I am currently ready the book, “The Happiness Trap”. I have been reading this book on and off for about 3 weeks now. This book is not necessarily out in story form, but like how I can take things from this book and carry them into my life to make it better. Our weekly Friday readings definitely encourage me to read more, although I kept forgetting to bring my book for awhile. Also, as I started to read, it encouraged me to start reading some at my house. A take away that I have from transcendentalism and, “Song To Myself”, is that it may be beneficial to connect with your soul. Going outside and being in nature can definitely help one out to reflect on them self. Another take away that I have from “Song To Myself”, is that you should not let people and other things in life distract you and throw you off course of being the best you you can. I think that you can really connect to “Song To Myself”, and bring aspects into your life. My initial thoughts are that its going to be very difficult to understand and will confuse me a lot. From the pre-viewing research, i learned from the genre of this movie will mess with the mind. It emphasizes the unstable physiological states of its charactors. I also learned the background of some of the characters, along with what it meant to have vertigo. I think this affected my though process because it gave me some background information on what is going to happen and why. I think that the most difficult aspect of the essay is going to be discovering what happens in different parts of the movie. It is said that this movie works through the characters mind which could be very hard to comprehend as a reader. This can make it very difficult to critique if you have no idea whats going on.
My initial impressions and reactions to the work is that it is very hard to decipher. When reading poems like this I feel like I get what its trying to say but then, someone will tell me something completely different and my mind will be blown. For example, in the first section that we read in class when it talked about the blade of grass, I had no idea he was connecting himself to the blade of grass. Little stuff like that in this poem are very hard to point out, and can really make you think about the different possibility of what the author is trying to display. My initial thoughts on the section was a assigned is that, it is also hard to understand but the part we have deciphered do show a ton of meaning about life. I think that Whitman’s devotion to transcendentalism affects his writing in a positive way by making the reader think. He makes the reader think about things outside or ordinary life, and connects well with nature and the human body himself. Him using transcendentalism helps the reader think about things that are not common with our society and how it should or shouldn’t affect us. I think that one of the most important lines in our section is line 29, “The smallest sprout shows that there is really no death”. I think that this is important because, although things may die, they never really go away. Everything leaves a mark. I also think that line 23 is important, “And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouth for nothing”. I think this is important because it talks about how bad people and the bad things they say are a result of something. Something had to happen in there life that caused them to be like that. Both of these convey the meaning of the poem well in the way that they show how life and people are. My only real difficulty of the work is that it takes me a while to figure out what the author is trying to say. Some things are hard to point out and make connections to.
In the readings of Thoreau and Emerson, there were a lot of connections with the thoughts that they both had. Both writings talked about people and self reflection from nature. They thought of nature as a place for someone to go to find there real self outside of the normal world without distractions. Almost like a sort of therapy where someone can go to regain happiness by them selves and put away all distractions. Thoreau’s life if shown before that woods and what the woods does for him. Both focus on the change that is made in the mind with nature. Nothing physical changes, but your mind and your outlook on life. I think that the main idea of the excerpt, “Where I Lived and What I lived for”, was about Thoreau and how his life changed. Thoreau’s outlook on life and happiness changed from his time by himself in nature. He felt that after a week in nature he had learned a ton of information for his regular life. The purpose of the conclusion is that people should live on there own in nature and learn about themselves so that they come into the real world a better person. The nature helps them to find themselves and learn lessons about themselves so that they can bring that into the real world. The benefits of Thoreau’s experiment would be getting away from technology and just enjoying the world around us. Going through this experiment you would miss all the technology that is in our life. We would also miss some face to face interactions with friends and family. I feel that I could for sure do this experiment with nature. I have prior experiences with nature and love to be outside when I can. I think it would be very beneficial because now a days people are way too dependent on technology. Most people cant go a day without using technology, so it would be very beneficial for them to connect with the real world and stop using technology for a little. I think that a modern reader should take the fact that nature is important and can help you become a better person if you get away from the real world and technology.
