Lock: “By the time the Gulf War started, the Pentagon had developed access policies that drew on press restrictions used in the U.S. wars…” (Deghett). The infringement upon the freedom of the press has been mandated under the pretenses of the safety and concern of the public in regards to war in the past, and possibly even in the present. Understandably this has been done to shield the public eye and disillusion citizens sitting back in the comforts at home from the true gruesome faces of war; however, with the coming of our new president and his distaste of the press, could our freedoms of speech and press be at risk? Have they always been at risk despite the first amendment?
Key: I personally agree with Jarecke, “If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it” (Deghett). Everybody is responsible for their actions, and we can only learn from our experiences if we witness, understand, and reflect on the causes and effects; therefore I believe the faces of war should be captured and reported (with content warnings, of course).
Lock: In the scene of School’s Out by Storycorps where the narrator just witnessed his beloved school being demolished, the animated narrator’s face drops as does the narrator’s tone of voice. The combination of hearing the pain and sadness in the narrator’s voice and the reaction of the narrator on his animated face was a heart wrenching combo, which actually made my heart sink. Though, his word choice was quite emotionally stimulating, if I had just read the same sentence, without hearing his voice and seeing his expression, I am pretty sure I would not have had quite the same response as I did. Is hearing and seeing emotions sometimes better than just trying to describe them? Are there just some things better expressed by pictures than words?
Key: I felt like the diverse, yet streamlined use of many different modes of communication to integrate all of the stories and history of Central City, New Orleans into the Healing Histories website was not only impactful, but effective and captivating to their audience. Every click and slide of the mouse revealed not only a new tale and perspective, but incited a sense of curiosity out of the viewer as to what would be presented next.
Lock: According to definition, the wilderness is a region of uncultivated and uninhabited land, but according to William Cronon, the wilderness is in fact cultivated and inhabited by our own human perceptions and idealism. Wilderness is “Far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, it is quite profoundly a human creation…” according to Cronon (134). If nature is only how we perceive it and therefore a “manmade” creation, then what in this world is not tainted by the hands and minds of humans if anything?
Key: I found it interesting and confusing in how Cronon ingeniously weaved the opposing viewpoints of nature together in a masterful way that my teachers have advised avoiding. I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with his proposals in the creation of nature, which incites a conflicted feeling about the text.
Lock: With the discovery of radium, people flocked to the idea of the substance becoming “…a replacement for electric lighting” (Redniss 61). Despite the desire for the element, the Curies declined all offers to sell their hard work and make revenue. As Pierre stated in Radioactive, “It would be contrary to the scientific spirit” (Redniss 61). Not to mention, it took the Curies four long years to extract one tenth of radium chloride (Redniss 57). It makes me wonder, do people inherently have a desire for materialistic items that peak their interest that are difficult to obtain?
Key: The arts is usually thought to be separate from logical, analytical, scientific research, especially since a person is usually thought to be either right hemisphere dominant (creative) or left hemisphere dominant (logical); however I found the insert about the Spiritualism movement at the beginning of chapter 4 to be an interesting connection between both scientists and artists. “The movement attracted leading thinkers and artists, including Alexander Graham Bell, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edvard Munch” (Redniss 53). The excerpt was an intriguing shoutout to the arts and the supernatural to show how they influence one another.
Redniss, Lauren. Radioactive. Dey Street, 2011.
Lock: The first two chapters of Radioactive by Lauren Redniss focus on the early lives of Marie and Pierre Curie, highlighting the similarities and differences in their academic careers, aspirations, familial backgrounds, and love lives. I found it interesting that the two seemed to both have given up on love in order to pursue their careers, but inevitably came to find one another and fall in love. The common saying associated with love is “opposites attract”, but honestly, I feel like that was not the case for Marie and Pierre. They both shared a lot in common and their love of chemistry and passion for research is what bonded them together. I wonder if it is easier to maintain long lasting relationships with people that you share a lot in common with over those that you hold many differing feelings, opinions, and interests with, but can offer new insights.
Key: I found it interesting how the author presented the biographies of both Pierre and Marie Curie before they met simultaneously by placing their stories on their respective sides of the book (Pierre on the left and Marie on the right). I found the parallelism between the two intriguing, and the illustrations accompanying the tales only added to the storytelling aspect and allowed for a more in-depth comparison and contrast of the two.
I chose badminton birdies as my packaged product, because through analyzing my daily packaged product usage, I determined that I used that packaged product more often than I consciously was aware of. Not to mention, I thought that the packaging and product was going to be unique in comparison to what my peers would choose. In the end, I actually found my product pretty interesting and insightful. I learned a lot from researching the competitive and recreational side of badminton. My peers seemed intrigued by my topic, too, which made the experience positive. It was fun discussing possible claims, and the sources that I found in relation to the claims I could go with. I incorporated the claim that there is a difference in competitive equipment vs. recreational equipment and even expanded it beyond just my packaged product to other sports. From the research that I collected, I could even draw assumptions on my community.
I struggled with formatting my analysis and finding sources for my paper. It was surprisingly difficult to find many substantive sources discussing the difference between recreational and competitive sides of sports. Luckily, I did manage to find a substantive source discussing just what I wanted about badminton. The third source was the hardest to find.
Also, the structure of the analysis portion of the paper was difficult in my opinion. I had no idea of what the paper should look like or how it should flow, so I kind of started off with my pitch that I gave my class. I began my paper by describing my product and its package. From there I somehow flowed it into my claim and then my substantive sources and own ideas from there. In the end, I really am shocked and proud of how my paper turned out. I haven’t flowed a paper as cleanly or nicely, in my opinion, like that in a while. I feel like after writing all of these different kinds of essays this semester, I have learned how to create my own style of writing that also fits the rubric. Of course, the grade will be the ultimate determiner of that, though. I just hope that I can keep up this same flow of writing during the next semester and solidify it into my own writing style for years to come.
In the end, Focused Inquiry I did turn out to be similar to what Eliana Avery stated in her piece, What is Focused Inquiry?. Focused Inquiry is anything but “just another English class” as I first thought. Through all of the passages that we have read and analyzed in the Focused Inquiry Reader and online, I have broadened my horizon and perspective. I feel like through this class I have come to understand both my peers, society, and self a little more. It is interesting to see and hear what other have chosen to write about and how they have interpreted their own aspects of their lives and things that they have read. It really shows how diverse people really are at this university. We might all experience some of the same events, but we all experience different thoughts and feelings in response.
By taking Focused Inquiry, I have learned how to not only analyze scientific articles, academic papers, and literature, but my own life and the world around me. I have also come to learn how to express these ideas and communicate them to my peers in various ways. I have written three very different papers, all of which were uncomfortable at first, but at some point throughout the long drafting process, something clicked an a vague idea of how to structure the essay blossomed into the final product. I have learned how to use the library at my new school, and how to find sources for my paper with the new databases provided. I have also learned the difference between substantive sources and academic/scholarly sources, and why substantive sources are also valuable.
I still feel like I struggle in communicating all that I want to to my peers verbally. Despite all of the fish bowls that we have done throughout the semester and the oral presentation for our packaged product, I still feel like I fail to convey all of the key points that I need to in a concise manner without stumbling over my words and thoughts. I suppose it is something that I can only accomplish with practice and time. I am glad that I will continuing with the same class next semester. I feel like time with ease my anxieties that I hold with public speaking. Speaking with people that I have known for a while is always easier than doing the same in front of complete strangers.
In UNIV 112, I hope to continue practicing communicating with my peers through fish bowl discussions. I also hope to learn about other types of sources that can be used to give unique perspectives on topics.
- The focus of our essay is to focus on one of the many “little” things that we tend to overlook, or dismiss, daily. Do you think that by analyzing this “little” thing you have to come to understand yourself and your interests better or has it left you more confused about your identity? Would you or could you possibly go back and incorporate this new finding about yourself, your personality, and/or your community/communities in either one of your previous essays?
- Do you think that advertisements actually work? Companies often show their advertisements on TV, in newspapers, and online, but how many times do you normally immediately run out to the store or make a mental note to go to the store as soon as possible to purchase that product? Is there a difference in the types of products that you suddenly have a craving for or a strong desire for (ie. food vs. electronics vs. cleaning products vs. necessities)?
- With regards to Hess’s essay, Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet, why do you think that only certain cases of stalking/cyber-stalking/ harassment are investigated over others even though we would like to believe that our government would provide “equal” protection to its citizens? What do you think warrants interest into investigation of these claims?
- Why do you think women are targeted with death threats and other explicit harassment over the internet more so than men? Do you think it relates to the perceived way/differences in which men and women are raised (ie. men are taught not to cry, since it can be a “sign of weakness”, while women are taught that is okay, or even expected, to be emotional)?
- Do you think that it would be best to take away the anonymity of the internet in order to solve the problem of online, anonymous harassment, or would the creation of a cyber-police force better?
- Do you think people spend too much time on the internet? Do you think that if we regulated how much time we spend on the internet that cyber-bullying would decrease?
I found it interesting that the article author took a neutral stance in discussing the Maine Lobster Festival and the treatment of lobsters. I like how the narrative was structured. The author brought up the Maine Lobster Festival and described it in detail before transitioning to the history of lobsters in New England and their importance. I found it interesting that once upon a time, lobsters were actually really abundant and fed to prisoners as a form of punishment, kind of. It is ironic, because today lobsters are considered a delicacy.