"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves"

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

Persuasive Essay (So Far)

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Work In Progress | 1 comment

Teenagers do not care about daily news and current events. It is a simple fact evident in not only in statistics concerning the issue but also in the major gap between teenagers and current events. As a college student I can see firsthand how disenfranchised we students can be about the things that are happening in our world. I would be a hypocrite if I did not admit that I am at times a part of the generational system that ignores national and international events, no matter how important. I would just like to be apart of a generation that is not clueless of where certain countries are on the map or who the speaker of the house is. Everyone should have at least a general knowledge of the world in which they live in no matter their age. Being knowledgeable in daily news events is not a detriment to anyone. There exists an empathy gap between teenagers and the issues of the world surrounding them. They have no interest in the media due to the fact that they are not directly affected by most national and international issues.  Ultimately, I argue that this “empathy gap” that exists in our generation today can be attributed to factors such as the rise of social media and reluctance to hard hitting stories about topics such as the war.

Defining the Empathy Gap

–  http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/03/teju-cole-interview-twitter-drones-small-fates

I will explain what the empathy gap and how it relates to young teenagers but also in part relates to us as Americans in a country where we do not have to deal with war and bombings in our backyards.

I will quote author Teju Cole on his definition of the empathy gap and what he does to increase awareness of international events even though they may not affect Americans directly

Teenagers and the Media


Rapid paced social media provides an opportunity to “customize” exactly what type of information they consume daily. Whether it be Facebook or Twitter, the invention of the customiz-able dashboard has allowed us to ignore the more important although at times less interesting news stories

– Addition of statistics about age groups and there involvement in the media

What to do now


-There should be a nationwide implementation of education that heavily infuses current events into the curriculum of all schools. This should be done in a way that has a lasting impact on teenagers and not just an assignment they can hand in; there should be a change in how they view news events.



– Those who will argue that it is not the fault of teenagers that they are not involved in today’s current events

– Education does not adeptly prepare students to become interested in the media

– Youth feel that if they cannot change this world than there is no point in becoming interested in its issues (Apathy)


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Brainstorming Persuasive Ideas

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Work In Progress | 3 comments

Like most of my classmates, I have no idea what I’m going to write about for my persuasive essay or for my advocacy project. But I’ve been brainstorming some ideas and even though nothing’s concrete, here’s what I’ve come up with.

1.) I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of our generation and how many of us are not exactly politically minded or even interested in things such as current events. I would love to write a persuasive essay that would focus on students just like me getting more involved in the world they live in. I don’t know exactly how I would go about this but I’ve been pondering that topic for a little bit since the online deliberation project which made me want to participate in issues such as that


2.) My specific audience would be college students who honestly do not know or care about what’s going on in the news. I would also to take this further in the advocacy project and maybe conduct interviews and get to the root of the reason for this disinterest in the news and the world


3.) I would hope that anyone who reads my essay thinks long and hard about the state of our generation. I think it’s really sad that a lot of people didn’t know that we were getting a new pope or care enough to watch even 5 minutes of the news everyday.


4.) I would like to think that my research will come from interviewing my peers and also statistics about youth and their society. Also, there was an article I read on something called the “empathy gap” which I think will be really relevant to this topic


1.) Yes, because this issue is so relevant to not only the youth of today but the adults as well it is very urgent. It’s not life threatening or anything but it is still a pressing issue.

2.) I would need to do some more research on this issue to answer this question. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any groups who would be against this issue. 

I think that I will be using this topic for my advocacy project if everything goes right. 

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Twitter and Tirades

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Passion | 0 comments




So, we all remember M.I.A, right? She got really popular a few years back with her song “Paper Planes”, which I definitely listened to extensively the summer it came out. She’s always been known for being a little radical, like the time she performed on stage 9 months pregnant in a weird polka dot get-up. She’s been out of the spotlight for a while but now she’s being scrutinized for something other than her music: her custody troubles over four year old  Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman


Earlier today on Twitter, M.I.A accused the father of her child, Ben Bronfman, and his family of conspiring to have her child taken away from her. She launched into a fiery tirade on the social networking site which may not have been the best choice concerning such a sensitive subject.  There is another side to this story that makes things difficult. Ben Bronfman comes from an extremely wealthy, very well known family in Canada. This family founded Seagram (Think ginger ale), oil companies, and also founder of the Warner Music Group. So, if Bronfman wanted to take sole custody of his child on maybe not so justified grounds, he has the influence to do do.

This situation brings up many questions about custody battles. We usually tend to think that courts always side with the mother in cases like these but statistics say otherwise. In a study of US appellate cases (court of appeals), 51% of fathers who applied for custody won.

Obviously, all of the information on this case isn’t out in the open but hopefully all of the adults involved work out what’s in the best interest of the child. Comment below with what you think!

