Let's Get Wired

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The fuction a link performs in the body of a news article is to inform the reader on the bigger issues that the article is not discussing.  A link can provide extra information that an article does not have space for.

I think that this is important because if a reader is interested in the subject, then they will want to know more about it.  Also, if the journalist is able to provide extra information for the reader's interests, then the reader will want to refer to that journalist more often.  It also makes the journalist appear resourceful.  By linking to your article, it can also help to keep you informed on the subject that you are writing about.

EL 227


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November 2009

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I'm Dirty

In this little interactive and fun presentation, I obviously followed the garbage.

I think that a website like this is extremely informative and useful.  It can be used by people my age as well as younger children.  The children may not understand the stats as well, but they would be able to click on certain links and it would still be of some sort of educational value.

Trash and recycling is an extremely important issue presently in the world.  Interactive websites like this can help to inform people on how unfortunate this issue is. 

El 227

Let's Get Wired

The fuction a link performs in the body of a news article is to inform the reader on the bigger issues that the article is not discussing.  A link can provide extra information that an article does not have space for.

I think that this is important because if a reader is interested in the subject, then they will want to know more about it.  Also, if the journalist is able to provide extra information for the reader's interests, then the reader will want to refer to that journalist more often.  It also makes the journalist appear resourceful.  By linking to your article, it can also help to keep you informed on the subject that you are writing about.

EL 227

Link This

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences-a list of statistics that shows the risks of drinking in college.

Changing the Culture of College Drinking-an article that discusses the benefits of a dry campus.

Opinions on the Dry Campus Policy-a link to a youtube video that shows student's views on the concept of a dry campus.

EL 227

Finding What is Lost

When looking through The New York Times website, I found a video titled A Deck of Lives.  This video showed how South Carolina was using playing cards to help solve unsolved crimes.  The cards were made with the faces of those who have are missing or who have been murdered and the killer or killers were not ever found.  The decks were then sold to prison inmates.  The makers of the cards think that the inmates will recognize the pictures and come forward with information.

The video was very effective because it was able to show how much the inmates actually use the cards.  Also, in a normal newspaper, they would only be able to use a picture.  The video allows readers/ watchers to see and hear the full effect of the playing cards.

EL 227

How We Protect Ourselves

"Locks are locked, are doublechecked, sometimes by remote control with beeps," (245)

Colso Whitehead shows how society does not trust one another in part four of "John Henry Days."  What are locks, sunglasses, and mud flaps for? Protection.  Protection from whom?  Members of society have succeeded in showing one another that we don't trust each other.

There are legitimate reasons for this mistrust, but it is slightly sad and annoying that we have to go to certain lengths to protect ourselves from our surrounding community.

Mud flaps and sunglasses, however, are a different story.  Sunglasses protect our eyes from the sun, so why do I see so many people wearing sunglasses at night.  Can protection just become a form of style?  This is slightly upsetting because I know that if wearing a padlock around your neck ever became stylish, I would not do it.  Wait, I think I've already seen a couple people wearing something like this.

Portfolio 3

Coverage: Here is the third list of blogs that I have posted at this time in the semester.

You Can't Always Get What You Want-This entry discusses the need for an explanation in "Maus," by Art Spiegelman.  Not only the readers are left confused, but also the characters.

Imagery Can be Intense!-Imagery can be very useful as an appeal to readers.  It might even make you hungry.

The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death-A parallel between the Red Death and the swine flu.

How Much More Can We Learn About Setting?-Is setting just getting boring, or are we just getting started?

Being Proud of Something You Actually Worked For-Discussion about an editorial regarding Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize.

That's What Friends are For-This entry discusses a sonnet written by William Shakespeare.  Is he really sharing a private moment with the world?

Appreciate the Finer Things in Life, and No That Does Not Mean Your Diamond Pinky Ring-This blog talks about how John Keats, the author of On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer, shows the ability to appreciate the things that aren't worth an amount of money.

Catching the Swine Flu-Another one of my entries that parallels the swine flu.  However, this entry discusses how metaphors and similes can help readers determine the unknown.

Opposites Attract-This blog shows the relationship between opposites in Miss Brill, by Katherine Mansfield.

It Makes No Difference to Me-In this entry I have attempted to show how Langston Hughes attempts to stay away from stereotypes in all categories.

What, You Can't Take a Joke?-Can you have a close analysis of a laugh?

Rumors Rumors Rumors-This blog entry discusses how rumors can change a story.

Naming Names-Everyone wants to look cool, so why not throw a celebrities name out there to improve your status?

How We Protect Ourselves-Again, looking cool can make people revert to extremes.  This time, however, it involves a padlock and a steel chain.

Depth: The entries in which I feel that I have made valiant effort.

You Can't Always Get What You Want-I believe that this entry has brought forth some major issues in many books.

The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death-I think that I did an excellent job comparing the Red Death to the swine flu. 

That's What Friends are For-This blog is important not only in the text of the sonnet, but for society as a whole.

Opposites Attract-I feel that this blog really focuses on an important aspect of Miss Brill

Naming Names-This shows the importance of looking good in society.

How We Protect Ourselves-I believe that this blog takes a societal trend and explains it.


Mausie Maus-Shellie Polly

Shellie refers to the ending of "Maus," by Art Spiegelman.  Gladys also commented on Shellie's blog to discuss the ending.  We are all in agreement that the ending of the book was a little abrupt, and we would have like him to elaborate a little.

Framed Comic Frames-David Wilbanks

Dave explains that the framing used in "Maus" adds more "human element to the story.  The interaction makes the story more relatable.  I then explained to Dave that I believe this book should be used to teach children about the Holocaust because of Art's use of pictures and frames.

What's the Matter With Vladek?-Gladys Mares

Gladys discusses how she feels bad for Vladek's second wife, Mala.  I agree with her in saying that she should not be treated so unfairly, and that he should actually be able to relate to her better because they have so much in common.

Can You Imagine? Nope-Aja Hannah

Aja tells us about the difficulties of reading something that has footnotes.  She says, "the time it took me to look up each meaning took me out of the poem."  I also lose track of what is going on in the poem when I have to refer to something else just to understand it.  It is frustrating.  Aja was able to point out the problems with this occurence.

Dear Prince Prospero,-Jessica Orlowski

In this letter that Jessica has written for her blog entry, she has voiced her concerns about the stupidity of Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death. 

By doing so, she has brought up a point that I have focused on earlier in my blogging.  I have compared Prospero's attempt to escape the Red Death to society's attempt to avoid the swine flu.  As much as you put yourself above the swine flu, you still have just as much of a chance to get it as those who are not on your "level."

On Setting...-Cody Naylor

Cody discusses how Chapter 6 of "Writing about Literature" was unecessary for the class to read.  I agreed, however, I stated that a little reminder wouldn't hurt.

Woe and Moan-Melissa Schwenk

Melissa points out the uses of "woe" and "moan" in Shakespeare's sonnet "When to the Session of Sweet Silent Thought."  I did not realize this use, and once I realized how he had utilized those words in the sonnet, it changed my perspective of the tone.

Read it Out Loud-Carissa Altizer

Factual vs Flowery-Brooke Kuehn

Brooke states that sometimes it is more effective to cut out flowery word usage (newswriting much).  I, however, am always attempting to add flowery words to my writing so that it seems like I actually know what I am talking about.  In reality, it just seems like I am trying too hard.

Poor Miss Brill-Aja Hannah

Miss Brill is just a little, old, lonely lady.  Aja says that it is wrong for the people to treat her the way that she is being treated.  I believe that Miss Brill represents the older part of society, my grandmother.  Even though my Grandmother was not as "crazy" as Miss Brill, there were some similarities.  Jessie Krehlik also agrees with this.

Always Have a Purpose-Melissa Schwenk

Melissa reminds us that there akways has to be a purpose behind writing.  I agree in saying that there have been multiple times in which i have gone into a research paper without having an actual purpose, and it always turned out to be more difficult.

Definately a Student-David Wilbanks

Dave does a very good job of relating to Langston Hughes without addressing race.  I believe that this makes it easier for society to open up to issues of race.

Beware of Tone-Gladys Mares



 You Can't Always Get What You Want-Written October 17, and due October 19.

Imagery Can be Intense-Written October 17, due October 19.

The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death-Written October 21 (before class), due October 21.

How Much More Can We Learn About Setting?-Written October 20, due October 21.

That's What Friends are For-Written October 27, due October 28.

Appreciate the Finer Things in Life, and No That Does Not Mean Your Diamond Pinky Ring-Written October 27, due October 28.

Catching the Swine Flu-Written October 27, due October 28.

Opposites Attract-Written October 30 (before class), due October 30.

How We Protect Ourselves-Written November 10, due November 11.


You Can't Always Get What You Want

Dave finished the song, then agreed with what I had to say.  He is confused as to why Holocaust survivors would commit suicide if they had already been through such a terrible time.

