Oct 6, 2007

Catching Up

So, it's been awhile since I last wrote, not that anyone really reads this, but I decided to do some catching up. I went home for the summer and worked at the daycare I worked at during highschool. All the money I earned went into savings because I had decided to apply for a study abroad in London and if I got accepted I would need a LOT of money. I'm back at school now and I received my acceptance letter about a week and a half ago. I'm going to London! I leave in May and I'll be there for 6 weeks. I'm scared to death, but so excited at the same time.

What else? Well, I'm dating this really nice guy....NOT. I'm just working as a cashier and going to school. I'm trying to be smart, but I feel incredibly dumb. I think my life is going pretty good. I came to some realizations over the summer and it's really helped me this year. Realizations like, God has his own timeline and if something is supposed to happen it's going to happen. I shouldn't feel left out or stressed or sad that certain things aren't happening in my life, I should just realize that I have all this great stuff happening in my life; I mean, I'm going to LONDON!! I'm really happy right now, and other things can wait--I'm not desperate.

Ths picture is of Hyde Park near Kensington which is were my dorms will be located.

Apr 22, 2007

Broken Hearted--Just a little

I wish that for once in my life I could have gone out on a limb and just told him. Maybe things would be different now, maybe he would be with me instead of with her. I wish that I hadn't just assumed. I realize now that I need to work on my judgements of people's actions. I thought that we had maybe a little bit of something going on, why else would he continue to wear that thing? I feel so stupid now, the way I did (or didn't) pursue him. I feel stupid for thinking that he could ever find something in me to love. Why did I let myself get so vulnerable? Why didn't I learn the first time?

I know that part of it was that I was so scared to start something with him, because I knew that I could hurt him. Eventually I'd have to stop it before I grew to love him. My fears must have clouded my thoughts, and that's why I did nothing. And now, three months without him. Maybe more. Maybe forever. I'll never know if anything could be possible between us.

But then there's him. He was so against dating, I thought no one had a chance with him. He spoke with such fervor that I thought I knew that nothing would change his mind, at least not this year. Now I find out that I didn't have chance with him either way. And I can't keep from comparing myself to her. It's so obvious why he would pick her. She's beautiful and funny and relaxed. I don't know why I'm so upset, it's not as if we ever had anything going on. But I'm sad, and disappointed and really upset. I just need to stop reading into things, to not allow myself to take one little action and turn it into something big.

You think I would have learned.

Apr 19, 2007

The End?

The semester has ended, and along with it the class for which this blog was created. When I first started this blog, I hated it. I had always thought that blogs were stupid, that writing personal things about yourself on the internet where anyone could see was suicide. But I've actually learned to like it. I've been able to write whatever I wanted and feel like maybe someone has heard it, but also don't have to feel awkward about what it is I said, because it's possible no one read it. It's good to be able to let our feelings out, and yet, keep them in at the same time.

So, I've decided maybe I'll keep this blog around. I'll write on it every now and then--updates, possibly no more.

Thanks for all those who did or didn't read!

Apr 12, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis: "Ben Hur"

In the crucifixion scene of Ben Hur, there is a lot of visual rhetoric.

First of all, the audience is white, American Christians. The actor’s the in the movie didn’t portray the typical Middle Easterner, the movie used American actors and was filmed in Hollywood, and the story takes place in the time of Christ and has His work and death as a central theme.

The first thing I noticed in watching the clip was the fact that you never see Christ’s face. This has the effect of two things the first being that Christ is so sacred that to have someone portray Him could be considered sacrilegious. The one that I believe the director was going for is that, while still a central and important figure within the movie, it was more important to see how He effects others, not how others effect him. This is obvious when Ben Hur kneels to Him to give him water and the look on Ben Hur’s face becomes one of disbelief, pain, awe, recognition and love.

This leads into another part of the visual rhetoric employed in the film—facial expressions. Ben Hur’s face goes through several dynamic expressions. The first time is when he sees Christ, recognizes Him, and then tries to repay His kindness and give Him water. Without words, Ben Hur’s face tells a story of its own. Ben Hur seems to finally come tot he recognition as he watches the Savior hang and die that this is the Christ. As his face goes from the dark into the light, and his face changes from one of agony to peace, it is so apparent that he finally realizes the truth.

The main theme of this scene is to portray that Christ died and the He is the Savior. He worked miracles, and lived by faith. His kindness touched many who, like Ben Hur, didn’t recognize him for what he was. And when He died many came to know the truth and the world mourned.

