October 31, 2005

Newswriting- It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch. 6 & 7

"For our purposes, though, the possible impact of the methodological changes between the two surveys is of greatest interest. The 1975 findings on child abuse derived from hour-long in-person interviews with parents in 1,146 households; the 1985 data emerged from thirty-five telephone interviews with parents in 1,428 households."

These survey answers are more significant because of the context that they arose from. It is interesting to note that researchers predicted a rise in the amount of abuse from the 1985 interviews because they reached a higher volume, and the telephone is by far more anonymous than an in your face interview. However, results proved them wrong: more of the telephone calls )85 % as compared to 65% of the 1975 in-person interviews) were complete in 1985 leading to the assumption that those who are less likely to participate in the survey were probably abused.

Researchers already had their thoughts about the anonymity and distance the telephone creates in juxtaposition with the more limited time span that they would be conducting the survey. However, their results strayed from their original hypothesis. It is interesting to see in this chapter that there are differences between the way surveys and questions are administered: directly versus obliquely, on the phone versus in person, and who the surveys target, ie teens.

Sometimes questions capture the ambivilance of a view, an opinion. Other times questions are more empirical. Another portion of the chapter discussed clarity of question: don't just ask confusing questions, be direct. It is easier to collect data from polls then if words and phraseology do not get misconstrued. It would be nice to see a straight up question sheet, with the number of people surveyed, the demographics, and their answers. That way a reader could arrive at conclusions on his own about what is going on in the crop of people surveyed.

Posted by KatieAikins at 09:23 AM | Comments (2)

October 29, 2005

Portfolio 2

I won't lie about it: I would rather be in our drama class anyday versus some other English classes that I have this semester. I feel as though all of the entries meet the coverage, depth, and timeliness parameter of the blogging portfolio because they are not only included, but they do go into to detail, and these are the entries that we talk about in our classes on the daily. I think they are all equally important, despite of the various length. The entries show the thought and time that go into our drama class. Reading a play is not a superficial act: one can't just read the entire thing in a sitting and walk away with one theme and one theme only. It is hidden within the individual lines that we find interesting and useful truths. These truths are ultimately what prevail when we create our entry because we are close reading lines, rather than just examining the play as a whole. These are the same lines that spark interest and discussion in our class. Please feel free to browse my portfolio and leave comments.

Coverage, Depth, and Timeliness: All of these plays/readings are ones that we have covered in depthly in our class. It is interesting to note, that in class - some sparked more activity than others. What has been your favorite play during this time period?


Fuddy Meers

Cycle Plays

Faustus to 2

Faustus to Finish


Hamlet to Finish

Ophelia...You're Breaking My Heart, You're Shaking My Confidence Daily....

Shakespeare in the Bush

Sure Thing

Glass Menagerie 1

Glass Menagerie 2



Ophelia...You're Breaking My Heart, You're Shaking My Confidence Daily.... Dr. Jerz knows about fallen women. Thanks for sharing!

Both Denamarie and Kevin understand the powertripping that goes on in Hamlet Hamlet

Kevin and Amanda on the church in England.
Faustus to Finish
Amanda, you are well on your way; your blogs are absolutely sparkling and you have nothing to worry about in the future. Kevin, the same goes for you. You constantly contribute to class. I wish you both nothing but the best.

Discussion: Thank you all for being so patient if I am ever slow to respond. It is interesting to see how other people feel about the readings we are doing in class. If there is anything anyone would rather talk - talk about, please, let's discuss in class.

Lorin saw some things differently than I did; perhaps I should not blog when I am in a bad mood...

Thank you for the help, :0) Faustus to 2

Dr. Jerz and Lorin, and I discuss the differences between Catholics and Protestants. Cycle Plays

Getting Fuddy Meers performance perspectives. Thanks, Lorin, and thanks, Lamb, for the sale prices. Fuddy Meers

Kevin, and the warning of Everyman. Everyman


I tell Lamb about foolish pride in Faustus.

Lamb understand the graphic representation of the hell mouth.

Who doesn't love TSF, Lorin? PS - The Sound and the Fury

Sometimes, we have to love the changes on our peers blogs and we have to discuss academics. I love the new format, Kayla, and I love your ideas, too!

Sean knows about peace offerings.

Amanda understand the nature of love in Hamlet.

Amanda Nichols also shared the same view of the mother's love in Kindertransport. It is ashame what parents sometimes go through for their children that goes unrecognized.

Kayla Sawyer also highlighted the undulating waves of their relationships in Kindertransport as compared to the packing motions - which I thought was highly interesting.

Wildcard Since all I do lately is read and read and read - what sort of blog entry would be more fitting?

