September 2009 Archives

September 20, 2009

Why won't you give up your heart?

Although I listened to many of the "This I Believe" essays, including ones from the 1950's series and the students from the SHU summer reading event, I decided to take a closer look at two essays written by women for the contemporary series, about their journeys with their children. Isabel Allende and Jackie Lantry, both wrote beautiful essays that I chose in particular for semi-selfish reasons because I could relate to them from my camp counselor stand point and what our HOPE campers are like and I have to say that I was able to learn a lot from each of the deliveries of these essays.

 

Isabel Allende: In Giving I Connect with Others

At first, when I listened to Allende's essay I was thrown off by her accent that I loved, but in the beginning was distracted by. After listening to her read her essay again, I was able to pick up on different words that she tried to drive home to the listener. Words like 'passion, 'agony,' 'ferociously,' and 'cleansing,' to name a few, were clearing articulated to show their importance and to not only hold the attention of the listener but also truly grasp their attention by making them feel the emotion that those words convey.

Allende also did a beautiful job of hanging her voice and even in some times fading to let the listener know that this section of the story is over, but there is still more to come. Allende also repeated words to drive the example of giving into the listener and overall had a successful delivery of a beautiful essay.

 

Jackie Lantry: The Power of Love To Transform and To Heal

Although I enjoyed Lantry's essay, I did not enjoy the way that she read it. I felt as though she was reading a storybook to a first grader to entire time. What that means is that she sounded excited and joyful during the whole story about how hard is was for her when she went to China to get her son Luke to take him home. Though her pace was fine, her tone was completely off for this type of story.

Personally, while I was reading the essay, I did not have true excitement in my voice until the part that says, "It is four years later..." because this is the exciting part, this is where we find out that a once scared and small boy from China is now loving life and is happy and healthy. Not to say that Lantry should have been a downer the entire time, but for this essay, her tone seemed inappropriate. Though I adored her essay. I hated her delivery. It didn't fit.

 

From these two essays I noticed a lot of things that I will have to keep in mind for my own recording of my essay. Hopefully I will be able to keep the listener's attention like Allende did by picking out powerful words and I will use the right tone at the right time so my listeners are not confused about the content of the story and it's importance based on the tone of my voice. Overall though, I think I will be able to do well because of all of the communication classes I've been in.

Through those communication classes I have been able to learn how to "write for the ear" because when you're delivering a speech, people hear you, they don't see the paper in front of you. So with that knowledge and with the knowledge that we would eventually be recording ourselves reading our own "This I Believe" essay's I tried to write for the ear, instead of the eye. Hopefully, I did that well enough and the recorded version of my essay will be flawless.

 

Stay classy Seton Hill.