I like to think that I give good advice, but when it comes down to it I am probably not the best person to ask. I do lots of stupid things, have made lots of mistakes, and generally am an unreliable source of any information that could not be found on ESPN or TMZ. That being said, I will now attempt to give my advice on Rhetoric of Harry Potter.
When I registered for this class, I thought I was signing up for a class where we would sit and talk about Harry Potter and bitch about the fact that we are muggles. I also thought we would get sorted on the first day or that Foley would be wearing a witch hat at the very least. This did not happen. I loved the Harry Potter and Mean Girls chats in the class, really enjoyed the people in it, and like Foley, but I hate rhetoric. I just really, really hated writing every paper I did in this class because I struggled with writing rhetoric and not lit crit. My advice would be to go see Foley with your drafts. It seriously helps so much. Peer reviews do not help that much because either the person does not want to seem mean with to much criticism or they do not really know what they are talking about either. Go see Foley. Seriously. Also, in hindsight I should have paid attention more, but hour and a half classes always kill me. I just cannot focus for that long (as everyone in the class can probably tell). My favorite class days were the ones where we photoshopped because A: I love photoshop and B: It was not straight talking for an hour and half so I did not get as distracted. All in all, the class was not what I expected, I hate rhetoric, but I like the people I met through the class. And, most importantly, it did not kill my love for Harry Potter.
So, I am back in Dallas now and am still not entirely done with my classes. Yuck. I really, really just want to be 100% all the way on Holiday break. I am in major need of a long, good nights sleep and 6 weeks of doing nothing. And I mean nothing. I will cook nothing, clean nothing, and study nothing. The only thing I will read will be US Weekly and maybe a Chelsea Handler book. Ah, the benefits of being home. Anyways, back to this class…
I have decided that the paper I had the easiest time doing (albeit after meeting with Foley) was the first one. This is mostly because I wrote it about a cartoon of Harry Potter. For some reason having a literal picture in front of me that gave me really explicit, visual options of what to write about helped immensely. It was easier for me to pick up the audience because it was more or less described in the “about us” section of website where I got the cartoon. It literally told me who the audience was. I feel like in my other papers I have accidentally (or maybe on purpose but without fully realizing it) made my audience too wide. I would try to reach both sides of the argument in one paper which is just stupid. I need to find the hostile audience and stick with it rather than also try to appeal to the people who are already on my side. That is all.
Here is my tenth blog post that meets the length requirements. Ughhhhh almost home free! I honestly could not be more excited about going back to Dallas. I was home for nearly a week for Thanksgiving, then came back to Austin for 4 days, took a million tests, then had to unexpectedly go back to Dallas for another week. During the course of my second week home (more or less) in a row, I checked out for break and have had a hard time getting back into study mode. I am more than ready to spend the next month and a half doing absolutely nothing. Expect for defensive driving….that should be fun! Not.
Anyway, I think the thing that I have most enjoyed about this class (aside from Isaac’s hilarious quotes….still waiting on the list Spencer) has been the fact that it has made me think about Harry Potter in ways that I have not before. I have always loved the Harry Potter books, but never really looked into the controversies and theories that surround them. Some of them I started off really interested in, but was sick of by the end of the year, but regardless they were all fascinating at some point or another. I think the thing that most interested me was the concept of the number 7 and it’s significance in both the Bible and in Harry Potter. I never would have picked up on that on my own, but people on fan websites seriously had a lot of ideas to add to the topic. It was interesting to see all of the places where the number 7 appears in both Christian texts and in Harry Potter. Sure some of it is probably a bit far fetched, but when you really look at it, there is no denying that the number seven frequently pops up in Harry’s world. Look into it if you have not already.
The style experiments in the class have driven me absolutely crazy. I have a style that I like to write in when I am turning in papers to be graded, and I do not like to go away from that style. It is what I am comfortable with and, more so, it is just what I am used to doing. It has been really difficult for me to alter my style. The hardest was probably the blog post because I write relatively casually on this blog and the blogs that I read are all pretty laid back. When I was writing my blog style experiment I was trying to stay true to the blog style I like, but I was having a lot of trouble effectively conveying my ideas without the paper coming across as stupid or lacking solid info altogether. I ended up with this weird hybrid of a serious paper and a blog. It was interesting to say the least. Then, looking at the most recent style experiment, the magazine one, I had similar problems. I do not really read magazines (except for US Weekly), so I didn’t know what style to mimic. Obviously, I wasn’t going to copy US Weekly, because they rarely even make full sentences. My plan was to write is a more casual style that I was used to and in shorter paragraphs then look up magazines on the internet and pick the one that its style most closely matched and say that it fit in there. Problem being, I am incredibly lazy. I looked at GQ online, the first article I picked was close enough to what I mine looked like, so I said that GQ was the magazine where my paper belong. Ha. The backfired. Turns out I picked the one random essay in GQ that is not like the others, so mine was no where near the style of GQ. Foley LOVED that. Not. Needless to say, I had to pick a new magazine.
I have my biochem final tomorrow :/ right now i’m taking a break to blog.
So I was thinking about the day we talked about Hitler in class and I have to say I’ve never felt so awkward in a college-classroom setting as I did that day. Rebecca was so adamant on not talking about the speech and…
I agree completely. I think that Hitler was an amazing orator and had great speech writers, but he was really fucking evil. It is important to know that there is another side of the argument in any speech like the one we heard in class. Politicians have one goal, and that is to get re-elected. Sure, they may get some of their agenda passed along the way, but their main goal is to keep the people happy so they can get their way. If that can be done easily through a speech, like Hitler did, then why not do it? It does not make sense not to try to exploit people’s knowledge, or lack thereof, regarding a situation if you can benefit from it. I hate Hitler. Like, a lot. I’ve been to concentration camps, I have seen the crazy shit that he did, and I think that he was a fucking lunatic. BUT, I will admit his writing was really good and if someone read it to me without telling me it was written by Hitler, I would probably be all for whatever he was promoting. Therefore, it is really important for people to be politically aware of what it going on around them so that they can call people out of their bullshit. I think that rhetoric can be used for evil, but people are not going to stop using it. People just need to become more aware of what is going on so that they can recognize when someone evil is using rhetoric to manipulate them so that they will agree with what they say, even if it is horrible.
I just found out that we have to have 10 blog posts. It appears I have a ways to go. I suppose for this one the topic will be the latest paper. I have serious issues when it comes to writing rhetoric. I think that my biggest problem is that I do literary criticism rather than rhetorical analysis. I would be lying if I said I was not ready for this class to be over solely because that will signify the end to my bitter failure of a career at writing rhetoric. Bust out the champagne, because I am nearly done. I am about to send another draft to Foley for her to look over and am then going to go take a final on Human Geography (the most idiotic class ever). Post-final I will jump in my car that is awaiting in a nearby parking lot and will head back to Dallas in time to go out with my friends from high school. Anyway, back to Harry Potter class.
I think the weirdest part of this class has been writing drafts. I am one of those people who makes one draft, the final draft. I just type papers and turn them in. No outlines or anything. However, it is a good thing that this class requires drafts otherwise I would fail. I consistently get really shitty grades on my drafts in this class, meet with Foley, and turn my papers around. I am ready to go back to classes where I know how to write the style that is being asked of me (ie NOT rhetoric) so that I can stop writing drafts and start watching more Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s. Seriously, the Kardashian’s are so fascinating (especially Kim’s love life).