Monday, March 31, 2014

The Title... Intelligent and Cognitive Processes...

The title of my blog has been a phrase that I have used for many years. I have written many things over the years, and when I had a different blog, I used that phrase as my 'catch phrase'. When I tell the people that I know what my blog is titled, I tend to get a quirked-up eyebrow. When I show the title to my friends, they look at me like I have shown them a foreign language. It's true; these words can look very foreign. Even though we know what these words mean, as is the purpose and focus of my blog, we do not know the true meaning, and the true meaning of words is important, especially in this case.

When you think of the word 'intelligent,' what words come to mind? Certainly, the word smart comes to mind. An intelligent person is smart and they know a lot, but what does the word 'smart' really mean? The word smart means to show quick intelligence or ready mental capability. The definition does not really clarify, though, does it? It brings us back to the word intelligent.

Intelligent means having good understanding or a high mental capacity. It also means quick to comprehend or understand, but importantly, it means to display or be characterized by quickness of understanding, sound thought or good judgment. If not more important, the word intelligent means to have the faculty of reasoning.

Then, there's the next word; 'cognitive.' When we think of the word cognitive, we think of the brain. I think of brain functions and thoughts. The definition is really powerful; of or pertaining to the act or process of knowing, perceiving or remembering. That definition is perfect. There are a lot of ways to define words, but that definition does not leave anything left unsaid.

The definition of cognitive leads us to the last word of my title; process. Processing means to handle something by systematically organizing, recording or making notations. In there is the word systematically, which, when broken down, the word system means a combination of things or parts forming a unitary whole. Thus, with all of this new found information, we can thoroughly define the title of my blog.

My blog and I display a good understanding of words, and have the ability to organize the parts used in the processes of knowing, perceiving and remembering words.

Thank you again for visiting and reading about my blog. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comment section. If there is a word or series of words that you would like me to break down and define, please ask in the comments or email me! I would be so excited to do so for you! Share my blog with your fellow logophile friends; I would appreciate the exposure! Happy blogging.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Inspiration... From Vertigo

The inspiration for my blog came from my Film class. My professor asked us to write an essay on one of the films we had viewed in class. The assignment called for a 4 page paper, and it needed to be a critical assessment of the film. That was all we were given as far as what was needed, required or wanted for this assignment.

As an English major, I have taken mostly general education courses in my first two years, not leaving much room for major specific classes until just recently. I have never heard of an essay being referred to as a critical engagement. I wasn't sure if that made me uneducated, but the professor was a little bit off to begin with. 

Safe to say, I was frustrated and confused. When I am presented with an assignment that does not have much structure, I am intimidated. I spend a lot of time worrying about what exactly is expected. I worry that my interpretation of the assignment is not going to be what the professor's idea is. I spent a great deal of my time while preparing for this paper spinning my wheels and running in circles- I was flailing. 

After a few hours, I finally had an idea... I decided to define critical engagement. I didn't even bother Googling the phrase; I went straight to 'dictionary.com' and punched the two words in, one at a time. I was amazed at how simply defining the word gave me a better understanding of what I needed to do.

We all know what the word critical means. When we think of something critical, we think of something important, something pressing, but we mostly think of a critical condition or a critical issue. The word 'critical' originated in the mid 16th century, and was used how we usually think of it today; relating to the crisis of a disease or issue. Though, the word have evolved and has many more meanings.

The world critical can pertain to a person's health, meaning they are in critical condition or extremely ill. The word critical also can be used to describe a critical situation, which has the potential to become dangerous or turn into a crisis.

Though, the main use of the word is used to express adverse or disapproving judgments. It also means to conduct an analysis of the merits or faults of a work of literature, music or art piece, but the one that brought it home for me was this; incorporating a detailed and scholarly analysis and commentary. 

At this point, there was no need for me to define the word engagement. If you remove the suffix, there's just engage. I needed to use a detailed and professional analysis of the good or bad of a movie to engage my professor. 

I could feel the ground beneath my feet begin to stabilize as a dam cracked inside my head and ideas upon ideas began to flow through. I had to take a moment to sort out all that was going on in my head in order to concentrate on one idea. With the flood of ideas, I knew which movie to do my paper on; Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

I quickly grabbed my notebook and began to spill my ideas onto this poor, defenseless piece of paper; it didn't stand a chance. As I began to write down my ideas, I focused on one main point; the meaning of the word 'vertigo.' For those of you who know the movie, I don't need to explain what a great and moving film this is. It is beautifully thought out and carefully put together, in order to create a roller coaster of a film!

