The software I utilized during the semester was WordPress and Squarespace.

WordPress was used for my blog and Squarespace was used for the creation of the SJC website.

WordPress served as a very useful tool in the creation of my blog.  Each week I was responsible for writing three blog entries:

  1. Weekly In-Class Reflection
  2. Weekly Roundup
  3. Practicum Update

In- Class Highlights:

A highlight for me this semester was an interview with a group of students from Ross Roads Elementary School in North Vancouver.

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Eleni McLaughlin, Saoirse Pontin and Madeline Williams are the sixth-grade students who created the Hike-Safe mobile app, which functions to inform hikers on the safety of various hikes in regards to trail length and daylight hours.

When applied Burke’s dramatic Pentad, which tool for analyzing rhetoric and the rhetor’s motives for a situation, one can see that McLaughlin, Pontin and Williams have effectively addressed the ART, SCENE, AGENTS, AGENCY and PURPOSE of creating the app.

  1. Act —The central focus of the Hike Safe app is to provide a practical tool to hikers so that better safety can be attained on the mountain
  2. Scene-The girls saw a need in their community and choose to address it.  In living in North Vancouver they saw lots of search and rescue helicopters going out to help hikers who hiked too late in the day
  3. Agents–  Mclaughlin, Pontin and Williams are the agents of this cause.  They spent many hours learning about coding and designing each aspect of the app
  4. Agency –  The action took place through the mentorship of Cher Main
  5. Purpose – The purpose behind this app is to create positive change and bring safety to the hiking community of North Vancouver

Social Justice Centre Practicum Highlights:

During the first class of English 4300 we were presented with various practicum options.  I was placed in Mike Ma’s group and began the journey of creating a new website for the Social Justice Centre (SJC).  I look forward to presenting our new website with you!

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  1. Talking with advocates for social justice
  2. Taking my learning outside of the classroom
  3. Learning how to use Squarespace
  4. Working along side Jenn and Mike in the creation of the SJC website
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Wish Centre Visit- Connecting with Advocates for Social Justice
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Touring the Wish Centre
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The Surrey Drug War Survivors Workshop

DHSI Highlights:

  1. Participating in the grant proposal process
  2. Putting rhetorical theory into practice
  3. Presenting at UVIC
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Poster Presentation Group
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Poster Presentation

Our DHSI group was featured in the Kwantlen News

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Practicum Update: Week 13

This coming week is a BIG week in my practicum experience.  It is the week that our practicum comes to it’s conclusion.

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Over the past week Jenn and I have been in email communication with Greg Chan concerning the final product of the practicum.  He has given us a list of considerations and suggestions for change.  Jenn and I have read this over and look forward to implementing and fine tuning the site this week.

We have run into an issue with giving a face (or faces) to the SJC page.  Mike has asked that we do not feature those behind the cause, but rather keep the focus on those who are being helped.  Social justice is for everyone.  Jenn and I did not want to exploit or jeopardize the privacy of those in need; therefore, instead of putting pictures of people in need we decided to feature images of our region.  The downside to this is the site could be seen as less personal.  So over the coming week (and during class this afternoon) we will seek to solve this issue.

We also will meet with Mike Ma to discuss his impression of the site and different ways for us to improve the overall appearance and function of the site.

A big part of our practicum (which also serves as our final exam) will be the DH showcase.  The showcase will occur Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 from 10:00am- 1:00pm.  Jenn and I will present our final product to those in attendance.  We plan to walk the guests through each tab of the site and to explain the process we took in creating the site.  Along with presenting the site itself, we will share the overall experience we have had within our practicum placement.

Jenn and I feel very fortunate to work with Mike and his team of people!  We are blown away at the opportunities we have had to visit different events and social justice organizations.  Walking into English 4300 I thought I would be taking my writing beyond the scope of the classroom.  I expected to be responsible for writing content for organizations.  I did not expect to use technology to create avenues to present information.  My perception of English 4300 was wrong.  The scope of work was much broader than I had thought.  In English 4300 I was given the opportunity to learn how to create a website, to talk to members of the community and learn about the many aspects of social justice and harm reduction.

I look forward to bringing this website to the finish line!

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Weekly Roundup: Week 12

This past week in class we were instructed to take a sample of our writing and cut it up into sentence strips.  We then took those strips and exchanged them with a partner.  Each student then had to attempt to reconstruct the paragraph of our partner.

