Here’s the scene: You’re in a train station. A train arrives, but it’s not the one you’re waiting for. As you watch a few people come and go, you notice a strange scene in the last car of the train. Only two people are inside–a young man and an older woman. They appear to be having a very animated discussion. The young man is clutching a large box to his chest. The woman is wearing a bizarre hat and holding a large map, which she continues to turn this way and that.

I am the woman wearing a bizarre hat holding a large map, which I continue to turn this way and that. There is a young man clutching a large box to his chest. We are appearing to be having a very animated discussion. We are the only two people inside the last car of a train. I am an older woman, and the man across from me is young. The train has just arrived at the train station. Looking out through the window, I see some idiot, who doesn’t know where he is going. He gets in our train car, and tries to calm us down. I shout, “YOu Idiot! Leave me alone!” However, the idiot proceeds to try and restrain the young man who I was talking to. I say again, “YoU IdIot, leave my son alone!” He briefly stops and looks at me. However, the idiot proceeds to try and restrain the young man who I was talking to. I say again, “YoU IdIot, leave my son alone!” He briefly stops and looks at me. However, the idiot proceeds to try and restrain the young man who I was talking to. I say again, “YoU IdIot, leave my son alone!” He briefly stops and looks at me. However, the idiot proceeds to try and restrain the young man who I was talking to. I say again, “YoU IdIot, leave my son alone!” He briefly stops and looks at me. However, the idiot proceeds to try and restrain the young man who I was talking to. I say again, “YoU IdIot, leave my son alone!” He briefly stops and looks at me.

Then, I take my map and my handy dandy notebook and hit him. I also take my handy dandy dandelion, and I make a wish. Blue, a dog that loves solving mysteries, walks somehow onto the moving train car without even opening the door. He bites the idiot, and the idiot screams “Oh Yea Mr. Krabs, AAAAHHHHHH!!”Then he falls out of the train. Blue, from Clue’s Blues, helps me with my map. I am a treasure hunter. Then the map starts singing his song, “I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’m the map; I’M THE MAP!

*                                                 *                                    *                                    *

I wake up in the hospital. I am the map. I am Blue. I am the young man. I am the train. I am the WOMAN!V!D!!@!!111!@!!





So all of the following links lead to other people’s posts regarding Jackson Pollock’s Number 1A. I was curious to find out how other people interpret this painting.

Yusha thinks that the painting is more of a projection of the viewer since everyone interprets the painting differently.

Yushy’s post : https://zthought.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/a-piece-of-art/comment-page-1/#comment-54

Erika gets the sense of freedom released  from the painting, but calls out that it is just paint.

Erika’s post: https://nameinthewind.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/a-not-analysis/comment-page-1/#comment-80

Taylor isn’t much of an art lover, but looked closer to find detail.

Taylor’s post: https://taylornoelle28.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/abstract-painting/comment-page-1/#comment-54



After reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I felt the most drawn to the two female characters in the play, Gertrude and Ophelia. Unlike Desdemona in Othello, these women seemed more complex and not as subordinate. In our panel discussion over the female characters in this play, Hannah mentioned that Ophelia embodies obedience and Gertrude embodies dependence. I agreed with her statement, and thought it revealed Shakespeare’s thoughts on the way society treats women. When asked by Polonius if she believes Hamlet’s “tenders,” she replies “I do not know, my lord, what I should think” (I.iii.105). Here, we see that Ophelia is so subordinate to her fathers opinions that she has not allowed herself to form her own opinion on her relationship with Hamlet. She claims that Hamlet has shown her affection, but waits for her father to decide for her how she should respond. Her father in return tells her to “think [herself] a baby” (I.iii.106). Polonius sees Ophelia as incapable of making her own decisions, and therefore treats her like a child, controlling every aspect of her life. Wanting to remain honorable in her fathers eyes, Ophelia obeys her father’s commands, and doesn’t make known her own feelings, understanding that she will be dismissed for doing so. Of course we see that by being so obedient and dependent on the male figures in her life, it causes Ophelia to have no sense of independence when these figures become absent from her life. Without having anyone to guide her though every step of her life, she is overwhelmed and driven insane, which leads to her death. Similar traits are seen in Gertrude, who passes her dependence from one male character to the next. At first, she placed her dependence on King Hamlet, which then transferred to Claudius after her husband’s death, and then finally is centered around her thirty year old son. Her happiness depends on the men around her, and we never see Gertrude use her own judgement to declare her independence in any situation. When Hamlet confronts his mother for marrying her husbands murderer, Gertrude doesn’t defend herself or argue that marrying Claudius was her only choice, but she repents and claims his “words like daggers enter in [her] ears” (III.iv.97). Her sons feelings have such a controlling power over Gertrude that they suppress her judgement, and force her into immediate submission.

