I was excited to hear that the Albany Public Library had an opening for someone with my professional and educational background. I've always imagined working for the library but I'd never heard of a position that seemed like a good fit until now. With my strong background in writing and web media, I am an excellent candidate.
In college I found myself drawn to communications fields, working in newspaper and radio in both of the colleges I went to. Even though my degree was in literature, most of my extracurricular experience was more hands on, giving me an ideal educational background to work with the public front of an organization dedicated, in large part, to the dissemination of the written word.
The library is a lynchpin of the community, a crucial link between people and a greater world. A strong public presence is critical to making sure that the library can serve this role. I would be an excellent member of your professional staff and a strong ally in moving forward the goals of the organization.
James Beardsley 136 1/2 Lancaster Street Apartment A Albany, NY 12210
2012 - Present
Direct supervision of transcontinental staff handling inbound communications for medical, governmental, and professional organizations.
2010 - 2011
Built and maintained online product directory, Google Ads program, and social media presence. Produced and delivered print documents for legal firms and small business across the district.
2007 - 2009
Direct client service at busy local copy center. Design and production of large format prints, bound presentation documents, multipart forms, and online resources. Electronics sales and service. Printer repair.
2007 - 2009
Bachelor's Degree, English major, Journalism minor. Opinions Editor for Albany Student Press. Coursework included Narrative & Descriptive Journalism with Thomas Bass and Ethics in Journalism with Rosemary Armao.
2003 - 2007
Creative Writing major. World Music Director and President Pro Tempore at WAIH Radio. Proofreader at The Racquette newspaper. Studied playwriting and poetry under Dr Maurice Kenny, studied fiction under Rick Henry. Several piece of writing in student publications. Several plays produced on stage.
Supervisor, Answerphone 1 (347) 245-2424 email@example.com
Dogwalking Client 1 (518) 461-5155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Managing Editor, Albany Student Press 1 (518) 944-1113 email@example.com
I pick up hitchhikers. I know it’s irresponsible and a bad decision on my part but honestly I find it to be one of the more rewarding activities I engage in. Exchanging a small amount of gas and a couple of minutes of time for a little interpersonal contact with an interesting person strikes me as a fair bargain. They’re usually just poor people without cars who have somewhere they need to go. I’ve never met a murderer or a rapist or had any sort of bad luck. Occasionally I’ll pick up a drug dealer, and that’s as hairy as it gets.
One time I was driving down through a smallish town, just big enough for a smaller chain pharmacy but not large enough to support one of the more impressive conglomerates. I saw a lanky man with a long, wispy beard and ragged curly gray hair. He was wearing a stained old t-shirt and an ancient pair of blue jeans. His shoes were surprisingly high-quality, though still dirty; one of those pairs of sneakers from a Wal-mart or a K-mart that combine name-brand appearance with store-brand price and quality. He held a cardboard sign that said, in large letters, “DRIFTSVILLE.” Driftsville happened to be on my way, so I pulled over and rolled down the passenger side window.
“Hey man, hop in.”
His voice was surprisingly deep as he leaned into the window. “Do you know the Carsons?”
I didn’t know any Carsons, so I said “There are no Carsons in Driftsville.”
His brow wrinkled slightly under the thick grime. “Driftsville’s a big city, you know.”
Crazy, man. “Not big enough for me.”
He nodded to himself and hopped in the door. “Alright, Mac, let’s roll.”
I closed the window and pulled away. He looked at me and said, “You got the stuff?”
“The stuff? I don’t think I do… What stuff you mean?”
He seemed agitated. “You know, man, the stuff. The goods, the junk.”
“Junk?” How did he know I worked in a pawn shop? “Yeah, I got some good junk.” Who knew why he wanted it, but hitchhikers have to be a little crazy to do what they do.
“Alright man, let’s have it.” I showed him one of the things I had in the back, one of those monkeys with cymbals. He glanced at me. “You kiddin’?”
“I like that little guy. I’m taking him home for my kids.”
“Aren’t you Ralph Waltson?”
“No, man, my name's Carl Lipschnitz.”
He sighed and pulled his beard off. “Turn the damn car around, son.”
“Hey, your beard isn’t real.”
He flashed me a badge. “I’m working on a sting op. I thought you were my contact; you knew the call signs. Turn around and drop me off where you picked me up.”
I did it, and drove away with that old guy-young guy glaring at me in the rearview mirror. Yeah, that was the craziest hitchhiker I ever picked up, and it was a cop. Funny how that works.
“In Cold Blood,” by Truman Capote, attempts to display not only the act of murder, but the context surrounding it. Capote went out to a town in Kansas for years and years to research and interview as many of the people involved with the execution of a well-to-do family as possible. His book deals with the intimate, and perhaps unknowable, details of the mental states of the people involved with the case. The entire first part of what Capote called a nonfiction novel has little to do with the actual murder, instead detailing the personal lives and daily interactions of the victims and the murderers themselves. He doesn't deal with any absolutes, refusing to show only the good or motivational aspects of the characters, looking for deeper causes. But is it ethical? How well do normal people hold up to the focused and insensitive magnifying gaze of the limited media of the novel? Can animal behavior properly be translated into the abstract language of the written word without losing the vigor and intensity of reality?
