Prompt #8

From the way I see it, each of these stories report on issues that one could very well see be reported in bigger, more professional publications. Their use of detailed writing and the strengths that each story carries in its reporting are all potentially professional publication worthy. The difference is, these stories take a more specific, local approach to their reporting, such as the Clarke Case story. This story is reporting on a topic that could potentially happen at any school and is definitely a widespread issue. However, the reporter stuck to their own domain in terms of location.

The story that took the most reporting seems to be “In the Dark.’ That story had several different interviews and statistics related to the state schools it was reporting on. The story that took the least seems to be ‘Feminine products kept hidden.’ That story relied more on personal accounts and standard statistics about the topic. I  believe that ‘more reporting equaling a better story’ can go either way. It’s better to have three powerful, eye opening accounts than six ‘meh’ quotes. Quality over quantity.

My favorite story was ‘In the Dark.’ The inclusion of official documents, in addition to its extensive reporting and very effective quotes, all worked together to create a near seamless story based on its rather hot button topic.

It would be rather easy to take almost any of these stories and give it “The Roar” treatment. For example, the ‘Academic Success for Sale’ story. While I’ve never actually done this, nor been told about it at Piedmont, there’s a pretty high chance that students from both the past and present have had impersonators take classes for them. For this story, I’d interview professors, namely those who teach a mix of in person and online classes. I’d also interview current students and alumni about this.

 

‘Ello, Y’all: Author and Journalist Diane Roberts Discusses Career and Southern Stereotypes with Mass Communications Students

Fresh off the plane from working at the BBC radio station in England, journalist Diane Roberts sat down with the Mass Communications students and faculty at Piedmont College to chat about everything from her start in journalism to pesky Paula Deen comparisons.

“If I ever get Paula Deen-ish, I want someone to strike me down,” Roberts said.

After getting some laughs from the audience with that statement, Roberts went into more detail about the Southern stigma. She discussed the 10 years she’s lived in England, and how having a Southern accent affected the way people treated her.

“I’ve had people, and not just British people, ask me one, if I lived in a double wide, or two, did I live in a plantation house,” Roberts said. “There’s that kind of southern-ness, where you’re into everything country, backwoods and weird stuff.”

Roberts added onto her statements by revealing she didn’t know too much about British people when she went to work overseas, so the stereotyping wasn’t just a one-way street.

“I think you have to do the best that you can, because everybody stereotypes everybody,” Roberts said. “I didn’t know all that much about British people, I thought they all lived in lavish cottages, unless they lived in castles. They don’t live in either one, they live in houses, the same as me.”

Roberts then discussed what society imposes on those who may fit a stereotype and also have a wide-reaching platform, such as Paula Deen. Roberts brought up the term ‘professional southerner,’ and pondered over the authenticity of Deen’s television persona, and gave a word of advice to those who may be facing stereotypes of their own.

“There’s this category of being a ‘professional southerner,’ where they really ham it up and I think Paula Deen might be one, maybe because that’s what they’re told the audience wants,” Roberts said. “I have no idea what Paula Deen is really like, all I know is what she’s like on TV, and that may not be her at all. You do have to find a way to undercut what people might think you are.”

Roberts revealed that her start in journalism wasn’t as a natural writer.

“How I got started, was by being a bad writer,” Roberts said. “I was really good at research, I was good at being in the library.”

Roberts recounted an instance in which she had to write an honors thesis in college, and when she handed it in for her professors to go over, their reviews were less than glowing.

“One of my professors gave me a present for finishing my honors thesis, which was a book called “The Elements of Style”,” Roberts said. “I’m reading this book, and I’m getting a sinking feeling. We sat in his office for two hours going through my honors thesis, sentence by sentence. He’d point at one saying, “what don’t you like about that sentence?” After about 10 sentences, there were tears running down my face.”

Roberts discussed her original thoughts on journalism, believing one could ‘write because they can write.’ She went into detail of how she came to the realization that writing isn’t only about putting the pen to the page.

“It hadn’t dawned on me that writing is a craft,” Roberts said. “I was probably told this, but it just hadn’t sunk in.”

Rachel Danford, a junior who attended the lecture, found how Roberts got her start in journalism relatable to her own.

“She started out as a bad writer and now has four books under her belt,” Danford said. “Knowing this makes it easier for me to go easy on myself. I’m not the best writer, but neither was she.”

