Portfolio 2

Portfolio 2 Journal 2

This is my second Portfolio of the year and so far things are still going pretty great. Just like the first portfolio I’m going to keep this portfolio personal, because I believe that I have to put in pieces that have nothing but heart. I still think one of the class goals that is the most interesting is “analysis” and I’m happy we’ve focused on this in the class. Plus, we have to understand why this is a class goal on our own and this makes the victory all the more rewarding.

Depth: In my previous journal I only had one example, so to mx things up I have two posts that have good depth to them. These posts are the posts about news crafting and the one about the Wining Boy.

News crafting was a great concept to earn about and I never really put journalism on a high pedestal. I liked how “craft” was an acronym and the two letters that I thought were interesting and were very similar were “C” and “T.” “C” deals with being clear, concise, and correct. I liked these rules because I’ve seen articles that go against these rules and I learned that in journalism if these criteria weren’t meant then whoever was writing those articles weren’t real journalists. I liked this because I found a new respect for journalism and a sense of sympathy because there are those who think journalist are just intruders, but that’s not it, the people who don’t use these rules aren’t real journalists. They are the ones to blame. I liked how there is honor even in journalism, so kudos to them. As for “T” it has similar aspects to “C” because the words are truth and thorough. Truth and correct are just synonyms, if you don’t have correct facts, it’s just a lie. Concise and thorough are similar words as well, getting facts is delicate work and examining them takes time.

As for “Wining Boy” I wrote about how I liked his character and how he was presented. The play had a character description and said that he presents himself as a gambler that never changes his appearances, even though he is over 56 years old. I liked this in storytelling it’s rare that we get a character description that comes out and says that a particular character has layers to them. Wining Boy was a perfect example of this he had different opinions about preachers and had a troubled past. Wining boy had an “old gal friend” that died and he was upset about it because he felt for the first time in his life he knew a good women that could make him feel like a good person and I liked that. The description went out of the way to tell us, Wining Boy had layers, because that’s his whole character.

Riskiness: There is one post that I put that was extremely risky for me to put up and that one was about racism. There was a story called the, “Artificial Nigger” that was a good read, but the racism in that piece drove me insane! I wrote about how the main characters Mr. Head and Nelson hated black people and how Nelson didn’t even hate them at first. He only started to hate them because Mr. Head taught him too. This piece taught me a lesson about evil beings corrupting others, “Evil isn’t born it’s taught.” Nelson didn’t hate black people until Mr. Head told him he was “ignorant” and made him feel bad. Nelson started hating the person that walked by him because he thought, “That guy walked in front of me just to make me look bad.” I was sad at the fact Nelson was taught how to hate, if Mr. Head hadn’t of said anything he would of been the same kind-hearted child. I also wrote about how I was happy that prejudice is dying down to a bare minimal in modern society today and how I believe in the philosophy, “Don’t judge by race judge by character.” I made this post extremely personal and that alone is a big risk.

Intertextuality: There are three things other people wrote that I think need some recognition. One of my friends wrote a very interesting reflection about “The River.” I thought my friend wrote an intriguing reflection about how he thought Bevels name had some significance to the story and honestly I never considered that, which is ironic because I’ve played video games where the characters names have deeper meaning like “Terra” meaning Earth in Latin. I thought my friend could have been onto something and I even commented on his blog saying that it may have significance to the story itself and how it wasn’t a coincidence. He also wrote how how Bevels death seemed to be a happy one considering his soul was saved. I think this idea is interesting Bevel seemed to be pretty happy during the end of the story, he was creepy but happy. Finally, he noted that Bevel means carpentry and Jesus was a carpenter. My friend did a good job keeping an open mind and having enticing ideas.

The second story was about “writing effective dialogue” I thought this site was helpful because it helped me figure out how I was going to write revise my short story. I will admit I knew most of the material and I find this to be a refresher course which is a good thing. Sometimes you have to keep repeating lessons in order to hone your own skills. I thought this site was helpful, even though I knew most of the criteria. I did like how the site said that dialogue has it’s own rules for how it was written and this would be important for this sites knowledge was mine to gain.

The third story was about writing profiles about other people. My reception of this article was generally positive, but the profile does have a few kinks. The profile was about a man who was so nervous and scared that the only way he calm himself down was by running around his whole town. The author of this piece did a good job at keeping the piece organized and keeping character and quote dialogue separated from the narrative dialogue. However, there was one problem with profile that turned me off, the story had repetitive aspects. The author kept repeating stuff she already mentioned and the story could have flowed better without the repetition.

