Outline for Speech

  • Introduction
    • As my attention grabber, I have two ideas, though I am unsure exactly which I will do. The first is to ask the audience a question to immediately engage them, but something other than “who has an iPhone” because, for one reason, this question is very predictable with this artifact, and two, I can almost guarantee the entire class has a smartphone, if not an iphone. My other idea is to describe what the iPhone looks like (example: small handheld device, white, silver or black, ability to do almost everything – music, pictures, text, etc.) Both of these ideas will immediately get the audience thinking about the iPhone and will not leave them questioning what my artifact really is.
  • Body
    • The information following my introduction will be when I begin to rhetorically analyze my civic artifact. Because I know my audience is all very familiar with my artifact, I can give a little information regarding the history of it, but don’t need to talk about what it actually is. This will build my ethos as the audience will see I understand the background as to where the iPhone came from. When talking about the brief history, I can connect this to how the phone has developed through many years (starting from a simple phone for calling to the smartphone). I will discuss how the iPhone can be seen as a metaphor/symbol for the development of society (seen through its developments with each new iPhone models).
    • In my speech I want people to begin to question whether or not our obsession with technology (specifically the iPhone) has gotten out of hand. I will provide evidence of how much people use iPhones while asking questions about how the iPhone has affected has (in good ways and bad) which will lead into the civicness of the iPhone.
  • Conclusion
    • I will conclude by formally closing my speech to let the audience know I have finished talking and to thank my audience for listening.

Ideas for Civic Artifact

I didn’t exactly know what a civic artifact was before discussions in class and looking up a few definitions. A civic artifact: something you can see or have in everyday life, something that connects us to the past or reveals something about the past, can be seen in the news. Essentially, anything… if explained in the right manner.


Naturally, I thought of something that people nowadays can’t live without; something that has seemed to connect citizens all around the world despite gender, race, religion, etc. You go into any public place – a restaurant, clothing store, department store, and see anyone holding it a few inches from their face: a smartphone. When we became so glued to these small, handheld devices that we can’t seem to live without, I’m not sure, but I do know what seems like the entire population has relied on these machines for quite some time.

Certainly, we didn’t always have these smartphones. Obviously, the time when cavemen communicated by drawing pictures on stonewalls, or colonial men and women sat down with a feather pen and some ink have been forgotten. But what about spending the time to talk to someone directly in person rather than texting or calling? How reliant have we become on these methods of communication within a smartphone? Technological innovations have advanced our world in ways people centuries ago wouldn’t ever have imagined.

For my civic artifact assignment(s), I plan to talk about the smartphone. I will connect the technological advancements in the forms of communication that have led to the smartphone and how these advancements have brought communities together into my assignments. How they have actually “functioned civically” is something I will go into further depth.


I hate to admit that I believe the smartphone to be a critical facet of American culture today. It’s interesting to think what we will be dependent on in ten, twenty, thirty years, and what impact the smartphone will have in future years.

What It’s like to be a “Newbie”

Anyone can relate to the intimidating feeling of entering a new environment full of unfamiliar people and ideas, and I can speak for myself (and hopefully others) by saying that my first week at Penn State was certainly a confusing transition. Between getting lost on campus and trying to get in sync into a new fast pace routine, my experiences certainly mirrored Mae’s, as a “newbie” at The Circle.  It couldn’t be more fitting to have had Penn State Students read The Circle: Mae exemplifies every first-year student’s experience as they arrive in State College – going on tours of the “vast and rambling [main] campus” (Eggers 1) and listening in on orientation sessions of the innumerable opportunities the school has to offer.

Penn State and the Circle alike have strong institutions within themselves that work tirelessly to promote a sense of unity within their respective communities. In a conversation with Mae, Dan says, “We want this to be a workplace, sure, but it should also be a humanplace… this is a place where our humanity is respected, our opinions are dignified, our voices are heard” (Egger 47). While the actual work is both a priority for students of Penn State and workers at The Circle, they share the common value of emphasizing the community aspect of where they work and who they work with.

The two communities do have a divide in regards to how often technology and media is used as a main source of work. I hate to admit that college students now have become so dependent on technology that they seem lost without their smartphones, but The Circle physically relies on computers for their business. The Circle is centered around using laptops and cameras to combine each worker’s personal information into one identity to share with their community – simply put, “all that happens must be known” (68). Metaphorically, at Penn State, students are not stuck behind a computer all day – Penn State ensures that the students here have both privacy and individualism.

Similar to Mae, I am beyond ecstatic to begin my journey at Penn State.

Intro to Passion Blog: My Ideas

Did you say… blog?! Yes, this was my reaction to hearing I would soon be writing a blog. I’ve come across my fair share of blogs over the internet and other forms of social media – 10 ways to wear a scarf, a go-to guide to staying fit during the holidays, etc. – but I never thought I would be writing my own.


If I asked you, the reader, what your passion was (and asked you to comment as well,) your response would probably be different from everyone else’s. I would get a multitude of comments – passions ranging from playing sports to gazing at the stars. Well, mine is traveling. I love adventuring – exploring the outdoors and visiting new places – but I haven’t exactly had many opportunities (as I’d like) to go out and take on the world – which is why I’m using this blog as a chance to share my experiences of traveling and write about new ones I hope to have.

The World At a Glance

Today, it is estimated that as many as 8 million people travel each and every day – whether by airplane, train, car, or bus. Certainly, there is no concrete reason as to why people travel – everyone has a different explanation. Personally, I travel to gain a new perspective on what life is like outside of PA, or, in a broader sense, what life is like outside of the US.


With each blog I write, I will discuss a different state or country. I would like to take my observations of different places I’ve visited (or want to visit) and engage readers into conversations about each place, the people there, the culture, the stereotypes, etc.


One of the goals in my blog will be to educate my audience (anyone who is open to moving out of their comfort zone and into a world of unfamiliarity) about the benefits of traveling and why it should be something everyone has the chance to experience in their lifetime.