I had some trouble deciding whether Shakespeare is trying to tell us that these women lack independence because there society has shaped who they are, or because they are too weak to rebel against there assigned roles. I have concluded that it’s a little bit of both. Shakespeare allows us to sympathize with Ophelia by making her character a picture of innocence. When we see Ophelia in her disturbed state towards the end of the play, it is clear that she is a victim of the controlling men in her life. However, when she hands out the symbolic “flowers” to the other characters, it is revealed that Ophelia definitely was aware of the present situation, and possibly could have done something about it. To me, this suggests that Shakespeare thought that women were not fully capable of breaking the societal walls built for women. I’m not convinced that he believed women could rise to the occasion and take action to change their situations.



No. 1 1948

Jackson Pollock

Oil and enamel on unprimed canvas

“NOOOOOOOO LINDNER NOOOOOOOOO!!! UGH I HATE JACKSON POLLOCK !!!!! WHY??????” Is honestly the first thing I thought when asked to write about Jackson Pollock. I’ve heard about Pollock many times before, and his whole “drip method,” hearing him referenced constantly. Before, I had never really understood Pollock, and always dismissed him as just a pretentious splatter painter. But I know that in order to improve as an artist, and as a person in general, you need to keep your mind open to new ways of looking at things and different approaches to visual expression. So I clicked on “Number 1A (1948)” and saw some interesting colors, cool lines, and by standing really far away, some distorted forms; however, I didn’t have any kind of transcendence moment goin’ on or some amazing revelation. Therefore I decided to look into the intention of Pollock’s splatters, and pulled up his biography on the mighty Internet. After reading his life’s story, I feel like I understood his art 30000% more.

Pollock had a crap dad, and a rough start to life. He followed his artistic brother Charles to New York to study art when he was 18. Long story short, his drip paintings lead him to fame and fortune, driving him a little insane, and causing him to return to drinking. He died in a car accident while drunk driving at age 44. I think he couldn’t handle being put on a pedestal, and kind of being made into a cash cow. A lot of people consider him a genius, but to me, he was just a really passionate dude, who loved art, hated fame, and had an issue with alcohol.

Art is really weird. It’s really personal, and can be kind of a small window into a person’s being. That’s also why art is so dearly loved and really expensive. We get the sense of how important it can be when it’s completely honest, and when we can relate to it. But I think there are moments when we forget the person behind the art, and just see it as some paint slopped onto a canvas.

Here’s an interesting poem about Pollock’s Number 1A (1948) by Nancy Sullivan .

No name but a number.
Trickles and valleys of paint
Devise this maze
Into a game of Monopoly
Without any bank. Into
A linoleum on the floor
In a dream. Into
Murals inside of the mind.
No similes here. Nothing
But paint. Such purity
Taxes the poem that speaks
Still of something in a place
Or at a time.
How to realize his question
Let alone his answer?

I think this poet is asserting that Pollock’s painting resembles the chaos and wonder that goes on in our brains/minds. Our brain is sort of an unsolvable puzzle that we can’t quite seem to figure out. With the line “no similes here” she is saying that at first, there’s not really any distinct images or figures that are familiar or representational, but that the artist still creates something we can relate to.




