Looking Back to Notice More: Part 2

When I was first asked to consider the main epigraphs for this course, one quote quickly stood out to me due to its repetitive nature. Dionne Brand’s quote, “My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice” repeats the word “notice” three times in order to emphasize its main message. The repetition of the word “notice” creates a small-scale recursion, or as author Ron Eglash would explain in his book African Fractals, “a sort of feedback loop, with the end result of one stage brought back as the starting point for the next” (Eglash, 8). Through repeating the word “notice,” Brand conveys that human beings are capable of understanding so much, but in order to understand, we must be more aware of our surroundings.    Continue reading “Looking Back to Notice More: Part 2”

The Interdependence of Form and Content

In her work “Elements of Style,” writer Suzan-Lori Parks discusses the intricate relationship between form and content both in writing and in life. Parks states that “content determines form and form determines content; that form and content are interdependent.” (Parks, 7) This chiasmus creatively asserts that form and content are dependent on each other. This complex concept is difficult to comprehend at first, however, Parks relates this concept to entities outside of writing. Interestingly, Parks uses her physical body as an example of a form and how the content of her life is dependent on her physical form. She writes, “It’s like this: I am an African-American woman – this is the form I take, my content predicates this form, and this form is inseparable from my content. No way I could be me otherwise.” (Parks, 8) By explaining the relationship between form and content in this way, Parks allows her audience to connect this idea to their own lives.     Continue reading “The Interdependence of Form and Content”

The Silent Viewer

This semester in Dr. Fallon’s English class, I’ve read multiple pieces of literature involved with the concept on worldmaking. For instance, our class read works on early European exploration and famous tales of utopias. Every reading the class has encountered plays with the notion of a new or different world. In addition to these stories of exploration and utopias, we read William Shakespeare’s famous play, The Tempest. The Tempest applies to this worldmaking context due to the formation of a new society on an isolated island after a shipwreck. I enjoyed engaging in Shakespeare’s work in Dr. Fallon’s class. Little did I know I would be looking back at The Tempest as parts of it apply to Dr. McCoy’s class as well.   Continue reading “The Silent Viewer”

Deconstructing Mac and Cheese

Over Thanksgiving break this year, I went home to visit my family, relax, and celebrate the holiday. While I was sitting on the couch lazily watching television, my mother called out to me to come help in the kitchen and  make her family-famous mac and cheese. Now, while this may seem like a simple task, it was an incredibly intimidating feat at the time. What if I messed it up and everyone at the Thanksgiving table disliked it? This wasn’t normal mac and cheese! This wasn’t the simple task of boiling water and adding macaroni! My mom’s recipe was both a long and complicated process. When mac and cheese has bread crumbs, you know it’s serious.    Continue reading “Deconstructing Mac and Cheese”

Flying Back to Cornelius Eady

During class this past week, we were provided with a packet of some of Dr. McCoy’s favorite poems. As a class, we took the time to read the poems aloud and internally reflect on each of them. While all the compiled poems appealed to me, one in specific caught my attention. A certain rawness and vulnerability surrounded Cornelius Eady’s poem, “Crows in a Strong Wind.” The poem offers a duality by evoking both simplicity in its subject, but complexity with its underlying message. I believe this duality and the poem’s connections to class resulted in it being my favorite among the others.   Continue reading “Flying Back to Cornelius Eady”

Providence and the Unlikely Scholars

While scrolling through the (Im)Possibilities blog this past week, I came across a blog written for the Steve Prince class that had underlying connections to our course. In Claire Corbeaux’s recent blog post, “Providence and the Baby Dolls,” she discusses the concept of providence and how it relates to Kim Vaz-Deville’s book, Walking Raddy and society at large. While this post doesn’t directly relate to our class, I found that the central theme of “providence” connects to the material we’ve been working with, especially in terms of Victor La Valle’s novel, The Big Machine.   

As Claire begins to write, she notes that her class’s guest speaker, Dr. Cope, explained providence in relation to the Puritans. According to Claire’s post, the Puritans defined providence as “God’s control over the universe and its happenings as well as the lives of individual beings.” After reading this sentence, I realized that providence has developed as a theme in LaValle’s novel.   Continue reading “Providence and the Unlikely Scholars”

“Healing is not linear.”

Walking into the library this morning, I decided to start crafting a new blog post. Unlike last semester, I’ve noticed that ideas for blogs haven’t been popping into my mind as easily for posts, yet I’ve remained calm and hopeful that I will find my groove soon enough. Walking past the CIT desk, I noticed a new table on the main floor of the library. The table was covered with markers, small pieces of printer paper, and pieces of card stock with pre-printed positive quotes on them. One of these quotes specifically caught my attention. The quote read, “Healing is not linear.”   Continue reading ““Healing is not linear.””

History Through Song

The first time I heard the song “Wade in the Water,” I was a freshman in high school scrolling through Spotify. I came across the artist Jamie N Commons, whose voice caught my attention, and so I looked around on his page. At the time, one of his more recent covers was “Wade in the Water” and so I clicked on it and gave it a listen. Without knowing its deeper meaning, I loved the song. The way Commons sang the song with his low and raspy voice captivated me, and so I continued to listen to it.   

Four years later, I found myself at Geneseo, enrolled in a multitude of different classes, including a writing seminar on the Civil Rights Movement. While sitting in class one early Tuesday morning, Dr. Crosby showed us a video on singing in the Civil Rights Movement. Lo and behold, the activists in the video were singing the song “Wade in the Water.” While it wasn’t exactly Common’s raspy, low voice I had grown accustomed to in high school, the lyrics and the beat were the same. It was undeniably the same song.   Continue reading “History Through Song”

Looking Back to Notice More

After class the first week, I looked over the courses epigraphs, pondering which lucky quote I would choose to open my blogs with. While reading them over, one in specific jumped out at me. I had spotted a small-scale recursion!   

In the quote, “My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice,” Dionne Brand repeats the word “notice,” circulating a word three times to emphasize a theme.  Similar to how one topic can start a class and end a class, recursion can also occur in a single sentence.     Continue reading “Looking Back to Notice More”