Archive of ‘commonplace’ category

Coffee Drinking is a Culture


Schneider, Robert. “Coffee Culture”: Hot Coffee + Cool Spaces. The Images Publishing, 2016.

In his book, “Coffee Culture: Hot Coffee + Cool Spaces” by Robert Schneider, he describes thirty-three different interesting coffee shops located all around the United States. Each shop has a unique setting and location including historical buildings, art useless, arcades, and even an old cargo ship. Schneider discusses how “interweaving coffee with art, architecture, and historic preservation” adds a special yet diverse characteristic. The author continues to inform the reader about the evolution of coffee in “three waves”. First, coffee was used as a “fast, cheap, drink of caffeine” to help people get through the day. Second, coffee started being distributed through corporate chains with different syrups and toppings. Finally, drinking coffee became similar to drinking wine. A social interaction used to build relationships.

Fig. 1. Coffee Culture book cover; using aesthetically pleasing placement, good lighting, and coffee (all important characteristics of a good coffee shop in his book)

Coffee Culture provides background and comparison to other coffee shops and how coffee drinking has developed throughout the years as well as analyzes and interprets each coffee shop. Not only can I use this source to compare other successful coffee shops with Compass Coffee but also see the timeline of where Starbucks fits in. In addition, the book does a great job of capture the reader’s attention with interesting pictures and graphics.



Tucker, Catherine M. “Coffee Culture”: Local Experiences, Global Connections. Routledge, 2017.

In “Coffee Culture: Local Experiences, Global Connections” by Catherine M. Tucker, discusses how drinking coffee is the last and “final step” in connecting us to the farmers in nations around the world who produce it. Even in her title she suggests how our “local experiences” with coffee creates “global connections”. She further describes how coffee ties together the global economic system that is till evolving. Indeed, coffee is produced by some of the world’s poorest countries but these countries also happen to be the most biodiverse and endangered habitats in the world. For a while, coffee production has coexisted with forest but because the market favors “sun-grown coffee”, the forests have to be cleared and farmers need to use toxic agrochemicals. According to Tucker, coffee production is becoming one of the world’s most barring problems. She even compares them with social inequality along with environmental degradation.

Fig. 2. Coffee Culture book cover; the hands with the beans and green cover – represents the cohesive relationship the author ideally wants us to have with the environment

Tucker’s research offers a background on coffee production that most people would never have considered. The rest of my articles talk about the “up and coming” coffee industry and methods of marketing new products to customers. However, I never thought, to think of what potential negative effect this could have on our environment. This article provides a counter argument to coffee production and offers a more environmentally conscious way to produce coffee.


The Lives of Animals

“…open your heart and listen to what your heart says.” Do animals have rights? Do human beings have duties toward them regardless of whether they have rights? What kind of souls do animals have? What kind do we have? – The Lives of Animals (1999) by J.M. Coetzee

Fig. 1. The Lives of Animals Book Cover

This quote, taken from Coetzee’s book on The Lives of Animals, shows a few rhetorical methods when talking about animal cruelty. First, the speaker, Costello uses pathos to appeal to the audience’s emotions. She states, “open your heart and listen to what your heart says” Of course, no one is going to “open their heart” and be “okay” with killing animals. She then asks the audience about the kind of “soul animals have” with and asks for the audience to compare it to the soul humans have. This is an extreme use of ethics. If the two are similar we are faced with an internal moral conflict. We would never kill and eat our own kind, and if we are so similar to animals, why is killing and eating them fair? She wants us to relate with animals and show us how terrible killing animals actually is. She also uses the rhetorical strategy of asking a rhetorical question. This is used to subtly influence and persuade the audience. She is not looking for an actual answer but the reaction to the question as she further emphasizes her point.

“Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men” – Plato

“Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men” – Plato

This very interesting quote outlines just how useful using rhetoric is when trying to persuade the reader. The writer uses tools that influence the viewers, such as logos, ethos, and pathos. Here Plato is informing the reader that in using rhetoric you are able to almost control and “rule” viewers. I think this is very interesting and convincing. It makes sense that appealing to ethics (ethos), emotion (pathos) and logic (logus) to allocate a response by either using an individuals character, emotional reasoning, or persuasion by reason. Also, this is very inline with the class topic and everyday discussions.

Detachment through language

Stendhal, who once called the beautiful une promesse de bonheur (Nietzsche p. 104).  (Linked to audio of the phrase!!)

I think this quote is very interesting. Stendhal who is the one who said “the beautiful une promesse de bonheur” which translates to “beauty is but the promise of happiness”. Stendhal is saying that it is possible to love the ugly if they promise you happiness in the future. He is teaching readers that beauty has little to do with physical perfection and lies far from the physical characteristics of the object at hand.

