I believe it


Credibility and believability seem to be in completely different ballparks. Something can be believable and not credible, especially if you are talking to a particularly gullible person. Believability is something that is within the realm of reason. While credibility is something solid that can be proven and backed up with facts. Just because I choose to believe something, doesn’t necessarily make it credible.

The text states “just as you would not naively believe a stranger who approached you on the street, you should not automatically believe a site that you randomly encounter on the web.” I love that logic, but there are holes in it. Imagine you are waiting in line at Starbucks and the guy behind you mentions that cinnamon is better for you than nutmeg, you might just believe him and order the cinnamon latte instead of the nutmeg blend. However if a stranger ran up out of no where while you were walking to work and began sputtering about how it was going to rain later and maybe you should have considered an umbrella. You wouldn’t assume he was a meteorologist, instead you would check his credibility by using a trusted resource such as wfaa.com. The same goes for websites.

When you open up a new website the first thing I notice is the layout, but very soon after that I start to read. It doesn’t take long to decide if it looks and sounds legit. When I’m looking a fact up quickly I will often find myself in Wikipedia, which is an awful habit. I read what wiki has to say and then knowing that they aren’t entirely credible I just base my answer off of believability and previous knowledge. Many times I have been given incomplete information from which I drew my own conclusions. Credibility feeds off of believability. Once you believe it you can choose to look deeper or take it at face value.


What’s in a Blog Post, Anyway?

What makes a word? How can moveable type (like we see in the image) change the way we read? Are words different…do meanings change if we read them in print instead of online? All these questions came to me just from seeing this picture. Imagine what you can come up with in response to the readings in our book! (See below for blog requirements.)

moveable type

Image via flickr user tonystl http://www.flickr.com/photos/tunruh/

Since you’re only writing one blog post throughout the semester, you should spend a lot of time on them and make them great. You may be wondering what to write about and how much. Here are some answers:

  • You should write about 300 words of text for each blog post.
  • Choose a short quotation or section of the assigned text to respond to. You can assume your audience has already read the piece, so don’t spend too much time summarizing.
  • Spend most of your words responding. In other words, tell us what you think. Readers are most interested in your genuine ideas, so let’s hear them.
  • Also, each blog post should have an image. Try and find one that relates to what you’re writing about. And be sure to cite it correctly with a link!
  • One more comment about style: use paragraphs. Don’t make your readers trudge through one long, never-ending paragraph. Give us a chance to process as we read.

Comments should be one substantial paragraph (at least 150 words). Be positive but feel free to disagree.

Light in the Letter



When Martin Luther King Jr. was writing a response letter from a prison cell to eight Alabama clergy men, who questioned King’s methods, King was certainly aware of the significance of his actions and his writing, it is clearly seen in his letter. His actions were justified by great minds, were coming from right circumstances, and causes.

The whole letter enriched me with a lot of dense information, it charged my mind with knowledge, left me in awe. King kept writing about how there is no time for waiting, because at that point waiting meant never. He talked how the fight for freedom does not know convenience.

I began envisioning King writing in the cell. Oppression from outside the walls and within as well. I envision everything is cuddled with darkness, and only one light, so strong, so beautiful illuminates everything. The light is King’s soul, mind, and body.

It is refreshing just to see such a powerful writing in the text book. Everything in it is just direction and opinions, at least from what we had to read thus far. However, King’s letter to me stood out, this writing was part of a movement, of an engine that improved the world.

My favorite is that King’s letter shows what a rich personality he is, examples would be the numerous references to historical thinkers, it shows that King was living in a room filled with those numerous voices, which guided him through the darkness, which helped him to improve the world, by referencing them King reminded to the society of the greatness that is underneath all prejudice. The richness of his personality is also expressed through the length of the letter. At the end of the letter King concludes by pointing out that he did write a lot. When I picture the atmosphere and the setting of where the letter was written, I understand that it is what partially drove him to write, writing was his escape route at that moment.

What can we learn from bad experiences?

