Blog 19: Analysis a passage (critical source)

“They talked about her as if she weren’t sitting in the wing chair, a few feet away. They talked about her in front of her as if she were deaf. They talked about her, in front of her, without including her, as if she has Alzheimer’s disease” (225)
This passage is from the book Still Alice which I used a lot in my essay. To give you a quick idea what is going on, Alice is a Harvard professor and a research scientist and devoted her whole life to get to this point in time. She is in her late forties and has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. With this said I chose this passage because I felt that it included everything that represents memory and identity lost. It was her husband and her sister who was talking about her and that she needs to quit her job and other things in her life. In this passage she disassociates herself from realty and uses the word her instead of me. She feels that everything is taking that makes up who she is, is being taking away from her and she does not have a choice. But yet she only has early signs and is still capable of making choices for herself. Reading this passage instantly made me just sad and depressed it really hit me hard that the fact she didn’t name herself like she was no longer living.

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revised proposal

My focus for this paper will be Alzheimer’s in literature and film. I’m going to use a couple of text’s and a film that incorporates the different stages of Alzheimer’s. The text that I plan on using are Still Alice By Lisa Genova which is about Alice Howland – Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children – sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer’s. Alice’s slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. Genova’s debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels – a slowly building terror. Another text I will be using Alix Kates Shulman’s To Love What Is, is a memoir throughout her life but discovered their answers only in the aftermath of her husband’s traumatic brain injury. Seventy-five-year-old Scott York had been her beloved for decades when, in a secluded Maine cottage on a summer night in 2004, he sustained the near-fatal nine-foot fall that would radically change their lives. After months of hospitalization, he was released into Alix’s care. She had hoped they would be able to resume their old routine, an active life in Manhattan, filled with creative work, friends, and family. But he was clearly altered, in ways that tested her courage and her devotion to the Scott she had relished since she was a teenager. Weaving together highly charged scenes from the distant past with the galvanizing events of the near present, To Love What Is brings us a bittersweet yet inspiring perspective on enduring love(reading group guides). Although To Love what is does not focus on Alzheimer’s, both texts have the ground of lost identities and how it affects their personal relationships.
My research question will be how do these two texts represent the relationship between memory and identity? Do they treat is similarly or differently? One text is dealing with a disease and the other text is dealing with an injury that sustained memory loss. In my essay I am going to show the similarities and differences they have with one another. Professor Tougaw has suggested a text and a Daniel Schacter’s book Searching for Memory. My motive for this essay is to capture the affects of identity and memory loss from Alzheimer’s and to see if other diseases, injuries have similarities to the disease. The way they affect your family, friends, and your life long partner. How this disease shapes your life from before and after.

Comparing the novel Still Alice and To Love What is to Daniel Schacters book Searching for memory on the various stages of Alzheimer’s. I’m not sure where the (Angles or methods assignment is) but I think the overall subject for this essay would be identity, in both texts their identity is gone. So I think starting there would be a good idea.
The sources that I would use are the Memoir TO love What is, the novel Still Alice, Daniel Schacters book searching for memory on the various stages of Alzheimer’s. A case study “Narrative And Identity In Alzheimer’s Disease” that focuses on on how persons with AD use their remaining linguistic and cognitive resources, together with non-verbal aspects of the storytelling event, as resources in communicating and negotiating their identities in everyday encounters. The results of the analysis, focusing on the telling of the stories, indicate that other aspects than the temporal and referential organization of the narratives has become important resources for the teller in establishing and negotiating identity. The telling of temporally discontinuous narratives does not appear to affect or disrupt the teller’s experience of some sort of a continuous sense of self and identity but are probably more a problem to persons without this kind of diagnosis. Being afflicted by AD most likely leads persons to try to invent and use alternative communicative recourses in order to sustain factors like their senses of self and identities. For researchers this makes it important to try to base their analysis on the actual organization of the talk and to focus on the functions of various responses and utterances in the interaction. And Self And Other: The Importance Of Social Interaction And Social Relationships In Shaping The Experience Of Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease.” Various factors influence how individuals experience illness. Especially important, however, is the reaction of others whose response shapes the meaning of the illness for the person who is ill, and the impact it will have on her or his sense of self. Adopting a symbolic interactionist perspective, and drawing on data obtained from in-depth interviews conducted with nine individuals living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, this paper examines how others’ reactions to and treatment of persons living with the condition can influence how they experience dementia. The findings reveal that the majority of the participants did not believe others’ treatment of them had substantially changed, nor did most express the level of concern about the possible negative response of others reported in other studies. Within their relationships and social interactions participants received the essential support, cooperation, and encouragement that enabled them to create meaning in life and sustain identity.

