English 1B, Monday 4/06/20

-Update on how you’re doing.  What have you been writing?

-What is this teaching you, this being kept in place…. What shelter is it providing for your writing, your ideas?

-What did you write about Lawson, in your typed response?

-Lawson thoughts….  I’m dying to hear where you are feeling her intentions, and why she writes the way she does?

-How does she use the idea and reality of family differently than Sedaris?

-Lawson sells herself, her charm and style as a writer, but how?  What exactly is her pitch?

-Post passages from her book that taught you something about her, what she wants, or maybe what she wants for us as readers?

BREAK

-How are you using your journal?

-Any new writing habits that you want to share?  Anything you can teach us about writing habits, and the practice and maintenance of that writing habit?

-Reading your own work… what’s that like?

-What do you want to talk about?  What do you want to write about?  ………  What would Jenny Lawson do?

-Back to your writing…..  How have you developed since the semester’s inception?

Homework:  FINISH JENNY LAWSON – TYPE AND SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR YOUR NEXT ESSAY…. LAWSON, SEDARIS, OR BOTH??  Who is/are…. (I’LL EXPLAIN)

250 Comments Add yours

  1. Jessica Melen says:

    Hello there,
    This will actually (and regrettably) be my first post to this sight. I’ve been doing well all things considered. I feel very lucky to be sheltered in with 2 of my favorite people and have loved having the time to just go on a walk with my loved ones and also hang a hammock on my front porch as my new found ‘social distancing’ reading and thinking spot. I have been faced with some unfortunate problems as well. Last week I had the misfortune of having my new car broken into. Not only did they break my window and glove box but they also slashed my roof. So I suppose that with all the good people singing, creating a way of support for one another, and those fighting COVID-19 at the front lines, there have to be some that will be taking advantage of others in these trying times.
    I have been writing in my journal quite often, and thankfully it’s already a habit of mine to write and check in with myself. I have written about how having this time away from regular day to day life makes me appreciate how much I do enjoy most of my routine and how much I love to go and sit though classes.
    In my response about what I have read of Jenny Lawson’s book, I have been writing about how I’m trying to keep my mind as open as possible to what she has to say but I have trouble with the dark, and to me what seems like, almost snarky undertone. I can personally relate to a somewhat unconventional upbringing but in her book it feels like she is telling these stories as if to complain about them and I don’t feel much positivity from any of it. I am very open and would love to hear other thoughts about the overall feel the book gives off. I feel like this book may be a sort of outlet to try to work through past problems she may have gone through and is still having trouble getting over.
    When I was reading “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris, I could definitely feel his dislike and resentment towards his father but he goes very in-depth with his stories in a way that I feel he is not just telling the story to get out his frustration with his family but to have the reader be involved and able to picture themselves as being there with him. I feel that Lawson’s writing is more to get her frustration with her family out. She does have some very interesting stories but i feel like they don’t go as long and therefore feel a bit less about the story itself. She is also a bit more rough, there is a good amount of cussing in her book which I’m not all the used to but it is a part of her charm. Overall I am finding Larson’s book a bit harder to get through then Sedaris’ book but I’m still trying to be as open about it as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      I appreciate you being open to her work, Jessica. And I’m glad you’re dealing with everything well. Go above and outside Lawson’s book, what is she trying to do with her collection of pages? And….. WHAT is she?

      Like

    2. Jessica Melen says:

      Lately I have been using my journal for more than I usually do. I typically use my journal for more of the times when I’m feeling strong emotions and need an outlet and a way to work through things, but with everything going on I have just been writing more about the thoughts that I have been having and how I feel in more of a calm manner.
      Just like reading, I find it very helpful to be in a comfortable and quiet place away from my typical resting places. The porch has definitely become that place for me right now. For me, before I can sit down and write I need to have an idea or something to really just start off with and go from there so I’ve been paying more attention to the different thoughts I have throughout the day and when inspiration strikes I sit down and write until I’m satisfied. When reading back on my own work I usually feel there is a lot that can be fixed but even in it’s rough state I still find it helpful to see what I have gone through in the past and use it to learn from and do things better today. I do tend to write about my life more than anything else. I suppose I can relate to both Sedaris and Lawson with that. If I were to fallow in Lawson’s footsteps or roughly in her footsteps, I would definitely have to pull out some of my old entries and make them more colorful. I feel like throughout this semester my writing has taken a turn in the idea that all of my writing doesn’t have to be the highest or the lowest part of my life, it just needs to be there, I need to write more things down onto the paper.

