The taste of sulfur still lingering in the air, the man coughed. Felt the debris cut pieces from his throat and coughed up more blood onto the frozen ground. He looked up into the gray and the dark of the sky and shouted to god;
Have you no mercy!?... Have you no shame!?
His breath riding on the wind, the cold air making silhouettes of the shadows of what full trees once looked like. It reminded him of how hope took false forms, how it was a bargaining chip from god to the damned, and all he could do was sit. Trying to extract the pieces of the mirage from his mind.
What do you want from me!? What do you want from us!? Why am I still here!!!
The ringing silence that bounced off the wind taunted him, the apples fallen and rotting at his feet.
He thought of the rain, he thought of the simmering ground how it was always cold and thawing but never completely unfrozen. What an irony in a world of fire, He thought of floods, and noah, and world's end, he thought of water, and the life that is given with a boat. How long would it sit frozen? The rust eating away at the pipes. You cannot clean the world of soot, or ash, or singed leaves that have long fallen and been dead. Hell was right here.
In the rotting of dead men, with teeth like splinters, everything, burned.
The reason I chose this section on page 119 right before the man goes into the house and chews the hay seeds, is because I honestly felt as though something was missing. That we missed something between those two moments That break in a paragraph has the ability to further create a dialog of what it means to be forsaken. Especially in a world like this. It raises the question of; Can truly even be a good guy? Apples are always a significant tool used in literature. Authors make choices when they write, and McCarthy being the poetic writer that he is I believe chose apples rotten apples and a burned apple orchard or I interpreted it at least, as addressing the idea of the world's end and being forsaken, because prior to this scene in the apple orchard we hear talk of serpents and other biblical references. Therefore I tied back that piece of genesis with Adam and Eve to the end of the world, how she had forsaken mankind and now the time has now ended completely. That hell is the very world you live in. I chose this theme in particular because the Man’s conversations with god many times turn to arguments, vast exchanges of silence and anger and shouting between the man and the sky, and then there is this other piece of god that the man has which is through the boy, and what it means to have faith. It is as if the boy is his god, because the boy is what he believes in. The boy in many ways which are more innocent is this all knowing being, who often times brings the hope back to the man, and keeps the man going. The boy is the man’s god because the man has unwavering faith in the boy, as one does in god, the boy has to live, the boy has to keep moving, the boy drives the man’s will to live, the mans faith in his entirety. The only way the man still feels anguish in a world this doused in pain is because of his love and obligation to protect the boy whom he has deemed sacrosanct.
This quarter I explored different types of art and I learned more about myself as an artist. The work this quarter was challenging but also a lot of fun to do. I enjoyed learning more about photography and photo editing and I also really enjoyed making a collage for the first time in many years.
For my collage I wanted to convey a sense of calmness and serenity so I chose to do a collage of the sun setting over the ocean. When flipping through magazines to cut out some useful pieces for my collage I saw a picture of a sunset and it inspired me to do a collage of a sunset. My collage reminds me of all the times I’ve stayed at my grandmother’s house at the beach and seen the sun setting over the ocean. I really enjoyed creating the collage and it was my favorite assignment of the quarter.
The fabric drawing was very difficult for me because I’d never drawn fabric before. It was hard to capture all the wrinkles and folds in the fabric accurately and even harder to draw the shadows and lights. The fabric I was drawing wasn’t very visually appealing so it was hard to feel inspired.
I took a photo of one of the horses on the seesaw at the playground close to SLA. As a child I went to Greene Towne school, the preschool across the street from SLA, so I used to play in that playground a lot and I remember that the horses were my favorite part of the playground. I chose to use a filter that distorted the image to symbolize how childhood memories are often lost and become hazy.
The illustration was my second favorite project. I chose to illustrate “Stopping Through Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. I chose to illustrate that poem because I knew that there was going to be a blizzard the weekend after the illustration was due and I wanted to draw something snowy and wintry. I enjoyed drawing everything, especially the trees and the horse. I wanted my illustration to convey the beauty of nature and also convey a sense of wonder.
