Creating Your Blog

Hello. Welcome to the class blog for ENG 391W: Brain Narratives. Use the links in this post to help you set up your blog. Just follow these instructions:

1) If you have not done so for another class, sign up for a qwriting account. Then follow the instructions for creating your own blog. Once you have a username, join this blog by clicking the “Join this Blog” link to the right.

2) Change your display name: When you write posts and leave comments, they will be signed with your username, which is what you use to log in to the qwriting system. You should change your display name so instead of showing your username it shows your real name.

3) Familiarize yourself with the blog layout and the syllabus materials I’ve uploaded. You’ll find a link to the syllabus at the top along with assignments, policies, and the course schedule with links to all the readings. If you’re new to blogging, take a peek at some of the qwriting help pages:

4.) Add your blog to the class blogroll. Just put your name and the url for your blog in the boxes on the right and click “Add Link.”

5.) Add the “Share Blogroll” widget to your “Dashboard” so that links to everybody’s blogs will appear on your page.

6.) Customize your blog: Choose a theme (or design); give your blog a title (and, if your theme allows, a tagline).

7.) Leave a comment to this post when you’re all signed up and introduce yourself: Give a first impression of the class, ask a question, tell us about one of your favorite books or something interesting about brains (or your brain), or say what you want to get out of the class.

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16 Responses to Creating Your Blog

  1. charm2 says:

    I’m a senior and an English major. An animal lover, I studied animal science in a pre-vet program after high school. I realized that I did not have the ‘gift’ necessary to work with animals when I was asked to get a dog from it’s cage during class held in an animal hospital. I could feel the dog’s growl before I heard it and that dog knew I was afraid; I had to ask someone else to get bring the dog into the treatment room. Still, I am a magnet for strays animals and do what I can to help when they cross my path.
    I pursued my love of photography and now work using my experience with photography along with graphic and website design as well as copy writing.
    Most of the credits I have earned at QC are from classes that I wanted to take, that interested me, so I have not gone from A to B to C.
    This course has all the makings of an enlightening, inspirational as well as humbling experience.

  2. nishantmisra says:

    Debra, Shannon, Anthony…alright I’ll stop, couldn’t help myself. Hey everyone! My name is Nishant Misra and I’m majoring in English and Comparative Literature. My language of choice is Russian, thank you for the push Mr. Dostoevsky. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the class but I must confess the emphasis on technology is off putting, oh well, C’est la vie.

    I find the subject matter of brain matter and how it factors into “sharing” a consciousness fascinating. My favorite aspect of today’s class was the stream of consciousness activity. It was liberating and exciting to allow my pen to freely roam, to explore the possibilities. I only wished I was able to write at a quicker pace.

    My favorite book…hmm… This is thought provoking. Petals of Blood by Ngugi had a profound influence on my decision to focus on post-colonialism. Currently I’m on a Jack Kerouac high and I’ve just finished Visions of Cody, just finished ordering The Dharma Bums and On the Road: the scroll edition.

    I’ve read everyone else’s comments on the brain and it would seem we’re already began sharing our consciousness as I have nothing new to add. I just hope we don’t think too much and feel too little.

  3. schristian says:

    Hiii! My name is Samantha but you guys can call me Sam! I am an English major and my minor is psychology. I am interested on how the brain works and other interesting things about it that’s why I picked it. I love Nicholas Sparks’s books and I am excited about this class. Some of my favorite books are A walk to Remember, The Notebook, Dear John and my favorite The Last Song.

  4. Aloha. My name is Christopher, but you can call me Chris. I am an upper level senior and an English major (mainly because being a rockstar or an astronaut aren’t a major at Queens College).

    Like many of you, I am thoroughly excited for this seminar. I have always had a certain fascination with the way the brain works, as well as a passion for literature. Seeing that this is a combination of the two, I can only imagine the insight that is to be discovered about that big blob of flesh inside out skulls that we so often forget about.

    As a seasoned veteran of scouring the internet for interesting stuff, I have over the years come across some interesting brain related content. Here are a few for you to consider: (I can find the links somewhere in my reddit archives but these I know off hand)

    1. Everybody dreams. You don’t remember your dreams last night? Well they’re happening whether you like it or not!

    2. Usually, the average person has four, sometimes up to seven, vivid dreams a night. Sometimes this number can breaks fifteen if your brain is extra active that evening.

    3. Right now, you are subconsciously active. For instance, you are now controlling your breathing. Also, there is no comfortable place in your mouth for your tongue to sit. Enjoy that feeling.

    See you ladies and gentlemen soon!

