October 2008 Archives

Usability Testing, Writing, and Hatred

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Krug 9-11

I never thought that a focus group and a usability test would have that much of a difference. But chapter 10 points out that a focus group is something that you want to do before you begin designing the site and usability testing should be applied during the revisions of the site. The focus group deals more with abstract things and the usability testing is more for practical issues. It kind of reminds me of the difference between a brainstorming session and a critiquing workshop.

The brainstorming session (and believe me, I've had to have many in order to survive English classes) does more things with getting ideas flowing and determining what the paper should be about, what needs to be in it, and whether or not your topic is sufficient. And the critique session is where you really find out if the paper works or not. Someone else reads it without the writer hovering over the critic's shoulder and decides what needs changed and whether or not it does it's job.


I'd have to say that my "reservoir of goodwill" is not as full as most people's. Basically, I'm impatient when it comes to the Internet. However, reading through Krug's list of "things that diminish goodwill," I picked the one that bothers me the most: Asking me for information you don't really need.

"Most users are very skeptical of requests for personal information, and find it annoying if a site asks for more than what's needed for the task at hand."

Am I the only one on this? I hate when I have to fill out information before I can sign up for an account of some sort and they force you to answer all of these meaningless questions that aren't of importance to the situation. I hate that. It really made me think about what I would do if I were the web designer. How would I make my site the least annoying for my user?

Slouching Bedlam Hidden Dragon

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Slouching Toward Bedlam was an interesting experience for me. I previously chose to use this IF game for an earlier excercise in the class so this wasn't my first experience with it. However, I really struggled with working my way through the game because I hit a wall. No, I literally hit a wall.

I wasn't able to get past the initial scanning of the rooms. I tried to take things like the phonograph machine. I tried to examine things like the computer console in the circular room and the archives, james and his desk, the outsdie courtyard, etc. However I wasn't able to find any logical "next step" in the game. So I went to the blogs and saw that Aja had found a "rod key" somewhere to which she opened Panopticon. So I went on the search for the rod key but wasn't able to find it. I then read Dena's blog and heard there was a time machine. A TIME MACHINE. I like this story even more. But I couldn't find it. I spent over an hour trying things, searching things, and also trying to figure out the plot of the story and why my character seemed ill. But I wasn't able to get to anywhere logical and hope that the class discussion will put some closure on the game for me.

So, I decided to take every action I could. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I killed James. Yes, innocent James. I did this before on my first experience with the game but decided that it was my last and did it again. James dropped and "the cold creeped in" so I searched for the next person in the game. My frustration was mounting and someone had to pay for it! So went out to the courtyard and killed the cab driver. I strangled him but it wasn't until he turned down a dark alley somewhere in the city. "The cold" began to spread, as the literature said. As did the cold, so did my anger for the game. No where to turn. I was in a dark alley, just me, the cab, and the horse. The cab blocked the alley north, and there were walls I could not pass in all three other directions. So I was stuck. Now I couldn't even get back to the hospital. So, take a guess at what I did next. Kill the horse! So I killed him and that's where the game ended for me. It said I was put on trial for murders and found guilty and admitted to the hospital in which I started. I'd like to hear how the game was supposed to be played because I didn't get very far on my own.

EL 236

Here's where to start...

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When I enter a new site, after a quick look around the Home page I should be able to say with confidence:

  • Here's where to start if I want to search.

  • Here's where to start if I want to browse.

  • Here's where to start if I want to sample

- Krug, Chapter 7, pg. 107

I like what Krug says here. If you think about it, what is the purpose of the home page? When I visit a website for the first time, such as Seton Hill University's website, I'm immediately scanning the page as soon as my eyes hit it. I'm looking for information that may attract me. Things like graphics and colors are great to pull the viewer in, but when you step back and look at it, the viewer came to the page for a reason, not just to enjoy your artistic talents. the viewer wants information and as Krug points out, specific information. So the next question is what are the means I can attain this information in the fastest possible way?

If I want something specific, I'm going straight to the search box. I want to find it quick and easy. I want it to be given to me instead of me having to look for it. This is basically what a search box does for the viewer. It helps narrow down the hunt.

If I want to frolic through the fields of pictures, info, or animations, I'll simply browse the site. I'll dive into whatever looks interesting to me and enjoy my time looking, reading, noticing things. If something catches my eye that's great, but I'm in no rush.

