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Blog 8

Jonah Lehrer’s goal was to try and persuade the heavy science thinkers of the world to believe in the importance of art with science and discovery. He uses examples with famous scientists or painters who used  both methods in order to create master pieces or discover a new way of viewing a complex idea. Metaphors are a type of language, which is also a kind of art, which can be used to explain complex ideas to the general public. This is useful because not everyone in society has the background knowledge that a scientist would so concepts need to be explained using metaphors so the audience can relate it and understand the concept properly.

I was able to understand the examples Lehrer used and what the specific scientist or artist did in order to achieve their goal. However, I found some parts of his article confusing and I wasn’t able to wrap my head around how art would help in some situations. He mentions how it is better to understand concepts if they are broken down into smaller pieces in order to understand the fundamentals and then try to look at the bigger picture. He says this will help science deeply understand these concepts. But where does art fit in? How does art allow us to break down scientific theories or new ideas to understand them better? I’m not sure where art can help in this situation and Lehrer does not clearly explain what art can do to better our understanding. He mentions the artist Monet and said that his paintings appealed to use because he “had a practical understanding of color perception.” However, how does this crossover into the science world and how does art allow us to look at the fundamentals first?


  • Reductionism: explaining a complex phenomenon by using the fundamental or most simple phenomenon within the bigger phenomenon
  • Epiphenomenon: secondary effect/byproduct arising from a particular process
  • Holistic perspective: alternative approach to a situation that involves the whole issue at hand not just one part (such as in medicine, look at the person as a whole not just the specific illness)


Blog 7

My annotation skills have been progressing. I feel as if I am making more connections to myself and other areas rather than mostly summarizing the text. 

This story was originally published on the World-Post, which is an online blog in January of 2014. Yo-Yo Ma’s credentials were greatly displayed in the biography about the author. His awards and accolades were mentioned in order to inform the reader about how he was more than qualified to discuss the topic at hand.

The reason for me reading this text is to understand why art is so important in our society today. Yo-Yo Ma was trying to convince the audience that art should be integrated into school systems more than it is currently. Art has many aspects that can help any individual in their life as a whole and make them a more well-rounded person.

The use of art can teach balanced thinking, empathy, and creativity which is useful in any future career.  By putting art into a curriculum (STEAM instead of STEM) a student is more likely to learn different skills than if they solely focused on the “reasoning” portion of a problem rather than how it makes them or others feel. Yo-Yo Ma also mentions how it may help kids want to go to school because they can express themselves and think creatively. So, they are more likely to want to go to school and will not view it as a “requirement”.


  1. Tandem: Tandem means together. It is easy to think of a tandem bike because the seats are together on the bike working together as well.
  2. Bolster: support or strengthen. Bolster reminds me of a booster seat, because they sound the same, which supports a child in a car.
  3. Lewd: offensive
  4. Lascivious: offensive sexual desire

Blog 6

As I read Lamott’s piece on first drafts, I found myself really connecting with her process of writing. I usually start out with thinking my first draft is going to be amazing and I can’t fix anything because it should be perfect. I start writing and hate everything I write, backspace, and start again. I finally realize it is just a free draft and is not the end of the world if it is not written perfection. I basically “word-vomit” onto the page and then once I’ve finished a section or even the whole essay, I go back and read what I have and pick and choose what I want to keep or get rid of.  Overall, I know my first draft isn’t the greatest piece of writing and I still really dislike some things I have but it’s always good to have a starting point.


Revision Plan Strategy:

The overall strategy I have in mind for my free draft, is to make the content of my paper easier to understand by clarifying concepts, using better examples, or even doing general explanations of key concepts.

The steps I intend to use are:

  • write a paragraph under the introduction about how often military metaphors are used in the medical field
    • how they may be hard to notice but they have an impact
  • create a counter argument paragraph to show the positives of using these metaphors (how other people can interpret them)
  • figure out where I want to use the “dandelion and orchid” example since I used it twice
    • probably will take it out in the first body paragraph explaining interpretation
    • find another example to use there
  • clarify any portions of texts that are confusing to read through/hard for audience to follow
    • condense run on sentences
  • look for grammar mistakes and any other sentences missed the first time
    • read out loud

With these steps, I believe my paper will significantly improve because it will become easier to follow as an audience and the argument will more clear and give both sides as opposed to just one.

