Friday, December 31, 2010


Possibly one of my FAVORITE things to eat on this food-blessed world is the Corndog. Shake Shack's is extra only comes up on the menu THREE times a year! It is also possibly the most DIVINE thing on a stick you could EVER have. Its new year's eve and my family and I have just spent a night sharing goals and playing horse, and reading the U.S. Constitution, a unique but very us combination of activities for sure! And...I am craving a shake-shack corndog. If only Columbus Ave were not 1500 miles away. Happy New Years to you all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Holiday

I guess I'm just in posting type-of-a-mood.

Christmas 2010 was very different from most Christmases. Without family in town, we went out for dinner Christmas Eve.

We spent it with my Dad's side of the Family and it was an incredible time.
Our morning was simple and we opened some presents and had cinnamon rolls and
scrambled eggs but the real fun came at about 1:00pm when we got to Oklahoma.
We pulled into Uncle Gene's front yard and could see a fire going on the porch and decorations all over. Grandpa Ken came out to greet us as did Grandma Leah and the rest of our family.
It was wonderful. The table was set with white linens and red ribbons and silverware.
The fire was lit and boy did the house smell good. We had ribs, turkey, salads, sweet potatoes, green beans, mash potatoes, rolls, rice pudding, and Aunt Kim's wonderful cheesecake and apple pie. It was a Holiday feast! Everything felt so good. We did some shooting with My Dad's new rifle and spent the rest of the night playing games, watching videos, opening some presents and talking. I love listening to the talk with their southern dialect. It is beautiful! Family is just the right place to be this time of year. Hope all y'all's Christmases were merry and bright!

New Year, New Goals

At this time of year its absolutely expected that my mom will begin talking about her new year's resolutions. And, it is sure that she will be repeating to Josh her favorite phrase, "a goal not written is merely a wish."
I don't think we've missed a year where weight-loss has been the number one goal. In fact, for the past few days or so all I have heard as we have been surveying Fort Worth eateries and having dangerously delectable meals is, "this is going to be one of my last times to eat this." Whats funny to me is that we're by no means heavy-set people. My moms 5'2 and 116 and she thinks she's over-weight!

This year I'm doing my goals a little differently. It has been said, It doesn't really matter what direction you take, if you don't know where you are going. I have a pretty good idea where I'm going so all my goals are geared to get me there. The destination? Nursing School by January of 2012. While I also have other places I'd like to be, this one is the top priority, at least I think it is in reference to my future. So what does this mean? More efforts on studying because if there is anything thats sure, its that me and science are as different as oil and vinegar. But, I also know if I take care of the important things first, and also prepare myself spiritually, it will all fall into place.

Some Goal Brainstorming
I realize these are A LOT so I going to be narrowing them down

Read a book aside from academic curriculum monthly
Get 8-9 hours of sleep everyday
Never go to class unprepared
BoM reading every morning
Exercise 3/week for 45 min
Lose 15 lbs.
Give away a BoM quarterly
News 15min/day
Remember everyone's birthday on my list. Send cards.
Journal EVERYDAY, but focus on the Lord's hand in my life
Live by my budget plan every month
Continue with my one burger a week rule
Only eat out once a week
License by June
Attend ALL my classes
Smile at all costs
VT every month

This one goal is pushing it but i want to see if i can do it.
I already have Everything i need in my wardrobe department.
Ahh, its struggle even to type this out.
Goal: Do not buy any clothes/shoes until Jan 1, 2012.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Magic 8 Balls

I have this odd obsession with magic 8 balls. For my birthday last year, I got one and since then I have found myself shaking it frequently to reveal answers to my deepest questions. Today's question, though I cannot reveal had the following response: "Yes definitely." I was ecstatic. My follow up question which i decided would solidify the first, said: "As I see it, yes."
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
Thank you Magic 8 ball.

p.s. today is the last day of classes for the fall semester.

p.p.s. I go home in 6 days.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I am thankful for Pumpkins

Tonight was all about pumpkins. I made a pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust, a pumpkin pie in a regular crust, and chocolate pumpkin bars. It was intense. They were all very tasty :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am thankful for...WinCo.

