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Voices Envisioned

The Voices Envisioned-Memories Made in Northern Ireland exhibit was very nice. I found it interesting right away when i heard it was about Ireland. I am a very proud irish american. However, i am from southern ireland and the exhibit is about northern ireland. I do not know much about Northern Ireland so i was excited to learn something about it. When i arrived to the exhibit i was a little disappointed. I got my hopes up so much for something i was not excepting. I understand the artist’s ideas and i understand the point of the project. I found her projects interesting but not extremely intriguing. I was hoping to learn more cultural stories. I thought it was a little plain.

The project i enjoyed the most was “Image of You Can’t Put Your Arms around a Memory” by Steve Lally. Steve is also from the Republic of Ireland so i drew to him immediately. He explains how he learned about a Northern Ireland culture and had a new insight on what they experienced. Steve did not grow up in a culture with violence like in Northern Ireland and he was shocked to hear the stories. I thought that was nice. But i did not get anything out of that. I did not learn too much. I want to hear the stories. I want to learn about the horrors of violence. My ireland is friendly with drinks and family not violence and destruction. I do not know that history of ireland and i would’ve liked more details.

I’m happy there is an exhibit with irish heritage though.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Not because i enjoy to eat and be with my family, but every year since i was eight years old i have competed at the Regional Championships for irish dancing on Thanksgiving. Dancing was a huge part of my life. Unfortunatly, i am somewhat retired now. I do not compete as much as i used to. My fondest memories were those of the regional championships which we call, the Oireacthas. It is like the Olympics. Every year i train from august to novemember preparing my dances to perfection for this one day. We travel to Philadelphia on the wednesday before Thanksgiving. We arrive at night, get some rest and begin practice bright and early in the morning. We usually do a little shopping in between practices, which i loved. There is one store my mother and i would always go to that sold really cute boots for very cheap. Thanksgiving night is spent with my dancing friends, practicing. I have never really had a typical “thanksgiving dinner” before. It was never a big holiday for me. It would usually include burgers from room service, or pasta. I think my favorite part of everything is getting ready for the actual competition itself. Friday morning i would wake up around 5. I never really sleep the night before because i am filled with nerves and excitement.  I would stretch in the hotel room and do a few exercises while i wait for the fake tan on my legs to dry. Around 630 i begin putting on my wig and makeup. This is my favorite part of my morning routine. I love putting on stage makeup. The bright color on my eyes and lips is so gorgeous. My wig was the trickiest part because i used a black wig therefore i had to tuck away all my blonde hair and spray the leftovers with black harispray. I remember every outfit i wore every Oireacthas because i would always make sure to match with my actual dancing costume. Around 715 i would head down to the ballroom where i would be competing that day. The competition wouldn’t start until 8 but i always liked to get there early. I still get the feeling of walking into the ballroom that morning. No one was there yet. It was so quiet. The judges tables were empty, the musician had not yet arrived and the stage had not yet been danced on. I would get chills running up and down my body. I would close my eyes and take a big deep breathe. Every year i told myself that this was my year! Around 745 the rest of my competition would arrive. Not only were they my compeition, they were my closest friends. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? haha. it was always friendly compeition! After greeting my friends i would then run to the journal to see what my rotation number is and hoping to god i was not dancing with a top 3 dancer! I would then stretch again with some of my best friends and chat a little to calm our nerves. Around 8 we would wish eachother luck and go off with our mothers to finish getting ready, for the compeition had begun. There were about 150 girls average every year. So while my compeition began to dance i concentrated on myself in the hallway. My mom would help me do jumps and warm me up. My mom was amazing. She kept me so calm and i dont know how. Even though i performed like this all the time, everytime was like the first time and i would begin freaking out! I would cry and say “i cant do this! i cant do this!” but she would always assure me that i was better then all these girls and could do it.

My rotation was coming up. I put my dress on, my mom added the final touch of lipstick. I jumped up and down, gave her a kiss goodbye and she wished me good luck. I headed back stage. I could see the judges faces now. I was so nervous. I knew my routine and i felt strong but i could never shake the nerves off. Walking on the stage was like stepping on another world. the announcer says , “numbers 111 and 112.” I was 112. 2 was my lucky number so i hoped that would somewhat helped. I was also on the left side of the stage which helped my routine out. I had to fight to win the judges over against the other girl i was with. I wanted them to look at me, not her. The music began, and luckily… he was my moms cousin. so he threw me a last minute good luck. I was performing a reel, my favorite dance. Of course, he played my favorite song. I felt the adrenline pumping and pushed threw my routine. This was my favorite dance i could do this! half way through my routine i realized… i was not dancing as well as i hoped. I couldnt jump off the ground as high as i normally could. I felt like i was struggling. The routine was over and the music stopped. I bowed to the judges and to my moms cousin. I walked off staged with my shoulders up and head high. Once i passed the judges i ran to my mom and just let out a huge cry. I cried hysterically into her shoulder. “I spent all this time on that!” i screamed. “that was horrible!! i want to go home!!!” i was so upset. That is my best dance and i know i did not do my best. It was such a disappointment. My mom told me to stop that i was being ridiculous. I ran to my hotel room and crawled into bed. I wanted to just disappear.

