Pen and Ink

my account of my college blogging course: through the nature of my capstone, I've discovered something! by encompassing the art of the reportage (combining journalism with literary response) I've found a new definition of what the blog should be, at least for me.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My blogging portfolio

i haven't quite decided on my approach yet. Actually now that I stare at the two options I have. For me showing how my blogging has improved and highlighting my best blogging are kind of on the same wave length. I don't have one of those blogs were I have sound bites and added and a mirage of photographs. Blogging and its technology are still new to me and I am a little technology-challenged. So, I've decided not how my blogs have grown through my advancement in technology, but how I've grown through the advancement of my blogs. What I mean is that, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the concept of blogging from the beginning. I made it a point when I began my blog to remain as discreet as possible. I don't want to be a person who loses a job or is damaged from future employment b/c of thoughts and opinions that I expressed in a personal journal. So I decided to make my blog a blog about issues in the world and my thoughts on those, nothing personal. For instance on of my earlier posts was about an article that I've read about bottled water. Sure I give y personal take, but nothing too personal, just my thoughts on the issue. But yesterday I published two blogs about my summer plans . Well okay I haven't released my name or anything, but now I'm more open to expressing myself andtalking about me and what's important to me. I have even decided to keep my blog after the class is over.

Monday, May 01, 2006

My portfolio

Welcome to my blogging portfolio. When we first began this class, I wanted to come up with a name for my blog that would emcompass the genre of writing that I selected for this class, well as my personal style of writing. I'd also just began my capstone class where we were exploring the different elements of the personal essay. One type that we explored was "reportage"-the art of joining news and opinion. I thought this was perfect for the blog, as did majority of the millions of other bloggers world-wide. So much for me being unique:( However due to my underdeveloped knowledge of blogging I'd thought that I had a clever concept, so I ran with it. I wanted to come up with a title that held on to this ideal, and so forth came "Pen and Ink", with "pen" being a more individual, sylistic effort and "ink" being the more permanent side of journalism.

As for my porfolio, showing how my blogging has improved and highlighting my best blogging are kind of on the same wave length. In hindsight, I think that I have done more growing and advancing as a person through my blog than my blog has as a unit. What I mean is that, I being a less technology-advanced individual ,when it comes to new concepts such as the blog, I didn't have a lot of the glitz and glam that some of my classmates did. I kept it simple, sticking to what I know. But as for content, I'm a fairly private person. The whole idea of blogging about personal life and opinions was not so exciting to me. Yet throughout the semester I began to "loosen up" a little. In order to be a good writer, whether it be for a an essay or for an email, you have to put yourself into it. That doesnt mean you have to tell the world who you are, but you can allow them to discover the person that you are through your own words. In my own way I think I allowed myself to that better than anything else through my blogging. Therefore, I've chosen to highlight the blogs that show my path of growth and development.

I've chosen "college sports and court cases" as my, not worst blog but a blog that could have been significantly better. I start of by stating that I should have and wanted to stay away from even posting on the topic. That's exactly how I felt about the matter. And that's why I limited myself. In this post you can tell by the language and by my opening statement that I had a lot more to stay about the issues relating to the lacrosse case and many others but I chose to address all my points in a roundabout, almost eliminating any real elements of opinion and genuine material. I had so many thoughts and theories concerning that case and the idea of law and politics inr regards to college sports in general but I voiced none of this in my post. This post is almost null and void when it comes to encompassing the point of blogging in general as well as encompassing the idea of my blog.

