I am currently reading a book called They Both Die at the End. I actually just started reading the book on Friday. It’s interesting from what I’ve read so far, it’s set in a world where people get a call telling them they are going to die that day. They don’t say when or how though. It’s kinda written in like a diary type way. I can’t really say what I like or dislike about the book because I’ve barely read it. The times we have been reading on Friday haven’t really encouraged me to read at all. I only read on those Fridays because we have to. I thought that our chapter on transcendentalism was interesting. It was kind of hard for me to understand at first, but I thought the ideas were really interesting. Like, how humans always strive for perfection even though it’s unachievable and how we can’t make anything perfect because we ourselves are imperfect. I think I understood a lot about “Song of Myself” but not a lot at the same time. Like, I get the main concept that we should strive to become better people and I understood the sections my group did, but I feel like there were a lot of specific things in other sections that I missed or were confused about. I’m interested in what exactly is going to happen in the film like of course it’s going to be about a girl with Vertigo, but what is going to happen? Well in the initial research assignment I learned about what the disease vertigo is and the symptoms of it. Also, the genre of psychological horror and how it’s different from regular horror. Well, I don’t think it’s affected my thinking about the movie at all. I already knew it was gonna be about the disease. The most difficult part of the film critique will probably be keeping my opinion out of the critique and probably just actually writing it because well I don’t know the difference between me stating my opinion and a film critique? What are the criteria for a good movie?
My initial impression and reaction to the work was confusion, nervousness, and doubt because I am never good at analyzing poetry. When we were learning about poetry, everything I thought a poem would mean would either be wrong or there would be a lot more to the poem than I thought there was. So, yeah, I’m nervous to analyze this poem. My initial thoughts on the section our group was assigned was that ours was going to be the hardest to do because they’re the very two last sections and we don’t have time to go through and figure out what every other section means before ours because the presentation is due on Monday. Whitman’s devotion to Transcendentalism affects his writing because obviously if he is devoted to that topic he is going to write about it more. Whether that be a whole poem about it or having little things that connect to it in his poems. That’s what humans do. They either write about things they really like or they write about things that they really dislike, there is usually no in between. I feel like lines 3 through 12 from section 51 are going to be fairly important. Mostly because that section has the only two lines that have parentheses. Also, because during this seems to be the only part where Whitman is talking to the readers. The parentheses are exactly what are group is having trouble with at the moment we know what the parentheses don’t mean, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what they do mean. I also feel like it’s going to be tough to find pictures that add something to the poem and our explanation. It’s really hard for me to analyze poems in general and the fact that we are getting graded on the number of misinterpretations we have is really stressful. It’s even harder because these are the last two sections of the poem and we don’t really have time to get context from all the other sections so, that is also adding to my stress. I just hope that our group does well and that I don’t drag the group down.
In “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, the mangoes and starts to live in the woods on Independence Day. This is the day where the man becomes self-reliant and one of nature’s inhabitants. This can be connected to Emerson’s works “Nature” and “Self-Reliance.” “Self-Reliance” is really easy to connect because the man is going to live by himself in the woods and it becomes even easier to connect because in the story the man moves out on Independence Day. Emerson’s “Nature” is about how nature is important and that man and nature should live together in harmony. This connects to “Where I Lived and What I Lived for” because the man is going out to live in the woods and has to use the nature around him to live. The main idea of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” is about inner fulfillment and living independently. In the first portion of “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, the man says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” which is what helped me get to my conclusion. The main point of “The Conclusion” is that you should live your life and be happy about your life. It says things like, “Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights”, which is what made me think that that is the main point of “The Conclusion.” The benefits of Thoreau’s leaving behind society to live in the woods experiment could be that the person learns to become more independent. It could also be that it helps the person find themself. It might even help a person get over a fear of being alone. If I had to do this I would miss just about everything. My house, my family, my friends, dogs, etc. I don’t think I would be able to do this. If I was forced to do it, I would probably end up powering through it, but I just think I would be so mentally exhausted. I am so paranoid. I would be thinking the whole time that something is gonna come and kill me or I’m going to eat something poisonous, etc. I feel like what modern readers should take out what we have been talking about is to be more independent, not just with people but also with things like technology. Also, to take better care of nature and our planet, which is very relevant right now with climate change.
