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  • Final Reflection

    Janie McDowell

    Dr. Jane Lucas

    ENG 1103.24

    02 December, 2022

    Starting off college was one of the most exciting events of my life thus far; Meeting new people, being in new place, learning how to learn independently, and taking college level courses. I was curious when I heard of my english course: “Page and Screen”. For as long as I can remember most of my writing classes in the past have been technology based. That being said, I was excited to write free hand and learn new skills offline. This course has benefit me in many ways and built new habits that I will carry on throughout college and the rest of my life. 

    My favorite skill that I learned from this class is being able to confidently play Scrabble correctly. I had played Scrabble in the past but I soon realized that I had been doing it all wrong once I heard Dr. Lucas re explain the rules. My first Scrabble grade was below average because I played the way I always had in the past. This grade prompted me to become more thoughtful and creative with the words I chose and where I placed them. I used the Scrabble dictionary to see what words I was able to play which helped me alot with my next game. I also thought for longer and was more creative with my tiles. Not only was it a fun way to get to know my peers, but I learned so many new words that I had never heard of. I enjoy collaboration and I learn best when I am working together with other classmates, so this activity was right up my ally. This also helped me become more confident with presenting in front of the class because I was more familiar with the audience. 

     I also enjoyed learning new writing habits such as; keeping a journal, planning out my drafts on paper, and simply being able to put pencil to paper. Having not written on paper in what seems like years, I found it almost uncomfortable at first. Not having auto correct was a big struggle for me in the early stages of this class due to my reliance on spell check. I also felt more connected to my writing while using a pen and paper because of the physical handwriting and personality in the text. An important fact I learned from Writing Analytically states: “An advantage of paper notebooks is that things look and feel more tenta-five, Bursts of inspiration can get jotted down in a notebook as these occur with the writer feeling little pressure to turn the resulting words into something approaching finished text. A notebook can come to feel like a verbal sketch pad, encouraging writers to take repeated stabs at capturing something they’ve been thinking about.” I definitely find myself deleting paragraphs of ideas when typing on my computer which discourages me to write out possible content. When I am writing by hand I can just flip the page and start over without losing my initial thoughts all together. This is really helpful when writing because I can always reference other ideas when I get stuck.

    I have learned so many useful skills in the “Page and Screen” english course that will stay with me forever. I value the act of handwritten journaling, planning, and analyzing much more than I did three months ago. I will continue to reflect on this class and all the important lessons I learned this semester. I am proud to say that Scrabble will never be played incorrectly again in my house!

    Work Cited

    Hasbro. “Scrabble Tools: Scrabble Dictionary, Word Builder, Score Sheets and More.” Scrabble, 

    Rosenwasser, David, and Jill Stephen. “Pg. 125.” Writing Analytically: With Readings, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, 2015, pp. 125–125. 

  • The Falling Man

    Rachael King, Melanie Hale, Janie McDowell

    Dr. Jane Lucas

    ENG 1103.24

    04 November 2022

    Frozen in Time: The Infamous “Falling Man” Photograph and Its Impact

    In the article, The Falling Man, the author, Tom Junod, highlights the back story of a specific snapshot taken on September 11, 2001. Junod describes the atmosphere and environment around the man falling, presumably, through a window. He paints a picture for the audience using different writing techniques like metaphors and similes to tell a story without using literal interpretations. Junod even goes in-depth into how the community felt about the tragic event and how the photo taken started to cause some commotion. He was able to switch from recreating the image to explaining to the viewers how it has impacted time and history. Without a doubt, The Falling Man photo highlights more than just a man falling out a window. 

    Tom Junod was able to not only show a critical time in the world, but depict a photo taken during the event. Junod uses metaphors such as, “he decided to get on with it: as though he was a missile..” to compare the man to an object the audience can understand and relate to. The article underlines how the man’s arms are perfectly symmetrical with the buildings beside him. He not only uses intricate quirks to explain his points but to show the beauty of the picture. Similarly in the article, he presents another rhetorical tool, an oxymoron. Junod stresses that the man “appears relaxed, hurtling through the air”, juxtaposing the words “relaxed” and “hurtling. By beating around the bush of a straight-out term he can present his views better. 

