Sunday, October 21, 2012

Passive Voice/ Transitive Verbs
Abstract Subjects
Linking Verbs
Part of an old paper I wrote for multicultural lit…
The concept of otherness has been a huge theme throughout the second half of the semester. The actual definition for “otherness” is the state or fact of being different or distinct. These characters feel like the other, because they are comparing themselves to other people and feel that if they are of a different race, gender, class, religion, ethnic group or sexuality then they are very different and distinct in that social environment. If being different is based on this, then everyone must be considered an “other”, it just depends on where you go. Specifically, in the text that we have read in this half of the semester, race and culture seem to be the prominent traits of otherness.  In the Bluest Eye, for example, the little African American girls wanted to be blonde haired and blue eyed so they could finally call themselves beautiful. In Sherman Alexie’s short stories, he was treated differently by the white people because he was Native American, and in The Woman Warrior, the main characters were treated differently in America because of their Chinese culture. These people were regarded as “other” because they had a different skin color or come from a different culture than white Americans. The characters from the short stories, Woman Warrior, and the Bluest Eye were mainly treated with disrespect and not treated like everyone else mostly because of things out of their control.
In the Woman Warrior Chinese culture is explained, and Chinese American culture is exemplified. When the main character’s aunt gets pregnant out of wedlock, she gets persecuted and definitely treated like the other, buy the people in her Chinese village. When they finally move to America, I think that the Chinese Americans actually treat the white people as others, and seclude them from their lives. Even though the main character is educated, she feels like she’s not good enough, and feels like an “other” in that scenario also.
            In conclusion, all of these stories exemplify the definition of otherness, by being different.  I think that our society in general, treat “others” like an untouchable creature that they’re scared of, but in all actuality they are the same as everyone else. In our society, most people want to be individualistic and different, so then why do we treat someone who is that way so harshly, and judge them so severely? The way our country constructs the other is not in a positive light, and I think that creates barriers between different cultures, because no one is open to anything different. All in all I think that our country is a melting pot for different cultures, it’s just an underestimated, impervious pot.
“Otherness” has been a reoccurring theme in the novels that we read for the second half of the semester. The characters feel like others because they compare themselves to other people and find that they are different. In the Bluest Eye, Sherman Alexie’s short stories, and The Woman Warrior, race and culture were the reason the characters were regarded as “other”. These characters were treated with disrespect because of their race and culture—things that they couldn’t control.
In the Woman Warrior Chinese culture is explained, and Chinese American culture is exemplified. The Chinese culture is very strict, and when a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, she was disrespected and persecuted by the people in her village. The Chinese Americans treated the Caucasians as others. The main character is educated, but feels like she’s not good enough—so she’s an “other” also.
These stories exemplify “otherness” by being different. Society epitomizes individuality, but when someone different comes along, they are judged harshly. American society constructs the “other” in a negative light, which creates barriers between different cultures. Our country is a melting pot for different cultures; it’s just an underestimated, impervious pot.
446 words to 193!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

This is a couple paragraphs of a paper I wrote for my Multicultural Literature class at a college I previously attended. The topic of my paper is postmodernism.





Active Voice

Passive Voice


            Death was a very prevalent theme in White Noise. I’ve also come to the conclusion that death is a major, maybe even the major, theme in postmodernity. In White Noise, Jack and Babette were so afraid to die that they would do almost anything to suppress the fear, or stay as far away from death as possible. Babette took Dylar, an experimental drug barely tested on humans, just to try and suppress her fear of death. Even though it is highly ironic that she is risking her life, sleeping with a strange man for the pills and taking a highly experimental drug to suppress her fear of dying, death seems to be an idea, awful and terrifying, lingering over Jack and Babette’s heads like a dark cloud that never leaves. They often had conversations about who would die first, even though both of them are afraid of the correct answer.

Death was also a strong theme in Fight Club. The novel more focused on the idea of living in the moment and doing things that you wouldn’t regret before you die. The scene with the mechanic still sticks in my head; the car was driven by the mechanic, head on into traffic about to kill all the other passengers. The narrator was afraid that he was going to get killed at first, but then decided he wanted to die. He realized that everything that was a part of his life wasn’t important at all--his Ikea furniture, all of the other the things he owned. He apprehended that material items don’t mean anything at all when a person dies. Is it the exhaustion of progress when everyone just gives up?

Sunday, October 7, 2012





            Sitting in a chair, staring at the standard Microsoft Word template, I wonder what I should write about this week for my grammar blog.    Every week it gets harder for me to write this blog, because I’m running out of things to write about. The clock ticking, anxiety overtaking, the time is speeding up faster and faster, as I’m trying to write this blog on schedule. I’m only a few sentences in, and I have twenty minutes to do this blog and post it on time. As I’m writing this, I still haven’t decided on a topic for my blog. The clock, a ticking time bomb, keeps speeding forward, the second hand going faster than I thought possible. I try to read my other classmates blogs to get inspired. Their blogs, great and interesting, are too good to snag a topic from – I could never do them justice.

            I am back to the drawing board. Somehow, I got all four patterns of the week in my first paragraph. At least that’s something I can check off the list, but I should probably get another paragraph or two in my blog. I know I shouldn’t procrastinate so much, but it is a habit I’ve been struggling with for my whole schooling career. I remember waiting to study for spelling tests until the night before in second grade. Yes, I’ve definitely had the procrastination problem for a while now. I usually post my blog an hour or so before its due; but unfortunately, this is the one day my body decides it wants to sleep in.

            Even though I like to procrastinate, I know I need to get my work done—which, I always do. The problem is, my work usually gets done at two in the morning. My logic is that if I have free time, let’s say two days before, I will think “well it’s due in two days, I don’t have to worry about it” so I’ll usually read instead. Even though it’s my logic, I know that I shouldn’t be procrastinating so much. It’s definitely easier to talk the talk, then to walk the walk, but I’m going to challenge myself this week not to procrastinate so much. We’ll see how that goes!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

SINCE I’m not very creative, I’ll just write about school. I missed classes Wednesday through Friday last week because I came down with the despicable stomach flu. It’s probably the nerd in me but I absolutely hate missing school. I usually can’t figure out what is going on in the assignments, let alone this blog. IF IT WASN’T FOR MY SAVING GRACE, GOOGLE, I wouldn’t even know what an appositive was. WHOMEVER CAN SKIP CLASS ON A REGULAR BASIS I envy. I’M THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO NEEDS TO LISTEN, LEARN, AND COMPREHEND MATERIAL IN CLASS OR IN A LECTURE (is that parallelism correct?). I can’t just read a book and be prepared for the tests without going to class, like some can.

ALTHOUGH I am not really sure if I’m using parallelism, relative clauses, and appositives correctly in this blog; I KNOW HOW TO USE ONE THING CORRECTLY: AAAWWUBBIS. IT SEEMS—TO ME—LIKE THIS CLASS (ENGL 326) was one of the hardest to miss. It is one of my favorite classes and one of the most fun. WHOEVER says anything different is wrong! Because of my love for this class, I was so sad to miss it. I had hoped I wouldn’t miss any large concepts, but I guess I was wrong. Hopefully I can get a handle on appositives, relative clauses and parallelism very soon.

I’m not sure I did the patterns of the week correctly, so if you see any mistakes, please correct me! I feel sort of confident that I got most of my appositives right, but for all I know I have faulty parallelism. So if you find issues, tell me! I need help!

To end on a random thought-

As I was writing this blog, I realized how intentional our sentence structure is for our blogs- it almost has to be. I’ve never really thought about how to structure my sentences when writing anything; I just wanted to get my point across. Now I just find how more aware I am of syntax and grammar when I read or write anything.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

            Grammar class was very interesting this week. On Tuesday we made ten S-V-O, S-Vi and S-Lv-Sc sentences on a magnet board. ALTHOUGH this seems like an easy task, we had to make sentences with only words that were given to us. I thought this activity was really fun, AND I was finally starting to understand how to pinpoint all three types of sentences. WHEN we did this activity it was very helpful, FOR I was having a lot of difficulties with these intransitive, transitive and linking verb sentences.

UNTIL we starting going over everybody’s sentences on Thursday, I thought I was finally getting this grammar thing. I was wrong. The transitive, intransitive and linking verb sentences just unclicked from my mind, BUT as I started to read through “More Nitty-Gritty Grammar” it started to make more sense.

What I discovered is the transitive verbs and intransitive verbs are the opposite of each other. An intransitive verb doesn’t have a direct object, SO a transitive verb does. WHILE these two verbs seem to be simple, the linking verbs are a little more complicated, YET these verbs are still easy to master. There are three different kinds of linking verbs. The first includes a verb that means “to be”. To make a linking verb “to be” sentence, one of these must be used: is, are, am, was, OR were (When using “or” in this context, is it still a FANBOYS?). The second kind is a verb that has something to do with the senses: to touch, hear, see, taste, and smell. The last kind of linking verb is in a miscellaneous group. The verbs like appear, believe, grow, remain, prove, and become are linking verbs.

            I can’t believe I finally understand these sentences! I don’t think that our teacher, NOR anyone else could help me. This was a difficulty that I had to figure out and learn for myself, and I can say that I understand transitive, intransitive and linking verbs. I think that these were so hard for me to understand because most everything else in this class was a nice review. These verbs were some that I had never heard of, and it was the first really big concept that was new to me in this class.

            We also talked about FANBOYS and AAAWWUBBIS clauses. I remember FANBOYS from years ago, but I really don’t think I was using them correctly. Thinking back I don’t think I always put a comma before “and” and now I know why it is needed. This week has been a good one, and I definitely learned a lot. Even though I didn’t know how to quite identify the transitive, intransitive, and linking verb sentences OR how to correctly punctuate the FANBOYS before this week, I do now and I am very glad for that!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

                I have learned a lot in our grammar class so far. Last week, I learned how to use possessive pronouns, namely: ITS, WHOSE, YOURS and THEIRS.  I think that I already understood most of those, but I have always been hesitant to use them. Actually, I’ve always hesitated when using grammar I’m unsure about. I often take extra time while writing a paper and restructure the whole sentence, just to avoid being uneasy about my grammar.

                I have also learned a lot this week, while we are starting to really crack down on grammar. I, MYSELF, don’t use the F- word that often, but I now know it’s grammatically correct to use it any way I please! This week has also been a real refresher for me. I haven’t been in a class that had anything to do with grammar for roughly six years, so it was nice to see where the subject, the noun, the verb, and the adjective went in the sentence. Even though I knew the basics, I was still a little hazy on them. After the newspaper exercises, it was nice to have the affirmation that I really knew what each word represented in the sentence.

The prepositions were nice to touch on also. I remember learning, “The squirrel ran blank the log” and we had to fill in the blank with the word we thought was a preposition, and if it worked, it was. BETWEEN YOU AND ME, through school I always used the squirrel trick, and as an adult, I still do. When I was younger, I used to be so good at spotting prepositional phrases, and now I don’t know what happened! For some reason I thought that the words that came after a preposition near the end of a sentence was always a prepositional phrase. It was cleared up, though, that a prepositional phrase cannot contain both a subject and a verb.

It was really nice to re-learn what I’ve forgotten about grammar and to be more confident now that I remember what I’m doing (somewhat). This week has been very helpful, overall, and I’m glad that we’re really starting to get into sentence structures. If there is any error you can find in this blog post, let me know. I’m always up for some constructive criticism, and am ready to learn from my mistakes!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I have learned a lot so far in this grammar class. The article, Dora Learns to Write, was very helpful. It gave me a good sense in what teaching methods I should use and how I could implement them in my teaching. It really convinced me that marking up a paper with red corrections, and just handing it back to the student without any other feedback is not helpful at all to the child. They would probably just repeat the same mistakes again in another paper. The article also shows that one of ITS main focus’ is not using worksheets. Worksheets are very structured and it’s proven that children would learn better using correct grammar in their own writing, as opposed to sentences that they will probably never write. Another thing that really stood out to me in the article was how the teacher taught and interacted with Dora. Even though the teacher was guiding Dora along the way, she really let Dora figure it out for herself. I think Dora was more fulfilled, and got more out of the experience than she would’ve if the teacher just told her what she needed to do and how to fix her writing. Another thing that really stood out to me was when Dora brought one of her writings to the teacher and she used the period in the right way; the teacher smiled at Dora when she saw that Dora did something so well, and didn’t mention the other mistake Dora had in her writing. I think this made a big impact on Dora, because she was praised for doing something right, and her self-esteem was raised a little bit, as opposed to being more and more discouraged every time she realizes she did something wrong. I think this article was very beneficial to me. It showed me that how I learned grammar was a lot different than how it should be taught, and how to teach to be more valuable to the student. The Socratic Seminar was very interesting also. We discussed what we thought about the article, but more so on Thursday, effective teaching methods. We were talking about how difficult it would be to sit down with every student in a class of thirty, and try to help them out with their specific needs. A good solution would be to take the top three things that the majority of children were having a problem with and teach that to the whole class, and then the rest could come get help after class. It was also interesting to listen to my classmates talking about how they learned and what was more effective for them in English.

The article was easy to understand and I didn’t really have any trouble with that. I also understand more about how to fix my own grammar, and the poster activity was a large help for that. I cannot really think of a large concept that I’m having a huge issue with at the moment. All in All, the past two weeks were very helpful in the class, and it answered a lot of questions that I had about teaching grammar, and fixing my own. I am learning that AS A STUDENT, I am learning how to teach; AS A TEACHER, I have a lot of work to do.