Positivite Attitude, Positive Life

Photo courtesy of https://twitter.com/alexjwatters

Alex Watters, a City Councilman of Sioux City and the Career Development Specialist at Morningside, has tried his hardest to live a life that radiates positivity and self-support.

He came to Morningside in 2004 as a freshman in college on a golf scholarship with a dream to become a teaching pro. “When I was 18, like many teenagers, I was very self-centered and worried about three things: making money, talking to girls, and golf,” Watters said. 

Just two weeks into his freshman year, he was involved in an accident that left him unable to move from the waist down with limited functioning in his arms. 

Although life-altering, this accident did not stop Watters from achieving great success, going back to school and furthering a career in political science, an area he is very passionate about.

“I think you can really make a difference in politics. Politics are so perverted and misdirected now that people forget politicians are there to make a difference,” Watters explained.

Watters has worked on multiple campaigns throughout his life, but he realized how big of an impact he had during his time working for former President Barack Obama as a field organizer here in Sioux City. A volunteer came in who wanted to help but was unable to knock on doors, so Watters hired her as the office manager. Even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal to most, this woman felt like Watters gave her life purpose.

Along with his achievements in politics, Watters also finds inspiration in focusing time and effort into his advisees here on Morningside’s campus. 

“The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing students succeed and being a part of that success!” Watters said.

Watters says he understands there’s privilege in the world, but ultimately, people determine their destiny. 

The best piece of advice Watters had to offer was that “You truly determine your destiny, what you’re going to do, and what you’re going to achieve.” 

“Hornick, Iowa receives $2M grant to build new flood protection berm after floods” by Siouxland News Comments

KMEG 14 Siouxland News reports on the grant Hornick, Iowa, received to build a berm between the river and the town after the Little Sioux River flood back in March. The mayor of the town is excited for this new investment, knowing that once it is all set up, he won’t have to worry about the four inches of rain devastating their town once again. 

This very short article spoke of an event that happened almost half a year ago, but the grant finally being approved and ready to be put into action makes it relevant for the community. But, the thing that really stuck out to me was the one quote they decided to use from the mayor of the town. It was an awkward quote, referring to himself in third person and then repeating how he “won’t have to worry in the middle of the night” in the same sentence a couple times. Going back to our quote discussion in class, I think it would have been okay if the writer cleaned up the quote to make it flow a bit better. With the mayor, who is a big political figure in the town, making sure you keep the meaning of what he is trying to say is important but cutting out a line or two would have helped him sound more competent on the issue than how they made him sound in the article.

“The Rise of C-Sections – and What It Means” by Neel Shah Comments

Neel Shah writes that the procedure of cesarean surgeries has come to a rise in America. The reasons Shah emphasizes for this rise is that the surgeries are more affordable, needing less staff and being more time efficient. Some hospitals are not allowing for their patients to make their own decisions, prepping them for C-sections even if it’s not an emergency. When going into a C-section, the benefits must outweigh the inherent risks. The rise in these surgeries has made it so the chance of a woman dying during childbirth is 50% more likely to occur.

I felt like this article was more of an opinion piece than an informative news story. It included the fact that the writer was an obstetrician and the decisions they felt like they were supposed to be careful about when considering a patient’s labor. It also gave advice to the reader. No outside sources were used, other than the side gallery of one woman and her experience of not having an option of how she would deliver her child. Though having one source is better than none, it still would have been beneficial for the writer to include a few more opinions and expert opinions to support what they were saying or offer another view point.

A Snowball Experience

A contradicting texture, with an outside that is soft but gritty and an inside that is dry but still surrounded by a soft whipping. The layers all combine together to smell of a sweet chocolate coconut as if the cake and marshmallow were combined then directly rolled over a plate of coconut flakes. If you hold it, it squishes easily, but has a hard center to keep it from being completely mashed into oblivion. As I chew, the only sound that can be heard is the soft coconut flakes between my hard canines. The feeling it gives me after devouring the sugary treat is a readiness for a nap, in a warm, puffy comforter. 

Two New Friends!

Fuglsang assigns Scavenger Hunt to practice interviewing – these were my two items!

Object 1: A selfie with your subject.