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Glass Menagerie 2

Williams, The Glass Menagerie (Finish) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)


TOM: And so the following evening I brought Jim home to dinner. I had known Jim slightly in high school. In high school Jim was a hero. He had tremendous Irish good nature and vitality with the scrubbed and polished look of white chinaware. He seemed to move in a continual spotlight. He was a star in basket-ball, captain of the debating club, president of the senior class and the glee club and he sang the male lead in the annual light operas. He was always running or bounding, never just walking. He seemed always at the point of defeating the law of gravity. He was shooting with such velocity through his adolescence that you would logically expect him to arrive at nothing short of the White House by the time he was thirty. But Jim apparently ran into more interference after his graduation from Soldan. His speed had definitely slowed. Six years after he left high school he was holding a job that wasn't much better than mine.


He was the only one at the warehouse with whom I was on friendly terms. I was valuable to him as someone who could remember his former glory, who had seen him win basketball games and the silver cup in debating. He knew of my secret practice of retiring to a cabinet of the washroom to work on poems when business was slack in the warehouse. He called me Shakespeare. And while the other boys in the warehouse regarded me with suspicious hostility, Jim took a humorous attitude toward me. Gradually his attitude affected the others, their hostility wore off and they also began to smile at me as people smile at an oddly fashioned dog who trots across their path at some distance.
I knew that Jim and Laura had known each other at Soldan, and I had heard Laura speak admiringly of his voice. I didn't know if Jim remembered her or not. In high school Laura had been as unobtrusive as Jim had been astonishing. If he did remember Laura, it was not as my sister, for when I asked him to dinner, he grinned and said, 'You know, Shakespeare, I never thought of you as having folks !'
He was about to discover that I did.

Borderline evil or was it? Tom invites Jim over to dinner. Jim, a fallen highschool big man on campus, works with Tom at the factory. In high school, Laura always had a crush on the man that talked to her and called her Blue Roses. Of course, this should naturally play out into a scene of nervousness and confusion because Laura is too shy to approach Jim. But just as she gets close to him, and he kisses her, he tells her that he is really engaged. Unfortunately, this breaks her heart because she has flirted with him and has acted like a young woman for the first time. Everything she did, backfired. Her mother's pushy intent to have her have a boyfriend led to this scene.

I doubt Tom knew Jim was married; but this evening shattered the frail glass mind that is Laura's. I pose this question, even though Tom denied knowing Jim was engaged, do you think he was being honest? Are safe to assume this? Or was this the act that began the unraveling of the times so Tom could travel the lines?

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:37 PM | Comments (7)

Glass Menagerie 1

Williams, The Glass Menagerie (Scenes 1-5) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

AMANDA: No, dear, you go in front and study your typewriter chart. Or practise your shorthand a little. Stay fresh and pretty! It's almost time for our gentlemen callers to start arriving. [She flounces girlishly toward the kitchenette.] How many do you suppose we're going to entertain this afternoon?

[Tom throws down the paper and jumps up with a groan.]

LAURA [alone in the dining-room]: I don't believe we're going to receive any, Mother.

AMANDA [reappearing, airily ] What? Not one - not one? You must be joking!

[LAURA nervously echoes her laugh.S he slips in a fugitive manner through the half-open portières and draws them in gently behind her. A shaft of very clear light is thrown on her face against the faded tapestry of the curtains.]


Not one gentleman caller? It can't be true ! There must be a flood, there must have been a tornado!

LAURA: It isn't a flood, it's not a tornado, Mother. I'm just not popular like you were in Blue Mountain. ... [Tom utters another groan. LAURA glances at him with a faint, apologetic smile. Her voice catching a little.] Mother's afraid I'm going to be an old maid.

The mother in the play, Amanda, seems to have her priorities backwards. Not only has her daughter quit business college, without informing her mother for fear of punishment, but she stays holed up in her home all day listening to records and cleaning her glass. The mother can't identify her daughter as crippled, and the mother also doesn't understand why gentlemen callers aren't falling all over the doorstep for her daughter. Unfortunately, the daughter never leaves the home to make anyone's acquaintance, and nor does she care to because she is so shy. She is a complete foil to Amanda who flirts shamelessly and unabashedly with anything that has two legs. Amanda also embodies the old southern belle-esque persona, which is later seen in the play when she speaks to her daughter's first psuedo-caller. (I won't go into detail here, since this is only to be about the earlier scene).

However, from the opening scenes the audience gets the idea that Tom is trying to break free or atleast, feels restrained by living with his mother. We get the idea that the mother has other plans for her children. We also get the idea that the daughter just wants to live in a child-like haze in wonderment of her glass figurines.

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:30 PM | Comments (5)

October 27, 2005

Sure Thing

Ives, "Sure Thing" -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Bill: Oh Faulkner.
Betty: Have you read it?
Bill: I'm a Mets fan myself.

It is interesting to note that the young couple, or newly met pair, is discussing The Sound and the Fury a novel about time and death, and how we make us of life. Clearly, the cyclical nature of relationships and meetings is shown as the audience gets to re-meet the pair in this play. Each opportunity the audience gets to meet the pair is an opportunity as to whether or not the pair could become a sure thing. It is interesting, also, to note that relationships and meetings can sometimes purely be chance, and it's all in the way it's played.

