The Bluest Eye

I think that Morrison’s main concern about her novel, is how people react to it. She wants a certain reaction out of people that she explains about in the Foreword. She does not just want people to be “touched’ by her novel, she wants them to be ‘moved’. Meaning that she wants people to do something with the information they have been give, rather than just seeing it or hearing it and moving on. I do however, feel as though her assessment of her own work was very well written. She does not only make you think about what you are reading; she explains the real reason behind some of her stories. She takes her own experiences in life and uses them in her novel, like the conversation she had with a friend as a child about wanting blue eyes. Her foreword also helps you see what point she really wants to get across throughout the novel. She wants to explain that beauty is not just something you had, it was something that you could physically do, and I think she explains that a lot throughout The Bluest Eye with Pecola.

Mary Jane

Mary Janes are a candy that were invented in 1914 by a man named Charles N. Miller. They are a peanut butter candy coated in molasses, and a small girl is one the front of the packaging. The candies were named after Miller’s favorite Aunt, Mary Jane. There is no real reason for why the little girl became the character on the front of the candy, although there are some stories of Miller naming the candies Mary Jane because of a plot for free advertising. Although we are not entirely sure as to why the little girl on the Mary Jane candies is there, it does relate into the struggles that young and old black women were going through in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. I think that Pecola did not realize how much she related to the candy bar that she did. Pecola thinks that she is ugly, and believes that having blonde hair and blue eyes will make her a successful person. Buying the candy bar with the blonde hair, blue eyes, white skinned, little girl made her believe this even more. She was set on changing her appearance to be more beautiful and be treated better than she is as a young black girl, but she believes something that can not come true. She believes this so much, she even thinks by eating this piece of candy, she will be eating the beautiful blue eyes, the little white girl Mary Jane, and ultimately she will be Mary Jane.

My Second Writing Experience

This paper was honestly quite hard for me. I would normally rather have something set in stone to right about, but in this case I actually had to decide what I wanted to write about. I decided to go with social media because it is something in this day and age that we can all relate to. I found it very easy to find sources that talk about this subject because it is something that everyone has to deal with on a daily basis. I did however, find it difficult for myself to chose a side when I first wrote this essay. I did not really know what I wanted it to really be about other than the idea of social media. After discussing my paper with Professor Boyd and my peer review group though, I had a better clarification of the subject of my paper. Now that I have had the chance to revise my paper, I have a much better understanding of my own interest in this subject. I decided to focus more on being safe online and the problems we face dealing with cyberbullying. Deciding on this theme gave my paper a better flow because I think it is what I wanted to write about originally in my rough draft, I just did not know it yet.

Final Reflection

Over all I enjoyed reading The Things They Carried very much. War stories normally are not an interest of mine because most of them have the historical factor about them, which I do not normally enjoy. But in this case, Tim O’Brien takes a fictional twist on his war story.

Combining fact with fiction is very effective in this case. By using facts, the reader knows what happened, if we trust the word of the author. But if the author wants us to feel a certain way, do they continue to use fact, or do they use fiction to create a bigger impact on a specific detail? In an interview O’Brien says that we as readers are “partly a witness and partly a participant.” Which is true, we are witnessing what happened in O’Brien’s past, but we are using our own experiences and knowledge to put ourselves into his story as a participant.

Although O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is based on a war, it is not necessarily a war story. O’Brien focuses a lot on telling how his story is not about war but memory and love. His memories of the war and his love for his troop are a big part of his novel. O’Brien, as we know, uses the relationship of truth and fiction throughout his novel, but he also includes memory and truth. Memories are very hard to explain truthfully, because so far back in our lives, we confuse our memories with what people tell us about a specific moment. So although O’Brien is recalling on his own memories we do not know how to tell between that and the reality of what actually happened, because we were not there.

As O’Brien uses the relationships between memory and reality, and truth and fiction, I think they are what makes his novel so effective. Without his own experiences and memories, there would be no war story, but without the fiction and the reality, we would not know what really happened and how to react to different events throughout the novel.

