RCL #9

Topic: paradigm shift in dating since the late twentieth century

Purpose: to explain that dating is different now, and the expectations should not be the same; also that the change is generational

Thesis: Since the late twentieth century, dating has changed. As a result of increasing technology usage, feminism, and pop culture, the symbols, strategies, and expectations of dating have changed, and that’s okay.


  1. Attention grabber
    1. Story about Kiki’s experience with her mother
    2. Explain the time period of the shift I am analyzing, 1980s-today
    3. Thesis


  1. Symbols
    1. In dating, symbols are used to announce a relationship status and to show appreciation/love
      1. In the late twentieth century, people relied on material items such as letterman jackets, class rings, and various pieces of jewelry to symbolize their relationship
        1. Doing so showed
          1. A relationship existed
          2. Appreciation for the significant other
          3. That both people were unavailable
      2. Today people use social media to symbolize their relationship
        1. Facebook relationship status “Facebook official”
          1. Literally announces your relationship status to your friends
        2. Instagram bios (boyfriend or girlfriend’s’ initials or anniversary date)
        3. #MCM or #WCW posts
        4. Other platforms (VSCO, Snapchat, Twitter)
      3. This shift is primarily due to the increase in technology use and the introduction of social media
  2. Strategies
    1. In dating, people use different methods to meet people, ask people on dates, and to get to know a potential date
      1. Asking people out
        1. In the late twentieth century: face to face, or to avoid rejection notes or through a friend
        2. Today people often ask others out over text because they have more courage behind a screen
      2. Meeting people
        1. In the late twentieth century people met people at school, at restaurants, at work, at bars, etc.
        2. Today, people still meet at those places, but many people also rely on online dating services
          1. Since Match.com was created in 1995, online dating usage has increased significantly
          2. 40 million people now use online dating services
          3. When Tinder was created in 2012 the online dating world became more focused on looks than compatability
            1. The world accepted this though– about 60% of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people
      3. Getting to know each other
        1. In the late twentieth century, people often got to know each other over a coffee date, dinner, or even phone calls
        2. Today, people often get to know each other over texting, Snapchat, or various other messengers
      4. This shift is primarily due to the creation of online dating services and the increase in technology usage
  3. Expectations
    1. When dating, people have expectations about their dates behavior and what the date will amount to
      1. Dates behavior
        1. Traditionally, men were intended to ask women out on dates and to pay for dates
          1. “Don’t go dutch on a date”
        2. Now, more women ask men on dates
          1. 65% of men have been asked out by a woman and 91% are supportive of women initiating a date
        3. Also, women are more supportive of “going Dutch on a date”
          1. 73% of women don’t expect men to pay
      2. What the date will amount to
        1. Traditionally, people dated to marry
          1. They also dated for entertainment, companionship, and socialization, but the manifest function of dating was marriage
        2. Now, many people date with other intentions, hence they do not expect to marry every person they date
          1. Some people today date for the purpose of intimacy
            1. Especially in college, where hookup culture is prominent


  1. Restate thesis
  2. Explain significance of the shift
    1. Although the dating world has changed, this does not mean our love lives are doomed, it just means things are different
    2. So when your mom questions you about your relationship (or lack thereof) don’t panic, rest assured knowing that things are different now, and you will be alright


  1. Gif about nagging parents?
  2. Photos of a couple in 1980s versus a couple today
  3. Photo of class rings and letterman jackets
  4. Examples of Facebook relationship status, and Instagram bios
  5. Examples of #MCM and #WCW posts
  6. Love notes
  7. Example of asking someone out over text
  8. Chart about online dating sites
  9. Joke about going dutch on a date
  10. Photos of people on dates
  11. Chart saying something about marriage
  12. Funny gif reassuring the audience that their love lives aren’t doomed

RCL #8

Katie Saylor

Professor Hamilton

English 137H

19 October 2017

Dating: Courting to Casual

“So! Any boys in your life? Do you have a boyfriend?” Olivia Daffan, a freshman at Penn State feels the shift of dating on a personal level. Her mother and father, both Penn State alum, met during college and as a result, her mother expects her to do the same. Contrary to Mrs. Daffan’s expectations, dating in the late twentieth century is far different from dating today. Olivia explains to her mother that in today’s society, there is much less emphasis placed on the importance of a relationship. Due to the increase in divorce rate, the increase in technology usage, the feminist movement, and today’s pop culture, the symbols, strategies, goals, intimacy, and expectations of dating have experienced a shift. Essentially, sex and casualness have become more important than marriage and commitment.

