Monday, November 2, 2015

Mystory Conclusion: The Wide-Site Image

The Wide-Site Image is the subject of the final Mystory post. It concludes and sums up the other Mystories. I looked at the topics of each post as well as the way I created the posts and have attempted to gather and reflect them in this post. 

Of the several themes I saw, I guess the first was the importance of the people in my life. The thing that I loved about hiking mountain peaks was not simply the thin, wispy air and great heights. I loved it because my dad was there. With camping it was the same; my family was there: my mom and dad and sisters. And what made leaving Colorado hard was not so much leaving the state, but leaving the rest of our family.


In addition to these pictures of my family, I have chosen a picture of a scene from C. S. Lewis's book, Prince Caspian. In the book the main characters, the four Pevensie children, are lost in the woods because of their stubbornness and foolishness. And then Aslan, the Great Lion, comes. He rescues them. I have chosen this partly because I love the way C. S. Lewis saw wonder in everything. That is a quality I want to have. But the foremost reason I picked this is that I believe this reflects and explains who I am. I was lost in that wood. I was (and often still am) foolish and stiff-necked. Mperfectionism can sometimes be good but other times it is just stubbornness. And I know the love I had for the people at the nursing home, the love that pushed me past me fear, did not simply come from me. But because He found me, the compassion and care I have shown is of Christ, the Great Lion. 
Justin Sweet  Running to Aslan, the Great Lion. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mystory VII

The Quest Schema (Ulmer 182)

In the movie The Mask of Zorro, I think Alejandro's ORDINARY WORLD was living as an outlaw with his brother. His INNER PROBLEM is his guilt that while his brother was murdered (by the army captain, his main enemy), he walks away unscathed. The oppression the people feel under the corrupt governor is the OUTER PROBLEM. I think the old Zorro is the DONOR, as he TESTS Alejandro with difficult training and rewards him with the MAGIC TOOL of intellectual strategy and physical skill. This then allows him to enter into the SPECIAL WORLD of influence and honor. Throughout the movie there are several minor ORDEALS but the main ORDEAL is in the movies climax near the end. The governor and captain have been illegally mining gold from a foreign mine. In a cover up scheme they plan to blow up the mine with the workers locked inside. In the final battle, the MAGIC TOOL allows the new Zorro (Alejandro) to defeat the villains, especially the captain, resolving the OUTER PROBLEM by liberating the people from the governor. This also resolves Alejandro's INNER PROBLEM by allowing vengeance for his brother's death and allows him to find love in marriage to the original Zorro's daughter.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mystory VI

Entertainment Discourse (Ulmer 127)

For this section Ulmer ask us to write about a memory of a movie, TV show or book from our childhood. I've decided to write on the movie The Mask of Zorro, which was one of my favorite movies when I was around five or six years old. The movie begins with Zorro rescuing several people from being killed by the command of the corrupt governor of that region. The governor discovers Zorro's identity and has him arrested. A fight ensues and Zorro's wife is killed and his daughter kidnapped by the governor. Zorro is then imprisoned for many years before escaping. He then meets an alcoholic named Alejandro, who's brother was killed by an army captain who is also an accomplice of the governor. The now aged Zorro helps Alejandro become sober and trains him to become the new Zorro. The rest of movie follows them as they seek to stop the plans of the governor and captain. In the end they both avenge the deaths of their loved ones. I mainly liked The Mask of Zorro because of the sword fighting. It was one of just a few of movies I had seen with the sort of sword fighting characterized by intricate, high energy moves. It was that sort of skilled dueling that fascinated me. I tend to be a perfectionist and I think that's part of the reason why it interested me so much. My mom even made me a Zorro mask that I would wear with a makeshift cape. I liked the idea of good defeating evil with skill and dexterity. However, I remember the one time I had the opportunity to show my "skill", I didn't. My mom had just helped me into my mask and cape and I ran to the back yard to defeat evil. I was out there for a few minutes when all of the sudden a man dressed in, as I remember, black and white prison clothes, jumped over the fence, ran across the yard, looked at me (who was stunned stone) and jumped the fence on the other side. I quietly walked back inside an informed my parents that someone just ran though our yard. Even as I was telling them, we saw a police car slowly passing our house. I remember speaking to the police and them giving me a star badge pin for my help. Later my parents jokingly said I scared him off with my mask. I didn't believe them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mystory V

Memory Glimpse

The earliest memory I can remember is more of a memory of a memory. I was young, maybe five, and I while I don't remember my surroundings, I do remember what I was thinking. I was trying focus on a scene in my head; a late evening at home and the living room was dark. The only lighted area was the kitchen. I think my parents were in the kitchen and I was going to them. It also seems like I was talking or humming to myself, but I couldn't (still can't) remember sound. I don't know how much farther back that "memory" was, but at the time, as I tried to piece it together in my mind, I concluded that was my earliest memory. Without any way to know for sure, that is the memory that call my earliest.

