Reflecting Back on Page and Screen
In reflecting on the lessons that have been taught in this course, the writing aspect stuck out tremendously to me. More specifically, drafting and planning, as well as conducting research. I suppose I can say I was somewhat “rusty” with both of these topics, as I have not drafted or conducted research in quite some time. However, after having nearly completed this course, I believe that I have learned valuable lessons that have helped me sharpen my skills in these regards.
In my high school English courses, the primary focuses were thematic essays and critical essays on novels read in class. We did not totally focus on essays that required research, even in my history courses, where I only had a mere one or two research papers. Therefore, conducting research was somewhat foreign to me. I knew how to use databases to obtain the most accurate information, however, there are a multitude of ways to ensure your information is accurate, and I learned that through the Check, Please! Lessons. In Lesson Five “Trace Claims, Quotes, and Media to Their Original Context,” the author, Mike Caulfied writes, “Most stuff you see on the web is not original reporting or research. Instead, it is often commentary on the re-reporting of re-reporting on some original story or piece of research. And that’s a problem.” In this case, I was finding lots of articles that referred to another article. Therefore, I made sure to go back and find the original article in question. This idea was somewhat new to me. As a student, I was instructed to virtually only trust databases, .org and, .edu sites, and not much else. Tracing evidence was also never really mentioned to me. I now know that I can trust other websites, but still need to be cautious and know what to look out for and certain warning signs.
In addition, I have not drafted in a while, so that was also new to me. I have always been instructed to just write the essay, and the thought of drafting never occurred to me. Every single assignment was started on my computer and finished on my computer. However, in this class, we have limited screen time, and part of this is drafting and planning our essays and assignments longhand. In truth, this worried me. Sometimes when I get stuck while writing, I simply sit there, staring at the screen, and, occasionally, I type out a sentence or two to try to get my mind thinking. Therefore, I was concerned about getting stuck while writing with a pen. It is not as easy to just write down sentences here and there, where I cannot just simply delete them. As stated in Writing Analytically, “We have students who manage to capture their best ideas by jotting them down on their cellphones as the ideas occur to them. It is easy to capture things quickly if you are writing on a computer.” This quote nearly sums up my past experiences while writing. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Writing longhand has actually helped the writing process go by much faster, and it makes it a bit easier. In addition, it helps me to see certain mistakes I maybe would have not missed while writing on a computer, as it looks more “finished.”
When writing my section of the final essay and annotated bibliography, as I worked in a group, I certainly took both of these lessons into consideration. I began by writing my ideas out on paper and deciding between certain topics to determine which topic would be the most interesting to research. My group and I decided to write our final essay on the “Falling Man” photograph. When researching, I used the skills I learned from the Check, Please! Lessons and applied that to my research. I used the HPU Libraries databases, however, I also used other sites but made sure that they were reliable, especially because I came across many opinion-like pieces. On the other hand, other essays I found made lots of similar points. In my essay, I stated, “In “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: the 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” author, Jared Gee, states, “Tom Junod, who helped usher the mainstream acceptance of the photo in his now famous 2003 Esquire Magazine article ‘The Falling Man.’” In addition to this, the article, “Excerpt: 20 years on, ‘The Falling Man’ is still you and me,” which is an excerpt from the photographer Richard Drew’s book “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy,” Richard drew discusses Tom Junod’s piece and also states, “He found their reactions varied according to their own feelings about mortality.” Both of these sources made mention of not only Tom Junod’s piece, but also how he aided in the photo being accepted by the public. Using these skills was extremely important to me because I wanted to be certain that the articles were not only about the topic at hand, but also how they connected to the piece we discussed in class.
I truly did not know what to expect when I read the course name “Page and Screen.” I knew it was an English course but I was not sure what it could possibly entail. I thought that maybe “page” was in regards to reading, however, I was wrong. For “screen” I genuinely did not know what that could have meant, as I usually do not think of writing on a computer as a screen and I am not sure why. Despite this, I feel as though the lessons I learned in this course, such as drafting and how to properly research, as I have previously mentioned, to be extremely helpful in improving my writing and researching abilities.