Going into the debate, I was actually excited because I thought my topic was going to be very easy. It didn’t turn out as easy as I thought, but I think Technology in education is a lot easier to discuss than some of the other topics. Before the debate and my research, I thought that I agreed with my topic which was the con. But after, I learned that without technology in education it can be hard to teach, do projects, and keep up to date with the current events around the world. Technology is such a plus in our world, and even though it can be unreliable, it brings a lot of good things. While doing research and creating this debate, I did not find it too difficult to do. Although, sometimes while citing our sources it did take a good amount of time. For the sources you could not just copy and paste the URL, so everything had to be typed in to it took a while. Other than that it wasn’t too hard putting putting the information into paragraphs, you just had to make sure you had enough to fill the time. Lucky, I kinda went in the middle of the debates, so i could watch a few people before me. The biggest thing i picked up on from the other students was how the used statistics. After hearing them using statistics, as an audience I felt as if there argument was better and stronger. I then added some to mine as well as a little more length to fulfill our time limit. One thing i did not like about the debate was the cross examination. I felt uncomfortable asking questions that were very difficult for the opposing side to answer. Other than that i thought that it was alright. My favorite debate so far was the Border Wall. This is a very controversial topic in politics that lots of people agree with and lots of people disagree with. But, i think that both sides gave good information that made sense about why we should have the wall and why we shouldn’t. I thought this was a fun project to do although interesting.
For the Debate, I was sick the day that we picked but still ended up getting a pretty good topic, which was the con of technology in education. My assigned position was to go against technology in education, which is also my personal opinion. I have never really liked use technology in school, and when I get the chance I like to do my work on paper. Before research, I did have some prior knowledge and struggles with it. For example, a couple times this year and the past years, the internet has gone out in our school and that left the classes that relied on technology not being able to do anything. Also, many times when my terrible internet doesn’t work at home, I can’t do my schoolwork or I have to go somewhere else to do it. After a basic google search, the main thing that comes up about the con of technology is distracting. People say that with technology there are way too many distractions like games and other stuff. Also, it is said that their is a lot more cheating among the students because they have the internet available to them. Lastly, it says that there are fewer social interactions which can weaken a student social skills. I plan to address this topic by talking about how unreliable it is when it comes to losing wifi and even saving things online. Also, I would like to talk about a problem of my own which is if you device were to lose power, and asking what to do if you don’t have a charger. One ethical issue with technology would be the fact that it is very distracting and can be a cheat for completing work. I feel that the use of technology in education will cause frustration among people that try to use it. For Instance, when technology fails the students will not be able to complete their work, and therefore will be frustrated or upset. I think that I can do a very good job in supporting the con of the use of technology in education.
Going into the Virtues experiment, I thought is was going to be super easy and not challenging at all. But, once I had a regular day trying to follow the virtues, I found that I was putting a lot of slashes in boxes I thought I wouldn’t. Once I thought about not doing a certain virtue, I would forget about others that I needed to follow and therefore I didn’t spend a day following all of the virtues. I did find some virtues to be a lot easier to follow than others. For example, I found that respect, forgiveness, temperance, humility, and cleanliness were the easiest to follow and the ones that came more naturally to me. I feel that respect, forgiveness, and humility were easy because they are important and do not take a lot to to do, which shows the type of person that you are. Also, temperance was easy to complete because it is normal as a human to eat until you’re full and I did not have to worry about the drinking part because I am not of age yet. Lastly, although it may not be clear to some, I think that cleanliness is very easy to follow and no one should struggle with it. Some of the virtues that I found particularly hard were order, industry, and silence. Order was especially hard for me because I do not have defined order for the things that I do or necessarily know when I am going to do them. When it came to Industry, I often found myself laying on the couch or sleeping in too long when some more beneficial things could have been done. And last, I failed to not talk many times when I should’ve, which added non importance into some conversations.The rest of the virtues were in the middle when it came to difficulty, but it depended on the day. For instance, I found on the day that I had games, I would violate multiple of the virtues. The main virtues that would be violated on game day were sincerity, silence, and tranquility. On game days I tend to get a little emotional and vocal. Overall, I think that the virtues was a good reality check for us as a people and how we function in our lives. For example, these virtues shows what a “perfect” person would be in Franklin’s view but, no one is perfect. From this experiment I’ve learned how difficult it actually is to be this “perfect person”. And, no one, no matter what they say, will be a perfect person. This has been a cool experience to go through what Franklin tried to make himself, with our own little twist on it. Although some of the virtues may be a little extreme, I think some are very good things that a good person should automatically know and practice. I think this was a beneficial and fun experiment to do, and something that could help us better ourselves as people.
