Monday, August 26, 2013


accoutrement (n)- additional items of dress/equipment worn or used for a particular activity.
Ex: When Kayne West sings he needs a microphone, or his accountrement for singing.

apogee (n)- the highest point of development, the climax/ culmination
Ex: Kanye West is the apogee of hip-hop talent.

apropos (adj)- very appropriate to a certain situation
Ex: It was apropos for Kanye West to push Taylor Swift offstage.

bicker (v)- to argue about trivial or unimportant issues
Ex: I'm sure Kanye and Kim bickered about what to wear to the VMA's.

coalesce (v)- to come together and form a group or whole
Ex: Kanye West's fans coalesced together and cheered for him at his concert.

contretemps (n)- an unfortunate/unexpected occurrence
Ex: Kanye not winning a Grammy this year was definitely a contretemps.

convolution (n)- one of many coils or twists
Ex: Kanye West's butler ties his shoes for him, he tried it himself once but it turned into a convolution.

cull (v)- to select from a large group
Ex: Every morning Kanye West culls from a variety of designer white cotton T-shirts.

disparate (adj)- different beyond comparison
Ex: Kayne West's ambiguous style is so disparate from all the other rappers of the day.

dogmatic (adj)- principles or ideas laid down as true without a doubt
Ex: My opinion that Kanye West is the best rapper of all time is dogmatic, because no one can doubt it.

licentious (adj) - promiscuous or unprincipled in sexual matters
Ex: Kanye didn't want to date Kim Kardashian at first because of her licentious behavior.

mete (v)- to allot justice even if it is harsh
Ex: In his diss songs Kanye has to mete his colleagues even if it hurts their feelings.

noxious (adj)- harmful or poisonous
Ex: All the haters are very noxious for Kanye.

polemic (n)- a strong verbal or written attack on someone/something
Ex: Some of the more literate haters tend to send polemics Kanye's way.

populous (adj)- densely populated
Ex: I had a hard time navigating my way through the populous crowd at Kanye's concert.

probity (n)- having strong moral principles
Ex: Kanye is sometimes accused of being a bad person, but he is definitely a probity.

repartee (n)- conversation or speech with quick/witty replies
Ex: Here's a fun fact about Kanye West, he is very witty, he is actually known for his repartee.

supervene (v)- occurring after the intended plan or action
Ex: Kanye West's great concert was supervened by the unanticipated earthquake.

truncate(v)- to shorten by cutting off at the end
Ex: Kanye West's swag was way out of hand so he truncated the very end to maintain an acceptable length.

unimpeachable (adj)- not able to be doubted or criticized
Ex: Kanye West thinks he's always right, he believes every word he says is unimpeachable.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


"Collaboration is not a crime."

Beowulf and Grendel


[Heorot is Attacked]*

[The Hero Comes to Heorot]*

[Feast at Heorot]*

[The Fight with Grendel] *

[Celebration at [Heorot] *

Beowulf and Grendel's Mother

[Another attack]
1. Grendel's mother comes to Heorot to avenge her son's death, she comes with an intent to kill and murders one of Hrothgar's closest friends. This is much different then Grendel's reason for killing, because he was so angry at all the noise and celebration.
2. Hrothgar's response is to tell Beowulf all about the two monsters and their lair, he is so upset because Grendel's mother killed his friend.
3. The mere (or lake) was a terrible place and Hrothgar was barely able to get through his description. It was a dark, cold place where the "heavens weep", however the moonlight shines on the lake to make it appear that it is on fire.

[Beowulf Fights Grendel's Mother]*

[Further Celebration at Heorot]
1. Beowulf gives Hrothgar the sword.
2. Hrothgar tells Beowulf about a hauteur king that let his pride in his own wealth lead to his demise. He tells Beowulf about this king, named Heremod, to warn him about the danger of trusting in your own power and that Beowulf needs to be concerned about the afterlife and not about this world.
3. He remembers at the last second that he needs to give back the sword named Hrunting back to Unferth before he leaves.

[Beowulf Returns Home]*

Beowulf and the Dragon

[The Dragon Wakes]*

[Beowulf Attacks the Dragon]*

[Beowulf's Funeral]*

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


My notes while reading:

  • The author begins with some humor about the British right to sleep as a device to get the reader on his side already
  • Saying you're entitled to your opinion is a red herring
  • Our duty to others during a conversation is to help them learn and to learn ourselves
  • Is truth more important than being right?
  • Being right is the icing on top of the cake of truth, but some people tend go with the icing and forgo the cake at all
My notes during class:

  • Interdependence, not only do we live in a network, but our network is connected to other networks
  • Limbic- part of the brain that is governed by emotion
  • Schema
  • "Fiction is the lie that tells the truth"

Monday, August 19, 2013


1.  The only thing that might limit my full participation in class is my busy schedule, I am constantly swamped with homework for my other four AP classes, and my mind always seems to gravitate towards football, but other than that I plan to work hard in this class.

