August 2009 Archives

All Tied Up

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"We call it-knot it," (400). She was going to knot the quilt like she knotted the rope 'round her husbands neck. (At least what the women think). Nice tie in (NPI).

In "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell, I still wasn't convinced that Mrs. Wright did it, but I certainly found motive. It's funny that the men couldn't find a motive and made fun of the women, who found a motive, but kept it concealed.

Women know women better, but I suppose that this was during the time when women didn't put their voice out there. They seem to only converse, even when it wasn't about Mrs. Wright, when the men were out of earshot. Why? Tradition for women to be silent unless a man addressed them or did they just not want the men to hear their conversation.

I also wanted to contemplate her name: Mrs. Wright (as the men call her and her formal name) and Minne Foster (as the women call her, unmarried). Wright seems for structured, uptight, and stiff like her marriage (as we heard) while Minnie seems more innocent and happy.



Short like the chapter

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"Always assume that everything you find there is connected to everything else in the work..." (54).

I disagree. There are always exceptions.

"Organize your Essay on a Close Reading" (55): Introduction, Body, Conclusion.

That's elementary, my dear Roberts. Elementary.


Despite these challenges I faced when reading this section, I did like that it raised questions to help discover ideas for close reading theses. They were very helpful.


No he di'int!

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"Nobody said it except the copywriter following the consultant rule to 'build emotion.'  What that is, is 'creative writing.'" (pg 1)

As a creative writing major, I take offense. Creative writing does build emotion, but when it is creative nonfiction it doesn't build unrealistic emotion for views or ratings. Creative writing is more than fiction and presenting false images or accounts. The best creative writing pushes people to think and analyze. The "creative writing" on the news should not be called "creative writing." It should be called "inventive, unimaginative, and furious scribbles of a desperate and failing media."

"In fact, most anchors are journalists-turned-actors who are highly paid for their poised images and their studio delivery." (pg 2)



The Race to Humiliate

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Because TV news races to get to the information first, trying to beat out blogs/rumors/papers, I find they sacrafice their content. The Onion's spoof reflects how this can happen. The "station" didn't even send someone who could even interpret Creole or French or a camera. In the best clip they got, nothing could be understood. You think they would have a guy who knew how to use his camera phone and set it for longer than a 10 sec clip.

The anchor also tried to make news out of something she knew nothing about. How can she possibly know its the biggest news out of Haiti when she can't even confirm what's happening. Is it positive/negative? Can anyone be interviewed?

Sadly, this happens in real news sometimes in the race to get on air first.

Call it Fast News Instead

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There was action (I suppose) in action news at 11 last night, but more of the focus I noticed was speed. It seemed like they were racing to get the words out, the story across, and as they did so all the news clips seemed a blur to me. Is this effective? I guess so since they're doing it (though every clip I watched I could have or already knew by internet).

I found a lot of the news to be about local happenings so I think they were covered by WTAE, but I couldn't hear any of the sources mentioned. It all went so fast. Each story was about a minute long. Klapak said the average student/learning attention span is 16 seconds so following that rule the anchors try to cram in the top of the pyramid, the newsworthy stuff as fast as possible before switching to something else.

I found in interesting also that the weather got the longest consistent air time. A couple newsworthy non-local stories I assumed were pulled from another source. For example, the reel of the Pirates game had a nearly invisible tag at the top that read FSN. I suppose the footage came from another source then.

The rest of the time (majority) was spent on commericals, "coming up", and graphics/logos/idle chat.

As for journalist/WTAE reporter, they seem similar in what they are looking for in a writer. The journalist piece seems to cover all the in-depth bases that  WTAE lumps over in "experience", but WTAE puts a giant focus on time and speed.


Failing to Fail

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Mark Twain's "Luck" made me frustrated with the clergyman, who tried to help ease the pain of this man's failure. If you ease the pain of a failure, the man may be foolish enough to think he did well and try again or to not recognize his blunders. This is obvously what happened to this man. Because the clergyman looked out for him, stood by his side, and helped him along, this soldier never knew his faults.

