To Matthew Hall, or Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to inform the relevant parties that while attempting to peruse Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”, a work reproduced and remediated by Vanderbilt University for the use of its students in its English 115F “Worlds of Wordcraft” seminar, I found numerous errors that make the work incredibly hard to read and therefore difficult to utilize.  This difficulty ultimately lead to the spending of more time than necessary reading what this university seemingly deems “a poem”.  The time lost by Tyler Gilcrest U.G.S. (Undergraduate Student) relates directly to future dollars and cents in an exponential, but indeterminate, relationship (fig. A) and is due to the fact that he was forced to spend undue amounts of time with your organization’s product.

Fig. A

One error encountered during the use of your product was the presence of numerous and grievous spelling errors.  Spellings such as “gealous”, “farre” and “raine” (for the word “reign”, not “rain”, mind you) are clearly gross oversights in your efforts for remediation for the use of Vanderbilt students such as my client.  one particularly atrocious example, “dreryhedd”, can only be speculated as to its actual meaning.  Not only do such examples occur, but they do so with such egregious abundance that it begs us to question who you employ for editing service, or whether you request that he take off his winter gloves when he types.  Such simple errors like said spelling errors reflects poorly on your efforts at this remediation.

Another problem with the product lies in the sheer length of the remediation.  The work is supposed to be a “poem”.   A poem implies a short work of fiction.  However this published version is longer than most novels.  In fact, our research indicates that this is the longest poem in the English language.  The length of this poem severely increases the amount of reading time.  And much of the excess is merely fluff.  The first stanza of Book III, Canto I, for instance, can be summarized the following way:  “The Briton Prince and Fairy Knight rested and were healed so that they could continue their adventures”.  Instead the author decides to take an inordinate amount of lines to explain this simple statement.  Again, the amount of money this has cost my client is inexcusable.

The following are suggestions to improve the remediation of the product so as to make it a more efficient and therefore desirable read:

  1. Use spell check.  This functionality comes in most modern word processors.  Comprehension of the material increases greatly with such a tool.
  2. Use a different format other than portable document format.  Not only does this limit the amount of mutability in remediation but it also limits the ability to perform suggestion 1.
  3. Fire your editor.
  4. Shorten the length of the work, add some visuals and/or vibrant flash animation, and make sure the final product can be understood by most 11th grade students.  Tyler Gilcrest cannot be bothered to think over allusions, archaic constructs or difficult vocabulary words.

With these changes implemented, both parties will undoubtedly be happier.  Any questions, comments or concerns can be returned along with explanation to this office and will be forwarded accordingly to Tyler Gilcrest U.G.S.  We appreciate your future compliance.

Regards,

Samuel Thompson

Office of Wrongly Assigned Students

Thompson and French P.A.

LOVE-HATE Relationship With English 115F

In attempt to veer away from another rant about how technology is out to ruin my life, I would like to announce that World of Wordcraft English 115F has impacted my life whether I like it or not.

In a meeting with my scholarship advisor Dean Dever at the beginning of this year, she asked me what was one of my favorite classes so far. I tried to describe to her my love-hate relationship with my writing seminar class. I explained how I have always had a passion for writing and that when reading the course catalogue, 115F was one of the few English based courses that appealed to me. As hard as it may be to believe, English 115F was my FIRST choice. I was determined to prove to people that I did not need to know anything about gaming in order to be successful in the class but I was also terrified when I found out we discussed in CIRCLES! Who would have thought that a seminar class would sit in a circle?!

This love for writing but discomfort for having to speak out loud about a topic I am so unfamiliar with, and having to feel 32 eyeballs stare me down in the process, has been such a challenge for me. And now it turns out that even my writing is not that great either because I am not able to follow a certain format when I structure my sentences. I make “careless mistakes” in my writing when really that is just my style of writing. It does not fit a certain format because I do not want it to, not because I am sloppy.

