Write On, Downtown! A Journal of Student Writing at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus
Issue 3, April 2009
Write On, Downtown! A Journal of Student Writing at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus
Issue 3 April 2009
Write On, Downtown! A Journal of Student Writing at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus
Editors-in-Chief Regina Clemens Fox Rosemarie Dombrowski Editorial Board Heather Hanssard Nicole Klauss Ryan VanVelzer Kayla Wilcox Production & Layout Editor Spencer Holladay Web Administrator Regina Clemens Fox Cover Artist Hugo Polanco Contributing Artists Chelsea Brown Kimberly Foley Hugo Polanco
Visit our companion journal on the web at writeon.asu.edu Write On, Downtown! ÂŠ 2007, ASU Downtown Campus, English Faculty
Acknowledgements The editors of Write On, Downtown! would like to express our gratitude to Women and Philanthropy, an organization whose generosity and commitment to educational innovation and excellence at Arizona State University has made this year’s journal possible. We would especially like to extend our thanks to the members of the grant committee who believed in the project’s mission and goals and helped secure funding for its expansion. Additionally, we would like to thank McGraw Hill and Bedford/St. Martin’s publishing for their financial contributions. We would like to offer special recognition to Fred Corey, Dean of University College and Director of the School of Letters and Sciences, for his continued support of our endeavors. Moreover, we’d like to acknowl-
edge Kelli Collins for planning the conference and luncheon and Deanna Johnson for her assistance with the publishing of the journal. Lastly, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the director of Languages and Cultures, Dr. Barbara Lafford, whose support, encouragement, and direction has been invaluable to us over the past two years. We would also like to thank our wonderfully talented, inaugural team of student editors whose passion and commitment inspired and expanded our creative vision and critical endeavors. Finally, we’d like to thank all of the students who submitted their writing for this publication and who continue to make our teaching experiences on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus some of the most positive and enjoyable of our careers.
Introduction In this, our third year of the Write On, Downtown! publication, we envisioned an expansion of the project to include not only a conference, but an editing internship that would allow students to take an active role in the shaping and revision of the journal. Much like our growing campus, Write On, Downtown! has not only expanded but also evolved—incorporating students from new programs and majors, as well as new genres and styles of writing. These inclusions have fostered the evolution of our interdisciplinary approach not only through the kinds/genres of writing we are showcasing, but also the ways in which we are (re)defining writing through collaborative composition, (re)defining authorship through a variety of media. While having a student writing journal is not a new idea, the research suggests that having an interdisciplinary publication that includes personal narratives, analyses (rhetorical and poetic), creative writing (creative non-fiction and poetry), and professional writing is. However, with interdisciplinarity comes interesting challenges, which we were able to confront with our student editing team. This group of talented students brought diverse ideas and offered a variety of solutions to the challenges of the publication. First, we needed to redesign the shape and look of the journal to reflect the variety of pieces from the multiple writing genres. Then we needed to devise an organizational strategy that would highlight the uniqueness of the pieces but somehow forge a connectedness between them. After many long hours of discussion and debate, we decided on a size and shape that we felt reflected scholarly journals while also embracing a kind of contemporary, new media approach. As for the organization, though we acknowledged that there were many other schemas we could have employed, we decided to maintain a focus that celebrates downtown Phoenix—which is a fusion of business and the arts. Hence, our journal is working to forge connections between scholarly, professional, and creative writing. As part of our expansion, we also engaged the Downtown Phoenix campus community by offering a student editing internship. Our team of four not only conducted research into student writing journals and consulted with national experts in the field of English (Rhetoric and Composition and Literature) and student writing publications, they also came together to determine what
qualifies something as publishable. Our fifth addition to the student editorial team was a graduating senior from the School of Design who offered his expertise in document design production. Together, we re-envisioned, redesigned, and revised the already successful Write On, Downtown! into a publication that captures the spirit of the student body as well as the discipline of English studies. In addition, Write On, Downtown! has plugged into the greater downtown community by reaching out to the Phoenix Union High School District and planning collaborative events that will allow for an exchange between university and high school students from across the district. This relationship furthers our goal of celebrating many different forms of writing at various levels while also highlighting the uniqueness and diversity of downtown culture. The social impact of the project, whose full potential has yet to be reached, will continue to forge bonds that bring all of us together. Lastly, we have constructed this issue of Write On, Downtown! with the intention of it making its way into English classrooms at the Downtown Phoenix campus. With the inclusion of the assignment prompts that correspond to the wide array of student writing projects, teachers can approach teaching and student writing more collaboratively, sharing pedagogical practices with others in the community and hopefully foster a greater willingness to share ideas and assess each other’s work. Additionally, students will be able to view the writing of their peers, opening up topical possibilities, exposing them to issues of contemporary relevance, while also inspiring them to submit their own pieces for publication. As we approach the close of the third, wonderfully successful year of the ASU Downtown campus, we ponder our campus’ future as well as the untapped potential of the Write On, Downtown! project. We are confident that if we continue to strive for excellence in education and expand our outreach endeavors, we will continue to engage students, helping them to approach the craft of writing with conscientiousness, passion, and a genuine desire to produce meaningful and impacting pieces.
Dr. Regina Clemens Fox Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski
Write On, Downtown! CONTENTS PERSONAL NARRATIVE
In Silence With Grandma Nathan Meacham 10 My Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Journey Julia Bender
The Pointed Truth: Life at the Tip of a Needle Gabrielle Gonsalves 18 But My Roots Are on Both Sides of the Sea Shulamit Appel 22 October is the Time for Triumph Abragail Kappel 28
800 Degrees to Bliss: Passion Found in Food Micale Mitchell 34 The Bridge Leading to Global Peace and Understanding Joshua Frigerio 38 Journalistic Coverage of the Holocaust Jordan Johnson 42
Broken and Betrayed Mercedez Tillery-Dohm 48 Consummate Professional Tony Pomposelli 52
ARGUMENT Trashing Our Oceans: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Kati Long 58 Tourism at Its Best Muriel Tataw
Feng Shui: A Way to a Healthy Home Taylor Case 66
CREATIVE NON-FICTION Histories Claudia Casey
The Fine Art of Napping Myriam Hubbard
The Road Michelle Campuzano
Pink Boxing Gloves Rocio Beltran
A Perfect Pink Kimberly Bradsher
Cotton Anita Garcia
Security Blanket Melanie Oviedo
POETRY Claire the Lunatic Scarlett Heydt
Caution Christine Camou
Damsel in Control: Reevaluating the Truth to True Love Jillian Sloan 96 An Analysis of Mock Orange Briana Valdivia 100
Publishing Industry: An Examination of Writing Practices Brynn Cooper 106 Financial Implosion and Stagnationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero 110 A Rhetorical Look at Writing in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz 118 An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez 126
Lightrail View â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugo Polanco
Personal Narrative The following first-year composition narratives are autobiographical reflective essays that generally convey a theme and/or culminate in a cathartic realization, a transformation or moment of enlightenment for both writer and reader. They provide the writers with the opportunity to revisit past experiences through vivid and detailed description while also creatively relating to their audience.
In Silence With Grandma NATHAN MEACHAM
Wherever you stand “sit down and listen for a moment.” These were the words of my grandmother, Nanette Meacham, as we sat next to the family burial site several months ago. As the shadow of the Tempe Buttes covers the cemetery, death surrounds, but when you “sit down and listen” it turns into something unexplainable. It’s a feeling of contentment followed by pride, where you feel as if your arms can’t stop moving but your legs are cemented in the desert dirt. She spoke as I listened. It’s the only way it had ever been, from the beginning to the end. The cemetery is a solemn, yet peaceful place. Located in the heart of Tempe, it is one of the oldest of its kind in the valley. I walked down the hot black pathway while my grandmother rode a motorized scooter. Gravesites lay close together like downtown buildings on the main street. The families are all buried in bunches. As we approached the back of the cemetery, the sites turn rustic and less decorated. My family’s site is plain and simple, with only several headstones and no flowers in sight. Located there are my relatives of the past, none whom I have met, but all of whom I seem to know through stories. My grandmother was 78 years old, feeble, and as stubborn as she had been her entire life. Just before she passed away she told my father that she was ready to leave this earth. He looked at her and told her to fall asleep and “let go.” After an hour of sleep, she then woke up and
In Silence With Grandma Nathan Meacham
told him that it “was taking too long.” It’s that stubbornness that kept her alive so long. Her body betrayed her. Being a smoker, her lungs and heart took the hardest hit. Over the past few days of her life, her heart rate hovered around 140. Her wrinkled nature was our connection to the past and my motivation for the future. My grandmother’s life has always been a topic of interest to me. Her family, the Smiths, moved to Arizona during the early twentieth century. She was born in Miami, Arizona, in 1929. Both of her parents passed away before her sixteenth birthday and she moved to live with her Uncle Jackie in what is now Scottsdale. She was the baton twirler in the school’s marching band, which at the time cheered for a six-person football team. She graduated from Scottsdale High School in 1947; one of 28 people in her class. When she held the baton in her wrinkled, arthritic hand, she appeared rejuvenated. She would be that crazy old lady spinning a baton in the middle of the street. She could twirl with the best of them. I loved her stories about the past and about living in the heat during the 1940’s. How her family stayed cool at night by sleeping outside on cots and soaking their sheets in water. How they kept the scorpions away during the night by placing the bed posts in coffee cans full of water. She even told me how they kept the radiator of the car cool by hanging cotton canteens full of water off the front of the car and letting the wind blow through them. She was a homemaker with the other women that lived there. She cooked lavish breakfast of eggs, biscuits, and bacon for the men as they came back from their morning chores. She told me about the changes she has seen. From living on a farm located in the heart of Scottsdale, to viewing the “spaghetti highways” that connect the Valley, all of the change had amazed her, but it was her stories that amazed me. I heard of car rides where my dad was forced to drive at a time when he was only thirteen years old. I heard of sneaking across the Mexican-U.S. border while having to push the car in circles in order to start it. It is rumored my grandmother once danced all night long and ended up with broken feet. I wish I could have seen her in her prime. Most of all, I love the stories we created together. From her glaring across the table as I ate chocolate chip pancakes to her ordering a pizza cookie dessert for both of us and devouring most of it. The term, “grandma bite,” was coined by my father. This is when she would take an abnormally large bite of your dessert and could still say she didn’t order one. She was the first one to let me drive a car. I was four years old at the time, unable to reach the pedals. These are the memories I would like to remember her by, the memories that I need to remember her by. My grandmother was the most fascinating person in my life. Nothing entertained me more than sitting down and listening to her stories. After turning sixteen, I was able to drive her around town. She was an excellent lunch date;
In Silence With Grandma Nathan Meacham
the stories would flow from her. We sat across from each other. She would always get a salad and groan if I ordered something unhealthy. Before the food came she would open up, giving me every detail I wanted about our family. Growing up in Mesa in a heavily Mormon neighborhood everyone had a family story except for me. Those stories of my grandmother and I gave me validation. That last day at the cemetery was the best history lesson I have ever had. My family, who seemed to have no history at all, actually had a large role in the creation of Scottsdale, had the second woman to fly an airplane, and unfortunately, had the first woman to die in one. Although the last name has changed, the history is permanent, and because of that I feel contentment. All the stories of the past had focused on short stories, but this one, on that day, at that cemetery seemed to be more of an overview of the past. It’s because of this connection to the past that losing her has been the hardest on me. She was my last connection to the past, the last link in the chain. It’s the end of her stories, the end of her stubbornness and the end of a part of my life. I guess I am lucky in being able to say goodbye, although that last roller coaster week of questioning “when and how” she would pass tore me up inside. Now that is it all over, with the funeral long since ended, and the other family members all back at home, I will continue to return to her grave. I will know the layout of the cemetery by heart; where to turn, where to park, and even become close to the other families buried there. Nonetheless, that first visit is branded into the back of my mind. Her birthday was less than two weeks after the funeral. I decided to go back and visit her, I needed too. This time I told the stories. I told her about college, about my dorm, and about my friends. I began to cry, and then proceeded to tell her that I missed her and how much I wanted to see her. Then I sat in silence and felt content. It was her turn to speak. There is nothing eerie about the cemetery anymore, now it’s peaceful, and almost soothing. The gravesites all remain the same; some are visited regularly, and some remain vacant. My grandmother lies in front of me this time, but nothing has changed. She speaks and I sit and listen, just like it has always been, and always will be.
A Second Chance: My Father’s Journey JULIA BENDER
The red and blue beams danced across my mother’s worried face as she closely followed the ambulance that carried my ill father. Dropping me off at a neighbor’s house to sit before school, she quickly kissed me on the forehead, assured me that ambulances didn’t mean death, and said, “Go to school and don’t worry sweetie, it’s all going to be fine.” I nervously sat on the unfamiliar couch and let the whirlwind of events sink in, trying to let my young mind make sense of it all - my father on the floor, the stretcher carrying him to the ambulance, and the final ringing of the sirens as they took my father, my hero, away from me in the early morning. At eight-years old, I bounded down the stairs in the morning expecting the usual scene of newspapers and breakfast. Instead, to my confusion, no eggs or pancakes were waiting and my dad wasn’t at the counter reading the paper with his usual scrutiny. I cautiously peered around the corner to see my father lying on the floor with our puppy atop him, bouncing on his stomach. He looked amusing in his usual uniform for work; a black suit and dress shirt that contrast comically with his worn-in moccasins that never left his feet till his body left the house. Laughing and surprised at the joke so early in the morning, I ran to my father, “Daddy, get off the floor! Nutmeg is licking your face!” But my father couldn’t get up. He feebly raised his head a smidgen, only to drop it back with a hard thud on the shiny linoleum.
A Second Chance: My Father’s Journey Julia Bender
Suddenly frightened, I ran up the thirteen stairs that just the other day my dad had counted with me, to the other rock in my life; “Mommy, Daddy is on the floor and he won’t get up”. Eventually, that brave man did get up. It took weeks of care, months of rehabilitation, and the intense love of his wife, but he stood once again; not in the way he used to, not in the manner he once held, but in a way and manner that one may find far more admirable than the average man. The strength he must have conjured up to crawl his way back to life is indescribable to many. How easy it would have been to give up, to let the blood clot ruin his brain and slowly descend from the land of living. “But I thought of my family, I thought of you and Mom and Noah, and I wouldn’t, I couldn’t, let go of my life yet”, he tells me later in his life. I asked my father once if he was ever aware of what was happening. Had he any thoughts as he collapsed on to our mudroom floor? He confided in me that he remembered only two events before he was moved out of Intensive Care. He remembers being airlifted from New Hampshire to Boston, and feeling the worst he had ever felt in his life. He believed he could have died at that moment, that the pain and trouble was too unbearable for him to handle. Then, he tells me that that was also the moment when he decided to fight for his life, when he thought of his family and all that he wanted, that he wanted life, and decided that death wouldn’t cut it. The second event he remembers is being on morphine. That was when he was glad he had chosen to live, because, as he says, “Morphine is a pretty nice drug”. My Mother is good in a crisis, she always has been, and I believe she always will be. Despite the fairy tale childhood she was granted, she grew up with a strong head on even stronger shoulders, a quality I hope to be genetic. Calmly, she dialed the emergency services number and proceeded to assess my Dad’s capabilities. Through youthful eyes, I observed the crease in her forehead deepen when he was unable to count the number of fingers she was holding up, and in the best imitation of my Mum I knew how to perform, I walked to my bedroom with purpose and changed out of my carefully-picked dress, into a pink sweat-suit. I was prepared to fight for my father, and I wanted to be able. The journey of my father’s care was a long twisting one of upsets and victories, large and small. We first learned of his diagnosis, a stroke, at the local hospital, and later understood the seriousness of the situation as he was suddenly airlifted to a larger more sophisticated hospital in Boston. In a later discussion with my mother, she confessed to me that the happiest day for her was not when he was released from rehabilitation and brought home, but when he was taken out of Intensive Care and put into Regular Care. “I knew he was in the clear then, I knew that if he had fought that hard to make it this far, the rest would be a piece of cake to him.”
A Second Chance: My Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Journey Julia Bender
I will never know the true journey my father made from near-death to stability. I saw his progress only in leaps and bounds on the weekends that Grandmother would take my brother and I on the two-hour trip to see him. One week he would be able to recognize me, the next he might say my name or ask about an event that had happened years ago. The lawyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind that was once so sharp and curious now had a jumbled mass of images and ideas and no way to organize them. He might believe he was talking to my Mum for hours only to realize at the end that he had been talking to Nana, his own mother. He frequently called his family by the names of other family members, pets, or friends during his journey to recovery. In the months he was in care, he came to know his doctors, nurses, and therapists. He quickly became a favorite of the staff, not only because of his quick advancements, but because of his good-natured attitude. His belief that you can accomplish anything if you want it bad enough applied to his rehabilitation. My Dad wanted so badly to come back home and spend time with his family and animals and he tried his hardest to educate himself in the things he used to take for granted. For a man whose personal victories were keeping innocent people from being taken advantage of, walking may not seem like much, but to my Dad it was a step towards a new future for him. For a little girl, who still herself was learning to read and write, watching her father do the same was a confusing and scary experience. My father read to me at night every day of my life up until that point and by doing so, had planted the seeds of curiosity and love for the written word within me. I thought he was the smartest person in the world, to watch him struggle at things that I could already do was very upsetting and confusing to my childish mind. However, my father fulfilled his position as Smartest Person in the World for me. Setting a record at the rehabilitation center, he re-learned to walk, talk, read, and perform daily tasks faster than any patient to ever grace the walls of HealthSouth. Eternally grateful for his second chance at life, this balding man has become a person that I can only hope to fill the footprints of. After his stroke he dedicated his life to helping others. He delicately and respectfully assimilates battered refugees into American lifestyle, helping them to learn the new culture surrounding them, just as he had to learn to do after he was re-introduced to the world after his stroke. He educates prisoners in his own romance language, Hebrew, the way he again had to be educated to talk, read, and write in the months after his brain trauma. He drives elderly and ill people to their appointments and sits with them in times of need, the way my mother did during his own time of need. Unselfishly, he gives up his time in the garden, his passion, to amaze schoolchildren with the mysteries of the sky at the local planetarium. Until now, I thought this noble man did all these things only to take up all his new-found free time now that he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t practice law. But I see now that he does
A Second Chance: My Father’s Journey Julia Bender
all of these things as a way to pay off his spiritual debt. So grateful is he for his second chance to live and love, that he tries to grant others the same. He doesn’t see an ignorant foreign human trembling at the gates of a new country, he sees a wonderful intelligent person toppling at the height of a cliff, needing guidance. When he walks into the small classroom at the prison, my father doesn’t see a heartless criminal trapped within fences, he sees a way to show them a world they may never see again, through education. He sees what most can’t and what most don’t want to see. To him, everyone is as deserving of a second chance as he was during his own time in need, no matter their situation. Everyone who knows him knows that he is their friend. They speak highly of him to others, who in turn reach out to him when they need help or advice. Recently, he was presented an award for his extreme dedication to the field of volunteerism. When they presented his award and spoke his name, I beamed with pride; to most, he’s Marty Bender, but to me, I’m lucky enough to call him Dad.
The Pointed Truth: Life at the Tip of a Needle GABRIELLE GONSALVES
The waiting room looked no different than any others I’d seen. The magazines were fanned out on the coffee table, the water cooler had shot-glass plastic cups, and the boxes of tissues were branded with the names of prescription drugs. The nice looking lady wearing Snoopy scrubs behind the glass window was listening to country music. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before the Snoopy lady and I were good friends. I knew that in the coming months I would be coming back here a lot. In February of this year, a very important aspect of my life left me forever. There was no time for explanations, no time for a goodbye, no time for so much as one last trip to Jamba Juice. Not knowing what to do when I first learned that I had juvenile diabetes, I went home and cried for two hours. I cried wondering at how the simple events that came before this discovery could lead to something so terrible. My story both began and ended in the spring of my senior year. It was a time when life as I knew it came to a close, but it was also a time when a new chapter in my life was written. All of my friends had decided to go out for softball that spring. I wasn’t interested in sports; those were interests of the cool kids. The rest of my friends were debate nerds, model UN fanatics, and science bowl geeks. Softballs would land in our faces, not in our gloves. The idea of me playing a sport was laughable to the entire student body of my small prep
The Pointed Truth: Life at the Tip of a Needle Gabrielle Gonsalves
school; nonetheless, my spontaneous desire to feign athletic prowess landed me in the doctor’s office for my first sports physical since the eighth grade. It should have been a routine check up, but somewhere between the eye exam and the unavoidably awkward urine test, something went wrong. The pot-bellied, balding doctor had the audacity to suggest that I had diabetes. No, no. What I had was a half a box of Girl Scout cookies four hours before. That afternoon my pancreas just must have been taking a lunch break at the same time I was. Besides, only old people get diabetes, right? That weekend my mom made me keep a diary of everything I stuck in my mouth. She bought me a blood glucose monitor and made me poke my finger every four hours. Maybe she was hoping the more times I did it the lower the numbers would get on the monitor. Maybe this was her way of battling against whatever it was that was really wrong with me. Or maybe, like my little sister, she just got some twisted satisfaction out of listening to the whooshing noise the needle makes when you push the button. Whatever her reasons, the events of that first weekend knowing I had diabetes shattered the vision I had of my own youthful invincibility, but looking back on it all, perhaps it should not have been as great a shock as it was at the time. I had always known that diabetes was like a family member to me; because like a family member, it could be found up and down my family tree. Of the nine members of my mother’s immediate family alone, four have diabetes. My father’s family also has a history of endocrine problems. When I was little I used to play with my great-grandmother’s pillboxes. I would pretend they were suitcases for when my dolls would go on vacation. I was too naïve to realize that what she kept inside these “suitcases” was medication to keep herself alive. I was also to naïve to realize that she had a legitimate reason for not wanting me to play with them. I used to go to my grandparent’s house and watch in wide-eyed fear as my grandfather lanced his finger and gave himself insulin shots. The sterile smell of the halfinch needle was both intriguing and terrifying to my four-year-old self. This was something my grandfather really got a kick out of. Now I was going to join the ranks of these old and overweight, masochistic, child-terrorizing people. In the weeks following, my love affair with sweets and carbohydrates came to an end. I bitterly said goodbye to white bread and hello to multi-grain whole wheat. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was referred to a doctor who told me I had Type II diabetes. This is a form of the disease that usually strikes the overweight and elderly. It typically involves the body not knowing how to use the insulin it is still capable of making. I was popping twelve pills a day, a mix and match combination of diabetes medication and vitamins that looked more like oversized rocks than like the Flintstones. I was consuming healthy, organic groceries from Whole Foods, a place where something like lettuce practically costs a whole paycheck, but the relief that should have come with the knowledge that I
The Pointed Truth: Life at the Tip of a Needle Gabrielle Gonsalves
was eating right and treating my condition wasn’t there. My blood sugar was still sometimes almost twice as high as it should have been even with the medication. I was 5’ 0”, weighed a mere 103 pounds, and had barely turned eighteen—far from overweight and over fifty. Something was clearly still the matter. There were days of incessant researching on the part of my mother about what could still possibly be wrong with me. I was taken in to a different doctor’s office for an official second opinion. Whereas my first doctor believed I had Type II diabetes because my pancreas was still producing some insulin, this new doctor told me I had Type I. He said my case was unusual. They had caught the disease before I had started to experience hardly any of the symptoms. Unlike your usual Type I diabetic, my pancreas was in fact producing some insulin; however, like every Type I diabetic, certain antibodies in my blood were causing my body to attack itself. Each day my body quickly killed off its own ability to make what little insulin it was producing. I was told that the Type II diabetes medication I was taking was only expedited this process. I was told that I was going to need insulin, for one day very soon my pancreas would not be producing it at all and it is something my body would desperately need to give me energy and ultimately keep me alive. I once more became acquainted with that vaguely familiar smell of insulin hovering around the memory of my grandfather, a Type I diabetic of thirty-six years. The first time I gave myself a shot it took twenty minutes to gather the courage beforehand. Now, it is becoming second nature; needles just don’t really scare me anymore. For the last six months I have given myself four shots a day. I figure at least I no longer have cause to dread getting the flu vaccine every year or to fear the needle they use when they draw blood. When you are constantly battling complications you don’t even have yet like cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, kidney disease, blindness and retinopathy, what used to be insignificant details in life become very, very important. I read the nutrition facts on cereal boxes and fruit juices and pretty much everything packaged in plastic or cardboard. Counting carbohydrates has almost become second nature to me. A slice of bread has fifteen grams. A cup of milk has twelve. A can of coke is forty-six grams. I know my insulin-to-carb ratio for every meal. I know the difference between hypo- and hyperglycemia. I know what an insulin sensitivity factor is and how to find it. I know that my life depends on these things, to be honest, I hate that it has to. I miss eating whatever I want and not having to really worry about it. I miss being able to go to restaurants and not having to get up in the middle of the meal to give myself a shot in the restroom. I miss not having to always be slightly embarrassed every time I have to check my blood sugar in public. And most of all, I miss the comparative simplicity of my life the way it was before. Even though diabetes is a disease you can live with, by having it I have learned that life and all the comforts of it are incredibly more fragile than I ever imagined
The Pointed Truth: Life at the Tip of a Needle Gabrielle Gonsalves
they could be. I just wish now that it didn’t have to take me having diabetes to really appreciate that.You don’t need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand how badly they might make your feet hurt or to appreciate the comfort of your own flip-flops.You should instead wake up in the morning and be glad that you can see, that you can walk, that your heart is beating, and that you don’t have a life-threatening illness.You should be happy that for breakfast you can eat as many doughnuts as you want.You should remember to make a point of really appreciating life. When life hands you lemons, make apple juice and confuse the hell out of everyone while you still can, simply because you can. After I was diagnosed with diabetes, I found myself waiting in a room with a bunch of other sick people for what I thought was my appointment with Destiny. I resigned myself to the fact that life will just have to lose its luster now that I have a chronic illness. However, I’m not going to do that anymore and I’m not going to settle. No one should settle. Instead I’m going to make friends with the lady in Snoopy scrubs (even if she does listen to country music). So remember: love life, and don’t forget to really live it, no matter what kind of lemons it hands you.
