Monday, January 30, 2012

Communications Capstone

This is my last post in regards to Communications Capstone class, but I will continue to keep this blog up. I will continue to write and focus my blog more on music, opinions, and anything else I feel like writing about. (Probably more about nature!) I must say I have really enjoyed the Capstone class and I have learned a lot. I have been able to tie in what I have learned from all of my previous classes in Communications and piece it together. It is apparent communications plays a vital role in our everyday lives. It keeps us connected and and is ever growing with the continued expanison of tools to utillize. From the interenet to cell phones, communication has come a long way.It is important to realize who the audience is, deliver the message with purpose and the way it was intended. Being able to communicate successfuly and effectively will help to make me more successful in my career. Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope some of you will continue to be a follower and we can stay connected!

Amanda Analla

Constructive Conflict Process

At some point in everyone's life, we will experience conflict. Conflict can occur between family members, friends, and coworkers. How people handle conflict is important because it can either make the situation better or it can make it worse. People can lose friendships, get fired, and cause tension with in the family. Another thing to note is that conflict is unavoidable. I think in some ways it can be beneficial because it teaches us to share viewpoints and be openminded with the individuals involved. It can make two people come together to come up with a solution that can satisfy everybody.

            Conflict is something that everybody deals with more than once in their lifetimes. Conflict is unavoidable and people need to feel more comfortable dealing with and confronting it. “Conflict arises from differences – it occurs whenever people disagree over their values and assumptions, motivations and perceptions, ideas and desires” (Pakita, 2011). There are many different ways to deal with conflict, but it is important to look at ways in which dealing with conflict can result in a positive way. The processes that can occur in the dynamics of conflict can have many different resolutions. The process I am going to focus on is the Constructive Conflict Process. This process consists of a series of five steps, and can help to successfully resolve conflict. (Abigail & Cahn, 2011) The five steps are: the prelude to conflict, the triggering event, the initiation phase, the differentiation phase, and the resolution phase. Through a personal experience I will explain how my conflict goes through these steps and is successfully resolved. I will be sharing with you a Constructive Conflict process and how I have been able to apply it to a conflict that I had with my sister.

Constructive Conflict Process

1.      The Prelude to Conflict: (make conflicts possible, by the relationship, the individuals involved as well as bystanders, and the environment)

My sister can sometimes appear to be selfish and ungrateful. For several months after I had moved to Madison, I would ask her to come visit me. My sister would state that she would visit me only if I paid for her gas money because she did not have enough to buy gas.  Once she got there she would always expect me to buy dinner or lunch for her. I was happy to have her visit me because I missed her a lot and we always had fun together. Sometimes my sister would want me to come visit her in Milwaukee and I would drive there and still have to pay for lunch or dinner.  The last time I was in Milwaukee I asked her to pay for dinner.

2.      Trigger: (behavior that creates, “the beginning of the problem”)

My sister than “sighed” and made a big deal about paying for the dinner, and then said, “Well you can pay me back!” When I heard this I began to see red and wanted to punch her in the face. (This was my thought, I would never do that). I just was so angry because I always paid for her lunch/dinner and would offer to pay for gas when she came to visit. My sister has never offered to pay for anything.

3.      Initiation: (when a person brings the problem/conflict up to the other to make them aware)

I then told my sister that I was upset and told her that I never made a comment like that before when I have paid for all of her meals and gas when she came to visit.

4.      Differentiation: (The ongoing interaction process in which both sides are brought up and explained through different tactics. They can be destructive/constructive or escalate/deescalate)

At this point my sister became defensive and stated that she did not know that I had felt that way. She pointed out that I had always offered to pay and never said anything to her about it. My sister also indicated that I have a job that pays better than her, and that she is struggling with money. I told her that it would be nice for her to offer once in a while.

5.      Resolution: (The end outcome in which both parties agree to with solution)

We both apologized to each other, and I told her that I should have told her earlier. My sister stated that she did not realize that I had felt this way and indicated that she was not trying to take advantage of me. We both decided that we would take turns for paying for dinner/lunch and that she would pay for her gas money when she came to visit.

The last time I came home to Milwaukee and I stayed over for two nights, she paid for both dinners, both nights and I paid for lunch. There was no issue and it was really nice. Conflict Resolution when used effectively can create positive results when going through the process.

