AGiraldiwrite

Thursday, March 23, 2006

beginning of a story for creative writing

"Siblings"

The evening was pink and thick like a giant ball of cotton candy hanging over the affluent neighborhood. The air was warm and the breezes carried the pink scent of a southern summer night. Jasmine and Magnolia scents mixed in the air, and bees bustled to and fro, completing their natural tasks. Two figures strolled through the blooming honeysuckle in the twilight, towards two lawn chairs positioned to soak up the last rays of the day. One figure sat daintily while the other stood, hands in pockets.
“Well we always knew that something like this was going to happen eventually”, the seated figure said, in a fretfully feminine tone of voice. The standing figure turned to face away from the girl, apparently not hearing her. Her voice rose again over the pall of the summer evening.
“Right?! We knew this was coming, she never listened to anything we had to say”. Her voice was edging towards hysteria and her hands were balling her white Sunday dress, wrinkling the crisp linen. The man’s head rose, looking for the evening star, high in the Georgian heavens. When he finally spoke his voice was slow and steady, “No Sweetie, we didn’t know this was coming.” The deep voice spoke with a level of love mixed with condescension that said ‘brother’.
The girl called Sweetie leaned back in the chair, apparently willing the tears to flow backwards into her eyes. Finding her voice she said, “But Snookie-” she was cut off by her brother in clipped tones.
“Don’t call me that! You know I hate that! That nickname is so childish; I will not be referred to as a child.”
Sweetie could not speak again and a dull silence settled, thrown into sharp contrast by the symphony of the crickets in the lawn.
“Besides,” her brother said, “All of my business associates call me Edward, and I rather enjoy it.”
“But what’s wrong with your Nickname? You’ve had it since you were a baby. Why go by your middle name?”
“It’s more adult, less…southern.” The last word was spoken with obvious distain.
“Those Yankees have stolen Daisy, and now they’ve stolen your name, I just don’t know.”
“You sounded like Mamma just then.”
A giggle found its way out of Sweetie’s body, finally causing her brother to turn.
“I don’t want to sound like Mamma, she’s so …southern.” Her voice was a feminine mimic of her brother’s and was filled with the kind of cheerfulness that exists only to hide gloom. Her eyes sparkled with tears and false merriment in the twilight.
Snookie smiled tightly and took two lazy steps towards his twin. He sat in the opposite lawn chair and Sweetie looked studied his face.
“Your eyes aren’t smiling. Only your mouth is.”
“Only my mouth is happy”
“So you do care! I knew it! Trying to be so calm and cool like Daddy, but you’re hot and bothered just like the rest of us!”
“Sweetie, stop trying to define me, I’m not a simple being like you are.” The cruelty of his statement struck Sweetie like a slap across the face. Her mouth hung open in astonishment and closed in a tight lipped expression that told him of her hurt and disapproval. She stood abruptly and smoothed her hands over her Sunday dress.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

rant

do i have "spinster" tatooed to my forehead?! all these older people keep making inferences to me that it is time to accquire a boyfriend. they all mean well but its a little annoying.

example #1. john coffee. this little old man who goes to my church. hes adorable, and recently when he sees me hes come up to me, draped his arm around my shoulders and asked when im going to bring a boy with me. hes even gone so far as to tell me when there are new members that could be good prospects for me. i appreciate the thought but really.

example #2. lady in estes. i walked into estes for breakfast this morning and the lady who swiped my card and i had the following conversation.lady: cold enough for you?me: its freezing!lady: sure would be nice on a day like this to have a big man to warm you up.
C'MON FOLKS!

small aside: can you name all the seven dwarves? today in my class we had a quiz and one of the questions was to name the seven areas of language...something. anyway i obviously had no idea so i was trying to go for the creativity points and was writing the seven dwarves. ONLY I COULD ONLY THINK OF 6! so i put snoopy as the last dwarf. afterwards i asked cameron and she told me the one that i had forgotten. so if you can think of them WITHOUT CHEATING then ill give you 5 ariel points.GO!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

my shakespeare speech

This is a speech that i am giving in my Shakespeare class.

The speech that i worked on was from "Richard III" and it is from Act 4 scene 4.

in line 293 Richard says he had "leisure to repent". this is an implied insult that Richard feels bad about killing Elizabeth's children only when he had a spare moment. it also implies that regret in general is a leisure activity, it is trivial.

in lins 294 and 296 Richard uses the word "If". he never confirms nor denies that he killed the princes, being quite sneaky. however, though he does not admit it, the rest of the speech follows as though it were true, and Richard speaks to Elizabeth as though it were true, or at least as though he knows that she thinks it is true.

line 302 Richard uses the phrase "of your very blood" to emphasize the importance of blood lines, specifically Elizabeth's blood line.

line 303 Richard talks about a "night of pains" which is clearly alluding to labor. he is saying that as a grandmother, Queen Elizabeth will have all the joy of her grandchildren, and none of the pain.

Line 307 and 308. these are the last lines of the speech. Richard makes light of Elizabeth's loss witht the word "but". he is also pointing out that she would be in much the same situation; she would still be the mother of a monarch.

