WoE: Blog Post #2 – Style Analysis

How does Le Guin’s use of literary tools help or hinder the establishment of characters, conflicts, or setting in Chapter 1 of the novel?.

Ursula’s Le Guin’s usage of literary tools helps establish characters in Chapter 1 of the novel, The Wizard of Earthsea, in many ways. Le Guin’s story is unique in the regard that it introduces a whole new setting with new phenomena and new concepts, such as the islands of Gont and Roke. While this creates a sense of awe from the uniqueness of the setting, it also creates a bit of confusion as the reader doesn’t have as many things in the setting to relate to reality. All of this can be overwhelming for the reader, so Le Guin uses literary tools, such as foreshadowing to point the reader in the right direction. Using foreshadowing, Le Guin “spoils” that Duny, the protagonist, will become “both dragonlord and archmage”(1). This points the reader in the right direction by telling how the character will end up at the end of his development, while also leaving the reader with questions by not telling how the character will reach this development, giving the reader a sense of anticipation. Additionally, Le Guin uses figurative language, such as metaphors, to quickly establish Duny’s personality traits and upbringing at the beginning of the novel. By describing Duny as a “thriving weed”, Le Guin quickly establishes Duny’s wild upbringing and his untamed personality, something that can be easy to miss with all the details given about the setting(2). Finally, Le Guin’s usage of an expanded moment helps highlight the pivotal moment in the protagonist’s development when Duny and the goats come “charging down into the village (…) [ with Duny] weeping and bellowing”(3). At a glance, this scene doesn’t seem to have much significance, but through the expanded moment, the reader is able to see the contrasting emotions between Duny and the goats, showing how Duny’s own power leads to him being negatively impacted. To conclude, Le Guin’s usage of literary tools, such as foreshadowing, metaphors, and expanded moments, helps establish characters in Chapter 1 through clearing up areas of confusion, hinting at the main character’s development, and highlighting pivotal moments.

WOE: Blog Post #1 – Anticipation Guide

Of the statements given, the statement I disagree with the most is “light and dark are easy to identify in the world”. Unless this is a scientific question asking about the luminescence of objects, this statement is largely subjective, meaning that  the idea of what is “light” and “dark” strongly depends on whose perspective we are taking. In fact, light and dark are rather difficult to identify once it gets to a certain level. From personal experience, I know that something can be deemed both “light” and “dark”. When I was in elementary, a group of children would constantly single out an individual in a game of tag. From the teacher’s perspective, there was only “light”, a group of young children playing together. From the individual’s perspective, however,  there was only “dark”; he was being singled out and was forced to conform to the group’s atmosphere because of the idea that he must have fun too if “everyone” else was having fun. This shows that the definition of what is “light” and “dark” really depends on the individual’s perspective, not what truly is “light” and “dark, if there even is such a classification. Additionally, even if there was “light” and “dark”, there is no way of knowing which one something is since individuals will always apply their own personal bias to it. To put this into perspective, an individual from a Confucian society and an individual from a Western society will have very different definitions and standards of what is “light” and “dark” in terms of women’s rights.  This proves that what is “light” and “dark” is not universal, so differentiating between the two is not easy. Through acknowledging that “light” and “dark” don’t have one answer and by being impartial, however, we might begin to get as close as possible to what is truly “light” and “dark”.

360° Leader Blog Post

After about a week of being inculcated with John Maxwell’s ideas of a 360° leader, I have chosen six principles that I will be focusing on this year in TALONS.

Lead Up:

Principle 4: Do more than manage – lead!

Personally, I can relate to this. I tend to manage a lot more than I lead, focusing more on the tasks on hand rather than the members on my team who could solve that task. Leaders, on the other hand, think long term and are able to invest power in others. For TALONS this year, I plan to implement this principle by managing my relationships with my leadership event group members more carefully. I feel that having a positive and supporting relationship will allow me to delegate tasks to my team members, especially team members who might be younger or have less experience than me, without having to worry about it, essentially allowing me to lead rather than manage.

