Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

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The story on the Golden Gate Park forestation seemed to just drag on about budget cuts and job losses.  I understand that unemployment is a major issue in the United States, but when relating this issue to an environment issue, it seems to make both of the issues less important.  By writing about the Golden Gate forestation, the author is addressing a small issue that is actually representing a bigger issue, but it still doesn't draw my attention.  If I hadn't had to blog about this article, I probably would have skimmed over the entire thing and I still would have been able to get the main points.  Now obviously I am not always going to be able to read something that I enjoy, but this article should focus on a more prominent issue.

The other article, by Matthew Baker, also has the same problem.  His article is a little more interesting because it involves some action with the racing, but it still seems to address the issue in the wrong way.  I enjoyed how Baker took a racing story and changed it into a story about the environment, but it just seemed a lot less serious than it actually is.

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3 Comments

I agree that the racing article was better, mainly because for me Steve Zadig was a more interesting character than any of the people mentioned in House's article. House mentioned a lot of numbers, which can be off-putting and not particularly involving if they aren't related very closely to larger ideas. I thought House started out strong by mentioning how nice the park is and a few paragraphs later tells us that it's in financial trouble. Normally, leads are supposed to capture the essence of what the story's about, but I kind of like that it took a few sentences to get to the larger issue. But, as you mentioned, it started to weaken when it used a lot of numbers without relating it back to how this specificially affects the park.

Katie Vann said:

I thought the second article was more interesting too. However, I think that the writer of the first article did a decent job with a pretty dry subject. There were a lot of numbers, but sometimes statistics can be the only interesting part of an article and are sometimes used for their shock value. The second article I thought had a unique approach to a pretty old topic. I'm tired of reading environmental stories by environmentalists who preach about the same eco-friendly strategies that we all should be doing. Hearing the same information coming from a race car driver who is trying to make a difference made it more interesting because he was someone who had been on both sides of the problem: a major addition to the problem as well as an important part of trying to solve it.

Jessie Krehlik said:

I thought the articles were a little long too. Although the statistics were important and all, I think the author should have found a way to make the articles a bit more personal--the second article does a better job at this by primarily focusing on just one person. However, both articles were very well informed--I agree with you, though, I wouldn't have read them unless I was forced to.

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I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood

So, after discovering that most of the Disney movies are actually based on some form of a violent act, I decided that my "innocent" childhood had been ruined.  I mean, it's probably a good thing that I didn't see Ariel's bleeding stumps of legs when I watched The Little Mermaid, but I would have understood the concept a lot better now.  It's interesting to find out that things such as Disney movies, are actually based on pieces of literature that have completely different meanings all together.  Now, I am one of those people that think a book is always better than a movie, but I don't know if I will want to read the "real" story of Ariel, and I didn't even like the movie that much to begin with!

However, characters such as Snow White are good representations of some of Shakespeare's characters.  In "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Juliet is portrayed as a little boy crazy, which most girls are when they are 13 (I said most not all).  Aren't most of the women characters in Disney movies a little boy crazy as well?  Even Pocahontas, the most down to earth (literally) character of all the Disney movies, gets a little boy crazy when John Smith pulls up in his fancy boat.  This comparison was an excellent way to show how the concepts of society remain the same throughout literature.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

The story on the Golden Gate Park forestation seemed to just drag on about budget cuts and job losses.  I understand that unemployment is a major issue in the United States, but when relating this issue to an environment issue, it seems to make both of the issues less important.  By writing about the Golden Gate forestation, the author is addressing a small issue that is actually representing a bigger issue, but it still doesn't draw my attention.  If I hadn't had to blog about this article, I probably would have skimmed over the entire thing and I still would have been able to get the main points.  Now obviously I am not always going to be able to read something that I enjoy, but this article should focus on a more prominent issue.

The other article, by Matthew Baker, also has the same problem.  His article is a little more interesting because it involves some action with the racing, but it still seems to address the issue in the wrong way.  I enjoyed how Baker took a racing story and changed it into a story about the environment, but it just seemed a lot less serious than it actually is.

