Saturday, December 15, 2012


Reciters: Sarah Gutierrez and Amanda Arnold    Camera Men: Ryan Nguyen and Will Veroski

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fall Semester Reflection

Do you read your colleagues’ work online?  How often? What is it like to read their work? How does being able to see everyone’s work online at any given time change the way you do your work?

-I do read my other colleagues work online maybe 4-8 times a week. The way it changes my work is that I’m able to compare their ideas to mine and possibly look at the assignment in a different way because of their understanding of it.

How has the publicly and always visible course blog made this course different from one without a blog?  How would the course change if the course blog disappeared tomorrow?

-The blog has enlightened me in the sense that I thought that it would be the same as just writing out my paper and handing it in like my other teachers without blogs that can only lecture us at one given point during the day while Dr. Preston gives us information outside of class time that is relevant to the course. If the course blog were to disappear then I would probably flip my computer because of all of the blog work I have done. I would have no idea what to do, and I think that Dr. Preston would go back to our old ways of writing on the board like how Sophomore year was and we’d be taking some steps backward.

Has publishing your work for the public to see changed your approach to completing an assignment? How so?  How would your feelings about the course change if you couldn’t publish your work that way?

 -Publishing my blog for the public has made me more aware of the fact that people are viewing my work. I have to have more integrity in order to complete these assignments to my fullest capabilities because everyone is viewing it and seeing my standards. If I couldn’t publish my work that way I feel like I’d be wasting a lot of paper for all those assignments.

Has your experience of the physical classroom changed because of the open & online aspects?  Where does your learning actually happen? 

 -My view of the physical classroom has not changed because I still believe that all the real magic happens there because I can hear more perspectives and be able to ask direct questions with an automatic response. However, I do think that all my actual learning happens when I’m comparing my points with other students by viewing their blogs online.

You were described in the Macarthur Foundation/DML  interview as “a pioneer”— how do you describe the experience on the edge to people who haven’t been there (friends and family)?

 - This class is not for people who think they can get by by just doing the work and posting it on the blog, you need to be active in making sure you help make a better understanding of the assignment. You need to take the assignment beyond the average because DP is expecting so much of us.
 However, if you want to try to hack the curriculum with us there is plenty of room for success and collaboration is open-source learning in which everyone helps each other out.

How do they respond when you describe the brave new world in which you’re working?

-Whenever I tell my mom about whats going on in this class she’s always assuming that I just slack off and that there’s just assignments posted online. When I showed her she was highly impressed with how all of the students were learning as a whole instead of being on their own time in a dark room with a big ass textbook.

What do their responses mean to you?  What effect(s) (if any) do they have on you?

-I think it shows them how innovative and creative the youth actually is, we play a big part in society and the adult-half of society thinks that its like pulling teeth to get us to learn when in all reality we can show them something new like this course. I feel like my confidence is boosted based on how much I impress people with our new way of learning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No Exit Remix (Final Project)

Estelle by Brenna McNamara

Garcin by Ian Janssen

Inez by Brittany Cunningham

The Torture Begins. In this photograph I want to show Estelle (left) breaking their agreement to stay silent as she is asking Garcin (center) for some sort of object that has a mirror.

I am Your Mirror. In this scene I wanted to show Inez (front right) putting on Estelle's (far left) makeup in order to persuade her, but torture by saying  lies about her face. Then I wanted to show Garcin (far right) trying to evade the discussion they were having.

Stories of Hell's Prisoners. In this scene I wanted to show Estelle's (far left) frustration of telling her story and how she didn't want to reveal the truth, but Inez (far right) is smiling at the fact that she is torturing someone.

Dead Already. In this scene it shows Estelle (far left) about to stab Inez (far right), but Inez seems to be confused because their is no point in stabbing her when they are dead already causing Estelle to feel the reality of the situation.
No Exit. This photograph does not go in sequence with the rest but I wanted to do an overall shot of how I would interpret No Exit.
In this assignment I wanted to inspire everyone to start remixing assignments so that they can learn better. I feel now that I know No Exit better now that I have reinterpreted it in a way that I love. Having to go through the tedious steps of  picking out scenes that I feel are vital to the play, I now know the play like the back of my hand. So the overall point of my assignment was to remix the play in a way in which I can understand it better, and it also corresponds with my intended major of photography.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Literature Analysis #5: No Exit by Jean-Paul Satre

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

 -In this play Satre interprets Hell as the torturers being other people through his characters Garcin, Estelle, and Inez. The three of them are all in Hell because of something awful that they have done and they wind up driving each other crazy by the end of the story. Because it is in the form of a play and there is hardly any stage direction, Satre fulfills his purpose of getting to know the characters at the same pace they do which kinda keeps you on the edge of your seat while you're reading along.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

 -The theme of the novel is that Hell is other people. When each of the women first arrive they think that Garcin is the torturer, but he explains to them that he is not. However in reality they are all each others' torturers because since they are locked up in the room they have to deal with each other and how much they hate the personalities of each other.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

 -The author's tone throughout the play is kind of torturous because throughout the course of the play we see that things become worse and worse, and that is all we are still reading for. Hell interests people whether they believe in it or not because people want to understand the possibilities that could happen after life.

