Blog for English class, Issues in Composition.

 

Toolbelts

We as humans have been constantly creating tools to make life more manageable. We created tools out of necessity to survive. An axe to chop down a tree to make a fire. A lighter to make lighting fires easier. We have taken the simplest of tools and brought them to new heights (literally). Just look at stairs, then escalators, then elevators. We are using tools 24/7 without even realizing it. Tools are taken for granted.

So are we tools? Are we tools for one another? Do we use each other to make life easier? Think about jumping from relationship to relationship. Are you the “rebound”? Think about connections, “It’s all about who you know not what you know.” If someone is an expert on a subject are they not a resource, or tool, for that subject? Something that you would refer to when you need something? Like people back in the day needing to stay warm looking for a way to chop a tree into usable firewood. Tools are everywhere and can be anything.

Is video text?

Of course not, what a silly question. Video is obviously recorded moving images, meanwhile text is written words. But that’s just in a literal sense, it goes deeper.

I think video is text in a different more implied way. Video, whether it be a movie, TV show, or internet clip, says something. It is an expression of anything. In that expression the video can evoke anything it wants to into the viewer. In that way the viewer reads the expression in the movie. The viewer reads the movie in a way. We all know of instances where we read into a movie, read into it’s concepts,storyline, characters, or lessons it’s trying to teach us. That’s a way I think video is text.

New Radiohead album this saturday!

I don’t know if anyone else is immersed in the magical worldly sounds of Radiohead but I had to share that their long awaited new album is almost here…I’m super pumped and will most likely ignore you and all schoolwork until Saturday.

Crazy photo from NASA Astronomy Picture of the day. Just had to share.
Explanation: Sometimes a morning sky can be a combination of serene and surreal. Such a sky perhaps existed before sunrise this past Sunday as viewed from a snowy slope in eastern Switzerland. Quiet clouds blanket the above scene, lit from beneath by lights from the village of Trübbach. A snow covered mountain, Mittlerspitz, poses dramatically on the upper left, hovering over the small town of Balzers, Liechtenstein far below. Peaks from the Alps can be seen across the far right, just below the freshly rising Sun. Visible on the upper right are the crescent Moon and the bright planet Venus. Venus will remain in the morning sky all month, although it will likely not be found in such a photogenic setting.    from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110202.html

Crazy photo from NASA Astronomy Picture of the day. Just had to share.

Explanation: Sometimes a morning sky can be a combination of serene and surreal. Such a sky perhaps existed before sunrise this past Sunday as viewed from a snowy slope in eastern Switzerland. Quiet clouds blanket the above scene, lit from beneath by lights from the village of Trübbach. A snow covered mountain, Mittlerspitz, poses dramatically on the upper left, hovering over the small town of Balzers, Liechtenstein far below. Peaks from the Alps can be seen across the far right, just below the freshly rising Sun. Visible on the upper right are the crescent Moon and the bright planet Venus. Venus will remain in the morning sky all month, although it will likely not be found in such a photogenic setting.    from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110202.html

Shortest of stories

Funny. Witty. Flawless. Awesome. Martin’s paper.

Cops. “It’s just a plant.” Jail.

"You can get two things." Date night. Dollar menu.

"Oh wow…you should probably get that checked out."

Why I vote the way I do

I try my absolute best to take all things into consideration before I place my vote. I try to not let anyone persuade me, confuse me, or vote one way with one party. I like hearing what others have to say to gain perspective on the situation and take it all into account when putting everything together. Like I said in my previous post, I am pretty moderate, I am not sold on either side, and I prefer to judge the candidates individually not based on party affiliation.

Despite all that I believe I have only really voted one time, the last presidential election. I voted for Obama because McCain was old and his running mate was a woman. I kid, there was honestly much more behind the vote…I swear.

One of the reasons was because Obama was such a good smooth speaker. After having Bush for 8 years I couldn’t stand someone who couldn’t deliver a speech effectively or even pronounce all of the words correctly. Obama seemed to me to be an effective communicator, which when dealing with other countries appeared to be a much needed skill. I also didn’t feel that Sarah Palin was qualified to be  vice president. After watching multiple debates I felt mildly cheated. I felt as though the candidates (Obama included) were too scared to actually answer the questions in a straight forward manner to reveal their true feelings and beliefs. I felt they kind of talked around questions in order to stay generic and keep up their appeal to the entire mass of Americans as to not single anyone out or lose any votes.