Apr 9, 2007

Free Write: What I Want

So, I've been a little hormonal lately, and when I get hormonal I do two things: eat a lot, and think about my troubles. The thing is, my troubles aren't anything compared to what a lot of people have. In fact, my life is just peachy. I have a family who loves me, I'm getting a good education, I have all my limbs, no diseases, and a full life ahead of me. But for some reason when I get hormonal it's hard to realize this. It's the hormones!! The never ending trial of women!

My troubles lately have been to related to another never ending trial--the opposite sex. Boys. I mean, really, who needs them? But for some reason, I still want one. Yet, I don't have one. Not even a little bit, not even close. Last time I was hormonal, I went out by myself late one night and I sat in a secluded corner on campus and I pondered, and prayed. I thought a lot about what it was that I wanted. It's not so much that I want a boyfriend. I could probably do without that drama. What I really want is someone who understands me. Someone who can see me for what I am inside, for what I could be. I want someone who knows all my faults (and heaven knows I have quite a bit) and love me because my faults are part of who I am. I want someone who realizes that I am trying so hard to be better and to be perfect.

This person doesn't have to be a boyfriend; just someone. Someone so I don't feel so alone a lot of the time. My roommates all have cell phones and they talk to their friends and parents at least once a day. They all have friends up here, and even though I'm really close to home, I don't. I talk to my mom maybe every other day if we happen to get on the computer at the same time. Being up here at BYU makes me feel more alone than I ever have before. But after I had finished pondering life (42, by the way), and while I was walking back I looked down at my shadow. Instead of the usual one, I had two. Now this wasn't some great miraculous thing or anything, there just happened to be multiple street lamps. But when I looked at those two shadows the thought came in my head "You're never alone, you'll never walk alone." I don't know if I have been listening to too many broadway showtunes, or if it was the Holy Spirit, or just me, but that thought was very comforting to me. It reminded me that everything I want I already have, and it's in God. So, until I find that mortal person who possesses the ability to see me for me, I'll have to rely on God. And that's okay.

Apr 2, 2007

Free Write: General Conference

This past weekend was the LDS General Conference. What a fanatastic thing for the members of the church! We are able to here our beloved prophet speak to us, as well as other prominent members. When I was younger, while still a big deal, I had a hard time paying attention to conference. But since coming to BYU everything has become so much more meaningful. This was the first conference in which I have stayed awake for all four sessions.

It seems that every talk, every scripture, has something to do with my life--as if they are speaking right to me. Maybe its because I have come to know myself so much better since I have come to BYU. I think that moving away from my parents has something to do with that. I was really surprised when I discovered all of my faults. I seem to have taken one step forward and two steps back. Fortunatly I am the only that seems to have noticed this--my parents talk about me behind my back frequently about how far I have come and I have learned so much more about myself and my parents. My dad and I seem to have become a lot closer as my mom has relayed the tender things he has said about me.

Now that I know my faults, I am able to realize what I need to do to fix them. A daunting task for all of the faults that I possess. Hearing the general authorites speak as given me hope. I don't feel quite so pressured to have to change everything right now. There is hope, and God will except me for all my faults. He loves me in spite of my faults.

Mar 29, 2007

Free Write: Weekend

Camping, dancing, dressing up and a wedding. These were all part of my weekend.

Friday I went home to go to a wedding of two people that I used to work with. I drove an hour both ways to say "Congrats" eat some chocolate, and drive an hour home. That was fun. That night though a bunch of us in our ward went up Provo Canyon and made a campfire. We roasted marshmallows, and hotdogs--the real way. We went and found sticks; none of those store bought roasters for us! Then we just looked at the stars and talked.

Saturday was the day of the big Heritage Formal! And my first date with an RM. So I got all dressed up, squeezed myself into my Prom dress that seemed to have shrunk since I had worn it last year (I swear, it was like wearing a corset!), and went to party hardy! The Morris Center looked really good. In just one night I visited France, England, China, New York, Italy, Mexico, and the rain forest. My life is now complete, there is no reason for me to ever travel as I have seen it all! After the dance, and after I got out of my dress and could breathe again, I sat outside with an English, rugby player in my ward and ate ice cream and listened to all the interesting stories from his life.

Ah, the joys of college life! You share spoons with people, dance crazily, go camping, leaving no room for the real reason you came here--Studying! Of course, studying is completely overrated...

Mar 22, 2007

Writing Technique: Summary

For this week's writing technique I'm going to summarize a book I recently read.

