#4 Mark Twain’s description of nature

The opening passage from chapter 8 of Huckleberry Finn defines nature with such vividness and imminence:

 

“The sun was up so high when I waked, that I judged it was after eight o’clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade, thinking about things and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on limb and jabbered at me very friendly.”

Chapter 8

 

Within this snip-it Mark Twain expresses through specifically chosen words which allow for momentous however simplistic elements to arise. The use of the personal pronoun “I” conveys his familiarities and his feelings in that exact moment. This can also be seen at the end of the second line through the words “comfortable and satisfied.”, illustrating his content feelings with what he mentions. Certain word choices can be understood as Huck’s recipe of his environment, “freckled, sifted, satisfied, rested”, each of these is items of the methods which make his beautiful setting.

The picture that Twain paints is through each idea the protagonist observes which the author has envisioned. Each line moves as if it were vectors, from the sun which explains the time element, then seeing the shade from the trees which made him feel comfortable, the leaves on the trees and the “freckled place” sun spot which shone through onto his face. This by far is an instance of clarity and highlights the beauty of the surroundings he is bounded by. The ways sentences are structured confirm the tone of the novel. In this specific paragraph, the sentences are short and sharp but meaningful. Most sentences contain two clauses connected by a comma, Twain uses this to not make his descriptions short and boring instead making them meaningful to the protagonist and the reader. Combined these features all form a depiction of what an amazing life which was around for Huck at the time.

 

 

Mark Twain and Peter Coveney. Huckleberry Finn, Level 3. London, Penguin Classics [Imprint], 2003

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#2 Peer Review

Hey Tylah,

I really was impressed by your take on both Emerson and Thoreau’s works.

I feel as though you engaged more with Thoreau’s Walden as it allowed you to question aspects in your life when using the term “eye opener”. Not only for yourself but it makes other readers aware of how materialistically consumed society has become. When you began to address Emerson, you beautifully stated the importance of the metaphor a “transparent eyeball”. This reveals how currently, we are made to see ideas, motions and change through somebody else’s vision and we have forgotten to think for ourselves.

All in all, I really enjoyed your blog and how you truly felt from the works of these poets. Although by adding an image to display what you have written would have been a great feature!

Keep up the great blogs!

– Annaliese

https://tylahfragiadakis.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/emerson-and-thoreau/comment-page-1/#comment-6

 

#3 Dickinson, The Mother of Poetry

Emily Dickinson, an inspiration to all and commonly recognised as “Mother of Poetry”. Dickinson writes in an abstract form, through my eyes a collection of her poems surround personal freedom. Today, I choose to write about a persona who is trapped through society grind. Re-telling in the theme of Dickinson, however, spun with my personal writing style.

I cannot live without you,
She said through all the liquor and wine –
He brought fair speech, however –
We are only made from the Divine.

This lust she speaks of,
is only just that.
Her desire has been manipulated –
from a girl fame wrapped.

Told – ‘Love is a riddle,
cloaked by thirst’,
But maybe it’s just greed
that got to her first.

Her appetite is pleased,
for only a short while –
she starts to grieve
such a quiet denial.

The words “I love you”
are never mentioned through this tidal.

As her mind felt freak-show closes in
So does her true yearning.

The bottle becomes empty,
as the last drop slashes down the aisle.

– Annaliese Ferraro

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#2 Emerson’s ‘Nature’

How has Emerson’s ‘Nature’ given you a clearer sense of what it is you are looking for in your own life?

The idea Transcendentalism came as a shock to me. Not physically but mentally. For years I understood that something of this nature existed but I never had the knowledge the term, which it was related to. Transcendentalism as being repeatedly aware of is a title, which is hard to define and decipher, however, it can be illustrated as a philosophical movement in American Literature. The two main figureheads in literature of this movement are known to be Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau but I would just like to hone lightly on Emerson’s essay “Nature”.

Emerson’s essay “Nature” is mainly about how nature is a way of understanding who we are and being reminded not to let the noise surrounding our lives cloud our judgment on our own thoughts and truths. He does this through the quote “I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am a particle of God.” (Chapter 1). It is a way that Emerson can express that what we see is a remarkable part of our being; it is the part that is original and warranted.