PS - I think I met this man, only he might have been a Cubs fan.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Shaking the Bush

Bohannon, "Shakespeare in the Bush" -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

The old man was acquainted with four kinds of "papers": tax receipts, bride price receipts, court free receipts, and letters. The messenger who brought him letters from the chief used them mainly as a badge of office, for he always knew what was in them and told the old man. Personal letters for the few who had relatives in the government or mission stations were kept until someone went to a large market where there was a letter writer and reader. Since my arrival, letters were brought for me to be read. A few men also brought me bride price receipts, privately, with requests to change the figures to a higher sum. I found moral arguments were of no avail, since in-laws are fair game, and the technical hazards of forgery difficult to explain to an illiterate people. I did not wish them to think me silly enough to look at any such papers for days on end, and I hastily explained that my "paper" was one of the "things of long ago" of my country.

It is nice to understand what other cultures are accustomed to; it is also nice to see the spin that other cultures might put on our reading of things. This is just like literary criticism, only tribal criticism versus that of theory that we already regard. In this passage, it discusses the particulars to that region and what they are acclimated to accept. When the narrator told the tribe the story of Hamlet, the members were quick to change the tale to fit their culture. If one has to appreciate the culture of another, then this act should be a reciprocal action.

Of course, it is nice to get their opinions on witch craft, sorcery, and poisons – but sometimes isn’t it just better to listen to a story as it is told. I understand the point of the article is to show the way different people interpret passages because of their heritage and understanding, but if we were to listen to a story of another culture, it would be rude to hone in and interject meaning.

Meaning is at once universal and particular. But, in order to not aggravate the story teller, just listen happily.

Posted by KatieAikins at 09:52 PM | Comments (5)

Newswriting Ch. 4-5

“The point we’re trying to make here may be less obvious. It’s not that two bits of data can contradict one another; it’s that the same bit of data can be read in (at least) two ways. For understandable reasons, press accounts generally provide not only the data but also the conclusion to be drawn from the data. That’s fine as far as it goes. But the problem is that news stories often don’t probe deeply enough, so they don’t show how the data are amenable not only to one “obvious” reading, but also to a second, less apparent reading that can draw a radically different conclusion from the same data.” (It Ain’t Necessarily So, pg. 86)

It is important when reading the news to carefully disseminate fact from fiction. It is not that the presentation of facts so much turns to fiction, or the news is made up, it is just that sometimes facts that are chosen are not represented fairly and made to stand on their own on a one sided mess. Also, reporters use facts to support their own claims, making them hold water, so to speak, for the conclusions they want to draw and portray. This doesn’t strip the fact of its validity; it just weakens the report because the facts are then foot soldiers in a war with op-ed. It is also important to realize that as newspaper readers we must be cautious in what is being presented to us. Newspapers are disposable because they are only meant for once-overs, not to be kept like books. In our reading of the papers, we must decipher exactly what is going on and be an educated consumer culture, rather than one that mindlessly believes the conclusions of some reporter. We have to use common sense when reading the papers; we can not just blindly trust them. And since news stories, as the quote reads, don’t probe deeply enough – we, as the readers, must do the probing to arrive at any sound conclusions. I pose this question: who has the kind of time to go out and research for sound statistics? Newspaper reading is just an exercise in common sense.

Posted by KatieAikins at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2005

Newswriting - Chapters 2 and 3 of IANS

MUCH ADO ABOUT LITTLE, or Making Mountains Out of Research Molehills

If one looks at the Online Writing Center, one can see that in all areas of writing it is imperative to do research that examines the whole - rather than just a shaded representative portion of the facts as presented by various factions. All research needs to be viewed cautiously rather than superficially. It is important that as reporters we dig in farther and investigate the facts. Examine both sides of the facts, and then, rexamine, just in case.

BAIT AND SWITCH, Understanding "Tomato" Statistics

Chris Ulcine covers "Tomato" stats in-depth on his blog. Confusion comes through definitions of what exactly defines the object being defined in the statistic. Legal definitions aren't met. Haphazard questioning leads to hapharzard reporting. Methodology of information gathering has to be careful, and precise - almost a science in order for the newspapers to be able to hold water.

Posted by KatieAikins at 01:07 AM | Comments (3)

October 23, 2005

The Big O....phelia

Ophelia: Accident or Suicide?

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark can not be fully appreciated without understanding the character Ophelia.

