The Civic Response to the Paris Attacks

Almost everyone has been talking about the recent tragic Paris terrorist attacks. There has been a reported six attacks at various locations including multiple restaurants and bars, outside of a soccer stadium, and a concert hall. More than 120 people have been killed with an additional 352 wounded by the ISIS terrorists. Although the attacks are tragic,  we can still find civic across the entire world in the aftermath of the tragic events.

Many countries addressed the acts of terrorism and have given condolences to the people of France. The United States in particular sympathizes with France due to their remembrance of the past 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ability of technology and the media to spread and show the news of these attacks has lead to the heightened civic unity of the entire world.


The support for the people of Paris can be seen with the illumination of multiple important monuments with French colors all over the world. There is something truly amazing about how people from all over the world are giving their thoughts and condolences to France during their difficult times. This clearly shows how the world is becoming a smaller place as technology has allowed for the spreading of ideas and news to almost every corner of the globe.

I also found Facebook to be plastered with profile pictures that have been altered with French colors in order to show support. It may seem like a very small and insignificant act, but it is a means for individuals to lend support in their own way and helps to spread the news of the attacks to those who have not received it.


As the globalization of the world continues it causes individuals to think more as  citizens of the world. This allows for the growth of civic at a grand scale like in the case of the global response to the Paris attacks. It is interesting to think how we can find civic in even the most unfortunate and tragic things.

TED Talk Analysis

I found this TED talk about a new advance in the field of 3D printing to be both extremely interesting and very well delivered. Joseph DeSimone talks about how he and his colleagues have discovered a way to 3D print objects 25 – 100 times faster than traditional 3D printers. This is achieved by using controlled amounts of light and oxygen in order to constantly solidify liquid in the shape of the desired object. This has huge implications for society as 3D printing before this would take large amounts of time to print even the simplest objects. The speaker also talks about the impact of this improvement stating that it can revolutionize the manufacturing world.


One of the aspects that made the talk very effective was the speakers great variation of his tone of voice and his hand motions for emphasis. He takes his time to pause every once and a while during his sentences in order to give the audience time to comprehend what he is saying. It also helps to show the audience what is really important about his talk by the pacing that he uses. He also adds to this with his use of hand movements which are not too over the top, but are subtle enough to benefit his talk.


Another aspect of the talk that was very effective was the speakers use of demonstrations and media in order to help his audience better understand his topic. He prints a complex object on stage while he is talking and in the short ten minutes the object materializes before the audiences eyes. This and his many photos and animations give a visual means to better understand the topic. It also helps to back up his claim that this innovation will revolutionize the world.


I highly recommend watching the talk as it is truly amazing to see the progression of technology and to get a sense of the good that will come from it. I am glad that I found this talk as I was not aware of this innovation beforehand. I hope to use this talk and others that utilize similar effective means of communication in my TED talk in order to better convey my talk to my audience.


Joseph DeSimone: What if 3D printing was 100x faster?: 

The Unseen Force of Change

While trudging through the long and complex entity that is Raymond William’s Hegemony and Structures of Feeling I could not help but try to best understand it by comparing his ideas to past examples of paradigm shifts throughout history. The two that emerged most often in my mind was the shift towards equality of all races and the recent legalization of gay marriage.


In the case of equal treatment of all races, in primarily the United States, the shift came from an already existing notion. The Constitution defined all men to be equal, yet the shift did not occur over context but rather the interpretation. A still very residual and important notion emerged out of an already existing concept. This shift did not occur in a quick fashion but rather came to be overtime by the extensive dynamics of activists such as Martin Luther King Jr who changed the minds of many opposing citizens.


The very recent events of the legalization of same sex marriage on the other hand, seemed to finalize almost overnight. Of course support for the issue has been building over time, but it seems as if the legalization of it happened while no one was expecting it. Personally, when I first heard about it on Twitter I didn’t believe it was true because I hadn’t heard anything about an attempt to legalize it nationally. I feel as if the paradigm shift isn’t completely over yet, but is reaching its end as we must still address the issue of discrimination facing gay marriage.


Williams attempts to make it very clear that the process of a paradigm shift is a very active and  constant being. It does not simply occur in its entirety overnight, but rather in a series of almost unseen steps. Often times what seems like a recent shift of the residual may in many cases only be a step in a larger shift in the future. This fluid nature is almost unseen in day to day life, however it may have significant underlying impacts on the future emergent.







The RCL Preacher

This week I on my way to class I encountered a source of rhetoric and civic from a rather well known but despised source on campus. I am talking about the famous Willard Preacher who spouts out his ideologies for all to hear in front of the the Willard building.


Having a class in Willard, I encounter the preacher often but until recently I haven’t began to think in depth about his messages. Like most people I talk to I find that his ideologies are somewhat ludicrous and occasionally offensive. However, underlying rhetoric and civic life can be found if examined deeply enough.


I would have to say that the preacher’s attempt at using rhetorical persuasion is not very efficient as he often comes off as somewhat crazy. He occasionally offends people during his messages by stereotyping college students which diminishes his persuasive impact. Although his rhetoric is lacking, it provides a means to examine what good rhetoric entails.