My Writing Experience

Writing about myself has always been a challenge of mine. I would normally prefer to have a straight forward concept to write about. But with personal papers or memoirs, it can be about anything in your life. And I think that is what I struggle with. Because even though I am only eighteen years old, I still have a lot of past experiences to write about. A reader would not necessarily want to read about the boring past events, but something exciting or fun. But what about the sad stories or the stories where you learn a lesson? For me, those are always the more interesting ones to read. Because instead of reading about what someone has done, you read about what they learned. Whether it was something simple or something that they would carry with them for a life time.

The only reason I felt comfortable with this paper was because of the Writing Seminar I took last year, in which I learned to express my feelings through my writing (which I explain in my essay). That class showed me how to open up about my past experiences, good and bad, and be confident in my writing.  I could talk about anything in that class and knew that nothing would leave the confinement of that room. And being able to open up about something so important in my life like my father meant the world to me.

I looked at this paper like I looked at my senior paradigm project. I wanted to get something out of it. Some sort of relief or comfort. Because it is not the easiest subject to talk about, I wanted to know that my reader felt as much as I did when I was writing it. Therefore, as the reader, I hope you found my personal paper a touching and an interesting paper to read.

The Things They Carried

The project of a writer is not just the main idea of his/her writing, but they take it to the next level, talking about more then one concept and asking questions that the writer has inquiries about. By talking about other people’s ideas, he/she explains what they meant and either agrees or disagrees with the other person’s writing. I believe O’Brien is trying to portray the idea that some parts of a story are not always true, but it is important to read and understand everything, so the reader can feel and relate to the whole experience. In O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, he says “All you can do is tell it one more time, patiently, adding and subtracting, making up a few things to get at the real truth…You can tell a true war story if you just keep on telling it” (Page 81). O’Brien tries to explain that just because you tell the truth about a story it does not mean everyone will believe it or like it. Throughout his book, O’Brien tells a lot of stories about the war, before, during, and after. He evens tells the reader when certain things were not true, but how he said them so that the reader would feel the experience, not just read it as another passage. Often, he explains how a true war story is not actually about war. It is about the feelings of war. The feelings of the small things, like the sun hitting your face, and knowing what is to come in the following days. And like O’Brien says, “It’s about love and memory” (81).

Personal Narrative

Peer Readers:

I really hope to get some clarification on my writing as a whole. I want to know if the readers are feeling what I felt as I wrote this. Please let me know if something is unclear or does not make sense, because I want to make this the best that I can since it is such an important topic to me. I want to know if my poems are in a good spot, or if they can be moved around to make a better look in the structure, or if they just make sense somewhere else.

Waiting.

As if waiting changes everything.

But in reality, nothing changes.

You are still gone.

And I am still here

Waiting.

Waiting

For you to return.

But you have been replaced.

In my home and in my world.

But you will never leave my heart.

And I will continue

Waiting

My dad has not been around in almost ten years. It never got easier, it never got harder, it just happened. I got used to it. Which is not something a child should ever have to say about one of their parents. But it is true. It became normal to me to not have the presence of my father around. So I went on with my life. Everything about my life was the same as every other 8-year-old kids’ life, other than I could not compare stories with them about my dad. So I would bow my head and keep to myself until the conversation led in another direction.

Going through middle school, it got easier. I found other things to do to keep my mind off of not having a dad. Soccer, softball, theater, academics, singing, anything. It worked for a while, until I began receiving letters from him. I received letters for my birthday, holidays, or just because. It began to be hard again. Nothing helped getting over the fact that he was not there.

Then my mom began dating. She only dated one guy before she met Jason. Jason was my soccer coach, so that was a little awkward. Everyone on the team knew that he was dating my mom. I did not know what to think of it. But then I began to enjoy it. I had a father figure in my life for the first time in 4 years. He would buy me things, play soccer with me, and just be there. It was wonderful. But he was not my father. And that is when, yet again, it got difficult. I began shutting Jason out, ignoring him, being mean to him, just because he was not my dad. But by doing this, I realized that I was only hurting myself more. The only thing I needed in my life at that point was a dad, and Jason was being that for me.

I do wish that I would have never closed Jason out. Him coming into my life was one of the greatest things that could have happened. It did not only make me happy, it my brother happy and my mother happy. Which is all I could ever ask for. I still miss my dad, and I presume I always will. But until the day that I get to see my dad again, I am happy. And that is all I ever wish for myself to be.