In Stephenie Meyer's young adult novel, Twilight, the reader is introduced to seventeen year old Bella. Bella moved to Washington to live with her father, Charlie after her mother remarried. The town in which her father lives is small and wet, as Washington usually is. On her first day of school, Bella notices the Cullen family--three boys and two girls who are all beautiful and mysterious. No one in town talks to them. Bella is instantly attracted to Edward Cullen, but is surprised when her seems to dislike her from the moment they meet. It is only after Bella is almost hit by a car in the school parking lot and is saved by Edward that they start to become friends. Edward is still distant, and sometimes harsh on Bella, but it seems that he is always there in case she gets into trouble. Bella starts to guess the truth about Edward when she goes to the beach with some of the kids from her school and she meets some of the young boys fromt he reservation. She talks to one and he tells her a legend that his people have about vampires and how they believe that the Cullen family are the original vampires from the story. Bella confronts Edward and learns that what she heard is partly true. Instead of being horrified by her discovery, she is just curious and still hopelessly in love with Edward. Now that Bella knows the truth, Edward begs her to leave him alone, in order to protect herself (even though the Cullen family doesn't believe on feeding on humans), but she refuses. Eventually, Edward and Bella develop a relationship--only after Edward is able to conquer his natural feelings. Eventually Bella starts to spend time with the Cullen family, and it is during one of these times that her life is endangered. While playing a vampire version of baseball, some other vampires meet them, and they don't have the same beliefs as the Cullens. They are able to tell that Bella isn't a vampire, and are attracted to her smell. One is a hunter, and is determined to have Bella, though it takes great effort to get her.

Now I wouldn't want to give away the dning, because that's no fun! So do like LaVar Burton says and "don't take my word for it!" and check it out for yourself!

Mar 20, 2007

Free Write: Three Ironies

Leave it to me to fall for the one non-LDS person at BYU. Of course he’s not really the ONLY non-LDS at BYU, but he’s the only one I know of. I have grown up in Utah, I have only ever dated the good LDS boys (of course, I haven’t dated much at all, but the five or so boys I have gone on at least one date with have been the good LDS boys.) Then I come to BYU, the LDS Bachelor capital of America, and I fall for a Catholic. Why does life work this way?

Not only that, but after leaving my hometown, a rumor was started that I was engaged. True, I had come to BYU which has the infamous reputation of marrying off everyone—“Ring by Spring or Your Money Back,” right? Not only did my friends from high school start thinking I was engaged, but it made it back to my hometown and my sister’s mother-in-law heard it from a lady in her ward that I don’t even know! Not only am I not engaged (nor do I plan to be in the near future), but I’m not even dating anyone! My boyfriend and I broke up three months before I left! The rumor mill is an amazing piece of machinery.

When my brother came to college, my parents and I moved into a new—bigger—house. Not only that, but once I left, my dad finally bought the Honda Odyssey that he had been saving up to buy. Not that strange right? Well, it is when you do all this after all your children leave home. It’s as if now that they are empty nesters they decided that not only did they want a bigger nest, in order to feel lonelier, but they also wanted a bigger vehicle in order to show that they are “real” Mormons, though it doesn’t quite work if they don’t have 10 kids piled in the back. I think that the empty nester mentality is something that needs some sort of therapy—it makes you buy things that you don’t really need!

Rhetorical Analysis: 'Testify'

By the way that Russell Crowe’s music video “Testify” was shot I would have to say that it seems as if they were trying to appeal to a younger, maybe teen to early twenties, audience, but inadvertently appealed to an older audience as well.

“Testify” shows Russell Crowe recording the song, then goes to him performing it—in a church like setting. The makers of the video were trying to appeal to the younger audience by 1) showing how fun it was to record a song, and 2) by showing a concert such as one that they might go to. But as Russell Crowe is an older person, and doesn’t have the look or prestige as someone who the younger generation would be interested in as a singer, it mostly works as a nostalgic piece for the older generation. This music video is taking them back to the rock concerts of their youth.

This music video is also interesting in the church like setting. Behind the stage where Crowe is performing, there is a stained glass window. As Crowe’s song is talking about testifying, and chaplains, and baptism, the window is an effective choice. It gives the video of a feel of going to one of those churches where they have bands instead of singing hymns. It seemed that the church setting was trying to emphasize the meaning of the song—and to relate to Christian watchers.

Crowe’s “Testify” video seems to be trying to appeal to the generation of today with it’s concert like filming, and the “making of “ sections of the video, but it also appeals to the older generation with his age and style of song. The church like setting emphasizes the meaning of the song and well as to appeal to Christians.

Mar 12, 2007

Free Write: What is Love?

