Experiencing the concert – kallisti: Queen of the Ether

People are sometimes interested in words that do not have single meaning: Kallisti is a Greek word that has its rich mythical origin imprinted in “the apple of discord”. Ether, for most individuals, represents the endless sky and universe; for organic chemist, it is a group of substance that was named for its anesthetic properties, creating alternative states of consciousness. Out of curiosity, I went to hear the concert, kallisti: Queen of the Ether, to explore how the performers synthesize mystery into their performance. I found out this concert was indeed filled with riddles. Its exclusive use of female singers reshaped my perception of them in the field of singing. Its experimental style also gave me insight into appreciating distinct music forms.

CPMC Concert

This concert took place in Conrad Prebys Concert Hall. The room was filled with irregular firm wood walls, creating unique effect to resonate the sounds. The platform was big enough to contain an orchestra of one hundred people. Near the front row, the platform also spans out to expand our vision, making the concert like a cinema. It is also noteworthy to mention that the comfortable seats were made of dark red color, hardly interfering with my focus on the performance.

One of the most interesting aspect of this concert is its lack of instrumental accompaniment. Except for the percussion that only appeared in third song, other things were merely the female voices. This setting makes the concert like a pure A Capella show. Though a bit disappointed at first, because I myself was fond of songs that have beautiful melodies played by instruments, I was progressively intrigued by the great virtuosity. I realized that the singers’ musical skills were the spotlight of the concert, and instrumentation would only hinder me to appreciate their skills.

Indeed, each performance had its characteristic virtuosity. The first song, Vive faville, seemed to toy with quietness. It featured four sopranos that has their own low-volume weird voices such as wind-blowing, chit-chatting, and pure singing. They often sung by themselves, with occasional unifying harmony and complete silence. The second piece, Sequenza III, was sung by an omnipotent solo singer. Besides her display of unstable emotions, from mummering and sighing to laughing and yelling, she also synchronized actions into her singing, thereby depicting a vivid person who was easily influenced by different events. The third performance, Puksanger/Lockrop, seemed like two country women, standing in both sides of a mountain, having a worldly conversation. There, the male percussionist helps to set up the grand scene. The fourth song, Vishentens lov, sounded like a group of scholars trying to answer philosophical questions. The fifth, Six Songs for Sirens, was set in a more celebratory tone. Afterwards, the encore Do Not Fear the Darkness lightened up the atmosphere, comforting me with the softening lyric, which is its title.

kallisti brochure

The program provided a pamphlet that was helpful for understanding the music. Even if it does not translate all the lyrics into English, I could confidently anticipate how the songs go down. The director of this concert, Susan Narucki, also aided my perception by telling stories. She also acted as the conductor when she was singing, which I thought helped her better direct the group.

From above experience, I learned that female voice, when played along, could go beyond the stereotype, and show many skills that I did not know before. Besides its commonly believed smooth nature, the voice could mimic an object perfectly, change its volume variably, shout out words recklessly, and do something usually done by men. The concert, by showcasing music pieces that can be described as different art forms, also broadened my vision of music. Not all beautiful music requires instrumental accompaniment or at least acoustics. In fact, as can be traced back to Hildegard’s work, only using female voices could be strong enough to vibrate people’s feelings.

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Aside

Assessment of Group Work

To what degree does switching groupmates at the beginning of AWP 2B benefit the class in general? At this time, I can confidently answer this question. In this term, I participated in a freshly new group consisting of Oscar, Shuli, and me. While I, along with Shuli, was heartbroken for Flory’s departure, I found out that working in the new group still facilitated my growth as a writer, offering me more diverse perspectives about writing and the humor conversation.

Our group worked well in this quarter. As the last quarter’s tradition, we regularly met in Geisel Library to brainstorm our ideas. Because everyone strove for excellence in writing, no one was relaxed during the group meetings; we all shared our thoughts and disclosed each other’s mistakes. We also did our groupwork in a timely manner, providing feedback through discussion board before deadlines. Because we developed good relationships, we groupmates were also willing to help each other. As a result, the revised essays we produced were more outstanding than other groups.

