Bernice Audio Lecture

Dr. Jerz’s mentions that Bernice’s intention of visiting is “to have a friendship with Marjorie,” not to focus on boys and parties (Jerz, minute 14). While Bernice starts to like Warren, her intention is still to become close to Marjorie. However, eventually, Bernice’s intention to visit ultimately destroys their possibility of growing a relationship. Marjorie starts to be hypocritical by saying she does not want Warren, but gets jealous when Bernice finds an interest in him. Bernice does everything she can, which involves changing herself, to become closer to Marjorie. We cannot assume that circumstances would be different if Warren were not in the picture, but the downfall between Marjorie and Bernice show that Bernice’s expectations were too high. She should not have changed herself to become closer to her cousin, but that becomes a moral issue on whether or not someone thinks it is right to change themselves just to gain a friend. Her high expectations led to her downfall, which ruined her chances with Marjorie. Marjorie seemed to sincerely mean her apology to Bernice at the end, and that instance could have changed their relationship into a connection that Bernice previously wanted, but Bernice shatters it by cutting her hair. When Marjorie apologizes, she becomes more personal and human, and when Bernice cuts Marjorie’s hair, her character changes into something crueler. They switch positions at this point in the story, and I think they relate to each other because they see the story from the other person’s view.

via Bernice Audio Lecture.

The Book Thief (Part Four)

“Leisel, from the hallway, could see the drawn face of the stranger, and behind it, the worried expression scribbled like a mess onto Mama” (Zusak 198)

When reading part four, I think it is obvious to assume that Hans, Leisel and Max are extremely brave, but I think Rosa’s character is the one that subtly shines here. She is known as the one to insult her family by calling them names, giving tough love, and showing no normal affection toward Leisel and Hans. Hans was the one who made all the decisions to lead up to Max’s arrival, but Rosa has to just deal with it. Hans’s struggle to join the Nazi Party and his acceptance with Max puts a huge strain on the family, yet Rosa (probably has a huge discomfort about it but) sticks by her husband’s side either though it is a huge risk. Rosa’a toughness is her way of affection, but her yelling stops for a little while Max is there. Maybe her yelling and insulting words were a front to other people so they know not to mess with her. If Hans is playing a more passive role with the Nazi Party, Rosa has to keep up appearances to not let their family look weak. But the break in her yelling when Max arrives shows that Rosa has more character and depth than the reader thought. She is not just tough and strict; she is a supporting wife that nags her husband on occasion.

To refer back to the course reading page, click here.

via The Book Thief (Part Four).

Poetry Foundation

I have used this site before and I have always liked it. The website is very user friendly and its easy to access poems. Unlike other websites that show poems, ads do not pop up, which is so nice. The app for the iPad is also user friendly. When the app was on the first button on the bottom called Discover Poetry, I was confused with how to use the two sliding bars at the top. I really like how the app allows you to browse by mood, which is nice because usually people read a poem depending on the mood in which the poem is in.

via Poetry Foundation.

Fitzgerald, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”

When I was reading the story, I honestly thought Warren was going to fall in love with Bernice, and he was going to realize that Marjorie was shallow and self-centered. Marjorie focused on how to get guys to talk to her and pay attention to her, and she believed that age eighteen is the prime time to get a boy. Marjorie and Warren accused Bernice of being boring by talking about school, but Marjorie advised her to talk about her hair. I do not want to say that school or hair is more fascinating than the other one, but a conversation about hair cannot go that in depth. Talking about school leads to so many discussions such as majors, careers, friends, etc. Bernice was portrayed by the other characters as boring, but the other characters the shallow ones for thinking that hair for a conversation is a noteworthy. Deyo was the only character, as well as Bernice, that was not shallow, because he believed of the “depravity of modern society” (Fitzgerald 8).

However, Bernice is no better than Marjorie by the end of the story because she succumbs to harming Marjorie’s appearance in return. I think the ending captures Deyo’s statement of ‘depravity of modern society’. Fitzgerald’s other story, The Great Gatsby, also ends sadly. They both have the idea of instilling hope in the readers. In this story’s case, the reader hopes for Bernice to gather up the courage to overlook Marjorie’s opinions. Yet, the hope is squandered when she cuts off Marjorie’s hair.

via Fitzgerald, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”.

Google: “how can u” vs. “how can an individual”

When reading the brief article, I had a problem with the sentence “A Googler who chooses to search for “an individual” rather than “u” or “you” or even “a person” is probably thinking of a word that contrasts with “society,” and that will affect the nature if the results being returned”. 

Yes, someone looking on the Internet with a phone will most likely shorten the word ‘you’ to ‘u’, but I would not say that the typer is not always looking for a word to contrast with society. The person on the phone may be in a rush but I do not believe that constitutes that the person does not want to make a noteworthy question. I honestly think that the debate of using ‘u’ or ‘an individual’ is not worth questioning over. With the technology and short-cuts nowadays, it is more likely that people will make their speech or written words shorter. I do not believe that necessarily means that we do not care about our grammar; it just saves time to show our point.

via Google: “how can u” vs. “how can an individual”.

