The End

Coming into this class I was a timid writer.  I looked for ways to sound more clever or educated in my writing.  I would forget that I too had a writing voice. I would try to imitate writers that I had previously read works from.  I definitely struggled through my senior year when I decided to tackle AP English.  The teacher I had brought my self esteem down.  I was averaging high Cs on my papers and, for me, Cs never did the job.  I thought to myself writing was something I should give up on.  I lost all motivation for writing coming out of high school and into college.

Before entering this course, i wasn’t glad to be sitting in a seat for 70 minutes learning about something I truly had no passion for.  However, things to a turn after I read the article “On Writing” by Stephen King.  This article helped me find and gave back my writing voice.  I became a more sure and confident writer and didn’t try to use words to sound smarter.  It seemed to work because C’s became the least of my problems.

Something that remains a challenge for me is grammar and punctuation.  It’s the little things that get to me and I definitely strive to write better and better.  In order to improve this I will have to take the time in proof-reading and reading my papers aloud.

My favorite writing assignment would have to be the argument essay because I love to argue.  I also love to be right so to write a paper solely based on my opinion felt great.

An assignment that I won’t miss is the research essay.  i personally don’t like research essays because they are dry and boring.  The require little to no imagination or creativity. To me it seems as if you are trying to rewrite and regurgitate, without plagiarizing of course, someone else’s work.

Overall, this course has allowed me to find my writing voice again.  It has definitely shed a positive light on writing however, i can’t come to the conclusion that I love writing.  Writing will forever by my bitter-sweet addiction.

Writings of the Old and Fashioned

In my generation, the classic, old-fashioned, handwritten letters to your lover, or any one really, is dying.  A message doesn’t take a few days or even a few weeks to be sent.  Seconds is all it really takes.  It seems the longest part of a message is the actual writing.  There is Facebook, text messaging, email. and all these other sources for instant messaging.  It feels as if the true form of writing will die in the future.

I plan to be a pharmacist or doctor when I grow up, which requires minimal writing.  The only kind of writing I can see in my future is perscriptions.  However, writing could become crucial for me if I plan to do my own research, which I would try to get published.  For that to become a reality, I would have to assemble a science research paper.  However, what I don’t appreciate about science papers, is there is no room for thought.  Research papers are dry and boring.  They hold no meat.  They are just facts and words.  What I love most about writing is the allowance of freedom and my imagination to run free.  Writing will something I can do in my past time.  Whether I’m sitting in a coffee shop or writing before bed, writing will become a private and personal downtime for me.

Too much of the time, writing seems to be on display for the public.  As I have said, that is not my intentions for my writing.  The closest to public writing for me would be a blog.  Other than that, my thoughts stay where they are meant to be, and that tis to myself.  I don’t mean to sound exclusive or rude, however, there are mysteries about myself that will take some time to be revealed and only those dearest to me will know.

Who’s the Real MVP?

Dear David,

I would first off like to applaud the way in which you discussed this topic of sports and religion.  I too agree that there is a time and a place to discuss religion and along with that, sports.  Each athlete has there own way of showing praise or thanks after a game or point.  It is up to us to handle those actions we witness in a mature and non-judgement fashion.  It is up to the hearer’s ears in which they choose to take and interpret those actions.  Is it of faith or merely a meaningless action done in the spur of the moment.  You did a great job at comparing this idea to the metaphor of the tree making a sound if no one is there to hear it.  I would often question myself sometimes wondering where God is when I needed him the most.  When things never went my way I looked up towards the sky and immediately blamed God for past event.  At the same time, I wondered if the other side, the winning side, was thanking God as I was cursing him.  Then I would see how foolish, ignorant, and stupid I must look to God.  I love the point that you made about Christ being a champion of losers, the lonely, the left-out and disadvantaged.  I never thought of Christ being someone who came in last.  I more than ever feel closer to him.  The last point which you made was my favorite.  As you have stated before, God is a champion of losers, and, therefore, should’t be seen as a God of only winners.  If something goes bad then hey that’s just how the game goes.

To close I would like to acknowledge once again for how you acknowledged this issue.  It was great seeing and reading from your perspective.  It has taught me a few things and given me a few different perspectives I’ve not looked through.  Great post and go Blazers!

