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November 29, 2005

The Tribune Review - Nov. 29 Edition

In the local section of The Trib, I found some information in the article titled "Hempfield holds line on '06 taxes." Although not the most important part of the article, I found the part about the increase in the garbage collection rates interesting.

"Seniors had been paying 40 cents per bag for garbage pickup. Beginning Jan. 1, under a new contract with Allied Waste Management, seniors will now pay $2 per bag." (B1)

I had no idea people had to pay by the bag in order to have their trash picke dup in the first place. Of course, in a lot of ways I ham a very spoiled military brat. We never paid to have our trash picked up that I knew about. Is is something to try to get people to create less trash in the first place and encourage them to reuse and recycle things? Or does tax money just not already cover trash pickup?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:15 AM | Comments (2)

November 28, 2005

This is the Last Song...

Ok, so maybe it's not really the last song, but it will be the last blogging portfolio for EL250. I'm not sure if I am excited, or actually sort of sad. A little bit of both I suppose. Now that I have gotten the hang of it I would definitely prefer to have to do 5 more blogging portfolios than finish writing the feature news article for 227, but, we all know that is not going to happen so I might as well just get it done. The good news is that the feature article will be the last one that I have to write! That is certainly news worthy to me!

My first semester at SHU is coming to an end and I am extremely excited, but I also strongly dislike when things come to an end. It makes me rather gloomy and perhaps a bit too thoughtful when they do. I just don't enjoy change. Even things that were difficult and stressful I seem to miss when they are gone. EL250 will definitely be one of those things for me. A bit pathetic I know. But true just the same.

So, I have to say as I finish writing what will probably be my last blog entry for Drama as Literature, thank you to everyone who made my first semester at SHU an enjoyable and enlightening experience! I look forward to many more experiences in the future.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:31 PM | Comments (4)

Tragedy and the Common Man

First of all, I loved this essay. I found it extremely interesting. Why did Arthur Miller ever bother to write plays? I really am not a big fan of his work. (Granted the only plays I have read are The Crucible and now Death of a Salesman) But, I found this essay fascinating. (I know. I am a total dork.)

"...the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing--his sense of personal dignity." (Miller, 1)

When I read this I thought of how the play Professor Bernhardi is called a comedy. While reading the play, I certainly didn't think it was a comedy, and I think that this statement supports that. Professor Bernhardi was certainly willing to give up everything to support his actions because it was a matter of personal dignity. If he had given in and let people tell him he was wrong I would not have respected him as much because he let other people influence what he identified as right. But, because he stood by his actions and defended them as a crucial part of his profession he kept his "sense of personal dignity." So, if you look at it this way, Profesor Bernhardi could be considered a tragedy.

More from A Man for All Seasons is another such example of a character "who is ready to lay down his life,...to secure...his sense of personal dignity."

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2005

Death of a Salesman, Act II

Biff:...You gotta talk to him before they close the school. Because of he saw the kind of man you are, and you just talked to him in your way, I'm sure he'd come through for me...
....................................
The Woman laughs offstage. (118)
...............................
Biff: Don't touch me, you-liar! (121)

I'm so glad this whole flashback scene was put in because it clears a lot of things up. The reader can finally understand why Biff and Willy don't get along. Biff gave up everything he'd always wanted and everything his father wanted for him on this night. Biff had always admired his dad, but on this night, all that changed. He no longer looked up to him and no longer saw him as a great man who could do no wrong.

Up until this point in the play, I really felt bad for Willy more than for Biff. I felt that Biff was blaming his father for his situation in life and that it was unjustified. I thought he just hadn't made it in football and he hadn't worked hard enough in school to do anything else. I felt that this was all Biff's fault.

But, after seeing this scene and reflecting on Willy's attitude towards Biff's schoolwork (see my blog on Act I) I do think a part of it is Willy's fault. He certainly didn't encourage Biff to do well in school, he just wanted Biff to be well-liked and popular. He also wanted Biff to look up to him and think he was a better man than perhaps he really is. So, on this night when Biff found out that Willy was cheating on Linda, he no longer wants to do what his father expects of him. He loses his will to try to be great at anything. I think he feels that if someone like his father isn't really a great man, than no one really can be...including himself. That is why he becomes what he later proclaims to Willy "Pop, I'm nothing! I'm nothing, Pop." (133)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 9:05 PM | Comments (2)

AP Guide to Newswriting, Ch 12

"The adult education program offers a wide variety of courses, such as woodworking, French cookery, creative writing, and origami, among others.

