inflicted by various groans, grimaces, and cringes at the mere act. What's worse is the fact that it never ceases, for if we do not learn it, we will never fully understand it (at least that's the argument I'm gonna present here). I found this entry to be particularly enlightening when reading Hamilton's sentences: "Scanning a poem should not be confused with performing it. A scanned poem is roughly an analogous to a musical score: it marks the stresses and pauses and provides a guide to the rhythms, but it takes a performance with the instrument of the human voice to bring out the variations in intonations, lengths of syllables, and emphases that give the work full meaning." It's comforting to know that no matter much you analyze a work or poem that you will inevitably miss something of great import if you do not simply take the time to read the work aloud as it was meant to be. You can rip something apart as many times as you'd like, but until you place it all together into a cohesive piece...you will never garner its full intrinsic value.


Please click on the following icon to better scan your bio-signature for possible signs of infection/contamination: risque_biologique_yves_g_01.png

They're Shootin' Blanks?!

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Let the games begin:

1. Time comes to all who patiently idle.

2. Waste not those wonders given from above.

3. Rivers pass by great flounders sleek atop.

4. Good and Evil pulse with new harmony.

5. The pendulum, back and forth, swings a tune.

6. Nothing but change sets life in motion loose.

7. Six shooters surround the gunner's hip ends.

8. No rest there be for wicked merchants gay.

9. Rippling ideas settle around my mind.

10. We are the Borg. Resistance is futile.


Ha ha! I've escaped the drones! WHA-?

Fragmentary Pace Changes lead us 'round and 'round

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Narrative Pace: the manner in which an author tells a story, speeding up or slowing down some parts, and omitting others altogether. (Hamilton, pg. 170)

Sentence Fragments: a sentence that is so punctuated but that lacks either a subject, a predicate, or both. (Hamilton, pg. 185)

Who out there hasn't read a book or literary work and burst out, "What just happened?! One minute I reading something that occurred ten years ago, then it switched to the events of the day before!" This response often raises one's blood pressure in addition to upping the stress level of the reader. I've been told by some would-be readers that they gave up on trying to read a specific item because they were unable to understand the flow or pace of events in the book. I'll admit to having read a few confusing bits of information as well, but if you think on the reasons why the author wrote in such a manner, then it might just get a little bit clearer. Even if a book flops around from past to future to present, there's always a reason as for why the author included this chunk of information here instead of there.

Now, one can be almost sure that everyone was told at some point in their young lives that writing sentence fragments was wrong (not to mention just plain bad writing). However, people don't always speak in entire sentences or even grammatically correct or proper English sentences! So what's an author to do when they wish to write a realistic dialogue? Throw most of their lessons out the window and start penciling out fragments! Such is the way of life and the flow of conversation. Here's another dare: Count the number of times that you speak a sentence fragment.

"Yeppers. She's done fer," sighed Billy. "Who is?" asked Jimmy. "That train there that went up the hill, down the hill, and ended at the bottom. Came with a big BOOM too!"

Round and round the bend we go, to higher education we know!

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Intro: The following is the second portfolio that covers various blogs created by myself based upon readings in my college English class, EL 150: Intro. to Literary Study, as taught by Dr. Jerz at Seton Hill University. Throughout this class I and my classmates have read several different literary works so as to better broaden our horizons in addition to our interpretation of said works.

Coverage: Coverage is one thing that you want when under heavy fire, but in literary works it's especially important. After all, you want to know from what work a certain quote came from as in direct example of the blogs you will soon see. Every blog contains a direct quote, the last name of the author, and the page number located in the book it was mentioned in. Most often the title of the book is also included. Note the blogs below:

Angels at wayside diners and devils walkin' the roads

Serfs work, don't chat, and double-time it from one table to another


Timeliness: having the right timing can be crucial in a tight spot, so what's a blogger to do? Well, often getting your idea out there first makes you stand out and sometimes makes it look like others copied an item off of you if they cover the same thing. Here are a few entries that were posted in advance of the due date:

It's MINE! Ya Hear?! It's ALL MINE!!

Your major's yours, but your major's not you. Get it?

