“Do You Come To This Job Interview Often?”

Whenever people try to impress one another, they do so in the strangest of ways. Some people dress funny, and others try to drop serious pop culture knowledge. However, how does this work when A: the meeting isn’t face-to-face and B: when there’s a job on the line? Of course, flattery is the best way to anyone’s heart, but does it work for the job market too? In a Forbes article titled Bad Pick-Up Lines: They Don’t Work in Bars, They Don’t Work In Cover Letters, The Daily Muse tries her hardest to parallel the art of pick-up lines with the art of pa proper cover letter.

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“If you think my cover letter is great, wait till you see my resume, babe” – Things that have never been said.

Though it sounds rather awkward in short, it’s actually a great comparison. She throws us into a scenario by rhetorically asking why bad pickup lines are bad, and draws two conclusions:

  • They’re “So over-the-to- cheesy, they invoked an immediate grimace or slap.”
  • They’re “So boring and overused, they were barely noticed by anyone within earshot.”

In short, it’s clear that the point of this article is not to say “hey, don’t hit on your potential boss” but, in short, to present something vibrant and unusual that can catch their attention right away without digging really deep into it. First impressions are important, and in a tight job market this matters even more. What follows is the following advice:

“Construct a conversational, memorable, and directly relevant cover letter, add a strong and conversational lead, and then send it to an actual contact within your targeted organization—and you’ve just set yourself miles ahead of the pack. Remember, most of your competition is creating cover letters with loser lead-ins that make reviewers cringe, snooze, or (in extreme cases) want to slap them.”

This, of course, should be a given. However, some people aren’t really comfortable with writing or presentation and feel that a cut-and-paste letter is acceptable. It really isn’t when you think about it because, in the grand scheme of things, you aren’t the only one without motivation in this market. My family, being a victim of the recession, stands as an example of this. My mother tried so hard to impress different employers that, eventually she got tired of it and decided to do the generic cover letter. This, of course, got her nowhere and resulted in an agonizing struggle to get a job that lasted for about two years.

Eventually, she tried being creative again, and it paid off in her favor. In fact, the employer even complimented her on the originality behind her letter and added how he was “tired of reading the generic nonsense.”

It’s clear that there are many ways to get a job, and to win over a person you don’t know. Time and time again, it’s obvious that this is best achieved through a first impression that isn’t only cool, but memorable.

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“Do you come to this job interview often?”

Whenever people try to impress one another, they do so in the strangest of ways. Some people dress funny, and others try to drop serious pop culture knowledge. However, how does this work when A: the meeting isn’t face-to-face and B: when there’s a job on the line? Of course, flattery is the best way to anyone’s heart, but does it work for the job market too? In a Forbes article titled Bad Pick-Up Lines: They Don’t Work in Bars, They Don’t Work In Cover Letters, The Daily Muse tries her hardest to parallel the art of pick-up lines with the art of pa proper cover letter.

Image

“If you think my cover letter is great, wait till you see my resume, babe” – Things that have never been said.

Though it sounds rather awkward in short, it’s actually a great comparison. She throws us into a scenario by rhetorically asking why bad pickup lines are bad, and draws two conclusions:

  • They’re “So over-the-to- cheesy, they invoked an immediate grimace or slap.”
  • They’re “So boring and overused, they were barely noticed by anyone within earshot.”

In short, it’s clear that the point of this article is not to say “hey, don’t hit on your potential boss” but, in short, to present something vibrant and unusual that can catch their attention right away without digging really deep into it. First impressions are important, and in a tight job market this matters even more. What follows is the following advice:

“Construct a conversational, memorable, and directly relevant cover letter, add a strong and conversational lead, and then send it to an actual contact within your targeted organization—and you’ve just set yourself miles ahead of the pack. Remember, most of your competition is creating cover letters with loser lead-ins that make reviewers cringe, snooze, or (in extreme cases) want to slap them.”

This, of course, should be a given. However, some people aren’t really comfortable with writing or presentation and feel that a cut-and-paste letter is acceptable. It really isn’t when you think about it because, in the grand scheme of things, you aren’t the only one without motivation in this market. My family, being a victim of the recession, stands as an example of this. My mother tried so hard to impress different employers that, eventually she got tired of it and decided to do the generic cover letter. This, of course, got her nowhere and resulted in an agonizing struggle to get a job that lasted for about two years.

Eventually, she tried being creative again, and it paid off in her favor. In fact, the employer even complimented her on the originality behind her letter and added how he was “tired of reading the generic nonsense.”

It’s clear that there are many ways to get a job, and to win over a person you don’t know. Time and time again, it’s obvious that this is best achieved through a first impression that isn’t only cool, but memorable.

