September 30, 2003

Everyone is sick

Everyone is sick at Seton Hill (flu, cold, etc.).

This is your opportunity to tell everyone the nasties of your sickness.

I am ready to read the whines hehehe. I love that.

But I am not going to get sick I AM NOT GOING TO GET SICK I AM NOT GOING TO GET SICK!

I have heard that getting sick is partly in the mind, so I have decided to tell myself that over and over. I AM NOT GOING TO GET SICK. I am not going to get sick....

If you hear me whispering that myself over and over in class--I am not crazy, (well not in the strictest sense). I am just battling illness with "mind power" instead of Dimetapp.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 7:57 PM | Comments (8)

Feminist Art?

I visited the Harlan Gallery today with my fellow freshmen in Seminar.

What a wonderful experience!

One comment from a presenter, however, sticks in my mind (something like this): "Everything looks feminine. It goes against what female artists in the art world are attempting to express."

The artists' pieces in the gallery are "feminine works". Should artists attempt to hide that they are female? A resounding "No" leaps to my mind.

They are female artists, they should revel in that realization, and it seems as if they do. The presenter seemed to dislike the idea that "pretty" works with splashes of pinks and greens go against what feminist artists should portray in modern works.

Of course, since birth girls are meant to like pink, and boys blue, but why should women force themselves into a mold of darkened scenery or war-like scenarios just to say they are feminists? They should simply be who they are, who they want to be. That is real feminism.

The gallery show represents that sentiment. So gals, if ya like pink--pile it on, if ya like black, war, firearms, and gutter scenes--good for you. And guys, if you like pink, pile it on--Great.

Most art does not exclusively attempt to portray one idea: gender; it is a culmination of many other aspects that influence the artist and the world.

So I say, express yourself honestly, regardless of gender lines. After all, great art should speak to all--not just a little over half of humanity.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 7:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2003

Hating Hangers

I hate hangers. I hate them.

They are the most annoying organizational tool in the entire world. They really like to slice into your arm when you are trying to be nice and take them home to the closet.

Then (if they are metal), you have that whole fear of Tetanus. Unfounded I know, but the fear is there.

I have stepped on rusty nails before--not a nice experience--in a shortage, doctors debate on whether they want to give them to you (off the subject, but very true, and ironic).

Anyway, I thought having a big spacious closet was going to be a great thing, but then I realized that hangers, my arch-nemesis of organization was going to be a main player in the game of profuse room storage. What rounds we have played.

From the slicing to the dicing, to the nasty buggers getting stuck in my ratty hair in the morning, I have found that they do have one redeeming quality: keeping me away from my other arch-rivals: the iron and cumbersome board. More on them another day...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:22 PM | Comments (3)

Thanking the good lady

I would just like to thank a nice lady that has helped me discover HTML for posting pictures: Jess P.

Visit her blog.
She is so great, so random, but she is feeling a bit left out of the commenting loop.

I am not saying leave me and never come back, just check out hers, comment, then come back to me. I love you all so very much. :-).

Check out the Moulin Rouge pic below. I love it--so colorful. Woohoo. I forgot to attribute though. I'll do it next time.

Anyway, Jess helped me. Her blog is really neat. Go and then return. May the Force be with you. Oh, yeah, I forgot I love Star Wars too.

It is getting late. Delirium descends. hehehe.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)

Ward's wandering

From cliche to verbosity:

"You are either born with ink in your veins, or you are not."

"ubiquitous access to digitized information, enjoyed by an increasing percentage of the world's population, is a genie that has escaped from the bottle and has no intention of going back."
--Ward's Journalism Online
Ward's writing annoys me, and I have an entire book of his babble. Woohoo!

I give him that he knows what his subject is, that he does have some grasp of online journalism, but that does not make him a good writer, and even more importantly, a textbook writer.

I hope that he will get better.

I am such a spoiled reader, and blogging about my reactions to text is really different from my high school slump-through-it-no-matter-if-you-like-it-or-not-ness.

Ward's mention of interviewing and text/visual presentation does offer some good tips, mostly what I have learned in my Practice of Journalism class.

His message of good reporting for the online communications is very comparable to the traditional forms of journalism, just with "ubiquitous access to digitized information." What pompous language.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:55 AM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2003

Favorite website

Turner Classic Movies
The Lord of the Rings
Moulin Rouge
Harry Potter
E.T. The Extraterrestrial

Pick one and tell me why...you can suggest another one too.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:34 PM | Comments (1)

TV News Bites-HW assignment

Greg Byron's long essay on TV news really made me take a long look at my local news station WTAE-TV Channel 4, and my entire television news experience.

I have watched the station for years, but never really noticed how much "fluff" was included in the broadcast (which isn't much among the bulging advertisements).

I have always enjoyed Sally Wiggin (now very old for an anchorwoman--they keep piling on the make-up because she is actually a good reporter) and her wonderful world of color and crime.

I never realized how numb I had become to the structure of the broadcast.

When I looked back over my viewing experiences, however, I noticed that most of Byron's points are well-established.

They spend time regurgitating other newspaper writers' stories, they create entertaining fluff, they do not report the news when it happens--they simply re-air the old story for the next broadcast.

