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October 31, 2005

Tom's Coffin

Tom:...You know it don't take much intelligence to get yourself into a nailed up coffin, Laura. But who in the hell ever got himself out of one without removing one nail?

Tom definitely wishes he could be like the magician he talks about. To him, his situation is like a coffin, he's trapped and he can't move and he can't get out because it's nailed shut. He feels an obligation to his mother and his sister and it is suffocating him. But at the same time, he knows his family needs him and he wouldn't feel right just abandoning them. That is why he wants to know how to get out of his "coffin" without "removing one nail." He wants to be free, but at the same time he doesn't want to hurt them.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:30 PM | Comments (3)

EL 250 Blogging Portfolio 2

Coverage
Everyman - Truths of Life
Everyman - CST
Everyman - It Doesn't Even Matter
Everyman - Everyman = Every man
Fuddy Meers Start
Fuddy Meers Finish
York Corpus Christi - The Creation, and the Fall of Lucifer
York Corpus Christi - The Crucifixion
Faustus Acts I-II
Faustus Finish
Hamlet Acts I-II
Hamlet Acts III-V
Shakespeare in the Bush
Sure Thing
The Glass Menagerie - Scenes 1-5
The Glass Menagerie - Finish
Kindertransport

Depth
Hamlet - Acts I-II

Interaction
Kayla's Blog on Everyman
Katie Aikin's Blog on Fuddy Meers
Amanda's Blog on Fuddy Meers
Kevin's Blog on The Creation, and the Fall of Lucifer
Katie Aikin's Blog on The Crucifixion
Chera's Blog on Dr. Faustus
Amanda's Blog on Hamlet Acts I & II
Andy's Blog on Acts I & II
David's Blog on Hamlet Acts I & II
Dena's Blog on Hamlet Acts III-V
Katie Aikin's Blog on Shakespeare in the Bush
Andy's Blog on Sure Thing
Amanda's Blog on Kindertransport
Kevin's Blog on Kindertransport
Danielle's Blog on Kindertransport

Discussions

Everyman - It Doesn't Even Matter
Corpus Christi - The Crucifixion
Hamlet - Acts III-V
The Glass Menagerie - Scenes 1-5
The Glass Menagerie - Finish

Timeliness

Everyman - It Doesn't Even Matter
York Corpus Christi - The Crucifixion
Hamlet - Acts III-V
The Glass Menagerie - Scenes 1-5
The Glass Menagerie - Finish
Kindertransport

Xenoblogging
Kevin's Blog on The Fall of Lucifer
David's Blog on Hamlet
My Blog on Hamlet, idea sparked by Andy's Blog
Dena's Blog on Hamlet Acts III-V
Katie Aikin's Blog on Shakespeare in the Bush

Wildcard

Another Milestone

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 3:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2005

Darn Activists, I just wanna live! - It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 7

“…media exaggeration of risk ultimately stems from activist exaggeration of risk.” (118)

Having a cause you believe in and wanting to do something about it is great, but sometimes I think those activists take things too far and they are so concerned about pushing their own agenda, they don’t really care about the truth. Or they believe in something so strongly, that they don’t honestly see other side as being the true. I think that those activists sometimes make it so society takes two steps forward and one step back. If they are being completely fair and honest, fine. But, when they exaggerate, and drag the media with them down that exaggeration highway in order to get support for their cause, I think that is a good example of us moving one step back.

“…the risk free society is an impossibility: all we can do is to choose – one hopes intelligently – among the variety of possible risks that confront us.” (128)

This bit reminded me of the SHU motto: “Hazard Yet Forward.” The authors are pointing out that no matter how much activists protest and how many risks we try to eliminate, there will still be risks out there. We cannot live in a risk-free society, and as our motto suggests, we will move on, despite any risks or obstacles we encounter. We talked about this is class a bit on Friday too. Erin talked about how if we were all paranoid about all the things that might possibly harm us, we would all have to “be a hermit” and never do anything because it is too risky. But, that’s no way to look at life, like there is always something that is out to get you. That's not living. And I don’t know about you all, but I just want to live.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:24 AM | Comments (5)

Main Points - It Ain't Necessarily So Ch 6

"...the answers pollsters receive (and newspapers report) greatly depend on precisely what the pollsters ask and how they ask it." (98)

This is one of the most important points of the chapter. Everything from the order of the questions, to the way the questions are worded can affect the outcome of any poll. Context is also key.

"Context is all...you also need to know what the respondents were primed to think about before the question was asked." (104)

Another problem that Chapter 6 mentions is the idea that people don't like to admit when they are ignorant or "out of the loop." This is something my AP Government class talked about when we discussed polls in the media. (Although, our polls generally had to do with government and politics, not really science, so they were a bit different.) We talked about a survey (ironic I know) that was done door to door, (I think through a university) to ask people how they felt about a certain bill that was currently being discussed in Congress. The thing is, the bill was made up. It didn't really exist. But there were still people who answered that they were for it and there were people who said they were against it. Apparently very few people admitted they didn't really know what the bill was.

"The most informative coverage of surveys, in short, will include a range of reactions...And the results should always be compared with results from other surveys on the same subject...no poll is an island, so it should not be examined in isolation from previous polls that are relevant." (107)

All of these are important when looking at a report covering a poll. As informed consumers, we should always look out for these possibilities when dealing with polls in any media.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:02 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2005

What does that mean?

"They objected, 'One can touch zombies'
'No, no! It was not a dead body the witches had animated to sacrifice and eat. No one else made Hamlet's dead father walk. He did it himself.'"

I can really empathize with Bohannon. I have a few international friends who do speak English very well. But once in a while I will use a word they don't know or I'll say something they don't understand and trying to define abstract ideas and cultural meanings can be very trying. But, it is also good, it really makes you think about yourself and why things are they way they are.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:44 PM | Comments (2)

Switching Lines

Bill: I love Faulkner. I spent a whole summer reading him once.
Betty: I just started.
Bill: I was so excited after ten pages I went out and bought everything else he wrote...
Betty: I think it's pretty boring.

(Bell)

......
Bill: I love Faulkner.
Betty: He's incredible.
Bill: I spent a whole summer reading him once.
Betty: I was so excited after ten pages that I went out and bought everything else he wrote.

The way they switch lines after the bell rings and they say what the other person just said which happens to be completely different from their previous reaction is very amusing. But I wonder what the significance of it is? Any ideas anyone?

(Bell)

=0)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:31 PM | Comments (2)

Aims of the Text - It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 4 & 5

Since we began reading this book, there has been lots of discussion about the biases of the authors and complaints that they bash journalists and point out problems, but don't offer any solutions. I totally understand the reasoning behind these accusations and agree that this text does instill some of the negative reactions that people are feeling about it. But, try to consider a few things for a moment.

"You draw one conclusion if you emphasize the raw data and a substantially different conclusion if you emphasize the percentages. In cases like these, the most informative news stories will therefore give you both sorts of data, enabling you to draw the appropriate conclusions yourself." (pg 88)

This quotation from Chapter 5 is evidence that this text does make statement about a problem, and then offers a solution. It says that numerical evidence, although accurate, may be misleading, so it is most beneficial for journalists to report both percentages and raw figures. So, there ARE cases in this book in which solutions to problems are presented.

Of course, there are also a lot more instances in which problems are presented and no possible solutions are expressed. Now, I know this book might easily offend those aspiring reporters out there with the way it seems to be attacking journalism, but try to keep a few things in mind.

Remember the introduction when the authors spelled out the aims of this book? Here's a refresher in case you don't remember:

"In reality, no news other than that in which we directly participate can ever really be "immediate"; it cannot come to us in an "un-mediated" fashion, without passing first through the hands of another. We must perpetually rely on some mechanism of mediation. Is there a solution? Perhaps we may supersede the "unseen hand" of the gatekeeper (or at least compliment it) by becoming savvy, empowered consumers of news, capable of gate-keeping the gatekeepers...Or at least knowing when things are going awry, and why." (pg 4)

This passage recognizes the importance of journalism and also emphasizes that it has some weaknesses. But, the point of the book is to make people more informed news consumers. The authors might not be offering solutions to the problems they present because there are no absolute solutions. All the problems that are pointed out are always going to be problems; even if the journalists and scientists do everything they can to eliminate them. We are people, we are not perfect. These issues will always exist to some extent. All the authors are trying to do is shed light upon the discrepancies that arise as a result of the collaboration between scientists and journalists in order to allow us, the public, to think for ourselves and interpret the news as realistically as possible.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2005

Things can be Deceiving - "It Ain't Necessarily So", Ch 2 & 3

I have found yet another practical use for this class for people, like myself, who are not at all interested in being journalists.

This class, and this book in particular, is going to make me a more informed consumer of news, which I have to say is a very good thing. This book so far has demonstrated that "things aren't always what they seem." Perhaps even more immportantly, things aren't always how the media or even scientists makes them seem.

Actually, I also think this book gives me a better perspective on reality. It makes me explore things I wouldn't normally, or at least think about things in a different way.

In these chaptetrs I also learned how subjective science can be, and how that leads to problems in interpreting results of studies.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:24 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2005

Thesis For Paper, Please tell me what you think!

