blog 17

1.) Do you agree that “that government is best which governs least?” What is the role of government and what is its role in relation to the individual citizen? I would say that I don’t agree with Thoreau’s statement because right now, the US government has already been completely ineffective in getting anything done, especially since Drumpf’s presidency. The most recent examples being the Parkland shootings (ongoing lenient gun laws) and the two government shutdowns (that did accomplish something, but took millions of dollars to do). As a country, it seems that we’re also not making any progress in moving forward when it comes to social issues. For the most part, we’re actually moving backward and the government hasn’t taken the initiative to change that. The role of the government is to make sure its citizens are being taken care of. The government is supposed to create a safe environment and try and benefit their citizens as much as possible. 
2.) Thoreau states that “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. . .” What kind of government commands your respect? Why? A government that is open minded and beneficial to the lives of all its citizens is the type of government that commands my respect. It’s obvious that government = corruption. Many times the average citizen is taken advantage of and the rich just get richer (which is only a small percentage in the US). People who are morally good and accepting of everyone have always been respectable in my eyes because it shows that they are open to new ideas, not just their own.
3.) Thoreau’s essay has influenced major figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the way they approach to protest, which has, in turn, become the guide to modern protest movements. What is the role of civil disobedience today? Is it still effective? Why? The role of civil disobedience today is to allow people to be able to voice their opinions on issues with hopes that they get heard.  I do think it’s effective because when people cause a stir (even if it’s peaceful) others just walking by or seeing it on the TV will wonder “what’s going on?” and most likely look into the topic and what it is. This then makes people more aware and possibly can influence them into becoming fellow believers. With a huge following, the government will eventually listen. 

Blog 15

Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ideas were very similar in the fact that they all revolved around nature. The main idea of the first portion of the excerpt “Where I Lived and What I Lived For?” and of “The Conclusion?” was that simplicity is key. If I were given the opportunity to go live in the woods all by myself for two years, I would decline the offer. I am a fairly social person and that just seems like it would be super lonely. Just having to talk to myself and only hear my own voice every day would drive me crazy.  The only benefit I could see coming out of that experience would be the fact that I would probably develop a deeper appreciation for nature.

Stuff I would take with me:

  1. my dog
  2. Funyuns (my fav veggie)
  3. solar powered charger and phone
  4. farm
  5. tiny house equipped
  6. leprechaun
  7. pope francis
  8. shoes
  9. internet
  10. wardrobe
  11. Duba
  12. chocolate milk
  13. satellite TV
  14. foam mattress
  15.  soap
  16. eating utensils
  17. a tree (to put in my tiny house)
  18. a camera
  19. eyebrow comb
  20. tweezers
  21. toothbrush
  22. toothpaste
  23. shampoo
  24. conditioner
  25. hair brush
  26. lots of toilet paper
  27. loofah
  28. towels

The modern reader would learn that transcendentalism is cool and intellectual. They would also learn that humans are not the center of the universe and nature is what makes the world what it is.

The end.

Real Blog 14

Image result for gifLet’s be honest: the majority of students probably wouldn’t read if they didn’t have to. So independent reading forces students to have to read so their grade doesn’t drop a whole letter grade. Now I know, reading is good. It exercises your mind and entertains the reader in a far better way rather than watching a screen, which requires very little thought. I don’t really know any tricks that BHS could use to encourage it’s students to read because I normally just don’t have time to read. Honestly, AR is just a huge inconvenience and is just more added stress. It really doesn’t make me enjoy reading anymore then I already do, and if I find the right book I can read it in one day. So  BHS, just let me read when I want to and can actually be able to tolerate the book that I’ve so carefully looked for and researched.

The book I chose to read is a memoir called “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I basically just chose it because at one point it was really popular and raved about, and it seemed a lot more interesting than the cheesy teen drama garbage that I was finding a lot of (@BHS library and Mr. Burrell: that wasn’t a dig at you, I was just lazily skimming the titles in the limited time I had to find a book). In the end, I’m guessing the speaker is probably going to find herself spiritually, and have a huge life altering change for the better after she finishes hiking the Oregon Trail. So far the first chapter was a very detailed description of how her mother died from lung cancer so it was extremely depressing, but it sets up the rest of the story and also shows the beginning of her real-life character development. I have no concerns about making a movie trailer because I’m a boss and will rock the socks off of Mr. McGarry.