Danford also finds inspiration in Roberts being a woman and forging an accomplished career for herself.

“Roberts is a very accomplished woman, which is great to see in the field of media,” Danford said. “I found it inspiring to hear all the things she’s done and accomplished.”

Roberts was accompanied by Dr. Craig Amason, the Director of the Lillian Smith Center. Amason gave a short speech about what the Lillian Smith Center’s purpose is.

“Our primary function is an artist retreat center,” Amason said. “Artists pay a small fee and stay in our cottages, and work from there.”

Roberts added on to Amason’s objective explanations with her opinion on the center, and Lillian Smith as a person.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere so pretty,” Roberts said. “I like to think there’s a spirit there of a woman who didn’t care what anybody thought of her, and did what she wanted to do. She spoke truth to power, which is something journalists are supposed to do.”

Throughout her discussion with the students and faculty, Roberts maintained a laid-back demeanor and honest tone, which resonated with Joey Brovont, a freshman who attended the lecture.

“I thought it was very insightful and fun,” Brovont said. “She made everyone feel like a friend and told us about her life.”

Roberts discussed several different aspects of her career and her personal life with the Mass Communications students and faculty. Her career has proven to be ever evolving.

“I’m still on the ‘journey to success’,” Roberts said. “No matter what you accomplish, there’s always going to be a what’s next.”

Stepping Up to the Plate: Carson Porterfield’s Story

“After the accident, I looked at life as a second opportunity, because the doctors told me I should’ve been dead.”

Carson Porterfield, a junior pitcher for the Piedmont Lions baseball team, lives his life with a certain sense of humility, as after experiencing a near fatal boating accident, he knows how quickly one’s life can be taken from them.

“I was thankful that God had given me another opportunity to prove why I’m still here.” Porterfield said.

Porterfield was born in May 1997 into an idyllic American family unit. He and his family, consisting of his two parents and older brother, Chad, have lived in the same house to this day. Porterfield associates several sentimental memories with the house, many of which have to do with sports.

“When my brother and I were little, we had a basketball goal in our driveway,” Porterfield said. “We would always shoot basketballs together, and he trained me to get stronger and play better.”

With his brother’s influence ingrained into his upbringing, Porterfield fully immersed himself into the domain of sports.

“I played football, basketball and baseball, all three of those sports in middle school,” Porterfield said. “I swam for my neighborhood team since my school didn’t have one of their own.”

Although when Piedmont students see Porterfield now, they see a 6-foot tall, broad shouldered athlete, this hasn’t always been the case. During the transition from middle school to high school, when all of the guys were getting taller and broader, Porterfield fell behind. His lack of a growth spurt outed him from playing the sports he loved that required those who were more vertically inclined.

“I stopped playing basketball, everyone was so much taller than me and it wasn’t fair,” Porterfield said. “I stopped playing football, everyone was bigger and beating up on me because I hadn’t hit my growth spurt and went through puberty, I hit that late.”

However, Porterfield’s body chemistry setbacks didn’t deter him from sports completely. He decided to commit to baseball, because the body requirements to play were not as rigorous as basketball or football.

“I stuck with baseball, because it didn’t matter if you were big or not,” Porterfield said. “I kind of regret not sticking with football, because I ended up being a pretty big man, 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, so I could’ve done something with that.”

Porterfield also did well in the classroom, sticking to a study skillset that got him decent grades in high school.

“I was a pretty good student, I’d say,” Porterfield said. “It was really how I applied myself and focused on schoolwork, and how I stuck to my work ethic.”

Everything was working out for Porterfield. His grades were where they needed to be, he had a close relationship to his family and his commitment to baseball proved to be unwavering. However, a boating accident during a holiday weekend in the summer after his freshman year of high school shattered what he knew to be his life.

“I was with my family, and I ended up getting into a bad boating accident,” Porterfield said. “My parents drove me to the fire station, and they put me in an ambulance. They knew I had a concussion because at that point I couldn’t stop throwing up.”

Porterfield was quickly transported to the hospital, but even the ride there was filled with turmoil, as the driver had to pull over more than once because Porterfield had to vomit.

“They strapped me to a stretcher when we got there, and the doctor got there with my parents standing over me, and they put me in a cat scan machine” Porterfield said. “Next thing I remember, my parents were asking about wanting to do surgery, a tube that would go into my skull to drain the blood that was clotting in my brain, but the doctor said he hadn’t done surgery on a child in over 10 years, so my parents didn’t want to do it.”

