John Donne Analysis + Research

Earlier I posted a paper which discussed the poem by John Donne titled, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning.” This paper is the new and improved 2.0 edition featuring 100% more content than the last one. I was required to take my literary analysis and turn it into a research paper by pulling outside sources, including other critics and historians.

People love their fair share of raunchy poetry. It seems it’s one of the few mediums left where talking about sex can be considered highbrow. Even in Roman times popular poets such as Catullus wrote of such things. Perhaps such references so common because they are so pertinent to our daily lives. Not all poetry about sex is pornography, however. John Donne compares love and lust in his work A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, and relates to an overarching metaphor about life itself. The poem is considered a love piece written to his wife “as the two were to experience a geographical separation.” (Changzi & Parvin) A close reading of the poetry reveals that the comparison between physical and emotional — and perhaps even spiritual — love is secondary to the examination of human attraction and its relation to a higher truth. The poem is full of wordplay which highlights a metaphor that, during his era, probably would have gotten him hanged by being charged with heresy against the church. Donne writes in extended metaphor within metaphor as well, separating his thought process into two distinct parts: a statement, and an explanation. The mood of the poem contributes to the gravity of the material he is discussing. All of these parts of a whole work towards Donne comparing the act of love, it being physical and emotional in nature, to “ascending” to a higher plane, as in Hermeticism.

Hermeticism is a term for the broader philosophical and religious study and practice of occult and namely pagan beliefs which include alchemy. It was allowed for many years by the church only because of its obscurity, but when it started becoming popular, the church started cracking down on the so-called “heretics.” This resulted in Hermeticism being something practiced only in secret, hence the name. Donne is speculated to have been a practitioner or at least believer of some of the Hermetic codes, and this poem highlights some of his most obvious references to the system. Alchemy, although it was really a way of life, a philosophy, possessed many techniques and tools, and was known to those outside its circles as a way to turn lead to gold. There were the actual physical tools, such as calcs, mortars, and compasses, and there were the methods and auxiliaries, including alchemical circles, which were more representational than useful. Donne writes this poem in extended metaphor of alchemy.

Throughout the work Donne uses the language of the Hermetic alchemists and thus likens his poem to the philosophy of the alchemists. The narrator says, “let us melt,” (Donne 5) as a euphemism for what one can assume to be either marriage or sex. This references the alchemical practice of melting down metals in order to obtain different materials. The narrator likening men and women to different substances, and through bonding, these substances can  become something greater. Literary analyst Williams writes that all of the human’s parts are not elements, but things that have been elemented, and the elements which make up a human can only be known as opposed to sensed. () Thus when Donne writes “lovers whose soul is sense” he is stating that though they can only feel each other physically, they must know that there is a greater connection between them. He uses refined (“…a love so much refin’d,” Donne 13) to describe the relationship between the speaker and to whomever he is speaking. He is equating the process of love to the entire process of alchemy. Later he makes an illusion to “gold to airy thinness beat” (Donne 18), painting a picture of the joined people becoming a superior form of existence, such as gold is superior to sulfur and quicksilver. The gold analogy can also be likened to the main difference between physical love and the spiritual love that Donne is promoting. “They do not experience a breach in parting but an expansion,” (Wright) like the atoms in a sheet of gold moving farther apart yet still making up a precious whole.

In the first half of the poem, Donne writes in alchemical metaphor, casting the male as one element and the female as another, with love being the catalyst. They “melt” together and they become connected. He suggests that when a man and a woman join together in some kind of love relationship, their souls become as one, and whole becomes something greater than the parts. He equates the joining of the sexes to the joining of metals. The second half of the poem involves an extended metaphor of a compass sketching a circle.  Donne states that a purely physical relationship does not hold any connection, but when two souls are one — in love — they are like two points on a compass. No matter how far apart they are, they are always pointing towards each other, and when they approach, one straightens out or “grows erect.” (Donne 32). (Causing snickers since 1611, John Donne is.)  The compass analogy is important as it can be a reference to text in the original edition of the Old Testament, according to Shifra Hochberg. She highlights that Donne was known to have Hebrew knowledge, and would thus be able to read the original script. It is important to note that in the original script it states, “he that sitteth  upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in” (verse 22), but in the King James and Geneva Bibles the word “compass” is used in substitute. This is because the word for circle in Hebrew is very similar to the word compass. Donne could have known about this discrepancy and used the verse as inspiration for his choice of the compass analogy. (Hochberg) This gives the compass a double meaning. It could not only be the actual tool used to draw alchemical circles, but also a circle itself, a domain in which all things reside. Donne is equating love, and even existence, to a pattern of shapes entwined in one encompassing circle. Perhaps Donne was one of the first Freemasons. This second part of the poem explains his theory of the conjoined souls.