I meant to do this earlier, but I forgot until today. I hope you all might be able to help if you have a chance!

I have been wrestling with this idea, because I was unsure if it was actually demonstrating an understanding of the plays we've read, but when Dr. Jerz added some clarification to the assignment online I sort of reworked my thesis. I was hoping you all (especially those who were not in my group for the oral presentations) could give me some feedback and tell me what you think!

In Oedipus Rex, fate is portrayed as humanly uncontrollable and unchangeable, but "Everyman" conveys the idea that a person can consciously choose his path and therefore does have control over his fate. The different portrayals of fate in each play helps illustrate the differences between the cultures represented in each play.

If there is anything confusing, or unclear about it, or not specific enough please let me know! Ask me questions, give me advice, or tear it to pieces if you think it will help. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:55 PM | Comments (1)

Horatio, the Confidant

Hamlet:
..And blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commenddled
That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please. Give me that man
That is not passions slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart,
As I do thee...

These lines are spoken only to Horatio. They show that Hamlet has become skeptical of everyone, including himself. Hamlet doesn't even trust himself. So he asks Horatio for his help. Horatio is his confidant. Right after these lines he tells Horatio about his plans for the play and his hope to prove Claudius' guilt. Hamlet is telling Horatio that he needs his opinion on the King's reaction because he doesn't trust himself to make a sound judgment. In the above lines he says he needs one "that is not a passions salve." He trusts Horatio as the level-headed friend and Horatio is the only one that he trusts.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:45 AM | Comments (6)

Looking Forward to Features

I think doing a feature article will be more enjoyable for me to write on than the other news stories. When it comes to reading the news, it is the features that I tend to enjoy more and that catch my eye. So I am looking forward to this, although I am still trying to come up with a few good story ideas.

I think that the reason I like them better is because of the human interest. I just like reading about people better than about events.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:37 AM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 1 etc.

These types of readings are the best parts of the class. I wish I could just learn about the workings of journalism, rather than actually having to practice it. But, this is a News Writing class, so I will just continue to enjoy these readings and get through the writing as best I can.

Anyway, a few things I really enjoyed about the book so far.
1) Being a lit major, I was extremely excited to see this reference to The Importance of Being Ernest in the Prologue.

"To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to be badly briefed once may be regarded as a misfortune; to do it twice looks like carelessness." (pg. XIV)

I was delighted to see literature used to make an important statement that can be applied to journalism. And it makes sense, because as Dr. Jerz always reminds us in EL250: Literture is a representation of reality.

2)I thought it was very professional that they admitted their biases and weaknesses as examiners of journalism and scientific studies. (Look at the last paragraph on pg. 11, if you don't remember this bit.) I think this is especially important since the subject matter is so dependant on recognizing biases, it is only fair that the authors admit to theirs.

3) I found the examination of the studies of what has and has not made the news very interesting. It put things in perspective for me. But, the best parts were the explanations of why things might happen - such as why negative news tends to be the trend in reporting - and also the recognition that it is not necessarily journalists fault. I also liked how they suggested people read news from different sources, so that they have a better chance of knowing about more newsworthy events than can be found in just one paper (or other news source).

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 7:25 PM | Comments (0)

Jumbled Facts - Friday's Lab Exercise

I had a really difficult time with the lab exercise today. There was just so much information thrown at us in such a short amount of time that I really didn't grasp any of it, and I know my article contains inaccurate and incomplete information. I was trying to write so fast and take in everything as well as get the names and spellings right that I missed a lot of important things, even the second time. A lot of things I wrote down were incomplete because I would move on to writing about something else before finishing the previous thought, which left me with a whole lot of nothing. Then I tried to recall some of the info, but I found myself just jumbling up the facts. Like, did the prisoners escaped on Tuesday, or if they found the abandoned van on Tuesday. I still am not sure. Also, I got really confused about Johnson being recaptured...the first time it was read I thought he was...and then the second time for some reason I thought they had only sighted him at some store. I thought I had him mixed up with the other escaped prisoners who were both caught prior to the events of Olsen and Johnson.

I think it was a good idea to give us lots of facts and details and make us decide what is most important and spit out a decent article under pressure and a time restraint. Real journalists do work under similar pressure. But, I thought not letting us use the notes as a reference throughout the exercise was unrealistic because a reporter would never be encouraged to try to report everything from memory after reading the facts twice. They would have some sort of sources in front of them. This exercise just made people panic and then probably report inaccurately, rather than illustrating that a reporter might need to think and work quickly in order to meet deadlines and keep the news current (which, I think was the purpose of the exercise.)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2005

Loving Brother & Father? I don't think so.

(sorry it is so long!)

