Thursday, December 3, 2009

Charles Chance

Eric Pancoast
Eng 111-49
Diagnostic Essay Revised
Dec. 3 2009

Who am I? Perhaps, by Chance, you’ve heard of me. I am the crime fighting protector of the Hampton Roads area, the masked hero of the people, and the sworn enemy of crime. I beat the bad guy’s butts from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake, and when I see the smiles on the faces of the innocents that live in my clean city, I know it’s worth it. Don’t go getting the wrong idea about me though; I’m not your typical super hero. Sure I’ve got a super attribute of sorts, but I can’t fly or shoot laser beams out of my eyes. I don’t have an indestructible alloy lining my skeleton, or any regenerative powers. No, my powers are quite unique, and I assure you that I didn’t gain my super attribute through any sort of freak accident or radioactive spider bite, And no, I am not really an alien from the planet krypton (last time I checked), and I unfortunatly cannot claim to be a guitar-hero. I know what you’re thinking; he can’t fly, or shoot laser beams out of his eyes? No super-human strength? Who am I, you ask? What is my so called “super power,” you ask? I am the one whose name is called out bringing hope and security by the mere mention of me alone. I am the one whose name is cursed by the law-breakers, and whose mention is accompanied by shaking fists. I am Charles Chance. And my super power? I claim the most amazing super power of all the super heroes and all of their lesser powers. In my super-arsenal I hold the most valuable weapon of all. My secret weapon, my Royal Flush, is luck.
How could simple luck be better than the ability to transform into a giant green hulk, with arms that can lift and smash cars with impunity, and skin as tough as a rhinoceros? The answer is quite simple, really. Of course my power is not simply mild luck; by Chance I can rely on the one element of any situation that cannot be calculated into an evil scheme. Where The Incredible Hulk is quite destructive in his little fit, I assure you that I have no need for such a power; where The Incredible Hulk has bulletproof skin; I have my own defenses against those senseless little peashooters the criminals seem to regard so highly. I have been cornered in a back ally, surrounded by bad men with automatic weapons and escaped unscathed, it sounds impossible, but remember this always: where there is a way, always, there is a Chance, Charles Chance that is. And of course in order to deploy my power I need not ruin a perfectly good pair of purple elastic pants, in fact I have only to throw myself into the situation head first, and by Chance, I will land on my feet in perfect balance. Indeed it is unfortunate to be in need of an alter ego; the woman of Clark Kent’s desire is in love with bold Superman, and could never fall in love with a geek like Clark Kent. What a drama, a drama I have no need for. Yes it is true, I do indeed wear a costume, yet admittedly the outfit is just for fun, I love the spotlight, and the humble double life just isn’t my thing. Everyone knows of the handsome face behind this mask, and that is fine with me, for I have nothing to hide!
Still unconvinced of the superiority of my super attribute? Perhaps you haven’t thought it out clearly enough. As a rule, every super hero has a nemesis. Yet perhaps by Chance, I may be an exception to this rule. Consider a hero with super strength; obviously where the hero’s martial might may be unrivaled, a nemesis must be resourceful, an evil genius type. Those are perhaps the most dangerous of all nemeses to super heroes, many a hero has a hard time with the cold, maniacal, and calculating evil genius type trying to slow their progress. Yet no matter how genius that nemesis may be, no matter how calculating and precise, Chance is the one factor that they cannot anticipate, that cannot be calculated and is completely spontaneous. How lucky am I, immune to the plans of those evil nerds! And of course there is no kryptonite for me, a mere rock will not slow the righteous justice that will be delivered by Chance. Following this logic, if my power were super speed it would only be fitting that my nemesis be efficient in weaving a web to catch me in. Yet I need not worry about that, be cause by Chance, I know that I would find a fault in any trap set before me by my enemies; what trap can be designed to hold Chance? What web can catch the wind? What web can catch the unpredictable flowing force of luck?
I am he who’s every move steps on the toes of evil, he whose unintentional actions are the bane of all criminals. I am Charles Chance. Charles Chance; the name inspires fear in the evil, and brings hope to their would be victims. All would do well to remember one thing always; where there is a way, there is a Chance, Charles Chance that is.

"Super Hero"

Eng 111: Reflecting on fall semester 2009.

