Unit8 Assignment1 Selina Qian

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

  • ? the police use “”the duty of the press is to inform the public” to justify the behavior of taking Katharina’s pictures against her will. Is it right?
  • !“Amazing how people find it hard to make a distinction between private and business life,” said by interrogators. So ironic.
  • ! Everything is recorded, yet speculations kill all the truth behind evidence.

Back the Night commentary Selina Qian

I was shocked after watching the play. First, because the play gives me a direct personal view of Em’s (played by Meg Houck) inner world, who is the actual victim of campus sexual assault. I’ve only heard of sexual assault as an outsider, but never feel the sorrow and twisted feeling as person to person ever before. Second, I’m shocked because I have questions lingering in my head throughout the whole play, and eventually I solved it. I kept wondering what was going through Em’s head that she would care so much about the details of the night Cassie got wounded on the head? Why would she argue against something less relevant to me – the truth of the night – so strongly that she missed the actual movement of people voicing to help her solve the problem. Why would she not care about justify women’s, or her sorrow? The last monologue of Em helps me solve those question. She said that: “I wanted to get rip-shit drunk…And I said give me back my shirt, please don’t. But they didn’t believe me, and somewhere, deep inside, I didn’t even believe me, drunk in the basement without a shirt and sweat and heat and what do you say about girl like that?” She was never some victims who were depicted as poor, innocent lamb get rape by horrible people, like Cassie. She wants sex; she has desires. Her case is way more complex than the way people can understand it. Shutting down the frat and making the campus safer are not going to solve the problem that men always think girls who dress less means consent; the details, the way people interact with people matters. It gives me goose-bulb thinking that boys consider their commentary actually gives value to women. Brandon (played by James Shakow) commented that “I liked that about you, and it has nothing to do with anything else. Plus I needed to copy your notes because mine sucked. (Beat) Nothing? I don’t even get a smile? Yeah. They said you were a frat rat. Is that what you wanted to hear? They said you were up for anything.”

Macbeth Commentary Selina Qian

I am Fleance and Bloody Captain in the production of Macbeth. Following are some of my reflections from my experience.

At the beginning, the director, Mark, and the other actors, David (Banquo) and me paraphrased the lines sentence-by-sentence. Then I realized that my relationship toward Banquo was a key clue to my attitudes and tactics for my two lines. The discussion enters at the point that Banquo, a valiant hero, the second best fighter in the world, explains his seemingly vulnerable feelings towards my character. It surely means that Banquo and I are close, and he can trust me with heavy burdens. This sets the close relationship between Banquo and me, and therefore our tone of speaking. I was told by Mark that I am on guard at that time. This fact that I didn’t interpret within the lines from my perspective is frustrating. Because Shakespeare’s language is hard for me to understand, I needed help from Mark and David to understand the storyline before and after my lines. While my scene objective is “to guard around the castle”, I compelled myself to have a stronger need than just walking around. I imagined that there was a soldier who had just reported there were two missing guards, so that I had to be vigilant. In conclusion, the technique I learned from the rehearsal is that I can observe the character’s lines closely sentence-by-sentence. Then I can picture a complete character through my understanding of the context and lines.

Moreover, even when I am not speaking, my existence has meaning by itself. I didn’t realize this until an incident happened. Because I am always waiting for my turn to go on stage, I put my focus on my homework that I brought to the rehearsal. As a result, I couldn’t keep up with the show. This caused a huge problem that I slow down the rehearsal and people had to wait for me. I feel terribly sorry, and promised to focus. Yet, still I couldn’t find the meaning of being on-stage for 10 seconds and then going off-stage, I don’t have the impulse to devote myself completely. But once I started being focused,  I understood that I was necessary for the show. For example: I need to stand by my dad, Banquo, at the dinner, hosted by two different kings, Duncan and Macbeth. My mood is happy in the first dinner, and I am more vigilant at Macbeth’s dinner. This is because I am proud of our  troop’s victory over the Norweyan Lord and the rebel Macdonald; I am also delighted to be introduced to the lords who are my father’s friends, and beginning my social life as a young member of a noble family. But when it comes to Macbeth’s dinner, my father refuses go to the party; Macbeth asks weird questions about our whereabouts. Though I didn’t transmit message to the audience through words, my attitude can help the audience grasp the general idea of the play. Prior to this production, I haven’t experienced the feeling of being a minor role but still important, so this lesson to me is that every one counts. I should hold the same respect toward small and big roles.

Beside Fleance, I am also a bloody captain at the beginning of the show. I fight hard and get injured, then I report to the king about the war. After paraphrasing, I summarized that I share a lot of vivid details which makes the report not succinct; I am honored to meet my king so I speak with the tactic of reverence. I am also extremely proud of my leader Macbeth, who is the hero that led everyone toward victory. Yet I am badly injured and out of breath, so I need to have pauses to show that I’m actually in pain. Using the method from Hagen, I press hard against my wound in the major bleeding core area. I also lean on my helper, Lauren, with most my weight because I can’t use any muscle around my wounds. The harder challenge is that I need to use those lines and specific language to support my feelings and help the audience to understand the play. Yet speaking loudly and articulately are not enough. I need back up stories to pull my angry, hateful feelings toward the “merciless” Macdonald; my aspiration and proud feelings towards Macbeth; my reverence toward the king; and my responsibilities toward my soldiers. I vary my tactics from stating a fact, to attacking the enemy , to intrigue the king,  to share the bad news, and finally to worship Macbeth. I used a story I read and watched on Netflix to embrace those feelings and fill in Macbeth, Macdonald, and the Norweyan Lord more complete. It is so powerful to fill in the background story of every character appeared in my line that I experienced what it is like to have the impulse to say the lines. I truthfully have those feelings when I’m speaking. It was spectacular!

