Persuading and Advocating Ideas

I am very excited to and look forward to working on this assignment. As you already know, Frankie and i are working together. We feel like we not only work well together, but also show similar interests. Together, we are working on advocating and persuading individuals that college students athletes deserve to get paid while in college.

This has definitely been a topic I know that we have discussed and brought up before during class and it was a great fit since Frankie and I are very passionate with sports. This is an interesting topic because there are legitimate reasons that support both sides of the argument. Currently, NCAA rules and regulations have a section saying that no student-athlete can receive money for their playing. However, after much consideration, we agreed that the most valid response to this answer is to pay students.

We will not discuss our reasons why we believe this during this blog. However, we are going to use models such as athletes’ activity logs, health risks, and university financial statements to help advocate and persuade for what we believe in.

This I Believe

I am not one hundred percent certain if this selection for a topic will work, but fortunately we will be able to hash things out during conferences on Monday.

I have the belief that everyone should experience being away from home for a duration of their life. Being a Freshman in college this applies well to me. All my life, I have grown up in a small town where everyone held similar beliefs and at times, it almost seemed as if everyone was open minded. There was more to life than the small town of Cresson Pennsylvania, and unlike many of my friends and even their parents, I was looking forward to escape this small town and see what else this world had to offer. Now don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong with home, home is where the heart is. However, I broke this shared commonplace and I have been embracing being away from home. I am now surrounded by different race, religions, beliefs, and lifestyles in general. However, as I enjoy my life and crave to continue and see the rest of the country, I am sure that there are some people back in my hometown who would look at this decision with disdain.

Fortunately, my family certainly condones of my decision to leave our hometown, breaking status quo and that has helped my transition greatly thus far in college. Several instances before I left for college this past Summer, there were times where I had heart to heart conversations with my parents where they told me very important words of encouragement and comfort.

However, I have faced criticism too. Some would joke around and say something along the lines of, “what, isn’t Cresson good enough for you?” or “I hope you remember us little guys whenever you become rich and famous.” I have managed to tone these negative comments out, and they prove my argument and belief that I hold during this presentation.

The best thing going into this and why I feel that this will work, is that I firmly believe this statement and it connects very well to my life. This is a belief that I have not just thought of over night, but instead, a belief that I have developed through the early and impactful years of my life.

Various Ideas For This Semester

For just being the first week into classes, we certainly have a lot on our plates already! Fortunately, these assignments and topics that we select are both prevalent and interesting to our lives and others in society.

When hearing about the TIB assignment, a flood of different examples came to mind. The two ideas which I am considering are that 1.) people should leave where they came from to find their true self, while always remembering where they came from and 2.) people should take risks and make “leaps of faith” in thought out situations. I feel like I would do well with both of these topics simply for the fact that they both connect well to me. I am an open minded person who is still today trying to find my true identity, beliefs, and reason to live. Likewise, this idea connects well to my second option. All in all, these are both things that I truly do believe in, and being passionate during this assignment will help anyone succeed.

In regards to the passion blog, the two ideas that I was tossing back and forth would be to either blog about my burning passion in music or sports. I am leaning towards the music option just because I feel that it has a more significant role through connections with ourselves, other individuals, and society. This would be similar to how I did for my passion blog last semester, only this time, I will select one of my favorite songs at the time, and explain how various components such as the lyrics, tone, or instrumental connect rhetorically to our lives. 

Finally, for the civic issues, I need to keep brainstorming ideas, just for the fact that there are hundreds of options I can choose from. Corruption seems to be a commonly observed trait recently in the news, so do not be surprised if that comes up during my future blogs. More specifically, this ties well to political corruption. There are many detrimental acts that the government seems to be getting involved in and they have certainly caught my attention and made my blood boil. I am very excited to express my opinions and beliefs in all of these assignments yet to come!

Outline of TED Talk and Essay

I had various ideas going into this project but I believe that I finally narrowed my options down to one topic. This topic for my essay is the significant and evident shift in dating throughout our society.

There is no denying that this shift actually happened. Many things have changed, both pros and cons. For example in regards to pros, gay marriage became legal, it is now acceptable for married couples to sleep in bed, interracial marriage is no longer a problem throughout our society, and the driving force behind relationships are no longer to conceive a child, but rather, to gain companionship with another individual. These obvious shifts have not only shattered strict limitations that our country practically followed as if it was the law, but it also made our society in general a more accepting and diverse country.

On the contrary, several negative results have came out of this shift as well. Divorce rates have grown higher and higher, eloping and runaway marriages have became a more common trend, the way we as individuals meet and date is backwards and chivalrous acts such as asking for a spouse’s hand in marriage seems to be a lost cause.

