Throughout the fall semester of 2022, section 24 of English 1103 Page and Screen as a class have read and written many different pieces of narrative and informational writing, and has tested our analytical reading skills. This pushed the class to think deeper into small grammar and word choices to find deeper meaning within the writing, and let details speak. This is done by “Say explicitly what you said, state exactly how the evidence supports your claims, and consider how the evidence complicates your claims (Rosenwasser, Stephen pg.153).” Building writing skills by analyzing other works along with reading and examining pieces of literature built a structure for us to construct our final essay and annotated bibliography through pieces including “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, and “Blogs vs. Term Papers”.
“Me Talk Pretty One Day”, by David Sedaris is one of the critical pieces of literature that helped improve my analytical reading and writing skills. Throughout his piece Sedaris shifts from first to third person and allows Sedaris to progress throughout the timeline of the class by giving a first person experience, and using the third person to further elaborate or reference a different time. This method along with his in-depth descriptive detailing has influenced my writings, and the way I formulate my pieces. “Blogs vs. Term Papers” by Matt Richtel taught me how to focus on certain ideas and topics. In his essay for example Richtel uses short bursts and sentences to focus on certain topics, and I tried to use his style to make my final essay extremely informative. While the two pieces mentioned helped formulate the essay, there were other factors from the class that helped the process including playing scrabble, helping expand my vocabulary. Sedaris and Richtel’s writings have influenced my own final essay and bibliography through teaching me to be more descriptive while writing, and keeping detail to further describe the testing done in Lebni’s Study.
The final essay and annotated bibliography written by my group was about the negative effects of technology, and my part specifically focused on a study conducted by Javad Lebni along with other iranian students at Lorestan University. They conducted this study in order to determine the hidden risk factors that can arise from excessive internet use. Using a set of health General health questionnaires and internet addiction tests they were able to determine firstly the ranges of technology use among the participants, and secondly the mental health status of the participants determining that “45.5% of students were addicted to the internet, and 50% of the students had poor mental health (Lebni, Study of Internet Addiction).” I was able to use the skills of descriptive writing to explain the data from the study in a way that was understandable, but informational and concise.
Writing this essay put together many of the various lessons that assignments including reading and analyzing Sedaris and Ritchel’s pieces provided, scrabble and more activities that strengthened my communication skills. The different writing styles that the sample pieces showed varied from each other, yet helped form an informative and structured essay. It is certain to say that the different activities that were done throughout the semester have furthered my writing skills.
Lebni, Javad, et al. “A Study of Internet Addiction and Its Effects on Mental Health: A Study Based on Iranian University Students.” Journal of Education and Health Promotion, vol. 9, no. 1, 2020, pp. 205–205.,
Richtel, Matt. “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” The New York Times, 20 Jan. 2012,
Rosenwasser, David and Jill Stephen.“Reasoning from evidence to claims.”
Writing Analytically,8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. pp.153
Sedaris, David. “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” Me Talk Pretty One Day. Little, Brown, 2000. 166-73
The Negative Effects of Technology
Technology as a whole has grown and developed along with the rising leaders of future generations, and the intense growth of the internet over the past decade has allowed for information to be available to anyone within seconds of searching. However with all the positive outcomes that have been achieved the thought of technology negatively affecting our culture has been pushed away.
Iranian Students, Javad Lebni, Razie Toghroli, Jaffar Abbas, Nazila NeJhaddadgar, Mohammad Salahshoor, Morteza Mansourian, Hadi Gilan, Neda Kianipour, Fakhreddin Chaboksavar, Seyyed Azizi, and Arash Ziapour of Lorestan university of Medical Sciences wrote “A Study of Internet Addiction and Its Effects on Mental Health: A Study Based on Iranian University Students” to determine the negative effects of technology and mental health. The Lorestan University students claim that while the internet is an easy medium to gain information from around the world, excessive use can overwhelm living standards along with relationships between peers. With the endless amount of information and opportunity available so quickly online, instability coupled with curiosity is leading to a downward shift in mental health. The article moves onto elaborating upon the rapid increase in internet use within the past twenty-plus years, “Globally, the users of the Internet have increased from 414 million in 2000, 665 million in 2002, and over 4.574 billion by December 31, 2019. The US National Science Foundation specified that the internet users enabled by smartphone access would increase to 5 billion in 2020 (Lebri, Introduction 1).” This is used to give context and elaborate on the fact that internet overuse is becoming a rampant issue, and internet use continues to grow at large margins yearly. This problematic overuse of the internet, Internet addiction disorder, “results in substantial impairment in the function of individuals in their different life domains over prolonged time (Lebri, Introduction 2).”
