Moderator Notes



Overview (explaining the options)


Do you think that higher education is meant to teach values?

–          Should schools teach values or should life teach values?

–          Many kids do not have structured home so it could be a good thing. (but not this is right/wrong)

–          Higher education’s sole purpose should NOT be to teach values

–          Philosophy and Ethics classes should be mandatory (situations and how’d you deal with them)

–          Forces people to think what is right and wrong without the teacher really being the deciding factor (AKA IT SHOULD BE A CLASS DISCUSSION)

–          Currently a combination of parents and school that teach value and ethic

–          Teaching ethics is almost more important in college because the students are about to go to the job market where nothing is really black and white.

–          More discussions in class (major specific) about what is ethical and non-ethical


Value system to fix a divided country?

–          Polarized values rather than about ethics

–          Divided country is very non correct and no country could ever be perfect

–          Just because it is on the code of conduct does not mean that it is going to be followed bu the general populous

In education still having values being taught. What values?

–          Being there for people around rather than always focusing on the individual

–          Honesty (parents teaching and just to stay true to morals rather than being taught in college)

–          Teachers want to make you want to say no to cheating

–          Many schools have an “honor code” and there is mutual respect between the teacher and the student

–          Penn state is TOO BIG for that honor code

Thoughts on Higher Education

For me, higher education was not a given. I really had no idea that I wanted to go to college until junior year of high school. I was under the impression that in order to go to college, I had to have a clear view/idea of what I wanted to study and do with the rest of my life. Clearly, I have no idea whatsoever even after one semester at Penn State.  It wasn’t until I started doing research into the college of liberal arts that I really began to understand the idea of getting a more broad and generalized higher education that does not simply focus on the math and sciences (that high school primarily focused on).  In my opinion, college is clearly not for everyone as there are some people who studying and doing homework does not appeal to.  Colleges should not lower standards for people who really do not want to be there and should have moved to the work force after achieving a high school diploma.  For other, however, it is an investment in the future that will hopefully serve as a guide in determining exactly what field to join.  In regards to education after college, I have no real plan or idea what I am going to do. I think that will primarily depend on my college experience and what major I finally decide to pick.

This I Believe Draft

I believe in the power of dirt. The feeling of driving your hands into newly rototilled soil in early March. The satisfaction of burying a sunflower seed and then watching in avid curiosity as it slowly sticks its’ neck out of the dirt and unfurls and grows.

Growing up with two very hard core gardeners for parents led to an unusual childhood. As my Dad always said, “We had three children for a very specific reason: so we could have a weed-er, a water-er, and planter.”  As I am sure the listener of this has already deduced, I was the designated family planter. Of course, I was not always as enthralled with the planting process as I am now. As a ten year old girl, the last thing I wanted to do was leave my dolls and tea parties to go stick my hands into fertilized worm filled dirt. Forever the obedient child, however, I would dutifully pick up the variety seed packets and go busy myself planting row after row of spinach, carrots, beans, sunflowers and lettuce. The never ending yard work was always a part of my weekend and summer life until the summer of 2013 when I was a thousand miles away living among the cobbled streets and concrete houses of Ecuador.

At first, my freedom like a gift from God. No morning wake up calls to avoid the sweltering PA heat plopping seeds in their various man-made holes. After several months, however, and many skype calls with my family, I began to miss my daily routine that involved endless hours of yard work. Gardening is one of the few things in life that allows for both immediate and short term gratification. The immediate gratification of knowing you did a job well done and the long term gratification of watching all of your hard work grow and prosper (with the right conditions of course).  I got little satisfaction from my life in Ecuador. Although perfecting my Spanish abilities was one mile marker to be reached, there was little else to look forward to. I began to obsess about always maintain a clean room and house.  Looking back, I believe my lack of gratification from gardening made me seek it elsewhere (Ie. Having a clean house).

I knew that coming back to the United States after a year abroad would be difficult. I spent my last month in Ecuador primarily stressing out about how to transition into life back into the states. My anxiety reached new levels on the plane ride home. Greeting my parents went smoothly and, as it was 3am, I went straight to bed. The next morning, I woke up slightly disoriented after finding myself in my own room. Confused, I stumbled downstairs only to find an empty kitchen. Of course, I bellowed at the top of my lungs “Where is everyone!” “In the garden!!” came the faint response from my Mother, also known as the family weed-er. I had to smile. Of course I couldn’t expect to be coddled on my first day home and was thrown back into the daily routine. I was back to the toil of gardening. After a year off duty, however, I don’t think any girl was happier than I was to stick my hands into the fresh Spring dirt and restart my life in the United States.

I believe in the power of dirt.

Passion and Civic Issue Blog


Obviously as many of you probably know, I am as obsessed, if not more so, with crossfit as I am with healthy eating. I mean, healthy eating is also a crucial part in crossfit. However, it is a difficult sport to understand, and I am sure that background knowledge would help of you to either understand the sport or maybe become interested enough even to try it! Crossfit has many sport sensitive words (WOD, BBJ, PJ, AMRAP, EMOM etc…) that would probably be beneficial to know for any crossfit beginner. It would probably also be helpful to know the success of the theory behind crossfit, what some of the workouts are like and what the competitive side of the sport really looks like (for those of you that have never googled Rich Froning I would really recommend it).

As for my civic issue blog, this blog was harder for me to determine. Last summer, as my mother and I sat in the airport waiting for a flight to go visit my Grandmother, she handed me an article in the New Yoker. The article discussed the rape of a 13 year old unconscious girl in a small, football obsessed town. As the defendants were popular football players, no measures were taken punish the boys at all. Instead, scrutiny was placed on the young female and many people actually said that the girl’s provocative nature and dress made it seem that “she was asking for it.”  After video footage and photos appeared on social media of three boys dragging the unconscious girl into a house, chargers were later brought. I was horrified after reading the article and would really like to delve deeper into the thought process of some people that think that provocative mannerisms and clothing make rape more of a woman’s fault than the man’s. Obviously, there are more than five cases in the United States that showcase these mannerisms, but I would like to specifically research five different cases and examine them separately. Analyzing the consequences and conclusion of each case.

I can’t wait to continue to read everyone’s blogs this semester!

Beginning of the Semester Topic Discussion

Welcome back everyone! Because I LOVE LOVE LOVE my passion blog, I decided to pick a topic that was the same or very similar to the topic I picked last semester.  As you all know, last semester I wrote about my health food obsession. This semester, I decided to stick with a fitness theme and either continue writing my blog about my experience with healthy food at Penn State or branch off on another health topic and discuss my love for Crossfit. I participate in the Crossfit club here at Penn State and often find that many people have misconceptions about the “sport.” I would use my blog to discuss those misconceptions and give more detail about this aerobic lifting phenomenon.

As for my Civic Issues blog, I really wanted to focus on the LGBTA community. I recently over break found out that my neighbors, two wonderful women, would be getting married this month after living together for over 20 years. Obviously I was ecstatic for them and very supportive. I thought for the Civic Issues blog I could look into what states current accept gay marriage and why (i.e. specific cases or protests in the state) they have that rules. It would not only satisfy my interest in the legality of gay marriage but it would also allow me to gain more knowledge and educate my readers about how the US is reacting to the LGBTA community.  My only other thought for this blog idea would be discussing the sexuality of woman. More specifically in terms of rape. By examining specific cases, I would try to disprove what is often stated that provocative dressing etc. is what often leads and encourages rape and that the women involved “disserve it.” There are multiple cases like this that have been seen in the United States in the last 10 years.

The “This I Believe” topic is still REALLY in the works. I grew up listening to the essays on the radio and would really like to write a wonderful piece that I could share with my family. Unfortunately, I am experiencing a wonderful case of the writer’s block. A few topics that I came up with were the importance of family dinners, importance of knowing self-defense and the importance of knowing how to garden. I am not sure if I am taking the complete wrong approach to this essay thus far so feedback would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, I will continue to brainstorm! Can’t wait for another RCL semester with you wonderful people!

TED Talk Reflection

Everyone take a deep breath. The TED talks are done. If everyone was as nervous as I was for that darn little talk, the fact that we are all done is probably a huge relief. Whew! Looking back, however, it was an absolute blast. I was originally freaking out about the “memorization” aspect.  After watching both my group and the group before us give their talks, and hypothesizing that the next two groups did just as well, I firmly believe that we all aced that assignment!!

I really liked the talks that involved a quote from memory. It was especially memorable if the person did not look back at the screen once and completely recited it from memory. If I could add one crucial element to my speech, I would add that. It really showed preparation on the speaker’s part!

One aspect that I thought could be improved upon was the little glances back to the screen projector behind us. I know, on my part, the little glances back were more of a nervous tick than out of actual necessity. I knew what was going to be on the slide, but for some reason, I just had to glance back and confirm that the next picture was actually next. Quite a few people did that in our class. However, if that is the worst thing I can think of that happened, we all did pretty spectacularly as a group!

On a final note, I was really impressed with the wide range of topics that we all thought of to depict a paradigm shift! There were presentations from super heroes, to Priuses, to tattoos! Fascinating!

I would like to applaud everyone for their amazing presentations. Good luck with the paper writing (that will probably be done over break), and I hope everyone has a wonderful and fantastic Thanksgiving!

TED talk Media

Picture this: Someone begins a presentation with a Big Mac and an organic veggie presentation. Sounds intriguing right? I am thinking about starting my TED talk off just like that. By referencing the fast and organic food in front of me, I think that I can catch the audience’s interest and provide a visual representation (and probably smell) of what my presentation is about. I really liked the example TED talk showed with an instruction of someone using a phone. It really made the audience focus on his presentation and really helped them relate it to their daily lives. I think that my having the food in front of me in a visual representation, it will also have a similar affect.

I was unsure about using video clips in our presentation, but obviously the movie “Super-size me” has some great clips (all of you remember him puking out of the car window after only a few weeks of eating McDonalds). However, I think the time limit for the presentation is already short enough that I might want to simply stick to the usual TED talk theme of using photos. I plan on using photos that show just why the public fell out of love with fast food. For example, the photo sequence of a big mac over the period of several weeks created a stir when it was originally published. The public finally SAW and didn’t just HEAR how many chemical preservatives were really incorporated into fast food.

I know that I might have a blank slide or two when I am describing a shift, and I know that I will absolutely be using some graphs or statistics to support my paradigm shift. However, I think the transitions from topic to topic will go fairly smoothly.

Also a confession on my part; this week was absolutely jammed packed full of tests so THIS WEEKEND IS WORK ON TED TALK WEEKEND! That is all.


The (very very) Rough Draft

Is It Farm Fresh?

Thesis: With a significant rise in the knowledge surrounding the “shady” fast food industry and the rise in obesity awareness, the American population as a whole has made an incredible switch from easy, fattening food, to an obsession with farm fresh, organic products.

I. Fast food take over

A. History

B. Why

II. Breaking the barrior

  1. Exposing the Industry
    1. Fast Food Nation
    2. Food Inc.
  2. Obesity increase

III. Healthy food craze

  1. Fad diets
  2. Marketing

IV. Organic Industry take off

  1. Industry Popularization
  2. Sustainability



Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,    2001. Print.

Weber, Karl. Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food Is Making Us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer — and What You Can              Do about It. New York: PublicAffairs, 2009. Print.

Freedman, David H. “How to Fix the Obesity Crisis.” Scientific American. 18 January 2011: n.p. New insights into Obesity. 31 October 2013. Web. 29 October 2013.






RCL: Statis

Whew. Holy confusing RCL blog topic. Although stasis confused me, it made infinitely more sense when the reading compared it to being essentially an issue.  Not only can stasis help us to really narrow down the issue of our paradigm shift paper and TED talk by focusing on specifics, but I believe that finding the stasis in our TED talk/paper can help us determine when exactly the paradigm shift occurred and what people think it has evolved into. Knowing when the paradigm shift occurred is crucial to our paper/TED talk because without it, we may not have enough information to back up out idea. By using stasis to determine all the arguments for and against our paradigm paper, we can also better contradict the opposing side and better enforce our ideal of a paradigm shift!  Having proofs to back up your stasis (thus backing up your paradigm shift) is also crucial. Without the correct evidence, we will be delivering completely ineffective TED talks after all.  Although long and dry, the reading about stasis provided us with 4 logical steps to take in order to correctly determine our stasis. By using the step system, we will be able to thoroughly research our topics and make it more specifically tailored and focused around our issue.

RCL Paradigm Shift Paper and Ted Talk

For some reason, the paradigm shift paper really got me thinking. Unfortunately, after trying to pick a topic right after my Passion blog post, I automatically shifted to food.

My first paradigm shift idea was the shift from a fast food nation to the nation’s more current health craze. Even McDonalds has joined the crowds by trying to put healthier options on the menu (or make more options appear to be healthier).  I would be claiming that the recent health craze in the United States has helped to revolutionize the fast food industry and has bought an increase in healthy eating. Some of the sources I could use to back up this work are the movie Supersize Me and the book Fast Food Nation. There have also been numerous FDA stipulations put into place in the recent years. Along with those sources, investigating fast food restaurants and their “healthier” menus would only prove my thesis that fast food companies are attempting to re-advertise to better fit public mentality.

My next paradigm shift was a little trickier to come up with. Because I have always found the outsourcing of American jobs fascinating, I wanted to investigate that. My paradigm shift would be based on the shift from US made products to jobs being given to overseas corporations (outsourcing). I think I would focus on the positives and negatives and how this paradigm shift is affecting culture and product quality in other countries and within the United States. I could use multiple articles to back up my research, as well as polls and consumer reports focused on outsourcing.

Did you know that 36% of your life is spent on sleep? Neither did I.  When I saw the Ted Talk “Why Do We Sleep” pop up on my page, I was intrigued. One of the first things I noticed that I wanted to include in my presentation was props and sound effects. A brain prop was used as well as the sound of the alarm clock. Finally, instead of boring words on a power point slides, pictures were used! I want to use color on my slides! I think both of my paradigm shift topics would be good for TED talks. I could use props and plenty of pictures to describe both! The speaker did use a paper with notes, and obviously I would be doing my presentation without. I think this will allow for more hand motions, however, and a better overall presentation.