Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kornblum, Janet. "Effects of TV on kids becoming less remote." USA Today. 10 Oct. 2003. 20 Feb. 2006 .

This article starts off talking about a child who is two years old, and wakes up ever morning wanting to watch a certain show. It sounds like an obsession, or addiction. Her parents are aware and try to get her involved in other things, and set rules for how much television she can watch. This article looks at children spending time in front of the computer too. This sounds like the same situation as spending time watching television. The article talks about children wanting to be inactive; they have lost an interest in sports and active activities. The article also back up information with statistics and the true life story continues though- out the report.

Miller, Karl E. "Children's Behavior Correlates with Television Viewing." American

Family Physician 67.3 (2003): 593-594. Wilson Web. RMC, Ashland. 25 Feb.


This article starts right at the beginning. It states how children learn, and by watching television what they are learning. It the states the problems with children watching television, i.e. a hard time separating real from fake, effects of behavior, distorting the image children have of the world, and several other things. A study was done on school aged children; the parents were asked to complete a questionnaire. The article then summarizes and reports the results of the questionnaire.

Miller, Karl E. "Television Viewing Time Increases Risk for Obesity in Children." American Academy of Family Physicians 64.7 (2001): 1251-1254. Wilson Web. RMC, Ashland.

This article starts by stating that obesity is an increasing disease amongst our youth. It continues to relate the other sicknesses and problems that can arise form obesity. This article did a study, with a home interview and clinical examination for the children. Kids were asked about the viewing habits, physical activity and food consumption. The study tested kids who watched a lot of television, and those who did not view much. So the results were able to state whether or not children viewing small amounts of television are prone to obesity or not.

Singer, Mark I., Karen Slovak, Tracey Frierson, and Peter York. "Viewing Preferences,

Symptoms of Phychological Trauma, and Violent Behaviors Among Children

Who Watch Television." American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

37.10 (1998): 1041-1048. Wilson Web. RMC, Ashland.

This article is just a study that was performed. They are looking at whether children viewing practices are connected to psychological trauma and aggressive behaviors. Tables with data analysis are included, so a reader can see a visual of how these topics are related. This article is set up exactly like a scientific research write up, so some information is hard to grasp, but it should be helpful in my writing.

"Summary:The Effects of Television." Changing the Channels. Changing the Channels. 22 Feb. 2006 .

This article looks at the impacts the television has on children. It breaks up each section to expand on the topics. These topics include media violence, portrayals of sexual exploitation and attitudes, impact on self- image, vulgarity and rudeness, intense and disturbing imagery, and passive watching- the couch potato syndrome. This article comments that many of these topics do overlap, and so do the solutions for helping your kids. The article gives brief explanations of each topic. A reader then has the option of going further and looking at each topic more in depth. Something I need to do, as part of continuing the research.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Part of the RA application I have been working on today.

Do you think that it is important for a Resident Assistant to be aware of multicultural issues? If so, how can you be open to working with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs?

I believe that it is very important for an RA to be aware of multicultural issues. Randolph- Macon welcomes a very diverse group of people to our school. An RA should be aware of their cultural values and practices. A hall program on diversity would be a good way for residents on a hall to learn about each other; and be able to better understand each other.

I think one needs to keep an open mind when working with people. I have friends who are not exactly like me. I am open and interested in learning about what values they have. The cultural differences that I share with some of my friends are part of what makes them so special. They should not be penalized for their backgrounds and heritage. In high school our entire school would gather together for a student run assembly. People were given the chance to share how they celebrated the holidays. The entire school embraced those that chose to share. Many would ask questions to further their understanding of ones celebrations for the holidays. Our school was full of different people. I had to work with students in my class who shared different backgrounds than me. I believe that given the opportunity to work with people of different cultural situations than mine would be a wonderful opportunity. Hopefully both sides would be able to learn from each other. I have also had values from Girl Scouts instilled in me that I am sure would help me best carry myself when working with people who are not like me. Girl Scouts embrace “every girl, everywhere.” So I am prepared to work with anyone, anywhere, no matter their cultural differences.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gavin, Mary L. "How TV Affects Your Children." KidsHealth. Feb. 2005. 22 Feb. 2006 .

In this article the exposure of children to violence, risky behavior, obesity, and commercials is discussed for parents. And even provides suggestions to help protect your kids. This article makes sure that parents are aware that when their children watch television that they are being put at risk. Not just now, but also for in the future. Obesity is one problem, which may not be noticeable till later in a child’s life. This article uses statistics referring to the average amount of television that a child watches each week. The information provided by KidsHealth also takes the time to point out that not all television is bad. There are educational shows available for children to help them learn. But it jumps right back to the points of watching excessive television and how it will be effecting your children.

Gavin, Mary L. "Most Children Exposed to Violent TV at Least Once a Week." KidsHealth. Aug. 2004. 20 Feb. 2006 .

This brief article outlines a study that was conducted anonymously among 677 parents. They questioned parents are their children’s viewing history. Information like how many hours of television is viewed each week, do you watch television with your kids, and do you limit the violence your child views was obtained. Then the article reports findings that many would find interesting. Things like parents are less concerned about what their older children are watching than their younger. Then the article shows parents what their children’s viewing habits means to them. They many focus on violence later in life, and also suggest ways to change habits.

Hein, Kenneth. "Do Top Shows Prime Kids for Obesity- Inducing Fare?" Brandweek 46.45 (2005): 12. Wilson Web. RMC, Ashland.

This article focuses on the commercials that are shown during children’s programming, and shows that are popular among adolescents. Basically this article believes that by showing advertisements for Coke, Pepsi and McDonalds. Assuming that this works like subliminal messages and the act of showing kids a Coke in between the show they are watching will make them want a Coke. Our society is encouraging obesity. If you look at the results in the article it seems that these shows are focused on teenagers. The results also report on how many times a soda or food advertisement was made during one show, and how long the commercial lasted.

Herr, Noman. "Influence of Television." The Sourse Book for Teaching Science. 2001. 26 Feb. 2006 .

This article expresses the concern that people have of children watching television and being prone to violence and obesity. This article continues to express its concerns with these subjects. They look at statistics compared with the past, to try and explain the commonness of overweight children. Concluding that this is because children are inactive. But this could be because of television. The article looks at the behavior that children adapt from television also.

Kornblum, Janet. "Effects of TV on kids becoming less remote." USA Today. 10 Oct. 2003. 20 Feb. 2006 .