The study conducted gave a general health questionnaire to 447 students, applying the Young’s Internet Addiction Test and Goldberg General Health Questionnaire to collect their data. The results stated that internet addiction corresponded to a negative relationship with mental stability and depression. The authors of the study selected nine faculties, medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical medicine, nursing and midwifery, paramedics, public health, nutrition sciences, and food industries, and self-governing college, then selected students from these majors and classes. The study made sure to ensure each participant with full confidentiality and disclosure to verify the validity of each sample. Without this detail it could have been possible for some samples to have been seen as variables. The questionnaire contained a demographics section, and an Internet addiction test, a scaled questionnaire measuring addiction based on how frequently you pursue the action the question is asking. This test was used because it is able to determine addiction levels based on the total amounts of points added up at the end of the questionnaire. It allows an easy outlook to see a baseline number, the higher being the more dependent, on the severity of a certain addiction.
The Results found that the main reason for internet use is for communication. The Study showed that, “The mean and standard deviation of students with internet addiction was 3.81 ± 0.88. Besides, the mean and standard deviation of students’ mental health was 2.56 ± 0.33, which stated that the general mental health of students was not in good condition (Lebri, Results 2).” This is stating that ninety one percent of people involved in the study scored over fifty in the Internet Addiction Test, and are either at risk or addicted users. This overuse of the Internet can lead not only to long term emotional effects, but long term physical effects as well. With overuse of technology comes overuse of Screen time.
The overuse of screen time is something almost every college student in America suffers from, too much exposure has negative physical and psyche effects. A study done by Hsing-Hao Lee and Su-Ling Yeh shows bluelight is sensitive to certain cells in your eye called photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. Exposure to blue light to these cells dramatically increases saccadic eye movements, your eyes ability to focus on a single thing in sight. It also increases attentional disengagement. “Our findings provide evidence for the blue-light facilitatory effect on eye movements and attentional disengagement, and suggest that blue light can enhance the speed of saccadic eye movements.” With this we can conclude that the majority of college students in America are affected by over exposure to blue light. Though maybe now seen as normal, a large proportion of people are having trouble sleeping.
Blue light is everywhere in our environment, especially recently with the rise of computers, laptops, cell phones, etc. All things they have in common is they use blue light. On top of the effects it has on your eyes it also has an imprint on your brain. Blue light delays the time it takes to fall asleep and disrupts our circadian rhythms. Blue light glasses started becoming a normal accessory for a lot of adolescence. According to Crostophe Moderie in a study in 2017, he claims, “In a recent study, exposure to blue light in the evening has been associated with a late circadian phase. Hypersensitivity to evening light, especially in the blue spectrum, could therefore contribute to delaying circadian phase and to a persistent tendency to delay bedtime.” The light we see during the day is what makes your body not produce melatonin. Bluelight mimics sunlight in which it activates the same cells that tell the body to stay awake. So, many adolescents have a delayed sleep schedule and tend to complain about their sleep. Before most adolescents go to sleep, they typically use some device that uses bluelight. Ask any college student about what they do before bed and it’s typically using their smartphone, laptop, tv or video games. Blue light surrounds us everyday in our lives now, there is almost no avoiding it, but there are ways to cut back from it.
Going to bed at a normal time without the use of any technology will help with sleep and the production of melatonin. Spending less time in front of a screen and doing anything else also helps your eyes and brain. “Our results suggest that a late circadian phase, a slow build-up of sleep need, and an increased circadian sensitivity to blue light contribute to the complaint of a delayed sleep schedule.” Decreasing the use of our technology has proven effects to help us sleep, stay focused and be more lively in general. Though we have to use technology in this environment, we can limit ourselves and use a healthy amount that allows us to do what we want at a minimal expense.