Laertes:...Perhaps he loves you now,
...................................
...but you must fear,
His greatness weighed, his will not his own,
For he himself is subject to his birth.
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself, for on his choice depends
The sanctity and health of this whole state,...

Ophelia: He hath my lord of late made many tenders
Of his affection to me.
Polonius: Affection? Puh! You speak like a green girl,
Unshifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders as you call them?
Ophelia: I do not know my lord what I should think.
Polonius: Marry I'll teach you. Think yourself a baby...

Ophelia is always being told what to do, she is always told to listen to other people, and she always obliges. It is as if she can't think for herself and she even states that she doesn't know what to think. Laertes and Polonius are not really sensitive of her feelings, they are not being a loving brother and father.

In his lines Laertes is basically telling Ophelia that because Hamlet is the prince, his position requires that he marry in the interest of the state. He says Hamlet has this obligation. And in these lines Laertes makes it sound as though Ophelia is not fit to marry Hamlet. What kind of brother does that?

Polonius is just as bad. He tells her Hamlet doesn't really love her and that she must reject his affections. Both father and brother suppress her thoughts and feelings and mold her into what they want her to be. What kind of daughter calls her father "my lord." Not one who is truly loved and cared about.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 7:51 PM | Comments (2)

Gray Areas

Law is so complicated! I think practicing journalism is complicated enough, I would never want to have to worry about this legal stuff too! There seem to be so many gray areas. It would be so difficult to decide/prove if someone really had "malicious intent" or if they really didn't know certain information was false when they published it.

I also found it interesting how the laws regarding libel are somewhat different depending on if the person is a private individual or a public official. I wouldn't have thought that they'd be different, but it makes sense. It might be in the public's interest to know about something a government official did or said because that official’s actions may affect the public. And even if it doesn't affect the public directly, it might provide insight to the kind of person that government official is, and it could help the public decide if that is someone they want to continue to represent them. It fits in with the media's role as watchdog. But, a private citizen’s actions in many cases really do not concern or affect the general public, making it easier for them to accuse reporters of libel.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:39 PM | Comments (2)

October 14, 2005

My 2nd Blogging Portfolio Experience

I can honestly say that this time around I was a lot more prepared to put together this portfolio which made it a lot less stressful. I still wish I had done more commenting and participated in a few more conversations, we didn't have as much to cover either. A lot more time passed between the start of the year and the first portfolio than between that first portfolio and now. So that might also be a reason I feel like I should have done more. I have to say it was more fun this time around too. I have started to see the benefits of this class (and these blogs), in general, and I even see some benefits to what I am learning beyond the realm of journalism. And truthfully, what I am learning is the most important part.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

Elements of Journalism, Ch 9-10

I'm actually rather sad that these are last two chapters of the Elements of Journalism. This text has been by far my favorite to read as it is both the most interesting and the most helpful.

In Chapter 9, I really enjoyed the "naked body and guitar" metaphor about "The Pressure to Hype." I found this to be very true, because something really outrageous and crazy will attract a lot of attention at first. But, after a while, it just becomes more of the same and it loses its appeal. But, if you truly do something well, then more and more people will be attracted to it and the audience will grow. As possible future journalists, we need to think this way. We need to realize that a quick fix is not always best for the news business. Actually, looking for the quick fix in any situation is not good because in the end you will expend more energy constantly trying to find another quick fix, than if you just did it right in the first place.

In chapter 10 the authors write: "The elements of journalism belong to citizens as much as they do journalists for the simple reason,...that these principles grow out of the function news plays in people's lives,..." I believe that this idea is not just true of journalism. I think all professions should have the same philosophy; that the elements of their profession grow out of the role they play in the lives of citizens. Think about it. If you are a lawyer, or a salesman, or a mechanic, or a carpenter, or anything else...your work is important to our society. And so you should feel the responsibility to fulfill those needs with the utmost honesty and integrity.

Even if you are not really planning on being a journalist, this text is still useful to you as a future professional.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2005

EL227 Blogging Portfolio (Take 2)

Coverage:

AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 5-7
Elements of Journalism, Ch 6
The Tribune Review, Oct. 11 Ed.

Depth:
The Elements of Journalism, Ch 9-10

Interaction:
Comments on Nancy's Blog
Comment on Andy's Blog
Comment on Kayla's Blog
Comment on Jenna's Blog
Nancy's Blog - Elements of Journalism Ch 6-8
Jason's Blog - A Thank You Note (The Trib, Oct. 11 article)

Discussion:
Kayla's Blog - Pro-both

Xenoblogging:
Comment on Dena's Spurlock Article
Comments about David's Trib Observations

Wildcard:
My 2nd Blogging Portfolio Experience

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 5:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2005

Tribune Review, Oct. 11 edition

I have to say I am a bit confused about editorials. I thought they would be fun and exciting to read compared to hard news stories, or even features. But, the ones in the opinion section in The Trib still seemed tedious for me to read. Also, one thing I noticed is that they were also covering recent events, like the earthquakes. For some reason when I think of an editorial I just think of controversial issues that someone randomly decides they want to rant about. And I usually think of more ongoing items like abortion, or affirmative action as being the topics of an editorial. Not earthquakes.