Each chapter following has been given separate key messages or ‘sub- messages’ which is portrayed to the reader as each one is interconnected to the main idea of understanding ourselves and to listen to our own opinions. Chapters 2,3 and 4 represent the value of nature through its commodity, beauty, and language. Through these chapters, they create a sense of awakening in my own life especially as these three themes are current issues in today’s day and age that is something that strikes a cord with me personally. Hearing about the longing for a physical possession or society’s value of image and the way we express ourselves through our language.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay ‘Nature’
Penguin Books ‘Nature’ Cover 

 

#1 Peer Review

Hey Biancah,

For your first entry in the category, American Literature, you have done a tremendous job in capturing the essence of how in this day and age ‘nature ISN’T… the first thought that would come to one’s mind’. Not only have you reflected how symbolic the world around the Native American people is you’ve also created a critical account which is easily accessible to any kind of reader. This is a great strength to possess in your writing style. I also appreciate how you put forward a forethought or idea to your readers in experiencing the great outdoors by removing themselves from a technologically advanced world and fuel processed society to experience the serenity that nature possesses. On top of that, the addition organisation websites are a fantastic finisher to your first blog!

You’ve done a beautiful job! One critic I have is to add maybe one more quote from – I become part of it. !

– Annaliese 🙂

https://biancahnasrblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/nature-in-american-literature/comment-page-1/#comment-60

 

#1 The importance of nature

Can we apply the Native American sense of the importance of nature to make our own lives more whole and meaningful?

In certain ways, the Native American way of living would be foreign to implement in the time of the 21st century as surrounding factors such as our society is an ever-changing place filled with technological disruptions, increasing numbers of polluting vehicles and most importantly the ignorance people in relation to the beauty of nature. Adherents of the sacred bond of nature can be portrayed through the relationship of the Native American Indians and the natural world.
A Native American writer, Oren Lyons encompasses this through his essay, “Our Mother Earth” in the book I become part of it.

According to Lyons, they have proved time and time again that they share a ‘great connection’ with the land. His continuous repetition of the word “great” revives to foresee this unmeasurable understanding of the intensity that a connection between the Native American Indians and the environment share. Furthermore, when one looks at it, they could assume it is inextricable. However, this impossible separation is something the Europeans have fought towards for centuries on end. Though that doesn’t stop the Native American Indians as Lyons states, “We are like a conscience. We are small, but we are not a minority.” As well, Native Americans reveal that nature provides purpose through their sense of who they are; the growth of their identity makes this connection so much more personal and introspective “And among us there are even people with other gifts- a gift of art, or a gift of speech, or a gift of a smile that can make everyone laugh. Whatever it is, each of us was born with a mission.” as it is the development of who they are.

To have a whole and meaningful life is to be complete and to have a purpose and honestly, I believe by through the words and actions the Native American Indians take to profess their adoration towards nature can be sanctified in a material world. By not only acknowledging to appreciating what we have been blessed with but recognising the importance of the natural world as it is the beginning of the life we have all started for ourselves.

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For more insight into Oren Lyons thoughts, it would be best to check out his youtube video “We are part of the Earth.” using this link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSwmqZ272As

Dooling, D. M, and Paul Jordan-Smith. I BECOME PART OF IT ; Our Mother Earth. 1st ed., New York, Harperscollinspaperback, 2002,.
Sacred Land Film Project. “Oren Lyons “We Are Part Of The Earth”.” 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSwmqZ272As.

Summative Blog 19th Century

Throughout the 19th Century, both the Romantic and Victorian age have emerged pivotal concerns, in which we correlate with today’s society. It is through these concerns that in this day and age, we can feel a deeper connection and have meaningful and creative lives as we continually opened to the world who previously experienced the struggles and questions in which we do now.

The women of the Romantic age expressed the way they felt; many authors and poems shared that they were stereotyped and repressed due to social values. It was through this, that a feminist power seized itself into the 19th Century. Women such as Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Wollstonecraft were brought into the light, where women were able to voice their opinions and express their discontent with their own societies. With the strong movement of women’s rights in the 21st Century, we now have been encouraged to speak the perspective of women and so forth be labelled as feminists. This has taken a toll on the way the world is perceived as people who have a more appealing voice in the world such as ‘UN Women Goodwill Ambassador’, Emma Watson, has recently been able to make this happen with her debut and influential UN speech “He for She” in 2014. Likewise, Jane Austen took a similar but dividing route in her novel “Emma”, as she portrayed the protagonist as someone who wanted to control every element of her mundane lifestyle. From this, we now have come to terms with the fact that life forges its own path and we are just along for the ride. A similar experience emerges when Emma tries to match make who she thinks belongs to who. However, she discovers towards the end, she has a deep and uneasy revelation in her life when she realises something she can’t control, her vulnerable and stripped back feelings.

