Posts made in February, 2013

Diversity Talks

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

In my last post, I focused on the issue of diversity within college campuses . I brought up the issue of how diversity can be seen differently in various contexts such as the lack of diversity on a campus such as Penn State’s.  Some of the comments on my last post encouraged me to explore the various contexts in which diversity plays out around the country. Through some research I saw exactly what some teaching institutions in this country have to offer in terms of diversity. As I explained in my last post Penn State can be considered a Predominantly White University or PWI. There are also schools called HBCU’s or Historically Black Colleges and Universities that have a predominantly black population. The education at both types of institutions is the same but people may view what exactly you get out of attending these types of schools. Both of these types of universities are considered extremes of the spectrum and the students who attend them have various ideas about the experience one would receive by attending. The debate has raged on for years on which type of education is better. The ideal choice seems to be schools like Rutgers or Stanford that have the highest diversity ratings in the country with a 0.76. For comparison, Penn State has a diversity rating of 0.32. Ultimately I think that one school makes you appreciate the other. It’s like a “the grass is greener on the other side” situation. One isn’t really better than the other, it simply relies on perception.


HBCU Schools




Personally, I was encouraged to attend an HBCU but I decided not to because I know that the world is not only inhabited by black people so my university shouldn’t be like that. However, I also have friends who go here who would rather attend an HBCU simply for the experience of being around people with similar experiences. This brings up the information from Chapter 2 of Gastil’s PCD that people are more comfortable with people more like themselves. This begs the question; can we ever have a truly diverse society if we are fundamentally drawn to others like us? From a scientific standpoint, diversity is seen as a fundamental element between humans and a socio-ecosystem. We attend college to get us ready for the “real world”. It’s important to make diversity an important part of one’s life now before you enter into the workforce with a false sense of society. Diversity in an educational setting will ultimately foster diversity in a real setting.

Does a school’s lack of diversity cause certain problems for the institution? We all remember the heat that girls from the sorority Chi Omega came under for posing with racially insensitive signs and costumes. If the diverse on campus was more prominent, this situation might not have occurred simply for the reason that one is less likely to say something about a certain minority group they are surrounded by.Comment below on what you think!


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My Moderating Philosophy (Draft)

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Work In Progress | 3 comments

I want my moderating style to be, above all, friendly. As nervous as I will be next Monday, I also know that the English 15 students will be feeling the exact same way. For that reason I would like everyone to feel included and comfortable as opposed to nervous and stiff. Hopefully I can inspire most of the student sot talk and not have a Spiral of Silence situation. I would also like to encourage any and all opinions that may arise on Monday and avoid the persecution of another just for having a different opinion. I believe that this type of thinking encourages healthy deliberation and leads to the fostering of ideas.

With the topic being deliberated, there is a chance that there may be farfetched or maybe uninformed opinions so I would like to guide these people through the deliberation process in such a way that they become more informed without leading to an argument. My biggest strengths that I will focus on when I moderate are my inviting personality and also interest in creating an open environment for deliberation.

The purpose of deliberation is to voice one’s opinions with facts and experiences, listen to the voices of others and perhaps arrive to a state of enlightenment. This is what I hope to happen on Monday when I have my first moderating experience. What I will keep in mind for Monday is that everyone is different with different opinions, make sure everyone feels included, and to forget to be nervous hopefully.

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Oscar Pistorious: Lover or Murderer?

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Passion | 1 comment

2012 Virgin Active Sports Industry Awardsoscar-pistorius



Oscar Pistorious. Handsome. Charming. World renowed track star. And possible murderer. The shocking celebrity news is that of the murder of Pistorious’ girlfriend Reeva Steedham. The Olympian claims that  he mistaked the 20 – year old TV personality for a burgurlar and did not realize until after he shot her that she was not an  intruder. Investigations and court hearings are already underway and the funeral for Reeva was also earlier this week. Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly depending on how you look at it, the media has been extremely lenient concerning this tragedy. Most seem to believe Pistorious’s account of events and paint him as the victim and not a possible assailant.

This news came as an extreme surprise to me. I mean, I cheered for this guy during the Olympics, he has no legs for god sakes and he still manages to win. Also, in case you haven’t noticed this man is extremely good looking. His accomplishments have made him a hero and success story for his country of South Africa. When I started to think about how these things may influence how people interpret the case I realized that Pistorious may just get off for this crime that he may have committed.

Perception plays a huge part in how a court case plays out. How a defendant looks or acts can have sway over the decisions of the media or even a jury. Earlier this week, Oscar Pistorious was seen crying uncontrollably during his court appearance. Real or not, it elicited a response from the judge who sympathized and let the man have a moment to collect himself. Pistorious’s general persona as a good looking yet humble start athlete has already influenced anyone who learns of his case. Even I had trouble believing that he actually shot his girlfriend dead. I still can’t fully wrap my head around it.

Hopefully can look past all the good this man has done and focus on the man who possibly committed pre-meditated murder against his innocent girlfriend. Afterall, Ted Bundy was the picture of attractiveness and he killed countless women.

What do you all think? Did he commit the crime or is that impossible? Is the media too weak with coverage of the story or just waiting for more concrete information?


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WIP: Moderating Philosophy

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Work In Progress | 0 comments

Like most of my classmates, I have no idea how exactly I would like to moderate or what kind of moderator I want ti be. However, seeing the various teaching philosophies assured me that everyone has their own style when it comes to these types of things. Each teaching philosophy was clear and explained the duties and goals of each teacher clearly. I would like to do the exact same thing in my moderator’s philosophy. I especially liked Professor Willitz philosophy. He explained that there is no secret formula to teaching but rather one’s success in the field depended on the effort you put into the job and your interaction with students.  I think that in order to be a good moderator it  will ultimately depend on my people skills. Also, I have to be sure to outline not only my strengths and weaknesses but also what I liked most about moderating.  I think that the things that make a strong philosophy is one that answers all of the framing questions clearly and also has the personal element imbedded in it.

I’ve been thinking of some things that I can put into my moderator’s philosophy:

  • Why I am moderating
  • What makes me want to do it
  • My strengths and weaknesses
  • How this experience will help me in the future
  • What I have learned from being a moderator
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A Change of Face

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Passion | 7 comments


So you may think that the pictures above show two completely different people.  Unfortunately these are pictures of infamous rapper Lil Kim. The rapper appeared on the scene in the 90’s with her album Hard Core which to most is considered a classic rap album. Even though she may have faded into obscurity in the recent years her name has popped up with details of her feud with fellow rapper Nicki Minaj. You may have heard the song “Stupid Hoe”. However, Kim’s newest chance in the spotlight has nothing to do with music.

This isn’t the first time that Lil’ Kim has dabbled with plastic surgery. Since the 2000’s she has been making minor but noticeable changes to her face. A slimmer nose there, a butt implant there. Now, in 2013 Lil Kim has hit the trifecta of plastic surgery:


Not only does she have lighter skin but a larger  chin and even cheek fillers.  Why do people get such extensive plastic surgery? Even for Lil Kim who looked halfway decent before all of her procedures. I can understand maybe a bit of Botox once in a while but to so drastically change your body is an extreme. For one, it doesn’t look good and it’s incredibly noticeable and not in a good way.

Maybe this is a way for the rapper to reinvent herself . She has a new album coming out soon and this new scandal may be a way to drum up attention

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