Mikki Weinstein

  • Mikki’s senior seminar blog site, which will hopefully be enlightening or at the very least, mildly interesting.

    • You make great points about the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. While reading Wuthering Heights, I didn’t understand why Catherine continued to tolerate him despite her conceit. I like the idea that she appreciates Heathcliff’s refusal to fawn over her.

      I wonder, however, whether Heathcliff actually “refuses to lower himse…[Read more]

  • In terms of “old” nonfiction writing that I have read, (it’s sort of a limited list) but I have chosen “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I read this when I was really young and will never forget it. (I can bring it to class tomorrow)

    For my “new” nonfiction, I read great newspaper articles all the time- But there’s one piece I ready…[Read more]

  • Shakespeare’s Sonnet 135

    Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will,
    And Will to boot, and Will in overplus;
    More than enough am I, that vex thee still,
    To thy sweet will making addition thus.
    Wilt thou, whose will is large and spacious,
    Not once vouchsafe to hide my will in thine?
    Shall will in others seem right gracious,
    And in my will…[Read more]

  • and here is a link to Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses with horns: http://taylormarshall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Horns-of-Moses-2.jpg

  • When it comes down to it, I don’t think Orwell would have any gross objections to Solnit, Kapuscinski, or James.

    In terms of Solnit, her message is interesting and incredibly straightforward. One of the aspects of modern language that Orwell railed against was talking around things and saying them in a way that took longer than they needed to.…[Read more]

  • I would really love to believe that an objective and comprehensive definition of good writing exists. If this were the case, Orwell’s harsh criticisms of “modern” writers could almost be seen as fact. If, perhaps, his pointed examples could be held up against a predetermined set of rules that were set forth from some higher power, they could be se…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • 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…[Read more]

  • I sincerely believe that natural talent exists and can be very useful in life. However, I don’t think that natural talent is ever enough. Without proper effort and work ethic, it’s difficult to be truly successful. That being said, I think that you can gain almost any skill with hard work and determination. I’m not sure it would be so wise,…[Read more]

  • I agree with Clara!- “Maybe kids should learn without the pressure of grades impending on them all the time and that lack of stress could lead to the rise of creativity.”

  • 1. It depends. For a place like Google, an internet giant that can only thrive through innovation and originality, I definitely think that creativity is the best way to assess whether or not an applicant will be the right fit for a job. While I also think that creativity is important no matter where you work, it shouldn’t be the key factor being…[Read more]

  • After reading both of these essays, I felt as though I didn’t need to read the two books they were written on, “City of Glass” and “Leaving the Atocha Station.” The students who wrote these essays both included so […]

    • I agree with most of the points you made, especially about essay 1. I felt it was all plot summary. There was barely, if any, analysis, nothing debatable, as you mentioned. I think when writing an essay about novels like this, it is extremely difficult to avoid plot summarizing. The thesis in essay 1 was more distinguished than essay 2, but very general, I thought. I slightly disagree with your point that essay 2 fell victim to plot summary. I think that essay 2 did a good job to avoid plot summary. There is always a need to give a sentence or two introducing the point in the novel that the writer is talking about. There was plenty of analysis, but as you said, there were many organizational issues in essay 2. I felt that things were repeated over and over again. I didn’t even want to read the essay after the first 4 pages. I also failed to grasp a defined, clear thesis from essay 2, as well. Overall, essay 2 was better than essay 1, but they had flaws.

    • The point you made about summarization and lack of organization captures my impression of both essays. I think the quotes chosen by essay 1 only furthered his/her plot summary without adding any significance or personal thoughts on what was being discussed. It’s a great point that the second essay had some insightful interpretations of both novels but failed to explain in a clear, step by step process, what exactly the thesis was. Personally, I found the lack of a claim or debatable question to be the most detrimental to the quality of each paper (but more 1 than 2). I think each essay (although the first more so than the second) should try to develop a more thought-provoking thesis which would allow them to utilize quotes that will convince the reader of the arguments’ validity

    • Essay 1 broke the cardinal rule of essay writing: don’t summarize. I felt the student took so much time recounting the plot and yet failed to really analyze or make points on what he was summarizing. Essay 2 on the other hand was a lot more cohesive, and although there may have been some structural problems, this student was a lot more successful in writing a sophisticated essay.

  • I don’t think Sun Ra means that if people have “bad taste” in music, that would obstruct personal growth. What makes music good or bad is subjective, like Sadia pointed out. However, I think Sun Ra’s definition of good music would be more in terms of the meaning and impact of the music. I would say that to Sun Ra, the kind of music that is made…[Read more]

  • I found it interesting that Jung put himself through such anguish about his dreams and inner thoughts, and I, too, found it refreshing when he said that he preferred to let the figures in his dreams “be what they were.” However, even though he said that, I don’t think he actually went through with it. In regard to your first question, I think…[Read more]

  • The first question you pose is an interesting one. I also wonder at the credibility of results or theories found using such biased data. I’m no scientist, but it seems that to use results based on a specific group of people to then expand to encompass all human beings seems unreliable.
    I like the speculations you make as to what Freud would…[Read more]

  • Dreaming and Productivity

    Mark Blechner’s theory of Oneiric Darwinism is basically that while we sleep, our brains engage in the creative process and the products of this process can inspire us in our waking m […]

    • I certainly agree with your point that Blechner doesn’t provide “hard proof” to support his theory but there perhaps the argument he introduces regarding the evolution of humans over time can be used. I think that although he doesn’t have any solidified evidence to back his claims, the whole idea of dreaming allowing humans to create new ideas and adapt to the progression of time. Maybe, similar to Darwinism, the fact that humans have progressed and are constantly created can be attributed to dreams and visions/ideas planted during that time. Then again, maybe you are correct in that those visions/ideas can be accredited to something else; how do we know its a direct result of creativity? That’s a great point you raise, hopefully in the future we will have a better and more clear understanding of what is true.

    • You point out that “According to Blechner’s theory, it is possible that his/her brain was working out different solutions overnight and therefore, come morning time, the person was able to resolve the situation.” You seem to doubt that there is tangible evidence for a lot of his theories and I agree with you, but when it comes to solving problems I admit that I believe it is true. Many times I have woken up with solutions to homework or new ideas to add to my work as soon as I open my eyes. I had never given it much thought, but now I believe it has to do with the fact that while I was sleeping my mind was still working on the issues that I was preoccupied with before I went to bed.

    • I think it was an interesting conflation between dreams and science, as it exhibits a parallel between creativity and the logical type of mind. However, like you said, Blechner does lack concrete evidence, although that’s what makes it a theory after all. Personally, a logical mindset of my own has an easier time accepting an explanation that uses any type of scientific background to support itself, but creativity as abstract as it is, in my opinion, can’t really be explained. While dreams to me play a vital role in the way I look at real life versus the fantastical world in which my dreams exist, I think my creativity and that of all the world is truly more of a phenomena that no theory can explain.

  • I agree that it is extremely odd how calm Martinez seemed throughout all the frightening dreams. Normally, a dream of someone chasing me would have my heart racing and ultimately waking up. This aspect actually reminds me of Danticat and her creation myth. I remember thinking along similar lines when she told of the execution in such detail. It…[Read more]

  • Interesting! Maybe Cage included the anecdote with the four men to emphasize a point about silence, that much of its importance lies in its ability to make us think and question ourselves and our surroundings. After the man’s answer to his questioners, Cage explains that “If there are no questions, there are no answers. If there are questions,…[Read more]

  • Everyone is making really interesting points, and now I’m not sure where I lie. I do agree that failure is an important part of the learning process, but maybe Herrigal would have learned faster had the Master given him more guidance. Also, the argument that Steven, Emilio, and Rebecca make in favor of the Master’s methods is thought provoking…[Read more]

  • When Atwood says “Next day there’s a blank page… [y]ou begin again. It never gets any easier,” I think the “it” could be referring to multiple things. If, perhaps, Atwood is referring to writing- that the overall creative process of writing never gets easier, I would have to agree; Each writing endeavor presents its own challenge and requires its…[Read more]

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