Claims – iwantpopsicle

“Meanwhile people like James Peterson, husband of Kateri of the Olive Garden breakdown, are signing up for experiments.”

  • This is a quantitative claim because it shows that James Patterson, and people like him, are signing up for these experiments. It is also comparative because it says “people like James Paterson”, comparing him to other veterans with similar situations or characteristics.

“With three kids, eight, five, and two, and Kateri’s full-time job—as a VA nurse, actually—she could no longer manage his emotional plus physical problems”

  • This is a quantitative and causal claim. This is because it not only states that Kateri has 3 children, but that it is one of the direct causes that she can no longer support Paterson’s emotional and physical problems.

“rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004.”

  • This is a factual claim. This is because it describes the injuries he received during his time in Fallujah. It is also a causal claim, as it claims that he had to get a neurological consultation for a traumatic brain injury.

“Chemical exposure, stress reaction, no one knows, but the skin cracks and opens up raw with lesions sometimes.”

  • This is a causal claim because it is describing the possible reasons as to why Paterson’s skin cracks and opens up with lesions. Even if they don’t know for sure, they are still attributing the cause to one of these possible things. This is also a categorical claim because it lists possible reasons.

“Kateri writes me that just moments after the injection, he “went from balls-to-the-wall PTSD to BOOM chill.”

  • This is a causal claim and a comparative claim. It is causal because Kateri is describing how the injection caused his emotional state to change. It is comparative because she compares his state before the injection to shortly after.

“…a server dropped a tray out of her periphery, setting her circulatory system off at a million miles a minute.”

  • This is a causal claim, as it describes what caused Kateri to start having a breakdown while she was working at her restaurant.

“He just ate his steak like nothing,” she says.”

  • This is a comparative claim because she uses “He just ate his steak like nothing” to describe how this man ignored her response to the tray falling and her having a breakdown because of it.

“When you’ve become hypervigilant, the place you are most functional is on the battlefield,”

  • This is a qualitative and causal claim. It is qualitative because it describes the characteristic of being hyper vigilant. It is causal because it explains that hyper vigilance is directly causal to being most functional on the battlefield, as opposed to anywhere else.

“…at this point is like a drug addict, needing stimulation to maintain it.”

  • This is a comparative statement because it compares Kateri’s heightened state and the maintenance it requires to being a drug addict craving a fix.

“or the first time since Iraq, her husband felt at peace, and was able to enjoy a steak dinner with his wife.”

  • This is a comparative statement because it compares Paterson’s ability to now enjoy a simply dinner with his wife, to the time period in which he couldn’t. It’s also quantitative because it labels this scenario with being the very first time.

“He just sat there,” Kateri says. His normalcy “was so distressing to me that I wanted to stab him.”

  • This is a causal claim because Kateri claims that she felt like she wanted to stab him because of how strange it was that he was just sitting there for once. This is a qualitative claim as well because she describes his behavior as “distressing”.
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1 Response to Claims – iwantpopsicle

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thanks so much for posting early, Pop. It will provide us a chance to model both your good work and the sort of feedback your classmates can expect when they post their Claims (Critical Reading) assignments.

    “Meanwhile people like James Peterson, husband of Kateri of the Olive Garden breakdown, are signing up for experiments.”

    This is a quantitative claim because it shows that James Patterson, and people like him, are signing up for these experiments. It is also comparative because it says “people like James Paterson”, comparing him to other veterans with similar situations or characteristics.

    —I agree, Pop. This “people like” technique turns a single anecdote into a group, adding the persuasiveness of numbers to the argument. (Similarly, the makers of the GOOD video claimed that “inmates have repeatedly volunteered to donate their organs.”)

    “With three kids, eight, five, and two, and Kateri’s full-time job—as a VA nurse, actually—she could no longer manage his emotional plus physical problems”

    This is a quantitative and causal claim. This is because it not only states that Kateri has 3 children, but that it is one of the direct causes that she can no longer support Paterson’s emotional and physical problems.

    —It’s clearly causal, blaming Kateri’s incapacity on the demands of childrearing. We might quibble about your other category choice, which I would call qualitative not quantitative. There are other claims here, I think. One, that she USED TO BE able to manage his problems, is contained in the phrase “no longer manage.” Another, that his problems must be Qualitatively very severe if EVEN a VA nurse could not handle them.

    “rheumatism consults, neuro consults for TBI, plus a burning rash on both feet he got in Fallujah in 2004.”

    This is a factual claim. This is because it describes the injuries he received during his time in Fallujah. It is also a causal claim, as it claims that he had to get a neurological consultation for a traumatic brain injury.

