9 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. Advan Radoncic Post author

    The genre of “Self and Other” used to describe our everyday lives and how we relate to people. Throughout this course, we read many different books and looked at many different art pieces to help us understand what other people are going through as well as to better understand life. The books that we focused on were “Signs Preceding The End Of The World” by Yuri Herrera “Excess The Factory” by Julia Carr and lastly we focused on “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine. All these books listed fall into the category of “Self and Other” which can be used to describe our everyday lives and how we as people function and can relate to one another regardless of the fact that we are not sharing the same struggles as our peers.

    The book, “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine focuses on the struggle of black people all throughout the world. She brings up topics such as Serena Williams, Barack Obama, and a very common topic of police brutality in our nation that African Americans and POC, in general, have to face on almost a daily basis. An example of the discrimination faced is in chapter one where Rankine states “ They are just being kids. Come on, No need to get all KKK on them.” This shows the struggle of being a person of color in the United States as no matter what you seem to do is never seen as the right thing and you are always being put in the spotlight like in this case where the children were just enjoying themselves before they were attacked. In chapter 1 Rankine also talks about how Black and Brown’s people are dehumanized for every single thing they do whether or not it is done in a good or a bad way simply due to the pigment of their skin. This all relates to the topic of self and others since even though we are not able to relate to the struggle of being black we can find a moment where we were either attacked due to something we can not control such as religion. To add on we are also able to get a better understanding of what it is like to be black in the United States based on these quotes simply because it does not only affect adults but children as well and Claudia Rankine also writes this describing it as something that you have lived through when in reality it is her own struggle that she writes about.

    “The Signs Preceding The End Of The World” by Yuri Herrera is a book that tracks the travels of a girl named Makina who is on a long journey to find her brother in the United States. On this journey, she is faced with a great amount of adversity. In the book, she is racially targeted multiple times. It states in chapter 8 that a self-proclaimed “Patriot” makes Makina and other Mexican men line up and kneel in front of him and he then says “ Com[ing]with no money, no papers, but hey, poems”. This illustrates the blatant racism that lies within the police force in America and it magnifies the problem that most Latinx people face in the United States. This also relates to “Self and Other” since we as people do not understand each other’s struggles however when they are presented to us we are able to see the problem with the society that we live in. In the final chapter, Makina states that “[she] has been skinned”. This sentence shows that Makina has officially been stripped of her identity and her own self in a way as she has metaphorically been skinned of anything that she was previously in the book and has to lead a new life now. This also relates to “Self and Other” as our hardships and our struggles are what makes us who we are and to all of a sudden be stripped of all that pain that you have undergone throughout your life makes you feel like all of that has lost its value to you. This Book relates to “Self and Other” since we are able to see what immigrants are forced to go through just to get into this country and what hardships they must deal with. This being said some of these hardships include being forced to give up your identity which was a huge part of Makina’s life, the second is being constantly harassed and being treated like you are not on the same level as the people who are keeping you out of the country just because you do not speak the same language as they do. The last thing that most people forget about immigrants is that most of them tend to leave behind their entire family in hope of a new and better life even if nothing is promised for them on the other side which was the case with Makina’s brother who left in search of a better life and left Makina and her family on their own.

    In Julia Carr’s “Excess The Factory” Carr describes the life of French factory workers in the 1960s. In her poem, she also describes what the conditions in the factory are. She states “ Barrels, Wires, Sheet metal piled up”. This shows that the factory is overflowing with useless items that are not needed. Carr also describes the food and she would ask herself “Where is the taste” when she ate it. This shows the conditions are horrible as the workers are given food that is not well prepared and barely has any resemblance to food. Lastly, Carr describes what the work is like by saying “ You near the window. Make cables. Of course you can die”. This shows what the work is like as the workers are always faced with the possibility of death in the workplace it also shows how little the owners care since they are not doing anything to change the fact that workers are dying. Carr also brings up the fact that the factory “is hot and you are very cold”. This shows that the workers are mistreated as the factory is said to have unbearable heat. The Poem “Excess- The Factory” relates to the topic of “Self and Other” as it describes what factory workers and most blue-collar workers go through on a daily basis what this poem does for us is it paints the picture that we do not see in the back which is the hard work that most of these workers are going through to add on to that these workers as stated are working in horrid conditions which is not the case now as it is not as bad as it once was and they are slightly safer now than they were before and are protected by multiple unions.

