Post #18: Reacting to Class Podcasts

Here it is, the last assigned blog post of the semester. Oh how far we’ve come. Today in class we got a chance to listen to some of the podcasts of the other groups in the class. Overall, I felt that they were really good and most of them proved to be interesting to listen to because of the energy brought to the discussion.

One thing that I liked about most of the podcasts played in class is that the structure of the discussion was much more like a conversation and less like a script. I think this was very effective in communicating the group member’s ideas in the discussion because it made their responses to questions and prompts feel much more genuine than how a script would sound. Along with this, I noticed that all of the podcasts we listened to were about topics that the members were interested in whether it be food, football, or winter olympic sports. I think this can apply to the podcast Alvin and I created, since we chose a topic that affects us and that we can relate to and therefore talk about more. Plus, in choosing a topic that is interesting the energy and mood conveyed to the audience translates as much more positive and therefore makes the audience interested in what you have to say.

I think that everyone in the class had fun with this assignment. Though it was much different than traditional writing assignments, everyone was able to put their own unique spin on the project to make it more interesting to them. I think it’s important to have students do projects that allow them to have this kind of freedom. In being able to choose your own topic students can choose something that is enticing to them, therefore giving them more motivation to complete the assignment. I’m glad that we were able to end the semester with projects that gave us more freedom as writers. I hope that in my writing future I am given more opportunities to have freedom in my work.


Post #15: Reaction to presentation day 1

Now that everyone in the class has done research on their chosen discourse community, we have begun presenting our ideas to the class via a presentation called an artifact gallery. For this artifact gallery we picked four or five different genres from our community and talked about how these genres relate to our community and what purpose it serves. With my chosen community of WGI, I showed images of a score recap sheet, a newsletter, a flyer, part of their website and their program book from the 2016 world championships. I think that my presentation went very well, and I think that there will be a lot of material I can work with when it comes time to write my report in the following weeks.

As for the presentations from the rest of the class, I thought that everyone did a very good job as well. I noticed that everyone seemed to have put a lot of thought into their chosen community and did a good job researching different genres that they could incorporate into their final report. I liked how a lot of my classmates chose a community that they are a part of or feel passionate about. By doing this, I felt that in their presentations they were much more interested in the topic and were therefore able to speak more passionately and freely about what their plans are for tackling the community project.

I think it is important for us to choose a community that we are a part of or have some connection with. Not only will this make it easier for us to research information about it, but it will make the overall writing process easier. I’m interested in seeing how this project comes out in the end, and I hope that by choosing a community that I love being a part of, the writing process won’t be as difficult.

Post #12: Community and Writing

In writing 105 we started off the year examining how we write in our own lives. Then, we moved on to studying writing in a rhetorical sense and how to analyze this rhetoric textually and contextually. Now that we have finished this unit, we have switched gears to talk about writing in the community. To begin this unit, I read an article titled “The Idea of Community in the Study of Writing” written by Joseph Harris. Like some of the other academic articles I have read this year so far, the article was a little hard to follow, but I will do my best to break down what Harris talks about here.

At the start of the article, Harris introduces the definition of community developed by Raymond Williams who talks about community as an existing set of relationships that never is given any sort of bad connotation to seem unfavorable. Harris goes on to examine this and determines community as having strong rhetorical power that is very alluring. If one were to examine the definition Williams gives rhetorically, it can definitely be said that there is pathos appeal being used in the definition, since it elicits strong emotions of belongingness and shared purpose.

After establishing this, Harris analyzes how communities can be either interpretive or speech, where they are either among a profession or discipline, or a neighborhood or classroom respectively. Following, Harris focuses on how being part of a community comes with using different word choices and speech all together. This can be shown through the examples he uses of two people, Sylvia and Ron, who are part of multiple communities that consist of different discourses, or communication. Each of them is aware that they are part of vastly different communities that use discourse in very different ways, however this makes their writing more interesting to read.

One of the overall themes that Harris covers in this article is the concern of the academic community. This theme that is dispersed throughout the text addresses how students should be enforced to write a certain way to match the way of the academic community. However, by the end of the article Harris reaches the idea that while students should have to learn the standards of their new academic community when entering college, they should be allowed to reflect on past communities they were or are part of in their writing. I think that this is a very good idea to integrate into college writing in order to allow students to explore communities that they are interested in and hopefully make them more enthusiastic to write academically.

Reaction to Rhetorical Analysis

Over the last few weeks, we have been working on rhetoric in terms of textual and contextual analysis in preparation of writing an essay analyzing some form of rhetoric on campus or in a specific event. Reflecting back on the essay I wrote for this topic I think my essay went fairly well. In the beginning of examining rhetorical analysis I was slightly confused. This was mostly due to the fact that the articles I was reading to explain rhetoric were very on the more difficult side to read. Regardless, I was able to differentiate between the different ways of using rhetoric and means of analyzing it in order to craft an essay.

I chose to do a textual analysis for my essay. Though some of my friends told me that this would the harder option I felt more comfortable at analyzing text than pulling context from an event. I think it is interesting that once examined text can have a specific meaning behind it and how the phrasing of certain things and the formatting of certain elements can have an impact on the audience.

Once again I found that I had too many things to say and not enough space to say it. However, this time I didn’t go over the limit a crazy amount (only a paragraph this time, not two pages). I feel like I am beginning to become more concise in the phrasing I use and getting to my point quicker and more cohesively. A difficulty I found while writing this essay was that I didn’t know how to begin my introduction. It’s sometimes hard to start an essay when you don’t know exactly what your essay is going to turn in to. Despite this, I think for the future when I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about, I will try my professor’s route an try starting in the middle and then go back to the introduction after I have established my topic.

Overall, though there were a couple bumps along the way I think the essay went fairly well. It certainly has helped me better understand rhetoric and how it can be applied in the world.

Post #11: Podcast Update

In class, we have been assigned to create a podcast where we basically talk about what ever we want for 45 minutes. Even though this assignment won’t be due until the end of the semester, we are starting to prepare now to eliminate the work we’ll have to do later by starting early.

For my my podcast I will be working with my friend and classmate Alvin. At first we had a pretty hard time coming up with ideas for our podcast. We talked about doing fashion, travel, current events, the environment/ climate change, and a bunch of other ideas. Now, I think we have settled on using the topic of discussing the different types of relationships in college, whether it is long term or short term. I think we are going to start planning out how we are going to tackle this project now.

The idea behind out podcast is comparing relationships that are long distance that are held up through college and relationships that are very spur of the moment and short term. To tackle this we want to interview two of our friends, one of which is in a committed long term relationship and the other who just started dating someone a few weeks ago. To compare and contrast the two of them we want to ask each person in the relationship about some of the benefits and hardships of each type of relationship and ask them how it is going for them so far. In doing this I think Alvin and I will be able talk about how each has its positives and negatives, but ultimately it is up to the two people in the relationship.Hopefully Alvin and I will be able to stay on track in order to eliminate any last minute crammed in recording sessions.


Essay Reflection

Second essay of college down, many more to go. After submitting my Digital Literacy Narrative, which I shared pieces of in my last post, I got to meet up with some of the other students in my class to see how their experiences faired to mine. Overall, we seemed to agree that once we got started writing the essay it was easy to get our ideas flowing and finish the essay. One of my classmates, Bella, said that, “I didn’t think the essay was that bad; I found that once I started writing it was easy to finish.”

One of the things we talked about was the process of writing the essay. Brandon said that, “The hybrid really helped me out because my outline was really short bullet points and the hybrid maybe it easier for me to transition to the draft.” However, I disagreed with him on this point. When I made my outline, I had already mapped out a lot of what I was going to say so by the time I got to the hybrid there wasn’t really a need to add a whole lot. Despite this I can still see where he comes from.

Someone i connected to was Brian who said “I had trouble going over the page limit so I had to rearrange pictures to fit space.” I too had the problem of going over the page limit in my final draft and therefore had to figure out a way to get the paper to five pages while also keeping the details and pictures I had included in the essay. As a whole though, my group mates and I all thought that this essay was not as bad as we thought it was going to be. Hopefully that feeling continues as we move throughout the semester on to different essay topics.

Digital Literacy Narrative

This past month in writing 105 we have been working toward constructing an essay analyzing our writing habits over the week. This week is the week we submit it! The beauty of this assignment is that since it is a digital essay we can link pictures and other things to other places so we don’t exceed the five page maximum. Naturally, being the person I am, I exceed that limit with a seven paged draft. So, below I have linked some pictures and writing passages from my essay so they can be accessed outside the essay. Enjoy some pictures of my texting and snapchatting as well as some examples of my academic and creative writing. 🙂

Texting Examples:

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Left- Texting with mom vs. Right- Texting with friend


Snapchat Examples:

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Silly examples of snapchatting with friends


Academic Writing Example:

“Communications design is an extremely competitive program, with 80,00 students enrolled in its program country-wide, that harnesses the creativity of students to produce countless products in the form of advertising, package design, graphic design, and many more. To better understand the depth and complexity of this major, Syracuse allows students to meet professors, professionals and students who are able to relay their experiences to further inspire the future generation of communications designers. Through this opportunity, students are able to understand the major of communications design at Syracuse, get ideas for potential careers after college, and get informed about current trends and issues in the field.”  -Excerpt from DES 103 essay on Comm Design

I was assigned to write this essay in my design 103 class that reflected what we had learned about communications design based on the lectures we’ve had for the past few weeks. This excerpt is the end of my introduction for this essay and is a very good example of how I keep my tone very professional when I write for a class.