The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death

By linking my blog to Jessica Orlowski's blog, I have introduced her to my take on the Red Death.  She replied by stating that society has a selfish side.  Therefore, Poe may have been referring to that rather than actually discussing running away from disease.

That's What Friends are For

Aja discusses not only my blog when she commented, but also Josie's blog.  She describes how sometimes it's easier to get things out than to hold them in.

 Opposites Attract

Aja agrees with what I have written by stating that there is no middle for Miss Brill, and that it is all opposites.  She then suggests that Miss Brill should buy a ferret or something to keep her company.

It Makes No Difference to Me

In this blog, Aja has disagreed with me and put a different perspective into my take on Langton Hughes' poem.  I believe that Langston Hughes has avoided saying boy because he wanted to be fair to all genders, but Aja has showed me that "boy" was an insult during that time period.

How We Protect Ourselves

People go to great lengths to protect themselves.  In my blog, Jessie Krehlik points out that people can actually be "cold" to one another throughout this "protection."  Aja then shows that even though they have gone to such great lengths, people are still harmed.


The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death I have linked this blog to Jessica Orlowski's blog Dear Prince Prospero,


I feel that this blog is the most fun and interesting one that I have written at this point in the semester, so check it out :). The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death 











When Equality Becomes More Than an Issue

"In several cities, older members of minority groups acknowledged that the newspaper -- along with life in general -- had greatly changed for the better from the time of their childhood."

I agree with this quote.  Newspapers and life in general have become more fair and equal.  However, in an attempt to make life equal, society has developed a lot more inequality.  "Best Practices for Newspapers and Journalists," by Robert J. Haiman, discusses how news centers attempt to develop a more diverse working enivonment.  If the management was being unfair to people of certain races by not hiring them, then yes that is a problem.  However, news centers are trying to make it more diverse by hiring people that are NOT white.  So, what happens if a white person is more qualified for a job than the black person, but there is a need for a certain percentage of black people?  This is unfair to the white person because he/she better deserves the position.

I have heard that many colleges today must have a certain percentage of minorites accepted.  In other words, even if a non-minority person has more potential than that minority, they still might not be accepted. 

It is good that people are trying to abolish racism, but by doing things such as this, they are creating an even bigger issue.

EL 227

The "Foundation" of News

Dr. Jerz states, "Investigative journalism is needed to uncover important stories which people want to hide."

Investigative journalism is extremely important for society.  Society needs to know certain things, and without investigative journalism, it would be extremely difficult for us to uncover those things.

My newswriting class pitched ideas for investigative news stories.  Derek Tickle (click for Derek's rendition of investigative reporting) proposed an idea that involved a cover up of swine flu throughout universities, including Seton Hill.  I had actually written an editorial about this cover up for one of my other classes.  In this editorial, I discussed how important it is for people to know how many cases of swine flu there actually are in certain areas, specifically college campuses. 

Due to the fact that it was an editorial, I did not attempt to uncover anything that the school had been hiding.  However, I went off of what I had heard students and school officials discussing.  Derek has the ability to actually show when and how universities are covering up the swine flu.  This will then allow the society of Seton Hill and other schools to understand the real dangers of the sickness.

Back to class

Portfolio 3

Coverage and Timeliness: Here is the third list of blogs that I have posted at this time in the semester.  These are also the blogs that I have posted on time and ready for scrutiny, I mean to be looked at.

Editorial Drama-Are editorials credible or just opinionated? This blog discusses the use of editorials in the news.

Just Shut Up and Listen-This entry discusses "society" and the news.  Is the news really unfair, or is it really just a matter of who's complaining?

That's Not My Name-The news and anonymous sources...is it ethical?

Are You Serious-This blog talks about the ways in which journalists can be cold hearted when it comes to tragedy.

The "Foundation" of News-This blog discusses the importance of investigative reporting.

When Equality Becomes More Than an Issue-This entry shows how equality can sometimes transform into inequality.

Depth: The entries in which I feel that I have made valiant effort.

Editorial Drama-This entry did not receive any comments (it could be due to the fact that I forgot to post it on the course website).  However, I have linked this blog to Greta's chart that she posted on her blog.  I feel that I went into great depth when discussing the topic of the entry.

Just Shut Up and Listen-This blog received 3 comments.  I feel that I have sparked a good discussion on the judgement of the validity of news.  The news seems to carry a lot of controversy.  This blog discusses that controversy.

That's Not My Name-Even though this entry did not receive any comments, I feel as though I have discussed a very important point.  Anonymous sources have significance, but how much significance?

Are You Serious-Even though this was a shorter blog, I feel that it has brought forth one of the major issues of journalism.  I received a comment from Angela that agreed with my blog, but also showed the positive side to a journalist who is investigating a tragedy.

The "Foundation" of News-This blog not only discusses an editorial that I have written related to investigative reporting, but it also link's to another student's, Derek Tickle, blog.


Editorial Attitudes-April Minerd (on comments of the course website)

Unsparing- Documenting concerns / Where does it end?-Wendy Scott

They Have to Make the Right Mistakes-Katie Vann

Anonymous Attackers and Clueless Reporters-Matt Henderson

Liberal Arts to the Rescue-Jessie Krehlik

Sorry Mom-Aja Hannah

The New Buzz Outside the News Hut... Listen Up!-Wendy Scott

Importance of Good Listening-Jennifer Prex

Diversity-What's the Difference?-Josie Rush


 Just Shut Up and Listen-This blog sparked a few comments that discussed people's involvment with the news.  Are they a reliable source if they are too close to the news?

Are You Serious-How ethical is it to bombard a person's life after a great tragedy? People have commented on this entry by stating their feelings on the issue.


Editorial Drama-I have linked this blog to an extremely informative chart done by Greta Carol.

The "Foundation" of News-This blog links to Derek Tickle's blog.


The "Foundation" of News-Even though I have yet to receive any comments on this blog, I belive that it is the best one that I have written in this portion of the semester.








Naming Names

On page 87 of "John Henry Days," by Colson Whitehead, the characters Dave Brown, Tiny, and Frenchie discuss the world of rock and roll.  Now, after a couple of drinks I am sure that this would be a great topic to talk about and they are reporters, so they probably have some good stuff on some of the celebrities of the world.  However, I kind of got the impression that they were being boastful.

Dave Brown says, "They were the greatest rock and roll band in the world-do you understand what I mean when I say that? They were a thing that could never be again."  It seems as though Dave is attempting to show that he had a first name based relationship with the members of the band.  He goes on to tell stories of the individuals of the band.  It seems that he wants his friends to think that he is better than them because he knows personal things about the "greatest rock and roll band of the world."

Is this any different from society?  I know if I were to meet someone famous, I would definitely throw their name around in front of my friends.  It draws attention to yourself.  Also, Dave and his friends don't seem to be in the highest of social classes, so by relating themselves to celebrities, then they are being placed higher in society.

EL 237

Rumors Rumors Rumors

In the prologue of "John Henry Days," by Colson Whitehead, many different stories are give about who John Henry actually was.  For me, it was kind of hard to follow along.  I am used to the prologue of a book being something that actually gives me part of the climax.  This way I can see that there is actually a good part to the book.  However, this prologue was set up so that I could see the many different rumors of John Henry.

As a child, I was told the story and sang the song.  I was under the impression that John Henry was a black male who worked on the railroad tracks.  Yes, his real job involved the railroad, but what he actually did was completely different.  I was told that he died after beating a machine that was supposed to work faster than all men. 

This is the first time that I have actually heard any other story.  I have always been under the impression that there was no other story and that the story I was told, was actually what happened.  Now I never knew if it was a true story or not, but even if it was just folklore, I didn't know that the story differed from town to town.

Anyways, I think that Whitehead could have introduced the story a little bit better.  However, his different renditions of John Henry did make me actually want to read the book so that i could find out the validity behind them.

EL 237

Are You Serious?

I have finally gotten the real side of journalism.  In most of the things that I have read about journalism, journalists are being defended for the difficulties they have to go through to get a "good" story.  After reading the story about the girl that was murdered on her 19th birthday, I was able to see the "real" side of journalism.

I can't imagine losing a person so close to me and having people show up on my front lawn just to do their job.  That shouldn't even be considered a job.  To do something like that, it seems that a person would have to have no morals. 


What, You Can't Take a Joke?

Chapter 11 of "Writing about Literature" states that, "Everyone likes to laugh, and shared laughter is part of good relationships; but not everyone can explain why things are funny.  Laughter resists close analysis; it is often unplanned, personal, idiosyncratic, and unpredictable" (166). 

I didn't realize that humor could even be subject to close analyis.  Some of the things we have read for class have had some humorous comments or allusions to them, but until now I did not realize that I was actually looking into why I was laughing at them. 

Laughter just seems to be something that comes naturally, rather than something that I have to find the meaning for.  When I find something funny, I laugh.  However, there are some times when I don't get the joke.  Those are the times when I need to do a "close analysis" of it.  If I still don't get it, then I guess I'm one of those people that takes the fun out of the joke.