Vertigo means to experience a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated with looking down from a great height. This sensation can also be caused by a disease of the inner ear. The sensation can also be defined as 'giddiness,' which means a tendency to fall or stagger. The word 'vertigo' also originated from the Latin word 'vertere,' which means "to turn." As I looked at these words, I realized there were a lot of words that I did not know the true meaning of, so I began to dig deeper.

The word stagger meant to tilt within stable surroundings or being within tilting or spinning surroundings. I connected this with balance and drew 'loss of balance,' which means the instability of one's mind or feelings. While I was looking up the meaning of this, I found the word disequilibrium, a synonym, which meant lack of stability. I continued and looked up the word stable; not likely to change or fail, or firmly established. Then I looked up the meaning of unstable; prone to change, fail or give way. Finally, I was satisfied. I wrote down all of these definitions and began to connect them to part of the movie.

At first, I did not appreciate this film, but as I wrote this paper, I saw what everyone else saw. One of the thing's that bothered me about the film were Scottie's vertigo symptoms, or lack there of, during the film. He experienced symptoms, and we were made to see these symptoms, during the beginning and very end of the film. I felt like the film was named after the disease, so why shouldn't he experience these feelings of whirling and loss of balance throughout the whole film!

That's when it hit me; Scottie's entire existence in the film is plagued by a 'state of vertigo,' as I coined it. While he does not experience the physiological symptoms of vertigo, the events and characters of the film are him metaphoric symptoms. My excitement over my revelation was through the roof! I could not contain it and had to focus my entire paper of this finding;

"Without even the basic knowledge of the word vertigo, one cannot comprehend the contextual concepts behind the film. The film utilizes vertigo throughout the entire movie; a state of vertigo, the illness and symptoms of vertigo, as well as the metaphysical vertigo. Vertigo is personified throughout the film in more than one character, thus carrying the underlying symptoms. The surface of Vertigo cannot be scratched without a thorough analysis of the word and its meaning." - Tresa Strohkirch. 

The work that I put into this paper was ground breaking for me. It was clarifying. I am constantly sticking my nose into my phone, defining words, looking up the true meaning of a word that I want to use, in order to make sure I am using it correctly. I also do this because it is exciting for me! It is fun for me to look up a word and look back on how a word was used back when it originated. I'm constantly curious to see how this or that is used in daily life and how it has evolved from what it was meant to be used for. I love finding a new way to use a word, in different context.

Thus, here is my blog, where I intend to go on and on about the words I find and what they mean and how they're used. I imagine the bulk of my followers will be those of similar mind, but I am so very excited to share this with everyone! Please, if you think of anything while you read this, or it inspires anything inside of you, or you see a word that you would like me to define in this manner, email me! I am excited to do it.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you next time!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Intro & About Me

This is a little expansion on my About Me section and an introduction to my blog.

I will start off with saying that I am new to blogging. I have never blogged. My time as a writer has been spent writing novels, short stories, co-operative writing, fiction,... the list goes on. I have heard a lot about blogs in the last year and up until now have not had the time to dedicate to a blog. Though, I have an easy semester right now, as well as summer coming up. I figured now was the best time to start learning the ropes!

Before I began my English and writing education at UW-Parkside, I was at Gateway Technical College. I began there at the age of 16. I graduated high school early and was able to do so thanks to homeschooling. Before college, I had been writing for a long time. I can remember at age twelve, writing stories on the computer with friends. Before that, I kept journals and wrote to myself. I have always had an interest in writing.

When I began college at Gateway, I was not aware that writing was what I wanted to do with my life. Back then, I was neck deep in photography; my first year of college was nothing but electives in photography and graphic design. After the initial high from that wore off, I realized it didn't speak to my heart like I thought it did. I wasn't as invested as I could have been, or as the people who were around me. Having realized my love was not where I had spent the last year of my love, I took on a more diverse class load; business, marketing, and English classes. This is when I found out my life needed to be about writing!

My plan for my blog is to thoroughly examine the definition of words and relate to how these words are used in normal life. I analyse words on a molecular level everyday, and I plan to share my thoughts on these words here. I may from time to time write about psychology or philosophy, but mainly words. I also may post something that I have written in my English courses, or other courses, such as my Film class, which requires 3 critical engagements.

I hope this blog is everything and anything my followers are looking for. If there is ever a word you would like me to define in the way that I define words, I take requests. It can be very interesting to learn the definition of a word in the way that I look at them.

Thank you for scrolling and wandering through my blog! I hope to make a connection with all of you!