September 28, 2005

Chaucer's work surfacing in Christina Aguilera's songs

two points of interest from Chaucer's Wife of Bath's prologue and tale caught my attention when I was listening to Christina Aguilera's songs "Can't Hold Us Down" and "What a girl wants."

In "Can't Hold Us Down" Aguilera sang that in society throughout history there was a double standard: " The guy gets all the glory the more he can score while the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore." The Wife of Bath was probably one of the earliest female model to argue this point and perhaps inspirred Aguilera. In her prologue, she claimed that she had five husbands: " Of husbands at church door have I had five." She was reprimanded by the church. They told her that she should follow the example of Jesus. She said: " Thus, by this same example, showed He [Jesus] me, I never should have married more than once."

The wife of bath rationalized that it was okay for her to remarry rather than stay a widow. She used the Bible to point out that God made humans to "pro-create." and she argued that if King Solomon could have wives and concubines, why couldn't she? For approximately seven centuries the wife of bathe's revolutionary thinking is still being reconfigure in today's society. Lil' Kim rapping along Aguilera's song: "the table's about to turn." They encourage females today to return the favor: "Do it right back to him and let that be that, you need to let him know that his game is whack."

The wife of bath's tal

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:24 PM | Comments (6)

a question?

what are some of the characteristics that "western audience" share?
(Define what is considered western) What are some "western" ideas/ideology?

The reason why I'm asking is because Dr. Wendland from my World Literature class gave a teaser this Monday about Adeline Yen Mah's memoir "Falling Leaves." He told us to think about the advantages and disadvantages of a western audience in regards to "eastern context."

Thanks! Anything will help! :)

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

September 26, 2005

Book spoiler: The Man from a Peddler's Family

In Lu Wenfu's short story "the Man from a Peddler's Family," there was an ironic twist at the end. Throughout the story, the peddler have been criticized for being a capitalist. Capitalism was frowned upon because it promoted Western values of "self-interest" (aka greed/selfishness). The peddler defended his position saying that he was serving the people because the government was not doing their job. He was finally reformed at the end. He became a factory worker because it was so much easier. According to him, he was "still" serving the people. His rationalization that factory work was easier for "him" illustrated how he was more concern of his own welfare rather than the community's. The Communist government's (the "officials" that ran it) main concern of maintaining power showed a paradox in their way of diffirentiating capitalism from communism.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 8:37 PM | Comments (0)

Blog Portfolio 1 (EL 227: News Writing)

Unfortunately, I hadn't have the luxury of blogging more frequently than I would prefer because I'm been running around like a headless chicken trying to assimilate back to the school environment.

So right now, I'm having a difficult time balancing academics with extra-curricular fun. But I'm getting there, and I'm finally getting a feel of how each of my classes are like.

Now that that's out, I think I and other Setonians in this class should get extra-credit for participating in the Setonian (it's application of newswritng theories). Don't get me wrong, I like what I'm doing in the Setonian or else I wouldn't put as much effort in it. But it could get hectic for me and my fellow Setonians.

Most of my blog entries so far have been about application and reinforcement of journalism fundamentals:

Essentials of Journalism: While reading Chapters 3-5 of The Elements of Journalism, I was enraged with the hypocracy of journalists who obfusticate rather than enlighten the public. I noted the dangers of being impartial for objectivity's sake (being detach from the community thus not being loyal to them in revealing the truth).

Associated Press: The AP Guide to News Writing is like the Canterbury tales of journalism in a sense that details are used to show rather than to tell the hierarchy in journalism: those who speak journalese, who write bad and confusing leads, who are clear and enlightening etc. etc. The details showed the importance of keeping deadline and having transperancy.

Covering the News: From this spot news assignment, I realized that I've a good mastery of the five W's and 'how' of news writing, now I'm practicing fluidity and clarity in my news article. Chris Ulicne clarified for me the difference between details and wordiness.

Reporter's Survival Notebook: The Reporter's Notebook is very useful and valuable for new student journalists. It would have helped me a lot when I was a freshman. But I have no regrets because I prefer learning from experience (through practice, the knowledge has been impressed in my brain).

Capturing news with a Camera: My knowledge in photography has increased ever since I took a Black and White photograpy class. From now on, starting this semester, I'm going to apply all the concepts I learned this past summer in my photography. Pictures enhance the news and it can capture so much emotions. Sometimes it could convey the news better than words. I didn't get a chance to comment a lot on other people's blogs, but I did comment on Ulicne's Photo Illustration. I was going to make a link to my article on black and white photography but it's not in the online Setonian (yet?).

Editing : I felt productive when finally, I was doing the correcting rather than being corrected. Patience paid off. I remember sitting across Setonian editors while they explained to me the corrections they made in my articles (Before and now).

