Blog 5.

Exploratory paper.

John Njeru

Dr. Howard

English 1020

6 February 2019

Its hard to believe that in this past few weeks, we have only covered 33% of the syllabus, it feels like we covered so much. From in class activities such as creating weapons with our classmates for the apocalypse, teaming up with other students to research on the validity of certain content in the internet, it feels like we all the way done with this course. We talked about natural disasters that have occurred and the measures put in place in case of such an event. For example we had an interaction about the storm in Wetumpka and got to here from people in class who were actually there.
Out of all that we discussed the most important thing for me has to be the research skills we learnt in class, which has made me a more confident and comfortable writer.

The discussions we had on disasters occurring all over the world really had me thinking. For instance the nuclear incident that happened in Fukushima. Those people affected had nothing to do with the cause of those accidents, yet houses got swept away, people died and Japan as a whole suffered a huge loss economically and even emotionally. Then the issue about Wetumpka got brought up in class the other day people having their houses and property destroyed by the tornados, it got me thinking about storms and the impact it has on people and the environment in general. So I finally got stuck on writing about a storm.

Bad storm.

It is scary just thinking about how close Wetumpka is to Montgomery and whatever happened there could have easily happened to anyone else. A storm could lead to all types of problems. Roads get blocked because of the severe weather, meaning people have to stay indoors at all times, schools closing, power outages are inevitable and that affects communication in general, since the internet is down the whole time. People having to evacuate their houses. A serious enough storm causes destruction of houses, buildings, businesses and even people dying. All of which later reflects on the government’s budget, costing even millions in damages.

Research questions;

  1. What are the effective ways to communicate with each other during the storm.
  2. What are the safest shelters to be at during the storm, and the evacuation procedures put in place for this time.
  3. What are the necessary things to stock up during this period.

I plan to begin my paper, showing other storms that have occurred in all other parts of the world, not just Wetumpka and how other people in all parts of the world prepared for the storm. Also showing the effects the storm had in different parts of the world, just to emphasize on the importance of planning ahead of time. There is also going to be news reports about the storm, telling people how to prepare for the storm, what things are essential during the storm and what parts will be most affected by it, updating people on a daily basis. I plan to paint a real picture of what will be happening at the time, bringing out all the emotions through my words, showing how much damage this storm brings about, what and who gets affected.

Using the skills I have learnt in class, I will be able to gather trustworthy information from google scholar and google for my research on the necessary measures to go through with in this times, mainly for credibility purposes. In the past I would quickly look over shady websites and copy word for word whatever they had on their website. Now I can gather sources from the internet with ease, knowing what websites I can trust and which ones are fake. This is of course through techniques we learnt in class such as the iceberg technique and CRAAP test.

One of my main concerns is on the fluidity of my paper, a problem I had in past literature classes, knowing how to arrange my points in a systematic order, has always been a problem for me. I will try to go into this paper with my mind clear of all distractions, and take my time with it. Considering how lengthy the paper actually is, it will be very easy to go off topic, so rushing into this paper will probably not be the best thing to do. By doing this and consulting the professor and other students I am positive that I will not lose connection with the audience by writing a whole bunch of gibberish.

Making my paper flow is one thing but making it interesting, something that people can actually want to read is something totally different. I cannot sit through a boring lecture or just reading a boring paper myself, so making it something worthwhile for others to read is a priority for me. Between my topic and the number of pages required for this paper capturing the attention of the audience in this paper is something am trying to accomplish. Since its a considerably lengthy paper, that only means more time on research on various topics. One of my worries is not having reliable information, getting wrong content from sources disguised to be the real thing causing my paper not to be authentic.

What I enjoyed most in my previous English 1010 course was the constructive criticism we all gave each other, from students to teachers. We used to write blogs all the time and hearing what someone else had to say about my paper, adding on to my content really helped me grow as a writer, as long as the criticism did not come from a malicious place. I also learnt how to properly construct sentences in my previous literature class and the importance of the right vocabulary in relation to a certain topic which has always been a problem for me.

I have never been good in my time management skills in my previous class, but writing has never been a problem for me. I actually enjoy writing, my main problem with writing in my previous classes has always been procrastination but I plan to improve on my time management skills in this course.


Blog 4.

Write Blog 4 in class: compose an email message to a college student who is interested in visiting either Fukushima or Chernobyl, advising them whether or not they should go, use sources you’ve found to back up your argument .

Dear best friend,

I wouldn’t recommend you going to Chernobyl, not from what I read about it, how bout the Bahamas or even Africa? somewhere that just isn’t a total dump. I don’t know about you, but for me it is a constant reminder of a part of history that I want to forget about. From what I read, some of the places that got evacuated will not be safe to live in for another 20,000 years. I guess it would be alright to take selfies and witness first hand what happened there. If you really are going to visit Chernobyl, I recommend touring with a local guide, since some of those areas still have high levels of radiation and you wouldn’t want to risk your health by exposing your body like that. I still don’t think its a good idea, but knowing you, I know you will do it anyways.

Blog 3.5

Quotes limit the search to the exact phrase.

