This is it

Well, a lot has been on my mind lately. Not only has my life been moving in supersonic speed, but a lot in my life has changed. I’ve realized that one simple decision can alter your life forever. It was one night, one too many stupid decisions. Little did I know that it would break apart friendships, cause drama between parents and even change your state of mind about life. This semester of high school has definitely been the most eye opening for me. I lost my best friends but I also grew in self awareness. I have been focusing on myself and fixing my internal issues with myself. I hope that one day I can live up to my goals, hopefully all of this dreaming isn’t for nothing. While I’ve been working on myself and my confidence, I’ve also hit rock bottom in my esteem. It’s crazy that the real world is going to hit soon and I’m excited to see what college has in store for me. But I’ve been questioning my abilities and my strengths. Am I good enough or smart enough to get into medical school? Do I have what it takes? Should I pursue something less competitive? Those are the questions that have haunted me for the past 5 months. I’ve been alone, at least emotionally, this semester and I’m not sure if it’s a positive or negative experience. Sure people have talked poorly of me, sure there are rumors spread by those friends that I have lost. But maybe college will be a better place for me; a new atmosphere filled with new experiences. I’m excited but also terrified. This is probably just pointless high school drama and in 6 months I’ll forget all about it. Maybe I’m just pouring my heart out and worrying for nothing. But these thoughts have been occupying my mind and I can’t seem to shake them. My goal in life is to grow. To hold more knowledge and learn everyday, to have enough confidence in myself to not worry myself to sleep every night, to branch out and experience. Thank you Mr. Lindner for aspiring me to learn something new, to read a little more and to take action. Of course all of this learning and experiencing will require action, so hopefully I can pry myself of my fears and branch out into the world. I think it’s time I wrap this blog post up, but these are the thoughts that have captivated my mind. It will all be different in a couple of months, and I will shed this skin and become a new person. Senior year taught me to do what you need to do in order to find your happiness rather than searching for happiness in others. Life is out there waiting for me to live it.

 

Peace and blessing, A&M Consolidated, peace and blessings.

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This is not a goodbye, this is a “see you later” (since the majority of us are going to A&M)

Welcome Class of 2016! We finally made it! Look around at all of the people you’ve finished high school with. Maybe some old friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe that person you always thought had really nice hair or someone who always made your day brighter you just never had the motivation to tell them. These are the people who you’ve grown with, the people who have watched you blossom into the young adult that you are today. As you sit next to these classmates, you may be reminiscing on the memories that you’ve made, and maybe you’re going to make more memories with these same people. Maybe you had a falling out with someone, maybe you were left with some unanswered questions. Before you go, before you being this new chapter in your life, it’s never too late to try. To try to make for a better ending, maybe not to make up and become best friends again, but to close it out. To end on better terms for your own health, for your own wellbeing. When you’re starting your college life, or you change in scenery after high school,  you’ll be on your own. Maybe some of you will be living together, but the independence will be new. I hope that throughout your after high school plans change. I hope that you meet new people, maybe your best friend that you’ll keep for the rest of your life or your significant other. I hope that you make mistakes and that you learn from them. Most importantly, I hope that you grow. I hope that you find yourself and your passion. I hope that you evolve and live a life that makes an impact on the world, or someone’s world. I hope that you break your habits, I hope that you surround yourself with positivity and branch out to seek opportunities. The real world seems intimidating, and people may tell you not to grow up, but anything can be seen as a growing experience with a change of outlook. If you become anxious and scared of the world, it’s going to be scary. If you let go of the unnecessary worrying and the small stress oriented habits, you will be relieved. You’re going to overcome obstacles and you’re going to face hardships. Leaving high school and the people you’ve grown close to these past four years may be your current struggle in life. If you leave high school with any one piece of information, may it be that you have the power to do anything. You have the power to make a difference in someone’s life and you are able to overcome anything that you put your mind to. May your life be full of happiness and perseverance class of 2016. Congratulations!