About a month after class began, I posted a blog relating to an article that I'd written on bottled water. At first glance, I think that I did a pretty good job of relating myself to the article, and my thoughts on it. I even talk about my family, which is pretty advanced for me a month into the class. Here I do exactly what my blog detail states is my mission--I find a topic in the news, and drive it home. I think this blog marks my milestone in this class (if I'm using that word correctly). What is strong about this post is that I go right into my personal element. I don't begin by previewing the article as I usually do. Instead I open with a fact about myself and how that relates to my life. I like this post because here is where I think viewers can begin to see inside my personality. I'm kind of analytical. Actually I think I'm very analytical, particularly when observing my own behavior. I know it seems like a pretty boring or uninteresting post unless you have a bottled water obsession like me, but I like this post and I'm even a little proud of myself. What could've been better about this post? Well for starters I could have talked about something other than bottled water:) As a college student there are so many more interesting and more intellectual elements that co-exist in our day-to day activites that I'm sure that something more interesting happened that day than this article that I had search for, something that I decided not to share with the rest of the world out of fear of any consequences that could result. I can't tell you how many times I've sat at my computer trying to find a story or article that I coudl talk about without giving too much of myself. Or maybe that's just another element of my personality-I like to keep things to myself.

To highlight my best blogging I'm going to refer to two posts. The first is kind of cheating the assignment (that's one reason why I have a second) because I think the post where I wrote about what I plan to do in "my blogging portfolio" is one of the best examples of my blog. It's the post where I am mosst honest and most heartfelt, and I even got an honest repsonse back from a classmate. The second post to which I am referring is a post that I wrote on "Disney Movies." In this post, I can feel my excitement. I relate to the reader my point on the happiness and cheerful ambiance of Disney movies through my writing. I talk mostly about myself and my personal experiences that apply the article that read about Disney movies to me instead of having to apply myself to the article that I read. I don't think that I could have succeeded any better in this post. I was really happy by the way that I applied so many elements of myself and my goal for my blog in this post.

Instead of listing posts where I've made comments on my classmates' blogs, I've decided to highlight a post that I made earlier this semester when asked to draw some conclusions about our class' blogging style as a whole. I drew similarities between us a class and even sparked some debate. In this post I think I accomplished exactly what the purpose of us blogging is--I raised intellectual questions and related them to our lives. Now that I reflect I probably should have put this post on the class posts because I'm sure it would have sparked more feeddback. It's the type of posts that leads to other topics--"A coffee shop post! You know, on tv when the make stereotypes about college kids, take the show "Felicity" for instance, where college students have deep, heart-felt debates and make observations about themselves in some dramatic epiphany that they have in a coffee house.

Additions to Summer Plans

So I've decided to add to the list. I don't want to be one of those people who compose a "things to do before I'm 50" or anything. There's just some things that I'd like to accomplsh, to have a fulfilling and productive yet relaxed summer. I want to start training for a marathon. Once I know what city I'll be moving to, I'd like to train to run that city's marathon, or a marathon for a cause that I want to be a part of. My friend and I hired a personal trainer at the gym last year (which the routines did not stick with us after personal training was over), but he was training for one. My roommate from last year ran in several, and I just think that's a good accomplishment and expereience to have.
Also, I want to learn to play the piano. I took a few lessons as a child but I didn't stay with it. It's always something that I've wanted to. I can jsut imagine myself in deep though playing soulfully like the greats! lol
And lastly (at least for now), once I am settled in my new city, I want to join "Big Brother Big Sister." I was a big sister here last year,and I think it's a great way to get involved in the community. It's definitely something that I recommend for those who like children and want to be a part of the community in which you live. It's really rewarding for both sides.

Summer Plans

I'm hoping to get a job that doesn't begin until August, so that I'll have the summer to transition from college to the real world. And actually in my field it shouldn't be hard to do. Actually, about half of the jobs that I've been applying for don't start until August, so they follow after my heart (more certainty that this field is for me). So, I've been making mental plans for my summer, and they're great. Firstly, I love planning and decorating. I have just about every edition of "Metropolitan Home" from roughly the last year. So, I'll be planning for my apartment. I've come up with a theme, and I can't wait to execute it. Also, I plan to do a little traveling. A lot of my close friends have dispersed across the country, and i'd like to visit them and make the summer one. big, long pieces. I really like jazz so I'd like to go to a jazz festival ( I know I'm like ten years older than my actual age) and the Essence festival in Houston for the fourth of July. Lastly, I want to do a lootttt of reading. I've realized that in the past four years that has been my college career, I 've never actually read and finished a required book. I've just always managed to grasp enough to get what was needed for a paper or test. Ok I've read one book, and it was pretty good. So, I plan to catch up. it's not that I don't like to read, I just don't always have or make the time. Through the years I've actually skimmed through some pretty good books, like ""No Disrespect" by Sister Souljah that I'd like to go back and read as well as some classics that I've never read, like ""Native Son" by Richard Wright. So far, this is what I've composed as my" things to do this summer" list.