  5. Hey everyone, I’m Danielle and I am a lower senior majoring in Elementary education and English. Browsing at the topics for senior seminar this one instantly stood out in my mind. I always found the brain fascinating and I’m eager to learn more about it. I’m really into murder/mystery novels, so one of my favorite novel is The Confession by John Grisham. Look forward to meeting everyone tomorrow!

  6. Hey all,
    First off my name is Adrian Casiano. Im an upper junior working on completing my English major and recently dipping my toes into the waters of Secondary Education and Youth Services. Im really excited to begin this class as well as meeting you all. From what i’ve gathered i think this is going to be a great semester and i cant wait to experience “Brain Narratives”. The texts all sound interesting and im thrilled to delve into them. I really dont have any fun facts about brains and i believe the most common ones have already been exhausted. My brain is my brain whether insane or just plain. 🙂 A few of my all time favorite books have been The Catcher in the Rye (in high school), Junkie by William S Burroughs and On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I enjoy the rawness, the “tell it like it is” effect in many books as well as full detailed images.

    So yea that’s a little about me and the rest, well you’ll see! 🙂

  7. Hey everyone,
    My name is Shannon. It has been pretty interesting reading the comments so far, and I’m really excited for this class. I’ve already taken a senior seminar, but once I noticed the topic of this one I had to sign up. I’m not sure if I’ll get credit for the class; mostly I just want to better understand my brain a little bit so that I can continue to write my own type of brain narratives. I also want to steal writing tips from the authors on the syllabus. How do they write about a brain disorder and not make everything sound clinical? How do they shape their characters so they become more than a walking diagnosis?

    I cannot choose a favorite book/author (like many of my classmates), but the last one I read for fun was A Hologram for the King, by Dave Eggers, and I would definitely recommend it. I’m trying to finish God is Dead by Ron Currie Jr. before I have to start reading for classes tomorrow.

  8. Greetings everyone, My name is Anthony, and I am an upper junior majoring in Biology. I came across the description for this class, and I was hooked by the topic. The Brain and all of its intricacies, some of which still remain to be deciphered, has always been enthralling to me. Although I admittedly do not read for pleasure, I’ve always greatly enjoyed English/Comparative Literature classes. This seminar combines my passion for biology/the sciences, and my enjoyment of literary-centric classes. I think the small class size, and high level of interaction via blog, and writings mentioned in the description, will really be refreshing and lead to stimulating discussions.

    Fun Fact about the 3 pounds of flesh in your head: The average human being is believed to have over 70,000 thoughts per day. So every Tuesday and Thursday we will each have about 3,646 thoughts to share with one another.

  9. Debra says:

    Hi! My name is Debra and I am a junior. I am a double major; majoring in an interdisciplinary major (world history & English) and an Elementary & Early Childhood Education major. I selected this section of ENGL 391W for the reason I find how the brain works quite fascinating. With that said despite the concern of how I will keep up with the reading I look forward to the texts we will be reading this semester. From this semester I hope to gain a better understanding of how the brain works and how the brain effects different behaviors whether it’s under the influence of a disorder or illness like epilepsy or not.

  10. Hong Man says:

    My name is Hong Man and I am an English major finishing up my last semester at QC as an undergrad. I don’t really know what to make of the class yet, and I would hate to make any assumptions. Therefore, I am going to keep an open-mind wherever this little journey takes us. I don’t have a favorite book per say, but I am a huge fan of The Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin. But when it comes to genres, I am very fascinated by coming of age and bildungsroman stories. I have recently reread David Copperfield by Charles Dickens over the break and watched a few film or TV adaptations of literary classics—Tom Brown’s Schooldays, Captain Courageous, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectation, and Dombey and Son. None of which I can really recommend if you don’t have a profound interest in Victorian boyhood or coming of age stories. Not to mention that many of these adaptations deviate quite substantially from their source materials, perhaps with the exception of the 1922 silent black-and-white version of Oliver Twist staring Jackie Coogan as Oliver. Did you know he’s the same dude who played Uncle Fester from The Adams Family?
    As to the one thing that I would like to take away from this seminar, it is the successful completion of a literary research project, such as the one that we will undertake. When it comes to anything that has to do with the brain, I have little to no knowledge, mine or anyone else. So I welcome any new information and insights without discrimination. Alas, I have little doubt that this course will come with an excruciating amount of workload that will haunt me for the next couple of months. I can’t wait to get busy…

  11. Arefa Salahuddin says:

    Hi everyone!
    Glad to meet you all. My name is Arefa Salahuddin and after a lot of drifting through out my freshman year currently I am an English/Middle Eastern major. I think my background as an avid reader helped me chose my major. I was a little hesitant about joining this class because of the warnings of ‘This WILL be a lot of work, can you handle it?’. But I take it with a stride and hope to do well in this class. I used to inhale as many books as I could during my childhood until my last year of high school. Unfortunately classes, work and responsibilities get in the way of reading for the sake of fun. Nowadays the majority of readings I do is done for school. I’m always open to any type of book from different authors, genres and topics. Its fascinating how much a perspective can change through dialogues in simple pages.

    Its hard to pinpoint one book that I really enjoyed when I liked so many. Each author has a different aspect that struck its cord with me. Rather than chose a favorite book I like to take lessons from each book. I think recently I read The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman. It was slightly gripping with enough suspense and comfort of words.
    At the end of the semester maybe English won’t be as confusing as it is now
    see you all Tuesday

  12. shahana says:

    Hey guys! My name is Shahana Mannan. I am a senior majoring in English and Communication Science Disorders. I kind of settled as an English major when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but then I found my passion in Speech Language Pathology.

    I wasn’t too sure about this seminar when I first saw the topic because I’m not a sciency person, but it fit perfectly into my schedule—so I registered. However, after looking at whats planned for the semester and the direction this class will be taking, I am honestly looking forward to this class and it seems like it will be really interesting.

    I would say one of my favorite books would be Loving Rachel by Jane Bernstein. It’s a memoir of how a mother copes and accepts her daughter’s visual impairment and intellectual deficiencies. It was beautifully written and conveyed the impact of having a disabled child.

    Theres nothing really interesting about my brain except that theres always a lot of activity—-I have a lot to say and thats mainly because I have a lot on my mind.

    Excited to meet everyone on Tuesday =)

  13. Tracy Eng says:

    Hello all, I’m a senior majoring in English and minoring in Journalism. When the time came to finally take my senior seminar, I wanted to take a class that would help me expand my perception of literary works. “Brain Narratives” sounded perfect because I always enjoyed examining mental aspects, and applying aspects of psychology to works of literature sounded not only fun but would also be completely different compared to the usual discussions in English survey classes.

    One of my favorite books is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, just because it is so amazingly raunchy. I’m not sure what would be considered interesting about my brain other than it never stops thinking; overthinking is one of my weaknesses. I also am currently applying for my first ever internship at Scholastic; I have never been so excited and terrified at the same time.
    I look forward to meeting everyone~

  14. Jennifer Lee says:

    Hello. My name is Jennifer. After changing my major several times, I have finally decided to stick with the one thing I have passion for: literature. Last semester, I took an English elective called Literature and Psychology. My professor focused on cognitive psychology rather than the usual psychology theories (ex. Freud.) As I was taking that class and deciding on which senior seminar class I wanted to venture, there was a class on the brain and I thought it was a great opportunity to continue studying the cognitive mind which I greatly enjoyed studying about.

    I honestly believe that the question “Which is your favorite book?” is the most difficult question to answer. Therefore, I will just say that I am currently reading William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. And I am enjoying it.

    Interesting fact about the brain: I would like to mention an interesting fact about the medulla oblongata. This part of the brain stem has nothing to do with the cognitive mind. It controls the body’s involuntary actions of breathing, reflex in coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and so on. Once a person’s medulla oblongata snaps, then the person can no longer live; the person dies immediately. Therefore, in action movies, when an aggressor twists another person’s neck, the victim does not die from a broken neck but from their destroyed medulla oblongata. Also, when a person is hanged, he/she does not die of suffocation. The weight of the body snaps the medulla oblongata. Therefore, when you see someone being saved from hanging, it is impossible–unless it is a child. A child’s weight is not heavy enough to snap their medulla oblongata. I learned this when I took human physiology and found it interesting.

    If anyone’s interested, I can also explain the myth about fish being brain food.

  15. Hi everyone, my name is Robert and I am an English and Economics double-major. I signed up for this class because there’s nothing cooler than exploring the mind, both when it is attached to a healthy brain and when it is distorted by disease. As an economics major, I’ve learned to look at rational behavior as economic decision-making, and what I’ve found most fascinating is trying to understand the causes and extent of pathological irrationality. I hope to learn more about the diversity of mental experience.

  16. Hi! I’m Ariel and I am a lower senior majoring in Comparative Literature. Not quit sure if I have anything interesting to share about my brain aside from thankfully it seems to be working just fine. One of my favorite books is The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. If anyone is interested I would be happy to lend them my copy. See everyone Tuesday.

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