October 31, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch. 6 & 7)

"Because reporting about hazards 'is ordinarily reporting about events rather than issues, about immediate consequences rather than long-term consideration, about harms rather than risks,' stories seldom offer 'precise information about risks,' even when it is available." (Page 116).

It seems that the media in today's society is doing more bad than good. I believe that there is some good members of the media, who focus on the consequences more than the events of hazards. But it is becoming more and more evident that the media is more or less trying to reveal something, rather than report something. I think that the media is so hard to figure out, because we get our sources from them, and it appears that there is some manipulation coming from that. Honestly, how many members of the media really give a crap about the people's feelings? (Don't give me a statistic, it was a rhetorical question lol). Sometimes, I think that journalists are out for a good story, rather than bringing out the facts that are incredibly crucial for us to know.

Before I took this course, I was not for the media. I thought that they can manipulate our emotions at will, and that they focused on trying to scare us, rather than trying to help us. I still have mixed feelings, because I think that there still are some journalists, media members, and broadcasters that still seem to gain power strictly for scaring us. They purely would rather have a gripping story, rather than focusing on what's important.

I think that is one of the main points that Dr. Jerz is trying to get out. BE FAIR! Don't be bland, but don't make a story just to get readers. Make the important interesting. Sometimes I feel that the media does not do that at all, and apparantly the authors of IANS (It Ain't Necessarily So...duh), feel the same way. Let me know if you feel the same way, because I have really been trying to get this off of my chest.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:27 AM | Comments (3)

October 28, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch 4 and 5)

As much as chapter 2 and 3 open with the view that scientists are one of the main reasons why some of these facts are messed up, it is apparent in Chapter 4 that the journalists are to blame. In the opening of Chapter 4, Dan Rather starts off his report by saying:

"A startling number of American children in danger of starving. Dan Rather reporting. Good evening. One out of every eighth American children under the age of twelve is going hungry tonight."

Are we to really believe that one out of eight children are starving tonight? Are 12-13% of American children are going to starve? I first questioned this immediately (instead of being dumbfounded and saying "oh wow...i have to help right away!"). I looked at the sources to which they came from, which was a statement that came testing done in a two-year study by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The Proxies that were used were for hunger, which is hard to define, because how the heck can hunger be measured? It really can't.

So I ask: is Dan Rather to blame? Yes and No. Remember last chapter when we said that "journalists are not scientists." But for some reason this situation feels different (maybe because we hold Dan Rather to be like a celebrity). Lemme know what's up.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 8:15 AM | Comments (4)

October 26, 2005

Introduction and Critiques to AHF

"The implied denunciation of slavery in Huckleberry Finn is more damaging than the frontal attack delivered by Uncle Tom's Cabin because Jim is so much more convincing as a character than is Mrs. Stowe's character." (Twain 324)

In the Introduction, in the back of the book, I realized how much of an influence slavery had in this particular time period. Not to mention, the relation to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was really eye-opening. Uncle Tom's Cabin seemed to have muc hmore of an impact on the people of the 1850's, and it seemed that Twain's book was left alone. Jim and his journey for freedom were almost of that to Uncle Tom himself in Stowe's book. I am not necessarily sure if I can wholeheartedly agree with that particular quote, but I can see a relation between the two stories.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 4:16 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2005

Chapter 2 and 3 "It Ain't Necessarily So"

"In short, reports on research, like testimony in a trial, should offer 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' Cover can easily mislead when reporters don't make it sufficiently clear that premature science may well not offer the truth." (page 36).

The goal of chapter 2 is to make sure that all facts, well represented, are given before printing a story, and making it well known through the media. There are many cases to which people have made claims and the media jumped on them and put the stories out in the open, only later proving what they said to be false. The title of the chapter is "Much Ado About Little." (page 35). The chapter shows many cases that show different parts of media making stories much bigger than they really are. They put stories that end up not being newsworthy on the front page of a paper, because its interesting. This is why we learn that the important facts make the story interesting! So what should the media do? If they don't have a story, then they don't have a business?

