Monday, March 25, 2013

English III 3/25: Conor Oberst "Entry Way Song"

Last Saturday I stood in your entry way
That place where we used to wait
For cars to carry us away
Like once in this storm, they drove me and justin home
The music was just being born
It was all I was longing for

Now im on a plane
Off singin my songs again, oh please dont think ill of it
Cause its the reason I exists
But you, youre the crutch of a cripple
You're the calm of a conscience
You're the peace that I have found
When all these voices talk too loud you are quietly reassuring me
With the hands of a healer
And the tongue of a teacher
Its your voice that I have known
To be the first one on the phone
Yeah, you ran all the lights to the hospital

So don't you say to me
That life's a trap
The future is nothing but a tragedy
'Cos I'll be out of that window
Yeah, I'll start wishing to die again
Just say we're not walking backwards, kid
And show me to the door
And I'll walk behind
Out into the hot sunlight
Where the world's very much alive
Even when I close my eyes

Well, should I admit
That my promise is counterfeit
That I'm careless and childish
And that's all I can hope to be
And would you concede
That I think only of myself
I refuse everybody's help
Who has been reaching out for me
Well, you reach with the soul of a sailor
And the swing of a miner
You have cleared the rock away
Leaving gold there in its place
And it is more than anyone could claim
Oh, with the sense of a banker
And with the touch of a tailor
You saved this life for me
And you have sown it to beauty
And I am grateful now and I will always be

So would you sing with me
The song is all I know
Some truths are told now only in a melody
So I've been writing a new one
Yeah, I've been taking my time with it
It's gonna be so perfect
It's gonna hold all of us inside of it
You will see
If you just add your harmony
I think it would be complete
And be worthy of singing
Becomes a symphony

Yeah, you're the cool of the water
You're the start of the summer
Keep me still like a anchor
In a storm you're the cellar
When I'm heavy with worry make me light as a feather
When I'm deafened by anger you're the song I remember
With the grace of a dancer and the strength of a pillar
When I'm starving to suffer you just fill me with laughter
You're a poet
And a saint
You are the only one I choose to imitate
Oh, like the love of a father through the eye of a camera
It's this picture I have seen
We're on a sloping hill of green
And you are walking there beside me

English IV 3/25: Creative Prompts



17. necropolis n. A city of the dead.
18. neophyte adj. Having the character of a beginner.
19. nimble adj. Light and quick in motion or action.
20. nominal adj. Trivial.

Friday, March 22, 2013

English IV 3/22: "Chimes of Freedom" by Bob Dylan

Chimes Of Freedom
Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll

We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An' for each an' ev'ry underdog soldier in the night
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

In the city's melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin' rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an' forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin' constantly at stake
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an' blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an' cheated by pursuit
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Even though a cloud's white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An' the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An' for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

Starry-eyed an' laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an' we watched with one last look
Spellbound an' swallowed 'til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse
An' for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

13. mendacious adj. Untrue.
14. metonymy n. A figure of speech that consists in the naming of a thing by one of its attributes.
15. multiform adj. Having many shapes, or appearances.
16. mystic n. One who professes direct divine illumination, or relies upon meditation to acquire truth.

Professional COMM 3/22: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being." - Goethe

Hmmmm... what does he mean here? This guy is one of the most famous and prolific writers in history. What does it mean to treat someone as if they are what they should be?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

English IV 3/21: Kahlil Gibran "Joy and Sorrow"

For today's blog, I would like you to read this short piece by Lebanese-American mystic and poet Khalil Gibran. Let the words flow over you in the special way that his words have. Read the piece twice and then write a commentary on it or a short piece of your own inspired by it. Enjoy!
On Joy and Sorrow
By Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


9. loquacious adj. Talkative.
10. maudlin adj. Foolishly and tearfully affectionate.
11. languid adj. Relaxed.
12. mellifluous adj. Sweetly or smoothly flowing.

Professional COMM 3/21: Camus on Happiness

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." -Albert Camus

English III 3/21: "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel

This is a classic that I think many of have probably heard at least some time in your life. Like Bob Dylan, these guys were more than musicians; they were (still are) poets. Look at these lyrics and try to find meanings that aren't directly stated, but that you feel are there.

I think this song is about the apocalypse. The gray time when silence comes to the race of humankind. It could also be about a time of mourning or of losing something essential (loved one, hearing, sight, a treasured ability...). They seems to be singing about an emptiness which can either be interpreted as internal or external.

"Hello darkness, my old friend,
Ive come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sounds of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sounds of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sounds of silence.

Fools said i, you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, the words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whispered in the sounds of silence." Simon and Garfunkel

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

English IV 3/20: Creative Prompts




5. insurrection n. The state of being in active resistance to authority.
6. iridescence n. A many-colored appearance.
7. itinerary n. A detailed account or diary of a journey.
8. jargon n. Confused, unintelligible speech or highly technical speech.

Professional COMM 3/20: Hafiz

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” -Hafiz

English III 3/20: "For What it's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield

"There's something happening here

What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down"
This song always makes me remember the sixities, which is pretty strange considering I wasn't even alive in the sixties. Somehow though, I feel like I genetically absorbed the energy of the sixties through my parents. I am not one of those people who does nothing but glorify the sixties in an unhealthy and nostalgic manner, but I do think that we could learn a lot from the era which, despite many problems and shortcomings, managed to produce a massive positive movement.

As far as this song is concerned... it is a sweet sounding song that calls the people to stop and make sure that they are aware of what is "really" happening in their country: a message that we really need in times like these. The song, familiar to almost everyone (thanks to movies mostly), is a frightening message to the public: 'watch out for yourself because the ones who are paid to watch out for you are mostly worried about themselves"... as true today as it has been for a long time. Still the song manages to bring some measure of peace to the heart.

