Portfolio 4


In my blog, John Henry (Folklore Character) I went into a lot of detail  about John Henry and did outside research to learn about Joe Louis and make comparison between the two and drawing a lot of connections. I then moved on to two different versions of a “John Henry” ballad and compared the text in the two. But what I really gathered is that the ballad conforms to whatever role different groups in society need it to take on. There were also two of Dickinson’s poems that I went very in depth about in my blog, Dickinson, “After great pain, a formal feeling comes” and Dickinson, “This World is not Conclusion.” Essentially what I did was go through the poem and break it up into stanzas then draw different conclusions and inferences in each stanza until I was done then I connected everything that I gathered and made a claim. Another one of my posts that I feel I went very in depth on is Poe, “The Black Cat” (story). This is one of my lengthier blog posts but to me every line was significant. Here I compared “The Black Cat” to “The Tell-Tale Heart” and used textual evidence to support my comparisons. I broke up both stories by beginning, middle, and end and then drew an inference based on the similarities I saw between the two stories. In one of my more recent posts, Perkins Gilman, “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper,” I used outside research and a cartoon interpretation to go into depth about the reasons why “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written.


Timeliness is one area that I still struggle with sometimes but I have gotten a lot better. I found myself posting blogs ahead of time if I didn’t think I would have enough time to get it done and then coming back to them to add more or fix them to make them better quality. I did this is with Academic Article 1 on “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Academic Article 2 on “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and Poe, “The Valley of Unrest.” There were also times where I posted early, for instance with Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” This improvement subsequently caused an improvement in my Discussions category. Also too, there were two class activities, Class Activity: Evidence-based Reflection and Post-colonialism Disabilities, that I was absent for because of soccer games but I still made sure to get them done in a timely manner.


I have also seen an improvement with my riskiness as I continue to become more and more comfortable close reading and blogging. For instance in my blog post, Poe, “The Valley of Unrest,” I suggested that the flowers that Poe talks about in the valley symbolize rebirth and new beginnings. I could’ve been entirely wrong about that interpretation but I was willing to take the the chance. I also did this with Poe, “The Raven” when I made the claim that the core concept is about humanities need for self-torture and finding meaning in the meaningless. Also too with Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” when I made inferences about the room layout from east to west (the sun rises east and sets in the west) symbolizing birth to death (which starts with the first room and ends in the black room). Another risk I took was comparing Poe, “Annabel Lee” to the movie Shrek and making it seem like the poem is a twisted version of a typical fairytale.


I had several very good discussions this time around. On my post Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” there was a good conversation between Julie, Jade, and myself about the ending of “The Yellow Wallpaper.” There were several good questions asked on my posts Poe, “The Tell-tale Heart,” Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” and Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” that I responded too. I also responded to a question that Danielle asked in her post  “The Masque of the Red Death” and in her other post “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” however in this one there was a pretty good discussion between Danielle, Sean, and myself concerning the topic.


This time I focused a lot more on my intertextuality because I knew it was something I needed to improve on and I definitely saw the result I was looking for as I was putting this portfolio together. For example in my posts Post-colonialism Disabilities and Poe, “Hop-Frog” (story) I incorporated a video clip and a comic strip to better help me and my peers understand the point I was trying to make and the story. I struggled with understand “Hop-Frog” at first so I searched around on the web which is when I came across the comic strip. It helped me understand the story a lot better and I felt it was an enjoyable tool that my peers could enjoy too. I also put media in my posts Poe, “The Tell-tale Heart” and Poe, “Annabel Lee.” In Poe, “The Black Cat” I drew on one of my other posts to make connections between the two stories and incorporated a lot of textual evidence.


John Henry (Music Analysis) was a blog post that I honestly had no idea what to talk about. I originally created the post with just a few sentences in it so that I could submit it on time. I then later went back to think about it more and add more to the post. I also did a similar thing with three of my other posts, Dickinson, “It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up,” Dickinson, “The Only Ghost I Ever Saw,” and Dickinson, “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain.”


Overall I think I have improved a lot with depth, timeliness, discussion and intertextuality. I have come a long way from where I have started and I feel a lot more comfortable tackling difficult readings especially poems. This is why I feel that my depth has gotten a lot better. In the blog post Class Activity: Evidence-based Reflection I compared where I started and where I am now and there is no doubt in my mind that I haven’t grown a lot in my ability to read, understand, and make inferences and claims of my own without the assistance of outside sources. There are still times where I get stuck and I reference an outside source but that is not very often anymore but it does show me that I still have room to grow and continue to improve. Another thing that I need to improve on is coming up with more thoughtful comments to post on my peers’ blogs. I am good at answering questions on their posts but it is still difficult for me to come up with quality questions or statements without them provoking my thought process with a question.  My Oral Interpretation on “The Raven” also shows how I have grown with my ability to interpret what I am reading and able to make inferences. For the upcoming posts I will focus more closely on continuing to develop my intertextuality and discussion skills. There is also room for me to keep taking more risks.

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