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

 -Irony: In the beginning of the play when all of the characters first meet they think that the torturer is in the room, but Garcin explains each time when Inez and Estelle come in that he is not the torturer. The ironic part of it all is that he and the others are the torturers. Ultimately making Hell other people.

 -Pacing: I like the fact that we don't have a sense of time that has gone by in the story because we don't know if this whole play has been going on for minutes, hours, days, years, etc.It's kind of interesting because when they decide to just sit in their corners and not talk to each other, how long did that really last?

 -Setting: The lack of a setting works really well because as a reader you have to really use your imagination to help attain a setting and I think that's where Satre really gets his goal of making people think what would Hell really be like.

 -Characterization: Because there is no direct characterization, readers have to do a lot of their own analysis of the character because there are no details in which we can pick up what they look like, but through dialogue you can find that each of the characters are basically awful human beings (why they are in Hell).

 -Dialogue: Plays are all about dialogue so through this we have to interpret practically everything since stage direction is only used maybe once or twice throughout the whole play.

 -Symbolism: The room represents Hell itself in which the three characters torture each other with their company. "Hell is other people."

 -Conflict: The conflict is the characters themselves because they are causing problems for one another, but will never be able to leave. They provide conflict for each other and can not get away from it so their is never really and resolution.

 1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

 -In No Exit there are no direct characterizations because of the fact that it is a play and Satre left it up to interpretation by not giving hardly any stage direction. An example of indirect characterization is having to learn who the characters are through the dialogue, like in the beginning we learn that Garcin finds himself of a higher status because he is making rude remarks on behalf of where he is living (sorry Garcin, this is Hell not Trump Tower). Another indirect characterization is when Estelle asks for something with a reflection so she can look at herself because she is vain.

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

 -The author's syntax and diction does not change throughout the play because all of the characters seem to be discussing things in the same manor to the way get upset to the way they just sit and don't do anything.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

 -I don't think that any of the characters in the play are changing so they all are static because all of them are completely stubborn and probably figure why change when their fate is set in stone, there's no second chances after Hell. All of their characters are flat characters in the beginning, but by the end of the play they are round characters because we finally understand their personality.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.

 -I don't feel like after reading this play that I have met a real person, but read a character because even though the characters were realistic I couldn't focus on the reality of them when the whole story was Sci-Fi and it wasn't long enough to get a grip or connection with the characters. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Literature Analysis #4 Howl (Part I) by Allen Ginsberg

This poem can be found here. This page also includes Allen Ginsberg himself reciting the poem.

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

-To briefly summarize this poem in words for people to understand is like briefly explaining the Bible, kinda sorta difficult because this poem is all about references in Ginsberg's life. Throughout Part I of Howl, Ginsberg goes about telling stories of "...the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..." by referencing things such as "...Neil Cassidy, the hero of these poems..." Yes ladies and gentleman, Allen Ginsberg was gay so the reference to his first love almost as inspiration shows how personal this poem is and can really only apply to himself. Through constant repetition Ginsberg develops a rhythm by using the word "who" in order to stay on track with his story.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

-For me, this was the hardest part: finding a theme. I believe that his poem is a mourning for all the people Ginsberg references by expressing taboo topics like drug abuse and alcohol addiction. "...Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops..." In this small phrase Ginsberg makes a reference to Peyote which is something found in a hallucinogenic, which Ginsberg experimented with (including other drugs as well).

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

-The author's tone is very mournful throughout the poem because he is talking about how certain people he met in his life's stories are sad. He is very sad in how he explains things.

"...who were expelled from the academies for crazy and publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull..."

"...who balled in the morning in the evening in the rose gardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries..."

"...who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon and their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion..."

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

-Anaphora: Ginsberg constantly repeat's the word "who" in order to keep himself and his readers at a steady pace when they are reading. ALso, he uses it in order to start a new part, journey, or reference in his poem.

 -Colloquialism: In the beginning when Ginsberg says, "angelheaded hipsters" that is a use of colloquialism that helps relate Ginsberg tothe common man making his poem more insightful to others.

 -Elegy: Even though this poem isn't specifically about the dead is is still mournful in it's ways when Ginsberg references the people he has met in his life and some of their sad stories of how they were ddestroyed by madness.

 -Free Verse: This poem has no rhyming scheme whatsoever so is therfore considered to be free verse. Nor does Ginsberg make any attempt to rhyme the words in Part I of Howl.

 -Imagery: "...draggind themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, andelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night..."
 This is an excerpt that is an example of Ginsberg's imagery and how he compares the stars to machinery and negro streets in order to emphasize his meanings on society.

