Blog 11: Topic Selection and First Thoughts

The topic for my debate is racism in police. I am going to argue that police are not racist. It is not my personal opinion on this controversial topic but I think I can find enough information to win the debate. I know racism in police is a big, current controversial topic around the United States especially and that it is not really being solved right now. I also know that there have been a large number of African Americans being killed by policemen compared to white people, at least from what has been plastered on the news. Articles on police racism and white power. I mostly see articles on a class at Florida University and having police be assigned to them. Don’t you see that police are only trying to help? Among the rest, about half of the URLs lead to articles of police not actually being racist. I plan to use logical appeal by bringing up past killings of African Americans who seem innocent to the public but was in fact endangering others or breaking the law. Many past killings have gone against the police and they have received heavy fire from the pubic. I plan to talk about the statistics of white cops actually killing innocent African Americans and African American cops killing white men. I will also point out statistics on killings of other skin that were only necessary to help keep citizens safe. To utilize ethical approach I would say how the policemen were in fact just doing their job and following orders. Not every cop is a bad cop and some news reports get blown out of proportion. Everybody deserves the same rights and cops are only trying to help enforce that. Cops also have to enforce the actual laws and the events that happened, happened to involve people of another color. If a person was committing a very serious crime that endangered others and would not stop, do you really think that a cop would care about what skin color that person had to keep the peace?Image result for no racism in police

Blog 10

I came across many articles about artificial intelligence becoming “friends” with children but one stood out to me and it nearly convinced me to join the other side of the argument. My original argument was that robots could not and should not be allowed to help children with their feelings. The counter argument that I came across was that robots that teach our children isn’t such a bad idea. It brought up many facts to try to convince me. The robots can be used to help analyze children’s emotions as said in an nbcnews article “Consider Pepper, a 4-foot-tall interactive robot able to recognize human emotional states by analyzing voice tone, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues.” I’m not too sure how absolute the robot is at scanning our emotions but I still find it sketchy. Later on in the article, it talks about robots starting to help out as assistant teachers, “Placed in preschool classes, social robots like Pepper could use their powerful emotion-recognition engines to spot minor squabbles, which would allow teachers to focus on the larger meltdowns that occur. The robots may also be programmed with established negotiation strategies to better resolve conflicts and further reinforce skills children are developing” and I somewhat agree with it. I think the robots can help out with younger children especially since they portray emotions more. Another study shows that special needs students respond better to technology, “For one thing, a vast body of research shows some kids with autism respond well to technology in general, including computers, phones, tablets, and robotic toys. Studies also suggest robots are appealing to special needs children because they’re less complex and more predictable than people, less intimidating, perpetually patient and consistent in the tone of voice and mood, and highly customizable and adaptable to children’s specific needs.” I found this very interesting and it started to persuade me to think that robots aren’t so bad after all. Many people against robots will say that all a child needs is their parents but their parents may not ALWAYS be around for the kid(s). The author of the article brings up a good point about the robots that I didn’t think of, but it is definitely right, “Once you repeat something for the 10-millionth time, you’re not going to want to do it again. But robots don’t have that problem and children love the repetition”. After reading through both articles from apposing sides, I still think that robots are not quite ready to take on the real world yet.

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Blog 9

I followed some of our 15 virtues but not all of them. I followed temperance from Friday to Sunday. I ate just as much as I need  which kind of sucked because I am trying to gain weight so I need to eat more but it is whatever. Silence just did not work out for me at all. I like to say what is on my mind no matter the subject so I broke this virtue many times through the course of three days. I did well with order. I was on time to everything and I even cleaned my room *gasp*. Although, on Sunday I has to be somewhere and I left my house a little early to get gas and be there on time just to find out that that event was cancelled for the day. My resolution virtue came up short on Sunday. I told myself I would do  all of my workout but I ended up not following through. Although I do have gym class on Monday and I could make up that missed workout then. For frugality I did not complete my three day experiment of not violating the virtue because I bought candy at a dollar general for no reason at all, but I did buy gas for my car which was much needed. Industry was a fail from the start. I was on my phone these past three days way more than usual and I do not know why because I knew I was doing this experiment. If you know me, you know that sincerity does not float too well with me. I like to say whatever is on my mind whenever and I should have just kept my mouth shut 99 percent of the time. I followed justice over the three day experiment and completed it with no problems. For moderation I think I completed it pretty easily. I did not rush into anything over the weekend and I did, in fact, take my time on things. I failed at tranquillity because I was making a big deal on what candy bar to get and I did not even need the candy bar. I do not believe I need to state my case for chastity but long story short, I followed the virtue throughout the experiment over all three days. I am pretty cocky when it comes to certain information I know, but my humility stayed strong over the break. For generosity, I let my friend borrow my xbox so we could all play together and that made me feel good about myself. Again, I am cocky at times but I was also very confident in my arguments over the weekend and I ended up being right every time. The only thing I could count for patriotism is that I played an American soldier in a video game of mine.

