Miriam Eisenberg

  • This is the future. Self-driving cars are in development. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is considering a presidential run. There are more obese people in the world than malnourished people. Multiple Kar […]

  • For a blog that purports to be all about memes, I may have been unfair to some readers in my first post by not offering a proper explanation of what I’m talking about when I say “meme.” Sure, most people who, […]

  • Welcome and welcome back to the fall semester, fellow students! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m really pumped for this semester. I’ve got some great classes lined up with interesting topics. Best of all, […]

    • Loved your article! It was so comedic I was literally laughing out loud at the beginning. You raise some serious and thought provoking questions about memes that I have honestly never thought of before!

  • In a fine continuation of the previous blog, I shall attempt today to analyze the segmentation of another pair of essays, those being Susan Allen Toth’s “Going to the Movies” and Annie Dillard’s “Living Like Weasel […]

    • I doubt many writers sit down and decide, “I’m going to write a juxtaposition segmented essay now.” They probably just think of what point they would like to make and then write their essays. Afterwards, these pieces can be labeled, but I almost feel like labelling them before they are written limits them in a way, since it forces the pieces to fit into what you have already defined it as. As far as Root’s definitions go, these essays definitely fit the broader definition of what a segmented essay should be.

    • While I think both works have a form of segmentation, I think Toth’s was more similar to Root’s. Toth’s piece had one unifying idea with multiple similar stories to connect to the idea. It was similar in a way to 42 Tattoos that although the segments weren’t directly connected to each other, they still represented one idea. Additionally, Dillard’s way of writing didn’t really feel segmented to me but more like a slight fast forward instead. Because of this, I didn’t really feel a distinct segmentation between each paragraph like with Toth’s or Shield’s. Instead, I felt more like it was just segmented for practical purposes so that your eyes don’t get lose place while reading.

    • I think that the essays fit with Root’s outline of segmented essays. The essays follow the main points Root brings up like crosscutting between the past, present, and future. For instance, Susan Toth’s “Going to the Movies” is an example of juxtaposition, which arranged Toth’s different experiences at the movies side by side for comparison while Annie Dillard’s “Living like Weasels,” uses patterning. Root gave possible rough descriptions that were open to changes and were not definite. He did not explicitly explain the method of writing each type of essay because a segmented paper is open to creativity and experimentation. I think the beauty of a segmented essay is that there is no “right way,” unlike traditional essays.
      Also, like Mikki and Rebecca, I think that writing takes form as its being created. So, as the writer goes through a process of creativity and revisions their ideas may change and as a result the structure of the essay will also change as the writer gets a clearer idea of what they want to say.

  • To the casual glance, David Shield’s “42 Tattoos” appears to be no more than a hodge-podge assemblage of thoughts, ideas, and notes on the nature of tattoos. However, when viewed through the lens of a literary “mos […]

    • I can’t say tattoos enrich the value of the body. The only thing that gives value, meaning, to our bodies, as Shields put it, is ourselves. Just because there’s a tattoo somewhere on it doesn’t make the body worth anymore. It’s not like we paid for our bodies with anything material, so trying to measure it against material value is meaningless.
      It’s not like you can’t get a tattoo- but carefully consider why you get one in the first place. A tattoo can never be more than ink in your skin, a permanent image on an organ that basically regrows itself every two days. Are you ready to make that commitment?

    • The system of classification for segmented essays that Root has created does create a lot more options for writers than a simple chronological order of ideas. It allows writers to present their ideas in a new way that still enables them to connect. To many it may seem chaotic, but as Root states, the essay still has “a beginning, a middle, and an end” (408). What stood out to me the most was the idea of having each segment stand on its own, yet viewing it in connection to the whole and understanding its significance to the story. I had never really realized that every time I read an essay like that I have that idea in the back of my mind.

    • I personally love tattoos, specifically water color, lace, and tribal tattoos. However, I don’t believe tattoos adds or subtracts from a body’s value. What is a body value? Is it the literal money amount that can come from our organs, or is it the value we have as productive members of society? I believe every body is valuable, whether it has ink on it or not is irrelevant. Every individual should have their own autonomy and decide what their tattoos means if they decide to get one. To have another judge them by an image that has no relevance to their life is ridiculous.

    • I’m not the biggest fan of tattoos, but I do understand the perspectives of some people in 42 roots. If something is important to you, it makes sense that you would want to wear it on your skin. If you want to express parts of yourself, why not put it on your skin? These are valid ideas to me, but I feel that they can just as easily be achieved through jewelry, clothing, etc. Tattoos are just more permanent, which is a big statement. “I am putting this on my body and it’s never coming off.” That intimidates me. In terms of value, I’m biased because, as the essay alludes to, Judaism forbids tattoos. The idea behind this is that our bodies are gifts and we don’t own them- so we don’t have the right to permanently change them. I don’t think that tattoos can actually cheapen our bodies, but they do taint our abilities to tell other who we are through our actions.

