As a student at Lenoir-Rhyne University in English 131, I have learned the importance of grammar as well as critically thinking and writing. Within this class, we were tasked to do a series of blog posts in which we portrayed our writing pieces to an audience beyond the classroom. Some of these blog posts consisted of free writing with the topic of your choice, or submitting your piece of writing for assignments to the blog for everyone to see. Within Matt Richtel’s post, Blog vs. Term Paper, he states “Why not replace a staid writing exercise with a medium that gives the writer the immediacy of an audience, a feeling of relevancy, instant feedback from classmates or readers, and a practical connection to contemporary communications?” (Richtel, 2012) Blog writing has been one of the most significant features of this class, as it has allowed me to express myself by putting my thoughts, feelings, and my work as a whole up for a larger audience. Becoming more familiar with this type of writing, known as blogging, has allowed me to personally improve upon my writing skills, as I know that other people will also be seeing my writing pieces. This as a whole has allowed me to personally want to improve upon my writing skills. Another part of this class consisted of planning, drafting, and revising our critical essays. This process was one in which I was familiar with previously to this english class. This has always been the most successful technique in writing for me as it allows me to first frame my essay and then add in or take out any parts of the essay that were unnecessary. Using this technique more regularly has allowed me to improve upon this system to be as successful as a writer that I may be. For example, within one of the very first critical essays I drafted for Creature, I wrote the sentence “With the help of Juliana and Father Thomas, their assistance may guide Margery help back onto the right track before it’s too late”.( Poole, 2017) If I were to adjust this sentence to make the most sense, I would eliminate the the word assistance and help, as it is redundant from my use of the word help previously in the sentence, and I would say, With the help of Juliana and Father Thomas, Margery may be heading back on the right track before it is too late. Taking a look back into this draft as well as many of my other essays, I am now able to notice my mistakes much more easily, as my skill for spotting out mistakes and eliminating any unnecessary content has strengthened. With the help of these beneficial aids in this class, as a writer, I may go on to advancing to higher levels of writing so that I am be the most successful in my career.
Poole, Lauren.“It’s All a Façade.” laurenpoolesite, 29 Sept. 2017, laurenpoolesite.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/its-all-a-facade/.
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.”, The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/muscling-in-on-the-term-paper
Junod, Tom. “The Falling Man.” Esquire, Sept. 2003
“The Falling Man”, an article written by Tom Junod, begins by describing the the appearance of a photo that was once taken on September 11, 2001. The photo is of a man that is falling vertically down, as if embracing the unimaginable. Assumptions about this man are made, such as that he appears almost “relaxed” and “comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion.” A background history is provided about the history of the photographer. It is stated within the article that the photographer was always tasked with capturing moments within history, no matter how chaotic the scene was. An example of the photographer capturing the moment Bobby Kennedy was shot is provided within this story to help educate the reader in understanding why he is tasked to capture such terrible moments within history. This photographer helps make history by photographing a man flying down from the twin towers. The difficulty the photographer must endure while capturing these horrific moments in history portrays his dedication to his work.
Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. Vintage, 2004.
Within the city of Chicago, one of the greatest fair’s in history has began to gain its stardom. With the help of George Washington Ferris’s invention of the Ferris Wheel, the World’s Columbian Exposition was able to successfully make a profit for the fair. Prowling within the “White City’ of Chicago is a man the goes by the name of H. H. Holmes. A blue-eyed, charismatic and sociopathic doctor who commits a large number of murders within the end of the 19th century. H.H. Holmes uses his charm and power to hide his sociopathic propensities in order to lure his next victim. Holmes enjoys the power he exerts over young timid woman, unaware of his true capabilities.
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers.”, The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012
Within this article, Matt Richtel discusses both sides of the issue on whether eradicating the term paper and replacing it with the blog would be beneficial to students. Richtel also discusses each side and how they may be beneficial or crucial. One point made by Richtel states that “Students feel they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.” (2) Richtel then makes a statement that suggests both blogs and term papers may be used and follows by stating how blows could “encourage rambling exercises” but how an actual paper may be a dated form of writing for our current era.” (3)
Schreck, Heidi. Creature. New York: Samuel French, 2011.
Within the play ‘Creature’ by Heidi Schreck, the main character Margery Kempe and her husband John have just had their first child. After going through her first birth, Margery’s actions presented throughout the play may lead the audience to presume that she may be experiencing postpartum depression. The audience witnesses these behaviors when the devils are introduced into the play and begin to take a toll on Margery’s mental health in the near future. Her visions as well as her actions become increasingly implausible as the play progresses. Margery is later “liberated” by her vision of Jesus Christ in purple robes and believes that he has told her that she is now a Saint, even though the audience knows that this not possible and evident in her choice of marriage and the birth of her child. After presenting herself in all white following her encounter with Jesus Christ, the town is revealing their unacceptance of Margery’s false claims. With the help of Juliana and Father Thomas, their assistance may guide Margery help back onto the right track before it’s too late. Throughout the use of evidence within the play, one may believe that Margery Kempe may be using her visions and dramatizations as a way to avoid her duties as a wife and a mother.
Twenge, J. M. Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? November 30, 2017
Within this article, Jean Twenge addresses the current issue the generation is dealing with when it comes to technology use and social interaction. Twenge links many issues that arise from this problem such as increases in mental health and social interaction problems in teens, increases in teen depression, decreases in maturity rate, decreases in time spent with family, as well as an increase in the amount of cyberbullying that occurs, more particularly amongst girls. Twenge calls this generation the iGen, those who are born between 1995 and 2012. Twenge advises that teens put down the phone., turn off the laptop, and do something that does not involve a screen.
Whitehead, Colson. Underground Railroad. Sphere, 2017.
Within the novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Cora, the protagonists, is a brave, determined, goal-oriented, resilient, bold, problem solving risk that is trapped within the slavery time period. Due to Cora’s difficult childhood, she is left astray from the typical path of the plantation life which consists of living, working, and later dying on the plantation. After Mabel, Cora’s mother, ran away and never returned, Cora was left in frustration and was questioning her life. Because Cora is unaware of her mother’s true intentions, she uses her resentment for her mother to step out of the world of slavery and escape the southern plantation she was so familiar with. This step in Cora’s life resembles her bravery. No one on the plantation had successfully escaped, yet. Despite the odds being against her, she decides she must take that risk to gain her freedom. Cora knows that there is life beyond the plantation, past everything that she knew. Throughout her journey, Cora overcomes many obstacles and learns life long lessons that ultimately lead to her success toward freedom. She learns that in this awful world she is living in, freedom is in the path ahead of her and she will take whatever risks she must take in order to gain her freedom. She must be as resilient as possible, even if that means she must avoid the tortures the slave owners commit on the slaves because of their rebellious ways. Cora soon learns that her observations and attention to detail will later aid her in her successful escape to freedom.
Wilder, Thornton. Our Town. 1938. Harper Perennial, 2003.
Within the sleepy town of Grover’s Corners in New Hampshire, the simple and quite ordinary lives of the townspeople are represented through a play called Our Town, written by Thornton Wilder. The duration of this play is transpired from 1901 to 1913. The play is centered around two families, the Webb’s and the Gibbs. George Gibbs, a decent and upstanding young man, is a high school baseball star who plans to attend the State Agricultural School after high school. His courtship of Emily and later marriage, which occurs within Act II, becomes the central topic of the play. Emily Webb was an apprehensive and conscientious student of her class that had a radiating excellence. Not long after her marriage, she joins the dead souls in the local cemetery after dying from giving birth to her second child. Emily soon discovers that she now has the ability to go back and relive moments within her life, but is warned by the deceased that it is a depressing experience and only makes the afterlife more difficult. She decides anyways to go and relive her 12th birthday, and grows upset seeing how young her parents were and how wonderful life was on Earth. Emily realizes how blind the living are to what’s important around them.