BLOG POST #9: In-class Interview Exercise #2

 

The farthest she was ever away from home, was to Las Vegas. This was a recent experience for Jessica, and it was a place she had always wanted to visit. The idea of being so far away from New Jersey didn’t bother her too much, but it made her feel a bit anxious and excited. If only she had picked a better time to visit Las Vegas, perhaps her overall experience would have been better. It’s not that she didn’t like it there, but the weather wasn’t as pleasant. Hours before arriving at Las Vegas, she had dressed in very warm clothes to fight of the cold in New Jersey. Temperatures were cold enough to make her not want to be outside for more than 5 minutes, as her feet and hands started to hurt with every movement or touch. She hoped that once at Last Vegas, this would change and that temperatures were a bit higher and warmer.

This wasn’t the case. At first, she didn’t feel it, but soon after spending some time around the casinos, hotels, museums, and shopping districts, she was completely frozen head-to-toe. The air was very dry, to the point that her was bleeding from her nose. Now more than ever, it made her missed home, and wish she wasn’t so far away. Still, she managed to enjoy herself at Las Vegas, despite weather. After all, this was a place she always wanted to visit and have a great time. The cold alone was surely not going to ruin that for her.

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BLOG POST #8: Proposal for my Eye-Essay

 

 

For my “Eye-Essay”, I plan to write about my friend Henry and his experience battling with depression when he was younger. Although he no longer deals with depression at any serious levels, he did when he was 17 years old. We never had the chance to go over the details about this experience, and all he shared with me is that it was a time of difficulty, both at school and at home. I find that this topic of how he overcame depression when he was younger is perfect for my Eye-Essay, since I can further interview him and research about his experience. Then, turn my findings and report it in a story-like manner from an outsider’s point of view.

On this assignment, I plan to make sure that I gather as much information as possible, which will include very specific moments, environments, people, ideas, emotions, and many more. These will help with a better visualization of where he was and how that affected his overall emotional state.

In order to collect all of this information, I will conduct various interviews with Henry, in which I will not only take notes on paper, but all record (in video) his answers. The recording of his facial expressions, when recording the interview in videos will help me figure out how much certain moments affected him emotionally during the entire experience. All of this will help strengthen the quality of feedback and data collected for this project.

BLOG POST #7: In-Class Interview Assignment

 

 

Out of her own interest, she had selected Psychology as part of her major. Now she was at the end of the semester in another class that she liked, just done with her last exam (Final Exam). But despite this, she was not doing very well. This had been the case with other psychology classes in the past, and she didn’t know why. She asked herself why she was not doing well in the major she had chosen with so much interest. Her class was large enough to fit 30 students, which was actually the case at the beginning of the semester; however, now there were only 13 students left. Most of them dropped the class because it proved too difficult. The professor was a fast talker, who liked distributing large amounts of information, and expected the class to remember it all for the 2 major exams (Midterm and Final) and small quizzes (10 quizzes). She knew this very well too, but she kept pushing forward with hopes of achieving her goal: passing the class and being one step closer to graduation. But it just wasn’t working, and her mind was not completely in it. She was having trouble memorizing at least half of the information from the lectures and the readings.

The day before, she had studied as hard as she ever did for any other exam, with hopes of making a change this time around. She went over every piece of information from the book and notes from class-lectures – reading and trying to memorize the materials from previous exams and quizzes as best as possible. She made flash cards and even voice recorded her own flash cards on the material. In a way, she was ready for her final exam. But was she really? Here she was now in class, done with it, and feeling as if all the information she had memorized simply vanished from her mind at the moment of the exam. As weird as it sounds, it was a moment of mental paralysis. She had no hopes of passing the class, as she had received low grades on her previous quizzes and Midterm. The grades she received from her papers were not enough to pass her. After the class over, and everyone had finished taking the exam, she reached out to her professor and asked about her final grade. “Susie, I am sorry to tell you, but even if you score high on this final exam, it won’t be enough for you to pass”, said her professor. Her answer didn’t come as surprise to Susie, as she knew was aware of her own progress in the class. Still, she resisted to drop the class all along.

At the end of the, she went back home and reflected on the experience with this semester. She was heartbroken to know something like this was happening to her. But she had accept that it was real and that she had to make the choice of either changing majors or continue to struggle with her psychology classes. This had been one of the most difficult classes for her to take; however, she did get something good out of it in the end – the motivation to change majors and career path.

BLOG POST #6: Reaction to Crafting Literary Journalism

After reading Crafting Literary Journalism by Kim Pearson, I found myself understanding the points that she makes in this article. Despite all of the mixed content, which includes her own observations on various literary nonfictional works, I was able to find her main focus on this article. Needless to say, I can argue that her focus on this article is to simply present the key components of what makes a work of literary journalism great. Personally, as an ongoing-student writer who has previously read and researched on such subjects, I can’t help but to willingly agree with her explanation and argument on this article. This is not only because I constantly see other experienced writers doing the same thing, but also because I like to do it myself.