“Veshorashai bishnei nofim shonim” (“But My Roots Are On Both Sides Of The Sea”) SHULAMIT APPEL
I turned back to look just one last time at my house, officially marking my “moving out.” A little more than eighteen years earlier my mother turned to my father and said, “We are having a baby, get me a bigger house!” So like the good dad he already was, he moved my family into the one and only place I have ever called home. However, now that I had accomplished so much, including graduating from high school, what constitutes “home”? Would going abroad allow me to figure this out? The last look at my house left so many questions unanswered. Many years earlier in my life I had decided that I wanted to go on the trip that my mother and my sister had completed. The program – known as Year Course – is a nine month adventure in Israel run by the youth group I had been a part of my whole life. Most people in the group think of it as the last step you take with your age group before you enter the “Real World”. It’s nine months, broken into three different trimesters and three different places to live, with a sprinkling of trips throughout the program, as well as the standard winter break and Passover break. In total there were five hundred members on my trip; one hundred were from Britain or Europe and the other four hundred were from all over America. These five hundred program members are then split into three different tracks. Everyone completes the three different trimesters in a different order. My track – the best track – was known as
“But My Roots Are On Both Sides Of The Sea” Shulamit Appel
track three and we entered our program in the three months known as Israel Experience, which included volunteering or engaging is some aspect of the culture in Israel. Volunteer opportunities included the Navy, training in the Army, or volunteering with Sea Turtles. Then my track moved to Community Volunteering in one of two shady suburbs outside of Tel Aviv, where we volunteered to better the lives of the community members. My friends did everything from gardening in traffic circles to helping out in soup kitchens. Last, we headed to the holiest city in the world for Jerusalem Studies, where we chose the aspects of our identity we wanted to explore, not only in a classroom but also through experience. Any program participant’s time is well spent on this trip of a lifetime. I left the morning of September 2, 2007, to embark on a journey that so many and yet too few had already done. This trip was life, stripped down; putting every program member in a totally organic environment. It was Year Course; nine months in Israel volunteering, studying, partying, and just plain living. Studying abroad was the best decision in my nineteen years of life. It started with three flights. The last flight was sleepless as the excitement welled exponentially with every inch of ocean and Europe covered. After a short few days of orientation I moved into an apartment with four strangers; it was like the TV show “Real World,” but on a whole different level. We lived in the city of Netanya, which is notorious for rich French and British Jews invading during holiday seasons because of the beautiful beaches and fabulous weather. There was a promenade with restaurants and bars, and of course one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. The water was cool, the sand was warm, and the sun shined 99 percent of the time. During my stay in Netanya most of my friends volunteered for the Israeli version of the Red Cross, but I was fortunate enough to be selected for the prestigious volunteer job of working at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center. For three months I scrubbed sea turtles that were as long as I was tall, swabbed tar out of baby sea turtles that were only slightly bigger than my hand, and measured kilograms of lettuce every morning. How many people even get to use the expression “I volunteered saving sea turtles for three months?” Animal rights activists have nothing on this nineteen-year-old. I got emotionally attached to a baby sea turtle named Mimi. She was the turtle version of Nemo, with a slightly gimp fin from a fishing accident. She was barely bigger than my hand, but boy did she have an attitude. Her cute brown color and big black eyes greeted me every morning because she got to live in the aquarium in the office. The day she got released I wasn’t even at work, so I wished her goodbye and good luck from the beach on which the office stood. To this day the smell of lettuce and salt water remind me of my favorite three months. I never thought I would love getting dirty so much and even my apartment-mates could smell “turtle” on me when I came home every evening. My first floor apart-
“But My Roots Are On Both Sides Of The Sea” Shulamit Appel
ment tried to keep that turtle smell but I cleaned the place like I was the house mom so that it wouldn’t linger. At the beginning of my time in this apartment, and before I fell in love with my job, I was skeptical of living in this reality show situation. When strangers are thrown into an apartment in a foreign place it almost never ends up being successful. I seriously questioned the ability for complete strangers to create a home and become a family. However, within no time we began to function as one. We all began our volunteering soon after move in and learned each other’s schedules so that we could prepare dinner at the proper hour and set aside time to watch our favorite TV shows online together. Most American families and homes don’t function as well as we did. These girls became some of my closest friends and I dreaded the day we had to walk away from the new place I came to call home. After completing my first trimester living within walking distance of a beach, I headed to a suburb of one of the biggest party cities in the world. The city was Tel Aviv and the suburb was Holon. I thought it would be quite impossible for my move to Holon to top the maturation that I experienced during my first three months. However, these proved to be the months with the most struggles and the most growing up. This may be due to my life-changing trip to Poland, or to my struggle during the gloomy days of winter, but I ended up moving into my last three months a very changed person. But first, I faced the hurdle of moving from Netanya to Holon. At first, I was nervous about moving into a new apartment in Holon. The beauty that was my first floor apartment back in Netanya was so much more than the luck of air conditioning and no stairs. It genuinely became my home where I cooked, cleaned, entertained, and lived. Yet, my apartment in Holon proved to be a whole new family and home. Even though it included stairs, I got to live with two of my best friends who provided a safety net I hadn’t felt the previous trimester. I also got a visit from my original home of 5820 Pebble Beach in El Paso Texas. My seventeen year old brother visited me with all kinds of gifts from home, the best one being a hug from him, a biological family member. For my three months of volunteering to benefit the Holon community, I worked in a children’s art museum called “At Eye Level.” I prepared materials and got to be in the presence of some really radical art as well as kindergarteners from all over the area. I was speaking Hebrew at about a kindergarten level so I was able to learn so much from these children. I worked through the rain and sun that plagues the winter in central Israel and even had work cancelled a few days because the downpour got so bad. The truth is that the rain was one of the toughest aspects of that winter. Coming from a desert I usually enjoy rain, but this was just too much for even a born and bred Seattleite to handle. However, my old friends and new home helped me get through the rain and gray. Gray will always be one of my favorite colors and most of those winter days
“But My Roots Are On Both Sides Of The Sea” Shulamit Appel
were painted with it. I had even expected the last week of this trimester to be gray and gloomy because it was my trip to Poland. I could never imagine this country possessing any other colors besides black, white, and gray. However, this trip to Poland proved to be the second best decision of my life after deciding to go abroad. My trip to Poland took me out of my new norm and brought me back to my roots. Never before has a cold winter felt so nourishing. I found beauty in barren trees, memorials to the dead, and comfort in travel packages of Kleenex and cup ‘o’ soup. It changed my perception on the Holocaust and even my mother noticed the difference in my first phone call home after the trip. She was the first person I wanted to speak to when I arrived back in Israel and she could immediately sense the difference in my words and tone. It was the perfect step in the process of growing up as I got closer to returning to America. While we were in Poland we visited many communities that were once full of thriving Jewish life but were now only remnants of synagogues and erected memorials. The cemeteries were just as eerie and so was Korjack’s orphanage. The worst days were spent at extermination camps. Treblinka, Majdanek. and Aushwitz-Birkenau each contained their own immeasurable amount of sadness, learning, and hate. Eventually and unfortunately you can’t cry anymore and the sights just make you angry. Each day was cold but we toughed it out and held on to each other for strength and warmth. After a long journey and a whole new perspective we flew back to what seemed the most colorful place on Earth. We ended our trip at the Western Wall, enjoying the warmth, watching the sunrise, and reflecting on how far we had come from where we were just eight days earlier. After the Poland trip we made the final move to Jerusalem, where we lived out our last three months. We packed our bags and headed to “The Hostel,” as we called it. A multimillion dollar structure built by our sponsor organization for teenagers that were partaking in the same adventure that we were engulfed in now. A giant building filled with oversized dorm rooms, orange curtains, a few classrooms, and a cafeteria style dining room. It was a sanctuary in southwest Jerusalem that held one hundred and sixty of my best friends. It was the open door to the holiest city in the world and provided the view of a lifetime. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the green of trees and the glisten of Jerusalem stone every morning? Our location was beautiful, but we were pretty far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. This forced us to stay in the hostel and create our own excitement. My last ninety days oozed of fun. Full of school, trips, parties, and the countdown. The countdown was imminent, but we never wanted to believe that the day we had to leave would actually show up, completely uninvited. We lived everyday as if our time to leave would never come. Staying up late just to talk was not unheard of and late night trips for tea was the social event of the one
“But My Roots Are On Both Sides Of The Sea” Shulamit Appel
A.M. hour. Escaping the hostel every Wednesday night to go clubbing tested our teenage ability to barely sleep and still wake up for class the next morning. The grungy club where we celebrated our birthdays and just had fun was our last tie to total freedom and we held on to it with the strength of the Hulk. But not even the strength of a superhuman could have prevented the looming goodbyes that no one wanted to say. They slipped out of our mouths as easily as the tears tracked down our faces. We said goodbye after three months of learning about where we came from, experiencing Israel, and bettering communities. We got on airplanes to go back to the place we thought was home. Then what were these feeling of homelessness? At that moment I felt as though Israel wasn’t home but neither was El Paso, Texas. What about moving into ASU? Even though I had my whole summer ahead after Jerusalem, so many questions and feelings were still up in the air. I knew still had my new families even if home didn’t have four walls anymore. Hours on Facebook and long phone conversations are a daily norm, but the lengths I go to in order to keep in touch my new “family” members would be much harder to give up than it is to actually perform them. Through all the volunteering, spring breaks in Jordan, birthday parties in clubs, school field trips, and movie nights, I created friendships I know will last a lifetime. I have experienced so much more than the average first year college student and I am so thankful for it. To me, these friendships mean home. Walking off the airplane and hugging my family for the first time in nine months was also home. How was it that “my roots lay on both sides of the sea?” What was Year Course and was it home? “Year Course” was watching my friends graduate from three months of real training in the Israeli army. It was releasing a sea turtle into the ocean, feeling the fear of uncertainty that lies in the ocean and with the turtle itself, and knowing the animal was happy to be feeling that fear. It was every cliché in the books rolled into the two-hundred-and-someodd-days time span of my trip. That was also home. I know that I can always return to my house in El Paso or I can get on an airplane, fly to Tel Aviv and stay in one-hundred-and-one different places, not to mention anywhere in the United States or England and also have a bed to sleep in. After so many months of not knowing, it seems now that the world sits in the palm of my hands and it has even taken the place of El Paso, Texas.
October is the Month for Triumph ABRAGAIL KAPPEL
I step up to the block and my breathing becomes acute. I try to grasp for air, but my lungs tighten. Breathing during the race will not be an option so I might as well get used to the feeling. It’s loud and the pool deck is packed with timers, swimmers and onlookers. The pool is an inviting shade of blue and the smell of chlorine is making me dizzy. I look to the side of the deck and see my coach. “Swimmers please step up,” the announcers call. I turn back to the pool and slowly step onto the diving block, one foot at a time. The loud noise from all the onlookers slowly turns into a deafening silence as they all turn to watch the race that is about to start. “Swimmers take your mark.” I bend down, wrapping my hands around the cold diving block. As I take my stance I try to focus on the pool instead of the voices screaming in my head. BANG! The gun goes off sounding like a million fireworks. I shoot off the block and into the pool. On the first day of swim practice my stomach felt queasy, like constantly churning butter. I was nervous. It was my final year on my high school’s swim team. I had been swimming competitively since I was five, but had never received a place higher than fifth. I was determined. This year was going to be my year. I wanted to prove to everyone, including myself, that I was a damn good swimmer. On the first day of practice the pool glistened like chandeliers as I walked onto the deck. It was almost inviting; however, I wouldn’t let
October is the Month for Triumph Abragail Kappel
it fool me. Soon, I would be suited up and nearly killing myself for my coach. No doubt he’d have some reason to yell at me. I made my way to the locker room. I slowly changed my clothes. My suit was tight and I had to jump around to get it over my thighs. As I stepped outside the locker room my skin broke out in goose bumps and I shivered wrapping my arms around myself for heat. It was cold, 54 degrees, and I just couldn’t seem to work up the strength to practice. I would probably have an asthma attack before the two hours are up, but I walked over and joined my teammates in the ever-famous waiting game. “Maybe Kincaid won’t make it today,” I said to my friend Sam. “I really hope so,” she replied, but alas, no such luck. Two minutes before 4:30 he strode onto the deck, a smirk on his face. It was going to be a rough practice. “Everyone in the pool now!” He yelled. “Give me a 400 swim, 300 kick, and a 200 pull. If anyone is not in the pool in the next 10 seconds it’ll be double for EVERYONE!” I quickly put my goggles on and jumped into the pool. The water was ice cold on my skin and I immediately swam off, hoping that if I moved fast enough I’d be warm again. After about five minutes my shoulder started to clench and my muscles tightened as they tried to fight the painful movements of my injured shoulder. Practice only got worse after the warm-up. “Okay everyone, time for some under-over’s!” My coach said gleefully. The team’s groaning consumed my ears as everyone dreaded the next set. I took off, kicked my legs as hard as I could and didn’t stop to take a breath. I was not allowed. I reached the other side and rested for a short amount of time. “GO!” My coach yelled and I took off again, swimming the whole way under water. Then I stopped. I had to. My left shoulder was on fire and my lungs couldn’t seem to catch a breath of air. Tears formed in my eyes and my goggles started the fog. The pain was just too much. “ABBY!” I turned to look at my coach. His face was red and his eyes were piercing. “What did I tell you about stopping? Get going NOW!” He raised his voice, not caring if anyone heard him. “I can’t. I can’t feel my shoulder,” I quietly replied even though I wanted to scream at him. “Then kick or something! Don’t just sit off to the side.” He glared at me. He didn’t take his eyes off me until I grabbed my red kickboard from the deck and started to slowly push away from the edge of the pool. Practice never changed. It was always like this – constant pain in my shoulder and constant yelling from him. He never that he made me feel like I would never be good enough. I wanted to show him, to prove to him I was good enough. I wasn’t the best swimmer in the world, but I always tried my hardest. I killed myself for him every season and I never received a compliment or any praise. I wanted this race to be different. Using my arms and my legs to propel myself forward I hit the water hard, but gracefully. I try to relax even in the heat
October is the Month for Triumph Abragail Kappel
of the moment. The pull-down is the most important part of breaststroke. Have a great pull-down that gets you halfway across the pool and you’re basically beating everyone. My lungs start to burn; I know it’s time. I pull my hands down in a slow S motion and kick towards the surface. With every breath I look forward. My teammates are cheering me on at the end of the pool. I touch the wall, pulling myself up and placing my feet against the wall. “GOOOO!” I hear before I take off again. It’s starting to get harder now. My lungs are on fire. My breathing is intense. With every breath I feel unsatisfied. I touch the other wall, and push off again. Then, there is only another 50 yards to go, I can do this. I pull harder. I kick harder. I try to keep my breathing under control. My teammates are still at the other end yelling bits and pieces of “GO,” and “YOU CAN DO IT!!” I hit the other wall and take off immediately. Last lap. I have to make this count. I duck my head and push off with the strength I have left in my legs. With every pull I get closer to the wall. I’m within the red and white flags. I use the rest of my strength to touch the wall. I make sure my finger hit the black timer pad forcefully. I want to make sure they get the time exactly right. I come up to breathe and immediately look up to the scoreboard. Did that say fourth place? My legs are wobbly and my arms are grabbing at the water. I’m trying to keep myself afloat but I have to grasp the wall the keep my head from going under. “You did it Abby! I’m so proud of you!” Kincaid reaches out his hand and pulls me out of the water. My friends and family all swarm around me. The noises are so loud and I can barely grasp onto a thought. I just placed fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke. The stroke I always hated with a passion turned out to be the one stroke I was actually good at. My mother is wrapping a towel around me; after all it is October. I grab the soft material and collapse on the chair that I have been led to. I did it. I actually did it. When I look back at this important event in my life I realize something. If my coach hadn’t pushed me as hard as he did, I’m not sure I would have placed in my event. Sure, he was, and is, an asshole but if he wasn’t that way I might have done a lot worse. I pushed myself as hard as I could in that race because I wanted to prove him wrong. He made me feel low every single fall for four years and I wanted to show him I was worth something. I wouldn’t call it hate, but I was driven to prove to him and everyone else on the team that they were wrong. His yelling hurt. He never hesitated to tell me that I didn’t try hard enough. He never praised me for finishing a practice when I thought I couldn’t. He never treated me like I was valuable. Just once I wanted to hear him say “Great job, you really made me proud.” When I finally heard those words from his mouth, I was so happy. Not because I finally received his praise, but because I knew that I had earned it. I knew that I had proved him wrong, finally.
Studing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chelsea Brown
Analysis An analysis is an interpretation of a textâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a piece of writing, a speech, a film, a work of art, or even a meal. It can also be construed as a form of evaluation, requiring the first-year composition writer to examine texts within their contexts, launch a claim, and provide supporting evidence from the text in question. It can be used to asses the degree of success of something or to examine meaning on a deeper level.
800 Degrees to Bliss: Passion Found in Food MICALE MITCHELL
Most of my nights end with me sitting on the couch watching TV and falling asleep. One night, I was restless and up later then normal randomly flipping through the channels. Something caught my eye and I landed on the Jimmy Kimmel show. The next guest on his show was the famous chef, Chris Bianco. I was excited to see him because I had heard rave reviews from some friends about his food. Bianco makes wood fire pizzas right here in Phoenix, Arizona. My boyfriend, who I affectionately call a “foodie”, was sitting at the edge of the couch waiting for the segment to start. The segment began and I was in awe. I have never seen Bianco’s style of pizza before and after listening to my boyfriend rant about how phenomenal it is, I decided we needed to try it out. Pizzeria Bianco is located in Heritage Square, part of the downtown Phoenix Historic District, a stone throw from the ballpark and surrounded by high-rise buildings. Arriving at Pizzeria Bianco, I was a bit anxious. From what I was told there could be a two to three hour wait any night of the week. We went on a Friday night! We arrived a little before five o’clock hoping to beat the crowd. We pulled in to the parking lot adjacent to the pizzeria and it was already full; I guess everyone else also thought to do the same thing. From the outside the pizzeria looked small; the place appeared to fit only fifty guests at one time. Inside was dark, but the outside had a very inviting look, with
800 Degrees to Bliss: Passion Found in Food Micale Mitchell
red bricks and large glass windows. Herbs like oregano, sweet basil and lavender surround the tall rectangular building. I just stood there, taking everything in as I waited in line. It was finally our turn to put our name down. The lady informed us that it was going to be about a three hour wait and to make sure we checked in every hour to keep our name on the list. I was baffled by how much draw this little place gets. The weather was just right; the sun was low in the sky. We found a spot to sit right outside the front door of Pizzeria Bianco. It was perfect! I could look inside the window and see the entire establishment. There was a bar with couples eating to the left. To the right, were tables for dining and in the far back on the left, I could see Chris Bianco who was working in front of his wood fired pizza oven. The expression on his face showed he was focused on his craft. With everything I noticed so far, I could tell this experience would not leave me disappointed. With potential customers waiting for three hours at a time, this had to be something else. After sitting for two and a half hours, my name was called. It was our turn to dine on Chris Bianco’s famous pies. The hostess showed us to our seats, which were at the bar. From here, we had a great view of Chris Bianco’s workshop. I think we had best seat in the house. I looked around the restaurant and could see the walls were decorated with drawings of food. I later found out that Chris’ dad drew them. Another great advantage to these seats was that we got constant attention from the bartender; I was able ask him lots of questions about the place. The brick building seemed a bit larger looking from the inside out. The walls were tall with small windows near the roof. The atmosphere was quaint. There was a light roar of sound from all the people sitting so closely together, but I could still easily hear the bartender and my date. After waiting, I still was not sure what I wanted. We were brought a loaf of fresh hearth baked bread and olive oil. The bread had a slight smokiness to it. The crust was crunchy and lightly dusted with flour and the olive oil was intense. It had a great clean flavor, and was very fruity. Under the direction of my boyfriend, I wanted to start this meal off right. He had me order the handmade mozzarella, local tomato and basil with extra virgin olive oil ($9). It arrived to the bar promptly after ordering it. After it was presented to us, I sat there and just looked at it. It was beautiful. The colors on the plate were so vibrant and looked so fresh. The beefsteak tomatoes had a crisp bite that went perfectly with the sweet buttery homemade mozzarella. The basil really stood out with its freshness. The salad was drizzled with the finest olive oil. All the ingredients were local and at the peak of their life. The tomatoes were from Mesa, Bianco made the mozzarella that morning, and the basil was picked from his garden just hours before we consumed it. For our pizza selections, I ordered the Biancoverde with some added red onion ($14) and my date ordered the Margherita ($11). I was intrigued to see Bi-
800 Degrees to Bliss: Passion Found in Food Micale Mitchell
anco’s menu was so petite. There were only three salads and five pizzas to choose from. In a few short minutes our pizzas were brought to us still steaming from the hot 800-degree oven. We sampled each others pizza. The Biancoverde featured fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta and arugula. The flavors of all the cheeses have a sharp bite. As the pizza cooled, the mix of the four cheeses started to firm up and gave the pizza an incredible texture. The peppery arugula topped off the pie, which at this time had slightly wilted on the hot pie, was drizzled with mind-blowing olive oil. The soft full-bodied cheese and chewy crust with the peppery taste of the arugula was explosive with every bite. The creation of this combination of ingredients showed me how involved Bianco is with his pizzas. Each one he makes demonstrates how much he values fine ingredients and what they offer to his creations. The Margherita is a simple pizza. It was dressed with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. The tomatoes are not just any; Bianco uses San Marazano. Authentic San Marazano tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil of Italy to give them a special, sweet flavor. The crust was delicious too, soft in the middle, yet crispy on the outside. The flavor of the tomato sauce was not to overpowering and had a subtle sweetness to it from the San Marazano tomatoes. The fresh mozzarella melted gracefully leaving little puddles of cheese all over the pie. The basil was hand torn on the top just as it came out of the oven. This pizza had so many different flavors to it because the cheese didn’t cover the entire top. One bite you would get a bit of sauce, with maybe a basil leaf, and the next you might get the awesome marriage of all three ingredients. I had no idea food this simple could be this good. I think a lot of it has to be the quality of the ingredients used and perhaps a bit of the love that goes in to these pies. At the end of this most perfect meal, I asked our server if we could get a picture with Chris Bianco! Without any hesitation he agreed. I was so excited! The bartender told me it was going to be a minute but when Mr. Bianco was ready he would let me. Well, the time came and I almost ran to the area where Chris was making pizzas all night. I got to stand, right there, in front of his oven. It was so hot, I could feel the heat radiating onto my back. My camera was in the hands of the bartender, I got next to Chris and he put his arm around me to pull me closer in so the shot would look great and get more of the background. The photo came out perfect! The evening could not have gotten any better than that. That night, I was transformed as a person. I became a “foodie.” I never did pay much attention to where the food I ate was grown or how it was made. My boyfriend, an aspiring chef pointed out to me some important details about the food I eat and where it comes from. The ingredients Bianco uses are the finest and freshest you can find. I have never seen passion so entrenched in someone before. He is so involved in his restaurant; the food and service are clearly an extension of
800 Degrees to Bliss: Passion Found in Food Micale Mitchell
Chris Biancoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enthusiasm. I have such a great respect for this Chef. His passion is an art and certainly something you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to see everyday. As a paintbrush was to Picasso, pizza is to Chris Bianco. He lays the freshest ingredients on his carefully crafted dough to create a culinary masterpiece. Those who walk up, put their name in, hear it is going to be a three-hour wait, and get upset or think it is not worth it do not understand what they will receive for their wait. Guaranteed these are the best, freshest and purest ingredients put together to make one of the simplest best tasting dishes you will ever eat. Go ahead, take the time, get a Bianco pie and make sure you bring someone special with you to share in the experience. They will thank you in the end. I know I did.
The Bridge Leading to Global Peace and Understanding JOSHUA FRIGERIO
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp...Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith...Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live (Wiesel, 1999, ¶ 32). This painful and personal account is reflected in Eli Wiesel’s book Night, which tells of his direct victimization throughout the Holocaust. Imagine living through a time where seeing the evening sunset was a blessing, a realization that another day was survived. The reality is that the planet was immersed in a World War where peace and kindness were exchanged for merciless killing, tanks, and automated weapons. In Eli Wiesel’s 1999 speech “The Perils of Indifference,” he pleads to worldly diplomats as well as all of humanity from his Washington D.C. pulpit, to reexamine their perceptions of indifference and replace them with a willingness to help the disadvantaged and embrace the vision of peace. He achieves this message through providing deep emotional accounts and using key rhetorical strategies, such as a unique persuasive structure, as well as anecdote, antithesis, allusions, and rhetorical questioning. Wiesel constructs his speech in a circular manner that allows him to relate with the audience by presenting the past, and outlining the possibility of a daunting future. Wiesel begins his essay in the past to allow the audience to visualize the horrific events that have
The Bridge Leading to Global Peace and Understanding Joshua Frigerio
taken place. He then brings the audience into the present by rhetorically making them part of the conversation. He does this through asking questions about how the future will play out. He places a huge responsibility on mankind when he says, “What will the legacy of this vanishing century be?” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶3). He then reverts to the past once more, setting the stage for comparison. He tells the audience of his experiences in Auschwitz and how the detainees believed that the genocidal acts occurring were “guarded secrets” and that worldly governments didn’t realize the catastrophe happening (Wiesel, 1999, ¶13). This relapse into history further brings out the emotion in the audience which Wiesel uses to his advantage. He flash-forwards his speech back to the present where he, again, asks the audience and humanity, “[h]ow will it be remembered?” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶3). This structure is beneficial in expressing his ideals, as it requires the audience to constantly comprehend the tragic events of the past and then to fathom possible solutions for the future. This type of tactic consistently keeps the audience engaged. Wiesel establishes the mood for his speech by telling the story of a boy who metaphorically “wakes up” into society after enduring a historical catastrophe (Wiesel, 1999, ¶1). This instantly initiates an emotional connection with the audience as they are visualizing the turmoil inflicted on an innocent child. He takes this a step further by demonstrating the relationship and understanding the boy had with his American saviors by saying, “He will always be grateful to them” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶1). This further drives his message into the hearts of his audience because it’s a visual representation that humanity appreciates and longs to see. This seals Wiesel’s envision of indifference and offers a striking persuasive effect. Additionally, Wiesel recognizes the achievements of the century in order to distill any feelings from the audience that his main focus in on the negatives of the world. He quickly mentions successes such as the defeat of Hitler, the peace developed between Egypt and Israel, and the rescuing of refugees in Kosovo (Wiesel, 1999, ¶15-16). This strategy of antithesis is very productive as it adds credibility to his message. He also acknowledges that eliminating the idea of indifference is a challenging one. He says, “Indifference can be temping” and goes on to say that its “easier to look away from victims” and focus on our own lives and future (Wiesel, 1999, ¶5). However, he aggressively counter argues this point by saying that being indifferent has no effect on the world. He says that it’s more “dangerous” than being angry or frustrated because out of anger and pain masterpieces have been created, such as orchestras or paintings (Wiesel, 1999, ¶8). This strategy has a persuasive effect given that it brings in the opposing view, but thoroughly explains why that view is invalid. He continues by saying that anger induces a reaction from people, but that “indifference is not a response...it’s an end” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶9). This further impacts his idea that indifference has no benefit on the world.
The Bridge Leading to Global Peace and Understanding Joshua Frigerio
Furthermore, Wiesel’s use of diction adds a strong dimension to his view. He uses words, such as “easier,” “reduce,” and “meaningless” to belittle the benefits of being indifferent (Wiesel, 1999, ¶5, 9). He uses short sentences to devalue indifference by saying that, “it’s never creative” and that it’s “always the friend of the enemy” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶9). Wiesel also attacks the idea of indifference by personification, which is the act of bestowing humanlike qualities on an inanimate object. He exemplifies this by saying indifference can be “seductive”, that it’s unable to be creative, and that it “elicits no response” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶5, 8, 9,). Common sense shows that all of these human qualities are impossible to apply to a word. However, they derive a powerful reaction from of the reader, a resentment or dislike towards these qualities, which inhibits the perception of indifference. Wiesel’s speech is saturated with rhetorical questions whose answers reflect societal morals appreciated by the general population. In the final paragraphs of the essay he asks the reader questions such as if society has changed, if humans have become less insensitive to victims, and if “we have learned from the past” (Wiesel, 1999, ¶17). These questions are geared to elicit a negative response, but stimulate the reader to want to make them “yes responses” as the future progresses. This is a great tactic in persuasive speeches as it instills motivation in the reader, which also proves the message to be absorbed and successful. “The Perils of Indifference” conveys the ideal that lacking moral qualities separates the world from peace and global understanding and acceptance. Wiesel blatantly connects to his audience through his personal experience of surviving the holocaust and by providing examples of indifference. He also attacks the definition and significance of indifference proving that it’s a hypocritical and emotionless concept. Through his use of descriptive and concrete language, he visualizes the seriousness and absolute importance of the consequences of lacking interest in the human condition. For an ultimate and lasting effect on the audience, he formats his speech in a circular fashion, forcing the audience to sympathize with an innocent boy who was just freed from the holocaust. He brings the boy back in the final paragraph saying that the boy has been with him helping him see the world in a colorless, fair perspective. This ‘boy’ is the underlying symbol that Wiesel hopes the futures of humanity will embrace and honor to an effort to bring out global peace and partnership. REFERENCES Wiesel, Eli. (1982). Night. Prince Frederick, Maryland: Bantam Books. Wiesel, Eli. (2001). EliWisel:“Perils of Indifference.” Retrieved February 13, 2009, from http://ameri canrhetoric.com/speeches/ewieselperilsofindifference.html.
Journalism Coverage of the Holocaust JORDAN JOHNSON
When Marvin Kalb delivered a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., in 1996, the esteemed CBS and NBC reporter sought to convince his audience of the U.S. media’s 1940 failure to bring the atrocities of the Holocaust to the front doors of American citizens. In his speech, Kalb makes the argument that the preoccupation of the Allied powers with WWII, American prejudices against the Jews, denial of the horrors of the Holocaust itself, and the silence of the U.S. news media were the major contributing factors to the Holocaust’s concealment. His principle aim of the lecture is to explain how these American faults allowed the Holocaust to happen. Kalb was one of the few great reporters employed by Edward Murrow to report for CBS, so it is easy to see that Kalb has a remarkable amount of credibility. He makes his proposal without the severe, accusatory tone that the world deserved in light of the Holocaust. Kalb’s use of dialogue, diction, logical appeal and questioning tone effectively accomplish his purpose of provoking thought about the media coverage of the Holocaust. Kalb’s use of direct dialogue sets up his connection to the Holocaust. In his introduction he says, “Our subject makes pygmies of us all. Our location evokes memories so raw and profound that I end up thinking, ‘there but for the grace of God go I’” (Kalb, 1996). Phrases like these contribute to his relationship with the audience. He doesn’t
Journalism Coverage of the Holocaust Jordan Johnson
attempt to use archaic language and instead makes his delivery understandable to all audiences. Kalb discloses to the audience that his family was one of Jewish families that fled to the United States during World War II; facing the Great Depression instead of the Holocaust’s trials and tribulations. This highly-detailed, personal account gives Kalb more credibility to propose his arguments and explanations later in the discourse. He uses direct dialogue to begin his account, simply saying that a rabbi in Kiev asked him, “Where were your parents born?” to which he responded, “My mother was born here in Kiev” (Kalb). Simple rhetoric is also employed to engage the audience, “To paraphrase the Watergate questions—what did we know? And when did we know it? We knew enough, and we knew enough in a timely fashion” (Kalb). The usefulness of this tactic can be seen through questions that readers and listeners have about accounts of the Holocaust. The audience has a passionate desire for knowledge about dire circumstances and dreadful occurrences. By probing the audience with questions, Kalb can go onto deliver answers that are effective and believable. This clever approach makes the persuasion all the more appealing. Any reader of this transcript can hear Marvin Kalb’s words as they jump off the page. His use of language and style of rhetoric are crucial to this particular argument; both allow him to set up historical references and explain the terror of these past events. He accomplishes this with a conversational and explanatory articulation that makes the audience feel like the speaker is narrating the events as they happen. He gives this effect when he says, “During the Holocaust… information about the mass killings edged towards knowledge among some people, but obviously not among enough people to awaken the conscience of the world or to affect American, Allied or Nazi policy.” The result of his account of international history at the time of the Holocaust is an effective tool to hit home the embarrassing faults of the U.S. and the small-minded coverage of all-inclusive news. Kalb includes “unconditional surrender,” “antisemitism,” “the unbelievability of the Holocaust,” and “the strange silence of American journalism,” as contributing factors to the Holocaust cover-up to present logical arguments and reasonable answers to his rhetorical questions. The use of rational appeal in this way is one of the strongest Aristotelian devices because the undeniable facts are impossible to ignore or discredit. The Holocaust did happen. Millions of Jews died. The news media, like other elements in the American government, was preoccupied with the war against the Axis powers. The media did not use the resources and leads that were being fed to them to find the real story of the 1930s and 40s. These are the simple facts on which Kalb bases his argument. He neither supports nor admonishes the actions or lack-thereof taken by U.S. journalists and American citizens alike. In this way Kalb avoids the “broken record” style of argumentation. He appeals to the audience’s sense of reason to explain why the Holocaust remained obscure for so long.
Journalism Coverage of the Holocaust Jordan Johnson
Through the use of rhetorical inquiry and questioning tone to underscore his case, Kalb seeks to do more than present the immediate facts. Instead, he is attempting to make readers realize how a large-scale problem like the Holocaust was an unprecedented occurrence in its own time and remains unparalleled today. There were no documented rules on how to handle such an event. While Kalb presents his own ideas about the inter-workings of the Holocaust, he also uses his knowledge of diction and rhetoric to encourage the audience to find their own meanings and answers to his specific questions. This tone makes Marvin Kalb a relatable person seeking answers just like anyone else. “Questions about press and policy come to mind. How could such a story as the Holocaust not overwhelm the front page of every newspaper? How could it not be the lead story in The New York Times – if not every week, then every month? How could President Franklin Roosevelt, who knew about the Holocaust, not lead the Allied charge against it? How could the United States of America not open its doors to those Jews who could escape the Nazi onslaught?” (Kalb). It is rhetorical questions like these that build depth and wonder into his tone because of the weight and history they carry with them. The combination of Kalb’s conversational tone and use of questions, delivery, diction, logic, credibility, and his subtle use of personable inflection are wholly effective in presenting his argument. The argument itself is less accusatory in his speech, while the explanations and support for his ideas are strong and well thought out. These supporting devices deliver Kalb’s argument against one of the chief blemishes in the history books. The most important concept to remember about the Holocaust, in relation to Kalb’s argument, is presented in his conclusion and with it he lets the readers decide if they buy into his argument. He says, “It should be clear that the Holocaust was unique, the reporting of the Holocaust was unique, and neither can be duplicated” (Kalb). REFERENCES Kalb, Marvin (1996, February, 27). The Journalism of the Holocaust. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Retrieved February 11, 2009, from http://www.u shmm.org/lectures/kalb.htm.
Solitary â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kim Foley
Profile Profiles are stylistically similar to journalistic writing, employing some of the basic principles of narration as well as description. In addition, these first-year composition pieces include authorial commentary and insight into their subject, all of which is primarily obtained through fieldwork, a process that involves interview and close, first-hand observation. Profiles can focus on individuals, individuals within professions, events, or even cultures.
Broken and Betrayed MERCEDEZ TILLERY-DOHM
Abuse is a behavior instigated by one person in a relationship to control the other. Women who have been abused will always carry the mental or psychological scars with them, even and if they escape the abuse and the abuser. While in these relationships, they typically endure violence in one form or another, whether it is mental, physical, emotional. In the United States, four women die every day because of domestic violence (“N.O.W.,” 1994-2008, ¶3). Though abused women make up a group that many do not consider a culture, they share many attributes and behaviors that outsiders do not understand or participate in. Though a culture is typically defined as the behaviors and beliefs that characterize a particular social, ethnic, or age group (“Culture,” 2008, ¶ 5), gender is yet another factor that can be considered when determining cultural boundaries. Abused women not only share a common gender, but also a unique psychology. Additionally, abused women can be viewed as a culture because they all undergo a similar initiation into the culture of abuse, share similarities in appearances after the abuse has taken place, behave or rationalize the abuse in similar ways, and attempt to mask their membership in this culture from the outside world. Two to four million women of all races and classes are battered each year. At least 170,000 of those violent incidents are serious enough to require hospitalization, emergency room care or a doctor’s
Broken and Betrayed Mercedez Tillery-Dohm
attention (“N.O.W.,” 1994-2008, ¶ 2). Members range in age, but women aged 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence (“Family Violence,” 2008, ¶ 1). In 2000, 1,247 women, compared to only 440 men, were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, 33% of all female murder victims were killed by an intimate partner (American Bar, 2009, ¶ 6). According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Again, wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses, making up 81% of all persons killed by their spouse (American Bar, 2009, ¶ 8). Initiation into the culture domestic abuse does not involve a flashing sign saying, “Join here. Domestic Violence.” It starts slow and many of its signs are subtle. The male may make his significant other feel embarrassed, belittle her, control what she does, who she talks to, stop her communication with family and friends, or accuse her of having an affair; he can even threaten her with weapons, like knives or guns, destroy her belongings, or make all her decisions for her (Life’s New, 2008, ¶ 1). He ultimately defaces her, making her less than human, controls her, making her feel helpless, as though she only deserves whatever he says or does. For many women, the moment at which they recognize that they are being initiated into the culture is the moment of physical violence or immediately after the fact. One victim recalls her cultural initiation: I never realized that I entered the culture of abused women until I escaped its death clutch. My initiation began on a hot night in the month of August. Kevin and I arrived home from a night out with friends, immediately after exiting the car; he began accusing me of cheating and lying about my past. I chased after him trying to defend myself against his accusations; however, he would not listen. He only yelled, ‘We are done, you are a fucking bitch, and you are a whore. I hope you die you slut, and if you do, I will not come to your funeral.’ I continued to chase after him, begging him to stop and come inside. I had to show him I loved him. (Anonymous. Personal Interview. October 13, 2008). At this point most women are unwilling to accept their membership in the culture of abuse, but in retrospect, the moment of their initiation is obvious. Bruises, cuts, scrapes, black eyes, swollen lips, and even broken bones are all shared attributes of women within domestic violence culture. One member of the culture looks back on her painful abuse and explains the physical markings: He turned around and grabbed my shoulders shaking me like a ragdoll. He pushed me backwards punching me in the chest, leaving me bruised and breathless… he swung his left fist at my beautiful, untainted face. My lip split open, tears mixed with the trail of blood dripping down my chin. I looked at the man I trusted and loved and all I could say in my defense was, ‘You hurt me, you hurt me.’ (Anonymous. Personal Interview. October 13, 2008). As the violence escalates, the women of this culture begin to display even
Broken and Betrayed Mercedez Tillery-Dohm
more physical marks of abuse: He would rip out my hair in handfuls, biting and bruising me for weeks. He would grab my arms leaving finger marks and he eventually got to the point of strangling me against the wall, resulting in a black and blue swollen neck. (Anonymous. Personal Interview. October 13, 2008). At this point, the shared physical appearance is obvious, but most members of this culture go to great lengths to hide their association with abuse. Abused women use a number of items – things that, in cultural terms, might be referred to as “artifacts” – to cover up the “work” of their significant others. They use make-up to cover the bruises and to lessen the redness from their cuts, and when make-up fails to cover their black eyes, they use sunglasses. After being strangled or severely beaten about the upper body, they wear turtlenecks to cover hand marks and large bruises. Have you ever wondered why a woman is wearing sunglasses at night or a turtleneck in the dead of summer? You can bet she is a victim of domestic violence and is doing everything in her power to hide this from others. One member of the culture describes an event when she used these kinds of “artifacts” to cover up the effects of her partner’s rage: One night when I was driving him home, he asked why my passenger seat was moved up, rather than in the usual position. Not believing my answer, he grabbed my phone and started searching through my text messages. My phone froze, resulting in him losing his temper; he claimed that I had locked my phone because I was hiding something. I parked my car outside of his house and opened the door, telling him I was going to inform his mother about what a psycho her son had become. As I walked up to the door, he came charging after me, wrapping his arm around my head, hitting his head with mine, and eventually throwing me on my back in the rocks beside the road. He crouched down in what I thought was an attempt to help me get up, but all he said was, ‘Get up, do you want someone to call the cops on me?’ I could not believe that this was what my life had become. I had to use long sleeves to cover the bruises on my arms and cuts on my back, so my family would not catch onto the abuse that I was being subjected to. (Anonymous. Personal Interview. October 13, 2008). Additionally, to disguise their painful and frightening lives, members of the culture often share similar behaviors that outsiders are unable to understand. First and foremost, women in this culture lie. They make up stories whenever they are asked if they are being abused or if they are in danger. They also fear that their confession will lead to more severe punishment and even death, fear of the unknown, and being alone (Domestic Violence, 2005, ¶ 3). In many cases, women claim that their injuries are due to their clumsiness. In part they do believe this; they believe that their significant other became angered because they were clumsy and did not listen or follow the rules properly. When abuse takes place as a result of the male’s anger, frustration, or even personal insecurity, the
Broken and Betrayed Mercedez Tillery-Dohm
men feel as if they need to make the woman feel as equally insecure. This culture keeps its members by economic dependence, shame, guilt, and ultimately denial (Domestic Violence, 2005, ¶ 3). Women in this culture have to be in denial in order to stay with their partners. It’s easier said than done to leave a relationship of such magnitude, but is it really worth risking your life or your children’s lives? Once a man knows that he can hit you he will continue to, no matter what empty promises he makes. Even the women who escape from the violence will always be members of the culture, just in different ways. They will forever have the psychological scars. In any relationships, they will always have fear and mistrust in their partner no matter what he does. They will always have memories of the violence, however, there is help. There are a number of shelters and organizations that help victims of abuse and their children. Within these shelters and organizations, the women will forever be connected, bound together by their shared experiences. Regardless, it is important to remember that the culture of abuse is not one that women take pride in. They do not choose to become members, but unfortunately, the culture chooses them, binds them together through the shared experience of initiation, the behavior of denial, the employment of items that help mask the abuse, and the psychological scars that remain with them forever. One victim who escaped her nightmare concludes her story with the following: I was 17 years old when I left Kevin, he comes around every now and then but I have learned that no matter how much he charms me I have seen his true colors and even with time those colors can never be covered up or erased. (Anonymous. Personal Interview. October 13, 2008). REFERENCES American Bar Association. (2009). Domestic Violence Statistics. Retrieved January 1, 2009, from http://www.abanet.org/domviol/statistics.html. Culture. (2008). Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/culture?o=0. End Abuse. (2005). Domestic Violence in America. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://endabuse.org/resources/facts/. End Abuse. (2005). Family Violence. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://endabuse.org/resources/facts/Teenagers.pdf. Life’s New Beginnings. (2008). Domestic Violence. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.lifesnewbeginnings.org/domestic_violence_warning_signs.html. National Organization for Women. (2008). Violence Against Women. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html.
The Consummate Professional ANTHONY POMPOSELLI
“I think I’d see myself as engaged, borderline scatterbrained, and driven by creativity.” How strangely appropriate, though it would be difficult to discern whether he was talking about himself or his controlled wreck of an office. Adorned with bookshelves packed to the bursting point, CDs in slim jewel cases, and his various awards from previous experiences, Bill Silcock’s office is a veritable amalgamation of the past and the present. The scene was seemingly apt for a professor who embraces an old-school style of reporting and mixes it with today’s newfound technology to spread his knowledge of the field to the masses. Though his first major assignment is a quarter of a century old, his newest piece is less than a year old. When not going to the gym to “keep himself young” or spending time with his family, Silcock is a journalist and professor of high distinction. His seemingly pleasant demeanor is accentuated by an easy-going, laid-back posture in his seat. He carries himself the same way in the classroom as he does in his office, and even out in public, as evidenced by his sighting in the Herberger Theater with his wife. In times outside of the classroom, he is living proof that the knightly concepts of chivalry are not dead as the all-knowing have declared them to be. When behind the closed doors of a lecture hall, Silcock morphs from the worldly gentleman into the consummate professional. His speech is straightforward, and always to the point, but never blunt or stilted in
The Consummate Professional Anthony Pomposelli
its sound, just natural as though he’d been talking this way his entire life. His eyes are often riveted to a single point, never daring to stray from his desired point of interest. His style of lecture in class is bold, much like the contrast of his steelrimmed glasses to his inviting, but stern face. He relies on gesticulations and his broad knowledge of the field to gift his students with wisdom and entice them to pay attention. He claims immediate feedback makes the class what it is. “It’s less about the lecturer and more about the student. It’s entirely possible that the question of the student might be the most important moment for you in that hour and a half class.” Daring to delve further into Silcock’s world, I needed to know how it all began. “Probably my first big story I ever reported on was the Claude Dallas case… did you ever hear about that?” Silcock directly addressed me with a cold flash in his eyes. Sheepishly, I shook my head. He gravely went on. “I was only two months into the job when I went out on a helicopter with my photographer and we’d been hearing about this strange activity going on in the region; something about a pair of murders in the area and that was when my photographer spotted one of the bodies of the wardens that had been killed.” The air in the office seemed to grow colder as he stood up and brought out a glass box with artwork about the case, as well as a snippet of his script from the assignment in Idaho a little more than a quarter of a century ago. Throwing me for another loop, Silcock then handed me an article he had written for a journal this year. “It kind of goes with the job title to keep up with our journalistic endeavor, I mean, we are journalism professors, right?” But I didn’t quite follow why he would make the change from reporter to professor. Wasn’t the life of a journalist a glitzy one where the stories never got old and there was always something new happening? “That’s a good question.” So now I suppose there’s no such thing as a bad question. He thought about the inquiry for a moment longer, and began again with a heavy sigh. “You know, I think about that almost every day. It was the day-to-day grind of being a reporter that just got to me.” My theory had been thwarted. I felt duped, almost humiliated to be thinking of such an idea. But how did it get to him? “When you’re a reporter, the day-to-day work is exciting and all, but it eventually becomes dull and routine.You go out to the field; you do your fieldwork, shoot the story, edit it, and then turn in it by 6:00 that evening. The next day is a mirror of the day before. I fell in love with the idea of teaching after taking a graduate studies class with Elmer Lower—” “That’s the man you claimed was your mentor, correct?” I cut him off accidentally; the longish pause made me believe he was finished with his story. I was wrong and he proceeded as though no interruption occurred. I scrawled a note in my pad: make sure he’s really done before I say ANYTHING. “He was someone I idolized very much. He told me to come in an hour before class. The appointment was kept. After that class, I fell in love with the idea of
The Consummate Professional Anthony Pomposelli
teaching, and the rest is history…teaching has its challenges; it’s terribly flexible, you see? I have complete control of my day, I set my own agenda, and teaching is just a bunch of little deadlines.” Deadlines would have to be present—the journalism business makes and breaks itself on deadlines. But what were his thoughts on his own transition? “Well, if you think about it, teachers and journalists are somewhat the same in how they present their information. Teachers have to research the area they’re about to teach and then be able to present the information in a manner that students can understand. Journalists must do the same: they must forage for the story and write the story so their audience can understand it.” So did he think that the same could be achieved by anybody? “That’s a tricky question.” Wow. It’s not a good question…it’s tricky. Is that a bad thing? “I think some journalists are better as journalism teachers, but I don’t think all teachers can be journalists.” I decide to jump to the groundbreaking. I wanted to know what was the biggest assignment he had ever been given. My sudden departure from teaching to his history left no lasting impact on him, but the environmental feeling evolved once again. From comfortable to decidedly less. Two seconds do make a big difference, I suppose. The eerie silence from the Claude Dallas case seemed to walk back into the room, as though invited. The cold flash in Silcock’s eyes was noticeably absent, but instead, the ice that possessed his eye previously had melted, making his eyes watery. He was visibly deep in thought. He requested clarification. “In a historical context, you mean?” I nodded. “In that case, it’s probably the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. I made a documentary in 1985 about what communism was like and how it was affecting East Germany. Five years later, I made another documentary about six months after the fall of the Wall and how it changed the region. It was called Fortress of Faith. It was such a sharp contrast to what it’s like here in the states, and it’s almost like walking into a bad dream.” He’s reported from halfway around the world. Where else? My curiosity got the best of me as I leaned in closer. “I’ve reported from Sarajevo, which I think is the most gorgeous place in the world, but it’s also one of the most interesting to report from…that region (the Balkans) is a powder keg of the ages, just like it was in the past. I’d like to travel to the Middle East or Africa next, but I think what would help anyone who wants to be an international reporter is to learn a foreign language, such as you have, Anthony.” “Why, thank you, Dr. Silcock.” The interview even followed the pattern of
The Consummate Professional Anthony Pomposelli
his lectures: more about the student and less about himself. I turned the path of the interview back around to him. I had found rather easily, that this was a job he’d enjoyed for a while. It almost seemed artificial. Nobody could possibly be this happy with their job, could they? There just had to be a time where he felt as though he’d have to leave-- a crisis of sorts, somewhere in mid-life by chance? The thought drove me crazy; could you? He wondered about my new statement. He didn’t think too long about it as he gave his answer. “Honestly, I couldn’t have it any other way. I mean, I’ve thought about possibly working for the state or the government, but that’s a full circle kind of deal. My father worked for the federal government, and that is what stemmed my interest in journalism. I get to spend a lot of time in my profession and with the people I love: my family. And I’m a firm believer in the quote from David O. McKay that goes something like “no other success can compensate for failure in the home.’” These are unbreakable words from a man who believes in passing the successful practices of journalism down to future reporters. With his belief in having an unwavering supporting cast, Silcock is keen to realize that no endeavor, no matter how great, can be undertaken alone. Silcock, tilting back in his chair, smiled and loosed his final thought on the topic. “This may sound pretty cliché, but I think I have the best job in the world.” With his steely convictions to teaching the craft of what people believe is a dying art form, you’d be hard pressed to prove Dr. Bill Silcock’s words otherwise.
Facing West â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugo Polanco
Argument Based on the model of classical argumentation, persuasive writing in first-year composition includes rhetorical devices such as establishing authorial credibility as well as employing scholarly, logic-based, and emotionally resonant evidence. Additionally, it must include a thesis that defines and then assumes a specific position on a controversial issue, an outline that delineates the steps to be taken in the body of the argument, and the presentation and refutation of opposing perspectives.
Trashing Our Oceans: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch KATI LONG
TOPIC CHOICES Here are the generic criteria for a “good” topic: you have some passion for it; you want to learn more about it; it’s do-able. As we’ve noted all semester, traditional “academic” topics are inherently no better or worse than other kinds—professional, civic, personal. For instance, you might propose a solution to a problem that you’ve noticed on campus, in the city where you live, or in your neighborhood—a problem that affects you in some way. Or you might offer a solution to a problem that exists in a larger context—e.g.,, Arizona, the United States, or the Middle East. For instance, you might propose solutions to problems such as the following: obesity in school children; the high traffic fatality rates in Arizona; the low high-school graduation rates in Arizona; the lack of needed class sections; traffic congestion on metropolitan Phoenix freeways; the lack of affordable housing in the Valley; low school achievement scores; poverty in the United States; air pollution in the Phoenix area; the lack of some facilities, programs, or activities on ASU’s Downtown campus. As you consider topics, also think about the topics that you’ve been exploring this semester. In each of those topic areas, there are some problems that need solving. HELPFUL HINTS You might want to propose a solution to a problem that you identi-
Trashing Our Oceans: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Kati Long
fied in an earlier project this semester. That might make it easier for you to complete this project at this busy time of the semester. Choose a topic that interests you. Describe the problem clearly. Propose a solution that is workable. Justify your proposed solution. (This justification is essentially a classical argument, which means that, among other things, you need to address counterarguments.) Also, consider offering several solutions for your reader to choose from with your analysis as a guide. In this paper, you will draw on the skills that you developed in the previous papers. From your first unit, you learned the importance of having a purpose, and of using specific details and explanations for support. In the second unit, you learned to bring in outside support for your purpose, and you learned how to contextualize it so that your voice was clearly distinguished from that of your sources. For your third unit project, you discovered the significance of having a strong thesis, and supporting it with outside sources, but also specifically identifying views that were in opposition to yours, and then refuting them. For your fourth project, you will build on all of these valuable practices and add to them your skill of analyzing and scrutinizing scholarly sources to use as support for your solution, while also to demonstrate that you have considered the most significant options and views, and have thus formulated an informed and well-thought-out proposal. Make sure you address and refute any relevant views that are in opposition to your own. FORMAT For this final project, you will want to write a formal proposal, following the one of the organizational patterns from pages 564-569, and also construct a poster, so you can present your work to the class. GRADING CRITERIA Make sure your project: Addresses intended audience, has a clear sense of purpose, clearly defines a problem, offers well-explained solutions, gives convincing evidence for the effectiveness of the solution, includes a well-documented review of alternative solutions, addresses opposing views and refutes them, follows conventions, and provides all process and invention work, and peer reviews.
Tourism at its Best MURIEL E. TATAW
St. Tropez, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Hawaii, Anguillaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the first thing you think of when someone mentions these exotic locations? They are just some of the major tourist locations of the world, among very many others. These are places that many people take off to each year to escape the daily hustle of life and relax in environments that feed them a slice of heaven on earth and leave them with memories that they cherish for all their lives. Tourism is like a world tradition and many places of paradise are constantly being developed for it. But for the inhabitants of these countries these places are not just an escape; these places are home. These inhabitants sometimes have no choice but to watch as their homelands are industrialized, and as hordes of people begin to come and go without any regard to the beauty of the land at all. In the opinion of some, people in many countries are encouraged to regard tourism as a very large industry with huge opportunities for jobs and careers. Some people who simply live in these places see tourism as an opportunity for their countries to develop (Jeffries 2001). But as time goes by and population increases, so does pollution, which then results in various other problems; global warming being a primary issue. Pollution and global warming are just two reasons why ecotourism must be made known. With the growing concern about global warming, many people are starting to take certain measures to save
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their countries from destruction. But when it comes to tourists, who only come and go for a brief while, this issue has not been sufficiently addressed, which raises growing concern for the inhabitants of these beautiful places. Many eco-friendly things have been and are still being done to tourism at its best help save the environment. Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be smart to have tourism companies provide some of the solutions for the betterment of their tourism environments? The topic of eco-friendly tourism is seldom spoken of. Eco-friendly tourism also called ecotourism could be described as when people are going on a vacation as usual and enjoying themselves, but are also taking certain measures not to be destructive to their vacation environment. For example, driving a hybrid car when taking a road trip or making sure to recycle their trash, to take actions they take when they are at home as when they are taking a tour of their designated tourist location. Many people around the world are supporting recycling and other ways to slow down global warming. But not enough people know of and support these ways in major places of tourism. This proves to raise much concern to some. Ecotourism is like giving back to the environment for all the good memories it has given you. Although it sounds great to some, there are many opposing arguments from others for this type of relaxation; the primary one being the cost. Many eco-friendly or green products have hit the shelves of stores. Many items such as light bulbs, bags, kitchen supplies, and more are constantly being modified so as to produce less harm to our environment. But these items are relatively expensive compared to their regular counterparts. According to greenhome.huddler.com, the cost up-front of a regular 60W light bulb is $1 compared to a 15W Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) at $5. Autos.msn.com (2008) states that the Kelley Blue Book price of a 2004 Honda Civic ranges from $11,150-$13,800 as opposed to the Hybrid Honda Civic price which ranges from $14,750- $15,500 (Kelley Blue Book, 2008). House furniture is no exception to this problem with varied cost differences between eco-friendly furniture and regular furniture. Although there are many benefits to these products, their prices still stand as their own setbacks in the opinions of some. But can this really be considered a problem for tourism and industrial development companies? According to alseyaha.com, the Bahrain Tourism Company, a tourist company in the Bahrain Islands of the Persian Gulf, pulled in an average of $2,219,479 from hotel operations alone in the year 2007. Their net investment income for activities provided by their company was an average of $1,536,490 which resulted in their 2007 annual income of $3,755,969 (Bahrain Tourisum Company, 2005). An analysis of tourism activities in the areas of Pisco/Paracas in Peru on a website called Mundo Azul shows that tourism has generated a yearly income of approximately $7,800,000 to $9,200,000 and an estimated 750 to 800 jobs in tourism (Austermuhle, et. al, 1999). These are outrageous figures for tourist locations that are not even well known and yet still frequently visited. One canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but wonder
Tourism at its Best Muriel E. Tataw
what these numbers would look like for companies like the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited (TDC, 2008), which now controls the promotions of the popular islands of Trinidad and Tobago (Carribean Net News, 2008), or other companies that are in control of more frequently visited places such as Jamaica, Brazil, Sydney, and Italy. Can the cost of CFL bulbs, recyclable furniture, and more eco-friendly supplies that preserve energy and help to better our environment really be a match for the average yearly income of these companies? And if not, then why are only a few select companies taking the necessary measures in participating and endorsing a cleaner vacation environment? An argument against ecotourism is the belief of mass tourism. Although there are people who believe that helping the environment of their vacation location is important, there are also many people who could really not care less about what they do to places as a result of their poor tourist manners. Certain people find no problem in making a private hideaway more public for their own selfish reasons and not cleaning up after their bon fires, parties and such (Ecotourism Log, 2008). Some are just there to have fun and enjoy their stay, not to clean up after themselves like they would in their homes. They do not see that they need to respect that environment so it will continue to be a beautiful place and continue to supply them with wonderful memories of relaxation. If this sounds like you, you may want to rethink your actions. Many people have a special place in the world that they hold close to their hearts. It may not exactly be an exotic beach or a very renowned tourist attraction. It may simply be that first place where you fell in love. It may be the place where you found your best friend. It may be that one spot in the world that you feel only belongs to you; your very own location in the world that you feel is a gift from God.You would not want to come to that place one day only to find it looking a like a huge trashy mess because of other people who could not have cared less about it.You would want that place to look the same way as you remember it in your memories each time you revisit it. Ecotourism is one of the best ways to accomplish just that. So what can we do to turn this smart but unpopular way of vacationing into a vacationing habit? We could simply make ecotourism a legal requirement for all companies of mass tourism, and legally prohibit all forms of tourism except ecotourism. But things cannot happen that easily. Eco Travel Logue (2008) indicates that many tourism companies are not interested in the idea of ecotourism. Even worse, the companies who claim they are interested are only in it for the profits; as if they do not already make a load of that. This type of tourism, which has been labeled greenwashing, better describes companies who portray themselves to consumers as eco-friendly tourism companies but really do not do much for the environment at all (Ecotourism Log, 2008). Some of these practices consist of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem; this
Tourism at its Best Muriel E. Tataw
approach is deceptive and simply unacceptable. The governments of some countries cannot manage ecotourism, and in some cases are not influenced to. So as of yet, ecotourism is still seen as either a tree hugger’s idea of vacationing or a tourism company’s bright idea on how to pull in more customers. In order to change this sad way of viewing eco-friendly vacationing for the better of our environment we must act now. Some tourism companies and hotels are already acting upon this idea to preserve the beauty of their surroundings; like the Gaia Resort in the Bay Area’s Napa Valley. According to a video from bnet.com (n.d.), Wen Chang, the founder of the Gaia Resort, has transformed his hotel by embracing sustainability and going green. He applied for a LEED certification; LEED as in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design company, an organization responsible for setting standards on eco-friendly construction. Gaia Resort built their 132 guest rooms using organic furniture which can be recycled in the future. Their bathrooms are conserving more water than the standard hotel and using clean energy to power operations. They installed solar arrays in their roof tops that provide about 36 kilowatts for the hotel and magnifying tubes that collect the sunrays and filter the light into the hotel among other things that help them to conserve energy and make their hotel a more ecofriendly stay. Chang’s deeds resulted in a $1 million incentive tax credit from the city and a LEED stamp of approval. Going green is way more costly up front, but according to Wen Chang, “You calculate the savings and the extra cost to develop, and for anything else you listen to your heart” (n.d., bnet.com). According to pacificmagazine.com, Satoshi Yoshii is also taking steps towards helping his environment. As founder and president of the Three Wins, the parent company of Marshall Islands Tours based in Yokohama, Japan,Yoshii’s vision is to ensure that tourism is a win-win-win situation. A situation in which the business, the customers and the Marshall Islands of Japan all win; hence the company’s moniker, Three Wins (Chutaro 2008, ¶ 3). One good example of Yoshii’s approach for the development of the Marshall Islands is seen in Japan Airlines’ new non-stop charter flight between Tokyo and Majuro. After Yoshii raised his concern about the atolls’ fragile coral environment, the airlines agreed to carry back all the trash produced by the passengers who travel to the islands aboard its airplanes. According to Yoshii, “Tourism is an important key to develop the Marshall Island but we have to preserve the environment. Eighty-five percent of the customers say they like this (environmentally friendly) approach” (Chutaro, 2008). According to Ecotourism Log (2008), the United States has already developed a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated called the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is well known for its development of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and a green building conference that promotes the green build-
Tourism at its Best Muriel E. Tataw
ing industry called Greenbuild. As mentioned earlier, these companies regulate and inspect buildings to ensure that they are eco-friendly (Ecotourism Log, 2008). But these companies are limited to the US. Not all countries or governments have enough money to sponsor companies as such. Therefore it is up to the customers of tourism companies around the world to make sure that something is done to preserve their exotic beaches and personal getaways, little by little. Most resorts and hotels around the world provide at least a website to show their customers what they provide in their hotels. If you would like to be an ecofriendly tourist, research your hotels before you book them. Check for environmentally responsible materials and sustainable architecture techniques provided by the hotel. But do not rely on their website alone. Do a little background research on the hotel also to find out if they are not just another greenwashing exploitation of an eco-friendly hotel. If you are trying to rent a car from an airport try your best to rent a hybrid car. When you get to your hotel and sleep on the first night, leave a note to the housekeeping that you would not like them to change your sheets so as to save water. As you go around sightseeing, be aware of what you do and how you do it. Clean up after yourself when you have picnics on the beaches, and leave as little notice of your stay in the environment as possible. Ecotourism may be overlooked now but with time it will become something like second nature to the idea of vacationing. That can only happen with the support of people all over the world. The next time you go out to that private spot, take a good look at its cleanliness and beauty. Then do everything in your power to leave that special place just the way you met it. Think of new ways to enhance the beauty of that place; do not destroy it.You would be surprised at the impact that only one person or one family can make. Not only will you feel better about your actions, the inhabitants of that beautiful area, city, country or village will respect you for respecting their home. Leave tourism looking its best as much as you possibly can and encourage others to do the same.
Tourism at its Best Muriel E. Tataw
REFERENCES Annual Report (2007). Bahrain Tourism Company. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from http:// www.alseyaha.com/annual-report-07.asp. Austermuhle, S. Bambaren, S. Ferreyros-Gildemeister, A. Michel, O.R. Pardo, N. Raffo, L. (1999). Project: Analysis of Tourism Activities in the areas of Pisco/Paracas. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from http://www.mundoazul.org. BNET.com. (n.d.).LEED Video. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from http://www.bnet.com. Caribbean Net News. (2006). New Tourism Company for Trinidad & Tobago. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from Caribbean Net News.http://www.caribbeannetnews.com Chutaro, S. (2008, January). Doing It Right: Pioneering Japanese Entrepreneur’s Tourism For mula. Pacific Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from http://www.pacificmagazine.net. Ecotourism Criticism. (n.d). Eco Travel Logue. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from http://www. ecotourismlogue.com/ecotourism-criticisms. Gillin, P. Simpson, J. (2008). Is It Green or Greenwash? Simpson Talks on Tourism and the Media in a “New Era” Marked by Climate Change at CTC’s GoMedia Canada Marketplace. Media Centre. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from http://mediacentre.canada.travel. Huddler. (n.d). Lifetime Costs of Light Bulbs. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from Green Home Huddle Web site: http://greenhome.huddler.com. Jeffries, D. J. (2001). Governments and Tourism: Controversial Issues for Host Communities. Butterworth-Heinnemann. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from http://books.google.com. MicroSoft Network. MSN. (n.d). 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. Retrieved October 31, 2008, from http://autos.msn.com/research. United States Green Building Council. USGBC. (2006). http://communicate.usgbc.org/usgbc
Feng Shui: A Way to a Healthy Home TAYLOR CASE
ABSTRACT Archaeologists have discovered many ancient ruins; therefore, by putting the pieces together and thinking outside the box, historians have been able to gain insight into the culture of those who lived centuries ago. Many traditions of ancient cultures are known, but their rituals are no longer practiced today. However, there are a few rituals that still remain in use.While they have been adjusted by modern day technologies, some ideas remain constant. However, with the exception of those living in the ritualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geographic homeland, many people do not understand these practices to a great degree. As they grow and spread, the rituals of the ancient world are gaining popularity in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s era. Survival of the fittest: a concept known today, but rarely used as in its original context. However, to the ancient peoples of this world, survival of the fittest was a way of life. Centuries ago, people had to be observant about patterns in nature and how things worked in order to simply survive. The patterns they observed and expanded upon have become some of the most widely used and accepted practices today. Their observations on how to create and live in a healthy home environment are practiced in modern day life through feng shui: Feng shui is an ancient science that has its roots in the Chinese way of viewing the Universe, where all things on earth are categorized into
Feng Shui: A Way to a Healthy Home Taylor Case
five basic elements, and take on implications of positive or negative energy…It is the science of selecting a living environment where the elements and the energies are in harmonious balance, thereby bringing the good life to those who reside within the environment. (Too, 1997b) While there are many who have adopted the practices of feng shui, there continues to be a large group who remain in the dark about this ancient Chinese science. According to Lillian Too (1997b), a well-known author on the subject, feng shui traces its roots back as early as the seventh century during China’s Tang Dynasty where Yang Yun Sang is credited with founding this ancient practice. While similar practices were most likely already in circulation,Yang Yun Sang is credited with founding feng shui because of his emphasis on the shape of the mountains, direction of the bodies of water, and, most importantly, understanding the Dragon’s influence on Chinese culture (“About,” 2008). Little acknowledgement, outside of scholars who have mastered this practice, is given to Yang Yun Sang today by followers of feng shui simply because he is not known; however, his research and development of this science guide many modern people in creating balance and harmony in their lives. Practitioners and followers of feng shui can interpret their harmonious balance in different ways, use different objects to reach this balance and even decide on what level to take the balance to. However, an important similarity ties each and every practitioner together: the ba-gua (Too, 1997a). The ba-gua is the map of feng shui. It is a three-by-three grid which, when over-laid on the layout of land, a house or property, even a room, guides one in selecting the appropriate agreement for maximum harmony. The ba-gua can even determine the furniture arrangement in a room or the wall colors for certain areas in a house. SAMPLE BA-GUA: SOUTH Abundance and Prosperity Wood
Reputation and Illumination Fire
Family and Foundation Wood
Balance and Harmony
Children and Creativity Metal
Inner Knowledge and Self Cultivation
Career and Life Journey Water
Helpful People and Travel Metal
The ba-gua is based on formulas derived from the cardinal and secondary directions. For example, the southeast relates directly to prosperity, the north to one’s career, and so on. In addition to the directions creating a base for certain
Feng Shui: A Way to a Healthy Home Taylor Case
aspects in one’s life, they also correspond with one of the five basic elements: fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. The five basic elements help to determine what colors and shapes should go in what area of the property. In Total Feng Shui, Too (1997b) describes the best colors and shapes for each element: the best colors for fire are red and green; it’s best shapes are triangles or rectangles, while blue and green; rectangles and curves are the best for wood. Water, not surprisingly, is best associated with circles and curves, along with black, blue and white.Yellow is a great color for both earth and metal, however earth also goes best with red, triangular and rectangular objects, while metal corresponds better to white, circles and squares (Too, 1997b, p. 29). Too (1997b) also states that the five basic elements relate to everything in the world; the path between each element can be either positive and productive or negative and, likewise, destructive (p.40). Although the goal of feng shui is always to create most positive, harmonious environment possible, negative, destructive relationships can be helpful in order to tone down a certain element on the property. The ba-gua is simplest tool to use as a guide when at first deciding and learning where the best placement of the elements is. Corresponding with directions, Too (1997b) explains, feng shui incorporates four celestial guardians-the Black Tortoise, the Green Dragon, the Crimson Phoenix, and the White Tiger-to help in determining a harmonious location for a property. Each guardian has its own characteristics that aid in the overall balance. The following characteristics are broad, but the general idea is given for each guardian: the characteristics of each go much more in depth and detail. The Black Tortoise corresponds with the north and it protects against bad luck; the Green Dragon comes from the east and is the symbol of good luck. From the south comes the Crimson Phoenix that is represented by low-lying features in front of one’s home. Finally, from the west is the White Tiger that both compliments the green dragon, but also protects one’s home (Too, 1997b, p.14). Too also states that it is not imperative for good feng shui for these to be in exact orientation. Rather, it is more important that the dragon is on the left side and the tiger on the right (p.15). The source states this although each of the celestial guardians has a corresponding cardinal direction. Using these four guardians appropriately will help in the harmonious balance one is trying to achieve by practicing feng shui. Chi energy is what creates the feel of harmonious balance in one’s life by way of feng shui. “Chi energy lines can be compared to the invisible energy lines that form the spectrum of electromagnetic waves, or ‘earth currents’ in the atmosphere…In feng shui terms, chi consists of invisible lines of energy described as the ‘cosmic breath’ of the celestial dragon” (Too, 1997b, p.7). There are two types of chi energy-positive and negative. Too (1997b) also explains that the positive is called Sheng Chi, while the negative is called Shar Chi. One who is executing the techniques of feng shui is attempting to protect themselves from Shar Chi. Shar Chi comes at people from sharp edges or straight roads pointing directly at them;
Feng Shui: A Way to a Healthy Home Taylor Case
however, by blocking the direct path, one can protect themselves from this negative energy (p. 24). In the same source, Too explains how chi energy is represented although it cannot be seen. Within a space, chi energy is represented in the Tai Chi symbol, also called the yin-yang. The knowledge of chi energy and how to block harmful Shar Chi is vital in the practitioner’s selecting, arranging and decorating of a land property, building or room. In order to increase the flow of Sheng Chi, followers of feng shui should use specific objects placed in a strategic manner. There are specific objects for a resulting aspect as well as techniques for each area of a house or building. For instance, hanging a picture of a phoenix, or of many birds, at the entrance of one’s office can open the door for potential beneficial opportunities (Too, 1997b, p.31). Also, an image of a horse in the south corner can give strength to one in order to beat out his or her competition (p.58). Crystals, as well as Asian inspired decorations, are also highly used when creating a harmonious space based on the practices of feng shui. The Feng Shui Warehouse is an online company that sells objects specifically for their use in feng shui designs. They categorize their products into what aspects each item aides, making it easy for shoppers to find an item to increase prosperity, for example. Whereas there are sites and stores dedicated to this ancient science, many people already have certain items that can help increase a specific aspect of their life. In addition, the decorations in one’s room are not the only way to increase a harmonious balance; the arrangement of the furniture, paint color chosen for each wall and overall blueprint layout of each space influences the final result. There is some thought that the harmony and quality of one’s life comes only from the simple fact that the follower is focusing more on what he or she wants, creating a resulting effect. However, when stepping into a room that has been designed for positive chi energy and balance, one can usually identify that something “feels right.” While feng shui is widely spreading in the west, and gaining acceptance, many still do not understand why this trend is so popular. As this ancient Chinese practice spreads, so will its followers. With insight as to how it started and why, people interested in this practice can begin to understand, and therefore, wisely practice feng shui. In addition, knowing techniques to increase the balance of certain principles can help one determine how to better increase their daily value of life in such areas. REFERENCES Feng Shui Warehouse. http://www.fengshuiwarehouse.com Retrieved 12 October 2008 Too, L. (2008). About feng shui. Lillian-too.com. http://www.lillian-too.com/aboutfs.php Retrieved 5 October 2008 Too, L. (1997a). Basic Feng Shui. Adelaide: Oriental Publications. Too, L. (1997b). Total Feng Shui. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
New Meets Old â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugo Polanco
Creative Non-Fiction Creative Non-Fiction is a form of autobiographical writing that is predicated on the creative reconstruction of people, places, and events through vivid sensory details. In conjuring these memories, writers within this genre strive to forge connections between the self and others, the parts and the whole, transforming the autobiographical act into one that is more universally resonant, more noticeably lyrical.
History CLAUDIA CASEY
My five-year-old brother asked if it was true that you could light an ant on fire with a magnifying glass, but I’d never let him try. Their little brown hill in our front yard seemed the very picture of economy and simplicity. When it rained I’d worry, and within days there’d be a new one, almost in the same spot, back in business. They moved in and out in little rows, oblivious to me or my brother, unaware that I’d saved them from his pyrotechnic wrath. They would carry massive beetles and other dead things back into their colony. My brother told me that this was proof that they deserved to be part of his experiment. But he never tried it, and the ants marched on, little row after little row, as we watched. The next year it was the giant prickly pear cactus in front of my window. Ned developed a respectful fascination with it—the way it swayed towards us when there was a breeze (we’d jump back, clinging to each other and squealing), the ants making the long trek out of their hill and up its arms for God knows what, the lush pink fruits at the top that Mom said we could eat once they ripened (we couldn’t reach them anyway), the way it stood out against the yards of red rock and the gray sky when it was cloudy. When our mom decided we would move, before I’d come home from school, he carved N-E-D in capital, sharp letters into one of its fleshy leaves. He told me it was so the cactus would remember him after we were gone, and when the ants made their trips up and down, they’d remember us too.
History Claudia Casey
My grandfather died shortly after we moved. The memorial service happened at my grandmother’s ranch in the middle of nowhere, and I still had a headache from the car ride, the bumpy dirt road to her house and my parents’ arguing. I sat by myself on the cool, red tile of the kitchen, rubbing my black shoes together and watching my frown in the patent leather. I liked how distorted it made my face look, like a mirror in a funhouse. Faintly, from a few rooms away, I could hear their murmurs to her, their condolences, their memories, the requisite optimism and observations about how quickly and painlessly he’d gone. They told her about his photographs, his work in the city, what he’d done for them. I couldn’t understand what she said back. I scratched my finger into the cement between two tiles next to me, etched a little line and let it blur as I stared at it. Then I blurred it with my finger. My cousin’s boyfriend Rick walked through the room, stopped when he saw me, and squatted. “Don’t scuff your shoes, babe.” He winked. I waited till he’d gone and, as I began to count the long rows of tile to my sides, I let myself cry. My father’s globe is faded from my hands—places I’ve spun it, eyes closed, while letting my finger rest on a foreign country I knew nothing of. When I’d open and announce the location to my father, he’d tell me what we’d do when we visited. We’d see the Parthenon, places where the foundations of society had been decided upon by people who somehow existed without electricity, people who had built the entire democratic system but still thought the world was a linear brick whose edges you could simply fall off of. I followed the lines with my thumb, traced along the borders of Portugal and Spain, asked my father what languages they spoke and if they spoke to each other. When I landed on Italy, colored a dusty, romantic pink, he told me about Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rossini, and Michelangelo. He said Italy was where great ideas had been born, the home of thinkers and artists. He told me about the Mona Lisa, the rise of science, the opera. In Africa, we’d meet Nelson Mandela. But there were times I would keep my eyes open a little, turn my head away from my father and purposefully spin to England. It was unimpressive on this map; the manufacturers had assigned it a drab, pastel blue, and it lacked the grandeur and distance of Japan or Russia. But I chose it over and over, trickily and shamelessly, because of a person I wanted to hear about—William Shakespeare. The first time I’d spun to England, Dad told me Hamlet—a condensed, sweetly simplified version suitable for a child. The next time it was Romeo and Juliet, and after that A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The plots interested me, but it wasn’t that, exactly. It was the time between us, between my life now and Shakespeare’s four hundred years before, that astounded me—that a person could die and still be talked about, that the things he wrote could still reach the ears of people with such different lives and problems and still make sense. A line, a phrase, a word was enough to bring him back. And I was jealous of him, resentful that he had found a way. He’d made sure, without any kind of epic war or invention, to live forever.
