Raymond Groarke - A Small Bio
Hello and welcome to my page...please, carry on.
I am studying Religious Education with English, and hope to become a post-primary school teacher. I am a mature student and the only one of my friends who has a passion for a well-constructed, simple, sounding sentence. I hold a degree in Journalism as well as a banking qualification (Qualified Financial Advisor).
Neither numbers or the journey of journalism inspired me sufficiently and throughout my labours in both sectors, the words of an English teacher stuck with me: "Somebody will get the A, so why can't it be you?" These words acted as the catalyst for my confidence and I hope to infuse this influence over my students too. (If you are wondering, I was 3% off that A...I got a B)
I am an active, outdoors person but can appreciate moments of calm, quiet and inactivity too. I am compelled in no particular order to comedy, sport, music, books and live performance of any kind; I think it's the bravery of showmanship.
I always pursue challenges, experiences and anything outside the ordinary as at times, and due to necessity, life can be busy and banal. Many of these experiences have ingrained a deeply held level of perspective within me and having seen poverty at its worst in Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and Belize, I am aware I have no need to complain.
Training as a teacher is something I never thought I would get the chance to do. As the years ticked by, I felt the chance was gone but the embers of interest glowed lowly beneath the surface. It is truly thrilling to finally be on the journey.
I will conclude with a small line from my favourite play "Glengarry Glen Ross." It's a line that can apply not only to one's morals but also to your own internalisation of instinct; whether it be a gut feeling, a moment of delusional self-doubt or the passion for your own pursuit; these are things we cannot ignore.
Always tell the truth, it's the easiest thing to remember.
"All is Vanity"
The Byrds Sing The Bible
Book of Ecclesiastes 3: 2-9
I have chosen to explore the use and reception of the Book of Ecclesiastes 3: 2-9 found in The Old Testament. The most notable use of this Biblical passage is in the 1965 number one jangle rock song, Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds. The words were taken directly from this passage, and with some minor lyrical additions as well as positional adaptations, it illuminates a clear biblical representation. This beautiful song became an anthem for life, peace and unity as the Vietnam War escalated wildly. Listening attentively, you will hear the last word of each verse can be used to make one single, sentence with a powerful message hidden in plain sight: The words are, Weep. Together. Embracing. Peace. I swear it's not too late.
The song also appeared in The Simpsons. The clip selected is a parody of the American coming of age TV show (The Wonder Years) about a young boy named Kevin Arnold, and it used Turn, Turn, Turn as its opening theme tune. The scene shows Bart contemplating the erosion of his childhood by realising he may have to take a part-time job; similarly, Kevin Arnold’s turbulent years from youth to young manhood are explored in The Wonder Years. The book of Ecclesiastes 3:2-9 opens with “For everything, there is a season.” In Bart’s case, he is turning from boy to man.
In his article, The Voices of Ecclesiastes, Michael Payne says ‘There is a time for everything, according to a seasonal, progressive, cyclic sense of time (3: 1-8), including “a time to be born and a time to die” (3:2).’ In my view, this is not simply a commentary on natural birth or death. It can be interpreted as the death of an old way of life, and the birth of new beginnings. Recall your childhood and a time when something precious to you, one day became utterly meaningless. The Byrd's repetition and the addition of the word 'turn' are indicative of the message Ecclesiastes 3:2-9 is trying to convey, and both Bart and Kevin are prime examples of this cycle of renewal. Likewise, in 1991, Sky Movies launched its second movie channel using the biblical scripture to announce its arrival. The advertisement portrays an emotional mixture of new and old.
According to James L.Crenshaw’s book, Ecclesiastes, A Commentary, his interpretation of this passage explains. ‘Everything has its own moment (3:1-9), but that humans cannot know those times (3: 10-15), for God withholds that information. An arbitrary deity shapes human lives, allowing some persons to participate in pleasure and preventing others from doing so. It does no good to fight against this external control.’ Furthermore, in a futuristic dystopia, far from Old Testament times, they are referencing Ecclesiastes!
My final example is the movie, Forrest Gump. At the end of the clip selected, the biblical passage is represented further; it is a poignant scene and a clear example of the wheel of life revolving as his true love Jenny comes back into his life once again, but sadly, not for long. As Crenshaw alludes to, it was not Gump's time. Ecclesiastes 3: 2-9 is relevant to the entire film. The classic line used “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get” presents the same message Ecclesiastes 3: 2-9 is preaching; there is a time, a place and a reason for us all, we don't know when, where or how?
Hollywood and The Bible?!
Personal Project Reflection
I chose to study Ecclesiastes for my interest in music and the quality of content surrounding it. The project revolves around the song Turn Turn Turn, a piece of music I know particularly well and have listened to more than 100 times in my life, yet never knew the lyrics originated from the Bible. The reflection project has opened my eyes to how much relevance the Bible still has today; I could have chosen multiple examples to study.
Since commencing the module, I’ve had many meaningful and enlightening chats about bible stories with friends and classmates; not a regular topic of conversation until now. Overall, I would like to use loop reflect for more assignments.
The use of video, music, art and imagery is an attractive format, and while it does not feel overly academic, without doubt, it enhances your learning. The one negative is, loop reflect can be somewhat cumbersome in parts, and the small text box was frustrating to use, so much so I reverted to a word doc. I think a dummy loop reflect project is needed throughout the semester, or even 3 or 4 tutorials.
Although I am happy with my work, I feel some prior practice with guidance from an expert would have made it a lot slicker. I can say with no ambiguity, the module as a whole was excellent. The two prior assignments offered essential learning outcomes and the lectures were delivered smartly, with ease and compelled the class at all times.
The module has opened my interest to further biblical studies, especially my study of Ecclesiastes which was fascinating regarding the advice it speaks of; surprisingly or unsurprisingly, it is still relevant in today’s modern age.
Resources used + References
Crenshaw, James L. Ecclesiastes, A Commentary (London, SCM press, 1988) p. 92.
Dell, Katherine J. Critical Studies In The Hebrew Bible 3: Interpreting Ecclesiastes, Readers Old and New (Indiana, Eisenbrauns 2013).
Payne, Michael. “The Voices of Ecclesiastes.” College Literature, vol. 15, no. 3, 1988,
- 266. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25111791.
Bible Hub, Berean Study Bible - Bible > Ecclesiastes > Chapter 3 > Verse 2
Accessed 10/12/2108 and 11/12/2018 https://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/3-2.htm
JB Starlord. "Turn, Turn, Turn" in Forrest Gump. Published 25/06/2017. Accessed 09/12/2018-11/12/2018. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E4DfPGVjuw
Miky. The Simpsons, Wonder Years, Youtube. Published on 9 Jan 2014. Accessed 09/12/2018-11/12/2018. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zaFKPjMViQ
Robert28r. Turn! Turn! Turn! The Byrds (Lyrics), Youtube. Published 08/07/2012. Accessed 09/12/2018-11/12/2018. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zx6j4vI8lE
Davey. A. King Solomon Meeting the Queen of Sheba.Taken on November 4, 2007. Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/adavey/3434884321. Creative Commons.
Crenshaw, James L. Ecclesiastes, A Commentary (London, SCM press, 1988), Inside page.
Fernando Reis, Luiz. Mick Jagger https://www.flickr.com/photos/7477245@N05/5095176908/sizes/m/ - Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018. Creative Commons.
RA.AZ. Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451. https://www.flickr.com/photos/uflinks/4956476726 - Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018. Creative Commons.
Links located in the text:
AP LIT. Bradbury's Allusion to the Book of Ecclesiastes. Published 05/11/2007. URL http://aplit1138.blogspot.com/2007/11/bradburys-allusion-to-book-of.html Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018
Radio Bremerhaven. SKY MOVIES (TURN TURN TURN) TRAILER. Youtube. Published on 9 Nov 2016. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDlTaiBXYHg&t=2s - Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018
WonderYearsOfficial. Turn Turn Turn. Youtube. Published on 15 Feb 2009. Accessed 10/12/2018-11/12/2018. URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OVNNnAb0LU