This is a train wreck

I glanced over at the train passing by me. A mother and her son are arguing over a prized possession. My curiosity gets the best of me as I climb aboard the train, I have time to waste. I enter the train, surprisingly getting past the conductor and sneak into a seat behind the two. I sink into my seat, trying to listen over the noise of the wheels hitting the tracks. This couple seem to be fighting over a box, supposedly family matters. I hear bits and pieces of the conversation, discussing who was keeping the possession and where they were going. I heard “ashes” and “death” come up frequently out of the woman’s mouth. Then it clicks in my mind. The box is full of the husband’s ashes, and the son and mother are arguing over what to do with them. I am full in tuned to this conversation that I miss my stop to get off. I resume my eavesdropping as I began to understand the story. At this point everyone on the train is following my actions, making the rest of the train silent besides the conversation of the pair and the sound of the train. Nothing physical has happening except for the occasional tugging of the box. The mother wants to keep the box and she states “I’m very close to my end as well, when I pass you can have these. Please let me cherish them for as long as I can and then you can keep them for yourself”. I overhear the woman state that she has cancer, which seals my perception of why she was wearing an odd hat. The son would like the ashes to be scattered along their property while the mother would rather keep them to remember her deceased husband. Over an hour has passed and the son is growing weary. He agrees to let her keep the ashes but they will go to him when she has passed as well. The bus finally stops as I begin to lose interest in the conversation. I jump off the train and wait for the next one to arrive to go back home.

Comments

Below are posted the blogs that I have commented on:

https://thegolbieblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/hamlet-foils-discussion/

This was a post from thegolbieblog.wordpress.com. This post was discussing the panel discussions we had and the reactions to another question. This person decided to discuss the foils, which is a very interesting question to me. The evident foils used in this post were Ophelia and Hamlet as well as Fortinbras and Hamlet. This person described Hamlet’s tragic flaw as his own insanity. I agree with this but it is a little broad. I think in a more narrow perspective you could say his tragic flaw could be the inability to make decisions (which we discussed) as well as Hamlet’s depression and child-like nature. The comparison between their madness and lack of rationality. Fortinbras acts as a foil because he brings out Hamlet’s inability to seek vengeance on his father, unlike Fortinbras who seeks Denmark for his father.  I agreed with the comments made in this post and I really enjoyed their explanation of the foils!

https://iquitband.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/hamlet-wasnt-always-crazy/#respond

For the second comment, I decided to stick with the same question. This blog discussed the question of “Is Hamlet Really Mad?” in which this student shared the same viewpoint as I did. This was actually my question so I felt that I had a bit of background information on this question. My stance on this question is that Hamlet may have been acting sane in the beginning when he clearly stated that he was just going to “play mad” but the multiple personality can become conflicted internally. Thus, this confusion between pretending to be mad and acting normal may have caused him to essentially end up mad. I think the student did a good job of providing evidence and their argument was good for this point of view.

https://thejumbledjournal.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/the-play-within-the-play/comment-page-1/#comment-45

For my last blog that I commented on, I chose a blog pertaining to the Hamlet paintings. I really enjoyed this particular painting that this student picked because I felt that it depicts the scene accurately. This scene is the one in which Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius and pretty much everyone else are watching the play that Hamlet has instructed to be put on. I believe that this painting captures the mood of the scene because Claudius is full of emotion including regret and anger. Thus, Claudius is the back and painted with dark reds and blacks which helps portray those emotions. Then we can scan over Hamlet and Gertrude who are painted with more light colors in a nude and pale tone. During the play, Hamlet is cracking jokes and acts excited to see Claudius’ reaction. This tone is reflected in the painting and that’s why I really enjoyed it. I also think this student did a good job of capturing the theme of the painting and the details along with it.

HamLIT (unoriginal, I know) 

The question I chose to answer (and the question that interested me the most) was the question concerning the roles of women in the play and Shakespeare’s assertions of women in the society. The two women introduced in this play are Ophelia and Gertrude. Through these two women, Shakespeare conveys the message that women are inferior to men and dependent of the decisions made by men.