So today, Becca and I spent a very long time at WinCo. I think its just about my new favorite place in Provo. If you haven't had the WinCo experience, I have one thing to say to you : It NEEDS to happen! The store itself is quite large, filled with inexpensive products and offers a variety of bulk foods, and everything else you can think of--- for super cheap! A college students dream :)

We spent about an hour and a half walking through aisles of produce, and health food dispensers filled with nuts, yogurt-covered pretzels, fortune cookies, granola, tabouli, dark chocolates, banana chips, sun-dried tomatoes, flours...the list goes on. Being there makes me want to be healthy. And thats a very good thing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am thankful for friends

Friends are awesome. Some guys came over randomly and decided to just visit with my apartment. We talked, shared, laughed, guitar-jammed and enjoyed each other's company. It was wonderful. I really do believe friendships keep you going. Getting to know people has become one of my favorite things to do. So guys, thanks for making my day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

La Lluvia

Estoy agradecido por la lluvia!
Ako ay nagpapasalamat para sa ulan.
Je suis reconnaissant pour la pluie!
Jeg er takknemlig for regnet!
Zahvalan sam za kišu!
Ես երախտապարտ եմ անձրեւից!
Tá mé buíoch as an bháisteach!

Today it is raining in Provo, and I am lovin' it. I am grateful for the rain!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dig, Set, Spike

I am grateful for Volleyball. There is no better feeling than being on the court and playing well. I played volleyball in high school. Currently I am in a class at BYU, and it is so much FUN! I don't even mind having to wake up at 7 on fridays for that class. It is two hours of pure awesomeness.

My favorite thing to do is hit (even though I always end up setting)... Either way I LOVE this game and recommend anyone who wants to pick up a sport/hobby to give it a try. Its that cool!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just one of those days

Today was just one of those days where everything went right! I want to start an "I Am GratefulFor..." string of posts. I like the number 15. So it will be 15 days of "I am Gratefuls."

Today's post cannot be discussed without accounting for yesterday.
6:14ish - In an attempt to describe me in 6 words, a challenge prompted by Hemingway (I apologize for initially accrediting this to Elliot), a very insightful word-- for which I cannot take credit for was brought up: HYDRATED. For those of you that know me there are two reasons for this obsession with agua and they are as follows:

1. I am the most PARANOID person when it comes to getting sick. Drinking water makes me feel like I am more likely to flush out any possibility of cold or virus. I drink a tall glass before bed every night because I feel like it keeps all the sugar I eat from sticking to my throat. I know, its weird.
2. I get nervous a lot, and when I don't know what to do with myself I drink water.

---This feels like the right time to do this so I will. I just wanted to express a special thanks to my brother Josh, who for countless years would get me a tall water of Ice-cold water every night before bed since I can remember. Much love Josh!---

8:ooish - My hydration gets me all the time, so I ran/waddled from a friends house to my apartment. And, though I did restrain myself from doing so, there were multiple times Becca Jayne Schmidt goaded me to pick a patch of grass to water. When I made it home, I bolted for the bathroom and before I knew it I heard a loud CLUNK. My cellphone had fallen in the toilet bowl! So I soaked my phone in rice.
920-11:30ish - Walmart run. Where Becca, Maureen and I got the sweetest materials for Halloween costumes!!
11:30 ish - Checked the phone and it was going wild taking pictures endlessly but not turning on.
8:14 AM (this time i remember distinctly) - My phone was resurrected.

So, can you guess what I am thankful for? Of course. Its obvious...

I am thankful for RICE.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

All I wanna do is dream. Dream, dream, dream...

So I've been thinking about my dreams lately. I don't mean the kind that come to you when you're in the REM stage of sleep, I mean, the kind of dream that moves you to make decisions. BIG ONES.
By definition, a dream is that which upon accomplishment elicits emotions of joy, pleasure, gladness and rejoicing (you can thank oxford for that denotation). Since happiness is a condition of the heart, I would argue that when we are happy, we are living our dreams whether we realize it or not. While I do have some dreams that I hope will unfold in the future I'm putting those dreams on hold. This is not because I think they are unrealistic, but because I have bigger dreams outside of myself. When I say that I mean that as much as I love writing and studying Romantic Literature, I really do feel that its something that can wait.
I am slowly understanding that my happiness depends on how well I can accept the decisions I make. When I was 14, I wrote in my journal that I would study nursing and after that, I could pursue any other avenue of academia I wanted. My mother would probably not believe this if she read it, but yes, I am reverting back to that "dream." Its pretty competitive to get into the nursing program here at BYU but I want to give it a shot. Hopefully, nursing is willing to take a shot on me!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twenty-Five Ways of looking at the World"

