Commonplace Entry #10

“Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” -Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

I came across this quote when I was watching the TV series “Scandal.” At first I had no idea what it meant. So I decided to look further into it. It is a reference quote to those who fought in World War II specifically in the battle for Iwo Jima. It became very common for these soldiers to continuously make many brave decisions that required them to sacrifice their own lives for their country. It saddens me to think that people would sacrifice their own life for a country. Yet, I am in awe that they would. I want to thank all of them. On a side note, I wonder if this quote can be applied to people outside of the government. Is it common for people to make sacrifices to the point that is becomes common in their lives? What kind of sacrifices are they? How is it to live that way? Just some further analysis.

Commonplace Entry #9

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

-Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

In memory of Maya Angelou I wanted to dedicate one of my commonplace entries to her. When I was a young girl in school poetry was never one of my interests. However, when we came across this poem and analyzed it until the very last detail, its words stuck with me. We spent several weeks on this poem. It gave me further insight about slavery and how words cannot describe the emotion and feelings one went through. The way Angelou repeats the main verse emphasises the point she wants to get across, her rhyming pattern makes the poem flow, and her use of a profound metaphor, even though her poem is about a “bird” it is actually referring to a person longing for their freedom, is what makes this poem one to remember. This renowned poet, civil rights activist, and award-winning author will never be forgotten. Her words continue to live. May she rest in peace.

Commonplace Entry #8

“You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.” -Barbara Sher

The other class meeting we attended a quest speaker presentation by an English professor at UCLA. She said a really interesting quote about perfection, however I don’t remember the exact words. But, a few days later I came across this quote regarding perfection. And this pertains to me, there is never the perfect moment to do anything. If I have a goal in mind or want to get something done I should not worry about if it’s the “right time.” I should just do it. Getting things done is what makes it perfect, not waiting for perfection to happen or come to me.

Commonplace Entry #7

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

I chose this because as a young reader, I enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss books. Although, I may not have really understood the quote at the time it did have a positive effect on me. I looked at my circle of people who surrounded me and I thought about who really mattered to me. Now, taking this class, I was able to understand why it had such an effect on me. This quote is a good example of an antimetabole, where items in the sentence are repeated in reverse order. This scheme offers the readers and writers to capture a meaning in a memorable form.

Commonplace Entry #6

“. . . if one is to learn to live with the dead, one must first learn to live with the living.” – Love’s Executioner by Irvin D. Yalom

As I was reading one of the chapters this quote stood out to me. I do not know if it has any meaning to me because no one has recently died in my family that I was very close to. However, every time I think about death I think about my dog, Chubbaca, who was my dog for 14 years and then died of cancer.  I think the reason why this quote stood out to me was because it is a type of scheme, an epistrophe (where is repeats again at the end of clause) or antimetabole (where items are repeated in reverse order). Schemes can have a powerful effect on a reader. It made me mournful and rehash an old memory.

Commonplace Entry #5

“When someone really hears you without passing judgement on you, without taking responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels good. When I have been listened to, when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions that seem irremediable become relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.” -Carl Rogers, Intentional Interviewing and Counseling

I found this quote interesting because I found myself asking, when someone tells you what to do or gives you advice, does that help a person or not really? Is it better to listen to someone in the time of need and have them find their own way to explore and express themselves? I also felt this quote related to what we are learning in class. This sentence, “. . . without passing judgement on you, without taking responsibility for you, without trying to mold you . . .” is an example of parallelism because it contains grammatically equivalent items in a coordinated series. It is also an example of anaphora because it has repeating items at the beginning of each phrase. This sentence, “How confusions that seem irremediable become relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard” is an example of an anastrophe because the order of the sentence is inverted.

Commonplace Entry #4

Don’t Go Far Off

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

-Pablo Neruda

I came across this poem and found it very appealing. I saw it as a very personal, sad plead. Do we all feel this way when we are in love? I noticed with each stanza his urging plea increased. It went from a day, to an hour, to a second. He seemed afraid his lover would flee. I also found this poem conversational. He uses the word “don’t” which is used more often when one is speaking rather than writing. I can assume the “little drops” refer to tears. However, I was stuck on what “the smoke” meant. Was it his breath that would be taken away? This poem is direct and easy to interpret. It also can relate to any type of love.

Commonplace Entry #3

“The study authors analyzed 2001-10 national data on ER visits for kids aged 3 to 17.”-Kids get codeine in ER despite risks, guidelines

I came across this article on the YAHOO news. The other class session  we discussed how the placement of subject and verb matter in a sentence.  This sentence shows the object first, then the subject, and lastly the verb. To make the sentence  more clear and easy to read, the writer should have placed the subject first, then the verb, then the object (subject-verb-object). The sentence would make more sense like this: “The authors analyzed a 2001-10 national data study on ER visits for kids aged 3 to 17.”

Commonplace Entry #2

“Your patient is a dumb shit and I told him so in the group last night–in just those words.”- Love’s Executioner

This was the first sentence that began the chapter that  is titled “If rape were legal . . . ” Right from the beginning I found it interesting that the author decided to describe the main character through another character’s perspective. Did he want us to have a negative viewpoint on his client? His use of foul language also made  the character appear rude, insensitive, and made the readers dislike the character from the start.

Commonplace Entry #1

“What is samurai magic, you may ask? Intentional practice! Once upon a time, it was believed that giftedness was inherited.”- Intentional Interviewing and Counseling.

This quote stood out to me while I was reading because in a way it is a great simile. I never thought about how a person may think someone is special or magical when in actuality they might have just had a lot of intentional practice. Also, I liked how the author used an exclamation point to make sure his statement was heard even though it was a written claim.