This article starts off talking about a child who is two years old, and wakes up ever morning wanting to watch a certain show. It sounds like an obsession, or addiction. Her parents are aware and try to get her involved in other things, and set rules for how much television she can watch. This article looks at children spending time in front of the computer too. This sounds like the same situation as spending time watching television. The article talks about children wanting to be inactive; they have lost an interest in sports and active activities. The article also back up information with statistics and the true life story continues though- out the report.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Style Lesson Two


This section was all about writing correctly, and how it is almost impossible. There are so many rules that appear in the English language that people have a hard time keeping up with them. Rules have changed, and new ones have been added, making it even harder for people to choose between right and wrong. Not that there is a choice, it is more of a decision. People decide what sounds correct, or looks right and that is what they use to write. But what sounds correct and looks good is not always right.
This section shows one how it is okay to not follow all the rules. In fact there are some points when it is necessary not to. We learn one way of doing things, and refuse to do it another. However, there are times when the uncommon ways are acceptable. In fact sometimes they are required. There is a part that talks about how it is right to make changes if they help set a style. So to some, style is a bit more important than what is right and wrong.

This section was very informative. It taught me about some of the things I do. There are some rules, that I follow myself. I refuse to end sentences with prepositions. This section reinforced that these rules are good ones to follow. It also made me aware of some ways that I write and should not be. While it did show that some ways are better than others, it’s also right to not follow the rules all the time. This being something that writers should be aware. No writer wants to risk being unclear to their audience when they are trying to make a point. This is why at some times it is okay to not be correct.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Women in 1890 did not have any social standing. They were considered property

to their husbands or family. They had restrictions as to where they could travel alone.

Many were only allowed to go to the watering hole or other communal places alone. It

was there that they would meet other women to converse, and then continue with their

daily chores. Any other times women were required to be with their husbands. For events

like the wrestling match, “The elders and grandees of the village sat on their own stools

brought there by their young sons or slaves…. All others stood…”(Achebe 46). Implying

that those who were not accomplished men were less important and had to stand. Leaving

women and men of no standing in this group. This is degrading. Women today actually

have social standings of their own. Some marry into better standings, and some worse.

Women have their own jobs and are able to create their own social standings. They fit

right in with the males of society. They can hold a upper, middle or lower class standing.

However, in either class they are considered equal to men. Something that women in the

past have had to work very hard to get to, and are still working toward. At least today

they are not considered property to be owned by their fathers, and husbands.

Even thought the book is not based around the roles of women, we as readers, still

get to view how they are seen in their tribal lifestyles. Achebe shares their status among

the community and in their families. Women were portrayed in Things Fall Apart as mere

property. They were put in a family to fulfill just a few mediocre tasks. Their husbands

had full reign over them. Women did not have the right to be individuals. One can see

that Okonkwo’s wife was beaten and punished for going to have her hair done, and not

informing him. But she also made a bigger mistake she, did not tend to her children and

husband first. If these tasks had been completed things might have been better. Today a

woman would be able to go get her hair done with out being beaten when she returned

because she did not have dinner on the table. Women share so many traditional roles with

men today, that the man would have made dinner before she got home. Sometimes

women today look back and think that the lives women in the past lead were crazy, and

no one should have to live like that. They tend to take for grated all the work that women

have done to get us where we are today, as almost equals to men. We have status as

individuals, a privilege we should learn to appreciate.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The community I am focusing on is one fore teachers and those that want to become teachers. Teachers deal with children, all types of children. Knowing the effects that television has on the younger ones can better help them prepare. If it is true that children being subjected to television makes them more violent, then teachers should be prepared for these kinds of kids in their class. If teachers know obesity is a problem then they can better prepare lessons around health or even activities to get their students active. This is the type of information I am hoping to find.

Most of the research has pointed me to violence on television and movies and how some believe that it makes children more violent. Studies have been done to support this information. I would like to also look at other effects of children watching television at a young age. Some of the effects I think would be prominent are restricted knowledge and vocabulary, obesity, violent at a young age, and having a hard time focusing. All of these seem like reasonable outcomes for children who watch television at a young age. These factors seem like they would be prominent for these children later in life. Like they would not be able to enter certain situations without using violence.

So at the moment, I am continuing my research, to see if I have enough information to focus on all the effects, or if violence should be my only focus. Suggestions/ Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Compare and Contrast Roles of Woman In the Book and Now
(first part of paper)

In the book things Things Fall Apart women take on different roles than the ones that societies in the 21st century are accustomed to. While some of these roles still overlap they are not viewed the same by society anymore. There has not only been a change in women’s jobs, but their status, authority, and privileges have altered greatly too. This book by Chinua Achebe inadvertently exams the lives of women during the 1890’s and therefore makes it possible to compare them to women of this time. Achebe gives away enough information in his story to let readers see what the life of women was like while still telling his story. Chinua Achebe does not focus on or take away from his story by explaining the roles of women. However, their roles are a key part in this book. The story would not be the same with out the women doing what they needed to in it. The attention that Achebe gives women lets us know how important they really are. And just like society today women are what make our lives function.

One issue that women in the book faced that is different from today is several women were married to one man. Which in the time of the book was not an issue, this was how society worked. A man having many wives was a sign of wealth. The women formed bonds amongst each other, so there was always someone to rely on. They also had several women tending to the same household. Each might have a different skill, therefore benefiting the family. The more women you had in a family the less work each had to do. So for many women being one of three or four wives was not uncommon, or unnatural. People in today’s society would think that this was absurd. They would look at this situation as being unjust and unfair to the women. A woman’s rights would come into the argument. It is an issue that some people today face, but for a majority of people it is unconventional (?).

When readers are presented with the women in the book they are shown as property and slaves. Achebe makes a woman’s place in the family very distinguishable. Women are shown as the ones preparing food, tending to the huts, the children and the husband, and working on some of the land. They are tending to remedial tasks related to the family’s well being. Each wife is required to prepare and serve part of the meal each day, while also cooking for her children and herself. There is an instance when this does not happen like it should. Okonkow (sp) finds that one of his wives have left the grounds and not feed him or her children. This upsets him greatly. (find quote) A woman’s children and loyalty to her husband are her greatest priorities. She is restricted in when and were she can go. Her life is based around what her husband wants. When the marriage is arranged it is like trading property. Women are given from their families to their husband. Their duty is now to serve their husband, tend to her hut, do chores, and of course produce children, sons in particular.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