And then there is the file visuals; I have seen such irresponsible journalism like this in practice. Instead of simply re-shooting a criminal in appeals court, they will use the footage from the first trial; the person may look completely different, but they will use it anyway. If that person escapes prison, the entire viewing area will be looking for a well-dressed man with black hair, a suit, and clean-shaven looks, but when in actuality, he is slumped, bald-headed, and is wearing prison garb. It is like using a toy hammer from childhood to build a house later in life: it does not work, it is not functional for future use.

I, like many viewers, have "stuck" with one channel over the years, proud that I have been a "loyal" viewer; one should not have that outlook, however, the news is there for you, not you for them. Local "hometown" news companies have brainwashed that image that "we are here for you" so, in turn, we should call them with developments, and watch them for the most current news.

Byron's cynical voice made me a bit depressed while reading the essay, but his views are entirely applicable to the situation: TV news reporting, in its genre of communication, is not living up to the changing standards of media; it is failing with unneeded entertainment, belated stories, and fragmentation--among many other downfalls.

Either television reporting will change, or it will die like the railroads.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

Get up there

Faces you have seen since birth, all looking at you, you are the center of their world for the moment, you are in that place of distinction, you are the entertainer.

I have been the entertainer since I was three years old. My mother saw how I loved acting like Dolly Parton (enhanced breasts and toy guitar), and thought she should steer me down another path that included less boobs and more Baby Jesus.

I began singing with her in church services. We would practice in the car wherever we went.

I still have some of those tapes; they look pretty nasty, sound tinny, but they are wonderful.

I was with my mom and my sister singing for the Lord. I think that was my first religious experience.

Of course, my sister was only two when I began singing in front of people, so her singing was more or less WAAAAAAAAs to the tune. I love looking back at our performances, me attempting to make sense of the words, and her, head back shaking, like Stevie Wonder, just loving the music.

Well, over the years, I began singing on my own, entering into religious competitions, and I strayed from my roots; I began to do it as an activity rather than a practice in my faith.

Today, like every Sunday, I sang in my church band, but I also did a solo. The first one in almost two years. I "got up there". I sang. And I loved it. I wasn't doing it for a competition or something to put on a resume. I was doing it to revive my gift, a gift that I have neglected far too long.

Don't neglect your gifts. I realized while I was up there how precious those moments in the spotlight really are--not only for my ego, but for the benefit of those in the crowd. They are inspired to do something, inspired because of your bravery.

I know growing up, having a career, a family, and whatever else is important, but taking time out to make a difference is critical. Just remember that.

Okay enough of that...hehehe. This is a pretty heavy entry.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 6:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2003

Degree in Humanity

Declaration to the masses (or miniscule following): "JERZ IS HUMAN."

I witnessed this phenomenon in my Friday Journalism class.

With muttered words, fumbling language, and overall un-togetheredness, Karissa and I noted his step from the composed professor persona to normal human being.

What a nice change to see that professors are human beings too.

(Karissa Kilgore put me up to this, that is K-A-R-I-S-S-A--We are in this together chica. If I get in trouble--you do too).

To Professor Jerz: Get some sleep and don't kill me for writing this. Please. After all, I am in 3 of your classes; you need someone to smirk at your Rainbow Hector Weblog.

Note: Karissa's blog can be reached for comments (complaints, babble, and overall nastiness @ http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KarissaKilgore/). Talk to her, she really wants to hear everything that I get.

How's that for links? hehehe 8-)

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:55 AM | Comments (2)

Waking up blind

Had another one of those mornings...late night 1:30 working.

Waking up blind. You know, when the lids of your eyes just want to stay shut no matter how much you pry them open with your fingers. The contact solution (that I always forget to change) just wasn't enough to unstick them. So for about 3 minutes, I was blind, except for one tiny slit of bare consciousness.

Dark outside. Hail and thunderstorms today, but who can trust those forecasters? After all, they do get paid whether they are right or wrong (for you Karisa).

Heaving my carcass out of that toasty coccoon gets harder every day.

When I go to sleep my neck will not relax, but in the morning I feel like a rag doll. Why is that?

I get to take nap later though, woohoo!

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:46 AM | Comments (1)

September 26, 2003

Toynbee connection

While I was reading a Malcolm X piece for my Seminar in Thinking and Writing class I found a very familiar name: Toynbee. Jogging my memory, I discovered this name is being plastered all over Pittsburgh's streets, and across the country.

The Toynbee I fell upon is Arnold Tynbee, an English historian. Malcolm X relates Toynbee's point: "[He] referred to the Europenan geographic area as only a peninsula of Asia. He said there was no such thing as Europe."

Malcolm X was attempting to make his point about race injustice. Could the cryptic message on the "streets of Steel City" (WTAE-TV-Channel 4 News) relate to this Toynbee and his ideologies?

I will keep on searching. If anyone finds anything. Leave a message.

Offering enlightenment: What is it?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003

Will and Grace

I don't know what it is about Will and Grace that makes me convulse into giggles, but something does.

Just Jack! hehehe.

