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Final Presentation

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Adapting what is not ours

Adding on to today’s discussion, I believe that no movie that is based on a book will ever be faithful to the book in its entirety because the creative team working on the movie will heighten a particular aspect(s) for the sake of entertainment. As for the statement of being original within a genre, we adapt what belongs to other people (discussed at the beginning of the semester) in the process of writing (it may be inevitable). In the case of working on a movie, it also involves the process of representation in the big screen. A good example to represent what I just mentioned is the scene where Donald asks his brother Charlie for a suggestion on how to kill someone in his screenplay and when Charlie does,his brother asks if it’s ok for him to use his idea.


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Tales of Passion

Yesterday's discussion about passion encouraged me to share this video with you. I have provided a link to a brief biography of the speaker and the link to the video in case any of you are interested.

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Free Will in Slaughterhouse Five

The epitaph on page 156 states that free will was the deciding factor between Billy Pilgrim wanting to tell his wife about the war. Free will allow us to make the choice whether or not to tell people others about certain events that have taken place in our lives. We only know the reason behind our words and actions; free will allows us to put these thoughts out there in a coherent way. Trust involves another person, regardless if we trust him/her enough to share our experience with, it is our free will entitles us to keep quiet or not. 

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    Are quotes necessarily facts? For the most part I think they are. I have seen quotes as truths we can transfer into our writing in order to solidify our arguments (mostly in academic writing). However, this seems tricky because sometimes the context in which we use the quote(s) can alter such truths. Sometimes our statements (in writing) cause the misinterpretation of a quote(s) or of our paper as a whole. It is the writer’s fault the veracity of quotes is altered and therefore questioned.

These thoughts are willing to be challenged and polished in the near future. 

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Skloot's Relatability

Today’s discussion on Skloot’s intentions behind sharing a “melodramatic story” inspired me to continue the discussion. Since “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is mainly composed of Skloot’s findings about HL's cells and family and the process of obtaining them, she might have wanted to appear more relatable. The details she provided may have made some readers transport themselves to that moment in her life. Emphasizing certain things made her story more truthful for her but not necessarily all readers. I wonder if her desire to tell the readers about her investigation was genuine of was it heightened by a marketing scheme… 

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     After skimming  through “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”,  a group of glossy picture pages assembled at the middle of the book caught my eye. These are pictures of HL’s family and where she was raised etc.  arranged in a chronological order. I asked myself why all these images had to be in the middle of the book and not in different sections(for the sake of the chronology established by the author). I believe this assortment of pictures in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” could’ve been better organized so that it could be a more efficient “break(s)” in the reading. As a reader I would’ve preferred to know a little bit about the life of Henrietta the woman during her lifetime before reading about Henrietta's cells. (Glossy pages 1-3) and implement the remaining glossy pages at the end of the section the author makes reference to that particular event (s) instead of putting them all in an additional  “Where are they now?” section (about her family) which would only apply to glossy pages 7-8.

I must admit that I enjoy having pictures interrupt my reading for the purpose of enriching my experience. 

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Emerging Genres Part 2

    I must admit that yesterday’s discussion regarding science fiction left me somewhat puzzled because I know very little about science fiction. I would not mind reading something in this genre, I could understand it better if read something and draw conclusions or come up with definitions of what science-fiction is on my own. As mentioned previously, some of our discussions could be based on audiobooks; some people can understand texts better when they simply listen to them versus just reading them.  

I have never read any of the selections mentioned in class but after some research I suggest the following:

1-"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

2-Octavia Butler’s “Kindred”

    Going from one genre to another would work best if we discuss one text per week so that we can post our thoughts over the weekend, the discussion can always continue online if some additional thoughts come up throughout the week. We can always take a few minutes every couple of days to see if there have been additions to our previous discussion.


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Feedback and Emerging Genres


            I have enjoyed the discussions we have had these past couple of weeks. What I think works best for the benefit of the class is using Serendip as a tool to establish discussion topics for upcoming classes. In addition to that, I like the fact that Anne is a part of our discussion and encourages us to come with additional thoughts and questions to the next class. What I would like to format from the course’s structure is the amount of time we spend discussing a text, I think it would be best if we reduce the amount of texts per week to analyze them further. This format would allow us to re-read a text if necessary and give room to multiple interpretations based on class discussions. If I had the opportunity to go back and spend more time discussing texts, I would like to read Margaret Price’s ”Mad at School”(especially after having her in class).

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Reflections and Ideas

Reflecting on our experience thus far in exploring literary genres, I have come to value the open space that is created for our learning. The seminar “genre” of the classroom allows for multi-way discussions with our professor Anne Dalke, peers, and visitors. The peer-to-peer activities and group blackboard brainstorming channel a collective group effort in breaking down the understanding of the literary genre and provide an open platform for shared ideas. In some sense, the classroom has grown to be a “gift economy” of mutual learning.  Also, the digital platform provided by the Serendip course website is a great way to extend our class discussion outside the three hours of weekly classroom time.  The weekly online reflection has been a useful exercise to participate in  the digital writing movement and to reflect on the past week’s class discussion and readings.

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