The symbols of dating have changed significantly, primarily due to the introduction of social media to the dating world. In the late twentieth century, dating was often expressed through material symbols. Letterman jackets and class rings were common symbols used to express a relationship status. Letterman jackets and rings were used because young men valued these things, and by giving them to their partner, they expressed their feelings– they gave what they love to someone they love. The symbols used were not only a way of expressing love, but also a method used by young men to “claim” their partner. When a girl was seen wearing someone’s letterman jacket, it was made clear that she was unavailable. Today, symbols are still used for the same purpose- to claim their partner and to express their feelings. Rather than using material objects though, people today often rely on social media. When a relationship becomes serious, people often refer to it as “Facebook official” this comes from the relationship status feature found on the popular social media platform, Facebook. In a literal sense, social media allows young people to publish their relationship status for all of their “friends” to see. In addition to the simple facebook status, there are other ways social media is used to symbolize a relationship. For example, if a couple is dating, they may put something to reference the commitment in their Instagram “bio.” the Instagram “bio” is a feature found on each individual’s instagram profile. To display the relationship, young people may put their significant other’s name, initials, their anniversary date, or any combination of the three. The reference also typically includes a heart emoji or even a lock emoji to represent the commitment. For those young people who are not in a committed relationship, social media is still used to symbolize a developing relationship. An instagram post is worth a thousand words- these posts often elude to a developing relationship. A common example of this is “women crush wednesday” (#WCW) or “man candy monday” (#MCM) posts. These hashtags allow people to post about their love interest in a way that not only shows appreciation, but also shows others that they are interested in each other. Many other platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter and VSCO are used to symbolize relationships. Unlike the late twentieth century, social media is utilized heavily as a symbol of dating. This shift in material to electronic symbols is due to today’s heavy internet usage. While it is still important for young people to make their relationship known, the methods used have shifted significantly.

Alongside the shift in dating symbols, strategies associated with dating have also changed- primarily due to the introduction of technology into the dating world. Used often to make uncomfortable interactions less uncomfortable, technology has become a common tactic in dating. In the late twentieth century, asking someone out was a dreaded task due to the potential embarrassment of hearing a “no.” To avoid this outcome, people would often ask others out on a date through notes or through a friend. Asking a friend to scope out the situation was a commonly utilized tactic to avoid rejection. Today, young people are still trying to avoid embarrassment when asking others out, and thanks to texting, this is a much easier task. People often have more courage when they are hiding behind their phone. Not only is technology utilized to initiate a date, it is also used to find connections with people. Today, about 40 million Americans utilize online dating services (Statistic Brain). Since the first dating service, Match.com’s creation in 1995, the usage of online dating services has increased significantly, and thus has changed the commonly used strategies in the dating world (Kauflin). Online dating services have evolved as well, and with the 2012 introduction of Tinder, a dating service in which you view photos of potential matches and swipe left on people you are not interested in and right on those you are, the online dating world was altered as emphasis was placed on appearance rather than actual compatibility (Crook). Despite this, society has accepted the shift- about 60% of Americans believe online dating is a good way to meet people. There is also a shift in how people are getting to know each other. In the late twentieth century, people often got to know each other over coffee, or over dinner, but today, people often get to know each other over Snapchat or text. Technology is increasingly used to ease the difficulties of dating- finding potential dates, asking potential dates out, and getting to know a potential date. This shift highlights the decreasing importance of face-to-face interaction and the increasing reliance on technology.

