Marcus's Mumblings

My Not so Quiet Opinions on the News

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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

 

Live Action Trailer for Destiny 2 Arrives Today

Today Destiny 2’s live action trailer hit the world with something that the game’s followers couldn’t believe was so good. This live action trailer was directed by the director of Kong: Skull Island.

Despite being for a fictional first-person-shooter set in outer space, and having Sabotage by the Beastie Boys set as the theme song, the new trailer takes a beautifully comical tone with the destruction of all Earth, now including the last safe place on Earth–The Last City. The City is taken by a “psycho rhino named Ghaul,” and the Gaurdians, inhabitants of The Last City, are the only ones that can fight back against him. (LeFebvre)

In the video we see the new faction of the Cabal–a monstrous race that conquers entire worlds just for being in their way–take the last safe stronghold from the inhabitants of Earth. The Gaurdians must now rise up, without their powers, to take back the city from these fiends.

Where were you when the Traveler fell?

So “Grab some big guns,”  and “Do it for the puppies!” The game will come out later next week on Wednesday, September 6 for Play Station 4 and Xbox One. Release for PC use is set for Tuesday, October 24. (LeFebvre)

LeFebvre, R. (2017, August 31). We wish ‘Destiny 2’ looked as good as this live action trailer. Retrieved August 31, 2017, from https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/31/destiny-2-live-action-trailer-looks-amazing

Introducing: Nat the Freshman

Nat is a freshman in the COMM 208 class taught by Ross Fuglsang. She is from Colorado, so she’s a decent amount of time away from home, but that’s exactly what she wanted. Nat hasn’t decided on a major yet, but is thinking about something to do with graphic design or writing. Her interest in writing comes from the three slam poetry competitions she’s been in. She does not likes sports, and holds a personal grudge against the Superbowl, as it sometimes falls on her birthday.

Nat has worked as a barista in her aunt’s cafe for about a year. She has also moved around a lot as a kid. She said she’s been to about twenty different schools since second grade. She likes cats a lot, and prefers them over dogs. She has family in Colorado and Wyoming, and lived in California for two of her years as a middle school student. Her family has had a few run ins with celebrities. Her great uncle dated Elvira, while her great grandfather performed with Elvis Presley on the Louisiana Hay Ride a radio show that was popular towards the beginning of Elvis’s career.

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.

Chapter 2: The Three Hardest Words

I was in tenth grade when my world history teacher asked the class a question. We were going over the Roman Empire, which I liked studying about, so I knew the answer. The question was, “What did the Roman motto SPQR stand for?” A few people made guesses that were wrong, and after that it got quiet. After a minute or two I realized that we weren’t moving on until someone answered the question correctly, and that I was the only one who knew what the answer was. So I raised my hand, and the teacher asked me if I knew what it was. I told him, “SPQR was Latin for Senatus Populusque Romanus, and it meant The Senate and People of Rome.” He said that I was correct, and then we went on with class.

I remember my classmates just looking at me and I swore I could hear them all thinking the same two things. First, “How did he know that?” And, “Of course he would know that.” At first I felt embarrassed because I had shown everyone up, including the other two of the three smartest people in class. But then I realized I had nothing to be embarrassed about. I had answered the question correctly, and helped get the class going smoothly once again so that we could continue to learn. Thinking back on it, I realize that what I did was the right thing, because we needed to hurry the class up so that we could get through the subject and work on the next topic.

Blog #5: Practice Argument

Greed. What is greed? According to the New Oxford English Dictionary, “Greed is the intense desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.” Greed is also one of the seven deadly sins.

Greed is a major problem in today’s world. It is visible in many places, like in the home, at work, in the government, in the banking system, and in the big corporations that make up much of our economy. I’m going to talk about how greed is prevalent in the big corporations though.

According to the Fortune 500 Company, in 1965, Eaton Corporation was ranked 111th in the nation for highest profit, with 559.4 million dollars in revenue, and 32.3 million dollars in profit. Coca-Cola was ranked 68th, with 833.6 million dollars in revenue, and 65.3 million dollars in profit. General motors was ranked 1st, with 16.997 billion dollars in revenue, and 1.7348 billion dollars in profit.  Also according to the Fortune 500 Company, in 2005 Eaton Corporation was ranked 227th, but had 9.817 billion dollars in revenue, and a profit of 648 million dollars. Coca-Cola was ranked 92nd, with 21.886 billion dollars in revenue, and 4.847 billion dollars in profit. And General Motors was ranked 3rd, with 193.517 billion dollars in revenue, and 2.805 billion dollars in profit.

You may be saying, “But they all dropped in rank. If they were greedy they all would have climbed, right?” Well, that is true. But you also have to look at how much money they were making in 2005 compared to what they were making in 1965. Eaton increased revenue by seventeen times, and profit by twenty times. Coca-Cola increased revenue by twenty-six times, and profit by seventy-four times. And General Motors increased revenue by eleven times, and doubled profit.

Based on this, you’d think that working men and women would be able to make a decent wage to live off of right? Well you’d be wrong thinking that way. According to Motherjones.com, the increase in real value of the minimum wage since 1990 has been 21%. The increase for cost of living since 1990? Did you guess 67%? Because that’s how much it is. The average yearly income for someone working on minimum wage is $15,080. The average cost of living? It’s thirty-thousand dollars.

 

 

Sources:

http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500_archive/full/2005/1.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speedup-americans-working-harder-charts

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