Thursday, November 8, 2007
From the Denver Post
This article talked about a 13 year-old girl, living in Arapahoe County, who escaped a man who grabbed her arm while she was walking home from school. The man pulled up next to her in his white car and told her to get in. The girl refused and he jumped out of his car and grabbed her by the arm. Luckily she tugged free and was able to run home. I’m putting my mind in this situation and I’m thinking about what I would do if something like this happened to me. Would I be prepared? Would I have a plan? I’m not sure how I would mentally react to the situation. Would I freeze up, or would I do as this girl did? Now broadening my mind, I wonder this: Is there a certain way or act people in general can do if something like this ever happened to them? Common sense tells us, “Get as far away from them as you can”, or even, “Don’t do things that could get you into situations like this”. But there is such a thing as being at the wrong place at the wrong time. So back to my question....And the answer is: Yes! After I read this, I wanted to answer my own question and I found out that self defense classes are available at many police departments, schools, (mostly colleges), and even some karate schools will open up to the public and offer a self defense class. When I found this out, I was very relieved. I think that it’s very important to know self defense because people need to know what to do in life threatening situations like these. Especially today because we hear so much about this on the news all the time.
I don’t know of any high schools that offer a self defense class, and I think that its about time they begin to show up. In elementary school and middle school, they teach us to either run, or make as much noise as possible. But in high school, we’re older and need to be able to fight back an attacker. I hope that people in our community and around the country take the time to go to a self defense class because you never know when you might need it.
"Remember to S-I-N-G!"
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I came across this poll on Edutopia that I found very... interesting. Surprising? No, of course not. This is the 21st century! Practically every technological boundary has already been broken! This poll asked, "Can online learning be as effective as classroom learning?" The first time I read this I thought that online learning was crossing the line with our education, but then I thought of all the benefits we could get from online classes.
Some benefits from online courses are that they seem to be very convenient and you are able to work and learn at home. I think that this appeals to many people because of how easy it is and because people are constantly going ,going, going, that its nice to be at home. I know some of my fellow classmates have taken online classes for Driver's Ed. When I asked them what they thought of it, they told me that they liked it because they got through the course a lot faster than if they had taken the classroom option. To be honest, the whole idea of actually taking an online class scares me. I think most of it is because its such a huge change from what I know. I've grown up knowing that school was the place for education. I began thinking about how drastically our world has been changing, even in the past years; ipods, cell phones...And even education has changed, hence the poll question, and I think that education has become more stressed upon students at school. At Arapahoe, we are taught to be relivent. School has become connected to home, our present time, the past, and what the future has in store for us. This makes me think of Mr. Fisch's "Shift Happens" video (http://youtube.com/watch?v=sHGNNaiLTQU) and how it mentions that we as students are preparing for jobs that DON'T EVEN EXSIST YET! I find that unblievable! And because of that, our education has to become more important, more relivent, enhanced, if you will. Part of me thinks that if this idea of online classes help us learn the criteria, then go for it.
The thing that keeps coming through my mind (as I mentioned in my above paragraph) is that I don't feel completely comfotable with taking an online course. One thing that I think it is missing is the interaction between other people and the interaction between the student and the subject. I am a very hands-on learner, and for me, being able to talk and work with my peers is how I learn best. Hearing others ideas is another thing some of my classes are focusing on. Where will I get that online? Also, my teacher is who I am obtaining information from. I believe that teaching yourself and letting others around you teach you is a huge part to learning as well. But I also believe that a teacher is their to guide my growth as a learner. I like being able to get help from my teacher and go in before and after school to get that one-on-one time with them. Where will I get that online? The poll mentioned this: "In Michigan, completing at least one online course is now a high school graduation requirement". This also scared me. Will this happen to our school? One of the options for the poll was: "Maybe. Schools should offer online classes as supplemental education opportunities for students, but they should not be mandatory." This is what I would've selected as my answer.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
From Discovery News
I came across this article in my personal feed and because it related to dogs, it caught my interest. This article touched up on how some humans are more satisfied with their dog relationships than their human ones. I did not find this in any way surprising. Have you seen how people treat their pets? Its unbelievably crazy.....and somewhat cute at the same time. But if I had to choose, its mostly bizarre. I can categorize myself in that crazy state because at one time, I used to dress up my dog and push her in a stroller around my neighborhood. Now let me mention that I was younger...I also use to have a basket on the back of my bike so I could ride her around with me where ever I went. I laugh now at the picture of my dogs tongue hanging out of her mouth, sticking her head out just above the top of the milk crate as we sped through the streets of my neighborhood.. Haha! I love that. So yes, I’m completely guilty of treating my dog as my best friend. Her name is Junie B. and is an adorable, little Bishon Frise..