The biggest thing that I want to hit upon is that the function of a relationship has changed with our generation and I believe that the change is a good thing. We are a bold and unique generation who has shattered the confined lines of what defines a relationship. Yes, negative outcomes have came out of this, but ultimately, this was a good step in the right direction.

I plan to usual simple visual aids, none that are complex graphs or charts. Also, I feel a big part in being successful with talking about your shift is successfully using relatable analogies that make your claims easier to understand.

This is a good topic due to it’s easy to notice shift and plentiful information. If I face any problems, it would be that I have too much information that I could talk about. It will be a definite focal point of mine to remain centered throughout, and hit the nail on the head with this paradigm shift.

Ideas For the Paradigm Shift

With the Paradigm Shift Paper in mind, I’m going to take the same approach that I took for the Civic Artifact Speech and Paper; I’m going to pic a broad topic with lots of subject matter. Last time, I took the topic of money, and this time for the Paradigm shift paper, I am leaning toward the idea of how dating and chivalry has shifted throughout time.

This paper will not only encompass pros of this subject but cons as well. On the side of pros, the amount of interracial marriages has became more acceptable, LGBTQ marriages has come to the surface and is now even legal in the United States, and ideas like showing affection in public or even sleeping in the same big is now prominent in this country.

However, on the contrary, there has been many cons that have resulted in the shift of this topic. For example, divorce rates have increased throughout the years, dating now seems to be done over ways of mean like Tinder, Snapchat, Omegle, and corny websites like Christian Mingle and Farmers, rather than having real life occurrences with people and hitting it off with them in public. Additionally, the little things no longer happen as much when going on dates or marrying such as opening the door for your spouse, asking the women’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, waiting to live with your spouse until marriage and many more.

I enjoy this topic not only because there is a lot to talk about, but also, this topic is relevant in every single one of our lives. We are currently living in a very sensitive part of our lives. According to national averages, the next ten years are when most individuals get married. My paper will not only expose the concept of dating and chivalry but it will also apply it to every single one of our lives.

Blog Post 5: The Circle

After several grueling weeks, and many dull hours of reading this bland book, I can proudly proclaim that I am finished reading the Circle! Honestly, I am not really a big fan of reading in general, and this book made me realize that to myself once again. It wasn’t the theme or moral that made me dislike The Circle, but rather, his character development, or lack there of. Additionally, I feel that the book was not only very corny and elementary, but also, the novel could have been condensed in 200 pages less. Fortunately, with the free prompt for this last post, I will give my feedback and criticism on Dave Eggers, The Circle.

Like I said, there was a lot that I did not necessarily enjoy about this novel. However, the one thing I did enjoy was the satirical theme throughout. George Orwell’s 1984 is hands down one of my favorite novels of all time. The concept and the theme of the novel was unique at the time of it’s creation, and the satirical and thought provoking concepts throughout made Orwell’s novel one to remember. Being a borderline Libertarian, I am a firm believer of strictly following the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Also, I am definitely in favor of a smaller government, allowing the individuals to freely live their lives, make their own decisions, and create their own destinies. I believe that the only role of the government is to only uphold the laws of the people and that is it. With all of this in mind, the theme behind this novel is right up my alley. Eggers is acting satirically during the entire novel, constantly poking fun of the role of the government.

For example, the idea of privacy, secrets, and personal lives were exposed during this novel. Looking back at the three mantras of the Circle, these are ideas that modern day individuals are completely against. Individuals like to live private lives. Individuals don’t tell everyone about their personal lives. Individuals only share things that they want to. Simply, Eggers is showing ideals of the government in exaggerated ways by having the Circle uphold such drastic ideals.

Additionally, I enjoyed how Eggers shows that a lack of privacy is a detriment to one’s life. Take Mae for instance. She came into her job at the Circle as a “normal” individual, with a private life that not every single person knew about. However, as her tenure at the Circle continued, she slowly became more transparent, which in essence, damaged and effected her life entirely. She was connected through social media. Her health problems and complications were now available for people to see at any moment. She increased her number of followers, just to follow the ideals of the Circle. With these situations that she became more transparent, she also conformed more with what the Circle wanted her to become.

As you can see, Dave Eggers definitely had many aspects in the book that he could have definitely improved upon. However, I do commend him for his unique theme throughout, even though The Circle, is nowhere near as good as Orwell’s 1984.

Blog Post 4: The Circle

As Mae gradually evolved into a premiere member of the Circle, the final nail in the coffin so to say was when she decided to become fully transparent. Simply put, on an every day basis, she was able to show the outside world and anyone of her followers how exactly the Circle functioned. As she made her way around campus, she eventually stopped at the aquarium, where various creatures from the Marianas Trench, such as jellyfish, manta rays, and even sea horses were kept captive. However, when seeing the largest creature at the aquarium, Eggers described, “Mae was hypnotized by it, its slashing form, its fins like blades, its milky skin and wool-grey eyes… its malevolent stare” (309). This was a shark, that not only was brought back by Stenton himself, but also symbolizes several characteristics of the Circle as a whole.

The first observation is that like the shark, Mae is transparent. Defined as, “easy to perceive or detect,” the word transparent connects to the shark, Mae, and even the Circle. Sharks are evidently malicious and hostile creatures who not only create havoc, but also destroy anything in their course. Likewise, Mae is now transparent as well due to her lack of privacy in anything she does during her life. Whether it’s sexual activities, moments with her family, or even time where she felt she was entirely alone, Mae is being watched. This is because of her premiere role as a circler. The Circle shifted Mae’s life and transformed her from an introverted and private person, to a sharing and more open individual. Therefore, Mae is not symbolized by the shark because she is malicious and hostile, but because she is transparent with status on life.

Additionally, the shark symbolizes the Circle as a whole. Sharks are majestic creatures. If we were not filled with the wrong idea that they are deadly creatures who sometimes eat humans, than we could focus on the fact that sharks are peaceful, eloquent, and unique. Simply, they look a lot better than they actually are. This same concept applies to the Circle as well. The Circle was amazing at a first glance. It accommodates to everyone’s interests and needs, it provides them with a lifestyle second to none, and it creates a sense of connection and family that makes it appealing to work there. However, despite looking like a Utopian business that everyone would kill to work for, the Circle, like the shark, is deadly in its own form. Exposing everyone’s privacy, avoiding secrets, and constant surveillance is a detriment to every single person involved. It may not seem as bad as a shark attack, but it aligns with the same concept, that both the shark and the Circle are deadly entities. Finally, the shark also resembles the Circle because of its sneakiness. Sharks are predators that wait until the perfect moment to strike its victims. Sometimes, they even lure their victims in, to make the kill a lot more easier. Likewise, the Circle follows the same techniques, as Mae and everyone else involved, will eventually be struck by their predator when they are least expecting it.

Blog Post 3: The Circle

There are several aspects that I can take away from this novel after reading it. It is well written and it is a very easy read. Additionally, Eggers introduces a consistent and evident voice from page one, and his style of writing is effective. However, what I like most about,”The Circle,” is the obvious satirical tone throughout. In my opinion, this novel mocks governmental ideals, most specifically, in privacy. This statement is backed up with three mantras that Eamon Bailey tells Mae during their interview.

“Secrets are Lies, Sharing is Caring, and Privacy is Theft” (305).

“Secrets are Lies,” is very evident with Mae and Francis’ sex scene. Attracted to one another, Mae manages to get Francis up to her dorm room at The Circle. After some corny foreplay with each other’s heart rate monitor, it eventually leads to sexual activity… Or at least they thought it would. While trying to pull his pants down, Francis could not contain his orgasm and the idea of having sex with Mae was instantly shot down. Embarrassed, Francis felt the sudden urge to leave. Once leaving he retrieved his cell phone on the cabinet, as it was propped upright, showing that he was recording the entire incident (202-204). Mae demanded that he delete the video, but he did not and could not, because with technology through The Circle, “Secrets are Lies.” Something as embarrassing as this particular situation is definitely something that one would want to keep as a secret. However, as extreme as this instance is, even this cannot become a secret, because it would go against Circle ideals, proving that the truth is a necessity and that secrets are frowned upon. This idea of essentially sharing all kinds of information in the real world is evident through social media users. We have all had that incident where we’ve perused on Twitter or Facebook and witnessed someone share too much information. In essence, social media fulfills the concept of, “Secrets are Lies.”

“Sharing is Caring,” is applicable in a lighter sense through Eamon Bailey’s son Gunner. Having Cerebral Palsy and being severely mentally impaired, Gunner is confined to a wheelchair and is unable to live the same life as kids his age. Therefore, Gunner finds great joy in looking at the pictures and videos shared by fellow Circlers on the Cloud, proving that sharing really is caring (302). This mantra comes to life in society, with the concept of Snapchat or Instagram. LIkewise, we as followers with this social media source, engage in the lives of individuals through the pictures and videos they share. Similarly, it makes us, the viewer of the pictures or videos, feel as if we too experienced this event.

Finally, “Privacy is Theft,” resonates throughout the novel as Mae gives her idea on privacy by saying during her interview with Eamon, “I think it’s simple. If you care about your fellow human beings, you share what you know with them… To me, the logic there is undeniable” (304). This quote alone, proves that Mae has been “brainwashed” aligning her beliefs with those of workers at The Circle. Mae, along with everyone she works with, believes that secrets and a private life, is morally wrong. This concept is evident with the Patriot Act in the United States, as the idea of privacy is nothing more than a lost cause our Founding Fathers fought long and hard to assure for all Americans. At the blink of an eye, an individual’s emails, computer history, and browser searches can be obtained, simply for the fact that the Government too follows this same idea that, “Privacy is Theft.”

