Interview #2

     Although at first I didn’t think that the work Professor Siegel does remotely interested me, I learned that we had a lot more in common than I thought.  Professor Siegel’s methodology of research were by far the most interesting to me.

     The first thing I learned was that Professor Siegel’s actual interest was not in Religion, but in Indian culture, including Indian religion.  He stated that the reason why UH Manoa offered him a teaching position was because he was an expert in the field of India, not because he was an expert in religion as a whole.  He first became interested in India because he always associated India with magic, and wanted to learn more about the aspect magic played within the Indian culture.  He decided that instead of entering India as a professor, he would enter as a magician.  He said that before leaving America, he dabbled in magic tricks to help him prepare for this role.  Once in India, Siegel joined a group of Indian magicians and upon numerous trips back to India, eventually joined in and performed with them.

    Professor Siegel’s research methods are most interesting to me because he gained most of his knowledge from on-hand experience.  He described his research method as somewhat “anthropological.”  I was disenchanted when I realized that my previous notion of research outside of science being nothing more than reading articles from various sources was false.  Professor Siegel made me more interested in research because his method of conducting it included traveling and experiencing what he was researching (Indian culture) hands on.

       I found another surprising similarity when Professor Siegel told me that he was first a writer above other things.  He actually wrote a book, called Love in a Dead Language, that was very successful and became a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  Professor Siegel stated that this book was entirely fiction, which was interesting to me because one might assume out of research comes truth (aka nonfiction).  However, Professor Siegel spoke to me of “scholarship in service of fiction”, and that unlike many colleagues he was foremost a writer.  In his book he “blurred the line” between nonfiction and fiction, presumably by using his findings from research (truth) to make his story (fiction) more plausible and knowledgeable.  (On a side note this reminded me of Truman Capote using nonfiction techniques on “fiction” with his book In Cold Blood.  I know Capote went to Holcomb and researched the murders the book was based after and so Professor Siegel’s research methods behind Love in a Dead Language reminded me of this.)  

     Professor Siegel told me that the most startling thing he found throughout his research and time in India was the close friendship he made with an Indian magician.  He stated that they were completely different, a juxtaposition– he a literate Jew and his friend an illiterate Muslim.  Yet, they were best friends because they had the bond of interest in magic. He said that this broke down the view of the necessity of nationality, gender, race, etc. in a close relationship.


Why Literature is Important

In class on Thursday, the question was brought up of why reading, and literature is important. Why should we read books when they are movies, and summaries, and Sparknotes? Why should we bother reading anything other than assigned reading?

To me, literature is important because it enriches not only academically, but emotionally.  I never understood true literature versus “fluffy” books like Twilight (no offense to Twilight) until I took my first AP English class in my junior year of high school.  AP English is all about reading texts, analyzing texts, understanding the meaning/significance of the text, and then being able to quickly and adequately communicate these ideas back through essays.  In AP English, I read a multitude of pieces that were not exactly “easy reading.” Honestly, I probably would never have read them if I hadn’t been in the class.  However, because AP English exposed me to literature and novels and stories with more depth, I learned to appreciate the complexity these pieces have to offer and the amount of thought that went into these books.

This year I’m going to try to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November.  It is basically a pledge to write a 50,000 word novel in November.  I think National Novel Writing Month embodies why literature is so important.  Logically, there is no reason why writing a 50,000 word novel in one month should be done.  Most published authors take months, if not years to write and revise a quality piece.  Still, thousands of people sign up and take the pledge because the point is the fact that one is writing and creating.

So why is literature important? In my opinion, literature is important because it expands the mind and introduces people to new concepts and situations that they wouldn’t have thought of before.  It makes people think, “What is the author saying? What is the underlying meaning behind the piece? Why did the author choose this specific word instead of another word?” etc.  Literature spreads new ideas and different perspectives.  Also, literature makes people question life as they know it, which spurs reflection and also change.

Primary Sources

I will be using the APA format for my annotated bibliography because my research topic is in the social sciences.

Primary Sources:

Quevedo, L. A., Silva, R. A., Godoy, R. R., Jansen, K. K., Matos, M. B., Tavares Pinheiro, K. A., & Pinheiro, R. T. (2012). The impact of maternal post-partum depression on the language development of children at 12 months. Child: Care, Health & Development38(3), 420-424.

