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  • Final Reflection Essay

    While looking back at my progress throughout the last couple of months, I have realized a tremendous difference in my writing tactics. What I’ve noticed has helped me the most was working in and out of class with groupmates, drafting before an essay, and in class assignments. I always thought of English as my strong suit, but didn’t know how to elevate that initial work. However, over the course and learning from Dr. Lucas I have been taught valuable lessons and techniques to heighten my writing as a whole. 

    Coming from a preparatory high school, we were more or less on our own when it came to writing and asking questions. As a class we would have a few group discussions, but it mostly consisted of reading a novel or some sort of article. I enjoyed coming into the first day of classes and already being able to work with classmates. On our final essay and annotated bibliography, working within a group helped out our essay tremendously. Not only were we able to bounce off of each other’s ideas, but also see others’ learning styles and how they would craft a specific piece. The New York Times speaks on this topic of how writing essays has elevated many people’s lifestyles. “Blogs v.s Term papers”, Richtel states “Writing term papers is a dying art, but those who do write them have a dramatic leg up in terms of critical thinking, argumentation and the sort of expression required not only in college, but in the job market,”. Without a doubt, learning from other’s will continue to help me in the real world. 

    Another thing that stood out to me this semester was the overall drafting process. On past writing assignments I never thought of planning out my essay beforehand. This was always a part of the process I believed did not matter. Dr. Lucas has shown me that drafting before writing an essay helps set a layout to be more organized while crafting the actual essay.  It was also profitable for me to receive feedback on the piece before turning it in. Receiving feedback was a nice boost into the right direction to make sure I was on a good track in my process. I happened to also enjoy how we started by hand writing the draft and then moving onto the computer. Similarly in Writing on Computers vs. Writing on Paper,  it states “We had students who manage to capture their best ideas by jotting them down on their cell phones as the ideas occur to them.” The drafting process was very much this way of putting down our beginning ideas. I tend to lose my train of thought or get distracted easily while online, so it was useful to begin with a pen to paper to make sure I didn’t stray away from the task at hand. 

    In conclusion, I have learned several different lessons while being in Page and Screen. This course as a whole was unexpected for me. By the title I thought I was coming across some sort of theater class, but to my luck it was more on the English side. I enjoyed taking this class as it has not only taught me how to become a better writer and reader, but I was also able to meet a few new friends and friendly faces. I would say that the course gives you what you put into it, and that is just what I needed to become more successful 

    Works Cited: 

    Rosenwasser, David, and Jill Stephen. Writing Analytically. 8th ed., Cengage, 2019. 

    Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,

  • Frozen in Time: The Infamous “Falling Man” Photograph

    In the article, The Falling Man, the author, Tom Junod, highlights the back story of a specific snapshot taken on September 11, 2001. Junod describes the atmosphere and environment around the man falling, presumably, through a window. He paints a picture for the audience using different writing techniques like metaphors and similes to tell a story without using literal interpretations. Junod even goes in-depth into how the community felt about the tragic event and how the photo taken started to cause some commotion. He was able to switch from recreating the image to explaining to the viewers how it has impacted time and history. Without a doubt, The Falling Man photo highlights more than just a man falling out a window. 

    Tom Junod was able to not only show a critical time in the world, but depict a photo taken during the event. Junod uses metaphors such as, “he decided to get on with it: as though he was a missile..” to compare the man to an object the audience can understand and relate to. The article underlines how the man’s arms are perfectly symmetrical with the buildings beside him. He not only uses intricate quirks to explain his points but to show the beauty of the picture. Similarly in the article, he presents another rhetorical tool, an oxymoron. Junod stresses that the man “appears relaxed, hurtling through the air”, juxtaposing the words “relaxed” and “hurtling. By beating around the bush of a straight-out term he can present his views better. 

