Blog 12: Thoreau’s Attempt

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This corona break has forced me to do something I thought I’d never do before… get caught up on all the work I procrastinated on. This was due Feb. 12th, but umm, better late than never I guess. But before I get into this, let me start off by saying… I really don’t understand what Emerson and Thoreau were trying to get at. So, please don’t roast me.

Since they were both transcendentalists, they both believed/ understood that they were more than just their physical self. They both understood that everything in this world is connected by Nature; or some sort of high power/ being. And by mentioning the fact that they knew they were far more than just another human being on Earth, they both wanted to better themselves, and would not stop until they died. With that being said, this kind of mindset was portrayed through their work. The main idea of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” is all about getting away from society, and being present in nature. If you are able to be present and in the moment in nature, you can take that time to find what your role in life really is. The The main idea of “The Conclusion” is life is what we make it out to be. If we chose to focus on the negative in life, that is how your life will seem. But, if we chose to view the positive over the negative, our life will only get better. The benefits of Thoreau’s experiment were it gave him the time and space he needed to self-reflect and grow as a person. And since he broke away from society, it taught him how to be self-reliant and what  it was like to really live in nature. I think if I were to do the experiment, the big ones I would miss would be the everyday human interaction and technology. I personally value my alone time because it gives me time to recharge. But, I do need some sort of interaction to keep me sane. And since technology plays such a big role in all of our lives, I would miss not being up to date 24/7. If the modern reader were to read some of the things we’ve read that have to do with Transcendentalism is that there is always more room to grow as a person

Blog 14: Read-entalism-tigo

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The book I am currently reading is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I have been reading this book since the beginning of the year… oops. Some of the highlights that I have read so far are when Will finally starts to have some respect for Lou; when he starts to treat and talk to her like a human being. Before, Will would not give Lou the time of day, some days he would not even bother to address her, or even look at her. Now, they are able to hold a conversation with some back and forth going on. Another highlight is when they go to the concert. At this point, it is obvious that they are both comfortable with each other. They got all dolled up, and the famous little scene where they are in front of each other, showing off what they look like. I do not really dislike anything too much about this book, it is not that bad. The only think that makes it less enjoyable is the fact that I already know what’s going to happen because I 1) saw the movie already and 2) heard spoilers about it even before I watched the movie. With that being said, it takes the effect away from me a little. But as far as the reading Friday’s are going and how much they affect my out-of-school reading goes… it has no effect really. If it wasn’t for the 15-20 minutes in class, I honestly would not bother to go out and try and find a book that I like and take the time to sit down and read it. I kind of liked the transcendentalism unit. Even though it was hella confusing, it was interesting to me to see that whole other perspective. It was cool to see a small glimpse of such a spiritually woke mindset. This made me look back on myself and my life a few times. It made me question was the thing/ situation I was stressed/ worrying about, even worth my time? My initial thoughts on the movie Vertigo… I was curious about the hype. I knew before that it was a movie that twisted people’s minds and had that cool effect, but when it talked about in class, it just made me more curious. But, now with this whole coronacation thing, I don’t know when we’re going to get back. I hope we still watch it.

Blog 13: Song of Myself

When I first read our section that we were assigned, I had no idea what Walt was trying to say and I was completely lost. All I could think about was what was the idea he was trying to get across. But taking in the whole Transcendentalist idea, it was easier to grasp. Also, the fact that Walt not only sees himself just in the form of a human being, but also as a part of nature and the universe, it was a little easier to try and figure out what he was talking about. The fact that Walt is so devoted to Transcendentalism, in my opinion, makes his writing pretty optimistic. He knows that in this vast universe, we are basically insignificant. With that being said, all of the little day-to-day concerns that goes on in your life, aren’t all that important. I think with that mindset that he has, he can truly focus on bettering himself. He expressed in the poem that some days, he got caught up/ too involved in those little concerns, but then he would catch himself doing so, and return to that transcendentalist state of mind. With Transcendentalism, it makes you look far beyond the “big picture” and this reflected in his work. It is an interesting point of view to be able to look through even when you’re not invested in Transcendentalism how Walt was. I think it really makes you think of what is truly important and what you should be focusing your energy/time on. I think one of the most important lines in our section is “Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with linguists and contenders,…” I like this line a lot because (the way I interpreted it) it means before he started really investing himself in the idea of transcendentalism, he would find himself getting caught up in the day to day problems that were not worth his time. But, when he really started focusing on himself and bettering himself, he realized that all those little problems do not matter. And yes, there were days he would get too wrapped up, but we’re human. It impossible to do everything perfect, but he noticed that and now reflects and learns from that