Donne sets a very somber mood, supporting the seriousness of the material, emulating the setting in which the information is presented. In the very beginning of the poem, Donne alludes to the Renaissance view of death, which does not exactly uplift the spirit. “As virtuous men pass mildly away.” (Donne 1) During the medieval age, alchemy regarded as a magical practice and alchemists were greatly desired by kings, as who does not want free gold? But during the time of Donne’s writing, circa 1600, alchemy was viewed as heresy, and some alchemists, if discovered with their tools (alembics, traced circles, strange metals) were sentenced to death, usually by fire. (Richards 1190) Also, considering that Donne may agree with the philosophy, it would not have been a light subject for him. A very informative but not too pedantic tone is the most appropriate. The title is also a perfect example. Valedictions are not happy enterprises. Donne is saying farewell to a belief that he knows cannot survive in the current atmosphere of thought. To state that either he is forbidding mourning, or that the mourning is forbidden, he further highlights the taboo aspect of the material, the fact that was he is saying cannot be spoken without criticism from others. There is also a dichotomy in the way he presents the material. The poem is structured as an argument but does not put forth a logical one. It uses flowery metaphor to depict a complicated and debated philosophy. The inappropriate vessel “illustrates the characteristic interplay, in Metaphysical poetry, of thought and feeling, ingenuity and emotional intensity.” (Recommended Reading: 500 Classics Reviewed)

A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning is one of Donne’s most well known poems. Many have taken it as a lesson in their marriages. Donne obviously meant more than to support the idea of monogamy, however. His motivation came from his desire to describe Hermeticism in a way that the layman — educated poem enthusiast — could understand. With the subtle choice of alchemical vocabulary, the extended metaphors within metaphors, and somber, serious mood, Donne explains a philosophy using an emotion anyone can understand. Some may argue that this could even push people to more easily accept his views. If this is true, then the poem has fulfilled its purpose.

Mini MUN

Last Friday, I attended my first Model UN conference at Centennial High School. I have been preparing for this conference for about a month and a half and during the conference I saw that work pay off. In this conference, I took the place of the United States on the Human Rights Council. Our topic of discussion was whether or not drones should be allowed to be used. I was very lucky to get the United States for this topic as it was very easy to find information on the US viewpoint and foreign policy on this subject. So without further ado, here is how the conference went.

This whole day started out great: I woke up, went through my morning routine, found a cool looking briefcase, and headed out toward Centennial High School. When I arrived at the school, I was directed towards the main auditorium where I found some people from my school. We waited there for awhile and finally at eight, the opening ceremonies started. Some people from UNICEF came and talked about what they do and the problems that they deal with in real life, and then the General Director opened the conference.

Then, we were dismissed by our council and arrived at the room we would be using for our discussion. Our two chairs, high school model UN students, briefly explained to us model unnnhow the conference would work and the different things that we could motion. The first thing we did was set up our speakers list. The speakers list is basically a list of countries where each country get a minute to speak and then the next country on the list has to speak. This is the default way to speak and if no other motions are in place then we would revert back to the speakers list. The next motion we did was a moderated caucus. In a moderated caucus, the person that motioned for it would speak first, for the amount of time they announced and then another country could raise their placard and speak after being recognized by the chair. For example, to motion a moderated caucus, you would say, “I motion for a 10 minute moderated caucus with a 45 second speaking time on the subject of tracking devices being installed in drones.” The other way you could discuss would be in an unmoderated caucus. An unmoderated caucus is basically just a period of time where you can move around the room and talk to anyone you want. This time is very important for forming alliances and writing your resolution. At first I was a little shy, but as I got to know how things worked I spoke my ideas with confidence and found it very fun.

After long discussions and two proposed resolutions, my alliance of 22 out of 26 people wrote a final resolution that got passed in a landslide. Here is what it looked like….

