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It’s Always Hard to Say Goodbye

Before I was even allowed to take this class I was excited about it. Throughout my time at CSUN I had always looked at my Degree Progress Report and looked forward to taking this class. Not solely because it would mean I’m finished but because I was excited about what i’d heard. This class wasn’t really like many other classes I had taken during my time at CSUN. The assignments and even class interaction were so open. Everyone was much more easy going about sharing their opinion. Class discussions were literally discussions. Personally I don’t think I’ve been so talkative in any other class. My favorite writing assignment is tied between the Poetry analysis and  the song explanations. They were fun and I very much enjoyed working on them. Ive never really enjoyed writing about poetry, I just always felt like whatever I had to say was wrong and theta someone else in the class probably had a better answer. I learned through these assignments that my opinion on poetry is not incorrect, but rather it is a new perspective. 

I also very much enjoyed the blog posting. I had done it once before in another class but was not given the opportunity to write so freely or post things that I just wanted to write about. I really enjoyed reading other peoples blog posts and looking at their creative backgrounds. It was fun, academic and what every class should be like. The work Im most proud of in this class is the work that I would generally down grade and prepare for the worst. Poetry is not my strong suit, so when I got an A on my essay and a B on my poems I was thrilled. This class allowed me to learn something new about myself and I have to say I’m pretty interested in learning more about what else I can do. Some of the work that I didn’t really connect to as much as the ones I just mentioned, were still interesting in their own ways. I enjoyed watching the movie Lost in Translation, the essay prompt and the readings that went along with it were hard to follow but other than that I was pretty happy with all the work I turned in.

I know this all sounds corny, but thats OK. I’m glad this class didn’t make us take ourselves to seriously. It allowed all of time to breath and actually discuss, work, and think. This had to be the hardest semester of my college career, but this is one class I didn’t dread going to. I looked forward to being with my classmates and eager to know where class discussions and lecture would lead us. Although it was a positive experience I wish I could have also figured out if teaching was for me BUT I do have to say I am RELIEVED to be done with school. I enjoyed it but going to school and working are two tough juggling acts. But thank you to anyone that read my posts and I sincerely hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed posting them. Hoping for the best and looking forward to the rest. 🙂 

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Lost in Limbo

Amber Harris

ENGL 495 ESM

Multigenre Literacy in a Global Context

Professor Wexler

Many people often times find themselves drifting through their lives. Not really understanding what path they should take, or what kind of person they want to be, they idly see their life playing out before them. Along the way our relationships start to become transparent. Few people ever realize their desire for more, and those that do find themselves lost in a sea of thoughts. This same type of relationship is found in Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola. Both the main characters Bob and Charlotte, find themselves lost, and are constantly waiting for something or someone to change their lives, and it is their newfound relationship that allows them to find purpose in their lives.

Before Bob and Charlotte meet there are many long pauses, and there is constantly background music. The long pauses are a reflection of the emptiness that surrounds them. With the background music playing during the long pauses it presents the idea that they are two people waiting for something to happen. “Bob: What are you doing? My husband’s a photographer, so he’s here working. I wasn’t doing anything so I came along. Bob: What do you do? Charlotte: I’m not sure yet, actually” (Lost in Translation).  Both characters are in the elevator of life and are waiting for the right level to get off on. In fact, when Bob and Charlotte encounter one another for the first time it is in an elevator. We have all experienced an elevator ride, it can sometimes be awkward or just silent, and in the case of the main characters it is where they find themselves mentally. This idea is noted by John Serba’s article on the film, he describes Cappola’s direction as evoking, “with a bittersweet undercurrent that quietly illuminates the fine line between joy and sadness. Kevin Shields’ soundtrack is wonderfully effective, as well” (Serba). Both the music and Cappola’s direction, the film portrays Bob and Charlotte as two souls stuck in limbo. Neither of them are sad nor happy, yet they both suffer from their inability to inhabit either emotion. Charlotte’s character struggles to figure out who she is and what she wants, “Charlotte: I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be. Bob: You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you” (Lost in Translation). Bob on the other hand who is also looking for fulfillment, struggles to find happiness. Their positive relationship provides both characters to re discover their lives.

