Friday, May 6, 2011

Pub Groups

About the pub groups. I want to comment on how great my experience was with them. Our group was incredibly cohesive and I think we all looked forward to meeting, even though we seemed to hardly find the time.

I think that we've established that Tolkien has a lot of good things to say about fellowship and the forming of pub groups is an excellent way to manifest this theme in the class. I'm sure that not everyone had as positive an experience as we did, but I thought they were great. Thanks Merlyn and Sara for the awesome time. Don't forget that we still have to play laser tag sometime.

And thanks Dr. Donovan and Megan for the incredible class. You guys are great!

Creative Projects

I would just like to say that I was SO impressed with all of the creative projects. I was absolutely astounded by several of the projects, especially the musical ones. Morgan and Sarah did an incredible job and I would just like to congratulate the two of you on your wonderful work!

Community

During the wrap-up yesterday (so sad), discussion more than once turned towards the importance of fellowship and community. Other than being a point of nostalgia for our Tolkien seminar class, these themes resonate throughout every work we've read this semester and I consider them central to the entirety of the course.

I wanted to comment on how the friendships we've made throughout the semester show the inherent and true beauty of Tolkien's works and world that he created for all of us. Whether long time fan and avid reader, or newcomer to the lands of Middle-earth, every person can find their own comfortable place in Tolkien's landscape. It seems that all the Lord of the Rings readers share a common friendship even prior to coming in contact; meeting another is all it takes.

I feel that the sense of community in our seminar illustrates completely the success of Tolkien as a creative artist. Whether writer, poet, artist, songwriter, musician, or cinematographer, the ultimate goal should be to create works of art that draw people together onto common ground where friendships and communities can grow. In a world so full of discord and debate, these are all the more necessary.

Thanks everybody for such a great semester! I can honestly say that this class has positively impacted my life and I'm extremely grateful to have been a part of it.

"Na Seere" Song and Translation

“Na Seere”

Verse 1

Elvish: Astaldo ohtar na seere

English: O, valiant warrior be at peace

Elv: Mornié fifiisa ar kala

Eng: Darkness fades and the light shines

Elv: Mi ambar ilvarya ten lê.

Eng: In a world not saved for you.

Chorus

Elvish: Wili athan i Aear

English: Sail beyond the Sea

Elv: Na seere, a na seere.

Eng: Be at peace, o, be at peace.

Verse 2

Elvish: Kayla ne anduune eel

English: Illuminated by an evening star

Elv: Lîn nyaare ortas o marde saran

Eng: Your story rose with halls of stone

Elv: Eruseen lira nyaare yaara.

Eng: Where Men* sing of tales of old.

Chorus

Elvish: Wili athan i Aear

English: Sail beyond the Sea

Elv: Na seere, a na seere.

Eng: Be at peace, o, be at peace.

"Leaf by Niggle" Freewrite

I wrote on "Leaf by Niggle" as a commentary towards being a creative artist.

"Leaf by Niggle" offers some insight to Tolkien's beliefs on what it means to be a creative artist. The focus is the relationship between artist and artwork and how creation intangibly binds them together. Much of the time, being an artist equates to also being highly misunderstood. In "Leaf by Niggle," Niggle works unceasingly on his Tree, and yet he never gets the recognition for his work. This translates to almost every artist who puts a certain amount of their heart and soul into a piece, only to have the work misunderstood or under appreciated. "Leaf by Niggle" also conveys how an artist work never truly ends and that the cycle of creation continues even after the artist has gone from the physical world. Niggle never "finishes" his Tree, and when he seems close, another detail catches his attention. This continues up until his "death," but even after he still continues to live and work through his artwork. This can translate to artist (postmortem) whose artwork still persists.

Synthesis Paper

I am doing my synthesis paper on the theme of transformation because it is present in most (if not all) of the works we have read in some way. Transformation has always been the most inspiring and diversified theme to me. I think it is a perfect topic to synthesis all of these works in a specific way and express how I feel about Tolkien and his works. There are, however, many other themes that can achieve this goal. Which theme(s) have you been most influenced by/interested in/inspired by? Are these theme(s) or other interesting ideas the topic of you synthesis paper? Basically, what have you decided to write about and why? What is Tolkien's legacy to you in one sentence (your thesis)?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

THE LANCELOT SONG!!! (plus other tunes of geeky brilliance)

Here is the link to the brilliant song "His Name Is Lancelot" from Spamalot. The sound quality isn't the best, so the subsequent link is the lyrics!

His Name is Lancelot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU98OlAjP2Y&playnext=1&list=PL518F639B63DC1EB1



And now....MORE SONGS!! Sit back and enjoy!

They're Taking the Hobbits to Isengard! ....just classic. Amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE-1RPDqJAY


The Mysterious Ticking Noise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY6mpaVEaTg

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'll comment with more links later if I can think of any. I was tempted to post the video of Elijah Wood doing Numa Numa on The Wiggles, but that might have been a little too disturbing...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The End :(

Since we didn't have any readings this week, I just wanted to talk about how much I enjoyed this class. I've missed taking literature classes since I've started college. I love classes where I can have a good discussion, or even argument, about a book. I hadn't read the LotR series before this class and now I am so glad I have. I have a much greater appreciation for Tolkien and his works. I thought it was so interesting to see all of the things that influenced him and his writings. I also want to read them again because I feel like I missed so much!
So basically, this was a fun class, and I'll definitely miss having a place to get all my nerd out. :)

Yay

Yeah, the creative projects were amazing. It really surprises me, and also makes me happy, that from Tolkien's world we can all create so much more than what he wrote. It is never ending... all the stories that could be written about all the different characters and places. I think his work will be continue to be popular for a very long time, partly because of this. Even though it was very hard for him to end the story of the LOTR and eventually let go completely of the project, and sure it would make him extremely happy that us as students are continuing to create more life from his world.

Creative Projects

I just wanted to say that everyone did an AWESOME job on their creative project! I was blown away by how creative our class is :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Leaf by Niggle" Freewrite!

Here is my freewrite from last week on "Leaf by Niggle." My prompt was writing about the story as a personal/autobiographical commentary.

I feel like if Tolkien was using "Leaf by Niggle" to express some sort of personal/autobiographical commentary, that it would make him sound a tad pompous. Not to a point where I stop respecting him though. I just feel like Niggle gets really frustrated in the beginning of the story because not everyone appreciates his painting. In the end though, I think it would be very interesting if this story was autobiographical because we see Niggle get sucked into his own work. I think we would all like to feel like Tolkien was so involved in creating Middle-earth that at times he too may have felt like he was there, just like we feel like we are there when we read "The Lord of the Rings." I think part of this comes from how detailed Tolkien gets when he writes. His descriptions are so in-depth and I thought it was really cute that the special thing about Niggle's paintings was how detailed his leaves are.