@coursera_myth Assignment 2: Female sexuality boundaries in Imperial #Rome

 Ancient Greek & Roman Mythology Assignment 2  {Coursera / Penn University}

In this course, we have introduced Functionalism, Structuralism, Freudianism, and Myth and Ritual theory as tools to examine our myths. Choose one of these tools and use it to analyze one episode in the Greek tragedies or the portions of Vergil’s Aeneid or Ovid’s Metamorphoses that we have read for this class. It is up to you to decide how long or short an episode is. The best answers to this question will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the theoretical tool, and will use it to reveal something new in the episode under consideration. You may NOT repeat a specific result, using one of these theoretical tools, set out in lecture. Move from the evidence to your conclusion with careful attention to detail. Avoid generalities.

Female sexuality boundaries in Imperial Rome

Virgil writes the Aeneid in times of great political change; the former Roman Republic has given way to an autocracy by Augustus, as sole ruler of the “Imperium Romanum” [1]. Literature and myth written during that time convey multiple social conformities of the era or at least the ones that the Roman Emperor would like to establish. Reading Aeneid’s Book IV, the tragic tale of a woman abandoned by her lover, withholds multiple meanings when viewed from a functionalist perspective.

Dido is infatuated by the Trojan hero, Aeneas; she seems “…fetter’d in the chains of love” [2]. However,  to exhibit her love fervor “by no sense of shame“[2] is unheard of. Virgil stresses through myth that Imperial Roman society would have any attempt “to perfect this affair” [2] remain in hiding, for nothing but shame would be the result; thus Juno cloaks the infamous cave scene in “a pitchy cloud” [2] surrounded by the sounds of a tempest.  This sexual interaction hardly meets the expectations of matrimony for the Romans, thus it is portrayed as a mere “lustful” union of bodies. For an “univira” [1], a one-man woman, to appear less than modest was considered a social hubris. Dryden’s translation is indicative of Virgil’s disproval:


Painting in oils, ‘The Feast of Dido and Aeneas by François de Troy, 1704. Source licensed under CC: http://www.artnet.com/Artists/LotDetailPage.aspx?lot_id=12F5C9013F565317D88FCF849473A0A8 (Retrieved 24 June 2013 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Feast_of_Dido_and_Aeneas_by_Fran%C3%A7ois_de_Troy,_1704.jpg)

Lost in their loves, insensible of shame,

And both forgetful of their better fame. [2]

Dido believes otherwise; yet for a woman to uphold “pudicitia” [1], i.e. remain virtuous certain procedures ought to have taken place. It wouldn’t seem inappropriate for a widow to remarry in ancient Roman times, yet the carnal, non-sanctified affair is deemed as untimely and controversial for a woman of nobility.

The myth goes on to invoke  the Gods, in order for Aeneas to flee in seek of his destiny and as stated in-text “to redeem his honor lost” [2]. These strong words for the epic’s protagonist denote that sexual desire and liberal affairs with a woman of a certain class seldom abide by male duty and honor, too.

Virgil appeals to the reader’s empathy for Dido as he concludes Book IV; still her tragic end is imperative. Could it be that her sister speaks the poet’s mind, as she tries to reawaken the Tyrian queen in vain?

At once thou hast destroy’d thyself and me,
Thy town, thy senate, and thy colony! [2]

Dido has ruined her own life, her family and Carthage itself (!) not only by committing suicide but also by allowing herself to fall from grace. Why is it that Virgil requires a fatal blow for Dido? Again, functionalism justifies the myth’s means to a social end. Augustus had instituted a legislation to enforce piety among Roman women [1], so Dido’s symbolic erotic behaviour might have been illegal as well as immoral during that time.

To conclude, Virgil ‘s Aeneid highlights plenty of social norms during the Imperial Roman Era through a functionalist aspect of  his myth; Book  IV indicates, a woman’s place ought to be next to a lawful husband and not a lover; otherwise one must face severe consequences.