Blog 14

Image result for puppet monkey meme

My first thoughts on transcendentalism were that it seemed very pretentious. That is probably very unintelligent of me to say, but I do not care. I think I felt that way because I was ignorant to the subject at hand. Now transcendentalism really is not that bad,  because after I  reviewed it a little bit more, I came to understand what Emerson was talking about. “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” were both very interesting and intriguing because Emerson was very descriptive and although you had to take a minute to interpret the many metaphors, it wasn’t hard to decipher.

According to transcendentalists, man is naturally good, but in my opinion, it depends on the environment that they grow up and live in. It also depends on the rules of the society that you live in. If society taught children that it’s okay to harm or hurt other people, then the child would grow up believing that idea. This can already be seen in countries that have child soldiers. People will naturally follow the “wrong” and “right” way that they are taught. There are very few exceptions that people break away from the rules and do whatever they want. If there were no rules in society, most people wouldn’t do “evil” things based their own intuition or self- conscience, but there are the psychopaths of the world so there is always that small exception. So I do not have a concrete answer to this question because the question, in my opinion, is a bit more complicated than a “yes” or “no” response. Sorry if my response is confusing though, hopefully, I explained my thoughts the best way possible.

Blog 13

My thoughts about understanding an argument haven’t really changed over the course of this unit because the tools I used in my debate I already knew to use in debates from the previous year in Mr. Stett’s class. There was one thing that I did notice immediately after I did my debate though. My dad is the type of person who thinks he knows everything so you can guess that we argue a lot. The thing is that when he argues with me, he always uses a bunch of bogus facts that he supposedly “heard from a reliable source”, but he can never name the so-called “reliable sources”. So just the other night we were debating and I kept pointing out that he could not persuade me because he had no actual statistics from a reliable source, and me telling him that just made him more annoyed and eventually he just dropped it. That was a very satisfactory feeling. That interaction also made me realize that adults ALWAYS think they are right because they are older, which in many situations, is not the case.  I would also like to say that with the amount of pressure Elizabeth Roberts was put under, she did a fantastic job against Mr. McGarry. She did really awesome with everything, especially when answering his questions that may have seemed unanswerable. If that were me, I would have been quaking and probably would have internally gave up after the first question, but she looked completely unfazed by him. My favorite debate to watch was probably Cody Weaver -vs- Iris Barrett. Even though Cody had some fallacies *cough *cough “Canada isn’t real”, they both provided very strong cases and had some very valid points. In the end, the biggest thing I learned from this unit is that debating is an acquired skill. For me, the hardest thing was answering questions on the spot. I can not think quickly on my feet like that. So that’s the end of this blog. Overall, I would say I definitely polished my skills and will be very comfortable the next I have to debate.

Debate Blog

Has your opinion about your topic changed over time? Why or why not?

-I’ve become more understanding of why people would be pro uniforms, but I still don’t want to have to follow a uniform dress code because I have many clothes that deserve to be worn.

Logos – What is the most interesting and/or compelling factual piece of information in regards to your debate topic? What makes it interesting to you? Why should it be interesting or compelling to others? Did you know this fact before doing research? What source gave you information or more information about it?

– Uniforms have proven to substantially reduce crime rates. It’s interesting to me because it had proven to reduce the rate by a whopping 91%in Long Beach California after the implemented a mandatory uniform dress code in 1995. This should be compelling to others because it would directly affect their own safety if they had uniforms. I did not know this fact before doing research and the sources I found that talked about it were the official Long Beach state website and

Pathos – What are emotional elements or approaches to your debate topic? Why does your topic activate these emotions in society? Is your debate topic one that is emotionally charged or one which you had to figure out how to activate emotional appeal in the audience? Why?

-emotional: fear and excitement “uniforms would save you time and money”, “You would be able to get more sleep”, “Uniforms increase student safety”.

My topic activates these emotions and is emotionally charged because uniforms would directly affect their well- being and would benefit them in the long run.

Ethos – Ethically, why is the debate about the topic important? In what ways does ethics enter into the debate of your topic? Justice? Fairness? Right vs. Wrong? Legality? What is one ethical argument against your topic? What is one ethical argument in favor of it?