It Makes No Difference to Me

Langston Hughes writes, "I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem."  He is very proud of his color and it seems as though he wants to challenge those who oppose him.  He should be proud of his race.  He should be happy to be the way he is. 

When Hughes says, "But it will be/ part of you, instructor./ You are white-" I believe that he is showing how his professor is racist.  This wouldn't be unnatural considering the time period and the fact that he is the only colored person in his class.

I have also noticed that he says "colored student," rather than "colored boy," or "man."  Hughes has been careful not to be gender biased.  I like that he has done that because he shows that even though people judge him for his color, he refuses to judge anyone else by their differences. 


Opposites Attract

"The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting--from nowhere, from the sky" (348).

Miss Brill seems to be very indecisive.  When describing the surroundings, she uses at least two different examples for each object.  The narrator tells the audience that "Miss Brill was glad that she had decided on her fur."  This implies that she had questioned her decision in wearing it in the first place. 

Miss Brill then goes on to describe the fur, which is actually the full body of an animal.  She describes how the nose of the animal has become chipped.  She calls it "Little rogue! Yes, she really felt like that about it.  Little rogue biting its tail just by her left ear" (349).  Again, it seems as though she is questioning herself.  Instead of just draping the fur around her neck, she plays with it and pets it as though it were alive.  Does she want it to be alive?  Possibly, but since she has already bought the animal when it was dead, then she can't bring it back.

The rest of the story kind of goes in the same way because Miss Brill cannot seem to focus on only one thing at a time.  Everything that she observes or does throughout the story is related to multiple actions or observations, "Two young girls in red came by and two young soldiers in blue met them, and they laughed and paired and went off arm-in-arm.  Two peasant women with funny straw hats passed, gravely, leading beautiful smoke-coloured donkeys."

Not only does Katherine Mansfield, the author of Miss Brill, show Miss Brill having multiple observations, all of her observations are contradicting.  The girls and the soldiers are happy and the peasant women are "grave."  Miss Brill's want for a live fur contradicts what a fur is supposed to be used for.

This story shows the way in which opposites can actually fit together.  Opposites are used to describe one another, and Mansfield is able to use that concept in her story.

EL 237

Being Proud of Something You Actually Worked For

EL 237

"The decision of the Norwegians to award the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is not going to be met with sneering in these quarters. For all that we disagree with the president in respect of policy, Mr. Obama has clearly inspired not only a huge number of Americans but also a huge number of Europeans." 

This statement was made in "A Nobel for Obama," an editorial for the New York Sun.  I figured this would be an editorial about how Obama should NOT have been awarded the nobel peace prize considering until now I have only heard negative remarks. 

However, this editorial discusses how Obama deserved to be awarded the nobel peace prize. I agree with the author and I believe that President Barack Obama does deserve this.  I also agree when the author says that Obama says that, "this is an award for the American people." 

Obama has overcome some major obstacles in his life, and I believe these accomplishments as well as the change that it has brought to America, gives him the ability to be proud of this award.

That's Not My Name

In my newswriting class at Seton Hill University, I have written a few articles.  Well, more than a few, but it's ok.  Anyways, I have always been terrified of using an anonymous source.  Now I know that it is a little different when I am writing an article for class, but when looking for sources, I will completely avoid those people who will give a quote but they will not let you use their name in your article.

It is dangerous for some people's names to be given out to the society, but if a person does not want to be quoted for a reason other than their safety, then they should have never given you a quote at all.

The public has the right to know who is trash talking who.  Yea, that sounds wrong and unethical, but if you're going to say it, then say it with confidence.  You won't be recognized for an anonymous quote.


Catching the Swine Flu

In "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Figures of speech, metaphorical language, figurative language, figurative devices, and rhetorical figures are terms describing organized patterns of comparison that deepen, broaden, extend, illuminate, and emphasize meaning." This is certainly a statement that shows you the appropriate way to list something. 

Anyways, metaphors and similes are extremely important in writing.  In almost every single one of my English classes, I have discussed the importance of similes and metaphors. 

Metaphors and similes also help people to understand something "unknown."  This can be useful when writers are trying to add fun into their writing as well.  I mean isn't it humorous when you say "catching the swine flu is like hooking up with an overweight person."  Now that's a simile for you.


Appreciate the Finer Things in Life, and No That Does Not Mean Your Diamond Pinky Ring

Before reading the translation that "Writing about Literature," by Edgar V. Roberts, gives you for a few of the lines in John Keats' poem On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, I assumed that the speaker of the poem was being a bit boastful.  It seems that he is talking about all the riches that he has seen.  However, the Roberts translates the first line to be "the world of great art," rather than "the realms of gold." 

In some ways, art can be considered riches.  However, the way in which this poem describes the art, it seems to be more of an appreciation rather than something of value. 

The rest of the poem supports my theory.  After discussing "goodly states and kingdoms," the speaker of the poem moves on to what I consider to be "the finer things in life," such as "skies," "planets," and mountain peaks.  Like the speaker, I love to watch the sky.

classroom comments

That's What Friends are For

In Shakespeare's "Sonnet 30: When to the Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought,"  the speaker's tone seems to be confessional.  Even the title lets readers know that you'll be able to see into his or her "thoughts."  The speaker is allowing readers to see his or her past.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know if I want everyone to know about my past (not that I have done anything bad, but some stuff is just personal).  However, the speaker is actually discussing an old love, which has caused him/ her great grief. 

This poem is very relative to society.  When someone is dealing with a loss, they typically look for a friend to vent to.  The speaker addresses the reader of the poem to be their "dear friend."  A normal person wouldn't tell a stranger about how they miss their love.  Shakespeare is demonstrating the significance of a true friend.


The Masque of the Swine Flu I Mean the Red Death

Edgar Allan Poe discusses Prince Prospero's attempt to escape from the "red death," which was a fatal disease that had invaded his lands.  Well, hasn't the swine flu invaded our "lands," and aren't we doing the same kinds of things to avoid the swine flu?  Just this morning I noticed that my roommate had written "locking out the swine flu" on our dry-erase board that hangs on our door.  Now, do you actually think that you can just shut a door and the swine flu won't be able to get to you?

Prince Prospero believes so.  However, he doesn't exactly shut a door.  He enters a "magnificent structure" that is surrounded by a high, iron gate that is welded shut.  Anyone with common sense could see the end to this.  Sorry Prospero, but you don't have common sense.  Neither do the rest of us I guess.  We are all wearing face masks (mask...get it?) to the airport and getting our flu shots. 

I refuse to get my flu shot because if I don't already have the flu, then I am probably not going to get it and I don't want to risk getting sick by trying to prevent it.  Anyways, even though present day society does not have a prince that is locking out half of the country in the attempt to stay healthy, we still avoid those who are unhealthy.  Poe did a good job at showing the selfish side of people.  I know when I hear of someone having the swine flu the first thing I say is "stay away from me."  It's not their fault that they have drawn the short straw, but I don't want to risk being around them.  At Seton Hill, people with swine flu are sent home and their room is "aired out."  I mean it's not like they haven't been walking around for a few days before someone realized they had it, but either way they are sent home to "recuperate," which is fine with me I guess.

When it comes to getting sick, no one wants to do it.  Therefore, people will go to great lengths to avoid it.  I would almost rather just get sick and get it over with than get a shot or wear a mask, but then again all of these options are pretty uncomfortable.

Jessica Orlowski describes her feelings towards Prince Prospero in her blog Dear Prince Prospero, 

Click here to catch the swine flu.

How Much More Can We Learn About Setting?

Setting has always been a major topic throughout my English classes in high school.  So, it's starting to get slightly repetitive.  However, the use of setting in high school, and the use of setting now is completely different.

For example, I have not ever asociated setting with irony in a work of literature. In Chapter 6 of "Writing about Literature," Roberts states that, "Just as setting may reinforce character and theme, so it may establish expectations that are the opposite of what occurs, not only in fiction but also in plays and poems."

It is interesting to know that setting can change a person's mind frame.  What is even more interesting is that when a person is reading a work of literature, they don't even notice this change.  If Roberts had not pointed out the use of irony to establish setting, I would not have ever noticed its use.


Just Shut Up and Listen

In Best Practices for Newspaper Journalists, Robert J. Haiman states, "Finally, and perhaps most important, was the discovery that the public defines fairness much more broadly than most journalists do.  When asked for examples of unfairness, roundtable participants talked about inaccuracy, about reportorial incompetence, about failure to understand the basics of complex issues, about editors and reporters having preconceived notions of the story line, about inadequate space devoted to a story, about institutional reluctance to publish corrections, about unfairness due to what was not in the paper, about rudeness and lack of civility in the reporting process and about the tendency to publish rumors without ascertaining the facts and without attribution to a named source" (5).

