Two Weeks Left

     I embarked on a truly terrifying venture that many would think insane. I took thirty high school freshman on a field trip to an out-of-state college. My new principal mandated that all students be exposed to a four year school. She also required that it be outside of New Jersey so the students could see what is out there for them.

     A few reasons this is well-intended, but missed the mark. First, the kids are only fourteen years old; they aren't thinking seriously about school yet. Some of the female students swooned because a college guy said hello back to them. I tried explaining it was truly reflexive, but I swear some of those girls were ready to marry him. Secondly, we went to Temple University which is extremely urban. The campus was not too different from what they encounter everyday. Some greenery would have been nice. Thirdly, the trip consisted of a 90 minute bus ride, 30 minute tour (the students asked no questions, because, well, see my first reason), a 60 minute lunch, then another 90 minute bus ride home. They really got to see three lobbies and a cafeteria.

     I think a longer trip to Kean or Rutgers would be way more beneficial to the students. Maybe they could sit in on a class, see the dorms, speak to some club and organization leaders. The out-of-state trip should come when they are juniors.

     One reason I bring this up is because the founder of Temple is apparently buried on campus. There is a campus ghost hunters society who regularly patrol the campus for signs of hauntings. Oddly enough, they claim cell phone reception is strongest at the burial site. Every ghost hunting show I've ever seen has claimed that spirits do nothing but interfere with electronic devices. Perhaps I can use this experience for my paper at some point.

     Speaking of, I've started writing the section about urban legends to be discussed at our meeting next week. I was unsure what direction it would take, but once I started writing, it started to take shape (go figure, right?). I'm really looking forward to what it will look like in one week.

Two Weeks Left

     I embarked on a truly terrifying venture that many would think insane. I took thirty high school freshman on a field trip to an out-of-state college. My new principal mandated that all students be exposed to a four year school. She also required that it be outside of New Jersey so the students could see what is out there for them.

     A few reasons this is well-intended, but missed the mark. First, the kids are only fourteen years old; they aren't thinking seriously about school yet. Some of the female students swooned because a college guy said hello back to them. I tried explaining it was truly reflexive, but I swear some of those girls were ready to marry him. Secondly, we went to Temple University which is extremely urban. The campus was not too different from what they encounter everyday. Some greenery would have been nice. Thirdly, the trip consisted of a 90 minute bus ride, 30 minute tour (the students asked no questions, because, well, see my first reason), a 60 minute lunch, then another 90 minute bus ride home. They really got to see three lobbies and a cafeteria.

     I think a longer trip to Kean or Rutgers would be way more beneficial to the students. Maybe they could sit in on a class, see the dorms, speak to some club and organization leaders. The out-of-state trip should come when they are juniors.

     One reason I bring this up is because the founder of Temple is apparently buried on campus. There is a campus ghost hunters society who regularly patrol the campus for signs of hauntings. Oddly enough, they claim cell phone reception is strongest at the burial site. Every ghost hunting show I've ever seen has claimed that spirits do nothing but interfere with electronic devices. Perhaps I can use this experience for my paper at some point.

     Speaking of, I've started writing the section about urban legends to be discussed at our meeting next week. I was unsure what direction it would take, but once I started writing, it started to take shape (go figure, right?). I'm really looking forward to what it will look like in one week.

Blog update

I can’t do this blog post without first saying: I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! J
My thesis project is moving along well. The more I read it and work on it, the more tweaks I do here and there for the section I’ve already written. I’ve also been working on the development of the different voices in my story. I’ve been trying to connect more with my characters to be able to write and allow the story to flow in the most organic way possible.
I’ve also received feedback from Dr. Zamora and have been working on her suggestions. I was very nervous to share my work at first but I am excited about the feedback I received. Some of her comments made me think about where in the story I should be adding scenes that describe more in depth the feelings and experiences my characters are going through to best satisfy the readers and make them connect with all the characters in the story. I am having some trouble locating and blending the new scenes with the existing story so what I decided to do for now was to write them in a separate section and have it ready to later blend it with the rest of the story.
For the different voices I have for my story, I decided to do the same. I am still at a drafting stage in my novel and feel like the best thing to do for now, when I get stock on deciding where to plug in the new voices, is to just write and worry about blending and connecting where appropriate later.