 -Pacing: For the majority of the poem, "who" starts out a little piece of the poem constantly making you start the phrase with "who" as if it were a completely new sentence even though the whole poem is practically a run-on sentence. Without that one word (who) thepoem would loose it's rhythm.

 -Personification: Ginsberg has this nack for giving everything a human-like characteristic because it makes the reader feel more connected to everything when you can relate to how something is feeling. "...who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery..."

 -Allusion: "...who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads if the craftsman's loom..." Ginsberg is referencing the three old woman who share an eye to see fate in Hercules.

 -Restatement: "...who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night..."

"...who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels, who were visionary indian angels..." In these two excerpts their is an emphasis in order for the reader to understand key points that Ginsberg wanted to stand out.


Thinking Outside the Box

Think about the place you have chosen as your hell. Does it look ordinary and bourgeois, like Sartre's drawing room, or is it equipped with literal instruments of torture like Dante's Inferno? Can the mind be in hell in a beautiful place? Is there a way to find peace in a hellish physical environment? Enter Sartre's space more fully and imagine how it would feel to live there endlessly, night and day.

 -My own personal Hell would probably be a black, cold room. Isolation is one of the things I simply can not stand because being alone for such a long period of time would drive me insane. Neither a way in nor out frightens me. I think there is a way to find peace in a Hellish environment because just because the place looks really crappy, it doesn't mean that I'm not able to enjoy the company of others. If I were to live night and day in Satre's Hell I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to handle other people that get on my nerves and I'd stab my eyes out.

 Could hell be described as too much of anything without a break? Are variety, moderation and balance instruments we use to keep us from boiling in any inferno of excess,' whether it be cheesecake or ravenous sex?

 -I think you could take that perspective on Hell because people get bored easily with the idea of having to repeat things. Constantly having to do the same thing over and over again really sucks. I can't even imagine having to listen to the same song for all eternity.

How does Sartre create a sense of place through dialogue? Can you imagine what it feels like to stay awake all the time with the lights on with no hope of leaving a specific place? How does Garcin react to this hell? How could you twist your daily activities around so that everyday habits become hell? Is there a pattern of circumstances that reinforces the experience of hell?

 - I think the most important part of the way we perceive the setting is in the beginning when the valet and Garcin are talking and we hear all of his disgusts with the place he will be staying in. I could never imagine not being able to sleep because I think I'd just constantly be tired and irritated by the lights and people around me.Garcin tries to make the most of Hell which is good I guess, but there's only so much you can do to make it not seem like Hell. If I really wanted to make my life a living Hell I would go to my favorite restaurants and order my favorite foods all the time until I got sick of eating the same thing, ruining food is the worst Hell imaginable.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vocab Week #11

affinity - noun a natural attraction or feeling of kinship; inherent resemblance between persons or things; the force attracting atoms to each other and binding them together in a molecule; (immunology) the attraction between an antigen and an antibody; a close connection marked by community of interests or similarity in nature or character; (biology) state of relationship between organisms or groups of organisms resulting in resemblance in structure or structural parts; (anthropology) kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship
bilious - adj. suffering from or suggesting a liver disorder or gastric distress; relating to or containing bile; irritable as if suffering from indigestion
cognate - adj. having the same ancestral language; related by blood; related in nature; noun a word is cognate with another if both derive from the same word in an ancestral language; one related by blood or origin; especially on sharing an ancestor with another
corollary - noun (logic) an inference that follows directly from the proof of another proposition; a practical consequence that follows naturally
divination - noun the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by supernatural means; successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck; a prediction uttered under divine inspiration
elixir - noun a substance believed to cure all ills; a sweet flavored liquid (usually containing a small amount of alcohol) used in compounding medicines to be taken by mouth in order to mask an unpleasant taste; a hypothetical substance that the alchemists believed to be capable of changing base metals into gold
folderol - noun nonsensical talk or writing
gamut - noun a complete extent or range: "a face that expressed a gamut of emotions"; the entire scale of musical notes
ineffable - adj. too sacred to be uttered; defying expression or description
lucubration - noun laborious cogitation; a solemn literary work that is the product of laborious cogitation
mnemonic - adj. of or relating to or involved the practice of aiding the memory; noun a device (such as a rhyme or acronym) used to aid recall
obloquy - noun state of disgrace resulting from public abuse; a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions
parameter - noun a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves; a quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample data; any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance
pundit - noun someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
risible - adj. arousing or provoking laughter
symptomatic - adj. relating to or according to or affecting a symptom or symptoms; characteristic or indicative of e.g. a disease

