Category Archives: Writing

What have I written? Why does it matter? — Ethan

It’s the end of the semester, and I have 47 pages of polished writing. What have I shown?

I believe I’ve given an example of a mutually positive relationship between the U.S. government and a mainstream print media outlet, due to which the public reaction to a foreign policy event was to some degree determined by the coverage given by the print media outlet. I have demonstrated the connection between the foreign policy aims of American foreign policy leaders during and after the Six-Days’ War and those advocated and legitimized by the print coverage of the War by the New York Times. Further, I have explicated the symbiotic relationship between sources of information thought to be authoritative and credible, and the disseminators of that information, in order to substantiate the logical basis for that relationship in this specific instance of foreign policy. Continue reading

How Hitting a Button Began to Change My World-Sabrina

On May 2nd at 8:00 am on the nose, I hit enter and Project G.I.R.L went live. It was accessible to the whole world, and I felt extremely exposed.

screenshot-54.pngThe way I had described it to my friends, was that I had a baby: I had been preparing in every way, shape, and form for months and then all of a sudden, one day, it just existed. It came into the world and seemed to take on a life of its own. I understand that this analogy is intense and a little crazy because it is. Continue reading

Assistant Teaching- Alec B.

I have finally reached my goal of being able to sit in classes of both middle school and lower school. At the moment, it is challenging trying to balance out class time with eighth grade and lower school, but I am managing to find times to get good experience. The remainder of my month will be tough as well because I need to choose whether to focus more on eighth grade, or fifth grade.

Continue reading

First Draft: Complete — Ethan

It’s a pretty good feeling, staring at page 47 of 47, at a draft that’s . . . rough, admittedly, but that also feels finished, feels completed. My mentor T. Olga has been looking over it this past weekend, and I’m anticipating her feedback and looking forward to refining my writing into a second draft. I’m sticking to my timeline well so far — I met my goal of finishing the first draft by May, and the second and third drafts by the time of my evaluation.

Another piece of my subsequent drafts will be formatting, of course, a different in-text citation style, and graphics. I haven’t had much experience with graphics before, but seeing as I’ve done intense analytical research into newspaper articles, parsing through them for several weeks, it would be useful to the reader if I condensed all that reading into a chart marking the evolution of the angle of the NYT’s coverage. Having done a preliminary ‘X’ chart, this is what the coverage looks like:

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 9.22.47 AM.png

From this, it’s visually clear that the coverage shifts from a description of the conflict itself to a nearly uniform coverage of the diplomatic battle that went on in the UN in the aftermath, with a particular focus on the Soviet and Israeli delegates, Alexsei Kosygin and Abba Eban.

There is also the matter of visualizing the relevant history and foreign policy. I took some inspiration for this from the Gantt chart I created back in sophomore year as part of T. Steve’s Design-Engineering Seminar. It’s meant to be used as an ultra-specific task planner, with flexibility to assign different types of tasks to different people over an indefinite period of time. Here’s how I adapted it for my purposes:

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.21.20 AM.png

Lastly, a quick update on publishing options: there is one for which a submission is due by May 15th, but with everything else going on up until the end of May, I won’t feel ready to submit for publication until the last few weeks of school.

 

Overall, exciting things all around going into the last month of fine tuning and reworking.

 

— EDM

Ça va . . . (part 3) — Ethan

Eight more pages! I’m finished with the entire media section, and started the synthesis of the history and the media narrative. Being at this point in the first draft is a similar feeling to being at the same point in my outline: I can envision the conclusion of my argument, and that’s supremely exciting. So far, this section has been the most fun to organize and structure, mainly because it’s my own — my own argument, that I get to craft to be the strongest it can be.

I’m doing well at listening to my willingness to write at any given time, and writing a few paragraphs here and there as I feel like it, or working through what I’ve written and rearranging points to my argument, and this seems to be how this particular paper wants to be written. Creating content still takes priority, most of the time, but for this section especially from time to time I spend a little bit here and there refining it.

