Sammy

I can't believe that I spaced blogging about the death of a beloved pet. Better late than never, here is the saga of Sam:

My family got our schnauzer/poodle mix named Sam when I was two years old. Since I was so young when we got him, I could not remember not having him. He was probably one of the nicest and smartest dogs you will ever see. My sister and I used to dress him up in baby clothes and push him around the neighborhood in a stroller. And he LET us! Talk about docile. As far as smart, we taught him to sit in the corner when he was bad, just like my sister and I had to do. We would say, "Go to the corner," and he would go to the same corner in our house and sit facing the corner until someone told him he could come out. Very cute.

When I was a sophomore in high school, Sam really started to show his age. He got a lot slower and started having muscle seizures every now and then. We just made sure to be careful around him and we kept a very close eye on him all the time. At the beginning of my junior, he got really sick. He could not eat or walk very far on his own. Sam had always been a dignified dog, and we knew that we owed it to him to put him down with dignity. (okay now I'm crying. There is definitely truth in what Dr. Sexson says about writing about tough experiences). We made an appointment with the vet, and she came to our house the next weekend. My sister came home from college for the weekend to say goodbye. That morning, we made Sam a HUGE breakfast: eggs, sausage, all his favorite human foods plus a huge candy bar. We took a ton of pictures with him, and we were as ready as we could be when the vet got there. My sister held him when the vet gave him the injection, and then Sam went to sleep for the last time. One of the most dignified dogs I have ever seen died with the same poise with which he carried himself his entire life.

My whole life, Sam had been around whenever I came home. He was a staple in my life that had changed so much up until that point. I never knew how much love, trust, and energy I put into my relationship with him until he was gone. When I was a melodramatic child, I used to vent to him. When I was around seven I went through a phase where I had sleep anxiety and nightmares, and he stayed with me every night to calm me. Losing him was just as hard as losing a family member, if not harder. I still miss him and think about him all the time. I will never find another companion like Sam, but at least I was lucky enough to have him for a brief chapter of my life.
I always get very (probably too) excited when my classes begin to overlap in the subjects they cover. That is not uncommon for me, however, because I get over-excited about, well, everything in life. The fact that I am taking Shakespeare and Classical Foundations in the same semester means that I feel that excitement almost everyday. I always knew that Shakespeare largely drew from the classics for his plays, but it's another story altogether to actually read the translations of the classics (Like the Trojan Women or Metamorphosis) right alongside the text of Shakespeare. The connections are not only in the subject, but also in the language and structure. So beautiful.

SO, why am I waiting until now to talk about my excitement? Well, I am even more excited because just recently I got to throw another classes content into the mix. That's right, I hit a virtual trifecta of literary gold, and loved every minute of it. Before spring break we spoke about the connection between Philomela of Metamorphosis and Lavinia of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. That alone was enough to spark my interest (Titus Andronicus will probably be my first read this summer). However, I read the book for my studies in Emergent Lit. final project, Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell, over the break. Though I already knew it was about Shakespeare, I was also intrigued that one of the central concepts of the book was one stage direction from Titus Andronicus: "Enter Lavinia, her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out, and ravished"

I, out of curiosity, googled the connection between Titus Andronicus and Metamorphosis, and learned a little bit more:

Both women, Lavinia and Philomela, are exceedingly beautiful. Their beauty offers them some power in their society, but it also puts them in great danger. It is their beauty that leads to their rape. Both women speak out against their attacks, which was probably very difficult because of the status of women in both stories. However, though both women's tongues were cut out, the characters in Titus Andronicus are aware of the Metamorhposes and cut Lavinia's hands off as well. More to come later. I have to go to class

Here are photos of each character with their "savior". Lavinia with her father Titus and Philomela with her sister Procne

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One-Minute Metamorphosis

Okay so I am first off just going to say that I need to get out of my non-blogging rut. You would think that this being my second semester with Dr. Sexson I would know. Hmm...

Okay now that that is off my chest (I feel a little bit better about my delinquency. actually i don't). On to Ovid!

I can already tell that I am going to really like Metamorphosis, or at least the stories we will read in class. Forget fairy tales, I will read my kids Tales from Ovid, much more useful and enjoyable. Though now that I think about it, most fairy tales are mythic in themselves, aren't they?

Okay, back on track. I somehow managed to get the shortest tale in the book I think: The Birth of Hercules. Hercules' mother, Alcemene had a very hard time delivering him because, being father by Jove, he was very large. But that wasn't the only reason. Juno seems to be a big bitch, and she was jealous of Alcemene. Therefore, Juno bribed the goddess of birth, Lucina, to block Hercules' birth and make it difficult for Lucina. Lucina agonized for seven days and seven nights, while Lucina sat outside the birthing room with her legs crossed and fingers intertwined, preventing the birth. However, Alcemene's quick-witted servant saw Lucina sitting like that told Lucina to rejoice and congratulate the mother on giving birth to a baby boy. Lucina jumped up in disbelief that Alcemene gave birth, thus uncrossing her arms and legs and allowing Hercules to be delivered. Lucina then turned Alcemene's servant, Galanthis into a weasel for tricking her.

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While browsing Youtube, I found this clip from a PBS special about female power and female roles in relation to Lysistrata. Lysistrata may have been unrealistic in its time, but its views and values are still so relevant in male/female relations today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM3dLTMMWD0


**Also, does anyone know how to post the video directly onto my page? Is it even possible, or can I only post a link to it?**
In the note at the beginning of The Symposium, the translator, Benjamin Jowett, mentions of Plato and his time, "his writings reflect his twin concerns of reform in both the city-state and in men's ideas about the whole nature of reality. There could not be one without the other." This alludes to the notion that the health of a state determines its creative capacity. A culture cannot produce metaphysical. anagogic poetry and literature if the state itself is in a period of disarray. This was interesting to me because I instantly thought of Plato's Republic. Plato is a philosopher very concerned with politics and the ideal republic. Though I have never read The Republic, I find it a very interesting idea that the creative minds of a country cannot function properly if the country itself isn't functioning properly. I don't know yet how I feel about that notion, because some of the best literature in history has been the result of wars. This idea that the translator suggests does seem to fit with Plato's view of politics, however.