Marcus's Mumblings

My Not so Quiet Opinions on the News

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Profile Paper

Jim Sykes is the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team here at Morningside. During his time here, he has put together one of the most impressive coaching resumes since he was promoted to the position of head coach in January of the team’s 2003-2004 campaign. He has recorded a .647 winning percentage, and a 277-151 win loss record (Coaches). Jake Brand, a current student at Morningside and a former men’s basketball player said, “Coach Sykes is a really good guy. He’s always been very professional on and off the court, and has never been rude to me.”

But how did Sykes make it to Morningside? Why did he decided to become a coach? In an interview with Sykes in the spring semester of last year, I found out the answers to these questions.

Jim Sykes first decided he wanted to be an elementary teacher and a coach after he was influenced by his 6th grade teacher Mr. Neumeier. Athletics were always at the core of what Sykes wanted to do. He played several sports in school, and thought the coaching aspect might be fun as well. “I figured if I wasn’t good enough to play, maybe I’d be good enough to coach,” Sykes said in the interview.

When Sykes first started working as a teacher and a coach, he was teaching elementary school in Waverly, Nebraska. He helped as an assistant coach on the football team, and was the head coach of the basketball team. He said that the sport he chose to be the head coach for was a close call. He liked the atmosphere that football provided, but also liked being able to coach five guys on a court, and being in charge of both offense and defense. Zach Polk, a Morningside alumni and former basketball player under Sykes said, “His coaching style is intense. You have to be able to handle the intensity of his coaching style or you might crumble under the pressure. You have to realize though, he’s doing the things he’s doing because he wants the team to succeed.”

The chance to coach at Morningside was an opportunity for Sykes. An acquaintance of his got the head coaching position for the Men’s Basketball team, and asked if Sykes would be interested in being his assistant. As was stated earlier, Sykes gained the head coaching position after being promoted there in the middle of the 2003-2004 season.

 

 

Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2017, from https://morningside.edu/athletics/mens-basketball/coaches/

College Suicide: The Mental Health Help Problem

Suicide, in many opinions is something that shouldn’t be done, because it hurts more than just the one person who makes that decision. It hurts their loved ones and their friends. But most of all, it hurts the world. If that person hadn’t committed suicide, what could they have done? Maybe one person could’ve found the cure for cancer, and another could’ve brought world peace.

Since they’re no longer here, that won’t happen—at least not for a while. But suicide is a very broad topic, especially when you look at the ages at which people make the decision to end it all. So, to narrow that topic down, here are some articles and statistics about suicide in college age students.

In the article titled “Suicide Wave Grips Columbia” the authors Shawn Cohen and Laura Italiano talk about the seven suicides that involved seven Columbia students.

Starting on January 18, 2016, and ending on December 18, 2016, seven students made the decision to end their lives.

In January Daniel, Yi-Chia, Ezekiel all decided to take their lives in a matter of a five day stretch. In September it was Uriel—a navy corpsman. In October Taylor chose to end his life. In November Nicole made the same decision, and in December Mounia also made the decision.

According to information gathered from multiple sources by collegedegreesearch.net in 2015, an average of 6% of undergraduate, and 4% of graduate students in a four year college had seriously thought about attempting suicide in the past year. Nearly half of both those groups didn’t tell anyone.

There were 7.5 suicides per 100 thousand students in the U.S. in 2015, which added up to 1,100 students taking their lives that year. One in twelve had actually written out a suicide plan, and 1.5 out of 100 students actually attempted to commit suicide.

Twelve people aged fifteen to twenty-four committed suicide in one day, which rounded out to one person dying every two hours.

The emotional health of college freshmen had declined to its lowest extent in 25 years, going from 64% saying their emotional health being above average in 1985, to 51% saying their emotional health was above average in 2015.

Campus stress producers were found to correlate with competitiveness, acceptance rate, tuition, campus crime, and the economy.

In the article “College Mental Health Crisis: Focus on Suicide” written by Steve Schlozman and Eliza Abdu-Glass, and contributed to by Gene Beresin—a professor of psychology at Harvard—the good, the bad, and the ugly of mental health services on college campuses is discussed.

The good? There are more opportunities for developmental growth, and colleges are actively recognizing the immense variety of ways that their students are coming of age. There are many offerings for people to explore who they are and what values they hold dear.

The bad? Drop-out rates, more powerful distractions from the online world, and greater academic and social expectations for students are on the rise. The ever-growing financial challenges for students and parents are also on the rise, and the decreased certainty of finding a job makes things more difficult as well. This all adds emotional stress to the students, and adds to the pressures of the outside world that they are feeling.

The ugly? As was said above, colleges have made great improvements, but are still largely ill-equipped to help students with psychological health that needs this great of an amount of help.