I expect to finish the first draft by the end of the month, and then it’ll be time for T. Olga to sink her teeth into it — her words, not mine.

So it goes . . .

 

— EDM

Starting Nefertiti – Bella

This week, I started my extensive research on Nefertiti. I have been having some trouble with this chapter, because it is just about one person. There is so much to say about her and how she lived her life.  I don’t know yet how to best craft the way to present my understanding of her.  Do I locate her as wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, or Pharaoh? There are a lot of aspects to her that I could to zoom in on and elaborate on.   I began with researching Akhenaten, her husband, as well as his father. The reader needs to have some background of the family Akhenaten is coming from, as well as Nefertiti’s family.

Another struggle I am having is identifying and explaining all the different theories inside this Amarna period. There are a lot of different  scholars who argue that Nefertiti was pharaoh in her own right and some who argue that she was not. I have to account for both sides, and it is difficult to explain both. I want to accentuate the beauty and magic of Nefertiti while also making her immortal. It is my job to show and not tell her story, and try to paint a vivid enough picture for the reader.

Here is a sample I have from my Nefertiti chapter:

         Every pharaoh was viewed as divine, carrying the regal and magical bloodline of Horus. Essentially every member of every royal family in every dynasty transcended the material and mortality. They were  embodiments of nature.  Ancient Egyptian Religion was so synonymous and in touch with nature itself that to transcend Earth was to go further into nature. Akhenaten and Nefertiti, more so Nefertiti, surpassed this, and this idea of Nefertiti not just representing Godlihood but actually tying together mortality as well as this ascension through life itself will be further discussed in depth throughout this chapter.
Source for Photo:

Egyptian Museum Berlin, editor. “Nefertiti.” Society for the Promotion of the
Egyptian Museum Berlin, edited by Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian
Museum Berlin, http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com/c53.php. Accessed 9 Apr.
2018.

Transcribing is the Worst/Best – Sabrina

Transcribing…the enemy of any and all journalists. It is time consuming, tedious, and can even be soporific. Though at the same time, it invokes a sense of excitement.

But then I began to ask myself…why am I excited to transcribe my interviews if transcribing can be so dreary? Transcribing can be a pain: why am I excited for it? Turns out, I answered my own questions as I began to transcribe interview after interview.

As I was transcribing an interview I had with Gauri Kapoor (the founder and CEO of The Girl and I), I began to map out what her article would look like. I began to create sections, quotes, and format in my mind as I was typing and writing out her interview, and then it dawned on me: I was excited because I had concrete material and content.

Screenshot (21)

Trying to describe this and the excitement it brings is somewhat challenging, so here’s an analogy that might help: imagine you are a painter. You are about to start a new piece that you are going to put all of your energy towards. You walk into your studio, and you only have about three colors. So…you work with the three colors. You begin to create something amazing, but then you get more materials. You get more colors and brushes and your piece really starts to come to life.

My piece is this organization. I am putting everything I have into this organization, and I am beginning to get material. With each interview, I get new colors and brushes that are going to make my painting amazing; I get new perspectives and new stories that are going to make my organization amazing.

So as I do these mundane, dreary, and sometimes excruciating tasks, I let my creativity explode with new ideas and new ways to make my painting amazing

Inspired by the little things,

Sabrina Schoenborn

Founder and CEO of Project G.I.R.L


Image Citation:

Kapoor, Gauri. “Home.” The Girl And I, 2018, http://www.thegirlandi.com/.

Ça va . . . (part 2) — Ethan

I’ve written about twelve more pages (bringing the total to 35) summarizing the eleven front-page articles published by the NYT over the course of one month about the Six-Days’ War, while following some crucial themes throughout them all. This section of writing ended up being written differently than the historical section: I wrote for one to two hours each day that I worked on it, as opposed to one long burst of 4-5 hours, and I had it finished in three days

As they are now, I’m not 100% happy with the article summaries. Though I followed through with my intention to go through them one by one, in the order they were published, with a general discussion at the end about what they left the reader with, right now the summaries feel a bit repetitive and clunky. However, it’s difficult to weave too much connection into them because that material would be better suited for the discussion.