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My Moderating Philosophy (Draft)

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Work In Progress | 3 comments

I want my moderating style to be, above all, friendly. As nervous as I will be next Monday, I also know that the English 15 students will be feeling the exact same way. For that reason I would like everyone to feel included and comfortable as opposed to nervous and stiff. Hopefully I can inspire most of the student sot talk and not have a Spiral of Silence situation. I would also like to encourage any and all opinions that may arise on Monday and avoid the persecution of another just for having a different opinion. I believe that this type of thinking encourages healthy deliberation and leads to the fostering of ideas.

With the topic being deliberated, there is a chance that there may be farfetched or maybe uninformed opinions so I would like to guide these people through the deliberation process in such a way that they become more informed without leading to an argument. My biggest strengths that I will focus on when I moderate are my inviting personality and also interest in creating an open environment for deliberation.

The purpose of deliberation is to voice one’s opinions with facts and experiences, listen to the voices of others and perhaps arrive to a state of enlightenment. This is what I hope to happen on Monday when I have my first moderating experience. What I will keep in mind for Monday is that everyone is different with different opinions, make sure everyone feels included, and to forget to be nervous hopefully.

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Oscar Pistorious: Lover or Murderer?

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Passion | 1 comment

2012 Virgin Active Sports Industry Awardsoscar-pistorius



Oscar Pistorious. Handsome. Charming. World renowed track star. And possible murderer. The shocking celebrity news is that of the murder of Pistorious’ girlfriend Reeva Steedham. The Olympian claims that  he mistaked the 20 – year old TV personality for a burgurlar and did not realize until after he shot her that she was not an  intruder. Investigations and court hearings are already underway and the funeral for Reeva was also earlier this week. Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly depending on how you look at it, the media has been extremely lenient concerning this tragedy. Most seem to believe Pistorious’s account of events and paint him as the victim and not a possible assailant.

This news came as an extreme surprise to me. I mean, I cheered for this guy during the Olympics, he has no legs for god sakes and he still manages to win. Also, in case you haven’t noticed this man is extremely good looking. His accomplishments have made him a hero and success story for his country of South Africa. When I started to think about how these things may influence how people interpret the case I realized that Pistorious may just get off for this crime that he may have committed.

Perception plays a huge part in how a court case plays out. How a defendant looks or acts can have sway over the decisions of the media or even a jury. Earlier this week, Oscar Pistorious was seen crying uncontrollably during his court appearance. Real or not, it elicited a response from the judge who sympathized and let the man have a moment to collect himself. Pistorious’s general persona as a good looking yet humble start athlete has already influenced anyone who learns of his case. Even I had trouble believing that he actually shot his girlfriend dead. I still can’t fully wrap my head around it.

Hopefully can look past all the good this man has done and focus on the man who possibly committed pre-meditated murder against his innocent girlfriend. Afterall, Ted Bundy was the picture of attractiveness and he killed countless women.

What do you all think? Did he commit the crime or is that impossible? Is the media too weak with coverage of the story or just waiting for more concrete information?


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WIP: Moderating Philosophy

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Work In Progress | 0 comments

Like most of my classmates, I have no idea how exactly I would like to moderate or what kind of moderator I want ti be. However, seeing the various teaching philosophies assured me that everyone has their own style when it comes to these types of things. Each teaching philosophy was clear and explained the duties and goals of each teacher clearly. I would like to do the exact same thing in my moderator’s philosophy. I especially liked Professor Willitz philosophy. He explained that there is no secret formula to teaching but rather one’s success in the field depended on the effort you put into the job and your interaction with students.  I think that in order to be a good moderator it  will ultimately depend on my people skills. Also, I have to be sure to outline not only my strengths and weaknesses but also what I liked most about moderating.  I think that the things that make a strong philosophy is one that answers all of the framing questions clearly and also has the personal element imbedded in it.

I’ve been thinking of some things that I can put into my moderator’s philosophy:

  • Why I am moderating
  • What makes me want to do it
  • My strengths and weaknesses
  • How this experience will help me in the future
  • What I have learned from being a moderator
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A Change of Face

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Passion | 7 comments


So you may think that the pictures above show two completely different people.  Unfortunately these are pictures of infamous rapper Lil Kim. The rapper appeared on the scene in the 90’s with her album Hard Core which to most is considered a classic rap album. Even though she may have faded into obscurity in the recent years her name has popped up with details of her feud with fellow rapper Nicki Minaj. You may have heard the song “Stupid Hoe”. However, Kim’s newest chance in the spotlight has nothing to do with music.

This isn’t the first time that Lil’ Kim has dabbled with plastic surgery. Since the 2000’s she has been making minor but noticeable changes to her face. A slimmer nose there, a butt implant there. Now, in 2013 Lil Kim has hit the trifecta of plastic surgery:


Not only does she have lighter skin but a larger  chin and even cheek fillers.  Why do people get such extensive plastic surgery? Even for Lil Kim who looked halfway decent before all of her procedures. I can understand maybe a bit of Botox once in a while but to so drastically change your body is an extreme. For one, it doesn’t look good and it’s incredibly noticeable and not in a good way.

Maybe this is a way for the rapper to reinvent herself . She has a new album coming out soon and this new scandal may be a way to drum up attention

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