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November 23rd, 2007

I spent most of my day today at Helios, beginning the work on my final paper in ENG 515 Rhetoric of Science and Technology.

Choose a controversial scientific or technological event, current or historical, and discuss it from a rhetorical standpoint. Find several different articles and analyze the audience, purpose, language, and so forth.

On the basis of your analysis, write a critical essay of about 4–5 pages (1000–1200 words) in which you consider questions such as:
  • What are the rhetorical factors that influenced and shaped the discourse?
  • How do the opposing sides in the debate use language differently? What effect do these differences have on what the reader knows or understands? What is valued? What is obscured?
  • How is the information arranged and presented?
  • How do they use visuals differently?
  • What types of evidence do they incorporate?
  • What types of knowledge do they construct?
  • What types of argument do they construct?
  • What metaphors do they use?
  • What are the points of conflict?
  • What social or cultural factors influenced the discussion of this event?
Frame your analysis in such a way that a reader can tell what the context and motivation for it are and preview your argument (in other words, orient your reader using the Swales model).

Make clear how your analysis is informed by your reading in this course. Use a parenthetical citation system with an alphabetized list of works cited on a separate page at the end. Reserve footnotes (or endnotes) for substantive comments or asides. Please include a copy of something that exemplifies what you are analyzing when you turn in your paper.

My topic is going to be: Homosexuality: Nature vs. Nurture. Today's work consisted of reading about 12 articles on the subject, of which 10 I discounted as candidates for inclusion in my analysis. Which means, I had to do some more research work in terms of finding more scholarly work on this topic.

What I'm currently struggling with is whether I want to include the religious aspect in this or not. So far, from what I've read, I can go with any of these comparisons:

Issue
Viewpoints

What causes someone to be gay?

Biologist vs. Sociologists

What causes someone to be gay?

Science vs. Religion

Is it "healthy" to be gay?

Psychologists vs. Clergy

Is it a "sin" to be gay?

Exclusive Churches vs. Inclusive Churches




At about 4:30, I started getting irritated at Helios, which has sort of been bubbling in the background for a while. I don't want to not like that place, so I've been a little in denial. These are the things that are starting to get on my nerves about the place:
  • Turning up the music really loud at the employees' whim—this usually happens as it gets close to closing time.
  • Propping open the doors, because the employees are (evidently) hot. Pay no attention to the customers sitting around with the jackets and hats on.
  • Too much loud employee chit-chat behind the counter, some of it about things customers really shouldn't be subjected to.
  • And this one I'm a little ambivalent about, being the technology guy that I am and in some ways liking the "hip" factor of it all, but ever since one employee started working there who wears his earbuds behind the counter, there seems to have been a decline in the level of professionalism of the employees and the level of customer service.
Instead of sitting there stewing about it, I packed up and left.



I went to Cameron Village where I expected to be inundated with Black Friday shoppers, and was surprised when I found a parking spot with no problem.

I killed about 20 minutes in Ten Thousand Villages, where I found a plethora of over-priced baubles and trinkets and listened to one lady totally perseverating about whether the white silk-clothed angel she had in her hand was going to be the right size for her 10-foot tree standing under her 14-foot ceiling.



Joe and I had dinner at the Village Draft House, where we each had a Bloody Mary and split two appetizers, and then left unknowingly leaving one of Joe's rings on the floor under the table.

At Flex, Joe discovered the absence of said ring, and we rode back to the Draft House to get it, where it was successfully retrieved.



We played about four games of free pool, and then went over to Helios (no comment) to kill about an hour. When we got back to Flex at about 9:45, it was still dead in there.

It eventually picked up, but after about an hour of slowly working our way away from this guy that thought Joe wanted to talk to him all night long, we actually left shortly after that. This happens every time that guy is there. Hello? Hint?

I don't like starting on the drinking so early. It's too much.

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