November 25, 2005

News Writing Portfolio 3

This last News writing portfolio is easily the shortest of them all because it focuses solely on the content of We the Media. Unlike portfolios past, the scope of this is much more narrow.

Today, I was perusing Ashley Welker's blog. She offers sage advice to the freshmen, a cautionary note of sorts: never take 8 classes. Ashley, I will second that. Although, I do not have 8 classes I have 7 English classes, and it feels as though, sometimes, I am juggling between the semester's work and studying for the LSATs - all because I want to graduate a year early. Tackling these circumstances is sort of fun; the work is not the problem. The problem is realizing how much Seton Hill actually helps you to grow as a person and form long lasting bonds with the people around you. As most of you freshman know, Katie Lambert and I love you all and wish you the best of luck in the coming years. Just remember, if you ever need help - we're only a phone call away. In you all, I see a closeness and bonds forming that will be certain to last a lifetime. You should be proud of your accomplishments this semester. You made it! I know, I am proud of every single one of you and happy to call you all my friends.

Congratulations everyone on a great fall semester!

I am starting to feel like Dougie Howser, MD, so I am going to end this entry.

Coverage, Depth, Timeliness:

We the Media, Intro, I, II

We the Media, 3-5

We the Media, 6 -7

We the Media, 8 - 10

Interaction and Discussion: For this unit, most of the discussion and interaction was done in the classroom setting. However, my first We the Media entry sparked interaction and discussion from Dr. Jerz as well as Erin Waite. It is good to see that even Dr. Jerz has limits on how much of his personal self he will share with the blogging community. For a while, Dr. Jerz seemed like an open book because of all the information he posts on the internet. Erin Waite even tells us how blogging has been beneficial to show her the mistakes she makes, and the growth she has experienced as a blogger. It just goes to show, that blogging as a form of media is less predictable, but more interesting because it is available to a wider sect of the populus.


Xenoblogging:

Denamarie, Andy, and David all had well done presentations that certainly opened our classroom for a forum of discourse that is not seen everyday.

Lamb and common sense.

Lorin and cookies.


Wilcard:

A recommendation to read a magazine article about my mom, my hero.

AND

A blog site that is ultra wonderful because you don't have to download music to your computer.

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Drama Portfolio Three

This semester has come and gone very quickly. It seems as though this last blogging portfolio is sparse in content because we have not covered that many plays. However, what we have covered have been more in-depth and longer in content. The plays have grown more interesting, and it seems as though our in class discussion has increased, threefold. It has been so refreshing to work with you all, and I hope you enjoy my final blogging portfolio for Drama as Literature....

Coverage: (This round, we did not have as many works to cover; however, their depth proved to be much greater.)

The Glass Menagerie 2

Kindertransport

A Man for All Seasons

Fences

Prof B and the friendship blog

Professor B - the end

Depth: (These entries best exemplify depth because they examine other historical aspects that surround the plays' structures.)

Kindertransport

A Man for All Seasons

The Glass Menagerie 2

Interaction: (Fences seemed to be of greater interaction on my blog, rather than the entries that I thought would spark interaction - the historical entries.)

Fences


Discussion: (The following entries sparked discussion in the classroom. I am most proud of these entries because they were the ones that really encouraged me to participate in class, as well as to understand the broader historical concepts that relate to the plays.)

Fences

A Man for All Seasons

The Glass Menagerie 2

Kindertransport


Timeliness:

The Glass Menagerie 2

Kindertransport

A Man for All Seasons

Fences

Prof B and the friendship blog

Professor B - the end


Xenoblogging:

Andy LoNigro and confusing intentions of PB.

Katie Lambert and Fences. How to deal with sins of the past when the sinner is MIA.

Kayla Sawyer and humor in Kindertransport.

Wildcard:
I asked readers to pick up this month's Country Living; however, failed to explain why. But, if you are inquisitive readers, you will have already picked up the magazine and understand why.

Posted by KatieAikins at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2005

Wildcard

Please pick up Country Living for December. It is a wonderful issue. Especially page 61 because my mom's in it.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:28 PM | Comments (2)

November 20, 2005

We the Media 8 - 10

"Among the missing components in this hierarchy is a way to evaluate a person's reputation beyond the crude system in place today" (171).


To evaluate a person's blog, or online journal, we must remember that we may be reading the work of an amateur. And even if the person has journalistic credentials, we must still be careful. Just because one may have credentials, one still have bias.

One must even exercise this caution in reading news in the papers. The over all lesson is just be careful and decipher facts from fictions.

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

November 18, 2005

Kindertransport

EVA: “We have already got.” Or some want to give me tea and be sorry. Gentleman gave money at me.
LIL: The shame of it. What on earth d’you think we put an ad in for! To pass the time and have a laugh?
EVA: Sorry.
LIL: Don’t you trust me? What good is it if you don’t bloody trust me?

