Tutor profile: Julie F.
Why is being able to clearly communicate your ideas in a written form so important?
Though no idea is entirely original, the way you think is unique. Your perspective and thoughts are formed based on your personal history, your ancestry, and the society in which you live. In this way, each of us experiences and moves through the world in an original manner. It is important to have written records of different perspectives and ideas so that individual interests, concerns, emotions, and events can be understood and discussed by a wider audience. Clear academic writing can act as a base for expressing your thoughts and ideas. Writing coherently and professionally helps others to understand and legitimize your thinking and ideas. If your written work is rambling or unclear, it is less likely to be read, remembered, saved, repeated, and discussed. Now that social media has begun to be more of a platform to discuss real world concerns, politics, ethics, etc., there is another method of writing for expressing individual experience to the world. In the future, maybe this academic, professional writing base wont be as necessary, but it's still important to formulate your thoughts, clearly and concisely, even in a shorter digital format, in order for others to absorb and learn from your unique perspective. It's important for all of us to be able to share our stories and ideas so that we are able to form our own opinions that are individuated from the dominant cultural discourse. The more that we can share our thoughts and ideas and learn from one another, the more autonomy we will be able to cultivate for ourselves and others in our world. This is one reason why being able to clearly communicate in a written form is so important.
How are traumatic memories stored in the brain?
When a person begins to have a traumatic experience, they enter a sympathetic nervous system state, otherwise known as fight or flight. However, if a person is unable to escape or flee from the situation, the person enters whats called a dorsal vagal state in order to protect themselves. When this happens, a person's heart rate will lower, they will lose energy, become colder, and may be unresponsive to verbal and physical cues. The left side of the brain which converts emotions and memories into speech shuts down and the experience is recorded in the right brain which relies on visual and sensory experiences to communicate. This is why many forms of therapy for trauma rely on bilateral activation of the brain. When the traumatic experience is brought to the surface in the right brain, the experience can be tolerated in the therapeutic space and emotions can be expressed safely. The trauma can be reprocessed and integrated in both hemispheres of the brain to place the experience firmly in the past and give back a sense of control. Some examples of therapy that use bilateral activation include, EMDR, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Play Therapy.
What social and societal criticisms exist in the writing of Margaret Atwood?
In The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood (1985) critiques our banking system and speculates how easily power can be taken away from marginalized groups within modern electronic banking systems in our capitalist society. Though the financial and societal power that was taken from women in her novel hasn't happened in reality, her critique of the system is interesting when compared to the housing crisis that happened after the economic crisis and bank bailouts of 2008 in the United States. As banks were saved in order to protect the economy, millions of people were displaced from their homes; her novel suggested if not predicted that such a drastic event could occur within our current economic system.
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