Not a Photo-Blog 

This is not a photoblog, I promise. I am still planning on writing more entries and having more things to say here, but as I am busy working on projects for school, I figured that taking about ten minutes to make another post would not hurt anything. I need a bit of a mental rest. I also figured that I need to let the blog readers know that I haven't disappeared somewhere into the aether known as cyberspace.

My Building! Posted by Hello

My Desk! Posted by Hello

The first picture is of the building where I spend the majority of my time away from home. In fact, this is pretty much the view I have when I am walking from car in the parking lot behind me, towards the desk which is the focus of the second picture. My desk happens to be the one with the orange chair. If it doesn't look comfortable, that is because it isn't, but as I have said before, the office is a good place to work because it is relatively free from distractions and not nearly as crowded as the library. Until next time!

30 June 2004

Work Continues 

This is the real crunch time for me. Despite some personal problems, I really need to finish up the papers that have been dogging me for the last several days. According to a letter I just received, I may only have until the middle of August. Things may not be as bleak as I once thought, but they are definitely as serious. Nothing is really guaranteed. So, as work still continues, I figured I would post a picture of the place where I will be spending most of my time during the next several days: the library.

The Library Posted by Hello

The library is a decent enough place with some good places to study, although I prefer working in my office because there is usually less people. However, according to one of the professors here, the library is where all graduate students should live in order to do the research that is required of them. For undergraduates, he says that since they should learn how to love reading, their time should be spent in a comfortable chair or study space. If I had to do graduate school all over again from the beginning, I would do so many things differently. But things being as they are, I suppose that the only thing to do is to immerse myself in work and stay immersed until it is done, even if I feel like I am drowning.

25 June 2004

Another Quick Post 

According to blogger, it has been about 12 days since my last post, so I figured I would take a quick break from work to post this picture of the office plants. None of them are mine, although I was bequeathed an African Violet by an officemate who is leaving to teach Folklore in Iowa. I think that the ivy plant would look better hung up along the edges of the wall, but because this office gets very little light in the corners, it would probably condemn the plant to death.

The office plants! Posted by Hello

I've got some other pictures that I've taken recently around campus that I will eventually put on the web, but for the time being, this is it. Until next time, which if I don't get caught up on this work soon, could be awhile.

16 June 2004

Notes for My Seminar Paper  

Partially because I have not posted here in awhile, and partially because my research notes are a little spread out while I have been frantically trying to finish up my Spring term here at the University, I am going to post some brief notes about the seminar paper for my figures class. I know I can always find them here, a place where they won't be lost. Also, I need to translate them from the hurried notes I made in paper during my earlier meeting with the professor into actual print before the float away back into the ether of unremembered thoughts.
Kenneth Burke, a rhetorician(?), talks about four master tropes: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony. He does not create a new typology of figures like past rhetoricians (Cicero, Longinus, Puttenham) because he feels that every figure, which could have potentially infinite separate names, spring from these four basic types. There seems to be some kind of correlation, if a distant one, to Giambattista Vico who had postulated that, before early humans had language, there were four major mental figures that were the foundation of the rest of the figures commonly identified. Whereas Vico seems to be doing some kind of anthropology through the study of figures, I think Burke avoids theorizing about language origins the way Vico does.

In any event, broadly speaking Metaphor identifies one thing for another (A=B), Metonymy has one thing that is part of a whole ( B (A)), Synecdoche has one thing result from another (A --> B), and Irony has one thing that does not equal the other (A =/= B).

After talking with the professor about my idea, which has to do with hyperlinking, he suggests that I should get at Burke's purposes for proposing these four tropes. I should tell why these four tropes are something that is useful--the "correspondences in drawing out those tropes and larger issues. Specifically, I should address "perspective, reduction, representation, and dialectics." I should "talk about these four substitutions, which represents different perspectives from which to work.

As for myself, is there anything I can do with 1337 speak? Can I do anything with the forms of certain websites, especially blogs themselves. This might have to be looked into and thought about more. Is there something about RSS feeds, or a general kind of aggregation?
The Professor, (aka Dr. Brown Shoes), recommended that I review the essays that were presented in class very carefully, offering his caveat that I Burkian study can be particular hard. Yet, I am hoping that my rudimentary knowledge of the Net will help all this study go more easily; think "spoonful of sugar." Now, I am going to check out the required Burke books, after a little more research into the appropriate journal articles. Just as a friendly note, this might be the last blog for a week or more; the seminar papers will always take precedence.

04 June 2004