Sophomore Amber Stone was sitting in the Walker Science Atrium, doing homework for her statistic class when I rudely interrupted her. Her homework was centered around “standard deviations” and other basic concepts for the class. As a transfer biology major from Hamlin University, Stone doesn’t quite know which branch of biology she would like to work in, but understands the need for statistics in the area. 

“I transferred to Morningside from Hamlin because I was already coming here to visit my sister a lot,” Stone said.

Stone’s sister is a fifth-year senior and the girls have grown up going to school together, so it only feels right they continue that tradition in college. “Her friend group and my friend group blend together well, so we are usually together!” exclaimed Stone.

Although Morningside is a change, Stone seemed to be enjoying her first year here. She joined the choir, which she was not able to do at Hamlin, and expressed to be adjusting to the Sioux City College well.

Object 2: A movie recommendation

Morningside student Deborah Allard had just set her lunch bag and books down with friend Kaitlyn Stewart. Preparing to study, I wanted to find out a movie recommendation she had. After a moment of hesitation, Allard confidently said “I would recommend the movie Spirited Away”. 

Explaining the plot, Allard told me that the movie is about a girl who moves to a traditional Japanese cultured town, where there are spirits all around. The girl’s parents turn into pigs and her own memories are wiped away, leaving the character to try to overcome the challenges she faces of being trapped by spirits and becoming herself again. 

“I was about 5 to 7 when I saw it, and I found it very entertaining because it had magical creatures and elements in it.”

I asked if she was scared at all when she initially saw it, and besides the bad guy in it, she very much enjoyed the movie without having any nightmares afterward.

“India Announces Widespread Ban Of E-Cigarettes” by Paolo Zialcita and Lauren Frayer News Comments

In this very short article NPR reporters Paolo Zialcita and Lauren Frayer write about India’s new ban on electronic cigarettes. Although some places in India did ban the “gateway” tobacco product, the ban was prompted by “the Indian Council of Medical Research publishing a paper recommending a complete ban”. The biggest goal the Indian government is trying to accomplish through this ban is the prevention of young people becoming addicted to nicotine. Zialcita and Frayer go on to list a few penalties people may face if they are found to be guilty of having an e-cigarette in their possession.

To begin with, this article had no apparent lead. It had a title and then it started its first paragraph. I could see the writers could have tried to make the lead two sentences, but I think the first line could have been by itself and called an effective lead. Secondly, the use of introducing experts and using quotes from them seemed very sporadic. The last paragraph is actually a former minister’s opinion and actions. On a more observant note, the story falls under the category of Conflict. It takes place in India but is reported on the U.S. NPR website. This is because the United States is taking steps toward banning e-cigarettes, so reporting on other countries doing it and their reason for it allows us, as readers, to see the impact of our actions in a global perspective. 

“An island imperiled; As their home melts, Greenlanders confront the fallout of climate change” By Denise Chow News Comments

Reporter and editor at NBC News MACH, Denise Chow, reports on the effects that climate change is having on Greenland. Chow begins the article with a specific thunderstorm that scared the people of Greenland, for they never have such storms. She then incorporates Greenland civilians’ stories of what it was like when they were kids versus now, what businesses are beginning to look like with the environmental change, and even what Greenland may look like in the future. 

Chow unpacked a lot of information within her news story. I noticed that she started and ended the story with the same Greenland woman’s quote, first quoting about “when [she] grew up…” and then ending with how she wishes people would be aware of “how much it means for [them] to keep [their] culture”. This added a lot of credibility and unbiased content from the author, showing how scary it is that the snow is melting. She also incorporated the hardships that the climate change is having on small businesses that depend on the ice, giving readers another reason to care about the issue at hand. I think that with as many details that the story included, the lead seemed very vague and general, so readers had to actually read if they wanted to know what the article was about. 

Quick Reflection over Article #1

I put a lot of my effort into writing and revising the lead and first couple of paragraphs in my sentence that regard to Morningside’s tradition of “survivor night”. I wish I would’ve spent more time looking for articles and sources that could help effectively support or add information to the story, I just knew there would be little to none about Morningside parties so that discouraged me a bit.

