RCL #6: Conflicts

Similarly to most other people, Addario experiences many different conflicts within her life regarding her work and personal life, but considering her career, one wrong decision can be the difference between life and death. One specific conflict arises when she returns to Istanbul after the soldier’s mission in Afghanistan. The blindness that many people possess to the conflicts occurring around them simply because they have never experienced it themselves evokes quite a bit of introspection on Addario’s part, as seen when Peter asks about her latest mission. Although she witnessed the events, Addario had no idea how to relay them to someone who watered the whole situation down to only her near death experiences, which is emphasized when Addario thinks, “And suddenly I felt as if words were completely inadequate to describe what we had endured” (Addario 188). She has so many rich memories, yet due to the limited experiences the audience have, they cannot comprehend the dire situation in the strife-striken countries that Addario photographs. To help communicate the feeling of having a loss of words to the audience, Addario continues the paragraph by asking several rhetorical questions with heavy imagery about how she would articulate the intense emotions she felt on the combat zone. While most readers have not experienced war like she has, they can relate to the inability to convey a certain message or topic to someone who does not listen and cannot understand, which is ubiquitous.

In my own life, I sometimes have trouble communicating with other people because I have such different experiences from most people whom I meet, which aligns to Addario’s challenge with talking to those who didn’t experience the war zone with her. I’ve already mentioned the slight cultural conflict in Japan due to their tendency to shun outsiders a little bit in my passion blog, but I hope to inform my audience of what they’re getting into when they travel to certain countries in terms of national conflict so they have a better idea of the history and a more collective view of the nation rather than just the pleasing scenery.

RCL #5: Civil Artifact Essay

  • By creating wearable smart devices, Apple exacerbates the addiction to screens, but sidesteps this issue by depicting the active lifestyle
  • emphasizes the exercise apps within the watch and shows the intensity of the watch
  • can easily become obsessed with the biodata provided by the watch

RCL#4: Civic Artifact Speech Outline

Introduction: I have a bit of a problem. Whenever sprinting to class, I have a tendency to check my watch, somehow zone out while reading it, and then check my phone for the time. Considering this inefficient method of checking the time, I often wonder why I wear a watch. Of course, I don’t want to check my phone in the middle of class, but moreover, the weight of a watch on my wrist supersedes that. Simply wearing the watch instills a feeling of efficiency, of authority, of the duty I have to society in me and that is the true reason I wear a watch.

Thesis: Over the centuries watches have been present on the wrists of consumers, they have gone through a great evolution in terms of use and functionality, significance to the consumer, and the civic duty they evoke from the consumer.

Point 1: Development of the Wristwatch/Change in Use over Time

  • History from 1500s: large, bulky, had to wear around neck, not very accurate
  • Rising demands for practical watches during World War I, so pendant and pocket watches became obscure
  • Watches contributed both to fashion (gold plated/embellished watches and so on) as well to industry with the standardization of time, especially in consideration with train stations and similar industries
  • Evolved to become quieter, lighter, and smaller and continues to adapts to society’s needs, proven with the release of smart watches

Transition: With the increasing efficiency of watches over the years, they have come to represent that very value in many countries, alongside with the enormous fashion impact watches have.

Point 2:  Significance of Watches

  • Represent productivity and efficiency to many Northern European nations (especially Switzerland, where it’s a national symbol more or less), as well as the U.S.
  • Contributes to the commonplace “Time is money”
  • However, symbolizes a limitation to those who live a more “go with the flow” lifestyle, such as those in Southern Europe
  • Reflects the personality of the wearer due to the wide variety of watches available, allows wearer to express themselves in a practical manner
  • People who wear watches seem to have sophistication, authority, and control over their lives (especially in watch ads-lots of ethos!)

Transition: Given the eye-catching designs of watches presented in ads and the sheer number of watches available to the public, there is no surprise that many people buy watches for all sorts of purposes. Despite the different reasons, watches encourage a similar civic duty in all who wear them.

Point 3: Civic Duty Encouraged by Watches

  • Incorporate the consumer further into society by enforcing deadlines and serving as constant reminders of the flow of time
  • Encourages the consumer to push themselves even more for the betterment of society, which gives rise to new innovations
  • Smart watches in particular allow consumers many functions at their fingertips, encourages more efficiency in the work force and independency within their lives
  • Again, “time is money” saying, overall efficiency in society encouraged by watches

Conclusion: For a long stretch of time, watches were considered either timekeepers or fashion accessories, but since then, have branched out into many different fields and expanded on the civic duty it encouraged from consumers. Now more than ever, watches symbolize the constant innovations and development sweeping the planet and continue to push humans further by constantly reminding them of how much value time has. With the creation of smart watches, consumers will be able to complete so much more at a great efficiency, which is their civic duty.


RCL #3: How to Write Vividly

Although many scenes within Part II are compelling due to the action they describe, the one scene that stuck out to me occurs after Addario and Matthew are released by the commander of the village (pages 122-129). Gareib informs them that they cannot leave until the next morning and Matthew begins to panic, demanding to leave at that very moment.

Addario makes use of repetition in this scene, telling the readers that Matthew was getting angry several times as well as making him restate that he wanted leave over and over. She also juxtaposes Matthew’s breakdown to the scene before, when Addario was the one who kept rubbing her forehead in worry while Matthew was relaxed. The steady progression of anger Addario illustrates in blunt terms depicts how genuinely frightened Matthew feels after he’s captured, which conveys to the readers how close death may be to the reports in these conflict-ridden regions. In the next scene, nonetheless, Addario juxtaposes Matthew’s unease with the domestic scene with the wife in the second captor’s kitchen.

Repetition aids writers when they try to convey a point of great importance, but in terms of my own passion, regurgitating the same fact about a country or a culture will bore readers rather than entice them to read more of the blog. On the other hand, Addario’s action of juxtaposing between moments of conflict and tranquil ones keeps the readers on their toes and encourages them to ponder how such contrasting events could take place at the same time and place. Likewise, I could utilize juxtapositions when discussing countries that have strong traditional and modern cultures, such as Japan’s traditions of honoring elders which contrasts to their technological advanced society. Juxtapositions could also be used to to transition between ideas within a post, similar to what I did with the Romania post where I separated the post into sections about general travel facts about Romania, fascinating places to visit, and ended with a little cultural excerpt from the country. Like Addario’s writing, this keeps the readers interested in the topic, so I will continue with it in my new posts.

RCL #2: What to Do with Passion

If you ask someone why they do the job they do, they’ll give you one of three answers: money, some strange or uncommon reason, or passion. Parents and college recruiters tell students to find a passion and follow it through high school. Clearly, passion is something valued by Western societies, yet at the same time, those who follow their passion may be labeled as reckless or selfish.

Addario’s nana faces a dilemma in which she must make the decision between a spontaneous man with no money or a man who promises her a secure future. The predicament is almost cliché, but emphasizes just how much Addario wants to stay off the secure route. Nana chooses Addario’s grandfather, a logical choice that considers the future, yet still wonders about her decision many years in the future. In this context, Addario may have included the story to warn the audience against selections that may haunt you several years later.

She also includes the story to how important her passion is. While her grandmother chooses the safe path in consideration of her future, Addario knows how crucial her line of work is and for that reason, follows her passion rather than the safe route of staying out of conflict regions.

Unlike Addario, I wouldn’t say I have many stories of my travels abroad or that much advice, but simply standing outside sparks a sense of passion within me. Especially on this campus, if you stand anywhere, really, you’ll see tens or hundreds of students milling around, sprinting to class, or studying. Just looking at complete strangers makes me realize that just like me, these people have been through a multitude of experiences that I cannot fathom, have made many mundane decisions like me, and will make the choice between safety and passion.

As a naturally curious person, I wondered how these daily tasks differ between the people of the world. How does the trip to the grocery store vary between a Slovak and a Japanese person? What do students in Seychelles learn? Thus, my desire to learn about the world and its culture was born.

RCL #1: Passion Blog Ideas

As a person who has too many interests and is in a near constant state of lethargy due to bad sleep habits, a blog is a open door leading to a pot of gold. A blog grants the blogger a place to share their interests with others and possibly learn even more about their own interests.  They appear to be novel and fantastic—until I realized that one, all my ideas have some sort of problem (such my lack of research on the topic), and two, I have so many minuscule blog ideas that I have no clue how to unite under an overarching theme. But I suppose that is the whole point of a blog: to research and present a concoction of the information you find and your own ideas to the world.

World travel has topped my list of life goals from a very young age, so this blog will most likely be dedicated to my love of the world around us. For example, one of the ideas I have is a “bucket-list” blog of some sort. I already have an outrageous number of pins of random places on Pinterest (half of which I pinned just because the location seemed aesthetically intriguing). Additionally, If enjoy learning about the cultures of different nations, such as Finland’s eccentric sauna-sitting or cell-phone throwing competitions, so that could also be incorporated into this blog somehow. In brief, this blog would include pictures of different cities and events I’d like to visit, as well as facts about the culture in said cities.

Another topic I have enjoyed from childhood is science and all the branches within it, such as life sciences and space. If I choose this topic over the traveling one, I would either blog about new discoveries occurring in the present moment or possibly strange or humorous discoveries from the past that are skimmed over in our school and college courses. Now more than ever, science plays a dominant role in my life, since my intended major is chemical engineering, and also in the lives of everyone else on this planet, considering the looming effect of climate change and many other major problems that need to be solved with science. It would do well to write a blog to get more students interested in the more interesting aspects of science rather than just than fundamentals taught in school because it’s now our turn to discover and create inventions to advance and protect this planet we live on.

Tl;dr: it’s either this:

Tfw scientists steal your gummy bear and explode it








Or this:

All for some cheese

Suggestions are most welcome!