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As a young student, I actually ENJOYED diagramming sentences in grade school. I don’t know why. I just heard the parts of speech and was interested, most likely because I loved books and writing. I used to LOVE to read and write and do so correctly. One of my moist poignant memories was in Fifth Grade, Mrs. Cox was my teacher. She was the “old, getting ready to retire, or die at the blackboard” cliché: gray hair, thick glasses, formless dresses, about 950 years old (I think I overheard her telling another teacher that she dated Methuselah). I was prone to fits of temper and quite stubborn at that age. She asked me why I was not doing some assignment that was in our book. I replied, “I ain’t got no pencil!” She lit into me, which was her nature, but she seemed more upset that I didn’t say “I don’t have a pencil.” Well, that was somewhat embarrassing and, other than in situations where I’m clowning around, I make sure my spoken grammar is close to proper written English.
Where this brings me to Campbell and Bain, is that without them, the abhorrent “double negative” would have never been noticed and hunted into extinction. The road maps to the treasure at the center of comprehending a complex sentence could never have been found without “sentence mapping,” I know it’s diagramming, but then my metaphor loses force. I think we’re allowed to get away with “not citing” things in our journals, but the definition for metaphor and how it works begins on page 30 of Bain’s English Composition and Rhetoric. I was so happy to discover that book in ENG555 because I always wondered who it was I should blame, curse, praise and admire for their organization of English.
I will admit, I read more of Bain during the Module, but that is because I was able to find a copy of his book through “Forgotten Books” who essentially print out scanned versions of very old or long out of date books.
The United States Army offered this definition, “Leadership is the ability to influence others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction and motivation.” If you take that apart, you essentially wind up with something very close to Bain’s introductory paragraph about persuasion: “Persuasion, or Oratory, is the influencing of men’s conduct and belief by spoken or by written address.” So all those years I was “creating leaders,” I was actually just following Bain’s admonishment and definition. “Good show, ya auld laddie!”
Bain’s role at his university also seems to mirror the role I had of teaching soldiers. He, however, was teaching the rustic northern Scottish young men, as Winifred Bryon Horner discusses on pages 40 and 41 in The Norton Book of Composition Studies. All these years, and I never knew I had a common bond with someone like that. I had to take kids who could barely speak anything that sounded remotely like English, who couldn’t form a cohesive paragraph and teach them, at a minimum, to “speak and write Army.” Military writing, supposedly, is only equivalent to the level of an eighth grader. I remember inserting “interesting” words into lesson plans or scripts, just to aggravate my colleagues. “Damn it, Rick, you can’t put that word there. No one knows what it means!” One specific role for an “Insurgent Team Leader,” I put down that his occupation in “real life” was a lapidary. My defense was that if words exist, we should USE THEM!
Nonetheless, I did occasionally receive punishment for knowledge of various play on words, such as spoonerisms. I actually received counseling for inappropriate behavior by referring to someone as a “Futher-Mucking-Diff-Snicker!” I ignored the incident – the Sergeant First Class who wrote me up on that was a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. He also wrote me up for bragging about the chickens we raised in Texas. I told a female Drill Sergeant that I had a “big red cock.” I did. His name was Geraldo and he was in charge of our little flock of laying hens. When role-playing and I had to “delay” or try to “stall” the “interrogator-in-training,” sometimes I would tell them that I needed to masticate. The cheap thing about that is that it is a war crime to not allow a detainee to eat, so, I could make the learning point and get them to understand what masticate means, or I could simply write them up for “violating the law of war.”
Yes, I know I ramble, but consider – if that man had put in as much time learning about his NATIVE language as he did bulking himself up at the gym, these misunderstandings would not have occurred.
What I find interesting about Campbell’s life is that his initial focus was on liturgical speaking. Of course that needs to be persuasive in nature and content. In the opening paragraph of our assigned reading in The Philosophy of Rhetoric, “…there is always some end proposed, or some effect which the speaker intends to produce in the hearer…”(23) Campbell then provides the four ends of speaking; “every speech being intended to enlighten the understanding, to please the imagination, to move the passions or to influence the will.” (23) Essentially he spells out what we call in interrogations the “approaches.” A Direct Approach simply asks questions and obtains a truthful response; this equates to “enlighten the understanding.” When the emotions are brought into play that is when the “please the imagination and move the passions” happen. Oh, how I wish both books had been required reading for us “back then.”
