Does my perception align with reality?

In the beginning of the year, I noticed a change in my best friend’s family photos. I started to see that her dad was becoming less involved in her life. This was unusual because, [no comma] my 23-year-old bestie had the greatest relationship with her father. Her mom had not mentioned anything to me via text which made me assume that; [no semicolon] I was getting ahead of myself by formulating conclusions.

There is a greater story behind what I can perceive. I cannot come to a logical conclusion without knowing the reasoning that leads to the decisions my friend and her family have made.  I need to listen to her before hearing other voices that comment on the situation or, I will never reach the level of true analysis. [Relate the insights to the readings and lectures.]

Three weeks past [SP: passed] and, [no comma] there was still no sign of her dad. My best friend’s father is in entertainment industry so he must be traveling [comma] or so I thought. It wasn’t until her mom’s birthday dinner that I saw that my suspicions could be correct. All of the closest friends and relatives were there except the loving and caring husband, [no comma] who never misses an important family celebration.

 I began to worry.

My best friend knew my past and the difficulties I had to overcome with my own dad. So, I would think that in her own vulnerability she would come and confide in me if that were the case. I felt empowered to speak a word of encouragement into her current situation but how could I, [no comma] if I did not know if my thoughts were true. How could I mend a wound that might not need healing?  My best friend had the power in her hands to tell me the truth. I was waiting.

I wanted to know what was happening not to gossip about it but to aid and comfort her and her family.

“Hey! Is everything ok?” I said.

“I can really use a friend right now in these difficult times. There has been something I have been wanting to confide in you over the past month.” She [comma and lowercase] exclaimed.

“My dad cheated on my mom with another woman. He left the house and, He does not want to speak to me. “

“I have called him five times and, he does not answer. I have to admit that I am angry, ashamed, and confused.”

“What have I done?”

“He may not be a reliable husband right now but, I need him to still be my father.”

“Pray for me and, don’t tell anyone else.”  She said.

I was speechless.


Nothing seemed chaotic about her parent’s marriage. In fact, I admired how after 27 years, her dad would always take Alba on a date every Saturday. He remembered the little things whether it was flowers or her favorite wine.

[How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?]

No one was asking the status of her parent’s [punctuation: parents’] marriage so keeping confidentiality was not going to be an issue. [Relate to class: A secret does not require a lie.]

I would never compromise my integrity and my relationship with the family for something in exchange. [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a family.] 

Unlike Judas Iscariot, my lips are sealed.

Under the Influence: How News Media Affects the Notion of Solitude

“Today’s young people seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to feel that they can make themselves fully known to one another. They seem to lack a sense of their own depths, and of the value of keeping them hidden. If they didn’t they would understand that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

I agree with Deresiewick’s [SP: Deresiewicz’s] comparision between celebrity and connectivity. Individuals seek to know and to be made known. People view life from the perspective of the sonambulus as McLuhan wrote in the medium is the message. [good insight] The way we communicate with everyone changes our behavior, the way we think, and the way we see the world. Therefore, because we are not fully aware of the impact that media has on us, solitude is perceived as being nonexistent.

When I disconnected myself from the media for 48 hours, I experienced what it was to be an Orthodox Jew who observes the Sabbath.  I am used to being alone at home and focusing on my “checklist”. However, not being able to access all the capabilities of my smartphones, [no comma] was difficult. It seemed as if I lost the notion of being present in reality, which left me in a state of solitude. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] This allowed me to redirect my priorities by focusing on areas in my life that I did not need to use technology or to search for the latest news story. For example, I did not look at the news app when I woke up. I was able to see the significant role we have allowed media to play in our lives and how it affects our nervous system.

The way individuals communicate has altered our culture. Media dictates societal value which affect our emotional and logical reasoning. Being socially connected has given us the confidence and validation to “be someone” by forsaking the notion of loneliness. Peace and quiet is not a part of the routine of the average American. We may not be in the same room with someone but that does not mean we are alone. Technology is the medium we use to be socially active. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph] Therefore, when I detached myself from seeing media for two days, I valued other avenues of information, entertainment, and connection. News is actionable information yet, it should not be something I can’t live without. A social life is important and with this blackout, I have also seen how solitude is valuable too!

I Know that I Know, What I know.

“Our biases can blind us”. There are always two sides to one story which means that, two people can remember the same event differently. [This is commentary. In the thesis statement, identify the elements of the rhetorical triangle that the authors used and detail below.]

[Analyze rather than express personal opinion. How do the authors use the rhetorical triangle to convince the reader and how do they support their arguments?] Chabris and Simons shared this truth as to why our memory fails us. I am a conservative and; my aunt is a progressive. We both have different points of view on foreign policy and governmental relations which allows us to operate under distinct belief systems. [Separate topic sentences with paragraphs.] The authors used ethos to appeal to our emotions [ethos is based on credibility and trust, and pathos is based on emotions] and logos to appeal to our reasoning. The question that individuals need to ask themselves is “How do they (you) respond when their (your) memory is challenged? One can either act emotionally or logically, which is the point that Chabris and Simons wants us readers to understand.

Confidence is trusting in one’s memory and experience to exert a specific action or to communicate a specific statement. According to Chabris, misattributing a quote leads to memory failure which results from having overconfidence in one’s self. The way we respond when our memory is challenged appeals to our logical reasoning. Both contributors primarily use ethos and logos to manipulate their readers by playing with their emotions and reinforcing their statements by relying on facts and studies. They know how to speak directly to a reader’s mind and heart.

Scientists know the importance of using observation to gain information about the environment. “The science of memory distortion has become rigorous and reliable enough to help guide public policy. It should also guide our personal attitudes and actions.” (Simons, 4) Chabris and Simons effectively employed rhetoric to attract their readers by stating relevant information that would encourage responsiveness from the audience.

[Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] When I am having a conversation with a friend, I tend to restate the question I asked in the beginning because; I am forgetful. I can blame my reiteration on being absent minded or I can come to the realization that, I have hundreds of thoughts running through my head that are more important than the words coming out of my mouth which cause me to ask questions. Peter, from Ottawa, Ca., used an anecdote (logos) to address the memory problem. I agree that, we need to understand and accept our challenges to communicate and behave better with others. I need to learn how to be present in the moment and how to block out distractions that hinder me from having a constructive conversation with someone.

The times approach is effective because, they chose to highlight the top three comments which focus on engaging readers intellectually. The readers chose comments that focus on the emotions of an individual [use of pathos] by prioritizing a person’s feelings.

[Analyze rather than express personal opinion.] Inference is the reader’s ability to gather evidence that will be used as supporting details for the central idea of a passage. A commentator spoke about the misappropriation of words being a mental laziness issue rather than a memory issue. People lose sight on the end zone because their focus is on the movement that is happening on the sidelines. There will always be room for fallacy. The key is to focus on crossing the finish line instead of everything that hinders an individual from running the race.