And if I want to get a sample of your "stuff" I'll immediately look for places to purchase merchandise or order things. I will look for a link or a place to find prices of information sold as well as descriptions on which is the best product, etc.

When looking at these issues, as Krug points out, from the users point of view, you can understand how to better help your customer/viewer. When we, as web designers, make information access simple and not too difficult to manage in a few minutes, we make it easier for our user to enjoy.


When in doubt cut it out.

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"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts."
- E.B. White's seventeenth rule in The Elements of Style

Krug includes the quote above in Chapter 5. As I have said before, and many people may know this about me, I have placed a strict emphasis on cutting out my amount of wordiness. The war was started by Kim Pennesi in STW, continued by Dr. Jerz in EL 150, and continued by many of my professors along the way. As Krug points out, we all think we're writing without unecessary words but when we really stop and think about it, we could cut out things that don't need to be there. This will make our writing more easy to understand and make communication more clear.

Krug stated that "happy talk must die" and "instructions" must die. By cutting out these needless words, no matter how "cute" or "creative" we think they are, the final product of a meaningful message becomes more clear. This is not to mention the amount of space that will be freed up where we can put more important things.


Things to think about not thinking

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I'd like to start off by saying that so far I really enjoy Krug's book. He's witty and interesting. The layout is also inviting. It's fun and informative. And what I like most about it is he has a way of explaining things that I would disagree with in the first place, until he convinces me of his point.

In the first chapter he talks about "Things that make us think." He mentions right off the bat,

"Typical culprits are cute or clever names, marketing-induced names, company-specific names, and unfamiliar technical names."

I said wait, I think witty or interesting names would be great for the web. Especially for attracting the people who only scan the web for something that jumps out at them. However, when looking into his examples and understanding what he's saying, we as web-designers want to make it as easy as possible for our viewers to find what they're looking for. For example, have a link on the webpage say "jobs" instead of "job-o-rama." It's simple, and makes the work-seeking individual's life easy.

Later, in chapter 2, a bold sub-heading that Krug included really caught my attention and sparked thought on my part:

"We're usually in a hurry."

This is the exact truth. Any time I'm online, I am in a hurry. I'm usually not just sitting down with hours to spare frolicking on the web trying to waste time. I'm looking up information, or purchasing something, or doing homework, or emailing, or whatever else. We have to keep this in mind as web designers if we want to have a easily accessible site that interests viewers and attracts many hits.


Story or Game? Hmm...

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I had a great time exporing Interactive Fiction. From what we discussed in class, about Scott Adams and his creative games, I gathered that Interactive Fiction was the first form of "gaming" that came about. However, as I investigated each of the games, I found that they were much more than simply that, there were, in fact, fiction.

I dove into the five assigned games without having any clue of what to expect. I do have some experience with video games, but I am far from being an expert. I've played all of the popular Playstation games and of course am addicted to everyone's favority Nintendo system, the 64. The only experience I've had with computer games was Deer Hunter in elementary school during recess. So, I guess you could say I'm rather inexperience in the gaming world, but after investigating these five IF games I found that they were much more than just "a game" to pass the time, I foud that they were educational and were indeed fiction.

For example, in Lost Pig, the player must use clues and explore in order to find the "lost pig." (This may sound easy, but let me tell you, it's more difficult that you'd expect.) Yes, it's a fun game that the player must, "figure out," but when you really look at it, it's a story. It's a story about how Grunk lost the pig and must recapture him.

What I struggled with in these games may be the entire reason for it. I was forced to use something called "words." Anyone ever hear of this term? Yes, words are groups of letters that are thrown together to share a concept with another human being, or in this case, a computer. It is difficult to communicate with a computer if you haven't tried. For example in my least favorite, Galatea, I struggled much with trying to figure out where to go or what to do next. The game makes the player put words in a certain order that would make it easiest for a computer to understand. This was often unbearably hard. What made it more difficult is that Galatea, a statue, has a mood and a temperament that made it hard to engage with her.

Though, there the games were challenging I must say that I really enjoyed experiencing them. Afterall, what I liked about them most was that they were fiction. In Tales of the Traveling Swordsman, Ecydisis, and Photopia, just like the others, there is a story line that the player has a direct control of based on which key words he or she uses. My favorite was Tales of the Traveling Swordsman because it was basically set up like a mystery. Not "mystery" in the sense that you and I think of a mystery novel, but the player/reader had to discover what was coming up next. I loved that aspect of the game.

