a spoonful of sugar in the circle of life

I miss the 90's cartoons and will always cherish my Disney VHS collection…if only my VCR still worked


This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but I had so much fun blogging this semester. I was never really trained well in formal writing in high school, so these informal weekly posts were right up my alley. Most of the time I looked forward to writing them, and it shows in my word count! With 12,771 words, I think I wrote more in one semester than I’ve written EVER. Okay, that’s definitely an exaggeration, but I did write a lot. I enjoyed finding Disney quotes for the end of each post and picking the perfect video clips to go with them. Some posts where more difficult to write than others, but it was all a growing experience. Over the course of the semester I became more confident in my analysis and writing abilities. The posts I chose demonstrate my growth throughout the semester and provide a summary of the work I have done.

My favorite comment on one of the OCU blogs was on Finding a Neverland’s Another Museum Post. She had written about her experiences at the OKC Bombing Memorial & Museum. Her post gave me a new perspective and made me think about the experience I had there. My favorite comment on an AUM blog was on Gym Shorts and Cowboy Boots’s Dating Fail. In this comment I reminisced over the good ol’ elementary school Valentine’s Day parties and how simple it was back then. I read so many interesting, hilarious, quirky, fun, and just downright awesome blog posts this semester. One of the posts that I enjoyed reading was The Cyanofile’s A Truly Good…, in which she talked about the Twilight phenomenon. It brought back so many hilarious (and somewhat embarrassing) memories and reinforced my feelings toward the saga.

Many of the blog posts I chose to include in my blogfolio could fall under multiple categories, but for the sake of this project, I chose the category I thought was most appropriate. One of my strongest posts this semester was my Revised Poem (with hyperlinks). I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting it until it fit my standards, then I changed it again. I think all of that work I put into it is the reason the post is so strong. I stretched myself the most when I was completing my Memory Palace. It took a lot of creative thinking to chose the right place for the palace and apply the terms to an appropriate location. My strongest exploratory writing was in Exploration #22, where I sat in the food court of a mall and observed an elderly man and analyzed his movements and mannerisms. I chose My (Extremely) Rough Draft as my strongest analytical writing, but would probably expand that to include my entire Visual Analysis paper as well. I spent a lot of time comparing my maps and did a lot of deeper thinking that I haven’t really done before. My best use of a visual image was in my Visual Irony post. The “No Photography” photograph, where the irony was that it was a photograph. Finally, my best use of a hyperlink was in the post titled, We Will Never Forget. I had many hyperlinks to choose from, but I believe that this specific hyperlink was the closest I ever got to the exact message I was trying to convey. I would also say that We Will Never Forget is one of my strongest blog postings overall.

Favorite OCU Blog Comment – Finding a Neverland’s Another Museum Post:

That picture stuck out to me as well, although I didn’t see the comments from the mother. Since we only had 30 minutes to get through the entire museum I only really saw the things that were larger or bolded. I couldn’t take time to read all the fine print or just sit in one place for a while. I remember seeing that picture of Baylee when I first learned about the bombing, but honestly had never thought about it being a person, a child. That sounds kind of awful, but I had honestly never attached a name to the face. I guess in a way it made it easier to look at the picture, not knowing who that precious child was or whose family was suffering and would continue to suffer every time that picture was used in the media. I am glad to finally be able to put a name with a face though. It gives a whole new meaning to the picture. And I will admit the museum was captivating. There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to remember something forever if I didn’t have a picture of it. Although I am lot better about it now, a little of that snuck back in at the museum. I probably took around 100 pictures in about 30 minutes; however, I bet if I had read that story that number would have been significantly lower. Thanks for posting this story. It really makes you think about things.

Favorite AUM Blog Comment – Gym Shorts and Cowboy Boots’s Dating Fail:

This is great! I miss those days in elementary school too. You spent hours choosing which card was perfect for which person in your class, got all dressed up in your best pink/red outfit, and waited (somewhat) patiently all day until the last hour of school when you finally got to open all of your valentines and eat all the candy! It was one of the fews days during the year when it didn’t matter whether you were the popular kid or the shy kid, the brainiac or the moron, the athlete or the musician. When you opened those cards you knew that someone cared about you (even if it was just a little bit). It was so simple back then.

Most Intriguing Blog Post – The Cyanofile’s A Truly Good…:

A truly good book is a difficult thing to find.  Books are “good” for different reasons.  What one may seek in their reading material may not peak another’s interests.  How often has someone recommended a new tome to you, and once you delved in you found it lacking the proclaimed allure? It is likely Best Sellers lists have had this same effect.  This is most true for books deemed the “next” book of a certain kind.  Take Cuck Palahniuk novels, true they are darkly humorous, and often perverse but they claim a substantial following.  The topics are not for the general public, they may be too abrasive for many, but I will admit to being a fan.  His characters are both approachable and off-limits.  I will admit that it is difficult to offend me with written word.  Profanity doesn’t grate so much on the eye as the ear in my opinion.
However misrepresentation smarts in any medium.
Take for example “The Twilight Saga”.
Inhale now little fans, for I will provide you some ammunition against me in the next sentence. Think of this as me airing my dirty laundry if you will but, I was once a fan myself.
Now I will take you’re defense away from you.  Within a week of the first book’s appearance on the shelves, I was delving into the first chapter.  And I was hooked, “Oh what a revolutionary idea!” My little teenage heart exclaimed. I waited longingly for the second novel, my best friend and I bought matching fan shirts, oh how our little middle school minds wrapped themselves loyally around this new series.
We recommended them to all we met and those others fell in love too.
Fast forward to the end of the second book with me please.
The books were taking off now.  But My illusion was shattered.  The part of the novel where the heroine who I had so envied falls into a depression fueled coma-like state, hardly noticing life around her disgusted me enough that I dropped the book for a few days.  But I picked it up again determined to see her heal herself.
Which she failed to do until the hero re-entered the story.
This stung. Even pre-high school I was so revolted by the idea of relying on someone else for happiness.  How could the newest idol of young girls do that too us?! How could the author justify her means? I began to question the series that day.  I began to question myself.
What did it mean that a girl could only be worth something if the right guy gave her the time of day? What message were we sending young girls??  They need to know how kind and smart and important they are, as Abileen of “The Help” so eloquently put it.
I finished the “Twilight” series, I watched the movies. I keep trying to see some hidden meaning in it, but even in the end the heroine is only worth something when the hero makes her EXACTLY LIKE HIM.
If this is what our world is coming to, if this is what love means, society can keep it. I’m doing perfectly well on my own.

One of My Strongest Blog Postings – Revised Poem (with hyperlinks) – January 20, 2012

I am from computers,
from Diet Dr. Pepper, and Vera Bradley.
I am from discount prom dresses and
standby flights on American Airlines.
I am from Recess, Once Upon a Time, and the Super Bowl (well, at least the commercials).
I am from Chuck and Castle,
from Hillshire Farms, from the K9 Advantix golden retriever puppy,
and from “Can You Hear Me Now? Good!”
I am from Twitter and the Tulsa World.
From “Elmo loves you!
and “Two heads are better than one.”
I’m from Naperville, Illinois,
from music, homemade pizza, academics, and iPhones.
I am from the savory, satisfying taste of a sweet apple & ham crepe
and birthday cake gelato from Mod’s.
From the Skype session with my family back home
just so we could watch The Glee Project season finale together,
the episodes of Monk with my roommate/best friend.
I am from a cappella and Straight No Chaser
and “The Earth Falls Asleep” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
I am from iTunes
and driving down the turnpike with the volume cranked up.
I am a child of the 90’s.
I miss the old cartoons and will always cherish my Disney VHS collection.
If only my VCR still worked!
As I added hyperlinks, I began to realize what was really important to me. I reworded some things, took out some words, added some more, nitpicking it until it was perfect…then changing it again! I wanted my three links to really capture who I am and what I love. I wanted them to take the reader beyond the words of the poem, yet not completely distract from it. I’ve changed the links many times, and honestly I’ll probably change them again. But in this moment, this is who I am.
I don’t watch a lot of sports. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just occupy my time with other things. One game I do love is the Super Bowl. My night is probably a lot different than most sports fans though. We watch the commercials and take snack breaks during the actual game. Instead of yelling, “Hey, the game’s on!”, it’s “The commercials are back!” I love the commercials that air during the Super Bowl. Not all of them are great, but the ones that are stay with you for a long time.

Growing up, one of my favorite toys was my Elmo doll. I loved him so much and would take him everywhere with me. My love for this little monster didn’t stop there though. When I was in 9th grade, I wrote a book report over an autobiography titled, “My Life as a Furry Red Monster.” It was the story of Elmo’s puppeteer, Kevin Clash, and how he made Elmo the Muppet he is today. I was so fascinated with how Kevin began building puppets and creating voices for each one, ultimately leading him to Jim Henson, the creator of The Muppets. In November 2011, the movie version of the book was released. It was a documentary called, “Being Elmo.” I was amazed. My book report was coming to life right before my eyes. I laughed and cried and giggled and squealed throughout the entire movie. It was a moment I’ll remember forever.

