Frame Topics with Inquiry

Hockey:

time: What was the game like in before the 1990’s?

place: Where are hockey’s must undiscovered areas for talent?

person: How does a rink owner manage a rink an turn a profit?

story: How does the game differ in different parts of the country and world?
Music:

time: What has changed in the music scene in the past 10 years?

place: Where can you find music still thriving in it’s older formats?

person: How does someone run a venue?

story: What is the real difference between different genres?

 

 

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Comparative Genre Analysis

Rebecca Skloot, a female American author, pitched her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in three similar yet very different television talk show forums.

Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report othing short of typical Colbert, about 75% focuses on the topic or piece of work that the guest has brought while the other 25% focuses on, who else, Colbert. The interview starts with Colbert running over to meet his guest instead of the guest traditionally coming out to meet the host, a satirical addition to a show already making fun of the tradition right wing talk show. As Skloot walks Colbert through some interesting points from her book and Lacks’ life, Colbert fires back with half sarcastic questions to get the real facts out of Skloot. pictures of Colbert’s own blood cells are shown on the screen, eventually being destroyed by Centipede (a reference to the old arcade game.) While portrayed in a comedic manner, Colbert still promotes the book in a positive light and to an audience that may otherwise never know about it.

Fox News’ take at an interview with Skloot came off as a standard professional interview. Dr. Manny, host of Health Talk, dives deep into the matter, including asking how long it took for the family to find out about the cells and what they were used for. Dr. Manny connects the dots between the lack of consent from Henrietta to the lack of compensation to her family. Skloot also mentions that she has set up a foundation, The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, to benefit the family. High resolution pictures of the Lacks family and Henrietta’s old medical records are occasionally shown on screen to give viewers a better visual of the situation. Lastly, Dr. Manny plugs the book once more and wraps up the segment.

PBS’ Tavis Smiley provides yet another variation on the standard book promotion interview. One major factor in the differences in this interview are that PBS is a public channel promoting education, and Smiley focuses on education-based questions during the interview. Higher level thinking topics and questions such as grants for the Henrietta Lacks Foundation and legal claims to cells are discussed. Smiley is also an African-American, and the only African-American host out of the three interviews shown. Some of the questions dive into that realm, which wasn’t touched on in the other interviews.

One thing I realized was that none of the hosts were women. Although the three interviews were all on talk shows, they were all presented differently: Colbert’s was satirical yet informational, Fox’s more serious and straightforward, and PBS’ educational and enlightening. All three presented the same information in different ways that would appeal to different people, and still managed to promote the book in a professional manner. Whichever style you prefer, one thing is certain: Rebecca Skloot knows her stuff, in front of the camera and on paper.

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Analysis of Deborah Lacks

In Part 3 of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Lacks family spends a lot of time trying to answer a variety of questions. Questions to reporters, questions from doctors, and questions they had themselves about their unique situation they found themselves in. Deborah Lacks was different from the rest of her family. As she coasted to a more mature 30 years old, she shifted away from the mentality of much of the family, which partly was to try to make money off of the HeLa cells from Johns Hopkins or anyone that would offer it. Their endeavor included handing out pamphlets and other reading material explaining their version of the story of Henrietta, their best attempt to spread the word about their beloved family member.

While others focused on the financial implications surrounding the HeLa cells, Deborah took it upon herself to learn more about her mother and the science surrounding her cells. While not always an easy task, she did what she could for herself around working two jobs for her two children, always living in fear of what disease or sickness she would be dealt. Initially, she was angry and afraid about everything that had happened and what she thought could potentially happen to her. At a visit to Johns Hopkins, Deborah met Victor A. McKusick, often known as “The Father of Genetics,” initially to have blood drawn for research, which was not the reason she thought she was at the hospital. She threw many a question towards McKusick, who gave her complex answers and even signed a copy of his genetics book and gave it to her. This seemed to be a turning point for Deborah, where her frustration over the year slowly started to dwindle and turn into a curiosity to learn and simply be informed about the cells and what her mother went through.

In “Least They Can Do,” Deborah bought a dictionary, a notebook and some science textbooks and began taking notes and making a real effort to learn more about cells. She educated herself and almost used it as a coping mechanism, while writing her thoughts down in her journal next to important lines from the textbook. Deborah’s maturity that came with age and after having two kids makes her an interesting character to focus on. I think she came to grips with everything that had happened by seeking out information herself and becoming more informed about her mother.

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“Life” Analysis

In Chapter Two of The Immortal Life on Henrietta Lacks, titled “Clover,” author Rebecca Skloot goes in depth about Henrietta’s childhood while being raised by her grandfather,  and the evolution of her interesting relationship with her husband Day, whom she lived with from the age of four. Skloot’s research into the childhood of Lacks and her family is used as a backbone to the story to give the reader an idea of where she came from and the life she lived, which not only helps connect the dots but also allows the reader to grow closer to Lacks. Descriptive storytelling allows the reader to place themselves in the town of Clover, Virginia, to get a real view of Henrietta’s early life. This chapter appealed to me because I find life and how everyone lives differently to be interesting. History is something I can enjoy learning about and the connections to World War II and other historical namesakes such as Boston, helped pull me in to the chapter. I was intrigued by what was to me, a complex family situation Henrietta and her family members dealt with, something that they didn’t think much of. One example is Crazy Joe, one of Henrietta’s cousins, and his quest to just get “a chance” with his cousin, eventually leading to Joe stabbing himself after he hears news of Henrietta’s engagement. Most people today would not even think about marrying their cousin, but this was common practice at the time given the life circumstances surrounding the Lacks family. Another interesting piece of the chapter was the description of the trip to Boston, and how the cousins who stayed home in Clover waited for hours for their “treat” of bologna or cheese.

While “Clover” connects to the overall section one theme of “Life,” it doesn’t really connect to the rest of the chapters, especially chronologically, but instead provides background information for the rest of the story. Skloot’s placement of the chapter in between the diagnosis of Henrietta’s cancer and the rest of her story after the news presents this chapter, in a way, as a flashback. Although it may not seem as important as the other chapters in the book, knowing who Henrietta Lacks was may just be as interesting as her medical history and the moments leading up to her being cemented in history.

 

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Millenials

“Do you see yourself in the description of the millennial generation report and in your quiz response? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? Why?”

After reading the report, I really do feel like I see myself in the description of the report. Although I’m religious, chances are I’m less religious than generations older than me. I think everyone’s so busy that even those who “believe” in something don’t even make an effort or have the time to get to church on a regular basis. I haven’t served in the military, and I think that most of our generation is choosing or has chose to go after higher education instead. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about getting a tattoo, but I want to make sure I know exactly what I want and where I want it before I just go do it. I’m not worried about my financial future and I think not only will I end up meeting my financial goals but that I will enjoy my job too.
My parents got a divorce when I was young, so I only lived about 8 years of my life with both of them in the same house, and fall into the same category as 40% of others who didn’t have both parents living together during their childhood. I get along fairly well with my parents, and I’d do anything for them as they get older just as they’ve done for me the past 19 years. I respect my elders and try to learn something from them every chance I get.

So, where do my thoughts and beliefs differ? I think that more than 75% of 18-29 year old Americans have created some sort of social networking profile at some point, whether it be on Myspace, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or any other of the countless options out there. I’m not sure if I trust government as much as a lot of the other kids my age. For me, it’s just too hard to tell if government-run entities operate better than private ones. For example, how can we really know if socialized health care in Canada is good or bad if we haven’t experienced it ourselves?

Besides those two issues, I feel like the report almost summarized me personally. I really am a Millennial.

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