To Protect him

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He’s ill again
I mean, he has a condition
Several actually
I have to suspend my worry
But I have to
Protect him from stress
Protect him from getting worked up
Protect him from noise
Protect him
I stay quiet
My own pain festers and swells
My own pain threatens to swallow me up
My own pain suffocates me
I put up a book to read
And suddenly I’m out of the water
I can breath
My relief is temporary
My pain begins to fester again
But I’ll do whatever I have to
To protect him
But, in all of this, who will protect me?

Hiding in the body of a young, vibrant woman…

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Only a Few good days pass

Before I relapse into my other self

Before my body and mind collapse into rage and fear

Before I cannot feel anything

Before my anxiety and paranoia take over

Before I shatter as I hit the abyss

All I can do once I’m at the frigid depth

Is not plunge all the way to the end

Before everything is lost

Before everyone I know leaves me

Because I know I’m a monster

Hiding in the body of a young, vibrant woman

Who loves books, burgers, football, and poetry

Who loves her friends and family with her entire heart

But all my joy was spilled out and ripped apart

Before I become the nothing I feel

I have to swim out of the abyss

And until I’m out of this cycle of pain

All I can do

Is tread water

So I don’t drown

And get swallowed up by the illness that threatens to take everything from me

I have to fight to stay above water

I have to battle

But more importantly

I must not give in

I must destroy what harms me

Only then can I truly defeat the abyss and win back my life

Silent No More : The Atrocities against Women must Stop!

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When the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Moore, and Charlie Rose (to name the four recent men) came out in the news, it shocked me to my core and make me openly weep as the news continued to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed “why” so loudly but could barely speak. It frightened the people at home, but I was in so much horrible emotional pain so bad that my soul was on fire and my heart was drowning in agony. Up until this time Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor, and I was trying to finish season 5 of house of cards. Charlie Rose was a journalist I greatly admired. Harvey Weinstein created my favorite show: Project Runway. I haven’t heard of Al Moore but the notion of him running for a Senator representing our country is so wrong it makes me want to vomit.

Now besides punishment I strongly believe we have to first address and speak about the crime: rape and sexual harassment against women. The flood gates for victims to come forward have opened but that does not change what happened. Perhaps being able to speak about it helps ease the burden but I cannot imagine what that kind of experience does to a woman’s mind, spirit, and heart. My heart is completely broken and it didn’t happen to me. But it happened to millions of woman and continues to happen. Our president has bragged about groping women by saying “I say grab them by the *****” and was still elected despite his vile comments to multiple women including journalists and even attacking wives of fellow candidates. It makes me sick. Physically sick to think he is our president. The hunting grounds explored sexual assault on College campuses and I wouldn’t watch it because I was afraid. Now I’m disgusted with myself for not facing the truth in our society- sexual misconduct, violence, rape, and mistreatment of women is an epidemic that needs treatment.

Kevin Spacey was my favorite actor. Was. The movie Baby Driver was my favorite of the summer. But instead of thinking what I’m losing which is some movies and TV shows, thinking about what his victims lost is far more painful. I openly sob because I don’t know how to make this horrific action stop. I cannot stop it alone. We have to address the behavior causing agony to millions. And we must stop saying what they said in the case of Charlie Rose “that was Charlie being Charlie” is a direct quote. How can we say boys will be boys? So are we normalizing very despicable behavior? Yes, and THAT needs to stop. IT NEEDS TO STOP! STOP SAYING BOYS WILL BE BOYS!

When I lived in an apartment in the city I recall not feeling well and running to the store to buy milk to make my beloved coffee. The whole time I was alone until stepping back into my apartment, I was afraid of someone male attacking me since I was a young woman alone in the evening. That’s how bad it’s gotten in our society and in every society. It’s to a point where I am scared to buy milk. Isn’t that depressing? Isn’t that despicable?

Let’s not get away from the main point here, that sexual assault and harassment happens all the time and is actually very under-reported because women are scared to come forward. I was scared too.

I have never told anyone my story but I want to share it now to help others.

When I said it didn’t happen to me, I wasn’t being honest because I’ve never told a soul. Here goes:

We were all coming in from gym class my freshman year of high school. I was the fastest runner of the girls so I was fair ahead with the boys running inside to change before the bell rang. I turned around to see if I could see any of the my friends that were girls and that’s when he stopped running and grabbed me. He grabbed me and he tugged at me. The front of my uniform was so thin that the feeling was so horrific that I nearly passed out from shock. What I remember is him laughing and then running away. His friends laughed too. That laughter is still in my nightmares 15 years later. I ran so fast I beat everyone to the doors (we were playing softball and coming inside to change) and I blocked out the entire event. Never told a soul.

I’ve had my butt grabbed twice by men in public, once at a party and once at a bar. At the bar I didn’t speak out but at the party I screamed at that man, and I told everyone what he had done. Thinking about all this makes me come undone because I’ve always been afraid of intimate moments since that day when I was grabbed without wanting it. I didn’t want it.

There needs to be an outcry for change to stop this atrocity from continuing. Education is part of the answer. Normalization of the behavior just flat out needs to stop. I want to say to every victim that you are not alone and that you are a wonderful woman with value and people that love you. To Kevin Spacey and all the other men I named, those I didn’t, and to our president – you are absolutely vile, repulsive, and should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. It’s unacceptable, and it’s going to have to be stopped because the affects are devastating. I urge everyone to think twice before and please consider your actions that can change and destroy another life, another heart forever.

Gender Power Dymanics Traced in Two Novels

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Throughout The Rise of Silas Lapham and The Great Gatsby we have strong themes regarding gender both the way the male and female is depicted in these two novels. Woman morph drastically while men continue in this hunt for success, greatness, and status. The curious thing to remember is that these novels are brought to us at different times so the way women are portrayed is drastically different in the two novels. In The Rise of Silas Lapham, the ideal woman is what is desirable at the current times. To stay and tend the house and the child, to not really have a thought of your own, these are traits of the “Ideal Woman”. Irene Lapham has mastered the traits and even cleans up the house when stressed, solidifying her role as “ideal” along with her behavior and most important the way her mind appears to work through interactions with Tom Corey and the nonchalant way she acts but really she is in this dreamy fairy tale in her mind over silly things such a a newspaper that was not actually sent to her. She behaves irrationally and this shows the woman of the 19th century quite clearly.
However, we have an exception in Penelope Lapham who gives a glimpse of the New Woman, found to be better traced later in The Great Gatsby. She is not understood nor accepted at this time in literature by other characters or the world as we know it. She is strongly the opposite of her sister because she displays her views clearly. She reads and articulates her position on things in a witty manner that is found quite charming similar to or even better in some instances than the ladies of The Great Gatsby. She is strong and sticks to her guns, something I value and appreciate. I see a lot of Pen in myself and it makes me smile knowing that a character has the ability to drastically change the course of a novel, without drastically changing who she is. Penelope is ahead of her time, a trailblazer. So this New Woman, who is she and what does she do compared to the Ideal woman of the 19th century?
Well, Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker are two new women. They have opinions about everything under the sun. They do not have to stay in the house and raise children, as women in Silas Lapham were expected to do. In fact, a nurse takes care of Daisy’s daughter, and the women are free to come and go as they please. Scandalous! Jordan is not married and it is not made a big deal in the book at all. It is almost surreal the amount of power they have over their own destiny compared with those woman in Silas Lapham who seem doomed to a fate worse than death- a life without freedom. One curious similarity is that in the upper crust for example the Lapham sisters and Jordan and Daisy sit around doing nothing. They still aren’t accepted to be productive and have a job and contribute which is ironic. The men still hold much of the power although that changes a bit in The Great Gatsby.
It is found that one cannot discuss gender especially the male gender without comparing class as well. Silas Lapham and Jay Gatsby both curiously come from new money. Silas works very hard to build his paint company up from nothing but does not hide his past. Silas is not an actor or performer because he has no desire to hide things and wants to be someone just become a man of status. Although he has the money, more in fact then the Coreys do, he does not have that status nor does he know how to behave in order to reach that status. Old clothes and gaudy paintings are among the items purchased by Silas and his family. Gatsby however, has it figured out down to the tiniest detail. The irony is that Silas has a wife and two children to help him but since they do not know how to act or perform in this upper crust it all eventually collapses. It collapses for Mr. Gatsby as well but for different reasons…
Gatsby is a master of the act or performance of a man of status. Sure, people have all sorts of opinions of him but that is true of the Laphams as well. The Coreys have a questionable opinion of them as well. Back on Gatsby, there is this magnificent house he owns where lavish parties are thrown and people who do not even get a invitation come to bask in the glory that is these parties, experiences where you yourself can put on a performance. His library is real, although never used it is created in such a way that everybody notices, this Gatsby is a man of class. He wears pink suits and drives extremely flashy cars. He pulls it off in a way that Silas Lapham never could. The secret, he has been performing since he was a child, almost preparing for this moment. He has been preparing for being everyone except his real self for so long that it is felt that his real self is lost in translation somehow. Silas was a poor country boy who with a little luck and a lot of elbow grease became rich. He does not act, but rules through shady business practices and a rival paint company that destroy him. So, what can be said about the male race? Well, they are in a constant hunt to be ahead to attain status. The goal is to be somebody but more important to have others believe that you are somebody of value to society. Gatsby achieves that, but the goal behind his performance never comes into fruition. As a man in either novel, you must present a good example for those around and provide for your family. Perhaps Gatsby’s ultimate performance was not one single person really knew him 100%, not even his own father. If he had stopped this delusion he could have lived a happier life and attained a wife and children. He just had to want what he couldn’t have. That was his downfall. In terms of gender, the men in these two novels are extremely opinionated and headstrong. It is the downfall of Silas and Gatsby to be so stubborn. The man must however, protect his nestegg. That is what they tried in vain to do.

