Main | October 2005 »

September 29, 2005

Establishing a canon

"by the critics of drama it [Oedipus Rex] has often been favoured as one of those few but select works of art that creates a canon rather than finds a place in it."

When I read this idea towards the beginning I found it very interesting because a good portion of my lit class in high school we would talk about the Western Canon and what works belong to it. We wrote a lot of papers and did a lot of readings that debate this very issue. But I never before had thought of any work that "creates a canon" but I do think this description fits Oedipus Rex.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:18 AM | Comments (4)

Framed, Fate or Goat...? Maybe it is all 3

I sometimes have trouble with works that have been translated because I am worried that won't receive the full effect of the piece...I wonder if that might have contributed to the discrepancy with the number of "highwaymen."

I find the idea that Oedipus is the scapegoat very interesting though. I do think this is a possible the Sophocles might have wanted Oedipus to be a "'critique of our own culture's way of finding scapegoats.'" I wonder if Rix believes it possible that Oedipus is meant to be both guilty and a scapegoat. Even if he is guilty of murdering his father why does the whole kingdom suffer? Oedipus is actually the one who saved Thebes from the Sphinx and made life better, even after killing his father. So why now, years later are the gods punishing Thebes for his crimes? Are the people of Thebes not at all responsible for the state of their homeland? If they are, maybe that is another reason Oedipus must be the scapegoat…

Or maybe all this delay in punishment is after all just a result of the fate factor? Because if even after killing Laius, if Oedipus hadn't saved Thebes from the Sphinx, than he would have never fulfilled the second half of the prophecy and married his mother. Because of this inescapable connection to fate, I do believe that at least in part, Sophocles wanted his audience to get is indeed "how humans (even as "high a character as Oedipus) inescapably find themselves at the mercy of divine will."

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:09 AM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2005

My Spot News vs. The Setonian & The Communicator

When reflecting on my spot news experience on the Honors Convocation and comparing to articles on the same subject, I would have to say that the article in The Communicator looks quite a bit like the rough draft of my article. It was pretty much a straight narrative of what happened in chronological order.

When I compared my spot news to the article in The Setonian I think the most significant thing I realized is how stories on the same event can be so different. I guess that is the importance of the "angle" of a story though isn't it? I focused on something different than the author of the article in The Setonian. I focused mostly on the impressions and reactions of the freshmen about the tradition, where as the Setonian author wrote more about the awards given out.

Yet, despite our different angles, we still included similar elements. For example, we both wrote about the guest speaker and his speech.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:12 AM | Comments (0)

Thanks to Blogging...

Anyone who has read a few of the entries on my blog site, or on the Drama as Lit pages, probably knows that this whole blogging thing is very frustrating to me. I think I am starting to get the hang of it, but I still find it annoyingly time consuming. And even more frustrating has been the newswriting subject matter in general. It just isn't something I'm into, but I do realize that I ought to keep an open mind.

But, I would like to share something postive that has come out of this blogging phenomenon. There is a small group of us freshmen who seem to have a common frustration with blogging for Drama as Lit, and now also for Newswriting. I feel like this common bond has brought us together. Now, we are usually there to get together and help one another when we have these "major" assignments due and we all think we are never going to make it through. Each one of you guys bring something unique to the group and you have all helped me get through these classes lately. So I just want to say thanks to (and I'm sorry if this is corny): the computer illiterate "Mexican" and the stumbling sped who always make everyone laugh, the crazy energetic one who can somehow study lit terms while doing sit-ups, and the one who never stresses out and keeps us all calm by playing the guitar instead of working. You all are great! Thank you so much! And thanks to blogging for making us all work together, even if it did so in an odd sort of way.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:35 AM | Comments (1)

Elements of Journalism, Ch 3-5

I think that journalist and the media often get a bad wrap for lots of reasons. People lose faith in their accuracy and they get upset if they don't cover what they personally think should be covered. I know where I am from our main paper, the Stars and Stripes, which was distributed at bases throughout Europe, but operated out of Ramstein, Germany. All of us athletes at my high school in Lakenheath, England would get frustrated when we felt they wouldn't adequately cover our successes, but would make a big deal of each Ramstein victory. And it also seemed that if we bombed a big game they would make a big deal of how we got "shut out," but if the same happened to Ramstein, they made as little notice of it as possible.

