Both Filak and Knight try to convey to us, the readers, that attention must be kept throughout an article. I know as a consumer of news and casual articles myself, it is extremely difficult to keep me interested because there is so much false information out there. When I’m reading anything, I always question the writer and wonder if anything I’m reading is accurate. This is mostly due to me growing up in this day in age, when fake news is at its peek, and doesn’t seem to be subsiding any time soon.
Another really difficult thing I find for writers to do is to be fresh and come up with newer things to write about. It seems as though most of the things we read in the media have been done before. If this is the case, Filak and Knight recommend being able to relate with the readers and intrigue them. That way if the information has been done many times before, you can at least have a more interesting and different take on it.
When students need help navigating the financial aid process, Ty Thomaswick is there for them. She is the first face they see when they enter, and the last voice they hear as they leave.
Ty Thomaswick was born in Piqua, Ohio. “What could I say about Piqua? Well… it’s a very small town with mostly farmland. I liked it though. It was home.”
Thomaswick has long been involved with her town church, and when her church moved down to Georgia in the summer before her senior year of high school, she decided to follow along at the young age of 17. Looking for colleges in the state, she became interested in Piedmont College, later becoming a Resident Assistant of GB and Swanson. “Piedmont was such a great environment for me, and I loved my classes and teachers. The education here is very special.” After graduating, she was looking for places to work, and figured that her alma mater would be the best for her, as Thomaswick loves helping young people and was ready to transition into this workplace. She was hired as a financial aid assistant in 2018, “… one of my majors is in business, so I knew when the opportunity came up it was something I could do,” she said. “I’ve always loved helping students with whatever comes up.”
When she’s not crunching numbers or filling out files, Ty Thomaswick loves to do crafts, music, cooking, hiking and playing board games with her husband, to whom she has been married for two years now. She is also still in her church choir, in which she sings and plays instruments such as the piano, violin, guitar and standard keyboard.
Thomaswick encourages students to take advantage of their time at Piedmont. “… get involved on campus and take advantage of every opportunity you can get your hands on,” she said. “This is only four years, so make every second count.”
“I wanted to be a high school baseball coach,” says Zach Swindell, a second year student at Piedmont College, about his difficulty in securing his desired major. He first attended a junior college before making the switch to Piedmont College, and during his previous college years he delved into a physical education major due to his wanting to teach the upcoming youth about the importance of physical activity. However, upon realizing Piedmont College didn’t offer said major, he decided to give a sports communication major a try. Zach Swindell was intimidated at first, but with a positive attitude and a wonderful atmosphere, he easily fell in love with it.
Zach Swindell, born in Newnan, Georgia, has been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. Sports, in general, have always been a major part of his life, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Coming from a gargantuan high school, he says that joining the Piedmont College baseball team is like a breath of fresh air, stating that “Being a part of a small family like that gives me the opportunity to make a lot of life long friends. I do believe that the people I meet here now will be with me for life.”
When asked what he would tell students going into his major, he lead with a hearty smile and said “Enjoy it! How can you dread something you love doing?”
In chapter 3 of Knight’s book, ‘ledes’ are heavily touched on. In my experience, I have always liked a very interesting lede, but I hate it when the writer gives too much away. The trick is to write a thorough enough lede that allows the reader to completely follow you, while also leaving them wanting more, thus being more intrigued in your writing. It’s all about grabbing the readers attention, not giving them the entire story off the bat! Let the reader feen a little. Let them wait.
In chapter 3 of Filak’s book, citing is discussed. In English class, we are taught to cite everything and anything that can be cited. Underciting is specifically a big problem that English professors like to get on students about. However, Filak mentions that this isn’t a problem, nor is overciting. As long as you don’t stray from your original source, citing should be a one and done type of thing. Changing sources, however, is a different story. Then, only then, should you begin to cite again.
Chapter 4 of Knight’s book was absolutely a drag to read, but I did appreciate that it explained how not to conduct an interview. Due to me wanting to be a journalist later in life, it is crucial that my interview be extremely professional. I am one of those people who asks too many questions because I always am afraid that I won’t ask enough. By the end of the interview, I’ve learned about my subject’s entire life. When I am the one being interviewed, I very much like to be asked somewhat personal questions. I feel as though it brings the interviewer and interviewee closer together. I suppose that ties in with Filak, seeing as though that reading assignment explained that knowing your interviewee before conducting said interview always creates a better outcome. Filak’s chapter also helped explain exactly why multiple sources are necessary for a good story. Who wants to read something that is so flat and only can be confirmed by a single person? By finding more sources, your creation has more depth and even more credibility.
Chapter 5 honestly made me ponder. I sat there after reading wondering if I over use words. The “wordiness” chapter 5 was speaking of is prevalent in some of my writing, however not all. I liked how the chapter said that cutting too many words would make reading whatever you were writing unentertaining and unbearable. Due to this, I will try my best to assist my writing by making sure my words are quick and concise, but not too watered down.
In chapter 6, it speaks of active and passive voice. In my daily life, I happen to get the two mixed up quite frequently, even though I speak fluent English! Though, as the chapter says, it’s one of the hardest things to grasp in the English language. I especially mix the two up when I am speaking quickly or am either speaking in front of a crowd and become nervous. This chapter has very much helped me find the differences between active and passive voice, and I will most likely be doing some of the exercises the book gave to attempt to solve my grammar issues!
I used to be afraid of the written word. Now I embrace it.
When writing, I’ve always found myself to be naturally troubled. I’m not some Ernest Hemingway. Heck, I’m not even a Dr. Seuss. However, my writing can take me places nothing else can. Places that don’t even exist half of the time! I’ve learned that you can’t just take words and mash them together. You must weave them, burn them even, into the page. Or screen, if you’re into that.
Overall, the feel of the first chapter was very inviting and actually more helpful than I could’ve imagined. The K.I.S.S. principal spoken of in this book is very much appreciated and also cleverly worded. No one wants to read something they have to dig through and look at with a magnifying glass. They want to feel the words and understand them the first time around. Hearing things you don’t could possibly cause you to put down whatever it is you’re reading. Though, as the book also says, no one wants to be spoken to as a five year old except, well, an actual five year old. Think about how offensive it would be to read something with solely simple words.
The book also speaks of journalistic writers not focusing on adapting a style, but to work on “…developing writing skills.” Knight’s phrase speaks to me immensely because I most definitely have no style in writing. For years, I was worried about how my writing would come across to other people, mainly my important peers. Would they understand me? Had I made sense? Did I use a “flowey” enough word order. Well, as Knight says, the English language is gigantic and difficultly crafted, so there is no right or wrong way to say anything. Your style comes from the way your writing skills are developed. Long story short, everyone is different. Let’s be different together.