March 2009 Archives


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In the prologue, did anyone else find the amount of lighting which the invisible man stole to be rather excessive?  1,369 bulbs for a shut-off section of a basement?  Personally, I think that this large amount of light was used to make the narrator "visible" to the electric company authorities.  Also, the narrator also attempts to use this light, to "see" himself more clearly without the ever- louding influence of outside opinion. I also researched this number and found that 1,369 is the square of thirty-seven, which was Ellison's age at the time of writing, thus tying the narrator's experience to Ellison's own sense of self.  What do you guys think the purpose of the excessive amount of lighting was?

Daunting and Overwhelming, Yet Still and Improvement

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Your Setonian Online mockup is undeniably an improvement from the present Setonian Online.  I love the heading, especially the colors and the griffin.  However, I feel like the webpage is a little too jumbled and will be rather frustrating for a reader to navigate.  There's little "blank" space throughout the entire page, and I think the large amount of words will overwhelm the reader.  I went to some online newspaper website and found a few whose format could be used to make the Setonian Online a little more user friendly than the mockup. 

Florida's Cedar Key's News  has an interesting, colorful layout that's incredibly simple to navigate. 

North Dakota's TiogaTribune enables readers to view news in an extremely organized, eye-appealing fashion.  

California's Evergreen Times has a ton of pictures, which will immediately draw in readers, and very noticeable advertising.  Also, it has enough space to encourage the reader to navigate the website without feeling overwhelmed.

Overall, I think the Setonian Online mockup is an excellent start to our internet project, but we definitely have a lot of work ahead of us to make it user friendly.

Media Lab Portfolio 2

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Part One

Spring Break Fiasco!        


In a dungeon-like room in the basement of McKenna, the noise of vibrant students could be heard from the entrance into the hallway.  This enthusiastic atmosphere was the result of eight Setonian staff members diligently working on the newspaper on their last day of spring break.

Because of the timing of Seton Hill University's spring break, this issue of the Setonian suffered from lack of staff writers, photographs, and copy editors.  However, the dedication of the few dependable staff members was exemplified by freshman Becca Marrie.  With a peeling, sun-burned face, Marrie, ignored the excruciating pain from her week in Florida's radiating sun in order to ensure the Setonian was published on time.

"Becca was one of the only eight to grace us with her presence for our critically important copy-editing party for last issue," said editor Tiffany Gilbert. 


Marrie mentioned that because of the minimal amount of staff participation in this issue of the Setonian, it was especially lacking in skillful writing.  Many of the copy editors agreed on that this unacceptable writing created unnecessary work for them,

"Sometimes I just wonder how a journalism student could honestly write an article like this and expect it to get published.  It looks like a fourth grader wrote it," commented one anonymous copy editor..

Having spring break the week before the paper was set to be published caused a large amount of stress for the editors and and the students in charge of layout.  With a minimal amount of students to help, this issue of the Setonian was not quite up to the standards the staff members had set for themselves.  This is due in part to a large number of students either ignoring or not receiving the mass emails sent out by Gilbert.  Much help was needed but little was received over spring break.  Fortunately for the Setonian,at least at least a few of the staff members were dependable.  Gilbert knew she could always count on Marrie, in particular, to help her with whatever ends needed to be tied.   

"During the unfortunate absence of the entire student body over spring break, Becca answered promptly to my pleading emails to help smooth out the bumps of production," said Gilbert.


Part Two

My blog response to the Setonian Online mockup

Part Three

So far this term, I have been accumulating nutrition tips for our class project, which is creating a new Setonian Online.  These tips will be used when I post daily/weekly healthy tips for students.  I believe this innovative idea will make the Setonian Online more appealing to the student body.  


The Meek and Mild Mushroom

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"We are shelves, we are tables, we are meek, we are edible."

After reading this quote in the poem "Mushrooms," I was rather surprised as to how the mushrooms were portrayed.  Nowhere in the poem does it mention that they are, as many people believe, poisoness plants.  Rather this poem simply portrays the attractive qualities of the mushrooms.  It actually seems to be written to encourage empathy for these fungi.  Why is this?

Manners in 1918

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"My grandfather said to me as we sat on the wagon seat, 'Be sure to remember to speak to everyone you meet.'"

This quote, from the poem, "Manners," struck me as rather odd for the time period.  Children at this point in history were supposed to be seen and not heard.  "Don't speak to strangers" was a common phrase heard from mother's to children.  However, in this poem, Grandfather is instilling a in his grandson the necessity of being friendly to strangers.  He would rather have a confident, approachable grandson than one who is shy.  

Another ironic part of the poem was that while the grandfather and his grandson were riding on a horse, they were often passed by people in automobiles.  Personally, I found this scene to be odd.  But I remained unsurprised when they got out of the buggy to give the horse a break.  I mean, for the grandfather, manners toward people and animals were the same.  This poem radiated kindness to people and animals alike.  

Beating Time

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As I read My Papa's Waltz, I envision a young boy being forced to dance with his drunken father .  I imagine the father feels guilty for not spending time with his son, and this is the only skill he believes he can actually teach to his son.  Obviously, as portrayed in line "my mother's countenance could not unfrown itself," the wife/mother did not approve of their dancing.  However, the one line that confused me was "you beat time on my head with a palm caked hard by dirt."  Can anyone explain this to me?


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I believe that this article's thesis is that The Grapes of Wrath represents an indictment of the American myth of garden and its accompanying myth of the frontier.  However, this thesis is non-obvious in that the reader must have the knowledge that the "garden" is actually the Garden of Eden.  Both Eden and the frontier symbolized places of potential perfect happiness but were actually embedded with temptations creating an evil environment.  In his essay, Cassuto discusses the literary signification of water in John Steinbeck's novel `The Grapes of Wrath,' religious allusions in the word water, agricultural ideals, and the metaphorical use of water in order to support his thesis. 

However, in all honesty, I found this article incredibly frustrating to read.  Cassuto obviously did not write this academic article for the general public, but rather for a very specific audience in his field.  Thus, this article exemplified Foster's idea that a person should not simply read with his or hers eyes.  In order to have the slightest idea about Cassuto's detailed concepts, a reader must have extensive knowledge about the Dust Bowl, the Grapes of Wrath, and the Bible.  

Though I believe I came up with the actual thesis which Cassuto intended, I am still not sure if I succeeded.  What do you guys think the thesis is?

Forget the Future, Live in the Past

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"I also need to acknowledge here that there is a different model of professional reading, deconstruction, that pushes skepticism and doubt to its extreme, questioning everythign in the story or poem at hand, to deconstruct the work and show how the author is not really in charge of his materials."

Deconstruction, as defined by was "a philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth."  It asserts that words can only refer to other words and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings.  

This definition complements Foster's belief that "the goal of deconstructive readings is to demonstrate how the work is controlled and reduced by the values and prejudices of its own time."

Books, regardless of the time period in which they were written, reflect the thoughts and ideals of that time.  Authors have no choice but to subject themselves to the these concepts of the corresponding era.  They have no way of seeing into the future; they only know what has been taught.  Thus, in order to thoroughly understand novels, you must place yourself in that time period, forgetting, at least for a while, anything that has occurred or been discovered in years after the publication.   

Keep It Simple

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"If writers want us-all of us-to notice something, they'd better put it out there were we'll find it."

Foster's words on pg 205 exemplify the typical persons idea of a good read.  Unlike this class, where close reading takes precedence over simply enjoying a novel, I find it much more enjoyable to have all the necessary facts blatantly obvious, not hidden in numerous similes, metaphors, and comparisons.  I think that this is one of the reasons why many students dread reading novels for school.  They realize that they will have to basically tear apart all the parts which they had liked when put together, but will grow to despise as they are forced to constantly analyze them.   

A Play That's Anti-Illusion

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An undeniably unique play, Thorton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth provided a breath of fresh air for a genre of plays previously lacking innovativeness.  Wilder effectively combined ideas based in the past, present, and future to create a play within a play.  Contrary to the norm, Wilder did not create the barrier between audience and actors during the play, even in its peak moments.  For example, in Act II when Sabina is in the process of wooing Mr Antrobus, she unexpectedly veers from her script and instead speaks to the audience: "Just a moment.  I have something I wish to say to the audience. - Ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to play this particular scene tonight..."

The stage director, Mr Fitzpatrick questions her brash behavior and Sabina proceeds to explain that "there are some lines in that scene that would hurt some people's feelings and I don't think the theatre is a place where people's feelings should be hurt."

Audiences accustomed to play's creating the illusion that the events on stage were really happening would be caught off guard by Wilder's purposeful interruptions from a seemingly conventional chain of events.  No longer did the audience simply watch a story unfold on a stage, rather, they became part of the story.  At the end of Act 1, the audience is invited to participate in the events onstage by passing their wooden chairs up to fuel the fire that will  "save the human race." 

Another way which Wilder emphasized his anti-illusion play was his creation of extraordinarily general characters.  Rather than developing psychologically and individually throughout the play, his characters portray both mythological and historical figures. The main characters are presented as timeless models of basic human roles, such as the Great Mother, the Hero, and the Fallen Woman.  Also, each character on stage represents a basic human quality -- "intellect (Mr. Antrobus), nurture (Mrs. Antrobus), sexuality (Sabina and Gladys), violence (Henry) -- and these qualities appear in every historical epoch." 


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