Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

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Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  Mr. Lyon on Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:07 am

For this response, please read the short story "Champ" that is posted on the class website. In this space as a response to this topic, examine the author's use of word choices, details, imagery, and/or structure in attempting to create meaning, theme, and tone.

Remember to follow the rules of forum posting as set on our class website under the tab "Creative Consortium." You must post an original response of your own AND two replies to two classmates' responses in order to receive full credit for this assignment. DO NOT CREATE NEW TOPICS WHEN RESPONDING TO THIS PROMPT; simply respond WITHIN this topic.

DUE DATE/TIME: Friday, March 22 (responses must be posted no later than 8:00 AM)
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Response to Creative Consortium Topic #5

Post  llamasarecool on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:22 pm

The anonymous author of "Champ" is about, in my opinion, a patient that has a mental problem and can never remember going to the hospital...but she/he has been there every day...possibly in a dream...I have no idea. Honestly, from the last few paragraphs, phrases like "standing next to me", and "I was never there" were very confusing, which I guess, that was what the author was probably going for. And also, the fact that it is an anonymous piece is kind of creepy. The description of the hospital and Dr. Smith were very odd and apparently more important to the author then to the reader. There is a lot of imagery when the author talks about the hospital, words like "urine", "blue", and "white tile". The tone, I think, is that the author is trying to remember something, but she/he cannot, so she/he feels forgetful and possibly frustrated.

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  31544 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:03 pm

The author is writing about his disgust with himself for not attending the death of his dog. He creates an elaborate fantasy about what he thinks it would have been like if he had gone. He seems to have failed to attend because of a desire to remain "clean" somehow, and he characterizes cleanliness as a disgusting, nauseating thing throughout the piece, as shown by "nauseatingly clean", and "grow nause[ated] from cleanliness".


Last edited by 31544 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Response to 31544 5th Consortium Response

Post  llamasarecool on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:17 pm

WOW! You had a way different view on it then I did. Hahahaha. I liked your theory a lot. You could have used more text quotes, but otherwise, I like it!

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  31544 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:35 pm

[quote="llamasarecool"]The anonymous author of "Champ" is about, in my opinion, a patient that has a mental problem and can never remember going to the hospital...but she/he has been there every day...possibly in a dream...I have no idea. Honestly, from the last few paragraphs, phrases like "standing next to me", and "I was never there" were very confusing, which I guess, that was what the author was probably going for. And also, the fact that it is an anonymous piece is kind of creepy. The description of the hospital and Dr. Smith were very odd and apparently more important to the author then to the reader. There is a lot of imagery when the author talks about the hospital, words like "urine", "blue", and "white tile". The tone, I think, is that the author is trying to remember something, but she/he cannot, so she/he feels forgetful and possibly frustrated.[/quote]

Interesting way to look at it. Entirely different from how I saw it. It is a very vague, symbolic story.
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Re: Consortium Response #5

Post  gbs13 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:51 pm

The story “Champ” is about someone that is feeling guilty because she wasn't there with her dog when he died. I get the idea that the speaker really loved her dog and is mad at herself because she missed her dog’s passing. She repeats how “I was never there” throughout the story, which makes me think that she is beating herself up over the fact that she was not there. When she imagined that she petted him she was “…careful to avoid his damaged spine”, so I assumed that the dog had an injury that was very traumatic like maybe being hit by a car. If this was the case then the speaker might have been too traumatized and sad to go to the hospital as she says “I grew nauseous from grief that day,” giving the idea that she really did care for her dog. If all this is true then she may be mourning the death and is only wishing that she had had the strength to go and see her dog when he was still alive.

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Responding to llamasarecool

Post  gbs13 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:32 pm

I thought that you had a nice response even though I interpreted the story very differently. I thought that you backed up your ideas nicely with your quotes though. Funny how we saw them so differently, good job!

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Responding to 31544

Post  gbs13 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:34 pm

I liked your response, and I agree with you that it was a dog that the speaker was referring to. I think that you have some good ideas but I interpreted some things differently. I thought that the speaker was too traumatized by the death of the dog to address it in the moment, and is hoping that the hospital is clean and nice since she wasn't able to be there. Good job though!

