Literary Notations II

University and the INs of Court- Renaissance man: one who can do things well and easily. The art of making complicated things look easy, sprezzatura. Humanism: the philosophy of human and culture. 16th c. the learned man aspires power as a “self-made man.” The life of a poet, however, was to be leisured, that is gentel and not for pennies or money.

The signal we give: Marketing. The cultural capital gains refinement through education and experience; but the qualities that make us human are more sellable after we have earned them.


Literary Notations I

I have taken to writing out my lecture notes as bits of prose. This is what happens. I don’t try to format these paragraphs as they look on the page verbatim. I want the words to stand for themselves. Thanks! Enjoy, and remember: create, because if not you, who?

Network leaves a trace only if work is being done. If we can perceive it, something is trying to hold together that wouldn’t otherwise be held together. AGENCY is something that passes. Collaborate and not singularly, creation is wholly done by creators. Circumstances shift authorship.
Traditional modes do not work.

Remember: September 11th Today Essay

It’s strange how these things happen. 

I wrote this genuinely as a reaction to September 11th. It just happened to also be for my scholarship to the University of Iowa. Written in December 2009, I was 17 years old and half-way  through the final year of  my adolescent 4-year educational career. I am now 21 years old and quarter-way through the final year of my four-year secondary 4-year educational career. People say “I haven’t changed,” but that doesn’t keep me from feeling completely different. So I’ve left this piece unedited and unabridged. This is how I wrote 4 years ago. Let me show how I have grown. 


911: Growing Up to Grown Up

In one classroom, students sat focusing on their spelling test while in another a girl celebrated her eighth birthday. In my own classroom, I will never forget the color-by-numbers work of art I was creating. Our elementary school vice-principal fretfully peered through the door. Ushering our teacher aside, he whispered tensely. A low hush fell over the classroom as our teacher hurried toward the television receiver. Her trembling body stilled us into silence as she stumbled to dial channel three. Our minds buzzed with anxious anticipation; she had never acted this way before. As her strong character became numb and fragile, we waited for an answer to our unasked question: “What was wrong?” None of us were prepared for the images that pierced through our grave silence: the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

My child-like mind could not understand. We were all but children on nine-eleven, but after seeing the reactions of our principals, our teachers, our parents, and our country, by nine-twelve, we were all grown-up. The attack on the New York City World Trade Center left both Americans and Non-Americans shocked. It posed a perturbing question: if America can be attacked, who is really safe?

I could not comprehend the idea of attacking another nation with such viciousness. The concept was utterly foreign to me. My childish naivety led me to believe that there was only peace. I was completely shocked. Going home, a sinking feeling in the pit of my heart grew. I was not overcome by sadness, but by fear. I feared for my well-being. Would my family be attacked next? Bewildered, I looked towards my parents, seeking security from the horrific images repeating in my head.  The empty disbelief on their faces from the attack offered me no solace. My parents’ eyes held the same questions I did. How could this happen? How could this happen to my America—my world—the fortress of strength, hope, and freedom that opened its doors to countless numbers of immigrants? Watching the news for the first time, I became painfully aware of all the threats faced around the globe. I was awakened to a world of suffering, poverty, and morbidity. This new, terrible world was behind a door I had not known was there. With the destruction of the World Trade Center, I was thrust through this door involuntarily into a real world where my childhood naivety did not belong. With this naivety stripped of me, I began thinking like an adult for the first time. Our country—our world—was not impenetrable.

The next day, I saw my one and a half year-old sister playing on the floor. The day before, I could have easily joined in her carefree fun, but now, she was the only one blissfully unaware. To her sheltered mind, September 11th, 2001 had been any other day on the calendar. To me, a different memory replaced that date. Not since World War II, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, had the United States faced such psychological trauma. This attacked affected all nationalities, but American citizens were the most deeply wounded.

Prior to September 11th, 2001, American life was placid. Americans were the young children of a mothering nation. Sheltered from the world’s suffering, Americans were unaware of life’s ever-present dangers. Because of her perceived protection, her children became complacent about their freedom. Americans, continuously coddled, believed that America was invincible to outsides threats. America’s children believed they were behind an impenetrable wall. I was this child of America. Blissfully unaware of any threats, I saw America as a safe haven. I did not know of government or politics. The first image I saw of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers was of their untimely destruction. Being a child, I was traumatized by the horrific images of people jumping out off the towers for a better chance at survival and those crushed not by the initial impact, but by the falling debris as they ran from the building.

