RCL #1 The American Idea

America, the nation which myself and many others call their home. America, the nation which has been the poster child for how to start and run a democracy for other nations. America, the place where millions of people have lost their lives fighting for and defending their independence. America, a nation that has never been afraid to stir up controversy and rise up are doing it once again.

Image result for usa map with a flag

In the current environment, America has one idea in mind, fight for what you believe is right. The fact is that people across the nation are taking a stand for what they believe in at such a rate that hasn’t been seen in a very long time. If you turn on the news, read a paper, check social media, you can see the multitude of controversies going throughout the country. This happens all day, every day. It’s everywhere, spreading across the nation like an epidemic. Everyone has a side, whether it be pro vs anti-Trump, Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter vs White Supremacy, pro vs anti-Feminism, or standing vs kneeling for the Anthem. People like Colin Kaepernick, Alicia Garza, and Hillary Clinton are at the forefront of these stands. These stands are different from the ones in the past because no longer only a few people are able to receive media attention about their opinion. With the increase in use of social media, everyone has a voice. This current idea is to fight for what you believe.

While there are many different things that could be current ideas in America I believe that the current idea in America is what it should be. While having a nation that is consumed by controversy can be bad, it is not an unfamiliar place for America. This isn’t the first time that this has happened and it has helped shape the nation into what it is today. People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali became some of the most influential men in America through standing up for what they believed in. Is it possible that the voices of the next Martin Luther King Jr. or Muhammad Ali will be heard through these controversies? Also, with the increasing popularity of controversies in America, that also leads more people in America wanting to help people across the country. If the people in a country like America step up, it makes the smaller nations that look at us and think that they can do it to. So for the sake of this nation and the ones that look up to us, I believe that current idea of fighting for what you believe in is what the current idea in America should be.











RCL 10 Contract

Our topic is still currently being decided because we have had a change as to what we want to present about.


I, Nick Mallender, am focusing on the research and presentation of the project.

RCL 9- Ted Talk Outline

My Paper focuses on the term “redskin” and how its meaning and cultural significance has warn off/changed. For my Ted talk, I wish to focus on the debate over should the Washington Redskins change their name.


  • The team name is considered to be a “slur”
    • The team name is an offensive term
    • People are upset in the fact that a team at the national level chooses to be represented by a slur
  • Native Americans Voice Change
    • Many groups of Native Americans wish for the name to be changed
    • They have filled many complaints saying the team name brings upon bad stereotypes
  • First Ammendment
    • It is the team/owners right to name the team “redskin” under the first ammendment
    • It is considered to be freedom of speech
  • Time it was created
    • At the time, it was at a time where the use of slurs were not as frowned upon
  • The issues with Changing a Logo
    • You have to rebrand everything for a team
    • It is extremely expensive for an owner and a team, can lose tons of money and has financially harmed owners
    • It takes a lot of time and resources
  • Personal Opinion on whether or not the name should change


Paradigm Shift Draft

Term: “Redskin”

Original Meaning:

  • Term used as a derogatory term for Native Americans
  • Use of the term was frowned upon because of its negative connotation
  • It was basically a word that was only used in a derogatory sense

Cause of Change:

  • The NFL team, The Washington Redskins, became a team

New Meaning:

  • Term used to describe a football team or a Native American
  • No longer holds the derogatory meaning
  • The history of the word has been lost over time

RCL #7 It’s What I Do

In It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario, Addario constantly writes about vivid events that can be easily pictured in the mind of the reader. While this is already great, Addario, being a photographer, includes many intense pictures that mirror what she is talking about. Many of these pictures show intense pictures of battle or war scenes but there are two that particularly stick out to me.


The first picture that sticks out to me is the top picture on picture page 11 between pages 146 and 147. In this picture, rockets are being launched at the enemies of Kurdish. The thing that I found most striking about this image is the fact that there is this big rocket launcher that causes destruction and death in a beautiful scenery. There is a big element of contrast between the scenery and the cannon which I find very striking.


Another picture that I find very striking is located on picture page 26 and 27 between pages 210 and 211. The picture depicts children playing around a burning car. I found this picture very striking because of how “ok” the children were with playing around the burning car. I personally have never been around something like that were people would be fine with a random car burning outside.


I feel like pictures and videos are very important to my passion blog in particular. Since I am interviewing people as the focal point of my blog, being able to put a face to the name is very important. It makes the reader more interested and connect with the player I interview. I also feel like videos are an important part and I like to include highlight reels of each player I interview. Since I am focusing on football players, certain readers might be interested in how the players are on the field since my blog focuses more on off-field characteristics. Overall I feel that the use of images and video are very important to blogging.

RCL #6- It’s What I Do

“I had the privilege of to travel and to walk away from hardship when it became to much to bear. Most people on Earth didn’t have an exit door to walk away from their own lives.”


This passage is located at the start of chapter 8 of It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario. This passage represents the conflicting thoughts of Addario on her job and life. Being a war photographer, Addario is consistently put in bad situations where her life is in danger but since she is only there for a job, she can leave at any time if it gets too dangerous. She is having a lot of conflicting thoughts because of this reason. Addario says earlier that she enjoys her career a lot and feels great joy in doing it. She is conflicted because she realizes one of the reasons that she likes it so much is because she is able to leave at any time and she feels bad about that. Addario makes this part connect to the reader because it is likely the reader could understand that feeling of not fully being in that bad situation. Often on the news, we see terrible events and we can’t fully understand what it feels like to be there and fully involved. Addario is having this similar experience even while being in the action.


I don’t really have a conflict that is super similar to this or pertains to my passion blog in particular. One somewhat similar conflict I have is with my passion of Psychology. I hopefully want to do something with Psychology as a career and I will most likely be put in scenarios where I will need to help people that I won’t fully understand what it’s like to be them. Like Addario I feel slightly conflicted on if I will be able to understand there situation. This is a conflict that I think most people have and need to work with.

RCL 5- Rough Draft

In 1955 one of the most iconic companies of all time was founded. A brand that would be recognized around the world. Two golden arches that would mean cheap and easy food, around the world. Yes, that company is McDonald’s. Since McDonald’s was founded, it has grown into a worldwide power opening over 30,000 restaurants across the world. With this amount of worldwide success, it is in the ranks with other super power companies like Coca-Cola and Apple. But even with McDonald’s great success there are many issues that proceed the company.

McDonald’s has many bad commonplaces about itself as a company. One in particular is that it is considered to be some of the worst and least health food that you can eat. Many of the popular sandwiches on the menu can have upwards 800 calories in them, which is more than a third of what the average person should consume on a daily basis. Even salads at McDonald’s can be found with high calorie counts and high in sugars and fats. There are also a lot of questions as to how McDonald’s makes there food and what it is made of. People often question if the chicken nuggets are actually chicken or what is a McRib made out of? While McDonald’s often claims these allegations are false and puts out information showing the truth, it is still in a lot of question. It is not only McDonald’s products that are in question, the company itself is usually viewed in bad light. The company is often considered to be money hungry and not caring about its reputation as long as it is making money. One example is that McDonald’s put out information saying that a person could live working at McDonald’s but the company didn’t care to consider people paying for things like electricity and heating bills. The information also said that a person would need to work overtime every week. While McDonald’s gets a bad rep in many situations, they still find ways to make tons of money.

McDonald’s finds ways to make money even when the get a lot of hate as a company. McDonald’s mascot is a clown, Ronald McDonald. A clown often is usually used as a sign of comedy or fun. McDonald’s uses there mascot to market their restaurant as a fun place to go. This also the reason why they market using bright colors and often use a smile on packaging. McDonald’s is also consistently adapting to try to get what people like. The consistently run sales to market to increase their income. One example of this is during Lent, McDonald’s runs specials with the Filet-o-Fish. They also try to introduce new menu items to keep up with constant food trends like burgers with sriracha when that grew in popularity.

McDonald’s has always struggled with the issue of being healthy versus being cheap and covenant. Originally being marketed as being quick and cheap, McDonald’s grew at a rapid rate but when people started caring a lot more about what they were putting into their bodies. Overnight personal health became the people’s civic duty and McDonald’s was stuck in between two very different markets and decide to work both sides. They started offering healthier options but the quality of the food was questioned because people felt like it was their responsibility civilly to care what they were putting in there body.

McDonald’s as a company had become a national icon and plays an important part in what people choose to eat. Nowadays people care a lot more about what they eat and McDonald’s has to adapt to that. They have many strategies put in place to improve the company as a whole and as of now, the company is still on top of the fast food industry.

RCL 4- Civic Artifact Draft

Intro: Picture this, you go out to dinner one night with a few friends. You decide that you want to get a cool, refreshing soft drink. If you are like me then without opening the menu to see what actual drinks they have you will say can I have a Coke? Since the Coca-Cola Company came about in the late 19th Century, it has became one of the most iconic and most argued about brands in existence. As for myself, my parents always kept a bottle of Diet Coke in my house at all times so the company has became one that I see every single day to the point where I can totally picture the memorable and clean cursive writing of the logo.


Transition 1: Even with all the time I drank Coca-Cola products I can see the problems with there products.


#1: Problems with Coca-Cola

  • Unhealthy, Cut out of healthy lifestyles
  • Has Caffeine, Not drinking at night


Transition 2: These are issues that clearly effect Coca-Cola’s products but they still succeed by selling thousands of units of product everyday.


#2: How Coca-Cola Succeeds

  • Markets drinks to keep up with common trends. Ex. Diet Coke, Coke with Splenda
  • Often puts out studies saying why Coca-Cola drinks are the best


Transition 3: One of the most famous studies is of the most famous rivalry in the world of soft drinks, Coke vs Pepsi


#3: Coke vs Pepsi: A Civic Duty

  • Everyone has an opinion, even though the argument is nearly pointless
  • (Show Data on how many people care)
  • People get angry and defend it


Conclusion: While the Coca-Cola company has grown into a household name that often holds a lot of negatives to its aspects of health, it has became possibly the most recognizable drink brand in history. So the next time you want a drink, remember, ask for a Coke.

RCL #3- It’s What I Do

In It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario, the reader is constantly hooked on the journey through Addario’s life story. There are many parts which can invoke emotions and feelings in the reader from the power of Addario’s writings. Out of all of the book one part specifically stuck out in part II as being very vivid and compelling.


On page 93 Addario talks about the invasion of Iraq. She starts off by hooking the reader with the line, “The invasion began on March 19”. This is a line that automatically gets the reader interested on what the topic is. Addario then follows up by describing the invasion with vivid imagery, stating that they “…rained cruise missiles…” on the enemy. She also describes the war from her perspective, stating that “I didn’t know the language of war.” Describing the invasion in this amount of detail while still stating her views at the time really allowed me to envision what was happening in the battle. Addario uses this writing strategy of hooking a reader in with a good topic sentence and then using vivid details and imagery to keep the reader involved.


In my passion blog, I could use this writing strategy to help enhance my blog. I should start off my paragraphs with something that would draw a reader in like a players jaw dropping stat or a interesting fact. This would keep the reader of my blog much more interested in learning more about the player and reading deeper into the blog. Also the more vivid description I can give of the football player, the more that the reader can get a mental picture of what the football player is like. Addario really uses these writing strategies perfectly and other readers and myself should implement these strategies into our writing to make our pieces better.

RCL #2- It’s What I Do

During part 1 of It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario, she mentions a story that her grandmother told her. The story was about how even though her grandmother was happy with her husband Ernie, he never filled her with the same passion that a prior boyfriend, Sal did. Lynsey Addario mentions this because not only does it pertain to Lynsey’s current situation with Uxval, it also relates to Lynsey’s choice of occupation. While Lynsey could have a standard profession, she chooses to pursue what makes her happy and is her passion.


My passion for sports has been around since I was little. I never really remember a specific time in which it became my passion. It was a passion that was ingrained in me from my first memories. As for my passion of Psychology, there is one specific time I can recall that changed my view of the study.


When I was a Sophomore in high school, I was kind of a trouble maker. One time my friend had just finished completing his homework where he had to answer fill-in the blank question. I thought it would be funny if I would white out all the answers he just wrote. I had done this to a couple other friends and all there reaction would just get annoyed and give playful punch. This one friend took this event in a completely different direction. He took the notebook in front of me and proceed to start ripping pages out of it (I would have been upset by this but it wasn’t my notebook so I found it hilarious). It was this reaction that made me take more interest in how certain people acted. In my upcoming passion blogs I want to hear what makes the people on my floor into the football players they are now and what they are outside the sport.