The simple trick of omitting and before the final item in a list suggests it is an incomplete list. Read it aloud and you will see." (121)

I think this is once instance where the AP Guide is giving bad advice. I think that leaving and out of the sentence does not imply an incomplete list, it just makes the sentence seem incomplete. I agree that among others should be taken out, but I think and should remain in the sentence. When an author uses the phrase such as before a list, to me that implies that the list to follow is only a sample from a complete list. Therefore, the reader will already know it is incomplete.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 6:35 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2005

Death of a Salesman, Act I

Willy, moving towards the forstage, with great agitation: You'll give him the answers! (40)

It bothers me that Willy is ok with Biff cheating to get by. He seems to feel that as long as people like him everything will be great. But, the truth is that being well-like is not enough. Sure, he has personality, but you can't get by on just that. You can't expect others to carry you. Eventually, they will become so frustrated with having to do things for you, that they won't like you anymore and they won't respect you.

Also, this play confuses me a little. I am not sure if these events are memories and they really happened, or if they are just the illusions of a disappointed old man. Or if they are a combination of both. I'm unsure of exactly what is wrong with Willy. Does he have some known condition, or is he just this way because he is disappointed about his life and the life of his boy Biff? And why does he seem to favor Biff over happy? Hopefully the second act will clear some of these things up.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:27 PM | Comments (1)

November 22, 2005

We the Media, Ch 11-12, Epilogue

"Cookies had, and have, big privacy implications. But, like all such technologies, they have their good points. They can save time for the user, storing one's preference for a particular site." (211)

Technologies like the "cookies" mentioned in this section of the book are used by my high school in order to help prevent and keep track of students getting on sites they aren't suppose to on the school (government owned) computers. That way they can be sure students aren't playing games or looking at inappropriate sites when they should really be working. I feel like this is a good thing because as another user on the network, them playing games or watching videos can slow down the other computers on the network and make it more difficult for me to do my work, which might actually be legitimate work for a class.

I also really liked Gillmor's explanation of how he put the book together by asking for feedback from the general online public and as actually willing to take some of their advice. It really shows that he is willing to put into practice the ideas that he describes in his book about journalism and media as conversations instead of lecture etc. That makes me respect his ideas and opinions more and makes me see him as more credible than I would otherwise.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:51 AM | Comments (6)

November 21, 2005

Kindertransport Performance Discussion

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed the discussion we had today in class about the SHU Kindertransport performance. It is fun to hear what everyone else thought, especially since we saw the performances at different times. I think hearing the different opinions and ideas helps me to appreciate the performance more and gets me to think about things I didn't think about on my own.

I enjoy discussing things in EL250 in general just because I feel like I learn a lot about all of you who are in there. I feel like I know you all a little better after having these kinds of discussions in class. That is really important to me because I enjoy learning about people and what experiences they have that are different than my own. It really makes me put my own life in perspective and it humbles me by making me realize how much I don't yet know. So thanks guys! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:13 PM | Comments (3)

November 19, 2005

We the Media, Ch 8-10

"People I respect have told me we need to do away with anonymity on the Net." (180)

While I agree that anonymity can be a hazard (in ways Gillmor clearly points out Chapter 9) I just am unsure about getting rid of it completely. In general I am skeptical about giving out any info about myself on the net. It can be extremely dangerous. With all the identity theft and stalkers these days that are a result of getting information via online, I just am not sure it would always be in the best interest of a person to give away even just their name. The internet is a wonderful thing, but I think it definitely has potential for posing some serious security risks.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:41 PM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2005

Nothing is Insignificant?

Feuer: I am deeply touched, Excellency, that my insignificant affair -

Flint: No matter is insignificant to me. (137)

I cannot believe that Flint says that nothing is insignificant to him during this part, when earlier he called the life of a patient "one single unimportant case" to him!