Eric Pancoast
Eng 111-49
Blog Assignment
Dec. 3 2009

It never ceases to amaze me how each and everyday I learn more about the world and myself, so much that I did not know, and though my newfound knowledge may conflict with my previous beliefs, I try to keep an open mind and be ready to tear down all the pre conceived conceptions I have built and make way for the new. Often what I gain is a whole new appreciation for the previous information I held, and by seeing the subject through another set of eyes, I can truly appreciate my perspective after looking from another’s perspective. I love college because of the diversity of opinions and beliefs that I encounter so often. That is the beauty of a class like Eng 111, in a composition course you have the ability to write about what you feel passionately about, and share that passion with others and in turn learn of your classmate’s opinions, while learning how to recognize and put to use the rhetorical tools that are so critical to writing. Plato said “Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men,” though I really (If I dare) must disagree with the statement. The validity cannot be challenged, surely many men have used rhetoric as a means of personal gain, charming and persuading others who are not so educated and aware of the enchanter’s tactics. Yet it seems to me that labeling rhetoric as a tool for ruling ones mind is on the same level as a man who becomes a psychologist so to better manipulate a person; when regarding both psychology and rhetoric it is despicably pathetic these noble arts purely as a form of manipulation. Psychology is the understanding (not domination) of the mind, and rhetoric is the understanding (NOT domination or manipulation) of tools one can use and recognize in speech not only to persuade another, but to inform as well, and to not only appeal to one’s emotions and captivate them, a technique with limited usefulness, but to convey your information in a manner that is specific to your audience, so that the audience can relate to the speaker or writer. We must use rhetoric as a way of breaking out of cultural boundaries, or when speaking to those outside of our own generation. But I better stop before I get way off topic; my biggest issue with assignments is word counts. The point is that what we learn in Eng 111 is more than just MLA formatting and works cited (the absolute epitome of boring), but so much more.
This semester Paul has assigned many essays designed not only for us to apply the rhetorical tools, pathos, logos, and ethos, but also to get us students thinking critically, and creatively. I found that writing about “What I believe” supplemented the hypotheses that I had already been creating; as worked to put my beliefs into words, and to effectively convey my belief to another I really was able to define my opinion and strengthen it with detail, with fact, and with passion, becoming a somewhat credible source on the subject, not only a student with an opinion, but a student with an educated opinion. And further we educated students gain the ability intelligently defend our opinions instead of using other (unorthodox) commonly employed persuasive techniques such as raised voices and throwing fists at one another so that they may come to see our point of view.
I found that In order to effectively write the “Rhetorical Analysis” essay, I had to truly look inward to analyze how rhetoric has affected my life. Looking inward to answer the question posed and supply the question with an answer that is the being I am today; well it isn’t easy, and it is not a task I take lightly for fear of unintentionally misrepresenting myself. Yet once the inward journey begins it really can be quite therapeutic. Just another bit of understanding that I have gained this semester, my first semester of college. Coming into this semester and this course, I had little idea of what career choice I would make to determine my future. I knew I was interested in literature, and In becoming a professor, but that was the extent of my ambition. Yet the combination of reading the entire book required for my mythology class (and all the books by the author) and all the research I did for my Argument essay, lead me to discover about my interests, and what I want to make my life work. The Argument Essay assignment was my favorite. Although I don’t particularly like the essay itself, the research I did and the knowledge I gained through the research is so very valuable to me, the essay Is just a product of some of that research, but the real prize is all in my brain.
Now here comes my evaluation of how Paul structures his Eng 111 course. Will I recommend him? Or will I warn students against taking his class? Paul’s style of teaching involves a lot of technology, and I had a very hard time with that. I think that Paul should spend more time with us in the computer lab if he expects for students to meet all of these technological standards. I or one, now realize that I really came into this class with pitifully insufficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, yet it is not impossible to pass his class being so technologically illiterate. Paul is a great teacher and though I found Black Board confusing, as long as you constantly checked online, it was very useful, and the sources we could look up were invaluable to gaining an understanding and approaching the subject from multiple directions. I would take Paul’s Eng 112 class, except I am not attending TCC next semester, which is too bad because there is a lot that Paul’s style of teaching has to offer.

Works Cited

1. Rhetoric Quotes. Think Exist Quotations.1999. Web. 2 Dec. 2009 h

2.Work in Progress. My Place or Yours. Wordpress. 30 Jan. 2009. Web. Dec. 2 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Diagnostic Essay: Chance