However, some pitfalls were present in our group. Because of our lack of comprehension of English writing convention, we seldom discuss about grammar and style problem, which could have been resolved if we regularly consult reliable sources so that everyone in our group was able to give constructive feedback regarding grammar and style. Also, during group meeting, we were sometimes distracted by things outside of our class. If we focused only on AWP instead of extracurriculars, then our group meeting could be more efficient.

Besides these pitfalls, I contributed to this group a lot. In terms of writing, I took a particularly good stand about critical reading, use of evidence, and ethical citation. Based on my relatively accurate capture of different writers’ ideas, I could correct my groupmates’ pitfalls in demonstrating the reading materials. In addition, I helped them with using these articles as evidence for their arguments. By accurately presenting and using these articles, their essays seemed to be more sounding, too. Although Oscar and Shuli did not have serious citation problems throughout, I still reminded them of ethical citation when reading their papers, suggesting some places where they could cite better, like italicizing TV show and adding parentheses to an episode. Despite writing, I also provided technical supports such as reserving study rooms and drawing the conversation map.

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Other groupmates’ contributions are also unneglectable, and they helped me a lot in writing. Shuli is self-aware, often looking for help when she is unsure about her writing. She did not have perfect first strike, but her revision and reflection were thoughtful. She was also observant, being able to raise interesting questions and advance clear and claims. I learned from her that patiently working in weak spots could really pay off, and being vigilant with the conversation could season my papers, further engaging the readers. Oscar might not be very good at writing, but he tried hard to revise his works. Though sometimes having difficulty with the course, he dared to speaks out his voice, bravely asking for our help. Besides his direct request to look at his formal control, I also regularly spotted grammatical issues in his papers. By scrutinizing these grammar and style problems, I could reflect myself to ensure I did not have these mistakes, either.

Additionally, thanks to former groupmate Flory, I further developed my mindset of thinking during this quarter. Indeed, besides working with the current group, I also communicated with her to exchange our ideas. From her paper I saw that she can transfer her complicated thought system into a concise essay that engages me. Other classmates who worked with me or not were also appreciated. They demonstrated their diverse thinking in the subject matter.

Discovery Draft: To what degree should we trust political humor?

In this essay I will raise a question and find a way through answering it. Many passages address political humor’s credibility issues: “Is comedy reliable?”. Some writers say “yes” because it “unveils the truth”, brings different perspectives, and some say “no” since it has “straw men”. So, I think “To what degree should we rely on political humor for information?” will be a good level-three question to consider about.

To begin with, I need someone to introduce the broad context. Ellis is a good choice. He uses a three-way dance metaphor to illustrate how politicians, media (mainstream and comedy), and the public interact with each other. While the public appreciate that mainstream media present politicians’ “spin” and “obfuscation”, comedy unveils the truth behind politicians and mainstream media’ “dance move”. In this point, I agree with Ellis in that he shows politicians and mainstream media are sometimes untrustworthy, and comedy is an authentic source of information. I can surround my main argument with this quote: “Whereas politicians wield humor in efforts to manipulate and spin, critical comedians, contrarily, seek to unmask, parade, and ridicule those efforts […] in speaking truth to power, these comic vigilantes provide us with an important – and otherwise absent and/or neglected – political service” (Ellis 154). This claim clearly distinguishes comedy from mainstream media, making it more truthful than news. But I would like to ask Ellis, does truth corresponds to reliability? [Comedy gives truth, but truth may not mean reliable.]

Marche notices that people are living in a post-truth generation in which they believe more in emotionally appealing information. He asserts political comedy and fake news are both emotionally appealing, so truth does not matter much to reliability. Still, this assertion agrees with O’Hara and Farsad that comedy, by making people laugh, can be trusted. What threatens comedy’s reliability, however, is that “it delights in tearing down institutions but is useless at constructing them” (Marche 165). This shows comedy creates bubbles, and discourages self-reflection. In other words, comedy only cherry-pick something worth laughing, so political humor may fail to be reliable if people do not get the information they need. But does it? Do we need all the uplifting good news? [Comedy gives truth and is emotionally appealing, but it may not give comprehensive information that we require.]

