Your shoe is untied

Author: wcurtin (Page 2 of 3)

Blog 12

The stance the author, Galen Strawson took for their essay is a stance I highly disagree with. We remember our life as a narrative because that is what our lives are. We do not store memories or should not store them as just experiences, but as a chapter in our lives, a part of the narrative. While some may, “doubt that what they are saying is an accurate description of yourself” (Strawson), a narrative that is autobiographical is about how you perceive and see yourself. By perceiving your life as a narrative, you see your life as a journey, as a process with many turns where even they have significance. If we did not perceive our lives as that, we would not see experiences as any lessons where something can be learned. I believe that the author is not wrong, rather misunderstood of the benefit that perceiving your life as a narrative can have. Narratives drive us, they show us where our lives have taken us, and along the way, what we were taught.

Peer Review 2

Billy Curtin

Writer: Maeve McPhail


Dear Maeve,

I found your rough draft essay to be very informative. It was concise and to the point and the various evidence forms you used support the claim you made. Your anecdote added a personal effect that blends personal instances with true logical statements. In terms of critique for your essay, I would recommend the revision of your thesis. You provided your belief on the combination of the arts and sciences, however, it was not that clear and concise. My recommendation to make it clear and concise is to add a sentence to the bottom of your intro clearly stating your belief on art being apart of the education and in a few short general words, why. Other than that, the use of more quotes or paraphrases to include the authors more frequently and validate your belief more.


Writer: Jennifer Gore


Dear Jennifer,


I found your essay to be very informative as well as simplistic enough to allow it to be easily understood and allow logic to be used. You properly integrated quotes, used quotes to explain reason and solidify your claims, and validate it further. I thought your use of a block quote was very well, it was a longer quote and by not using the block quote it would have certainly been too lengthy. I do not have any other criticisms for your essay other than using some stronger vocabulary in place of other words, but that is very minimal where I saw this.

Blog 10

My favorite brainstorming activity would have to be free writing. Being able to just write freely and seeing if anything that comes to mind works is relaxing. Due to the fact that writing is not one of my strengths, I find it difficult in using other brainstorming activities. Free writing is the most simplistic strategy that allows for me to think creatively and get my ideas out and my words on paper. Free writing gives me the ability to take random thoughts and feelings and direct them in a common direction to formulate a thought I have.

Blog 9

The beauty and benefits of science in the world are stressed heavy throughout “Necessary Edges,” by Yo-Yo Ma and “Science Is Not Your Enemy,” by Steven Pinkerton.  Yo-Yo Ma elaborates on the necessity that art is to science in benefitting both fields potiential, especially when he states, “STEAM will help us get there by resolving the education problem. Kids will then go to school because it is a passion and a privilege, not a requirement.” (Ma).  Yo-Yo Ma dove right in to explain the benefits of the arts being incorporated into a STEM curriculum, which would then help increase the productivity and learning for the future goals science can reach. Steven Pinker followed a more damaging yet also angelic path of exploring science. He initially described the age science in as , “an extraordinary time…Intellectual problems from antiquity are being illuminated by insights from the science…Powerful tools have been developed to explore them” (Pinker). He initially thought science was in its prime, that it had all it could need to break through to the next level of development in this modern world. The initial description by Pinker and Ma’s belief that art and science are relying on each other to be able to grow exponentially are somewhat parallel, but also polar opposites.  They see great promise in the use of science in the world, but the way they believe to benefit, or what their, “next step” should be are what drive their arguments apart.

While I personally was not a fan of Steven Pinker’s article, “Science Is Not Your Enemy” I still was able to connect it to elements in both my personal life, and the world. In the first instance, when Pinker stated, “The mindset of science cannot be blamed for genocide and war and does not threaten the moral and spiritual health of our nation” led me to be instantly connected to the current state our country is in. Current president, Donald Trump believes climate change is not real, refuting the claims by the very large majority of scientists who support the existence of it. He claims it all to be, “fake news” and in any instance of cold weather, claims that could not happen if climate change did in-fact exist. The next connection I was able to make, was more of  a personal one. When Pinker stated, “We have the works of the great thinkers and their heirs, and we have scientific knowledge they could not have dreamed of” (Pinker) I instantly was reminded of something my grandfather constantly reminded me about. My grandfather, who loved the outdoors, loved god, and above all loved a healthy earth, would be talking like he was on a soap-box about how in my generations life, we need to utilize everything we have to save Earth. He understood the importance the application of science would play in saving Earth and did not want his belief to be muted, because we all knew he was right. We have so much knowledge and capability to do more than ever imagined in the field of science, and to not grow that capability and expand the knowledge we have, in a safe and humane manner, would be a big mistake. The application and use of science is important in this day and age, whether you be a climate change denier, or a an advocate for the sciences for saving us, you can not deny the importance that science has in this world for us.