OH what a week! And its only Tuesday. This marks my first week of official stress. I have tests, quizzes, and papers. Everything is starting to pile up. I first noticed this on Monday. That is when I started freakin’ out about this class. I felt confused, and out of place. Then today, I had to study for a test, while thinking about a paper I am going to be writing about tomorrow. I know this does not sound like a lot. But you need to be inside my head to get it all. I tend to stress, bad, about things that really don’t need to be stressed over. Like the test I have tomorrow, I should be able to just study for it tonight and be ok. But NO. I have to start feeling the pressure while I am trying to review things. It is like there is a little piece of video running in the back of my head. It just keeps repeating, test tomorrow, test tomorrow. That totally and completely freaks me out. So I end up listing to the running video more than I do what I should be studying. It is almost like my worry mechanisms kick into high gear. Some may call this test anxiety; I refuse to actually diagnose myself with this, well verbally at least. I have thought it many a times. I know that I freak out about tests, and I do it every time. That is what test anxiety is. I have actually gone into tests, feeling confident, knowing my material, and sat down, prepared to begin the test, and almost literally felt the information slip away. Now this might sound crazy. But that is how it feels. It feels like the stuff that I have studied and should be putting down on my paper, instead decides to go somewhere else. Where I don’t know. The thing is that the information is not lost. In fact a majority of the time, I can leave the testing site and gain the information back. I wish that I had the tools to better describe this to someone. I hate tests, because of this factor. I get my grades back and know that I could have done better. It is just a sucky feeling. But where was I? I guess just talking about all the stuff that is coming up. We have officially been in classes long enough to have learned something, so all the teachers feel a need to test their students. Generally leaving people with several major assignments due on or around the same day. This is what causes the stress. Some people wonder why others get so stressed out, it is because of all the pressure put on them to do well and get everything done. I am inclined to blame someone, or something. At the moment I think I am leaning towards the teachers and the schools. Professors should not be given days to test their students, but something could be done. This would prevent students from having all tests and papers given on the same day, therefore elevating stress. I had a friend tell me that teachers just don’t care, it’s not their problem. And this is a good point. They have already been in school and gotten the grades. I just wonder if professors ever think about the fact that the same day they are giving a 2 hour exam, that one of their students could have another exam in their other class. And what that is doing to the student, to have to stress in moments like that. Moments when the grades really matter, and one test could make or break you. I am not really expecting anything to be done here, I guess I am mostly venting. I am pretty sure that I am not the only student who feels this way when it comes to tests and papers. It happens every year. Every couple of weeks it is time to have major assignments in all classes. I just hope that the stress we are putting ourselves through now, does not have negative effects on us later.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I want to look at whether children should be watching television at young ages, and what kind of effects this has on them if they do. Also should parents be letting their children watch television at these young ages? These questions seem to be related to me.

I want to be looking at the world of parenting and children. I am not a parent, and do not consider myself to still be a child, but I am still a part of the community. I am a babysitter, a child care worker, and would like to be a teacher. So as a young adult I fit into these communities. I think that there are several communities here that overlap. This issue would be important to parents, because they want the best for their children. It would also be something that teachers, babysitters, and any other people working with children would have to face. One does not need to be a parent to care, and understand this situation. These groups of people are ones that care about children. They have based their lives around children. Their main educational focus has been put on children. The way television affects these kids is an important part of how a teacher would plan lessons and so forth.

I have been babysitting since I was about 12 years old. All of the parents I have worked with have had different views on whether they want their children watching television. Some have said no, some yes, others only permit one show to be watched, and some have said that their oldest could watch but not the one year old. There has to be some reason for these decisions. I want to find out if it is something besides the way they want to raise their kids. One parent told me that if a child under the age of two watched television that they were more apt to developing ADD or ADHD. I want to look at should children not be watching television this young, so they can help prevent this from happening.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lesson 1- Understanding Style

“In matters of grave importance style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.” – Oscar Wilde

This section starts of with this quote and two others relating to style. To me it is saying that style was important when these people were writing, and still is. That is why I am using this to open up with my first lesson. The point of this lesson being that clear writing is essential, and it does not always come easily. A writer may understand exactly what he/she has just written but this may not always be clear to the reader. And the goal of a writer is to be understood by their audience. The writer also focuses on forming organizational writings. If the writing is not organized, what does it matter that your sentences are clear?

If I understood this section correctly in the past people wrote a certain way. That way got carried on by other writers who thought it was important, and so on, and so forth. This writing while it is important to American culture is not always easy to understand. And some people continue to use this form of writing.

I also enjoyed the part on page 7 that says some students thought they were too dumb to comprehend what a writer was saying but really it is not them, it’s the writing. I could relate to this. I also enjoyed that they talked about writers on page 8, who would complicate their writing to make it sound like they knew what they were talking about. If a writer is comfortable with what they are writing then it should be clearer. It makes me as a reader feel better knowing that just because I don’t understand is not always my fault, it could be because of the writer.

The idea of being able to write more clearly is exciting. I hope that in reading more of this book, I will be able to accomplish that.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Communities cont.

God’s House…or the house of all my church members. I come from a very special church. I feel completely connected to all the members. We would have a house on Me Street. This house would try to be very organized, and probably fail 90% of the time. There would be meetings going on constantly. The house would be open to any church members, and visitors are always welcome. Most of the members would be older. There would be a small amount of youth, but when they were present we would all know. The children would be a blessing to the house. They could probably teach us a thing or two about being Christian. This group would be very eager to reach out to people. They would be completely involved with other activities in the neighborhood. This group and the Girl Scout group get along well. Each are very supportive of the others activities. This house would have its downfalls at times too. Because not every person agrees on the same things. Some feel the need to be in control, while others are full of opinions but don’t actually do anything. So there would be some tension in the house, not all the time. This house would be full of love. Most of the people there have known each other their entire lives. However, there is always room for new members. Our doors are always open.

I have decided to put all of my friends in one house. Thank goodness they are not locked in. The house would have plenty of chill space. The fridge would always be stocked, and random, unplanned parties are not uncommon. Most of my close friends are in college so they would be the ones in there the most. All of my friends are welcome at anytime. This could make for some interesting entertainment. My close friends are all very different. Some are outgoing others are shy. I can see the personalities clashing at any time. At them moment I cannot predict who will be fighting, but I am sure that this kind of information would be available soon after the house is open. I can also most of them getting along, with a little help from alcohol. I can see a pool in the back yard. Maybe a basketball hoop and some other athletic stuff outside. There would be plenty of televisions in the house. The movie collection would be out of this world. Most of my friends are big movie people. So there would be a little bit of everything available to watch. I can imagine that Sex and the City or Friends marathons would be pretty regular. This house would be a fun house. I love the different personalities that all of my friends have and would enjoy their company greatly. Having them around could help me get through anything. The other neighbors might think differently. Maybe this house should be at the very end of the street.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Communities Revised

The house of Girl Scout. This house would be crowded, and every member would be different. Girl Scouts is supposed to be for every girl, everywhere, so the ethnic backgrounds would be very different. This house would be open to every past and present Girl Scout, and even the males. Our fathers tend to make strong, reliable Girl Scouts. The house would range in ages 5 to 100. There would be laughter and songs coming from the younger girls. Then there would be the older girls, leading, helping and making a difference. The freezer in the basement would always be stocked with frozen cookies, and the cabinet would be full of peanuts. Every weekend there would be a huge bomb fire in the back yard. There would be singing, telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows. The Girl Scouts of the past would generally be complaining about the changes we have made, and talking like, “Back when I was a Girl Scout…” And the current girls would be complaining about the silly uniforms they have to wear. This house would be alive with people especially girls who want to make a difference in their communities. The gates at Emily development would always be well taken care of, with fresh flowers. The Girls are the ones making a change to this world.

