Reflection on Presentation
For our final performance, we made a video that uses the progression of our friendship as a metaphor for the evolution of our class' discussions.
My group and I created our own game of Taboo using some of the "taboo" words we have come across this semester. Some of the words included reality, non-fiction, truth, fact, etc. To come up with a list of words that could not be used to describe the main word, I basically made a list of antonyms and synonyms. What I found, similar to what I saw when we were looking up dictionary definitions of the words earlier in the course, was that many of these words are listed as synonyms and antonyms of each other even though we have definitely found clear distinctions between them during the course of this class.
I really enjoyed the presentations today. I think they really highlighted a lot of the topics we have discussed in this class and each gave an interesting perspective. Even though I originally took this class because I needed an English credit, I have enjoyed the opportunity to read so many different types of literature. This class has given me a new perspective on analyzing the scientific writing that I use every day. I have learned that even what I might consider to be completely unbiased scientific literature cannot really be so. Happy holidays!
The area of "narrative therapy" focuses on the construction of stories as a way of making sense - of giving "meaning" - to our world. It postulates that behavior is not governed by laws, but by the fact that humans are looking for ways to construct a story that gives sense and meaning to their lives. While reading Coles' book, I couldn't help considering whether his theoretical orientation was toward narrative therapy as opposed to psychoanalytic theory. What's interesting about narrative therapy is that is allows a patient to deconstruct his present identity in favor of a new, more functional identity. He cannot rewrite his past story, but can begin writing himself as a different character as he moves through life.
This Is Just To Say
William Carlos Williams
I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold
I really enjoy this poem. I was never much of a fan of poems but this one really stuck with me. This should have been an apology note but there is not sense of regret on the part of the speaker. The fact that the speaker is dwelling on the satisfaction seeps out towards me, and I am in turn feeling satisfied as well.
As I was reading Coles' chapter titled "Looking Back," I realized that I had been doing the same thing when I wrote about my relationship to religion. On page 174 Coles' speaks about how Tolstoy appreciated a certain innocence that he felt is unachievable after expanding his intellect. Tolstoy wondered whether "the intellect wasn't more of hindrance than an aid to human relatedness, to our moral life." To him 'intellect' might present an obstacle to both religious faith and being able to trust other people. I relate a lot to his feelings of having lost something. The firm belief that I used to have seems like something that will stay in the past - despite how uncomfortable that makes me feel.
I feel that the excerpt from Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" that Coles' shares with us resonates deeply with me. Not only is he saying that what good memories are important, but that they are important for a person's education. I have wanted to be a teacher nearly all of my life. When I was younger my desire to be a teacher was firmly grounded in the belief that if I could give my students a positive experience in my classroom, then that would hopefully benefit them in their futures. I felt, and still feel, that a person's childhood is very important.
I was watching a Family Guy episode where Brian Writes A Best-Seller. Brian gets upset because none of the "serious" books he has written have gotten any attention. To prove the point that self-help books sell despite the lack of content he sets out to write one. His book "Wish It. Want It. Do It." becomes very successful and he gets to go on many interviews. The first one that he goes on is at a local news-station and the conversation that took place reminded me a lot about my Non-Fiction prose class. The conversation (07:01- 07:40)
Sagan and Coles both admit that everyone is fallible. They both however seek the truth, and learn to do so despite the blurs between reality and fantasy. Although, most of Coles' colleagues encourage him to use categories and to detach himself from his patients stories, he ends up recognizing the power of those stories. There's something collective about the way that we share stories that allows us to move past those categories. It's interesting that Coles' supervisor tries to advise him to bring together two realms of thought knowledge and theory but to be careful not to confuse them. It seems that in listening to the stories that his patients share with him, and providing that as background/evidence for his claims, then he is avoiding making up stories or stretching the truth.