JoMC 711 – Writing for Digital Media

October 8, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 7:41 pm

Assignment 7 – Identify an Organization

Grateful for Grace Church, Maryland

The organization for this project is a fictitious congregation made up of various aspects of several congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  The name of this particular congregation is Grateful for Grace Lutheran Church.  It is located in Carroll County, Maryland which is a county on the outskirts of the Baltimore Metropolitan area.  At one time it was strictly a rural area, but is now considered a suburb of Baltimore.  This transition has happened within the past 20 years.

The church is currently celebrating their 140th anniversary.  There are almost 300 members, but only about 45% attend worship on Sundays (this is typical for Lutheran churches).  The average weekly attendance is 125 which makes it a small congregation in the ELCA.  The size has stayed the same for about the past eight years.

The demographics of the primary audience

The primary audience is the congregation which consists of white, middle class individuals and families.  The occupations of the membership vary from farmers to professionals.  Some work in the local small town and others make the 45 minute commute to downtown Baltimore.  Many are lifelong Lutherans who have attended this church all their lives.  About half of the congregation is over 60 years old.

The current pastor is a 50 year old, married, white female who has been at Grateful for Grace for three years.  She lives in a similar neighboring community and is well-liked by those in the congregation.  This is the first church she has served as pastor.

Technologically speaking

As far as technology is concerned, the congregation is more advanced than the description might indicate.  It has a web site that is maintained by volunteers.  There is a handful of members who enjoy using their talents to produce DVDs which highlight the ministry of the church.  Most have access to the internet at home or through work and, of those, about half have high speed connections.  Email is the reason the majority of the congregation accesses the internet.

A secondary audience

 A secondary audience includes the members of the 182 other congregations of the district.  Most Lutheran congregations have members who have similar characteristics and habits as Trinity.  It is hoped that this project will create an online community from those who participate and link this community to the larger church through blogging. I plan to use the Associated Press style guide.

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October 1, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 9:19 pm

Module 6 Assignment

Rewrite headline for travelogue

Old Headline:

Roots, Realities and Remembrances of the Family Vacation 

New Headline:

Memories, Emotions Abound While Revisiting Family Vacation

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 4:01 pm

Module 6 Assignments
Rewrite Headlines

First headline as it appeared:

Computer Virus Writers Plan Slow Spread

I thought this sounded awkward.  I rewrote it:

Computer Viruses Designed to Spread Slowly

Second headline as it appeared:

Anna Nicole Gets Committed

This was misleading.  After I read the article, I rewrote the headline:

Anna Nicole and Lawyer Make Commitment

Third headline as it appeared:

Immigration Border Security

This headline appeared on the website of the National Association of Social Workers. It is a general headline, but the article was really talking about advocating against current legislation.  I rewrote the headline:

Members Urged to Advocate Against Current Immigration Bills

Article from Internet to Rewrite:

Here is the original article (retrieved from Mugglenet.com):


New WOMBATs and more at JKR.com

Topping off the best week in Potter news in a long while, a handful of updates have been added to our favorite author’s site. Firstly, the much-anticipated second round of WOMBATs (Wizards’ Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude tests) have arrived. Go to the Room of Requirement (by clicking the eraser on the desk) and you will find the door unlocked. For instructions on beginning the test, click the “Read more” link below – but for fun, try and figure it out yourself first!Now for the other updates. In the news, Jo gives us the latest on the eBay situation and discusses the “honor” of HP topping this year’s list of the most-banned books.Also, JK’s diary has a new entry concerning the process of creating a new word for the books, which she did yesterday.In the rumors section, Rowling slams: Stubby Boardman is Regulus Black,” Book 7 will be called ‘Harry Potter and the Graveyard of Memories’,” and Snape was hiding under the Invisibility Cloak on the night the Potters died.”  Finally, Brazilian site Potterish.com is the latest winner of Jo’s fan site award.

My Version of the Article
:
New WOMBATs and More at JKR.com

Topping off the best week in Potter news in a long while, a handful of updates has been added to our favorite author’s site.  First, the much-anticipated second round of WOMBATs (Wizards’ Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude tests) has arrived.  Go to the Room of Requirement (by clicking the eraser on the desk) and you will find the door unlocked.  For instructions to begin the test, click the “Read more” link below – but for fun, try to figure it out yourself first!
 