Works cited:

1. Burton, Neel. “Sexuality in Ancient Rome.”  Web Blog post. Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers LLC, 24 June 2012. Web. 24 June 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201206/sexuality-in-ancient-rome&gt;.

2. Virgil. “Book IV.” The Aeneid. Trans. John Dryden. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 24 June 2013. <http://classics.mit.edu/Virgil/aeneid.4.iv.html&gt;


First – Year Composition 2.0 {Coursera / Georgia Tech} – Personal philosophy essay final (completely revised)

Embracing the utopian era of digitalized communication

Not a day goes by without me checking my online life. I have just finished my first cup of coffee and hastily eaten my sandwich. Not much of a breakfast but it will do. Second cup of coffee is brewing, while I boot up the laptop – thank God for Window 7, that Vista system took forever, I contemplate as I yawn. My throne my revolving IKEA chair awaits. First I open my e-mails tab, second tab belongs to Facebook  – should I open Twitter? – nah… leave it for later. Let’s open Google calendar  – oh crap, MOOC deadline today? – I don’t have time for a philosophical essay!!!   I do this regime almost every day, perhaps each time opening a different website or maybe accessing data from my cell instead of my laptop. For Christmas, I usually ask Santa for a new gaming PC or an iPad and I am a girl! Shouldn’t I be asking for new shoes or something? I beg to differ.

I am a digital native; I belong to the generation Y. Having said that, I have reinterpreted the term “generation gap” between us and the non digital literates as a complete and utter communication barrier. Thus, I would advise people to reconsider their hostile inclination towards technological tools. We live in a society of informatics. Information is digitally displayed everywhere, virtually enhanced, accessed and shared by millions of people every day. Our modern-day amenities include at least two or three digital devices. Companies now take a look at their future employee’s Facebook. Television has finally found a decent opponent. I could receive a piece of information in the news interpreted one way or I could surf the Internet – which I do – to find out multiple versions of the “truth” and personally decide which one is convincing or not. And yet there are people  – in the Western World – who are against social online connectivity and the use of technology, refusing to learn so much as to e-mail. Don’t get me wrong, in case an environment lacks the technological infrastructure, it is perfectly understandable to grin, while reading this text. The digital divide has yet to be bridged around the globe. However,  isn’t it anachronistic to remain a sworn enemy of progress at the dawn of the 21st century in parts of the world where progress actually flourishes?

I cannot fathom why a person would shun today’s technology, especially when it comes to considerably simplifying communications. I also don’t see the point on regarding  social media as spying tools. Number one, CIA and Interpol can spy you anywhere,anytime, they hardly need Google+ / Google maps / Google period. Secondly, what is it that you have to hide?






Manon Lescaut ( by Abbé Prévost) analytical paper

The Fiction of Relationship {Coursera / Brown} – WEEK 2 HOMEWORK



Symbiotic relationships: the shortcomings of youth

Symbiosis might qualify for a true definition of the ideal love; each partner mutually depending on the other, forming a beneficial co-existence. Age and maturity substantially contribute to such a state between a couple. I would assume the alternative term, fusion, the union of two separate individuals into one entity, even on spiritual premises, was perhaps unheard of in the 18th century and highly doubtful whether it can truly be achieved even by today’s standards. Siding with a somewhat cynical approach of the novel, I am inclined to suggest that the couple’s ill-fated story was one of co-existence, taken to an extreme, but symbiotic? Hardly.

Enter Manon, a young lady, forever infatuated by new temptations to expense. (p. 72: §119) Her poorest of backgrounds didn’t allow for many choices to earn her living. Satisfied with finding affluent, funding suitors, she trespasses on de Grieux’s intense amour, callously suggesting that whom one beds is not necessarily whom one loves. Precarious words in the case of our protagonist, who foolishly believes that her figure transcends into a divine dimension, equal to that of Magdalene or – blasphemously – God himself. Manon puts her own individual self and lust for luxury above all costs, even that of her dignity.

