Unlearning in this context is being able to have an open mind to new ideas and perspectives of writing. In high school we have been taught these set rules about writing that make it more of an uninteresting process than something you actually want to right about. To be able to write something interesting you needs to be curious about new ideas and have the flexibility to open new ideas of thinking that helps you to adapt to new circumstances. Something that I want to unlearn are these sets rules because they hold be back as a writer. When I was in school I felt if it didn’t meet the standards that it wasn’t good enough so finally being able to unlearn this is the best thing because it will help be in the long run to become a better writer and to learn too write something I am interested in. I want to be able to perceive new ideas and to reflect upon them. Unlearning these rules will be a challenge but when you confront your challenges it makes you a better writer.
In David Foster Wallace speech “ This is water” David talks about how you choose your life and what your future is. He wants to emphasize that everything that you choose in life is going to affect your everyday life into what you will become as an adult. His whole philosophy of his speech is the meaning we construct out of life is a matter of personal, intentional choice. It’s a conscious decision but you have to choose what to pay attention to and how you build meaning from that experience. What we learn in school is taugth as how to think but what they really mean is how to exercise control in the things you do or say.
He also talks about the topic of blind certainty. He talks about how to men sitting at a bar perceive one situation as two different things. Wallace then says how one thing in any situations can mean 2 different things to 2 different people because of their beliefs whether its religion or just an opinion.We belive in alot of what we were taught that we don’t even realize they can be questioned whether it is arrogance, blind certainty, a closed-mindedness that you feel like a prisoner that doesn’t even know he’s locked up. I feel that this relates to when he referenced that most people that do feel imprisoned though are the ones who commit suicide and they are usually dead before that trigger is pulled.
Practice Session 1 Habits of the creative Mind
Dealing with a traumatic experience always seems nothing less than unexpected. All one can think and wonder is “why did this happen?” or “what is going to happen next?”. Mostly everyone has had one of these experiences, including me. Last year around February- March a family friend to me was viciously stabbed in our public library by a man that she went to school with. She was pronounced dead about 2 hours after the incident. It wasn’t till later that night that I heard my parents talking to some neighbors saying “what!? Deane Stryker? are you sure…”. After that I shut down , tears rolling down my face like never before. I couldn’t cope with it and I felt numb to the pain, it didn’t feel real.
I couldn’t understand who would do that and why because she never did anything. She was an amazing girl and she was on her first year here at UNE pre-med. She was a volunteer and always cared about everything and everyone. She even had her tragedies probably worse than anyone I could imagine. She was strong, courageous and so much more. I miss her everyday. Her death was just the beginning of an overload of emotions.
The week that she died, the parkland shooting in Florida had just happened in addition many more shootings and brutal attacks. Everyone in the high school including me were all anxious because you never think that’s gonna happen to you. That usual teenage invisibility cloak was draped upon everyone’s shoulders. Then Deane died, and no one knew how to deal with it. The week after she had passed was very rough. I was anxious, depressed and nervous like no other. I remember I was in my Teacher Assistant block and I heard a very loud bang and I froze and got so nervous I started to cry. I was shaken with fear and felt paralyzed.
Being able to cope with this wasn’t easy and it took awhile for me to realize that she was gone. I still can hear the cries of her family at the funeral. They echoed through the church and I balled my eyes out for the next two days. I finally realized that I had said goodbye. How do you deal with this kind of trauma? I still can’t tell you the answer because every tragedy is different but I can say that grief is like a roller coaster and were all in the same seat, some are going up while others are going down. I was going down for the next couple days. I finally pulled myself together realizing, in moments like these, the playing field is leveled, and nobody has control. I wanted to focus my sadness and even anger towards something else. As a student body we bonded together and organized our own school walkout that we saw everyone in country participating in. These events help us stand up to what we needed and what we will not stand for. Everyone may experience trauma but how you deal with it is your choice. I chose to stand up for someone who no longer could.
One passage that I agreed with was Joel Salatin when he raised six different food animals such as cattle, pigs, chickens, rabbits, turkey and sheep. They lived on 550 acres of grassland where they could live naturally. I agreed with this because the animals were bale to live in a great environment and were just put in one pen where they were force fed and weren’t happy and being able to get the right food.
A passage that I disagreed with was when they talked about how the American industrial animal farm is a nightmarish glimpse of what capitalism looks like. They show this through animal suffering. They would clip off chickens beaks or tail-docking. I can’t think about the amount of pain that those animals feel because they don’t have anyway of communicating that it hurts like we do.
