Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Statistics and Analogies

During class we were asked to find the answers to these questions:
  • How many people watched the 2nd presidential debate?
  • What is the US population?
  • How many people watched the 1st presidential debate?
  • How many viewers watch Dancing with the Stars?
  • How many viewers watch the Super Bowl?
To answer the first question, about 65.6 million people watched the 2nd presidential debate. The United State population, as reported by the public data section on, was 311.5919 in July 2011. About 67.2 million people watched the 1st presidential debate. Dancing with the Stars won the most-watched TV show in it's hour and had about 12.92 million viewers for it's last show. The last Super Bowl, February 5th 2012, had around 111.3 million viewers. As the game went on, it rose to 111.7 million viewers.

 Now here are some analogies:
Close to twice as many people watched last years Super Bowl than the 2nd presidential debate.
20% of Americans watched the 2nd presidential debate.
1 in 5 Americans watched the 2nd presidential debate.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Crime on College Campuses

This exercise is meant to teach us that numbers are our friends. The topic is crime on college campuses, which is available on each college or university's website. I looked up the crime rate at Moravian College and found that There was a total of 240 Part I and Part II crimes on their campus. They have about 1,700 students. There was also 43 liquor violations, and 8 drug violations.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Reports Gather Information

This is a team blog, done with a partner. The topic is school shootings and we were asked to research articles and find how a writer gathers and verifies information, how the writer handles quotes and attributions, and how the writer obtains background information.

The first article was from the Huffington Post titled "Oklahoma School Shooting: 1 Dead in Suicide at Stillwater Junior High School." The writer interviewed many people, mostly students, but also included the police captain and parents. There was also information from the superintendent. Much of the background information on what happened was from the child's friends and witnesses of what happened. Quotes were mainly used from the students. There was also a decent amount of background information from the police, explaining why this may have happened and how the weapon came to be in the hands of an eighth grader.

The second article we looked at was from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The writer interviewed many first hand witnesses and obtained much of his background information from medical records and police statements.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Profile Article

This post is an extension of the previous one. Writing an article on a deadline is tough, but doable. The profile piece was a little harder than the first one when writing it on a deadline. Choosing a person to write a profile on was one of the hardest parts because, while there are many interesting people out there, it's hard to make what they do news and relavent to other people. The other challenging aspect of this piece was finding people to interview. It needed to be someone that knew the person but was also tied in with what I am writing about. Doing those two things along with getting the interviews and writing the actual piece is what made the profile article much more challenging to write on a deadline than the first article.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Writing on a Deadline

Writing on a deadline is nothing especially new to me. I've always had to write papers for this class or hand in a letter to this person. You could also consider taking the GREs analytical writing section writing on a deadline.

Unlike all of those above examples I have never been given a topic and told to write about whatever is news in that field and have it be sent in by the end of a class period, along with using two interviews to help support my content (which is the next article due in class). While at first I thought it was going to be like the GREs I soon realized that while that is both on a previously unknown topic and timed, it did not require (or even allow) an outside interview on the topic. This seems as though it's going to be about mastering time management more than anything.

Interviewing is also one of my weaknesses. I've noticed when writing the first two articles that I've needed to give myself plenty of time to come up with good questions and I am quite terrible at coming up with questions on the spot. That is going to be one of my biggest challenges with this in class article. As long as I manage my time wisely I should be able to come up with what is relevant about my topic, come up with useful questions to ask my interviewees, and write a well-structured and useful article. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Using Analogies

I haven't had to write an analogy in a very long time, so here goes my best attempt at one!

This weeks exercise is to write an analogy explaining the following numbers:
"The student council's budget is $350,000. The university has 19,000 students. The local city budget is $3 million. The city has 70,000 residents." This is from my textbook, News Reporting and Writing.

The student council's budget is to $350,000 as my loan amount is to $100,000.
The university's population is to minimal as a state school's population is to maximal.
The local city budget is to $3 million as TLC is to Discovery Channel.
The city is to 70,000 residents as a box of pencils is to 20.

I think I got the hang of it more towards the end, but those are what I came up with! It was a lot harder than I originally thought it was going to be.

Why Do I Want to Be a Genetic Counselor?

Ever since I started really thinking about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I knew it was genetic counseling. Something hit home in my mind when one of my mother's friends lost a baby due to a genetic disease. I knew I wanted to help families get through that, help find options for them. So when I started my first year of undergraduate studies at University of the Sciences that was my dream job. Now, three years later and about to apply to graduate school, I know I've made the right choice for my future. I've always wanted to do something where I was working with people but I also loved science. When this option came to my attention I just knew it was for me. I get to help people deal with some of the most important parts of their lives and I also get to do it in a field that I am very passionate about. I just hope that I get accepted into a genetic counseling program at graduate school!