Since this will be my last drama wildcard, I wanted to say goodbye & good luck to everyone in our class. It has been a fantastic semester and I had a great time. I came into this class thinking I had nothing more to learn (damn senioritis), but I was wrong. I not only developed a more keen sense of myself, but also of those around me. Everyone one of you has touched me & I thank you all.
Katie Jo-You know I love you my dear, and thank you for all the help you've given me this year. Just think, only one more semester. Don't worry, you're going to do fantastic in law school!
Gina-It's been a long haul, but we made it! Good luck in all you do and remember to smile--it confuses people. :-)
Kayla-You are quick & clever & I really look up to you. Hope the next few years treat you well.
Lorin-You're one of the brightest and loveliest people I know--never change. You bring a freshness and great insight to every class.
Sean-You're bright & funny & I have every faith you're going to excel in whatever you do.
Chera-I not only admire your intelligence, but your athletic ability as well. Bless you for the grace that I so obviously lack. Stay strong & you will go so far.
Denamarie-You are such a sweetheart & it was an honor & joy to get to know you.
David-Keep up the jokes & always stay optimistic. Your brightness & fresh outlook are great assets.
Andy-You are such a great guy; remember to always keep your positive attitude & you'll do great both academically & athletically.
Amanda-So lovely & smart--you're a perfection combination of great characteristics.
Rachel-Basically you're just all together awesome. You're going to do amazing things.
Danielle-Your quietness & sweetness added such a positive ingredient to our class.
Kevin-Ever the patient gentleman, your outgoing personality is your greatest asset.
Arthur Miller is absolutely correct when he makes the comment on most people's misconceptions about tragedy. Technically, tragedy can be defined several ways.
~A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.
This definition explains the term as we and other literary scholars know it, but because of the other definition (a disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life) the lines are blurred between what is a tragedy in literature and what a tragedy is in real life. Although sometimes a moral lesson can be found in a real tragedy ("I learned my lesson, I'll never do that again!), it is much more likely that the moral can be discovered in the text. And although Miller did not want to claim more optimism in a tragedy author, I will. To me, comedies are to entertain, while tragedies are made to show the human flaw, but also the hope that those flaws can be overcome.
Gina brought up a really good point about the education during the era of "Fences." I know it's a little off topic, but I was curious about the background, so I did a little digging.
Before 1940, only about half of the people in the U.S. had completed at least eight years of school, especially in rural communities. After the war education became more important in rural communities as well as urban ones. Millions of soldiers (G.I.s) had a chance to go to college. The GI Bill provided tuition and living assistance and many took advantage of the law. The men who joined the military as teenagers came home after the war as adults. Many had been places and seen things beyond what they ever could have imagined. The nation wanted to thank them for their service. One way Congress decided to do that became known as the G.I. Bill of Rights.
The law gave the following benefits to U.S. soldiers coming home from World War II:
~education and training opportunities
~loan guarantees for a home, farm, or business
~unemployment pay of $20 per week for up to 52 weeks if the veteran couldn't find a job
~priority for building materials for Veterans Administration Hospitals.
For most, the educational opportunities were the most important part of the law. WWII veterans were entitled to one year of full-time training plus time equal to their military service, up to 48 months. The Veterans Administration paid the university, trade school, or employer up to $500 per year for tuition, books, fees and other training costs. Veterans also received a small living allowance while they were in school.
Thousands of veterans used the GI Bill to go to school. Veterans made up 49 percent of U.S. college enrollment in 1947. Nationally, 7.8 million veterans trained at colleges, trade schools and in business and agriculture training programs. Later, the law was changed, in 1952, to help veterans of the Korean War and, in 1966, veterans of the Vietnam War. Although the program ended in 1989, there are similar government programs to help today's military personnel pay for educational expenses and buy a home. In 1949, three times as many college degrees were conferred as in 1940. College became available to the capable rather than the privileged few.
