Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book: Entry 1 – Independent Clauses

Independent Clauses:

City of Rhetoric Chapter 2:

Ten persons is too small for a polis; but a hundred thousand is too large.

Ten persons is too small for a polis. A hundred thousand is too large.

Ten persons is too small for a polis, because a hundred thousand is too large.

Ten persons is too small for a polis and a hundred thousand is too large.

Ten persons is too small, however a hundred thousand is too large.

Ten persons is too small or a hundred thousand is too large.

They Say, I Say Chapter 5:

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you. But I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you and I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you, because I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you; I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you, although I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

I’m sure that’s what my father would tell you. I always felt that we were in some no man’s land, suspended between classes, sharing similarities with some and recognizing sharp, exclusionary differences from others.

In both of these examples, not only do we see a transition in structure, we see a transition in the meaning and the attitude of the sentence.


Commonplace Book: Entry 2 – The Conversation

City of Rhetoric “The Placelessness of Political Theory”, “The Persistence of Space” section introduction by David Fleming:

“Places matter! And the way we know this is that we routinely make discriminations among them”

The introduction for this section of this chapter does not necessarily follow the distinct idea of “They Say/I Say”, but it does imply it. Fleming immediately states his opinion on places, with no contrasting ideas ahead of it in a classic “they say/I say” matter. However, Fleming makes it immediately clear that it is not just his view, but a fact of society due to the present example of discriminations among the places.

Current Debates in International Relations “Section 4”, “Structural Crises” by Immanuel Wallerstein

“Capitalism is a system in which the endless accumulation of capital is the raison d’etre. To accumulate capital, producers must obtain profits from their operations, which is possible on a significant scale only if the product can be sold for considerably more than it cost to produce.”

This introduction for this particular text does not follow the “They Say/I Say” context at all. This is not a text of debate of ideas of others or acknowledgement of other opinion. This text is a simple “This is what I say” text, not only through the introduction, but throughout the entire rest of the reading.


Commonplace Book: Entry 3 – Quotes

“The only way to escape the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” –Looking for Alaska by John Green

To escape is to forgive.

“The labyrinth” is a description of how complicated and diverse suffering is. There is no one clear path of suffering, but a multitude of different paths.

“Suffering” is used to determine what exactly the escape is from. Without the term “suffering”, the escape is broad and left unknown.

“The only way” adds certainty to there only being one way to escape. Although there is multiple ways to get engrained in suffering, this allows the reader to have a sense of clarification on how exactly to get out of a rather complex situation.

These words build the sentence and give it meaning. Without these words, the sentence has no meaning in relativity of where it is from.

labyrinth

Using the same context in a new sentence:

There is no way to be the person that society drives you to become


Commonplace Book: Entry 4 – Gender Inclusive Bathroom Sign

commonplace-book-assignment

This sign is from the Housing and Dining program at American University. This sign simply says that “This bathroom is available for anyone”, meaning that it is a safe place for people to go and use the restroom regardless of the hate and discrimination that has been in the very media these past few months. This sign is on a bathroom door, meant for people to see and more than likely become more open to the idea that a bathroom is simply a bathroom and nothing to be sexualized.


Commonplace Book: Entry 5 – 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?”

Simple Format: Should property owned by the university be exempt from taxation?

Important Terms: “Property” “Utilized” “Student” “Continue” “Affordable”

This sentence is more than likely intended for voters deciding to keep the removal of taxation of university property. While the sentence itself is rhetorically geared to have some kind of effect on the reader’s pathos by mentioning that it is for students, the reality is that there is no  future benefit for the student after this decision at all because it is already happening. The question is not “Should we remove the taxation” it is “Should we continue the removal of taxation?”. There was no taxation on these products to begin with, so prices must already be affordable. They are using these words to give more sympathy to the topic, making the situation out to be different than what it actually is.