The most difficult part of the process was choosing multiple articles and quotes that could fit in with what my story was about. My story was more specific to Morningside College and because it’s a smaller and more reserved school, there were no articles relating to the parties that take place on campus. So, I had to instead use articles that referred to different police in Iowa that would most likely be following the same guidelines as Sioux City Police and other Iowa colleges that may have seen consequences ensue from partying. I also used an article referring to the possible consequences of police busting a house party, according to attorneys. 

The biggest problem I encountered when writing this article was the switch form general Iowa marijuana laws to the campus specific parties caused me to have writers’ block a few different times. I would have a good idea of how to transition and then I found myself not being able to execute it that well. I solved this problem by writing paragraphs I knew I wanted to include and going back through to add transitions that may make the story and information flow a bit better.

Article #1 Final: Morningside students are surprised when Sioux City Police show up on “Survivor Night”

The weekend before fall semester classes began, Sioux City Police patrolled the Morningside area, seeming to be aware that students were planning to participate in “survivor night”.

Photo found: https://siouxcityjournal.com/sioux-city-police-patrol-car/image_6e4f3f06-90c1-5bc7-a3f7-231fb79d3f38.html

“Survivor night” is an end of pre-season tradition where multiple off-campus houses host parties throughout the weekend. These parties were meant to celebrate the survival of pre-season conditioning and practicing before the semester begins for the college students. 

“It’s a weekend where we can just relax and enjoy the time we have with our newfound friends on our sports’ teams, a break in between a stressful time of conditioning and practicing every day that turns into classes and homework as well as preparing for seasonal games,” an anonymous source said.

Typically, the athletes wanting to take will choose a date that is two or three weekends before school starts, ensuring only pre-season athletes would be in attendance. Some students were shocked to learn that this year’s gaggle of parties were planned to happen only days before the first day of classes. 

With it being that close to the start of the school year, many who were not a part of a sports’ team and already on campus for pre-season, attended these parties, almost doubling the size they would have originally been.

One reason the amount of people attending the parties that weekend was unexpectedly high could be that Morningside welcomed the third-largest freshmen class in the last two decades, according to a Morningside press release. This increase for sure bumped the party attendance up quite a few notches.

The number of students attending the multiple off-campus parties was the leading reason police were able to find the parties so quickly. They were quick to follow students who were wandering the streets at late hours of the night. The police weren’t looking to make any arrests but they did want to ensure that students saw their active role in the community.

In fact, News 7 KWWL reported that police in Dubuque, Iowa, did this same thing by going out at the beginning of the semester “not to just bust parties, but rather to talk with students… about practicing safe habits this school year”.

This seemed to be the same goal Sioux City Police had in mind when they went out.

Although they knocked on doors and stopped students walking around at night with back-packs, police decided to give students simple warnings instead of handing out fines or arrests, one anonymous student said.

“They said that if we were not 21, we just had to dump out the alcohol and then we could be on our way for the night,” said the source. “But, they warned us that this would not be the case for every weekend.”

One attorney’s office, Worgul, Sarna, & Ness Criminal Defense Attorneys, warns of the consequences that ensue when a house party is busted. Police will bust a house party due to complaints, but they usually can’t enter the house unless they suspect illegal activities. Drunk teenagers outside of the house can be enough cause. If found to be partaking in illegal drugs or drinking when you’re a minor, serious consequences most likely will occur that align state guidelines and consequences.

“Scientists Find Water Vapor on the Most Habitable Exoplanet Yet” by Daniel Oberhaus Comments

According to Journalist Daniel Oberhaus, a team of astronomers from University College London announced Wednesday that they detected water vapor in a “super-Earth” planet outside of our solar system. According to their findings via the Hubble Space Telescope, this planet is the only planet outside of our solar system that has the correct temperature to support water has an atmosphere with vapor in it. The astronomers do not believe life, or even liquid, could be found on the planet but it does have one of the criteria required for a habitable exoplanet. 

This article was extremely long and repetitive of what the proper title of this planet should be. It was too lengthy in the format of each paragraph, making it hard to stay focused since there was so much text on the screen. I did not like that the author’s name was not up by the title but instead placed at the bottom of the story, along with a short bibliography of him. I also found the headline misleading. Before reading the article, I thought maybe they found a planet with life on it, which would be major news, but as I began reading I soon realized that the planet just had a characteristic needed for a habitable planet. It did have an interesting topic that included a rare finding, though, so the story itself was definitely worth writing about.