Connecting the Parts

When listening to Foster Wallace’s speech what stood out to me was when he emphasized consciousness and that shift, on a personal level it allowed me to really think through my own life. In this case, in making my decision on whether Wallace’s theories would work in my life there was a lot to consider. After fully grasping his theories he provides I would say I’d adopt them and incorporate them into my life as a college student. My own view is that what Wallace insists are life theories are in fact part of reality, or at least some part of reality. I’d agree that Foster Wallace’s posits are enough of reality to have in regards to day to day life because almost everyone experiences something of what he talks about. Wallace later states in his speech “If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options” (Wallace 2005). This quote from Wallace then transitions the audience into choosing what we think, rather than being told. To me choosing what you think is an important part of being independent or owning your own voice, but there is an extent to that because as all college students eventually experience there’s a time when you need some help on what to think. In Wallace’s commencement speech he states “ Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what to think” (Wallace 2005). In my case, this would impact me for the better especially consciousness wise. This shift in consciousness to me would impact my reality, but in a good way. It would allow me to see things more clearly and see the real world in a way of opportunity and pathways rather than an already set one road path.

After reading Bloom’s essay It has allowed me to see a different perspective on empathy itself, it’s given me a chance to see the benefits or consequences of empathy. In my opinion, empathy is used quite often in life and I could even say I portray it very often in my day to day life. Now understanding that I may be someone who has too much empathy, Bloom has allowed me to see that issue and how it can alter my relationships as well as my life as a whole. In that case, I would say that I agree with the statements given by Bloom. The overall tone he gives to the readers is something powerful and allows the readers to see how the way we use empathy isn’t always the best way and how most of the time we don’t even realize. A powerful statement given by Bloom said “Empathy is a spotlight with a narrow focus; it shines brightly on those we love and gets dim for those who are different or strange” (Bloom 2017). This quote from Bloom is something that everyone can relate to, everyone at some point in their life whether they like to admit or not has shown this action of dimming their empathy for someone you see as different. Bloom’s claims about empathy and intelligence connect to Wallace’s theories because they both use the underlying dark style of speech to get their claims across to the reader, it allows it to be personal and direct. Furthermore , Bloom’s claims connect to Wallace’s because Bloom talks about empathy and how it uses emotions to cause unfair and overall bad decisions, he spoke about the emotional or psychological aspects of this. As well as Wallace, he spoke about the psychological barrier we have of living in a “default setting” and the decisions that come along with that.

#2.) Even though I’m not that tech savvy, and couldn’t figure out how to underline a sentence I still found some important repetition, transition words, and pointing terms. Some important ones included things such as “in this case” or even “on the other hand”. Some pointing terms I noticed in my essay was a lot of “this” , I didn’t seem to utilize the terms “those” or “these” as much as I could of. In my experience, I feel like I rely on transition words the most since I notice them the most throughout my essays. I think if I utilized these writing tools in my essays more it would improve the way it flows or just even for better structure.

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