Tuesday, May 8

Self-Reflective Essay

I always thought I was a good writer because I was creative with words. Now that I look back on my pieces of writing I realize my words are no more creative than the next average Joe. I just say things as they are and write whatever that pops into my head. I think as long as a little effort is put into the piece of writing it has the potential to be good.

“Good writing” is in the eye of the beholder because it varies from person to person. I think a good writer has to create images in the readers mind as though it is a video clip from a movie. This entails being very descriptive and saying every last little detail. There’s only so much ink and paper in the world so writers must use their imagination to create a world inside of another.

Through the process of writing for this class I have discovered a couple things about my writing process. The first thing I do is type what comes to mind. Typing is easier for me because it goes quick and I can get all my thoughts down on a hard copy. Otherwise, when I write long handed I get very frustrated often because I lose my train of though. After my first rough draft is done I try to read through and revise my word choice. Because we post our writings on a blog for this class it has relieved a lot of pressure for me. Not only do I not have to worry about my paper getting lost but it’s easy to access. The internet is becoming more and more apart of my life.

"Next, comparison was a rhetorical strategy utilized in this cartoon. F1 is being compared to the word help. They mean the same thing but help is a universal word. F1 is computer terminology. They are being compared because they are replacing each other in the human mind. This is only because computers play a huge part in our daily lives." (Rhetorical Analysis Essay)As you can tell from the following quote I am still working on a few things. As if it isn’t obvious my sentences are a little choppy. This is also only one paragraph. It’s too short for my own taste. This paragraph is also a great example for using little to no descriptions. Practice makes perfect so I’ll keep trying.

”It was good to see a different blog and notice how they do things.” (Analysing A Website: makezine) Looking back I now realize I should have worded this sentence differently. When it comes to writing I believe my major weakness is word choice. I think this is so because I never liked to read. Even now days, I hardly read unless it is an assignment for class. Frequent readers must have an amazing vocabulary because they are always surrounded by words. I would think they’re always learning because if they come across a word they’ve never read they go look it up in a dictionary. This is how their vocabulary grows. So my philosophy is the more one reads then the better his/her vocabulary is. Better word choices come from your experiences.

“To me this is an ad that says “Buy these jeans because you’ll look as sexy as I do in them!” As for the effectiveness, I think the as is very effective. I would want to buy their product because if the jeans look good on him then they have to look good on me, right? When it comes to being appropriate I think it depends on where this ad is being shown. If this ad was to show up in Teen Magazine, a magazine geared toward the younger population, of course it is inappropriate. On the other hand I do think it is appropriate if this ad was published in Readers Digest. I say this because this magazine is geared toward the older population.” (Is sex appeal utilized?) As you can tell from this quote, I am good at voicing my opinion. This comes natural to me because I have always written my thoughts down in a diary. It also helps that I’m a girl. Everyone knows that girls like to tell others how they feel!

When it comes to this course as a learning experience I am able to say I have taken away some useful information. Through my writing I can see I have development as a writer during this course. It’s obvious if you compare my first post with my most recent. I am proud to say I am a writer in the making and I can only get better if I practice.

Thursday, May 3

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Computers make the world go around. This is the day and age when we as humans depend on our computers for everything! Some days it saves our lives when we need to write a paper for a class. But most days it collects dust on our desk tops. If technology keeps advancing the way it is today, computers will eventually be able to save a human life from any kind of danger. Who knows, it could even replace the trusty life preserver. Unfortunately for the character in this cartoon we are only using computers to pay bills, watch movies, communicate via email and even sell personal items to people across the world. This is a cartoon from the Aha! Jokes website which is entitled “F1”. Although the name of the cartoonist is unknown his / her argument is obvious because certain rhetorical strategies were used. Comparison, definition and appeals are some examples of rhetorical strategies that were utilized. This cartoons argument is computers can do anything except for save a life.

First, just to state the obvious, the cartoon is in color. They aren’t so much your bold colors as they are your typical colors. The sky and ocean are blue which is what you would always see in real life. On a scale everything is colored in a realistic fashion. F1 is a function button towards the top left hand corner of a computer key board. It is known as the help button. It’s ironic how the person drowning is yelling, “F1! F1! F1!” to his computer when the computer doesn’t have the ability to comprehend English. There are little lines indicating he is moving his arms around. To me this says that he is trying to get the attention of his computer. The character looks scared and frantic with his eyes wide open as well as his mouth. This could be because he knows his computer cannot help him no matter how much computer language he yells. It could also be that he is drowning and scared for his life.

Next, comparison was a rhetorical strategy utilized in this cartoon. F1 is being compared to the word help. They mean the same thing but help is a universal word. F1 is computer terminology. They are being compared because they are replacing each other in the human mind. This is only because computers play a huge part in our daily lives.

Another strategy used in this cartoon was definition. F1 is not so much a word as it is a symbol. It is one of the twelve function buttons towards the top of a key board that is used as a help and support button. Although it did not say directly what F1 means all people that are computer literate know its definition probably because they have used it once or twice. One may not understand the message of the cartoon if they don’t know how to use a computer. With this being said the audience would have to be computer literate.

Appeals were the third rhetorical strategy used to make the cartoons argument clear. Logos are present in the form of words / symbols. F1 is a well known symbol and it is the only wording in the cartoon. This draws in the attention of the audience to the center of the action. Because it is repeated three times a sense of helplessness is present, which leads me into my next point. Pathos is present because the cartoonist is trying to make the audience feel sorry for the character because he is helplessness in his situation. We all know that a computer can’t throw a life preserver to you. We as the audience automatically think he is screwed. Ethos is also present. Because the cartoonist drew a helpless man waving his arms in the middle of the ocean yelling out to his computer for help he / she is telling the audience that your computer can’t do everything. There are only so many emails it can send and so many bills it can pay.

Finally I believe the writers’ purpose is to communicate to the world via this F1 cartoon that we as a human race are relying way too much on our pieces of technology we like to call computers. Maybe this is the cartoonists’ way of saying he / she wishes everything could be like the old days when they had hand cramps because they had to write everything out by hand. Nowadays that’s unheard of. I think the cartoonist wants the audience to do a couple things. The first thing is to stop taking short cuts in life because that is essentially what this character is doing. He is saying F1 instead of help because it is a shorter word but in reality it takes the same amount of time to say F1 as it does help. The second thing he / she wants the audience to do is realize that your computer is not your life nor does it ever lift a button to save yours.

In conclusion, the human race relies on computers so much nowadays we are beginning to speak its language. F1 me! F1 that drowning man in the ocean. Soon it’ll be if you go too far just back space and tab over and you’ll be back where you started. Even with the most up to date software a computer cannot rescue a drowning person. No matter how many times you yell out “F1” it will never come running like a life guard will with a life preserver. The underlying message the cartoonist is trying to get across is take a break from that free online poker game and go play catch with your children.

Sunday, April 22

Freewrite: Duce, Love, Speeding Ticket

It was the best decision of my high school career to go out for the tennis team sophomore year. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t start out when I was a freshman. As I sit here in my room on this Sunday evening of April 22, 2007 I remember tomorrow will be exactly one year since I got my first speeding ticket. The events leading up are all crystal clear still. It was one of my last tennis matches for high school. My partner and I were paired evenly with another team. This was obvious because the scores throughout the match stayed about the same. This picture was taken during the third set of the match. As you can see from the score keeper each team had won a set. (Might I just say both sets were a close call.) In order to win a set a team must win by two games. To make a long story short my partner and I were winning in this picture. Something happened right after this picture was taken because we started to loose. It was as though we forgot how to hold the racket and move our feet around the court. The other team ended up winning because we made tons of stupid mistakes! As you can imagine I was blowing steam out of my ears and swearing to the gods! I should have cooled down before I left the courts. But after a horrible lose like that all I wanted to do was take a shower, eat some ice cream and cry myself to sleep. Eventually I was able to do that after I got my first speeding ticket. I was driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit on my way home. If you couldn’t tell, LUCK WAS NOT ON MY SIDE!

This is a video clip from YouTube entitled "Most amazing tennis points"

This has nothing to do with anything i just said but some day I hope I get the chance to go to the US Open!

Saturday, April 21

Freewrite: My New MP3

I finally stepped up to the plate and bought this 2GB Creative Zen V Plus. I think / hope I made the right steps in buying this expensive little gadget. This coolest invention on earth caught my eye with its size, color and joy stick as I was shopping at Wal-Mart. I almost became an impulse buyer that night. All I can say is good thing my mom was there to save me a big chunk of change. At the time I thought I had my mind made up that I was going to get the 4GB. It was about $50 more than this 2GB and that isn’t even including the taxes. My mom talked to me and thought is was a good idea if I waited so I had time to research and make a well thought out decision. I hate when she talks me out of things because I feel like I can’t live without it for another day. For the most part she is always right! Yes, I admitted it. Mothers know best! I did my research on the Creative brand and did some thinking. I came to the conclusion that the 4GB was just too much space for me. And that was really the only difference between the 2GB and the 4GB. Then I decided I wanted black on green. The store didn’t have this color in stock so if I wanted it I had to buy it online from the Wal-Mart website. This was a new experience in itself for me. I placed my order around April 12th and got it in the mail within three business days. I have a few songs on but I want more. The only thing is that I don’t want to pay for each song. If anyone has any idea where I can get some free songs I love to know! I’m glad I stood by my decision which was not to buy one just because everyone else had one. I’m happy with my decision.

Sunday, April 15

Freewrite: Significant Other

Tears have fallen, hearts have been broken, feelings have been hurt and emotions have been said. If anyone can talk about rough times it’s my boyfriend and I. We’ve been in love for the past three and a half years. There have been a few bumps in the road but we are still going strong! His name is Zach and we met on the school bus sophomore year. We were what you called “High school sweethearts”. At our senior banquet we both received a certificate stating that we were the couple “most likely to marry your high school sweetheart”. Who knows that could still come true.

The picture above was taken on our two year anniversary. Not only do we look a little different but a lot of moments have been created since then. We ran out of gas on the way to see a movie. We spill food on ourselves on dates. (“It’s only a date if I spill something on me!”) We tickle each other to the point where one of us rips a smelly one. We went to senior prom and had a blast dancing our booties off. We graduated together! (O!6!) We also went off to college.

College is a huge turning point in a young person’s life. This is the time you’re suppose to bloom into an educated adult, meet tons of new people and have the best time of your life all at the same time. It’s so hard to do this and function/think correctly when you’re 75 miles away from the one person you love to death and know so well. This long distance relationship has been the hardest part of our relationship. Zach is attending CSU in Fort Collins and I am, well, here at UCDHSC. It’s a dramatic change for the both of us. We were so use to seeing each other at least five days out of the week for hours on end. We had classes together and a few off periods together, good times. ; ) We were inseparable! Even though we talk on the phone pretty much every day, it’s so hard not to hold, touch and kiss the love of your life. My only wish is that this long distance relationship makes us stronger!

It’s almost the end of our freshman year of college and you have no idea how excited I am that summer is less than a month away. Once summer hits I can only hope that we fall back into our old routine and spend every waking moment with each other! I've heard it's not going to get any easier next school year but we need to stay strong together!