the life of lex :)

just another bloomsburg hs blog

read-entalism

my book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

how long: A few weeks

highlights: The way a dog thinks and fits into a family and recovering from grief

likes/dislikes

I do not dislike this book at all. It is a very easy read, and I like how the book was written from the dog’s, Enzo, point of view. I think the storyline is good, while sad, it highlights the relationship between a man and his dog, and the life changes they endure together.

weekly reading

The weekly reading periods that we’ve been given are the only times I read. I do like to read, and over the summer I’ll often read a good bit, but during the school year it is hard to find time to fit in a book.

my take aways- transcendentalism 

What I’ve taken away from the reading of the poem “Song of Myself” is an even stronger dislike for philosphy and poetry. Unless assigned, I will never pick up a piece of writing by Walt Whitman, or anything that contains direct relation to transcendentalism and philosophy. I find the overall sense of religion in transcendentalim extremely outdated for these modern times, as christianity is no longer the center of all people’s lives. I think transcendentalism is a mishmosh of common sense and wishful thinking, and I would prefer not to read about it again.

vertigo

My initial thoughts are just hoping that I won’t hate it or want to scratch out my eyes. The count of times I have enjoyed things in this class are slim to none, and I’m hoping for a diamond in the rough. I learned that the film is one that messes with your mind, and contains elements of horror, so it sounds promising. I also know that the film had a well credited cast and director, so the product I would presume is rather good. I’m anticipating the whole essay will be rather difficult. I’m not really certain what exactly a “critique essay” constitutes, but it does not sound pleasant. I have a feeling keeping opinion out of critisizing something will be extremely difficult, as I am a very opionated person.

 

 

 

 

 

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transcendentalism- “Song of Myself”

my thoughts

My intitial reaction to “Song of Myself” was dislike and confusion. The poem talked about random things that in my eyes did not pertain to any message he was trying to portray. I think that the work is definitely much longer and drawn out with way too much fluff to be even remotely practical. While Whitman wanted to talk about concepts of a human and the mind, he failed to realize that most human minds can’t understand a word he wrote down. I am a very literal person, and Whitman wrote a very metaphorical and symbolic piece.

my section

My group was assigned section three. The section seems to discuss the “unchange” in concepts from the past to the present, and does not want people to dwell on any such time period. It also discusses the concepts of self, and the way one should try to think. I find the section less confusing as some others, but still do not comprehend most of the things he is trying to say.

whitman and transcendentalism

Whitman’s devotion to transcendentalism shows prominently in his writing. He is so devoted that it seems to be some sort of obssession, especially if it caused him to want to write a long, multi section piece on it. He talks a lot about the concepts of the mind, the body, and the soul. He seems to be extremely emersed in the culture of transcendentalism, and probably uses the concepts of his own life.

lines

“But I do not talk of the beginning or the end” (line 2), I think is important because it talks about comparing the past to the future, and living in the present. I also think line ten,“Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.”, is important because it talks about the connection of life between things, about being one and the “same”.  

difficulties

I am having extreme difficulty when it comes to understanding what Whitman is trying to say. I am a very literal person, and most times I have trouble interpreting his many metaphors and symbols.

 

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transcendentalism excerpts

connections 

There are two connections between Emerson’s work and Thoreau’s Attempt that stuck out to me. Both authors or “transcendentalists” believe that oneself is the one in charge of their own life, and that nature is absolute and purposeful. Both excerpts stress that man is the one in charge of their own, and that decisions are to be made by them to live the way they live. They both also talk about escaping to nature to live a “purposeful” life, and that being out there will help one find their clarity.

main idea of the first portion of Where I Lived and What I Lived For

I think the main idea of the first portion of the excerpt was to show how a “home” or a place you live is nothing without the nature or land around it. It discusses how the character doesn’t need to purchase a home to live purposefully, and so he chooses not to.

main idea of “The Conclusion” of Where I Lived and What I Lived For

The main purpose of the conclusion of the excerpt is to discuss what the character took away from living in the woods away from society.

benefits and my thoughts on living in the woods

I believe that there are probably many benefits to living in the woods. You are away from society’s influence, and truly make your own decisions without input and pressure from other people. All of your life decisions would have a “purpose”, and that would be to stay alive and find peace in your new wild habitat. On the other side, there are definitely cons to living away from society, like the risk of losing valuable social skills. Personally, if I were to attempt this experiment I would not last a day. I would miss the company of other people too much. While I value alone time, I know I have the option to go talk to someone if I so choose.

things to take away

The modern reader could take away the surface idea of clearing their mind in nature, and they can also take away the idea of doing things with purpose, rather than simply just doing.

