What’s the Point… of View

Let me preface this post by admitting it isn’t my usual thing. I’m working on a project for a Creative Writing class I’m currently taking and wanted to poll the internet realm on a question. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on point of view and what’s popular, easiest, “best, etc. I started a piece using third person editorial omniscient. Then I read numerous articles saying readers today dislike omniscient narrators because they desire a more personal connection with characters. I’ve enjoyed a few books with omniscient narrators and was wondering if I’m just abnormal. What are your favorite points of view to read and/or write? If you’ve got time I included that beginning of my work in progress and would love feedback on feelings about the point of view or any feedback in general.

Thanks internet!

Caitlin

Judgment by Chance

            Every city had a Reader. Every Reader hated books. This has been true since as long as anyone’s oldest relative could remember remembering. The idea’s birthplace remains a mystery. Nobody who is willing to share knows who created the magic of Readers, it just was. Sort of like gravity, except a surprising amount of people decide to challenge gravity by jumping off roofs and the likes, whereas Readers were more universally accepted. This made them the main authority of the land and was generally considered an improvement to the time before readers by those categorized as the little people. The less little people preferred the old system of “Might is Right” but they were outnumbered and smart enough, for the most part, to keep their mouths shut.

Knowing all of this, Chance was less than thrilled when a letter from the University bearing the Reader crest of two books on a scale arrived on his doorstep. During the seconds it took to crack open the letter’s red wax seal, Chance had already envisioned a multitude of ways this could end in unpleasant death. Chance possessed what his mother kindly termed an overeager imagination. Where normal people saw shadows, Chance saw dark garbed assassins.  Having no enemies who would possibly want to assassinate him, he recognized his own paranoia. Chance grimly reassured himself; Readers had been assassinated in the past so maybe his paranoia would prove valid.

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Contusions

When is the last time you had a well earned bruise? As a child I was constantly scraping my knee, getting grass stains on my clothes, and otherwise completely ignoring my own mortality. There seems this cultural belief that teenagers feel immortal. I’d disagree. Children feel immortal. They give everything one hundred percent. Crying, laughing, running, jumping, there’s no holding back.

The first time I remember losing my ability to commit to an action without fear ended with the gritty taste of sand in my mouth. Most of the memory is hazy like it was a dream and I’ve already been awake for too long afterwards. I do know it was a red swing held up with actual chains because the problem started when the twisting chains pinched my finger. I was gripping the chains in preparation to jump and immediately froze when it pinched me. Continue reading

What Would Ethics Do? or Should I Eat Ice Cream for Dinner?

We all face difficult ethical decisions during our lifetime. I know I personally often wish that someone would just tell me the right choice. Thankfully many people throughout history have been willing to do just that. Thanks to a new class on Ethical Dilemmas and Decision Making in Criminal Justice that I recently started I’ve learned new fancy terms for the ethical systems that have developed over time. Some of the book example are impractical to my life. To understand it better I’d like to apply some of these systems to an ethical dilemma I find particularly troubling. Should I eat ice cream for dinner? Let’s see what ethics thinks:

Ethics of Virtue

   According to this system if I’m a virtuous person I’ll basically do the right thing because of my virtuousness. I’m not sure that I’m bursting with virtue so that’s not super helpful. With a little more work I found what constitues “good” virtues. One of the virtues Aristotle discussed was temperance which is the balance between self indulgence and asceticism. Ice cream for dinner probably constitutes self indulgence so no ice cream for me under this code of ethics.

Natural Law Ethics

   This system believes that morals are inherent in nature (not human made) and can be discovered by reason. I’m not entirely a fan of this form of ethics because it’s often used for stupid reasons. For example people argue that because we have traditionally had heterosexual relationships it’s more natural and we shouldn’t have same-sex marriage. Which isn’t super factual anyways and homosexuality is all over nature. Hello, watch some animal porn… I mean planet, Animal Planet. But I can work the system just as well as anyone. Ice cream is natural because it’s produced with things found in nature and my natural instinct is to eat the ice cream so clearly that’s the right thing to do.

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Goodbyes!

I just attended the closing dinner and awards ceremony for WUDC Berlin 2013! The event required a lot of well deserved clapping for those involved in the tournament and debaters who did well. I really appreciated that everyone clapped and stood for those who were first place in each category no matter what the student’s country of origin. It’s competitive but a truly friendly environment at the end of the day.

I loved the city and the people so it’s bittersweet to say goodbye. I’m pretty sure I haven’t gotten this little sleep since finals week but I’ve enjoyed missing sleep for this a lot more than I did during finals. I’m honored to have represented Ball State at World’s. I met a lot of great people. Many of them hadn’t heard of Ball State or even Indiana at points. There was a lot of referencing Chicago to explain where we came from, butI think we made positive impressions in the end.

I know a lot of people made positive impressions on me. I have a few extra couches available to crash on if I ever get to explore the world and a great list of recommended places to go.  A special shout out to my friend Russel from Brandeis. He helped us feel less like a team attending World’s for the first time and eventually clued us in on the American section. I think the people really make the tournament and that’s part of why there are socials every night. It’s worth it to meet so many intelligent, fascinating, and opinionated people.

I’ve travelled a few times by now and leaving never gets easier. I miss my friends in Muncie so I’m excited to see them but it’s still hard to leave Berlin. Home is nice but travel is great too. It’s easier to feel enthused to go home knowing that I will travel again. I found this message on the Berlin wall that really encompasses how I feel about travel. Home is not behind you, the world is ahead. I’m ready to recharge at home but I’ll definitely be seeing more of the world again soon. Especially considering how awesome this experience was.

I wish you the world and appreciate your following our journey,

Caitlin

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