Class, Thurs, 9/29

Odds and Ends

Moving Towards Essay One

  • Fastwrite: Which response(s) do you plan to develop into your first essay? What do you plan to add to turn a brief response into a full essay? What parts of your response will you need to change or rework? What parts might you cut? Please email your comments to your GTA and me.
  • Proto-Drafts: A document in Word or Pages, 100o words or more, with a title and references, proofread and edited. Due in class on Tues, 10/04.

Thinking About Sentences

  • Carly F
  • Connor C
  • Travis R
  • Chad B
  • Daniel G
  • Lauren M
  • Savannah G
  • Kit S

Writing Geek

Serif and Sans Serif Fonts: Use serif for paragraphs, sans serif for titles and headers. [pdf]

Google changes its logo from Serif to Sans.
Google changed its logo from Serif to Sans in Fall 2015.

Moment of Zenstore-helvetica-poster

Helvetica (2007), dir. Gary Hustig

To Do

  1. Tues, 10/04, class: Bring 3 print copies of a proto-draft of your first essay to class. We will work closely with them.
  2. Wed, 10/05, Thurs, 10/06, and/or Fri, 10/08: Bring a highlighted and annotated print copy of your first draft to your conferences with your GTA and me. This will count as p1.
  3. Tues, 10/11, class: Bring a print copy of the near-final version of your first essay to class. We will work on proofreading and editing it.
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The past is Inevitable

Ariana Chipolone
English 110
Repair r3
September 26, 2016

“Repair Destroys Brokenness.”

Often times we hear in order to fix a relationship you have to own up to what you have done and try to fix what is broken. When offering an apology, you are really seeking to destroy the state of rupture that hovers over the relationship acting as a raincloud, constantly pouring on the two of you reminding you of the ongoing storm. The apology serves as the umbrella, the raincloud is still in the sky, but the umbrella makes sure that the relationship is unaffected by the storm. In other words, even though repair destroys what was once broken, the raincloud, or the past, will always hover over, serving as a reminder to what was once broken.

I have always been the type of person who tries to forgive and forget when someone sincerely offers an apology trying to repair what they have done. Even though I chose to forgive a person, the memory of what they had done will always stay with me in the back of my mind. The brokenness that the person caused in the relationship isn’t just repaired from an apology. I think that Spelman may be wrong when she says that repair terminates what is broken, but rather time is the real remedy to heal a relationship. As human beings, we undergo a myriad of situations where relationships are tested and people hurt one another. Coming from the side of the person who is in the wrong, an apology is necessary to repair the relationship, as long as the person is willing to accept. Just because the situation that occurred is repaired, doesn’t mean that the person truly is at ease with what happened. The past will always follow the relationship and stay in the minds of both of the people. For instance, do you ever notice how when you get into a fight with someone, often times the past is brought back into the present, even when it was already settled and repaired? This is because the past has a connection with the repair of things, there can’t be repair without bringing up the past. People may forgive what had happened and come to terms with the situation, but they will never forget or leave the past in the past because of the memory.

Moreover, Spelman writes this short and sweet sentence to simplify what the purpose and role of repair is for. It means exactly what it says, when something is broken, repair can fix it: However, when talking about a human being, rather than an object, how does one know if the repair actually destroyed not just the physically aspect, but the emotional aspect of the brokenness done. How can a person who suffered through the Holocaust or someone who lost a loved one ever really return to a basic state of functioning if the memory is forever apart of them? These questions really depend on how mentally and emotionally willing a person is to go through life as Spelman would say, at a “basic state of functioning.” Cars basic state of functioning require them to be able to bring people from one place to another. Humans on the other hand are more complex and the question “Can a person ever achieve a functioning state” is something to consider. Not only can emotional healing such as relationships come into affect, but physical injuries can put an emotional toll on the way a person functions, even after the repair. Tearing my ALC, makes me validate that repair isn’t what heals brokenness, but time does. After my surgery and the months that I had to go through in order to heal, I still am not back at where I want to be. The old me was carefree, adventurous, and up for any challenge when it came to competition. My leg is healed and I was “cleared” to be back to normal, but the mental aspect of the injury and the memory will always stay with me, making it almost impossible to ever truly get back to being myself. Now when ever I watch, think, or try to play the sport that caused me the suffering, both physically and emotionally, I think about the memory of becoming broken. Sports injuries happen all the time and many athletes recover into even better athletes than they were before. The repair didn’t make them stronger, but rather the time they needed to get over what had happened and come to terms with their circumstance. Every person is different and it all depends on the time your mind needs to feel at ease with the past, taking the brokenness that hovers over you, and seeing it as something that made you stronger.

