Blog 17: Song of myself

My initial reaction to Song of Myself wasn’t surprising to say the least. I barely understood it and in my opinion it was just another long dumb poem. Soon after reading and understanding the meeting of the poem, my reaction changed drastically. Whitman knew what he was talking about, he truly knew what to do. My favorite thing he says is,”Now is the best time to change”. I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of that.

I feel that the sections my group were assigned were some of the better ones (3&9). Section 3 was, in my opinion, one of the best sections. If you understood the corrects meaning behind it, it truly could change someone. Personally it inspired me to adopt the “Now is the best time to change” philosophy, and it has made a positive impact on my life so far.

His writings, specially this one, are more or less affected by transcendentalism. He is somewhat connect to nature a she describes society as blades of grass in a field. On the less side of it, in my opinion, he doesn’t really turn to nature that much in this poem.

Some of the most important lines to me have a meaning that applies to life and a meaning that I plan on following. “But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.”, this line is the first one that caught my eye. Focusing on the present is one of the most important things a person can. Dwindling on the past can waste time or ruin the future, while focusing on the future can make you forget about the present. “And will never be any more perfection than there is now,”. This line holds the most meaning to me. As I said earlier, this is my favorite line from Whitman. I could go on about why the meaning is so important but I’m tired and it is 10:30 p.m. 

The only difficulties I’m having is trying to understand some of his lines. They sound like they are to mean one thing but end up meaning something completely different. Whitman really outdid many others with this poem, if someone is intelligent enough to be able to understand the meaning of the whole poem, then that person will get advise beyond anything they have gotten.


Blog 16: Civil Disobedience

I somewhat agree with that. The government needs to govern a little otherwise their would be unwanted actions happening. Some countries make great examples for that. The Venezuelan government did not govern enough and now they are neck deep in debt and inflation. The role of the government is to ensure that each of it’s citizens gets what is needed. That could be basic resources, justice, public education or even money if it is required. It should be able to keep the country and it’s citizens safe while also keeping corruption from taking place. The role of the government in relation to an individual citizen is that the government can indirectly affect the citizen and the citizen can affect the government.

The kind of government that would command my respect would be the kind that serves justice, takes care of not only its citizens, but of everyone regardless of race, religion or beliefs. The government should be able to have a certain amount of control over its citizens that allows for the citizens to do what they want but to an extent. They shouldn’t be able to illegal things or anything that can cause serious harm to ones reputation or self. If there is even an ounce of corruption in the government, it should be abolished. I would rather a bad politician that sometimes screws up than one that is corrupted.

If his essay can effect such great figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr..MLK got an entire country to change it’s perspective while Gandhi got an entire country to leave his country. If the essay brought this much change then it is certainly more than effective. Sometimes civil disobedience is the only way to bring change. I feel the only role of civil disobedience (in people that are in my age group) is to gain popularity or they do it out of peer pressure. I will admit that in some cases civil disobedience is OK but those are only serious cases in which the “victim” has no option left or if the law is simply unfair and the only way to change it is to take serious measures.

Blog 15: Thoreau’s Attempt

They are both pro natural settings, in addition to this, they both seem to want to live far away from society and in seclusion.

I think the main idea from the first portion was to stay on your feet and keep moving until you find the place where you can “be one” with nature. There was a part where I got a “be humble” vibe from it. When he sold the farm back for free and didn’t want the $10, he really showed that you don’t need much in life to enjoy it and others may need it more than you. Another idea that he got across was that living in a simple house (with the bare minimums) would fit you as fine as a house with a lot of furniture.

The main idea from the second portion was that God will see that you do not want to follow/be with society and you will find yourself happy wherever you are. He says life is like water in a river. This is another great idea mentioned in this excerpt. There are going to be times when life is flowing fast and times when it’s slow. There will be times when it is a all time high while at others it will be at a all time low. I personally like the main idea from the second portion better because it is true life advice that will actually help if you choose to follow it.

The benefits would be not having to deal with stupid people. There are always gonna be people that whenever they open their mouth, whatever they say will irritate you. I personally would miss all the good food that I am unable to cook and I would miss interacting with my friends. A few days alone without any interaction to other people would most likely result in me talking to myself an absurd amount. I could most likely pull it off for a few weeks if I had a few recipe books.

A modern reader should realize that the message that was being sent for to help better them. Whatever message they got out of the expcerts was along the lines of “For self betterment, choosing the natural route is best”.


Blog 14: End of Argument

Over the coarse of the unit, my understanding of argument has changed a lot. I have always thought of argument as pulling facts (or lies) out of thin air to prove that you are right. I am guilty of lying just to prove I am right in an argument but then again, who isn’t? I knew that research goes into proper arguments and debates, such as a lawyer or politician, but I didn’t think that much went into arguments that we have everyday. Finding the right resources and correct references is the hardest part for me. Figuring out when and how to use the research and facts I found is the easiest part for me.