      Like

  2. mikemadigan says:

    Let’s take a quick break!!!!! 5-7 minutes of Zen, Self…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yara Goldreyer says:

    Doing better than expected. Trying to maintain some sort of routine around here and things aren’t terrible if I stick to it. I envisioned myself having nothing to do except for watching TV but I’ve been finding better uses of my time. There is always something to do, I just have to be willing to consider it worth doing. I’m reminded daily to be grateful. I’m okay, I have a family, a car, a house a can stay at, a job, and an education in progress.

    I’ve been writing about the contrasts in my life, about work and just sharing the moments I would be unlikely to experience if I wasn’t stuck at home. I jot down thoughts about my relationship with my family and the stories we share while stuck inside together.
    I voice my concerns and dilemmas during this time so I can keep track of the ups and downs of adjusting to everything new.

    Lawson’s style of writing makes me want to pull my hair out in many ways but she is also a large part of the inspiration for writing in my journal more often. Lawson doesn’t care to stop and perfect her work, she just writes and goes along with her thoughts. I get stuck on the little things before I can finish one sentance so her freedom alone is an inspiration.
    I wrote about my struggles relating to her loud and exaggerated way of communication, similarities in our childhoods and the differences in our characters.
    I have questions about some of the intentions behind the forced feeling in her humor. I wonder if she truly finds all of her stories as funny as she wants the reader to. I still sense some hurt in her words, buried under layers of jokes. She seems to be searching for acceptance from the reader and maybe an ounce of pity.
    Lawson pitches brutal honesty as an offer to come join her world of madness in a written form. She has already shared her most uncomfortable thoughts, the situations few would dare talk about. There is nothing that one could think or write that could be any odder than what she has already shared. Maybe she offers acceptance in exchange for our acceptance of her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Great perspective on Lawson, and I appreciate your attitude toward her, and using her ways for your written ways!

      Like

    2. Kyle Hirth says:

      Interesting … Never considered how Lawson would react to her own humor? Maybe, she’d just make a joke about her terrible jokes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        You think her jokes are terrible?

        Like

      2. Kyle Hirth says:

        I’d say that she self-deprecate her jokes to tell everyone they were bad when they are actually hilarious.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Good explanation, thank you!!!

        Like

    3. Theresa Devine says:

      I agree with the pity, but more in a way like she’s looking for validation. Like she needs someone to say “It’s ok to feel what you are really feeling, even if it’s hard.”

      I love what you said in regards to an offer to come join her world of madness. That is such a poetic way to look at her hectic thoughts. Reminds me of the Alice in Wonderland idea of how the best ones are mad.

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Validation, for sure.

        Like

  4. mikemadigan says:

    Talk to us more about HOW you use your journal!!!

    Like

    1. Theresa Devine says:

      Maybe it’s not the BEST way, but I have a few different journals. One for class and my thoughts on the readings, one for my dreams, which I keep under my pillow for further analysis, sometimes after a particularly odd one I wake myself up to write about them, and one for my personal journal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        You and I are very similar…. if it’s the best way for you, that IS the best way, friend. 🙂

        Like

    2. Rizzie Vermont says:

      I’ve just been logging my daily activities and the occasional dream sequence for the most part. I want to start delving into more philosophical debates, but I haven’t really gotten into that yet. Just more summarizing my dad and talking about the struggles and positives about it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Theresa Devine says:

        Out of curiosity, what philosophical debates? I LOVE philosophical debates… maybe it’s too personal? Sometimes I have these conversations with my parents, and it makes me feel like I don’t even know, like I’m remembering something that hasn’t happened yet.