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proposal

My focus for this paper will be Alzheimer’s in literature and film. I’m going to use a couple of text’s and a film that incorporates the different stages of Alzheimer’s. The text that I plan on using are Still Alice By Lisa Genova which is about Alice Howland – Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children – sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer’s. Alice’s slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. Genova’s debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels – a slowly building terror.
Professor Tougaw has suggested a text and a film that I had looked into and decided to use in my paper. Daniel Schacter’s book Searching for Memory and the film Away from Her which is about A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer’s disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.(IMDB) My motive for this essay is to capture the affects of Alzheimer’s on relationships. The way they affect your family, friends, and your life long partner. How this disease shapes your life from before and after.
Comparing the novel Still Alice and the film Away from her to Daniel Schacters book Searching for memory on the various stages of Alzheimer’s.
The sources that I would use are the two books and film and also bibliography essays on literature and scientific research on Alzheimer’s.

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Consider some ideas for your seminar project. Think about topics that will work well as a traditional essay and that can be adapted to an online format. Do this before class.

I’m still trying to rattle some ideas; I think I want to maybe do writing through Alzheimer’s. I came across a book called Still Alice By Lisa Genova which is about Alice Howland – Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children – sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Alice’s slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. Genova’s debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels – a slowly building terror.
I thought focusing on Alzheimer’s would be interesting because it is the lost of brain functioning and in Still Alice she has episodes of the feeling of not being able to remember or doing everyday routines.

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Write about an “object” (in Damasio’s sense of the term) that shapes or changes you.

An object that has changed me is the beach, the sense of walking on that sand and having it get all between my toes, the softness while you lay on it, being able to shape it into anything you want. The sun heating your body right after you get out of the water, having droplets of water dried off of you and you adjust your face towards the sun. Listening to the calming wave’s crash on top of each other putting me to sleep. My mood immediately changes when I’m on a beach I become the most relaxed person easing my mind of anything and for once just simply not thinking of anything except relaxing. But then there are those days where the sand is too hot you burn your feet and the waves are too strong to go cool off.

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Recount a neurological experience, using Hustvedt’s writing as a model.

Not so sure this count as neurological. Anyway so one day I had gone to the dermatologist just for a checkup and while just getting a routine body scan the dermatologist had come across a beauty mark that was unusually to her, so she had said to me I want to take it off and submit it for analysis. The unfortunate part was that it was in a private area. Can you say OUCH! FYI giving a numbing shot with a 4 inch needle in a very sensitive area doesn’t really help too much. I’m not one to really say anything to doctors I can usually tolerate pain pretty well and get through it. I was actually embarrassed because I was screaming like a little girl. Anyway needless to say I felt it the whole time as she was slicing away and it ended with me passing out. That was the first time I had ever passed out before. It was the weirdest feelings it was like I almost knew it was coming but I couldn’t get any words out all I was seeing was black spots my vision was very blurry. I think I passed out for only a couple of minutes but when I woke up it felt like I was asleep forever. My legs felt like jello and my head was very groggy. A couple days later I had received a phone call that I needed to get a procedure done which entails to go deeper into where she had cut the first time. I was so terrified from what I endured that I waited a whole year and a half to get it done. The feeling of the pain and thinking of what was so to come had stuck in my mind until I was forced to go.

