Celebration Of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth Sample Paper

A brief Review

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth is a book by Foster, Richard J., published by Harper San Francisco on 1998 October 1. The book is of 256 pages.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth has helped several readers to lead a richer spiritual life with joy and peace. The book gives an excellent understanding of God and has been read by millions of people who seek spiritual advancement. Author has also added an introduction to this book telling the birth history of the book. The book is deemed by thousands as the best work on Christian spirituality and is an excellent guide to spiritual disciplines, and practices. The book defines the true methods to attain spiritual growth according to the Christian faith. The author divides his classic disciplines into three typical movements of the Spirit and he explains how each of these movements would help attain a balanced spiritual life. Foster examines the disciplines and fundamental truths regarding prayer, fasting, and meditation and has included several studies for self examination, repentance and change. According to the author, these disciplines are the only way through which a person can attain spiritual perfection. According to the book, service, charity, meekness and simplicity are the outward disciplines of spiritual life that would help a Christian to make this world a better place. The corporate disciplines of a spiritual life, however, include confession, worship, celebration which would make a Christian come close to God and close to one another. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth is an excellent Christian classic or a comprehensive guide to Christian spiritual disciplines (Richard, 1998).

Foster said that “Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.” This quotation is very important as meditation is one of the most crucial areas of spiritual life. Foster mentions obedience and holiness as integral for meditation, meditation being the quiet time in which we can listen to the still and small voice of Holy Spirit. He explained meditation as a detachment from the world and said that “The detachment from the confusion all around us is in order to have a richer attachment to God (Richard, 1998).”

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth has numerous strengths. It would help a weak Christian to become powerful in his spiritual life. The book is highly informative and is a must read for all Christians. The book has included plentiful examples and quoting. The book is influential enough to awaken a Christian to excel in his prayer and spiritual life. Few people opine about this book as a hard theology (Richard, 1998).

References

Foster, Richard J (1998) Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

(Harper: San Francisco).

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Collapse Of The Tacoma Narrows Bridge

            “Galloping Gerite, “ the Tacoma Narrows Bridge’s nickname because of it’s rolling, surging actions collapsed four months after opening to traffic on July 1, l940,

at approximately 11:00 a.m. It huffed and puffed and a forty-two mile per our wind storm took down the 5,939 foot long bridge linking Tacoma Narrows, in Puget Sound near Tacoma, Washington to Gig Harbor/the Olympic Peninsula.  It was the third longest “suspension span,” in the world.  Motorists sensed the 2,800 foot bridge claiming, “they felt as though they were traveling on a giant roller coaster.”

            An eye witness account was provided by the editor of a Tacoma newspaper, Leonard Coatsworth; …”the bridge began to sway violently from side to side. Before I realized it, the tilt became so violent that I lost control of the car … I jammed on the brakes and got out, only to be thrown onto my face against the curb.  On my hands and knees most of the time, I crawled five hundred hundred yards  or more to the towers…I risked rising to my feel and running a few yards at a time …Safely back at the toll plaza, I saw the bridge in its final collapse and saw my car plunge into the Narrows” (ketchum.org).

            The bridge was constructed with two main piers towers ,and cables.  It had anchorages, weighing 44,000 tons, and a concrete floor system, “created to resist the cable pulls of the bridge.”  The primary cables had a breaking strength of 220,000 pounds per square inch. The floor system was comprised of  “two stiffening side girders; a concrete roadway slab was chosen to counteract the extreme lightness of the structure.”

Slight movement began on the bridge during the floor section construction; which caused the bridge deck to rise and fall, “one and one third feet above and below its normal position.”  The toll bridge “cost fifty-five cents pre car, fifteen cents per extra passenger, and fifteen cents for pedestrians,” it quickly became a tourist attraction.

            Engineers had no doubt the structure was completely safe, but in July l940, the University of Washington, directed Professor F.B. Farquharson to film its movement, and

complete a series of experiments to devise methods to limit the movements.”  The team discovered that the motion on the model bridge lessened, “when anchor cables were attached from the center bottom that approaches to the ground,” however on the actual Tacoma Bridge the cables “snapped in the wind” (ketchum.org).