Literary Close Reading

I want to begin by saying that I found it interesting when Dr. Jerz said the poet is not the speaker. As a reader, I probably assume that the poet is the speaker because he or she wrote it, but now, that I think of it, the poet is not always the speaker, such as in “The Raven” by Poe. However, when it comes to Dickinson, many of her poems are about isolation, which may reflect her life, but they could be meant to be spoken as if by someone going through a similar situation like she did. But I cannot make this assumption, because I do not know her intent or purpose of her writing. I just find it interesting that a poet, when writing, has to envision him or herself as someone else, because he or she is not the speaker.

Regarding the five intellectual skills that stray people away from close reading, I find it will be hard to stay away from them at first. When reading a poem, it usually gives me an emotional reaction, so that would be my first go to response when writing, but instead, I have to focus on the words that made me have that specific reaction. I think that is a good start to search for the provoking words, but I think it will be hard to justify why they caused such a reaction. Assuming will also be tough to stay away from when close reading, when we have to focus on the words given to us.

via Literary Close Reading.

Lemire (Ch 4-7)

Chapter 5 discusses magazines. When reading the chapter, I thought of Mad Men, the TV series, because working for a magazine seems to take a lot of group work and there is a rush to get things done. You could pick from a variety of jobs at a magazine company but it says most English majors would go into editing, People who work at magazines have to notice what appeals to viewers and stay updated.

Chapter 6 talks about publishing books. After reading the chapter, I came to the assumption that it would be great for someone who loved business and books. It has a good balance of both. But the downfall is that I am sure not a lot of people enjoy reading every time of book out there. I may like fiction, but I do not like reading cook books for example. When I thought of publishing, I imagined a company of course, but since the publisher has to read books, I thought you could mostly work from home unless you had to work in a group and collaborate.

via Lemire (Ch 4-7).

The Book Thief (Part Three)

When I read books or anything about the situation in Germany during World War II, it was usually in the viewpoint of a Jew, such as Night. So, when I started to read this, I did not think I would feel sympathetic for Hans or Leisel but I do, because they struggle with their ruler because they do not believe in his cause. But not until part three did the Jew perspective come up. Max shows some of the struggles that the Jews went through at this time, but I think it is note worthy that he worries about the safety of Leisel’s family because he thinks it could be selfish put them at risk for hiding him. Hans has a reputation for showing a soft spot for the Jews, but will Max’s arrival be the ultimate test to show whether Hans will completely side with the Jews and secretly hate the Nazi cause?

When Leisel and Rudy get the money to pay for mixed candy, I thought it was kind of stupid on their part not to buy filling food, like bread or meat. I know they couldn’t go back to their families and share but why candy? I think the candy shows to the reader that they are still kids. Even though they have adapted somewhat to the harsh times, they still have ‘kid-tendencies’, which means that they may still be too young to comprehend or deal with the fact of hunger or the elimination of Jews and other races.

via The Book Thief (Part Three).

The Book Thief (Part Two)

I think its okay to ask why Leisel is so special.. I keep asking myself what separates her from other people that Death wants to follow her story. Her ability to steal the book on Hitler’s birthday is a heroic scene because she is going against the law and putting herself at great risk. But is it a risk when you do not fully understand why it is such a risk to steal a book, especially one that Hitler disapproves of?

As the book progresses, I find it interesting how Leisel is picking up on why it is bad to not support the Nazi Party, even at her age. She keeps questioning who ‘they’ are and her curiosity brings her closer to the severity of the times.

However, the scene that stood out to me the most was when Hans went after his son after he called his father a coward. Yes, they have different views on the Nazi Party, but I did not expect the Hans to try and chase after his son. I expected the father to let his son leave without trying to make him come back. The son could not have been persuaded to go against the Party and Hitler because he felt so strongly about it. The daughter seems to follow more in the footsteps of her parents than the son does because she is passive.

via The Book Thief (Part Two).

Lemire (Ch 2

Lemire talked about the fact that if you want to teach at the college level, do you need a PhD? His response was “You do not”. Well, my question is that, even though you need a master’s degree to teach in college but not a doctorate, do you need to take the education classes in college? Or do you take them in the master’s program? Are you stuck with the basic comp classes, or after some time being there, can you start to teach more literature based classes?

On a side note, I feel like Chapter 3 encompassed the saying “Life is not a destination, but a journey”. With the idea that you do not know if you will like teaching until you try it and different aspects of teaching might not apply to certain people shows that your life is not set in stone the way you think it might be. I think its unsettling that after all the years of education for those who have the job they want to do in mind might find out that that specific job was not all the glamour they thought it would be. That is why I was so scared to declare a major, because I didn’t want to choose a job that turned out to be wrong for me.

Also, I had not idea that teachers were so involved in their schools, especially prep school teachers. In my high school, the coaches of sports were sometimes teachers of the high school, but that was because they loved and knew the sport. They weren’t forced to coach it. I would have thought that people would apply to coach those jobs at school, even if they were not a teacher in the district.

via Lemire (Ch 2.