Jenn and I exchanged paragraphs and I was surprised to see just how hard this task was (despite the help I had from trying to match the cut lines).  Jenn was able to reconstruct my paragraph with only one error; however, it did take a fair amount of time and consideration.  My sentence transitions tend to lack cohesion with the sentence before, which subsequently created a difficult task for Jenn when she had to recreate my sentence order.

Writing is an art.

Earlier in the semester we brought a paragraph sample in and charted out how many word we have in an average sentence.  This challenged me in my writing to seek cohesion.  When I write I look to have short sentences.  Instead of using punctuation to prolong sentences I now seek to shorted and separate my thoughts.  This weeks class exercise showed me that in my quest to shorten my sentences I have lost some of the natural flow to my writing.  Sentences need to carry on information, which will lead to higher understandability in my writing.

As a visual learner I found this class exercise very beneficial.  It is amazing what you can see when you deconstruct a paragraph and lay it in front of yourself to analyze. The exercise allows you to see where information is lacking and where information is in excess.  Some sentences can be combined and others can be broken into parts.

The formation of sentences requires balance.

Not too much.

Not too little.

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This coming week I have two final papers to write.  One is for a Philosophy of Ethics class and the other is for English.  In writing these papers I will seek balance in paragraph formation.  My goal is to have sentences that share both known and unknown information.

 

Practicum Update: Week 12

This week Jenn and I are focusing on polishing the website.  We have gone over each section and looked for ways to bring cohesion.  Our main goal remains to accessibility for all guests.

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We have also gone over the video interviews that are featured on the site and have made a list of missing interviews.  We hope to get these done over the coming week.

In preparation for the upcoming DH Showcase we have began reflecting on our practicum experience  over the past 4 months.  Learning to navigate and work with Squarespace has been a learning curve for both of us, but we both feel that the experience was beneficial!

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Apart from the final product aspect of the practicum we both agree that the face-to-face opportunities have been extremely valuable and impactful!  At the start of our practicum we could not have imagined how meaningful the work we would do would be.  We had the opportunity to speak to members of the community and tour sites of harm reduction and outreach.  Our eyes were opened to the world of non-profit organization and the factors that contribute to caring for those in need.

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Drug War Survivors Workshop
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Wish Centre Tour
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Wish Centre Tour
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Wish Centre Learning Room
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Union Gospel Mission Site Visit 

It is my hope that the encounters with non-profit social justice organizations in our community will continue long after our practicum concludes!  My eyes have been opened and this is truly just the start of a long journey of advocacy and care!

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In-Class Reflection: Week 12- DH Showcase Preparation

 

In-Class Reflection: Week 12- DH Showcase Preparation

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The summer semester is quickly coming to an end and with that comes the final portion of English 4300!  Today in class we discussed the DH Showcase, which will function as the final exam portion of our class.  The showcase will happen August 3, 2016.

The showcase will occur in THREE parts:

  1.  Each student will present a short 2.5 minute overview of the experience had in English 4300.  This presentation will be imbedded on to Prezi and will highlight different mediums used throughout the course.  Because I did not present on a digital network (as I was exempt from this portion of the course because of my contribution in the DHSI field study) I will simply present through WordPress.  I will work on a blog post featuring my experience of English 4300 over the coming week.
  2. Each practicum group will present on the result of their practicum.  Jenn and I look forward to showcasing the new SJC website.  A sneak peak of this site can be found here.
  3. The DHSI presenters will present on the experience had attending an academic conference.  Jenn, James and myself will briefly share about our experience as undergrads at a academic conference.

Because I was was part of the DHSI field study group I will be presenting during each portion of the afternoon.

Greg will make a handout for all the attendees of the showcase.  In this handout there will be a 50 word write up on each student in the class that also includes a hyperlink to the various blogs.

The following is the write-up I intend to include for the pamphlet:

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In considering the workload of the final weeks of the semester, the three piece contribution required for the showcase came as a surprise and caused some stress.  However, in the end I am sure this will be beneficial and successful.

I am looking forward to learning the outcome of the other practicum groups!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Roundup: Week 11- Invitational Rhetoric

Weekly Roundup: Week 11- Invitational Rhetoric

In chapter 8 of Rhetorical Theory Timothy Borchers defines INVITATIONAL RHETORIC as:

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“A way of using rhetoric that invites understanding by creating a relationship with the audience based on equality, value, and self-determination” (Borchers 225)

Two primary objectives of the Invitational Rhetor:

  1. To bring for perspective (212)
  2. To create “external conditions that allow others to present their perspectives in an atmosphere of respect and equality” (212)

Essential to the role of the Invitational Rhetor is the questioning of his or her own perspectives (212).  The Invitational Rhetor uses storytelling and illustrations to present a perspective in a way that open conversation and reflection, but they do not depend on the audience agreeing (212).

Success is found when each audience member is allowed to “feel like they are a unique individual” (212)

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Invitational rhetoric is not persuasive based- it is  audience and conversation based.

In reading about invitational rhetoric I immediately thought about Wayne Fenske’s Philosophy (Foundations in Ethics) class I am taking this semester.

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The class is centred around thoughts of cultural philosophy and the movement from a “me vs. them” attitude towards a “us vs. them” attitude of thinking.  Within this class we discuss topics of Moral Philosophy.

Wayne’s approach to the class is a prime example of invitational rhetoric.  His goal is not to persuade; he seeks to invite conversation.  The class is student centred and celebrates diversity of thought.  Students are expected to critically engage with theories and are encouraged to come to genuine conclusions and opinions.  Wayne makes his position clear, illustrates his reasoning and explores other ideas of thought.  However, within his clear presentation of his thought he makes it clear that he does not want students to merely accept and repeat his thoughts.

The following is a question that was given to the class during an in-class essay:

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Wayne’s note after the question is key to his invitational approach to teaching.  He presents the author’s view and juxtaposes it against his own view.  He asks the student to consider both sides to the argument and formulate individual thought.

Sources: 

Borchers, Timothy A. Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2011. Print.

 

 

Practicum Update and In-Class Reflection: Week 11

This week my Practicum Update and In-Class Reflection are one and the same.  According the course syllabus todays class was dedicated to working on the various practicums in preparation for the DH Showcase, which is fast approaching.

Both Jenn and I have been volunteering at a community event in Langley all week.  Since we are the only two people assigned to our group we decided the best use of our time (and the best way to avoid traffic and driving) was to set up camp in a coffee shop and put some quality time into the set up of the Social Justice Centre website.

We spent 3.5 hours working in Mc Burnie’s Coffee house in Langley and our time there was very productive!!  After some technical difficulties and lost work, we were able to get a great rough construction of the whole site done.  **Lesson learned: don’t have two computers working on the same tab on Squarespace at the same time because the site won’t register both changes at once.**

We look forward to showing Mike Ma our work and to putting the finishing touches on it over the next two weeks!

Today was an exciting day for both Jenn and I.  We were able to see the work of the past few months start to take shape in the form of a finished product.  The new SJC webpage is going to be simple, eye-catching, professional and accessible.  One of our main goals in the construction of this site is accessibility.  We want the site to be easily understood by various guests and to also to be a functional tool for the SJC team after Jenn and I finish our semester.  Each section can be easily edited by team members.  There is lots of room for change and expansion in every section.

We have the site systematically categorized.  There will be tabs for the following:

  1. Local Organizations 
  2. Key Players 
  3. Past Involvement and Projects 
  4. Contact Information 

Under Local Organizations we have a brief description of various social justice based groups and have embedded links to key websites.

Under Key Players we have embedded videos we filmed featuring various community members who take part in social justice.  Each individual speaks on a different area of social justice that is of interest to them.

Under Past Involvement and Projects we have a list of past events and projects that the SJC has taken part of.  We also have a photo gallery with pictures and brochures from the various events.

For Contact Information we have the Kwantlen Polytechnic University address, which is also pinned on an embedded google maps.  As a key contact person we have listed Mike Ma’s email address.

Click here and here and here for a few sneak peaks of videos that will be featured on the SJC website!

The following is a sneak peak of various aspects of the website:

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A preview of the Home Page
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The cover page for featured local organization of social justice

 

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The set up of the Local Organizations page– each organization has a small write up and a picture
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A snippet of our featured past projects
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Cover page for Key Players
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First section of information shown under Key Players