After watching the universal healthcare debate, I saw how much research and placement of words and questions went into an argument. I also realized that the placement of your best point is important.  The way I argue is very dumb compared to the way that most lawyers and politicians argue (excluding Donald Trump). I use facts but I also don’t use them wisely or place them wisely.

I think very differently about arguments now, a lot has changed on my perspective on arguments. Trying to make my own persuasive speech was very difficult. Getting all the research and resources in order was a little difficult and figuring out how word it was the hardest part. I feel like actually just having a verbal argument is easier than having to write out one. Stating words and expressing emotion through them is easier when we are being verbal and it gets more difficult over a speech.

It is only easier because the words and sentences are right in front of you. You can also keep referring back to other sources and those that you already have open. A big disadvantage is that you don’t know what your opponent is going to counter with or say in their main argument and so you don’t know what to counter with.

Overall in the end, I learned that arguments have a lot more that go into them. You can’t be like 2 dinosaurs arguing over who gets the meal.




Blog 13: Topic Selection and First Thought

My topic is Ban on Convenience Plastics. I am on the Con side unfortunately. This is not my position on my topic, I believe that convinced plastics should be banned. My first thought when I saw what topic I got was “s***.”. My opponents aren’t ideal either.

Prior to research I already know that the Pro side is backed up with facts and stats about the harm that plastic is doing to our environment. The Con side can most likely only argue about jobs being lost and the convenience of just grabbing a water bottle being lost. Also the plastics would need to be replaced with another material that works almost the same as plastic.

With a basic google search I learned that banning plastics would help the environment but not as much as we think it would. The change would mean a lot but maybe not enough. I also got more facts on countries that reused plastics in roads and other items. The roads was a big one in many countries. India has several hundred miles of plastic roads leading from village to village.

In a logical approach I will most likely start off with how much we over exaggerate the effect that banning plastics would have. Also the many jobs that will be lost in plastic industry would be devastating. My opponent will most likely say that those without a job will go to the other companies that produce materials that will replace plastic but he/she won’t know that the company will most likely just increase production with the same employees.

An ethical issue is obviously that the Earth is going to die, that our environment is going to slowly decay. The emotions is a big one because it can turn into a “do you want your kids to live in a polluted world” debate real quick. The con side doesn’t really have much to attack back with that evolves ethical or emotional factors. The main emotion in this is guilt. The opponent could bring out a guilt trip and start with questions that mostly start with “do you really want…”.


Blog 12: Issues and Myself

Part 1:

A current issue that is up for a great debate is Global Warming. There are only 2 positions people could be on for this topic: Either you believe global warming is real or you believe it is a hoax. Our President, Donald J Trump, says “I don’t believe it.”. The side that doesn’t believe in either say the number and facts are fabricated and if they run out of ideas they just say “It’s still cold outside.”. The other side, the side that has the facts and research to prove Global warming is real, can just show NASA images of the Arctic circle shrinking throughout the last few decades. I’m for global warming. It is real and we really need to do something about, make a cleaner energy source. The world is most certainly going to (at least for humanity) unless we take care of it.

Part 2:

I personally think that my school year has gone pretty crappy. There have been some good days but most of them have been disappointing. I want to get more motivation to get better grades. Last school year I was always studying and working hard to get good grades on my test, but this year I feel like I have fell off that horse. I also need to get more sleep. I end up going home and taking a 2 hour nap and then I can’t sleep at night so by the time I am actually asleep it is already midnight. To study better I probably just need to put my phone down for a good hour or so and just look through some notes. To get more sleep I am going to stop taking naps and just try and go to sleep around 10 p.m. or somewhere around there. This week I can work on getting all my homework done on time (oh the irony) and try working on my sleep schedule. The only thing preventing me is myself and my phone. I’m just going to put my phone down for a good 2 hours a day and finish all the work that I have to do around the house and my homework.

Blog 11: Virtues Experiment gone wrong

Keeping track of the Virtues was the harder then actually trying to complete them. Doing multiple virtues at once is literally impossible. Also this being turned in late demonstrates a lack of industry. The virtues that I did not violate were: Chasity (surprised?), Cleanliness, Thankfulness, Justice, Fitness (I did a few push ups), Temperance, Sincerity, and Moderation. The virtues that were violated included: Frugality, Tranquility, Order, Industry, Resolution, Synergy, Humility.

Some of the easier virtues to not violate were the ones that everyone should already have such as Cleanliness, Thankfulness, and Justice. As I was definitely keeping track I noticed that Order seemed like it was easy to keep under control but alas human nature causes us to forget the small things that we had said we would do. Resolution also plays a big part in Order. We say we are going to finish something but then completely forget about it. Another easy one was Chasity, most of the time it is not that we won’t violate Chasity but it is that we CAN’T even if we tried. Enough said on that topic.