Despite the fact that I have no intention of ever becoming a journalist, this statement angers me. This statement was not from Haiman himself, but from the representatives of the public.  I feel that this is a list of complaints from those who have been burned by the news, or those who have been watching too much celebrity television.  I have not ever heard of a journalist being rude or mean to a person that they are interviewing,  There have been times, however, in which I have witnessed the journalist twisting the quotes from a person to change the story.  This is about the only incidence that I have seen the journalist be unfair to the public.  I am not trying to say that these things have all not happened, but I think that journalists are more fair than unfair in real life.  Also, people are bound to make mistakes.  Journalists are a part of the public as well.

Haiman is able to provide readers with tips on what to do if you have been an "unfair" journalist.  He states, "Giving a higher priority to tracking errors , finding out how they occurred and taking steps to reduce and eliminate them begin with the top editor.  Commitment of the senior leadership in the newsroom is essential in establishing that inaccuracy is a serious problem" (9).  Haiman shows that newspapers are dedicated to finding their mistakes.

In reality, the public starts the rumors that the journalists investigate.  So, why is it wrong for the journalis, who is part of the public, to report these rumors?  Well, it is wrong if the rumor is not true, but the only blame that can be placed on the journalist is for being too trusting of the public.  Is it the public who shouldn't trust the news, or is it the journalist who shouldn't trust the public?


Imagery Can be Intense!

In Chapter 8 of "Writing About Literature," Roberts writes, "In literature, imagery refers to words that trigger your imagination to recall and recombine images-memories or mental pictures of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, sensations of touch, and motions."  Writers use imagery in order to entertain and interest readers.  It is amazing how words can be used to trigger a sense.  To me, it is most interesting when a writer appeals to taste.  There have been some works that I have read that make me feel as though I can actually taste what the writer is describing.  Without actually seeing or smelling the food, it makes me hungry.  It is almost frustrating because I know I can't actually have the food, but I sure can imagine the taste in my mouth.

"Cargoes," by John Masefield, uses imagery to appeal to readers in many ways.  The poem almost doesn't seem to make sense, but the words that the poet uses still appeal to reader's senses.  "Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir," is the first line of the poem.  Even though I have no clue whatsoever as to what the poet is saying, I picture distant land covered with plant and animal life.  The next four lines give me a more clear picture of this distant land, which he now calls home.  I can see the apes and peacocks and I can feel the warmth of the sun.  Even though I have no clue what the poet is talking about, I can still make sense of the poem just through his use of imagery.


You Can't Always Get What You Want

Artie seems to have one focus throughout this book.  The focus is uncovering his mother's story.  He wants to know what happened to his mother in her own words. 

When I discovered that his mother had actually killed herself rather than being killed in the Holocaust, I understood his reason for wanting to know her story.  How can a Jewish person live through the Holocaust and even survive Auschwitz only to commit suicide years later?

I decided to look explore this question and discovered that there is actually a book that describes certain instances of suicide after the Holocaust.  "Suicide and the Holocaust," by David Lester, discusses some of the people that committed suicide after surviving concentration camps.  Also, most of them left no note or explanation for their suicide, much like Anja.

This sense of loss and confusion kind of sums up the whole theme of the book.  Throughout the book, Vladek is constantly getting distracted and side tracked.  The end of the book also ends very abruptly.  Even though this is only part one, I still feel as though I need an explanation. 


Society Then and Society Today

Artie: "Was she the first girl you-uh-

Vladek: "Yes...We were more involved. So like the youths here today.

In this part of the book, Vladek is pictured scratching his head.  Regretfully? In the next box, Lucia and Vladek are pictured in bed together as Vladek is buttoning up his shirt, and putting on his shoes. 

Through the dialogue and the illustrations, Spiegelman is able to relate the time of the Holocaust to present society.  He, well technically Vladek, makes a very bold statement about how younger people are more "involved" today than they were then.  However, he does not seem to consider his son a youth, yet his son seems to be the same age as him when he was having er uh relations with Lucia.  Biased much?

Anyways, I think that because Spiegelman relates this idea of the taboo "sex before marriage," it makes the book more relatable.  As a reader, I am able to put myself in the time of the Holocaust as well in the place of a Jewish person at the time of the Holocaust.  The Holocaust becomes more real to me.  Not that it wasn't real before, but it gives me more to associate with.

Spiegelman's illustrations are extremely effective in this portion of the text.  Sex is associated with being naked.  Without actually saying "we were having sex," Vladek is shown buttoning up his shirt. So, for those of us who didn't get it when Vladek said "We were involved," we can all go OOOOOOOHHHHH when looking at the picture. Ok, so most of us did get it, but the picture makes that statement seem a little more obvious.  It also kind of shows Vladek's true feelings of Lucia.  He is turned away and buttoning up his shirt as she is still sprawled on his bed.  For more on illustrations, read Karyssa Blair's blog!


Portfolio 2

Coverage: Here is the second list of blogs that I have posted at this time in the semester.

Gender Confusion?-In the parody "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," by Ann-Marie MacDonald, readers discover that there can be so many ways to interpret some of Shakespeare's greatest works.  I have tried to relate to Ann-Marie MacDonald in comparing her parody to everyday gender confusion.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-This blog is my reaction to the realization of the violence behind the "making" of a Disney movie.

Quit Our Books?-In this blog, I discuss the possible effect the poem, "The Tables Turned" by William Wordsworth, could have on an English major.  Is it positive or negative, or just plain fun?

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog covered my reaction to a poem by Robert Frost.  The poem, "Desert Places," along with comments from others, opened my eyes to a new way of thinking.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-This blog discusses Chapter 12 in the book "Writing About Literature."  It explains how causing a problem for yourself can actually be helpful when writing an essay.

Sometimes an Introduction is More than just an Introduction-In this entry, I have talked about the introduction, or the first third, of the book "The Quick and the Dead."  The blog discusses a certain character's importance in the book.

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This entry talks about the significance of a name.  A name can be something other than what you call a person.

Review of a Review of a Review?-In this blog I have analyzed a review of the book "Nineteen Minutes," by Jodi Picoult.

Society Then and Society Today-This entry discusses societal values at the time of the Holocaust compared to the values of society today.  It also discusses how illustration can be effective in showing these values.

Depth: The entries in which I feel that I have made valiant effort.

Gender Confusion?-By relating "Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)" to everyday society, I believe that I have helped myself to better understand Shakespeare's work.  Having already read the plays that were parodied, I was able to understand the humor Ann-Marie MacDonald used.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-I feel that this response to a class discussion was very in depth and appropriate for the class topic.  It sparked a few comments as well as a discussion in the next class.

Quit Our Books?-I think that even though this blog did not get any comments, it still related to a bigger issue. 

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-This blog went in depth into my feelings on a certain poem.  However, I was able to see a bigger picture with the comments in which I received on this blog.  Comments were given on facebook as well as the blog.

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?-The fact that I did not post the link to this blog on the course website could have been the reason that I did not receive any comments on this.  Whoops, but I do feel that I have asked a few questions that could spark a discussion.  I feel that I have challenged the author's view.

Review of a Review of a Review?-This is one of the longer blogs that I have written.  I feel that this blog really challenges the writer of the review that I read.  I also noticed that another person in my class had read a review by the same person.  This shows me that I have challenged the views of an established (maybe I am not for sure) book reviewer.  I am not claiming that my views are correct, but I understand where the reviewer could have gone wrong in her review.

Society Then and Society Today-I believe that this entry brings up a major issue in the book.  It also relates to different aspects of the book that support this issue.  I feel that I have effectively addressed this issue so that readers of the book will be able to see the significance of it.



Quit Your Books and Grab Your Hippi Skirts-by Carissa Altizer

Places You Will Never Forget-by Gladys Mares

Afflicted with the Frost-by Josie Rush

Once upon a midnight dreary-by Aja Hannah

Not a New Problem-Gladys Mares

Words You NEVER Hear in Arizona Bars-by David Wilbanks

Everyone is Crazy-by Gladys Mares

Umm...I think you know! ;)-by Shellie Polly

Timeliness: These are the blogs that I have posted in a timely fashion.

Gender Confusion?

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?

Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

Review of a Review of a Review?

Society Then and Society Today


Names Can Have Unseen Meanings-This introduced other students to a subject about names and their true meanings.

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?-After reading the comments on this blog, I was given a new understanding of what a desert actually is.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood-by relating this blog to a class discussion, I was able to spark a few comments that agreed with my point as well as disagreed with it.


Society Then and Society Today-I have linked this blog to Karyssa Blair's blog.


Review of a Review of a Review?-I enjoyed reading this review, and I feel that I have evaluated it very well.  I wish that I had posted the link on the course website so that I would have been given some feedback on my evaluation, but I believe that this blog will be helpful regardless.


Editorial Drama

"Opinions that the editors express on the editorial page should stay there -- they should not affect the news coverage."

This statement, given by Dr. Jerz, about an editorial helps make the point that even though they are important in newswriting, they are still only an opinion.  Editorials are given negative connotations because they are associated with a complaint.  Although, the complaint is justified by sources and facts.  However, an editorial should not "list complaints" or attack, it should be thoroughly researched and given a single focus.

