Literature Blog: Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind

Andrea Willis

Humanities 1101

Instructor: Leila Wells Rogers

2, December, 2012

Seneca’s, On Tranquility of Mind is a dialogue written to Annaeus Serenus. Serenus was a friend of Seneca’s and also a protector of the Roman Emperor, Nero.  Serenus struggles with controlling his mental uncertainties that prevent tranquility. Questioning Seneca, he’s informed that mental stability is interrupted by unrealized desires and the inability to control them. Seneca expresses that tranquility is essential  to living a good life. Tranquility is an important part of the philosophical life. A Roman Stoic, Seneca believed that an unwelcoming force ruled the world, and that happiness lies in one’s ability to accept one’s fate.

Seneca’s simple but powerful idea is that happiness does not depend on anything outside of ourselves. The source of both happiness and unhappiness is within us. Seneca claims that “avoiding burdensome responsibilities, gloomy companions, and excessive wealth” (qtd. in Fiero 71) leads to peace of mind. Seneca advises Serenus to surround himself with people who are free from desires because we are affected by those as well. He believes one should focus on self-reliance and self-development and the way this is linked to human happiness. Understanding that happiness springs entirely from within, means that our happiness can’t be invaded by others.

Tranquility is the state of being calm, peaceful, quiet, or serene. Our tranquility of mind is perfect or imperfect to the degree that the mind should be on God rather ourselves or on our problems. Learning to accept and live according to that theory is a challenge that we all face.  For Seneca, to understand the importance of tranquility, we must have in depth perception of Stoicism. In the ancient world, philosophers were interested in the term eudaimonia- which is the idea of the good life; the same life we desire in the 21st century. Seneca believed eudaimonia can only be achieved by those characterized by tranquility, the Stoic way of life.

Seneca’s On Tranquility of Mind is primarily finding the path to true happiness. A tranquility of mind is at the same time an ideal to strive for and a means to achieve confidence and serenity. I can connect this idea to life as I live it and know it. We are all predisposed to people, things, and conditions that bring us joy, but do not determine our happiness.  The pursuit of happiness should be a natural instinct rather than relying on outside sources.

Works Cited

Fiero, Gloria K. Landmarks In Humanities. Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2013.

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus. Minor Dialogues: Together With The Dialogues on Clemency. 1889. 1 December 2012 <http://books.google.com/books/about/Minor_dialogues.html?id=BLICAAAAYAAJ&gt;.

Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 2005. 30 November 2012 <http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/3119.html&gt;.

Architecture Blog

Andrea Willis

Humanities 1101

Instructor: Leila Wells Rogers

14, October, 2012

If you have ever traveled to McDonough Georgia and visited the McDonough Square, then you should know there is one huge, prominent building that is extremely noticeable. Built in 1897 by J.W. Golucke and Stewart Architects, this centerpiece in downtown McDonough will definitely grab anyone’s attention. The distinctive building I’m speaking of is, the Henry County Courthouse. This Romanesque-styled courthouse has been around for centuries, and is considered one of McDonough’s main tourist sites.

One of many of Golucke’s works, the three-story, brick building couldn’t be located in a better place, across the street from a park, where the city pays homage to Confederate soldiers, with a tall Confederate monument erected in the center. Golucke was Georgia’s most creative architect of county courthouses, building 27 in Georgia. His vision for the Henry County courthouse is unspecified, but it displays physical, cultural, and historic features.  In passing, one feature that stands out is the beautiful clock tower that sits atop of the building. The courthouse also has a design of many semicircular arches throughout the building, which represents a Romanesque characteristic.

The uniqueness of the courthouse is the fact that it is settled in a small, peaceful area, which allows the masterpiece to shine on its own. Often the city of McDonough has many historical events that are centered around the courthouse, which also makes it more visible. There are many shops and eateries that surround the building and make it even more attractive.  The McDonough Square is a very popular area and it suits the function of the courthouse.

Whether you’re taking a tour of the building, or observing it in passing, you’ll be impressed with Romanesque-styled courthouse. Noted as Romanesque Revival architecture, a time dating from as early as the 1830’s and continuing into the 20th century where the massive and brutal quality of the Romanesque style was appreciated and designed in brick, the building has clearly defined forms so that the overall appearance is one of simplicity.  Features of Romanesque architecture include thick walls, round arches, sturdy piers, large towers, and decorative arcading with small windows; the Henry County Courthouse demonstrates them all.

Works Cited

Essential World Architecture Images.  14 Oct. 2012.

http://www.essential-architecture.com/STYLE/STY-ME03.htm

Experience history in McDonough-Tour McDonough. 12 Oct. 2012.

http://tourmcdonough.com/our-history.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3265/2303068831_e5b001a40d_z.jpg.

Art Blog: National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

Andrea Willis

Instructor: Leila Wells Rogers

Humanities 1101

30, September 2012

                On September 13, 2012, I took a trip to Columbus, Georgia to visit my nephew Matrel, who was graduating from Basic Training.  After attending the graduation, we visited the National Infantry Museum and Soldier center, which was adjacent to where the graduation had taken place. My first instinct was, this is going to be long and boring, but my perception immediately changed upon entering the museum. The soldiers, helicopters, tanks, and guns all seemed so real. The museum had a vast variety of exhibits ranging from World War I through the sands of Afghanistan, which tells the story of the United States Army Infantryman.

                There were many multi-media exhibits that brought the history of our past soldiers to life. For example, in the “Cold War” exhibit, there were voices of actual Vietnam veterans explaining what made our longest war so unique, told in between eruptions of gunfire, explosions, and simulated rainstorms. This exhibit was very intense, displaying artifacts from the frozen mountains of Korea into the tropical jungles of Vietnam. Also, in this exhibit, the voice of President Ronald Reagan announces the necessity of freedom and cooperation in the world. The Cold War exhibit was the most interactive of them all.

                The” International Stage” exhibit demonstrates what drove Americans to join the fight between the Spanish-American War and how American soldiers were rushed onto the battlefields of World War I. Another unique exhibit, this exhibit features an actual porthole from the USS Maine. The infantry experience during World War I is interpreted inside the walls of a restored trench. Projectors, illustrations and artifacts were used to tell this story, surrounded by the noise of artillery and tanks passing by.  I really enjoyed this exhibit, because it was really interesting and frightening at the same time.  I felt like I was right there in the middle of the war, which was so weird.

               One of my favorite exhibits is the “Sole Superpower” exhibit. This exhibit explains how the United States emerged as the world’s sole superpower. As you enter the gallery, events of the Gulf War are revealed on a large screen in the center of the room. This exhibit also expresses how the U.S. Army’s mission changed on September 11, 2001. The War on Terror is explained through displays and artifacts, and through the voices of actual soldiers describing their experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. One particular display that caught my attention was life-sized figures of soldiers, kneeling down by their Humvee, carrying a very huge missile. That was one of the best displays in the museum.

                Another great exhibit, the “World at War” exhibit, tells the story of World War II and focuses on the Holocaust.  This exhibit actually contains the largest display of artifacts at the museum. Here you can see equipment, weapons, jeeps, parachutes, and the actual uniforms associated with WWII. This exhibit also pays tribute to women in factories and the G.I. Bills explains how society was affected beyond the battlefield .Recently added to this exhibit are the unbelievable crimes that over eight million Jews and others suffered during the Holocaust. The visual presentation of the Holocaust was extremely depressing. The heroic actions of the Allied Forces who freed survivors from Nazi concentration camps were also demonstrated. 

                Although it is not clear who the artists of this museum are, it is evident that their primary goal was to educate us and honor soldiers both past and present. The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center is a museum that displays artistry expertise. Attending my nephews graduation was not only a joyous occasion, but it was also very educational as well. I can only merely explain the artwork that was created to pay homage to our soldiers. It is almost unbelievable to see such masterpieces being revealed.

 

Works Cited

National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. Columbus, Georgia.

Public Speaking is the Worst!

This week I am preparing to give an introductory speech in my Public Speaking class.  I know..is this not the worst thing ever. We are to introduce ourselves and bring in three different objects that represents us in some way. To end the speech, we were asked to find a quote from a famous person that relates to us in some way. I thought I would share my quote with you all, because I’m sure everyone in this class has visioned this as well.

“When I look into the future, it’s so bright, it burns my eyes”.

-Oprah Winfrey

She’s ones of my favorites, so you’ll probably see a lot of her quotes on my blog.

Aside

Introduction

Hi my name is Andrea. I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be a blogger, so I guess I’ll find out pretty soon. This is my first semester at SCTC. I am a transfer from Gordon College, majoring in Health Information Technology. I have taken art and humanities colloquium and they were both really interesting, but this course seems like it’s going to be more exciting. My goals for this blog is to learn, explore, and be more creative. I can’t wait to see the outcome, and I hope this course will be fun and adventurous for everyone.

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