I chose to read Chapter 6 in They Say / I Say called “Skeptics May Object” which is about planting fa Naysayer in your text. The chapter talks about how many writers may think that including a counterargument may hurt their overarching argument, but in reality, it actually strengthens your claims. “If you don’t entertain counterarguments, you may very likely come across as close-minded, as if you think your beliefs are beyond dispute.” This to me sounds like if you don’t have a naysayer, than your paper may seem bias in favor of your argument rather than including other sides to reason with or counteract.
The reason I chose to read this chapter was because I didn’t know fully how to incorporate a naysayer into my paper, but it appears as though its more simple than I thought. Apparently, I already had one when I argued against Galen Strawson’s claims against narrative by stating why they were important and should be used in the real world. My next step in revision is to try to include another naysayer in my introduction to say why some people may be opposed to the thought of having their own narrative. The only issue with this is that I’ve already exceeded my word count by nearly 200 words so I’ll have to figure out what I need to cut down on in order to incorporate another possible naysayer in my paper.
My biggest goal from my free draft to my formal draft is trying to incorporate a third form of media that will work efficiently in my paper and keep the reader on track. I’ve already included visual by placing pictures in my text and spacial by bolding the words “run” and “running” to place an emphasis to the reader. The other options that I have remaining are to use gestural or audio but both of these modes seem difficult to place anywhere in my essay. My plan for gestural was to try and include a basic running video at the end, but I’m not sure if that will be enough and how exactly that ties into my overarching argument. My audio idea was to include a recording of someone talking about their own story of running but again, I’m not really sure where I’m going to place that into my essay, particularly since my word count is near the maximum already. Besides these changes, I’m pretty confident with cleaning up the smaller errors made such as the grammar and punctuation. These are simply easy errors that can be changed in a short about of time. The biggest challenge for me is just trying to put that third multimodal piece and making it sound coherent. I guess to overcome this, my plan would be to try placing both forms of media in, even if they don’t make much sense. Hopefully one out of the two forms of media will make sense.
My plan for writing my multimodal essay was to compare the power of narrative to a long run. I’m considering writing something like “A narrative must be treated like a long run … you must take it slow for every step of the way counts”. My thought was to incorporate pictures that I’ve taken before of the places that I’ve run in and use those as different elements of a story. You must provide background (hence the warmup of a run) to get your story set in a good place. Then you need to come up with the heart of your story (the long run) which is the majority of the time spent on the narrative. After that comes the climax of your story (the point at which you hit your fastest pace during the run) to shock the readers and invoke an element of remembrance in your sharing. The last part of a successful narrative is the conclusion (the cooldown of a run) where you tie pieces of your story together with something meaningful today or something that could help impact you or someone else in the near future.
I’m going to try to provide quotes from Julie Beck to agree with and expand upon as well as quotes from Galen Strawson to argue against to elaborate why it’s important to tell narratives to express who you are, similar to that of a long run where it’s important to make every step count in order to benefit the most out of that experience. My modes of composition I plan to use are visual, gestural, and audio. My visual mode will be the imagery I use from my runs to depict which aspect of the run I’m discussing. My gestural mode will talk about how the expressions you show in your narrative works can invoke emotion into your audience or how the expressions you make when running could give any outsider watching an idea of how you’re feeling. My audio mode is probably going to be something like a sound effect in all capitals to show when the story begins, when it picks up to the climax, and when it ends. If I use spatial, then I’ll probably set up my paper in some type of bulleted format, but that’s only if the other 3 modes don’t work. To sum up, this is how I plan to write my multimodal paper.
Overall, I liked the read from Galen Strawson, however I didn’t agree with the point he was trying to get across. His claim was that he believes “it’s false that everyone stories themselves and false that it’s always a good thing.” I immediately disagreed with this because unless you’re writing about someone else, you’re always incorporating pieces of your past experiences in your writing. If an author writes a book on a child that was hit by their parents and ran away from home, there’s a good chance that either they know someone in their own world who’s gone through something similar or else they were the ones that went through that and the fictional character that they’re creating is actually a representation of themselves. Even those who chose to write about someone else such as a historic figure, has probably gone through something in their lives that they can relate to this figure, hence the reason the author chose to write about them. I feel that it is always a good thing to narrate yourself because if you don’t, then you’re basically choosing to bottle up all your emotions which could lead to a more harmful way of expressing them.
He also tries claiming that if a writer “were a free man” and “could write what he chose” based on “work upon his own feeling,” then there would be “no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style” which doesn’t make a lot of sense because the entire purpose of writing a story that is based off of something you’ve been through isn’t just to teach someone a bunch of facts about something, but rather to invoke them with a sense of emotion based upon your life. For example, if you write a self-narrative about how you got in a car accident and lost complete function of your body, but managed to survive and make the best out of your life with what you still had left of yourself, that completely contradicts anything that Strawson tries to claim when he states that there’s no plot or emotion to self-narrating stories.
He says “people always remember their own pasts in a way that puts them in a good light, but it’s just not true.” However, the entire point of looking back on your life isn’t to try and formulate how you could have done something differently, but rather to look at the bright side and reflect how you got to where you are now based on those past events. The best cure to any mental health issue is simply to make the best out of what you have rather than dwelling on possible mistakes that you made which are impossible to fix now. If you “line up these objects of reverence before you” then you’ll be able to shape your identity rather than living in the present or worrying about the future. Use the times of your past to learn from any mistakes to make yourself a better person. “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” which is something I feel as though even someone as uninformed as Galen Strawson could recognize and agree with.
