I read Persepolis and its sequel two summers ago in the shadow of the movie's popularity. Now, I get to read it again, and I'm really excited to see what I'll get out of it now. Most of all, I'm really looking forward to seeing how her younger self changed over the period of time that The Complete Persepolis covers.The two books were originally published over the course of three years, so I'm also interested in seeing the change in how Satrapi tells the stories. I think Bornstein tried to show the fluidity of gender in her book, but I think Persepolis will highlight it in a more digestable form. Persepolis doesn't summarize a whole lot, it presents a series of events that is from a very specific point of view. The summarization in Bornstein's workbook made me feel like her point of view was really being forced on me, and I hope Satrapi's, because it's presented in such a different form, won't be. Bornstein recognized that she had a point of view that was very specific, but I really didn't think that Bornstein's disclaimers were enough or presented in the appropriate places. Placing the book within a different nation and, actually, throughout several nations, as well as over a period of years, will, I think show more of a progression in gender presenattion and will allow us to see gender in a different way than Bornstein even said she was able to.
Neither of my grandmothers bakes. Instead, one takes me to see paintings of pies. When I visit her in California, we often see the painting that I've made into my avatar, and, when we're apart, she sends me letters on stationary with it printed on the front. Neither of us really understands this painting, but we still look at it. We talk about food and family, and who won last night's dominoes game, but not, of course, the piece of art right in front of us. The conversation swirls on because of the painting but not about it, both in person and on paper, just as I inherited my grandmother's handwriting by explicitly copying it, but also, silently, the idea of what my role in society is.
Hello, everyone! I posted my thoughts on my portion of a teach-in here: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/song-ourselves but comments don't have a picture uploading option, and I was having some troubles "copying" my photos. Thus, here they are now!
For this week's assignment, I thought I would try to describe ecofeminism to a hypothetical male Haverford
student. But, seeing as I'm a teenager, I did it on
I thought going back to my site sit would be scary. I've walked past the tree a few times, and it's lost most of its leaves. Its silver branches and a some auburn, dead leaves (mostly on one side of the tree) are all that remain of the lush, green tent I used to sit in. I went to my site sit when it was dark, too, so I thought that I wouldn't feel very comfortable in the tree anymore. But, the only really unsettling thing about my site sit was that all of the leaves were gone. People could see inside and I could see them with remarkable clarity. The tree has changed it's physicality for the season, and its atmosphere has, too. The frightening mystery I first felt at the beginning of the semester would have been gone even if the tree had kept its green leaves. The tree and I are pretty "chill" now. I wouldn't say that we're going to be best friends any time soon, but I've gotten used to it, at least a few branches of it. I don't know what I'll do in the tree when the semester is over, but I think I'll visit from time to time to say hello.
When I was trying to come up with something to write on Tuesday night, I saw, in the corner of Ecological Imagining's homepage, the title of a new blog post that sounded interesting. It was about smoking and Bryn Mawr, which are things that I just read about in the book about Bryn Mawr, Offerings to Athena: 125 Years at Bryn Mawr. So, I was really excited to write about this, and I did. But when I went to comment on the post, I realized that it had been made on a different part of Serendip, for a class called "Walled Women." Serendip seems like a little corner of the Internet, just for me and Ecological Imaginings, but it isn't, and I wish I could meet and comment on the posts of all the lovely Mawrters who are also on Serendip. But, since that is unlikely, I will just post the link to the article I read and my response.
A couple of days ago, we read Timothy Morton's "Introduction: Toward a Theory of Ecological Criticism." Although we discussed in class yesterday that Morton's dense and hard to read language makes sense, because his work is literary criticism, not an explanation of a theory he came up with, I still have some issues with the style of the excerpt. Mainly, my issue with the style is that it is what it says it is: an introduction. I dislike the style of introductions. They simultaneously summarize the work they preface, and their authors try to weave a separate narrative throughout the introduction. But this makes me impatient. Introductions just drag on and on, almost getting to the point, and then digressing to talk about something unrelated to fill the pages and sound impressive. Introduction just make me want to either get to the darn book, and turn me completely off of it. With this introduction, I just wanted to read the book, and get past the fluff. I appreciated what Morton was trying to do, and I'm certainly glad that I didn't have to read his whole book for class in one night. However, that doesn't mean I am at all satisfied with introductions, especially the one at hand. I just wanted to read what it was failing to summarize eloquently and actually find out the content.
I went on a geological and biological tour of campus with Susan and Maddie from our class and Max and Sarah S from English 313. We spent about the recommended times on everything we were supposed to (a half an hour to get to know each other and then forty-five minutes for each tour), but we didn't split it up so exactly, we talked about things as they became relevant to the environment we were in, which I thought worked out pretty well. We had room to discuss what we needed to and inform each other, but we were also able to have more of a conversation, and bring things back up if we had forgotten to say them earlier, or wanted to expand on them a little more.
Today was the most perfect fall day in the tree. I wasn't cold at all, or excessively warm. (Note: I did not have to do jumping jacks. Any day that I don't have to do jumping jacks to stay warm is a pretty good day) I was a bit skeptical when I approached the tree, because its leaves have not turned to a shocking red or a bright yellow, but a slightly icky in-between color of caramel, yellow, and light green. (On one leaf! The horror!) But the leaves inside the tree were (thank goodness!) a nicer yellow, with fewer dead leaves. The air was crisp, but the slight breeze that tickled the outside of the tree, didn't touch me. There was enough light to see under the tree, and, when I emerged, a slight pink was blending with the blue sky at the horizon. It was a good day.
Today in class, we began by writing about how our families and their relationships to the earth have shaped us and our relationships with nature. I'm overly fond of my family history, so this was a really fun exercise for me. I started out by going on and on about a lot of different family members, but after writing in class, I realized that my mom has actually been the biggest influence on my relationship with nature. Having moved around a lot in the US, one of the constants has always been my mom. Of all of my family, her relationship to the earth has really shaped me the most. Don't get me wrong--my father and my mother have both instilled in me an appreciation of the beauty of nature. But the other aspects of my mom's relationship with nature, and her family's relationship with it, has molded my feelings the most.