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.
College is the worst. Not the academic aspects of college, that’s amazing. Instead college as a faith shaping moment in my life is a struggle. The socialization aspect is a struggle.
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.
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.
I am a introvert who is good at pretending to be extroverted. I love people, talking, and team building until I can no longer hold my tongue. These things exhaust me, but in a society that revolves around extroverts my only choice is to pretend to enjoy them.
I arrived to Asbury a week early to be with the cross country team. It was a week full of forced bonding experiences and figuring out the team dynamic. It was a good week, but boy I am tired. Today is the beginning of welcome week at Asbury and I am so incredibly unprepared. Nothing about welcome week appeals to me. The forced group time and family group devotions do not bring joy to my heart. They instead frustrate me. I have no interest in spending time with a small group of people when I could instead venture out on my own and find friends with similar interests to me. I don’t enjoy being forced into weak friendships for convenience.
Today was a really hard day for me. My family is full of people who love animals and I am no exception. While unhealthy, I must confess that I love animals more then I do most people.
Early morning today my grandparents and uncles dog passed away. I have so many fond memories of Mandy. I know that she is in a better place, but that does not make the loss any easier. When I was younger Mandy bit my lip and I had to go to the hospital for stiches. To this day I have a small scar on my lip and in a weird way it brings me comfort.
This blog post does not make much sense, but neither does anything else today. The loss of a pet always sucks.
A slideshow of my new home….
I could go on and on forever about my endless concerns about college. Every day brings a new worry. To try and ease my weary mind I have decided to create a list of my worries. Hopefully in a couple weeks I will be able to update and have dismissed many of these fears.
I worry that:
- I will not be good enough at writing or education classes to pursue a secondary English education degree.
- People in Louisville will forget about me and that I am easily replaceable.
- I will miss very important years of my siblings lives.
- my financial aid will change and I will not be able to afford a second year of tuition.
- there is no home for me to come back to.
- I will not get along with my roommate.
- It will be hard for me to make friends.
- my brother will resent me for missing his birthday.
- My stress will overwhelm me.
- I will get injured at the start of the season.
- My team will see me as less then because I am not a super competitive athlete.
- I will be lonely.
- My English teachers will not be as good as the ones I had in high school.
- I will fall out of love with writing.
For as long as I can remember, college has been something I dreamed about. I idolized the ideas of freedom, individuality, and escape that surround it. I thought that once I got off to college everything would be different; to be honest I thought of college as a utopia of sorts.
In my childhood I never dreamed that I would make it this far. I set low standards for myself, thinking but never voicing that I didn’t imagine I would still be alive by the time college rolled around. My depression and low self worth have always sabotaged my mind with those thoughts.
By the time senior year rolled around , my depression had let up a bit. I was determined to go to college, but not just any old school- Centre the top school in my home state. Centre was never going to be anything more then a fantasy for me, not because I didn’t have the grades or the community service, but because I don’t fit in with the particular breed of human that attends Centre. I never imagined myself going to a Christian university, but now that I am at Asbury I can never imagine wanting to attend a secular school.
I’ve barely been on campus for two days. It certainly has not been the easiest two days of my life, but I am trying to remain optimistic. Yesterday upon arrival, I was told very specifically that I would be staying in a dorm room. They gave me the key and with the help of my dad everything was moved in. Hours later , I am notified that I had the wrong key and needed to move my stuff to the dorm on the other side of the hall. That was not a fun experience. My room is still not set up, because of the amount of discouragement that left me feeling. My new room features a bathroom that joins me with two other girls. They are loud and have not been very friendly to me so far. I hope that I have come of as considerate of their needs, but stern about my own. I can not have them being this loud all year.
Today I woke up and attended practice, only to find out that my key card no longer would give me access to my building. Being locked out was no fun, but knowing myself I can hardly be upset… I was bound to get locked out at some point.
I hope that as the year goes on things get better. This is a huge adjustment period in my life and I don’t want to miss a opportunity for joy because my vision is so clouded by everything that seems negative. Above are only two examples of the crazy mess that was move in day. I might provide more at a later date.
For now I will leave this beautiful picture of a random rainbow on campus:
Tonight I have been thinking a lot about high school and things that I would have changed if I could do it all over again. One of those things would have been taking a art class or two. I always loved the subject, but put it second to my love of English. I wish that I could have developed my artistic abilities more when I had the chance. I don’t really know how my love of art will help me in the future, or how it will be applicable to me wanting to go into education, but I hope to improve regardless .