While thinking about the question, Lopez similarly claims that political humor has straw men and can “delegitimize the opposition” (Lopez 157). Lopez discerns comedy has such a logical fallacy that makes it more incredible. This fits with superiority theory, in which it addresses that comedians aim at things they oppose and make them appear laughable. Jon Stewart fall into this category; he derides things and take no responsibilities for them. However, I am skeptical about Lopez’s claim that political humor is always about delegitimizing. Mary O’Hara says, “it’s a relentelessly bleak and far from complete explanation of the purpose of humor” (O’Hara 105). Lopez and Marche both fail to address that Aziz Ansari uses his comedy to “build” racial equality. Besides, while some political comedies involve too much violation, the public themselves can assess political humor’s reliability: “If we find a joke offensive, we protest by not laughing at it” (O’Hara 107). Jon Stewart surely has a lot of audiences who enjoy laughing at his jokes, but he does require everyone to laugh; he just give the information that is critical of the times being. Olga Khazan also claims that “You can’t make a joke without inserting a wicked twist, and you can’t be a comedian without holding a small amount of power, for even a short period of time, over the audience” (Khazan 113). Comedy needs such a “dark element” to be reliable. Lopez also mistakenly cite Jon Stewart about his promotion of cynicism, so I encourage Lopez to understand more about Jon Stewart before writing about him. [Comedy gives truth, is emotionally appealing, and gives information worth thinking; it deals with critical issues; using straw men is OK, as long it does not offend too much.]

After dealing with counterarguments, I would like to strengthen my claims: Despite giving reliable information and making people laugh, comedy can also change the situation by integrating, unpacking, and bringing people with different perspectives. Samantha Bee is a prime example for this. She uses a lot of authentic sources to show the truth behind and people’s comments about the women’s march. By carefully selecting and interpreting the relevant sources, Samantha Bee engages the audiences to think: Why women’s march will happen? To what degree should we credit women’s rights for march, etc. She unites women and make them reconsider about their purpose of marching: They should march for women’s right, not for treats. In this sense Samantha Bee is not only reliable in terms of information; she is also reliable for being a sensible speaker for women’s right. [Political comedy is true, emotionally appealing, gives critical information, and can encourage the public to change the society.]

So here I come up with a tentative claim: While telling jokes that may fail to be logical, political humor is reliable because it unveils the truth, and encourages people to change the society by playing with [the most critical aspect of] social issues.

I think this claim is so far clear, address the main arguments, and shortly summarizes the conversation that I want to enter. On the class day I will discuss with my instructor, mentor, and groupmates to see if there’s anything that can be improved.

Works Cited

Ellis, Iain. “Political Humor and Its Diss Contents.” Pop Matters, 14 Oct. 2012.www.popmatters.com/column/163983-political-humor-and-its-diss-contents/P1/. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 150-155.Lopez, Ramon. “Why Jon Stewart is Bad for America.” The Federalist, 5 Dec. 2014, http://www.thefederalist.com/2014/12/05/why-jon-stewart-is-bad-for-america/. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings, pp. 150-155.

Khazan, Olga. “The Dark Psychology of Being a Good Comedian.” Atlantic, 27 Feb. 2014,www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/the-dark-psychology-of-being-a-good-comedian/284104/. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 112-115.

Lopez, Ramon. “Why Jon Stewart is Bad for America.” The Federalist, 5 Dec. 2014, http://www.thefederalist.com/2014/12/05/why-jon-stewart-is-bad-for-america/. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 156-162.

Marche, Stephen. “The Left Has a Post-Truth Problem, Too. It’s Called Comedy.” LA Times, 6 Jan. 2017, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-marche-left-fake-news-problem-comedy-20170106-story.html. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore, 2017, pp. 164-165.

O’Hara, Mary. “A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016,www.mosaicscience.com/story/comedy-humour-jokes-political-satire-taboo. Rpt. in The Essential Guide to Analytical Writing with Humor Readings. UC San Diego Bookstore,2017, pp. 104-111.

I strive for excellence

2017 has so much memory for me that I even cannot recount clearly. This year, I got progressed from high school to university. I made a lot of new friends, and happened to boost my thoughts a little bit to a higher level. Nonetheless, this year means a lot for me, and I would thank this year for setting a milestone of my success in the future.