I believe they call it Love

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“I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends… you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade. “– Kate Winslet, The Holiday.
The misconceptions about what love should be are astonishing to me. It is just simply unimaginable the way that people treat the act of falling in love, and how willing they are to hold out even if they know the fire that was their relationship is out. The quote above even describes an average person, who for the life of them cannot get closure. People act as if love was a battlefield or a competition or one heart break and it’s over. Furthermore it illustrates that love abides by “rules” which it most certainly does not. There is a television show that allows its characters to put their swords away. It takes away the tough guy stereotype and displays a more real lifestyle of men and women. The name of the show is One Tree Hill, and it is about two half brothers who learn to be brothers through hardship and basketball. There are many complicated relationships in this show. For example just when Lucas’s (the title character’s) mother found a man she loved (not Lucas’s real father who left her when she was pregnant with Lucas) Lucas’s real father shoots him in cold blood.( Ironically they were brothers too) Many teenage realities about love come out in the high school, things common to teenagers. The events and the drama and the assumption that love conquers all echo through the empty halls. There is the classic geek named Mouth on the show that everyone grows to love and respect and some geeks they do not. There is the jock, Nathan (Lucas’s half brother) as well as plenty women characters such as Brooke, the popular girl. In their lives there are assumptions about love that develop throughout this intense heart-wrenching show- that love conquers all.

Firstly, it demonstrates that love conquers all. In the show love conquered through a school shooting, a car accident, an abandonment, and alleged infidelity for Haley and Nathan Scott. In the case of Haley and Nathan Scott, they had ever reason to separate and not trust but something stronger than you or I was at hand and that something was love. They stayed married despite themselves and everything going on around them. Even through a shooting which changed their lives forever, in which two people died. Also, through a car accident in which Nathan jumped in the water to save someone, leaving Haley on the bridge not knowing if he would survive. Haley also left Nathan for a while to pursue a solo music career. However, because love conquers all, this couple went through all these things and came out stronger. They have that flicker, that spark that ignites their relationship and a young son to remind them just how lucky they are. Overall the show preaches that true love is forever, and demonstrates that just because one comes from a broken home (as many characters do) that they can still live this happy fulfilling life they deserve. Even their four year old son, while he does not understand love, makes connections that the family unit is happy when mommy and daddy don’t fight. He understands togetherness and hope. His deep blue eyes tell the story.