    • As far as the meaning, or lack thereof, regarding tattoos, I would have to take the same approach as Shields does in 42 Tattoos. He cites numerous instances in which tattoos are viewed as symbolic images that represent values people may have, or, conversely, how they can be abominable sights that are nothing more than ways to brand criminals. Yet, at the end of the day, who owns this? The choice to have a tattoo, decide what and where it will be, lies absolutely in the power of each person. Everyone decides what they feel is best for their own body and weighs whatever factors they consider important into making that decision. For me, I do not see any reason to permanently tattoo any image, sign, or quote on any part of my body. That being said, I understand that this may not be the thought process undergone by others and respect the power of other people to make their own decisions.

    • Roots explanation allows for many options of essay forms. Because a writer is not restricted by chronological order they are not merely retelling events, they are allowing others to share their experience. A writer can do this in a great number of ways. In fact, he says, “[T]heres virtually no limit to the variations a roomful of imaginative young writers can bring to the form” (414). The form a writer uses should be carefully chosen to enhance their story. Root encourages writers to use segments and to be creative and clever in formatting their work. Although Root highlights many formatting options, the form is up to the writer. It is a choice they will have to make based on what form they think will allow the reader to experience their work.

    • Even though I have never been a big fan of tattoos, I have always been able to appreciate tattoos from an artistic point. Nonetheless, I have never been able to imagine myself getting a tattoo; I’ve never really had a desire to get a tattoo, But to answer the question, I’m not sure if getting a tattoo enriches the value of the body. I think that getting a tattoo makes some sort of impression, I’m just not so sure it makes an impression on the value of life. A tattoo is a form of self-expression. In David Sheilds, 42 Tattoos, he quotes John Allen saying, “When they see me coming in with my tattoos and the big name that I’ve got, before [one] even play[s] a game, it’s like, ‘Whoa, this guy, he must be for real’” (Sheilds, 250). When someone gets a tattoo, he is making a statement that can either be for him or for society. For some reason the tattoo, all of a sudden, makes him noticed. A tattoo may be a way to enrich the value of one’s life, not so much a way to enrich or cheapen the value of the body.

    • I think whether a tattoo enriches or cheapens a body depends on the person with the tattoo. A tattoo is usually a personal statement and whether others perceive them enriching or cheapening doesn’t really matter since it’s not their body anyway. While for many people tattoos are a different, more permanent, form of expression from other physical materials, their downside is that they are much more complicated to get rid of. Though I don’t plan on getting one, I think it takes a lot of commitment and thought to get a tattoo because of the meaning and permanence it brings with it. Ultimately, the risk of cheapening the body is only possible if the person later regrets their tattoo.
      Root’s segmentation allows for more options of expanding ideas because you are not constantly focusing on fitting your writing in with what will happen next, which usually narrows down a writer’s options to less than he could have. Though it might be frustrating to have a non-linear way of writing, it helps you write about your ideas on a deeper level. I think you could describe it as the idea of quality versus quantity in that respect.

  • I feel like I’m coming a bit late to the party, but here I go. I don’t think that everyone follows a career path that relates to his or her talents. Just take my (former) roommate, for example. Now, my personal feeling is that her talent was being the most annoying creature on the face of the earth, but that is not the career she is pursuing. Ok,…[Read more]

  • I agree with what Steven said about “jumping on the bandwagon of Google.” While it is understandable that a company like Google, for whom innovation is key to success, would ask unanswerable questions to its interviewees, most companies really have no need to be asking those sorts of questions. Yes, creativity is important, to some extent, in…[Read more]

  • I, too, agree with you. The first essay really does little more than vaguely summarize the features of the characters and do an incredibly general comparison. I spent the entirety of my time reading the essay trying to figure what the point of it was. The thesis, I thought, was weak and underdeveloped. The thesis of the second paper was much…[Read more]

  • I agree with Emilio and Sun Ra. Art is not only a major factor in the growth of a given civilization, but it is the marker of a civilized society. Art is what is left behind a legacy when everything else is gone. Don’t we still study the sculptures and plays of Ancient Greece? The hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt? The frescoes of Renaissance-era…[Read more]

  • I think that dreams are a big part of what inspires us in life. Pardon the example, but Stephanie Meyer once said in an interview that the inspiration for her novels came from a dream she had. Often our dreams are unpleasant, so perhaps our actions in life are a reflection of our desire to escape from scenes of that ilk, and when the dreams are…[Read more]

  • I don’t think it’s actually possible to avoid structure. No matter what the structure a piece has, it has that particular structure for a reason. The way any particular author structures his sentences can set a tone, tell another story, or even just define the author’s style. Even freestyle poetry, though it seems to be unstructured, is built in a…[Read more]

  • Failure, when used constructively, is the best way to improvement. Wasn’t it Thomas Edison who said “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work?” According to him–and I agree–failure is the first step to improvement because it permits us to view all of our options in order to decide which one will work best. If we never…[Read more]

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