Speaking of success, I should mention my major academic interest. Undoubtedly, I should have done many things to pursue it. For example, I studied organic chemistry for the first quarter. This course is different from my high school in which it puts much emphasis on mechanisms. At first glance, these stuffs seem to need rote memorization. But as I grasped the real nature inside those mechanisms, I even do not have to look at my cheet sheet to come up with a reaction sequence. Of course, I cannot let my academic interest disappoint me, and I feel joyful to overcome the challenge of the so-called “difficult” course.

Starting from my campus life in UCSD, I also continued my love for music. I brought my violin here and got to experiment on more types of music. I also knew how to make beautiful songs from Garageband. These awesome experiences reduce my stress, and I am happy to go on my music journey.

What’s more? I got a satisfying GPA from the first quarter (I am not posting my actual GPA in case you hate me). This means a good start for my college life. I knew that many students are adjusting to the college mode, and even some straight A students are doomed. This is understandable because achieving a high GPA in college is really more difficult than in high school. I got intimidating experience with one of my courses, but thankfully I saved myself in the final. Now, I feel lucky because the result demonstrates that I adjusted to the learning habit really fast.

I am expecting to do more big things in the next year. This year is more amazaing than the last one, but I should keep going on. I got to have first lab course in my life, and probably an research internship for the first time. But I will strive for excellence to maintain my good academic standing, and make my pursuit keep surprising me. So many of my wonderful friends are succeeding, so am I.

2018, here I come.

Aside

Reflection of group work

In this term, my group members Flory and Shuli collaborate well to accomplish tasks. They also help me to become a better writer because they can, as readers of my essays, discover the mistakes that I often neglect. I am still impressed by the many times we met in the group study room in Geisel Library to brainstorm ideas and craft our group works. Among the group works, drawing the conversation map is the first and the memorable one. In that meeting, we discussed our understanding of the course readings, and established a conversation among these articles. Shuli summarized the main arguments of each passage, and Flory and I made connections of different writers. After looking at Flory’s arranged notes of what we said, I put the contents into a conversation map.

Besides this first attempt to finish a group work, we do group project in a similar fashion. We would read the materials and discuss how to present them. Then, we make sure our presentation is sounding by practicing it. We will point out some mistakes if we notice a groupmate’s speech is not convincing. In this way, our group works well because everyone is engaged in the group project and has gripped his or her stances.

For essay revision, we normally give advice to each other through group discussion board. After looking at someone’s paper, we can point out its strengths and weaknesses and give suggestions to revise the essay. We reply to each other’s comment to ensure everyone has provided understandable and helpful feedback. If a groupmate does not give feedback timely, we will notice him or her through WeChat, an app that can display instant messages. This work mode is efficient since we all believe we are responsible for each other’s wellness in writing.

Of course, in the field of writing, I particularly contribute to the group about essays’ citation and organization. I am confident about these two aspects: I always cite ethically, and I regularly scrutinize my essay organization to ensure the transition is well-done. As a result, I can readily give advice to my groupmates’ mistakes about citation and organization. I also provide some technical supports: reserving group study rooms in library, making PowerPoint and video clips for the group presentations.

Still, I am concerned about misreading. Because of lack of common ground, we cannot necessarily comprehend some materials covered in the readings. When this comes to revision work, we may give incorrect suggestions for each other’s papers. For me, this will, indeed, be confusing because sometimes I think my groupmates’ advice on my analysis may be misleading. On the other hand, my groupmates will not trust me if my suggestions are not helpful. To resolve this issue, we may go back to the readings and discuss the part’s meanings, google the misunderstood part, or ask our instructor Dr. Gocsik for clarification.

Overall, I am honorable to be grouped with Flory and Shuli. They are thoughtful and see things in different perspectives. I am looking forward to complete more difficult tasks with them in the next term.

Comedy Presentation Plan

Our group will present our support for Dave Chappelle to be invited to the university. We will summarize his comedy first to ensure our classmates know what Chappelle is talking about. Then, by providing three reasons, we will analyze how his jokes work well. Among the three reasons, we will also provide counterarguments of Samantha Bee and Aziz Ansari to explain why the two comedians should not be invited.

