Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stephen Colbert on "Truthiness"

Dear Students, If you've never seen or heard of Stephen Colbert, he is a comedian who specializes in cultural criticism. He has a late-night television show on Comedy Central called The Colbert Report, wherein he parodies, or satirizes, the news on prime time television networks. For your post-seminar activity related to our study of The Things They Carried, watch this clip about "truthiness" from "The Word" segment of Colbert's show in 2005. Ask yourself how Colbert is using situational irony to make his point. Ask yourself what relationship this clip has to O'Brien's story "How to Tell a True War Story." How are O'Brien and Colbert's purposes different? How are they similar?

Your homework is to handwrite a Type 1 writing (to be turned in on Monday, September 26) where you personally respond to these two texts -- O'Brien's and Colbert's. 15 lines or more. Skip lines.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today's Technology

My favorite thing about today's technology is the unlimited amount of things to do on the internet today. When I take a hiatus from my homework I sometimes go online and find something that grabs my interests. I like to play games, or find a video to watch, or find something interesting to read in the news. Most of this technology was not around a couple of years ago and things were a lot different. There were not as many distractions on a computer and they can cause problems for some people. Technology can also be used to find good research without having to go to a public library. The greatest thing about technology is how it has made our lives easier.

The dark side of technology

Before a month ago, the only problem I ever had with a phone charger was forgetting where I had recently put it. Sometime over the summer my phone charger split into two parts. I ended up fixing it with athletic tape, and it worked fine until a week later when, for some reason, when I plugged my phone in at night, it would never be fully charged in the morning. In fact, it had barely more than it had the night before. I had thought that the way I had fixed it would be indelible, or at least would keep it functional until I get a new phone when my service plan gets renewed next year; I was wrong. Now I am forced to share one phone charger with my sister and my dad, for this was the second charger that I have broken or lost this year. So, as you can imagine, it is an almost constant source of conflict in our home.

Tech Savvy

Technology is the future. We have become so reliant on it and are constantly trying to find new improvements and features. I do not know one person who doesn't espouse the use of technology. Everyday my computer proves useful in class, giving me resources from the internet and the advantage of typing. My cell phone is my favorite technological advancement. Accessing Facebook, email, twitter, and internet while being able to play games, make calls, send text messages, use a calculator, check the weather, set an alarm, take pictures and videos, and see what time it is on the other side of the world all with one device amazes me. For me my phone is entertainment; my mom, connection to work. She uses it to email and schedule and I use it to connect with friends. This just shows how useful technology is for everyone of all ages.


The thing I most enjoy about technology today, is the iPhone. I have the white iPhone4 and i love it. The texting is great because it sends your texts(most of the time) really fast, the internet is always fast, and i like how i can check my email whenever i want. The only bad thing about my iPhone is that i got it wet this summer. I was in Argentina...on my birthday...and i had just gotten my new phone 2 days before Argentina so of course i was going to bring it. My family, and field hockey group that i was going with all told me to not bring it because it was brand new but of course i did anyways. It was my birthday night and we were running back to the hotel in the pouring down rain, with my phone protected in my jacket to it wouldnt get wet. Somehow, even to this day i still wonder how this managed to happen, but it flew out of my jacket and straight into this huge puddle. I didnt even notice that it was gone until the people running behind me picked it up and ran up to me handing it to me. Ever sense then, my phone always has this message that pops up ever time i get a text message and it is so annoying. About an hour after it happened and all my anger went away, we all started joking about it saying "Happy Birthday Allison, you broke your iPhone!!" Besides this message that pops up, the iPhone is still my favorite technology today.

Technology Will Lead Me to My Destruction

There are lots of things that I enjoy about present day technology. If I had to choose one to be my favorite, it would have to be laptops. When you have one the possibilities are endless. You can play life changing games like World of Warcraft or Runescape or shop online at Abercrombie and Fitch or American Eagle for your favorite set of cargo shorts from the weekend. You can search for interesting things on the web and also tweet your every move. But, laptops can also be one of the most frustrating technology to use. There is nothing that reeves my engine more then a slow and unreliable laptop. I sometimes yell at my computer words like "Great Oden's Raven" and "Jimmidy Crickets" out of pure anger towards my laptop. I sometimes vision myself throwing my computer like a baseball into the wall until it shatters to a million pieces. But, I reframe and think back to when my computer has its days and how my life would not go on without.

Technology Terrors

My favorite technology is my iPhone. I use it for texting, Facebook-ing, calling, Skyping, googling, Hipstamatic-ing and my all time favorite- Instagram-ing.