Bad Experiences

Everyone’s gone through tough times in their lives; if not in the past then somethings bound to happen. It’s easy to ignore the pain you felt along the way, and pretend like everything is okay, but does this help us move forward?. In Persepolis Marjane lived through bombings in her neighborhood, strict public laws, and the loss of her family members. Through text, pictures, and emotion it became possible for the reader to more deeply feel marjane’s struggles. I’ve personally suffered my share of harsh experiences; surely that was not in the midst of a war, but it was never an easy road. Through my many experiences, no matter how bad there was always a source of light or wisdom that shined through. Can you recall that feeling you felt when you felt like someone or something had given you reason to panic, cry or be sad? did you play the scenes in your head over a thousand times? in persepolis marjane and her family always managed to keep their hopes up even in times of war. By having parties, and spending time together they were able to overcome the unbearable task of living in a dangerous area. not to mention the sources of wisdom, and courage marjane received, whether it was from her grandmother, her uncle marjane was inspired by those around her despite their situation. The simple truth is that bad things will happen to everyone; but no matter the magnitude we have to understand that though bad things happen, it provides us with a deeper understanding of life, and what it means to live. Now i’m not trying to teach others how to live, but i think if we can learn anything from Persepolis it’s that we have to accept that things happen, and when they happen we have to hold on to our beliefs, our loved ones, and our ambitions as tightly as we can. one of the most important aspects of going through hard times is the character we develop. we learn to adapt to our problems and suddenly we appreciate the nuances of life. this gives us even more reason to treat others better, to give to the less fortunate, and to respect ourselves; which is why, in my opinion we learn more about who we are in bad experiences than in any other phase of our life.

Punk Is Not Dead

I think it’s unique to see Marjane’s true personality really come out. I don’t really think she was the kind of Iranian girl to walk around in a vest that says, “Punk is not dead”. But as I watched the movie it looked as if she was doing a lot of small things to rebel. I must say Marjane is a very strong girl for going through what she had gone through at such a young age. Having gone through a revolution and a war are not small things to overcome especially with her being so young she really didn’t know what was going on. However she was a very smart girl. Marjane’s parents played a big role as well; although her parents just wanted the best for her they sent her off to France to get away from the ugliness that was going on in Iran. And it was obvious Marjane didn’t fit in with the normal social groups she seemed t just cling to a group that didn’t mind her presence. I feel like Marjane’s life or the way she is forced to live in Iran is pretty crazy given the fact that women have to wear veils. While they where these veils Iranian guards give the women hard times scream at them to ” fix your head scarf sister”. This movie really opened my eyes to see how different other countries really are. I mean everyone has an idea but until you have experienced it first hand then you really don’t know. I think that Marjane is a very strong independent girl and woman and she demonstrates it through a lot of her actions through out the book and movie.

Living Through the Persepolis


After reading and watching ‘The Complete Persepolis’, it got me thinking about Marjane’s childhood and how she grew up compared to mine. Marjane grew up through the Iran revolution that involved many demonstrations with people shouting that her family was even involved in. Sometimes the soldiers even shot at the crowds of people. All these demonstrations continued and many people died. In the movie and book, it is shown at one point the Satrapi family waking up to gun shootings and bombings in their town. I’m reading this book and cannot even fathom how Marjane Satrapi grew up like this. I wake up everyday with thought of no danger around me, which I am more than grateful for. I understand this happened quite a bit ago; it’s just crazy to think about. Although Marjane’s life was filled with so many historical events, she did live a life that could be compared similar to you or me. She traveled and went to school and learned many things. Marjane fell in love and was even cheated on. Marjane married and divorced. Also in the movie, there is quite an emphasis on how much marijuana that was smoked around Marjane, which is a mixed-opinion subject here. What I’m trying to get at is that ‘The Complete Persepolis’ is a book written about the main character’s life experience throughout the Iran revolution. Her life was crazy and exciting just like you and me (added with many killings in her neighborhood as a young girl because of the revolution). I enjoyed the book and movie but as she becomes older, I’m just reminded that across the world she isn’t much different from me here in Texas or maybe somebody in Australia. The Persepolis shows the people fighting for what is right just like the American’s had done. (Page 26-32)

