I’m Dead

Juhi A. Dasrath
Jour300 MW
Obituary Assignment

Dear Alive,

If you’re reading this then, unfortunately, I’m dead and you’ve recycled this obituary from the Journalism 300 class I took as a junior at UMass. Since you’re all here my ghost hopes to see 50 shades of red because A) my favorite color is red and B) what’s a celebration of my life if you’re all sporting sad black and white garments?

I was given the name Juhi Anushka Dasrath by my grandmother on April 20th, 1996. Throughout my life, my family often referred to me as Julz, Jub, Jub-Jub, Jubaliee or Juhicular. At work, I was known as Jay, frankly because my two-syllable name was hard for people to pronounce.

I moved around a bit when I was a kid but I had some of the best days attending P.S. 131 Abigal Adams Elementary school. From there I attended sixth grade at M.S. 216 Ryan Middle school in Queens, New York. I then scooted on over to Windsor Locks Middle school in Connecticut. After my not so pleasant time there I continued at Windsor Locks High School and then graduated high school a year early, in 2013, when I moved back to Guyana with my family. After taking a year off to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, collectively my family moved back to the US where I graduated with an Associates degree from Springfield Technical Community College and transferred to UMass. My time in college were some of the hardest years of my life as I worked nights and weekends waitressing and bartending at some crummy restaurants while attending school full-time. Trying to maintain an internship, extra-curricular activities, school and work were the cause of 90% of my mental breakdowns.

Honestly, some of my great accomplishments, I feel, happened by chance. I served as Student Body President during my time at STCC. This opportunity opened many doors for me boosting my confidence as a student and a person. My proudest achievement in life was becoming the class speaker at my graduation from STCC. I can pin this as one of my happiest memories. Honestly, there was much I worked hard to accomplish in my life and I did, but the two years spent at STCC were my most accomplished.

To all the people I’m leaving behind, I do not envy you because one of the best things about being dead is never having to wake up, again. No more Mondays and no more homework. Best of all, no more serving jobs. This being said I have a message for some of you because you were the people nearest and dearest to my heart. To my fantastic mom, Rosanna Greening, I’d like to start by apologizing for the tattoo I got when I was 16 that you may only now be finding out about. I waited until now so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Anyway, I was in class one day and for some reason, I was thinking about food (big surprise), I had a wave of appreciation come over me. I was thinking about how when dad was alive he used to make vermicelli and after he passed you learned how to make this dessert for me because you knew I liked it and you didn’t want me to have to go without because he wasn’t around anymore. You were always so selfless in your actions and thoughts. Not a day went by without me truly appreciating this when I moved away. To my amazing step-dad (whom I consider my second father) you came into the picture a little later. Nonetheless, you had just as great of an impact as both my biological parents. You’ve taught me more about myself and patience than anyone ever could. Maybe I’d still be around if I took example from my younger brother, Rajan Dasrath, who went to the gym every day for three hours a day. But hey, keep it up kiddo. You’ll far surpass your dead lift PR one day! You’ve truly been an inspiration in more ways than one because you came with years of care and wisdom I always wish I had. My baby sister, Ivana Greening, girl you could be 30 and you’d always be my baby sister. I hope that if you still want to be a teacher that you will raise the expectations you have for yourself and become the principle because you have amazing potential and drive to become whatever you want. I’ve loved you more than I could ever love anyone. I want you to be everything I wasn’t. Alex Nicholas Hiller, homie, if you’re still around then I have to give you a round of applause because even my family has wanted to out me at some point or another. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the time we’ve spent together laughing at nothing and everything, all at once. I’ve enjoyed our late nights sitting up planning our lives together and apart. I’ve always remembered the night you tried to open the wine bottle with a drill. That’s my favorite memory of us. Most of all I’ve enjoyed the way you’ve loved me, even when it got hard to. My best friend, Destiny Sachdeva. Our late nights studying in the basement of your dorm building, the nights we sat out doing semi-illegal things on your porch, the days we’d come into the office at STCC and cry into each other’s arms about boys, about school, about our families or any little stupid thing I’ve always cherished those moments. You’re going to make a great doctor. Don’t you ever doubt that.

Well by this time, you should all be crying. I’ve enjoyed my time on Earth even if I was melodramatic at times and said I didn’t. There are so many memories, so many laughs that I’d like to share but that’s what funerals are for. Reminisce and laugh. Talk about my good and my bad. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s that every day you should make an effort to smile or laugh, it’s contagious and that’s what people remember most about you.