Blog 5

After peer reviewing my classmates pictures, I had a better understanding of the importance of global editing first before local edits. Global edits are more beneficial because they allow the writer to look at their paper as a whole and make adjustments to make the structure and organization better. If local edits were made in this initial writing stage, the writer would be spending too much time on parts they may not even keep. I believe doing global edits first will help make the paper the best it can be and then polishing with local edits will make it complete.  I feel like now I would prefer to have global edits to my paper made first rather than local so I can focus on the bigger picture of my paper and make it so my audience can understand what point I am trying to get across.

However, I still found myself wanting to make grammatical comments or changes to the papers because they stood out so much to me. Sometimes I would have a sentence that didn’t make sense when I read it through but I knew the writers shouldn’t focus on those aspects of their papers right now. A lot of the grammar mistakes were capital letters in places they shouldn’t be or citation mistakes which can all be fixed and adjusted in the final proof read of the paper rather in the preliminary edits.

Blog 4

Draft 1:

About 1,735,350 new cases of cancer arise every year (Cancer Statistics). Many of these individuals may hear the phrases “we can fight this” or “cancer is a battle.” These are metaphors that connect to the military and they can negatively impact the physical and mental well being of any sick individual, not just cancer patients, and because of this everyone, including medical professionals, should look at possible alternatives to these kinds of metaphors. Anybody in this world has dealt with an illness either of themselves or a loved one and the metaphors that professionals or even families use can impact how they view their illness. To view a illness as a battle or war can lead a person to believe that to deal with this illness it is going to be a violent time in their life and war has endless amounts of outcomes and this can frighten a patient because they do not know their own outcome so they could assume the worst. This can set a patient up for failure as they are about to take this journey into recovery. This interpretation should be very important for doctors and family to understand and know so they can accommodate for the patient’s feelings and restrict themselves from using similar metaphors. Metaphors can also be created by an individual in order to make an audience perceive it a certain way but that is not always accomplished and the different ideas of what the metaphor means can have a negative effect on the audience. Lastly, if one of these metaphors is said to an individual with an illness and their emotional state is not the best, their emotional response can greatly impact their health as well.


Draft 2:

About 1,735,350 new cases of cancer arise every year (Cancer Statistics). Many of these individuals may hear the phrases “you are a fighter and you can beat this” or “cancer is a battle.” These are metaphors that make a connection with the military and they can negatively impact the physical and mental well being of any sick individual, not just cancer patients. In fact, everyone in society, including medical professionals, should look at possible alternatives to these kinds of metaphors when they are speaking to someone who is ill. Anybody who is asked if they have been sick before or had a loved one who was seriously ill or even just had the common cold would say yes. So, they can relate to either having been the one to use one of these metaphors with a loved one or have personally been told one of them before. These metaphors can impact how patients view their illness and what their personal outcome may be. Therefore, military metaphors that are used with individuals who are ill, should be cautioned against because of the varying interpretations of these kinds of metaphors, the emotional responses individuals have towards the metaphors, and the way the metaphors are created can create expectations that can negatively impact a patient in treatment.

Blog 3

In “The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors”, the author, Dhruv Khullar, addresses the use of military-related metaphors when referring to medical illnesses. He explains how the use of military terms in a metaphor can cause a patient to view their illness in a negative way. It can cause them to believe that they may have not tried hard enough in the “battle” and they view that as a failure when in fact they almost have no control over how the illness takes over. This can lead to a more depressive state and a decline in the quality of life. Adversely, Khullar discusses how other patients may view these terms as a helpful way of looking at their illness. Looking at an illness as a fight or a battle can give ideas of resilience and will power so they feel they can defeat whatever they are up against.

Language has an extreme impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Some people may not realize the impact because they may have the philosophy of say how you feel and never hold back. This can mess with many other people’s minds and can impact their mental and physical health. Things people say may have a subtle effect on others without the original person even being able to realize it. This can be due to not knowing how people are feeling inside or maybe even the day they are having. For example, in the article by Dhruv Khullar, he explains how two people can have different perspectives on metaphors about illness when they use military terms. Viewing these metaphors negatively can create a negative impact on our health because this viewpoint was correlated with higher levels of depression and anxiety and poorer quality of life. In order to be aware of how a specific person or group may view a metaphor is to understand them as a person which can be difficult if they may be a patient, as in the example Khullar gave. Some people may overthink certain words or phrases and this can create bad thoughts in their mind because they dig deeper and deeper into the meaning where others might look at the surface level and view it completely differently.

