The eyes and mind of sensibility.

Posts tagged “Academic Writing

We Grow Indoors

A blogger’s challenge rests on the ability to consistently develop new topics that will ignite a passion to translate a new idea into eye-catching words.

When it comes to the management of my blog site, I rely heavily on quality and less on quantity.  I’d rather publish work in long intervals that provides an impactful response, than throwing meaningless content back to back.

After months and months attempting to seek my next big topic, the idea came to me, ironically all thanks to Facebook.

Staring at the glaring white and blue screen of my profile page, my fingers voluntarily decided to type in my status box the following thought:

“Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions our youth face today is whether they should post their picture on Instagram with filter or use multiple pictures with Frametastic. Twitter a status or Facebook it. Use their cell phone, tablet, or laptop for Internet use. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer when I had to choose between my bicycle, razor scooter, or Barbie dolls…”

There was very little optimism that I would receive high-acclaim or support for the status and, indeed, my instincts proved me right.  Out of the 478 friends (a number way below the norm of 1,000 friends) on my list, only three liked the status.

The lack of reactivity that night merely proved that both our younger and older generations are guilty of making those same decisions as stated above.  No one would dare support a thought that reflects and denounces their own actions.  At least I had the audacity to pinpoint a societal flaw, which I myself commit at times.

It is evident that we live life aware of the fact that we will be subjected to the world’s transformative process.  We change, our atmosphere changes, and the way we react with our environment changes as well.

However, entering the 21st century, society, throughout the years, has gradually lost its eagerness and patience to embrace their lives with an active mindset.  These days the majority of us function with such passivity and the culprit partly at fault for this is the progression of technology.

Before I proceed, let’s make note that technology has been an incredible asset to our world.  Whether it’s for medicinal purposes or relaying information (such as a blog), the tools that technology has given birth to provide us the unique privilege of living a blissful lifestyle.

Yet, what is one’s gain is another’s loss.  The rise of technology has gradually diminished the enthusiasm to run, jump, skip, and play.  It’s as if we were all flowers who have genetically evolved from needing sunlight to survive to now relying on shade.

Have you driven through the streets of your neighborhood lately?  Do you see a group of kids riding bikes or playing basketball?  Yeah, me neither.  Walk by any chalk art on a driveway or sidewalk?  Haven’t seen any either.

I remember when parents would kill to live near a cul-de-sac just so their children could play outside safely.  My childhood was on an enclosed street where I would have my friends waiting on our driveway for me to come home so I could play (mind you I was born in 1990, so this wasn’t too long ago).  Nowadays that mentality is practically nonexistent.

Recall the days when kids would beg and plead their parents for a skateboard, a trampoline, or even Skip It (Google it if it’s before your time)?  For those that lived in the era of Barbie dolls and action figures, quality of these products has decreased while the focus has leaned towards technological developments.  It’s a disappointing sight to watch your five-year-old cousin play with Barbie dolls made entirely of cheap plastic, enlarged heads, and exaggerated makeup.  If you’re like me and have kept your old school Barbie dolls, don’t even think about throwing them away.  You’ll thank yourself when you have children and want them to be influenced by dolls that possess natural beauty.

Remember when pumping air in your bike tires or handball was a common task?  Have you seen someone use an air pump lately?  Nor have I.  That’s probably because bikes are collecting dust in garages while watching two kids play handball against a wall would be a miraculous discovery.

It is evident that technology has encouraged lethargy and sluggishness. No more VHS tapes to rewind, no more putting a CD in your Walkman, no more blowing off dust on your Nintendo cartridge, no more taking film to get developed, and the list goes on and on.

Agreed, we have become more efficient and timesaving thanks to modernization.  However, what is lost is the sentimentality and meaningfulness that our daily activities used to have.

What about those days when you would make family trips to the Virgin Record Store to buy the newest CDs that were released?  Now everyone is one their own laptop buying their songs on iTunes.

How about going to Costco and before shopping you would visit the packages of developed photos?  It was an exciting scavenger hunt finding your name while an urge of anticipation hits wanting to see how the photos turned out.  Now we scroll through pictures as opposed to grabbing the photo and moving it to the back of the stack.

Or how about board games?  Parcheesi, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes, Clue, Perfection, Ask Zandar, Don’t Wake Daddy, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Gator Golf?  Oh that’s right, we have Angry Birds… how enthralling.

Are we seeing the trend here?  What used to be an opportunity to build interpersonal relationships, gain a sensation of tangibility, and make the effort to interact with the world has now disappeared.  Most of the activities we indulge in are face to screen, alone, and on our bed or couch.

There is an addiction to technology and as with all obsessive disorders there lies severe consequences.  Personalities are monotonous; individuals are more distant, avoiding confrontation, and eventually the only satisfaction is staying enclosed committing the venomous act.

