Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Battle Maybe Over, But The War Is Just Beginning...

Well, it looks like this nightmare, I mean semester is finally over. I guess it means smooth sailing for me, right? WRONG!!! Because I still have three more years of college to go. Wish I could just fast-forward to the end of all this, but I cannot. It is probably for the best, because I'm afraid of what I maybe like three years from today. Whatever, moving on. Helps if I don't think about it. My experience during this semester was okay; a slight improvement from last semester. I think I did better in this class than I did last year in ENC 1101, as well as my other courses. But despite this, my first year still sucked. All in all, it was just as bad as high school, perhaps even worse. I've never had this much stress to deal with ever, which leads me to wonder whether this college thing is actually worth it.

I could ramble on forever about what I didn't like about my first year, but honestly, who the hell wants to read about that? Heck, even I wouldn't read that. Moving on. I think I learned some new things this year, such as using a good attention grabber in your introduction. But the best thing is I finally remember what logos, pathos, and ethos are (I tend to forget them immediately after learning them). And yet, I still feel like my writing skills haven't changed much. Still feels like they are the same as they were at the end of last semester, but perhaps a little better. Still, I guess this class was okay, despite how much I hated doing the proposal assignment (it's quite difficult when you only have one working computer and your dad gets irritated if your on it for too long).

As for this course, I don't think you should change anything. I think it was organized well and it should stay the same fro next semester. As for my expectations at the beginning of the semester, I can't for the life of me remember. I think that it had something to do with not really changing as a writer and not expcting the course to go so well. Were they met? I don't know, but I guess I can say that it went well; after all I believe that I am passing the class (hopefully). But the important thing is that  it is over and summer break is just around the corner, and with it about four months of R & R. So I would like to say this: This battle maybe won, but the war is far from over. With that, goodbye and good luck to all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Islamic Community Center in New York ( There Still Arguing About This?)

After watching the rant made by Keith Olbermann on the Islamic Community Center controversy in New York, my view on the whole matter has not changed; it has only been strengthened. The controversy is about the construction of an Islamic community center that will be open to the public and will be constructed about 4 blocks from Ground Zero of the World Trade Center. There are actually people (idiots would be a better word for them) who are protesting [bitching about] the construction of the community center because they think it's a Muslim Mosque and they don't want one being built so close to Ground Zero. But wait, it isn't a Mosque at all! It is a community center, a place that is (and will be) open to all people. According to Keith Olbermann, it will have a culinary school, a basketball court, and out of  all the thirteen floors on the building, only two will be dedicated to prayer and worship. And yet, many people feel it is some place where Muslim terrorists will be trained. Really, are these protestors really that stupid? So I should be afraid of chefs and basketball players? Oh, I'm so petrified!

It seems to me that this country has a strange habit of demonizing an entire ethnic or religious group due to the actions of a small minority. A few extremists attack the World Trade Center, and the next thing you know, everyone thinks that all Muslims are evil terrorists bent on America's destruction. And another thing, I was taught thst America was founded on religious tolerence and freedom form religious persecution. I've been taught also that one of our First Amendment rights includes freedom of religion. If that is the case, then why the hell can't a few Muslims built their community center? Because it is close to Ground Zero? That is such a rediculous reason. The Muslims who want to build their Islamic community center have every right to build it, just as I have every right to criticize the President, or is freedom of speech also censored, because nowadays it seems like it is. And the community center wont even be that close; it will be about four or five blocks away, and it will be obscured by the many empty and unused buildings surrounding Ground Zero. Another thing, weren't they going to build a large tower called the Freedom Tower as a monument to the 9/11 attacks? Last time I checked, they said it would be completed by 2013. It's 2011 and they haven't even started. Here's an idea: instead of protesting over the building of an Islamic community center, how about starting on that Freedom Tower that's supposed to be completed in the next two years? It's better than protesting the building of a community center, which the Muslims have a right to build in the first place.

As for the agument/rant Keith Olbermann made, I think it hammered the point home. He made it clear that all the people in opposition to the building of this community center do not have good enough information to back up their claims against building the community center. He provided plenty of information, and he conveyed the facts well. However, he may have been a bit to passionate while making his argument, which may or may not help his argument. All in all, I think the arguement was well made and I completely and utterly support the building of this Islamic community center. They have just as much a right to build their community center just as much as anyone else.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The "N" Word: When was it ever okay?

I can understand why they would want to ban Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and even omit the "n" word from both books. Nowadays, the "n" word isn't quite a friendly word to use in the classroom; of course, that doesn't stop some students from using the term colloquially to address one another. But while the "n" word is infamous for many people, it is not a good reason to edit a classic book solely because it contains a woed that is unpopular today. Huck Finn is a classic, and unless they want to edit it so that people can understand it better, it should be left the way it currently is. While the "n" word is used 213 times in the book, keep in mind that most students in the classroom have probably already heard the word before. But to today's youth, the "n" word does not carry the same connotation that it did 50 or so years ago.

