Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blog 15

This is the last blog that we have to write for our English 102 class

This was the first time i have ever written a blog and in the beginning it was quite hard.
The writing process is easy once you have a guide line to follow. When we have blogs to write they are based on the reflections of what we have read in class. They are our own thoughts and feelings of what we discussed on the material. We are graded by our structure and the content of our responses. When we write a blog entry we have to think of what we read and really explain in detail what we feel. The blog must be written in the correct structure making sure we answer all parts of the question we choose to reflect on. What I have noticed is that in the beginning since I didn't really know what to write about they were not as long. Besides I was a little shy. But after the comments I would get by my classmates it made me feel more confident and I noticed I started writing alot more than before. I think that as I have wrote these blogs I have tried to connect to them on a personal aspect. I like to include personal experiences and I know how to acknowledge the sources we use. The only thing that I find a little difficult is including pictures to go with my blogs. I have tried to put them in and they fail to show so I don't know if it is my blog or computer that causes the problem.

My online experience has been a great one. As I mentioned before I had never written a blog and was able to express myself so freely. The writing here was very different. It felt more like free writing where we were able to follow the question, but answer with our own thought and critical thinking about the topic. The writing from this class helped me build my confidence when it came to writing. I felt more comfortable and less shy expressing myself. I also enjoyed reading my classmates writing as well. It helps reading other people's work because it allows you to evaluate your own thinking. Sometimes I could relate, sometimes I learned something new from reading their work. But overall the experience has been a great one. No one has been rude or inconsiderate of other people's ideas or experiences. We all respect each other and that makes it a better environment to get your creativity out on the blog. I do feel that some people have also read my blogs because they leave comments and it shows that they are interested in what I have to say.

This class has been very rewarding, not to be a teacher's pet or anything, I just really enjoyed having professor X as my English 102 teacher. I had previously taken 102 but I dropped the class because it was so boring and the lectures the teacher had would not connect to me in any aspect. I had tried but I could not get into it. Leaving this class has shown me that I can feel confident in what I have to say because I have never been discouraged in any responses. Overall I enjoyed the material we discussed. We were able to read two books that I never would have imagined reading and they were very interesting. Not only were they interesting we learned so many different themes that they had that I didn't ever think of it while I read them. Only after reading and discussing them in class was I able to critically think of the major topics. I feel that now I can read a book and not just focus on the story, but I know that the author has other messages besides the story line. My most memorable experience had to be with the book Kindred. I really liked that book and all the discussions we had about the history of slavery. I enjoyed that book so much that I told a few people to read it whenever they had the chance because I could not put the book down.  What I could recommend anyone that is taking this class, is just to have an open mind about the blog entrys. At first it could be a little nerve wrecking but once you get into it and you enjoy the reading it will make the class so much fun. The professor is very nice and makes everything fun. Especially the jeopardy game we had for extra credit. Thanks again Professor X for making this class worth it =)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog 14: Self Evaluation

In class we have finished the blog series of Drama. This is my evaluation.

Out of all of my blogs, I liked number 13 the best. The reason why I liked this blog is because of the analysis of the symbolism of the unmasking of each character. In that blog we were asked if we agreed with the ending and if not what would we change in order to make it different. I liked the fact that I felt that Benedick had changed as well as Claudio in a little way. Beatrice's change left me a bit dissatisfied and in my opinion I wouldn't have changed her into becoming a tamed shrew...

What have I learned in this class:

  • Well I learned of the different aspects of the Literary terms of Drama. I enjoyed reading the play because we were able to see the movie and understand the language because of the book that was chosen for the class.
  • I learned about the the different expectations of marriage through the aristocratic era. The forms of courtship and how women were viewed in that time frame.
  • I learned how men have always had the upper hand since the very begining, till now. Even though a little of the power has been shared with women in current times.
  • In the play we were able to see the different characters and how they would be viewed. we also learned how the bonds of friendship could be broken when love is in the mix. First with Don Pedro and Claudio, when Claudio thinks his friend Don Pedro has lied to him and taken Hero for himself. Thanks to Don John and his lies. Then with Benedick and Claudio when Beatrice asks him to kill Claudio.
  • The symbolism of the death and rebirth of Hero and the unmasking of the true selves.

    This class over all has been interesting and enjoyful. The class discussions have been helpful in understanding the play and how the characters were portrayed to follow with the beliefs of that time.

    Blog 13: Unmasking the true selves...?

    This Blog entry is about the symbolic meaning in the play Much ado About Nothing, of the unmasking that takes place when Claudio is about to marry Leonato's "niece."

    In the play right before Claudio marries the real Hero that is veiled he wishes to remove the veil and see his bride. He is not allowed to do so because they want the full effect of the rebirth of a new Hero.
    Hero "died" because of the slander  that Claudio spread of her being with Borrachio. They faked her death in order to give the symbolic meaning of her innocence. She had never been with a man, she was a maid and in front of the people of the town she was made out to be some whore. So she dies from the lies said about her chastity. This is an important part of the play because after her death Hero would be reborn as the same Hero that she was, innocent. Her slander would die with her because it was never true and instead she is seen as an innocent girl who dies cause of lies.

    Do we have a new Claudio? I think that in some form or another he is consumed with guilt for "killing" Hero. He feels badly for his actions in front of everyone. So by Claudio's acceptance of the mourning in her honor he has been transformed into a more humbled Count. His pride and rage have been replaced by sorrow and longing for his bride to be that is no longer alive because of his own tongue. Therefore his is somewhat reborn as well.

    Beatrice and Benedick, they are unmasked because in the beginning they try to deny their love for each other. However, Claudio and Hero both steal the writing that Benedick has written to Beatrice, and Beatrice's to Benedick. This is the proof that they against their hands have written what they feel in their hearts for one another. I feel that when it comes to their "rebirth" Benedick is no longer the free bachelor that dislikes women. He has truly found someone whom is if fond of and does want to share his company with. However, Beatrice has always been outspoken. This I have liked about her because she states what she feels without letting anyone influence her how she should be. She has always defended women and their honor as well. But once Benedick kisses her, he has won and Beatrice and her feisty self have been silenced.

    So do I feel that these are their true selves? In the case of Hero and Claudio, Hero is still the same innocent virgin that she always was, her death and rebirth are just symbolic in order to save face.

    Claudio is a little different, he is calmer and more willing to see error so therefore I believe he has been humbled by his own doing. This new Claudio is still the same Claudio from before I just think that he would think more before he accuses harshly.

    Benedick, he has changed because he went from being a Bachelor and disliking marriage into falling in love and wanting to be with Beatrice, no matter what circumstances. He was even willing to kill his own friend in order to be in Beatrice's grace and prove his love for her.

    Beatrice, this is the only character that I feel has lost her spirit, yes she may have fallen in love, but she was so outspoken and now she has been made to be like Hero. Docile and submissive, which were not her characteristics before. She has become a tamed shrew....

    Does the double happy ending work for me, in a way I am fine with it because Hero was saved from the slander and she still wanted Claudio even though he treated her bad in front of everyone. She's just a typical girl from that time.  However, I am somewhat  disappointed that Beatrice lost her spark. If I could have done anything differently I would have made Benedick and Beatrice married, but Beatrice still having her loud and outspoken voice. That's the only difference I would make, I would have made her stay as the dominant one in that relationship.

    Blog 12: Beatrice & Benedick

    This blog entry is in regards to the play that we have been discussing in class, Much Ado About Nothing.
    In the play Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio after Claudio has slandered Hero's name publicly and refused to marry her.

    The meeting that takes place between Beatrice and Benedick is a test of their love because Beatrice tells Benedick that he can prove his love for her by accomplishing this task. She wishes that Claudio would pay for what he has done to Hero. It is a form of justice for Beatrice.

    However, since Claudio is his friend, Benedick says no at first. In a sense, Beatrice risks loosing Benedick if he does not accept the challenge. Because since it is a test of their love he can walk out on their relationship. Also he could be killed in the challenge if Claudio wins, so it's a 50/50 chance that she could end up happy that Claudio is dead or sad that Claudio is triumphant and her man is dead.

    When I read the act in the play when Beatrice says it is a man's job but not Benedick's, I think that the reason why it wouldn't be his job is because of the close ties they have as friends. Beatrice herself knows that it is alot to ask that Benedick kill his own friend for the honor of her cousin. I also believe that it may just be another sign that she believes the men are not acting honorably, including Benedick since he too is a man and he has said no to doing such a deed.

    Now as far as Benedick's risks and gains, I feel that Benedick risks loosing his friend since Claudio and him have been close for some time. He may also risk loosing such high regard with Don Pedro and their court because Don Pedro is on Claudio's side. They were both together and saw the same thing when Borrachio was saying Hero's name. Therefore Don Pedro also feels Hero has been unladylike and Benedick can gain another enemy if he does kill Claudio. Benedick if he does succeed with the challenge gains Beatrice's love and respect again since this would prove that he loves her, he would have her at his feet. Anything that he could possibly ask of her she would have to do because she would be in his debt.

    In my opinion I don't think that Benedick should kill Claudio. The reason why I don't think it should be done is because Beatrice also knows the plan between Leonato and the Friar. The death and rebirth of new life and recognition of the innocence of the death would backfire since the plan is so Hero still gets her man. I think that not only would Benedick pay for it, Beatrice would also because even though Claudio slandered Hero's name she still wants to be married to him. Leonato as well wants the marriage to take place and if Claudio is killed the plan would be ruined.

    If Benedict did kill Claudio, I have a feeling that he would no longer be himself and that his feelings for Beatrice would turn into some form of resentment towards her. He would have done it to prove his love for her but then at the end be unsatisfied with her love because he had to do a difficult task of killing his friend. I think the relationship would suffer completely, only driving them farther apart. When it comes to friendships between males, women shouldn't get involved because in the end they will be blamed for making the men choose either their friends or them. The women may win but the men will never get over it. Thus creating a deeper void in their relationships.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Blog 11: Hero & Claudio

    This Blog is about Much Ado about Nothing, in class we have been reading this play by Shakespeare and  this entry focuses on the courtship during the playwright's time.

    Based on the acts and the movie we saw, the way in which marriage came about was like a business transaction. Hero in this case is nothing more than merchandise with a warranty. Don Pedro and Claudio talk about Leonato's heir, in this case it was only Hero. Therefore, what ever was Leonato's becomes Claudio's once him and Hero are married. 

    The situation is very complex to understand, on one hand he asks about Leonato's heir. This makes it seem like he is interested in Leonato's inheritance. However, on the other hand he explains that when he first saw Hero before he went to war he was stricken by her beauty but the thought of war was far too consuming to think of matters of the heart. Then when he returns victorious he feels confidant and when he sees Hero once again he feels that he is "sick with love" for her, and he wishes to be married.

    The courtship back in the Shakespearean era was a few meetings with the family of the bride and a few exchanges of words between the couple. Then it is off to the ceremony and then the night of the wedding, which the bride must be a maid in order for her to have all the riches her father leaves her. Another reason why she must be a maid is because if she has lost her virtue she is nothing in that society but a whore or a temptress. The honor of women was based on her chastity.

    Do I think that Claudio truly loves Hero? Not really, I think it is lust and business more than love. I don't think you can truly love someone in that short amount of time. For matters of the heart, I believe that getting to know someone is very important. In the partnership between Claudio and Hero, there isn't enough time for them to truly love each other. I think that there may be physical attraction and lust, but not love. Love takes longer to develop and I think that in this era they didn't really care about the true feelings they felt for each other as long as there was stability and the woman was a virtuous maid without losing her honor. They cared more for the appearance and what the people thought than what the couple felt for one another.  It seems though that after the lie Don John plants in Claudio's head that he becomes jealous of Don Pedro. He believes that letting someone else do the work doesn't pay off because the attraction can make a loyal friend turn on them and just act for themselves. Claudio really seems hurt by the lie because he may have feelings for Hero after all... I just don't think they are real love.

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Blog 10: Self evaluation and Reflection

    In this Blog entry I chose #8: The Fight, I picked teh definition of Kindred.

    The reason why I am proud of this blog is because of my understanding between the connection of the definition of the word and of Dana's own Kindred in the book. I see the irony of the word as the title of the book itself, and then of Dana's discovery of her own ancestors. Another big reason why I liked this blog is because of the Topsy Turvey Doll. The doll is unique and i believe it has a double meaning in American Society. If you haven't read the blog I think it's pretty good.

    In regards to what I have learned based on the narrative it's sooo much to explain.
    First I knew about slavery but never to the extent of what I learned in this class. With all the masks and all the cruel forms of puishment that slave masters gave the slaves it's very upsetting. I learned of the importance of education back then and how important it is today. Everyone should have the right to learn to better themselves intellectually.

    I learned regarding the system of slavery as control. One of my blog entrys focuses just on that aspect. What it takes to make a slave and how a slave owner is made. It's mind boggeling to accept such inhumane treatment because your life has been terrorized and beat all the way down to the point that you feel helpess and afraid to take any type of stand.

    This blog entry should have so much detail but I can't put it all down in words. I am left with a great feeling of sadness for all the slaves in the past and the current slaves that exist in the shadows. Slavery is just cruel and shouldn't exist but it still does. Today's society accepts it because once again everyone turns a blind eye. Everyone it out for themselves and I think this is the biggest mistake we all make. We never stop to think of the things we buy and remember how they are made, and at the expense of who.

    I didn't get to do my house evaluations, but I will read all of my group's blogs because they are all very smart and insightful and I think that everyone's opinion counts.

    All I can say is this, Professor X you rock!! The book choice was excellent, I cried, I was angry, and I felt happy that Dana made it out alive, incomplete, but alive. The incompleteness I understand is due to a greater meanining and that's because no one who lives in this time and doesn't know slavery would be fine, but someone taken from now and placed into slavery would never be whole once they returned. There just is no way to ignore the past and that symbolizes why she isn't complete.

    Blog 9: Looking back in Kindred

    In this blog entry, I will be discussing the second question which is regarding the symbolism in "lost" and "home."

    The way that the question is asked, "lost" means trauma, and "home" is Dana's desire to be back in her world and her "real" time. The first question is what traumas are indicated by the loss of Dana's arm? When Dana looses her arm after she kills Rufus, she is left incomplete. During her times back and forth between time periods Dana has endured so much pain and suffering. Her life before as a wife to a white man will never be the same. Her knowledge of her ancestors brings darkness into her life. As a black woman in her present time she didn't know what it was really like to be black in a white man's world. She had her so called "rights." She was working and able to marry her white husband with the objection of his family and her own. But the fact was that she could do so. However, after she starts going back and forth between past and present, her future will no longer be the same. She has been marked by her past and the trauma she experienced as a black woman in the past. This will be with her forever, so much that the loss of her arm shows the pasts grip on her life and her present. She was able to survive the Antebellum- Maryland, but this survival comes with the experience and the traumatic events she endured.

    How  is a the loss an indication of Dana's personal traumas? Well, when she was in Maryland, she witnessed so much pain and suffering from her friends at the time. She understood Sarah's attitude and way of being after her children were sold for Margaret to gain fancy things. She witnessed the rape and beating of her Ancestor Alice, and all the pain and suffering Rufus caused her that made her commit suicide. She had to endure her own whippings when she tried to escape to find her husband that was lost there from her previous return to her Los Angeles home. She was never complete after she knew of all the damage the people had to withstand in order for them to survive living as slaves of that plantation.

    How is it an indication of a national trauma caused by the dark historical facts of slavery? The way that I see this symbolism of "lost" as a trauma in the historical  facts of slavery is the same way that Dana may have seen it. Before she experienced this time traveling, she didn't really pay much attention to the past that blacks had to endure. She was living in her own time with her own rights. Back then however, blacks didn't have any rights whatsoever. I think that by being aware she lost the naive sense of worth she had as a black woman of her present time. The time traveling served as a purpose so that she could know he family's history and gain an understanding of what it was like to have to live in that time period. She basically had no idea, only in her literature. Whatever she read could never compare to what she actually experienced once in that era. This loss i believe is of her pride to be an American. The history should never be forgotten and that's what happened. This served as a big wake up call and reality check. The mediocre rights people have come from the suffering of others and that should never be ignored or forgotten.

    Are you also mutilated by the counrty being founded on slavery? I think that people that have survived all the past and live in a time like ours, they have to feel some anger and pain. Anyone who had an ancestor that was a slave would know that it was not an easy life. The fantasys created were done to convince themselves that what they were doing wasn't wrong, but it was. That lifestyle is not right for anyone, and people that had slaves just wanted to pretend everything was fine. I believe that America is mutilated, that's why there is so much hate and crime. There isn't real unity with people, they have just accepted it and moved on, but the real feelings will just be underlying and never fully come out because people have gone with their time.

    How can these traumas be healed? I don't think that they ever can be, I think it's all a mask of hidden resentment. Everyone worries about themselves now and for their families and friends. We live in fast paced life where things need to be done and everyone is basically in their own world, not really caring for anyone else. I think these are the effects of all the past. Once everyone had their "rights" thats all they cared for. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I believe slavery still extist in different forms. I think that people just don't think about it because they want to turn a blind eye just like the past slave owners did. They don't want to think that what we all have is through the expense of others. Therefore, it is just a continuation of history in a milder form.

    What would it take for America to get home, or for us to be at home with the memory of slavery? People are at home with slavery, they just don't think about it. They hold their celebrations for the 4th of July. No one thinks about the past. They live in the now and in the present we don't talk about slavery. People know it was bad so they prefer not to mention it. People have moved on like i stated above, and they carry on about their lives not thinking about the lives of others.