Honestly, I have liked the poems we have read in class. Eldorado had a lot of hidden meanings that I did not really catch on to until we went over it in class. I would have never caught that the pilgrim shadow is actually the knight’s shadow and when he “met a pilgrim shadow” he was falling on to his own shadow from loss of strength. The poem was way more depressing to me when we interpreted it then it was when I read it for the very first time. I really wish that I could catch stuff like that better when I read poetry. I am hoping that we read a couple more poems just so I can practice this level of analysis better on my own. The other kind of analysis with stresses/non-stresses and what kind of poetry it is not really my favorite. I feel like its hard to do that and still enjoy the poetry that you are reading. I mean I understand the point because it definetly helps you understand better whether something really is good poetry or not but its pretty similar to diagramming sentences which I hate.

I was pretty happy that we didn’t do anything more than watch a Simpson interpretation of “The Raven”. I feel like 8th grade year it was sooo over analyzed. And the thing is I learned more in our like two/three days talking about poetry in class then I did in a whole unit of it in 8th grade. We focused a lot more on Edgar Allen Poe and his life than his poetry and we never talked as indepth about analyzing poetry. Freshman year we kinda just read a lot of poetry and I think we may have written our own but I am not sure. It was very laid back but we didn’t really learn a whole lot.

The poem that I am writing is about my dogs. I feel like its a pretty easy topic so it should be fairly easy to write. I just have to figure out how meaningful I want to make it. 

The Bassoon King

Reading this book just proved further to me the amazingness of Rainn Wilson. It gave him depth and character and it was awesome to learn about his personal experience.  writing this book was a gift to the world. He gives GENUINE advice that I will remember and use in my own life.

Honestly, when I decided to read the book I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously, some humor because he is a comedian, but other than that the only person I knew Rainn to be was Dwight. He is, in fact, a very witty person with a lot of good wisdom especially for those who want to make it in the acting field. Some of my favorite parts of the book were when he talked about his breakthroughs on his road to becoming an actor. One example which was kinda cheesy was that he went to go see A Chorus Line in theaters and despite it being a terrible movie, he broke down and cried. The movie, he says, is about a bunch of people who really want to make it big and they sing a lot about it. This struck a chord with him and really helped him realize how much he wanted to be an actor. The way he wrote about these events was somewhat dramatic but that is what made them entertaining and have a lasting impact.

 

I really love that in the book Rainn is honest about what it takes to make it. I feel like a lot of times when a famous person’s story is told it is sugar coded. Rainn’s seems much less so. He talks about all of his experiences making it big, good and bad.  He had to go through lots of training, living in not the best places, and doing different odd jobs just to make it to where he is today. For instance, he had to live with rats in an abandoned brewery in Brooklyn. This gives insight and inspiration to anyone reading but especially those who are considering becoming an actor. As I struggle to decide whether I want to make a career out of my musical talents and whether it is worth the risk of investing in a good music school, this is a story that I can take into consideration. Rainn put it all in and chose to take whatever risks there are and that worked out for him. I guess what is hard is that he is telling it from a perspective of making it. A lot more people don’t make it than do. Realistically my chances are super slim so I am probably not going to try and make it as just a performer  (I’ll probably end up teaching) but while I was reading this I almost reconsidered. It just goes to show that this book is inspiring.

 

Rainn comes from a really interesting background. He was (and he actually says this in the book) a nerd. Like a classic dungeons and dragons playing, nerd. I thought that that aspect of his life must have really helped him to portray who he was in the office. As Dwight, he must have had to go back in time to what he was like as a kid. Rainn tells of his gradual transformation from nerd all the way to quirky actor throughout his book. When he moves he decides to change his whole style. He becomes somewhat of a rocker type and he expresses that all the girls kind of dig it. I liked hearing what it was like for this geeky high school age guy. I think it kind of helped me understand that perspective better. It was really cool also how he could describe his life events with a lot of zest (if that’s the right word). He made them seem like an adventure.