I am a bit confused about exactly what happened to Feuermann. He was acquitted, but he still doesn't get any business where he works, but I don't know what he was accused of. But, whatever it is, I am wondering why Flint thinks it is more important than the life of the patient he let die. He needs to sort out his priorities!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:11 PM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2005

iCan Project

After Jerz's comments about my living in England today in class, I thought it would be appropriate to leave a few links about the iCan project extensively talked about in Ch 6.

I just thought I would point out that there are a few people who don't believe that the way iCan is set up works all that well. I think people fail to realize (or should I say realise?) that England is a lot smaller than America, so national issues often hit closer to home with citizens. Plus, local issues are a lot less diverse than they are in America. So, it seems some are concerned about the government not realizing that they care a lot of national issues, and think iCan will be used extensively for local ones.

Here are a few links to articles, information, and other sites about iCan:

Here are some blogs regarding it iCan just before its launch:

http://www.headshift.com/archives/000524.cfm

http://www.headshift.com/archives/000678.cfm

Here's a critique on the program from shortly after its launch:

http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2003/11/25/critiquing_the_.html

This person just seemed to feel it was too hard to navigate:

http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/004907.html

I have to remind you these are blogs, so how fair they are etc. might be questionable...but they are citizens’ responses to the program. And just my personal response...I have to admit I never even heard of this project and neither have many of my British friends. If it had really worked out wonderfully, I would have thought I would at least have heard of it.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:58 PM | Comments (1)

Christmas is Coming! We the Media, Ch 6-7

"...when the competition has done a better job than we have on a topic I care about, I'd be shortchanging my readers if I didn't take them to the best coverage." (118)

Just today I began getting excited about the holiday season coming up quickly. I had this sudden urge to play Christmas songs. It's my favorite time of year and I can't help but want to get it going early. So when I read this section of We the Media, it reminded me of the remake of the movie Miracle on 34th Street. It seems as though this approach of pointing out work that is better than your own is poor business - in reality it makes sense.

Check out these lines from the movie script from when a mother speaks to one of the store managers after meeting Santa Clause:

"If you don't got it, it's too expensive,
he's saying where to get it at the right price.

...............................................

Tell Santa he made me a cole's shopper outta me.

I'm coming here for everything
but toilet paper.

Any store that puts the parent ahead
of the buck at christmas deserves my business."

(Click here for script from Miracle on 34th Street)

These lines show that customers appreciate complete honesty and a businesses ability to admit when they didn't do the best at something. In media, this idea of linking to the best coverage, even if it is a competitor, creates credibility for the journalist and it also provides the consumer with the best product available. Everyone wins.

Don't you just love Christmas!?!?!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 7:44 PM | Comments (3)

November 15, 2005

The Value of Human Life

Flint: "I let the clerk Engelbert Wagner die, and I even feel incapable of remorse. For it is no great thing...to act correctly, true to conviction if you like, in one single unimportant case;..." (65)

It's funny how Flint thinks Bernhardi is immoral and that it was wrong of him to have kept the Priest from the girl who was dying, while he does not even value all life. So much for Catholic social teaching and respect for human life! And so many people are shaking a finger at Bernhaldi especially since he is Jewish instead of Catholic, yet he seems to at least share the views of CST, whereas many of the Catholics seem to not.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 5:23 PM | Comments (2)

November 14, 2005

We The Media, Ch 3-5

"Tapping the power of everyone is the best approach." (107)

This of course, seems cliché, but the truth is, it works. And it could be an extremely important to the future of journalism and our nation as whole. American is based on competitiveness in everything: sports, jobs, school. This competitiveness does have a certain driving force, but I truly think that it is not the best way for society to work. Cooperation is so undermined in our culture. But when we can get past it, and realize that there is always someone out there who knows more than we do, we can get so much further. Working together helps people understand and tolerate differences between people. It also fosters creativity.

A few of us in the Drama as Lit class get together when we have a paper coming up to brainstorm possible paper topics and thesis statements. This is good because it creates a less-stressful environment where we are able to just let our ideas flow. We can help one another see the strengths and weaknesses in our own work in order to improve it.