Blog 8

The main argument that drove, “The Future of Science is… Art?” written by Jonah Lehrer is that a cultural bridge is needed between the divided sciences and art. Jonah comments on his claim of science and art needing to be joined by elaborating on how that art will answer the questions scientists do not know the answers to. He comments, ” If we want answers to our most essential questions, then we will need to bridge our cultural divide.” (Lehrer). Science will be able to grow and prosper and gain new insight and wisdom by joining with the arts. On the topic of neurology, Lehrer elaborated that, “By taking these artistic explorations seriously, neuroscientists can better understand
the holistic properties they are trying to parse.” (Lehrer). This evidence elaborates on the fact that by studying  the whole, which is found in the work, then the properties if what information they are trying to figure out will be better understood. The article transferred the argument over to the physics side of their argument where they proposed that they need metaphors in addition to art to benefit physics, and make the metaphors used, better. Lehrer comments, “But there’s another way that artists can bring something to the cosmic conversation: they can help make the scientific metaphors tangible.” ( Lehrer). By making the metaphors tangible, more life-like, then physics can be more easily explained and visual. In the closing paragraph, the main argument was summarized around at the point that art and science complete each other, and the connection between the two can provide science with its answers to it’s deepest questions.

I thought the article, while extremely interesting, it is also extremely dense. While being a science major, I was very confused at a lot of the terminology and language used in the article. It had a solid argument, with even better evidence. However, the high level of scholarly writing left doubt in my mind since there will be people who read this and are left even more confused than me. I do agree with the author about the place of art in the sciences, however, I believe that to strengthen the argument, Lehrer needs to simplify the language and add in more fields that more people understand and can relate to. Not everyone is into physics or neuroscience, by relating the evidence to fields such as nursing, anatomy, or even biology as a whole, the group that is interested and understand, grows exponentially.


Blog 7:

The surrounding context of this essay is that the arts play a crucial role in life, and the stigma of STEM being the primary learning path, needs to be changed too STEAM. The essay was first published by The World-Post and written by Yo-Yo Ma. I notice that the author has a very decorated career in the music industry as well as many accolades to mark him as a reliable source.  The circumstantial context can be labelled as the benefits and ways to better balance the world. The circumstances surrounding my personal experience include confusion, a bit of disagreement, followed by uncertainty since the points brought up make sense.  The, “so what?” can be defined as the effect of not introducing the world to STEAM. If STEM learning stays how it is and does not become geared towards STEAM, then the effects as we were told, are going to greatly harm us. We will spend the ending years of our life being treated by those greatly influenced by STEM and not finding the balance that would help us delay the impending doomsday of our society.

  1. Tandem- Having two things arranged, one in front of each other.
  2. bandwidth- The energy or material needed to deal with something.
  3. Suites (music)- A collection of short musical pieces that can be played one after the other.

Blog #6

After reading, “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott I feel a lot more comfortable and confident in the revision process. I have never been a decent writer, I have always struggled, especially when it came to the revision process. I would constantly read through my rough draft and try to find places to make revisions, but I would be so blind I could no find anything. Anne Lamott’s description of her first draft is parallel to how I view mine. I was surprised at how she described it since I was like any other person who thought authors just were naturally gifted at writing and revising.

Revision Strategy:

My plan for revision will begin with redefining my thesis. In my group, my thesis was not as clear and concise as I originally believed it to be. I want to go back and reword it to make it a much stronger thesis that is much more easily defined. In addition, I am going to reread each of my body paragraphs in order to remove large amounts of summary with I accidentally added in thinking it was detail instead. After I remove the large chunks of summary I will then have to go back and add details and explanations of the quotes and how they support and connect to my thesis. I also need to go back and fix grammatical errors such as punctuation. One punctuation I know I need to fix is the use of commas when I use quotes. It has been an error I have always made and I know I need to find the correct place for all of them and go back and fix it. Besides that, I need to go back and pick some stronger words to use to give it more of a scholarly tone and voice.

