Author Archives: bryman24

Reflection: 104 In a Nutshell

Community and Writing Process

One of the most helpful writing tools we used a lot this year was writing multiple drafts and peer revision. I don’t know if this is the same for everybody, but for some reason I find it the easiest for me to write when I sit down and finish the entire paper from start to finish in one sitting. I find that’s the best way for me to get all of my ideas out in front of me instead of having to search through stacks of old assignments to find support for my claims. 104 didn’t exactly break any new ground to me in terms of how revision helps, I think it’s widely accepted that it does, but I did notice that as time went on my papers got better. Throughout the semester I noticed fewer and fewer errors each time I read through my very first draft. It’s impossible to contribute this all to 104, however I think it’s safe to assume that it definitely helped my writing in terms of attention to detail. Another very helpful writing skill we used a lot of this semester was that of peer revision. I normally don’t like when another student reads through my paper, but it helps raise a lot of questions about my topic that I may not have noticed. As much as I hate when people continuously ask “why?” when editing my paper, it gets me thinking deeper and more abstractly about my topic, allowing me to agrue more critically and further benefitting the final product of my writing.

Strengths and Weaknesses

I think one of my most noticable strengths as a writer would be my ability to maintain the flow or tempo of my papers. I don’t know if it’s word choice so much as punctuation, but from what I’ve noticed is that my sentences flow together very smoothly for the most part. I found this skill to be the most beneficial while writing our Pro/Am Investigation final essay. That was an assignment in which there was a lot of information to be condensed into one specific idea. Where most people probably struggled organizing their papers in such a way that the information flows together smoothly, I actually found that assignment to be the easiest writing assignment that we had this semester. I think one thing that I learned this year that has significantly improved my writing would be the importance of significance. I never knew the question “why?” could be so effective in writing until I took this course. In other courses, I would always get my claim trimmed down to what I thought was the most specific it could be. However, this course taught me that by continually asking yourself “why?” there’s really no limit to how much you can break an idea down. This not only helped to target my claim more effectively, but it also allowed me to find additional points to argue in my research that I may not have noticed prior.


Artifact 2: I’m Wrong (Encounter 11/20)

For this blog post I looked back at my previous journals and decided I wanted to argue my Journal #7 in which I basically said it’s almost impossible to create a piece of writing or music that is entirely original in this age because of how much content is out there. There are actually a lot of different music genres that many people would consider entirely original. For example, as much as I hate dubstep it is completely original in a way because there is no other style of music that sounds like it. Sure it’s electronic like a lot of other music, but I think most people would agree there aren’t many moments in a dubstep song where one would say “hey, I’m pretty sure I heard that in a Barry Manilow song.” I just want to clarify to anyone reading this, which is probably nobody but still, that I am not a dubstep fan, nor do I condone listening to dubstep. I’m simply saying, for the purposes of this blog post, that it is a completely original style of music. Another style of music that I would consider completely original is DIY music. It’s pretty hard to explain other than it’s really hard to play but very coordinated and sounds awesome. Look up Loose Lips Sink Ships, they are a DIY band based out of Dekalb and they are really good.


Artifact 1: Whatever I Want, huh? (Encounter 12/9)

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s reality TV shows. Even the name annoys me because the majority of “reality” TV shows are scripted, and so aren’t truly reality at all. I just want to know where reality TV producers draw the line in terms of what they are willing to cover. When is there going to be a thing where reality show producers say “yeah, lets not bother filming that”? I feel like decades into the future people are going to look out of their windows and see a giant white wall of nothingness slowly approaching on the horizon, and they’ll ask “whoa, what is that?” To which I reply, “that’s 4 o’clock tomorrow afternoon; There’s no reality left, we filmed it all.” I find it ironic that a lot of today’s reality TV shows are featured on MTV. When did MTV go from being Music Television to Anything But Music Television? That name was actually relevant when they used to show music videos on MTV nonstop, but I think today’s era of crappy reality shows should prompt a name change for that channel.

I remember the days where the collective mindset of people would be “I go to work and deal with dickheads and morons all day, so when I come home I watch TV to escape the crappy reality.” Now, that mindset has changed to “I go to work and deal with dickheads and morons all day, I just can’t wait to get home and watch dickheads and morons on TV.” I just can’t get over it, it makes no sense to me and I don’t think I will ever truly understand why people are willing to waste their reality to watch someone else’s scripted “reality.”


