FP3 Topic Exercise

March 31, 2015

1) Identify and focus on the specific problem. Answer the first four “w” questions who, what, when, where.

Who: The clothing and fashion industry

What: Many practices involved with the manufacturing and designing of clothing seems to be wasteful and not very sustainable for the environment, or the people who create/purchase such products

When: Modern times (2010 and beyond)

Where: Across the US specifically, but also globally

2) Demonstrate that the problem needs a solution. Map out the effects of the problem.

The effects of the problem including running out of materials to make clothing, depleting resources such as rainforests, creeks/rivers, etc.

3) Evaluate possible solutions. Apply the “If…then…” test on each possible solution. Consider whether each proposal would actually solve the problem, meet certain criteria (such as cost-effectiveness, practicality, ethicality, and legality), and not create new problems.

– Newer technology, like Natalia Allen’s robotic machine that essentially melts clothing together without the need for stitching/sewing

-Increased awareness of the problem. If more people know how wasteful and detrimental the majority of the fashion industry is acting towards our environment, they would likely be appalled.

-Put your money where your mouth is. Pledge to buy from companies that practice sustainability, and also do your research. Just because a company promises that they recycle doesn’t necessarily mean that they do, and even if they recycle doesn’t mean that they’re a sustainable company overall.

-New textiles/materials to create clothing. Instead of using cotton that supposedly needs chemicals like flame retardants and preservatives to keep clothing items proper, why can’t we use something else?

4.) Convince your readers. Support proposed solutions by stating reasons and finding evidence.

5) Answer possible objections to your proposal. Every solution has a downside or possible drawbacks. You need to respond to the most important objections.

-How do we know which/if companies are truly sustainable?

-New technology and textiles are more expensive. Why should/would we want to pay more for clothing than we already do?

-Awareness typically is limited to just that – we only become aware of the problem. How can we convince people to act upon what they know?

What are the 3 key insights you gained from today from responding to others’ drafts? (About writing/process, cause and effect, and/or persuasive argument)

  • 3 key insights that I gained from today after responding to others’ drafts is that one of the best ways to ensure that you have a good paper is to make sure you have a topic that you are passionate about. I also realized that I am not alone in struggling with better explaining my ideas in order to ensure that others could understand it, since it seemed to be a common problem among the papers I read. The third thing I gained from today’s workshop is that it’s okay for a first draft not to be perfect; in fact, they’re meant to be a rough sketch of my essay.

Looking over the feedback you received, did anything surprise you? Did readers respond to your analysis in the way that you hoped? Why or why not?

  • Considering the feedback I received, nothing really surprised me. For the most part, they responded the way I hoped and said that my analysis was interesting and they could understand it fairly easily.

Map out your plan for revising and developing your draft from here. Try to be as specific as possible.

  • The main thing that I plan on revising is my word choice. Almost all the people who read my draft said that I used too many of the same words and seemed redundant at times, so I’d really like to work on that. I would also like to fix part of my introduction and change the errors pointed out by my peers in today’s workshop.

How does Jones include and address counterarguments in his essay? Point out specific moments where he engages an opposing point of view. Is his response effective?

Jones addresses counterarguments by including them right after (or at times right before) his main points of his argument. For example, towards the end of his essay, Jones brings up the fact that while violence may encourage less passivity in children, he also recognizes the fact that violence in video games, TV shows, etc. is not always a positive thing. He also recognizes the fear of violence as a society. He presents his own argument, however, right after stating these counterarguments by saying that violence “has helped hundreds of people for every one it’s hurt, and it can help far more if we learn to use it well”.

While I appreciated Jone’s approach to dealing with counterarguments, I felt like he could have been more effective at including them throughout his essay. Instead of using only a few paragraphs out of a 5-page essay to recognize and deal with the views that don’t agree with his argument, I wish he would have tried to include more. Overall, though, I felt like his response was pretty effective.

Jones writes about the need -especially in childhood- for a “fantasy self”. How do you respond to his claim? Do you agree? What experiences do you have with vicarious “identification”, whether from comic book heroes or other sources?

I can see his point. Many children are taught from an early age that they need to hide or contain feelings of aggression. But when children are taught to mask their true emotions and feelings, many harmful effects can ensure. These effects can include diminished self-worth, especially after a moment of rage or anger has escaped, increased passivity, and others. I definitely see the appeal to his argument that there is a need for a “fantasy self” in childhood to help us feel better about ourselves and our emotions, as well as a way to find means to express ourselves better in a society that encourages us to bottle up our “negative” emotions. To be honest, I’m not sure if I ever really had “vicarious identification”. I was never really into superheroes or even TV for that matter. The only time that I ever felt like I identified with characters was through the books I read as a child.

While Winn focuses on the negative effects of television, she also includes some research suggesting that television makes people more satisfied, happy, and relaxed. How does she respond to this evidence? Do you find her explanation persuasive? Why or why not? 