Eva’s search for jobs for her biological parents spans far and wide through the neighborhood. Lil assists Eva; Lil places ads in the paper about Eva’s parents in an attempt to get them jobs so they can come to England and be with Eva. Eva, in her innocence and longing to have her natural parents by her side, attempts to do more to expedite the process of getting her parents to England. Unfortunately, Lil interprets Eva’s actions as distrusting her help. It is also interesting to note that men give her money and tea. The men are symbolic of the compassionate nature of the country during the Kindertransport. This is a poignant, heart touching moment in the play since it is drenched in the passion of humanity – the love for the children, the love for the Jews. It is also sad to realize the cruelty of the circumstance and all the little children had to give up in order to survive. Childhood should not have to involve searching for jobs so your parents can come to live with you. The contrasts of the search with the tender youth of Eva’s age are key factors in this scene.

Their conversation is ironic in the fact that later, Eva starts to identify Lil as her Mum and does not want to venture to America with her own mom. In one instance, Lil finds Eva’s sidebar search disparaging. However, it is Eva who eventually gives up on her own mother, and it is Lil who recognizes that Eva should not place such heavy blame on her mother.


Diane Samuel’s Kindertransport is replete with issues that have been struggled with since ancient times. The Hebrews wandered the desert, taking nothing with them (for it was too much to transport through the vast desert) – no art, and thus, leaving nothing behind. A thousand years later, the same people took nothing with them, (with the exception of their memories), to their mass graves, and often times, left nothing behind – no children. Some fortunate Jewish people were able to send their children to England in order to avoid persecution from Nazis in Germany. The children that were sent could take only their necessary personal effects, clearly, taking family heirlooms was out of the question. These children were displaced people; though, they were not homeless or orphaned because they had people in England to care for them. They were a people without a land, as the Jews have been throughout history. They were a people made to almost completely vanquish their heritage in exchange for the ability to live a life, a life in other lands – complete with others’ memories and histories.

Kindertransport examines the struggle of a Jewish born, English raised Eva/Evelyn to deal with her past. Her parents sent her to England, with valuable jewelry enclosed in the heels of her shoes, to ensure that she would be able to survive. Release from her parents’ household was the ultimate loving act because it would almost guarantee that she would live. In England, Lil was her keeper. Lil was their through her pre to post adolescence. In the absence of Eva’s birth mother, Lil became her surrogate parent. Eva/Evelyn grew up accustomed to the nature of her English surroundings and more readily accepted her English heritage. At the age of 17, her Mutti came to take her to America so they could forge a life new life together. Before Mutti got on the boat, the pair had a terrible, relationship quashing argument about identity and self. Mutti missed her Eva; Eva wants to continue living as Evelyn. The play was replete with mother-daughter issues. Evelyn struggles with her own daughter Faith’s issues in understanding Evelyn’s past. Evelyn wants to suppress the memories – Faith wants to understand the history. This, of course, causes Lil and Evelyn to destroy some past papers, but also helps them to form a more intimate bond because they revisit the past. The past is, after all, what shapes the present. Throughout the entire play, the looming theme of the Rat Catcher visits the set and props. They women read the book in the German, the story is translated, the songs ring out through the air, etc. It is an ominous, foreboding feeling that one has when this character is explored. The Rat Catcher’s goal was to take away all happiness, all talent, all youth, all vitality – just because of the mistake of one. It is horrific to know that in more recent history there have been such Rat Catchers in our midst. The acts of the Holocaust will never be forgotten: drama as literature, such as Kindertransport, helps to put a more human face on the atrocities of hatred. These events were real: this work asks us to not deny, nor ever ever forget history. Like the Rat Catcher from the 1200s, history repeats itself. This play asks us to make it our goal to ensure that these memories live on ---- and never happen again.

To learn more about Kindertransport, go here: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005260

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

Leslie Rodriguez Wants You To Know....

If I didn't post this, Leslie threatened to relocate floors. And what would the fourth floor be like without her?

Visit this wonderful site:

RadioBlogClub

Posted by KatieAikins at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

The End of P.B.

Andrew LoNigro wrote in his blog,

PRIEST. I know myself to bo free. My religion, Professor, bids me love even those who hate me.

BERNH. And mine, your Reverance, or what is planted in my breast in place of religion, bids me bring comprehension even where I am misunderstood.

Something that I don't understand however is the ending of the scene between the priest and the Bernhardi. After all of this tension throughout the dialog, the Priest suddenly reaches out his hand and seems to make peace before he leaves. It even leaves Bernhardi in a little shock. Does anyone know why he did this?

Andy,

I think the answer is within the aforementioned dialogue. As a man of the cloth, it is the Priest's job to love everyone - despite the circumstance, or the trials/tribulations they go through. I think though this line may have seemed tense, at the time, the priest comes to a revelation that he does love. It is this type of turn in conversation that is indicative of understanding and reassurance, a certain sort of double play or revelation in the purpose of character.