Caulfield, Mike. “The All-in-One Workspace for Your Notes, Tasks, Wikis, and Databases.” Notion, https://www.notion.so/Lesson-Five-Trace-Claims-Quotes-and-Media-to-Their-Original-Context-06fb635bccc04569b8afe6dee13236d5.
Rosenwasser, David, and Jill Stephen. Writing Analytically. 8th ed., Cengage, 2019.
Frozen in Time: The Infamous “Falling Man” Photograph and Its Impact
I worked with Melanie Hale and Janie McDowell on this assignment.
In the article, The Falling Man, the author, Tom Junod, highlights the back story of a specific snapshot taken on September 11, 2001. Junod describes the atmosphere and environment around the man falling, presumably, through a window. He paints a picture for the audience using different writing techniques like metaphors and similes to tell a story without using literal interpretations. Junod even goes in-depth into how the community felt about the tragic event and how the photo taken started to cause some commotion. He was able to switch from recreating the image to explaining to the viewers how it has impacted time and history. Without a doubt, The Falling Man photo highlights more than just a man falling out a window.
Tom Junod was able to not only show a critical time in the world, but depict a photo taken during the event. Junod uses metaphors such as, “he decided to get on with it: as though he was a missile..” to compare the man to an object the audience can understand and relate to. The article underlines how the man’s arms are perfectly symmetrical with the buildings beside him. He not only uses intricate quirks to explain his points but to show the beauty of the picture. Similarly in the article, he presents another rhetorical tool, an oxymoron. Junod stresses that the
man “appears relaxed, hurtling through the air”, juxtaposing the words “relaxed” and “hurtling. By beating around the bush of a straight-out term he can present his views better.
The article, “Excerpt: 20 years on, ‘The Falling Man’ is still you and me,” is an excerpt from photographer Richard Drew’s book “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy.” Richard Drew was present for the 9/11 attacks and is the photographer of the famous “Falling Man” photo. In his book, he recounts the reaction that the public had to this photo, which became a trend in most articles written on the subject. Drew states, “The photograph was denounced as coldblooded, ghoulish and sadistic… Sir Elton John called it ‘probably one of the most perfect photographs ever taken’… My fellow photographers called it ‘the most famous picture nobody’s ever seen.’ But, in fact, it was seen. Whenever it’s mentioned, people say, ‘Oh, that’s the one where the guy looks like he’s swan-diving.’ Or, ‘That’s the one where the guy’s body is lined up perfectly with the lines of the World Trade Center.’ And then there is: ‘I know — it’s the one where, if you turn it upside down, it looks like the guy is sitting on a chair.’” Each of these quotes from various individuals represent the differing views of each person who saw it. He even went on to mention Tom Junod’s 2003 Esquire article, which we have discussed in class, and states, “He found their reactions varied according to their own feelings about mortality.” This quote goes on to even further prove that many different individuals had many different reactions to the image. It is an unsettling image, to say the least, and there are going to be unavoidable mixed reactions.
In the article, “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: the 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” author, Jared Gee, discusses the public’s mixed reaction to the chilling photograph.
The image was “condemned and censored” in news articles and through other mainstream media outlets due to its graphic nuance. Despite this, the photograph, being one of the only photographs of the jumpers, continued to gain views, becoming one of the most well-known photos from 9/11. Gee states, “Having been relegated to its supposed death through mainstream media censorship, the photo continued to gain viewership and recognisability through its circulation on the internet. ‘Falling Man’ has since become one of the most recognizable 9/11 images…” In addition, Tom Junod, the author of “The Falling Man,” aided in the photograph’s acceptance by the public, while other images of jumpers were still being largely concealed as they were deemed exploitative and others were disgusted by them. Gee adds, “Tom Junod, who helped usher the mainstream acceptance of the photo in his now famous 2003 Esquire Magazine article ‘The Falling Man’, states that the photo evokes the profundity of a man choosing to use his power, his American freedom, taking rebellious yet patriotic command of the terrible situation… As in Junod, the language and interpretations surrounding the photo are often used as a reminder of, and even justification for, the many wars and unjust policies that continue to follow 9/11.” Although there were negative reactions to the image, the image offers insight into what it was like being trapped inside the Twin Towers during this horrific event. Those inside were going to inevitably face death, so they took matters into their own hands. In addition, it helps the public to understand why this historic event should never be forgotten and how the nation came together to heal.