Prevalent themes in the speech:
-focus on blood lines
-theme of taking and giving (taking the lives of the princes. giving England and the crown to Elizabeth the daughter)
-The death of the two princes is definitly on both Richard and Elizabeth's minds, though the princes are never directly referenced, only the hypothetical grandchildren are.
-Richard presents his case that; to make amends for maybe killing your sons, I'll be a nice guy and let you give me your daughter.

Monday, March 20, 2006

narrative essay

After four years of college and three years of grad school I was finally there. I was a week away from finishing my thesis for my PhD and I had just married the man of my dreams. This was it, what I had been working for my whole life. Yet, something about it was constraining. Some part of me felt like my life was being led for me; like the decisions had already been made and I was just carrying them out.

We were driving home from some function, my husband Paul and I. Something made me feel uneasy, but since I could not figure out what it was for myself, I didn’t bother Paul with it. I’m really not sure what happened, I guess the other driver was drunk; all I know was that one second we were fine, the next, we were not. I got banged up a bit, and Paul broke his nose. The car was a disaster, but in that situation no one really cares about the car. I realized that I had been waiting for something like this; some great moment that could change my life, and it did. I never even finished my thesis, I simply stopped. I didn’t want my life planned for me anymore, so I stopped.

Paul finished med-school and his residency and was making more than enough money for us to live on. Once I was certain that I was going to have a baby I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to spend my time with my daughter and taking care of our home. Paul was in the navy, and when the U.S. declared war on Iraq in 1991 he was called up. I stayed at home with Karen, my daughter, until he came home two years later.

Now Karen is in college, Princeton actually, and I love how both she and my life have turned out. Following the life that I wanted was the best thing that I could have done, and I am so glad that my life has followed my own path.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Style lesson 5

in this lesson Williams concerns himself with the difference between cohesion and coherence. though the two words sound alike, they are in fact very different. however, williams does not address that until after he discusses the feelings that are evoked with unclear writing

Williams starts with discussing the words clarity, choppy, and disorganized. williams asserts that these words cannot actually describe a passage, rather they describe how the passage makes us feel.

Cohesive sentences are sentences that flow from the end of on sentence into the beginning of the next.

Coherence depends on how each sentence in the passage cumulatively begin.

Williams says that to make sure your writing is both cohesive and coherent a writer should begin sentences with information that is familiar to the readers. Williams then makes a generalization and says that "readers bring to a sentence a general knowledge of the subject" (Williams 77). however, this is not always the case. if someone who is not scientifically minded is reading an essay in ions, then they would need more clarification than the writer might necessarily assume.

Finally, Williams discusses "throat-clearing" which is extra pieces that do not necessarily have anything to do with the sentence. Williams cites the examples; fortunatly, perhaps, allegedly, it is important to note, for the most part, and politically speaking.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

my weekend thus far

i went home this weekend, to see my friends who were home for their spring break, and also it was my brother's birthday. there were some great moments that i had, and i wanted to share them with the internet, because why not?

1. my brother is in a celtic pipe and drum band, and there was a st. patrick's day parade that they were marching in, so me and my parents went to watch. and there was this really HOT guy who was in the drumline who i had never seen before. mmmm

2. me and necie went to dinner, chinese to be specific, and we had a great talk. we hung out and i realized how much ive missed her, i hadnt seen her since christmas, and i wont see her again till summer. we made the most out of the little time that we had. man i miss her!

3. me and mika and janis went to get dessert and have a chat, and once again i realized how much i miss them. the situation is the same as with denise, we havent seen each other since christmas, and wont see each other again till summer. we chatted over cheesecake and cocoa. we talked about boys, school, life in general...it was great.

4. my brother's birthday party at our house was fun, i saw the fam, and we had lasagne and cake. alec got tons of presents including a drum set, which is crazy expensive. i told my mom that im expecting something just as big for my birthday, and she was like, "we'll see". i mean i know that hes the favorite child but COME ON PEOPLE!

all in all it has been a great time, but packed with activities. what i really need is a break, and the weekend, while fun, was not a break. i am counting the hours till spring break! man oh man!

How my parents met

moms version:
To celebrate St. Patrick's day in 1977 i wore green, drank irish coffee and went out with my friends. when the restaraunt that we had eaten dinner at informed us that there was a cover charge to continue our night at the bar i pocketed an ashtray in retaliation and we went on to another bar. as i sat drinking black russians a stool next to me opened up and with the luck of the irish a man sat next to me. he was knowledgable, articulate, and non-abraisive. we talked about movies, my home town, and admired the clarinetist. aided by my black russians and his own Rum and cokes he asked me to see a movie.

dad's version:
i didnt know it was st. patrick's day. some friends and i went out drinking and though most of the bars were full we stumbled into the Far Inn where someone said they knew the bartender. it too was crowded but not too badly. my friends wandered off and i found myself sitting next to a pretty girl with long hair and eyes so blue i could have fallen into them. we started talking about movies or something and she hugged me when i mentioned iowa and colorado in the same sentence. well now, a gal who hugs you on st. patrick's day is not to be forgotten easily so we made a date. and the rest is history.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sex and Knitting

Some people say that the most painful thing in a college woman’s life is stepping on her stilettos from the night before, the morning after. The problem with defining this kind of pain with only college women is obvious, even after college there will continue to be nights before, and mornings after. So why the big build-up? Perhaps it’s the embarrassment from not really knowing how or why your favorite pair of shoes was cast aside so hurriedly last night. Perhaps it’s the combination of pain from your newly injured foot and the hand that you bit into to keep yourself from waking your roommate. Or perhaps it’s the illusion that the only thing a college woman has to worry about in relationships is the morning after.

