Pine Point Reflection

Pine Point was one of the more interesting things I have examined throughout the course of this class. It was very interesting because it strikes me as a digital autobiography of the authors life or experience at Pine Point. I found the fact that it incorporates sound, pictures, videos and words to form a story or to recount his experiences at Pine Point and at other places and moments of his life all together. I would like to point out that I think the author effectively uses sound throughout the entire story to invoke emotions necessary to the plot. For example when we get to the section called “Town,” where the tone of the story instantly gets more creepy and morose sounding. The author describes the layout of the town as “Economics 101,” and built in an “unforgivable landscape” almost describing Pine Point as not a great place at all. Up until this point I was receiving mixed signals from the literature and images at Pine Point. Part of me thought that the author loved this place, and enjoyed growing up there, but then another part of me realizes that his descriptions of Pine Point throughout the story describe Pine Point as not the greatest place on Earth, in contrary to to how everyone else felt about Pine Point. He even writes that “in the end, it was left standing just long enough for a single generation to run through it,” which also led me to believe that maybe it was not a great place to live at all, and the author was trying to find a creative way to inform people about this place.

Week 12- “Prosthesis”

So, I am writing this blog post on “The All-New” audio poem that we had to listen to, and I have to say it is by far one of the most bizarre things that I have ever listened to. I had to replay it so much that even my roommates started to comment on not only its bizarreness and its complexity. I had no idea, and probably still have no idea the point of this poem.

I decided in would be best to start analyzing what I was given. The title “The All-New” leads me to believe that this poem is commenting on new experiences and memories that the narrator or speaker is going through. I have learned that sometimes when it comes to poetry the answers lie right in front of you, so there is no need to dig deeper and deeper. Going with this perspective, the poem opens up with numbers… “two… two…two” and then eventually moves on to “three…three…three” and then immediately moves on to other topics. However, I do not think that is the case. To me, I believe the poem is showing how quickly we age and move on to new ages, new experiences, and therefore new memories.

“The All-New” is muffled and receptive throughout its recording to signify that life is not about “all new” things, but rather a mixture of our past experiences with our future experiences. I have never really been one to listen to poetry, but this poem really intrigued me because the speaker was so effective with the way he manipulated his voice and different sounds.

Week 11- The Circle Continued

6. ‘”Meanwhile,” Stenton said, “there’s another area of public life where we want and expect transparency, and that’s democracy.  We’re lucky to have been born and raised in a democracy, but one that is always undergoing improvements”‘ (207).

I think one of the reasons I really enjoyed reading the book is because it was realistic science fiction to me. It took concepts and ideas that are not that far ahead of our time, and provided commentary on the effects some of these issues could bring. I found this very thought provoking an engaging. The quote above is commentary, I think on how the The Circle would continue to provide improvements and enhancements to everyday life, and how those improvements to help the lives of the average person. To me, and I know I said this in my previous post, The Circle reminds me of a larger version of Google, doing things on a more worldly scale.

In correlation with my previous post, I think that the two quotes I chose link up in many ways. For starters, this quote talks about the need for advancements in technology and its connection to the real world, whereas my last quote talked about how Mae sometimes struggled with the concept of real versus reality in her current life. This book explores unique ideas and concepts in the realm of reality, and whether or not what The Circle and its employees do are realistic expectations of humanity, and if their inventions are actually benefiting people. Another argument would be that The Circle and they inventions create less social people, and a society that needs gadgets and “improvements” (207) in order to communicate with each other, and to continue moving forward. What I wonder is, is there a world where we continue on our technological advancement path, while not losing who we are as humans, in the books for the future?

Week 10- The Circle

“All of it felt like something from another time, a rightfully forgotten time, and made Mae feel she was not only wasting her life but that this entire company was wasting life, wasting human potential and holding back the turning of the globe.  The cubicle at that place, her cubicle, was the distillation of it all.  The low walls around her, meant to facilitate her complete concentration on the work at hand, were lined with burlap, as if any other material might distract her, might allude to more exotic ways of spending her days” (11).

Out of everything we have read in this entire class so far, this is by far my favorite! I had so much trouble putting the book down in between class and meals. When I first began reading the early descriptions of The Circle, I thought to myself that it was a company very similar to a company like Google or Facebook. As I continued to read the book, I realized that this company was something far more advanced and controversial than any company in existence today. Since in my future, I want to become an entrepreneur in the tech industry, this book instantly reserved an interest with me.