What is love? My friend asked me what I thought it was, and while I've actually thought about this a lot, it's hard to explain. To me love isn't just something that you "fall" into. It's not that easy, because falling in love with someone means that you can fall out of love—like you accidentally stepped into a puddle of mud, then stepped out of it, removed the mud from your shoes and continued on your way. Love isn't just an emotion, it's a way of thought, it becomes part of who you are. Love means that no matter what happens, you still care about that person. It's like energy--never created, never destroyed, just changed. Love means not being selfish--but that doesn't mean that you don't judge whether the love you have is right or wrong for you. Love is beautiful and careful--it's slow. Lust is what gets you in trouble, never love. Love is so completely pure that you want to change just to feel worthy of it. Love is when you want to make that other person smile, and you spend hours thinking about how to do it. Love endures everything, even though it's the hardest trial you've ever been through--unlike the song it isn't "all you need," but just knowing that you are loved and that you love someone in return gives you a little more strength. Love is trust, and it hurts when the trust is broken, and yet for some reason you still love that person. Love is always having to say that you're sorry. Love is being able to see not only what a person is but what they could be. It's knowing all of their faults and being able to look past them. Love leaves room for improvements; that's the glory of it being able to change. Love is comfort. Love is so many things that I don't think I'd be able to put in words everything that it is. God made it perfect, but it has been perverted by our world. Love is love, that’s the easiest way to say it. It’s just love, and it’s different for everyone. Love is wonderful, and confusing, and exciting, and everything you could ever feel. God created love so we could have a little glimpse of Heaven.

Mar 8, 2007

Writing Technique: Revising your own Work

For my writing technique this week I’m going to revise a poem that I’ve written, called “To the Ones I’ll Never Have.”

I’ve never had you;
Never had your autumn eyes
to gaze into,
Never felt your sweet skin
warm my hands.

I’ve never had a place;
A place in the strength
of your arms
Never had any place
in your heart

Without me, your soul
will continue to burn
its bright light
Without you, I try my hand
at poetry.

I’ve never had you.
not even a spot
in your memory
When talking to me,
your thoughts were full

I’ve never had you,
and now I never will

This is a song to
the ones I’ve never had;
the ones I’ll never hold.

You are the ones I admired
for your eyes or smile.
your laugh and talent.

You never looked my way,
not really
Your autumn, or sky, or
emerald eyes never saw

You were the ones whose
thoughts were elsewhere,
even when you were
right beside me.

This is to the ones
who will forget me

The first poem was really fluffy and obviously a first draft. The revision is a little better, and almost completely different. I took the ideas from the first draft that I liked, and even a phrase here or there and tried to make something a little more real.

Rhetorical Analysis: The Old Guitar Part 2

The hard thing about paintings is that the painter has painted it for one of two reasons and it is difficult to discover which reason the painting was painted. The first of these being that they painted it for themselves—for the relieving of an emotion, or in an attempt to fill an empty part of their life. The second reason would be to connect with the world. Picasso went through several stages, or periods, in his art and it is believed that each of these periods were influenced by events within his life.

“The Old Guitar” or “Guitarist,” depending on the source, is one of the most well known paintings of Picasso’s Blue Period. It’s believed that this period was started when a friend of Picasso’s shot himself in a cafe. By knowing such a background it can be believed that Picasso was painting for the first reason—he needed an outlet for his sadness. It’s also possible that the subjects for his paintings are really just representations of him. Picasso is the old man with the guitar, the one who is singing a lament throughout the night with his head bent in sorrow.

While Picasso might have been painting for himself, his paintings seem to be meant for everyone. Just about everyone has had their own “blue period.” They have witnessed death, and terror. Maybe they are singing songs for the world, or a specific person. Picasso was able to capture that emotion on canvas, because he felt it and expressed it. This is what made Picasso’s paintings so likable; he was able to connect to everyone’s emotions because the emotions he put into his paintings were real. He felt strongly the emotions and used them to strengthen his paintings.

Mar 6, 2007

Free Write: RPG's

A long time ago I got into online RPG's, but instead of stuff like Dungeons and Dragons, these were writing RPG's. The ones I was a member of were taken from popular books and then you created a character or used one that the author had created. This particular "post" came from an RPG called Life in the Land of Tortall, and it was taken from the books about Tortall by Tamora Pierce. I created a character named Raven, and while the writing isn't very good, these RPG's helped my develop my writing and become more interested in creative writing. This is the introduction to my character, Raven. Just as some background information on Raven: he's the youngest son of a Lord, black curly hair, light blue eyes, mischievous. His father sent him to Corus (the capital of Tortall) in order for him to find a potential wife. Within Corus is the school where young boys (and girls now, but that's a whole different story) come to train to become knights and contains some of the best fighters and military men in the country. Duke Gareth works within the palace