Abigail, R. & Chan, D. (2011). Managing conflict through communication. 4/e, Boston: Allyn &
Pakita, S. (2011). How to manage conflict. [Web]. Retrieved from:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Less Than 7 Days...

I cannot wait to get to Cabo, the days are getting closer. I am curious if any of my classmates have been to Cabo, and if there are any sorts of activities or venues that we should check out? Thanks for your thoughts!


Amanda Analla

Shift Change!

It is 10:50PM and I just got home from work and started to think about the end of our Communications Capstone Class. As I look at my educational journey at Ashford University thus far, this is my last for the Communication classes. This also means that once this class is completed, shift change also occurs at work. I will be moving from second shift to third shift. This got me thinking about the changes that will be occurring and the different elements that take place. I will have a new Sergeant and the "Brass"will be different. This post is about "best practices" approach towards "superior-subordinate organizations. The shift change occurs every year, and depending on how the leadership and coworkers are, can either make or break the year for Officers. Here are some of my thoughts on this important matter.

There are many different approaches to superior-subordinate influence in organizations. “Social influence is an ever-present aspect of organizational life. From formal board meetings to informal employee interactions, individuals seek to control the opinions and activities of others in the pursuit of personal and organizational goals” (Seiter & Gass, 2004, p. 337) It is apparent that persuasion and influence are present in our everyday lives and at work. I work for the City of Madison Police Department and there are obvious superior-subordinate influences in my organization.

I am currently still “new” to this field and have been employed for almost four years now. In regards to working with superiors and my coworkers there have been several tactics and practices used throughout the years that have been effective and ineffective in influence and persuasion. I have found that there are many different factors and considerations that come into play when superior-subordinates interact with one another and influence each other. Looking at our department it is set up as a hierarchy and we have upward, downward, and lateral flow of communication.

The “best practices” approaches that help to be effective in my experience has been using strategies such as, Reasoning, Assertiveness, Altruism, and Sanctions. These strategies work because they help to keep us on track and focused. I deal with Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and my colleagues of Detectives and Police Officers. I have had Sergeants who manage a platoon and have done so differently than others. I have found that I like Sergeants who are assertive in their requests. Sergeants have to take charge in certain tactical situations and if I am in a location that is jeopardizing my safety or others he/she will tell me to move. They may yell at me, but at the end of the situation we will debrief the incident. At this point the Sergeant will go over what I did right/wrong and will use “collaborative tactics.” This is helpful because he/she is talking to me one on one in a way that is not demeaning and I can feel comfortable offering my feedback. When doing this job I have been in contact with many superiors and I have found that if I have a positive relationship and get along with the person, it makes the job easier. Being able to explain reasons, and be assertive just makes me understand why I should do some of the things that are requested of me.

I think that sanctions are important as well because are job does have a lot of power. In the past there have been officers who have abused power and need to be kept in check. Although this is rare, I think it is important to make sure everyone is aware of the possible punishments. I also think that it is important for individuals to be recognized for accomplishments because it creates positive energy. Overall I think building good relationships with coworkers and superiors, having sanctions, being assertive, and using collaborative tactics are effective ways to help be influential.

Seiter, J., & Gass R. (2004). Perspectives on persuasion, social Influence, and compliance gaining.

            Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, Inc.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Reducing Drug Trafficking in The United States

Hello classmates,
I hope you are doing well. It is nearing the end of our capstone class and I have enjoyed it immensely. As I continue to work on this blog and put the final touches on it, I have realized how much I have used my field of employment to tie into my Communication Classes. It is apparent and obvious that communication plays a vital role in law enforcement, but even more so I have been able to apply what I am learning to the particular field and learn about different topics. This next paper that I will be posting is from my ENG122 class. It is a research/position paper on Reducing Drug Trafficking in the United States. Besides high school, I found this paper to be quite challenging and a paper in which I had to devote a lot of time researching for information. I learned to sort out the fluff and write about what was relevant and important to making my point. The most important lesson I learned from writing this paper is that it is important to have facts and accurate information to take a stand on an issue.