Depth and Style vs. Actual News

The first story, "Would-be robbery victim fights back," actually seems to have a lot of depth despite the length.  I enjoyed how short it actually was.  I was able to read the story and easily understand what was going on.  Even though the reporter was just showing a crime that occurred in the community, I was able to relate to the victim.  The fact that the reporter stated the the victim fought back shows me that even though a crime happened, the community should not be afraid because the victim is unharmed and no money was stolen.  The reporter was also able to give some details to the readers about the suspect so that we have a sense of what to look for.  However, don't be afraid of every person with "dark eyes and dark hair."

In the second story, "Plea deal reached in Jeanette enslavement, kidnap case," I believe that this does not actually go in-depth as it is stated to be.  With a story like this, a newspaper can't really go into much detail to what happened.  The Tribune-Review does a very good job stating that they do, "not name alleged victims of sexual assault."  Even though this restricts the amount of information that is being given to the society, it is the respectful thing to do.  Also, the newspaper cannot give details of sexual crimes such as these.  It would probably be more harmful to a society rather than helpful.  Therefore, this article is more of an overview of what happened in court rather than an in-depth look at the findings.

Newswriting

Societal Value of News

Ingram and Henshall stated that news value is dependent upon the "size of the community," and that "crimes are usually viewed as more important by smaller communities."  However, is that the only factor in a community that relates to the value of the news?  I believe that the location of the community in which the crime happened is the biggest factor when determining the value of a news story.  If a journalist were to write and print story about a murder in New Orleans, which happens to have the largest murder rate in the U.S., the people of New Orleans would not be as interested because, as bad as it is to say, it isn't out of the ordinary.  Now, if they were to write and print a story about a murder in Dallas, which has over a population almost three times larger than New Orleans, it would be a major deal.  People in Dallas, Texas are not accustomed to the amount of crime that happens in New Orleans.  Even though the population is much smaller in New Orleans than in Dallas, a murder story would be more significant to the people living in Dallas.

Newswriting

Portfolio 1

This is a portfolio of the blogs that I have done so far in my Writing about Literature class.  These blogs contain my opinion, whether you agree or not, on the readings that we have done for this class.  Some of them also discuss some tips and pointers that I have learned to help me in my writing.

Coverage:

Here is a list of the blogs that I have posted at this point in the semester.

Generalize? - In this entry I discuss the differences in writing in college and writing in high school.

To Explicate or Not to Explicate, That is the Question - This blog shows the frustration that is caused by reading too much into poetry.

Oh the Trickery - The changing of perspectives makes it difficult for a reader to follow a story.  This entry shows how "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce, uses this skill of perspective changing.

Focus on the Story - This entry discusses how a narrator of a story can actually be unreliable.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - Should you trust an executioner that tends to drink a little too much alcohol? Well, this blog discusses this exact type of scenario.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - Shakespeare seems to have written many plays and poems that relate to romance and love.  This entry challenges Shakespeare's "view" on love.

The Story of My Life - The irony of certain stories can set the stage for a good plot.  This blog explains the irony of certain situations and how it can help the story along.

Oh Sylvia and Her "Metaphors" - Sylvia Plath seems to enjoy making fun of herself.  In this entry, I have tried to expose these metaphors and make sense of them.

Gender Confusion? - In the parody "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," by Ann-Marie MacDonald, readers discover that there can be so many ways to interpret some of Shakespeare's greatest works.  I have tried to relate to Ann-Marie MacDonald in comparing her parody to everyday gender confusion.

Depth:

Generalize? - I feel that college writing is much more complicated and in depth than the way it was in high school.  I have compared the "rules" that were set for students in high school and how we are taught to almost ignore them now.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - I have taken the story, "The Three Strangers," and shown the similarities between it and a movie, "The Strangers," that has just recently been produced.  I have also looked into the theme of the story as well.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - By challenging Shakespeare's work, I believe that I have brought forth some major issues with the themes in many of his plays and poetry that should be addressed.

Gender Confusion? - By relating "Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)" to everyday society, I believe that I have helped myself to better understand Shakespeare's work.  Having already read the plays that were parodied, I was able to understand the humor Ann-Marie MacDonald used.

