Learning. Whoa.

I like Ray’s latest assignment.  (For T’s class) It was to read six articles, predict the age/kind of person of the author, then research and find out who the writer actually is.

I usually do not sit down and read six articles.  I started with articles that I read recently and liked.  I needed four more articles so I followed the author’s links on the sidebar.  Upon this was DISCOVERY!

Turns out, I am actually interested in articles that interest him too.  This phenomena of cyber inter-connectedness was only a rumor  before this.  After reading the sixth article, I thought, “I enjoyed reading. I learned some things!”

While engaging in this assignment, I felt compelled to find something out.  It was like a game trying to uncover the author’s biographical information using their words, references, appropriateness of slang, and blogging finesse as clues.  I was noticing the rhythm of the text and wanting more of the groove.

This might be a new stage for my brain.  For other’s too?

Zoe Kumagai

Before coming to Ann Arbor the only home I habited was in small foothill town at the crest of Los Angeles. I was raised on white rice, basketball, and Shin Buddhism. My side kick is a six-foot tall, German double bass. I major in Music Performance. I am a peer tutor for the Sweetland Center for Writing and mentors in the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra and the Dearborn Youth Symphony. If I found a genie in a bottle I would wish for lactose-tolerance, an afternoon rollerblading with John Cage and a nose-warmer.

5 thoughts to “Learning. Whoa.”

  1. It was definitely interesting dissecting a writer’s work beyond the content! But, I was shocked at how difficult it was to actually find the biographical information of authors on well-known sites like the Wall Street Journal. I felt like a private detective trying to find a year of graduation from college or a date of birth. Shouldn’t people be able to easily know more about the person writing news articles, opinions, etc.? Despite a journalist’s best efforts, their background and past experiences will always influence how the information is presented. Was it easy for you to find biographical info?

    1. I enjoyed feeling like Sherlock Holmes too. But one guy goes by an alias/pen name, Billy Black, and I failed to find out who he actually was! The search continues.

  2. I totally agree with your comment about “cyber inter-connectedness” and how you get into a weird kind of groove with someone you really enjoy reading. A lot of people try to make distinct the difference between “good” and “bad” writing but I feel like, especially with the explosion of different authors and writing styles on the internet, an author can seem brilliant to someone and dumb to another person…it all depends on the individual reader. I’ve experienced this before where I’ve found someone online who I found hilarious but showed his page to my friends and they didn’t even crack a smile. Maybe it’s due to some kind of specific connection between the ways that we write or our senses of humor, but I’ve definitely felt that kind of inter-connectedness before and started reading more articles that he recommended, which I also liked. With so many different types of writing and different voices out there, it’s really hard to distinguish between good and bad but it does seem pretty easy to identify which types of writings you personally like and therefore the kind of tone that you find most appealing…which probably also is the tone that you think and write in. This phenomena has really helped me define myself and my writing style a lot better. This might be coming from a totally different wavelength than what you were thinking, but it’s all I could think of when you mentioned that cyber inter-connectedness feeling so I thought I’d bring it up.

    1. I think you explained cyber-interconnectedness in more depth than I conceived when I wrote it down!

      It seems like that’s what this class is all about- figuring out how to grow our brains. Some things I read make me want to read more and others make me want to throw a hard object or ex out of the tab. I’m finding this class demands me to search for those articles/thoughts/expressions that are sticking.

  3. I agree with Sean’s example! I’ve definitely thought certain books/writing to be profound and/or hilarious, and after showing to others found that they had an entirely different opinion about it. When it comes down to “good” vs “bad” writing I think it depends on the person, their personality, and how knowledgeable they are.

    Like Ray showed us today, a “bad” piece of writing can be spotted buy it’s incorrect use of syntax, vocabulary, or grammar. Someone may not even notice it, others might pay more attention. This is just on a grammatical level though, and doesn’t apply to the writing’s content. Content, in my opinion, is a personal preference. Different for everyone.

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