Micro Scene

I was about fifteen or sixteen when my sisters and I began doing more volunteer work in a nursing home where my dad was a volunteer pastor. Although I had been going there most of my life, I was still very shy and it was hard trying to get to know the residents. But the hardest thing was the feeling of hopelessness I would sometimes struggle with. Many people had given up. It was a strong reminder of our mortality. But I remember something else. My mom, sisters, and two of my cousins were running the “hydration cart,” which was a cart loaded with drinks; juice, milk, water, etc. We were going from room to room. My cousins were about six and nine, and although it was their first time, they were fairly comfortable around the residents. At one point though, one of them, (the nine yeah old, Sheinah) was delivering a glass orange juice to a woman who was very weak. I walked with my cousin into the room. It was dark, and the blinds were drawn. The woman’s name was Margret, and she could hardly see, hear or lift her hands. My cousin Sheinah held the glass for her as I helped her find the straw. She didn’t know who held the glass for her, who we were, but she said thank you, and “I love you dear.” I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said, “Thank you, I love you too,” and she repeated it, “I love you dear,” so I responded, “I love you too.”  I don't know what impact that had on my cousin. I know it had an impact on me. It was cool to see my cousin helping like that. It was cool to see how much it meant to Margret. There were other times I saw her, but I don’t think she ever really remembered who I was, but she would always say, “l love you dear.” That always meant a lot to me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mystory IV

Decision Scene

When it comes to making decisions, I often stand undecided until forced to choose by the situation. For this reason I've decided to use an image of the tide coming in. While the image above is an extreme example, it communicates the same idea: the tide is inevitable, it always comes. And when it comes I choose, and I usually need to run.


My definition of boredom is envelope stuffing. Looking back, there weren't many times when I was bored, however, one time stands out. 

My aunt and uncle used to own a pharmacy and gift shop in a small town. While there weren't many people in town, their pharmacy was the only one for miles around. Because of this, it was fairly popular. One year our family stayed with them for a few days and helped them with inventory and other odd jobs, or at least that's what I'm told. I actually don't know much about what "we" did that day. Why? Because my sister and I got stuck with the job of stuffing envelopes. We sat in a back room for hours, till the monotony was almost unbearable. The worst part was the never ending stacks. That, and the feeling of being trapped by the fact that the only way out was through completing what seemed like an impossible and painfully useless task.


Going back to memories of our move from Colorado, I remember the thing that made it most difficult was leaving friends and family. This picture is of me and my cousin on the 4th of July. We had already moved to Oklahoma by this time and had met our family halfway between here and there. I sat with her and my other cousins in a Kansas parking lot and watched fireflies and fireworks. The drive home was different than other drives. It wasn't boring but it was hard. It was quiet.

Mystory III

Obtuse Meanings

Punctum Image

In the second chapter of Internet Invention, Ulmer asks us to define what he calls the "obtuse" (the unique, personal) meaning of an image. The image above is, obviously, an image of a house, apparently during summer. From the the side mirror in the bottom left you can tell that it was taken from a vehicle. A moving vehicle, actually, which explains the angle of the picture. The reason the driver didn't stop for a better shot is because, on the far left, just out of sight, is a landscape window. And behind that window was a family wondering why a bunch of people in a mini-van were taking pictures of them. 

This picture is of our old house back in Denver, CO. It was last summer, and we were visiting Colorado. We were going to stop and take a few pictures of the house, but as we slowed down, cameras and phones ready, we realized the family was right there looking at us. We didn't stop. We awkwardly waved and quickly moved on. This is the only picture I got.

