Who is Going to Share the Stories that Matter, and How Will They Share Them?

My answer to this question would be simply that anyone can share a story, and they can and should share it in any way that they feel will make the story most interesting. I felt this answer was pretty obvious, but still decided to explore it a little more to see if my answer had any support. To support my answer I used a book by Sandra Cisneros titled The House on Mango Street, William Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were, and William Hicks’ article “Trump Supporters Boycotting Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ Over Rumors Reshoots Added Anti-Trump Scenes”.

I started by looking at The House on Mango Street, and found that it supports my answer pretty well. The novel shows how anyone can tell any story they want, even if it may only be important to them, and any style can be used to share it. Throughout the novel, the author speaks through the narrator so it is really the narrator who helps answer the question in this way. The narrator in this novel is constantly telling stories of things that happened to her that may not seem important to the reader, but these stories were really important to her so she decided to share them. Sometimes, she does so in ways that can sometimes make the reader realize the importance of these moments for the narrator. One example of this is in the short chapter “A Rice Sandwich”, in this chapter the narrator describes how she wanted to eat in the school cafeteria instead of going home to eat every day. (P. 43“The canteen! Even the name sounds important.” and P. 45 “In the canteen, which was nothing special, lots of girls and boys watched while I cried…”). At first the story seems boring and plain, but then the author has the narrator go more in depth about her own feelings about the cafeteria and show the hopes she has for it. Then, at the end of the chapter the narrator is yelled at by a nun and, although she gets to go into the cafeteria, cries. The way the author has the narrator tells this story makes the reader sympathize with her and also lets him/her find importance in this not so important story, and maybe along the way helps the reader realize to be nice to people–since some small things they don’t think are important may mean the entire world to someone else. Another example is the chapter “Those Who Don’t” which talks about racial stereotypes and discrimination. This chapter is really short and tells a really simple story of people coming into the neighborhood where the narrator lives and feeling threatened, but the narrator knows that the people they are threatened by aren’t threatening at all. Also, it goes full circle in the end saying this same thing happens when she goes into someone else’s neighborhood that is a different race. The author must’ve found the idea of discrimination really important, so she decided to share her take on it through the narrator and gives an interesting perspective on the subject. This shows how someone can take any idea or story they find important and can share it to try and spread the idea to others, and she does so effectively by showing the impact it has on children, by telling it from the perspective of the narrator. (P. 28 “Those who don’t know any better… that is how it goes and goes.”). So most of this novel agrees with my answer that stories that anyone cares about should be shared. However, there are a few chapters in this novel that tell stories that don’t even seem to matter to the narrator, have a reason for being shared, or are told in ways that make it hard for the reader to understand what they’re saying. For example, in a chapter titled “And Some More” the narrator tells a strange story about clouds that is very abstract and hard to comprehend. The narrator and her friends are looking up at the clouds and start giving them names, but then use these names to insult each other and eventually the reader doesn’t even know what’s going on and the formatting gets really strange. (P. 37 “Yeah, and you’re foot fleas, that’s you… Mimi, Michael, Moe…”). This complicates my answer since there seems to be no reason behind the story being told, and it’s told in such a way that most people reading it won’t even be able to understand the story. If the reader can’t understand what is happening then is a story really being shared or is it just meaningless words on a piece of paper? Maybe there was a personal reason that the author felt like she or the narrator should share this story, but I don’t really know. Even with these few chapters that complicate my answer, I feel like this book really supports my original answer  and I believe it could still apply to this book. But, I feel like the way someone shares a story is really up to them and they aren’t required to share it in a way that makes other people care about it. This book makes it seem like the answer to this question is really broad since so many of the stories don’t seem to really matter. Maybe anyone can share any story they want and it’s really just up to individuals to decide if and how they are going to share stories. So, I decided to look at more sources and see if they shared the same answer to this question.

