Blog 10: Debate Topic

I was assigned Free state tuition on the Pro stance. I did not have a huge opinion on the topic before I was assigned it but I feel like I agree with it. I think that everyone should have a chance at higher education without going far into student debt. I do think that there is a downside to how large the classes are going to be, but in my opinion, no one should be denied an education. They are willing to give up their time in an attempt to better themself and give themselves and their families a better chance.

A search shows that college is free in nearly twenty states as of now. There are also nine more attempting to instate free tuition. It has been successful as of now in several states which means that it can be successful in all of the states. It is not entirely free to go to college. You would still have to pay room and board but that decreases the cost to go to college a large amount.

A logical approach I am considering taking is that it has been successful not only in other states around the country but also in Europe. Not only are European countries paying low rates of a few hundred dollars a year, but there are several countries such as Denmark, Germany, Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and several more that pay nothing for a higher education. If they can do it, then we certainly can.

An ethical approach is an argument is that by forcing people to pay mass amounts of money for college which may result in large amounts of debt, we are basically saying that the upper class is the only one deserving of a higher education. The lower class cannot pay for it in an effective way which makes it harder for them to get that education.

An emotional approach would be that families with children could want to go to college to get a better job to make more money to support their children. They obviously do not have the money to start off, so the free tuition would benefit them. They are being robbed of their chances of starting a better life for their family. Your empathy for the family would help the argument.


Blog 9: Virtues Experiment

Benjamin Franklyn came up with a list of virtues in which we should try and live by to get the most out of life. We modified our virtues slightly to relate closer to contemporary time.

I am going to start with the virtues that I did not have much trouble with. Frugality went well, especially with it being close to Christmas. I do not think that I wasted any money that I should not have. Our group decided that we can spend money sometimes and not always save every penny, and I did not come close to spending as much money as I received.  Moderation went well also. I do not think that anything in my life was unbalanced. For cleanliness, I shower every day and have good personal hygiene so that was not an issue. As for respect, I do not think that I truly disrespect anyone in my life. I try and treat people well. For humility, I believe that I keep myself in check and realize that there is always someone better than me. I do make comments occasionally that make me seem arrogant, but they are always jokes or sarcasm. For the virtue that I think is most important, Carpe Diam, I try and live by that as much as possible. I spent time with my family, I went out and had fun with friends, I try and always talk to new people that I am diving with. I just try and have as much fun with my life as I can, and I believe that I was successful in that aspect.

Now for the virtues that I violated. Sincerity and Justice went hand in hand when I violated them because my sister upset me. She knows how to get under my skin. I said some hurtful things to her and also reacted to her. Temperance was violated on Christmas Eve because we had a family Christmas party and there was a decent amount of good food, and again on Christmas day because there was candy and chocolate around the house. I gave up on doing all schoolwork by the end of the week which ended up with me violating resolution. For order, my room is normally clean with everything in its place but because of Christmas, there were extra things in my room. The mess was bothering me but I was also too lazy to fix it. I violated tranquility because I was stressed about school work that I had to finish before going on vacation, and I waited until the last minute to do. Also, some dives are stressing me out when I know that they should not because I have done them successfully several times.  Industry is one of my bigger problems. I should have been working on school assignments but I kept forgetting. I also wasted time on people that I should not have. Confidence is the virtue that upsets me the most when I violate it. I do not like worrying about what other people think of me because I just want to have fun. There were a couple times when I was worried about what I was wearing or about what other divers would think about how my dives looked. I need to focus on myself more than what other people are thinking about me. Finally, my biggest issue is silence. I am a sarcastic person and I make a decent amount of snide comments that I should not. I honestly could not count how many times a day that I violate this virtue.

All in all, the experiment teaches you a lot about yourself when you start to take notice of the bad habits that you have. I do not think that I did awful, but I definitely did not do well.



Blog 8: The End of Poetry

My first impression on the Dodo’s conundrum was that it was confusing. I did not understand what was happening within the poem the first few times that I read it. I still do not fully understand the entire poem, but I think that I understand it enough. 

  I think that my interpretation of the poem is wrong but, I think that the theme is that you can not live in a “perfect” world if you are unhappy with it. Nothing is actually “perfect”. I think that the stanza that was in a form was supposed to represent the perfection of his model world while the free verse was representing the chaos of reality. I do not think that the narrator is happy with his perfect world and eventually has to leave it. 

I would like to know more about the meaning of the two different stanza forms, why they are alternating and especially what the “perfect” model world is supposed to represent. I also do not necessarily understand the Dodo reference.

I did not think that the sound and sense questions were too much different from this poem to Eldorado. I thought this was slightly harder because the setting was harder to figure out. The allusions were easier in this poem though because most of them were explained at the bottom and I missed all of them in Eldorado.

Writing poetry has not really changed the way I analyze poetry. I still do not understand it well and find it confusing.



Blog 7: Poetry

I had an extremely neutral opinion starting the poetry unit. In middle school when we last did poetry, I did not have a bad experience with it. I was in a non-honors class so we did not go in-depth and just covered the basics. Most of the work was spoonfed to us instead of having us figure it out on our own. Starting poetry this year has been a shock.

In all honesty, poetry is so much worse than I expected it to be based on my past experience. I feel like different things within the poems could be interpreted in different ways because there were a lot of basic concepts that I have missed and I am trying to catch up now. I did not know about the different types of poems or the rhythm and stanza forms. The only thing I had a slight idea about was the sound effect. It was a lot to take in all at once, and it makes sense on its own but then it gets confusing once it is all put together. My biggest problem is determining the rhythm with the stressed and unstressed syllables. It sounds the same to me no matter what way I say it. I think that is my biggest problem with analyzing poetry because it leads to other things. All of the symbols are starting to make sense within the poems. It is usually not something that I can pick out right away but after reading it a few times I can figure it out. I miss a lot of the allusions to religion though because I never learned what I should have. Everything is starting to come together but I definitely cannot wait for this unit to be over.

As for the poems we have read in class, I am not hating them. I also do not love them but it could be worse. I am starting to understand them better which makes it more enjoyable. I liked Eldorado after reading it a few times. Once I started understanding it, the symbolism is interesting and so is the use of specific words to portray a mood. It is amazing how an author can portray a theme in such a small amount of words. I need more practice with it to truly appreciate it though.


Blog 6: Finishing my Story

My first idea for the story was more horror oriented because that is how I thought of the “music came from the abandoned house” sentence. Now, it is still “horror” to some extent, but my protagonist is a psychopath. He is mentally unstable,  because of a girl turning him down. In some ways, that is more frightening because it is a more likely situation in current times than a serial killer. I feel like it has a different take on what you would normally find from a unsettling story. Also, one of my minor characters turned into my antagonist, and the original antagonist is now more of a minor character. I thought it made more sense because the antagonist is protecting her best friend who therefore she is the main person getting in the way of everything that my protagonist is trying to do.

Changing the plot slightly made it easier for me to write. It was fun to write a character who is mentally unstable and trying to hide it along with the best friend getting in the way of everything. It made more sense to me after i changed around the characters, and I was able to develop the story better.

I like the plot of my story. I think it is interesting and has a good idea behind it. It needs to be developed more though. I feel like I had to force situations. I want everything to run together smoother than it currently does. It seems choppy to me and I am trying to fix that.

The independent reading that we have done in class has only slightly influenced the way I want to write my story. I want to add in more independent thoughts from each character. I feel like it will help understand their personalities better. I feel like we never really get insight from what any characters thinking and feeling.


Reading Log 5

In Gone With The Wind, jealousy causes a conflict between characters. Scarlett wants to get involved where she should not be. She is acting exactly like a teenager. For my short story I was thinking that it would be centered around teenagers. I could use a typical jealous, self absorbed girl who is always on her phone as a stereotype. Obviously, they did not have a phone but that has to do with modern times. Scarlett is also obsessed over a boy. A teenage girl obsessing over a boy is, again, a major stereotype.

I was also thinking that I could take the character trait of a jealousy and make a character that would fall under the caricature category. I could make their actions entirely motivated by jealousy. I think that I would be able to turn it into the antagonist. Jealousy is something that everyone experiences in their life, so it is something that a reader would relate to.

Scarlett is slightly obsessive. As another conflict, I could make a character that is strangely obsessed with one of my other characters. I am using that small trait and making something bigger out of it. I had the idea to take the “crazy ex girlfriend” stereotype and flip it around. I want the mood of my short story to be unsettling. By the end, I do not want any of the characters to be able to trust each other. I think that an obsessive character who is consistently harassing another character would be a small conflict that adds to the feeling.

Gone With the Wind has a much different tone and conflicts than I want in my short story. I want my short story to be creepy and unsettling. I do not think that Gone With The Wind has the same elements in it as I need for what I am trying to write.



Reading Log Four- Setting

In any story, setting is important. In Gone With the Wind, the entire story is based around the setting. The story takes place in Georgia just as it has succeeded from the Union.

The civil war is impending on the southern states. There is constant talk about the war. The mindset of the characters is affected this. They are all ready for war and do not want any northern control.  They are almost excited for the war, which we now know goes poorly for them. In most cases, I feel that people are not typically excited to start a war, but it was top of most of the towns peoples minds.

Scarlett is sixteen and believes that she should be married by this point in her life. She believes that she is behind where she should be. She is in love with her cousin, which was also acceptable because of the place and time period. Also, she is somewhat uneducated. The author made a point to say that she has not picked up a book since her formal schooling was over. In her family it was not deemed as important as it should have been. I believe that it is because there was less of a “need” for women of the time to be educated.

Scarlett has to keep in mind the social norms of the time period. There are certain clothes that she is allowed to wear at certain times of the day, and her eating habits reflect her image of needing to be a proper young woman. She is going to a party and she wants to wear a dress, but their norms say that she cannot wear a dress that shows cleavage before three in the afternoon. Scarlett is also forced to eat until she cannot eat anymore before she goes to any party, because it would be impolite or unladylike to eat more than a bird in front of the men that she is trying to impress. She complains that she has to entertain men that she has no interest in, and again, she does it because she is expected to. Scarlett does not want to follow any of the social norms and wants to have control over seemingly small things. The setting is important to the problems that she has with norms, because it was the proper way to behave during the mid 1800’s. The norms are now irrelevant in our society.



Reading Log 3

In Gone With the Wind, there have not been many humorous events that have occurred. During the time in the south, the war is impending and Scarlett is expected to act prim and proper at all times.

I believe there are some events that are supposed to be humorous. Scarlett is crying to her father because Ashley is engaged to another women. He tells her that Ashley is not the type of man that she should marry, because he thinks that Ashley’s family is “queer”. He complains that the family goes to New York and Boston to see Operas and oil painting, and that they order books that are in different languages. Ashley’s and his family are well educated for the area that they live in. Scarlett’s father believes that he should be out drinking, playing poker, and hunting instead of doing those “queer” activities. Scarlett argues that he does all of those things, but his heart is not in them. He does them to fit in. This social gap is a type of comedy that falls into the “Comedy of Manners” portion of the ladder. The two families may be within the same social class but Scarlett’s family is much less educated than Ashley’s. All of us reading realize that her fathers opinions are one of a poorly educated man. He is making fun of a family that involves themselves in higher class social activities, instead of going and getting drunk or shooting animals.

I belive that Scarlett’s character is supposed to be funny because of how ridiculous she is. As previously mentioned, I find her annoying, but I believe that her personality is supposed to be funny. Scarlett composes a plan to win an engaged man (Ashley) over. Her plan is to go to the Picnic and flirt with all other men of eligible age, and ignore Ashley. She believes that will make her irresistible, and pull him away from his fiancé. After he is alone with her, she believes that she will confess his love for her. She is not planning on telling him that she loves him though because that would be unthinkable. He is supposed to figure it out, and beg her to marry him. She plans on playing hard to get before finally allowing herself to be persuaded into marrying Ashley. Scarlett then thinks that she will then run away and elope with him. At the time she is panning all of this, she believes that she will be married to Ashley in less than 24 hours. I think this is a Farce or slow comedy. Scarlett’s plan to steal Ashley away from his fiancé is so ridiculous that it is humorous.

For the most part, Gone With the Wind is serious and there are few funny moments. The comedy comes from the characters and their childish and narrow view of the world.



Reading Log Two

Scarlett O’Hara is, as previously mentioned, a vein person. She enjoys being the center of attention and having the men lust after her.

I do not entirely understand her role in the story yet. The twin boys have been in love with her for a couple years. They both wanted to dance with her at a ball that they are going to. They tell her about a secret engagement that is to be announced at the ball. The boys were later discussing why her attitude seemed unusual, but they could not come up with a valid answer. The true answer was that Scarlett thought that Ashley had more important to tell her rather than that he was getting married. Scarlett thought that Ashley was in love with her, and was expecting a marriage proposal from him. She stayed quiet for the rest of the night and waited for her father’s return.

Scarlett sat and waited until her father came riding down the street. He confirmed the news with her. She has absolutely torn apart when the news officially broke that he was marrying another woman. She was around sixteen and has not received a marriage proposal yet. She was comparing herself to her mother because she received one at fifteen. I believe the whole situation shows how vain she is. She has countless men falling over her at all times, and she is attracted to the one man who does not want to be with her.

So far, I believe that Scarlett is the protagonist. I do not like her character though. I find her annoying. She acts like she is entitled to anything that she could ever want. She snaps at the twins because she does not want to talk about the war. She does not invite them to dinner after they told her news that she does not want to hear. Everything is her way or no way. She acts six instead of sixteen. I find her immature and petty. She is a dramatic person.

I feel as though the personality traits that I dislike about Scarlett will be resolved because the upcoming war will force her to mature quickly.






Reading Log 1

I began reading Gone With the Wind. It is one of my Dad’s favorite books, so he recommended that I read it. He and I enjoy discussing books together.

Gone With the Wind is set in pre-Civil War Georgia. Georgia has already succeeded from the Union. The male characters are constantly discussing the impending war. Half of them are ready to go and fight, while others do not believe that there will even be a war. People are being put into military positions and current civilians are defending those decisions. The men are excited about the possible war and ready to fight. At one point, some of them even went and checked if there was a uniform color picked for the confederate states. While the women, on the other hand, have grown tired of hearing and talking about the possibility of war. Scarlett O’Hara specifically, threatened that if the men continued to talk about the war, then she would go inside of the house, instead of staying outside.

From what I have gathered, Scarlett O’Hara is the main character. She appears to be self-centered. She likes to be the center of attention, and when the men lust after her, practically begging for her attention. Stuart and Brent are twins that are three years older than Scarlett. The three of them would play together as children, and they never noticed her until she “… had decided to make them notice” (14). She wanted all of the men to be in love with her. The twins were attracted to her and begged for her to Waltz with them. They were later fixated on the fact that she did not invite them to dinner, nor did she seem interested in their conversation. It was unusual because she typically wanted that attention. It was said that Scarlett “…seemed to be paying little attention to what they said, although she made correct answers” (10). So far, I do not care much for Scarlett. She is self-centered and seems like the type of character that will create unnecessary drama.

For the majority of the beginning of the book, the impending war is what Gone With the Wind is mainly about.