Calissa Writes

I see, but do I perceive?

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Science Story

Move over lab rats, mazes are now a crab lab.

According to a paper in Biology Letters, shore crabs can learn how to finish mazes and remember the route.

The study found the crabs can remember the maze for about two weeks. Scientists hope to use this discovery to see how the environment impacts crab behavior.

By building a maze that mimics future ocean conditions, researchers can see how the crabs are affected.

Media Comparison

https://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-california-brace-planned-blackout-high-winds-persist/story?id=66470492&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_headlines_hed

The organization of the video frames the power outages as more human interest. It focuses on individual business owners and how they are preparing for the outages. The article below is more about impact. It talks about how many people are being affected and how the outages started. The two different frames give the two different content. There is no background at all in the video. It states the outages are for “safety” but doesn’t go any deeper than that. While the sources for the video are the two business owners, the article has quotes from the Pacific Gas and Electric, the one’s behind the outages. The video mostly just showed people, while the article has images of the blackout. I find the pictures of the blackout much more engaging and more informative. The video just felt like it was filler. Also, both sources lack any input from those extremely impacted, like hospital patients. It’s like a veil of normalcy.

Article #2 Final: They/them pronouns 2: Talking about English this time.

Using they/them as singular pronouns is not a new phenomenon. However, as the discussion on pronouns becomes more normalized, people question the need for a gender-neutral pronouns.

He/His. She/Her. These pronouns are used every day. However, as people who identify outside of the gender binary are recognized, the use of they/them has been scrutinized. Some may call this additional pronoun “confusing” or “grammatically incorrect,” but is that really the case?

They/them pronouns are not a new social fad. Singular “they” is seen in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which solidifies its status as grammatical correct. According to Ian Sample of the Guardian, the use of “they” as a singular pronoun appears as far back as 1375.

Using they/them pronouns is a way of respecting others. The pronouns are needed for people who identify outside the gender binary or who are uncomfortable using he/him or she/her.

According to Dr. Valerie Hennings, the effort put in by using they/them pronouns is a way of accurately, and respectfully, communicating. They are essential to communication.

Dr. Hennings is an associate professor at Morningside College. She teaches the Gender studies course and is the faculty advisor of the student group Gender Undone. Dr. Hennings has a background in political science and women/gender studies.

“There has been this push to have the singular they accepted because we’ve had this binary.” said Dr. Hennings, “This inaccurate binary.”

She called the binary “hierarchal.” She explained it sets the man as the default, which is a problem for those who are not male. They/them pronouns, however, break away from that binary. “What’s important,” said Hennings, “is trying to be respectful of using the pronouns an individual requests.”

Pop star Sam Smith announced their pronouns are they/them in September. With a well-known star using they/them pronouns, Tampa Bay Times writer Ashley Dye expected educational discussions on gender. What they got instead was an Associated Press article mis gendering Smith for its entirety.

The AP stylebook, the “bible” on editing in journalism, had updated to all the use of they/them in 2017, yet the article had blatantly ignored it. Dye saw the article as disrespecting non-binary identities.  

Psychologist Brenda Crawford said, “Respecting gender identity pronouns was something that was taught to [psychologists] back in the 90s.” Gender identity and pronouns has been a part of counseling psychology for 25 years, she continued.

Crawford said using an individual’s chosen name and pronouns is a simple change, as opposed to large social change. The language used to address someone is an easy was to show respect.

Why, then, are people resistant to this needed, respectful way of communicating? Crawford said it is a matter of adjusting to change. The use of singular they/them falls outside of some comfort zones. Also, there are beliefs about gender that add to the resistance.

One example of such resistance is illustrated in the opinion piece by Madeline Fry of the Washington Examiner.  “Using the pronoun that corresponds to someone’s biological sex is not something-phobic or a form of hate speech. Not every request for accommodation is reasonable,” said Fry.

However, all it takes is a little practice and effort, according to Crawford. Is such a request really unreasonable? Crawford said no. Remembering they/them pronouns just takes conscious effort, like learning kid’s names in a class.

Using they/them pronouns are a step in the right direction for gender equality, said Melanie Enloe.

Melanie Enloe is a senior psychology major at Morningside College. She is the president of Gender Undone, a student group on campus that focuses on issues that impact men, women, and member of the LGBTQ community.

“The situation often decides what gender is given to an unspecified person,” said Enloe, “If you’re talking about a CEO, he is used because it’s a male-dominated profession.”

Using the gender-neutral pronouns is one way to reduce male dominance, Enloe explained.

Recognizing the need for they/them pronouns is the first step to understanding their benefit to communication, respect, and equality.

https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2019/09/16/aps-transphobic-sam-smith-story-exposes-journalisms-failings-ashley-dye/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/aug/05/he-she-or-gender-neutral-pronouns-reduce-biases-study

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/sam-smith-the-dictionary-and-the-battle-for-pronouns

Greta Thunberg Speech Story

“How dare you.”: Greta Thunberg shares an urgent message at the UN Climate Summit.

Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s emotional testimony about the state of climate change today sends an urgent message to the world’s leaders: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

16-year-old Thunberg’s testimony did not hesitate to mention uncomfortable statistics. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greatest chance of staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius is 67%, Thunberg states.

“There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable.” Said Thunberg, “ And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.”

Thunberg’s final message is a warning. “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Article #2 Draft

They/them pronouns are important in the discussion of language and gender.

He/His. She/Her. These pronouns are used every day. However, with growing recognition of those who identify outside of the gender binary, more and more people have begun to use the singular pronouns they/them. Some may call this additional pronoun “confusing” or “grammatically incorrect,” but is that really the case?

They/them pronouns are not a new social fad. Singular “they” is seen in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which solidifies its status as grammatical correct. According to Ian Sample of the Guardian, the use of “they” as a singular pronoun appears back as far as 1375. The language is not new. Yet, it may be on a bigger stage than it ever had been before.

Pop star Sam Smith announced their pronouns are they/them in September. With a well-known star using they/them pronouns, Tampa Bay Times writer Ashley Dye expected educational discussions on gender. What they got instead was an Associated Press article mis gendering Smith for its entirety.

Dye was frustrated. The AP stylebook had updated to all the use of they/them in 2017, yet the article had blatantly ignored it. Dye saw the article as a missed chance to educate cisgender individuals (people who identify as their birth gender) on gender.  

The inclusion of they/them pronouns opens up the discussion of gender. According to Dr. Valerie Hennings, language and gender impact each other like a circle.

Dr. Hennings is an associate professor at Morningside College. She teaches the Gender studies course and is the faculty advisor of the student group Gender Undone. Dr. Hennings has a background in political science and women/gender studies.

“There has been this push to have the singular they accepted because we’ve had this binary.” said Dr. Hennings, “This inaccurate binary.”

She calls the binary “hierarchal.” She explains it sets the man as the default, which is a problem for those who do not fit into that category. The effort in acknowledging the assumptions about pronouns is an important step. The inclusion of they/them can curb those assumptions.

Brenda Crawford

  • Licensed Psychologist and health service provider
  • Provides therapy
  • Early graduate school, respecting pronouns was taught back in the 90s, engrained in counseling psychology for the better part of 25 years.
  • Language impacts people on multiple levels, an easy way to show respect, easier change for individuals
  • We can’t assume gender on what we see
  • It’s important to practice, it’s about effort

Melanie Enloe is Thursday afternoon so I’ll add this later

https://www.tampabay.com/opinion/2019/09/16/aps-transphobic-sam-smith-story-exposes-journalisms-failings-ashley-dye/

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/aug/05/he-she-or-gender-neutral-pronouns-reduce-biases-study

Three Years Later: The Torture of Gay Men in Chechnya

https://abcnews.go.com/International/started-painting-wall-blood-inside-chechnyas-reported-torture/story?id=66163773&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_twopack_image

 James Longman, Patrick Reevell, John Kapetneas, and Eamon McNiff report on the torture of gay men in Russia. The torture of gay men in Russia has been reported since 2017. Those who have left the region report that there has been little change. The article has insight from a man that experienced the torture in 2017. Amin Dzhabrailov was in Chechnya, Russia when he was thrown in the trunk of a car. He recalled his painful accounts of torture and how he was pressured to reveal other gay men’s names. Dzhabrailov continued to give his personal account with how he had to live through a staged execution. Even with 200 horrific reports, only two have spoken openly about it, Dzhabrailov being one of them.

The article has some issues with repeating. “Put in the trunk of a car” was repeated twice. While it’s good to reemphasis, in this instance in felt like they just repeated a small detail they didn’t need to. The short article works well with the topic. The short length allowed a sort of urgency to come through the quick story. It got to the point. Dzhabrailov experience was split up strangely. They included his recount as the opening of the article, then split it up with a picture. The split feels strange because they repeat the beginning again. It’s shorter, but they could have included more details if they wanted. The ending “Chechen authorities have denied any wrongdoing.” Is chilling. It communicates how the authorities see themselves in the right.

Discrimination met with fatherly support can reduce heart attack risk in LGBT youth, says study

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/support-fathers-mitigate-heart-disease-risks-lgbt-youth/story?id=65997435&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_headlines_hed

Dr. Danielle Weitzer reports on the impact of fatherly support on LGBT health. The story is about new research from New York University. Discrimination faced by LGBT young people can lead to higher risks of a heart attack, while fatherly support can remedy that risk. Dr. Stephanie Cook, senior author of the study and assistant professor of biostatics and social behavioral sciences at New York University, says support from fathers in the lives of LGBT people should be more focused on. The research studied CRP, which can be measured in the blood to find out heart risks, while observing discrimination and support. Connections were found between discrimination and inflammation. Support from the father buffered the effects while maternal support did not.

