PERSONAL FILE: A Message from the Other Side

When I was in elementary school, the playground had this really big blue metal slide. Of course, when you’re four feet tall, everything seems really big. It was one of those that had a wave in the middle so that a person going down it fast enough could get some serious air (like six inches) and, knowing myself, I’m sure the first time I went down it as a Kindergartner I was terrified out of my mind. People might be surprised to know that I’m a bit timid by nature and I was especially so when I was younger. The slide in question was fairly old by the time I was big enough to play on it and I remember it being slightly rickety; let’s just say it probably wouldn’t have passed a safety inspection by today’s standards.

During recess, playing on the slide meant getting in line and, once at the top, going down quickly lest the second-graders behind protest impatiently. I don’t remember that seminal moment (thank you, Ron Luce) when I took the initial plunge, but I’m sure it was nerve-wracking. Continue reading

My Long-Awaited, Much-Anticipated Senior Paper

As of 9:45 a.m. today, my senior paper is complete. Let’s just say that of all the things I’ve done in my time as an undergraduate student, writing my senior paper was the most enjoyable. Before this semester, I was fairly certain I didn’t want to pursue a Masters degree; but, after getting a taste of what graduate-level study would look like, that fire has been rekindled.

In a brief overview, my senior paper is titled A Sociolinguistic Understanding of Shared Identity. It’s a research paper looking into the connections between language and rhetoric and the formation, destruction, and motivation of collective identity. The results of the research show strong support for the idea that language and the way it is used over time has a powerful ability to shape the way people perceive the world and the other people in it. Continue reading

The Censorship Controversy: A Few Nuggets We Can Take Away

(Image: Edited from sxc.hu)

I have to admit that when I posted Cassie McNaney’s article on my site, I initially had no idea it would elicit the response that it has. I’ve told several people this, but I find this entire situation supremely humorous, primarily because had ORU’s administration elected not to censor, thirty or forty people at most would have read Cassie’s letter. It might have drawn a response or two online or (less likely) in next year’s first edition, but the entire thing would have blown over without much fanfare.

But, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll avoid rehashing the story for those of you just joining in (you can read the older post), but there are a few things I think we can all take away from this situation that I’d like to share with you. Continue reading