I think the reason why our relationships between our pets are so strong is because we know that they are incapable of letting us down. Dogs are so loyal and want to please us so much. In the article, it says that in a new study on human/dog relationships has revealed clues as to what makes the best pooch-to-person match. One of the clues was, "A canine's openness to new experience and agreeableness are the strongest predictors of relationship satisfaction". The study also suggests that, "dogs' generally trusting, non-judgmental, empathetic and curious nature enables them to blend into their owners' family and home, and bring comfort and enjoyment into their lives". Dogs seem to bend their personalities to ours, and that’s what makes us love them so much; They like to do what we like to, they listen to all our problems, and fix them, too, without having to say a word. Based my own personal experience, all dogs need is love and however much you love them, they return the favor 10 times as great. And so I guess that truly makes them, "mans best friend".
One thing I found very interesting was that this study also suggests that, "while people tend to dislike neuroticism in other people, they frequently like that quality in their dogs". As we come through the door from work or school or whatever it is that we do, our dog pummels us with overwhelming happiness! They’re jumping all over us, and managing to paint our faces in slobber with their tongues. And as gross as the slobber may be, we love the attention. We love the fact that we know that someone is missing us when we’re gone, even if its our dog. We enjoy every ounce of love our dog gives us. This reminds me of the movie ‘Legally Blonde’ where she takes her dog everywhere while coordinating outfits for each of them to match. So in situations such as this, the dog has no other choice but to have the miniature personality of its human dominance. Knowing this makes me happy. Now that I think about it, I don’t think my dog and I have determining personality traits, but we mesh as well as any other human/dog friendship. As I type, I feel like one of those annoying dog-obsessed people where they only talk about their dog and buy their dogs Christmas gifts and pay to have clothes for them. But I am indeed a dog lover, and that is an absolute fact.
"‘Dogs provide unconditional love,’ explained Holbrook. ‘You could be the worst scoundrel in the world and everyone else may hate you, but a loyal dog will always love you.’"
Now I understand this article is very short compared to others, but I saw some things as I read that got me thinking about our environment and some things that I truly enjoyed reading. This article touched on young citizens (like me) getting involved in their community through science. The story told in the article was one about the rediscovery of wingless soil insects. (For some fun, trivial background information): This specie of insect was first discovered in New York in 1951. This tiny purple bug was found by a group of high school students at Great Smokey Mountains National Park, which is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, according to my research.
One thing I really liked about this article was how the youth was getting involved in their world. Normally, these days you see teens wasting a lot of their time on things like the computer or fiddling around with the new technology and getting so wrapped up in it (I include myself in this). Now I’m not "dissing" on our technology, because our technology gives us amazing advantages. But we as humans get so involved with whatever new gadget that our world begins to revolve around just that, and nothing else. I think that we need to remember where we came from. And for me, it’s nice to hear there are people staying in touch with the real world… I find it refreshing.
The other thing I loved so much about this article was that fact that it proves; We never stop learning. Amazing, isn’t it? I am in love with this. I can wake up everyday knowing that today isn’t going to be the same thing as it was yesterday, but it will be totally different. I look forward to learning more about me, my family, my friends, and of course, my world. As I read that these students rediscovered this little insect, I though to myself: "How lucky are we?" Some people might say, "Well, it’s just a bug." Just a bug? I say, "HELLO WORLD OF NEW DISCOVERIES!" It’s weird how exciting this is for me....But just think about it...If that little bug was out there, think of what else might be undiscovered. The world has come so far from its beginning and to think that we still haven’t discovered all it has to offer simply amazes me.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
From Google News
This article is about an event that took place today at SuccessTech High School in Cleveland, Ohio. A 14 year old male student went to school today and opened fire in a hallway. He injured two male students and two male adults, thankfully they are all in stable conditions. The student shooter is said to have shot himself after going on his rampage. SuccessTech is a "nontraditional" public high school, where students are interviewed before they are picked to attend the high school.
As I read this, anger scorched through my body, remembering Columbine and the terrible events that took place there only a few years ago. I ask myself, "Why do things like this happen? What provokes these shooters to come into a school, their school, and shoot people." I just don’t get it, that doesn’t make any sense to me. I was surprised to read that SuccessTech was for advanced kids. I would never have expected there to be a shooting in a school like that...But I guess things have changed, and now we have to expect the unexpected.