Web. Retrieved 17 June 2013 from http://www.livre-ancien.eu

His uncontrollable passion for the woman is so intense that he soon spirals into a chain of unlawful actions in order to subsidize their bond;  his newly found thousand sentiments of pleasure (p. 22: §39) drives  him in defiance of family, church, law and social order. His idea of love, sanctified in his state of mind, justifies the means to an end. Yet, how can one expect mere children of our age (p. 28: §49)  discovering sexual ecstasy for the first time – in case of the man in our story – take love seriously?

Pleasure and plenty she loved too well to sacrifice them for my sake (p.77: §128), he exclaims frantically when he faces the danger of losing her affections over his own material deficits. In a sense symbiosis here is substituted by  emotional leeching. Manon sucked on de Grieux’s feelings, he on the other hand was pumping more blood in his affective veins, nonetheless. Modern psychologists would likely call it sociopathic or a serious case of mental obsession on his behalf. It is no wonder that his only true friend, Tiberge, perhaps acting as the voice of a fictitious, wiser, older brother this time, puts aside his empathy and curses the wretched union: “…and may you yourself remain alone and deserted, to learn the vanity of these things, which now divert you from better pursuits!” (p.97:  §156)

All in all, the novel symbolizes fiction of a non symbiotic relationship, hence not reflecting a true love story but rather a doomed, youthful, carnal infatuation, which led both individuals to their demise.

Works cited:

Prévost, Abbé. Manon Lescaut. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Project Gutenberg. Web. 17 June 2013. <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/468&gt;.

Ninja Zombies: Why #gamers like to #game

Crafting an effective Writer: Tools of the trade {MSJC / Coursera} Week 5 Journal Writing 1 and Final writing Assessment

Module 1 Writing Activity

Pick one of the four topics listed in the Week 5 writing assignment and choose the topic that most appeals to you for your final, peer-reviewed paragraph. Once you’ve made your choice, start with the first step of the writing process, inventing, and try a few of the methods to develop your ideas.  If you find that the topic does not seem to be working, try developing another topic. Once you’ve developed some good ideas for your paragraph, move to the second step, organizing, and construct an outline that you can use for drafting your paragraph.

Topic #2 
Identify and describe a favorite activity or interest and provide at least four reasons why this activity or interest holds your attention and/or is enjoyable to you

cluster (mind mapping) brainstoming week 5

For the purposes of this assignment I chose the  “cluster” brainstorming technique, mentioned in the course and as always I employed an appropriate digital tool for the job, called Mindmeister. Here’s the final paragraph for Week 5′ s final assignment.


For the Unit 5 final writing assignment, you will compose a direct paragraph, one that has

  • a title;
  • a clear topic sentence;
  • a fully developed body, which includes necessary and sufficient details and examples;
  • necessary and appropriate transitions;
  • a logical conclusion; and
  • a minimum of fifteen (15) sentences.

Before you submit your paper for peer review, plan to proofread for

  • subject-verb agreement errors,
  • pronoun-antecedent agreement errors,
  • shifts in verb tense,
  • faulty parallel structure, and
  • comma, capitalization, number, word choice, and spelling errors.

You should imagine your peers in this course as your readers/audience. Because of the diverse population of students enrolled in this course, you need to be keenly aware of the need to provide details and examples that are clear and precise. Keeping in mind a living audience, rather than one you imagine, will help you convey more reliably the value of your perspective in the topic upon which you choose to write.

