Author: Ali Lewis

Adnan Syed’s Innocence

The Serial Podcast is a podcast series about Adnan Syed and the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Adnan who was 17 at the time, was convicted of the 1999 murder of Hae. Serial is another investigation of the case in the form of journalism. There were no legal proceedings involved with the podcast. Sarah Koeing, the creator, took another close look at Adnan’s case, the evidence, and the holes involved.

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Adnan Syed. (AdnanSyedMain.jpg)

Eventually the trial all came down to one thing. Adnan could not recall where he was during the window of time when Hae died.

Less than half an hour caused him to spend his life in prison.

I personally believe that Adnan is innocent.

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Hae Min Lee. (IMG_BS-BSH_md-hae-min-le_2_1_LI9TPKCQ.jpg)

In an article written in 1999 by the Baltimore Sunthe motive that Adnan supposedly had to brutally strangle Hae to death was because she wanted to break up. Lee’s family however was surprised at the arrest because they knew Adnan to be one of Hae’s best friends. Although Adnan tells Koeing, the creator of the podcast, that he was not angry and didn’t have any hard feelings towards her after. The fact that Adnan had nothing against Hae after the breakup is also supported by Hae’s next boyfriend, Don. When Koeing interviewed Don, he told her about the day that he met Adnan. Hae’s car had broken down and she called Adnan to help. When they arrived to Hae’s work, Don who was her coworker came out to look at it. Don said “He (Adnan) was very polite…we joked and spent 10-15 minutes talking.” (SerialEpisode 12). I think that these supporting factors rule out the proposed motive. Adnan did not seem like the type to be an angry ex-boyfriend to anyone. The Lee family was shocked that it could be him and Don said that Adnan was nice to him and didn’t seem like he was angry.

The next point that makes me think that Adnan is innocent is Jay’s story. Jay says that he

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Jay Wilds (jay-wilds-crime-stoppers.jpg)

helped Adnan bury Hae and that Adnan told him that he wanted to kill Hae. This is what Jay testifies in court on the witness stand. Jay’s story however, drastically changes in his police interviews. It doesn’t match up to the rest of the evidence either. He can’t remember who called them and when, even though he was the one who apparently had Adnan’s phone and he also can’t remember who they called. Jay’s stories don’t match each other or any other evidence that was provided. In episode 12 of the podcast, Jay also speaks of the lawyer in the trial. Jay says that the lawyer yelled at him in an angry way because he did not make Adnan sound creepy. Jay seems suspicious in my opinion because of how murky his stories are and the lawyer seems like he is looking for a pay check, not justice.

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Cristina Gutierrez (— 11-10-06 ITRE votes 15.JPG)

A final point that supports my opinion is Adnan’s defence lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez. Serial revealed that the jury in Adnan’s first trial overheard a conversation between Gutierrez and the judge where the judge called her a “liar”. This would have swayed the jury to not believe what she was saying about Adnan and listen to the prosecuting lawyer. the judge called a mistrial so this would not happen. A new jury was selected and the trial had to be started over. (Serial, Episode 10). Gutierrez also did not examine all witnesses and evidence throughly. Entertainment Weekly published an article on what Gutierrez failed to do that could have changed the outcome of the trial. She failed to interview the only possible alibi that Adnan had, Asia McClain. Gutierrez did not bring up the lividity of Hae’s body. Lividity or Liver Morits, is the settling of blood in the lower portion of the body after death. This causes a discolouration. Hae was found buried on her right side but the discolouration was found on the anterior part of her body, or stomach and chest. Hae’s lividity however shows that she was laid out on her stomach shortly after her death for about 8 to 12 hours. If she investigated the cell phone tower pings she would have learned that it was not reliable evidence which placed Adnan in Leakin Park. Adnan’s latest attorney, C. Justin Brown, states that Gutierrez had this evidence but failed to use it.

