I think the four main areas I should work on with my essay is organization, repetitiveness, run on sentences, and making my ideas more clear in each paragraph. Having multiple peer edits on my rough draft was very helpful, the different editing styles all gave different feedbacks, all of which were very helpful in their own ways. Organization was an issue because I had a whole paragraph that seemed out of place, and didnt really fit with the topic and my thesis as well as the others. This was brought to my attention in multiple of the reviews. Another area of focus for editing would be reworking any snetneces or sections that just seemed repetitive or if I used words too often. This was another common correction, I think I was using it to try to connect each paragraph together or I just favored certain phrasing that made ideas seem similar. Run-on sentences was only in a handful of spots, but was still quite relevent. I tend to have long winded explanations of topics that are hard to cut down, and many of them could easily be split into multiple sentences. My ideas are generally made clear in body paragraphs, but a couple of them were a little hazy to find. Im glad we did group peer edits, although a tad awkard, they proved beneficial.
Between reading Anne Lamotts essay entitled Shitty First Drafts, and my own first draft of an essay, I did make several connections. I did relate strongly to the concept she explored of just letting yourself type whatever came to mind, then editing it later. This technique is usually how I end up writing essays, essentially just word vomit edited to make sense. I also related to the whole excruciatingly long paragraphs subject too. I tend to do this when expanding on the concept I’m trying to write about, or when I’m trying to overdo the word count on the rough draft… Overall I did enjoy Lamott’s take on the torture that is the first rough draft, I did not think rough drafts are bad enough to equate wishing to getting hit by a car, although depending on the subject it is on, you never know.
Revision Plan Strategy
- Work on grammar in some areas
- Cut down on run on sentences
- Reword explanations
- Work on being less repetitive with some phrases
- Go over topic each paragraph is covering and make connections to thesis more clear
- Work on developing a more clear thesis
- Find more quotes from other works other than Khullar
- more additions to come, waiting to recieve other 2 peer edits back
Overall this was a very solid free draft and paper concept. I think the mistakes that stand out the most to me were a few wording/spelling/grammar errors, so that would be a priority to fix if It was my paper. Some sentences just didn’t have a good flow or ended up being a bit confusing while reading the paper. I did also notice that a couple times in the paper there were quotes that didn’t have any background info such as which text or which author the quote was from, which is important to prevent plagiarism. There were a few run on sentences, but nothing a few commas or a period in the middle couldn’t solve. I did find quite a few spots that really caught my attention (see edit) that made some really valid and meaningful points that supported the thesis well. The intro paragraph was structured and worded very well.
Imagine this— you’ve just heard the worst 3 words being tossed at you by the doctor you’ve only just met, yet they have the power to make your world do a 180 degree spin. She says words she thinks will help, “This is a war you can win” or “Just fight a little longer”. But how does she know how you feel. Using metaphors to discuss life altering medical diagnoses is a habit we, as a society, need to break. Using metaphors to describe experience with health issues could have the opposite effect than intent. Words meant to encourage progress, could be slowing it down without anyone but the patient knowing, causing deppression that eventually decreases physical health, on top of the mental decline. Although the impact isnt direct, it may still have a lasting effect on the interpreter of the metaphor.
It has long been said that tough illnesses such as cancer are seen as a battle meant to be fought, but maybe that isn’t the best way to view such a disease? Dhruv Khullar wrote an essay that shows the pros and cons to using military metaphor when treating patients with serious illnesses. one could argue that describing cancer as a “fight” is the way its always been, this trend began way back in the 17th century.
Personally, I don’t know how to feel about this debate. I believe the patient should be the only party involved in choosing how to reference their disease, because well, it is their disease after all. Khullar stated that “viewing cancer as a fight can lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms and encourage emotional suppression”. Although only true for some patients, depression and anxiety can increase by supressing their emotion to look strong for friends and family as to not show that they are weak, which in turn makes their condition worse. Despite this fact, we still do it, it feels natural. It makes sense since “there is an enemy (the cancer), a commander (the physician), a combatent (the patient), allies (the healthcare team) and formidable weaponry (including chemical, biological,and nuclear weaponds)”. Using this reasoning, its hard to see a reason to not use military metaphor, but ultimately it can do more harm than good, especially since doctors often start off treatments using these metaphors. It is important to note that “patients may prefer not to view illnesses as a battle or conflict. Indeed it seems strange that the language of healing remains so interwoven with the language of warfare…”, because ultimately, it is solely up to the patient how they choose to view their disease, and if they feel as if using military metaphor gives them the push to fight through, then so be it.
