(TRANSFERRING A PAGE FROM 2017 TO POST FORM)
Hello and welcome back to the Autotrophic Bat Web Blog Portfolio version 2.0, home of profound insights and screwing around but mostly just screwing around. What I like about this blog is that I can discuss intelligent subjects from plays and academic articles as informally as I want to, unlike in essays, which have to stay formal. Now that it is the end of the semester, I have grown comfortable with choosing topics from each assignment to discuss on my blog and usually crank out several short paragraphs in each post without too much hesitation. We’ve already gone over the highlights (and lowlights) of the first half of the posts in the first Blog Portfolio, so let’s take a look at some more recent stuff here.
DEPTH: On average, all my posts have increased in length since the beginning of the semester, so most of them go pretty in-depth with whatever topic they discuss.
One lengthy post is the one about Fosso’s conspiracy theories in “Oedipus Rex.” In this one, I use Alan Stanford’s more contemporary translation of “Oedipus” to validate some of Fosso’s claims. Much of Fosso’s support for Oedipus’ innocence relied on older translations of the text. In Stanford’s many lines were cut or modernized to make them easier to understand for today’s audience. I examined how Oedipus’ guilt could still be questioned in a play with shorter speeches and simpler dialogue.
Another post that delves deeper into its topic was my application of Zubarev’s article to “The Cherry Orchard.” The academic article itself focused more on other Chekhov plays, so I took its ideas and applied them to the characters of “The Cherry Orchard.” Along with that, I used Google Translate to look up the meanings of some of the characters’ names, since Zubarev mentioned that Chekhov names each of his characters for a reason. I didn’t have to do that extra research, but the notion interested me, so I did.
One of my longest blog posts discusses my initial interpretation of “Waiting for Godot” in length. I explain how after first reading the play, I believed that Vladimir and Estragon were in hell waiting for God. In the post, I give several textual examples to support my assumption and conclude that even though my convictions about the play’s meaning changed, my first interpretation still has merit. I do not usually connect so many other sources, such as the Bible or children’s books, to my posts, but for this one, I happened to have a lot to say.
RISKINESS: A risky post of mine was when I questioned Oedipus’ fatal flaw. The widely accepted belief is that his fatal flaw is pride, but I contradict this and give examples to support that his impulsiveness outweighs his pride. The risk lies in the fact that I challenge the popular belief with my own interpretation. It is also risky because it mentions my dorky obsessions with “Hamilton” and “Percy Jackson,” which is much less professional and should probably be ignored.
My post about “Shakara: Dance Hall Queen” was also risky because I made the claim that every character was a jerk. In the post, I look into three specific characters’ weaknesses that make them jerk-like, but also their strengths that make them humane and relatable. In the end, I attest that they are all jerks, but they are also good people, too.
Another risky post was for an academic article about “Waiting for Godot,” because the subject matter in the article was way over my head. I had thought an article about absurdist theatre would be interesting, but it was all about metaphysics, which I didn’t understand. I tried to decipher meaning the best I could and even challenged one of the author’s claims, which was a risk.
INTERTEXTUALITY: The “Waiting for Godot” post listed under “DEPTH” is intertextual for referencing both the bible and a popular children’s series that remains unnamed.
My post featuring my reactions to “Our Town” makes references to “RUR” in that it makes novelties famous and to a novel that is also set in a small American town.
The first part of my post for “She Kills Monsters” compares a similar monster-slaying play called “Meet Me in the Middle” to Nguyen’s play.
And my post that analyzes Medea’s and Jason’s character mentions other texts. I reference Rick Riordan’s retelling of the myth, Lady Macbeth’s character, and the Little Mermaid, which allowed me to make fun of my friend who played Aigeus. Medea comics are fun.
DISCUSSION: I still haven’t gotten involved in any lengthy discussions, but a few of my posts have generated comments. The previously mentioned “Medea” post generated a short discussion between Abby and me about Jason’s fatal flaw. We also exchanged comments about the “Shakara” post mentioned earlier.
My posts about reasonable doubt in “Oedipus Rex” and Aristotle’s definition of tragedy in “The Cherry Orchard” each earned one comment, too.
I also commented on Danisha’s “Waiting for Godot” post, because she brought up the unique and confusing term “tragicomedy.” How exactly does it apply to a play? And my comment on Maddie’s “Medea” post sparked a response.
But other than those instances, most of the discussions took place in class, not online.
TIMELINESS: I have gotten better at writing posts on time, or at least closer to the deadline. My first Oedipus post was submitted early, as was the second Oedipus post, which includes a comic from a different artist, so I guess that makes it intertextual, too. I remember I stayed up late to write these posts after finishing the play so that I could jot down my thoughts while they were still fresh in my mind.
My posts about Collier’s “Medea” article, the academic article about metaphysics, the one about Henri in “Resurrection Blues,” the jerks in “Shakara,” an academic article about “Our Town,” and the post about “She Kills Monsters” were all submitted either on time or early.
While I wasn’t on time with the other posts, I made sure to submit them as soon as I could (within a few days at most) so that I would not fall behind on my blog and could focus my full procrastination on more urgent things, like essays.
COVERAGE: I try to say something worthwhile in all of my posts, but sometimes, I read something and don’t have much to say. This is true for many academic articles, which are long and often dry and therefore don’t inspire me about digging deeper. For example, my post about David Radavich’s article on “Our Town” does little more than summarize his main claims. I hadn’t felt like going deep into analysis on that day and preferred to share my useless stage manager comics instead.
My post for Tony Gunn’s article, which was also about “Our Town,” also summarized his essay. However, this post was a little longer than the Radavich post, because I actually tried to engage in deeper thoughts about Gunn’s article.
My post for Sypniewski and Macmaster’s article on “Medea” is even longer and goes in-depth about the meaning of the paper, but it is still basically a summary. It would probably be an example of “good” coverage, especially now that the article has been removed from the database. Now if you want to know what it was about, you’ll HAVE to read my post.
A strange post unlike the others is for an academic article about “Trifles,” which was an activity from the first half of the semester. Even though I completed the activity on time in class, I hadn’t blogged about it, and so I added this post much later just to document that I had done it. The post is very short, since it is just to document a database-searching activity we did much earlier. That’s why I count it simply as “coverage.”
We’ve finally reached the end of the semester, and overall, I am proud of my blog performance. I feel as though I’ve developed a personal “voice” with my posts, and I still enjoy finally having an outlet to show my weird cartoons. In the future, I should work on trying to make my analysis of academic articles as engaging as my analysis of stories. Overall, I have improved the quality of my posts, taken more risks than I would have in the beginning, and learned to keep up with my assignments even if they are not exactly on time. I hope you found my blog interesting, or at least entertaining.