    According to my other sources anyone can write a story, about whatever they want, and in any format they want. This can range from a science writer writing a book about vanishing predators (William Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were) to a writer for a news site called Heat Street talking about anti-Trump messages in Star Wars, in the form of an article (William Hicks’ article “Trump Supporters Boycotting Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ Over Rumors Reshoots Added Anti-Trump Scenes). They both support this answer in their own ways. In William Stolzenburg’s book, he starts by describing why he felt the need to write the book, how it all started. He was attending the fourteenth annual meeting of the Society for Conservative Biology at the University of Montana in Missoula as a science writer, he was supposed to be writing about many of the 400 or so presentations, when he came across a presentation about the impact of vanishing predators in the environment. He said that he was so captivated by this idea and presentation that he forgot about going to watch and write about any other presentations, and just sat there watching this one for hours. He then went on to say how his love for this subject was his bias, and that what he saw that day is what made him want to write this book. Soon after the meeting he went Yellowstone National Park to look for grizzly bears and when he luckily saw a family of them he remembered “why this book for all its inherent hazards, needed writing.” (p.5) and he said even to this day he remembers that when he looks at the notes he took. This shows that anyone who cares about something can and should write about it. In his case he already happened to be a science writer, but even if you aren’t you can still write something even if it’s as simple as a blog post, or maybe just some notes on a piece of paper like he did so at least you remember. He shows with his final lines of the prologue that you should write when you know it’s about something that people need to know about. Writing, according to this book is a way to spread information to the public and help better life and the world, including predators in the environment. This book also shows how stories should be written by people who can write for the people who can’t or are afraid to. Many of the ideas in this book aren’t original, as seen by the ridiculously long bibliography (p.223-278) but he still writes it and it is still very important. Stolzenburg is spreading other’s ideas and doing it in a way that is easier for the general public to understand so everyone can try and do something to help his cause of conservation. On the other hand, the article I chose helps to answer my question simply because the topic it is on doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it still got written and people are still going to believe what it says. Also, within the articles there were some tweets that are shown and they prove that anyone can tell a story, even if it’s just some random guy typing a 10 word story about Star Wars being anti-Trump for a whole bunch of people that don’t know him to read. This article just shows the expansiveness of what can be written about and who can write about it. So, these sources agreed with my answer and helped support it a lot, but one way they seem to kind of go against it is that the people who wrote both of them are both writers. So, in that sense it doesn’t really go against my answer, but it also doesn’t prove my point. These articles actually make me consider changing my question instead of the answer since the answer to it seems so simple. But, I still think it’s a good question to look at because maybe not all people think about this as they read a story, and maybe thinking about this question will make someone realize they can share their own story no matter who they are.

Overall, looking at these sources just further supported the answer I had and, if anything, made me think I should’ve looked at a more specific question. Still, like I said before, this question is an important one to consider because if we don’t think about who shares stories now we could be in big trouble if those people stop, because stories are what keeps society going. Stories give hope for a better future, show how things could be worse, and also provide other views of many issues. Without stories everyone would be stuck in their own head and their own little world not considering others, so it’s important to recognize and thank those who take the time to write and share them.

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Problems

Every day is filled with tons and tons of problems. The reason life is interesting because there are so many problems with it. And the reason life can be fun and good is because problems cause bad times that make you feel good when you get out of them. Life is basically a line from birth and death that is just dotted with problems, and although that may not be the greatest image it is pretty true. Even biological things such as your body just experience more and more problems until it just can’t deal with problems anymore, and that’s basically what leads to death. And the worst thing about problems is that the thing they usually lead to is more problems.

The reason I’m talking about problems is because today I went with my aunt to pick up her trailer so we can go camping during winter break, but of course we get there only to find out that she was sold the wrong type of cord needed to tow the trailer. That was definitely a problem. This problem took what was going to be an easy, possibly fun trip to get a trailer and turned it into a wretched and hateful and wasted journey with absolutely no rewards (unless you consider anger a reward). So, like always, problems turned a straightforward thing into a complicated one which just led to more problems.

Even though the trip was frustrating, one good thing did come out of this problem (kind of). I got to see how people react differently to problems. One person, my aunt, got super upset and also a bit angry, another one got very mad at the person who messed up, and yet another person tried to make jokes to lighten the mood. I, on the other hand, stayed silent throughout the whole thing because: 1) that’s who I am and that’s my response and 2) I wanted to observe how everyone else acted. What I saw was as I described above and it was interesting to see how all of this different emotions worked together. The guy trying to lighten the mood managed to do so to some extent which then made my aunt, who was sad, become not as sad which then led to the person who was super angry calming down a bit as well. All in all, they all worked out together and I find it neat that it happened that way. I feel like the reason people are all different is because nothing would get done if they weren’t. If everyone was the same no new thoughts would come about. If everyone in the trailer had gotten angry, they just would’ve made each other angrier and everything would’ve gone bad, but instead the problem was resolved because that person was able to be calmed down by the other types of people.

Although life is just riddled with problem, evolution and the wide variety of people in the world and in everyone’s lives helps us overcome them.

The Difference Between a Riot and a Protest

When hearing these two words, everyone probably puts them into different categories. To most of us, I assume, a riot is dangerous and has a negative connotation to it while a protest is more peaceful and sounds like it’s for a specific cause. These are the things I associate them when they pop into my head so I definitely consider them different, but at the same time both of them have to do with a group of people and happen because that group wants change, so what’s the real difference. The answer is simply just the violence involved, but still, when it comes to human emotions they are definitely biased so when it comes to an actual situation, what one person may consider a riot may seem like a simple protest to someone else.