As dating strategies have evolved, they reflect the changed goals of dating. In the late twentieth century, the primary purpose of dating was to get married- society viewed marriage as an important goal, and dating was just a method used to accomplish this goal. Not to say that dating was not intended to be fun, but the manifest function of dating was marriage, and fun, entertainment, and socialization were latent functions. Today, many people still date with the purpose of marriage, but that is not the only reason people date. For many people, dating is mere fun- especially in high school and college. College students often express the viewpoint that, “college is not for relationships.” This contrasts greatly to the viewpoints in the late twentieth century, as people often joked that women go to college to get their “B.S. and Mrs.” The reason for this shift may be related to the increasing divorce rates in America- young people see failed marriages everywhere, and this discourages them from pursuing marriage. So while young people are not dating to get married, they are still dating- for many people the reason is intimacy. As a basic biological need, sex fuels many human behaviors. Which leads to the next aspect of the shift- the shift in intimacy of dating.

In the late twentieth century, premarital sex was discouraged- and casual sex was a taboo in American society, but today, these are both accepted. When the primary goal of dating was marriage, people got married much younger- in 1980 most women were married around age 22, but today most women are not married until age 26. The same goes for men- in 1980, most men married for the first time at about age 25, and today, most men are not married until age 28 (“Median Age at First Marriage”). When people married at a younger age, it was easier for young people to remain abstinent till marriage, because marriage occurred earlier in life. In addition to this change, there has also been an introduction of “hookup culture.” According to Lisa Wade, a sociologist at Occidental College, hookup culture has developed in which there is a “dichotomy between meaningless and meaningful sex, and students have to go out of their way to ‘perform meaninglessness.’ They have to prove that they’re not emotionally attached to their sex partners” (Vedantam). This contrasts greatly to the attitude regarding intimacy in the late twentieth century when sex was often used as an expression of love- hence the term “making love.” Intimacy was an expression of love that was done between committed partners, but now it can be a casual pastime taking place between friends and sometimes even strangers. Attitudes about intimacy have also changed. Sex researcher, Justin García has found that there is more casual sex happening today than ever- for two reasons. Firstly, young people are unwilling to give up the potential of numerous partners during their prime, and secondly, casual sex is becoming more accepted as it is portrayed in pop culture and the media. (Estupinyà). Intimacy in today’s society is viewed much differently today than in the late twentieth century.

Dating expectations regarding intimacy have changed, and so have a multitude of other expectations. One expectation that has changed is that marriage must come before having children. Historically speaking, having children out of wedlock has been socially discouraged, but in recent years, it has become a norm. In 2015, over 40% of children in the U.S. were born to unmarried mothers (“Percentage of Births to Unmarried Mothers by State”). Many other studies have found that for millennials, having children out of wedlock is the new cultural norm. Expectations regarding cohabitation have also changed. In the late twentieth century, it was expected that if you lived with your partner, you were married or planning to be married, but today that is not the case. Today, cohabitation is become exceedingly common- the number of cohabitating unmarried partners increased by 88% between 1990 and 2007 (“Key Facts about Unmarried Americans”). Expectations about partner behavior when dating has also changed. As feminism and gender equality has become increasingly popular, society has begun to reject gender roles when dating. In the late twentieth century, men almost always asked women out on dates, while some women did ask men out, this was not the norm. It was so unusual for women to ask men out that the idea of a “Sadie Hawkins” dance developed as a chance for girls to ask guys to their school dances. Today, however, many more women are asking men out. A survey done by Match.com found that 65% of guys have been asked out by a women and 91% of men are supportive of women making the first move (Burton). Another expectation that has changed is who should pay for the date. Traditionally, it has been expected that men will pay for dates- if a man proposed that they split, this was looked at as a bad thing. Often people say “don’t go Dutch on a date” meaning do not split the bill. But in recent years, this expectation has a begun to fade. Another survey by Match.com revealed that only 50% of men expect that they should pay for a first date and only 37% of women expect that men pay (Magaldi). In the late twentieth century expectations about dating and relationship were very conservative, but due to the feminist movement and decline in marriage rates, dating expectations have become much more relaxed.


Works Cited

Burton, Natasha. “The ‘Rules’ Was Bull: Men Really Want Us to Ask Them Out.”Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, 9 Oct. 2017.

Crook, Jordan, and Anna Escher. “A Brief History Of Tinder.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 18 June 2015.

Estupinyà, Pere. “Calling It Sex When They Mean Love.” Scientific American, Nature America Inc., 9 Dec. 2014.