Overall, I was really interested and actually got pretty involved in a few of the games. It was kind of hard to stop playing

Anyone remember Atari?

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The readings for today really sent me back in time, like they did for Jackie. Like most of the other people blogged, I found it very interesting to learn about who laid the ground work for all of the computer games we play today: Scott Adams (nothing like having two first names! -- not being sarcastic by any means). I really enjoyed reading what Scott and Dr. Jerz had to say about the beginnings of gaming and the lessons Scott learned through his years of experience. For example, letting the players tell you how to revise the game.

I know it is a bit before my time, but I remember playing the Atari when I was young. Now look at all of the Rockband, and Mario Kart (as Chelsea would put it) games we have. They all started with basic concepts and evolved into more complex systems. I feel this is what is happening to me in EL 236. In a sense, I have started with basic (and I mean BASIC) online skills. And now I'm evolving into a webwriter.

Atari Game System

I wanted to add... what did everyone think about the game that Adams designed, Adventureland? Do you think that you would have been able to play it and discover all of the puzzles? I liked what the readings said about the word games being more fun than the animated games. The mind really is more creative than the limits that pictures can put on things. With words, we get to basically create our own pictures in our head. I think that's really neat. But in complete honesty I think I would be bored out of my mind by the first three challenges, not because the game itself is boring, but because I'm so accustomed to today's fast-paced, instant pudding culture that I wouldn't want to sit and wait to figure out the puzzle. I would want to get there quickly and (even though I don't think I have ADD) I bet "my attention deficit disorder" would set in and I'd be done with it. How about you?

In EL 236 Writing for the Internet one of our required text books was Writing for the Web 3.0 by Crawford Kilian. I personally had no experience with the internet and online writing previous to this class. As a newbie web writer, I feel this book helped me immensely and would be very lost and confused without it. Through repitition, and easy-to-follow tips, this book helped me become a better and has brought me to a basic level of publishing material on the web.

Many of my classmates feel the same way as I do. But, others felt that the book was perhaps too basic, or too repetitive, as did I at times. The book seemed to cross over with a lot of information addressing journalism, which I briefly experienced in my Newswriting class. Therefore, I feel the book may have been more effective if a few changes would be made.

If another edition were to be published, I have some ideas that may make it a more effective book for people in my situation.

What I liked about the book (and what some other's didn't like) was simplicity of the text. I liked how Kilian put things into lists and tips and made them easy to follow and understand. For example, in Chapter 4 Kilian puts together a list of rules to follow when writing web-text. I really found this chapter useful because it was easy to follow and applicable. It even spawned an entry on my blog basically re-capping Kilian's chapter in a creative way called "The 10 Webtext-ments".

A few things that I didn't like about the text were that it was definitely geared toward the corporate world. I can't take much away from this because I'm a student who's learning how to write webtext. If you take a look at my blog, Are two heads better than one?, I show that I understand what Kilian is talking about, yet can't really apply it to my webwriting. The information is useful, just not quite applicable.

Secondly, as I said before about the text having a journalistic approach, I think it may be incorporated too much. What I mean is that Kilian may be able to cut back on the stylistic types of things, and perhaps had more information applying to html. I'm not saying more information about formatting, but perhaps a happy medium between the basics of html, and cut out the repetitive information dealing with effective journalistic writing.

Overall i really enjoyed the book and hope to see a fourth edition.

Round 2

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It's round 2 and it's time to re-cap how far I've come in EL 236. My Portfolio 2 is in many ways different than my Porfolio 1 not simply because of different entries. This round is different because I don't feel that I'm struggling to stay on my feet, that I'm barely breathing and trying to keep my head above water. This time, I've let the new concepts (of html and web writing) sink in and have actually put them into practice. I have to say that I'm proud of myself. I feel like I can actually apply the information we've been learning instead of simply going through the steps. This is evident through my blogs and through the work I've done.

This portfolio captures my reactions, critical thoughts, and ability to learn new concepts through the links to my entries that are posted as follows:

Coverage: All of my entries met the requirements for including a quote, linking to the source, and also linking back to the course website. So, because of rendundancy, I decided to only include the links that aren't found somewhere else in this portfolio. All my entries are apparent, just not under the coverage heading.

Timeliness: In the world of "academic blogging" or at least in our little world of EL 236, the key to having others interact on your entries is timeliness. The earlier you get your blog up, the more of a chance there is that people will look at it and respond. Here are a few entries that I blogged at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Interaction: It's interesting to think that interaction is our goal for blogging. I feel that I've had a good blog if I get comments from my peers. It makes me feel like I did my job and that I'm interesting. These are a few entries where I feel I have attracted meaningful comments from otherson my blog.

Depth: The depth category is usually difficult to fulfill because much of what we blog are quick reactions to readings, or initial thoughts. However, in this round I took some extra time and put some more effort into my blogging. These are a few examples of my in-depth blogs that go beyond the initial personal reaction to a specific reading.

  • The 10 "Webtext-ments"
  • is an entry where I compared Crawford Kilian's 10 tips to writing webtext to the 10 commandments.
  • Blender Blog
  • is where I inspired a blog on Dr. Jerz's blog which attracted a comment from the author of our book, Crawford Kilian.
  • Creative Hypertext: Part III
  • is where I take a deep, critical look into a hypertext poem called Faith.

Discussion: This category is where we get the most learning done. I believe that it is through discussion that we teach each other, which is why the blogging system is so effective. Here are a few entries where I engaged in meaningful conversation with my peers and discussed academic issueson their blogs.

As you can see, I feel I am making strides in my online skills and hopefully, this reflective portfolio is a good sign of how much more I will learn this semester.

Creative Hypertext - Part III

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After engaging with Robert Kendall's poem Faith, I have looked beyond the surface and found literary meaning within the work.

To get a general overview of the content of the poem, take a look at my previous blog entry. It describes, in detail, the visual, audio, and textual aspects of the poem itself.

I have noticed through Kendall's use of color, sounds, and his creative writing ability, he has put together a literary hypertext that will in fact fall into the Aristotelian Concept of Plot. The poem has a beginning, a middle, and an end, thus creating not so much a plot, but a completely full work, one that flows in the natural order from start to finish. It begins with a thought, a single word, and ends with a fresh new idea. In fact, it ends with a "summary" more literally than you might think. Kendall's last slide reads, "just to sum up: Faith."

Because "Faith" has:

  • a fixed sequence

  • a definite beginning and ending

  • a story's "certain definite magnitude" and

  • the concetion of unity or wholeness

it lines up with Aristotle's view, while much other hypertext does not. The University of the Yellow Wallpaper and The Heist both have links that take you off path. The reader can get lost, view the story out-of-order, or not even read the entire story depending on which links he/she choose to follow. This provides problems for the reader. Yet, "Faith" has one link at the ending of each animation which makes it linear and easier for the reader to follow the natural progression.

Looking closer into the text, I found that "Faith" indeed is a progression. A progression of life. It starts with the words logic falling and settles with "logic can't bend this." At the bottom of the page is where Kendall puts a link to the next movement with carefully chosen phrase such as, "So... (link)." This shows the progression that there is always more to discover and learn. There is never an ending. Kendall creatively gets this point across with the general set-up of the poem.

Another reason I feel the poem is a progression of life is how Kendall incorporates the audio aspect. As I said in my earlier blog, each movement includes a new instrument. The first movement is a high-pitched bell (perhaps signifying youth, or a child) which gives the reader the thought of new life, or a beginning. The sound is small and delicate much like a baby. The next movement is accompanied by a harp. A harp's pitch is a little lower giving the subconscious reader an adolscent-type tone. Still young, but older than the bell. The third movement is the synthetic instrument. As I said another time, it sounds like "beams" if you can imagine that. And the sounds are slow and individual. This may signifiy young adulthood. The tone is "older." The fourth movement begins to combine instruments. It starts with the synthetic "beam," both high-pitched and low, and combines the harp with it coinciding with the movement of the words. The sound gives the reader an "epiphany"-type feeling. Like Kendall is saying that it's all coming together. This is where the entire content of the poem is on the screen at the same time so, in a sense, it is a fullfillment, which is what the audio makes it sound like. In the final movement, all the words fall away and all that's left is the phrase I mentioned earlier, "just to sum up: Faith." This movement goes back to using the bells. As the words fall away, the bells make a wind-chime sound until one final bell is heard when the word Faith falls into place. This brings the poem full circle, back to new life. The music progressed with the stages of life, not so much the physical stages, but the psychological stages. From youth and inexperience to adulthood and wisdom, only to find that in the end, the answer to logic's questions are so simple a child could do it: Faith.

