News Comment #7

For this week’s news comment I read “Multiple tornadoes reported in Oklahoma, leaving thousands without power” from NBC News by Elisha Fieldstadt and The Associated Press. The article reported on a severe storm system that worked its way through the state last night. Several tornados were reported and some school districts canceled classes to ensure that no damage was done to the buildings.

The article itself was not subjective. It included only the facts from the story. Such as when, what, how, why, and where. One thing I found the writer did well was include the answers to questions that people might still have. For example, it was explained that The National Weather Service would be headed out this morning to find out how many tornadoes actually touched down.

Another thing I noticed was that there were some spelling/grammatical errors. The article said “homes and and apartment complex” rather than homes and an apartment complex. I don’t know if this mistake was overlooked because they were trying to get it done and published, but it seemed like a silly mistake for a pretty well-known news source.

(I also realize our writing assignment could have been done in place of this, however, I already had this done in hopes of having less to do during Fall Break so here it is)

“What’s in there?”

Or really… what’s up there? I have never been up to the skywalk on the third floor of BR and this gave me a reason to go up there and see what it was all about. When I walked out, no one else was out there. There were two table/chair things that were connected sort of like a picnic table except all the chairs were separate. They were silver and had the same pattern as picnic tables do. Sort of like the lattice that is found on top of pies.

In addition to the tables, there was a sort of garden on the side. I couldn’t tell if it was a herb garden or just some flowers that were starting to be out of season. They didn’t have a lot of colors and the beds weren’t super full. 

One thing I remember vividly was the stone/tiles that were out there. They were a light grey and pretty smooth. They also moved when you walked. Not all of them, but enough to make a person worried. I think my watch thought I was working out because my heart rate increased all of the sudden.

The view was very pretty, you could see a lot of campus from up there. Especially now with all of the trees changing colors. There were a few people walking around, but nothing crazy like when classes get out. It didn’t smell like much which was actually very nice. I was afraid that the experience and view would be ruined by the iconic Sioux City smell. 

Overall, it was pretty peaceful. You could hear some trains in the distance, but nothing crazy loud. It was, however, very windy out. My hair was flying everywhere. The sun was also shining so it made for a nice fall day.

Monster Buddies

The Monster Buddies wrapper crinkle is that of the classic wrapper noise. The kind that you hear in a commercial that wakes the dog up. The inside of the package is about half full of fingernail size gummies that came in all kinds of colors. Such as red, green, blue, and orange.

Each gummy is shaped like a monster head with an imprint of a monster face on them. Some faces are slightly deformed and others are just fine. At first glance, the gummy is slightly terrifying bc it doesn’t look like it has eyes. However, upon further inspection, there is an eyelid shape that is almost like parentheses turned sideways.

The Monster Buddies are pretty squishy and resemble that of a rubbery stress ball. Not as easy to squish but returns to its original shape.

The different fruit-flavored snacks all smell like fruit and it’s quite pleasant. Unlike the smell, some of them feel chalky. Almost like there was a dust of sorts coating them.

The taste of the orange pieces resembles that of cough syrup that I had to take when sick at home. The green was also not great. I can’t put my finger on what it reminded me of but after the first bite my face scrunched up like I had eaten something sour. The rest of the colors/flavors were just fine and tasted good.

Article #2 Draft

Morningside Universities’ holiday program Christmas at Morningside returns a little differently after last year’s virtual performance.

Christmas at Morningside is the holiday program put on by the visual and performing arts department. Ensembles such as the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, The Morningside Choir, Camerata, Cantabile, the Symphonic Choir, and the Kucinski Symphonic Orchestra all come together for a 90-minute festive program. 

Alumni Taylor Van Vliet describes it as probably the “biggest show of the year for sure.”

After an at-home virtual viewing last year there have been some changes to this year’s operation. A new ticketing system has been put in place and an additional performance night has been added. 

These changes are something that Morningside alumni and current students have thoughts on.

2021 graduate Taylor Van Vliet is a former Symphonic Wind Ensemble member. Van Vliet graduated this past May and is anticipating her first Christmas at Morningside as an audience member. 

When reserving her tickets for the show she went through the process on her smartphone. Van Vliet explained how the process wasn’t clear and it felt much like a raffle. “I still don’t quite know where my seats are,” Van Vliet said. 

