Repurposing

  1. Who is the intended audience of the Teen Choice Awards? 
  2. What qualifies someone to be considered a celebrity? 
  3. What are the flaws in modern celebrity culture? 
  4. What is a fandom and why is it a thing? 
  5. What role does social media play in creating one-sided yet meaningful relationships with celebrities? 
  6. What role does humor play in digital news reporting? 
  7. At what age is it no longer socially acceptable to watch or enjoy things labeled as “teen”? 
  8. In what ways do social media enable an entire demographic to speak in one voice – the way people took to twitter to respond?
  9. Is entertainment news and other like sources an effective way to report on things? 
  10. Why do we care so much about celebrity?  

How can I help the reader engage? 

  • People are often very dismissive of celebrity and pop culture because it’s too shallow or unimportant, but I think that if I can get at a deeper meaning it will help the reader engage more. 

What is the reader already likely to posses that they will use in order to help themselves engage? 

  • Even if the reader doesn’t follow any pop culture trends or figures, celebrity culture is so ubiquitous that everyone is going to have at least some grasp of the concepts. 

Repurposing Questions

  1. What is the best way to plan a city and how might this relate to utopian projects?
  2. What is the history of urban infrastructure reform?
  3. What are some of the best examples of these reforms, and why?
  4. What are the potential outcomes to be achieved by so-called smart cities?
  5. How does the smart city relate to 19th century types of city reforms such as sanitation systems?
  6. What are the political macro-trends behind city planning and infrastructure?
  7. What are the economic benefits to cities investing in new technological infrastructure?
  8. How are different social classes or demographic groups affected by changes to city infrastructure or layout (i.e. who do the reforms benefit)?
  9. How can urban technological change be pursued in a way that is democratic and socially just?
  10. How can different historical city planning reforms be represented using data visualization techniques?

In order to help people understand the discussion about smart city plans, I need to provide context about the history of these types of reforms. I should explain the points of view of different groups on these reforms and what the pros and cons of each are, so that the reader will be able to develop their own opinion instead of being told what to think.

The reader must make sense of the smart city reforms using their knowledge of technology and urban politics. So the reader must recall what they might already know of the issues and their opinion on them.

 

Repurposing Questions

  1. What are the criteria for someone to become a refugee?
  2. How does it get decided where they go?
  3. How long does it take to be relocated?
  4. What process do they undergo?
  5. How does the government decide who we let into our country?
  6. What is the biggest struggle they face when leaving their country?
  7. What is the main culture shock when coming to America?
  8. Are all Syrian refugees Muslim?
  9. How do they find jobs?
  10. Do they know any English?

On the basis of these questions the reader needs a basic understanding of the logistics on how refugee programs work. However, as a writer I need to make the reader invested in the answers of these questions. I will use personality narratives and interviews to allow for readers to get to know refugees on a more personal level than just statistics and rules. I want to try and create a connection and make readers invested while also providing my take on the situation and my own experience working with them.

The reader has access to a plethora of news sources with a combination of all different opinions both mild and extreme regarding stigmas on refugees as well as official decisions they believe should be made. On top of that it’s very possible readers have their own opinion formed based on the relevancy of the topic.

Wait what? Questions for Repurposing

I’ve never heard of this disease, what is it? Do they actually see a real ghost? How did this come about? What was the inspiration for this? Is there a way to know when death is coming? How did the author/characters know what was happening? What happened after the fact? Why did this happen? If they knew what was going to happen, why didn’t they stop it? What is the unknown?

These questions are all great to ask while and after reading my piece-to-be – kind of. I think the most interesting thing about my story is going to be the fact that there aren’t really answers to any of these. I can set up my reader by helping them understand everything I can about the situation: how it came about, what happened in the process, and where my thoughts were after the incident, but everything else is left up to life itself. A lot of these questions are life’s mystery, which adds to the complexity of the piece, but also adds to the entire point of it – that life is full of unknowns. All the reader needs to be able to engage is curiosity of why life does what it does, while also having the seemingly normal human attraction to stories about death.

Repurposing Questions

Having looked through papers I’ve written over the past couple years, a paper that stuck out to me as worth revisiting was one I wrote a last year for International Studies 101. It was a simple paper with a straightforward template, asking students to investigate a humanitarian NGO and identify certain aspects of the work they do. I chose Save the Children, an organization that spearheads humanitarian work for children in need across the globe. Though I haven’t decided exactly the direction I’d like to take this repurposing, I know that I’d like to broaden the scope of this investigation, to see what kind of effect such organizations actually have on the local and world stage.