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Sonnet

Shakespearean Sonnet # 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
   Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
   And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
   And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
   By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
   Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
   When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vocab Week #10

aficionado - noun a serious devotee of some particular music genre or musical performer; a fan of bull fighting
browbeat - verb discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate; be bossy towards
commensurate - adj. corresponding in size or degree or extent
diaphanous - adj. so thin as to transmit light
emolument - noun compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment (usually in the form of wages or fees)
foray - noun an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence); a sudden short attack; verb briefly enter enemy territory; steal goods; take as spoils
genre - noun a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique; a kind of literary or artistic work; an expressive style of music; a style of expressing yourself in writing
homily - noun a sermon on a moral or religious topic
immure - verb lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
insouciant - adj. marked by blithe unconcern
matrix - noun mold used in the production of phonograph records, type, or other relief surface; the formative tissue at the base of a nail; the body substance in which tissue cells are embedded; a rectangular array of elements (or entries) set out by rows and columns; an enclosure within which something originates or develops (from the Latin for womb)
panache - noun a feathered plume on a helmet; distinctive and stylish elegance
persona - noun (Jungian psychology) a personal facade that one presents to the world; an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
philippic - noun a speech of violent denunciation
prurient - adj. characterized by lust
sacrosanct - adj. must be kept sacred
systemic - adj. affecting an entire system
tendentious - adj. having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
vicissitude - noun mutability in life or nature (especially successive alternation from one condition to another); a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Literature Analysis #2 Lord of the Flies by William Golding

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

 -This novel is about some private school boys who are stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash and are driven insane causing them to fight against each other in order to survive. I don't think that the author's intention was to send the message that people go crazy after being isolated for so long, but that society can fail without the help from a higher authority. Some people have thought that this book almost resembles the tale of Jesus Christ. I completely agree with this accusation of having to do with a religious underlying meaning to this novel because there is too much evidence imposing it is has religious imprecations.

 2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

 -I believe that the overall theme of this novel is that you can't give into temptation and innocence. As the boys give into the temptation of Jack they lose their innocence and become savages. This theme develops over the course of the story as we see on or two boys go over to Jack's tribe and leaves Ralph's. Little by little Ralph's tribe is completely gone leaving him and Piggy by themselves, making them outcasts and trying to maintain their innocence they wind up having some fatalities. The theme of temptation is also shown when we read about Simon talking to the Lord of the Flies and saying how there is evil in everyone, but Simon chooses to omit that temptation, but in the process of telling everyone he is killed in the process.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

 -The author's tone throughout the novel is very somber, I never found myself being happy for the boys but waiting for the next thing to go wrong in their story. Things never got better for them, it was just one bad thing after another. Because the author had a somber, gloomy tone it made me expect the worst to happen, even though I didn't know what exactly was going to happen I would eagerly skip to the next page and think to myself How could it get any worse than this? And then someone would die and I was shocked every time even though I expected a sad event.

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

 -Ambiguity: The author makes it uncertain to us that the story has an underlying meaning about the religious story of Jesus Christ, but if you pay attention to the small details and want to learn about the true meaning of The Lord of the Flies a whole new door opens. Golding wanted people to take the seriousness of his book into consideration by leaving random hints (e.g. the title, Simon, talking pigs head) so that we could understand his interpretation.

 -Apostrophe: The talking pig's head is directly addressed by Simon during the rising action of the story even though it is an inanimate object, but it is significant because we are making a connection between a human boy and a disgusting, rotting pig head about the severity of the things that will happen to the boys if they do not keep their innocence. Because these two characters in the story come into communication we either assume Simon is an insane child or that he is learning the real meaning behind the reason they are there through an apostrophe that comes to life.

 -Contrast: In this novel Golding uses the contrast between good (Simon, Ralph, Piggy) against evil (Jack, the Lord of the Flies, the Beast). Between these characters is where we find our contrast because for one character there is an opposite. For example Jack and Ralph are completely different characters while Simon and the Lord of the Flies are also complete opposites. By having pairs of characters that are opposites helps us define the sides of who is good and who is evil.

 -Imagery: The description of the pig's head was my favorite of Golding's use of imagery because I could perfectly imagine this grotesque, rotting, stinking pig's head talking to me and making me want to puke. I think that his imagery was perfect for this specific scene because to vividly put this in my imagination amazes me because a lot of the time author's want you to imagine how their books would appear in your mind, but Golding had a specific idead of how he wanted me, as a reader, to interpret this disgusting pig's head.

 -Magical Realism: I know this is kind of a stretch, but hear me out. Since everyone isn't religious I think that there is an aspect of magical realism in the novel, but only in one part: the conversation between the pig's head and Simon. Making the pig's head come to life and have it actually talk to Simon is magical because obviously pig's don't talk to you everyday especially if they are just a severed head, and we make that connection between good and evil.

 -Metonymy: The title of this book, The Lord of the Flies literally means Beelzebub (or Satan). Golding uses this to his advantage because most people probably wouldn't first realize this because you know that the title has something the will be in the story and most people will just be like, "Oh, it's just that nasty pig's head," but really it has underlying meaning in which Golding takes advantage of by using metonymy by changing the name in a literal sense.

 -Symbols: Simon (Jesus Christ), the pig's head (Satan), all of the other boys (Jews). They relate because as Simon is trying to tell all of the boys about the Lord of the Flies and tries to make sure they all connect they kill him by accident ruining their only chance at peace in their society. This symbolizes Jesus Christ trying to tell the Jews that the only way to save their damned souls is to accept his words as truth, but they don't listen to him and kill him.

