Just thought I would share this with everybody. Great and very interesting documentary by Josh Fox about Natural Gas drilling in the U.S., the dangers of it, and how companies do not warn landowners about possible side effects from drilling on their land such as ground water contamination. This contamination has lead to health problems and instances where homeowners are able to light their tap water on fire.

Research Questions

In class on Monday we talked about what a research question should do for us, It got me thinking about if I should revise my question. Some other scholars in the class had some great things to say about this topic, Erik Keil said a research question is a doorway to other doorways. Shawn Tomkins said a research question is like a tour guide that keeps you on track.

I found a video called Creating a Good Research Question. It really helped with the whole precess of creating one.

Procrastination at its Finest

Hello blogging world. I apologize for being absent for some time now. Ive recently been so busy its driving me insane! I’m the head of the Big Mountain ski team here at the fort and have been up to my ears with business for the team.

In addition to that this time of year always has me dreaming of this

I am re focused now however and ready to blog!

Administration vs. Professors and Scholars

On Friday, during class, a question was presented to us by Bill Mangrum . He asked, “How do I post weekly grades on canvas for this class?”

This may seem silly, a teacher asking his students how to post grades on canvas for the class. However the way Mangrum teaches his class is different from a normal structured class, making it hard to be able to give us a quick grade he can post on Canvas in order to please the administration. As Jared Jojola put it, “You cant always put everything into numbers.” This is the dilemma we have run into. The administration cares about results, they’re a business and want to see progress. In order to please them, grades must be posted weekly on Canvas. However this day in age with the access to the technology we have, we are allowed to become a lot more creative with our assignments in class but in turn making it more difficult to put a number grade on these assignments.

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Can balance be achieved??



We talked about four audiences within the school that us as scholars in the class COMP 250 have to deal with.


Clearly, we need to find a balance between these audiences, each desire a different thing.


We should have one posted grade a week on Canvas based off of the amount of hours we spent on our blog compared to the assigned hours by Mangrum.


At the end of the day in each class, Mangrum tells us what he expects of us in terms of homework. He usually includes the amount of hours we should spend with our blogs, so therefore we can get a grade on whether or not we met his expectation. In class on Friday we talked about the fact that we already have to post our time on task within our blog, I believe this was pointed out by Leah Starr. She has a very good point however because all we would have to do is copy and paste our log into canvas and BAM! there’s our grade for the week.

Would this please the Administration?

Yes, I believe it would. They will be able to see weekly progress in the students, and Mangrum will be able to uphold the standards they set on the teachers of posting grades on Canvas. However they could complain about the fact that there are not enough measurable assignments on canvas. Hopefully not however.

Would this please the scholars?

Yes, I feel as though this would not be much more work for us and its a simple way to help out our professor. However, I hope this is not the case, but students may complain that this is more work than they were assigned. We must find a balance though, so I think students will agree to this.

Would this please the writing program/ faculty members?

I believe it would as long as they see kids are posting to Canvas about their hours. However there’s the possibility that students could lie about their hours they’re posting, so faculty could be skeptical about that. I guess we’ll just have to go off the trust system, I personally hope that students can oblige by a good moral standard and not lie. We’re in college to learn, if you’re lying about this than maybe you shouldn’t be in the class.


While each Audience may have issues with the work involved in the grading system, this system would answer the problem with the least impact on the current course load. It believe it would make everyone happy enough, and allow Mangrum to continue with his teaching style.




Reading of “Dead Man Walking”

I recently watched a piece called “Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean performed dby a group of Fort Lewis College theater students.

I honestly thought this was going to be a play. I had not the slightest clue it was going to be a reading of sorts. It did have some acting however, so I guess I don’t know what to really call it. Sorry, I’m not that theater savvy. Either way it was not what I expected.

Dead Man Walking 



Walking into the room, I saw about 15-20 chairs lined up, my immediate impression was that it was going to be very boring. Which was bad because I hate when I “read a book by its cover”, and that is exactly what I was doing. Judging it based on a first impression was clearly a big mistake, this piece developed into a very articulate and mind bending piece. The whole stand on the death penalty aspect was extremely interesting and made me think and question myself on what my stance was. The cast was amazing and the way they brought the reading to life was beyond me and I was very impressed.

Toulmin Method

I recently read the “Toulmin Method” by Stephan Toulmin and found it particularly interesting. Although it seems obvious to dive deeper into an argument and answer with responses that further the argument, we tend to fall back on our yes or no responses which bring the argument or arguments no further clarity.

I then realized that this method could relate to my major because in geology you are always asking questions and potentially arguing with other scholars about all kinds of different aspects of a geologic feature. In the end, you do need to come up with a yes or no answer but before that is even possible we have to ask questions, and to quote Toulmin “…break an argument into its various parts and decide how effectively those parts participate in the overall whole.” Especially the types of arguments that will happen in a geologic field, there will be so many different ways of looking at a problem, you wont simply be able to agree or disagree, that just wont be an option.

One prominent argument I found after doing a bit of research was the argument between those who believe in the “Great Flood” with Noah’s ark in the Bible and Geologists who have strong evidence against it. This argument is one that would not be a yes or no answer. Many different view points and pieces of evidence could be brought up.

“Doubts About Doublespeak” by William Lutz

I recently read an article titled “Doubts About Doublespeak” by William Lutz from the book “Language” by Gita Dasbender and was completely taken aback.

I learned from the article that word choice plays a huge role in a large corporate companies way of speaking through media and advertising. Word choice and how companies phrase statements or advertising they release, can completely deceive an audience.

For example, in 1978 a 727 aircraft crashed on takeoff killing three and injuring 21 others. The plane was destroyed, many people would think this would be devastating for an airline, however the insured value of the plane was greater than the book value so in the end the airline made a profit of 1.7 million dollars.

The airline company could not just pass off the fact they just made 1.7 million dollars, but they couldn’t say they made money off a destroyed plane where lives were lost. They ended up solving the problem by inserting a footnote in their annual report saying the 1.7 million was due to the “involuntary conversion of a 727.” This way nobody was mad or upset, or questioned their motives.

This made me think of other companies who would do the same thing. Or what kind of companies would do the same thing. Relating to my major of environmental geology, I immediately thought of oil companies and how they must deceive the public all the time about what they are doing and how they are doing it. I don’t know of any specific stories coming from any oil companies of using doublespeak but I’m willing to bet there are plenty and will definitely be doing research to find out more.


  Could they be guilty??

Hindrances To Research


To be able to research is a valuable skill to have, we as human beings are always inquiring about different topics, and to find answers we must research. However research isn’t always a walk in the park, there can be many hindrances to research that can become a roadblock on our way to further knowledge. Here are a few hindrances that can affect our research process.

  • Touching on everything, too much stuff: Sometimes you feel the need to touch on every aspect of your topic, most of the time you don’t need to.
  • Questions leading to questions: Don’t ask too many questions or you’ll never get enough answers.
  • Not knowing where to start: Your start is key, if you don’t know where to start than you’ll never know where to go.
  • Language barrier between you and your topic: Before you begin your research please make sure you are capable of tackling such a topic, you do not want to be half way through and realize you have no idea what you’re talking about.
  • Fear of details, avoidance of responsibility: It’s scary sometimes finding out that there is a lot more to your topic than you anticipated, you must take it on however. Take charge.
  • Not giving ourselves enough time to arrange our knowledge: Don’t leave your research to the last minute, proper research takes proper time and planning. Don’t procrastinate.
  • Willingness to be wrong: You’re researching, you’re finding out about a new topic. You’re going to be wrong, accept it and let it take your research to new levels.

Sweden’s New Gender-Neutral Pronoun: Hen


I recently read this article out of the book “Language, A Reader for Writers” by Gita Dasbender, the article was written by Nathalie Rothschild.

“Sweden is a paradise for liberated women” I was not aware of this before. The article goes on to say it has the highest proportion of working women in the world and women earn about two-thirds of all degrees.

  • This is great to hear! Its fantastic to see gender neutrality spreading throughout the globe.
  • Hen is a new gender neutral way to label clothing to escape the boundaries of girl or boy.
  • Hen- I feel as though this is a great idea, but is it necessary? Will that fix the problem? Will it even have an effect? these are the questions we have to ask ourselves.


My Reading List

I am an Environmental Geology major, I was wondering how I was going to relate any of these topics to my major but upon further investigation into the book Language: A Reader for Writers by Gita DasBender I learned there’s more to be connected than previously thought.

Language and Thought by Susanne Langer (12-18)

To quote Langer “Languages are not invented; they grow with our need for expression.” In the geology field, there are so many different terms out there that an average person wouldn’t know. Its almost like learning a second language.

How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think? by Lera Boroditsky

Geologists begin to think differently because of the different things you learn about the earth and its systems. You begin to use a different language, still English, yet different terminology to point out things that you may be studying.

Body Language by Arika Okrent

Geologist use body language everyday. Whether they are measuring strike and dip, taking a bearing on a rock outcropping, or pointing to a direction in which the geologic formation is. Geologists use their hands to gesture in which way a fault is falling or where a contact point between two different rocks are.

Which is The Best Language to Learn? By Robert Lane Greene

Becoming a geologist could mean working in different parts of the world, so learning a new language could be highly beneficial. Which language is the question that I need to ask myself. However, if I didn’t learn a new language geology is special in the fact that the geologic symbols we use are used world wide. Even if a geologist didn’t speak a different language they can communicate to another geologist through the geologic language.

Why Being a Jerk at Work Pays by Amy Reiter

I feel this article only relates to a specific kind of job. Some jobs I feel as though you need to be nice, kind, apologetic, and thankful. The jobs you might get in the geology field are more individual rather than relying on other people or having to interact with too many other people. However, I personally wouldn’t change my appearance to a jerk if it meant i was going to be more successful.