Kauflin, Jeff. “How Match.com’s Founder Created The World’s Biggest Dating Website.”Business Insider, Business Insider, 16 Dec. 2011.

“Key Facts about Unmarried Americans.” Unmarried Equality, Unmarried Equality, 2013, www.unmarried.org/press-room/briefing-kit/.

“Median Age at First Marriage.” Infoplease, Infoplease, 2010.

Magaldi, Kristin. “Who Should Pay On A Date? What Men Vs. Women Think.” Bustle, Bustle, 4 Feb. 2016.

“Percentage of Births to Unmarried Mothers by State.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Jan. 2017.

Statistic Brain. “Dating / Relationship Statistics.” Statistic Brain, Statistic Brain Research Institute, 26 Feb. 2017.

Vedantam, Shankar, et al. “Hookup Culture: The Unspoken Rules Of Sex On College Campuses.”NPR, NPR, 14 Feb. 2017.


RCL #4

There were many amazing photographs in It’s What I Do, but my two favorites were found on page 191 and page 214.

The photo on page 191 is a striking photo of a woman crying. The caption reveals that it is actually a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Bibiane from South Kivu. The photo was particularly striking because of the powerful emotions it displays. The woman is crying, which obviously depicts sadness, but the photo also showed Bibiane as frustrated, and possibly hopeless. The photo evoked feelings of empathy and sadness in myself.

The photo on page 214 is another dramatic photo. The photo shows a soldier with a look of distress standing next to another soldier. The photo is blurry which depicts movement and the caption reveals that the soldiers are actually reacting to incoming mortar rounds. The photo is striking to me because you can see the distress and the urgency of the situation.

Because my blog is a politically focused one, I can use photos to express the actions being taken. What I mean by this, is I can include photos of people protesting for the DACA. Additionally, I could include photos of those affected by Trump’s decision in order to illustrate the effects of the situation. The photos would be a useful tool for making my blog appeal to pathos more. In my blog, I often utilize logos because of the logic behind the decision, but I believe adding pathos would make it more moving. I could also utilize videos possibly depicting real stories of those affected by the DACA. I believe that their testimonies would make the issue seem more real for those unaffected by it. Photos and videos are an amazing platform available that I plan to utilize more in my blog.

RCL #6

At the very beginning of Part 3, Addario describes a huge conflict she had to overcome. Interestingly, it was one I deeply related to. She had to give up something she once loved in order to grow. Addario’s conflict began when she realized it was time to branch out as a photographer. She had to leave the familiarity of her career as a war photographer in the Middle East and she had to face the conflict associated with doing so. Her conflict was simple: she loved her time covering the War on Terror, but it became restrictive to her as an artist. For her, the conflict was moving forward and taking on new tasks.Addario did so by looking for work in an entirely different continent- Africa. 

Not only did she decide to move on with her career- she also decided to move on in her personal life. She made her conflict more relatable by revealing her new conflict of starting over as a single woman once again. As a reader, many people have experienced this, so it makes it easier to relate.

Addario also explains how she resolved her conflict. She resolves to go to Africa. Because this is an expensive new beginning, Addario addresses her financial situation and explains that she will be using her savings to make the change. The way she addresses financial concerns makes her more relatable because for most people, finances are a major concern.

For me, this piece was very relatable because I have recently experienced something similar. After being with my boyfriend, Addison, for nearly five years, we broke up. Like Addario, the situation became restrictive to my growth, and I had to move on. While I did not do so in a new continent, I did move on to State College. Addario makes it easy for readers to relate, regardless of the fact that we are not war photographers.

RCL #5


This season, NFL football players have began a protest against racism in America. To demonstrate their beliefs, they kneel during the National Anthem before each game. Their actions have enraged many Americans, including our president, Donald Trump. In response to the protest, Donald Trump tweeted, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” (Trump). As shown in this angry tweet, Trump and other Americans view the NFL players’ protest as disrespect to the flag.


Given this controversy, it is important to analyze: what does the flag truly mean? As young and intelligent Americans, it is our duty to fully understand the situation at hand. The flag was created with a wholesome purpose, but it has since grown as a symbol. Traditionally, the American flag signifies the nation’s history, promotes patriotism, and symbolizes American values, but recently it has become a symbol that evokes anger as citizens are becoming discontent with the American situation.

