Friday, February 8, 2013

College Life: Check Me Out

          If you are curious about what or how I am doing in college, here is a taste.  It was suggested to me by a bloggy friend that I should post work from time to time.  Now, these pieces are just discussion pieces, and not full assignments.  The discussions are set up so that students can learn from one another.  The first discussion is about how to write to a strong thesis.  I realize you do not have the text to go with my piece, but work with me, k.  The second discussion is analyzing a narrative written by Mr. Steve Martin after his father died.  We were asked to identify the types of narrative he used, his thesis, and his intended audience. I will put the link to the article at the end of my discussion piece.  Enjoy!  

          My family tells me that I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.  I don’t know for certain if that is entirely true, but as I read through the construction of a thesis, I thought about the construction of a recipe. 
            First, you need all the ingredients to make the cookies.  I have started to make cookies only to discover that I was missing an essential ingredient.  When we are creating our thesis we need to make sure all of our ideas are in order.  This will help to generate ideas for the thesis.  Once you have that thesis in mind, and the ideas are there you can begin to write.  A good story, essay, or paper will hook its reader.  If I tell my kids that I am making cookies, they will immediately ask me, “What kind?” I hooked them by telling them that I was going to be making cookies.  The way I am going to support that is by telling them I will be making chocolate chip cookies.  I have made an assertion to the topic. 
            In our text, it tells us to think of our thesis as a discussion that we are having with our readers.  It also gives us a checklist; or ingredient list.  It gives us the recipe for writing a strong and comprehensive essay.  I have the chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized.  I know exactly what I need every time I make them.  A beginner would not know how much flour to use, or when to add it in to the mix.  As we write, we need to support our topic sentence and build on the assertion (the thesis.) This is our body, or main ingredients of the recipe.  As we close the paper, we must signal to the reader, that we are closing the paper.  In the chocolate chip cookie recipe the last ingredient added is of course, chocolate chips.  Then, finally the cookies are baked.  As long as we follow the recipe, the end result will be as good as chocolate chip cookies.


When I think of Steve Martin, I always think of the “wild and crazy” guy from SNL.  I also think of his countless movies.  He is extremely talented as an actor and a comedian.  The article he wrote was such a bittersweet tribute to his father, and it showed a more serious and sensitive side of Martin. 
            In his article, Martin used creative tension, moral and clear concrete visuals.  He gave clear visuals of the 1957 family Chevy that his father gave to him when he turned 16.  The creative tension he wrote about was between himself and his father as they clearly loved each other but never actually said it until the very end.  Martin learned from his father’s death that the living have a responsibility to the dying.  Martin’s sister later told him that no one should die alone.   
            I believe the thesis of Martin’s article was how much he wanted to be a good son to his father.  In the end, his father cried because of all the love he had received and never gave back.  I also believe that Martin’s intended audience is and can be virtually everyone.  The article can be read and appreciated by fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, brothers and sisters alike.  If you have lost a loved one, this article would touch you in some way.