I think that Adnan is innocent because he did not have a motive to kill Hae, Jay who is supposed to be his accomplice can’t tell the story of what happened without mixing up details, and Adnan’s defence lawyer did not use key witnesses and evidence that would have changed the outcome of Adnan’s case.

 

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A Walk In The Woods Multimedia Presentation

The link to my Feminist Literary Theory analysis for this multimedia presentation.

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Bill Bryson (7.jpg)

A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson was written in 1998. It is an autobiography about Bill’s hike of the Appalachian trail. For more information on Bill Bryson click here, to read about the AT click here.

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End of the Appalachian Trail (top_of_mount_katahdin_opt.jpg)

 

Serial Podcast

The Serial podcast is about a murder. Young Adnan Syed was accused and convicted of his girlfriend Hae Min Lee’s murder in 1999. An anonymous phone call tipped police off about Adnan and made him the main suspect. Lee was found buried in a shallow grave in Leakin Park. Her cause of death? Manual Strangulation.

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Map of bodies found in Leakin Park (5a1d1802d98512b68bc55e01770b0bfb)

Adnan was convicted of first degree murder.

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Hay Min Lee and Adnan Syed (Hae-Min-Lee.jpg)

Recently I listened to the Serial podcast. Now, I’ve only listened to episode one, but I really liked it. I like crime stories and enjoy watching crime documentaries so I was immediately interested. This is a topic of which we brushed over in my grade ten English class and I liked it then too. I find Adnan’s story very fascinating and in this episode it is only the beginning.

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Adnan Syed (151107171612-adnan-syed-yearbook-photo-exlarge-169.jpg)

This piece of investigative journalism is presented through a podcast which I both like and dislike. I like it because you can listen to it and many eye-witnesses are interviewed. Through this format you can hear the tone that the witnesses and the investigator use which helps develop the story better than in written form. I dislike this format because you can’t see anyone or anything. I would prefer to be able to see the investigator, witnesses, and scenes being described.

This has become a very popular podcast.

Serial supports Adnan Syed by interviewing his close friends and giving supporting evidence that he may have been wrongly convicted. How would this make Hae Min Lee’s family feel? That is a very good question. This podcast goes against their opinion of their daughters death and takes away from their justice. That fact alone I’m sure angers them. They also did not know that Hae Min was dating Adnan. This, in my opinion, would affect the way they viewed the case and Adnan to begin with. Lee’s family probably does not like the podcast or it’s popularity. In their situation who would?

I like to listen to this type of text instead of read because it helps me to better understand and pay attention to the story. Listening to a text helps by setting the tone through voice instead of words. This makes it easier to interpret the meaning and mood. A draw back of this format would be it is easy to get distracted by things around you when you are not reading and moving your eyes along the page. This works for some but not for others.

At the beginning of this episode Koeing introduces an idea. It is hard for people,

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Sarah Koeing (sarah-koeinig.jpg)

especially busy teens to remember specific points of their day and week. I agree with this point because I find it hard to remember what I did on a specific date and time.I think throughout the rest of the podcast that point will be in the back of my mind. I think that some of the evidence will be foggy because of that point.

To read more about this case: follow this link and this link to listen to the podcast click here.

 

Archetypal Patterns in A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods is a non-fiction novel written by Bill Bryson. In the novel Bryson tells his story of walking the Appalachian Trail. This trail is one of the longest hiking trails in the world and one of the most scenic. You can read more bout the trail on the following sites: http://www.appalachiantrail.org and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_Trail.

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Map of the Appalachian Trail (appalachian-trail-map.jpg)

In this book, the main character is the author, Bill Bryson. I think that Bryson has the archetype of the leader. Bryson fulfills this archetype in many ways. Bryson decides he wants to hike this trail when he is married and has a son who is old enough for a part-time job. He decides that even if he has to do it alone he will. Bryson is a man with strong perseverance. I think that this was the time of Bryson’s midlife crisis and his way of coping with it. “What is certain is that it is a long way, and from either end it is not easy.”(Bryson, 7.) he was clearly looking for a challenge as he knew approximations of how long and physically demanding the trail was. Bryson prepares all of his gear and tries to recruit his friends and family to come with him. His only response is Katz, his friend from college who he also travelled across Europe with.

