Friday, September 28, 2012

The Mount Angel Abbey Library Comes to You

Rerum Novarum Scientia
Story and Photo by Bruce Flath

This week the Mount Angel Abbey Library kicked off a new season of Rerum Novarum Scientia, the Library's program to bring library and research skills to seminarians and other scholars.  Librarians Victoria Ertelt and Bruce Flath are presenting the program for the new academic year on Wednesdays at 12:15 in the Aquinas Student Lounge near the dining room.


Ertelt got the idea of bringing tailored library instruction sessions to seminarians in the summer of 2011 after reading about the best practices of bibliographic instruction in academic libraries.  The literature suggested that, rather than passively waiting for patrons to approach reference librarians in the library, librarians should go to those places where it is convenient for patrons.

Ertelt explained that although she also provides bibliographic instruction for specific classes and is usually available in her office if people have research questions, Rerum Novarum Scientia gives the library staff an opportunity to bring that same instruction to a wider group of people.  Since the sessions are only a half an hour long, attendees are not overwhelmed with a lot of new knowledge.  Because Ertelt loves to bake, she brings fresh-baked treats to sessions as an added incentive to attend.

The name of the program means "Knowledge of New Things" in Latin.  The name was inspired by the title of the encyclical on social justice, De Rerum Novarum.  "We wanted to talk about 'new things' that were available through the library which the hilltop community could use to do research," said Ertelt.  The phrase res nova also means "revolution" in classical Latin, so the program name reflects the revolution in technology that libraries have experienced in the past few decades.

When asked if she felt the program was successful, Ertelt said, "Yes, I've had a lot of positive feedback from students, instructors, and monks.  Our online databases are great resources that are underutilized, and the program teaches researchers how to use the online databases more efficiently.  Also, those who attend the session on Internet searching will discover how to use Google in a way that is more efficient and that gets them the most valuable resources."

The next session will be on Wednesday, October 3, at 12:15 p.m., and it will cover the use of the online databases.  A summary of the first session covering the library's online catalog is available on the library website.  Notices of future dates and topics will appear on the seminary listserv.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New MAS Journalist Peter Lawongkerd

A Portrait of a New Journalist: Peter Lawongkerd
by Raul Barriga

For this semester, one of the two journalists for Mount Angel Seminary is seminarian Peter Lawongkerd.  Peter is taking this journalism class for two reasons: 1) he has seen other journalists at work, such as last year's seminarian Michael Khong, and wants to experience the journalism for himself, and 2) he wants to improve his writing skills by writing in different styles.  If you would like to see a past article by Peter, there is a link for it on the Mount Angel Journalism blog.

Peter Lawongkerd - photo by Sister Hilda Kleiman

Peter is excited to be able to interview people for upcoming events.  One particular interest of his is the Seminary Benefit Dinner, an important event for the seminary as it gathers financial support.  He also looks forward to hearing from new and returning seminarians so as to get their perspectives on seminary life thus far.

Peter has never taken a journalism class before, but his interest to improve his writing in English could help him in the class.  He has already shown perseverance in writing since his first year at the seminary.  The writing center, for example, has been helping Peter to develop his writing skills.

Peter says that he "remembers in [his] first year [that he] did not even know how to write papers, essays and all that."  Peter is now able to write papers for his classes, thanks to his English reading and writing classes.  Peter mentions that he received help from Sr. Hilda, the instructor of the journalism class, during his first year, which helped him get started in writing.

Peter studies for the Diocese of Oakland in California.  He is in his third year of college.  Since he came from Thailand, he had to take a year of English at this seminary.  He said that "in [a] journalism course, we write about reality or the events that go on in the hilltop, but for English class we talk about something from the book."

Peter wants his readers to know he that he will try his best as a journalist for the Mount Angel Seminary Journalism blog.  In this journalism class, he is showing enthusiasm for the material that we cover.  You can read an article from him on the blog about his other journalist partner.  This article on Peter should serve as motivation for those seminarians that take a first year of English at Mount Angel Seminary.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Experimenting with Photography

Today the MAS journalism class started analyzing and working with photography.  Raul Barriga, a new journalist who was introduced in our last post, submitted the photograph below.  After some cropping, he has a lovely photograph of a recent sunrise from last weekend on the hilltop.

Watch our blog for more photography work by this year's journalism students!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New MAS Journalist Raul Barriga

The first assignment for our journalism students this semester was to conduct a short interview with their fellow journalism student.  The next step was to write a post that introduces their classmate to the readers of our blog.  Please meet Raul Barriga:

My Journalism Partner: An Interview with Raul Barriga
by Peter Lawongkerd

Raul is one of the seminarians enrolled in our journalism class.  The reason why Raul is taking this course is because he would like to improve his writing skills and explore different types of writing. 

