Month: September 2019

School Shootings – A Safety Scarcity

Preparation for school shootings may not be making students feel safer. They may be inflicting so much fear within students that they have started to seek alternative safety options.

The New York Times released an article about Mackenzie Bushey, a 15-year old junior at Sheehan High in Wallingford, Connecticut. A new “no cellphone policy” was introduced in one of Mackenzie’s classes. When she found out, she was upset.

Without a phone, Mackenzie stressed that she was losing the ability to protect herself. She found safety within her phone, without that, she explained, she would not be able to notify the police if a school shooter entered the building. In addition, she would not be able to contact her family to tell her “last goodbye.” 

Students and families have started to purchase safer school equipment as a precaution.

J.T. Lewis, in a recently released New York Times article, received a $200 Bullet Blocker backpack from his grandmother before starting his freshman year of college. Although surprised with the gift, his grandmother and himself had a “common understanding” that the backpack was necessary. 

In the ideal scenario, the backpack would be placed in front of Lewis in order to block a bullet. However, in the case that there is no time to react, Lewis mentioned how the backpack would not prevent him from dying in a shooting, but it might help to stop a bullet from behind.

Lastly, fear of school shootings have led students to find safety in everyday objects found in the common classroom.

Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit gun violence awareness organization, released a video titled “Back to School Essentials” on Youtube. Within the video, students showcase their new school equipment. 

The video started with students, one by one, showing off their new school equipment. However, towards the middle of the video, students began to flee the school as sounds of gunshots arose in the background. The represented students then began to display their new school equipment as weapons or life saving equipment. A young girl said “these new socks can really be a lifesaver” as she began to tie the sock around an injured classmate’s leg in order to stop the bleeding of her gunshot wound. 

There are many safety representations in the video. Scissors used as a knife. A jacket used to tie a door shut. A skateboard used to break a window in order to escape the shooter. They may all be used for a different purpose, but the content in the video infers students to use everyday objects as a way to protect themselves in a school shooting. 


A New Food Craving

You can see the dark coloring and variation of shading on first examination of a black bean burger.

The first bite is surprising, something you have never tasted before. Like opening a present having no idea what might hide inside.

The patty is presses and thin, but the bun and toppings give the burger a much needed flare. It would not be as desirable if bare.

The feeling of health accomplishment rushes over the body as you continue to eat the vegetarian meal. Yet, still, the resemblance to meat eat bite reveals continues to surprise you.

“You determine your destiny” – The Success of Alex Watters

Student advisor at Morningside College and political figure, Alex Watters, gave students insight into his life during a class wide interview in Professor Fuglsang’s Journalism Course.

As a young child, Watters claimed, he has always been interested in politics. He never struggled with speaking to new people. As a child, Watters would tag alongside his father, the Sheriff, anytime information needed to be spread door to door in the community.

Before his accident, a career in politics was not his first choice. Watters wanted to be a golf instructor. He claimed this was his dream job.

Two weeks into his freshman year of college, his life changed forever. At a family reunion on Lake Okoboji, Watters planned on swimming before it got too cold in the upcoming winter season. On his way down the dock, his hat blew off into the water. He dove in after it, head first. However, the water was only 18 inches deep. Watters was left with a spinal cord injury and the inability to move his legs.

Alex finished his education and received his masters after 9 years.

He came back to Sioux City and became one of the first student advisors in the new Krone Advising Center here at Morningside.

In 2016, Alex ran for a spot on Sioux City’s Board of Supervisors. He did not get the spot. However, just a year later, he was placed of the City Council.

Fast forward 3 years, Watters has worked with Michelle Obama, the AAPD, and the US Department of Education. He is a voice for people with disabilities.

Watters claimed he has always been underestimated in power. While not direct, fellow politicians would comment on his inability to walk without even realizing it. However, he knows his worth and preaches it upon his students.

Disabled, yes, but incapable, no. Alex Watters faced tragedy, but now uses it to empower his students. He preaches “you determine your own destiny.” He leads by example. Watters took hardship and turned it into success.

Stopping the Joker

In recently released Vox article “The fight over Joker and the new movie’s “dangerous” message, explained” reporter, Alex Abad-Santos, focusses on the reviews on the soon to be released Joker movie. Reviews, most of which, frown upon the events in the movie and trailers. The public has not seen the movie, however movie critics for Rotten Tomatoes and other companies say the movie is dangerous. The content displays “training,” says critics. However, the danger is mainly for the movie goers after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado at the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012.

The article was, somewhat, well written. However, there was little information on what content, specifically, in the movie that was “dangerous.” Nevertheless, the article was intended for all moviegoers. It uncovered the critics of the movie while additionally raising awareness to the possibility of another theater shooting.

Scavenger Hunt

On my scavenger hunt I was assigned to take a selfie with two strangers, while, additionally, getting a restaurant recommendation.

First, I walked up to Amber Deuel and Emily Clotfelter as they were heading to lunch. I introduced myself and started some small talk. We were all three being freshman so we started to talk about school and how long we have been here. Amber said, “I feel like I have been here forever but it has only been a month.” Shortly after, I asked to take a selfie with the two, and they said yes. After, we all said goodbye and went our separate ways.

Shortly after, I found Madison Goodwin as a spokesperson for a restaurant recommendation. Once again, I introduced myself and told her my background. I was straight forward and asked her for a recommendation in Sioux City. She recommended Chick-fil-a. However, it seemed she thought that was too ‘basic’ because she mentioned shortly after “I am sorry I hope that is good enough.”

The Reality Behind School Supplies

The Washington Post, just two hours ago, output an article responding to the Sandy Hook ‘Back to School Essentials’ video. Reporter, Kim Bellware, summarizes and explains the meaning, purpose, and background being the video. She also references to the producers behind the video to give her audience a full understanding.

This article is extremely emotional, not because of the writing, but the video being attached. The article appealed to just about every audience. The video drew the people in, and the writing helps the audience understand why the article was released in the first place. It was very upfront. She quickly got to the point just like the back to school video.

Please Watch/Read

Checking people, not guns

In the recently released Vox article “The gun solution we are not talking about,” author, Madeline Marshall, follows the problem behind background checks. Background checks are not good enough. Massacres in Charleston and Texas have been committed by men with criminal records, yet they passed a background check. Marshall, then, talks about Massachusetts, and how their current background check takes almost 30 times longer than an average 108 second check. She presents it as a guideline for states to follow so the percentage of mass shootings will lower.

This article appeals to a very broad audience, just about anyone who goes out in public. The article read well and was very interesting. There was a good balance between problem and solution, and between example and explanation. Her motive is clear, we must strengthen our licensing process in order to prevent mass shootings.

Death Under Proper Regulation

Currently, off the West Coast, the state of California is on a man hunt after a 33-foot diving boat caught fire in the Pacific. According to officials, this morning (9/2/2019) the coast guard received a call from a boat 20 miles off the coast about a “vessel on fire.” While in conversation with the captain, the dispatcher asked several questions about any type of fire prevention devices on the boat. There was passengers stuck in the living quarters. Yet, there was no escape hatch, fire blankets, fire extinguishers, or anything that could prevent the fire from engulfing the vessel while the crew was still in it even after the boat was properly inspected before departure.

This article is appealing to just about any audience, with the exception of young children who won’t think much of the situation. However, the author directs most of the focus towards boat riders and regulators in order to raise awareness for an obvious problem. While this article had most of the information, it was an ongoing investigation, so every aspect of the story was not included. It flowed well and was easily comprehendible. However, there were gaps in the conversation between the dispatcher and the captain of the boat, which made it a little harder to understand the full story.

© 2020 From Down South

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