    These Texts are all very similar because they help us in understanding what goes on throughout other people’s lives. This is very clear as in every piece that we have read so far we are able to see what people are going through in their private life. We are also able to understand the struggles that they go through even if we are lucky enough to not have to go through those same struggles. An example of this would be when Rankine wrote the “No need to go all KKK on them” the quote refers to children and it can build an understanding of what black people go through on a daily basis by the simple fact that if children are treated like this just imagine how horribly our adults our treated. In the poem “Excess- The Factory” we are able to relate the fact that the workers are dehumanized as they are not given basic meals with the nutrients that are needed to properly have a healthy life and on top of that they are treated as sub-par human beings who are not given any dental care because of the fact that they have “smiles with missing teeth”. Lastly, this ties together to “Signs Preceding The End Of The World” as Makina is treated like a second-class citizen and as a burden by law enforcement when she crosses the border after being harassed and attacked just for being from a different country. To tie it all together these pieces that we have focused on in class are all related due to the fact that they open your eyes on what is going on around you and it throws you into the shoes of other people which makes you slightly more aware of everything wrong around you and much more understanding when you think of certain things that you have witnessed and may not have gotten before reading these pieces.

    The theme of all the books we have read this semester is related to “self and other”. They are all related as they talk about personal growth and personal experience. For example in “Signs Preceding The End Of The World ” Makina is forced to find her brother and bring him back, However, her task becomes much harder as she comes into the United States due to blatant racism. The second piece we worked with was “Wayfinding” with Chloe Bass which focused on us as people and what we would go through and how to better understand ourselves as well as the people around us. The last piece we looked at and focused on in class was “Excess- The Factory” Which is a book written by Julia Carr about the life of French Factory workers in the 1960s. This Book relates to self and others as it helps us understand the struggle of being a factory worker even if we ourselves are not going through those conditions.

  2. Advan Radoncic Post author

    In our class, we focused mainly on the texts “Howl” written by Allen Ginsburg as well as “Citizen” written by Claudia Rankine. While reading these poems we were told to closely gather and interpret any evidence that was given to us, as well as to focus on it from multiple different points of view. In the poem “Howl” we were told to look at what normality is as well as to see what could affect normality. In his poem Allen Ginsburg states “ I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked”. We are able to understand that with this that the Vietnam war was a huge factor that affected these “Great minds” as stated by Ginsburg since his poem takes place around the same time period as the war. With this we are able to assume that most of the people that Ginsburg is talking about have been through the war and have seen first hand the damage the war has brought to everyone.

  3. Advan Radoncic Post author

    In class, we also discussed the deeper meaning of quotes as well as the deeper meaning of life. We discussed this during the “Wayfinding” exhibit by Chloe Bass. An example of this would be in her piece when Bass states “How much of life is coping”. With this being said it seems as if the question is a simple one with an easy answer. However, as we get to think about the question we realize that there are multiple ways to answer the question as well as many ways that the question can be interpreted. To add to that the quote relates to the idea of “Self and Other” this is because the topic that we talk about varies based on each person’s own life experiences however even with those experiences that no one else can relate to we are able to come together and understand why someone feels the same way about the idea that is being discussed as well as why some people might think differently than the way that we think about it. In the exhibit Bass also states “How much of love is attention”. This also relates to the main idea of the course which is “Self and Other” since we are posed with more questions that do not have definitive answers

  4. Advan Radoncic Post author

    During our time in the class, we also read the poem “Excess-The Factory” which is written by Julia Carr. This poem helped us with our arguments and helped us when it came to producing well-written arguments as well as how to compose an oral argument which would then be used to help us with our conclusion. In the poem, we can draw many conclusions from the factory and what problems the workers faced. Some of these arguments are very plain and obvious meanwhile some of these arguments are very well hidden and would require deeper thinking and expecting a more in-depth answer. One such time we are able to make a conclusion that requires some thinking we are met with the quote that talks about the smiles of the workers and those smiles being empty. With this being said one is able to assume that the workers do not have proper dental care as they are not able to take care of their teeth as well as the fact that they are willingly smiling knowing that they are missing teeth as this can cause insecurities amongst some people.