Ninja Zombies: Why gamers like to game

Among recent pop culture trends, gaming is considered one of people’s most favorite pastimes, myself included;  however, video games seem to signify more than a mere pastime. Choosing to spend one’s free time in front a computer or a console constitutes a highly immersive experience, though quite addictive at times, too. First of all, video games are plain fun; while an obvious argument in support of this hobby, it is also a convincing one. For instance, when a player unlocks an achievement, occasional laughter is accompanied by a feeling of self-satisfaction, marking the gaming experience as a personal accomplishment of a difficult task. Furthermore, gamers develop social skills. With the advent of social media and cloud based services they may share game content or feedback on their progress globally, as well as collaborate with people in-game around the world at the same time. On a smaller scale, people playing on a console, like Playstation or XBox, can enjoy themselves with family members at home by simply attaching a separate controller, thus creating a family shared experience. Moreover, game studies have shown that problem solving skills are being boosted throughout interactive media. Gamers, engrossed in the shooter genre, are often more capable of receiving critical decisions quickly. Similarly, strategy video game enthusiasts possess tactics and planning insights. Were you aware that frequent Angry birds players bear a large amount of mathematical and geometrical abilities? Finally, video games personally interest me since they promote vast research interests. As of late, the marketing sector seeks to incorporate game elements in customer services (gamification);  online education providers are also experimenting with gamified content to promote motivation during the learning process. For example, unlocking a badge – a sort of virtual “sticker” on-line as a reward for a task well done – was actually inspired by video games. To sum up, while the majority still frowns upon video games as “a waste of time”, as a member of the digital native generation Y, I tend to regard  them as tools for creativity, inspiration, fun and potentially employment opportunities. Food for thought: are you prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse scenario? Gamers are…

Personal #writer’s transition: From pen and paper to #digital drafting

Crafting an effective writer: Tools of the Trade {Coursera / MSJC} – Forum question

Think about the process you follow when you compose a piece of writing. Do you follow a series of steps that work for you? If so, share the steps you follow. After reading about the five step writing process detailed in this unit, do you think that your process of writing could be enhanced?



Whenever I have to jot something down quickly, I just scribble some words on paper. But when there’s an assignment, essay, article or something like that I skip the whole traditional process and fully utilize the media. It wasn’t always like that  for me, of course. I ve had serious trouble accepting e-books and the fact that clicks would take the place of flipping through pages. Still as time goes by, I am getting used to technology enhanced writing / reading.

The stages of writing: 


I ‘ve always started with listing as a brainstorming technique. I like keeping things linear, I am also obsessed with structure – well at least I try to keep it that way. To do so, I usually benefit from a note taking app on my desktop – this is really useful if you re using mobile phones as well – if you see something of interest, note it down on your cell, maybe take a picture. Visuals are great when it comes to supporting your writing. You may even consider writing based on something you saw and captured your attention.

Freewriting usually works too.

Audience and purpose: 

Contemplate what it is you are actually writing about and maybe imagine your average reader (he could take the imaginary form of a tiny avatar for fun’s sake). Post your drafts on a blog and ask for feedback. At first you might get one or two hits, but don’t be discouraged. Once the Internet embraces your presence, you will gradually enrich this process and at the end of the day get your own audience. Most of all, drafting will become a dynamic process.


The crucial think about writing for academia is evidence and that takes a lot of time. Most of the time I prefer to digitally highlight some important ideas from an article / text (bibliography). Bookmarking webpages also works when surfing Internet’s  vast ocean of information.

If it’s creative inspiration I ‘m after, I place a small footnote on short stories or novel pages, concerning what I liked or didn’t like, again using digital note taking tools.

Drafting and Revising:

For me it’s both happening at the same time. I write something, I decide I don’t like it, I write something else instead. I think the most basic point here is: RETURN to your work. I ‘ve personally spent hours on end on a single article. Writer’s block? Maybe. I would probably go with fatigue. Take a rest, press SAVE and then come back to drafting / revising after a day or two. It will still be there but you will start fresh. And that always works wonders for you, trust me.

Editing /  Punctuation  / Spelling: 

Check. This takes seconds. Just open spell checker and maybe a polishing tool on the web. Typos be gone! If you had received any feedback from readers or peers – or your Mom – incorporate it wisely.

Retrieved 12th June 2013 from: http://jsandhouse.files.wordpress.com


You can’t really tell if your personal writing process will stay intact forever. I have to admit that as technology advances maybe the current tools I am using will be rendered obsolete in a couple of years. Still, since it is a matter of personal taste, I wouldn’t worry about “formalities” such as writing stages though. Can you really cage creativity?




