15 on the Fives, no. 3


I worked out last night for the first time, seriously, in maybe two years. The workout itself was not that impressive: 21 minutes on that anaerobic machine that’s like walking on air. I think they call it an elliptic trainer, but I’m not sure. Burned about 267 calories, which I’m happy with. Kept my target heart rate between the acceptable and maximum ranges throughout the entire 21 mins, so I felt good about that as well. When I finished, I did several sets of lifting for my biceps and for my chest and shoulders.

A good workout for me, and all under 35 minutes. Must work out today as well, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday, too, to kick in that momentum…

It’s the last week of school, so there’s a lot of paper stuff that needs to be done. No big deal, really. I just have to put my head down and, well, do it. I give my finals to my students on Wednesday and Thursday, so these two days will be nice for some additional planning time. The only drawback is having less time to grade them; thank good they are all for yearbook classes and not English sections. I have so much respect for my colleagues who are teaching underclassmen. They have the toughest job of all at this time of year.

So…my hat’s off to you guys, should you ever stop by.

I’m pretty happy with how the whole Coulter piece played out for me in my previous entry, but there are revisions I want to make to it. At first, when I played around with the idea of revising it, I jotted down in my daybook the areas that I thought could use some work. Here’s what I wrote:

  1. Include more direct quotes from her book.
  2. Include more from the Lauer interview.
  3. Integrate the 9/11 widows’ response to Coulter’s attack on them.
  4. Set it up more as an analysis of rhetoric and the use of the devices and make it less about Coulter and the widows.

That’s when it struck me that there’s no way I’m going to get this piece published with a slant on Coulter or on the 9/11 widows. The issue of timeliness will prevent that from happening. Already, the buzz is calming down about this. So, that’s when I realized that, perhaps, the real approach is in my no. 4 area of need. Certainly, if I use the Coulter model to demonstrate my point about one of the greatest fallacies ever abused by the American public, then the piece becomes much less time-sensitive, and my windo for publishing opens widely.

So, when I revise, it’s going to be for this specifically: How is the appeal to emotion abused in the 21st century? We have endured so many tragedies even in the last five years, and we are inevitably going to come across a situation where appeal to emotion is being used to make a point.

Not to sound cold and heartless, but I’m on the lookout for it, and I will do my best to find such flaws in my own arguments. Not an easy thing to do, of this I am sure…

But revise Cold Rock too. Do not let that sit and gather dust–


A note to my readers: 15 on the Fives is posted twice-daily at 5:16 a.m. and 5:16 p.m. These entries are what I call “vomit” or discovery drafts, where I write uninhibited for 15 minutes. There are no rules about topics, content, form, grammar, or spelling. The only rule is that I don’t stop writing. By following this one rule, I almost always discover something new in my writing, and more often than not, I find a seed or two for future pieces I feel I can take to publication. Give it a whirl; there’s nothing to lose (but 15 minutes, of course!).