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Welcome to Sarah's tumblr for College Writing I!

Weekly (starting in W2), you will post 2 entries.

FIRST, Tumble something you think is interesting. This might be a picture, a music video, a quote from class, a link, or anything else that tumblr supports. Then, in the text of the post, you should consider what the creator was trying to communicate through whatever he or she posted in a healthy paragraph. You are welcome to write more if you would like (especially if you feel you need to provide some background), but you MUST at least use several sentences to focus on what the creator’s intent might be.

SECOND, Reblog someone else’s “original” post. Respond to their post in (at least) a healthy paragraph. You might consider what attracts you (or doesn’t!) that post? what their post reminds you of? what kind of reaction (interested, angry, pleased, and so on) you are having to the post? why you might be having that reaction? do you agree with the poster’s assessment of the creator’s intent? what did the poster miss? what did the poster get right?



Remember:

• Always, always, always clearly mark your tumble with whatever week of class we are in (W4 and W4 REBLOG for example). Any tumble without a clear designation of the week it belongs to will earn a 0.

• For tumbling purposes, the week ends on Sunday at 5pm. You have from Monday to Sunday @ 5 to make your 3 posts.

• Keep it clean. If you think there is any chance that you could offend anyone, post a warning at the top that explains how what you’re mentioning could be offensive (for example, “This movie clip includes real-life violence”). When in doubt, ask me.

• Keeping up with your tumblr posts is completely your responsibility. I will not be letting you know if you miss a week!

• DO NOT tumble more than 2 times a week. If you tumble extra material, I will give a zero for the whole week of entries. If you get interested in tumblr and want to maintain a separate one, that is fine.

• DO NOT reblog outsiders. If you tumble from people outside of my classes, I will give you a zero for the whole week of entries.

Email me if you have any questions!
seadams.unt@gmail.com

Following

25 April 10

W13

This is a video of folk/pop singer Devendra Banhart performing a few summers ago. In this song, he combines Charles Manson’s “Home is Where You’re Happy” and Lauyrn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).”

I think Devendra decided to combine these two songs for a few reasons. Firstly, the chord structures are very similar, so this wasn’t a difficult project. Secondly, Banhart really calls attention to the disparity in the original songwriters. Charles Manson is a psychopath; Lauyrn Hill is a free spirit (of sorts). By pairing their works, Banhart exposes how incorrect our assumptions about music and creators of music can be. Thirdly, it’s likely that Devendra combined these songs as a sort of wink to his audience. The audience would have to be fairly well informed to be familiar with the Manson song, and the audience would have to have listened to different genres (not just folk) to know Lauyrn Hill’s song. By winking at his audience in this way, his fans are able to feel more connected to him because he and the fans have something in common.

21 March 10

W8

This is the video for Yo La Tengo’s “Sugarcube”.

I think this video is hilarious and that Yo La Tengo does a few different things with it. First of all, I definitely think the video is both pokes fun at and is an homage to the genre of rock. The wild, outgoing nature of the “instructors” set up against the awkward, tentative YLT shows how little the band fits in with the general conception of “Rock.” However, I think that their choice to reference Rush, Foghat, Poison and a ton of other groups shows that YLT are aware of the groups and probably fans. Secondly, I think by casting comedians David Cross and Bob Odenkirk as the teachers, YLT might’ve been trying to gain some fans that might not have heard of them before. Overall, the video is mostly about the band making fun of their indie-ness while also exposing how silly popular music can be. Great stuff!

7 March 10

From ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’

From ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’

W7

WARNING: This includes language (references to sex and male anatomy) that some may find offensive.

“You read a book for the story, for each of its words,” Gordy said … . but you should also read and draw because really good books and cartoons give you a boner.”

I was shocked:

“You should get a boner! You have to get a boner!” Gordy shouted. “Come on!”

We ran into the Rearden High School Library.

“Look at all these books,” he said.

“There aren’t that many,” I said. It was a small library in a small high school in a small town.