“The voices on which I had been
Taught to depend, deserted me all:
Lover cocooned in mania,
No thoughts or words to spare for others,
Brother absent, learning in a far land
To speak for himself,
Father speaking for the king
(Who, of us all, least needed another voice),
Speaking for me only
When my interests intersected
Those of the state; soon
Even those words taken from me.”
(taken from http://www.zvan.net/stephanie/ophelia.html by Stephanie M. Zvan)

Listening requires a person to tune into, hear, and decode what another person says. Hamlet’s Ophelia certainly says things throughout the play, however, there is nary a listener. Throughout the work, Ophelia searches for a listener that seemingly eludes her captor.
Scene 1.3 has Ophelia speaking to her father – with no chance of his listening. She tells of Hamlet’s “tenders” toward her and asks her father what to think. Ophelia sets up a conflict of role versus role: the mindless, voiceless youthful girl versus mature father. Her father eventually listens to Ophelia, but only because when she tells him about Hamlet frightening her, this is a fact that will eventually affect the state of Denmark. In 3.1 Ophelia and Hamlet discuss the nunnery – Hamlet will not listens to her because he has aligned her with certain marks of femininity: weakness and frailty. The next scene has Hamlet and Ophelia getting ready to watch the play. In Elaine Showalter’s Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism, it is indicated that the word ‘nothing’ (in Elizabethan slang) is indicative of female genitalia. “To Hamlet, then, ‘nothing,’ is what lies between women’s legs, for, in the male visual system of representation and desire, women’s sexual organs...’represent the horror of having nothing to see.’” Perhaps at one time Ophelia meant something to Hamlet, but because of his mother’s behavior his views on women have narrowed. Ophelia is nothing more than ‘country’ matters to Hamlet.

“Determined to breathe now for self alone
I began to sing as I waded far
From shore. Feeling the water
Strong against my legs.
I let my legs be weak,
And borrowing the river's strength,
I breathed out, my own bubbles
Indistinguishable from the others
As they swept downstream.
Though they would not hear me say it,
A life was owed to me.
Remembering, I took my own.

Madness, of course, but
Could it be madness if it worked?
What all the lungsfull of air
Could not accomplish
One chestfull of water did.
They listened.
He remembered how he loved me.
A brother, too late,
Was recalled to duty.
My voice shook a kingdom to pieces.”
(taken fromhttp://www.zvan.net/stephanie/ophelia.html by Stephanie M. Zvan)

Ophelia’s mad scenes are of the utmost importance. She has been seen with garlands of flowers, but at one point gives them away. By her father, she is a chaste young woman; by Hamlet, she is contaminated. Her giving away of the flowers is a symbolic deflowering of herself (Showalter 224). Questions must be raised: Is she mad in reality? Or is she taking after Hamlet and pretending to be mad? Ophelia attempts to voice herself , but when that does not work – she commits suicide.

Posted by KatieAikins at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)

Hamlet 3-5

Shakespeare, Hamlet (Acts 3-5) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

Hamlet: To be, or not to be – that is the question; whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die – to sleep – no more, and by a sleep we say to end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep – to sleep perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub. For that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause. There’s the respect of calamity of so long life.

Society has gone to pieces, just as reflected by the inner most turmoil of the ruling classes. In Hamlet’s “To be…” soliloquy, it is evident that he battles with a major issue: whether or not to kill himself. He talks of death in direct correlation with sleep; death being the most permanent sleep a human being will ever lie down for to take. He also focuses his concern on the misfortune that life has dealt him in the turbulent times. He is faced with troubles a college student usually doesn’t suffer, and now, he is contemplating the end-all of end-alls, taking his life by his own hands. In his sleep, he sees a chance to dream; however, what we dream is very different from life here on earth. Would he ever be able to achieve some type of normal peace? Dreaming, by death, will doubtfully lead to any healthy resolution to the problems because he will, in fact, be parted with the problems wholly – instead of resolving them. It is no wonder revenge that flies under the radar is a thematic element to this play. Otherwise, the ending could be very different.

Posted by KatieAikins at 05:43 PM | Comments (0)

Newswriting - AP Guide to Newswriting C. 11

The poetics of feature writing appeal more to the person interested into events outside the realm of perhaps current events, or people in the news - constantly. This writing gives a new spin and an enjoyable, creative outlet to author works that are of areas of particular interest to those concerned with human interests. Feature writing not only disects trends, but it also tells where they were born. Not only do features focus on humans, but they give the writer a certain flexibility not seen in writing news pieces. It is sort of like Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, a reader gets a lot of detail because every word - in every sentence matters. Feature writing showcases a person or event, but each word needs to make an impact in order for the piece to be effective and not flowery. For instance, in this chapter, the word ukase was use: interestingly enough, not only does the word mean an order, decree or edict, but it also means a proclamation of a czar having the force of law in imperial Russia. This word was important to the sentences in it's proximity because those sentences discuss rebellion and restriction. A reader has to know the meaning of the word, in order to get the joke the writer is playing. Features, can be creative and clever, but also a chance for a writer to display their interest and knowledge while flexing a linguistic muscle that isn't seen in the confines of the newswriting gym.

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

Newswriting: It Ain't Necessarily So - P, I, 1

Kubla Khan, Or A Vision in A Dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,

That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Murray, Schwartz, and Lichter make brief reference to Coleridge in their opening. Of course, this is an opportunity to bring literature into newswriting. Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" almost describes the pleasure dome that society aspires to reach: it is a land of music, a glutton's paradise, lovers lair, airiness, and sunshine, but at the same time, it is protected by ice. In many ways, consuming a newspaper has a similiar feel. We seek things that stimulate us; therefore, we seek news that stimulates our emotions to our specific level of need or desire. It is interesting to note that sometimes, this news comes with a thinly veiled layer of ice, that can be easily shattered because the fail is indicative of misleading facts. These misleading facts act as a coating to cover our pre-packaged stories. The average reader is not going to have time to check statistics and refute them. It is interesting that our authors also went Russian with their lingo for two sentences. "Investia nye Pravada, y Pravada nye Investia," which means, "The news isn't the truth, and the truth isn't the news." This is indicative of the carefulness with which we, as readers, need to sift through newspaper articles. It is difficult to discern fact from fiction, truth from lies, in these days of instaneous news that, generally, caters to some sort of special interest group. In general, people are still going to be inclined to read or to listen to or to buy or to consume from whatever producers agree with their individual ideologies, despite whatever the actual "truth" may be.

Posted by KatieAikins at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Newswriting - AP Stylebook 338-368

The best page from our reading was probably the summary of the first amendment rules granted by the Constitution.

It is important for reporters to remember that because they enjoy a great deal of freedom as protected by Constitutional rights, that they must exercise them responsibly and conduct themselves within reason.

Another interesting expert involved defamation and death, "...in New York no one can bring a cause of action for defamation of a deceased person unless they can demonstrate that their own reputation has been damaged by the defamation of the deceased" (357). This is saying that a suit can be continued or brought if the defamation of the said deceased person afects the person bringing the suit, I don't understand this. It is sort of like a company going bankrupt, and lawyers asking the judge for money or assets. The judge would clearly call that you can't draw blood from a rock. Does anyone have an example of how this rule works?

Posted by KatieAikins at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2005


Shakespeare, Hamlet (Acts 1 & 2) -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

KING: ‘Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, to give these mourning duties to your father. But you must know your father lost a father; that father lost, lost his; and the survivor bound in filial obligation for some term to do obsequious sorrow. But to persever in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubbornness. ‘Tis unmanly grief. It shows a will most incorrect to heaven, a heart unfortified, a mind impatient, an understanding simple and unschooled.

In this speech, the king is not being pious, whatsoever. He is not being good or faithful; his behavior is an affront to religion. He’s telling Hamlet, “You’re a boy. We die. Deal with it.” This is the worst possible speech a grieving Hamlet could receive, especially after he uses sexual innuendos about being the king, and now being Hamlet’s father, as well as uncle. This is probably the most harmful thing Claudius could have said in this situation. It makes the read wonder is he spiting Hamlet? Play a politician? What is the purpose of this action?

Posted by KatieAikins at 03:01 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2005

Newswriting - The Crime Beat

Everday I ask Jay Pugh to tell me the hot gossip; everyday, to no avail, Jay has no gossip.

But, if he were on the crime beat, he would have all sorts of interesting news to report.

It seems as though, the crime beat is more interesting because of that 'sluething' aspect that goes along with it: there is an innate desire to seek out the news and report it by dividing the news into a narrative story of sorts. Like the Introduction said, one gets bad and good guys and a sort of plot structure. Literature majors are more familiar with this sort of feeling; perhaps, that aspect would make the crime beat more interesting and exciting than some other factors of the newswriting sect.

However, there are some heavy ethical issues that crime beat reporters have to consider: the nature of the stories, lines between fame and infamy become muddled, and what details that can be included in the story in an ethical manner that is fair to the victim(s).

Also, from the readings, always substitution 'for' with 'in suspicious of,' writers should not implicate the perpetrators.

What does everyone think about the crime beat?

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:13 PM | Comments (6)

October 12, 2005

Newswriting - Blogging Portfolio #2


Fever Pitch

AP Guide - Chapters 5-7
Morgan Spurlock Saturates SHU
Elements of Journalism Chapters 6-8
Chapters 9-10
Trib Review, Review

AP Guide - Chapters 5-7
Elements of Journalism Chapters 6-8
Chapters 9-10
Trib Review, Review

Blogging about the readings seemed to spark more discussion this time around than it did the for the first portfolio. Perhaps that is because we are getting into the swing of things.
Elements of Journalism Chapters 6-8
Chapters 9-10
Trib Review, Review

These blogs also count for discussion because they seemed to spark the most dialogue and peer interaction.
Elements of Journalism Chapters 6-8
Chapters 9-10
Trib Review, Review

Though our class mightn't have talked about this particular article in class, certain classmates examined the merit of the news on my blog.
Trib Review, Review


Feeling Jenna's pain about cutting words.

Sympathizing with Katie.

Inviting Jay to read my blog.

Responding to Leslie.