The house of Redskins fans would be a loud one, especially on the weekends. There would be televisions covering every wall in the house, even in the bathrooms. The fridge would remain stocked with beer and coke, and there would always be munchies. After the season they had this year, all of the lifers would be in full swing, impatiently awaiting next season. This house would be for those who have remained faithful through thick and thin. A Redskins fan is not seasonal; you are either in, or out. There would be a sign outside that read, “I bleed in maroon and gold”. The house would be full of these colors. Just a warning for those hanging around on game day: a Redskins fan is serious, games are stressful, and can be taken out on anyone. There would be one hell of a block party after each win. Cooking out, drinking, and lots of screaming are required.

The house of the Hondas. All the doors would be automatic and the windows too. Every Honda owner would be welcome. I am not sure about the stereotypical Honda owner/driver. I am sure there would be some soccer moms in there, especially with the new minivan, it’s nice. But there would also be your sporty type; the new ridgeline would come in handy for them. Then you would have your economically conscious people driving the hybrids. I am willing to say there is no specific Honda type, but if you are one, you’re a smart person. These cars last forever so the driveway would be filled with Accords that were 20 years old, and of all different types plus the newer ones too. The weekends could be loud in these guys’s back yard. Civics are good racing cars, so most of the guys would be trying to sup theirs up. There would be technicians living here too. Members in this house could test drive the latest models. They would have 100 percent input on what got produced and what did not. This house would be a fun one to be in. The people would be nice, and of course share one love for their Honda!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


My African History course has been making me very happy. We have been talking about all this stuff that get my mind wondering. The interesting thing is that we talk about everything. The teacher has managed to pull things from what we should be talking about and put them in a perspective more familiar to us. I am glad that I have the opportunity to express some of the things that I get out of that class here in my writing.

We discussed some themes from Things Fall Apart today. We came up with one being a clash between traditional values and modern values. Then we made a list of some. Our list included traditional values being loyalty to family, respect to elders, materially content, and maintains religion. Then the opposing side of modern values included loyalty to self, lack of respect for past, never satisfied, and more secular. Each having an opposite side. I began to think about me, and how I feel about these values. I for the most part have traditional views when it comes to the above listed things. I also can relate to not being materially content. If anyone really knew me, they know that I love to shop. For me shopping is a hobby. I become satisfied when I shop, especially when I purchase something, but then I can turn around and feel like I need something better. This is the point that my teacher was trying to make. Our grandparents did not have the need to get better shoes; they were content with what they have. Our generation has a need to have things bigger and better. I tend to think that I was brought up with old fashion, or traditional values, so the part about being loyal to my family and respecting my elders is something that seems natural to me.

We also looked briefly at the roles of women, then and now. That upset me a little; I believe we could have spent more time on that subject. I guess that is one subject that has been discussed too much in some classes. Plus it is pretty straight forward…women back then did not stand up for themselves, today they would. Women did not have a say in whether their husband beat them every night or not. If they did, they could be killed, disowned, or banished from their community. Today if a woman left her husband because he was beating her, people would understand, but not back then. (Note to self: find out when “back then” really was) That was about the end of our conversation in class. I just thought that more could have been said, but I guess that just was not one of the more important topics in the teacher’s eye.

So on to my title. Water. Water is a valuable here in the United States. Not everyone has acceptable drinking water. They should but this does not always occur. Our teacher started talking about this machine thing that he bought for like 400 dollars that distilled his water. He said that every night he distills his water and finds tons of gross things in the filter the next day. That made me think, thank goodness I do not drink tap water. Who knows what’s really in it. Yuck! So then we were talking about bottled water, and how it is a very new concept. Now I love my bottled water, I drink Dasani, and it makes me happy. We talked about how bottled water really is not different from tap. Most companies just add a little something here and there and voila, you have bottled water. It was about this time that I really tried to stop listening to the conversation. I just wanted to drink my Dasani in ignorance. Instead one of the girls yells from across the room, “Hey did you know that Dasani adds salt in their water, so it makes you even more thirsty?” Now I really could have gone without hearing that. At the moment I have chosen to ignore that comment, and continue to drink my water.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My Neighborhood

For the most part the communities that I belong to share similar goals and interests. The vales that they were created, and formed on are ones that I agree with because I was raised with them. So the houses on “ME” street are not going to be very different.

There would probably be, maybe a handful of houses on this street. I have constricted myself to these certain groups. One of the houses would be my church, or religion. My entire church family would live there. The young mixed in with the old, the funny, and the talented. This house helps keep me in line. I have many parents in this house. I know that they all want the best for me, and I want the best for them. This house would keep me religiously focused too. The people inside are guaranteed to walk with me in my journey to be closer to Christ.

The next house would be Girl Scouts. As previously stated Girl Scouts is a major part of my life. We believe that Girl Scouts is for every girl everywhere. Our promise states “On my honor I will try to serve God, and my Country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law.” It is all about supporting other girls, and our community. The things my parents taught me when I was little are instilled in the Girl Scout world, and reinforced. The house on this street would be open to all girls. Girls who want to help, and girls who need help. There would be activities going on all the time. And Cookies for everyone!

There would be a house with my friends. This would probably be one of the stranger houses. My friends are all so different. So there might be a little bit of clashing of personalities. I hang out with some people who are shy, while other are outgoing. There are people who have grown up in the church and others who don’t really know much about God. Some of these friends were raised in very different houses. They were taught not to drink till they were 21 and no sex before marriage. Others were taught to be safe in what you do. So I believe that this could be the most dramatic house. Especially since most of these people are young adults. It should be interesting to see how things turn out here.

I would also have a house that encompassed my profession. It would be full of people who love and want to help educate children. This group would probably be most beneficial to each other. Many teachers have wonderful ideas and being able to share them with other people would only benefit the children. This group would be made of teachers past(retired) and present. They would be of all different backgrounds. But they would have one thing in common. The idea that all children should be educated, not just to learn the lessons of school, but life lessons too!