  • Extreme and tourism vs “extreme tourism” vs extreme AND tourism

Use CRAAP test to evaluate them

Scholarly sources (journals) –

Peer review- A scholarly source…

  • Must be peer reviewed
  1. Experts give feedback
  2. They do this anonymously
  3. Decide if a scholar should be published
  4. Many journals are inaccessible (most are in a library)

Why use sources?

  1. To answer questions
  2. To validate something that we are arguing (CRAAP test)
  3. List the full name of the author. We cite the author

Write an email telling your best friend if they should or shouldn’t go to Chernobyl. Use sources to validate your reasons. This is going to be blog 4.

Blog 3.

HW: Find out what happened in Fukushima, Japan in 2011; list three sources that you believe are credible  and list them as Blog 3  / begin thinking about your topic for the exploration paper.

Fukushima Nuclear disaster.

Japan has a notorious count for earthquakes, a close second to other countries such as Indonesia or Fiji. This island country sits on top of tectonic plates that trigger this deadly earthquakes. What happened in Fukushima Japan all started with the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, that was recorded as the most powerful earthquake in Japan. This earthquake led to a tsunami that caused nuclear accidents and deaths of thousands of people. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, many electrical generators were being taken down by the tsunami causing at least three nuclear reactors to explode. This was due to a build up of hydrogen in the outer containment buildings as a result of a system cooling failure due to lack of electricity. Residents within a 20 km radius of the power plant were being evacuated off their lands. The World Bank’s estimated Japan’s economic cost was at US $235 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in history.


Chernobyl Nuclear disaster.

The Chernobyl disaster occured on 26th April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant. This event was recorded as the worst accident in the history of nuclear disasters. Before this accident, there was a planned power reduction, that was later on postponed, despite this request, the preparations for the test continued. The nuclear accident occurred when the fourth reactor suffered a huge power increase, causing the core of the reactor to explode. This explosion caused large amounts of radioactive material and fuel to be released into the environment. This radioactive fallout drifted into the western Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, UK and the eastern United States. About 350,000 people had to evacuate after the accident. The Soviet Union had to slow down on the development of the nuclear industry and since then Russia, Ukraine and Belarus became separate countries.


Blog 2.5

Blog 2.5 (notes = .5 blog)

I. Orientation

A. Overview of project (syllabus p2)

B. Weapon Exercise: group activity where you had to pick a weapon useful during disaster\apocalypse (too narrow a topic)

C. Create a blog for your “short assignments” Anne Lamott wrote about how every day we can write a short amount and get things done.

D. Describe a situation where you lost power, water, etc. in Blog 1.

II. Day 2

A. Interview 2 classmates about their experience. Interview can count as primary sources. You just have to give credit to the right person and make sure they were a witness. Gathered raw data with their answers. We then used it to make a fake research paper that day.

HW: read “Campus Plumber”

III. Day 3

A. NPR and “Fake News”

B. use of pills

C. about where our water comes from

D. “Campus Plumber”

E. You can also search for fake images

EX. Readioactive flowers, Louisville purge

IV. Day 4

A. Iceberg technique- going down the rabbit hole, following the trail, going deeper, digging deeper.

Start somewhere simple like but then follow the trail, go deeper. Follow other links that go to published essays, books, movies.

B. CRAAP test can help you determine which sources are trustworthy

C-Currency- how long ago was it written

R-Relevance- how important is it to you

A-Authorship-is the author qualified to make claims

A-Accuracy- are there errors in information

P-Purpose- why was it written.

Blog 2.

Sample research task:

Where do zombies come from? Why are they associated with the apocalypse?

Personally, I never seen a zombie, and even after research, there is no concrete evidence, supporting the existence of zombies, this alone is not to say that zombies are not real. In fact There are millions of people around the world who firmly believe in the existence of these walking corpses, quoting scriptures from the bible such as this one to support their claims;

-In Mathew’s fictitious account of a Jewish Messiah, it reads as follows …

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. – Matthew 27:51-53

The word zombie is derived from the word ‘nzambi’ (god) and ‘zumbi’ (fetish) as in the West African culture. Zombies are associated with the apocalypse, as a result of their portrayal in films, literary novels and other media. In my opinion, being a zombie is as an effect of never ending slavery.

zombie (Haitian FrenchzombiHaitian Creolezonbi) is a “fictional undead being created through the reanimation of a human corpse.” -According to 

I used the iceberg technique to come up with the following sources;

Blog 1.

I come from Kenya, a small part of Africa where I spent most of childhood days. As much fun as it was, molding myself with the culture, just like any other developing nation, it is difficult to not acknowledge the problems that are inbuilt in that society. Being a third world country, resources such as electricity and water are not properly utilized, being rationed at times in certain places. I have experienced not having electricity and water and of course I hated it, who wouldn’t? because it did happen often. Air conditioning was more of an additional expense rather than a commodity, I know people who never been under a roof with air conditioning and never even brought it up. Sure, not having electricity was a really tough experience at times, but what made it much better was being with friends and family to spend quality time with. I got to catch up with my parents without always having to look at my phone for group chats. I got to have meaningful talks with my parents, other times I went out with friends to pass time, eat and chill. Realizing that not having electricity was not the end of the world, but a chance to spend more time with others, was what helped me out the most.