Sincerely,

Deuteronomy Jones

Certain Uncertainty

It’s ironic.  We tell ourselves that we are Christians, which means we are to be just like Jesus.  However, I feel that we are hypocrites.  Jesus would accept everyone: gays, lesbians, atheists, etc.  You get my point, yet Christians look in disgust upon these people and chastise them.  Now, I am not saying it is the entire Christian or religious based population that does this, but it is those “strong” religious believers who praise so much of how Godly they are, that they feel necessary to express these emotions.

In the article I read “The Problem with Certitude” it talks about how so many times we are sticklers for the rules.  We go directly by the book, the book of the Bible that is.  The Bible has basic instructions before leaving earth.  Now, many of those instructions in the Bible are parables or stories that Jesus once told.  It’s not always black and white on what the stories mean.  Sometimes it takes a personal interpretation to understand exactly the point that is trying to be portrayed.  What I am getting at is not everything in the Bible is black and white.

Strong Christians have a problem with understanding that concept.  There is no exact certainty that this verse meant that, or this parable has only one lesson.  Also, it is not our job to force religion upon non-religious believers, but to share and help them become aware of it.

In the article it asks for us Christians and, of course, other religious believers to be more accepting, especially when publicly discussing issues on religion.  We must not be so one-minded and be able to put down the binders and accept everyone’s thoughts.  I believe to fully understand and come up with a great proposal on a topic, one must look at every angle of a story.  For that same fact, one can’t take the Bible so black and white.  One can’t pull verses from the bible and use them to curse at others.  For who knows, it may just be that that verse has a completely different meaning than what was written down in black and white.

It’s Not All Good-all

Any author, especially one of the age of 80, should know plagiarism is the worst crime to commit as an author.  Wrong.  In the article that I read, Jane Goodall, a primatologist, wrote a book called “Seeds of Hope”.  In this book, she tries to highlight the important role plants and tress play in our world.  A lot of what she writes about comes from her personal experiences and what she feels.  So how then can she plagiarize? Someone from the Washington post was asked to review Goodall’s book.  Apparently, it was noticed that certain passages of the book resembled passages from other sources.  It was then published that twelve other sections of the book were indeed replicates of passages from other sources.  Jane blames her “hectic work schedule” and her “chaotic method of taking notes” as the reason for this claimed plagiarism.  The penalty that Jane faced as a delayed release date of her book.  She in fact had to go back and rewrite passages that were supposedly plagiarized.

I personally feel that what she had done was plagiarism.  Evidence from her notebook was said to be hard to differentiate what were her thoughts and what were notes jotted down from other sources.  Even Jane herself couldn’t identify the difference.  As an author, one should realize that it is important to document every source that is going to be used in a globally, published book.  Plagiarism is not something that should be taken lighghtly because it can come with painful consequence.  Luckily Jane was still able to publish her book a month later.  I hope she remembers to clearly recognize other sources that she uses.

Citation: Taylor, Matthew. “Jane Goodall Blames ‘chaotic Note Taking’ for Plagiarism Controversy.” Theguardian.com. Theguardian, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.

Some Stupid Statistics

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/friedman-the-virtual-middle-class-rises.html?_r=0

In this article, Thomas Friedman is describing and analyzing the middle class population of India.  He went on a trip to India and observed India’s rise or emergence in social protests.  He finds a relation between the size of the middle class and the ability for people of lower income to be able to gain access to technology and education that wealthier people experience or have.  In this article he throws out a few numbers.  One of the the numbers he uses is 300 million.  He states that “India today has a 300 million person middle class and another 300 million person virtual middle class”.  The fact is no, this is not true.  The size of India’s middle class was only 50 million in 2005 and in won’t be quite 250 million until the year 2015 according to McKinsey.  Now the article Thomas wrote and claims India’s middle class is about to 300 million, was only written in 2013.  The sad part of it all is that Thomas isn’t the only person saying India has a 300 million person middle class.  Other’s such as George W. Bush verbally state “300 million” and the UN cited this number too.

The reason behind these extraneous numbers is the fact of making a point.  When a reader is scanning through an article, numbers are one of the first things to pop out.  What’s more intriguing, 2 or 300 million?  The answer is quite obvious.  Writers and even speakers want to draw in the audience and make what their saying important.  The attention span of most teens aren’t that long due to technology, meaning the writer or speaker has to make a big statement quick.  Look even I over exaggerated or “lied” to you when I said “most teens”.

Statistics are a great thing to have.  They highlight the important things we may need to know or help condense a ton of information.  However, the way statistics are being used to day, are becoming extraneous and giving false advertisement to whomever looks on by.