Katie Lambert is A Genius
*There was one person I did not mention on the knows me best answer, and that is: Miss Julia Kniedler, the sister I never had, but I am blessed as a best friend, no matter the miles.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:42 PM | Comments (0)

Newswriting - Editorial

The school year is well underway. Teachers have gone through their fair share of chalk sticks. Students diminished their fair share of paper. Parents popped their fair share of aspirin, (to ease the pain of daunting homework questions). Thanksgiving turkeys are within a fork’s length’s reach, but before you consider asking to pass the bird, think about how your job as a parent could be lightened in one simple step: encouraging your child to read.
Like the early settlers made peace with the natives, we need to make peace with the confounding statistics. According to the US Department of Education online, students are not reading well enough. The website reported a startling statistic: 40% of students, from sea to shining sea, cannot read at a basic level. Federal monies tend to be more heavily doled out to kindergarten through third grade age classes because students are expected to be able to read by the end of the third grade. These statistics alone should be enough to motivate parents to encourage reading in the homes.
Americans have a lot to be thankful about and not only on Turkey Day. November 3, marks the 39th birthday of the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), started by Mrs. Margaret McNamara in Washington, D.C. RIF, the largest non-profit children’s literary agency, is a program that distributes free books to encourage learning through books. The agency gives free books to students to keep. Books are meant to encourage exploration and to spark imaginations. Over 265 million books have been given out since RIF’s founding.
Though base balling, cheerleading, and passing the pigskin might appeal more now, in the long run, the gift of reading will be more beneficial. Reading is a safe gift: you can’t get pummeled in the head with a ball, you can’t fall from a stunt and fracture a femur, and you can’t get tackled to the ground and break everything. Reading is a gift the breeds other readers. After all, what child doesn’t want to read to a younger peer? Reading can even be an effective way to solve problems without suffering through them, to see the world without leaving the home, and to build imaginary castles in the gray matter you already possess. Readers can take advantage of the smorgasbord of opportunities in life that non-readers cannot, and who wouldn’t want turkey without the gravy or mashed potatoes or corn or stuffing or cranberries or green beans or pumpkin pie?

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

Newswriting - Katie Lambert is a Raving Genius: Wildcard #2

Katie's email blog, (THANKS LAMB), sparked me to post; normally, I am a very private person, but I might as well answer these questions....

Full Name: Katie Joe Aikins

Birthplace: Johnstown, PA

Age: 20

Siblings' Names: only child

Pet(s) Name(s): Muffy, a siamese cat who is only 17 years old :)

Favorite Color: Red

Favorite Food: chicken, chocolate

Favorite Drink: coffee, mint tea

What are you doing right now?: Blgging....like it's my job

What are you listening to?: my floormates' lovely music

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?: Keith

What do you do for a living?: School, Graduate School Applications, Graduate School Essays, and work at my mom's store.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?: Wishes are meant to be secret....they mightn't come true if I broadcast them.

What was the last dream you had?: I haven't had any good dreams lately.

Who knows you the best?: My mom, my mimi, and Sarah Uncapher, my best friend at Gannon.

What did you do last night?: After British Literature, I did....blogging homework and went to bed. I have early mornings.

Who will respond to this?: Maybe Lamb, she's nice like that.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

Newswriting - Tribune Review 10-11-2005

The article titled "Fugitive teen charged in the death of Arnold Man" provides interesting reports about the events the night of October 8, 2005, at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The night of IUP's homecoming a man was stabbed to death after having an altercation with a Bucks county teenager. The fight started because of an objection over speaking to a group of women. The article does not mention whether or not the men were intoxicated.

This article provides the complete story, however, leaves out that crucial detail. Generally, the homecomings can become drunken brawls, and I think that is something that needs to be included - either way.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:25 PM | Comments (3)

October 10, 2005

Newswriting Chapters 9 - 10

Make the News Comprehensive and Proportional

There are fallacies of metaphor, targeting for demographic areas, and hype pressure.

This may atttract people; despite all its color and font settings, and knowing that is it a tabloid, what happens when people can't discern the news in what are thought of as trusted papers?

This is where journalists have to put their best ethics into action in order to shed light on both sides of the story.

Journalists Have a Responsibility to Conscience

Moral standards must be combined with professionalism to arrive at a upstanding position. As journalists, we need to be more accurate, fair, independent, and courageous; it is only right that we hold ourselves to the highest standards in order to engage the reader and build a trust-based relationship.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:37 PM | Comments (6)

Elements of Journalism Chapters 6-8

These sites incorporate themes from the readings:

Monitor Power and Offer Voices to the Voiceless
It is interesting to note the key points touched on: truthfulness, loyalty to citizens, maintaining independence from what we cover, and proportionality and relevancy. It seems as though these key points are being reinforced throughout all the readings; these are perhaps the most important rules to memorize and practice. This site is really helpful and would work as a good handout to understand the basis of our course.

Journalism as a Public Forum
Indeed this site is interesting, it is a public forum - clearly, slanted for one faction. Though, we are to avoid slanting articles, I think it is ok to have a forum like this where people can engage in a dialogue relevant to their own personal interests.