The Fine Art of Napping MYRIAM HUBBARD
Once the eyes close, your mind opens. It seems that as you recline and no longer support your weight, the day’s uncertainties and apprehension disintegrate. Tension leaves the muscles.You feel your body become heavier and sink into the cushions. External disturbances fade, physical limitations cease to exist, and the psyche is bound only by ingenuity. Respiration becomes more shallow. Temperature drops. The heart slows. Reality is suspended. We may not be as productive as other clans, but we are certainly more rested and recuperated. As long as I can remember, our home has been quiet, a habitat conducive to napping. The silence makes certain individuals uncomfortable, but I consider it calm, tranquil. Some afternoons, when I come home, the only audible sound is the low, constant hum of the fan above my head. Starchild lays beneath the dining room table and the only indication of life is the slight rise and fall of his belly. He must dream of girl poodles and roast beef in a far-away park, surrounded by fire hydrants. Occasionally he growls or whimpers, and I just can’t resist the urge to wake him and reassure him that everything’s fine. My mom rests around 2:30 when she gets home from work every afternoon. She prefers a warm room and firm pillow. She sincerely believes sleep is a blessing and she refuses to ever wake anyone up. Even the worst person is entitled to their rest free of interruption. I
The Fine Art of Napping Myriam Hubbard
have often wondered about the content of her thoughts. My mom possesses this existential form of acumen, so I can only assume her dreams are weighty and philosophical. She sleeps on her stomach and when she arises there’s usually an impression of the bedspread on her face. She told me once that she could feel someone if they watched her. Unconvinced, I would sneak in her room and stare at her. Sure enough, she would wake up, usually annoyed. My father likes to take a nap after lunch. He calls it his siesta. On his back, with his hands folded across his chest, he just lays. He doesn’t toss or turn or snore or twitch. Of a reserved, meticulous nature and always poised, it suits him. The most dazzling and eccentric person I know, I hold him in high esteem. I can’t begin to imagine the places he visits or what sorts of revelations are being conjured up in his slumber. I recall struggling not to fall asleep when I was little. My eye lids would be heavy and I would exhaust myself trying to keep them open. Fighting to concentrate and keep my head from swaying, the last thing I wanted was a nap. Now, I find great solace in a soft, dim environment. The feeling of fresh linen triggers a yawn. I generate a tremendous exhalation and with my breath, my concerns also escape. I can sense my core slowly unwinding. My thoughts travel down an abstract path and I delight in the freedom to escape the madness that consumes all the efficient individuals outside my sanctuary. Asleep, I am like the lion snoozing in the Sahara or perhaps the man who shirks his duties and sleeps in his office. I enter the same unconscious state as the nasty tyrant in his citadel or anyone whoever overindulged on Thanksgiving. Unfulfilled housewives, my jealous best friend, hired gunmen, inquisitive toddlers, the homeless man and the superficial models all close their eyes and try to make sense of the nonsensical. A biological need shared by both the unrighteous priest and overlooked Good Samaritan. Just as the sun sets, it is something we are not in command of. Similarly, as we finally stir with the light, our dreams tend to evaporate like the morning dew.
The Road MICHELLE CAMPUZANO
Scared and confused, faced with two options, I had to make a decision that would create my destiny. At the age of sixteen, I became pregnant with my son, David. Wanting to do the right thing, I married his father who was a very violent man. I was only a sophomore in high school, and yet was graced with a tummy that was progressively growing. In one moment, my life was forever changed. While waiting for the school bus, I began to experience excruciating pain in my back. Later, I discovered that the pain shooting up my spine was a back contraction. Still unsure of what I was experiencing, I called my doctor and rushed in for an emergency appointment. Eventually, I knew that I would have to experience labor and contractions, but these contractions were coming three months too soon. At six months pregnant, despite all the doctors’ efforts, my labor could not be stopped. Eleven hours later, I gave birth to my son who weighed only two pounds, six ounces. That was when my dream of a healthy little boy began to dwindle away. The road I panned to travel began to divert in a very different direction. As the months progressed, so did the extent of David’s disabilities. Within David’s first year, he was diagnosed with Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Broncho-Pulmonary Dysplasia, and visual and hearing impairments. Only seventeen, I was now responsible for myself and a very
The Road Michelle Campuzano
fragile child, and I was forced to make some very difficult decisions. Everyone was wondering the same thing: was my circumstance going to make or break me? It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take me long to make my choice. I chose to move forward, knowing that the journey would be challenging but also worthwhile. I still recall when the doctors informed me that David would not make it through the night. They assured me that he had fought the good fight with all his little body had in him, but that the chances of his survival were little to none. I remember the pain of hopeless nights, of not being able to take his place. Hours turned into days and days into months; the questions of why and how always settled by his precious smile. Feeling I had no other option, I rose to the challenge; I continued to care for my son and all his medical demands while attending high school. I fought for our future with all I had even when our future looked grim. Eventually, I divorced my husband, completed high school, and have since moved on to college, defying all odds. David, my little champion, is now twelve. Still wheelchair bound, developmentally considered to be about age three and having just undergone brain surgery number twenty eight, David continues to share the purest of love. His giggles are contagious, his eyes captivating, his smile inspiring. I still do not know where this road will lead me, but I do know that wherever David and I end up will be a better place than where we started. Even looking as far as the eye can see, what lies at the end of the road is always unknown.
Pink Boxing Gloves ROCIO BELTRAN
Pink. Pink is the color of many girls, it is the color of the fashion world. Pink is the attitude of a princess. Nonviolent. How can something pink become my voice and my dignity? Ever since I started boxing, pink was the last color I was going to think of. Everyday I was surrounded by boys and a few girls, everybody wearing dark clothes and dark gloves to cover the blood. I was getting good and it was time for me to leave and attend college. My coach, Officer Prieto, was delighted with me and wanted to give me something in return for my hard work. Pink boxing gloves. Officer Prieto is one of, if not the most admired and loved police men back home. Prieto was always in everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business and trying to cheer life up. Oh the smell of new gloves. That plastic rubbery smell is like fresh tires out of a shop. The fresh odor the made me not want to wear them. The texture of clouds and cotton candy inside the gloves warmed my hands every time I put them on. From the outside, they were protective like a bulletproof vest on an official. Hard. Rough. The gloves were brand new and felt like rocks on a running river, but at the same time gentle like a feather on a child. After many uses, they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that pleasant any more. They smelled of sweat, the odor of dirtiness, and I felt the urge to take them off. As I hit the bag, sweat ran down from my arms into my hands. My hands soaked with sweat
Pink Boxing Gloves Rocio Beltran
like a child after playing in a rainy day. The gym. The white walls erase my thoughts and induce me into a workout I will be sorry for. The boxing ring is elevated to my chest and is waiting for another day of dare. The bags are just waiting to be hit with even more fury then the day before. It wouldn’t matter what day of the week it was or how the weather was that day, we were there to work out. There would be rainy days with clouds the color of evil and devilish thunder outside, but inside it was a normal day, a boxing day. On the other side, therewould be days with the heat of an inferno and wind that dried anyone’s face dead withjust gentle breeze. Just how the sky is at its darkest when the sun is just about to raise, I am just about to call it done when I get the adrenaline rushing through me body that keeps me going. I started boxing because it was the closest sport to my house. I started boxing because I wanted to escape from reality. Ever since I was a little girl, I couldn’t keep what I thought was mine. My parents were more into who had more power over another. I don’t remember, ever, having both parents smiling at one another. The hatred. The allegations. The tears. My parents separated when I was just a toddler. Everyone thought the separation would destroy my sister and me. That we would become rebels and go into drugs and men. Especially men. But we didn’t. I didn’t. My pink gloves were there every time I went to boxing. They were there for me more than my parents were there for me. They were a constant in this world of variables. They are special to me because they were the ones that created discipline in my behavior. They made me strong, emotionally capable of handling the hardest opponent. They were the ones that felt my rage. They knew if I was tired, angry, sad, and if I was wandering and spacing out. How can something so violent bring out the best of me? How can something pink describe how I feel, how I think? How I breathe? The way I hit the bag was enough for everyone including my gloves to know my emotions at that instant. If I hit the bag fast and didn’t take breaths in-between that meant that I was happy. If I was slow it meant I was wandering off into space thinking of something else, not concentrating at all. I adore my gloves. Even though they are old now, I tend to stare at them and smile as in gratitude. They have always been there for me. Back home, when I felt energetic I would put them on and hit the bag until I was worn out. Now, I feel the stress running through my body and wish for a bag. I have the gloves, might as well hit something. I wish for the bag. I wish for the three minute bell. I wish for the sweat. I wish for the pink. There they are. Hanging. There they are, in my dorm room next to my clothes, just waiting. Waiting for the day I’ll put them back on and once again feel the sweat. Once again I’ll have that rush.
A Perfect Pink KIMMY BRADSHER
Dirt. Out of the box, my ballet shoes didn’t look like this. Out of the box, they were pink satin. Perfect. I had been waiting for the day I got my first pair of pointe shoes since I was four-years old. Standing in the window of my dance studio, watching, as the ballerinas float an inch off the ground, flawlessly flying across the floor. I waited, and I opened my own box of pointe shoes when I was fourteen. In my dance studio, posters of ballerinas are framed and hung on the hite walls. I study the posters like homework. Their feet, their face, their legs and arms, their fingers. In my room, I put on my dirty pointe shoes and attempt to duplicate their arabesques. I can never get it right. In the beginning, our teacher shows us how to put on our pointe shoes. She shows us the intricate layering and looping of the laces. Then it’s our turn. I sit on the wooden floor and take out my perfect pink shoes and put them on for the first time. Like a girdle holding in my rib cage, they squeeze my feet into perfect arcs with perfect pointed toes. By the third or fourth ballet class, we’re supposed to be able to lace up our shoes in under a minute. Sixty seconds is all we get to move our fingers swiftly in sync with one another. I can never get it right. The girls have to wait. I feel them glaring at me from the ballet barre in the back of the room. Me, sitting in front of the mirror,
A Perfect Pink Kimmy Bradsher
fingers fumbling. Months later, as my shoes get dirtier, darker, I’m still not any better at tying them. The girls are still waiting on me. To tie faster, to learn faster, to figure it out faster. I’m fourteen. I don’t know much, but this is what I know: Ballet is my life. I have worked at this for ten years, and all I have to show for it is a pair of dirt-covered shoes. Shoes that don’t fit in with any other ballet shoes. Shoes that should be thrown out. I am fourteen, and I’m learning that I know nothing. Elizabeth is my teacher. She’s a young 20’s something dancer who comes to class every night with her blonde hair pulled into a tight bun and red hot lipstick on her thin lips. She’s small and graceful, leaping into the air and floating down slowly, like a feather falling from the sky. Her nails are never painted, as a dancer’s never should be. Elizabeth tells us it’s time to start class. We stand in our usual staggered line. In the mirror, we look like duplicates of one person. Our uniform is a black leotard with pink tights, hair pulled away from our face. Black and pink, over and over again. A perfect pink, tainted. One by one we do what we’re asked. Pas de bourree, pique, pique, pirouette, plie. My face flushes red and clashes with the pink that I’m dressed in. After I finish my turns across the floor, I look at my teacher and quickly glance down. I walk to the end of the line and picture the look of disappointment I saw on her face. For someone who’s studied this for so long, you should be improving. You don’t have the body strength for this. They don’t have to say it, I know what they think of me. Sometimes some of us get to the studio early and talk casually. We talk about boys and school and it’s at these moments that I feel most like a fourteen year old. I forget that my shoes are dingy and that I can never seem to finish a pirouette correctly. At these moments, I am normal, I fit in, I don’t stand out. We all carry our tote bags over our shoulders. Inside mine are the items that seem to determine my destiny as a dancer. I take out my shoes, I tie them onto my feet, and I try to devour something that doesn’t seem to be meant for me. At fourteen, I want this, ballet, to define me. I want to be known for this. All my thoughts are consumed with floor combinations and I spend all my time practicing in my dirty pointe shoes. Every day I change myself a little more to fit the mold of a perfect ballerina, and every day I lose a little of my normal, fourteenyear old self. By the time I turn 15, it is summer, and school is out and I have to decide if I’m going to take the summer session at my dance studio. This is it. This is the decision that will change my life. Do I continue at something that I love, but it seems to be changing me into a person I’m not? Or do I quit completely, and always
A Perfect Pink Kimmy Bradsher
wonder what could have been? I quit. I have three more years left of high school, where I will be surrounded by friends who like me for who I am, not how I dance. I will be a part of the dance program and the dance team, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do it because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fun. I will realize that dance is a hobby, not a lifestyle, and I am a high school girl, not a professional ballerina. I will place my dingy, dirty pointe shoes back in a shoe box and put it on the top shelf in my closet, and eventually I will forget about them. And I will realize that through the dark dirt that covered my ballet shoes, came something beautiful. Me. A normal, awkward, fourteen-year old. Perfect.
Cotton ANITA GARCIA
Every time I ask my mother about her childhood, she looks at me, her eyebrow raised, her expression blank and cold. Every time I ask my mother why she looks so annoyed, she replies “because I didn’t have a childhood”. One time when I was going through my mother’s closet, I found a small, silk, drawstring bag placed in a corner. To be honest, curiosity got the best of me. When I opened it, I have to say, I wasn’t surprised with its contents. I have seen them once before. The object was brownish black, a little smaller than an almond and attached to each of the seeds where actual bits of a fluffy, white material. I knew it was cotton because it wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a cotton seed. I also knew because there was cotton still stuck on the seeds, it means that they were handpicked, and they were probably handpicked by her. For my mother, growing up wasn’t fun. It was hard, unfair but to my mother she would always say it was a necessity for living. To most, childhood should bring back joyous memories. Memories of playing tag or catch with the neighborhoods kids from the block in your front yard, or playing in your tree house or fort you build in the back yard. To my mother, childhood meant work, hard work in the fields. My mother, along with my grandparents and her brothers and sisters, worked in the fields as cotton pickers. If they wanted to earn enough money to eat for the week, they all had to work. From sun up to sun
Cotton Anita Garcia
down, year after year, my mother grew up in the cotton fields. Growing up, I hated do chores. My mother would always tell me and my sister a list of chores we had to get done before she got back from work, only once did I feel lazy enough to not do the chores I had to do. It only took one time, because after my mother came home, she made sure I understood a sense of responsibility. She made sure to teach us the skills that would help us make it through any situation. I would never get a chance to be lazy like that ever again, that day my mother explained to me what hard work really was. She first told me that I was spoiled, but that she understands why. She had bittersweet emotions when it came to our childhood. She was determined to instill her work ethic in us, but at the same time she wanted to provide a better, more memorable childhood, the childhood she never had. It’s in this moment where she goes to her bedroom, opens her closet door and pulls out a small, silk drawstring bag. As I walk in behind her, she turns to face me and places it in my hands. As I pull apart the smooth gathering on top, I put my fingers into the small opening; I feel an instant prick, a cut in my finger. As I yank my hand away, my mother grabs the bag and proceeded to pull out an empty cotton husk. She said that very common, to cut your fingers on a cotton husk. She used to do it all time when she was my age, when she was in the cotton fields. She told me, her chores involved pulling apart the husk, cutting her fingers when pulling out the cotton. She would tell me that the cotton would be drenched in blood by the cotton pickers. To pick cotton, you had to be quick and you couldn’t complain because no matter what happened, the cotton had to be picked if you wanted to get paid and if you wanted to eat. Looking at her fingers now, you can still see the tiny cut marks made by the cotton husk, these little imperfections that taint her once delicate hands. Knowing that my mother didn’t get a normal childhood I feel guilty and selfish for my spoiled childhood, but as my mother tells me, “Don’t feel bad, I worked this hard so that you wouldn’t have to, and so that you never have scars from pricked fingers”. She laughs while she says the last words to me. So as I come back to the present, I pull the thin strings back together and carefully put the sack back in the corner. As I stand up, I hear my mother’s voice calling for help in the kitchen. I close the closet door and proceed to the kitchen to get started on the dishes.
Security Blanket MELANIE-ANN OVIEDO
Tiny beads of sweat drip down my face. I carefully peer into the darkness. A figure stirs in the shadows and I feel my heart begin to pound rapidly in my chest as I tightly squeeze my eyelids shut. I pray that the figure in the shadows will disappear. It has to disappear. Only my labored breathing disrupts the silence surrounding me. I slowly open my eyelids, just a slit at first, then slowly, one by one. Then, I see it. The shadowy figure is now standing over me, a sudden wave of terror surges through me like an electric current. I try to scream and run away, but my lips and limbs are paralyzed with fear. At five years old, this is my misery. I begin to feel the sting of tears welling up in my eyes when I notice the glare of light bleeding through my eyelids. In my last attempt at bravery, I cautiously open my eyes. To my surprise, my mommy is quietly sitting at the edge of my bed, holding my blanket. I smile at her with her unruly curls held back by a small black hair tie and her laughably over-sized glasses adorning her petite face. She gently brushes my bangs off of my forehead and smiles down at me sweetly. She holds out the blanket and as I reach out for it, all at once, my fears disappear. It feels soft and warm in my hands. I bring it to my nose and inhale deeply the scent of fresh laundry and sweet-smelling soap. The full and fluffy batting is now flattened and compressed into a thin, dense layer. Its white cloth is translucent in some areas from the
Security Blanket Melanie-Ann Oviedo
wear of my constant touch; its once bright colors of blue, red and yellow are now dull and faded into pale shades of their former color. The baby Mickey and Minnie Mouse embellished on the front are only recognizable as faceless blurs. Though it was ratty and grungy like an old stray dog, it always makes me feel comforted, reassured, and secure. In his anticipation of my arrival, my young father had bought it at the swap meet for a measly 25 cents while I was still growing and developing in the womb. When I made my entry into this massive, unfamiliar, and frightening world, my terrified and inexperienced parents used it to bundle me up tightly for the journey home to our new life together. As a baby, I spent most days on the living room floor, playing, scooting, and babbling on my blanket. Although I wanted to be adventurous and explore, I never set out of the boundaries it created around me. If I were to venture out, my mom would plop me right back into the center of the blanket, fearing that I might try to put my fingers into a light socket or get into a cabinet containing bathroom cleaner. It was my own little safety zone. Once I became a terrorizing toddler, big enough to walk, I would carry my blanket around with me everywhere I went. By the end of the week, it was a giant lint ball covered with chocolate pudding, finger paint, green beans, dirt from the backyard and just about anything that crossed my path. That is when my mom began washing it religiously. My mom especially despised when I wanted to take my blanket into the grocery store because she said that it made my pretty outfits look grubby. But she knew that I loved it too much to leave it behind without a fight, and I knew her fear of a public tantrum always trumped her embarrassment of the dingy blanket that I refused to leave the house without. When I grew older and established an intense fear of the dark, my attachment became even greater and my blanket was a necessity at bedtime. I remember dreading the days when my mom needed to wash it because I never knew if it would be done in time for me to go to sleep. Laying awake, imagining big scary spiders with long hairy legs that crept and crawled throughout my room or slimy, amorphous monsters that hid in the darkness, I would try to count the numbers I knew or recite the colors I had learned at school until my mom with her curls and glasses eventually came in with my soft, freshly cleaned blanket. I felt her warmth as my mom and I lay there talking quietly in the dark. We talked about what time weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d wake up in the morning and what I could wear to school on Monday, everyday topics that seemed to have no significant meaning at the time. As sleep began to creep in, she would gently pat my back, making the same quieted shushing noise she had made when I was a colicky infant and couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sleep. We lay there until our voices faded to whispers and I drifted off to sleep with my blanket tightly wrapped in my arms.
Leaves â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kim Foley
Poetry The craft of poetry involves the linguistically and syntactically conscious construction of ideas encapsulated within stanzas or short segments of prose. Though often drawing from autobiographical experience and employing a narrative form, poems can also be lyrical, fragmented, imagistic, or symbolic. Regardless of its agenda or form, poetry privileges rhythm and sound, instigates reflection and inspires conversation in the space of a few lines.
Clair de lune (Claire the Lunatic) SCARLETT HEYDT
CLAIR DE LUNE Votre âme est un paysage choisi Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques, Jouant du luth et dansant, et quasi Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques! Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune. Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur, Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune, Au calme clair de lune triste et beau, Qui fait rêver, les oiseaux dans les arbres, Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau, Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
– Paul Verlaine
CLAIRE THE LUNATIC My love stretches down a passage Why won’t she charm me from behind her mask I must sleuth to discover love Your disguise is so fantastic
Clair de lune Scarlett Heydt
You’re enchanting in such small ways Your love vanquishes with opportunity What a pair we make in lieu of individuals The love changes just like Claire the Lunatic You’re calm Claire despite the sadness you feel because of your beauty You’re fair skinned with perfect feet arches You’re the least of my worries, though So grand, even though you’ve lost all your marbles
– Scarlett Heydt
CANCION Si mi voz muriera en tierra, llevadla al nivel del mar y dejadla en la ribera. Llevadla al nivel del mar y nombradla capitana de un blanco bajel de guerra. Oh mi voz condecorada con la insignia marinera: sobre el corazón un ancla y sobre el ancla una estrella y sobre la estrella el viento y sobre el viento la vela!
CAUTION See my voice marry the earth Leave all navies with Mars And develop the river Leave all navies with Mars And name it captain Of a blank, bejeweled warfare Oh my voice condenses On the insignia of marriage Sober is the coral anchor And sober the stars of Venus And sober is Venus on veils!
– R. Alberti
– Christine Camou
Applying for a Job â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chelsea Brown
Literary Analysis Literary analysis, in this case poetic analysis, involves the exploration and interpretation of complex literary texts. Whether using socio-historical contexts, literary movements, or literary techniques and styles as an interpretive framework, a poetic analysis must make a claim about the textâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meaning and ultimately support that claim with textual evidenceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from diction, to symbols, to the way the words are arranged within a line or stanza.
Damsel in Control: Reevaluating the Truth to True Love JILLIAN SLOAN
Love is patient; love is kind; love is such a misconception. Shakespeare gives us the willowy, desperate love of Juliet and her Romeo. Wordsworth taints the idea of love further with harps, gazing eyes and swooning maidens. Maybe it’s that the times have changed, but Louise Gluck strips away the stuff of former romantics exposing the disenchanted woman and the idea of less than perfect love. In her poem, “Mock Orange,” Louise Gluck rewrites the concept of idyllic love with progressive feminism through her derogatory approach towards sex, disparaging words, and a tone of disillusionment. The feminist movement around the 1920’s focused strongly on women’s suffrage. By the 60’s and 70’s, a new feminist movement picked up, this time to campaign against social and sexist inequalities. The roles of women began to change, as did the choices they could make. More women were entering the work force than ever before. Women demanded equal pay and child care provisions from the government. Birth control empowered women with the choice to not have children. From the early 1920’s into the early 90’s (and even still today), women were fighting a constant battle against men for social equality (Feminism andWomen’s Studies 2005). Many women felt that the Civil Rights Acts should’ve also applied to gender inequalities. Even as the role of women in the workforce increased, the gaps between men and women remained wide.
Damsel in Control: Reevaluating the Truth to True Love Jillian Sloan
Poets like Louise Gluck expressed outrage regarding the feelings of inferiority towards men in their literary works. Her poems became widely popular because they were easy to relate to and understand. Without even digging into poem, her message resonates with women because they can understand where the poem is coming from. Understanding the context that Gluck wrote “Mock Orange” in is vital to understanding the title itself. Gluck is taking traditions, like the traditional gender roles women fill, and throwing them out the window. The title of this poem is ironic because orange blossoms are traditionally used in wedding ceremonies (Powell, 2007). The mock orange blossom (a real flower) is fitting because it hints at the classic orange blossom, but can also represent something less desirable. In the poem the mock orange seems to represent sex as a marital rite rather than a marital expression. We can come to that conclusion by the sexually suggestive language Gluck uses throughout the poem. The poem is framed by the mock orange flowers. It begins with the description of the flowers “lighting the yard,” and the speaker says, “I hate them./I hate them as I hate sex,” (“Mock Orange” 3-5). Then there is a loose description of her and “the man” having sex and what it fails to do – unite them. The poem ends with another description of the mock orange flowers. Although the romantic poets would never write of sex so boldly, they still paint an image of respect, admiration and perfect union. In line nine Gluck denounces that sort of intimate experience: “and the cry that always escapes,/ the low, humiliating/premise of union—” (“Mock Orange” 9-11). Without ever blatantly saying it, Gluck describes kissing and sex with condemning language through the use of diction. The cry is low and humiliating; it is enigmatic to the women’s place beneath man in every role – submitting to him in bed, cooking him dinner, doing his laundry, having a lower job than him, being paid less than him, and so on. Gluck illustrates the power of the man in line six when the speaker says, “the man’s mouth/sealing my mouth, the man’s/paralyzing body” (6-9). In this imagery, the man has control over the woman’s voice (what she can say) and control over her body (what can she do). Given the feminist revolution taking place, we know that women were battling that oppression. They had already obtained the right to vote, but now they were fighting for more equality in what they said and did. It is humiliating to an emotionally empowered woman to succumb to the man in some other way. In line 11 there is a “premise” or assumption of a union between the man and woman but not necessarily the empathetic bond of two souls in love as it appears in other romantic poems and stories. The speaker makes it sound as though the union between two lovers is assumed but that it is not always achieved beyond the physical act of sex. In the fourth stanza the speaker refers to herself thinking of a question and answer while trying to be empathetic and understanding; perhaps
Damsel in Control: Reevaluating the Truth to True Love Jillian Sloan
hoping or believing the man is doing the same. At this point the poem is building. The suggestive imagery of sex is building, Gluck uses the word “mounts” twice and it feels like the climax for both the poem and the sexual partners. The speaker says, “...splits into the old selves,/and tired antagonisms” (“Mock Orange” 16-17) and resigns that the thoughts she had of shared empathy are gone and they are back to the man and the woman. The word “antagonisms” is indicative of the constant opposition between man and woman. The tone of “Mock Orange” is overwhelmingly pessimistic and downtrodden. After the climax the speaker says, “We were made fools of ” (“Mock Orange” 18). This line suggests the speaker’s feeling of disillusionment. It seems as if the speaker is sharing an epiphany that the bond between man and woman is less than perfect, even faulted to a severe degree. The “we” the speaker addresses is possibly women as a whole, asking all women if they understand that they have been deceived. The tone can also be perceived through the use of the mock orange flowers. The poem opens with the symbol of love and beauty: the moon. The speaker says, “It is not the moon, I tell you./It is these flowers/lighting the yard” (“Mock Orange” 1-3). Gluck replaces the traditional symbol of romance with the mock orange blossoms previously established as representing a pejorative relationship. By replacing the glow of the moon with the glow of the flowers it seems as if Gluck rejects the existence of the moon, and thereby the existence of idyllic love. After breaking the news to women that they have been deceived, Gluck refers again to the mock orange flowers: “And the scent of mock orange/drifts through the window” (“Mock Orange” 19-20). The flowers are recognized by another sense and become more potent to the moment as the realization of inadequate love sets in. Gluck refers to the flowers again in the last stanza: “How can I rest? How can I be content when there is still that odor in the world” (21-4)? The “odor” in the world is representative of the inequalities and injustices to women; the odor of the man’s perspective where marriage is good the way it is, women are in their rightful place at home, man is dominant. The speaker expresses her discontent about sitting and doing nothing while women are taken advantage of and not appreciated as equals. After centuries of being fed utopia-like romantic writings of poets swooning fair maidens and love so powerful that it can conquer all obstacles, Louise Gluck modernizes the romantic partnership into something real. The overall image is nothing to be desired, but at the time it empowered women and encouraged them to stand stalwart. It is a relief to women relating to the poem who have
Damsel in Control: Reevaluating the Truth to True Love Jillian Sloan
never experienced the idyllic love that appears so often in literature and Hollywood love stories. Women arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t looking to be coddled by their husbands. They want to be respected and empathized with as equals. Gluck succeeds in this feminist revision by dispelling the concept of idyllic love and urging women to seek equality with men.
An Analysis of Mock Orange BRIANA VALDIVIA
Popular clichés have had a major impact on society’s view of romance, love and sex. The most clichéd stories represent women as the helpless, passive recipients of violence and rescue. Once rescued, or taught a lesson, the woman falls in love with the hero and gives herself to him. Society has expectations of romance that do not gel with reality. In Louise Gluck’s poem, “Mock Orange,” the speaker uses metaphors of flowers and the moon, the atmosphere of false union, and rhetorical questions in a feminist critique of the connection between sex and romance. The moon is generally a symbol of romance. This is likely because the moon is tied to Selene in Greek mythology (Moore). Selene is the goddess of the moon and well known for her many love affairs. She is the inspiration for many love poets and the moonlight is said to be her kisses falling upon her sleeping lover. The speaker, who I will refer to as a feminine figure, dismisses the moon right away in the first line of “Mock Orange.” It has no connection to her situation and she denies that it gives light to anything in her experience. By removing the moon, the immediate symbol of romance is stripped from her narrative. When considering the moon goddess Selene, the speaker’s denunciation of the moon is interesting. In the poem, it is the woman who is paralyzed by the man, but in Selene’s story it is exactly the opposite. Her lover was frozen in sleep for all eternity so that Selene
An Analysis of Mock Orange Briana Valdivia
could make love to him. Perhaps the author meant to highlight the difference between Selene and the speaker, thus making the speaker’s rejection of sex an overtly feminist action. The difference between the speaker and Selene also serves as a contrast to romance. Selene’s lover chose eternal slumber so that they could love forever. The speaker of the poem, however, feels forced into her position, unable to obtain that mythical romance. In lines 2-3 the speaker refers to flowers being the source of light. Humans are generally inclined to feel happy and amorous when presented with flowers (Britt). The most obvious explanation for this could be that blossoms are the sexual organs of the flower, but scientists can’t say for sure why humans derive pleasure from flowers. Luminous flowers are something beautiful beyond belief, perhaps making them an even bigger sign of love and desire. One could assume a woman presented with luminous flowers would swoon into the arms of her lover. Yet the speaker is spiteful toward the flowers when she says, “I hate them as I hate sex.” (Gluck 5). The romance is killed. She even abhors the smell of the flowers. They smell of oranges, and by referring to the scent as mock orange she may be saying they represent something false. She may also be identifying the smell as something that mocks her during her unromantic sexual interlude. The mock orange shrub is often used as a boundary hedge in gardens, so the flowers could also represent the barrier that exists between true romance and the romance that merely leads to sex in her relationship (Dictionary.com). The speaker sets a derisive tone for the union in the poem. The union is clearly the act of sexual unification. Yet for the speaker there is nothing truly uniting about having sex. There is a sense of being cut off, held down, held back, and generally oppressed. In the lines, “…the man’s/ paralyzing body-” (Gluck 7-8) and “the low, humiliating/premise of union-” (Gluck 10-11) caesura is used in the poem, representing the effect union has on the speaker. Caesura is a break in verse or conversation. In this instance it may represent a choked off gasp at the end of a desperate protest. She uses the words “paralyzing” and “humiliating” in those lines, making it easy to imagine being forced into submission and feel the shame in it. Sex with the pretense of romance or love-making takes her to a breaking point. There is no true union, just sex with the lazy impression of having feelings behind it. When she says they “split into the old selves/the tired antagonisms,” the pretense of there being a higher connection is dropped. She is telling us that sex is not the act of romance that society would have us see it as. It is a worthless act of gratification that she derives no pleasure from. The speaker uses rhetorical questions in this poem to represent her repulsion associated with sex. Her hatred for the flowers is revealed by her restlessness in the fact that they even exist, she asks: How can I rest? How can I be content
An Analysis of Mock Orange Briana Valdivia
while there is still that smell in the world? (Gluck 21-24) The questions are a clear indicator that she is sure that she can never be content with the state that the mock orange flowers leave her in. The flowers represent her relationship with her lover. She cannot be satisfied by their union since it makes a mockery of ideal romance between man and a woman. The whole event is a false representation of love. The lines, “…do you see?/We were made fools of,” show that she is aware of it and that her lover may also see that there is no love in sex. The question that goes unasked is whether or not he cares. This poem manages to evoke a sense of mutiny against romance through its usage of metaphors, union coupled with caesura, and rhetorical question. To view sex and romance from a feminist standpoint leaves the actions empty and lacking the feelings one would hope to come with these experiences. Louise Gluck is successful in using her speaker to criticize sex and romance in an utterly demoralizing way. REFERENCES Britt, Robert Roy. “Human Affection Altered Evolution of Flowers.” Live Science. 26 May 2005. 7 Oct. 2008 <http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/050526_flower_power.html>. “Mock Orange.” Def. 4. Dictionary.com. Ask.com. 7 Oct. 2008 <http://dictionary.refer ence.com/browse/mock%20orange>. Moore, Marsha. “Selene.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 2002. Encyclopedia Mythica Online. 7 Oct. 2008 <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/selene.html>.
Rushing Home â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugo Polanco
Professional Writing Professional writing is highly variegated because it encompasses the writing formats, styles, and conventions of various media and professional discourse communities. These pieces reflect the writersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; understanding of the rhetorical situation, which focuses on the very specific purpose, audience, and context that brings the writing into being. The following are examples of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; research into the language practices of their chosen professional communities.
Publishing Industry: An Examination of Writing Practices BRYNN COOPER
The purpose of this report is to not only gain knowledge of the publishing business, but also to gain a better understanding of the use of rhetorical analysis in reading and interpreting the written word. In order to accomplish this, the article “Horizons of the Publishable: Publishing in/as Literary Studies” written by Rachel Malik in the online scholarly journal Project Muse: Scholarly Journals Online was chosen. This article was chosen not only for its overview of the publishing business but also for its use of technical and professional terms throughout the piece. The report will hopefully show an in-depth look at the articles content and its relationship with how the writer chose to present that information. REVIEW OF LITERATURE For this project I decided to look into my hopeful future career of publishing. An often times less than lucrative career, the article “Horizons of the Publishable: Publishing in/as Literary Studies” by Rachel Malik gives a history of the job of publishing and what it means to authors and readers alike. She states “the context in which publishing came to be understood as an influence on writing and/or reading coincided with the moment when authority and responsibility for meaning shifted from author to reader and reading” (Malik, 2008, p. 707). Through this and other statements like it Malik hopes to show the reader the importance of the field of publishing and how, according to her, little credit it gets historically. She
Publishing Industry: An Examination of Writing Practices Brynn Cooper
compares different jobs and responsibilities in the book making process with that of the publisher. Malik tells the reader that the writer is respected and honored, the illustrator is allowed to show off his/her great talent as well, yet it is the decision of the publisher that holds the power to enable that respect. The influence of the market and commercial success on the publisher is also talked about in that they influence each other greatly. Through historical references and the use of larger words, the obvious audience is that of the publishing and writing world. Malik continues to explain the business of publishing to the reader, assuming that historical references and a general knowledge of the business are already there. Malik explains that the publisher strives to meet market demand or predict the next demand within the market, ultimately determining what gets printed for the masses; while the masses equally influence what will be printed for themselves. The intricacies of past publishing decisions and the unknown of today’s decreasing readers market will determine the future of the publishing world according to the article. Malik states, “I propose that publishing is a set of historical processes and practices –composition, editing, design and illustration, production, marketing and promotion, and distribution- and a set of relations with various other institutions – commercial, legal, educational, political, cultural, and, perhaps, above all, other media. Publishing as a set of processes and relations forms a sequence of range of what I term horizons of the publishable, which govern what is thinkable to publish within a particular historical moment” (Malik, 2008, p. 709). METHODS OF RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS To research this topic an article was needed in my prospective job field of interest that not only was informational but interesting to read as well. In order to find an article that met those criteria Arizona State University’s online library and search engines were used. Searching under a general word of “publishing” I came across multiple articles that would be sufficient for the particular analysis. After briefly over viewing a few of the articles I came upon “Horizons of the Publishable: Publishing in/as Literary Study” and enjoyed the challenge it presented to its reader in not only length but technical and professional word usage as well. In selecting this article for review the next step was to select the correct rhetorical questions to ask regarding this article, the following were chosen. Is the article providing information so that others can act or make a decision? What positions, biases, or attitudes are the readers likely to have on or toward the subject? What does the author want the reader to know or become after reading or listening to what she has to say? Is the article telling the truth as far as I know and understand it? (Kennedy & Montgomery, 2002) These four questions were chosen because they helped to dissect the advanced writing style of the author as well as the content about which she wrote. RESULTS The following words and concepts are examples of vocabulary and terms used
Publishing Industry: An Examination of Writing Practices Brynn Cooper
throughout the article that could indicate the specific audience of those within the field of publishing, or simply well-educated academics. Style, Genre, intertextuality, adaptation, topos and mantra, nuanced, discourse, congruence, Annales history, illustration, format, typography, distribution, reprinting, text, context, speculatively, effaced, canonical boundaries, poststructuralist move, ossifying constraint Also, the following is a list of a few of the references throughout the article, which can also indicate an academic audience. Roger Chartier Roland Barthes “The Death of the Author” and “From Work to Text” Jacques Derrida Mallarme From this brief listing of word choices and references within the article we can see that her target audience is no just your everyday passerby but an audience that is familiar with the written word, possibly academic, and also interested in the field of publication. (Malik, 2008) DISCUSSION Horizons of the Publishable: Publishing in/as Literary Studies Q1: Is the article providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: Generally the article is not enabling anyone. Through well researched and thorough argument the author is persuading the reader to understand the point of view that publishing is and has been throughout history an underappreciated source of communication. “And publishing history is still constituted far too often in the form of biographies, official histories of publishing houses, memoirs, and interviews—as the accumulated record of individual decisions. “Publishing is at once banalized and mystified” (Malik, 2008, p. 710-711). Through this excerpt we see one concept that Malik makes throughout her article, which is she wants her reader to not only see publishing as a market or business but also as an important entity to written communication. The article also points out that the publisher is the communicator between the writer and the reader. “Many images suggest themselves here: the publisher as a benign or malign chameleon who inhabits and understands two opposing worlds, traveling between them, carrying messages, a translator, an interpreter” (Malik, 2008, p. 710). Through the use of a really poetic sentence the author is showing the different ways that publishers are the gateway of written works from writers to their readers. Q2: What positions, biases, or attitudes are the readers likely to have on or toward the subject? A: Because the article is published in an academic journal, the audience is most likely of the academic and professional mindset with an interest in the main subject of the piece, publishing. Through advanced language with the use of academic words such as “metonymy” (Malik, 2008, p. 714) and “semantic” (Malik, 2008, p. 718) the reader
Publishing Industry: An Examination of Writing Practices Brynn Cooper
would either need broad vocabulary knowledge, or a dictionary handy. The results table above gives more examples of this advance vocabulary. The bias or attitude of the reader would most likely lean more toward agreement with the author in the argument of the need and importance of the profession of publishing, because of the target audience of the academic journal. Q3: What does the author want the reader to know or become after reading or listening to what she has to say? A: Through the use of subtle persuasion the author is trying to inform the audience of a view that portrays publishing as an underappreciated profession. The use of reliable sources and compelling quotes helps to confirm the position of the importance of the profession. Within any particular horizon, the publishable encompasses what is most likely to be produced and what is least likely: from the highly probable to the barely possible. It likewise shapes reading and interpretative possibilities in equivalently graduated contingency (Malik, 2008, p. 721). So, after reading the piece the author is hoping to get the reader to understand where the written word would be without publishing. Q4: Is the article telling the truth as far as I know and understand it? A: The author is speaking the truth in the context of her sources and interviewees. “My definition of publishing stresses the multiplicity of processes and also the variable relations between them. Relations between publishing practices can cohere and/ or conflict” (Malik, 2008, p. 715). She clearly states her opinion in the article, which makes this reader think that the author believes she is indeed telling the truth for her. It would be interesting to get an opposing view on the subject to see how “true” this article is, as there are always two or three sides to a story. CONCLUSION The purpose of this report was to not only gain a better understanding of the field of publishing, but also to gain a better perspective on written work through rhetorical analysis. By following the guidelines given to properly rhetorically analyze a piece of written work the understanding came. Through this article the history of the field was covered, but also the ways in which the author subtly persuades an opinion, assumes the readers background and general knowledge, and also references other pieces of literature to get her view across was recognized and ultimately understood. REFERENCES Kennedy, G. E., & Montgomery, T. T. (2002). Technical and ProfessionalWriting Solving Problems at Work. (L. jewell, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America: Prentice Hall. Malik, R. (2008). Horizons of the Publishable: Publishing in/as Literary Studies. Project Muse Schol arly Journals Onlinel , 75 (3), 707-735.
Financial Implosion and Stagnation Back to the Real Economy ANTHONY BORRERO
My career goals include involvement in the field of economics and as such I decided to rhetorically analyze a topic that is of significant importance to current national events. This topic focuses on the convoluted and deteriorating aspects of credit and equity markets which have led to an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions. This is discussed in detail in a publication written by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Financial Implosion and Stagnation: Back to the Real Economy.â&#x20AC;? In this report I will present my rhetorical analysis of the general motives for the publication and of the vast challenges that the authors indicate must be confronted. The scope of the article is quite broad in that it establishes a sense of historical continuity as the authors describe how capitalism has transcended throughout the last half century. The authors engage the reader by instituting a common purpose and dire need to achieve a more balanced economic base by addressing the trepidations of median income households as well as comprehensively restructuring our legislative order. In short, the article focuses on the position, that we must rethink prior conceptions regarding economics, and rise as a nation of common principles to begin to overcome such enormous obstacles. The article features in depth explanations as to the cause of such profound uncertainty, yet is written in a very clear and understandable manner enabling a broad array of readers to comprehend the complexities that must be
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
undertaken. In completing the analysis, I discovered that the authors write in a form that establishes an overall purpose by gradually engaging the reader in a dialogue that insightfully describes dire circumstances and evokes an emotional reaction consequently urging others to aspire to a cause greater than them. REVIEW OF LITERATURE According to the journal article â&#x20AC;&#x153;Financial Implosion and Stagnation: Back to the Real Economy,â&#x20AC;? the United States in the 1970â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s had begun slowing down in terms of growth, and as a result financialization had emerged as the solution to an economy in which production and investment were deteriorating (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). Hence, the personal indebtedness of Americans soared while business began pursuing unsympathetic policies to push labor costs down in an attempt to increase the rate of profitability. It is noted that within several decades financialization had grown to over 22% the size of the economy, essentially replacing production as the central stimulant to demand. As a result, the authors claim that business became increasingly dependent upon the expansion of credit markets to enlarge its money capital (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). Additionally, the authors argue that excessive risk taking, financial manipulation, and irrational speculation became exceedingly prevalent due to the lack of regulation and oversight from governmental administrative agencies. For instance, the article discusses the fact that many legislative statutes that were created after the Great Depression to prevent markets from systemic risk have been dismantled. However, they explain that the most critical element in this dilemma happens to be the disproportionate rate of decline of the middle-class wages as compared to the chieftains of Industry (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). This change in wages occurred despite significant advances in productivity and increase in corporate profits over the past few decades. Consequently, the text indicates that the compounding extension of credit became the framework for the American consumption model which allowed developing countries and much of the world to supply their products and thus benefit from it in a symbiotic relationship. According to the article, as home loans were securitized, credit became exceedingly abundant at a time when interest rates were at historic lows and fraudulent business practices began to emerge amid steadily rising home prices. In the text, the authors suggest that the ability of the lenders from incurring any risk when issuing questionable loans by means of securitization of mortgage backed securities is one of the primary causes of the current financial crisis. In summary, the authors John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff argue that the United States now faces an economic debacle of immeasurable magnitude due to its financial excesses within the underlying economy and the deprivation of investment spending and unutilized industrial capacity.
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
METHODS OF RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS Using the ASU libraries’ website and connecting to the cumulative index to Social Sciences database I began to search for research articles related to economics. Using the search engine by Wilson Web, I entered the phrases “financial crisis” and “United States.” I chose those two keywords because for quite some time I have been interested in the study of economics and I think the current economic crisis has ramifications that will be felt by present and future generations. I was quickly able to find numerous academic articles on the subject and started to read, so that I could begin to summarize and rhetorically analyze the text. The questions that I decided to use for my rhetorical analysis are listed below which have been adapted from the textbook, Technical and ProfessionalWriting by G. Kennedy and T. Montgomery. Are the authors providing information so that others can act or make a decision? What purpose does the audience have for reading or listening to what the authors are communicating? What do the authors want the audience to know or become after reading or listening to what they have to say? Are there physical, financial, political, or philosophical constraints? (p. 58-59) After reading the scholarly article I decided to select those four questions because I thought they were the most appropriate given the type of publication and would adequately present as well as reflect the historical significance and scope of the current economic circumstances facing Americans. After reading the text, I chose the first question due to the fact that the authors are encouraging others to make an informed decision by considering the information and empirical evidence provided in the article. Subsequently, I think the audience’s purpose for reading the article was very much the same as the authors’ reasons for publishing the journal. Therefore, I selected several questions that focus on the relationship between what the authors attempt to convey and what the audience’s intentions are for reading the publication. Finally, I decided on the last question given that there are many impediments and interdependencies within the underlying economy, which undermine our future standard of living and are essential in understanding the sheer magnitude of this crisis. DISCUSSION Financial Implosion and Stagnation: Back to the Real Economy Q1: Are the authors providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: In my opinion, the purpose of the article is to inform readers of the severity of the economic crisis as well as the structural deficiencies that have been embedded in our capital system for decades. The authors establish a sense of urgency by contending that the current deteriorating condition of our economy is greatly
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
attributed to the failure in recognizing the enormity of the structural imbalances within the real economy and the abandonment of a regulatory framework. The authors explain that the elements contributing to this crisis cannot be allowed to continue; otherwise the conditions worsen at an accelerated rate making a recovery unfeasible. In persuading others, the authors are attempting to enable readers to make an informed decision to support the changes that will be necessary to recover from this crisis. The seriousness of the situation is articulated in the authors’ clarification of why the real economy is contracting at such an accelerated pace. For example, the article states that consumption is approaching record declines, jobs are rapidly vanishing, and single-family home construction is nearing a twenty-six year low (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). However, according to the journal, the systemic issues are deeply rooted and consist of staggering levels of income inequality, lack of investment and production, and excessive risk-taking which have a corrosive effect on long-term economic growth. In educating others, the authors strive to create awareness in what our role is as citizens necessary in restoring our democracy. The authors are encouraging others to get involved and create a social movement to bring about real change. For instance, the text argues that a massive class struggle is imperative in order to recover from this contraction, which would facilitate crafting of an agenda that serves the economic interests of the masses rather than just the privileged few (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). The authors’ state that “the class forces blocking a major increase in civilian governmental spending even in a severe stagnation should not be underestimated and any advances in this direction will require a radical movement from below” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 26). Equally, the article explains that over time the flow of economic life has become increasingly redefined as a process involving only individuals, consumers and producers that are profiting on the margin without considering the value or the impact of these processes to society (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). “Economics was thus purified of all class and political elements, and increasingly presented as a neutral science, addressing universal/trans-historical principles of capital and market relations” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 23). Consequently, the authors illustrate the fact that for decades the severe imbalance between capitalism and democracy has enabled the capitalist class to blatantly prosper at the expense of the masses and that the wealthy should be held responsible for the main burdens now imposed on society (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). For example, “in the United States the top one percent of wealth holders in 2001 together owned more than twice as much as the bottom eighty percent of the population” (Wolff, 2005, p. 186). John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff (2008) note in the article that: It is the well-to-do who should foot the bill—not only for reasons of elementary justice, but also because they collectively and their system constitute the reason that things are as bad as they are; and because the best way to help both the
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
economy and those at the bottom is to address the needs of the latter directly. (p. 25) The authors illustrate in the previous quote that the wealthy must be willing to make monetary sacrifices on behalf of their country due to the fact that the intrinsic flaws and imbalances in our capitalistic system have so greatly benefitted the elitist class at the cost of the majority of society. Finally, the authors convey a message of hope and perseverance by persuading others that we are in control of our own fate and must demand that the people’s social and economic interests be reprioritized. Q2: What purpose does the audience have for reading or listening to what the authors are communicating? A: The purpose of the audience reading this article would be to gain an overall understanding of the factors that have contributed to the recent economic calamity and to prevent the economy from further hemorrhaging in the future. I think a crisis of this magnitude brings about a window of opportunity in which there are teachable moments associated with the meltdown that can be used to make substantial changes. These authors are trying to seize the moment in emphasizing the fact that unless the people stand up and demand change just as others did following the Great Depression, the elements of continuity will continue to outstrip that of change. Nevertheless, I believe historical illiteracy threatens us all due to the likelihood that we could repeat previous errors in policy as well as behavior and fail to learn from the successes of others. According to the authors, ironically many of the fundamental dynamics that have led to this crisis were also present in the late 1920’s leading up to the Great Depression. The authors John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff state that: The failure of received economics to learn the lessons of the Great Depression, i.e., the inherent flaws of a system of class-based accumulation in its monopoly stage, included a tendency to ignore the fact that the real problem lay in the real economy, rather than in the monetary-financial economy. (p. 23) The quote above illustrates the fact that we are simply repeating the same conceptual fallacies that had transpired nearly a century ago by failing to recognize that the root cause consists of a widening income gap and declining productivity as opposed to a monetary policy issue. Additionally, the audience may want a clear explanation of the approaches taken by the Federal Reserve and Treasury in response to the recent credit crisis so that a judgment can be made regarding the allocation of bailout funds. In meeting this desire, the article thoroughly explains the sequence of events leading up to and following the current collapse of the financial system in describing the TARP (troubled-asset relief program) and the governments’ role in acting as the “lender of last resort” given the lack of willingness or inability of the private sector to lend. The overall purpose of the audience reading the article would be to gain an awareness of the false beliefs and irresponsible behavior that have preceded several deflationary contractions throughout the
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
last century. Q3: What do the authors want the audience to know or become after reading or listening to what they have to say? A: In my opinion, after reading the article, the authors would like the reader to acknowledge that long-term economic growth relies upon empowering those workers at the bottom of the income ladder while building the necessary infrastructure as opposed to intangible financial gains to individuals at the top. For example, the authors discuss the enormous role government spending played in the wide-spread prosperity of the 1950’s through the 1960’s in developing the suburbs, constructing the interstate highway system, and the expanding of productive industries (Baran & Sweezy, 1966). Furthermore, the authors would also like readers to concede that perfection is unattainable, in that markets tend to not reflect reality when there is a great consensus of optimism within the investing community thus obscuring the judgment and use of risk management mechanisms. The authors indicate that the lure and cause of such unprecedented financial profits and the improper quantification of risk was to be found in “corporations betting thirty or more borrowed dollars for every dollar of their own that was used” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 11). In discussing the deteriorating economic conditions of households and the country, the authors eloquently state that the key element is the falling ratio of wages and salaries of blue collar workers as a percentage of national income (Foster & Magdoff, 2008). For example, “between 1983 and 2001, the top one percent grabbed 28 percent of the rise in national income, thirty-three percent of the total gain in net worth, and fifty-two percent of the overall growth in financial worth” (Wolff, 2005, p. 186). The authors would also ask for the audience to recognize the general misconceptions of market forces that have led us to where we are today. For instance, the misguided view that home values and the extension of credit, will continue to increase indefinitely, has perhaps been the most damaging and influential aspect of the housing bubble. The article states that these unbalanced forces, during periods of speculative bubbles, have been endemic to capitalism since its inception due to the infrequency with which debt-deflation processes occur (Magdoff & Sweezy, 1975). The authors argue that people should avoid the temptation of engaging in irrational speculation due to the market’s inability to correct excesses without exposure to overwhelming volatility. There is also a warranted attempt from the authors to warn of a potential debt-deflationary spiral in which “the liquidation of debt cannot keep up with the fall of prices which it causes” (Fischer, 1933, p. 344) They note that this is an emerging possibility in the near future if the United States is unable to halt the accelerated rate of unemployment and demand destruction. The lasting impression the authors strive to impart is that a vibrant and sustainable economic system requires the embracing of ethical standards and investment in the development of the middle class.
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
Q4: Are there physical, financial, political, or philosophical constraints? A: There are several constraints that are discussed in the article. The political and philosophical problems concerning the economy are essentially linked by the widely-held belief that markets can self regulate which has been influencing public policy for decades. The authors establish the fact that “the politics that was promoted was so closely intertwined with the system of economic power as to be nearly invisible” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 24). The journal discusses the rise of market fundamentalism in the 1970’s, and as a result policies began to favor businesses at the cost of society. The authors state in the journal that “in the 1970’s the practice of economics lost its explicit political-economic cast, and the world was led back once again to the mythology of self regulating, self equilibrating markets free of issues of class and power” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 24). Consequently as the article establishes, labor has a fraction of the bargaining power it once had and many dominant industries have become immensely unregulated. In addition, one of the most eminent financial constraints, identified in the article, is the stagnating wages of middle class workers who have been forced to rely on credit to maintain their standard of living. However, as indicated in the text, the most significant financial limitation is embedded in the financial industry itself, in which major trends such as credit expansion and appreciating asset values feed each other creating a frenzy or “irrational exuberance” severely impeding the markets’ ability to recognize the intrinsic value of the underlying assets. Perhaps the most detrimental financial constraint to long-run economic growth is the lack of investment in the development and productive capacity of the capital goods industry. The authors state that “profits were increasingly directed away from investment in the expansion of productive capacity and toward speculation, while the financial sector seemed to generate unlimited types of financial products designed to make use of this money capital” (Foster & Magdoff, 2008, p. 20). Therefore, the capital entering other industries was greatly overshadowed by that of the financial sector, devastating and depriving many of the productive segments that the economy was so dependent upon. Generally speaking, the limitations of capitalism are evidently clear in that the compounding effect of the financial, political and philosophical constraints create unjust opportunities where irrational and irresponsible behavior is rewarded to the detriment of society. CONCLUSION Publications written by economists and analysts attempt to present information and evidence in a manner that can assist various foundations, bureaus, and professional associations make decisions that are based on specific economic data. However, this journal article tends to serve a broader audience than most economic periodicals in that the majority of its focus is centered on national economic responsibility and the notion of achieving more equality by taking action.
Financial Implosion and Stagnation - Back to the Real Economy Anthony Borrero
In the article “Financial Implosion and Stagnation: Back to the real economy”, the authors write for a general audience with the purpose of initiating an insightful dialogue of why we face such immense economic uncertainty and what can be done to restore the confidence and legislative order in our republic. The authors provide a sobering discussion of what is at stake at this momentous point in our nation’s history if we continue to neglect the factors that have made this country so successful. The fundamental question the authors ask of readers and would like them to ponder is where we see this country headed and can we rise to the tests of our time by leaving the U.S. in a better condition than when we inherited it. The lasting impression the authors attempt to leave is that we must be prepared to make sacrifices to restructure our ways of thinking by supporting policies that make economic sense and are not politically motivated. The authors write in a descriptive and thought provoking manner educating and enticing readers to forcefully oppose the inequalities and injustices that have been ignored for far too long. The purpose, audience, and context was the centerpiece of my rhetorical analysis in which I discovered that the authors’ generalized many of the circumstantial aspects that exist while attempting to appeal to emotion by discussing the audience’s role in perfecting our union. After reading the article, I concur with many of the arguments made and think that the reestablishment of a vibrant middle class will ensure our security as a nation and financial well-being. This article was useful in understanding the approaches of writing taken in developing academic journals for applied and social sciences with the purpose of informing an inclusive audience. In the future, I will continue to educate myself regarding economics and hope to obtain a master’s in the field following the completion of my accounting degree. REFERENCES Baran, P., & Sweezy, P. (1966). New York Monthly Review Press. Monopoly Capital. Fischer, I. (1933). The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions. Econometrica Foster, J., & Magdoff, F. (December 2008) Financial implosion and stagnation. Independent Socialist Magazine. Retrieved January 22, 2009 from Academic Wilson Web database. Wolff, E. (2005) Class Matters. Times Books
A Rhetorical Look at Writing in Accountancy CECILIA CRUZ
This report will present a rhetorical analysis on two journal articles from the accounting field in order to understand how the authors communicate information to other professionals in their field. The first article titled “Financial Illusion: Accounting for Profit in an Enron World”, was chosen because it talked about ethical dilemmas in accounting. I found it interesting to present because ethical problems in the accounting industry have been on the rise in the past years and I wanted to explore the points of view of those professionals. The next article analyzed “Work Lean to Control Costs”, advocated a new accounting method called Lean Accounting. This article was chosen because Lean Accounting is one of the newest and most effective costing methods, but has however, confronted a hard shoulder from accountants who are not trained properly and don’t know how to implement the system in their companies. Both articles will help demonstrate the intrinsic motives and techniques used by the authors to influence their targeted audiences that consist of accounting professionals. REVIEW OF LITERATURE The first article that was analyzed “Financial Illusion: Accounting for Profit in an Enron World” (hereafter Article One) was retrieved from the journal of Economic Issues, and talked about how the lack of corporate regulation and incorrect ideas of market efficiency have led
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
to an increase in fraudulent corporate practices. The author uses Enron Corporation as evidence of the emerging problems in corporate America’s accounting policies and presented five underlying issues that led to the failure of Enron and many other top firms in the industry. The five issues he presented are: reduction in regulatory oversight, the increased reliance on financial assets, stock option incentive programs, the unprincipled agent problem, and the evolution of accounting for profits. The author then discussed the different ways in which the government and the industry responded to these issues, such as by increasing market regulations through the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and by new regulation policies such as GAAP, which is a set of accounting standards that accountants by law, have to adhere by. The second article that was analyzed titled “Work Lean to Control Costs” (hereafter Article Two), was retrieved from the journal Manufacturing Engineering, and talked about Lean Accounting, a new costing method that is used to evaluate processing costs and performance of a company. This system has become increasingly popular in accounting, and many accountants consider it more efficient than the traditional costing method, Activity Based Costing (ABC). As an illustration, the article used Toyota as an example of a company who adopted Lean Accounting and reported positive outcomes. The author also contrasted ABC with Lean Accounting and pointed out the main differences between both methods, such as a reduction in costs and increases in production control. He then acknowledged that lean accounting is a fairly new concept in the American industry and that although it has gained more popularity among accountants, there are still misunderstandings of how lean accounting is supposed to ideally work, which he attributed to a lack of inclination and education from American managers. METHODS OF RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS Both articles used in this report were chosen from financial journals gathered from two distinct resource databases using the ASU libraries’ website. After accessing the website, the first step of the analysis was to begin my research for two articles that discussed current issues in the accounting field. I first accessed the search engine Social Sciences Full Text, through ASU research databases index and proceeded to seek articles that contained information on ethical issues in accounting and on new accounting techniques. It was there I was able to successfully find an article about accounting standards. Secondly, I connected to ProQuest where I found an article on accounting techniques. Once I had carefully selected the articles, I read them thoroughly in order to intelligently select at least four questions that I could rhetorically analyze. The questions were selected from the textbook Technical and ProfessionalWriting by G. Kennedy and T. Montgomery p. 58-59. The final five questions I chose are the following: Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision?
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
Was the author maintaining or improving his professional image? What is the author’s audiences’ background level of education and technical expertise? Did the author take into consideration his audiences position, attitude, or biases towards his subject? Does anything about this subject present an ethical problem to the author? After having read the rticles and selected the questions to be analyzed, I immersed myself in a meticulous breakdown of the writing in order to successfully answer the five questions. However, one of the biggest constraints of the methodology used for this report was that there was no way of directly knowing what the authors’ thinking and motives were when they writing the articles. Hence, I chose those particular questions because they appeared to be the most relevant and clear to discuss based on the constraints and nature of the articles I had selected. DISCUSSION Financial Illusion: Accounting for Profit in an EnronWorld Q1: Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: In this article the author wanted to inform his readers that the deregulation of the financial sector and loosened oversight of accounting and trading practices had lead to a fragile market industry, perhaps to enable his audience to make informed decisions. In order to demonstrate his ideas, the author used factual information of the trends and deficiencies of the stock market and presented tables to show that corporations have become increasingly reliant on financial assets. For example, he presented a table with information on the previous year’s stock market history where it showed that in fact, non-monetary assets had increased in the previous years, and stated “The value of non- monetary financial assets relative to book value of tangible assets has increased steadily in every business cycle period” (Hake, 2005, p. 599). He also informed the audience that the agency in charge of market regulations has been under funded and specifically mentioned this in the sentence, “During the stock market boom, funding for the agency [SEC] increased so slowly that the review of each corporation slipped from once every three years to once every seven”(Hake, 2005, p. 597). Nevertheless, I believe the author was also persuading his audience to agree with his ideas of why the market structure was unstable. The author argued that the two major causes of the market problems are the credit economy and unregulated accounting policies and mentioned that “Misguided notions of market efficiency have undermined the regulatory processes necessary to limit fraudulent corporate practice” (Hake, 2005, p. 597), meaning that deregulation decreased while the public’s faith on stock markets increased, therefore allowing companies to easily commit fraud. The author’s logic became questionable in his effort to prove his ideas. For example he concluded, “The rapid collapse of Enron indicates the relevance of Ve-
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
blen’s theory of the firm” (Hake, 2005, p. 609), suggesting that the emerging credit economy was responsible for the rapid collapse of Enron. However, it is widely known that many other crucial factors contributed to Enron’s failure. Throughout the article, the author also continued to accuse accounting firms as being principally responsible for recent corporate failures and the inflated stock markets. Stating that, “Accounting firms and other financial intermediaries will continue to create and sell financial instruments and strategies to corporations that increase the ability to manipulate stated earnings” (Hake, 2005, p. 606). This is because the author believes that competition within the accounting industry has encouraged the falsification of financial statements, and stated for example “A cavalier attitude about the veracity of financial statements was encouraged in part by increased competition between accounting firms” (Hake, 2005, p. 597). I believe the author used a variety of this type of opinionated statements in order to be more persuasive to his audience. Q2: What is the author’s audiences’ background level of education and technical expertise? A: The author appeared to be writing to a broad range of people in the financial industry and not just specifically to accountants. In certain instances the author provided further explanation on accounting terms, for example in one sentence he explained “ The growth of “structured finance”, the conscious manipulation of contract and recording practices to increase tax deductions and move assets or debts of the books”(Hake, 2005, p. 603). The sentence clearly shows that he considered that the reader might not be highly knowledgeable of accounting terminology and thus provided a definition to the term “structured finance”. However, I still believe that the author was mainly speaking to an educated audience with intermediate financial knowledge because he did not always explain the abundance of other technical terms and jargon throughout the article. On the secondary level of audience analysis, the author did take into consideration what the audience didn’t know about the issue he was arguing, and addressed this by presenting some background information on his case. For instance, he briefly gives the reader some history on Enron Corporation by saying “Enron was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history…followed amid allegations of fraudulent accounting practices…” (Hake, 2005, p. 595). He then proceeded to talk about the development of the company’s internal problems, which I believe would clearly fill in the audience with information they may not be aware of. Q3: Does anything about this subject present an ethical problem to the author? A: In Article One the author did appear to introduce his ethical stance on the matter. The author admitted that the article was about more than just a “moral hazard”, which I believe he meant that the role of ethics and morality in the market problems were important issues to discuss. The author might have done this because it’s hard not to have an ethical position or bias when one writes about an issue where as a result of bad business ethics many innocent people were nega-
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
tively affected. The author called corporate financial reporting a Financial Illusion, and I believe that from an ethical stand point, but not from a legal perspective, the author is correct since it can be argued that accounting financial statements are not as transparent as they should be. However, I do believe that the author did his best to present the truth, as he knew it. It also appeared that the author knew his audience would be biased on the subject and provided plenty of factual data to support his claims. The author even reminded his audience that Enron had been seen by many as one of the most innovative companies in the U.S. and stated “practices that led to Enron’s collapse had previously been praised as visionary” (Hake, 2005, p. 595). I believe he did this because Enron and the market bubble of 2001 collapsed for a variety of reasons and people have different standpoints on the matter. Some people can blame bad ethics of the companies involved while others may feel that the government and accountants are the ones to blame. Work Lean to Control Costs Q1: Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: I believe the primary purpose of the article was to enable the audience to effectively adopt a Lean accounting system by informing the reader the key advantages of lean accounting. The author clearly stated this point by saying “I will list in the remainder of this article a numbers of ways, that one can identify and judge operations to be truly lean” (Johnson, 2005, p. 78). The author also wants the reader to know that although Activity Based Accounting (ABC) used to be an efficient accounting method, in this day and age, it is no longer as useful. Now, the innovative method Lean Accounting, is a more efficient and cost effective technique. He also went on to point out some of the mistakes companies make when measuring costs with the traditional method ABC. He said for example, “Producing more output to reduce average unit costs is a time honored pathway to excess, delay, and abnormal variation” (Johnson, 2005, p. 131). Readers can use this information to know that high production in a company is inefficient. They can also then judge for themselves where the flaws in the traditional system lie. I concluded that the author also wanted to enable readers to stay competitive in the industry since he specifically stated that, “American businesses must begin to connect with the concrete [Lean Accounting methods] and soon if they are going to survive” (Johnson, 2005, p. 78). Although this statement can be persuasive to the audience, I believe the author genuinely wanted to inform the readers of the importance of adopting contemporary accounting techniques. Q2: Was the author maintaining or improving his professional image? A: In this article, the author was trying to improve his image and actually said that he wanted to revise some of his previously written theories in order to introduce a better approach to his audience about accounting methods that he was not
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
aware of before. He made this specifically clear when he stated, “My new understanding [lean accounting] made the message in my 1989 manufacturing engineering article seem woefully inadequate!”(Johnson, 2005, p. 112) The author clearly mentions in the article that in 1989, he put the new accounting method Activity Based Accounting on the map, but said that he had a complete turnaround in ideas that caused him to believe that it was time to stop promoting Activity Based Accounting. Q3: What is the author’s audiences’ background level of education and technical expertise? A: In this article, I believe the author is writing to an audience that is mostly composed of management accountants who have advanced technical expertise. I concluded this because of the continuous use of accounting jargon in the article and because it shared information that was especially significant to the accounting and management fields. Immediately in the article, the author began discussing accounting systems and said for example, “Activity based costing addressed an accounting problem; namely, how to more accurately trace overhead costs to products and departments” (Johnson, 2005, p. 75). Only an audience knowledgeable in accounting or manufacturing management would be able to comprehend what the author means in this sentence. The author continued to use terms such as “average unit cost” and “low total cost” in almost every paragraph in the article, which also shows that the audience is expected to understand about accounting terms, since it is most likely that an accountant or cost manager would know what these terms refer too and how to use that information. Q4: Did the author take into consideration his audiences position, attitude, or biases towards his subject? A: I do believe the author considered the audience of this article could be doubtful of the benefits of lean accounting. In the authors’ opinion, managers in America are not sufficiently aware or trained on new accounting techniques, but are rather stuck in the traditional accounting systems. He got this point across by saying that “American managers are not inclined nor educated [lean accounting], to see the world concretely in the moment” (Johnson, 2005, p. 78). The author knew that his targeted audience, accountants and managers, would be hesitant about adopting lean accounting since they had been educated through many years of schooling to analyze and implement the traditional accounting systems. Because lean accounting is a fairly new system, managers might naturally fear switching to a system that is unknown and foreign to them. The author said that “American accountants still seem compelled to create systems that might replicate in a lean setting the traditional cost controls that American companies have used for decades”(Johnson, 2005, p. 82). I take this to mean, that the author is aware that either a portion of his audience have tried it and failed because they didn’t know how to implement it effectively, or they are fearful of trying it at all. I think
A Rhetorical Look of Writing Styles in Accountancy Cecilia Cruz
that by explaining that it is not lean accounting that is at fault for the system being under-effective, but rather it is the fault of the individual who incorrectly implements it, allows his audience to know that he is aware of the possible resistance, thus allowing them is more open to his ideas. CONCLUSION After having rhetorically analyzed both articles from the accounting field it has become clear that most finance writing is intended to a targeted audience in the accounting and financial industry. Personally, I was able to gain a different perspective on the authors writing techniques, by realizing that professional journal authors have specific purposes and audiences in mind, even though they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t specifically state it in the article or in any type of side note. I concluded this, mainly because of the high amount of jargon used, which made it obvious that students or a general audience who would want to fully appreciate and understand the writing would have to do further research on the accounting terms being used. Nevertheless, students can learn a lot about the career they intend to enter by analyzing pieces of writing from other authors in their field. By reading professional journals, students can gain not only knowledge about their area of study, but also insight into how people in their professional fields communicate. REFERENCES Johnson, H. T. (2005). Work lean to control costs. Manufacturing Engineering, 135, 75-84. Hake, E. R. (2005). Financial illusion: accounting for profits in an Enron world. Journal of Economic Issues, 3, 595-608. Kennedy E.G. & Montgomery T. T. (2002). Technical and ProfessionalWriting Solving Problems atWork. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting JOSE RAMIREZ
Authors write articles for a purpose, and that purpose varies from one author to another. Whether the authors are writing about engineering or financing, they tend to focus their attention on a pre-determined audience. For example, an individual in the medical field would not write a piece for someone in the construction field to read. This is because the author has structured his writing so that medical careerrelated individuals could understand the point that presented in the article. As an accounting major, it only made sense for me to choose articles in this related field. The purpose of this writing assignment was to choose a few articles in my profession and apply the fundamental concepts of rhetorical analysis so that I could better understand how the author constructed these articles. With that, I carefully read and tried to apply what I have learned about rhetorical analysis so that I could get a further understanding regarding the purpose behind each piece of work. The following articles were chosen simply because they pertained to my current profession, and because they present key factors that hold true within the accounting field. REVIEW OF LITERATURE Accountant as a Multi-Tasker; Choose CarefullyThe article, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Accountant as a Multi-Tasker; Choose CarefullyThis is a key person in your team whose services you cannot afford to
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez
underestimate” takes a look at the hiring process for prospective accountants. As described within the article, when people choose to start up their own business, it offers a sense of “independence, flexibility and the thrill of watching their business grow” (Davis, 2007, p. 8). A key thing to keep in mind is that a business cannot become successful without the help of others. One of the most important individuals would be the accountant because the future of the business heavily relies on how well he or she can do his or her job and contribute help to the business, as noted by the author. Furthermore, not only does the accountant provide bookkeeping and financial services but also consultancy services. “The modern accountant should be able to apply information technology and turn business data into strategic intelligence. He or she should also be familiar with leading business management software packages,” says Judy Wong, co-chairman of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) of Hong Kong (Davis, 2007, p. 8). For the most part, an effective business accountant understands that the personal finances are often related to the finances of the business and should not be overlooked. On top of it all, the accountant must be aware of tax laws and legislation and can suggest creative ways to help the business operate smoothly and efficiently, explains the author. Overall, whenever a business owner is out seeking the help of an accountant, a connection must be made. “Most entrepreneurs dive into their businesses without giving a second thought to how these professionals should be treated, what they can do for a business and what they in turn expect from a business owner,” says Wong. “With a little thought and effort, you can ensure that you get the most from these relationships.” The accountant must have the chance to look at the business and see what it is all about. If a bond surfaces, not only does it promote a healthy relationship, but a sense of trust as well. A key advisor is one way at looking at an accountant, a person who will give you advice that pertains to your specific business. As Wong adds, “When someone decides to hire an accountant, they must find one they feel comfortable with.” Two Enron Chiefs are Convicted in Fraud and Conspiracy Trial The article, “Two Enron Chiefs Are Convicted in Fraud and Conspiracy Trial” exhibits the outcome of the trial regarding a massive scheme based on unethical business activities that took place at Enron. As the author points out, Enron, the once top leader of energy services, was the most profitable and successful corporation to trade shares on Wall Street. Its success would soon crumble as a series of fraudulent claims and lies toward its shareholders got the best of them, as stated in the article. The article comments on how Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, former chief executives at Enron, were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy. These two men were once some of the most prominent corporate leaders, but due to deceitful
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez
accounting practices, a handful of convictions were marked against their “get-richquick” schemes. “Mr. Skilling was convicted of 18 counts of fraud and conspiracy and one count of insider trading. He was acquitted on nine counts of insider trading. Mr. Lay was found guilty on six counts of fraud and conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud” (Barrionuevo, 2006). Also, before their schemes surfaced to the public, Enron’s “gravity defying” stock prices made it a Wall Street leading light. By contorting the information on their balance sheets, Enron was presenting itself to be a profitable corporation when in actuality it was losing capital rather quickly, notes the author. In effect, it drove up its stock prices while executives and insiders at Enron knew about the offshore accounts that were hiding losses for the company; however, the investors knew nothing of this and thought they were making big money trading, as told by the author. The author tries to show the public and people in the business field that accounting plays a major role in the success and trustworthiness of a company. If accounting is not practiced honestly, then it could lead to potential dilemmas that could destroy the face of any company, such as Enron. METHODS OF RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS To begin with, accounting in general is a multifaceted subject matter so I decided to focus my attention on two generally important aspects of the field; business ethics and the hiring of a potential accountant. With the use of a search engine called LexisNexis Academic, I searched the terms accounting ethics and accountant which returned many results. As I sifted through the results, I chose articles that could sustain the aspects I had chosen as my focal points. To add, the rhetorical analyses that were produced from the articles involved the use of questions adapted from the textbook called Technical and Professional Writing by George E. Kennedy and Tracy T. Montgomery. The specific questions that I decided to use are as follows: (1) Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision? (2) How does the author want them to know or become after reading or listening to what he or she has to say? (3) What is the environment of the problem? (4) Does anything about this subject present an ethical problem? By using these questions, I was able to comprehend how the authors managed to present their information with an effective focus on their topic. DISCUSSION Accountant as a Multi-Tasker; Choose carefullyQ1: Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: The article portrays the accountant as being a very important person who is available to help a business run smoothly and competently. The advice and guidance that is offered by the author is relevant to individuals who are in the process
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez
of choosing an accountant to be a part of their team. Every business is different for the most part, thus the accountant must be aware of each individual business owner’s needs. As Wong states, “The complete accountant provides not only bookkeeping and financial service but also business advice and consultancy services” (Wong in Davis, 2007, p.8). The author hopes his readers can use the information offered in this article to aide in the selection of their future accountants. Q2: What does the author want them to know or become after reading or listening to what he or she has to say? A: The article focuses on business owners, including future business owners, and tries to demonstrate how important it is to choose a fitting accountant for their specific business. Wong, “advises budding entrepreneurs to first consult a qualified professional accountant before committing money, and resources to starting a new business … Many people have sound business ideas but they become carried away with their enthusiasm and overlook the things that can lead to a downfall” (Davis, 2007, p.8). The writer wants the audience to realize that the accountant is a multi-tasker and it is never worth it to underestimate their abilities. For instance, “good accountants can advise on how to free up cash flow, make saving and raise capital for expansion” (Davis, 2007, p. 8). Q3: What is the environment of the problem? A: The article does not necessarily revolve around a problem but presents information on how to prevent future problems regarding business documents. This is something that can be avoided by the accountant, as the author recommends that a “good accountant will always be on top of the changing laws and regulations and know what applies to each client” (Davis, 2007, p. 8). These types of services allow the business owner and the accountant to sit and talk about which business decisions will work best for the company. The author comments that choosing the accountant is a process that should not be taken lightly because ultimately, “the future of the enterprise may well depend on how good your accountant is at his or her job” (Davis, 2007, p. 8). Q4: Does anything about this subject present an ethical problem? A: This article does not necessarily present an ethical problem. The author is simply trying to get a point across saying that choosing members of your business team should take time and adequate review. The members of your business team are those who are going to help the business run smoothly simply because it cannot be done by just one person alone. For example, “The modern accountant should be able to apply information technology and turn business data into strategic intelligence” to be able to come up with suggestions to enhance the company’s success (Davis, 2007, p. 8). With that being said, the author really tries to get his audience to understand that hiring an accountant should be done so with ample time and caution.
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez
Two Enron Chiefs are Convicted in Fraud and Conspiracy Trial Q1: Is the author providing information so that others can act or make a decision? A: The article discusses the trial regarding the plummet of Enron and offers adequate reasoning for ethical accounting behavior in the business field. The author explains detailed information about the trial and does give some information on the basis of ethical decision making when it comes to a company’s financial statements: Kenneth L. Lay and Jerry K. Skilling, the chief executives who guided Enron though its spectacular rise and even more stunning fall were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy… Mr. Lay and Mr. Skilling were found guilty of lying – to investors and regulators – in an effort to disguise the crumbling fortunes of their energy empire (Barrionuevo, 2006). This incident happened because these two individuals reported a contorted version of their financial status to employees and outside investors. The author also ties in the exposure of a secret “off-the-books” scheme which earned Enron’s former chief officer, Andrew Fastow, a small fortune on the side. Unethical acts such as these are some of the main points the author covers in this piece. Q2: What does the author want them to know or become after reading or listening to what he or she has to say? A: The author of this article simply wants his audience to realize that “creative accounting” (intentional misrepresentation of facts) is never the ethical action to take. As noted within the article, “prosecutors focused on what they cited as the false statements Mr. Skilling and Mr. Lay made to employees and outside investors” (Barrionuevo, 2006). Unethical practices such as this make it apparent that no matter how large and successful a company is, misrepresented financial records will surface with time. With that, the author wants the audience to become a bit more knowledgeable when it comes to managing corporate documents. Q3: What is the environment of the problem? A: The environment of the problem in this article revolves around business ethics. In general, business ethics has always been an important topic within the business field. The article presents the rise and fall of the once largest energy supplier, Enron, whose employees failed to adequately report precise financial statements. All throughout the article, the author narrates the story and repercussions that were filed against Enron’s chief executives, for fraudulently misrepresenting financial figures on the statements. Q4: Does anything about this subject present an ethical problem? A: This article definitely presents an ethical problem, which is called “creative accounting.” This is a term that the author uses to describe the misrepresentation of figures that were done on Enron’s balance sheets. This is a big ethical problem that was the main focus behind the trial of Enron’s two head chiefs in charge. This
An Analysis of Writing in the Field of Accounting Jose Ramirez
alone is a perfect example of unethical business actions that can hurt a company’s once successful past. CONCLUSION These two articles regarding the accounting field are applicable to experienced business people and those who are in the midst of entering the profession. Helpful information is given by the authors to assist their readers on the benefits of ethical behavior and to aide in the hiring process of future accountants. The way the authors presented their information was well put together because even novice readers could have understood what they were trying to portray. REFERENCES Kennedy, E.G. and Montgomery T.T. (2002). Technical and ProfessionalWriting Solving Problems at Work. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Barrionuevo, Alexei (2006). “Two Enron Chiefs Are Convicted in Fraud and Conspiracy Trial.” The NewYork Times. Davis, Chris. (2007). “Accountant as a Multitasker; Choose carefully – this is a key person in your team whose services you cannot afford to underestimate.” South China Morning Post.
First and Jefferson â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugo Polanco
Assignment Prompts Assignment prompts, though typically seen as merely a set of guidelines, a means of establishing assignment parameters, can also be a valuable creative resource for studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;providing everything from lists of subject choices, to topical ideas, to links for further reading. Though assignment prompts play a critical role in the dissemination of our pedagogies, they can also provide a valuable context in which to read student essays.
Writing to Share Experiences TOPIC CHOICES Here are the generic criteria for a “good” topic: you have some passion for it; you want to learn more about it; it’s do-able. Because you have had many experiences in life, you have much material from which to select. Although you may choose from any of the four arenas of life (academic, professional, civic, personal), you probably have the most experiences in the academic and personal arenas. I caution you to avoid certain topics. For example, because you will have a public audience for this project, you should avoid writing about experiences that are embarrassing to you or the other participants. Because you will have a public audience, you certainly should avoid writing about any experiences in which illegal activities were involved, especially if those activities have not been adjudicated. I encourage you to write about experiences that have made you think about life. HELPFUL HINTS You might find it useful to talk to family members or friends who participated in the experience with you because they can offer multiple perspectives on the experience. They can also help you remember details that may have slipped from your
memory. If you have photos that help illustrate the experience, discuss them with others who were there. I encourage you to include some of those photos in your project. To help with that, consult the photographs section (pages 812-815) in Chapter 18, “Communicating with Design and Visuals.” For many years now, I have journaled often daily, and it has helped me in many different areas of my life, especially when I have had to confront difficulties. If you or other family members keep daily journals, you might consult those documents to refresh you memory about an experience. Because writing about experiences will inevitably include writing some narrative and description, refer to those sections (pages 687-702) in Chapter 13, “Strategies That Guide Readers.” GRADING CRITERIA Make sure your project: Addresses intended audience, has a clear sense of purpose, clearly makes a significant point, skillfully and consistently uses dialogue, vivid description, point of view, and climax or crisis, presents narrative details accurately, skillfully distorts details for a specific effect — e.g., a humorous effect, treats others ethically — e.g., has protected the privacy of people in the narrative, and attends to all necessary conventions.
Dialectical Personal Narrative Essay: Realization through Revision AN OVERVIEW Write a 1000-1500 word essay exploring an aspect of your experience that led to a personal epiphany.That is to say, a narrative of a transformative or revealing experience, one that resulted in a realization or what has been called true knowing or felt knowledge). Because of the essay’s exploratory methods, the best topics are those that you want to write about not because you know what you think, but because you want to discover what you think or know. THE ESSAY MUST: • Tell a story using dialectical movement between scene and exposition (i.e. showing and telling). • Develop character, setting, and theme
through the use of specific, telling details. Concrete language and precise wording will enhance the visceral experience of the story and possibly add foreshadowing and symbolism. • Omit Needless Words! Active voice is encouraged. • Do more than tell a story; there must be a purpose behind telling the story that speaks to someone else. • Ultimately, provide the answer to So What? In other words, both show and tell the significance of the experience. • Include reflection which explains or speculates about what you understand now about something that you didn’t understand then.
Writing a Review Write a 1000-1500 word review.You choose the subject—a performance, a book, a Web site, a consumer product, a film, whatever. Just make sure your review has the following qualities: • You’re able to put your subject in a manageable category for more useful comparisons; for example, rather than evaluating a Web site against all others, you would compare a Web sites that review the NFL season to other Web sites that do so, or a Website that reviews cookbooks to others that do this or something similar, etc.
• The essay has all three elements of evaluation: judgment, criteria, and evidence. • The criteria are reasonable and appropriate for what you’re evaluating; they aren’t overly idealistic or general. • The evaluation seems balanced and fair. The paper should include a References page and be in accordance with all syllabus and APA formatting instructions. Standard conventions of written English, including clarity and precise word choice, factor into the acceptance of the paper for grading and determination of its final grade.
Understanding and Analyzing Rhetoric An analysis is a judgment – a reasonable, educated interpretation of a text. Your interpretation should be informed not only by the text’s content, but also its context, genre, and purpose. Analyses are never solely based on claims made by/within secondary sources, but your research into the text’s context, genre, etc. should ultimately inform your claim, and secondary sources can be used to substantiate elements of your claim. STRUCTURE OF ANALYSES • introduction of text to be analyzed — establish/define context, genre, information pertaining to author, etc.
• thesis — claim + supporting points • brief overview/summary/description of the text (assume that your readers are less familiar with the text in question than you) • body paragraphs • topic sentences — first sentence of a paragraph; revisits claim and introduces supporting point • evidence from the text that substantiates each supporting point • conclusion — reiterate your claim and the conclusion you’ve come to; reflect on the significance of the text’s context; compare/contrast your text to others within the genre
Rhetorical Analysis The rhetorical essay is your first major assignment and sets the tone for the rest of the course. For this essay, you will utilize the critical reading techniques that we have been discussing in class. What is the author trying to accomplish? How does s/he go about it? Who is the audience? What appeals does the author use? In this essay, you will rhetorically analyze one text that focuses on a specific debate occurring in society. Hopefully, after the rhetorical essay, you will be able to develop the same topic for your persuasive essay, which is your next major assignment. HOW SHOULD YOU WRITE YOUR RHETORICAL ANALYSIS? For starters, you need to consider the article’s rhetorical situation: Who is the intended audience? What is the author’s purpose (that is, what effect does the author want the article to have on the intended audience)? What are the important elements of the context surrounding
the issue at the time of the publication? You will need to find these out and describe them for your readers in order to set up your analysis. Next, discover the main strategies the author used to persuade the audience and fulfill the purpose. You will need to describe these, perhaps give examples of them, and analyze how they work within the article’s rhetorical situation -this will be the main part of your paper. As you analyze, consider how the author’s background as a practitioner of his/her particular discipline determines what strategies are used or how they are expressed in the article. Finally, evaluate the success of these strategies (in terms of the rhetorical situation) and analyze what they show you in terms of the perspective given by the frameworks of that discipline. One way to do this might be to compare the author’s perspective as a professional in a particular field with your own as a student/ fledgling professional.
Writing a Profile Since profiles are stylistically similar to journalistic writing (somewhat sensationalized but informative), they should employ some of the basic principles of narration as well as description. In addition, they should include general commentary (your thoughts, other observer’s/participant’s thoughts) and insight into the subject obtained through interview responses. Before beginning your field work, you’ll need to determine the purpose (or angle) of your essay, explore preconceptions (societal and your own), and draft both short-answer and open-ended questions. Though your purpose will ultimately be shaped by the interview responses you receive, your observations, and the drafting process itself, your introduction should put forth a preliminary angle and your conclusion, correspondingly, should offer up some final analysis or re-evaluation of your subject. IN SUMMARY, A GOOD PROFILE SHOULD CONTAIN…
• initial impressions of the scene and/or subject • a variety of descriptions related to the work environment and the person • an insider’s perspective, the narration of a typical day in the life/profession of your subject (i.e. the sequence of events)
• responses to pertinent and interesting interview questions (some in their own words, some paraphrased) • your thoughts/reactions/commentary to various stages of the profiling process ADDITIONALLY, A WELL-ORGANIZED PROFILE WILL…
• begin with a paragraph that includes some generic info (related to profession and/or character) and possibly 1-2 quotations, brief phrases that epitomize their character • include 2 anecdotal paragraphs in the 1st person (i.e. your subject’s own words) with brief, applicable interjections of your thoughts/comments throughout • contain descriptions of various types scattered throughout • contain a staggered timeline of activities rather than a lengthy, chronological block • include a personal paragraph, a snapshot of your subject at home/rest/play that somehow furthers the purpose of your essay LASTLY, A WELL-WRITTEN PROFILE WILL…
• entertain and inform its audience • be grammatically and syntactically sound • be 4 ½ - 5 pages in length
Writing an Ethnography WHAT IS ETHNOGRAPHIC WRITING? Ethnography is a written record of a particular culture or sub-culture, a comprehensive definition that addresses the most critical features of the culture. Typically, ethnographies are the result of extensive anthropological field work – research that is based on close observation of all aspects of a group’s behaviors, interviews with group members, and the examination and analysis of cultural “artifacts.” Since most of you will not be able to experience the culture of your choice firsthand, you will have to rely on published images, interviews, and reputable material that discusses/examines the members’ way of life. In short, you will primarily be doing traditional research (as opposed to anthropolical field work) in order to produce an ethnograpy of a culture or sub-culture that exists somewhere in the world today. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Keep in mind that ethnography does not involve quantitative research (i.e. not based on
large numbers of cases or data), and your final product should reflect the multiple truths about the culture (i.e. avoid honing in one one or two biased perspectives/interpretations of the culture). Hence, your interpretation should strive to represent the “emic” or the insider’s perspective (as opposed to the “etic” or foreigner’s perspective). Obviously, the only way to do this is to experience the culture firsthand or, in your case, immerse yourself in cultural readings while questioning the validity and biases of your sources. AREAS OF INQUIRY Before beginning your research, you’ll have to define some areas of inquiry, which in this case would be synonymous with ethnographic/ cultural criteria. Since we can only understand a culture by examining specific areas of that culture – like characteristics of its people, their activities, beliefs, etc. – you’ll want to examine most of the following: • History
Writing an Ethnography
• • • • • • • •
Geographical location/parameters Common Motivations Criteria for membership • restrictions (age/gender/ethnic) • initiation ceremony Behavior • language/speech patterns/phrases • rituals/activities Appearance Beliefs • religious • political • common motivations/purpose Social/family structure • social hierarchy • significance/role of gender/ethnicity/age Artifacts (images or tangible objects) • use • significance
RESEARCH QUESTIONS = PURPOSE Research questions, in addition to giving your
research purpose, help to shape the purpose of your essay. By formulating answers to the critical questions you raise during your research process, you will essentially be defining the purpose of your essay. For example, in order to define the purpose of specific paragraphs/section, you’ll want to formulate responses to the following questions: How do members of the group determine hierarchy within the group? How is a certain artifact used and perceived by members of the group? Now, return to the definition of ethnography and attempt to formulate a question that could encompass your overarching purpose. The response to this question essentially becomes your thesis. OTHER REQUIREMENTS: • 4 ½ -5 pages in length • APA formatting (including cover page and reference page) • At least 4 sources (not including Wikipedia or dictionaries)
Writing to Convince TOPIC CHOICES Here are the generic criteria for a “good” topic: you have some passion for it; you want to learn more about it; it’s do-able. Traditional “academic” topics are inherently no better or worse than other kinds—professional, civic, personal. That is, a paper on the designated hitter in baseball can have as much merit as a paper on treering research methods. I also encourage you to consider local topics—issues that affect the lives of ASU students on campus or in the Phoenix area. I encourage you to read State Press and the local city daily newspapers to help you consider potential topics. Beyond that, I will note that you should avoid topics that are so emotionally charged that readers will be unwilling to consider your argumentative position with open minds.
You also have to have an open mind about the topic. As the textbook notes, classical argument is not just about persuasion; it’s also about truth seeking. PARTS OF A CLASSICAL ARGUMENT Although form should take shape as you develop a piece of writing, we will talk about the parts of a classical argument. We will discuss the parts as reminders of the concerns that you, as a writer, need to address. As you work on your argument, you may find it helpful to assume that you will include all eight parts of a classical argument: 1. exordium (introduction): where the writer gains attention and/or establishes credibility 2. narratio (narration): background or context for the argument
Writing Project: Writing to Convince
3. propositio (proposition): thesis or major claim 4. partitio (partition): delineation of the steps to be followed in the case 5. confirmatio (confirmation): proof and evidence in support of the thesis/claim 6. confutatio (confutation): refutation of opposition viewpoint 7. digressio (digression): related points 8. peroratio (peroration): conclusion and/or call for action HELPFUL HINTS Throughout the unit I will remind you to distinguish assertion from argumentation. I will encourage you to use the eight parts listed above as invention heuristics, and to spend extra time
on confirmation and confutation. Here, by the way, is where peers can help each other a lot. They can play devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advocates in class (small or large group) to help you understand the obstacles that you need to overcome. GRADING CRITERIA Make sure your project: Make sure your project: Addresses intended audience, has a clear sense of purpose, clearly presents the issue, articulates a clear and arguable claim, offers welldeveloped reasons to support the claim, gives sufficient evidence for the claim, appeals to the readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sense of logic, emotion, and ethos, addresses opposing views and refutes them, follows conventions, and provides all process and invention work.
The Braided Lyrical Essay OVERVIEW In many ways, braided essays are similar to artifact essays, only they contain more links, more complex threads that are masterfully braided together. Ultimately, you’ll need to use a variety of objects, symbols, and phrases in an attempt to link three seemingly disparate fragments into a thematically cohesive whole.
artifacts in later fragments. You can also emphasize a connection between fragments 1 and 3, 2 and 3, 1 and 2, etc.; the connective possibilities are endless.
THE LYRICAL ELEMENT The lyrical element of the essay also contributes to its abstract nature. You should think less about “explaining” events and more about the sound and depth of the language used to depict ORGANIZATION those events. Like poetry, the lyric essay privilegYou don’t have to know the ways in which your sections will connect when you begin writing; es innovative juxtapositions and usages, a musicality of language that reflects the tone and theme of you don’t even have to pin down all the threads that you’ll employ. Instead, consider beginning by the essay (or fragments in this case). choosing a fragment of one event and describing THE BRAIDED LYRIC ESSAY SHOULD… it in rich, vivid detail, touching upon (though not • be 4-6 pages in length necessarily highlighting) objects, images, sounds, • include several connective threads smells, phrases, etc. related to that event. In do• reveal a thematic cohesiveness ing this, you’ll be planting the threads (somewhat • employ unique transitions (or none at all), unconsciously) that you’ll be weaving throughout masterfully and effortlessly weave its fragments the entirety of the piece. When you begin a new together, privilege language and imagery over fragment, be sure that it has a thematic relationship “complete narratives” and “explanations” to the others, and begin to consciously search for • have a title things, images, or words from previous fragments • be grammatically and syntactically sound, as that can be re-used. well as rhythmically appropriate Keep in mind that you can introduce new
The Fine Art of… Bernard Cooper’s creative non-fiction essay “The Fine Art of Sighing” explores the author’s relationship to “sighing,” examining the seemingly mundane act through several members of his family while simultaneously acknowledging its biological universality. For this project, you’ll be using Cooper’s idea and template, but you’ll need to choose an act, action, or behavior that has both personally significance and universal resonance. LIKE COOPER, YOU’LL NEED TO… • describe the act/action/behavior in imper-
sonal, biological, psychological, or behavioral terms • explore the act via your personal relationship to it/practice of it • explore the act through several generations/members of your family • link it to the outside world by showing its universality, discussing its uses/applications/ manifestations to a larger community • keep it short; the goal is to cover the vast territory of autobiography and biography through the lens of one minor act/action, so stay on task
Writing the Family: The Photo Memoir Essay For this assignment, you will be using photographs (2) as the inspiration for two short pieces – one biographical, one autobiographical. Each piece should employ the techniques we’ve discussed to date, while also incorporating some sort of objective statement, reflection, or piece of commentary; essentially, your piece should strive to universalize the personal. SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND… • develop your characters (sensory descriptions, characterization, voice/dialogue) • develop your scenes (movement, action, sensory description)
• develop your relationships • the link between your piece and the photograph should be clear, but it doesn’t have to be overt or literal; reflect on the symbolic meaning(s) of the photograph and forge your connection from there • express personal significance, but tap into universal emotions, themes, etc.; reflect/comment on your subject in a more objective way • attach the photo to the piece of writing it corresponds to • each piece should be no more than 2 pages in length (4 pages total)
Using Artifacts to Write Creative Non-Fiction Artifacts are indicative of an individual’s culture, shared experiences within families or between friends. Artifacts are literal, tangible things that can be described using sensory detail, but they also serve symbolic purposes, represent emotions, bond, people, beliefs, etc. Once you’ve chosen the best artifact for your essay, allow it to serve as a conduit for a memory or series of brief memory fragments; furthermore, allow it to dictate the information that you include (remember, everything has to be connected; in other words, everything you write about in this essay must tie back into the artifact in some way). Keep in mind that though the artifact is the catalyst for series of brief narratives about the self and the self’s relation to others, the entire piece must have a purpose, i.e. must express something significant about you, your relationship with someone else, etc. Lastly, try to surprise your audience by making
unique connections, weaving unique thread. For example, avoid using something like a “hair clip” as your artifact and then writing a brief narrative about your first haircut. Ultimately, you want the association between the thing and the narrative memory to be less obvious, anti-cliche. THE FINAL PRODUCT SHOULD… • be 3-4 pages in length • employ the techniques discussed over the past two weeks: • strong metaphors/beautiful language • characterization • detail pertaining to scene (the action) • sensory images/memory • have a title • should employ a unique artifact and contain surprising connections/threads • be grammatically and syntactically sound, as well as rhythmical
Poetry: Homophonic translation Take a poem in a foreign language that you can pronounce but not necessarily understand and translate the sound of the poem into English (e.g., French “blanc” to blank or “toute” to toot). Some examples: Louis and Celia Zukofsky’s “Catullus”; David Melnick’s “Homer at Eclipse: Men in Aida”; Ron Silliman on homophonic translation (his own, Melnick’s, and Chris Tysh’s), and some examples
by Charles Bernstein -- from Basque, from Portuguese and “Johnny Cake Hollow” suite. EXAMPLES http://writing.upenn.edu/library/ZukofskyCatullus-excerpt.html http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bernstein/ translation/basque.html
Poetic Analysis Each of the following paper topic options begins with a directive that provides you with a general area of focus. Each directive is followed by a series of questions that are designed to instigate more specific, analytical angles. None of the statements below are thesis sentences. Your job is to transform one of the options into a CLAIM; additionally, you could potentially transform your responses to the subsequent questions into supporting points. We will workshop thesis sentences, opening paragraphs, and one body paragraph in class before the final draft is due. Please refer to last week’s handouts for additional guidance, and please e-mail me or stop by my office if you need additional assistance. OPTION #1 Discuss Ginsberg, Kerouac, or Levertov and his/her role as a poet-ethnographer, essentially, a poet who records culture and/or serves as a cultural representative. • How do they record culture? • What makes their endeavors poetic? • Do their works function as celebrations of culture, cultural critiques, or both?
• What is the role of the personal in these poems? OPTION #2 Use Rich’s “Diving into the Wreck” and/or Gluck’s “Mock Orange” to discuss the concept of feminist revision (of fairy tales, history, mythology, stereotypes…). • What is feminist revision/literary feminism? • To what extent does it reshape or force us to renegotiate history, popular culture, societal perceptions? • What tools/conventions does it use in this renegotiation? How does it use them? OPTION #3 Compare the ‘I’ persona from one confessional poem (Lowell or Plath) to the ‘I’ persona from one personal narrative poem (Dunn, Collins, Nye, Lee). • How does the confessional ‘I’ resonate with the audience, speak differently to the audience? • How do the themes differ between the two genres/poems? • Is the personal narrative poem less confessional or simply less performative/sensational?
The Academic Completion Report PURPOSE/RATIONALE I am an academic researcher who is greatly interested in teaching and learning as much as possible about rhetorical writing/communication in different professions. I have asked you, another researcher, to analyze some writing in your profession using a rhetorical approach to teach fellow researchers and me about the writing in your profession. PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED As a teacher of written composition, I must strive to have a clear understanding of how writing happens in fields outside of English. This is especially important to help students from all professions with their writing, a difficult task if I am not familiar with the various rhetorical conventions and practices of those professions. PEER REVIEW WORKSHOPS FOR WP1 DRAFTS We will be workshopping your rough/early draft, wherever it is in the writing process on two separate days. Please bring hard copies and post it to the WP1 First Draft Link on the Discussion Board in Blackboard. TASK To teach other researchers about writing in
your profession, you must put together a completion report (remember chapter 7). The report will incorporate the following sections: (1) brief memo (not in, but rather with the report), (2) cover/title page (the 1st page of the report), (3) table of contents, (4) introduction, (5) review of literature, (6) methods of research/analysis, (7) results section (optional: you may include this as part of the discussion), (8), discussion, (9) conclusion, (10) references page, and (11) appendixes (for an example see p. 259-269). BREAKDOWN OF SECTIONS (1) Brief memo: should formally identify the report, accompany it, but not be part of it. It should reiterate why it was written, and explain the work that was done, in a general way. If any problems arose, or if questions, comments or concerns are being elicited, the memo is a good place for them. It should be just a short paragraph or two (see p. 364). When memos are written for people within the same company, business, school, etc, and your audience knows you personally, the logo is unnecessary. Use formal headings as shown on p. 364. (2) Cover page: should contain the title of the report, your name, the recipientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name, and the function/assignment, if applicable (see the APA handout).
The Academic Completion Report
(3) Table of contents: list all major sections (410) of your paper and their page numbers, including the references page and appendixes. (4) Introduction: in a paragraph, should discuss the purpose and objectives of the report, give a general overview of the research (i.e. mention the articles you chose and why), limitation or scope of the report, and direction the report will take. Basically it is an overview of the report’s contents, including your major impression or conclusion. (5) Review of literature: should provide a citation and summary of each respective article. (6) Methods of research and/or analysis: should explain how you chose articles, and which rhetorical questions you used to analyze each article. Also tell why those particular questions where chosen, how they were most appropriate for your readings. You are a researcher, so don’t say that you chose the articles because it was all you could find; you had other reasons, such as they came up when you were looking in the literature of your chosen field/discipline/profession. Be specific. Do not add your analyses to this section; just tell what tools (keywords, readings, and questions) you used to conduct the analyses. Make sure you word the questions so they fit into your writing! Do not word them exactly the way they are in the book. (7) Results section: this is optional. Results typically just give raw data, often in a table or graph, with only a factual rendering of your findings, but with little or no analysis or discussion of what the findings mean.You can incorporate this into the discussion if you prefer. (8) Discussion: should be both of your analyses of your two articles.You will need to include the questions either as subheadings, or as integrated into your text, so your reader does not have to flip back
to check on which questions you are responding to. (9) Conclusion: should in a paragraph wrap up, review what you have covered, and perhaps note what you have discovered in your research. (10) References page: should follow APA guidelines (see handout). Cite your readings and the textbook in the references page (we took the questions from it). (11) Appendixes: should each have a cover sheet; label them “Appendix A,” and “Appendix B.” Have your articles in the first appendix, and all process work in the second. GRADING Your work in WP1 will be evaluated holistically, meaning that I will look at the big picture, and all of the work you put into the unit so far, as well as all components of the paper. In the order of importance: Focus and content: Focus on assigned task Rhetorical and critical analysis as evidence of critical/theoretical thinking Evidence supporting claims. Organization: All parts of document including introduction, body, and conclusion, and all other assigned components. Links between purpose and support Logical flow of ideas. Convention and style: Appropriate word choice Syntactic variety Varied sentence lengths Appropriate use of documentation style (APA). Grammar and punctuation: Correctly following prescribed conventions and rules of the English language.