This was the most compelling scene in the entire play because of the dramatic tension and the final, peaceful resolution. It is with this that the playwright makes his most profound point: we must love, no matter what.

Thank you for opening your blog up to such discourse.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:42 AM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2005

"Professor Bernhardi"

This blog is an experiment; Katie Lambert & 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.

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

Newswriting - We the Media 6&7

Chapter 6: "Professional Journalists Join the Conversation"

"One of the most significant differences between print and the Web is that web-based conversations transcend geographical boundaries" (113).

Discourse is an important part of effective communication. In order to understand what is happening in other pockets of the world, one must communicate with someone in the center of the event. My friend Whitney is studying abroad in Paris, currently. Whit and I converse through email; I am able to have a better understanding of exactly how hostile the riots are, what French society is like, and what the Parisians are feelings. Without this firsthand account from a trusted source, I might be left in the dust as to the problems the French are suffering. The internet makes this easier because we can send messages in real-time across the sea, something our forefathers were never able to do. Ultimately, slowing down the communication led for a gap; however, I can see gaps as being beneficial because that would contribute to a more relaxed society. Wouldn't we all be more relaxed if we didn't know every moment the Terror Alert Level shifted from yellow? Also, online news stories are beneficial. How often do we walk into the Greensburg Sunoco and get a Parisian newspaper? We don't. To search on the internet yields a harvest of ripe documents that can lead to better understand of different cultural stations.

Chapter 7: "The Former Audience Joins the Party"

"Urban planners and criminologists talk about the "broken window" syndrome, said Ward Cunningham, who came up with the first Wiki software in the 1990s. If a neighborhood allows broken windows to stay that way, and fails to replace them, the neighborhood will deteriorate because vandals and other unsavory people will assume no one cares" (149).

This comparison was interesting and noteworthy because people fix the entries on Wikipedia and debate about what belongs there. It is interesting a little slice of our mind can contribute to making history and being fixed there.

Posted by KatieAikins at 02:22 PM | Comments (1)

Newswriting - We the Media 3-5

Chapter 3 - "The Gates Come Down"

"A peculiar silence reigned in the most major newspapers and TV networks the first few days after Trent Lott, celebrating fellow Republican Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday in late 2002, seemed to wax nostalgic for a racist past. Lott, then majority leader of the US Senate, recalled Thurmond's presidential campaign in 1948, a race in which he called for the preservation of segregation. The nation would be better off if Thurmond won, Lott said" (44).

Webloggers, emailers, and online journalists caused so much fervor when this statement was released that President Bush had to denounce Lott, and Lott stepped down. Of course, we must remember as fair journalists that both sides of the story need to be presented. What were the virtues that Thurmond campaigned for? Did anyone ever considered that it is nice to be kind to the elderly on their 100th birthdays? It is these and other little thins, that we must keep in mind when we set out to work on our own personal agendas.

On the up and up, technology can help us to document history as it happens. The book cites cell phone cameras as being advantageous for catching kidnappers. Current technology enables journalists to gather scores of data on anyone or anything, but once again, the difference between good and bogus journalism is how one sorts and responds to it.

Chapter 4: "Newmakers Turn the Tables"

"CEO blogs are useful. Even better, in many cases, are blogs and other materials from people down the ranks. For journalists, some of the most valuable communications from inside companies come from the rank and file, or from managers well below the senior level. Why not let them communicate with the public, too?" (74)

This entire chapter showcases the notions of journalists listening to the people they interview and work with; it also shows what the power of one person can do. For instance, according to the book, the Department of Defense posts interviews with Rumsfield and Wolfowitzin Q and A format. This is ultimately important because readers are able to back track to the actual account of the conversation, rather than just reading a written article that may be slanted to make either gentlemen look like monsters. This chapter also reports guidelines we all can use to clearly articulate our points and make it easier for readers to navigate our blogs. Chief amongst these ten points, is that people who teach you new thing and experiment all the time. Taking risks, while thanking your teachers with accreditation shows some form of maturation in the learning process that is life.

Chapter 5: "The Consent of the Governed"

"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" (89).

While I do see the benefits of weblogging to raise money and elect political candiates, we must remember not to jump so easily on people. Howard Dean, weblogged candidate, is not sitting in the Oval Office today - Kerry ran as the Dem nominee. Dean might have triumphed on the Net, but not in the numbers. Grubb didn't unseat Coble who "kowtowed" to the Hollywood crowd (remember Bill Clinton - boxers or briefs on MTV? Playing the sax on late night television? Barabara Streisand relocating from the country if GW got in?) It takes cash to win - we can't just single out groups because everyone, at some point, needs the almighty dollar to make it to the next phase. Ending the chapter with allusion to Yeats "The Second Coming," wasn't tasteful: different generation of people, different problems, different ideologies. Yes, the internet is useful - but we as citizens need to recognize our core ideologies before turning to the internet to retrieve thought. It is an era that we need to revert back to thought, rather than recitation of other people.