Interaction: No matter who you are, when you speak (or write in my often case) you want to be noticed, heard by those you're speaking to. A measure of that is to see how many comments a blog can attract from the writer's peers, and I have made a great effort at times to succeed in this area. These blogs garnered a good bit of attention:

My Fair Lady - Welshman Style!

Even rocks can float and water monsters mourn small losses in Paradise

Depth: It's alright folks, I'm not talking about ocean depths or any such measurement. I'm talking about the length of a few of my blog entries. They can be short and to the point, but some subjects simply call out to be challenged, explained, or further researched. Those that follow display this:

Riddling Morons Hidden Away in Amphoras! Wait-What?!

It's like posting a thought that everyone can see, complete with visuals!

Discussion: Just as a blogger is often happy to receive comments from peer's, providing a significant and thoughtful comment in a discussion is a welcome occurrence as well. Check out my peer's blogs below to find a few comments that I'd left behind:

Jessie Farine

Stephanie Wytovich

Creativity and those left behind: I'd like to consider myself a pretty creative person, a fact I wish to reflect in my blogs. I've listed below a few blogs of mine that utilize this feature as well as the other blogs that I've written that aren't included in the mentioned criteria above:

Garbage, garbage everywhere and...DON'T TOUCH MY BOOKS WOMAN!

Hear bell. Run to master. Drool uncontrollably.

Would you rather see dead people? or see floating, despondent punctuation marks?

My voices have some pretty good ideas...somehow they all involve foil though.

You see Black, you see White...I see only Gray and the eternal fight.

Now, if you've actually clicked on any of the links above (and read them all of the way through) you've often reached a little sentence or two that has nothing at all to do with the actual blog itself, but does take you back to the website with the original assignment on it. Well just a hint: here's another one!

Since you've done me the favor of reading to the end, I'll get you home quick with a network SEND!

Garbage, garbage everywhere and...DON'T TOUCH MY BOOKS WOMAN!

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"Yet I can't help thinking, in its defense, that our system of punctuation is limited enough already without us dismissing half of it as rubbish." (Truss, 136)


Whew! Alright kiddies, this might not be what you were al hoping for, but we can't simply dismiss half of our punctuation marks because we don't like them. They may be too hard for some to use for a variety of reasons. However, perhaps a change of perspective is in order. This being written, that probably isn't the only thing! Some individuals complain that certain punctuation marks are too difficult to learn or the fact that they don't use certain marks for such and such a reason. While these ditherings may present themselves with respectability, I think they should be met as a challenge (often like the learning challenge that they are!). We can't simply throw away that which we fail to use; if such a thing were to occur, think of all the crap that we've hoarded away over the years with our pack-rat mentality?! The already overflowing garbage fills would then enjoy even more stress. And can you even imagine how high your refuse bills would get?! Oh well, some mental cud to chew over.

"Knowing that the printed word is always edited, typeset and proof-read before it reaches us, we appreciate its literary authority. Having paid money for it )often), we have a sense of investment and pride of ownership, not to mention a feeling of general virtue." (Truss, 180)

Now then, if you've ever had the unfortunate chance to ask me about my hobbies, you'll hear reading at the very top of the list. I personally cherish books, or at least the written word. I rarely loan out my books (except for those respected personages) and I often experience a great physical pain whenever I am separated from a dearly beloved novel. That being typed, there are those chosen books that have forever earned them my fantasy of burning them in a gigantic heap! When I read the quote above, I couldn't help but empathize with Truss in her despair over the internet and cellphones and such demolishing books. I can clearly remember several moments when my mother attempted to donate a few boxes full of my old books. She argued that I had already read them, that I hadn't plucked them off the shelves in a while and it was time to pass them on. What a load o' bollox! Here she was, throwing away my trusted friends! Anyways, I rescued numerous books from a horrible fate (they were to be donated to my elementary library and I know how those children treat them! by simply taking the boxes back to my room and squirreling them away until I wished to revisit old tales. Even now I still ask my mother if she's planning on cleaning out our library when I leave on trips so that none of my friends disappear on me. For all of the internet's wonders, I do relish the printed words. I can quite proudly type that I am one who enjoys the smell of old tomes that have been hidden away from the world, yet still existing nonetheless.

What we have here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a failure of communication. All you need do is plug this in here--ZZZTT! "Well, he was askin' for that, really."