RCL #5

Smart Approaches to Marijuana or SAM or is advocacy group that is opposed to the legalization and commercialization of marijuana.

I’d first like to state that their website is actually formatted quite well and easy to navigate. After navigating through their website their overall stance is relatively clear. They do not support to legalization, commercialization, or promotion of it’s use but do support some support to decriminalizing it. Another thing that I will give them credit for is that they had provided a source for every claim that they made.

Unfortunately for SAM I found a few issues with their arguments and claims. Many of the studies that they cited were at 10 years old or even older, which could possibly mean that the findings or outdated or are less relevant in 2018. Another issue was their use of fallacies in their arguments. The biggest one I came across was the belief that correlation equals causation, which to anyone who has conducted studies would know is false. Another fallacy that was used weak analogy, making an argument by comparing weed with opioids, two very different substances. The Strawman argument was another fallacy used as they made the claim that marijuana advocates believe that marijuana makes people better drivers. I’ve never heard this argument in my life. False cause was also used when they claimed that adolescent girls who use marijuana have an increased risk of depression and anxiety. As a psychology major this seems like a difficult conclusion to draw as many people who suffer from anxiety and depression to begin with use marijuana to cope or ease their symptoms. Appeal to ignorance was also used as they tried to fight the claim that “marijuana does not cause lung cancer” by forming an argument that essentially says “well we’re not sure yet it might”.

RCL #4

Corporal punishment, a form of as physical punishment used to discipline children, has had an active part in the culture of many American families. Most often in the form of spanking, corporal punishment has been used by parents to curb the misbehaviors of children for decades. Many parents believe that physical discipline is an effective way to punish children and help them learn that behaviors such as stealing and lying are unacceptable. The debate on corporal punishment has recently resurfaced in the last few years, with NFL player Adrian Peterson coming under fire in 2014 for spanking his son with a switch. Despite spanking’s prominence as a form of discipline in American family culture, parents should not use corporal punishment on their children as there are several more effective disciplinary alternatives and the long term psychological effects of corporal punishment can be damaging to children.

Many parents resort to spanking or other forms of physical discipline because they view it as an effective way to teach children right from wrong. Many who use corporal punishment on their children experienced it when they were kids. Because of these experiences, the all too common phrase “I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine” comes about. This thought process that gets passed down from generation to generation is part what perpetuates the notion that corporal punishment is an effective way to discipline. While laboratory research has shown that corporal punishment is effective in the short term, many studies have shown that it is ineffective in the long term, possibly leading even to delinquent behavior.

  • I’ll continue then discussing studies of how corporal punishment has been proven to be ineffective in behavior modification.
  • In the following paragraphs I will provide alternatives with scientific research explaining how they’re more effective

The use of corporal punishment on children can have lasting psychological effects that are quite damaging.

  • There are several sources and studies that I will be able to discuss. I could likely break these into multiple paragraphs.

I would like to come up with at least a 3rd point for my essay. I’ve looked at the possibility of discussing how corporal punishment is often a slippery slope that leads to abuse. I’ve found some sources on this but am still debating the effectiveness of this point in my essay.


Audience: Parents


Pies, Ronald W. “Spanking Children Is Ineffective in the Long Term.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PHIMQD952187570/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=5313df82. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Is it OK to Spank a Misbehaving Child Once in a While?” The Conversation, 25 Jan. 2016.

Gershoff, Elizabeth, and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. “The Evidence Shows that Spanking is Bad for Kids.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/BZVQLN902019565/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=8f9f19be. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Hard Evidence: Spanking Could Lead to Health Problems, Antisocial Behavior,” The Conversation, 11 May 2016.

Thomas, Paul. “There is No Justification for Spanking at Home or at School.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/RDPAFP024529733/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=fa558a12. Accessed 27 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “There Is No Debate About Hitting Children—It’s Just Wrong,” The Conversation, 24 Oct. 2014.

Cody-Rydzewski, Susan. “Corporal Punishment in Families.” In Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, ABC-CLIO, 2018. Accessed March 28, 2018. https://issues.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1700962.

Barwick, Melanie. “Corporal Punishment Is Ineffective and Abusive.” Parenting, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010863206/OVIC?u=schu18828&sid=OVIC&xid=3813b4f2. Accessed 28 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Parenting: The Line Between Punishment and Abuse,”, 24 June 2008.