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What I have learned from Hustvedt’s is that in my point of view she is a hypochondriac. It’s just bizarre to me how she can deliver a speech at her father’s funeral with no problem and then two in a half years later she delivers a speech which is a spiraling disaster and cannot stop shaking from her neck down. My first thought was instead of thinking you have some sort of illness, wouldn’t you just think it was nerves. Was she too embarrassed to admit that her speech didn’t go as plan and is blaming it on something else? Reading on in the book, as a reader her self diagnosis herself many of times after reading about all different illnesses. I honestly think she might have a slight anxiety problem but nothing to the extreme. It’s clear that there is something there because it is not normal to be shaking but I think a lot of it is made up in her head.

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Dream…

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about my grandma, It started at night and everyone was asleep and she had woken up in the middle of the night and opened up the front door and was attempting to walk across the street to my cousins house screaming out my name. Cars were coming and crashed around her just missing her. After the cars crashing I woke up in a panic and having a fear of what might could of happen.

I know this dream is short but contains a lot of meaning.

My grandma is 92 years old and lives with me she is suffering from dementia. Her hearing and eyesight is not the best so crossing the street is always done with another adult. So her crossing herself raised my anxiety in the dream. One night she had fell in the middle of the night and no one had heard her until the early morning where I found her. In the dream I wake up in the middle of the night instantly freeing my guilt of not waking up the night she fell. In the dream the cars surrounded her in a circle assuring that she was okay. I think I dreamed that the cars circled her ensuring that she wouldn’t get hurt was a wish I had when she had fell.

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Fact about the brain

I found this to be really interesting about our brains. It was really hard just to choose one because there are so many facts that i am not aware of. I choose this one in particular because i was fooled! Looking at this image i did not see how squares A and B are the same color. I know i don’t have greatest vision but it seemed to me that square A was clearly darker. Check out the first link to see if your brain fools you and then click the second link to see the illusion.

Our brain often fools us. It often perceives things differently from the reality. For instance, check the following picture. Square A and B are actually the same shade of gray
First click this one and see if your brain fools you
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG

Now click this link:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Same_color_illusion_proof2.png

Is anyone not convinced? it took me a couple of stares and a few blinks to see that they are the same color.

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McEwans prose to Woolf

As I was reading Saturday I came across a lot of similarities In Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. Pointing out some comparisons are that both novels unfold in a single day. Both Dalloway and Perowne observe a plane in the sky. Dalloway sees a skywriter. Perowne sees a jet on fire, making an emergency landing. Other characters in both stories have similar qualities as well. Both Septimus and Baxter suffer from mental illness.
I stumbled across this article that was reviewed by Edward Champion and I thought he made a very interesting comparison:

Even in explaining the circumstances of how Perowne met his wife (helping her with a vision problem in a neurological ward, no less), Perowne is a more complicated character than McEwan credit him with. Perowne, for example, owns a Mercedes S 500. He considers himself to be “the owner, the master of his own vehicle” and yet he can’t really rev this middle-aged toy, perhaps a bauble to restore his waning masculinity, past fourth gear. During the book’s initial confrontation with Baxter, the brain itself is compared to an expensive car in the way that it “can let you down.” Baxter himself drives a BMW, also an expensive car. Is there a correlation between these two men? Absolutely. Yet while Perowne’s past is muddled with a passive swagger (he’s described as being pitiless several times), McEwan shy’s away from comparing these two, preferring instead to keep Baxter’s description confined to Perowne’s speculations and their respective identities separate from each other. Perhaps Plutarch would have been a better model than Woolf.

When he says “the brain itself is compared to an expensive care in the way that it can let you down.” It doesn’t matter how much your car is worth or the representation of the status it brings you while you drive it. In years to come It is not going to have the same value as it once did, same with the brain as we get older are brain is not going to function the way it once did. It could be effected by diseases it that cause your memory to be loss.

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