I have one last request. Please don’t send flowers or cards to my family. Instead, please send the money you would spend to Shriner’s Hospital or sneak a five-dollar bill into my brother or sister’s hand. They need help with their student loans.

                                                                                                            Sincerely,

 

Wannabe Journalist
Juhi A. Dasrath

Descriptive Piece- Procrastination Station

Procrastination Station. Located in the lobby of the W.E.B Du Bois library smells of pepperoni and coffee. There are moments of quiet when all I can hear is the clicking of keyboards and the deep sighs of frustration. The girl to the right of me seems extremely anxious as she keeps biting her nails and looking to her sides to see if anyone is judging her for her constant selfie snaps.

Off in the far right corner of the room there is a young man dressed sharply from head to toe. His pin-striped suit seems a half size too big as he keeps peeking over his shoulder pads to check the score of the the silent Bruins game that’s on the flat screen directly above me.

To my right there is a small girl whose bright red sweater reminds me of Christmas. As she yawns she sends a wave-like rippling affect down the line of tired, stressed students.

Interrupting the silence one boy answers his Iphone speaking to- his mom? Maybe? He says, “So what’s the plan? Are swapping presents or playing secret Santa?” I see the girl to the right of me look up and giggle as if she thought his question was cute.

Suddenly, a crowd of students come bursting through the doors looking like a mob of starving zombies each carrying on their own conversation about the class in which they just exited. Some students gather near the entrance waiting for their friends while others crowd around the glass case trying to decide what to satisfy their taste buds with.

In an attempt to take yet, another selfie, the girl sitting next to me has successfully interrupted my observations by spilling her hot coffee all over the booth. Excuse me while I aid her cleanup process.

The Wright Brothers Take Flight!

Flying for more than one minute Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, astonished international observers, bringing some to their knees as they witnessed the first successful flight in history on Dec. 17.

Taking place in the dunes of Kitty-Hawk, North Carolina, the flying machine ran on 25-horsepower engines with higher power to weight ratio. It took 6 men to haul and set the weight which launched the flying machine into the air.

After several years of work and various models, the brothers from Dayton, Ohio have surpassed others, internationally, who have been attempting to get such a machine to work.

What a small step in history but a big step for mankind!

Extra-Credit Assignment

Suspect Is Killed in Attack at Ohio State University That Injured 11
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/us/active-shooter-ohio-state-university.html?_r=0

Eleven people were injured Monday on the campus of Ohio State University when a student veered his car onto the sidewalk, leaped out and stabbed several people with a butcher knife, law enforcement officials said. The attacker was shot dead within about a minute by a campus police officer.

   As journalist we are taught that the lead of a story should provide the main point(s) of what a story will be about. I think that this lead was very effective because it got straight to the point providing important information like the when, where, who (even though not specifically named) and what. Although the lead was effective in providing information about what happened I feel that it would have been even more effective if, at least, the police officer was named because the descriptions of the people who play a main part in the story seem very vague. 

This may also be seen as an effective method because as a reader you may be more inclined to keep reading to find out who these people were. 

Two law enforcement officials identified the suspected attacker as Abdul Artan, 18. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the name had not been made public. The officials said that Mr. Artan was of Somali descent.

This paragraph is effective because it provides readers a timeline of when journalist got and published their information- as this story is deemed “breaking news.” This paragraph follows up with a name for the student who attacked on campus. The reporter did a good job attributing the information, even thought there were no direct names given there was a source provided for the information. The flaw I found in this paragraph was the referral of Abdul Artan as Mr. Artan. According to APA style, no formalities should be used in journalistic writing. 

Investigators were looking into whether the attack was an act of terrorism and were seeking information on the student, Abdul Artan, a permanent United States resident from Somalia who was studying logistics management at Ohio State.

The F.B.I. was investigating comments on Facebook indicating that he may have felt Muslims were being persecuted, an investigator said.

I feel this paragraph is extremely ineffective in its content and order. The student’s first and last name did not have to be mentioned again. According to APA, once a person is named- first and last, then they are referred to by only their last name for the remainder of the story. In addition, the student’s major is irrelevant but as it is included I feel that it should have been placed in the second paragraph where he was originally introduced. The following paragraph about the Facebook comments are effective because it supports the previous statement about investigators looking into this as an act of terrorism.  

Last summer the student newspaper, The Lantern, published an interview with Mr. Artan in which he complained about being afraid to pray in public as a Muslim, because of people’s negative perceptions of the religion.