"But I don’t know why they don’t have metal detectors in this school." Ever since what happened at Columbine, I feel like there are school shootings happening everywhere now. Its time schools start preparing for incidents like this. I think a metal detector is a great idea that all schools should consider because this could help prevent school shootings from occurring.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
From the Denver Post
This article caught my eye as I began looking through Denver Post's new acticles; One: because I was generally interested in this topic; Two: I'm what would be considered the "out-doorsy" type. I like knowing my out doors enviornment, and when something happens, I have a concern for my Rocky Mountain of a home. This article reported on the investigation of a moutnain lion shooting. A man, who was mentioned to be from out-of-state, was staying up in a home near Gross Reservoir (west of Boulder), when he heard his dog barking outside at 1:30 a.m., saw that the lion was attacking his dog, then shot and killed the lion.
When I read the first half of this article, my mind was saying, "Don't you have the right to protect your dog? You can't just let it get mauled by some mountain lion, can you? Or at least I couldn't." I felt like this man had every right to protect his dog. The man said he even felt threatened by the lion, which that itself borders on self-defense. As I read on, the article quoted Jennifer Churchill (Colorado Division of Wildlife),
"'You have the legal right to protect your personal safety, your personal property and your livestock," Churchill said. "A pet dog is not considered any of those. '"
Hmm, but isn't there some right that says, "I can protect my dog if being eaten by a mountain lion"? I began to get a little angry with this. But as I read the other half of the article, my mind saw the other side of the situation.
" 'But more and more people are moving into lion country. And more and more people are leaving their pets outside. They are real easy prey for mountain lions,' she said. "
If people are moving onto what they know is mountain lion country, they need to know the pre-cautions of living on their territory; Leaving your pet outside, unsupervised, is one of them. This made me question the guy who claimed to have shot the lion.....What was his dog doing outside in the middle of the night anyway? Now I have to admit, that's not being smart. That, to me, is basically asking a hungry mountain lion to come eat my dog. Now to answer the question of whether this man should be charged for shooting the lion....As much as I feel for the man and his poor dog, I believe his lack of responsibility for his pet over- powers his right to shoot the lion. Don't be too hard on the guy, I'm sure we've all had our fair share of being irresponsible.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
From the Denver Post
The title of this article is what caught my attenion as I scrolled through, trying to find what I found most interesting in Denver Post's local news articles. This article highlighted on the story of the five maintenance workers found dead in Cabin Creek last Tuesday and the affect it had on the Henderson rescue team. As i read this article, what amazed me over and over again was how incredibly brave all those mine rescuers were and how severly determined they were about saving these miner's lives.
"'I am proud of the guys. The professionalism. I mean they were going into an atmosphere where five men had died. We didn't know those guys were dead. But there was no doubt in anybody's mind that they were going into a life-threatening situation,' Arnold said. "
Part of my appreciation for these rescuers comes from the fact that I would never be able to what they do. The feeling of saving somebodys life must be indescribable, but I would never in a million years be able to handle the grief and over powering sadness of witnessing death(s). I don't think that I would ever be able to go through my life the same. But perhaps that is their motivation; They are afraid of what will happen if they don't save those people's lives. I believe that whatever these people witness, whether it's good or bad, makes a dramatic effect on the next rescue mission they perform. If they saved lives before, they want to continue with that performance. But if they didn't get to save lives, they work that much harder to make sure they do the next time. They put everybodys lives before their own. I just find that to be an amazing blessing to our community, our country, and to our world.
I would like to thank all the men and women that work so hard to take care and protect our community. What would we do without our fire-fighters? Our police forces? Our doctors? And mine rescuers, such as the Henderson team? We would be a mess. These people are our lights in the dark. They give us hope and continuously revive it with all that they do.
"'You just try to figure out what's going on, where are the guys, how did they get there. You are just trying to get your sea legs,' Arnold said. "
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
From The Fischbowl
I was looking through all the blogs and articles that Mr. Fisch posted, and I came across one that was posted a while ago, but it caught my interest. Mr. Fisch posted this blog from Dan Maas’s blog (school districts CIO), and Mr. Maas talked about how he incorporated play in his work. One experience he told was of his running career and how he took his work as play by taking the work given to him and constantly working at it and experimenting with it.
"I embraced the running I had long played at while they rejected the work."
As I read this, I began to uncover the real meaning of what Mr. Maas was saying. I’ve been given work by a teacher and/or a parent and didn’t want to do it because of the fact that it was WORK. How lazy of me, I know. But what Dan Maas was saying, to me, was that he took that work that was given to him and used that to challenge himself. This had a very inspirational impact on me. I realize that my attitude towards work is key. If I’m not willing to do the work, it will never be done right, if done at all. But if I have the attitude that Mr. Maas displays, my work will not only get done, but I could find myself having fun while doing it. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but to be honest, I love the feeling of challenging myself and being able to comprehend what I learn at school.