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argumentative reflection

my thoughts (the beginning)

In the beginning of this unit, I knew a truly “good” argument required research and background knowledge. I knew people generalize quickly, and assume things to be true.

the way i argue

I tend to know quite a bit about whatever I am arguing about, but I dislike it so much I tend to just let the other person go, “win”, just so the conversation can be over.

my experience

I had a very easy time writing up my argument, as I would like to think that I am fairly good at writing. Research also comes easy to me, and I can sit down and do it without a problem. When it came down to my actual debate, my mentality of “just get it over with” definitely took hold, and I did not care if I won or lost, I just wanted to stop argung with Jack and go back and sit in my seat.

what did i learn

I learned you have to listen very closely to what the other person says, and be able to pick it apart on your feet. Watching other people debate definitely helped, as it gave you an idea of what to expect and what not to do. Like never say “I think”, and make sure you have information to back up any statement you make.

the best?

I don’t think I can pick a “best debate”. We haven’t gone through everyone yet, and most people are also extremely inexperienced. Many people spoke so quietly I had no idea what their side even was, or they were so unprepared it was hardly an argument at all. This goes for me as well, as I had no idea what I was doing.

peers vs adults

I don’t think the way my peers argue is that much different than tactics of adults. While adults have more experience, they also assume they know things, just as much as a teenager.

my thoughts (now) 

Organizing a debate required even more work than I thought. While I did know it took research, finding sources for your side without fallacies was a challenge in itself. I have a lot of respect for people who enjoy this kind of thing, but it is definitely not for me.

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debate topic

what is my topic?

The topic that I drew for the class debate is Technology in Eduction

the position

I pulled the “pro” side of the argument. This was lucky, as my own personal opinion is also in support of the use of technology in education.

what i know

I know that some people are against the use of technology in education, with the fear that it may become a distraction or inhibit better learning. For those in support, they want it to be used because technology is fastly improving and becoming extremely present in the modern world, and they believe that technology should be used in school to better prepare students for the future. Not only that, technology provides access to educational programs and articles that without would not be able to be utilized.

google search results

When the phrase “Technology in Education” is entered into google, many articles pop up. Many of the top links support the use of technology or simply state facts in regards to the topic. Almost all of these top page links are very reliable and present research and facts.

logical

My logical approach to arguing this topic will most certainly be as a result of research. I plan to find as many facts from reliable sources as I can, and present them in my arguement.

ethical

There are a few possible ethical issues that come up with the use of technology in education. Some of the most prominent are exposure to non-educational material, net communication, and cyber-bullying. With any type of technology, the ability to communicate with other people in some way is very plausible. This can be dangerous for young children

emotional

There are many emotions one could call into play for this argument, but the ones I am going to pull into it are the maternal ones. Even when you’re not a parent, it is a natural want that a child or young person succeeds. So, I will be talking about how technology is the future, and if you want you child as prepared as they can be, the use of technology is important.

 

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franklin’s virtues- my results

what were my 15 virtues?

My groups fifteen virtues consisted of (not in any order):

Resolution, Acceptance, Thankfulness, Loyalty, Humility, Tranquility, Frugality, Chasity, Temperance, Moderation, Sincerity, Justice, Industry, Order, and Cleanliness.

the beginning

In the beginning of this experiment, results were much easier to keep track of since we were still in school. There was constant reminder to keep track of our virtues, and hence, results were probably much more accurate. My most commonly failed virtues were sincerity and industry. This was because I often found myself saying small things like, “I’ll work on it during study hall”, only to get to study hall and not do it. Industry goes along with this because rather than doing what I said I would do, I was sitting on my phone or chatting with friends. As I’m typing this, I realize this violates resolution as well, so I will have to go back and add dashes to my chart.

experiment over break

My over break results were not only extremely consistent, but probably not as accurate as they could have been. I failed to go into google classroom and pull up my chart every day to record results. In fact, it completely slipped my mind until Friday night, when I decided to put it off again until tonight, Saturday, when I finally had the resolution to type this blog up. But, while my results may have all been recorded at the same time, I still think doing this test over break made my results more consistent. Break allowed me more free time, causing industry to become a front runner in my failed virtues. Following industry came resolution and sincerity, who’s fails are solely caused by my putting off of this project. Sincerity dashes were recorded when I verbally expressed when I said I would complete this assignment and did not, and resolution dashes were added when I both verbally expressed or mentally. I did fail temperance twice, on Christmas Eve and the 26th, for overeating. I also failed tranquility on Christmas Eve, and I will readily admit it was because my hair was not behaving how I wanted it to. There were a few other odds and ends on the chart, but this was the brunt of the results.

the experiment itself

I think the experiment itself could definitely use some fine tuning. For more accurate results, you should also have someone else rate your failures, as this whole project is based on personal opinion. I also think it should not have been conducted over a break. While it may up the risk of failing more diverse virtues, it would make results more accurate if they were recorded over a school week. Over a school week would show more of your day to day life than over a holiday break, especially because with the reminders at school kids would be more likely to record results every day.

the ethical implications

If someone had actively thought about the experiment and completed it more thoroughly than I did, it may have had one seriously question how they act, think, and what they say on a daily basis. It would probably have an extremely positive affect on the treatment of people around them.