Winn argues that this new research suggesting that a lot of TV can also include quality family time is not logical and is not something that most families experience. She also alludes to TV as being like a drug, stating that ” the television experience is instrumental in preventing viewers from recognizing its dulling effects, much as a mind-altering drug might do”. Because Winn essentially argues that this new research is ineffective because people couldn’t possibly know whether or not TV is affecting their family life and compares it to a “mind-altering drug”, I feel like her explanation isn’t very persuasive. Instead of bringing up this counterclaim and addressing how TV could also possibly be positive for family relationships, she immediately shoots it down and says that the research is illogical. Doing so hurts her credibility, in my opinion.

Winn makes broad and perhaps questionable generalizations about families and family rituals. Respond to one or more of her claims. For example, write about your own family rituals and “culture”. Do Winn’s assertions in this essay correspond to your experience? How does technology affect or even mediate your family relationships? Does it diversify and enrich them, or “reduce them” to sameness? Do you find that opportunities for “expressing love within the family have been reduced or eliminated”? 

Throughout her essay, Winn mentions her belief that television is a bad thing because it lessens the amount of quality family time that people can spend together, it creates “walls” between children and parents, and also makes families accustomed to living in their own worlds. In my opinion, however, television and technology is not always necessarily a bad thing for my family. While things like video games and television shows sometimes take away from the time we could be spending at park or eating dinner together, I feel like technology also helps unite us. Because I go to school in Sioux City, my family is almost always about 5 hours away from me in Kansas City. Technology like our cell phones, laptops, and mostly Facetime help me stay connected to them and still feel like I’m a member of the family, despite the fact that I’m 250 miles away. Because of this, I feel like technology has increased the amount opportunities for “expressing love within the family” more than it has decreased them.

My spring break was great. I got my first ever car and also passed my driver’s license on the first try. I was very excited to see my little brother and the rest of my family and friends. I had a great time visiting with friends and family at home in Kansas City, but I think the week went by a little too fast for me. Being able to go home made me feel refreshed and also excited for the last 7 and a half weeks of the semester. Hopefully they’ll fly by as fast as spring break did!

I didn’t necessarily have any set plans before spring break, other than to go home to Kansas City. My main goals were to get a driver’s license and get as much driving experience as possible, and I feel like I accomplished that. For the most part, I was just excited to get to go home again and hang out with friends and family and not have to worry about work, school, or homework interrupting that time.

The highlights of my break were getting my driver’s license, getting to drive my car for the first time, getting to take my little brother to one of his preschool events, and also going to the mall with my siblings and grandma. One of the least fun things that I did while on break was ride in the car for almost 5 hours to and from Sioux City.

If I could travel back in time to the days right before break, I would tell myself not to stress so much over the driving test. Instead, I would try to focus on spending quality time with my loved ones and also just spending some down time as I please. In the end, I got my driver’s license, so all the added stress and worry about what would happen if I failed wasn’t really necessary.

To have a rejuvenating college spring break, I suggest spending as little time worrying as possible and a lot of quality time with friends and family.

Blog #4

March 8, 2015

A) Describe your process of preparing your first formal speech for C&C.

The process of preparing for my first formal speech was admittedly a little difficult. I found it was pretty hard to take such a long essay and condense it into three minutes. It was even harder to try to make sure that those three minutes would be informative, worthwhile, and also entertaining. Having to adapt my essay into a speech that people should be able to easily understand was the hardest part of this formal speech. The easiest part, in my opinion, was creating the visual aid portion of my presentation. Since I worked extensively in high school with both Powerpoint and Prezi.

B) First re-read the 3M Formal Speech Feedback Form and then download and watch the video recording of your speech.

I feel like I could have done a better job with eye contact. Although I tried to make it a point to be as connected with the audience as possible, I feel like I could and should have done a better job. One thing I noticed that I liked about my presentation, though, was that I wasn’t as dependent on my notes/visual aids as I thought. Even though my Prezi went dark a few minutes in, I felt like I did a good job of recovering and moving forward without my visual aid. Overall, watching the video shows me that I perhaps did a better job than I gave myself credit for.

C) What were the most and least successful aspects of your speech?

The most successful aspect of my speech, in my opinion, was the fact that I felt well-prepared. I was organized enough to know what to do when things went wrong and although it’s impossible to be prepared for everything, I’m glad that I practiced and rehearsed my speech as much as I did. The least successful aspect of my speech was my time. I went over the time limit by almost 2 minutes. Since the purpose of this speech was to get us to think about how we could condense our information, I feel like I should have done a lot better at this.

D) What did you learn from viewing your classmates’ presentations?

I learned several things from watching my classmates’ presentations. For example, I witnessed several different presentation styles that seemed effective. Some people’s choice to wear the clothing or items that they discussed in their speeches was an effective idea. Also, some classmates’ interaction with the audience was also something that I may choose to imitate in the future.