Response to Rhetorical Situations

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Response to Rhetorical Situations

Post  RobertHoll on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:38 pm

Throughout high school, I spent most of my time in English classes dozing off or bullshitting my way through "ridiculous" essay assignments. For me, writing isn't something that comes natural to me, or even something I wish came naturally. What's funny though is that my life essentially gravitates around writing in all its forms. Texting is a form of writing, email is a form of writing (Although let's be honest, no one under 25 emails), Facebook, Twitter, etc. I believe it is safe to say that most of what we do online or on our phones has something to do with writing. Since you're aware of my effort in high school english, or lack thereof, you can conclude that I have never really thought about rhetorical situations. They've simply been "rhetorical". Now, however, it is almost humorous to see just how good I am at solving these situations. Obviously if I send a Facebook message to my friend asking him what he did the previous night, I'm not going to start the message with a "Dear Mr. Carr, ...". On the other hand, If I were to miss a day of school, I would email my teachers, and every email would start with a "Mr./Mrs. 'whatever'", and end with a "-sincerely, Robert Holloway". I didn't think about it. I didn't have to. I couldn't tell you exactly when I learned that different situations require different text, but I guess that's why they call it "Rhetorical".

Thinking about my high school writing format is a bit tricky, but for the most part, I'm pretty sure that I appealed to logos and ethos. Since I disliked writing, I would tend to stick strictly to the essay prompt, trying to do the minimum required and putting information in that I didn't necessarily have to come up with on my own. Sometimes I would try and make some quaint jokes or lighten the mood, but the primary focus was on completely the assignment as quick as possible so I could go play Xbox. I think the most diverse and interesting writing project I ever completed was my History Fair project back in the seventh grade. The topic was Bob Marley, and the project included a giant poster board accompanied by some acoustic guitar. I used facts and numbers on the poster, included comparison which connected with judges and spectators, and even inputted my thoughts and opinions into it. I passed the local stage and even brought my project here to Mizzou to be judged, but I didn't pass state. I haven't been inspired to do a writing project since, but hopefully this year we will have an assignment or two that really sparks my interest, allowing me to put my best effort into it.

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The Problem With Weblogs Today

Post  RobertHoll on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:30 pm

Kairos- According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, kairos is "a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action : the opportune and decisive moment:. I interpret this as the time to take control of problems and find their solutions.

Many of my concerns with weblogs today are similar to the concerns expressed in the reading. What can seem like a private, harmless, and short expression of opinion can very quickly, and easily, turn into a public nightmare. There was an interesting movement that went on during my senior year of high school that was sort of related to this. Now granted, Facebook isn't technically a blog, but its concept is the same. I noticed some of my Facebook friends were changing their last names to their middle names in order to trick potential searchers of their profile. Especially with some of them awaiting scholarship notices, it was vital that their private doings stayed private. I, personally, find it very interesting that anyone would post anything even remotely potentially self-damaging anywhere on the internet. Weblogs might seem like e-diaries, but there is one major difference between a paper diary and an electronic one: it's much harder for the paper diary to spread than the electronic one. By no means do I believe that weblogs are destructive or bad in any way. I just think that people sometimes underestimate the power of our modern technological capabilities. Even single key-words typed into Google can pinpoint exactly what you're trying to find, so that is why I believe weblogs and all other forms of online self-expression can be both potentially useful and hurtful.

Understanding voyeurism affects how to feel about whatever we are reading. We've been seeing this a lot lately, especially with the recent celebrity nude hacking. It is interesting analyzing how people respond to things like this, and if we have a better understanding of voyeurism, we can easily spot the differences in responses and how they compare to the people who wrote them.

Is there such thing as legal online privacy?
What is the authors overall opinion?
Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

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Speakers vs. Obama

Post  RobertHoll on Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:36 pm

I kind of found this video entertaining because of how much it relates to what we are currently talking about in class. Each speaker disagrees with Obama in some way or has a suggestion, yet each asserts his/her own idea slightly differently. The first speaker used a child and his supposed "blue-collar" working father to pose to Obama the question of why unemployment is continuing to rise. Typical Pathos. He also used some Logos with this statistics, but the statistics weren't the focus of his point. Rather, it was the fact that this young boy's father is deeply concerned that there won't be a job for his kid when he grows up. I also found it sort of twisted that the speaker emphasized that the kid was African-American as if that would be something more appealing or relevant to Obama. The second speaker sort of did the same thing not by what he said, but by who he brought with him. He brought his wife and daughter...why? Sure, maybe they love politics and were super excited about hearing the President speak, but I think this was slightly intentional. I found the woman who spoke after the man from Wisconsin to be very interesting. She used powerful, negative words such as aggressive, looming, and didn't refer to unemployment as natural, but rather Obama's "job killing". Her vivid language and emotional appeals to the coal miners in West Virginia make clear her point. I didn't see any direct examples of Ethos, but that's probably because I don't quite understand it, and not because there weren't examples.