Reading these raises a question about our assignment for Friday. Can our editorial be on any topic we want (as long as we can make it interesting and relevant of course)? Or, does it have to be regarding recent events like the editorials on the Trib?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:42 AM | Comments (6)

October 11, 2005

Cheese

Faustus
Oft have I thought to have done so, but the Devil
threatened to tear me to pieces if I named God, to fetch me,
body and soul, if I once gave ear to divinity. And now
'ts too late. Gentleman, away, lest you perish with
me.

It's interesting how the Devil tempts Faustus and therefore Faustus becomes his follower. Then the Devil threatens him and Faustus is scared. But, repentance is all that God requires to forgive Faustus. Why does Faustus prefer to follow the threatening tyrannical power, instead of a loving forgiving one? Power has a lot to do with it, he feels powerful because of his alliance with the Devil. Which is ironic because the Devil has power over Faustus, but God would not have exerted tyranical power over him.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 5:11 PM | Comments (2)

October 9, 2005

Word Choice

Faustus
Settle thy studies Faustus, and begin
to sound the depth of that thou wilt profess.
Having commenced, be a divine in show,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Aristotle's works.
Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravished me.

I find the diction in this passage interesting. A few of the words have quite a few meanings and it is interesting to think why those words were chosen and what they might imply about what is going to happen in the play.

For instance ravish means "to rape" as well as "to overwhelm emotionally."
Level means many various things: "equal" "unchanging" or even "to knock somebody down" (and there are numerous other definitions). It is interesting to try to decide which the author meant to portray, or if more than one definition might have been meant.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 3:35 PM | Comments (1)

Elements of Journalism, Ch 6-8

When studying government and U.S. history in high school we always discussed the roles of journalism to a certain extent. It is interesting to study them in more depth. From these chapters I was not only re-familiarized with the roles of journalism as a watchdog, a public forum, and a gatekeeper, but I learned about the ways in which the media fulfills those roles.

I enjoyed reading about the history of investigative journalism and the different kinds.

One thing I like about this book is that it always provides examples of when the media does a good job and fulfills its purpose fairly and adequately, but it doesn't hide the fact that it isn't always done right. The authors also provide examples of when the news has been sensationalized or it has not been reported fairly. By practicing the ideas they present the authors set a good example for aspiring journalist.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:34 AM | Comments (2)

October 6, 2005

The Importance of Rhyming

3 SOLDIER:
Well, he's been doing this all day,
Discussing mercy; who knows why?

4 SOLDIER:
Is this the same that did us say
That he was son of God on high?

1 SOLDIER:
He was; that's why this price he'll pay;
That's why he's ordered thus to die.

Throughout both plays, the script has a rhyme scheme to it. Everyman had some rhyming in it too. Only it was more selective, as if it was to emphasize something important that the author wanted to portray to the audience. For example when Goods is talking to Everyman:

As, to the poor, give part of me,
Then shouldst thou not this dolour be,

Why does the author of these plays use rhyme? It is easier to remember a song or a poem because they have a beat and sound pattern. Maybe things were told in rhyme so everyone could remember it more easily. Especially since less people could read so information passed on orally.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:44 AM | Comments (4)

Night = Hell?

God:...
But in Hell it should always be dark;
To the darkness I give the name "night."

When I read this line, I was a bit taken aback. To me it seemed to make a connection between night and Hell because they are both dark, as if night is a bad thing. I wonder if this was really meant to be implied, or if I just misinterpreted it. I just can't think of any reason that the night and Hell would be referred to in a way that closely connects the two. (Then, of course, it has been a long time since I studied theology in any form.)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:20 AM | Comments (1)

October 4, 2005

Well-made Play

Does anyone else think this is a well-made play? It certainly has lots of twists and turns. We don't know what really happened to give Claire amnesia, we don't know if Richard is the real "bad guy" or if the Limping Man is (although he is very obviously a shady character!) Millet is a crazy guy who went to jail because he got caught for someone else's crimes. Suddenly the cop turns out to be an accomplice. But, in the end the truth comes out and the conflicts are all resolved. We know the Limping man is not her brother, we know Richard really is good, we know how Claire got amnesia and we know who stole the ring that landed Millet in jail. And it certainly is funny.

