This semester in colloquium presented a new task through the commonplace book. First, I put the quotation onto my commonplace book page and then I wrote a journal entry about that quotation. What this has done is provided me with both a chance to reflect on the texts we have read and talked about in class, and it has allowed me to get a collection of quotations from everything that we have read and see them all together in a type of collage. Having this opportunity to reflect on our readings and to see little pieces of all of the readings side by side on a page of my eportfolio was a really cool and helpful thing for me. I found the commonplace book to be much more interesting and helpful to me than our more open journal entries we did last semester.
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This semester in colloquium presented a new task through the commonplace book. First, I put the quotation onto my commonplace book page and then I wrote a journal entry about that quotation.
What this has done is provided me with both a chance to reflect on the texts we have read and talked about in class, and it has allowed me to get a collection of quotations from everything that we have read and see them all together in a type of collage.
Having this opportunity to reflect on our readings and to see little pieces of all of the readings side by side on a page of my eportfolio was a really cool and helpful thing for me. I found the commonplace book to be much more interesting and helpful to me than our more open journal entries we did last semester. I really liked having more of a focus for my journals through the commonplace quotes because by choosing a quote I felt like I had a solid starting point for my weekly journals.
Because of the commonplace book, I was much more excited about and comfortable with our weekly journals and I got a lot more out of them. We also talked about in class about how in the commonplace book, the quotations generally can fit into different themes. After looking at my commonplace quotes, I definitely see different themes arising through all of our readings, and that is very beneficial.
I have also really come to see the connection between reading and writing which is one of the 16 traits of the practice of commonplace writing. Though I have really benefitted from and enjoyed our commonplace work this semester, there are a couple things I would try to improve in both my commonplace book and my journal entries. I would like to have seen the overall themes of my commonplace quotes earlier on so I could have done something with that.
I would have organized them differently on my commonplace page, or I would have done more in my journal posts to talk about those themes. I also would have liked to incorporate youtube videos and pictures more into my posts to make them more interesting to read and more connected to things I come across every day. Throughout this whole reflection I kept thinking of Mulan and this song, maybe she would have benefitted from keeping a commonplace book as a source of reflection.
We talked in class about the idea "Who is going to get the last word? It was not Cervantes, Quixote, or even Sancho Panza. Cide Hamete surprisingly gets the last words of the page long epic story of Don Quixote. This is significant because he restates the purpose of this book as being to reject and despise books of chivalry. To me, it was weird that Cervantes was not the one to restate the purpose of the book.
I thought that having someone else end the story does more to universalize the theme and purpose, because having someone else reinforce the ideas that Cervantes was trying to push arguably makes those ideas more relevant. Invective posted Apr 28, , PM by Colleen Fahrenbach The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word "invective" as: "of, relating to, or characterized by insult or abuse".
She makes the point that an essay is meant to test or taste something. This really stuck out to me because I have always taken essays to be a serious thing. Aside from papers for college, which I would not consider to be "essays", I have not written anything officially called an "essay" since I was applying to colleges senior year of high school.
At first glance, the essays I wrote were meant to do much more than give something a taste or a whirl. However, the more I thought about it that is exactly what college essays are supposed to do. They are short samples of writing that are supposed to give colleges a taste of who the applicant is.
I only wish that all forms of writing could be like the essay and focus on the effort, wishful thinking I guess! Right from the point when More mentioned that only Utopians could find Utopia I started thinking about my camp.
There are so many connections I can draw between the two place. The households in Utopia are structured much like our cabins in camp groups no bigger than 15 people living together with someone in charge. Though our camp is marked on the street, to get in you have to follow a mile long road that winds through the woods and it is very easy to get lost, just as Utopia is impossible to find without a guide. From the communal dining, the disciplinary system, and the structured day to the values of happiness, pleasure, and community I kept thinking about how my summers are spent in a modern day kind of Utopia.
Many people even speak of camp as Raphael describes Utopia in that it is an isolated, and perfect place that is so different from everywhere else that the customs seem strange and completely foreign to outsiders. After I kept making these connections, I came back to the question we addressed about whether or not Utopia is an ideal place and would we want to live there. I immediately though yes it is ideal and of course I would want to live there, I practically live there every summer.
However, then I thought about and kind of changed my mind. I only spend 2 months of my year there, and although I love it and it is a great place, I certainly would not be able to live there year-round.
It is a great place to spend a short period of time in, but it is so different from the outside world that it seems incredibly unreal. It is so successful because of its isolation, and without the isolation, such a place would not exist.
