Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What I've Learned...

I'm currently sitting on my little couch in my quiet apartment listening to South Pacific-the 1958 movie version of course I just got it from Amazon-and I just finished reading my first blog for this class. I talked about my fight with the cursor-a fight I still have to this day. After reading it I read my last one, which funny enough is also about technology. I guess you could say I've come full circle. I also noticed another theme between my first and last blog, besides me complaining about computers, I talked about writing. The point of each blog is to voice my opinion on what I've learned. You could also say that the first and last blogs are the opening and closing conclusions of a paper with the other blogs as the body, proving by examples what I've learned and am opinionated about. It's me writing m y thoughts. Well, on that note, this is what I've noticed I learned...
I realized I read a lot of things I normally wouldn't. There are a lot of books or topics, or authors I would never read, frankly because I never heard of them, but mostly it's not what I thought I would be interested in. But I'm glad I did. I learned from them. Not only did I learn a nice story and some simple themes, but with critical theory I can dig deeper and learn more. I could feel the cogs in my brain turn and work a bit harder than they usually do.
I also love that as I learned about these theories and discussed them I was able to use them in my everyday life. I saw them everywhere and in everything. I saw them in books, movies, music, life scenarios, work, and church. I noticed looking back that I especially dug deeper in the oddest of things, like Disney.
So in the end, I've learned more about me than I thought I would. I learned that if I just let go and look harder I can get more out of literature which will carry over into my life. I've also learned that no matter what anyone else thinks, my opinion counts and it should be shared so that others can gain something from it, what ever it may be. I've also learned a lot more about different authors and different genres that I like and should read. For someone like me, that is something special. Well South Pacific is on the last song and I think I'll end this blog and listen a bit more closely so that I can see what I can learn from it, and maybe sing it out loud before the roomies get home. :) It's been a great semester, I'm sad to see it end.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Technology Woes

I was reading someone's blog about the problems with technology, and between the world and me, I've had a ton. For some reason technology is out to make me miserable although I offer my hand out in peace. So in memory of my technology problems I thought I would share a portion of my very first blog entry ever.

I would become a blogger...Little did I know (what a simple, yet powerful and usually scary phrase) that this would become my Mount Everest of the internet/technological world. Someone like me who likes flipping the pages of a book over the scrolling of a sidebar should have known that something like this is not so simple and "easy" as it appears to be for others.
The realization that this will stick with you "FFFFooorrreeevvvvveeeerrrr" (thank you Squints) is a little intimidating. Pick a name, pick a layout, don't like that lay out go to a webiste and switch it. Don't like that one you just switched it to, its ok. Try another. Oh wait, its not working. Try again. Still not working. Maybe get out of everything and start all over. Nothing changed. Hmmmm maybe you still have the original copy lets copy something different just to make sure. Yep, its working. Hmmmm, well maybe I'm the exception to the rule. Lets try the FAQ page. Well that didn't help just like every other FAQ page. What made me think that would work? Hope. Well sometimes hope is overrated. So then what, well maybe the program has had its fun and done watching me suffer in agony and feel as though I'm definitely not smarter than a 5th grader. Nope, the mocking continues.
The hands go up in the air and come back down pounding the couch cushions. All the while an exasperated noise escapes as the head frustratingly hits the back of the couch barely missing the wall. Although, if it would have hit the wall it would have given more of an excuse to throw a tantrum, like the little child that you are slowly regressing to. But alas, no such luck. So what now? Maybe in all of that someone will show mercy and come help. A rescue. If I remembered moors code I'd S.O.S. someone. Fortunately a kind Fairy Godroommie happened to turn her head in my direction and came over to help. There she was deleting 13 (could be more but we didn't start counting till a little later) of my failed attempts. and with a wave of her magic wand there it was the layout I had been trying to get for over an hour.
Ok I feel better now. I can do this. Whats next a picture? Are you serious. Another decision? It's like that scene in You've Got Mail, "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc".
Now I do know how to make decision, but such things as colors, fonts, layouts, titles, pictures, are meant to take time. This is a serious matter. Well after picking one picture I, of course, decide to change it. So I pick the first picture I thought of (a very true to life picture unfortunately, but hey it brings a smile to others). So I decide, I should crop it out. So I open this picture in another program to crop it and make it pretty. So I hit save and look i that folder I saved it to, and to my technological track record there was no change. "Nooooooooooooo. you've got to be kidding me." More grunts, more hands flaring, more frustration. It's a good thing I don't swear. So I try again, and again, and again. Finally I decide hey, I need to let other people of my woes. So I update my facebook status aad with it a bribe and a plea for help. And wouldn't know it, that at that time my Fair Godroommie happened to have read it and took me up on my bribe and helped me out. Well she once again waived her magic wand and there we go. Saved as I had cropped it. (I would tell you how she did it but my pride has already been hurt enough. It's really embarrassing. I chalk up my stupidity to a long day.)
Ok upload picture. Oh wait how do I do that again? I need to write these things down. Ok here it is. Upload and done. Lets preview. What? The other picture is still there? I just want to blog. Why can't I just blog? A voice is heard from the left "Denise, you can still blog. You can continually update and fix things as you go." My fairy Godroommie is wise.

