Interdisciplinarity and Lord of the Flies

When one reads and finishes Lord of the Flies, a bitter taste is left in the mouth when the characters Piggy and Simon die. The bitter taste isn’t from how they died, but rather that they died in the first place.

For those unfamiliar, the novel is about a group of boys that are stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes on to the island. In the beginning, a kind but naive boy named Ralph  leads the group of about 20-30 boys, however over a time a sinister and sadistic boy named Jack starts to usurp power from Ralph. By the end of novel, he essentially turned a group of choir boys into savages, aside from Ralph.

The way Jack went about doing this was through his tribal ritualistic cult of the “hunt”, where he would savagely hunt and kill hogs as a sport. The hunts would usually spark a frenzy of sorts among the boys, and slowly but surely the darkness in their hearts started to manifest under the tutelage of Jack. Eventually, from his hunts, Jack gains control and becomes Chief of his tribe, where he sadistically bullies Piggy, with Piggy eventually being killed when someone drops a boulder on his head for talking. Simon is mistaken for the “beast”, which was a dead parachutist in a tree that was mistaken for a monster. Simon is killed by the ravenous tribe by the error.

Shortly before his death however, Simon encountered a sows head impaled on a spear, and went into a trance like state where he spoke with it. The Sows head said that Simon would never escape him, because he is in everyone’s heart. The Sow’s head has been widely considered the devil, as the Lord of the Flies translates from Beelzebub, who was the devil. Furthermore, the “beast” has been construed as being a metaphor for the fear and hatred within human hearts.

The Lord of the flies was published around 1954, and served on an interdisciplinary as being a multi cultural piece. The book focuses heavily on the inaction of the other boys, where they allowed Jack to rise to power, brainwash them into being savages, and started a tribalistic society. Following the deaths of Piggy and Simon, the novel itself has been compared to the events of World War II, how Hitler rose to power, and the horrible things he did while in power. Considering that the book was in 1954, and the nature of the story, it certainly seems like Sir William Golding (who also served in World War II and taught Philosophy) was making a statement on the human errors that occurred in the 20th century.

Procrastination Rocks

Yesterday, instead of doing homework and studying for my finals like I should have been doing, I was scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest. While I was scrolling, I came across a video called “EVERYBODY DIES, BUT NOT EVERYBODY LIVES” by Prince Ea. First off, if you have never seen this video, I highly recommend adding a tab on your computer and watching that video instead of reading this blog. And if you have seen it, watch it again, because it never gets old. That video, is one of the most inspirational videos that I have ever seen and can actually relate to. Yes Leo’s documentary on Climate Change “Before the Flood” was very inspirational but the video by Prince Ea relates to college students a lot more than Leo’s does.

I do not want to live in a world of regret. I want all of my adventures and mistakes and my friends and family and every little aspect of my life to come together to form MY life. This video helped me realize that everything happens for a reason and you control everything that happens in the life that you live. Every little decision that we have made in our lives all add up and bring us to where we are now. Every one of us made the decision to apply to this school. I’m sure that everyone got other acceptance letters, but we all chose to go here. We all signed up for this class out of all the other options and here we all are. Getting ready to finish this semester, frantically counting our blog posts and writing more, and revising our essays 12 times. Every little decision-no matter how big or small it seems in that moment, counts.

Our lives are full of so many choices and although they don’t seem that important, they really are. These choices define us. So, do you want to be someone that is on their death bed saying that the regret not doing something? Or do you want to be someone that lives in the moment and makes “a brand new ending”.

Branches of Knowledge

Going into this course, I wouldn’t say that I was necessarily cocky about my writing abilities, but I felt pretty confident when I read the reviews of the course, and had heard good things about the class in general. After opening Cane, and reading the first section of this series of short excerpts, it was definitely an eye opening experience regarding where I thought I would stand in the class, to where I actually did compare to the rest of the class. This class was unlike any class I have ever taken at Geneseo, and was not like anything I have ever experienced regarding school or classes in general. The information, resources, and techniques I learned in this class are attributes that I can apply to my life and use as ways to further set myself apart from other individuals who weren’t exposed to a class like this.

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“So What?”

Thursday night my long-time boyfriend’s grandma was admitted into the hospital. She has suffered from Alzheimer’s for about 4 years and ever since she was diagnosed the doctors had said, “It won’t be long until she passes.” Yet she is still alive, in a vegetative state, but alive – as my boyfriend has been a primary care-taker for her along side his grandfather for years. She was admitted because she started having seizures uncontrollably and will now reside in the hospital until her inevitable death. That’s it. That will be the end of her story. So very similarly to the thought about the “-” between dates on a grave, that small dash is a representation of our “So what,” of our interdisciplinarity. Continue reading ““So What?””