But, I have to say that I am now more understanding of the pressure reporters are under. They are suppose to tell the truth, but they have to also be "businessmen" and sell papers and at the same time be "independent from faction" and unbiased. They have lots of places to go to cover stories and deadlines to meet. It is not so easy to get everything perfect.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:57 AM | Comments (0)

AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 8

Quotes aren't actually as much trouble for me as other aspects of news writing. At least not as far as incorporating them into my story appropriately. I can usually decide a decent place to put my chosen quotes, I have a good idea of when to paraphrase, and I feel that I can usually make it flow fairly well. The only real problem I have is I always have a lack of good quotes because I am not an aggressive interviewer and I have a hard time coming up with good questions to ask. But, once again, that is something that must be remedied with practice.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

Media Analysis

For my in-depth article I decided to revise my media analysis in accordance to the tips Dr. Jerz gave me when he graded it. He wanted me to use specific examples to back up my claims. I have also added a few ideas that I have thought of since I originally wrote it.

In different kinds of media, you find different kinds of stories. The stories that are covered in a newspaper are not always covered on TV, or even on the internet. And how the stories are covered, can also be very different. A story on TV usually includes much more visual kinds of coverage, and for some stories this coverage might be even more effective, than the same story covered in a newspaper. This might be because you can often get the information from the television more quickly and with less activity on the audiences’ part (which is perhaps why so many people prefer to watch TV then read the newspaper). And it might also be because the life-like, animated visuals are particularly helpful in seeing the true impact of a story. A good example of this is the Hurricane Katrina coverage on WTAE-Pittsburg Chanel 4 news on August 30th. Three fourths of the hour-long news broadcast that night was footage of hurricane damage and interviews with people who had lost close to everything, including their homes and even family members. The devastation that swept Louisiana and the surrounding area made for an emotional effect that would keep viewers hooked.

A newspaper just cannot give you this sort of visual coverage. They do provide pictures, but there is only so much room to do so. But, television news is also somewhat limited by this need for visual appeal. TV news is also limited by the time factor. They can only pick stories that they feel have the most relevance of all the stories they are capable of covering. They are the gate-keepers that have to decide what people are going to be interested in, so that they can decide what to put on the news. A news broadcast which is an hour-long simply can’t cover more than what can be fit into a hour. And unlike a newspaper, or the internet, the TV news has to try to keep the viewer’s attention constantly if they want them to continue watching for the duration of the program. No one can flip through and decide which stories they want to hear about like they can in a newspaper. (Well, at least not yet.)

The newspaper has more room to maneuver when it comes to choosing which stories to cover. The newspaper can cover a broader spectrum of stories and have more flexibility. Relevance is still important, because capturing the interest of readers is just as important in newspapers as it is on TV. But in edition to events, a newspaper can have other things of interest, like editorials, or letters and other feedback from readers that TV news doesn’t usually have. Also, newspapers can be more local and therefore appeal more to people in the area. They even give information about upcoming events to let readers know when something they might be interested in will occur. The Tribune-Review has an entertainment section entitled "Ticket" that is dedicated to informing readers about movie times, concerts showing in the local area, and exhibits that will be opening soon. The television rarely does this because they can't show many visuals on something that hasn't happened yet.

Online news is also different in what it can cover. Timeliness is of extreme importance because the internet is much more instantaneous than both the TV and newspapers. People who read news online want the most up-to-date stories and the most up-to-date information on big ongoing stories. So once again, online news can cover more topics than an-hour long broadcast of TV news, but they can’t usually cover as much as a newspaper, because they constantly have to worry about updating and replacing stories.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Elements of Journalism, more on Ch 1

Part of this chapter addresses what journalists call "The Awareness Instinct" meaning that "people crave news out of basic instinct" and that we "need to know what's going on over the next hill." I have to say that I somewhat disagree with this idea. I do think that there are people who really do want to know what is going on around them, but I also think there are way too many people these days who don't. People might care if it is something that directly affects them, but otherwise a lot of people are so wrapped up in themselves and their own lives that they don't really care about what is going around in other places.

Even I have to admit I don't know nearly as much as I should about what is going on in this world. I have only a vague knowledge of most major issues/events and that is about the extent of it. I hardly ever read the paper and I never watch TV news. I never watch TV news because it depresses me. That is one time when to me "ignorance is bliss." And reading the newspaper is tedious. I hate flipping through to find the other half of a story. But, it is also something that I reprimand myself for, because I feel I should be more informed because I know how many other people there are like me who don't have a clue about what's going on in the world, and it bothers me when people are too wrapped up in their own problems to realize there are things a lot worse happening

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

EL227 Blog Portfolio

Here it is so far, it is simply the best I can do for now.
Thanks Dena, for showing me how to make this!


