Friday, October 10, 2008

Editorial: Language is Flawed

That's right people. Language is flawed. There are lots and lots of people who talk about this, it's not just me. Siddhartha mentions it too. He says Chapter 12, "Govinda," he explains how "words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish" (117). Not only Siddhartha, but even the French philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure philosophized on lanugages inability to truly convey "aboslute" meaning. And it's true: when you think of the word chair, what do you picture?
I bet most all of you pictured different chairs: a sofa, a nice cozy recliner, a desk, a fancy dining room table chair, a lawn chair, etc, etc. That's why language is flawed. Because even the word chair creates a different image in the mind of the reader. So now what?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Reading Like a Writer #5: The Atlantic

1. Notice a Passage: This passage comes from an artilce in The Atlantic entitled "Word Fugitives."

2. Passage: Now Michael McWatters, of New York City, writes, “I use a computer for the better part of my waking life, and I’ve noticed that certain repetitive keyboard tasks are making their way into my noncomputer life. For example, I recently knocked a jar off the counter, and a little voice inside yelped, Command-Z! (the keyboard shortcut for Undo). Ditto for the time I accidentally ripped a page in a book. A friend mentioned that she recently lost her keys and thought, Command-F (Find). There should be a term for this confusion, as it’s only going to become more common.”

3. Name: The author uses a declaration, that I find hilarious!

4. Evaluate: As the author postulates on how sometimes language falls short in some instances, the author creates a great deal of humor with the verbs that are used and the inclusion of a declaration. The phrase: "a little voice inside yelped, Command-Z!" is carefully crafted to create a humorous effect. The verb "yelped" is so descriptive and works really well. Then having the phrase that was yelped come directly after, "Command-Z," emphasizes this phrase and magically creates humor for me!

5. Imitate: As I wandered down the street, I noticed piles and piles of leaves. I knew I shouldn't, but a little voice inside me urged, "Jump!" It was inevitable now. I felt my legs bending and springing into the pile of crunchy fall leaves.

6. Using it: Well, this one is hard because I need to somehow become witty. But the idea of using descriptive verbs and then putting short emphatic statements after them could be used to create humorous and dramatic effects. I will have to practice this one!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things To Do...

1. Grade, Grade, Grade.
2. Enter grades.
3. Plan next term
4. Re-read books and stories for next term
5. Pick up my car
6. Study for the GRE
7. Continue writing my paper on my Integration Model Research
8. Pleasure Reading
9. Eat dinner somewhere in there
10. Get ready for bed.
11. Sleep
12. Get up, ready, dressed
13. Get to school
14. Make copies
14. is that two number 14s?
15. Teach, Teach, Teach
16. Plan, Plan, Plan

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reading Like a Writer #4: The New York Times

1. Notice a Passage: This passage comes from an article in The New York Times entitled "Full of Doubts, U.S. Shoppers Cut Spending."

2. Passage: "Recent figures from companies, and interviews across the country, show that automobile sales are plummeting, airline traffic is dropping, restaurant chains are struggling to fill tables, customers are sparse in stores."

3. Name it: The author uses a descriptive list to explain what is happening in the economy.

4. Evaluate: This list is unique for several reasons. First it uses commas, but it doesn't use "and" as a final word to show the list is ending. This keeps from emphasizing one item on the list more than others. Also, I love that the author uses some great descriptive words to keep the list short, but very descriptive. Words like "plummeting," "struggling," and "sparse" all work to give continually vivid descriptions of what is happening in the economy without sounding redundant and also being more specific to the specific aspect of the economy they are describing. Automobile sales plummet, restaurants struggle to fill tables, customers are sparse. These words add a lot of value to the description while keeping it short and to the point.

5. When you're a teacher life comes at you like a freight train: papers need grading, lessons need planning, assignments need to be created, copies need to be made.

6. Using It: When I use a list I can use very descriptive words to make sure that each word describes the item on the list well, but also keeps my writing from being too repetitive.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

White Rabbit

Yesterday was White Rabbit. So, what does that mean? Well White Rabbit is the first day of each month. The tradition goes that you try and say "White Rabbit" to everyone you know before they can say it to you. If you are successful, then you will have a lucky month. Simple and fun tradition.

Here's some more information on the history of the tradition!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Go Cougars!

Here is our tribute to the Cougs, currently ranked numero 7! WooHoo!

Let's Go Cougars!