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Advanced Writing Class

More than a year actually!

“One year… I wish I had done more, written more, shared more. I wish I could have been more responsible, more consistent,  more engaging”.

 

Earlier today I was looking  at my clustermap (what an ego! I know) and so I happened to notice that it’s been a year since I set it up, which automatically made me realize it’s been a year since I set up my blog. “Wow!” I thought to myself “What are you going to do about it?”…

So I began to look at some old stuff, particularly my ‘About Page‘, which I wrote when I didn’t even know how to blog yet, and I thought it needed an urgent renewal. But then I thought: “Who reads the ‘About Page‘ anyway?” so I decided to share what I came up with:

How it all started.

When I first started my Advanced Writing Course in the university I was prepared for almost anything, I knew I was about to change the way I wrote and learn so much more about writing in English, I was prepared to shake my foundations and change my perspectives. But little did I know that this blog would become such an essential tool in doing so.

It was a challenging surprise! And as it turns out I have enjoyed writing and sharing in my very own blog – (She says proudly) -. I couldn’t be more grateful with my teacher and my mentor for putting me in the right direction and for providing me with such good tools to become a better writer.

And though it’s been a long road since then and ( I have to admit) I’ve been way too inconsistent, I still have the same desire. I want to be better, and I’ll never stop fighting (even if I have to fight myself).

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Film Review

Film: Validation

Director: Kurt Kuenne

Writer:Kurt Kuenne

Cast:T.J. Thyne, Vicki Davis and Dave Kuhr

Synopsis.

With an unusual idealistic way of walking through life a young parking attendant soon becomes popular for giving his customers not only validation for parking but the emotional kind as well, making them feel worthy and unique, dispensing smiles at no cost.

 

“Validation”
Review

With an unusual idealistic way of walking through life a young parking attendant soon becomes popular for giving his customers not only validation for parking but the emotional kind as well, making them feel worthy and unique, dispensing smiles at no cost.

Within seconds this film made me smile, and that seemed to be its goal. At first I felt unsure about the plot, I didn’t know if it was for real or just a big joke, but still, it immediately hooked me. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions as the story was taken into epic proportions and then given some seriousness introducing a full plot; I cared for the character as he went along his journey making people smile, making me smile.

Hugh Newman played by the charismatic T.J. Thyne quickly won me over; and Vicky Davis’ performance as the mysterious Victoria Donner managed to keep me intrigued. As I learned more about these two eccentric characters on opposite sides of the emotional spectrum, I felt that perhaps their motives could have been shown a little deeper. Having what I consider a normal reaction to a good short film I was left wanting more of it.

A black and white, I thought this short film didn’t need color to be colorful; it’s amusing and entertaining as well as endearing and defying. I could appreciate how it was cleverly put together, with a humorous script and a perfectly assembled catchy and classy soundtrack, completing Kurt Kuenne’s mini-masterpiece quite nicely.

Even though it may seem simplistic and ridiculously unlikely, to me this is all part of the magic of a unique story with a purpose and with a soul, which is, undoubtedly, what has won this short film several awards.  It is definitely worth watching, and if you do, at the very least, you’ll get a scoop of pure blissful happiness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao


Art Review

Las Tres Desgracias“: A Painting By Carlos Antonio Oseguera Ramos

At first glance, you immediately think of Mexico. As if someone had painted all over the Mexican flag, the colors green, white, and red stand orderly before you, a pleasant mixture of shades in three colors on a set of three panels. Looking at those ordinary every day objects vividly and colorfully depicted in each canvas, you feel closer and connected with the Mexican culture. However, by taking a closer look and reading the inscriptions on each painting, these joyous feelings transform, and all of a sudden the green reminds you of that long lost hope for a better lifestyle, the white is filled with the nostalgia and solitude of a country that has forgotten their children, and the bloody red conveys a strong message of violence and oppression. Nonetheless, this deceitful piece of art carries a message that wants to be heard, creatively the artist has caught our eyes and our brains and our hearts; he has gone beyond shapes and colors proving that not even a painting can be ‘taken at face value’.

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Title “Las Tres Desgracias” in English: The three misfortunes.

Inscriptions:

I-“Colorín colorado el desempleo se ha acabado”

II-”¿Y Adonde está  el niño?”

III-”La serpiente estrangula a su victima antes de tragarla”


Visiting The Museum: A Quest.