The Reporter's Notebook

Elements of Journalism Intro, Ch 1 & 2

Elements of Journalism, more on Ch 1

Elements of Journalism, Ch 3-5

The AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 1

AP Guide to News Writing Ch 2 & 3

AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 8

Spot News Reflection

My Spot News vs. The Setonian & The Communicator


Ashlee Lupchinsky's Blog


Media Analysis


Thanks to Blogging...

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:47 PM | Comments (0)

Elements of Journalism, Intro, Ch 1 & 2

I think this is the most interesting of all the texts we have to read because it sort of gives background and history of journalism. It is a good change of pace, I feel like all I do is write papers. What I wouldn't do once in a while do a calculus problem or read a bit of history. So reading this is nice. Especially since I find things about how media affects our society and government. My U.S. History and Government teacher in high school talked to us about a lot of things that are mentioned in this book, because they are a part of history. For example the Pentagon papers and Yellow journalism.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2005

AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 2 & 3

I really liked chapter 2 because I felt like it gave some examples of how to turn wordy sentences into shorter more to the point ones, which I find most helpful for the purposes of actually learning to do it. As I said after blogging on chapter 1, being clear and concise is hard for me. But, telling me that I need to be clear and concise and actually showing me how to be are two very different things. So I am really that that the AP guide book gives me some idea of ways to do it. Putting it into practice will still take a lot of work, but at least after seeing it, it seems more feasible.

Chapter 3 was also interesting to read because it is comforting to know real journalists have a hard time writing leads too. That is another really difficult part for me. And it is usually a result of me not knowing what to focus on in my article. Usually once I can figure out what is most important the lead is a bit easier, but in general I still have a pretty hard time.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:58 PM | Comments (1)

The AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 1

I find this guide to be very helpful in helping me recognize the ways in which writing for the news differs from writing for just about any other purpose. And this chapter points out something that I know will be a challenge for me. Keeping things consise is certainly not something I have ever been good at, when I write, or when I speak. Actually, I have never really been good at being particularly clear either. I always talk around my point before getting to it. I only wish there was some surefire way of fixing it more instantly than just through practice. But, as the chapter quotes Somerset Maugham saying "'To write well is as difficult as being good.'" Although, to me being good isn't really that hard. I think for me a better analogy would be "to write well is as difficult as not procrastinating." How do people really get around obstacles like that? It seems like both are impossibly out of reach for me. Of course, an attitude like that doesn’t really help I’m sure.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 6:37 PM | Comments (2)

Here goes nothing! - The Reporter's Notebook

I figured the best place to start was with the reading assignments that we have had so far. The first one was from "The Reporter's Notebook." So here goes nothing...

While this book is, as Prof. Jerz pointed out, obviously aimed at a younger audience, I found the basic journalism vocabulary quite useful. I knew a lot of the words already, but there were a few, such as banner and masthead that I had never heard before. Knowing the jargon is very important when learning about something you aren't that familiar with. I know there were times when I was a yearbook editor when I used words that my staff members didn't recognize, and then wow could things get confusing. It makes me more comfortable to know the jargon used before diving head first into something new.

I also think the section on commonly misspelled words will come in handy, even if we are all college students who shouldn't need it. Spelling is something that a lot of people (including myself) lack confidence and ability in these days, and it is always good to be sure not to make a silly mistake in something that will be published. That could cause readers to lose faith in your newspaper (or anything else that you write).

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 6:16 PM | Comments (1)

I think you are doomed to fail Dr. Jerz's classes if you aren't obsessed with blogging!!!

I'm not going to lie. This blog portfolio is due on Wednesday and I have a grand total of one entry for my newswriting class. So I know on the "timeliness" factor, my grade won't be so hot. And doing it so late won't give me much chance on the "discussions" bit either. So I take full responsibility for my lack of "participation" in a class that I hate. But, I was wondering how anyone else is able to keep up with readings, articles, workbook exercises, and manages to sit at their computer all day blogging about all of those things and stimulating intellectual discussions with other members of the class? Between this class and Drama as Lit, blogging seems like a 24 hour job to me. For lit it is not so bad because we actually discuss in class things based on what we blogged about and I actually have something to say. If I had been keeping up with blog entries in newswriting, which I didn't even realizing we were suppose to be doing so extensively until just before the weekend, I wouldn't have had much to say. All my entries would probably look something like this:

"This is so frustrating! I have no idea what I am doing, and no matter how much a reporter tries 'to make the important interesting' I still find the news extremely BORING!!!"

Don't get me wrong, it isn't like I haven't learned anything, I just don't like sitting in front of a computer 24/7 to write about something I don't like doing in the first place. I just find it frustrating. Which is why I am convinced that you have to be obsessed with blogging to enjoy/do well in this class.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:40 PM | Comments (8)

September 25, 2005

Oh the irony!