As I move forward, I will continue to draft my novel. I feel like I have done a lot thus far but still have more writing to go. 

Blog update

I can’t do this blog post without first saying: I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! J
My thesis project is moving along well. The more I read it and work on it, the more tweaks I do here and there for the section I’ve already written. I’ve also been working on the development of the different voices in my story. I’ve been trying to connect more with my characters to be able to write and allow the story to flow in the most organic way possible.
I’ve also received feedback from Dr. Zamora and have been working on her suggestions. I was very nervous to share my work at first but I am excited about the feedback I received. Some of her comments made me think about where in the story I should be adding scenes that describe more in depth the feelings and experiences my characters are going through to best satisfy the readers and make them connect with all the characters in the story. I am having some trouble locating and blending the new scenes with the existing story so what I decided to do for now was to write them in a separate section and have it ready to later blend it with the rest of the story.
For the different voices I have for my story, I decided to do the same. I am still at a drafting stage in my novel and feel like the best thing to do for now, when I get stock on deciding where to plug in the new voices, is to just write and worry about blending and connecting where appropriate later.

As I move forward, I will continue to draft my novel. I feel like I have done a lot thus far but still have more writing to go. 

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2016-11-30 15:13:00

I sent my rough outline and a rough draft of the first part of my thesis to the professor in an email. I am proud of what I have accomplished, and I am praying that my professor is satisfied with my work as well. I hope no major changes are necessary, but at the same time if I made major mistakes I want them to be pointed out.
Once again, I feel like I did things within my work that I did not anticipate on doing. I ended up incorporating my written prayers throughout like the teacher suggested, but I do not feel like it is too much. I tried to make sure the prayers I incorporated flowed with the point I was making and the paper itself. My own written prayers acted as support/proof to defend what I was saying. The paper ended up being as hard as I expected, but I have been in situations that were harder.

I just know God came through for me!

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2016-11-30 15:13:00

I sent my rough outline and a rough draft of the first part of my thesis to the professor in an email. I am proud of what I have accomplished, and I am praying that my professor is satisfied with my work as well. I hope no major changes are necessary, but at the same time if I made major mistakes I want them to be pointed out.
Once again, I feel like I did things within my work that I did not anticipate on doing. I ended up incorporating my written prayers throughout like the teacher suggested, but I do not feel like it is too much. I tried to make sure the prayers I incorporated flowed with the point I was making and the paper itself. My own written prayers acted as support/proof to defend what I was saying. The paper ended up being as hard as I expected, but I have been in situations that were harder.

I just know God came through for me!

