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Rose's Story - Get the Facts Straight

Rose's Story - Get the Facts Straight

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Published by raywood

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: raywood on Feb 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Running head: ROSE’S STORY
Rose’s Story: Get the Facts Straight
 Ray Woodcock Indiana UniversitySchool of Social Work September 9, 2008
Get the Facts Straight
 Rose’s Story
, Wanda Bibb (1991) (known, in the story, as “Rose”) provides a matter-of-fact description of her dealings with social workers, social service agencies, friends, relatives,and others who variously attempted to help or, in her view, sabotage her.The story is somewhat dated, in that Rose was born on June 15, 1943 (p. 3) and its finalwords concern events in 1985. It seems quite likely that some relevant changes have occurred inOhio, where the story evidently took place (p. 112), in the decades that have passed since theevents described in the book. Indeed, even the language of the appellate court, quoted in thebook’s Appendix, conveys a tone that seems more contemporary than the
One Flew Over theCuckoo’s Nest 
sense that emerges in, say, Rose’s account of Chatwood.The story is also somewhat tangled. Accompanying the book, the reader encounters aForeword, Acknowledgment, Introduction, and Appendix, all of which appear to have beenwritten by persons other than Rose. Those framing sections provide information that seems, insome regards, inconsistent with itself and with what Rose herself wrote. As such, those materialsunderscore a message that emerges from Rose’s text as well. The message is that the failure toget the facts straight, and to make those facts and their supporting evidence available to personswho need them, can easily generate confusion and inefficiency in the effort to address thegenuine needs of clients and the public.At the very start of 
 Rose’s Story
, Howard Goldstein tells the reader that this book, unlikeothers, has not been “tidied up” (p. ix) and that it presents Rose’s actual story in “unprocessedand unrefined” terms (p. x). This, however, is not correct: Robert Nordstrom confirms that therewere “vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical changes . . . to facilitate readability” (p. xviii).Dr. Nordstrom does not say how much editing was done, or by whom. It appears likely,however, that the editor was Betty Nafziger, a former English teacher and volunteer writer for
Get the Facts Straight
the Court Appointed Special Advocate (p. xiii). Ms. Nafziger is described as having a persistentinterest in Rose’s story, to the point of pursuing its ultimate publication in 1991. Theseindications are consistent with the overall impression given by the text, which reads smoothly.Rose was apparently not in the habit of writing so frequently as to obtain access to typewriters,which were common in the 1970s. She was also not the driving force behind the book’spublication, and was not highly educated. By age 35, she had attended college for only about 1.5semesters (p. 76). According to Nordstrom, she did not divide the manuscript into chapters (p.xviii); it was just one long 167-page story. She was intelligent, but her energies largely seem tohave been absorbed by children, hassles with social services and the like, and illness.In short, it seems reasonable to suspect that Rose submitted a fairly rough manuscript –that, in other words, Ms. Nafziger may have contributed quite a bit to its present readability, inthe interests of making it publishable, and that her changes to grammar and vocabulary may havebeen extensive. It would be unfortunate but not surprising if, in the attempt to create amanuscript that would be viewed as more acceptable within the culture that guided the world of American publishing circa 1991, Ms. Nafziger incongruously portrayed Rose as though she hadhailed from a more literate culture than was actually the case.In addition to basic editing, Ms. Nafziger verified facts stated by Rose, and also“developed the manuscript” by researching relevant facts “through records and interviews” (p.xiii). Presumably she did not do this in a complete vacuum, without contact with Rose. Themore plausible scenario is that she would investigate some aspect of what Rose said, would tellRose what she had learned, and would then later revise or supplement Rose’s recollection.It seems doubtful that Rose initially had a clear recollection of all events mentioned in thetext. For example, in March through May 1977 – and, perhaps, at other times – she was

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