I’ve written too much. I’m glad Campbell and Bain standardized our language. I’m glad they kind of “set the anchor.” By that I mean that no matter what happens with teaching pedagogy, there will still be constants and fixed ways of doing things.
Thanks for reading!
This is from my ENG555 Class. I don’t know if I understood the subject clearly or not, and since no one responded on the class discussion board, I figure I’d throw it out there. (Marlen, you DON’T have to reply, but are always welcome to.)
Aristotle introduced syllogisms into his arguments on persuasion and such. I know I’ve seen them before, but never fully understood them. So, take a look, let me know if I have it right…or not.
From my class:
First I must admit that I have always had difficulty understanding the ideas behind syllogisms. Finally, I think that I grasp them. So is this right, “Greek philosophers give me a headache. Aristotle is a Greek philosopher. Therefore, Aristotle gave me a headache.”
Now, having made that premise and statement, I examine it. Based on what we read in Book II, part 25, my syllogism must be based on one of the following: 1) Probability, 2) Example, 3) Infallible Signs or 4) Ordinary Signs. Let’s examine the strength of each one:
Probability – It is usually true that long reading will cause me a headache. Whether or not that is applicable to all doesn’t matter. It’s a fact that is USUALLY true. I do have the ability to read for a long period without a headache, so probability IS NOT the STRONGEST basis.
Example – To provide examples, I would have to produce WITNESSES of the fact that long readings cause me to have a headache. In this situation, counter-arguments could be made and the CREDIBILITY of my witnesses becomes an issue.
Infallible Signs – I could argue that if I sit down to read for a long period that I will INEVITABLY get a headache. Since the future cannot be proven, this is likely the weakest argument I could make concerning my statement.
Ordinary Signs – If I can find studies or show that my physical posture while reading causes the headache, I may argue that is a UNIVERSAL point, BUT if I blame it on my physical posture, then the headache has NOTHING TO DO with reading Greek philosophy.
A much stronger statement or syllogism for me and this situation could be: “When I read, I practice poor posture. Poor posture increases my chances of a headache. Because I read for a long time, I developed a headache.”
I believe I could apply all four of those basis to my argument. Most agree that poor posture PROBABLY has negative physical affects. Medical STUDIES could provide examples. My poor posture could be EXPECTED to produce a headache. UNIVERSALLY good posture is more conducive to health, otherwise the opposite could not be named POOR posture.
Someone, PLEASE post and let me know if I understand all that correctly.
In Book III, Aristotle addresses the three parts to an effective speech. I am sure by now that I shared that during my time in the Army I was an interrogator. No, I never participated or knew of any torture, so please don’t ask me about it. Every interrogation I performed, last number I noticed was around 350, was an exercise in those three points discussed in Section 1, Book III. It was so important to determine beforehand WHAT I KNEW about the detainee (audience). I had to be ready and prepared to refute any counter-arguments and that I chose my words well. HOW I SPOKE was amazingly crucial. Negotiation, interrogation, discourse, discussion, whatever you want to call it, the importance of TONE CONTROL cannot be overstated. That lesson on TONE also plays a big role when dealing with students or in any confrontation. When someone raises their voice volume, lower yours. It’s amazing!
I left my house in Central Texas in 1998 and didn’t return until January, 2014. Lucky for me, I had a man who rented my home and stayed until I returned. From 1995 to 1998 I was stationed here with the Army. My two children were still in the very young, run-around-and-chase everything stage back then. We would often go for walks around our area, which really hadn’t been too developed. There was our little “subdivision,” with nice .80 acre lots. On the other side of the division were smaller lots, mostly occupied by mobile or modular homes. Down to the south of our subdivision is a lake. The trails down to the lake usually cross someone’s property and they don’t appreciate folks taking those shortcuts. Since the trails are not maintained at all and rather steep, I would advise anyone from going down to the lake that way anyhow.
In November, 2013, I had an opportunity to go hunting near my parents’ home in Missouri. My brother hunts there every year and, as much as I had always wanted to, never had a chance to participate – until that November! My hunt was successful; I took a small button buck. Whitetails are the smallest North American deer species. Still, he dressed out rather nicely and likely because he wasn’t very old, the meat was very tasty. My brother, on the other hand, didn’t manage to take a deer that whole week we spent in the Missouri woods.
After the hunt, I knew my wife and I were going to return to my house here in Texas, so my father, brother and I drove on down. From my brother’s home in Oklahoma City to here is doable in a day. The drive takes about 5-6 hours one way. The road, on which I live, if you view it on google maps or such, resembles the letter “P.” There’s a nice straight road into the subdivision and the road just makes a loop. Well, as we turned onto the street, three deer scatter out from someone’s yard and run across the street. Remember, my brother did not see a single deer the entire week we hunted. We drive up the small hill and as we crest it, four more scatter away from the road. Since I was driving, I said, “Let’s make the entire loop and see how many are out there.”
As we came around to a large property, about three doors down from mine, there are 25 deer of various sizes lounging in grass! The property owner keeps the grass there cut low, there are no real bushes or anything, they are just laying out in the open like they own the place. I have since discovered that the man who owns that property feeds them daily. He calls to them with a loud whoop and whistle, and they come running, whether he’s actually putting out corn for them or not.
We pull into my own driveway and find five loitering in my backyard. We NEVER saw this many deer in this area when my children were younger. I think they would have loved it! As it was, we kept chickens for eggs, so that was fun, but there really isn’t much “hunting” in grabbing eggs from beneath broody chickens. After inspecting the property, we made our way back to Oklahoma City. That December we left our previous home and arrived here on January 1, 2014.
After moving in, I asked a few of the neighbors who had stayed here during my absence about the increased deer population. I was told that several factors contributed to the situation. First, there had been a fire in the brushy ravines leading down to the lake. This fire caused the deer to move uphill, away from the fire. Second, increased development to the north and east of my little subdivision took away more of the deer habitat and none of those lots came close to the size of mine. Third, once they came into the neighborhood, certain folks began routinely feeding them. So, acts of nature and man combined to create a rural or suburban deer population. Both of my immediate neighbors routinely feed them corn. The one neighbor, in fact, sports long white hair and a long white beard and calls them by name. This makes me kind of suspicious, especially as I don’t see him in the area around Christmas. I already mentioned that land baron who calls to them. I was complaining to my neighbor on the other side of me how annoying it was to not be able to plant a garden, deer WILL eat any vegetable or flower you try to grow, and then HE starts feeding the buggers.
On a normal day, a herd, there are several of them now, will leisurely pass through my yard between 8 and 9:30 AM, then again around 5 to 6 PM. Depending on the heat of the day or how much food they’ve mooched, they may simply lay down and sleep all day in my yard. I have had up to 25 deer in my yard! Sixteen to seventeen seems about the average number, though. Both springs, I have witnessed the birth of at least one pair of fawns. I suppose with so much exposure to them, next time I hunt I can predict their behavior a bit better.
The negative consequences, however, are considerable. One hit my wife’s car as she was driving and that cost us a couple of thousand dollars. There have been several other similar accidents and when I say the “deer hit the cars,” they do. Normally the driver tries to avoid, but the deer run at the cars! On an evening walk, we witnessed a doe teasing a barking dog on a tether in someone’s backyard. I can understand a doe protecting fawns, but there were no fawns around. The doe would run up to the fence, the dog would bark like crazy, then the doe would run back and forth along the outside of the fence making the dog insane! My wife and I walked in that general direction because I had never seen such a thing. The doe quit teasing the dog, but then starting making threatening moves toward us! She put her head down, stamped her hoof, run at us a couple of steps, then back up.
We always park our cars in our garage. The deer have gotten used to the sound of the garage door opener. Two days ago, I walked out of my front door, apparently my neighbor was providing them with a wonderful corn feast, and I guess I spooked them because I did not come out of my house the way they expected. There was a literal STAMPEDE! When they spook, they first scatter everywhere, then all end up going in the same direction. What would happen if a child had been in the yard across from me when they went berserk? If they are not afraid to charge moving cars, do you think they’ll fear a small person?
City and Texas law is strict about how far away from houses you have to be to discharge a firearm, so there is no possibility to hunt them to “control the population.” The city, county and state insist there is nothing they can (will) do to address the situation. Sometimes I complain about them. They are pretty, but it is also very sad when you see one that has run into a car and broken a leg, or been scarred from such an accident. I have a chain link fence. Reportedly, one tried to jump my fence during my absence and disemboweled itself. Animal control came for the carcass.
In conclusion, yes, I admit they are pretty animals. The bucks when they sport their horns in the fall and winter can be quite remarkable. I even recognize some of them by marks, scars or antlers. I won’t name them, though. They ARE wild animals, though most of the subdivision considers them pets. Some friends suggest that I use a crossbow or bow to hunt some to reduce the numbers. If any of my neighbors saw me intentionally do anything to these critters, I think they would forget their kindness to animals and lynch me in “good ol’ fashion Texas style,” though I don’t think any of them are actual Texans.
I usually wait until after I’m done with my school Discussion Boards, Explications, Essays, Feedback and such to write up here on my blog. Well, I’m doing a bit different. Maybe by scrawling a few things out here, I can kind of organize the thoughts and concepts Plato presents in his two works Gorgias and Phaedrus. Those were my two readings for ENG555. I read Gorgias the week before class started and it gave me a headache. I read Phaedrus over the last two days and, you guessed it, it gave me a headache. I can sit and read Alexander Bain’s dictionary-like English Composition and Rhetoric – A Manual. I read aloud Arthur Schnitzler’s Fraulein Else, at least half of it to Kimber last night – I should have gotten the German version – just to share with her an example of “stream-of-consciousness.” Again, I digress….
Plato, through Socarates, is trying to make the point in Gorgias that rhetoric is a powerful tool. As such, it may be used for good or for evil. Rhetoric has to have context and must be based on the minutest facts to which an argument/discussion/concept may be broken down. After the matter is reduced to its smallest particles, it must be rejoined. If what results matches or improves the initial point, then the exercise has been successful and the argument/discussion/concept is valid. Otherwise it is invalid.
Plato’s premise is similar throughout Phaedrus, but Socrates examines the good and bad aspects of love and how that affects what a speaker, or writer, is trying to say. Love in this discourse includes the type between lovers and friends. Here again, Socrates points out that Love has power to do good or evil, depending on the intent of the one in love. He makes a fascinating point that a lover will do everything to control their lover and this manifests in jealousy, envy and ultimately becomes hatred because he cannot possess what he originally loved. True love is aimed at what we and our respective lover perceive each as capable of becoming.
For instance – a person says “I love vanilla ice cream.” Their love can take one of two forms. They can love vanilla ice cream to the point that they persecute others for NOT loving vanilla ice cream, but then their lives become miserable because they have a constant state of conflict in their life. The conflict eventually causes them to resent and then HATE vanilla ice cream, which was the very thing that launched them into the fray in the first place. The second form that love may take is for the ANTICIPATION of the taste, coldness and texture of the vanilla ice cream. They still love it, but their love is framed in the context of the joy it brings. So, Socrates makes the point that we love those things that bring us joy and enjoyment and freedom.
Socrates applies all the concepts and addresses them to politicians as well. Consider our elected officials – they tell us so much about what good THEY will do for US. That’s an impossibility. The people are the ones who have to do good for themselves. Once elected, the politician flatters those whose favors he seeks and gains by it – this was Socrates’ point in Gorgias. The people are left standing in the cold with that person they “loved” and elected becoming the object of scorn because the politician has turned from them. AND – if you’ve bothered to read this far – it does not matter what political party, left, right, up, down, Cuthulu, Spaghetti-Monster, Church of the Sub-Genius, Scientologist, or anything else, once the politician becomes elected to office, he deserts us – he has to. Apply Socrates’ argument towards them – they LOVE the people, gain what they want, then the people become odious because they expect loyalty – it cannot happen. This was his point in Phaedrus.
