Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Speak Blog

How do I define myself? I am supposed to know? If I don't really notice myself, defining myself, then why should I define myself? I don't like definitions. They don't work. I am not one thing or one dimensional. I change. I am 4-dimeninal. I came into University, a nerdy nonself-aware person but I evolved into something bigger. I gained depth and I continue to gain depth. How can I define myself? I don't want to.

I might wear clothes to make people think certain things about me. I might talk to some people with a different vernacular. I still am me. William James argument was wrong. I am not comprised from the viewpoints of other people. I know me. I know my thoughts and my secrets. I am unique. Even though I show people different faucets of me, I am still me. I still like burritos even If I tell someone I hate burrito's. I still am good at chemistry even if I pretend I am not.

I change daily. Inside of me I have multiply mes. I argue with myself. I talk to myself. I have different personalities in me. I have a lazy personality, a studious personality, a kind personality, a crazy personalty, an enraged personality ect. My environment effects the balance of mes inside me. (In school my study me might be twice as loud). My actions are determined in a parliamentary fashion with voices fighting and debating my actions. I act as the president while my mes are members of my staff. My enviorment effects my balance of mes and my balance of mes effects my actions.

Melinda's mes were put under house arrest. They were not allowed to advise Melinda about what to do or how to act. Melinda was broken down to the most basic form of self. She did not have any expression or any change in personality. Melinda's mes eventually returned. As they did they began to advise her to speak out. The more her mes, her personalities, came back the more she wanted to tell someone about what happened. At one point in the novel you see this directly, "Rachel will hate me. (She already hates me.) She won't listen. (I have to try)." Her environment, Andy dating Rachel, gives her mes more and more voice until they override opposing mes and Melinda herself.

Heather does not use the Me system. Heather uses the compare system. She compares herself to others to judge how good she is at something and how to act. Heather's mes are actualized into objects and other people.(33, 34) She cannot argue with her self she has to vocalize her mes and needs the imput of others to make decisions and define herself.

Am I crazy? Does having mes make you crazy? Not being able to combine the mes, whether they are from the outside or within, makes you crazy. Definitions are impossible because different combinations of mes are possible. In a certain enviorment you become you plus the combination of mes that form around that environment. I am me and I am mes.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Literature and Life

Literature is a personal journal of thoughts and opinions that an author can use to make his audience think about things differently. Literature can question or strengthen your beliefs. It is important to argue and to think about things from other perspectives so we can be well informed and so we can work to make our society and community better places.

Our Great Books class works around this belief. When we read novels we read deeply to see what the author truly thinks and why he wrote what he wrote. The book, Little Brother , creates an entire scenario of repression and the denial of individual rights for the sake of security. This book forces one to look hard at the issue and forces readers to place themselves at the focal point of government scrutiny.

Learning to read in depth in Great Books is valuable. Questioning and strengthening one's conviction through literature is an important way to learn. Cory Doctorow has protected America and Americans from what happened in the book by writing the book. By making the reader, and not a faceless terrorist, be prosecuted Doctorow convinces most that more cyber, and political freedom is needed.

We as active members of a Representative-Democracy need to understand the issues that face our country today. News is biased, politicians are crooks and correct information is hard to come by. By learning to read in depth, we are enabling ourselves to gain information from more sources. We learn to see bias and counteract it. We know more from reading in depth and are able to resist the herd of the majority and argue what is right.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dumb Blog

To be considered dumb, an entity has to be measured subjectively and compared to another group. Many people who make statements that this generation of children are the dumbest generation are adults who's children have wasted parent's money, time and efforts by not living up to golden standards. Many claim that this phenomenon is new, that children of previous generations had a higher respect for parents. This "problem" in America and society in general is directly related to how open and encompassing a society is.

In the 1950's children were told to behave a certain way and were expected to follow a narrow trail or ... they got beaten. Children grew up faster and took on more responsibilities and knowledge early on because their parents beat in what the child was to become. There was no free thinking of what one wanted to do and no time wasted gathering new experiences or just being a child.

Today's generation is more relaxed. Time is taken becoming adults because society and America's school system is trying to instill more than knowledge in youth. Being a productive, "smart", worker has less to do with obtaining random useless information and more to do with moral values and choosing a career path were you will be happy and motivated.

The goal of any modern school system, then, should be to keep students options open by demanding excellence but should also try to stimulate the curiosity of students and link that curiosity towards the careers of tomorrow.

America's success, therefore, has nothing to do with how early children succeed but how well they succeed. Letting children set the timetable for excellence is important. No matter what statistic individuals can come up with no statistic can counter this truth: America is a free country were one can become anything and were everyone has an opportunity to do what they love. We, the American people, are blessed to have this gift and because we are one of the very few nations that posses this we will remain globally competitive.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that this generation is stupid.

I do, however, believe that this generation underestimates their own importance and do not realize their potential to be great. Supportive, patient, motivation and exposure to others less fortunate can help an unfocused student transform into a student who works hard. A hardworking, modern and open student can adapt to the many challenges that the 21st century workplace will throw at him or her.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tocqueville

Why does a society devoted to equal opportunity weaken each individual?

Before ideas of equality were fully developed many had no opportunity to compete. These individuals were happy because they learned to appreciate anything they received. Other individuals had no competition and received everything. A society based on equality has more competition. Competition causes individuals to work harder and become more efficient. These people go crazy trying to get wealth because they have the ability. The same amount of people get the wealth in both systems but it is everyone who fails fault in an equal society. This leads to general unrest of common man "This thought fills him with distress, fear, and regret and keeps his mind continually in agitation, so that he is always changing his plans and abode."(166) When man fails his goal he becomes unhappy, "In America ... I am told that madness is commoner than anywhere else."(168) A society with equality causes stress on the common person and creates burdening competition to judge, out of the many, the few that receive wealth.

Does Tocqueville think Americans are restless because they don't know what they want or because what they want is not attainable?

Tocqueville believes that Americans are restless because they want unattainable things and because they don't know what they want. Americans want infinity. They want to get rich, then richer, and then richer still. "Every instant they think they will catch it, and every time it slips through their fingers."(168) Americans want to be rich but there is no criteria to judge how rich one is. Americans have to get rich before they die or else they "fail". "Apart from the goods he has, he thinks of a thousand others which death will prevent him from tasting if he does not hurry."(166) An infinite desire is impossible to fill and unless one has an actually goal to achieve no one knows when to stop.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Tale Of Two Cities: Empowerment

The new aristocracy (madame and monsieur Defarge) and the old aristocracy (Marquis) rule in the same manner. The Marquis and the Defarges both ignore personal appeals and in both cases there is no balance of power to contradict the aristocracy. Both sets of aristocracy are condemning the appealers to death and both do it for the "good" of the whole.

A good example of the old aristocracy ignorance of the appeals of the common person can be found on page 115. The Marquis hits and kills a small child with his carriage. The child's father and a crowd of common people try to appeal to the Marquis sense of remorse fairly compensate, acknowledge and apologize to the child's father. The Marquis, however, barely acknowledges the appeal and moves on.

The Defarge's refuse to consider letting Charles Darnay out of prison even though they know it is the right thing to do.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book the First

1. For how long has the man in Jarvis Lorry’s thoughts been buried?

18 years (pg18)

2. What else do we know of this man who has been “buried”?
He is 45 years old, he is buried alive and has no hope of being dug out. He always is asked if he wants to see her and he always responds negatively differently.

3. What are the two conditions concerning Dr. Manette?
He doesn't know his name and he was thought dead and now is alive.


4. Who are the proprietors of the wine-shop?
Monsieur Defarge and his wife.

5. Why does Defarge show Dr. Manette to the “Jacques”?
He is her father.

6. What is Dr. Manette doing when they enter his room?
Making shoes.

7. What does Dr. Manette say his name is? What is the significance of what he says?
One hundred and Five North Tower, He was a prisoner.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blog 3

Why is it difficult not to care about what others think of you? Do we control the way other people see and think about us?

We are a society and rely on common ground to get along. If one does not fit in to a society then one can have no common ground to relate to another person. We care about what others think about us, to judge how well we fit in and how well we will get along with others.

We are dependent on others to reflect our success or failure at us. A lone person has nothing to compare his endeavors to. A success is not worth a success unless there are people to congratulate you. Having wealth is not nearly as satisfactory (I would imagine) without people constantly wanting what you have. With wealth, fame or power one is more competitive with the common person and feels more important. We strive for attention and society is the only mechanism to deliver attention.

The image we produce, the things we say and our actions all impact other people’s images of us. By acting scholarly we can make ourselves look smarter, acting angry can make us look tuff and acting nonchalantly makes us seem passive. We have the ability to change the way people think about us and we use this ability often.

The way someone acts in front of one group can be completely different from that of another group. We try to influence others with our actions so that they will reflect an emotion. Almost every time someone engages in a conversation, they are trying to make the other person like them more and earn respect and admiration. Even if we do not realize it, every time someone talks, they need attention and need to feel noticed.