R3: Beyond Repair

Andrew Botti

Professor Harris

English 110

26 September 2016

Beyond Repair

In Chapter 6 of Repair Spelman explains that there are some situations in which reparation simply cannot be achieved. There are many physical situations that can be pointed out where there is simply no form of repair that could be very effective. Spelman uses the examples of 9/11 and certain ruins from ancient times. There are also many emotional breaks that can be far beyond repair. Aside from the physical damage 9/11 inflicted on the city of New York, the emotional damage reached far greater heights. Spelman dives deeply into the idea that there can be no reparation or redemption for certain situations because of the intense seriousness of those situations. However, although these certain things cannot be repaired or redeemed, that does not mean we must attach a negative connotation to these breaks. Some people celebrate what once was instead of trying to rebuild to what used to be. Although repair is always a goal when there are breaks, Spelman does an exceptional job of explaining how repair cannot always be accomplished.

Many times we face very serious physical breaks that are far beyond reparation. When someone’s house burns down, people know fairly well that the house and the belongings inside of it are far beyond repair. However some people enjoy celebrating what something was before the serious break. These celebrations or monuments to such physical breaks are called “ruins.” A modern example of a ruin was mentioned in Chapter 6 of Repair in relation to the attack on the World Trade Center in September of 2001. The idea of keeping the ruins of the World Trade Center was suggested by Herbert Muschamp of the New York Times.

“We will probably see no more eloquent reminder of that day [September 11, 2001] than the twisted steel walls that at present rise from the wreckage of the World Trade Center… The conflict was as much over meaning as it was over access. The police represented the view that the wreckage is now cartage. To the firefighters, it is sacred space, at least until they have fulfilled their duty to recover the victims’ remains.”

Muschamp searched for a way to find beauty in the disaster that was 9/11 and the horrible aftermath of the attacks. Although it may have been a weirder idea of ruins, the premise was the same.

The September 11 terrorist attacks are a good example of irreparable damage in both physical and emotional ways because of the ways that each are far beyond repair. Having already touched on the physical aspect of the damage, the emotional damage was far greater. For years since 9/11 New Yorkers have lived in fear of follow up terrorist attacks. All over the city signs displaying the words, “See Something, Say Something,” are posted pleading for people to report any suspicion of terrorism they may have. Families who lost loved ones on that horrific day are still impacted by the tragic loss of their family members. How can one repair the break of the loss of a loved one? There is no replacing that family member or bringing them back from the dead. There is simply the memories you have of that person that you may cherish, which could also represent an emotional type of ruins. There are some emotional and physical breaks that are far beyond repair and Spelman does a fantastic job of explaining that concept.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Gabby Damascus

English 110 

Seda 1

9/26/16

I traveled to Greece with my family for the first this summer and, being Greek, it was kind of  a big deal. We did all of the typical touristy things; went to museums, took a bus tour, bought a “Greek for Dummies” book, etc. But my favorite part, and what Greece is most famous for, and what attracts millions of people from all over the world, were the Ancient Ruins. My family and I toured the Acropolis in Athens, the Sanctuary of Asklipieo at Epidaurus, my brother and I hiked up the monuments in Mykines, we walked around the Temple of Zeus and the Archea Olympia, and, believe it or not, many more. And although truthfully, most of the stuff just looked like giant rocks to me, at every giant rock we saw, there were always people admiring their beauty and taking thousands of pictures. I didn’t realize it at first, but every giant rock we saw had a story behind it. Some were tributes to Gods, some had scenes carved into them that literally told you a story, a few were thank you presents, and some were sacred monasteries that people devoted their lives to. I began to see what attracted so many people to all of these giant rocks. The fact that they were able to survive thousands of years and still be standing is beautiful and inspiring. People worship and believe in these rocks and base all of their values and beliefs on the meaning behind these rocks. Despite all of the rocks brokenness and cracks people still only see beauty. They see back thousands of years ago to the people who devoted their lives to these works out of art, that are literally made out of dirt and clay, and turned it into something that can be admired by billions and last just as long.