First-Year Composition 2.0 {Georgia Tech / Coursera} – week 2

Major Assignment 1: Personal Philosophy Essay

Compose a 400-500 word personal philosophy essay in which you lead your audience to recognize and understand why a specific belief is important to you. Before you begin, review the modules and slides from week two. Imagine that you are writing to another person enrolled in this course, someone who doesn’t realize that you hold this particular belief or that you hold it so strongly.

This essay is not fiction; instead, it is a way to share your belief about one aspect of your life. For example, you might write about one of the roles you play in your life, an important value you hold, a significant relationship you’ve had, a position you take on an issue, a personal goal, and so on.

Taking the red pill: Living in the  Matrix of conspiracy theorists


Human evolution has made our species stronger, brighter and more flexible; it has not, however, managed to save us from each other. Ever since the beginning of time, man rages war on fellow-man, inflicting pain and suffering in his wake. It is hard to blame human nature for being at fault; it sounds much easier to construct a scape goat, instead.

I marvel at conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. They feed my need on attempting to explain the barbaric inner nature of the human race. It’s the ominous New World order regime or the faceless market conglomerates that prey on our innocent society. Them, I say, and not our endless lust and greed for more that causes the disproportional distribution of food and welfare. The blood sucking leeches,a.k.a. the banks, are responsible for our demise as a consumerist society; the fact that we were buying useless on credit, we couldn’t actually afford is entirely irrelevant. The wretched media are disseminating information as they please, withholding the truth from us! Can we handle the truth? Moreover, if we don’t like what we are watching, then how come we are still on the couch in front of the telly? We are being brainwashed by Hollywood, the conspiracy refutes. Of course, we are. Teenagers are starving themselves to look like Cosmo girls, because blondies emit strange, magnetic, radio waves keeping them away from the chocolate. At the same time, these girls lack proper attention from fellow humans, friends, family, themselves really. Even God has abandoned us in our hour of need. We seem to have left him first, I recall.

Take a good long hard look at ourselves – accept what we are capable of, mercy or utter evil, since we can practically do both, at the same time even! Our ego preceeds our social instincts. Ourselves are vastly more significant than others – perhaps we were “built” this way. I doubt if we are ever going to be able to survive within a globalised society, should we refuse to relinquish the “I” . Believing that corrupt politicians and satanic forces are paving the way to our destruction gives humans the benefit of the doubt as society’s true culprits. Still,  it’s our nature that is bribable and dishonest, politicians just manage to get away with it, that’s all.

When Neo had the choice between the blissful blue pill and the all knowing red one, he wanted to believe that there is something more out there, just like Mulder in the X-files, just like anyone in our modern pop culture. We want to believe – it’s just the popular thing to do. But there isn’t any Architect waiting to take responsibility for OUR own actions, I ‘m afraid.

Or is there?


The fiction of relationship – Week 1 assignment (Brown / Coursera)


Instructions: Respond to the following in your own words. Your response should be a single paragraph of 75-150 words. 

Paying close attention to the common dictionary definitions when talking about both ‘fiction’ and ‘relationship’ write a paragraph asking yourself this question: what is the ‘fiction of relationship’? How can one define the dimensions of this phrase? Is it a paradox? As you see it, what bearing does this phrase have on the experience of our encounter with others, the others we find not only in life but in the literature we read?


Wikipedia quotes fiction as an imaginary work of art, invented by an author [1]. Relationships on the other hand may seem real, though hardly tangible as a notion. Relationships can be interpersonal [2] or intrapersonal, leading to self reflection and awareness.

One wonders, to what extend should we allow for fictitious literature to portray the reality of relationships? Fiction might be giving the reader a mere interpretation, yet we do seem to covet the author’s  personal view on human interactions; perhaps it is through his/her imagination we attempt to explain our own insecurities or fears for the “others” – even for ourselves – endlessly trying to delve into the hero’s or heroine’s role. Every self-proclaimed literature enthusiast feels at least once the urge to identify oneself with a fictional character.

We quote fiction as artistic – a fabric of creative imagination –  but isn’t life itself a form of dynamic art? To me, attempting to understand human relationships requires a bit of fiction or at least some source of poetic / dramatic inspiration. Fiction is the truth inside the lie [3] concerning relationships.



  1. “Fiction.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 July 2013. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiction&gt;
  2. “Relationship.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2013. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship&gt;.
  3. King, Stephen. ““Fiction Is the Truth inside the Lie.”.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2013. <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8830-fiction-is-the-truth-inside-the-lie&gt;. Quotable Quote.

Portfolio Cover Letter – English Composition I: Achieving Expertise {Duke / Coursera}

Feedback — Final Self-Reflection

The following are our course learning objectives:

  • Summarize, analyze, question, and evaluate written and visual texts
  • Argue and support a position
  • Recognize audience and disciplinary expectations
  • Identify and use the stages of the writing process
  • Identify characteristics of effective sentence and paragraph-level prose
  • Apply proper citation practices
  • Discuss how to transfer and apply your writing knowledge to other writing occasions

Imagine that you have compiled a portfolio of all your work from this course (Drafts and Final Versions of Projects 1-4, Feedback to and from Colleagues, Forum Comments, and Reflective Quizzes) and you are preparing to share it with others. These potential readers might be administrators at a school you are applying to, current or potential employers, friends, or other acquaintances. Your task is to write a cover letter that introduces your work and makes an argument about your understanding and achievement of the course learning objectives. 

In the space provided here, discuss what you have learned in this course and choose 2-4 of our course learning objectives, describing each objective and referring specifically to particular passages from your coursework that demonstrate your progress towards and/or struggles with that objective. Indicate why you have chosen those objectives as the most important for you. Cut and paste specific portions of your coursework, and use them as evidence for your argument. In this way, by having an introduction, argument, evidence, and conclusion, your “portfolio cover letter” will both discuss and demonstrate how effectively you have achieved the goals of the course. When referring to your work, indicate clearly the piece of writing (i.e., Project 3) and page number(s) for your readers’ ease of reference. 

Length: ~500-750 words 




Dear Sir / Madam

reflecting on the course work and the objectives of the course “English Composition I: Achieving Expertise” I was truly surprised to discover my strengths as well as my weaknesses concerning various aspects of writing within 12 weeks time alone. I also immersed myself in the field of video games as an expertise referencing point, making this a pleasurable writing and researching journey.

Concerning the academic writing aspect  – coming from Europe – I was accustomed to the APA citation format; However, I came to find that MLA referencing is much more suitable for the humanities field and to be honest it is now my personal favourite when it comes to submitting a paper in academia. I was also intrigued by some new kinds of formatting, for instance, when writing a critical review (the book reviewed goes at the beginning of the essay, something I wasn’t aware of.) Example [Final Project 1, page 1]:


Review:  Coyle, Daniel (2009).  The Sweet Spot. The Talent Code. Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. New York: Bantam (Extract from Chapter I)

Greatness and its shortcomings…

 …Along with the brief descriptions of his endeavor that took him on what his daughter compares to an alternative “treasure hunt” [12], readers of his work actually come to realize that perhaps the term “talent”[11] is highly overrated; perhaps it does exist in terms of a being prone to a grandeur in certain fields – mainly athletic – but it should be more properly substituted by the term “deep practice” [16]…

Regarding the stages of the writing process I have learned to value the ongoing collaborative annotated bibliography listings in the forums, pertaining to various fields of expertise. Answering the initial post of a fellow Courserian who created the thread “games”, I personally contributed four titles on the video game genre. Sample contribution:

  • Bainbridge, William Sims. The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World. London: MIT Press. 2010. Print.


…Bainbridge’s review of the game derives – as the title so hints – from a social perspective, but what he means by that is highly contestable. Sociology is one thing, attempting an explanation of the WoW social universe is a complete other.  The book is divided into small chapters, each focusing on separate elements of the game such as religion or cooperation. The introductory roleplaying story lines are intuitive and strongly supported by lore details. After each one, an explicatory section ensues, where things are theoretically approached. The author often gives the impression of an outsider rather than an actual WoW gamer, since his lack of understanding how the game community actually works in non – lorewise manner is baffling….


Finally it should be noted that after 4 drafts, 4 final projects, peer assessment, and ongoing forum discussions at the platform as well as the Facebook group I was able to further understand how to properly summarize, analyze, question, and evaluate written and visual texts. Especially the latter received great praise from my peers [project 2, pages 1- 2]


 …An illuminated sword stands out in front of him, filled with ominous skull details; seven runes etched across the blade form a death curse, still not deciphered to this day. As all epic swords usually do, this one has even got a name: Frostmourne. [4] Shades of gray intervene with silvery notes as one is immersed in a daunting feeling almost like the dark values within the image; how many lives has that sword taken? For an outsider the horror continues as he notices plenty other skull ornaments in the main character’s armor. A dragon encapsulated in ice soon gains our attention in the bottom right, only to serve as another threat. In the background a barely perceptible black tower amidst the fog beckons (spatial illusion); alas, we are in Icecrown [5] – the land of the cursed undead…

Project 3, the case study, required transferring and applying  one’s writing knowledge to other writing occasions and it involved quite a bit of research. Project 4, the Op Ed, called for a somewhat journalistic style, reminding course participants how important it is to recognize audience and disciplinary expectations as well as establishing your own voice.

…So, fellow gamers, what’s left for us upon this wretched planet of corporate conglomerate decisions and Kardashian saga overdose?  Well, if you like first / third person shooters and MMO RPGs you most likely skimmed through this text with a sardonic smile. You see there has been a gamer crowd out there who is not the least bit interested in consoles: the PC gamers… [ Project 4, page 1]

To sum up, these were 12 weeks of personal growth as a writer and as a reader, I might add. Still there is plenty more to be done, as the writing process is ongoing.

Yours faithfully
Zeibeki Rozalia


Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade {MSJC / Coursera} week 4 – Written Assignment

Describe a natural object or scene in nature. Use at least one each of the clauses and phrases you studied in the unit. Also, be sure that you include one each of the four sentence types in your description.  Using your knowledge from Unit 3, use action verbs and active voice, keep your verbs in the same tense, and maintain correct subject-verb agreement. Your description should consist of 9 or more sentences (up to 12).

Sentence types. Retrieved 30 May 2013 from myweb.wssu.edu

Exhausted from trekking the narrow, swirling path along the creek while climbing steep rocks in-between, you are finally there. Raise your eyes and observe the fortitude of nature, for a picture’s worth a thousand words. At first, a cool breeze intrudes your sense of smell, which ought to be the odour of mossy boulders. The back of your hand touches the icy, emerald-green waters of the pond, testing the temperature. Having configured your limitations, you urge yourself to take a dive right then and there.  Plunging bravely within, its frigid pureness startles your lungs, even though you seem to like it after the initial shock. To reach the minuscule waterfall, your swim stroke rate picks up; you ‘ve always wanted to bathe under nature’s showerhead, just like in the movies. Torrents of water are hurled down your head, the sensation of which lies beyond words.  You swim back to the lake bank, bearing a radiant smile.  During the time you remain seated, you attempt to capture the small details of the iconic landscape. Examine what lies within the small clearing with care: the low-lying lichen that adorns the hollow rocks, the amber orange leaves that float by the lake side,  all remnants of autumns past. Ascending cliffs intewind with lime green tree branches and they cause you to wonder how on Earth they grew roots up there.

[The scene being described is located on the island of Samothraki, Greece – you can see it here -> http://samothrakisphotoblog.com/index.php?showimage=2140 ]

#Consoles and the future of video #games: Op-Ed final project 4:English Composition I – Achieving Expertise {Duke / Coursera}

For the purposes of the final assignment for English Composition I: Achieving Expertise MOOc on Coursera, offered by Duke University we were given the chance to write our own op-ed, regarding a trending headline in the news. My chosen field of expertise was gaming and video games in particular so I am actually dishing on Microsoft’s latest product. I have always felt that PC gaming is superior so here’s my op ed on the matter. As always feedback would be most welcome – The paper is due on Monday!!!!!

Back to the loving arms of a gaming PC

Expert gaming revolves around two things: passion and appropriate equipment. You spend a lot of time battling the forces of Evil but if the pixels are all wrong, this passionate gaming experience ceases to exist. Revealing her newest product, XBOX one, Microsoft recently conveyed the future trend in gaming devices, leaving hints that pure gaming was no longer a part of their plans.

XBOX ONE footage retrieved 30 May 2013 from http://www.enternity.gr

The over hyped, over advertised next generation gaming console took a turn for NFL streams and live television. The device itself looks like a damn VCR from the 80s. Of course, there is nothing wrong with Microsoft’s corporate decision; smart television market shares have sky rocketed so it’s only reasonable they want their fair share of the pie.  The basic problem however is that Xbox was originally meant for gaming, not reality shows and Netflix. It used to be a simple plug-in, plug –and – play process with occasional friendly co-ops.

Even worse, if you happen to live outside the United States, the whole hourly presentation was absolutely pointless. Xbox 360 owners and potential Xbox one buyers were waiting for a torrent of the latest graphic breakthroughs and posh exclusive titles. Instead, they got Call of duty’s German Shepherds (Seriously, CoD will feature dogs now; they went full Sims or something. Never go full Sims.) There was in fact a second game title preview, a car racing title (Forza Motorsport 5), which I will not bother to comment any further.

Indie games and used games lived in a state of symbiosis with the platforms up until recent blurry claims about additional fees concerning them. Again this is seen as a perfectly logical market share move on behalf of the console manufacturers, but not to the best interest of the gamer community (or Gamestop for that matter). I saved the best for last: always –on DRM. Consumer policies and rights went down the drain with this one, I am afraid. To be exact this lovely piece of machinery will supposedly need a 24-hour check in (Big Brother much?) and through state –of-the art biometrics Kinect will be able to sense how many people are in the room watching Oprah.  To refute the ongoing surge of complaints, Microsoft stated that you don’t really have to be online all the time. Nevertheless, of you are not online, game and TV content will not be “strong” enough, as the system won’t exploit the full power of social media and “other” add-ons. Baffling words and a severe case of double standard semantics are paving the way for the much awaited E3 2013 Expo in Los Angeles, where gamers will learn the gory details first hand.

Sony on the other hand is lurking in the shadows having recently exhibited a teaser trailer for the upcoming Playstation 4. Rumors of seizure incidents afterwards have yet to be confirmed. Their next gen gaming console now reaps the benefits of Microsoft’s customer body target turn – and the average gamer’s ongoing rage – but they too need to prove themselves. Nintendo’s Wii U was the first new gen console to take the heat of the increasingly demanding gamers. It did with the Super Mario franchise and the return of Sonic and Donkey Kong. Alas, the average gamer is now an adult. (Zelda still rules though, that much I have to admit).

So, fellow gamers, what’s left for us upon this wretched planet of corporate conglomerate decisions and Kardashian saga overdose?  Well, if you like first / third person shooters and MMO RPGs you most likely skimmed through this text with a sardonic smile. You see there has been a gamer crowd out there who is not the least bit interested in consoles: the PC gamers. Building a gaming PC requires more financial resources than owning a console, yet the processing power and overall value for money will compensate your initial investment. As far as visual quality goes, the  Crytek’s Crysis titles offered a benchmarking challenge for gaming PCs but nothing that couldn’t be rectified with a mere upgrade in the system’s graphic card.

Expert gaming needs by definition state of the art equipment. I do not doubt for a second that XBOX One will be able to accommodate their loyal gamer fanboys. I just don’t find the reason to opt for a console when my gaming PC practically does the same job – even better I might add.