Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Reading Response #10: Ufberg, “The American Diner at Age 143” & Moore, “On a Regular Writing Routine”

Post your reading response to all of the readings below. 

Here are the guidelines:
  1. Reading responses must be AT LEAST 200 words.
  2. Include your full name at the end of your comments. Unnamed comments will be deleted.
  3. From the "Comment As" drop-down menu, choose Anonymous, then click "Publish."
  4. Reading responses are due by midnight on the night PRIOR to our discussion of the required reading.


  1. Ufberg's "The American Diner" is a food essay which does not so much talk about food but the semantics behind a diner and what many think is a diner (and is actually a cafe). There are many details in this piece and the diner, "Judge For Yourself" is described in vividly. This includes the author's conversation with the waitress, her motives for staying there (instead of working for a bigger company), the diner's history and the customers that frequent the place. There is quite a bit of information that is packed into the four pages of this essay and yet doesn't feel cluttered or redundant. This could be due to practice, which Moore makes a very big point on. "On Regular Writing Routine" resonated with me the most because it is what I also consider the way to become a better writer. While the concepts may not be completely apparent the fluidity of writing in Ufberg's piece shows the practice and dedication to the craft that he has dedicated himself to.

    -Eutimio Longoria

  2. Moore's Writing Routine chapter was helpful and informative. While I do write often I never really consider it practice. But I'm nor sure why that is. I practice everything else. It's strange that writing often wouldn't be though of as practice. I liked the tips that he gave about forming a writing group. I've never been that good at accepting criticism. I tend to take things too personally. I really liked The American Diner, it wasn't about food at all but the experience of eating at a diner. Ufberg gives us plenty of details to make us feel like we are right there in the diner. I agree with him that most diners are the same, they have the same feel to them. '

    Dawn Bustamante

  3. Although Ufberg’s “The American Diner” is a food essay, it doesn't really focus on food or consuming food. It is more concerned with how food brings people together. This essay really did warm my heart but also made me quite emotional. Ufberg says, “The diners (the real ones at least) stand as a testament to a past that is in so many ways impossible to find. Go to rural America and you're more likely to spot a Target than a stationary train car serving eggs. You can't rediscover whatever is lost in America; that America, too, has been lost. That's why the smell of apple pie and stale coffee is so much more significant than the bill declaring it's value and money. These places are relics, humbling but comforting reminders of what we ate while we were tearing down an old America to make a new one.” This really made me long for the days when I was a kid and everything was much simpler. Moore spoke about taking time to practice your writing and it is evident that Ufberg is a writer that takes time and makes time to practice writing and perfecting his craft because of the way it made me feel something while reading it.

    -Starleen Rendon

  4. I enjoyed Moore’s types on how to be a better writer even though you think you can’t anymore. Even as a writer the writer still has to make time and take writing like if it were a job and make deadlines. This is all so the writer can get things through even though it can become hard. I enjoyed “the American Diner” this food essay wasn’t about food necessarily. The essay was about the memories behind the diner itself. The emotions that this author resonates through the text made me quite emotional. It made me think about going to Whataburger early in the mornings with my dad because we both couldn’t sleep and just being there chatting with my dad and I could still smell the coffee that my dad was drinking. This is something that I just can’t forget and it makes me appreciate the conversations that me and my dad have still today. I just don’t like coffee. This in fact it’s quite interesting on how the author can make this type of relationships. This is quite hard for me to do to relate a memory with a specific food. These two readings really are fascinating and I enjoyed reading them.
    - abigail vasquez

  5. Moore’s “On a Regular Writing Routine” is an explanation of what occurs to individuals who seek writing as a full time establishment and goal. The entire excerpt focuses on the ideal of how individuals need to put time into writing as time is required in order for good writing to formulate. For example, Moore explains that many authors are able to entertain the ideas and create new pieces after putting in at least three to four hours everyday into writing, whether they feel up to the task or not. This stubbornness to writing is what I believe to be the thing that can credit most authors with writing what they can accomplish.

    The “American Diner at Age 143” by Max Ufberg is an example of simple writing can be when it is impeded by complicated writing. The entire story is a short excerpt on the feeling of nostalgia we get from from viewing and being inside relics of what is considered a “lost” America. When compared to the excerpt from Moore, it ties in on how a simple piece of literary work was created when it is not overthought. Overall, Moore explains to us that getting a regular writing routine of what we can do can greatly help our work.

    David Leal

  6. I enjoyed Moore’s “On a Regular Routine” and Ufberg’s “The American Diner at Age 143” because they created a similar feeling for me. To better explain that, I do sit down and write everyday whether it be 30 mins a day or multiple hours a day. While Ufberg’s was a more emotional and sentimental value to me. A diner is a diner is a diner. It’s a routine. The waitress at the end when she says that she knows what the customers are going to order before they even sit down… There is a place in Edcouch called Leroys Chicken and Burgers which my dad and I have ALWAYS gone to. This dates back to when I was ten years old to just last week. My father used to pay for my orders and now I am the one who orders and pays. As soon as we sit the waitress says “The usual?” which is sweet tea and fried chicken. It isn’t a diner but what I think makes a diner a diner is the memories and routine. Both of the readings brings out something that I can relate to and I think that’s why I enjoyed them. I enjoy things that I can relate to rather than what I do not know.