In chapter 7 of Repair, Elizabeth Spellman talks about ruins and “the power against which the reparative impulse are in the case of ruins greeted without opposition and often with a passion which even has its own name: Ruinenlust,” (103-104). Despite all of the hardships of nature and war and life, ruins are still left, somewhat, standing. They’re able to forgive and continue to live their lives even though there are millions of things working against them and millions of poisons trying to destroy them. Spellman said that “ruins offer the inevitable reminder that finally we all come to the same end,” (107). In Spellman’s eyes, ruins represent the end and sadness and false hope, but I have to disagree. I think they do just the opposite. Yes all things come to an end, but why not look at the life they lived and admire everything they’ve accomplished in the years they did survive. For example a tombstone, even though a dead person is lying underneath it and although it’s not as pretty as the ancient ruins, it still tells a story. The tombstone represents the life of the person underneath it. And just like ruins, tombstones last a long time and they are often visited by many people, although normally under a sad circumstance, they still attract visitors and people who truly care about what they represent.

Spellman’s focus throughout the book has been on repair, what is repair, what should be repaired, should all things be repaired, can all things be repaired? We don’t really know; most of the time we blame our problems on society instead of owning up to our own mistakes because we’re not being brave enough to admit that we’re apart of the problem. But this one word has so many hidden definitions and secrets and it represents something different in every single person’s eyes. Some people see it as a good thing and others as bad, but it can be both. Repair can be related to so many different things aswell, whether its clothes, relationships, ancient ruins, cars, or humans, it affects everything in one way or another. Everything makes mistakes and it’s up to the person or object who made them to either own up to it or hide from it. Ancient ruins aren’t people, they can’t run away when life gets hard, they just have to face the consequences. Ruins have to combat millions of problems throughout their existence and although what doesn’t kill them doesn’t necessarily make them stronger, they still try. Similar to humans, people are faced with difficulties every single day and they can either ignore them or be willing to do something about them. Like Spellman says, life is a cycle between creation, destruction, and reparation. You must feel the power of destruction to be able to learn from your mistakes and repair them. Now when we see ancient ruins we see beauty, they represent war and death and love and so many other things. People worship and have been worshipping these structures for thousands of years despite their decaying facade. I know now that these giant rocks, are more than just giant rocks, to me they represent art and they are apart of who I am. They make me proud to be Greek because I know how hard my ancestors worked to create something they were so passionate about and that have touched so many people.

The Complex Criminal Justice System

Andrew DeStefano

Professor Harris

English 110 R3

9/19/16

Spelman, throughout all of her book Repair, proves to be a master on the subject of repair through her detailed explanations of varying situations and scenarios where repair is involved. Spelman speaks of the criminal justice system and its involvement with the repairing of society and individuals on the wrong side of the system; furthermore, she seems to generalize the criminal justice system on behalf of people who support the idea of “restorative justice”. She explains that proponents of “restorative justice” believe the criminal justice system fails not only society, but the victim and offender. From this perspective, the justice system seems to be working for itself, maintaining and displaying its own power, while betraying its true purpose which is to serve the people.

The criminal justice system, a complex and surprisingly changeable body, cannot be limited to one mere paragraph or any one generalization. People experience this system in many different ways, whether good or bad experiences, everyone should see aspects of it in their lifetime. Personally, my time spent with the CJS (criminal justice system) was through my father a now Supreme Court Justice for Nassau County in Long Island. Where I learned the most about this system was not through books nor classes; it was through witnessing real cases back when my father was a District Court Judge. The way proponents of restorative justice describe the CJS is a description I cannot wholeheartedly agree with:

But the existing criminal justice system pays almost no attention-or the wrong kind of attention- to the victims, pay only lip service to the damage done to the community, and has abandoned any thought of punishment as reparative for the offender- in fact, it tends to treat offenders as unsalvageable or not worth repair. (Spelman 54)

My experiences of my father doing his job as a District Court Judge, taught me that the description of the restorative justice ideas is one that is simply too general for acceptance. My dad as a judge was in no way working against the offender or working for himself. Everything he did was trying to better that individual, regardless of their offense, he could understand certain situations and apply the law in a way that could benefit all parties involved. He did not look at an offender and see hopelessness; however, he saw someone who needs help, and the only person in the world at that time who could help was him. The criminal justice system is not as unforgiving as it seems, but of course there are times where the system fails leading to ill feelings toward it. I do not see my father as an agent of retribution and punishment; however, I see him as quite the opposite- an agent of restoration, of repair.