——————————————————————————————————————–

Committee: UNHRC

Sponsors (writers): Pakistan, Namibia, Indonesia, United States of America, Venezuela, Japan, Mexico, Chile, Peru

Signatories (supporters): Ireland, Burkina Faso, Benin, France, Philippines, Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Cuba, United Arab Emirates, Germany, China, Austria, Gabon, Romania

To the General Assembly:

Alarmed by the number of civilians lives at risk and casualties

Seeking resolutions for the use of armed drones

Noting with concerns rules and regulations

Recognizing the crucial impact of UAVs on behalf of our countries

Expressing deep concern for people who have already had their rights violated

Bearing in mind that UAVs can sometimes be used for inhumane purposes

Respecting the viewpoint of countries that have been adversely affected by drones

Emphasizes that a quota should be placed on the amount of drones issued in each country

Taking in consideration that some of these strikes are not accountable

Expresses appreciation for the rightful ways drones have been used.

1. Calls upon the need for non-terrorist areas where drones can deployed against terrorists;

a. A terrorist(s) is a person/group that is currently or already has threatened policy in at least two countries.

2. Encourages the United Nations General Assembly to consider the creation of global          drone regulations;

a. To hold up and create a code of usage of drones.

3. Encourages the creation of a committee supervised directly by the Security Council to promote transparency of regulations;

a. To hold up and create a code of usage of drones.

4. Strongly condemns adverse inhumane uses of drones;

a. Affirms that Inhumane is considered to be violating human rights or direct attacks of civilians.

5. Approves the use of drones for non-violating human rights purposes;

a. Proclaims military personnel are certified before permitting of operation UAVs.

6. Calls upon the UN to monitor the use of drones in different countries;

a. Suggests that the committee monitors those who have drones without infringing human rights.

7. Request the disabling of UAVs as a weapon against terrorists in areas of high civilian concentration;

a. Confirms that a civilian is classified as a person without affiliation of the government or terrorist organizations.

8. Condemns the use of UAVs for illegal purposes;

a. Confirms that illegal purposes are defined as those violating human rights and/or trying to cause fear or injure civilians in direct violation of policy.

9. Acknowledges the use of armed drones for military and/or international community approved purposes

——————————————————————————————————————–

I really enjoyed doing model UN at this conference and cannot wait for the next conference. I find this very enjoyable because I get to see the view of other countries on a topic not just the US and I learn a lot on the said topic and it is really interesting when acting as a representative for a country and coming up with resolutions. I know this has only been my first conference, but I know I want to continue doing Model UN in high school.

 

 

Science Fair Paper (Part 2)

It seems that the major part of the my science fair project is coming to an end and I won’t have any more testing or paper writing to do. I just finished the second part of my science fair paper, which specifies in the actual testing part of the experiment. It includes my averaged data, graphs, and conclusions (to name a few). I have really enjoyed testing and experimenting with the different types of materials and getting interesting results. I hope my final display turns out to be what I’m expecting, but here is what I have for now.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Data Table:

Material

Copper

Aluminum

Tin/ Lead

Fishing Line

Plastic Beading

Nylon

Cotton

Rayon

Hemp

Average Strain

3.6mm

5.4mm

N/A*

52.67mm^

235.8mm

28.4mm

N/A*

N/A*

34.8mm

*Broke during test

^Broke in two of the tests

Graphs:

Data Analysis/ Results:

The data table and Graph 1 show that Plastic Beading goes under the most strain and stretches the most while copper and aluminum are stronger than the rest. In all the experiments, the tin/lead thread expanded and snapped at the very beginning of the round every time. Cotton and Rayon were some of the weakest materials used as they did not stretch at all and broke at the very beginning. The fishing line was generally strong, but it would easily break if it went under any more weight or outside interference. Nylon and Hemp were both very strong as they both averaged out at about 30mm with no signs of strain.

Conclusion:

If fishing line is used in the experiment, then it will hold the weight longer than the other materials. This hypothesis was rejected by the results received. The fishing line broke in two out of the five experiments and it went under more strain than the competing materials. In the end, copper was the strongest of the materials and aluminum came in second. Nylon was third and the reason those three were so strong was because they were tied into a single braid which is a very efficient and strong way of creating the threads. The cotton and rayon materials were weak because they were generally thinner than the other materials and they both twisted ropes instead of single braid or double braid.