This is a study published on the effect of post-partum depression on children done on mothers treated by the Brazilian National System of Public Health.  The studies first tested mothers and their children a month after delivery and then a year after.  This study focused on the effect post-partum depression had on the linguistic abilities of the children, and found a negative effect, which was worsened the longer the post-partum existed.  This study is useful for my research because it shows the effect post-partum depression has specifically on a child’s linguistic ability, which is a relatively short term effect after the initial post-partum depression. 

Denis, A. A., Ponsin, M. M., & Callahan, S. S. (2012). The relationship between maternal self-esteem, maternal competence, infant temperament and post-partum blues. Journal Of Reproductive & Infant Psychology30(4), 388-397.

In this study, mothers completed surveys concerning depression levels from pregnancy to three years after birth  Their depression was measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.  The mothers’ children then took an IQ test at eight years of age.  The findings pointed that there was no significant correlation between a mother’s post-partum depression and a child’s cognitive ability.  This study is useful for my project because it shows the long-term outcome of post-partum depression and how it didn’t effect children in this aspect of measurement (IQ testing).

Murray, L., Arteche, A., Fearon, P., Halligan, S., Croudace, T., & Cooper, P. (2010). The effects of maternal postnatal depression and child sex on academic performance at age 16 years: a developmental approach. Journal Of Child Psychology & Psychiatry51(10), 1150-1159.

This study tested children who were sixteen years old that had mothers with post-natal (aka post-partum) depression.  They tested the children using a variety of things, including the “General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam performance of maternal depression (postnatal and subsequent) and IQ, child sex and earlier cognitive development, and mother-child interactions, using structural equation modelling (SEM).”  The study showed that male children were affected by post-partum depression during early cognitive development, and these effects continued throughout the years.  This study contributes to my research by showing some relationship between post-partum depression and children, measured in a variety of aspects.  The specificity of gender (only males affected) is also an important note.

Deave, T. T., Heron, J. J., Evans, J. J., & Emond, A. A. (2008). The impact of maternal depression in pregnancy on early child development. BJOG: An International Journal Of Obstetrics & Gynaecology115(8), 1043-1051.

This study surveyed mothers about their depression at 18 and 32 weeks of gestation and at 8 weeks and 8 months postnatally using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.  When the child was 18 months, the mothers filled out another survey concerning their child’s development.  The findings of this study show that children were developmentally delayed because of post-partum depression, but also that depression throughout the pregnancy contributed to the developmental delay as well.  This study is important to my research because it also includes results and links to children being affected by depression during pregnancy, as well as after.

Stereotypes in Hawaii

On Thursday during class, I learned about Dr. Drager and thought that she was brilliant.  I think that the work that she is doing is so important to Hawaii and I really appreciate her research with the pidgin language in Hawaii.  I too was surprised when she said that no other work like that was done before in Hawaii.

When she showed us the maps of Oahu and how each person portrayed the island, I laughed because I believe most of the stereotypes of certain parts of the island are true.  However, what really surprised me was that most people, if not all, portrayed central Oahu (and more specifically the Mililani area) as not really speaking pidgin.  I grew up in Mililani and lived there for the majority of my life.  Although pidgin is definitely not as prevalent or as commmonly used in Mililani as, say, Waimanalo (where I also spent a lot of time when I was younger because of where my great-grandparents lived) I still think that quite a few people speak it there.  Also, over the summer I worked at Dole Plantation, which is in the next town over, Wahiawa (not sure if most people still consider this Central Oahu).  Most of the workers, if they weren’t speaking Filipino, spoke pidgin, so much so that I felt out of place at times because I personally don’t consider myself to be a pidgin speaker.

 I remember one of my coworkers, who was an older Filipino lady who immigrated to Hawaii around a decade ago, who told me, ” You don’t speak like them (our other coworkers).  You speak different.” When I told her I don’t speak pidgin, she said, “I don’t want to speak like them.  I want to speak proper English.”  She told me that she learned “proper” English in the Philippines and it is true that she spoke “proper” English without any problems.  Thinking back, it’s funny how even she, a non-native English speaker, still somewhat looked down on the pidgin language.

In the map, I was also surprised that no one really mentioned town, as in downtown Honolulu including Chinatown, Nuuanu, Manoa, Moilili, etc.  I have been going to school in town since 8th grade and honestly, I never really heard pidgin in school by teachers or students.  In my high school barely anyone spoke pidgin at all.  Some people may say it’s just because I went to a private school, but a lot of these families lived in the Chinatown/downtown area so I consider their speaking habits as a partial reflection of the area they live in.  If I was given that survey, I probably would have put down Japanese/Chinese in that area of Oahu because so many of my classmates were bilingual in those two languages.  I’m not sure if I have a narrow perspective concerning this area, or the other participants in the survey were focused more on pidgin/haven’t had much contact in the area.



Studying Pt 2

Last week I took another Chemistry test.  Unlike the previous test, I didn’t study hours upon hours because I had another test a few days earlier I needed to study for.  I really only studied the night before and the morning of the test, although I reviewed a little material a week before.  The amazing thing was I got the same grade that I received on the previous test.

Now I realize studying isn’t about quantity, but quality.  If I study more efficiently and not try to study for the sake of putting hours into a subject, I retain more information and am a more balanced person overall.

I recently stumbled across Cal Newman’s blog called Study Hacks.  Cal Newman is a professor who has a strong interest in what makes people successful, and has written several books on making students successful.  He has so many tips on his blog but a few of my favorites are The Zen Valedictorian and Of Pre-Med Schedules and the Possibility of Finishing Your Work Before Dinner.  These articles both suggest that with proper time management, good grades can be done without excess times and stress.

Refined Research Question and Search Topics

I researched more into women and depression and found that there were lists of factors of depression in women.  One significant factor was pregnancy.  Mothers often experience pos-partum depression.  I wanted to narrow down my research question because there was an overwhelming amount of information available that I wouldn’t be able to properly go through. Therefore my refined research is:

What are the effects (if any) of postpartum depression in the mother’s child and how long do these effects last into the child’s life?

Some search topics I used are:

  • depression in women
  • pregnancy depression
  • postpartum depression effects on children
  • mother’s depression effects on children
  • postpartum depression
  • pregnancy hormones depression
  • pregnant women
  • depression treatment women

Interview Rough Draft Part 2

**Note: This is a better version of my interview rough draft . I still have to add more details that Professor Middleton mentioned about her research, most of this is what I remembered with without notes.

When people think of research, usually topics in the field of natural sciences come up.  However, research occurs in multiple fields, albeit using different methods that best suit each topic.  When interviewing Professor Linda Middleton, I not only learned about her personal academic journey, but also about the research topics and process she took when producing her research.

The interview began with Professor Middleton telling me how she got into her field of research, which is English.  She said that in the beginning of college, she started out as pre-med.  After realizing that the courses she took wasn’t for her, she switched to a different field and ended up double-majoring in Psychology and English.  She eventually became a professor, and received her Master’s from University of California Berkeley, and her PhD. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She was actually in the first class of the English doctorate program here at Manoa.

When asked how she became interested in the topic of feminism, Professor Middleton replied that she grew up in the second-wave feminist era, and that as a young adult, it was something that she found her identity with.  She also stated that growing up with her sister, her father was very encouraging, so she had no concept of not being able to do something, simply because she was a woman.  This mentality lead Professor Middleton into the topic of feminism and women authors in literature, which are significant themes in research.  Some examples of research Professor Middleton did include papers on Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson.

I specifically asked Professor Middleton about one of her specific papers that was about women’s anxiety of authorship.  She said that her inspiration for the paper came from a book called The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.  Research in the English field tends to come from reading works and then researching topics or themes related to the specific research topic.  This includes reading literary criticisms like The Madwoman in the Attic.  Rather than perform actual experiments, research in the English field tends to involve more literary means of gaining knowledge about a subject.

My interview with Professor Middleton gave me insight on another aspect of using an English degree as a career.  I now know that English is more than reading and writing; it involves taking various literature, criticisms, and articles and piecing them together in order to make a accurate and sound thesis.