Principle 5: Invest in relational chemistry

By definition, this means connecting with my leader, which could be my teachers, but in broader terms, it could mean my peers in TALONS as well. Just by glancing over the questions on the leadership package, I realized that I knew little about my peers outside of TALONS. I didn’t know what they really cared about or what their outside interests were, so I would like to invest in relational chemistry to find out more about my peers. I believe that by knowing more and earning my peers’ trust, I will be able to work together with them effectively. Outside of TALONS, I want to invest in relational chemistry in cadets. As a section commander, it is my duty to give numbers, but I want to do more than what is required to make the life of my 2IC easier. By being as diligent as possible and by not lingering on past sentiments, I will be able to move on and allow my 2IC to be the best he is.

Lead Across:

Principle #5: Expand your inner circle of acquaintances

I chose this principle as from my point of view, I do not think I have an extensive network or a large inner circle of acquaintances. No one can climb Everest alone, and for one to find success, they need to learn to depend on the people around them or their acquaintances. Expanding my inner circle will allow me to depend more on other people and work more efficiently by making up for others’ weaknesses and by having others make up for my weaknesses. I plan to apply this is TALONS through the leadership and cultural events where I will try to get to know people in both grade nine and ten. I can also accomplish this by choosing a mentor I do not know. While there could be a bit of a “getting-to-know” curve at the beginning since I don’t know the person, I will be able to expand my inner circle by fostering a relationship with my mentor.

Principle #2: Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them

I chose this principle because of my tendency to compete with the people around me. While I won’t go out of my way to make people fail or put them behind to lower competition, I usually don’t go out of my way to complete others either. In TALONS this year, I plan to apply this principle by focusing more on the development of the team as whole rather than focusing all my efforts on the individual portion of the team which I am responsible for. I can do this by helping around my leadership event group, especially the nines, and focus on completing them by equipping them with the skills they need to excel at what they do and giving them lots of opportunities to apply their own decision-making skills. Simply put, I will try to hold back and give them more leadership and autonomy rather than just telling them what to do for my individual benefit.

Lead Down:

Principle #2: See everyone as a “10”

I chose this principle because I tend to view people as they currently are instead of seeing them as who they can become. I think this is especially a problem when I am working with people who are younger than me or have a lower rank than me because I am unable to see what they will turn out to be. Due to my skeptical nature, I believe that this is a problem when I try to complete leaders as I cannot see them as a “10”, but only see them as a “2” or what they currently are. In TALONS this year, I want to implement this principle by giving my leadership group members, especially the grade nines, my trust. I will also see them for who they can become and recognizing their potential instead of seeing them for who they currently are.

Principle #3: Develop each committee member as a person

Although I tend to think long-term in my personal development, when it comes to developing other committee members, I tend to think short-term or the individual’s contribution to the group’s tasks in the next week or so. Due to this, I equip more than I develop, giving my committee members the tools necessary to complete the task at hand but contributing little to their personal long-term development. This year, I want to implement this principle by taking on a new long-term perspective on the development of my group members. Although there might be initial mistakes and complications at first, I believe that by not being too directive and giving my committee members space to make mistakes and learn from them, they will develop skills that will be transferable to other work and just their life in general.

By following these principles, I hope not to be a 90° leader nor a 180° leader, but a 360° leader.

LACE Interview Themes

I interviewed a veterinarian. Ever since I gave my future some deep thought, I realized that I would probably go into agriculture, natural resources, or animal sciences. Being a veterinarian fit this criteria, and I was “down” with working with different animals instead of just humans all the time. This interview gave me insight into what it was like to be a veterinarian and some of the pros and cons that came with being one.

Passion does not always come immediately and can gradually be inculcated with time.

Being able to keep emotions out of a decision can often help us make rational decisions that don’t negatively impact us.

Accepting changes can often help us make the best out of a situation.

 

LACE Interview Themes

I interviewed a veterinarian. Ever since I gave my future some deep thought, I realized that I would probably go into agriculture, natural resources, or animal sciences. Being a veterinarian fit this criteria, and I was “down” with working with different animals instead of just humans all the time. This interview gave me insight into what it was like to be a veterinarian and some of the pros and cons that came with being one.

Passion does not always come immediately and can gradually be inculcated with time.

Being able to keep emotions out of a decision can often help us make rational decisions that don’t negatively impact us.

