We’re Done? Really? Like, Actually? No Foolin’?

First, congratulations to everyone who presented this week! Everyone did amazing, even if we had the luxury of going a little over time. I know everyone who still has to go is going to do incredibly well on Wednesday!

Right now I’m entirely focused on editing. I’ve been a little anxious recently, realizing I’m going to be turning in this paper in four days and just “letting it be.” There are definitely still some edits and grammatical corrections yet to make and I’ve been working on them since giving my presentation. They will be finished by the due date, but realizing that at this point all I can really do is fine tune what I have already written and not put any new information in is somewhat scary. My argument is written, it’s all about making it clear and concise at this point.

That said, it’s kind of strange where we’re at in the semester. Everything is pretty much done, the presentation, the drafts, the blogs. All that’s left is to turn in a final draft for Dr. Lowe. It seems almost like a letdown. All semester this massive project has been looming over my head and I’ve been stressing to get it done, and now that it’s just about over I don’t feel like it was all that much work. I know it was, and the reason I got it finished is because Dr. Lowe forced us to space our work out and I got great feedback from both her and all of you. I’m proud of all of us for what we accomplished, what we learned, and how we worked this semester. I don’t know how many of us are graduating, but I wish all of us who are good luck to their future careers. Anyone who is not graduating, enjoy the rest of college and keep up the good work. If you keep working like you did this semester there’s nothing you can’t do.

If this isn’t the last blog post and I miscalculated I’ll get sappy again next week too.

Also, I’ve been keeping track of all the movies I’ve watched since November of last year. If you can’t tell from my presentation or my project in general, I really like movies. If you’re looking for something to watch feel free to take a gander at the list. Standout movies for me are The Nice Guys, The Invisible Man, Nocturnal Animals, Evil Dead II, Hereditary, and Midsommar.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16QXU0Zg_QQdOhp0CAnVtATRtpzH4ee9rXV-nQh_mLjI/edit?usp=sharing

I am the Joker. The hospital is the semester.

A Draft! And Other Good Things

I am so excited to say that I finally have a draft! The panera near me is open again to dine in which is great because I do all my best work at cafes. I had a writing marathon there inspired by my very large coffee and multiple baked goods. I also had another writing marathon at home, which was interrupted multiple times by my cats wanting attention. They ended up settling on my lap though so that was nice.

My draft feels like an expanded outline, all my main points are down and now it is time to get in the nitty gritty of adding my support. At this point I wish I had taken better notes of my readings because going through my post it notes on the walls, desk, laptop, inside and on covers of books is a little frustrating but it made sense while I was taking the notes.

I got a foster kitty this week so thats exciting. I have always wanted to foster animals but never had the space or time to do so. Now that I’m not working I have time for a kitty and he makes great company while I am writing and reading.

Another good thing that happened this week is I got offered a full time position as a support teacher in a school starting in the fall. Teaching is my dream job and I am so excited to be able to get my foot in the door without having my certification yet. Plus I am guaranteed the job for 2 years which is exactly the length of my master’s/certification program, its perfect! I was really nervous about graduating and I was afraid of what would happen afterwards, but I am living the dream with grad school acceptance and a post-grad job. It has given me even more inspiration to finish this paper and graduate because it is my last step!

Our foster kitty, Hitoshi, sitting on my lap as I type this

Week 13-a (partial) sigh of relief

Holy cow and just like that we are done week 13! I have to say that I am so totally impressed with my classmates’ presentations. Everyone completely rocked it and it was so cool to watch everyone discuss what they had been working on. As for work that I did this week, I was pretty focused on the presentation and then the paper for the latter part of the week. 

I did not encounter any new sources this week. I have been revising my paper and have not found any places right now that need added information. During my second final revision I added four primary sources which made me a lot more confident in the support that I had for my arguments. So, this week, during revisions, I didn’t feel that I needed to look for/add anymore sources. While this is nice it’s also kind of nerve-wracking-can I really have all of the sources I need!? I am trying to trust my gut, Dr. Lowe’s revisions, and my classmates’ revisions that indicate yes, those are all the sources I need. I did enjoy seeing the different sources my classmates used throughout their presentation. All of us seemed to utilize such different sources but still have incredible results!

As for my preparing my presentation and the actual presentation, I was definitely freaking out. What I was most nervous about was presenting my information in a coherent and calm manner. I knew that I knew the information I was discussing, hell I’ve been researching it for thirteen weeks, it was more of an internal fear of, “what if it doesn’t seem like I know my information?” To combat this irrational fear I practiced, practiced, and then practiced some more. I even made my roommates zoom call with me so I could get comfortable presenting virtually. 