On June 14, 1777, America adopted its first official flag (“History of the American Flag”). The flag was more than a piece of cloth- it gave America a sense of identity. In a literal sense, the flag is a symbol of the United States of America, but in a figurative sense, the flag is a symbol of American values. Since its inception, the flag has undergone 26 changes (“History of the American Flag”).  As America grows and develops as a nation, the adaptable symbol of the flag evolves alongside it. Despite the visual changes, the flag has maintained its original rhetorical purpose while assuming a new meaning.


The original version of the flag featured thirteen stripes alternating red and white, and thirteen white stars on a blue background. This design signified the nation’s origination as each stripe represented one of the thirteen original colonies, and the stars represented the thirteen current colonies. As the country grew and acquired more and more states, the flag adapted to accommodate the changes, while still maintaining its historical significance. Flag designers did so by maintaining the original thirteen stripes, and only changing the stars portion of the flag. This  illustrates the emphasis America places on its history. The establishment of American was a long and hard battle as people had to endure sickness, war, and many other hardships before the nation was created. Because of this, the historical significance of the flag is a very important aspect of its design. Another historical significance hidden within the flags design is its relation to England. Similar to the English flag, the American flag features only the colors red, white, and blue. Earlier versions of the flag often featured a smaller version of the British flag. While this feature was abandoned, the official American flag did, in fact feature the same colors. This similarity can remind of us of our prior association with England. By incorporating these features, the flag reminds Americans of their civic duty of remembering the origination of the nation and its historical impact.

Another rhetorical feature of the flag is its emphasis on patriotism. Patriotism is defined as devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country (“Patriotism”). In American society, the colors red, white, and blue have assumed a meaning that is directly related to the flag. The mere sight of the colors, especially when paired with the stars and stripes, is enough to evoke feelings of love for the nation. It is a part of our culture. We are taught from a young age to respect the flag as we respect our nation– most children have the Pledge of Allegiance memorized by the age of five. This sense of patriotism is deeply ingrained into our society and it is demonstrated through simple actions. I notice it myself when the student section breaks into a “USA” chant after the national anthem. Not only does the flag inspire patriotism, it also allows Americans to demonstrate their patriotism. Whether it is a simple flag waving above someone’s porch, or a simple Old Navy flag T-shirt, the flag is a common symbol used to illustrate our patriotism.


The flag also embodies values that are important to American citizens. While the meaning of the flag can vary from person to person, the most common values it supports are freedom, democracy, and unity. Since our nation’s beginning, freedom has been high priority. We fought the Revolutionary War in an effort to maintain freedom, and soon after we developed a Constitution with a Bill of Rights– all to secure our freedom. The flag is also a symbol of democracy. As one of the first modern democratic nations, America prides itself in its representative government. As America has begun synonymous with democracy, the flag has embodied that notion. Another, and arguably the most important value embodied by the flag is unity. The flag is the flag of America, and its something all citizens have in common. As Barack Obama said,

In recent months, Americans have begun to lose respect for the flag. Colin Kaepernick, the catalyst for the NFL players’ protest explained his actions: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick is not alone on this issue. The

Works Cited

“History of the American Flag.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 2017.

“Patriotism”. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 2 Oct. 2017.

Trump, Donald (realDonaldTrump). “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” 30 Sept. 2017, 3:26. Tweet.

RCL #3


What do you think when you see this flag? Most of you probably think of the Civil War, the Confederacy, or the South in general. However, this flag, also known as the rebel flag, has become a versatile symbol. For some people, it symbolizes racism and hate, for others it’s a symbol of pride for the South, and a select group of people use it as a symbol for their white supremacist beliefs.  The Confederate Flag is a civic artifact that holds a lot of history, controversy, and meaning. It started as a simple banner used to identify a group of soldiers and has transformed into a symbol with numerous meanings.