Whatever I want, huh? (Encounter 12/9)

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s reality TV shows. Even the name annoys me because the majority of “reality” TV shows are scripted, and so aren’t truly reality at all. I just want to know where reality TV producers draw the line in terms of what they are willing to cover. When is there going to be a thing where reality show producers say “yeah, lets not bother filming that”? I feel like decades into the future people are going to look out of their windows and see a giant white wall of nothingness slowly approaching on the horizon, and they’ll ask “whoa, what is that?” To which I reply, “that’s 4 o’clock tomorrow afternoon; There’s no reality left, we filmed it all.” I find it ironic that a lot of today’s reality TV shows are featured on MTV. When did MTV go from being Music Television to Anything But Music Television? That name was actually relevant when they used to show music videos on MTV nonstop, but I think today’s era of crappy reality shows should prompt a name change for that channel.

I remember the days where the collective mindset of people would be “I go to work and deal with dickheads and morons all day, so when I come home I watch TV to escape the crappy reality.” Now, that mindset has changed to “I go to work and deal with dickheads and morons all day, I just can’t wait to get home and watch dickheads and morons on TV.” I just can’t get over it, it makes no sense to me and I don’t think I will ever truly understand why people are willing to waste their reality to watch someone else’s scripted “reality.”


Blogs in College Composition (Encounter 12/1)

Going into this semester I was a little skeptical about this course once I learned that we would be posting to a blog site throughout the semester. I was required to post blogs in my very first college English course first semester of last year and I really did not enjoy the process at all. However, after posting the first couple and realizing that it was a unique opportunity to be creative in ways otherwise not possible in a traditional college composition course, I slowly started to hop on board. I think the main difference between this blog and the one I was required to use last year has to deal with the content. Last year’s blog was a very basic blog in which we were supposed to post about the class we had earlier that day, however the language we were required to use reflected that of a traditional English essay. In other words, we weren’t able to discuss the topics of our choosing, and we also weren’t allowed to use informal writing in our posts. For example, in my previous English class I wouldn’t be allowed to use the first person like I am now, and I also probably wouldn’t be allowed to write about this either. I think there are a lot of benefits that come out of using blogs in a “traditional” English composition class. It’s important to focus on formal English writing, but I think the informal English (everyday English) is equally as important but often goes overlooked. I think I speak for everyone when I say that nobody talks the way they write. There may be some similarities, but if someone talked to you they way they wrote an essay, you would probably turn and run away.


I’m Wrong (Encounter 11/20)

For this blog post I looked back at my previous journals and decided I wanted to argue my Journal #7 in which I basically said it’s almost impossible to create a piece of writing or music that is entirely original in this age because of how much content is out there. There are actually a lot of different music genres that many people would consider entirely original. For example, as much as I hate dubstep it is completely original in a way because there is no other style of music that sounds like it. Sure it’s electronic like a lot of other music, but I think most people would agree there aren’t many moments in a dubstep song where one would say “hey, I’m pretty sure I heard that in a Barry Manilow song.” I just want to clarify to anyone reading this, which is probably nobody but still, that I am not a dubstep fan, nor do I condone listening to dubstep. I’m simply saying, for the purposes of this blog post, that it is a completely original style of music. Another style of music that I would consider completely original is DIY music. It’s pretty hard to explain other than it’s really hard to play but very coordinated and sounds awesome. Look up Loose Lips Sink Ships, they are a DIY band based out of Dekalb and they are really good.


Baseball is America’s pasttime, not Football

The topic for my final research essay deals with the sport of baseball and how many people are losing interest in the game due to the lengthy duration of each game. There has been a debate over this issue among the baseball world for around a decade now, and even the commissioner Bud Selig has tried putting steps forward to help shorten the average time of each game. Some of these steps include: fewer media commercials, shorter time between pitches, shorter time allowed for a pitcher to warm up, etc.

However, even with all these steps in place, it is not guaranteed to to speed up every game because unlike most other sports, baseball has no time limit. In most sports, whoever is leading when the final buzzer sounds is the winner. However, baseball is unique in the sense that there is no clock. If a winner isn’t determined after the first nine innings, the teams keep playing until there is a winner regardless of how long that may take. I find this aspect of the game to be a testament to the American work ethic; American society isn’t satisfied without a clear cut winner, and will take as much time as necessary to determine who that is.

One of the things I really like about baseball is that over the course of the sports 100+ year history, it hasn’t seen many significant changes unlike other sports. Football has updated their rulebook to utilize technological advancements by adding the use of video replay during the game. However, I am not a fan of these additions because I feel it eliminates the human element of the game that was originally intended upon the sports creation. Baseball eventually added video replay, but it can only be used for determining whether a homerun ball was fair or foul, not to reverse a call made by an umpire. Although this is a change in the rules, it still keeps the integrity of the human element of baseball in tact.


