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Monday, May 16, 2011

Journal #44

Forrest Gump exemplifies Postmodernism extremely well. It is told by a first-person narrator as he remembers and recounts the multiple adventures of his life. He starts his tale while sitting at a bus stop many years after its end. In the beginning, little Forrest was a crippled child. His legs were underdeveloped, and walking was hard enough for him that he needed metal braces on them. Then, one day, as he was being bullied by a group of kids from school, his best and only friend Jennie yelled, "Run, Forrest, run!" and that really put the fire on his butt. So, he began running; he ran and ran as fast as he could, and despite the braces, he ran very fast, just as fast as the bullies chasing him in a truck. He ran so fast, in fact, that those metal braces broke right off his legs, and he was able to make a clean getaway. Then, as his life continues, his mental disability brings him into the army. Quickly, they send poor, unknowing Forrest into the deep of war in Vietnam, where he meets a new friend, Bubba, an equal in mental ability but separate in color, who is a shrimp fisherman back at home, and Bubba invites Forrest to come fishing with him some time. Fighting erupts quickly, and Forrest finds himself in the position of rescuer for multiple wounded soldiers, including his commanding officer, Lieutenant Dan. Later on, Forrest receives commendations for his heroic efforts of the day, and he gets to meet President Nixon at the White House. While there, Forrest unintentionally exposes the Watergate scandal, forcing Nixon's resignation. More time passes, and he finds himself at an anti-war rally in Washington D.C. He is mistaken for a supporter of the anti-war effort and is forced to give an awkwardly unprepared speech into a microphone that is not plugged in. But, while on stage, his lost love Jennie runs into the reflecting pool, and Forrest runs out to meet her where they kiss passionately while the crowd cheers excitedly. Finally, Forrest goes on a run - a very, very long run. He runs for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, nonstop. Along the way, he gains companions to run with him, and when a truck splashes mud in his face, he creates the iconic smiley-face t-shirt. And for the entire movie, Forrest is recounting everything as it happened in his life. The movie crosses a fictional plot line with real world events, such as the war in Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, and the smiley-face t-shirt. It is also conventional in his use of common storytelling.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Modernism Project

Works Cited:

Anderson, George Parker. "modernism." In Anderson, George P., Judith S. Baughman, Matthew J. Bruccoli, and Carl Rollyson, eds. Encyclopedia of American Literature, Revised Edition: Into the Modern: 1896–1945, Volume 3. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. EAmL1234&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 24, 2011).

Byrd, Steven. "Modern America, 1914." The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

"Exploring the Function of Heroes and Heroines in Children's Literature from around the World. ERIC Digest." ERICDigests.Org - Providing Full-text Access to ERIC Digests. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

Fox, Robert Elliot. "About Ishmael Reed's Life and Work." Modern American Poetry. The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, 1997. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

"John Steinbeck Biography." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

"John Steinbeck Biography". 26 Apr 2011. .

Lathbury, Roger. American Modernism (1910-1945). New York, NY: Facts On File, 2006. Print.

Lorcher, Trent. "Modernism in Literature: What Is Modernism?" Bright Hub. Ed. S. Forsyth. 26 Dec. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

Porky Pig That's All Folks. Photograph. WIT Work. Comp. P. Hafford. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. .

Reed, Ishmael. "Beware: Do Not Read This Poem." Poems on Poems. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

Reed, Ishmael. "Jacket Notes." AfroPoets Famous Writers. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .

Steinbeck, John. “Breakfast.” PDF. (accessed April 24, 2011).

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books, 1976. Print.

Taylor, Karen L. "modernism." Facts On File Companion to the French Novel. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. CFN346&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 24, 2011).

Werlock, Abby H. P. "Steinbeck, John." The Facts On File Companion to the American Short Story, Second Edition. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2009. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. CASS777&SingleRecord=True (accessed April 24, 2011).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journal #43

The first small section in the beginning has been the only part to really give me anything inside my head, and it is currently at about three minutes. I imagined a sad man slowly trudging through some sort of grassy knoll or snowy field. Then for the next two and a half minutes, there was a long series of seemingly random notes being played very fast and consecutively. It was certainly very impressive, but it was doing nothing to give me a picture of what the song is feeling or is about. Right now, there is a trumpet blast of power, but there aren't real emotions in random noise. I guess I just do not have the appreciation for this kind of music. All it reminds me of is either a set of elevator music because it does not stop or slow down but coherently combines multiple instrumental solos to make a very long piece of music or an old jazz club like I see on television sometimes. They are always full of piano and drum music because they are the main driving force to most of jazz music. If this guy tried to describe his life, I am pretty sure he failed because it was not interesting, and it changed mood twice. But, also, jazz is supposed to be upbeat and exciting, which, hopefully, accounts for most of the random series of notes going on throughout the "song." Jazz itself is a genre usually in awkward places, such as an elevator or a lobby of some sort, where people are there and wanted to be there, but no one wants to talk to anyone else because it would be extremely awkward. Ugh, I hate it when I just start rambling, there is nothing I can really do about it. There is just nothing I want more than to be done with this horrible blog entry. Oh! this song can remind me of a bumbling hummingbird because of the random, sporadic sets of notes, jumbled together in crazy compilations of sound and rhythms.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Realism and Modernism

Realism and Modernism are definitely two interesting times in literary history. Realism, when we were studying it, was a very boring time. I did not really like the pieces we were reading, if we were even reading literature, which I cannot remember. Modernism, however, is much more like how I would like to read and write. Modernism writing is still popular in many authors today because it is using more common dialect, not as dull or boring as many of the Realism pieces. Also, the philosophies themselves vary drastically when you really look at them. Realism deals mainly with a general attempt to depict subjects as they are considered to exist in the real life. Realism writers would take a beautiful garden scenery and turn it into a small patch of land, containing disgusting little insects falling all over the colorful plants. To me, it seems like making an real point of view involves searching for the little, pointless things to bring down or negate the wondrous effects of beauty on the human body and soul. Modernism was a revolt against the Realism movement, which had gotten too boring and monotonous for many of the people who liked to read current literature. Now, keep in mind that revolting in literature is not the same as revolting in, let me say, the streets. Creating a riot is actually pretty easy when you have the right opinion and the right amount of shut down against those with that opinion. That would be an example of a public revolt. A revolt in literature, more or less, is a somewhat subtle change in how author's write. For example, one author, let me name him Alfred, would say to himself, "wait a second, this is dumb. Why do I need to keep writing like this? People have changed the way we write before, so why can I not change it just one more time?" So, then Alfred would start creating his own writing style in whatever ways he wants. Later at some time, he would go down the street to get a cup of flour for the loaf of bread he is making, strike up a conversation with his friendly neighbor, Mr. Spenner, and chat with him about his new philosophy of writing literature. Then, Mr. Spenner would say something like, "Oh my, that sounds peachy keen! I think I want to write like that, too! Thank you, neighbor Alfred, for telling me all about your brilliant new plan! I will tell all of my other friends!" But, unfortunately, Mr. Spenner does not have any other friends, but then people would be able to read these kind of works from a multitude of sources. Eventually, more and more writers would be using this technique, and that is how a literary revolt comes about. Of course, there are various versions of how a revolt comes, but that is just an example. Modernism no longer depended on real perceptions of stuff during the day, but it made a brand new concept for writers to take their own spin off of.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Job Shadowing Reflection

I thought being a structural/civil engineer would be exactly the same as what it turned out to be. Honestly, it was all pretty boring, and it takes a certain brand of person to do the job because it just looked like an eight-hour workday of torture. Everyday, the person who I shadowed, Mr. Megginson, comes to work in his drury second floor office and deals with the same line of work. His job is to approve bridge drawings and send them to IDOT to be approved. His smaller-classed workers would have made the plans, and then the IDOT plans would be sent to a contractor. His position is more that of a manager and not really a leave-the-office person. This really does not seem to appeal to me because I really would not like to sit in an office doing literally the same thing every day of a twenty, or more, year section of my life. Also, I have already done some research into what I want to do, and mechanical engineering would be more along the lines I am looking for. I did learn about the life of a structural/civil engineer, though, and how I do not want it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Journal #42

Honestly, I would much rather be forced to write my own bad poetry than have to read any of the poems from either Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman. Whitman is super crazy in the topics that he talks about because he uses all sorts of random and ridiculous philosophies that he made up in his early years that no one really understands. There might be some people who think they can "decode" Whitman's writing, but they are clearly all a bunch of liars. His Everyman concept told of the godliness in every man, creating a new level of where godliness would be acclaimed, resetting that no one is a god at all. They have honestly become nothing more than a regular person, and gods would be, in turn, reset on a new level of godliness. Dickinson is just annoying because all of her poems have double-meanings or even more than just two meanings. It makes a lot of confusion among interpretations given by various people. For instance, heavily Christian critics would, most likely, give a spiritual meaning in all of her work, despite her accidental involvement of a relationship to Jesus, even if it is an implication of his name. Honestly, I think my poetry would deal more with my life and how I feel, mainly about the things that happen in my life and my reactions to them. I do not feel like it would or could have a double-meaning, and I strongly dislike both of these authors for their numerous poems using double-meanings. I need to invent a time machine for multiple purposes. I need to go back to slap these authors in the face for writing such poetry that I just do not like. Of course, there are a few more people and places I would need to go back to to solve problems within the United States and its international affairs. But, if I still had to choose, I think I might have to pick Dickinson to be forced to read.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Going to Heaven"

So, here I am about a month and a half after this was due, starting to write it. I already put the poem into the post, so I know what this is supposed to be about, but I do not know who wrote this... Oops. Anyway, after rereading this, I think I really like the first paragraph the most because everything is so true. I do not know how my life will end or what it will feel like to die because I have never experienced death. And, if I do go to something like Heaven, I could only hope it be as beautiful as what people think it might be. But, when the author says, "how dim it sounds," that should resonate in everyone's heart and mind because the thought of death really is a bleak outlook. I cannot imagine how it could look like or how it would smell or feel like physically. Then, in the second paragraph, the author is talking about how death could just be like "eh yeah sure it happened, but we can both be there together, and everything will be alright." I really think this is a shared dream of everyone because no one wants to be lonely in death. That's just a boring thought. I mean, who wants to go somewhere all alone but not in search of someone to spend the time with? Um, I think that answer would probably be no one. But, in the end, we will all be friends in Heaven because we all have nothing left to do with our lives, literally. Then, in the last line, the author claims that we are all back home in death because, according to Christianity, we all came from God, and when we die, we will all be returned to his glory. But, in the last paragraph, the poem just really loses me. I do not understand what the author is not believing, and my whole life is confusing, and I think my confusion in everything else is making me confused in multiple things at once, and I just wish it would all go away and I could be done writing this blog now. But, since I have to keep going, I would also like to continue looking around this ground because I am not ready to die. Although I am curious what it feels like, I do not think I would be happy in the end if it were all to end. It is a true shame that people are taken away from us. What if no one died? Well, that was a stupid question because then the world would get overpopulated, and people would die because the earth would run out of resources extremely quickly. I do not think we could last together on Earth, but I also wonder, if it is real, about the population in Heaven. What if God has too many people to look after, and he ends up dumping people off to the side because there's no more room for them? What would happen to their "souls?" And would more people still be admitted, causing more and more people to face the same fate?