197 original writings

Published Writings

Science Versus Religion: Reexamining the Debate
Revised version (as it appeared in print) of "On the Influence of Religion and Science."
A different perspective about the ongoing "debate."
Originally printed in the August 2009 SCP Newsletter of Spiritual Counterfeits Project (www.SCP-Inc.org)

Passable Poems
Enjoy reading just barely adequate poetry? Various poems I've written can be found on this sub-page.

Top of the Heap
Because there are so many writings here to choose from, people have begun to ask for some "recommended readings."
Here are some of the pieces I think are better than average.

As Time Goes By
Talking about the significance of history and historical literature.

The Barrister and the Barricades
Isolation, death and reawakening in Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener."

Biochemistry Discussions
Many, many questions I either posed or answered (on WebCT) during the 15-week class.

Cabeza de Vaca's Conversion
Comparison of the explorer's narrative "Naufragious" and the 1991 film based on it.

Converging Hemispheres Final
On the writings of Locke, Paine, Jefferson and Adam Smith.

Converging Hemispheres Midterm
Quite lengthy discussion on many aspects of the pre-modern world.

Death by Society
Detachment and social entrapment in James' "Daisy Miller" and Chopin's "The Awakening."

Delia Through the Looking Glass
Biblical symbolism in Zora Neale Hurston's short story "Sweat."

The Doctrine of First Sale
The history, evolution and present-day issues of the first-sale doctrine in copyright law.

Enjoying & Surviving England's Beaches
How to take a vacation without getting killed or injured in the process.

Epilepsy & Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Epilepsy and one of the treatments sometimes used to control it.

Gail Pieper
Profile story about Gail Pieper, a technical editor and university lecturer.

"The Hidden Persuaders"
Vance Packard's book about the creation of a psychological system to manipulate people.

It Is Still Happening
The film "It Happened One Night" as a prototype of the romantic-comedy movie genre.

Kaleidoscopic Grandma
Fragmentation and decentering in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" and "Cariboo Cafe."

Library Visit Journal #1
The first of three reaction journals written after visiting a library. This visit was to a public library.

Library Visit Journal #2
The second reaction journal based on a library visit, this time a school library.

Library Visit Journal #3
The third and last reaction journal. This trip was to a technical library.

The Man in the Moon
Discussion of "The Truman Show" and the pseudo-Christianity message it seems to be selling.

Marriage and Family in Japan
Paper for a sociology class on the history of marriage and the family in Japan.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall
A closer look at "A Midsummer Night's Dream," particularly the themes of sight and beauty.

Mr. Mozart's Opus
The opera "Die Zauberflote," Masonic symbolism and Mozart's involvement in Freemasonry.

Nostalgia In Extremis
I took a piece by Joyce Maynard and overhauled and rewrote it in Woody Allen style.

On "The Destructors" and "The Pachuco and Other Extremes"
Two short works and the shared themes of identity loss, amorality and rebellion against society.

On the Influence of Albert Einstein
The famous physicist was deeply troubled by the implications of the technology he helped create.

On the Influence of Religion and Science
The nature of religion's influence in relation to science.

On the Symbolic Journey
Nature, time and creation in essays by Annie Dillard, Lewis Thomas and Loren Eiseley.

The Quiet Western
The unusual re-envisioning of the Western in the film "McCabe & Mrs. Miller."

Racism on the Road
AKA "On Camus' Novel and a Real Modern-day Plague."

Redheaded Tigress
Short documentary script about the life of Lucille Ball.*
*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in Word.

Reflections Speech: Groupthink
Bill Moyers, Vance Packard, two communication models and the dangers of groupthink.

Rejected Rhyme Department
Rhymes that were created, but just for fun, during the above project.

Scene Script: "The Ants"
Turning a short scene from a play into a script with camera shots, stage directions, etc.
*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in Word.

Shadows of the Night
Talks about three powerful photographs and why each is so effective.

Shut-Eye for Almost Every Guy
It only took one episode of "Will & Grace" to realize I hated it.

Sister Knows Best
Thoughts on the very funny play "A Late-Night Catechism."

Stafford's "Monument"
Short essay on William Stafford's "At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border."

Sturm und Drang
Literally "Storm and Stress," a critique of a made-for-TV movie based on "The Tempest."

Thinking Out Loud
Humor bit about "getting away from it all" for some peace and quiet. Written in the style of Joyce Maynard.