    The article, “Excerpt: 20 years on, ‘The Falling Man’ is still you and me,” is an excerpt from photographer Richard Drew’s book  “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy.” Richard Drew was present for the 9/11 attacks and is the photographer of the famous “Falling Man” photo. In his book, he recounts the reaction that the public had to this photo, which became a trend in most articles written on the subject. Drew states, “The photograph was denounced as coldblooded, ghoulish and sadistic… Sir Elton John called it ‘probably one of the most perfect photographs ever taken’… My fellow photographers called it ‘the most famous picture nobody’s ever seen.’ But, in fact, it was seen. Whenever it’s mentioned, people say, ‘Oh, that’s the one where the guy looks like he’s swan-diving.’ Or, ‘That’s the one where the guy’s body is lined up perfectly with the lines of the World Trade Center.’ And then there is: ‘I know — it’s the one where, if you turn it upside down, it looks like the guy is sitting on a chair.’” Each of these quotes from various individuals represent the differing views of each person who saw it. He even went on to mention Tom Junod’s 2003 Esquire article, which we have discussed in class, and states, “He found their reactions varied according to their own feelings about mortality.” This quote goes on to even further prove that many different individuals had many different reactions to the image. It is an unsettling image, to say the least, and there are going to be unavoidable mixed reactions.

    In the article, “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: the 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” author, Jared Gee, discusses the public’s mixed reaction to the chilling photograph. The image was “condemned and censored” in news articles and through other mainstream media outlets due to its graphic nuance. Despite this, the photograph, being one of the only photographs of the jumpers, continued to gain views, becoming one of the most well-known photos from 9/11. Gee states, “Having been relegated to its supposed death through mainstream media censorship, the photo continued to gain viewership and recognisability through its circulation on the internet. ‘Falling Man’ has since become one of the most recognizable 9/11 images…” In addition, Tom Junod, the author of “The Falling Man,” aided in the photograph’s acceptance by the public, while other images of jumpers were still being largely concealed as they were deemed exploitative and others were disgusted by them. Gee adds, “Tom Junod, who helped usher the mainstream acceptance of the photo in his now famous 2003 Esquire Magazine article ‘The Falling Man’, states that the photo evokes the profundity of a man choosing to use his power, his American freedom, taking rebellious yet patriotic command of the terrible situation… As in Junod, the language and interpretations surrounding the photo are often used as a reminder of, and even justification for, the many wars and unjust policies that continue to follow 9/11.” Although there were negative reactions to the image, the image offers insight into what it was like being trapped inside the Twin Towers during this horrific event. Those inside were going to inevitably face death, so they took matters into their own hands. In addition, it helps the public to understand why this historic event should never be forgotten and how the nation came together to heal. 

    In addition to this, the article, “The Newsstand: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ photo remains haunting mystery,” written by Don O’Briant, presents another idea that also discusses Tom Junod’s piece, which we have reviewed in class. Similarly to Gee’s essay, O’Briant writes about the photograph, however, he includes information that Gee did not include in his essay. O’Briant includes the suspected victim’s name in his piece, Norberto Hernandez, also mentioning that he was a worker at the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower. O’Briant states, “A Toronto Globe & Mail reporter concluded that the man was Norberto Hernandez, but Hernandez’s wife and daughters denied it was him. There was no way he would have committed suicide, they say.” O’Briant goes on to give further insight into why Tom Junod decided to write about the image. He includes a quote from Junod himself, “On my computer I have some footage of people jumping on that day that I downloaded off the Internet,” says Junod, an Atlanta writer-at-large for Esquire. “I’ve looked at it many times, and every time I looked at it, I want to say, ‘Stop.’ Nobody does stop. It’s as if the horror behind them was greater than the horror in front of them.” When reviewing this piece in class I asked myself, “Why write about this,” assuming the image spoke for itself. However, by including this quote, O’Briant makes it clear for readers, such as myself, to comprehend why he chose to write about it. It is such a historic image and essentially explaining it allows for a clearer understanding of the image itself. 