Posted by KatieAikins at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

Fences

Moving away from traditional play reviews, this time I chose to examine some memorable quotes from the work....

"You got to take the crookeds with the straights."

"Life don't owe you nothing."

"Death ain't nothing but a fastball on the outside corner."

For a man who believes that life doesn't owe anyone anything, Troy certainly acts as though life needs to repay him for his let downs. Troy never got to play in the pro-league baseball because he was too aged, so in turn, Troy takes away Cory's chance to continue his career in football. Troy constantly references baseball, probably because he was denied the opportunity to play it. The reader also sees his struggle with his multiple children to different women: Alberta and his love child Raylene, Cory to his wife, and the other son who comes around looking for money on payday. Part of his plight comes from his children, but most of it derives from himself. He has an affair, he drinks, he argues with the boss (however, he wins this case and gets to drive the garbage truck), he argues with Rose and becomes a "womanless man," and he sings the blues. Singing the blues can't solve anything, but it relates to the oral tradition offered in slave literature. Also, trains act as symbols in the play: to move away from sorrow, to carry people to safety - trains are common in African American spirituals. Troy suffers from problems from race relations, as he is displaced from his home in the south to northern Pittsburgh, and he has to fight to just drive a garbage truck rather than loading garbage. But race relations are not the main problem in this play; the problem, therein, lies in coming to terms with the self. Actions lead to consequences - it is almost as though this is a coming of age story, for an older man. And it results in death. Is this a cautionary tale?

Posted by KatieAikins at 11:08 AM | Comments (3)

Newswriting - We the Media, Intro, 1, & 2

Introduction:

"...news was being produced by regular people who had something to say and show, and not solely by the "official" new organizations that had traditionally decided how the first draft of history would look" (X)

We are introduced by certain shots heard around the world in this introductory section of the book. Since we all hear the shots, [ examples: 9/11, the death of President Kennedy, FDR's death], we are all able to say things about them. However, the latter two examples happened in a time when news was trickled down from more official sites, such as networks and newspapers. In our wired world, we are about to snap on a computer, sit down, and write our own version of the news. Not only are we consumer and readers, but we are also becoming reporter-like in the essence that we can pitch our own ideas into articles.

Chapter 1:

"...muckrakers performed the public service function of journalism by exposing a variety of outrages, including the anticompetitive predations of the robber barons and cruel conditions in the workplace..." (3).

At this point, Gillmor reminds the reader of some of those muckrakers, such as Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair. It is interesting to think that the media functions to expose bad practices in oil and poor conditions in meat packing companies. At this time, cities were beginning to develop and overflow because that was where jobs were. It is important to understand the historical and cultural contexts of situations before we, as journalists, cook companies. Of course, there were problems in the Chicago meat packing industry, as there were problems with Standard Oil, but careful investigation must proceed attack.

This chapter was also interesting because it showed the progression of radio and television as facets for the news. It illustrated the talking heads on the radio - from far right to far left, and also the advice that came from everyone that got to be on the radio: doctors, lawyers, etc. If you turn on XM radio, today, there are entire channels devoted to these talking people. However, people enjoy tuning in and getting advice from these faceless sources.

Chapter 2:

"The tools of grassroots journalism run the gamut from the simplest email list, in which everyone on the list receives copies of all messages; to weblogs, journals written in reverse chronological order; to sophisticated content management systems used for publishing content to the Web; and to syndication tools that allow anyone to subscribe to anyone else's content. The tools also include handheld devices such as camera equiped mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). What they have in common is a reliance on the contributions of individuals to a larger whole, rising from the bottom up" (26).

This is the only part of the text where I felt a strong reaction, and this is only because I do not want to be that wired to the world. This also semi-kills any sense of privacy we may have. I don't want anyone to be wired into my thoughts, because it is very personal. This is why I try usually to write objective weblogs, rather than ones that are super slanted. I would much rather give a summary of the text, than my personal reaction - because that is exactly what it is, personal. If one really wants to know what another thinks, ask the other. Finding one's website and reading one's thoughts, seems to me, to be impersonal and borderline probing. We the Media even called one blog slanted to the right. We are urged to stay objective, so why fiddle with people who are not trained journalists? Of course, it is nice to have a vast array of perspectives from the pockets of the world, but I would rather get my news from the paper (even though those can be slanted, and sometimes not 100% accurate, too).