Porterfield was then transported by helicopter to Egleston, a children’s hospital, and was promptly put into the intensive care unit.

“During the plane ride, they told me to not fall asleep, because I could slip into a coma,” Porterfield said. “But I did end up falling asleep, for over an hour in the plane.”

Porterfield is not alone in his near fatal experience with boating. According to the American Boating Association, there were 701 boating accident related deaths in just 2016, not to mention the 2,903 injuries.

Recovery in the hospital was a slow process. Porterfield spent a total of eight days in the hospital, with continual night checks from the doctors to make sure he hadn’t unknowingly slipped into a coma. Porterfield spent three months at home for recovery upon being released from the hospital, and the transition back into school was not an easy one.

“I had to go back to school but I couldn’t do anything for around three weeks,” Porterfield said. “I had to just sleep on the desk and put noise cancelling headphones on, then I had to make up all my work a month later, which was really awful.”

Even though Porterfield still suffers from certain post-concussion symptoms, such as severe headaches that leave him bedridden and the occasional stutter, he realized that he had lived for a reason.

“When the doctors told me I should have died, I took that as a wake up call to realize what I had been doing with my life,” Porterfield said. “If I hadn’t had that life jacket on, I’d would’ve drowned.”

Porterfield gained a new lease on life and a restored faith in God after his accident. He decided to better apply himself in both life and baseball. Benjamin Thornburgh, a friend of Porterfield, recognizes these character traits in Porterfield.

“I didn’t expect to bond with him as much as I do,” Thornburgh said. “But because of some mutual friends, I’ve been able to, and he’s a very cool, humble and smart guy.”

After almost losing his life and being able to slowly overcome an excruciating recovery process, Porterfield lives on, thankful for every day he is able to rise out of bed and continue to dedicate his life to what he loves. His family and friends, God and baseball.

“I want to possibly inspire someone else with m story about coming back from something that I should’ve died from,” Porterfield said. “I’m still pursuing my dream, even though I’m sometimes fighting uphill, but I’m never giving up.”

 

Sources:

Carson Porterfield: wporterfield0511@lions.piedmont.edu

Ben Thornburgh: bthornburgh0421@lions.piedmont.edu

ABA Link: https://americanboating.org/boating_fatality.asp

Prompt #7

To me, event coverage stories are vastly different form taking minutes at a meeting. From the way I see it, when you’re taking meeting minutes, you’re essentially taking down the highlights of what is going on during the meeting, without going into much, if any, detail. Only the highlights, does not a good event story make. You could almost view a set of meeting minutes as the rough draft of a fully formed event coverage story.  These event coverage stories were a lot more fleshed out than a set of meeting minutes, complete with background information on the subjects and outside reporting.

Speaking of, there was a decent amount of additional reporting that had to be done to write these event stories. The reporter needs to have a good amount of background information to really get the full point across to the reader. Someone who didn’t know Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s story before reading the story, will now know enough about her to fully realize the impact of her speech at UGA.

In my opinion, these stories are written more like news stories, though they definitely have aspects of the descriptive features writing style added into them. They focus on the event at hand, while simultaneously adding in elements of background information and descriptive writing that are often showcased in feature stories.

Prompt #6

Due to my general lack of interest when it comes to sports, it’s safe to say that I’ve never really enjoyed reading sports news stories. However, I do enjoy reading profile stories that focus on one person and illustrate their story, so I was happy to see that there were those types of stories included in the list we were given to read. As far as the idea that these stories revolve around being competitive and the player or team’s performance, I can see why people think that. In my mind, the standard sports story is one that discusses a team’s victory or loss, and consists mainly of stats, like how many home runs the players hit, or how many goals they scored to lead them to a sweet victory or bitter loss. However, especially after reading the profile stories on James Washington and Nyajuol Lew, I realized that a sports story doesn’t have to revolve around stats. It can differ from the mold by giving readers more insight into the player’s life, and what they have gone through to get to where they are today.

I’m torn between two stories to call my favorite, those being the aforementioned profiles about Washington and Lew. I’m a huge fan of both reading and writing profile stories. Perhaps I’m just a nosy reporter, but I love having the ability to learn more about a subject through conducting interviews and reading other’s profile stories. They allow us to learn things that aren’t apparent on the surface of a subject, and I find that to be very powerful. I really loved the way Washington’s story was written, as I got to learn things from different aspects and perspectives of his upbringing and current life. I also found Lew’s story to be pretty inspiring, as I got to learn more about a birth defect that I could never fully understand and how she doesn’t let it handicap her, or stop her from doing what she wants to do.

