From Day 1 to Today: The Difference Is Crazy

          Walking into my Writing 110 class this semester, I was expecting a multitude of essays, reading and notes. I had no idea I would be creating a blog, communicating with classmates or improving my writing skills immensely. From my first blog post to my research essay, I have improved in my writing so much. I started with a 75% on my first blog post. This was probably the most devastating thing I could have seen for my writing.

            Throughout high school I was always a ‘good’ writer, getting almost all A’s on my papers. When I received that C, I had to rethink everything. I needed to come up with a new perspective to my writing. My first essay also only was an 80%. That is when I realized I needed to write using my voice, not just a professional voice. Once I learned how to integrate a personality into my posts and essays, my grades began to rise.

            I managed to even get a few 100%’s on my blog posts. My final essay was a 95%. I had seen tremendous changes. This was because I was able to get a lot of peer input. I never really realized how much another person reading my writing could help me come up with new ideas. I learned how to transition better, choose my words more carefully and even edit my own paper. This class has taught me so much. From the weekly blog posts to the final essays, I have become a much stronger writer.

            

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From Writing Letters to Santa to Big Research Papers…

            Writing is such an important part of life. When I was a child, I wrote many letters to Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Then, as I grew older, those little letters turned into essays, assignments and letters to family, best friends or a boyfriend. As I entered high school, I started writing every day because I created a blog. This blog has gotten me through many times.

            I started writing blog posts to get me through the loss of some family members and it helped me all the way through break ups, friendships ending, losing my house, first dates and so much more. I am not one to post all of my thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, but when I do post something on a social media site, I make sure that it is meaningful. I do not care how others receive it, as long as I get my point across. I began to love writing. Once I started enjoying writing, I realized that I could put all this practice to good use. I tried harder in my essays at school. I think it helped me because I was able to keep pretty good grades. Through good grades, I will hopefully be successful in life.

            I plan on becoming a teacher, which means I have a lot more writing in my future. I am going to have to write practicums, syllabi, corrections on student’s homework, and actually know what I am doing. If it were not for my practice with writing, I would not be able to succeed with my job. Hopefully, I will continue my love and passion for writing. It is such an easy and great way to take my mind off life and relax. Writing will always be a part of my life. 

Can We Help Save Lives?

Nicholas Kristof,

            As I read your article, “Saving The Lives of Moms”, I became inspired to help these young, innocent women. You did an excellent job appealing to my emotions and convinced me that I should be a part of something so good. I loved how you told Mahabouba’s story, as well as Dr. Arrowsmith’s.

            When Dr. Arrowsmith first met Mahabouba, he said: “it was painful to be within three feet of her”. I could not imagine how bad it would be-the smell, the pain and the hardship. This poor woman only wanted help; she was left for dead and fought a battle until she found Dr. Arrowsmith. Because of Dr. Arrowsmith, she was able to turn her life around.

            Dr. Arrowsmith set up such a strong life for many women with fistulas. He gave them a hope. Through your writing, I was able to see the compassion Dr. Arrowsmith had for these women. I also like how you described how wonderful Mahabouba is and how helpful she is for the other women going through the same thing she did. You did a great job showing how we can help as well. You brought in the idea of Mother’s day.

            Although I do not fully agree with spending my money that is for my mom on a different mother, I see where you come from. You said that we are going to spend $18 on basically pointless things. In our minds, it is for our great mothers, but I see where we can open up our minds and help other mothers. We can help build a hospital and allow more surgeries to happen and more dreams to be achieved. I really loved your writing and how it really hit my emotions. You inspired me to want to help them through feeling sad for the women. If I could, I would love to donate money right now.

 Thank you,

Baylee 

Homosexuality Is NOT The Issue, Your Attitude To Change Your Opinion Is.

           Homosexuality is not a topic that many Christians find easy to talk about or support. Christians believe that it is a sin and that: “It’s wrong. There’s nothing else to say about it. It’s in the Bible.” This sentence absolutely disgusts me. I think that it is wrong for someone to be so full of certitude to even say something like this.  The Bible says so many things that are morally wrong; we do not even follow every “law” that is in it. If we did, we would have one messed up world. The Bible says an eye for an eye, but if we did that, the whole world will go blind (Ghandi). It also says that “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent” (Timothy 2:11). Is this saying that men and women are not equal?

            I firmly believe that everyone is equal, no matter where they come from, who they are or what their sexual orientation is. There is nothing wrong with Homosexuality and we should not have to always make an immediate opinion on the social issue. I like how Tandy says “I wonder what would happen to the climate of discussion if more people said things like “I would like to hear more stories from my gay and lesbian friends before I develop my position.”” I would personally love to hear more stories. In fact, my best friend is gay. He has no shame in who he is. He likes men and he is proud of that. I love hearing his stories about the new cute boy he is talking to or the idea of him ever getting married to another man. Marriage comes down to love.