"I do not know which to prefer

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendos,

The blackbird whistling,

Or just after"

-Wallace Stevens


To avoid the debt of cookies, the brave young soul made a list:

1. Rules in advance.

2. Apply help as needed. repeats if necessary.

3. Laugh it off.

4. Run after ice-cream trucks.

5. Be patient, be kind.

6. Share.

7. Wild imaginations make interesting bedfellows.

8. Never worry, because there will always be someone to pluck off the

nonopopsee's, one by one.

An incredible mentor wrote this as a response to a presentation i made years ago. Thank you Mr. Avitabile.

The list above is just a few of the many things I learned from the kids I worked with over the years. Three in particular: Anna, Abby and Elena, hold a very special place in my heart. I haven't been updated on there whereabouts in a while. Still, I think about the summer we spent together. I have learned so much from them. I learned that children are sensitive to love, that they have the capacity to show affection with nonjudgmental eyes, and open arms. They are strong. The kind of strong that lifts your spirit, carries you through a hard day and embraces you when you've forgotten how. The love of a child is selfless and endearing. It plants within you a sincere desire to serve, smile, laugh and endure. Thanks girls!

Do you remember that summer when

we slept side-by-side

on rainbow hammocks

and ate mangoes under the shade?

Do you remember that summer when

we shared stories

and jumped in oceans in our dreams

and talked,

and talked,

and talked,

until we heard a thud on our door telling us to go to bed?

Do you remember when

the rain fell and flooded

when the rolling thunder

walked on our tin roofs

and rattled us in our beds?

Do you remember when

we sailed on rowboats

that sped and jumped,

and how our bellies jumped too?

I remember, and how I miss

every touch

and every goodnight kiss.

I remember

the way we laughed,

the way we walked,

the way we swam,

the way we loved.

I wont forget those summer nights.

The warmth of gratitude

within me grows

Your love is the greatest

my heart knows.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Batman and Robin

From barely six to five-foot-two,
our differences are but a very few
But some are hard to set aside
like how she drives and I just ride.
Too bad I came from a metro city
Cause me and cars are kinda, lets just say-- iffy?

At times we get into those moods
that make us bond and eat good foods.
But, then my belly looks like it has a baby
well, actually not really, no definitely-- maybe?

On days that we have lots of vigor
Our plans for the night get big and bigger,
Like when we thought packing snow was fun,
and how we made the chicken feet run.

One time we had this crazy, messy, exciting, showdown date
and soon after the visit to Costa Vida worked out like fate.

Never a moment comes thats dull
In fact even when its serious we like to talk, mull.

From then to this, the truth is simple:
Becc and Nik, a smile and a dimple.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A word or two on him and her,
a statement made
but yet a blur,
that you in fact were on my mind,
that no two words were meant to rhyme
that walking down that black-paved road
held meaning more than hands could hold--


Monday, August 16, 2010

Mango Tree

School is starting up in two weeks and its about time I brush up on my writing. My aunt Serene, who is very convincing when it comes to persuading the girls in my family about watching new soap operas, proposed one entitled "Summer's Desire." Undoubtedly, it would not be surprising at all if my Aunt Sheila---who, has the soap-opera-watching stamina comparable to a hawk monitoring its prey--- has already caught herself up to the latest episode of the show. While my fiction writing skills have yet to be weaned, I want to take on this project before I take my creative writing class in the winter. The project at hand you ask?... To complete a serial style story based on a topic all soap operas thrive on, yes, you guessed it...YOUNG LOVE. I started this a bit ago but got lazy and didn't quite push through. Now, I have four months and story to compose. Preferably, I'll have one entry a week, but in full-time college enrollment terms that really means once every two weeks---or less! But nonetheless, I will finish it before the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, 2011.

Entry one....

Mango Tree

Summer Days are gone too soon

Shoot the moon, and miss completely

And now you're left to face the gloom
The empty room that once smelled sweetly
Of all the flowers you plucked if only
You knew the reason
Why you had to each be lonely
Was it just the season?


