Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blog 20: Nonfiction article

Ginny wrote about women that feel the need to get married, and soon. Once women reach a particular stage in life, it seems that society, and more importantly, some families, expect women to find a husband. I felt that her third person, insightful but not introspective, point of view was very appropriate. As a woman, Ginny most probably has feelings about the topic, but she did not allow these to creep into her article. I felt that I was reading the women's stories, not a story spun to make things seem a certain way.

I particularly enjoyed the status details of the first woman that Ginny interviewed. For some reason, knowing where the women lived and worked really set the tone and helped me to see where the women are/were in their lives with respect to getting married.

One thing that might have helped some is variety. Understandably, all the women are local teachers/students and around the same age. It may have helped to have an older woman talk about how times have changed and if this race is anything new. Women have become a lot more goal/career oriented and have most often moved away from the MRS degree. Are societal expectations just not caught up with women's goals and timelines?

One part that was confusing for me was the title. After Ginny's work with Black Like Me I was thinking this had something to do with actual race rather than a competition. But this misconception was quickly cleared up.

Sadie's story also employed third person narrative to tell about the soup kitchen. The pacing of this story flowed well; the proper amount of time and description was given to each aspect/stage of feeding the hungry and her scene by scene construction allowed me to follow through her morning as it progressed. I also enjoyed the little bit of dialogue and banter among the people in the kitchen. The exchanges between them showed that they are real people and care for each other and their cause.

My favorite part(s) of the story are the little bits that describe each person at their respective job. Although these sections are very short, I am able to see their personalities and the part they play in the mission. Even more physical details could have been added here. Also, I really enjoyed the snippets of conversation from the people that came for food. More description could have been added here as well. Were there children? Did anyone get out of line or act louder than anyone else?

There was really no confusion throughout this story. Each aspect is straightforward and presented clearly. Sadie asked at the end of her story if she should put herself into the story. This could be helpful if she talked about the effects the volunteers and their open hearts had on her. But this is also given more subtly through her descriptions of them so I don't find personal inclusion to be necessary.

Ben wrote about the Miami Heat game and his experience with the changing of the team and the fans. Ben's status details really pushed his point. The way the fans were dressed, how much they were willing to pay for amenities, and the fact that some noted fans didn't stay to the end of the game really reinforces that the Heat game was a status thing and much less about the winning and losing, although it takes a team foreseen to win to draw a crowd.

This was written from first person perspective, but might have been made stronger if utilized more. The story doesn't really say if Ben was there as a status boost or to watch the game. He stayed to the end and knew the final score which causes me to assume he cared, but maybe a little more talk about the game and how it went and the reception of the big names would help show that Ben was interested in more than the court-side proceedings (which were not bad details- very helpful). This is something that I also would've liked to hear more about.

More could have been added to the story from Chloe and Andrew's perspective about the game and the team. Chloe is a central figure because she provides the tickets but there is nothing about what she thinks of the team and their 'status' to other attendees of the game. Is she one that comes just for fun or does she have an interest in if the Heat win or lose?

I really enjoyed the comments from Jose Lamas. He seemed to be a loyal fan and had the authority to that others were there for 'sceney' reasons and not necessarily for the athletes and game.

Michelle wrote her story about the horse farm in the first person perspective. There were few status details about the people and place itself; much more space was alloted for the horses themselves. To me, that speaks greatly, if indirectly, of the owners. The horses seemed to be well-groomed and cared for, which shows that the owners are doing their jobs and living their dream.

The growth of the farm and how it functions worked really well. Giving the place and sharing that the owners accept donations is good to note if a reader wanted to visit the farm or help the cause. Also, does the Humane Society help with the farm at all? Their policies were quoted and I wasn't sure if that's because they are the animal authorities or if they have a hand in the farm.

The details about what could happen to the horses if not cared for at the farm really reiterates the work that the Gregorys are doing for the animal community. My favorite part of the story was the fact that even though the Gregorys have lived and traveled in many different countries, they felt that Alachua county was the best place to start their vision. Their mission is a great asset to this part of the state where there are horses in need of help.

Casey covered the cadaver lab from the perspective of a new physical therapy student with side notes from the professor. Casey used 'subjective arrangement of reported information to effect.' He slowly reports concrete detail that he wants us to know, holding out on certain status details of the environment of the lab and what sets it apart from every other lab on campus.

I really enjoyed the slow release of detail, which also matched the slow progression of comfort that the remaining students would feel as they continued with the program. Senesac serves as a guiding light both to the students she teaches/counsels and to the reader; the description of her voice had a calming effect on me as well as I read. One thing that I am curious about, though, are the students' expectations before coming into the lab. Do they know what they are going to see and how the bodies will be presented? Upon entering the program, did they know they were going to be working with cadavers?

There was no confusion for me in this article, and I felt that enough space and detail was alloted for both the students and the professor to express being nervous and express and instill calm, respectively. My favorite part is the paragraph when Alyssa has completed her first day in the lab and the background that she doesn't know about is explained. There is a lot of work and financial input that is needed to get these cadavers so the students can use them.