In this situation, the first-draft mentality prioritizes creating more content as opposed to refining existing content — for a woodworking analogy, perfecting the article summaries now, in the first draft, would be like fully sanding a piece of wood before I made all the cuts and carved my joints. What that means is I can’t be too attached to perfection at this stage — perfection, or as close as I can get to it, will come on its own in later drafts.

My progress is much the same as it was at the time of my last blog post. I’m still pulling from my outline, which has been incredibly helpful, as all outlines should be, still writing my first draft, and still enjoying the process. One difference is that now I’m beginning to consider options for publishing this paper, which T. Olga and I talked about at the beginning of the semester.

Well, so far, so good, I just need to keep writing — first the discussion on the articles and then the fun part: my very own argument that links the history and media together.

 

— EDM

The Countdown Begins… – Sabrina

IMG_9168.jpgProject G.I.R.L launches May 1st at 11:00pm……that means I have 29 days, 2 hours, 40 minutes and 38 seconds (and counting) until it launches and all of my focus is targeted towards doing whatever I need to do to allow it to launch on time.

My graphic designer has begun to polish the design, my web designer has the formatting complete and is beginning to set up the website, and I am transferring story after story into article form.

It is hard to not look down at my countdown and not immediately drop whatever I am doing and begin working on my project yet again. I find myself always wanting to go back to it… I always want to develop it and I never want to stop working on it.

It is now 29 days, 2 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds until Project G.I.R.L launches (yes….this is how I have been since April 1st).

I am both elated and utterly terrified. I am constantly going through the list of things that could go wrong, and the thought of someone being inspired by this organization.

So I put my focus forward for the week:

  • I have two interviews this week (One of which is Gauri Kapoor, Founder and CEO of The Girl and I)
  • I am transferring all of my interviews from audio to text (using Transcribe)
  • I am setting up social media platforms (a Facebook, an Instagram, and a Twitter)
  • I am having my web designer set up the basics of the website
  • And…I am remembering to breathe.

So I breathe and always keep going forward. Through lists and baby steps comes the bigger picture. Just because the finish line is getting closer, doesn’t mean I lose my pace.

Inspired by staying calm,

Sabrina Schoenborn

Founder and CEO of Project G.I.R.L


Countdown image courtesy of Countdown!! Developed by Sevenlogics, Inc.

Citations:

“Start the Countdown.” Shutterstock, 2015, http://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/start-countdown-356844833

Ça va . . . – Ethan

Just a simple post for this week. The title captures it pretty well — ‘it goes’ . . .

Today I finished up the history section of the first draft, and it stands at 21 pages, which is . . . a bit longer than I expected, and also a bit longer than I would like. I suppose it is better to have more material and need to whittle it down than it is to have too little material and to add fluff to make your desired length. Judging from how much of my outline is taken up by history, I’m estimating the first draft will end up being somewhere around 50 pages long — far longer than I want. The following drafts, then, will exercise my ability to condense and simplify while maintaining structure and not losing meaning.

I have an interesting relationship with this paper — it seems to want to be written in fits and spurts. I spent about four and a half hours today writing roughly six pages of text — my first writing session in nearly a week — which took most of the afternoon, and now I’m content to leave it for a few days before diving into the next section: the narrative set by the NYT’s coverage of the war. I’ll mull over how to attack it over the next few days, and probably later this week I’ll sit down and hammer out a course of action. I’m grateful that I left myself this luxury of time to be able to think about how I’ll formulate my writing. . .

Long research papers all have different characters, but I think I’m figuring this one out — how it behaves, how it wants to be written — and I’m learning to work with it, one section at a time.

So for now, ça va.

 

— EDM