My Family would get a house. They are the people that raised me. I owe everything I am to them. The values that I have came from their teachings. I have the personality I have because of them. This group would probably be interesting to see them all living together too. I know some would get tired of always being around others. But it would probably do them some good. This group might have slightly different views because of the age gaps. What my sisters and I agree on is not going to be the same thing that my grandmother and I agree on. However I am willing to compromise with these people. After all the older tend to be wiser.

There might be a couple of other houses on this street. Ones that I seem to think at the moment would be pretty small. I know there are parts of my community that I am not picking up on. So I am leaving space in this neighborhood for groups and people to move in.

to be revised ASAP...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Communities I belong to:

Church, choir, administrative comities, UMW

RMC choir

Girl Scouts

Work at a child care center


These are all the major communities that I belong to. However these are all official. They are the communities that my name is on the list as being a part of. Each one of them I hold dear to my heart. These communities make up who I am, along with the other little ones. The group of people I hang out with could be a community. I know that I am totally influenced by them.

I think that all of these communities reflect my values; otherwise I don’t think I would be a part of them. Being involved in my church stems off of my parents educating me in religion, and encouraging me to be a Christian. In being a member of my church I am surrounded by people who love me and will always support me. I am a member of the United Methodist Women, something that my mom influenced me on. She led me to the group, and showed me the importance of having a group of women around to support me. The administrative positions that I hold at church come from me wanting to give all that I can give. This being a value that has been instilled by my parents. I want to do what I can to make my church a better place. I sing in the choir there too. I am not sure how values play into this. I was raised with music, and greatly appreciate it. I guess singing in the choir allows me to enjoy a gift that I have.

Singing in the RMC choir was influenced by peers, but me too. I love singing. My roommate sang in the choir last year and encouraged me to join this year. I did, and am glad that she influenced me the way that she did. But this still comes back to the idea that I have been singing in my house and my church since I was little.

Deciding to become an RMC student was completely based on values. I was always raised with the intention of going to college. It is a value that my parents placed on me. It was my job to pick RMC. I love the small school atmosphere that I get here. I also value the rigorous education that I am receiving.

Girls Scouts is very high on my list of things I am involved in. I have been a member for 14 plus years. I started when I was five, and became a lifetime member when I graduated from high school. Our GS promise is all about loving one another, and helping people to the best of our ability. So the organization has instilled so many values on me, and continues to. I serve on a committee that allows me to help other girls, and they continue to surprise me. The values of GS are everywhere.

The idea of working at a child care plays a big role in my life. I am learning administrative techniques that I know will come in handy at some point. Working with children and being surrounded by them, makes me want the best for them. I see what parents do and know that it is good or bad. I watch the teachers work with them, and how these kids are being educated at 3 and 4 years old. I also learn things that help me with babysitting. I get to see the technical side of what goes on in a child care center and it has influenced the way I think traumatically.

There are probably other little communities that I am involved in, but for some reason I don’t deem them high enough to write about them. That or they are so much a part of me that I don’t even think of them as being separate. Just to name one, my friends. They affect me all the time. They show me what is acceptable; they encourage me to do better, and most importantly they make me happy.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Essay One: Heart

Audience: My Mom and Dad

The SPCA is a wonderful place. It saves so many wonderful animals every year. Don’t you think we could help give ones of the dogs a home? Mom and I have been in there several times, and the same dogs are always there. They just need a home, a place where they can be safe. They need to be loved and taken care of properly. Not that the SPCA does not take of them. But these dogs need a family, people to give them attention all the time, so they know they are loved. We have a big back yard and more than enough room in our house. Couldn’t we help one of the four legged friends and make it part of our family?

Having a dog in the family would help all of us. Rebecca, and Jessica and I will all be gone next year. That means that instead of being minus one child, you are going to be missing three, which will make for one quite home. So having a dog around would provide excellent company for the two of you. Mom I know that you will especially miss all of us being gone. Having a dog will give you someone to take care of and be an excellent partner for watching Law and Order with. Since I am talking about a dog, not a puppy, it will give you a companion, not a baby to take care of. A dog will also keep us healthy. It will be someone to go on walks with us, and even jogging with Dad. When the twins and I come home for breaks, we will have someone to stay at home with us. A dog can be a good form of protection. I know you have heard all the stories about dogs that have kept intruders away, and gotten whole families out of the house before a fire took over. They have wonderful senses and would be a good addition to the family. Dogs also can help you stay young, not that you two really need it, but it has been proven that they like lower cholesterol or something like that. So again this dog would help us all stay healthy.

I want you to think back to when we had Brandy. He was a small dog, but he was a big part of our family. He would curl us on the sofa with us. And I remember trying to sneak him food from the table, and always got caught. We saved Brandy. He needed us. We loved and took care of him till the day he died. Now it is time to give another dog a chance to have a family. You can’t tell me that walking down the hallway at the SPCA does not make you want to take one of them home, so they don’t have to stay in a cage for the rest of their lives. If we are worried about the money, I will help. I want to buy it. I will take money that I have and pay to get the dog from the SPCA. Honestly why not help an animal that needs a home? To quote the lady at day care, “Our family does not fell complete without a dog.” Thanks for listening to me. I know you will make a smart and logical decision.

Essay Two: Character

Audience: Future Job

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to you to express my desires to be hired as your new Director. I am a senior at Randolph- Macon College and will be graduation in the spring with a Liberal Arts degree and a major in psychology. My focus has been on the learning and development of children. I wish to continue my education at some point to further study this field. However, I heard that this position was open and was strongly encouraged by your current Director, Jan Clarke to apply for the position.

I have been with Jan since I was 6 years old. She was the Director of the center when I attended many years ago. She taught me so much as a person and an educator. When I turned 16 Jan offered to hire me as an office assistant part time. I have been working with her ever since. She has influenced the way I conduct myself professionally. Jan has encouraged me to do the best I can in every aspect of my life. I have been present in the office long enough to know how things operate. I also believe that I share very similar views with her as to the best way to run the Center. Jan is very hands on with her students and I believe that is a wonderful way to teach children. I would love to be able to continue the many wonderful things Jan has started here at the Center. I one day hope that I can influence children in the way that Jan has influenced me, and I know many other children.