-This topic is ethically important because it allows for students to be appropriately and professionally dressed in public.

-in favor: uniforms allow for everyone to be “appropriately dressed”.

-against: mandatory uniforms break the first amendment (freedom of expression).

Of the three appeals (logic, emotion, ethics), which one do you think is the most important for your topic? Which one is the most commonly used and what is the most common argument both in favor and opposed? What is the most common fallacious argument both in favor and opposed to your topic?

-emotional because all of the arguments that back this topic up would benefit the audience.

-in favor: Uniforms decrease bullying.

-against: uniforms inhibit one’s self-expression.

-fallacious in favor: uniforms prepare students for the workplace.

-fallacious against: Uniforms are ugly.
What have you learned about the process of creating a valid argument since we started our persuasive/argumentative unit of study? How will this affect future arguments you may have?

-I learned that it tasks forever to cite resources but in the end, it makes the argument more credible and persuasive.  In the future, I will now be able to sound more credible.

AR BLOG: Modern Romance

If you have any taste in TV shows at all you have probably seen Parks and Recreation. If you have not, please stop reading this blog and go watch all seven seasons right now. If you have then you probably know who Tom Haverford is (short Indian dude with a really high pitched voice and various business entrepreneur). Well Tom’s real name is Aziz Ansari , and besides being a pretty good comedian and actor, he wrote a book called “Modern Romance” which talks about the many factors of dating in today’s world. I’m normally not one for non-fiction factual books but this one was actually really interesting especially since Aziz added his comedic flair. What I also really enjoyed was the fact that there was informal slang used in the book rather then just stuffy facts and and a more “formal” tone.  In the book he dissects topics from dating in the olden days, to online dating, to even cheating in today’s society. The biggest thing that I have learned is that with technology at our fingertips dating has somehow been easier and worse at the same time. Before people would have to rely on meeting their “soulmate” in their neighborhood or through their parents. Now people just have to download an app and can find thousands of singles looking for the same things all around them. Although this is a really awesome thing, many people have now become more superficial and often times make prenotions and jump to conclusions just by looking at someone’s profile. Another crazy thing that I learned is that Japan has the third lowest birthrate in the world, and the reason is that many Japanese people just have no interest in getting involved in a relationship. This has become such a problem that the Japanese government has started PAYING their residents to get together and procreate. But if you think that’s crazy, read the facts and it will somehow get even more mind blowing.

  • “in 2013 a whopping forty-five percent of women ages 16-24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact”
  • “one-third of Japanese people under thirty had claimed to have never dated”
  • “a report from the Japanese government’s cooperation warned that by 2060 the number of Japanese will have fallen from 127 million to about 87 million, of whom almost forty percent will be sixty-five or older”
  • “about sixty percent of male singles in their twenties to thirties identify as a “herbivore man”. (herbivore man= Japanese slang for a man who does not want to get married or find a companion)
    • All of the facts listed above were either from Aziz’s own research while in Japan or statistics published by the Japanese government.

Arguably, the best and funniest part of “Modern Romance” are the real life examples. In order to research for this book thousands of people from different cities and countries were interviewed, and only a few of the hilarious responses were put in. The idiots of the internet really got to shine, and it was almost… inspiring. Some of the men in the examples really showed me how dumb the male population can be, but also how persistent some are. One guy sent the word “Hey” eight times in a four month period with no response. You have to admit, that’s dedication. So overall “Modern Romance” was a really great factual read that never struck me as being boring or dry. In fact it was the clearly the complete opposite. Ten out of ten, highly recommend.


Blog 11

For my debate topic, I chose “pro-school uniforms”. Even though there are a lot of reasons why we should have school uniforms,  I personally do not think we should have uniforms because they are ugly. How am I supposed to look like a whole snack and be comfortable at school if I have to wear a uniform every day? Many schools have a school uniform policy so that they don’t have to use a discriminatory school dress code system and it can also help prevent bullying and violent behaviors. When I searched “school uniforms” on Google, many websites that were very neutral on the topic popped up. It seemed that there was an equal amount of pro and con reasons for uniforms.

Logical: Studies have shown that school uniforms have increased student safety and decreased acts of violence and vandalism.