One passage that I am conflicted with is when they talk about Pain and suffering. Pollan says that animals even though they feel pain they seems to get over it quicker but how are we able to know that? I mean animals aren’t able to tell us how they feel because they can communicate with us how unbearable that pain is. No matter what animals and humans both feel pain but the only difference is language because one can express it but the other can’t
While reading TS/IS on page 44 I found when they talked about quoting relevant passages interesting. It hard to find quotes but it’s even harder to find quotes that relate to your exact argument. You want to be able to find a quote that meets what you are trying to say because you may have a quote but then later change your whole focus to something else and your left with an irrelevant quote. Also when you are devoted to what your writing and engaged there is a lot of going back and forth between your argument and any quotes you have.
On Page 49 the writer talks about on how to blend your words with the authors words. People will insert a quote then explains what it means but not explain how it relates to your argument and use their own words. You do want to talk about the quote but at the same time give your own spin on it and your opinion.
On Page 30 I found interesting that how some writers when reading an article either don’t take enough time to properly summarize the article or loose focus on their own focus. Writers can also overdue summarizing by only focusing on your opinion/focus and listing thing x thinks or y says and not having a clear focus. As a writer you have to be able to balance what an author says while saying your own opinion.
On Page 31 the writer talks about how if a writer can’t put themselves in other writers shoes you aren’t able to fully see what their focus is. If a writer can’t do this then they are writing a summary that is biased towards their opinion because they aren’t able to to others perspective.
Writing for anyone can be a challenging especially when you don’t know where to start. When I write I like to have a process that involves developing ideas, organizing my ideas into a paragraph sequence, asses my own writing, rethink and then rewrite. All these steps bring you closer to achieving your best final draft. It took me a long time to develop a system that worked for me and gave me the best product of writing. Writing can be the biggest struggle that students deal with but if your able to figure out what works best for your learning ability it can because every interesting and you’ll want to write more.
When first brainstorming ideas you want to figure out what you want to say and what do you want the reader to know. To be able to write something interesting you needs to be curious about new ideas and have the flexibility to open new ideas of thinking that helps you to adapt to new circumstances. I first start off by writing some notes down on what I am writing about and then try to form a main idea. Your focus may change as you go along but as long as you have enough supporting evidence it’s not an issue.
Once I find my focus I then move on to how I want to organize them into a sequenced that makes sense. Most people will use the 5 paragraph set up which isn’t a bad thing but it’s not something that works best for me and when you write with that format your following more of an outline than venturing into a creative sense of your writing. When using the 5 paragraph format you are restoring your work as a writer because your not able to write freely.
Once you have everything organized and written out you want to assess what you wrote and see if it matches with what your focus is. Being able to perceive new ideas and to reflect upon them is a big part of writing. When your open to new ideas that will make your writing more creative and free flowing.
Asessing what your wrote will then lead you to rethinking what your focus is and it may change. Rethinking give you the oppurtunity to change your focus and make sure you have everything to support that new focus. Once you figure out what your for sure wriuting about your able to rewrite it and get your final draft. Writing with a set process that works for you help you be a writer that wants to challenge themselves and see new ideas to writing.
This project for me was a much easier process than when I was in high school. We had read Habits of the creative mind which confronted those hard challenges that we face as writers and also taught me about how when I was in high school we were taught these sets of rules to follow when writing and if you do that your not putting all your thought into it. The reading also talked about how you need to be open minded with your ideas and others ideas because you may be focusing on one thing then read something else and your whole focus shifts. In TS/IS the writer talked about how to summarize a quote and to make sure your explaining the author opinion and your. In my paper I was able to insert quotes that worked for my ideas and to explain them correctly. I learned how to brainstorm and set up how I wanted to write my argument. I was able to get lots of help from the peer review which led me to better my writing. Throughout this process I was able to open my mind to new ideas and new ways of writing.
On Page 68 when the writer is talking about being able to know who is speaking in a passage. When students can’t understand the text it may not because they don’t know what it’s saying but because they don’t understand who is saying it and what there view is. Being able to see these subtle hints can help you in challenges given in class.
On Page 70 you want to be able to make sure your identify who is saying what in your writing. For example if I want to talk about something in Pollan’s animal place I need to be able to use what he said and then give my opinion after. You want to make sure that your readers knows exactly who your referencing and clearly who is saying what. In the passage they also encourage you to say the word “I” which when I was in school they didn’t want you to use. I encourages your self opinion which you need in an essay.
- Something I found interesting on pg 65 the writer talks about how the first rule to be an interviewer is to be curious because becoming an interviewer takes practice and it may be hard at first trying to really engage but everytime it becomes easier and results get better. By practing you gain experience which will better your interviews in the longrun.
- On page 66 the writers talks about how during your interview you needs to ask questions even the ones that are hard to talk about. Also if you get asked a question that is unfamiliar don’t be scared to ask more questions to dig deeper. Listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it and don’t be scared to improvise because your interview should be like a conversation and not like an interrogation
- On page 67 they talk about an interview that went wrong because the questions that someone asked were irrelevant to the conversation and didn’t reveal any information. After this they requested a new interview and made up a whole new set of question but they were lucky getting this interview because not a lot of people will give you another shot.