As a child I always wanted to be a teacher. I want to be able to educate and better the lives of students. Given the opportunity I believe that I can fulfill these goals as your new Director. I know that I lack the directorial experience, but I have been with Jan for the last 6 years, and believe that I know the operations of the office better than anyone else with experience. As a student I have taken many courses to help me provide a wonderful learning environment for these children. I remain active in the activities that go on in the Center, even to date. I also am very involved at my church. I participate in many of the musical programs that we have, including singing, and bells. I know that these factors will come in handy working as the Director. There are so many opportunities to be creative and use all the skills that I possess. I have also served as a member on several comities at my church. This has given me the responsibilities of leading groups, keeping records organized, and communicating respectably with other people.

I would like to thank this committee for the time you have taken to review my letter, and for the potential opportunity. I know that in the end you will be making a decision that is best for the Center as a whole. I hope that in doing this you will recognize the skills and talents I have and the impression I could make on the Center, and its children.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Somewhere close by lives a family. A typical family one would say. They had a house, a yard, and a white picket fence. There were two children, one boy and one girl. The family even owned a dog and a cat. They were the typical American family, and even envied by some. The father had an impressive job working for the bank, and the mother stayed home caring for the children and the house. The girl was a teenager in high school, and the boy was close behind, about 12 years old. The family lived peacefully in their two story home with the white picket fence.

Now I say the family was peaceful, and that is true, but there was one problem. The young boy, he loved one thing: to wander. But in return he would often disappear. Sometimes for hours, and sometimes for days. When this happened the entire neighborhood would look for him. They would search in every back yard, every city bus, every park, but still the boy would be missing. The family often held family meetings. They would talk about how to keep the young boy from wondering off. He was punished all the time, but as soon as his grounding was over he would return to wandering. It was a vicious cycle the boy and his family had been thrown into. All the mother wanted to do was keep her son safe, but she knew she would not lock him in his room forever… or could she?

It was a few days after the boy had wandered away, and was found sleeping in the library, surrounded by books. Which once he was woken swore he had read all 13 of them in the time he had been “missing”. No one believed it was possible. He was taken home and again punished. His mother and father talked and talked. They stood whispering in the kitchen for hours. The only noise to seep from the room was the occasional shutting of a drawer. The boy thought that he must be seriously in trouble, for his parents had never discussed him like that before. The boy went back to his room, and sat in his window staring out into the backyard, longing to be outside with the trees and the birds and the little black bugs with yellow/green spots he always found in his tree house.

The following day the boy was woken early. His mother told him to dress and come down for breakfast. He showed up at the kitchen table wearing his blue shorts and yellow polo top. He sat down, with his sister across from him and his father to the left of him. His mother was by his side soon with a plate of cheddar yellow scrambled eggs, toast, and slimy, greasy bacon. The boy at like he had not eaten in days. Along with his father and sister. He noticed his mother was not seated at the table with them, but did not think much of it. He finished his breakfast and went to wash up. When he got back down into the family room, his family was sitting on the couch, waiting for him. They sat in silence, the same silence that he experienced the afternoon before. He noticed a large, blue suitcase sitting in the hallway. One much like the one his grandmother gave him several years ago for his 8th Birthday. He wondered who was leaving, and where they were going. At this time his father stood, and explained that the young boy would be going away for awhile. He was going to be taken away to be cured of his common wandering.

To be Continued…

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

As a lover of romantic comedies, this movie was adorable. It pulls at most of ones emotions. There are moments where you feel sorry for the main character and then you turn around and are very happy for her. She blossoms and matures though the movie. It of course has the typical Cinderella story buried in the plot of it. The ugly duckling becomes beautiful and gets the guy.

The movie starts with Tula’s family criticizing her and talking about the way she looks. She is a 30 year old Greek girl who is not married and really has no future but the one in her family’s restaurant. Her family views her as an outcast. She is not following any of the cultural norms and is therefore seen as the black sheep of the family. They do not realize how gifted she is. Tula’s father has not interest in educating her any more than what she already knows. Her family is old fashioned, they have strict views that are based off of their culture and mostly contrast with how and what Tula feels.

Once Tula meets her Prince Charming the movie takes a great turn. Tula is sticking to following her heart and not her parent’s wishes. Her parents do not approve because the man is not Greek. Tula must marry a Greek. So she struggles with her family to understand that she is happy, with the man that she loves. Being Greek does not matter to her, following her heart does.

Tula’s biggest issue is dealing with her father. They seem to have the toughest relationship. We the audience see that her father means well, and acts the way he does because he is taking care of his little girl, but he must learn to let go. And we get to see him struggle with that. At the beginning of the movie Tula’s father makes comments like,

“You need to marry someone; you are starting to look old”. All her father wants her to do is get married and have babies and he continues to tell her that all throughout the movie. When Tula finally meets someone, her father still is not happy, he is not Greek. Tula and her father argue and finally come to the understanding that she will always be Greek, and will always love her non- Greek fiancé.

The movie ends with a big wedding. There are the difficulties of the wedding morning, making sure everything is in place, the beauty of the service, and a fun reception. Tula’s family comes together to welcome a non- Greek family to join them, as one. They learn to love. The relationship between two different people, brings together two families, to create My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Headache

Headaches…some people get them every day, or every other day, or once a week, or almost never. But it is a fact of life. Headaches are here to aggravate us. They get in the way and just slow us down.

In the last couple of hours a large pressure has formed in my head. It first was just there, not really noticeable. However it has been sitting there for hours and has turned into this monstrous pain. I am pretty sure that right now I would function way better is I detached my head from my neck and went on doing my work. Unfortunately this is not possible.

I left dinner with my friends and walked back to my room in the cold night. I looked to the sky for any signs of snow. I am really praying for the snow. Nothing fell, and I continued back to the dorm. I came inside and situated myself to do some work. I did some research on the web for some information. It was about then that I noticed the pain. Soon after I sat down at my desk is when it became obvious that I had a headache. After spending time on the computer it go worse. I am currently operating with the feeling that my eyes are going to fall shut. The pressure in my head is moving to the front of my face causing me to want to shut my eyes. And the bright light that is feeding off of the computer screen is just adding to the annoyance. I know that soon, if I continue to operate under these circumstances that the situation is going to get a million times worse. I can feel the pain moving around my head trying to take over. The worst part is when it moves into your mouth. My gums start throbbing, making my teeth move like they are all loose. Chewing is almost impossible. The pain is on the tip of your teeth and chewing sends shocks of the pain back through them and up to the head. Making this headache a sick cycle. In fact this writing process has been very tedious this evening. A break is needed from the glowing beam from my laptop every few minutes. Descriptive words are not coming to me like they should. However this is the effect that a headache has on me. This is actually an easier one. One that has not eaten up all of my functioning cells all together. I have been able to slowly write this blurb. Sometimes there is only one thing to relieve a headache…sleep. Laying in a soft bed, pulling the covers up close, shutting all the lights off, closing the blinds and letting my eyelids fall down and not able to lift back up. It is sleep. The eyelids are heavy enough that nothing will raise them up again. Sleep will relieve the pain in my head, the pulsating sensation in my face, and the throbbing in my gums. It will all be gone in the morning. It is only then that I can pick up my detached head and attach it to my neck and function as a normal person!

