Friday, September 28, 2007

Subject questions...

So, I have a main research question now. What I want from this question are the areas of folklore and history which are most prevalent in the culture today. I would also like to know where and when these aspects of the culture came from as well as any persons who might have been involved with this. For example, the cladaugh symbol is very widely known not only in Ireland but around the world. I know this symbol is one that is widely associated with the country. I walso know that the folklore surrounding it states that it came from and old fishing story about a man who went away and gave his wife or girlfriend the ring as a symbol of his love and when he came back she was still wearing it. I know that the heart, crown, and hands symbolize different things. What I would like to know is if there is a specific place that this lore began as well as names of the people if possible and also deeper information into the meaning and how it is used today in current culture.

I would like to look into the most prevalent areas of this folklore, such as the harp as the national symbol, the celtic crosses, the celtic knot work from the Book of Cells, the meanings of the stitching in the sweaters and the area where they come from, and natural phenmenon which has been influential as well including the marble.

For each area the questions I have are:

Where did the event/lore originate?
What time period did this take place?
Who was involved? Are the people still remembered?
How has this been embraced and/or changed over the years to continue to be of importance to the culture of today?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Narrowing a topic

This is a graphic organizer taken from http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/college/help/topic/index.htm which is meant ot give focus to a topic and help to create an actual research question in which to continue to look into.

General Topic: folklore and traditions
Time span: no distint begining to present
Place: Ireland
Person or group: all ages, current culture
Event or Aspects: folklore, traditions and stories from history

Narrowed Research Question: How has the folklore of Ireland continued to affect and immerse current Irish culture?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Confessions of a horrible blogger...

I have got to get better at this.

My general problem is that I tend to think things through at night when I have gone to bed and should be attempting to sleep rather than thinking about everything else. Possibly this is leading to the dark circles under my eyes.

Either way I have been doing a lot of thinking about my project and what topic I would like to focus on and it comes down to the fact that I am and always have been very interested in about anything I could get my hands on about Ireland and the traditions and folklore of the country. I guess it took me so long to decided this because I have done other projects on the topic coming from very different places with it as well as different products. I felt as though it would be interesting to try another topic. Also the topic was a bit daunting. I have however, decided that this project will focus on a completely different aspect from previous areas of study and give me a great opportunity to learn more about an area that I have been wondering about for a long time and have not gotten into much.

I know a great deal about the literary history of the country and the authors who have become prevalent. I also know a good deal about the major historical events in the country. What I don't know much about is the folklore that is still so prevalent in the culture today. There are many stories and so much current interest and use in many aspects of daily life that I find fascinating. Much of the jewelry of the country focuses on objects such as harps, shamrocks, and the cladaugh symbol which all have folklore surrounding them. The places in Ireland such as the marble quaries, natural phenomenon, lakes, and fields, castles, and crosses all have history and legend. Even the sweater patterns and stitches have symbolism. All of these things I know but what I don't know are what these stories are.

Where do these stories come from? What time period are the stories from? What historical figures, if any, are linked to these stories. How much of it is linked to religious belief? Why are these the objects and places which have become so important to the culture? Why are they the ones that have survived? How are these stories and objects woven (figuratively and literally) into the current culture of the country? What are the most important of these?

This focus and these questions are as a result of my wondering for the past ten days. I hope to get better at expressing thses things as they come to mind rather than letting them culminate before discussing them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The beginning...

I just created this blog today though I have been thinking about my topic for about a week now. I'm still not sure what I'd like to do exactly. I have several ideas. I'm just not sure which I'd like to use. In looking around me I found several themes which are reocuring in my own surrounding and life that I am interested in.

I've always been interested in Ireland and the history of the country. I love all of the folklore that surrounds the country and how it's all incorporated into the current culture there today, the celtic knotwork, crosses, trinity knot, etc. I'd love to learn more about it and possibly plan a trip to see the places and things that have shaped this culture through the years.

I've also thought about doing something with music. I am a huge music fan and I spend quite a bit of time and money traveling to see shows since the bands I enjoy don't usually make their way anywhere near Fort Wayne. I've also been saying for a while that I'd love to open up an all ages venue in town to bring music here because we don't really have anything like that at this point. It might be cool to make a mock buisness plan for opening a venue.

I've been writing for as long as I can rememebr. I enjoy writing fiction in my space time from young adult fiction to picture books. I also like to illustrate the books that I write for children though I've never attempted to get published. I might want to find out more about the process of getting published and the steps that it might take along with some of the history of publishing in the United States. It would be interesting to finish one of my picture books with illustrations and attempt to possibly get it published.

These are just a few ideas I have been throwing around. I hope to narrow this sometime within the next couple of days to begin to work more in depth on the project.