Just reflecting on these three accounts, I find it strange and witty how they use evidence against Obama. The first speaker, for example, doesn't use factual evidence to draw emotional support. Instead, he uses a letter describing the lives of everyday Americans. Numbers and facts are certainly important, but nothing can really beat experience and first-hand accounts. The woman from West Virginia similarly uses the coal industry as her motivation. That is the evidence. They talk about the wrongs the Obama administration has done against them, and leave anything positive out. They also leave the possible flaws in their own ideas out. This isn't surprising. The tone of most of the speakers is very attacking and sort of desperate (You can probably guess whose side I'm on). The one Freshman, for example, told Obama how he hadn't lived up to his promises and how he and his colleagues were personally 'damaged' from that. His tone isn't so much aggressive as it is appealing to pathos. The woman from Tennessee, however, is sort of sarcastic in her question to the President, almost obviously heavily criticizing him. She starts her question with a "Thank you for realizing we have opinions", or something like that, and the rest of her question is full of assumptions and pleas for change.

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Essay Prep Questions

Post  RobertHoll on Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:47 pm

Robert Holloway Captain Eric September 13, 2014

For this writing assignment, I chose a weblog entitled The Bloggess, written by the very talented Jenny Lawson. This blog is nothing like many of the mainstream threads you see today from popular companies such as CNN or ESPN. Lawson doesn’t report on headline news or ramble about statistics and their meanings. Instead, she writes a very personal, informal blog that focuses on her family. The tone of the blog is set very early, when Lawson talks about her career background. She says “I wrote for the Houston Chronicle, but I needed an uncensored space to say the f-word and talk about ninjas so I started this blog”. This blog is presented in a rather laid back, relaxed type of way. I believe this style of writing makes it so readable, because it is intriguing, information of an individual’s life. Lawson doesn't just use words to share her life, but also pictures, videos, and even YouTube links. There is an underlying humor in most of her posts, which can be seen when she describes her family. She says “Victor is my husband. Hailey is my nine-year-old. Hunter S. Tomcat, Rolly and Ferris Mewler are my cats. Pluto is a planet, in spite of what you may have heard”. Something very, subtle, but telling that I found is that in all of her posts, she puts two spaces after each sentence.

Branching off of that idea, I now want to talk about the main audience The Bloggess attracts. Before I begin, I want to say that I don’t believe I fit into the audience, but for this assignment I wanted to choose something outside of what I am accustomed to, in order to experience something new and refreshing. I assume that Jenny Lawson is a 30-something year old woman, and that’s the group I believe to be her biggest audience. Not just any 30-something year old woman, though. A woman with children and a husband. A woman who sometimes feels she is trapped in her life or simply needs a break from reality. I don’t think Lawson’s only audience is these women. I also see a decent number of male comments under each post. Most of them generally offer support to Lawson or even through out their opinions without reserve. It’s funny because based off of the title and the girly background of the blog, you would think there couldn't possibly be any content in it that would appeal to anyone other a woman with children. I think that’s sort of the beauty of the blog. Lawson isn’t the typical 30-something year old woman with children. She curses, doesn’t shy away from controversy, and is funny. I’m not saying that most woman with children are boring and lame. It’s just that sometimes they are weighed down by the stress of maintaining a household while still trying to find time for themselves. From the content I’ve read, most of her topics and writing styles appeal to Pathos. There isn’t a lot of reasoning or using logic to talk about things. The purpose of the blog is to unwind and express rather than tighten up and talk numbers and facts. She sometimes appeals to Ethos when talking about children, because she has children of her own. She is a credible source to ask when it comes to maintaining a household.

The audience in the comments isn’t very divided. Most of them show an insane amount of support for Lawson, and seem to value family as much as she does. It is important to note, however, that while family is number one, personal building shouldn't be overlooked. While Lawson talks a lot of about family, she also tries to talk about topics unrelated to family, because sometimes even she needs to take a breather. Surprisingly, the people in the comments are relatively calm and peaceful. It’s only surprising because I would think young middle-aged people commenting after probably getting home from a long day of work or a long day dealing with kids would be a bit more emotionally charged. It is telling of Lawson’s blog, i guess. One comment thanks her for brightening her day. Another tells her that her blog is the best stress-reliever in her life. I think the audience, especially those who have followed the blog since the beginning, have an emotional connection to Lawson, even though they’ve most likely never met her. They can relate to Lawson’s topics, and we know that people latch onto things that feel familiar.

To me, the blog is the rocket, and the audience it its fuel. Cheesy…I know. And I don’t mean that without the audience the blog wouldn’t exist(probably true, though). I mean that the Lawson seems to be very connected with her audience, yet doesn't have to change her content in order to appeal to them. The audience and its comments almost supplement the blog itself. Jenny Lawson is just one woman going through life trying her best, and sometimes reading the comments and seeing how other people are doing or how they react to Lawson provides an insight into the general lifestyle of many people today.

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Writing vs Language

Post  RobertHoll on Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:07 pm

I believe that Ong's general argument is that while writing is important in forming secondary literacies and succeeding in more advances technological societies, it is not language, and it is not how most languages communicate. Ong says, "Of the 4,000 or so languages
spoken today, only around 78 have a literature". He also says that some cultures with "illiterate" languages have no idea or feeling of deprivation because their language isn't written. Ong brings all of this up because of his claim that it advanced societies today, a premium is placed on writing, and those who cannot write are considered to be lacking essential "mechanical skills". I do not think that Ong is trying to downplay writing at all. In fact, I believe he is pro-writing, because of his praise for how it has been used to advance societies and cultures into the complexities they are today. His main point, however, is that language is not necessarily writing. What I found most interesting about this section was the part about how different cultures use literacy. It seems crazy to me, being a product of modern-day literacy, that some cultures would be in utter disbelief if they were told their language could actually be written down and visualized. Based on the derogative meaning we place on "illiterate" today, would these people be considered to lack a sort of humanity? While I think Ong makes a very clear argument, I believe he sort of leaves that question up to the readers.

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Pre-Writing Assignment for Literacy Paper

Post  RobertHoll on Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:51 pm

“I better find your lov-ing, I better find your heart!!!”-this was me sitting in the passenger seat of the car, belting out my excitement for my first guitar lesson. A swarm of enticing fantasies cluttered my mind. “I’m going to be famous”, “Dude, girls are going to be all over me”, and other thoughts like these made the anticipation of arriving to the beginning of my glorious life almost unbearable. When we arrived, I hopped out of the car and obnoxiously shut the door behind me, feeling as if I was already the rockstar I thought I was destined to become (I imagine my mom probably rolled her eyes at me while driving away). With a serious swagger, I walked inside, and proceeded to tell the clerk at the front desk my name. When I heard my name called from the backroom, I thought to myself, “That won’t be the last time strangers will call for me!”, but little did I know my renowned fame would be short-lived.

As I walked through the dusty black curtain in the doorway into the hallway, I saw an array of guitarists’ pictures and gold records framed on the wall, but I didn’t know who most of them were. I thought to myself, “Maybe there’s different sections. Maybe the hip-hop/alternative section is further down and I’ll see pictures of people I know”. This thought was shortened, however, by the calling of my name from one of the rooms on the left of the hallway. I peeped my head around the corner of the door, and saw a ragged-looking young guy about 30 years old. He said “What’s up? You must be Robbie, right?”. At this point in my life, no one had called me Robbie, and if they had, I probably wouldn’t have ever talked to them again. I responded with a faint “It’s Robert, but yeah”. He sort of chuckled and said, “Nah. I’ll call you Robbie. It’s more of a guitarist name”.

This incident had already slightly turned me off from the place, but I was still determined to learn the craft that would make me famous. My instructor, who introduced himself as Chris, asked me “So...What are you looking to get out of these lessons?”. Me, being the annoying smart-ass I was, responded with an obnoxious “Uh, I hope to learn how to play guitar”. Chris sort of just looked at me for a moment, then laughed it off and said, “No. I mean are you more interested in chord progression or tablature? Pink Floyd or the Beatles? Acoustic or electric?” All of these questions with words I didn’t know caused me to freeze, for whatever reason, and Chris said “Hey. You there?”. I snapped out of it, and came back with the most embarrassing response of my life thus far. I asked him, “Can you teach me how to play some Drake?”.