First I wanted to discuss Ophelia and her dependent nature. From the interaction we see between her and her father, Polonius, it seems like a controlled relationship. Polonius essentially told Ophelia that she was forbidden to marry Hamlet because he would not put her as a priority and treat her as she deserves to be treated. Ophelia then goes to report to her father when she encounters Hamlet in a mad stage. After her father and brother advise her against falling in love with Hamlet, she states that she “truly fear[s] [his madness]” (II.i.87) Ophelia has a tendency to follow her fathers instructions and advice like a puppy dog. He acts as a guidance for almost every decision she makes and after he dies, when she goes “mad” (that’s another discussion), the only decision she makes results in her death. Shakespeare conveys the idea that women would be lost without men through the relationship between Ophelia and Polonius. Then, the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia portrays her unwillingness to stand up for herself and respond to negative comments towards her. Hamlet’s infamous line of “get the to the nunnery” (III.i. 123) essentially tells us that she is not innocent and a whore. Ophelia is distraught by this accusation but she fails to fight back though she knows she is pure. Shakespeare portrays women as weak and inferior to men and their objective perceptions through Ophelia in this scene.

The other female character who is used to paint the perception of women in this play would be Gertrude. Gertrude is the queen of Denmark, so this entitles power, therefore you would imagine she is a strong, independent woman, correct? Shakespeare conveys otherwise, creating her to be a puppy dog to the male characters just as Ophelia. Gertrude is obedient to Claudius, rather than her own son’s judgment. Claudius orders Rosencratz and Guildenstern to spy on Hamlet and Gertrude follows the plan. She depends on the insight and decisions of Claudius which is why in the end, when she disregards Claudius’ order to not drink the wine, her decision results in her death. She states “I will, my lord. I pray you, pardon me” (IV.ii. 286) meaning that she does it with respect and disobeys Claudius’ command.  Shakespeare creates women to follow behind men and be obedient and when they act for themselves, they essentially die because their judgement is seen as rebellious and poor based on their outcome. Shakespeare also conveys the weak characteristic in Gertrude when she is confronted by Hamlet in her room after the play he put on. Hamlet’s madness never fails to show the true weakness of women as he shakes her for marrying quickly and engaging in sexual acts with his uncle-father. As Hamlet resents his mother’s actions, Gertrude can only weep because of the madness that has overcome her son. Shakespeare also uses this scene to show the connection and motherly care of women to their children, no matter the circumstance. But when a fatherly figure comes into the scene, father knows best. Shakespeare then implies the central purpose of women in his plays: for caretaking and to act obedient to the men’s actions.

When I began reading I thought that both Ophelia and Gertrude had tragic flaws of timid and compliant nature. As I’ve read other Shakespeare works, I began to tie together the role of women and their characteristics. In Othello, the women were submissive to the men’s actions and judgements and failed to have confidence and stand up for themselves. Shakespeare’s tragedies result in the death of women because they finally make their own decision and step out of the boundaries the men set for them.

Sticks? Art? Meaning?

Well, for the first portion of my post, I was instructed to observe the painting and make educated guesses as to what it may be. To be honest, my first impression was that it was a pile of sticks with a bunch of snow strips in it. Then I thought, what could be the grey? My first thought was feathers, and it seemed possible. When I read that the painting is enormous, I was initially frightened and confused. If I were to see this piece of art, I believe that it would engulf me. It must be that concept of “abstract” that everyone talks about when they make a mistake on art and just decide to scribble around. Or, it must be painted by an incredibly famous artist such as Salvador Dali or van Gogh. I obviously know nothing about art and this seemed to be the best educated guess I could configure. Onto the next step!