Whatever the reason, this myth has plagued college women, pushing them into relationships that they do not want, but are compelled to put up with. The Myth tells college women that they must look a certain way, dress a certain way, and be a certain way, none of which any real woman could reasonably ascribe to.

To look like a college woman, The Myth dictates, one must be tan, blonde, curvy but still incredibly thin, and must have at least one tattoo, usually on her lower back. Spring Break documentaries are repleat with examples of just this woman. She is wearing a colorful bikini, bedecked with colorful beads and leis, and holding a colorful drink. She must be willing to do body shots off of a complete stranger’s chest, all the while smiling and behaving as though she were enjoying herself.

When it comes to sex, the college woman is considered a drag if she insists on contraception. The ideal college woman does not need any prophylactics, and is willing to have anonymous sex with every guy on the beach.

Right off the bat we can see that there is a problem. Too many girls are forced into this idea of college woman-hood, when in reality it is simply an extension of childhood. The scariest thing about it; women accept this role wholeheartedly. I’m sure there are plenty of women who enjoy partying way into the night and dancing naked with men, but I certainly don’t know any of them. What’s scary is that I do know women who do it, not because they enjoy it, but because, “What else would you do on a Friday night?”

Scarier still is the alternative. The image that every woman has in her head that keeps her striving towards The Myth is The Anti-Myth. The Anti-Myth is the woman who stays in her room on Friday nights, watching reruns of Friends and knitting. The Anti-Myth woman is always knitting. To college women, the knitting needle is locked in mortal combat with the beer bong. You’re either one or the other, you have to pick.

Funnily enough, for our mothers, the bad girl was the one that no one wanted to be or associate with. For us, the good girlfriend is the blemish on our social complexion. The friend that must be dragged to the party is the one that we will abandon as soon as we get there. It’s sad but true, bad girls want to be known as such, and good girls want to be left alone. Or so The Myth tells us.

When a good girl gets a boyfriend, people will assume that they are having sex, and that she has somehow been changed by the experience. The Myth teaches us to believe that all relationships have to have sexual counterparts. When a good girl gets a man, her girlfriends relax and open the sexual conversations up to her. So it often happens that once a good girl gets a man, she’ll go bad. Not because of the guy, because of the girls. Her knitting needles are cast aside and she begins to make comments about other good girls. “Don’t tell that joke around her, she’s a virgin”

Virgin or not, more good girls are coming out of their knitting baskets to claim their identities as full women. Knitting has become more and more popular in Hollywood, so more and more bad girls want to try it. If Angelina Jolie does it, it MUST be cool. So knitting clubs form. Bad girls show up for a few meetings, but quickly realize that they are expected to actually knit, and to actually care. Since they cannot and do not, the clubs rapidly reduce in numbers until only good girls are left. Some of them may have become bad girls for a time, but they return to the roost, and resume their knitting with fervor.

Bad girls will claim that the energy they put into their knitting is in place of sex, that these women are somehow incomplete without a sex life, but they are wrong. The truth is that their knitting needles represent their lives without butterfly tattoos, represent the adult in them that smiles knowingly at their wild college years, and returns to the knitting club week after week.

So while both Myths are awful, some women find a way around them, fitting into both categories and maintaining an individual identity. College is a confusing place, inside and outside of the lecture halls. Women have a windy path to navigate, so we should all be armed well. One pair of fabulous stiletto shoes, One mini-skirt, and One pair of knitting needles.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"forgiveness, is more than saying sorry. To forgive is devine, so lets have a glass of wine, and have make-up sex, until the end of time"

those are song lyrics from the movie "just friends" a movie that i truly love, and since buying it i have watched it once a day.

at first the movie seems like a simple chick flick. Ryan Reynolds plays a nerd in high school who is in love with his best friend. but to his dismay she wants to remain just friends and keep him in what he refers to as "the friend zone" he explains the friend zone 10 years later to a sceptical friend:
"see when a girl decides youre her friend you become a non dating option, a completely non sexual entity in her eyes. like her brother. or a lamp."

however, due to a crazy client, Chris (played by Reynolds) is forced to go home for christmas, something he hasnt done in 10 years. during his trip he remeets his old flame Jaimie, and falls back in love with her.

the plot is pretty simple, but what truly makes the movie are the actors. Reynolds is a physical comedy genius and the slap fights that he stages with his brother throughout the film are truly hilarious. matched only by his crazy client/ girlfriend played by Anna Farris. her budding music career inspires such songs as the above "forgiveness" along with "dancing free with my guitar" and by the end, the improved "forgiveness" in which she adds only one lyric. (are you sorry).