The problem for the average person entering this cyberworld...is distinguishing between truth and falsehood." (57)

With each of us putting our thoughts and ideas and info out on the web in order to contribute to the full picture of events, as helpful as it might be, we must also be aware that not every source is reliable.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:03 PM | Comments (4)

Bloggin Portfolio 4

Coverage
We The Media - Intro, Ch 1-2
We the Media - Ch 3-5
We the Media - Ch 6-7
We the Media - More Ch 6-7
We the Media - Ch 8-10
We the Media - Ch 11-12, Epilogue
Tribune Review, Nov. 29 Edition
AP Guide to News Writing - Ch 12

Depth
We the Media - More Ch 6-7

Discussion
We the Media - Ch 3-5
We the Media - Ch 11-12, Epilogue

Interaction
Nancy's Blog - Ch 4
Andy's Blog - Ch 3-5
Chris U's Blog - Ch 3-5
Dena's Blog - Ch 3-5
Nancy's Blog - Ch 6
Rachel Prichard's Blog - Ch 6-7
Jason's Blog - We the Media, Ch 9
Dena's Blog - We the Media Ch 11, 12, Epilogue
Chris's Blog - We the Media, Ch 11, 12, Epilogue
David's Blog - We the Media, Ch 11, 12, Epilogue
Nancy'S Blog - Tribune Review Nov. 29 Ed.

Timeliness
We the Media - Ch 3-5
We the Media - Ch 11-12, Epilogue
Tribune Review, Nov. 29 Edition
AP Guide to News Writing - Ch 12

Xenoblogging
Dena's Blog - Ch 3-5
Chris's Blog - We the Media, Ch 11, 12, Epilogue
Nancy'S Blog - Tribune Review Nov. 29 Ed.

Wildcard
Are you convinced?

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

Blogging Portfolio 3

Coverage
A Man for All Seasons - Act I
A Man for All Seasons - Act II
Fences
Professor Bernhaldi - Acts I-III
Professor Bernhaldi - Acts IV-V
Kindertransport Class Discussion
Death of a Salesman - Act I
Death of a Salesman - Act II
Tragedy and the Common Man

Depth
A Man for All Seasons - Act I
Professor Bernhaldi - Acts IV-V

Discussion
A Man for All Seasons - Act II
Fences
Professor Bernhaldi - Acts IV-V

Interaction
Andy's Blog - A Man for All Seasons Act I
Sean’s Blog – A Man for All Seasons Act I
Kayla’s Blog – A Man for All Seasons Act I
David’s Blog – A Man For All Seasons Act I
Amanda's Blog - Fences
Kevin’s Blog – Fences
Chera’s Blog – Professor Bernhaldi – Act I-III
Kayla’s Blog – Professor Bernhaldi – Act I-III
Dena's Blog - Professor Bernhaldi, Acts IV-V
Amanda's Blog - Tragedy and the Common Man

Timeliness
A Man for All Seasons - Act II
Fences
Professor Bernhaldi - Acts IV-V
Kindertransport Class Discussion

Xenoblogging
A Man for All Seasons - Act II
Dena's Blog - Professor Bernhaldi, Acts IV-V
Amanda's Blog - Tragedy and the Common Man

Wildcard
This is the Last Song...

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

Blunt Drama

Troy: I better get down to the hospital to see her.

Rose: Troy...

Troy: Rose...I got to go see her now. That's only right...what's the matter...the baby's all right, ain't it?

Rose: Alberta died having the baby.