Very Limited Warranty
Parody of a TV warranty card.

The many voices of Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and Whitman's "Song of Myself."

War De Facto
Ernie Pyle’s WWII journalism on the harsh reality of war and the life of the soldier.

All Other Writings

Devising a marketing / PR strategy for a dentistry referral service.

Advertisement Analysis Speech
Discussion of ads (that use kids and food) in relation to Vance Packard's ideas.

Ad Analysis: Things Change
Analysis of an ad for a Chevy Suburban and how it relates to changing times.

The Ageless Solitude
Subtitled "Themes of Isolation and Poverty in De Sica's Neorealism Trilogy."

A Man and His Dog
Analysis of the dog-pound scene in the movie "Umberto D."

Art Institute Visit
Discussion of a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the pre-Columbian exhibits.

A fictional company's informational article / news release on educational software.

The Battle of Epipolae Revisited
Discussion of Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach."

Bell System Center Fact Sheet
Fact sheet about
a company's training center for its managers.

Ben Franklin and Henry David Thoreau
In-class essay that compares the nature and teachings of the two men.

Big Brother in the Library
Library Technology paper about "intellectual freedom" and the USA PATRIOT Act.

Biochemistry Final
The global impacts of a five-year drought and how such a disaster might be averted.

Biochemistry Presentation
Discussion of chapter 2 of Edward Tenner's book "Why Things Bite Back."

Biography of Vivian Vance
Short biography on the life of, surprisingly enough, actress Vivian Vance.

Blue Collars and Bitter Grapes
Capitalism and the common man in Odets' "Waiting for Lefty" and Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath."

Brain-dead Movies Society
The movie "Dead Poets Society" is little more than a pseudo-intellectual facade.

Car-Buying Project
Buying a new car, from a financial and mathematical perspective.
*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in Word.

Career Report - Photographer
Some general info regarding the field of photography as a career.

Career Report - Writer/Author
Some general info regarding the field of writing as a career.

Chemicals in the Environment
Information about 10 commonly used chemicals.

The environmental impacts (scope of problem; ecological damage; etc) of the Chernobyl disaster.

Chicago Powwow
Thoughts on the 50th Annual Powwow at the American Indian Center in Chicago.

The Cockroach Novella?
Connection between "The Metamorphosis" and the events that were shaping European society.

Coherence Practice
Assignment on understanding coherence in writing.

Coherence Practice Part 2
The second part of the assignment involved writing coherence paragraphs.

Commercial Script
Commercial script as it might be written for Splenda, and why I wrote the script as I did.

Comm Arts Annual Report
Not a real report. General info, courses, faculty, in-depth discussion of "communication arts," etc.
*NOTE: From a QuarkXPress file; presented as normal Web page layout with page formatting and one image.

Comm Arts Faculty Profiles
Short bios of all the Communication Arts instructors; written for the department's newsletter.

Curtain Up Classroom: News Release
News release that the Glen Ellyn studio held general auditions for its various acting troupes.

Critique of Ira Levin's two-act play "Deathtrap" at College of DuPage in October '01.

Dinner Party
Brings together characters from plays, poems and stories and unites them as townsfolk who share a strange secret.

Earlier Times
Reflection paper based on an old photograph.

Environmental Perspectives
Thoughts on topics such as oil dependency, endangered species, global warming and more.

Environment and Business
Analysis of six ads whose companies seek to be perceived as environmentally responsible.

Expression Through Art
Reflection paragraphs written in reaction to three particular pictures. (Pictures uploaded later.)

Eyes of the Beholder
Comparing physical blindness in one short story to another form of blindness in a tragedy by Sophocles.

Facilitation Outline (Thomas Paine)
Questions and answers for a facilitated discussion of Thomas Paine.

Fact Sheet (IIT)
A fact sheet written regarding a grant awarded to the IIT Communications Program.

Fact Sheet (STC)    Formatted layout (PDF)
A fact sheet written for the Society for Technical Communication.

Fade to Black (a.k.a. "The Ace of Spades")
All about everyday terms we use that involve the word "black," such as "black as a raven."

Father Knows Worst
Some of the many logical fallacies committed by the character Polonius in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

Fish Kebabs
Children's magazine-style article (including pictures) about birds called anhingas.

Food for Thought
Reaction to a talk given at College of DuPage.

