MU Commons Postings for Saturday, 2/7

This week you will write two postings of approximately 750-1000 words. Since we are ending our Cancer unit, and starting our contagious disease/AIDS unit, you will post one short essay reflecting on the cancer unit, and another responding to this week’s viewing (And the Band Played On) and readings (see Blackboard).  If you like, you can post the cancer reflection anytime before class on Monday, 2/9, but get the reading response up by 2/7.

Your unit reflection must take two of the performance pieces we studied (Notaro’s “Live” set, W;t, The Fault in Our Stars, or the Cancer blog you located) and compare or contrast how cancer appeared in these two performances relative to some of the ideas about how cancer should appear according to authors we have read in this unit.  Some approaches might include:
-Optimism and survival in W;t and The Fault in Our Stars (or the blog you located).-How Wit and Fault in Our Stars (or the blog you located) challenge military metaphors as described by Lorde and Khalid
-Adult or Young Adult: differences in audience pitch in The Fault in Our Stars and Tig Notaro Live.
-Audience and healing: performance as a coping strategy
You’ll need to cite specific quotes & paraphrases and include a Works Cited list in MLA format at the end of this entry. End of unit entries are a bit more formal than reading responses, although they aren’t any longer.  I would strongly suggest working in a word processing document with a grammar and spell check function, then cutting & pasting your essay into MU Commons.

Reading response ideas for And the Band Played On:
-How does Shilts’ And the Band Played On convey the passage of time in a two-dimensional visual medium? In other words, how does the film make you “see” time and space on the screen, and why is this particularly important for his narrative?
And the Band Played On is part fiction and part journalism. What structural choices does Director Robert Spottiswoode make that blur the boundaires between reality and fiction?
-Ebola is a central image in this film–how is it used to convey our understanding of AIDS? How is this understanding changed by events since 1993? (Blackboard readings will help here)

Don’t know where to start looking for blogs?

As you look for cancer blogs, remember there are many different types of blogs (community, solo, institutional, advocacy). In addition, people who blog about cancer blog about much more than cancer. Their lives are regular lives, just sometimes they also write about cancer. It may be helpful to you to search their posts for the tag “cancer,” or you may prefer to situate their writing about cancer in the context of their broader and more mundane lives. I’d love for you to find a blog in whatever way you’d like, but here are some starting points if you feel lost: A clearing house list of personal blogs on cancer.

Blog for a cure Community blog site where people write about their experiences with cancer.

Cancer in Context Reuter’s reporter Deb Sherman’s blog about cancer.

Cancer Survivorship Blog Similar to the Macmillan Community blog, this is a community blog hosted from a medical perspective for survivors to share stories, ask questions, etc.

Diem Brown, blogger for People Magazine, reality t.v. star

Lisa Bonachek Adams Personal blogger about metastatic breast cancer, motherhood, and family life.

Macmillan Community blog: British site that allows lots of posters to share feelings/experiences with cancer.

Our Cancer Husband and wife Leroy and Laurie Singer Sievers blog about their experience with cancer. Hosted by Johns Hopkins.

Queasy Writer  Professor, Dad and Cancer survivor Rocco Versaci’s blog about health, extreme bike riding, and life.

Scienceblog on Cancer Research: Another UK blog site with a research focus

Reading Response Ideas for Week 2: Cancer in Film

Remember this week you have 3 critical articles to read, plus view “The Fault in Our Stars.” Please also find a blog about cancer and read a few entries to get a sense of how that blogger deals with his/her cancer in the context of an individual life, but also as a rhetorical performance of who s/he is. You should then post a response to at least 2 readings by Saturday. You can use any of the topics below as a basis for your response, or you can craft your own response. Goals: 750 words addressing 2 or more readings and citing specific examples/scenes to support your analysis.

1.) Do you see any of the military metaphors for fighting cancer, or opposite models of “contact” as described by Khalid’s article at work in “Fault in Our Stars” or in the blog you found for this week? Analyze 2-3 specific scene or moments that fit the metaphors for how to “fight” or live with cancer as described by Kahlid or Lorde.

2.) What adjustments to you think “The Fault in Our Stars” or the blog you examined made to appeal to a young adult audience (if you chose a blog targeted at Young Adults)? What kinds of experiences seem unique to the YA demographic in terms of representing experience with cancer–or do you not find this demographic to be unique? Is the performance of living with cancer the same, whether the author/performer/audience is young or old (feel free to use W;t as a point of comparison/contrast here if you would like).

3.) Rhetorically, do you find Deardorff’s article more persuasive when juxtaposed with the Petticrew et al article on attitude and cancer from last week? What mode of writing most persuades you on health care information, and why (journalism, memoir/blog, pop culture/news, or artistic?) What context do you find persuasive and why (year of publication, publication medium, writer’s background, etc.)? And finally, which article’s worldview about coping with cancer do you see more clearly represented in “The Fault in Our Stars”?

Full Holy Sonnet X “Death Be Not Proud”

John Donne (1572-1631)
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
1  Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
2  Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
3  For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
4  Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
5  From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
6  Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
7  And soonest our best men with thee do go,
8  Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
9  Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
10  And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
11  And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
12  And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
13  One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
14  And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Nice random YouTube video of Thompson’s version, compiled by Daniel Andrade

Want some ideas of how to respond to the readings for your 1/24 posting?

The goal for your posting is to focus on 2-3 ideas that interest you in the readings, and to connect between at least 2 of the readings. You want about 750 words, and a clear sense of an opening point or thesis, a set of examples from texts that you analyze to support your thesis, and a conclusion. Use a Works Cited page at the end, and be sure to cite paraphrases and quotes in MLA format.

Here are some possible approaches–I’ll add to the list after the facilitators for the week post the additional critical reading to Blackboard by Wednesday, 1/21. Your posting is due Saturday, 1/24 by 5pm, either on your MU Commons site or on Blackboard Discussion Board if you’re having trouble with the MU Commons.

1.) Apply Vanhoutte’s thesis about W;t to the play, and compare/contrast its reading of given scenes or moments of the play to your own interpretation. Do you agree with Vanhoutte’s response to this play?

2.) Ask the same questions of W;t and/or “Cancer Journals” that I had you ask of Tig Notaro’s broadcast, then compare/contrast how these performances address self-expression and the experience of cancer. How does each performance try to reach its audience? What are 2-3 of each author/performer’s key points about their cancer experience? How does their choice of artistic form affect how you as a reader or viewer respond?

3.) Using the “Influence of Psychological Coping” article, argue which approach you feel the main character in W;t or Audre Lorde are taking to their experiences with cancer–are they “fighters,” “depressives,” or some other category? What do you think of the argument that attitude toward disease doesn’t affect mortality or recurrence, and thus people should not be pressured toward one attitude over another? Do you see evidence that the attitudes of characters or authors of the performances you’ve seen can change from moment to moment or day to day?