Created by William Porcher Miles, the flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy. In reality, it was the battle flag of General Robert E. Lee (Costa-Roberts). At the time of its creation, the flag was intended to represent the Confederacy, or the rebels in the battle led by General Lee. Following the end of the Civil War, the flag became associated with the Confederacy as a whole. It was often used to honor the fallen Confederate soldiers and veterans, but since, its purpose has changed. Beginning in the 1940s, the flag began to be used for purposes unrelated to the Confederacy such as University of Mississippi football games. The flag’s meaning truly began to change in 1948, when a segregationist political party, the Dixiecrats assumed the flag as a symbol for their organization (Costa-Roberts). This association soon gave the Confederate Flag a negative connotation as it became linked to segregation. Since, the flag has been used by many different groups including the Klu Klux Klan, other white supremacy groups, and even the state governments of Mississippi and South Carolina.

These negative associations with the flag have grown and while some people still feel the flag is a representation of Southern pride, others feel it is a negative symbol of hate, racism, and oppression. A CNN/ORC poll taken in 2015 showed that 66% of whites in America view the flag as a symbol of Southern pride while 72% of blacks view the flag as a symbol of racism (Weldon). This division clearly shows how greatly the meaning of the flag varies in different groups of people. Another study done by the Pew Research Center found that blacks and Democrats are more likely to feel negative about the flag (Costa-Roberts). The flag once embedded commonplaces of pride for the South and Southern heritage, but it has since become an agent of division, causing our country to grow more and more divided.

Generally speaking, people either associate the flag with Southern pride or racism. This difference has become a catalyst for controversy and debate. Americans routinely debate policy on displaying the flag, using the flag, selling the flag, and even wearing the flag in the form of clothing or accessories. Southerners proud of their heritage feel entitled to use the flag, while those who are offended by the flag and its oppressive message feel that it should be prohibited. The flag’s message is so strong that it ignites feuds in many forms. For example, in my own high school, the flag started what could be defined as a “gang war” between the “rednecks” and the “thugs” as they each called themselves. The “rednecks” wearing and displaying the flag offended the thugs to the point that they engaged in the destruction of property. Ultimately, the school had to ban the flag entirely. Instances like this are not rare, the Confederate flag has caused division nationwide. The flag became further associated with white supremacy in June 2015 when a domestic terrorist shot and killed nine black Americans during their church service (Chen). The shooter, Dylann Roof often used the Confederate flag in images used for white supremacy propaganda on his website. This incident and more have significantly altered the meaning behind the rebel flag.

Notably, the Confederate flag has also been used as a fashion statement and decor. It is often featured on shirts, belts, boots, and even underwear. This usage of the flag often is associated with the “redneck” stereotype. Given the negative associations that have developed, many places such as schools have prohibited wearing clothing featuring the flag. Retailers such as Walmart, Sears, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy have banned the sale from their companies (Krasny). Additionally, many states have passed legislation limiting its use. For example, California passed legislation prohibiting state agencies from selling or displaying the flag (Krasny). In recent years, these types of policy changes have been common as America grows closer to rejecting the symbol of the Confederate flag.

As a civic artifact, the Confederate flag once was a civic inspiration to honor fallen soldiers and veterans and to remember the Civil War and what its impact on America. It has since changed greatly; now the flag inspires us to stand against the white supremacy movement. Its negative associations fuel the determination of activists to eliminate its usage as a symbol of hate. At the same time, it is a very outdated civic artifact. Its original purpose is no longer relevant, and its usage entails more harm than good. The Confederate Flag has become something unneeded in American society; however, use its presence to remind yourself that this hate, segregation, and oppression are something we, as a nation, must continue to fight.


Works Cited

Chen, Kelly. “Charleston Church Shooting: White Gunman Kills 9 At Historic Black Church.”The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 June 2015,

Costa-Roberts, Daniel. “8 Things You Didn’t Know about the Confederate Flag.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 2 July 2015,

Krasny, Jill. “A Complete List of Every Place That Wants to Ban the Confederate Flag.”Esquire, Esquire, 29 Aug. 2017,

Weldon, Kathleen. “Public Opinion on the Confederate Flag and the Civil War.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 July 2015,


RCL #3

In Chapter 4 of It’s What I Do, Addario describes Afghanistan city, Kandahar. Kandahar was home to the infamous terrorist group, the Taliban. As a war photographer, Addario and many of her colleagues were going into the city, entirely unaware of the situation. The author prefaces her description with a tone of sincerity when she expresses her hopes for Kandahar: “We hoped we would arrive in a liberated city” (Addario 103).