Ethical: Shoulders, visible skin, and vibrant colors are far too promiscuous so uniforms will definitely kill the baby boners before they are born. (p.s @ Mr. McGarry I know you are disappointed, and I’m sorry but I had no idea how else to state that)

The biggest emotion that I could play with while debating is “fear”. By making the audience fearful of the consequences that could come out of not having a school uniform policy, they will definitely support my position on the topic because safety is many people’s top priority.  Since I’m also trying to sell my topic to an audience of teens, I could use the “school uniforms save you money and time” argument. Kids would get to sleep in longer because they would not have to wake up earlier to choose an outfit. More sleep leaves them feeling more refreshed and ready to take on their day. So that’s it for this blog.

sidenote: there’s no picture because it wouldn’t let me upload one



Blog 10

(me at this assignment ^^)

Do you want your child learning the truth about America’s past in history class? You may think the answer is yes, but the truth is you may not. Many people are arguing that history teachers need to stop giving out misinformation from history, but in reality, they’re just censoring your child from horrific events like war, mass death, and rape. It is true that we shouldn’t be praising historical figures like Christopher Columbus, but why change the history class curriculum when it’s been in place for so long? It clearly hasn’t changed the success rate of American students! Not to mention the fact that schools would have to pay thousands of dollars to revamp their current learning materials with money that many schools don’t have. Yes, history is plagued by bad, but we also can’t ignore the good because of one bad fact. Let’s take a look at Benjamin Franklin, a prime example of this. Benjamin Franklin is known for many great accomplishments; he was a founding father, invented the bifocals and lightning rod, drafted the Declaration of Independence, and even invented the first political cartoon. With all these accomplishments, he lived a very greasy lifestyle. He was a frequent adulterer, voluntarily missed out on his son’s childhood, later disowned and arrested his son, and was just an all-around morally bad person. But Ben Franklin did a lot of great things in developing the United States, so why remember him for the bad and just honor him for the good? Another good example would be Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr was one of the strongest driving forces behind the African- American Civil Rights Movement in 1954. While participating in the movement he was known for leading peaceful protests and was also a priest and humanitarian. Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing person, but many people do not know that he plagiarized many parts of his doctoral thesis and was known for being a “ladies man”. These two things don’t take away the great things that Martin Lunther King Jr. achieved in his life and definitely, didn’t tarnish his legacy. Everyone deserves to know the truth, but parents should be able to control when and how their children learn about certain events in history. So the next time your child asks the question, “who was Benjamin Franklin?”, it’s up to you to decide whether to tell the whole truth or maybe just a small piece.

Blog 9

Benji Frank’s 13 virtues really opened my eyes over this past couple of days. I realized that I’m not a complete garbage person, but more of a mediocre person after all. Day-to-day I normally only break 2 or 3 rules on a regular basis. Also, trying to follow the virtues actually helped me be more successful. An example being the use of the rule “industry”. Instead of wasting my time laying in bed, I started studying for my PreCalc quiz two days early, and I think I did very well on it. On Thursday at track practice, we were outside and it was probably 30 degrees with a wind chill. My dumb ass teammate Connor Yost (yes, Ryan Yost’s little brother), decided to wear a thin Under Armour t-shirt and shorts and didn’t pack any other clothes. So I pulled a “Sincerity” card and let him use my sweatshirt. By being sincere I’m guessing I gained a little respect which is pretty hard to do being that I’m a fairly small, obnoxious, and skill-less person.

The rules that I did end up breaking were “temperance”, “tranquility”, and one of my group’s made up ones “tea”. I broke temperance every day, but again, I’m a smaller person who runs over 2 miles pretty much every other day and is also trying to get those gains so I have my reasons for overeating. One of the flaws of my personality is also that I am EXTREMELY impatient, so that certainly did not help me be more “tranquil”. I cannot STAND when people walk at a snail’s pace in the hallways, and then sometimes stop right in front of me, and just stand there.  And don’t even get me started on couples in high school. Y’all act like you haven’t seen each other for over a year when it’s only been like one period. Also, PDA just disturbs me. I know that probably makes me seem like a very bitter person because I’m trashing other people’s happiness and all, but I know I’m not the only one so it’s fine. The last rule I broke was “tea”, but that was only one time because someone asked me about someone else’s business. So in my book, I was pretty successful with the 15 virtues.