Yet in the second show, the same story didn’t support me as much. I was not as excited as I was during the first show. I tried to use different stories that resembled the first one and encourage myself about the importance of giving every audience an equal chance to see our best performance, and also to support my peer actors. Yet none of these worked. I asked Lidan (Lady Macbeth), who performed better than the first night, what she did to over come this difficulty. She replied that acting is all about brain games: I can always pull energy from my brain, and I should be more imaginative. But I know there is still something missing. The next day, I went into the show with complete different story, equally fitting that intrigued me. Yet, in the green room during warm-ups, I didn’t feel as good as I did for the first show. Only when I saw a black and white portrait of Katherine Eugenia Costa on the wall, did I realize the missing thing. Under her picture, there lies a quote from I hope you dance — “Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance…” To me it means that if there is a stage for you to perform on, whatever, big or small, grab the chance and don’t fail yourself. It is a love toward the stage that I must do my best, I must cherish the chance. It went quite well my third show.

Unit 2 Assignment 3 Selina Qian

Option 1: Suppose that after finishing the reading, a student says: “Any belief, however unlikely it may appear, can be saved from refutation if you’re willing to make enough secondary elaborations.” Is the student right? Defend your answer. (For the term “secondary elaborations”, see p. 346.)

No. I disagree with the idea that “Any belief, however unlikely it may appear, can be saved from refutation if you’re willing to make enough secondary elaborations.” By using the word “safe”, the student implies that he or she maintain that “belief” unchanged, which is “bullshit”. To argue the “belief”, one has to use the “secondary elaborations”, which builds up a theory. There is no theory yet is all true and explains everything. So the “theory”, which explains the “belief”, is refutable. So the belief is refutable. Thus to maintain one’s belief, one must twist the truth. This proves that the idea proposed by the student is not true. The student may argue that there can be theory that is all true for all circumstances. Let’s say he is right, there is at least one theory that is all true given any evidence. If we also agree with relativist about rationality, then there is an incompatible conceptual scheme A, different from the “unlikely theory(B),” explains all evidence. Then for anything, both conceptual scheme A and conceptual scheme B are all true. “But there is only one universe. It follows that at most one theory to be right.” Argued by Appiah. The it means that A and B are inherently the same. Then there is only one theory, and there is no so-called unlikely belief. 

Option 3: How do we avoid people following pragmatic theories of truth in the wrong way — BS? Pragmatic theories of truth focus on the connection between truth and practical practices. It’s an ongoing process and permits multiple truths to exists. People, who BS, find secondary explanations to what benefits them the most. They are not seeking the truth, but share the same feature of seeking the truth. How should we differentiate?

Unit2 Assignment 2

Option 2: In Borges’s notion that “all books are the work of one single writer, who is timeless and anonymous.”, “criticism is prone to invent writers.” It’s interesting that in this sense, there are two assumptions. The first is that human have the same ideology who come up with same idea. That’s how “all books are the work of one single writer”. The second is that critics or translators are the creators of the work. They invent the writer, even consider two different works to be the same writer. I understand that translation is not merely a re-write in another language; it requires the translator to be the writer and share the same ideology as the original writer.

Option 3:I think it is interesting to put science and translation together. Because science is the translation of the world, is to seek the truth of the universe. Then arguing the most faithful way of translating human works into another language is so much meaningful.

Unit 2 Assignment 1 Selina Qian

The frontispiece reproduced on p. 60 represents three conceptual schemes in astronomy. Suppose that all three were able to predict, with the same degree of accuracy, all of the observational data at the time. Would there have been any scientific reason to favor one of these over the others? (Put another way: Does science have anything besides observational data to decide among rival theories?)

I think there are primarily two ways. The first is doing experiments. I think doing experiment is isolating and manipulating things in hope of producing useful evidence. The biggest distinction between experimenting and observation is that experiment isolate and control natural conditions, which contributes to determine single variables. If one has a hypothesis that magnetic attraction cause the planets to revolve around the sun, he needs to rule out the possibilities that other factors that may cause this happen. But hardly can we conduct experiments upon celestials body even with nowadays technologies.

Another possible way is mathematical reason. Take Kepler as an example, he used the data through observation to build a model that future observations can also apply. Math here is a strong tool to create inferential relations between observation and theory. One may believe earth is stationary because there isn’t a constant wind, but human observation are highly limited. We can not observe germs nor neuron transmitter, sun nor further galaxy. So it’s too limited to trust on what we see. Mathematics however, goes beyond human perception. We put the data from observation in the hand of math, then can we abandon the belief that things are perfectly moving in circle because heaven is perfect, and God says so.

Question: I understand science is the best way to understand “the message in the book of nature”. But things discussed in Unit 1 can not be put into the scheme of science. If philosophy is the scheme we use to interpret the “truth” of ethnic what are the correlations of philosophy and science? (Why philosophy can’t show as much application as science do? Why ethnic problems are moving slowly and didn’t revolution to humanize level?)