Reducing Drug Trafficking in the United States
In the United States, drug trafficking is a major problem. The U.S. Department of Justice (2010), states “the availability of illicit drugs in the United States is increasing” (p. 1). The United States receives many drugs all over the country. Many countries are able to import their drugs to the United States. One country in particular, that has a significant amount of drug trafficking is Mexico near the Southwest Border. Mexico borders the United States and has easy access to pushing drugs through. According to The National Drug Threat Assessment (2010), Mexico has seen an increase in production specifically with two drugs, Marijuana and Methamphetamine. (p.1). The United States is continuously working on ways to reduce the flow of drug trafficking. The United States has created policies and restrictions that have been put into place to help reduce the problem. Working with Mexico and other U.S. agencies as well as continued and increased enforcement will help decrease the trafficking of drugs.
Marijuana and Methamphetamine
             According to Drugs of Abuse (1997),“The term marijuana, as commonly used, refers to the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant” (p. 37). Marijuana is a “green-leafy” plant that has a distinct smell. “Marijuana is usually smoked in the form of loosely rolled cigarettes called joints or hollowed out commercial cigars called blunts” (U.S. Department of Justice, 1997, pg. 37). Marijuana has many different names that are common throughout the United States. Some names are: Mary Jane, pot, and weed. Marijuana can be found throughout the United States and is a popular drug among many. Some effects of marijuana include, “increased heart rate, dryness of mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, and frequently hunger and an increase desire for sweets” (U.S. Department of Justice, 1997, pg. 38).
            Methamphetamine is a highly abusive drug and according to NIDA (2010),  
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug. Methamphetamine is also known as “Meth.” Methamphetamine …is a white odorless, bitter-tasting powder taken orally or by snorting or injecting, or a rock ‘crystal’ that is heated and smoked. Methamphetamine affects the brain and creates “euphoria” to the user. Since methamphetamine affects the brain, there are several serious problems that can affect the brain. (p. 1-2)
 According to the NIDA (2010), the long-term use can actually change the way the brain functions (p. 2). This drug has many other ways it can affect the user. Some of these negative effects are, “extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior” (NIDA, 2010, p. 2).
            It is apparent that these two drugs can be highly addictive and it is important that the United States continues to reduce the flow of trafficking with Mexico. There are many negative side effects that will affect the user with continued use. These drugs can be abused easily, and with easy access to these drugs it is only going to keep affecting the population of the United States.
The Smuggling and Trafficking of Drugs A long The Southwest Border
            Drug trafficking is a complex problem that is very advanced when it comes to smuggling drugs from the border through to the United States. The roadways, the sky, and underground passages, are all used to transport drugs from one side to the other. According to the National Drug Threat Assessment (2010),  “These means include the construction and use of cross-border tunnels and subterranean passageways, and some increased use of low-flying small or ultralight aircraft, which most often are used to smuggle marijuana” (p. 14). The smugglers use the roadways and officers near the border and in any state can produce a traffic stop. From a law enforcement officer’s experience, I have conducted several stops in which the basic red light violation can turn into a drug investigation. Officers along the border and in any state have used basic traffic violations to further investigate drugs. 
With that being said the Drug Enforcement Administration (2010),
…has created two operations that focus on the traffic that is around the areas of the borders and in states where drug trafficking is a problem. The operations are:  Operation Pipeline and Operation Convoy. Operation Pipeline focuses on the roadways, highways and smugglers that are operating in private motor vehicles. The operation is composed of three elements: training, real-time communication, and analytic support. Operation Convoy focuses on the use of commercial vehicles and involves undercover officers and wiretaps. (para. 2-3)
United States Strategies on Methamphetamine
The methamphetamine issue has been a problem for more than a decade. In 1996 the United States created some strategies and specific penalties to enforce on the methamphetamine issue. “Analysis of available data indicates that methamphetamine availability in the United States is directly related to methamphetamine production trends in Mexico, which is the primary source of methamphetamine consumed in the United States” (US Department of Justice, 2010). The two strategies that were put into place are the 1996 National Methamphetamine Strategy and the Methamphetamine Trafficking Penalty Enhancement Act. (Executive Office, 1999) The 1996 Act “increases the penalties for production and trafficking while expanding control over precursor chemicals” (Executive Office, 1999). The Enhancement Act focuses on targeting businesses or companies that supply or sell the “precursor chemicals” to methamphetamine producers. (Executive Office, 1999) Since these have been put into place in the beginning there was a decrease in the production of methamphetamine. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) Presently and in the last couple of years methamphetamine has increased production specifically in Mexico. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) Drug traffickers have been able to find ways to import the “precursor chemicals” and find other alternatives to use in producing methamphetamine (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010).
Marijuana and Eradication
