Final Essay

I think that the most valuable thing I got out of this class was a way to successfully work with others in an attempt to educate others. This wasn’t a class where the group projects was a reflection on what you learned in class but rather the group projects were HOW we all learned. I’m not gonna lie, it was very frustrating at times. That being said, I think I got a lot of out it despite how frustrating it was. As a person who has considered teaching as a career, it was wonderful practice. There was such a wonderful challenge trying to concoct a question that was edgy and thought-provoking enough that it would spur at least a single person to have a comment or an idea. Hopefully, that person would say something that spurred a thought in another student and so on and so forth. This was extremely difficult and when it worked it was extremely satisfying. It was so interesting to watch how a class of random persons hoping that the curriculum surround the “question the man” mentality we discussed on day one turn into a room full of people who worked together at every corner. We were responsible for the education of our fellow classmates and I was so happy that we all took it seriously.

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Hard out here for a bitch

Success is defined by who one might marry
And if he makes enough for you to sit at home
Raising babies and cooking dinner is a proud lifestyle
If you have no other abilities or can’t think for yourself

Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks
if she ain’t pleasing me, she ain’t worth shit
If there’s nothing to bake
She better be out of my face
Cause sportcenters on
And I got bills to pay
Bitch ain’t bring home no bacon
So she ain’t got a say

A girl can only be proud if her husband tells her so
She should not spend her time learning cause she will never understand
College is a silly waste of time unless she receives her MRS
She should learn her place early so she can marry for money

No man want a bitch with a college degree
Ain’t nothing she can do with that to satisfy me
Just get on your knees
And do what you’re told
There’s no use in extra learnin
When cooking classes are free
Work was hard today
So get to pleasing me.

Group 8

Aside

I don’t think it’s possible to view art without prejudice. Richardson did. Richardson believed that to be a true connoisseur, they had to be completely without prejudice. I don’t think that’s possible. I mean, even to be a connoisseur, one must be some sort of prejudice to be able to honestly view art as more than just an enthusiast. I think that prejudice is viewed the same way as just preferences. One might like one kind of art or certain elements of art and automatically have a slight prejudice on a different type of art. However, the reason I believe the prejudice plays a big part in art is because of modern art. Now, I love art. I love to look at it and study it and make it. Because of this, when I was 16 and in NYC, my mother took me to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). There are two pieces of art that stood out to me enough that I took pictures of them.

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The first of the two is called “Essex” and it consists of automobile scraps crushed and shaped into an awesome mass that was suspended against a wall. It was really really cool. The colors are all basic earth tones which was further complimented with the rust color of the metal that inevitably showed through. The shape of the piece is abstract and there’s not a lot of consistency throughout. However, it was definitely one of the coolest things I saw at the whole museum.

Image

The second is called “The Absolute Naked Fragrance.” Now this piece of art I spent a lot of time just staring at because, in my opinion, it was not art. This piece was literally a piece of plywood covered in fiberglass that’s pink somehow. It was a large rectangular piece that stood about 6.5-7 feet tall. That’s it. That’s really it. Like I couldn’t figure out how that qualified as art. I can see how splotches of paint on canvas is art and most kinds of abstract art I find very cool. This particular piece, however, I could just not wrap my head around. I still don’t understand what makes this art.

I digress. My point is that there is really no way to be non-prejudice when viewing art because we are very opinionated and entitled and feel that we have some kind of right to judge someone else’s form of expression.

I think if Richardson had to look at modern art, then he would say it’s not art. I think that one of the biggest reasons Richardson believed that you could be non-prejudice of art is because the art then was all very much the same. There was a specific style that was always used then. I think Richardson would be pretty pissed that we consider some of the strange things we consider to be art, art.

I apologize for the crappy quality of the pictures and would like to add that my mom took the second one and called it “Contemplating Pink” because (as she said) “If that’s art then I can make better art out of it.”

I think that Richardson would find my ideas and my thoughts to be uneducated and wrong. I think that he would believe that I obviously had not done my research and I simply didn’t understand enough about art to be able to properly understand the meaning or purpose of the work.

Tommy Jefferson

Hey group 7, facebook won’t let me log on to the fake account so here’s my three statuses!

Katie Joslin
Facebook Statuses

I can’t believe I’m going to have to put Theology in my curriculum. I mean, it’s my university after all. This whole fairness thing is so unfair. I know, I know. It’ll make more people come and people are welcome to learn anything they want to learn. I guess it’s more important to have a well-rounded education than to have no education. With any luck, the kids will take Theology classes and decide that it’s absolute nonsense and come right back to seminary. That would be perfect. Next thing you know, we’re going to get rid of Botany and Anatomy.

I have had it with the Presbyterians! They are impossible to reason with. To listen to the five points of Calvin and think that has any kind of resonance. This is really just becoming ridiculous. In Boston, the preachers are just allowing all different religions to get together and worship and discuss their different religions! What is happening to the world?! At least in Rhode Island, they will not stand for such nonsense. We all know there is only one true way to worship the One True God. What’s next, non-denominational churches?! Ugh!

I just want to build the perfect university. We got so close and now we can’t build the library and student union because SOMEONE is refusing to finance us. What do you want us to do?  I’m trying to make a university in which everyone is well disciplined and learned in the CORRECT forms. Botany is the way to go. It’s the most important educational service we can offer. Instead, all the kids of today want to do is disobey their parents and start fighting for freedom. Do they not understand this is not the time?! Kids these days, the next thing you know they’ll stop wearing wigs and showing their undergarments to everyone they see.