Accepting changes can often help us make the best out of a situation.

 

Harrison Bergeron vs 2081

In this new era of technology, fast paced films have become all the hype, replacing books as the new medium for masterful storytelling. Or, has it? In my opinion, the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative is through text. While movies may be better at portraying the objective parts of a narrative, texts simply excel when it comes to subjectivity. The narrative describes the ballerina Harrison chooses as his “empress” as “blindingly beautiful”(2). This immediately conjures a picture of someone extremely beautiful for the reader. Beauty, however, is subjective, as our perception of who is beautiful is strongly influenced by our own personal subjectivity and biases. Simply put, there isn’t a universal criteria for someone who is beautiful. Since texts use description and leave a certain amount of autonomy for the reader to develop their own picture, texts have the power to effectively tell subjective concepts, such as beauty, whereas a film will be limited in its ability to do so. Additionally, the film changes too much of the original content. In the film, George states “if I take them off, I’ll want to keep them off”(Tuttle & Halvorssen, 2009). While this sounds dramatic and suspenseful, the statement is completely different from George’s original fear of “be[ing] right back in the dark ages again”(2). Some difference between the film and the text is acceptable, but changing the original wants and fears of the main character simply changes the plot too much. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the director, however, but the fault of the medium. Films don’t leave enough space for interpretation and forces the director to show everything. Through text, the reader can make inferences about the “dark ages” without the author having to explicitly describe the dark ages, while a film simply can’t without leaving the audience confused. With complex stories that have various interpretations, such as “Harrison Bergeron”, text is the best medium for telling the narrative, so films should avoid adapting texts that involve high amounts of subjectivity.

Eminent Introductory Blog Post

          A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise

Image result for aldo leopold

Aldo Leopold. The name doesn’t conjure pictures of a billionaire entrepreneur, an Oscar winning actor, or an influential politician. In fact, to most people, Aldo Leopold simply doesn’t create a picture at all. For someone who pioneered and laid the foundation for the modern environmental movement, this seems ironic or perhaps a sad reflection of society’s values.

Aldo Leopold was the author of The Sand County Almanac and various other essays that advocated environmentalism.

Image result for aldo leopold51a41yx0c5l-_sx311_bo1204203200_

Through his Land Ethic and his eloquent writing, he was able to bring up the philosophy of environmentalism and tell millions about the moral duties humans had to the natural world. Despite passing away over seventy years ago, Leopold is still remembered today, which leads me to believe that his legacy will be remembered even a century from now. In the face of post WW2 American capitalism and emerging concepts, Leopold dared to say that land was an integrated, dynamic community of plant and animal life when nature was viewed as a mere commodity for making everyone richer. His want for wilderness areas to remain pristine, and his fear that in the face of human greed, nature would lose its footing and be used up until none was left for both humans and nature, drove him to poetically contest these ideas through his essays and novels. Leopold’s story is largely relevant today. Recently, the government and most people have taken a turn for environmentalism. From the introduction of Green Bins to straw bans, it is clear that efforts are being made to reduce the human impact on our beloved planet. Unfortunately, carbon emissions from industries and automobiles are still building up in our atmosphere leading to global warming. Despite there being evidence of climate change, such as the melting snow on Mount Kilimanjaro and receding glaciers, no affirmative action is being taken, just like how humanity ignored nature’s changes in the Midwest until the dust storms of 1937 during Leopold’s time.

Snow melt on Mount Kilimanjaro

Snow melt on Mount Kilimanjaro

The Dust Bowl, the cause of environmental indifference

The Dust Bowl, the cause of environmental indifference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leopold’s story teaches us about our moral obligation to nature and why listening to nature’s changes and recognizing our role in promoting the health of the land is crucial in the long run. Additionally, despite his diligence and effort, Leopold’s story is largely unknown. Perhaps it’s the fact the Leopold himself doesn’t look like someone who is “cool” to follow. Perhaps it is a reflection of society’s unwillingness to sacrifice comfort for the betterment of the environment. Nevertheless, Leopold has done a lot and his story deserves to be told. The story of environmentalism is not that long, with the modern environmental movement having only started sixty years ago, but is filled with struggles between environmentalists and industries. Leopold stands out among the myriad of environmentalists because he helped lay the foundation for the environmental movement and influenced many people in his field. Additionally, his story is complete; Leopold’s struggles and work are completed, which makes him preferable over a nascent figure. From Leopold, we can take away many things, but perhaps the greatest thing we can take away is what Leopold preached from the very beginning, to recognize our role in promoting the health of the land and caring for it.

Gila Wilderness, the world's first wilderness area thanks to Leopold.

Gila Wilderness, the world’s first wilderness area, created due to Leopold’s efforts.

Leopold draws me to him for the same reason my eminent last year drew me towards him. Aldo Leopold has done so much, yet compared to billionaire entrepreneurs and politicians, little is written about him online. Additionally, his writing simply captivates my attention. I picked up the Sand Count Almanac expecting to read a series of essays with quotations and piles of evidence, but what I found was so much more. In fact, the first part of the book didn’t even seem to be making a point. Instead, Leopold took me through a journey, a twelve month journey on Leopold’s Wisconsin farm. Leopold turned his surroundings into philosophical statements about nature, such as when he took a journey back in time as he cut into a tree, comparing the environmental and historical changes that occurred during the time each ring of the tree formed. His writing was not what I expected, but it was a pleasant surprise.

These are some of the ways I compare with Leopold.

Aldo Leopold Jerome Cho
Male Male
German-American Descent Korean Descent
German as first language, but gained fluency in English Korean as first language, but gained fluency in English
Spent entire life in North America Spent most of life in North America
Upper-middle class Middle class
Lived within close proximity to nature Lives within close proximity to nature
Did a lot of outdoor activities as a child Does a lot of outdoor activities
Lived through a time of environmental change (Capitalism and exploitation) Lives through a time of environmental change (global warming)
“Prophet” (explained below) Undecided

Leopold and I both have an appreciation for nature, which both us can ascribe to our time spent in North America. For Leopold, the undeveloped sections of the Midwestern United States instilled in him a sense of respect for nature while my immigration to Canada gave me an appreciation for nature, as the wilderness here starkly contrasted the gray skyscrapers and smog of metropolitan Korea. Both of us have determination. Leopold continued to fight for environmentalism while I continue to read books, finish hikes, and continue an assignment until it is finished. I wish to emulate Leopold’s creativity, selflessness, and his philosophy. Leopold doesn’t directly exemplify my own goals in TALONS, but I hope that by emulating him, a great writer, I can improve my own writing skills and write a speech that delivers the message I want to give to my audience. Some obvious barriers prevent me front connecting with Aldo Leopold. Leopold is white, I am Asian. Leopold was alive nearly a century ago where norms and values were much more different. Leopold is also an American who was born in North America. Being an immigrant, I cannot relate to someone who was born in the country they held citizenship in. Also, Leopold is a “Prophet” or someone who seeks to counter the problem of overpopulation and Earth’s diminishing resources by cutting back. Meanwhile, I am still undecided. While I believe in some of Leopold’s ideas, I still believe that the future’s conflicts can be solved through biotechnology that allows us to produce more per acre and use fuels more efficiently rather than making a complete switch by cutting back. Fortunately, I happen to have texts that Leopold wrote himself. By reading and emulating the books Leopold authored, I hope to understand his voic and present an accurate representation of Aldo Leopold on Night of the Notables.

Well, eminent’s here again, and it’s the last one. *DEEP BREATH* Let’s make this one good Jerome.

How might we begin “to reject the single stories” in our lives?

In the era of information we live in, it is easy to be inundated by stories. With so many stories, choosing just one story as our main source can be very tempting, but this leads to us accepting single stories and getting an incomplete picture. If we wish to reject these single stories, we must consider multiple sources before making any kind of conjecture. We start to accept single stories when they are the only stories we are exposed to. Chimamanda did not come to write about white children and British culture because she considered it to be superior, she simply “did not know people like [her] could exist in literature”(Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2009). Had she had access to only African literature as a child, she would have most likely only written about African children and African culture. Additionally, not giving into the stereotypes of the people and society around us can help us reject single stories. When Chimamanda was studying in the United States, she heard about the Mexican immigrants south of the border and quickly “bought into the story of Mexican abstract immigrants.”  Much to her surprise, when she visited Mexico, she found hardworking Mexicans, working and behaving just like any American would. This goes to show that accepting the stereotypes of the media and people around us prevents us from seeing the complete picture. It is true that there are some Mexicans who fit the stereotype of the “abstract immigrant”, but listening to a single story might make us assume that is the only kind of Mexican people you would meet; we would be generalizing the entire Mexican populace. Now, this doesn’t mean we should completely avoid single stories. While we can be “impressionable and vulnerable when we are in the face of a story”, remembering that the author of a story can only show what he/she wants to show and consulting multiple sources before making a conjecture can allow us to use single stories to our advantage.

Independent Novel Study: Response #1

Gustad Noble didn’t impress me when he lashed out at his son, Sohrab, for refusing to study at IIT, Gustad’s choice for his eldest son’s higher education. Despite Sohrab telling his father, “IIT does not interest me. It was never my idea, you made all the plans,” Gustad is unwilling to listen to his son(65).  This shows Gustad’s stubbornness and his “father knows best” attitude, but also shows his weaknesses, such as his quick temper. His fear of failure from his father’s bookstore going bankrupt has led him to be overprotective, as he fears his son throwing away his chances of success. Consequently, he wants his son to be successful but finds an external conflict with his son when they argue over Sohrab’s future. There also seems to be an internal conflict. Despite greatly valuing his friendship with Jimmy, Gustad explodes in infuriation when Sohrab brings up the topic of friends, even telling Sohrab that he “must be blind if [he] cannot see [Gustad’s] example and learn from it”(66). This shows how Gustad is constantly clashing with his emotions from Jimmy’s unannounced departure. Gustad’s development so far is exceptionally realistic,  not being drastic while also showing significant changes in his character, such as when he decides to pick up a parcel for Jimmy despite his feelings of betrayal. We should emulate some of Gustad’s traits, such as his diligence, devotion to his children, and his value of friendship, but his quick temper and his conservative views towards his children and wife shouldn’t be followed, as many of them clash with the morals and norms of today. Personally, I can relate to Gustad’s feeling of betrayal, as when I was in elementary, a friend of mine who was moving away made a promise to keep in contact. I eagerly waited for his response, but it never came and realization struck me that my “friend” was never going to contact me back. Personally, I would handle Gustad’s problems differently, as Gustad’s methods tend to ignore the wants of other people, while I try to understand others’ thoughts before enforcing my own.

“Emil” Blog Response

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” (William Sanford Nye, 2017). We can see this in Stuart McLean’s Emil, where Morley, a privileged woman, learns from Emil, a homeless man, that assumptions can strongly influence the way we perceive people and prevent us from seeing the real person. One scene that corroborates this statement is when Emil “[gives] [money] to his regulars – people who gave him money,” after winning the lottery (118). This is the antithesis of what others, such as Dave, thought Emil would do if he ever got money. Previously in the story, Dave states that “if [Emil] gets money (..) he [would] buy cigarettes and lottery tickets” (114). When Emil hands out money to the people who helped him out, he contradicts what Dave thinks, showing that Dave’s assumptions of Emil prevented him from seeing Emil’s real self. Contrary to what most people think, Emil isn’t lazy, value-less and willing to easily live off other people’s donations. He tries to do what he thinks is right or tries to live according to his morals and values, which include giving back to others. Additionally, Morley response to Emil digging up her garden in the early morning sheds light on how throwing away assumptions can allow us to see people as they truly are. When Morley confronts Emil, she throws away all assumptions and genuinely asks him if he has a garden and whether he can show it to her. Her remarks show Emil “that she could see him – the real person” (113). Morley could have easily labeled Emil as a thief, a crook, or someone who the authorities needed to take away, but unlike Dave, she threw away her assumptions and tried to see Emil for who he truly was. By throwing away her assumptions and not letting others’ perceptions of Emil influence her, Morley saw another side of Emil; a hard-working person who was simply trying to share the beauty of her garden with everyone in the community, just in the only way he knew how to. Morley’s lesson shows us that sometimes we need to take a step back and throw away our assumptions, as they may be preventing us from seeing the real picture.