Last Blog Post for this Site

So all quarter I’ve been in COM102 which is my Analytical Writing class. Well, today is the last day of this class and the assignment for this blog is to write my concept of analytical writing, and I want to cover what I’ve learned in the past ten weeks. My instructor Ellen Vance has helped a lot through this quarter and it’s proven to be very interesting.

The first thing that I learned was how to approach writing an analytical paper. Basically it’s taking the pieces of a puzzle and putting them together. First off, you have to take the facts of your subject. For instance, take a piece of art. You should know the artist, year it was produced, where it currently is, where it has been, and size (if you can find that out which personally I found impossible for my piece). Then you want to look at the artist themselves. Who are they, where do they come from, where do they get their inspiration from, so on and so forth. Then you want to look at what he/she was trying to accomplish and get the world to see and feel when they experience this piece. I wrote mine on the piece Things are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter by the phenomenal Nicholas Galanin. I would encourage anyone to look this up online, or go see it in person at the Frye Art Museum downtown Seattle, where it is currently shown. These are similar things to look for when writing any kind of analytical paper, whether it’s based on; books, music, movies, food, anything really.
Throughout this class I’ve been lucky enough to be given a wide variety of things to write about. We read the book Kindred, Looked at chapters in Convergences (in one of them I even researched the background of fairy tales…yikes is all I have to say about those), studied and wrote a paper on cult classics (Office Space was the one that I chose), learned about Ocatavia Butler (the author of Kindred), and focused on a few key issues of her book. Also I was able to visit the Frye Museum, put thought into time traveling, as well as dwell for a moment on some of my favorite music. I’ve gotten to learn so much about such a wide variety of things, yet I have to say that my favorite was my Kindred essay.
I picked out a theme of this book and compared it to two other works. Doing this was a blast for me because I was able to justify taking time out my schedule to read a book, which I honestly don’t do very often anymore unfortunately. I picked out a theme of this book and compared it to two other works. Doing this was a blast for me because I was able to justify taking time out my schedule to read a book, which I honestly don’t do very often anymore unfortunately. I compared it to George Orwell’s 1984 as well as Scott Westerfield’s series The Uglies. The theme that I used was that of self-preservation, and what it can do to people. This essay was by far my favorite thing that we did in class. It gave me a chance to really sit back and think about how deep these books really are, and how it honestly relates to every person, regardless of age, race, gender, anything. Everyone has theses choices to make, and these books give a little bit of insight to that.
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I think that analytical writing is something that very well can be used in my everyday life, not just in a class. Also, it’s not necessarily just in writing. This class was able to show me a better way to analyze what I do in my life. The questions necessary to answer in order to succeed in any business are shown in this writing class. It helps to know the minute details of things in order to decide whether or not I like them, not just a thought such as “Hey, it’s cool. I don’t know why, but it is.” It’s knowing why things are good or bad, enjoyable or not, and its something that helps in everyday life.

 

Not only that, but this blog itself has helped me. I now have a second blog “brokegirlbakes.wordpress.com” that I’m using to broadcast the things that I create in my kitchen at home. It’s a neat way to document the things that I do and create. To be honest I had no idea how to blog and now that I do, it’s incredibly fun!

   

To be honest, I was not excited for this class at all before it started, but when it did, I really enjoyed it! So, yes J that is my views on analytical writing. Thanks for reading!

What Do I Like…

So, for this extra credit blog that I was assigned, I was told to analyze/review an art in artistic medium that I like. So, I decided to choose something that I love which is music. It is the song called “Danny’s Song” written by Kenny Loggins.

It’s about these two people that are so in love and need nothing besides each other. How they are broke as hell, but they have and love each other, and they are happy. It talks about wanting a kid together (not my thing, but sweet for most other people) and laying under the sun. It’s a simple, pure, sweet love song that brings a smile to my face every time my phone rings (because I, of course have this as my ringtone).

I figured that while I was writing this, I would give credit to one of my other all time favorite songs. It’s called “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros.