The central argument of “In Cold Blood” seems to be that the victims of murders that sprawl across the front pages of newspapers are in and of themselves complete stories, unique individuals as true and alive as anyone that we encounter in our day to day lives. Capote wants to show the humans behind the headlines and make the reader feel the horror of the interrupted narrative, the shock of the ceaseless events showing the modern concept of the life-story as a cultural mythology. The lives of the family are not lived in antiseptic first-person, but an extended fourth-dimensional exercise. The activities that the family goes through in the days leading up to their deaths are orbiting these hopes and fears they have for their futures. The father is living what he hopes to be a good life, a successful businessman within his own small sphere. The daughter pines after boys and likes dresses and is excited to be starting her own adventure through life. The mother is wracked by guilt, damaged by events earlier in her life and probably undiagnosed post-partum disorder, but she seems to be recovering, at least as presented by Capote. Even the murderers are acting in the interests of a larger plan, trying to establish themselves as success within the boundaries of the American capitalist context, killing the family in hopes of gaining access to a vault full of cash.
All the characters have their weaknesses, of course, and it's here that Capote begins to venture into more dangerous realms than simple examination of motivation. At this point Capote begins to create good and bad within his narrative. The family is shown as being “good” people simply because they attempt not to hurt anyone. Capote is willing to invest his story with the veneer of cultural mythology and mainstream ethics, buying into the concept that thinking of your family before others is somehow more ethical than thinking of yourself before others. This is not to say that we should not think of others before ourselves! It is often a useful exercise and more productive than purely self-serving motives, but favoring our family over others because of the arbitrary location of our genetic heritage isn't any more ethical than favoring your own body because it is the one that we are born into. These cultural constructs of good and evil are a the unfortunate burden of Capote and he inflicts that burden on his own narrative.
I'm not sure that it's even avoidable to do so! The book itself is a structure that demands story arcs and characters that fall on one side or another of a central conflict. There are always good guys and bad guys, not because of inherent values within the universe but because of the structures and pathways of the human brain. Good and evil are concepts to be discarded not because of the way they feel, but because they are inaccurate fictions invented by a biological process. Novels are the constructs of these same biological processes! A narrative without good and evil would be a narrative without the basic necessities of a followable plot. To say the “In Cold Blood” is unethical in its treatment of the human beings involved with the story is not to say that those unethical decisions could have been avoided! I can not imagine a way to tell this story that would not as some point have to make sacrifices for emotional resonance without getting into strange quantum wormhole documentary cameras which would be awesome.
The problem is that we are so used to dealing with slim slices of the full fourth dimensional organism that is a human being, that seeing a fully fleshed character creates the illusion that those people must be part of something important and larger than them. The brain naturally tries to fit them into some sort of slot. I can't imagine that a novel centered around a single character or group of characters could do so without passing judgment on them, so I can't totally fault Capote here, but I'm not sure writing a novel about real people is something that should even be done. What's the benefit of writing this book except glory for the author and the satisfaction of readers' visceral urges? I had a class this semester that was all about the ways that novels create these imagined worlds that everyone lives in, and I think that books like this build an imagined world where death is automatically invested with a certain drama that I'm not sure it has in real life. It creates a moral where there is none; the killers were hanged, without fanfare, and the family is as dead as they would have been either way and I'm not sure Capote does as much as he should to expand upon the themes that he so cavalierly introduces.
As readers, though, we enter into Capote's dark world. His extended narrative and refusal to immediately allow us to see the details of the brutality of his story make us realize all too keenly our own desire to see this bloodshed finally be let lose. Perhaps, by allowing the reader to look into a darker part of themselves, Capote makes a penance for the trivialization of these unfortunate Kansasians.
For eight years I was a strict fish-eating vegetarian. I did not eat meat during that time, and did not eat products containing meat to my knowledge. I was not doing it out of a sense of ethics, though later research suggested that it was in fact ethical. I was mostly a vegetarian because my mother became one for dietary reasons.
Over the past couple of years, I've been researching rather feverishly in order to understand what kind of animal I was. I found my upbringing did not answer that question for me, and neither did popular wisdom or advertising or consumerism or any of the things that, I think now, are supposed to help people figure out what kind of object to be in the world. I was smart enough, thank the gods, to figure out that biology was probably the best place to go for this kind of information.
There were two broad varieties of australopith at one point. One genus was large and vegetarian, and one was lightly built and omnivorous. The omnivorous one survived to become us and the other went extinct.
The human brain is insulated and cooled by fat. Fats, of the animal variety, are an intrinsic part of the way that our very powerful computers can continue to operate at high efficiencies for over one hundred years in some cases.
The human brain, in the course of creating this fantastic experience that we get to call reality, runs off of such a huge percentage of the resources available to the body that only a few minutes without oxygen can shut a person down completely!
I understand that proteins can be acquired from meat, but where does the protein in vegetation come from? Everything decomposes and everything is made out of the same things. I will not waste my life feeling sorry for dead things, and I try very hard to only eat animals that seemed like they were having a good time while they were alive. I am deadset against animal cruelty but it is neither cruel nor inhumane to kill and eat something quickly, efficiently, and without harming the environment around it. It is something that we share with the rest of life, just like the rest of the characteristics that actually have to do with what it means to be human.