There was a concern that this project would not give interesting results and the materials would just break under the shear weight of a brick. Those concerns were cast null and void when the first test started. It was instantly apparent that the Plastic Beading was going to stretch a lot and it would have also been easy to tell which materials were expected to break and which would have no trouble holding the weight. One thing that would have been done different if this would be retested, would be the height from which the bricks were hung. The bricks were too close to the floor, so in the last test the Plastic Beading thread actually touched the ground and could no longer stretch.

In conclusion of this experiment, you can see that even after 1000’s of years of use the rope is still a very important piece of technology. A tool to use for lifting an object is always useful and it is important to know how strong your material is. It was deduced that the copper and aluminum wires used in for wiring in a house are strong enough to hold a three pound brick with little or no strain and is important to know that the wires in your house are strong and cannot just break at any time. How dependent is a house on its electrical wires and what would happen if they just snapped?

Application:

The real world application that could be tied to these results is, like mentioned earlier, that the copper and aluminum wires can hold a hefty weight with ease. This would be very useful in the wiring of a house as in our age where we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, a reliable transport of power is needed.

Acknowledgements:  

Dad: Helped set up testing area and supplied material for experiment (plus moral support)

Bibliography:

“Animated Knots by Grog™.” Animated Knots by Grog. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.

“Types of Rope.” Types of Rope. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

 

“Wholesale Rope Suppliers – Nylon Rope, Sisal Rope, Climbing Ropes, Twisted Rope | JB Rope Supply.” Wholesale Rope Suppliers – Nylon Rope, Sisal Rope, Climbing Ropes, Twisted Rope | JB Rope Supply. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

Appendix A:

Test 1

Start

15 min mark

45 min mark

1 hr mark

Copper

507mm

510mm

510mm

510mm

Aluminum

504mm

510mm

510mm

510mm

Tin/Lead

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Fishing Line

523mm

N/A

N/A

N/A

Plastic Beading

525mm

750mm

800mm

810mm

Cotton

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nylon

505mm

519mm

522mm

522mm

Rayon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hemp

501mm

525mm

527mm

527mm

——————————————————————————————————————–

Test 2

Start

15 min mark

45 min mark

1 hr mark

Copper

515mm

515mm

515mm

515mm

Aluminum

503mm

505mm

510mm

510mm

Tin/Lead

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Fishing Line

527mm

600mm

600mm

600mm

Plastic Beading

502mm

710mm

750mm

750mm

Cotton

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nylon

520mm

549mm

550mm

550mm

Rayon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hemp

520mm

540mm

550mm

550mm

——————————————————————————————————————–

Test 3

Start

15 min mark

45 min mark

1 hr mark

Copper

508mm

510mm

515mm

515mm

Aluminum

517mm

518mm

518mm

520mm

Tin/Lead

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Fishing Line

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Plastic Beading

500mm

747mm

785mm

800mm

Cotton

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nylon

500mm

520mm

520mm

520mm

Rayon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hemp

490mm

523mm

523mm

523mm

——————————————————————————————————————–

Test 4

Start

15 min mark

45 min mark

1 hr mark

Copper

505mm

510mm

510mm

510mm

Aluminum

505mm

506mm

506mm

506mm

Tin/Lead

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Fishing Line

525mm

600mm

610mm

610mm

Plastic Beading

510mm

770mm

790mm

800mm

Cotton

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nylon

503mm

540mm

540mm

540mm

Rayon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hemp

500mm

515mm

520mm

520mm

——————————————————————————————————————–

Test 5

Start

15 min mark

45 min mark

1 hr mark

Copper

517mm

520mm

520mm

520mm

Aluminum

510mm

515mm

515mm

520mm

Tin/Lead

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Fishing Line

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Plastic Beading

503mm

755mm

770mm

780mm

Cotton

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Nylon

515mm

525mm

525mm

540mm

Rayon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Hemp

515mm

565mm

565mm

580mm

 

Jung’s Personality / Tag Project

In TAG class this year, we were given our last project. For those who went on the TAG field trip to a ropes course, the project was a brochure about how to be a better team member… For those who didn’t go, me included, the project was to make a brochure about our personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Included in that project was to take the Jung Briggs-Meyer test. This is the project.

