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Buttering One’s Bread on Both Sides

By: Caprice Chase


Table of Contents • Shadow Narrative- Nightmares Become Realities • Translation #1- A Shadow of My Shadow • Reflection • Translation #2• Reflection • Writing Arts Goal Reflections


Nightmares Become Realities I have been knocked out cold for about the last three hours or so, but quickly all of this peaceful rest comes to a screeching halt. I’m knocked out of my dreams in a cold sweat, breathing hitched, and I can barely catch myself. It was my dream that had me on edge. I had seen my boyfriend and his son in the arms of another woman. This was no ordinary woman though even in my dreams I could see the similarity of the woman’s face to Zion’s and I knew in that instant that that was his mother. Holy Shit, I must be hallucinating because I never met or even seen that woman in my life. There is no way that I’m just able to pinpoint who she is from some freaky dream. And what did it mean. My head wouldn’t stop stirring with ideas like a pot of soup after thanksgiving, round and round all of these ideas torturing me I couldn’t even go back to sleep. I had to get to the bottom of this. It’s now 3:15 in the morning but I don’t care. I dialed E.J’s number and by the second ring he picked up. “Hey Baby, you ok?” His voice a deep raspy mumble. “No E.J. actually I’m not, I had this dream and there was this woman… and she bared an incredible resemblance to Zion and you were with her baby is this his mother? Where is she? And what’s going on between you guys?” I asked Immediately sounding more alert E.J. broke down and let me in on the worst secret ever. Baby that’s my wife Camille, well ex-wife, I mean soon to be ex-wife. My stomach hastily turning into one big knot. Tears instantly began to trickle down my face and I felt the saddest I’ve ever been. “How could you do this E.J. why would you open one door


before you closed the next. “Let me explain, he interrupted. My wife and I have been legally separated for the last six months and she told me that the marriage was over. She moved back to D.C. with her parents and I haven’t seen her since. But, lately she’s been calling me trying to see if we can work things out and I just didn’t know how to tell…. “Tell me what E.J. what the hell did you want to tell me, that you were just using me as a void filler until she came back?? Huh? Is that what you weren’t sure how to tell me. You asshole, I cared about you and I thought you were being honest with me all this time. I’m such a fool. I hung up the phone refusing to hear anything else he had to say. The only thing I wanted to do at this point was cry myself to sleep.


A Shadow of My Shadow Warm summer nights keep my heart aloof Heading down Delsea just to see some goof He starts out gorgeous Hazel complexion dazzling eyes Just to learn that soon enough I’d realize ….Realize that all his words are lies His appearance entrancing and his heart seemingly pure But after these dreams I have I become unsure I see him again this time at a coffee shop Unfortunately it wasn’t only the hot chocolate that was hot. Moving far to fast from here to the room I realize I’ve lost control and we begin to spoon. Even without all of that our relationship seemed so sure. Later realizing through my dreams that this was only a lure. You were hurt so you hurt.. You were lied to so you lied.. Now day in and say out I’m the one left to cry.


Translation #1 My goal was in writing this non-fiction poem was to abstractly give a brief overview of what my shadow narrative was about. I also aimed to invoke some type of emotion from the reader whether it is understanding, sympathy or anger towards my antagonist. When writing this poem I knew that I wouldn’t be able to describe of step of my relationship as in depth as I had in the narrative so first I choose to use the beginning setting of the coffee shop date as a means of background story. Next, I wanted my reader to quickly pick up on the fact that there was so much chemistry between us. I used the line “Moving far to fast from here to the room I realize I’ve lost control and we begin to spoon,” to imply that things were taken to the next step. This is also an abstract verse because, the coffee shop the first date but the spooning was months later. I’m giving the reader details of approximately a course of five or six months in one shot. The events seem to be back to back but they are each separated with lengths of time. From what I’ve learned about rhetorical situations when writing this piece I had to answer the five parts of a rhetorical situation. First that I am the author of this piece and there are many personal characteristics and interests that affected what I wrote about. I am twenty three years old, and have been a few relationships. Based on my experiences with guys I realized that I can be naïve at times, and trust too quickly. A few months really is not enough time to get a good understanding of what someone’s


motives are. I never knew until this relationship what true pain and deception upon finding out that the guy I was falling for was already married. My purpose for writing my shadow and consequently this poem to was to inform and educate my younger sisters growing up and getting into relationships to just take things slowly. I urge my young sisters to discern who it is that they are potentially connecting with and to use wisdom, especially when dealing with someone older than themselves. The genre of this piece is fiction. And based upon my audience younger girls, classmates, and my professor I tried to be as transparent as possible about a very difficult painful relationship that I entered into and expose my feelings every step of the way. This piece serves as a warning sign of caution to woman to take the time to get all the details. This is also my topic.


Text Genre: Procedural How to engage in a bad relationship First, take a guy who tells nothing but lies; believe them all no matter what. Second make sure to be available past the point of being taken advantage of to meet him at his every beck and call. Third, never ask him any questions. Especially if your womanly intuition or that gut feeling grasps you tight. Ignore it. Fourth, and very important if he has a child ask nothing about the current state of the relationship between him and the mother. If you are on a date with him and he consistently gets calls that requires him to walk away from the table, pay it no mind. Remember no questions asked. Let thing move as fast as he desires don’t put the breaks on not one thing. If anything is going to work after all he is going to be the one that want to be in control so let him. Take the passenger seat in the relationship. If he tells you that he’ll be gone for a few days to take care of some business don’t ask what kind or where. Leave the details to him and wait for him to determine when you will see him next.