Another thing I loved about what I read in this blog was Mr. Maas’s enthusiastic dedication towards his work. I’ve heard of "making learning fun", but I think that Maas refreshes the idea. As a student, I have tried my best to be on top of my work and be on time with assignments, but as any other kid, I get so tired of constant, work, work, work. I’ve begun to have the attitude of "What about my time?", and as I think about that, I think of how terrible that is. Of course having down time is important, but being so consumed with the need to hang out with friends or sit on the couch makes me think of how selfish I am. My learning and studying time IS my time. So if that’s true for me, I can at least give it the effort it deserves by challenging myself by fully applying my mind and heart to my work.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Blog posted by Karl Ficsh
from the book What's Your Dangerous Idea?
Excerpt by Juan Enriquez
As I read through all the news feeds, I see one thing that comes up continuously, and that is questions about the future. Now more than ever we are questioning our fate. Why? I think that’s a good question, and we should be asking ourselves this. Is it so we can prepare for "The End"? Are we afraid of what is to come? I think the world hates not knowing where we are headed. But I believe that our future isn’t something we can totally prepare for, because what are we getting prepared for? Who knows? Another question I ask myself is when? When do we know to prepare? Scary fact: We don’t. There are so many questions I could go on asking, but for now, I’ll focus on one in particular. Juan Enriquez asks, "…So it’s worth asking whether the United States is in adolescence, middle age, or old age?" Knowing the answer to this question would answer a lot of other questions out there. The first thing that came to my mind as I began to proceed with this question was our advancement in technology. It seems so unbelievable to me at how far our technology has come, and as crazy as this is for me to say, I think our technology will continue to grow. Technology has reached an all new high, but as technologically-ill as I am, it’s hard for me to determine just how much more room we have to grow. And just knowing that the world has problems, and always will, is something I keep in mind because we are always trying to update ourselves and how we live. I think that techonolgy growth can and will affect the life-span of the world. For example, with more technology in places such as hospitals, we are able to save more lives, and with new technology, we can find cures for diseases and cancer and prevent them from taking place.
(I seem to have a lot of different/contradicting thoughts about this topic, but this is just me in the thinking process, so please, bare with me.) Now to specify with the country of the United States: This blog entry has made me think and I’ve come to convince myself that we, the great United States, is coming of old age. My reasoning comes from what I see going on throughout our country. It seems as though us as Americans have taken our title for granted. Our pride and spirit for our country is not what it use to be. As the day of September 11th came around, I didn’t see nearly as much spirit and remembrance as I would’ve liked to. Even looking at myself, I had forgotten about what this day meant and how it affected all of us as a country. I remember every time I turned on the radio, the song 'Where were you?' by Allen Jackson was playing. But do we have to have to have something so tragic happen to us before we have appreciation for our country? I had to think about 9/11 before I began to feel the emotions of that day, and I found that to be very disappointing. Our pride and fellowship are what brings this country together as one, and without them, we’re nothing. I would like to think that we could stop the death of our country by replacing our hatred with loving and caring attitudes. I think this would exercise us as citizens, putting America in a healthier state. But as for now, it seems to me that our "U.S.A-vage" is done with its party days and on its way to being of old age.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I read this article that talked about how rich nations are spending more money on education than they ever have before. But the problem is that the money is being spent inefficiently and is dramatically affecting the efforts to improve the educational standards.
To start, I asked myself the question of, "How could the money meant for our schools be spent inefficiently"? This article says the U.S. government spends 55% of its funding to pay teachers, which is "well below" OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) levels that are more than 63%. To me, its seems as though this article is implying that the U.S. should be using a greater percentage of its funding to pay teachers. And I can understand where some might think that. They think that by paying our teachers we will have better school systems, and by not paying our teachers better, we have a chance of lost interest in the particular career option, therefore we have slim choices for teachers and our schools will basically stink. I think that our teachers are what make our world so great because they are who teaches us to teach one another who teach the world. So yes, I believe that our teachers are an important part of our school systems, but they aren’t all of what makes up our schools.
Another problem this article states is not having enough money to fund our schools. And I have to disagree. I don’t think our problem is how large an amount of money we have as it does to what we spend it on with the money we do have. To me, this seems as though it is all common sense. Some schools that are not as rich as others, I don’t consider them "bad schools" because some of those schools are producing graduates attending top-notch colleges. Its not that we necessarily are needing more funding for our schools, but if there is a school who has plenty of funding by the government, it all depends on the matter of what do they spend it on.