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been focusing on marijuana growth in the United States. A program was implemented called the Domestic Marijuana Eradication and Investigation Project, this program specifically targets, “Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) involved in cannabis cultivation” (Drug Enforcement Administration, para. 1). The success of this program is due to sharing of information within the different agencies (Drug Enforcement Administration). In Mexico the production of marijuana has increased, due to the fact that law enforcement has had to focus their resources on the ongoing violence that has been occurring on the Southwest Border. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) 
Mexico and the United States have strived to put programs into place to decrease the reduction of drug trafficking. Some of these programs have been put into place more than a decade ago. It is important to look at some of the trends and see which programs are being upgraded and changed. With the amount of drug trafficking that can occur the United States and Mexico are constantly looking for ways to improve their tactics. Many of the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico have found ways to get drugs through to the United States.
The National Southwest Border Counternarcotic Strategy
In June of 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy, The National Southwest Border Counternarcotic Strategy.  Secretary Napolitano (Homeland Security, 2009), stated:
The plan calls for tougher inspections, more enforcement personnel and close coordination with our partners in Mexico as we work across Federal, State and local governments to achieve safety and security in our communities. Together, we will continue to reduce the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest border and ensure that those who ignore our laws are prosecuted. (para. 4)
            It is important that Mexico and the United States continue to work together. With this National Strategy implemented, both governments hope that drug trafficking and the violence will continue to decrease. This plan focuses on the ability to share intelligence between the two countries and work with many types of law enforcement agencies that are stationed throughout the Southwest border. (Homeland Security, 2009)
Southwest Border Initiative
            The Southwest Border Initiative (SWBI) has been put into place since 1994 and continues to have a positive impact on the fight against drugs. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration,
The SWBI attacks organizations by targeting the communication systems of their command and control centers. Working in concert, the DEA, the FBI, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S. Attorneys offices around the country conduct wiretaps that ultimately identify all levels of the Mexico- or Colombia-based organizations. This strategy allows the DEA to track the seamless continuum of drug traffic as it gradually flows from Colombia or Mexico to the streets of the United States where it is distributed. (para. 2)
            It is important to look at this initiative and to see how many agencies are actually involved. As is apparent there are numerous amounts of resources that are being used to work on the drug trafficking problem. It is important that the information continues to be shared and good communication is vital.
 The governments continue to work with agencies to be successful in their tactics. The SWBI has been successful. Three operations known as, Operation Zorro II, Operation Reciprocity, and Operation Limelight have been very successful. Statistics showed that because of these operations, “…resulted in the arrest of 156 individuals and the seizure of over 22,000 kilos of illegal drugs and $35 million” (Drug Enforcement Administration, para. 4).
Drug Trafficking Organizations and Criminal Gangs
            Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) are located all over the United States and foreign countries. These organizations focus on moving drugs through different areas. The National Threat Assessment (2010), indicates that “…Mexican DTOs constitute the greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. Mexican DTOs are more deeply entrenched in drug trafficking activities in the United States than any other DTOs” (p. 9). This means that these Mexican organizations have areas in the United States that they work with that help produce, import, and export drugs to different areas (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). This can create an easier flow of drug trafficking as well as easy access to obtain more drugs into the United States.
            Criminal Gangs are also a major source of where drugs can come from. It is apparent that gangs are located all over the United States as well as in Mexico. Several of these gangs work with the DTOs to obtain drugs and sell at a competitive price. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) According to the National Drug Threat Assessment (2010), “there are nearly 1 million active gang members in the United States…”  (p. 12). It is important that the United States and Mexico continue to look at the influences of gangs. It is clear that there is a significant amount of gangs that are involved in the drug trade. “The influence of Hispanic and African American street gangs is expanding as these gangs gain greater control over drug distribution in rural and suburban areas and acquire drugs directly from DTOs in Mexico or along the Southwest Border” (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010, p. 9).
            There are many different organizations and gangs that are involved in the drug trade that is a continuous problem. Law enforcement as well as the Southwest Border must continue to focus on these areas. A lot of these organizations and gangs are dangerous and can bring about violence. A lot of these organizations also are in possession of guns. It is apparent that whenever drugs are involved as seen in movies, the news, and personal experience as a law enforcement officer, guns can and most likely will be involved. This can create a dangerous situation for any official that is in contact with these types of criminals. Drugs are a serious problem and must be taken seriously.
Drug trafficking is a source of corruption and it endangers and affects the quality of life of many in the general population. It is important for the United States and Mexico to work together in order to try to reduce the problem. Drug trafficking brings about violence, increase in weapons, and drug abuse in the United States. It is an everyday occurrence and it is important the United States continues to find ways to reduce drug trafficking.


Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Domestic cannabis eradication/suppression program.

     Retrieved February 21, 2011, from

Executive Office, Office of National Drug Policy. (1999). 1999 national drug control strategy

Homeland Security. (2009). Obama administration announces national strategy to reduce drug

     trafficking and flow of bulk cash and weapons across southwest border Retrieved from

NIDA infofacts: Methamphetamine. (2010, March). Retrieved February 21, 2010, from National 

     Institute of Drug Abuse website:

U.S. Department of Justice. (1997). Drugs of abuse. Washington, DC.

U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency. (2010). National drug threat assessment

     (Product No. 2010-Q0317-001). Jonestown, PA: Retrieved from  


Thursday, January 26, 2012

AIDA Approach For an Effective Memo or Cover Letter

In order to write an effective memo or cover letter there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. When writing a memo or a cover letter, an individual is trying to gain the audience’s attention and to get a purpose across to that targeted audience.  According to our text, Improving Business Communication Skills, “…you only have a few seconds to grab your reader. To write persuasively, follow AIDA approach: attention, interest, desire, and action” (Roebuck, 2006). When using the AIDA approach there is many things that are taken into consideration for the writer to begin to draft an effective memo or cover letter. As mentioned earlier the writer only has a few seconds to capture the audience. The benefits of using AIDA, causes the writer to remain focused and has a guideline to follow. By taking the audience into consideration and focusing on gaining the attention, the writer can further expand by creating an interest and desire. This in turn will cause the audience to take a specific action. AIDA will be effective in a memo and cover letter because it will be written in a persuasive manner. If the writer is able to keep the audience “hooked” and is able to effectively get the purpose across, the audience will move towards that specific action that is requested.

When taking these into consideration, when writing a cover letter for a resume, I would have to sell myself, but also gain the attention of business. I would focus on how hiring me would be a benefit to the business and expand on the skills and qualifications that are necessary to for the job that I possess. I would use persuasiveness and make the business interested in continuing to read my resume. If my cover letter is ineffective, most likely they will not want to read any further. Therefore I would have to gain their attention.

When writing a memo or cover letter, the audience wants to know what is in it for them and how hiring an individual or reading a memo is beneficial to them. I think in this aspect using AIDA to develop the memo or letter will help the writer focus not only what his/her needs are, but also on what the audience wants. Hitting on the audience’s desires can persuade the individual to take action. By using the “emotional appeal” or “logical appeal” the product being sold or idea being considered can reach the audience on a personal and clear level. By following the AIDA plan the letter or memo will be read and again taken into consideration. These are the many benefits of using AIDA to write an effective memo or letter.


Roebuck, D.B. (2006). Improving business communications skills (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle

            River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Oak -Alfred Lord Tennyson

As I look outside my window I see the sun is shining and the snow sparkling on the ground. I look at the trees that have no leaves and dream of when summer is here. The cold temperatures make me want to hibernate, but this is winter in Wisconsin. I count down the days as Erica and I will be heading to Cabo, Mexico for our honeymoon! (Less than two weeks) Anyways, since I have been thinking about nature, I thought I would share my literary analysis from my Journey Into Literature Class. Of course this is paper was written about a poem that nonetheless was about an Oak Tree. (Go Figure!)


Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall'n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.

Poetry in its literary form is beautiful and magnificent.  The way poets are able to incorporate every word and put it in a specific place to add meaning, is amazing. Poems can be written about feelings, emotions, and nature, and just about anything else a poet wants to write. I have always enjoyed poetry and in particular, enjoyed reading poems about nature.  I love nature, and I think a lot can be expressed through writing poetry about it.  Because I love trees so much, (I even have a tattoo of a tree on my ankle) I was more than happy to see a poem called “The Oak” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in our text Journey into Literature.  This is a great poem and there are many elements that are found throughout the text that have helped me focus on the poem.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson uses figurative language, symbolism, and rhyme to express his view of the Oak tree. With these elements I am able to enjoy the poem and see the comparison of a tree being tied into the development of a human.