As the sounds progress the words of the poem progress. The first movement is the four-word slide that I discussed earlier. Kendall says that

"logic can't bend this. So..."

He's saying that no matter what proof an individual has, faith is always stronger than logic.

The next movement says

"I edge logic out. Can't the mind press on around the bend to consummate this vision of the deep 'or'?"

Kendall questions our mind's ability to understand life. He personifies the mind by using "presss on around the bend." This gives the reader the feeling that the mind is doing the action in this poem. He also investigates the deep "or" that haunts thinkers around the world. Philosphy is a way to think about these issues, but not an answer. He may be saying the logic isn't the answer. As the poem progresses the initial words from the previous movement are broken apart but never dissolved so that new words in a new color are added to the text. This also plays into the idea of progression.

In the fourth movement, perhaps the "epiphany" movement, the narrator of the poem talks about this edge, this chasm that he is forced to step toward. He wants to hold onto his logic, but can't. He must "press his foot firmly/into the black, all-but bottomless chasm beyond the brink." The narrator must step "off the rocker (yippee!)" in order to lose the bars cage that logic has trapped him into and embrace this feeling of faith (that the reader doesn't know yet). The movement ends with the

"deeper world's One True Word: Leap."

The word "Leap" stands alone at the bottom of the screen and the animation makes it grow to cover the entire screen. I think what Kendall does here is brilliant. The word "leap" is a lonely word. The action is often done out of desperation and solo, this is a scary thought. However, life is an action. Without taking that step, asking that girl out, trying something new, there is no life. Logic can only get someone so far. Without that leap the person is stuck in their own thoughts, he/she is trapped in their own thinking and nothing changes because there is no action. The universe's one true word is "leap."

The final movement is the answer to the poem; it is the progression that was being led up to.

"just to sum up: Faith"

The poem builds by means of audio, visual, and animation, to the final movement which gives the reader the answer. All these questions, and thoughts were necessary to reach the final conclusion: all that matters in life is Faith. There is no logic, and sometimes life doesn't make sense. But the individual can never get to that conclusion without going through life's logic and discovering their own faith for himself.

EL 236

Creative Hypterext - Part II

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I chose to investigate for 30 minutes, Faith by Robert Kendall.

I plunged into Faith with the intent to "get something out of it" and came out with a realization that it is much, much deeper than a nice-looking, pretty poem that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It is a creation, that must have taken Kendall a lot of time and energy to create. It is a work of art, not just a few rhyming lines that someone threw together.

The poem is a series of 5 slides and with each new slide, the existing words on the page are formatted and disected to create new words that, when read in order, create a message. By the end, the reader is left with a final phrase that "sums up" the poem.

There were a few major things that I noticed about this poem upon a second, third, and fourth look. First of all the sounds. The sounds were NOT, as I stated in my earlier blog entry, sounds of a type writer, but rather, they were musical instruments. No doubt, they were strategically placed in certain areas for effect (I will look into this when I do a more engaged reading of the poem). The sounds consist of a triangle-type instrument, or a high-pitched bell. Next there was some type of harp, or a soft piano. Also, another instrument that sounded more synthetic, like beams or something of that nature. Not much percussion, except the tap of a drum here and the quick shake of a "rainmaker" perhaps there. To give you a sense, the musica gave me the feeling of the background music to the movie, "Field of Dreams." In case you've never seen it and my reference means nothing to you, the music is a mystical, eerie, strange type sound. Not necessarily creepy, it just gives the viewer/listener the feeling of something unknown.

The other thing I noticed was the different colored text. It, likewise had some sort of meaning (which I will further research in my next viewing). The colors used were simple shades. There are 4 all together: black, yellow, red, and maroon. Each new color is introduced with each new slide making it evident to the reader which new words were added and which existed before.

This poem seems to have much deeper meaning beyond the level of the surface that I will investigate further and engage in in my next entry.

El 236

Creative Hypertext - Part I

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I explored a few types of creative hypertext at the Electronic Literatrure Collection. I was at first surprised at how much literature there actually was. I began to scroll over a few pictures and found some that thought looked interesting based on the image and the quick description.

