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just my thoughts

Research Blog April 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifershirley13 @ 1:23 pm

I have found many great sources pertaining to PTSD in veterans. One of the websites I have found has helped me more than any other. The website is I have found that this website has a lot of hand outs and information sheets about PTSD. I was able to answer most of my research questions from this one site. Also, I found the article ” 1 in 8 returning soldiers suffers from PTSD.” This article gave me a lot of useful information about the statistics of PTSD in veterans and has been really beneficial to my research project.


Throughout this research project I have gained many valuable research skills. The one skill that I have learned in the past couple of weeks that has helped me a lot is learning how to write a formal email requesting an interview. I think for the most part I represent myself professionally. I think after learning how to write a formal email I am more confident and I know what to say and what not to say. Mrs. Lester has helped me a lot through this process and I think this is a skill I will use for the rest of my life.


Literature Circle Reading Response April 15, 2010

Filed under: Literature Circle Journal,Uncategorized — jennifershirley13 @ 2:46 am

A big issue for veterans is suicide. It is hard or impossible for some veterans to adjust back to normal lifer after war. Take Norman Bowker for example, he could not adjust and commited suicide. On the other hand veterans like Tim are able to easily go back to regular daily life. After the war many soldiers think that nothing is real or tangible in their lives. Some soldiers just can seem to fill the void that was ripped open by the war.


I think that it is very kind of Jimmy Cross to feel the need to write Kiowa’s father about his death. I feel bad for Jimmy Cross; he thinks that Kiowa’s death was his fault. In reality I think his death was fate. I do not think that it was Jimmy’s fault because he was only following orders and that is what soldiers are taught to do. Also, I think some of the soldiers did not realize how bad ther fields were. Some of the soldiers made jokes about the muck fields while others looked at them with shame. The soldiers that were filled with shame are the ones who looked death in the eyes.


A passage I reacted strongly to was, “I did not dlook on my work as therapy, and still don’t. Yet when I recieved Norman Bowker’s letter, it occured to me that the act of writing has led me throught a swirl of memories that might otherwise have ended in paralysis or worse. By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the s*** field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not occur but that noetheless help to clarify and explain” (O’Brien 158). This passage stood out to me because I think it helps clarify PTSD. Tim is basically saying that his writings are what kept the memories, nightsweats, and flash backs from flooding into his mind. Many soldiers that came back essientially lost their minds. I think that Tim stayed sane because he found a non-destructive outlet. Other soldiers might come back and find there outlet through sexual relations or alcohol, but Tim stayed healthy and found his outlet in writing. He found a way to tell his stories even if no one was around to listen.


Reading Journal October 19th October 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifershirley13 @ 7:05 pm

I have some advice for the character Sofia. Sofia needs to trust and listen to her doctor, so she can learn to walk again. Sofia needs to realize that her legs are no longer able to work. Sofia needs to stop believing that the nurses are right when they say it would be better of she had died. Sofia needs to hold her head high and go on with her life.


I have a new understanding of the novel Secrets in the Fire, Jose-Maria was a priest who came to Mozambique, Africa. At that time the country was beginning a civil war and landmines were scattered everywhere, in small villages, along roads, and on the small paths. Jose-Maria has seen a lot of landmine explosions and is trying to tell as many people as he can to stay on the paths. No matter how many times he speaks this warning, someone is still careless and ends up in the wrath of the war


A quote that stood out to me reminded me of my own experience. The following is the thought of Dr. Raul. “He’d heard from the nurses that Sofia rarely cried. She suffered silently through all the pain. Strength has nothing to do with a man being able to lift a weight above his head” (Mankell 64). This passage reminds me of when my brother was killed and I was put into rehab because I chose to suffer in silence instead of sharing my burden. I still suffer in silence to a certain degree, but for the most part I have overcome and I predict Sofia will do the same thing. As of now I will talk about my brother but not of his death, even after five years the pain feels like it happened yesterday. I don’t talk to my family about it because I don’t want to saden they with my burden. I have a different outlet for my feeling; I write poetry. Whatever I feel I write, and whatever I write I feel. I am able to take my feelings from my brothers death and turn it into a work of art.


Research Blog 1

Filed under: Africa Issues Research Reflections 2009,Uncategorized — jennifershirley13 @ 12:18 am

I have learned about a new tool for research called Google Alerts. I really like using this tool because it makes my life and research easier. I can search several topics at once and google will send the results straight to my email. I can now send out a search and check back the next day for the results without reading and scrolling through a copious amount of websites. Google Alerts gives me the freedom to do other things while the tedious topic finding is done for me. I think I will use Google Alerts on every research paper I have in the future. I use to find research hard and confusing, but now I am confident when I research new topics.

My research strategy for the time being is to find as many articles on my topic as I can. I want to compile all the information onto note cards so I can review them later. I am now searching for landmines in Mozambique Africa. Right now I am trying to find out how much these landmines affect the daily lives of the people in the villages. I want to know as much as I possibly can, so when it comes time to write my paper I will be prepared and can write with ease. I know that my research and thirst for knowledge will greatly benefit me in the near future when ever I write a research paper. Every time I research I hope to learn more and have my eyes opened even further.


First Post August 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifershirley13 @ 9:46 pm

This is my first blog post. Yay!!! Right now I don’t really know what to talk about. I guess I will start with my Honors Lit class. Today we talked more about being a connected student and using sites such as Youtube, Twitter, and iTunes to learn about different subjects. I learned that many scholars have a Twitter and also some of them make podcasts on there studies. Also, many people post educational videos on Youtube to help us understand more about a certain topic. I think everyone can benefit from being a connected student.