Genres Web Paper 4
An Introduction to Feeling
I am a Scorpio. Generally, my zodiac sign is entirely irrelevant to an academic paper, but in this case it has some bearing. As a child, I was deeply uncomfortable with being a Scorpio, due to what I read was the inherent nature of Scorpios: passionate. I felt squeamish of the term, which to me had very sexual connotations. As such, I resented being told that I must be a “passionate” person. I was not passionate, my childhood self would have told you adamantly. In fact, I might have said so passionately.
Several weeks ago, when our class began reading The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean, the subject of passion came to the forefront of our group conversation. I found myself thinking again of my childhood zodiac qualms as we debated the nature of passion. This time, it was not the sexuality of passion that was being questioned, but its ability to last. Is passion, by definition, a passing feeling, or is passion something that can endure? Additionally, we wondered if passion is something that only some people have, or if it is more universal than that.
I was a child racked with nightmares. I spent many nights whispering for my dad in the night, sweating and stricken to my bed, wondering why he couldn’t hear me. I would dart down the hall to his bed and shake him awake “Daddy! Daddy, can I sleep with you?” I would gladly crawl into his bed, cuddle with my stuffed animal, and fall peacefully asleep. When I began to grow too old to be sleeping in my dad’s bed any longer, we had to have a talk. “It’s not real,” he said. “It’s all in your head. Just tell yourself in your nightmare that it isn’t real and I promise you won’t be scared anymore.” So my nightmares came less frequently and less intensely. I befriended the witch that hexed me and the ugly creature that always chased me turned out to have a sweet spot.
After examining the transformation of the science writing genre from the research laboratory to mass media, I gradually explored the humanities and the space available to the class here on the Serendip platform and in our bi-weekly class meetings. I had no prior background in the humanities before taking the Literary Kinds course and was only left with some baggage from high school and the Emily Balch freshman writing seminar. The initial challenges lie not on the content of the readings, but were at the heart of the culture of the English classroom and the backgrounds of the authors we have been reading.
The Literary Kinds course became a new experiment, appearing disguised under the humanities discipline but gradually resembled those in the science laboratory in its approach to learning. I was making observations on the intellectual and individual relationships that were formed in class and began testing a melting pot of diverse ideas and backgrounds. My initial hypotheses on the expectations and type of work were rapidly rejected. My philosophies on the humanities discipline have inevitably evolved to dismiss the stereotypes I have heard and admitted.
“I don’t know where I end or where I begin. All I know is that I’m delicious.”
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P.S: If this isn't working for you, I've supplied a doc. version. The interior links won't open, but everything has been laid out for you. You won't get the exacat same feel, but hopefully you'll enjoy it just the same!
How can we define genre? It is a kind of something, a type. It is a manner we use to categorize information that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Genres evolve. This semester we have explored the evolution of various genres; we have seen how the lines between them become blurry. We have taken the definition of genre and molded it to fit in ways we may not have thought about before. With this in mind, how has the genre of this class evolved over the course of the semester? It has evolved. Everything evolves. I have evolved, the class has evolved, and this paper will evolve as it is written. The evolution of the class is important because it helps me to see where my problems were and it helps me to tie everything together and try to make sense of a class that I struggled through.
Is life a series of choices or is it predetermined? How each of us addresses this question is key to our understanding of life, our purpose and our happiness. If you feel that you have free will, you feel agency and an ability to impact the behavior of yourself and others and to choose a direction for the events in your life. But is it a binary, are the two possibilities complete free will or complete determinism? In this paper I would like to investigate how they work together. I think that many of us believe that we have free will but then make choices based on determinism. Why do we behave in this way, how can we change it and what would the impact be?
when there are no more words
For this paper, I have worked with the "genre" of the academic paper. My paper details some of my numerous attempts to play with academic writing as well as defies the directed reading that traditional papers require. I highly encourage you to click on the different links out of order to see if it still makes sense. Also, please feel free to leave comments in the comment boxes on every page: they're there to spark conversations, just like Serendip's commenting function!
It is in human nature to classify, organize, and put into a structure the things we encounter every day; when we implement this “order” into our lives, we get a false sense of security, a sense of empowerment at being able to have control over the chaos that is our world. When we take time to actually study and analyze these categories and boundaries we have tried so hard to set however, we see that much overlapping and blurring of the lines occur, even in what is originally thought of as two very different things. Often times, there are distinctions created between two things when none is needed. One such example is the boundary set between the disciplines of humanities and science. Using the rules that define realities and dreams to define humanities and science, we see that the defining qualities and more specifically, the methods of inquiry in both science and humanities are so similar—so similar that they can be used for both—that they almost need not be different disciplines.