Here we have this person telling us what makes a great piece of non-fiction. She uses a bunch of famous works as examples of this, since each of these works possess specific characteristics that make each work a great piece. She argues that these works are so great because they mainly do one thing right overall, when telling a nonfictional story: these stories are more than factual; they feel true. And that’s the essence of literary journalism.

And in the process of doing so, these work follow on certain strategies, such as: the story or work, in a journalistic sense, must report or inform on factual research; as a writer of such work, you must not only properly convey information and keep the reader interested, but you must bring them into the story’s world; the right tone and theme are crucial for the story as they help make your writing conversational, but not mundane.

I personally think these are very accurate points to touch on and consider, when crafting a nonfictional work that follows on journalistic and conversational strategies. It makes sense overall, since when writing such type of works, you must make it as believable as possible for the readers, in order for them to fully grasp and enjoy the story. And in the process of doing so, we must hook them with interesting story-telling strategies that will facilitate the absorbing of the information being presented.

As writers of nonfiction works, whether it’s a personal memoir or general conversational essay, we must keep all of these characteristics in mind because they will help strengthen the quality of crafts. This is not to say that these are the only one that should be considered, but that these should at least basic and principal to the process.

 

All rights reserved by Karel

@2018

BLOG POST #5: Proposal for MINI ESSAY

 

For my paper, I plan to write about a very specific event/ moment that will forever be part of history. It was a horrific and thrilling moment which has stayed in my mind over the years. This event is that of the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, which took place on September 11, 2001. The main focus of my paper will be to talk about where I was during this event, and the effect it had on me.

For the first part of my paper, I will focus on giving some basic background information of this historic moment, mentioning the location, terrorist group, how it happened, those affected. The reason for this is to help the clarity of my paper. Then, for the next part of my paper, I plan to write about my experience of how I came to know about this attack on the Twin Towers of New York. Also, I will describe how my location (being at school, during class) intensified my feelings over the experience. Lastly, I will talk about how my feelings at school made me feel in ways that separated me mentally from my current location, and forced me to worry about family and friends, as well as those people who were experiencing the event in person.

After having touched these points of the experience, I will reflect on how this event that took place on September 11, 2001, is one that affected me in ways that many other people can relate. The reason for such, is because as human beings, we have things we care about (such as family and friends, or other people we might not know), and are susceptible emotions (such as pain, fear, love, and helplessness) when faced with a challenging situation.

 

 

BLOG POST #4: My Writing Process for “I” ESSAY (Thus far)

 

For this essay, my writing process has taken the following form. At first, I was doing a lot of free writing exercises both for/at school and at home. Doing these helped me improve and strengthen a narrative style which has become part of my prospective essay (in development). In this part of the process, I remember writing on various concepts which will be part of the final work.  Some of these concepts are: my former school (UCC), transferring from one school to another (UCC to Kean), my current school, feelings of emotional change, personal desires, and new goals. Aside from these, I have also written on how I felt on certain moments, before I changed my mind, changed majors, and transferred to Kean. I have found a profound connection between each of these along the way, and have helped me gain a better insight of what I should continue to focus on for the essay.

Recently, I have moved away a bit from free writing and moved to more concentrated topic/concepts for my essay. The reason for this is because after practicing free-writing, I was able to decide on what concepts and points to focus on the most, so that I will be able talk about my journey in a way that is fluent, consistent, and chronological. I hope this will help me in the crafting of my essay, as I am able to better make sense of my journey and creatively narrate it. At this point, I feel ready to start writing and formulating the different parts of my essay, working on specific scenes, moments, abstract ideas, and even emotions that led to my final decision.

OUTLINE for the “I” Essay

 

INTRO:

Introduce my topic: Changing majors halfway through college/university.

-Mention the names of the old school (UCC) and new school (KEAN).

-Mention my old (Graphic Design) and new major (English – Writing).

 

THESIS STATEMENT/GENERAL IDEA:

 Present the reasons that affected my decision of changing careers.

-Reason #1

-Reason #2

– Reason #3

 

BODY PART 1:

Talk about my old school.

-Studying Experience of Graphic Design at Union County College.

-Why I chose this major.

-What I hoped to accomplish (back then).

 

BODY PART 2:

Talk about actually working in this field (testing waters).

-Experience at work (good/bad).

 

BODY PART 3:

Talk about having a change of mind about my career.

-Considering/Choosing new career (English – Writing).

-Considering a new school/degree.

 

BODY PART 4:

Talk about transferring experience/process.

-From UCC to Kean.

-New state of mind (less artistic/more literary).

-New hopes and dreams.

 

CONCLUSION/ RESOLUTION:

Talk about my overall experience.

-The process/journey.

-My decisions/consequences.

-My current state/How I feel now.