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end of poetry unit- my thoughts

The Dodo’s Conundrum

My thoughts on “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was that it may possibly be one of the most unnecessarily complicated poems ever written. I have not been able to figure out anything in regards to the theme. The only part I understand is that the stanzas that follow a form are representing a model world, and that the free verse ones represent the real world. Almost the whole work is confusing. I have no idea what the author’s purpose for writing it was, or what the theme is meant to be. My questions about it are what is the theme? With a theme maybe I would understand it more. Another question I have is what all is an allusion and what isn’t? What do some of the words even mean? While the footnotes helped with some, others probably went right over my head. While I appreciate the effort put into this strange piece of literature, I do not appreciate having to dissect it. The sound and sense questions were harder. This poem is much longer and messier than Eldorado, and there is more clutter to go through to even find the answers to the questions.

The affect of writing poetry

Writing poetry has not affected the way I read and analyze poetry. All of my poems are easy and straightforward, and there is no question as to what they are about. The poems I am forced to read in class are overly complicated, with too many parts that distract rather than add to the theme in my opinion. If you have a message to get across, just say it. If anything, reading and writing poetry has only caused me to become agitated and annoyed.

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poetry- my opinions

An intro…

Poetry is not for everyone, and it is most certainly still not for me. While one can appreciate music, or have rhythm in their body, poetry is it’s own thing altogether. Poems come in all lengths and cover all kinds of topics, they can rhyme or not rhyme, they contain many examples of figurative language, and may even allude to other significant events. Some even come written in a format that is a shape.

The poems we’ve read…

When it comes to the poems I’ve read in class, I have only liked one. “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost is a great poem, and easily understood. The theme is easily conveyed, and the choosing of paths is a common metaphor for life, used in many stories, movies, and speeches. As for the others, whose themes you have to go looking for, I would really prefer to let their words in peace, and not go through an extensive process to find a meaning, which may not even be intended but accidental.

Eldorado by Edgar Allen Poe 

The poem Eldorado by Edgar Allen Poe is an interesting poem. It is a story about a knight looking for a mythical city made of gold. Eldorado, the title, is an allusion to the actual historical belief held by conquistadors that the native peoples were hiding an entire city made of gold, dubbed Eldorado. Many of these men would spend their whole lives searching for this city, only to be left disappointed in the end. If you’re looking for what could be a simple story but actually has hidden meanings, this is a poem for you. I, personally, prefer to be able to read something once, understand it perfectly, and move on.

Poetry overall…

My original opinion on poetry (posted in google classroom) still stands. It can be nice to read, probably even soothing, if you weren’t made to analyze and find meaning in almost every individual word. So, props to those who find the scansion process enjoyable, and feel successful rather than relieved after tearing apart these small pieces of literature.

My final statement.

Poetry sucks and that’s all there is to it.

 

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finishing my story

Has it changed?

There are many differences between my initial concept and the existing product. My initial concept seemed more like a movie in my head, but when it came to writing it it seemed virtually impossible. So, as I started writing, I slowly took things out. For example, a few minor conflicts were removed. My character no longer argues with her parents and doesn’t have any public political outbursts, as well as instead of the main character being elected as head of the WEB, one of her best friend’s is instead.

My thoughts…

I think my story is a decent story. It is easy to understand, there is no ambiguity. That’s also what I like about it. No frivolous figurative language, nothing to analyze, just a straight forward story. The one thing I don’t like about it is the fact that it is very predictable, as well as slightly cheesy towards the end of the main conflict.

Influence

The short story, “The Devil and Tom Walker”, made me hate having to write this story. In fact, it probably completely ruined short stories for me. Because I hated it so much, it did influence my writing style. My story is everything that “The Devil and Tom Walker” is not. My story is easy to read and does not have a single thing you need to over-analyse, whereas “The Devil and Tom Walker” has something you have to pick apart every sentence. In my opinion, there is nothing enjoyable about that at all.

As for my independent reading book, “before i fall”, it has only slightly influenced my own story. The only inspiration I pulled from the book was the first person point of view. Like “before i fall”, my whole story is also a recollection of events that my character lived through, up until the current moment in time.

 

 

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imitation in my story

The main element I am going to pull from “before i fall” and incorporate into my story is the point of view. The novel is told from a first person point of view, and through that person you are still able to see information on other people and the past events in their life. The main character in “before i fall”, Sam Kingston, also thinks back to past events in her life, and my whole short story is going to be a flashback. The tense will switch from being current, to the main character, Delilah Stevens, rehashing the history behind her current state, and the final moments will be back in the current time.

I am also pulling some inspiration from the story we read for summer work, “Mono no aware”. That story was also about the human race moving into space, and that is part of the basis for mine. I am not copying that on purpose, it was brought to my attention after I had spoken to my table during class. The differences will be the reasoning behind the move and the country and culture to which the character belongs.

There is also inspiration from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. The main character in the series, Tris, has a biological difference that is illegal, and she must keep it a secret from the government. My character also has an illegal difference in her make, and if it is found out it would cost her her career, and quite possibly her parents status. This similarity can also be noted in the book “The Giver”, where a government has changed it’s people to be the same, and one is different.

I would consider my short story to be in the genre science fiction, because it incorporates change to the biological make up of humans, as well as it being based in space.

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