Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rieckhoff meta-cognition

Andy Vo
Period 2

How did I start the process?
- I first began by making a chart of how Rieckhoff writes. I wrote down anything that suggested his writing style next to his name. For example I noticed he was sarcastic and very emotionally open with the readers.
What stimulated my ideas?
- The first chapter gave a strong idea of what I should be writing. Rieckhoff uses a lot of adjectives, emotion, sarcasm, and goes back though his life to explain things.
Who is my audience and what is my purpose?
- My audience is to normal readers looking for a story to be entertained with. My purpose is to fully show my adventure to St. Vincent right down to my emotions.
What trouble did I have?
- I had trouble putting the same amount of back story and description as Rieckhoff did. He wrote in a very vivid way that was easy to understand by any reader. 
What road blocks did I face and how did I eliminate them?
- I had trouble knowing when to exactly place background information and descriptive passages. To get around the road blocks I needed to reread some of the passages in “Chasing Ghosts” to think about how he uses descriptions.
What is my paper’s strength?
- I felt like I had the tone of Rieckhoff’s “Chasing Ghosts.” In my paper I created a serious and somewhat sarcastic tone. I was especially proud of the “emergency water landing” quote/
What is my paper’s weakness?
- Reading back on it recently, the paper still sounds too much like my own writing style. It doesn’t exactly have Rieckhoff’s writing style in word choice
What goals do I have for future writing?
- I need to improve on my word choice. I tend to over use simple words often in my paper. I also need to concentrate on choosing the write words for each moment.

Lowell Poetry Festival

Andy Vo
Period 2
Lowell Poetry Festival

 Over all the Lowell Poetry festival was a unique experience. Over all I enjoyed going to Lowell, exploring a piece of Lowell, and enjoying a sophisticated event. It was a new experience for me to take the commuter rail, walk around Lowell and find out what life was like in Lowell, and listening to poems and songs from the authors. There were a few events during the festival that surprised me. Overall going to Lowell was a great experience.
 When first entering Lowell, I noticed the people were very relaxed and open. The people are very outgoing. I often hear them talking to each other in the streets and calling each others names. Being there also makes me feel more relaxed. The colors of the leaves, the brick buildings, and the inviting stores created a relaxed environment. Stores like “Olive that and More,” served great sandwiches with a very warm and welcoming environment in a moderate cost. Lowell’s atmosphere made it easy to see why the others liked to go and look around Lowell.
 When I entered the first building for the Lowell Poetry Festival, there was a feeling of classiness. All the people around me were well read and in to literature. The group of writers and illustrators giving their introduction of their life in literature was incredibly refined. They made references to other authors and pieces of literature. They also all talked with a high level of intelligence. While I was in the audience, I felt a little overwhelmed at what they were saying. Much of the time, I did really know what each person was referring to. However I did enjoyed the art gallery. There were some unique and beautiful pieces of art that was worth an amazing amount of money.
  During the event there were a few specific points that especially surprised me. The writers and poets used their power free speech to the fullest. Ed Sanders’s “Send George Bush to Jail,” made everyone laugh and sent a very strong message. There was a man sharing an experience of being a homosexual, and how he strongly protested against people who were against him. Ed Sander’s laughing song made some of us question if he was fully sane for being able to laugh without a hint of acting, but overall made everyone laugh. I was amazed by the use of free speech and the artistic talent shown at the festival.