    The article, “Excerpt: 20 years on, ‘The Falling Man’ is still you and me,” is an excerpt from photographer Richard Drew’s book  “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy.” Richard Drew was present for the 9/11 attacks and is the photographer of the famous “Falling Man” photo. In his book, he recounts the reaction that the public had to this photo, which became a trend in most articles written on the subject. Drew states, “The photograph was denounced as coldblooded, ghoulish and sadistic… Sir Elton John called it ‘probably one of the most perfect photographs ever taken’… My fellow photographers called it ‘the most famous picture nobody’s ever seen.’ But, in fact, it was seen. Whenever it’s mentioned, people say, ‘Oh, that’s the one where the guy looks like he’s swan-diving.’ Or, ‘That’s the one where the guy’s body is lined up perfectly with the lines of the World Trade Center.’ And then there is: ‘I know — it’s the one where, if you turn it upside down, it looks like the guy is sitting on a chair.’” Each of these quotes from various individuals represent the differing views of each person who saw it. He even went on to mention Tom Junod’s 2003 Esquire article, which we have discussed in class, and states, “He found their reactions varied according to their own feelings about mortality.” This quote goes on to even further prove that many different individuals had many different reactions to the image. It is an unsettling image, to say the least, and there are going to be unavoidable mixed reactions.

    In the article, “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: the 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” author, Jared Gee, discusses the public’s mixed reaction to the chilling photograph. The image was “condemned and censored” in news articles and through other mainstream media outlets due to its graphic nuance. Despite this, the photograph, being one of the only photographs of the jumpers, continued to gain views, becoming one of the most well-known photos from 9/11. Gee states, “Having been relegated to its supposed death through mainstream media censorship, the photo continued to gain viewership and recognisability through its circulation on the internet. ‘Falling Man’ has since become one of the most recognizable 9/11 images…” In addition, Tom Junod, the author of “The Falling Man,” aided in the photograph’s acceptance by the public, while other images of jumpers were still being largely concealed as they were deemed exploitative and others were disgusted by them. Gee adds, “Tom Junod, who helped usher the mainstream acceptance of the photo in his now famous 2003 Esquire Magazine article ‘The Falling Man’, states that the photo evokes the profundity of a man choosing to use his power, his American freedom, taking rebellious yet patriotic command of the terrible situation… As in Junod, the language and interpretations surrounding the photo are often used as a reminder of, and even justification for, the many wars and unjust policies that continue to follow 9/11.” Although there were negative reactions to the image, the image offers insight into what it was like being trapped inside the Twin Towers during this horrific event. Those inside were going to inevitably face death, so they took matters into their own hands. In addition, it helps the public to understand why this historic event should never be forgotten and how the nation came together to heal. 

    In addition to this, the article, “The Newsstand: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ photo remains haunting mystery,” written by Don O’Briant, presents another idea that also discusses Tom Junod’s piece, which we have reviewed in class. Similarly to Gee’s essay, O’Briant writes about the photograph, however, he includes information that Gee did not include in his essay. O’Briant includes the suspected victim’s name in his piece, Norberto Hernandez, also mentioning that he was a worker at the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower. O’Briant states, “A Toronto Globe & Mail reporter concluded that the man was Norberto Hernandez, but Hernandez’s wife and daughters denied it was him. There was no way he would have committed suicide, they say.” O’Briant goes on to give further insight into why Tom Junod decided to write about the image. He includes a quote from Junod himself, “On my computer I have some footage of people jumping on that day that I downloaded off the Internet,” says Junod, an Atlanta writer-at-large for Esquire. “I’ve looked at it many times, and every time I looked at it, I want to say, ‘Stop.’ Nobody does stop. It’s as if the horror behind them was greater than the horror in front of them.” When reviewing this piece in class I asked myself, “Why write about this,” assuming the image spoke for itself. However, by including this quote, O’Briant makes it clear for readers, such as myself, to comprehend why he chose to write about it. It is such a historic image and essentially explaining it allows for a clearer understanding of the image itself. 

    In conclusion, Junod’s photo of the Falling Man captures the essence of what 9/11 was and how it impacted the nation. He has not only influenced other writers’ pieces, but showed the world an important event in time. The articles above have added to the reasons that Junod’s writing and the photo of the falling man have become so successful. The photo has allowed for other audiences to share their views and overall thoughts on the topic. Along with this, Junod has expressed his talents and techniques as a writer. Therefore, the article, The Falling Man, has taught many and continues to leave its mark on society. 

  • Never Ending Photo

    A hijacked airplane ran through the sky ripping through the north tower of the World Trade Center. The once standing tower began to peel off like paper while people still stood inside it. The debris and attack caused terror to erupt in Manhattan and across the nation. Only a few survived the fatal attack. 