it has to be said that at the end Chris wins Jaimie after many failed attempts and everyone lives happily ever after. i really recommend the film, it is always hillarious and keeps getting funnier as the movie goes on.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the narratives we read

i really enjoyed the narratives that we had to read. It is hard to pick a favorite, since i was enraptured by them all, but i would say that if i had to pick one to read again, it would be the one about the author being shot in the eye with a BB. her story about raising her head again is interesting, and one that i can relate to, though i never had a physical reason to put my head down in the first place. i think that everyone has a moment where they finally raise their head, and i loved the way she phrased it.

the narrative about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro was really interesting to me. the narrator seemed to have a lot in common with me, and i would never, ever climb a mountain. her story both horrified and captivated me. it was so detailed and gorey, yet with all of her ailments, the author said that she was glad that she had climbed the mountain, and in fact has made adventures her business.

this has made me consider how i will write my personal narrative. it has made me wonder whos story i would tell and has made me contemplate how i will write it. what style will i use? it has made me consider more carefully the direction that i want this paper to take.

Monday, March 13, 2006

email to my friend

hey there,

i am bored and instead of working on my paper, i decided to write you an epic email. hopefully it will end up actually being epic as opposed to simply lengthy.

i suppose i should open with some inquiries after you. how are you? how is eric? how is school? how are any pets that you may have aquired since last we spoke? i heard about denise's newest addition yesterday. if you have not heard, brace yourself and then go ask her about ginger. it kinda creeped me out, but whatever, its not my pet.

news from me is pretty tame. my friends and i went to this place this weekend. its in Richmond, its called Maymont. its this really big and extensive park basically. theres a petting zoo (by the way, did you know that goats have square pupils??? its really weird), and a little museum, and the rest is just park. it was really fun, we spent the whole day and had a picnic and rode a carriage with horses and played frisbee. it was basically good clean fun and then afterwards we had pizza and $5 food lion wine. that was pretty gross, but i feel like thats part of the college experience, to drink REALLY disgusting alcohol. it tasted like butter.

this coming weekend being St. Patricks, my parents are having their annual party and im heading home to help with it. i love the st. pats party, and this year im bringing home a friend. no, not that kind of friend, a girlfriend. but still. should be fun, though i havent figured out where shes going to sleep. she has a little thing for alec, so i might give her my bed and sleep in his room to guard him against any midnight frolicing.

i feel like there is so much that we have to catch up on, but when i sit down to write it, i cant think of anything. oh, i guess i have a story from the park. there were a bunch (like 10) guys walking with their shirts off past us while we were playing frisbee, and my friend carrie purposefully over-threw me so that i would have to go at least near them, and perhaps talk to them, but when i got near enough i realized that they were like 15 and thats gross. so i just picked up the frisbee and walked away. this episode lead to a demonstration of the bend and snap. it got pretty silly, we were all doing the bend and snap every time the frisbee dropped. not a great story for the ages, but it was amusing.

OH! did you see the project runway finale?? what a stupid question, of course you did! i was shocked! although part of me isnt, i mean santinos were all basically the same dress, and i was asleep during daniels collection (not literally, i mean that it was really boring). and when heidi pointed out the seams i was on chole\'s side. those were some cool seams man! also, did you see the finale of "flavor of love"? i did and the girl i liked won, so thats cool. i find it so sad that i am a fan of "flavor of love" but it actually was entertaining, especially to see the things that he would wear. i mean MY GOD. he gave all of his interviews in a blue crushed velvet track suit and a viking helmet. seriously. ok well i think this email is sufficiently epic, if not, then youll just have to out do me next time.
ariel

Sunday, March 12, 2006

style lesson 4

the point in this lesson was that characters are important in writing. more to the point, readers want characters as the subject of the sentence. the most important point is to "make the subjects of most of your verbs short, specific, and concrete."

firstly a writer needs to diagnose whether or not your character is in fact your subject. if it is not, revision is necessary. the verbs also need to be action verbs to make the sentence more clear.

there exists a problem in the english language, that being that there exists no good word for a generic doer. this is most apparent when dealing with abstract concepts. if the audience is familiar with the concept then the problem is lessened, but if the audience is not familiar with the concept, then the problems become much clearer.

another main point of the lesson was the passive voice and passive verbs. these two things do not necessarily coincide. though many writers overuse the passive voice, it has its uses. the first person is also a tool that inexperienced writers use too often, but experienced writers know that it can make their writing clearer, and better. in fact Williams says, "When used appropriatly, the first person is entirely correct."

strings of nouns were also addressed in the lesson. for the most part writers should avoid stringing nouns together, especially if the string is of their own creation. noun strings that are already in existence are alright, since they have been adopted into the lexicon. such phrases are, "stone wall", "Student center", "space shuttle".

the golden rule of writing is outlined as a last remark in the chapter, that being "write to others as you would have others write to you."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

writing sample for the HAC

In every English class that I have had in either high school or college, I have found the material if not easy, then certainly bearable. The words and cadences of Shakespeare do not make me hide under my covers; on the contrary I embrace them with open arms. I have realized myself to be an oddity in these classes, seeing my fellow students cringe at Milton and groan over Austin. My love of the subject hardly goes unnoticed by my comrades and they often approach me for help in understanding the material. I have been asked to proof read papers, play parts in plays, and define Old English vocabulary words. I have done all of these things gladly and openly, but I have come to realize that I might also be getting paid for it. A friend drew me to looking at the HAC for employment, and since I have I have found it to be a place where I can continue to help students, but in a more structured environment. I think the HAC is an ideal place for me to work because it is aimed at helping students, as am I.

William and Mary Essay

this is an essay that i wrote as an application to william and mary two years ago. with a little reworking it has come out like this...

I am a firm believer in instinct, specifically my own. Be it fleeing from a raging bear or buying that perfect pair of shoes, my instincts rarely, if ever, steer me wrong. Because of my undying trust in my instincts I tend to follow their instructions. Nothing creepy, no voices in my head, simply a gut feeling that I am going down the right path. When I was nine people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and where I wanted to attend college. Being a nine year old child I had no idea what I wanted out of my life, but for some reason I replied that I wanted to go to William and Mary. Perhaps I did this simply for the response that it elicited from adults. They were surprised that I would have planned my life so far in advance, but I felt that if they asked then they were due a pretty good story. This plan usually backfired, as instead of leaving the subject, adults tended to delve further into planning my future, with or without my input.
As I got older, the idea of William and Mary was pushed to the back burner, more important issues searing across my brain. Who would ask me to the dance, how long it would really take me to study for a test, etcetera. However, as I was enrolling in college and taking my first faltering steps on the road of the ‘real world’, I found that the ‘real world’ I was in was not the one that I had expected. I found myself revisiting my old fantasies, including William and Mary. I traveled to the campus, taking in the world that I wished I could be a part of. Ghost tours at Halloween mixed with ballroom dancing exhibitions and radio station public service announcements all shared with friends, made me feel that the college experiences in this new yet historic place, were the ones that really mattered.
As I ask professors for recommendations or tell friends in passing that I was applying for transfer, people wonder whether I am unhappy in the path that I am on right now. In truth I am not unhappy, I am quite content but I feel that there is more that I could do. It is hard to express this to professors, or even friends. There are things that cannot be expressed in words, they are only feelings. Instincts cannot be explained and shouldn’t be, because words become inadequate. To express a feeling, one needs a listener who has experienced similar thoughts.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

application essay

this is an application essay to live in Thomas Branch Hall next year.


Ariel Giraldi W.E.L.L. application essay 3-9-06



The W.E.L.L. in Thomas Branch Hall has been a good fit for me in the past year. I have found the environment to be condusive to both study and fun. I have met and become friends with almost all of my hall-mates.
The W.E.L.L. environment is the best fit for me because it discourages drunken rowdy behavior. I am not one to party and drink, I think the best time is a good book or movie and some friends.
The W.E.L.L. helps me to focus on my school work, and in fact I believe that living in the W.E.L.L. is a major factor in the raising of my GPA in the past two semesters. Clean study rooms and quiet hours give me time to not only finish my homework, but to understand it, and helps me get better grades in my classes. This higher GPA has given me the opportunity to intern at a prestigious Public Relations firm this summer, an opportunity that I accredit the W.E.L.L. for. Hopefully I will still be working there in 5-10 years, as I plan to make it my career.
A program that I think would benefit the W.E.L.L. is one that would encourage hall mates and building mates to spend a bit more time together. Though I feel that I know my hall mates, I would like to know them better, and I have met only a few of the other people in the building. I think mixing with peers is important, and more socializing would be beneficial.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

education

this was a statement about the importance of my education. i chose to approach it from the standpoint of my major and how much i enjoy literature and writing.


My major is English. That means that I can (theoretically) decode the poems of Alfred Lord Tennison, analyze the words of Shakespeare, and draw connections within the epic works of Spenser. To me, words have always been the way out of trouble, or the way into a different world. I have ridden the Pequod with Ishmael, floated on a raft with Huck and Jim, and giggled at the absurdities of Lady Brucknel. The only way that I could have met these characters is though school.

School, as annoying as most sometimes find it, is the most incredible adventure of all. By walking into the right room at a college one might learn which stars could hold life, or which of Henry VIII’s wives were beheaded. That, to me is the most exciting exploit one might venture into.

I do not believe that learning ever ends, but once my formal schooling is over I hope that I might be able to use my skills to write. Perhaps I could work at a Public Relations firm, or perhaps I could write fiction to support myself. I am addicted to stories so I hope that in some way, I could help someone else to love stories as much as I do.

Whatever I do in my life, I know that there will always be the people who love me to give me guidance and emotional support. I am confident that whatever I do with my life to make myself happy, all those who love me will be happy for me. I still feel that I am trying to find out what exactly would make me happy, but I know which road it is on, and the road is to be found only through the doors of schools.

I work hard to find both myself and what would make me happiest. I have not found it yet, but I hope that I can before I graduate.

shakespeare paper

Ariel Giraldi Richard III 3-7-06



The speech that Richard delivers to Queen Elizabeth in Act _ scene _ is indicative of his overall character throughout the rest of the play. He uses many of the same techniques in this speech that he employs during the course of the play. He points out the personal gain possible should the other character comply with his schemes. The larger theme present in this speech is that Richard is a master performer and orator, however, unfortunately for Richard, his audience in this case is smarter than he gives her credit for.
To start his argument, Richard essentially minimalizes the queen's loss, a theme that is prevalent throughout the speech, but most notable in the first line. Richard's sentiment in the first line of the speech is what is done is done, and that which is in the past should stay there. The next two lines are one idea and should be treated as such in analysis. That idea is that men will do things that later, upon reflection, they are not proud of. The real insult to Queen Elizabeth and to the audience is the word "leisure". In using this word, Richard is in essence telling the Queen that only in his leisurely moments can he find the time to lament over the death of her two sons.
Richard's next sentence is interesting because it combines his crimes with his subtlety and treachery. The line starts "If I did take the kingdom from your sons" ( ), this line acts in two ways. Firstly it begins with the word "If". This word is what separates the criminal from the crime. Richard does not come out and say that he murdered the princes, yet neither does he deny it. The line following this one is what lends a different light to this line, "To make amends I'll give it to your daughter" ( ). Though Richard has been slippery and will not admit to the crime, he acts as if it were true, offering as compensation a Queenship for their sister. There is also present the themes of taking and giving. According to the text, Richard took the lives of both princes, as well as their kingdom. Yet though he makes only one concession to that, he utilizes the give angle to its full potential. He speaks here specifically of giving the kingdom to the princess to make amends for the deaths of her brothers. Essentially this is a simple exchange of on thing for another for Queen Elizabeth. She is exchanging the lives of her sons for a secure place on the throne for her daughter. Richard sees this as a fair trade and this speech is made in order to convince Elizabeth.
\n With the cesura at the end of line 5, Richard tries a different tactic. He moves away from discussing the deceased princes and on to discussing the possibility of grandchildren for \nElizabeth. However, Richard does not do as well in this line of convincing. He makes the concession that a "grandam\'s name is little less in love/ than is the doting title of a mother;" ( ). The use of "little less" does two things. First it builds up grandmotherhood saying that grandparents love their grandchildren second only to the children\'s parents, which is the greatest love that can exist. The second meaning of this small phrase is that a grandmother\'s love is first and foremost \nless than the love of a parent, making the hypothetical grandchildren pale in comparison to the Queen\'s living (or in this case dead) children. \n The middle of the speech focuses mainly on the bloodlines that Richard feels Elizabeth should be concerned about. The most confusing, and therefore most interesting line in the speech appears at line 13. "Of all one pain, save for a night of groans/ Endured of her for whom you bid like sorrow:" ( ). The word "pain" is the most troubling. The night of groans is clearly labor which is to be endured by the princess, but the word pain that precedes it and is Antithesis to it is disquieting. \n\n Richard comes to a climax with lines 15 and 16. He reminds Elizabeth that children steal youth, but grandchildren can renew the feelings of youth. Richard uses the term vexation, a charming word that does epitomize how many women do and did feel about their children. The juxtaposition of the words "vexation" and "comfort" add a great deal to the speech, showing Richard to be not only cunning in the political world, but also in the realm of words and speaking. \n",1]
);
//-->

With the cesura at the end of line 5, Richard tries a different tactic. He moves away from discussing the deceased princes and on to discussing the possibility of grandchildren for Elizabeth. However, Richard does not do as well in this line of convincing. He makes the concession that a "grandam's name is little less in love/ than is the doting title of a mother;" ( ). The use of "little less" does two things. First it builds up grandmotherhood saying that grandparents love their grandchildren second only to the children's parents, which is the greatest love that can exist. The second meaning of this small phrase is that a grandmother's love is first and foremost less than the love of a parent, making the hypothetical grandchildren pale in comparison to the Queen's living (or in this case dead) children.
The middle of the speech focuses mainly on the bloodlines that Richard feels Elizabeth should be concerned about. The most confusing, and therefore most interesting line in the speech appears at line 13. "Of all one pain, save for a night of groans/ Endured of her for whom you bid like sorrow:" ( ). The word "pain" is the most troubling. The night of groans is clearly labor which is to be endured by the princess, but the word pain that precedes it and is Antithesis to it is disquieting.
Richard comes to a climax with lines 15 and 16. He reminds Elizabeth that children steal youth, but grandchildren can renew the feelings of youth. Richard uses the term vexation, a charming word that does epitomize how many women do and did feel about their children. The juxtaposition of the words "vexation" and "comfort" add a great deal to the speech, showing Richard to be not only cunning in the political world, but also in the realm of words and speaking.
\n Finally, Richard concludes with a statement that summarizes his whole argument beautifully. "The loss you have is but a son being king, / And by that loss your daughter is made queen." ( ). Richard throws another small affront towards \nElizabeth by making light of her loss, which is great indeed. However, Richard points out that Elizabeth herself is in much the same position as she was before the princes died; there has been no change at all to the potential of her own personal gain. Essentially, Richard is presenting \nElizabeth with a win-win opportunity. The only way that Elizabeth could lose would be to deny Richard her daughter\'s hand, which she does since she can see that though he has the talents of a gifted orator, he is not to be trusted.\n\n Richard\'s speech here shows the audience much about his character. The tactics that Richard employs are his tried and true strategies, however in this particular case it does not work to his advantage. Richard tries to point out the different advantages for \nElizabeth if she were to do as he wishes, which is something that has worked for him elsewhere in the play. Richard is shown in this speech to be a master orator and performer, using his skills to what he thinks is their best advantage. \n\n\n",0]
);
//-->

Finally, Richard concludes with a statement that summarizes his whole argument beautifully. "The loss you have is but a son being king, / And by that loss your daughter is made queen." ( ). Richard throws another small affront towards Elizabeth by making light of her loss, which is great indeed. However, Richard points out that Elizabeth herself is in much the same position as she was before the princes died; there has been no change at all to the potential of her own personal gain. Essentially, Richard is presenting Elizabeth with a win-win opportunity. The only way that Elizabeth could lose would be to deny Richard her daughter's hand, which she does since she can see that though he has the talents of a gifted orator, he is not to be trusted.
Richard's speech here shows the audience much about his character. The tactics that Richard employs are his tried and true strategies, however in this particular case it does not work to his advantage. Richard tries to point out the different advantages for Elizabeth if she were to do as he wishes, which is something that has worked for him elsewhere in the play. Richard is shown in this speech to be a master orator and performer, using his skills to what he thinks is their best advantage.

Monday, March 06, 2006

an email to my friend

i already wrote this email. it was 3 pages long. and then the computer deleted it. so hopefully i can recreate what it said, though if some of the jokes dont work...oh well.WOW, your building burt down! i cant believe that! when denise told me i was speechless, and as you know it takes a lot to render me speechless. i heard from an uncle on mothers day that there were some buildings at w&m that burned down, but i didnt think it would be yours! i was just like, "i should call them to make sure it wasnt a building of anyone they know". well man!your message and denise answered a lot of my questions, but i have a few more. 1) did you lose your CDs? i know how much you love those little pieces of plastic, and it would suck if they were eaten by the fire. 2) what caused it? arson? terrorists? rabid squirrels? 3) living in a hotel eh? cushy digs. although i dont think ill be employing your method of getting there. 4)funny joke went here but was deleted. moving on. as you probably know, the HFStival is still being held, and it is on saturday. my brother has a friend who is playing the HFStival and could get us tickets (we think). would you like to go? i have asked denise in email form, and since i will still be in school (supposed to be studying for exams but whatev), i shall blow them off to go! i REALLY want to go, and it would be so totally cool if we could all go together. (small aside; TMBG is playing, and if you lost your pictures, as denise said, then you will need to replentish your supply of TMBG in concert). sorry this email sucks, the original was funnier, this is the readers digest version. stupid computers in the computer lab! (i was writing your email when i was supposed to be doing work in my comp. sci. class. thats how much i care about you. i stopped doing work so that i might attend to your needs. ariel

Sunday, March 05, 2006

my 15 minutes as a soccer mom

last night for various birthdays my family and i went to my Uncle Robert's house. my family as a unit is very loud and very italian, but last night less people were there due to previous obligations, so the gathering was less loud, but no less italian. come to think of it, it really wasn't less loud. anyway, my cousin Lauren (15) had a party that she wanted to attend with some friends but was hesitant to let her parents drive her there. my aunt therefore threw her keys at me and told me to drive them (if you dont mind). this was after a glass of wine and half a gin and tonic, but i passed the patented Giraldi sobriety test (touch your nose sequentially with both fingers) so it was my thankless task to drive them.

heres the situation. me, climbing (and i mean literally climbing using both hands and feet) into a huge SUV land Yacht with chatty 15 year olds. to start with, i could not find the headlight switch. Lauren kept assuring me that i didnt need them, and i kept assuring her that the car was not moving until i found them. the actual conversation went something like this:

Me: where are the lights?
Lauren: you dont need them
Me: its night time, i need headlights
Lauren: No you dont, its fine
Me: its not fine, i dont want to die

i eventually found the brights, and decided that light was light and we were only going a few miles anyway. the second obstacle was the configuration of the driveway and the other cars therein. the driveway was a rather steep slope that was banked on either side by a deep ditch (which i have landed a car in before and was not looking to repeat). not to mention the cars belonging to the rest of my family. my father eventually took pity on me and directed me out of the driveway safely, though even that became a headache for two reasons. one: my father still believes me to be 3 years old, so his instructions were on the lines of "turn the wheel the other way". these comments, while helpful in their own way, were not exactly what i was looking for. two: there were four 15 year old girls in the car, and one radio. this translates into all four girls singing at the top of their voices to Snoop Dogg, whilst i was trying to hear my father's lame instructions.

i am glad to say that once out of the driveway the trip went relatively without incident, except one tiny curb that jumped out at me. Unfortunatly for my cousin Lauren, her driving lessons have been postponed thanks to my tattle tale mouth in informing her parents that she believed headlights to be superfluous pieces of equipment.

all in all i'd say that my experience being a soccer mom throws into perspective the fact that i am not quite ready to be a mother to a 15 year old, which is probably a good thing.

My Brother

My brother is an interesting person. i bring this up because tonight he went to a rock concert. this by itself does not differentiate him as particularly special however at this concert he was selling merchandise for one of the bands. perhaps i should explain further. The concert was a battle of the bands and several of my brother's best friends were in one of the bands. in order to raise funds, most bands sell tee-shirts, and this one was no exception, but in addition to tee-shirts my brother also had a bake sale.

this was an odd concept to me until i really thought about it. at a concert, many people recall that they did not eat a full meal, or for some reason or another get the munchies. this makes them the perfect market group for baked goods. and in fact, according to my brother, the assortment of cookies and brownies went very well, keeping the crowd pleased and the band's score in the battle up as well. which makes sense. i mean if you were at a battle of the bands concert who would you vote for? the band that was ok or the one that gave you cookies. there would be no contest. For teenagers, cookies always win. hands down.

this weekend i am home for my brother's birthday which makes me think about all the years that have culminated to make him 17.

as a baby my brother wasn't really anything special. he looked more like popeye than the gerber baby, but all in all he was ok. the trouble started when he was a toddler. he discovered that he could remove his diaper. and hes been making trouble (not to mention a mess) ever since.

what i recall most about my brother's childhood were his birthdays. no matter how hard my mother tried they all somehow ended in disaster. fortunatly, he claims not to remember this. the year that the magician couldnt find the rabbit. the year that half of the people who were supposed to come to lazer tag got food poisoning. none of these things have phased him, but they trouble our mother. all other family birthdays go off relatively well, if sometimes boring, but Alec's are always... interesting.

i guess the fact that he doesnt really mind says something about his character. if he were less laid back, then these things would bother him and upset him. but since he has such a relaxed atttitude towards life, things rarely phase him. and i hope they never do.

Friday, March 03, 2006

this years christmas letter, revamped

And so the world has made another trip around the sun, and here we stand, on the precipice of Christmas once again. The time of the year when children get wide-eyed and see the magic that is the world in a way that will all too soon be forgotten; and adults stand around knowingly and say that of course these Christmases are nothing to the ones when they were young.
Children at Christmas are the most magical sight of all. And to my memory floats a little girl. Hair in pigtails, teddy bear in hand, and so much excitement that it orbited her and crackled like electrical currents; she is me. I was that little girl. All the Christmases of my life have been a reflection of her, and all that I do the year through seems to be in anticipation of seeing her again.
The Christmas season for me starts slowly. A few lights start to go up and I don’t let myself get too excited. As more and more felt ornaments are snapped into place on my advent calendar, the excitement mounts. The days are counted down; less and less audibly as the years pass, but counted down nonetheless. Caroling and cookie making and present wrapping all flow into one activity in that most joyous of all activities; the celebration of Christmas.
And then the day comes. Christmas Eve. I can hardly contain myself as we drive to church. We have to stay for both services, so Christmas Eve dinner is Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and crackers, but I don’t mind. Its part of the tradition. Traditions at Christmas are like a child’s safety blanket. In times of doubt or pain traditions are there, to wrap around ourselves and cry into. Somehow they make every part of life special, all traditions are special and their repetition soothes the soul.
Soup and crackers eaten, and Silent Night sung by candle light, we collect our Poinsettias for grandmothers and make our way through the cold city night to the car. The ride home is filled with laughter and usually my father’s mangled version of the 12 days of Christmas.
Once at home, my brother and I get into our pajamas and make our way to the Christmas room. We snuggle next to our mother as dad pulls out the old and battered copy of Dylan Thomas’ “A child’s Christmas in Wales”. As my father’s husky voice relates the old and sacred text, I daydream. I dream about my friends, I dream about those who are closer to the source this Christmas, and without fail a tear runs down my cheek. The last lines of Thomas’ poem reach me in my clouded mind; “Looking through my bedroom window, out into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.”

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Style Lesson 3

This chapter dealt with the rules and principles of clarity. the first example was of Little Red Riding Hood, and the overall point was that a passage seems clearer when the Subject is a character and the verbs express specific actions. Once these line up, the sentence becomes much easier to read and follow. The main point of this section is that the plot of the story and the sentence grammer should coincide.

Williams goes on to say in the lesson that the reason that readers expect this type of organization is that as children we were all taught that a subject is a character and a verb is an action. This was universally true in elementary school, but in the real world it does not carry as much weight.

An interesting point that WIlliams makes is that many readers can identify unclear writing unless it is their own. An author might pen something that makes complete sense to him, but his reader may find it impossible to read. Williams explains this with, "It is because we all read into our own writing what we want readers to get out of it" (pg 43) He explains the phenomenon further with "We all tend to write badly when we're unsure about what we want to say" (pg43).

Williams ends with a warning about simplifying sentences too much. A clear sentence is a good thing, but there is a slippery slope between well-written and clear sentences, to over-simplistic and child-like sentences. When revising for clarity it is important to pay close attention in order to strike the correct ballance.