There ought to be a caution sign, printed in BOLD and hung across the doorway into a person's heart. Standing picture frames of red-faced lovebirds sitting across alters, or standing arm in arm on my parents armoire had one flaw. You couldn't break apart the picture frame and look beneath the layers of photo paper or peal away the light-sensitive chemicals that kept the photo trussed and perfect. Every time I saw my father run his gnarly hands across those venerated picture frames, I could see that my grandparents' held a dream that resonated with his.

Ma was poaching eggs in the kitchen and I could detect the smell of red wine vinegar staining the air. I was making my final decisions on what to bring to my new apartment. About four or five suitcases later, i realized that packing light was not an option and this time, I would have to be okay with that. When all was set, we said our goodbyes and the musky fog that formed overnight seemed to envelop our rundown 1979 cadillac and push it off in a promising direction...

The culprit, and inspiration to this serial story...auntie Serene

Family Video

Family Reunion Day One Part 3

Family Reunion Day one Part 2

Family reunion Day 2 part 1

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When All

When silent words of nerve run dry
and those that create the sound
ask why,
I look outside my window,
then listen to green blades
that move me,
the rolling rows that ne'er
run out
the simple sounds
that try to scout
Just how did you lose sight
of this
when all that mattered was
what was missed.

There are a lot of things we miss out on. Spring is just one of them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Words that stick

I just came home from visiting a friend of my mother's. She said something that I do not want to forget.

"Prayer, thats what will keep us going."

A Good Friend

A very intelligent and insightful friend of mine took AP Latin this past school year. One of his class readings was the Aeneid by Virgil. Though we only read two books of the twelve together, I fell in love with the writing. When I finally got my hands on a copy of the book yesterday, I decided i NEEDED to read it, especially since my friend recommended it.

Just a few things about this remarkable friend. I wont name any names, as I'm sure that would be what my friend would have wanted. He was one of those people that just knew how to love. His smile is incredible because you just know its 100% genuine. I remember one time he saw me rushing to the bus stop because it was raining and he insisted I let him give me a car ride to the stop and wait inside until the bus arrived. That really touched me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Working On It

Its easy to get myopic when you let insignificant things alter your understanding of reality. These past few days I have been struggling to understand why on Earth, I decided to come home to Texas for the Summer. Indeed, there were a few compelling factors that pushed me South instead of North-East, but in light of the situation at hand I admit that there are moments in my everyday life where I tell myself, why didn't I just go to New York? Why didn't I just pursue my initial plan to spend the spring and summer in culinary classes? Why didn't I just choose to go where I felt comfortable and at home? Why didn't I go where I knew the grocery store was a block away and the subway only two? Why didn't I go where I said I would months ago, when I was convinced that everything would fall into place if I chose NY?

Well, I am still in Texas, and I am still struggling with accepting that. But in that process of accepting, that oh-so-humbling and necessary process of accepting, there are somethings I have come to know and feel and learn. I'm telling myself everyday, Nicole-- Stop asking why and start thinking when...When am I going to take Josh to the Donut shop he is always talking about? When am I going to get up on my feet and explore the beautiful town around me? When am I going to really study for my driver's permit? When am I going to call all those friends that I promised to catch up with? When am I going to stop thinking about myself?

A teacher at BYU mentioned something to me that has been at the back of my head throughout all of this minute, but in my eyes tremendous struggle. He was quoting Alvin Dyer who said, and I am paraphrasing, that, there is a difference between humility and meekness. This difference being that the later is a voluntary condition. In his words, "Voluntary Humility" is key in accepting any struggle that comes across one's way. So I am accepting that I live in town where there are no sidewalks. I am accepting that even if I learn how to drive, getting a car of my own is a 1 in a million chance. I am accepting that even though there are things i miss terribly about New York, I need to work on being happy where ever I am. I am accepting that I need to volunteer to be humble no matter what my circumstances are.

Thank-yous, and Gratitudes

I am thankful that I have a body that can walk, and talk, and learn, and see, and hear, and taste and feel.

I am thankful that when I pray I can feel someone listening and caring for every word I say, even when it seems unimportant.

I am thankful that I have felt God's endearing love for me.

I am thankful for every material thing that I have.

I am thankful that I know my family, and they love me.

I am thankful that I was taught to love.

I am thankful that laughing is the best amnesia from a hard day.

I am thankful for hard days; they make weaknesses strengths.