  5. Advan Radoncic Post author

    In class, we also read the book “Signs Preceding The End Of The World” by Yuri Herrera. This book is about a young woman who embarks on her journey for her older brother who has been gone to the United States from Mexico. With this book, we are able to explore the connection between the relationship of a person or individual and the society that they live in more specifically in the political science and the public affairs aspect of the book. The main character of the book Makina is faced with many different hardships as she continues her journey, From lengthy walks to racist and nationalistic police officers stopping her at the border however, none of that is able to break her spirit on her journey to find her brother. In chapter 6 Makina is harassed by “ A huge red-headed anglo” as described by Makina. This relates to the outcome being discussed as based off on the political setting near the border of Mexico and the United States there is a very anti-immigration type vibe given off. This is proven by the way that the redhead harasses Makina because she is being treated as subhuman by someone simply because of the fact that she is from another country and because she does not have the proper papers to be in that country.

  6. Advan Radoncic Post author

    An individual’s place in society can affect many different aspects of their lives including values choices and even personal experiences. An example of this would be how immigrants may hold certain things much closer to them whereas a 5th generation citizen looks at the same object or moment and treats it as if it is not something very important. To add on someone who is not very financially sound may look at spending a small amount of money as a burden and may think twice about spending that money however someone who is much more financially stable may look at that same amount and spend it on things that they would never use again. The book “Signs Preceding The End Of The World” by Yuri Herrera very clearly shows this discrepancy between different people and how this may change their perception of life and affect their experiences and values as well as how it may affect their choices. At the end of the book, Makina is faced with uncertainty guilt as well as the feeling of discomfort as she feels that everything that she once knew was and is being erased from her memory. At the very end when everything goes silent and comes to a standstill Makina says and claims that she is “ready” which can be seen as a significant moment in the book. This relates to the discussion as most people would completely ignore their hometown when in a new city or place however with Makina it is different because she feels guilty as she is erasing her past in a way.

  7. Advan Radoncic Post author

    In class, we also read “Citizen” by Claudia Rankine which focuses on the problems faced by African Americans in the United States. This poem made us focus on the ethical views and what the underlying premises were to them. The book focuses on multiple poems and photographs along with the various forms of art. The book does not have a set main character, just a black protagonist who is labeled as “You”. This is done in order to make the reader feel much more immersed in the book. It makes you feel as if you are going through whatever the character that Rankine has invented is going through. In the poem, an altercation arises between one character and “You” in which the character is told that they should “ Relax” and told to “Not go full KKK on them”. This shows the underlying racism and the underlying problems faced by African Americans as they are attacked just for playing.

  8. Advan Radoncic Post author

    In class, we also had to focus on the use of data and other information in order to solve problems and answer questions. In “Excess-The Factory” by Julia Carr we are faced with that. The poem talks about French factory life in the 1960s. Adding on to that the poem really highlights the problems that these workers faced from basic everyday problems to eye-opening things that should not be happening in first world countries. An example of this is the description of the food which is crackers and soup. This would normally be considered a decent meal however with the way that the workers are laboring and are not given enough breaks it is not a meal that would suffice their needs. Additionally, the factory is described as unbearably hot as well as extremely overcrowded. We are able to come to the conclusion that the factory workers are seen as expendable resources and are only used without any real regard for safety.

  9. Advan Radoncic Post author

    The last topic discussed in this class was the effect of national global or local ideologies and what their effect is on decision making either as a whole or as an individual. The book that best describes this is “Signs Preceding The End Of The World” by Yuri Herrera. In the book Makina is forced to make many decisions that are not decisions that she would normally be making. To add on most of these decisions being made are made under serious circumstances given that she is being told to find her brother in a foreign nation and that she is constantly being harassed simply for being of a different ethnicity. One of these decisions that is being made that normally would not be made is the decision to follow what the “Red-Head anglo” is telling her to do. This being despite the fact that they tried to pull Makina and that Makina was harassed by this same person, Even with all of this she still follows them. Secondly a very grave and serious decision that Makina is forced to make is the one where she is either to completely forget her past and become a new person living in a new country or to keep everything she knew and live her same life. She ultimately makes this decision due to the life that she was living back in Mexico and the story ends. To conclude with all this being said local ideologies have a huge effect on the people’s decision making skills since they are told that this idea is always right and that the grass is greener on the other side.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *