Final Reflections

 

 

            Keeping tabs on all my writing has enormously helped my writing.  It has helped me realize what kind of writing I enjoy and what type I do not care for.  I am also able to see how much I have progressed from my “Where I am from” poem to my cultural analysis essay.  Also being able to resort back to my responses to the classroom readings helped my writing ability greatly.

            Overall I really enjoy writing about my opinion and my belief.  I like to be able to write about myself and help the reader get to know me better; I love expressing myself in writing.  I don’t care for writing responses to readings or books; I like being able to chose my topic and not being restricted to one or a few things.  An example of what assignment I didn’t really care for was the response to Modern Times I did after watching the video.  Although I found the video very interesting, I did not like being restricted to only writing about the video.  The same can be said for a lot of the classroom readings we responded to on our blogs.  I love being able to creatively write as I said before.  Most of the big writing assignments fit into this category.  Overall, my Favorite was the cultural analysis because I was able to pick a topic I was very passionate about and “rant” on why I believe the things I do.  Something we did in class that greatly helped my ranting skills was when we learned about showing rather than telling.  I think being able to show someone why you believe something rather than telling someone why, greatly improves ones writing.                         

            As I look through my portfolio, I am astounded by how much more confident I sound in my writing.  Thinking back at when I was writing my poem, I recall being very nervous about people judging me because of my writing.  Now when I write something, I could care less people’s opinions on my writing.  I think the reason I feel more confident is because I can tell I have progressed into a better and more efficient writer.  I believe the “showing instead of telling” technique helped me improve my writing skills enormously.

            Having the classroom reading responses at the touch of a button also helped me as a writer.  I was able to view how I analyzed something at the beginning of the semester and compare it to my analyzing skills currently.  I am able to build off of each response to improve my writing skills.

            Overall I am much more confident as a writer.  I find responding to a reading much easier and expressing myself much more efficiently.  I am able to write on paper exactly what is going on in my head, something I used to do very poorly.  I am very glad I took this class because it introduced me to great writing strategies and ultimately made me a much better writer.

Modern Times

Caleb Wolfe

Writing 100

Modern Times

Although Modern Times uses comedy to display its message, the message itself is very serious.  The movie makes fun of how wealthy capitalists only cares about making money and do not care about their workers.

A great example of this is when the owner of the plant tries out the machine that feeds the workers while they work.  The idea behind this is the machine will feed the worker so the lunch break can be abolished, leading to more revenue for the owner.  The movie pokes fun of this by making the scene funny, however the actual issue is not a funny one.  The scene shows that these wealthy capitalists are willing to make more money at any cost, even if it means hooking up a machine to feed their workers to make more money.  Basically the workers are like cattle to the owner; they mean nothing to them except more revenue.

Another example of this is when Charlie Chaplin goes to take a short bathroom break and light up a cigarette.  While he is in there, the owner yells at him through a camera and tells him to get back to work.  With the repetitive job Charlie is responsible for, a break is almost a necessity to make sure no injuries occur.  But the owner, of course, doesn’t care; he only cares that the job is being accomplished regardless of the safety of the workers.

A third example of the greed involved with capitalists is when Charlie is “marching” with the workers demanding better pay and safer working conditions.  Although he wasn’t actually marching with the marchers he ended up getting arrested for it.  Because these over-worked and under-paid workers decided to voice their opinion against these capitalists, they were jailed for it.  These wealthy capitalists were able to afford to pay law enforcement to bust these riots to ensure they did not have to raise wages or pay for better working conditions.

Modern Times uses comedic relief to lighten up the issue of the greed many capitalists had.  Whether it be finding a way to get rid of the lunch break, making sure employees do not take any bathroom breaks, or paying law enforcement to break up wage strikes, some capitalists would find any way to make more money at the expense of the worker.  Although Modern Times is very humorous, its message is a very important one.

Cultural Analysis

Social skills heading for extinction

Caleb Wolfe

Writing 100

November 12, 2013

    While I am on my phone doing whatever I may be doing, my father always has harassed me about how the cell phone is destroying myself, and my social skills.  I always just brushed it off but after further investigation, he seems to be right.  The strengths of this essay are probably my personal experiences in terms of examples.  I use quite a bit of examples from my life or things I have noticed.  Although I have concrete facts incorporated into my essay, my weakness is the amount of solid facts I have, not just personal experiences.  My audience is intended to be for young adults and teenagers who are constantly on their phone, and reevaluate how their cell phone may actually be hurting them in the long run.