Final Blog Post

There are plenty of things that I find to be difficult. Algebra, postmodern existentialism, and talking to celebrities are only a few of these things that can be detrimental to my sanity.

misery-kathy-bates-sledgehammer

“I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN!!!!”

Another thing that I find to be difficult is summing up my thoughts on an interesting semester.

This is an attempt:

When I started out this semester, I didn’t know what to expect from a class called “Advanced Writing.” When reading the title of the class, it conjured up many mental images pertaining to what it was I would learn and what I would do. Initial thoughts suggested to me that the class would be entirely textbook based and focused entirely on writing things in journals and focusing on more of an archaic standard. This is, of course, what society deems to be “advanced.”

"Dear Diary, I'm so advanced it hurts"

“Dear Diary, I’m so advanced it hurts”

However, upon the opening class, I realized things would be a bit different in this class. There was a strong reliance on computers and the digital aspect of writing which I found to be outstanding. Of course, being a college class, I was anticipating the students to take this to their advantage. I was thinking “I wonder how long it will take until we all stop listening and just browse the web.” This never happened. The amount of respect from the students in this class was outstanding and welcome. It’s sad to say that this is a rare thing in most of my English classes.

The most I took away from this class, personally, was the strong focus on rhetorical strategies. It’s a shame, really, that most of these strategies are only implied when it comes to writing and there really isn’t a strong focus on them in classes. In this class, I was allowed to go through and really focus and exercise my abilities when it comes to using them. This kind of study should be mandatory for people wishing to study English as, without it, we really cannot be considered to be a serious representative of the English language, let alone the English major. I could see progress in my classmates and I could really get a sense of growth within myself and my confidence when it comes to writing.

A representation of me writing.

A representation of me writing over the course of this class

In retrospect, I can safely say that my experience in this class is important when I think about taking English classes in the future. If nothing else, the confidence I gained in writing from all the lessons we did was more than worth my time and my energy.

Thank you, it was fun!

I had no idea how to end this so here's Huey Lewis again.

I had no idea how to end this so here’s Huey Lewis again.

Peer Review

Dr. Rodrigue/Advanced Writing, Fall 2012/Biography Peer Review

 

1.  Genre regularities, as you know, function as guides to help writers compose. Identify at least two common characteristics of the genre of biography in your peers’ work. If these characteristics do not exist, tell the author.

 

2. As we discussed in class, many biography writers construct generic identities (the hero, the villain, the martyr) or tell stories with common themes (the coming of age story, the tragedy, the unexpected romance) or simply report the life events of a person. In an effort to avoid approaching the writing of a biography as a “fill-in-the-blank” endeavor, writer’s need to have a distinct purpose(s) geared to a particular audience. What is the writer’s purpose(s) in writing this biography? What goals do you think the writer is trying to achieve? What arguments is he/she trying to make? Describe them below. If you can’t determine a purpose(s), tell the author.

 

3. In what ways do you see the writer taking his/her audience into consideration when trying to achieve his/her purpose? (For those who are composing Powerpoint presentations, the audience is the class. For those who are composing in any other medium, the audience description, as you know, is on a word document on the assignment page).

By using storify and a timeline with videos, and pictures is a really good idea, and will help give a sense of who he has worked with as well as the work he has done as a solo artist.  Also a good idea would maybe have YouTube clips with songs that he has produced for Coldplay, U2 (older and newer songs) and (Viva La Vida was a genius album) and songs that he has released himself.  By doing this you might actually get people in the class to consider buying his solo music if they like what they hear.

 

4. Identify at least three rhetorical strategies the writer uses. Describe the extent to which these rhetorical strategies are effective in helping the writer achieve his/her purpose(s) to the intended audience.

 

5. Describe the extent to which your peer’s chosen modes (alphabet, audio, visual) and medium(s) (video, photographs, pictures, alphabetic writing, etc) function rhetorically. Do you think the incorporation of other modes and mediums could help the writer strengthen the biography and further achieve his/her goals? If so, make a suggestion of how and where the writer might incorporate other modes and mediums.

 

6. Identify two strengths of the paper, and explain why you think these are strengths.

 

7. Identify two parts that need to strengthened, and make a suggestion as to how the writer might do so.

 

8. Make some general suggestions that may help your peer strengthen the draft (perhaps you think they need to conduct more research, incorporate a particular point of view, cut something out, etc).

I think you should focus on his solo career compared to the careers of artists that he has worked with and how he has gained a lot of success working with them as opposed to the success he has achieved as a solo artist.  I think by doing this, would make for a very interesting biography, as it is something different from the normal everyday biography.

 

Spend the last 10 minutes of class talking with your peer about your responses and anything else that will help him/her strengthen his paper.