(to be continued….)

Connerton’s second type of forgetting involves two groups of people who are willing to forget things of the past in order to move on in the future peacefully. I find this very relatable. I use this kind of forgetting almost everyday. Since i was young i would forget things and just move on with my life. The simple ideas are when i got into serious fights with my girlfriends in school we would just forget about it and move on, we would remain friends. However, the best example of this is probably between my father and myself. My father is an alcoholic. He is now recovering and very healthy. However, throughout my teenage years i endured many traumas most young adults should not. I was at the age where i was able to understand what was going on. My brothers were too young. Witnessing the things i have is very hard to forget. I completely avoided my father for about 2 years. However, i finally realized that no matter what he is my father. I decided to forget the past because it hurt too badly and because i wanted to be civil with my father. All i had to do was forget what had happened an just move on. I am now civil with my father, i am able to sit down at a holiday dinner and have a conversation with him. However, it used to be hard to even look at him. However, after years of trying to forget i finally did. I am now able to move on and be civil with my father.

First Crush

In elementary school my heart belonged to a different boy almost everyday. There was one group of guys in elementary school that i loved. There were about six of them. They were the jocks, they played all kind of sports. There was at least one of them in my class every year and each year that one would be my favorite. They were really mean to me, i was constantly being picked on. The cool girls in elementary school were the sporty girls and i was a dancer so i did not fit in. It made me really sad. I would write either of their names all over my books in hearts and writing my name with their last name so when we got married i would already be used to it. I remember following them on the playground, i wanted them to notice me sooo bad but i was constantly being ignored. They played on the monkey bars, showing tricks to each other. One of them could do a flip before he landed. Everyone would stand in amazement. They wore their addidas clothing. Their black jordan sneakers. Their shirts were of their favorite spotrts team. In gym class i would try so hard to just coincidentally land on the same team as “my favorite” at the team. When i didn’t, it was like his goal to hit me first with the dodgeball. I would just forget to get hit and then just sit down. The bleachers were so cold. The “big gym” was always freezing, i don’t know why the didn’t just close the windows. I watched him play and wished that i could call him mine. I don’t know why i wanted a boy so bad at a young age. I guess its kind of weird. They didn’t want anything to do with me at all. They were complete jerks when i think back to it. They were soo mean to other kids, i mean, i could handle it because i grew up learning to stand strong but i feel horrible for the other kids they picked on. They were just cruel, they didn’t do anything in particular just the things they said were so mean. At the time, i don’t know why, but i adored them. I did not just have one first crush, i had six.

Years passed and i got over them. In middle school i didn’t concentrate on that group of boys anymore. I was in a new school with new people and new boys! i was the typical boy crazy girl. When i got into high school i started to concentrate on  other things like school work, my dancing and kickline. Those three loves now took over my life. About freshman/sophomore year a few guys from the group of guys back in elementary school started talking to me. They would ask me out on dates or invite me to a party. Obviously, i shut them down right away. They would try so hard… constantly texting me asking to hangout blah blah blah. Years later the roles reversed and it felt good sitting on the other side. Karmas a bitch and so were they.

First Love

Nabokov is very selective when he decides what to write about. Nabokov describes in detail about the first train and details of the station in paris. He also describes the people in further detail and the towns, (he talks about the lights and sounds)  He doesn’t really go into the question “why?” that often. What about his family? Why are they traveling so much?

Nabokov uses many literary elements to create detail in the writing. He really puts the reader in the story by creating a picture in their head. Describing in detail about the things around them and of the people. He uses adjectives and metaphors.

He is able to remember his emotional memories very well because those are the ones that are most triggered. He says he “thinks” in this piece about his trips to Paris which makes the memories doubtful overall.

Culture to a callee

What does it mean to “attach a cultural memory of a song to a caller or callee”?

I think this means when a song is attached to a person or situation and a memory can be recalled from it that relates to culture. For example, my best friends from dance class have the ringtone “our song” by taylor swift. why..?? because i lalalalaloveee taylor swift and the song has a fiddle in it which reminds me of the dancing i do… which is irish dancing. Our kind of dancing makes our culture.

The Musical Madeleine

Thesis: Listening to a ringtone can bring back both collective and personal memories.