After I decided the country needed a drastic change and Obama was maybe a little bit better suited for the job I cast my vote for him. Unfortunately there were other positions to be voted on during that election and I had done absolutely no research into any of them and just started picking names based on a brief description or if the name sounded cool. That is pretty embarrassing, but hey it was two years ago I was dumb. But now I know how the process works and what to expect when voting comes around next time. I also know that I should be voting for more things than just the big presidential election every four years because my government-1 teacher stressed everyday in class how important congress was to way policies are drawn up and carried out through the country.  

I also think we need more big political parties. I don’t know exactly how to make the other parties bigger and more relevant, but there needs to be more choices and people need to know more details about the other choices. I think it needs to be more open so more people with great ideas can get exposure. There has to be a better way of campaigning and informing the people of who is running and what they believe in than all candidates spending a total of 1.3 billion dollars in campaigning like last election (according to http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/totals.php?cycle=2008). That is a lot money spent just to decide who will run the country. Imagine what could be accomplished with 1.3 billion dollars…

SOTU

Let me start off by saying that I am pretty moderate when it comes to politics and I don’t keep up with politics as much as I should. However I do not fully trust either side. It is hard to trust humans in any political position because of the intense pressure and temptation put on them by outside corporations and interest groups. But at some point someone has got to step up and say enough with the crap and enough with the bribes because bigger issues are at hand and working as a team will ultimately be necessary and beneficial.

Obama is and always has been a very good public speaker. Well spoken, well thought out, and with enough dramatic pauses to fill 9 reality show eliminations. Usually I do not like political speeches at all. I hated most of the last presidential debates because the candidates would just talk around the question never really answering it. But this speech felt different to me. I saw him cutting straight to the chase, covering the issues head on and not sugar coating most of it. He stated things with brutal honesty and confidence, America is no longer the leader in this area here is our plan to get back to the top. Bam. No fluff. The graphics on the government website greatly helped to illustrate how far we have come on some issues and how far we have to go on others. I strongly hope that they put the graphics concurrent with the live speech next time on TV, I think it would help display his points. The speech overall was elegant yet simple. Despite using some complex diction the address was still easy to grasp and understand, making it accessible for most of the American citizens.

Last election was my first time to vote and I voted for Obama because I was looking for a change. So far into his term I and many others weren’t sure if things were panning out like we imagined, with certain bills being just bulldozed through recklessly. But after the address I found myself for the first time in awhile hopeful for America’s future. It seemed like finally the government was in touch with the rest of society and the real problems the country is facing.

Draft of garbage

Looking at the questions listed in class the other day got me really thinking about the past. The questions started to trigger things in my memory and I suddenly began to remember details from my 7th grade English class.

7th grade English was the first time I can recall writing a real academic styled paper. It was a pros and cons paper, although I cannot remember the topic. I remember going all out on it, I remember the words flowing through me, a clear vision in my head. I ended up getting a 4/4 on it and was named an editor for the next paper we had to write in class. I learned the very basics of writing papers in that class, from catchy opening lines to setting up a topic sentence and providing the necessary supporting sentences. Although after 7th grade my persistence in writing dropped off substantially. I found myself putting things off to the last minute, rushing through papers and saying, “good enough.” I had lost some of the focus I had in my 7th grade English class. Now as a Junior in college I find myself regaining focus, maturing, and starting writing assignments earlier.

Catching up and what not, short stories

I am a bit behind in my blogging because I added the class late, so I am attempting to catch up. Let me start by saying that I have never blogged before but am currently using blogspot.com for my other english class this semester. I am extremely lost at all times on this tumblr website. I feel like a 65 year old who has just discovered the computer. It took me an hour to sign up, get a picture, figure out where my “actual” blog was not just the dashboard? Then it took even longer to figure how to actually post on my blog and another few minutes to figure out the Tumblr staff posts of other people’s blogs were not my fellow classmates. It has been quite the experience.

Moving on to short stories. I am a fan of most short stories however I have read quite a few that I feel like are just starting to go somewhere awesome and then the story just suddenly ends. I did enjoy the collection of short stories by Kate Atkinson, “Not the End of the World.” As you progress through the book you start to see a sort of small interconnection between the stories with a twist at the end that ties the first story and the last story together. It is definitely a different style than what I was used to. Her style is witty, sneaky, funny, sad, and British. I have read some other short story collections but nothing I would fully recommend for this class or even outside reading. 

Intro

Hello, I’m Ryan Ehrlich. I am a Junior Technical Communication Major. I’m usually pretty random and ridiculous. I enjoy many activities including playing guitar/piano/drums, stargazing, hanging with my girlfriend, and playing with my cat. In this class as well as all of my classes I hope to learn valuable information not only for my major but for life in general.