Memoir about my trip

Andy Vo
Period 2
Rewritten Memoir
I wrote in my white and black marble notebook to pass the time I had while I had to wait for my flight to Atlanta. Atlanta international airport would be the first stop on my trip, out of three before I landed in St. Vincent. My mission in St. Vincent was clear, go in, meet your group, get to know the island, do a summer camp for the kids there, and go home, simple. I wrote slowly on the lined note book, distressed to the fact that I had a whole lot of summer reading to do and the fact that I just left my family for thirty-one days. I anxiously tapped my foot on the floor and continued to work on my summer work, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to. This wasn’t the first time I was away from my family, but the second time was any much different. I still felt nervous about leaving so far away from my home. 
 When they started to call the seating zones that would go in, I placed away my notebook in my overused black backpack, which was now developing a rip on the right arm strap after a friend pulled on it. “Zone one, please proceed to board the plane,” echoed the young woman’s voice in the microphone. “Zone two and three, please proceed to board the plane,” my hands shook as I held the zone five plane ticket in my hand. I knew once I get on the plane, there was no turning back. “Zone four and five, please proceed to board the plane,” I shot up quickly from my seat, handed my ticket off, and got on the plane. On the plane I sat, while I continued to think about leaving home. I sat in a comforted blue chair nearest to the isle in the back of the plane. The T.V screens slowly swung down from above our heads to give the basic safety instructions that always made me worry. “In the unlikely event of an emergency water landing, your seat can be used as a floatation device,” somehow I knew if we made an “emergency water landing,” the idea of using my seat as a flotation device wouldn’t pop into my head.
 After landing in Atlanta I had to make a quick rush from the plane to my next plane. I was worried when I found out how long it took to get off the plane; I became even more worried when I noticed how large the airport was. It expanded across one horizontal line of terminal A to E. I was in terminal E and I need to get to terminal A. At times like these, I was glad that I chose to do distance running as a sport, it was incredibly helpful in a large airport. 
I just made it to the gate right when the called my zone. I was relieved that I made it on time, at the same time a little scared how close the plane could have left without me. I wouldn’t have known what to do if I was stuck in Atlanta. It was hard for me to imagine how my mom would act. I knew that my dad would be calm. My mom might panic realizing how far away from I already was. My next few steps into the place would take me out of the United States and into a much different life, where I feared that it will not be easy to live.

Meta-cognition for A Rose for Emily, Hemingway Style

Andy Vo
Period 2


How did I start the process?
- I first made a flow chart of Hemingway’s style of writing. A few bits of info that was placed on the sheet was his constant used of dialog, his relaxing description of the setting that usually have a meaning, the use of two characters having a conversation that is not fully revealed, and some hidden meaning in his dialog and setting. 
What stimulated my ideas?
- Most of the influence for the paper came from “A Clean, Well-Light Place” I tried to copy the same style of easy going atmosphere and extensive dialog between a understanding old man and a rash young boy.
Who is my audience and what is my purpose?
- My audience is readers that like thinking of their own conclusion and reading a story that is almost like a play.
What did I eliminate and why did I eliminate them?
- I eliminated text that gave too much background information. Hemingway’s stories leaves readers right in the middle of a situation and usually is not given any background information.
What troubles do I have?
- Most of the trouble I had was trying to condense the story of “A Rose for Emily” to a two page story, using mostly dialog between two characters, and only one setting. It was difficult to convert a story to a conversation between two characters.
What roadblocks do I repeatedly face and how can I eliminate them?
- I kept getting into roadblocks like “how should I explain this whole event in dialog?” or “what should I make this character say?” It was hard to keep going when I needed to writing in Hemingway’s style. The best way to eliminate the roadblocks is to draw out a less detailed story flow chart and then work on the lines for the characters later on.

Why did I keep what I did?
- I kept the paper that I have because I felt it had a relaxing description of the setting, two characters that are not interrupted in their private dialog, some vague symbols, and a rather open ended ending.
Who helped me at what stages if the process?
- Stephen and Emily helped me in editing my paper. They check my first draft and suggested to me some errors in the writing style. 
What improvement do I see in this piece?
- With a few minor corrections, the modern words and expressions like “c’mon” is removed. By removing the large paragraph at the end, the flow of the story is more constant. Some parts are more vague and allows readers to guess.
What feedback did I get which influenced my decision-making?
- The comments on the use of modern language changed some of the dialog. I also took the advice to make parts of paper more vague to fit Hemingway’s style
What areas still needs improvement and why?
- The area I still need to work on is keeping my writing style out of the story. In this paper where it is important to have the writing style of another person, I need to keep my own style of word choice and structure away from the story.
 What are my paper’s strength?
- My paper has a good flow of the dialog as well as some irony of how the characters think and talk about things that actually did happen. Overall I felt like I introduced the setting and used the dialog to sound like Hemingway.
What are my paper’s weaknesses?
- I feel that the ending does not leave as many questions unanswered as much as I wanted it to. I am also worried about the word choice. I still believe that some words are not entirely a Hemingway style of word choice.
What are my goals for future writing?
- My goal is to full answer the prompt and have each piece of evidence fit in well with the thesis. 