One of the more noteworthy lines I found early on in the reading is when Beck states, “A life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for who the person is, for who they’ll become, and for what happens next.” This quote stood out to me because normally if I hear someone telling me a story, I’ll sit back and listen, but there’s much more critical thinking to that which Beck points out. It takes a level of analysis to be able to interpret how that point in their life has shaped who they are today and what it could lead to down the road. Another quote that connected me was “People take the stories that surround them … then identify with them and borrow them while fashioning their own self-conceptions.” This made me think of times recently where I’ve had to write a paper based off of a text or multiple texts and incorporate a piece of my own life to agree or argue the author’s main points. For example, I disagreed with Ma and Lehrer when I was arguing against art by using examples from my field of study in medicine. This was an example of a self-to-text or even a world-to-text. The last quote that stood out to me was when she writes, “Studies have shown that finding a positive meaning in negative events is linked to a more complex sense of self and greater life satisfaction.” This was interesting to me because I was always raised by being taught to make light of the dark times, but a never actually thought of performing these techniques on a neurological level. The more we make the best of these difficult times, the more we’re training our mind to follow our rules of making the best, therefore we can live a more fulfilled life in that sense.
I used the introduction paragraph from my last essay on Metaphors to elaborate on the most common tools I’ve used in my writing. For the most part, the biggest pattern I saw in this was the usage of the words “we” and “and”. I used “we” to try and connect the audience to the paper. The word “and” was used to transition the audience, or the “we” from one topic to the next. I didn’t really use many other transition words except for “however” a couple times and “although”. I only used “this is” and “such as” a couple times each so pointing terms could have been used more frequently. Key terms such as “health” and “hospital” I used a couple times each as well to ensure the reader knew I was connecting that to metaphors. The word “metaphor” itself I used a handful of times, specifically after saying “we use” or “we say” to show the audience how they’ve been speaking the metaphorical language. For the most part, I definitely seem to rely on repetition to continue touching upon my general argument, while using transitions throughout, mostly “and”. I don’t use pointing terms and key terms as often until I start digging deeper into my arguments found in the body paragraphs. I feel like if I split up my transitional terms more effectively rather than simply repeating the word “and” a lot, then it may become easier for the reader to picture the general arguments I’m making in different terminology rather than reading the same word over again and getting bored with the essay.
My personal favorite brainstorming strategy was following the thread because I like to annotate key points in each of the essays and this allows me to jump from different arguments in my own essay by keying in on the main points each author makes. It also gives an opportunity to compare the ideas these authors had to one another which can allow me to blend the texts.
I feel as though we should work to create a bridge between the single-handed subjects of art and science so we can work to solve the unsolved mysteries of science through a visual use of art rather than trying to teach art by itself.
Art and science on separate do have their own importance on separate levels but there’s a caution to why art shouldn’t be taught in its own category.
Science individually has a powerful significance to how we view the world, but at times, it can be difficult to interpret and needs a way to be simplified.
Art can be used to give science a visual picture which in turn can translate the subject in a more simplified way thats equally as understandable.
We should continue to stick with the STEM programs but incorporate pieces of art into the teachings of science rather than the STEAM program where art is its own separate category.
Steven Pinker and Yo-Yo Ma both touch upon the points of how science plays a major role in our society, but the solutions we need to take in order to fully understand what’s going on around us. I believe that we must educate ourselves in different ways other than solely based off of scientific facts to better understand ourselves through the eyes of others. Pinker addresses this issue by writing, “To understand the world, we must cultivate work-arounds for our cognitive limitations, including skepticism, open debate, formal precision, and empirical tests, often requiring feats of ingenuity.” This means we need to educate our mindsets to work around the limits we have on perceptions by adapting new outlooks. Pinker notes that this process of opening our minds through the eyes of other requires a high amount of effort, but can be achieved through something as simple as a debate or a test. Ma has a simpler approach of expanding our minds by saying, “To be able to put oneself in another’s shoes without prejudgement is an essential skill.” He goes on to elaborate on this by noting how the usage of art can give you a visual perception on how someone else’s life may be going. If we can simply try our best to see through the eyes of others, that will give us a far stronger outlook on our own lives rather than simply trying to depict that through science. Although Pinker doesn’t go into as much detail on the ideas of art and science coinciding, both him and Ma can agree that we cannot simply use our own judgement and knowledge to generate and perceive information from the field of science around us. We must be able to educate alternatives for our limitations by putting ourselves in the shoes of others.
One part I immediately picked up from Steven Pinker’s essay that I could relate to was the idea of having the capability to simplify information that can be difficult to understand. An example of this is being in college and going into the medical field, I know there are going to be plenty of rigorous classes along the way, many of which taught by professors who’ve been through years of schooling, some even with their Doctorate. My hope is that when I’m being taught a difficult subject or idea, that the Professor has the capability to convey the topic in a simpler fashion than they know. Pinker touches upon this topic when discussing scientists and their vast knowledge of the world when he says, “When reading these thinkers, I often long to travel back in time and offer them some bit of twenty-first-century freshman science that would fill a gap in their arguments or guide them around a stumbling block.” He’s essentially stating that he wishes these brilliant scientists could be able to simplify their understandings on a topic to something he’s already learned rather than completely new complicated information being thrown at him that makes no sense. Going back to the last paragraph comparing Pinker and Ma’s thoughts, these scientists and Doctors need to learn how to put themselves in the shoes of those they’re teaching. Unfortunately, many of them are so bright, that they cannot seem to teach the topic on a smaller more simple scale. It takes years of hard work and talent to be able to get to where these professionals are but along the way, it seems as though they’re never taught how to convey the message back to those in a younger generation that obviously don’t contain the knowledge on that subject that they do.