Introvert iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

I: The introvert category means I am more reserved and have a solitary behavior. I somewhat agree with this statement… I am not awkward or afraid in social situation but after a day of constant human interaction I get tired and just want to be alone. It takes a certain effort on my part to be outgoing and do a performance or lead a discussion but I do that every once in a while. One of the question in the test, I saw, was “do you like to sit in the center or the edge of the room?”. I answer “side”… I prefer to observe situations and maybe get involved to a limited extent than to be at the center of attention. I agree on the category somewhat.

N: Intuitive means I pay more attention data and patterns than to my five senses. I completely disagree with this. I pay much more attention to verbal and visual information than patterns and data. I don’t know why I would get that in the test. I get a lot more out of a lecture or a discussion in class than a packet with rare information in it. But I do think graphs help slight with my understanding of a topic.

F: The feeling category is whether I think of impersonal or human facts as more important. For example, when I watch a movie, I care about the characters and interactions instead of the scenes and facts. I believe the general idea that people say are more important than the exact words they speak. I feel I am very far to the feelings-side on this category.

P: The perceiving category means that I like a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle instead of a structure life. I hate deadlines or scheduled projects. I like doing things at my own pace. I do however like a rubric to go along with when writing a paper or doing a school project. When we are given a vague instruction I feel anxious about what to do, but with a rubric, I know what the teacher is expecting. I’m on the fence about this one.

Tag BROchure

Codequest

Because I got a five on my AP exam for Computer Science I was chosen by my teacher to go a coding competition known as Code Quest and hosted by Lockheed Martin. I had to get up at 6:45 in order to be there on time. We got in the cars and caravaned to the Marietta facility. When we got there we were photographed and given badges in order to e let into the offices. The actual competition was in the cafeteria. Before the competition we listened to speeches by some higher ups in the company and then did some silly dance warm up thing. I resent that. After that we set up on our table and were given the problems. I was in a team with two other students in my class. We thought it would be a good strategy to split up the problems and have some tackle the “easy” ones while one goes for the “hard” ones. It turns out that all of them were pretty difficult, and we only ended up getting 10 points. However, apparently we were not the only ones having issues, as we actually won and got 1st place. So… there’s that.

The competition also came with a free tour of the inside of Lockheed Martin’s facility. We got to see the C-130 Super Hercules production plant. It was a heck of a sight. The inside was so big that the “streets” were the carts and trucks drove on were named. They had cafeterias within the production floor. It was like a little city.

One interesting thing I learned is the word “fod.” Fod is foreign object damage. This is a big deal on the floor because any small object that could become lodged within one of the plane parts could cause serious damage to the craft, including complete failure. Therefore it would be very dangerous for the pilots, and fod is taken very seriously. There are many signs in the plant that say “no fod zone” or “fight fod.”

It was a really cool experience and I’m pretty happy with my performance.

A Day and a Play

Yesterday, I got together with some of my friends to hangout and go see a play. The play was Aladdin Jr. and lots of my friends were actually part of the cast. But before I get too in-depth in the play, I need to tell you about the events leading up to it and my time at, my friend, Emil’s house.

The whole day started off when my brother, Alex, went to CodeQuest early in the morning. I woke up about 15 minutes before he left and after he did, and it was so early in the morning I wasn’t quite sure what to do. There was a plan to goto Emil’s house at 3 pm, butacoustic guitar it wouldn’t be 3 pm for a couple hours. I killed some time by reading books and playing, and after awhile I was helping my mom clean around the house and I stumbled across this acoustic guitar that we had laying around. I thought what better time then now to learn the basics of how to play the guitar. I have always wanted to know how to play it and there was even an instructional book that was with the guitar. I learned the basics and played some beginner songs until it was 3 o’clock.

When I arrived at my friend’s house, I was the first one there so Emil showed me his new horsePS4 and let me play on it until everyone else arrived. When my other friends showed up, we played inside a little, but then we decided to go outside and play. We played a round of HORSE, which is a game where you get in a line and attempt any shot with a basketball. If you make the shot, then everyone else has to replicate the same shot and if they miss then they gain a letter. After you have gained five letters and complete the word HORSE, then you are out of the game. We played that for awhile and then played a little football. We still had about an hour left until we had to goto the play, which was at 7 pm, so we played infection hide-and-seek. This is basically hide and seek, but if you are found then you have to help the seeker find the others.