Questions that might be worth asking about such a topic:

  1. What is the ultimate goal of a humanitarian organization?
  2. Do such organizations have possible underlying interests/motives?
  3. How much power do these groups have against governments?
  4. How much money/resources do the biggest of these groups have at their disposal?
  5. Who is at the head of these organizations?
  6. What types of sacrifices need to be made by these organizations to gain access to remote/dangerous areas of the globe?
  7. Who protects these organizations?
  8. Can these groups have a serious impact on the result of major contentious issues? (e.g. elections, wars, etc.)
  9. What controversies might surround these organizations?
  10. Why should we care what’s happening on the other side of the world?

I’d anticipate that this topic could be initially interesting to a fairly wide audience, but forming a narrative in a way that can keep readers engaged may be more difficult. Thus, if I’m addressing recent bombings by various governments on humanitarian aid, it would be important to either tie the US into the discussion, or to convince the audience that such instances could be dangerous for us even on the other side of the world. Maybe concisely tying this year’s election in somehow could help with that engagement.

I’m confident the reader would have a firm grasp of what humanitarian groups do, both locally and abroad, and so looking into the impact of such groups could be inherently engaging. I can also confidently assume that my audience would at least be cognizant of the fact that there are multiple wars taking place, and investigating groups which play a role in these conflicts could bring greater clarity to these topics, and consequently help to engage the reader.

10 Questions for Repurposing: Minimalism

I will begin this post by admitting that I’ve spent entirely way too much time trying to convey my actual ideas for this assignment. I think the concepts of minimalism and beauty are too broad when considered independently, and I am working to find a coherent way of tying them together in a way that accurately describes the my original conception for this paper. In other words, I’m having trouble turning my thoughts into words. Story of my life. Having said that, any insight or clarifying questions are much appreciated, and may even help to narrow down and clarify my purpose!

  1. What is minimalism?
  2. What is the appeal of minimalism?
  3. In what ways do people find beauty in minimalism?
  4. How do people’s perceptions of “beauty” differ?
  5. What are different interpretations of minimalism?
  6. What are the origins of minimalism? Has its representation changed today in relation to its origins?
  7. Does something have to be considered “beautiful” for it to be considered minimalist?
  8. In what forms does minimalism manifest itself in culture today?
  9. How would one identify minimalism in photographs? Words?
  10. What, if at all, is the psychology behind people’s perceptions of what is beautiful?

 

I think the most effective help I can give the reader in order to help them engage with the questions is to draw a connection between minimalism and beauty. Both are concepts that can stand alone, but I believe that once the reader considers them in relation to one another, it begs the question of why people find beauty in the things they do, and how this translates in the ways that people choose to live their lives.

 

In terms of what the reader already has to help them engage with the questions, I think conjuring up personal examples of what the reader finds “beautiful” may prove to be insightful. When given an image, what about it is appealing or evokes emotion? If one considers something to be “beautiful,” do they try to replicate that in their own life or seek it out in different forms? I think these questions can be considered upon prompting the reader to consider what they find beautiful in the context of minimalism.

‘What Is Virginity?’ And Other Seemingly Stupid Questions

The more and more I think about it, the more I’m into this idea of writing about sex and sexuality.  Not only has it been a recurring theme in my writing, but having the opportunity to write about it through different lenses and mediums is something I haven’t had the chance to do.  Saying that, I’m hoping to deconstruct the idea of sex through the eyes of LGBT members.  We don’t get the Tutorial, the Orientation most students get with sex.  Even to this day, and mind my language, I’m not sure about the exact procedure for anal sex.  Even the fact I had to say “mind my language” tells you something.

A few questions I hope to stimulate in readers:

  1. What is virginity?
  2. Whose responsibility is it to teach sexual education?
  3. How far is too far for sexual education?
  4. How much can we label and define sexuality?
  5. When am I supposed to tell someone if I have an STD/STI?
  6. Why are guys and girls separated for sexual education?  Should they know both?  What if they’re transgender?
  7. Is sex a right or is it earned at a certain age?
  8. Why and who decides?
  9. Why are there differing levels of emotion attached to sex?
  10. What is sex?

As you can see there are a lot of angles I can take with this very very broad topic.  I’ll most likely omit #5 as a focus point but if I decide to do the fictional piece on a gay relationship I’ll need to include HIV and misconceptions about it and how it ties into curable STDs.

I could easily force the reader to ask these questions by having the characters ask these questions themselves.  That might be too easy and cause the piece to feel less organic and genuine.  This needs to be a realistic snippet of a relationship, not a thought piece and most definitely not an essay.

I think people are more curious than they let on.  I didn’t realize I cared so much about so many things until I came to Michigan and I’m sure others are the same way.  People also jump over definitions way more than than they let on.  We think we know what sex is, and we think we know what virginity is, but when we ask the simple question, “What is it and why is it that way?” we get this sense of dissociation.   The lines are a little more blurred than we think.  I think the reader will most likely have preconceived definitions of these ideas and when I force a different lens and context, their definitions will (hopefully) start to change.