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2005

A Man for All Seasons - Part 2

As Aristotelian Poetics dictates, it is imperative to examine plot, character, thought, diction, action, and spectacle prior to formulating a subjective judgment on a work, (“I liked it, I didn’t like it, etc”). To do this, one must consult the textual evidence, see the play, or for lack of time: read the Sparknotes (http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/amanforallseasons/).
Robert Bolt’s 1960 work A Man for All Seasons incorporates a well-known historical setting, meshed with character treatments in a playwright proclaimed semi-Brechtian manner. The play is set during an exciting time world history: it is the Age of Exploration, the Age of Discovery, coupled with the Renaissance of classical thought in all Europe. Churchly law dictated a concern for the future – or the afterlife. Two hundred years prior to the play’s action, Pope Boniface the 8th issued the papal bull the Unum Sanctum which declared that to gain salvation, every human is subject to the pontiff. In this period, people were subject to laws of the Church, in direct juxtaposition with states’ laws. Human desire/interest, on the rekindle, vested concern in life for the living. In 1509 with the death of Henry Tudor, Henry the 8th ascends the throne of England with Katharine as his queen. The couple produces numerous children; however, the only one to survive is a daughter, Mary (b. 1516). The marriage lasts 15 years because Henry the 8th is a philanderer who wants to produce a male son, however, Katharine is seemingly barren.
It is ironic the Henry the 8th’s lustful lifestyle, not churchly dogma nor faith, is what sparks the Reformation in England. From 1509 until 1547, the King responds to Luther’s 95 Theses in defense of the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church – for this the Vicar of Christ on Earth names him ‘the defender of the faith.’ It is around this same time that Henry the 8th falls into lust with Ann Boleyn, a handmaiden to the Queen. Henry sends Wolvsey to Rome to ask Pope Clemet the 7th for an annulment, however, Rome is occupied by the army of Katherine’s nephew, and pope Clemet the 7th, not wanting to further anger the troops says no to the request for an annulment. In 1529, Wolvsey comes back to Rome with no papal approval and is executed shortly after he delivers this message. In 1531, Henry the 8th named himself head of the English Church, the Anglican Catholic Church, and his English archbishop said yes to the divorce.
A Man for All Season’s Sir Thomas More emphasizes values in accordance with that of the Church. He is more concerned with the Boniface notion of salvation for his soul in direct correlation to his actions, words, and deeds –subject to the rule of the Roman Catholic pontiff, Vicar of Christ on Earth. His character foil, Wolvsey, is not as interested in that “horrible moral squint [of More’s]” and thinks that with a little “common sense you [More] could have been a statesmen” (19). The parallels between these characters build an important platform for a question that was on the rise at the time and continues to be ever popular in our society. Outlining these characters differences in bases of values, and what is and what is not important in their lives, sets up the framework for the questions: what is more important, religion or nationalism? How does religion fit into nationalism?
The work suggests the new face of England: a face ripe with the youth of nationalism. This new face is most evident in the characters: Rich, whose philosophies are in accordance with Machiavellianism, “...make him suffer sufficiently” (5), (it is better to be feared than loved); Alice, who wants her husband to comply and sees the value of the stratified English society – instead of all people being equal, “Great men get colds in the head just the same as commoners” (39); Henry, who wants for a new wife irregardless of the Church’s teaching on divorce and who denies his present marriage by quoting Scripture; Cromwell, who seeks to debase More’s position (76) in order to advance his own social standing, etc.


This is another play in which one must question, to whom does one owe his loyalty: church or nation?


Posted by KatieAikins at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2005

Newswriting - Blogging Portfolio

It is almost mid-November already. The onslaught is on; it's a race to the finish. Fortunately, we have had a more active surge in the blogging community for Newswriting, as of late. I think this can be attributed to the fact that we don't have to blog as heavily as we might have been afraid of during the first round of portfolios - at the very least, this is how I feel. Newswriting seems to be getting more interesting since we are moving into different areas of intrigue: crime, features, the statistics involved in hedgehog reporting....it has gone from what felt like blase to something much more colorful, but not as colorful as literature. It is something, though, that I believe we all have a better handle on than we did in September. I am more happy with my work now, because I feel as though I can understand what is happening and relate to it. So without futher adieu....

Here is my new Newswriting Blog Portfolio.

Coverage
The Crime Beat
AP StyleBook 338-368
It Ain't Necessarily So P1 - 1
AP Guide to Newswriting Ch. 11
IANS 2 &3
Ch. 4-5
Ch. 6 - 7
Ch. 8 & 9
Hedgehogging
Ch. 9 & 10


Depth
The Crime Beat
AP StyleBook 338-368
It Ain't Necessarily So P1 - 1
Hedgehogging

Interaction
Hedgehog reporting caused me to find a friend in Nancy Gregg. It is nice to talk to people on blogs because the way the desks are set up is inconvinient to talking to others, unless they are in the immediate vicinity.
Chris and Erin elucidated their thoughts to me about the Bait and Switch.
Nanvy Gregg clarifies defamation of the deceased from the stylebook 338-368.
The crime beat, hot gossip or why-I-could-never-write-crime-stories, is something that received a lot of reaction from classmates....


