My name is Joseph Kerwin and I am currently an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University. I am enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts with a double major in Political Science and History. I am a member of the Nittany Lion Battalion as well, Penn State’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps unit. My goals are to serve in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an infantry officer and to attend the Dickinson School of Law at the Pennsylvania State University.
Being a student in LA 101H: Civics and Rhetoric, I became accustom to creating rhetoric as well as absorbing rhetoric into my academic mindset. LA101H gave me the tools to be able to take rhetorical situations and break them down to understand what makes rhetoric effective in persuading or forming opinions and distributing information. When I first began LA101H at the beginning of the Spring 2012 semester, I had a very general understanding of the importance of rhetoric and I did not understand how to create my own rhetoric.
As the course progressed though I was able to fully grasp the importance of both distributing and consuming rhetoric. I understood how concepts such as ethos, pathos, and kairos were effectively employed in writing as well as speech. I also learned how to decipher everything from advertisements to political rhetoric to understand what made these items so essential in disseminating information and forming as well as solidifying opens. Slowly I learned the components of rhetorical situations and how to effectively employ them in my own writing strategies. I was also able to further my speaking skills by preparing for and delivering to speeches in front of a live audience. Understanding how to deliver a message verbally is just as necessary as being able to write the rhetorical message on a piece of paper.
Without taking LA101H: Civics and Rhetoric, I would have been completely ignorant to how rhetoric is used and how it I witness its use everyday throughout all sectors of society. I now understand the major parts that form rhetorical situations and how to use these parts when developing my own rhetoric whether through speech or writing.