            Suggestions discussed to eliminate the problem were; “drilling holes in the side girders to keep wind from pushing and pulling on the bridge, and installing semicircular deflector shields to streamline the girders.” The torsional movement was severe at the end of the suspension span, which contributed to the swaying.  This is the rotation “about the axis through the center of the bellows “ (ejsus.com).  When torsions become destabilized, as with the bridge, an expansion joint reduces its ability to contain pressure and absorb movement; which is what the wind caused to happen. At the maximum point of the collapse, the elevation of the sidewalk at the right of the bridge was twenty-eight feet higher than the sidewalk at the left.  A few minutes after the first concrete dropped into the water, a six hundred foot section of the center, broke out of the suspension span turned upside down and plunged into the Puget Sound; with that gone there was nothing to “counter balance the weight of the side spans” (Vuik).

            Professor Farquharson and other University of Washington engineers were employed to study methods to “reduce the movement on the bridge.”  Experiments were conducted, but a solution never came to fruition. On the day of the disaster, Professor Farquharson witnessed and documented the event.  Post-collapse rendered many theories concerning why the bridge fell.  An investigative board for the Washington State Toll Bridge Authority concluded that, “ the failure was due to the bridge’s design reacting to the wind in the Narrows.”  Both suggestions were approved, but to everyone’s astonishment it was too late. “Galloping Girdie” collapsed. Fortunately, the only casualty

was a dog trapped in an abandoned car.

            The next day national newspapers and magazines printed full accounts of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse. She became famous as “the most dramatic failure in bridge engineering history.”  The event changed how engineers design suspension bridges, and safer suspension spans leading to the success of today’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

            The bridge was insured with twenty-two insurance policies, and  was declared a total loss.  Eighty percent or $5,200,000 of the structures valuation was covered; which helped build the next bridge. Engineers admitted they knew the bridge was unstable; that the fall was due to its “improper shape and not improper strength.”

             Clark Eldridge, chief engineer felt that the “federal money – lending agencies insistence that the bridge be designed by an eastern firm led directly to the bridge’s unsound design.”  He continued, “We had a tried-and-true, conventional bridge design… we were told we couldn’t have the necessary money lenders.” Eldridge stood firm that the “Washington State Highway Department engineers had pointed out that the solid side girders would act like sails unlike the traditional open truss design that allowed wind to pass through.”

             A consulting designer, Leon Moisseiff said the engineers didn’t “know enough about areodynamics.” The Washington State Board Authority’s review concluded the collapse was due to the “general proportions of the bridge, the type of girders, and floor.”  The reported cause was the “slippage of the center cable bond on the north cable due to forces it wasn’t strong enough to resist”

( lib.Washington.edu.2006).

            The Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a specific purpose when originally constructed.

It was an indispensable economic and military portal to the Olympic Peninsula, its completion was deemed, “ a triumph of man’s ingenuity and perseverance.” The funds

used to build the bridge was split; $2,880,000 came from the Public Works Administration, and $3,520,000 was a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan (to be repaid through tolls)  The Pacific Bridge Company was commissioned to build the Narrows Bridge; which was later called, “the Pearl Harbor of Engineering,” after her

collapse.  Most engineers involved in the project were shocked my its downfall, but

accounts show the bridge began exhibiting, “wave-like motion,” in the final stages of construction.”

            Evidently the movement of the bridge was a concern from its inception. Yes,

there was a need to connect Tacoma with the Olympic peninsula, but to what extent?

No link between these lands were implemented before this time, therefore shouldn’t the engineers, and powers to be, initial do the job correct?  Damages were that of structure,

financial loss, cars, and one dog; but for the traffic the Tacoma saw each day, the potential for immense fatalities was pertinent.

            Salvaging the ruins was the next step, before conceiving plans for a new structure; also with the beginning of World War II  attempts to rebuild were negligent.   Salvage activity continued through l942, sending the “materials to the United States war effort and the profits saved for the construction of a new bridge.”  The National Register of Historic Places, since l992 has the Tacoma Bridge’s sunken remains to protect them from salvages.