It is important that individuals are allowed to express their ideologies in a way that is not detrimental to others, but presentable. Their are so many diverse ideas that can be shared, and there are forums where they can be expressed and debated. Debate can also show what floodgates certain ideologies open. This idea of forum is critical in our ever changing global society.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/LouGagliardi/011532.html and Relevance

Engagement happened to take me to SHU's own Lou. Lou shares his vantage point about the Setonian staff making the paper not only engaging but relevant as well. And I think Lou makes a great point, what is relevant to one person, might not be relevant to another. So hats off to you, Lou.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:19 PM | Comments (4)

Newswriting Morgan Spurlock Saturates SHU

A native West Virginian sends Setonians into gails of laughter....

Greensburg, PA – “Why pick on poor little innocent McDonald’s?” asked critics.

Thursday evening over 340 Setonians and other local people were greeted by the southern drawl of the West Virginian humor, (where there’s “gravy on everything”) of Morgan Spurlock, who thanks SHU for providing him with “vodka.” Spurlock directed the film Super Size Me. It showcased the harmful effects fast food consumption has not only on the liver, but the heart and entire body, as well as illustrated by Spurlock’s 30-day McDonald’s diet. The McDiet consisted of three square meals a day from the namesake fast-food chain.

Spurlock’s friends were skeptical of his plan. His vegan girlfriend, disapproved. When Spurlock told his camera man, Alex Bassie, the idea for the documentary, Bassie said, “This is a really great, bad idea.” Shortly after, Bassie was proved incorrect.

It is unknown to the masses the huge lot of processed food served daily in the US. McDonald’s alone serves 46 million people, per day. Sophomore Super Size Me fan Andrea Perkins said, “At first I thought eating fast food every day, as an idea, was an exaggeration. But now I realize, Americans do consume a lot of fast foods.”

Spurlock emphasized that although people might not eat McDonald’s meals everyday, they eat at similar establishments throughout the week because they think it is cost and time effective. Of these people, he said, “They don’t know how to cook.” McDonald’s uses, “A giant lettuce curtain, in front of a big fat stage,” said Spurlock.

Alternative restaurants still use foods that pack in the calories. On the Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion, a 2,000- plus calorie-filled appetizer, Spurlock said, “It is like heaven in a garden, if all the flowers were deep fried.”

The diet packed on 24 pounds to Spurlock’s six-foot two-inch, 185 pound frame. With the pounds, came problems. Spurlock developed NASH Syndrome, a form of liver cirrhosis that non-alcoholic drinkers develop. He also felt massive pressure on his chest, as well as having to watch his body deteriorate before his eyes.

With nine days to go in the experiment, Spurlock almost gave up. That is, until he heard brotherly advice from Chris Spurlock, who said, “People eat this shit their whole lives. Do you really think it is going to kill you in nine days? C’mon.” And with that, Spurlock finished his study.

Nutrition major, Katie Manni C’08, talked to Spurlock about dietetics and her major, which he hailed. Later, Spurlock told Manni to, “Shake the trees.” Manni said, “I think this means he wants me to tear up McDonald’s menus because they’re valueless, just like the disgusting processed foods.”

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2005

Faustus to Finish

Faustus Finish

Good Angel: O, thou hast lost celestial happiness, pleasures unspeakable, bliss without end. Hads’t thou affected sweet divinity, hell or the devil had had no power on thee. Had’st thou kept on that way, Faustus behold in what resplendent glory thou had’st sat in yonder throne, like those bright shining saints, and triumphed over hell! That hast thou lost. (Throne ascends.) And now, poor soul, must thy angel leave thee, the jaws of hell are open to receive thee.

In this passage, there is a clear juxtaposition between action and consequence. The angel indicated what is going to happen now in exchange for the horrid actions taken by Faustus. After bartering off his soul, he is going to be punished with eternal damnation. It is important for readers of this play to learn that there are indeed reactions for every action taken. In this case, the reaction is a punishment for a poor decision rendered. This is almost a comment on the humanistic philosophies of the time: choose God, not man or be punished. For the Renaissance audience, or even in meeting Renaissance ideals, this was a clear invitation to turn back to the Church and abandon humanism as a lifestyle choice. Physically, the audience would see the ascension of the throne and hear the angel’s delivery; this would be indicative of the punishment about to be rendered. At once, this is both awe-inspiring and frightening.

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)

Faustus to II

Marlowe’s Faustus (to Act II)

Faustus: I charge thee to return and change thy shape, Thou art too ugly to attend on me.
Go, and return an old Franciscan friar: that holy shape becomes a devil best. Exit Devil. I see there’s virtue in my heavenly words. Who would not be proficient in this art? How pliant is this Mephostophilis, full of obedience and humility, such is the force of magic and my spells.

First, Faustus slams the Catholic Church in these lines, instructing the devil to morph into a church friar, a shape that becomes a devil best. This begs to question, is the entire work a slam to the Church or a precautionary note warning what can happen if one gives in to the ever changing values of the times and sacrificing their spiritual salvation for humanly power? This play is sort of reminiscent of Everyman, except Faustus seems more power hungry than the character Everyman because he is the one who wants to gain power, and he chooses the means through which he will gain it.