Although, the ending is a bit sad because you are left knowing that Richard and Kenny are probably going to have to explain everything to Claire again tomorrow. Does the lack of a perfect ending not make it a well-made play?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:53 PM | Comments (0)

AP Guide to News Writing - Ch 5-7

My favorite chapter of the three is Chapter 7 on loaded words and attributed verbs. Dr. Jerz has already told us many times that we should mostly use the word "said" when attributing a quote, but I enjoyed reading about the connotations of different words and what they imply. It made me realize that I really do have different reactions to words that on the surface seem to mean essentially the same thing. For example when something is pointed out, I do usually associate what is said with fact. And pointed out does seem like a phrase used to describe when some new idea is brought up that might have not been thought about before. A journalist should probably use "pointed out" only when a person "brings up a point." Not just when they just simply say something.

Chapter 6 included information that Dr. Jerz also brought up in class about how you can't "hint" at an idea that is not proven to be true, yet you can insert facts that might imply it. But the reporter has to be careful of tone and be sure that the statements aren't linked to closely, or it might still seem like you are trying to push your views on the reader.

And in chapter 5, I enjoyed the end quote from Samuel Johnson: "What is written is without effort is in general read without pleasure." I am going to try to keep this in mind whenever I do news articles from now on because I have a tough time with writing news, it seems so tedious and difficult to me and I have to work at it really hard. But, if I remember this quote, I will remember those who are good journalist also have to work hard to produce good writing. I am not alone.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:04 PM | Comments (2)

October 3, 2005

A Depressing Comedy

KENNY. So I'm sitting there cartoon birdies flying around my head -

I love how the language is used to turn this drama into a comedy. If the dialogue was different, this play would be very serious and rather depressing. The situation is certainly not very funny. But, the characters and what they say makes this play undoubtedly funny. Almost so much so that you feel bad for laughing so hard when such awful things are occurring on the stage like people being stabbed and shot. I can’t wait to see it performed!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 3:30 PM | Comments (4)

Lorin's Blogging Portfolio EL 250

Coverage:

Trifles
Traction
The Importance of Being Ernest - Significant Line?
Machinal - Young Woman & Karen
The Jeweller's Shop - The Role of Adam
Catholic Social Teaching
How to Read Literature Like A Professor
Oral Presentation Reflection

Depth:

Heart in the Ground
A Doll's House (Act 1) - Recurring Themes

Interaction:

Kayla Sawyer's Blog - A Doll's House
Andy's Blog - Dead Man Walking
David's Blog - The Jeweller's Shop
Denamarie's Blog - Oedipus Rex (Part 2)

Discussions:

Machinal - Talk About Depressing
It Doesn't Even Matter - Everyman

Timeliness:

Dead Man Walking - Clever Sister
Was Oedipus Framed? - Establishing a Canon

Xenoblogging:

Oedipus Rex (Part 1) - A Good King with a Fatal Flaw
David's Blog - Aristotle's Poetics
Kayla's Blog - Everyman

Wildcard:

I'm Finally Done, For Now...

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:22 AM | Comments (0)

I'm Finally Done, For Now...

Well, this concluded my first blogging portfolio for the semester for EL 250. I am really proud of this one, after my newswriting disaster. I feel like I was a lot more prepared to do this one than I was for EL 227. Already having most of the blogging done definitely helped, but it is more than that. I just have a lot more to say in this class. I feel more confident about what I say in here too. Newswriting is a bigger class and it seems to have an abundance of students who already know what they are doing. I just feel lost in there. But, in Drama as Lit. I just feel more confident about the material and I also enjoy it a lot more. It is amazing how much easier something seems when one enjoys it. But, it is also good for me to be forced to do things that I do not enjoy (like journalism). Sometimes in life, we have to do things we don't want to do. That is just the way it is. So, in that way, college is already preparing me for that to a much higher degree than in high school.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:56 AM | Comments (0)

Oral Presentation Reflection

No matter how prepared I might be, I am usually quite nervous before, during, and after giving a presentation. Friday was not much of an exception. I was still fairly nervous about it, but I do have to say I felt that it went surprisingly better than expected. I think that being split up into two groups helped me as well as everyone else feel less worried about speaking in front of others. Being outside in a more informal setting than the classroom also helped ease some tension. Plus, we interact with each other in class so much that we feel comfortable talking with each other and sharing our ideas. Personally, I am not as comfortable with classmates in most of my other classes. I think all this helped the presentations go very smoothly and it helped me focus on the material being presented instead of me being too nervous to pay proper attention.

