Tag Archives: Reading response

My reflections on The Wealth of Reality: An Ecology of Composition by Margaret Syverson

We had lengthy discussions about our reading of The Wealth of Reality: An Ecology of Composition by Margaret Syverson. The portion of the reading and the discussion of this book was Syverson’s discussion of the ecology of composition particularly in relation to “consider[ing] the writer’s interaction with the environment” (6)

In relation to that environment, a classmate and I agreed that the ability to bring a writing tool, like a laptop, anywhere we go allows us to compose in different spaces more easily. In fact, I have become so comfortable with composing on the computer, since I can type almost as fast as I can think, that I find that composing is easier and I can be more prolific with my writing. I have become so enamored of composing on the computer that the only time I use pen and paper in my writing process is when I am struck with an idea that I feel compelled to write down before it slips away.

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Posted by on April 5, 2010 in Reading response



Tried something different

I thought it might be interesting to try to do a video blog – or vlog – for this week’s reading response as well as a short recap of my recent research findings. Unfortunately the video is slightly longer than I intended – YouTube recommends 3 minutes or less. My video is 5 1/2 minutes long, but it includes a reading response as well as an update on my research. One observation: newscasters must practice in front of a camera a lot in order look as natural as they do. Doing this video has given me a new respect for vloggers who do it well. Hopefully with practice, I’ll improve.


Posted by on March 21, 2010 in Reading response, research


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A personal reflection on historical photographs

Class discussion regarding Things That Talk (editor Lorraine Daston) was quite fascinating. One of those discussions was about old clippings and branched out into old photographs. I have always loved history and old photographs, so it was natural for me to gravitate to this discussion.

I am fascinated by old photographs, perhaps, because I have always loved history and love to imagine what life was like in the past. I am not alone in this fascination – there are many books out there that show us through photographs what life was like in the past. Here is one example of just such a book:

New York 400

There are also photograph books that cover civil war photos and regional photo books for different parts of the country. I have to admit that, if money were no object, I would want them all.

While making my appointment to speak with the Historical Society, I saw a flyer that asked for donations to help defray the cost of moving the old Franklinville train station along with the following photo:

Photograph of the Franklinville railroad station while still in operation

When I saw this photograph on the flyer at the Historical Society office, I was stunned. I could imagine what it was like to wait for the train to come whistling into that tiny station. I wonder what the town was like back then – I hope to learn more about it while talking with the Franklin Township Historical Society. The train station was no longer in use after passenger trains stopped coming through Franklinville. According to the flyer, the Albertson family of Franklinville, maintained the train station and welcomed visitors to see it. It was donated to the town by the family of the late Robert and Dora Albertson provided that the town was able to move the train station. Donations were sought to help pay for the move. It now occupies a space near the Coummity Center (which houses the library, the historical society, and many town activities).

I’ll update this post later with a photograph of the train station as it stands today.

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Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Old photographs, Reading response


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A fluid approach to interviewing

Gubrium and Holstein don’t necessarily either advocate a fluid interview or a structured interview in Postmodern Interviewing. However, one quote caught my eye. The authors quote Studs Terkel with the following, “There were questions, of course. But they were casual in nature … the kind you would ask while having a drink with someone … it was a conversation. In time the sluice gates of dammed up hurts and dreams were open.” (69) Clearly, for a scientific study some protocols and rigidity must be adhered to because specific questions must be answered – you can’t allow an interview to become a conversation like the one Terkel describes. But is such rigidity necessary in most of the research studies this class plans to conduct? No.

Part of my research plan is to interview the Historical Society personnel. Specifically, I plan to find out how to research my family tree. Still, with that goal in mind, I believe the interview needs to be a fluid one. I will begin by asking some specific questions about the flyer I found in the community center library about finding your roots. Then I would ask them what resources they have available. When I move on to ask them about their own experiences, I hope that the interview will take on that fluid nature where the interviewees begin to share more information than they are being asked to provide.

When an interview is allowed to be fluid, more information than you seek can be shared. People tend to open up and tell you things you may not have originally thought of – things that later turn out to be important. In that additional information interviewees provide, some gems may turn up that could enhance the process and enhance your study. Following a fluid interview process, you could learn more than you might if you were rigid with your interview process.

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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Reading response


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Reading response – qualitative research

The readings for last week were, as a whole, quite dense and theory laden. It is understandable that Denzin and Lincoln’s section in The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd edition) would be dense since it serves as a comprehensive introduction to the book. I did find the Fine (et al) chapter from the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd edition), “For whom?: Qualitative research, representations, and social responsibilities,” far more accessible.       

The writers of the aforementioned text draw the reader in with, “I grew up in a world in which talking about somebody’s mama was a way of life…” (Fine, et al, 107) Here, the writers pique the reader’s interest. Maybe this isn’t dry and theory laden. The article does contain quite a bit of theory, however, the authors inject more humanity in their discussion about the ethics of qualitative research. Where the other articles could put the average brain into high gear in an attempt to understand the concepts, this article captured and held attention and related the theory in the most accessible way.


Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Reading response



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