Mountaintop Removal and Pastoral: Nneka Udechukwu Shares her Story

Hi everyone.  I hope the dog days of summer aren’t getting you down.  I wanted to call attention to the second installment of the podcast episodes that came out of this class.  In the latest episode of Et in Arcadia Ego, Nneka Udechukwu talks about mountaintop removal and the pastoral.  You can click here to download/listen to an episode, or you can find it over on iTunes.

Give it a listen, leave some feedback, and keep on thinking about pastoral!

Tim Hanner Shines on Et in Arcadia Ego

ENG 230 folks:  I hope everyone’s first week of freedom is going well. I’m still in the process of filling out final grades. More to follow soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the first new episode of Et in Arcadia Ego.  Tim Hanner from our class talks with me about Asian carp and the problem of invasive species. 

Click on the link to listen to and download an episode.  There you can also download in iTunes and any other podcast software or smartphone platform.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.  The other episodes are soon to follow.  Spread the word! Let’s see how many people can listen to this podcast.

Also, major kudos to Lauren Tincher, who not only came up with a great post on the closing of the school in Detroit, but also wrote “The New Rage – Chicken Hair,” a post that’s gone viral in the last week!  It’s received over 800 page views.

WANTED: Good Pastoral Woman

DWM seeks kind, “simple” woman who’s “easy” on the eyes with plenty of “country” charm to share many “nostalgic” moments.

Must enjoy “relaxing” and the “simpler” things life has to offer, and be free of “complex” drama.

A love of rustic, green pastures, clear, cool brooks and gently, rolling hills is a plus.

“Controlling” women need not reply as I enjoy being “free” spirited.

Respond to: 1-888-EASY-GUY

Pastoral Melodies

Any time I get out into the wild, aka the Red River Gorge, I always have to listen to my favorite old country tunes to get myself into the “easy-going, fresh mountain air” mood.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy other types of music, I’m just at a genetic disadvantage being from Kentucky – where the love of country music is inbred into my DNA.  As I listened to the classics of George Jones and the Judds, I couldn’t help but notice, thanks to what I’ve learned from class, that there are many pastoral themes in country music.  Even the genre name, “country” implies to the listener that you might expect to hear about easy going times of a simpler style of living. Continue reading

Pastoral…Haunting My Dreams?

Someone recently just posted a free form article titled “Pastoral…IT’S EVERYWHERE”. I couldn’t agree more. I’m beginning to catch myself thinking “How could I relate this to pastoral?” or “Does this relate to pastoral in an way”. I guess it can’t be much of a bad thing seeing as how to get the best grade possible, you have to eat, sleep, and breathe pastoral! I really started to notice my “obsession” (if you could really call it that) with finding pastoral when my marine called me today. He’s currently overseas and naturally, he was saying how much he missed home. He started describing all the thing he missed doing in perfect detail. Even though I was sitting in the house, it was such perfect detail that I could almost see myself doing it right that very second.  Continue reading

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

 The Good, The Bad, and The UglyA Fistful of Dollars. A Few Dollars More. To some people, these may just seem like disjointed, poorly constructed sentences, but to me, they represent one of the best movie trilogies of all time, the saga of The Man With No Name. These iconic Clint Eastwood movies are some of his best work, the rugged hard-mouthed no nonsense cowboy who is in complete control of the Wild Western landscape and society around him. The distinctive music, with the loud whistles and sweeping orchestral instrumentals composed by Ennio Morricone, gets to me every time I hear it, reminding me of the appeal the recently untamed West held for Americans. Even in recent film memory, with hits such as 3:10 to Yuma and the more modern No Country for Old Men, the idea of a man against the wild captivated millions of people, a “modern” day shepherd, seeking his destiny in the rough rural landscape of the Wild West.

Continue reading

The New Rage- Chicken Hair

Living in a college city and spending my days on campus, it is easy to spot the latest trends. Sperry’s, Wayfarers, Tom’s, yoga pants… the list goes on, but a new trend that borrows its style from the animal world is hair feathers.

One of my sorority sisters in from Colorado, where the fashion trends typically reach before they do in Lexington, walked in one day and I noticed feathers in her hair. After I saw that she had feathers, I began to see them everywhere. My roommate now has three feathers and I work with three girls at a restaurant who all have them too. Three. One girl literally went to the salon next day to buy them. Women, men, children, and yes even dogs can buy these feather accessories, but at what cost ultimately? Continue reading

Daddy’s Girl

I’m not going to lie, I got a little teary-eyed when I read the part in American Pastoral where Merry spotted the Swede and when “she raced across the street, this frightful creature, and like the carefree child he used to enjoy envisioning back when he was himself a carefree child – the girl running from her swing outside the stone house – she threw herself upon his chest, her arms encircling his neck.” (Roth, 230) I am definitely a daddy’s girl. My dad and I are very much alike, both very stubborn, so we’ve had our share of arguments and at times, we’ve really disliked each other. But, I love my dad, and now more than ever since I am older and in college away from him. Continue reading

Time on the Water

Kentucky Lake

Last weekend for the holiday weekend I decided to go down to visit my friend who lives in Paducah.  We ended up spending the whole weekend at his lake house on Kentucky Lake.  As the Pastoral was on my mind at the time, I thought to myself “This will be a nice relaxing weekend and I will be able to return to lexington refreshed”.  So, I proceeded to leave my cellphone at the lake house when we went out on the lake the first night, and it was a great feeling to not be stuck in the urban setting with the constant buzz of the sirens on Nicholasville and the buzzing of my phone to annoy me.  Besides the boat it was a evening out on the water with very little to think about.  I think many people also come to the lake seeking this kind of relaxation.  The next day we spent the whole day out on the water so I had no choice, I had to bring my phone just in case of emergency.  Although the next day was not like the evening we had spent before, there is something about a Jet ski that just doesn’t seem to fit into the theme of anything pastoral to me. Continue reading

Unnatural Nature

Natural Bridge Sky-lift

This weekend I enjoyed a pastoral retreat away from the urban hustle of my downtown Lexington apartment.  It was nice to get away from the concrete jungle of the city and see something besides grey and red brick buildings and black asphalt for a change.  Pulling off of Mountain Parkway near Slade, Kentucky I immediately rolled my windows down and enjoyed the fresh air of the mountains – a nice change from the stale, coal-sulfur mix I am used to around west campus.  As an avid hiker, camper and health nut, I try to frequent the Red River Gorge area as often as possible throughout the summer.  I parked my truck in the farthest lot from the main trail to the Natural Bridge attraction and began my hike.  There were several other tourists enjoying a pleasant Saturday morning as well.  Most were also hiking enthusiasts such as myself, and had no problem traversing the one mile path up the mountain side to see the attractions.  What really caught my attention once I was at the top, however, was the number of people actually using the sky-lift. Continue reading

Final Exam Study Guide

This post is just a friendly reminder that we’ll be having our final exam in class on June 7 (the last day of the semester).  Fortunately, I’m providing a study guide to help us along the way.  The exam format will resemble that of your midterm, with several exceptions. In addition to free-standing quotation identification sections, you’ll be asked to briefly sketch out the interpretative consequences of critical perspectives on the texts we’ve read by answering multiple choice questions.  If you’d like, we can go over a sample in class. Continue reading