As students walk by as he proclaims his ideas, they view him as an example of how not to present a rhetorical argument. They get a sense of what is effective and what is not through negative examples. Some students who are daring enough can even attempt to test their rhetorical skills by having a conversation with the preacher. He functions as a practically unavoidable dose of rhetoric.


The Willard preacher also promotes civic engagement by giving students a means to bring up topics of conversation. It is sometimes awkward to begin talking about religious and societal views to other people. Beginning with a short conversation about the Willard preacher provides a segway into meaningful civic discussions with others.


Although the Willard preacher can sometimes be extreme in his attempts to engage in ideological discussions, he is a good means to analyze and promote rhetoric and civic life. So next time you pass the preacher giving his usual talk about pre-marital sex try not to ignore it but rather look at is as additional exposure to RCL outside of the classroom.


Civic Artifact Speech Reflection

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders after presenting my civic artifact speech. I am not someone who usually gets very nervous during public speaking however I found this assignment very stressful. This is most likely due to it being my first college presentation and I really did not know what to expect. To be completely honest, before the speech I feel like I didn’t have much of a grasp on what the civic really is, but after countless hours of analysis and practice for my speech I feel as if I have a more clear understanding of the civic.

I thought that the elevator pitches were very beneficial and they really helped me not only to get feedback about my artifact and my speaking skills, but also to get a better sense of the assignment as a whole by listening to my classmates. The peer feedback helped guide my speech into a more well tuned and precise argument. Posting an outline on our RCL blogs last week also added to this and ensured that I did not procrastinate too much as I often do.

For my presentation as a whole I feel like I could have worked on my pacing a bit more as I felt like I might have spoke a little faster than when practicing on my own. I think that for my next speech I will try to better utilize my resources and most likely practice in the classroom beforehand in order to better prepare myself for the actual presentation. Overall I felt like the assignment wasn’t only beneficial to my understanding of the civic, but also honed my public speaking skills.

Civic Artifact Speech Outline


9:03 September 11th 2001, where were you? ( Pause for effect) I am sure that the memories and feelings that come to mind from this vary widely from person to person. Personally, I don’t remember much from that day, but what I do recall is just the general sense of panic not only internally, but also radiating throughout my household. The events of that day were so tragic that even a young child could understand the magnitude of the situation. From the 9-11 attacks you are most likely familiar with my civic artifact, the slogan “never forget”.


Point 1: Evaluation of the Evolution of the Slogan

  • Discuss past uses of the slogan
  • Why must we never forget?
    • Ensure that it does not reoccur
    • To learn from our past mistakes
    • To honor the lives of those affected
  • Never forget as used today
    • Discuss context outside of 9-11 attacks
    • Show twitter feed of #neverforget


Point 2: Call to Action

  • Immediate call to action after tragedies
    • 9-11
      • Blood Donation
      • Patriotism
      • Church Attendance
    • World War II ( Holocaust)
      • War effort at home
      • Enlistment of men
  • Call to action over time
    • Pay respect
    • Civic engagement in Middle Eastern affairs


Point 3: Have we truly not forgotten?

  • Longevity to remembrance or is it cyclical?
  • You can’t see the time 9:11 without thinking of the tragedy
  • Do we only remember the date?
  • Nearly all events occur on the anniversary
  • Will we eventually treat the events of 9-11 like the Holocaust?



How our citizens remember these tragic events display the civic of our country. Although civic engagement resulting in the “never forget” slogan has become more passive over time it is still very prevalent. It calls on everyone weather they are: young or old, male or female, white, black or any other race to strive to prevent the evils of the past from reoccurring and to honor those who suffered injustices. The “never forget” slogan exists for the very purpose of creating a more civic world in which it will never again have to be used. Thank you

The Echoes of Past Civics

While I was walking though the vast maze that is the Penn State Pattee and Paterno Libraries on Thursday, I could not help but feel a sense of awe. I was completely surrounded by the blending of past rhetors and civics, all of their past thoughts and ideas inscribed in the never-ending supply of books and resources. It was almost as if there was a faint calling, a whisper that challenged people to delve into the expanse of knowledge and better themselves .



One civic artifact that I encountered on my journey through the library that I found particularly interesting was a display left over from Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. It contained a collection of posters representing the equality of everyone, all displaying the slogan “now, more than ever”. Of course the February date on the display slightly took away from the kairotic impact of the message, but the sense of a call to attention was still very present. These series of posters seemed to challenge the viewers to reflect on the past issues of racism and apply it to today in order to become better citizens. The display telling people to consider issues of racism now more than ever is a perfect example of a kairotic moment that can spark modern conversations on issues such as police brutality involving minorities.



we are

This artifact was only one of many that I encountered during my time in the library and it made me think that the civic our library and also our campus is not only composed of the echoes of past civics and rhetors, but it is most evident in us, the community. We are the ones that make these displays, who bring up relevant issues, ignite conversations, and create the civic in our community. The library and its resources may be a guide in order to spark and support our civic discussions, but ultimately it is the movements and rhetoric of the Penn State community that delivers the civic aspect of our campus as a whole. That is why I believe the iconic “we are Penn State” chant is so relevant, because we embody one community whose  individuals strive to improve the whole. This overwhelming sense of identification not only formulates a civic aspect on campus, but also magnifies it to form something far greater than the sum of its parts.