I don’t feel as if any of the stories here were over dramatized. I feel that all of the stories had the right mix of descriptive writing and objective reporting on their subject.

Based on these readings, I feel that a reporter should at least have a basic knowledge of the sport they are reporting on. Especially with the more objective, statistic filled stories, it would be more than a little awkward if the reporter said a soccer player scored a three pointer home run. However, with profile structured stories, I feel as if the reporter doesn’t have to know as much about the sport itself, as the story is more about the player, and how the sport has impacted their life.

So Bad, They’re Laughable: Rock Bottom Films and Their Rise to the Top (A&E)

 

Box office bomb. Poorly made. Just plain bad. These are all commonly used phrases to describe the movies that don’t quite live up to audience’s expectations.

However, the same movies that are labeled with those criticisms have also been labeled as hilarious, cult classics and fan favorites as time passes. This brings up a puzzling question; how would an initially poorly received movie be able to achieve such a favorable status?

This certainly becomes an interesting question to ponder when examining one of the latest trends the field of cinema is experiencing. Tommy Wiseau’s critical bomb “The Room” has been received extremely poorly by critics, standing at a disappointing 3.6 score on IMDB.com. However, the movie has proven to be a hit with audiences, who have been able to reconstruct the movie’s abysmal acting and sloppy script into typical Internet humor and jokes.

Tommy Wiseau also vehemently stands by his film, and has said in many an interview that “The Room” is a much better movie than most will give it credit for. In a Reddit Q&A interview, Wiseau makes some pretty big statements about his film’s relation to society.

“’The Room’ is a red flag for society, for people to do better, to be better to each other basically,” Wiseau said. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years, saying that.”

Even with Wiseau’s explanations and a general understanding of Internet humor in mind, there are still questions that are begging to be asked. Why would people willingly see a movie that is widely considered to be bad? Is it all for finding the humor in the horrid? Or is it more in an attempt to find value in the void of a bad movie?

Benjamin Thornburgh, a mass communications junior, is no stranger to finding the humor in the most obscure, or rather unexpected, of situations. His quirky brand of humor can be found throughout his presence on social media, which includes posts about “The Room.” For Thornburgh, the appreciation for movies that are ‘so bad they’re good’ started at an early age.

“Watching ‘so bad they’re good’ movies is something one of my best childhood friends had been doing since we were 9 or 10 years old,” said Thornburgh. “It’s deep rooted for me, and even now I’m finding new movies that fit into that mold that are just gold for me.”

Thornburgh believes that the audience’s fascination to movies that fall more into the cult classic classification, rather than just flat out bad, has more to do with individual taste in humor than anything else.

“It’s almost like an inside joke about watching them,” Thornburgh said. “Yeah, you’re going to be making fun of the creators of the film. But there’s charm behind it. I’m always so curious to know what it was like to be on the set, to know why they made some decisions they made.”

Thornburgh also made note of a possible disconnect from reality on the filmmakers’ part.

“There’s being a bad filmmaker, and there’s a totally different level of being disconnected from what’s good,” Thornburgh said. “I think the best so bad they’re good movies are the ones that are just so overtly horrid that you can’t deny it.”

Samantha Autry, a sophomore with a minor in film studies, feels that the sudden burst of ‘so bad they’re good’ movies is far from recent news, rather they’ve been around longer than some people realize.

“I feel like this has been a long time coming,” Autry said. “They’re just big moneymakers, because at this point they know people are going to watch them because they’re so bad.”

Autry cites the SyFy television movie series “Sharknado” as an example of movies that were created for people to laugh at and mock, rather than find any redeemable value in. Autry also has her own guidelines on how to classify a movie as ‘so bad it’s good.’

“I don’t think I’d ever purposefully put money into seeing something that’s bad,” Autry said. “But if it’s funny to watch, then that’s a plus.”

Autry partially agrees with Thornburgh’s point that the filmmakers may be disconnected from reality during the filmmaking process, but she also believes that, as the years go on, the filmmakers are more inclined to just spit out a movie to make the big box office bucks.

“I think some people make movies, and they’re taken the wrong way, and they just turn out bad,” Autry said. “But I also feel that, like with any Sharknado movie, was made as a joke, and they knew they could make money off of it, and they did, and they continue to.”