In Class Writing 11-30-12

Earlier in the semester, we did an exercise where we tried to use logical fallacies to sell a product (‘SEVENTH GENERATION’ CLEANERS) via a textual advertisement. When I wrote it down, I decided to take a more aggressive route and turn it into an in-your-face style advertisement that insulted you and your family if you didn’t decide to buy or accept the product. One sentence that stood out as one of my favorites to write is as follows:

“So you only got two choices here: be old like your MOM or be COOL and use ‘Seventh Generation’ cleaners.”

This sentence isn’t one that I find necessarily deep but, overall, I think that what it’s asking would be intensified LESS if there was visual accompaniment. The way that it’s worded forces the reader to look at their own life and put the things that they visually know to be true into question. Since I don’t state how their mother looks physically, reading this sentence (or the 30 other times I mention their mother) forces them to imagine their mother in the sentences’ context. When I call into question the coolness of their mom without any sort-of visual aid, it forces the reader (for a split second) to think about their mom as being the antithesis of cool. To put it another way, say I was to mention to you that your friend had a really weird way of laughing compared to you. Initially you may be hesitant to accept it. However, as you notice your friend laugh more and more, you will begin to understand what I mean and start believing that they have a weird laugh (even if that’s not the case). The mother idea is similar; when posed with a strong comment about the characteristics of someone you know, you will begin to analyze it in a defensive way at first but then come to an understanding about it later on.

This is where the other mediums take a toll on the idea. If I was to do a visual sentence, I would have to physically personify in a visual manner some sort of analog that would be the basis of the “mother” in this sentence. The problem with this is that if I want the reader to actually relate or understand what I’m getting at, I would actually have to portray their mother. Since my chances of accurately portraying one reader’s mother visually is one in 3.5 billion, I will take a chance and say that it would be near to impossible. This forces me to go with the alternative; portray an old woman and make an assessment that that’s the embodiment of their old mother. However, the human mind is more akin to denounce this comparison and view the image as satire if they can’t really relate to it. Imagine if someone was to walk up to you and say “your mom’s old, see?!” while pointing at a picture of a really old woman you’ve never seen before. You’d probably laugh and say “that’s not my mom/that’s not funny/shut up.” The poignancy of the point is diminished when you can’t relate to the reader on even the most basic level.

Clearly, this is something to take into account whilst writing the paper or doing the project. If there are points that I really want to hit home, it would be best if I could actually contextualize them in a way that the reader can relate to as a means to keep my point strong. I don’t want to lose the reader because of a silly embodiment of an idea that they are supposed to embrace as reality when they know full on that it isn’t real at all. In short, if I wish to make my project real, I need to keep it real for the reader.

Biography Project!

The idea of doing a biography is both exciting and infuriating. I really want to touch upon an interesting subject matter but I find that there’s a lapse in agreement when it comes to what I find interesting and what others find interesting

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Pictured above: Interesting

For a subject matter, I wanted to focus on a person who has more of a celebrity status as opposed to someone in my immediate family. I also wanted to do someone who would have a good amount of information surrounding them but it would be something to work for as opposed to something easy to come by. For example, I personally love Peter Gabriel. However, so don’t hundreds of millions of other people and my attempts to personally make a biography on him, I feel, would be futile due to the major resources found elsewhere on him.

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Though he looks cool, don’t he?

This narrowed the playing field for me and brought my choices down to one logical person in my eyes: The person who made the start-up sound for Windows 95…

In fact, the guy who made this sound made every sound for the Windows 95 system. Some of the sounds are still used today. You are definitely thinking “why the hell do you want to do this?!”

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Pictured above: The dude who made the soundtrack to your first computer.

This is Brian Eno. Besides doing the sounds for Windows 95, Eno has released a total of 25 solo studio albums, 24 collaborative albums, 13 compilation albums, 8 video albums, two live albums, 7 singles and a handful of soundtracks. Some of the people he’s collaborated with include David Byrne from Talking Heads, Robert Fripp from King Crimson, and John Cale from The Velvet Underground. Brian Eno was also a member of the band Roxy Music in the 70’s.

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Pictured above: The dude who made the soundtrack to your first computer except more odd looking.

Brian Eno has also produced a total of 43 albums included albums for John Cage, David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay, Grace Jones, and many many many more.

Unfortunately, Eno isn’t the pop culture icon that he should be. He’s a guy that’s more exclusive to people who know a thing or two about production and the music industry. He’s extremely innovative and is, arguably, the most important face in contemporary music history. He created recording techniques that are now considered normal, he coined the term “ambient music,” and was one of the first musicians to ever combine the idea of visual art and music to create a listening and viewing experience.

As for me, I don’t know what exactly I’ll pinpoint. I was thinking about doing a whole broad look at his career but I might also decide to focus exclusively on his solo work. It’s all up in the air right now but I’ve definitely made progress in deciding a person to work on.

As for me being a part of the story, it would be fun to be a part of it. However, my part is exclusively as the consumer nerd who has all of his albums on vinyl (where applicable).