At 7, We went inside and headed over to my middle school to see the play. I have already seen it before on Thursday, but it was just as good as last time. A lot of my friends were inaladdin jr the play and some of them even got lead roles. For example, my friends Avery and Nate got Aladdin and Princess Jasmine and my friends Eli and Max got Jaffar and Razul, the captain of the royal guard. I really think the play went well and I was really impressed with how well they could sing.

After the play, we went back to Emil’s house, listened to some music, and play some games like Murder in the Dark and Mafia, which are both card games. I really enjoy that day and I hope I have one like it again!

Kwikskript

Kwikskript XamplWhen you first look at the text above, you’re first question may be “What language is that?”. It’s a very common language around the world and I’m sure you know tons of people who speak it. I’m 100% that you speak it as well. That’s right, it’s English. But English doesn’t look like that? As you know, English and most of the languages of Europe excluding the Eastern ones (Greek, Russian, etc.) use the Latin Alphabet which was adopted to Old English long ago through the Catholic church. (Side-note) The Romans, Shaw_alphabet_onewhen borrowing Greek words, which used a different alphabet and thus different sounds, came across a word that their alphabet couldn’t handle, they Romanized to use the Latin alphabet. For example, the Greeks had the letter Theta which made a “th” sound but the Romans did not, so they wrote the letter “t” and “h” next to each other to make it recognizable by the population. When the Latin alphabet got to England, the same thing happened, except this time even more languages were added to the stew and English became a huge blob of compound letters. It has gotten to a point were even native speakers have a hard time reading words due to the vast number of ways to pronounce it. We even have game shows where contestants try to found out what words have silent “e’s” (from French), etc. So… English has lots of inconsistencies and weird phonetics (or shall I say “funediks”). Now comes to the part of the story with the mystery English text above. Many people have tried to alter English to make spelling more consistent. Once a famous playwright (who you probably know), George Bernard Shaw, was upset with English spelling, so on his will he wrote to set up a competition that 50 pounds would go to the person that created the best replacement to the Latin alphabet and it’s spelling confusions. He set three criteria, (1) it should have at least 40 characters for all the English sounds (and more), (2) it should be phonetic, and finally (3) it should be distinctqs-cropped from Latin to avoid misunderstandings about spelling for native Latin alphabet learners. The winner of this competition was Ronald Kingsley Read who created what was from then on called the Shavian (or Shaw) alphabet. It had 40 characters, was phonetic, and was independent and unique from the Latin alphabet. The only problem was that is was not made for handwriting and some of the characters where too similar to each other, so the creator, Read, made a new alphabet based on Shavian called Quickscript (or Quikscript, or Kwikskript). That is what the sentence above is written in. I started to learn it a couple of days ago and I’m really excited. I have learned most of the consonants and a few of th vowels by heart. But why would someone use this? (1) It’s faster, it takes much less time to write because most characters can connect to each other (like cursive). (2) It’s more condensed, it take 30-50% less space. (3) And finally, It looks awesome! I can’t wait until I can write it some what fluently. If you want to learn it, there are a couple places to do it. Here is the original manual, written by Read in 1966. And here is a website with a lot of great information on different aspects of the script. Have fun!

(P.S. The text at the top says “Hello, I am Connor Kreitz and I love Quickscript.”)

(P.P.S. Oops… I made a mistake on the image. It says Connor Kreit-zh [as in vi-si-on] but it should say Kreit-z… I’m still not a master at it so I do make a mistake here and there.)

 

An Analysis of Hermetic Themes in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

People love their fair share of raunchy poetry. It seems it’s one of the few mediums left where talking about sex can be considered highbrow. Even in Roman times popular poets such as Catullus wrote of such things. Perhaps it’s so common because it’s so pertinent to our daily lives. Not all poetry about sex is pornography, however. John Donne compares love and lust in his work A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, and relates to an overarching metaphor about life itself. Yet a close reading of the poetry reveals that the comparison between physical and emotional — and perhaps even spiritual — love is secondary to the examination of human attraction and its relation to a higher truth. The poem is full of wordplay which highlights a metaphor that, during his era, probably would have gotten him hanged. Donne writes in extended metaphor within metaphor as well, separating his thought process into two distinct parts: a statement, and an explanation. The mood of the poem contributes to the gravity of the material he is discussing. All of these things work towards Donne comparing the act of love, it being physical and emotional in nature, to “ascending” to a higher plane, as in Hermeticism.