        In the article, The Falling Man, the author, Tom Junod, highlights the back story of a specific snapshot taken on September 11, 2001. Junod goes into detail about the man in the photo, seeming to be continuously falling, presumably, through a window. He describes the atmosphere and environment around the man to set the scene for the reader. He incorporates metaphors and similes to explain the physical appearance of the falling man. Junod decides to switch from recreating the image to telling his readers how it has impacted people and history. Without a doubt, this piece captures and analyzes an important photo in history. 

        One way The Falling Man expresses its emotion is through metaphors and similes. Instead of stating the obvious, Junod paints the picture for the people who may not have actually seen the image before. Towards the end of the first paragraph Junod states “he decided to get on with it: as though he was a missile..”. Comparing the man in the photo to a missile allows the audience to understand the look of the man. He clearly looks as though he is on a mission, looking like he is heading towards somewhere. His arms are perfectly symmetrical to the buildings beside him, streaming down to his death. Junod here was able to express the fatal plunge of the man falling.  Another rhetorical tool presented was an oxymoron towards the beginning of the first paragraph. Junod stresses that the man “appears relaxed, hurtling through the air”, juxtaposing the words “relaxed” and “hurtling.This brings up the idea of the photo looking “frozen in time” making the man seem stuck in the air. He is trying to show the irony between what the photo presents and what actually was happening in real life. 

        Another way the author was successful in depicting the photo was showing how it may have impacted people and the history behind the event. Junod goes into detail about not only how others would feel in this moment, but the man falling. He states “the people who did what he did—who jumped–appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale.” Here the author uses the word scale to capture and compose a valid measure of the impact of the discrepancy at play. A bigger part of the overall picture of the article was a theme of freedom.  Others may have linked the piece with death putting them on one end of the scale while others “see something else —something discordant and therefore terrible: Freedom”. It showed America’s unease about the hundreds leaping from the towers. Giving the audience two perspectives to consider, allows for the photo itself to be more impactful and profound regarding the story behind 9/11. 

        In conclusion, Junod’s photo of the Falling Man captures the essence of what 9/11 was and how it impacted the nation. The article explains the importance of the photo without directly giving away anything. It allows for the audience to decide how they want to feel about the event and how they will let it affect them. Junod showed how he works well using different writing techniques to get his point across the page. 

  • Team

    An orange ribbed sphere pounding against the hardware floors. Constant screaming and hands slapping in the air. Five seconds left on the clock and only one girl to change the game. Swish. The crowd goes wild, high fives, and hugs all around. Though this seems like a lighthearted and exciting experience, it isn’t always like this. 

    My senior year of high school I was nominated as the Varsity basketball team captain. This had been a dream of mine ever since I carried a campus map deciding where my humanities class was taking place. I knew starting off that taking this leadership position wasn’t going to be easy. There had been the usual gossip and chatter among the girls the previous year. Two girls in particular, Chloe and Ciara, had been fighting over the fifth starting spot. Though both very talented players, I needed to be able to express to them that basketball overall is a team sport. I had started to notice in practices that they became a little bit too competitive with each other. Throwing arms on defense, not passing the ball, and not creating a supportive environment. 

    The next drill coming up included two players working together to gain the most points. Hatred filled the girls’ eyes when I told them they were going to be partners. The initial pass from Chloe to Ciara made me start to regret my decision.  Even if they didn’t want to play fair I knew both players would do anything to win the drill and the only way to do that was to work together. Even though they weren’t that fond of each other, they realized they were starting to lose against the other duos. The two girls began to put their differences aside and start to cheer one another on for the next points. 

    “Come on Ciara this is all you” shouted Chloe.

    Ciara answered back, “Alright when I get to the top of the elbow pass be the ball”.

    The ball slams on the floor panels. Players on the sidelines are screaming and yelling. Five seconds left on the scoreboard. Swish. The ball falls smoothly over the front rim and Chloe and Ciara run in for a hug. Not only were they able to put their differences aside, they were able to see how being a team player is more important than individual gain. As the leader in this position I was ultimately proud of myself. I was able to fix a social situation while also improving our player status. By observing the two girls previously, I was able to solve the problem before it escalated. This role as a captain has taught me how to speak out when others need help or even just a push in the right direction.

    Even though it took till senior year to realize it, taking risks and convincing people to go outside of their comfort zone can help not only them, but yourself as well. Being captain it was my responsibility to see and address any negative situations. Ciara and Chloe helped me realize how to do this. This life lesson will help me throughout my college years and even beyond that. Being a team player and helping craft the team was critical in shaping my leadership position as Captain.