Interaction:

Failing to Fail - Aja Hannah

I love Aja's bluntness in this blog.  I agreed with what she claimed and I added a comment to show my support.

Twain, "Luck": "We got issue in America..." - Carissa Altizer

Lying to feel Safe - Gladys Mares

A View From All Angles - Melissa Scwenk

Melissa makes an extremely good point about how annoying it is when perspectives are switched between chapters. I was able to relate to this feeling.

For Shame? - Cody Naylor

O_o?????????????? - Kayla Lesko

If You Can't Read Him, Read a Parody - Josie Rush

Timeliness:

These are the blogs that I have posted in a timely fashion.

Oh the Trickery

Focus on the Story

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind?

The Story of My Life

Gender Confusion?

Discussion:

Generalize? 

After reading my blog, Dr. Jerz was able to help me fully understand the concept of generalizing in writing.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - By comparing this story to a recently produced movie, I was able to spark a conversation that provided feedback into this comparison.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - After reading my entry, Aja Hannah commented with an opinion that gave me a different perspective on Shakespeare's work.  It made me reevaluate what I had written and research my opinion.

Xenoblogging:

Kayla Lesko's Blog - Discussing a character in Shakespeare

Josie Rush's Blog - Discussing the use of profane language in a parody of Shakespeare

Aja Hannah's Blog - Discussing the way in which characters are portrayed

Wildcard:

I absolutely love the blog that I wrote about the Gender Confusion? in Anne-Marie MacDonald's "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)."  It not only discusses the issues of gender confusion in society, but it also provides some humor on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gender Confusion?

From turning into a man to agreeing to kiss a woman, I believe that there is definitely some gender confusion in "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), by Ann-Marie MacDonald.  As Constance claims, "Thank God they think that I'm a man. [To God] Thank you. O thank you," the audience is well aware that Constance is actually a woman.  However, she is letting us know that Romeo actually does believe that she is a man.  Therefore, Romeo does "fall in love" with a man. 

Now, it is not wrong for Constance to love Romeo (neither is it wrong for Romeo to love "Constantine"), but for that time period, homosexuality was not accepted.  Constance, or Constantine whichever you prefer, attempts to avoid this somewhat awkward situation.  However, Romeo is just so dreamy.  He's your everyday Zac Efron (disclaimer: I do not believe Zac Efron is dreamy).  It is difficult for Constance to stay away.  Then, however, she is pursued by Juliet, his thirteen year old wife.  Constance claims that Juliet is "very beautiful, and sweet and passionate, and probably a-lovely...lover."  Calling a woman beautiful is natural, but calling her a "lovely lover" insinuates that there is some sexual desire. 

Now that Constance has expressed her interest, as a man, to Romeo, and her interest, as a woman, to Juliet, it implies that Constance is having trouble deciphering whether or not she should be with a man or a woman.  Also, this implies that she is confused on whether she remain a man or return to her original state as a woman, which she really has no choice in the matter. 

This type of situation is actually very common in today's society.  However, in the time that Shakespeare was referring to in "Romeo and Juliet" it would be highly disregarded.  It is interesting that MacDonald uses this type of perspective in her parody. 

Some cartoons you may find humorous.

Suck it In...

In Chapter 4 of "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," Rene J. Cappon claims that "Sentences come under special strains in news writing.  A lot of facts have to be squeezed into a tight space; afterthoughts are often accomadated in haste.  There's a tendency to overload sentences and let them swell to unseemly length."  After reading this, I went in search of the shortest news story ever.  I found a spoof, which was so short I had trouble finding the "story" on the page, and many other links to news in general. 

This rule of making news stories "fit" is difficult to abide by.  It seems, to me, that if a reporter got a good lead on an extremely interesting story, then they would want to use as much room as they needed to describe it entirely.  However, they are restricted to a certain amount of space and that makes it difficult to make the story readable.

Disappeared, Examined, Greased, Knocked, Mixed

In Chapter 3 of "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," Rene J. Cappon  describes "Verbs like moved, scheduled, expected and prepared," to be "crutches" for stories that are a day old. 

I agree with this statement.  I don't think I would want to read a story about a man that moved a piano for his friend because he was scheduled to play at the outdoor theatre that night, but it was expected to rain so they had to be prepared. 

I want to read:  Yesterday, a man adapted to the predicted thunder storm by elevating his 300 pound piano out of the outdoor theatre and placing it under cover at a nearby restaurant.  The concert was planned for this evening, but it has been postponed due weather.

The use of the verbs in that story makes it much more interesting and animated.

The quote, "actions speak louder than words," is typically associated with a tangible actions, but when relating it to a news story it helps to make the story more readable.

So, take action.

Potfolio 1-Now You Can Read Me

This is a portfolio of the my blogging work that I have done so far in my Newswriting course with Dr. Jerz at Seton Hill University.

Coverage:

These are all the blogs (some of them are links to comments due to the fact that I had no clue how to blog at the beginning of the semester) that I have posted at this time in the semester.

My first real Newswriting assignment! Channel 4 Action News, which you could catch at 5,6, or 11, so you didn't technically need to be in action to catch it.

Breaking News? - a fun comment on the news spoof, The Onion, that reveals similarities between this fake broadcast and the "real" thing.

For those of us who want to look good, even in death, should read Obituaries Can be Bad Publicity, which discusses the way in which obituaries can be written.

When being told about someone's life in detail, I actually would like to know ALL of the details.  This blog refers to a sample profile that the class was asked to read.

Journalism can also be known as a language, or so it seems after reading, "The Language of Journalism."  Do journalists have a set of values that goes along with their language as well?

How is it that journalists somehow find a way to keep their opinions to theirself?  This blog compares journalists to teachers and relates this constant battle.

The Bus Plunge Theory is a blog that I have written to discuss the need of a filler story.  Now, it may be a little far fetched and disturbing, but it's the way I feel.

Due to the fact that there are so many bus plunge stories, it seems that they would start to sound the same after so many.  However, there are many different ways to describe a bus plunge.

"Actions speak louder than words."  So, if I punch you in the face would that be a better way of telling you that I am angry with you?

If I had been given a lead that included many details and interesting occurences, but asked to write a story about it that excluded most of these details, I wouldn't be able to.  My blog about Chapter 4 in "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," shows how difficult that may or may not actually be.

Depth:

Journalists have values?

I feel that this blog shows my naivete towards journalism.  It reveals my relationship with the news. 

Focus on the Story

This blog uncovered a readers relationship with the narrator of a story.  Rather than just going along with the story and relating to the narrator, I discussed how I could possible read a story and feel that I am being lied to the entire time.

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

By relating this to my future occupation as an educator, I furthered the reading and compared it to another real life situation.

The Bus Plunge Theory

In this blog, I slightly mocked the fact that we are not supposed to be supporting bus plunge stories.  I felt that I could have began a slight disagreement.  However, I actually found that some people agree with the "theory."

Suck it In...

I added a link to this blog that furthered my opinion.  I was able to expand my statements and express my opinion.

Interaction:

Chapter 4...Digging Deeper - Cody Naylor

I read what Cody, and some of the other people that commented on this blog, had to say and really took their advice to heart.  Note taking is an extremely important habit that should be picked up.

Digging is for Reporters and Shovels, Not Readers - Josie Rush

Although I was the last to comment on this blog, I felt that I really connected with what Josie had stated.  I do have a really difficult time deciding what I am going to write, and I do always seem to find something wrong when I am done with it.

paragraphs and stuff - Mike Poiarkoff

Even though this blog was not due till today, I was the first to comment on it.  I also made a comment that might spark some sort of disagreement between Mike and I, which might be quite enjoyable.

Discussion:

Focus on the Story

I asked if anyone had any suggestions for a book that had an unreliable narrator telling the story, and Melissa Schwenk gave me a suggestion :).

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

Aja Hannah was able to relate to my point of view as a future teacher in this blog.

The Bus Plunge Theory 

The Battle of the Bus Plunges

Cody Naylor was the first and only one to comment on this blog.  He also agreed with my somewhat disturbing sense of humor.  Thanks Cody :).

Timeliness-These blogs (or comments due to my lack of knowledge on blogging) were posted in a timely fashion that allowed for commenting:

Find my name on the comment list

Breaking News?

Obituaries Can be Bad Publicity

Journalists Have Values?

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

The Bus Plunge Theory

The Battle of the Bus Plunges

Xenoblogging:

Well, I'm just starting to get this blogging thing down so I haven't been much of a contributor.  I swear I'll do better next time!

Wildcard:

Generalize

This is not exactly my favorite blog that I have written, but I did learn something in the process of writing it.  This was written for my Writing about Literature course.  Not only was I able to further my knowledge by studying this topic, this blog also sparked a comment from Dr. Jerz.  Dr. Jerz was able to help me fully understand my agrument by providing a comment that expanded my argument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Sylvia and Her "Metaphors"

In the three poems that I have read by Sylvia Plath, I have noticed that she loves making a metaphor out of herself.  Her metaphors are typically outlandish and disturbing.  In her poem, "Lady Lazarus," she compares worms that have been crawling on her dying body to "sticky pearls" in seashells. 

Her poem "Metaphors" takes everyday objects and turns them into terrifying monsters.  She enjoys scaring her readers by taking something that would normally be enjoyable and compares it to something that is a little less agreeable. 

By saying that she has "Boarded the train there's no getting off," she seems to be implying that she isn't going to stop writing the way she has been for so long.  If  she is not implying that, then she is once again referring to her suicidal tendencies and letting the readers know that we can't stop her from causing her own death.

The Battle of the Bus Plunges

I have read and compared a bus plunge in Nepal and a bus plunge in Kashmir.  The headlines of both state that there are deaths that occurred from a bus plunge. This statement grabs readers attention and makes them want to learn about why such a tragedy has happened.  Coincidentally both bus plunges caused at least 20 deaths. 

Both of these stories are around the same length and have many of the same details.

However, the bus plunge story from Nepal gives an estimated number of people that were on the bus at the time of the incident.  It also gives the number of people that are still undergoing treatment, and states that there are still people that remain missing.  The story from Kashmir indicates that there are many "fatal road accidents" in India and that most are blamed on "reckless driving."

The story from Nepal seems to be more informative and to the point.  It wants readers to know as many details as can be provided, in such a small space.  The story from Kashmir seems to be more of a warning to readers, "beware of the bus plunge" or "you better drive safe or this is what will happen."

Can you fill it?

 

The Bus Plunge Theory

I kind of wish that "digital magic" hadn't eliminated the need for bus plunge stories.  Yea, I guess they would get old after awhile, but doesn't all news get old.  In a disturbing kind of way, it's almost comedic to read about a bus plunging off a cliff into a river.  Now it would be even better if the driver as well as everyone in the bus lived to tell the story about how a boy on the bus dropped his school project, which happened to be a globe, and it rolled all the way from the back of the bus to the front of the bus where it stuck under the brake just as the bus was going around a curve with low guard rails.  The students would then go on to quote how the bus flew through the air and landed in the rushing water.  The school jock would of course save everyone including the bus driver and drag them to shore. However, none of this would be printed because it would be way too long for a filler story.  So, readers would actually only see the headline, "Bus Plunge," and they would be told the name of the school and the number of the survivors, which in this case would be all of them.  Also, the name of the school would have to be short otherwise they would have to find another bus plunge to write about because it wouldn't fit.

Anyways, I think bus plunges  can be fun, but not too much fun without any of the gory details.

 

Follow that Hoodie!

Elizabeth Mount College (EMC)-On Sept. 14, 2009 a pedestrian was injured outside of Alumni Hall. 

The incident was witnessed by Security Chief, Robert Chase.

The pedestrian, Sharon Pierce, was exiting Collins Hall and was struck by a vehicle about 15 feet north of the cross walk.  Pierce is a fourth year undergraduate and resident of Collins Hall.  She was treated on site by emergency medical technicians and declined transport to a hospital.

Karl Klaushammer, the driver, was turning around the east entrance to the Alumni Hall Gallery when he struck Pierce.   Klaushammer was driving a 2004 Ford Taurus.

Chase claimed that, "Klaushammer was observed by this officer to be in distress and reported that a package that was in his back seat was apparently taken."  He also said that, "a man in an EMC hoodie was spotted running south along college drive."

"Klaushammer was ordered to stay alert while driving through campus and to keep important articles locked in his trunk," said Chase.

The male is described to be around six feet tall and 200 pounds.  No incriminating features were identified.  After being given verbal orders to halt, the male suspect disappeared on foot past Park Water Avenue and into the wooded lot behind the chemistry parking lot.

Ex. 3

The Story of My Life

Roberts claims that, "Stories, plays, and many poems are made up of mostly actions or incidents that follow one another in chronological order.  The same is also true of life, but there is a major difference, and that is that fiction must always make sense even though life itself does not always make sense," (93).  After reading this I imagine a voice narrating my every move and thought (I would choose Morgan Freeman for this because I absolutely adore his voice).  Now, like Roberts claims, life doesn't always make sense.  So, I might give poor Morgan a run for his money on his narrating ability.

Now, it's slightly ironic that Roberts uses Robert Frost's poem, "The Road not Taken," and then shows a drawing of a man falling off a cliff (102).  This drawing is an accurate depiction of plot structure, but if the man hadn't taken that road he would not have fallen off. 

Anyways, the placement of certain details throughout a story is extremely important.  Had readers known that both the executioner and the escaped prisoner were sitting at a table together, drinking from the same mug, then the story would not have been so interesting.  I would just be sitting there yelling at the executioner the whole time because I knew what he didn't.  Yes, I am one of those people who yells at movies and books. Therefore, I would have been mad at the story and I would not have been able to truly enjoy it.

Goodbye

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind?

Inevitably, youth of the body must die, but your mind can be youthful.  Shakespeare seems to believe that your mind cannot go on once your body gets old.  You can love someone, but when you die you have to leave the love for that person behind.  Is that true?  Do the fires of love also have to burn out with the fire of your youth?  Do youth and love go hand in hand?  Not only does Shakespeare compare youth to love, he also compares it to the changing of the seasons and the singing of the birds.  It seems as though he is trying to say that he loves, that special someone, but his life has changed.  Therefore, he can no longer love that special someone anymore.  However, is he talking about himself or is he referring to relationships in general?  Now that the divorce rate is about 50 percent, it seems that this applies to everyday society.  Is it possible to love someone forever, or am I going to change my mind in the next 20 years or so?  Shakespeare seems to have no hope for love. 

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head

Although the short story, "The Three Strangers," has a completely different story line from the movie "The Strangers," there are many similarities.  Like the story, the movie is based on three strangers that come to a house that is described as "lonely."  The house is pictured to be away from society, or safety for that matter.  Unlike the story, the movie has a large amount of blood, gore, and suspense.  However, the story has the same sense of fear.

Once the guests in the house realized that one of the strangers is actually an executioner, they became very anxious and frightened.  I would have been more frightened of the fact that he had been given more alcohol than all the people at the party rather than his occupation.  His "job" would be slightly stressful.  What normal person kills people for a living?  Mixing alcohol with an execution just doesn't seem too ethical or safe for that matter.  However, this makes the story more horrific.  The portrayal of a deranged executioner made the story more interesting. Also, to top off this already eccentric story, the man that was supposed to be executed shared the alcohol with the executioner.  I mean this story was written in 1888, but come on shouldn't the executioner have some sort of notion as to what the man he will be killing looks like.  Well, it made for a good story, but it was slightly frustrating.

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

Using someone else's opinion to tell a story could be difficult if you didn't support that opinion.  It must be hard for reporters to remain outside of the story. 

As a future teacher, I must also keep my opinions to myself.  A teacher is supposed to remain impartial in most class discussions.  Teachers are not supposed to discuss their political or religious affiliation with their students.  Similar to reporters, teachers are not allowed stating their opinion publicly about certain subjects.  Reporters cannot tell society that they think, "the football team sucks."  It would be appropriate for a member of society to say that to a reporter, but the reporter must not state their feelings on the subject.

Reporting can serve as practice for teaching.

Generalize?

We need to make a generalization to write a paper? Woah Toto, we're not in high school anymore.  In high school I was taught that it was forbidden to make a generalization within a paper.  Roberts says that, "Because the close-reading essay is concerned with details, you might have a problem developing a thematic structure.  You can overcome this difficulty if you begin to work with either a generalization about the passage or a thesis based on the relationship of the passage to the work," (55).  Therefore, according to Roberts, it is correct to make a generalization about the passage prior to writing a close reading. 

Is it then correct to make a generalization when you are not writing a close reading?  For example, a research paper?  If I made a generalization throughout a research paper that I was writing, I feel that it would be very wrong.  However, say this generalization was based on factual information, would it be correct then?  I really could not tell you, but I think I will stick to a typical thesis in all the reasearch papers that I am sure I will be writing sooner or later. 

Focus on the Story

Narrators can be unreliable?  Prior to reading Chapter 4 in "Writing about Literature," I did not really think about a narrator being unreliable.  Don't you always trust the person telling the story?  I mean I wouldn't trust someone if they told me they could fly, but when reading a book I never thought I was being lied to.  When you are given an opportunity to see into someone's mind, figuratively, I would assume that their thoughts would not be lying to you. 

Whenever I read now I may take a second to think about what I am actually being told, and who's point of view I am being shown.  It actually might be interesting to read a story in third person and find out that the narrator has been telling it completely wrong from the beginning.  Does anyone have any suggestions of a book like this?

Hold the Adjectives

Being descriptive and colorful in writing has always been one of my main objectives.  However, I am not very good at it, but after reading the passage, "Hold the Adjectives" in chapter one of "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting," I discovered that I did not have to be so descriptive.  According to Mark Twain, an adjective is more effective when it is far away from other adjectives.  This is interesting.  I figured journalists used adjectives to their advantage when describing the scene of a traumatic, fatal, bone-chilling car accident in the middle of a thousand, traumatized bystanders.  Well, I guess less is actually more.

Journalists have values?

I enjoy the description of a journalist in the passage titled "The Language of Journalism."  There are very few times in which I have actually heard a positive reference to a journalist.  Now, I have been informed that they have their own language as well.  Journalism is not my major, but I find it interesting that there is a set of rules for being a journalist.  After reading these rules, I absolutely agree that this is how it should be, but is this how it always is.  "The language of journalism should be concrete and specific," is this true of all major news stories.  Recently the class just discussed how news stories were not always trustworthy.  "The language of journalism is active," news is always supposed to be up to date, but I have seen "Breaking News," that happened hours before the show was aired.  These are just a few examples of how journalism may imply that it has a proper "language," but it does not always follow it.

Oh the Trickery

When first reading An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, I figured this would be another one of those depressing stories.  Well, it actually was, but the mood was happy through the middle. Bierce used extremely descriptive language that kept me involved throughout the story.  What bothered me a little was the changing of perspectives and settings.  One minute I was reading through the narrators' eyes, then I was seeing through Peyton Farquhar.  I actually thought that I was being told about two different people.  Now I am not implying that this is bad and that I did not enjoy it, it just made it a little more difficult.  However, it helped me slightly because I was forced to go back and read it again. 

I enjoyed this story so much becuase it is not typical.  In the middle when the readers are being told of his "escape," I figured it was going to be another happy ending.  Then, alas, his neck is broken and he is dead.  The end.  It may not have been a happy ending, but I sure enjoyed it.

To Explicate or Not to Explicate, That is the Question

Billy Collins' poem, "Introduction to Poetry," describes how a poem is torn apart to extract the true meaning.  I remember when I was first asked to explicate a poem.  Why does it matter what a poem truly means?  The poet obviously intended readers to interpret the poem, but if they really wanted us to know what it means, then they would have told us in the first place.  Explicating can be fun because I can make up my own interpretation, but I wonder does it offend some poets when we get the interpretation wrong.  Is Collins really saying that all poems are torn apart or is he saying something else in "Introduction to Poetry?"  For all I know he could actually be talking about lab mice that are being tortured through scientific experiments.

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