Everything Happens For A Reason – By Kelsey Stewart
For this project, we were assigned the task of answering the question, “How can poetry uplift a community?”. With all that is going on in the world right now, Ella and I felt that one of the best ways to answer this question was to uplift the people who are spending countless hours uplifting others themselves: the front line health care workers. We decided to put together care packages with granola bars, treats, water bottles, fruit and poems written by us. We wanted these amazing human beings to feel that they are seen and that their efforts and sacrifices made are not going unnoticed. Below, you can find both Ella and my poems as well as a short clip that documents our journey in creating these care packages. Even though we are not able to help in a medical capacity during this virus, our hearts were made happy to see the joy these packages brought to the front line health care workers. Because of this experience, we encourage others to do the same – to whatever capacity you are capable of!
By Kelsey Stewart
I don’t know where I am
Or how I came to be
Stuck and scared on this island
Where no one can hear me
As they do in movies
The hero hears my call
Their ships arrive on shore
And into their arms I fall
I am both weak and tired
I know they feel the same
But these heroes put me first
I am so glad they came
They saved not only me
But many others too
We were all stuck on this island
With faint hope to pursue
The heroes save our lives
Not a day do they miss
They give up the ability
To give their own a kiss
The rays of sun have burned
Their faces scorched and sore
Away from the ones they love
To search and save more
We see the fight they have
And the pain they have been through
We want them to know they are seen
That we are grateful for all they do
We thank them for their time
The sacrifices made
To save us from this island
Our gratitude shall never fade
Together, We Heal
By Ella Gaspar
In a mournful world
individuals will remember
the quiet streets, empty shops
abandoned schools and cancelled flights
as the world plunges into chaos
every death deepening the curve
news spreads like wildfire
the impending threat of the future
falling into isolation and consistent reminders
of social distancing; a new friend.
and as society struggles to adapt
we take comfort in each other
finding solace in the wake of the pandemic.
Together, we begin to heal
and recognize the heroics of frontline workers
who allow us to live in safety and in prayer,
for the old, the sick, the vulnerable
that they take in their trusting arms.
We support them, we thank them
for giving our community endless hope
and security in times of helplessness.
For them, we bang our pots and pans
in acknowledgement of the risks they take every day,
caring for the sick in hospitals
with kind smiles and comforting words
that make us all feel brave.
We are there for them
as they have always been for us.
They have done their part
Now, let us do ours.
For the final component of our project, Ella and I decided to put together a short video of our friends and family members reading a poem that we selected. We ultimately chose “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”, a poem by Emily Dickinson. The idea behind this project was what better way to show unity during a pandemic than having a video of all different types of people, from far and wide, preaching the same message – to have hope. Although not many people may view this video, Ella and I loved the idea of getting our family and friends involved and spending time together to work on the project. It allowed us to reach out to those who we might not otherwise chat with on a daily basis and remind them also to have hope. This project inspired us to listen to the words of the poem and to remember that we are all going through this together.
Allegory and Allusion:
What is an Allusion?
In literature, an allusion is a literary device used to make an implied reference to a person, event or another piece of writing. It is often assumed that there is a general knowledge shared by the reader and author, allowing for easy comprehension and understanding of the allusion made. By providing further meaning to a text, allusions can enhance one’s writing and may even provide an ironic comment through contrasting dissimilar aspects. Biblical and Greek mythological references tend to be most often used in Western literature due to the fact that they are well known amongst many civilisations. However, many Modernist writers prefer and purposely use complex and intricate allusions that only a few individuals may understand. Allusions can also provide bias perspectives of the reader and even a society.
What is an Allegory?
When interpreted, an allegory is a fictional narrative that provides a symbolic and hidden meaning. This form of writing is most apparent in prose and poetry with the purpose of teaching as well as conveying a moral. Allegory is commonly mistaken for symbolism due to the similarity of their functions within a story, however it is important that they are differentiated. Symbols are typically objects that stand for a particular meaning, while an allegory is the entire story, which includes characters and a plot that implies an abstract idea. Many authors prefer writing allegories because they provide multiple layers of interpretation, and also reflect the writers viewings and insight towards the world.
Examples of Allusion:
- In the short story by Ray Bradbury, A Sound of Thunder, an example of an allusion would be in the phrase “If Deutscher had gotten in, we’d have the worst kind of dictatorship. There’s an anti-everything man for you, a militarist, anti-Christ, antihuman, anti-intellectual.” The story was published in 1952, which was seven years after World War II had ended. When the author says Deutscher, he is referring to the Dictator Adolf Hitler, which would have been fresh in the memories of many people. This is an allusion because the author is referring to a specific person from history, attaching a more detailed description to his character.
- Another example of an allusion would be in Ray Bradbury’s short story, Evil Robot Monkey, when the author names his characters Vern and Delilah. This is an allusion because both of these names have a separate meaning which symbolize and add to the personalities of their character. Delilah is a biblical reference which symbolizes a trickster as in the story, she tricks Samson into revealing his strength (his hair), to which she later cuts off. The name Vern means “Alder Tree” which signifies protection and safety. These names were chosen purposely to imply a personality for each character.
Examples of Allegory:
- The short story, Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal is a perfect example of an allegory because it has many different depths of interpretation. The names of the characters have a significance to the story, and it is also written to convey a moral to the audience. The introduction of the clay is the moment when the reader needs to put the many figurative puzzle pieces together to understand what is being exemplified. After realizing the history of the character’s names and interpreting the roles and messages from the teacher and her class, readers can make the connection that the clay symbolizes a coping mechanism and happiness for Sly. The entire story has a deeper and symbolic meaning in regards to humanity and whether individuals base their judgements off of appearances instead of getting to know an individual.
- The short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson is also an example of an allegory because it has multiple layers to the story’s meaning. This story conveys abstract ideas about tradition, change and human instinct. The title itself also has an important meaning to the story because at first glance, many would interpret it as something positive, however after reading the story, it is associated with a negative meaning. The black box is also described as old and in need of replacement, yet due to the fact that it has been used for so long, it is a tradition and the people refuse to change it. This also applies to the ritual itself and the people’s conformity to tradition. The moral of the story in regards to following tradition blindly is expressed through the villagers unwillingness to change.
Below you can find the attached copy of an infographic explaining many components of the short story “Writing on the Wall” by Celia Rees.
Below I have attached a core competency reflection about one of my idols, my mother. I was asked to reflect on a core competency that I feel is a strength for her as well as one that proves to be more challenging.
- Pulse Waves: A non-repeating wave that has a single disturbance.
- Transverse Waves: Spring is pulled perpendicularly to the direction that the wave travels, disturbance is at a right angle.
- Periodic Waves: A wave re occurring at regular time intervals, requires regularly repeating disturbances.
- Longitude Waves: Several turns of the spring are compressed causing a disturbance length wise.
Below I have attached our Thermos Challenge Reflection. This document explains the process in which my group built our thermos as well as the reasons as to why we chose these specific materials. Alongside this document is a core competencies reflection. I explain that this project was one that forced us to use many different core competencies. At times it was difficult but I am grateful to have had this experience and the ability to create something that we could have only dreamed about making a few weeks ago.