Reflective Statement ~ Tony Shilling

As the future ever-presses-on as intensely as possible, the realization that nothing is ever going to be an easy break and life proceeds to only be more difficult; those with the mistiest of eyes look fondly on the past, longing for the simpler times when life had the “anything goes” mentality and the intensity of the modern age had not yet begun.

I am not one of those people, and my eyes are not misty.

Challenges to overcome are possibly the most fun that can be had in just about any situation.  There might not be anything as thrilling as a due date looming just hours away with only a paragraph completed; the rush sets in, the brain starts to pump engines, and the exhilaration of creative spark commences.  Lord knows, College Composition II was a challenge.  There was no “growing pains” period; I was sitting above a dunk tank with a shark in the water, and Professor Hodges was certainly prepared to through the pitch.  Luckily, this tank proved to be fairly roomy, and buoys in the shape of Core Values and guidelines to grab onto made avoiding the shark all the easier.  The threat still loomed, but was much easier to avoid.

These Core Values are nothing new to me and have been incorporated into my writing in the past; each one has a specific in place in practically all of my work.  Value III, for example, states that a paper needs to “Understand how texts represent meaning and how the processes of writing and reading create and interpret meaning.”  In my Visual Argument, I chose to interpret a video made by the Ad Council, which discussed arthritis being a threat to the people of America.  While I made the decision to display the Ad in an illustrated, and sarcastic, manner, the content understood the message being described in its essence.  The Council was attempting to make the point that arthritis is a very serious issue and needed to be just as prevalent as any war.  While my illustration was exaggerated, it drove home the ideals that America is a strong, imperialistic nation who handles her matters like men through the flag Presidential Address.  A unique perspective on a common understanding, certainly.

Factual evidence is just as important as any perspective interpretation, though.  Core Value V, or “Understand[ing] the role and use of information in writing,” is always a crucial element of any piece of writing; opinion pieces may work well in newspapers and art, but in a document reporting or persuading based in facts, facts technically need to be present.  The Rebuttal Argument essay demonstrated this in spades; when information on my topic of Marvel Comics suing its own artists for copyright infringement, there was a real drought of hard evidence of its wrongdoing.  Suddenly, when the search for facts intensified, a savior presented itself in extra details of the court trial Marvel v. Friedrich; the article provided additional information in that the ruling, in favor of Marvel, resulted in Friedrich paying out $17,000 that he did not have as well as losing the ability to boast himself as the creator of the character Ghost Rider.  This was just enough to slander Marvel in a light it had shone on itself; there was no “faulty” or “opinion” information, strictly the creative use of information to better my own perspective.

Lastly, Core Value VII is both the most important, and my personal favorite.  I am a true fan of the concept of power; I study it in all its definitions, adore its diverse portrayal in media outlets of what I am a fan, and tend to exemplify it in my own personal manner.  VII states that a writer needs to “Understand the power and ethical responsibility that comes with the creation of written discourse.”  Now, surely this is common sense.  Writing is never just to the pleasure of the author; the entire reason authors write in the first place is for possessing a large enough ego to believe that people actually care about what they have to say.  This is a concept of power in itself; ego is necessary for launching any sort of idea into physical being.  The difference is having the knowledge of using that power to convert audiences to an author’s will.  While all of my papers have my personal charm of strong outward bias and opinion, my Research Position paper is the major influence of my thought process here.  The entire paper outlined a power struggle between Marvel’s corporate and legal departments against its creators, in an attempt to make my devoted readers understand that Marvel took the role of a villain they might have written by those very employees facing legal action.  To better this, it became my objective to paint a clear picture that Marvel was taking the role of a logo more than people, unemotional and vile.  Luckily, the information that presented itself in my cited sources was enough to use my speech format to provide a persuasive enough standpoint to do exactly what I intended.  Of course, as for responsibility, I relied solely on facts and creative language; it was rather fortunate that Marvel made themselves look enough like a “bad guy” that all I was required to do was string it all together.  Hopefully I was enough of the hero I see myself as.  Comp II surely has given my the tools to be, now it is up to me to understand how to use them, and use them in ways better than others.

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1 Response to Reflective Statement ~ Tony Shilling

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is real argument, Tony, exceptional for that and a good example of why your work generally exceeds what is called for. Very nice. (Your rhetoric is too florid by half, but I can only hope in time you’ll cut that back yourself. If not, you won’t be the only writer to overwrite. Revel in it and live it up!)

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