Rhetoric of Harry Potter - True Story

This is awesome!! I just had to share. And starting around 3:56 there’s something relative to the course, too.  ; )

Listen up

I’ve probably more than fulfilled my quota of ten blogs about the class, Harry Potter, or rhetoric… But just for kicks, I think I’ll give my advice for future students on this class.

When it says on the syllabus that a paper is “due” on Wednesday… That is a lie. You actually have to have the paper ready two days in advance so that you can have someone peer review it. Ew.

Also, if you’re taking this class because you need a writing component, that’s great! Just be sure you haven’t already taken the equivalent of a 309K course, because then it will make the first one you took pretty much a waste of your time.

Don’t take this class if you think it’s going to be an easy class just because it’s on Harry Potter. You’re actually going to have to do work. Lots and lots of work. You have an assignment due every week. Seriously that is not an exaggeration. It’s a very time consuming class, so don’t take it if your other classes are aleady time heavy. I did and my grades in my other classes seriously suffered for it, which is totally not cool.

And I think that’s pretty much all I have to say about that! Ciao!

Silly sorority convos

Conversation at my sorority holiday party went as follows:

Kayla: Barbie was a brunette and Jesus was a ginger.

Me: I’m pretty sure Jesus was Jewish, NOT Irish.

Kayla: I’m pretty sure I’m Texan.

Katherine: I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t Texan.

*everyone cracks up laughing*

Another conversation:

Me: Our sorority house was destroyed by a natural disaster and all the sorority sisters died.

Nicolette: We didn’t die, I’m still aliiiiive!

Me: Yes, all the sisters died! Look, this one is covered in blue blood! I ate my sorority sister!!

*more laughing*

Sarah: “I ate my sister?” That’s a facebook album name!

Alex: That sounded soo wrong.

Insomnia

I can’t sleep and I really can’t decide what to do. Read, watch tv, surf the net…? Lie in bed and stare at the ceiling?

What I do know is that I probably should have popped a sleeping pill about four hours ago…

Too late now, I suppose.

And I’ve come to the realization that I might actually miss this whole blogging thing… Who would’ve guessed?

Who’da thunk it?

So I’ve been so busy partying it up the past week in celebration that it took me awhile to finally getting around to checking my e-mail…

And when I did I was pleasantly surprised to find my grade for the last paper!

Turns out I was worried for no reason, and now I’m officially DOOOOONE!! Yay!

No finals for me! Turns out those 5 days without sleep (literally) and 3 papers and 3 tests to do in 4 days was kinda worth it after all!

Of course, I’m taking a wintermester course back in Dallas, so my Spanish class starts in 5 days. Boo.

Anyways, hope everyone else did well on their paper, too! And good luck on the rest of your classes!! I’m sure y’all will do great!

P.S. Does anyone know how to text-wrap…? Lol.

Mimicry = Not me

Something about myself was reaffirmed during the style experiment papers…

I don’t mimic.

I tried to mimic other people’s styles, and I couldn’t. My writing is in my own style and no one else’s. It changes depending on what is being written and what it’s for, sure, but it never stops being my own.

And for the first two style experiments that wasn’t really a problem. Everyone can blog. Well, at least everyone of our generation can blog. And for the academic article I just had to write how I would normally write for a hard ass philosophy professor’s class. Lol.

But the newspaper thing? I’m not a journalist and I don’t know the first thing about newspapers, except for the fact that they’re a dying animal. I don’t read newspapers; I probably haven’t read one since I was about 5.

And to make things worse, all the articles in newspapers that I looked up online looked exactly the same!! I wouldn’t have been able to tell a difference for anything.

So I have to say that I’m expecting my last paper to be considered an epic fail…

And now I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t mimic to save my life if I had to.

Stand up comedy

Okay, seriously lmao.

After the third Soviet leader to die in the span of 2 1/2 years, President Reagan asked his wife, Nancy, “How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?”

Ba dum bum! *symbol crash*

Rhetoric… At its finest?!

"Once installed as national security advisor [to Jimmy Carter], [Zbigniew] Brzezinski by his own account sought inconsistent objectives: to put the Soviet Union ‘ideologically on the defensive’ with respect to human rights, to ‘promote a more comprehensive and more reciprocal détente,’ and to ‘move away from what I considered our excessive preoccupation with the U.S.-Soviet relationship.’ The premise seemed to be that one could reform, negotiate with, and ignore the U.S.S.R., all at the same time." - Excerpt from John Lewis Gaddis’ Strategies of Containment.

I don’t know if any of y’all have the same dry sense of humor I do, but I laughed when I read this so I thought I’d share it. Just another of the myriad of examples of a politician not making up his mind and presenting policies that conflict with each other.

And in reference to a speech given by Carter at the U.S. Naval Academy on June 7, 1978: “It was, as one historian has put it, ‘so disjunctive in its combined reaffirmation of détente and articulation of a confrontational strategy that the general reaction was perplexity.’ Jokes abounded that the President had simply stapled together drafts by Brzezinski and [Secretary of State Cyrus] Vance.” - Gaddis

Haha. So I get that the object of rhetoric is often to confuse the listener or reader, but you’re also supposed to confuse them into agreeing with you. How can they agree if they’re so confused they don’t understand what you’re saying? And shouldn’t the rhetorician, at least, know what the end objective is?

I’m just sayin’.

Basic rights or basic manipulations?

It amazes me how easily rhetoricians take something good and twist it into sounding like something horrible. Or vice versa. And why would they do such a thing? For their own personal agenda, of course. That and because they’re too weak-minded to see beyond their own bias. Facts are never simply the facts, there’s always an objective in the way they’re stated. That’s why I can’t stand listening to the news anymore, and my government classes drive me insane. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to tell the difference between a biased person trying hard to be unbiased in cerain contexts for integrity purposes (e.g. good poli sci professors) and a biased person trying to trick people into believing they are unbaised so that the audience will swallow everything they say (e.g. journalists and authors). Who knew a dream as pure as having freedom of speech and freedom of the press would ultimately turn out to be so nasty? And not just in this regard, but in that of people’s privacy. I’m sorry, but no, the public does not ‘deserve’ to know or have ‘the right’ to know the personal and intimate details of someone’s private life just because they were in a movie or made an album. Being an actor, dancer, singer, writer, politician… Those are JOBS. Those are CAREERS. The puiblic doesn’t ‘have the right’ to know about their doctor’s or lawyer’s or convenience store clerk’s private business, and neither do they have the right to know anyone else’s. Recently Paris Hilton and her boyfriend accidentally hit a paparazzi with their car when a mob of them wouldn’t let them leave and the woman had the audacity to file charges against the couple. It’s your own damn fault for standing in front of a car, you moron!!! I have no sympathy for those people. They need to get their own lives and stop spying on everyone else.

So I guess this rant turned out to be about two different, if similar, topics, but whatever. It’s things like this that make me wonder where all the intelligent people with common sense and decency are hiding. Maybe I’m in the wrong line of future work if I can’t handle journalists and overtly biased ‘unbiased’ people. If you admit to being biased, that’s one thing. That’s why I knew I could never be a journalist of government professor because I am way too set in my personal beliefs, even though I do TRY to keep an open mind and listen to all views. But to pretend you’re not biased when you are just so you can twist people’s minds without them realizing it? So wrong.

Ignorant or a liar?

"For too many years, we’ve been willing to adopt the flawed and erroneous principles and tactics of our adversaries, sometimes abandoning our own values for theirs" - Jimmy Carter.

I’m currently reading assignments for one of my government classes, America as a Global Power, and right now I’m reading on the foreign policy of the Carter administration. I couldn’t help but be struck at the complete disconnect between President Carter’s words and the actions of his administration. He would say the previous administration, that of Gerald Ford with Kissinger at the helm, was too weak on adversaries and too willing to aquiesce to them. But what does he do the second the Soviet Union denies his demands? Why, he backtracks, of course.

Not to mention his constant iteration that there needs to be a reduction of arms and a dismantling of all nuclear weapons. Yeah, that’s being tough on those Russians, alright. Give ‘em exactly what they want, that’ll show ‘em not to mess with us!! Right.

And his whole ‘holier-than-thou’ act he had going on in regards to human rights? He would claim all these things about how human rights are the most important thing, but then later he would say that it had no place in foreign policy and we shouldn’t punish our allies for the maltreatment inflicted upon their citizens. Really?

For example, in the same speech where he claims “We know a peaceful world cannot long exist one-thirds rich and two-thirds hungry” he also states “We see the American and Chinese relationship as a central element of our global policy […]”. So the fact that they use slave labor, the majority of their polulation is below poverty level, and they have forced abortions (which they consider to be legal up to five YEARS old) is perfectly in line with the whole human rights thing? Yeah, let’s be best buddies with the government who treats their citizens worse than practically anywhere else in the world while simultaneously preaching equality and freedom for all! That makes absolute perfect sense!

I know most people would say that all politicians are like this, but I just think some are worse than others in this regard. Politicians make all these promises, which is why people vote for them to begin with, and then they turn around and renege on everything they say. Some don’t mean to do it, but they have to adapt to situations that are thrown at them (such as war). Others are just completely unwilling to fullfill their promises due to their fear of not being re-elected.

Either that, or too incompetent to realize certain promises while simultaneously dealing with the reality of the world.

I mean, idealism is nice and all, but sometimes you have to stop seeing the world through rose-colored glasses and be realistic. What are you, an ostrich? Get your head out of the sand and don’t make promises you can’t, or won’t, keep!

And yet, President Carter was very right about one thing:

"But I also believe it is a mistake to undervalue the power of words and of the ideas that words embody."

In the context of his speech at Notre Dame he is, of course, referring to rhetoric about human rights such as Thomas Paine’s “Commone Sense” and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” but it is just as true for his own rhetoric and that of every politician.