One of the most important questions I ask when attempting to understand tradition in any realm of life, social, religious, or cultural, is the “why?” I have never been one to take things for what they are, I am inquisitive, however tradition seems to be one of those things that I have trouble getting to the bottom of. As a historian I seek the roots of all things because I believe that it leads to a more modern understanding of present-day issues.
One of the most important questions that I’ve asked myself throughout this semester is, “where did my growth begin?” I acknowledge that I made significant strides this semester, not solely academically, but all around; however, I am not sure when things began to click. Coming into this semester I thought I had things all planned out. I knew what classes I would be taking, how much time I would need to contribute to each class, and the amount of effort that I was willing to put in. While I stuck to my plan (for the most part) in terms of academic planning, the way that I went about completing my classes changed somewhere towards the middle of the semester. I guess I had a break-through (or break-down), whichever feels more appropriate at the moment. Continue reading “Michee Jacobs: On Exploring the Unknown and Attacking Fear”
First I would like to say, oh my goodness, I am ecstatic to see that Jose wrote his blog post about fear and fear of writing because I would have thought I was the only one feeling this way throughout the semester! Even up until now I could have written a blog post about my fear, but ironically my fear of writing stopped me from doing so! Jose, if you are reading this, you are so brave for opening up about it. Continue reading “A Response to Jose Romero: Catching a Drift of Fear”
I have a confession, both myself and Sabrina Bramwell are academic orogenes. I know how that must sound, crazy, but its something that we both noticed after dicsussing our different approaches to writing blog posts. While we are both orogenes, we come from different academic disciplines, yet we still exhibit similar writing skills, like Essun and Ykka. We established that we have different measurements and ideas of successful writing and how to achieve it, but have come to a middle ground on how to make our “academic orogeny” more beneficial for the both of us. Continue reading “Nobody Panic: I am an Orogene”
Throughout the Jemisin books that I’ve read so far, The Fifth Season most demonstrates the underlying themes of social injustice, and systematic oppression. It was not until after class on Friday that I came to realize that Jemisin is portraying even larger themes than discrimination in her other world fiction. By contextualizing these themes into real world examples, I can see that Jemisin had a greater overall idea in her writing. By using descriptive language and being concise, Jemisin leads readers to the bigger picture of systematic oppression, while still acknowledging the painful details, that some would call a “bleeding story.” Continue reading “Writing History that Bleeds”
Just the other day at Starbucks I noticed the new style of to- go cups that the baristas were serving. My immediate thought was, “these cups are so dumb, why is the straw hole so big, I’m going to spill my drink.” I didn’t even stop to consider why the “straw holes” would be so big and what that might mean for my utility of the cup. Later after I received my drink, I ventured off to dance practice where one of my peers confronted me jokingly and said, “what are you doing… why did you put a straw in that cup?” and my initial response, was to be defensive and insult the Starbucks corporation for the poor design of their new cups. It wasn’t until my peer pointed out the intentionally straw-less design of the new cups, that I realized my closed minded and habitual behaviors did not allow me to see the innovativeness in the new cup design. Continue reading “The New Starbucks Cups DO NOT Need a Straw”
With all of the atrocities that have been occurring around the world, a question that I find to be at the forefront of human suffering is, do we suppress our emotions and desensitize for the sake of progression, or do we mourn and acknowledge our feelings in order to expedite the progress needed to make changes? In reference to specifically the recent events that have been happening in the U.S., i.e. the mass shooting at the synagogue, the mass shooting at the supermarket, and most recently the mass shooting at the night club, my question to the world is, how am I supposed to react? Do I cover my eyes and shield my emotions from the realities of the world? While that would be the most comfortable thing to do, I would argue that it would be injustice for me to hide from realities that others have no choice but to face at this point.
During class discussion on Friday, I noticed that I put all of the characters introduced in The Fifth Season into purely human racial groups based on my own sub-conscience assessment of earthly characteristics. While this did not appear to me as a big problem at first, I later realized that by doing that I was taking away from the uniqueness that Jemisin was trying to display in assigning character traits that were abnormal for the ordinary human, but relatable enough that they could be imagined. By thinking of the characters simply in terms of black and white, I completely ignored their other traits that Jemisin specifically placed to explain their abilities. Continue reading “Noticing My Implicit Race Default”
Dr. Spencer Crew, former president of the National Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, gave a lecture based on the relationship between civil disobedience, the Underground Railroad and Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was an American slavery abolitionist who focused on the idea of revising the government through civil disobedience rather than overthrowing the system entirely. While the three topics do correlate, I was eager to ask Dr. Crew his opinion on the effectiveness of civil disobedience and whether or not Thoreau and other abolitionists and civil rights activists took the right approach to promoting equality. His answer to my question encouraged me to consider many layers of society and how activism influences public opinion.
I am beginning to see the parallels that Jemisin is trying to draw between the real world and the literary world. The demonstration of power structure and divisions among races is something that the book is doing a great job showing. The co-dependency of the Orogenes and the Guardians is something that I would definitely like her to expand upon as I progress through the book to get a better grasp on the outside message that she is attempting to display.