A young man stepped out of the stables. He was well built and of good family, this much you could tell just by looking at him. You could also tell that he was troublesome, just by the gleam in his unusual eyes. With him was a mangy, but clean, mutt of a dog, and a young man, a servant by his clothes. "Really Jonny, I'm sure that we won't interrupt anything important by going to visit Duke Gary. It's not like he's off fighting the immortals." The tall youth strode toward the palace. "I know Master Raven, but it seems we should have made an appointment first, or announced that we were coming." Raven shook his head, his unruly hair shining in the sunlight. "I told you, I'm just 'Raven' here in Corus. And what would being announced get us, but a bunch of unwanted hullabaloo, and people trying to make us comfortable. No," He
put his hand on Jonny's shoulder, "This is the perfect way to visit someone." They arrived at the door which said Duke Gareth the Younger. Raven knocked, than entered without waiting for an affirmative call. Fortunately, Jonny noticed, the duke was alone at his desk. "Gary!!" exclaimed Raven as he lounged in a chair, "How mauvelous to see you, really." Jonny bowed, muttering, "Milord," and stood at the door. "Let me guess," Raven continued, "You were just about to ask what I'm doing here in Corus. Well I'll save you the trouble. My father sent me here for, shall we say, a holiday." Picked up a bit of grapes left of from milord's lunch. "Am I right?"

Mar 1, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis: The Old Guitar

The painting I’ve chosen to analyze is Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitar.”

This painting is of an old man holding a guitar. The overall feel of this painting is one of dejection. Picasso uses different shades of blue which is usually associated with sadness. The old man has his head bent in sorrow. He holds the guitar like it’s the only thing left to hold on to, but that it could slip away any minute. He is obviously proficient at playing. Maybe he was a master at one point. His mouth is open, as if he’s singing. It looks dark where he is, like night.

Looking at this painting makes the looker almost feel the dejection. It’s almost as if the man is singing a lament, and you can hear his song, but you can’t at the same time. It’s a song that has never been written and never will be; it’s that powerful. It is the real master piece. Even though the painting portrays mostly dejection and sorrow, you can tell that the man hasn’t given up yet. His face is clear, though sad, and once this night is over he will stand up straight and go on with his guitar. The sorrow he has right now will only be seen in his eyes. The looker is going to feel this sorrow and maybe just by seeing this picture they will have learned a little more about the world, and they will carry it with them also.

Feb 27, 2007

Free Write: The Perfect Guy

Just take a mix of Mr. George Knightley, Darcy, Peter Pan, and Aragorn. Add in a dash of Priesthood, and modern manners and he'd be perfect.

If only it were that easy.

The one thing that I've noticed about BYU is that marriage is on everyone's mind. EVERYONE'S! All the jokes the bishop tells about the new RM's moving into our ward were all about us freshman being married. And yeah, they are pretty funny jokes. But haven't you ever noticed that there is this overwhelming feeling that tells you that you need to find your eternal companion right now? It's not so much that people talk about it, it's just the atmosphere.

Well, in order to get married, you need to date. Since I am not on the dating scene, I decided to make up my own boyfriend. My roommate and I had a lot of fun creating him one day after dinner.

His name is James Duran (like the band). He's about six foot, maybe a little taller. Brown hair in that kinda of short messy style that looks real nice, and green eyes. Lean, and a classy dresser. He plays guitar and sings. He's an RM and served his mission in Scotland. He likes hiking and rock climbing. His major is either communications or business (we couldn't decide which). My roommate wanted him to have square glasses, but I'm just not seeing that. Maybe for reading.

Jimmy is really sweet and involved with his family. He's from Scotsdale, Arizona (just to make things interesting I should say his middle name it Scott, but it isn't.). He has an older sister and a niece and nephew, and then two little brothers. He's good with kids. James enjoys sports, but not to an extreme. He dabbles in woodworking; that's what his dad does.

So anyway James and me aren't dating seriously yet, but maybe someday I'll find him and we'll live "happily ever after."

Feb 20, 2007

Free Write: Plea

I wrote this poem when things with my old boyfriend starting going wrong. Well, actually things hadn't been right from the beginning, I was just too twitterpated to notice. But it was the end of my senior year and I just noticed that nothing was how I wanted it. Little did I know that it was also near the end of our relationship. But I wrote this poem on my way to work on day (and had to keep repeating it to myself so I wouldn't forget it because I didn't have the opportunity to write it down) and it just says everything I felt about us. I had just read "Their Eyes Were Watching God" and so there is a little bit of an allusion to that novel. Again, blogger is stupid and won't let me put the poem in the structure I wrote it, but I guess you--and I--will just have to deal with that.

Can’t you see I’m pleading for physical attention?
for you step out of the rut you’ve dug us?

I don’t long for the way we were
but for the way we could be,
for our potential
I long for pear blossoms and butterflies,
for the things that come with spontaneity

We’re formally comfortable together;
we laugh,
we joke,
we have fun—
we keep everything inside

I want us to say what we want to say,
to do the things we want to do

I want to feel that I am attractive to you
that you aren’t ashamed to claim me

I want to tell you why I cry at night,
that you confuse me, that you frustrate me
Will you ease my fears?
I long to tell you three words,
just three
I want to tell you why I can’t

I want to know your thoughts
Do you know I’m here for the good
and the bad?

Make me feel important, sacrifice for me:
a little of your time,
your comfort,
your love

I gave you my heart without
what ifs or
if thens
Please give me yours

Feb 18, 2007

Writing Technique: Grass, Dreams, and a little bit of Soap

Grass. Smooth, soft, green. They say its greener on the other side. The other side of what? Who’s they? I’ve been to a lot of ‘other sides’ and I haven’t seen it yet. They say it’s softer, sweeter, lusher. That when you get there, nothing can bother you again. Life will be perfect. Where is the other side? Everywhere I go the grass is the same, I haven’t been able to find the place of perfect grass that everyone talks about.

Dreams. Awake or asleep. A goal, something to look forward to. Beautiful or scary, broken or whole. Dreams shape through the simplest form of communication. A touch, or maybe a look; always possessing a shadow of a doubt. Was I dreaming, or did it really happen? Is my life just a dream? When will I wake up? What do my dreams say?

Soap. Cleanliness. The smell of soap means so much. It’s more than just clean. It’s memories and a soothing scent. Soap is slippery. Flying away from you, sliding on the bottom of the shower. Making bubbles with soap as you wash your hands and sing the ABC’s. Just watching everything go down the drain—the bubbles disappear as well as the dirt and yuck that you had carried with you all day. A metaphor.

Feb 13, 2007

Free Write: Valentine's Day

I suppose that in the spirit of this so called “Holiday” which approaches us, I should do something dealing with love for my free write this week. Hmm...this is a hard one—I’m not much of a fan. Of course, I could always take the opposite point of view and talk about the tragedy of love, or as Sam put it in “Love Actually” the “total agony of being in love.”

Love isn’t really all about agony and tragedy—and even when it is, who doesn’t need a little agony and tragedy in life anyway? “A girl likes to be crossed in love now and then.” You should know where that’s from. But I don’t think that a day like Valentine’s day is really going to help any relationship flourish. All Saint Valentine really did before he became a martyr was to hold a feast of lover’s on February 14. And even then, the tradition of Valentine’s Day wasn’t started until Chaucer wrote about it in his book “Parliament of Foules.” There is no great tradition about the day; no reason, religious or otherwise, to celebrate it. All it does is give everyone a reason to spend money, get dressed up, and show off what a great catch they got.

I suppose I’m being a little too hard on the day. It’s a nice thought. A day to celebrate the love in your life. But when you’re the one celebrating a carton of ice cream, it’s a little hard to see the beauty of such a thing. Of course, ice cream can be a very attractive date. It just seems to me that everyday should be a celebration of love; that really, going out on Valentine’s doesn’t seem any different than going out any other time. Maybe you choose a more expensive restaurant or buy some roses. As for me, I think I’d rather get a bouquet of daisies unexpectedly, than a dozen roses on a day when everyone else is getting roses too.

Even though I say all of this, the truth of the matter is, I would not say no to a date and flowers from a hot guy that I’m in love with. Oh well, maybe next year.

Feb 9, 2007

Writing Technique: Style and -isms

For this week’s Writing Technique I’m going to attempt to take one sentence and show the different styles in which that sentence can be written.

Original Sentence:

She noticed that his eyes were blue.


She noticed that his eyes were blue. Greyer than the sky, but bluer than the ocean.


She realized the blueness of his eyes as she sank into them. She felt as if they would melt every bit of her body, and yet she couldn’t turn her gaze from them. They captivated her.


She noticed that his blue eyes were full of innocent wonder. It was almost as if the he saw the world as a newborn child, as if his eyes had never changed.


As she handed him the book, his blue eyes looked at the door. He took the book, then turned toward the open door like a dead man walking.


Her heart sped up and his blue eyes pierced through her every emotion. The waves crashed inside of her. The lights sparkled over every part of her turmoil, lighting up her blackest shadows.


His eyes were blue. In fact, bluer eyes she had never seen and it made her want to laugh and cry and yell all at the same time. It wasn’t so much the color of his eyes, but the way they looked at you. Maybe his eyes weren’t blue afterall.

That didn't work as well as I thought, but it was a lot of fun trying!

Feb 8, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis: TV Ad

The commercial I’m going to talk about is a commercial for Nike soccer shoes. In this commercial they use Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho. He tries on the shoes and then he proceeds to do a whole lot of cool tricks.