RCL #3

I attended a deliberation on voter justice for Curry Kennedy’s class. The deliberation was run very well and discussion ran rather smoothly. Their issue guide was brief but provoked many good discussions on the topic. All of their members were very well prepared. I feel as though I understood how to run a deliberation much better after attending this one because of how well it was ran.
One of the participants in the deliberation, named Mark, was very familiar with voter justice and laws regarding voting in Pennsylvania, since he worked for a group concerned about voting rights. He gave a lot of great insights into issues with voter justice and the current laws in place that create problems. He was great for provoking discussions as he brought up many points that even Kennedy’s class hadn’t considered. For instance, nearly all of us were unaware that Election Day had once been a holiday but had been unsuccessful. He answered several questions that had been brought up by the deliberation group that Kennedy’s class were unable to answer. His knowledge of the issue was extremely helpful to facilitating the discussion.
Many of the other members of the discussion seemed to be genuinely interested in the topic of voter justice. Many of them had their own opinions on the topic and felt that there were some serious issues at hand that they were concerned about. Their genuine interest helped the discussion flow and kept it from ever getting stale.
I feel like I learned a few things from the discussion, many from Mark. I never knew that Election Day had once been a national holiday and that it wasn’t successful under that distinction. The issue of dead people being registered to vote was brought up. Mark informed us that to remove dead people from the registration, their relatives must call to have their names removed. However most relatives forget to do this, which is why so many of the deceased remain registered.

RCL #2

The first article discusses an incident where a student on Penn State campus was told they were not properly following Penn State’s free speech policies. The student felt otherwise. This article connects directly to my mini team and we analyze and evaluate policies regarding free speech on campus. We can use this article to pinpoint a specific incident where a free speech demonstration was somewhat controversial. We can also use this article to highlight the specific guidelines for free speech demonstrations on Penn State campus.


This article was just a statement made by Penn State President Eric Barron in regards to Richard Spencer’s request to speak on campus. This again can relate to Penn State’s policies on free speech on campus. We can use President Barron’s statement to address what rights the University has to pick and choose who speaks on campus.


RCL #1

Title: WE ARE free to speak… or are we?

Description of the deliberation: We’ll be analyzing the angles of the negatives and positives of free speech. We’ll look at how different people define free speech and what it should be. We will also analyze the policies of free speech on Penn State campus and their free speech zones and safe spaces.

My roles: To research and analyze the policies regarding free speech at Penn State.

What I’ve worked on: So far I’ve done research on the free speech zones on campus.

RCL #0

I believe that everything happens for a reason, good or bad. We don’t always know the reason but there’s always one there. There have been many instances in my life where I felt this belief has held true.
If I’m being honest, My first two years of high school were difficult ones. I struggled with, depression, anxiety and stress. I didn’t have many people that I considered close friends. Going into junior year I had hoped to get off to a better start. On the first stay of school I met with my good friend Rick before lunch so that we could sit together. We looked for a table that had some people who we both knew but unfortunately the only table with people we both knew had only one seat left. We decided to sit together with a few kids in our grade that we only sort of knew. We didn’t really talk to them that much because we didn’t know them too well. The next day Ricky decided to sit at the other table that had a lot of those kids that we knew because he knew them better than the kids we had been sitting with the day before. Because of our schedules, Ricky always arrived to lunch before I did and therefore was always able to sit with the other kids.
I was disappointed that I would have to spend lunch every day without one of my best friends and with a bunch of kids that I had hardly known. However this actually ended up working out for the better, much better As time went on I talked more and more to them and we joked around. By the end of the year several of them became some of my best friends and introduced me to other kids who are my closest friends today. Despite being at different schools, we all keep in touch daily. As someone who had felt very lonely growing up and especially in my first two years of high school it felt great to have a close circle of good friends. These were the friends that I had always looked for. The kinds of friends who are always there for you and who you can turn to. The kinds of friends that you can always joke around with and who will cheer you on in your endeavors. By what may seem like pure chance I ended my high school career with what had been the greatest one year of my life with a group of very good friends, many of which were from that table. It may just seem like pure luck to some, but I don’t think so. I believe I was meant to sit at that table. I was meant to meet these people and have them become the friends I had always looked for. I was meant to have these people be a huge part of the greatest year of my life so far. All of this was meant to happen and put my life in a better place. All of this happened for a reason, this I believe.

RCL #10

The History of Capital Punishment
HofPC Concept Contract for Nebraska Hernandez, Roan Lynch, Mark Ma, Ninad Mahajan, Andrew Pei, and Billy Young

Topic: The controversy surrounding capital punishment and the use of the death penalty in the United States.

An examination of the moral, social, and economic implications of the death penalty in the United States. Analyzes the extensive history of capital punishment and torture as well as their psychological effects on civilizations and mentalities. As a society, should we keep the death penalty? How much is a life worth?

Research, Roles, and Responsibilities:
Nebraska: The ancient history of torture and capital punishment as a means of interrogation. Nebraska will research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He will also examine public outcry to these methods prior to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Nebraska is responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Roan: Modern, recent tactics of torture and capital punishment as used by police authorities and the government. Roan will also research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He is responsible for analyzing the current, present-day controversy and debate over the U.S. death penalty. Roan is also responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Mark: Potential rationales and justifications for the use of torture, capital punishment, and the death penalty. Mark will act as the mediator between both sides of the controversy, researching the reasons for each side feels the way it does. Mark is also responsible for researching individual stories and case studies of the death penalty, diving into the lives of prisoners and their families who may be directly affected by the death penalty. Mark is responsible for editing the video and adding appropriate graphics and visual aids.