Summary: In the stand up, Chappelle first shortly discusses Trump’s election and infer to him as “internet troll”. He mentions the riots in Oregon, which are for protesting Trump’s election. Using the event as a transition, he jokes about black people that watch the riots are saying amateurs. The joke is based on stereotype people have toward blacks that they are violent and are good at creating riots. After introducing the stereotype, he argues against it through jokes about Shooting (at Pulse, a gay night-club, a repressed gay proclaim loyalty to ISIS before he shot) and wu tang clan (Chappelle says that if he has sex with a girl and shout out wu tang does not mean he is in wu tang clan). Through these two jokes, Chappelle demonstrates that even though some of the blacks are violent, not all of them are. After explaining stereotype toward blacks, Chappelle states black lives matters and argues for African American rights. At the end, Chappelle appeals to “give Trump a chance” even though he might not be a good president in protester’s view, for the same reason that white people may not be in favor of blacks have given them equal rights and should treat them equally.

Reason 1: Most of the students are liberal and Dave considers different political opinions. Chapelle first builds common ground between for his white audiences to stand with him. Knowing most of the audiences are protesters of Trump, Chappelle describes Trump as “Internet troll”(1’29’’) in the very beginning of comedy to let audiences know that they are all against Trump. As a university in the California, most of students in the campus are liberal and is against Trump. Chapelle offers the common ground that the students can stand on and engage with the joke.

He also will not offend conservative people (even though they are minority in campus, we do care about their feeling). He claims to “give Trump a chance” at the end of his comedy that shows his support for Trump.

So that is also the reason why we don’t choose Samantha Bee. Because Bee is totally against Trump. Her political opinion and radical attitude towards Trump may offend some conservative students.

Reason 2: Reduce university students’ prejudice toward the black. In the university, sometimes students will also hold stereotype towards black students. Chappelle’s comedy show reduces stereotype they have towards blacks and comfort the black students.

In the comedy show, Chappelle makes a joke to illustrate his claim that not all of the black people are violent and not all of the violence is done by blacks (2:34-3:00).

The joke tells about the shooting event: a gay made a shooting at Pulse. Chappelle makes people laugh at incongruity theory. Based on the common ground people have that ISIS is not gay, Chappelle jokes about ISIS using Grinder, a social networking app for gay, that makes audiences burst out laughing. By pointing out the incongruence, Audiences accept that shooter is not ISIS when they are laughing. Through the joke, Chappelle demonstrates that even though ISIS has done many shootings, not all shootings are done by ISIS, even though some black people are violent, not all violence is done by the black. So, people shouldn’t connect black people with violence together.

Then, Chappelle talks about Obama to claim that black people can also be friendly and respected. All the audience applaud and cheer up when he said Obama has done a good job. (pictures) By reminding the audience of former president Obama as a black, Chappell successfully makes people aware that black people can also become the one everyone admired.

So, the comedy show and the university share the same value in racial equality. When Chappelle’s show is brought to the university, it will be welcomed because his joke reduces the stereotype students have towards the black and will be aware that black people are not that kind of people who only do violence.

Reason 3: Offend people appropriately. Chappelle offends policemen by creating jokes about them. But this offense is appropriate because it only refutes policemen’s discrimination. So, this does not violate university’s principles of community. It also defends black people’s rights, which is embraced by the university.

A commonsense in the world is that people’s life matters more than animals. That’s why policemen shoot a gorilla in a local zoo when it threatens a child. However, Dave Chappelle challenges policemen by saying black people will be in “gorilla costume” to protect themselves (3:56-4:01). This joke implies that police cares more about gorilla than black people.

Then, Dave Chappelle posits that policemen usually shoot innocent black people because they think black people are violent. Though the policemen respond Blue Lives Matter to defend their shooting behavior, Chappelle tells a joke that makes the slogan nonsensical (4:24-4:46).