The Ethos is this commercial is clear—they used someone who knows about soccer and soccer cleats. Ronaldinho is looked up to in the soccer world, and all the little would be soccer players out there are going to see that commercial and want to buy Nike shoes. The commercial depends almost solely on this ethos. There isn’t a lot of talking, nor are there any words coming across the screen, other than “Nike” at the end. It’s effective because of the Ethos. Logos and Pathos aren’t necessary in this case. Logos is present in the knowledge of the brand—this is also ethos as the brand is a well known as a good sports shoemaker. Pathos isn’t all that present, but it isn’t necessary because the ethos of it all is enough to impress and gain everyone’s trust in the product. Nike realized all of this. Another effective way that they did this was the way they shot it. I don’t know if it counts as a rhetorical device, but it seems that the presentation is always an effective way to sway people. Nike shot this commercial like it was a home video. The quality of picture was not that great, but because of this it makes it seem like it wasn’t planned, therefore showing the general public that by wearing Nike soccer cleats, you will be able to do cool stuff like Ronaldinho everyday.

Feb 6, 2007

Free Write: Classic Love

I received the idea for this poem while in the shower one morning. I have a shower radio and a song came on that said "I'll be your Romeo in black jeans." And I thought to myself..."Hmmm not a bad thought." And some where around that same time I watched "Tristan and Isolde" with my brother. I just noticed that in all those stories about love (or lust) the male character has some "fatal flaw." I'm a really big romantic and I always sigh during those sorts of stories, and wish that I had a Mr. Darcy. But once you think about it, really, those love stories and interests are sorta messed up. This took a lot of revision because I have a problem with the "show don't tell" concept of poems. So my brother--who's an awesome writer--and my old creative writing/English/Lit Mag advisor helped me out.( You won't be able to get some of the emphasis since blogger is wierd and won't let me italicize and tab over. Sorry about that.)

Be a Romeo in blue jeans,
not a de Bergerac
(without the nose)
or a Darcy too shy
to show true feelings

Do not be a Rochester
and play with emotions
Be more faithful than Hamlet
and Othello,
have Heathcliff’s chivalry

Possess Tristan’s tenderness
be like Orpheus and
persevere to the end
Just combine all into one
and --

On second thought, Don’t --
Romeo and Tristan were
too impulsive
and lost their loves,
their lives

Heathcliff’s vanity left
much to be desired
Without Orpheus’s overeagerness
she would have survived

Every Classic Love has flaws.

Feb 5, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis: The Oil-Addicated Ayatollahs

“It is hard to come to Moscow and not notice what the last five years of high oil prices have done for middleclass consumption here. Five years ago, it took me 35 minutes to drive from Kremlin to Moscow’s airport. On Monday, it took me two and half hours. There was one long traffic jam from central Moscow to the airport, because a city built for 30,000 cars, which 10 years ago had 300,000 cars, today has three million cars and a ring of new suburbs. How Russia deals with its oil and gas windfall is going to be a huge issue. But today I’d like to focus on how the Soviet Union was killed, in part, by its addiction to oil and why Iran could succumb tot he same disease.”

This paragraph is from the editorial “The Oil-Addicted Ayatollahs” by Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times. This paragraph contains Pathos, Ethos, and Logos, in order to support his claims. Pathos is set up by using the words “killed,” “addiction,” and “disease.” These words contain a negative connotation which appeals to readers for empathy. The Ethos of Friedman is set up when he talks about his previous trips to Moscow and the drive that he took twice; once five years ago, and then now. He talks about the changes that have taken place within those three years. And then the Logos. Logos is contained by talking about the number of cars. Numbers and statistics are a good way to set up Logos. Another effective strategy is Friedman’s word choice. He uses strong wording which helps establish his ethos as well has interest the reader. He also uses the Soviet Union, which was communist and therefore against the human way of life, and compares it to Iran, which being in the Middle East is also against our way of life. If he had decided to use Alaska and compare it to Iran, it probably wouldn’t have been as effective and would have upset reader as Alaska is part of our United States and therefore part of our daily life—though the controversy about the wildlife parks and getting oil and fossil fuels from there might have helped a bit. Friedman’s article was effective in conveying it’s message about the problem with the countries that have become dependent on oil.

I know this doesn't mean anything, but the internet was down at Heritage Yesterday. So, it's late, but it's here.

Feb 1, 2007

Writing Techniques: Counter Argument and Organization

The two writing techniques we talked about this week were counterarguments and organization.

For counterarguments I think that the most effective way to counter an argument would be to; First, acknowledge the argument as politely as possible. No one is going to listen to you if all you do is beat down something that may be their opinion. Second, tell why your argument is better than the counter. Again, no rudeness should be involved in this; every time a derogatory comment is made, another listener/reader is lost. And third, disprove the argument. There is a reason you are making your own argument and you should be able to stay true to that argument no matter what others say about it.

As for organization. My ENGL 251 teacher told my class that your first draft should be “crummy.” Then, as you revise, you should be able to organize your thoughts better. The organization of your paper should make sense. Each new thought should follow the next in a reasonable order. Without a clear organization the reader will lose interest because it’s harder to understand. A good way I’ve found to have good organization is to make an outline. I an very much a Roman numeral outline maker, and it really does help me figure out how I’m going to organize, not just my paper, but the paragraphs and sections within my paper.

Jan 30, 2007

Free Write: Harlot's Shame

This piece of prose started as an exercise in my creative writing in class in high school. We had to think of some struggle, I think is how it went. This is about a teenage girl who ran away from home for some reason or another and ending up in a life that she never wanted. I was trying to see how those girls feel, the inner thoughts that they have. It almost made it into our Lit. Mag (Tabula Rasa), but the Editor in Chief and I had some disagreement about the title. Since then I've been revising it and trying to make it better. It's not quite how I want it, but I think it's getting there. And here it is, Harlot's Shame:

I live a life of shame. I know they cross the street so they don’t have to walk by me, that they whisper and gossip about my shame to their neighbors. I try to remember why I did it, how it happened and I want to blame it all on you. But . . . I can’t. I can’t because you just wanted to do what was right. I did it. I’m sick and alone and cold, and I did it. I’m always alone, even when I’m with someone. I sit by this wall all day and all night, and everyone who passes ignores and judges me and I feel like that guy in the bible, the one who got robbed. Except no one ever stops to help me and I can’t do it on my own.

Jan 25, 2007

Free Write: Title Pending

I've dabbled in the art of creative writing, and while I realize that I'm not that good, it's enjoyable to me and helps me share my emotions. I don't know how good this is, but I hope that it's enjoyable enough. This particular poem started as a telling of Don Quixote from Cervante's famous novel. Then I was thinking about David and Goliath and I noticed a similarity between the two--they were both fighting something so huge that no one thought they would come out victorious. In David's case, he was, but Quixote wasn't. And yet Quixote keeps fighting; "Fighting my windmills everyday." And the whole point is that we should keep trying to defeat what our own personal windmills might be, no matter what anyone else says. So, I tried to draw a parallel between the two; I hope you like it!

Fighting my windmills everyday
they call me crazy
I take up my rusty sword
and set that golden helmet
upon my silver head
and go to

Face my giant,
five perfect stones in my hand
His breath ruffling sandy hair
There is no faith in me
a child

Arms wave in the air
round and round
impossible to pass

Armor covers him
and I have only five stones
five chances


I turn my broken horse
toward my demons


Knowing the danger I face
I ride


I raise my lance

Four, with one more chance
I aim

The windmills stand still
beckoning me; come closer

Toward the one unarmed spot
on his body

Keeping my lance steady

Raising my arm
I release

Five! He crashes,
and lays still

His arms unhorse me
taking me around with them

No longer a boy

A crazy old fool

Jan 23, 2007

Sales Pitch for a Specific Audience

Wasn't that an exciting title?

Washing the dishes does a number on your hands; believe me, I know. And if you’re like me, you have a plethora of different lotions and moisturizers as you try to get back that “baby soft skin” of days gone by. All that will change now that Dawn has introduced it’s new dish and hand soap! Specially formulated so now you don’t dry out your hands with harsh soap, you hydrate them with our gentle formula while washing the dishes. You’ll be volunteering to wash the dishes from now on as you moisturize in three delicious scents—Spring Rain, Citrus, and Apple Blossom! Your hands will feel and look better every time you clean. And you won’t be the only one to notice the difference! Try Dawn Dish and Hand Soap (in three scents!), and you’ll be on your way to a more happy you! (This product was not tested on animals. No lotions were harmed in the writing of this commercial.)

Nicole, this is my experiment of something that we have learned this week (if that wasn’t obvious). I decided to create an ad targeted to a specific audience—in this case a young married woman, probably still a student since she needs to wash her dishes by hand. Hope you enjoy!!

Jan 17, 2007

And so it begins....

This is the beginning of a blog, one that may or may not be exciting. Most likely, this could be the most boring blog you've ever read. I'm in a first year writing class and this is an assignment. Every week I will be required to write three times, with only one post being something creative. I hope you don't have any expectations of grandeur. This blog will not contain much. Enjoy, if you think you can.