I have not ever really given credit to editorials.  They are not something that I would pay attention to in a newspaper.  Truthfully, this is the first time that I have ever read one.  I have always just made my own opinion of things and not ever really cared about others.  However, a good editorial can give me an educated point of view.

Greta has given us an easy way of relating to editorials with her chart of the similarities between an academic essay and an editorial.  By finding the simalarities between an editorial and an academic essay, it could help writers to stay focused on their research rather than their complaint.


Review of a Review of a Review?

When finding a review of a book, no not a review, I found it difficult to find one that was actually credible.  I found a few that made no sense whatsoever, and I found a few that completely criticized every aspect of the book, defeating the whole purpose of a review.  Anyways, I finally found one that would help me to write my very own book review.

"After the Shooting is Over" is a review of "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult, written by Janet Maslin (as if reviewing a review wasn't confusing enough).  Maslin first introduces the plot of the story, which is a school shooting.  A school shooting is a very appealing topic, but Maslin is able to make it even more appealing to the readers of her review by using a quote relating to the title of the book as well as a question that helps readers to understand the focus of her review.

The only issue that I can really find with Janet Maslin's review is that it is more of a summary rather than a review.  She allows readers to see that they can easily relate to the book, but she does not provide them with much insight as to why they should read the book.

Towards the end of her review, she sums up the themes in many of Jodi Picoult's books.  By doing this, she is allowing readers to see that Jodi Picoult has a constant writing style.  Maslin states, "Her stories are more reassuring than disturbing, and their surprise twists pose no threats."  Now that Maslin has let readers know the non-threatening tone of "all" of Jodi Picoult's books, do we really want to read them to find out the happy ending.  Maslin has finally given us some sort of look into the actual books, but I would rather know her exact feelings on "Nineteen Minutes" rather than Picoult's books as a whole.

Realistically, I cannot criticize another's book review because I have been having an extremely difficult time writing my own.  Even though I understand and know what I am discussing as I am writing my book review, I do not think that I am the person that people should go to for a book review.  Like Maslin, I am more apt to give a summary rather than an opinion.  Being positively opinionated and insightful at the same time can prove to be extremely difficult.

Let's review a review of a review about a review with the author of the review of the author of the book.

Portfolio 2


Societal Value of News-an entry that discusses the location of a news story compared to the size of a community.

Depth and Style vs. Actual News-this entry involves a comparison of two news stories.  Does depth and style really have an effect on the actual story?

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-an entry that compares stories that focus on "the bigger issue," but sometimes "the bigger issue" can end up on a smaller scale.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-is the death of a dog amusing?  This blog discusses the circumstances in which an incident like this could actually be found amusing.

Some News Stories are all about Pictures-Don't you feel like a 6-year-old (correct APA style) when all you look for is the newspaper with the most interesting pictures?  This blogs explains the importance of pictures in the news.


Societal Value of News-I took the topic of this blog and researched it.  I linked it to a website that helped to prove the argument in my blog.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-I feel that I took the topic of this blog and explained my opinion of it to my best ability.  This blog also sparked three comments, so I feel that it did bring up a point that other people were able to relate to.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-I disagreed with the author of "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting" in this blog.  I feel that by disagreeing I have brought up a point that not only challenges his book, but also challenges newswriting as a whole.

Interaction/ Discussions:

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"-this blog started an interesting discussion in which the people commenting on it actually agreed to its content, for the most part.

Timeliness: The blogs that were submitted on time and ready for some comments.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?

Some News Stories are all about Pictures

Xenoblogging: These are other people's blogs in which I have intellectually commented on and attempted to start discussion.

Ingestion of expired banana pudding causes rapidly escalating liberalism in children under seven-Mike Poiarkoff

Red Tape-Katie Vann

The Art of the Crime Report-Andrew Wichrowski

Story Leads The Body!-Wendy Scott

A Blunt News Article-Derek Tickle

Tone, minus the opinions-Kaitlin Monier


"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?-Even though I received zero comments on this blog, I feel that it was the most important one that I have written.  It takes a serious subject, which should actually be funny, and turns it into a somewhat humorous situation.  By disagreeing with the author, I have started a debate with newswriting as a whole.

Back to the newsroom








Names Can Have Unseen Meanings

In "The Quick and the Dead," Joy Williams writes, "It was supposed to be a dangerous occupation, and here he was fiddling around with kiddie books.  The nameplate above his pocket read 'Darling.'" This observation is alluding to the fact that someone's name can actually be used to interpret their personality.  The character, Ray, makes the assumption that just because the ranger's name is "Darling" and he is reading kiddie books, that being a ranger is no longer "dangerous." 

Due to the standards in society, the author is able to write something like this and receive a reaction from it.  It helps readers to relate to the book.  However, Ray is a very odd character to relate to.

Sometimes an Introduction is More than just an Introduction

The first third of the book "The Quick and the Dead," by Joy Williams, served as an introduction not only to the book, but also as an introduction to topics such as environmentalism and the loss of a parent.  The character, Alice, is a slightly distorted environmentalist.  While she is an advocate for wolves, she is alluded to being the cause of many missing cats.  Alice, I believe is my favorite character.  I actually do not like her a lot.  I think that she is a negative, closed minded person, but I enjoy being able to see her thoughts and actions.  Joy Williams really exaggerates the nature drama with Alice and even though it is a little over the top, I think that it makes the book a lot more effective. 

Why would I want to cause a problem about a problem?

In Chapter 12 of "Writing About Literature," by Edgar V. Roberts, it discusses problems.  Roberts claims that, "A problem is any question that you cannot answer easily and correctly about a body of material that you know."  I agree with Roberts that this is a problem, but it is difficult for me to understand how and why I would cause a problem like this for myself. 

Well, Roberts answers this question for me in the next section.  I would cause this "problem" so that I can develop and essay about it.  It is difficult for me to actually find something in a "body of material" that I can't answer on my own.  It is not that I think that I know everything, but I find it hard to "think outside of the box."  Therefore, my true problem is discovering the "problem" in the first place.  Roberts gives a few examples of problems in Hamlet, but can he give me a few examples on how to develop these ideas myself?

Some News Stories are all about Pictures

The Star Bulletin, which was published in Honululu, Hawaii, caught my attention because of the very large picture on the front cover.  When I was a child all I wanted to do was look at the pictures.  I figured I had grown out of that stage, but for some reason I found myself drawn to the articles with the biggest picture on the cover.  I find that covers such as The Garden Island, which was published in Lihu'e, Hawaii, don't appeal to me because of the lack of color on the front page.  I had to actually look for a cover that I was uninterested in, and The Garden Island just didn't draw my attention from first glance. 

Despite the fact that the content of a newspaper is by far more important than the cover of a newspaper, the cover is what initially draws a person's attention.  Without the cover, in my opinion, there would be no impulse to read a paper.

Back to the newsroom

Have you ever been to a desert in the winter?

I have always thought of winter as a happy time.  It is the first real break that I am given all year.  The speaker in Robert Frost's poem, "Desert Places," feels lonely in the winter time.  I am able to go home and be with my family.  I feel like I am surrounded by people.  Sometimes I actually wish that I was lonely, but this poem portrays a completely different feeling.  As the speaker discusses the "few weeds and stubble showing last," he is describing a feeling of loss.  He has lost the plants and warmth that is accompanied with the spring, summer, and fall seasons.  The animals are no longer lively.  They are hibernating for the winter.  This poem is extremely depressing, yet very alluring at the same time.  Frost describes such a serene, dark place, but it makes me want to see it nonetheless.  With his descriptions, I can picture the snowflakes sprinkling down.  However, at the end of the poem, I no longer want to be in this beautiful place.  The speaker believes this wintery scene scares him, and then he compares it his "own desert places."  Obviously deserts do not have large populations, but it is just so extreme to compare this beautiful, snowy scene to a hot, dry climate. 

Quit Our Books?

I feel that this is not a good poem for English majors to read, but I do enjoy it.  In "The Tables Turned," by William Wordsworth, Wordsworth tells his friend to "quit your books."  He wants him to stop reading and go enjoy some outdoor activities, or he will become fat and sedentary.  If I were to take Wordsworth's advice, I would fail all of my classes.  Wordsworth, does not seem to be telling us to let our minds wither, he wants us to use different ways to further our studies.  He claims, "Let Nature be your Teacher."  The capitalization of "Nature" and "Teacher" shows how Wordsworth values the use of nature in education.  I agree, students should not be cooped up inside all day.  We should close our books, sit back, and relax.  We should watch the leaves fall off of the trees.  In order to be good students, we have to have time to clear our heads.  The fact that Wordsworth is an established poet saying that, "Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife," shows that even he can take time off and smell the roses.

"We Are Not Amused," But Are We?