The quote above is very interesting in reflecting upon the advancement of technology in comparison with the rest of the book, and reality in relation to economic value of gathering personal data, and the ability to forget yourself. In this world, Mae is surrounded by two worlds: one revolved around technology and innovation, and one stuck in the past in essence. It is fascinating that innovation, and the advancement of the technology field is able to blind people from seeing the corruption, and possible backlash of a lot of the conspiracies behind the company. I have not yet finished the book completely, but from what I can tell Mae is stuck between ambition to rise in the hierarchy of The Circle, which has been one of the most amazing accomplishments of her life, with the unsteadiness about the mysteries that are slowly revealed throughout the book.

To bring the book back to a personal level, a part of me doesn’t know if the bad outcomes of a company like The Circle, outweigh the good outcomes. Personally,

Paper 2: My Body: Metaphorically Explained

Eyes ==> Nose ==> Blow Streams of Water ==> One summer, I got swim googles ==> Startling features ==> Hated Having Breasts ==> Monsters ==> Everything that wiggled

We fall, we bleed, we walk, and we talk. Throughout a human’s life, he will do all of these things and many more, and subconsciously not acknowledge the use and functionality of ones body. The story of a young boy whom sprained his neck is a perfect example of how we are taught to not focus merely on our body parts, but the cause and effects of actions. As the young boy played soccer outside on the yard with his older brother, he kept missing pitch after pitch of the baseball. His brother told him to keep one eye on the ball at all times, so the boy kept his eyes on the ball, as instructed, as the ball flew by his head, his neck turned very sharply. The young boy flung to the floor in agony, screaming and yelling about the pain. The pain was the first thing the boy and his brother addressed, the first thing the doctors addressed. Then, immediately after the pain was addressed, they wondered the cause of the injury, and the events leading up to it. No body stopped to ask me why I thought I should have turned my neck, instead of just using my eyes. The functionality of the body was thought to get me from point a to point b. In Shelley Jackson’s, My Body: A Wunderkammer, she explores the relationships that go beyond the functionality of the body. Since, My Body: A Wunderkammer has no clear beginning or end, each anecdote may seem disconnected, when in fact, the anecdotes are connected through the notion that out body parts are there for more than a physical function.

To focus in on the “eye” section, which is the initial hyperlink I clicked shows a much closer example of how the eyes were viewed as much more than vehicles of sight. Jackson retells the story of the “summer mornings” she’d wait in bed waiting for breakfast to be called “conducting lazy experiments with [her] eyes”, comparing the “different views” she could see by simply closing one eye and then another. When a child, or even an adult thinks about their eyes, they usually simply think eyes are just for sight. Jackson assumes that the eyes can do more than receive the images that we see. She conducts “experiments with [her] eyes” that allow her to view her eyes through a different lenses, one that is not merely physical, but also metaphoric. In her anecdote about eyes, she expresses that she is “haunted by the feeling that the world is insufficiently real,” and through her eyes she starts to gain perspective into the realities of the world. Jackson’s commentary on how the eyes go beyond being “still and flat and bright like a picture” to moving, and “jostling” more like a movie or TV show. These vivid images allows the reader to acknowledge that to Jackson, the eyes are a segment of our imagination, allowing people and animals to take in more than may be present in reality.

After examining the text behind the eyes, the smooth and sly transitions between anecdotes allows for an even clearer understanding how the body parts are not only connected, but tell a story that physical functions alone may hold. The author so smoothly transitions into the nose, by using the physical function of sight to say she “could see [her] nose” and was surprised that it was “permanently” in her eyesight. This sly transition into another anecdote of another body part is not only embedded throughout the rest of the eye anecdote, but is accompanied by a hyperlink to another part of the text. Instantly the reader is not accompanied to another section of Jackson’s mind and reflection of the human body.  Once transitioned into the next anecdote, Jackson is able to recount how her nose is not just a “blemish” that is “right in the center of the face,” but also a way for Jackson to express her need for attention. It should be no surprise that the eyes and the nose were hyperlinked together because with ones eyes, a person can be noticed, but with Jackson’s nose, she can recount a time were she stood out and was noticed by a group of people. Jackson “learned to blow [her] nose with a loud, sonorous honk” which is something that helped her connect with her father and her past, going beyond the previous conceived notions that the nose only has physical functions. From there, Jackson transitions though a hyperlinked “Kleenex” to the feet anecdote. Almost instantly the mood of the piece is changed when the dark background of the nose (that was full of more twisted thoughts), is changed into the white color background of the feet anecdote. Through the change in color, Jackson seems to transform from an attention seeking child, to a child curious, and fascinated in becoming the best she can be. Jackson’s feet are not for mobility in this section but rather a metaphoric tool for perseverance and humility. The beginning of the section related to her feet mention how she would trek across her “neighbor’s gravel driveway, mincing and wincing” in hopes that she would soon become more tough and able to walk over anything. This insight into the mind of Jackson depicts her mindset that our bodies are not only connected because of physical uses, but also hyperlinked in the real world to represent the many different facets of our personalities.