 

I would really recommend this book for all these reasons ^^^ and lots more.

Brave New World

I think the biggest reason that I read this was because I wanted to read a classic sci-fi. I feel like I haven’t really read many of them before. I have definitely heard of Brave New World before so I decided to give it a shot. At first, when I was reading it I was a bit shocked about how openly it seemed to talk about sexuality and recreational use of drugs for it being written in the 1930s. Then I thought of something. The Great Gatsby which I read last year for AR had a similar dark spin on how the pleasures of the flesh and class/caste system can affect people. It seemed to me that after reading these two books (and I am sure there are other examples) this time in literature may have been when people were more inclined to discuss these topics in their works. I guess I would have to do more reading about that but there were some thematic similarities between the two. They obviously both come to very different conclusions and are set in completely different times. At the same time, they are similar conclusions. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby works to become part of the upper class (from his place at the bottom) and fit in so he can have Daisy. Bernard, in this story, wishes to experience something outside of what the “World State” gives to him because he feels out of place in his own class. In both cases, the protagonist chooses to rebel against what was set out for them due to life circumstances and society leads to their destruction.

The book itself when I first started reading it was definitely not what I was expecting. A lot of what was done at an early age to children was very unsettling to me. They were pretty much brainwashed their whole growing up so that they would all live with the same mindset and be what the “World State” wanted them to be.  All humans were set to be self-indulging. They would never feel things on a deeper level and only live to satisfy their immediate urges. It made me wonder if they yearned to feel something more. Deep feelings of love and passion are essentially what makes us all human. One might feel something was missing in their lifestyle if it wasn’t for Soma. Soma had a lot of resemblance to recreational drugs that are used nowadays. Could we eventually become much more reliant on these than we are now to stump our emotions? Technology may even improve these drugs so that they have the effects that we want without the consequences. It is scary how close some of the aspects of our society are to those of the “World State”.

The “sexual play” and “death conditioning” that children participated in at a young age was something I was definitely not expecting when I chose to read this book. It was honestly very gross that children were taught from such a young age to except ideals that are against how one would naturally react to situations. Death was taken very lightly and so was sexuality. This removed any deep feelings towards these topics which felt so wrong to me. As Mond, the “Resident World Controller of Western Europe” explained, at the end though, the removal of human connection to these things created stability. I argue, though, that having so much sex and never falling in love with that one person for you makes sex meaningless. It would eventually numb you from the true feelings of sexual connection. Also if people don’t feel suffering and pain then how can they appreciate happiness and enjoy the good moments of life. That is the flaw in the whole system. There is absolutely no fulfillment in life without those things. That is why Bernard was struggling so much because he yearned for more. And I think deep down others in the “World State” also did. Some human inclinations you just can’t brainwash away.

Another extremely unsettling thing to me was how embryos were altered before even being born they were predestined to what life they would lead. This seemed like it stole something from those of lower classes. As biology gets more and more advanced in our own world I think this same idea could take on in a different form. Ever heard of designer babies? This the genetic altering of embryos to make them superior to other children and have specific attributes of the parents choosing. Though this concept has been inspired by the book Brave New World, we are starting to see that this could have the potential to become a reality. When this is possible it will probably be extremely expensive and something only the very rich could afford. I think if this tech would become available it would separate classes that are already pre-existing rather than an organized caste system by the government. This would definitely pose a problem for those in lower classes because they would never be able to catch up to those in upper classes thus making them stuck where they are. Then we would resemble the caste systems in Brave New World that also have no mobility from caste to caste.

Brave New World is a book I would recommend to others with a warning. There is a reason it is such a classic because of how much thought and purpose the Huxley put into the story. It follows a high level of thinking especially when at the end John discusses with Mond the very ideals of humanity and why it was necessary to take those away from people in order to create a society without any problems. If you like thinking about where our society may eventually lead itself in the distant future and whether our human nature would have to be sacrificed in order to have a perfect world then this is a good book for you.