Free Write- What do you do when you see a difficult text or passage?

At first, when I see a text or passage that I can’t understand or find difficult, I get blown back a little bit.  From the start, I almost get frustrated because for me personally, I hate the feeling of not being able to understand what I am reading.  To combat this, I try to look at context clues for words I don’t know, to see the surrounding words can give me clues to what words mean.  This, however, is good when there are a few that I don’t know; however, often times there are entire passages of texts that I don’t understand, in which case, using context clues would not be effective.  So then, I try to re-read sections because sometimes if I go back and read it again, then I would understand it better.

Free Write- How do you feel about writing?

I have always enjoyed writing.  I am very skilled with language.  I love reading about random things that I want to know more about.  When I do this, I expand my vocabulary.  I am able to use an array of words and sentence structures.  That being said, I know that my writing needs improvements in order to be up to the speed of college writing, which will make my writing more sophisticated and succinct.  I think it’s funny how my grammar is correct even when I’m texting my friends, I don’t really care about punctuation; however, I want my words to have correct spelling, and for my theirs and they’res to be correct.  Other times I will be talking to my friends and I’ll use a word that they don’t know the meaning of, and I’ll have to go back and explain what it means.

Weekly Writing 2: Paraphrasing Wood

“I am not indulging in some solipsism here, but in an effort to understand why, in so many media, we make so many maps. Ultimately, the map presents us with the reality we know as differentiated from what we see, hear, and feel. The map doesn’t let us see anything” (Wood 16).

  1. I am not being an egoist here, but I want to understand why we as a society make so many maps. In truth, maps don’t let us see anything, they show us what we already know and separate it from what we see, hear, and feel.
  2. I am not being self-centered here, but I am trying to figure out why we make so many maps. After all, the map only shows us what we already know the world to look like, and doesn’t actually let us see anything.  Instead, it pares what we see, hear, and feel from what we already know in reality.
  3. Maps don’t actually let us see anything. They simply separate what we already know in reality from what we see, hear and, and feel on an everyday basis.  This is why I’m confused as to why we make so many maps as a society.




I chose this particular passage because to me it had “solipsism”, a word I didn’t know, and I wanted to know what that meant, and also because I thought the part where it talked about how maps can appeal to each of the senses was very interesting.  At first, where I read solipsism, I was very confused as to what that meant, and to be completely honest, I had no idea how a word sounding like that could pertain to maps, because it seemed like something that should be in an English textbook for a 300-level class or some philosophy textbook where every word seems to be of that difficulty.  But after learning its definition, I quickly was able to pinpoint how that word fit into the passage.  Wood is not trying to be an egoist, but he is just trying to understand why maps are such a big part of our lives.  But still unanswered to me, is how Wood would consider himself an egoist for simply questioning why we as a people view maps the way we do.  Subsequently, at first glance of his italicized words, I was extremely confused.  How could a map not let us see anything, because prior to reading this, that’s just what I thought maps did, after all they are a visual representation of a country, continent, town or city.  But as I read more of what Wood had to say, I was able to piece together what he meant by all of this.  The idea that maps simply present to us what we already know is so simple, yet it’s almost genius.  When I think about it, it’s absolutely correct, almost every person looking at a map knows where most of the places on it are, but we still look at them.  I personally enjoy looking at maps, I find them fascinating at times.  But yes, I already know where France, Columbia, Greece, or China are, but Wood begs the question “For what reason are you looking at that map?”  He presents a good argument as to why one would look at a map, even if they don’t let us ‘see’ anything.  The map is used to separate what we already know from what we see and feel.  To me, that is correct because we may know what these places look like on a map, however we don’t know what it feels like to be in these places. That idea is one that really stood out to me, and I was shocked that in just a couple sentences, the author was able to give me an entirely new perspective on the way I think of, and view maps. However, I would still argue that maps let us “see” something.  They let us see the world around us, albeit in its simplest form, however it still gives us that opportunity to have an awareness of the world, country, city, town or even room, so yes many of us view maps superficially, but they are still useful on the surface in determining what the area around you is like.

Weekly Writing 1: Allentown Fair

My first order of business at the Allentown fair was to buy my ticket. I remember walking through the narrow, iron-clad brick gates, and purchasing my ticket at the window that was to my left. Prior to entering the fair, I knew there would be a large section of animals, which was something that I was excited to experience. Immediately after walking through the gates, I made a sharp left turn to head towards the tents in which the animals were kept. Almost before my feet stepped into the tent, I was blasted with the age-old smell of animals, the one that everyone knows. I soon noticed that the cages were set up in 3 rows, so 3 lanes for walking were created by the set-up of the cages. I immediately knew that to view each one of the various rabbits and birds, that I would have to walk in a path that resembled a letter “M”. I first walked straight ahead and viewed each of the cages, then I looped around and viewed the other side, after viewing all of those I did a second loop and finally I was finished with all the animals in the first tent. Throughout the whole day, I felt as though I was almost like an ant, not that I was very small, but that the fair was set up in such a way that all the concessions, games, and rides were placed around the fairgrounds and between each structure were paths, and I constantly found myself weaving in and out of the structures such as an ant would in their complex homes made up by elaborate tunnel systems. I thought that the order in which I went through the fair was a good one. That strong odor of animals that I first smelled when I went in subsided after I left the last of the animal tents. It was interesting that the smell just ended, and it took up almost precisely half of the entire fairgrounds. As that smell subsided, soon my nose was filled by a waft of fried food and funnel cakes, which was a stark contrast to the rancid odor that preceded it. As I stated before, there were two rows of concession stands that lined up and between them was a path on which people could walk while gazing at each of his or her sides at the food stands. I could see many types of colors and decorations as I walked down the aisle of concessions. It as a sensory overload; on one hand, I could smell everything all at once, and I mean everything, I could be compared to the smell of the boardwalk down in New Jersey. This was easily my favorite part of my trip to the fair. Prior to going to the fair, I wasn’t too thrilled about going, but as I experienced it, I had a good time and I think that the way in which I went about getting around to all the activities was efficient and fun.