Some statistics that Schlozman, Abdu-Glass, and Beresin provided are;

  1. There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses each year, which adds up to 2-3 deaths every day.
  2. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
  3. More than half of college students have suicidal thoughts, and one in ten seriously consider attempting suicide.
  4. 80-90% of college students who committed suicide were not receiving help from the counseling centers at their college.

Following this, they asked what can be done to improve the situation? They came up with these 6 things colleges can do to help;

  1. Establish new educational platforms about depression and suicide.
  2. Increase access to mental health services.
  3. Support community forums
  4. Foster peer counseling.
  5. Decrease the stigma of mental illness.
  6. Promote means for increasing student wellbeing.

With colleges being unique, they need to tailor these things to their circumstances. If they do, the benefits are immense. If colleges act, they can literally save lives.

First Paper: Rough Draft

Suicide can have several meanings, it just depends on how you look at it. For some it’s a senseless and selfish act that takes loved ones away from their families. For others it’s seen as something that has taken a loved one. And for others still, it’s a way to end the pain, or to leave behind the loneliness that’s drowning them. The dictionary definition is, “the intentional taking of one’s own life.” But suicide is a very broad topic, especially when you look at the ages at which people make the decision to end it all. So, to narrow that topic down, I’m going to talk about suicide in college age students.

Suicide, in my opinion is something that shouldn’t be done, because it hurts more than just the one person who makes that decision. It hurts their loved ones and their friends. But most of all, it hurts the world. If that person hadn’t committed suicide, what could they have done? Maybe one person could’ve found the cure for cancer, and another could’ve brought world peace. Since they’re no longer here, that won’t happen—at least not for a while.

According to http://www.collegedegreesearch.net/student-suicides/ in 2015, an average of 6% of undergraduate, and 4% of graduate students in a four year college had seriously thought about attempting suicide in the past year. Nearly half of both those groups didn’t tell anyone.

There were 7.5 suicides per 100 thousand students in the U.S. in 2015, which added up to 1,100 students taking their lives that year. One in twelve have actually written out a suicide plan, and 1.5 out of 100 students have actually attempted to commit suicide.

Twelve people aged fifteen to twenty-four committed suicide in one day, which rounds out to one person dying every two hours.

The emotional health of college freshmen had declined to its lowest extent in 25 years, going from 64% saying their emotional health being above average in 1985, to 51% saying their emotional health was above average in 2015. Campus stress producers were found to correlate with competitiveness, acceptance rate, tuition, campus crime, and the economy.

Bad Dog! Gas Truck Rolls Over on Outskirts of Town

A Texaco truck hauling gasoline overturned and flooded sewer lines on 48th Street and Correctionville Road. Fire Chief Charles Hochandel said, “The firemen followed catastrophe and hazmat procedure set up beforehand for just such an occurence.”

Four families were evacuated because of the gas in the sewer lines, and cars were rerouted through side streets, as there was also fuel on the streets and in ditches.

The situation remained serious for two hours until the gasoline was washed away, and flushed out of the lines.

Charter School Woes

This news article comes from the New York Times Education Issue. The headline is, “Michigan Gambled on Charter Schools. Its Children Lost.”

The part that should catch your attention was the little paragraph that was used as a summary of what the article talked about.

It goes, “Free-market boosters, including Betsy DeVos, promised that a radical expansion of charter schools would fix the stark inequalities in the state’s education system. The results in the classrooms are far more complicated.”

This should catch your attention because it shows that while some people have good intentions, they aren’t always very helpful.

This article has a good lead, as it uses a small amount of information from the article to talk about what is going on. This also lets you know what’s basically going on in the story, without having to read the entire article.

Other than the lead, this story does leave something to be desired. Instead of going right into talking about the charter school problems that the state has, it talks about the history of a young woman who grew up in Highland Park, and started teaching there this last year.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/michigan-gambled-on-charter-schools-its-children-lost.html

 

Blog #6

The blog that I like the most of what I wrote previously this semester is for chapter 6. It talks about relationship frames, and which ones I found important in my life. I talk about how the frames parent/child and coach/athlete. Both have turned me into the young man that I am today. My parents taught me the most important characteristics for a person to have, and my coaches helped expand on those characteristics, and even taught me some new ones. I can’t think of ways to expand or improve on what I’ve written. I still feel that every one of the qualities that were instilled in me by my parents and coaches is a vital piece of who I am, and what makes me me. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened to me over the years, because I don’t know who I would be, or if I would like the outcome of those changed experiences.

Chapter 6: Like Giving Candy to a Baby

There are a lot of relationship frames that have influenced my life, but I’d have to say that the two most important ones would be parent/child, and coach/athlete.