Just as Jay-Z said, the word is not as demeaning or harsh to this generation as it was to those of previous generations. The problem is not the fact that the "n" woed is so common in Huckleberry Finn. What should be done, instead of editing the book altogether, students should be taught the book just the way it is. But students should also be taught about the history of the "n" word (briefly), and why today it is wrong to repeat this word in front of anyone. It is a better alternative than to ruining a classic story by allowing the censors to change the writing in a book simply because people in the US are soooo sensitive to everything nowadays. I don't feel that the word should be used so commonly to address a friend, but at the same time, I don't feel you should censor a book for the same reason. As long as students in public schools are taught the wrongfulness of using the "n" word, then I think it is okay to teach them Huck Finn without resorting to censorship.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Authorities Strike Again!!

Where to begin first on this matter? It is difficult to say whether the mother was justified in her actions or not, seeing as she had her daughters' best intersts at heart. Unfortunately, that is not enough to let her off the hook for waht she did, which is basically stealing when it comes down to it. If she really wanted to give her daughters an excellent education at Copley-Fairlawn Middle School, she could have done so legally. She could have simply sold her current home and move in to a new home within the Copley-Fairlawn district, or possibly moved in with her father who actually lives in that school district. Imagine if countless more parents tried to do this? That would certainly drain the schoool district's funds. I understand that parents want their kids to get a better education so they can pursue their dreams, but they shouldn't go so far as to commit a crime to do so. I understand that they maybe desparate, but there are rules that we need to follow, and unfortunately there is only right and wrong when it comes to the law; there is no gray area between.

 Don't get me wrong. I think that it's good that this mother wanted to get her two daughters into a very nice middle school, and I would support that 100%. But I do not condone breaking the law, even for a good cause (unless its a revolution, in which case I could care less about the law). There is no way to go around the law, and if there are perfectly legal ways to get something done, it's usually better to go that route than to risk getting in trouble with the authorities. 

Another thing I'm a bit skeptical about is her claim that the school district singled her out and prosecuted her to make an example of her. Yet she doesn't back this claim up with any hard evidence, so I cannot agree with it. It seems more like an assumption from her point of view, so it doesn't seem legitimate. As for the Good Morning America news piece, they didn't really include much information on the people who were also discovered commiting the same crime. They also failed to give us the point of view of the mother's father; no information was given on what he thought of this whole incident. At least the news piece presented the story from an almost neutral or unbiased perspective, which I think was pretty good of them to do. Other than the missing information of the father's point of view, I think they included plenty of info for me to formulate an opinion. The sentence they gave her, I think, was pretty reasonable, but maybe they should take away the three years of probation. After all, no one got hurt and no one was killed or raped, so why should they include the probation. One thing they should have mentioned, however, was whether the mother had a criminal history or not, which would have helped me come up with a better opinion. Other than that, although the mother was doing what was best for her daughters, she could have found legal ways to do so.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First blog entry of the year...oh the horror

Well, from now on until the semester ends, I will be writing my journals on an internet blog. Well ain't that grand? I suppose writing up a word document is out of style now, and apparently it's better to write about stuff online instead for all the world to witness, instead of keeping that secret since some info is best left unknown, at least that is how I feel. As you can tell I am not thrilled about writing on an internet blog. I don't see the big deal about writing down my opinions for someone halfway across the planet to read about what I have to say about gay rights, poverty, religion, the eventual end of it all, or whatever the prompt maybe. Good thing this stupid blog has security settings, so that less people can see what I have to write  here, and after all, who wants to read what I have to say about anything anyways?

Moving right along, I have no choice but to do this assignment, so might as well grin and bear it. I t can't possibly get any worse, right? Anyway, my audience for these blogs could be anything from the entire population of internet users, to simply my writing and rhetoric class. Or it could simply be my teacher. Well I don't want the world of internet users out there to read what I have to say...they'll all argue and bitch about how my my opinions are idiotic, or criticize me for my "idiologically extreme" beliefs. I think it be better to simply have my audience consist of only my teacher, which means less stress for me and hopefully more focused writing (hopefully). I'm not sure what type of writing style I should go with, but I feel that I should stick to maybe first person point of view mixed in with open-prose form of writing.

Pictures? Personal interests? What is this, an online dating service? Of course I'm not putting anything of the sort on this blog. This is a class assignment, not some silly little online social network. If I wanted to do that, I'd make a page on some over-hyped, boring social networking sight. What was it called again? Oh well, who freakin cares. As I was saying, if people are going to be accessing this blog, I don't want them or anyone else learning more about me. My interests, email address, birhtday, etc, is none of your bleeding business, so don't bother asking about it. And with that, I hope that this whole "blogging" thing goes well, seeing as it's my first time AND to top things off I am a horrible, horrible writer. I make Dr. Seuss' work look like Shakespeare, and that is NOT an exaggeration, I'm being serious here. Well that's it for tonight, so farewell for now.