Rice Essay

Cringey essay for rice from 2016?

Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source. (250-650 words)

It’s hard to extricate the personal from the academic. Empirical sciences interpret the world through approximate models while literature imputes argumentative value through the realm of the subjective and aesthetic. A dichotomy emerges that manifests itself in the schools of higher learning, e.g. schools of liberal arts and of natural sciences. Of course the areas available to study today convolute this one example of higher learning’s equivocal function. Other conflicts can be drawn from the explanatory/philosophical, to the highly practical/mechanical: the debate between theory and practice. The lines further sharpen and bleed into one another as aspects of a subject appear inevitably linked with the definition of another, as when the question of interpretation in empirical sciences exchanges paradoxical glances with the empirical weight of literature in anthropological studies. Out of this mess of distinctions and indistinctions emerges some loose definition of higher learning’s function- a university’s function. However loose and amorphous, the definition encapsulates my reasons for transferring and the concomitant goals therein. 

I believe that the purpose of a university is to teach its students how to proceed through life. 

-deep sigh-

An accompanying shaking of the head in disbelief would be appropriate, but I reiterate nonetheless- universities guide students through the process of life. It sounds utterly banal and commonsense, the fodder of commencement addresses immemorial. Could an accompanying poignancy be latent? I have to ask, what is life? It’s the seed of germination, the chicken and the egg, the cause and effect- personal and academic, the individual and the family. What is life? When I considered it fully, I never saw myself concluding what I did: that life was inextricably everything- a concert of contradictions that makes the Gordian Knot look like a simple shoelace tie. 

All these crossed lines and bloody contradictions might suggest higher learning provides students with sharpened wits as to cut, like Alexander the Great’s sword, through the mick-mash of obfuscating life. But I believe the opposite is true, that universities hold the tools to see these lines and somehow help students embrace them as a homogeneous whole- in other words, that universities help students study life. This life includes the personal and academic- together.

This life includes the family and individual- together. This life exists in between the lines, is made up of the lines and as a whole has no lines at all. 

When I looked at life at my college, I realized that I had, in a major sense, been running away. The contradictions of the self and family peeled like salty brine at my insides, so I threw myself in the lukewarm solace of isolation 1,600 miles away, away from the problematic.

Unfortunately in life the problematic is also usually essential. What I did at my school newspaper I saw myself doing anywhere- writing is always going to be a part of me. Still, the newspaper gave me a chance to see myself in print for the first time and exposed me to the impact of college newspapers (e.g. the debate issue and Sigma Pi hazing piece proliferated nationally), but ultimately I’m not essential to the team, to the university.

I’ve meshed the academic and personal for most of my life. I remember sharing the details of Saturn and Jupiter to my father in between clothes racks too tall for my head to clear. I hope to continue meshing the personal and the academic in the process of learning how to live life. I hope to understand the implications of a life necessitated on each individual part of its gestalt, a life with self responsibility, familial responsibility, academic vivacity and the incessant progression of ideas.

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon is the fourth floor of the paley media center library, where a quadragenarian with long brown hair greets you within the striated lighting of closed blinds. the greeting is soft and open. you are offered two choices of archives specific to the current season, but you choose neither* and are led instead to the classic archives, a section past two others, near where you can see vintage models of what-seems-to-be monitors lining a back wall. 
a comfortable chair with armrests is pulled out for you. you sit. say thanks. the archive is a computer system, and the librarian tells you of its various components. curator’s choice, made in nyc, interviews with cast members. mrs. maisel is referenced and you smile – there is a lot to see and watch. headphones – the type available in public school computer labs and libraries, small and bendy – are pointed out to you.

the exhibit below says upstairs in the fourth-floor library, paley has interactive exhibits. i guess public computers are interactive exhibits. the time allotment of 1:30 hours is given to you and you’re told accommodation for more time afterwards is possible. you find a mrs. maisel paley panel video that’s about that length. but it’s been five minutes – time to go back. you hit the lower left hand corner back button a few times just in case, going back in the session’s branching click history made in nyc > tracy jordan on conan > log out. before you leave you hear a different librarian explain the computer system to a new guest. are you familiar with it? -here’s how much time you have- 
smile at the person who helped you on the way out. 