            If we truly are supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves, we should accept the fact that anyone can love anyone. If we want others to be happy, gay marriage should never even be an issue. Christians have to be more open to the ideas from a different perspective. Tandy proposes that, “we exercise enough humility to temper our statements”. I completely agree with him here. We need to talk with other gays and lesbians, hear their sides of the story and be ready to improve and change our opinion. We should never doubt in another person or their beliefs. It should always be their own choice and we should never restrict them from being with the one they love.

 

 

“Unconscious and Unintentional?” Not in Kaavya Viswanathan’s Case

Kaavya Viswanathan, the author of “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,” was accused for plagiarizing off of one of her favorite books as a high school student, “Can You Keep a Secret?,” by Sophie Kinsella. These novels have very different plots, but Viswanathan stole character ideas from Kinsella and also many passages. After the discovery of the copying of Kinsella’s book, it was discovered that she stole from two novels by Megan McCafferty, “Sloppy Firsts” and “Second Helpings.”

Ms. Viswanathan acknowledged plagiarizing from Ms. McCafferty but said that it was “unconscious and unintentional.” I believe that most authors or students say that their plagiarism is always unintentional. No one tries to do it, but sometimes it just happens. The first two things that are copied could in fact be an accident, but the more one copies, the more it is actually plagiarizing. All Viswanathan wanted to do was to find her own voice. According to Ann Hulbert, “ It’s tempting to wonder whether Viswanathan, if she could find her own voice, might foist some of the blame for her borrowings onto her endlessly enabling elders.” Viswanathan ran away from her problems. She did not want to take the blame for her own plagiarism and neither did anyone else. Her agents refused to talk about and everyone seemed to keep it on the down low.

Ms. McCafferty and Kinsella were upset with the plagiarizing, but from what I read, there were no serious punishments for Viswanathan. Her book was pulled off of the shelves because she copied from two authors, but she was not in any legal trouble that I could find. I think that Viswanathan was not intentionally copying these authors, but she should be in trouble for plagiarizing. She stole too many ideas and should be punished for it.

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/sandbox/2006/04/how_kaavya_got_packaged_and_got_into_trouble.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/books/02auth.html

Is Porn and Videogames actually an Issue or Just a Fact?

           Are boys really not motivated, not growing up and not happy or does this article perceive boys in the wrong way? I believe that Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan make boys, teens and men into much bigger disappointments than they really are. This article tells that guys have lost their natural passion. They are resorting to porn and videogames as their pleasures and not women. I believe that this is a minor issue, not one that we should be freaking out about, or exaggerating, like the authors did.

            Every guy plays videogames; that is no phenomena. Teenagers and men watch porn. People take medicine for personality problems. These are simple facts, not issues. There is no need to exaggerate these facts. Us women would love more attention than men give to us, but sometimes we also can’t be there the way they want us to be. We can’t be their late night pleasure all the time or entertain them during the day. Boys will be boys- they will make dumb mistakes and play stupid games. That is just what boys do. There is not a problem with it.

 

            These next two articles prove to me that videogames and pornography are not the only problem in relationships or intelligence of men. Zimbardo and Duncan believe that men are “totally out of sync in romantic relationships.” They believe that men have been playing too much videogames and watching too much porn for them to even understand how to act in a real relationship. I strongly disagree with this.

            Not all men struggle in relationships. I have talked to many boys who know how to treat a lady the right and proper way. If there is an issue in relationship, we also can’t just look at it as if the man is the problem. Couldn’t it be the woman in the relationship? Women game as well. We can’t just focus on the problems gaming and porn have on men. Both men and women are “addicted” to these activities. 

“We are fearfully and wonderfully made,” he told his family. “And very fragile.”

            Society judges everything we do- from the way we act to the way we look-we are always being judged. Most of the time, we are told how unattractive something is or what we did wrong. In Sam’s story, he faced the worst from society. He dealt with glances, long stares, rude comments and horrible people. He never felt normal growing up and can you really blame him? All anyone wants in life is to be “normal.” Somehow through all of Sam’s mess, he always kept his hope of fitting in with those around him.

            Hope keeps you motivated. It is the idea that everything will be okay. Sam believed in the doctors around him. He wanted to change; he wanted to fit in. Sam said: “We are fearfully and wonderfully made, And very fragile.” He understands that God made him exactly who he is. He knows that he has his faults, but he is still wonderful. Sam knows all of the risks of the surgery and how fragile his body is, but still wants to change. The amount of hope that Sam has in his doctors and the support of his family lead to the success of his surgery.

            His surgery was a long, scary one, at which the doctors came close to giving up on several times. Dr. Marler knew that she had to help this young boy and never gave up. When they successfully found the nerve, I knew that the outcome of his surgery would be one we all wanted to hear. He would live, he would look better, and most importantly, he will begin to fit in. Through the success of the risky surgery, I believe that is why this feature won the Pulitzer Prize.

            Hallman created a long, but inspiring story. He successively showed the personal feelings of each person in his story. Sam’s persona is incredible. I believe that if it weren’t for his motivation, he would not be able to walk into Grant and stand in that line. Sam’s story shows that we can all take adversities and deal with them. The point of this story is the reason it won the Pulitzer Prize. “The Boy Behind The Mask” was finally able to reveal his true colors and be a “normal” boy. 

Dumb Mistakes for the Workplace

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/advice/careerbuilder-releases-most-memorable-resume-mistakes

 Cosmopolitan always exaggerates the truth, but in this article, they made it funny. For example, thee put God down as a reference (no phone number), the email address had “lovesbeer” in it and the condition for accepting the position was being allowed to bring his pet monkey to the workplace. Obviously, none of these things should be on your resume and if you added them, well good luck getting a job.

 http://www.chequed.com/blog/40-funny-resume-mistakes/

The comments that people make in their resumes are horrible in this website. People are trying to make a joke, but it has all gone bad. I find it funny when one is trying to be serious about himself, but fails miserably at it.

http://blog.resumebear.com/hot-topics/funny-resume-mistakes/

Bad traits: “I am very bad about time and don’t mind admitting it. Having to arrive at a certain hour doesn’t make sense to me. What does make sense is that I do the job. Any company that insists upon rigid time schedules will find me a nightmare.” This sentence is just setting you up for failure. I love how people don’t think before they submit something that could be life changing.

http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-cover-letters-2011-10?op=1

This website demonstrates how people rant about themselves, their horrible qualifications and their ideal positions. In all likeliness, if you put any of these things on your cover letter, you won’t even make it to getting your resume read. I find it funny how one person even brings up drugs (cause that will get you a job).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/funny-resumes-cover-letters_n_2092762.html

 I love this article because it shows pictures people put on their cover letter. The pictures are not even close to being normal, they are funny and weird poses of people. This is just another example of how one can be so blind to their dumb mistakes.

Google Has My Back, Always.

            Google is an incredible resource for everyone. Whenever you have a question, what do you do? You Google it. This term has become so natural for people, that we don’t even think otherwise of it anymore. It is quick, useful and efficient. There is no need to sit in a library, swamped by hundreds of books, when all you have to do is Google your question.

            Although some claim Google is making us dumb, it is also showing how far we have come with our technology. We have made it so that we can find our information faster and make our papers better. We can experience so many different opinions to our questions.  All we have to do is research the question and millions of results will pop up for us.

            I personally love Google. It makes my life so much easier, whether I am struggling on a math question, need research for a paper or have to translate a word in Spanish, Google is my go to place. I will honestly admit that I hate reading. I hate reading books and long articles. Google makes it so that I do not have to do that. I can just skim through things and find my answer. There is no need to open a book anymore and read when we have all the access in front of us. If you want to read a book for leisure, that is completely fine. But why invade yourself with books or long articles, if all you need is to answer one simple question? So is Google making us dumb or are we just changing the way we do things with our brain?

            Google is our answer to our questions. We have changed the way we think and we have become more successful with the answers given to us by Google. I personally would not have been able to get through a lot of high school without having Google there by my side. 

“So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us…” -Macklemore

           At our Christian chapels at George Fox, all of the students put their hands up, not like Macklemore is suggesting, but because they are putting them up for the Lord. This is very peculiar to Christian schools. If you walk into a Wednesday chapel here, you are walking into a whole different world, at least for me. Everyone sings to the music, with more than just his or her voice.

            I have grown up in a Catholic school my entire life. We have a very strict, traditional way of Mass. We do not celebrate church the way that we do at George Fox. I have discovered at Fox, that God is the center of all things. When you are in class, you read about and openly talk about God. When you are around your residence halls, God is easily part of a conversation. God is everywhere. Although I have grown up hearing about God, He was not part of class discussions (unless in Religion class) or openly brought up around my friends. He was always there, but not in the way He is at Fox.

            Chapel is an incredible phenomenon for someone who has never witnessed a Christian worship celebration. In my eyes, these people are crazy for God. When one song begins, everyone sings. As the next eternity of songs (well that is what it feels like) are playing, people get more into it. They start lifting their hands up to the Lord and dedicating their bodies to Him. I have never seen something like this. Please don’t take me wrong and think that I am judging this way of worship. It is just completely different in my eyes.

            Different is the key word for me. The music is so much more fun and upbeat than anything the Catholic Church sings. The worship is so much more relaxed here at Fox and everything is just different. My eyes are open to a new opportunity here at Fox, a new way to look at God and different ways of celebrating His name.