Another couple conquering life through love on the show is Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer. These two were separated due to other relationships, other common teenage drama, and careers but as love conquers all they were able to see past that. Lucas dated Peyton on and off but somehow through fate he and Peyton ended up together. When Lucas won the state basketball tournament he professed his love for her. In writing a book about her years later, he was showing that they really are soul mates whether or not the couple will admit it. He discovers the editor of his book and falls in love with her but they do not go through with the wedding. Lindsay realizes the fire bolt he wrote about in his second book, the one that changed his life and he was waiting to come again was Peyton and Lindsay (the editor) could not deny them true love.

True Love Conquers all. In this TV show, it really does. It knows no bounds and every kind of disaster or obstacle you place in front of the couple, they seem to get through it in a realistic matter. Does love really conquer all? Does it cross racial and religious bounds? Can this so called Love bond everything together despite the impossible? Is love enough? Well, now in this case, Haley and Nathan are on the ropes because of an alleged infidelity of Nathan and the nanny. He faced being paralyzed, losing his basketball dreams, and now his family. With the wedding now called off, one shall wait and see if love can conquer the most difficult element. After all these years do Lucas and Peyton still have admiration for one another? This show displays that Love somehow conquers all, no mountain they will not climb. Somewhere at the top of the mountain something can be seen in the distance- I believe they call it love.

Agency?

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Women frequently appear to be portrayed as being inferior to men in many literary works. This inferior portrayal of women parallels that of the way that women are seen in society. Also the condescending behavior of men and society toward women is portrayed. For example women are paid less then men are for holding the same occupation and accomplishing the same work. Therefore, it is only appropriate that in this time period both of the women’s conclusions in their stories are largely based because of their husband’s treatment and behavior toward them. Neither woman has a say in their lives. In “The Story of an Hour” and in “The Yellow Wallpaper” both women are oppressed, trapped, and misled by their husbands.
In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of An Hour” the protagonist is first informed that her husband had been killed on the train. Many wives would explode with tears and express extreme grief due to the fact that their loved one has passed on. Although the main character “wept at once with sudden wild abandonment in her sister’s arms” she escaped to her room soon after in search of solace to ponder the event that had just struck her life” (Chopin 123). She was facing an open window. The window seemed to be a representation of the endless opportunities of the future for her. It was as if a “delicious breath of rain” had refreshed her outlook, and given her life again (Chopin 123). The main character reflects a state of euphoria that she is now free, “drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” (Chopin 124). There is no sign that her husband has mistreated her in any way, but the marriage seems to have constrained her in such a way that she could not fully experience life to her satisfaction. This exaltation and revival that occurs shows that she had not had the opportunity to enjoy the passing minutes of her life; she was in some way oppressed and trapped by the “powerful bending hers in that blind persistence” However, this sweet joy was short-lived when opens the door to find her husband standing in the doorway taking off his jacket.

God and Science intertwined <3

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During our talk on Nicholas Copernicus, we tried to grasp the scientific approach he took and in doing so wondered whether it was divine science or human science he immersed himself in. There are a lot of diagrams at the end of the reading that we did not talk about at all, but we were busy working on the science behind the science. (I will explore a diagram later in this protokoll.) We took an approach of figuring out why Copernicus composed his problems and ideas in this fashion and this led to an interesting conversation. I believe his thinking was a blend of the two fields suggested. Also, in this protokoll I want to discuss that division between science and philosophy that we couldn’t escape as well as well as a concept that Ethan brought forward at the end of class. Finally, I would like to demonstrate how Copernicus analyzed his Order of the Heavenly Spheres as an example of how unique his approach to science was. The idea Ethan brought that was touched upon was this concept of believing in something you cannot see, which is something that we are doing when we acknowledge certain scientific theories such as his. I want to examine how believing in scientific theories is similar to a belief in God, as you cannot see him either. God shows up a lot in our texts at Shimer, and I want to explore a unique way of putting forward one’s belief in the Lord.