I think Wilson has a distinct style that sets him apart from other dramatists and writers. In a lot of other works in a situation like this, there is a lot of build up to an announcement of bad news such as "Alberta died having the baby." It is supposed to build suspense. The audience knows something is wrong and they are hanging on the edge of their seats to find out what. But in Fences, Wilson just has the characters come right out with it. There is no build-up. You are just struck with the shock of the events. In a way, I think this actually makes the play even more dramatic.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:06 PM | Comments (4)

November 12, 2005

We the Media, Intro, Ch 1-2

"Big media, in any event, treated the news as a lecture. We told you what the news was. You bought it, or you didn't. You might write us a letter, we might print it. (If we were television and you complained, we ignored you entirely unless arrived on a libel lawyer's letterhead.)" (XIII)

This reminded about WAY back in the beginning when we had to do that media analysis and we had to talk about what form of media we liked best. This quotation I think displays another reason (one which I didn't think of before) why TV media is not as good as written. You get no consumer feedback. This is one point for all the electronic media discussed in the book so far. They are unique in that they invite consumer feedback and interpretation. Which, if you ask me, may be the answer to some of the problems (though not all) that are addressed in "It Ain't Necessarily So"

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 4:01 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2005

Commenting Frustrations in EL227

I feel as if this time around I was much better than usual about blogging on all of the readings for news writing in a timely manner. I am pretty sure I posted all my entires well before class. Yet, I feel like I have a lack of comments on my entries. To try to remedy this I tried posting my entries through MTQuickPost so that people could see that I had blogged and it would be easy for them to comment on it. But, I still feel that despite my extra effort, I am not getting as many comments as I would like.

At the same time, while I feel that I have done a much better job of blogging on time, every time, I have realized while compiling my blog portfolio that I still lack lots of comments on other people's blogs...which might contribute to the lack of participation on my blog by other members of the class. Although, I am still finding it difficult to find other's entries on the readings and navigate their sites. It is so frustrating to try to comment on other's blogs, when there seem to be so few people participating. Or maybe I have just missed something?

I think the fact that the drama class is so diligent about blogging and that we do links on the course website, only makes me more frustrated that the students in EL 227 aren't as dedicated to it. In drama I feel like I can count on finding a few people's entries posted by the morning before class. But, in news writing, I can't count on it. And it is frustrating trying to get through the long list of blogs to see if anyone else has blogged on the reading. It is very time consuming and I feel that I have wasted my time if I don’t find anyone who has posted, or I don’t have anything to say on those who have.

It is often more difficult for me to launch discussions about news writing because I don't have a much to say. In lit, it seems as if there are so many more original ideas to talk about. But in news writing, it seems like we are just repeating ideas presented in the chapters we read, so often when I do read a peer’s entry I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say other than "good point" or "I think that is important too."

I really think I want to mention in class that we should all put links to our entries on the course site so that those who want to engage in the online discussions can avoid wading through site after site of peer blogs and not finding anything.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

Possible CST topic

For my CST Report I was thinking about doing something on Jim's treatment of Laura in "The Glass Menagerie" and how it may seem that he is trying to flirt with her, but really he's just being friendly because he has no clue about the intentions of setting up the visit.

OR

I might talk about Tom's unique role as narrator. When I read the play it was surprising to me that Tom leaves at the end. I just never think of the narrator of a story to be anything but a good, trustworthy character in a play. Especially since the play was a "memory." Why would a person want to tell a story about how they abandoned their family at the end? Or maybe he did so out of guilt? These are ideas I might want to explore.

Which do you all think is a better topic? I am still working on possible theses, but I wanted to see what you all thought about my topics before I finalized anything. Feedback and questions just usually help me develop my ideas better. Thanks guys!

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 7:40 AM | Comments (2)

Fellowship

Norfolk:...Can't you do what I did, and come with us, for fellowship?

More: (Moved) And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing acording to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

These lines reminded me of exactly what happens in "Everyman" when Fellowship will not go with Everyman on his journey. More realizes that Norfolk cannot come with him to his final destination. He is a true Catholic by that century's standards. He feels that faith and good works are necessary for salvation.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:14 AM | Comments (2)

November 8, 2005

The Trib - Court Report

I already blogged on two other articles, but in case I have to blog on a court-related story I have a few words to say about article on A7.

"Court to hear case of terror suspect"

This story is obviously a pre-Supreme court case article, talking about the charges against the driver of Osama bin Laden. What is at question is Bush's constitutional rights regarding military commissions. I think the article in a bit confusing (as many court case articles are to me) because it involves the background of both the case against the terror suspect and the military commissions. Trying to keep the details separate in my head was rather difficult. it is a good article, but I have to say it is organized in a way which makes it difficult for me to follow. But, to be fair, this is also partially a result of my lack of practice reading court case articles, or actually any news articles in general.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:08 PM | Comments (3)

The Tribune Review, Nov. 8, 2005 Ed.