Taylor Pope, a technical theater sophomore, has an understanding of why people seem to be so fascinated with ‘so bad they’re good’ movies, “The Room” in particular, even though she has never seen the movie.

“I know a lot of people like to make fun of how bad the acting is,” Pope said. “As much as I can understand the jokes without having seen the movie, I think they’re pretty funny.”

When it comes down to the distinction between a movie that is so bad it’s good and a movie that is just plain bad, Benjamin Thornburgh believes that the ability to acknowledge the amount of passion and work from the filmmakers is important for audiences to keep hold of.

“Every movie is going to have people that either love it or hate it,” Thornburgh said. “But with movies like ‘The Room,’ I can see the passion of the filmmakers in the final product, so there’s value in it for me.”

Even with the acknowledgment of the filmmaker’s hard work in mind, Thornburgh also believes it’s important to realize when there’s just no defending a terrible movie.

“I don’t think anyone who isn’t delusional would be able to see quality work put into a movie that isn’t there,” Thornburgh said. “Some movies are just outright bad, there are no good qualities and no defending it.”

As Hollywood continues to push out more monster storm thrillers, and Wiseau prepares to take “The Room” to Broadway, audiences are continuing to support this rising trend of ‘so bad they’re good’ movies. With movie critics slowly coming around to accepting this trend, only time will tell what kind of movies are headed to a theater near you.

 

 

Source Contact Info:

Benjamin Thornburgh: bthornburgh0421@lions.piedmont.edu

Samantha Autry: sautry0422@lions.piedmont.edu

Taylor Pope: tpope0428@lions.piedmont.edu

Link to Wiseau’s interview: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2zdzik/tommy_wiseau_creator_of_the_room_and_the_new_tv/

Life, Unassured

“So, the first question I have for you is, how are you?”

Samantha Autry, affectionately known by her peers as Scooter, sighs, glances around the small living room of her dorm in Swanson Hall, before glancing back up and shrugging softly.

“I’m doing ok. I’m feeling drained, but I’ve got pretty high hopes that it can only get better from here.”

Life for Autry is, on the surface, draining indeed. Pulling all-nighters studying for tests and trying to muster the strength to make it to her 8 a.m. class while also trying to maintain a 3.0 GPA are all on her daily to-do list. However, the announcement that students who live on campus at Piedmont must have active health insurance to continue living on campus going into the next year, seemed like another thing to add to Autry’s list of setbacks.

Born in April of 1998 in Covington, Georgia, Autry grew up with her mother Deborah, father Michael, and a sister, Maddie, in a seemingly standard American family unit.

Throughout her youth, however, Autry was able to pick up on frustrations that were bubbling under the surface between her parents, so even at the age of 7, it came as no surprise to her when her parents announced that they were divorcing.

“It was one of those divorce situations that you don’t see on TV, where people are actually happy to get divorced,” Autry said. “My mom was really nervous about it. I told her that it was the best news I’d heard in a long time when she told us.”

Autry also finds no truth to the ‘American family’ societal ideal, as she nor any of her friends can relate to it.

“I feel like the ideal family is a dead dream,” Autry said with a small laugh. “I’ve never had that, and I’ve never talked to anyone who has.”

Growing up, money didn’t grow on trees for Autry. While she was able to go to the ER if she needed to, regular checkups stopped at a young age, due to lack of the necessary household income. Suffice it to say, an active insurance plan isn’t something Autry has the means to afford on her own.

“I haven’t been to a checkup at the doctor since freshman year of high school,” Autry said.

High school proved to as teenage drama and angst-ridden for Autry as it is for most. Break ups, friend groups dissolving and issues with a former friend who turned everyone against her plagued her sophomore and junior years.

However, Autry didn’t allow these high school hiccups to break her spirit. Looking back, Autry realized that, while it may have been “petty he said she said” business, she took note of the negative behaviors people around her were displaying and decided she wanted no part of that.

“I stopped judging people so hard, I stopped putting people who hurt me ahead of me,” Autry said. “I focused on myself and the people who had always been there for me.”

College life for Autry started out idyllic, but during the course of her sophomore year, she has been experiencing some setbacks that leave her feeling disheartened.

“My freshman year went really well, but this year I’ve had some trouble keeping myself together,” Autry said. “It feels more like what they talked about in high school, where you have to study, you have to focus, you have to attend class.”

Autry recounted that in the initial announcement of the campus insurance policy, it was said that Piedmont would be offering a student health care plan. I reached out to Dean Emily Pettit for more information, and she replied with an email containing information on rates, deductibles, and all the standard financial fare.

“Through United Healthcare, the deductible will be $250 a year, physician visits $25, with an annual rate of $2,008 for students, with the possibility of students being able to use excess financial aid to pay when it is added to their student account,” the email read.

Autry fears that, due to her lack of knowledge about insurance and inability to afford it, she’ll be unable to return to Piedmont, which could derail her career path in technical theater.

“I don’t really have the money to be in this college right now,” Autry said. “My parents have helped me in the biggest way they could, but I’m still on the borderline of not being able to come back anyway, apart from this insurance thing.”

Despite the numerous setbacks she faces, she considers herself to be motivated until the end, and those around her would have to agree.

Jordan Approbato, Autry’s roommate since freshman year, lamented on Autry’s dedication towards her work in theater.

“When she does theater work, her whole heart is into it, she’s so dedicated to it.” Approbato said.

When some days get a bit too rough for Autry, she keeps the advice of high school theater teacher, Mrs. Garrett, close to heart. Needing a fine arts credit in high school, she chose theater, and found it be the right fit for her, further cementing her career path in technical theater.

“The whole community grew with me.” Autry said. “The teacher led me to doing behind the scenes work, and always told me that I was good at what I was doing.”

When talking about the lasting impact that the late Mama Garrett had on her life, Autry’s voice became shaky, and she had to pause to take a moment, reaching for a paper towel to dry her eyes.

“I still carry her words with me.” Autry said, sniffling and dabbing her eyes with the paper towel.

Even when the world seems to be against Autry, she knows she is not the only student with the same fears for the future.

“It’s not fair for those who have been given a bad hand in life in terms of money,” Autry said. “There are people working so hard to get scholarships and take out loans, but not everyone has the same opportunities.”

With Autry’s financial state in mind, she’s been considering taking a semester off of school to get it all together, though she can’t help but feel discouraged.

“I’ve dug myself such a financial rut here,” Autry said. “When you walk in here, they tell you it’s going to be easy, and it’s a whole different story for people struggling financially.”

Despite all the adversities that Autry faces, she remains hopeful for her future, post college. She wants to go to Atlanta and get into the technical theater scene there, all while trying to find a steady paying job that will aid in paying off her student loans, as well as giving her the satisfaction that she’s doing what she loves.

“So, I’ll end the interview with this question. How are you, Scooter?”

She laughs to herself, and shrugs.

“I think I’m alright. I’m just going to keep moving forward from here, figure out my plans for the coming years. Nowhere to go but up, right?”

 

Source Contact Info

Samantha Autry: sautry0422@lions.piedmont.edu

Jordan Approbato: japprobato0907@lions.piedmont.edu

Dean Emily Pettit: epettit@piedmont.edu

Prompt #5

It is definitely true that people are quick to dismiss the arts and literature section of a website or newspaper as a fancy way of saying review. I’ve made that mistake once or twice before as well. However, after reading through each of these stories, it became increasingly clear that the arts section isn’t just full of possibly pretentious reviews. All of the selected stories have taken a more broad approach to a more niche subject. For example, the #MeToo story took on the subject of possibly problematic past era pieces, and related it back to the #MeToo movement. They go beyond the confines of a typical review, and are able to bring in more social commentary on the hot topics of today.

The story that is sticking with me while I write this prompt response is the casting controversy story. Right from the title, I was hooked. I’ve also recently started to delve deeper into the realm of theater, and something that I consider pretty important to me is keeping the roles in tact with any ethnic background they may have. Simply put, keeping Esmeralda a Roma woman, as that is how she is accurately portrayed. It was really interesting to see how the students took action, while also disheartening to see the negative comments and threats against those students. The only complaint that I have is that I feel the story ended rather abruptly. I would’ve liked to see a more conclusive ending, one that didn’t have me scrolling all the way down the page to see if I had missed anything.

Like I said before, the writers were able to take niche subjects and relate them back to social movements and overall social commentary. It’s hard not to see anything about sexual assault scandals these days, but until today, I hadn’t really heard anything from the country music industry about it. I hadn’t thought of how artwork can relate to the #MeToo movement. After reading these stories, I’ve realized how broad my horizons can grow when I open my mind a bit.

