Unique Pictures of Places Around the World

If you have a Twitter account, I’m sure some of you may have heard of the account “@EarthPix” and if you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat. Instead of writing a passion blog on my usual topic of “new countries I would like to travel to”, I will be posting some of the awesome pictures this Twitter account tweets to their followers as well as links giving information about these places posted. If you click on the pictures, you can view them in a larger format (I definitely recommend it)!

ice@Earthpix: Turquoise Ice, Northern Lake Baikal, Russia

The Northern Lake Baikal is known for it’s unforgettable beauty. The Turquoise Ice cubes are formed on top of the lake usually during the winter. The Baikal lake is the clearest and deepest lake in SIberia.




@Earthpix: The Obersee Lake, Germany

Located in Southern Germany, the Obersee lake means “upper lake”. It is surrounded my mountains that are close to the Austrian border.






@Earthpix: Cave Hot Tub in Santorini, Greece

Santorini island has a ton of stunning views. According to TripAdvisor, Santorini holds the popular black volcanic Perissa and Kamari beaches.



@Earthpix: Niagara Falls from above

As I’m sure many of you know, the Niagara Falls are a must stop destination when traveling up the east coast towards Canada. There are many boat tours you can take through the falls. I took one with my family several years ago and it was quite a sight!large-3


large-4@Earthpix: World’s 1st shot of a wave over lava. Photographer braved 110 degree F waters and magma to get the shot.



large-5@Earthpix: Would you like to live here? Bali.

For those of you who don’t know, Bali is a province in Indonesia. With the white beaches, jungles full of many different species, and even hidden temples, who wouldn’t want to visit this adventurous location?


large-6@Earthpix: Glow worm cave, New Zealand

Now this is a country I will consider writing my next blog post about. The research I have done has got me quite intrigued by this island country. Check out my Passion post next week to potentially read about this country!


Aren’t these pictures cool? I would definitely want to visit one of these unique places one day!

Posted in Passion | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just “Jolling” in South Africa

Affordable. Natural Beauty. First-Class facilities. Adventure. Good weather. Rainbow nation. Diverse experiences. Wildlife. Freedom struggle. Responsible tourism. According to this official tourism site of South Africa, these are the top ten reasons to visit this country. Now why did I pick this country, you say? Over the years, I have met quite a few people from this country and realized that it is not one you usually hear about. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to have encounters with these people and hear a little bit about their travels or experiences living in South Africa. After doing some of my own research on this country, here are some activities and locations to visit when traveling here!

 cape-town-flightsCape Town, Western Cape: A well known attraction here is Table Mountain. This flat-top mountain over looks the city of Cape Town showing an incredible view. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is also visited by a ton of tourists. Visitors can do a ton of shopping and it also has many different options of entertainment.

johannesburg1Johannesburg, Gauteng: The Apartheid museum is a hit in Johannesburg with all of its archeological artifacts. Gold Reef City is a well-known theme park where one can do rides and games as well as experience the interactive gold mines.

port_elizabeth_dolphin_show1Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape: SAMREC (South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre) is a marine bird rehabilitation and education centre. “The centre’s purpose isn’t just to rescue and rehabilitate, but to also inform and educate the public through their different programs,” (Trip Advisor). They have many different types of birds including the endangered African Penguin. You can also visit the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum which consists of Oriental, British, an South African Art.

rfa_rsa_kzn_pietermaritzburgPietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal: The Tala Private Game reserve has an abundant bird species and big game for visitors. The scenery is supposed to be beautiful. The African Bird of Prey sanctuary is also said to be very tourist oriented with its many wildlife areas.

From the research I’ve done on this country, South Africa is very nature oriented with a ton of history to be seen in museums or wildlife to be seen at national parks. I feel that this would be a very adventurous trip to take and would be excited to visit one day! On a side note, Jolling means “having fun”!

Posted in Passion | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Persuasive Essay Outline: Cyber Bullying

Here is a rough outline of my essay (some body paragraphs will most likely be changed as I go):


Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that has been taking place a lot more in middle and high schools because of the improvement of technology and increased usage of social media networks. Something that has not really been established in these schools are punishments. Do you know if your middle school or high school had a punishment for this? Exactly. It is not very common for schools to have cyber bullies suspended. Not because of it being hard for them to get away with it, but because schools may not realize how serious of an issue this really is. Middle schools and high schools should have students who act as bullies on the internet suspended from school to teach them a lesson on what they are doing is wrong. Many students have taken their own lives because of another student saying something harmful to them online, and this needs to stop. I think that cyber bullies of middle school and high school ages should be punished because they will finally understand that what they are doing is wrong.

