October 4

Rough Draft of Civic Artifact Paper

Is There Really More to Bricks than Clay, Mud, and A Couple of Other Things?

The brick has been used for thousands of years, helping to build various structures that we use every day.  In this sense, the purpose the brick serves in the material world is undeniable.  But, when we look at bricks through a different lens, a figurative lens, they serve the community in a whole new way. When viewing the brick a figurative lens, we see the brick as a teacher.  It teaches us the importance of following one’s dreams and teamwork to achieve success.  And while when we view a brick, we see our future, it also represents and enlightens us on the importance of persistence no matter the obstacle in the way.

“Follow Yellow Brick Road”~ The Wizard of Oz

Growing up the Wizard of Oz was a staple in everyone’s movie diet, because let’s face it who does not enjoy hearing Judy Garland sing “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”  And while that is a fantastic song, an even better one is “Follow the Yellow Brick Road/You’re Off to See the Wizard.” This song is sung as Dorothy begins her journey to meet the wizard who will help her fulfill her dream of going home. These bricks make up the path of her journey, each brick being a step. This “Yellow Brick Road” represents the fact that one must follow their own path one step at a time.  This physical path that was present in the movie is present in our everyday lives.  Brick paths are things that we figuratively build every day for ourselves.  Each step in the path represents one more step that we must take to achieve our dreams.  There are often multiple directions that one can build their paths, some will be more difficult than others.   For those who take the easy path, they walk brick by brick, step by step until they reach their goal.   Those who take the hard path may encounter challenges that they may have not seen coming.  Sometimes, there are twists and turns with changes in elevation.  When it comes to changes in elevations climb the stairs. A brick staircase is the same as a brick path; they both help you reach your goal.   However, if they stick on the path, like Dorothy did, anything is possible.

“Together We Will Succeed”

We stand on bricks every day and they help to hold us up, helping us to achieve success. When one brick is missing the whole structure can crumble.  Similar to the brick when a civilization removes one of its key values, teamwork, it cannot succeed.  The beliefs that hold nations together are equivalent to bricks that support structures.  One of the essential bricks to a society is the belief that teamwork produces higher quality results than working solo.  If one cannot simply see this, they can look at the history of brick usage to determine the importance of teamwork.  Although buildings were often built by torched slaves, these people did not make the building blocks of these buildings alone; they worked together so that there was less punishment for an individual.  And while I am not encouraging slavery, I am encouraging the teamwork that these people put into their work build a successful building.  When we look at these buildings, like the Pyramids and the Colosseum we see magnificence.   These attractions that bring in millions of dollars to each country’s economy, the incomes are direct results of the teamwork of others.  Showing, with teamwork, people can help society progress and succeed.  This belief is needs to be shared among people today.  October 2, 2017, we witnessed the deadliest shooting on American soil in modern history. We need to be coming together to make America a better place, not dividing it apart.  Therefore, we, many different bricks, must come together to form a rock solid foundation, that supports the country and helps it improve.  When people are not all onboard with an idea, a compromise needs to be made, because when the foundation is not stable, success crumbles. We need a solid foundation in order for buildings to stand up straight, the same thing must happen when it comes to social issues, people must unite together to unite change and inspire success.

Bricks being used as a symbol for teamwork are instilled in children at a young age.  As one looks at the image to the right they see four adorable children playing with Legos, play bricks.  The children are learning that by working together they can create a tall, strong, successful tower.  This helps to instill the belief in children that if they work successfully with others, they can achieve something great, like a big brick (Lego) tower.  When children learn this belief at a young age, they will act on this belief in society, helping to build a united people.

Bricks help to teach people the important of teamwork from a young age promote success, and when this does not happen everything will crumble.

Hitting the Brick Wall-Not as Big a Deal as Previously Thought

I guarantee that all of you reading this paper have driven yourself into a brick wall before, hoping it would crumble, so you could solve a problem. However, it does not budge at all and you think you will die before you get through the wall.  Let’s face it we have all been there.  However, does something good come from this?  When we hit the wall over and over again there is a reason.  There is a challenge in the way and we need to overcome it. The issue when comes to brick walls in the way and people keep ramming the car into the wall, not looking for a solution from another direction.  In this sense the brick wall represents the tendency for people to not be critical problem solvers because they think their approach is always the right one.  This is a common problem in society; people often think there is an easy solution.  We have seen this on a national platform a lot this past year when it comes to issues like health care.  The Republican Party keeps trying to drive the bill through the wall hoping eventually that it will pass.  Instead they should realize that the wall will not budge, and they need to look at the problem critically and look for another way past the wall.  A different approach such as collaboration across with the Democrats may help them solve the problem, allowing them to drive around the wall. Thus, this brick wall represents the need to approach problems from many angles with collaboration, and not continuously bang your car into the wall because you think eventually your way will work.

This Brick is Weighing Me Down 

When one looks at the brick wall they may see the individual bricks that make up the wall instead of a collection of bricks.  Each one of these can pose a grand challenge to a person.  While a brick may feel light to someone when they pick it up for a quick second, imagine carrying it around for a long time. It weighs one down and causes them to move slower. When one is overthinking something their mind functions at a slower pace and they cannot get their work done as quickly as they would like.  Therefore, the brick represents the overthinking that takes place in the mind of most humans.  It weighs them down similar to a brick.   It is our civic duty to remove this brick from our minds in order to succeed and function as active members of society.

Bricks…AKA Great Teachers

Bricks remind and teach us the importance of striving to achieve our dreams, work as team, think critically and clear our minds.  So next time you see a brick, remember that is much more than a mix of clay and other nuance materials.


***There will be pictures throughout this***



October 4

The Luck Keeps Coming

In Lyndsey Addario’s novel “It’s What I Do” she addresses a conflict of balance between her personal and professional life, thus the way that she works and lives.  The basic premise of these conflicts can be transferred into the reality television show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” 

Image result for lynsey addario

On pages 267 and 268 of “It’s What I Do” Addario discusses the struggle between a dangerous lifestyle in a war zone verses a peaceful lifestyle in a safe environment.   After Addario is in a deadly car accident that leaves her severely injured, she discusses in the novel the fact that maybe her lifestyle and her ability to survive is luck and that luck may someday run out.  However, she decides that a car accident can happen anywhere, so she continues her work.  She makes this conflict relatable to the audience by discussing how the struggle transferred into her personal life.  It was not just an internal conflict but rather one that was influenced by her friends.  Addario’s friends did not understand how important her career was to her and instead wanted her to focus on settling down.  Many people have passions that consume their lives and have others pressuring them to do other things.  I think that Addario’s passion depicts to others that they are not alone in these situations.

In my personal life, I do not feel like I am pressured to do anything, career wise, that I do not want to do.  My parents and friends are very supportive of my life goals.  However, as I am writing about reality television for my passion blog, I have encountered some snickering about its value.  I think that when one watches these television shows many focus on the drama between the performers/actors/real life individuals.  But there is so much more to these television shows.  For example, in my next blog which will be focusing on the Kardashians I will discussing how some of the Kardashian’s have left their significant others because of their lack of support for their dreams.  While some may say that they only achieved success because of their name, which is partially true, it takes a lot of hard work to maintain the success.

Image result for kardashians

While Addario and the Kardashians have much different life paths, they both have a common goal of achieving success.  In the end they both need to focus on what is important to them achieve their dreams in life.

September 20

Civic Artifact Speech Outline

Stacie Kerbel



  1.  Introduction
    1. (Open door and let it swing closed) What you have all witnessed is something that we witness every day, the opening and closing of a door. This door, a big, heavy metal door, represents so much more than an entrance.  There is a reason that a door has hinges.  It allows it to swing open and close depending on the situation occurring at a given time.
    2. Thesis
      1. The door calls upon us as individuals to open the door to welcome and embrace new people, as well as help everyone achieve success. It also calls upon us as individuals to sometimes close the door, allowing one to have privacy and reflect about their days without the interference of others.
    3. Transition One
      1. When I begin a story I like to start at the beginning, so that is how we are going to frame the story of the door. We are going to  open the door, hold the door, and then shut the door.
    4. Topic Number One: Opening the Door
      1. The first step opening the door is the process of creating new opportunities for ourselves.
        1. First generation college students
          1. Personal example-my mom’s developmental students-RACC
            1. Many are older student returning to school/or are really poor students wanting to make their lives better through obtaining a college education-want to make a difference in the world-they are usually in developmental classes
          2. Women in powerful positions
            1. Hidden figures
            2. HRC-presidential bid
          3. These people have all opened the door for themselves, creating paths that they may or may not have seen coming, but have definitely changed their and societies lives for the better.
        2. Transition Number 2
          1. The people that have sparked changed in society have done so in a way that has held the door open for more people to walk through and experience new opportunities.
        3. Topic Number Two: Holding the Door Open
          1. Some people are not as fortunate as us, and need help achieving their dreams. They may have come from underprivileged areas and different areas in need. It is our civic duty to help these people succeed and not slam the door in their face.
            1. Refugees
              1. History-we did this in the past-WWII
              2. Illegal immigrants
            2. Underprivileged children
              1. Personal example-BBBS
                1. Helping them get to a level where they will succeed
              2. It is our job to make sure that these people all have the same opportunities and the way to do this is to hold the door open for them, not shutting them out from anything. Once they are able to have the same opportunities (job/education wise) as us,
            3. Transition Number 3
              1. After a long day of holding the door open for other people, the door shuts and we have time for ourselves.
            4. Topic Number 4: Shutting the Door
              1. We all need a little time for ourselves to decompress and destress, because face it our lives are very stressful. It is important to do this as we need to be leaders in society
              2. When people are over tired and stressed they feel like they are unable to do this preventing society from advancing.
              3. Therefore, it is our civic duty to shut the door and take some time for ourselves without the world hovering over us.
              4. Do this by reading some books, hanging with friends, going outside, or if you are me watching reality television.
            5. Transition Number 4
              1. These are all activities involved in our last step, closing the door. And while for some this may be the most relaxing part of the process, we cannot remember our other civic duties.
            6. Conclusion
              1. We walk through the doors every single day, opening them, holding them and closing them. And while we see this as a nuance task, this process serves a greater purpose.  The door calls us to create new opportunities for ourselves, help other people succeed, and allow for us to have privacy and time alone.
September 14

Stream of Conciousness

Throughout Addario’s autobiography she uses rhetorical devices such as sentence structure and organization to help make her story more compelling or vivid.  These same rhetorical devices can be transferred into my passion blog to make it more exciting. 

On pages 116-117, Addario reveals the correspondence that she has with he one of her editors describing what she needs before she enters a war zone.  Addario’s sentence structure is very visual and grabs the reader’s attention.  The first thing that one can notice is the extended use of commas and parentheses.  The commas help to show her nervousness about the situation as it is a stream of consciousness.  Addario’s continued thoughts help her to cope with her new situation. One can see that Addario is nervous about this entire situation by reading what she writes in parentheses. Addario is unsure about what will be dangerous could be flying towards her, but is putting on a brave face saying that she is only afraid of heavy objects.  That is why she is not too sure what will be coming toward her as she states “guess that would mean ceramic plates”.  She also talks in a parenthetical phrase about how she is tired and just wants to get the planning over.  Addario is stressed about the planning, and therefore, is ranting about wanting to have the event pass stating “sorry if this is too much info for you….get this planning over with…” The other important rhetorical device is organization.  Addario writes this section by building each paragraph with more in detail than the next.  She is explaining what she actually knows she needs to document about the trip.  In a sense this is her realizing what she is about to photograph.  The building of detail after detail show the stress she is experiencing.