My first Impression of the Dodo’s Conundrum is very good. I think that it’s a great poem with a very relatable topic. Like the Speaker of the poem, I like to visualize my own perfect world and some events that go on within it. So far with looking at the theme, I have concluded that the theme is that you can’t always get what you want or what you think is right. The Author sets his perfect world, which in reality would actually be quite pleasant. But, although it may be wonderful, things can’t always be perfect or the way that you want them. Some parts that I still find confusing are the free verse stanzas. I an issue I have is finding the true meaning among the free verses. There’s nothing against the poem, it’s something that I lack myself which I corrected by reading multiple times. I feel like the questions were much easier to answer than Eldorado. After Eldorado, I had some practice with answering the questions and scanning the poem. Also, despite some little hic-ups in,”The Dodo’s Conundrum”, I felt that Eldorado was much harder to read and understand. Writing poetry definitely help me to understand other works of poetry. I now find it easier to point out the theme and certain points that the author is trying to get across. Also, I can point out different word play to figure out what the writer is trying to say. Writing and ready different types of poetry for sure helped me to become a better reader and writer.
Poetry has never really been something that really excites me, or something that I read often. From some of the poetry that we have been reading, I have learned to like it and find the real meaning within it. One of the main things that I enjoy is being outside, and I liked that I could relate with the poem I selected as my favorite, Ledges. I also like the poem “Eldorado” that we are reading and studying in class right now. This poem shows real meaning and something that you can relate to your everyday life. The fact that hard work and dedication can’t always take you to one of your goals happens often in life, and that’s just life. I think that “Eldorado” is a good poem once you find the true meaning of it and the different hints that show you that meaning. Now that I have read a little bit of poetry, I don’t despise it as much anymore. I think that my hate for poetry came from a lack of not reading. Now that I have been faced with some different poems I feel like it’s not that bad. When I have read poetry in the past, I haven’t broke it down and thought about as much as we are now. Once you have broken a poem down, you can really see the true meaning of the poem. What I realized with poems is that usually within the poem you can find a lesson or even a little advice. I like this about poems and enjoy motivational poems that display a real conflict that you can compare to your own life. Another part of poetry that I know enjoy is that a story can be told is such little wording. In some poems, you can be given great detail in such little wording. When you get this detail you can almost imagine or create the story yourself as a reader. All in all, poetry is not as bad as it seems and I’m glad that i got the chance to change my mind about it.
Through writing my story, my idea changed a lot. Although I kept the same idea, their were a lot of little ideas that I changed because I thought they would help. For example, I was going to introduce a machine that would transport him to Mars but instead I just had him wish and magically end up their. I thought that it would make more sense and flow better with the story, if he just wished and ended up their. Another thing I changed was Tommy’s personality. At first i thought of Tommy as a pretty nice guy that got bullied but that didn’t make any sense. Therefore, I made him very rude so that it did make sense when people didn’t like him. Lastly, I wasn’t going to add that he was turned into an alien on Mars. After thinking about it though, it didn’t make sense with my short story because it talks about not being human. All of these examples have changed because they either didn’t make sense with the story, or they just flowed a little better with everything. I think overall I did a pretty good job on my story. I like how I used different conflicts that lead to the climax. Also, I liked how I used dialogue although I could have used more and will add more as I create my final paper. I don’t really get where my idea of a guy turning into alien and going to Mars came from but i think it created an interesting story. I don’t like how towards the end of my story when Tommy just arrived on Mars, I don’t describe the setting and his life on Mars enough. Finally, I disliked how I didn’t add more characters and the name for Tommy to interact with.
I would take many things from the book, “Four Days To Glory” to use in my short story. I think that the book that I am currently reading does a very good job at explaining the setting, characters, and plot. “Four Days To Glory”, does a fantastic job with characterization and that is what I want in my short story. In my short story, I will show my characters mood and overall attitude through conflicts like this book does. I love how easy it is to catch onto the characters in this book, so I want to incorporate that and make it easy in my short story as well. I feel like characterization is very key in writing great story’s. From reading my book, I can say that characterization not only helps, but makes the story more enjoyable and easy to read. When writing my short story, I will focus on the characters more which I think will open up the story. I want the people that read my story to put themselves in the main characters shoes and try to relate with what’s going on within there lives. I chose characterization to take from this book because with the topic that I am using it fits very well. Like the book I am reading mindset is a huge part of the story. I am using the short story, “It cost too much, staying human”, which just from reading it shows the someone is thinking very hard. There will be a lot of thoughts running through my characters heads, just like the characters in “Four Days To Glory”. But, unlike the characters in my book, my character(s) will make a decision that will change his life forever. Overall, I chose to take characterization from my book because I think it is a very important aspect of a story and my story.