I hope this made some shred of sense to someone out there. If not, please comment, tell me where I went wrong and maybe we’ll have a Socratic discourse about it!
Mondays are usually my “take it easy days.” No Church, no schoolwork due until Thursday…one day to chill, relax and unwind. NOPE, not this week! UGH…
Oh well, stay tuned for my future posts about Virginia Woolf, stream of consciousness and the modernist literature movement.
Until then, my back and head will just hurt….
Feedback from my professor was that my post was too long. How can you assign so many pieces to read and NOT expect a long response? Oh Well…
The definition I offer for stream-of-consciousness writing is: “Verbalization of a period of time during which the substance of thought is provided, irrespective of its apparent context in time, place, or occurrences.” As an example of this definition, imagine recording your thoughts (or those of another’s) as they occur during a normal day. I view an interior monologue as internal dialogue. Generally, it follows a normal “speaker-listener” or “cause-response” order. It can be true that “stream-of-thought passages, difficult to understand at a first reading…recall widely separated thoughts, memories, utterances, sights, sounds, and smells compressed into a moment of exceptional intensity” (Kern 90). Sometimes there is an orderly pattern, other times there is not. If psychiatrists or psychologists could understand why that is, things would change greatly in those fields of study! Now I have to present examples from the texts we read in this Module. Regarding the pieces from Dubliners, since I do not know in what order they were written, I address them in the order they appear in the book.
Dubliners presents us with James Joyce’s short stories written before Ulysses. In “The Sisters,” Joyce begins toying with what would become his method later in Ulysses of non-punctuated stream-of-consciousness writing. First, I cannot find the name of the boy who is the speaker. Second, when the boy goes to bed “still angry at the Cotter” (Joyce Dubliners 9), his dream is much freer of a normal chronological story. So this story, “The Sisters,” is told through the voice of a narrator, but the dream sequence just mentioned, and the narrator’s memories of the dead priest are not told in a linear fashion.
“Eveline” in Dubliners takes us through the thoughts of a young woman about to leave home with her lover. The story is told in the third person, “she,” and follows a chronological order. The story, however, follows Eveline’s stream-of-consciousness as she views her home environment (42-43), her work environment (43-44), and her anticipated future with Frank (44-46). Past and present come together for Eveline when looking about her home, “Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects from which she had never dreamed of being divided” (43). In her new home, as a married women, “People would treat her with respect then” (44) shows that even when looking at those things she believed would always be with her, she was willing to sacrifice them. The most poignant moment comes when she is with Frank and “stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall” (47). Though she longs to journey with Frank, the external, which is what fills her mind at this point, prevents her from leaving, and though he called to her, “Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition” (48).
“The Boarding House” allows us into the minds of Mrs. Mooney and Mr. Doran, though neither are the character most affected. Polly is Mrs. Mooney’s daughter and enough “dalliance” had occurred with Mr. Doran that propriety dictated marriage as the only possible solution. On behalf of Mrs. Mooney, life had always boiled down to a “business arrangement,” as we read near the beginning, “She governed the house cunningly and firmly…when to be stern and when to let things pass” (75), so she felt quite comfortable as she debates what is to be done. She concludes “only one reparation could make up for the loss of her daughter’s honour: marriage” (79). The pages from 75 to 79 essentially recount Mrs. Mooney’s efficiency in running her boarding house, how she had dealt with one sort of man or another who had stayed under her roof. Mr. Doran’s stream-of-consciousness seems to dwell primarily on how to save his reputation and his comfortable job. During his recounting of events, we find that innocent little Polly had initiated their relationship, “she had tapped at his door, timidly. She wanted to relight her candle at his for hers had blown out by a gust” (81). We read on page 82 that they had kissed and she had prepared late night dinners for him. We do not know at the end what the discussion between Mrs. Mooney and Mr. Doran had been or exactly what the outcome was, but Mrs. Mooney does call for Polly, stating that Mr. Doran would like to speak to her. The last sentence pertains directly to Polly and allows us a glimmer into her mind, “Then she remembered what she had been waiting for” (84).
“The Dead” struck me the most emotionally. I will have to explore this a bit in my personal journal, but I identified with Gabriel Conroy and the way he views things. “Gabriel could not listen while Mary Jane was playing her Academy piece,” since he could not follow the melody (238). In that same scene, “four young men, who had come from the refreshment table” merely stood in the doorway for a few moments and left (238). While Mary Jane plays, his mind ventures over memories of his aunts and how they had first not liked Gretta, his wife, but by the end of the piece, he has moved beyond resentment. Gabriel stayed in the room throughout the entire piece while the four young men returned to applaud vigorously (240). A grand dinner occupies the tale between pages 251 and 255. Gabriel’s speech to his aunts merges the past, present and future. Upon hearing a guest play a piece, Gretta becomes quiet and sullen.
Joyce does not reveal until the end what the situation is with Gretta, but he does use it to paint a wonderfully beautiful picture of how Gabriel feels about his wife. After the evening party, waiting to enter their hotel, Gabriel “felt that they had escaped from their lives and duties, escaped from home and friends and run away together with wild and radiant hearts to a new adventure” (277). Gretta, once they are alone in their room, explains the death of a young man with whom she had been in love and that he had sung to her the same tune that was so recently sung at the party. Gabriel’s mind is blurry with what emotions he should feel after his wife divulges so much information. When Gretta falls asleep, Gabriel thinks, “So she had had that romance in her life; a man had died for her sake. It hardly pained him now to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life” (285). Gabriel looks at his wife, studies her face and imagines what she must have looked like at the age when the boy died for his love of her. He looks at all the everyday trappings she now wears, the boots, petticoats, dress, which she had removed. He considers how close death truly is for anyone and after laying next to his sleeping wife, considers how “One by one, they were all becoming shades” (287). He imagines seeing the boy of his wife’s youth in the garden where she saw him standing in the rain. He hears the snow tapping the window, recollects how the newspaper had forecast snow for all of Ireland, covering everything and “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead” (288).
In Ulysses, James Joyce provides a brilliant example of stream-of-consciousness. We are directed to read the last section, called “Penelope.” In this portion, Molly Bloom is simply allowing her mind to wander. Joyce uses no punctuation, the only items that hint that the section may be broken into smaller portions are the five indentions. What I really enjoyed about this example is that there really is no “time” in which all these thoughts occur. Consider our own thoughts, how they may flit from one subject to another. I have often heard explained that our dreams actually last only a few seconds. But so much can fit into those “few seconds.”
The first indentation occurs when Molly is considering whether men would be “brutes enough to go and hang a woman” for killing her husband and “they’re all so different…” (744). So, is Molly saying that all men are different, or that all women are different? As readers, we have to decide. The second indentation occurs when Molly is thinking how rude a man was for “looking very hard” at her chest, but then continues to speaking about how firm her breasts became after being suckled (752-753). She reminisces about a sexual encounter, but he climax is metaphorically interrupted by the whistle of a train (754). So Joyce presents us with a moment within Molly’s mind and readers enjoy the rollercoaster ride; but this rollercoaster has no hand rails, guardrails or safety brakes in the form of punctuation, sentences or paragraphs.
AS AN ENDNOTE: I stated that “The Dead” struck me the most emotionally. I will have to explore this a bit in my personal journal, but I identified with Gabriel Conroy and wish to briefly state why I feel this tie. I am the youngest of four boys by 13 years. My mother was the oldest child in her family and my father the youngest in his. Both of my parents are 86 years old and have outlived their siblings. There are a few cousins here and there, but none of them are my age. When I am fortunate enough to visit with my parents, correspond with my cousins or visit with my brothers, I always feel a sense of “nostalgia,” a longing for times that have past. There is an A.E. Housman poem that I love that reflects a bit of this “longing for nostalgia”:
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again. (A Shropshire Lad XL)
I feel, in a way, this is similar to what Gabriel feels at the end of “The Dead.”
Houseman, A.E. A Shropshire Lad. “XL.” Project Gutenberg, 4 Feb 2013. Web. 29 Sep 2015.
Joyce, James. Dubliners. New York: Random House, 1954. Print.
—. Ulysses. New York, Random House, 1992. Print.
Kern, Stephen. The Modernist Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Prin