"Voters Focus on Local Races"

This front page article struck me as a good example of the inverted pyramid. It begins with the news about everyone heading to the polls to vote in the local off-year elections. And then it gives positions that will be voted on and talks about the controversy over the Supreme Court Justices up for election and then the controversy over the pay raises that "state lawmakers gave themselves." It ends with who is running for what and what party each candidate belongs to.

Besides this example of the inverted pyramid, the idea that state lawmakers voted themselves to have a pay raise made me wonder how exactly that works. (This issue is clearly important to people, as it is referred to in the Opinion section as well) I know that in Congress, any pay raises agreed upon cannot take place until the next election of Representatives. (According to the 27th Amendment: which states: No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.) I think this is important because then if the people do not like that, they can chose to not re-elect the members who voted for a pay raise. (Not that they will, since esp. in the House incumbents tend to win, but, the point is, in theory, they can.) I am not sure why it is not like this at the state level. It makes perfect sense to me.

"Penn-Trafford Seniors Return to class"

I liked how they reporters covered the different opinions of the students and parents about the issue. It is important to realize the affect this strike is having on the WHOLE community, not just the teachers and school board officials. (not that it had previously been neglected, I just thought it was a good example of how the story can be covered from many angles and it is important to think about the affect it has on everyone in order to see the big picture.)

This whole situation makes me sad. I feel bad for all of the students there, especially in their senior year. I know if I was in my senior year still I would be freaking out because of AP exams and having to do them online. I personally, really don't learn well that way. Even as a future educator, I have a hard time sympathizing with the teachers on strike. I just think the most important thing about a teacher’s job should be to help guide the future of our country by helping to educate students in the best way they know how. I know that doesn't have much to do with news writing, but I just wanted to get that out there.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 11:57 AM | Comments (1)

November 7, 2005

EL 227 Bloggin Portfolio 3

Coverage

AP Stylebook - Briefing on Media Law
Friday's Lab Exercise
AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 11
It Ain't Necessarily So, Intro & Ch 1
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 2 & 3
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 4 & 5
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 6
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 7
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 8
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 9
It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 10 & Conclusion
AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 9 & 10
Tribune Review - Nov. 8 Ed.
The Trib - Nov. 8 Ed. Court Reporting

Depth

It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 8
Tribune Review - Nov. 8 Ed.

Interaction

Bethany's Reflection on Lab Exercise
David's Blog on IANS Prologue, Intro, Ch 1
David's Blog on Deceiving Statistics
Dena's Blog on IANS Ch 8-9
Chera's Blog on IANS Ch 8-9
Jenna's Reflection on It Ain't Necessarily So
Katie Aikin's Blog on AP Guide to NW Ch 9-10
David's Blog on AP Guide to NW Ch 9-10
Nancy's Blog called News Writing Taboos
Bethany's Blog called Eye Spy

Discussion

It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 8
AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 9 & 10

Timeliness

It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 8
AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 9 & 10

Xenoblogging
David's Blog on Deceiving Statistics
Jenna's Reflection on It Ain't Necessarily So

Wildcard

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ!!! Commenting Frustrations in EL227

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

War of the Roses

Wolsey Then good night! Oh, your conscience is your own affair; but you're a statesman! Do you remember the Yorkist Wars?

More Very Clearly.

Wolsey Let him die without an heir and will have them back again.

I think these lines depict how important it is to the people that Henry have a male heir. I never really thought of it that way. Today, especially as Americans without much experience with royalty, we just think of Henry's obsession with having a boy to be sexist and unreasonable. (Of course, constantly blaming his wives for the problem and resorting to divorce and beheading is still quite unreasonable) But, in that time in that culture it was extremely important to have male heir to the throne. A female ruler was unacceptable, even to the people. Which, is actually a legitimate reason for Henry to want to have a son.