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Awesome!! I’m down for some Philosophy when you’re ready!!! I’m sure the colleagues are as well!!

        Like

  5. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page….. Lack of predictability IS life. And, it’s especially life in WRITING.

    Like

  6. mikemadigan says:

    Also for tonight’s page….. Escape can sometimes be the strongest embrace of something.

    Like

    1. pashatoub says:

      Taking breaks from an addiction breaks the addiction, if that makes sense

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Alexander Tustin says:

    I like how Lawson breaks the fourth wall. She writes as the character, the narrator and the writer. I also like her use of footnotes. Allows her humor to be even more hilarious! For the holes in her character’s story she makes up as the narrator and holes in the narrator she makes up as the writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. pashatoub says:

      I really fuck with that last sentence 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Rizzie Vermont says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The breaking the 4th wall really stood out to me and her interesting use of footnotes and editor notes. She puts such comedic stuff in there

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        I think she’s making fun of footnotes, which I appreciate.

        Like

  8. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Mike,
    I like how you defined escape can be a strong embrace. Something new I will look for in the reading

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gilbert says:

    It has been a bit difficult to write as of late, feeling all foggy and what not. In the past it has always been more of a planner than anything else. I use it to remind myself of what has to be done, what has to be avoided, and what is to be expected. And now i realize that i have to start treating it like a journal and less like a planner. I think i am just far too uptight and need to loosen up a bit when it comes to sharing my thoughts, especially with myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      You’re not the only one feeling foggy…

      Like

      1. Rizzie Vermont says:

        Yep! I’ve definitely been feeling foggy too. It’s hard to focus with all the stress and craziness

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        I guess what I understand in the word foggy, is that my priorities are centralized and scattered at the same time.

        Like

    2. Ava Burk Powers says:

      Being open with yourself is the first step to being open with others!! A planner can just as useful as a journal. Maybe side note how you felt about the events you were tracking 🙂

      Like

      1. Ava says:

        can be just as useful^

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Gilbert says:

        Great Idea, I’ll definitely give that a try.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. mikemadigan says:

    Shelter in writing… the place is the SELF. That’s one thing all the authors we’ve read so far have taught me!!

    Like

    1. pashatoub says:

      If the place is the self, then what’s the reader of that writing? I think for Larson, it’s herself, but not HER SELF. Larson has also taught me to not be shy with my writing and letting loose on the page more than other authors.

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        It’s ‘Lawson’, and not sure I understand your question.

        Like

      2. pashatoub says:

        Wow have I really been saying her name wrong this whole time just like I did with Kerouac? Nice. Also I think I just misinterpreted your comment: that is a flaw of this system, a bit hard to fully comprehend without that in class elaboration

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Agreed, but it’s what we have.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Rizzie Vermont says:

      It’s true I think writing can provide us with a little escape and allows us to tap into some control when the world feels chaotic. It allows us to write our own story true or false. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we are allowed to portray a world from our perspective and others can read it and potentially feel connected to our vulnerability

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Love this!!! Thanks, Rizz!!! 🙂

        Like

    3. Theresa Devine says:

      I feel like all of the writer’s we have read have been self-centered, which is NOT a bad thing. They have all been about how their experiences have shaped them as humans, and how these experiences add to their character. They have all been authentically unapologetic, as one of my collegues (sp?) mentioned, about who they are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rizzie Vermont says:

        I hadn’t thought of this until you mentioned it, but I couldn’t agree more.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Stephanie Neeley says:

    I feel like with writing there’s so much freedom to express yourself in many ways but is more non -judgmental too. Such as with writing like a novel or book there’s no false sense of reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mikemadigan says:

    Do you think you’re going to write about Lawson, Sedaris, or both for the next paper?

    Like

    1. pashatoub says:

      I think Lawson. I am able to pick her apart, and the way she executes her writing is so mechanical, even though it seems goofy. Strangely, I enjoyed Sedaris’ humor more, but have more to say about Lawson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Interesting, Pasha… explore why this is!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Rizzie Vermont says:

      I’m leaning towards Lawson. I just felt so captivated by her writing that it really invigorates me to read it. I’m slightly dyslexic, so sometimes it is hard for me to really get involved in a book, but with her it just seemed to flow so naturally.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Appreciate your thoughts, Rizz…. Cheers!!

        Like

    3. Theresa Devine says:

      🙂 I guess it depends on what we’re writing about in the paper? I have different thoughts for each author.

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        I will email you all, tomorrow!!! But basically, it’s an identity paper. For example, Lawson, or Sedaris is……. OR, you could argue for collective identity, like “Sedaris and Lawson are……” I’ll email you tomorrow, all of you, but it’s a simple prompt. No research needed, as I said in class when we were all still together. 😦

        Like

      2. Theresa Devine says:

        leaning towards Lawson myself. Mainly because I relate so much with her style of writing, and the emotion behind it.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Yara Goldreyer says:

      I think I’ll write about Sedaris. I haven’t spent as much time as I like focusing on his writing. I enjoyed his book but it got caught in the initial quarantine fuss and wasn’t given as much attention as I’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Leif Dinger says:

      Most likely Sedaris for his clear interest in making satirical fiction and a sense of humor that is well traveled. Both gear towards the direction I would like to take my own writing, so a chance to further examine his writing would be pretty beneficial.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page, and something to think about for the writing coming up….. When you know who you are, you know there’s a lot more to learn about self. That’s the purpose of narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Gilbert says:

    I am leaning more towards Lawson. Not because i prefer her writing, but it seems like there is more to pick from.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Stephanie Neeley says:

    For me i’m leaning towards Lawson her writing for me can be picked apart and I like how it’s more direct to me than Saderis.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Markus Ong says:

    I’m also in the same boat, not only because of the fact that there is more content to work with but I also find Lawson’s book, as jumbled as it is, more clear in the overall message and the way she wants the reader to interpret her writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alexander Tustin says:

    Lawson, I want to dive deeper into her story’s perspectives and how they influence the reader’s perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Cool. Like the focus on perspective.

      Like

  18. mikemadigan says:

    Alright, y’all….. Anything else before we close? I’m going to email you ALL, tomorrow. If you haven’t sent me the homework due today, oh my goodness please email me before the end of tonight. Finish Lawson before next meeting, please!!!

    Like

    1. Rizzie Vermont says:

      Will do! Thanks Mikey!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Theresa Devine says:

    In terms of reading my own writing, I recently read through a journal that I had written a while back, when things weren’t going so well for me. When I read it, I could remember the scene around me when I was writing, and how I felt. It’s kinda cool. It made me recognize how far I’ve come since then, and how I feel so much for the person I was when I wrote it. The fear and pain put into perspective how fortunate I am and the way my life is now. Which then made me feel kind of strange, I guess? Grateful for the pain that I was in, so I never have to feel that way because of the choices I made, again. Powerful, if I do say so myself. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Yes!! Cool to be a reader when you were the author!!

      Like

  20. Stephanie Neeley says:

    Is your e-mail tomorrow more in depth regarding this weeks homework besides reading?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. mikemadigan says:

    #professormikey, OUT. Have a great night everyone, and KEEP IN TOUCH. I’ll be available by text till about 10-ish tonight, depending on how much wine I have, and how much writing I get done.. hahahahahahaha………

    Like

  22. Theresa Devine says:

    I just want to say, I appreciate this class so much. It gives me so many things to think about, and different perspectives on ideas. Thank you so much Professor Mikey, for facilitating this in a way that makes me feel like I’m not missing SO much. 🙂

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Thank you for the kind words!! I appreciate all of you, colleagues!!! Love and RESPECT!!! ✊🏽

      Like

  23. Gilbert says:

    Good night everyone, stay safe and sane!

    Like

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