    -Marco Garza

  7. Moore’s “On a Regular Writing Routine” is probably one of the few chapters in his book I can relate to in that I usually have a hard time finding a routine that is consistent and productive. On some days I can write an essay, or at least the bulk of it, during a few hours if I put my mind to it while on others I find myself struggling to even come up with an introduction. The advice that Moore gives in this chapter can be boiled down to finding your stride and sticking to a schedule that is best for you while also seeking out others for help in a writing group. “The American Diner at Age 143” by Max Ufberg is a food essay that doesn’t put a lot of focus on what is being served at the Judge for Yourself diner and instead chooses to describe the location and what significance it has for some people like the waitress Elena. While we only get mentions of the smell of stale coffee and apple pie, Ufberg manages to give us a good idea of what the Judge for Yourself is like despite not giving us exact details of what is being served and instead chooses to be simplistic in its delivery without ever feeling undescriptive.

    Narciso Garcia Jr.

  8. Ufberg’s “The American Diner”, had me thinking it was going to be completely about food, but it was really about the diner and what many think a diner is. Author then explains the reasons why she doesn’t work for a different company the diner’s history and the usual customers are what really interested me. Which reminded me of when I worked at What-A-Burger, and my usual customers would come and I always knew what they were going to get, but it wasn’t so much knowing what they were going to order, but about the connection we made that made them feel welcome. Moore’s “Writing Routine”, was helpful and was informative. I don’t write much, but I could really use some of the tips and strategies for my own writing. I wouldn’t mind criticism on my writing, because I know I could use some help and pointers here and there. But, on the other hand, I wouldn’t want someone reading all my writing, only because I don’t think everything should be open for others to read, because it may be too personal and the criticism may be too tough on the subject. Overall they were both good reading and I enjoyed getting informed and seeing diners in a different way.
    - Claudia Anzaldua

  9. Moore starts off his chapter by saying something that I hear over and over again: The hardest part about writing is dedicating the time to actually do it. It's true. It's cliche and said way too many times, but it's true. I can't tell you how many times I've had the urge to just sit and write (or even read, which is also practice for my writing), but unfortunately, these things called life, school, and responsibilities get in the way. It makes me sad, but there are one days where the most writing I can get in (aside from school-related things) is the diary that I write in every day. I really liked tips 5 and 6 because it can be really hard for me to listen and pay attention to the advice people give me. It just feels a little personal sometimes. I'm working on it, but I'm sure this happens to everyone. Instead, I do exactly as he suggests and listen to the critiques of other people's work. As for Ufberg's piece, I really enjoyed it. I love the image he paints of diners. I feel the same way about all of the small, locally, owned restaurants we have here in the Valley. Since we don't have too many "American" style diners here (the closest thing I can think of is Denny's or IHOP) our taquerias take their place. I hope the day never comes when places like Taco Bell take our taquerias away from us.

    - Angie Acuña

  10. Ufberg's essay on "The American Diner" was an interesting food essay to read. The essay wasn't primarily focusing on the food but instead the diner itself and what others think of a diner. In this essay he talks about a diner called "Judge for yourself" where he doesn't talk about the food served there or what it was that he was eating, instead he talks about the memories and the thoughts he has about that specific place. In Moore’s essay “On a Regular Writing Routine” In this essay Moore talks about putting in time when we write. That it is important that we take time out of every day to write. I think as a writer it is true, and it is relatable. You cant expect to be good at writing or anything that you have a passion for if you don’t take time out of your day or your busy schedule to perfect your craft, or to be phenomenal in whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. Although one may think that their writing is the best it gets I believe that there is always room for improvement there for it is still important to set time aside for it.

    Leslie Luna

  11. Moore's "On A Regular Writing Routine" discusses how to keep up a regular routine regardless of how busy or how many good ideas you have. At one point, Moore states that even writing something poor can help you grow as a writer. So that's why you should write for a few hours a day even if nothing is fresh on your mind. Personally, I've gone through burnout on writing several times. Sometimes I will need a break, but other times I will just start a brand new project. Working momentarily on something new is always fun and exciting. Even with several projects on hold because of this, I feel it has helped me grow in my writing skills.

    "The American Diner" is different in that it doesn't focus on the food of the diner itself, but rather the history behind it and the memories that come from it. This is just yet another example of how you can do a food essay. Even if you don't have much to say about the food itself, memories will still be built from it. And interesting and unique essays can come from these memories.

    Michael McCormick

  12. After reading “On a Regular Writing Routine” by Moore, I can to agree with him. In a way, I know I can relate and it is frustrating, but he speaks truth about how people are when they first write. People that push themselves to write compared to those that wait for inspiration do end up producing more content than the individual that waits. If anything, that leaves the individual who is waiting for inspiration to be more prone to writer’s block. In a way, his advice kind of applies to life. If you have dreams and you just wait for them to happen instead of acting on trying to make them happen, then you’re more than likely to end up failing. You must be motivated and keep on trying, even when you stumble and not to be discouraged when it happens. His last suggestion is a smart one. If you were to have someone waiting for your writing, then you may feel more motivated since you more than likely would push yourself to complete your writing so you wouldn’t waste the other person’s time if you were not to produce anything. Some people have the issue of motivating themselves and they may have little drive when it comes to writing to themselves. “The American Diner at Age 143” by Max Ufberg is an essay about the history of the “Judge Yourself Café”. I was expecting it to be focused on food, but it felt more of a history lesson about the café. I’d say that the author is also reminiscing on what he remembers from the diner during the earlier days. Overall it was a good short essay that allows the reader to see the Judge Yourself Café through his eyes.

    -Benito Reyes