In our contemporary world, Utopia definitely exists in some modified forms and I think everyone should have the chance to spend some time there, but it is in no way realistic for it to exist in a way that it is strongly connected to the rest of society nor is it a place that everyone should live their whole lives in. Katherine was described as a woman who did it all in the Luther home. She brought in income, kept the house together, and raised their children.
However, in some sections Marty describes Luther as still holding traditional views about gender roles and how women were inherently inferior to mean. I thought this was a demeaning reference because little girls often wear their hair in pigtails, though it could also just be a reference to the way women wore their hair to sleep. Either way, this detail was very insignificant and very personal to Luther--I really felt like Marty was putting an emphasis on his own views on women and their traditional gender roles in marriage.
Folly is explaining who she is and where she comes from, but after she does this she says that she really did not need to go into that explanation because she, Folly, is something that is in everyone and is so easily recognizable that she cannot be mistaken.
Though these people may try to hide Folly, she is such an easily recognizable thing present in the same way within everyone that she is as obvious within those people as an ape walking around in a robe or an ass dressed as a lion. I laughed when I read this both because I thought it was really funny and it was making a solid point. To make sure I was understanding this fully, however, I looked up folly in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and there "folly" is defined as "lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight.
Today people refer to a lack of good sense as having a blonde moment or a brain fart, but it is something that everyone has experienced. People try to change the way they look and to hide certain things about themselves, especially if they are trying to hide their follies, but there are certain aspects of humanity that no one can escape and folly is one of them.
This quote was also interesting to me because of what it did to contribute to my understanding of this work as a whole. However, it is clear that this work has a much deeper and more profound meaning than Erasmus intended it to, or perhaps just more so than he would willingly admit to. Praise of Folly, though it is meant to be a funny, light piece, offers very profound and interesting insights into the world and things like gender roles and the presence of folly in all people.
Parts of it get pretty philosophical looking at the order of the world and the way human beings work and live in it. This layering of profound commentary hidden by a satirical approach echoes a lot of the works we have read this semester. Commonplace Presentation--which is better? Cellini thought he was a great guy, this is one of the most outwardly prideful and boastful works we have read so far, and one of the things we have discussed is how does he explain how he is extraordinary and why is he so extraordinary.
The king wonders who has the better end of the deal, the King for having found an artist who knows exactly what the king appreciates and wants, or the artist for having found someone who appreciates his work so much that he the King will give him the artist all of the resources he needs to do the work he the King This section of the work is really speaking for the value of art and it explains how many people can benefit from it.
This also goes to explore the idea that both the artist and the benefactor need each other. Cellini needs the King and his resources, and the King needs Cellini to produce work for him. Rulers in this time became known for the legacy they left in the form of all the work they commissioned.
By finding an artist whose ideals and creative ideas matched up almost perfectly with his own, the King has truly hit the jackpot.
Basically, both of these men need each other for success. What surprises me about this passage is that Cellini surprisingly seems as if he needs the reassurance of the King. Just a page or so earlier he goes to great lengths to explain all of the significance and depth behind his work, just as a child clamors to explain every detail of her day to her mom or dad when she gets home from school so she can feel important.
For a man who has so much pride, it is such a twist that he seems to need reassurance of the King, but it also makes a lot of sense because without the King, Cellini has no means with which to produce his work. Castiglione really flexes his humanist muscles when he has Magnifico Giuliano go off on a rant about all the things women have accomplished in the past but men have neglected to recognize.
This idea of giving a shout out to women who did great things before is a very humanist thing to do, but Magnifico just makes vague references. He never gives specific examples. When he was making this point about all of these women of history and these awesome things they did, I got really excited about the fact that he was standing up for women and giving them the recognition previous men had not, but he fell short.
His mentioning of women who "have done all that men have done" is really a double-edged sword because on the one hand he is recognizing these women, but on the other hand, but not offering specific examples, he is doing exactly what he accuses other men of doing, and this really made me dislike Magnifico even more. Pampinea tells a story about love and revenge.
However, this story brings something new to the table because in this tale there are consequences for the tricks this woman plays on a scholar. After making a fool out of a scholar she had decided to lead along, she also made him terribly ill.
The scholar proves his intelligence by way of revenge, and the story ends with a warning to ladies about messing with scholars, for they will always win. I really felt like Boccaccio was trying to say something directly to women through this story.
Boccaccio was a very educated and intelligent man--a scholar of his own.
Dr. Colleen Fahrenbach, DDS
Dr. Colleen T. Fahrenbach DDS