    In conclusion, Junod’s photo of the Falling Man captures the essence of what 9/11 was and how it impacted the nation. He has not only influenced other writers’ pieces, but showed the world an important event in time. The articles above have added to the reasons that Junod’s writing and the photo of the falling man have become so successful. The photo has allowed for other audiences to share their views and overall thoughts on the topic. Along with this, Junod has expressed his talents and techniques as a writer. Therefore, the article, The Falling Man, has taught many and continues to leave its mark on society. 

    Annotated Bibliography

    Drew, Richard. “Excerpt: 20 Years on, ‘the Falling Man’ Is Still You and Me.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 9 Sept. 2021, 

    In the article, “Excerpt: 20 Years on, ‘the Falling Man’ Is Still You and Me,” Richard Drew’s account of the 9/11 attacks is explained through an excerpt from his book,  “September 11: The 9/11 Story, Aftermath and Legacy.” The article discusses Drew’s point of view of the attacks, which he was present for. 

    Richard Drew is an Associated Press photojournalist. He is most known for his photograph “Falling Man” captured during the 9/11 attacks. Drew has been an Associated Press photographer for more than 40 years.

    Gee, Jared. “Revisiting ‘Falling Man’ at 20: The 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers.”  Taylor & Francis, 24 Oct. 2021, 

    The article, “Revisiting ‘Falling man’ at 20: The 9/11 Archive and Missing Images of Jumpers,” written by Jared Gee offers insight into how the public viewed the infamous “Falling Man” photograph and the differing opinions surrounding it. It also went on to further explain how it came to be accepted and one of the most recognizable images from 9/11. 

    Jared Gee is a member of the Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages at the University of California, Riverside. He is an interdisciplinary scholar and his research focuses primarily on the security apparatus. He has focused on numerous studies including, security, counterinsurgency, insurgency and guerrilla warfare, war studies, Middle East and North Africa studies, American studies, French studies, political philosophy, continental philosophy, and the list continues on. At the time that this article was published, Jared Gee was on a one-year research grant at the University of California, Riverside.

    O’Briant, Don. “THE NEWSSTAND: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ Photo Remains Haunting Mystery.” ProQuest, 2 Sept. 2003, 

    In the article, “The Newsstand: 9/11’s ‘Falling Man’ photo remains haunting mystery,” author, Don O’Briant, includes almost crucial information as to who the “Unknown Soldier” is and includes an explanation from Tom Junod as to why he chose to write about in the image in “The Falling Man.”

    Don O’Briant is currently a Columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was a reporter and editor at The Greenville News from 1969-1973. In addition, he has written eight non-fiction books and has about forty years of experience in journalism. 

  • Skim Reading is the new normal Analysis

    McDowell 1

    Janie McDowell

    Dr. Lucas

    ENG 1103.24

    7th October 2022

    Skim Reading is the new normal Analysis

    In ‘Skim Reading is the New Normal ” by Maryanne Wolf, It starts out with an observation of the new generation of babies.The article explains the effects of technology and digital screen use and how it can lead to poor reading comprehension. The use of screens leads to ‘skim reading’, which is now our generation’s norm. This is becoming more and more of an issue as time passes and technology improves and becomes more commonly used for educational and entertainment purposes.

    I believe that the early and frequent use of technology in babies, toddlers, and early elementary students, is extremely harmful to how they learn in the future. As UCLA psychologist Patricia Greenfeild writes, “the result is that less attention and time will be allocated to slower, time-demanding deep reading processes, like inference, critical analysis, and empathy, all of which are indispensable to learning at any age.” I found this information very interesting because it makes sense, yet it never crossed my mind. Screen use enables less meaningful ways of learning and promotes short attention spans. Whereas a normal book will teach the reader the importance of detail and attention. I also found it interesting that Greenfeild brought up empathy. I had never thought of the correlation between education and empathy but it makes sense that 

    McDowell 2

    they go hand in hand. Empathy involves attention to your surroundings and details, which is not taught through screen use. This is concerning to me given that empathy is a very crucial and useful social nskill to have throughout life. Without empathy the world would be a much nastier and cruel place. Therefore, frequent use of technology can not only impact learning but also social qualities and skills.

    As a college student I can see and understand that I too, have been affected by technology. I think If I was raised and taught entirely off screens and with paper only, I would be a better reader. I had a really hard time with reading and comprehension growing up due to my attention deficit problem. I was diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder in seventh grade due to my poor reading recall and comprehension. After reading this article I am curious as to if my disorder could have been prevented or lessend with a different style of learning. The article states that “Multiple studies show that digital screen use may be causing a variety of troubling downstream effects on reading comprehension in older highschool and college students.” Skimming text has become so natural and common due to this downstream and has since become a popular tactic for students. Even without knowing it, I am guilty of doing this often with text because social media has trained my brain to look for key words, and to cancel out things that don’t matter or don’t catch the eye right away. Attention to detail, selective reading, and skimming translate directly into everyday life and can even be dangerous in some situations. 

    This article opened my eyes to the dangers of technology in relation to human development and education. I feel that there needs to be a solution to this issue before the next generations end up drasticallty affected. After reading this article multiple times I am very appreciative of my ‘page and screen’ english class. Looking back from elementary school until now my classes have become increasingly more technology based. I think if I were to take a class structured like ‘page and screen’ every year, I would be a more attentive, and overall better reader. 

    Work Cited 

    Wolf, Maryanne. “Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound.” The Guardian, 8/25/2018


  • McDowell

    Janie McDowell

    Dr. Lucas

    Eng. 1103

    16 September 2022

    Confidence in Competition 

    I could feel my stomach turn more aggressively as I gazed around the room full of girls that were once my lacrosse teammates. I had never been a very confident player and I constantly compared myself to my friends. I was about to try out for the first time in over six years against my own best friends. We were broken into groups, doing drills I’d never heard of before, and being watched and analyzed from every angle.

    “Wonderful job today girls! I will announce the groups that are based on skill level now, so please remember who you are grouped with. Emma Curry…” Please say my name. “…Natalie Freres…” I can’t be separated from Nat. “…Lily Wallas…” Okay, now I know this is a good group. “…Grace Curry…Janie McDowell…” Coach Collins said confidently.

    For the first time since I started playing lacrosse, I finally felt a sense of confidence. Knowing I was placed in a group with the best players from my club team made me think I might have been a little hard on myself. This confidence faded almost instantly when I realized I was up against these girls. I realized they would compare to some of the strongest and most dedicated players I’d ever met.

    Nonetheless, I tried my best to focus on being good enough to be a part of this group. I played hard and did the best I could which is all I could have done. 

    “Ball sweep! Get all the balls and cones and meet me in the center. When I call your name, please meet one of our coaches downstairs.” Coach Collins said.

    I was terrified.

    “Janie McDowell.” 

    My heart stopped. I’d never wanted anything more than to make this JV team. 

    “Hi Janie, my name is Coach J and I am the Junior Varsity coach. I’ve loved watching you play and would like to offer you a spot on my team.” 

    I did it. Playing on a competitive, travel lacrosse team for over five years had broken my confidence down. There was always someone better and my coaches reminded us that every day. I lost my spark for a while but making the JV team along with the girls to which I compared myself on the daily, lit that spark again within me. I saw myself differently not only as a lacrosse player but as a person. I began to play better than ever before and gained more confidence altogether. I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to, and not to beat myself up about little mistakes. This lesson translates into my everyday life and will continue to affect the way I perceive myself forever.

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