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Blog 8: Final Poem

Before even reading the poem “A Smile” I knew it was going to be hard to understand. No poem with that simple of a title is going to be understood right away. I first read it and I do not know if I was just having one of those days or if McGarry is just that good at making poems because I did not get it at all. I “read” the whole poem and when I was done, I looked up, and thought “wow. I understood none of that”. After reading it again and with a little (a lot) of help from classmates I started to understand the poem… I think. I am completely kidding. I understand nothing about this poem. I have read it about 4 times because two and a half pages is way too much for my young eyes at this point. I honestly could not tell you what happens besides the fact that there are allusions in just about every other line of the poem. I did have McGarry help me and he just pulled up like three different songs by The Eagles and there was a line from within those songs that were put into the poem but worded differently. Like are you kidding me? How was I supposed to know that? All I have pieced together is in the first stanza the speaker is driving on a road and listening to The Eagles only because McGarry helped me with it. Then it goes downhill from there. I know that “dynamo of light” and “Thoreau’s quiet desperation” are allusions added in for meaning and depth but that is all you could probably get out of me. I noticed in the middle of the poem the speaker talks about being on a stage and being chased off by a bear, I think when they say about being on the stage for an act or two and then being chased off I personally feel it is talking about having your moment in life, like your fifteen minutes of fame, and then coming back to reality. Hmmm… oh, when the speaker says “To do to don’t but never try” that is an allusion to Yoda from Star Wars when he says “do or do not, there is no try” but yet again it is worded so weird that most people would probably skip over it. All in all, this poem is confusing to me but probably good if I understood it more.

Quarantine Reaction

After being recommended to try the Quarantine series, I got a hold of the first book. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to feel about it since I’m not really one to read post-apocalyptic type stories, but it was actually pretty good. I liked how it didn’t take long for things to start going wrong and I liked how they gave you a flashback to start so you knew what you were getting into. I think another reason as to why I enjoyed it more was how it was revolved around kids my age and just the overall plot: high school students left to survive on their own due to a virus that kills anyone 18 or older. The way the students formed their groups out of the different cliques was a little stereotypical, but also worked out in a way to help the story line progress. For example they had; Varsity, which was all of the jocks, The Pretty’s, which was made up of all the prissy girls, The Freaks, made up of all the weird kids in the school, The Nerds- all the smart kids, and I think you get the point. Our main characters David and Will weren’t part of a group though, they ended up forming their own group called The Loners, when they realized they couldn’t just rely on each other to survive, they needed other people’s help. Will has epilepsy which results in him having a lot of seizures especially at the wrong time in the story since he runs out of his medicine/ said how he doesn’t need to take it anymore. It screws up David’s game plan to get the food at the food drops because at one point Will have a seizure and David had to take care of him and watch people steal his food. The leader of Varsity, Sam, also has it out for David since before the explosion of the school and the virus, David played football and played an important part on the team, but quit the team eventually due to his mother’s death. At some point in the story we learned why David and Sam have a mutual hatred. Before the virus, David was dating a girl (one of The Pretty’s) and found out she was cheating on him with Sam. At a party, after David had a lot to drink, he confronted Sam by walking up to him and just hitting him in the face. This is a big part of the reason as to why Sam does everything in his power to kill David. This made me not like David as much because of how dumb he was to drink and screw up his relationship with Sam. They already had a rough relationship with one another because of football but this caused major turbulence for the storyline, and as Mr. McGarry says, I wanted to read on. During supply drops, the most violent parts of the book, all the groups meet at the cafeteria and fight each other for supplies. Many kids die or get severely injured during these drops because Varsity likes to just attack everyone in sight so they can get the best stuff. Varsity pretty much runs/terrorizes the whole school so David tries to form alliances to take them down. Basically the whole story line is survival, but towards the end David and Will start trying to figure out how to escape since the school is getting more and more dangerous. I think this book can relate to society because of the groups (countries or types of people) are like scavengers when it comes to the supply drops (media, attacks).  I’m not really sure what else to talk about so I’ll end it here. Overall I really enjoyed this book and the intense scenes and plan on reading the second one.

My Short Story

I used “I almost had you, didn’t I?” as my six word short story. I picked this short story because it could be used or thought of in many different ways. It makes the reader stay on their toes and it is somewhat of an attention grabber. So this group of friends that all go to the same college together are all interested in the supernatural and entities of that sort. So they all decided to travel to Transylvania, a region in Romania, to try to put the “Dracula” rumors to rest. Stories have popped up of people missing when entering Transylvania so why not go check it out? They get there and set up and nothing is too out of the ordinary. After a little bit, some friends start to go missing. Chris and Emily are two of the few remaining and Emily goes missing. Since Chris has an unnoticed love for Emily and sets out to find her. After escaping a mysterious man, he is able to save Emily and eventually captures this person and it turns out to be Josh, another guy who loves Emily and was a part of the trip with the group of friends that initially went down. After questioning and finding out Josh just wanted Emily to be with him, he starts to go a little crazy…at least more than normal. He didn’t just want Emily, he wanted the other friends to suffer because of how they only treated him nicely after his sisters’ deaths and he wanted to get back at them. So he dressed up as a supernatural entity like Dracula to make them believe there was such thing as Dracula. He then laughs and says “I almost had you, didn’t I?” and that made Chris and Emily mad so they eventually left him there. Chris and Emily live happily ever after and Josh soon finds out that Dracula is real and is killed by him.

My Fair Week

Aside

I did not have the best of fair weeks. Last Friday I sprained my ankle in my football game and had to go to the doctors the next morning. That Friday night I got maybe an hour of sleep because my ankle ached so bad. I am not going to lie I felt like a million bucks that Saturday. Then I went home and slept for around 5 hours. I couldn’t practice Monday or Tuesday but I did practice Wednesday and Thursday because I had to get a full-padded practice in in order to play this past Friday. Believe it or not the doctor told me I should walk on it because active healing is the best option for it right now. Anyways, I went to the fair a few times, maybe for a total of around 3 hours mainly because I was disappointed that the “I Got It” game had its price moved from fifty cents to one dollar! What the heck! So I played that like 3 times and won my first game because I’m a pro, what can I say. So I practiced Wednesday and my one coach saw me struggling so I sat out most of the practice but hey, I was eligible to play Friday. On Thursdays, we have a spaghetti dinner after practice but the people that were supposed to bring in the food did not even show up. So Friday rolls around and I stayed home because my football coaches wanted nobody to be walking around at the fair eating junk food that day and I just made sure my ankle was ready for that night. So I show up to football and get heat on my ankle and have Gina tape my ankles and they were like casts after that, but I was not prepared for what happened that night… I did not start that game at running back because the coaches did not want to use me unless they absolutely needed to. I was starting on special teams though and blocked for Darius who returned the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. After that it went downhill. I wasn’t getting any yards when I ran the ball and my ankle was sore. On one play I went to plant my foot and turn and my ankle kept going and I rolled it a little bit and it hurt so bad that I literally jumped. A player came in and basically landed on me but since I jumped and fell, it made it look like he body slammed me which wasn’t the case. So after that play my ankle really hurt and I had to be carried off of the field and sat the rest of the game. At this moment I feel great and I believe I am ready for this week of football. Moral of the story, it is not worth pushing through an injury. Take the high road and rest longer if you have to. The following Saturday though I went to the fair and had the most amazing crepe ever and chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls (as shown).

Defending a Theme

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“You gave my dead bird to a blind kid?!”

“Harry…I took care of it.” Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are the smartest idiots in any movie ever. The theme of this movie that I thought was deemed worthy of appreciation was “just because somebody is dumb, doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to do the right thing”. Lloyd and Harry mean no harm but their stupidity makes it really hard to seem that way.