Monday, March 18, 2013

English IV 3/18: Beirut "La Llorona"

This song was recorded by a 21 year-old guy from New Mexico (Zach Condon) and an 18 piece Oaxacan funeral band. He went down to Mexico to find inspiration in their culture and wound up writing a song about one of their most treasured legends,La Llorona. Below is a nice painting of La Llorona. Think about the painting and the song together. What kind of feelings do you get from these? Write your interpretation of the mood of this song and this painting. Do you feel the sadness and the suffering? There is a sense of deep wilderness, of a great unknown darkness beyond the imagination. Does the song accurately capture the essence of La Llorona as you know her?

"Ever away from seeing more than life
The morning lies miles away from the night
No man ever could steal her heart
But With bright gold coins I’ll take my shot

And all it takes to fall
If you don’t walk, might as well crawl

All it takes to fall
What a quiet world after all
Of the things that you guessed will come
What a moment it was after all"


1. imbroglio n. A misunderstanding attended by ill feeling, perplexity, or strife.
2. impetuous adj. Impulsive.
3. innocuous adj. Harmless.
4. insipid adj. Tasteless.

Professional COMM 3/18: Buddha on the Self

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye."

Interpret this quote into your own words. What is meant by "the unity of life"? What is the benefit of looking at things with an impartial eye?

English III 3/18: "Uncloudy Day" by Willie Nelson

They tell me of a home far beyond the skies

And they tell me of a home far away
They tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise
They tell me of an unclouded day

The land of cloudless days
The land of an unclouded sky
They tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise
They tell me of an unclouded day

They tell me of a home where my friends have gone
And they tell me of that land far away
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the unclouded day


They tell me of the King in His beauty there
And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
Where He sits on a throne that is whiter than snow
In the city that is made of gold


They tell me that He smiles on His children there
And His smile drives their sorrows away
And they tell me that no tears ever come again
In that lovely land of unclouded day

17. garb – clothing
18. discord – disagreement, strife
19. embellish – to add details
20. miserly – hoarding money, penny-pinching

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

English IV 3/5: MC Escher

If I told you this painting had a message, made an argument of sorts, what would you say that message is?


17. flippant adj. Having a light, pert, trifling disposition.
18. freemason n. A member of an ancient secret fraternity originally confined to skilled artisans.
19. futile adj. Of no avail or effect.
20. galvanize v. To imbue with life or animation.

Professional COMM 3/5: Marcus Aurelius

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." -Marcus Aurelius

English III 3/5: "10 Mile Stereo" by Beach House

The heart is a stone and this is a stone that we throw
Put your hand on this stone, it's the stone of a home you know
They say we will go far, but they don't know how far we'll go
With our legs on the edge and our feet on the horizon

They say we can throw far but they don't know how far we throw
With our legs on the edge, and our feet on the horizon
The heart is a stone, and this is a stone that we throw
They say we will go far, but they don't know how far we'll go

It can't be gone, we're still right here
It took so long, can't say we heard it all
Limbs parallel, we stood so long we fell
Tear a moment from the days that carry us on forever

This push and pull is the force of a wave of time
In the heat of the night, we would cry, you are not mine
They said we would go far, but they don't know how far we'd go
'cause this heart is a stone, and this is a stone that we throw

It can't be gone, we're still right here
It took so long, can't say we saw it all
Limbs parallel, we stood so long we fell
Tear a moment from the days that carry us on forever

It can't be gone, we're still right here
It took so long, can't say we felt it all
Limbs parallel, we stood so long we fell
Love's like a pantheon, it carries on forever


13. fortuitous – happening by chance or luck; accidental in a positive way 
14. supercilious – haughty, arrogant 
15. jocular – joking ,good-natured 
16. profligate – extremely wasteful

Friday, March 1, 2013

Professional COMM 3/1: Nina Duran on Scars

"Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left you with. People have scars in all sorts of unexpected places. Like little secret road maps to their lives. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and that God has healed you. And even though the pain may come and go, be proud of your scars, for each one holds a lifetime of lessons.” - Nina Duran

English III 3/1: "Peacebone" by Animal Collective

This song is very abstract, I know. But what phrases or lines stick out at you? Are you shocked by this? In which parts? What might he be trying to say? Do you think he is trying to draw clear diagrams or paint emotional/intellectual pictures with his words?




A Peacebone got found in the dinosaur wing
Well I've been jumpin' in all over, but my views are slowly shrinking
I was a jugular vein in a juggler's girl
I was supposedly leaking the most interesting colors

While half of my fingers
Are dipped in the sand
You progress in letters but you're used to cooking broccoli
The other side of takeout is mildew on rice

And an obsession with the past is like a dead fly
And just a few things are related to the old times
Then we did believe in magic and we didn't die
It's not my words that you should follow it's your insides
You're just an inside
Adjust your insides
You're just an inside


I bet the monster was happy when we made him amazed
Cause he don't understand intentions he just looks at your face
I'll bet the bubbles exploded to tickle the bath
All the birds are very curious all the fish are at the surface

With half of me waiting for myself to get calm
I'm like a pelican at red tide
I'm a corpse I'm not a fisherman
A blow out does not mean I will have a good night





I start in a hose and I end in a yard
When I feel like I'm stealing I can keep myself from hearing God
Only the taste of your cooking can make me bow on the ground
It was the clouds that carved the mountains
It was the mountains that made the kids scream

Oh well she bore all her parts but she never was found.
You think I'll carve a path through New York
And be an artist but are you anything
Then you find out you can't ask a baby to cry





--From the album Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective

9. predilection – a preconceived liking, preference
10. culpability – liability to blame
11. candid – honest, frank, outspoken
12. provincial – narrow-minded