I read this poem numerous times, and I found it to be beautiful. The author incorporates figurative language by using a simile to compare the “human development to the oak tree’s seasonal cycle.” (Clugston, 2010). With that said, when reading the poem, I feel Tennyson is relating it to a man that is aging through life.  The oak tree is personified as Tennyson uses “he” to describe the changes that are occurring to the tree. “All his leaves, Fall’n at length, look, he stands trunk and bough…” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). These lines demonstrate the use of “he” and when reading the poem, I felt the tree had possessed human qualities. When looking at the poem it was easier to see that the tree was going through changes, just as a human goes through changes as they age. The author “attributes” the oak, through the seasonal changes that are occurring. (Clugston, 2010) From using spring, to summer, and then to autumn we see the changes occurring. The oak tree in spring is young and bright and as the seasons continue the leaves begin to change color, and eventually fall off.  The oak tree stands with “Naked strength” (as cited from Clugston, 2010).  It is apparent that through the figurative language and using a simile to compare the aging process of the tree to a human, Tennyson has been successful. It is important for the reader to pick up on this aspect as a tree with its natural beauty can be used to describe the human process. We as humans age and with those changes, we can still possess the beauty that makes us who are in our “naked strength.”

Symbols and symbolism are important when reading poetry. Poets use symbols to add to the message or theme. According to our text, and in previous readings, I noticed that a lot of symbols were used. The oak tree itself is a symbol of strength and wisdom, and I feel that this is fitting for the poem. As when people age with time and experience, wisdom is developed. All the seasonal changes also have specific meanings, as spring is a symbol of “birth and new beginnings.” (Clugston, 2010) Summer is a symbol for “maturity”, and autumn is a symbol for “aging.” (Clugston, 2010) With the use of these seasons we can see how the tree ages, almost like how human beings process. When we are first born, there are new beginnings , and as we age we begin to mature. Trees change color of leaves and they fall from the branches. As humans are hair can change color and as we get older, sometimes are hair falls out. As quoted from the poem, “Live thy life, young and old, like yon oak, bright in spring, living gold” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). This is a beautiful line, that tells us to live our lives, whether we are old or young, and like the oak that stands tall and gold. Gold is also the color of perfection and when reading the poem I did notice that Tennyson did not use “winter” in his poem. I found this to be quite interesting, but as the tree stands, “naked in strength”, I can tell that it is winter. I do not really know why Tennyson did not use winter, but found that winter means “death, stagnation, and sleep” (Clugston, 2010). I think Tennyson may be focusing on the positive aspects of the developments of the tree and humans. Again adding the seasonal changes and with the use of symbolisms, helped me to understand the meaning of the poem. Tennyson was able to incorporate the seasonal changes, and I was able to draw out the human aspect from the tree. As time moves on and seasons change so does the aging process. I think Tennyson did an excellent job.

            The form of the poem and the way it was laid out, made it easy to read. For figurative language was apparent with the use of a simile. When reading the poem out loud I found that each line appeared to have 3 beats to each line. I found this to be interesting and enjoyed the flow of the poem. Tennyson also incorporates rhyme into the poem. “Young and old, like yon oak, bright in spring, living gold” (as cited from Clugston, 2010). Old and gold have the similar endings, and had the rhyme to the poem. This poem was easy for me to read, and when I read it to myself, I pictured an old man reading the poem. I think Tennyson did a wonderful job and when I saw the words on the page I noticed a sort of zigzag pattern. I am not sure if it was done on purpose, but to me it appeared that the poem was the trunk of the tree. Again Tennyson was able to create a beautiful masterpiece in his telling of “The Oak.” With the use of figurative language, the rhythm and rhyme he was able to create a poem that was easy for me to read and enjoy.

            “The Oak” written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is by far one my favorite poems. The poet does a wonderful job incorporating the human development to the growth of an oak tree. By using figurative language, symbolism, and rhyming, the poet was able to create a deeper meaning then just a poem about an oak tree. These specific elements were effective in creating the meaning of the poem, and making it enjoyable to read. As stated earlier poetry is an expression of anything felt by the poet. Specific words, formats, and scenery can all create a message to a particular reader. Nature is a wonderful way to incorporate many themes. The tree was a beautiful way to describe the human development and with all its beauty, we can find that life whether it is a tree or human is worth living.

Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education,

     Inc. Retrieved from: