Sunday, December 9, 2012

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

1. This novel is about a black woman after the emancipation's relationships with three different men, each of which treated her differently, and how she grew as a person because of them.

2. The theme of the novel is about how men and women, although different creatures, are made to exist in harmony.

3. The tone is one that is repressed. Janie, the protagonist, oftentimes yearns to be free but stays quiet inside her own mind instead of speaking against the men repressing her.

1. Every time the author uses characterization it is through Janie's point of view. In which case, most of the male characters are idealized. The first husband treats her like a worker, the second treats her like a statue, and the third finally treats her like a person. The flaws are outlined in the first two while the third one is portrayed as the perfect man.

2. When Janie is being described the voice becomes a lot softer. Not unsimilar to when you look in the mirror you make yourself see the better  parts of you.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

Janie is a dynamic character. Through her different relationships she goes from innocent little girl to jaded woman to someone who has freed themselves. She changes her entire persona at least three times.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

1. A Christmas Carol is about Ebenezer Scrooge, a nasty older gentleman, who gets a second chance to turn his life around after a supernatural intervention at Christmas time.
2. The theme of the novel is the theme of Christmas time. “Good will to all men.” Except, in this case, the notion of good will to all men is carried over all throughout the year. That is what makes a decent human being.
3. The tone of this book is one of hopefulness. Even the most nasty of sinners can turn their life around if given the correct perspective change. This was one of many Christmas themed books at it’s time period and the reason we still read it is because of its universal message. The tone is also similar to how someone would tell a story to a child, so it has a very simple pattern.
4. The name “Ebenezer” in itself is a symbol. An Ebenezer is a turning point in someone’s life, and Scrooge’s character has the biggest 180 turn in literary history. Also, the narrator’s diction is personal because it sounds like a person talking to you. They even use “As I was saying…” as part of the storytelling technique.
1. The characterization in this book is very direct. One of the first quotes about Scrooge is he is “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!...self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” That does not leave a lot of characterization to be desired as the campy character is displayed right from the get-go.
2. The diction and syntax is the same whilst talking about characters.
3. Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character because the whole point of the story is that he changes his evil ways and carries the spirit of Christmas with him all year round.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1. Brave New World by Huxley is about a dystopian society where there are no parents, no morals, and a very strict cast system. The alphas keep the lesser castes in check by drugging them with a hallucinagin called “Soma.” The book also illustrates a society that exists outside of this world, and then demonstrates what happens when the worlds collide.
2. One of the themes of this novel is that humanity is frail and subject to fall. It can also be said that the government can control the masses through a combination of drugging and brainwashing. Also, it displays how beautiful chaos is and how if we try to control every aspect of our humanity we will lose it.
3. The tone of the novel tends to be trying for shock value. Huxley describes second grade aged children experimenting sexually, and then goes on to have characters react to it as if it is not an unusual thing. It is, in fact, expected. Also, many things, including the title of the book are references to Shakespeare.

1. Whilst getting to know the different caste systems, Huxley will use flashback to show why the character is the way it is. An example of this is Lenina, and when Huxley describes her inner thoughts and her remembering things that have happened in her life. Another direct example is when they talk about how the factory workers are taught that books are bad from a young age so they are never educated. Once the savage is introduced, his character is mostly expressed through small quotes he says throughout visiting the “Brave new world” such as “I want to be myself. Myself and nasty.”

2. When focusing on setting Huxley focuses more on inner monologues in characters. To describe characterization it is mostly dialogue based.
3. The savage is a dynamic character in the sense that once he is introduced to the world outside of the reservation he will never be the same. Whatever innocence he retained growing up away from the assembly line life has been turned into resentment for what humanity has become.

4. After reading this book I felt very similarly to when I had finished reading Animal Farm. These characters represent a real problem, but at the same time they are so separated from our reality that it is hard to find them feasible.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm not naming this "Thinking Outside the Box" because that's too inside the box

I recently set my Facebook status to "If I had three rats, I'd name them Inez, Estelle and Joseph Garcin. And then I'd laugh and say 'Welcome to hell.'"

This amused me.

It also evidently warranted a marriage which my mother accepted for me.

So it goes.

I had heard of "No Exit" before I actually read it. The idea intrigued me, mostly because of the completely character driven staging. The set is simple, and no one enters or exits during the entire show. 

There's an episode of Family Guy where they use this concept and set it entirely in a bank vault where Brian and Stewie's dialogue carries the entire episode. 

Oddly enough, this episode's back and forth could be argued to even reflect the idea that hell is other people.

