Thursday, January 30, 2014

Who does hip-hop belong to nowadays?!?

  • Who does hip-hop belong to?
  •  I think hit-hop can belong to everyone that is good enough to do it. 

  • Are white artists who prosper in hip-hop robbing from black musicians? Or is music fair game for all true fans? I think it's fair game. 
  • If are good enough to do it why shouldn't you be allowed to do it!!!!

  • Should Macklemore be apologizing? Is his apology sincere? Is it appropriate?
  •  I feel his apology is not sincere was is very kidish.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Semester in Reflection

Dear Readers,

In my past English classes I've never been able to develop my true writer's voice but this semester I have found there have been many more opportunities for me to develop my own style and voice within my pieces of writing. In addition to this, I found I struggle with smoothly connecting ideas and moving seamlessly to a conclusion. Conversely, I found that I was able to expose my writer's voice more than ever and could really feel it come out in my writing.

The first piece that I chose for my portfolio was my College Essay. I chose this piece because I felt it really shows my unique style of writing and my personality. While writing this piece, I started by really thinking about how to make mine stand out from the others and also express my feelings with a sufficient amount of depth. In the middle of the writing process, I came to realizations about the topic I was writing that I did not initially intend to come to. In other words, my writing process helped me to more fully explore the topic at hand. I think the strongest part of my college essay is the strong visual and sounds aspects of the opening paragraph. I think this is best shown in these short quotes from my essay, “...the warmth of the sun with a gentle breeze...” and “...quiet peaceful place where the wind whistles through the trees...”. In terms of my goals, I think my goal of getting an essay to flow all the way through was met well in this piece but I feel it fell short of achieving a particularly satisfying conclusion, which is part of what I worked on in the revision.

The second piece I chose for my portfolio was Personal Profile. I decided to use this piece because through my writing I felt it effectively connected readers to the kind of person Caitlin is. The writing process was a litter bit different for this piece because I interviewed Caitlin Buryn through email. It created a difficult set of challengers such as not being able to expand on an interesting piece of the interview and it was hard to come up with the right questions to ask, especially follow-up questions because the interview was not face-to-face. I feel like the strongest part of this essay was the way I added the quotes from Caitlin's interview to help readers get a better idea of her. I think I helped to best get her attitude across in this quote from essay “She likes to look at every situation that is challenging and tries to better understand the person. 'I always try to find a positive way to look at things. It's easy to get caught up in the 'life and death' of any situation, you can't let it get you down.'”. I don't feel there are any major weaknesses in this piece but maybe the end could have used a little but of work to maintain the same tone throughout. The goal of creating a well thought out and personal profile of a person was met quite well in this piece, readers definitely get a good idea of who Caitlin is and how her attitude affects her success as a manager. This has a similar problem to my other piece because in both of their endings I had a hard time wrapping up everything that I wanted to say without breaking the flow of the writing.

Overall, I feel that my writing has improved significantly through this semester in class though I still have a long way to go in developing my voice and creating effective conclusions for my writing. However, it is better than it has ever been before and I hope to improve even further.


Cody McEnery 

Draft Letter for 'Experience as Education'

Dear Reader,
My favorite thing about my personal profile was that I could relate to the career that Caitlin is pursuing. Equine management is something I might want to do in the future. It easier to write this profile because Caitlin and I have a similar passion towards caring and managing horses. The other personal profile I completed was very challenging to write because I couldn't relate to Sommer's passion for art. This made it hard for me to create a piece that was well put together since I am not into art like I am with horses.
In writing this piece It would have been helpful to ask more follow-up questions because it was very difficult to write about her without more information. The answers she gave were very general and she needed to expand on the questions, so if I had more opportunity to ask good follow-up questions it would allow me to expand a lot more on the whole piece of writing. If Caitlin would have expanded more and I asked more about the topic I would have also gotten to know her better.

I believe the reader will find that Caitlin is exceptionally good at what she does. If it wasn't for the people who gave her on the job experience and the great example her mom gave of how to deal with difficult clients, she wouldn't be good as she is. One way she is exceptional at her job is how she make sure the owners don't burn bridges between them and their clients. This happens because she is looking at each situation trying to better understand the person and her outlook is to be positive.

What really worked in this personal profile is using quotes and using her voice so that readers could feel like they were there when she was in the interview. By sharing the quotes it shows that she really enjoys what she does. I gave clear examples on each interview question so the reader can envision the situation that is happening. A difficult situation I encountered while writing the personal profile was doing it through email. This was very challenging to get Caitlin's voice into the piece not being face-to-face. Having a face-to-face interview leaves more opportunity to fill-in the the gaps of information. I believe I did a very good job of putting her voice into the writing despite the fact we did it through email.
Cody McEnery

Experience as Education

How would it feel to work with someone who always makes the right choices and seems to never make mistakes? Someone I know and work is that talented and that person is Catlin Buryn. She manages a boarding facility named Springpoint Farm in Durham, Maine. As a manager, she is responsible for organizing the horse-back riding lessons, providing care to all the horses, giving employees their tasks and responsibilities. In short she ensures that the facility runs smoothly.

Most people who would like to manage an equine facility would go to college to get a degree in equine management. In Catlin's situation, she started school, but felt she would get better experience in managing by working in the field. "There are lots of people who come out of an equine program, from college, who are still not qualified, not able to manage a facility and train successfully." Her mother impacted her by being a useful example of what she can do to handle many different personalities at work. "My mother is in the mental healthcare field and I believe she had a huge impact on teaching me how to skillfully handle all different kinds of personalities."

