I don’t believe in goodbye

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With a heavy heart full of mixed emotions, I come to say “Until we meet again!” or “TTFN!” for any Winnie the Pooh fans out there. This wonderful summer session has come to an end. This may mean that the riveting discussions of the wonderful scholars that were apart of Bill’s Comp 250 class may come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the conversation has to stop. Here is a link to my new blog that I have taken up in relation to Super Bowl half time shows the correlation to current events throughout history. Stop bye, comment, discuss, and may language take you above and beyond your dreams and future goals.

Jessica

Curious

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Over the past few days I have been conducting a subtle social experiment as to various forms of language the public uses around the holidays. Working in retail I have encountered an increase in people around the holidays that decide that holidays mean presents, presenting their home in an aesthetically pleasing way, or contributing to an event that occurs annually. This is all fine and good, but it is curious to realize that once holiday is over, people return to their day to day lives, leaving the excitement of festivities behind them. My question is, why?

Why must it take a holiday to reunite families? Why must it take a holiday to be proud of a country that supports freedom and cultural diversity? Why must it take a holiday to decorate your home into something you have wanted to do all year? Why must it take a holiday to reach out to neighbors, friends, acquaintances and express how this time is something that should be spent together in celebration?

America is lazy and has lost the idea of what it is to be human and step outside a materialistic world and into one that benefits not only our daily lives, but the daily lives of others. For example, family time has been reduced to a simple means of boredom and simplicity. Countless times I have observed the same conversation over and over again after the 4th of July was celebrated.

“How was your fourth?”

“Eh ok, just hung out with the family, nothing too exciting.”

“Oh cool”

What is wrong with this conversation. Analyzing language has revealed that the human race cannot settle with simple. Being able to come home to a family during the holiday is a blessing that countless others would strive for, but now a days it is definitely taken for granted. Speaking of the fourth, what exactly do we celebrate? Supposedly, “freedom” is what people grill burgers too and set off fireworks for, but people in America do not realize what this freedom meant. Freedom from oppression, from a higher rule that controlled the way we used to live, the way we conducted ourselves, segregating the new from the old and trying to forcibly reform a way of society that just wanted to be free. Well, here we are, 200 some years later and America is seen as the melting pot of the world with one of the largest varieties of cultural diversity this century has to offer. Sadly this is not what is celebrated. There is still judgment and preconceived notions toward different ethnicities. People have lost touch in the beauty of language that is America and transformed it into something that is to be embarrassed by when it comes to presenting our country to other nations across the world.

Outcomes of Learning

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It is expected that with the conclusion of each term/class/session that we will walk away with a mastered set of skills that will only better us on future endeavors. As discussed in class, the idea that we are being taught to learn rather than taught to think is a controversial way to view todays modern educational system. Specifically, COMP 250 endows us with the advantage that is the rhetorical situation using critical thinking through a practiced experience with research and writing.

Not only do these outcomes cover a broad spectrum of knowledge, they are to be attained in a short amount of time. Rhetoric has been a present theme in any COMP class, but do we really know what it is? What is a rhetorical situation and how are we to utilize such a tool? Well, experienced scholars will come to know that rhetoric is a state of mind that is used to translate literary works and use them toward specific ideas or projects. Rhetoric and critical thinking come together in a beautiful way that translates research terms and concepts into unique thoughts which can mold a “student” into a scholar. Teaching rhetoric and ways to use it can only go so far, then comes the individual drive to probe further into the unknown of undiscovered knowledge.

Learning outcomes seem to restrictions on the possibility of the scholar. Sure, they can be used as excellent guidelines, but what comes next? Constricting literary works to the boundaries of proper tone, grammar, language, organization, and presentation has a limited life warranty. What happened to a little passion? What student is going to really retain this knowledge having papers with god awful prompts thrown at them or never-ending research presented to them in a mandatory manner. I will tell you right now that they will not retain a single drop of it and here’s why…..

Today’s educational system is a one size fits all and the ones that don’t fit are left behind kind of system. It is only an advantage to everyone that education and knowledge needs to fit to the scholar. Given the knowledge that they can achieve anything and that their opinion and knowledge matters will only push a future generation into the hands of newly founded way of learning AND thinking.

Peekay Briggs

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When instructed to utilize the information we learned from the knowledgeable Peekay Briggs, it was clear to see the purpose of the research seminar was to expand beyond the resources available and transform them into ideas that can be molded into solid evidence for our research claim.

The internet is a vast territory with many twists and turns and undiscovered means of knowledge. Peekay described that searching for such knowledge can be seen as stepping on various means of solid or weak ground. Google searching a topic can lead to sources such as the undeniable Wikipedia where you are basically stepping in quicksand, unsure of how reliable the content is, then realizing the dozens of references that were pulled in effort to create such an article. She then opened up the countless opportunities of knowledge the school library had to offer. Finally on steady ground, being able to narrow searches and determine relevance through skimming abstracts was a marvelous way to use scholarly works that will be attributed to future research projects.