The Clock is Ticking by Debbie Bagnato


As I move on through my play, the process becomes more involved--naturally--and I find myself needing more time to get things accomplished the way I want. And time is the one thing there is never enough of. Work has become increasingly unbearable, as I have mentioned loudly, but I can use a lot of this in my story; these are the reasons that prompted my choice. However, I never in my wildest dreams anticipated my place of business would turn into the hellhole it has become. The only consolation is that I can infuse my aggravation, frustration and irritation into the lines of my play, and anyone who has ever had a similiar experience can identify with those raw emotions.
 It will be done with humor, because it is a comedy, but sarcasm as these are unacceptable work ethics and manner of treating people. Well, now that I have had my rant, let me tell you how my character list is doing. I have all my characters in both the opening and second scene completed, which comprises a sizable number of pages. It was very therapeutic and even funny, as I worked my way through descriptions of the people with whom I work, wait on line for coffee, share good and bad times, and cheer or jeer the bosses every day. In doing this lengthy task, I have discovered that many of these players in my piece need to simply be in the scene, not necessarily speak. There are a couple of other faces I want to introduce in the next scene, but I am uncertain if that is a wise thing to do, because the cast list is extraordinarily high right now! I will be putting that together over this week so I will make a decision then; one solution is an old theatre trick--small roles in different scenes are played by the same character. So perhaps that will be an underlying factor in the upcoming scene, as well as reusing a few players who had but a few lines in the previous one.
                       My new character is still in the story, but because she was prompted by--you guessed--a real person (who I tweaked for emphasis) I have, sadly, found some less pleasant attributes in the real character, and need to figure out the best way to utilize them in her stage persona. This may work out to the play's advantage, especially in lieu of the direct jab at corporate bull***t being emphaiszed in this production. The atmosphere that has to be brought to the forefront in the next two scenes involve the sexuality of the women, and the mens increased desire as they are being adamantly denied. The next scene will be transitional, but I hope to show a little more teasing in the manner the women (and specific others) are fighting with the men about the point of conflict. The corporate character is taking their side but can she be trusted? Maybe she wants her contest to be a fun interactive source of sales incentives instead of a heart-attack, stress making machine that will drive men to drink or destruction of each other simply to be the winner. And maybe she too has a significant other who is too involved in the biz to pay any attention to her. I have not ironed out all her details, but feel I am almost ready to tackle the next part. I have noticed a lot of what happens involves thinking, free-writing, and changing my mind. Then I usually have what I need--on numerous pieces of paper, post-it notes and sometimes, on the edge of books. Let's hope I can find all the little reminders of the latest brilliant addition when I try to put it on paper. I will be back next week and hoping that I have some solid writing completed on the next challenge. My prayers that we all get a lot of good writing out of our heads and on the paper as my favorite holiday, Christmas, draws near. The magic of the season is all around so let me get started!

The Clock is Ticking by Debbie Bagnato


As I move on through my play, the process becomes more involved--naturally--and I find myself needing more time to get things accomplished the way I want. And time is the one thing there is never enough of. Work has become increasingly unbearable, as I have mentioned loudly, but I can use a lot of this in my story; these are the reasons that prompted my choice. However, I never in my wildest dreams anticipated my place of business would turn into the hellhole it has become. The only consolation is that I can infuse my aggravation, frustration and irritation into the lines of my play, and anyone who has ever had a similiar experience can identify with those raw emotions.
 It will be done with humor, because it is a comedy, but sarcasm as these are unacceptable work ethics and manner of treating people. Well, now that I have had my rant, let me tell you how my character list is doing. I have all my characters in both the opening and second scene completed, which comprises a sizable number of pages. It was very therapeutic and even funny, as I worked my way through descriptions of the people with whom I work, wait on line for coffee, share good and bad times, and cheer or jeer the bosses every day. In doing this lengthy task, I have discovered that many of these players in my piece need to simply be in the scene, not necessarily speak. There are a couple of other faces I want to introduce in the next scene, but I am uncertain if that is a wise thing to do, because the cast list is extraordinarily high right now! I will be putting that together over this week so I will make a decision then; one solution is an old theatre trick--small roles in different scenes are played by the same character. So perhaps that will be an underlying factor in the upcoming scene, as well as reusing a few players who had but a few lines in the previous one.
                       My new character is still in the story, but because she was prompted by--you guessed--a real person (who I tweaked for emphasis) I have, sadly, found some less pleasant attributes in the real character, and need to figure out the best way to utilize them in her stage persona. This may work out to the play's advantage, especially in lieu of the direct jab at corporate bull***t being emphaiszed in this production. The atmosphere that has to be brought to the forefront in the next two scenes involve the sexuality of the women, and the mens increased desire as they are being adamantly denied. The next scene will be transitional, but I hope to show a little more teasing in the manner the women (and specific others) are fighting with the men about the point of conflict. The corporate character is taking their side but can she be trusted? Maybe she wants her contest to be a fun interactive source of sales incentives instead of a heart-attack, stress making machine that will drive men to drink or destruction of each other simply to be the winner. And maybe she too has a significant other who is too involved in the biz to pay any attention to her. I have not ironed out all her details, but feel I am almost ready to tackle the next part. I have noticed a lot of what happens involves thinking, free-writing, and changing my mind. Then I usually have what I need--on numerous pieces of paper, post-it notes and sometimes, on the edge of books. Let's hope I can find all the little reminders of the latest brilliant addition when I try to put it on paper. I will be back next week and hoping that I have some solid writing completed on the next challenge. My prayers that we all get a lot of good writing out of our heads and on the paper as my favorite holiday, Christmas, draws near. The magic of the season is all around so let me get started!