Another popular topic in regards to the negative effects of technology with college students in America is the social impact on students. In 2014, a research study, reported by Carlos P. Zalaquett and SeriaShia J. Chatters, consisting of 613 college students was surveyed to elaborate on their experience with cyberbullying, both in high school and college. Out of the surveys, nineteen percent of those surveyed confirmed they were currently being cyberbullied at the time at their college, yet only 35% of the subsample had been cyberbullied in high school. That being said, of those who were cyberbullied in college, a majority of which had no experience of being cyberbullied in high school. Therefore, from Zalaquett’s and Chatters’ research study, those statistics prove a significant increase in cyberbullying from high school to college.
More importantly, it is best to determine what the effects of cyberbullying have on a student to impact their social life on campus given the increase in cyberbullying in college. To start, cyberbullying with college students include racist, sexist, homophobic remarks, or threats of physical violence begins towards another person at the school. With this mass presence of cyberbullying, students often refrain from exposing their personal feelings and interests to other people in fear of seeing their own name anonymously appear on another social media page for laughs. In return, this blocks students from socializing with their appearances at college, and studies included in Zalaquett’s and Chatters’ research shows that students are more likely to avoid school entirely mainly to avoid any leads to being cyberbullied. In doing so, college students have been reported to lose multiple connections with their peers and find it hard to reach out for help in combating cyberbullying in college.
As cyberbullying is a common thread on the internet, the amount of internet users themselves have been growing over the years, especially in younger generations. To ward off the overall appearance of cyberbullying on the internet for college students, it is important to remember that most victims feel alone when in reality they are not. It is always best to turn off your devices during times of cyberbullying for victims to reduce feelings of stress, sorrow, and potentially anger. Most importantly, victims of cyberbullying are always able to reach out for help and must maintain a strong mental health system for college as it can help them get back into their social environments in college.Technology not only affects college students mentally, physically, and emotionally, but also academically. As seen in Jesper Aagaard’s article “From a small click to an entire action’: exploring students’ anti-distraction strategies” research has shown that students often use digital devices for off-task purposes like instant messaging, meme-browsing, news-reading, and video-watching.(Gaudreau, Miranda, and Gareau 2014). The article explores students’ strategies to prevent off-task distraction and how these strategies may benefit learning as being distracted can lead to missing information being taught. As students have full access to the internet when using technology in the classroom, just a simple click can lead to an individual being caught up in a whole new task without them even realizing it. This can negatively affect the students ability to retain the information being taught as they are not focusing on what is being said.
Teaching Styles Vary Among Teachers
In “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, David Sedaris takes the reader through his experience going to school in Paris to learn how to speak french. Sedaris Introduces the main antagonist of the story, his professor. She speaks harshly towards her students, often asking questions and insulting their answers along with patronizing them. Her rude and grinding teaching style progresses and gets more cruel throughout the narrative, however as time passes Sedaris realizes that as she speaks down upon him and his classmates, he can comprehend what she is saying. David Sedaris uses “Me Talk Pretty One Day” to deliver an underlying message regarding methods of teaching and how it differs from person to person, using shifts in tense from first to third person, sarcasm, and profanity.
Sedaris begins his narrative in the third person point of view so that he can provide imagery as he is describing the excellent French that his classmates speak during first encounters in the classroom. This third person point of view continues this until he switches to the first person when the teacher begins her opening statements and introductions. This initial tense switch when the teacher says, “if you have not meimslsxp or lgpdmurct by this time, then you should not be in this room … All right then, who knows the alphabet? (Sedaris 4)”, is Sedaris’s way of showing the difference between the vocabulary and communication skills between himself and the teacher. The detail of Sedaris not knowing the alphabet is given to further strengthen the separation between his classmates and his own language ability.
Shortly after the first instance of sarcasm from the teacher is displayed against the Polish Anna, “I thought everyone loved the mosquito, but here, in front of everyone you claim to detest him (Sedaris 8).” Sedaris uses this instance from the first day of class to show the teacher’s lack of considerateness for her students’ mental state of mind from the beginning of the course. Sedaris specifically makes it known that this situation is being conducted in front of everyone in the class in the first person for the reader to relate to the Polish Anna and have empathy for the unwanted spotlight that she is being put under. Sedaris gives progressively more ruthless examples of dialogue from the teacher as the class moves forward, “She crouched low for her attack and placed her hands on the young women’s desk, saying “oh yeah? And do you love your little war?”(Sedaris 12),” He does this not only as a way of creating the relatability of a class settling in and getting more serious, but also to support the chronological timeline of the narrative. He uses detail like describing the way she crouched low for her attack to symbolize the teachers’ predatorial attributes that the teacher uses to actively distress the students.
The consistent shifts from first to third person throughout the narrative allows Sedaris to progress throughout the timeline of the class by giving a first person experience, and using the third person to further elaborate or reference a different experience. Paragraphs 21-23 specifically are written in third person and help move the progression of the year along, saying “I took it spending four hours a night on homework, … If someone asked me a question, I pretended to be deaf. … my fellow students and I engaged in the sort of conversation commonly overheard in refugee camps (Sedaris 21-23).” These show the progression of his comfortability with France and beginning to relate with his peers.
Sedaris uses the last sentence of his narrative, “The world opened up, and it was with great joy that I responded, “I know the thing that you speak now. Talk to me more, you, plus, please, plus.”(Sedaris 30),” to reveal his underlying message about the different methods of teaching used among the world. While the harsh nature of the teacher created an immediate dissociation between herself and the students, Sedaris provides examples of the students coming together and pushing themselves because of it. He speaks upon spending large amounts of time on homework after being singled out, and meeting with his classmates to discuss the course. The crude nature of the teacher caused the students to want to be better in order to not face conflict, and it led to the understanding of what the teacher is saying in the end. This story provides an example of a teaching style not commonly adapted and mostly criticized working to in some ways benefit the language skills of the students.
The way Sedaris uses shifts in tense to convey his message across a chronological timeline shows the development of the teacher and the way she treats her students. While her method of teaching may not have followed the status quo it pushed the students and helped the students understand some of the French language. This message of how teaching styles differ and can work if used correctly is shown throughout Sedaris’s character and his progression in working and getting better in class.
Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day. Boston: Little Brown & Co., 2000. Print.
A Dream in the Making
Since the day I could walk, my parents have raised me to have three fundamental characteristics: leadership, scholarship, and work ethic. I was taught that my family came first, schooling came second and athletics came third. Nothing in life, however, stopped me from shifting my focus to my athletic endeavors.
As I grew up, my father would bring my brother and me to the local high school hockey games. “If you put the work in you’ll be out there with a C on your jersey when your big.” My brother and I stare at the players quickly gliding along the smooth icy surface. “These guys are so big and fast Connor”, “Yeah they pass the puck so fast around the ice I can’t even see it.” It was from these games with my dad and brother that my love for the game of hockey arose. I played for many different travel teams, sometimes along with my brother, until I reached high school.
I transferred to Sanborn Regional Highschool after my family moved between my freshman and sophomore years. I knew that my main goal was to become the starting goaltender, and eventually a captain. I was immediately the starting goalie, however, it took two seasons of hard work and dedication to Sanborn’s program until I was named Captain.
This new role came with quite a learning curve, as I was being faced with new challenges and adversity daily. Attempting to rally a group of twenty or more boys together to get focused is not an easy feat. I was able to overcome this challenge using two key points, being authoritative and commanding respect. These are key skills that are necessary to learn in order to become successful in any job in life.
I’ve learned communication skills, including speaking respectfully to my teammates instead of yelling. “Don’t keep throwing the puck up the wall, you gotta bring it behind the net and look far side. Work on it next time, you are all good”. I also changed the way I formed my sentences to be more informative and supportive, to properly relay the information to my team. Learning the proper way to communicate in a calm and respectful manner was key to my success not only in sports but in life as a whole.
Nothing has molded my personality more than playing hockey, and the relationships I’ve made from learning and using various communication and leadership skills have grown and formed bonds for the rest of my life. It’s not about trying to please everyone around you, however, it’s about the connections you create with your peers and form deeper connections.
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