Peekay Briggs is a great tool to use when it comes to any means of academia,  but I think her idea of meeting with students individually was a break through to what scholars really need, which is to have a personal interest in what they want to achieve both inside and outside the classroom. When placed in a setting of a large lecture hall, it is easy to believe that many “students” feel as if they are a number in a blind eye of the professor. Being treated as a noteworthy scholar who has much to contribute to this world will only further the expectations of those who want to achieve worldly knowledge.

Thank you Peekay 🙂

Music and Language

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The overwhelming influence in media is a definite revolution against the present sense of culture. First off, in order to distinguish the components of what it means to be cultured and what culture is, we must evaluate where today’s generation is with the media, starting with music.

It is curious to analyze the power of music. A genre or single song can captivate an entire nation, starting trends and different styles, jump starting businesses who utilize the popularity of different musical styles. Organizing this claim into the undeniable concept that is time, will only further the idea that music can change history. Youth will forever and always have the rebellious notion that they have the power to do anything they want because to be young means to be indestructible or unstoppable. The 20s had people believing in their ability to move their bodies in scandalous way, discovering the beauty of pelvic movements. This was a major contributor to a new way of thinking, opening doors to women’s rights, the continuing battle of civil rights, and anti-war idealists. Fast forward this to the mid 70s, people are transformed completely into a mindset of freedom and self expression and a sudden love of mother nature and the foreign unattainable prospect that is world peace.

The world of language has been molded several ways, giving it a series of texture and elasticity. Todays elixir of music is a giant meting pot of genre and expression. Have you ever watched a movie, consistent with a glorious sound track that inspires a range of emotion that words alone couldn’t do, then see the same movie, without any music at all? I mean, I haven’t, but I would assume that the film would be quite boring.

Music ignites any person in the world with a sense of purpose, elevating an idea, novel, speech, action, etc. It has to power to lift up or tear down, altering each new generation with new ways of thinking an acting. Think about it, the rap industry has altered the idea that women aren’t more than just sex icons, where 50 years ago public society had women held up to higher standards socially. There was courting and proper mannerisms that were lost in the elevated sense of feminism. I’m not saying that today’s thoughts of gender equality are wrong, I am just saying that with time and change in entertainment comes major changes in society, losing key aspects of our past and being replaced with whatever the next societal unrest is.

Music is power and a major influence to language. With the right leadership in the music industry, I have hope for beautiful possibilities that is music in the future. It would be a shame that something so influential could be tainted with hatred or foul ideas.

What do I say now?

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That long drawn out period of time where you can’t seem to grab ahold of a single word to write on paper. Furiously sitting there trying to find words to write so this task can be finished and you can move on with your day is a huge reality to anyone faced with the academic challenge of mustering up written originality on a piece of paper (or blog post).

What does writer’s block look like? Is it a wall? Is it a large black chest sitting in your mind, with the words you strive for locked away in the subconscious black hole of thoughts constantly on a stream in your head? What does writer’s block feel like? Is it cold? Is it rough? Perhaps it is a gas. Whimsical with the phrases you cannot touch or hold onto, the gas floats through your mind without a vent to escape. Slowly it creeps from your mind down into your shoulders, across your arms, and finally into your hands, paralyzing them. Hovering over the keyboard your mind is blank, confused as to how words can evaporate and rendering you speechless.

I wonder if you can get writer’s block while writing a wedding vow. I would assume by this time in life, when you are filled with the overwhelming feeling of love for not only a person, but the life that will be fulfilled with the knowledge you get to share it with someone who you couldn’t imagine living without. So much emotion, thoughts, feelings, and expression would have one thinking that a wedding vow would be easy to write. What about a eulogy at a funeral of a close relative? The life they lived, filled with thousands of beautiful moments that would be described with countless words and stories would seem to be very easy to write seeing that there is an infinite number of things to say.

That’s the funny thing about language and its power to not only tackle the highest of feats in the world, but render someone speechless of any words. I believe silence is apart of language. Pure and simple, silence can sometimes say the most when words aren’t enough. Then again, sometimes there are so many things to say but somehow these words become entrapped in a tangled mess of phrases in thoughts that make it so nothing of substance makes its way to the paper until it is too late or your thoughts seem unorganized and void of a point.

What may have seemed right in your mind, may seem wrong on paper to a third party. I assume like everything else with language, writing a paper or a post, is all a matter of perspective.

 

Language: A Reader for Writers…..Chapter 6

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Sitting in my room, feeling the light breeze come through the two windows in my room, I re-read the words of Bassey Ikpi and become alive with the bewilderment to how people in this “Land of the Free” still discriminate on the beauty that is culture in this country.

Bassey Ikpi’s beautiful African heritage is hindered with preconceived notions that all of Africa is a violent hunger stricken nation, void of any bright cultural traditions. Her final statement in her article, “Why the Whole “Poor Africa” Thing Isn’t Cool” states, “We shouldn’t have to chose between loving where we are and honoring where we came from”. Why do we have to hide culture based on what the generalized society would think? It angers me how people think they know how to run a company or business based on the traditional “American” ways that excludes any muli-cultural influence. And vice versa with areas around our country with a dominant race or religion who are too stuck on a mainstream view of the world they are too scared to let in something new.

My brother and wife just returned from a two week escape to Africa and were amazed with the rich culture that surrounds each corner of the land. Of course Africa is struck with poverty stricken areas, just like many countries, but it is also a land of beauty and tradition and it is sick how social media refuses to highlight the good in Africa.

Language: A Reader for Writers……Chapter 5

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The influence of language in gender is a major component to today’s society. Seeing that language is the most powerful tool this world has to offer, of course it will be apart of the major debate of gender equality around the world. Diving into Nathalie Rothschild article “Sweden’s New Gender-Neutral Pronoun: Hen,” I was a little hesitant to accept the idea of gender neutralizing an entire country. Sure, the overall concept of not only gender equality, but gender neutrality has the benefits of seeing someone as a human being rather than be categorized based on gender, but what does this say to new generations of children? Schools are taking away toys, free play time, gender specific bathrooms, and what do they seek to accomplish besides micromanaging the lives of toddlers to a point where they won’t be able to make their own decisions on who they are because society is saying it doesn’t matter. There is a point in this idea that is being taken too far when children are left to be an experiment on what would happen if the proponent of equality were to be blown out of proportion.

A Cultural Reveal

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As an attendee of Jay Harrison’s presentation on what he titled “Jews, Christians, and Moors in the Southwest Borderlands: Persistence of Religion and Culture,” it was curious to see that some of the world’s most discussed religions are actually from the same ancestral roots and can be connected through major historical events. In a way, there is due cause to say that the world is filled with a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites, determined in their religious accusations against another culture, when really, their ancestors most likely came from similar homelands. The white elephant in the room of religious debates that cause a majority of harsh discrimination is that at some point, somewhere, a multitude of cultures crossed paths and dispersed on slightly different versions of religious interpretation. The moment this common affiliation is realized, there can be hope for a present day compromise instead of what time has brought us; one brother killing another over the idea that one is inferior than the other based on generations of unnecessary hatred. That, however, is just one theory.

Jay’s opening discussion was the basis of inheritance through the religions of Iberia. He began with the Iron Age tribal cults, Roman cults of 200 BCE, the diaspora of Judaism, Roman Christianity of 1054, Islam from Umayyad conquests from 711-1600s, and Western Orthodoxy under Rome 1054 to present time. These cultures led to the origins of Islamic Spain. Fast forward to today’s understanding of the Spanish language, people do not realize that the basis of many of the Spanish words come from Islamic roots. The discussion was then transformed into defining convivencia and the various concepts of a pluri-ethnic society. There is evidence all around us that combine the ways of old and new culture, whether that be through language base or historical architecture that had several religious influences that people today believe was impossible. Personal identitiy was not only affluent with time, but progressed into what is seen as a desired cultural purity, a need to define a culture as ultimately superior to another without a drop of diversity. This led into what Jay called, ” Religion as culture, culture as religion”. To genetically define culture or tests its’ authenticity has absorbed today’s mindset of what it truly is to be human; a pull of resources and cultural evolution that has advanced our race into an era new minds and ideals.

A Combination of Multimodal Projects and Citations

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I can positively conclude that the overall idea of a scholars work is originality. Scholars are faced with several guidelines of writing and research. In order to have a valid point or idea, vital means of properly cited evidence and support is needed. A simplified version of how to use citations was stated through Schick and Schubert’s example of visualizing work as the interaction between a lawyer and a jury in their book So What?

Further investigation into how to use citations was used through the reading of multimodal ideas in Arola, Sheppard, and Ball’s work: Writer/Designer A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Earlier discussions of the interpretation of language and a section of a linguistic modal communication were connected through the idea of written or spoken words. Seeing that text, not language, is universal through the authors’ concluded modes of communication: linguistic, visual, aural, gestural, and spatial; it was curious to think that language was not a separate entity from communication, but a section of it.

Overall, means of multimodal communication are quite effective in the world of scholars. Personally, a more personal approach through the use of physical linguistic and gestural modes of communication are the most effective when argumentative platforms are presented outside of the written world. Though, with every claim made using these modes, thorough evidence is important in any area of academic projects. I found it interesting how authors Schick and Schubert noted how the scholar Rebecca Moore Howard created the idea of “patch-writing”. Translating this into the use of modal means of communication, particularly when it comes to someone giving a speech, was an excellent way to not only sound honest, but scholarly by being able to pull from various stated sources that can be used to support an idea. Multimodal projects are becoming an excellent way of presenting a thorough and easily communicated experiment, plan, idea, or argument.