From boob tapping between Jack and Karen to designer clothing, I love every part of that show; it doesn't even need the homosexual element (it is a funny attraction though) to be a great show. The writers are amazing.

Tonight is the season premiere. Woohoo! I won't be home. I hope someone will tape it for me. If not, will someone tell me what happened? I hope so.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:09 PM | Comments (2)

New clothes

I spent $18 on 5 shirts and 2 skirts today. Pretty cheap, huh?

I love buying clothes. I love the feel of fabrics, the colors, the fit. If I weren't a journalism major, I'd be a full-time shopper.

Now, I am not the "conventional" buyer. I go to Gabriel Brothers (a cut-rate department store), Wal*Mart, Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Salvation Army. I almost never go to the mall. Why?

The atmosphere, the lack of selection, but most importantly, the prices.

Go to Gabes, and some nice lady in line will compliment you on your purchases. Go to the mall and get pushed around a store by seventh-grade teenyboppers that are scoping out some "mega-hottie". No contest.

If truth be told, I like going to stores that have almost every brand known to mankind. From American Eagle to Victoria's Secret to L.E.I.

Talk about affordable. $18!! Who can beat that? Well, besides yard sales--I like them too.

When you love shopping, you have to buy cheap or just be broke. I want to keep going to school so I can't be broke. Believe me, I have been, and it just isn't fun when your car insurance bill comes and all you have are Levis and Sketchers as currency.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:54 PM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2003

Bohos and Beauties: Moulin Rouge

moulin rouge.jpg

Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies. I love the color, songs, and entire Parisian atmosphere Baz Luhrmann creates.

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. "Come What May." Awww. The Elephant scene. Spectacular! Spectacular! I have watched it about 25 times.

Mixed reviews about this Bohemian farce tragedy have surfaced; the lack of original songs, for instance, seems to push people's buttons, but you have to admit--it is a beautiful film--and they did not plagiarize (you should see the soundtrack booklet--never have I seen so much credit given in my life).

And besides, the songs fit the entire situation perfectly. I would love to see another musical that uses a compilation of songs, maybe from other musicals, just with a contemporary spin.

I can hate watching films like We Were Soldiers, but, at the same time appreciate its historical importance portraying the Vietnam War.

If you hate Moulin Rouge, watch it again just to appreciate its beauty. Turn off the sound if you can't stand the singing. Just look... Appreciate filmmaking at its finest.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

Calling cards and e-mail

I don't know which one to use--a calling card or e-mail to reach home.

I am practically stranded at Seton Hill, competely cut off from home while at school. My family does not know how to run an e-mail account, much less turn on the Dell.

Calling home is 90 cents per call. The other option is a calling card. They seem like an unnecessary addition when e-mail is right there. I am a thrifty shopper. Know that now.

Should I try to teach my family the magic of Internet communication, or just opt for the calling card?

Now, you may simply say, "Teach them," but it isn't that easy when you are dealing with an age difference of over 20 years, and that I am a college student (an intimidating thing to them, which really shouldn't be considering they are so much wiser and experienced than I).

What a dilemma!

I don't know what to do. I have to contact them every once and a while on the Hill, after all, they are still my RAs.

Suggestions would be very helpful.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:32 PM | Comments (3)

Blond Traffic Report

Guys with pretty hair make me laugh.

Waiting at a red light on my way to school today, a guy was fluffing his long blonde hair in the rearview mirror of his pretty imported car. I had to sit back and smile.

The golden locks were in his face, so he slicked it back a bit to create hair organization, fluffed it again to maintain fullness, then slicked again. What a paradox!

I liked watching him. He was so obsessed with his looks. I wonder...was he going to see his woman? his man? his mother? hmmmmmmm.

It fuels my mind. To know. To jump in that car with him, ride to wherever he was going, and simply smile when his mother comes out of her split-level and says, "You look so thin! Welcome home."

I have to smile, then write about it.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:05 PM | Comments (2)

Killian Kill

Another blog assignment for class. Scroll down. I am sorry that this is becoming a usual thing, but hey, I gotta do homework.

Killian's chapter reminds me of some bittersweet high school writing days.

His references to word switching really struck a chord with me. I can't tell you how many times I have sat at the editing desk at my high school newspaper and have wanted to scream at the top of my lungs at the injustice of word misuse.

One staff member used "it's" for "its" everywhere. Then he got completely ticked off at me when I sent it back to him.

Others used words like seizure for censure to sound "smart" but have no concept of how stupid misusing a word can really be.

I read Julie Young's blog concerning the homework reading, and she noted the bias toward Anglo-Saxon words. I agree with her stance that writing should be a compilation of words from every nationality. It enhances the experience of connecting to people from all around the world, from different backgrounds.

Killian's stance is against the grain from every ideal we have been learning at Seton Hill--sticking to one language, one tradition, rather than experiencing all, and implementing their influences in our own writings.

How very conformist of him.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

Another Assignment

Don't run from my blog...another of my "good" entries will be coming soon, for now just read the one below. This is another Jerz assignment.

Sit tight. I'll be back with something cool about my mundane student existence soon.

