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Christian
English Major
Writer
Thinker of odd things

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Old news [Monday, May. 07, 2007, 5:40 pm]

According to the diaryland "buddy list," I haven't updated this in something like two weeks, but that's not true - I did an entry on the Matrix a while ago, but there were some issues submitting it so I guess it didn't show up in some places. And yeah, I haven't enjoyed the Diaryland server being down - but in their defense, it has been a while since anything like that has happened. It still beats Myspace.

So I guess I'll just copy and paste my last few Xanga entries here. They were intended for here, but under the circumstances, Xanga is where they had to go.

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As much as I love being an English major (most of the time), I sometimes wish that I had a more even amount of tests and papers. Sometimes I just want to go to class, take an exam, and get out of there, instead of spending all weekend trying to concentrate on forming extensive, cohesive ideas for the 3+ papers-worth (or so) of writing that I have to do. Imagine how much worse it'll be next semester with 5 English classes...

I really can't believe I'm leaving this place in less than a week. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself this summer. I mean, I'd really like to hope I'll be working full-time (or close to it) to save up for next semester, making headway on my reading list, and doing some writing and photographing, but it will be so weird with hardly any college students in the vicinity anymore. *sigh*

There's a part of me that really resents having to revise poetry for class. My argument is that I usually just get to the point where I feel that if I tried to make any more significant changes to a poem, I'd be changing it into something else. And I'd much rather just write a whole new poem at that point, than continue to tear apart an old one.
My professor says that that can be too limiting though - that you have to keep playing with a poem to really get all the possibilities out of it, and that I can always go back to a previous version if I don't like the revisions.
And maybe that's true - maybe I'm just a young and inexperienced writer who wants to put too much trust in "inspiration" and not enough in hard work that makes me uncomfortable. And she is right that a lot of times I have changed something and seen it improve. I just don't like getting to the point where I feel like changing it again would take away from the original idea. Especially if I'm specifically working in a particular form of poetry - there are only so many ways that you can change it before it loses its identity.

My first photography professor was kinda like that too. She seemed to have the idea that you can never do something right the first time - that a good print can only come about as the result of manipulation and experimentation in the dark room.

Maybe I'm just lazy. I certainly respect professors who won't let students just coast along, and instead force us to work hard to improve our skills in things. At the same time, I often wonder if the revision often just seems more appealing because it's "new." I also feel like I have to just let poetry sit for a long time before I really feel the desire to try and change it. That's why it's hard doing it in such a short time, because it feels like I'm working too quickly.

Anyway, we had to write a Sapphic in class yesterday, and I accidentally wrote mine "backwards" (or inside-out?). The pattern of the first three lines is supposed to be like this (if s= stressed syllable, u=unstressed syllable):
s u s u s u u s u s u

But I totally did it wrong, and so mine has stresses where they aren't supposed to be, and unstressed syllables where the stresses are supposed to be. So I'm calling it an anti-sapphic. It was fun, anyway. Maybe more of a challenge too. I find it's sometimes easier to write about nature when first experimenting with a form. So this is about a sunset:

A night rolls back from blank fields of faded hues.
And now they glisten, bright-eyed in the waking
Of light that pours its sweet silence into dew,
And like morning, smiles.

A vision crowning first gleams of sun-lit day.
Of auburn, orange, dark purples painting sky.
We look, absorb, with bright eyes, at ageless ways
That light covers miles.

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So was anyone else aware that there's a British site that lets you watch a whole bunch of movies and TV shows online for free? As much as I like this, I'm wondering if discovering this right before finals was such a good thing...

http://www.tv-links.co.uk/index.do/4

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So I wrote a paper on Myspace for Cultural Studies, and it ended up being almost 11 pages. I probably could have gone on if I wanted to, but I have other stuff to worry about. I did discuss some aspects of Facebook in it as well, so I guess the basic point was that interaction on sites like those gets us used to being "watched" by others. So here are a few excerpts of what I came up with:

Even for those who do not go about “stalking” in a dangerous or harassing way, Myspace offers a ripe environment for “watching” other people, since much of what goes on is open to the view of anyone. While everyone knows to some degree that whatever they put on their (non-private) profile can be viewable to anyone in the world, certainly not everyone will be constantly conscious of this fact every time they make a comment, post, or profile addition.
While criminal stalking can involve things like trespassing or harassment, internet “stalking” often violates no rules or makes no obvious invasions of privacy, since websites allow all the information about people to be accessible to others. To some users, it is almost a challenge to search through other people’s profiles to see what kinds of things their friends have posted, read through others’ photo comments, etc. In this way, users can almost get the feeling of excitement that often comes with “trespassing” or peeking into someone else’s private life, only on Myspace, you cannot leave any traceable evidence behind you. You can read and look at whatever you have access to for as long as you like, and no one would have any way of knowing the extent of your viewing. By creating a profile on a site like Myspace, users are potentially opening themselves up to be “stalked” in this way. Sometimes, due to the fact that the Myspace environment is not one that involves actual physical interaction, it may be easier for users to forget the extent to which they could be being “watched.” Users may not always keep it in their conscious thoughts that everything they do (except for private messages) can be followed by other people.



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In many ways, internet community sites such as Myspace and Facebook function very much like real-life human communities. There are still those who use their number of friends as an indication of popularity; the sites are built to accommodate things like fighting and harassment (with the ability to “block” and “un-friend” others). And there are plenty of ways that the site allows people to show their friendship and communicate with each other, by chatting, posting, messaging, joining groups, etc. However, while communicating has, in some ways, been made easier through these sites, so has not communicating. The internet gives any communication that does take place a greater amount of anonymity, and it gives people the freedom to “watch” each other in secret, regardless of whether or not they choose to “say” anything. Perhaps it is also getting this generation of users accustomed to the existence of constant surveillance, and the idea that everything they do or say can be recorded and viewed by others. Also remarkable is the fact that, even though the communication is often shallow, many users are adapting to or learning to ignore the lack of privacy on these sites, because they are finding that they enjoy the feeling of “invading" the privacy of others in the process.

wander -- travel

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