The ones that were violated weren’t just violated a little. I violated them knowing well that I was violating some virtues. Frugality was a debatable on. I spent some money on clothes but went a little over what I wanted to spend so that was controversial. I will forever violate Tranquility. I heard that small things lead to big things and I think that saying makes a little more sense then Tranquility. Everyone is bound to be out of Order occasionally. For me it is impossible to keep a certain order, I am all over the place throughout the day doing things that I didn’t plan on doing the day before. Industry is virtue that my generation excels at violating. Right now is great example. I am watching TV while writing this and thus wasting time instead of finishing this. I really wasn’t part of anything was bigger or more important than myself over the past week so that goes out the window. Humility is never going to not violated, I have an ego but not a giant one. I just recognize when my ego gets the best of and I know when to stop.

(The irony of this picture)

Blog #10: Why we still on poetry

I thought “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was a messy poem that made no sense whatsoever until one of group members figured out the meaning of structure. After getting insight on why the structure was how it was, I understood the poem a little more and felt that it made more sense.

When it comes to the theme, I am still a little confused. It did not seem like the author had a direct message that he was trying to get across. The only one that even moderately made sense was “Don’t get caught up in your own perfect world”.

I am honestly confused about a lot of stuff with this poem. The main thing is the theme, it is a big part of a poem and this poem does not state it clearly for the reader to understand. Also why was it structured so messy (If it wasn’t for the reason I stated earlier.)? The only connection that I really made was the one with the sirens. Comparing the “mermaid” sirens to the police sirens was pretty clever in my opinion.

Answering the Sound and Sense question for Eldarado was so much more easier then this. The theme was easier to decipher and understand. Finding elements of poetry and preforming a scansion was also much more easier.

Writing poetry had effected the way I read this by making this poem look like a second grader wrote it. A very smart second grader that understands the meaning of life to the point were it’s creepy. If I had not been writing poetry for the last few weeks, this poem would had sounded like nonsense and made no sense whatsoever. But alas, I have been writing poetry for a while now and thus this poem came out to me as very deep in a sense. I would have never thought of this poem to be about living in your own little world while the world around you is in chaos but it makes perfect sense that this what the poem is about. This author really did a nice job making it hard to understand but for those who understood it, it just made us go “ohhhhh”.

Blog on poetry

I still dislike poetry after all the reading and writing we have done in the past 2 weeks. All I have learned is how much work and thinking goes into writing poems. Writing poetry, if anything, has made me dislike poetry even more. The only satisfaction I got out of writing poetry was when I managed to make two words rhyme. Writing with requirements has in fact affected the way I look at poems written by others. Especially for the shorter ones, trying to put a theme and other aspects in a few stanzas was hard enough but for poems that 1 stanza it must be very hard. Not much changed in my understanding or thought process between my first and second poem. I had a little more trouble trying to think of lines for my second poem but that was about it. My second poem is about greed and money. It tells of the hardships one goes through trying to obtain money.

I think the easiest way to incorporate visual elements is the make a good story line within your poem. For me, I visualize the best when I am reading a good story that is easy to follow and interesting. Using words that trigger an image in the readers head is also a great way to help visually present your poem. Also using a word that the reader is not familiar with can cause the reader to think about it and thus visualizing that word with other lines from the poem. You can’t forget to add words that the reader would easily recognize and understand. This will help make up for the more difficult words by adding smaller words to assist the reader. Another way to incorporate images is to trigger childhood senses. Adding words, lines or even characters in the poem that many people have encountered in their childhood and help broaden the understanding of the poem. For example, stating a line or phrase from a Star Wars movie will most likely immediately make the reader understand what the author is getting at. Images can help the readers understanding of the poem boost 10 fold.

Poe was very depressed.

My general reaction to the poems we have read so far is one of mixed emotions. I thought poetry was boring and did not have any meaning but over the last few days, my opinion had changed. The poem that really opened up to me the most was El dorado. The overall theme of the poem is true life lesson (Do not waste your life trying to fulfill your greed.). The Raven didn’t really have any effect of me. It wasn’t a bad poem but it wasn’t a good poem either. I feel that it would have had a better effect on the people of the same time the poem was written. A poem that I read for one of our assignments (Bells by Edgar Allan Poe) was by far my favorite. It didn’t make much sense to me but if you “sing” the poem it sounds amazing. It sounds like something that would be played at an Inn on a cold winter night in the medieval times. It gets that warm Christmas feeling across to the reader or listener.

The analysis or El Dorado went somewhat smoothly, there were a few questions that were hard to answer. Most of it, like the theme, was pretty easy to analyze. Some of it, like finding the metaphors, was a little tricky. The stanza with the lines “Over the Mountains, Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,” was the hardest to analyze. I had no idea what “over the mountain” meant. “Down the Valley of the Shadow”, was a pretty easy phrase to understand.

My poem is going to be on food. One of the most essential things for any living being. I intend on making whoever reads it very hungry. I myself get very hungry when I am just sitting around and think about food. Fruits mostly have that affect on the most. A image of a juicy watermelon or mango could randomly pop into my mind and I would instantly having a craving. I am going to try and have an A,B,A,B pattern for my poem.


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