I use to drink those all the time when I was your age.
How long ago was that?
I don't remember.
The man and the boy look around to see if there was anything else that was useful that could be added to their cart. The man curiously walked near a flight of stairs that seemed to start near the entrance.
What is it?
Let me go with you, I’m scared.
No, I’ll be back. I’ll let you know if I find anything.
Don’t follow me.
The man slowly approached the staircase, he tip toed up the stairs keeping a tight grip on his gun. Before he reached the top of the stairs he looked to see if there was anyone in the room. Once he reached the top of the stairs he was overwhelmed to see what his eyes had not seen in years.
Get up here, I have something to show you.
What is it?
Come up and I’ll show you.
I don’t know, is it safe?
Just come up here, you’ll like it I promise.
The boy took a large amount of time to get up the stairs, the man didn’t mind as he was mesmerized by what he had seen.
What is it?
It’s a radio.
What’s a radio?
It’s like a box that plays any kind of music you put into it.
Does it work?
I don’t know, I’ll try to turn it on.
The man picked up the radio and observed it for a couple of minutes, he tested all of the buttons and was finally able to turn it on.
I don’t hear anything.
You have to put in the CD so it can play.
Where can we find one?
Help me look around, there should be some around.
The man opened the cabinet below from where the radio was, he grabbed the first one he saw and handed it to the boy.
Is this it?
What does it say?
Greatest Hits of The Century. Put it in, and press the button that says play.
It took a couple of seconds for the first track on the CD to play. The first song was by Dion, The Twist. The moment the song began the man moved his hips and feet and sang the words of the song as loud as he could. The boy did not understand what he was doing and seemed to be bewildered as he stared at him.
Papa, what are you doing?
Dancing, come on it’s easy.
I don’t know, you’re acting really strange.
It’s not strange, just try it.
But I don’t know how.
Just do the twist.
I don’t even know what that means.
It means stop being scared and dance.
After three songs had passed the boy smiled and joined the man in the middle of the floor. The boy didn’t know any of the songs so he sang whatever seemed right. The man looked down at the boy and began to laugh. Once the last track ended they grabbed all their stuff and set out back onto the road, for the rest of the journey the man and the boy hummed each song they had danced to and disappeared into the cold dark night.
Rationale of The Creative Scene
I chose to write the creative scene after the man and the boy were in the supermarket and the man wanted him to try the coca cola because I wanted to add more nostalgic elements to the story. The scene where the man gives the boy the coca cola gives the reader a taste of what was a custom of the world before the events that have left it in the way it is now. Creating the scene where the man finds the radio and identifies what is playing and as well as his actions gives the reader more background information about the man and what the boy is familiar with pertaining to what he knows about the world the man grew up in, which would be the motif of my creative scene. I also wanted to introduced a different side of the man, a side to which even the boy wasn’t familiar with. It shows how much humanity the man still has inside of him, and how little the boy has experienced throughout his time in the world they know now to be a wasteland. The theme of my creative scene is similar to the scene where the man gives the boy the coca-cola, except it is more nostalgic and playful. When I wrote the scene I included how the man wanted the boy to join him, I made it clear that the opportunity for the boy to actually be a kid and experience something that the man had once experienced himself was probably the only one he would get.
My essential question was “What is the relationship between the man and the boy? Throughout the novel we are given examples to when the man shows how he protects the boy, but we also see how the boy controls him and his level of authority. I wanted my creative scene to show a playful father and son bonding moment, something that the reader rarely sees in the novel. My creative scene shows a reflection of an important moment that had just passed, that important moment would be when the man tells the boy to taste the coca-cola. Suggesting that the boy should join the man when he was dancing and singing shows the same elements. For my vocabulary word I chose the twist to describe what the man was doing and what the man was singing. The Twist was a popular song and dance in the 1960's by Dion.
I had a lot of fun with this quarters pieces. It reminded me of when I was younger in art class and we did block prints a lot. My favorite piece in this would have to be the Golden Ratio collage. I like the contrast of he pinks to the blue. It made me really happy to finish it because I liked it so much. To do these pieces I did a lot of research and it helped me to see what I could take from what I saw and make it my own. I guess other people were a big help in inspiring what I did this quarter.
I like this class a lot and doing this type of stuff because it shows me the kinds of things that I am good at and what I like to do. I get to learn about all these different types of art, and I am excited to see what we get to do in the rest of the year.
During my writing process I explored the idea of belonging. After watching several videos and reading excerpts that described how we find our identity. It helped me to examine bigger ideas such as the process of building our identity and how many factors go into the destruction of our identity. But I’ve came to the conclusion that our identity can’t be destructed unless we allow it to be. Our identity can be reconstructed, because throughout life we will have different encounters that help us shape and form our identity. Another idea that stuck out to me during my research was that we do form our identity based off of others people projections,because when we come into this world we are told things and we base our own projections on their own.
I’m very happy with the outcome of my essay and podcast. I was able to interview my family members and understand their perspective on belonging and forming our identity. In the future I want to be comfortable with educating people about identity and I also want to stay comfortable in my own skin and not rely on the presence of others.
I wanted to make a collage of something/or someone that I love. I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn and so I decided to make a collage about her. Before making my collage I did a little research on Audrey Hepburn and discovered that she was born during the time of Nazi Germany, but the most interesting fact I learned was that she at bulbs of Tulips to stay alive and so I decided to make the shape of my collage a tulip bulb.
For the draw fabric assignment I decided to draw a gown. I’ve always loved and been interested in fashion and so this was my favorite assignment in quarter 2. Before I started drawing I did some research on what draw fabrics looked like. I found a lot of images of what looked like to be drawing of a big sheet or clothing.
The picture I chose to edit is of my sister and I. I chose this photo because this is one of my favorite photos of my sister and I. This photo was originally taken in color.
I based my illustration off of a Shel Silverstein poem called: Early Bird. The first poetry book I had had this poem in it. It’s also where I learned the phrases: early bird get the worm. I decided to draw a picture of a bird because it’s the main subject of the poem.
My goal for this podcast was not sit down and get to know my great grandmother more and also receive some elderly knowledge. I think some of our youth could use some of this knowledge and use it throughout their life.
what went well with this podcast was my grandma responded to the questions I asked well and she also elaborated good too she made it somewhat easy to interview her . what was challenging about this podcast was I used my phone so I had to keep switching my phone from her mouth to mine and some times I would move the phone before she finished speaking and I got stuck in between questions so I would start stuttering too much.
Overall, I can honestly say I enjoyed working on this project. I learned a lot about my sister and her experiences, and also about different definitions of identity and belonging. The checkpoints were really helpful for me, although they were frustrating. The first interview I did with her was a failure, it related to identity but was not what I pictured my final product looking like. So, after I redid the interview I was very satisfied and looking forward to editing and showing her the final product. I really did like this project, though, simply because light was bought to my knowledge and I was definitely enlightened.
Throughout current culture in America, and arguably all over the world, communication is constantly evolving, and so are the mediums we all choose to express ourselves. Instead of walking up to each other and establishing a connection, or explaining to each other why we like the things we do, we just read it, maybe in the 140 characters of a tweet, or the 150 characters of an Instagram bio. The information we choose to post or the media we share with our followers is our definition of ourselves, ‘This is what you see, and that is how I want you to see me.’ In other cultures names or titles define who people are, what relationships they will have, and can convey storybooks worth of information, with just a few syllables. For the purposes of this paper the culture that will be examined is that of Bengali individuals and their lives portrayed when immigrating to America in the book, The Namesake written by Jhumpa Lahiri.
The main character, Nikhil Gangoli spends the entire book agonizing over his name, torn between his inherited Bengali culture, and his born to America lifestyle he spends all his time letting his name define him. He thinks people don’t take him seriously because of his name, originally Gogol, when he finds out, or rather as the reader you find out the only person not taking him seriously, or constantly doubting every move he makes, is himself.
“He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn't know. Who doesn't know him...It's a part of growing up, they tell him, of being a Bengali.” (Chapter 3 Paragraph 13) This quote taken from The Namesake is from Gogol’s early youth, when he gets renamed from his pet name, Gogol. Originally he is not fond of this name, because it is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for him to change what everyone calls him, his life title. So as a young boy, he chooses to stay Gogol, which later on he regrets, thinking his pet name is stupid, and changes it back to Nikhil. This back and forth struggle over, what people will call him, how people will view him, and the struggle of defining himself through a title that, at the end of the day doesn’t matter is the biggest theme of the book, and for many throughout their entire lives.
Through the way media has evolved, to include every part of our lives, people no longer know what it is to define one’s self, everyone simplifies and belittles what and who they are, to be interesting at a glance. This makes everything less meaningful, when people throughout the world should be able to just embrace their complexities. In a recent podcast titled, Finding the Self in Selfie (This American Life, 2015) a few teenage girls were talking about their experiences and familiarity with the rules of interacting on Instagram, and what it means to comment or double tap.
“Especially because we, like just started High school, so we’re meeting a lot of new people, so you would comment on someone’s photo who you’re not really super close with or that you don’t know really well, and it's sort of a statement, like, ‘I wanna be friends with you’ or ‘I wanna get to know you’ or like, ‘I think you’re cool’. If someone that you don’t know very well commented on your photo, it's sort of like an unspoken agreement that you have to comment back on their photo. Like when you’re making new friends, if they comment on your photo, you comment on their photo.”
Almost to say that the way to meet new people and force friendships is through your online persona, how you present, or even more to the point, sell yourself. Later in the interview the incoming freshman girls admit, that the way you present yourself online, is almost like you’re marketing yourself, like you are the product, manager, and the marketing team, trying to keep people interested and concerned with knowing about you and your life. Squeezing anything cool or notable about yourself into an Instagram bio, or caption, and sticking a filter on a group picture of your friends having “Tons of fun!” being the only thing keeping us, in this generation current. And beyond that, people making friends and even romantic partners or hookups in the private message sections, or DMs of Instagram.
“...I tell her, don't you hate when you get screenshot, Bitch that DM wasn't for everybody, I love tha gram I love tha gram, I'm addicted to it I know I am...” A piece of a very popular rap right now, brought to us by Yo Gotti, who may not be a credible source at first glance, but as a voice for the young of this generation, and the behavior now known as normal, very trustworthy. People being debased to a steady photostream on their phones. This is being highly studied all over the world, and the impact of the internet in general on the mass public has been scrutinized by many since the mid 90’s, but the most powerful words, come from an actress, a media personality, and someone you think would be completely uninvolved in public speaking, Thandie Newton, who in her thirteen minute TED Talk addressed embracing self, and otherness.
“We each have a self, but I don’t think that we’re born with one...The fundamental state of ‘oneness’ is lost on us very quickly...it’s no longer valid, or real...” This transition from having a fundamental sense of ‘oneness’ to being completely withdrawn from everything comes quickly, almost without warning. Unfortunately though, most young adults choose to isolate themselves into different internet profiles in an attempt to recreate that oneness through a self-constructed image that in truth can never fully capture their entire presence. That being said, this trend will likely never end, but the self imposed need to sell ourselves on our media will hopefully be less impending through the different voices pointing out this almost self destructive behavior.
Ghosts in the Machine, NY Times
Quotes from The Namesake
Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself. (TED Talk)
This American Life: Status Update
Yo Gotti, Down in the DM