Creative Writing Example:

“Nate- I-,” Anthony says in a shaky breath. Looking over at Anthony I immediately see the growing stain in his shirt between his chest and abdomen.

            “Anthony!” I cry as he slumps down onto me. I grab his shoulders and manage to turn him over onto his back. “You’re gonna be okay, we’ll fix you up don’t worry,” I ramble as I tear through my first aid kit in my bag. The gunfire has ceased and the only noise I hear is the pounding of my heart in my ears.

            “No, Nate,” Anthony gasps. I cut his shirt down the middle and expose the bullet wound that landed itself in his upper abdomen. His blood is already covering my hands as use his shirt to try to stop the bleeding of his wound.

        “ROBYN!” I yell. I press down harder with the shirt seeing that it is quickly becoming saturated with Anthony’s blood.

            “Nathan,” Anthony whispers in an almost calm tone.

            “You’ll be all right,” I try to comfort.

            “Nathan,” Anthony says with more force in his voice. I press my lips together to keep hold of my emotions. Behind me I hear Robyn gasp as she approaches us in a run. “You need to take care of Johnny. You need to promise to go back to him.” I want to tell Anthony that he will be able to go back to Johnny himself, but I can already see the light fading from his eyes.

            “I promise.” I grab Anthony’s hand.

            “Tell him to fight. Tell him that he can make a difference. Tell him… I love him.” I nod. I am about to respond to Anthony’s final wish when he sharply inhales and lets the air escape him in one final exhale. His tight grip on my hand relaxes and I know that I’ve lost him.

My best friend is gone.

Immediately I feel Robyn’s hand rest on my back as she kneels down beside me. I know she is already crying from the sniffle.

– Excerpt from chapter 7 of novella “Exposure”  ( if you like this maybe I’ll post more excerpts:) )

This project actually came from my English class, where we were assigned to write a dystopian novella. In my story, I created a world where, in the aftermath of a chemical war, a small group of people emerges with mutated genes that give them extraordinary abilities. I chose this scene to show as an example specifically because it is a very emotionally charged scene that is very gripping to read.I love the process of generating characters and plot that are intriguing to read and hope to one day write more stories like this one. It is this creative process that reminds me of my artwork. Each step of the process is very thought out and the author is essentially able to paint a picture with words. I assume this is why I like creative writing as well as art because “it is often difficult to tell when we are dealing with writing and when with art,” (Baron 695) since writing is an art in itself that is used to generate emotion and reaction.

Reflection so far

It’s hard to believe, but here I am already a month in to school.

So far, I have really enjoyed keeping this blog up. Aside from completing the weekly required posts, I have been able to make several posts about my first month here at Syracuse. I think that these other posts have done a pretty good job capturing what its like to be a freshman in college: making new friends, missing old ones, exploring new activities, and making new memories. Additionally, I think that my blog has really started capturing my own voice, and I like being able to express sarcasm, seriousness or happiness with different posts and having the freedom to make my posts my own. Overall, I have enjoyed having another outlet to express my thoughts besides required posts.

Now for the nitty-gritty: analyzing my work so far. For the most part I would say that my blog is what I would like it to be at this point.

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I think the welcome screen that I have customized makes my blog inviting and interesting to those who stumble upon it. Organizationally, I think I have done a pretty good job at assigning categories and tags that make it easier to group themes together. One thing that I think I would like to improve upon with my blog is just posting a little more often. While I do post other things besides the required analysis’, I want my blog to be able to capture what it is like for a freshman in college: the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, and everything in between.

For everyone out there who has been following along this far, there’s sure to be more goodness coming your way. Thanks for hanging on for the ride, you’ll definitely hear more from me soon:)


An outdoor classroom

Everyone knows Syracuse for the snow and winter, but we still have seasons up here. For the last few weeks it has been hot and humid with highs up into the 90’s. Finally a day is here where it is cool and  breezy.

And I’ve been inside all day…

But not everyone else is. Today, I saw a teacher conducting his lecture outside in a small courtyard with about a dozen students. Talk about taking advantage of a nice day. It’s a good thing that he’s taking his class outside today, because in a month it probably won’t be this nice. Winter will be coming.