I first looked at Kenneth Goldsmith's "Soliloquy." I was amazed at what I found. He decided to write down every word he said for one entire week. He did this by using a tape recorder and writing down each word he said from Monday to Sunday. It was interesting to see what was written because it didn't make sense. It was only him speaking so you had to kind of guess what the other party was saying during his conversation. Very interesting.

The next piece I looked into was Alan Sondheim's "Dawn." This one was a new experience because it was a poem that included visual and audio along with the written words. It showed a few scenes and the words would fade in and out over top of a consistent sound. It was interesting to see how much "life" was brought to words when you can do more than simply look at them on a page. It gave the poem color and personality. I really enjoyed this piece as well.

The third I explored was probably my favorite. "Faith" by Robert Kendall is a poem, much like "Dawn," that uses words, sounds, and pictures. However, there are no scenes like in "Dawn." There are simply different colored words. Each clip, adds or takes away words from what is already there, and is accompanied by type writer-like sounds. I enjoyed this poem because I liked Kendall's message, and because it was very interesting to see how word order can affect the meaning of a work of literature.

The fourth was very intriguing as well. "Star Wars, one letter at a time" by Brian Kim Stefans was unique and nothing I'd ever seen before. It also had audio, but only text. This was a look at Star Wars, written out, as if George Lucas were writing it. The sounds were type writer sounds as each letter came up on the middle of the screen. For example, the first clip read "S" and the second read "t" and spelled Star Wars. This occured throughout the entire story. I recognized the famous, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." It was pretty cool to see the text like that, but also a little difficult to follow if not knowing what is coming up ahead.

I'm excited and look forward to looking into one or a few of these works more intently and studying what's beyond the surface.

EL 236

A Contorted Labyrinth

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Shelley Jackson's "The Body" is an artistic construction of art and hypertext. Jackson writes her experiences and her interpretations of life through strategically placed links throughout the portrait and within the hypertext of each section. I feel that the art can be admired on so many levels:

  • the portrait itself

  • the color background of each link - why white? or black?

  • the placement of each link - why there?

  • the name of each link

  • the narratives chosen to be written

  • the tense/point of view of each paragraph

"I pictured the inside of my brain as something like a burrow, a labyrinthine system of contorted tunnels with hairpin turns. Ordinarily, the passages were roomy, pale and dry, like tunnels worm-bored through chalk or bone."

Through describing the brain, Jackson is able to corrolate to the object of her work. This definition, found by following a link on the "eye" page called insufficiently real, describes the innerworking confusion that goes on when the brain gets confused, somewhat like what goes on when reading this work. This description seemed to characterize what goes on in our brains when reading Jackson's work. It's like a "system of contorted tunnels with hairpin turns." Depending on which hyperlinks we click, we follow a set of contorted tunnels, and we make hairpin turns as we read. Which way should we go? Where do we turn? The second part of the quote, as well, can be read beyond what it's meaning. Ordinary writing is pale and dry, linear. Everything is structured, boring, and makes sense. This is something new. It asks you to step outside your pre-determination of what writing should be and to accept her way of writing. Also, after referencing the "worm-bored" tunnels, she sticks with this extended metaphor throughout the rest of the passage. Jackson does a very interesting thing here. It makes anyone who respects art stop and think about, and hopefully enjoy, her work.


An unexpected reference

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When I first saw the assignment and made an initial visit to the hypertext story called, The University of Yellow Wallpaper, I immediately thought of a short story I had one time read for a class called "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. I enjoyed the story and didn't know if it had to do anything with this hypertext literature.

I have finally found out. The front pattern does move--and no wonder! The woman behind it shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. Then in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard. And she is all the time trying to climb through (Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper," 30).

As I read through White's work, I came across this quote from "The Yellow Wallpaper." What I admire about what White did was combine other works in with his own. You don't often see that in a creative work, more in research and critical essays, however, this act brings an aspect of originality and concentration to White's piece.

The other reason I feel the quote is integral to the work is that in a way, it reflects the overall identity of the work. What I mean is it definitely takes more than a glance to understand what is going on, what White is doing. Each page is something different: a new challenge to understand, comprehend, make sense of, think about. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is just that. It's the tale of a woman who, in a sense, thinks too much, and causes herself to go crazy. "The University of Yellow Wallpaper" does much of the same thing. It sends the reader in circles, yet each individual page has its own meaning and mission. I enjoyed picking this work apart and found it more difficult than I expected.