Life In Paradise

My whole life I have been surrounded by crystal clear waters, rays from Mr. Golden sun, and warm, sandy beaches.  There is no other word but home to describe this place.  I grew up watching the waves hit the shore, but what I found more interesting were the people who rode these magnificent beasts with confidence and poise.  One person that truly fascinated me was Carissa Moore.

Carissa Moore is the older sister of my good friend Cayla Moore.  Both of us love the water and even played water polo together.  What a coincidence.  However, I never knew that her sister was a two-time World’s Women Tour Champion.

I remember, one day, going over to her house with Cayla for a day of rest and relaxation.  Her house was amazing.  It wasn’t a grand mansion but a simple two story home.  However, in the back of their home was a stair path that opened up to a giant forest.  Yes, their backyard was a forest.  There was a beautiful stream running through the forest and, if it was quiet enough, you could hear it running.  The house was secluded, so it was peaceful and serene, similar to what you feel when your out in the ocean.  The shade from the trees made it feel cool and brought in a breeze similar to the tides carrying you and your surfboard.  Inside the home was surfboards lined up on walls, hammocks hanging from walls, and sea glass and sand beach decor hanging.  The home resembled Carissa’s passion for surfing, which is why she is so successful in what she does.

I would love to look through the eyes of Carissa as she travels the world and tours different countries.  I would love to hear what she is thinking as she is waiting to catch her first wave in a tournament.  I would love to see the sweat and heart she puts into every workout she does.  What I want to know most is the feeling of surfing through a barrel, running your fingers through the wave, and gliding towards the sun at the end of the tunnel.  Boy, if I could only live a day in the life of Carissa Moore.

Bloopers

  1. 1. http://blog.jobberman.com/50-funny-but-true-resume-mistakes-you-want-to-avoid/
  • This link gives a list of phrases that have been used on resumes.  I like these phrases because I have definitely thought of using one of them.  Also, I like how there is a phrase for each category on the resume.
  1. 2. http://www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/cvs-and-applications/funny-cv-mistakes-bloopers
  • This link is very clear on what the common mistake is and then provides samples right under of what the specific mistake was in a resume.  I also like how there is a correction of what could have been done or said instead.
  1. 3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/funny-resumes-cover-letters_n_2092762.html
  • This link is great because it give visuals.  Instead of a bunch of words, it shows pictures of what the mistakes look like.  It also gives a different perspective by putting a person on each showing what kind of personality the person probably had.
  1. 4. http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-cover-letter-disasters-that-wont-get-you-an-interview/#slideshow=slide4
  • The reason I like this link is because it gives a list of the top 10 most important mistakes to never do.  I also like how each mistake has it’s own slide.  This allows me to focus on one mistake and not get overwhelmed with the others.  It also gives great description and examples, when needed, of each mistake.
  1. 5. http://www.empcol.edu/blog/funny-resume-mistakes-keep-hiring-managers-amused-cost-you-interview-barbara-safani
  • The honest reason why I like this link is because it’s funny. This also gives a comment or mistake for each part of a resume.  Therefore, it shows you want not to do in each category of the resume.

Blame Google

When I was young, I would love to read.  Books would be my best friend because they would take me to twenty different worlds by opening two wooden covers and flipping through stiff, worn out pages.  I would look around me and see my parents and grandparents reading books.  However, that definitely changed as I grew up.  Now when I look around, we aren’t gathered around a fireplace reading books, but gathered around a table on our computers, cellphones, or any electronic device.  We are doing the mainstream pastime: surfing the web.  We expect as soon as we wake up our devices and swipe open google, we can be taken to worlds beyond our imagination and instantaneously given information at the tips of fingers.  It is quite scary if you think about it.  The world at our fingertips.  Yet, the easier it becomes to find information the lazier people become.

I feel it’s as if we are given so much information we don’t know what to do with it when the time comes to utilize it.  The reason for this laziness and almost dumbfoundedness is google.  Google is making us stupid.  Ironic I know.  Google was made to help us expand our knowledge at a convenience.  However, it is that very convenience that is making people stupid.  In Carr’s essay, the writers states “ And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation”.  I agree with this statement because I too find myself getting frustrated because the computer won’t load in 1/1000 of a second.  My patience has hindered and along that my urge and determination to go out and expand my knowledge beyond google.  Google gives us the world in a confined space.