It was strange seeing the house I had called home for seventeen years, knowing it was someone else's home. I know the ins and outs of that house and yet I may need see the inside again. What was strange is that it didn't bother me. You see, when I first found out we were moving to Oklahoma I stubbornly thought, "Fine, but Colorado will always be my home." However, later that day we went to church and the section read was 1 Peter 2:11... 
"Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and strangers in the world, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,"
It hit me that this world is not my home. Not even Colorado. Although moving was still hard, that made it easier. Christ has helped me to be content, even to the point where I can say that I love Oklahoma. This picture is a reminder of how easily things can change.

Verbal Punctum 

Last summer I began reading the The Lord of the Rings. Often, I didn't fully read the names of the characters. I just skimmed over them. One was Aragorn, a leader, companion and protector to the main character. This seems like a fairly simple name, but for two out of the three books I managed to miss the second "r" in Aragorn, reading it like Aragon. I even messed my sister up when she started reading them. It wasn't until my sister reread the name and pointed it out, that we realized my mistake. I remember it took awhile to get get used to the correct pronunciation. For a long time Aragorn reminded me of the "Gorn" from the Original Star Trek series, a green hulking lizard man. It still does, actually, but I try not to think about that.


One of my favorite music artists is Christian hip-hop and rap artist, Toby Mac. For a while he was all I listened to. You can imagine my excitement when we received an email from a local radio station that we had won two VIP passes to one of his concerts. We didn't realize at the time, but they were valued at several hundred dollars each. The day of the concert my mom (who is also a fan) and I arrived early for "the pre-show meet." There were about twenty other VIP's and when Toby Mac arrived everyone flocked around him. A line soon formed for pictures and autographs. It was at that moment, when I finally got a good look at him, that it hit me; he was just another human being, made of the same fragile flesh. He was also shorter than me. I think that was important, because I don't know if his "humanness" would have hit me so hard had he been 6.5' or something. But here was the man I looked up to and he was shorter than me. I remember thinking about when Michael Jackson died, and I remembered videos of his concerts and seeing people screaming and fainting. I remember thinking, "he's the same, he was just a person too, and he's gone now." It was a stark reminder of how very much alike we all are.
"All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall" - 1 Peter 1:24

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mystory II: Anti-Definition

Mystory II: Anti-Definition

My anti-definition is for the word "mountain." Growing up in Colorado, my family and I spent a lot of time in the mountains. Camping, rock climbing, hiking 14ers and even just an evening trek at the end of a hot day to relax and cool off. These times can be described in so many words but I've narrowed it down to a handful: family, laughter, strength, endurance, perseverance, beauty, accomplishment, overcoming fear, and occasionally, Ibuprofen.

These are some pictures of hikes I've done with my family. The top one was my uncle and my dad, but we got to FaceTime the rest of my family when we reached the top.
Bottom left, some time with my family and my uncle's. The bottom right: one of the nineteen 14ers I did with my Dad, Bierstatd & Sawtooth.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mystory II: Term Extensions

Mystory II: Term Extensions

"What sort of craft makes a good metaphor for developing knowledge in your career field?"

When I think of Biology, I think of discovery. I think of finding and seeing new things. Because of this, I will parallel it to glass-making, specifically window making. The earliest windows were difficult to see through and were often deformed in the center where the glass blower's pipe was once connected, as depicted in the first image below. The more advanced the technique, the better you are able to see through it, opening up your view to the world beyond (Image 2). As technology has improved in the biological field it has allowed humanity to view our world as never before, with more clarity than we could have imagined, even just decades ago.

Mystory I: Career Discourse

Mystory I: Career Discourse
In this section Ulmer asks us to write about a major invention or discovery within our "field of disciplinary knowledge." My field of interest is biology, with a focus on wildlife. One important invention in this field is the Binomial System, or Binomial Nomenclature. Binomial Nomenclature is a system of naming and classifying living things. It was first used in 1753 by biologist Carolous Linnaeus, in his book “Systema Naturae.” Prior to Linnaeus there was no fixed standard, and species were identified not so much by a name, but by a description. These titles were often long and difficult to remember. For example, the Hoary Plantain (pictured below) was known as "Plantago foliis ovato-lanceolatus pubescentibus, spica cylindrica, scapo tereti," which means, "Plantain with pubescent ovate-lanceolate leaves, a cylindric spike and a terete scape." Using his new system, Linnaeus simplified it to "Plantago media," which it is still called today. 

Due to Linnaeus' influence, Binomial Nomenclature has been the standard for classifying organisms since the late 1700's and is used around the world.

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