Second, Faustus is full of Renaissance themes: short life, seize the day, secular – spiritual balance/conflict, poetry as immorality, and how to live life with an emphasis on the human, or humanism. The audience sees humanism in action, a concern to for the aesthetic through what is pleasing to the senses, and many paradoxes in action. Is Faustus an evil villain or just tragically human?

Posted by KatieAikins at 03:05 PM | Comments (5)

October 07, 2005

Thoughts on the Cycle

Anonymous, York Corpus Christi Plays -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

A Christ Taken Prisoner
"Thereupon the Judge proclaimed: sententia, Firstly, Judas to be given the birch for a scoffer of God. Secondly, the Alguazil to have himself physicked [5] at his own cost. Thirdly, St. Peter to be set free, as a pious and faithful apostle, and the Lord likewise. The merchant to forfeit that which the Lord owes unto him and to make no further claims upon him for all eternity".

It would be interesting to see how this scene played. After reading The Intro and learning about the changing structure of the church, I began to realize why the people were separated from the altar. This was something I never realized before reading this: “To begin to understand the popularity and significance of the Corpus Christi plays, we must first recognize the significance of the feast being celebrated. During the early middle ages, as church architecture and artistry moved away from the conservatism necessitated by its beginnings as a renegade faith in a Pagan world, and as the rituals surrounding Christian worship grew more intricate, the interior design of churches evolved. As the churches grew in size, the altar grew more elaborate, and the people moved proportionately farther away from it; communion rails developed because it was inconvenient to have crowds rushing the ornate altars to receive the Host. These rails eventually developed into a screen of bars or wooden slats, behind which the priest would say the mass. In addition, the priest and the congregation both faced the tabernacle on the back wall, the end result being that the priest blocked the people's view of most of the mass. Over generations, the faithful began to associate the unseen elements of the service with an air of mystery.”

On Affective Piety:

“Every Easter in the Philippines, pious volunteers carry crosses through the streets and actually allow themselves to be temporarily crucified (with stainless steel nails sterilized in alcohol) in order to fully understand the grief and pain which Jesus underwent on the cross. Religious devotion which encourages the faithful to meditate deeply upon the physical and emotional sufferings of holy figures is called "affective piety." The Philippines example may be extreme; however, affective piety was an important part of medieval religious instruction, designed to stir the personal devotion of people living in a society that took religion for granted. In their private chambers, using a picture, a statue, or spoken prayers to feed their spiritual imagination, the devout entered into the suffering of Christ, a martyr or some other holy figure with a psychological totality that we today would probably describe as a very extreme form of method acting.”I see the point of calling forth the emotions, but I also believe Christ took Himself to the cross, so we would never have to. What does everyone else think?

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:22 AM | Comments (3)

October 04, 2005

Newswriting: AP Guide Chapters 5-7

Sometimes, I want to cry when I read the AP Guide to News Writing.

Seriously, it is only because it strips away the merit of all my other English classes: Journalese, seems to be the language of the English department; tone, and attributive verbs that may or may not be loaded are the platform for my writings.

I am slowly coming to realize the values of simplify and condense when it comes to newswriting. We can not use sensational verbs, when a better, more fitting verb is at hand. We can not use anything but said, because other words might imply emotions. We can not load the stories to slant them one way or the other.

Perhaps, feature writing will be more simple because it allows for flowery speech, breathing room....subjects that I will be holding my arms wide open to. Right now, it seems as though we need to hold a tight focus on condensing.

Posted by KatieAikins at 04:17 PM | Comments (6)

October 03, 2005

Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

KENNY: I’m gonna kill myself!
RICHARD: You think that’s funny?!
HEIDI: Don’t drool on my piece, nimrod!
RICHARD: What has your mother said about playing with guns?

This rapid fire exchange seeps with humor and absurdity. A teen threatens to commit suicide while pseudo-cop instructs him not to slop her gun. Rather than taking his threats seriously, he is blown off because all through out the play he has been bellowing about one or another problems he is having. Richard, his father, even has a sort of laughable reaction: “what has your mother said about playing with guns?” is more along the lines of something one might say to a small child when catching them examining a gun, rather than an almost grown dope-smoker threatening to take his life.

This conversation seemingly elucidates the fuddy meers of life: it makes the audience question: are we so involved in our own selves that we can not take our time to help others realize their potential? Even though this exchange is meant to be comical and absurd, it still begs us to question the shifting values of humanity. What is more important – a dead kid or a wet gun? It is also ironic because the father-son pair kidnaps the pseudo cop in route to find their wife-mother. The female cop doles out instructs, just as Richard suggests his wife doles out instructions about guns. Though I doubt this any sort of feminist statement, it does seem as though the women in this work are bossier than the men.

This exchange emphasizes absurdity and comedy, as well as the important things in life. Fuddy Meers asks an audience to reprioritize.

Posted by KatieAikins at 01:53 PM | Comments (5)