Alison Bryant, J., Sanders-Jackson, A., Smallwood, A. K. (2006). IMing, Text messaging, and adolescent social networks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,11(2), 577-592. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.00028.x

Hanna, J. (n.d.). W&L Psychology Project examines cell-phone usage and adolescent health. Washington and Lee University. Retrieved from http://news.blogs.wlu.edu/2012/07/24/wl-psychology-project-examines-cell-phone-usage-and-adolescent-health/

 

Ludden, Jennifer. “Teen Texting Soars; Will Social Skills Suffer?.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126117811&gt;.

Influence of Texting on Communication Skills. (n.d.). Influence of texting on communication skills. Retrieved from http://artofeloquence.com/texting/

“The Importance of Eye Contact in a Job Interview.” Work. N.p., n.d. Web.    12 Nov. 2013. <http://work.chron.com/importance-eye-contact-job-interview-10575.html&gt;.

As I sit across the dinner table from my parents, nothing is heard except for the clanking of utensils on the plates and the clicking of the keyboards to our cellphones.  Talking to one another through our Facebook posts or tweets is how we communicate at the dinner table; or text one another and gossip about the other parent.  Although that may be a little exaggerated, it is very realistic.  According to Pew Research, 72% of teenagers text regularly, and one in three sends more than 100 texts per day.  The more we become dependent on technology for communication the more we lose our social skills with other people.  There are four key social skills that are being destroyed because of our technological addictions.

The first social skill diminishing is our ability to effectively and correctly write.  “According to a 2005 article in the Pittsburg Post Gazette, employers are complaining about writing skills because they can’t teach that skill in the two-week training sessions” (Influence).  Basically it is becoming harder and harder for employers to find worthy employees to work for them who can write effectively.  According to the same study, 25% of the population has used emoticons (such as writing a smiley face as :]) in their school writing (Influence).  We may think “oh I would never be as informal on a writing assignment as I am while texting”, but texting a hundred times a day will create bad habits that will become unnoticed to our conscious self.

The second social skill we are becoming increasingly bad at is eye contact.  When people spend ten hours a day staring deep into the soul of their LCD screen, they lose the skill of being able to carry on face-to-face conversation in terms of making eye contact.  Sure people are still able to make some eye contact in conversation, but not enough to show you care about what the other person(s) has to say.  Individuals become so used to talking to people via technology that they take the same techniques into “real” conversation.  When talking through our phones or computers to people, we can make it very convincing that we care about what they have to say.  But as soon as we converse in person (and carry on the same techniques as texting), we quickly make it apparent how much we really don’t care about their ideas if we are looking everywhere but their eyes.  If someone can tell you are uninterested in conversation, they will quickly end it.  Perhaps it isn’t all that bad to not make eye contact if you want to get away from conversation, but good luck landing that dream job if you can’t look the CEO in the eyes.  According to UCLA professor and researcher Albert Mehrabian, 55 percent of messages processed by the brain are based on a person’s body language. This means that your facial and eye movements are constantly being judged — perhaps even more so than the skills and previous employment listed on your resume. The eyes become the window into your interest level, confidence and professionalism during an interview. When you establish good eye contact, you’ll feel heard and appear likable. (The Importance of Eye contact)

A third skill becoming lost is effectively carrying on a phone conversation instead of texting.  I have become so accustomed to texting people I don’t know to avoid talking to them on the phone.  When I do have to talk to an unfamiliar person on the phone, I am nervous and awkward.  I had to get over this fear when I began to work at a pizza place back home.  I had to actually carry on a conversation on the telephone with a random stranger to take their order.  As much as I wanted to have them text me their order, I had to awkwardly introduce myself and talk to them for a few minutes.  I assume a majority of young people has the same feelings towards talking on the phone with a stranger.  Although texting is less nerve-wracking, it is pitiful we can’t carry on a phone conversation without making it awkward.