The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors: “Some have suggested that viewing cancer as a fight can lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms and encourage emotional suppression.” This pertains to how specific metaphors can have a negative impact on people’s emotional health which can then lead to decreased physical and mental health.

See Through Words: “When I describe my work, people often ask whether these new metaphors actually change how people think. They can.” This quote can explain how using a metaphor for a specific situation can change how a person views the situation (good or bad).

Metaphorically Speaking: “Metaphor matters because it creates expectations.” The quote describes how metaphors can make people think a certain way or expect certain things (can connect to the battle portion of Khullar article).


Blog 2

As I began reading Erard’s article a second time, I found myself reading more in depth to the words he wrote. I was able to dive deeper into the real meaning behind the words he was saying and truly understand what he wanted the audience to believe/see. For instance, in the beginning of the story he wrote that if someone heard the phrase “a paintbrush is a kind of pump” they may believe that it was a mistake and not what another person meant to say. However, once you really think about the similarities between the two objects, a pump and a paintbrush, you realize the connection that both move water in some way. Thus, more connections can be created or thought up due to the original idea.  Erard also discusses “dual reference” in terms of words that are being used in a metaphor. I understood the meaning of dual reference when re-reading the passage and looking at the examples given to get the overall idea of what it meant. I realized that these words have their own literal mean like a rock is literally a thing that is on the ground outdoors. However, it has another meaning of being stable or strong such as a person in someone’s life being a rock. The person is not literally a rock but a dependable source of strength for another individual which shows how a rock has dual reference because it has two meanings and fits into more than one category.

One word I “glossed” was the word “salient”. The word salient describes something noticeable or significantly important or standing out. Discovering the meaning of this word allowed me to understand what the author was trying to say about family and their significance in society. He was describing the family as the most significant social piece in our society and how making a metaphor that refers to family needs to be taken with extreme caution because an audience could take the metaphor to a negative level the author did not intend to if it is not written correctly.


Blog 1

One thought the author wrote about was the topic of why metaphors are not reversible. This struck me immediately because I had never thought of this concept before. He gave examples such as “my jail is a job” and “a pump is a kind of paintbrush” and this resonated with me because they way people see metaphors is as a comparison between two things that share a common characteristic. So, if these two objects/concepts share a characteristic, why can’t the comparison be used both ways? The phrase “my job is a jail” makes sense to most people who read it because the job isn’t enjoyable just as jail isn’t either. But when you flip it to say “my jail is a job” it has some sort of meaning but it is not as easily picked up as the previous statement. The person could be saying their jail in life is their job but it takes more of an explanation which isn’t the goal of a metaphor.

The author wanted to explain what a metaphor is to him but using a metaphor to do so. He used a room as the source and the room contains windows and doors. These windows are able to be placed up on a wall or lower. The position in which they are placed determines the perspective a person will see if they look outside. If they are low, they see grass and if they are high, they see the trees. This is how metaphors works because the result or interpretation varies from person to person. One person may see a metaphor such as “a lawyer is a shark” as a lawyer is cut throat and another person could view it as the lawyer is a strong individual that rules the area it is in. There’s many different perspectives a metaphor can hold and that is the beauty of them because they are able to reach many people in many ways.

Erard also mentioned the metaphor “…arguments are wars.” This quote can have a couple different meanings when read because people could see the connection of taking sides but also that the evidence used in arguments is similar to the weapons used in war. This metaphor also demonstrates the concept of metaphors being able to have more than one meaning or purpose that it wants to convey to the audience.

Blog 0

The platform of a blog can have its perks and downsides. I believe this blog could be helpful and make me better accustomed to using/having my own website. It is very accessible to the public so opinions and thoughts can be shared easily. It is also very important in our modern day since technology is a primary source for information, it is straightforward for people to be able to find the information they may be looking for on these blogs. However, coming up with ideas and thoughts to share on a blog like this can become difficult if I’ve hit a roadblock in my writing or feel uninspired. Overall, I believe that having a blog could be a good experience for the course.

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