If it rains or snows tomorrow…I called it, or my headache called it!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Dr. & Mr. Smith or Dr. & Mrs. Smith

I was sitting in class today when the teacher strayed from the original topic and pretty much started talking about gender roles. We talked about Africa and Things Fall Apart and what was expected of the women. Men and women had very different roles. Today so many things are acceptable in society. But then women married and tried to marry up. They wanted to find a man who had more land and sold more crops. The teacher then went around the room and asked us what we would rather be The Dr. or the Mr. or Mrs. Smith of the relationship. Most of the boys answered the Dr part of the relationship. While others were willing to stay home or have a lower paying job. Some of them were misinformed about stay- at- homes- moms. They thought it was all about being home and lazy, so they were totally ready to have that job. The girls were mixed too. They had no problem making more than their husbands or less. Then the question was taken a bit further. The professor asked the girls how their parents would feel if they married someone of lower class, or who did not make the money that they were making. Some said there parents would not care. Others commented that as long as they loved the person it really did not matter what their parents thought. This all got me thinking…

I consider the way I was raised to be pretty old fashioned. No drinking, no sex before marriage, probably would not be a good idea to bring a black boyfriend home, dress up for church, those kinds of things. So naturally the ways I have pictured my life have been set up in a similar way. So the idea of making more money than my husband really just got my wheels a- turning. Would I even want to be the one making all the money? Could I handle ME being introduced as a Dr. and my husband just Mr.? People might think that I am odd, but the idea of being a stay at home mom sounds very exciting to me, and if I was ever given the chance I would take it in a heartbeat. I guess that I automatically assumed that I would be the one making less money, that and I want to be a teacher. We all know they don’t make the big bucks.

These are all thoughts that have been put into my head by the way I was raised. I have formed the typical American dream of my future. But the typical American dream has begun to change. Many fathers are taking on the role of a stay at home dad, and letting the mothers work to provide for the family. The roles of men and women have changed since Things Fall Apart. While we are only about 50 pages into the book, you can see the social acceptance of the roles of both sexes. The women are tending to the children and food, while the men are working to bring home food. It talks in the book about one of the wives having to wait so her family could save money to pay for her dowry. Giving the impression that this marriage would indeed be a social climb for the young girl. She would be marrying into a higher class than the one she grew up in. There is a pattern here. More often than not it seems like the women are the ones looking to marry up. You rarely hear about men who marry into a higher class. So we are back to the gender roles that our society has given. Men are supposed to be the ones to take care of the women and family. They should not be marrying up because they are supposed to be the providers. One example we did go over in class was Maria Shriver and Arnold Swarzanager (sp?). The class agreed that Arnold was the one who married up in that relationship, but he then went on to make lots of money for himself. But still it is not often that you hear examples of that.

I am not sure if I have answered the question of which would I rather be, the Dr. or the Mrs. I am not sure that I have an answer to this question. My gut tells me that if I was in love it would not matter, and my parents, they would just want the best for me. I would like to think that my friends would not think I was marrying a bum if I made more money than my husband. It would be a problem for me if he was not working. Like he was not trying. You can only be a stay at home dad if there are children. So I still have a confused mind about the whole situation, but when the time comes I know everything will work out well. I just wanted to try and touch base with the difference of the change in gender roles.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Road, The Radio, And My Thoughts…

I spent about two hours in my car today. A little over one of those hours was unplanned. Now I live in Richmond, and should take about 20 – 25 minutes to get home, which is all I wanted to do today. Instead it took me an hour and a half to get home. The sad thing was I was not stuck in traffic, I was just lost. Lost, on the 20 minute drive home. I decided to take route 1 home instead of 95, something happened, I am not sure what, and they shut down part of route 1. So I was forced to redirect myself on roads that I was not familiar with. I ended up going the wrong way on 295, had to get off, thought I could stay off, but it turns out I had to get back on. I spent about 15 minutes driving one way thinking I could do without getting back on 295. I then determined that I had to turn around and get on 295 going the “right” way. After getting on the interstate and thinking I knew where I was going I messed up again. The part where 295 leads into 95 also has an exit for route 1. I saw the sign that said Richmond, and a way too eagerly too it. At this point I was back where I started. Route 1 was still shut down and I was forced to turn around. This time I got on the “right” 295 and made it to 95 and then HOME!

I love driving and have no problem being in my car for long periods of time. However, when I am driving in circles, and areas that I am not familiar with, I get very tense. My radio was turned down, because in case you did not know, the music coming out of your speakers is a major distraction when you are trying to read road signs. I always thought it was funny that people turned their radio down when they were looking for something. Like your hearing has something to do with what you are seeing. Today I became one of those people. I also tried chewing gum to help calm me. Then I tried to focus on the fact that I was not lost in a bad part of town and that my mom on the other end of the phone knew how to get me home. Once I finally got on the roads I was familiar with I calmed down completely. I spit my gum out, turned the Aerosmith CD back up and became a much more pleasant person. I took time to remind myself that I have no sense of direction and that some of the choices I made this afternoon where stupid. My thoughts told me that I should know my way around better, I should be able to figure out east and west, and north and south. I tend to feel real stupid when I get lost and really I am only 20 minutes from home. I should have the instincts to get where I need to go. But I don’t, I lack them completely. You can tell me to go somewhere I have been a million times and I am good. But when you detour me from my normal route I am completely screwed. I always make a mental note to become more familiar with my surroundings, especially here in the Richmond area. Somehow it never seems to get done.

