sara.gladwin's blog

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Early thoughts on moving beyond the Story Slam

Based on our conversation today in Jody’s class about the concern to create something long lasting (in reference to the “the tears” in Chase article and the example of religious camps/having a religious experience that does not extend beyond the camp & cannot be carried over) … I’m sensing a need for the story slam to carry beyond a single semester and I’m wondering if we can actually initiate a group on campus which is dedicating to hosting story slams/ open mic nights on campus that can be flexible in addressing campus wide issues and creating spaces for critical conversation to be present. When I originally envisioned our “final” event I actually envisioned several story slams over the course of a month as a way of hopefully initiating a more long-lasting conversation on campus. I know that in the past, the artclub has initiated events like this but my understanding is that those events were tied to particular students who have now graduated and the drive to host/plan similar events has somewhat left with those students. I am thinking that maybe having a group whose actual sole focus is creating these spaces might be a way of keeping the conversation alive; and perhaps could be a way in which we put forth a continuation of this 360.

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Thoughts on the Wissahickon

I’ve been here before.


There is a sense of excitement that accompanies encountering the familiar, paralleled by discontentment at being unable to articulate the vague and seemingly random connection I am feeling...


I felt it even as we drove to our destination, passing the rooftops of buildings in Manayunk. Manayunk, which according to Wikipedia, literally translates from the Lenape language as, “place to drink.” It was their word for River. I take note of the tall sign that marks a movie theatre. It is also the sign I look for to indicate the entrance to a small outlet containing a liquor store.


“Place to drink” was indeed my experience with Manayunk this past summer, though I recognize that the Lenape Indians and I most likely have different interpretations of the word “drink.” 


I’ve been here before.


We step out of the vans and the sense lingers. Anticipation holds a sense of remaining unfulfilled… Is that what this unease is, being unable to place a finger on how you know a place or why you know it?


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What's at the top of a Magic Ladder?

What’s at the top of a magic ladder, anyway? (a continuation of this post:


Having this question rise to the forefront of my thoughts all weekend reminded me of a question asked by Holden Caulfield in the Catcher in the Rye. He asks a man driving a taxi: "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South… By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over?” It is a strange question, and seems to have an obvious answer. The ducks fly south for the winter. But the reader knows that Holden isn’t really asking about ducks at all. He is asking where “it” all ends. “It” supposedly meaning life…


What are we supposed to gain by living our lives the way we do? 


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To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

I wanted to post the poem that Le Guin references in case anyone had any interest in reading it! I copied it from this site:

To his Coy Mistress

by Andrew Marvell

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Imagination in Urban Wildscapes

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"just look for the cow mailbox"

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What I Would Have Said on 1/29/14

I missed class on wednesday, so I took at look at the course notes and thought about some of the things I would have written/ would have said.

On Eli’s portrait:

*Kneeling but not quite… one foot poised as though ready to stand back up- reminiscent of movement, which characterizes Eli’s life and relationship to home/body/place/the environment ---> Movement also works w/ metaphor of taking the earth inside the self and letting it grow out; depicted by the tree which grows through Eli

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Exile and Pride in the voice of Eli Clare

hi everyone!

So Sunday I had a pretty huge allergic reaction, ended up having to take some benedryl and was pretty out of it, so I actually found a recording of Eli Clare reading his text to listen to rather than read. I wanted to share because I thought it was pretty powerful to listen to!

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As I just realized when checking my account information, two days ago was the anniversery of the day I joined Serendip. Since then, I have fallen in love with the potential I see in this site for creating connections and communication across all kinds of disciplines. The one semester I did not use serendip in those two years, I could feel a piece of richness missing from my academics. I am excited to interact with you all more, not just in class, but here on serendip! This all being said, the reasons why I choose to use my real name today for posting are the same as when I first created my account. The simplest reason is that I couldn't come up with pseudonym that fit me. Nothing that I thought of sounded like me at all. Strangely enough, chosing a psedyonm felt confining, and some how revealing, but in an uncomfortably inadequate way. For example, if someone's name is doglover12, you are going to automatically know, first and foremost, that person is probably a dog lover. This way of naming myself felt like writing my identity into wet concrete, and when in dried all anyone would ever see when they stepped over my name in the sidewalk was just a dog lover and nothing more. My real name felt like the best representation for the very fact that it wasn't really a representation at all. Using sara.gladwin leaves you all the room to percieve me in many differing ways and through your own eyes, past the misleading concreteness I associate with crafting my own moniker. Your own various interpretations will be the best representations of my identity I could as for.

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excerpt from Adrienne Rich's Twenty-One Love Poems

Posting this today because I still have not found all the right words. I had referenced this poem in an earlier post, but am feeling the need to share the whole piece. I am currently wishing I could read this aloud to our group; I think the only way to translate how I feel when I read this would be to hear it in my voice. More importantly, when I read aloud, I can pretend, for a moment, the words are my own.


Your silence today is a pond where drowned things live
I want to see raised dripping and brought into the sun.
It's not my own face I see there, but other faces,
even your face at another age.
Whatever's lost there is needed by both of us -
a watch of old gold, a water-blurred fever chart,
a key...Even the silt and pebbles of the bottom
deserve their glint of recognition. I fear this silence,
this inarticulate life. I'm waiting
for a wind that will gently open this sheeted water
for once and show me what I can do
for you, who have often made the unnameable
nameable for others, even for me.

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