EDM 310 Class Blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Post #14 Special Metaphor Assignment!

*Special Assigment to replace Blog Post #14* Posted on EDM310 Class Blog
Red Badge of Courage Metaphor

1. Why did you miss the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post, or, if you "hit the nail on the head", why do you think you understood the metaphor and why do you think that others in the class missed the metaphor?
2. What metaphors have you encountered since I asked you to create a log of them?
3. What other things can we do as educators to help our students to understand and to use metaphors?
4. Why do we use metaphors?

I think I missed the metaphor in Tom Johnson's post because I was interpreting it too literally. The thing is that we have so many things to read and post and comment on that a person could get burnt out and start just going through the motions. At times I am overwhlemed and the word "blog" becomes an obscene and offensive one! It's easy to get the mentality of "let me just get this over with" and not pay close attention. When you're smart and know alot of big words this burn-out can be easy to hide and no one may ever know just how sick of blogs you may be...
People use metaphors all the time. Sometimes you can't just outright say what you want to, and sometimes it's fun to see if people will pay close enough attention or are smart enough to get your hidden meaning. I have noticed that me and my friends use a lot of metaphors because someone once told one of us that "it's not gossiping if no names are named." This statement is almost completely false but we still do it satirically just for fun. For instance we call people we don't like to mention in public by random nicknames, like the things they have done to us (i.e. the air freshener thief) or even types of animals. My ex-boyfriend is known as "the donkey". Sometimes people even use metaphors to avoid hurting your feelings.

As an educator, I think it is important to convey a few things...
1) Metaphors are not always a good thing. I once had a friend who was very vague with everything he said to the point that half of it was complete nonsense to me. Make sure that your metaphor is a valid one and that it's not so far out in left field that no one will understand you.
2) To discern meaning through metaphors because people don't always say what they mean. I personally believe that in most instances in life, say what you mean and mean what you say. It may be better to hurt someone's feelings by telling the truth than by hiding something and hurting them worse later. That being said, there are some people that will never accept blame or guilt and using a metaphor could really soften the blow. You don't have to completely spell things out sometimes. Letting it be vague enough for them to interpret what you have to say however they want to see it might be doing them a favor, whether they see it that way or not.
3) That this is important because you can't always take someone for their word. If you can discern a metaphor, you can discern a lot of things. When you can see that someone means something entirely different than what they are actually saying, that raises a lot of important questions. Like...what are their real intentions?
4) Sometimes it's more creative to use hidden meaning. Some of the reasons we're still talking about writers from hundred of years ago today is because they are an enigma. Being able to look at a piece of text and discern hidden meaning can make you smarter and also a more patient or discerning reader.

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