October 11, 2017
Labyrinths, at first glance, appears to be an allusion to the development of power over time. Men are always seeking knowledge and to be the most powerful in the room. This seems evident when people begin to toss books out that seem “unimportant” based on a cursory glance. This short quote can be applied to many different aspects in life – how we judge people so quickly the nature of short attention spans in a post-modern society. There is a metaphor for how we go about life – there is no one particular way to do it. The title suggests that the path cannot be clearly defined.
“If a writer omits something because he does not know it then there is a whole in the story” – Ernest Hemingway (49).
This excerpt, written by Ernest Hemingway, addresses gaps that can exist in texts. Often times, the reader of a text will miss out on major historical and life changing events in a text simply because there is no room for it. Yet Turchi makes an interesting argument – he says that knowing something, but deliberately leaving it out is acceptable. As readers, we must suspend our disbelief. However, to omit a detail because the author is unaware of it creates a hole in the narrative. It’s true readers are intuitive, yet I wonder how Turchi believes the audience is able to detect the different kinds of “holes” present in their narrative. A distraction is a distraction, whether it’s labeled or not. Or perhaps Turchi is speaking on a more ideological level – labeling the gap for what it is, but knowing his audience won’t be able to tell the difference. It leads to several questions on what omitting something means; how can we define what’s not there?
I have always considered myself to be a writer. As a young girl, I wrote fantasy stories and with the help of my teachers, turned them into “books” that I took home. As I got older, I turned to poetry – experimenting in French and English. I find as I get older, I share my writing less and less. It becomes more personal and deeper – it’s a way to orient myself in the world. But in college, writing is essential and my work in the Writing Center has taken up a significant part of my life – so much so I now see my work as a potential career. I’ve had years to train and understand the value of written words and I would like to share these lessons with others. The Writing Center exhales pedagogy, practice, and partnership among people – and I inhale it. Writing can seem like a burden – but to love it you must first understand its importance. Conquer your fears. Move past indifference and put pen to paper in an act of rebellion against the roadblocks you present to yourself.
August 30, 2017
The #blackoncampus hashtag was the most significant display of racism I have ever witnessed. Because Muhlenberg is a predominately white institution, the purpose was for students of color to have a platform to share their experiences in an environment that was anonymous. However, anonymity ended up being the enemy as shared experiences turned into nasty attacks and students invalidated each other’s experiences. A #whiteoncampus hashtag doesn’t exist because there is no need. White experiences are considered the norm and are rarely questioned or challenged. White students are not oppressed on an institutional level – of course class and economic status, among other factors, play a role – but being white presents no hindrance at Muhlenberg and that is the point. The extreme response was the result of people reacting violently to the recognition of their privilege and the advantages they gain from it.
August 27, 2017
Maps create an environment and help us foster an understanding of the world around us. As shown in the West Wing, maps can create or feed into an existing bias. Imperialism, colonialism, the roots of racism – all points of history can be represented visually on a map. These toxic ideologies are fueled by the size and grandeur that appears on maps. Our understanding of the world is highly experiential and visual, so looking at maps allows us to locate ourselves in space and time. Maps are also an essential learning tool. Showing and teaching different projections makes for a more open and less closed off world view. Maps are nostalgic yet all new at the same time.
Welcome to your Writing Assistant’s blog for the semester. I’ll try to post most of my free writes on here. Feel free to browse, draw inspiration, and make comments. I look forward to working with all of you 🙂