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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I found Dr. Preston's mini-me!

Thirteen year old Logan LaPlante has taken all that we have focused on in"Open Sourced Learning" and has proven that it works.  He has achieved his ambitions of living a happy and healthy life through hacking his education system.

My Big Question...Continues

I am spending this year trying to answer/find solutions to my big question.  Why are people afraid of failure when you can learn from it?  Dr. Preston showed me this article about how virtual games show you how to learn from failure.  This blew my mind! I had never connected the dots until reading this.  Online games makes learners okay with failure because they are able to restart when they do something wrong and are awarded when they get it right.  This article talks about how to engage students in this virtual gaming type of learning.

Monday, November 25, 2013


No Exit Text Questions:
Think about the place you have chosen as your hell. Does it look ordinary and bourgeois, like Sartre's drawing room, or is it equipped with literal instruments of torture like Dante's Inferno? 
Can the mind be in hell in a beautiful place? Is there a way to find peace in a hellish physical environment? Enter Sartre's space more fully and imagine how it would feel to live there endlessly, night and day:
I have never really thought about what hell would be like.  I have never characterized it by instruments of torture or dark, fiery infernos.  Hell is different for every person, I think that is what makes it so frightening; it is individualized to make sure that every person is equally miserable.  You must pay for your sins, and your payment depends on what makes you most miserable.  Basically, my hell would be a combination of both Dante's and Sartre's.  Similar to Dante, the punishment would worsen depending on the sin, and similar to Sartre, the punishment would be individualized for every person.  To be able to find peace in a hellish environment would be very difficult, especially for the type of  people that are damned there.  Their minds are filled with fear and excuses.  Most sinners don't believe that they deserve punishment for what they do.  The sinners that do accept punishments are forgiven and don't go to hell.  Being stuck in a hellish situation night and day with no escape would drive me absolutely mad.  Even people who are forgiven would not be able to handle conditions like that.

Could hell be described as too much of anything without a break? Are variety, moderation and balance instruments we use to keep us from boiling in any inferno of excess,' whether it be cheesecake or adultery? 
Yes, at least my interpretation of it.  Endlessness is enough to drive anyone mad.  It is the perfect torture device.  This is why people don't stick to doing the same thing over and over.  There are always factors changing around us.

How does Sartre create a sense of place through dialogue? Can you imagine what it feels like to stay awake all the time with the lights on with no hope of leaving a specific place? How does GARCIN react to this hell? How could you twist your daily activities around so that everyday habits become hell? Is there a pattern of circumstances that reinforces the experience of hell?
Dialogue gives a sense of emotion to perceptions of surroundings.  The severity in which surroundings are received impact the audience.  Garcin impatiently questioning the vallet shows his fear and helplessness.  I love change, and sleep.  I can't imagine how incredibly awful it would be to stay awake all the time in the same place with no changes.  Garcin takes hell in internally.  He tries to ignore it, but bottles his fears up inside.  In an ordinary day, if you enjoy what you do so you repeat it, is doesn't necessarily mean that it's hell.  Eventually someone will grow tired of the repetition and change their routine. This isn't possible in real hell.  In real life I would picture hell as someone stuck doing an uneventful job that they hate and can't get out of.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


My group is reading Great Expectations.  We plan on making a Facebook page to communicate and update information on.  The book is 412 pages longs so in the ten days that we have to read it, we will read around 41 pages a day.  When our work is complete, we plan on taking snapshots of our Facebook page and uploading them to our blog.


In the darkness, stay they may;
for the cave is where they live their life
and they know not of the light of day.
To them, their surroundings are rife.

As shadows dance across the cave wall
the prisoners sit in muteness,
for them the cave is all;
a flicker of light, shadows, shackles, and darkness.

What will happen if one is set free?
In a new light they are sure to be enlightened,
but how can this be?
With in open-mind their future is brightened.