Which reminds me, there was supposed to be a point to this blog post right?

Something about Plato and Satre and how they relate.

The way I see it, in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, the idea of "hell" is ignorance and being shut out from the world. Hell is not being able to see what is real and tangible, much like the prisoners can not see or touch the things they see silhouetted on the wall.

By contrast, in "No Exit", hell is being forced to see reality. 

There's a scene between Inez and Estelle where Estelle is looking desperately for a mirror because there is none. Before she got to hell, she comments that mirrors became her reality and how she saw the world was through her reflection. 

Inez then tells her that she will be her mirror, which is a blatant metaphor for the three of them being put together to have to face the reality of what they really are. The reflections are similar to the prisoner's shadows, they are not real. 

In "The Cave" when the prisoner steps into the sun, it is uncomfortable and burns. Not unlike when the three characters in "No Exit" are with each other. In both of these stories, having to face reality is uncomfortable, but in the end necessary. And there is no going back once it is established. 

This can relate to life because sometimes you need to take off your rose colored glasses (or whatever that adage is) and see things how they really are before you can "find the exit" and deal with reality. It might not be pretty, but the gods will offer you chances and all that.

Know them, take them...the gods wait to delight in you.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sonnet about the cave.

When you are born
You are born chained
Chained to what you’ve grown accustomed to
Facing away from what is true and new
There is comfort in the cradle
Of your mothers tender whisper
But even the smallest of babes
Learn to crawl away sooner or later.
In the cave it is safe and no one asks questions
But isn’t there more that you’ve heard in soft voice mentioned?
The fire is warm, bright, inviting
The sun will burn your skin, the clouds bring lightning
With that in mind it is time to be brave.
No turning back once you’ve stepped out of the cave.

I'm not much of a poet. But I'd like to hear feed back!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Big Question. ((Rated PG-13))

My big question in life is, why aren't people more pissed off about this?

My big question right now in life is why we constantly allow ourselves to be patronized and objectified as human beings.

A woman is worth more than a body to sell a burger.

Or a frame to hang clothes on in hopes that preteen girls will beg their parents to buy the overpriced objects.

A gaggle of attractive women will not rip your clothes off if you purchase and then shortly after bathe with Axe body spray.

Seriously, have you seen these commercials?

Are you FREAKING kidding me??

I'm not just talking about women being objectified. Oh, no.

Oh heavens no.

What really gets me about these is the fact that these men are hardly wearing the clothes they're trying to sell.

What my big question really is...

Why do we, in our advanced society, use sex in such a demeaning and dehumanizing way to sell useless products?

Sexuality is a beautiful thing. Not when I'm sitting down to watch TV with a little kid and have to explain why so many women are chasing that man. Not when I'm with my family and see almost pornographic images flash across the screen. These are PEOPLE. Not BODIES.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't sell sex, unless you're ACTUALLY selling sex. But thats another problem.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

((Spoilers)) Wreck-It Ralph themed vocabulary studying.

This week, I chose to do sentences inspired by Disney's newest animated feature.

Affinity- relationship by marriage

Jane Lynch's character and Fix-It Felix develope an affinity for one another.

Bilious- of or indicative of a peevish ill nature disposition

Ralph went to a support group for other bilious characters.

Cognate- of the same nature

All of the characters living in the Penthouse were cognate in appearance and attitude.

Corollary- A proposition inferred Immediately from a proved proposition with little or no additional proof

Ralph received a corollary from the people in the penthouse that he would be accepted if only he won a medal.

Cul-de-sac - a pouch

The medal's room was a cul-de-sac of evil bug robot eggs ready to hatch.

Derring-do- a daring action

Ralph's choice to enter Hero's Duty was his greatest derring-do to date.

Divination- The art or practice that seeks to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge due to the interpretation of omens

No divination could have predicted Vanillope's role in her game.

Elixir- A substance capable of prolonging life indefinitely

In video games, sometimes there is an elixir available to extend your abilities.

Folderol- a useless accessory

Ralph's medal was a folderol and it was not what made him happy in the end.

Gamut- an entire range or series

Disney had been failing in the animation gamut until they unearthed this gem. 

Hoi polloi- the General populace

The hoi polloi of Sugar Rush were entirely edible.

Ineffable- incapable of being expressed in words

Ralph and Vanillope's affection was ineffable, as the two were inseparable. 

Lucubration- to study by night

Through a montage of lucubration, Vanillope learned to drive so she could race.

Mnemonic- intended to assist memory

The king used hacking to change the mnemonic ability of the people in Sugar Rush.

Obloquy- abusive language

The racers spat obloquy at the assumed glitch.

Parameter- an independent variable used to express the coordinates of variable point and functions of them

They used Vanillope as the parameter of the race.

Pundit- a learned man

King Candy was one of the only pundits in Sugar Rush.

Risible- provoking laughter

There were many risible moments for the audience in this movie.

Symptomatic- having the characteristics of a certain disease but arising of a different cause

She was symptomatic of being a glitch, but was not.

Volte-face- a reversal in policy

Sugar Rush had a volte-face when their memory was returned.

In Case You Missed It.

The guy from the assembly started off by saying these were his goals for the meeting:

1. prepare us for graduation
2. measure us for cap and gown
3. show us all of our options

IF YOU WERE NOT AT THE ASSEMBLY YOU CAN PICK UP ORDER FORMS IN THE BUSINESS OFFICE. He said he would leave extras there. I'm not sure if he followed through, someone will have to let us know.

Thursday the 15th in the Career Center is grad order day. We will be going during our English class, and he will be there until lunch. Rescheduling for sizing is available if you go in to talk to this guy on Thursday.

He said to bring the total amount you are willing to pay or $60.00. He also mentioned being able to make payments and use different ways to pay such as credit, check, etc.

For measuring gowns, he need your exact height, weight and whether you want a male or female gown.

The senior package consists of the top 10 purchased items. It contains graduation announcements (those things you send out to get nice things in return), class of 2013 paraphernalia such as your choice of hoodie and t-shirt. There's a catalog of things you can get. The only thing you CAN'T get is sweat pants, but you can order those separately. This deal is what they're attempting to sell to us, but it actually costs close to $200.

Here are some other "deals" available.

If you buy the senior package (the nearly $200 one), cap and gown is free.
If you do not, to order individually is $33.41 which actually is more like $44 dollars when shipping and stuff is added. It's cheaper if you don't buy the gown, but you should totes buy the gown.

I'm pretty sure that's the gist of what we needed to know. I hope so, because that's literally all that I know. Comment if I missed anything or if you have questions. I don't think I'll be able to answer, but maybe someone else will. K bye!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sonnet 130, a brutally honest love story.


My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare. 

by William Shakespeare

I LOVE this sonnet. 
Love it, love it, LOVE IT.
I googled "Sonnets by women", came across this instead. No turning back now my friends. NO TURNING BACK.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hamlet PLN

This guy is actually reviewing a book that was written by ANOTHER guy about Hamlet's religious references (among other things.)

This is a teacher from a school (Azusa Pacific) I'm looking at for after Junior College. He's apparently doing research in regards to this topic and developing course material on Shakespeare.

Also, at Azusa, they have Shakespeare classes from a theatrical perspective! Yay!

This is all I have found that sparks my interest so far.

And now, on to grander things!

((SPOILERS)) This is late, I am lame, But here is Cabin in the Woods told using these Vocabulary words.

aficionado- a serious devotee of some particular music genre or musical performer
browbeat- to discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate
commensurate- able to be measured by a common standard
diaphanous- Of such fine texture as to be transparent or translucent
*emolument- Payment for an office or employment
*foray- A sudden raid or military advance
*genre- a category
homily- An inspirational saying or platitude
*immure- To confine within or as if within walls; imprison
*insouciant- carefree or unconcerned; light-hearted
*matrix- a substance, situation, or environment in which something has its origin, takes form, or is enclosed
*obsequies- A funeral rite or ceremony
panache- A bunch of feathers or a plume, especially on a helmet.
*persona- The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; one's public image or personality, as distinguished from the inner self
*philippic- a bitter or impassioned speech of denunciation; invective
*prurient- unusually or morbidly interested in sexual thoughts or practices
*sacrosanct- Regarded as sacred and inviolable
*systemic- Of or relating to systems or a system
*tendentious- Marked by a strong implicit point of view; partisan
vicissitude- A change or variation

The first scene starts out with an insouciant conversation between two coworkers immured in a matrix of white walls and hallways. But, in a twist that shakes the horror genre, they are not just waiting for emolument but are part of a sacrosanct ritual. In a systemic manner, a foray upon the youthful and prurient is about to begin. The five persona, the whore, athlete, scholar, fool and virgin, would each die and have a short philippic prayer for their obsequies. This tendentious route is not commensurate in different cultures because each one is different. There is a whole panache of ways for this ritual to be carried out. One thing is for sure, though; that  these gods were aficionados of pain and were browbeating these people for results. Without trying to make a cliched homily, this film will be remembered for being a vicissitude of all thriller and horror movies in the future.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


Literature Analysis Questions

Here are some questions to guide your literature analysis.

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

The Glass Menagerie is essentially a flashback of a young man observing the relationship between a mother and daughter who are at odds. 

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

The theme of this play is that family can either build you up or tear you down, sometimes both at once. Relationships are fragile, but they also shape who you are and who you become.

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

"Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you an illusion that has the appearance of truth, I give you truth that has the appearance of an illusion."

 "This scene is memory and therefore nonrealistic...It omits some details, exaggerates others."

"The transparent wall ascends...does not descend until the end of the play."
Right from the beginning there is an air of irony around this play. Usually a play tells the story as it happens, but this play tells the story AFTER it's already happened. Williams wanted it to be obvious that this play is not like other plays.

1. Describe two examples of direct characterization and two examples of indirect characterization.  Why does the author use both approaches, and to what end (i.e., what is your lasting impression of the character as a result)?

All the characterization in the play is done indirectly via dialogue. It is, for the most part, up to the actor and director of each play to interpret the indirect characterization as the artistic license allows. For example, in scene 2 there is an exchange between Amanda and Laura where Amanda is patronizing Laura. The silences that hang between them give the actors a chance to develop their own character.

2. Does the author's syntax and/or diction change when s/he focuses on character?  How?  Example(s)?

Throughout the course of the script there are cues for images on screen. These images generally depict a character's back story. An example of this is in scene 6 when Tom talks about Jim and Jim's relationship to Laura.

3. Is the protagonist static or dynamic?  Flat or round?  Explain.

The protagonist is static in the sense that, in "real time" he does not change. However, this story he is telling is the story of him changing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tools that Help Us Think

"Back in 2004, I asked [Google founders] Page and Brin what they saw as the future of Google search. 'It will be included in people's brains,' said Page. 'When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information.'

'That's true,' said Brin. 'Ultimately I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world. Right now you go into your computer and type a phrase, but you can imagine that it could be easier in the future, that you can have just devices you talk into, or you can have computers that pay attention to what's going on around them and suggest useful information.'

'Somebody introduces themselves to you, and your watch goes to your web page,' said Page. 'Or if you met this person two years ago, this is what they said to you... Eventually you'll have the implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."

-From In the Plex by Steven Levy (p.67)

Technology can be really creepy sometimes. Seriously.
Remember that old song, Video Killed the Radio Star?
I don't want that to be paralleled by Machine killed the Human Spirit. I think that technology is AMAZING. When I was younger I would just be on Google looking up interesting things for hours at a time (before I discovered Reddit, boo-yah). Google as a tool has opened my mind to a million and one things I never would have learned about otherwise; being able to find things out at the touch of a button has helped me see through others eyes. That's how it's helped me in my thinking. HOWEVER, what Page was talking about sounds a lot like a computer doing the thinking for you. Being completely theater nerdy about this: the arts are already becoming formulaic. They say there are only eleven plots in fiction...but every once in a while, some beautiful piece of cinema will come out and remind us of the magic that was once the silver screen. Or a song will be written. Or a graphic designed. Or a score composed. These things are the very fruit of the human spirit. Consider Shakespeare's work that has transcended the ages and will continue to entrance readers way beyond our generation; whether be he one man or many, plays such as Hamlet capture the very essence of what it is to be human.
Perhaps the technology in our brains is the next step in evolution. I don't know. But I do know that I want to hang on to the individual thinking that makes me alive for as long as possible. The internet is great, but I don't want it inside my head!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who was Shakespeare?

I'm a notorious theater geek. So, when Shakespeare's name is brought up in ANY way shape or form, I panic. The actor in me screams, "I was never trained for this!" and I start to freak out because I wonder "How will I be able to find my motivation??" and I freak out because I'm Beka, and if I'm good at anything, its freaking out.

The student in me also cringes when they hear Shakespeare, but for different reasons. I think of all the Sparknotes and Wikipedia I will need to use to grasp the most basic of concepts.

However, I think Miss Sarah G may have been the best teacher I've ever had on the subject.With her contributions in class and our conversations outside of, she's been a great helper. It's nice to be in collaborations with people who are passionate about a subject.

Since this week is tech week for John Lennon and Me, its all I can do not to want to fall asleep right this moment.

This may be slightly different from requested, but there was a time last year when I was going on a random Google search about famous bisexuals and homosexuals throughout history (I feel as though every member of LGBT should do this at least once) and found Shakespeare is known for his assumed bisexuality. I'll just link to a few of those website about it now.

To Facebook, or not to Facebook? Dude, how do you even Facebook?

Ah, the grand Book of Many Faces. How I have grown in our time together!

Facebook has taken me from the repressed, under confidant age of thirteen up until just a few minutes ago when I heard a beeping on my smart phone that alerted me of my best friend's changed status. He has just finished watching the television program, "Scrubs." Oh how fun! Now, I can comment on how I also enjoy Scrubs and start referring to different episodes.

Oh look! Then others will reply with THEIR favorite Scrubs quotes. These others could be people I don't even know very well. But, hey! They like Scrubs too! Next time I see them at school I might throw a warm smile in their direction. Or I'll call out a quote from the episode they had mentioned. People may wonder what brought such a strange pair of people together.

The answer, of course, besides being a wonderful television series, is Facebook.

THIS is our generation.

Facebook does, of course, monitor us almost as closely as Big Brother. I may see an advertizement or two related to Scrubs on the side of my wall. Or maybe next time I type in the letters "sc" into my web browser perhaps Scrubs will be the very first thing to pop up.

Are there dangers in this? I'm sure there are.

All I've been hearing about this kind of thing lately is that "Oh! you gotta be careful or else this will happen!" and a lot of complaining about how we are not the audience, we are the commodity.

Well, that may be true. But if it is, so what?

This is the way the world works now. I don't hear anyone suggesting how to revamp it. And at this point, you could forsake the internet on the basis that the government or corporations or the boogy man MAY be counting how many times you use the space bar and could file that information into some void think tank of nefarious purposes, or you could look at the positive and see what things like Facebook for what they really are.

A tool.

A toy, sometimes.

But above all, a tool.

Given what I've learned in the course about Facebook this week....will I return to Facebook?

Well honey, I'm still in a battle of wits with aforementioned best friend. Facebook is still open in another tag.

You can check out, but you can never leave!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mean Girls Vocabulary! Remix, much?

In honor of me getting my ass in gear.

This is something that I've done since the beginning of Sophomore year.

I "remix" my vocabulary by relating each and every single word to the movie that defines my generation.

That's right. I'm talking about Mean Girls. Let the festivities begin!

Abortive: failing to produce the intended result
 Janice Ian's plan to humiliate Regina George was abortive, because she almost lost one of her friends in the process.
Bruit: spread a report or rumor widely
 Karen was known to bruit every juicy piece of gossip she heard.
Contumelious: scornful and insulting behavior
 When the slam book became public, all of the girl's behavior became contumelious and unpredictable.
Dictum: a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source; a short statement that expresses a general truth or principle
 Each girl would step up to the platform and deliver a personal dictum about what they had learned.
Ensconce: establish or settle
 Regina had ensconced a hierarchy of females at the school. 
Iconoclastic: characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions 
There was an iconoclastic attitude towards other cliques. 
 In medias res: a narrative that begins somewhere in the middle of a story rather than the beginning
 Cady arrived in media res of the the story of Regina George's reign as queen bee.
Internecine: destructive to both sides in a conflict
 The Plastic's relationships to each other were often internecine in times of trial.
Maladroit: ineffective or bungling; clumsy
 The maladroit girl was happy Regina George punched her in the face.
Maudlin: self-pitying or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness 
 Gretchen Wieners became maudlin after Regina victimized her.
Modulate: exert a modifying or controlling influence on
 It was easy for Regina to modulate The Plastic's behavior.
Portentous: of or like a portent; done in a pompously or overly solemn manner
 Cady acted portentous as she became more like the Plastics.
Prescience: the power to foresee the future
 Regina was the only one with any prescience to Cady's evolving personality.
Quid pro quo: a favor or advantage granted in return for something 
Cady made a quid pro quo deal that ended with her joining the mathletes.  

Salubrious: health-giving, healthy; pleasant, not run-down
 The salubrious Cady was convinced to join a darker cause.
Saturnalia: the ancient Roman festival of Saturn in December; an occasion of wild revelry
 Cady was able to join the saturnalia after the math competition, where she was able to be crowned queen.
Touchstone: a standard or criterion by which something is judged or recognized 
 The Plastic's talent show performance was always a touchstone for the others.
Traumatic: emotionally disturbing or distressing; relating to or causing psychological trauma
 Getting hit by a bus was traumatic for Regina.
Vitiate: spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of; destroy or impair the legal validity of.
 The friends vitiated Regina's body by feeding her calteen bars.
Waggish: humorous in a playful, mischievous, or facetious manner
Kevin G performed a waggish and jocular rap at the talent show.