A Rose for Emily, Hemingway Style

Andy Vo
Period 2

A Rose for Emily, Hemingway Style

 Under the cool night sky of the small town of Jefferson, a father and his teenage soon sat together under the night sky. They sat together on their front porch under the luminescent light of the moon, looking out to the direction of the home of Miss Emily. Admiring the cool wind and the scent of the night dew on the leaves around them, they thought about the emptiness of the house.
 “You think she finally killed herself?” said the son.
 “What I heard, she was sick for a while.”
 “I bet she finally decided that it was best for her to die.”
 “That’s a pretty cruel thing to say.”
 “The whole town saw it coming.”
 “I don’t want to think that she wanted to kill herself.”
 They both continued to look out into the distance to Miss Emily’s house. The house once stood tall and proud in the best neighborhood of the town. The house has grown old. It looks dead compared to its younger form. The neighborhood around Miss Emily’s home was replaced with cotton gins and garages. Miss Emily’s home is the only one still standing in the lonely neighborhood. 
 “The whole town was expecting her to die.”
 “Since when?”
 “Since she bought arsenic for the ‘rats.’”
 “Maybe she did use them for the rats.”
 “It was better for her if she died. I mean, look at her.”
 “She looked decent before. She was even going to marry someone.”
 “I can’t imagine her looking pleasant.”
 “She was once.” The father got up and started pacing around the front yard.
 “Who was that person she was going to marry?”
 “Homer Barren, a construction worker.”
 “Whatever happened to that guy?”
 “I don’t know, maybe he skipped town.”
 “He might have been better off leaving her anyways.” The young man said while spreading his body out on the porch.
 “I don’t think he ever left the house.” The father said as he rubbed his face as if he was distressed. “I think she kept him there all the time, she was a very lonely person.”
 “No, I doubt that would happen.”
 “You know, I believe she is not as insane as most people think.” The father suddenly became confident. “She had pretty tough life growing up, maybe her actions wouldn’t make sense to us, but she probably has a reason.”
 “Maybe, I wasn’t around to see her when she was younger.” The young man gave gigantic yawn and rubbed his face. “It is getting late, I am going to sleep. He said as he was getting up. “sleeping soon?”
 “In just a minute, Son. Don’t think of her as bad person. She must have had a reason for being strange.”
 “Maybe, let’s rest, the funeral is tomorrow.” 
 “Yes, I know son. I hope that Miss Emily will find rest with the people that she loves; I believe she didn’t have a proper chance. Son, make sure you have a rose for Miss Emily tomorrow.”

Connections in Sarajevo

Andy Vo
Period 2
Connections in Sarajevo
 The story “IND AFF or Out of Love in Sarajevo,” by Fay Weldom, tells a story of a student who is dating her professor in Sarajevo, the same Sarajevo where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, to show a connection with the setting and the theme. Weldom uses setting to connect the girl in the story to Gavrilo Princip, the man who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The setting also allows the reader to connect the actions of the girl and the actions and reactions of Princip. Through the connections with the setting of modern day Sarajevo and the time of the assassination, Weldom gives readers the message that rash actions will cause consequences. 
 Through setting, Weldom shows that choices made during times when one has not yet come under to his or her senses can cause large consequences. The narrator keeps looking back when the assassination was taking place because Princip loved his country. Princip’s sudden choice to kill Ferdinand caused forty million people to do, but it was “so long as he loved his country” (202). If Princip never shot Ferdinand, other events could have happened, such as “some undisclosed unsuspected variable, might have come along and defused the whole political/military situation and neither World War I nor II would ever happened” (206). His actions caused the start of World War I and the elimination of a “whole generation, and their children, and children’s children, and so on and on forever” (207). The girl’s story takes place in the same country as well with an uncontrollable love. The girl swears she loves Professor Piper, who is with her on her trip. She swears that she loves him, even though it is obvious is a horrible person to be with. Being in Sarajevo, allows her to contemplate her choice in loving him and the choice that Princip made in loving his country. She made her decision to go back home and leave the professor. Without being in Sarajevo, she wouldn’t have examined her actions and compared it to the actions of Princip. Sarajevo allowed her to come to her senses and make a more rational choice. 

The Red Carpet

Andy Vo
Period 2
Contradictory Mrs. Choudhary

 In the story “The Red Carpet,” Lavanya Sankaran uses characterization to show that not all high classed and rich people are cold and classy people. In “The Red Carpet,” Sankaran depicts the character Mrs. Choudhary (also known as May-dum) as a very contradictory high class person. Sankaran characterizes May-dum as a very wild and young person that even makes poor citizens to question about her class. Sankaran also shows that May-dum is also generous, lenient, and sociable to the main character, Raju. Through characterization the reader can clearly see the contrast between the very contradictory, May-dum, and her mother-in-law, who is also named Mrs. Choudhary. Sankaran uses characterization to contradict the stereotypical high class citizen by characterizing May-dum as the complete opposite.
 Sankaran characterizes May-dum as a very young and wild high class citizen to show that her personality doesn’t fit with the stereotypical high class citizen. When Raju first enters the May-dum’s house, Raju soon sees May-dum and is left paralyzed as he watched her. The young woman that is walking downstairs to meet Raju is “surely no older than his teenage sister, [and] was practically naked…” (2). Her style of clothing that is so different from the average clothing of a wealthy individual shocked Raju and left him to wonder “What manner of house was this?” (2)Her wild clothing is not the only characterization that causes Raju to question her class, but her actions as well made him wonder. May-dam often goes to the bar to have fun and drink alcohol in a “skirt so short that it couldn’t have been longer than span of [Raju’s] hand” (6). Even to Raju, who believes that her behavior is “…unacceptable. Immoral. Should be stopped” (6). Sankaran characterizes May-dum as a young, skimpily dressed, wild individual to contradict the average high class individual and his or her actions. 
 Sankaran also characterizes May-dum as a generous, lenient, and sociable person to show that not all rich people are greedy, strict, and anti-sociable people. When Raju was accepted for the job May-dum “nodded briskly and offered a salary that was two and half times what he was making” (3). As Raju continued his job he also notices that “she never raised her voice at him. No screaming at him when the car got stuck in traffic. No shouting that he was a fool, and son of fools. No muttering that he should be fired, the idiot, the rascal, just let him get another job as good as this” (4). Raju’s job is so full of benefits such as wages, the good meals that she gives him, and the clothes that are given to his family. May-dum is also very lenient such as the time when Raju backed up to another car, “she just went over the incident with him in detail, accepted his fervent apologies, asked him to ensure that it never happened again” (5). May-dum, unlike other high class people alike, is very approachable, as all the other employees advices Raju that he had “any problems, [he] should talk to May-dum about it. She’ll help” (5). May-dum herself approaches Raju to have a conversation with her and “before he knew it, he was telling her everything: all his hopes, his dreams, his fondest wishes for beloved Herma, and the despair that had dogged his footsteps these past few months” (8). May-dum even gives Raju brand new and “expensive saris in bright colors, frilly child’s frock in pink” (7). May-dum also pays for Raju’s daughter’s education so he doesn’t have to worry anymore. Through characterization, Sankaran is able to further contradict the stereotype by having May-dum as a very generous, lenient, and sociable person to show that not every rich person is a stereotype.
 Sankaran also characterizes the personality of May-dum and Mrs. Choudhary so they would contrast, to have the reader easily see the difference in May-dum. Sankaran first characterizes Mrs. Choudhary as a woman who practically ignored him when he visited as a child and also “a formidable woman, clad in silks and jewelry and with a round red bindi on her forehead, drawn so large that it seemed to swallow him up” (1). She refuses to even give the young Raju biscuit. Raju describes that he was never so scared in his life. Once Raju meets Mrs. Choudhary again, she again ignores him while she complains about May-dum’s clothes saying she “always feel so bad when [she] looks at her, dressed like that” (6). The reader can easily see the contrast of the stereotypical high class rich person to the May-dum’s personality. Sankaran uses characterization of May-dum and Mrs. Choudhary to show the contrast between May-dum and the average rich individual to contradict the stereotype.
Sankaran uses characterization to break that stereotype they are classy, serious, greedy, strict, and very difficult to socialize with people. May-dum is the complete opposite of the stereotype that contradicts it over and over again. May-dum is wild, generous, lenient, and very sociable. Using characterization Sankaran is able to show that not all high and mighty rich people are the same by characterizing the character to contradict every part of the stereotype.