Something that I learned from watching my peers speak is how effective body language can be, and also how distracting it can be. A few of us in the group would make nervous gestures and fiddle with our note cards or handouts, and a few were able to use their hands and facial expressions to spark enthusiasm in the audience. This made me think about how large of a role body language plays in making an oral presentation good. Seeing the ones who used their body language effectively gives me something to strive for in my future presentations.

I was also very impressed with my peers. I enjoyed hearing everyone else present their comparisons between the plays that we have read. It gave me a different perspective on some things that we talked about in class, and it brought some things to my attention that I would not have normally noticed. I think that listening to everyone speak about a topic of their choice also enabled me to learn something about each of my peers and what they find most interesting and what they get out of each work we read. Overall it was a very good experience, as nerve-wracking as it might have been.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:50 AM | Comments (0)

How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Intro-Ch 3

Check out the original on the course website:
In "Heart in the Ground" Lee and Karen attempt to share a meal together, but because of the circumstances, Karen ends up refusing to eat. In Foster's writing he states:

"The act of taking food into our bodies is so personal that we really only want to do it with people we are very comfortable with."

Under normal circumstances, Karen would probably be very comfortable sharing a meal with Lee. But, she decides not to eat as a direct response to one of Lee's outbursts of frustration:

Lee:...So if you really care about this house and the farm and your family, you'll finish your supper, go upstairs, and stop the goddamn digging!

Karen takes these words very personally because she does care about her family, which is why she is sacrificing everything else (the farm, being sent to Marshall Valley, etc) to have her dead child at home with her. The fact that she lost a child when she was young intensifies her feelings about what she is doing, making them even more important to her than Lee or the reader realize at this point in the play. And because Lee accuses her of not really caring, Karen becomes even more hurt and upset and therefore "uncomfortable" with the idea of eating with him.
Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 8, 2005 07:30 PM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:42 AM | Comments (0)

Catholic Social Teaching

This was originally posted on the course website:

I agree with Prof. Jerz and what he said in response to David about how the CST principles tend to support both liberal and conservative ideals...and while I agree with certain parts (like the limited gov. and respect and equality for humans) especially in the most general terms, there are a few parts that I do not agree with (such as "preferential protection for the poor"). Yet, I have to say that I think David hit the nail on the head when he said: "Once you step back and look at it as a means to achieve global good, it serves its purpose well." I think that as a basis for moral understanding these principles are a great way to start.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 7, 2005 12:02 AM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 2, 2005

Recurring Themes - A Doll's House (Act 1)

Yet another from the course website!

There seems to be a recurring theme in three of the plays we've read so far, (“Heart in the Ground” “Trifles” and A Doll's House) but it is rather difficult for me to put it into words...so bear with me. All three plays have some link to the law and things that seem like they would obviously be wrong (for instance, because they are against the law), but in the plays the circumstances make it seem as if what the characters are doing (or what they did that is revealed within the play) isn't actually so wrong. The plays are presented in such a way that it seems natural to sympathize with the characters, despite their "unlawful acts." (is this making any sense?) For example, in A Doll’s House, we all know forgery is a crime and it is wrong and altogether dishonest. But, you don’t finish reading Act I thinking: “Wow, Nora is a horrible criminal who should be locked away!” Yes, perhaps she was a bit naive not to realize that she committed a crime that her society seems to take very seriously, (no matter how good the intentions), but you still can’t help but feel bad for her (or at least I couldn’t).

Here's a comment:

Lorin, I certainly chose these three plays because I thought they went together. You've hit on several of the reasons I was thinking about. Let me know what you think when you finish Act II! (Just curious: did you sympathize with Moe at all from "Traction"?)
Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 6, 2005 10:22 PM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:18 AM | Comments (0)

Traction

Here's a copy of another that I posted before we had our own blogs.

Does anyone else find it interesting that in the dscriptions of the characters and the setting it says TIME: The day after tomorrow. Why would the author use that as the time for the play?
Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 2, 2005 08:06 AM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:13 AM | Comments (0)

Trifles

This was also originally posted on the course website, but for ease, here it is again.

It seems significant that although the play is very much about Mrs. Wright, that she is not actually in it. Everything we as readers learn about her, we learn about through the words and actions of the other characters. We are left to make inferences and ideas about Mrs. Wright's character based soley on what the others first perceive. Why doesn't Glaspell want us to actually "come in contact" with Mrs. Wright directly? Why must we see Mrs. Wright through the other characters' eyes?
Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at August 29, 2005 10:55 PM

Here are the comments specifically refering to my entry:

I can see where Lorin is coming from. The entire play I wondered why Mrs. Wright wasn't given a major role since it is about her and the suspicious death of her husband.