Witchy Woman

In the case of Elizabeth Johnson, I think people are blaming her insanity on witchcraft. Johnson was obviously a bit delusional. She believed that she was Egyptian and had a connection to dark spirits and that she knew where secret treasure was buried. The article said she used to wander the streets at night. To me, that sounds like the act of a crazy woman. I’m not going to pretend that I know what kind of mental disorder she may have but I do think that that’s what’s wrong with her. She told a little girl that there was treasure in her basement and explained how to get to it but in the meantime, she stole the little girl’s precious items that she kept in her apron. To me, that really just sounds like a clever thief. There was never actually a trial in this instance but rather the charges were dropped. But I think that this particular instance is worth noting because of her actions before the thievery. It says that she walked up and down the street for a few days before the thievery and I think that just sounds like the actions of a sick woman, not a witch.

In the trial of Susanna Martin from Burr’s is similar in the way that people all sound insane. People are saying that she made all of these seemingly supernatural things happen. That sounds like the ramblings of an insane person before that. Particularly, the bit before Susanna’s trial, Burr records the event of a large thunderstorm that set a house on fire and called it witchcraft. That is utterly ridiculous. Seemingly supernatural phenomenon was called witchcraft and I think it’s very funny. I said something in class about how these phenomenon were comparable to “miracles” and yet they’re cast as evil. Ankarloo and Clarke’s account states “To deny Scripture miracles was atheistic, but to expect new wonders was ‘enthusiasm.’” That’s exactly what I mean in my argument. These people couldn’t deny the existence of witches because that meant denying the existence of the supernatural which denied the existence of God. However, I’m not sure how the witchy antics got posed as a negative. Granted, they very quickly delved into harmful and malicious attacks on others but they began as just strange events. One must wonder why these predictions of the future and small supernatural phenomena turned into a witchhunt to the death.

Gender

I stated this in class and I’ll state it again, heterosexuality is NOT the origin of homosexuality. Butler says “Hence, if it were not for the notion of the homosexual as a copy, there would be no construct of heterosexuality as origin.” I agree with her here. I think that we assume that heterosexuality was the original because the basic need for sex is reproduction but sex and sexuality are so far from the same things. If I were to be in a relationship with a woman (being a woman myself) and we decide that we want to have children, there is still a recognition for the need for a male reproductive cell. Being homosexual does not automatically make you unaware of the other sex. However, I do not base my interest in people off of whether or not they can make babies with me. I don’t think anyone really does anymore. I think we all look for people that meet certain standards or they have certain personality traits that stand out to them. I don’t look at a potential partner and think “we have very good looking babies.” To assume that heterosexuality is the original is to assume that heterosexuality is the norm and that’s incorrect. The majority does not make it the norm.

I also disagree with the notion that our biological sex is the original of our gender. I feel that if a person does not feel that they are the gender that they were declared at birth, then their biological sex was mistaken. One must understand how often a child is born with ambiguous genitalia and the doctor just decides what the child’s gender will be.  Often times, that doctor will decide that the child needs corrective surgery and will go ahead with the surgery without notifying the parents or asking their permission. To be honest, there is not much that the parents can do after this because the doctor can claim that the surgery was crucial and life or death. It’s truly horrible. But this is why I think that gender and biological sex cannot be so easily put into categories like original and secondary. Simply put, gender is a complete social construct as well as sexuality and therefore cannot be compared to a biological standard. In Swift’s poem “The Ladies Dressing Room” he talks about all these items that he finds that women use to make themselves look presentable which I think just proves how much of a social construct gender is. The ladies have all these instruments to make them look perfect and the list is nearly endless.

Enlightenment

I feel that enlightenment being achieved is a matter of what each individual can consider enlightenment. For me, personally, I believe enlightenment is a matter of being at peace with decisions and knowledge that I have made and achieved over my life. I think that enlightenment is most definitely possible if we don’t set a standard for it. If one can be content in themselves and their lives then that is enlightenment. I think the best way to do this is just make well-informed decisions. That’s the most simplistic way I can think about putting it. Personally, for me, enlightenment is a matter of understanding and dealing with my anxiety. It’s about understanding my reactions to things and how to control the initial defense reactions to things. The hardest part of this whole ordeal is the fact that all these new ways of dealing must be made to be habitual. As Descartes says in his first Meditation, “It isn’t enough merely to have noticed this, though; I must make an effort to remember it.” I believe this is how enlightenment is achieved. I think that in class we have talked a lot about information and the intake of knowledge rather than the actual learning and understanding. It’s sort of like how we’ve all had a whole bunch of English classes and we can’t always remember exactly what we did in any of them. I took several statistics classes and I was very good at it but I couldn’t do a Z test to save my life now. Enlightenment cannot be achieved just by taking in knowledge. Enlightenment must be the complete understanding of something and the remembrance of it. La Mettrie talks about how we have used our intellect to become more intellectual. He says that we have the ability to understand that there are things in the world that we don’t completely comprehend and that because of that we seek out these things. We are meant to understand things. He talks about how that separates us from animals because animals don’t totally understand what they are doing but rather they act on instinct or they mimic something they’ve been taught. I think that’s the difference in being Enlightened and informed. It is easy to acquire knowledge but it is very difficult to understand how all these things work. This is why I say that to be Enlightened for me would be to understand how my anxiety works. It is not enough for me to just know that I have Generalized Anxiety. I must understand how it works and why I react the way I do to things and even how to slow down the reactions.