If one had visited the site of the World Trade Center on the day it had been destroyed, one would have found cement, iron, and bricks tumbling askew to the ground amid the chaos of disaster. Yet, only six months later, a construction site replaced the war-torn area.  How might I have guessed that a similarly threatening event would enter my personal life just as I was about to enter high school?  After spending eight years cultivating relationships, academic status, and emotional well-being, I would be uprooted to a completely different environment. Ripped and torn away from my friends and the people I loved, I would be moved from Alabama to the State of Missouri. At that time, it felt more like the State of Misery. Just like the war-torn site in Manhattan was rebuilt, I rebuilt my own life and just six months later, my life was thriving. I established new friendships, joined clubs and even founded History Club. I flourished in my accelerated academic courses. My academic excellences led to my acceptance into the Summer Cambridge College Programme at the University of Cambridge, England. I thrived as a member of the second-ranked debate squad in the nation. I rose to become lead drum major performing with my high school band at the Sugar Bowl Competition-2008 in New Orleans.  All of this would not have been possible if I had not learned perseverance in the face of strife—post nine-eleven.

Sitting in the front row of my classroom on September 11th, 2001, I felt the impact of this date on America and the world. This changed me. This changed the world. And now as I continue to mature, I truly feel the time will come when I will make changes of my own. I am seeking answers for myself. I refuse to take things at face value. I go beyond learning; I seek understanding.

Classroom Segments Number 26

Yes, I am here again with more classroom segments. These are extensions of the first 25 pieces I  created during lectures, discussions, and otherwise. My class LITERARY SOUND ART with Professor Jeff Porter, is super interesting and I love listening to him talk about art and the word off of the page.

Poetry lives in the air. –Jeff Porter

His first lecture was all improv about the History of the Book. Every single word came out of his mouth. This is a real-time cut up poem. This is what I heard.  Therefore, Classroom Segment XVI:

the history of the book

The Black Word, maybe just a letter
made in material for the
last  50  years; what color
does the page turn in Time?
Pen.  Type.  Print.    Permanence.
The silence of the written word.

But that is not what instigated the Codex.
Word stayed put.
For centuries; simply,
what we have
is five-thousand years of spoken dreams
forgotten in oralty.
So let us understand how
they passed along ‘why’-

Creating a virtual library
in the brain is so different
for the poetic quality of the
to speak from memory.

In what condition is there so much excitement
about an ability? to be transferred.
In the beginning, there
was the Word– and the
Word was valued–
Our logocentrism, our words, the
spoken words, over  

all   else.

OEI: Day 4 and 5

The Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute was incredible. Our company–Crane Computing–set goals and met them. We didn’t do well grade-wise. The Balanced Scorecard was much better for us, but was much lower than our universe. It couldn’t be helped. By scaling back options and not increasing sales staff, we killed ourselves in Quarter 5. We couldn’t recoup the loss for Q6. However, we will learn from our mistakes.

  • Keep the pace steady at sixty. Gradually build up from there.
  • It takes involvement at every level. Don’t let other people’s priorities distract you from yours. It’s a team effort. That’s what makes it succeed.
  • There can be two leaders. But in the end, one must be the listener and not the director.

Being an entrepreneur is always starting from the ground up, at zero to sixty million in a heart beat. OEI was overall an incredible experience. Look for some lecture notes & series updates in the future. I hope the advice I got can help ignite more passion or purpose to people around the world.

It isn’t something everyone can do. Just like Crane Computing worked well together but whose numbers didn’t stand up competitively, Start-Ups have to realize you don’t have to be competitive to compete in the market.

Continue making your own dreams come true. Together. We can change the world.

OEI Venture Capital Fair Reaction a la Cut-Up Poem

I wrote this for my lovely host family to be cut up and spread on our gift to them; because I am unsure if they have received it, I have carefully alluded and yet disguised what this gift is. First poem beginning the August/September start of school commencing. There are some minor edits to this edition. Ah, digital poetry is endless with edits & changes. So edition 2:

Work—also known as the first 2 skills
you’ll pursue in life—said their own
side. Business deals advising the investors
to feel minutes anxiously .

They live only to the next valuations-
needed everyone to go far, with
unique projections respective of their wealth
wondering if we ever called John.

They’ve back our statistics—waiting
for the market to reflect—so
in moments our government works
for the investment entrepreneur.

Recount: OEI Venture Capital Fair

07 Aug 2013
3:08 PM

Team 1, aka: Crane Computing, sits staring at their respective electronic devices. We’re anxiously awaiting mock investors, who have real VC deals on the side. They want a company to do super well. We need to win our own competition. It’s a play the game moment and all sides are trying to win it. We’ve discussed. We’ve prepared. We feel confident about our presentation; but- we live in the moment. Waiting. Wondering. When.

Mike Vasquez started in a corporate firm called AT&T and gave it all up to pursue his own grand venture scheme as an entrepreneur. With no guarantee of success, he secured a “modest now but tons back then” investment of $15,000 from the Des Moines government through John Papajohn. He had 2 minutes in the lobby with John Papajohn once he got his business plan together. Two minutes. On a Saturday at 9am. The next Monday, he got a call and investment. They’ve been working together ever since.

Our team was the first in 8 years to not have a CEO. VP of Manufacturing answered how lucky we were to have a dynamic representation for a team. Our HR VP  said how everyone was unique. Finance talked about our great team work and skills. I smiled. We’re well rounded. and I wanted to take Mike’s advice. We are in it to win it. We gave numbers, valuations, and statistics. You only get so far on projections.

We need to get that far.

OEI Day Three

6:30 – Wake Up
7:05 – Arrive @ Lakeside Labs for Breakfast
7:30 – Get Kicked out of Dining Hall to go do work
7:45 – 9: 30 – Work on Quarter Two / VC Presentation
10 – 11:45 – Submit Quarter Three and Anxiously Await Results
12 – 12:20 – Lunch
1 – 4 – Work on a Farm Splitting and Stacking Wood
4:50 – 5:40 – Relax and Sleep at Homestay.
5:45 – 6:30 – Get Ready for Networking Dinner
7:30 – Dinner, Lake, & Networking
10:20 – Arrive back at Homestay
10:47 – Facebook and Write the day’s activities in a blog

Okoboji makes us feel on top of the world. We’re surrounded by not one-time success, but serial success. People from everywhere and all backgrounds inspire us, challenge us, and invigorate us. Now: Our corporation goes into VC pitches tomorrow. We are vying for 4m in funding. We apparently need it. The only question on everyone’s minds:

What will we do next?

OEI Day Two

The days are so long. I feel like last night dragged into the morning, waking at a 6:20 am just to Iron a shirt/skirt for 20 min. I can officially get into business professional in 20 minutes + make up #nobigdeal. Regardless: I’m really beginning to enjoy settling into this business routine. I love intensity and environments that force me to constantly talk. Once I start, I can’t stop. I just keep, keep keep moving.

This being said— I probably need to relax a bit more. I’m constantly over turning ideas on how to make a website even better. Today: We started a business simulation finishing Quarter 1. &i presented Tinderbox Studio’s Secret Project at the PITCH & GROW EVENT! located in Spencer, IA. It was incredible to see their co-working facility all the way in the Northwestern Corner of Iowa. People from U Iowa, Iowa State, UNI, and other big Midwestern Entrepreneurial backers were there. It was dynamic, entertaining, and complete with hipster coffee shop and free catering!

Speaking of food, I’m going to be eating a lot of Fruit. Breakfast + Lunch literally were fruit such as berries and grapes, plus an apple and a 1/3. Peanut butter served as a protein for lunch. #glutenfree #nodairy but it’ s my own choice. And they have been MORE than so accommodating. There is a whole shelf with gluten free cereal and Lara bars. They have real whole fruit and plenty of vegetable options at others’ houses. I can thrive in a community that genuinely cares about my health. It also worries me that I may secretly have a malabsorption issue. Nevertheless, Okoboji has been great so far! 

Let’s keep this up into Quarters 2 – 6 and Team One will dominate our Universe! 

Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute [OEI] Day One

They say the official program doesn’t start until Monday the 5th. So today we had two group exercises, a mock simulation, a mini lecture, a networking event, meeting with host families, and then ended the day with an ice cream and a foot bath in the docks. My feet are so sore that I’ve got a hot towel wrapped around them.

I’ve got no cell reception here, but I do have a blog! So look out world for random posts and updates, Yay. Follow on Twitter @laurynashling & facebook for my friends: #ashatoei