    —Very nice, Pop. But just a warning to anyone who wants to take refuge in the “factual claim” designation. Very few claims are MERELY factual. In any persuasive essay, FACTS are loaded with intention. They are used to make causal or categorical or qualitative (or other types of) claims. So, yes. These are factual claims. And, as you indicate, they’re also causal and qualitative. Taken together, they describe the overwhelming burden of caring for the husband by the wife and the diminished quality of his life.

    “Chemical exposure, stress reaction, no one knows, but the skin cracks and opens up raw with lesions sometimes.”

    This is a causal claim because it is describing the possible reasons as to why Paterson’s skin cracks and opens up with lesions. Even if they don’t know for sure, they are still attributing the cause to one of these possible things. This is also a categorical claim because it lists possible reasons.

    —You’re really good at this, Pop. Yes, these are Causal claims. You might also want to invent a new Claims Category: Speculative. (You can do that, you know. Invent categories. 🙂 ) That “no one knows” is priceless, isn’t it? It drives home the hopelessness of the vet and his family, dealing with the aftermath of SO MANY unknown ailments.

    “Kateri writes me that just moments after the injection, he “went from balls-to-the-wall PTSD to BOOM chill.”

    This is a causal claim and a comparative claim. It is causal because Kateri is describing how the injection caused his emotional state to change. It is comparative because she compares his state before the injection to shortly after.

    —Nice. Also classically Qualitative in that it describes his before-and-after mental condition in quality terms.

    “…a server dropped a tray out of her periphery, setting her circulatory system off at a million miles a minute.”

    This is a causal claim, as it describes what caused Kateri to start having a breakdown while she was working at her restaurant.

    —So true. It’s also Rhetorical, isn’t it, Pop? Nobody’s heart would survive a million beats a minute. But the hyperbole works well here to emphasize the unbearable nature of her reaction.

    “He just ate his steak like nothing,” she says.”

    This is a comparative claim because she uses “He just ate his steak like nothing” to describe how this man ignored her response to the tray falling and her having a breakdown because of it.

    —Totally agree. It’s also Causal in that it attributes his “chill” reaction (or non-reaction) to the injection he received earlier.

    “When you’ve become hypervigilant, the place you are most functional is on the battlefield,”

    This is a qualitative and causal claim. It is qualitative because it describes the characteristic of being hyper vigilant. It is causal because it explains that hyper vigilance is directly causal to being most functional on the battlefield, as opposed to anywhere else.

    —So much going on here. First, I agree the claim is qualitative. It connects hypervigilance with battlefield efficiency. It doesn’t address what caused the hypervigilance, so in that way it’s not causal. It raises a very interesting question about hypervigilance. Surely being hyperaware of threats is a battlefield advantage. But it might also lead to shooting your comrade who you perceived as a threat.

    “…at this point is like a drug addict, needing stimulation to maintain it.”

    This is a comparative statement because it compares Kateri’s heightened state and the maintenance it requires to being a drug addict craving a fix.

    —I don’t disagree at all, Pop. But this statement is so loaded it requires careful analysis to understand its purpose. It actually claims that Kateri NEEDS to feel threatened at all times in order to satisfy her dependence on threat as if being under siege was a desirable state like the euphoria of early-stage drug use (later replaced by the maintenance-level drug use of desperate addicts). So rich. It’s comparative, all right. AND so many others types of analogy.

    “or the first time since Iraq, her husband felt at peace, and was able to enjoy a steak dinner with his wife.”

    This is a comparative statement because it compares Paterson’s ability to now enjoy a simply dinner with his wife, to the time period in which he couldn’t. It’s also quantitative because it labels this scenario with being the very first time.

    —Mostly agree, except with the “quantitative” choice. Being the first time doesn’t make this experience numerical.

    “He just sat there,” Kateri says. His normalcy “was so distressing to me that I wanted to stab him.”

    This is a causal claim because Kateri claims that she felt like she wanted to stab him because of how strange it was that he was just sitting there for once. This is a qualitative claim as well because she describes his behavior as “distressing”.

    —It’s a causal claim for sure. But, wow. His wife wanted to stab him because he didn’t perceive the dropping of a tray to be life-threatening. Crazy stuff.

    This is high-caliber work, Pop. I hope your classmates have picked up some pointers on how to respond to this assignment.

    Your grade has been recorded at Canvas. If you wish to revise it, you may, for a regrade, for one week. If you choose to revise, remember to put this post into the Regrade Please category.

    Oh, and, as always, please respond to Feedback with a “Thank you, Professor,” or “I have further questions,” or “What the hell is this!?”

    Like

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