Maybe Glaspell's purpose was to leave the audience wondering what kind of person Mrs. Wright really was.
Posted by: Amanda at August 30, 2005 12:49 PM

The indirect characterization that Lorin mentions did not really mean much to me. Indirect characterization is used frequently in Literature, and it's simply that, a twist in the way that we get to know a character. It makes it more interesting when we as readers get to learn other's perceptions of a character. I think we learn more about that character that way.
Posted by: Chera Pupi at August 30, 2005 02:44 PM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:00 AM | Comments (0)

Heart in the Ground

This was originally posted on the course website since we didn't have our own blogs at that time. So, I decided that I would create a copy of it in my blog so it would be easier to find.

The reversal in Lee's attitude towards the situation is interesting. Throughout the majority of the play Lee is basically Karen's antagonist...he is against what she wants to do and is worried about the consequences of her actions and the effects on both Karen and himself. But then Karen tells him about the other baby she lost when she was young, and suddenly, he understands. Until this point he thought he had more to lose than her...he was worried about going back to jail, losing the farm, and probably losing Karen. But, then he realizes how much she has already lost. And he even says that he wants to understand, but until she tells him her secret, he doesn't. She does what she has to to get him to understand.

And she may seem extremely unstable, and maybe a little crazy, but I think that she is just fighting for what she believes in, and she's doing what she has to do in order to win that fight.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at August 29, 2005 10:35 PM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:52 AM | Comments (0)

EL 250 Blogging Portfolio

Coverage:

Trifles
Traction
The Importance of Being Ernest - Significant Line?
Machinal - Young Woman & Karen
The Jeweller's Shop - The Role of Adam
Catholic Social Teaching
How to Read Literature Like A Professor
Oral Presentation Reflection

Depth:

Heart in the Ground
A Doll's House (Act 1) - Recurring Themes

Interaction:

Kayla Sawyer's Blog - A Doll's House
Andy's Blog - Dead Man Walking
David's Blog - The Jeweller's Shop
Denamarie's Blog - Oedipus Rex (Part 2)

Discussions:

Machinal - Talk About Depressing
It Doesn't Even Matter - Everyman

Timeliness:

Dead Man Walking - Clever Sister
Was Oedipus Framed? - Establishing a Canon

Xenoblogging:

Oedipus Rex (Part 1) - A Good King with a Fatal Flaw
David's Blog - Aristotle's Poetics
Kayla's Blog - Everyman

Wildcard:

I'm Finally Done, For Now...

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:00 AM | Comments (0)

Everyman = Every Man

I know you are all sick of hearing from me, but I wondered if anyone else thinks that the main character is called Everyman because the play is meant to be a message to every person. Everyman is more a representation of human kind as a whole rather than just a single man. Or at least that is how I see it. What you all think?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:58 AM | Comments (2)

It Doesn't Even Matter

Everyman: Alas, whereto may I trust?
Beauty goeth fast away hie;
She promised with me to live and die.

I really liked how all the aspects of Everyman started to leave at the end, even though they had promised to stay. This is true to real life and I think it is a real eye opener to people. It puts things in perspective for the reader and makes them realize what truly matters in life. As we grow old our beauty and strength etc. do leave us, as much as we wish it would stay. With that in mind I think people would more easily be able to focus on other things that are more important. Perhaps after seeing/reading this play, a person might dwell less on what they look like or what they think they "need" to buy because they will know that (as Linkin Park says) "in the end it doesn't even matter."

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:49 AM | Comments (4)

CST in Everyman

Goods:...But if thou had loved moderately during,
As, to the poor give part of me,
Then shouldst thou not in this dolour be,
Nor in this great sorrow care.

Can anyone say CST - Preferential Protection for the Poor and Vulnerable? Obviously this play is written to "teach the truths of the Christian faith,..." as it says in the General notes before the play starts. But, I just wanted to point out one of many examples of the CST principles in this play because I just thought it is a good display of how these principles are not just a part of literature, they are actually encouraged to be put into practice.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

Truths of Life

Everyman:...It is said, in prosperity men friends may find,
which in adversity be fully unkind.

I think that this is a very good observation about life, and it certainly has truth in it. I think everyone can identify with the idea that friends are easy to find when things are going well, but when the going gets tough, there are not quite so many. This play does have a lot of things to teach people even today, whether you are Catholic or not.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:24 AM | Comments (3)

Personification and Play Presentation

I really liked how this play is presented. I think the personification of Goods, Beauty, Strength etc. was a very effective tactic that the author used in order to get the point across.

Also, I noticed that there are no stage directions. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation and I think this could make the play very interesting to see performed. The director could do so many different things with it. Although, without any exits written in I had to pay careful attention to the dialogue for exit and entrance cues.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:19 AM | Comments (5)