Some call it procrastination, some call it waiting for inspiration.

Here is not the latest but a good chunk of my most recent work.

Feedback apreciated


A person or character is better understood after a, at minimum, brief review of significant events and facts that are made apparent to us by interaction or a text. We are first introduced to Lydia in college, where she describes part of her goals as “trying to prove herself” and prove herself she did by graduating with two teaching certificates, being a member of a sorority and participating in a multitude of extra-curricular activities. She didn’t have much time after finishing college to get her life going it seems before she met and married her fiancé, David, who was in the US Navy, less than a year after graduation. Lydia and David moved to a completely new state, forcing Lydia into a whole new life of change. Her husband went back to sea and Lydia kept busy by teaching at community college and interacting with other Navy wives. For their next move, the duo had a choice of and received the overseas tour they wanted, it lasted a little over two years and was an experience that showed Lydia, “Life is too short to be bothered by little things like moving and being uprooted from jobs and friends” (Magolda 165). This quotation is an excellent perspective for someone about to embark on a life similar to Lydia, she was expecting the changes and already prepared to not let them get to her. After the over-seas tour experience, Baxter B. Magolda includes some commentary and quotations discussing Lydia’s self-identity at this time, and how her independence is enduring a great period of change, “It will be a different focus on who I am and what my purpose is. Lydia the wife, with a son, but my independence will still be there.” (Magolda 168). For life events such as having a child, quitting your job to become a stay-at-home mom, having your Navy husband back home after months of his absence, and moving across the country; simultaneously, Lydia seems to keep a even temperament and level head through this period of adjustment. Naturally, she felt some apprehension in the midst of all these new and exciting adjustments, she again takes part in a group specifically for stay-at-home moms and tells of how they kept her grounded. This time was not only a period of change for Lydia, but for David as well. He returned home form the Navy shortly before the birth of his son, Luke, also, in their new assignment, David was taking classes regularly to get his master’s degree.

Lydia happily surrenders to motherhood in time for her and David to make the very big decision of how long he will stay in the Navy, Lydia reluctantly relates the decision to if David will, “sacrifice the career for the family” (Magolda 171). This propels to a discussion between Magolda and Lydia about the effects of the Navy on raising a family and how a positive attitude makes its possible for t to work. For the following few years, David had shore duty. “Shore Duty” is what follows an assignment of “Sea Duty”, usually switching at an average of every 36 months. Some assignments are longer and some shorter, also, during “Sea Duty” a soldier is not necessarily at sea for the full three years, they are often in home ports, yet these assignments typically demand more work and time form a soldier (Powers). Lydia describes loving having David home during that time but also “waiting for the bubble to burst” (Magolda 175). After four years, David was redeployed to sea four months after the birth of their second son, Alex.

Following this is  more description and reflection to her children’s happiness and environment with their father in the Navy. Despite being accustomed to this way of life, Lydia’s strength was questioned when her second child developed mysterious health problems while David was gone at sea. Doctors had a hard time diagnosing Alex’s problem and dealing with this frightening situation on her own made Lydia realize that she needs to depend on herself more and more. She handled and managed each incident individually, learning new things about her son and his illness constantly and trusting both her kids, and other support networks to get through each day.

David returned home from his two year sea assignment and receive a new, pentagon assignment, making it possible for them all to live in the same house again. Lydia couldn’t deny her relief but change was yet again on the horizon. She discusses how she is okay with the uncertainty of when David would receive another assignment and of how long he planned to stay in the Navy because through all her tribulations, she has learned to trust herself.

Research Method

Research can mean a variety of things and be done in a variety of ways. For my purposes, I will be using both fact, opinion and inferences as my research for this essay. In order to successfully incorporate all three, I have been using the following method to analyze the text of Marcia B. Baxter Magolda’s book, Authoring Your Life.

A research method that has often been discussed is looking for similar themes, words or phrases throughout a text and comparing the different situations in order to draw conclusions.