Nancy Sullivan captured the meaning of the painting in her poem. The way she explained the painting is such that it is random, simple and lacks in meaning. The last line brings meaning to most cases pertaining to art when it states “How to realize his question, let alone his answer?” I believe that art is a way to express someone’s true emotions, maybe when they cannot express them through words. Everything has a meaning, even when it isn’t apparent to others. This creates a sense of uncertainty and unique in a way. The fact that every piece of art has a story behind it proves as evidence that art is way to express yourself, even if others don’t understand it. Once people know the story behind the art, they begin to appreciate it and grow emotionally to it. That’s my interpretation of Nancy Sullivan’s poem and I hope that I grasped the idea correctly.

 

Ghost? What Ghost?

hamlet_and_the_ghost.jpgThe image I decided to interpret today was a painting done by William Salter Herrick in 1857. This painting is named “Hamlet in the Queen’s Chamber”, pretty self-explanatory. This is the scene in which Gertrude and Hamlet are arguing after Hamlet puts on a play to describe the situation pertaining to Claudius. This occurs in Act Three Scene Four. The portion of this scene that best describes the picture above would be:

Hamlet: (the ghost enters)

Save me and hover o’er me with your wings, You heavenly guards!– What would your gracious figure?

Gertrude: Alas! he’s mad!

Hamlet: Do you not come your tardy son to chide, That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by The important acting of your dread command? O, say!

Ghost: Do not forget. This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But look, amazement on thy mother sits. O, step between her and her fighting soul. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. Speak to her, Hamlet.

Hamlet: How is it with you, lady?

Gertrude: Alas, how is’t with you, That you do bend your eye on vacancy And with th’ incorporal air do hold discourse? Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep, and, as the sleeping soldiers in th’ alarm, Your bedded hair, like life in excrements, Starts up and stands on end. O gentle son, Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?

Hamlet: On him, on him! Look you, how pale he glares! His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones, Would make them capable. (to Ghost) Do not look upon me, Lest with this piteous action you convert My stern effects. Then what I have to do Will want true color–tears perchance for blood.

This is the scene where, I believe, that Gertrude finalizes that Hamlet has gone mad. During this scene, the Ghost appears and it is apparent that only Hamlet can see it. As you can see in the painting, Hamlet’s attention is fixed on the ghost while Gertrude is focused on Hamlet and calming him down. This is when the scene hits the climax and throws Hamlet over the edge and confirms to his mother that he has gone mad. In the beginning of this scene, Hamlet enters his mother’s room where Polonious is hiding and Hamlet ends up stabbing him, mistaking him for a rat. Gertrude then states “What a rash and bloody deed!” in which Hamlet replies with “A bloody deed? Almost as bad, good mother, As kill a king and marry his brother.” (Act 3 Scene 4 28-30). As this conversation goes on, Hamlet begins to take his anger out towards his mother and explain her sins and wrongdoings to her. This is when the Ghost steps in to remind Hamlet of his action and the Ghost essentially says “ease up on her, she’s still your mother”. The ghost acts to rebuke Hamlet and remind him of his mission to kill Claudius.

Throughout the play, the Ghost only makes a couple of appearances but every time he enters something important occurs. I did a little bit of research on ghost’s in Shakespeare’s plays and found some interesting stuff that helped further my knowledge on the Ghost in Hamlet. During the Elizabethan time, ghosts in plays usually kept to three main goals: to protect a loved one, to impend/warn doom on a character, or prophesy. In Hamlet’s case, the ghost is sought to seek vengeance through Hamlet. Another interesting thing I found was that ghosts usually symbolize political chaos and social disorders. Well, that just hit the nail on the head. First of all, the political chaos that takes place in Hamlet is portrayed through Claudius’ new heir to Denmark as well as Fortinbras’ conflicts with Denmark/Old Norway. As far as social disorders go, everyone is a spy in Hamlet. The anxiety risen from “being watched” or “being followed” is surely to arise. Hamlet becomes suspicious of Rozencrantz and Guildenstern and asks them if they were sent in which they immediately admit to it. The role of the ghost plays a more dramatic role in Hamlet than we may perceive it to. Not only does the ghost seek vengeance, it creates havoc for characters and lines out the plot of the entire play.