Leaving my Comfort Zone, Bouncing off Interdisciplinarity Along the Way

These last few weeks of the semester are always a surreal point in the life of a college student when we’re expected to be more productive than ever while battling more tiredness than ever. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget about anything on the horizon beyond finishing finals. That’s why I’ve only half realized the extent to which I’m going to be thrust out of my comfort zone next semester.

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Interdisciplinarity as a whole

If someone had asked me what Interdisciplinarity meant before this class, I would have given them the “deer in the headlights” look. I know “inter” means connected or similar to each other; “Discipline” means to teach or learn…but together they were a mystery. Through this class, I have learned how interdisciplinarity cannot be completely defined because of its nature of being “ambiguous” (Interdisciplinarity, 15). You can mold this term to fit your own views and field because interdisciplinarity is not confined to just one field. It can be found in science, history, english, and so many more. How can you define something so broad? This blew my mind when I had this revelation. It made me wonder what else surrounds this world that we do not even know about. It is scary in the sense that it is a mystery that may never be solved. However, interdisciplinarity is does not have to be “solved”, but interpreted. That is why I love this word so much. It is almost like it is my own word. A word I can count on to explain my ideas and connections.

An Unfinished “Potential Bad Blog Post” and Some Good Ole Interdisciplinarity

Today is the last day we can submit blog posts (does today being in December, negate the “November flurry”?) Anyway, I remember writing a blog post a few weeks into the semester about my frustration with blog posts, but also remember thinking I shouldn’t post it on the blog. I thought that these feelings shouldn’t be shared, and my idea wasn’t complete, so why should I post it? I think I knew I shouldn’t have posted it then, because I needed to give myself time for the idea to ripen, and to allow myself reflective moments, so I can see how much I’ve grown from my original writing of this post. My original post, titled in a word document as follows, “Potential Bad Blog Post,” goes like this:

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A-Z isn’t EZ-but it works

It may have seemed simple at the beginning of the semester, but thinking about writing as a A-Z process is really helpful. From my own experience, I tend to think about the next five things I have to do all at one time. Due to this, I usually end up stressing and not doing any of them. Slowing down and thinking about A and only step A helps to alleviate stress and promotes a better focus. Especially with this paper, this methodology was particularly helpful in the context of a very busy semester.

The one thing that I find particularly interesting about the A-Z methodology is that it is linear and circular at the same time. Yes, as you work through the process of writing a paper for example, you move from step A, then B, etc. While this is true, it is also circular: moving from A to B sometimes requires going back and looking at A again. This point about the A-Z methodology is a built in aspect that helps with the revision process. It forces you to revise and think about what you already wrote; moving from A to B and then C requires reworking the idea presented in step A.

This methodology ties in with Interdisciplinarity because it works with more than writing papers. Whether it be studying for a biology final or writing a research proposal, this methodology can be used to better focus attention and revise your work. I have used this methodology when I have seven biology chapters to study for a test. Working one chapter at a time, not worrying about the seventh chapter when I am on the third helps to manage time and decrease stress. It is a useful tool, that can be used across many disciplines. Moran briefly mentions this in the Conclusion of Interdisciplinarity, “[interdisciplinarity apporaches] can help people to think more creatively about the relationship between their own subject and other ways of doing things both within and outside universities.” I found this quote fitting for the A-Z methodology because it is not a process confined to college. Anyone, in any discipline, anywhere can use this process. The point about thinking more creatively is also pertinent- concerning yourself with each step at a time ensures that each step will receive the utmost attention. Therefore, step A will as thought out and creative as possible, as will step B, C, D, etc.

It may take a while and a lot of time to follow the A-Z process, but from my experience, it works.

Furthering My Previous Post– Group Work and Intertextuality

Apple computers have a great app called “stickies.” This allows you to have virtual sticky notes on your desktop screen at all time. This was beneficial for me because I have one titled “Blog Posts” and any time I have an idea I add it to this sticky. On this sticky, I had written, “They Say I Say pg. 163.” After opening the book pages I now realize this page goes hand in hand with my last blog post about the power of group work. My ideas from my last post are now woven into another text– and here we have our old friend, intertextuality.

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