 

Repurposing questions

  1. What did I learn from living with the Iban in Sui Utik?
  2. What are the main causes of deforestation in Indonesia?
  3. What are the effects of deforestation on the communities of people whose land was bought? Are there even documented studies of this?
  4. How do the Iban view their relationship with nature?
  5. In what ways does spirituality and religion play into that relationship?
  6. How do the Iban use eco tourism to help preserve the land around their community? Has it been successful?
  7. How can eco tourism be used as a strategy for conservation of ecosystems?
  8. What is the link between the conservation of the Iban cultures and the conservation of their environment?
  9. What are the greater environmental effects of deforestation?
  10. How many people need to care for the Iban efforts to be successful? Are the people in that community enough?

In order to help the reader engage with these questions, I first need to explain who the Iban people are and where Sui Utik is in terms of geography. I also need to describe my personal experiences of living in Sui Utik, and explain the role that I played in their eco tourism efforts. Along the same lines, I need to explain the current state of deforestation in Indonesia and what the Iban’s current efforts are to prevent the deforestation of their land. Lastly, it is important to explain the connection between culture, every day life, and the environment that I witnessed in Sui Utik.

It is guaranteed that the reader has already been exposed to the topic of deforestation in some for or another. The reader is likely to possess their own values when it comes to environmentalism and sustainability, as well as a at least a framework ideology shaped by what they believe to be the best way to preserve Earth’s resources are while still providing for the growing human population. In addition, the reader will possess any prior knowledge and assumptions that they have about indigenous people, whether that be from their own experiences, what they’ve learned in school, or from various media sources.

Him & Her (& Me): 10 Questions for Repurposing

For the entirety of this semester, I will be working on a piece that (as it currently stands) is a half-completed account of my experience going to a music festival with my boyfriend and his ex. Riveting. Fun. Good times shall be had. Here are the top 10 questions people tend to ask me on the street when I mention my situation (so I’m assuming, they will be the top 10 question my readers might want to know):

  1. Why are they still friends?
  2. What is it like to hang out with them?
  3. Are you sure you aren’t just a rebound?
  4. How do you feel about their relationship (then & now)?
  5. What do you friends & family think about the whole thing?
  6. Do you ever think that they will get back together/he will cheat on you with her?
  7. Why did they break up in the first place (and how did you get together as a result)?
  8. Does he know how you feel about everything?
  9. Do you like her as a person/are you two kind of friends?
  10. Is it a stressful enough situation that you want to leave sometimes?

In order to successfully “engage” the reader, I think the most important thing will be to provide background information and context so that the dynamics of the relationships at play can be more easily understood by outsiders. I also want to come at from an unbiased (or as unbiased as I can be) standpoint. I don’t want the point of this to be bashing another person (or persons). So I think coming at it from a relatively removed standpoint might also help the readers, so they don’t feel lead to certain conclusions.

However, I think my major strength and some of the things I won’t have to clarify for my readers are the emotions and experiences. A lot of people have an ex. Or are an ex. Or are with someone who has an ex. And I think a lot of us have dealt with weird scenarios with our significant others and been insecure in our relationships–whatever the reason may be. That’s a basic human feeling that I think is really difficult to explain, but something most of us have felt. So while context will be key to provide some answers, the feelings–and sometimes even the motivation–behind those conclusions won’t necessarily have to be spelled out.

 

Prior to Repurposing…

Is a public figure’s rhetoric always actively chosen?
Why is this an important choice?
How does a public figure’s rhetoric define them?
How can rhetoric, both past and present, help shape a person’s image?
How much can rhetoric really affect your image?
What advantage is there to dumbing yourself down? To making yourself seem smarter?
What is the ideal image for a certain candidate and how can they go about achieving this image through what they say?
Are traditional standards of rhetoric changing?
Is this a positive or negative change?
How can you compare the rhetoric of different candidates?

Most people are flooded with political rhetoric every day. Whether it be via news sources or random internet fodder, the words and promises of politicians and soon to be lawmakers are shown to all of us at a rate faster than ever before.
People also have familiarity with language itself. As functioning social beings, not only can we understand the words we all say, but we understand how to interpret these words and the ways in which they’re said. We can tell when someone is lying, when something someone says seems out of character or forced, and we have a clear reaction to it.
What I aim to do to help the reader familiarize with my piece is to refocus the question. I don’t intend to ask, what do you think of what this person is saying? Instead I’m interested in the decisions that led them to say it the way they did. I’m interested in the active decision to portray themselves a certain way and the methods in which they go about achieving it.