Wow! It has been quite a long time since I visited a museum, and I must say I really enjoyed this experience.
Although I don’t know much about art I enjoy visiting museums, especially art museums, but I always like to have someone accompany me because it’s interesting to share and compare your ideas, to learn from different points of view. Thanks to all of you!
Visiting The Museum: A Quest.
The quest was simple, go into the museum and observe each piece carefully. Then choose only one to write an art review, not the most interesting, not the most meaningful, not the most unique, simply the one that I would take home to look at everyday.
I saw a lot of very interesting pieces of art that translated into a wide range of emotions, and I was torn apart between two or three pieces, but eventually I chose the one that most caught my attention and had me observing and re-observing it for a long time, and in which I found both a beautiful form and a meaningful content.

You can read my review in the next post above. ↑


Journalistic Writing. (Lamb to the Slaughter)

This time our assignment was to write a news article.

After reading Roald Dahl’s short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” we had to imagine we had been at the scene of the crime as news reporters, and based upon this hypothetical situation we wrote a news article.

Aside from what I have learned about journalistic writing, I really enjoyed this activity,  it was fun to become a character of the story and imagine what it would be like being there. Anyway here it is:

Would you like to read the story first?
 
 
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COP SLAUGHTERED.

NO WEAPON. NO SUSPECTS.


        Senior detective Patrick Maloney was murdered last Thursday night in his own home, no suspects have been found yet; search for the murder weapon was unsuccessful.

Apparently the detective had come home soon after 5pm and was waiting for suppertime when his wife Mrs. Mary Maloney left for the grocery store across the street for no more than twenty minutes, and came back home to find her husband dead on the living room floor. No neighbor witnessed the attack. The officer suffered an instant death, leaving behind his poor widow and his unborn child.

According to the coroner’s preliminary report, “Maloney sustained a fatal injury caused by a single blow to the head with a heavy blunt instrument, almost certainly a large piece of metal”, Lead investigator Detective Jack Noonan stated that the key to solving this murder was to find the weapon; officers suspected it might have been thrown away or hidden on the premises. Even though   the search went on for hours police officers were unable to identify said weapon.

After this most tragic event the community is left to wonder what this means in terms of security. Although the pressure is on the police department to find the murderer, no arrest has been made and any breakthroughs at this point seem unlikely.

STILL - Alfred Hitchcock Presents Lamb to the Slaughter.


Opinion Essay & Visit Michoacán

Visit Michoacán.


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Given the issues that have aroused as a consequence of Michoacán’s struggle against organized crime, many countries are advising not to visit Michoacán. In the following essay you’ll learn more about why this decision might be extreme and perhaps unnecessary.

Tourism In Michoacán Affected By The Alleged Drug War.

Aside from the numerous consequences of organized crime in our state, Michoacán is now economically struggling with the sequels of the unnecessary mediatic response to the so called drug war which has wrongly  mislead and driven away tourists from all around the world.

Although it is true that there has been a massive increase of crime in Morelia, and drug trafficking movement through the state of Michoacán, it is not a war zone. While this has affected the political structure of the state, economically and socially speaking Morelia has remained the same and like any other growing city has had to deal with raising crime.

Now the government, together with the media is announcing that they are fighting a “war” against drug trafficking organizations and organized crime. Though it is true that there has been an attempt to control the raising crime in the state, it should not be described as a war.

So why call it a war then? Whether it is the government or the press, the truth is that it’s all about hype and selling. The government needs to be in the good graces of the citizens, they need to be looked up to and admired so they want to create an image of heroism and courageousness. On the other hand, the media will always take the chance to create sensationalism if it increases ratings.

Drugs and violence are a global problem, here or in any other big city. What Morelia needs is help not abandonment, in order to peacefully fight against this raising problem.

Home to the legendary Monarch Butterfly, Michoacán depends economically on tourism, it is one of the main financial incomes of the state, generating hundreds of jobs. Therefore tourists are always welcomed and warmly received in Michoacán, not attacked or endangered.

Moreover, Michoacán is a beautiful worthy place to visit. From its breathtaking natural beauty in landscapes, valleys, mountains, volcanoes, forests, lakes, and beaches to beautiful historical and architectonical places such as Morelia. Michoacán is a state where remarkable historical legacy, spiritual everlasting tradition, unique exquisite cuisine and artistically accomplished craft can be found in each and every town and city.

In conclusion, we as citizens and residents of this beautiful city must take it in our hands to destroy the false image that has been presented to the rest of the world. It is now our responsibility to help and encourage tourists to visit this astonishing place.

I collected some pictures of our beautiful Michoacan, so enjoy!

