Hearing Loss

As someone with hearing loss I relate to this struggle very much. I used to be so scared to tell others about my hearing loss and now I believe its the most important thing I can tell a person up front about myself.

Now I feel so unrestrained in conversation. It is easier to be honest with others and I no longer have to put up a façade in order to please others.

I am a big believer in letting people know about my hearing loss right up front. I try to announce my loss at the start of group meetings, inform tour guides and instructors before a talk, and mention it to doctors at the start of an appointment. But the right words to use to communicate […]

via Then I Said, “I’m A Little Bit Deaf” — Living With Hearing Loss

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Lets Talk About Poetry!

Yesterday my university had a woman come and speak in chapel. She has made a career of writing poetry about issues that pertain to the African American community and Christianity. In my lifetime I have never been more in love with a poet and I have heard plenty of good ones.

However my class seemed to disagree with her poems. This troubles me. Poetry can be beautiful and pleasing to the soul, but it can also speak some really harsh truths about the world that we live in. Is a poem no longer beautiful because its leaves the audience angry? I wish that my classmates were able to understand that there is a beauty that comes with strong emotions like anger.

Paul’s Case

I hope that four years from now I remember the short story Paul’s Case. I don’t know what about it has resonated with me so much as high school graduate and freshman from college, but something has.

I think it would be helpful to suggest this reading to my future students. There is a brutal and uncomfortable to comprehend truth in Paul’s Case- sometimes we seem full and complete on the surface, but are hallow and dying inside underneath.

 

The Cult of True Womanhood: Providing a Voice to Share Experiences of the Female Slave

The Cult of True Womanhood: 
Providng a Voice to Share Experiences of the Female Slave 
The reliability of the slave narrative has long been questioned.  Authors such as Fredrick Douglass and William Wells Brown pioneered the slave narrative, providing insight on the gross injustices that took place while also unintentionally muffling the voice of black women. Male authority is not questioned nearly enough in historical writing and works deemed literature. Often this male insight silences or poorly depicts the female experience and perspective of the time; because Narrative of the Life of a Slave Girl is the first female account of its kind, readers question Jacobs authority to speak on the topic. Under the false name of Linda Brent, Harriet Jacobs and Lydia Maria Child worked together to provide Narrative of the Life of a Slave Girl with the strong backbone that was necessary to stand against the scorn of its readers (northern white women). Lydia Child, a northern woman with values represented by the culture of domesticity, verifies the reliability of Harriet Jacobs testimony. During the 1800’s, the only way in which a woman (specifically a former slave) would have writings published would be to have it endorsed by a white woman from the north. Lydia Child provides Harriet Jacobs with the ethos she needs to tell her story.

The introduction and preface to Narrative of the Life of a Slave Girl expand my understanding because it was written with women in mind. Jacobs and Child are keenly aware that their audience is northern women; they hoped that northern women would be able to use their sphere of influence to evoke a passion for ending slavery in the hearts of men with power- their husbands. Jacobs uses powerful diction to reveal the cruelties of southern slave owners. When recalling an event that she witnessed, Jacobs appeals to the values of motherhood to make northern women feel the pain of mulatto children and young slave girls desiring motherhood. This direct emotional appeal was intended to create a shared identity of motherhood. This appeal would resonate with the northern women of the time because they valued motherhood as part of their culture of domesticity (the cult of true womanhood).  Family values bond the hearts of northern women with oppressed slaves. The issue of slavery becomes something relevant to their lives and thus become something that must be abolished.

The introduction by Jacobs provides the reader with a clear purpose for the piece, creating the context for why the narrative was published so long after Harriet Jacobs found freedom in the north. While reading Narrative of the Life of a Slave Girl, readers become less likely to question its reliability and authenticity. Without the introduction, readers may have been more inclined to believe that parts of Jacobs narrative were fabricated truths and exaggerated to evoke a sense of pity from readers. When Jacobs describes in great detail the cruelties that she has experienced, it is hard to doubt her; readers are unable to question her experience. Jacobs writing is crafted in a way that does not expose anyone. Instead of exposing a particular person, Jacobs has instead exposed only injustice. She does not ask for sympathy or maliciously seek to destroy those who have wronged her; Jacobs reveals brutal truths seeking only the acknowledgment of them. This again benefits the readers of the time. Norhtern women would be more likely to share the narrative with their husbands because of the vague identities. Readers would hate the crime that is slavery, instead of specific slave owners.

College is Lonely

I am not going to lie; I am incredibly lonely. College is nice in the sense that there is so much free time, but it also sucks because I have yet to find any people to spend that free time with.

Mostly I just talk to friends from Louisville , and that is okay with me. It just sucks because some days I really want a hug and a shoulder to cry on. I’m not homesick in the strict definition of the word, but I definitely miss home. For me high school was home. I was comoftable there and felt at peace. Here I do not have those feelings yet.