Assignment: 8-9 p. 162
8.
1.)U.S. officials say airman who worked at Guantanamo was spying for Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. military officials have charged an air force translator at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects with espionage and aiding the enemy for allgedly trying to send information about detainees to Syria.- CNEWS World
Who: Air Force translator
What:charged with espionage & aiding the enemy...trying to send info. to Syria
When:?
Where: Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terror suspects
Why: aiding the enemy
How: send information to Syria
2.)Police: Wash. Teen With Gun Wanted to Die
NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. - A troubled teenager who was critically wounded by officers after he fired a gun at school was trying to commit suicide, police said Tuesday.

Who: troubled teenager
What:critically wounded
When:Tuesday
Where: Spokane, Washington
Why: commit suicide
How: fired a gun at school
3.) Storms Add to Misery in Hurricane-Ravaged Parts of US
VOA News
23 Sep 2003, 17:25 UTC

Five days after Hurricane Isabel ripped through the U.S. East Coast causing widespread flooding and power outages, torrential rain hit Virginia and Maryland overnight, adding to the region's many problems.

Who: U.S. East Coast
What: widespread flooding and power outages
When: overnight
Where: U.S. East Coast
Why: compounded by Hurricane Isabel's effects
How: ?
4.) 4 Are Charged in Stampede at Nightclub in Chicago
By JO NAPOLITANO

CHICAGO, Sept. 23 The owners and two others associated with a nightclub where 21 people died in a stampede in February have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and could face up to 10 years in prison, a prosecutor said today.--nytimes.com

Who: owners and two others
What: charged with involuntary manslaughter in stampede deaths
When: Sept 23, and February
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Why: involuntary manslaughter
How: could get 10 year prison sentence
5.)Death at 18 Spurs Debate Over a Pill for Abortion
By GINA KOLATA

Last Wednesday, a California teenager died at a hospital in Pleasanton, just days after taking prescription pills to abort her early pregnancy. The circumstances surrounding her death are unclear, and an autopsy is under way.--nytimes.com

Who: teenager
What:died at a hospital
When: Last Wednesday
Where: California
Why: supposed negative effects of prescription pills to abort pregnancy
How: circumstances of death are unclear, autopsy under way
6.)
Bitter divorce blamed for sniper shootings
From Mike Ahlers
CNN
Tuesday, September 23, 2003 Posted: 11:47 PM EDT (0347 GMT)

MANASSAS, Virginia (CNN) -- Prosecutors blamed John Allen Muhammad's anger at his ex-wife Tuesday for spurring nearly a yearlong rage of violence that ended with a series of sniper shootings in the Washington area last fall.
Who: John Allen Muhammad
What: sniper shooting violence
When: last fall, Tuesday
Where: Manassas, Virginia
Why: rage against his ex-wife
How: begin series of sniper shootings
8.
Article 1.)Death at 18 Spurs Debate Over a Pill for Abortion
By GINA KOLATA-nytimes.com
Last Wednesday, a California teenager died at a hospital in Pleasanton, just days after taking prescription pills to abort her early pregnancy. The circumstances surrounding her death are unclear, and an autopsy is under way.
But battle lines are already being drawn, with opponents of abortion saying the death of the woman, Holly Patterson, 18, shows why the abortion pills are too dangerous to remain on the market, while abortion providers say it shows no such thing.
"We're sorry to say that this is what we warned would happen," said Wendy Wright, senior policy director at Concerned Women of America, which opposes abortions. "This drug needs to be taken off the market."
Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, said that it was not clear why Ms. Patterson died, but that Ms. Wright's reaction was no surprise. "We expect the antis to jump all over it," he said.
The pill, mifepristone, formerly known as RU-486, has long had a symbolic significance transcending its medical use. When it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration three years ago, advocacy groups insisted that it would change the nature of abortions, taking them out of clinics, where women might face harassment by abortion opponents, and into the privacy of a doctor's office. Abortion opponents said it was dangerous and would lead to suffering and deaths.
So far, neither has been right. Eighty-eight percent of all abortions are in clinics, said Pamela Long, a spokeswoman for Danco Laboratories of New York, mifepristone's distributor. While more and more women are having nonsurgical abortions, known as medical abortions, not all clinics offer them and just 18 percent of eligible women choose them, said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation.
On the other hand, said Dr. Richard Hausknecht, Danco's medical director, "the drug has turned out to be quite safe, quite effective." Some 160,000 to 165,000 American women used it from Sept. 28, 2000, when it was approved, through last March.
One woman in Canada died of an infection during the drug's clinical trials and an American woman who had an undetected tubal pregnancy died after she took the drug. There were 264 adverse reactions, including infections, bleeding, allergic reactions and tubal pregnancies.
But it is unclear what happened to Holly Patterson. Did she have enough medical supervision while taking the pills? When did she seek medical attention? Did she wait until it was too late? Did she tell the doctors in the emergency room that she had taken mifepristone? Why, in fact, did she die?
Ms. Patterson received mifepristone on Sept. 10 from Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, a clinic near her home in Livermore, a San Francisco suburb. Erin Brooks, a clinic spokeswoman, said she could not reveal any details because of rules on patient confidentiality.
The procedure for a medical abortion is for a woman to take mifepristone, which ends her pregnancy. Two days later, she takes another drug, misoprostol, which elicits uterine contractions that result in a miscarriage. The Food and Drug Administration requires that women be counseled about the procedure, sign informed consent forms and be provided with telephone numbers of medical personnel in the event of complications.
"I can tell you that every woman who comes into a Planned Parenthood affiliate for a medical abortion is counseled extensively about the procedure," said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, a Planned Parenthood official.
Some accounts say Ms. Patterson had severe pain and bleeding on Sept. 14, went to a hospital and was sent home with painkillers. She was back on Sept. 16, dying the next day.
"She didn't have someone to care for her who recognized the danger she was in," said Dr. Donna Harrison, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Berrien Springs, Mich. Dr. Harrison is author of a petition by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists asking that the drug be pulled from the market.
"That is the crux of our complaint," Dr. Harrison said. "Mifeprex," she said, referring to the drug's brand name, "has effectiveness. It does work." But, she continued, "this is a dangerous drug that is essentially unregulated, which makes it more dangerous."
Dr. Hausknecht heard a different account from the Planned Parenthood clinic. "There were many phone calls from the time she came into the clinic until that Sunday, when she turned up in the emergency room," he said. "She had a great deal of pain and wanted refills of her prescription."
The Planned Parenthood clinic, he said, tried to reach her last Monday and Tuesday but to no avail.
"At least some of the medical people did the right thing," Dr. Hausknecht said. "Before we jump to conclusions, we ought to have facts."