Throughout the work Donne uses the language of the Hermetic alchemists and thus likens his poem to the philosophy of the alchemists. He says, “let us melt,” (5) as a euphemism for what one can assume to be either marriage or sex. This references the alchemical practice of melting down metals in order to obtain different materials. He is likening men and women to different substances, and through bonding, these substances can  become something greater. He uses refined (“…a love so much refin’d,” 13) to describe the relationship between the speaker and to whomever he is speaking. He is equating the process of love to the entire process of alchemy. Later he makes an illusion to “gold to airy thinness beat” (18), painting a picture of the joined people becoming a superior form of existence, such as gold is superior to sulfur and quicksilver.

In the first half of the poem, Donne writes in alchemical metaphor, casting the male as one element and the female as another, with love being the catalyst. He offers up a statement, that being when a man and a woman join together in some kind of love relationship, their souls become as one, and whole becomes something greater than the parts. He equates the joining of the sexes to the joining of metals. The second half of the poem involves an extended metaphor of a compass sketching a circle. Donne states that a purely physical relationship does not hold any connection, but when two souls are one — in love — they are like two points on a compass. No matter how far apart they are, they are always pointing towards each other, and when they approach, one straightens out or “grows erect.” (32). (Causing snickers since 1611, John Donne is.) This second part of the poem explains his theory of the conjoined souls.

Donne sets a very somber mood with his lyricism that supports the seriousness of the material and emulates the setting in which the information is presented. In the very beginning of the poem, Donne alludes to the Renaissance view of death, which does not exactly uplift the spirit. “As virtuous men pass mildly away.” (1) Alchemy was during the medieval age regarded as a magical practice and alchemists were greatly desired by kings, as who does not want free gold? But during the time of Donne’s writing, circa 1600, alchemy was viewed as heresy, and some alchemists, if discovered with their tools (alembics, traced circles, strange metals) were sentenced to death, usually by fire. Also, considering that Donne may agree with the philosophy, it would not have been a light subject for him. A very informative but not too pedantic tone is the most appropriate. The title is also a perfect example. Valedictions are not happy enterprises. Donne is saying farewell to a belief that he knows cannot survive in the current atmosphere of thought. To state that either he is forbidding mourning, or that the mourning is forbidden, he further highlights the taboo aspect of the material.

A Valediction: Forbidden Mourning is one of Donne’s most well known poems. Many have taken it as a lesson in their marriages. Donne obviously meant more than to support the idea of monogamy, however. His motivation came from his desire to describe Hermeticism in a way that the layman — educated poem enthusiast — could understand. With the subtle choice of alchemical vocabulary, the extended metaphors within metaphors, and somber, serious mood, Donne explains a philosophy using an emotion anyone can understand. Some may argue that this could even push people to more easily accept his views. If this is true, then the poem has fulfilled its purpose.

 

Science Fair Paper (part 1)

As you know I have recently been working on my science fair project. For a little recap of what I am doing, I am testing the strength of different types of materials by hanging them from a table and tying bricks to them. I have already started experimenting and my results are looking a lot more interesting than I previously thought they would be, but in the mean time I have already written half of my science paper which basically was everything I needed to do before I could start my experimenting. This part of my paper includes my background research, variables, procedural steps and other setup sections of my project.

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  Background Research Introduction

The rope is an invaluable piece of technology invented 1000s of year ago. As recently technology has been improving fast, the basic idea of rope has never been forgotten. It can be used for an infinitely numerous list of purposes that goes on and on. When choosing rope for a particular job, it is necessary to know how much that rope can take.

An important aspect to take into account when performing this experiment is how to handle the materials while setting up the experiment. To safely lift a non-critical load, the tensile strength of the material needs to be at least seven times the weight of the load. And to safely lift a living or critical load, the tensile strength is required to be fifteen times the weight of the load.