Bryson and Katz had not seen each other for years.

Katz has an archetype of a sidekick. Bryson becomes his leader throughout this part of the book. When Katz gets to Bryson’s town before the trip he is completely unprepared, “It took him whole minutes to get up the stairs.” (Bryson, 23.) Katz is a man in his mid-fouries who is out of shape and lazy. Bryson helps him shop for his gear and they both shop for their food. When they begin the hike Bryson walks side by side with Katz but soon learns he cannot handle Katz. Katz does nothing but complain and walks at too slow of a pace for Bryson to walk with him. So, Bryson walks ahead and then sits and waits for Katz. This keeps Katz pushing because he is afraid to be in the woods with out Bryson. Katz is not on the trail for very long before he realizes how badly he needs Bryson.

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Bill Bryson (https://www.thecultureconcept.com/a-walk-in-the-woods-bill-bryson-taking-a-hilarious-hike)

I relate Bryson and Katz to Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Bryson and Katniss are both leaders who are brave and outgoing. Katniss demonstrates this through her offer to volunteer for her sister which ends up putting her in several life-or-death situations. She had the knowledge that the games could possibly mean her death. Bryson began his hike knowing how many species of animals within the trail could kill him, that certain parts of the trail were very dangerous, and that severe weather conditions could possibly wipe them out for days or weeks with no contact to other people. Peeta, was chosen for the games out of the draw and no one volunteered for him. He was scared and did not know any survival skills. While in training Peeta stuck to what he knew, decorating; this would not help him defend himself for long. Katz was very similar to Peeta in this way. Although Katz volunteered himself, he did not know what he was getting into. Katz, like Peeta, did little to no preparation and stuck to what he knew. Eating.

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Katniss and Peeta (latest)

Katniss had to keep Peeta alive throughout the novel trilogy and so far, Bryson has had to keep Katz alive. Bryson has kept track of Katz and made sure he got to camp each night. He also made sure he ate dinner and got some rest. I relate this to how Katniss got Peeta to a safe spot while he was injured in the first novel and then got him help and food.

 

Bryson’s journey so far differs from the typical leaders journey so far because they are only hiking. There was no information given in the beginning of the book as to why. No inspiration for the hike. Bryson just decided to do this. There is no quest and he will not be rewarded anything significant at the end. Bryson did not need to take Katz along with him, he just did for company. I think that Katz will come out of the trail as a different person, but he will not change his life because of it. Bryson is simply leading Katz through the trail and making sure he does not die along the way in my opinion. My opinion might change as I get farther into he book, but right now Katz is just extra weight.

Based on the typical leader archetype, I think that the pair will get hit with an extreme weather storm or any situation which will make their survival much harder. I think that Bryson will end up saving Katz’s life before the end of the book, but they will make it out of the trail safely.

I like the writing style of my book because Bryson writes each chapter over the course of a few days. He sums up those days very well and only highlights the important parts. He did not choose to include every strange or miraculous things he saw as not to take away the beauty for any future hikers but wrote more about his experience.

Works Cited

Bryson, Bill. A Walk In The Woods. N.p.: Anchor Canada, 2002. Print.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2014. Print.

 

 

 

University English Requirements

University English Requirements

I personally think that university English should be a requirement for all university programs. I think this because we live in a country where most peoples first language is English and I think that it is important that the university graduates of our country can properly read, write, and speak English.

Most people in other countries speak English as well and it is becoming even more popular. It is important that university students take university English to communicate properly and effectively with not only other North American’s but foreigners as well. Many foreigners come to school in Canada and it would help them communicate with classmates and teachers if they have taken university English in the past.

It should be a requirement for all university programs because of how advanced most of the programs are. If students can read and write at the university level it would help them to better understand their syllabus, teachers, and classmates.