I never opened up about this until I was a senior in high school. I tend to keep things to myself until the absolute last minute that I cannot bear to keep it in any longer. For our senior project we had to write a memoir about ourselves or something that had a huge impact on our lives. I realized this was that last minute. The thing that I cannot bear to keep in any longer. I went to my advisor and talked and talked and talked. Everything came out. Every feeling and every word that ever came across my mind about my dad spilled out of my mouth. And I did not stop until I had said and felt everything. All that my advisor said was, “write.” And so I did.

I never found writing as a release until last year. Everything I said to my advisor went down onto paper, and I never felt so light. My head felt like a thousands pounds had been lifted off from on top. And everything felt so much better. If I never had the chance to write that paper, I would most likely still be bottling up every last one of those feelings. It shaped me into the person I am today. And I do not only appreciate writing more then I ever have, I need it. Because without it, I would not be who I am.

Endings,

Are always the worst part.

We expect a happy ending,

Hoping that everything will change.

But in reality, it is just

The End

Endings,

Are actually a way out.

A way out of being trapped in the past.

And whether our future will be bright,

All depends on

The End

Graff & Alexie

Graff and Alexie both incorporate challenges of higher education in their reading, but in different ways. While both men explain their own experiences, Graff however, goes more into students lives, the school district, and even incorporates other readings to back up his ideas and thoughts. I think out of both Graff and Alexie, Graff is more similar to Harris in Rewriting. Harris describes a project as: “…it refers to not a single concept but to a plan of work, to a set of ideas and questions that a writer ‘throws forward’.” (Harris 17). And I think that is exactly what Graff does. He takes his own experiences and his own thoughts, along with others, and puts forth everything he has. He does not only explain his thoughts on higher education, but takes others and explains them further, saying whether or not he agrees or disagrees, which is exactly what Harris was explain what an author’s project is. Although Alexie does not use many experiences to explain his view on higher education, he uses one in great detail. Alexie explains throughout his story, how smart Indians were dangerous people, and were feared by other Indians. But Alexie was not like the other kids he grew up with. He never gave up and never let anyone get in his way of wanting to learn. Alexie says: “I was smart. I was arrogant. I was lucky.” (Alexie 365). Meaning that he knew what he wanted, he knew how to get it, he was not going to let anyone stop him, and he was lucky enough to have the courage to do so. In the end, we realize that Alexie himself were acting as a superhero (superman) to help give the thing he loved to kids that did not receive it, just like himself. So although both Alexie and Graff showed their differences in challenges of higher education in their own ways, they both still relate to Harris.

The Hunt

Some people take things for granted, or do not realize that their surroundings are as important as they are. That is why I think learning how to hunt was such an important thing for me. Being able to go into the wilderness and experience things change as the moon set and the sun rose is an incredible thing to see as nature brings itself to life. Coming from a small town and county where a lot of people hunt, you learn how to use something that mother nature provided you with to its full extent and not waste a thing. Hunting is something you do for more than a thrill, you do it for the experience, and the outcome. Taking a life is never something that anyone wants to do, but taking that life is giving so much to a family or community.  Humans adapted by hunting and getting food for their families, but more than that they used every piece of the animal that they could to create clothes, weapons, or whatever they could make to help them survive.

The first kill is always the hardest. Sitting in the stand watching and waiting for something to come into range, you become nervous. Your hands begin to shake, your breathing becomes harder, and everything you have been taught gets blurred in your head. All of a sudden you see something. Very quietly you look through your scope and realize it is in range. You get ready. You take a deep breath and steady your breathing. Your finger goes right above the trigger making sure not to move it until the exact moment your ready. You line up your cross-hairs, take in another deep breath, exhale, hold steady, and begin to squeeze. All of a sudden, boom. You lower your gun and catch your breath as you begin to look around. And there is it, lying about 150 yards in front of you. You get out of your stand and slowly begin to make your way to the animal. You reach your kill and you bend down in admiration. You give thanks for the animal you have received and begin to make your trek back to use the gift that mother nature has given you to the full extent that you can.

First Post

Hey guys!

It’s Kendyl. Just wanted to let you know what my goals are for this semester. I have had a lot of experience in writing, but I really want to improve the depth of my writing. I want to try really hard to have a better understanding of concepts that we will be writing about and I want people to understand my writing as a whole. Can’t wait to really get into everything!