            The design of the next Tacoma Narrows Bridge was “unique and had an effect on the construction of other suspension bridges that followed.”  The design integrated distinctive features such as; “ the open steel grid slots, the greater ratio of the depth of stiffening truss to span length, the double lateral system, the hydraulic energy absorbing, and dumping devices.  No other suspension span construction received as much engineering connotation in technology publications or as much nation-wide publicity than this Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

            Areodynamics was the key factor, “the first time a research program investigated the aerodynamic effects of wind acting upon a bridge” (nwrain.net).  Charles Andrews designed  the new structure, in l947, and Professor Farquharson directed the construction of a wind tunnel.  It was financed through a $14,000,000 bond issue, with bridge tolls repaying the loan.

            Construction started in l948, and was completed in October, l950.  The years

between were spent “studying aerodynamics,” to insure a safer structure.  It is the fifth longest suspension bridge in the United States, located between Tacoma and Gig Harbor; forty feet longer that the original bridge. Designed to carry 60,000 card daily, but handles an average of 90,000.

            Over fifty years later, a new Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built parallel and to the south of the l950 span.  It’s 5,400 feet, the “longest suspension bridge built in the United States since the Verrazan-Narrows Bridge opened in New York, in l964.”  It cost over

eight hundred forty-nine million dollars, was under construction for five years, opening to traffic on July 16, 2007.  The towers are made of concrete reinforced with steel, each are

8,500 cubic yards of concrete. Together the towers contain 2.9 million pounds of steel,

and the foundations weight over 85,000 tons each.  The new bridge is cherished by commuters with a significantly improved traffic flow that reduces the three to four hour backups (wsdot.wa.gov).

                                                    Works Cited

ejsus.com. “Torsional Movement. Expansion Joint Systems 2 May 2009

            http://www.ejsus.com

ketchum.org. “A short History of Galloping Gertie.”  History of the Tacoma Narrows

            Bridge. N.d. 2 May 2009. <http://www.ketchum.org/tacomacollapse.html

lib.Washington.edu.  “History of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.” University of Washington

            24 Jan. 2006 3 May 2009 <http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/

            Exhibits/tnbpage5.html

nwrain.net. “Today’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge.” n.d. 3 May 2009 <http://www.nwrain.ne

Vuik, K. “The Tacoma Bridge” Tacoma Narrows Bridge Failure.  n.d. 1 May 2009

            <http://ta.twi.tudelft.nl/nw/users/vuik/informatioin/tacoma_eng.html

wsdot.wa.gov. “SR 16 New Tacoma Narrows Bridge.” Washington State Department

            of Transportation 14 July 2007. 3 May 2009. <http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/

            sr16narrowsbridge.

 

Collaborative Writing

I, Mark and my partner Louis have conducted a research on collaborative writing. Let us define collaborative writing which Louis quoted from Wikipedia – The Free Online Encyclopedia: “collaborative writing refers to projects where written works are created by multiple people together rather than individually.” We are not new to this term and we have observed many organizations that are using the approach in performing their tasks.

Risky task are done by teams and not individually. It helps maintain a smooth and progressive system for reducing risk when anticipating deadlines, and has been the most influential method in decision-making. Let us not forget that writing is a medium for organizing research findings which makes it one of the most critical tasks in project management. Although it can be done by a single individual, but as the famous saying goes – “two heads are better than one.”

Individual vs. Collaborative Writing

            I have found out that there is a significant difference between individual and collaborative writing. Most of it can be seen in the way the writing process is handled. Most of our findings are: In writing projects which needs an in-depth analysis about the subject being studied which is directed for decision-making, collaborative writing works best. On the other hand, individual writing is only applicable when the topic is not that broad. To help us understand the differences between individual and collaborative writing, let us first discuss the basic writing process. Majority of writing begins by composing drafts, doing revision, editing, gathering feedback, and doing further revision when required.

The process goes on and on, going back and forth at its phase. By then, it is hard for a single writer assigned to a very broad topic to perform the entire task from drafting, revising, and further revising his works. When that task is done by an individual, there are many difficulties that will slow down hisher work. Louis for instance showed me a visual of what mostly occurs, “it takes greater amount of time to read references before he can precede writing drafts, it takes greater amount of time doing revision and so on”. That is when collaborative writing comes in. It reduces the complexities in writing for a very broad topic. Group and team works reduces the amount of physical time involve in completing a writing task.

For instance, if the completion of portion of a whole document needs to come up after reviewing 10 reference books with 500 pages each, lesser time will be consumed when members of a group will be divided and assigned to particular books. Louis also implied rotation of roles like in volleyball game, “it is also possible to perform a rotation after at an agreed time interval where you must exchange books with your teammates. By doing it, you were able to let all members of the group have their chance of reading all 10 books. What comes after will be brainstorming and sharing of what they have understood on their readings.” Of course, we can collect ideas; compare similarities and conflicts of views from each member of the group.

It further excites individual member of the group to think harder. Yes it did, as we have experience working in groups at school, there are situations where we do not want to feel like being turned down, so we keep trying hard to give brighter ideas than what others had. It also offers greater percentage of detecting errors committed by members of the group compared to errors found by an individual alone. Louis has definitely some problems with committing spelling errors, so what I did was review some portions of this essay that he has written. The more the group is in this type of situation, the more complementary and supplementary information are pooled together to come up to a general idea, which Connery and Vohs believed that it is “making the pooled knowledge greater than the sum of its parts” (Connery and Vohs, UC Davis Group Work and Collaborative Writing). In general, collaborative writing is much more reliable compared to individual writing when the writing task requires greater amount of work.

Group Structure – Important for Group Management

            Let us take group structure at this point. A good group is not just composed of responsible and open-minded individuals. It is not enough. A group should have a structure. To look for the welfare of the group in general, a group leader should be selected. To support the group leader, assistant leader should also be selected which will take the role in case of the absence of the leader. And a group recorder or secretary that will record all that has been agreed by the group. In conducting the group work, each member should be assigned to particular tasks. Some will be assigned as researchers; others will be assigned for decision-making, others for editing and so on. By doing it, you can be sure that each member of the group can be monitored and measured in performance.

Effective Group Members Collaboration

            However, as collaboration offers number of benefits in writings, there are pitfalls that should be overcome by the group. The group should always bear in mind that the basic of collaboration is having good communication among its members. They must remember that they are not working as two or more separate individuals, but that they should work as one. Tammaro noted that “the complexity of the writing process is magnified, as writers must also deal with the social dimension brought in by collaboration, such as the complexity of interactions and the amount of information generated by others” (Tammaro S. G., 1997). Perelman, L.C., Paradis J., Barrett E., further noted that “problems of scheduling, communication, and conflicts” will arise in groups.

It is very important that before the group proceeds with writing, they must first devote time to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, knowledge gaps and learning styles. This should be done so that the group could have an insight of how the group will be divided and how each member will be assigned to particular roles. Connery and Vohs noted that there are four phases in group writing namely: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. In forming phase, this is where the group structure is formed. Each member is divided into subgroups or assigned to particular roles depending on their level of knowledge and abilities. This is where the group must decide if they should have a leader or not. But in most cases, a good leadership is the key to a group’s success, so it is much reliable if the group should suggest positions that will monitor the performance of the group. It is also important that at this early stage, a good working relationship is already established. Each member should learn the importance of his/her task in relation to the tasks of other teammates. This will serve as guidelines of how the group work should flow as they progress. Storming follows, don’t forget that each individual has their own set of standards or norms, values, and work preferences.

It is also important that the goals and objectives of the group. General procedures for decision-making and problem-solving should be agreed upon. The third phase is norming. As conflicts are discovered and resolved, the group’s approach to communication and problem-solving, for better or worse is more firmly established. All conflicts in personal values and work preferences should be identified earlier and each member should be acquainted that they must need to adjust their values against each other to make the group successful. The group must understand that each other’s actions might affect the other member of the group. The final stage is performing. It refers to both devoting time to achieving the group tasks and doing effort in maintaining the unity of the group. This is where the outputs of the initial stage are tested. Although most of the initial stage involves planning, but as the group work progresses, it is hard to predict possible outcomes. Therefore the group should always anticipate that there will come a time that the only solution is to move back to previous phases. Personalities, values may be discussed, and roles may be reassigned. You might find some of your members do not fit to their roles, some do not cooperate well, and some have problems in working with their teammates. In some cases, you might have found out that your plans do not fit with the situation and therefore that should be revised as soon as possible. That should not be disregarded as it will contribute a lot to the success of the group. To monitor whatever is going on with the group, it is important to select responsible members to handle the task of checking the progress of their works, whether they have meet its goals, or whether the flow of work goes as planned.

            Collaborative writing from the very beginning always implies team work. Each member of the group helps other members perform their task especially when they found out that their teammates are having difficulties in performing his assigned task. Doing the first stage in writing process, which is drafting, each member of the group who is assigned to his particular role will contribute the output of his work to the group. It is very important that submitting work output should be done on or before the agreed deadline. This will minimize loss time in workplace. Every second counts, so each member should work at his best to meet schedules.       Doing proof reading and revisions of team members works are done using the strategies below.

Strategies in Collaborative Writing

There are strategies in collaborative writing that will help the group perform all phases of writing from drafting to revising, editing and so on. The work could be done in a Sequential strategy. The work is divided and assigned to group members. Whatever the outputs created by other members will serve as the starting point for the other members in doing their work. For example, an editor must first require an output from their field writers. The relationship is in sequential manner, the writer should write first, before the editor could perform editing. The next is called Reciprocal Strategy.

Group members works together by giving their share in completing a particular task. Common example of this is by brainstorming. By using this strategy, each group member’s work is adjusted mutually by other members’ contribution. Group members share ideas to create drafts, and that is what reciprocal strategy implied. Another strategy is called the Parallel. At this approach, a whole writing tasks is divided into sub-tasks that can be carried out in parallel. Writers then work simultaneously and submit their works to each other. However, it is not necessary that the group will only select a single strategy. In most cases, writers shifts from one strategy into another depending upon the situation.

Conclusion

            Writing either done individually or collaboratively, the most important is that he has knowledge of the basics of writing. When doing it collaboratively, whatever strategy is used, it always involves accepting criticism and comments from co-members of the group. Each one should learn to accept their mistakes and should cooperate towards further role assignment such as doing revision of the commented parts. Each group should have a proper feedback and evaluation system. When giving feedback or evaluation results, it is very important not to disappoint team members, but to encourage them more to cooperate and become more productive. Each group should have a proper feedback and evaluation support system that will help its members in handling different feedbacks.

In general, the success of collaborative writing has been noticeable that it has been applied to business workplace already since the past decades. Individual writing although still effective in some aspects, but is less reliable in the course of decision-making efforts.

            For students, collaborative writing has given us a chance to practice the technique earlier. We were given the chance to experience the problems that were mostly encountered when we work together with other people. We found out our differences and were able to adjust to cope up with the situations that we have encountered.

References

Barret, E., Paradis, J., Perelman, L. The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing. Retrieved June 22, 2008 from http://imgi.uibk.ac.at/mmetgroup/MMet_imgi/tools/mayfield/collabor.htm

Connery, B. & Vohs J. Group Work and Collaborative Writing. Retrieved June 22, 2008 from             http://dhc.ucdavis.edu/vohs/sec02.html

Connery, B. & Vohs J. Group Work and Collaborative Writing. Retrieved from http://dhc.ucdavis.edu/vohs/sec04-1.html

Rossitto, Chiara (2004, March). The Writing Process and Writing Technology: A Pre-study for the Scribani Project. Retrieved June 22, 2008 from ftp://ftp.nada.kth.se/IPLab/TechReports/IPLab-219.pdf.

Tammaro S. G., Mosier J.N., Collaborative Writing is Hard to support: a Field Study of

Collaborative Writing. In Computer Supported Collaborative Work: The Journal of