During the fifties, American education underwent dramatic and, for some, world shattering changes. Until 1954, an official policy of "separate but equal" educational opportunities for blacks had been determined to be the correct method to insure that all children in America received an adequate and equal education in the public schools. In 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren and other members of the Supreme Court wrote in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that separate facilities for blacks did not make those facilities equal according to the Constitution. Integration was begun across the nation. In 1956, Autherine J. Lucy successfully enrolled in the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. In 1957, Elizabeth Eckford was the first black teenager to enter then all-white Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas. Although integration took place quietly in most towns, the conflict at Central High School in Little Rock was the first of many confrontations in Arkansas which showed that public opinion on this issue was divided.
I really enjoyed "We the Media," and I found the author to be both amusing & enlightening, so I researched a little about life and history.
Dan Gillmor is the founder of Grassroots Media Inc.His company is "working on a project to encourage and enable more citizen-based media." Gillmor authored "We the Media" in 2004.
He has work as a columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, Silicon Valley's daily newspaper, and wrote a weblog for SiliconValley.com. Before that he worked at the Detroit Free Press for 6 years and the Kansas City Times and several newspapers in Vermont.
He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and has received a Herbert Davenport fellowship in 1982 for economics and business reporting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. During the 1986-87 academic year he was a journalism fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied history, political theory and economics. He has won or shared in several regional and national journalism awards.
Before becoming a journalist he played music professionally for seven years.
I know this is short, but it is (ironically) difficult to find information on him on the web. For more info, try is blog. It's exciting to see he practices what he preaches!! And on a side note, his old blog was powered by the same company that we use--neat!!
In honor of of the work I've done in news writing this semester, I presented a lesson on journalism. I've never really thought of journalism as another aspect of English, but now I see that it really is. I used my storybook crime article and, with the help of the inverted pyramid, had them identify the 5 Ws & H. I thought it went really well & I had a lot of fun preparing & presenting. I've discussed it before, but I think that when I get into the classroom I'm really going to utilize the information & experience I've had in news writing.
Here's a look at the handout I used. Inverted Pyramid
"Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, concerned about the privacy implication of cookies, said that rather than naming the technology
something “sweet and happy like ‘cookies,’” they should have named it what it was: “Network Spy" (211).
I consider myself fairly computer savvy. I'm an office assistant, so I can moderately maneuver my around the net and Microsoft office. But, I still fear computers and the web a bit. It's a little frightening to know that at anytime someone could discover what I'm looking at. No, I'm not addicted to porn, but what if I was? Who's business is it other than mine? I understand the government and other officials are trying to protect the "little people," or at least that's what they say, but it makes me sick that protection and censorship is even needed. It's a totally unrealistic and ridiculous hope that people could transform into caring and moralistic individuals. If everyone would have a sense of compassion for one another, then "they" wouldn't have to get involved in our affairs. I feel that way about all public communications (ok, I wish everyone could be nice all the time to everyone), but I simply remain hopeful, not stupid.
"However, I’m still not convinced that Big Media is doing the most important thing: listening. We are still in a top-down mode and don’t realize that the conversation is more important than our pronouncements. I see progress, but not enough" (237).
"The former audience has the most important role in this new era: they must be active users of news, and not mere consumers. The Net should be the ally of thought and nuance, not a booster shot for knee-jerk reaction. An informed citizenry cannot sit still for more of the same. It must demand more, and be part of the larger conversation. We will lose a great deal if this does not occur" (238).
I loved this book, and that almost scares me. Sorry, Dr. Jerz. I don't consider myself a computer geek, but I have the feeling that I may soon morph into one, and I'm ok with that. :-) This book really opened my eyes to the world of journalism and a little bit of the whole communication era. Truthfully, I was moved by this book. I know some of you are thinking that I'm a little nutty (which I am) because I'm getting attached to this book and news writing in general. Hey, I've been considered worse. This book was warm and thoughtful and funny and was every journalist's dream--fair and unbiased. News is all around us and technology is now also becoming absorbed into our everyday lives. I figure rather than fighting or just succumbing, the audience should stand and become involved in these traditions that affect our lives so much.
Interaction & Discussion
So, in general, I liked the play. I was a little disappointed in SHU's version, but I think I had such a specific idea in my head about how it should be performed, so when I actually saw it, it wasn't what I thought.
The accents were done really well; they obviously put a lot of work into mastering the languages. Truth be told, the German accents seemed more impressive while the English accents were so-so. I really shouln't nit-pick, though, because I know I am not talented enough to handle a task like that.
I was most impressed with the scenary. There was only one scene (of the attic) but the cast and lighting crew did such a fantastic job of being able to transform the stage into any environment without moving a thing. It takes true talent to accomplish something like that.
"The reporter of the future—amateur or professional—will be equipped with an amazing toolkit" (163).
Because technology is becoming such an asset (and soon the norm) in our world, the gizmos and gadgets keep getting refined. These improvements are a neccessity for the technology world to continue running smoothly. To me, it seems like it won't be much longer before everyone not only has a television and computer, but also a blog and an ipod, and a palm pilot, and their own web-cast and their own...you get the picture.
"The exposure of the deception again brought to focus a reality of the modern age: for manipulators, con artists, gossips, and jokesters of all varieties, the Internet is the medium from heaven" (174).
This is the number one, most important rule internet uses should know. We all know that there are sleazy, untrustworthy people in the world, and the web opens doors wide open for these people. Everyone should be cautious when cruising the internet. As a college student, I'm definitely aware of the dangers of using internet sources. Rule of thumb used to be, if the address was a .edu, then you were pretty safe. Now that's not even a safeguard.
The internet has allowed anyone, anywhere to post whatever thoughts and opinions they have on a subject, and from what I've found there are very little reprecussions for these violaters of internet conduct. Basically, like Gillmor states, is just be cautious. Find good information? Verify it? Get a hot lead? Yep, verify that, too. Nothing should be taken for granted, but when it comes to facts and ideas from the internet, be especially cautious.
"The Meeks case was a warning shot of sorts. It was a reminder that while the Net is a medium that grants great freedom, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Law applies online and off, and people who intend to practice grassroots journalism need to keep that in mind" (191).
Just like other journalism mediums, internet reporting can still be controlled and those that fail to follow regulations may have to face the consequences. It's understandable that individuals who commit libel via the internet may be not caught as often, but it is refreshing that at least something is being done. However, I also think that there is a stigma surrounding online journalists. Not every website should be treated with suspicion and not every reporter is out to dupe the public. Like our discussion in class, every form of media should be read cautiously. We need to inform and prepare ourselves for the "un-truths," but there is still some honesty left in the world.
This blog is an experiment; Katie Aikins & I have cooked up this idea named Friendship Blogging. The theme with this form of blogging is to do joint work, therefore instigating a better understanding of the text. :-)
I our discussion of Professor Bernhardi, we determined several themes. When we read Lorin's blog, we were struck by her comment about CST and the hypocrisy of "religious" individuals. This is a reflection of the holier than thou attitudes that permeate the era. Our feelings is that a specific religion is not as important as spirituality and implication of CST principles in life. A person, whether or not they are technically "Christian," is still able to live under Christian morals. We were somewhat turned off by the unwillingness of Flint and the other characters to open their minds and at least try to understand another's beliefs.
“Journalists aren’t some exotic species, they’re everyone who
seeks to take new developments, put them into writing, and
share them with others.”
"...readers (or viewers or listeners) collectively know more than media professionals do. This is true by definition: they are many, and we are often just one. We need to recognize and, in the best sense of the word, use their knowledge. If we don’t, our former audience will bolt when they realize they don’t have to settle for half-baked coverage;they can come into the kitchen themselves."
I love these two lines in chapter 6. It is so refreshing to read a book that understands and acknowledges the reality of the journalistic world. If a reporter's purpose is to share information with the world (and therefore an outside audience), then wouldn't it make sense to get that audience involved with the news? I see interactive journalism as the new frontier. If professionals and non-professionals found a way to work together, I believe news could only improve.
Yay for bloggers! Because of our neverending insistence, we triumphed over the national media. Ok, maybe not all the time, but during the Trent Lott scandal (an event ignored my the major press) bloggers and online journalists kept the story alive--then the big media picked it up.
I think this example is great proof of the power of the little people. The lines of journalism have been blurred; it's not just top reporters and talking heads handling the news, but regular individuals, too. Modern communication is one of the factors to thank for this explosion of world-wide journalistic attitudes. Without the ability to share info with a mouse and a keyboard, who knows how involved Mr. Joe Smith would be with the news being fed to him.
I wrote once before about the importance of questioning in journalism and the consumers' duty to themselves to personally investigate the news. This chapter presents a remedy for the potential problems in journalism. The Department of Defense posted the transcript of an interview with Donald Rumsfeld--why? To prevent any questions or doubt the audience (and other journalists) had about the authenticity of the interview. Genuis! It's unrealistic to consider posting every interview or background information on a news story, but I still think this practice should be continued. Interview questions and how they are asked are vital to the understanding of a story. Manipulation of facts can easily turn one story into another.
“The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it...”
This comment made by Bill Gates notes the conveniance and advantage to blogs in the workplace. This chapter was eye-opening to me, because I always had in my head that blogs were used for amusement rather then work, but it seems as if blogs now reach into all aspects of the world.
"This evolution is also about reinforcing citizenship. The
emerging form of bottom-up politics is bringing civic activity
back into a culture that has long since given up on politics as
anything but a hard-edged game for the wealthy and powerful.
The technologies of newsmaking are available to citizen and
politician alike, and may well be the vehicle for saving something
we could otherwise lose: a system in which the consent of
the governed means more than the simple casting of votes."
I think most of realize the power the Internet holds. An individual can be immoratlized, both negatively and positively. A blog or message board in the wrong hands can seriously damage someone's reputation. The examples given in this chapter show how blogs have essentially won political elections, while other times, other forms of media have cast the winning vote. Although the web and other technologies are definitely making a breakthrough in the political spectrum, I think it will be some time before both left & right wings learn to use the net to their ultimate advantage. And then the web will be poisoned, just like other mediums touched by politics.
"...the audience is learning how to get a better, timelier report" (xiv).
I really enjoy the vast amount of area the authors of this book cover. Unlike "Ain't Neccessarily So," these authors seem to avoid bias and take a look at all aspects of news. One point that stands out to me is the idea of the former audience. Consumers are not just a group who's only responsibility is to absorb the news; they must take matters into their own hands. Not only should the audience investigate news handed to them, but also discover their own news.
Ok, I'll admit it, I think I may have caught the journalism bug. Eek! Now what do I do? Does talent come included with this bug or do I actually have to (gulp) work at it? As much as I enjoyed Friday's lab, I really don't think I'm brave enough or quick enough to actually make it as a reporter.
It was so thrilling to takes notes and ask questions and "interview" bystanders. I guess maybe it's my overactive imagination, but it seemed so real to me. Even the fear of the deadline was fun. I don't know, though. As much as I liked (ok, loved) the lab, I doubt I'll ever seriously persue journalism. I think teaching is my true calling. But, I think I've found a way to incorporate both . I'm currently designing a test run journalism lesson plan. I've learned a lot in news writing so far, so I'm thinking my students may also enjoy the "not quite English" aspect of journalism. If I can sneak a little journalism into the classes that I'm teaching, I'd be able to satisfy my news bug and still continue doing what I love best.
Although I did feel bad for Troy and his ruined dreams, most of the time he frustrated and disappointed me. He is obviously a strong man because he fought for his promotion at work; so if he is so strong, why couldn't he obey he remain loyal to his wife and resist the tempatation of another woman? If he was generally a weak man, I would probably have more sympathy for him, he's only strong and confident when it suits him and affects him personally. It just makes me so mad and it's so unfair that he was away most of Lyons' life, dashed Cory's dreams, destroyed his marriage, commits his brother, essentially kills his mistress and then he leaves and avoid the cleanup. Yes, I know, death isn't exactly the perfct escape route, but now everyone else must deal with the retributions of his life.
Although I found the end of this play as confusing as the first part, I do understand why this play (and this part of history) has last through the years. Standing up for personal rights and beliefs is an aspect of human life that that still exists today. Look at Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mother Teresa. These people, like More, stood by their convictions no matter what the convictions.
What other attributes does More share with modern "heros"?
Due to the recent events in my life, I am writing this blog in honor of my cherished friends. I don't have a big family, so my friends have taken the place of the missing relatives, and they have filled those shoes ten-fold. My friends are precious to me, and I am fiercely protective of them. I am writing this blog not only to let my family know how much I truly love them, but also as a warning to those who try to harm my family: you screw with them, you've screwed with me. You know the saying "hell hath no fury..."? Well, you have no idea. Just because my friends and I don't share the same blood means nothing. They've been there for me through everything; they've accepted me despite my faults, and someday I will repay them. You have a problem with them? Well then you also have a problem with me. I wouldn't push my luck.
While browsing the newswriting blogs, I came upcome Beth's blog about using journalistic ideals and skills in everyday life. I've discovered in everyday life that the "reporter" in me comes out. Everytime I encounter any news, I listen for unfair statistics, propaganda, and other common news mistakes. I've become a news conesuor.
I, first of all, never realized how much news is integrated into everyday lives. Secondly, I also never realized how much I (and the general public) take the news for granted. As much as I did not care for "It Aint't Neccessarily So," I did learn a lot of valuable information. I learned that consumers need to be aware of the information being projected in our minds; we shouldn't just take news as the gospel, but take responsibility for the info absorbed. I also discovered that journalists also need to field some responsibility. It is their job to supply our culture with the best and most accurate information possible.
Interaction & Discussion
I loved this play. I am so excited to see SHU's production of it, because (although I enjoyed reading it) I had a tough time getting a visual in my head. I have a fairly good imagination and usually don't have much difficulty when reading a play, but this drama gave me a fai amount of trouble. I think it had something to do with the scenes and times and characters changing so much. One moment there is a conversation going on between Faith & Lil, then Eva walks in & the whole conversation shifts. I think this a play that definitely needs to be seen, in addition to being read.
"...related problems of tunnel vision and blind spots: that is, the dangers posed by looking in only on direction for an explanantion..." (163)
Hedgehogs vs. Foxes
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." (164)
A hedgehog reporter may focus on one idea or factor, and although that one thought may be important, focusing on one aspect prevents the journalist from seeing other alternatives.
To prevent hedgehog reporting, a journalist should look at both objective and subjective indicators.
1. Of or having to do with a material object.
2. Having actual existence or reality.
3. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices: an objective critic.
4. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually: an objective appraisal.
1. Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
2. Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience.
3. Relating to or determined by the mind as the subject of experience.
4. Characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind.
5. Relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states.
Objectivity and subjectivity are "not mutually exclusive" (164). If one explanation is ignored, then the journalist can (again) become a hedgehog.
~neither personal characteristics (subjective) or objective forces are the right angle; one must take a blend of both
~hedgehog reporters may seem like the "bad guys," but they may just be trying to avoid bias when they only create more
"...inadequate and partial understandings of social problems don't help the victims or anyone else" (165)
"There is much truth to the claim that peer-reviewed research is legitimate research."
One of the most important ideas I have learned as an English major is how to find sufficient, trusted resources. EbscoHost is such a wonderful resource for college students--scholarly journals are right at your finger tips! Not only are the articles peer-reviewed, but they also provide plenty of proof for an argument and make a work legitimate.