When using ropes in projects, it should be taken into account that certain factors  can cause the maximum load of the rope to increase or decrease. For example, if a weight is attached to the middle of the rope, then the rope used will be a lot weaker. Knots have a great affect on how the material acts in certain situations. To start, depending on the type of knot, they can make the rope stronger or weaker. Knotted ropes may also loosen when under constant strain. Some knots that can be tied and untied under load are the Round Turn & Two half hitches, the Cleat Hitch, the Rolling Hitch, and the Munter Mule. The Bowline, however, cannot be tied or untied while under load. Another factor that can affect the strength of a rope in the age. New ropes perform at the certain tensile strength that can be found on the packaging, but as they get older ropes will start to degrade in strength. Outside factors like temperature or chemicals can also affect how a rope performs. Depending on the material of a rope, there is a certain temperature at which if you pass it then the rope’s strength may decrease by 50%. For example, Nylon’s temperature cap is 176 degrees Celsius and Polypropylene’s cap is 120 Celsius. If a rope happens to come into contact with chemicals or certain fumes than they could be damaged severely weakening the rope.

Another important concept to know is how different types of rope are constructed and how it affects the performance of the rope. There are four different types of rope: twisted, single braid, double braid, and Kern mantle. The most common of the four is twisted rope. This type of rope is formed by twisting three strands of a material together to create the rope and this rope is not as strong as the other types, but is the most easily spliced. The next rope is single braid. This type of rope is made by braiding 8 or more thin fibers of material in a hollow braid. This method is stronger than twisted, but it is not perfectly rounded because of its hollowness. The double braid is much stronger than the single braid. It is made up of two single braid ropes intertwined with each other. This type of rope can sometimes included a blend of two different materials like copper and iron. Kern mantle rope is a specialized type of rope. This special method is carried out by wrapping a core of twisted fibers in a braided shell. This is one of the strongest types of rope, so it is used for high strength activities like rock-climbing.

Question:

What material can hold a set weight the longest without breaking?

Purpose:  

The purpose of the project is to determine which type of material can hold the most weight without breaking. This could be used in real life when doing arts and crafts or more importantly wiring a house. Materials like tin, aluminum, and copper can only hold a certain weight and if you put too much weight on them they could break and mess up the wiring of a house.

Hypothesis:

If fishing line is used in the experiment, then it will hold the weight longer than the other materials.

Independent Variable:

The independent variable is the type of material used.

Dependent Variable:

The dependent variable is the amount of time the material can hold the weight without breaking.

Constants:

  • Weight of the brick attached to the material

  • The length the material will be cut into before the test

  • The temperature where the test takes place

  • The humidity of the area where the tests will take place

Materials:

  • 1 spool of Copper thread

  • 1 spool of Iron thread

  • 1 spool of Tin thread

  • 1 spool of Fishing Line

  • 1 spool of Plastic Beading thread

  • 1 spool of Cotton thread

  • 1 spool of Nylon thread

  • 1 spool of Rayon thread

  • 1 spool of Hemp thread

  • 9 bricks

  • A table

Procedure:

  1. Gather all needed materials.

  2. To start the project, set up a table with nails to hang the different materials so they are not touching anything.

  3. Cut each material from the list of materials to 50 cm in length.

  4. Tie the bricks to each thread of material.

  5. Then attach the string to the nails on the table and lower the brick to lowest point and release it, so the does not fall.

  6. Then record and see which materials broke right away.

  7. Leave the intact strings hanging for 15 minutes and record if they broke or just stretched and how much they stretched.

  8. Then come back in 45 minutes and check if the rest of the strings broke or not. If the strings did not break and they are the same length as they were at the 15 minute mark, stop the test and record that as the material’s final length.

  9. If they keep stretching, repeat step 7 as needed.

  10. Average data for each thread.

  11. Repeat steps 3-10 four more times.

Bibliography

“Animated Knots by Grog™.” Animated Knots by Grog. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.

“Types of Rope.” Types of Rope. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

“Wholesale Rope Suppliers – Nylon Rope, Sisal Rope, Climbing Ropes, Twisted Rope | JB Rope Supply.” Wholesale Rope Suppliers – Nylon Rope, Sisal Rope, Climbing Ropes, Twisted Rope | JB Rope Supply. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.