*the choice is non and feels open and friendly, opening immediately to another thing – and I process it by looking away from my love of this ease.

Ender’s Game

Just watched the movie. Out of pure curiosity, I mean there’s a movie, why not watch it? Gavin Hood directed it, and he also did Wolverine, which was absolutely pounded by the critics. I found that out after the viewing, so I could watch it unbiased and develop my own opinion in contrast to the book. All of my following statements are obviously my own personal opinion, I don’t want to sound pretentious, or odd about the whole thing.

A book adapted into a film will always have it’s shortcomings. Unfortunately, Ender’s Game had many, but it had some redeeming factors worth pointing out. The book allows the reader to peek into Ender’s mind, and the benefit of the third-person limited-omniscient viewpoint is that the protagonist is much more complex, and his thoughts are compounded thoroughly, resulting in a truly visceral experience.The movie on the other hand was handicapped by it’s inability to see into the Ender’s mind, therefore we had to rely on the character’s actions, and put our faith in Asa’s acting prowess. To say the least, he did well! I didn’t like how Gavin modified the script at some points, he even omitted the kiss from Alai, which I thought was a pivotal point in the plot structure. Instead he allowed the momentous encounter to pass without much recognition. A kiss on the cheek implanted the instance deep into the reader’s mind, a mere gesture of departure does not do the same for the viewer. This along with many other details, were chopped off from the body of the original plot. The movie suffered from shallow characterization in favor of eye-catching special effects, which were, as expected, spectacular. One thing I did like about Gavin’s revision was the alteration of the mind-game. It was practical in it’s execution, and added a layer to the otherwise woefully mundane Ender. The movie moved too fast for my taste, a side-effect of the many omissions and revisions. Now that I’m done degrading the movie, I can’t find any reasons to commend it. I mean, the Battle School was a dazzling set to look at. Asa Butterfield is great, but that deserves it’s own little draft, because if I’m gonna mention greatness, I have to point out Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. I couldn’t get Davis’s maid character in The Help out of my head though….

Well that’s all, I thought I would have an intelligent discourse on the film, but I guess in the end I’m just disappointed. The book wowed me so much I read it twice! I was hoping the same for the movie, but in the back of my mind I knew this crazy sci-fi concept would be blown up in favor of mass appeal. So yeah; lots of action, explosions, not much character development, but I understand that. Once again-Asa Butterfield, that is all.#asa butterfield#ender’s game#harrison ford#viola davis#ben kingsley

A Single Man

Just watched this movie directed by Tom Ford (yes the fashion designer) and I am completely blown away. The visuals were so gratifying, but at the same time served an important purpose in the film’s style and themes. Ford tells the story (based on a book) so strikingly well, there are times when I slowed down in sync with the scene slowing down. I’m typing this on my phone so I can’t express completely how impressed I am by this movie. The great art direction, moody music, and powerful performances come together incredibly well. I honestly only have praises for this film, which means I should probably stop typing. I only write when I feel the need to critique a movie (Ender’s Game), but this one moved me so. I should analyze what I think certain parts of the movie mean.

Just Kids

I’ve been going through the pages of Patti Smith’s life with Robert Mapplethorpe. Roberts have been popping up, Robert Graysmith is another, from Zodiac. I’m not sure if that movie was what I wanted. I wanted something more shocking, more Silence of the Lambs. “Hurdy gurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy gurdy gurdy man….”

It’s April. The theme for this month is…..solitude. No I think that’s been my theme for long enough. I picture my junior year as a new start, I want to reach out to people more. Join more clubs, talk to people, stay after school for activities. Can an introvert really do all those things? If I can learn anything from Susan, it’s that you need a solid-rock-hard heart for this. But I don’t…right now. Anyway she’s already extroverted, a people person.  