In this joke, Chappelle uses incongruity theory to argue for Black Lives Matter. He first speaks for the congruence for the two “Life Matters” slogans, then he makes the audience realize that Black and Blue are virtually different: Black is a congenital skin color, but Blue is an external suit. Chappelle shows that if he can take off the skin color, he will not be black, and he is “out of the game”. But that’s impossible. Only policemen can take off their suit to quit being blue. So, Chappelle sensibly offends policemen by deriding their reasoning for shooting black people. He also testifies that police should stop hurt them because they are black.

On the other hand, Aziz Ansari does not address offense aptly. Although both Ansari and Chappelle support equal rights, Ansari exclusively argues against white people, since only they can perform racism. This offense is not appropriate in terms of university standards because he may offend white students.

 

Work Cited

“Dave Chappelle Stand-Up Monologue – SNL.” YouTube, uploaded by Saturday Night Live, 13 Nov. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–IS0XiNdpk&t=227s.

Status

Response to Instructor Comments

Dear Doctor Karen Gocsik,

I am grateful for your comprehensive comments on my 1N paper. You point out strengths that I should keep, and weaknesses I should work on: The motivating question is inspiring, and the citation and body organization fulfill the basic requirements for college writing. However, to make the essay exceptional, I should understand and analyze the readings effectively at the first place. Without the understanding, the essay will fail to demonstrate a sounding conversation. I also need to be aware of the larger conversation, especially in the introduction. By articulating the broader context, the readers will know how this conversation makes sense in a smaller scale. Moreover, I should be careful about English writing conventions. I make some word choice errors even after revision. Hence, to refine the essay’s expression, making it more understandable, the principles of grammars and styles are still worth revisiting.

To revise this summary and synthesis essay later, I plan to go back to the course readings to make sure I can demonstrate what the authors contribute to the conversation. Then, by comprehending these readings to a higher level, I will check the grammar and style principles, and eliminate inapt words. I will try to illustrate the context of conversation so that the essay will makes impact to the readers, even to the society.

Response to O’Hara’s A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?

It’s enjoyable to read through your article as it proceeds through a series of argumentation supporting the positive roles played by comedy. The beginning of the entire essay catches my eyes as it describes a vivid conversation between Maeve Higgins and Jon Ronson, who were ready for their comedy performance. The discussion of the effect of humor, of course, started from the motivating questions: “What is humor for? And can humor, as comedy, change how we feel, what we think or even what we do?” After integrating the two comedians’ thoughts about comedy, these motivating questions suitably set up an inquiry in which you, along with other guest stakeholders, together come up with a number of insightful ideas that make the essay basically persuasive to us readers.
The first aspect I think convincing is the various perspectives you considered to make the argument wholesome. There are many people with different occasions that see comedy in distinctive ways. For example, Negin Farsad, a writer, celebrates comedy “as a platform for advancing social justice”. He focuses on the social role humor plays in making the world a better place. Scott Weems, a neuroscientist, thinks about comedy as “a form of psychological processing, a coping mechanism that helps people to deal with complex and contradictory messages” This explanation to humor is more scientific in nature for it stems from academic research studies. Stephen K. Amos, who professes in being a comedian, gives another different interpretation of humor: “I don’t do things for shock value, I do stuff that matters to me.” As an individual with experiences in telling jokes, he knows more about the pragmatic use of comedy. There are, still, a lot of other people with different vocations that contribute their own ideas based on what they observe. Nevertheless, there is a consensus among them that posits humor as a benefactor to the entire humanity.
The other facet about your argument that attracts my attention is the intricate connections among the beginning, body paragraphs, and the ending. They all contain several aspects that are interwoven together. For example, Josie Long said “Satire is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”. This part connects to what Higgins said previously, “Laughter is a lubricant and is expected, and it’s really hard not to do it.” The two sayings share certain characteristics as if when we begin to read the article, it has implicitly conveyed the message that comedy gives people happiness and get them away from troubles, though Long emphasizes humor in a social scale, while Higgins thinks about humor in a more personal way. In the end, the saying of Jamie Masada also retouches the previous arguments. “It’s so fundamental to us. We need comedy like air to breathe… Making someone laugh is the greatest power any human being can have!” These simply expressed sentences illustrate the essence of humor.
Certainly, there’s something I am confused about your passage, noticing the identities of the “guests” you invited. I would like to question why you chose the stakeholders who have ideas corresponding to yours. In other words, I wonder what is the evidence beyond your selection of the opinions that support your argument. I see the ideas you referred to are all from at least somewhat renowned individuals, and all of them have some experiences related to comedy or humor. Can there be any stakeholders that are not greatly titled? If there are any people, who, in fact, do not devote much time in comedy career, but have similarly positive voices toward humor, I think your essay will be more persuasive to those who do not have much understanding about the relevant topic.

 

Work Cited

O’Hara, Mary. “A serious business: what can comedy do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016, mosaicscience.com/story/comedy-humour-jokes-political-satire-taboo.

Aside

Response to one of my annotations

In the second page of Mary O’Hara’s A Serious Business: What Can Comedy Do?, I annotated on the sixth paragraph which starts with “One of the most enduring theories…”. I am curious about how she will support her view using this counterargument, and I asked, “Why does she put this paragraph in this place?” After reading through the text, I would like to address this question: Simply put, the author places this paragraph of weaker counterargument to foil the massive stronger arguments. To make the readers more intrigued after raising two questions about humor, she gives the background of research into humor and then directly points out the unconvincing idea from the philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who thinks humor is malicious. By contrast, in the later discussion about the purpose of humor, the author refers to a lot of contemporary ideas that claim there are positive effects from humor. Those points are much more reassuring than the contrary so that the author can persuade the readers of how she views about humor. For example, the author cites Scott Weems’ book saying, “essentially, that humor is a form of psychological processing, a coping mechanism that helps people to deal with complex and contradictory messages”. This part makes connection to what Higgins said previously, “Laughter is a lubricant and is expected, and it’s really hard not to do it.”

 

Work Cited

O’Hara, Mary. “A serious business: what can comedy do?” Mosaic, 23 Aug. 2016, mosaicscience.com/story/comedy-humour-jokes-political-satire-taboo.

I’m really here.

It’s been half a year since I wrote the most recent article. Unfortunately, I got rejected by my first-choice. But, still, one of my favorite universities, UCSD, selected me with a pair of wise eyes. I am here, in the most comfortable city in US, to pursue my four (or three) years’ career as a biochemistry student, and experience a lot of wonderful people and stuffs.

The last half year was busy and fulfilling. During the decision-waiting period I prepared for British and USA Biology Olympics reading Campbell Biology (That’s a great textbook!) and got the Gold Prize just right. (Though it might be a little cheaty because some lower-grade students are competing with me.) Not much inflicted by my applied universities’ admission decisions, I continued studying at Shenzhen Middle School and passed AP Psychology and Statistics exams with scores of 5. I traveled to some great sceneries in Guilin and Nanchang. These two cities were beautiful. Being a volunteer in International Botanical Congress, I made some friends, listened to lectures given by famous figures in botanical research, and knew some updated news about plant sciences. Besides, the summer vacation was the first time I earned money by having a job. I taught some students about basic STEM courses – Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology personally. I realized how arduous teachers could be: preparing for courses, checking students’ homeworks, and even solving academic and disciplinary conflicts. Nevertheless, these students were also hard-working and I could feel them trying to get track of what they study. These new knowledges were really strange and tough for them, but they can still grab the fundamental concepts. That’s statisfying.

At the present moment, the account should be reactivated, or I will feel guilty for my dear interested readers. Now I have come to the UCSD campus, and it’s time to start a new life, and here are something I’m looking forward to:

  1. Keep and refine my living and learning habits. Now I normally sleep for seven to eight hours per day, and studying normally won’t stress me. So after arriving here, I would still persist the sleeping habit. I don’t know how hard the courses will be, but I will do the best works I can.
  2. Make some foreign friends. An international student might ought to accomplish this if he or she is coming to such a university in US, so do I. There are certainly obstacles, like differences in cultures and ways of thinking. And I don’t speak English so perfectly. Still, I will try.
  3. Be fulfilled. This is not easy. I cannot do anything out of myself. There are lots of interactions between individuals, and not everyone wants to collaborate with me. But I think my friendly and cheerful nature will work.

Wish I have good times during tomorrow’s orientation!