Apartment Search

I've been thinking about where I would live if I got a job in Columbia. Of course I don't want to llive in Columbia, as no student who grew up in a big city would. However there is a job here that I am interested in and in the event that it was offered to me, I think I would take. Now it's unlikely that I get offered this job but in the event of wishful thinking, I've been thinking about a place to live. There are the most beautiful "brownstone" condos on the south side of the city, off of Forum Blvd. that are absolutely stunning. I watched as they were building them and decided that no matter where I live, I'd like to live in something like that. When I was looking for apartments this past summer I checked on renting them, but they are only for sale. For some reason I have a pre-conceived notion that condos should be for rent like apartments. It never really occurred to me that people buy condos. But anyway after realizing that I'd have to be emplyed by the university's admissions department to afford them, I moved on. So now, knowing that in the event that I were to be offered that job here, those condos would still be out of my reach, I've settled on a nice little two-bedroom apartment, still on the south side of the city, but in a busier,less family-oriented part of the area. I really liked this apartment. I looked at it last year, or maybe the year before but the only problem was that it only had one bathroom. I live with a guy and there's no way one bathroom would've worked. But anyway, I like knowing that if I did stay here, I wouldn't have to apartment search. Now if only I could secure apartments in the other fifteen cities where I'm applying for jobs.

My day in random thoughts

I don't feel much like talking today. I'm feeling the pressure of graduating. I've got five papers/projects due this week and to be honest it will be by God's grace alone that I get them all done. Not to mention I'm in a wedding out of town at the end of the week. Oh, and I had a hair crisis this weekend. So I had to go to a new stylist b/c my regular one wasn't available. this new stylist completely ruined my hair and now it is very uneven. I have to go and get a drastic hair cut now, and I'm pretty upset. Yesterday I was really upset. I've calmed down a lot since then.

I tried on my cap and down today. My roommate said it was a good idea to take it out the package so that the wrinkles fall. That was a good idea and it never would have occurred to me that it's wrinked out of the package until graduation day, when I would have taken it out.

Oh yea! does anyone watch "Sports Center"? Did you see the clip of the NBA player reaching through another player's crouch at an attempt to, I guess either draw a foul or steal the ball? Yep. You have to see for the full understanding of what went down but I'd have to imagine that in the very colorful and creative history of the NBA, they've never witnessed anything like that. They're talking about suspending the guy.

Lastly, today was the first day of book buy back. Yea!! I can't believe the school year is over in two weeks!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Facebook is at it again

I read a post on Facebook the other day that said that it had the makings of a stalking tool, and that person was absolutely correct. Facebook is going too far. I know that the concept is new and that there are awys to improve it purpose but it never occurred to me until recently when I unintenionally stumbled on Facebook's job openings that people are actually employed in order to keep the site running. I'm thinking that it really can't take too much to keep it running smoothly besides normal site technical problems so those employees have to keep coming up with and testing out corny, little, new things to add to the site, otherwise they'd get pretty bored. In my opinion, they must already be pretty board to come up with such blatantly unneccessary and unpurposeful additions such as the "status" bar, which shows what you were last doing the last time you decided to change your status on Facebook. It could say that you were in the library ten days ago as your last update if you don't bother to change it. Who cares where you were ten days ago and why you deemed it necessary to inform those of the Facebook family! You know what I think the Facebook team should be working on if they insist on continuously overdueing what is becoming a played-out notion? Add chirping, like Nextel. If you're logged in and you see one of your friends is logged on too, you should be able to somehow voice activate them with a message, kind of like the automated blog. Ohh !!! new Idea! It should be JUST like the voice blog, where instead of posting to the wall or sending message you can do the same but through voice recording. Yep. I think I'll recommend it to the team!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

There's No Way I Could Live W/O a TV

I am one of those people who watches too much tv. I often find myself abiding by quotes and life lessons learned off of tv shows and movies. Not that part of the point of television is not to relate to the audience, but I recognize that I may take it a little too seriously. I was writing a paper a few weeks ago, and I heard a phrase on a movie that I was watching while I was working on it, and the phrase just put the whole arguement of the paper into perspective for me. While the phrase did help, I don't think that I shuld get the logic that I'm using for an essay out of a movie. TV really can have a hold on me sometimes....I mean, it can affect my mood. If I want to be in a good, light, comical mood, I tune in for "Everybody Loves Raymond." If I'm feeling kind of free-spirt-like and philospohical, it must be Wednesday because it's time for "One Tree Hill." I really should consider a career in television advertising.

Disney Movies!

I was limited in what I was allowed to watch on tv when I was a kid...even when I was a teenager. I always found this sadly embarrassing when my friends would be discussing the newest hit show on HBO and I was clueless to what they were talking about. Even going home for breaks and the weekends my mom still gets mad if I watch something that she deems inappropiate for my sisters to be watching, insisting that I change the channel. However, knowing my sisters they watch tv shows with far more "inappropiate content," in the words of my mother, than I do. Boy are the generations changing, but that's another topic. And so I have just figured out my obsession with the Disney channel that my roommates always complain that I am too old to be watching--My mother has condidtioned me to watch the Disney channel all of my life. I must admit the "Even Stevens" is still one of my favorite shows. Despite the fact that Disney was created as a children's station the shows do have good content, in my defense. I saw the article on the takeoff of a Disney movie called "High School Musical." I haven't seen the movie and have no intention of doing so because I do have limits. I am an adult to some degree. But then again I objected to watching "Twitches" last year until I was babysitting and realized that I will forever be a child of the Disney era.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I've never had the chicken pox

I saw this article titled "Mumps Spreads in Midwest" and it reminded me that I'e never had the chicken pox. I'm one of those rare chldren that never got it my sharing a pencil with John in Kindergarten. Nope. Never missed grade school for two weeks. My mom says that I had the measels once but I was too youung too to remember. When I would tell people this in highschool they would freak, saying that when I did get it, I'd get it really bad. Supposedly the older you are when you get the worse. Someone even suggested that I try to get it, so that it wouldn't be so bad when I got older. My youngest sister even had it and I didn't catch it. I don't remember if I tried to or not. My mother doesn't seem to think its a big deal, but I wonder what will happen when I have kids if they get the chicken pox. I guess I would probably have to move out of the house for two weeks and have my mother come to take care of them. Even if I stayed to take care of them I would probably catch it and then need someone to take care of all of us. Anyway, this is just a random thought that I have sometimes.

News Perspective

Who still reads their hometown's newspaper or watches their news broadcast if available? I do. My freshmen year I'd watch the news, even though I don't typically watch the news. I just thought it was cool that I could still watch the news from my hometown. It gave me a sense of unity, a tie to home while away at college. The same with the newspaper. After four years I still think that my hometown's paper is better and more credible than any other town's except for the major papers like cnn or "usa today". Sometimes I still prefer my hometown's paper over these. I probably check them in that order online--cnn than "usa today" and than my hometown's. Anyway, despite my objections to a need for a sense of home, checking and keeping up with the news gives me just that. Today for instance, I checked and found a headlining story that I was unaware of. It made me feel out of touch and disconnected. To my amazement, I didn't like that feeling.

