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acmp93 asked:

thanks for your kind words. You made great input throughout the trimester on your analysis and point of views. I know you will make a great teacher yourself. Its great to be able to expose students to literature and real world issues. I will share some great words of wisdom a homeless man in Punta Arenas, Chile (Patagonia) once shared with me, "Never stop dreaming!" Follow your dreams however, crazy they might seem.

Wow thanks so much. That means a lot to me. I’ll take those words to heart. :D

To My Professor

Once high school is finished and college begins, often the meaning of school is shifted. School becomes more about money, numbers, credit hours, text books, and parking fees than knowledge.

There is something simple about high school that seems to make it easier to concentrate on the subject matter.

However, I feel lucky to have had the pleasure of taking this class. On a weekly basis I was immersed in literature that took me all over the world. This course took me to Africa, Costa Rica, Warsaw, Prague, nameless cities, and small towns.

While it is easy to become drowned in your surroundings and forget about the rest of the world, it often takes an opportunity to educate yourself in order to pull yourself out of the privileged monotony of western life and look at the world through different eyes.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the course was taught and will miss our Kumbaya circle discussions. It is rare to find a professor that is not only educated on their subject matter but passionate about what they preach while also being considerate of her students.

Thank you for a great trimester. I’ve learned so much not only about literature but of humanity, gratitude, and kindness. I’m glad the course wasn’t cancelled!

Favorite Piece of Literature

My favorite piece of literature that was covered in class would have to be “Looking for a Rain God”. I’ve always loved stories set in Africa, not for it’s beauty but for the inevitable extremes of its culture and climate.

It is so far removed from the western lifestyle that I find it intriguing to read about their culture and traditions.

This particular story had everything that I think makes a good read. It had suspense, a foreign climate, an analysis of the psyche of desperation, and an illustration of a very extreme and almost unbelievable ritual.

The imagery was also ver effective in this story. It only gave the reader the bare bones with a few important details. Therefore, it set the stage for the story but left the reader plenty of space to fill with their own imagination. For example in skipping the murder of the two children, the reader is left to imagine all sorts of awful and sinister fates. The not knowing is more impacting than a description.

A striking part if this story was the descriptive “wailing” of the women. They were hungry and consumed with panic at the thought of no rain coming and having to go hungry.

Overall it left me with a send of having gone somewhere far away for a few minutes while also educating me on the worried and traditions of a different part of the world.

Dead Men’s Path

I enjoyed this poem because it had an interesting lesson involved. Maya Angelou said of her mother that she taught Maya a very important lesson. She told her that she was to be understanding of illiteracy because some of the simplest people knew more than the most educated.

While I do not believe that the old man in this story was wise or patient, I do believe that the Headmaster was very intelligent but lacking in wisdom.

For all of his knowledge, he was not understanding of illiteracy. Had he been less proud and more respectful of the older and simpler crowd and their traditions, he may have been able to enjoy a good revision from the superintendent.

The Falling Girl

This poem for me was bittersweet. Clearly, the subject matter was depressing and triggering. However, I really enjoyed the way it was written.

The Poet’s form was interesting and very effective in creating a sense of falling down a rabbit hole. The anguish that her rape caused brought her to a sort of breaking point. She would fall against the wall and, in a way, embrace herself and her sadness.

Similarly to E.E. Cummings, she throws caution to the wind and scatters her words in a way she sees fit to illustrate her raging emotions.

However, E.E. Cummings typically has no rhyme it reason to his form, whereas this poet purposely constructs her form to create an illusion if falling.

Those Winter Sundays

This poem is one that is easily relatable to most.

When you’re a child so many people do all sorts if great and loving things for you. However, being a child, you don’t understand the sacrifice behind it. You only understand that you have it.

In my case, I think of my father. He has always been a mechanic. Having dropped out of middle school, the trade his father taught him was always considered his only option in surviving in America.

When I was younger, I would watch him slave away in the garage of our little three bedroom starter house. While he worked long, thankless twelve hour shifts, every moment of free time went into ‘side jobs’ that he would work from home.

Often he would say he couldn’t play with me on the weekends or talk to me about anything because he was fixing a car. I used to think he liked it. So much in fact that he’d rather do that than go to the beach. I remember being angry at him, even as he wiped the sweat from his eyes.

In retrospect, I realize that there were many days where we ate rice with ketchup in the dark because my parents wages hadn’t been enough to pay the electricity bill. We were struggling. And my parents did what they could in a foreign place whose language they didn’t know yo get us ahead.

Like Robert Hayden said “What did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?

The Lottery

This short story was particularly shocking to me. I was not expecting the sudden turn of events and was calmly convinced that the lottery was a boring and simple procedure meant for a boring and simple people.

It wasn’t until the end that I was enlightened as to what exactly was the prize that the lottery offered.

This story has an admirable way of bringing the senseless tyranny of tradition to the forefront of our minds. It very effectively lulls the reader into a false sense of security.

The small town is cute and comfortable enough. The only real danger here ends up being the senselessness of its people and the iron fist of a tradition whose origins nobody can really recall.

One particularly interesting point in this story is the part when one of the townspeople mentions that some towns have done away with the lottery. To which an old man responds that it is foolish to do such a thing.

So deeply rooted is this tradition that the idea if not randomly killing a towns person every year is simply ridiculous.

Even Mrs. Hutchinson, the victim, doesn’t think to try to convey the idiocy of this tradition. In her mind it is a concrete truth. Probably for good reason.

Analysis of “One Good Reason To Die”

I chose this poem mostly for the raw passion that was demonstrated in Marty McConnell’s performance. This poem centers around a subtle and unspoken issue that exists within her generation.

In the beginning of the poem when she illustrated her parents’ reaction at her chosen career: poet. She highlights the fact that even her parents, who had now “sacrificed their edges to stay within the lines”, had once shared her hunger and vigor for life and the rights to it.

She uses the term “baby-boomer-one-time-hippies” to describe them. If we look at the Hippie movement, it was probably the largest and most unified movement that was put together at any one time to fight for human rights of every kind.

Marty claims in her own words that this is the same thing her generation wants. However, unlike the hippies, she says that her “revolution” is “all mouth and no legs”.

She paints a picture of the universal yearning for things like equality, respect, diplomacy, and love. Then she contrasts it sharply with the more successful and more violent movements such as the KKK and the crooked establishment of politics.

Examination at the Womb Door

I enjoyed this poem in the thorough snarkiness of its tone. While it can be interpreted to mean many different things, there is an apparent sense of triumph.

The very first line initially shocks you. Little feet are usually a connotation of new life and the sanctity of children. Hughes offsets that with the italicized word: death.

Right away, we have a feel of the poem. It’s written in a way that seems to say “I’ve given up”. It highlight not only the certainty of death but also the moroseness of life.

In his last couple lines however, he asserts himself as stronger than the all powerful death. A moving line that brings the reader back from their lulled sense of certain death.

To highlight this point, and almost as if to assert his control over uncontrollable death, he says “pass, crow.” It almost seems as if he’s saying “that was really a nice try but no thank you. Not today.”

Nervous Conditions

Out of every character in the novel Nervous Conditions, Nyasha may have been my favorite. Despite her dramatic breakdown at the very end of the novel, all throughout it she is pushing her limits and asking questions.

I feel that I relate to Nyasha because of her sheer and inherent sense of rebellion. She does not rebel for the sake of rebelling but rather because she partly hates and partly does not understand the box that society tries to squeeze her into.

I loved how free she was on the few occasions in which she was able to forget her worries and failures. For example, when she goes to the dance she is free as a bird. She doesn’t want to stop dancing: perhaps because when she stops, reality will overtake her.

Either way, it is evident early on that Nyasha has a lot of problems. However, it is also apparent that she is very clever and tremendously Intelligent.

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