Spelman speaks of “restorative justice” as being the absent justice from this world; the requests of the proponents of restorative justice are described as “ambitious in scope,” otherwise not current. I do not believe an essential part of the criminal justice system is missing in this area…yet, Spelman, on behalf of restorative justice, believes differently:

…the kind of repair asked for by proponents of the restorative justice movement seems ambitious in scope- practitioners of the project hope to repair the current justice system and to turn all of us, potentially, in to repairers- and lofty in its calling: Such repair is embraced as being essential to justice. (Spelman 52)

Of course, Spelman recognizes the current justice system has moments of repair; she says, “…it can be described untendentiously as involving repair.” So, this means the current or “retributive” justice system is unfavorable and does not carry out ideal versions of repair. I do believe the criminal justice system as a whole is failing. Proponents of restorative justice say a main factor of the current justice system’s downfall is the lack of assistance for the counsel and victim. Yes, I agree that more should be done. But, there must be large factors of our current “retributive” system when it comes to cases such as larceny, homicide, etc. in order to set adequate punishments and keep peace. The government and justice system should not be fully reliable for the complete rehabilitation of the victim and offender in cases so severe as the previously mentioned crimes. As citizens, We accept our rights and liberties as written by congress, enforced and accepted by the president, and determined constitutional by the Courts. In regards to that belief, we must accept that the government has never been responsible for this particular assistance among citizens and cannot be expected to start now. According to Gallup.com, Americans are split on the idea of more or less government intervention in the lives of citizens; however, when it comes to taxes 84% of people want either less or similar to current government involvement. The point being is, it is difficult for the American people to pick-and-choose what areas of life we want government involvement, and we cannot expect a total turnaround in the entire justice system.

In the previous paragraph, I, in a sense “went out of my way” to establish the certain cases I meant to reference such as larceny, homicide, etc. I highlighted those specific cases because less reform is needed there, while most of the reform in the criminal justice system should be focused on a different type of crime. Victimless crime, the crime that government, justice system, yet not even most citizens, see as a primary focus. Crimes involving: drugs, public order, property crimes, etc. are all victimless crimes. Offenders of these crimes make up a whopping 86% of the Federal prison population; in addition, 15% of all prisoners are held in the US, so one can imagine the number of victimless crime offenders. When it comes to this certain crime, Restorative justice should come in to full force and kick the old retributive justice system out of the way. To use a personal example, a family member of mine suffered with drug abuse and had to deal with the criminal justice system in full effect. This family member was sent to jail and returned to similar behavior upon release. When the justice system decided to use a more restorative approach, it was determined that he would go through extensive rehab and kept a tab on for many years to come. I personally and currently am witnessing this process work; my family member is crime free due to the actions of the criminal justice system. In this scenario, the criminal justice system works in favor of the offender (really a victim) and the community as a whole.

Putting things in to perspective, my ideas of justice are circulated around a combination of restorative justice and retributive justice. A necessary fluidity in this combination must be reached in order to work efficiently and for the benefit of the American people. Spelman describes restorative justice and retributive justice as not mutually exclusive, but there is a much greater preference for restorative justice. Retributive justice is ‘the second best’ option behind restorative in all cases, according to proponents of restorative justice. In this explanation by Spelman, it can be determined that restorative justice is simply separate from retributive justice. Our traditional justice system seems to focus on punishment and isolation of criminals and not reintegration or repair of criminals according to supporters of restorative justice. However, it is apparent that there is always a reintegration of offenders through modes such as probation and parole. In light of that small fact, we must realize that aspects of restorative and retributive justice are present in our justice system; nevertheless there are reforms needed where restorative justice would be the solution.