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This is honestly my favorite song OF ALL TIME. I actually thought that it was made in the 70s because of how the video is filmed, however, it’s actually a relatively newer song made in 2009. It’s about two people in love who live all over, but as long as they are together they know that they are home…. The first time I heard this song, I was still in the military but I was visiting my hometown on leave and my current boyfriend was still here in Seattle. I was hanging out at my mom’s house, not fitting in like always, and he sent me this song’s youtube video in a message. It was one of the sweetest moments ever, which is probably why I like it as much as I do.

What Would Zap Me Back?

So this assignment was to write a post on what would call me back in time, like Dana’s character on Kindred did. I think that if there was a time this would happen it would be back to when my last paper was due so that I could change my grammatical errors. Just kidding. It took a lot of thought, because personally I wouldn’t want to go back in my own history and risk messing anything up. I believe that if I were to be able to choose when, it would have been the day before the 9/11 attacks so that I could warn someone about what was going to happen. A lot of lives could be saved, and I think that would be the time I wish I could return to. Not at the age that I was, but as an adult. That is one day I wish someone had made a difference

My Visit to the Frye Art Museum

This past Wednesday, my class took a trip to the Frye Art Museum located downtown Seattle. It was a really good experience and I’m glad that we were able to go. Curtis R. Barnes is currently the featured exhibit. A timeline of his work is shown, my favorite of which was the back room full of his political sketches. The following is my favorite piece

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Other artists including Maikoio Alley-Barnes, Nicholas Galanin, and Nep Sidu are also featured in an exhibit titled; Your Feast has Ended. It’s a breathtaking exhibit and explores various cultures Here are my favorites from each artist

Maikoio Alley-Barnes

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Nicholas Galanin

Nep Sidu

Review of Kindred

Octavia Butler’s Kindred is a completely different type of book. If follows a 26 year old, African-American woman named Dana, living in 1976. She is married and on her 26th birthday, she starts to be able to time travel, but Butler takes a different approach than . There is no real reason for Dana’s travels. She just “zaps” back and forth after she feels dizzy and lightheaded for a minute or so. Unfortunately for Dana, whatever sick being that is out there also picks the worst possible time and location for her to travel to. She gets to go back to a pre-Civil war era, in Maryland (which yes it is still the South), on a plantation.

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This poor girl just gets zapped in and out. She is sent back in time when her ancestor Rufus is about to die. Dana’s character just keeps getting stuck in some bad situations, and when you find out how she does in fact travel it’s not very good either. She realizes that she needs to stay alive and takes on jobs on the plantation, helps slaves when they need it, and is compassionate to everyone regardless of whether they deserve it or not. However, she is faced with choices throughout the book that shape her as a person. Overall I think that this is a great book and incredibly enjoyable to read.

Time Travels…

     So tonight I’ll be discussing my next assignment. I had an option but I’m choosing to write about Octavia Butler’s approach to time-travel in her book Kindred as opposed to other book’s version of time travel. Also some of the specifics about who she uses, how it happens, stuff like that. Also how much science she incorporates.

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     So first off I’m going to talk about the science. There really is none. There is no science explaining, or explaining of much really. Maybe that’s because I haven’t hit the end of the book but as far as I can tell she seems to avoid the science aspect of time travel. Instead she kinnnnnnnnnnd of seems like she’s using a sick, twisted, sadistic being out there to just pick this poor girl up and drop her in the worst place imaginable for the character. But hey, that’s my opinion. I realize that I sound like I hate this book (I mean between this post and my last one I see how that would be thought) but honestly that is not the case. I just think that the situation that Butler puts Dana in is just completely messed up. It does make for a good read though.

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*This picture is the face I keep making when Butler sends Dana to a PLANTATION*
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     Anyways back to my assignment. Butler takes a total off hand approach to the entire time traveling situation. She just kind of zaps Dana back and forth when Dana feels like she’s about to die. No, scratch that. She ONLY zaps Dana when she is in fact ACTUALLY ABOUT TO DIE. Call me crazy, but I feel like Butler wanted to jump away from her genre of writing almost completely when it came to writing this book. Her other one’s are detailed, all about future and genetics and such but then in Kindred she seems like she hit a middle age breakdown. Anyways. Again, I’m going to get back to my assignment now. Rant over.
     