The movie first takes place in Providence, Rhode Island but ends up in Aspen, Colorado. Another character, Mary Swanson, leaves a briefcase in a Providence airport as money for thugs to pick up but Lloyd interferes with the transaction and tries getting the briefcase back to Mary. He misses his shot so he goes back home and goes to a store for beer and gets robbed by a “sweet old lady on a motorized cart”. This provokes the two to change their lives around and do something for themselves. Hence, why he travels to Aspen with Harry. The setting is a pretty important part in the theme of this movie. The two head for Aspen to try to do the right thing and end up taking a wrong turn and head to Nebraska. If it wasn’t for Aspens frigid year round cold and the Rockies, Lloyd and Harry wouldn’t have known better to turn around. Lloyd and Harry end up fighting and break open the briefcase to find a whole lot of money. They try to be responsible and tally up what they used with I.O.Us but in the end, the money is just gone. It seems as though that Lloyd and Harry are the protagonists and antagonists because they are the only two that carry out the theme of the movie. They both try to do the right thing but they also end up accidentally stopping each other in ridiculous fashion. For instance, at the end of the movie, there is a bus full of bikini models that drive up next to Lloyd and Harry. They said they were looking for two guys to oil them up before their shows and Lloyd innocently tells the ladies that they would have better luck finding guys in the town down the road.

See, they obviously made a big mistakes but they also obviously tried to help someone else out.

P.S. I couldn’t figure out how to fix the time but I’m turning this in at 11:36 pm.

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Week 2

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The first week of school was obviously easy and week 2 was not too much different. Granted, we got more work but nothing I could not handle. Anatomy is by far the most work heavy class but I love anatomy so it doesn’t bother me that much. I knew we would fall upon notes in American Lit. eventually so I did not try to avoid the obvious and stress myself out. Mr. McGarry actually taught me quite a bit. I am not saying I was surprised Mr. McGarry could actually teach, I was just surprised at how much it opened my eyes to the world of literature in such little time. Off the top of my head I remember him saying about how the antagonist and protagonist are created based on their involvement in the story. Another thing I learned which kind of blew my mind was that a character that comes in and has a single purpose and that is to change the outcome…can still be considered a minor character. An obvious one that I should have known was that climax is when the reader is at their highest involvement in the story. I never thought of it like that! It is totally and completely true but I would have never guessed it. I also learned that “denouement” means “untying” which is, you guessed it, the falling action. Another key thing I learned was that setting has a huge involvement in a story. It reveals stuff about a character spiritually, psychologically, economically, and physically. Like, wouldn’t a story be different if a person was stuck in the desert looking for food rather than New York? Of course! That is a bad example but you get my point. It can also affect the character mentally. Going back to my wonderful example, the person would be more mentally defeated knowing he is in the desert rather than the city. That could affect him spiritually too! It all helps one another and that is why setting is so important. Star Wars would literally lose its name if the setting wasn’t space itself…

My First Week of Junior Year

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My first week of school went slow despite the fact we started on Tuesday. One adjustment I made for the school year was buying notebooks for classes. I found the surface pros frustrating at times because of the internet not working and messing up everything I had on OneNote. Plus, with notebooks, there’s no internet problems and you can keep it after the school year. With the surface pros they delete your work and you can’t look back on it. Not that I was going to anyways but you get the point. I had doubled up on Prob and Stat and Calculus which i don’t know was the best of decisions because then I have to hear K tell the same jokes twice a day BEFORE lunch. I like Mrs. Murphy. She brings energy to class everyday but we take a lot of notes. The first week I was writing it all by hand but there was so much to write and she kept moving ahead and I was falling behind and I looked around and saw everybody already finish their notes and I became very frustrated. I then looked on Google Classroom and there were guided notes for us on there… It takes me a while to catch onto some things. I then have culinary arts but we are just learning how to wash our hands so I have no comment on that class right now. And then there’s this class. I am not a fan of English classes but I find this class the best of the day. Most people find it dumb but I really enjoy the Classcraft game we have. I am also very sarcastic so I feel like McGarry and I will get along well throughout the year. I thought Jaclyn had an interesting presentation because I didn’t know she wanted to help kids as an occupation when she is older. The movie “Unbroken” is one of my favorite movies ever. I thought it was crazy how the main character, an Olympic athlete, survived on a raft for over a month and became a slave to the Japanese only to overcome his prison commander. He was moved to another camp and end up with the same commander again and he tortured the athlete every day. The commander told him to hold a steel beam above his head and if he dropped it he would get shot so he held it for hours to prove the commander wrong. I found that movie interesting despite the mixed reviews because he proved someone wrong and that caught my eye. The picture above is the main character holding the steel beam in the movie. This movie also serves as motivation for this school year to prove people wrong and find my true strengths.