Author: Neha Marolia

The Intersecting of Paths

During the process of analyzing the maps in the World Atlas book, something that struck me was the question of what cannot be seen on a map. The question confused me at first. I didn’t think much could be shown on a map. A map to me is defined as a geographical location with aspects of coordinates and a key are involved. Locations have populations; populations are a group of people; and a group of people hold a certain culture and a type of identity. Generalizations occur as groups of people can be stereotyped by their geographical location. Assumptions of socio-economic class, wealth, behaviors, and attitudes can be made. This type of preconceived notions can be a dangerous due to not individualizing people but instead grouping people together in terms of location. “In a sense, every place is unfathomable, infinite, impossible to describe, because it exists in innumerable versions, because no two people live in quite the same city but live side by side in parallel universes that may or may not intersect, because the minute you map it the map becomes obsolete, because the place is constantly arising and decaying.” (Unfathomable City, 1)  Read more

The Strength of Hyper Empathy

When attempting to finish the reading for the class of April 17th, I kept bursting into tears. I always knew how to separate my emotions as a human from being a student in a classroom. But Butler’s first few chapters of Parable of the Sower quickly seeped into my heart. I was impressed with how relatable the text became to my current personal situation, especially the ‘hyperempathy syndrome’ mentioned a few times in the text. Hyper empathy is a person that will actually mirror the feelings and emotions of another person and feel things to the extreme. “Being the most vulnerable person I know is damned sure not something I want to boast about.” (Butler, 12) By thinking about the significant difference between attachment and investment, I am slowly starting to realize the intensity of hyperempathy.

“I can take a lot of pain without falling apart. I’ve had to learn how to do that. But it was hard, today, to keep peddling and keep up with the others when just about everyone I saw made me feel worse and worse.” (Butler, 11) I’ve always thought of myself as a positive, extroverted person but no so much the past few weeks. By constantly receiving bad news by the people I care about, my ‘hyperempathy syndrome’ came in full swing. I felt weak, a loss of appetite, unable to get out of bed with no motivation to go to class. Something that is stigmatized negatively in today’s current society are mental disorders, such as depression, which I have recently been showing signs of. “A dumb little game of ‘If we don’t talk about bad things, maybe they won’t happen.’ Idiot.” (Butler, 61)

Saturday April 1st, 2017

“Neha…I received by official diagnosis yesterday and I have Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” (iMessage, 6:37pm)

Wednesday April 12th, 2017

“Okay so neha I gotta tell I haven’t been feeling this dating thing all that much with us. I think we’re better off as just friends than more than that. Sorry if that’s not what you were hoping for outta this :/ (iMessage, 1:47pm)

Wednesday April 12th, 2017

“I [my friend] was raped last semester…”

Bad things are constantly happening; it’s the question of if you want to listen or not. “I had felt it die, and yet I had not died. I had felt its pain as through it were a human being. I had its life flare and go out, and I was still alive. Pow.” (Butler, 46) Similarly, I felt the pain and fear both my friends are going through but I physically, am healthy and unharmed since I have not experienced a deadly illness or a sexual assault.

“People have had faith through horrible disasters before.” (Butler, 15) The receiving of the bad news stated above completely destroyed me but I realize I need to find the faith somehow someway, which is something that is becoming a slow progression on my end. By constantly bursting into tears getting through the first 6 chapters of Butler’s Parable of the Sowerit made me realize how fantastic and powerful the novel is; how the text written had such a strong pathos appeal that it actually moved and affected me, which I don’t believe is a bad thing. In the song Need You Now, Lady Antebellum states, “I rather hurt than feel nothing at all.” Crying is always seen as sign of weakness but I am slowly realizing it is a sign of humanness. One is human before they drive to be any other title whether it be ‘coordinator,’ ‘student’ or ‘professor.’

By always constantly relying on my resume to prove to others who I am, I am still trying to figure out who and what I am without my involvements listed on a sheet of paper considering I will also be losing my job next semester. “Nothing is going to save us. If we don’t save ourselves, we’re dead.” (Butler, 59) By putting myself first at times is something I am constantly trying to work on, instead of being a ‘people-pleaser’ 24/7. By discussing the distinction between house and shelter in class, I believe I have found shelter within my friends and personal accomplishments, but not with just myself.

Relating back to The Big Short, romantic relationships can very much be seen as an investment. I personally am investing my time and attention into certain people that will eventually be seen as a ‘debt’ instead of an ‘asset.’ I am constantly investing in people that will not give me a ‘decent interest rate’ in the future. They are losing value over time, when investments should be gaining value. Similar to our discussions in class, my romantic interests are cyclic in the sense of continuously making poor choices.

“Live. Hold out. Survive.” (Butler, 76), is not how I expected the reading for the next class period to end. By emphasizing survival, it reiterates the notion of hope; how what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. By holding out, being able to cope with emotions and then eventually help others who go through similar experiences, makes the discussion a cyclic chain.


Ageism is Deathly

When viewing the film The Old Man and the Storm, the brokenness of a community could be portrayed as citizens lost their homes. As Roach states “the illusory scene of closure that Eurocentrists call memory (“what’s done is done”) incites emotion toward the future, in aspiration no less than in dread…” The article is arguing that failure has to be accepted for what it is. In contrast, the film showed a man with determination and resilience in terms of saving what he lost. He states, when referring to his home, “not about to leave it, it took to long to build what I built.” The man showed pride and humility of what was his rather than focus on the supernumeraries of materialism. The Eurocentric view dominated Roach’s article of how one feels necessary to accumulate as many materials as they can with their wealth as they age to reassure their own value and life.

Joseph’s Roach’s Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Peformance immediately caught my attention as we were reading bits and pieces of it in class. Something about the text of long articles and the syntax makes the reader have to annotate the words making it even better and more challenging to read. To analyze. To understand and put into perspective what the diction is trying to portray to the reader.

In Roach’s article, death was a prominent theme presented in the article as it stated, “Arnold van Gennep’s seminal formulation of death as a rite of passage.” The most humane events a person experiences are the acts of birth and death. Roach says as “…they involve figures whose very professions, itself alternately ostracized and overvalued…” This can be related to the stigmas older senior citizens face in society as they serve as effigies. There is a negative connotation of senior citizens due to their age and can be seen as “useless.” At the same time, certain upbringings emphasize respecting one’s elders as there is a pressure from both sides to agree upon an opinion on not only senior citizens but on the topic ageism. Richeson states, “similar to racism, “ageism” refers to the negative attitudes associated with advanced age.

An example of senior citizens being overvalued can be the idea, as Richeson mentions in his article of the “…perfect grandmother, [as the] subtype consists of women who are kind, serene, trustworthy, nurturing, and helpful.” Read more