This year is going to be his third year studying at Mount Angel Seminary.  He studies for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

In the last couple years, he has learned how to write an essay, but he thinks that journalism is different because it is not so much about writing essays but rather writing reports.

Raul wants to explore different kinds of writings, and he also wants to learn how to take a photo for an article that he wishes to do.  He expects to learn how to write an article.  He hopes that this course will help him to be able to write in different styles and be able to reach his goals after he finishes the course.
 
Raul Barriga - photo by Sister Hilda Kleiman

Since he is taking the journalism class, he would like to be involved in the sports events and interview some of the seminarians who are on the soccer team and basketball team.  He said, "I think I would like to be involved in more sports such as soccer and basketball so that I could interview my fellow seminarians and question them about their experience."

Raul is looking forward to working at and writing about the Regent's Dinner.  There are so many events that will be taking place on the hilltop, and one of those events is the Regent's Dinner.  Every year in October, a number of bishops and vocation directors will come to visit the hilltop and have a conference with the president-rector and have dinner with the seminarians.  This dinner requires a lot of volunteer work for setting the tables, serving food, and washing dishes.

Another event he would like to write about is the college beach weekend.  It is the event that the seminary provides to the college students in order for them to get to know one another and build community among them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quotation Approval

This morning on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, a story entitled "Newsmakers Trade Access for Quotation Approval" discusses the ethical implications of allowing news sources to approve their quotations before a story is published.  Find a link to the story on the rundown for today's Morning Edition.

How does quotation approval compromise the integrity of a story?  This story from NPR and the ethical  issues it discusses will be part of our journalism class today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Black and White Graduation Photography

Ivan Garcia has also submitted some black and white photography taking during last year's graduation. Thank you, Ivan!  For those journalism students who are delving into photography, consider how the black, white, and sepia tones shape the mood of the photographs.


Monday, September 10, 2012

A New Sign for the Press

Brother Andre Love, a junior monk of Mount Angel Abbey, has created a new sign for the Press.  Below he describes the process of designing and installing the sign:

When I first spoke with Mrs. Beth Wells, the bookstore manager, about creating a sign for the coffee shop and seminary bookstore located at Mount Angel Abbey, she had yet to decide what to name it.  After some brief brainstorming she chose The Press.  This was appropriate as the shop is located in the Old Benedictine Press building and a press is also a method of making espresso coffee.

The new sign designed by Brother Andre Love

Detail of the monk on the new sign

With the inspiration of these two ideas in mind, I went to work looking for an image that would be a suitable logo.  I found a great piece of clip art depicting a 19th century printing machine, and after adding a monk at the wheel and selecting a German font from the same era for the main text, the logo was done.  To complete the sign design I added stylized banners for the subtext  panels.

Since all this work was done sans computer, I opted to create a lino-block print of the new logo which could then be projected on the MDO (plywood) signboard and hand-painted with oil-based enamels.  The block prints can also be reproduced for use in other advertising.

Brother Andre with the new sign outside The Press

Unfortunately for Mrs. Wells, this added a great deal of time to the sign-making process.  Fortunately for me, however, Mrs. Wells is the epitome of patience and has a keen awareness of "monastic time."  After many distractions and detours the sign is completed just in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Black and White Photography

Ivan Garcia, a seminarian from the Diocese of Tucson and a previous contributor to our blog, has been shooting pictures around the hilltop, including these black and white photographs.  Watch the journalism blog for more of Ivan's work.

Bells and a cloudy sky near the Abbey Church

The walkway from the Abbey Church to the Damian Center

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Writing Center Fall 2012

One of the resources available to our journalism students is the Mount Angel Seminary Writing Center. In fact, the Writing Center welcomes all students of the seminary to use its services.  Appointments with writing assistants begin today, September 4, 2012.

To make an appointment, use the sign-up sheet located in the writing center or contact one of the assistants to arrange a time.  If you have questions about the writing center, please contact Sister Hilda Kleiman.

The Writing Center works with students on any writing task at any stage of the writing process.

Six seminarians from college and theology are serving as writing assistants: Brother John Paul Le, Stephen Tilley, Joshua Keeney, Jesus Sanchez, Leon Vigil, and Dean Marshall.

Brother John Paul Le, OSB
Stephen Tilley
Joshua Keeney
Jesus Sanchez
Leon Vigil
Dean Marshall

New materials are available in the Writing Center this year: handout packets, examples of college capstone projects, and issues of the journals College English and College Composition and Communication.

Materials in the writing center are available for all students and faculty.
Writing assistants and seminarians will also work in more comfort this year  thanks to some clipboards and new chairs.