OEDIPUS Then had I never come to shed
My father's blood nor climbed my mother's bed;
The monstrous offspring of a womb defiled,
Co-mate of him who gendered me, and child.
Was ever man before afflicted thus,
Like Oedipus.

It is so ironic (and very sad for Oedipus) that the efforts both he and his mother made in order to avoid the prophecy they each heard from coming true, they only brought it closer and closer to becoming. If Jocasta had not given the baby away to be killed, Oedipus would have always known who his parents were and wouldn't have had to run away from his fake "parents" only to come in contact with his real parents and fulfill the prophecy.
I find it really interesting how different many people in our society view fate, in comparison to the way the Greeks did in Sophocles time. I know many people today believe that nothing is set in stone and they can change their path by the decisions that they make. But, in the play, Oedipus and Jocasta had a false sense of control over their fate. They thought they could prevent it by their actions, but in reality, the end remained the same. This made sense to people in Sophocles' time, but I don't think people today like the idea that they are not in control of their own lives.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:22 PM | Comments (3)

A Good King with a Fatal Flaw

CREON If thou wouldst hear my message publicly,
I'll tell thee straight, or with thee pass within.

OEDIPUS Speak before all; the burden that I bear
Is more for these my subjects than myself.

I think this passage really shows that Oedipus is a good king and that he cares about his people. He really wants to help end the hard times Thebes is going through. He really is a good person. But...

TEIRESIAS Is it so? Then I charge thee to abide
By thine own proclamation; from this day
Speak not to these or me. Thou art the man,
Thou the accursed polluter of this land.
OEDIPUS Is this a plot of Creon, or thine own?

Oedipus obviously thinks very highly of himself. After being told that he, himself, is the murderer that he seeks, he is quick to question the ability of Teiresias to see the truth and argues with him...and then he blames his most trusted friend, Creon, for trying to plot to steel the crown from him. He just thinks so well of himself that he is blind to the idea that he might be guilty of killing Laius after all. It isn’t as if he never killed anyone that he failed to know the identity of, therefore it should be plausible that he might have done it. But he just can’t think of himself that way, he is too proud. And this pride will lead to his downfall.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 3:41 PM | Comments (8)

September 20, 2005

Clever Sister

Stop blaming him. You blame him, you blame the government, you blame the drugs, you blame blacks. You blame the Percys. You blame the kids for being there. What about Matthew Poncelet? Where is he in this story? Just an innocent? Just a victim?

I ain't no victim.

Prejean has a very good point here. He has become what he claims he hates the most. For example, he says he hates when blacks blame everything on slavery, and yet he is blaming his situation on other things too. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions. He is playing the part of the victim. Prejean was very clever to use that word..."victim." I think that is what ultimately leads him to confess the truth to her. I think she uses that word on purpose to try to help him realize he needed to own up to everything that he did.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:22 PM | Comments (3)

September 19, 2005

Spot News Reflection

Covering an event for the news is very new to me. The closest I have come is writing articles for the school yearbook, but even those are really different. I have done lots of writing in my life, but I think writing the news is the most difficult kind. It was a bit challenging to go to an event and take notes and try to get down everything so that I could have as much as possible to use, but actually writing the story was much worse. Part of the reason is that I am not that aggressive in getting quotes and information that I might want for my story. I had a hard time thinking up good open-ended questions to ask and that made it even harder to come up with what I wanted to focus my article on. So, my story started out being a chronological recount of what happened at the Honors Convocation. It was extremely boring, but I didn't know how to fix it. To me, news has always been boring. I seem to have a hard time coming up with why the audience should read my article. I think I have a lot of work cut out for me if I want to do well in this class. But, I guess sometimes the only way to do well is to work wish me luck!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:25 PM | Comments (1)

Clever Sister

Stop blaming him. You blame him, you blame the government, you blame the drugs, you blame blacks. You blame the Percys. You blame the kids for being there. What about Matthew Poncelet? Where is he in this story? Just an innocent? Just a victim?

I ain't no victim.