Discussion: When we had to have a conversion with someone I was surprised to see that on the post O’ Connor, “A Good Man…” Grandmother, I had two people comment on my blog which made me feel extremely happy and I was obliged to keep the conversation going. One of the commenters thought that I was, “spot on” about my interpretation of the grandmother in the story and how she thought that the grandmother was having, “Nostalgia be a false idea.” I could actually see her perspective and I was happy to comment back and tell her thanks. I did add that I liked her idea about nostalgia because I didn’t think about that myself. I also added the idea that nostalgia can blind people and can prevent them from doing new things.

The other comment on this blog post said that she used the grandmother as an example in her own post and she thought that the grandmother was the only character that, “wasn’t one dimensional.” I liked this idea, I commented back that I thought the grandmother was an interesting character and she seemed to have a lot of layers of layers to her. When writing characters it’s important that they have layers not seen to the reader, it’s not really fun just writing about paper-thin characters.

I’ve also had comments on two of my blogs from a fellow classmate on my reflection of a news profile, and my analysis of the grandmother in “Good Country People.”

We had similar view on how the news profile we are assigned to look at was too repetitive. She also told me her own view about how the primary accounts weren’t all met. I was rather blunt about that subject, the only thing that bothered me was the repetition. But she did mention that there was a lack of quotes and when I looked over the piece, I saw she was right.

As for the grandmother in “Good Country People”, we had the same perspective, yet again. My friend said that the idea of the title being repeated in the story was deliberate by having the grandmother say it because that was her perspective. I told her that I agreed and I thought the author did this to teach readers that there is a difference in being repetitive and doing it to establish a plot point or how a character views society.

Timeliness:I’m very good at keeping up with all the posts and I’ve never been late since I learned how to keep up with assignments because I’m very conscious about my homework. It is rare I miss an assignment, and if I do I will be emotional DESTROYED! the story that I want to talk about is the story that dealt with choices. I had this story written two days before it was due and I learned something important; if you make a choice you better be ready to defend it. I choice a story called “A Temple of The Holy Ghost.” This story used songs in it and I found this interesting and I wanted to write about it. I have to admit that it took me about 30 minutes to come up with ideas on why I felt these songs were worth discussing. Then I came to the conclusion using songs as a plot device or using them to flesh out characters was a good idea because it’s unusual and unexpected. It took me a while to come to that conclusion, but is still came with a good reason as to why these ideas I had were good.

Coverage: One of the posts that helped me grow as a writer is the tips about short stories. I learned that writing about short stories at the very beginning have to be as close to the climax as possible. I never knew that because I always assumed climaxes were meant to be billed up for a certain moment. Writing a climax at the beginning sounds like a challenge and that’s why it’s so great, challenges are meant to be conquered. Challenges are also meant to teach people things about themselves and if you can’t learn anything, change will never happen and that’s a waste. There’s a saying that, “ignorance is bliss” but it’s not beneficial to keep yourself blind to information that can help you grow. I will say that I was happy that in my story I had a climax near the beginning and I was happy because I had a climax written by accident, funny how things work out.

I also learned that short stories are keen on character development and I was a little shocked at that because having longer stories make character development easier and flow more easily. However after consideration, I came to the conclusion that I judged too quickly. Longer stories do make character development easier. But, that’s the thing it easier, it’s not impossible. Having hardships makes victory more meaningful. Keeping skills up to par is important in life and taking on hardships and challenges is important in keeping skills honed.

My classmates gave me some ideas on how I can improve my piece and I’m doing my best to try and not get my feelings hurt because some of the mistakes in the piece shouldn’t have been there to begin with. This is why peer reviewing is good, because in writing there needs to be multiple perspectives on how the story can be improved.

Cover-Post Conclusion: The more I participate in this course, the more I’m beginning to understanding the importance of “Analysis.” I’ve been reading short stories, book, quotes, and watching short videos and I feel I’m learning a great deal of information that is helping my intellect grow. It’s notable to say that the analysis skills I’ve been acquiring have been affecting my judgment on things. Whenever I see something that people say is bad then I start “psychoanalyzing” and I start to see that there is good in things people say are just terrible like the Star Wars Prequels, I’ve seen comments on youtube saying the movies are terrible and then I watch the movies and I see their perspectives, but I think they are being too judgmental. So this course is helping me keep an open mind and honing my new found skill for analysis. I still feel like I still have a lot to learn before the course is over so I’ll try hard to soak in as much intel from Dr. Jerz as possible.

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