An open-mind frees the soul
for acquired intelligence takes no toll.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

1. According to Socrates, what does the Allegory of the Cave represent?
The Allegory of the Cave represents how we perceive things around us and how people with different backgrounds have different interpretations of the same thing.

2. What are the key elements in the imagery used in the allegory?

The prisoners and their chains, the fire, the puppet shadows on the cave wall, and the reflections in water are all key elements of imagery in the allegory.

3. What are some things the allegory suggests about the process of enlightenment or education?

Plato believes that everyone is given the capacity to learn when they are born, but for most it is difficult and takes time.  The allegory shows how individuals can be "enlightened" by being brought out of a cave into the real world and being shown the life they never knew existed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hamlet Essay Remix...In Progress

A Poetic Inquiry

Big Question:  
Why are people so afraid of making mistakes when it is proven that we learn from them?

A Sonnet of Fear

When life becomes a trembling world of fear, 
you question every single move you make, 
afraid your loving soul will disappear; 
for danger looms, awaiting your mistake. 
What hidden word will cause explosion's might 
to back you in a corner of despair? 
Your sole reprieve lies in the ebon night, 
yet anger boils from pain he wouldn't spare. 
Where love once dwelled resides a burning hate 
as desperation's hand has gained control. 
No longer viewed as your eternal mate; 
to save yourself becomes the utmost goal. 

Envisioning a pool of crimson red; 
a knife within your hand; your fear is shed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Jo Lynn Ehnes

I choose this sonnet to represent my big question because it expresses the emotions of fear that I am curious about.  Why does making a mistake feel like its the end of the world?  There are so many benefits of trial and error.  Failure is a very good learning tool. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Sonnet Analysis #1

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

      Throughout the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, Hamlet is expected to take action based upon his words, but is compelled by others and fails to carry out his promise until the end of the play.  The term performative utterance suggests that there is a division between what is said and what is done and that "certain language doesn't merely describe action but acts in being spoken." (deBoer 1) Based on a dry cut understanding of this term and its use in the play, it would be expected that Hamlet would kill Claudius much sooner.  The use of performative utterance in this play rather shows how Hamlet finds himself through self overhearing; he gains knowledge of himself by overhearing what he speaks.   There are three main forces of performative utterance that are evident throughout the play and show how Hamlet is able to find himself through his words.

     In act I when Hamlet says, "So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word; it is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.' I have sworn 't," to the ghost of his father; Shakespeare is using the locutionary force.  Hamlet doesn't just speak, he delivers a message.  Through his words his  entire audience has a similar idea of what he means and what his purpose is.

     Early in the play Hamlet establishes his intensions.  By saying, "I have sworn 't," Hamlet is making a pact that he will kill his uncle Claudius and avenge his father's murder.  This is the illocutionary force; what is done in being said.  By swearing, Hamlet is telling his audience what his intensions are.  An example would be, "I now pronounce you man and wife."  Simply by the utter of these words it is known that the couple is now married.  Based on performative utterance, it is expected that Hamlet will now go and kill Claudius without hesitation, but it's only through self overhearing that his pact is fulfilled.  He is constantly compelled by other characters such as Horatio, Gertrude, and Ophilia, but through his internal and external conflicts he realizes his own utterance and in doing so realizes himself.  This is when he can finally get his revenge.

     By swearing that he will kill Claudius, Hamlet is achieving half of the battle.  Based on performative utterance, his words will "change the reality that they are describing."  This is the perlocutionary force; the result of what is being said. Even though it took five acts to get the job done and everyone died except Horatio, Hamlet carried out his promise.  Until this point, Hamlet was finding himself through self over hearing. In this process he learned who he could and couldn't trust and also learned of his love for Ophilia.  Once Hamlet successfully killed king Claudius, the use of performative utterance was complete.

     Once Hamlet was able to hear himself speak, the use of performative utterance in Hamlet became apparent. By breaking down Hamlet's promise to avenge his father into the three main forces it was clear that the action of words created a reaction. "Language does not only describe but does." (deBoer 3)

Per formative Utterance Notes