An example of this is the North Dakota Pipeline Protest. Even though protest is in its name many people, especially the police in that area consider it a riot because of the sheer amount of people and the relentlessness of them ( This article describes this in greater detail). I can’t provide a real insight for this situation because I haven’t seen it, but it definitely seems that how people view it really depends on what side their on, and the word riot may be being used when it shouldn’t be since it seems mostly the police are attacking the protesters, but at the same time the protest is getting a little out of hand. I am personally conflicted over this because I respect the police and think they just try to do what’s good for the public, but I also believe the protest is for a good cause. Also, I recently read that the protest was successful so even if it was a riot it got the job done. Nothing can be done by only one person, so sometimes maybe it’s necessary to have a protest that verges on a riot in order for real change to happen. All throughout history changes and revolutions have been started by the masses, its how the US freed itself from the control of Britain, so I believe this protest was in order.

The real difference between a protest and a riot is violence, but when it comes down to it they are both very similar and one could easily lead to the other, so maybe the difference isn’t that big of a deal. What is a big deal is that by speaking out and working with others change can happen, and if it doesn’t get too violent this change can come about smoothly and improve the lives of some people, because this is the people’s country.

(just to be clear I do not support violent riots, I just support change when it’s needed)

The Week of Interviews: The Interviewer

There are always at least two sides to every story, and everything that happens must be composed of several different roles. This can be as small as taking a step which may not seem like much work, but really there are many things happening at once that allow that step to be made, and the ability to make that step even goes back and connects to you breathing. The point is that everything has multiple components and therefore can be seen in many different ways. In my case, it was an interview. In one week I was interviewed for and internship and interviewed my grandpa about his life. Both were very different, and looking at an interview from a different way affected me differently each time. Here’s the story of me interviewing my grandfather:

The role of the interviewer and interviewed can change drastically depending on the type of interview. When I was interviewed it was for a position adding to the intimidation of it, but when I was interviewing someone else it was just to hear about their life making it a peaceful (not at all stressful experience). When I interviewed my grandfather I wasn’t sure what I expected. I figured he would talk about experiences in his life such as serving in the army and then maybe how those experiences changed him. But I was surprised to here him skim over most of the experiences of his life and go on to those of his children. He didn’t say anything about what he did for a living but could describe in great detail what my mother did for a living, including all of the positions she has had and when she got promoted. I wish I could’ve seen more into why he didn’t talk about himself as much, maybe he thinks that his experiences are out of date, or maybe he is just so proud of his children that he couldn’t help but focus on them. I may not ever know though because I didn’t ask, and that’s the hardest thing about being the interviewer. You are given the power to ask this person or people any question, but you have to choose wisely because you may not have time to ask a lot. When I was sitting there with my grandpa I didn’t even know what I wanted to ask so I just let him talk and took the backseat. I am not at all upset with the things I got from him, but I still wish I could’ve asked him more. So while being interviewed is just you hoping you’ve told everything you can, being the interviewer is trying to make sure you’ve asked everything you can.

Being the interviewer gives you much more power and knowledge than getting interviewed. Overall I enjoy it much more, but I can imagine that if you had to interview many people and then choose who to hire it may not be as easy going. In another post I describe my time being interviewed, although under much different circumstances, and talk about more of the difference between being interviewed and interviewing someone else.

The Week of Interviews: The Interviewed

There are always at least two sides to every story, and everything that happens must be composed of several different roles. This can be as small as taking a step which may not seem like much work, but really there are many things happening at once that allow that step to be made, and the ability to make that step even goes back and connects to you breathing. The point is that everything has multiple components and therefore can be seen in many different ways. In my case, it was an interview. In one week I was interviewed for and internship and interviewed my grandpa about his life. Both were very different, and looking at an interview from a different way affected me differently each time. Here’s the story of me getting interviewed:

It was a Monday night, only 6:00 pm but still pitch black out. I got to the place where the interview was to be held about ten minutes early, and sat there waiting. It was a group interview but only two of the three people had gotten there so we waited and talked to our interviewer a little bit. I was very nervous the entire time, I had been practicing and I knew I was worthy of the position, but as we sat there talking I couldn’t make myself calm. The talking helped a little but not really, and by the time the third person arrived I was still on the verge of breaking down. But I didn’t let it show and got through the interview so I would say it was quite a success. I feel that there were some questions I could’ve answered better and there were a few moments during it that I felt the people around me seemed a bit more experienced than me, but still I never let it show. The really hard part of the interview, though, is still going on as I write this: I have to wait for the results. Waiting can be very difficult when it’s for something important and right now that’s how I feel. I keep dissecting every part of the interview in my head thinking about things I did well and things I could’ve done better, but none of it helps. When thinking about interviews from the perspective of the person being interviewed, I’ve realized they are quite scary just because of how much of it leaves you in the unknown. I know the interviewer took notes but I don’t know what they were about, I know the interviewer listened but I don’t know what she wanted to hear or if she liked what she did hear, and I know that everyone who got interviewed is getting ranked but I don’t know how far up or down I am on that list. Anything with high stakes can seem scary and difficult, and interviews are no exception.

Being the interviewed is much scarier than being the interviewer since you are left so much in the dark. In another post I describe my time being an interviewer, although under much different circumstances, and talk about more of the difference between being interviewed and interviewing someone else.