The first frame is important, because my parents taught me respect, honesty, compassion, and several other qualities that make a decent human being. Without having learned these things from my parents I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. I’m not saying that everything I learned from my parents was good, and I’m not saying that I always got along with my parents, but I did learn how to get around those things. My mother taught me to be patient with others, even if you don’t get along with them. My father taught me that in certain circumstances it is perfectly acceptable for a grown man to cry; when his sibling dies, when he thinks he might lose his father. Most importantly, they taught me that there are certain circumstances where it is okay to quit.

The second frame is important, because there were some things my parents didn’t–or weren’t able–to teach me. I learned a lot from my coaches over the years as well. Humility, the strive for greatness, hard work, sportsmanship, obedience and the ability to take orders. Some might ask why obedience and being able to take orders is a good thing. They are important because with out them, nothing would ever get done. Someone always comes up with an idea, but then there needs to be someone who will do it. I learned from all of my coaches how to go out and give whatever sport I was in at the time my all, but only a few taught me how to handle the unexpected. Being sidelined by sickness, losing a game that you should have won, and winning a game that nobody but you, your coach and your team thought that you would win. One coach stands out to me the most. He was like family to me, and he taught me not only how to be a great athlete, but a great man as well. For that I will be forever thankful.

There are several things that can help you get through life, but one thing that any person who is going to turn out right needs, is love. To be loved my those around them, and to love those around them. I was lucky enough to get that in sports and my personal life.

Chapter 5. Think Like a Child

Everybody knows what it’s like to have a discussion with a child. They ask what something is, does, how it works, why it does what it does, etc, etc. They want to know everything, and they won’t stop until you are thoroughly annoyed. As long as they don’t know about something, you can bet that anytime you go somewhere there will be questions when you get there, and even on the way there.

Children also have an innate ability to ask some of the darnedest questions right when they need to be asked. Having a bad day? That’s when a random child asks you something about the jacket you’re wearing. While you are telling them about it, you remember that it’s your favorite jacket, and then all the history that comes with the jacket comes rushing in, and you aren’t in a bad mood anymore. You could be arguing with a friend, and a kid will ask why you two are fighting. You tell them, and they reply with, “Well that’s a stupid reason to be fighting.” And you realize that they’re right.

Besides being able to ask the right question at the right time, and asking the most annoying questions, children also ask some of the funniest things that you’ll ever hear. I remember a kindergartner at my old school asking my friend if she could have her hair. I also remember several other things that were asked by the elementary students, and ended up being answered by the high schoolers. There was a lot of laughing when some of the questions were asked, and sometimes the laughing came with the answer to the question.

Chapter Four: Like a Bad Dye Job, the Truth is in the Roots

One of the major problems in today’s society is gun related violence. Or rather, that’s what the media would like you to think. In fact, gun related violence isn’t really that big of a deal in everyday life, but the media coverage of it is. Since the 1990’s, gun violence has gone down. In fact, right now it’s at the lowest point it has been at in decades. On the other hand, media coverage of gun related crimes has sky rocketed by about 600%!

One of the major ways the government it fighting this so called “gun problem” is by creating stricter, and more severe laws surrounding the ability to own and possess firearms.While this might help them monitor those who obtain guns legally and lawfully, it will not stop criminals from getting firearms. In fact, it will make the jobs of criminals easier, because less and less people will want to go through the hassle of getting a permit to have a firearm.

Something that the government can do to help the people? Make it easier for law abiding citizens to get firearms to protect themselves. While you might question why this would be helpful, it truly would be. Think about it. If you are confronted by an armed robber, would you feel better being able to pull your own gun to try and protect yourself? Or would you feel better handing over your purse, or wallet, and being scared to death they might just shoot you anyway?

Just remember, when you need it in seconds, help is only a few minutes away.

Chapter 3: What’s Your Problem?

I have faced barriers before. I started doing individual speech events my freshman year of high school. Many of my friends were able to win at the district level and move on to state, but I struggled to get close to going. I tried and tried, but was unable to get the rating I needed to move on.

I got so frustrated that I wanted to quit, but I just kept going. My sophomore year I ended up messing up my performance. I had to much written down to get it read in the amount of time given. With thirty seconds left, I had five paragraphs to read, and I had to make last a last minute edit. I finished just as the timer went off, and bowed by head. Afterwards I felt like I could get it, but again, fell just short of the rating I needed.

Junior year I went to a classic author, instead of a newer one, and chose to preform Edgar Allen Poe’s The Sphinx. The Wednesday before districts we went to our conference tournament. I preformed extremely well, and won the category. I just knew after that that I would get it that year. We went to districts and I again preformed well, but again, fell just short of going to state. I was devastated. I’d worked so hard to get there, and it just slipped through my fingers once more.

Finally, in my senior year, I decided that no matter what, I was going to go to state. I practiced much longer than anyone else did, and started before I even needed to. We hosted conference tournament that year, and I ended up getting third in the category, so I became a little wary. But all of the hours of hard work that I put in paid off, because at districts, I blew the judge away with my performance. And you know what? I finally got to go to state competition.

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