And in case anyone was unsure about the Yorkist wars to which they refer, they are talking about what we commonly call The Wars of the Roses which was caused because of some very complicated confusion regarding who had the right to the throne between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. I used to have a chart that showed the bloodline and who was in line for the throne etc. and how they possible heirs were related that made it easy to understand. Unfortunately, I don't have it anymore and I couldn't find any sites that did either. But, if you want to get a general idea of what caused the wars and how it would make the characters in the play also worried about not having a male heir click on this link to Wikipedia on Wars of the Roses.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 6, 2005

Another Milestone

Another blogging portfolio due. The semester is getting closer and closer to the end. Sometimes I am not sure I am going to make it. I have spent all weekend doing HW and I am still up at nearly 11 o'clock at night trying to finish. I refused to go ice skating on Friday with everyone because I wanted to get some HW done early. Then I woke up at 8 today and yesterday to get more done and I spent the majority of both days working...yet still, here I am. I feel like the harder I work, the worse it gets.

But, on the bright side, I do have to say that when I put together these portfolios, I really feel as if I have accomplished something. I have to do an electronic portfolio for my ED118 class before the end of the semester. I think on my site I am going to place a link to each of my blogging portfolios because all the blogging I have done displays a large part of what I have accomplished at university so far and because it is so informal and it contains lots of discussions, I think it says a lot about me and how I’ve grown.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

November 5, 2005

Details and Clichés - AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 9 & 10

"The reader may have his own idea of what a Viking is, but you're out there in the wet to tell him what this particular Viking did on this particular ship in this particular storm, and if you can't give him specifics, you might as well go and be warm and dry and eat goat yogurt." (82)

This sentence just made me laugh, and it also made a good point: don't bother being out there working your butt off in what could possibly be very unfavorable conditions if you are going to report specifics and make your article worth my while to read.

This bit talks about how clichés are bad sometimes but not all the time:

"...it depends on whether clichés are used unthinkingly as reach-me-downs or chosen as the best means of saying what a writer has to say.'" (85)

I think this is true, sometimes clichés can be very useful...and I can see how in journalism they could certainly cut out a lot of words in a story to make something less confusing and to avoid long-winded explanations.

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

Living Through Our Children

Helga (to Eva. Do you understand what I mean about your being my jewels?

Eva. That's not in the story.

Helga. Do you understand?

Eva. Sort of.

Helga. We all die one day, but jewels never fade or perish. Through our children we live. That's how we cheat death. Otherwise we're really finished.

The bit that I italicized reminded me of The Jeweller's Shop. There is a line in which Anna says "do we live through each other? I suppose not. We live more through our children." I have to say that I agree with this idea. But, it makes it even sadder at the end of the play when we find out that Eva's mother lived and she just didn't want to go with her to America. If Eva doesn't want to live the way her mother does and wants her too, I think that is a blow that makes Helga feel like she is really going to die, she will not live on in her daughter. Yet, at the same time I can see why Evelyn is upset and why it is hard for her to change.

I also find it interesting how different of a feeling I get from reading this philosophy of "living through our children" when compared to that of The Glass Menagerie. A few people talked about how it seemed that Amanda was trying to live through her children instead of letting them chose their own lives, and to me (and I think to everyone else) it seemed like a bad thing. But, in this instance I don't see the idea as a bad thing. It means something so different in this play to me. I think this proves how much context matters.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 12:34 AM | Comments (5)

November 2, 2005

The End is the Beginning is The End - The final chapters of It Ain't Necessarily So

Chapter 10
"Thus our first point is not that either personal characteristics or objective forces provide the "true" explanation; instead, it's that complementary explanations are likely to be more informative than any single one." (165)

Conclusion
Whenever public policy and genuine science combine to produce "SCIENCE," problems arise, because the principles of these respective areas differ." (179)


The previous quotes from each chapter just struck me as really good overall points of the text. From chapter 10, it is trying to say "this isn't necessarily better than that, but this and that together are best."

The bit from the conclusion talks about why it is so difficult for science and politics to work together because they have different agendas and purposes.

"'The more you learn, the more you understand that you don't understand very much.'" (Quote of NASA's David Rind, 191)

And this quote just seemed very true about everything in life, not just science and journalism. I think I will print it out and hang it on my wall.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)

Reversal for the Characters and the Audience

Jim:...I've been going steady! I go out all the time with a girl named Betty.