An unexpected reference

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When I first saw the assignment and made an initial visit to the hypertext story called, The University of Yellow Wallpaper, I immediately thought of a short story I had one time read for a class called "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. I enjoyed the story and didn't know if it had to do anything with this hypertext literature.

I have finally found out. The front pattern does move--and no wonder! The woman behind it shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. Then in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard. And she is all the time trying to climb through (Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper," 30).

As I read through White's work, I came across this quote from "The Yellow Wallpaper." What I admire about what White did was combine other works in with his own. You don't often see that in a creative work, more in research and critical essays, however, this act brings an aspect of originality and concentration to White's piece.

The other reason I feel the quote is integral to the work is that in a way, it reflects the overall identity of the work. What I mean is it definitely takes more than a glance to understand what is going on, what White is doing. Each page is something different: a new challenge to understand, comprehend, make sense of, think about. "The Yellow Wallpaper" is just that. It's the tale of a woman who, in a sense, thinks too much, and causes herself to go crazy. "The University of Yellow Wallpaper" does much of the same thing. It sends the reader in circles, yet each individual page has its own meaning and mission. I enjoyed picking this work apart and found it more difficult than I expected.


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Andrew M. Lonigro

808 North Jefferson Street

Connellsville, PA 15425

Phone: 724-984-8537

Email: andylonigro@gmail.com



  • Energetic person with a positive outlook on education
  • Firmly believe that every child can learn especially when taught in a creative and engaging way
  • Rooted in strong work ethic as evidenced by collegiate athletic participation, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and grade point averages.



Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA                                                        2005-Present

  • Major: English/Creative Writing also pursuing secondary teaching certification
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.8
  • Expected Graduation Date: May 2009


Connellsville Area High School, Connellsville, PA                                  2001-2005

  • GPA: 3.74; Class Rank: 28/425
  • Recipient of Tim Bollibon Award
  • Nominated for WPIAL Student/Athlete of the Year


Professional Experience:

Writing Consultant                                                                                               2006-Present

Seton Hill University Writing Center and ESL Studies                            Greensburg, PA

  • Tutor undergraduates as well as graduate and adult students in areas of English pertaining to writing
  • Engage in helping them understand and develop their own individual writing process
  • Create a learning atmosphere that discourages directive teaching and encourages the student-lead development of the individual’s writing skills


TSS for autistic child                                                                                            2006-2007

Alliance Health Wraparound South, Inc.                                                     Uniontown, PA

  • Worked with an 8 year old autistic boy at a YMCA day camp
  • Motivated child to step beyond his comfort level and engage in socially broadening conversations and situations
  • Served as a positive role model for a child with behavioral and emotional deficiencies
  • Diffused potentially harmful situations by diverting the child’s attention to positive thoughts or ideas


Orientation Assistant                                                                                         2007-Present

Seton Hill University                                                                                           Greensburg, PA

  • Represent the university in a positive and responsible way
  • Provide freshmen and other first-year students with the information they need to succeed at the university
  • Make new students feel comfortable and accepted into the Seton Hill community by engaging in meaningful conversation and answering questions honestly and truthfully



Big Brothers Big Sisters Program                                                                    2007-Present

Metzger Elementary                                                                                            Greensburg, PA

  • Provide a positive male role model for a child who had social deficiencies
  • Engage in simple, fun activities to create a positive enjoying time for the child


English Club                                                                                                            2007-Present

Seton Hill University                                                                                           Greensburg, PA

·         Serve as Treasurer

·         Exercise responsibility and dedication in the handling of financial information


Men’s Varsity Basketball Team                                                                       2005-Present

Seton Hill University                                                                                            Greensburg, PA

·         Three-year member of the team

·         Engage in a competitive atmosphere where teamwork is integral to success


Habitat for Humanity                                                                                         2007-2008

Seton Hill University                                                                                          Greensburg, PA

·         Worked with a team of volunteers building houses in Birmingham, Alabama for families in need of a home

·         Exhibit the act of charity in taking a stance for economic justice



Kim Pennesi                                                                      Philip Dorazio

Seton Hill University                                                       Alliance Health Wraparound South, Inc.

Writing Center and ESL Coordinator                         Director

Phone: (724) 830-1080                                   Phone: (724) 430-0098

Email: pennesi@setonhill.edu                    Email: alliancehealth@atlanticbbn.net


Heidi Eutsey

Connellsville Area High School

English Teacher

Phone: (724) 628-1350


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