Harriet Martineau Presentation Outline
Info, quotes and discussion used in a presentation on Harriet Martineau's "The Person."

Hitting Rock Bottom
Critique of a made-for-TV movie that was about as fun than a root canal.

"I Married Joan"
Compares the shows "I Love Lucy" and "I Married Joan."

Instruction Manual
A product manual for an old-fashioned meat and vegetable grinder.

Interview: Frances Fitch
Interview with Prof. Frances Fitch, mainly discussing her career as an English teacher.

Journal: College
Short journal on what I think about college so far; written in 2003.

Journal: Goals
Another reaction journal, this time on goals for the future.

Library Technology Midterm
Discussion and explanation of various aspects of libraries and technology.

Logic Midterm
Charts the mood/figure, validity and fallacy of 50 symbolic-logic problems.
*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in EXCEL.

"M" in the Formula for Slope
Possible explanations for why the letter "m" represents slope in the mathematic equation.

Macon Industries Memo
Memo on the topic of accidents involving Macon's company vehicles.

Media Law & Ethics: Hypothetical Cases #1    Cases #2    Cases #3    Cases #4 (Copyright)
How I answered (from a legal perspective) questions about hypothetical legal-cases.

Nanotech Grows Up
Discussion of Stacy Lawrence's eponymous article on the emergence of nanotechnology.

News Report Critique
Reaction to a local station's news report, including discussion of anchors and technical matters.

The Ojibwa Indians
Basic info; creation story; comparison to other groups; contributions to society; etc.

Othello and Old Nick
On Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice."

Two short paragraphs, rewritten for a paraphrasing assignment.

The Path Home
Compares the short stories "Hills Like White Elephants" (Hemingway) and "Sweat" (Hurston).

Political Message Analysis
JFK's inaugural addresses was meant to transcend political party lines and unify the nation.

Presentation: Kate Chopin
Questions and comments for a presentation on the novel "The Awakening."

Presentation: Mary Rowlandson
Questions, quotes and discussion topics on the narrative "The Sovereignty and Goodness of God."

Proposition Reference Chart
Charts the truth value of various forms of logical propositions (e.g., "No A are non-B").
*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in Word.

"The Public Mind" (Version 1)
On Bill Moyers' "The Public Mind," Marshall McLuhan and manipulative advertising.

"The Public Mind" (Alternate)
Revised, stronger version of the speech about "The Public Mind" and tricks of advertisers.

Purpose Paragraphs
Each paragraph is a summary/commentary on a different short article or speech read for class.

Recommendation Memo
Detailed memo regarding choosing a textbook for a Technical Communication course.

Rosie the Riveter
On women's roles before, during and after World War II.

Sekula's System
Writing practice from when we studied a writing procedure developed by a man named Sekula.

Shakespeare: Essay Final
Five essay questions comprised the Shakespeare class final exam.

Shakespeare's 18th Sonnet
Terse commentary on the 18th of the Bard's famed sonnets.

Syntax Error
Bad-pun-riddled reply I wrote to a friend's blog post about Apple's Mac computers.

"The MRI Scan" Rhyme
Rhymes for a [mock] children's hospital booklet, to explain scans and x-rays.

The Truth About Autism
Paper about autism that includes causes, misconceptions, treatments and more.

"Transfer Lady" Says Goodbye
Profile story on Danice Jeffers, who was retiring after 21 years at Benedictine.

Witch-Doctors of the Azande
Cultural Anthropology paper on the place of witch-doctors in Zande society.

"Women & Children First"
Summary of an article titled "Women & Children First" by Laura Miller.

World of Illusion
Subtitled "Mood in a Place." A short writing about a particularly strange place to visit

Yucca Mountain Repository
Reaction to various articles that discuss the proposed Yucca Mountain project.


Scripts for Radio + Television

*NOTE: Due to the format, right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open in Word.

Basement Pros (Radio)
Script for a radio ad for a basement-remodeling company.

Benedictine Univ. (Radio)
Script for a radio ad for prospective students.

ByronArts.com (TV)
Script for a TV commercial (for ByronArts.com) that was actually produced in class.

Church of the Resurrection (TV)
Script for a TV ad for Church of the Resurrection in West Chicago, Ill.

Classic Beer (Radio)
Script for a radio ad for Classic Beer.

Classic Beer (TV)
Script for a TV commercial for the above beer company.

"Eye of the Eagle" (TV)
Script for a news feature-type spot that was produced for the University's cable channel.