Translation #2 I created this rhetorical situation based upon my the events of my relationship with E.J. from my shadow narrative. IN this piece I chose to write in a procedural text genre. Almost in the form of a recipe: what it takes to maintain a negative and unhealthy relationship. In this piece I chose to add in all of my short comings while being courted by E.J. Being too available and not getting a full gist of everything that was taking place was my first mistake. I let things move to fast and didn’t have enough information about anything that was important. Number one being who the mother of his child was and the current status of his relationship with her. I chose to add in sarcasm to keep the attention of my reader as well as portray my own disgust in my self for my lack of common sense in this relationship. While creating this translation I left out all of the specific details of how we first met and all of the dates we went on to share the brunt of what I did that caused this relationship to go on as long as it did. My goal in this piece to paint a step my step picture of how to enable someone to treat you wrong in a relationship. Not showing an individual that you have respect for yourself and standards is the first key to allowing them to treat you any and every old type of way. Have a greater fear of being alone, than confidence in knowing who you are as a person and learning what information that you need to in order to make wise decisions are also steps in the wrong direction. This


translation shows that most of the ways you can go about a situation the wrong way and what decisions can make in the future to make things worse.

Learning Objective: Experiencing revision as an ongoing process rather than an end point.

I’ve learned that revision is an ongoing process the day that our shadow narrative was assigned. I always thought that revising was just a one step process that you do after you complete a written assignment to check for spelling and grammatical errors. I realized by completing each step of my shadow, that revision is a continual and ongoing process. One week I was asked to hone in on a particular scene in my narrative. The next week I focused on characterization focusing mainly on dialogue. This made me change my story from just stating the facts of the event like a newscaster to actually bringing life to my story. I had to describe the characters and give the piece emotion. Every week I continually found myself adding and deleting parts of the story to get to a concise and concrete piece. It was amazing to reread my first draft of my narrative compared to my last. It was somewhere between the third and fourth week of the semester that I read a piece on the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character. In this piece it explained exactly how to create characters in a narrative and how to give that character a voice. This piece also taught me the importance of deleting I’s out of my vocabulary when entering myself into a piece. I learned that a reader does not see or understand what I am trying to convey to them by simply saying I. Instead I must personalize the character


and say exactly what it is that I want my reader to know. By actually showing the character’s personality through his/her actions rather than in words the reader is able to get a better scope of the character and the emotion of the piece. I utilized what I learned from this piece in my shadow revision adding character. Another great piece that I’ve read during the semester demonstrated this skill very well entitled “We Do Abortions Here.” In this piece as a reader I felt so much emotion and at the same time a lack of emotion. The writing style of the piece was phenomenal. The author made it clear through her actions in aborting babies how horrible and sad the entire process was. At the same time though you could also sense a disconnect or lack of responsibility from her part by her simply stating that “we do abortions here,” it was not solely her doing but a host of others unmentioned. Through this article I learned how to put emotion in a piece by choosing the precise adjectives to describe how I was feeling at the time or what move I was going to make next based on a previous action. This piece influenced my writing during my revision process of honing in on a particular scene and blowing that particular moment up. It required me add emotion and give the piece a specific tone, that it didn’t have in prior revisions.

Learning Objective: Learning craft-specific approaches to writing

I’ve learned a craft-specific approach to writing when I was formulating my minicraft lesson to present to the class. I was the only on that didn’t end up being paired with someone so I really wanted my lesson to stand out. I had to learn how I could explain what the word Ekphrastic was in a way that no one in class has possibly heard


of or learned before. Using music and paintings in my lesson in conjunction with my writing provided substantial visual aids for my peers and helped them to learn how to write an ekphrastic piece. I asked my classmates to look at a painting and to understand the message that the painter was trying to convey. After that the class was prompted to write a piece whether it be a poem or short essay conveying that same message. The classmates that weren’t shy and shared their work really seemed to have a good understanding of what ekphrastic meant and how to create and ekphrastic piece. This specific approach I felt helped me more as a studying educator that even a writer. The classroom became a hands on learning experience for me and I was able to teach about writing in a way that my peers would understand. And teaching about ekphrastic works helped me to get a better understanding of the subject as well.

One learning objective that I had for myself for this course was to learn how to respond well in rhetorical situations. This is definitely something that I was able to accomplish in this class. I’ve learned from other writing courses that I struggled in earlier semesters that the reason why I was not doing well was not because I was a poor writer but rather, the fact that I did not understand what it was that was being asked of me. From various lectures over the course of this semester from this class I learned how to respond to rhetorical situations. I learned that there in no one overarching answer to most questions and that everyone can have a different way of looking at any particular subject. This was particularly true during the class activity of adding on to what the person said prior on the board. Everyone came up with something that no one else thought of dug further than that. To be successful even in this whole class discussion, I


hand to get an understanding of what it was that the professor wanted from me and respond accordingly. That activity and lesson was very beneficial for me. As well as the example about the elections advertisements being essential during the time of the election but after the election closed and the winner was determined the same electoral advertisement was no longer fitting because there was no longer a need or rhetorical situation that required it. With what I learned from these great lessons I was able to accomplish my goal of how to respond to rhetorical situations and I will be able to use this knowledge in every class from now to graduation as well as in the real world.


Buttering One's Bread On Both Sides