• P. 182: First mention of true fear regarding her child’s health condition
  • Unselfish evaluation of priorities
  • use of proposal argument (p.173) shows she is taking an active role in dealing with the fear


  • husband’s work defines both of their lives
  • Lydia’s work only serves as a time occupation
  • brings sense of self and level mind to work
  • shown through her evaluative arguments on the subject


  • prominent aspect in her life
  • thinks about what is best for the both of them
  • more strong use of evaluative arguments
  • puts her husband before her
  • uses rebuttal arguments to justify it



  • p.112 first mention of fear regarding his success, or lack thereof, at work
  • shows Kurt has a more self-central view
  • uses fear for something too insignificant?


  • basis for first mention of fear
  • changes later to proposal arguments
  • this shows he is taking actual responsibility and taking action
  • Kurt seems to use definitional arguments throughout the first part his story to change the meaning as things such as “success” and “love” in order to satisfy himself


  • first mention of wife 11 pages in to the interview
  • p.115 he assumes the dominant role in the relationship assuming that his wife is primarily there to support him
  • lack of discussion on marriage serves as a definitional argument on what he thinks marriage is


Things to let go of before reading

Before productively reading any piece of text I have to have a completely free mind. Regardless of the of day I am having I have to let it go and focus solely on the words I am reading. If I let outside factors influence my reading, my perception is not organic. It is skewed.

With this being said, I try to bring absolutely nothing to the text I am reading. Seeing the text for what it is, and nothing more or less, proves to be the most difficult but also most important aspect of reading for me.

After reading, once annotations are made and notes are taken, this is when I feel it is appropriate to bring my opinions and view points to the table.

Narration and Narrative Arguments

In the below post, as you may notice, there are no narrative arguments observed. I did this because as I was reading it came to me that most narrations are not narrative arguments but rather a summary of the formation of a different type of argument.

For example, the statement “John laughed as he was watching a comic,” brings the reader to the obvious conclusion that John thinks the comic is funny. How? is the question I am asking though. Stating that this conclusion is the underlying inference of a narrative argument, includes, within it, the evaluative argument of John finding the comic funny because of a,b and c. Therefore, what seems to be a narrative argument is solely the narration, or summary, of another argument type.

With this being said, can a narrative argument exist independent from another argument? Should they be considered arguments or tools used to summarize arguments?

Kurt’s Arguments

Perception Map

  • pp. 104,105: explains the desire to be in control of his life
  • pp. 105: “I am motivated by personal Satisfaction” This is the starting point of Kurt’s perception
  • pp. 106: Looking at the poem on this page as Kurt does shows some potential self-disapproval
  • pp. 107: “I have a tendency to over commit myself to things.”,”For me, balance is not a conscious thing-it just happens.” These two quotes are almost simultaneously stated. This contradiction shows that Kurt is internally confused about how to find balance.
  • pp. 109: “Rather than trying to control external circumstances, I am controlling my reactions.” first mention of S+R = O.
  • pp. 112: “So, then there’s a lot of fear with it…” This is the first mention of fear in the interviews. Whereas Lydia first mentions fear when talking about her child, Kurt’s fear derives its self from self success or the lack thereof.
  • ****: “In other people’s eyes that I might have failed…” Shows Kurt’s continuing concern of external factors
  • pp. 114: “I’m clear on what I want and what I want to feel…I attribute the plant manager position to this.” Shows Kurt’s perception change due to getting promoted at work
  • ****: This is the 11th page of Kurt’s story and he just now mentions his wife.
  • pp.115: “The support from her…” Kurt automatically gives off the impression of dominance in the realtionship.
  • pp.117: “…if I really don’t think that something is in our best interest then I need to find a way in which to communicate that.” This shows the development of the basis for more solid proposal and evaluation arguments. Due to yet another promotion and change of responsibilities.
  • *****: makes a definitional argument on how to make evaluation arguments pp.118 shows thinking applied in his life.
  • pp. 126: “What I like to focus on is how do we look at that differently” This shows Kurt’s theory that his universal truths should be applied everywhere when he brings this theory home and applies it to his kids.


  • pp.107: Eval-“In my head, it makes sense; in my heart, I’m not quite there.” While he is narrating here, he is narrating his evaluational argument on his feelings about work.
  • pp. 109: Def-“Everything is an expression of love or call for love.” “It was easy to send and give love.” Kurt is arguing the definition of love to be omnipresent and easily exchangebale in his work life.
  • p. 110: Rebuttal-” I couldn’t work the hours I work right now if I had that.” He is arguing that he would not be as successful in work if he had other things going on.
  • p. 111: Def.-“I always will, and I always have, maintain that I am here to support my boss. It is my number one responsibility to make our boss successful.” Kurt is defining his perception of work.
  • pp. 113: Eval-“That’s difficult, because I’m not doing me a service by not being who I truly am in a lot of different rolls or responsibilities or functions.” Kurt evaluates how several different roles is a bad thing because he is loosing his sense of self.
  • pp.117: Prop.-” I’m trying to have that be embraced by all of the other individuals of the team so that I can head off in a different direction…” By putting managerial tasks on other team members Kurt is proposing that he should move onto other things where he can be more helpful.
  • pp. 121: Def-“I feel like now I’ve regained my necessary role with the organization.” The argument is made that a good place for Kurt can be defined as his current situation
  • pp. 124: Def- In the third excerpt from the dialogues Kurt defines the ideal perception with his equation S+R=O (situation plus response equals outcome)

Lydia’s Arguments

• Unknown
o P. 164
• “it has made me more independent of what I know.”
o P. 165
• You don’t know what you are capable of; you reinvent yourself as you gain new experiences”
• Perception map
o P. 161
• Has to prove herself in college
o P. 163
• Begins to look at things from a different point of view as well as her own
o P. 166
• “Military people don’t know work people”
• Lydia finds separation between the way “work” people and military perceive the world around them
o P.170 “You just want to keep it positive and the right foot forward until you cement the relationship enough.”
• Shows perception on social interaction
• Derived from numerous moves and having to restart social circles several times
o P. 170
• The introduction of a child changes perception
• Work and the daily grind become trivial issues compared to the importance of the child
o P. 173 “I’m the 33 year old mom and that makes a difference”
• Age gives Lydia a sense of authority and wisdom when dealing with things
o P. 174
• Looking at the bigger picture comes in focus
o P.175 “With age comes wisdom”
• Perception is more conservative later on
o P. 182
• First mention of deep fear
• Comes for 3 year old child with several severe food alergies
• Evaluation
o P. 161 describing college versus home
• College is a new start
• A place to be proven
o P. 166 moving overseas is best for them
• It is what makes them happy
• It is positive change
o P. 170
• Describes choosing her son over work with the constraint of time present
o P. 176
• Evaluates the fact of her husband leaving for another tour
• Rebuttal
o P. 162 “but I see other people do it too”
• Emphasizing that there is a possibility to live the army lifestyle
o P. 168 “I’ve come out of my shell. This is who I am. If you like it fine; if not I don’t worry about it.”
• It is how it is. Focuses on her strength with no regard to what other people may think
• Narrative
o P. 163 “I …think about it from his point of view”
• Also shows perception change due to marital status
o P. 174 “So, somewhere you need to find a mix where it works”
• Proposal
o P.173 “I think you should do this and this is why.”
• Context: visits to the doctor concerning her son’s health

Idea 2

My second idea incorporates what we have been working on in class with the book. I think it would be interesting to take three or four of the people in the book and see what types of arguments they use to a) justify actions and b)make decisions. Then I would observe the outcomes of their decisions and evaluate whether or not using a different type of argument could have been more helpful to their situation.

Idea 1

My first idea came to me after listening to Marcia’s interview that Bill shared via e-mail. The idea of “floating through life” is brought up by the host. My idea would be to take two, one male and one female, people from the book and observe how they went from floating through life to taking an active position and making decisions for themselves.