This week we really focused on creating our multimodal presentation-website-thingy. My group all finished the book around the same time so we all were able to discuss it and the things we had difficulties understanding or the things we really liked about the book, so that was really nice. I really enjoyed The Alchemist, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a book that really makes them think.
The project part is where things got a little hairy. We are supposed to emulate the Snowfall presentation. That’s really the only guidance, that I feel like we were given in terms of what we were supposed to do. There were several examples of past presentations that were made available, but they were all slightly different in what they contained. Some of the websites have videos and pictures, but one had a slide show discussing the characters in the book. My group chose not to do the slideshow, but then after hearing about the gallery walks on Friday (which I missed due to attending an admitted students day at the University of Michigan) I have the feeling that we should have made the slideshow.
I feel like we did really well with the creation of the presentation, but I wish that we had a little more guidance in what we needed to have to in the presentation. Looking at the rubric showed how we were going to be graded, but there wasn’t really anything that showed the requirements for the project. All in all I feel like we were do a pretty good job emulating Snowfall, but I would have like a more solid understanding in what elements were required.
The book my group chose to read for the ‘Why am I here?’ project was The Alchemist. We had chose the book last week because it was the shortest book we had the opportunity to read, that is the honest reason we chose it. Once I started reading the book last week I had a feeling that Santiago and I were really similar in that we were both searching for our Personal Legends, Santiago had discovered his and was seeking it while I am still searching for something to point me in the right direction.
This week as I finished reading the book I was left with an almost comical lesson to follow the omens and my heart. Being apart of the MPHS Dance Team for the first three years of high school we had a running joke to follow your heart, so hearing this from the book brought about a sense of nostalgia. The other running message of the book was to follow the omens, they will lead you to where you are meant to go even though they might take you the long route to things. Santiago could have literally found the treasure at the beginning of the story, but through following the signs he was able to learn the Universal Language and travel to many wonderful places.
This week on my college decision I was ready to pull the trigger and submit a deposit at the University of Michigan, but then on Thursday I was watching a Youtube video that had to do with U of M and a girl in the video was wearing a Hope College Basketball shirt, I was driving to dance and there was a semi truck with Holland written on the back at the same time that a song that I associate with Hope College was playing on the random radio station I had chosen because it wasn’t playing commercials. So now I am back to square one of not knowing where to go and my parents are expecting me to make a decision by the first week of April.
This week we read the books that we chose to read to help us with our project that is themed around the question “Why am I here?” My group chose to read The Alchemist, and so far I really like it. Santiago is a character I can really relate to, he is the kind of person who goes with the flow but he knows what he wants in life. I am a pretty laid back person, I don’t get stressed when things don’t go exactly the way they were planned.
The other part of Santiago that I relate to is that he knows what he wants, he has found his Personal Legend, but he is scared to go for it. He hesitates and then he starts to try and achieve it and then he hesitates again until he is given a push. I haven’t found by Personal Legend yet, I don’t know what the purpose is in my life but there are certain things that I really want to do in life and I start to take steps toward them and then I get scared. Choosing a college has been one of these times, where I am ready to put down a deposit at either Hope College or the University of Michigan and then I get scared. Hope is too small or a place where I’m going to get too comfortable, U of M is too large or I’m not going to be able to find people like me who don’t really like to party and need to study a lot.
In the next few weeks I will have to be like Santiago and take the first steps towards part of my Personal Legend. I don’t know what happens to Santiago after he leaves the crystal shop but I’m hoping that he is successful in his Personal Legend and I hope that I am able to be successful in my own Personal Legend.
This week we worked on our independent reading projects. I had a slight difficulty with the project because I knew what I was trying to say but I didn’t know how I was going to say it. I spent most of the week researching for different sources that I was going to use that would help me to explain the different ways that jealousy is shown and that even though there is different ways that jealousy manifests.
In looking at the definition of jealousy I realized that it really only is described as a feeling that is felt when there are two parties that are causing a lack of affection to be felt by a third party, but when you look at when people are experiencing jealousy it is expressed and felt different ways. So jealousy really isn’t just a cut and dry feeling.
During my research I discovered that prior to Shakespeare writing Othello, yellow was often used to symbolize jealousy. Now green is used to symbolize jealousy due to a line in Othello, but it got me thinking that what if yellow and green were used to symbolize jealousy. If there wasn’t just one color to symbolize jealousy then maybe there would be more than just one definition of jealousy. Happy, sad, and fear all have different ways that they can be used in life. A person can be happy crying or they can be fearful of the future but also a hopeful fearful. Feelings don’t just have one certain manifestation so they shouldn’t have a cut and dry definition, but that is what I have found jealousy has become.
This week was really cool getting to watch everyone’s This I Believe videos. We had several modified schedules due to a two hour delay and the musical preview, which caused us not to get through everyone’s videos but I will most likely end up watching the rest of them when I have the chance to outside of school.
I really liked getting to hear my classmates share things that they believe in. Some things I already knew about like Alana and her grandma, but other things I didn’t know because they are things people choose to hide away. I feel like this project allowed people to share who they are as a person and to share things that we often hide away.
I know that personally there are aspects of my life that I would rather not have people know about, and I chose not to talk about them in this project. Other people were much more brave than I was in the life stories they chose to share and I really commend them for doing so because it really allowed us to see how they came to their belief.
Getting to see the parts of people’s lives that they choose to hid can also be really healing. There has been a lot of research that shows sharing personal stories can help them to heal from that. I know that personally my story was more of getting to share my younger sister, but others were about hard times in their life that they may not have healed from but I hope that through this project they were able to heal.