"In the Spotlight" (TV)
Script for the first half of a TV interview I did for the University's cable channel.

"In the Spotlight" Part 2 (TV)
The second half of the interview script. "In the Spotlight" is the segment's title.


Print Ads & Other Visual Projects

*NOTE: Right-click and use "Save Target As." Download and open with a PDF reader / JPEG viewer.

Basement Pros
Print ad for a basement-remodeling company.

Benedictine University
Print ad aimed at prospective BU students.

Brochure    Cover    1st Inside Flap    Inside Pages    Back
A brochure for ByronArts.

Life vs. Death
Three-part poster for Biology: Man and Environment class. (Note: 3 pages to view.)

Classic Red (Classic Beer)
Billboard ad as part of the "campaign" for Classic Beer. (Note: File size is 3 MB.)

Hidden Valley
Print ad for Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing.

Newsletter    Page 1    Page 2    Page 3    Page 4    Page 5    Page 6
Fully designed (make-believe) newsletter, titled ByronArts Quarterly.

Organization ID    Letterhead    Business Card    Envelope
Stationary, business card and envelope design for ByronArts.

PJ's Camera (Version 1)
Print ad (earlier version) for PJ's Camera in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

PJ's Camera (Version 2)
Print ad (redesigned version) for the above camera-supply store.

Pottery Catalog    Cover    TOC    Inside Page 1    Inside Page 2
Designed cover and (a few) inside pages of a fictitious catalog.

Response Piece
An "Application for Representation" with ByronArts.

Web Site Advertisement
A design for a pop-up (or similar) Internet ad, for ByronArts' Web site.


Newswriting & Reporting

City Government Story
Story involving the results of an energy audit conducted at a courthouse.

Libel Suit Story
Story involving a libel suit filed by State Sen. John Blatchford against a newspaper.

Lisle Board Story
Story involving the Lisle Board of Trustees' concerns about a proposed annexation.

News Release
Short news release involving an annual competition for design students.

Obituary Story
Obituary story involving Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Reston.

Obituary Story (2)
In-class-written (timed drill) obituary story for Dave Thomas.

Peter Lineal Profile Story
Profile story involving small-business-owner Peter Lineal's road to success.

Police Story
Story involving how police tracked and nailed a burglar who robbed a pizza parlor.

Presidential Historian Story (Short)
Story involving a historian's speech about new ways to evaluate presidents.

Presidential Historian Story (Long)
Full version of the above story.

Sports Story
Story involving the long-time coach of a champion football team.

State of the Union Address Story
Story detailing President Bush's State of the Union Address from 2002.

Weather Story
Story reporting dangerous winter storms and the weatherman's forecast.


Older Writings (High School)

The Alarm Clock Did It!
Dave Barry-esque essay, written as an in-class final, on why school shouldn't start at ten o'clock.

The Birdbrains
Tongue-in-cheek commentary written after seeing Hitchcock's "The Birds."

Diane Arbus
Full title: "The Life and Times of Diane Nemerov Arbus." A short essay on the photographer.

Double Split
Mr. Ralph Heatherington, our high-school principal, worked hard to make the school a better place.

Genius of a Different Color
Talks about Einstein's life, theories and overall lasting influence.

Huck Versus the World
Mark Twain's character deals with the conflict between his sound heart and misled conscience.

Mass Hysteria
Mass hysteria and the similarities between the Salem Witch Trials and the Jonestown Massacre.

On the Titanic
A fictitious (and somewhat sarcastic) "first-person" perspective of being on the "unsinkable" ship.

Sights & Sounds
Subtitled "At the Orthodontist's Office." From freshman year of high school.

Talking Birds
Anyone who's owned a Mynah bird knows that it just doesn't shut up!

The Island
On William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" and the savagery that gradually arises.

Tragedy on the Western Front
Very short, rather simplistic discussion of the vivid imagery in Remarque's writing.

Wonderland (Introduction)
The intro to a paper that was to discuss Lewis Carroll's world of Wonderland compared to reality.

Your Husband Is Defective
Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" and the motif of failed relationships.


Humor / Misc. (From Others)

How Do You Decide Who to Marry?
Kids' amusing perspectives on getting married.

Mario Bros. Humor
A funny take on Mario's world vs. our world.

Progress Through Chemistry
Dad's short story on the time he and a friend caused a major chemical reaction.