Sight- The amount of guitars hanging from the walls of the main room, black, dusty curtain that led to the backrooms, small, dirty lesson rooms, pictures of famous guitarists and their best albums, ragged-looking instructor, thin strings of the guitar.
Touch- wood of the acoustic guitar, metal of the electric guitar, feeling of my fingers on the strings.
Smell-dust from all of the unplayed guitars, possibly the smell of my instructor?.
Hearing- array of guitar sound flowing from the backroom. Some song playing in the main room.
Taste- dryness of my mouth once I started playing



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Hills Like White Elephants

Post  RobertHoll on Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:38 pm

"They're lovely hills", she said, "They don't really look like white elephants."
"It's not really an operation at all"
"Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?"
"I might have", the man said, "Just because you say I wouldn't have doesn't prove anything"
"Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe."

Hemingway's writing style seems to be very basic and emotionally separated. Everything is simple and to the point. There is some description in the beginning of the story, but the dialogue is focused around short, to-the-point sentences. I personally enjoy this style of writing, because it allows the reader to pictures the details and create his/her opinion of what's going on. In this short story, we are never told explicitly what the man and woman are discussing, but all sorts of ideas and theories run through our minds, which makes the experience more engaging, to make up for the lack of engagement in the text itself.

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Additional Source for Literacy Paper

Post  RobertHoll on Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:25 pm

http://www.jstor.org/stable/40017080

This article I located seeks to inform the reader that fandom or strong (and potentially biased) beliefs are important to discovering new discourses to access. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since people generally do things they enjoy. I found it helpful, however, because it goes more into detail on the advantages and disadvantages of fandom. For starters, you could like something so much on the surface that you never bother to explore it in deeper depth. Or, you could not like something but pursue it anyway to reap its benefits. This article makes it a point that developing literacies is potentially tricky and that we shouldn't rely on impulses in making our literacy decisions.

This article is very valuable to my paper, because it is very relatable to my topic. I chose to explore a literacy not to understand it, but to gain from it. I overlooked the values of the discourses, and simply focused on what it could do for me. I think I will use this article to assess why these decisions were made and how they ultimately helped or hurt me in acquiring the discourse. I liked this article because it discussed some things I feel Gee and Ong failed to mention. fandom and personal biases are very important in making every-day decisions. We form these biases based on very little information sometimes, making the reality of certain situations fuzzy. This is something I hope to explore in my paper and bring to light.

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Research Paper Bibliography

Post  RobertHoll on Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:48 am

Robert Holloway English 1000
Bibliography

Albert, Alexa. Bulcroft, Kris. "Pets, Families, and the Life Course." Journal of Marriage and Family 50.2 (1988): 543-552. Web.


Allen, Karen. "Are Pets a Healthy Pleasure? The Influence of Pets on Blood Pressure." Current Directions in Psychological Science 12.6 (2003): 236-239. Web.


Archer, John. "Why do People Love their Pets." Evolution and Human Behavior. 18.4 (1997): 237-259. Web.


McNicholas, June. "Pet Ownership and Human Health." BMJ 331.1252 (2005): 1252-1254. Web.


Noonan, Ellen. "People and Pets." Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups, and Organizations 14.4 (2008): 395-407. Web.


Phineas, Charles. "Household Pets and Urban Alienation." Journal of Social History 7.3 (1974): 338-343. Web.


Spencer, Stuart. "History and Ethics of Keeping Pets: Comparison with Farm Animals." Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Ethics 19.1 (2006): 17-25. Web.

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Outline for Research Paper

Post  RobertHoll on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:44 am

Introduction- Thesis Statement: While the housing of domestic animals originated as a form of pest maintenance and extra manual help, it has transformed into a system adopted by most families in America, regardless of race, age, or income, and has switched from a working need to a psychological necessity.
Key Points
Pets have a psychological impact on their owners
Ownership of pets is not restricted to certain demographics
The pets of today are not comparable to the pets of the past
Body of Paper- outline the topic sentence and supporting research for each point covered in the paper.
Point 1- History of domestic pets in America
research content- “History and Ethics of Keeping Pets
Point 2- The pets of today are not comparable to the pets of the past
research content- “Pets’ Comparison with Farm Animals”
research content- “History and Ethics of Keeping Pets”
C.Point 3- Pets have a psychological impact on their owners
1.”Pets, family, and the Life Course”
2. “People and Practice: Psychodynamic Practice”
3.”Pet Ownership and Human Health”
4.”Why do People Love their Pets?”
D.Point 4- The pets of today are not comparable to the pets of the past
1.”Household Pets and Urban Alienation”
2.”Are Pets a Healthy Pleasure”
Summary Paragraph
Follow the summary sentence with clear sentences that summarize each of the main ideas.
Conclusion
Reference Page (Works Cited)

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