The realism of this lifestyle downgrade is that reformation is impossible.  These technological tools will always be on our counters, at our desks, and lying beside us.  Who wouldn’t be tempted to have access to the world in their hands?

Unfortunately, we can’t close down iTunes and reopen record stores or ban digital cameras and bring back film.  Just like our world spins in one direction, our society progresses, it does not regress.

Nonetheless, most of us have overlooked the significance that lie behind traditions that we were accustomed to over 12 years ago.  Especially for those of us that have not settled down and established our own families, it is vital that we influence our children in a way that promotes extroversion and not introversion.  The more our generation reconnects with our childhood upbringing, the greater the chance we have to encourage our future generations to grow up outside with the world and not isolated indoors.

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Boundless Writing

The best way to describe the act of writing is to identify it as an art form.  Each word is a color on a palette, a piece to a puzzle, a stroke with a brush that unites to form a masterpiece: a sentence.

Writing is such a unique form of expression.  People use it as a creative output, while others use it to transcribe their pictorial thoughts into words and some just find it the best way to communicate with others.

In school, no matter what grade level you’re in or what your major is in college, we are all subjected and required to expand our writing abilities.  This is the time in our lives when we learn how to properly write a thesis sentence, know how to organize our body paragraphs, and write a valid conclusion at the end.

In college, we are further taught to compose an acceptable research paper with the same elements (intro, body, and conclusion) with the addition of a bibliography or works cited page to finish off the twelve-page product.

If you decide to pursue journalism, on the other hand, you might just learn how to structure an article that is not only intriguing to read, but is physically appealing to the eye.  After all, you want your article to stand out next to all the other black letters on the gray newspaper page!

The purpose of attaining an education is to learn structure.  To comprehend a set of rules to later test yourself to see if you can apply them properly.  Although we are taught to follow a basic writing structure, is writing really a form of expression that should have set boundaries?

Writing is not solely based on the words being read.  It is also dependent on the way you present those words to your audience.  If everyone were to follow the step by step structural procedure that is instilled upon us, pieces of literature will not only be disinteresting, but possibly predictable.  The arrangement of the paragraphs and the order in which you put them is just as important as the intricate language you develop within your writing.

For example, does the end of the story ideally have to be placed within the last few pages of your piece?  Of course not!  There are plenty of works that have introduced the conclusion in the beginning to develop a different kind of effect to their readers.

If this post is directed to disregard writing structure, then the conclusion can be drawn that our educational system is pointless.  This is an incorrect assumption.  Obtaining an education is extremely vital and it is the structure that we are exposed to in our academic world that prepares us for a successful outcome in the future.  While our educational system is geared towards subjecting us to structural elements and assuring that we use them appropriately, there is, however, no guarantee that all of us will mimic that structure when we apply them to the real world.

A student’s subjection to the basic structure in writing can be considered a foundational element, a quantity of information that is just enough to prepare you for your independent career.  It seems that the intended purpose of school is to instruct on the basics of the specific field of study in writing that we pursue.

Graduating from school is mere proof that you have understood the main structure of the writing field and are fully capable of contributing to society with your writing in an aesthetic and knowledgeable matter.

As previously mentioned, the writing structure that is taught opens a door that enables us to take those basics and transform them into our own unique style.

Plato (yes, another philosophical reference) has discussed his own issue with the concept of writing.  He advocated the use of conversing as far superior to the method of writing.  He believed that the use of letter writing to convey ones own thoughts and opinions would be misleading to the recipient of the letter.  He noted that writing in itself was prone to misinterpretation.  His preference of conversing and live interaction between two people, he believed, allowed for clarification and a more direct way of getting ones perspectives understood the way they are intended to be understood.

Yet, what is diversity if not to have differing viewpoints and interpretations?  I was in my local coffee shop not too long ago and I overheard a conversation between two women who were discussing and correcting a book that one of them was writing.  The writer of the book had described her characters bangs and the other woman thought that the description was worded awkwardly.  They were both discussing how they would have described an individual’s bangs.  The woman critiquing was pushing for a change that would eventually result in words written in her own perspective and not the author’s.  Why should the woman’s physical details of HER character have to be changed just because one person believed that someone’s description of bangs did not satisfy their own standards?

Why does everything have to have one solidified answer?  As well acclaimed as Plato is, I can’t seem to agree with his idea of writing.  We need to have contrasting opinions in our society.  We need to ignite discussion and share how we perceive what we see.  If you think bangs hang above the eyebrows rather than dangle, then that’s the way you see it and so be it.  Readers will be exposed to your way of thinking, while formulating their own ideas as well.  If we all understood what everyone was saying, then what do we have left to talk about?

The same goes with writing structure.  Be open minded about the basic structure being presented in school just as the book writer listened to her critic, but take advantage of your creative freedom when you are fully educated in the structure.  Writing is boundless, it’s an art form, it’s a way to share with the world your perceptions, your unique way of thinking, your stylistic choices and most importantly your innovation.