Commonplace Book 10: A Quote by Lenin

“A lie told often enough become the truth” (Vladimir Lenin)


What I think that this quote by Vladimir Lenin means is that people start believing in things that are not true if they hear it enough. This means that if enough people believe that a lie is true then it becomes the truth. He is saying that the truth does not actually have to be true, it just has to be believed by enough people that it is true. An example of this that immediately popped into my mind was the fact that people used to believe that the Earth was flat. Today we know that the Earth is not actually flat, however, because enough people believed that it actually was it became accepted as the truth. I think that Lenin is referring in this quote to the lies that governments tell its people. Most people take what the government tells them as being the truth, however, this is not always the case. For example, propaganda has been used by governments to convince the people that they were winning wars which they were in reality they were not. I think that Lenin is saying here that anyone can make up the truth as long as they get enough people believing that it is true.

Commonplace Entry 9: A Quote About Destiny

“There is in us an unquenchable expectation, which at the gloomiest time persists in inferring that because we are ourselves, there must be a special future in store for us, though our nature and antecedents to the remotest particular have been common to thousands” (Thomas Hardy).

This quote says a lot in its one sentence. What I think that Hardy is saying is that it is human nature to believe that we are destine for greatness, especially during the hard times, even though the rest of the human race believes that exact same thing. Hardy is pointing out the irony that in wishing that you were special you really are not special because millions of other people are wishing for that exact same thing. I think that this is a very pessimistic way looking at human nature because Hardy is telling people that they will not ever become special because not every one can become special. Personally, I believe that everyone should have the desire to become great because that wanting something is the first step in achieving that goal. I think that it is interesting that Hardy points out that this desire to be special is especially great when we are sad because I do believe that when people are unhappy they have this greater desire to be someone else besides themselves. I think that Hardy is saying here that it is better to be happy with yourself then wanting to be great because not many people possess the willpower to be able to love themselves completely.

Commonplace Entry 8: A Quote About History Analyzed By A History Major

“History is a vast early warning system” (Norman Cousins)

When I first saw this quote I knew I had to write up a commonplace book entry for it because despite the fact that it is so short, it says so much about human nature. What Cousins is trying to say here is that current events often reflect something that has already happened in history, and that by studying history people can prevent the same mistakes from happening again. This has the same mentality as the popular saying, “History repeats itself” because both quotes have to do with the fact that history is a never ending cycle that we should learn from. When I read this quote the first thing that jumped into my mind was the time that President-Elect Trump declared that if he was president he would require all muslims to register themselves. This very closely mirrors when Hitler forced all the Jews to register themselves in Germany during the 20th century. I think that the example that I just provided is an excellent reason why Cousins’ quote is accurate. I feel that the solution that Cousins offers in making this quote is that by studying history we can prevent all the mistakes of the past from happening again. As a student studying to become a history teacher this sentiment makes me very happy.

Commonplace Entry 7: More Game of Thrones Quotes

“Paint stripes on a toad, he does not become a tiger” (George R.R. Martin)


This quote comes from one of my all time favorite book series, A Song Of Ice And Fire, which some people know better as Game of Thrones. I think that Martin is trying to say here is just because you look the part of something does not mean you actually are. I think that he means that some people look tough and intimidating on the outside, but on the inside they could be a coward. He is saying that people have so much more to them then they are appear and that looks do not define who you are as a person. The character who says this quote in the novel is considered very scary and courageous because he is massive, strong, and half of his face is scarred. In reality he is actually a coward who flees in the middle of the battle. By saying this quote the character is showing that despite what his appearance might reflect there is a whole other side to him beneath his surface. I like this quote because I feel that it another way of saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. I feel that this quote is more effective then the popular saying because the whole point of book covers is to reflect what is inside between the two covers, whereas this quote talks directly about how masking what is inside never works. I feel like there are a lot of different levels to this quote, which is why I enjoy it so much.

Common Place: David Fleming Quote

“[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation. “(David Fleming 205).

After reading this quote the first time, I was rather confused by what it meant so I decided to break it up by sections to see if that helped me. The first section is “An education… that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy”. What I think that Fleming is saying here is that education in America is designed to teach students how to function in a democratic society. The second section of the quote is, “Would be an education oriented on the strong publics of decision-making”. Here Fleming is saying that education is based on what he calls the “strong publics of decision-making” which I think means the process society goes through when making decisions. The last section is, “rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation”. I think what Fleming is inferring is that people who form their own unpopular opinion are considered weak in our democratic society. So when I piece everything together I think that what Fleming is saying is that if education was set up to raise students to be effective in a democratic society, then it would favor popular decision-making over individual opinion forming. I think that he is making a comment on how in society a lot of times it is seen as better to follow the masses then stand out by being an individual.

Commonplace Book: Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

The root of the above sentence is “Shall property be exempt from taxation”. I know this because everything else in the sentence provide details and context, and are not necessary to create a sentence that makes grammatical sense.  The context of the sentence is that law makers are deciding wether or not property owned by the University System of Georgia should be subject to taxation. The encoder of this sentence creates the sentence in such a way because they are trying to ask their intended audience wether or not they believe that property owned by the University System of Georgia should be exempt from being taxed in order to keep costs, I am assuming these costs are tuition, affordable. The intended audience of this sentence is citizens that will be voting on the referendum that the sentence is referring to. I personally believe the sentence is, for the most part, easy to understand. My one critique of the fluidity of the sentence is that the encoder of the sentence could have simplified the sentence further in order to make it easily understood by the voting masses. Since the intended audience are average citizens, the sentence should be slightly less complex to meet the understanding of the average citizen.

Commonplace Book: Gender Inclusive Bathrooms

commonplace-book-assignmentThis sign is saying that that particular bathroom is meant to be used by people of every gender. Additionally, it saying that this is something that is new, but they would like everyone to keep an open mind in order to create a safe environment for all. This sign is probably there to make people who do not identify with their biological gender or a gender at all comfortable when using the bathroom. It was authored by American University’s Housing and Dining Program. They probably most likely authored it because they had gotten complaints from students over the lack of gender neutral, or gender inclusive, bathrooms. The sign is located on a bathroom door on campus because it is there to inform students and faculty that that bathroom is a gender inclusive bathroom.

Commonplace Book: Favorite Sentence

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” (George R.R. Martin)



The root sentence for the sentence above is “the lone wolf dies but the pack dies.” The other words before the root sentence are there to set the scene for the root sentence. You can tell by the use of the words snows and white winds that the scene that the author is trying to set is winter. They explain that when winter comes people will only be able to survive if they work together and are not alone. Winter in this case is symbolizing a time when things get tough and hard. You would not be able to pick all of this up if you only read the root sentence because you would have not understood that it talks about when things get tough.

My own sentence using the same form: When the snows melt and the flowers bloom, school ends but the kids still learn.

Commonplace Book: Entry 2: The conversation

Introduction to Judith Goode’s Essay, Dousing the Fire or Fanning the Flames: The Role of Human Relations Practitioners in Intergroup Conflicts:

“In this literature about human conflict, little has been said about the role played by a new group of experts, the human relations specialists. These experts are usually agents of institutions of civil society such as clergy, or social service professionals such as teachers and social workers. They are charged with preventing or healing the local racial and anti-immigrant conflict which accompanies rapid, large-scale neighborhood turnover. Clergy drew their legitimacy from their moral authority while helping professionals draw theirs from presumed control of the technologies of psychological intervention to reform or educate morally flawed or “ignorant” people. There practices are based on the assumptions that racism is a problem of individuals to be eradicated through knowledge, moral reform, and/or therapeutic treatment of damaged egos. I argue that the new practices designed to treat inter-group conflict have had the unintended effect of undercutting the development of informal cross-racial local relationships.”

The introduction to this essay has a very clear they say/ I say format. The they say in this essay is that the self-proclaimed human relations experts believe that the best way to approach racism is by viewing it as something that is only found in individuals and can be dealt with through moral reform and the eradication of ignorance. The I say in this essay is that the way the human relations experts deal with racism actually negatively impacts multiracial relationships that were forming negatively. This mirrors Graff’s forms because the author of this essay first offers one common view on the issue, but then goes on to state how her own opinion differs/contradicts with this view. The author of this essay follows the templates found in Graff’s novel pretty closely actually, which ends up making her main argument even stronger.


Introduction to Marcelo M. Orozco’s essay, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Assimilation But Were Afraid To Ask:

“Two broad concerns have set the parameters of the debate over immigration scholarship and policy in the United States and Europe: the economic and the sociocultural consequences of large-scale immigration. Recent economic arguments have largely focused on (1) the impact of large-scale immigration on the wages of native workers, (2) the fiscal implications of large-scale immigration, and (3) the redundancy of immigrants, especially poorly educated and low-skilled workers, in new knowledge-intensive economies that are far less labor-intensive than the industrial economies of yesterday. Reducing the complexities of the new immigration to economic factors can be limiting. Furthermore, we must not lose sight of the fact that the U.S. economy is so large, powerful, and dynamic that, ideologues aside, immigration will neither make nor break it.”
Just like in the last essay’s introduction, this essay on immigration’s introduction also follows the they say/I say format. In this case, this essay’s they say is that some people consider immigration as problematic because it will negatively affect the United States economy. The author of this essay counters that belief with is I say statement, which is that the United States economy is actually so large that immigration would not have a significant impact on it. This essay also very closely follows the template that Graff outlines in his book because first the author explains one belief, and then he counters it with his own belief. By following the template the author makes his essay so much stronger.

Common Place: Entry 1

Every year our school put on one musical. In my senior year I auditioned for Once Upon a Mattress.

Every year our school put on one musical; in my senior year I auditioned for Once Upon a Mattress.

When the sentences were in the IC. IC. format the sentences are two separate thoughts, which means that the subject of the second sentence could have auditioned for that play anywhere, instead of assuming she auditioned at her high school. However, when you combine the two sentences with a semicolon it connects the two thoughts and one can then safely infer that the subject auditioned for the musical at her high school.


In spite of her cold, my grandmother refuses to go to bed early; she is afraid she will miss something.  

My grandmother refuses to go to bed early because she is afraid she will miss something.

In my original sentence I connected two ICs that related to each other with a semicolon. By doing this the second IC  is now put into context because you learn from the IC that my grandmother refuses to go to bed. This is the same thing with my second sentence. By connecting my two ICs together with a “because” I was able to provide meaning to both of the ICs. The subject becomes my grandmother and the verb is refuses in this case. You learn why she refuses to go to bed early in the second IC, which is conveniently in the same sentence because it is connected by a because.