I think these lines signify the reversal in the play. Here is the only boy that Laura has ever liked telling her he has got another girl. I think from this point on Laura feels that it is surely hopeless, which is sad because happens just as she was beginning to have hope. Also, after this point Amanda no longer stresses the importance of finding Laura a husband. Later, she actually comforts her.

It is this realization that Jim is engaged that propels the rest of the play. This is what makes Laura lose hope; it makes Amanda change her attitude towards finding a husband for Laura; it leads to Tom losing it and leaving.

I think this also signifies a bit of a reversal in the attitude of the audience towards the characters. Amanda used to be the one I disliked and then when Tom leaves I just lost respect for him and was disappointed. I began to be disappointed when he starting talking about the light bill he didn't pay and how the electricity would go out when he was already gone. I can understand that he feels trapped, but there is a difference between being doing something to change a life you are unhappy with, and doing something nasty that will make other's lives more difficult so YOU can get what you want. It made me view Tom as selfish, just the way Amanda said he was. Only until these events I didn't believe it.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 2:30 PM | Comments (4)

Peer Review & Research Bias - It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 9

"Science, then, consists of claims to knowledge that successfully withstand criticisms from other scientists." (149)

This is a major point of Chapter 9. Results from research just shouldn't be considered reliable if it hasn't been looked at by other experts who can give a second (and a third and a fourth etc.) opinion.

"As the examples...illustrate, too often it is researchers who are critcized rather than their research." (152)

This is another main point of the chapter. What we must remember is that the important part is the research, not the researcher or the one who funds the research. Yes, there may be biases involved that caused someone to fund or conduct research, but as long as the methods are appropriate and the research adequately peer-reviewed, that shouldn't matter. Besides, why would someone spend money or time to research something they don't care about? I certainly wouldn't want to do that. So, of course they might be biased and they might be trying to prove a hypothesis that would somehow benefit them, but as long as they can fairly prove it than there's nothing wrong.

"Arguably, the Inquirer displayed more pro-choice bias in its ad hominem critique of Brind than Brind displayed pro-life bias in his study."(154)

I just thought this line was funny and it showed the irony of the situation, so I put it in.

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

November 1, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So, Ch 8 - Indirect Information: How it Leads to Differences Between Reports & Occurances


"We don't learn directly about the subjects of interest; instead we receive indirect information concerning reports about that subject." (134)

IS CRIME UP OR ARE THE REPORTS?

1973 - 861,000 aggravated assaults reported to police by citizens (NCVS)
1973 - 421,000 aggravated assaults reported to the FBI by police

1988 - 940,000 aggravated assaults reported to police by citizens (NCVS)
1988 - 910,000 aggravated assaults reported to the FBI by police

"Jencks concluded that 'the most likely explanation for the increase in robberies and aggravated assaults reported to the FBI, is therefore, that the police are recording more of the violence that citizens report to them.'" (137)

This information shows that there can be discrepancies between what different groups report. This example reminds us that we are receiving information indirectly and so are the people who are reporting it. Think about what that could mean.

MORE CHILD ABUSE OR MORE STRICT MEASUREMENT?

"Instead what is mostly at issue is a heightened awareness and sensitivity among child-welfare professionals, who now report more behavior as abusive and neglectful than they would have earlier." (139)

"...the problem is that we won't properly understand the trendline unless we realize that our measuring instrument has been altered..." (142)

Sometimes studies can be inaccurate if not all the different possible causes for the results are examined. If today we consider spanking kids child abuse, but 20 years ago we did not, than we might see an increase in child abuse because all those parents who still spank their children are now being considered abusers. But, 20 years ago, they wouldn't have been.

SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?

"Once again, then, we see that reports of a phenomenon can differ from the actual occurrences of it." (141)

This is one reason why we should be aware that the info we get from the media has often gone through a few, if not several sources, and it is never direct because we are not experiencing it. Hopefully, we will see how this is significant during my presentation on Wednesday. =0)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at 8:31 AM | Comments (5)