The fourth diminishing skill is the attention span of individuals.  When we are even somewhat suffering from boredom, we instantly pull out our cell phones and check the latest update of the world.  Whether we are in an Economics lecture or business meeting, we keep refreshing our news feed even if there is no current news.  Instead of grabbing our cell phones, we should push our way through the boredom and go through with whatever task at hand.  We use our cell phones as an excuse to put something on hold.  Actually, since starting this paragraph I have checked my Facebook twice, tweeted once, and texted two of my buddies.  No wonder why people can’t maintain jobs for long periods of time; they get bored of it and want to something else that interests them (until they become bored of that new interest or job).

Although many people, particularly the young, do not allow technology to affect all of these social skills, some skills may be affected.  Cell phone’s make our lives much simpler, but not always better.  We can lose sight of what actually matters in the world: the people around us.  More importantly, don’t lose a job offer because you can’t make some eye contact while being interviewed, don’t be a rambling nervous wreck when taking a pizza order for some John guy, don’t update your entire Facebook profile while trying to type a paper, and especially don’t be the dimwit that turns in a paper with a wink face on it.

References

Alison Bryant, J., Sanders-Jackson, A., Smallwood, A. K. (2006). IMing, Text messaging, and adolescent social networks. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,11(2), 577-592. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.00028.x

Hanna, J. (n.d.). W&L Psychology Project examines cell-phone usage and adolescent health. Washington and Lee University. Retrieved from http://news.blogs.wlu.edu/2012/07/24/wl-psychology-project-examines-cell-phone-usage-and-adolescent-health/

 

Ludden, Jennifer. “Teen Texting Soars; Will Social Skills Suffer?.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126117811&gt;.

Influence of Texting on Communication Skills. (n.d.). Influence of texting on communication skills. Retrieved from http://artofeloquence.com/texting/

Why we crave horror movies

I think the theme of King’s paper is balance in our lives.  He talks about how people have positive and negative emotions and how in current civilization, positive emotions are rewarded.  He uses the example of kissing your little sister and being rewarded by family with a chocolate graham cracker, or slamming her fingers in the door and being punished for it.  King talks about as humans we have to somehow let out those negative emotions or thoughts in an acceptable way: watching or reading horror.  Because deep down our wildest thoughts, no matter how grotesque, need to be satisfied; otherwise we will end up in the “looney bin” if we carryout these thought or ideas.  King compares horror movies to public lynching.  This is a great comparison because lynching was used to feed the darkest ideas of people of the past, exactly the same thing horror movies do for us today.  I believe these horror movies act to balance out our negative emotions with our positive ones.  They are used to sooth our darkest ideas so we do not end up doing something that could land us in prison.

Sandra Cisneros

      This story is quite a typical one.  Although the circumstances were quite different for her, the outcome she wanted is on most every child wants: to impress their father (or mother).  Her circumstances were obviously different coming from a a very conservative latino household where the female is expected to become a housewife.  All she wanted to do was to receive her father’s acceptance of her passion for writing.  He sent her to college for all the wrong reasons.  He sent her to find a husband and a professional to marry, not to receive an education in something she loved.  She becomes very successful as a writer and shows her father the paper that received so much recognition.  He finally realizes is daughter is more than a housewife, and asks for copies to give to other family members.  The outcome is beautiful, although many children go against their parents wishes like Sandra did, and most of these kids also try to win over their parents acceptance by excelling in the field they chose.

TWEET NOTHINGS

          The tone of the article “Tweet Nothings” is a very sarcastic tone.  The author describes everything tweeted by athletic superstars and pretends to be interested in what they are saying.  With the some of the tweets the author even gives his thoughts on it; such as Venus William’s tweet being so “thoughtful.”  It is very easy to tell the author is very sarcastic, and does not care at all what the athlete has to say by his reply to some of their tweets.  I think the title of the article basically summarizes the author’s feelings about most tweets from random people: he doesn’t care, they mean nothing to him.

You’re not special

I love how real this speech is; McCullough is completely honest with the students he is speaking to.  Graduating high school shouldn’t be something worth celebrating, it should be an expectation.  McCullough basically says this.  Instead of congratulating the graduates, he tells them they aren’t special and many others are graduating at the same time as them.  He tells them they need to be different than everyone else.  Most importantly he tells them to work hard.