Unspoken Language

There is no question that Ursula K. Le Guin is an innovative and interesting writer, but the meaning in her essays can often be difficult to pinpoint and can also be interpreted many different ways. In her 1984 commencement address entitled “Bryn Mawr,” Le Guin brings to light a very interesting binary; the difference between what she refers to as “mother tongue and father tongue.” Le Guin’s father tongue refers to the characteristics of the English language that are heavily stressed in an academic setting. For example: form, grammar, content, etc. She uses this idea of father tongue to prove the existence of mother tongue or “common tongue,” which she describes as the characteristics of the English language that we, as humans, are first introduced to in the world.

After reading this essay I took the literal meanings of father tongue and mother tongue, and it made sense to me in a way, but the whole mother tongue thing was still very convoluted. I understood that Le Guin was trying to say that the father tongue is a more strict and you-must-follow-the-rules way of communicating, and that it is mostly associated with men (which is why it’s appropriately named). However, I still wasn’t sure what Le Guin meant when she explains how men are swayed away from using the mother tongue. “Many men are taught not to speak it at all. They’re taught that there’s no safe place for them.” If she said that the mother tongue was also the common tongue, then why would men be swayed away from using it?

After reading the paragraph in which Le Guin talks about Sojourner Truth and the “unlearned language,” it soon became very clear to me what she meant by mother tongue. Le Guin refers to it as the “common tongue” because language isn’t just the spoken word; it comes in many different forms. “So what am I talking about with this ‘unlearned language’ – poetry, literature? Yes, but it can be speeches and science, any use of language when it is spoken, written, read, heard as art, the way dancing is the body moving as art.”

To me, language is any means of effectively expressing an idea to another. Whether that be through a song, a dance, a movie, it’s irrelevant. I played the saxophone for 7 years and the drums for 3, so as a music performer and enthusiast I can relate to this idea. I’ve always felt that music students should also receive credit for a foreign language because if you hand a piece of sheet music to someone who isn’t a musician, they don’t know what it says, they don’t speak the language. However, hand that same sheet of music to someone who plays an instrument and it will make perfect sense to them. This gives me huge respect for artists because I’m not only a terrible artist, but I’m also terrible at deciphering the message behind the art. Some of these people will invest ludicrous amounts of time into creating one painting, and a lot of the time I have no clue what they were trying to say by it. However, even if that painting only makes sense to one other person on the entire planet, the painter’s job is complete.

 

Works Cited

1) Le Guin, Ursula K. “Bryn Mawr Commencement Address (1986).” Serendip. Web.


Don’t read this

If you’re expecting me to say that bright colorful words and flashing images draw everyone into reading something they come across on the internet, then don’t read this. Everyone knows those obscure websites they stumble across through a google search that just scream out they were made by an 8 year old or younger. For some reason they always seem to have a plain beige background with standard black text, except for the titles and headings that are enlarged way too big, and are flashing pink obnoxiously bright. I’ll never understand why anyone would be satisfied with a website looking like that in its completion, not only does it look horrible, but little to no one will believe anything that’s on it either.

I’m not trying to say that all websites with relatively nice images aren’t good sites, there are plenty of them out there to refute that easily. However, this also brings into question the issue of navigation and user friendly content. A lot of these websites that “look like they were made by an 8 year old”, are generally really easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for. This is probably because they weren’t smart enough to figure out how links work, but that’s neither here nor there. My beef is with websites for schools mostly, and I’m sure anyone and everyone who reads this will agree with me on this; school websites are ridiculously hard to navigate. I understand that the schools want their websites to look professional and everything, they want to impress the parents of their prospective students. That makes sense and all, but what doesn’t make sense is why they would make it so difficult to find the one link you’re looking for the entire time. Most of the parents of current students are too old to fully understand how to use a computer (at least my parents definitely can’t), and if students can barely find the number for a certain department do they really think 58 year old dads will be able to? I’m not a statistician, but I’d say most likely not.


Sarah Palin’s Parasailin’

As I make my final run down the powdery hills of The Vail Ski Resort slightly outside of Denver, Colorado, I realize I have a meeting with one of my clients in a little over an hour and a half. It’s the year 2021, and I moved out to Denver, Colorado a few years after I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Previously, it was considered a poor choice to root your business far away from your clients, but with the advancements in technology over the last ten years, video chat functions come standard on nearly all computers and phones these days, allowing me to easily stay in touch with my clients while also having the clean and crisp Denver air so readily available just outside my door.


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