James Geary also touched upon the impact metaphor could have on someone in his TED talk, stating that “Metaphor creates a kind of conceptual synesthesia, in which we understand one concept in the context of another”. This shows that in some ways, using military metaphor when discussing treatments with cancer patients could possibly further their understanding of the issue and possibly increase morale. Erard also elaborated on metaphorical thinking, to which he says that metaphors are “meant to make someone realise that theyve only been looking at one side of a thing”. Meaning that if a patient views the disease as it is, a disease they have, then they may not gain the motivation to get through it. If they were to view the disease as a fight they can win, it could make them more confident in their ability to survive.
It seems as if the overall consensus between many different metaphorical writers that the true meaning behind each metaphor lies within the person interpreting it.To elaborate, if the patient chooses to view their disease as a war they can win if they fight hard enough, or just as a disease, it is fully up to them and shouldn’t be shoved upon them by doctors or family members from the start.
While going through Erard’s essay a second time a few new things popped out at me. Not only did I recognize more hidden metaphors, but also helped me to understand the concepts of metaphors a bit more. When Erard wrote “They’re meant to make someone realize that they’ve only been looking at one side of a thing”, which is incredibly accurate. Metaphors force you to think abstractly and expand on your world view a bit. Another exerpt that caught my eye was “Another way to break the mistake is to break the thing you want to explain into its components, then connect them to some other idea or domain of life”. This kind of cleared up some confusion I had on actually forming new metaphors, or even breaking complicated ones down to understand them better. I did understand the essay pretty well the first time around, and I did agree with most of the essay as well. A few words that confused me were “hewn”–which means, in the context used, formed or created in the mind. The term is seen in reference to Dante and Rilke, “…they might have said the metaphors were hewn from their minds, or drawn from a stock of poetry”. Rereading the essay really increased my understanding of metaphor and the creative process of making new ones.
Erard’s essay on what it is like to create metaphors as a job is a truly interesting piece and many aspects of it sparked my interest. One section that caught my eye was when Erard wrote, ” At a conceptual level, life is a journey, and arguments are wars: you take sides, there can be only one winner, evidence is a weapon”. This short phrase not only is packed full of metaphor, but is also a very accurate sentence. Arguments are wars, and although Erard says there can only be one winner, does anyone ever really win? Are these “weapons” he speaks of, the harsh words used in the war like arguments? As someone who comes from a family who argues like its a sport, for the sake of proving they are right, I can attest to the fact that no one ever wins, theyre just satisfied with the aftermath. Another quote that stuck with me was the metaphorical phrase: ” There was a problem: people values the orchid and looked down on the dandelion”. With this phrase, it is meant to articulate how some children do well, while others not so much. He writes,” the culture said they should value the rare, beautiful thing, not the sturdy weed”. This speaks values for how society works nowadays. Metaphorical speaking seems intimidating, I cant even imadgine how Erard could possibly do it as a job.
From the first watching of his ted talk, James Geary opened my eyes on the interesting network of thought that is the metaphor. I truly think that going through the transcript of his talk proved to deepen my understanding of his points even more. Having to think of the visuals used in the ted talk video and connect them to the transcript and write them down really imprinted them into my memory. Geary connected metaphor to music by mentioning Elvis, and his song “All Shook Up”. This connection had me wondering how many metaphors could be present in some of my favorite songs, which as it turns out, there is a lot. I did also notice that some of the tests mentioned in the talk, like the Stroop test, connected to things I learned in psychology last year. This connection helped me to understand how many aspects of my major can connect to my other subjects, since we learned about cognitive dissonance last year. I think this connection showed how vast metaphorical thought can be, and how it “keeps the mind shaking, rattling, and rolling, long after Elvis has left the building”.
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