John William Waterhouse


Oil on Canvas

John William Waterhouse was an English painter, influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid 19th century. He often painted the female figure, particularly women in Greek mythology. Waterhouse was also inspired by the character Ophelia. Above, she is sitting on a branch, overlooking a pond full of lilies. Her expression seems very detached and oblivious to her reality, as she places flowers in her hair. I love this painting because there is such great contrast to her gown and the nature surrounding her. Waterhouse captures the weight of her being with the detailed drapery of her dress and her long hair. The darkness of the water behind her creates a haunting tone, and foreshadows her tragic death.

The passage below, from Shakespeare’s  Hamlet is what most likely inspired this piece.

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,

That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;

There with fantastic garlands did she come

Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples

That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,

But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds

Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;

When down her weedy trophies and herself

Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;

And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:

Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;

As one incapable of her own distress,

Or like a creature native and indued

Unto that element: but long it could not be

Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,

Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay

To muddy death.





So I took some time to browse the archives of the works of Shakespeare, and sure the historical significance is great and everything; but what really caught my eye was the craftsmanship of the First Folio and Quarto I. As an art nerd I really appreciate anything handmade, and with these printings, you can really see the hours of work it took to print each individual page, and bind the book with care. It’s kind of sad that we’ve lost the art form of bookmaking. Of course now with the internet and mass market printing, people everywhere are able to enjoy extraordinary literature like Shakespeare, but I think the diminishing art of calligraphy and bookmaking shows that our society has forgotten how important the written word is and the significance of age old stories. This year in English Lit. I’ve learned that the only self preservation that can be accomplished telling our own stories and those stories being passed down to future generations.

I really loved seeing the ornate designs that headed the beginning of Act 1.1 and exaggerated first letter. It’s comforting to know that hundreds of years ago, someone took the time to sketch out the design, carve out the original mold, and that they literally left their mark on one of the most important works of literature.

Also as Lindner pointed out, there’s little details that make these printings even more unique and interesting, like the first word of the next page in the bottom right corner. Since Shakespeare’s works, along with most other works of the time, were meant to be read aloud, this element was included so that the person reading could continue the line with out having a huge awkward pause at the turn of a page.

Overall it was pretty neat being able to view these printings and I really hope that we as a class are able to view the First Folio when it comes to town.




 58   You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.

 59   Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.
 60   Good signior, you shall more command with years
 61   Than with your weapons.

 62   O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow’d my daughter?
 63   Damn’d as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
 64   For I’ll refer me to all things of sense,
 65   If she in chains of magic were not bound,
 66   Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
 67   So opposite to marriage that she shunned
 68   The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
 69   Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
 70   Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
 71   Of such a thing as thou — to fear, not to delight!
 72   Judge me the world, if ’tis not gross in sense
 73   That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,
 74   Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
 75   That weaken motion: I’ll have’t disputed on;
 76   ‘Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
 77   I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
 78   For an abuser of the world, a practiser
 79   Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
 80   Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
 81   Subdue him at his peril.

 81                          Hold your hands,
 82   Both you of my inclining, and the rest:
 83   Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
 84   Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
 85   To answer this your charge?

 85                             To prison, till fit time
 86   Of law and course of direct session
 87   Call thee to answer.

 87                      What if I do obey?
 88   How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
 89   Whose messengers are here about my side,
 90   Upon some present business of the state
 91   To bring me to him?


So basically Iago starts out by yelling “Hey freak. Yea you Roderigo. Come on I will fight you!” Then goody-two-shoes- Othello ruins a perfectly good fight scene and is all like “stop being dumb and put the pointy swords down or they will rust.” After that, we see how Brabantio is clearly in denial when he makes a long angry speech and accuses Othello of drugging his daughter up and coercing her into marrying him. He orders Othello to be arrested.

Then Othello is like “whoa man hold up, that is a serious accusation. Where do you want me to go to face these charges?” Brabantio replies, “P R I S O N !!” However, Othello is pretty slick and is like, “well have fun trying to imprison an important general during a freaking war!” And that’s all you need to know.