I can’t seem to develop my own thoughts, I’m everywhere with repetitive words and meaningless rambles. I type and type, but most of the clicks and clacks are backspaces of furious neglect. See? That didn’t even make sense, can I just <—–JUST! always just, always okay always whatever or whoever this whole thing, my vocabulary, is laughable! You think I use words well? Well think again because well and well right after each other. I’m so dissapointed in myself. Wow a typo, no actually you’re just dumb. JUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTL;JKA 

Antichrist

Prologue:

Okay so it’s in black and white. Notable notes: three figures labeled pain, grief and despair on table. Baby boy knocks them over when climbing atop the table to the window. Snow outside. Couple copulating in the same room; distracted. Antichrist with a female symbol for “t”. Man knocks bottle of liquid (probably alcohol) over during bed sex. Sex starts in shower. Baby carrying a bear, first seen floating in the nursery, tied to a black balloon. Baby speaker, can probably hear parents having sex in other room. Background music: operatic singing, women’s voice. Boy falls through window, orgasm upon his impact and subsequent death. From shower, moves to laundry room, then to the bed. The dryer is on, and stops at the end of the prologue. 

Analysis:

Dryer and sheets inside–couple making a new baby, impregnation. Round window of dryer, reminiscent of pregnant womb. Alcohol knocked over—sexual intoxication leading to negligence. Black balloon tied to bear—balloon as dark, evil parents (or just the mother), “raising” the child (the bear) up, but all balloons soon deflate. The cold air outside would certainly deflate the balloon (chemistry…). Snow-innocence, the baby, falling towards the ground. Sex in shower, shower=cleanliness contrasted with dirty act. Dryer dries clothes, but also the couple, as they move to the bed….?

Chapter One: Grief

Okay so unlike the prologue, this section is much longer, so I will probably miss some things. Um Well the mother experiences profound “atypical” grief. Her therapist husband insists on taking her home, despite the disapproval of Dr. Wayne, the offscreen doctor. where her condition only seems to worsen. She bangs her head on the toilet some times….puts the pills in the toilet too. She is guilty. The husband tries to help. Oh yes in the beginning there walking behind the coffin of the child, the father sobbing with the mom silently staring at the black box behind him. They’re walking, and suddenly she collapses. She was in the hospital for a while, a month. The camera zooms into the bedside flowers, particularly the stems and the murky water. At home there are some strange and eerie foreshadowing visions of twisted grey branches/underbrush. “Anxiety” signs are shown in shadowy b&w scenes with close ups of symptoms like a pulsing neck vein for “fast pulse”. The mom is highly sexual, trying to use sex as a way of dousing her grief. The husband tries to stop her, but he gives in. They copulate once. She says he wasn’t a part of her and the son’s life before he died. He tries to make her confess her greatest fears, or places of fear. She says the woods “Eden”, though before she had always wanted to go there. They make it into the woods, and the scene of the forest is subtly distorted. She wants to rest, and while she sleeps, he wanders off and sees a deer. Turning, he realizes the deer is giving birth and his expression changes. It trots off. A significantly symbolic scene takes place when they’re on the train and she, in psychotherapy, narrates her travel through the woods with guidance from her husband. The scenes are slow-motion. The first shows her crossing a small bridge, everything is “silent”, even the stream underneath. The next she is crossing through some ferns a “lizard is hiding behind the fern, as usual”. It is not difficult to walk here. Next she is seen through a “field fox hole” among the trees and slopes. It is not easy to pass here, the ground feels like “mud”. She next passes by a decaying tree whose “trunk is thick”. It is decaying ever-so-slowly, and it has a “strange kind of personality”. Finally she is seen approaching the cabin, but before she enters, her husband tells her to lie down. A bit hesitant, she does so and her husband tells her to fade into the green, which she does, and it’s over.  

Analysis:

There’s not much for me to say, the focus on the murky water of the flower vase might indicate the evil present in the mother, with the flowers being her son. Garden of Eden motif. Fertilization theme, with the deer and the offspring hanging out of its butt. Everything else for later expansion.

Chapter Two: Pain (Chaos reigns)

The wife comes to tell the husband that they should get going. He seems off-put by the encounter with the deer. They head towards the cabin and see all the places described by the wife earlier. First the bridge, which she crosses with great difficulty. The volume of the stream increases while she walks slowly across, before bursting away about half way through. The husband sighs in exasperation, and heads toward the cabin alone where along the way he crosses the field of ferns, the fox hole, and the strange tree. When he arrives, he spots the pile of branches to the right of the cabin a bit off. The wife is sleeping inside and he sees the polaroids of her and the child on the bedside table. During the night, we can hear the clanging of acorns falling down on the tin roof of the cabin. He opens the window to look, and falls asleep with his hand outside the window. When waking, he sees tiny grey pebbles stuck to his hand and peels them off confusedly. Later he is seen outside by his wife setting up stones for an “exercise”. From one stone to the other, she crosses the grass, though with great turmoil. For a second a vision of a bare foot (possibly hers) is seen stepping onto dirty grass. She reaches the stone and sits down, weeping while her husband consoles her on her good job. Suddenly a dead baby bird drops out of a tree, and a close up reveals its infancy and the ants covering its pale body. A grown bird swoops in and takes it into the tree where it promptly rips off the dead baby bird’s wing and eats it. The wife cries harder. Okay many things happened. She, while sobbing in bed, recollects the summer before where she hear a sound. She is working at her desk with a book titled “Gynocide”. The sound was Nick, the child, crying, and this sound permeated throughout the entire forest, but he was found in the barn, positively shining. The crying had no apparent source. She lies in bed, saying something about how nature is Satan’s realm, I can’t recall the exact quote. Oh yes “Satan’s church”. And the window is open, “that was his breath” as the wind blows through. She also deconstructs her prior view of the world, long ago when she found out oak trees live for 100 trees and they only need one acorn to propagate. Then she says now she realizes that Eden’s beauty might actually be hideous because all the lost acorns, and their cries of death, touch her..He has a dream of slowly falling acorns, like the opening scene in Melancholia. The next morning she is seemingly cured, frolicking through the grass and nature, stomping the bridge, waddling through the stream. But the husband, unconvinced, dons a skeptical look which the wife takes as his inability to be “happy for her”. She rushes back to the cabin, and in the field of ferns, while following her, he hears a rustle in the ferns a ways off. Before bending down to see what it is, a wind rushes through, stirring the ferns. It is a fox, who seems to be eating itself. Then, with a ominous voice, it says “Chaos Reigns”.

Analysis:

Long long long, expand later. 

Chapter Three: Despair (Gynocide)