Instagram is an emulation of MySpace-now defunct in my mind, Twitter, and Facebook. There is a live news feed of pictures. You take pictures on your iPhone-or upload them onto Instagram and there are about fifteen different kinds of 'filters' that you can put on your picture. The result is a newsfeed of retro, vintage-inspired pictures. Just like Twitter or Facebook, you can like a picture or comment on it. You can also choose to follow your friends or famous photographers. Instagram is the place to be.

How can people come up with all of these amazing technologies and nuances without thinking of what it will do to our grades?! I find myself day after day taking a study break on Instagram or Facebook and not returning to my studies until forty-five minutes later. Recently I logged off of Facebook on my phone and deleted the app. I found that without this distraction on my phone, I got work done more efficiently. But of course, I had to get it back and a week or two later Facebook was back to being a huge time-sucker that pulled me away from my homework.

Instagram is the best; Facebook, almost as good.

Friday Night Reading Frenzy

One late friday afternoon, I came home to do my annual friday night hobby, reading a great book. So I get home around 6:30 in the evening, and as I walk in the door, I sense this raging smell coming from the kitchen. I walk into the kitchen and its my favorite meal, a nice breast of chicken and some zucchini. I chow down on my meal and as I am eating, I look over and see that my dog is chewing up my book! So I walk over and grab the book out of my dogs mouth. The book was tarnished. I ran into my mothers room balling crying, yelling to her what happened. She says,
"Calm down, it will be ok. Here! Take my kindle and download the book you were reading."
I jumped for joy and ran up to my room to start reading. So I downloaded the book and was ready for action, but I knew that there was something missing. Oh yeah! I love to drink a nice cup of coffee while I read my books. In fact, if you look at the majority of the books I have read, you will see coffee stains on some of the pages. So I hustle downstairs to grab my cup of coffee and run back up. I quickly start the book at the page that I left off at from last saturday night. Don't Ask How I remember HAHA!! So as I am reading, I realize that because I got off to such a late start, it is already 9:00 at night. THIRTY MINUTES AWAY FROM MY BEDTIME!!!! So I took a quick sip of my coffee to settle my self down, and then the coffee burned the tip of tongue. I freaked out and my coffee tipped over, all over my mom's new kindle. The Kindle started sparking up and just shut down, right then and there. I walked downstairs slowly to drop the news on my mom. When I told her, she was furious, she told me I am grounded. So I asked her how so? And she told me that my bed time for weekends is now moved up from 9:30 to 9:00. Then she said to me,
"The worst part of it all, you are not allowed to read books on weekends for two weeks."
I started balling crying and ran upstairs quickly. I shoved my face down in my pillow, and later I fell asleep in that same spot.

Man vs. Technology

Being alive now for sixteen years, I have personally experienced the technological revolution during the 21st century. I remember seeing the first Motorola Razr and thinking, "Wow this is awesome!" Looking back at the Razr today it is almost defunct, now a days we have the Iphone and Droid, which truly out do the Razr in capability and style. We've gone from 0G to 4G in a blink of an eye. I know I have not been alive that long, but just seeing the revolution of technology is amazing. Each generation in my household has experienced these different revolutions; mine, the 21st century innovations; my parents', the inventions of the internet and cellular phones.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Iphone, as I can constantly keep an eye on what my friends are up to. I love being able to call my friends any time I want to, but I also hate getting constant calls from people I DO NOT want to talk to. I also hate the fact that as I begin homework, in the back of my mind I'm always thinking,"I want to play Angry Birds," or some other pointless game. I need to focus on my studies and I know that. I like Facebook but I hate the people that make new statuses 24/7. I just want to know the important things, such as he and she are now dating! or he's moving, or good stuff like that. I do not need to know that you are tired, bored, or going to the mall. I truly do not care. I also hate getting these random friend requests from people I've never met. Like come on, I do not know you and you obviously do not know me, why should we be friends on Facebook. On a side note, it's kind of strange to think about how we are friends with people on Facebook that we'd never say hey to in person, isn't it? Just something to think about.

Technology Difficulties

These first few weeks of school have proven that I am incorrigible because I repeatedly forget my things at school and at home! Last Thursday my volleyball team had a game against the Village School at four-thirty that we were all super excited about. Our team was impatient because Village had always defeated our team, but this time we were determined to beat them. Thirty minutes before I was supposed to be ready for the game, I noticed that I didn't have my volleyball shoes, or any shoes that I could play in. I instantly ran out of the locker room and into the trophy hall frantically asking if anyone had any extra shoes. While I was looking for shoes; my teammate, socks. I sprinted down the carpeted halls of the upper school and up the stairs until I reached the door of my friend's mom who is a high school teacher. I was going to ask her to drive me to my house, which is really close to school, so I could grab my shoes and be back in time, but her room was dark and the door was locked! I grabbed my white iPhone 4 and attempted to call her but it suddenly turned off! I was so frustrated and couldn't communicate with anyone on my team so the only thing I could do was sprint back to the trophy hall and hope for the best... When I got to the trophy hall, my teammate's mom was there dropping off snacks and luckily she took me home to get my shoes and right when I got back to school, my phone started working again. It's like my phone was purposely trying to make me late!

What i enjoy most about today's technology

I like the fact that even thought you aren't in  school you don't have to miss the lecture/lesson.You can have friends record the class or even video chat so you can experience the class. Other things it is good for is keeping in touch with old friends from school or people you have met using social networking sites such as,Facebook and Twitter.I cant use Facebook anymore;unlike others. Twitter is more entertaining because my TimeLine  is always moving. There is always something new to talk about or laugh at that someone has tweeted.

The Significance of Technology

I use technology everyday. From facebook, to television, to my iPhone, technology is almost always actively participating in my life. Even when I'm outdoors swimming, running, golfing, or doing something of that sort, I still might check my cell phone if I get a call or a text. For my generation, technology is an essential part of life; for older generations, a nuisance. Many people from previous generations, especially those from my grandparents generation, participate in the technological wave that is currently sweeping across the world; some still decide to separate themselves completely from it, carping that technology is silly and unnecessary. Technology is very necessary though, and it connects the world in a way that it has never been connected before. Technology certainly affects my life and a daily basis, and it unites the world so effectively that no place is left out.

computers, phones, facebook status
Theres a picture of Assasin in his new dodge stratus
From Africa to Asia to the USA
you know that technology's here to stay
J Strongs tweetin but his rhymes ain't serious
just kiddin cuz those other rappers are delirious
Im just sayin that you better watch out
cuz Swaggers here to Schwag you out

Technology Rap

Technology, technology, I like technology
whoever made it is on the top of the knowledge tree
writing hand-written is a bit hoary
I use my computer for my paper in history
I like to play games online
thats how I procrastinate most of the time
Facebook is getting a bit old
Mark please stop changing it's mold
it is still a good place to make some friends
I can't make real ones because I don't follow trends
checking the photos and posts is one of my favorite things
and I can always feel like one of those kings
who knows everything
and now I will take off using my wings

People in the 21st century always use their computers; my grandma's generation, not as much.

Share What you enjoy most about todays technology

The things that I enjoy most about todays technology are the fact that you can find what you are looking for most of the time without that much effort. If I wanted to know how to learn a new wedging technique for clay or need to brush up on my world geography, all that I have to do is type it into a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing and thousands of results pop up instantly. I think in that technology is a key knowledge center; collecting knowledge in the past; using that knowledge to teach others in the future. As future generations access this knowledge, it will espouse the overall knowledge of the world and keep the data growing. Even with our hoary generation and the generations before us, technology is having an increasingly important roles in he society that we live in today.

We B steady Typin'

The thing I like about technology is that it makes communication much easier. Writing letters are now defunct. For my generation technology is preferred; older generation, not.

Great Aspects of Today's Technology

Out of all of today's technology, I enjoy using the Internet and cell phones most. It is an incumbent feature in my life, most likely because of the generation I was born into. This generation thrives on technology. The majority of us use the Internet daily: the older generations, not so much. One of the great things about the Internet is the ability to communicate with such a wide variety of people, through Facebook, email, and much more! Sometimes the Internet is not always great. It can be a distraction and it can be difficult to always have to do all my work online. For example, in some of my classes, it is required to peer edit papers online, which I tend to struggle with because I prefer writing on the actual paper. But on the upside, everyone has good handwriting on the computer. Most everyone has a cell phone now days and they are essential communication devices. My cell phone allows me to text, call, play games and do things like calculate and translate things for language to language.

Talkative Technology

The thing I enjoy most about today's technology is that we can communicate with friends and others quickly. Technology is a treasure for me; for another, a pain. We make messages to our friends that are sometimes extraneous in the conversation. Texting and emailing helps keep each other in the loop with each other, and they are normally received within seconds. The swift motion of typing or clicking each letter on your phone is so quick, that it sends as fast as the speed of light. For others it is a pain, because there are so many different options and buttons to choose from; it can be very confusing. Technology keeps people talking to each other, even if they are not with one another.

Effulgent Apps.

Technology has become a necessity in modern culture. Old technology is inchoate; new technology, eminent. With new technology, teenagers, like myself, are enthralled by our effulgent Ipod's and websites like Facebook. Along with these applications, new computers and phones can do so many things perfectly and are celebrated for their brilliance. Nowadays, if this technology were to be taken away, it would encumber communication and advanced education.


Out of all of today's technology I have to say I enjoy either the computer or cell phones the most because of all their uses. They have brought knowledge that can be spread through their technology; their uses help spread word to the world about important news. It's very interesting to see how far the world has come with technology we have gone from writing hand-written letters to communicate with others throughout the world to just picking up a phone and actually talking to them. I personally, love the fact that I am now able to text my friends from camp or my cousins who don't necessarily live by me. Today's technology is espoused, or supported, by almost all.

What I enjoy most about todays technology

There is so much technology in our world and without it our society would not be able to function!!! I enjoy everything in technology; my favorite technology things are the internet and cell phones; for others, TV's and ipods. With out a cell phone it would be hard to reach anyone. It just makes life easier by being able to send a quick text to a friend or call them up wherever. The internet offers anything and every piece of information you want to find out about. The internet includes google, facebook, email, different websites and much more. It is one of the worlds most eminent piece of technology. But sometimes the internet might not always be the best because it could have false information. I use all of these websites in my everyday life. Technology is a major part of my life!!!

Terrific Technology Tying Us Together!

The great thing about technology is the eminent ability to stay in touch with friends, no matter where they live. You can constantly be in touch with anyone, even if they are in a different country. There are also many different forms of communication you can use: Facebook, texting, phone calls, twitter, and many more. Facebook is my favorite form of communication because not only are you able to talk to someone, you can also "see them" through pictures. Therefore, you are given the feeling of talking to the person rather than a blank screen on a cell phone. For example, I live in the United States; my friend, in Canada, but we are able to communicate through Facebook messaging on a daily basis. Although we live far apart, we talk every day through various means of communication. Technology allows friendships to continue, when they normally would not be able to. Due to technology, the world has become a smaller, more connected place.

Communication Station

Some people enjoy using good old fashion snail mail; me, the internet. The thing I like the most about technology is the ability to communicate. It isn't that paper, stamps, envelopes, and pens are cumbersome, but it costs money, and technology is just so much easier. I go to a summer camp where many of my best friends go, as well. Unfortunately, I live in a different city than a lot of them. Facebook is great for connecting with them and talking to them daily. I feel like I am actually part of their lives for more than three weeks. I also love the ability to video chat with them so I can see them practically face to face. I miss them so much during the year, and the aid of technology helps me be able to see them and talk to them more during the year. We always post on each others walls and then chat with each other on Facebook chat. We can both also see each others pictures. When I first got a Facebook, I was the annoying kid who would post a status every five minutes (literally) and I would post pictures from every single thing I had ever done in my entire life. It was awful! People would be like "You need to calm down." I have most definitely gotten better about that. I love Facebook and the ability to communicate over the internet.


The most thing I have enjoyed about my expierience about technology is I can talk to my dad who lives in Qatar and it makes it so much easier to commmunicate because if we didn't have technology I would have to hand write a letter and it would take like 2 and half weeks just to get there, but there at many break up in the internet and it is real annoying, but overall the internet is awesome. I espouse the internet and hope no one ever messes with it.

+h3 $w@g 0f 2day

The things I like most about technology today, besides Twitter of course, would have to be the increased knowledge of health and safety. We can fight diseases like never before; for example, the development of nanobots that can be swallowed along with food that have the ability to clear blood clots or repair torn tissue. All in all the technology today can decrease chances of death and injury in things like driving, flying, and simply living. There are some downsides though. There are a lot of teens getting in trouble over inappropriate text messages, sexting, and Facebook/Twitter posts. Also there have been a couple counts of men and women being arrested over beleaguering another person and breeching restraining orders over Facebook, humorous but still a problem.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

James Nachtway -- War Photographer

Tobias Wolff, in his conversation at Stanford University with Tim O'Brien, refers to the war photographer James Nachtway. Specifically, Wolff links Nachtway and O'Brien together, stating that they are both vulnerable to criticism of "aestheticizing war." The word "aesthetic" denotes a sense of the beautiful; therefore, when Wolff uses it here, he means that both O'Brien and Nachtway could be criticized for their tendency to take human suffering and make of it a beautiful thing: a short story, a novel, a photograph.

Both Nachtway and O'Brien are deeply aware of this paradox in their work. Here is Nachtway, accepting his 2007 TED Prize. In this talk, he shows his life’s work and asks TED to help him continue telling the story with innovative, exciting uses of news photography in the digital era.

Tim O'Brien and Tobias Wolff in Conversation

Today in class for writer's notebook, we watched the first ten minutes of this conversation between two great American writers. Here's the whole conversation if you'd like to watch more.

Question: How is this "conversation" at Stanford University different than your "interview" for ABC television?

Tim O'Brien in Conversation with Tobias Wolff on "Writing and War" from Stanford Humanities on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome to Our Blog

Situational irony
right from the start --
that's how we're sayin'
straight through the heart
of high-flying grammar
to ears on the street.
That be our beat --
get ready for treats.