Body Paragraphs:

1. People say that online bullying is easier to get away with than bullying in person. This may be true but this paragraph with give reasons why people shouldn’t think this.

2. Why do teens who see cyber bullying occur right in front of them on their Twitter news feeds but do nothing to stop it?

3.Why girls are more likely to be bullied online than in person.

4. Several stories of kids who have been cyber bullied and what has been done to stop it.

5.Refutation (Counter Argument): Maybe it’s not the school board that the blame should be put on rather than te parents should deal with them. It is their kids so why not have the parents get involved and try to stop their children from being bullies? Some may say “it’s no one else’s business on what the do on the internet” but some parents may feel hurt that their child could actually do that.

Possible websites to use for research:



Kids Health

CNN (they have a whole page of articles about Cyber bullying)

Cyber bullying laws (pdf with a full list of laws in each State)

Posted in Work In Progress | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Persuasive Essay Potential Topic and Advocacy Project Ideas

Persuasive Essay potential topic:

1. Topic: A potential topic that I will right about is if student’s who cyber bully should be suspended from school (focusing on middle and high school). I was reading an article in a magazine about cyber bullying the other day and figured that it is a topic different from what I’ve been writing about all year. A majority of students use internet sites like Facebook or Twitter and most likely see someone being bullied or made fun of. Don’t you think that schools don’t really do anything about it? I am interested to see what I will find in my research if I decide to stick to this topic because I’m not sure if I will find enough information for a 6-8 page paper.

2. Specific Audience: Middle School and High School staff would be the audience because it is their decision and action on whether or not a student is suspended from school.

3. Purpose: I want my readers to think that more people should step up and attempt to end cyber bullying rather than skim through their Twitter feed and completely ignore the tweet of a kid being made fun of. I want people to realize that many students have lost their lives because of being bullied on the internet.

4. Research: I will need to find articles of different situations when students have been cyber bullied and/or have committed suicide (or hurt themselves) because of it. I will see if there has ever been a school that suspended students for cyber bullying because I have never heard of a school actually do it. I will also have to look up statistics on how many students are bullied every day and if anything has been done for it.

Page 44 of ARCS:

5. 1. This topic hasn’t been brought up in the news recently but everyone knows that bullying is an ongoing thing. I think that if I were to write about this topic, I would need to make people understand that just because it’s not in the news everyday that a student is bullied, it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. Bringing up history of this issue will definitely help because there have been many serious and famous cases of cyber bullying throughout the years that people now seemed to have forgotten about.

  2. I feel that students may not want the suspension to occur because some of them joke around on the internet all the time and may think that their jokes will be taken as bullying. A lot of the time it is bullying so the students will argue against this. I think that the families, friends, and acquaintances of victims to cyber bullying would be for the suspension of the bully because they have experienced either the loss of a victim they knew or understood the pain felt by the victim being cyber bullied.

For the advocacy project, three ideas are:

1. Make flyers to hand out at middle schools and high schools in your hometown school district (at least you’re starting somewhere…).

2. Write a short but informative blog post where the link could be shared all over the internet.

3. Create a short video that makes the viewer get the chills and want to cry (not to sound harsh but they should feel upset that bullying still happens and hopefully the video will make them want to do something about it).

Posted in Work In Progress | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Civic Issues #3: Study Abroad

Abroad-CollageI have brought up in my other Civic Issues blogs how diversity is important to have on a college campus and backed up my claim with statistics and examples. With this, I think that an important step a college student should take is to look into study abroad programs. To experience more diversity than what is provided on a college campus, it is good for a student to broaden their horizons and try to travel to a country where they are interested in learning about that culture. Students have many different options when it comes to their living situations and learning environments when studying abroad.

There are some programs that allow a student to live with a family that speak the native language of that country. These families host students all the time. I feel that this is the best way for a student to live abroad because it gives them the opportunity to only speak that language and adjust to their culture. For example, if a student were to study abroad in Spain, they would be living with a family who would only speak Spanish to them and try to avoid speaking English back to them. This would help the student become fluent in the language and help them adjust to the family’s Spanish lifestyle. I have been told by students who have done these this type of program that it allows you to either take several classes or find a job.

Eiffel-Tower 1A girl in my French class did this similar type of program. She lived in France for several months with a French family who hosted her and three other students. She only spoke French with the family but she did occasionally get asked by the kids to help them with their English. That might be annoying if the student is there to only speak French but connecting to the family you are living with is important in order to have a more comfortable living situation. She got a job as an Au Pair, which is a babysitting company where she, as an American citizen, can work as a babysitter for a French family. Not only did she get to speak French a lot of the time, but was able to see how the kids were raised in France because she took care of them. Living with that family and working as a babysitter was her way of connecting to the French culture.

Other types of programs include studying on another school campus abroad, staying with families with other students in the same program as you, or just traveling the country while living in places like youth hostels. Penn State offers many different types of study abroad programs. Some of these programs include spending a summer in Egypt and tour around the country, partake as an exchange student in Beijing at Peking University, or study abroad in a program provided by the college you are in (i.e. College of Liberal Arts).

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 11.59.58 AM

For the 2008-2009 school year, Penn State had a total of 1620 students do an education abroad program. About 77% of these students studied in Europe, 7.1% studied in Latin America, and 6.3% studied in Asia. The University Office of Global Programs website provides any information needed for a student who is interested in studying abroad through Penn State. I feel that every student should give studying abroad a chance because it is a great way to open up to new cultures besides the diversity already shown on a college campus. Many Universities all over the world have study abroad programs which comes to show the interest students today have in the education abroad programs.


Posted in Civic Issues | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

All we wanted was to be back at Penn State

My passion blog this week is going to be a little different than usual. It is usually about places I would like to travel to but on my journey from Maryland back to Penn State after Spring Break, all I could think about was traveling back to school safely. I’m sure some of you may have heard about the bus that was on fire Sunday afternoon, and if you haven’t, you will now because unfortunately, I was on that bus…

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Potomac, Maryland and I was so excited to be going back to school after a great break. The Alumni Association for the DC Metropolitan area organizes three buses for every break so that the DC, VA, and MD students of Penn State have easy transport to and from school. It’s worked out very nicely throughout the school year because it means that my parents don’t have to drive 3 and a half hours to come pick me up or them having to worry about me finding a ride. Well Sunday, bus #3 was unlucky.

This was before the fire started. I took this right after we got off the bus.

This was before the fire started. I took this right after we got off the bus.

It was the standard end to any of my Penn State breaks. Say goodbye to my family, pack my bags, and board the stiff bus with my sorority sisters and friends from high school. We left at 2PM and was making great time back to school! I put my headphones on as soon as I got on the bus and fell right asleep. About an hour later was when I faintly heard over my loud music, “Pull over! There’s smoke in the back of the bus!”. As I was sitting in the third row of the bus, I turned around to a sight of brown smoke. The bus driver pulled over on the side of I-70. We let all the students in the back of the bus off first. As they were hustling off, the smoke had come to the front and it was terrible to breathe in. We finally all got off and sat to the side of the bus watching the smoke fill the bus. It was a couple minutes later when the back of the bus was on fire. No joke, it looked like it was going to blow.


We were probably a little too close…

We all backed up as far away as possible to where all the cars were stopping on the highway. All we could see was fire, black smoke in the air, and students calling their parents assuring them they were okay. The firefighters eventually showed up as several of us called at different times to make sure they were coming. They put the fire out as soon as the other two buses came back for us (they were ahead of us to begin with). We piled in the two buses and eventually got the okay to have students sit on the floor of the bus because all we wanted to do at this point was get back to school.

This may have added two hours to our trip back to school but boy, did we come back with a story to tell. My phone eventually died from everyone calling and texting to make sure no one was injured so that made the bus ride on bus #2 go a lot slower… Note to self: I now have a good excuse to tell my parents that I’m not to ride the bus to and from school again.

Click on the pictures to get a better look of them if you wish. The only casualty was one overlooked laptop that never saw it coming…

So long bus #3....

So long bus #3….



Posted in Passion | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Moderating Philosophy

During my moderation, I hope to keep the conversation going in a sense that the students will not side track and stay on the topic at hand. In this case, I hope that they will have a good understanding of the topic before we have our discussion so that they would be ready to provide more input into the conversation. I will make sure that I will have enough background on the topic as well in order to come up with questions to ask and answer their questions.

I’ve never been very good at coming up with things quickly off the top of my head so for my part, I will need to be prepared and read the pamphlet about sustainability thoroughly. I am also going to have questions prepared in advance in order to keep the interest of the students rather then have them wait for me to come up with a question.

While partaking in a deliberation during class, I learned what it was like to actually partake in a deliberation since I have never done one before. Since I had the part of concluding our conversation, I didn’t really have the opportunity to be a moderator. I did pay attention to the moderators in our group and the questions they were asking. They were really good at coming up with questions on topic and keeping the conversation going. I tend to be that person that can sidetrack a conversation pretty easily but the moderators made sure that we stayed on topic. Also, if we didn’t understand the question at hand, the moderators would elaborate so that we could understand what was being asked.