Gas and Grocery decisons

So I really am trying to think of a carpooling plan being that gas has once again risen. As a person who already hates buying gas and who waits until the gas light has come on about four times before I actually stop to refill, I find the rising prices particularly troubling. I think I may even try to work out a carpooling plan with my roomates and neighbors. Days like this, I really wish I would have considered living in an apartment close enough to campus to walk to classes. But the nicer, quieter. less expensive apartments are a little further from campus. I only live about 7 minutes from campus, maybe 15 in traffic, but with the drives back and forth from campus and work (sometimes twice a day, occassionally three), gas goes pretty fast. I started shopping at a more expensive grocery store because it is closer to my house than the grocery store that I prefer. I've never sat and done an analysis evaluating which way is more economical--closer distance or better grocery prices. It probably doesn't make too much of a difference. It's more so the point of the matter.

college sports and court cases

I've stayed away from this post because I honestly don't know the best approach to voice my opinion on this issue. That probably means that I should completely stay away from writing this post..but I'm not going to. It's hard for me to find things to write about. Anyway, Wow. There is so much going on here. The first thing that struck me what the university set up a separate website to address the issues surrounding the case and to answer standard questions. I'm thinking that's unusual. I attend a university were athletes, particularly one very high profile case, have been accused and charged with similar crimes at least twice since I've been in attendance at this university. We've never set up a separte website to address the matters of the cases. Honestly I think it may be a little extreme but definitely good PR. It really makes you consider the business side of collegiate institutions. It is easy to forget the politics of college, both from the student and faculty aspect.
Secondly, the coach's resignation raises an interesting discussion. Allegedly the coach resigned (after 15-plus seasons) after comments were made concerning the continuous "boorish behavior" of lacrosse players throughout the years. Naturally I do not attend that school or have no idea what happens inside the offices but at what point is a coach to be "blamed" or even referenced for the obscene misconduct and potential criminal offenses of his players? Is that a fair assessment? Does that apply to collegiate level sports or professional also? Does that apply to organizations, particularly student organizations, that are not sports related, for example a newspaper club?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

suing drug companies

This article appealed to me today. My roommate just received two job offers at a pharmaceutical rep (He's really excited--It pays well.). I don't take any medications nor does anyone in my immediate family take any serious ones so I've never really put a great deal of thought behind the ethics of prescription drug companies. I think the key when debating issues surrounding the constant controversies of the drug companies is to remember that they are a business--a big business. They are here to make a profit. However that is not to say that they will do so at any cost. I by no mean want to bash the drug industry. Infact I imagine that it is rather to difficult to account for ever single side effect particularly for new drugs. Yet that is what drug testing is for as well as the point of FDA approval, to prevent any situations such as the one with Mr. McDarby. I do believe that drug companies can be manipulating and sometimes ill-focused. For instance, it seems that the goal of drug companies is often to be the first to create a new drug, for financial and status purposes rather than for the purpose of helping our people and preventing sickness and disease. I don't know but I'm curious to know what other think, particularly in age group where many of us may have never been directly affected by serious prescription drugs.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Missouri Weather Blues

I think Missouri probably has the worse weather of all 50 states. Ok maybe Kansas too. I know it has to be freezing in Alaska right now, and all the states on the east coast get inches of snow in double digits during the winter, but at least it's consistent. It's a running joke that Missouri has a 30-degree weather range. It can literally be 70 degrees one day and an easy 40 the next. I don't think that its funny though and I'm starting to get aggravated. I think we live in one of the few states where it is absolutely necessary to watch the weather channel before dressing. I hate that. It is so easy to get sick here. I get a stuffy nose all the time from the weather change. Today it had to be close to seventy degrees. I started out with a jacket and long-sleeve shirt this morning. By the late morning I almost could've turned on the air conditioner. And now, by nightfall I'm debating turning on the heat. At least in Miami they know that it will be hot when they wake up in the morning, hot when they get home from the day and hot when they got to sleep. They hae consistency. We have a dial-up weather forecast.