Article 2.)Abortion Pill Culprit In Death?

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2003

(CBS/AP) An 18-year-old who had concealed her pregnancy died of complications after she took RU-486, one week after she began taking the abortion pill.

Holly Patterson, who lived in the San Francisco suburb of Livermore, visited a Planned Parenthood clinic Sept. 10 to take the pill. She followed the prescribed procedure for using RU-486, taking two more pills at home in the following days.

After experiencing bleeding and cramps so severe that she was unable to walk, her boyfriend rushed her to the hospital, where she was given painkillers and sent home. She was back in the hospital a few days later and died on Sept. 17.

An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death. But her father, Monty Patterson, said he learned from an attending physician at the hospital that she had died after a massive infection caused by fragments of the fetus left inside her uterus caused her to go into septic shock. He said he had no idea that his daughter was pregnant or that she was taking abortion drugs.

"Holly was very much in trouble, and the doctor had mentioned that she had taken an abortion pill which shocked me and surprised me at the time, because I had no idea that that's what her problem was," Patterson told CBS News' The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler on Monday.

Planned Parenthood also said it is investigating Patterson's death.

A spokeswoman for Danco Laboratories, which makes RU-486, estimated that 200,000 women in the United States and more than 1 million worldwide have used the pill since it was invented in France in the 1980s.

Two women who took it in the United States have died, although the FDA says it is unclear if their deaths were directly related to the pill's use.

Patients who take RU-486 take the first pill under the care of a physician. A second medication called misoprostol, taken three days later, induces labor so the embryo can be expelled. In 5 to 8 percent of cases, surgery is required to stop the patient's bleeding.

Planned Parenthood's web site compares the process to having a miscarriage.

Eric Schaff, chair of the National Abortion Federation, which promotes non-surgical abortion rights, said aspirin causes more deaths than RU-486.

But anti-abortion rights groups such as the National Right to Life Committee insist that the pills "offer a whole new set of significant risks," and makes abortion seem too simple. A report on the group's Web site says the pill gives "supporters of abortion a chance to change the image of abortion, making it seem as simple as taking a pill."

According to national mortality tables, 37 women died in 2000 from pregnancies with abortive outcomes. A total of 404 women died in pregancies overall. In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 861,789 abortions.

Analysis: Both pieces reflect strong journalistic qualities: great quote selection, summary of events, interesting stats; however, the CBS/AP article offers less biased information, as shown in the nytimes.com article.

In the nytimes article, the author focuses more on the right-wing ideology: "That is the crux of our complaint," Dr. Harrison said. "Mifeprex," she said, referring to the drug's brand name, "has effectiveness. It does work." But, she continued, "this is a dangerous drug that is essentially unregulated, which makes it more dangerous." The author betrays objectivity by adding this professional and biased comment of a doctor; in this the reader learns of the nytimes.com's sentiments toward the abortion issue. Though balanced, this quote gives it all away.

On the other hand, the CBS/AP article begins with an acute objectivity that flows throughout the article, only in the last sentence does some subjective views interfere; the stats, for instance, "recorded 861,789 abortions", echoes the last word on the issue. Overall, though this article displays the one characteristic I most admire in journalistic writing: objectivity, descriptions, such as, "concealed her pregnancy and died of complications", allows the reader to decide where one stands without the interference of a monopolistic newspaper's bias.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

Holocaust Seminar

Tonight I attended a Holocaust Survivor's Story, at Seton Hill. Though I did not wish to go of my own accord (Connections assignment), I look back on the experience with amazement and grateful sentiments.

It is so easy to have some kind of preconceived notion about these lectures. Graphic pics, sad faces, tears.

Robert Mendler didn't express that side of the Holocaust, as he stated, it was his "own personal experience". No tears.

Well, not from him. From me.

His ability alone to speak of his experiences in concentration camps, losing everyone in his huge family, and immigration to the United States left me awestruck at the immense capabilities of the human spirit.

I want to re-rent Schindler's List and try The Pianist to get a better understanding (they were both Academy Award winners--good viewing material).

"The Holocaust is a period that should not be forgotten...for fear of reproduction in future generations," I am misquoting terribly, but he said something like that.

I don't want to forget; I don't want the children of the future to live with nightmares of gas chambers, mass graves, and lost loved ones killed at the crushing hands of bigotry.

It is our responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen. Through education we can prevent it--even through movies. Let us rise to that place.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:46 PM | Comments (5)

Funny people in hospitals

As I somewhat inarticulately expressed last night, my mother was placed in the hospital.

In the bed next to my drugged mother (she is so funny when she's delirious-I hope she never reads this), was another drugged lady.

They really like to make you comfortable in those places.

Well, anyway, the other lady had some kind of respiratory problem, and she was moaning, I think just from boredom--perhaps some pain too.

They keep you in the ER waiting room for hours. The ER!!!

It is really funny what you see in hospitals outside the usual latex gloves, needles, and metallics. When you think about it, it is a place where potted plants live in perfect peace with oxygen, a haven for birds that roost in awnings, and an environment built upon relaxation and sleep.

I think they need to come up with more places like that without the whole sickness element. Oh, wait, spas and hotels!

I need a vacation.

This is a really cool article for all of you out there that like robots and technology

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 1:56 PM | Comments (4)

Coming home

Coming home tonight was like something out of a sensitive-Hitchcockian film.

The place was like a darkened cave--at 11:30 p.m. No light. No one.

Where was everyone? I looked upstairs, in the bedrooms. In and out. Opening and closing doors. Talking to Sampson, my cat, in hushed, frantic tones.

Now fearful that something was truly wrong (but keeping it under control because I called the police one time when my family was visiting neighbors--never mind...).

"Grandma," I called. "Have you seen my family?" It sounded weird to my ears.

"No," she answered.

After exchanging pleasantries, we hung up.

Then I went to my mom's room. A health book and thermometer instructions lay sprawled on her bed. Something was wrong.

Then my sister called at that moment--like a movie--I prayed.

I picked up the phone. "Mom's in the Emergency Room. She has something wrong with her stomach. But--she's okay for now."

Thank God for these miracles. What a week.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2003

I miss movies.

Does anyone else out there feel completely deprived of films? You know, the good ones, like The Cider House Rules, An Affair to Remember, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Princess Bride, Breakfast at Tiffany's?

College life really takes time out from good couch-potatoing. You know, those nights when the only thing on the agenda is a date with Cary Grant, Hugh Grant, Brad Pitt, Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes(from Shakespeare in Love) and a big tub of over-buttered popcorn.

One at a time of course...SHHHHH! Because you are in the movie. You are the gal of his dreams, the strong-willed heroine. Of course, you have your own agenda, but once yours and his intertwine everything will turn out well in the end because you are together.

Am I romatically disillusioned or what? I need a good movie. Any suggestions?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:58 PM | Comments (6)

Assigned blog

For all of you out there that are looking for some witty rendition of Amanda's funny existence, I am very sorry to disappoint, but this is an assigned homework assignment for my class.

If anyone is really interested in my work, check it out. Just let me warn you. it is boring stuff.

1. Who. United Jewish Appeal What. walk-a-thon
When. "this morning" Where. Springfield Why. "Raise money for The Soup Kitchen, a place where the hungry can eat free" How. "sponsoring the first-ever walk-athon"
2. Who. funeral homes What. federal regulation When. "twelve years ago"; Monday Where. nation-wide Why. How."provide itemized list of services and materials they offer,...cost of each item, before a person agrees to any arrangements.
3. "you" leads
A. Waht began 12 years ago with a federal staff investigation, finally led to a Federal Trade Commission rule to prevent funeral home rip-offs; offering you itemized lists of services and materials that funeral homes offer, along with the cost of each item, this ruling will provide you with an established appraisal of funeral costs.
D. Twelve years after its first proposal, a federal regulation goes into effect Monday to insure that you will receive an itemized list of services and materials they offer, along with the cost of each item, before arrangements are made; this new rule will limit cost confusion.
4. On Tuesday, a nuclear weapon, with a 15,000 ton TNT equivalency, detonated in a testing sequence in the Pahute Mesa Desert, Nevada, some 40 miles from a pacifist meeting.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2003

Heaps

In my life there are heaps of everything: clothes, work, food, flashcards, just basic stuff.

Here I am in my room and the hamper is about to explode, flashcards are like snow on a roof, and books lay on my floor like lazy guests after dinner (they have certainly gotten a workout tonight though, they'll be skinny by morning).

If my fellow bloggers haven't noticed, I like to personify inanimate things. I don't want to creep you all out. Whoops, I probably already have. Oh, well.

Well, this room needs cleaned and I am going to need something to wear tomorrow, so goodnight, and good luck facing today.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:46 PM | Comments (1)

Auto problemo

Just for everyone following my auto saga, everything is officially "ok". I am back on the big roads once more. Woohoo.

What is it about cars that makes the world of transportation so inviting, so annoying, so downright contradictory? The engines, the shimmer, the parts(and there are many). Everything about them sparks something in every American.

In me, it is mostly fear of trashing the big machine, or indulgence of those enamored by the vehicles. My dad, for instance, loves cars. I have grown up with his enthusiasm, but I lack the ability to change a tire. Why? Because I chose to play with pens, paper, and any kind of cash register available (and now I am a mean cashier-how ironic is that?).

Commuter life has awakened my senses to the need of auto knowledge in my cranium, practical knowledge. I wonder if Seton Hill could sponsor a club for this type of enlightenment? Hmmmm.

Or I could just ask my dad for help again. Poor Daddy.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 5:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2003

J.Lo and Ben

Am I the only one who is SICK TO DEATH of seeing J.Lo and Ben everywhere? I went to work tonight and the only thing covered on the front of every paper--tabloid or legitimate--was their stupid romance.

I know their bust wedding is an interesting topic, but can't we stop beating the dead horse? It is dead, dead, dead!!!

One blogger lets out all pent-up frustration on this site. Although I do not hold all of the sentiments represented there, I do like its amusing qualities, which are many.

So, tabloids and all publications--please shut up about the lackluster couple for one week. Please. If I have to see J.Lo's big butt in one more bikini I think I am going to scream. Not to mention the pouting countenance of Affleck. It just makes me want to stick my head in a frying pan and turn the burners on high.

Are they ever really happy? No, because you know what? They are being followed by the photographers of the Enquirer, Star, etc. How could anyone find love in Hollywood? The flashes of cameras wouldn't even let you see your date.

I am happy to be a non-celeb in a dot-town.

But what if it was all just a publicity stunt? Probably. Just to promote another Gigli--OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Just make it stop. Please make it stop.

If only J. Lo could click her heels and get back to the block.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:07 PM | Comments (4)

September 19, 2003

Moment of grace

Many people don't think of a car breaking down on the side of the road as a "moment of grace" in life, but it was today.

I started my nice white Chevy and the battery light came on, so I thought I could get to my dad's work before it pittered out on me...WRONG!! There I was in the middle of 30 (a big road) and the entire car started to shiver. Then I stopped at my favorite octagon, and what happens? The thing quits--right there--in the middle of the road.

In a state of sheer panic I leap from my car into traffic...almost getting run over by a Volvo in the process. Then I decide I have to do something. Then...I look up. And what to my wondering eyes should appear...

An auto parts store with a garage attached!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank God for Napa Auto Parts. This is a definite plug for the saving and considerate employees of Napa.

One employee even came out into Hurricane Isabel to attempt jumping my car.

When that didn't work, I called my dad and he came to pick me up and get things worked out. Thanks Daddy.

But how about that? A car parts store/garage right there...I think it was grace. Luck never has been very kind to me--it had to be something else.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:01 PM | Comments (3)

Tripping up steps

Wet shoes. Too many steps. Need I say more? Well, it happened this morning. Going up the Lynch staircase--thanks go to all heavenly things that no one saw my crazed sprawl.

And then the problem of the big bookbag--it made the fall even harder. I must be the most ungraceful woman on the planet.

On another note, I do feel like an incredibly feminine burro when I trudge across campus. heehaw heehaw.

Going to class at Seton Hill involves climbing thousands of steps or waiting for a lethargic elevator. Combatting the freshman 15 with an insta-stair stepper. No need to visit the campus gym. Or so I tell myself.

It is humbling to trip up stairs, my ego is shrinking.

Funny site with donkey picture and tripping up stairs:http://bettinas.diaryland.com/010927_84.html

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)

September 18, 2003

SHHHHHHHHH!

I am a librarian's aide at my local library. I have uttered that SHHHH! to a few loud people, but not usually. Usually you get very nice people that want information about family members (geneology), good fiction, or learn about Pearl Harbor (because of the movie), but every once in a while...

Well, you get the idea. Whackos come into the library. That is all I am writing about that.

One of these days, karma is going to catch up with me and I am going to get a nasty job--oh, I forgot--it already has. I also work at a grocery store--a nice cashier position. Woohoo.

But I should focus on the positive. I am making enough money to go to college, but next year I won't receive as much financial aid because I work. I can't win, and I have degressed from positive thinking. Oh well, ranting is okay too.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 6:15 PM | Comments (3)

Daily DV

A friend of mine spent last night with a friend and her children. This woman had been beaten by her husband and was alongside the road with her kids.

My friend stopped and offered what he could: clothes (they were in nightgowns) and comfort.

In the middle of the night, the drunk father came home and started his rampage, leaving his wife battered, without shelter for herself or her children.

I can see the whole picture right now in my head. Not from my own experience, but from books and movies that I have seen. And it isn't pretty.

Why does this still go on? Why am I so lucky to have not endured such things? I do not have an answer, but I do want to speak out for the woman and her children: domestic violence will not be tolerated--there is hope.

I have seen the bruises, the scars, and what I have seen has hardened me; I will not trust easily. And she won't either.

Before you take that drink, I implore you...think about the effects of your actions. Everything is not about you, your wants, your needs. Others are affected. Just remember someday that person on the side of the road could be your wife, husband, best friend, or lost love.

Some websites for help:
http://www.ncadv.org/
http://www.dvsheltertour.org/
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo/

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 1:48 PM | Comments (3)

Swedish Fish Stick

Swedish fish stick everywhere. In your teeth, in the bag, on the back of your car seat, but most importantly, in the vending machine.

The sticky aquatic sweets stayed in that vending machine like no other unwilling candy I have ever seen. There I was wacking the machine with my fists, attempting to shake the collossus with my bare hands, when a very, very, very, kind young lady came along and put 75 more cents into the unwilling monster. That was it--like the fat kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the candy slid right out with a bit of pressure--with another in tow.

So there I was, my candy in hand, and she just walks away. I say that it is hers, but she gives it to me without a thought. So I am stuck with both gummy treats, a gift from a compassionate passerby.

Just remember: There are nice people that can help in a sticky situation.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 1:11 PM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2003

At the end

Swamped at the end of the day. With work. Lots of it. My stuffed E.T. sits on my computer desk, staring into my green eyes with his blue ones: "When are you going to do that Seminar homework?" I answer, "When I am finished here, biding my time blogging about nothing.

Well, I do have something: on my way home from school around 8:00, it was really dark...like Blair Witch dark...and I was scared out of my mind. Not from witches, but animals: deer, cats, dogs, opossums--anything that can hitchhike along the road until one car comes zooming past. They think they are getting picked up for a nice ride to town, and all we do is run them over. How like us humans.

I don't want to kill any animal that just wants to go to town. I'm delirious.

All in the day of a commuter.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 8:45 PM | Comments (0)

Dinner with a squirrel

I grabbed Wendy's tonight for dinner and instead of eating in the overcrowded dining room there or here--I had a nature picnic--and then HE showed up.

No not a bearded man with fragmented ideas and a questionable accent--no--a real squirrel. Squirrels are everywhere on the campus, and this one seemed to like me...or my food. He was searching for nuts...sticking his head down a hole, picking them up and licking or washing them (I couldn't really tell). He kept getting closer and closer I don't think he wanted a bite of my hamburger though, he is just a curious little squirrel.

It was a nice change of pace from sitting at a computer. It reminded me of how much I really like fall and little curious squirrels.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 4:57 PM | Comments (1)

Getting acquainted

With blogging...that is. There is definitely something incredible about seeing your work in print, and in this case, MOVEABLE TYPE!!!

Zombie and Vampire Agency? Funny billboards? Check out Paige's Page. I used his blog as the subject for my Practice in Journalism class. His random/real/imaginary content is creative, fun, and very current.

I especially loved his links to Johnny Cash's memoriam site and his Vanilla Coke/Pepsi entry--I have been facing that same dilemma myself.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 2:38 PM | Comments (3)

Stealth Disco and Dancing Paul

I have never had side-splitting laughter toward a web-site, but this one is it. I discovered the stealth disco website on Jerz's Literacy Weblog. The entire idea just makes me want to get up and grind to imaginary music behind some unsuspecting overachiever(that is essentially what it is).

Another place that makes me laugh, though not as hard, is Dancing Paul's Place . You can make him dance any way you want--not in a "bad" way.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Early Morning Musings

The alarm clock goes off--6:30 a.m. What is with this whole getting up earlier than the sun thing? I get dressed, drive thirty minutes to school to work on a presentation and attempt to get a Power Point presentation together. This is going to be a long day. But I will fulfill one assignment right now:

I have chosen a topic for my blog: Girl Meets World in the fashion of that Boy Meets World show that is shown in re-runs on the Disney Channel. I like the concept of that show: meeting a world of people, places and experiences that growing up extends.

I will be meeting the world while at Seton Hill. Though many people do not believe that university life is a place to contact "real life", I think otherwise. As a commuter, I face that early morning just like every other working stiff and face the challenges of paying bills, washing clothes, getting important things in on-time, and buying lunch for myself (a very expensive thing sometimes).

But I do have parents and I am still a dependent on them. I understand that, but I feel guilty eating grapes from the family fridge. What is happening to me? I need to be a grown-up, but a child too--I am in purgatory. Does anyone else feel this way?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 9:38 AM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2003

First time for everything

I don't want to just sit here and begin talking about how I have been writing all of my life and how I have kept a diary for years, so I won't, I will simply begin my first weblog entry, by saying, "I am stepping into new territory, and I do not know the ins and outs of this weblogging-blogging-logging-bloggorama that my college professor loves."

I do love to write and read...so, readers...please comment, I love feedback. Even if it is nasty, I will like it and it will most likely shrink my bigger-than-the-doorframe head. So great!!

I don't have a theme yet, but I hope one will develop soon. But here I am, and this is it...I hope it works.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at 1:04 PM | Comments (0)