Blog 11: Argumentative Reflection

In the beginning of the project, I was against the side that I’m arguing for. I thought that it was actually a good, nice idea that everyone got a $15 minimum wage. But now, with doing all this research and actually knowing more than my own opinion/ bias, I agree with the fact that raising minimum wage is not a good idea at all. Now, that we did this unit, I am starting to think about some ways to win an argument, rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to my head. Before, most of the little arguments I was in was full of little attacks on the person instead of the actual topic that was being fought over about. I think when people get caught up in the moment, obviously these terrible argumentative skills/ tactics are still going to be used. But, now that we all know a little bit more about how to truly win an argument, that will run across our mind before just saying whatever runs out of our mouths. If I am being honest, the way I argue is pretty pathetic I-. I do NOT think of things to say before hand and let words just come out of my mouth if I think it is going to add to the argument, not really worrying too too much on whether it would help my side. I definitely think of arguing differently and did not really think of how all these little factors go into having a perfect argument. It was kind of cool learning about the subtle things you do like talking louder/ with more confidence and molding what you are going to say pertaining to your audience will win them over. Or, no matter how good your argument can be, it still might not win over the audience just because of their personal opinion they had on that topic beforehand. Even though I learned more things about ‘the art of arguing’, I still had a hard time coming up with what I was going to say. I over thought a lot of thinks when I should have just put info down, and then make adjustments.

Bog 10: Topic Selection and First Thoughts

My topic for debate is on minimum wage. I have the con side and I have to argue why minimum wage should stay the way it is. I’m not really on either side. I would like it to go up because when I get a job of my own, earning fifteen dollars a hour, would be really nice. But, I also know the down sides if minimum wage would be raised, so I don’t really have too strong of an opinion for what side I would have to argue for. I honestly did not know all that much about it before looking into it. Really, the only thing I could think of before looking into this topic was that the minimum wage in PA is $7.25 a hour and I knew that depending on what state you are in, it could be higher or lower. When I researched my topic a little, some things I found were that taxes payments would not rise if the minimum wage stayed untouched. Another thing I found, was that if minimum wage was raised to fifteen dollars, it would increase poverty and hurt the poorest areas in the US. Also, work benefits will fall as a result of higher incomes. Honestly, the logical approach I would take it the information I found by just looking it up and what I mentioned just a sentence ago. I think that would be my logical argument. The emotional approach I would do is by saying, so me researchers say that raising minimum wage causes job losses. Also, even though this does not apply to all cases, many of those who make minimum wage are not actually poor. If it is us demanding that minimum wage should be raised, it is going to be us that are paying. The argument is we want people all over to be able to afford a proper meal, but the moment that that money- coming from our wallets, is being used to help feed all those people, that crosses the line. So instead, we make people who employ low skilled workers take it out of their paycheck.

Blog 9: Virtues Experiment

In the very beginning, before I started the experiment, I did not think it was going to be that bad. I thought that I could follow the virtues my group came up with pretty easily. But, oh my god.. I was WRONG. I knew that I had no self control… but actually seeing what that looks like… and being able to visualize what it looks like surprised me a lot. I am definitely going to ramble on here because most of the time, I don’t even know what I am going to say and just usually wing it and hope for the best. So, with that being said, let me tell you about my week. Wednesday was not too bad. I definitely said some stupid stuff that I could have kept in my mouth but most of it was for conversations/ entertainment. You know, that sort of thing. Thursday was a little rougher for me. It also felt off and the vibe was off. It definitely felt like a Friday and the week was dragging. I wanted the week to be over already and for break to start. I was worried about something stupid too and so I had to ask for some advice from my friends. They helped a lot which was nice. One of the nice thin gs about Thursday is that a few of my friends and I were planning on doing gift exchanges on Friday. But, like everything, I waited to do it last minute… just like this blog. But even though I had to cram everything in last minute with getting their gifts around, I enjoyed doing it. For their gifts, they all got cookies that I baked of, and that is where it started going down hill for me. I had made a few dozen and then gave a little pack for my bus driver. That made me feel good, but I ate a lot of cookies that night when I baked them off. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they slapped, but I definitely violated temperance that night. I felt good about Friday, but when I looked down at my chart, I noticed I violated a ton compared to the last 2 days. I was shocked because I felt good about that day. It was the last day before break, plus a half day… but I ended up violating around five more virtues then the other days! Sunday and Monday were not too bad other than, of course, temperance and industry.

I noticed that I am an extremely unorganized person and that I can not keep my stuff organized to save my life. I would look around on my desk or my room, and it would be clean one minute and gross the next? I had to clean up a couple of times, but I guess I would let things pile up and then ended up cleaning things up once again. Cleanliness was by FAR the easiest one to follow; easy money. Staying clean and keeping up with proper hygiene take almost no effort and I was NOT about to marinate in my own filth. Over all, even though I definitely failed the experiment, I didn’t think it was that bad and I can see why Franklin did it. Anyway, that’s that. I’m turning this in very late but what’s new.