To illustrate the atmosphere, Addario utilizes strong language. She starts her description with a simple yet powerful statement: “Inside Kandahar was anarchy” (Addario 103). She continues her account with many descriptive words that truly paint a picture of how things were in Kandahar. The countless descriptors make it so vivid that if I close my eyes, I can picture myself in the war-zone.

Along with her sincerity and descriptors, Addario integrates unique words that peak my interest as a reader. One word in particular that I had never heard of was Kalashnikovs. A google search led me to the realization that Kalashnikovs is a term used to describe a type of automatic rifle.

When writing about my passion I plan to integrate a tone of sincerity through the message I am conveying. My topic is one I truly feel sincere about, and I feel like this will be an easy task. I feel that descriptiveness will be somewhat challenging as I am primarily focusing on facts. However, I plan to have one blog post that truly illustrates the Dreamers’ suffering, and I feel descriptive language here will be crucial. As for unique words, I feel that utilizing a broad vocabulary, and possibly including definitions would interest my blog audience. Addario’s writing strategies are something I plan to reference often while creating my passion blog.

RCL #2

Addario’s recount of her Nina’s missed chance at love is sad yet inspiring. Addario explained that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend, and she was question life and love. Because I truly relate to the feelings Addario was having, I feel that this story was the same for her, sad yet inspiring.

The story is sad for Nina, yet inspiring for young Addario. The story conveys the message that despite the circumstances, you do not give up on passion. This message is important to It’s What I Do because the novel is solely about the photographers life of following her passion in her career as well as her love life. The story helps to explain to readers why Addario was so committed to following her passion.

My passion for my blog has been difficult to pinpoint. It was not until yesterday that it became clear what I should be writing about. My story that thematizes my passion is the story of how I chose my topic.

I was debating two other worthwhile topics when I received an email from my high school English teacher. The subject line read, “DACA” and all the email said was, “I hate Trump.”

The previous school year, I wrote the best research paper of my academic career on the reasons why DACA and the DREAM Act are worthwhile programs. It was something I became very passionate about. A quick google search led me to the discovery that I was hoping I wouldn’t find. Donald Trump had once again disappointed me with his decision to end the DACA.

Immediately I was distraught. Thinking back to the class discussion on Tuesday, I had an epiphany– this was my kairos. In a time where the DACA is at risk of being eliminated, it is my opportunity to show people the true value of not only the DACA, but the superior program, the DREAM Act.

RCL #1 It’s What I Do

“Consider what your version of happiness is.”

This request left me feeling sad. I didn’t break down and cry, but I felt a familiar emptiness accompanied by pain in my stomach characteristic of a heartbreak.

My version of happiness ended over a month ago when my relationship of nearly five years ended. Since then, I have struggled to find another source of happiness, but given this prompt, I have put more thought into the question– What makes me happy?

My friends make me happy. The Office makes me happy. Meeting new people makes me happy. Chinese food makes me happy. Online shopping makes me happy. All of these trivial things have helped to fill the void, but upon deep thought, I came to the realization that I have not yet found my true source of happiness.

This realization did not make me sad, it made me hopeful. Happiness exists, I just haven’t found it yet.

Not knowing my own version of happiness, I decided to contemplate things that I am passionate about. Being a person who thrives on debates, I thought back to the endless arguments and rants. Oddly enough, two things came to mind– sexism and generational stereotypes.

I have only recently become a self-proclaimed feminist. Due to fear of being associated with “man-haters,” I kept my feminist beliefs closeted. However, coming to Penn State only ignited my passion for fighting sexism. Not only are females discriminate against on this campus, so are males.

Similarly, I have a passion for combating generational stereotypes. As a young Millennial, I have great opposition to the reputation my generation has assumed. Lazy, entitled, selfish, technology-absorbed, socially-impaired, and many more things have become “characteristics of Millennials.” Generally speaking, stereotypes are absurd, but I am especially angered by generational stereotypes.

These topics are not my passion, but they involve my passion– debate.