There are few things I love more than a good a cappella group. I have been to three Straight No Chaser concerts, and each one gets better and better. This specific song I chose is my personal favorite. It is a mash-up of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (originally from The Wizard of Oz). It is a perfect mash-up of one of my favorite artists with a song from one of my favorite movies. I could listen to this song on repeat for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

Just keep swimming,

The Post Where I Stretched Myself the Most – Memory Palace – February 19, 2012

When I first began the memory palace task, I found it difficult to decide on a location. I wanted to make a visual palace, so that limited my choices somewhat. I had originally decided to use my dorm room, but I couldn’t quite get it to work the way I wanted. Eventually, I settled with Downtown Tulsa, specifically the buildings on Boston Avenue.

I started at the place where Boston Avenue dead ends at 3rd Street: the Bank of Oklahoma Tower. On top of this building I placed a family representing Ethos, an appeal to the audience’s desire to trust the author. When you give your money to a bank you are trusting them, so it made sense for me to place Ethos there.

Going south down Boston Avenue, you pass Tulsa Community College. I placed a lightbulb on the building to represent Logos, an appeal to the audience’s sense of what is reasonable or logical.

As you continue to travel south, you will see a tall, beautiful Art Deco structure. This isn’t just any National Historic Landmark though. It’s Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, my home church. I have been an active member at this church for most of my life. It is where I first discovered my love for music and education, so it is only natural that I would place a heart there to represent Pathos, an appeal to the audience’s emotions.

This was an odd exercise. I struggled some at first, but once I settled on a location the rest came pretty naturally. I’m interested to see how it can apply to other topics in the future.

If watching is all you’re gonna do then you’re gonna watch your life go by without you,

My Strongest Exploratory Writing – Exploration #22: People Watching – February 24, 2012

I have always been a fan of people watching. It’s fun to notice the different types of people around you and to wonder what their story is. However, I have never sat around watching someone so closely, taking detailed notes about him or her. It’s a little strange and somewhat terrifying. I mean, how would I act/dress/talk if I knew someone was going to be watching my every move?
Right now I’m in the food court of Penn Square Mall. There is an elderly man in front of me. He seems pretty content with where he is. I’m not sure if he’s waiting on someone or simply just enjoying some alone time.  He has gray hair and many wrinkles. His buttoned-down shirt is light blue with darker blue and yellow stripes running vertically down it. He is wearing a tan jacket, blue jeans, and black dress shoes. There are two band-aids on his left hand. A Styrofoam cup sits on the table in front of him. I can’t tell where it’s from, but it says “16 oz” and “Flavor Full” on it.  He just grabbed his old Nokia cell phone out of his right shirt pocket and is talking to someone about when they were going back to their “homeplace.” He hung up and is now writing on the inside of the triangular displays that sit on the table. I’m very curious as to what he is writing about. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any pictures or anything, just words, or maybe numbers. He just waved at someone across the mall, but I couldn’t tell who it was or if they even waved back. Was he really communicating with someone or was he simply being friendly? He stuck the pen in his left shirt pocket and is now attempting to fold the display back to its original form. He placed the display back on the table. As I am sitting here watching him, I can’t help but wish that he would leave soon. I just want to pick up that display to further investigate what’s inside. He continues to watch the people on the floor below as he moves his dentures in and out of his mouth. He sat up in his chair and turned around. Now I see the hearing aids in both of his ears. Is he deaf or just hard of hearing? How long has this been going on? Can he even hear the noises around him? So many questions are going through my head as I sit hear and watch him. The only problem is that I have to leave for my appointment at the Apple store.
I’m back in the food court, but now I am sitting at the table where the old man sat. I’m so curious to look inside the display. Here goes…

This was not what I was expecting to find. It’s just a bunch of math equations. What do they mean? I can’t tell if they are random or if he actually was trying to figure something out. The ones on the left all make sense. Some are missing either a few zeros or a decimal point, but mathematically they work out. The ones on the right are a little confusing to me. I mean I know how to do math, but for some reason I just can’t figure these two out.
As I sit in my dorm room looking back on my exploration, I am surprised how it ended. I knew I was going to be people watching. However, I didn’t realize I was going to be PERSON watching. I became so fascinated with this man and his actions, but I never really got any closure from it. I have no idea who that man was, why he was at the mall, or what those math equations meant. That’s what’s fun about exploring though. I get to write the story.