There are certain things about comic books that I love. One of those things is not Scott McCloud.

Sorry Dude.

However, the fact that he knows what he’s talking about is undeniable. He’s relatively eloquent with his presentation and is very good with examples to the point where anybody who reads him will instantly feel like that they are a comic book scholar.

Mercifully they’ll “feel” like it, not turn into one.

There’s something interesting with Paul’s chapters that seems to be almost consistent all the way throughout. The first half of the chapter is almost entirely text-reliant making it almost entirely additive or word-dependent. Near the middle, the relevancy of the text sort-of diminishes. And it becomes additive in favor of the pictures or just becomes overly picture specific (and in some cases employs the idea of montage). Right after this, the comic returns to being textually additive and/or word dependent.

A chapter that embodies this the best is “The Stooges” where we are treated to Paul taking David to the theater to see a movie. Back then, instead of having “coming soon” features, they would play cartoons or a quick television show. In this case, the snippet that’s played is an episode of The Three Stooges. In fact, it’s an entire marathon of Three Stooges shorts.

Missing the best Stooge, unfortunately.

The first three pages are all word-specific. There’s no denying it. It eases the reader into the chapter perfectly. On page 123, upon their arrival, it becomes additive because the facial expressions are a bit more coherent and form a story in themselves that is intensified textually. This continues for the next few pages until page 126. At this point, the relevancy of the words is negated and the comic becomes more picture specific. This continues until page 130 where it becomes word-specific again until the end of the chapter.

I find this to be a flawless way to ease the reader into a comic book style of reading whilst not being a fan of comic books. The textual reliance at the beginning is a sort-of way to lull the reader into a false sense of security; it makes them expect that the text will be prominent and significant throughout so that they will continue reading the entire thing without fail or trouble. Then it slowly and seamlessly transitions into a picture reliance that, once over, unconsciously forces the reader to rely on the pictures to tell the story that’s no longer being told through text. Then, as the chapter concludes, the reader is doing both at the same time despite the fact that it is textually dependent again. A brilliant idea for those who may not be into comics for sure.

These guys couldn’t care less, however.

“The Ride Together” Blog Post #2

I will be the first to say it; I really don’t like Scott McCloud. For a man who knows “a lot” about comics, he sure doesn’t draw much anymore. The thing I like when it comes to some comic artists is their sense of modesty or just outright insanity. Artists like Art Spiegelman, R.Crumb, and Alan Moore created some fantastic pieces of work while being modest, crazy, and batshit insane respectively.

Don’t look into the eyes of Alan Moore… There is no escape.

I know the work of Mr. McCloud. I know it well. I’m guilty of owning an issue of “Zot!” or two and I think he has a great style when he uses it. Nowadays he parades around on TedTalks and any Boston comic convention he can get his hands on to show off his “inventions.”

Scott McCloud is one of three people I know that has a separate section on their website for “inventions” they made. The other two are scientists that actually invented something.

Take that, Scotty Boy

I digress.

Scott’s article (when not prancing around his own ego and his bloated personal ideas) gets to a point (somewhere) about how comics are only as good as the person expressing the ideas. Which makes sense in any and all senses.

The chapters done by Paul are in comic form. There are a few things that I find to be very interesting about these chapters. First and foremost, they aren’t really lucid. You might be asking yourself what I mean by this. Well, there’s one glaring elephant in the room when it comes to Paul’s chapters…

“Guys?.. Guys?!.. GUYS?!?!?!”

Paul didn’t experience this. At all. In any way/shape/or form. His only knowledge about the incidents that he outlines are via second hand knowledge from the parents. This is really interesting to think about since each of his chapter’s are very vivid and detailed. This begs the question; how does he manage to construct a reality over virtually nothing.

“If you build it… They will think it’s reality and such”

It’s clear that there’s a strong animosity when it comes to the 50s. The perspective of the future and, at that matter, reality during the 50s were pretty skewed when one compares it to the temporary actualities of the 2000’s.

Pictured Above: The Future.

Had it not been for constant misdiagnoses, the story of David might be entirely different today. However, this isn’t the case and David was, unfortunately, a product of his jaded time. The worst part is the fact that his parents were also a product of this time and are easily pushed over when it comes to acceptance from people of higher powers. Due to a lack of internet and a lack of clear understanding of virtually everything, people in the 50’s were forced to accept and believe people who were in a position of power. Whenever you were sick, the doctor was the ultimate authority. Since the doctors told them what they said was the truth, David’s parents were quick to accept and believe them.

This subservient attitude was the undoing of David’s parents and made their struggle greater. The response to this murky attitude is simple; make the atmosphere of visages of that time bleak and murky. This completes a void that was set up through story telling by telling a separate story; the story that was never told but implied.