Stendhal uses this quote in French rather than translating it to English (consistent with the rest of the text) because he wants to keep the saying as close to discovering the actual meaning of the words. The speaker, knowing multiple languages, can become detached when simplifying the words enough to translate into another language. Keeping the phrase in French helps make the saying as pure to the original intent as possible.


Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010. Print.


“Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!” – Donald Trump

This is a very interesting tweet by Donald Trump. Not only does he insult a celebrity, directly, but also insults the american people. He is saying that, we care more about President Obama and more people would care. He seems very upset that the american people were not more angered (personally, I wasn’t even aware Trump had a gun aimed at him). In addition, he seems to exaggerated his question when he says “aimed and fired the gun”. Trump was never fired at, but he is adding hyperbole for the media attention. Also, he ends the tweet with an exclamation, “Jail Time!”. Here he is attempting to use media to slander @SnoopDogg’s name.


Background: SnoopDogg is a west coast rapper primary known for his achievements in the music industry. His image represents that of a “gangster”.



Bad Luck – A Good Thing?

“You never know what worse luck bad luck has saved you from.” – Cormac McCarthy

It’s true. I really like this quote. It is a positive way of looking at life. No one is denying anyone has bad luck (because we all do),  but they are saying because of that bad luck you may have been saved from something worse. Looking at the sentence structure, I think it is interesting that McCarthy used “worse luck” and “bad luck” in the same sentence. Normally I would use “worse” as a stronger and past tense form of bad in a sentence not including “bad’. Very interesting literally choice but really gets the point across.

Fail Better?!

In Worstward Ho!, Samuel Beckett writes the following:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

What does Beckett say about “failure“? And why does it matter? You might also discuss form here. Why would one of the world’s great writers (poet/novelist/playwright/essayist), use such “simple” structures? How does the sentence structure perhaps affect how we read this? Would the impact be different if it were written in a DC, IC form?  How so? How would it change if he used question marks after the first two sentences? And exclamation points afterward

Beckett is telling the reader that it is okay to fail. If you do fail you try again, but this time you “fail better”. Each time you fail you learn something, thus, getting that much closer to the end goal. The use of simple structures initially makes the text easier to read. With longer sentences containing multiple IC’s and DC’s can result in a distracted reader. Also — the short sentences provide emphasis on the words. The significants is greater than it would be using long sentences.

Using a question mark would cause the reader to ask themselves, when have I tried and failed? Instead, the reader automatically resonates with the statement. “Ever tried. Ever failed.” Of course I have, thinks the reader. There is no question or distraction of thought.

Using an exclamation point would be very aggressive. The reader would almost feel attacked and taken back. The use of a period simply states the subject allowing the reader to relate.

Lana Del Rey – God Knows

I feel free when I see no one and nobody knows my name. 

The sentence is two independent clauses joined together by a conducting phrase. This sentence the emphasis is on what the feeling is (free) and when the author feels this way (when she sees no one/nobody knows her name). Each action, like the example, has its own spotlight — more than it would if the actions were merged into one. I think the reason she feels free is because when nobody knows her name no one can judge her and there are no eyes watching her. In correlation to Fleming’s concept, I think that education should be based on option formation.

I actually really liked what Professor Delany had to say. It makes sense that everyone should raise their hand — this way everyone is forced to focus. There are attentive and listening. Students are eager to learn the answer, especially after the embarrassment of being called on and not knowing. Therefore, learning something they did not know.

It’s more than just a picture book…

“You have your food. When this is over with, you go to bed. Your days – what more could you ask for? That’s it.”  (Morton 15).
I really like this quote from the book (that went a lot deeper than just a normal picture book – hence the title of this post) because I think oftentimes we forget how much privilege we are actually given and how lucky we are that we have more than the basic necessities. The quote is talking about how you really only need food, water, and shelter. He makes the reader think about everything they have – all the clothes, accessories, materialistic problems. It kind of puts everything into perspective.


Here is a link to the authors website:

A Boy Can Dream by Casey Abrams

So I just uploaded the whole link to this song. It’s called, “A Boy Can Dream” by Casey Abrams. All the lyrics are fairly self explanatory. A boy and a girl meet and fall in love. Cliche, I know. The reason I like this song so much is because 1. It’s very relatable to the average girl’s romantic fantasy and 2. The happy and bouncy tune can make anyone smile. He talks about how he just saw this beautiful girl and now he can’t get her out of his head. The tune lets you hear how happy and excited he is about this perfect girl. The listener feels happy and excited for the singer too. Listening to the song just lightens my mood and makes me feel the butterflies the singer and girl feel.

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