Discussion: Newswriting is very important in order to help us decide what facts need to be placed in a story. Hedgehog reporting, the presentation, best exemplifies my ability to discern information away from one BIG issue. It also sparked discussion, because we got to talk about nuclear physics in class....
Hedgehogging

Timeliness: All the blog entries are examples of timeliness because they are completed in advance to the class period. I really didn't understand at first what Dr. Jerz was trying to get us to do in Newswriting until he told us that he wanted us to write like we write for Drama. That took a lot of stress off the self, because I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by all the entries that I thought were required to even meet adequate standards.
The Crime Beat
AP StyleBook 338-368
It Ain't Necessarily So P1 - 1
AP Guide to Newswriting Ch. 11
IANS 2 &3
Ch. 4-5
Ch. 6 - 7
Ch. 8 & 9
Hedgehogging
Ch. 9 & 10

Xenoblogging:
Jason Pugh and blurring the lines between fairness/excitement.
Nancy Gregg is so colorful in her writing....I wish Newswriting was more colorful.
Kudos to Miss Katie Lambert. Who knew journalism had so many animals?
Jenna O'Brocto shares my thoughts on reading.

Wildcard:
This entry goes along with my Reading is Fundamental article....what is your favorite book?

Posted by KatieAikins at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2005

Newswriting - AP Guide 9&10

For color, reporters cannot rely on phrases and fancy - or ready-made - figures of speech. They relyon hard particulars. They must train themselves to spot those small, specific details that give intimate glimpses into the nature of their subject. (AP Guide to Newswriting 80)

The aforementioned is probably the most challenging aspect of the whole business of newswriting. Color, in newswriting, is really bland. We learned in Advanced Studies in Literature to write verb driven articles; however, it seems as though when one touches upon any interesting verbs in newswriting the verbs are immediately shot down as flowery, too much, outrageous, etc. One day, I would like to read more than "said," but then again, if articles were written that way, they would become too biased. Oh to reading literature....

Posted by KatieAikins at 10:04 PM | Comments (2)

A Man for All Seasons

Bolt, A Man for All Seasons -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

WOLSEY: It’s a devious situation.
MORE: There must be something simple in the middle of it.
(Again, this is not a moral dictum, it is said rather wistfully, as of something he is beginning to doubt.)
WOLSEY: (Again, a pause, rather gently.) I believe you believe that. (Briskly) You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat on – without that horrible moral squint; with just a little common sense, you could have been a statesman.


It is ironic the Henry the 8th’s lustful lifestyle, not churchly dogma nor faith, is what sparks the Reformation in England. From 1509 until 1547, the King responds to Luther’s 95 Theses in defense of the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church – for this the Vicar of Christ on Earth names him ‘the defender of the faith.’ It is around this same time that Henry the 8th falls into lust with Ann Boleyn, a handmaiden to the Queen. Henry sends Wolvsey to Rome to ask Pope Clemet the 7th for an annulment, however, Rome is occupied by the army of Katherine’s nephew, and pope Clemet the 7th, not wanting to further anger the troops says no to the request for an annulment. In 1529, Wolvsey comes back to Rome with no papal approval and is executed shortly after he delivers this message. In 1531, Henry the 8th named himself head of the English Church, the Anglican Catholic Church, and his English archbishop said yes to the divorce.
A Man for All Season’s Sir Thomas More emphasizes values in accordance with that of the Church. He is more concerned with the Boniface notion of salvation for his soul in direct correlation to his actions, words, and deeds –subject to the rule of the Roman Catholic pontiff, Vicar of Christ on Earth. His character foil, Wolvsey, is not as interested in that “horrible moral squint [of More’s]” and thinks that with a little “common sense you [More] could have been a statesmen.” The parallels between these characters build an important platform for a question that was on the rise at the time and continues to be ever popular in our society. Outlining these characters differences in bases of values, and what is and what is not important in their lives, sets up the framework for the questions: what is more important, religion or nationalism? How does religion fit into nationalism?
The work suggests the new face of England: a face ripe with the youth of nationalism. This new face is most evident in the characters: Rich, whose philosophies are in accordance with Machiavellianism, “...make him suffer sufficiently” (5), (it is better to be feared than loved); Alice, who wants her husband to comply and sees the value of the stratified English society – instead of all people being equal, “Great men get colds in the head just the same as commoners” (39); Henry, who wants for a new wife irregardless of the Church’s teaching on divorce and who denies his present marriage by quoting Scripture; Cromwell, who seeks to debase More’s position (76) in order to advance his own social standing, etc. Just as Wolsey places value in advancing social standing. It is ironic that he is later killed for this same effort – because he fails.