Eric Pancoast
Diagnostic Essay
Eng 111
21, Aug, 09

Imagine you woke up one day, and to your surprise, you find that you have gained a super-power. How, you cannot say. Weather you gained your super attribute by a radioactive spider bite, or you’re really an alien from the planet Krypton, you don’t know. What if you had the luxury of choosing that power, a privilege most superheroes do not get, what power would you choose? I am sure you’ve already begun thinking of the various super powers and possibilities that potentially come with them, and a few of them probably stand out over the others. But don’t be so quick to make your decision. The choice isn’t as simple as you may think.
First, I think you should start by considering other super heroes and their powers and weaknesses in order to make your decision an educated one. Why don’t we start with Superman, sure, he is multi talented! He can fly, he has super strength and laser vision, and I wouldn’t mind being indestructible, either. But all that doesn’t come without consequence. Superman has to pretend to be Clark Kent, an alien trying to fit in among humans, living a lie in a world he will never fit into. And besides, would you want to be at the mercy of any chump with kryptonite? I didn’t think so. One more thing you must consider is your nemesis. Every super hero has an evil nemesis. What about the Incredible Hulk? Wouldn’t it be nice to smash and throw giant objects with impunity? I can think of several times that I wished I was The Incredible Hulk in a fit of anger. But all the strength of a radioactive hulk still won’t help you against an evil super genius villain, which you would undoubtedly run into, as there is no contest of strength with The Hulk. So, what super power would I choose? Good question!
Let me tell you the story of Charles Chance. Charles was born on Friday the thirteenth and 2 weeks late, and that sort of set the pace for the rest of his life. Charles considered himself to be the unluckiest man on earth. He was short, balding at the age of 28 and rather pudgy. When he was little he had fallen and chipped his tooth on the corner of a desk and so now his front tooth was chipped in half in an unattractive way. Because of his appearance people often regarded him dubiously with untrusting looks. But Charles had a heart of gold. He went out of his way to help everybody, though most of the time he ended up making matters worse with his clumsiness. And as a result Charles’ bad luck, he didn’t leave his house much except to go to the market and get his weekly supply of donuts, as he delighted in them; particularly raspberry jelly filled ones. So one day Charles came home from a long day at work and decided to go straight to bed, stubbing his toes on every corner on the way. He dreaded the next day, for he expected it would be an unlucky day just like every other day since he could remember. And to make matters worse he had eaten his last donut, a chocolate covered donut ring, that evening. When morning came along Charles didn’t want to get out of bed, “ I would rather dream of a life better than my own,” he grumbled. A beam of light came made its way through the blinds and hit him right in the eyes, forcing him awake. After a few minutes of attempting to stay in bed he conceded and got up and decided to go to the store for some more donuts.
He had a long walk to the market, since he had no car; Charles had decided against driving after his first few disastrous experiences behind the wheel. So he set off down the Side walk and was quite surprised to find the weather that day was delightful! Usually it turned to rain the moment he left his house, today the sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze floating down to him, cool and refreshing. But as he walked his stomach growled, and he regretted not having a bite to eat before he set out. At that exact moment a twenty dollar bill came flying down the street carried by the breeze, and slapped right him right between his eyes. He could hardly believe his luck. Charles went and ate breakfast and took the bus to the market with his money that had come to him by chance. When He got off the bus he strolled down the street whistling a tune, glowing with new confidence. Charles was almost skipping when he entered the market, completely oblivious to the fact that by chance he had walked into the store while a robbery was in process. So completely unaware was he, that in return no one had seen him enter the building either, he just wondered why the isles were so empty. The Robber was in the process of tying up all the employees and customers and had already gagged them in isle 4 when Charles found the donuts in isle 5. There he found a box full of Jelly filled donuts, 50% off and buy one get one free, to boot!

“What spectacular luck!” He exclaimed, “What a change of fortune I have had today, if the day keeps going like this, I will have to buy a lottery ticket.” the thief was startled nearly out of his wits by the voice, and was just about to turn around and ask his partner in crime just who in the hell was talking in the opposite isle, when Charles bent over to pick up the box of donuts and accidently hit a stack of canned foods with his rather rotund bottom. The cans tumbled over the robbers, and luckily not a single customer or employee was touched by the avalanche of beans, soup, and canned veggies. However, the would be thieves were completely pinned down, and rendered helpless. Charles turned around and after a brief moment, realized what was going on, blushed, mumbled something incomprehensible and shuffled his feet uncomfortably. Just then the sirens blared and Police burst through the door. The police officers looked from the thieves incapacitated on the floor to the short, balding man standing over them and broke out in laughter, and then applause! After the hostages had all been untied and could speak clearly, and he had completed his statement to the police, humble Charles went on his way home. “Wait!” he heard behind him, and he spun around to see a particularly beautiful cashier hurrying towards him. She rushed to him and planted a kiss right on his lips! Later, all Charles could recall of the moment was being so nervous he almost fainted. And, at that moment, Charles was thinking that his life had taken quite a lucky turn for the better! And indeed it had, from that day on Things went on very differently for Charles Chance.