“There are three thousand four hundred and twelve books here,” Gordy said … . “Yes, it’s a small library. It’s a tiny one. But if you read one of these books a day, it would still take you almost ten years to finish.”

“What’s your point?”

“The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don’t know.”

Wow. That was a huge idea… .

“Okay, so it’s like each of these books is a mystery. Every book is a mystery. And if you read all the books ever written it’s like you’ve read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you just keep on learning there is so much more you need to learn.”

“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Gordy said. “Now doesn’t that give you a boner?”

“I am rock hard,” I said.

Gordy blushed.

“Well, I don’t mean boner in the sexual sense,” Gordy said. “I don’t think you should run through life with a real erect penis. But you should approach each book—you should approach life—with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point.”

“A metaphorical boner!” I shouted. “What the heck is a metaphorical boner?”

Gordy laughed.

“When I say boner, I really mean joy,” he said.

I think Sherman Alexie, the author, does 2 awesome things in this excerpt from his young adult novel: he makes the reader laugh and he makes the reader think. Alexie comes at the old (cliched?) ideas of “reading is really important” or “reading is a gateway to another world” or “reading leads to self-improvement” with this great, highly descriptive idea of the “metaphorical boner.” He manages to be hilarious but also offer some profound advice. How great would life be if we really could approach more and more moments as opportunities for joy (isntead of an opportunity to get an ‘A’, to make money, to make someone else proud)? I know, as does Alexie, it’s impossible to be happy, joyful, or metaphorically “hard” all the time, but that doesn’t disqualify it as something worth aspiring to.

*I added the photo, so you could see another shot of Alexie.

28 February 10
21 February 10

Suzan-Lori Parks speaks to Mount Holyoke grads in 2001

"SUGGESTION #3: PRACTICE PATIENCE. Whether you sit around like I do, working for that perfect word, or yr working toward a dream job, or wishing for a dreamy sweetheart. Things will come to you when yr ready to handle them—not before. Just keep walking yr road."

You can find the rest here.

W5

In this piece, I think Suzan-Lori Parks is trying to pass on as much advice as she possibly can. Her purpose, outside of that, is to entertain. Which she does moderately well. I would imagine giving a commencement address that is truly original and moving and important would be difficult. I’m just not sure she quite succeeds with this address… some of what she says doesn’t really ring true with me. Particularly, her third suggestion, to “keep walking yr road.” On the surface, I really like the idea of just “walking yr road” and letting things come to you as they’re “supposed” to. When I think about it more, though, it sounds like BS. The idea that “things will come to you when yr ready to handle them” is really a way of saying “you should be able to handle everything in your life” and that puts a lot of undue pressure on recent college grads (or, really, anybody not living the privileged lives we get to live and anybody not handling their situations at the moment).

12 February 10
3 February 10

W3

This is a video of Steve Schick performing the percussion piece Corporel. The instrumentation for the piece, written by Vinko Globokar, is the human body. While the piece is admittedly “out there,” I really enjoy Schick’s performance. He sometimes seems creepily serious and other times is clearly enjoying himself. (The last second or two is pretty great too!)

I think that Globokar was trying to call our attention to the human body as an instrument. We generally associate the body with only dance or only singing (and sometimes dance and singing at the same time), but Globokar wants the performer to take full advantage of his body as instrument. While Globokar includes singing, he also explodes that notion by also including snoring, stomping, slapping, whispering, tounge clicking, and anything else you can think of. Besides challenging the performer, Globokar also challenges the listener. He raises questions about what can be considered music and what is simply noise. By including those funny moments (snoring, goofy singing), I think Globokar wants us to consider those questions about music but not take ourselves too seriously while doing so.

(For you percussion people who may care, I can’t remember what the score looks like—it’s been many years since I’ve seen it. It’s possible that some or many of the sound choices are Schick’s not Globokar’s)

31 January 10

mauchter:

This song is called “Ice-Nine” performed and written for the North Texas One O’clock Lab Band.  It is composed by Steve Wiest, director of the One o’Clock.

This compostion is written about the fictional material used in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” that is basically solid water at room temperature (ice that doesn’t melt until 114 degrees F). The book centers around the worlds oceans freezing up due to the fact if ice-nine comes into contact with water, it morphs the water into ice-nine.

I enjoy the composition for its schizophrenic nature, its high energy sections, and, ultimately, for its difficulty as a chart. I think he caputured the idea of the material and ends the song appropriately.

W2 REBLOG:

Thanks for posting this, mauchter; I really enjoyed it.

Outside of the music, what I liked the most about this video is the footage of the musicians. Moreso than with any other  genre, with jazz I find myself wishing I could be present at the recording session instead of just hearing an album in the car or on an iPod. You might be able to infer that the group was having a blast from the tone and quick clip of the piece, but being able to see the saxophonist in the yellow shirt nearly jump out of his seat because of how much fun he’s having is way better than just inferring that this was a fun chart to play.

Reblogged: mauchter

15 September 09
From the Seattle Post Intelligencer
W1
This is a photograph of the writer Sherman Alexie. Alexie is probably the most famous Native American and certainly the most famous Native American writer in the world. I like this photo because it shows Alexie’s goofy sense of humor. In nearly every photograph I’ve seen of him, he’s smiling, laughing, or doing something silly. I think the person who took this photography was probably trying to show Alexie’s goofy nature.
Of course, being tied to tracks isn’t exactly an inherently funny situation. I suppose the photographer might’ve chosen this scene to also show how Alexie is trapped in some ways? I might be reading too much into this, but Alexie is always (like I just did above…) introduced as a “Native American” writer instead of just “writer.” As much as Alexie embraces and writes about his Native Americaness, it also seems to separate him from other more universally accepted writers.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer

W1

This is a photograph of the writer Sherman Alexie. Alexie is probably the most famous Native American and certainly the most famous Native American writer in the world. I like this photo because it shows Alexie’s goofy sense of humor. In nearly every photograph I’ve seen of him, he’s smiling, laughing, or doing something silly. I think the person who took this photography was probably trying to show Alexie’s goofy nature.

Of course, being tied to tracks isn’t exactly an inherently funny situation. I suppose the photographer might’ve chosen this scene to also show how Alexie is trapped in some ways? I might be reading too much into this, but Alexie is always (like I just did above…) introduced as a “Native American” writer instead of just “writer.” As much as Alexie embraces and writes about his Native Americaness, it also seems to separate him from other more universally accepted writers.

29 August 09
Introductory Post
Hey! I’m Sarah, your instructor for College Writing I. There’s not much to know about me. I went to Rutgers for my Bachelors degree, and am now finishing my Masters here at NT. I’ve taught several sections of College Writing I and am happy to get to teach students in their first year of college. After I finish my Masters, I plan to teach for awhile before eventually applying to PhD programs in either Rhetoric & Composition or Literature.
I selected this photo for my avatar because it shows where I spend a lot of time. This is the fountain outside of the Willis Library. You can find me somewhere in the library every Sunday without fail (and occassionally on Fridays if it’s been a particularly hectic week)! I found this picture on flikr. Unfortunately, the user’s site isn’t up anymore, so I’m glad I saved the photo when I had a chance.

Introductory Post

Hey! I’m Sarah, your instructor for College Writing I. There’s not much to know about me. I went to Rutgers for my Bachelors degree, and am now finishing my Masters here at NT. I’ve taught several sections of College Writing I and am happy to get to teach students in their first year of college. After I finish my Masters, I plan to teach for awhile before eventually applying to PhD programs in either Rhetoric & Composition or Literature.

I selected this photo for my avatar because it shows where I spend a lot of time. This is the fountain outside of the Willis Library. You can find me somewhere in the library every Sunday without fail (and occassionally on Fridays if it’s been a particularly hectic week)! I found this picture on flikr. Unfortunately, the user’s site isn’t up anymore, so I’m glad I saved the photo when I had a chance.

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh