Posts made in January, 2013

Group Presentation- Chapter 8

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Work In Progress | 0 comments

The chapter that my group and I will present is Chapter 8- Deliberative Communities and Societies

The chapter analyzes the way deliberation works in various communities and settings. In addition to that analysis, the chapter also explains how to successfully bring deliberation into a community.

Here are some of the main points that I feel should be focused on in our presentation:

  • The connections between public officials, citizens , local media, and private associations when it comes to a deliberation
  • Democracy and Deliberation
  • How deliberations of the past can influence the modern methods of today
  • The various theories in the chapter, like the Structuration Theory
  • How exactly one creates a deliberative society (The example used in the book is in a school setting)

When we present we could use maybe a Prezzy. I’ve never used one before so it might be interesting to make a creative powerpoint with a topic that isn’t so exciting. Anything will work really because this is such a short presentation.

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Homophobia at Halftime

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Passion | 2 comments

WSQuNkx

If you’re not one to keep up on sports (like me), you probably don’t know this man pictured above. I didn’t know who he was either until some comments he made earlier this week started making headlines. This man is Chris Culliver and he is a player for the San Francisco 49ers. Instead of gearing up for the Superbowl on Sunday, Mr. Culliver has brought it upon himself to share his thoughts on homosexuality with the world. Here’s what he had to say:

I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah.

In addition to a clear lack of respect for grammar, it seems Mr. Culliver has no problem expressing his homophobia in public. If you look at the facts, there has never been an openly gay NFL player in the history of the league. Now, the NFL was founded in 1920, so does that mean that in more than 90 years there have been no gay football players on any of the NFL teams? Of course not. I definitely think that attitudes lie Chris Culliver’s contribute to the lack of openly gay players. If I was a gay football player I probably wouldn’t come out to my team for fear of persecution or violence.

It’s sad that there may be players who are in the NFL or aspiring to play football as a career who can’t fully embrace who they are for fear of people like Culliver. Homophobia in sports is such a big issue and it’s one that tends to be overlooked. As of now Chris Culliver has offered a half-assed apology in which he claims that the comments he made were, “a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel” As if that makes any sense, it’s also a bold-faced lie. His apology is just to save face and doesn’t even touch on the more severe issue at hand. That there is a culture of homophobia within sports and it is not only accepted but encouraged. 

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Diversity on Campus

Posted by on Jan 31, 2013 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

The issue of diversity is one that I feel is always at the forefront of my mind. Especially since I’ve observed what Penn State has to offer in terms of diversity on campus and its various programs for minority students. Before I decided to come here I was warned that there would be no one like me and that I needed to think carefully about how important diversity is to me. Thankfully, I feel that I have been introduced to people who are just like me but others who are different as well.  If you didn’t already know there are many programs and organizations that help to foster diversity here at Penn State. First there’s FastStart and also Blueprint which are both peer mentoring programs for minority students. It’s very likely that a person of color will be made to feel included on a campus that doesn’t seem to have very much diversity. This definitely reassured me because when you look at the specific statistics for diversity at Penn State, it’s a little daunting. 76% of the students here are Caucasian while only 4% of students are African American.

 Stats

 

I believe that the way that diversity plays out on a college campus is distinctly different than it does in a “real world” context. Especially on this campus, everyone seems to keep to themselves. Asians with Asians, the Black people stick together, and so forth. Not that I don’t like keeping company with people like me but various problems could arise with this setup. For instance, no one is going to mix unless you’re put in a setting where you have to.  I’m not talking about a classroom setting where there is always a variety of ethnicities.  I mean the people you eat lunch with or party on a Saturday night with. If you don’t make a conscious effort to make your social circle implicitly diverse then it won’t be. I obviously do not have all the answers as to why people break into such clusters on a big campus such as this. Maybe it is for comfort; people stick with what they know. Or perhaps there is just a comfort in spending time with people who share your same experiences.

The one thing I do know is that diversity is important in all aspects of life. Especially in a college setting,  the need for diversity is great. With a great amount of diversity, one learns to appreciate not only other cultures but their own as well. In addition to cultural education, one can become worldlier simply by being exposed to other cultures. The U.S. News article I previously mentioned helps bring the issue of diversity into a much needed national debate. Race relations is something that should matter to everyone, not just minorities.

I don’t feel that my experience here at Penn State is hindered in any way shape or form by the seemingly lack of diversity on campus. If I want I can immerse myself in all types of cultures. However, I do wish that there could be an answer to be found for the questions that I asked earlier as to why this campus is not more diversified. Leave your comments and opinions below whether you completely disagree or see the same things that I do here on campus.

 

 

 

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Politics and the Public Eye

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Passion | 4 comments

Obama inauguration

This past Monday was an event that millions of people around the country talked about endlessly: Michelle Obama’s new bangs. All jokes aside, the inauguration on Monday drew a crowd of around a million people while others watched from the warmth of their beds instead of chilly D.C. The event has the world’s best singers including Beyonce, and Kelly Clarkson as well as readings by some of the world’s most renowned orators. The ceremony was not only beautiful but also uplifting and motivating. After the ceremony concluded there was a brunch which the First Family attended before they attended the big parade to say hello to the people lined up to meet them.

 beyonce-lp

 

If you weren’t watching CNN, MSNBC, or some other news outlet you would think that no one cared about the start of Obama’s second term or what he plans to do for the next few years. The focus of entertainment news was either Beyonce’s lip syncing or Michelle’s new bangs. It’s sad to say that if the inauguration did not have entertainment that far less people would attend. Not that it isn’t an important event in our nation’s history but no one cares unless it directly interests them. Shouldn’t we as a society be more at the forefront of pressing political issues? Why do people refuse to bring political news into everyday conversation. To me, the inauguration  would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce rhetoric on the topics concerning our country but that just wasn’t the case on Monday.

 

Hopefully in the future there will be a time when people can focus more on the implications of our first black President entering his second term than whether or not Beyonce lip-synced at the ceremony. What do you all think? Should there be times when the focus should be completely on politics? Or is there a happy medium to be found? Comment what you think below!

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This I Believe… Respect

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Work In Progress | 1 comment

Natalia TIB

 

I believe in respect for women. Respect is a value that should never be compromised. I have lost count of the times I have seen crimes perpetuated against the women I call my fellow sisters. Physical and verbal abuse. Sexism. Rape. The offenders of these crimes lack the fundamental lesson instilled in me at such an early age: That women are brave and strong and to be respected at all times. Some of us in this generation seem to have forgotten that we ALL come from a woman and that fact in and of itself demands a certain level of appreciation.  Growing up in a single parent household has fueled my belief even more as I have watched my mother work endlessly to provide a better life for my siblings and I. At times it was obvious that my mom was at her breaking point with stress, and bills and just the day to day of living but she kept on working.

My parents have been divorced since I was about 9. Everything changed; from my mom having to get a second job to her moving an hour away from her family and friends and putting my siblings and I in a new school. I used to think my mom was superwoman when I was younger. She would come home from work, get me ready for school, and probably gossip on the phone as she did it. Everything seemed fine. It wasn’t until I got older that I noticed the tiredness behind my mother’s eyes; The way her arthritis limited her movement and took her strength. I would joke that she should go out for a weekend with her girls and her answer would always be the same, “Natalia, you know I have to work”, she would say with a sigh. Now as I become an adult I see the sacrifices that my mom has made in order to better the lives of her children.

My mother’s story is nothing new; it’s one repeated endlessly in homes across America. Everyday a woman drags her tired body out of bed, puts on a strong face and selflessly does what she has to do to make sure her children have a better life than the parents that came before them.  This is why I believe in respect for women. I respect all of the strong women in this world putting what they have to do way before the things they want to do. To this day,  I will never forget my mother’s famous words, “Behavior is learned”. It’s a phrase I’ve heard repeated throughout most of my life. My mom likes to say that people’s values don’t just come from anywhere, that they are instilled in them at a young age by their parents. Therefore it is no surprise that I believe in respect for women because I had as strong, beautiful to give me the foundation for that value.

 

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