Jackson continues to go beyond physical uses of her body to explore her evolution as a person, especially in the breast anecdote. Jackson ignores the physical functions of the breasts in this section, instead focusing on her “first” memories of breasts, and follows her understanding of this anatomical feature of her body as she becomes more and more familiar with this part of herself. In this anecdote, the reader learns that Jackson was not always so sure of herself as it comes across in other passages of the hyperlinked text. She uses verbs like “learned” and “hated” to describe the process of what appears to be puberty. This could be commentary on the difficult stage of puberty in an adolescents life, and a glimpse into Jackson’s mind as it went through the stages. Since this was the concluding section for the path chosen, it really summed up My Body: A Wunderkammer into three different stages: birth, adolescence, and adulthood. It is interesting that Jackson only focuses on the areas she knows, and does not venture into the aftermaths of the body in death.

The body is not only around for its physical uses, but it also like the memory chip for a computer; each body part holds different stories beneath its surfaces, and allows for a person to go through life with the knowledge that there memories will forever be etched in their bones. Jackson understood this, and saw the body more as a physical means, and through her text, she was able to depict the body in a meaningful, metaphoric, and personified way. The next time you happen to be in front of a mirror, perhaps it would be beneficial to assess the stories behind each of your body parts.

Citations:

Jackson, Shelley. “My Body —a Wunderkammer.” My Body — a Wunderkammer. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

Week 8- Shakespeare

I am performing a close reading on a Puck monologue found on page 47. In this blog post, I have decided to ignore the context of the play, and have this short passage act as a poem that stands alone.

I would like to first note that like most of Shakespeare’s plays, in this specific passage the schematic theme is AABB, which makes Puck’s monologue flow very naturally. It is interesting to note how Puck, who is supposed to bring humor and comedic relief to play focuses on such strong emotions and ideas throughout his monologue like “stirring in love” and “all the power” (2.2.68-78) that love can hold on someone. And while Puck is frustrated that it has taken him so long to find an “Athenian” (2.2.66), and he expresses so quite humorously in a monologue, a part of me wonders whether or not Shakespeare intended for his readers to look deeper into the language that was offered. Is Puck’s mischievous and humorous character really only there for comedic relief and enjoyment? Or is there hidden messages in what he does or doesn’t say? I believe that the words and diction that Puck’s character uses is purposeful to get the characters to become more and more interested in the this love quadrangle that we see so evident in this story. In my past experiences related to reading Shakespeare, I have always gathered that nothing is at it may seems, and the littlest of details can be the most important of facts. Since this is my first time reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I often find myself rereading some of these passages and questioning if I am missing something, because as entertaining as a love story can be, I know that there is usually some hidden messages reflecting upon society hidden in literature.

Week 7- Stir Fry is one of my favorite home meals

Immediately I was intrigued to read “Stir Fry Texts” because one of my favorite home meals is the stir fry my Dad makes. Well, I can honestly say, this stir fry does not equate to the satisfaction I get from my Dad’s stir fry.

The one thing I really don’t like about digital literature is the same thing I love about it: there are no instructions. When launching stir fry I immediately began looking for a set of instructions for what to click, and what to read, but instead there is just menu bar with options (hyperlinks) to different parts of a text. I hate this because it confuses me. But, I love it because I have always loved to solve puzzles, and in a way, digital literature and “Stir Fry Texts” are like puzzles to me.

In reference to the section, “Blue Hyacinth”, it really fascinated me how the story would change if you hovered over different words in a sentence. Digital literature has always intrigued me with its ability to have multiple meanings in one story, that usually all connect in some way. I have yet too figure out what the meaning is in “Stir Fry Texts”, but I can infer that the many different versions of the story (the ones that change when you hover over it) can be like ingredients in the stir fry, each ingredient (or different story), make up the main dish (or meaning). Without one ingredient, the whole piece of a puzzle doesn’t fit.

I plan to keep on rereading “Stir Fry Texts” in order to decode what all these ingredients are trying to explain.