Top Ten Reading List #topten

1) Less Than Zero –Brett Easton Ellis

2) We the Living –Ayn Rand

3) The Picture of Dorian Gray –Oscar Wilde

4) The Psychopath Test –Jon Ronson

5) Regeneration –Pat Barker

6) The Philosophy of Autism –Jami Anderson and Simon Cushing (two of my old professors/mentors back at UM Flint)

7) Spoon River Anthology –Edgar Lee Masters

8) The Love of My Life –Cheryl Strayed

9) Identity, Character, and Morality: Essays in Moral Psychology –Oven Flanagan and Amelie Rorty (and basically anything relating to the philosophy of morality, ethics, and moral psychology)

10) Blueberries for Sal –Robert McCloskey (had to throw my favorite childhood book in at the end)

Illustrated Passages 2 #rayray

I found this article very interesting because I try to eat as healthy and fresh food as possible. I like to follow the future of food and GMO and organic are buzzing words these days. However, I found this photo to be very much related to the undertones of this article. It seems that in today’s world, choosing what food to buy is becoming more and more complicated. Whether it’s a certain brand, is organic, has GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics, knowing what type of food to buy is becoming harder to do. I think this photo encompasses the overwhelming nature of shopping for food. Most people in the world want to buy the best food they can afford, but I think this photo show how increasingly hard it is to do so.

costcoA picture of the ever-increasing complexity of food shopping

Self-Claims/Project Tags

My Personality List:

  • I’m cynical but not hopeless
  • I value integrity, honesty, passion for things you care about
  • I’m very loyal to people in my life but can also cut people out of my life if I need to
  • I value my intelligence
  • I’m better at breaking up with people than being broken up with, I want to get the first hit if I know there’s going to be a fight
  • I tend to bury some emotions when I don’t want to deal with them
  • I have empathy for those who are often overlooked by society
  • I try not to make assumptions about people who are easily written off
  • I value moral integrity of others and of myself, but sometimes I fear I’ll make a bad judgment decision and not be able to live up to my own standards
  • I’m easily irritated by certain habits people have
  • I’m a mama bear


References related by Project:

–bad American horror movies

–machismo stereotype

–dia de los muertos

–Grassroots movements by victims’ families



–justice (or lack thereof)

–Governmental corruption

–Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Mexican, Man on Fire, Traffic, Savages, El Gringo, We’re the Millers, The Counselor (set around Juarez border—no mention of the murders)

–Weeds, Breaking Bad

–masked murderer

Some bullet points on these two lists correspond with each other more than others. From my list, it’s easy to see that I’m passionate about justice, especially for people who have been under-served or forgotten by society. So my reasons for choosing my topic are pretty clear. It was harder to come up with a references list for my project because the Juarez murders have not been covered in our pop culture the way Mexican cartels/drug violence has been (which is something I plan to talk about in my project).

Illustrated Passages Microassignment #rayray

This is the article Maggie, Sami and I read:



I think this image sums up the emotion of the article we read. This image is an image of a two people after Hurricane Katrina. The article deals with a subject, assisted suicide, which from either point of view deals with feelings of grief and hopelessness. I think this photo also evokes the emotions of grief and hopelessness. In my heart, I think I’m pro-assisted suicide, but there are so many complications with the issue, I too sometimes feel hopeless when debating the issue because either option results in death and grief.


Ideas for Project Production Plan

Hey all,

So I don’t know about you guys, but even though the PPP hasn’t yet been assigned, I’m stressing about it because I know it’s going to be really important in the long run with helping us stay on track. Usually when I plan to write a large paper or project, I just kind of figure out how to get everything done before the deadline, but I never sit down and write it out. That being said, I wanted to brainstorm for things I’ll want to make sure I have in my production plan and if anyone has ideas on things to add that would be really helpful!

Right now I know I’m going to need to set away time to do:

–research and annotated bibliographies

–research and practice on working with whatever format I settle on

–digging around campus to see if there are people I can interview for my topic

–outlining the ideas of my topic

–and actually taking the time to write out the prose of my project

Can anyone else think of things we should budget for our project that I haven’t put up yet??

Formatting Idea for Final Project #rayray

Hey all,

So the project proposal has made me think I should post my possible formatting idea to see if I can get any responses or feedback on how successful you think it would be. For my project, I will be focusing on the murders of hundreds of women and girls in the border city of Juarez, Mexico. These murders have been occurring for decades with virtually no response from local or federal government, and there are almost no known suspects or concrete motives.

I was considering formatting my project as a magazine article or possibly an entire, short magazine. While the bare-bones prose of this project will be the guiding force, I do not feel I can adequately do this topic justice without including images and graphics related to the murders of Juarez. Many paintings and other art forms have been produced in response to the murders. The images of these artworks are extremely powerful without dramatizing the violence, and I think they will be essential to my project. By juxtaposing detailed text with powerful images side by side, I feel the format of a magazine will keep the reader engaged in a topic that otherwise might feel overwhelming.

Do you think this is a good idea?

If you’re going to be reading about a pretty upsetting (but important) topic, would a magazine format be more enticing as a reader?

Do you have any other formatting ideas that would be helpful for my particular topic?

Any answers to these questions or any other comments would be very appreciated! I’m not well skilled, nor am I knowledgeable, with pretty much any formats outside the standard paper so any creative thoughts would be great!

[Pika!] Best Memory From Class

In honor of our last wonderful day in class with Ray, I want to know what some of your favorite memories are from class. Perhaps it was when Ray talked about his hilarious delinquent past or a question he posed to us that produced some silly answers. Or maybe you want to take a more serious approach and think about ways this class made you a better writer, thinker, and listener. Let me know your thoughts!  p.s. I really enjoyed getting to know you all this semester! 🙂

[Pika!] Ways to Relax??

So today Ray told us we all need to take a chill pill and I agree. But it seems like during college there is never a break. Right now it’s finals but even after that it’s the stress of scheduling new classes, and when summer hits it’ll be about finding impressive internships or studying for entrance exams (I’m getting all clammy just thinking about it). I was wondering what you guys do to force yourself to relax. I do things like taking 30 minute naps, doing child’s pose (a silly yoga pose) and playing guitar.  You also might have relaxing hobbies you can only do on holiday breaks when you have more time. Please let me know so I can learn better ways to relax!

[Pika!] Thanksgiving Horror Story

Thanksgiving is a time for family and with that usually means bickering over who gets to watch TV, eat the last desert, clean up the dishes etc. I love my family very much but every time we get together it’s an exhausting overflow of love, laughs, bickering, and being smart-asses. I want to know what type of experiences you guys have with your family when you come home from break. For instance, a couple of Thanksgiving’s ago we were hosting dinner and I had to prepare the turkey because my mom is a vegetarian and it grosses her out. For those of you who haven’t, have to remove two bags of gizzards and the neck before you can cook the bird. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one of the bags so for about 20 minutes I had to feel around the deep crevices of the bird until I finally found. Then I accidentally ripped the bag, causing a bunch of cold blood and parts  to burst over the bird. Gross.