I feel like everyone argues differently based on the environment we are in. Like, when I had to debate in front of the class I was scared out of mind and could barely breathe. The whole class probably just thought that I was really bad at arguing/debating, but that’s not really true. The topic was uncomfortable to talk about, I was debating for the side I don’t agree with, and I was being graded for it. All the pressure just made by debate seem really bad, but if I’m debating for a side I agree with, with my friends, and it’s not for a grade, I am significantly more confident it’s like I’m a different person. I imagine that for some people it’s the same thing, for others they’re able to just fake their confidence, and that some people are just good at debating whenever with whoever. Even though my side really had more arguments about why assisted suicide shouldn’t be legal, it was about religion and I didn’t want to bring religion into my argument because I didn’t think using religion would help convince my audience. Also, considering the fact that my opponent could have simply said: “Well not everyone believes in that religion.” So, I tried to simply just go with facts, things from studies or surveys, but that still didn’t end up working out. My opponent went an ethical and emotional route saying that families could say their goodbyes and how it could stop peoples’ pain. Even though he didn’t have that many facts his rebuttal was great and that’s probably why he won (Not actually sure if he won. I’m just assuming because I was terrible). Now I know that arguing has a lot to do with psychology. It doesn’t matter if you have facts or not. If one person seems more confident than the other person, people are going to think that person one even if the results were close or even the exact same. Developing my speech was hard. I knew that everything I found could be brought down in some way, but I needed an argument that was 3-4 minutes long so I kept things in that I probably shouldn’t have. From watching the other debates, I learned that I am incredibly bad at public speaking. This whole blog is basically just me talking about how bad I am. I don’t know why, but for this debate, in particular, I was significantly more anxious than usual. I mean I could barely breathe for crying out loud. This whole experience for me was like the most horrible and stressful roller coaster. I knew right when I got my topic and side that I was going to lose. Then, I spent forever trying to find stuff that could work. I had several breakdowns over the course of doing this debate. When it got closer to my debate day all I thought was that it doesn’t matter if I lose I just have to not fail and right after I debated I felt like I failed. This was probably the worst project I have had to do in my life and I am NOT exaggerating it was horrible. I think the best debate so far was the one about Free State College Tuition. They both seemed prepared and were calm, both their rebuttals were good, and I really couldn’t tell who won.
My topic for the debate is assisted suicide. I have to debate for the con side. This is not my personal opinion on the topic. I believe that it should be legal. If a person is at the end of their life and they are in so much pain and are suffering then I think they should have the choice of whether or not they want to die. I know what assisted suicide is, where a doctor helps a patient pass. I that many people that disagree with the topic are religious and that suicide is considered a sin. I know that one of the reasons the people support assisted suicide say that as you get older it gets harder to do enjoyable things in life. With a basic google search, the definition of assisted suicide comes up, where it is legal (Montana, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. and the District of Columbia), and that physicians cannot be prosecuted for prescribing medications to accelerate death. For a logical approach, I have read about how only 0.2% of the population was using assisted suicide because of a terminal illness and that sometimes the medication given doesn’t always work. 1,186 people took the drug out of 1,857 and seven of them regained consciousness after taking the drug while one of them was still alive. An ethical approach could be that it goes against the code of healing and that it could force doctors to perform the act without their consent. The role of a doctor is to be a healer and assisted suicide completely goes against that. Some doctors believe that when the healing of the patient is no longer possible finding a way to relieve there suffering should be the priority. An emotional approach that I could take is that when a younger person takes there own life it is terrible and society is trying to figure out a way to stop that so why does it matter if the person is older and a doctor is giving them medication to purposely die? The emotions that I could bring into play are definitely sensitive. There are many approaches to the argument that I could take, but the best arguments have all three so I will try to incorporate all of them into the debate.
This experiment basically what I expected it was going to be like. Of course, I wasn’t going to be perfect the whole time and it was winter break so I wasn’t really in the mood to try and be perfect. I forgot that I even had to fill in the chart most of the days. So, there are some red dots for resolution. I didn’t have any important tasks to do over break so I really couldn’t put in any dots. I also really couldn’t put it any dots for humility because there wasn’t anything that I could brag about. I didn’t have to worry about frugality because it was close to Christmas and I was already getting stuff anyway. I had to put in a red dot for temperance on Christmas because I ate until I felt sick. Of course, there are zero red dots for chastity. Independence and cleanliness were easy to maintain. The virtue that I got the most red dots on was tranquility. Almost all of the dots were because I got annoyed that I even had to do this experiment and fill in the chart. One of the red dots is there because I got annoyed that I couldn’t beat one level of a game that I was playing. So, I learned that I get annoyed very easily and that I forget a lot of the things that I need to do during the break because most teachers don’t give out work during the break so I don’t really think about it. The ethical implications of doing a study like this could be that a person might become more self-conscious. Actually seeing how much you violate each virtue and seeing how imperfect you are could cause someone to feel less confident. People could also become frustrated with themselves for not being more perfect. Also, even deciding what a “perfect person” is, would be extremely difficult. If you asked everyone what the perfect person is everyone’s would be different. People might have some that are in common, but there are a lot of things people would disagree with (ex: Vegans might say the perfect person wouldn’t eat meat; Christians might say the perfect person must be Christian). It is just too hard to get everyone to agree. Even though our class didn’t do the actual experiment I would imagine it would be quite difficult. Having to try and become a master at one virtue each week for thirteen weeks sounds terrible. How would you even decide if you become a “master” at the virtue? Some people might not ever think they mastered a virtue or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, some people might think that they have become a master when they clearly haven’t. I feel like there are too many things that people would disagree on and that it would be hard to figure out when someone is “perfect.” What would be the point of doing this experiment? Not everyone would want to do it so, what would be the point of being the only perfect person in the world?