I am thankful for my health, and the resources available to me.

I am thankful that I can write.

I am thankful for books.

I am thankful for FOOD, and cooking and grocery stores that are filled with wonderful ingredients.

I am thankful for teachers. That means all of you that I know; you have taught me something.

I am thankful to have the knowledge that I can improve and become better if I am willing to work for it. I'm working on it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


My favorite english teacher introduced this term to me in the 11th grade. We were reading the book The Great Gatsby, and he told us students that sometimes writers write in order to release feelings that would have otherwise been kept internalized and buried.

I was thinking then that that was obvious and that of course, every writer writes to make their readers feel what they feel and know what they know. However, what I didn't see was that a writer's catharsis has absolutely nothing to do with what a readers feel, but has everything to do with what a writer feel when he's writing.

So this poem, may not make any sense. It might not even read very logically. But the experience writing made me feel lighter about somethings I had on mind.

your Handkerchief

There comes a time when

Words have their end

And even when those words came out

Those very words that speak

Your heart,

They came crashing faster

Then you would have wished

And suddenly you crawl back

Hoping, praying, begging

That they weren’t said.

But they were,

And they are.

They stick like thorns

That don’t belong

And hurt.

That same hurt

You feel when

You’ve lost it all

And all that’s left

Is a soaked handkerchief

That isn’t even yours.

But when those words are

said and spoken,

You'll find, the break

was long made and broken.

Then thrust, and stride

and make anew, revitalize

that broken view

and build again

piece by piece

leave here to then

and look to these:

That those who stayed

are waiting still

their knees that prayed

and hearts that willed

Yes, you are not what

was behind, reach forward

and believe the line

the smallest choices that are made

opens doors to what wrongs forbade.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blue Skies

I am absolutely addicted to writing poetry, and trying to force sleep is not really working. My nightly routine has been as follows; at 10:00 its usually lights out at home so I lay in bed until about 11:00pm, keeping myself occupied with books, music and the occasional PSYCH episode. I brush my teeth, comb my hair, take my contacts out then put the glasses on for another hour or so of reading...Then come midnight my fingers start getting restless, and my thoughts start bubbling and before I know it I have crept into the unoccupied bedroom next door to mine, having turned on every light switch I pass by on my way to that very destination, which mind you is positioned less than a foot away from my bedroom door, paranoia? Possibly. Then, after sitting there for a while, I usually realize I left my laptop in my room, so I scurry back to retrieve it ------AND, yes I am literally scurrying because I have never felt comfortable quietly pacing in the dark, its far too confident when all I can see is what I can hear. When I am finally situated, and my angst is released as I am typing away, It feels so fulfilling. Its strange that sometimes I don't really think about what I'm writing. I just write.

Tonight was was one of those nights that everything came out like word vomit. It's very different from my usual style which is definitely structured and organized. I hate the idea of not having a rhyme scheme at all, but as I'm reading and rereading the poem, it feels like its just the way its supposed to be.

Disclaimer: This is a fictional poem.


Nicole’Eve Jalipa

It was when I was walking,

Walking with my father

That I could see with my eyes

the blue-print in action.

When I was three; I was sitting,

Sitting on his shoulders---

But still walking

Higher than everyone else.

He would walk to the market on Union

Where we could find an

Old man selling his petunias,

While his wife held a basket of fruit,

“A pound of berries for your daughter?”

“---Why not? After all, they are blue.”

When I was 6; I was swimming.

Swimming where the water hit my waist

But I pretended it was much deeper,

And when I wanted to be brave

I would swim to my father,

And even when his back was turned away,

He was already getting ready for me

To jump on and leech onto his back.

Then, I was crying,

Crying just because I could.

At that age it seemed like

Crying was the closest I could get

To saying sorry and showing I was blue.

And he was wiping,

Wiping my blue, blue tears

When they would steam.


Wiping my blue, blue sweat

When it would leak out of my

Tired pores.

But when I was walking,

Walking away from the wooden seats

Of Central Park,

Walking away from the miles of words at STRANDS,

Walking away from the rancid subway

seats stained with gum and sharpie---

I was alone.

It wasn’t three anymore when I had a shoulder to sit on.

It wasn’t six anymore when I had a back waiting, and ready to be my rescue.

And there were no tears, no sweat.