2. The closest I've ever come to an epiphany in regards to learning had to be in Mr. Greely's class when the term "critical thinking" stopped just being words and it turned into a habit that I still find is hard to break, of course most of the students taking this course had to have had the same (or similar to) experience that I did two years ago.

3. I am worried about the technology aspect of this class because I am not very "technically advanced", that being said I am most excited to learn how to utilize that technology and also learn how to learn and why we learn which is a crucial aspect of class that is never really explored.


adumbrate (v)- to hint at faintly, to foreshadow
Ex: The author adumbrated that the main character would face peril later in the novel.

apotheosis (n)- the highest point of something, the climax
Ex: The apotheosis of the novel was when the two sisters confronted each other about the incident.

ascetic (adj)- intense self-discipline, doesn't allow for indulgences
Ex: I was very ascetic when working on my essay, I didn't even stop to go on any social media.

bauble (n)- a trinket of little or no importance
Ex: The consolation trophy was nothing more than a bauble to the fourth place team.

beguile (v)- to charm someone in a deceptive manor, tricky
Ex: The car salesman beguiled the old woman to buy the extended warranty.

burgeon (v)- to grow quickly, to flourish
Ex: The piano student's skills burgeoned after just a few lessons.

complement (v)- to make something perfect, to complete it
Ex: Since they were so similar, the two best friends complemented each other perfectly.

contumacious (adj)- unwillingly submitting to authority
Ex: After being arrested, the convict contumaciously listened to the warden.

curmudgeon (n)- a surly or sour person
Ex: Our neighbor, Mr. Peterson, is a curmudgeon, he's always yelling at the kids on our street.

didactic (adj)- intended to teach
Ex: The pamphlet about retirement was didactic for the elderly looking to stop working.

disingenuous (adj)- not candid or sincere
Ex: My friend was being disingenuous when he said he liked my T shirt.

exculpate (v)- to prove someone isn't guilty
Ex: The court exculpated the arsonist when they found out he couldn't use matches.

faux pas (n) - an embarrassing moment, a gaffe
Ex: When I tripped and fell, it was definitely a faux pas.

fulminate (v)- to express protest
Ex: When the court maybe a controversial decision, a lot of people fulminated.

fustian (n)- pompous or pretentious speech or writing
Ex: Puritan literature is accused of many things, but fustian writing is not one of them.

hauteur (n)- disdainful pride
Ex: The rich man was so hauteur about all of his wealth.

inhibit (v)- to hinder or try to stop something
Ex: Policemen try to inhibit all our fun.

jeremiad (n)- a list of woes, complaints
Ex: After losing the championship game, the coach had a long jeremiad about the player's efforts.

opportunist (n)- someone who takes advantage of circumstances or chances
Ex: The opportunist took advantage of all the chances she was given.

unconscionable (adj)- not right or reasonable
Ex: It would be unconscionable to put a great writer inside of a literature genre.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

ESSAY #2 Montaigne/Austen

Jacob Fowler
Period 5 
Sketching our Thoughts

     The human brain is such an amazingly intricate organ, producing such beautifully unique and complex ideas that it is impossible for our species to fully understand even something so mundane as our own thought process. David Foster Wallace was right when he said that our descriptions can "barely sketch outline the outlines" of our mind, but the real question is will we ever fill in the lines? Are we getting closer to understanding ourselves? The answer is yes, it is yes because as we compare these two works we can see the evolution of human thought within the words that these two authors put onto paper. Michel de Montaigne, who was born over 500 years ago needed dozens upon dozens of essays to manage to get his ideas onto paper while just two centuries later Jane Austen only needed 300 pages to metaphorically present her ideas on class, social status, and several other ideas. Montaigne's ideas directly contradict Foster's statement while his technique proves him right, however Austen's novel coincides with the excerpt from "Good Old Neon".
     Montaigne spent a good part of his time on Earth contemplating life, forming ideas, making hypotheses and writing them down on paper. During all of this Montaigne became confident in his ability to diagnose the human brain and its capacities, and although he wrote on several different occasions that it is wrong to judge, his overall tone comes across as somewhat judgmental, as though he wrote his essays from an ivory pedestal. This being said, his confidence misled him, here in the twenty-first century we can look back and agree with some of his ideas but overall know that he has much less knowledge than even the most average man does today. His ideas are complex and hard to verbalize, it took a lot of effort from Montaigne to get this ideas on paper and to most readers his verbiage is hard to understand, which causes the piece to lose its significance, therefore proving David Wallace correct that even someone as voluble as Montaigne can't even grasp the complexity of human nature.
     This being said, Jane Austen was able to make a stand against society's views on women and marriage and articulate thoughts on social class, all while presenting an entertaining story that has been beloved by hundreds of people over dozens of generations. Austen's ideas were complex and controversial (a woman having worth before marriage, shocking!) but she presented them in a way that was easy to understand and comprehend. Her literature was also groundbreaking, she shifted the focus of fiction from wild adventures in the jungle to parties and dinner conversations, she took everyday events and used them to make a bold statement. Austen definitely didn't have all the answers, she could not look in the eyes of some one and understand their thoughts, however she did set up a foundation to discuss women's rights and issues on class. Her novel barely sketched human thought but she got us on a path, a path the human race is on right now and bravely venturing farther on, with one goal in mind, understand our mind.
     Perhaps centuries from now, historians and scholars will look back on Foster's ideas and view it the same as we do Austen's, insightful for the time and a classic maybe they'll read "Good Old Neon" and find it too wordy but still study it because it will give them insight to the primitive thoughts of the twenty-first century. Montaigne's technique didn't back up his ideas and that's why some of his principles have to be disregarded, however for his time, he was a genius and should be regarded as one. Austen's ideas are well presented, and while her ideas are still present in today's society, her literature is regarded as classic and not current events, for good reason too. So Foster is right, our mind is far too complex to even put in words, however we are closer to finding the answer and maybe one day our posterity will find the solution to our age old questions, but one thing is for certain: the human brain is amazing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


1. This commercial uses "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski.

2. It is ironic because corporations tend to to tell you your opinion and how to act on that opinion by their advertising, however in this commercial, the tone is free and youthful, and telling you that somehow buying Levi jeans will make you feel free.

3. This poem does not reflect Charles Bukowski's reputation because he was known for his ability to depict the depravity, poverty, and desperation of Los Angeles. This being said, "The Laughing Heart" is a cry of youthful optimism which is a stark contrast of this underlying theme of drudgery in most of his writing.

4. For number one I merely Googled the title of the poem and was immediately met with dozens of links to the poem from different media outlets, I chose the first one and went with that one. For number three I utilized the same technique but this time instead of just clicking on one link I double checked my research for accuracy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Jacob Fowler
Period 5
Orleanna's Exile

   To be utterly alone is the most frightening and unnerving idea that one can comprehend; ever since the Mesopotamians decided to settle on the Euphrates, we as a species have done everything in our power to stay in communities. This being said, after a long day, everyone has let out an exasperated sigh and just begged for isolation and some time for peace. To paraphrase Edward Said, and boil his statement down to one sentence, we love romanticize isolation but deep down we all fear it. Orleanna Price had never been alone in her life, yet all she longed for was the feeling of independence. She tried to find peace in a foreign land, and even halfway across the world she never left what she was trying to leave behind, when she finally did find exile, it was both the most alienating event of her life, and the first time she was actually free.
            The guilt that Orleanna felt for leaving her husband and letting her daughter die decimated her soul and made her character so much more sympathetic. Orleanna had never been alone for her entire life and she ventured out in the jungle of the Congo to flee from her husband. After her exodus, she found herself separated from her children, gone from her home, her last concept of comfort left her mind as she walked out that door, and she realized that maybe her home and her self were very different things, that maybe she was not Mrs. Price and for the first time in her married life was Orleanna. Her guilt and freedom wrestled each other for the rest of her lives, but she took a leap of faith, she accomplished what so many of romanticize and faced the consequences like the strong woman that she truly was.
Ever since childhood, Orleanna Price has been told what to do, how to do it, where, when, but never why, because she never asked, Orleanna never questioned her circumstance. She fell in love with a red haired, audacious preacher and decided that she would never want to be alone again and she would never have to be. A couple decades and a few children later, Orleanna knew this was not what God intended marriage to be, this was a problem so severe not even a missionary trip to the Congo could mend her heart and quench her thirst for separation. Mrs. Price never felt homesick because she never left what she really wanted to be away from because he shared a bed with her. When Ruth May died and she had no choice but to flee from Nathan she was finally free, she had made it, she was finally Orleanna, she was no longer Mrs. Price, she was her own. Although guilt cursed her every thought for the rest of her life, she was more free in exile than she could ever be in her loveless marriage.
 Orleanna's exile was the hardest, most agonizing thing she ever did in her adult life, however ultimately she found the freedom she searched for, although it was not pure and it was not perfect, she found comfort in isolation. Mrs. Price had to see her youngest daughter die to be able to escape what she longed to flee for years, and although that horrible tragedy occurred, Orleanna was finally able to be alive, to be free, and although guilt followed her until she died, Orleanna was free in her own self.

Monday, August 12, 2013

If our ancestors had decided that rocks and dirt were valuable instead of diamonds and oil, would we be fighting wars over gravel right now?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1. Jacob Fowler
2. I am taking this class to challenge myself and take another approach to learning.
3. I want to learn how to utilize technology to further my learning because one of my weaknesses is my inability to use the computer efficiently and effectively. 
4. I am nervous because I am taking four AP classes and one honors class and I feel I might have spread myself too thin, but I am excited for my senior year and all the experiences that come with that.
5. The two things I care most about in the world is my family and football, so those two aspects of my life earn a lot of my attention and effort.
6. This course will help me learn better and challenge me more than I could expect, also it will prepare me for college.