Semantics · Writing

What do we really know?

Since childhood, the people of the world are taught what to think, say, feel, and even believe. Since then, we have stood alone yet the social norms latch us all together.  The Weeknd presents to us Losers; that maybe we all do ¨make our own sense¨ (The Weeknd 7)  and that to have a different perspective of the world does not make a person unintelligent. Just because we may think and perceive life differently, who is to say what is normal or not?

The lyrics of this song obviously rely heavily on Pathos, as most songs do.  Ironically, this only strengthens the argument of the theme.  This shows us that how we feel and what we think is real, as well as what all of us as human beings believe to be real, isńt necessarily true.  We all believe in something, even if that belief is that nothing is real… That is an opinion, and technically most of the scientific theories around us are as well.   Abel’s (The Weeknd) way of showing this to us is in the lines ¨So what can you show me, That my heart don’t know already?¨ (The Weeknd 9-10).  Again, we see it repeated in the lines ¨They can’t teach what they can’t prove” (The Weeknd 15).  

In an odd way,  the Pathos also provides Logos to this song.  The theme of this song is that we don’t necessarily know what is true and what is make believe.  While it isn’t technically Logos, it relates to it in an important way.   How can we fully know and comprehend something that is based on a guess? In reality, how can we rely on anyone but ourselves to make decisions and provide theoretical knowledge? This is implied in the line, “We did it all alone,” (The Weeknd 29), and again in the line, “So what can you show me, that my heart don’t know already?” (The Weeknd 9-10)

All of these things lead us to the last method in Aristotelian’s model, Ethos.  The Weeknd mentions several times in his songs “And you’re qualified to me.”(The Weeknd 8)  This is a perfect way to explain the Ethos in his theme.  The credibility of this message cannot be proven, and that is his entire point.   “They can’t teach what they can’t prove”, (The Weeknd 15)  and again,  “Come put this inside a test-tube” (The Weeknd 16) represents thoroughly how one will create test after test to hypothesize a theory.

And this links us to our conclusion …While the Ethos and Logos can technically be counted as the same ideology (and the song mostly revolves around Pathos), all these three theories combined connect and link together to create one single theme. This theme is to show how we think and contemplate our ideas and our emotions and finally,  not every idea is the exact same.  Perception is your own personal reality.


Important Bee’s

In all truth and honesty I think the majority of us could probably claim that they couldn’t care less about the nuisance we call “The Bee”.  From their bright and ugly yellow color, to the times we’ve been stung over and over, the human population can all agree that we hate bees.

However, Bees provide an extreme importance to our earthy environment.  “They pollinate a whole third of everything we eat.”  “From sunflower seeds, to cocoa beans, to even the fodder that our cows eat, the bee plays an important part in our everyday plate of food.”

So the next time your eating at a picnic and a bee lands on your blanket, go ahead and freak out, but remember, that ugly little fellow is important to each and every one of us.

Source: largeAlison Benjamin “Why are bees important? You asked Google – here’s the answer” Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Word Umbrella

  1. 1.
    a device consisting of a circular canopy of cloth on a folding metal frame supported by a central rod, used as protection against rain or sometimes sun.
    synonyms: parasol, sunshade

    “they huddled under the umbrella”
  2. 2.
    a protecting force or influence.
    “the American nuclear umbrella over the West”
    To me the word ‘Umbrella’ has positive associations.  To shield and protect.  To help and to show kindness.  All of these things are important to people.  They can change perspective and offer friendship.  The word umbrella may be an object you use to shield from the rain, but it can also be a symbol for safety and so much more.
     The word Umbrella reminds me of a time when I was young and the song “Umbrella” by Rihanna had just came out.  It reminds me of a time when my step-sister and I sang and dance and stayed up till 6 in the morning, playing our notorious game of “Night Club”
Reading · Semantics

Reading Responses: Return to the Wild


If you were going to categorize Christopher McCandless and his life choices as one of two opposing extremes, which would you choose? Was he a brave soul who embraced the notion of non-conformity to the fullest and lived according to his own determination of what mattered most in life? Or was he selfish, cruelly disregarding the feelings of those who cared for him most as he foolishly followed an overly-idealistic worldview and perished due to his naivety?

I definitely think Chris had good intentions in his choices, and I definitely can relate to his situation.  In my best guess, I feel it’s your frame of mind.  Some like to live in the city, some in the country.  Some people strive for normalcy and a family in the suburbs of a town, some want to live the wild life, but I believe that Chris’s frame of mind is my own frame of mind.

I worry about being consumed in a world of phonies and normalcy.  I believe he could have achieved these things in a different way, but maybe that’s what felt right to him.  He had to leave, he wanted to see the world.  But coming from someone who can’t stand to be alone I have a hard time relating to the fact that he wanted to leave for quite so long a time.  Maybe this was his fatal flaw, his want to be alone.  However, maybe this is what helped him actually live and enjoy his life.


He has inspired me in this way.  I want to live other than just existing, and maybe in the future I will do something to this crazy extent.  That is go somewhere I’ve never been and experience it alone.  But maybe not for a whole 4 months…



Reading · Semantics

Open and Closed-Ended Questions Regarding “Self Reliance”

“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Three most thought-provoking questions from other students

  1. Does being misunderstood mean you’re different in a good way?
  2. What does he mean by “Everywhere there is conspiracy against manhood?”
  3. If we can only experience ourselves, our mind, and no one else’s, then wouldn’t mean that all actions are carried for our own selfish reasons?

I believe these three questions could lead to a very thought-provoking conversation with another.  They are all very thoughtful questions which couldn’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Two questions from students that wouldn’t be considered thought-provoking

  1. Can cowards get work done?
  2. When was this written?

Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of these two questions, but in my personal opinion I don’t believe these questions could lead to anything really “thought-provoking”.  The former I don’t believe makes much sense, but maybe thats due to miscommunication. The second is a very closed-ended questions that could only be answered by a specific date, which happens to be 1841 in this case.  However, maybe they asked in regards to why the text was written in such a way, or maybe why Emerson thought in this perspective?  Both could be answered with the fact that it was written in a different time period.

One random question and response to it…

  • What is Transcendentalism?
  1. 1.
    an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures.
  2. 2.
    a system developed by Immanuel Kant, based on the idea that, in order to understand the nature of reality, one must first examine and analyze the reasoning process that governs the nature of experience.

    (Taken from google)

Reading · Semantics · Writing

Doors of Writing

Brainstorming Activity

  1. The Heart Door
    • Write for 3 to 5 minutes about what you feel is true. Your inner images never lie. Trust them whether they be images of grief, sorrow, or rage. You can write to give those inner images space to breathe. What do you carry in your heart?
  2. The Observation Door
    • This is the door of your eyes. Write for 3 to 5 minutes about what you observe, what you’re amazed by, what’s beautiful in the world.
  3. The Concerns About the World Door
    • Write for 3 to 5 minutes about what you read about in the newspaper or watch on television–what are you concerned about? War, people who have to live on the streets, or floods around the globe? Write to tell the whole truth about the things you see around you.
  4. The Wonder Door
    • Write for 3 to 5 minutes about your questions about the world, your lives, what you’re studying in school, the universe–whatever is unresolved or inspires your curiosity. Be the most curious human alive.
  5. The Memory Door
    • Memories drift in and out of our minds all day long whether we are aware of them or not. Write for 3 to 5 minutes about your most vivid or profound memories.
  6. Infinite Doors
    • What do you want to write about that doesn’t fit into one of the above doors? Write for 3 to 5 minutes.

Rough Draft

The Heart Door

In my heart I know I feel a lot of Worry. On a daily basis there is at least one thing that I feel is weighing on my shoulders.  Throughout the past year I feel I’ve gotten better with dealing with this constant nag, yet still on an occasion, I feel the presence of anxiety.

The  Observation Door

My Observation door is sometimes cut off. Sometimes I overthink the things I’m seeing till the point where I don’t know what I’m seeing. My feelings and my observations are almost cut off from one another.

The Concerns of the World Door

I feel concerned for the corruption of the world. The people who claimed to be good and pure, but actually have bad intentions. This I hope one day is dissolved from the world.

The Wonder Door

The World and it’s purpose is where my wonder lies.  I wonder if there is a purpose why we are here, or if there is a god and I should be putting my faith in that.  There’s a chance there is no purpose. There is a chance there isn’t god.  There’s a chance everyone around me is a robot. There’s a chance we are not even here.

The Memory Door

I remember Christmas in Ohio the year of the blizzard.  I remember the trudge to the Big House with my year younger cousin and my grandma, walking past the huge hills of snow.  Matthew, my cousin, was wearing my boots, which were quite obviously for girls, and my grandma was walking around taking pictures.  I remember sleeping in the Living Room and posing with Matthew.

The Infinite Door

Ernest Hemingway once wrote “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”  While it may seem dark and depressing, I feel this is a good perspective on the world. To live life in the moment is a good way to live.