In Chapter 6 in "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting," Cappon states that, "We Are Not Amused"  by treating death, pain, and suffering humorously.  Now, I definitely laughed at the story of the dog being castrated.  If I had read this same story in the newspaper I would have laughed as well. However, I am not laughing at the fact that the dog has died, but I am laughing at the fact that the owners are suing the doctor for the dog's death. This news story is ridiculous and I agree that it should not be printed in a newspaper.  However, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I believe that Chapter 8 of this book also relates to the dog story.  Expletives are eliminated from news stories because society looks down upon vulgarity.  Now, isn't society the reason that the news should not print a story that makes fun of a dead dog?  Obviously the newspaper should want to please society, but it seems to be difficult due to the, as Cappon states, "diversified audience."  Cappon also claims that, "The limits of the acceptable vary from newspaper to newspaper."  Due to this "diversified" audience, it is probably a good thing that society has choices between a vulgar newspaper and a more family friendly newspaper.  Ok people, when I say vulgar I mean like printing the word ass.  Come on get your mind out of the gutters.

I Think You Just Ruined My Childhood

So, after discovering that most of the Disney movies are actually based on some form of a violent act, I decided that my "innocent" childhood had been ruined.  I mean, it's probably a good thing that I didn't see Ariel's bleeding stumps of legs when I watched The Little Mermaid, but I would have understood the concept a lot better now.  It's interesting to find out that things such as Disney movies, are actually based on pieces of literature that have completely different meanings all together.  Now, I am one of those people that think a book is always better than a movie, but I don't know if I will want to read the "real" story of Ariel, and I didn't even like the movie that much to begin with!

However, characters such as Snow White are good representations of some of Shakespeare's characters.  In "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Juliet is portrayed as a little boy crazy, which most girls are when they are 13 (I said most not all).  Aren't most of the women characters in Disney movies a little boy crazy as well?  Even Pocahontas, the most down to earth (literally) character of all the Disney movies, gets a little boy crazy when John Smith pulls up in his fancy boat.  This comparison was an excellent way to show how the concepts of society remain the same throughout literature.

Sample Spot News-Reporting on a "Greater Scope"

The story on the Golden Gate Park forestation seemed to just drag on about budget cuts and job losses.  I understand that unemployment is a major issue in the United States, but when relating this issue to an environment issue, it seems to make both of the issues less important.  By writing about the Golden Gate forestation, the author is addressing a small issue that is actually representing a bigger issue, but it still doesn't draw my attention.  If I hadn't had to blog about this article, I probably would have skimmed over the entire thing and I still would have been able to get the main points.  Now obviously I am not always going to be able to read something that I enjoy, but this article should focus on a more prominent issue.

The other article, by Matthew Baker, also has the same problem.  His article is a little more interesting because it involves some action with the racing, but it still seems to address the issue in the wrong way.  I enjoyed how Baker took a racing story and changed it into a story about the environment, but it just seemed a lot less serious than it actually is.

Depth and Style vs. Actual News

The first story, "Would-be robbery victim fights back," actually seems to have a lot of depth despite the length.  I enjoyed how short it actually was.  I was able to read the story and easily understand what was going on.  Even though the reporter was just showing a crime that occurred in the community, I was able to relate to the victim.  The fact that the reporter stated the the victim fought back shows me that even though a crime happened, the community should not be afraid because the victim is unharmed and no money was stolen.  The reporter was also able to give some details to the readers about the suspect so that we have a sense of what to look for.  However, don't be afraid of every person with "dark eyes and dark hair."

In the second story, "Plea deal reached in Jeanette enslavement, kidnap case," I believe that this does not actually go in-depth as it is stated to be.  With a story like this, a newspaper can't really go into much detail to what happened.  The Tribune-Review does a very good job stating that they do, "not name alleged victims of sexual assault."  Even though this restricts the amount of information that is being given to the society, it is the respectful thing to do.  Also, the newspaper cannot give details of sexual crimes such as these.  It would probably be more harmful to a society rather than helpful.  Therefore, this article is more of an overview of what happened in court rather than an in-depth look at the findings.


Societal Value of News

Ingram and Henshall stated that news value is dependent upon the "size of the community," and that "crimes are usually viewed as more important by smaller communities."  However, is that the only factor in a community that relates to the value of the news?  I believe that the location of the community in which the crime happened is the biggest factor when determining the value of a news story.  If a journalist were to write and print story about a murder in New Orleans, which happens to have the largest murder rate in the U.S., the people of New Orleans would not be as interested because, as bad as it is to say, it isn't out of the ordinary.  Now, if they were to write and print a story about a murder in Dallas, which has over a population almost three times larger than New Orleans, it would be a major deal.  People in Dallas, Texas are not accustomed to the amount of crime that happens in New Orleans.  Even though the population is much smaller in New Orleans than in Dallas, a murder story would be more significant to the people living in Dallas.


Portfolio 1

This is a portfolio of the blogs that I have done so far in my Writing about Literature class.  These blogs contain my opinion, whether you agree or not, on the readings that we have done for this class.  Some of them also discuss some tips and pointers that I have learned to help me in my writing.


Here is a list of the blogs that I have posted at this point in the semester.

Generalize? - In this entry I discuss the differences in writing in college and writing in high school.

To Explicate or Not to Explicate, That is the Question - This blog shows the frustration that is caused by reading too much into poetry.

Oh the Trickery - The changing of perspectives makes it difficult for a reader to follow a story.  This entry shows how "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce, uses this skill of perspective changing.

Focus on the Story - This entry discusses how a narrator of a story can actually be unreliable.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - Should you trust an executioner that tends to drink a little too much alcohol? Well, this blog discusses this exact type of scenario.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - Shakespeare seems to have written many plays and poems that relate to romance and love.  This entry challenges Shakespeare's "view" on love.

The Story of My Life - The irony of certain stories can set the stage for a good plot.  This blog explains the irony of certain situations and how it can help the story along.

Oh Sylvia and Her "Metaphors" - Sylvia Plath seems to enjoy making fun of herself.  In this entry, I have tried to expose these metaphors and make sense of them.

Gender Confusion? - In the parody "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)," by Ann-Marie MacDonald, readers discover that there can be so many ways to interpret some of Shakespeare's greatest works.  I have tried to relate to Ann-Marie MacDonald in comparing her parody to everyday gender confusion.


Generalize? - I feel that college writing is much more complicated and in depth than the way it was in high school.  I have compared the "rules" that were set for students in high school and how we are taught to almost ignore them now.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - I have taken the story, "The Three Strangers," and shown the similarities between it and a movie, "The Strangers," that has just recently been produced.  I have also looked into the theme of the story as well.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - By challenging Shakespeare's work, I believe that I have brought forth some major issues with the themes in many of his plays and poetry that should be addressed.

Gender Confusion? - By relating "Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)" to everyday society, I believe that I have helped myself to better understand Shakespeare's work.  Having already read the plays that were parodied, I was able to understand the humor Ann-Marie MacDonald used.


Failing to Fail - Aja Hannah

I love Aja's bluntness in this blog.  I agreed with what she claimed and I added a comment to show my support.

Twain, "Luck": "We got issue in America..." - Carissa Altizer

Lying to feel Safe - Gladys Mares

A View From All Angles - Melissa Scwenk

Melissa makes an extremely good point about how annoying it is when perspectives are switched between chapters. I was able to relate to this feeling.

For Shame? - Cody Naylor

O_o?????????????? - Kayla Lesko

If You Can't Read Him, Read a Parody - Josie Rush


These are the blogs that I have posted in a timely fashion.

Oh the Trickery

Focus on the Story

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind?

The Story of My Life

Gender Confusion?



After reading my blog, Dr. Jerz was able to help me fully understand the concept of generalizing in writing.

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head - By comparing this story to a recently produced movie, I was able to spark a conversation that provided feedback into this comparison.

Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind? - After reading my entry, Aja Hannah commented with an opinion that gave me a different perspective on Shakespeare's work.  It made me reevaluate what I had written and research my opinion.


Kayla Lesko's Blog - Discussing a character in Shakespeare

Josie Rush's Blog - Discussing the use of profane language in a parody of Shakespeare

Aja Hannah's Blog - Discussing the way in which characters are portrayed


I absolutely love the blog that I wrote about the Gender Confusion? in Anne-Marie MacDonald's "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)."  It not only discusses the issues of gender confusion in society, but it also provides some humor on the subject.








Gender Confusion?

From turning into a man to agreeing to kiss a woman, I believe that there is definitely some gender confusion in "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), by Ann-Marie MacDonald.  As Constance claims, "Thank God they think that I'm a man. [To God] Thank you. O thank you," the audience is well aware that Constance is actually a woman.  However, she is letting us know that Romeo actually does believe that she is a man.  Therefore, Romeo does "fall in love" with a man. 

Now, it is not wrong for Constance to love Romeo (neither is it wrong for Romeo to love "Constantine"), but for that time period, homosexuality was not accepted.  Constance, or Constantine whichever you prefer, attempts to avoid this somewhat awkward situation.  However, Romeo is just so dreamy.  He's your everyday Zac Efron (disclaimer: I do not believe Zac Efron is dreamy).  It is difficult for Constance to stay away.  Then, however, she is pursued by Juliet, his thirteen year old wife.  Constance claims that Juliet is "very beautiful, and sweet and passionate, and probably a-lovely...lover."  Calling a woman beautiful is natural, but calling her a "lovely lover" insinuates that there is some sexual desire. 