Prompt #4

While I was reading through the selected feature profile stories, different aspects of each story stood out to me. The amount of outside research that went into the creation of each story differed between the five, but I feel as if the story that took the most effort to write would have been the story about the Michigan father who got deported to Nicolás Romero, Mexico. The author was able to convey the emotions that Jorge Garcia felt individually about his deportation, and the struggles that he was facing in his unfamiliar environment, while also relating the story back to the broader issue of unjust deportation that we are facing in Trump’s America.

On the flip side of that, I feel as if the Camila Cabello piece, while I did enjoy reading it, probably took the least amount of effort. Even though it was cool to get the vibe that the reporter was backstage with Camila, it’s safe to say that a lot of the background information the reporter talked about was already available online, as Camila is a prominent public figure who has done several interviews already.

The story about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was the least interesting subject to me. Most people know that I am by no means a sports inclined person. However, the title of this story alone sucked me in, and I found myself actually taking interest in the story of Foles. I had no knowledge of who this guy was before reading, and yet the quotes from teammates and the way the reporter wrote the story kept me interested until the end.

After reading through these stories, I gathered two aspects of writing that could strengthen my profile story writing ability. One is to get quotes outside of the source, whether that be from the source’s friends, family, or coaches. The quotes provide a more full scoped view of the source, as they can provide details and accounts of the subject that the subject didn’t think to, or can’t say. The other aspect is to incorporate more descriptive writing into the story. The descriptive language provides an image to accompany the source that a simple physical picture cannot do on its own.

Call Me by Your Name: Long Form Review

“Call me by your name, and I’ll call you by mine.” This quote alone has the emotional intensity to sum up all two hours and twelve minutes of the Academy Award nominated film, “Call Me by Your Name.”

Directed by Luca Guadagnino and based on the novel by André Aciman, the film captures the sensuality of an oftentimes melancholy summer relationship between 17-year-old Elio, portrayed by up and coming actor Timotheè Chalamet (“Lady Bird,” “Interstellar”), and his father’s lab assistant, 24-year-old Oliver, portrayed by film veteran Armie Hammer (“The Social Network,” “The Lone Ranger”).

Set in the picturesque location of Italy in 1983, the cinematography and overall aesthetic of the film could not be more visually pleasing. Watching Elio and Oliver bicycle through the beautiful streets of Italy is a dream, and even just watching the two and Elio’s family sit together and eat outside of their house is a vivid image that entrances the viewer.

The plot of film follows piano prodigy and bibliophile Elio, as his father hires an American graduate student named Oliver to help in his archeology profession. Elio struggles with his growing feelings towards Oliver, while coming into his own sexuality and identity as everyone does at the ripe age of seventeen.

The first half of the film is certainly a slow ride, building up both the romantic and sexual tension between the two leads. Whilst Elio is sorting through his feelings towards Oliver, he is also struggling to identify how he feels towards Marzia, a female friend of his.

Elio’s internal sexual identity struggle is one of the aspects that makes this film so intriguing. While the media is quick to label this film as a ‘gay movie,’ “Call Me by Your Name” certainly distances itself far away from the stereotypical archetypes that ‘gay movies’ find themselves attached to. The focus of the film is not on the ‘triumphant coming out of a struggling teen.’ Rather, the film sets its focus on Elio and Oliver as two humans who find that they have a connection, without having to place a pesky label on it.

The only labels that Elio and Oliver find themselves attached to, in fact, are each other’s names.

When Elio and Oliver fully embrace their budding romance, the film really picks up the pace. From a sensual encounter with a peach, to the numerous meetings by Elio’s secret swimming hole, Elio and Oliver’s characters are fully brought to life by the natural acting done by Chalamet and Hammer.

The age gap between the two, seven years to be exact, has been heavily discussed in the public. In the film, neither Oliver nor Elio are ridiculed for it. In fact, there is an air of acceptance brought on by Elio’s parents. A monologue about the importance of love and loss from Elio’s father towards the film’s conclusion really encapsulates the coming of age themes of the film.

“Call Me by Your Name” hits every mark on the head. From the cinematography, the acting, and even the harmonious soundtrack that underscores each scene, each aspect comes together to create a coming of age story that transcends the time period it is set in. While your taste for peaches may be diminished by the end of the film, you’d have to be made of stone to not leave the theater with tear-stained cheeks and a tugging at your heartstrings.