Posted in Work In Progress | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments


Now I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’m picking random countries at this point but the truth is, the countries I pick are based on whether I’ve studied them or know of people who are from/been there. My family has close friends who lived in Singapore for several years but recently moved back to the states. My dad was trying to travel there on business so that my brother and I could tag along and visit the family. It never worked out but I’ve always wanted to go there. Interested in what to do in Singapore? Here are some activities and places you can go to while visiting!

arts-houseThe Arts House: This is a very old government building which is now used to show many different forms of the arts. You could see visual art, performances, and theaters. International and local artists come to perform there talents here. It has a lot of historical value other than the many art displays being shown.


chinese-new-year-in-singaporeThe Chinese New Year: Around the time of January and February marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year’s festivals. The streets come alive with people from all over the country coming dressed in new clothes (to mark the beginning of a new year), red lanterns hung up everywhere, and the smell of delicious food being cooked all over the neighborhoods. Chinatown is the “focal point” of this festival as everything lights up and is full with a lot of people there to celebrate. To learn more about the “Lunar Festivities”, this website will give you a ton of information!

166Underwater World: Interested in aquatic life? This aquarium is a big tourist trap for Singapore. They have many different specimens from sharks to rays where in some locations, people can feed the fish. Besides being able to swim with the dolphins, they give the opportunity to go deep sea diving and interact with the underwater creatures; even sharks!

People_-_Life_in_Singapore_862011956Forest Adventure: Located at Bedok Reservoir Park, this place has an incredible opportunity to be adventurous. You could partake in the many courses that include giant zip lines, swings, ladders, bridges, and more. It’s basically a huge adventure course. Of course they make the participants wear helmets and are strapped in with harnesses but other than that, the participant is free to fly through the trees!

sentosa_islandSentosa Island: Known as Singapore’s playground, this island offers so much to do including sea sports, retreats, world-class attractions, and beaches. Imbiah Lookout is one of their biggest attractions. There are many parks to wander if you are looking for a more nature site. They also have beaches where tourists could play beach volleyball or surf in the beautiful blue waters. They have a ton of restaurants where tourists could intake traditional food from Singapore.

I hope these locations sparked your interest in traveling to Singapore because after looking more into this country, I wish to one day have the opportunity to visit. Let me know your thoughts!

Posted in Passion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Moderation Philosophy and Reflection

I thought that the teaching philosophies provided by the Schreyer Institute were very interesting. It would make sense that a teacher would need to know what they are teaching and be able to make the students understand what they are teaching. They would need to have the knowledge of the topic they are teaching to be able to give the students the proper education. They would need to have good teaching skills in order to help the students understand.

A strong philosophy requires determination, knowledge, and understanding. These three characteristics are required to be able to get your thought out, or in the case of a teacher, really get the students to grasp the idea you are teaching.

For my philosophy, I hope to be engaging and make my point come across as clear. I hope to make sure that people understand what I am trying to say. I’ve tried to think of ideas for my moderating philosophy but to be honest, I’ve been having a little trouble with coming up with ideas. I will be doing more research and reading to help me with this. I thought that yesterday’s class gave me a better understanding on this moderation assignment but I am still in the process with coming up with ideas for this assignment.

Posted in Work In Progress | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey: the country, not the food

I’ve always loved traveling to the middle east. Having lived there for two months, I feel a sense of home every time I go; even if there is a lot of tension between countries there. One country that I’ve always been interested in visiting is Turkey. It is located North of Syria and South of the Black Sea.turkey_map_02 Why do I want to go here? I feel that the culture is very different from American culture so I love to visit these sort of countries to get a whole new experience and see the way others live around the world. After doing some research, here are some locations in Turkey that are said to be visited.

ethiyeFethiye: The “Untouched Virgin of the Lands Lites” does not only have long beaches and coves but also has a ton of history. The islands hold a ton of activities to do like visit ruins, paragliding, water activities, and so much more.


UludağUludağ: Of course this country would have beaches and beautiful weather but also locations to ski… Uludağ holds a ski centre where citizens and tourists could go and ski. They offer ski classes as well for those who don’t know how to ski.


kemer_turkey_1Kemer: This location is known for being an important tourism stop. Some places to visit are the Beldibi Cavern, Phaselis and Olympus antic city, or going to Cirali to see the fire that has been burning for centuries. Doing the jeep safari tours and visiting the beaches are hits as well. 


kasKaş: Tourists should visit the antic cities surrounding this location. They are said to be very interesting. You can also go on a boat tour to see the submerged city of Ucagiz. The shopping is supposedly great as well because of the cultural antiques and Turkish style clothes. Apparently the Karakovan Honey, carob molasses, and the fresh produce are hits as well.

Turkey may be far away from the United States but I feel like the travel to get there is worth it. Have any of you ever traveled here? I would love to hear how your experience went!

Posted in Passion | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment