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Courtney Banko

Professor Summerour

English 111

17 Nov 2010

Journal 4

       While reading “Joyas Volardores”, by Brian Doyle, I felt sympathy for the hummingbirds. As it says in the essay “they suffer heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures more than any other living creature.” (81) I did not know that hummingbirds had heart attacks, I never even considered it. Not only do they have heart attacks but these little birds have to keep flying or else they are at risk of dying. That would be like humans having to walk non-stop in order to stay alive. They really have to work hard in order to stay alive.

       Doyle talks about a few species and some of the things that they do throughout their lives, but he paints a bigger picture with his words. I would have never thought that such an essay like this could have been written just by observing a hummingbird and incorporating other organisms. There are a few bigger ideas that he plays with in this essay. By explaining how a hummingbird has to stay alive Doyle makes readers think about their life. Humans typically don’t have to fight to stay alive as in the hummingbird’s situation. He also says, “Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime.” (82) By that he means we all have about the same lifespan we just choose to live differently from others. Lastly, he says that the human heart can be strong for so long before it’s melted by a flood of emotions.

       In this essay and “I Stand Here Ironing,” ordinary things are observed. A family that has had their share of ups and downs in life is depicted in “I Stand Here Ironing.” Literally the mother is ironing while thinking back on her life and how her older daughter grew up. A hummingbird flying around is an ordinary thing. Normally we would just sit back and watch as it gracefully steadies itself to drink from a feeder, but once again it is observed and more complex thought is put into it.  Ironing and hummingbirds are not rare; they are everyday things that people see. The observation of ordinary things is what links these too writing pieces together.

Works Cited

Doyle, Brian. “Joyas Volardores.” Seeing and Writing 4.       

             Ed.Karen S. Henry. Bedford: St. Martin’s, 2010.

             81-83. Print.


Courtney Banko

Professor Summerour

English 111

03 Nov 2010

In an interview on National Public Radio Kenji Jasper said, “Your neighborhood, growing up in the city, is pretty much the boundaries by which you define your life, and that’s your frame of reference.” By saying this he is implying that we become accustomed to the way we live as we grown up and that is how we expect to live. This is significant because in “The Streets Change, But Memories Endure,” Jasper writes about the community in which he grew up in and what his friends had done with their lives. They were in and out of prison and on the streets while he was doing better things with his life.

Where you grow up shapes you as a person, and that is how we merge self and community. No matter what you do a part of you will always be what it was made into while living in that community. If someone grows up in a remote location that is far away from a town, or city, they do not know what it is like to live in a big town or city so they may see no interest in moving to a bigger place in the future. On the other hand, someone living in a city may wish of not ever moving to a place set apart from the city. This is due to the boundaries that we mentally set by living in these communities. Growing up a person makes their own boundaries, and one person’s boundary may not be the next person’s boundary. Noone is the same so noone will have the same boundaries.

Courtney Banko

Professor Summerour

English 111

October 13, 2010

Journal 2: Essay One Reflection

Feelings on Essay One

The most difficult part of our first essay was developing a thesis. I’m not sure why it is so hard for me to get the hang of writing a thesis. The only thing I can think of is throughout my writing career in school I have always been expected to write a simple thesis that states the three main points of the writing piece. I have become so comfortable with this that it’s hard for me to change. I am slowing overcoming my thesis troubles. My final thesis of Essay One was weak, but I am working on my thesis development.

Of all the components in my essay the analysis changed the most. This was probably because every time I thought I had a good analysis it resulted in not being good. The final analysis of my essay was weak and I know that I could have added more information. As for when during the writing process this changed happened; it happened throughout the entire process of writing the essay.

The most surprising thing about going through this assignment is how much you can write about a simple advertisement. My ad was very simple, and I would have never thought that I could write an entire essay about it. I think that future essays will not get any easier so I need to work harder to improve my writing skills. Also, since I have had to look at details while I wrote Essay One I have come to be a little more observant that what I was before.

I chose a picture/art piece to illustrate my feelings while writing Essay One because I thought that many students would choose a music video. The picture that I chose really depicts how my essay came to life and how I felt. At first I was clueless as to how I was going to write an approximately three page essay on a simple, one-page advertisement. When I first started I felt like my thoughts were a jumbled mess. Information and details weren’t in order at the beginning but as time went on it all started to come together and I could see the big picture. In the picture the cell phone is a mix of pieces at the top (words/letters) and as you look down it begins to come together and you can see that it is a cell phone. That was how I felt during the composition of Essay One.

Photo from

Courtney Banko


English 111

13 Sep 2010

Journal 1


Logos are an important part of the consumer world. Sometimes when we see logos we remember them because it catches our attention. Companies want their logos to speak to the consumers and many do. Some consumers are loyal to their favorite company so anything with that logo will catch their attention. The three logos above are: Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, and Honda.

The Mitsubishi logo is simple, made of three red diamond shapes meeting at the center to create an overall triangular shape. The logo seems aerodynamic, and if you were to look at the Mitsubishi models they seem aerodynamic also. That’s what Mitsubishi does to appeal to consumers. It’s a “cool” name, “cool” logo, and “cool” looking vehicles.  If the consumers like the logo then obviously they will look at the cars. If they like the cars then the logo will always catch the eyes of consumers.

The Chevrolet logo is a gold cross shape with a chrome outline. The left and right ends of the cross are cut at opposite angles giving it a nonsymmetrical look with a vertical line through the center dividing the light reflecting off the gold which makes it look three-dimensional. The logo sends a message of “tough”. Looking at the vehicles that Chevrolet makes you can see where the “tough” image is presented. Chevrolet uses the logo to get consumers to see the “tough” factor of their vehicles.

The Honda logo is a curvy “H”, that is not horizontally symmetrical, incased in a rounded trapezoid. The whole logo is a chrome color with light reflecting. The logo implies that Hondas are more rounded, and that is true when you look at newer models of the make. The Honda logo is simple as are the Honda vehicles. Consumers like simplicity when it comes to products.


Posted on: August 30, 2010

I am posting this to make sure that I know how to do it the right way.