Repurposing Augustine

The whole concept of “repurposing” honestly confuses me just a little; let’s face it, there are just too many possibilities….not to mention too many essays to sort through. Finally I found an essay that immediately sparked my interest, and connected back to a topic that is very personal to me, one I could discuss literally all day.

I am repurposing an essay entitled “The Universal Autobiography,” which I wrote for Great Books II in April of 2012. It was based on my favorite book, Confessions by Saint Augustine. My thesis went something like this-

Augustine writes about the specific experiences that led him to convert to Catholicism. His specific memories put his book in an autobiographical context; however, he incorporates quotes from the Bible and manipulates them to turn his own experiences into universal truths that the reader can in turn apply to their own spiritual journey.

I focused on this at the time because I could relate to his hesitancy to assimilate to any one religion, and I, as the thesis suggests, truly did see the book as a guide. This book taught me more about God than 9 years of Catholic school had. Since then, I have gone through my own experiences that have both brought me closer and farther away from God and have led me to explore the philosophy of religion for myself, so that I can make educated decisions. So many believe that questioning religion is blasphemous; however, I believe that not questioning or exploring it is disrespectful to the actual complexity of any given religion and its long history and evolution.A Great Books essay was obviously not the place to discuss this more personal issue in depth.

Basically, I could not make this essay as personally relevant as I wished. I found various connections with other philosophical works, such Plato’s Republic, C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and Dante’s Paradiso. The connections between all of these works have heavily influenced my own beliefs, and by writing about their effects on me, as well as my own spiritual progression, I will create a new purpose that is more easily accessible to a young audience who is not necessarily learned in philosophy and such.

One specific example of how I will meet this new repurposing goal is by including snippets from my own journal and reflections on Saint Augustine to hopefully provide a more modern and journal-like take on the book. Last year, I also repurposed one of Kanye’s songs (yes, for a class project-not in my free time) and created a blog about the lyric writing process for Political Theory. The topic was again, Saint Augustine, but this time I wrote about his theory on war. Since this is kind of quirky, I was hoping to find a way to include some verses in my essay. The only problem is that political theory may be difficult to connect to religion. Anyway, as you may have been able to tell, I like Augustine.

 

Let’s See….Why Do I Write?

Postprandial- \pōs(t)-ˈpran-dē-əl\; adj; occurring after a meal

“Post” being a prefix for “after” and “prandium” being Latin for “meal.”

 You ask, “where is she going with this?”

I say, “back to the beginning.”

Although it may be disappointing, this story has nothing to do with food or meals. It begins with words. It begins with the moment I learned to savor every dimension of a word- the etymology of the word, the definition of the word, the syllables that make up the word, and most importantly, the spelling of the word.

From fifth grade until eighth grade, I participated in my school spelling bees, studying the dictionary like a complete nerd. But isn’t everyone a nerd when it comes to what they’re enthusiastic about? I was enthusiastic about words- the most basic unit of writing. In eighth grade, I made it further than I had before, winning the regional bee by correctly spelling “postprandial.” After that, I flipped through the dictionary more vehemently than I ever had. I learned to appreciate the complexity of the English language, its confusing and outright absurd structure, and its worldly origins. I was determined to win and go to nationals. Well, it almost happened. I was one word away and lost. Dammit “gazetteer,” why do you have to have two “t’s”?! Oh, because you’re French. The determination started here, but did not end when I eventually lost and stepped off stage. It manifested itself in a different form after that and that form was using words to craft sentences, to externalize and eternalize my internal thoughts and ideas.

Love for words turned into love of putting words together which turned into (let’s guess ladies and gentlemen) a love for writing. Writing is truly an art, a complex one at that.

BTW… If I failed to spell a word correctly…..

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The Pitch: What Is It?

If anyone looks at my computer history, they will see one of my most frequented website destinations- Pitchfork.com. Pitchfork is a website that reviews music, features up-and-coming music videos and tracks, and shares “indie music scene” news. You may be thinking, “Well, this doesn’t sound like a blog to me.” You’re right. It’s not. However, its staffers have recently created a blog, housed within the website. This blog is called The Pitch.

The Pitch gives staffers a chance to review music and share news that didn’t get a chance to find its niche on the front page. Not only does it review music that has been overlooked, but it also leaves room for the more amusing topics. Such a topic was posted just today, sarcastically acknowledging Justin Vernon’s plethora of musical projects.  His “mostly unintelligible singing on Kanye West albums” was honorably ranked second place in the long list.  The lead singer of Bon Iver is talented and most of Pitchfork’s reviews acknowledge this, but even the music gurus assure us that it’s okay to poke fun once in a while. This playful mood exists alongside real questions pertaining to music-related fads of today, such as the increasingly common claim by younger people that LPs are superior to CDs. Such nostalgic topics, like LPs, are blended with those artists and trends that are more modern. In a sense, nostalgia and modernity amalgamate into a moment that acknowledges both the past and its relationship to the present. Similarly, specific topics are organized alongside broader ideals and far-reaching questions. The connection exists through the candidness and sporadic nature of the blogging scene, and this is interesting to me.

Primarily, this blog allows Pitchfork’s dedicated readers to investigate what’s behind the big news and gain insight into the opinions and quirkiness of the website’s writers, editors, and contributors. The blog’s audience is presumably younger people who obviously have an interest in music, but who are also searching for something more refreshing and informal than most of the regular Pitchfork news.