Outline for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

I am at a stand still with the topic of my rhetorical analysis paper, simply for the fact that there are so many different routes that I can take. Using the civic artifact of “Money,” for my speech, the subject matter to compose a paper is never ending.  However, I have came up with the idea of education to use for my essay. Education, where am I going with this?

Fortunately for you, the reader of this blog, you get a brief preview to my speech and the main point I will hit upon. Simply put, with the artifact of money, I connect it rhetorically to all of our lives through a cyclical process.

It’s a “Domino Effect,” explanation, as one thing leads to another. Simply put, we are all at Penn State, with one main goal; furthering our level of education. Graduating from here in four years, we not only walk out of State College with a highly esteemed degree and a second to none education, but we also, in most cases, will leave here with a job already set up. Hopefully for all of us, this job will not only allow us to do something we love, but also provide us with a large salary.

This process is very interesting to me and this is where education will come into play. For some of us, furthering our education by attending college is not possible, simply for the fact that it is a huge investment. Granted, there are scholarships, grants, and student aid which could alleviate the price for under privileged or destitute families, but even after that, the cost is still a determining factor.

So we have education which is determined by the idea of money, and then, if we do attend college, ironically enough, we find ourselves with a job that provides us with money. Needless to say, in this convoluted idea, money is the alpha and the omega, and education is the middle ground.

My essay will encompass the aspects of the cost of education, specific examples to modern day and political events, and how education, a key factor to a successful life, is at such a high cost, that unfortunately, some of us cannot obtain.

The idea might sound confusing so please, bare with me. Also, please leave some suggestions, advice, and/or feedback!

Blog Post 2: The Circle

In regards to politics, one of my biggest gripes is simply that the Government, in my opinion, has too much power. With too much power, the act of temptation and possibility of misusing this power usually follows. This statement couldn’t be closer to the truth with many acts, decisions, and events our Government has been involved in where they have simply abused their power, creating an even bigger mess that needs addressed.

With this idea in mind, it makes me think of an appalling piece of legislation which was soon passed after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001, The Patriot Act. Being one of the most, “Un-Patriotic Acts,” this act directly violates American’s Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which, “prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.” Simply, the Government, often by the acts of the National Security Agency (NSA), can obtain individual’s computer history, emails, browser searches, and personal information, without consent, in hopes that they stumble upon and stop possible terrorist activity.

With this concept brought to the surface, it relates well to two concepts which have a strong and evident relationship early throughout Dave Eggers, The Circle, data and privacy. The two ideas go hand and hand, and it is tough to isolate one without the other.

One of the first main occurrences where data and privacy are first exemplified is when Mae is called down to Dan’s office to see him quietly sitting there with one of Mae’s co-workers, Alistair. When entering, “Dan’s eyes were steady, while Alistair’s look was hurt but expectant” (106). Mae finds out shortly after her arrival that the main reason behind Alistair’s disappointment was because she did not attend his Portugal Brunch (107). When later trying to discover how Alistair knew Mae had an interest in Portugal, Mae told her that the only thing that showed interest in Portugal was that she pictures on her laptop from Lisbon, to which Annie told her, “If they were on your laptop, now they’re in the cloud, and the cloud gets scanned for information like that” (111). This clearly shows the relationship between these two concepts, as Mae’s privacy was breached and abused and her photos were unknowingly collected as data for Alistair to plan an event.

Additionally when Gus is introducing his new dating app, Mae’s privacy along with her data and information is revealed without her permission. Gus calls Francis up to the stage to be a volunteer. After asking him to give the name of an individual he would like to take a date, he types in the name Mae Holland. Initially, all kind’s of information about Mae comes up. Whether it be her allergies, or preferences in food, hobbies, sports or movies, all personal information of Mae’s is now open to the general public (124). With the usage of this app, any single person can find out what they need to know about setting up a perfect date with a possible companion. Any time she posted or mentioned any aspect through the internet, they were automatically ranked and listed in order in preference.

Finally, this same trend of privacy being attacked happens when she visits Doctor Villalobos. When visiting, Mae not only finds out that, “all the data,” that the doctors have charted in regards to Mae’s health, “is available online” (153). Anyone can see her prior medical history and now, they can see her current vitals, as Dr. Villalobos makes her consume a drink which had a chip in it which constantly updated all of Mae’s health test results. Once again, this constant idea of abusing privacy in pursuit of obtaining data is evident, and it truly shows that this combination is undeniably a detriment to Mae’s well being.