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

 -Two examples of direct characterization is in the beginning of the novel when they talk about Ralph as the oldest and leader, and Piggy as the social pariah of the group who no one likes. An example of indirect characterization would be when the boys are deciding a leader and you see that Jack gets upset that he doesn't win showing a characteristic of jealousy. Another example would be when we realize all the kids don't really which indirectly characterizes them as ignorant and irresponsible. The author uses both approaches because it's boring to just describe a character through one sentence when you can try to develop a character throughout the course of a story.

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

 -The author's syntax and diction does not change when she focuses on a certain character.

 3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

 -Ralph is a static character because he starts out as the leader type and maintains that persona (not role) as a leader throughout the entire novel. He is a flat character because his persona doesn't change and Ralph doesn't change like the other boys do into a horrible person but instead he keeps his innocence.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction.

 -If there was nay character that I particularly felt I had met it would be Ralph because I feel like he and I are relate-able in the sense that he wants to be a leader and hates to see the people he cares about most go down the wrong track. I would do the same thing by trying to keep everyone together in a good mind set.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tools That Change the Way We Think

      Finished my paper. Spell Check. Grammar Check. This was probably the first thing most of us remember using that changes how we were actually going to say something. I never realized that it wasn't me who was writing , but now somebody else putting words into my mouth. Search engines like Google and Yahoo! both demonstrate changing our way of thinking because I never asked them to search for me, don't get me wrong I like that sometimes I can't remember something my friend told me to look up and boom, it's there because I only typed in half of what I was saying.

      Another thing that constantly changes what I mean to say is autocorrect, we've all had that incident where you mean to say something and you wind up sending your mom or dad a really awkward text message and have to explain tho them how autocorrect ruined your pure message. For instance:
Lets be honest, this is probably similar to something that has happened to you before. This isn't mine personally, but I can completely relate to this in the sense of crap I don't why I wrote Obama instead of finals, what the heck autocorrect. This can be entirely embarrassing because autocorrect sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Notes on Hamlet

Being a Teacher's Aide for DP last year means that  kinda sorta already read Hamlet and know everything that is going to happen, but I'm going to try to come in open-minded about the play. I really enjoyed DP's interpretation of Hamlet last year and I hope that reading it a second time through will give me an even better understanding of the book. Hopefully I can find some underlying themes or puns that I didn't see the first time through.

Who Was Shakespeare?

1. Yahoo:

Wikipedia is always one of the top results for pretty much anything you type into google, yahoo, or practically any search engine. I learned the basics of Shakespeare: his life story, birth and death, and basically his background. Something I did find interesting was that he had influenced Charles Dickens throughout the course of his writing, I would have never guessed that Charles Dickens even needed to be influenced. 

2. Yahoo:

- At this website I found that they mention that someone else could have written Shakespeare's works such as Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere. This made me laugh due to the fact there was a movie about this same accusation, it's completely ridiculous to think this in my opinion. Overall this website had good information about leading up to Shakespeare's life.

3. Yahoo:

- After getting past all of the theories on who Shakespeare supposedly was I stumbled across this one about Shakespeare's life as a theatre performer and how that affected his works as a play write. I learned how Shakespeare used many foul words, I was also enlightened to find their meaning. Highly recommend visiting this website to find some great Shakespearean puns that I have never seen before.

To Facebook or Not to Facebook

When I first decided to join Facebook was when I was in 8th grade because all of my friends had them, not being very technologically savvy I had no idea how to work it so I gave up on the whole thing. However, the more and more my friends eagerly asked me to go on the more and more I went on until I realized that my life has revolved around Facebook. I have become completely captivated by Facebook and I will never be the same again. I remember my mom telling me how I shouldn't post too many pictures because she didn't know who was looking and I was thinking to myself Gee mom only my friends, duh. Now I know that I can't just post whatever because let's be honest, everyone who has a Facebook can be hacked and traced.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vocab Week #9

abortive - adj. failing to accomplish an intended result
bruit - verb tell or spread rumors
contumelious - adj. arrogantly insolent
dictum - noun an authoritative declaration; an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
ensconce - verb fix firmly
iconoclastic - adj. destructive of images used in religious worship; said of religions, such as Islam, in which the representation of living things is prohibited; characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
internecine - adj. characterized by bloodshed and carnage for both sides; (of conflict) within a group or organization
maladroit - adj. not adroit
maudlin - adj. effusively or insincerely emotional
modulate - verb vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves); adjust the pitch, tone, or volume of; change the key of, in music; fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of; vary the pitch of one's speech
portentous - adj. of momentous or ominous significance; puffed up with vanity; ominously prophetic
prescience - noun the power to foresee the future
salubrious - adj. favorable to health of mind or body; promoting health; healthful
touchstone - noun a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
traumatic - adj. psychologically painful; "few experiences are more traumatic than losing a child"; of or relating to a physical injury or wound to the body
vitiate - verb take away the legal force of or render ineffective; make imperfect; corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
waggish - adj. witty or joking