Commonplace Book: Entry 6 – Fox News Slogan

Upon opening the Fox News app, a slogan appears. As a student that receives all major news network alerts, this one caught me off guard. Appearing on the screen directly upon opening the app, the words “Fair and Balanced” are displayed underneath the classic Fox News logo. Fox News, a major news station that is widely known for leaning right, has a slogan stating they are “fair and balanced”. In an attempt to use this rhetoric to appeal to voters and subscribers as a neutral source, Fox News’ slogan is designated to be misleading. Fox News is not fair, nor is it balanced. Fox News is dominantly known for being a right-wing news source, displaying news stories with underlying preference to right-wing opinions.


Commonplace Book: Entry 7 – David Fleming

“[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” (Fleming, 205).

David Fleming aims to acknowledge that education should not be directed at a group that is simply going to speak, but rather act. Instead of allowing for those of power to make decisions, the ones who are young and learning should involve themselves in the democratic process. Students today are merely doing assignments for the sake of grades, rather than education. If you take the educated youth of this nation that is passionate and driven and incorporate them into the democratic decision making process, a change in the governmental process will occur. An education that supports a truly democratic process would incorporate the youth’s work, curiosity, and concerns. Instead of having our opinions tossed off as entitled liberal college student though, our education should enable us to act, serve, and change.

Reflecting on past assignments in the course of my educational career, instead of indulging in the work I have simply followed the rules. Formatting and rubrics have been followed with precision, all for the sake of a grade. Fleming – rather than accepting the education system for as it is – believes students should be involved, making their work mean more than a grading scale. Most students work with the assurance that their work will never been viewed publicly. However, when you take that work and make it public, it suddenly matters and turns into something more. ‘Strong publics’ of decision making are simply publics that act, express, and speak. By expressing work with passion, research, and meaning, no longer is our youth simply forming opinions. We become a public voice, enacting change through education.


Commonplace Book: Entry 8 – Kanye West

“I feel like I am too busy writing history to read it” -Kanye West

As Kanye West recovers from his recent hospitalization from mental health issues, I felt as if it was important to assess a quote of his. This quote -being a more dominantly known among Kanye supporters, is important in understanding the type of person Kanye is. Kanye is visualized among fans as a god. Labeling himself as Yeezus, Kanye appeals to a worshiping fan base. When Kanye’s work is released, it is known as a monumental point in the music industry. Living a fast paced life, Kanye is always under pressure to perform and create. With the constant spotlight and exposure, Kanye makes it evident that he has no time for interest in anything but his own influence and creation. Maybe Kanye’s focus on his impact and legacy is what caused his need for mental-health hospitalization.


Commonplace Book: Entry 9 – Popcorn Hoe

“Oh look at her, looking like a true Popcorn Hoe today” – Urban Dictionary

With slang dominating inner-city culture, outsiders struggle with grasping different forms of language. Initially upon glance of this sentence, I completely had no understanding of that it meant. Slang, usually dependent upon region and culture, is dominant is all areas of the world. Language, while always evolving, is a crucial tool for communication. With new terms arising each year, the opportunities for learning new slogans, figures of speech, and terms is always available.

By definition, a ‘Popcorn Hoe’ is a female who only dresses up and wears makeup on weekends instead of the weekdays. By only dressing up to impress on the weekends, an analogy was created describing the process as a popcorn kernel. A popcorn kernel when popped turns into something completely different and desirable. With the societal stigma that women must always be dressed at their very best and well put together, this form of slang can be viewed as extremely offensive


Commonplace Book: Entry 10 – Who Are You Today?

img_2752“Who are you today?” states a covered up mural on a sidewalk. Visible from the elevated Rhode Island Metro Station, this statement catches you off guard upon initial glance. In an attempt to remove the statement, black paint covers the quote, but is still slightly still visible. With no credit to the creation, the only question that lingers in the mind is “Who am I?”

In a world with billions of people, opportunities are endless. You can be interested in whomever you want and whatever you want. The way people dress, speak, and act are crucial to the identities that people associate themselves with. Freedom to choose how you are perceived is a necessity we will never truly appreciate. Freedom to act. Freedom to speak. A human has the ability to be whomever they want to be.