Morelia's Cathedral

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November 2nd.
Noche De Muertos. / Night Of The Dead


Pirekua /raditional Music/Aranza Orchestra

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Monarch Butterfly

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I also thought it appropriate and suitable to share with you this song, from an internationally known artist, born here in Michoacán. Though it is in Spanish he addresses this issue. In his song, Marco Antonio Solís talks about increasing violence around the world.

A Dónde Vamos A Parar?

Written and performed by: Marco Antonio Solís

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All the images and media in this post come from the following sources:
www.visitmexico.com www.visitmichoacan.com.mx YouTube.com VEVO
www.youtube.com/user/DocumentalesMexico www.youtube.com/user/turismomichoacan#g/u
Description is available on each one of them.

How I Feel About Using The Writing Process.

    Without the writing process my writing was random and

ambiguous, I spent more time on a paper than necessary

and I used to get stuck without knowing what to do next.

    By writing systematically I find that I can write more

effectively, I have a sense of direction and guidance, and

I can picture the final product, thus allowing me to write

fluently and in much less time.

    The outcome is of course organized, structured and

concise writing.

     … Or at least I hope so.

More about the writing process:

©teachers.scholarschoice.com

THE FIVE STEPS OF THE WRITING PROCESS

Writing Process from mwtwin88 on YouTube.
 

We saw this in class! 🙂



Writing Multiple Drafts.

      Drafting is the most important step of the writing process; therefore it should be where we put in more time and effort. By writing multiple drafts we work in a cycle where we write, revise, judge, and re-write; each time we do this our product changes, it becomes clearer, neater and more concise.

       Writing multiple drafts helps us acquire confidence and feel bolder to try new things without being afraid of making mistakes. Our ideas flow easily because we know it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. We then gain experience and through practice we are able to spot and correct our own mistakes and improve our sentences making them clear and well-structured.

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©Image: freeselfpublishingblog.com

Descriptive Paragraph.

In My Favorite Room.

       I got in here early morning so the atmosphere in my brother’s bedroom was still cold and a little dark, then I opened the curtains. Immediately the light came into the room bouncing off the peaceful yellow ochre walls, energy flowing through the room and filling me up. I sat down near the window and opened my book. I immersed myself into another world for a while…, I paused, the smell of the coffee I had brought with me called my attention, I took a swig, letting the warmth spread down my throat. When I was done reading I put down my book, it was very quiet as I glanced around the room searching for something to do. I stared at the bed, undone, and looked at the outstanding entertainment center. I remembered how my brother had made it, it took him a long time to get it finished, but the outcome was beyond all expectations, quite large and yet minimalistic, sophisticated and neat. I walked up to it, turned on the stereo and plugged in one of my brothers i-pods, listening to the rhythmic music made me want to move. I decided to make my brother’s bed, I violently shook and carefully stretched the covers with my hands. The top blanket felt smooth and cold, like silk it flowed easily under my fingers. I looked at my finished task: pretty neat. The bed, which is one of my favorite parts of the room, was also built by my brother; dark colored, not too high, it has strong blocks of wood around the edges as decoration, along with the headboard’s unique and elegant design making it an original, one-of-a-kind bed that not only looks real nice but is really comfortable, which makes it my favorite napping space. I suddenly felt like lying down. With the closed curtains I felt relaxed, staring at that beautiful golden-sand beach, with yellow, golden and faint orange thin stripes, fixating on the little starfish and sea-snail shapes scattered across the curtains. The effect they produced as the light came through was so calming, in the twilight it felt like dusk, my favorite time of day. Later on I got up, turned on the computer and started doing my homework, the curtains slightly opened again.

Blogging guidelines.

Rules are always useful and important, they help maintain order and control of what we do. So when starting to handle this new tool that is our blog we should stop to consider what is right and what is not. Here are some of the guidelines I deemed most important to share.

For our own safety we must conduct ourselves with discretion and avoid sharing personal information concerning ourselves or any of our classmates, such as: last name, address, phone number, etc.

To ensure a good outcome of this blogging experience we should always:

  • Write substantial constructivist comments and posts that will help each other improve as writers.
  • Try to use correct punctuation and grammar (help will be needed to achieve this).
  • Write in a respectful and polite manner.
  • Always read the comments that have been posted on our own blog so we can approve them or revoke them properly, according to the situation.
  • Take full responsibility for everything that appears on our blog.
  • Avoid plagiarism.
  • And MOST IMPORTANTLY: Enjoy our blogging!