Using Science to discover something that I see as this: something has a hypothesis and after the experiment is conducted evidence that proves or disproves a theory is evaluated. The theory is then adjusted or possibly discarded. I think of visual evidence for theories behind the science of something but that is not always the case such as gravity. In the case of Copernicus, there are things he believes where these kind of thought processes are present. Because Copernicus is writing his theories to the Pope, I am interested more in the belief of what you cannot see for the sake of my argument. The example given in class was you can drop a pencil and it won’t fly to the side of this classroom, it will fall straight down. So, that disproves that the room is moving although other theories we know of prove the world is actually moving. I wonder if Copernicus is willing to believe in what he cannot see in terms of science because he believes in God. That is a powerful belief, grounded in blind faith. An argument I have heard very often in relation to God is – if God is real, give me proof he exists. Does this set a certain precedent for science or am I way off base with linking these concepts? Science while you cannot see it sometimes comes with theory and math to back up a claim. While not directly visible, things such as the Earth moving can be proven. So I ask, where does the notion God come from or rather where does God come from if we cannot see him? My Catholic upbringing and continued presence in the church gives me an answer that isn’t the one I seek for this purpose. In our many of our readings God is believed in (or one is told to believe) and when questioned by a person, one is demonized, exiled, killed, or threatened with damnation. This protokoll is not calling for converting, it merely asks, is the blind faith necessary to believe in God similar to the way one thinks of theories such as the Earth being able to move?

 

Furthermore Copernicus links God as a presupposed being important in his theories, so can one believe in his theories but remove God from them? The discussion of the heavens or the discussion of things being spheres, could those things still be in tact while taking God away? I wonder how close believing in things we cannot see like gravity which is not in this reading connects with how one believes in the divine. Would Copernicus have different concepts (or perhaps weaker or stronger ones) if not trying to avoid offending the figure of the Catholic Church? What I am also interested in is one can deny gravity, but gravity will continue to exist without being accepted. Does God still exist if someone denies his existence? Perhaps God exists to some, even if others refute God. But it is clear with my stream of thoughts that one cannot treat God and science together as things to “believe in”.
To understand Copernicus even more, I believe we have to look at some of his work step by step. While he used the work of Plato and Ptolemy, those works were used to demonstrate how those scientists’ theories were wrong. Copernicus had a great appreciation for science that can be seen in his writing. He goes to great lengths to express what he is passionate about, and takes about Ptolemy’s theory step by step, very methodically. What he came up with after the analysis is the modern understanding of the planets that we have them today. One of Ptolemy’s theories is that if there were an empty space in space that nature would fill it. Using the planets Mercury and Venus, math, and logic Copernicus proves that this idea is wrong. He, in fact, disproves many of Ptolemy’s ideas by doing the calculations that he presents and showing that what Ptolemy believes cannot be so. Considering angles, orbits, rotation, and the paths given by Ptolemy, Copernicus is able to calculate his own measurements that still hold true today.

What is interesting is that Copernicus did not have a telescope to prove when Venus would be visible, just calculations. Galileo actually used Copernicus’s theories and with the invention of the telescope could take all these concepts that Copernicus created and actually see he was correct in his theories. He took the layout of the planets, the measurements of where Mercury and Venus were in the sky, and saw that Copernicus was right in his work. Perhaps also not being able to see his work because of lack of a telescope was blind faith. He did have facts and figures in front of him that were consistent with what scientists after him found. In conclusion, Copernicus used Divine and natural science, conceptual ideas and data to create new theories. His belief in God may have strengthened his ability to accept certain scientific notions, but the passion he had for science was also a huge driving point in his study. He never openly insults other scientists, he does one better by proving their theories wrong by using their own work, and I think that is a stroke of genius.

 

The idea of his work being more conceptual than gathering data was presented in class and is interesting because I challenge that idea. I believe that it was beneficial to think of big picture things such as planets and the heavens. I believe while there is a lot of conceptual thinking I believe that using others or his own data also went into the work that shaped his theories. We briefly went to the next reading to compare Galileo and Copernicus. This shows me that the blending of divine and human science helped Copernicus, but I have not read all of the other reading to say whether that reading was similar. What I can say is that Galileo had a very direct scientific method that he boasted about with his telescope. This use of technology and setting up conditions versus the data that Copernicus works with is a way to think of scientific thinkers as using different methods in the name of furthering science. Copernicus took from two kinds of scientific thought to create his theories. They were strengthened through this way of thinking. Believing in God may also have strengthened his ability to believe in theories one cannot readily see.