Happy Thanksgiving! ….Our home stretch to 12/15

imagesDear MA thesis writers,

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am thinking of you, and the unique writing journeys you have each designed for your thesis.  I have sincerely enjoyed speaking with each of you regularly in our conferencing round-robin this semester.  The ebb and flow of your early project ideas has now made way to projects that have really taken shape (due to your consistent efforts).  I have also enjoyed reading the blog posts that have been coming in regarding what your are working on, struggling with, wondering about, or mulling over.  By now you have realized first hand that a big writing project (like an MA Thesis) is truly a journey with various twists and turns.  That is the nature of the beast ;) As you experience your fits and starts, please remember to sustain your own blogs about your research process.  Reflection is a powerful gateway to learning.

When I see you in this last phase of the semester, take note that we are now moving into a new phase of your progress.  We will create an individual plan for each of you to pursue throughout the interim between Fall and Spring semesters (Winter “break”).  This will be a crucial time of productivity for all of you, and it is best if there are clear benchmarks for progress for the stretch of time.  dissertation-literature-review-300x180

Please take note that our last class of the semester on December 15th will be a special gathering.  We will have a pot-luck meal (everyone should plan to bring something tasty to share – potluck sign-up here). I hope to secure a special room for us and I will announce our party location for the evening via email once I have secured it.

For that evening, you will each have a quick (5 min) opportunity to discuss your progress thus far on your work.  But the featured presentations of the evening will be from Tobey and Devon. They will both share an overview of their completed MA theses (they will have a more generous time allotment for sharing ;).   Both of them have worked tirelessly in the last few months, and I am very proud of the writing they have done.  I am sure you will appreciate the work as much as I have.  Our 12/15 pot-luck will be a fine way to end the year as we come together to celebrate writing!

See  you soon,

Dr. Zamora

 

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2016-11-24 09:33:00

Since the last blog, I still have been working on my rough draft. I have to admit it is starting to get hard. I am making progress, but I am not making progress as quick as I would like to. I set an amount of pages I would like to complete for the day and sometimes I do not accomplish what I set out to do. Naturally, I am not satisfied but then I try to keep reminding myself I still have more time. I am trying to get everything done as early as possible. But sometimes, I feel like I have no choice but to move the pace I am moving because of the way my ideas are flowing. I am trying to flesh out as much as I can before I move on to the next idea as well. I am mindful that this is not my whole thesis.
 Some days, I literally just feel like I spend my time going over what I already wrote. I feel like every time I reread my paper I am changing something or finding another area I need to work on. I am trying my best to do everything the first time around. So, a lot of my time is dedicated to making sure what I said makes sense, rereading some of my sources again, and then going back to my paper to add the sources.
But in the process of doing all this, I know I made the right decision when it came to just writing instead of choosing something and sticking to it. When I first started, ideas and pages were just flowing. Now, sometimes I find myself feeling stuck or just sitting trying to figure out exactly what I want to say. Sometimes, thoughts just come to me out of nowhere and other moments I feel like I have nothing. I had an idea of what I wanted my first rough draft to look like but like I said last week things are changing. Right now, my goal is still to complete what I set out to do, but I want to end up with a draft that I am satisfied with. This is exactly what you go through when you tend to like things that are difficult lol.

But through all the stress and frustration that comes along with school, I am grateful to be in this master’s program. 
                                                         Happy Thanksgiving!