Category Archives: rcl

Shedding light on Child Soldiers

This week instead of writing two blogs about the same thing, I’ve decided just to combine the RCL and WIP blog together to focus on the History of a Controversy project. Like I said last week, my group’s topic is child soldiers. Before we started doing any research I had no idea what info child soldiers entailed.  After finding some good articles on the library database I realized how important of a topic this is. I knew that kids were fighting, but I had no idea the emotional turmoil that they are faced with. The fact that most of them end up killing their parents is unbelievable. I think of myself as a child and can’t even imagine understanding how to operate a weapon (to be honest I probably wouldn’t even know how to know). After learning more about this topic I realized just how relevant this was. For some reason I had in my head  that this wasn’t still happening as much, but much to my dismay it is. I feel like in our project/video we can shed some light on what is going on. And also how being a child soldier has long term effects on those who were one. After talking today in class, my group decided that we wanted the people to cry after the video, and after learning some more info that will not be hard at all. Like I mentioned last week, the music could really make or break our topic. If you use a solemn song throughout the entire nine minutes, then we will be able to create a somber attitude and theme throughout the video. Also being able to use the images of children will hit the center of most people, as they are a great way to encourage an emotional appeal to the audience. As for making the video relatable, I think that everyone in the class can relate, in the sense that we’ve all been kids and could very easily think of ourselves in that situation (or maybe not at all). Overall, this topic is extremely important and needs more attention brought to it. The Kony ordeal earlier this year shed some light on it, but that ended up being a scam and lasted for roughly a week. Hopefully our video will be better informed and give some really insightful information into child soldiers.

Child Soldiers: a strong topic

With my groups topic being child soldiers there is a lot of ways in which we can appeal to the audience. The first thought that came to my mind was the idea of using a sad song in the background of the video. This would immediately establish a certain connotation with the idea of child soldiers and would also show how it is a controversial topic. Plus, using children is an automatic way to ensure that you audience will be subject to some pathetic appeal. Because, I mean who wants to hear that kids have to fight other kids and even kill them because they do not know better. And clearly, this is a relevant topic as previously in the year the whole Kony business hit the press for a couple of weeks and faded, but it clearly is something that many, if not most, people do not support.  Although the Kony project didn’t live up to its expectations, there have to be other movements out there that are trying to prevent and stop the future of child soldiers. This also would be beneficial for our video. Anyways, our topic is very solid in my opinion and there is a lot of info available because this topic is current and relevant.

Support your men’s basketball team!

This past week the Men’s Basketball team had their season opener against St. Francis University. I had been hearing about the basketball team since I got here. I feel like their PR people are really trying to get the job done. They have been in the HUB for a very long time. I feel like all of their attempts to get people to attend games are a perfect example of rhetoric. They were selling seasons tickets religiously for about two months now. They even had Coach Chambers come in and try to sell tickets to students. They also were handing out free posters for a very long time. All of this was clearly an attempt to get kids to attend the games and support the team. And even last Friday some kid was sitting at their booth in the HUB yelling “Freshmen get in free!!!” This last attempt to get people to come to the games was what caught my attention.  Later that night my friend and I ran out of things to do and decided to check out the game. And to say the least it was mildly disappointing. The team had gone to all the efforts to spread the word about the games, and very few kids were actually there. I had gone in expecting an atmosphere similar to football games and it was nothing like that. I felt bad for the team because it made them look like the shunned step-child next to the football team. It was just unfortunate that their rhetorical efforts went unnoticed.  Personally I just wanted to go to see Coach Chambers in action, having him in the HUB was enough to get me interested. I’m not sure if people start showing up more religiously when they are playing Division teams, but everyone should definitely make an effort to attend a few games. It’s actually really fun because you can enjoy the pep band, be around some rowdy fans, and watch a good game. So I definitely encourage everyone to go see the men’s basketball team play before the season is over to support your Basketball Lions, because they deserve the support too!

Election Day Observations

With this past Tuesday being Election Day it is kind of impossible for me to not have something political in my RCL blog. I have to apologize for the constant inclusion of politics, but that is my major so I can only say that I am obsessed. As the results were coming in for electoral votes for each state, Twitter progressively blew up. I saw tweets complaining about both parties. And once Obama won Ohio everything was blown to hell, to say the least. My republican friends began whining and using the #tryingtostayoptimistic, and the democrats of Twitter had tweets of victory. Who would have thought that Twitter would have been a place to find rhetoric of any form? Well, I guess I did because I’m writing about it, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, people on Twitter were using rhetoric without even knowing it. Their simple 100 word tweet provided much insight into their thoughts and opinions. Another place where rhetoric was used was outside of the polling place. Many supporters of the various candidates were standing outside of Alumni Hall making their last push to get voters to choose their candidate. Many were handing out fliers, others stickers. The League of Women voters were handing out free donuts. And someone else had candy. One of the lesser known candidates was even walking around talking to kids who were standing in line. All of this symbolizes rhetoric in some way. And it was very interesting to watch it all unfold right before my eyes.

Ted Talk- Me vs. My mom?

So when the assignment of the TED talk was first given to us I immediately freaked out because I had no conceivable idea on how to make the shift of cell phone dependency into an interesting speech. After a little bit of thinking I think I’ve found out what I want to talk about. I want to push my point that cell phones have had a tremendous effect on everyone, especially our generation, those of Generation Y. We were the first generation to really grow up in a tech-savy world and I think that has greatly affected us. To make the speech more interesting I want to include a day in my life without my phone compared to a day in my mom’s life without her phone. She only uses it for calling people (if she even knows where it is), I on the other hand always have my phone handy and am constantly doing something on it, whether it be texting, checking emails or playing a game).I feel like this will illustrate my argument greatly because my mom is part of the Baby Boomers and I am a Gen Y kid, so we are coming from two extremely different eras. I also want to include more interesting things. I have yet to think of any, but I am bound to do so eventually. Maybe instead of trying to get all of my arguments out in my speech I’ll just focus on the increase in dependency on cell phones. Perhaps I could compare my childhood life of playing outside and using land lines to those of kids now who are able to text their neighbors to see if they want to play video games. And also I will most likely include an instance of an awkward situation where everyone has their cell phones out to avoid conversing with people. Anyways, I definitely have some strong ideas, in my opinion, but I think I really need to focus on one topic and make it a less broad speech so that I don’t get confused when I am giving it.

Penn State White Out video

With the White Out game against Ohio State around the corner I figured that I could find some example of rhetoric anywhere on the internet pertaining to the game. And luckily I did. Today while scrolling through Facebook I saw that the Penn State Memes page had posted a video. I skipped over it and kept going along my business. Later in the day when I was perusing Facebook again, I came across the same video, except this time it had been shared by two of my friends and I decided to go ahead and watch it. Once I had clicked play I was greeted by the soundtrack of one of the best movies (in my opinion) of all time, The Lord of the Rings, this automatically caught my attention. The song is accompanied by various videos and pictures. All of which are from this season and they document the success of the team thus far. And then an inspirational speech from the movie “Miracle” is heard. The overall tone of this video is a “We can do it and we will do it” kind of attitude. And also serves to get people pumped for the game on Saturday. The music adds to the importance of the game and then the speech adds even more. This is clearly a win every Penn Stater wants and everyone will be watching the game. This video not only pumps up Penn Staters, but also makes them want to support the team even more (or at least it makes me want to). For some reason, this video is inspiring in a way because it captures the want to win this game that every Penn State alum, student or fan is wanting. If you haven’t seen it you definitely should. I may be blowing it out of proportion, but that is only because I’m obsessed with the music in LOTR and I love supporting the Football team. So here is the link go and see it for yourself! 😀

The Taste Carol Can’t See

I have to apologize to anyone who has been reading my rcl blogs. They are all focused on politics because of my slight addiction to things like that. So this week I decided to change it up a bit. When I was trying to think of rhetoric I first went to Facebook and only found statuses either about fall break or PSU kids that were complaining about not having a fall break. My next stop was I always come across interesting images on this website. The fourth image was the one above. This poster, albeit mildly offensive and fake, also surprisingly serves multiple purposes. The fact that Carol is blind is stressing the importance of wearing safety goggles in the lab. Everyone knows the drill for labs and that putting on goggles basically becomes second nature after the first week of class. By using Carol as an example, people are able to show what can happen if you are like Carol and don’t wear your safety goggles. But, this poster also adds in humor (which is probably the main reason that it even exists). The inclusion of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is something most people can relate to and everyone knows the catch phrase of the commercials is “The taste you can see”. By saying that Carol couldn’t see it, this could potentially hit home with someone if they really enjoy Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t mean for this to be offensive, I just thought that it would be nice to look at the rhetoric in an image online. Personally when I first saw this I thought it was hilarious, and that it was real. Much to my dismay it is not, but that still doesn’t mean that there isn’t any rhetoric present within the image.

Big Bird: the enemy of America?

Given the events of last week’s presidential debate, I thought that I would talk about the pathos evident in Obama’s new anti-Romney ad against Big Bird. This 30 second commercial is too funny. I mean the gist behind it is bad, but I feel like this is something that Saturday Night Live would have produced. Anyways, the commercial definitely has an emotional appeal. The music in the background paints a gloomy scene. The comparisons of Big Bird to people such as Bernie Madoff, also makes fun of what Romney said, how can a big, fluffy bird that has been a part of everyone’s lives be such a horrible thing. This ad could also be seen as pro-Romney to someone who wants the government to stop subsidizing PBS. This ad is just poking fun at Romney’s statement and making it into a bigger problem than it should be. I applaud the Obama campaign on trying to make a satirical ad, but it ended up just coming back to bite them in the butt. Although it was hilarious to see Big Bird be vilified, this ad was not liked by the owners of Sesame Street and they have asked for it to be pulled. Even though this ad was great, it should have been left to a comedy show to use, like SNL, Stewart, or Colbert. It clearly makes a point and all the while attacks Romney, but it has not been properly used and therefore is receiving much negativity (also this is something that the presidential candidates should be debating.) If you haven’t seen it you need to. Here is the link. Enjoy 🙂

Pathos on the television

When I think of an example of pathos I automatically think of the Sarah McLachlan video for the SPCA. To me this video is the perfect example a pathetic appeal. There are constant images of abused animals panning across the screen. All the while they are accompanied by Sarah McLachlan’s song “Angel”, which is a soft, slow, and sad sounding song. These images often are able to hit home with most people, assuming that they have a pet of their own. And just in general no one likes to see animals get hurt. This commercial has been on the TV for a couple of years now and many others that are similar have followed suit, such as the one with Willie Nelson.  Clearly, both the music and the images are used in order to make people feel back for abused animals and then go forward to donate money to the SPCA. Or it could also push them to adopt animals from the shelters as well. Another example of pathos that I have seen around is an US Army recruiting commercial. It begins by pictures of soldiers marching, climbing, and training. It also shows images of helicopters landing and soldiers in action. All of these images could go on the persuade someone to become extremely interested in joining the Army.  The music also could evoke emotions out the audience. So in all, both of these commercials have strongly charged images and music that have the ability to persuade their audience to do what they want them to do.

Civic Engagement Speeches

Regarding the civic engagement speeches I think that everyone was well prepared and had a solid presentation. Eye contact for everyone was surprisingly strong. In high school I know many people just stared into the soul of the teacher and looked at no one else. But a lot of people still were dropping “um” and “uh” often (including me). As for my own speech, I definitely could have practiced more. I was not as confident and completely lost my train of thought when I got up in front of the class. I began to ramble and I wasn’t even making sense to myself, so I could only imagine what the audience was thinking. Anyways I’m glad to have gotten this first speech for the class over with and I know for the next one to prepare for in far in advance, rather than wait until the last minute possible. Other than that I think the speeches were successful and everyone was well prepared! 🙂