Rough Draft

I believe basic healthcare should be a fundamental American right.

Not one citizen in this country should suffer from the lack of healthcare provided to them in their time of need. Especially in a country like the United States. The United States has the technology and the resources to accomplish this.  However, universal healthcare is looked at as a way accomplish a goal on a political agenda. Universal healthcare shouldn’t be about that. To put healthcare in the most simple terms, it saves lives and gives afflicted people a chance to live. As a result of the healthcare provided to my grandfather in his time of ailment, he has been able to live and continue to affect peoples lives positively. He especially impacted my life.

My grandfather, William Fleming, was the epitome of what most people would call a self made man. Some of the jobs he had ranged from, working at a bank, to being employed by the United States Postal Service, to owning a bar for a short period of time. You could and still can always depend on my grandfather to have a generous heart and lend a hand to someone in a time of need. His generosity stretched far beyond just my mother and grandmother, he was the stability for a lot of people in his family. He always puts other people’s needs desires before his own.

Standing at six feet and two inches tall, weighing about 260 pounds my grandfather was not in the most ideal health before he was sick, but he was active. While maintaining two jobs he still find time to have a full schedule every week. He found time to babysit older brother William and I when my parents were busy or to possibly make a 76ers game because he was a season ticket holder. He was not a complainer when it game to getting care of his family. It was when he applied for his job at the United States Postal Service my grandfather discovered he had high blood pressure and early stages of diabetes. This was the first health complication that he ever had. After making some minor changes to his diet and routine doctors thought he could fix this problems on his. However, in the following months, he took another physical in January 2000 that found he had prostate cancer.

My grandfather was admitted to the hospital following the diagnosis and doctors searched for possible options to treat his cancer. After careful consideration, doctors and my family agreed to treat my grandfathers prostate cancer with surgery to remove the cancer. During the operation there was a mistake during the procedure which created more complications for my grandfather. He was now paralyzed below the waist and had acute kidney failure. As a result of his kidney failure the fluid in his body would puddle in certain areas of his body. He would eventually develop cellulitis. In addition to those devastating things, the doctors determined my grandfather had rhabdomyolysis, which is a disease that breaks muscle in the body. The breakdown of the muscle attacked his failing kidneys. After the doctors were able to stabilize my grandfathers health and help him get use to life without his legs he was sent home in early summer 2000.

My grandfather never stopped fighting to get his life back to what it was before his diagnosis. Even though doctors told him For the first months when my grandfather returned home he was bed ridden and living in the dining room of his home.  Then with the help of family members he was able to start standing up but not walking. As his legs got stronger he was able to gain more independence. Things like driving, going up and down stairs without assistance, and using the bathroom were all things he taught himself how to do again. My grandfather was a good example of someone  did not accept the circumstances he was in and persevered through the toughest dilemma in his life

Since he returned home in the summer of 2000 my grandfather has needed consistent medical attention. By the grace of God, he was able to start walking, driving, and regain some independence in the last seventeen years. However, he has frequent check ups, takes several medications daily and receives dialysis three times a week to retain his level of health. I don’t know a person that has benefitted more from affordable healthcare than my grandfather. Without healthcare he would have never been able to impacted the many lives he has. His story should be a reminder of the opportunity a longer life can give us. In the near future, I hope all Americans will still be able to obtain affordable healthcare.

Circle Blog #5

The one thing that drives all facets of the world is competition. As soon as we are born the competition starts. Our parents look to see how fast we can walk and talk compared to other toddlers. As we grow up there is an immediate amount of pressure to be the next super athlete, academic scholar, or musician that will take the world by storm. Once it has been established you may have what it takes, you are put into a pool with a bunch of other “fish”. After that, we must rise to the top or fail and live with the stigma of not having what it takes to be what society deems successful. After finishing The Circle, I interpreted the environment Dave Eggers created as an example of a competitive pool you may see. He gave us a look into how destructive it can be and what the world could be with the continual rise of immense competition and exposure. People in our society cannot handle this culture and it will hurt more than it helps.

 

The scene with the Mariana Trench creatures showed two different perspectives people may find themselves in. First, of the shark who can be compared to a human that must dominate and succeed at all costs. Second, the spectators of the experiment or people in our society today that create this pressure but are unaffected by the outcome of the participants. At the Circle, we saw how Mae take the persona of the hungry shark that was released into the pool. If you recall, the shark was fed constantly when it was released into the pool in hopes it wouldn’t attack the other animals. Instead, the shark violently attacked the animals when it didn’t have to. As may rose through the ranks at the Circle she had power, popularity, and clearly was talented. She chose to go further and beyond what she needed to do to be successful. This came at the cost of her friendship with Annie, the friend that gave her the job and opportunity at the Circle. Mae not only wanted to be better than Annie but embarrassed and ashamed her in the process of passing her in status. Mae is the shark in the Circle’s pool. The leaders at the Circle have created this culture but don’t have to deal with the aftermath. After the Three Wise Men watched the shark rip apart the other animals in the pool they were simply able to walk away. As employees at the Circle especially Mae continue to deal with the detrimental effects of the consistent competition and exposure, the Three Wise Men reap all the benefits. They can ignore what is going on with the employees and just let their company continue to grow and flourish.

 

We are products of the intensely competitive culture we are in. Competition can bring the best out of us but we shouldn’t become successful at the expense of our close friends. We should determine our level of success and not let society tell us if we are or aren’t. When we work are hardest and to our capacity that is good enough.

Circle Blog #4

Mae is no longer the newbie and neophyte in the Circle she is a reality television star. Her life is like Keeping Up with Mae Holland. She has viewers that follow her online every day. They can see what she sees, who she interacts with, and hear all her conversations. The difference between the Kardashians and Mae Holland is that they voluntarily have their lives on television every day. Mae is forced to be the center of attention and allow strangers or anyone a look into her life.  After she was scolded and humiliated in front of the whole company she had no choice but to become transparent. Transparency is glamorized around the Circle like a milestone. The moment when there is nothing else to hide. Mae even said the words “privacy is theft”, meaning at one point she supported the idea of transparency. However, Mae is now realizing that transparency is good for the individuals watching, but stressful for the person that is newly transparent.

 

Transparency is stressful for Mae because she has to now live a mistake free life. Think about a time your teacher or a superior observed and watched you for a duration time outside the norm. All of a sudden you were thinking about everything you were doing and saying. You want to do everything right so you make a good impression and do not embarrass yourself. In her situation it is not a teacher but the viewers. This is not just several more minutes she is being watched but an entire day. Everything she does must make the viewers happy. She cannot say something that may be too loud or offensive. She cannot move too fast or unsteady because that could cause the camera to shake, which would the viewers upset. If she leaves out any details of what is going on they will complain about something they speculate she is holding back. Those things are not easy things to just do and remember. Humans are not robots, we are beings that act naturally and have free will, eventually we will make a mistake. Her daily schedule consists of narrating what she is seeing, constantly check the clock to stay on schedule, and keep her composure as she experiences change in the schedule and distractions. Meanwhile, the number of viewers she has is constantly fluctuating. She must keep that number high in order to keep her participation rate as high as it is. When she finally gets home in the evening time, she doesn’t have the energy to socialize and participate in things she like did before, she is too tired. Even if she wanted to socialize she would have to someway sneak around to hide her multiple love interests. All these factors put together create too much for Mae to juggle on a daily basis.

 

I think Mae will eventually revert back to her old life before she was transparent. Her decision may cost her job at the Circle, but she’ll realize how detrimental the environment has been on her. If she is able to secure health insurance for her father else, that will surely convince her the move is something she should do.

 

 

Blog #3

Mercer is correct when he says Mae is now boring and can’t separate reality and fantasy. All social media is fantasy. At first, I thought she was avoiding conversation with Mercer because of their past. Throughout the book she has made it clear that she was not fond of his presence around her dad. However, when I compared her to what I see everyday in today’s society the comparison was perfect. Social media and technology create a false persona for people. We may see someone on social media that seems to enjoying life and happy but in reality that person could be lonely and isolated. We see only what the particular person wants us to see. They things they don’t like about themselves they wouldn’t post and share. No one would show themselves in a negative way. Also, we may have communicated with a person through social media and liked them but discovered they were two different people when you really met them. Again, the other side the person doesn’t show is hidden from us. We are not truly able to someone know unless we see that person away from the computer screen. In Mercer and Mae’s situation he does not know her anymore because she is constantly in the social media fantasy world.

Social has brought humans together and separated us at the same time.  Social media allows people to search, find, and interact with more people than every before but it has its negative effects on society. As social media continues to grow people are becoming more distant from everyday reality and not creating interpersonal skills. More and more people feel awkwardness when they have to interact face to face. People are comfortable on social media behind a computer, phone, or tablet screen but do not have the confidence to talk in person. Individuals in today’s society realize this but they won’t sacrifice technology because we can talk with less effort. Why waste time to meet up with a person when you can just text or direct message someone within a matter of seconds? People usually do not find the balance between being able to socialize offline and online. Think about the last time you were in an new and unfamiliar environment. Most people will grab there phones and avoid conversation. They escape the reality they are in. Humans are too caught up on the phones and social media to interact with the person right next to them.  In days before social media people and technology were forced to just communicate the old fashion way, so to speak.

We know the Circle’s environment is heavily embedded in technology and use of social media. Mae was reluctant at first, but has now fully immersed herself into the social media culture and forgotten how to relate in person. She is two different people. A fun, charismatic, and youthful person on social media but a dull, colorless, and flat being in person. Hopefully seeing how social media has changed her people will put their phones down and leave the fantasy world alone.

Circle Blog #2

What Mae has come to realize about the “community” in the Circle  is that in order to be successful she has to abandon what was once her privacy. Data concerning Mae must be public. That data can vary from what she did with her dad on the weekend to her medical records and medical history. She is obligated to share this information and be transparent with her coworkers. No secrets are tolerated. If I was to incorporate are current unit, civic engagement at the Circle is not only having a physical presence. Their idea of civic engagement is through social media and the employees are ranked by PartiRank. The PartiRank considers all activity in Inner Circle, their social media platform. Gina told Mae that get rank was only taken seriously by some circlers. Data and privacy are intertwined because the more Mae decides to post, comment, and be active on social media about where she is and how she feels she loses her privacy.

At first, Mae was hesitant to fully immerse herself into the companies culture but now she does gladly. When she was first introduced to the social media platform her rank was 10,328. Then after her first day of liking, commenting, and posting she was exhilarated with the new found social media. Following that, Mae saw the downside to the being overt with data when in my opinion, Annie violated her privacy. After Mae’s slow response to several responses messages sent by Annie she was scolded by Annie because she wasn’t where Annie thought she should. Mae couldn’t have twenty minutes to herself without the question of where she was. This was one of the first examples of Mae’s lack of privacy having a negative impact. When Mae was on a date with her co worker, data about her was used for a material for a comedy show. All the comedian had to do was search her name and find out information that may have been private in usual circumstances. Mae had a brief hiatus from must social media involving the circle after that. She missed team building activities and mandatory newbie parties at the expense of not posting and providing any new data. Her life was private again for that one weekend. Once Mae returned to work, she was reprimanded for not sharing data and relinquishing her privacy. Dan made it clear that family is important however, no family matters should ever affect the community in the Circle. Dan also helped Mas realize that whatever she does whether it be an on campus activity or with family needs to be posted. He was more upset that she hadn’t posted and gave data than he was about her actually being at the events missed. She put her full effort into her PartiRank after her conversation with Dan. She went on a social media spree bringing her score all the way up 2,009. She disregarded her need for privacy in order to do what would help her grow at the circle. She now has a lot more followers and activity, not to mention well known. With all the data she’s made public and posted she’s sacrificed her privacy completely.

Circle Blog # 1

 

At first glance, Penn State and the Circle can be large and intimidating to a new person but, they are environments that thrive on the a sense of community. The most important thing to know about Penn State before anything else is the We Are chant. It brings together prospective students, current students and alumni who are all a part of this special community. The Penn State community is one that accepts everyone. One of the slogans for the Circle is Community First. This slogan also encourages the sense of family and togetherness within the company like the We Are chant does for Penn State. Both Penn State and the Circle want the brightest and most innovative minds on their campuses and you do that by making everyone feel welcome. When Mae arrived on the Circle’s campus she immediately felt the hospitality. She was greeted by Renata who eased the tension of arriving at a new place and new environment just like the RA did for me when I arrived my first day on campus. Throughout Mae’s first day at the Circle her only focus was to meet people and feel comfortable before she started working. The first weekend at Penn State was wrapped around the idea that we start to build a community and family before embarking on our first week of classes. Then, to finish off her first day at the Circle there was a party where she was able to experience life with her co-workers outside of work as well. Employees working at the Circle also are able to encourage each other through the intra-office messages. Seeing positive feedback from her co-workers made Mae feel like she was performing her role well in the company. Hopefully, feeling that sense of community will able me to be successful in the future and for Mae also.

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