In addition to this, the article, “The Newsstand: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ photo remains haunting mystery,” written by Don O’Briant, presents another idea that also discusses Tom
Junod’s piece, which we have reviewed in class. Similarly to Gee’s essay, O’Briant writes about the photograph, however, he includes information that Gee did not include in his essay. O’Briant includes the suspected victim’s name in his piece, Norberto Hernandez, also mentioning that he was a worker at the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower. O’Briant states, “A Toronto Globe & Mail reporter concluded that the man was Norberto Hernandez, but Hernandez’s wife and daughters denied it was him. There was no way he would have committed suicide, they say.” O’Briant goes on to give further insight into why Tom Junod decided to write about the image. He includes a quote from Junod himself, “On my computer I have some footage of people jumping on that day that I downloaded off the Internet,” says Junod, an Atlanta writer-at-large for Esquire. “I’ve looked at it many times, and every time I looked at it, I want to say, ‘Stop.’ Nobody does stop. It’s as if the horror behind them was greater than the horror in front of them.” When reviewing this piece in class I asked myself, “Why write about this,” assuming the image spoke for itself. However, by including this quote, O’Briant makes it clear for readers, such as myself, to comprehend why he chose to write about it. It is such a historic image and essentially explaining it allows for a clearer understanding of the image itself.
In conclusion, Junod’s photo of the Falling Man captures the essence of what 9/11 was and how it impacted the nation. He has not only influenced other writers’ pieces, but showed the world an important event in time. The articles above have added to the reasons that Junod’s writing and the photo of the falling man have become so successful. The photo has allowed for other audiences to share their views and overall thoughts on the topic. Along with this, Junod has
expressed his talents and techniques as a writer. Therefore, the article, The Falling Man, has taught many and continues to leave its mark on society.
Drew, Richard. “Excerpt: 20 Years on, ‘the Falling Man’ Is Still You and Me.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 9 Sept. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/entertainment-health-talk-shows-newspapers-bc2d6b72e8733f2065ee8979ce2ef9c2.
In the article, “Excerpt: 20 Years on, ‘the Falling Man’ Is Still You and Me,” Richard Drew’s account of the 9/11 attacks is explained through an excerpt from his book, “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy.” The article discusses Drew’s point of view of the attacks, which he was present for.
Richard Drew is an Associated Press photojournalist. He is most known for his photograph “Falling Man” captured during the 9/11 attacks. Drew has been an Associated Press photographer for more than 40 years.
Gee, Jared. “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: The 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers.” Taylor & Francis, 24 Oct. 2021, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14775700.2021.1990642.
The article, “Revisiting ‘Falling man’ at 20: The 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” written by Jared Gee offers insight into how the public viewed the infamous “Falling Man” photograph and the differing opinions surrounding it. It also went on to further explain how it came to be accepted and one of the most recognizable images from 9/11.
Jared Gee is a member of the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages at the University of California, Riverside. He is an interdisciplinary scholar and his research focuses primarily on the security apparatus. He has focused on numerous studies including, security, counterinsurgency, insurgency and guerrilla warfare, war studies, Middle East and North Africa studies, American studies, French studies, political philosophy, continental philosophy, and the list continues on. At the time that this article was published, Jared Gee was on a one-year research grant at the University of California, Riverside.
O’Briant, Don. “THE NEWSSTAND: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ Photo Remains Haunting Mystery.” ProQuest, 2 Sept. 2003,
In the article, “The Newsstand: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ photo remains haunting mystery,” author, Don O’Briant, includes almost crucial information as to who the “Unknown Soldier” is and includes an explanation from Tom Junod as to why he chose to write about in the image in “The Falling Man.”
Don O’Briant is currently a Columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was a reporter and editor at The Greenville News from 1969-1973. In addition, he has written eight non-fiction books and has about forty years of experience in journalism.
Is Skim Reading Truly The Issue?
In “Skim Reading Is The New Normal. The Effect On Society Is Profound,” The author Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, discusses the immense impact that new age technology is having on reading comprehension. The text goes on to further suggest that it is not only the younger generations that are being affected but everyone. However, the main focus of this article does not come across clearly. The title insinuates that the article is going to be about skim reading, however, Wolf only discusses the idea of skim reading for a mere paragraph or two. The text focuses more on the idea of the brain’s reading circuit and comprehension, rather than on skim reading itself. The article’s misleading title causes the reader to fall down a rabbit hole of disconnected information and expert opinions that seem to have no relevance to the article’s thesis.
In the first paragraph of Wolf’s article, she introduces the brain’s reading circuit. She states, “As work in neurosciences indicates, the acquisition of literacy necessitated a new circuit in our species’ brain more than 6,000 years ago.” However, this reading circuit is not hereditary or innate, it is developed over time and it needs the environment to do so. In addition, the reading circuit will adapt to the environment’s requirements, referring to different reading mediums. Wolf states, “If the dominant medium advantages processes that are fast, multi-task oriented, and well-suited for large volumes of information, like the current digital medium, so will the reading circuit.” However, she contradicts herself when she states, “Research surfacing in many parts of the world now cautions that each of the essential ‘deep reading’ processes may be under threat as we move into digital-based modes of reading.” In the first quote, she is essentially stating that even while reading digitally, the brain can still process large volumes of information. While in the second, Wolf is stating that the brain cannot, in fact, process large volumes of reading while reading electronically. This aspect of this article makes for it to be very confusing and hard to understand.
The article’s title, “Skim Reading Is The New Normal. The Effect On Society Is Profound,” conveys the idea that the article will, in fact, be about skim reading. However, the idea of skim reading is only mentioned once or twice. Why give an article a misleading title? In the seventh paragraph, Wolf states, “Ziming Liu from San Jose State University has conducted a series of studies which indicate that the “new norm” in reading is skimming… When the reading brain skims like this, it reduces time allocated to deep reading processes.” This is the first time, out of four, that the term “skim reading” is used. The second half of the quote finally answers the main question and explains why and how skim reading is affecting the brain’s reading circuit. However, it is not Wolf’s research, it is Ziming Liu’s. This is yet another instance where Wolf essentially “name-drops” an expert. This may cause the reader to begin to question Maryanne Wolf’s credibility and knowledge.
Additionally, Maryanne Wolf discusses the topic of neuroscience a couple of times throughout the article. For example, she states, “There’s an old rule in neuroscience that does not alter with age: use it or lose it. It is a very hopeful principle when applied to critical thought in the reading brain because it implies choice.” Although, some might argue that she does not have the qualifications to discuss matters regarding neuroscience. As previously stated, her title is Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, which seems to not correlate with neuroscience topics. This, again, makes it difficult for a reader to trust her credibility.
The article’s misleading title causes the reader to fall down a rabbit hole of disconnected information and expert opinions that seem to have no relevance to the article’s thesis. In an unclear way, Wolf is stating that all of these factors are affecting the brain’s ability to read larger, denser texts. Each piece of information, or evidence, she proposes is disconnected, contradictory, and never fully explains certain ideas. One may presume that Wolf is trying to suggest that the brain’s reading circuit is being affected by the new digital reading medium, and that is affecting not only the readers’ ability to read larger volumes of text but also one’s attention span to do so. The longevity, disconnected, and contradictory nature of this article struggles to get the main point across.
Wolf, Maryanne. “Skim Reading Is the New Normal. the Effect on Society Is Profound | Maryanne Wolf.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 25 Aug. 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf.
The Power of Perseverance
Dr. Jane Lucas
15 September 2022
For the majority of my dance career, I had instructors who were, for the most part, very easy going and lenient when it came to class. My instructors became almost like friends to me, especially the director of the studio. Due to this, it became very easy to slack off during a rehearsal because we did not take our teachers seriously and we knew we could get away with it. None of us were working as hard as we should have been, and it showed in our dancing. That all changed when I met KC.
One day, during summer intensives, we were told we were going to be getting a new technique teacher named KC, and she would be coming all the way from Boston, Massachusetts. The second I heard that, I panicked. The dance world is big, and it is even bigger in large cities like Boston, meaning the teachers and choreographers were tough. I couldn’t help but be frightened for what was to come. Was KC mean? Would she like me? Would she think that I had no potential? A million thoughts zipped through my mind, and I became a nervous wreck.
On our first Friday of the dance season, I arrived extra early for rehearsal, as I was not taking any chances with our new teacher. She was already in studio one, running through the combination that she had choreographed for our across-the-floor exercise. It looked really challenging, and that sparked my anxiety once again. I watched the clock hit three thirty, and it was time to go in.
Still in the middle of the dance floor, KC looked out the door towards us. “You guys can come in.” With the tone of voice she used, it came across almost patronizing. My team and I all looked at each other in fear and scurried into the studio. She introduced herself, we introduced ourselves, and we began class. She explained how she usually ran her classes, “What I like to do is sort of a cumulative warm up, so you’re moving and stretching and warming up your body simultaneously, instead of just sitting on the floor in a straddle.”
Little did I know, this warm-up would soon become the warm-up from Satan himself. The warm up was composed of three very annoying songs that would get stuck in your head on a repetitive loop for days on end. If we forgot or messed up the warm-up, we would start over from the beginning, no matter how far in we were. Sometimes, we would spend most of the forty-five-minute class working on this warm-up, missing out on the opportunity to work on other skills and it was exhausting.
As the weeks progressed, things only got more difficult. Aside from running the warm-up over and over again, KC began singling each one of us out in front of the group when working on certain skills. I myself fell victim to this one too many times. There was one instance, in particular, where we were working on triple pirouettes, and, to be truthful, I was not giving it my all. It was a Friday night, I was exhausted from the week, and frankly I just wanted to go to bed, and she noticed this. “Rachael. Come out here and do triples on the left.” Hearing those words made me feel as if my life was crashing down. Triples on the left? Surely she made a mistake and meant triples on the right, my stronger side. To my dismay, she, in fact, wanted me to do triple pirouettes on the left. I stepped out into the middle of the floor terrified. My whole team was watching me; more importantly, KC was watching me. I could not even begin to imagine what would happen if I were to mess up or fall out of my turns. However, there I stood, helpless and unable to run away. It felt almost torturous being singled out like this. To my surprise, I succeeded in completing three consecutive pirouettes, or triples, on the left. “See! You can do it, you just keep telling yourself you can’t,” KC applauded me. In that moment everything made sense to me. The five-minute wall sits, the planks, the push ups, the repetition of the warm-up, all of it made complete sense to me. None of these exercises were pointless and torturous like they seemed to have been. Each and every exercise, no matter how big or how small, was training our bodies to become stronger which would, in turn, improve our technique. KC was not there to make us train like this for her own enjoyment. She saw potential in us and wanted us to succeed.
Three years ago, I would have never said that I was grateful for KC, but I am now. Not only has she improved my technique and made me a stronger dancer, but she has made me realize that in everyday life, not every strict teacher or instructor challenges you just to do so. They challenge you because they want to see you succeed, and doing things the easy way is not always the best way to achieve a worthwhile goal.