I have based my own method upon the above, yet rather than finding similarities and differences between the direct passages, I read the text multiple times and take notes of the following;  important events and information, my opinions and reactions of the text, inferred concepts and themes, and also associations to real life and other texts.

Lastly, going back to the original method, I mark similarities within my own notes about the text; including reoccurring concepts or points I plan to include in my essay. This way I am making connections within my analyzation of the text, rather than from only the text itself. This method will show throughout the paper and help the research stand apart from the  ordinary reporting of the commonplace research paper.

Research Paper Introduction

Any Thoughts or Feedback is very appreciated!

Everybody has the people in their life who face continuous obstacles yet seem to prevail un-hindered and as tenacious as they ever may have been. Some people are confronted by innumerable challenges on a daily basis and are capable of  persisting with a smile on their face and pride in their heart. Some one who greatly exemplifies this fortitude is the persona of “Lydia” represented in chapter six, “Lydia’s Story- External Chaos, Internal Stability” of Marcia B. Baxter Magolda’s book, Authoring Your Life. This book contains a selected six of 35 longitudinal studies that included annual interviews beginning when participants were freshman at Miami University and continuing until the age of 40. One of Baxter Magola’s focuses throughout her professional career has been the idea of self-authorship, or taking charge of one owns decisions. Thoroughly depending on word-for-word excerpts from the participants interviews, the author first describes to the readers different types of challenges that are commonly experienced during their maturing years and how the development of an internal voice can aid.  The following six chapters are each individually devoted to one life story of one Baxter Magolda’s interviewees. Lastly, she changes her focus to tell readers directly how to establish an inner-voice and how to assist others in the same process.

Authoring Your Life was written as a self help book, and generated for a popular audience rather than an academic- to help young adults with the transition from dependency on external influences to taking charge of their own decisions, and secondly, to guide significant others in the lives of these young adults who want to help with addressing the same issues (Evans). Although Baxter Magolda extensively relies on direct quotes from participant interviews, she contributes enormously to the life stories of these six individuals, molding and shaping how readers may perceive them so they are most effective for her purposes. Without extensive psychiatric knowledge of adult development, it is hard to say what information exactly she may have manipulated with her commentary in order to display these people’s lives in one way or another, but with consideration of this specific rhetorical situation, we can better understand both Lydia’s and the others true stories and accomplishments.

Lydia’s chapter is titled, “External Chaos, Internal Stability” and is the sixth of Baxter Magolda’s book. The titles of each chapter are very significant, and all represent some of the main themes that are highlighted throughout the individual stories. For Lydia, the title is referring to how she had a constant flow of troubles and worries in her life, yet seemed to always make it through with a positive and rational state of mind. Lydia started as a shy college student and quickly transformed into an independent and head-strong woman who was comfortable making important decisions regarding the constant uncertainty of the Navy life. By being able to accept the precarious challenge of having a husband in the Navy, Lydia developed an enduring trust of her inner- voice with which she kept herself and her family grounded.

The Navy lifestyles can be a constant struggle for many families. But some people seem resilient and redoubtable enough to overcome the various and plentiful challenges proposed by this way of life. In this essay, I will explore, explain, and analyze the life of a very spirited woman, Lydia, as presented by long-term interviews and commentary by Marcia B. Baxter Magolda in Authoring Your Life. Keeping in mind the framing of her story within the self help book, I will determine and define Lydia’s coping methods and strategies for the strains of Navy life and everyday challenges as well by breaking down the information with in Lydia’s verbatim and Baxter Magolda’s narration.

