Employee Cameos in New Verizon Commercial

Commonplace 15

In connection with my Commonplace 13, discussing the new Samsung Galaxy S8, I found a Verizon TV commercial just released a couple of days ago. The commercial got a lot of media attention because Verizon used their System Performance Engineer, Ammara Bhaimeah to act in the commercial. It begins in a room that looks like a development lab with people all around on computers, drawing sketches and making phones. A man asks Ammara a simple question: “So, you’re a Verizon engineer what’s one reason the Samsung Galaxy S8 is better on Verizon?” Even though the engineer was only asked to list one reason, she went on to list three. In one of the articles discussing the recent commercial, Mike Haberman, Vice President of Network for Verizon explained their reasoning for using an employee in a commercial. He stated that “we thought having an employee in here would be a great way to show behind the scenes what makes our network great.” In my opinion, having an employee adds credibility to the commercial. Ammara is knowledgeable and actually works in the field. While most other companies hire actors that read from a script, Verizon is showing the real deal. Hopefully this will start a trend and other businesses will feature actual employees in their commercials.

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Metrorail into Retail

Commonplace 14

I recently read a news article that New York artist, Robert Mojo is salvaging an old Metrorail car and turning it into retail kiosks at the new Fivesquares Development. Mojo and his company are dividing the railcar into seven parts which will be placed throughout the new development. Strathmore Square, located at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro aims to “create a connected, upscale community that provides a pleasant link between the neighborhood, the Metro station and the Music Center at Strathmore.”

Red marker is the location of the planned development on Google Maps

Repurposing the old Metrorail car is seemingly genius. Having the kiosks throughout the development will serve as a connection to it’s close proximity to the metro station. I think the most influential part of the article is when Ron Kaplan, principal at Fivesquares Development is quoted. He describes the new devlopment, it’s purpose, and how “this is trying to create–out of an old Metro station–a community.” These words provoke much thought in the reader and can be closely related to our complex local system project in my Writing 101 class. While most real estate developers change the dynamic or culture of an area, Fivesquares is different. They are bringing a small part of the old community into a new development.

Fivesquares co-founder Andrew Altman, principal Matthew Harris and Ron Kaplan (Photo retrieved from Fivesquares Development)

Take a look at the article here.

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Office Hour Visit 4/24/17

During my office hour visit with Professor Hunter Hoskins, we took a look at my revised Reading Analysis 4. At first, it lacked specificity and thorough analysis. I was able to focus on Fleming’s argument then continue from there. In the first draft, I failed to address the sociospatial dialectic which is the main idea of the chapter. Using a quote from Fleming, I incorporated his thoughts and came to the conclusion that where you come from has a lot to do with what possibilities are readily available. I also added a picture of city versus suburban life to emphasize the point that there are many benefits of living in a city such as diversity. In addition, I put links when it made sense such as the Cabrini Green example Fleming discusses. You can check out my revised RA 4 here. I am happy that I was able to discuss my improvement with my professor and create work that is at the distinctive level.

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Office Hour Visit 4/20/17

During my office hour visit with my Professor Hunter Hoskins, we took a look at my revised first group of digital archives. I completely redid them and made them multimodal, including links to Gonzaga’s website, maps of the main campus, and other pictures that are related. This will make it much more engaging for the audience of my site! We also spent time analyzing the changes I’ve made to my Reading Analysis 1. The problem with my first Reading Analysis was that I didn’t hone in on a particular part of Flemings work and instead summarized the chapter in a broad sense. I revamped RA 1 by changing the beginning sentence and elaborating on Fleming’s concept of “unified places.” You can check out my revised RA 1 here. However, I think there is still some room for improvement in the first paragraph by continuing to analyze local governments and their effect on people. It was great to meet with my professor and discuss the changes I’ve made.

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Annotated Bibliographies 9 & 10

McGraw, Eliza. “Learning by Heart at Gonzaga College High School, Volunteering for the
Needy is a Key Part of the Curriculum.” The Washington Post Apr 09 2017 ProQuest.


In The Washington Post article titled “Learning by Heart at Gonzaga College High School, Volunteering for the Needy is a Key Part of the Curriculum,” written by Eliza McGraw, she explains the critical use of volunteerism in Gonzaga’s curriculum and how Gonzaga students stand out compared to students from other schools in the community service sector. She begins by explaining the story of Richard Hrdy, a senior at Gonzaga. Hrdy along with some of his classmates distribute food to the homeless in the surrounding area. Interestingly, Gonzaga is one of the most expensive private religious schools, but located in a low-income area of Washington D.C. McGraw explores the relationship Gonzaga students have to the physical area around them. Gonzaga is located near Union Station which is an area where homeless people tend to congregate. There is also a government housing project down the road from Gonzaga. Even though there is a gate all around Gonzaga, the students break down barriers and help the community around them. These strong values are at the core of a Jesuit education and are engrained in the students from a young age.

In Conversation

This article is particularly useful since it provides evidence that the students engage in the physical area around them. One would think that most students just go to school and take their classes but Gonzaga is different. I am going to use the article in my final project because I plan to break down the dichotomy of the wealthy private school situated in one of the poorest sections of D.C.

Kelly, John. “Gonzaga College High Takes a Day to Honor 48 Years of Dedicated Service.” The Washington Post Sep 02 2015 ProQuest.

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An “Infinitely Amazing” ad?

Commonplace 13

“It takes you anywhere you can imagine…which makes it infinitely amazing.”

Recently, Samsung released the commercial for their new Galaxy S8. It’s most noteworthy new feature is the seemingly never-ending glass screen. The 1-minute TV commercial is quite brilliant. It begins with with a black screen behind the phone making it look almost non-existent. A man begins to talk in a low tone with the premise that this new phone is “infinitely amazing.” The man describes the new features as they are shown vicariously through the phone’s screen. For example, the new smart home integration feature is shown on the phone while people are adjusting the lights and getting comfortable in their home in the background. The clear message is that there are no boundaries to the screen and how the phone can be integrated. The use of a subtle outline of the phone throughout the commercial highlights the new all-glass Galaxy S8. Samsung is revolutionizing the cell phone industry and hoping to compete with Apple. As it stands, Apple has 92% of the total smartphone industry profit. The last line which says, “It takes you anywhere you can imagine…which makes it infinitely amazing,” ties it all together by leaving the audience with a positive and thoughtful message. Of course the new Samsung Galaxy S8 can’t literally take you anywhere, but the sleek design and advanced features will definitely shake up the market.

Here is the commercial:

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Gonzaga’s Chapel (Cultural)

Justin Maron

Interior view of the chapel. Mosaic windows and wooden pews (Justin Maron).

This picture of the chapel is one of the most significant photos I was able to take while visiting Gonzaga College High School. The chapel is something you see right when you enter Dooley Hall, and is a huge part of everyday life for Gonzaga students. Because Gonzaga is a religiously affiliated school, all students are required to spend time in the chapel and pray. There is a huge campus ministry support system which provides resources for students to further their religious commitment. Gonzaga strives to give students an all encompassing education. In a letter from Gonzaga’s President Rev. Stephen W. Planning, SJ he writes, “For an education to be truly Jesuit, it must always point in some meaningful way to the ongoing presence of Christ in our world.” This outlines the true importance of creating well-rounded citizens that engage in community service and balance academics. Overall, the culture at Gonzaga is rooted with tight-knit bonds between the student and faculty that foster a hard-working environment and a central core of Jesuit principles.

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Entrance to Dooley Hall (Interior)

This is a picture of the main entrance to Dooley Hall. In order to get into this entrance, you need to scan a Gonzaga ID, but I was able to catch the door and take a peek inside. Straight ahead is the chapel on campus where students are required to pray. The wood door on the right leads to the secretary followed by the principals office. There is also a mail room and copy machine in the area where the secretary sits. On the left hand side there are numerous plaques with Gonzaga’s accomplishments. The majority of the awards are in athletics. When I walked in the door I was overwhelmed by the high ceilings with crown moldings, vast amount of marble and detailed tile floor. Once past the Pastrick Foyer, there is long hallway with classrooms and administrative offices.

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Additional View of Buchanan Field w/ Academic Buildings (Pic 5)

This is another picture of the field. This picture highlights some of the buildings on the campus of Gonzaga College High School. As I previously stated, the large brick building in the background of this picture is St. Aloysius Church. The other building to the right of the church is rectory followed by Dooley Hall and Kohlmann Hall. Gonzaga places a huge emphasis on athletics. Many of the students participate in at least one of the seventeen sport teams available. As you can see here, the end-zone is painted purple and has “EAGLES” written in bold white letters. The eagle is Gonzaga’s mascot.

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Buchanan Field at Gonzaga (Pic 4)

This is a picture of the large sports field at Gonzaga College High School. It appears to be made of artificial turf. There is a track surrounding the field which the Gonzaga track and field team uses. Also, there are two football end-posts, soccer goals and other training equipment on the field. This field is where the Gonzaga football and lacrosse home games take place and where the soccer and rugby team practice. In the distance of this picture there is a large purple scoreboard and bleachers along the right side of the field. Gonzaga is well-known for football and came in first place in the Jesuit Gridiron tournament this past season. The building behind the scoreboard is called 77H, with luxury rental apartments.

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