Posted by KatieAikins at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

Wildcard Blog

It took me awhile to think about what I wanted to write. As most of you know, I love to read. Since many of you are studying to be English teachers, I want to share the benefits of reading with you:

According to Time for a Good Book,

Research shows that avid readers:

read better write better concentrate better
are quicker to see subtleties
have an easier time processing new information
have a better chance for a successful, fulfilling adult life
have many interests and do well in a wide variety of subjects
develop an ability to understand how other people think and feel
acquire the ability to sift information and to understand how unrelated facts can fit into a whole
tend to be more flexible in their thinking and more open to new ideas
weather personal problems better without their schoolwork being affected
And with the explosion of information in the workplace, only avid readers can stay relatively effortlessly well informed.

It seems as though all I do is read - all the time. Most of my reading is class work right now; however, I am practicing a Baron's LSAT book, as well as reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon-bons (the title was so attractive, and the jacket had ladies floating in the pool eating chocolate - life can't get much better than that).

Ultimately, majoring in English will help you to understand the world at large. Theater is like this to; however, as an instrument, the body has physical limitations - whereas, minds know no bounds. So immerse yourself in a good book this evening - maybe even one that has not been assigned for classroom reading....

What is your favorite book?

Posted by KatieAikins at 06:41 PM | Comments (1)

Kindertransport

EVA: “We have already got.” Or some want to give me tea and be sorry. Gentleman gave money at me.
LIL: The shame of it. What on earth d’you think we put an ad in for! To pass the time and have a laugh?
EVA: Sorry.
LIL: Don’t you trust me? What good is it if you don’t bloody trust me?

Eva’s search for jobs for her biological parents spans far and wide through the neighborhood. Lil assists Eva; Lil places ads in the paper about Eva’s parents in an attempt to get them jobs so they can come to England and be with Eva. Eva, in her innocence and longing to have her natural parents by her side, attempts to do more to expedite the process of getting her parents to England. Unfortunately, Lil interprets Eva’s actions as distrusting her help. It is also interesting to note that men give her money and tea. The men are symbolic of the compassionate nature of the country during the Kindertransport. This is a poignant, heart touching moment in the play since it is drenched in the passion of humanity – the love for the children, the love for the Jews. It is also sad to realize the cruelty of the circumstance and all the little children had to give up in order to survive. Childhood should not have to involve searching for jobs so your parents can come to live with you. The contrasts of the search with the tender youth of Eva’s age are key factors in this scene.

Their conversation is ironic in the fact that later, Eva starts to identify Lil as her Mum and does not want to venture to America with her own mom. In one instance, Lil finds Eva’s sidebar search disparaging. However, it is Eva who eventually gives up on her own mother, and it is Lil who recognizes that Eva should not place such heavy blame on her mother.

Diane Samuel’s Kindertransport is replete with issues that have been struggled with since ancient times. The Hebrews wandered the desert, taking nothing with them (for it was too much to transport through the vast desert) – no art, and thus, leaving nothing behind. A thousand years later, the same people took nothing with them, (with the exception of their memories), to their mass graves, and often times, left nothing behind – no children. Some fortunate Jewish people were able to send their children to England in order to avoid persecution from Nazis in Germany. The children that were sent could take only their necessary personal effects, clearly, taking family heirlooms was out of the question. These children were displaced people; though, they were not homeless or orphaned because they had people in England to care for them. They were a people without a land, as the Jews have been throughout history. They were a people made to almost completely vanquish their heritage in exchange for the ability to live a life, a life in other lands – complete with others’ memories and histories.

Kindertransport examines the struggle of a Jewish born, English raised Eva/Evelyn to deal with her past. Her parents sent her to England, with valuable jewelry enclosed in the heels of her shoes, to ensure that she would be able to survive. Release from her parents’ household was the ultimate loving act because it would almost guarantee that she would live. In England, Lil was her keeper. Lil was their through her pre to post adolescence. In the absence of Eva’s birth mother, Lil became her surrogate parent. Eva/Evelyn grew up accustomed to the nature of her English surroundings and more readily accepted her English heritage. At the age of 17, her Mutti came to take her to America so they could forge a life new life together. Before Mutti got on the boat, the pair had a terrible, relationship quashing argument about identity and self. Mutti missed her Eva; Eva wants to continue living as Evelyn. The play was replete with mother-daughter issues. Evelyn struggles with her own daughter Faith’s issues in understanding Evelyn’s past. Evelyn wants to suppress the memories – Faith wants to understand the history. This, of course, causes Lil and Evelyn to destroy some past papers, but also helps them to form a more intimate bond because they revisit the past. The past is, after all, what shapes the present. Throughout the entire play, the looming theme of the Rat Catcher visits the set and props. They women read the book in the German, the story is translated, the songs ring out through the air, etc. It is an ominous, foreboding feeling that one has when this character is explored. The Rat Catcher’s goal was to take away all happiness, all talent, all youth, all vitality – just because of the mistake of one. It is horrific to know that in more recent history there have been such Rat Catchers in our midst. The acts of the Holocaust will never be forgotten: drama as literature, such as Kindertransport, helps to put a more human face on the atrocities of hatred. These events were real: this work asks us to not deny, nor ever ever forget history. Like the Rat Catcher from the 1200s, history repeats itself. This play asks us to make it our goal to ensure that these memories live on ---- and never happen again.