Other updates include:

*     The latest word on the eBay situation

*     A discussion about the “honor” of HP
topping this year’s list of the most-banned books

*     An entry concerning the process to create a
new word for the books

*     An announcement of the latest winner of
Jo’s fan site award

JK debunks the following rumors: 

*     Stubby Boardman is Regulus Black

*     Book 7 will be called Harry Potter and the Graveyard of Memories

*     Snape was hiding under the Invisibility Cloak the night the Potters died

Headlines for story lede:

Homeland Security’s Federal Antiterrorism Database
Full of Surprises

Federal Antiterrorism Database Full of Surprises

Surprises on Homeland Security Database No Laughing Matter: List used to allocate antiterrorism grants

September 17, 2006

The Family Vacation Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 10:46 pm

Roots, Realities and Remembrances of the Family Vacation 

It began at a family dinner several months ago.  As my sisters and I reminisced about the vacations we took as a family, each brought slightly different memories to the table.  Out of that conversation grew a plan to revisit some of those places.

The Trip Can be as Memorable as the Destination

Forty years ago when we left for vacation in the dark hours of the morning, my father said, “Here we go, off in a cloud of manure!”  Keeping in that tradition we uttered the phrase as we began our eight day trek.  And so, in early August my two sisters, my daughter and I packed up the rental car and left Baltimore behind. 

During the first two days of our journey we talked excitedly, sharing memories of the monotonous drive rather than the memories of our destination.  We recalled driving endlessly in a car without air conditioning or seat belts, on two-lane highways, fighting with one or the other sister at least half the time.

Revisiting My Mother’s Home

On the second day we arrived at our first destination: Columbia City, IN, our mother’s hometown.  We found her home without trouble and delighted in the fact that some things were the same:

  • the original red painted bricks
  • the front porch swing
  • ornately carved front door  

But some things were different

  • the paint was peeling
  • the stone front porch was a wooden deck
  • the wisteria vines by the side porch were gone 

The most startling thing of all, though, was the size of the house.  In our memories it had been a beautiful huge, plantation-like home but, in reality, it was quite small. 

Having satisfied our curiosity about the homestead, we spent the next day researching our roots.  We visited Eberhard Church, the country church that stands on land our great-grandfather donated.  After we recorded dates and names from tombstones in the cemetery, we explored records at both the local courthouse and the genealogy library in nearby Fort Wayne.  Although we found out a lot about the town and relatives we never knew, the one thing we could not find was the wedding date for my maternal grandmother.

Our disappointment at Lake Shafer

It was time to move on to our next destination, Lake Shafer.  All three of us remembered a massive lake, a huge cabin, and a wonderful bandstand area where we enthusiastically listened to rock and roll at night.There wasn’t much that resembled what we remembered.  The beach area was about the size of a tennis court.  The owners of this area had transformed the rest of the beach to accommodate every conceivable water and amusement ride they could fit into the allotted space. 

After much searching, we found the cabin of our childhood.  Once again, what we remembered as a fairly large, well-kept cabin was, in fact, tiny, dilapidated, and dwarfed by several other cabins.  Trash, junk and tree limbs littered the grounds.  We were ready to leave Lake Shafer because of our disappointment in how it had been neglected.

My Aunt Is Living History

Visiting our aunt in Chicago was the culmination and highlight of our trip.  Until Chicago our trip involved rediscovering places and things, but this stop gave us the opportunity to talk with the 84 year old matriarch of the family.  Facts on a page were no comparison to being able to interact with someone who knew the people we were researching.  She told us anecdotes about our grandmother and mother and corrected some misconceptions.  We spent two evenings together going over our long list of questions and our aunt willingly listened as we recalled our travels.  We left with a sense of satisfaction at reconnecting with such a vital part of our family.

Memories Rarely match Reality 

The ride home was much quieter than it had been on the way out.  We realized that our memories rarely matched reality.  We had accomplished our goal: to retrace our family vacation, but had not been prepared for the conflicting emotions experienced over the course of our trip: anticipation, disappointment, joy, sadness, and satisfaction.  Even though we couldn’t ignore the realities we encountered on this journey, our positive childhood memories remain intact.

September 3, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 7:46 pm

Audience for this travelogue: family and friends, possibly genealogists 

It began at a family dinner several months ago when my sisters and I reminisced about the vacations we took as a family, each of us remembering things a little differently.  Out of that conversation grew a plan to revisit the places where we vacationed as a family.  