A couple days ago I heard about the story of the missing body of 3 year old Nevaeh Gallegos, which is currently all over the news board. Today I watched an update of her story on 9News and it gave me such strong feelings I felt I had to find more about it on the Denver Post website. Denver police officers believe to have found her body on September 24 in west Denver. It was three days before that the mother, Miriam Gallegos and her boyfriend Angel Montoya, were both arrested in connection with the little girls death. It turns out that as the investigation goes one, Montoya has a record of being arrested as a juvenile for indecent exposure and is a registered sex offender. As I read this, my stomach began to ache, which caught me by surprise. I didn’t think that this event would have such a big impact on me. I asked myself: Why did this make me feel so much anger and hurt? I believe part of it was that it happened here in Denver, the place that I call home. I think that whenever we hear something terrible on the news, we think, "Thank goodness that didn’t happen here," and we don’t make a big deal about it because of that relief. I think to myself about how self-centered we are as people. I’m not saying there aren’t people who don’t help out during situations like these, but there is a fair amount of people who do nothing to help out the cause. My heart was comforted as I read that, "About 200 volunteers searched the Capitol Hill area over the weekend for the body of Niveah Gallegos. The Denver Police Department's Crime Stoppers program posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to the location of the girl's body". After I read this, I thanked God for those volunteers and their willingness to help out in their community. It made me feel a little better knowing that I can trust my community during times such as these.
Another thing I focused on while I read this article were the actions Social Services took before this terrible, heart-breaking event happened. (Now I know that not all the facts of this investigation have been revealed, so I can only base my opinion off what is publicly known). I watched an interview with a woman who was an administrator from Social Services on 9News. As background information, my sources told me that it was last year when Neveah Gallegos' her mother took her into the hospital and they verified that the baby girl had been sexually assaulted. By law, the hospital has to report information such as this to Social Services. Now what bothers me most is that Social Services let the mother of this child still take care of her after they had retained this nauseating information. I don’t like seeing separation between young children and their parents, but in this case, I believe that it would have been in the best interest of the child. I don’t think the mother was doing her job as a parent, and because of that, I think Social Services should’ve stepped up to the plate and took care of this child. Giving the mother back her child just risked that baby her life. I believe that this sickening tragedy could’ve been avoided if the child had been taken out of that living environment. There are just some people that should not have children, and I think that this young woman is one of them. A Denver police officer said, "A little girl’s body is out there. That shouldn’t happen to anyone". I agree 110% with that because no child deserves such a life as this.
Monday, September 17, 2007
'Thought For the Day 7-12-07' from The Fischbowl
I came across an article entitled, 'Thought For The Day 7-12-07'. This article contained an exerpt by Daniel C. Dennett from the book, 'What Is Your Dangerous Idea?', from The Ficshbowl posted by Karl Fisch. This article asks a thought-churning question of, "What will happen to common knowledge in the future?". As of today, our common knowledge is constantly expanding. Our technology is one major example of our increasing apprehension. We interact with technology everywhere, whether we're at home checking our e-mail, listening to our i-pods, or even going to Kings Soopers and using the self-checkout. I believe that in the future the idea of common knowledge will still be what it is, a basic understanding of things, but it will have grown just as our knowledge has. I agree with the article that our ancestors may have had it easy, and that there wasn't that much to know, but two things cross my mind as I began to think about this statement. Of course our ancestors did not know what we know today, but was there that much to know? This is a difficult question, and I understand that it could have several different interpretations. But as I read this, the first thing I said to myself was, "Well of course there was a lot for our ancestors to know. Look at us today, look how far we've come since then". But I can kind of understand the meaning of what the writer was trying to get at. There is only so much one generation can know. These people are from the same age in time and don't know more than what they know. That's an odd way of saying it, but what I mean to say is that people have certain customs and know certain ways of doing certain things, until one day theres the beginning of a new generation. New people, new minds, therefore, new ideas.
Another part of me began to compare our past to the present. Is there more for us to know? I could answer this question for myself. As unbelieveable to me as it is to say this, looking at our world and seeing our progression through time, I do think the world still has much, much more to learn about itself and everything around it. I almost can't believe the heights technology has reached and how it has impacted my daily life. Just going to school and looking up to the projector for a power point that the teacher has prepared, or using the laptops for research. The world is so dependable on what it has created, that without it, nothing would be the same. So from that, I suspect the world will only progress as time goes on. And as time goes on, our knowledge will expand, and once again, the world will have out-done itself.