Trust your heart, let fate decide to guide these lives we see,

Strongest Analytical Writing – My (Extremely) Rough Draft – April 9, 2012

The other day in class sam1521 mentioned that the map of “The World According to Americans” was intended to represent what American children are first taught about the world. I was surprised by this comment, but it really got me thinking. The idea that the Disney map and the American map could both be subtitled “The World According to Kids” is a little frightening to me. Are we really teaching our children that all Europeans are either pussies or evil-doers, and that Mexicans are only good for mowing our lawns and doing our laundry?I was doing some research and came across a book by Sally Collings titled, The World According to Kids: a Child’s Eye View of Life, Love, and Chocolate Cake. While most of the book is filled with cute things kids say like “You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk” and “You shouldn’t try to baptize a cat,” I found a paragraph in the introduction that stuck out to me.

“Children are like little aliens among us (cute little Toy Story-style aliens, of course, rather than the scary people-eating variety). Their job here is to learn how this strange new world works. To kids, most things adults do are pretty weird. It’s all new to them, after all. They are not born knowing the rules…But they learn.”

I’m not sure if I like this quote more because of the Toy Story reference or the truth it conveys. Kids will learn what we teach them; however, according to both maps, we are not doing a very good job of it. It is important for children to understand that Canada is not in fact uninhabited, and that Africa is more than just the home of zoo animals. We have a responsibility to teach them the reality of our world, not some biased, intolerant opinion.

It’s a small world after all,

Best Use of Visual Image – Visual Irony – February 25, 2012

While searching for a picture of visual irony, I found a lot of obvious choices. There was an escalator leading to a gym, a New Hope Road sign posted above a Dead End sign, and a psychic fair cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. The picture I chose was a little more subtle though (well, at least to me). At first I didn’t understand its significance, but then it basically slapped me across the face. The irony is the fact that it is a photograph. I not sure where this was taken or why there was a “no photography” sign, but obviously the photographer chose not to listen. If the rules had been followed, this photo could not exist. It’s kind of strange to think about.

You’re weird…but I like you,

Best Use of a Hyperlink – We Will Never Forget – February 1, 2012

Today we took a trip to the Oklahoma City National Memorial museum. I have lived in Oklahoma for most of my life, so it seems as if I’ve always known about the bombing. However, I didn’t understand the magnitude of the bombing until the 10th anniversary. I was 12 years old, and I remember hearing that former president Bill Clinton was in Oklahoma City for the memorial service. At first I was so confused why he would be somewhere as small and insignificant as Oklahoma. He was the former president of the United States after all! It was at that moment when I put everything together. 168 innocent people were killed, including 19 children. This bombing was serious.

“It was the most deadly terrorist attack, with the most property damage, on American soil before the September 11 attacks. It remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history.” -Wikipedia

Today as we walked through the museum, I was overwhelmed with emotions. The first sign I saw said, “Just like communities everywhere, it is the start of a day like any other.” I also saw the picture of the children at the daycare taken just days before some of them were killed. At that moment I knew this was going to be a tough 30 minutes to get through. Then the door opened, and we walked into the meeting room. They played a recording of a meeting held across the street from the Murrah building that began just after 9:00 a.m. Then, at 9:02, the bomb went off. The lights flashed and we heard the screams of the people in the building. As we stepped into the main part of the museum, we saw the aftermath. There were shoes, glasses, watches, and keys recovered from the rubble.  There was a clock that was stopped at 9:02 and a frame of a mosaic window that had been shattered in the bombing. I was drawn to the words on the wall: unexplainable, that fateful day, stranded. I saw pictures and news reports from all over the world. Stories of rescue teams and survivors were displayed on the wall. However, it wasn’t till I walked into the area “A Nation Reaches Out” that I realized the message this museum was trying to convey:

So many people have been affected by this event, and it is something that we will never forget. The room with pictures and mementoes of those who did not survive is heartbreaking, but it is a way we remember those special lives that were lost. The museum volunteers have done an amazing job at preserving the material in the exhibits. They tell the story of the day of the bombing and also the days that followed. It shows how we came together as a community, as a state, and as a nation. This tragedy is something that we cannot (and should not) forget.

Where one thing falls, another grows…maybe not what was there before, but something new and wonderful all the same,


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