Archive for the 'Christine Defina' Category

Past experiences helps transfer student Adjust

College is often portrayed on a large campus with crazy football games, loud parties and long nights in the library. There are large elm trees, students doing homework on blankets, packed dining halls and of course, members of the opposite sex. While many students can identify with at least one of these stereotypical characteristics, Kelsey Lapenas cannot say the same for her freshman year of college.
Lapenas, a sophomore transfer student from Western Massachusetts, describes a more unique experience of her first and only year at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lapenas on the field hockey field at Simmons.

Lapenas on the field hockey field at Simmons.

Not only does this institution have a small population of 2,000 undergraduates enrolled, but also all of these students are females. Lapenas thought the lack of males and small atmosphere would be compensated with the lure of a major city. She quickly found that this was not the case.
“I didn’t think that all girls would matter because there is a lot to do,” described Lapenas of her experiences. “But it was weird not having guys in any classes. Something was missing.” This biology major was not the only person with these feelings towards the school. Many of Lapenas’s friends shared the same emotions about their situation.
Lapenas’s primary motivation for attending this small college was not for its excellent academics or social scene, but for the field hockey team. Her love for the sport in high school carried her to the varsity team at Simmons. This division 3 athletic program gave Lapenas the title of a college athlete, along with lifetime friends that she still keeps in contact with. While many of her friends have transferred and moved onto different universities, the contact between these friends has not suffered.
In addition to this woman-dominated population, Simmons is set in the heart of Boston, only a few short blocks away from the legendary home of the Boston Red Sox: Fenway Park. In fact, Lapenas was there when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007 and joined in on the celebration that took place in the streets.
“It got bad later that night. People were jumping on top of cars that were parked on the street,” said Lapenas of that night. “The team wasn’t even there so I can’t imagine what it would have been like if it was a home game!”
While Lapenas had many positive experiences at Simmons, transferring was the right thing to do, and Elon University was her next destination. The university has proved to be her home away from home.
Lapenas described her transition as painless. Orientation provided a comfortable atmosphere and helped to develop friendships.
“Transfers really stick together,” she said. “Most of my friends are transfers because we can relate to each other.”
Even though her closest friends have transferred from other colleges across the country, Lapenas’s suitemates have also become close with her over the past few months.
“As a sophomore, I was nervous to be put into another blind roommate situation,” said Sarah Churchill, a sophomore student who attended Elon last year, and is also Lapenas’s roommate. “But, she has taught me to appreciate what I have at Elon.”
Casey Hekker, a sophomore student who also lives with Kelsey, had a similar admiration for Lapenas’s transition process.
“I don’t think I would have been able to handle another big change the way Kelsey did,” said Hekker. “She never acted intimidated or inferior to the fact that everyone she lives with has been here for longer than she has.”
The most difficult change that Lapenas’s had to deal with upon her arrival was also as untypical as her experiences. It did not have to do with the food, or the workload, or finding friends, but the fashion choices of students on campus. Sweatpants and t-shirts are not the same as dresses and sweaters.
“I’m just not used to getting dressed up for my 8 a.m. class. I don’t think I ever will.


Lede Analysis — Can your personality help you weather tough economy?

USA Today published an article today that caught my eye. This article, entitled “Can your personality help you weather tough economy?”,  also included an interesting lede.

“Does the economic downturn terrify you? Or are you plotting a new strategy for life with less money?

Your reaction offers a peek into your psyche, say researchers who study how personality shapes people’s reactions to uncertain times.”

At a time where the economy is affecting many people of each social class, especially at this time of holidays, people are more compelled to read articles about the economy in order to stay up to date. This article in particular appeals to someone personally, and draws the reader in even further.

The lede in general is enough to capture a reader. It asks two questions about how the reader is reacting to the economic crisis. If the readers answers yes to either of these questions, which is highly possible, the liklihood that they will continue reading the article is very high. Because the lede is so personal, it has a greater effect on whether or not the story will be read the whole way through. I think the author did an excellent job.

Going Off to College for Less (Passport Required)

The New York Times online published a story titled “Going off to College for Less (Passport Required)”. At first, this article enticed me because the cost of college is always increasing, and as a college student, this article caught my eye. Besides from the interesting nature of the story, the writer wrote extremely eloquently.

The author used humor even in the headline. The witty phrase of “Passport Required” gave the reader insight that the story would be about attending college abroad, while putting it in a fun, humorous way. The writer opened up the story with a real life account of a New York girl who traveled to Scotland to attend the University of St. Andrew’s.

The author then goes on to explain the reasons for the high numbers of students going abroad, which included more than just money. The writer than goes on to explain the pros and cons of American universities and the ones abroad. This created a better understanding and a natural flow of the story. This illustrated the author’s skill of the progression of an article to make it interesting and easier to understand.

The author also uses direct quotes from different kinds of people. This makes the story more credible. Students, including prospective, current, and transfers, prominent figures from St. Andrew’s, and recruiters. This article was steeped in direct quotes. Over ten were included.

Throughout the article, the author uses repetition in a subtle way. He reiterates over and over again how common it is for top students to regect their acceptance to Ivy League schools, and go abroad. This repetition is achieved through the many examples of students that are highlighted in the article. Not only do the students tell why they chose a university in a foreign country, but also include the schools they applied to, or attended previously. This makes the story more compelling because it demonstrates that these schools aren’t for a select group of students. This creates common ground among the readers.

In general, this article showed exceptional writing skill. The author used many tools in order to convey the message of the article, and it showed in the writing itself.

“‘Beauty’ gets 3-D makeover” — Variety Magazine

The article entitled “‘Beauty’ gets 3-D makeover” discusses that the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast” will be revamped with 3-D pictures. The new version of the film will be released in 2010. The original production crew will oversee the project that will take about nine months to complete. This movie is only one of many that will be re-rendered using the new 3-D technology, that includes using the same characters with improved backgrounds. Between now and 2010, “Alice in Wonderland,” “A Christmas Carole,” and “Toy Story,” among others, will be changed.

New York Times writes timely articles

The New York wrote a timely article within minutes of Obama’s win. As we talked about in class, news posted on the internet has to be as timely as possible. The New York Times did not drop the ball. The election was not an exception to this rule. Not only was this article posted, but it was detailed and was very relevant to the election. I was impressed with the New York Time’s ability to do this, and it proves their reputation as a trusted news source.

CNN goes Hi-Tech

CNN’s election coverage on television has been nothing short of fantastic. The hi-tech technology that has been highly effective in showing the progress of the election night, as far as the electoral college breakdowns are concerned.

There is a touchscreen that was used for the breakdown of demographics in the turnout for each state. For example, the correspondents would touch a state on the screen and each different type of voter would show up, like the 18-24 age group. Then, it would show weather it went democratic or republican, and by how much. This was essential in demonstrating voter turnouts and how they voted in each state.

Also, holograms were used for people who were at another important location for the election. To prevent too much background noise, the person would appear in the studio as a hologram to talk about the election. This tool was excellent for more efficient interviews.

In addition, the results were constantly scrolling on the bottom of the screen, even through the commercials.

In general, CNN’s broadcast for the election went above and beyond and was highly effective and useful.

Broadcast Analysis — Arkansas anchorwoman dies after beating

The broadcast newsclip I chose was from about a new anchor from Arkansas who was found beaten in her home. Anne Pressley, 26, died on Saturday, several days after the brutal attack. When she did not answer her regular wake-up call, her mother went to see what was wrong and found her dead in her home, one hour before she was to appear on KATV’s morning show. Currently, the police have no suspects for this crime and they are deeming it an accident. The victim’s purse was also missing on the morning of the incident. Her family is offering a reward for any information.

The woman broadcasting this video used a lot of inflection in her voice on the more important words. This made her voice seem more conversational rather than monotone. She also did not use too much inflection because this is a sad story. Her voice is appropriate for the story at hand. In addition, she used the present tense as much as possible throughout the story, and often talks about the future of the story. Also, there is video footage of the anchorwoman doing her job, along with photographs of her and her home. This helps the viewer connect more with the story. Since this was a short clip, a lot of information needed to be covered in a short amount of time. The woman broadcasting gets straight to the point, giving the facts and keeping the viewer interested in the story. All in all, this was very well done.

May 2018
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