Prejean has a very good point here. He has become what he claims he hates the most. For example, he says he hates when blacks blame everything on slavery, and yet he is blaming his situation on other things too. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions. He is playing the part of the victim. Prejean was very clever to use that word..."victim." I think that is what ultimately leads him to confess the truth to her. I think she uses that word on purpose to try to help him realize he needed to own up to everything that he did.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2005

The Role of Adam

But one day he [Adam] said: 'I am here, I suppose, to take up every man's future fate, because his previous fate also had its roots in me.' I did not understand these words at all, but I know since then I have been totally at ease -

I wonder at the significance of Adam's words. Why does he say "his previous fate also had its roots in me"? How so? Is it just because Andrew died and Adam was there and had to be the one to tell Teresa? But he says “every man’s” which to me indicates more than just Andrew’s fate. In the introduction to the play, Boleslaw Taborski calls this mysterious character "representative of the providential and guiding forces in life." But, there seems to be something else too.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:12 PM | Comments (2)

September 15, 2005

First Reporter vs. Second Reporter

FIRST REPORTER (writing). Under the heavy artillery fire of the State's attorney's brilliant cross-questioning, the accused woman's defense was badly riddled...
SECOND REPORTER (writing). Undaunted by the Prosecution's machine-gun attack, the defendant was able to maintain her position of innocence...

What is perceived by the FIRST REPORTER seems really different from the SECOND REPORTER?

I find this really interesting. Which do you all think is closer to the truth? Why is there such a difference?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:32 AM | Comments (2)

September 14, 2005

Talk About Depressing

LAWYER FOR DEFENSE. Six years without one quarrel! Six years! Gentlemen of the jury, I ask you to consider this fact! Six years of married life without a quarrel!

What a stupid lawyer to try to use this as a defense. I'm no relationship expert, but not fighting about anything is usually an indication that the marriage is not happy because there are always things that bother us. If there are never any arguments between people who live together, that is probably because the people keep their true feelings bottled up inside...oh and I just had another idea! Maybe the bottle is symbolic of all those feelings that the Young Woman has, but kept to herself for so many years. And so she finally had to explode to let those feelings out.

LAWYER FOR PROSECUTION (reading). In the matter of the State of ---- vs. Helen Jones, I Richard Roe, being of sound mind, do herein depose and state that I know the accused, Helen Jones…

And one more thing...isn't it sad that the one person she loved and who finally made her feel free is the one who lead to her being convicted? It's not enough that she has suffered so much all her life and been so depressed...she is also betrayed by the only one she truly ever cared about, the only one that mattered to her. She can’t even find peace at her life’s end. Talk about depressing.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:56 PM | Comments (8)

September 12, 2005

Young Woman & Karen

YOUNG WOMAN. But I can't go on like this. Ma - I don't know why - but I can't - it's like I'm all tight inside - sometimes I feel like I'm stifling!

This part reminded me of Karen in "Heart in the Ground" when she takes off her shoes and says that she doesn't know what to do when she can't feel what is beneath her. I think Karen and the young woman would be able to relate to one another. They both seem like characters that are misunderstood by the other characters in their respective plays.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:18 PM | Comments (4)

September 11, 2005

Significant line?

Algernon. My dear boy, I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all. Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.

The end of this line strikes me because of how Algernon is always frustrated by his obligation to his family and how he uses a fake acquaintance to get away from them. Also, Jack uses a fake relation in a similar way. And because both Bunbury and Ernest are made up characters, both Algernon and Jack can do with them what they can't with real people. For instance, Algernon can make Bunbury "die" whenever he deems appropriate, which he wishes he could do with his real relatives.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

Word Play

Lady Bracknell. To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

This is one of my favorite lines of the play because of the different connotations of the verb to lose. I know this is very obvious to everyone else, but I thought I would mention it anyway because I think the word play is what makes this play so great.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:22 PM | Comments (1)

September 7, 2005

Random thoughts about...well, stuff

I think I am the biggest procrastinator in the world! It is midnight and I still have work to do for tomorrow! My excuse to myself is that I was sick all weekend (stupid community living and sick roommates...I love you Alison!) and still have a sore throat and sound like a frog when I talk, if I can even talk at all. I think I am always the last one to post blog entries for my Drama as Lit class, and I have still been doing it on the class site even though I have my own blog now (which is why I'm writing this to try out my own site now...well that and I am avoiding the HW I should really be doing instead). But actually, I like having everyone's entries on the class site better because unless they decided to post it on both, you don't read everyone else's entries unless you go to their site. And then you have to wade through all their other stuff that is not for class. It is much easier having it all in one place. But, then again I've only had my own blog for a few days and I have barely used it, so many I will end up liking it..who knows?
Well, I should at least go finish all my reading assignments so that I am prepared to contribute to class disscussions tomorrow...oh wait, my voicebox isn't working grrrrrrrrr, sigh, such is life.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:03 AM | Comments (1)

September 2, 2005

Test Blog

This is a test! I hope this blog thing really works! (Unlike my original password!)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 5:41 PM | Comments (2)