Plan for Getting the Most Out of Reading

In relation to my previous post, I would like to propose a plan that aids in releasing your bias when reading a text. An idea to help is to read the same passage at different times of the day or in different places. Doing this could help identify different emocions one feels during perhaps the morning, the afternoon or the evening. We could also analyze the effects of reading outside versus inside. I want to read just the verbatim quotes from Lydia’s chapter in Authoring Your  Own Life two separate times, once on a nice afternoon outside (where and when I think I would feel most cheery) and again inside in the middle of the night inside (where and when I think I would feel most frustrated). I would take note of and pay special attention to my emotional reactions to the passages, then compare my responses. Through this, I can get a better understanding of how ones perception of a text is influenced (or maybe not influenced) by previous states of mind and dispositions.

How to Get the Most Out of a Reading

Today in class we discussed how our mindset, emotions and memories affect your perception and judgement of a text, this led to a conversation about how sometimes you have to let go of said mindsets, emotions, and memories in oder to receive a text with an “open mind” (whatever that might be).

When trying to get meaning from a text, the above mentioned bias’s can easily change your over-all perception of every detail and action involved. My idea would be to read a text twice. The first time, trying to disregard and neglect personal opinions and judgements, reading for just what is there, what the author is trying to get the reader to infer. The second time, after getting a a basic understanding for the text, one can re-read the same material, only this time using their personal experience, thoughts, and bias to their advantage; creating new opinions and judgements about the literature, or, creating knowledge.

The reason for this method is because your mood, surroundings, and emotions greatly impact the way a reader is impacted and thinks about a text. for example, an angry reader may study a text and possibly become frustrated easily due to a situation in the book. Or, an upset reader may only focus on the emotional aspects of a writing.

Being able to separate your own life, opinions and judgement while attempting to understand and evaluate literature is an indispensable skill that also helps with the idea of an “open mind”.


As a start of the analyzation of Lydia’s experience and difficulties with the Navy Life, I have created a list of some of the major challenges that Lydia faces in her chapter.

  • Notify or not notify husband of grandmothers death at sea (163)
  • Overseas tour (164)
  • Pregnancy while husband is away (166)
  • Time management (166)
  • Construction of a “Normal” (168, 169)
  • Friendships (170)
  • Government policy issues (171, 179)
  • Raising children alone (175, 179)
  • Loneliness (174)
  • Relationship of David and children (178, 179)
  • Fear of Davids safety (178)
  • Putting the mission first (179,184)
  • Childs health issues (180, 181)
  • Uncertainty of future (183, 184)

Research Proposal Change

I have just changed my research proposal around a bit; before, I was planning on focusing on different aspects of the average family’s life in the navy, based off research. Then I was going to compare my findings to Lydia’s story in Authoring Your Life and the representation of her life as well.

Now I think I am going to begin with some findings from Lydia’s chapter in the book and focus particularly on the challenges she faces from her Navy lifestyle and what methods she uses to cope with them. Then, I will research about what she experienced online for some back up information, determining if her problems are average for people in similar situations. I will also touch on the possibility of a false representation of Lydia by Magolda in order to make her story more inspiring.


The changes I have made can be seen under the page titled, “My Research Project”. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Second Proposed Research Topic

My second research topic proposal involves the difference of the struggles people face when put in oppressed positions compared to everyday personal struggles. I would focus my research on chapter four, Kurt’s Story and six, Lydia’s story. These two accounts of two very different peoples’ lives show a contrast of a woman faced with particularly challenging circumstances and a man who never had to deal with obscene amounts of tragedy or oppression, yet battled emotionally through his life just the same. I would also compare and contrast different styles of arguments they use to justify their internal struggles and the mechanisms they use to cope.

First Proposed Research Topic

My first possible research project idea is to investigate two or more chapters/ people about the struggle they faced between leading their own lives through personal emotions and goals verses leading their lives pleasing others and their ideas for greatness. I could incorporate an evaluation of the arguments they use to justify their actions and discover whose side their arguments actually support, while also researching about how internal personal development relates to who people consider when making life changing decisions. I could address questions such as, Why do some people live their lives serving others? and, What is necesarry for one to take control of their actions and make decisions based on what is best for themselves?