The idea that both characters are stuck in limbo is further emphasized through their insomnia. Bob and Charlotte constantly have trouble sleeping and rather than struggle with their restlessness alone they come to each other’s rescue. To better understand the perspective of the characters, Laura Sanders describes insomnia as “…a hyperarousal explanation of chronic insomnia, in which the sleep centers of the brain are overwhelmed by amped up “awake” signals” (Sanders 25). Coppola’s decision to make both characters suffer with insomnia was done for a reason. It was done to further emulate their crisis. Bob and Charlotte are stuck in a sort of mental purgatory. They do not know what path to take in their lives and are at a stand still. It is through their relationship that not only their insomnia, but their lives are changed. This bond that they create with one another is also the reason that makes saying goodbye very difficult for them. They have both succeeded in figuring out who they are and what they want, together. Bob and Charlotte have relied upon one another emotionally to discover their true desires. This is further emphasized in the way the film was directed. When Bob and Charlotte meet for the first time, they are in the elevator and in the end a bustling city street surrounds them. The comparison between their introduction and ending mirrors their personal growth and the impact that each of them have made on one another. The last words that Bob speaks to Charlotte are whispered, inaudible to the audience, leaving us to decide their ending.

Work Cited

Sanders, Laura. “Sleep Gone Awry: Researchers Inch Closer to Causes, Cures for Insomnia, Narcolepsy.” Science News: 2009. 24-28.

Serba, John. “Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’ is Our Gain: All Editions.” The Grand Rapids Press: 2003.

Lost in Translation. Dir. Sofia Cappola. Perf. Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansen. 2003. Focus Features. Film

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Media Education

The Civil War: “Representation” 

Media doesn’t “just present reality, they re-present it. Mediated version is presented to us. 

Brief overview on the civil war –

•In the spring of 1861, decades of simmering tensions between the northern and southern United States over issues including states’ rights versus federal authority, westward expansion and slavery exploded into the American Civil War (1861-65).
•Four years of brutal conflict were marked by historic battles. AKA War Between the States, pitted neighbor against neighbor and in some cases, brother against brother. By the time it ended in Confederate surrender in 1865, the Civil War proved to be the costliest war ever fought on American soil, with some 620,000 of 2.4 million soldiers killed, millions more injured and the population and territory of the South devastated.
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Male Divine

In terms of mythic literature God’s can be represented in terms of three broad categories: Life, death, and regeneration. However male God’s are usually described in the various sociopolitical roles that they fulfill. Five broad categories through which we can approach the vast number of God’s and heroes populating the worlds myths. 

1. Fathers and Sons:

  • Principle of fertility- life is not achieved without the father’s power to give shape and direction.
  • The father appears as the unknown and terrifying authority whom the hero must face.
  • All seek the fathers love and approval, all live in terror of his wrath.

2. Kings and Judges:

  • Little distinction between the two.
  • Kings are appointed by God
  • Judges enforce these laws

3. Saviors and Sages:

  • Saviors come from the idea that we need salvation
  • Sages show us that it is possible for human beings to approach a kind of perfection. 

4. Shaman and Tricksters:

  • Shaman are capable of traveling between natural and supernatural. They are the messengers of God.
  • Tricksters are the opposite of Shaman and do not have a set agenda. 

5. Lords of Destruction and Underworld:

  • God’s in the archetypal category represent or are held responsible for that which human fear most; death, disease, misfortune, and supernatural malevolence.

 

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Where Are You Now?

This poem is in the form of an ode. There is rhyme and it is written in A BB A.

 

When you are old and all alone.

I wonder if you think of me,

How things were and what they could be.

I wish we both could have known.

 

I’ll never really know you,

Daddy was a foreign word to me.

The mistakes you made are what you fail to see,

Didn’t you ever think, “what did I do?”

 

Pick up the phone and i’ll tell you what,

One parent served as two,

She gave me all the love that I was due.

You left a sickening pain in my gut.

 

And to this day I’ve made a vow,

That my life without you is complete,

I’m standing on my own two feet.

So, I will never ask, “Where are you know?”.