My two sisters, daughter and I rented a car and began an eight-day trek to the Midwest from Baltimore in early August.  We talked excitedly as we drove the first two days.  Memories came spilling out of our minds and mouths about the ride itself, rather than the destination.  Forty years ago when we left in the dark hours of the morning, my father said, “Here we go, off in a cloud of manure!”  None of us ever thought to ask him why he said such a thing, especially since he never lived on a farm.  We remembered driving endlessly in a car without air conditioning or seat belts, on two-lane highways, fighting at least half the time with one or the other sister.

On the second day we arrived at our first important destination: our mother’s hometown, Columbia City, IN.  Immediately we searched for her home.  Since the town isn’t very large, we found it without trouble.  The house still had the original red painted bricks, but the paint was now peeling and the wonderful cement and stone front porch had been replaced with a wooden deck.  The massive wisteria vines that wrapped around my mother’s side porch were gone also.   We delighted in the fact that the porch swing was still intact, however, and the beautiful front door was as we remembered it.  The most startling thing of all, though, was the size of the house.  In our memories it had been a beautiful huge, plantation-like home; in reality it was quite small.  We took pictures and continued our drive through town, stopping at the church (where all three of us were baptized) and another family home.

The second day in Columbia City was filled with genealogical-type errands: visiting the country church that stands on land our great-grandfather donated and where many relatives are buried, exploring records at the local courthouse, and driving to nearby Fort Wayne to the second largest genealogical library in the country.  That day was much more fruitful and fulfilling.  We spent time talking with the pastor at the church, getting dates and names from tombstones in the cemetery, and looking up relatives at the Columbia City courthouse and the Fort Wayne library.  We found out a lot about the town and relatives we never knew.  The one thing we specifically wanted to find was the wedding date for my maternal grandmother, which we never found.

After two days in Columbia City, we journeyed to our next destination, Lake Shafer.  As children our family and my aunt’s family would rent a cabin at Lake Shafer for a week.  All three of us remembered a massive lake, a huge cabin, and a wonderful bandstand area where we enthusiastically listened to rock and roll at night.

There wasn’t much that resembled what we remembered.  The beach area was about 7 yards long by 5 yards deep, much smaller than we imagined.  The owners of this area had transformed the rest of the beach to accommodate every conceivable water and amusement ride they could fit into the allotted space.

By far the most disappointing part of the trip was finding the cabin we had occupied as children.  Once again, what we remembered as a fairly large, well-kept cabin was, in fact, tiny, dilapidated, and engulfed by several other cabins.  There was trash, junk and tree limbs scattered throughout the grounds.

We soon forgot our disappointment when we ventured to Chicago to see our aunt.  This turned out to be not only the culmination, but also the highlight of our trip.  We spent two evenings together going over our long list of questions and she willingly listened as we recalled our travels.

It was much quieter on the ride home than it had been on the way out.  We were tired and absorbed in our thoughts.  I’m sure you can “go home again,” but we were not prepared for what we saw, nor for what we felt.  We experienced so many emotions over the course of our trip: anticipation, disappointment, joy, sadness, and satisfaction, yet we regret none of it.

August 26, 2006

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by cinranker @ 3:00 pm

Greetings from Baltimore, Maryland!  My name is Cindy and I have lived here for over 20 years.  I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 1976, but I also have a degree in accounting. 

I am a widow with three children: two boys who are 24 and 21 and a girl, 15.  Seven years ago I went back to work part time as a bookkeeper.  Three years ago I enrolled in a Lutheran seminary so that I could become a Diaconal Minister (similar to a deacon, if you are familiar with that).  Every Diaconal Minister has an emphasis (like a major) and mine is church and technology.  I think it is essential that the church be involved in the digital world.  Since the seminary didn’t offer courses relating to technology, I enrolled in this program.

When I’m not attending graduate school, I like to quilt, cross stitch and crochet. 

I am excited to be in this course.  One goal is keeping up with the work, as I tend to be a procrastinator.  Fortunately this will be the fifth online course I’ve taken, so I know a little about what goes on.  In addition, I look forward to learning how to be a better writer, especially in the digital world.

Currently I work part time at my church as the Outreach and Evangelism Coordinator, but I have also been a bookkeeper and a social worker.  Seems like a strange mix!

My pet peeve is waiting – waiting in long lines and especially waiting in doctors’ offices.  I don’t “wait” well – I usually get irritated.  Of course I know that’s not good for my blood pressure!

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