Monday, March 14, 2011

Final Blog- Literature Circles

After reading Amy's blog about The Post American World and discussing with her during one of our lit circle meetings, it is obvious that our books have very similar concepts. Both of our books talk about how much the world is changing and how our society is supposed to cope with that change. In the blog that she posted she talks about how the section she read talked about how other countries are gaining more power with their new and innovative ideas. This could be directly correlated to how the American mind is not developing fast enough for our rapidly developing nation/world. Many people are stuck in a 20th century rut when the 21st century is booming with industrialization and because some other countries are just now getting their head start into the modern world, they almost have a leg up because their ideas are new and innovative and America is stuck in the past because our 'political mind's are stuck in the past! Such a great correlation!

Amy says that the author of her book states that America needs to "build broad rules, not narrow interests" (Zarakria 238). This concept matches up perfectly with Lakoff's concept that the people that will go the furthest in life in the 21st century are those people that are able to grasp the more 'out of the box' concepts of life not the people that are stuck on things that everyone already knows and understand. Building broad rules is very similar making sure you are an 'out of the box' thinker and that you are able to expand your limits to be successful in the 21st century. Amy says that her book talks about how the world is expanding in complexity. Lakoff in my book speaks about how the political mind is expanding exponentially in complexity and that makes me wonder if they are expanding at the same rate or is the American political mind is behind the rest of the world's expansion.

Literature Circle Response: Meeting Two

Summary:           The section that we just read is extremely dense with information. Almost every 10 pages Lakoff makes a different point about how the American ‘mind’ has developed throughout the 20th/21st centuries. I put “mind” in quotes because I have learned that his interpretation of the mind means many different things. In some ways he means the more physical, cognitive sense of the mind with his references to biological changes the mind seems to have gone through since the beginning of the 20th century such as biconceptualism – how the mind unconsciously changes its view on the world very easily based on the situation the person is in (i.e. Saturday night partying and Sunday morning mass- the same person can do both but does not think about the same things or have the same type of values while doing both). This is just one of the seven different concepts about how the mind has developed that Lakoff talks about in this one section of reading.
Major Claim:      “[There are].. two versions of a family- a strict father family that mapped onto pure conservative politics, and a nurturant parent family that mapped onto pure progressive politics” (Lakoff  77).
Response:           When I first started reading this portion of the book I was a little taken aback. I did not agree that family life/upbringing was so black and white. But as I read on I realized that Lakoff was trying to break the status quo, not create it. He was saying that there were two inevitable ways that family ideals always went and because the two choices of family values that Lakoff gave were so diverse yet broad, his claim actually does work. He is trying to say that instead of what most people think- that every family is different because all people are different and thus have different problems/values- that there is a much deeper part to the family make up that can be categorized into these two ideas, making every family similar no matter how different they want to be. I really like how Lakoff took a risk by making this claim because (as he references on page 79) most people would disagree that something like family values can be “simplified” so much.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Captured Thought: Singing on Pitch

Last week was Musical tryouts. Somewhere around 150 people tried out and the final cast list contains around 75. Luckily, I was one of the 75 but unfortunately I wish I had this profound thought BEFORE I had my audition. I realized the night after callbacks that there is really nothing to singing if you think about it hard enough. It is completely mind over matter. Everyone has the same vocal chords and while, yes, some people have a natural talent to have a good voice, in all reality you can produce any sound that is within your range quite easily if you just think about it. If you think you are going to be sharp, you probably will be. If you think about your voice cracking or being too meek, it inevitably will be because without confidence your voice cannot do as well as you just hope it will. By putting your mind into it, you can completely change the outcome of an audition, or even just a performance. It makes me wonder what other amazing things I could do if I just set my mind to it. Maybe people actually can fly? Maybe nobody has ever actually thought hard enough to make it happen? Or maybe it just can't? How will we ever really know?!