The experience Caitlin has been given has helped her deal with difficult clients. She likes to look at every situation that is challenging and tries to better understand the person. "I always try to find a positive way to look at things. It's easy to get caught up in the 'life and death' of any situation, you can't let it get you down." An example of a difficult situation for her is between the clients and the barn owners. When there is a conflict with a client it is difficult because the barn owners and the managers are most often not on the same page. The client is not always satisfied with the owner's decision, so many times Caitlin has to go back and make sure everyone is okay with the situation.
Caitlin deals with employees in a fun and light manner on a daily basis, unless it is a serious situation. She adopts a very careful positive demeanor so that they do not get defensive. "Instead of saying, 'Don't do it like that', I say, 'Try doing it like this, it will make it much easier.' Caitlin prefers to hire honest and hard working employees. This job is hard, so you need to be able to work through minor pain and exhaustion. "It is a hard job and you will be sore and tired after long, hard hours. It is necessary to the happiness and well being of all our horses and that is what should drive you."

One of Caitlin's least favorite tasks as a manager is scheduling all the employees' shifts. Trying to make everyone's schedules work together and accommodate their needs and the needs of the facility is difficult. "Making sure all shifts are covered is exhausting in itself." One of her favorite things about managing this business is helping people enjoy their experience at the barn. "I love helping willing people and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I like to be able to see and feel that I've made a difference in the barn and in people's lives every day."

In ten years, Caitlin would like to purchase her own equine facility with her own horses. She would focus more on a training program and reduce the amount of individual lessons. This interview gave me a better understanding of what it's like to manage a business and what skills you need to maintain an equine facility. Even though she did not finish her college degree, she is exceptionally good at her job. Being in the field has proved to be a very positive outcome for Caitlin because she is getting invaluable on-the-job experience. Many people have their degree, but do not have the work field experience to go with it. So despite not finishing college, she has managed to put herself in a stronger position than many degree holding individuals through her hard work, keen insights and deft people skills

Draft Letter Assignment for 'Peaceful Respite!'

My favorite part of my essay is that I really get to express my feelings and let the person reading it get a wider overview of me as a person. One example I shared, was my personal experience when I talked about what I need to do if life throws a curve ball at me. I feel like while you are reading it you can really imagine the room that I'm talking about and feel what I am going through. Some weaknesses I have on this piece of writing is trying to tell the reader all of the details about this room I'm talking about. It was incredibly difficult to explain the room. Some techniques I did differently from past pieces of writing is that I went to the writing center more than once. I can't write a whole essay in just one sitting and it helps to break it up into smaller bits. Breaking it down helps me put a lot more detail into the writing. I find it worked well for me because I didn't get carried away in just getting 500 words. I actually put more details into this writing than I normally would in a different piece of writing. I find this piece does not really compare to anything else that I've written in a long time, because I put such a big amount of detail into it. Making the essay 500 words long was very difficult for this piece of writing because I had to really imagine myself in the scene. I managed to get over 500 words and it doesn't sound like I just added useless sentences. It sounds like it is very well put together. I found explaining how the wind blows through the big screen doors helps the reader put themselves into the story. Explaining the surroundings more and more really worked well with this piece. I don't think there's really anything I would like to improve on this piece. I really enjoy what it is now and would not like to change it. I think one thing the reader will take away from my piece is he or she can imagine being there in the room seeing the glistening grass and the changing colors of the leaves.

A Peaceful Respite

How would you feel if you could go to a room that is out in the warmth of the sun with a gentle breeze through its large window screens? Imagine being in a quiet peaceful place where the wind whistles through the trees compelling you to notice the color of the leaves changing. Where there is just enough music softly playing in the background so you don't slip away into a light sleep. It's the type of environment that is ideal for reading any genre, whether a magazine or a novel. Sitting in a warm, silky smooth leather chair, looking up at the wall, seeing a nice painting of the ocean. When I look out the window, I see freshly cut grassy fields glimmering in the sunlight. Although the road is not too far away, you cannot hear a single car whizzing down the winding street. The first time I experienced this room was when I went to visit an old friend. I found this place to be relaxing and stress free, drawing me back when life becomes difficult.
Being in this quiet place helps me maintain a positive attitude towards other people. One of the most important things to me is treating others with respect so that they treat me with respect. One of the quotes I've heard is "People can alter their life by altering their attitude." When I am around people that have poor attitudes I need to make a better choice than they have made. Being able to go to this room helps me reflect on my response and whether I made the right decision or not.
This is a place that I enjoy going when I am feeling down from life's challenges. I like not hearing about anybody's problems and instead freeing myself in the atmosphere of the room. The atmosphere of the room is laden with a pleasant nostalgia, one that reminds me of growing up when my Mom and I would sit at my little table when no one else was home. This time with my Mom was a peaceful time away from the craziness of living with three brothers. There were no worries; it was very quiet, peaceful and scenic. This is why I enjoy this room and the memories it calls forward, even if they did not occur there.
The reason I am drawn to return to this room is because I do not have to deal with life's challenges. I can just escape into a nice scenic place where I find time to reflect on my life and see the positive. Getting away let's me recharge so that I have a clear understanding of what is important in life. I feel not many people have the chance to go to a quiet place. They get caught up in life and everything that they need to do on a daily basis. If people could have a place or room to relax every day even for just five minutes they would enjoy life a lot more. I think it would help people with every day struggles to make a more positive society. I feel privileged to have a room where I can go and all here is to think about is the beautiful surroundings of nature.