Blog 4

Metaphors,  a literary tool used to describe and compare two unlike objects. Imagine however, being able to use this literary tool to cause a positive change reaction and benefit the persons life who you used a metaphor on. Metaphor, when used correctly,  have the capability to provide a positive interaction with someone who is not currently in the best position. There are approximately 1,735,350 new cases of cancer to be diagnosed at some point this year, approximately 609,640 of those will be fatal. With this rampant illness tearing through our country, a cushion of support needs to be extended to those who need it. Metaphors are that cushion. Patients whose doctors use metaphors on a regular basis have higher tendencies to like the doctors and believe their doctor to be better equipped and understanding of treating their illness.  While not a physical cushion that can better their current position, metaphors leave the patients at more ease and having a better outlook on their treatment. Having a the best outlook possible is important for getting through treatment for cancer. Without a good outlook, how can you expect good results. Metaphors are a useful tool in aiding the treatment of cancer and can lead patients to be more understanding and have a better outlook.


We mustn’t ask ourselves how our actions can influence, but how our words can. Words connect us, and allow us to understand and express information or feelings. Metaphors, which is the comparison of two unlike objects is an effective tool that can be used to positively impact peoples physical and mental wellbeing. For doctors and health care professionals, metaphors can help patients to understand better and feel more at ease with the treatments they have. In the world. For citizens worldwide, they connect us just like words in general and help us view situations differently. They allow us to open our minds by examining the structure, categorization, and mapping techniques. While they are only the result of the vibrations of our vocal cords, metaphors and language itself serves a larger purpose, one which can improve the physical and mental wellbeing of many worldwide.


Blog 3

Dhruv Khullar’s “The Trouble with Medicine’s Metaphors” is a detailed text about the hardships and pain that is affiliated with illnesses as well as the metaphors used by doctors to better communicate with their patients . The article opens with Dhruv discussing a personal situation involving family members of his and their run-ins with cancer in both the past and present. He goes into depth to elaborate on the reasoning that metaphors being more frequently leads to better communication between patients and doctors. The term “military metaphors” is mentioned and is described as a method of using metaphors, one that is heavily used in the medical field, and how it should be retired.

I enjoyed Dhruv Khullar’s “The Trouble with Medicine’s Metaphors” as I thought it elaborated off of a topic no one would have ever thought of before.  The usage of metaphors in the medical field and the benefits or downsides of using them has completely changed my mind on metaphors. Just the fact that the more instances metaphors are used between doctors and patients establishes a better line of communication is mind blowing to me.  I do also believe that military metaphors need to be retired from the medical field. Treating a disease like a foreign invader that started a war does not sound calming from the view of being a patient or the family member of one.

“Metaphorical thinking is essential to how we understand ourselves and others, how we communicate, learn, discover and invent.” -James Geary. This quote stands out to me because it opens up to the bare responsibilities of metaphors. 

“But the thing that lets us make sense of ‘paintbrush as pump’ – or ‘lawyer as shark’ – is that ‘pump’ is the name of a category for liquid-moving mechanisms, just as ‘shark’ is the name of the category for predatory individuals” -Michael Erard. This quote will forever standout to me because it single handedly explained to me metaphors and broadened my knowledge and ability to use them.

“Patients reported less trouble understanding them, and felt as though their doctor made sure they understood their conditions.” -Dhruv Khullar. This quote stands out to me because it shows the statistical real life benefits that metaphors have.

Blog 2

Upon completion of my second reading of Erard’s, “See Through Words” I walked away from this experience with a little more understanding of the topic and knowledge of metaphors than I previously had. The first time I read the text, I was confused, I was lost in the meaning of the message he was trying to send in his writing. A big change I saw from my first reading to now is that I was able to digest and understand how the metaphors were categorized and matched. I found, “glossing the text” to be helpful, especially to define words that I misunderstood or did not know at all. Besides that, I was unsure of what to use it for, it was not a tactic my english teachers in high school used when they asked us to read a text. The three words I defined from glossing the text are, hewn, dissonance, and semantic. Hewn can be defined as being given a rough surface. Dissonance means inharmonious or harsh sound. Lastly, semantic can be defined as of, relating to, arising from the different meaning of words or other symbols. A second reading of Michael Erard’s, “See Through Words” helped me to better understand much of what I misunderstood from initially reading it.

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