My first impression of “The Dodo’s Conundrum” was that the format of it was interesting. The way it switched from a ballad to free verse every stanza. I feel like I figured out a lot. I feel like I’ve figured out what the theme is, how the stanzaic form and free verse show the theme, some of the allusions and symbols. Some of the allusions and symbols I’m still a little confused about. I think I could know what it’s supposed to mean, but I’m not one-hundred percent sure. Like, the line from “The Red Wheelbarrow.” I’m not sure what it’s supposed to add to this poem. I think some of the Sound and Sense questions were easier to answer, but not all of them. I felt like I understood this poem a little bit more than Eldorado. For this poem, again I wasn’t sure about some of the symbols and allusions, so I didn’t know exactly how to answer questions about them. I feel like this class has affected the way I read a poem a lot. I used to just not really think about what different things could mean while reading a poem. I also wouldn’t really try to read poems with a rhythm. Now I do both of those things and I subconsciously try to figure out how many syllables are in a line while I’m trying to read it. I also feel like I can just analyze poems better as a whole. I used to be confused as to why one thing meant this bigger thing that helps you understand the theme of the poem. I feel like I understand it now.
Out of all the poems that we have read, I think that I liked Eldorado the most. I think I liked it because I understood it the best. The other poems we read as a class were just parts of the poem and not the whole poem so, I don’t think I can say if I liked or disliked any of those poems. I didn’t really like any of the poems that I found on my own. I just thought both of them were fine. That they were just more poems that I had to read. I didn’t find them to be that interesting. I liked Eldorado a lot more than the other poems. I guess it helped that you read it out loud because then it was easier the figure out the rhythm. I figured out the importance of the shadows and how they switch meanings every stanza. I also got the meaning of the poem very easily. I feel like I got the theme of the poem or I at least hope I got the theme of the poem. I think I just like poetry that’s easy because I don’t like to be wrong. I don’t hate poetry anymore. I don’t love poetry now like I’m gonna read poetry on my own. We haven’t written any poetry yet and I hope it stays that way. I may not hate reading poetry anymore, but I will probably still hate writing my own. Writing poetry is still my worst nightmare. I can analyze other people’s poetry, but I don’t think I could write a good poem by myself. Poetry is not the “monster” anymore and I’m actually very surprised about it. I hated poetry so much before this and teachers always say well after we do it in this class that everyone would like poetry and that is never true. I still don’t like poetry, but I don’t hate it as much as I used to. I just don’t want to write my own. I know that’s probably going to happen and it’s going to be absolutely terrible.
For my first initial concept of the story, it was going to be set in the year 2019 because I thought it would be the easiest for me to write about, but there wasn’t anything that I thought that happened this year that connected to my story. So, then I found something that happened in 1973 that connected to my story, but I wanted the story to take place a few years after Alexandra’s father fakes his death. So, I decided to make the story set in 1978. To be honest, I don’t really like my story at all. I still like the concept of it, but I don’t like the way I wrote it or how the story develops. I don’t like the symbols. I think that my characters are boring and that my story is just very boring. I just need to add more to it. I think I got inspiration from The Devil and Tom Walker. In that story, there was a lot of exposition before it got to the action and that’s how I structured my story. Other than that, I do not think there is anything else from The Devil and Tom Walker that I took inspiration from. I didn’t take model anything in my story after the book I’m reading, Etiquette & Espionage. There was nothing in the story that I read that grabbed my attention and made me think that it would be cool if I did the same thing in my story. I didn’t think anything in the book I was reading would work for my story.
I started a new book called Etiquette & Espionage. It is about a fourteen-year-old girl named Sophronia who does not have proper manners and causes a lot of trouble for her mom. Sophronia likes to take apart machines to see how they work. Her mother, Mrs. Temminnick, decides to enroll Sophronia into Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Acadamy for Young Ladies of Quality. Soon Sophronia figures out that the academy is not exactly what she expected, unfortunately for her mother. The school does teach proper etiquette, how to dance, and dress, but it also teaches how to kill, create diversions, and espionage. I have not been able to read much of the story, but based on what I have read so far I probably would not take much from this book to use in my story. First of all, the book is set in the Victorian era in Britain where my story starts in America in 2019. Etiquette & Espionage has supernatural creatures like vampires and werewolves so, I do not think that I would be able to get inspiration from the conflicts because my story is more realistic. I have not read much of the book, but it seems like most of the characterization is shown by the characters’ actions which is what I would want to do in my story instead of the character just saying how they are. I feel like it would be boring if the protagonist or one of the other characters said how they were.