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     So when you look at Butler’s take on time travel, compare it to some other authors that you may have heard of. Here are some examples;

  • “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells: Pretty self-explanatory. This guy invents a time machine, and that is how he gets back from the future (also he has to avoid the cannibals who at some point steal his time machine…fun stuff).
  • “Timeline” by Michael Crichton: Uses a time machine and accidentally travels to 1350’s Franc
  • “The Clock that Went Backward” by Edward Page Mitchell; you guessed it, another time machine
  • “Hot Tub Time Machine” youuuuu guessed it! They had a physical thing (a hot tub) to go back in time…
  • “Back to the Future”; Uses a car going incredibly fast. However, if you’ve ever watched the show “Raising Hope” you see that as much as he tries, even in the 2000’s that car is still not going to go back there

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      You see, there is an almost universal theme when it comes to time travel, and Butler doesn’t follow it whatsoever. In a way, it’s cool. It’s different and keeps you guessing because unlike someone stepping into a box, or sitting into a car, it just happens. It’s a way for her to keep you on your toes. In another sense though…it’s really confusing.

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The Gender Cluster of Kindred

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     Tonight I’ll be focusing on how Octavia Butler focuses on the “gender cluster” in her book Kindred. In case you aren’t aware of the premise of this book I’ll explain that first. Doooooooon’t worry no spoilers I promise. The general basis of this book is about this African American women in her twenties, living in California in 1976, and is happily married (to a white guy which in today’s society doesn’t matter, back in the 1970’s kiiiiiiiiiinda was a big deal, which is dumb but hey, that’s a different topic for another night). That sounds to me like an Oxygen Channel original personally, however luckily for us readers, the story doesn’t just stop there. Basically this woman is all happy living in her own little world, but there’s a twist. She randomly starts time traveling.

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     At first, that sounds awesome right?!?!?! Getting to time travel, see things, experience another time… No, not so much. Not at all in fact considering she ONLY travels back in time to…wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit...pre-Civil War era in Maryland! Not only that, but to make matters worse, a legitimate plantation in Maryland. I really wish that entire sentence could be in CAPS LOCK! Didn’t realize before I started reading this book that Maryland was actually a Southern state back in those days. But it was. Seriously this woman is just randomly dropped off on a plantation. Because it wouldn’t suck enough as it is, being dropped off in that era (because let’s face it, every single person reading this would not travel back then given the option of going ANY OTHER ERA), she also doesn’t control how, when, or IF she gets to go back. Seriously I feel bad for this chick. The entire time I’ve been reading this book I’m just face palming constantly. Butler (the author, just to remind you) keeps dropping this African American woman, in clothes from the 1970s, on a plantation… the following image portrays exactly what I keep doing.

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     Now, another assignment that I had was to look over chapter 5 in Convergences and relate it to how Butler addresses gender or color issues. I chose gender issues. Atwan discusses the controversy of men and women being different. Some people say that is just how they are programmed, and others say that the difference is socially and culturally constructed. He mentions feminist studies, education, sports, sciences (both social and biological), law, and medicine as some of the things that involve both or either gender.

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     First, there is the essay from Penelope Scambly Scott Report on the Difference Between Men and Women. She seems to focus on the concept that women dig deeply into the somewhat simple things that men say that they want, always questioning if they are asking something deeper, or if in fact they really just want a glass of lemonade. You may never know. Then Melanie Sumner writes her essay called Marriage. This focuses on women always, even after years, expecting men to change and women getting their way, or else the relationship is over, and the littlest thing being a huge struggle and issue. Finally, Jan Morris writes about a person going from one gender to another. She focuses on the convergences of the male and female gender boundaries. I think that Butler is more on the side of society shaping gender boundaries. She is living in the 1970s where women have just as much a right as men, whereas when she gets zapped back she is the lowest of the low in the pyramid of human ranking. Back then women were viewed as lower than men simply because of their gender. I think that her point of view is more toward social conditioning than anything else when it comes to this subject.

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