Another author who gauged their audiences in the Victorian Era was Charles Dickens with his novel “Hard Times”. He bases his idea of an ‘Imaginative Freedom’ around a young circus girl named Sissy Jupe. Her role as the protagonist it to optimise the way of freedom, to take risks and live one’s life to the fullest. However, some may say that the antagonist, Mr Gragrind, who was her teacher and later on in the novel her guardian detested everything about her and what she stood for. In the world we live in today, this can be an ongoing theme with people of a higher status or people who believe in the importance of facts and the utilitarian lifestyle. These usefulness factors still stand in today’s society. People who are seen as poor, ‘not normal’, rebel against what they have already been given stand in the place of Sissy Jupe. These people are ones who express their mind on topics some are unwilling to touch. For example, now we have a civilisation were LGBTI’s are free to express their creative minds through makeup, colours, and even who they are in the world.

Art in the 19th Century has made an enormous impact on the way people feel and view the world today. An incredible piece by Eugene Von Guerard “Milford Sound” (1877-1879) reflects the balance that can be created through realistic and non-realistic feelings. This constant essence of being comfortable with nature can be seen through the colour palette. Starting from the top of the painting the lilac and grey sky to the brown and green rocky mountains then gazing into the crystal blue water onto to the pulled back green and brown land. When looking at the feelings artist receive today, it shows them that there is no limit in the way art can be expressed and that the colours they choose to do so display the powerful meaning and feeling they receive from their environment and landscape. Another artwork which reveals the concerns of the time is Frederic Lord Leighton’s piece “Cymon and Iphigenia” (1884). Cymon means beast and foreshadows the idea that this individual is a reckless person, however, seems to be smitten with Iphigenia who reveals herself as a symbol of seduction. In this time images like this were very popular but frowned upon. In the 21st Century, they are increasingly prevalent to express the emotion of the time and how one individual or one experience can change another’s ways.

Finally, one novel in which I truly would recommend to anyone who would want to explore literature would be George Eliot’s “Silas Marner”. Although the story is about Marner, the thing that sprung itself onto me was the character, Godfrey Cass and his relatability to 21st Century. Cass is seen as a harsh persona who is only concerned with his wealth and his image. If that doesn’t sound like the 21st-century stereotype then I don’t know what else could be. Later on in this story, he wants to take his love child back for himself and his new wife and claims that she would be better off with the wealth he has. The mistake that this character has made and that I guess most individuals seems to make is that the infatuation with money has nothing to do with the person and their identity. His biological daughter, Eppie has grown up with a loving step-father (Marner) and has become the loving, caring and generous person she is due to his paternal instincts. This story can be seen as a ‘man in the mirror’ reflection. Cass needs to look at himself and see that money doesn’t solve everything it is the love you have for the people around you and in this case, it’s for his daughter.

As you can probably notice by my summary I really enjoyed learning and diving into the world of 19th Century Literature and Art. I do strongly believe that through the Romantic and Victorian Ages authors, novelists, poets, dramatists and artists highlight concerns in which we as the 21st Century civilisation incur. These forms of literature truly express in more ways than one how our creative and meaningful lives can be truly lived to the fullest and I’m extremely taken back by how much they do this.

Week 7 – Reflection

Today like any other Monday at Prac I helped the classroom teacher with administrative elements of the morning. She said to me, she wouldn’t know what she’d do without my help with roll call, sick/away notes, special homework and spelling because having the extra pair of hands speeds up the work and allows her lesson to plan to go on schedule. Being a part of community engagement has made a big impact on me because I’m starting to understand over the past few weeks how truly draining and how much hard work goes into just one day of teaching.

In today’s lesson the year one student’s were introduced to a new ‘strategy’ called sequencing. As someone who hasn’t gone through elements as basic as this, it was refreshing to once again remember what it was like to be a child and learning the fundamentals in which are so commonly forgotten in my time.

When looking back at a theory i learnt a few weeks back on humanist approaches to learning it corealted with a sitation which occured today. Although these students are still young and unable to fully be applicable to the theory, there was a thought on Abrahan Maslow’s Hierachy of needs.

In his conclusion, he believes that in order to fulfil goodness and wholeness one must reach self actualisation, sequencally. When looking at sequencing in class I thought it would be a great link toa situation that occured today. There are a minor cluster of students who have immigrated here from Lebanon. One student in particular continues to struggle in grasping the language and therefore acts out because of it. By going through Maslows hiearchy anyone can see that there are many limitations to young people, such as what they would be going through at the time. The order of the needs are not catering for his situation. If I was able to swap needs I would say “Safety” and “Self-Esteem” should be combined. In the young boys case, it may with the help of motivational strategies such as positive reinforcement, to allow him to believe in his abilities and be able learn from his mistakes  in the future.

Week 6 – Reflection

This week’s prac experience was very eventful, as I not only aided inside the classroom but outside the classroom as I was allocated recess duty on the grass area. By having this responsibility to watch over the students carefully gave me a true sense of what it would be like in any teacher’s shoes. The key factors that I needed to watch for were contact of any kind, e.g. touching, pushing, kicking etc. To make sure that each student who arrived at the grass area was wearing a hat, which is a firm rule made by the school. As well as the teacher on duty asked me to watch out for any verbal or physical fights which might occur, to settle them by simply talking it out or if I became too difficult to call on her. A situation did occur were a few boys who funnily enough were in the class I was assisting in were playing tips. A young boy went to tip and instead of tipping the other students shoulder he hit him firmly in the chest. Not knowing that what he did was wrong as this particular boy has bad asthma and has been away for a couple of days I had to assess to see if this was a situation I could handle or not. Firstly, I asked for them both to describe what had happened then I got the young boy who tipped the other to apologise. Knowing that this was a physical incident, which could then in future affect the boy, I told the teacher on duty so then she could direct what would happen next. I’m glad I got to experience such an incident because it has allowed me to be involved and understand what the correct steps are to take for situations such as these.

 

In last week’s lecture, we spoke about managing learning in the classroom. When I first engaged in the information I immediately related it to my time at prac this semester. Firstly, the physical and social learning aspect was something I remembered very heavily. Physical learning, I associated as the way my teacher in charge positions her students on the floor. She places her obedient learning in the middle, her distracters closer to her and her shy ones in front of the obedient children. I questioned the methods to her madness but she believes in order to have a cohesive classroom the whereabouts of the students play a major role in how they learn. The social learning aspect would be the ability to have students work in groups. In order for this to work smoothly, for example, in reading groups, groups are formed due to the level one is up to. Although you might not necessarily be in the same friendship group as the people who are made up of these groups, students can indeed learn off one another. An alternative factor would be the methods in which is taught. The teacher I’ve been paired up with uses an equal balance of physical writing activities and technological task. She completes this by engaging students in activities that are attractive to them This could be when learning about phonics she’d ask the students to sound out any words they couldn’t spell and use the phonics card sounds to help them out. As well, using technological devices such as Ipad’s, computers and the Smart-board to refine their motor and coordination. An item which a constant in classroom management would be administrative roles. In the year one classroom, to mark the role there is a lily pad set up and 28 frogs with the student’s names on them. The teacher asks the students to find their name and drag it to the pad in order to see who is here and who isn’t. In this time she also collects sick notes, charity money and special homework for the students who have done extra advanced work or who struggle with certain areas.

Week 5 – Reflection

This week in lectures we discussed learner differences through their intelligence and gender. When looking at the classroom I’ve been placed in all 28 children have many different strengths and weaknesses which allow them to succeed and or fail in what they are conducting. Robert Sternberg’s Theory of Successful Intelligence includes three categories, “ANALYTIC, CREATIVE, PRACTICAL”. Some people find it unreliable and unconventional. That these three categories can’t possibly be the only things that measure one’s intelligence. The two polar opposite areas are Intellectual disabilities and the gifted and talented.

Intelligence 

Intellectual Disabilities? Students who have impairments for general mental abilities. In some senses, these students often are behind or struggle to keep up with the mode/majority of the class. In these cases, extensive aid needs to be given to ensure the student can reach their optimal potential. For example; in my prac this week a student who is switched on in terms of the content has a hard time reproducing it through writing. To deal with this the classroom teacher advises that after he learns something new he writes it down straight away. By doing so he alerts his mind on the things he has learned.
Gifted and Talented? These are the students who excel beyond their age medium, who grasp things extensively faster than their peers. In some schools, students who possess the status of being ‘gifted and talented’ are placed in programs where they can continue to excel with people of their own kind, people who possess the same or other gifted and talented skills. For example, when it comes time for reading groups which highlights, reading, writing, listening, grammar and punctuation. Students who obtain the title gifted and talented move to the class which is allocated for these students which create a safe environment for them to continue learning, without feeling out of place and or embarrassed.

Gender
When looking at the way boys and girls learn back in the 1970s & 1980s, social inequality arose and the addition policy for gender equality directed at females. Since then a lot has changed. Schools are now more concerned with the way boys absorb and learn then the way girls do. Girls have now been placed in the firing line in the sense of increased policies which cover things such as verbal bullying outside and within the classroom.

For example; When I was in school boys and girls, both in primary and high school both were reprimanded for being distracting, talking or even not completing the right set of tasks. And this was between the years of 2003-2015. From just being in the community engagement program for only 2 months I have observed that this is not the case. There is no balance anymore. In this particularly year 1 classroom many boys are distracted, talking or not conducted the correct task. Whether this can be an attention seeking ploy or not can’t be seen but it’s highly prevalent in society today. Although the girls do muck up every so often, the female stereotype of sitting up straight, raising their hands when spoken to and even obeying when told a command is prevelant in todays day and age.