Classroom Commentary: Nov 11, 2014

November 11, 2014: Cemetery Project Wrap-Up, Marie Antoinette, and William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
SASAH Students were invited to share their thoughts, questions, and inspirations during class. Here is what they had to say…
In some ways, even if dichotomy, in terms of our though processes, has been indoctrinated in us, I cannot help but think that it is natural and unchangeable in myself. (Marilyn Stoyle)
The discussion of whether or not we innately utilize dichotomies was a black and white discussion in itself (irony.) (Emma Bayfield)
Dichotomies: why do they exist? Perhaps they are just a man-made construct… (Julian Saddy)
Heaven vs. Hell; Heaven is order, Hell is energy. Contradictions are necessary to produce conflict and develop. (Richard Joseph)
Black painted each page of each book differently and at the time I assume he did so without the thought that anyone would piece together the pages and be able to examine all his different ideas, emotions, and underlying messages, which is a pretty cool thought—like a secret message! (Celina Bussolaro)
Stefan Zweig wrote Marie Antoinette in a way that made the reader feel sympathy for her, when in fact we must ask: does she deserve our sympathy? (Leya De Nil)
Would binaries have ever been established without the socialization/indoctrination from an early age? (Marta Croll-Baehre)
I was most caught in the discussion of how in Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell, an angel shows him the Abyss and leaves him there, but as soon as the angel leaves, so does the vision. It existed only so long as the angel was there to enforce his ideas on Blake. (Noelle Schmidt)
“The construction of meaning is always relational.” The fault of organized religion is that it separates the soul from the body, devaluing the body. This notion was refuted by Blake as well as the modern day feminist witch movement. (Celeste Colborne)
If ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are subjective, can they ever be definite? (Anonymous)
So lovely to hear everyone rave about how fabulous their partners for the Cemetery Project were. After all, we’re studying the humanities, so it’s always great to hear about human interactions. (Maryam Golafshani)
I was not familiar with William Blake’s prints. It was a pleasant surprise to learn I have used an artistic medium that he used as well. I am inspired to go home and draw something! (Alexis Pronovost)
I wonder how often meaning plays a role when families decide names. (James Gerber)
Enjoyed the conversation surrounding dichotomies. (Emma Croll-Baehre)
Dichotomies—nature or nurture? A social construct? If we are now emerging from our conceptualized state of mind, would we not all be put to use based on our capability? Based on what actioned would produce the greatest utilitarian outcome? It is… debatable. (Sara Dhurjon)
Who was Marie Antoinette? Is she really someone to be empathized with, or is it just Stefan Zweig’s narrative that plays on our ability to empathize, as any tragic narrative does? Also, it’s so interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on their Cemetery Projects—everything from their experiences touring Woodland Cemetery to getting passionate about research to navigating new partnerships. Definitely one of my favourite projects of the year! (Leanne Hord)

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