My experience coming back up to Ashland was much different. My mom reminded me before I left to just take 95. We both laughed and I left. Do you know that person you become when you are going somewhere you have been so many times? The one that could probably make the trip while you closed your eyes? I tend to get like that when I am driving back to Ashland, especially on 95. I am more aware when I take route 1 because there are traffic lights, and well you better pay attention. Not that I don’t pay attention on 95, it’s just easier to slip into that person that knows the way so well. So while I was driving back the I continued to play the Aerosmith CD. My sister just bought the two disk greatest hits album and since I missed half of it while I was wondering around Richmond, and the surrounding areas I decided to check the rest of the songs out. I started thinking about what needed to be done when I got back to school. This assignment being one of the tasks to complete. I knew that I had to write about my hour and a half trip home. But I started thinking about how different my two trips had been. I spent the one home being tense and not thinking much of anything. On my way back I was much more relaxed and open minded. Except for the few people surrounding me that were just plain annoying. My mom tells me that when I drive I become very impatient, and have little tolerance for other drivers. I don’t believe this. I just love the people that come up behind me in my normal size car and get their big SUV lights right in my rearview mirror. So I spend time being blinded while trying to pay attention to what is going on in front of me. It’s that kind of thing that irritates me. Or the person that comes right up on you then makes the quick move into the next lane. Do people think when they drive? I also noticed that while coming back to school the speed limit changes two times. It goes from 55 to 60 and 60 to 65 on the stretch of 95 that I take. During this time I am driving about 3- 5 MPH faster that the posted speed limit and people are flying by me. This was normal, and not nearly as bad as being on 295 this afternoon. While on 295 I was going about 75 in a 65 and people continued to pass me on both sides. I like to obey the traffic laws when it is possible, but I was about to be run over on 295 for going 10 MPH over the speed limit.

I spent time this evening enjoying the presence of me, my car, the road and the radio. Most people need time to meditate or clear their head each day. They do this in different ways. I spend my time driving in my car thinking, and enjoying great music.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I first came to this class with no expectations. I really did not know a lot about the class. My advisor suggested it to me, so I took her direction and signed up for it. After sitting through the first class, I got to thinking, and there are a few things I would like to get out of this class. I want to be able to change, not always sound like I do right now. I want to know more about writing, and be able to use it when I wish.

I think this class is going to be interesting. I think I am going to develop habits that I did not have before, hopefully ones that will help me be a better writer. I expect that this class will be vigorous. It might even be hard, but in the end I’m sure it will all be worth it.

Most of the perceptions that I have for this class come from the first day. My advisor did not tell me much about that class. She mentioned it would be good for me since I am an English major. So the things that were discussed in class Monday have painted a small picture of what I think will be this class. I am trying not to form too much of an opinion without really getting into this class and seeing what it is all about.

Part of me wants to leave this class knowing that I can write, another part of me really does not care. I write for myself and I am happy with what I write. I don’t need my professor or even classmates to tell me that I am a good writer. I am just fine not knowing what they think. I understand that my writing will be presented to people. I am going to have to write so many things in my life that are not for me. So I want to leave this class knowing that others will understand me. I want to know that I can do a professional job when it counts. I want to leave this class knowing that I think I am good at what I do!

I feel like my answers are going to start overlapping and get repetitive. So if some questions are not answered like the others have been it’s because I feel like they have already been answered.

Things I look forward to are learning. I want to know things about writing. I want to be taught what I can about writing and the writing process. My goals for this class start to overlap here, in learning my goal is that I will be able to apply. I need to be able to apply what I have learned in this class, otherwise my knowledge is a waste.

I AM SO NERVOUS ABOUT SHARING MY WORK WITH OTHERS!!! That scares me a lot. I am very self-conscious about all things that are personal to me. And my writing is VERY personal to me. This in turn makes the idea and actual action of sharing my work with others very nerve racking!

I want to know that I am doing my best. This class can hopefully show me, or lead me down that path. I want to change the way I write more easily. I think this class will at least show me how to do that. If I can go from sounding like I am talking to something different I think that will make me very happy.

When I was thinking about writing to answer these questions I noticed myself just answering the questions one by one. Not really putting anything thought into a more detailed answer. I know this is a reoccurring step I take, especially when I am writing for my classes. I just want to answer the first question so I can move onto the next. Maybe I am too afraid to get away from the topics that teachers have set, but it is kind of annoying. Like right now I feel the need to jump back to the list of questions to be answered than to take time and just answer them when in a more natural way.

Compared to most writers I am probably very inexperienced when it comes to my writing. I started writing for me. So anything that I write just for fun, I don’t really care what others think about it. I do keep a journal when I feel like it, or make the time. I never force myself to write. There are times when I write every other day, and there are times when it is months between when I put my journal down and when I pick it up again. When it comes to writing for my classes, I suck. My experience keeps getting worse. I made good grades on my papers in high school, and have continued to make average grades on papers in college (that being the norm). I almost want to say that since these papers are not for me, that I don’t always put everything into them. Like I said I don’t force myself to write, and doing papers for school is a fact of life, and I have to force myself to get them done. That is just one small theory I have on the situation.

I honestly don’t really consider myself a writer, not yet at least, so I’m not quite sure how I understand myself. I know some of the tendencies that I have. Like the one mentioned above. I also tend to write in the stream of conscience form. I write where my mind takes me. I also write like I talk. This is something that I have grown to love, but I am sure that most people do not. As far as understanding myself, I am content. I know what I am capable of producing and what I’m not. Right now that is all I can ask.

I have a hard time with the strengths and weaknesses question. It has been asked of me before in other classes, and I never know what to say. I think the way I write is a strength, but not when it comes to papers that have to be turned in and graded. I feel that most people would be able to understand what I write, because I have a tendency to write like I talk. Another strength would be the ability to make things sound more formal. I know it sounds weird. I work at a daycare center in the office. One of my jobs is to take bits of important information and make it presentable to parents. I am not the mast of it, but I am learning and getting better. So my strength would be taking an idea and making it sound better to be read by others. I still don’t know that I like the way I explained that. Weaknesses are probably just about everything. I can’t spell; I rely on Word to help me with that. I also feel like I can not change the way I write very easily. Because I am all about writing for myself I probably have many weaknesses that need to be strengthen and I have not invested the time to do it.

My writing techniques and process vary. When I am writing just to be writing at home, I do pencil and paper. I do not worry about presentation, lines are drawn from one line to another, parts are marked out, and things are added in. I tend to leave blanks, that sometimes get filled in and other times don’t. I leave several words to choose from, but never actually choose one. That is when I am writing poetry stuff. When I am writing in my journal I still do pencil, sometimes pen and paper. That is when the stream of conscience really comes in full blast. I am all about getting whatever I feel and am thinking down on the paper. I really don’t care if it makes sense. I just want it on the paper. So I guess in a way that writing is all brainstorms, but not ideas for real writing, just ideas. When I write for school the process is different. I might make a few notes below the given topic, but I generally jump right in. I type everything. Sometimes the hardest part is starting, so my rough drafts begin with a “lalala”or “uuuummmmmmm….” or something similar to that. It tends to help me. If I do any brainstorming it’s after I have started the first paragraph. I have a better idea of where the paper is going so I will take time to do an outline or something, to make sure I stay on track.

I love writing. I know I have weird habits, and plenty of space for improvement.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006