Four years and no fitness

I think that I've been on a diet for my whole four years here at the university. I probably was on one the summer before I came to college. That's pretty sad. My freshmen year I definitely gained a little weight, not quite the freshmen fifteen but enough to justify consistent trips to the gym. I succeeded a little, but I tend to have a problem with routine. For the past for years I'v decided every year at some point, usually multiple times throughout the year that I need to consistently workout. I call it a lifestyle change. My ex-boyfriend says I've been on a lifestyle change since he's known me. He's right I'm sure. I realized it last week when with the first burst of spring weather I found new mental energy to reestablish a lifestyle change of healthy eating habits, routine gym visits and, guess what, keeping up with the news. Freshmen year my roommate and I bought an "X" pass to the gym with the mentality that if we paid for the service we wouldn't let our money go to waste. We let our money go to waste. The next year I don't even remember putting in real effort. Junior year a friend and I decided to go for personal training. We figured if we had someone to push us that we would stay on task. That worked for a little while but not long enough. It is easy to push it off to the next day when your busy. In my mind there are few people who are busier than college students. At 20 years of age my friend and I both had to pull out organizers to find a time we both could meet. So with the inconsistentcy of our schedules a day turned into a week which turned into, " I completley forgot that we had a personal trainer." So I've decided that I need to sit and psychoanalyze myself, figure out why its so difficult for me to want to improve my life and get passed it. Before I leave this university and its newly renovated "million-dollar" gym, I will put it to good use.

blogging next to the news

I was browsing on the internet and I came across a link under "health" for a women's blog. The blog is called "The International Museum of Women..." . and it had some pretty good stuff on there. It is suppose to serve as a sort of inspiration for readers and I guess a voice of encouraging accomplishment for readers. The first post listed is from a member of the LPGA. Honestly I am quite amazed my the takeoff of the blog. Before this class I never paid attention to blog links, much less read them. However it seems that blog links often lie next to news links and top stories on the internet. I guess that means that people do care about what other people have to say, and that people in general do care about what is going on in the world and feel compelled to voice their opinions and solutions. I guess I didn't give the blog a fair shake. Maybe that's why I ended up in this class.

sunday dinner

My roommate and I recently had to end our one household tradition of watching "Flavor of Love" on Sunday nights. We both decided to set aside any feelings of the media supporting this rediculously poor portrayal of our public in the spirit of enjoying good entertainment. And that it was. I'm not a reality tv fan at all but from the first night that we accidently turned to the show we watched faithfully for weeks. My roommate watched the same episode as it replayed all week long, mainly for a chances to drool over his favorite contestant, "Hoopz." Actually a good amount of our guy friends spent an obscene amount of time either watching or talking prolonged about Hoopz, as Flavor Flav dubbed her on account of her basketball abilities. However, the show came to an end three weeks ago with Flav choosing the male favorite, Hoops as his love. This past Sunday aired the reunion show which I initially declined to watch because I needed to study but as soon as the show got underway and the entertainment began, I quickly decided the need for a study break. Anyway, my point was simply that, there aren't a lot of times when my roommate and I agree on common activity. I liked having a house tradition, something where we both came together. I just think that it is hilariously ironic that our quality time was found in a sem-cheesy reality tv show. What does that say about us? And sadly we're awaiting the second season, cause there will be one.

I'm not a daily news person

It has been a really long time since I've read or watched news unrelated to sports. I am completely out of the loop with the rest of the world as to what has been going on around us. I guess with spring break, watching or keepling up with the news just totally escpaed me. That's really sad. I should always keep up with the news, but I don't care to watch it. It has a gloomy feel to it. At ten o'clock at night, I don't think that the news, hearing of death and destruction is the best thing to have on your mind before going to bed. My parents watch the news as do most older adults, but I guess I never inherited that interest. My ex-boyfriend lives for the news. I'm sure he has every news cite saved to his favorites on his laptop. It is the first thing that he put on in the morning. I guess that it is good to wake up and be in tune with the rest of world. I wake up and turn on "Saved by the Bell" or "ESPN." If there is a good movie on, I'll put that on too. I think the day should start light and happy. The same before I go to sleep. the Disney channel is usually the last channel that I watch before going to bed. My ex-boyfriend always tells me that its time to grow up. But I know plenty of people my age that the Disney channel. My only opposition is that "Even Stevens" is no longer prime time.