After seeing the man pass through his test because of your help, stop helping. Unless you want to see this man be a success, you must stop helping. I do not feel pity for this clergyman whose hair is going white from the stress. He brought it on himself. And why didn't this man let go of his pupil and ally with a smarter student? Did he feel the need to be relied upon? To be a hero? Is he now too ashamed to move from his side? Lastly, why must you ruin the idea of this great soldier for another man? Does the clergyman want someone to share his guilt? Or is disgusted by this man's success/his failure to fail, so disgusted he needs others to know? Or can this clergyman not possibly stand the idea of his friend being disillusioned, yet feel quite fine about letting the public remain clueless.


Why? Because...

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At first, Hardy's "The Man He Killed" came off as non-chalant to me. The man didn't seem to care that he just shot down a fellow that he (if in a different situation) might have befriended. He seemed to be a drone, programmed to find "the enemy" (no questions asked) and take them out.

Then I reread this quote (line 9-10) "I shot him dead because-/ because he was my foe" (372). This quote stopped me. The narrator stopped mid-sentece/mid-thought here, trying to find some justification (other than because he was the enemy), perhaps fully realizing his actions and that this man is not just  "the enemy", but another man (like him) who enlisted for what he believes in or just for a job.

And now he is dead. Yet the narrator still doesn't seem that impacted. "Curious war is!" he says as if its just a new fact he learned about wild animals.

Other Student's Responses (OSR)

Writing About Lit Reviews Intro to Lit

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This whole Preliminary chapter, because it was preliminary I guess, is all review of what I learned last year. Although this book has great points, I am not a writer that learns very well by reading what to do. I learn by doing and revising and working towards perfecting my essays. One thing that did help though was that through the chapter, the author consistently used "The Necklace" as the example so I saw how the development worked.


The (Non) News of Michael Jackson

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A famous person has died really reminded me of the coverage of Michael Jackson's death. There was no news to report as they waited to see if he really died, reporters read biographies and from blogs like TMZ, stood outside buildings, went to graveywards where they thought he may be buried, and visited the mansion he no longer owned. All the while, they said nothing signifigant, nothing new and could confirm nothing.



The Necklace

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I thought I had read this story before, but I was wrong. There is a similar short story that I feel is more moving than this one about a girl in a concentration camp (of some sort, she may be asian) and all she has is her necklace (or is it a bracelet).

This story though makes a point of detailing the woman and her emotions rather than factualy state what happens (like the side notes show). This added emotion and information is supposed to add to our sympathy felt for this woman or believe she really did grow stronger in those ten years and it was worth it.

I actually felt quite the opposite. Her constant sadness and desperation for material things disgusted me. Why couldn't she be happy with her husband? Why even marry her husband? I may have to look in context, during the time this was written for, to find these answers.

I was also confused as to why she didn't go to her friend. If her friend wsa so good as to loan her "diamonds", then why couldn't she go to her friend and tell the truth? (Probably also in context.)

Last, I disagreed with the moral of the story (note on the side). I believe she isn't better after 10 years of work. That was a little too extreme. Maybe two years, at the most five. Now she is probably more bitter than ever.


The Best Writers

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This book is ok so far. I noticed a lot of review, but it's to be expected. The thing that really irked me though was the references to "the best writers" or "the best leads" and each time it seemed that these "best" things didn't follow any of the rules taught in the book. "The best writer will often find a great lead that violates all these rules" (292). At the same time, the way to become the best wasn't clearly stated. Clark and Scanlan are telling me there is a different/better way to approach writing, but not giving me that secret.

So this book is telling journalists how to be mediocre rather than the best? Just to get hired instead of promoted?

P.S. I'm not trying to criticize here. Just point out repitition.



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Space and the way you use it in a newspaper is very important and should be appealing to readers so that they buy the paper or look a the website (as we all know).

I (for the most part) like the way the Tribune spreads out their articles and have the neat outlines and sections between articles and pictures. I also like how the pictures have thin lines around each picture. In the Setonian, it's not like this and sometimes I have problems figuring out where the picture goes and (not to be rude) but to me it looks sloppy sometimes.

But, I feel also that the masthead gets really crowded with the two boxes by the masthead/picture, then with the advertising/web address and the date. I know all these things are necesary (mostly), but it felt like a noisy website.


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