Working on a project can seem pretty cut and dry. You’ve done all your learning now it’s just a matter of putting things together to share what it is you learned. Sharing a personal belief is different, there can be learning in the events leading up to the formation of a belief but when it comes to sharing the cut and dry version of the belief didn’t seem like it was going to be difficult for me. I’m not really a person to withhold certain beliefs from people, and my belief that everything happens for a reason is definitely one that I don’t withhold.
I thought that this project was going to be so cut and dry, not emotional or difficult. Once I got to working on it I became nervous that it wasn’t going to turn out right. I kept putting things where I thought they would fit but they didn’t feel right. Also as I worked I started to get more invested in the project.
Once I finally felt like everything was in the right spot and together, I was really wanted to show my mom and my sister. I wanted to show them, but once I got the chance to show them I was really nervous to show them because I was scared of what they were going to think of it. Making me realize that while my belief is solid, the feelings I had during the story that goes along with it is what made me nervous. Realizing that I have to share this with the whole class made the project more difficult than I thought it would be.
This week we worked mostly on our “This I Believe.” It did get a little monotonous at times, but I really enjoyed it. Being able to see what random, and not so random, people believe is really cool.
The United States was founded on the idea of freedom, but I often feel scared to share what I believe in because there is always someone ready to call you crazy based on one belief. Most of the time only hearing one belief is often one sided stories can be considered dangerous like Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche shares is her TED Talk The Danger of a Single Story. Only hearing one thing can limit what you know.
During this project I felt that once I figured out my belief, it was a little difficult to pick one memory that would help to explain my belief that everything happens for a reason. I have so many experiences my belief has been confirmed, but on Tuesday after class I was feeling that I had no clue what I was going to discuss.
My belief was both confirmed and I figured out what moment from my life I was going to share, was from that day. The birth of my youngest sister or something along that line was what I wanted to discuss, and after taking my sister to dance I felt like that was the afternoon that I needed to share. Actually writing about it was difficult at first but once I figured out how I wanted to start it was smooth sailing from there.
After Tuesday, I feel that I was able to steer clear of the dangers that a single story can present based on the way that I have chosen to script my belief. I just hope that no one get in arguments over their beliefs, because if they do it will spoil the beauty of this project.
This week we focused a lot on online privacy and forming our own opinions on the subject. I feel like having the discussions with others helped me to see a perspective that I might not have seen before. Prior to this week I knew that there was limited privacy online, but I wasn’t aware that my every move is being recorded in a file or that it was being sold to companies to cater their advertisements towards me. I don’t see a problem with that but I also can see where it could go in the future of identity theft. After seeing and discussing where the tracking could go, I was able to decide that I believe that we need some sort of regulation for tracking.
I really liked getting to be apart of the research the Mr. Schoenborn is doing with a few professors at Central, especially because I have been apart a lot of research studies in the Physical Therapy department but never the English department. The only thing that I wish would have been explained more to us was what exactly the College Ready Writing is and what exactly we were doing prior to actually doing it.
Participating in the PT department’s research growing up I always knew what I was doing and what they were looking for. Not really knowing why we were doing the mini lesson till afterwards didn’t allow me to personally learn as much. I did think that I learned something but just not all that I could have.
This was the first full week of school in the past two weeks and originally I thought I was going to die, but in all reality it wasn’t that bad. It actually kinda sucked not having the full weeks to get our presentations and essays together, but we made it work. I know that for the two weeks where we were going to school only every few days I did find it a little difficult to focus when we were in class and while we did get work done, I noticed that my group changed what we had done during that time period. Once we got back to going to school on a daily schedule we did get a lot of work done, and we did meet a couple times out of class just so we could polish our essay and presentation.
Doing the presentations it was really interesting, because everyone’s presentations we so different. There were a couple of groups that had chosen the same critical theory to focus in on while watching either King Lear or Macbeth but everyone’s presentations were super different. Everyone had different takes on their theories, and how they decided to discuss it with the class. I think the differences came from each group’s beliefs and how their discussions with Dr. McDermott helped to shape their presentations and guide their presentation.
While only actually having school around 10 days in the last three weeks I really liked everyone’s presentations and I found that they were really polished. I really liked getting to see into everyone’s thought process and while I did think I was going to die having to go to school a full week it didn’t end up being so bad.
After a day of struggling to figure out how to put our critical theory lense into words, having a CMU professor come and talk with us about our papers seemed really intimidating and scary trying to tell her what we were planning on achieving even though we had no clue how we were going to do that. However, after talking about how existentialism basically denies the existence of a higher power I feel like we had a better understanding of both Macbeth and the critical theory lense that we had selected, existentialism.
I also thought that it was really cool getting to hear from Dr. McDermott talk about My Shakespeare, and to hear about the impact that Shakespeare has had on the world. While he was one of the biggest playwrights of his time, he is now considered the only playwright of his time to many people.
I could also see a big similarity between Shakespeare and Lin Manuel-Miranda, a.k.a the guy who created Hamilton and In the Heights. Both of them wrote about stories that are somewhat tragedies and they both wrote/write for the masses (both rich and poor). While tickets for Hamilton are hard to come by right now due to the hype of the show, I imagine that it was difficult to also get tickets to see Shakespeare’s works when he was at his peak.
Before Hamilton and before actually reading Shakespeare they seem like really stuffy old guys who you can’t relate to today; however when you actually look into who they are, what they stood for, and what they wrote for you come to the realization that these guy are actually the biggest bros ever. Shakespeare wrote for the common and rich folk alike while Hamilton was literally a bastard orphan from the Caribbean who wanted help create America. These old stuffy guys helped create the world as it is today, and it makes me sad that not as many people see them this way. Having Dr. McDermott share just a little bit of her Shakespeare knowledge with us was really helpful for our paper and made Shakespeare seem more like a friend than a dreaded enemy.