But I'm Not Really Into Hockey...


What is life like for non-Minnesotans as they try desperately to navigate the social conventions of a world that may be very foreign to them?

This would be a comical view of Northern Minnesota's culture and customs and linguistic idiosyncrasies from an outsiders perspective. This is often over done but as an outsider I don't think it ever gets old and I often appreciate the acknowledgement that not everyone grew up with hockey, fishing, sub zero weather, and oh for...

In order to spice this up and offer a more unique vehicle for humor I think it might be fun to tweak a writing format like Dear Abby or an expedition style journal or fake interview.

The purpose of this article would be part humor and part drawing awareness to the oddities of life in Northern MN (but mostly humor)

I think the advantage of an article like this is that everyone can relate. People who are not from here can relate to the comic difficulties of fitting in and those who grew up here can relate to the satiric representation of their world.

This would be a good joint venture for two people with these different perspectives.

This article might link to other funny sites or sites that are offer almost caricaturish images of Northern Minnesotans

I'm not sure what section of TIO it would fit with maybe a lighter fluffier section with other humorous articles.


The Ethics of Eating


The choices that we make in the grocery store have consequences (and I don't mean just to our waistlines) and we are often ignorant of what these are.

What we spend money on matters, and we often unknowingly support things with our wallet that we don't want to.

I think it would be interesting to write a piece that brings awareness about what those consequences are specifically.

This piece could be approached in many ways but it would need to be sure to address cost, environmental impact, animal abuse issues, the local economy, and perhaps for perspective an idea of how cheap food here really is.

It might be fun to shadow a shopper (a willing participant of course) to see what drives the decisions they make about food and whether they even realize the impact that their purchases are having.

There is lots of information out there, and more and more organizations that are getting the word out about the realities of our food choices. These would provide excellent linking opportunities.

There are a lot of ways to approach this but I think the writer has to be keenly aware of budget, (which I'm sure we all are) because I think people tend to see issues like the slow food movement and the organic movement as being very elitist, and at times they are, but I think this could be written about in a way to shed light without making people feel guilty about their food budget.

This could even be combined with a recipe for a easy meal that is economical and ethically sound (whatever that means).


What is a job worth?


what it will cover:

Every day it seems I hear politicians talk about creating new jobs, and rightly so. We are still recovering from an economic calamity in this country and unemployment is still too high. While this may seem simple and straight forward I am often struck by the types of job opportunities that the government suggests to put people to work, the keystone pipeline and the polymet mine come to mind. In this article I would like to look at some of the potential job creating opportunities suggested by our politicians and ask the question "what is a job worth?" Do a few temporary labor jobs justify action to green light the keystone pipeline? Is it ok to trade environmental concerns for temporary employment? What about long term employment? Even if the jobs are environmentally friendly does a temporary job provide a long term solution to the lack of decent work opportunities in this country? I want to look into some of these questions. I want to do so without seeming too callus as I'm sure that if my husband and I were unemployed for a long period of time we would be grateful for temporary work but I do think that we need to take a longer view of our situation. Times like these worry me as I fear our shortsighted view of employment leads us to poor long term decisions.

stance, p 32, and again on p 82:


audience fit:

how it will make contact with readers - chap 3, and chap 4, p 80 - 81

where it might fit on TIO: section and category, either existing or one that will collect others

research and practices the writer needs to engage in order to write it

I will need to look into the details of some

what it might link to - literally and figuratively

article length

Books or Ebooks


The other day in class, I heard students bemoaning the loss of the physical book. I am an avid reader who has openly adopted and enjoyed owning a kindle as a reading device, but I can understand that we, as readers often have emotional attachments to books that make the idea of eBooks difficult to appreciate.

I think it would be fun to really look at the debate and examine how eBooks are changing reading and publishing.

I feel that there are some differences between the two that we as readers should be made aware of, arguments that go beyond the simple romantic notions we have of books.

This piece would be informative, and a bit humorous. It might be fun to poke fun at the reader who must be a reader of electronic media and may even bemoan the loss of a physical newspaper.

I think this should look into questions of: publishing, technology, self publishing, expense, elitism, and our attachments to books.

I tend to see articles like this that take a side and defend it as if to the death and I think the purpose and the unique thing about this piece would be the way in which it looks at issues that might actually balance the spectrum and allow that there is a space for both.

This piece might be a coming together of both sides by making fun of both in some way. Perhaps I will detail my experience at the library book sale where the evidence of our physical book waste is rampant.

Pink Slime: Okay for School Lunches?


what it will cover:
questions it will answer What is pink slime? Where is it being used? What might we be able to do about it? The rest will be a big old fashioned rant about school lunches and what we are feeding our kids. We have such a short range view of things in this country, what might we expect from this attempt to save a few bucks down the road? If school cafeterias can't afford real meat maybe they should just not serve it at all.

stance, p 32, and again on p 82:
This will be partly informative but mostly a big old rant. Where is the outrage? This shit is gross. If McDonalds and Taco bell won't use it should our kids be eating it? This kind of stuff boggles my mind and I want it to boggle everyone elses!

audience fit:
This is the kind of article I think pertains in some way to most people, but especially people who eat or know someone who eats institutional food.

how it will make contact with readers - chap 3, and chap 4, p 80 - 81
This will be a passionate piece that will detail horrors of schools new mystery meat. There will be heroes, villains, some gross pictures perhaps, a call to action, and lots of links.

where it might fit on TIO: section and category, either existing or one that will collect others
This piece will clearly be in the outrage category.

research and practices the writer needs to engage in order to write it
I am going to do some research into pink slime, what it is and where it is being used.

what it might link to - literally and figuratively
Other articles on the topic and perhaps articles that detail the importance of good nutrition for growing kids.

article length
depends on how crazy I get, and judging by the rise in blood pressure I have experienced writing this proposal it could be a doozy.


Passwords, Can't Anyone Simplify this Scourge of the Digital Age?


What it will cover: I am curious about the level of security that passwords really provide and I wonder if we are ever going to simplify method of protecting ourselves in the digital age.

stance, p 32, and again on p 82:

audience fit:

how it will make contact with readers - chap 3, and chap 4, p 80 - 81

where it might fit on TIO: section and category, either existing or one that will collect others

research and practices the writer needs to engage in order to write it

I will need to look into the details of some

what it might link to - literally and figuratively

article length













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