 

Blog 8: The End of Poetry

 

My first impression of the poem, The Dodo’s Conundrum, was wack at first. When I first read it on my own, I didn’t understand it at all. I was confused by the meaning/ point behind the poem. Since I did not understand it, I obviously did not like it. I had to read it a couple more times to start getting the hint of what it was trying to say. Also, watching the little short film in class was helpful when trying to think of what the poem was trying to say. What I got from the theme is that no matter how hard you try, some times things won’t work out as planned. The author built up this perfect, little world. I think they were searching for control that they could not seem to get in the real world. His little world that he made up is so clean and uniform compared to the messy, sloppy free verse which is there to represent the real world. The sound and sense questions were not easy to answer in my opinion. Well, the very beginning was hard for me to come up with answers because I was still figuring out what was c=going on in the poem and what it was trying to tell. But once I figured out kind of what it was talking about, t was not too bad answering the questions. I thought it was harder to questions from this poem compared to Eldorado. Just like Eldorado, I felt bad for the character, this time a dodo instead of a knight. You try so hard for something you desire and crave so much, but in the end, will always fall through

Blog 7: Poetry

To be honest, poetry lowkey kind of slaps. When McGarry first announced we were going to start getting into poetry, I was like “ok imma head out” because all my past experiences with poetry sucked. Either I did not understand the poem, the poem was stupid, or I would be bias because I’ve heard other people’s opinions on it and that molded how I looked at poetry. Also, in middle school. I barely remember reading poetry or spending an actual unit/ chapter on it, if anything. When we first started getting into poetry and did the poetry search, I was shocked. I did not just come across 1 or 2 poems that I liked, I found several that actually affected me in some way. The book that I chose that was filled with poems was called ‘Good Poems’ by Garrison Keillor and no joke, I’m actually thinking about putting that on my Christmas list. I was able to find a good number of poems that I really enjoyed. I thought ‘Eldorado’ was ok actually. It’s not one of my favorites that I’ve read so far, but it was not god awful either. I thought it was a little sad and I felt bad for the knight. All he wanted was to find the land of Eldorado and searched for it his whole life, but never found it. It sounded really hopeful in the beginning too, and as you read it, you can slowly see that hope fade away. And even though doing that analysis worksheet was annoying, it really did help me understand the poem better. Poetry is not too bad. There is definitely some rough poetry for sure, but not all of it is rough and hard to understand. I never thought that I would lowkey like poetry and actually be into it. Before poetry was always so forced on us even if we did not understand it. No wonder we did not want anything to do with it. It’s hard to like something when you don’t even know what’s going on. And so, overall, poetry for me is kind of good.

Blog 6: Finishing my story

When I first started writing out my story, I initially planned my story  to take place in Pinedale, Wyoming. I knew that I didn’t want my story top take place in Pennsylvania. I also knew that I wanted my story to take place in a little town. When I first looked up pictures of Pinedale, it was really cute and small. I also had my main characters just getting out of school, and started the actual story in summer break, but then I wanted them to be in a snowy climate. I didn’t want to have to rush my story to try to get through the seasons so I could have a snowy climate, so I decided to pick a totally different state. Since I wanted a snowy climate to start off in, I picked a little town in Colorado called Breckenridge. It looked like something in Hallmar to be honest and I loved it. It had mountains all around it and all the little shops in the town were lit up (during the evening/night) It looked like a winter wonderland and that was perfect because that kind of feeling is perfect for my characters to start off in. I kind of like my story but one of the few things that I do not really like about it is that I feel like it is rushed a bit. I introduced my main characters when they were in elementary school and had to tell their history all the way up to their mid 20s. I always wanted to try and make sure there was a good amount of detail, but did not want to have too much because it would get boring and go nowhere. As far as the The Devil and Tom Walker story goes, it didn’t really affect my story a whole lot. It maybe gave me some inspiration to form my story, but not that much.

IR/ Reading 5

The element I can take from Me Before You and work it into my story is the fact that Will pushes people away when he gets close to them. In the book, Will decides he’s going to run away from his problems because not dealing with them is easier than having to face them. He can’t actually run away because well, he is paralyzed from the neck down, but he takes an alternative way to not have to deal with his situation. I am going to take this kind of ” running away ” idea and incorporate it into my story. I was thinking to kind of base it off of The Office and when Jim ran away to Stamford to try and shut his feelings down for Pam because he could not stand watching Roy and Pam together. In my story, I am going to have ” Pam” and ” Jim” childhood best friends that grow up together. I am going to make the ” Jim” in my story decide to go to a different college than “Pam” to try and shut down his feelings for her because he can’t stand to watch “Pam” fall for another guy. He also does not want to lose the really strong friendship that they have and make things weird and awkward between the two of them. If “Jim” would decide to set his cards all out on the table like actual Jim in The Office did but failed, he would end up losing his best friend and soulmate all at the same time and he is just not willing to take that kind of big risk. I chose this because I am going to try and somehow make some character development throughout the story and thought this could be a good way to get the ball rolling.