It starts raining without warning, and the man goes inside to find his wife sleeping. He notices an attic door, and curious, climbs up with a ladder to reveal its contents. Inside he sees pictures of gynocide tacked up upon the wooden walls, and the book shown earlier in the flashback “Gynocide”, on a table, extensively highlights and annotated. Besides the volume is something resembling a constellation map. A notable emphasis is placed upon three particular constellations named “The Three Beggars”, and they’re a fox, an unknown bird, and a deer. They’re each labeled pain, despair, and grief respectively, mirroring the three chapters of the book in which each one appears. He finds a journal where his wife must have cataloged her thoughts last summer, but as he flips through it, the handwriting is seen to debilitate, until the writing is nearly unreadable. Trees fall outside. The next day in bed, she talks about the evil nature of woman, but her husband refutes the idea, reminding her of the vary topic of her thesis, which was to debase the idea that she’s now embracing. They have sex and the wife implores him to “hit her hard so it hurts” whilst sobbing. He refuses, and she runs off into the woods. The wife is seen masturbating fervently in the forest to the sound of an eerie music, her husband joins her and they copulate. She asks again, and this time he obliges, hitting her twice before they embrace. The camera pans outwards, and we can see the arms of people, seemingly trapped underneath the roots of the tree. A reference is made to the Sisters of Ratisman who could conjure up a hailstorm. The next day she is seen throwing papers into the stone fireplace. She finds the autopsy report the husband had been keeping from her in the pile of papers. The report shows a slight deformity of the child’s foot, which we later see might have come from the misplacement of his shoes. The husband shows her this and she dismisses it as a weird “slip of the day”. He exits the cabin, through the thick fog, and into the shed where he reviews the photos, all of them with the same misplacement of shoes, left on right and right on left. A flashback reveals the wife’s deliberate intent to put the shoes on wrong, to the protest of the crying child. Suddenly, the wife bursts in with a wooden plank, hitting the husband and questioning if he’s leaving her. The crazy attack devolves (or evolves?) into a feral sex session, where the husband says he loves her, but she says he doesn’t believe him. The sex halts, and the husband falls unconscious, when the wife throws a cinderblock onto his penis. She strokes the shaft, and blood squirts out, staining her white floral blouse. Silently, she detaches a round cement block from its place and uses a drill to push a hole through his left shin. Using the circular block as a weight, she inserts a metal rod through his shin and screws the cement block in, as to incapacitate him. After doing so, she takes a wrench to the cabin where she throws it underneath. Meanwhile, the husband regains consciousness and with great agony, crawls away into the fox hole. Finding him gone, the wife hysterically shouts “Where are you!” and “You bastard!” repetitively. Inside the hole, he lights a match and finds something buried underneath the dirt; a raven, one of the three beggars, despair. It is inexplicably alive, and squawks loudly at the man. Realizing it is giving away his position, he begins pummeling it with a rock, but the bird remains alive. Finding his position, the woman tries to drag him out, but failing that, she grabs a shovel and begins digging from the top downward.

Analysis:

WOOOH!

Chapter 4: The Three Beggars 

It is nighttime, and the wife is standing over a patch of dirt with her shovel. She starts sobbing and saying “I’m sorry”, digging out the man from the dirt below. He says they need to get the weight off of him, but she says she can’t find it, after honestly searching for it in the tool box. She helps him back to the cabin where he asks her if she was going to kill him. She says “not yet” and begins crying before stopping abruptly and says “a woman crying is a woman scheming”. Other portents include “when the three beggars gather, someone must die”. She kisses him and gets up to grab a pair of scissors. She lays next to him and takes his hand, guiding it towards her nether regions. A flashback of the prologue shows that she saw the child climbing onto the desk, and subsequently falling out the window. Crying, she tells him to “hold [her]” and proceeds to cut her clitoris with the scissors. She cries out and a deer in the forest lifts its head. Later, the husband, still on the floor, stares out the window and sees the constellation of The Three Beggars noting that there is no constellation named that. A cut from the prologue shows a deer in the window as the child falls through. A deer appears, and then a fox with a bell necklace. The raven is heard beneath the floorboard. The man breaks it and finds the hidden wrench, but before he can free himself, the woman awakes and they quarrel. She stabs him with the scissors, twice, but he manages to break free (with great pain). Now free, he pushes the woman to the wall and strangles her to death. Before the huge fight, some hail pores down, just a note. Anyways, the deed is done, and he cremates his wife outside on the pile of branches seen earlier. As he limps away with a stick for support, the transparency of the woods are elucidated and hundreds of naked bodies lie underneath.

Analysis:

blam!

Epilogue:

The initial slow operatic song from the prologue is resumed as well as the black and white color. The man is seen walking up a hill, and stops to consume some berries. He sees a feather in the bush, and sees the Three Beggars staring off to the side. Standing up, he peers down the hill and sees a procession of hundreds of women climbing up the hill. He is smiling. Just as many approach from the back, and the movie ends with a shot of the multitude of women climbing up the hill. 

Analysis:

wow!

AG Writing

IN the proces of putting together a terrible rough draft about Allen Ginsberg poetry relating to his life. I’ve picked out Howl, A Supermarket in California, and two more obscure works: Vision 1948, and In Death, Cannot Reach What Is Most Near. I have got two body paragraphs down, and now the final theme of death awaits my addressing, but I don’t feel ready to do it. Actually I didn’t feel ready when I started this…I’m actually doing the outline AS I type up the paper..oh no. Yes it’s very botched (to be expected) I cant use effective internal transitions to save my life. There’s just so much structure that I fail to actually have everything make sense. There’s too much citations, or maybe too little. I don’t have enough commentary. I think the problem lies in balancing commentary with the evidence, having them connect. If I do try to add more commentary, it totally spirals into another irrelevancy that does not fit into the paper. So that’s a form of frustration. Also words, using too much of the same ones, and also my bland, repetitive style. It’s very monotonous, who would ever want to read it? I can’t but I have to. That’s my reason. It’s now 5:00 am. Cya 

AG Aftermath

There was nothing more devastating than finding out that the poetry project was, essentially, over. My connection with Allen (I can call him Allen now right?) has become deeper, so deep, like the Mariana Trench, I can’t pull myself out. So much, so much admiration, the portrayal of him in various guises (Radcliffe, Franco), they all make me more devoted. This connection was something fabricated by an official project, with a number attached to it, a grade, something quantitative. But know I find the problem of overcoming this vapid need to excel at a school paper, I mean it’s something that I expended many hours developing, but in the end, the paper (and project) didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, because whatever happens, this assignment was a starting point. GROUND ZERO, of my own formulation. Of ideas, my philosophy, moral code, just the ability to express all these is my only obstacle now. Indeed, a powerful opponent, self-improvement will either come gradually, or unbelievably fast. Probably the latter, in any case, come it will. To speed it up, I need to divulge my own self—to the world! Just like Ginsberg, I don’t want to be a “grotesque” creature anymore, skulking in the back alleys of my lucid mind. I have to live this lifestyle, my own beliefs-asserted onto reality. The reverberation will be shocking. I can’t find myself now though, without the help of continued reading, researching, studying, exploration. Even this week, the next—a perpetual stream of journeys into the unknown and specious-knowns. GROUND ZERO will always be this project, the things that came with it, all the stuff, will be cataloged. The information; the bios, critiques, love for this poet. The movies. I don’t know if I’ve become anything other than a fanatic, but the labels don’t phase me. Or maybe they do, “don’t hide the madness”. “Howl” is a prophecy, his legacy, YOUR legacy, Allen, has become eternal. Even so long after your death, a year before my conception, you impact the youth today. Me, someone else, the actors of Kill Your Darlings, the actors in Howl, the people associated with these productions. Lovely people, scattered all over the nation, with hidden faces-not hidden. I feel for their blazing hearts, my yearning heart, to relate and make love, to form relations. For in my societal impression, I am lonely. Inward and outward, these things are the same. So I can make myself happy=? But happiness is overrated (Chris Ware) and life is but a passage between those two doors. Eclipsed with a SLAM or gentle -click-….on the linoleum floor, -click-, -clack-, -click-, -clack-, and the ballet slippers slip slop slide down the corridor. Without a sound, no one knows where it goes-to the street, or out of town. I can’t tell, for I don’t know, this special place, I linger towards.

Intelligent and grounded, these two words stuck out of the five used to describe Dan by Dane. And I could see that. They laughed as the halcyon atmosphere took me in. They talked about Keats, Keats and Vonnegut (Dane’s) and I thought of Shelley. Only because of the elegy-read in KYD. 

and you just breath, it comes easily

it rhymes, or not

with spaces, so like the pie

cherry i feel disconnected, nowhere to go-

but onward