Now that Constance has expressed her interest, as a man, to Romeo, and her interest, as a woman, to Juliet, it implies that Constance is having trouble deciphering whether or not she should be with a man or a woman.  Also, this implies that she is confused on whether she remain a man or return to her original state as a woman, which she really has no choice in the matter. 

This type of situation is actually very common in today's society.  However, in the time that Shakespeare was referring to in "Romeo and Juliet" it would be highly disregarded.  It is interesting that MacDonald uses this type of perspective in her parody. 

Some cartoons you may find humorous.

Suck it In...

In Chapter 4 of "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," Rene J. Cappon claims that "Sentences come under special strains in news writing.  A lot of facts have to be squeezed into a tight space; afterthoughts are often accomadated in haste.  There's a tendency to overload sentences and let them swell to unseemly length."  After reading this, I went in search of the shortest news story ever.  I found a spoof, which was so short I had trouble finding the "story" on the page, and many other links to news in general. 

This rule of making news stories "fit" is difficult to abide by.  It seems, to me, that if a reporter got a good lead on an extremely interesting story, then they would want to use as much room as they needed to describe it entirely.  However, they are restricted to a certain amount of space and that makes it difficult to make the story readable.

Disappeared, Examined, Greased, Knocked, Mixed

In Chapter 3 of "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," Rene J. Cappon  describes "Verbs like moved, scheduled, expected and prepared," to be "crutches" for stories that are a day old. 

I agree with this statement.  I don't think I would want to read a story about a man that moved a piano for his friend because he was scheduled to play at the outdoor theatre that night, but it was expected to rain so they had to be prepared. 

I want to read:  Yesterday, a man adapted to the predicted thunder storm by elevating his 300 pound piano out of the outdoor theatre and placing it under cover at a nearby restaurant.  The concert was planned for this evening, but it has been postponed due weather.

The use of the verbs in that story makes it much more interesting and animated.

The quote, "actions speak louder than words," is typically associated with a tangible actions, but when relating it to a news story it helps to make the story more readable.

So, take action.

Potfolio 1-Now You Can Read Me

This is a portfolio of the my blogging work that I have done so far in my Newswriting course with Dr. Jerz at Seton Hill University.


These are all the blogs (some of them are links to comments due to the fact that I had no clue how to blog at the beginning of the semester) that I have posted at this time in the semester.

My first real Newswriting assignment! Channel 4 Action News, which you could catch at 5,6, or 11, so you didn't technically need to be in action to catch it.

Breaking News? - a fun comment on the news spoof, The Onion, that reveals similarities between this fake broadcast and the "real" thing.

For those of us who want to look good, even in death, should read Obituaries Can be Bad Publicity, which discusses the way in which obituaries can be written.

When being told about someone's life in detail, I actually would like to know ALL of the details.  This blog refers to a sample profile that the class was asked to read.

Journalism can also be known as a language, or so it seems after reading, "The Language of Journalism."  Do journalists have a set of values that goes along with their language as well?

How is it that journalists somehow find a way to keep their opinions to theirself?  This blog compares journalists to teachers and relates this constant battle.

The Bus Plunge Theory is a blog that I have written to discuss the need of a filler story.  Now, it may be a little far fetched and disturbing, but it's the way I feel.

Due to the fact that there are so many bus plunge stories, it seems that they would start to sound the same after so many.  However, there are many different ways to describe a bus plunge.

"Actions speak louder than words."  So, if I punch you in the face would that be a better way of telling you that I am angry with you?

If I had been given a lead that included many details and interesting occurences, but asked to write a story about it that excluded most of these details, I wouldn't be able to.  My blog about Chapter 4 in "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing," shows how difficult that may or may not actually be.


Journalists have values?

I feel that this blog shows my naivete towards journalism.  It reveals my relationship with the news. 

Focus on the Story

This blog uncovered a readers relationship with the narrator of a story.  Rather than just going along with the story and relating to the narrator, I discussed how I could possible read a story and feel that I am being lied to the entire time.

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

By relating this to my future occupation as an educator, I furthered the reading and compared it to another real life situation.

The Bus Plunge Theory

In this blog, I slightly mocked the fact that we are not supposed to be supporting bus plunge stories.  I felt that I could have began a slight disagreement.  However, I actually found that some people agree with the "theory."

Suck it In...

I added a link to this blog that furthered my opinion.  I was able to expand my statements and express my opinion.


Chapter 4...Digging Deeper - Cody Naylor

I read what Cody, and some of the other people that commented on this blog, had to say and really took their advice to heart.  Note taking is an extremely important habit that should be picked up.

Digging is for Reporters and Shovels, Not Readers - Josie Rush

Although I was the last to comment on this blog, I felt that I really connected with what Josie had stated.  I do have a really difficult time deciding what I am going to write, and I do always seem to find something wrong when I am done with it.

paragraphs and stuff - Mike Poiarkoff

Even though this blog was not due till today, I was the first to comment on it.  I also made a comment that might spark some sort of disagreement between Mike and I, which might be quite enjoyable.


Focus on the Story

I asked if anyone had any suggestions for a book that had an unreliable narrator telling the story, and Melissa Schwenk gave me a suggestion :).

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

Aja Hannah was able to relate to my point of view as a future teacher in this blog.

The Bus Plunge Theory 

The Battle of the Bus Plunges

Cody Naylor was the first and only one to comment on this blog.  He also agreed with my somewhat disturbing sense of humor.  Thanks Cody :).

Timeliness-These blogs (or comments due to my lack of knowledge on blogging) were posted in a timely fashion that allowed for commenting:

Find my name on the comment list

Breaking News?

Obituaries Can be Bad Publicity

Journalists Have Values?

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

The Bus Plunge Theory

The Battle of the Bus Plunges


Well, I'm just starting to get this blogging thing down so I haven't been much of a contributor.  I swear I'll do better next time!



This is not exactly my favorite blog that I have written, but I did learn something in the process of writing it.  This was written for my Writing about Literature course.  Not only was I able to further my knowledge by studying this topic, this blog also sparked a comment from Dr. Jerz.  Dr. Jerz was able to help me fully understand my agrument by providing a comment that expanded my argument.









Oh Sylvia and Her "Metaphors"

In the three poems that I have read by Sylvia Plath, I have noticed that she loves making a metaphor out of herself.  Her metaphors are typically outlandish and disturbing.  In her poem, "Lady Lazarus," she compares worms that have been crawling on her dying body to "sticky pearls" in seashells. 

Her poem "Metaphors" takes everyday objects and turns them into terrifying monsters.  She enjoys scaring her readers by taking something that would normally be enjoyable and compares it to something that is a little less agreeable. 

By saying that she has "Boarded the train there's no getting off," she seems to be implying that she isn't going to stop writing the way she has been for so long.  If  she is not implying that, then she is once again referring to her suicidal tendencies and letting the readers know that we can't stop her from causing her own death.

The Battle of the Bus Plunges

I have read and compared a bus plunge in Nepal and a bus plunge in Kashmir.  The headlines of both state that there are deaths that occurred from a bus plunge. This statement grabs readers attention and makes them want to learn about why such a tragedy has happened.  Coincidentally both bus plunges caused at least 20 deaths. 

Both of these stories are around the same length and have many of the same details.

However, the bus plunge story from Nepal gives an estimated number of people that were on the bus at the time of the incident.  It also gives the number of people that are still undergoing treatment, and states that there are still people that remain missing.  The story from Kashmir indicates that there are many "fatal road accidents" in India and that most are blamed on "reckless driving."

The story from Nepal seems to be more informative and to the point.  It wants readers to know as many details as can be provided, in such a small space.  The story from Kashmir seems to be more of a warning to readers, "beware of the bus plunge" or "you better drive safe or this is what will happen."

Can you fill it?


The Bus Plunge Theory

I kind of wish that "digital magic" hadn't eliminated the need for bus plunge stories.  Yea, I guess they would get old after awhile, but doesn't all news get old.  In a disturbing kind of way, it's almost comedic to read about a bus plunging off a cliff into a river.  Now it would be even better if the driver as well as everyone in the bus lived to tell the story about how a boy on the bus dropped his school project, which happened to be a globe, and it rolled all the way from the back of the bus to the front of the bus where it stuck under the brake just as the bus was going around a curve with low guard rails.  The students would then go on to quote how the bus flew through the air and landed in the rushing water.  The school jock would of course save everyone including the bus driver and drag them to shore. However, none of this would be printed because it would be way too long for a filler story.  So, readers would actually only see the headline, "Bus Plunge," and they would be told the name of the school and the number of the survivors, which in this case would be all of them.  Also, the name of the school would have to be short otherwise they would have to find another bus plunge to write about because it wouldn't fit.