Andrew: The economic effects of the death penalty. Andrew will analyze the fiscal impact of using capital punishment throughout history, and most important, in the last decade. Andrew will research the financial costs of death row and the prison system as a whole. He will then compare the costs of the death penalty with alternatives researched and analyzed by Ninad. Andrew is responsible for providing narration and related audio services for the video.

Ninad: Potential alternatives to the death penalty. Ninad is responsible for researching probable solutions and proposed alternatives to capital punishment, spanning hundreds of years of history. Ninad’s research is important because it will add or diminish credibility to the arguments for using the death penalty. Ninad is also responsible for editing the video and adding finishing touches.

Billy: The moral and ethical ramifications of using the death penalty, as well as how the use of torture and capital punishment may violate intrinsic human rights. Billy will explore the philosophy behind the death penalty as well as examine the underlying mentalities surrounding its purpose. He is responsible for explaining the psychological and philosophical effects of the death penalty spanning decades of its use. Billy will argue whether or not the rationales and justifications researched by Mark are supported by the death penalty’s moral implications. Billy is responsible for providing narration with Andrew and editing the video using Adobe Premiere Pro.

Nebraska Hernandez
Roan Lynch
Mark Ma
Ninad Mahajan
Andrew Pei
Billy Young

RCL #9

TED Outline Format
Oral Content

Topic: Family Dinner

Purpose: To encourage the return to the family dinner and promote the benefits of traditional family dining

Thesis Statement: This shift has detrimental effects on the nuclear family and individuals as it disrupts the way families bond and the way children grow and develop in a social setting.


Attention Strategy/
Orienting Material: How will you begin this presentation in a way that appropriately garners audience attention? Idk. I’ll think of something later on.


  • More people are becoming unhappy with this shift
    • Discuss step mother, mom and people who grew up with traditional family dining
  • Family is a social institution
    • Children learn language and social skills through family dinner
      • Research shows that children who eat dinner regularly with their families are more successful in school
  • Children gain sense of structure
    • Discuss dinner being a routine and how necessary and comforting that structure is
  • Family dinner gives people a sense of community
    • Smallest example of a community

Family dinners can help you bond with members of your family but also beyond
These dinners can bring forth a feeling of support


Concluding Remark –I encourage you all to make the return to traditional family dining. It may not always be easy but the benefits are worth the effort.

Paradigm Shift Draft

In the early 20th century it was the norm to have a sit-down dinner with the whole family. Everyone gathered around the table, sharing their stories of the day was what would be seen in nearly every American family. Fast forward to present day and the dining rooms in American homes look drastically different. Once seen with every member seated around the table, these dining rooms can too often be found empty. Some family members are out of the house, in their rooms or in the living room watching TV. In fact more family members are out of the house now than before. The role of mothers and women in the household has shifted from being the ones who would take care of the house and prepare dinner to the ones who are busy with work. The economy today requires women to work rather than stay at home and take care of the house and cook meals. More families today have both parents working rather than only one. The market around eating has changed too. It doesn’t take much to find a meal today. Places like McDonald’s and Taco Bell make it incredibly easy to get a meal. With the changes in the role of women in the household and the rise of convenient on-the-go dining, we now see traditional sit down dinners as more difficult to arrange.

Things I wanna touch on

  • Fast food and convenient on-the-go eating
  • TV dinners and other quickly made food items
  • Change to role of women in the household
  • Women work more and have less time to prepare something like a sit down meal
  • Maybe talk about how kids are busy with after school activities
  • Mention polls and surveys that act as evidence of this change
  • Also maybe look at health changes since some “experts” claim that health changes act as evidence to these dining changes. I mean maybe McDonalds isnt really good for you or anything.

RCL #7 Blog

Effective writing should allow the audience to visualize scenes created by the author. We should be able to see what Addario sees. Throughout the novel she is often effective in creating an image of the wild and often frightening things she comes across. Luckily for us Addario’s talent for photography literally allows us to see exactly what she saw. Through the photos she’s taken we can have a better understanding of the horrors she witnessed.

One photo that stood out to me was on page the 18th page of the 3rd group of photos. It’s an image of a little boy with a battered up face and bandages on him. The photo is very detailed, showing dirt and small scratches on his face. The photo makes me feel sad, I feel bad for the boy. No one should have to experience the terrors of war especially not children. It is sad to see those who are so new to the world with lots ahead of them damaged by the horrific experiences they endure at such a young age.

Another photo that stuck out to me is on the 11th page of the 2nd group of photos. Its shows bloodied, Kurdish soldiers carrying another injured soldier. This photo just gets to me because of the bloody dirty soldiers. I just cant imagine being in a war zone. The constant violence would be draining for me mentally and emotionally. I give a lot of respect to Addario for doing what she does because it’s not something I would wanna sign myself up for.

I’m not much of a photographer. I don’t know how effectively I’ll be able to use photo or video in my passion blog as it pertains to socks. However it can sometimes be hard to picture exactly what the socks look like so I’ll still use photos.