Sunday, October 14, 2012

Insane Madness

Adjectives out of order
Active Voice
Passive Voice

         This week I am including a section of another essay for yet another English class. This passage was used to explain the reasoning behind the obvious insanity of the narrator of The Tell-Tale Heart.
Differing from the insanity of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart showcases how madness can overcome a person and drive him ultimately to murder. The main character of the story, an unnamed narrator, is quick to let the readers know that he is merely nervous and not mad, “very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed- not dulled them … how, then, am I mad?” (GASS pg. 13). This quick argument, unorganized and fidgety, against his madness only makes the reader believe that he is mad even more. The idea that the narrator claims that he is not mad even before we are given reason to believe that he is supports the idea of his ultimate paranoia, which can quickly lead to madness. The narrator tells the reader, “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this!” (GASS pg. 13). The narrator seems quite calm and collected until he ends this statement with the idea of the olds man’s eye. It is this outburst that begins his obsession and paranoia. He is so troubled by the old man’s eye that he soon considers murder. Heart racing, sweat dripping, he stalks the old man and soon kills him and it is after that that he tries to reassure the reader that he is not crazy by telling us, “If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body” (GASS pg. 14). It is this statement that pushes his madness over the edge. A sane person would not generally plan to kill someone over such a trivial fact, if at all. Overall, the narrator’s constant insisting that he is merely nervous and not mad supports the notion that he is indeed mad rather than just nervous.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brush Strokes

Adjectives out of order

This week I am going to include an excerpt from an English paper I was assigned to write for my English 302 class. For the assignment I had to choose two war time poems and compare the two based on tone, audience, and speaker, assuming that I actually read them. Here I am going to include a section of my writing modified to include the 4 patterns of the week.

“Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind” written by Stephen Crane, outlines a few different scenarios, grotesque and impersonal, that deal with war and the death of soldiers.  In the first stanza, the narrator, a voice of the general public, speaks as if to a loved one of a man at war, most likely a wife. Using general and impersonal language, the narrator tries to convince that, even though the wife’s husband may have died, that war is kind.  Said with little detail, there is no specific reason given to this woman, the poet merely states “do not weep/ War is kind” (4-5). The second stanza is written in a way as if the narrator is speaking directly to a solider.  The narrator explains that “these men were born to drill and die (8)”.  The ‘war-machine’ mentality, brutal and driven by the government, is exemplified through this quote, which explains that men were born to die. The third stanza comments on a child and his father. The narrator speaks to a child who has lost his father at war, but yet again uses the excuse that “war is kind” and encourages the child “do not weep”.  Using non–specific language and blunt terminology, by the fourth stanza the narrator is speaking to the reader of the poem. This stanza encourages that war is equal to eternal glory and that a death in war if glorified, but then again the narrator repeats that “these men were born to drill and die” (19).  The narrator even mentions the image of the waving flag as soldiers carry it into battle. This stanza is actually very conflicting because it covers so many aspects. Some who would read this might view it as a sincere passage, but then once the reader goes deeper into the words, the sarcastic and ironic tone is again obvious. The fifth and final stanza finally touches on a sad subject within war, children leaving their mothers and homes. The narrator here speaks to the mother of a soldier in war, ironically and bluntly, and once again tells the mother of a now dead solider “Do not weep / War is kind”(25-26). The reoccurring line of “Do not weep, war is kind” at first sounds somewhat sincere, but as the poem goes on, the repetition of the line takes away the sincerity and creates once again a sarcastic tone throughout the poem.

To be completely honest, I still am a little wishy washy on the concepts of the four brush strokes. I used the examples in the course packet as a guide and hopefully this will help me grasp them easier.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 7!

This weekend at home was a nice little break from the hectic school life. Even though most of my life now revolves around the Pullman atmosphere, it was nice to see old faces and reconnect with old friends. Despite the long 5-hour drive, through barren wheat fields and smoky skies, the short visit to my hometown of Federal Way, WA proved to be worth the trip. AS THE DRIVE CAME TO AN END, I became more and more excited not only to get out and finally stretch my legs that had been cramped up for 5 hours, but also to finally see my family, my dog, and the friends I had left behind. As so as I walked in the door I was instantly tackled by a 10-month 100lbs German Shepard, who decided to bark and run circles around me until finally I gave him a little love.

AS SOON AS I ESCAPED, I made my way to Hilltop--sketchy I know—for my best friends 21st birthday. I did not tell Caitlin that I was going to be there, she thought I wasn’t able to come since I am in Pullman, which led to me being tackled and attacked for the second time that night, this time by someone who had a full drink in their hand. I guess it was only Karma BECAUSE I always tend to spill on at least one person when I go out.  SINCE THIS IS ALWAYS THE CASE, I really wasn’t in any position to be angry with her, especially since it was her birthday after all. After we recovered we were given a tour of her house, a cute townhouse in Tacoma, and then began to catch up on each other’s lives.

Saturday day was a quite eventful day. I WENT TO THE DOCTORS, THE HAIRDRESSER, AND TO THE PLU HOMECOMING GAME. (I wasn’t totally sure if this was parallelism or not but figured I’d throw it in there.) The PLU Homecoming game has become a tradition in my family. My dad went to school there, twice, and my aunt and uncles have also gone to school there. Personally, I felt as if PLU was a little to close to home, hence why I chose WSU, in state tuition but still 5 hours away, plenty of room away from the parents to breathe. Even thought the PLU game as a disappointment, it was good to see my family from California and to see my friends from high school, a few who were playing in the game.

Overall, this weekend was a success. It was a nice break from the hectic school life of Pullman, but I would say that I am happy to be back to real life at Wazzu.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 6

I don’t know if it’s just me, BUT does having to submit a post by Noon on Sundays throw anyone else off? I am always finding myself freaking out at the last minute when I remember at 11:30am on Sunday afternoons that I have a blog to do. Remembering to blog every week is definitely going to be a challenge for me this semester. I know that this class in itself is going to be a challenge for me, mainly because I have trouble paying attention to my writing enough to notice things like comma splices, coordinating conjunctions and FANBOYS. To be honest, I never really knew what a comma splice was either. SO far this class has proved to be much different than I originally expected.

This past week of class proved to be especially out of the box AND overall showed that our class, and probably most of the English majors at WSU, has very interested almost twisted minds. The exercise we did in class with the magnetic poetry letters was a little uncomfortable at first, FOR I had the box of ‘Romance Novel Words’. Our letters proved to be dirty, to say the least, BUT overall I will admit that it did help my writing and my understanding of the 3 sentence patterns. HOWEVER, I still have a little trouble with all of the different aspects within these patterns, BUT I am confident that by the end of the semester I will fully understand them.

One thing though that I still am a little hazy about is the concept of FAULTY PARALLELISM. We were given the example “That’s what you do when you’re out of touch, out of ides, and running out of time”.  When I look at this sentence all I really see is a sentence that has a lot of repetition. I’m assuming that this  is a concept that I just need to spend some time wrapping my brain around to understand, SO I’ll just need to spend some more time on it throughout this semester.

If there are any grammatical mistakes or weird sentences that make no sense at all, feel free to correct away.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 4

So far throughout this course, the few short weeks we’ve had it, I can say that I have learned a few new things about grammar. Before joining this class, I did not really know too much about grammar. I knew about punctuations, correct their and there’s and things like that, but now going more in-depth with ideas such as apostrophes and comma placements. I will admit that I was one of those writers that thought that apostrophes are meant to be used to show possession, but now as we have discussed in class, I can easily refer to our chart and figure out the proper use of apostrophes when it comes to plurality and contractions as well. My grammar skills are still a bit limited, unlike those WHOSE are much more extensive than mine, but I feel as if I am learning quickly enough. AS A STUDENT, IN HIGH SCHOOL I DIDN’T REALLY PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO PROPER GRAMMAR WHEN I WOULD HALF-ASS ESSAYS; AS A WRITER NOW IN COLLEGE, I AM BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF GRAMMAR, PROPER PUNCTUATION, AND SYNTAX [parallel sentences conjoined by semicolon, with introductory phrases, with comma after the phrase].  

As we read more and more about the imaginary student Dora, I have begun to attempt to think back to how I learned to write and I can honestly say I have no idea in hell how I was taught to write. This lack of memory probably contributes to my writing style. 

When I write, words pretty much just come spilling out. No structure, not much punctuation, and sometimes no point at all. That is one of the things I hope to get out of this class, sentence structure and over all more precise meaning when I write. So far I like to think that I have gotten a little better, feel free to let me know otherwise. 

Overall, this class has begun to teach me that grammar is much more important than I thought I was before. I now find myself re-analyzing my texts before I send them, facebook status’, tumblr posts, anywhere I write now where I may have a tendency to be lazy and use bad grammar or shortened words, I double check myself. I know this new habit will continue throughout the class and I hope that it only helps me improve my writing and my grammar skills!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grammatical Error

Taking on a grammar course this semester will present its number of difficulties. I will admit I really know nothing about grammar besides the basics taught to us in grade school, and so I definitely feel like a newb. So with that said, the grammatical and mechanical issues I need to work on as a writer includes pretty much all of them. As I said before I understand the basics of grammar, such as where to place commas, periods, semi-colons, etc, but beyond those basics, my knowledge is limited.
            Already within this post I can tell that I need to work on how I phrase sentences, and how to place interjections and whatnot. I like to think that I can easily formulate my thoughts into words and then records those down into writing, but at times they don’t make much sense. I tend to begin sentences and thoughts and then interrupt them with other thoughts. I would say that I don’t know how to properly phrase my sentences. Most of the time they are all over the place, which someone reading this could probably tell.
            Going along with how to phrase sentences, knowing where to place proper commas and periods plays it part as well. A lot of my sentences tend to run on and make little sense. Sometimes I like to think that if my sentences are longer and more complex then I will sound smarter. But in reality that only makes me sound like I have no idea what I’m talking about. So this semester I need to focus on making my sentences a bit shorter and more concise.