Final copy, different views: The Setonian Online and print version is more exhaustive in comparison with The Communicator. In comparing the coverage of SHU's football games in both publications, the hard copy of the Setonian was like a "story" rather than an "announcement." Both served its function, the Setonian being the voice of the students (being loyal to its citizen) and the Communicator as SHU's PR newsletter.

Reflecting on my journalism journey so far, I'm glad that my "path" was not as "rigid" (for example, taking news writing class first before becoming part of the Setonian or limiting myself to just the area of writing but actually getting involved in other aspects of the "newspaper world" such as copy-editing, taking pictures, distributing, reporting etc.). My experience in the Setonian made the theories I'm learning/reviewing in News Writing clearer/accessible (tangible rather than abstract).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 1:45 PM | Comments (1)

The Reporter's Notebook (Mark Levin)

This book is useful...I wish I had it when I was a freshman...

I think every first year Setonians should get this book...Most of the things I've learned in my Setonian experience are nicely summarized in this 100 page book.

The book is quite elementary -- but it's clear and it gives a great foundation for students who are starting out in journalism.

I found especially helpful the sections on "finding stories" and "top 10 punctuation tips:"

a. In trying to find stories I never thought of watching the news and localizing it to the school. I was made aware how "unconsciously" I've been following tip numbers 7 and 9 (on page 12 of The Reporter's Notebook) all along.

b. the top 10 punctuation tips is a good reference so that I don't have to memorize and store it in my brain (it's too meticulous).

I thought the tips for the photographers are really good. but I think it's a bit outdated. Most schools are presently using digital cameras. This is convinient but for some newbies that do not have the fundamental knowledge of photography, digital camera is a loss. Because of the automatic nature of the Digital camera, I feel that some photographers are not able to understand the dynamics of light.

The principal of taking pictures is the same for a manual camera and a digital camera. From reading the tips, 4 out of 10 tips I learned from photography class: angles of interest, avoid distracting backgrounds, taking a lot of photos, and bracketing.

Bracketing is something more distinguishable in manual cameras because one sees the results. In digital camera, it's usually automatic unless one puts it in manual mode (if it has one). This is why I think the tips are a bit obselete (when applied to digital camera) but a photographer who had experience with manual and understood light, composition and other principals, the tips in page 29 are priceless.

The new thing I learned is taking a picture of a subject against a reflective surface. The tip advised me to shoot at a 45-degree angle to eliminate flash back.

The Reporter's Notebook: Writing Tools for Student Journalists is a great book. It is not intimidating, but one has to be careful not to read it "wrongly." If context of its simplicity is taken wronly, the book can appear to be condescending.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005

AP guide to News Writing

I definitely get a sense that the style of this book is for those people who don't have that much time (especially journalists who are conscious of deadlines). Rather than using numerous pages and chapters to explain concepts, the author (Rene J. Cappon) uses examples to "show" rather than tell.

Sometimes when I would read it fast, I would miss the introductory sentence. I would find myself reading the example and wondering how would the example pertain to the chapter.

Sometimes I feel like there's so many examples that are the same, and I just want to skip over them and see the one sentence explanation at the end of the section.

The writing is informal. This is nice because I feel like I'm actually conversing with the author in person. This is sometimes bad because the author switches speaking mode from common English to "journalese."

I love the humor because it adds the personal touch.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:05 AM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2005

Spot News : Setonian vs. Communicator

The Setonian coverage of the football games versus the communicator's is more informative. The communicator had the advantages of fast "updates" and early releases but the Setonian have content...

In spite of the communicator 's great colored pictures and it's lay-out, I found the short blurb on SHU's first home game confusing. It mentioned the home game and its result. Then it made a reference to the old game and then it went back to home game.

The last sentence of the first paragraph made the whole thing confusing. It stated "As the team played their first game on the road (they lost ...against Urbana), Saturday's game ...was overwhelmingly positive." It was redundant. I had a double take because the first two sentence already said what the last sentence said.

"As the team played..." this phrase made it sound like it's more recent than the home game.

"Overwhelming" is more opinionated therefore biased.

The Setonian's converage is more personal. You get to know more about the team (the players' thoughts, the coach's expectations etc) and not just the results (scores). You get more background and people interest.

Valerie's article is great. It's informative, had enough details and quotes to make her news article more like a story that flows.

From her article, I can learn to apply in my own articles how detail is used to introduce the quotes (so the overall effect would be a balance of writing composition).

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2005

If sharing is vain, then I'm very vain...