In the end I still have blogging problems and probably will as long as I blog. Maybe I'll try writing it on a huge billboard for all to read instead. Ya, I think I could handle that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Literary Conference

I absolutely love conference! The general authorities have such an elegant way of articulating their point. As I listened I tried to see if anyone used any Literary references. One of them mentioned “The Hiding Place”. As I listened as he retold portions of the story I thought of how I’ve been reading Night for class. I thought we were quite aligned in a literary sense. Then elder Ballard went ahead and touched on some poetry with a Ralph Waldo Emmerson poem. I also noticed some pretty awesome alliteration by many of the authorities but I especially liked the tongue twister that Elder Ballard was using with the P’s. I wasn’t able to write down all of it, but yet I remember I was in amazement. Besides being spiritually enlightened I love that I also feel enlightened in a secular way because of the authors they use as examples. Even if some of these men didn’t have an educated background you know that the Lord has blessed them with that knowledge and ability to learn it and then teach it. The Lord has truly inspired men and women all over the earth to write and create wonderful poems, plays, books and even lyrics so that we can learn from them in addition to the scriptures.

Good Friday Realization

Yesterday was Good Friday. And I must say it was one of the best Good Fridays I’ve had. A few days each week I give a coworker of mine a ride to work. I pick up her up in front of the Wilk and we drive to work discussing our nights, our mornings, and usually what we’ve talked about in school. Yesterday we happened to talk about William Wordsworth-we’re both fans. As we were talking we mentioned what songs we have in our heads. At the time some Sound of Music songs. Then we went to a meeting discussing how to give good customer service and how we can increase our scores. Well then I get a call from a member-as we call them- and I do some research for her make some calls and call her back telling her everything has been found that she sent and everything is A-OK. Then the next song that came into my mind was (this is a little embarrassing) It’s Such a Good Feeling from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I just feel like to day is an especially “Good Friday”. I’m helping people, I have a beautiful picturesque image of a Wordsworth poem in my mind and singing some pretty happy songs. I love how so many things can come together, from literature, to music, to childhood memories, to new goals and especially helping people. I feel like maybe I should start my paper for the final but in doing so and thinking about my attitude that has come from yesterday I realized that my attitude can effect how I write and interpret things. I don’t know why this took so long for me to realize but I’m glad it did. So now depending on if I want to convey something, sad or happy, or if I want to let the reader decide then I'll have to be in an unbiased mood-which could be tricky. Maybe if it wasn't for Good Friday then I might never have figured this out, or at least it would have taken a long time. Thank goodness for Good Friday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Outside The Box

My first class ever at BYU was an eye opener. We were going over the syllabus with the teacher and questions were being asked out the wazoo. Everyone wanted to know the specifics of each paper, each test, each homework assignment. I said nothing. I sat and watched. People seemed so worried about the particulars of each assignment. I admit I laughed a bit to myself. I thought of Minkus from Boy Meets World (a classic show, well at least the few). He was always worried about the grade and had to know how everything went. I didn't understand why people were like that.
I absolutely love when there are no rules. I love when you have to think outside the box, because I tend to do that anyways, which can be good but can be bad. I love not having restrictions. I know that finals can be scary, and I've had some doozies in my life, but I must admit that this final in this English class gives me a smile. I know what I'm going to do, I have yet to write it or figure out my presentation but the idea is one that I know I can talk about. I almost dread the beginning by I will love the ending. This is my kind of assignment.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mixed Feelings

I think that I liked it so much because I am more of a visual person. Once I start reading a story or play I automatically think of how it would look on screen. I mean isn't that the point? Writers try so hard to convey what the characters look like, or the scene, or the time of it all. They tell you what happens and try to "paint a picture" for the reader. Well with the play being acted out or the book being made into film isn't it just coming to life? Isn't that what the reader wants-well when it comes to certain characters- they want them to be real? I'm not saying movies are better than books, everyone knows the books are always better, but still they seem to add something to the book. And why not use the media and technology of today to explain literature? They are great tools to be used. I'm also not saying we should use them every time. I think it should be a treat when its used.
At BYU we have the perfect example. As I was sitting in RS I thought of how nice it was to have a power point presentation and how sometimes we use Mormon Messages to add to the topic. Then I thought of the last time I was in a regular ward and was taught with the traditional printed out quotes or the thirty year old pictures from the library that all hang from the chalkboard. It's an entirely different feel altogether. Although one style is new and the other old they both teach the message we are supposed to be learning. I can appreciate the old style and that's how I grew up, but its definitely refreshing to have a new style.

Of course the ultimate answer is between the extremes of Purves and Bloom I would want the happy medium of Croft! :) You have to know the old to appreciate the new. The new is based off the old. Put a little Beethoven with your Frank Sinatra, add it to the Beatles and together they'll be partying it with Michael Jackson and Owl City. Or in other words, The Bible+Shakespeare + Austin+Lewis=J.K. Rowling. You can't go wrong with the classics but don't snub the modern.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disney's Flirting With "The Line"

Yesterday I was talking to my mom. I told her I bought Disney’s “Princess and the Frog”. She asked if I saw it in theaters and I said no, but you can rarely go wrong with Disney. Then my mom said ya…… and I asked what she meant by the tone in her voice when she said “ya…” my mom then asks if I liked “The Little Mermaid” I said well of course I grew up on that. I watched it everyday for months. Then I asked why. I answered her before she said could answer. I asked if it was because she rebels against her father, is immodest, that she lies to her dad, that she does dealings with a devil like creature? And my mom says well that could be. I then went on to remind her that she bought that movie for me, before I even knew what it was. I then went on to say that I turned out alright. I was never super rebellious-in fact my rebellions were hardly noticed- and I rarely got into trouble, and now I’m going to school, working, and living a good and righteous life. She said that was true. After this little discussion with my mom I thought how sad that we are discussing the moral dilemmas of a children’s story. And then I thought of the Bible. It tells us of bad things that people are doing and how they turn around and do good, or are destroyed, so does that mean we shouldn’t read the Bible? Of course not, but this was just another added thought to the never ending debate over what is or isn’t appropriate in books and movies, and what should we do about he ever changing line.