“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be,” he told the newspaper. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”

This paragraph is effective because it provides further support for statements made earlier in the article. Although Artan was referred to as “Mr. Artan” again, the attribution was used correctly and the quote was effective because it provides readers with a background of the attacker and his possible mindset before and during the attack. 

The attack began at 9:50 a.m. Monday, when “this car suddenly appeared on the sidewalk,” said Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student. “It was in high speed, and it just hit whoever came in front of him.” The car stopped only when it rammed a concrete block, he said.

The driver leapt out, the authorities said, and began attacking people with a knife. A campus police officer, Alan Horujko, 28, shot Mr. Artan after he failed to follow orders to drop his weapon, and officials credited the officer with helping to save lives. All of the wounded were expected to survive, university officials said.

Six people were hit by the car, and five had stab wounds or lacerations, doctors said. They were being treated at three hospitals.

These paragraphs prove themselves to be important information to the article because it sets a scene for what happened on Monday morning on Campus. Providing a direct quote from a student who saw the incident happen provides a clear, vivid picture for readers. 

No evidence has emerged that Mr. Artan had any connection or allegiance to radical ideology. Though no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attack, the Islamic State was updating its online audiences on the rampage on Monday.

Both the car-ramming and the knife attacks are now established forms of aggression inspired by the Islamic State. An attacker in Nice, France, used a delivery truck to kill dozens of pedestrians in July, and chats between an attacker in Würzburg, Germany, and his Islamic State handler indicate he was initially told to use a car to carry out his assault that same month, before he settled on using an ax because he did not have a driving permit.

The authorities in Ohio said that it was too soon to know what had motivated Mr. Artan, but that it was clear the attack had been deliberate. Mr. Artan’s Columbus home was surrounded by squad cars, crime scene tape and a bomb squad truck on Monday afternoon, and police officials said they were waiting for a search warrant.

Again, I feel that the placement of this paragraph is off. I don’t understand why the reporters would go from talking about the victims back to the attacker and his possible association with terrorist groups. I believe that the writers should have grouped this after Artan’s quote about his fear of praying in public.

“This was done on purpose,” said Chief Craig Stone of the Ohio State University police. “To go over the curb and strike pedestrians and then get out and start striking with the knife — that was on purpose.”

I think this quote was an effective way to transition to the campus population’s state of shock and how they handled the situation. 

The attack, initially reported as an “active shooter” by the university, stunned students who were returning to class after Thanksgiving break, leading to a 90-minute shelter-in-place warning and an admonition from campus officials to “Run Hide Fight.”

Haylee Gardiner, a sophomore, said she was on her way to a chemistry lab when the attack occurred.

“I saw a bunch of people running, and when they were running, they were screaming and yelling,” said Ms. Gardiner, who scrambled to a residence hall for shelter. “And then all of a sudden, I heard four or five gunshots.”

“Then there was a bang, a dust cloud, then shouting and screaming, and people just booking it in every direction,” Mr. Cody said. “Then, 30 seconds, a minute later, there were gunshots.”

During the chaos, students huddled in locked rooms, and some took to Twitter, posting photos from inside barricaded classrooms.

These paragraphs were an important part to the article because it highlighted the feeling on campus and how the university’s “Run Hide Fight” procedure saved the lives of many other students. The students were properly attributed and the quotes were very effective in describing the feeling and painting a picture of what happened.  

Ohio State administrators released little information about Mr. Artan, and parts of his background remained unclear. He was admitted to the United States in June 2014 as the child of a refugee, federal officials said, and was believed to be in his late teens or early 20s. He graduated cum laude from Columbus State Community College with an associate of arts degree, officials there said. He was on the Columbus State dean’s list in 2015.

Officer Horujko, who joined the university police last year, had also been profiled in The Lantern. An Ohio native and a graduate of the university, he said he had decided to be an officer after working in campus safety as a student.

This information is all fluff and does not add any value to the story. I believe it should be taken out all together because it provides no value to the nut graph of the story. 


This is important because it connects the Ohio State attack to similar attacks on other college campuses but highlights the university’s efforts to make campus a safer place since these previous shootings. 

Muslim leaders in Ohio praised the police for their response and urged the public not to make assumptions about the attacker’s motives.

“We as yet know nothing about the motivation of the attacker, but we do know of his Somali heritage, and that will be enough for some people to falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and to the Somali and Muslim communities,” said Roula Allouch, national board chairwoman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We must not jump to conclusions. It is important to let the investigators do their jobs.”

Gov. John Kasich also praised the police response, saying it showed “how much practice, how much training, how much expertise, how much coordination” existed among local law enforcement agencies.