While my blog is pretty care free, because reality television is made for relaxation.  However, I can use sentence structure to highlight an idea.  For example, a short sentence in the midst of long sentences can reflect and important idea and vice versa.  I can organize my paragraphs in a similar fashion as Addario does to entice the reader.  I can also organize my paragraph chronologically or topically to entertain the reader and have the reader focus on certain ideas. For example in my next post  will discuss The Bachelor.  I will divide the paragraphs based on topics, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise.  My excitement for the show will be show in short sentences, while I will have longer sentences about things that I did not like that happened in the show.  This will be similar to how Addario expressed her stress in a stream of consciousness.

RhetoricaImage result for the bachelorl devices help to show the reader what they are truly thinking about.  They can show emotion and explain the environment people are experiencing, allowing the reader feel as though he were in conversation with the speaker in the book/blog.

September 7

Igniting the Passion

The novel “It’s what I do” depicts the passion of war photographer Lyndsey Addario.  Throughout the novel one learns of Addario’s different trials and tribulations as a war photographer.  Everyone on earth has a passion, photography is Addario’s passion, and it’s what ignites the fire or passion within her.

One section of the story flashes back to a story of Addario speaking with her Nana.  It discusses the passion that her Nana and her lover, Sal, shared.  Sal ended up marrying her Nana’s friend and the three individuals all remained friends for years.  After Nana’s friend Eleanor died, Sal kissed Nana and it was just as passionate as when they were dating many years ago.  However, after this interaction their relationship became tense and this did not happen again.  The passion between these two lovers is the same way that Addario feels about war photography, and unlike her Nana she does not want to miss out on any part of it.  Addario includes this story to relate her passion to love, something that is easier for people understand.

While I cannot relate to having a passion for war photography, I can relate to being very passionate about something.  Reality television is a part of my existence.  I go into a trance where I can forget about all the problems in the world.  I can go back to my first time watching reality television like it was yesterday, watching “Dance Moms” on loop laughing about all the ridiculousness that occurring and laughing about it.  I think what is magical about “trash” television is can be extremely relaxing and entertaining, but it also teaches people important lessons that may aid them in the trials and tribulations of life.  Therefore, much like the war photImage result for the bachelorography of Addario and the kiss from Sal to Nana, reality television is my passion and is something that I love to watch.

August 31

It’s What I Do…

I am passionate about many things in my life.  Two of my most intense passions are obsessing over dogs, specifically my dog, and watching reality television.  I believe either of these ideas would make for an entertaining blog.

Ever since I could speak I would ask my parents to open our home to a second dog, because one was never enough, as I’m obsessed with dogs. The dream of owning two dogs at the same time never happened.  Approximately three years ago my very intelligent dog passed away and in May 2015, my family adopted in a cognitively impaired dog.  We named him Biscuit, after Biscuit in the children’s books.  Like Biscuit in the children’s books, my dog enjoys going on various adventures.  Therefore I think that it would be so fun to blog about my dog’s life and his weird antics, as I am passionate about all dogs, but especially mine.

The other passion that I have in my life is “trash television.”  I find that when one is a very academic person they need brain breaks.  For many people this can be exercise, reading, hanging out with friends, or all of the above.  While to some people reality television may seem mind numbing, but I find it relaxing.  Some of my favorite relaxing television shows include The Bachelor and its spinoffs, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, WAGS and its spin-offs, Second Wives Club, and Dance Moms.  While many of these “reality” television shows draw criticism for being scripted, they are still successful.  The other idea that I have for my blog is to assess what makes these television shows successful and why so many people enjoy following them. 

I am a very passionate person, and love dogs, especially mine, and reality television, thus I would love to blog about one of my passions.