Anyways, I think bus plunges  can be fun, but not too much fun without any of the gory details.


Follow that Hoodie!

Elizabeth Mount College (EMC)-On Sept. 14, 2009 a pedestrian was injured outside of Alumni Hall. 

The incident was witnessed by Security Chief, Robert Chase.

The pedestrian, Sharon Pierce, was exiting Collins Hall and was struck by a vehicle about 15 feet north of the cross walk.  Pierce is a fourth year undergraduate and resident of Collins Hall.  She was treated on site by emergency medical technicians and declined transport to a hospital.

Karl Klaushammer, the driver, was turning around the east entrance to the Alumni Hall Gallery when he struck Pierce.   Klaushammer was driving a 2004 Ford Taurus.

Chase claimed that, "Klaushammer was observed by this officer to be in distress and reported that a package that was in his back seat was apparently taken."  He also said that, "a man in an EMC hoodie was spotted running south along college drive."

"Klaushammer was ordered to stay alert while driving through campus and to keep important articles locked in his trunk," said Chase.

The male is described to be around six feet tall and 200 pounds.  No incriminating features were identified.  After being given verbal orders to halt, the male suspect disappeared on foot past Park Water Avenue and into the wooded lot behind the chemistry parking lot.

Ex. 3

The Story of My Life

Roberts claims that, "Stories, plays, and many poems are made up of mostly actions or incidents that follow one another in chronological order.  The same is also true of life, but there is a major difference, and that is that fiction must always make sense even though life itself does not always make sense," (93).  After reading this I imagine a voice narrating my every move and thought (I would choose Morgan Freeman for this because I absolutely adore his voice).  Now, like Roberts claims, life doesn't always make sense.  So, I might give poor Morgan a run for his money on his narrating ability.

Now, it's slightly ironic that Roberts uses Robert Frost's poem, "The Road not Taken," and then shows a drawing of a man falling off a cliff (102).  This drawing is an accurate depiction of plot structure, but if the man hadn't taken that road he would not have fallen off. 

Anyways, the placement of certain details throughout a story is extremely important.  Had readers known that both the executioner and the escaped prisoner were sitting at a table together, drinking from the same mug, then the story would not have been so interesting.  I would just be sitting there yelling at the executioner the whole time because I knew what he didn't.  Yes, I am one of those people who yells at movies and books. Therefore, I would have been mad at the story and I would not have been able to truly enjoy it.


Do You Really Have to Leave Love Behind?

Inevitably, youth of the body must die, but your mind can be youthful.  Shakespeare seems to believe that your mind cannot go on once your body gets old.  You can love someone, but when you die you have to leave the love for that person behind.  Is that true?  Do the fires of love also have to burn out with the fire of your youth?  Do youth and love go hand in hand?  Not only does Shakespeare compare youth to love, he also compares it to the changing of the seasons and the singing of the birds.  It seems as though he is trying to say that he loves, that special someone, but his life has changed.  Therefore, he can no longer love that special someone anymore.  However, is he talking about himself or is he referring to relationships in general?  Now that the divorce rate is about 50 percent, it seems that this applies to everyday society.  Is it possible to love someone forever, or am I going to change my mind in the next 20 years or so?  Shakespeare seems to have no hope for love. 

Let's Drink, and Then Cut Off Someone's Head

Although the short story, "The Three Strangers," has a completely different story line from the movie "The Strangers," there are many similarities.  Like the story, the movie is based on three strangers that come to a house that is described as "lonely."  The house is pictured to be away from society, or safety for that matter.  Unlike the story, the movie has a large amount of blood, gore, and suspense.  However, the story has the same sense of fear.

Once the guests in the house realized that one of the strangers is actually an executioner, they became very anxious and frightened.  I would have been more frightened of the fact that he had been given more alcohol than all the people at the party rather than his occupation.  His "job" would be slightly stressful.  What normal person kills people for a living?  Mixing alcohol with an execution just doesn't seem too ethical or safe for that matter.  However, this makes the story more horrific.  The portrayal of a deranged executioner made the story more interesting. Also, to top off this already eccentric story, the man that was supposed to be executed shared the alcohol with the executioner.  I mean this story was written in 1888, but come on shouldn't the executioner have some sort of notion as to what the man he will be killing looks like.  Well, it made for a good story, but it was slightly frustrating.

Keep Your Opinion to Yourself

Using someone else's opinion to tell a story could be difficult if you didn't support that opinion.  It must be hard for reporters to remain outside of the story. 

As a future teacher, I must also keep my opinions to myself.  A teacher is supposed to remain impartial in most class discussions.  Teachers are not supposed to discuss their political or religious affiliation with their students.  Similar to reporters, teachers are not allowed stating their opinion publicly about certain subjects.  Reporters cannot tell society that they think, "the football team sucks."  It would be appropriate for a member of society to say that to a reporter, but the reporter must not state their feelings on the subject.

Reporting can serve as practice for teaching.


We need to make a generalization to write a paper? Woah Toto, we're not in high school anymore.  In high school I was taught that it was forbidden to make a generalization within a paper.  Roberts says that, "Because the close-reading essay is concerned with details, you might have a problem developing a thematic structure.  You can overcome this difficulty if you begin to work with either a generalization about the passage or a thesis based on the relationship of the passage to the work," (55).  Therefore, according to Roberts, it is correct to make a generalization about the passage prior to writing a close reading. 

Is it then correct to make a generalization when you are not writing a close reading?  For example, a research paper?  If I made a generalization throughout a research paper that I was writing, I feel that it would be very wrong.  However, say this generalization was based on factual information, would it be correct then?  I really could not tell you, but I think I will stick to a typical thesis in all the reasearch papers that I am sure I will be writing sooner or later. 

Focus on the Story

Narrators can be unreliable?  Prior to reading Chapter 4 in "Writing about Literature," I did not really think about a narrator being unreliable.  Don't you always trust the person telling the story?  I mean I wouldn't trust someone if they told me they could fly, but when reading a book I never thought I was being lied to.  When you are given an opportunity to see into someone's mind, figuratively, I would assume that their thoughts would not be lying to you. 

Whenever I read now I may take a second to think about what I am actually being told, and who's point of view I am being shown.  It actually might be interesting to read a story in third person and find out that the narrator has been telling it completely wrong from the beginning.  Does anyone have any suggestions of a book like this?

Hold the Adjectives

Being descriptive and colorful in writing has always been one of my main objectives.  However, I am not very good at it, but after reading the passage, "Hold the Adjectives" in chapter one of "The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting," I discovered that I did not have to be so descriptive.  According to Mark Twain, an adjective is more effective when it is far away from other adjectives.  This is interesting.  I figured journalists used adjectives to their advantage when describing the scene of a traumatic, fatal, bone-chilling car accident in the middle of a thousand, traumatized bystanders.  Well, I guess less is actually more.

Journalists have values?

I enjoy the description of a journalist in the passage titled "The Language of Journalism."  There are very few times in which I have actually heard a positive reference to a journalist.  Now, I have been informed that they have their own language as well.  Journalism is not my major, but I find it interesting that there is a set of rules for being a journalist.  After reading these rules, I absolutely agree that this is how it should be, but is this how it always is.  "The language of journalism should be concrete and specific," is this true of all major news stories.  Recently the class just discussed how news stories were not always trustworthy.  "The language of journalism is active," news is always supposed to be up to date, but I have seen "Breaking News," that happened hours before the show was aired.  These are just a few examples of how journalism may imply that it has a proper "language," but it does not always follow it.

Oh the Trickery

When first reading An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce, I figured this would be another one of those depressing stories.  Well, it actually was, but the mood was happy through the middle. Bierce used extremely descriptive language that kept me involved throughout the story.  What bothered me a little was the changing of perspectives and settings.  One minute I was reading through the narrators' eyes, then I was seeing through Peyton Farquhar.  I actually thought that I was being told about two different people.  Now I am not implying that this is bad and that I did not enjoy it, it just made it a little more difficult.  However, it helped me slightly because I was forced to go back and read it again. 

I enjoyed this story so much becuase it is not typical.  In the middle when the readers are being told of his "escape," I figured it was going to be another happy ending.  Then, alas, his neck is broken and he is dead.  The end.  It may not have been a happy ending, but I sure enjoyed it.

To Explicate or Not to Explicate, That is the Question

Billy Collins' poem, "Introduction to Poetry," describes how a poem is torn apart to extract the true meaning.  I remember when I was first asked to explicate a poem.  Why does it matter what a poem truly means?  The poet obviously intended readers to interpret the poem, but if they really wanted us to know what it means, then they would have told us in the first place.  Explicating can be fun because I can make up my own interpretation, but I wonder does it offend some poets when we get the interpretation wrong.  Is Collins really saying that all poems are torn apart or is he saying something else in "Introduction to Poetry?"  For all I know he could actually be talking about lab mice that are being tortured through scientific experiments.