The story is strangely ordered. The article begins with quotes by one of the researchers from New York University, before moving into background, then moving into more quotes about the importance again. The quotes by the researcher are split by the background. It seems like it would have made more sense to start with the background then move into the quotes all in the same section. The article uses the term “sexual minorities” to describe people who fall under the LGBT umbrella and it makes my skin crawl. The term feels like the word “homosexual,” which has a connotation of abnormality as that is how it was referred when it was considered a mental illness. Weitzer uses LGBT youths in the title, so she had another option. The usage of “sexual minorities” makes the article feel like it is not for anyone who is LGBT.

Alex Watters

Alex Watters is the Career Development Specialist at Morningside College. Watters was born in Ocheyedan, Iowa before moving to Okoboji when he was in the eighth grade. He attended Morningside College on a golf scholarship with the intension of becoming a teaching pro. However, everything would change the 2nd week of his freshmen year. Traveling up to lake Okoboji with some friends, Watters unknowingly dove into 18-inch-deep water, snapping his neck. The accident caused Watters to lose mobility in his legs after breaking his C5 and C6 vertebrae. Watters had to go through six months of rehab, which he did in Colorado. He then returned to Morningside, finishing his schooling in nine years. Watters spoke about the accident calmly, jokingly saying, “I’d never broken a bone before so go big or go home, I guess.”

Watters expressed how his disability impacted his life. Watters talked about how his father’s coverage paid for his accident, but there are so many other people who can’t pay for healthcare. He said Iowa’s healthcare system is a broken, for-profit system that cuts corners. He fights for better healthcare because he is in a position where his voice is heard. While he lobbies for better healthcare, Watters is also involved directly in politics, such as his involvement in Obama’s 2012 campaign and his current status as a councilman.

While working for the Obama campaign in 2012, he worked with a woman who used a walker. Watters said she felt depressed and thought she lacked value because of her inability to contribute. Watters created the position of office manager for her, so she could greet people while he worked. The woman later expressed how grateful she was that her life was given purpose. Watters said that moment was a “wow” moment for him. “Everyone has value,” he said.

Watters wants to keep making an impact and working with others with disabilities. He worked with the Miracle League in Sioux City, a program that provides opportunities for children and adults who are disabled. Watters hopes to inspire others to see themselves as more than people with disabilities. “You determine your destiny,” he said, “We all have the same time of day.”  

“Know My Name”: Brock Turner’s Survivor Shares Her Story

https://abcnews.go.com/US/humiliated-chanel-miller-survivor-brock-turner-sex-assault/story?id=65821466&cid=clicksource_4380645_null_sq_image

Emily Shapiro of ABC News writes about the story of Chanel Miller. Miller, the previously unnamed survivor of the Brock Turner assault case of 2016, revealed her name and her story in her memoir “Know My Name”. Shapiro summarizes the sections of Miller’s memoir, going from the assault to the aftermath of the nationally covered trial. Miller chronicles her trauma, giving new details from her waking up in the hospital after the assault to the impact her statement had on unifying other survivors. Her statement, “My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition…I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty” spread across the world, sparking a unity of survivors that helped Miller’s own healing. Miller urges that people who’ve experienced sexual assault should be thought of as people, not victims.

The story the Emily Shapiro writes is not presented as a sad story of a victim. Her article is a recollection of a woman how was at the center of a national story with no name. I noticed Shapiro avoids calling Miller a victim in the title of the story, instead using the word “survivor.” The word presents the whole story with a frame of Miller’s continued life with the experience. The word victim is used in the story, but only in the summary of Miller’s memoir. The story begins with the important piece of revealing Miller’s name, but it stops being invert pyramid after that. It benefits from moving into time order as it chronicles Miller’s experience. The story about Miller’s experience is newsworthy because of its rarity. From my perspective, stories of men who harm women often leave the women in the background. They are numbers on a statistic or side characters to a glorified murder story. Miller sharing her story is important for anyone else with a similar experience and for those who haven’t.

“I’m a legit snack” – Pirouline

Pirouline

Image result for pirouline

Holding the Pirouline makes me feel like a 1950s detective working on a cold case in the dead of night. It’s heavier than a pen, but not much bigger so it caught me by surprise. The density of the chocolate makes the snack a solid object. The chocolate is the strongest smell, surrounding the whole treat. Bringing the Pirouline to your nose allows the cracker smell from the wafer to come through. The casing is almost a drumstick with ridges, the tan color reminiscent of cheap wood. The dark brown spiral climbs the snack as it rolls.  

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