Nonetheless, I still make it class as often as I can, I do the reading, I write the blogs…but there is still something missing. I have no motivation to speak up in class because I am so intimidated by everyone else’s insightful thoughts I feel as if mine are not worthy. That feeling of knowing you are the slacker, or loser in the group just hurts my spirits even more. I am like the last kid to get picked on the dodge ball team because I am too small or weak. The class itself is not a snoozefest but everyday I try to go in with a positive attitude to participate, I come out with my head down because I once again did not accomplish my goal. And then I go on like a 15-minute rant about whatever it was we were talking about in class to Tyler as we walk to our next class together. And he just thinks I am crazy for not being able to say everything I just said IN CLASS.

I did not come to Vanderbilt to be a failure or the weakest link in all my classes. And though the gaming itself has not been a distraction to me since I am also usually the last one to even get my technology working, the class itself has affected other parts of my life. It makes me question my talents and whether or not I belong here. It makes me wonder if I was ever good enough in the first place to come to a school like Vanderbilt. It has made me think that maybe I do not want to major in English after all. It is unfortunate that this class would have such a negative affect on me but it is simply the truth. Though I may be good at hiding it, no matter what grade I end up with at the end of this course I will still be proud of myself.

Proud for not withdrawing from the course or switching out into something easier. Proud for continuing to go to class despite how much I felt it would be pointless and that nobody would notice anyway. Proud that even though I have this love-hate relationship with a course as a first semester freshman, I am not going to give up.

~Adriana

Back to Books

The fog rolled across the desolate fields, consuming everything in its path. It brought with it the smell of burnt flesh, gunpowder, and sweat. The screams could be heard through the mist, familiar screams of humans in pain, dying, mixed with the screams of the aliens, their bloodcurdling hoots ricocheting off the eardrums with a sharp pang. His heartbeat quickened, and the blood began to course through his veins as he approached the cacophony of misery that was the fog. He steeled his nerves, kissed the cross hanging from his neck, and sprinted in.

Am I the only one who wants to know what happens next and what was happening in the first place? The narrative is the ultimate captivating medium to transmit a story.  Reading is universally fascinating (specifically fiction) because it essentially introduces a whole new world to the reader. The reader is introduced to the story but not spoon-fed the details, enabling the reader to engage his/her imagination. This engagement of imagination translates into a captivation with the world that the mind inevitably creates when reading. This imaginary sanctuary takes the mind on new adventures allowing him/her to truly immerse his/her self in the hybrid book/imagination world that has been created.

Videogames and movies are much less effective in engaging and holding the observer. The observer is shown what the world looks like and who the characters are. This diluted version of a book disengages the imagination and helps cultivate a mind accustomed to reduced stimulation.  This is not the way to develop creators, thinker, writers, and other members of the creative community, yet the trend in society seems to be heading towards a lower level brain function at an alarming rate.

Reading cultivates the mind and I hope that it does not die out, to be replaced by the likes of movies and videogames as substitutes. Although they have their place, there is nothing that cultivates the mind better than a good book.

By Aneel Henry

Source of Friends and Distraction

By Kyle Osborne

While gaming has always been an important part of both my life and my social interactions, this semester it has served as a way of meeting new people in the real world. When I tell people about the seminar I’m taking, it is surprising how many people either recognize or have played Lord of the Rings Online. Just yesterday I met someone who not only plays LoTRO, but has an active account on the Gladden server. He instantly began sharing some of his gaming stories and advice. As I got to know him he became a good friend and one more person I know on the Vanderbilt campus. The common online experience has also allowed for the entire class to converse. It’s easy to become friends when you share a set of experiences.

 Lotro has also given me  an engaging way to pass unfilled time. When I have a free night or I am bored I can just log on to Lotro for an hour or two. On the other side of this argument I also have used lotro as an escape from school work. While trying to avoid a paper or test I find myself gravitating toward Lotro as a means of procrastination. How could I not, when this game can be considered homework. While Lotro has given me a way to occupy myself, it has also provided a way of avoiding some of my studies.