Just me, sitting, and walking, and swimming in that,

That Blue, blue sky.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Voice 123

A very unexpected work-at-home opportunity has presented it self. Though, there really aren't any promises to this job, it certainly is a fun one. I signed up at VOICE 123, a "voice marketplace" where I am able to receive information on projects that need voice-overs. I am hoping that I get the opportunity to narrate audiobooks.

Today I recorded my first audition for a voice-over project dealing with a daily horoscope reading venture. Since I am new to this, it was quite an experience to read the auditionary script (hmmm auditionary? is that really word?) in English, and Spanish, and French, and German.

My general voice demo, was recorded in all four languages as well, but-- it happened to be an ad for coffee. So big time disclaimer there! Coffee, or Cafe, or Kaffe is big no-no for me!

Dinner tonight was great. I made some Bread, Soup and Shrimp. As Josh always says in his very monotone voice, "this is good."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back With The Fams

So, I've left Provo and moved to Fort Worth, Texas for the Spring and Summer. Coming home to be with my family is always interesting. My brother Josh, is only 11 so its great to be around someone with so much energy. Speaking of energy, thats something that seems harder to come by when I can sleep in all I want, eat all I want, and do absolutely nothing all I want. Isn't it amazing how a couple weeks without school or work can just totally reconfigure your biological time-clock?

This is why I have decided to establish a regimen that will hopefully allow me to stay up to date with my reading, work on my writing and get me ready for the beach. Instead of reading one book monthly, I've decided I have time to read four, and that with whatever time I have left I can exercise, and develop some new recipes to go into a college-cookbook I'm trying to put together. My parents are quite ambitious when it comes to healthy living, so I'm also trying to revamp my diet. Here it goes!

My First two weeks in Texas has been devoted to quite a bit of cooking... Bon Appetite!

Grandma's Pizza

Oven Roasted Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon butter glaze

Berry Bread Pudding (It was our Mother's Day breakfast)

Hopefully, I can control myself and the next meals I cook for my family will be more "figure-friendly."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rereading, New Noticings

So I've decided that I would read one book every month for this entire year that was not part of my assigned readings from my classes. During March and February I returned to two novels that I think I merely skimmed when I was assigned to read them in High School. The following is an account of some of the things I overlooked and could have noticed if I had actually taken the time to do so. I enjoyed Feb's book the most so i've blogged a bit on it.

February's Book
Things I noticed in Great Expectations
-There is a fine line between imagining and telling a lie
-There is a need for children to listen to themselves because they are innocent (this is limited in some respects)
-Expectations usually dictate our decisions, and what morals guide our pursuits. President Monson gave a talk that incorporated the theme of "expectations" from this book. I think he said it best when he said, " I say to you, as that lawyer said about Pip, you havegreat expectations—not as the result of an unknown benefactor, but as the result of a known benefactor—even our Heavenly Father—and great things are expected of you."
-Experience allows you to make connections and gain personal insight
-Life s full of Options, Pip brings up the idea of links that are made of iron or gold, thorns or flowers, however both are necessary to growth
-There are two popular/common leads to one's morality : Money or Integrity
-plays into Blake's Innocence vs. Experience ideas
-Pip is writing a reflective narrative, this brings up the idea of keeping a record, and writing your story as a means of establishing identity and evaluating your values.
-Helping others (Pip to Herbert, Magwitch to Pip) can be a mechanism of redemption, however I think there is a selfish element to this channel of atonement
-companionship is a human need

So there are two endings to this book the revised and the original. Personally, I like the revised ending because both Pip and Estella experience a moment of clarity. Even though there is ambiguity as to what path they will both take, the words and gestures they share emphasize that both characters have experienced a transformation that has brought them to understand themselves better. I think its interesting that their imperfect nature makes them perfect for each other.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Noticings on Blake

So I've been thinking about Blake's poem "the Tiger" for a while now. This is what came to mind.
There is a direct relationship that exists between a creator and its creation. In William Blake’s Poem, “The Tyger,” the idea of placing responsibility in the hands of the maker is explored. Through the use of symbols the author is able to craft a literary piece that reflects how all goodness stems from the seeds of a loving and nurturing maker just as all evil is derived from negative influences. This poem suggests that the outcome of every creation depends upon the nourishment that is provided by its creator.
In this poem, the tiger is introduced as a being that breeds despair. The tiger is described to be “in the forest of the night.“ Such an assertion implies that the tiger, in this case a symbol of a dangerous predator, is most powerful when he surrounded by darkness because this is when he is “burning bright.” Initailly, the narrator is caught up in his curiosity of finding out who had created the tiger. He questions, “What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” This line emphasizes the speakers sincere desire to know who could have been motivated to create a being that is the very emblem of what society perceives to be as evil. The anxiety of the speaker is heightened as the poem discloses goes on without clearly disclosing who or what were the intentions of the tigers creator. The only lasting and understandable aspect that prevails in these first lines is that the tiger is a creature to be feared. Also, that as a feared creature, the “imoortal hand” that crafted his character, and his very being is the main contributor to the danger her inflicts. Though the nurturer, or the maker of the tiger is not identified, the attributes that stand out in the tiger are a reflection of his source of direction.
As the poem continues, the anxiety of the is intensified and the responsibility of the maker is emphasized. Creation is looked through a different light in this text. This poem portrays the act of creating to be a dark and mysterious process. The creator is also associated with tools such as hammers, and chains and a furnace. These words provided specific connotation to a mechanic and unnatural form of creating. Thus, this provides a contrast to the romanticist ideal that nature is spontaneous. By directly claiming that the tiger was synthesized in a harsh an twisted manner that left no room for extending delicate, and
natural processes to occur, the author is also suggesting that the tiger is a mechanism built in the likeness of a similar maker. However, in the fourth stanza, the narrator asks, “Did He who made the lamb make thee?” Just as the tiger represents the rawness of evil, the lamb symbolizes the simplistic humility of a creature made in the likeness of a kind and caring creator. Thus, this ultimately indicates that a maker is responsible for the outcome of its creation. Blake makes a transformation in the wording of his sentences. Though he initially seeks for answers using the word “what” as a question prompt, in the last three stanzas, he uses the word “Dare” to highlight that the creator of the tiger has challenged stability by constructing a creature capable of destruction. The progression of this poem works well to show how the presence of despair can be related to the motives of a creator.
In the end of the poem, readers are still unclear as to who
was precisely responsible for the tiger’s creation. This notion of ambiguity develops the idea that each creation can simply be identified by the good or the bad their actions are able to produce. In essence, the deeds of anyone creation are reflective of their creator. In the case of the tiger, his name is marred because in general he is perceived to be a predator and a stimulant of evil. The example of the tiger in this poem exclusively portrays how each being and creation can be identified by its maker or the hands that nourish it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What We Have Loved, Others Will Love

I decided that I should take the time to explain the purpose of this blog. Aside from the academic criterion that has been set by my Literary Critical Theory class, I am excited to know that this can be a chance to fall in love with literature all over again.

It was Wordsworth who wrote, "What we have loved, Others will love, and we will teach them how." After reading several passages from David H. Richter's compilation, Falling into Theory, I gathered sometimes the best way to learn from literature is to let "the text work on us, not we on it."

Let the "working" begin!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Twilight Arch

I love Central Park. If you've ever been there right before dusk during the summer months, you'll soon discover that watching the twilight arch in New York is enough to make you fall in love with the city all over again. When I say "city" I -- like most New Yorkers do, am referring to Manhattan. When I see a band of red and blue leading night across the city sky, I often think of Mark Twain when he said,
"Happiness is a sunset; it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it."

Come to think of it, I can't remember when I last took the time to watch the a sunset. Its amazing that when I take the time to stop and think about it-- I realize that beauty finds its way into my life. Sometimes, I need to look beyond the chalky-asphlat streets or above the concrete walls that tower past my head. Looking in places where I least expect beauty and finding it there always makes me smile. And so, I echo the words of Twain. There is always a reason, a choice and a need to find happiness. But most of the time, it finds us.

I wrote a poem several years ago that I found to be fitting for this beginning post. It is entitled "Meet Me" This stanza in particular stood out to me...

Meet me when the sun has set

Where time has fallen still--

Beneath the arms, of tributes kept

An ensign to this will.

I find that most of my writing ideas, or just my ideas in general, "meet me" when the near darkness of dusk has kissed the sky. Theres just something about the nighttime's untroubled air that gets me thinking. And yes, that stillness, that peaceful lull; "it is there for all."