Monday, October 8, 2012

Vocab Week #8

abeyance - noun temporary cessation or suspension
ambivalent - adj. uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow
beleaguer - verb surround so as to force to give up; annoy persistently
cataclysm - noun an event resulting in great loss and misfortune; a sudden violent change in the earth's surface
debauch - noun a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity; verb corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality
eclat - noun brilliant or conspicuous success or effect; ceremonial elegance and splendor; enthusiastic approval
fastidious - adj. giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness; having complicated nutritional requirements; especially growing only in special artificial cultures
gambol - noun gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement; verb play boisterously
imbue - verb suffuse with color; fill, soak, or imbue totally; spread or diffuse through
inchoate - adj. only partly in existence; imperfectly formed
lampoon - noun a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way; verb ridicule with satire
malleable - adj. capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out; easily influenced
nemesis - noun (Greek mythology) the goddess of divine retribution and vengeance; something causes misery or death
opt - verb select as an alternative; choose instead; prefer as an alternative
philistine - adj. of or relating to ancient Philistia or the culture of the Philistines; smug and ignorant and indifferent or hostile to artistic and cultural values; noun a member of an Aegean people who settled ancient Philistia around the 12th century BC; a person who is uninterested in intellectual pursuits
picaresque - adj. involving clever rogues or adventurers especially as in a type of fiction
queasy - adj. causing or fraught with or showing anxiety; feeling nausea; feeling about to vomit; causing or able to cause nausea
refractory - adj. temporarily unresponsive or not fully responsive to nervous or sexual stimuli; not responding to treatment; stubbornly resistant to authority or control; noun lining consisting of material with a high melting point; used to line the inside walls of a furnace

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vocab Week #7

aberration - noun an optical phenomenon resulting from the failure of a lens or mirror to produce a good image; a disorder in one's mental state; a state or condition markedly different from the norm
bane - noun something causes misery or death
bathos - noun triteness or triviality of style; a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one; insincere pathos
cantankerous - adj. having a difficult and contrary disposition; stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate
casuistry - noun moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas; argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading
depredation - noun an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding; (usually plural) a destructive action
empathy - noun understanding and entering into another's feelings
harbinger - noun an indication of the approach of something or someone; verb foreshadow or presage
hedonism - noun an ethical system that evaluates the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good; the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
lackluster - adj. lacking luster or shine; lacking brilliance or vitality
malcontent - adj. discontented as toward authority; noun a person who is discontented or disgusted
mellifluous - adj. pleasing to the ear
nepotism - noun favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)
pander - noun someone who procures customers for whores (in England they call a pimp a ponce); verb arrange for sexual partners for others; yield (to); give satisfaction to
peccadillo - noun a petty misdeed
remand - noun the act of sending an accused person back into custody to await trial (or the continuation of the trial); verb refer (a matter or legal case) to another committee or authority or court for decision; lock up or confine, in or as in a jail
syndrome - noun a complex of concurrent things; a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Literature Analysis #1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

-The plot of the novel goes in a series of events that leads up to one of the character's, Jem Finch, arms being broken and throughout the course of the story we are viewing the 1930's-1940's from the perspective of a tomboy girl, Scout Finch. Themes such as race, equality, and family are brought into account as you read into the novel. Being from a child's narrative, as a reader you learn how from Scout's perspective, how a child is brought up in this kind of society where there isn't such a thing as equal rights and/or true justice. Growing up in a world of unjust ideals comes across perfectly from a light-hearted, naive child. 

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

 -As I mentioned some possible themes beforehand in the prior question, the overall theme I get from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is growing up in an unjust society can not only influence you as adults, but also children who don't understand the complexity of racism and righteous treatments. For instance, when Atticus Finch is waiting at the jail cell of Tom Robinson and all of the townspeople come with guns to kill him, you see Scout come up with Jem and Dill to talk to their father and Scout recognizes one of the townspeople and talks about an old memory. This part of the novel is important because of the fact that Scout is somewhat ignorant to the society around her she doesn't realize that something bigger is happening and the townspeople realize what they are imposing on young Scout is that violence is the answer, which they know is wrong.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

 -The author's tone throughout the course of the story is somewhat naive because of the fact that it is from a child's perspective. Not to say it is written child-like, but more along the sense of innocence throughout the novel while reading it and you almost pity Scout because she is so ignorant to what is actually happening. All Scout really feels bad about is that Atticus didn't win the case because she doesn't know any better.

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

 -Point of View: Since the story is told from Scout's perspective, you interpret things in a different way because of her age and the fact that as a child she can't fully understand the gravity of situations. This didn't make the story difficult to understand, but it made you sympathize with Atticus about trying to raise his family with the right morals by doing what is right even though the society around him did not have the same beliefs as him.

 -Pathos: Throughout the novel I feel as if Harper Lee is trying to make the reader feel some sense of compassion towards the main characters. A few examples, Scout has no mother to raises her so she does not understand the habits of a woman therefore she takes after Jem. Jem, however, feels as if he needs to constantly prove himself to Atticus that he is mature and responsible because Atticus is of such a high status. Atticus has to raise two children without a wife and still work as lawyer which is a very demanding job considering the amount of time he is working, all the while trying to make sure his children grow up in an unbiased household. Tom Robinson is a black man in the 1930's, no rights, no say, not even considered a person, and above all else a woman accuses him of rape and battery even though there is plenty of evidence proving he's innocent and is still found guilty.

 -Climax: As a reader, you would think that the climatic part of the story would be when Jem breaks his arm due to the fact that in the beginning they point out that that is the series of events they are about to describe. However, the rising action of the story leads to the climax and Scout's perspective doesn't make it feel like the court case is the climax even though that's the event that starts making things turn for the worse in her family like when Mr. Ewell tries to hurt Jem and Scout.

 -Setting: Normally the setting is like when and where, but for To Kill a Mockingbird, that is what makes the story amazing is because the setting has everything to do with why things are the way they are. If this same case had occurred today there would have been no question that Mr. Ewell was the one who beat Mayella Ewell. However, during the time period the novel takes place in there has to be a consideration of how social classes are structured and how ethnic groups managed their lifestyles together.

 -Stream of Consciousness: Because Scout is trying to recall all of the memories she has such as mental images and feelings as she experiences them, Harper Lee is using this technique to try and imitate how a child would respond to these situations.

 -Zeitgeist: We get the feeling of the era of the 1930's from all of the racism talked about throughout the course of the novel. Obviously this book takes place before blacks actually had rights, but it helps us interpret what life was like in this era due to the fact that in the court case they explain (indirectly) how society was not the same and people were cruel and unjust towards other.

 -Dialect: The dialect is important because racism is very strong in the south, especially before blacks had rights. Because of the fact the story takes place in the south, it emphasizes the severity of the case and if Tom Robinson were to be plead guilty or not. If he was to be proven guilty they reacted appropriately  as Harper Lee wrote, by killing Tom Robinson, however, if they said he wasn't guilty people in the South would be very upset about the fact that a black man won over a white man which would cause a huge controversy in their town.

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

 -An example of direct characterization in To Kill a Mockingbird would be when Scout is describing Atticus as a well-respected man, but indirectly as we see him taking action to actually fight against Mr. Ewell we learn that Atticus is a man of integrity and honor which has earned him that characteristic of a well-respected man. Another would be when Scout is talking about Boo Radley being a scary guy, but when he saves her brother Jem, as readers, we realize that Boo is actually someone who has realized there wrongs and wants to make things right in the world he sees outside his windows. I feel like the author used both because she had to, Scout (as a child) could not interpret how Atticus or Boo were brave but only say that they were because she doesn't understand how they were.

 2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

 -The author's syntax and diction only changes through dialogue because Scout doesn't have that extensive of a vocabulary like Atticus does. For example, when we are reading about the court case and Scout quotes Atticus throughout the story we hear his proper dialect versus Scout's childish talk.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

 -Personally, I believe that Scout is a static character because as a child you don't have sudden epiphanies on life due to major events that don't directly affect you. The court case of Tom Robinson didn't affect Scout in any way and she was indifferent on how she felt because it doesn't directly affect her and she doesn't understand until later on in life the underlying meaning of the case. She is also a round character because Scout is very life-like and can be related to because of the fact she is so innocent like that of a child.

4. After reading the book did you come away feeling like you'd met a person or read a character?  Analyze one textual example that illustrates your reaction. 

 -I feel a little bit of both because of the fact it was in a different time era, if this was the society I had grown up in it would have affected me in a different way because I read about a possible case scenario that ended up the way it would have in the 1930's which makes me almost feel like I'm reading an autobiographical story, but it's just not relate-able enough for me to truly feel like I met someone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vocab Week #6

beatitude - noun one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed); a state of supreme happiness
bode - verb indicate by signs
dank - adj. unpleasantly cool and humid
ecumenical - adj. of worldwide scope or applicability; concerned with promoting unity among churches or religions
fervid - adj. extremely hot; characterized by intense emotion
fetid - adj. offensively malodorous
gargantuan - adj. of great mass; huge and bulky
heyday - noun the period of greatest prosperity or productivity
incubus - noun a male demon believed to lie on sleeping persons and to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women; someone who depresses or worries others; a situation resembling a terrifying dream
infrastructure - noun the stock of basic facilities and capital equipment needed for the functioning of a country or area; the basic structure or features of a system or organization
inveigle - verb influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
kudos - noun an expression of approval and commendation
lagniappe - noun a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)
prolix - adj. tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length
protege - noun a person who receives support and protection from an influential patron who furthers the protege's career
prototype - noun a standard or typical example
sycophant - noun a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
tautology - noun useless repetition; (logic) a statement that is necessarily true
truckle - noun a low bed to be slid under a higher bed; verb yield to out of weakness; try to gain favor by cringing or flattering

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vocab Week #5

acumen - noun a tapering point; shrewdness shown by keen insight
adjudicate - verb bring to an end; settle conclusively; put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
anachronism - noun an artifact that belongs to another time; a person who seems to be displaced in time; who belongs to another age; something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred
apocryphal - adj. being of questionable authenticity; of or belonging to the Apocrypha
disparity - noun inequality or difference in some respect
dissimulate - verb hide (feelings) from other people
empirical - adj. derived from experiment and observation rather than theory; relying on medical quackery
flamboyant - adj. richly and brilliantly colorful; elaborately or excessively ornamented; noun showy tropical tree or shrub native to Madagascar; widely planted in tropical regions for its immense racemes of scarlet and orange flowers; sometimes placed in genus Poinciana
fulsome - adj. unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
immolate - verb offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction
imperceptible - adj. impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses
lackey - noun a male servant (especially a footman); a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage
liaison - noun a channel for communication between groups; a usually secretive or illicit sexual relationship
monolithic - adj. characterized by massiveness and rigidity and total uniformity; imposing in size or bulk or solidity
nihilism - noun a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake; complete denial of all established authority and institutions; the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal
patrician - adj. of the hereditary aristocracy or ruling class of ancient Rome or medieval Europe; of honorary nobility in the Byzantine empire; belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy; noun a person of refined upbringing and manners; a member of the aristocracy
propitiate - verb make peace with
sic - adv. intentionally so written (used after a printed word or phrase); verb urge a dog to attack someone
sublimate - adj. made pure; noun the product of vaporization of a solid; verb direct energy or urges into useful activities; vaporize and then condense right back again; change or cause to change directly from a solid into a vapor without first melting; remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation; make more subtle or refined

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vocab Week #4

apostate - adj. not faithful to religion or party or cause; noun a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
bravado - noun a swaggering show of courage
consensus - noun agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole
constrict - verb become tight or as if tight; squeeze or press together
dichotomy - noun being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses
effusive - adj. extravagantly demonstrative; uttered with unrestrained enthusiasm
euphoria - noun a feeling of great (usually exaggerated) elation
gothic - adj. characterized by gloom and mystery and the grotesque; of or relating to the Goths; of or relating to the language of the ancient Goths; characteristic of the style of type commonly used for printing German; as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened; noun a style of architecture developed in northern France that spread throughout Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries; characterized by slender vertical piers and counterbalancing buttresses and by vaulting and pointed arches; a heavy typeface in use from 15th to 18th centuries; extinct East Germanic language of the ancient Goths; the only surviving record being fragments of a 4th-century translation of the Bible by Bishop Ulfilas
impasse - noun a street with only one way in or out; a situation in which no progress can be made or no advancement is possible
lugubrious - adj. excessively mournful
metamorphosis - noun a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft; the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals; a striking change in appearance or character or circumstances
mystique - noun an aura of heightened value or interest or meaning surrounding a person or thing
parlous - adj. fraught with danger
punctilio - noun strict observance of formalities; a fine point of etiquette or petty formality
quagmire - noun a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
quixotic - adj. not sensible about practical matters; unrealistic
raconteur - noun a person skilled in telling anecdotes
vendetta - noun a feud in which members of the opposing parties murder each other

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vocab Week #3

accolade - noun a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
acerbity - noun a sharp sour taste; a sharp bitterness; a rough and bitter manner
attrition - noun the act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction; a wearing down to weaken or destroy; sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation; the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice; erosion by friction
bromide - noun any of the salts of hydrobromic acid; formerly used as a sedative but now generally replaced by safer drugs; a trite or obvious remark
chauvinist - noun an extreme bellicose nationalist; a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her own kind
chronic - adj. being long-lasting and recurrent or characterized by long suffering
expound - verb add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing; state
immaculate - adj. completely neat and clean; free from stain or blemish; without fault or error
imprecation - noun the act of calling down a curse that invokes evil (and usually serves as an insult); a slanderous accusation
ineluctable - adj. impossible to avoid or evade:"inescapable conclusion"
mercurial - adj. relating to or containing or caused by mercury; relating to or having characteristics (eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, thievishness) attributed to the god Mercury; relating to or under the (astrological) influence of the planet Mercury; liable to sudden unpredictable change
palliate - verb provide physical relief, as from pain; lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
protocol - noun code of correct conduct; forms of ceremony and etiquette observed by diplomats and heads of state; (computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data
resplendent - adj. having great beauty and splendor
stigmatize - verb mark with a stigma or stigmata; to accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful
vainglory - noun outspoken conceit
vestige - noun an indication that something has been present
volition - noun the act of making a choice; the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention