Saturday, December 31, 2016

Course Evaluations

Please don't forget to take the course evaluation.

Once you have completed it, comment below and I will throw a few points of extra credit your way.


Remember: I cannot see WHO does it and your comments remain confidential. I don't even get access until after grades are submitted.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Half-Marathon Journey

A man had been slacking off when it came to his health, and knew he had to find a new hobby to exercise. His mother and uncle were avid runners and since he had run cross country in high school, he thought he would join them.

They told him they were training for a half marathon.
"Easy," he scoffed. He had done one in high school with minimal effort, but he forgot that was after an entire cross country season. The first one was done in great shape, and he only had six weeks to get back to the great shape of his high school days. He bet his mother he could beat her, and finish in under two hours.

He trains hard, fighting the exhaustion and soreness of running. His body withered and training had to stop for weeks at a time because of injuries. His body was fragile; both legs had been broken at one time, his shoulder was severely injured, his back in pain, but he pushed on. As race day approached, he started to worry. His body was starting to give out more often, his knees would struggle to finish five miles, and he wondered how well they would fair against 13.

Despite his worries, race day came. He decided he would at least attempt the run. Thousands lined up around a small Missouri lake as they prepared to run the grueling course. He blocked out the people, focused on his drive to finish the race. The first five miles flew by, a small downhill road that he flew through, while still keeping a steady pace so not to exhaust himself.

Before the race, he had heard horrors of mile five. "The Mountain" they called it. A mile long "hill" that was nearly 45 degrees the entire trek. After just a quarter mile he could feel his legs giving out, his knees struggling to hold him up. He slowed his pace to a slow jog and nearly collapsed as he reached the top.

He smiled to himself, I've just finished mile five, then reality struck him. I'm only at mile six, he staggered, struggling to believe he wasn't even half way. The rest of the race was a blur, a slow jog, a stabbing pain in his knees until mile 10.

As mile 10 arrive he felt  his right knee give out. He fell, rolled to the ground as his body failed him, but he would not give up so close to finishing. He brushed the dirt off his short shorts, stretched his shaking leg, clearly the race had taken its toll on his body. Again at 11 his knee gave out, once more at 12 and twice in the final mile. To everyone's surprise, the man sprinted the last hundred meters to clock his time just over two hours.

Car Burgled at Night - Revision

 On the night of Oct. 21, a burglar vandalized a young woman’s car.

The woman was always proud of the fact she remembered to lock her car, but on this day she was in a hurry, her tired limbs and foggy mind let slip the thoughts of locking the door.

The next morning she arose to start her car so it was warm for her drive to class. She paid no attention to the empty backseat, forgetting her jackets that usually sat in the back seat. She slowly realized what happened as her phone charger and an old GPS were missing. She then remembered a new shirt, not a week old, that she was waiting to return in the back seat that was missing as well.

She took inventory of her car, assessing the damages. Fortunately there was no damage, the burglar had found a way in without damaging the car.

Regardless of her relief, the woman still felt violated as a stranger had rifled through her belongings. She wondered how someone could go through with such a thing. She also wondered if this were just a one-time occurrence or if her car was checked multiple times a week to see if it were unlocked. Since the incident, the woman has double checked to make sure her car was locked.

Student Media Hours!

Please create a paragraph after each production shift you work. Briefly summarize your experience. What did you do? What were your overall editing observations?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Society pressures millennials to pursue college education (edited)

Our current society is so immersed with the status quo of graduating and going to college, then finding a job and having a family. What about taking an alternative route to what the  evolution of life is?

Many young adults are contemplating instead if college is for them. They consider if they should continue to pursue their four-year degree and incur a large amount of debt, or carve their own way to success by becoming an entrepreneur or pursuing a trade school.

Students in school are feeling the pressure of pursuing an education. Recently, with the end of the semester approaching, many students  have been sprawled out in the library with papers scattered all over the table, and study rooms are booked up and many students are starting to pull all-nighters in the library.

What if all of these efforts are in vain - after all, are we really promised we will find a job after college? Society pressures us to go to college, incur debt and then make us work like a slave to pay it off and still manage to live our daily lives.

The pressure of achieving a college education is definitely on and at its peak. Only in due time will we see if our college education will continue to be the route many millennials, or the next generation, pursues. 

End of semester drawl

Somewhere between a good cup of coffee and a cramped place in the Mabee Library on Washburn campus, Lisa Herdman toted an array of papers along with a laptop.

Friends waited inside the library, conveniently watching her from the windows. Herdman was walking like a deer with two broken legs - a snowman, round and cold and teetering - and in a bout of fate, her coffee levitated out of her hand and spilled to the ground in a caffeinated, ineffective explosion.

She was used to mild disasters, however. Adjusting the laptop strap she effectively dipped down in an unknown dance to pick the cup up. Then her paper, eight pages and marked up, ready for corrections, landed as a porous paper boat into the dark coffee.

In a matter of moments, seven hours were lost. A wounded deer - Herdman, herself - waited for consolation. The friends approached her gently, soft-eyed and ready to help in pack formation.

Herdman groaned in agony, but, attuned to healing due to assignments afflicted on her, she slopped the paper into her hands and nursed it in some napkins.

As an English major, and as a wild college student, you must learn to adapt. The rewriting and peeling apart of the pages is necessary for evolution. A digital age must save us all. Learn to order coffee after you've settled at your desk. The future is near.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Hamilton" bootleg sparks controversy-Revision

Early morning Dec. 5, a bootleg copy of "Hamilton: An American Musical" was uploaded to YouTube. The recording features the original Broadway cast in a high resolution film. It was broken into two parts because of its length; both parts were removed from the website within a few hours.

While there is no question as to the legality of the post (no word on what happened to the YouTuber who posted the videos), some Washburn students have dared to question the morality of it.

A student managed to download the bootleg before it was removed, and has offered to share it with his friends. While many of his peers are excited at the prospect of seeing the Tony Award winning show, it has a sparked a controversy. Most of the students have great respect for Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright of "Hamilton," so they are hesitant to do anything that could offend or financially hurt one of their living idols.

On the one hand, the students have been taught to respect artistic license and integrity above all else as many of them are theatre and art students. They understand how difficult it is to make a living in the arts, and how much of himself (Miranda) was put into the show.

On the other hand, the students know realistically that they will likely never have the chance to attend a live show, unless it comes on tour near Topeka. As theatre students, who would love to see the live show, and who do appreciate the difficulty of writing and producing a show at the caliber of "Hamilton," they are not trying to hurt Miranda or any of the other artists involved with the production by watching the bootlegs. They accept that this may be their only opportunity to see the musical, so in fact, the bootleg is actually an educational opportunity.

The students continue to debate the morality of the choice in front of them.

"Hamilton" opened in New York 2015. It was sold out for over a year. There is a production currently running in Chicago, with two more productions scheduled in San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are also plans to open a production at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s West End next year.