Weeks -no months of planning has finally paid off, today I had my black and white photography exhibit opening reception in Reeves Library Lounge, my show will be there from now until Friday, October 14...I had a great experience learning about photography that I wanted to show others and talk about black and white photography and just maybe spark interest in them, to try it out... so they too could enjoy the art...

I wasn't really thinking of displaying my works until my last day of photography (July 1, 2005)...

I just fell in love with black and white photography- everything about it, the work it took, the developing process, manipulating the image through various exposure,times and filters etc.-- B/W photography is truly an art form, your medium is a camera rather than a pencil/charcoal/oils etc.

and I was walking out of my classroom, saying goodbye to some of the most unique people I've met, I knew I was going to miss my photographic routine --

--yes, during this seven week course under the tutelage of Jon Speilberg (cousin of Steven Speilberg),it was tough. I had to work my ass off, but it was kewl, I enjoyed it, i enjoyed the "toxic" fumes of all the chemicals, :the developer, the stop bath, the fixer, and the fixer remover...and I loved how these chemicals left a dry residue on my hands ...and how I itched at night because I'm allergic to any type of metallic abrasion (contact to skin)...

at one point in the beginning of the summer session (before I realized what was happening to me because of my allergy) I had both my legs and arms filled with hives because I scratched them and scratching made the hives spread. My legs and arms looked like one of those globes that had the mountain ranges-- it was so freaky

and the dark room was an eternal abyss, just try to imagine pitch black, opening a canister of film, cutting the edge, then loading the film into the reels, it feels like eternity just spinning those reels and what a relief to have it loaded, sealing it light tight

developing...had to make sure that the water temperature is between 68 to 75 degrees (recommended)..."agitating" the film, 7, 5, 7, 30 seconds, (it really depends on the temperature and the type of film...air dry cabinet (makes drying faster)

the other dark room, inside orangish safe light, enlargers, filters, glass, adjuster...

but oh wow the magic, 2 minutes in the developer, 1 minute in the stop bath, 5 minutes in the fixer (gradual agitation), 1 minute in the water, and 2 minutes in the fixer remover (gradual agitation), wearing gloves, using thongs, agitating...if you were to expose your latent image with an aperture of 2, say goodbye to your image, because as soon as it gets in the developer, the image quickly shows up and pretty soon the image is overexposed and it turns completely black (you say to yourself, damn it another dollar down the drain (literally) because photographic paper is expensive ($75 per one hundred sheets))

final wash-- paper swimming in water, rotating like a washing machine but gentler and drying could be disastrous, the image has to be face down on the conveyor belt or else risk damage to your final product...then there's the presentation - dry mounting on precut 11 X 14 super duper high bright WHITE museum board

these were my photo routine, during the final wash, I'd eat my lunch... I thought about photography and my show while I was being inducted to citizenship, on the back of my pamphlet "A Welcome to U.S.A Citizenship" where the notes area, I jot down some ideas for my show --- the people I'd invited, where the pictures would go (i knew it was going to be held in Reeves Library, i knew the layout perfectly), the theme, their commonality:Philadelphia, then i thought about the food, "Philly Cheesesteak" and fruits, drinks ...

then i thought about how i was going to advertise for this, I had a press release to the communicator, and the Setonian, the Setonian also had an exclusive on my thoughts about my experience... i did some strategic flyer hanging (admin, lowe, maura, lynch, harlan, reeves and bailey), and then I did word of mouth/personal invitation (that didn't work as well as i thought), I even mentioned food, FOOOD!

Today was my show...I used half my flex for food, (i have tons of left-overs, the cheesesteak guy was 20 minutes late)

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 7:10 PM | Comments (4)

September 22, 2005

tribune-review (sept 20 issue)

as i perused this issue, they had better images that complimented the articles and captured the essence of the headlines. these pictures encouraged me to read further...

the picture of Eli Marc in the front page running really captured the joy of freedom. this frozen moment in time was reinforced by the lines of the brick buildin, of the windows, the sidewalk and the yellow line of the road that converged to the left away from the man. they reminded me of "speed" lines. It's a static picture that moves, your eyes are forced to travel right where the man is heading. the rigidity of the lines which was reminiscent of jail bars contrasted with the implied arch created by Marc's pulled back elbow and raised leg (opposite of arm). Great composition.

page A2 and A3 were also great. I saw and read a little blurb about the Philippine's president Arroyo.

I loved the irony in Dragan Vasiljkovic's picture. He was photographed holding a cute baby mammal (either dog or cat) and the caption under his image stated "wanted for war crimes." Most likely there's more to this guy or it could be deception used by editor or layout manager who juxtaposed the caption and the image together. It's very effective. I liked the contrast between the two characters: Dragan's white hair, sharp nose, and wrinkled face set against the cute baby animal's black color, round-buttoned nose, and soft and fluffy fur. If one were to twist the image around, one could imagine that the "pup" is scrap-meat to the vulture-esque Vasiljkovic. The composition also follows the rule of thirds with Dragan's head cover 2/3 of the image.