What they should do is make sure that the facts that they get is a well represented core of people who test a certain piece of research. In one particular case, a scientist said that there was a steep decline in sperm counts. So what does the U.S. News & World Report "warned that 'in the not too distant future, men may have a difficult time upholding their end of the biblical bargain' to be fruitful and multiply." Not to mention Business Week discussed the "fear that the latest endangered species could be us." (page 41).

So now everyone is scared of the steep decline of sperm counts. But do you know what the percentages were of people tested after 1970? 88.1%!!! How could they possibly know if there was a steep decline if only 11.9% were tested before 1970? That is an unreliable comparison. Not enough scientific evidence is given to prove that there is a decline, yet different news sources are worried about the endangered species of humans?

It ain't necessarily so! That's why we need well represented facts to prove something to be absolutely true.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 3:54 PM | Comments (11)

October 24, 2005

Chapter 11 AP Guide to Newswriting

In Chapter 11: "A View from the Poets' Corner," the ideas of how to write features are now much easier to understand. Not to mention, as much as this feels like I'm telling a story, it's still actually news, and I, as the journalist, can only create so much. The story still has to be a news story. But the difference between a feature and a hard news story is that a feature's structure is more broad and open. A feature does not have to follow the inverted pyramid structure. At the same time, it is still one of the most difficult pieces to write, because you cannot display full emotion, but you can play on the heartstrings of the reader.

I read the Hal Boyle feature on page 106. The story about the life and death of a cow, and how the young girl was affected simply by an ordinary day on a farm is remarkable. And Boyle doesn't have to come out and say "The girl was very sad." He still has quotes and some facts to back up the girl's emotions. What I love most about this feature, is that the ending is just as strong as the beginning. The editor could never cut out the ending of the story, because of the effect it leaves on the audience.

This upcoming feature article will be tough, but it is definitely a challenge I am looking forward too. If you got anything else from this chapter, then blog me.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

October 21, 2005

Briefing on Media Law

After reading the Briefing on Media Law in the AP Stylebook, I have realized that libel and slander can happen everywhere. Journalists should really watch what they say unless they are fair, impartial, and/or honest. But being honest doesn't necessarily set you free. People have to understand that the afflicted party has character, and if a journalist is mistaken, then they have just committed libel. Opinions should be few and far between. Personal remarks should never be spoken or written. Any way that a journalist is ruining someone's reputation, is committing libel. There are only four priveleges, opinions (rare), fair comment and criticism, fair report (which some journalists seem to follow), and neutral reportage (which most journalists seem to follow).

There are 3 major rules to the first amendment, when associated with journalism: A)The Public Official Rule (A public official must prove actual malice). B)The Public Figure Rule (The same rules apply but are broken down into general and limited purposes). C)The Private Figure Rule (3 general categories: Malice, Grossly Irresponsible Mannerisms, and negligence).

These rules have to be followed, or else journalists will not only lose their job, but could face jail time for defamation of character. A reputation is really the only thing that some public officials have, and when that is damaged, their career is over. That is the main reason why journalists get quotes in the first place. Facts and quotes are most important, and as much as someone might care what a journalist thinks, IF IT'S NOT TRUE, DON'T SAY IT!

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2005

Peter Peter the Spousal Abuser!

I decided to use Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater as my nursery rhyme/crime story:

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her.
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her, very well.

I found two stories that are really associative to the particular nursery rhyme. The two stories I found were:

"Charges Pending in Wife and Mother-in-Law Murder"

"Kilgore Campaign Shifts Crime Focus to Battered Wives"

These stories both focus on spousal abuse and something being done about it. I am still slightly confused about the overall assignment, so if anyone can help me out, I don't know how we are supposed to contribute the fictional story to the newsstories.

If anyone can help me that would be great.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:19 PM | Comments (3)

October 17, 2005

Covering Crime and Justice

In Chapter 1 of Covering Crime and Justice, I have learned some new ideas about crime reporting and writing. The explanation about covering the news while still focusing on moral and ethical aspects of journalism was really informational. One excerpt that I found even more intriguing than anything else is the idea of crime reporting being important over being interesting. As a journalist, you want to try to be both, but the news itself is interesting and important enough, so journalists do not need to add spice to the story.

When we are doing a crime story, I am going to ask the three questions necessary to making a good crime article. They are:

A) Is the crime part of a trend or an aberration? (In either case, tell your readers or viewers.)
B) Why should people care about the story?
C) Does it leave readers or viewers with a false impression about crime or raise a safety issue that can be answered?

These questions are really important toward the main focus of giving the news while still being interesting to the readers, and maintaining a moral represenation. Crime reporting is really difficult because opinions don't mean anything. Very few care about what a friend has to say about this person. The focus is on the news, what happened, how, why (if possible), who was involved; all of this has to be done, while still following the morals of journalism and still being interesting. That is why Crime Reporting is so difficult.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:52 PM | Comments (3)


I must say that fall break is treating me very well. I do miss the
SHU people some, but catching up with my family and friends, as well as not having to worry about homework for a day or two really makes this break great. My only question is: "Why is it called fall break if you still have a take home midterm, a presntation, workbook exercises, and 2 other midterms to study for?" So much for that I guess.

One thing that I am enjoying right now is the idea that Seton Hill (and other private institutions) get Monday and Tuesday off, while other campuses just get Friday off. I was speaking with a few friends from Slippery Rock, and they don't get a fall break! I must say that smaller institutions really have their advantages.

I really just felt like blogging, and I don't know why. If you would like to respond (even though it is fall break lol), don't hesitate.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:43 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2005


Here is Blog Portfolio Numero Dos. This one I feel is better than the first, so I am expecting an even better response. Much effort was placed into this, and I think this will reflect that. Here is the collection.


Coverage - Big Homecoming Article
Morgan Spurlock Reflection
(Said) AP Guide (Said) to Newswriting (Said) CH 5 - 7 (Said)
Elements of Engagement (Ch. 6-8 Elem. of Journ.)
October 11th Edition of Trib.
Elements of Journalism Ch. 9-10
Course Availability: A Major Issue and Editorial

Depth - Big Homecoming Article
Morgan Spurlock Reflection
(Said) AP Guide (Said) to Newswriting (Said) CH 5 - 7 (Said)
October 11th Edition of Trib.
Course Availability: A Major Issue and Editorial

Interaction - Big Homecoming Article
Morgan Spurlock Reflection
(Said) AP Guide (Said) to Newswriting (Said) CH 5 - 7 (Said)
October 11th Edition of Trib.
Elements of Journalism Ch. 9-10

Timeliness - Elements of Engagement (Ch. 6-8 Elem. of Journ.)
October 11th Edition of Trib.
Elements of Journalism Ch. 9-10
Course Availability: A Major Issue and Editorial

Discussion - Morgan Spurlock Reflection
October 11th Edition of Trib.
Elements of Journalism Ch. 9-10


The Comment Primo - Katie Aikens' Newswriting-Tribune Review 10-11-2005
Denamarie Ercolani's Spurlock Article
Leslie Rodriguez's Chapter 6: Elements of Journalism
Nancy Gregg's October 11th Tribune Review

The Comment Grande - Michael Diezmos' Chapter 9 Elements of Journalism

The Comment Informative - Michael Diezmos' Chapter 9 Elements of Journalism
Lou Gagliardi's Morgan Spurlock Article

The Link Gracious - Ashlee Lupchinsky's Morgan Spurlock Article (Giving Credit to Lou Gagliardi)
Katie Aikens' Newswriting-Tribune Review 10-11-2005 (Giving Credit to Nancy Gregg).


No ladies and gentlemen, this is not about a sports review. This is a THEATRICAL REVIEW. Fuddy Meers was incredible, and I tied this in with Newswriting. How? You're going to have to read.

Wild Card - Fuddy Meers: A Theatrical Review

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

Fuddy Meers: A Theatrical Review

Fuddy Meers is incredible! For those of you who have not seen it, you have truly missed out. From the eyes of an ATHLETE above all people (Just kidding). Honestly, this is one of the funniest productions I have ever seen, and the cast who performed it was terrific. Adrienne Fisher, Steve Clemens, and Jamie Williams were a few of the incredibly talented cast who made this play so hilarious, and yet still meaningful.

If we had to cover an event and simply write an opinion piece on it, I would pick this because I have now become a theatre fan, strictly because of this play. I could talk about the plot, the cast, the comical points, the moral points, and the cast's opinion of the play as well. I had great enjoyment from the play, and after talking with the cast (I stayed 30 mins after the show), they really enjoy putting this play on every night.

Once again, if you have not seen it, you really need to go see it immediately. There are only two shows left, and one for sure is Friday Night at 8:00pm in Reeves Theatre. GO SEE IT! DR. Jerz did! lol.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:34 AM | Comments (1)

Course Availability: A Major Issue and Editorial

Course availability as Seton Hill University is really an aggrevating topic, especially for English Majors. A class is offered 1 time in 4 semesters, and you have one shot to pass this course. If not, you have to take it 2 years from now. No wonder people get out of college in 6 years! I wish that they would get more adjuncts and have them teach more classes. Apparantly we have the money, because tuition costs have risen again, and probably will next year. Adjuncts get paid around $75 a class, once a week. After all of the frustration

Since this was an issue that bothered me, I wanted to find out if others felt the same way. And to really no surprise, people were frustrated, and felt cheated by Seton Hill financially. I interviewed a few students, spread out among different majors, and found out similar and different reasons to why they were frustrated with course availability.

After this, I went to my advisor (Dr. Wendland), asked these questions, and brought up comments of other students. He had a very logical and accurate response that made me really consider what I was saying. He told me that "Course availability is small due to the amount of enrollment in the class." He also reassured me that "there are independent studies also, the student will graduate in a reasonalbe amount of time."

I am still frustrated, but I feel better about the reassurance. This topic really will make a good editorial I feel, because this relates to everyone on campus. Everyone has an opinion on this topic, and the possibilities for change is still possible.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:09 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2005

Elements of Journalism Ch. 9-10

"The ability of journalists to exercise conscience is much more importnat than anything they believe or any beliefs they bring to their job" (Linda Foley, president of the Newspaper Guild).

How true is that? This chapter goes all the way back to what we have learned in the past month and a half. Journalists' feelings should never ever get in the way of the story trying to be written. Being unbiased is really the ONE thing (if we were only to take one) we should take out of this course. The subtitle that I am focusing on, A Culture of Honesty, being ethical to an observation and giving a mature reflection is really important in the field of journalism. AS long as the journalist is honest, yet respectful, the story must go on to benefit the greater society. Checking the story with other colleagues is really important as well, although time sometimes does not permit. Your colleagues could catch something that you originally didn't see. This chapter is a framework of honesty, which should reflect on the idea of being conscious of others.

That's what I got out of this, what did you get?

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:46 AM | Comments (3)

Part II Emily Dickinson

In Dickinson's "The Railway Train," there is one item I'd like to discuss more than what the actual poem was about. Something tells me that there was extreme intent by this, and I have no idea why, but nothing rhymes. It has a melodious flow, but the poem doesn't rhyme. Is that because it keeps the reader on their toes? Yes! Wouldn't that actually have a reader focus less on the material? No! Since some of her poems do rhyme, this poem not rhyming does cause a reader to look even more into the material being written and the symbolism behind it, because the reader is not enamored by the rhyme scheme.

As for the poem, I truly love how fast and vicious the train gets. I think that this train represents us as people. The second volume was titled love. So I tried to tie this poem and that together. I think that people are so busy in this particular society, that they might miss what's really important in their lives. The train does stop and all appears to be well. The reference to this train as a wild bronco is really evident, but I can't figure out why she makes that symbolic thought. In the last stanza:
"And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop -- docile and omnipotent --
At its own stable door."

If you can help me out with this one, I would greatly appreciate it.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:28 AM | Comments (4)

Part I Emily Dickinson

After reading Emily Dickinsons XX: "I taste a liquor never brewed," I have learned that this poet get literally drunk off of life. She is so enamored by what is around her that she takes it all in and drinks it until she is fulfilled. Dickinson wrote:
"Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue." (2nd stanza).

These four lines are textual evidence to support my claim. She loves everything about nature. From bees, to butterflies, to air, to dew, to the sun, Dickinson is a deep observer, and she takes everything that she sees, and completely reflects on it. To take nature, and to only put it in four stanzas about her experiences about getting drunk off it are baffling. She could have discussed so much more. Why didn't she? There are other aspects to nature that could be "consumed" by Dickinson, or any one of us. That is the only question that leaves me hanging. If you know why, enlighten me.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:09 AM | Comments (2)

October 11th Edition of Trib

In the October 11th edition of the Tribune Review, I found an interesting opinion article about the parental help of homework in the schools. The article, written by Kellie B. Gormly, is more of an informative and persuasive effect to show parents to be involved, but not "wrapped up" in their education. The article still has quotes from Dr. Rob Rosen, who is a teacher of humanities at Mt. Lebanon high school. The article gives advice about parents being connected with the teachers, and the school work, but to let the students challenge themselves. Rosen said "The parent-child relationship really is enhanced when parents can positively affect their children's education along with the teacher, because it's a positive team." Whenever I become a parent, I can follow this, and be an active part of my child's education.

Now, about the message of the article. The idea that this is not a news story, but is still important and informative, really makes this paper worth being read. It is persuasive, and gives advice to how parenting and school work can co-exist. I think that even though there is not much entertainment value, the paper is still eye-catching because of the advice and information that it gives to the audience. I have a better grasp on what style I need to write about for my particular article, and I hope that my article will be as effective to my reader(s), as much as this article was to me.

If you feel the same, let me know.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:34 AM | Comments (4)

October 10, 2005

Please NOTICE!

I have written many blogs over the past 2 hours. If you are looking for a particular blog, please just look on the side. It will be much easier.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 3:05 PM | Comments (0)

Elements of Engagement (Ch. 6-8 Elem. of Journ.)

In Chapters 6-8 of The Elements of Journalism, my main focus was on Chapter 8 with the concerns of engagement and relevance. We as journalists must try to find a happy median between the two. But committing "infotainment" is not really the way to do that. You have to try to not make up the news for the simple reason of money. Finding the relevance in the story can often be entertaining, because the story is newsworthy. In the example with Monica Lewinsky, both the reporter and Monica were trying to use some so called "interesting" stuff about Bill Clinton and his sensuality. This is not NEWSWORTHY or RELEVANT in any way, although it is entertaining lol. Finding the median between the two is more important, and what I have come to realize that a story is engaging when there is relevance to the audience.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:46 PM | Comments (1)

(Said) AP Guide (Said) to Newswriting (Said) CH 5 - 7 (Said)

These chapters mainly bring up one piece of evidence. Said is NEVER bad! Which is really awkward, because in stories or narratives (which I know we're not writing lol), words like admitted, and claimed, and screamed are all good! In newswriting, a truly complex form of writing, said does it all. How mind boggling is that? Once in a while you can use emphatic words, but said usually takes care of everything. Why? I didn't know until I thought about it more. Said is the only word that is always right in a newsstory. The only way it is not right is if the person did say a particular line. Said shows no moods, no tones, and no points of view. The quote shows the point of view, and the reader can take from that what they will. So boys and girls, when writing our articles, do we say pointed out? No. Do we say claimed? NO. Do we say admitted? NO. What do we say? SAID! Exactly.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 1:17 PM | Comments (2)

Morgan Spurlock Reflection

After all of the work that had to be done for the Morgan Spurlock event, I have come to the conclusion that this by far was my favorite article to write. Between finding extra background information from his weblog, his film Super Size Me and from wikipedia, AND attending his lecture Thursday night, I have now sure that all of these contributed to writing my favorite article. The lecture was really deep and meaningful, as well as really informative. I didn't not watch his movie until last Monday night, and the effects that the meals have had on him were really evident.

One thing that shocked me, was the the psychological effects that McDonalds had on him. He discussed during his lecture that the McDonalds food almost had the same exact effect on him as alcoholism would have. How sad is that? Not to mention, the depression that followed.

Another idea that did not come as a surprise, but was still engaging, was the physical damage that was placed up Morgan Spurlock. The fact that he gained 34.5 lbs in 30 days is just unheard of, or at least was. I grabbed a quote from his lecture, when he said "The people of McDonalds say (mockingly) 'that movie is unrealistic.' NO! This movie is SO realistic; that's what's scary, that's what's frightening!"

I couldn't agree more. I think that movie could really open up eyes to what is going on in the fast food corporations, and big business has a lot to do with it. I actually had the courage to ask him an open-ended question (which I'm still proud of), about how much of an effect does big business have on the country's obesity. He said "We're giving corporations all of the freedom without any of the accountability." From then on, everything he said to me was right.

Before I end up ending my entire day talking about the lecture and my article, I will stop now. But let me say, for those that might have missed it, they really missed out on an amusing way of educating a society.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:52 PM | Comments (3)

Big Homecoming Article

The homecoming article, that was for a large portion of a grade, was not really that difficult for me. Maybe it's just me, but I personally think that 600 words was not too much to ask of. If you had a really specific article, it might have been more difficult.

My topic was Family Day, and the reasons behind why it's held. I retrieved information about all of the events that were held, and got many good sources to make the article effective. I'm not saying mine is fantastic, I'm saying that I feel confident that I did a good job. I think one of the main reasons why my article was really good, was because of the support of the people I interviewed. They were willing, and they gave me really good quotes which were heartfelt and honest. Those people made the story, not me.

I think that the wide range of interviews I did (students, parents, staff, organizers) really made a 600 word article seem like a 300 word article. This is the first story to which I felt really strong about the work I was doing, and the guidelines I was following.

No matter how you think you did, please give me feedback. I want to know if I was the only one who didn't really have a hard time with it.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

To Science and Silence

In Poe's "To Science", the appreciation for nature seems too overwhelming for the complications of science to overtake his feelings. There almost seems like a willingness to try appreciating science when Poe asks "How should he love thee or how deem thee wise
Who woulds't not leave him, in his wandering," (Line 5 and 6).

Poe wants to like the concept of science, but questions it, and interrogates it. Asking about how it takes away from the mythological gods, and the essence of nature. As much as he wants to appreciate the idea of science, I purely think that the beauty and realism of nature surely is much stronger.

As for his other poem "Silence", there IS an appreciation for silence. People view silence as an absolute negative, but Poe wants us to not be afraid of it. Poe shouts "He is the corporate Silence : dread him not !
No power hath he of evil in himself" (Line 10 and 11).

The idea that silence does not mean evil was confusing at first, because all of Poe's other poems (except for a small few) consist of people alone in silence, trying to fight it. That's when it hit me! DUH! Notice what happened to all of his characters when they sat in silence! They all died, or left themselves in misery, because silence was viewed as negative. No one embraced the silence. My only question: Is there a slight relation to Thoreau? Silence = Solitude? Maybe I'm really reaching, but I would like to know.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:13 PM | Comments (5)

The Hopelessness of the Raven

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore --
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore." (12th Stanza)

In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", the most apparant detail of the entire poem is the hopelessness that the main character has by the end. The raven is the key cause to that. The rapping at the door is simply the imagination that the main character holds when he thinks it is lover (who is dead) Lenore.

The croaking of "nevermore" represents the idea that Lenore will never come back, and that bird represents the effect of the death that has been placed on the man. He doesn't want to believe it, so he tests the dirty bird, and the bird everytime comes up with "nevermore." At the end, the man is so angry with the bird, but the bird will NEVER go away, just like the fact that Lenore is gone. So can we make a representation to the raven and the missing piece of Lenore?

I truly think so, but it's your job to let me know lol.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:04 PM | Comments (5)

October 5, 2005

This is What I WOULD Talk About

THIS IS WHAT I WOULD TALK ABOUT (if I were discussing a quote from Chapter 13 in Walden:

"It is remarkable what a value is still put upon wood even in this age and in this new country, a value more permanent and universal than that of gold. After all our discoveries and inventions no man will go by a pile of wood. It is as precious to us as it was to our Saxon and Norman ancestors." (Chapter 13, Paragraph 14).

I would talk about how wood was an essential element, because it built so many items (whether be necessary or not) for all of the people. It also was used to burn fires, keep warm, so it was an essential element to life.

But I'm not going to talk about that, I'm going to talk about why Walden has appeared to be chosen for us to read.

Walden is a collection of thoughts written by one man and his view of nature, society, and individualism. Notice, in comparison to all of the other stories we have read, there is NO plot, NO characters, NO Rising or Falling Action, and NO theme! This story is strictly about one man's view of realistic thinking while being secluded on the outskirts of society.

At the same time, there IS conflict, there IS symbolism, and there IS a conclusion to this so-called "story." Transcendentalist thinking is clearly what Thoreau's trying to get across. And maybe he is not trying to convert them, but he is trying to at least get people to understand why he is thinking the way that he is. He uses such detail to describe what is important, and he does this in a direct manner, instead of using characters to get HIS point across.

Personally, what I am shocked and happy with, is that we as a class took a challenging story, left the character analysis and plot summary behind, and focused on idealistic and realistic thinking at the same time. I am really glad that we read this story because of the drastic change from a Story, to almost an Autobiography.

Please give me your feedback, because I did something completely different this time.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

October 3, 2005

The Essence of Solitude in Walden

"A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will. Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows." (chapter 5, paragraph 12).

I did not finish Henry (David) Thoreau's "Walden," but this is my group of collective thoughts that I have acquired so far.

In Chapter 5 of Walden, Thoreau uses the concept of seclusion and isolation as a positive effect of life. Thoreau uses working as a key example to show how seclusion and solitude does not equal loneliness. A person can work all day by themselves and not think about how alone they are. I think this is a sheer representation of how Thoreau feels about his own work and his solitude out in the wilderness, away from society.

Thoreau compares solitude to society, and how "cheap" is it. He said that society makes people set rules and limits ideas. Personally I think that if Thoreau wrote this book in the society, instead of outside of it, then some his collections of brilliant ideas would not have been spilled on to the paper.

When I looked in Webster's Dictionary for the definition of Transcendentalism, I found this as one of them. It said "Idealistic system of thought based on a belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of man, and the supremacy of insight over logic and experience for the revelation of deeper truths."

As I look deeper into that definition as well as try to play that into Thoreau, I find that Thoreau would jot down his ideas in order to find deeper meanings. He tried to look past the logic of society, and focus on a bigger picture that represented ideas such as solitude, nature, and the inner qualities of man. This type of writing expresses the "idealistic thoughts" that goes way beyond the logic and rules of society.

Let me know if you got the same thing out of this.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 10:27 AM | Comments (4)