“We are a strong, tough, resilient community,” he said.

Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus said that Monday was “one of those days you’re grateful for good training and great people across the board,” and urged unity in the days ahead.

This was a good way to end the article because it reinforces readers not to jump to any conclusions about the attacker and his motives or affiliations. This prevents biased and racist remarks or potential counterattacks. It also reinforces that the attack did not end it catastrophic tragedy by highlighting the active measures universities across the US are taking to provide a safe environment for campus communities. 

Attribution

Journalist use attribution in their work to provide their reader a source for where the information in their stories come from. Sources are usually people (first and last name with their job title included-when relevant), websites and books. Information from these sources can be paraphrased or quoted directly.

From BBC World News I chose the article: Russian officials create Santa letter template
                    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38131118

In first sentence of the second paragraph,- “Roskomnadzor, which also regulates telecoms, says it’s seen a growth in the number of websites offering letters to Grandfather Frost which collect children’s personal details.” This form of attribution is called is called an indirect quote  in which what was said in the story is not verbatim, it is a slightly edited or paraphrased quote version of what the speaker said. Indirect quotes are not enclosed in quotation marks and represents what the reporter tells us someone said. Another example of indirect quotation is seen in the same paragraph, second sentence: “In a post on the VKontake social network it says it’s investigating 76 such sites.” 

In the third paragraph the reporter begins with deep background attribution which is define as anything that is said in an interview but cannot be directly quoted or attributed because the reporter uses his/her own words. “The suggested letter is rather formal, but opens in traditional fashion with blank spaces for children to fill in their first name, age and good behaviour.”

As the story  progresses we see examples of direct quotation where the reporter publishes a speaker’s exact words, a verbatim reporter enclosed in quotation marks. Sometimes is is edited slightly for better syntax or correct grammar. We see several examples of this throughout the story, for example- “This year I have been studying very well… I was obedient to my parents,” “They say that you give presents to children for the New Year. Please give me and my parents [blank]. I would be very grateful for this present. Thank you!”

Another form of attribution is background attribution where all statements are directly quotable but cannot be attributed to any one specific person. An example of this is found in paragraph four- “Prices are going up, mass redundancies, and they are writing letters to Grandfather Frost.”  In the article the reporter attributes this quotation to “Another person,” without providing a name or job title.

Attribution can be very helpful to readers and to reporters as information may be wrong and needs to be corrected. It is also important to have reliable news as readers share information with those around them.

Amherst Kitchen Fire

After receiving a 911 telephone call from an Amherst resident, eight on-duty and all off-duty personnel were called to the scene at #60 Fearing st. in Amherst to put out a kitchen fire.

The fire crew erected a hose line into the house where they found a fire burning behind the first floor kitchen stove. This cause heavy smoke and visible flames from outside of the two-story building.

It seems as if the fire was caused by a malfunction of the propane gas line attached to the stove. Further investigations are being conducted.

Damage was limited to the kitchen and the attic area directly above. Residents are allowed to stay in the home- although the kitchen is unusable. There is no estimated cost for the damage, as of yet. No casualties occurred.

Murder at the Marathon- April 15, 2013 Boston Bombing

Confusion and uncertainty loomed in the air after Monday’s Boston bombing.
Only hours after the incident, officials were at the podium trying to piece together and reassure civilians about the bombing that had just occurred.

Since the 2:50 bombing, all bodies from the site were removed and all of those who were injured have been transported to local hospitals. Police officers are making visits to the hospitals to question those who may have been witness to the event. An immediate response system was activated by police officers in order to send help and resources in an event like this.

Two hotlines have been established to aid families in finding loved ones who may have been affected by the explosions and another for witness who may have any information on the explosions.

With little to no details about the bombing, Commissioner Ed Davis and Gov. Deveal Patrick could not provide any information on if the bombing was terrorist related, the number of casualties or even the actual number of attacks.

Commissioner Ed Davis, who did the majority of speaking, stated that, “This is literally just unfolding, I don’t have any information.”

Investigating the incident with immediate urgency, police officers are examining each bag dropped at the scene, treating them all as if they were suspicious devices. When addressed, Commissioner Davis affirmed that there were no threats made leading up to the day’s Boston Marathon bombing. Commissioner Davis stated that,” People should stay calm but they should understand that this is an ongoing investigation.”

In an effort to maintain safety as the investigation continues, Gov. Patrick and Commissioner Davis urge those in the Boston area to stay in their homes or hotel rooms and not to congregate in large crowds.