Childhood Brain Squalls

http://tomorrowsgenius.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/keeping-your-child-organized/ When I was very young, I enjoyed writing just as I do now. However, I had no writing process. I would receive the topic for my paper. Then, I would sit for an unnecessary amount of time thinking of what to write and write my paper all the way through. I never had any plans to perform any revisions. A simple editing process would be all I would use to finish my paper. Even though I had little to no writing process, I found that I did well on most of my papers anyway. I always felt that as soon as I started revising items in my paper, I would dilute my ideas and they wouldn’t have as much impact. It seemed to me that the first ideas that came out on paper or computer were my best. So, I continued for years using the same writing style of just writing out everything start to finish. I realized that this worked in high school, but when I made it to college, the amount of pages I was required to write for papers increased dramatically. My process didn’t work anymore. The length of the papers required much more expansion on my ideas. I also learned that I needed all the ideas my brain could generate. I finally started using pre-writing processes such as written brainstorms and outlines. Of course, to my surprise, it became much easier to write my papers. Although, I had never used an outline much before, I found the act of writing my ideas on paper and then looking at them sparked so many more ideas and ways to word my phrases. Now I understand that using my strategy in combination with a normal writing strategy helps me the best. Outlining and brainstorming first allow me to get a larger number of ideas into my work. However, I still make sure not to revise to the point where I lose the power of my words.

Liberties We Take for Granted

Figure drawing classroom at the University of North Texas

Figure drawing classroom at the University of North Texas


There are an extraordinary amount of social and political liberties that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Throughout Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi lives a life on the opposite spectrum, regarding authoritative rule, in her country on Iran and her autobiographical novel really opened my mind to that particular lifestyle. She is forced to assimilate into traditionalist values by living in constant fear of being arrested if she does not comply with regulations of dress and values.

The portion of the book I identified the most with was the when Marjane was in art school. As a visual communications student myself, I personally live in a world where I am not bond to strict regulations of my government and I can draw what I please. A central component to basic drawing classes in numerous art schools is nudes. People’s forms and body shapes are masked under clothing, and drawing nudes allows students to acquire skill of drawing the human body with anatomical correctness. Marjane was not allowed to draw nudes in her school, but rather drew veiled women, which did not expose the form of the individual’s body. Marjane and her friends drew each other in the confines of their own houses, where they were not under the constant threat of detainment if they were not in accordance to various social requirements.

When walking down the street, Marjane had to continuously think about whether or not her physical deposition would get her arrested. She had to manage her pants length, whether or not her veil was worn properly, the amount of make-up she was wearing, and various other things. Frivolous behaviors such as drinking alcohol, playing cards, dancing were banned. Marjane and her male counterparts were separated in school and unmarried couples could not live together or show their affection in public. I could not imagine living my own life in such circumstances. I tried to picture myself amongst Marjane and I simply could not imagine living in a healthy cognitive state because I am used to social and political freedom.

I live in a world where I can wear whatever attire I desire, as long as it’s not too obscene. I can actively protest and walk down a street without the threat of being arrested. I can play cards, dance, and display affection openly. I can draw nudes and be part of a class with both males and females. Often I take these notions for granted.


Knowledge Is Power

A light in the dark

After reading Persepolis i had the urge to grab a box of crayons and go to work on coloring the whole book. But then i realized that not only would that be a waste of time but it would destroy the solemnity of the book. By not adding color the author was able to keep focus on what was important – the text – and not having to much focus stray to the illustrations.

Adding color to this memoir-comic-strip would have greatly changed the mood throughout the book, keeping it black and white gave it a feeling of a memory that couldn’t be retrieved. With all the violence being depicted throughout the book from: battles, explosions, riots, and deaths. All the added red would have turned this memoir-comic-strip to a parody of the graphic novel Sin City, which to me, would have ruined the book.

I feel by keeping it black and white she was able to accomplish the sense of solitude she was feeling at times. By executing all black or all white backgrounds she was able to change the mood without taking your focus of the text to the pictures. The non existent of color seemed to make the story and the drawings flow smoothly, so for a non comic fan, it made this one a much better read.

And it makes me wonder if this was the purpose the author intended; to write a book that appealed to kids, that was simple to read, and would provide knowledge and history. Just like her favorite comic she read as a child entitled “Dialectic Materialism.”

Transition Into Adulthood

After reading this comic, I found it interesting how Mariane made things work for her at home after being held back from doing the things she had done before the Islamic revolution. Towards the beginning of the book, Mariane was a young girl and didn’t understand some of the changes that took place around her. Her parents accepted those changes but Mariane didn’t. She often questioned and defied those changes and chose not to accept them. This foreshadows which qualities will follow Mariane later on in the book. As she grew older, she moved to Venice and gained an enormous amount of freedom. Seeing what the western culture was really like made it hard for her to fit in easily. After getting cheated on by her boyfriend, she questioned her purpose and sought to find it back home. From then on out, her life seems to be relatively better and she transitions from a feeble-minded child to an adult and eventually gets married.
After seeing Mariane’s transition into adulthood after she came back home makes me wonder when the transition into adulthood will settle in. For me, I believe I can fully call myself an adult as soon as I start paying the bills for my apartment/house, car, etc. Being an adult, to me, is when I can live on my own and not have to depend on my parents to support me. There are always some pros and cons of living on your own. Since this is a “discussion” with the class, I want to know what you guys think the meaning of adulthood is. So what do you guys think? Does being an adult mean you move out of your house? Does adulthood mean getting a license? I want to know what adulthood is for you.

Comics Defined


When we think of the word comic what usually comes to mind is images of superheroes with super powers swooping in a saving the day frame by frame along with some very and not so very witty dialogue. We also think of only certain groups of people reading them. However, this comic was very different. It didn’t contain any of the mentioned above. What it did contain redefined the word “comic”.
This comic was very interesting to say the least. It’s a comic talking about what comics are. I personally think that defining it in such a manner was a stroke of genius. It starts out like an essay only the opposite way. It starts with a very narrow definition of what he thought a comic was. As it gets further into the story the definition gets a little more broad and narrowed back down. It goes over everything that a comic can be defined as from “sequential art” to “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence” and everything in between. Towards the end of the reading it came down to “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response from the viewer”.
After reading everything in the pages assigned I feel that this has completely change my view on comics. Superheroes with super powers are the the first thing that come to mind when I think of the word”comic”. I now think of images and dialogue working together in a moving sequence to tell a story. In a way it’s kind of like a movie. Overall I found this read to be very interesting and very enlightening.

Coming of Age



So far, I’m truly enjoying this comic. I find it extremely interesting to see how Marjane’s perspective of the world around her changes as she grows older. As she experiences and understands more and more of the Islamic revolution and she grows older her mindset changes several times.

In the very beginning of the story describes her perception of the veil that became obligatory to wear in 1980 for women. She explains that they “didn’t really like to wear the veil, especially since [they] didn’t understand why [they] had to.” Under this line the comic displays a picture of a bunch of young girls comically playing with their veils displaying a childish mindset and an overall sense of ignorance.

 As things in her life begin to change Marjane begins to show an interest as to why yet still presenting that childish nature. Marjane tells her parents “I want to come tomorrow! …To demonstrate on the street!” Her parents quickly explain to her that its extremely dangerous and turn her down done immediately yet throughout her argument for her right to demonstrate Marjane maintains a sense of childish wisdom, saying things like “For a revolution to succeed, the entire population must support it.” All the while, the comic’s pictures are displaying her as a stubborn child attempting to sound authoritative. I find it really interesting though that at such a young age she finds an interest in the revolution and want to be a part of it. I know I wasn’t interested in political matters at such a young age.

 However, after a while Marjane’s mind set begins to change even more. In “The Key,” the very first picture in the comic shows Marjane reading as newspaper regarding all the Martyrs who have died for their cause. Throughout this section of the book at the age of fourteen it seems to me that Marjane is less interested in spouting an opinion and is simply soaking in information regarding the subject and going on about her teenage business.

 I feel Marjane’s mind set will continue to change throughout the book as she gets older, learns more about the world around her, and begins to form a political opinion of her own.