To learn more about Kindertransport, go here: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005260

Posted by KatieAikins at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2005

Newswriting - Presentation

Hedgehog reporting: tunnel vision and blind spots are intellectual shortcomings that bedevil thinkers

Hedgehogs know only ONE BIG THING that they tend to over emphasize and side track alternative.

"...a more comprehensive and accurate understanding is preferable to a partial and less accurate one. We simply can't fix what we don't understand. Important social problems are likely to be complicated and to derive from various interrelated causes. It's a good idea to be suspicious of monocausal explanations. In interpreting news coverage of research findings, always remember that hedgehogs who know only one big thing - the impact of impersonal forces - are necessarily also bling to many other important things" (IANS 174).

Social problems are best examined under the trained eyes of social scientists; however, it is not always best for social scientists to disguise themselves as purveyors of harder sciences and use the harder sciences' reasearch methodology. Though, in their desire to immitate the strategies near and dear to majors of the harder sciences, the softer scientists have arrived at two new factors: methodology that leads to new ideology.

The idea that impersonal forces can be quantified is an example of methological ideology. This collected data then serves as a shield to protect victims rather than report the whole truth - especially when it is only showcasing a portion of the story, rather than even halves. If quantified data is the only measure from which we accumulate knowledge, then we are depriving ourselves of the finer points of truth. We need data, but we need details as well in order to understand the whole picture - not just portions of it.

IANS uses deadly microbes that present an increasingly grave danger as an example of some type of bombastic reporting that will not only elicit frightin the reader, but also sell the paper. Frightened readers equal financiers with swollen pockets.

IANS noted in "Changing Economy, Changing Households," another interesting idea: "...discussions of economic inequality should always take into account the impact of demographic changes..." (IANS 168). In order for us to fully engage in constructive dialogue about the goings-on in the world, we need to examine factors that contribute to the story. Of course, examining the demographics of an area/factions closely helps to shape and change our thoughts about the goings-on specific to that region or faction. IANS cites changes in the degree of inequality among people of similiar relevant characterists and changes in income levels need to be understood to understand the society at large. Without recognizing these factors, we are missing out on a vital part of the discussion.

Posted by KatieAikins at 12:06 AM | Comments (2)

November 01, 2005

Newswriting - IANs Chs 8 & 9

"In many cases, of course, reports do mirro real changes. But in others, the supposed changes seem actually to be confined to the reporting mechanism. Reports of a phenonmenon can go up (or down), not because the phenomenon has suddenly become more (or less) common, but because the method of compiling the reports has suddenly become more (or less) accurate. In those cases, the underlying reality may not have changed at all; the only change may be in the methods used by statisticians to compile information," (134).


This theory that the methods have changed links to the idea that changing questions yields differing results in surveying. It is interesting to ponder, why would a researcher suddenly shift the method of experiment conduct? At face value, one might dismiss this because the change could be so little. However, one must probe deeply and consider that the methodology used, in effect, brings about the statistical results of research. Far be it to say, sometimes research methods are shifted piece-meal in order to 'enhance' results for those conducting the research. This enhancement is usually needed in order to support some commonly held view by the conductor (or in other cases, financier), of the operation.

Another interesting idea that the chapters include is: don't misconstrue ideas by saying "crime is up," rather say, "reports of crime are up." As an attentive, thoughtful reading audience, we need to take into consideration what exactly is increasing. It is not the actual crime, per se, but the flurry of reports that surround crime.

Chapter nine provided some valuable insight, as well: "...science itself is the process through which scientists test one another's theories and evaluate and criticize one another's research. Science is supposed to be cumulative, to comprise a body of knowledge that is logically consistent, testable, and self-corrective. In that sense, peer review is more than a practice adopted by scientists. In a fundamental sense, it is science, because only a researcher's peers will have the expertise needed to determine whether a research finding is scientific, in a sense that adds to our knowledge and is consistent with what is already known," (149).

As many of us are English majors, it is important to keep in mind the testable work that goes into science. Of course, we all strive to do our best on close readings and incorporating literary criticism and style techniques in our writings, but none of our works can be proven in a way that scientific research can. We can be peer reviewed, however, it seems as though there is no solid method we use to get to the ideas that we form and later write. Scientists have to be able to replicate experiments in order to judge and prove the validity for the sake of the community. Our peers can agree and disagree with our ideologies; their peers follow their process. A peer reviewing in a science department works to add credibility to the claim of a scientist. It is important that we place value on that system, but at the same time, it is also important that we value the first hand work that goes into experimental procedure. Remember, scientists are only human beings, and sometimes, they, too, go with their own biases rather than being 100% objective.

Posted by KatieAikins at 01:34 PM | Comments (2)