However, for Senior Emily Sternagle, her experience with the new ticketing was different. Sternagle reserved her tickets on her laptop where she was able to pick her seats. A different process compared to the experience from a phone perspective.

Sternagle will be participating in this year’s performance as a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She will be playing clarinet as the principal chair.

In regards to the ticket-reserving process, Sternagle went on to say “I think it went smoothly. And I think it would be a good thing to use for the future. That way you don’t have the giant lines of people hanging out of Eppley Auditorium.”

Junior nursing student Sarah Severes, who is performing as a Symphonic Choir member in this year’s production, described her experience with the new system as “different”. It isn’t anything good nor bad but compared to her freshman year where seating was “first come, first serve” this is different.

All three individuals did think that the use of a ticketing system was a good idea for the future, however, Van Vliet has some reservations about the extra step discouraging students from attending. Van Vliet believes that it’s important for students to be able to go to events on their own campus. She thought that a system such as this should be used, but that some tickets should be set aside for students. 

As an audience member Van Vliet is a little concerned about it being hectic due to the lack of show last year. “Because the ticketing system is a little unclear. So I hope the ushers are good” Van Vliet expressed.

In past years Friday night has been the only performance nice for the extravagant show. However, due to the demand for seats which was recognized because of the ticketing system the school has decided to add another show night. 

When it comes to what the extra show means for the community on campus Sternagle expressed “A lot of people A) either don’t know or B) are really confused about what that’s going to change.” However, in regards to the community surrounding campus, she described it as a good change that will allow for more people to get involved.

As a past participant in CAM Van Vliet explained that Thursdays were a dress rehearsal and that the extra show night “will most likely result in an additional rehearsal needing to happen for the students and a bigger time commitment for the students.”

Van Vliet thought that an extra night to attend as a community member is nice, but she thought that a Saturday afternoon or evening would have a better turnout.

Severes expressed that the additional performance night is great considering the demand to see the show. She recalled her freshman year where audience members were waiting in line 45 minutes before the show in hopes of getting a good seat. 

Severes also attended CAM as a prospective senior and thought it was amazing. “I think everyone should come to Christmas at Morningside. It’s gonna be a great experience. It’s one of the many things I love about Morningside.”

This year’s performance will be on December 2nd and 3rd at 7:30 in Eppley Auditorium. 

John Gonsler Story

Second-year professor, former police officer John Gonsler brings new experiences and insights to Morningside’s Criminal Justice department.

Gonsler is in his second year of teaching at Morningside University. He is one of the two Criminal Justice professors on campus. However, teaching at a university was not what Gonsler initially thought he wanted to do and it took him several different careers and continued education to end up here.

During Tuesday’s class, the Fundementals of Journalism students asked Gonsler all kinds of questions and he obliged.

As a professor, he was asked if his style was based on those of his previous professors and Gonsler explained that he is a probably a “culmination of them all.”

Before ending up at Morningside, Gonsler attended Ferris State University in Michigan for a year after graduating high school. He didn’t like it there so he transferred to MSU where he completed his degree.

From there Gonsler worked in public law enforcement for two years in Flint Michigan. After those two years, he decided “it was not the right job for me, I’m still interested in criminals and crime, but I didn’t want to be a police officer.”

Gonsler explained that a couple of the reasons that he knew law enforcement wasn’t for him was due the the politics of the situation and the department. He also stated that “the sheriff was corrupt and dirtier than a pigs dick” after sharing a story about his time in the field.

Despite describing himself as shy and introverted Gonsler was able to keep the attention of the students through different stories and his colorful language.

One of those students who attended class and actively participated in the interview was Caleb Lubbers. During the next class Lubbers explained “I was more interested in his background than I was in his stories.”

After leaving public law enforcement Gonsler discussed how he went back and got a bachelors degree in anthropology in one year and then applied to a masters program.

In addition to working in public law enforcement he wanted a different experience and worked as a correctional officer for 6 months between getting his masters and PhD.

After completing some of his continued education and deciding that teaching was his next move, it was time for him to find an institution to work at and apply. Out of the 33 schools he applied to 2 of them were starting criminal justice departments and Morningside was one of them.

Gonsler applied and came to campus to be interviewed and met the department. He thought everyone seemed great and there wouldn’t the kind of politics that you find in a sheriff’s department.

“I was sold, so, once I started talking with the people here, it made my decision pretty easy” Gonzler explained.

In addition to finishing up his PhD and teaching at Morningside, Gonsler spends some of his free time playing in a band as the guitarist and bass player. He also takes his dog on walks and enjoys working out.

A Conversation

While getting ready to head to class from the library I had a conversation with my roommate Sarah Severes. We were discussing the schedule for our days and figuring out when I would see her next. It was a brief interaction considering we had both been working on homework up until this point. It ended fairly quickly with a phrase that more or less said I will see you when I see you.

Sarah was wearing a grey Morningside crewneck and her hair was pulled back. A typical college student outfit when you’re tired and preparing for a long day. Sarah normally has clinical on Thursday mornings so this was a unique experience that doesn’t happen very often.

News Comment #6

For this week’s News Comment I read the article from the New York Times called  “A ‘Pacemaker for the Brain’: No Treatment Helped Her Depression — Until This” by Pam Belluck. It talked about the story of a woman named Sarah who has tried over 20 different methods to help massage her depression. None of them worked until this most recent attempt. She was the first participant in this experimental therapy. It works by a matchbook-sized device sending pulses of electrical stimulation in the brain.

For starters, there really were no issues with the writing of this article. It wasn’t objective or anything like that. It merely delivered the facts about the story/trial. I also thought the writer did a nice job explaining a topic that in some cases is very sensitive. However, it was nice to see articles about depression and mental health in the news. I think it’s good that mental health issues are being talked about more and more on such a large platform. My only “issue” if I were to have one is that the article does get long, but that is nothing new for an NYT article. 

News Comment #5

For this week’s News Comment I read “No Veggies, No Buns, Few Forks: Schools Scramble to Feed Students Amid Shortages” by Madeline Ngo from The New York Times. This article discusses the problem of food shortages in schools that several districts are facing. The problem is stemming from factors created by the pandemic. Things such as lack of distributors, not enough truck drivers, and the prices of food going up. I thought this was a really good read and that the writer did a nice job. 

Even trying to read it through a critical lens was a little hard because there weren’t any obvious problems and I was also really interested in the topic. Ngo went into great detail and was very thorough when using quotes and other sources to explain the situation. 

I hadn’t thought about how schools would be impacted by this kind of thing. The fact that they are resorting to foods with higher levels of sodium is what initially caught my attention considering when I went through school there was a huge healthy kid initiative enforced through most public schools. 

One Good Conversation

Morningside University senior Guiseppe Del Rio reflects on college life during Covid.

Guiseppe Del Rio is a senior at Morningside University studying graphic design, marketing, and business administration. During these studies sophomore year, the traditional college experience came to a halt. Del Rio went back home to Peru in the Spring of 2020 before the pandemic got worse.

Things back home in Peru were very strict in regards to quarantine and restrictions. Individuals were only supposed to leave for groceries or other necessities.

When coming back to campus for the 2020 fall semester Del Rio was afraid of everything and very paranoid. Some of his friends would go out to parties and even to places such as Walmart unmasked.

However, Del Rio was relieved to be outside of his house once coming back to campus. He also stated, “Luckily last semester my roommate was also concerned about Covid.” He also explained that he thinks the school did a good job in handling the situation.

Del Rio describes the pandemic as a learning experience. When discussing the changes going into this semester, Del Rio said “I think right now I feel like with the vaccine and other stuff I feel safer here than before.” He still believes that people need to be safe since there are still cases.

News Comment #4

My news comment this week is over the article “FDA OKs Pfizer’s booster shot for older adults and people at high risk” from NBC News. The article discusses that on Wednesday the FDA approved an emergency booster shot for those 65 and older, in addition to those 18 and older who are at high-risk exposure or severe illness. Individuals are eligible to receive the vaccine at least six months after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Past the initial or most important information, the article goes on to talk about other questions that were raised and some background information.

The article seems to follow the inverted pyramid style well and as a reader, I could easily stop reading part of the way through and have the information I needed. So in that area, the writers, Erika Edwards and Sara G. Miller did a good job. Overall it was pretty objective, however, later on in the piece, I noticed that there were some unnecessary descriptors that were used. For example, it was said that “Another thorny question the CDC advisers will…” I don’t find the use of the word “thorny” to be necessary in this case. I would think things like this are already obvious or it’s something the reader can decide for themselves.

Overall, I think it was done nicely. You got the information you needed and amidst the pandemic, it was a pretty relevant article. Especially if you are someone who received the Pfizer vaccine.

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