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Re: Consortium Response #5

Post  jemoria on Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:48 pm

I believe that the anonymous author is expressing the pain that her dogs suffering has brought her. He or she must have deeply cared for this dog, so much in fact that they couldn't bring themselves to take their pet to the hospital. They couldn't hear their doctor say "he wasn't going to make it". Obviously the speaker is traumatized by whatever happened to the dog. "I'd stroke the golden brown fur on the back of his neck, careful to avoid the damaged spine.' The harsh word "damaged" implies that it was a brutal injury that the dog has and that his is in a great amount of pain. The author also used "I'd" an abbreviation for "I would have" that's past tense so the reader knows even before the ending that the speaker wasn't actually there.

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Response to 31544

Post  jemoria on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:05 pm

I completely agree with your interpretation of this short story. I would have just used more quotes to back up your answer. I also think your point about not attending because he wanted to stay "clean" was very true and I didn't pick up on that until I read your response. It was really good!

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Response to llamasarecool

Post  jemoria on Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:40 pm

I didn't interpret "Champ' in at all the same way as you. However reading over your response, it makes sense. I agree that this person sounds almost slightly insane. You backed up your points well, it was good!

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Responding to gbs13

Post  llamasarecool on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:18 pm

I really liked how you interpreted the story. I had a total different idea, and by the looks of it, a lot of other people had pretty much the same idea as you. I liked your explanation and how you backed it up with evidence! Nice job!

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  sadie24 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:01 pm

Throughout "Champ," I was sure that the author was talking about a sibling or friend that had serious mental problems and wasn't doing well. The amount of passion the author showed throughout the piece made me think that it was a person very close to him or her, so it was a real surprise to hear that it is really a dog. Once it is revealed that it is a dog, however, the different parts of the story all click. The imagery in this story is amazing, and really makes readers see what the author is imagining.
"She would lead me through the door next to the water cooler, down a pastel
blue hallway lined with golden picture frames. I’m certain, nearly certain anyways, that every
photo in those frames would flaunt the happiest animals a photographer could find"
"I think that the shadows would shade the hallway with three distinct colors: the gloomy black
of the shadows on the walls, the speckled ashen white of the clean on the floor, and the faint
patches of gold creeping along the ceiling from the sun."
The mood is also very clear, and all in all it was a very good short story.

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  sadie24 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:05 pm

[quote="gbs13"]The story “Champ” is about someone that is feeling guilty because she wasn't there with her dog when he died. I get the idea that the speaker really loved her dog and is mad at herself because she missed her dog’s passing. She repeats how “I was never there” throughout the story, which makes me think that she is beating herself up over the fact that she was not there. When she imagined that she petted him she was “…careful to avoid his damaged spine”, so I assumed that the dog had an injury that was very traumatic like maybe being hit by a car. If this was the case then the speaker might have been too traumatized and sad to go to the hospital as she says “I grew nauseous from grief that day,” giving the idea that she really did care for her dog. If all this is true then she may be mourning the death and is only wishing that she had had the strength to go and see her dog when he was still alive.[/quote]

I agree with your interpretation of the short story, and you had a good use of quotes in your response. Nice work!

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  sadie24 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:07 pm

[quote="jemoria"]I believe that the anonymous author is expressing the pain that her dogs suffering has brought her. He or she must have deeply cared for this dog, so much in fact that they couldn't bring themselves to take their pet to the hospital. They couldn't hear their doctor say "he wasn't going to make it". Obviously the speaker is traumatized by whatever happened to the dog. "I'd stroke the golden brown fur on the back of his neck, careful to avoid the damaged spine.' The harsh word "damaged" implies that it was a brutal injury that the dog has and that his is in a great amount of pain. The author also used "I'd" an abbreviation for "I would have" that's past tense so the reader knows even before the ending that the speaker wasn't actually there.[/quote]

I agree with your ideas about the short story completely. It would have been nice if you had talked about the overall theme of the story too, but nice job!

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  TeamDizzieKappa19 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:14 pm

Firstly, sorry this is late. Secondly, i thoroughly enjoyed the story Champ and i loved that it was so descriptive. I also loved the pure, not even thinly veiled denial in this story coming from the narrator about not being there when his/her pet was put to sleep. I loved the colour words that were used and how none of them were vibrant or noticeable, they were all pale or neutral in some way. Like "Pale blue" or "white" or "faint patches of gold" and speaking of faint patches of gold, that line is one of my favourites because it says that it reminds the narrator of a 12 year old beagle and in the story it also says that the narrator has had this dying pet for 12 years so it is a very subtle reference to the pet.

Response to llamasarecool:
I also started reading this thinking that it was about a mental institution, something about the amount of clean kinda made me feel wary of the patients sanity, but as the story went on I stopped seeing insanity and started seeing grief and denial. All of the details made it clear that the narrator was actually there at that time, but he/she is now trying to ignore the experience.

Response to 31544
That is a very interesting way to think about it, and I agree that it is very possible. The narrator might have had a germ issue that might have kept him/her from going to that hospital and now he/she is going to great lengths to make him/herself guilty for that by coming up with all of those details, this of course brings up the possibility of insanity once again.

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  scribbledskies on Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:00 pm

I thought this was due tomorrow, sorry!!!!

think that "Champ" was the name of the narrator's dog and that he's about to get euthanized. Throughout the poem there are motifs of dark/light as well as of course the "clean" vs "dirty".

@sadie24 i agree that the owner cared so much and was so affected by the dog's injury that they just couldn't force themselves to show up for the dog at the end.

@llamasarecool I think it's so interesting that you thought of a mental institution, I did get that hospital feel with everything being too clean and impersonal. Also maybe (s)he was so anxious and depressed walking in the hospital (if they ever were there in the first place) that s/he didn't notice anything but the details of how clean the place was. You know how when you're feeling trauma you try to block everything else out and focus on things that make sense like the color of the floor tiles, etc.


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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  Jmo on Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:59 pm

Word choice in "Champ" creates a sterile, alien tone. Words like "cleanliness," hostile clean," and "nauseating" reinforce the unaturally clean mood of the piece. The characterization of the Dr. also adds to the negative feel of the piece. The doctor is described as cold and almost inhuman, "there would be lots of important looking people in clean white coats." The place described is also supposed to seem alien to human life and emotion, "had i fainted, I'd probably have dirtied the ashen tile floor with grief and human panic."

Response to TeamDizziekappa19
Your observance of the pale colors refrencing the dog is an interesting point; i didnt pick that up before.

Response to Sadie24
I didnt realize the guilt in the story that you mentioned. The idea of the speaker feeling guilty about not being with his dog is definitley a contributing facor.

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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

Post  31544 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:16 pm

[quote="Jmo"]Word choice in "Champ" creates a sterile, alien tone. Words like "cleanliness," hostile clean," and "nauseating" reinforce the unaturally clean mood of the piece. The characterization of the Dr. also adds to the negative feel of the piece. The doctor is described as cold and almost inhuman, "there would be lots of important looking people in clean white coats." The place described is also supposed to seem alien to human life and emotion, "had i fainted, I'd probably have dirtied the ashen tile floor with grief and human panic."[/quote]

I definitely agree with that view. The idea of the hospital as a sterile place is certainly prevalent.
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Creative Consortium Assignment #5

Post  Dark Woods on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:49 pm

(I apologize for being late)
When reading "Champ" I noticed that the lifelessness and sterility described throughout the poem wasn't just an imagining of this hospital, of these people, but also a judgement upon those things. Throughout the writing, in fact in pretty much every paragraph you can see the contempt that the speaker has for these fake, emotionless people, and this place that seems so uniform, sterile and lifeless. The speaker describes it as nauseating, a hostile clean. The speaker also derides this place very descriptively with the sentence, "They likely hire janitors to sweep the clean off the ashen tile floors and to wipe the previous day's clean from the pastel green walls."

Response to TeamDizzieKappa19
I also loved the description that the speaker used, it made everything they talked about easy to picture. Your thought that the soft colors reminded the speaker of the dog was interesting. I hadn't thought about it that way.

Response to Jmo
I thought that the word choice play a large part in setting the mood for "Champ" as well. I also thought that the way the speaker tells the story was key, you can tell they are unpleased with the whole situation when you see them say things like "Actually, I'll bet…", and "…for all I cared…"
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Re: Consortium Response #5: Creative Nonfiction

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