Ringtones are very significant for me. I agree with the thesis because I have a different ringtone for basically, everyone in my phone book. My boyfriends ringtone is “Mine” by Taylor Swift because that song reminds me of him everytime i hear it. My best friend Paul’s ringtone is “You and Me” by Dave Matthews Band because he is the one that introduced me to DMB and i went to my first concert with him so  it reminds me of th memories from that concert. We also always thought we were going to get married(that is what the song kind of signifies) For everyone else, like numbers i do not know, they play “Shipping Up to Boston” just because i’m really irish and i like it. The song always reminds me of dancing which i did fifteen years of irish dance and i miss it a lot.  But each ringtone, everytime i hear it, the song gives me a different emotion. Most of them are happy, unless i know i am in trouble and i hear “Bat Out of Hell” i know my mom is calling and i get nervous. I have ringtones of several different genres. Personally, i enjoy all kinds of music. There is not one specific genre i listen to most.

Halloween Memory

The past few years I have not really celebrated Halloween. Most of the time I just happen to get grounded right before the holiday and can not go out. Before my teenage years my family and family friends would all go out trick-or-treating together. There was one house we went to and i was 12 and my little brother Dalton was 5. He dressed up as Buzz Lightyear that year. I do not remember what i was, i might have been a witch with a long black wig and black dress. But i remember there was a guy dressed up in a scarecrow costume sitting on a bench at a house and didnt move the whole time we were there. Then my brother and mother walked by and he jumped out at them to scare them. My six year old brother jumped ontop of the guy and started punching him and yelling at him. It was so funny because it was just so unlike him to do something like that. My brother actually punching the man is so clear. However, what time of day it was or what i was for halloween isn’t. I have the vision os distinctly in my head. My brother is now 12 and is completely different then he was then. He’s very shy and doesn’t like to get involved in Halloween. He likes his video games better. I dont really like halloween because i get scared really easily. I am going to my first haunted house tomorrow. Wish me luck !!!

Rough Draft Essay #2

David Thelen tells us in his essay that collective memory and individual memory exists on different sides of the spectrum. On one side of the spectrum has the psychological issues which are the individual memories.(1) These memories are a person’s own and can only be recalled exactly by that person because they expereinced it in that moment. On the other end of the spectrum are the collective memories. These memories are shared with others to create other memories for people to be shared later in the future. “…cultures establish traditions and myths from the past to guide the conduct of their members in the present.”(2) Many different cultures use memories to live their daily lives. For example, religion plays a part in many cultures daily life. ***give more examples***

History falls mostly on the side of collective memories. Historical memories can be created in many different ways. They can be written, they can be spoken or they can be shown in different art forms. The strongest element of human culture is when individuals share their memories in large groups. “The construction an narration of a memory comes from the oral and epic traditions of storytelling.”(3) This is very relatable to any person because each and every culture has a story to tell. A grandfather might tell his grandson a story about when he was in Vietnam and what happened while he was there. That grandson will then tell the story to his son and his son will relate the story to his son. So on and so forth. Telling these memories to others helps us to know the detailed history of the event.

“Memory reflects what actually happened and history reflects memory.” (4). Writing and history helps recall on our past memories much easier. This way the events stay alive. History can be changed overtime with new discoveries of written documentation. Collective and social memory is very important to help elaborate on past events. Some countries might change their history due to the win or loss of a war. With written memories we are able to uncover secrets from past wars and events. *** elaborate more ***

Paul Revere and his ride is one example of how historical and individual memory is used in written context. Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride” follows the journey of Paul Revere through the night of April 18, 1775. “Storyteller and audience are partners in creating the memory to be told.” Narrators put their listeners clearly in mind while they decide which elements to include, how to organize those elements, and how to make the memory public. (4) Longfellow interpreted Paul Revere’s ride in his own way to make the account more fast paced and entertaining for the readers. He gives detail about the mood of the night and the nature of where Revere was. However, Longfellow emphasizes on the basics of the actual ride itself. Longfellow uses individual memory to display the history in depth. He describes when Revere saw the lights in the Belfry and they way he acted. He also emphasizes the speed in which Revere was going. Longfellow was persuading the readers so they could understand how quickly Revere was actually going. The author wanted to shape the readers into understanding how important Revere’s ride really was and how he was the inspiration to other Americans in the future.

This is still a work in progress.

The Silk Road

The silk road was not a single road used for trade as most people think. The silk road was several different routes. It stretched fro the tibeton empire in the south to the former soviet union in the north. I found this very interesting because learning it in High School we were just taught in was one long road like jericho typke, that just stretched a long way. Another thing that i remembered was the beautiful landscapes. The mountains and several oasis’ were so beautiful. The pictures of these really stuck out for me. It just looked all so peaceful and i would love to just spend sometime there to relax. Dr. Pepper discussed the families that were not relaxing. She showed us how the migrating families would set  up their own homes with wood and cloth everywhere they went. I can not believe that there are still nomads in today’s time. Dr. Pepper is a chinese dance instructor, which i was interested in because i am an irish dancer. I find different culture’s dances very interesting. When she was speaking about the different artifacts, she showed one of a man dancing. She sported a few arm and hands movements herself…. but i was hoping we could’ve seen a thing or two.

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