A phenomena or something that frames a cultural practice would qualify a civic artifact. Animals are symbols in society, they are a civic artifact. Humans possess a spirit animal or special connection toward an animal that is deeper than the physical aspect. The stories about the turtle and the rabbit, the elephant with wisdom, the frog who becomes a prince were always childhood bedtime stories. We all have that one animal who provided some meaning or guide in our civic life. Mine growing up was a starfish. The meaning behind the starfish for me began when my dad told me the starfish story.
One day a dad was walking with his daughter along the beach when he noticed she gently picked something up and put it back into the ocean. He asked, “Honey what are you doing?” “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” the dad said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and thousands of starfish? What possible difference could you make?!” She then picked up another starfish, and held out her hand, and smiled at her dad, “I’ll make a big difference to this one!”
From this moment on I looked at life and realized I am here to make a difference. Starfish were a symbol for me to want to make a change in the world. For my speech idea I believe animals in general are a major influence on us; a civic artifact in society. I wanted to speak on how we use animals to inspire our decisions in civic life. Like other life artifacts; ads, music, theatre, art, the American flag, the Red Cross, they all hold true meaning and symbolism that motivate our behavior. I think animals are a prime example of an artifact we base some hidden meaning for ourselves. Whether animals are physically present to guide our emotions, or in spirit I feel they impact our daily lives.
The Circle, written by Dave Eggers, is meant to describe the near future. Its attempt to illustrate the social and political world of Google and other technological companies is expressed through the actions, thoughts, and experiences of Mae Holland. The communities of Penn State and the Circle, particularly my experience and Mae’s, show similarities in our transition.
Mae landed a job at the Circle with help from her best friend, Annie. As she walked into the impressive and modern “campus” she was intimidated by the large network and rules of the company. At the circle they expected perfection; they judged you instantaneously by a percentage. Mae being trained as a newbie gives visual to how newcomers make mistakes.
Similarly, I am new here at Penn State University. The traditions and ideologies are highly valued. Like Mae, I have made mistakes. The first time I walked into the Berkey Creamery I asked for two flavors and some whipped cream. Clearly unaware, the employee softly said, “You may only choose one, and we have no toppings,” I was confused by her request, but complied. Walking on a tour, hearing “WE ARE” everyone yelled back passionately, “PENN STATE,” I failed to reply. I came here not knowing the certain expectations that the University practiced, however, I am slowly adjusting just like Mae later does in the novel.
The Circle and Penn State highlight the importance of appreciating customs and values of the community. The Circle requires all employees to be enthusiastic and dedicated to the company values. Here at Penn State, they uphold the same requirement. It is expected that students learn and appreciate the traditions.
Both show that as a newbie it can be difficult in the beginning to adjust, and mistakes will be made. However, Mae was surrounded by various other newbies, and I am too. This allows us to cope and understand that we are not the only one’s dealing with transition, there are many others in the same boat.
The assignment we were given was to write about something that gives us passion, I did not have to think for a moment, horses immediately came to my mind.
Growing up on a farm with six horses I looked forward to rising with the sun and feeding the horses. I loved horses from the start. I never spent a day without being around them, or thinking about them. They were and are my life. There is something magical, and intriguing about the nature of a horse. I cry to my horse, and he listens. He was a hand I could always hold. I chose to write about horses in my blog because horses give me passion. They excite me, and strive me to push forward. It can be hard to explain the feelings that result when a relationship is formed with a horse, but their big fury bodies give me comfort and love. It was never about the sport and competing for me it was about the connection I shared with this beautiful being.
The beginning of my passion blog will delve into the emotions and feelings that horses give me. I plan to speak of the broad picture of my life with horses, how they have gotten me through both good and bad times. Later I plan to build upon these feelings with specific events that have given me these passionate emotions. In civic life animals effect people. The saying that life is lonely without a pet, is not just a saying, its the truth. I could not imagine my life without animals in it. I am truly excited to blog and post about what I love. I have never had the opportunity to write and share my feelings pertaining to a horse, and this opportunity will give me the chance to share with you all my story.