Irrational fears aside, this presentation was a visual representation of how much I have worked and learned this semester. It was a proud moment to see all of my work come together in a cohesive presentation. I have to say that I am incredibly proud of the product that I created. Again, I am so so so proud of my classmates as well!!! Everyone killed it. I can’t wait to see next week’s batch of presentations!

Me after the final presentation

Warning you now.

No way is my PowerPoint presentation going to be as good as the ones I have seen so far. I had a couple of slides that I thought were really good. Now I am second guessing myself . Either way, I want to apologize to all of you for my lack of participation this semester. The “tech” aspect of the presentations is not really a problem for me. It is the confidence that I do not come off as the “old” guy that cannot figure out how to screen share and all of that. Last semester I ended up having to have my 14-year-old son hold my phone for a zoom session while I was going through the slides on my desktop computer. Yes, I still have a desktop and it does not have a camera.

So do not be surprised if you end up watching my presentation with my son breathing heavily in the background or purposely not keeping the camera straight.

“CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

There’s really only one person to blame…

I’ll say it. Yep, Professor Lowe is to blame. Who in their right mind starts the semester off by telling students, one of which is a 39-year-old father of 3, that works 40+ hours a week, whose wife works nights…”If you can’t turn it in on time, don’t worry about it?” I am eternally grateful, do not get me wrong. WHO DOES THAT THOUGH?

Even last week. I asked her about the blogs I’ve missed and she says…”Just do them when you can. Remember, your worst grade on one does not count, so do not worry.”

IT WAS WEEK TWELVE OF THE SEMESTER.

My one other class, I turned in the assignment at Midnight-07. It was due at 1159 and my professor marked it a day late. What can I say to that? Nothing, it was late.

What I am saying is I have always been kinda, sorta the type of person that might procrastinate. Take my wedding for example. My groomsmen all had the same suits from my sister’s wedding except for one guy. From July of 2008, to November 2008 I had one job. Make sure Nick had the same suit.

“Joe do all of your groomsmen have the same suit?”

“I’ll take care of it.”

Come November, my buddy Nick was wearing a completely different suit than everyone else….I blamed him.

That was my wedding and trust me, my now wife and my mother were not even remotely as understanding as Professor Lowe. My work ethic is my parent’s fault, my son and daughter’s laziness is my wife’s fault and my current grade is the Professor’s fault. Thank you Professor for being so understanding of our plights.

Totally her fault

Titanic

We are all history buffs. Tonight just before midnight will mark 109 years ago that the H.M.S Titanic struck an iceberg and began taking on water. Approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes later she had sunk, and an estimated 1,600 people died with over half of that number freezing and dying in the water after the ship had already sank. The moments leading up to that were horrific. Many of the passengers and crew were not taking it seriously. The uber-wealthy were up in arms that they might have to share seats in a lifeboat with the passengers that were in steerage. The ship began listing to the forward compartments, rapidly taking on water and trapping those less fortunate to get out before Crew members began locking them in to prevent the deck from being overcrowded. The ship started to go under into almost a straight dive but since she was so long, before the ship got fully out of the water it snapped in half, sending more than half of it to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean at roughly 20 mph. The rear portion of the ship then began to float again before taking on massive amounts of water and also sinking.

Now most of my knowledge of this event is from ACTUAL historical evidence. Most other people’s knowledge comes from the movies. Mainly the 1997 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. Who am I kidding? Most of my knowledge of it came from that movie. When it came out, it was nothing more than a movie to take girls to with my newly acquired driver’s license. This is a great movie, regardless who argues otherwise. I have since learned more from reputable sources, but as a 16-year-old I was pretty convinced that Rose was selfish and two people could have definitely climbed on to a floating wooden door. I have also learned that director James Cameron made painstaking efforts to have the majority of the disaster itself to be pretty accurate. The love story was an added bonus

The two guys in the crow’s nest and the Officer of the Watch are really to blame. All three of them were too busy ogling a young, sweaty Kate Winslet to do their jobs. Anyways folks the analogy of all this is that my current grade is currently a mega disaster like the sinking of the Titanic. The end grade though will be how the movie was received.

If they’d been watching for ice instead of perving on Rose and Jack, this never would’ve happened.

#6 This was one that I did before and rewrote when my daughter tripped the breaker.

Listen. I have to give some advice to you young people out there. For those of you that have children, you know they are a blessing and you love every single thing about them….then when you are not paying attention to it they get a little taller gain a little more weight and suddenly they are older. It begins like this. You get home from work and they come running up to you and giving big hugs yelling “HI DADDY!” Then it goes to you being home for an hour running into them in the hallway to hear “Oh, how long have you been home?” or worse….

“WHAT’S FOR DINNER?”

If my camera is EVER off during class it is because I am actively cooking while in class. For some dads they look like a man with feet for hands in the kitchen. I am pretty adept at the whole process. I enjoy it and I do it probably 4-5 times a week. That is probably why i have a rough go doing one blog a week.

I was cooking this while doing a peer review with David.

Week 13-Wei Peng Multiple Mao

The book, A Critical Introduction to Mao, edited by Timothy Cheek (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010) is my focus of this week. This book helps me refine my essay, because it offers a summary of critics of Mao, thus I am able to look at him in as many as possible partitives. Most importantly, although various writers depict Mao as savior or tyrant, god or evil, they cannot circumvent the common theme: nationalism–the brightest feature of Mao and the topic of my essay. Mao will always be associated with the founding of the nation (PRC) and the throwing off of imperialism. Undoubtedly, all writers agree that Mao represent the successes of Chinese nationalism at mid-20th century.

The book is for “an independent thinker”. The book is organized into two parts: Part I, Mao’s World, and Part II, Mao’s Legacy. The introduction outlines Mao’s life and historical significance. It brings out the major points of Mao’s controversy. Part I, Mao’s World, offers the contexts in which Mao rose, focusing on Mao’s political activities. Chapter 2 examines Mao’s influences. As the author claims, “Mao remains a very controversial and much distorted figure”. Therefore, the book aims to tap “that academic knowledge and many of the leading scholars of our day to provide a more engaging entry into the scholarly contributions to understanding Mao and his historical significance.”

The writers of the book include historical scholars from first rank universities or institutes in U.S, China, Canada, German, Australia, Sweden, U.K. The footings and citations are comprehensive and helpful for me to seek more useful clues relating to my essay. In addition, the academic terms will also help me refine the wording in the essay.  

Whitehead Blog 12: Scrambling to Finish

This week I received feedback and worked on paragraphs based on the comments. I also worked in class with Jackie and received good feedback on issues I have been struggling with. One thing that we discussed during class was the road map. By looking at Jackie’s paper, it gave me a better idea how to implement it into the paper. Another thing that we talked about was the counter argument. This is a key part of the argument of our papers that I had completely forgotten to write about. As I have been working though, thinking of a counter argument is not that difficult to do there are many ways someone could see Ujamaa socialism as a success in some areas. One thing that I have thought of is the focus on education in the country and increasing literacy rate. While the goal was to reach 100 percent literacy rate in a little under 15 years, the country only reached 60-65 percent literacy rate. So, while the rate did not reach 100 percent, still, managing educating 60 upwards of 65 percent of the population in this short span is very impressive. There are other examples I could think of, but I think education is very important for Ujamaa socialism because of the idea that educating the population would enable socialism to prosper. Other than this change I have also been working on incorporating more primary sources into my paper at the advice from Professor Lowe. I have been looking at newspaper sources that could benefit my paper and strengthen my argument. So far things have been going well, but there’s not a lot of time left to add more.

Foulke Week 12: Actually seeing the finish line

This week has been like no other this semester. I FINALLY started to get some actual flow in my paper. Between this class, my Political Science capstone, and a small paper I had due this week, I’ve written 20 pages in the past 5 days alone. It’s also been some of the most fun writing I’ve done in awhile. I may be exhausted but I definitely feel satisfied.

After twelve weeks of blogs its difficult trying to find new things to say that I haven’t already said 11 times before. I think one thing I’m feeling now that I’m not certain I’ve felt in the past few weeks is a sense of being caught up. This past month I’ve felt like I’ve been behind the entire time, and every time I was able to make the effort to chip away at what I had in front of me, more was added on. But while my paper draft is still not quite at 6000 words, I am confident that I will be there by the time I see you all in class again this week.

This weekend is actually the first time in 3 weeks I have allowed myself a day of rest. After 3 weeks of writing, pulling more research together, midterms, freaking out, doubting my entire paper, figuring out the one thing that brings my entire paper together, writing 12 pages in one day, I actually allowed myself a single day to do nothing. No more of that though, back to the grindstone this week so I can have my draft near perfection by weeks end.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that I couldn’t be more excited to present my paper. Partially because I’m excited for my fellow students to see the fruit of my work but if I’m being honest its mostly because that means I am finally one step closer to being done. This has been a very exciting and at times genuinely fun ride, and while I’m relishing these last few days of work, I am also looking forward to its completion.