I found the upside-down picture of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder hilarious. His expression (hanging upside down, piercing blue eyes) and the pun of the headline "Candidates fall short." It's refreshing and funny.

With these examples of images, I agree with my classmate who mentioned in class about the exploitation of image by journalists. It completes the news "package."

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:22 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2005

Not captain planet but more like Captain AP...

In the "elements" of journalism by Kovach and Rosenstiel, there were several things I could relate with (share my concerns about journalism) in chapters 3 to 5...

they are:

Solution-oriented journalism (p 67)
"the station will attempt to find or spotlight solutions, not just focus on problems..."

this is the type of journalsim I'd like to get involve in. In the past the reason why I'm so skeptic about news in general is because they always focus on disasters and violence (the "newsworthy ones"), and problem-solving news were often overlooked. I'm not saying that news should be impartial or sugarcoated because if they were, they would betray their primary audience: "the citizens." I'm just saying that too much horrible things will just ruin people's hopes and perspectives.


as a setonian journalist sometimes i find myself confuse especially when writing news article (that's why I like writing opinion columns because they are based more on my perspective (there's no way I can misquote myself (I'm my only source)...what i did find affirming was on page 106, "personal perspective colors journalism."

Objectivity versus impartiality
i found this a hard concept to grasp because it's stating that in order to show objectivity, i have to be impartial (not taking sides)but being impartial doesn't mean being detach to the community...because in the end it is the citizens of the community who I should be loyal to...

journalism like any type of writing of some sort is very complex...

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 4:32 PM | Comments (2)

September 19, 2005

Spotlighting an event

For the spot news exercise I decided to do mine on SHU's first home game. For this project, I wasn't worried about interviewing people. But from interviewing people I learned to be mindful about everything and not just the game.

I was focusing so much on the game itself and in doing so, I limited myself. In this limitation, I learned about my strengths as well as my weaknesses.

I'm people-oriented and for me to write about the technicalities of a game that I don't know much about is a total waste of time; not only for me but also for the busy reader.

As a result of focusing so much on the game when my angle was on the community, I ended up missing some details that were more important to my article.

I definitely need to work on getting more details. Sometimes it's hard for me to distinguish between details and wordiness

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

September 17, 2005

SHU community stays supportive

Seton Hill University's (SHU) students, staff, trustee members and neighborhood kids flocked to Offutt field on Saturday, September 10 for SHU's Griffins football team's first home game against McDaniels College's Terrors.

The crowd buzzed as former Pittsburg Steeler and SHU trustee Dwight White was given the title of Honorary Captain. As White introduced the Griffins, they [the teams]came running out of the field.

In the midday heat, the crowd persevered with towels draped on their heads. "It's too hot, but the game was like any other type of football game full of community bonding," said Keisha Jimmerson, assistant director of the office of residence life.

Junior Stephanie Kattera said, "I liked it [the game], they really worked together."

The Griffins lost to the Terrors 28 to 9 but sophomore Katrina Strokum continued to be optimistic, "They'll do better as they play more games."

According to Dean of Student Services Charmaine Strong, the progress that the team had made will give their opponents in the future "a run for their money."

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 9:36 AM | Comments (0)

September 7, 2005

the other side

today in newswriting, we peer edited the profiles we wrote yesterday. my article did not have as much "noticeable" mistakes. It felt nice to be on the other side- one checking for AP style rather than one being corrected for AP mistakes. I'm grateful for all those times one of the Setonian editors explained to me my mistakes. Seeing some of the first year students' works made me realize how concise I am now in comparison with me as a freshman.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 2:57 PM | Comments (3)

September 2, 2005

Newswriting: Hiding behind the Obvious

transperancy, is it clear at all?

often times a friend I've known had been accused of being too "obvious." People said she's predictable, but does an often proven "conjecture" of a given course be necessarily true/right?

In T.V. broadcasting (as from what I learned from two days of being in Newswriting), they showed stunning visuals and if not, just any image pertinent to what they call "news." It's true that pictures hold a thousand words. what if someone has a limited vocabulary?

from the outward appearance, can one tell of another's inner workings?is it enough for the superficial evaluation of others?

there are ways to manipulate images? does manipulation do more harm or not?

one can hide in an "impreesion"...tricking the eye to see what it wants to see.

it's obvious that someone can be ditzy, but who's tricking who and who's taken for the fool?

Posted by Michael Diezmos at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)