Thursday, May 1, 2014

Are Native American mascots racist?

The assignment was to write an editorial that had to be a topic with one New York Times source and then we submitted it to a New York Times contest.I chose this piece because I felt that it was much stronger than my valentines day article. A big strength in this piece is my sources, I think that all my quotes add a lot to this piece. Something I would change would probably be how strongly my side sounds, I kind of want to tone it down a little.

Are Native American mascots offensive?
It seems like in recent years there have been a slew of mascot changes in America. One of the changes includes Scarborough high school who recently changed their mascot from the redskins to the red storm.
In my opinion all of the teams that have a Native American as a mascot are honoring the Native American community.
Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins stated that, "Our fans sing 'Hail to the Redskins' in celebration at every Redskins game. They speak proudly of 'Redskins Nation' in honor of a sports team they love (CNN)."
However, before they changed it there were, according to the American Indian cultural support, 31 Schools that use Native American mascots in Maine. According to this website the names chiefs, braves, warriors, Indians, and redskins could be perceived as all racist and need to be changed. I don't know about you, but seems kind of silly that even braves and warriors would be considered bad.
Really the only ones that are borderline racist are Redskins and Indians, In some cases native Americans see Redskin as an equal to the N-word. I don't want to come off as a racist white guy, but if a team named themselves after my ethnicity I would be pretty stoked and really honored that they did so. Although the names Caucasians, Europeans, Puritans, or Pilgrams don't sound very intimidating.
When I hear the word Redskin, I do think of a Native American, however I do not think of it as a term that could be used to put someone down. I see it as a describing word, like Caucasians are called white and African Americans are called black.
I absolutely agree with what Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, that there is just so much history and so many memories that are attached to the football team with the redskin mascot.
"After 81 years, the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come (CNN)."
This issue was also brought up in congress, and I agree with Michael Gonchar, who wrote "Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?" In the New York Times, that this topic just puts congress people in an awkward situation. It is all trivial compared to the things that congress should be focused on.
Overall I believe that we should just have the two parties affected in the matter in each case deal with it on their own, even though the sports teams are just honoring the Native American community.


17 years a Chanler

17 Years a Chanler
Rated PG13 for mature situations, some strong language, and mild violence.
Directed by Chanler Harrison
17 Years a Chanler stars Chanler Harrison as Chanler Harrison, a senior at Freeport High School. He plays football and is also in the high school band. He helps lead his team to the playoffs, despite staving off multiple injuries. As a typical high school athlete Chanler  tries to balance school, football, and his social life. A girl named Nina Davenport (Nina Davenport) starts talking to him. He then decides to focus more of his energy on Nina when she asks him to go to a soccer game with her. After they have an awkward first date they start talking more. Although Nina's mom (Maryll Streep) doesn't want Nina to be with Chanler.
Nina and Chanler must overcome multiple hurdles that try to get stop them from being together. Their adventure spans 6 months crossing many mountains, rivers and part of the ocean to discover their love for each other.
In this tale that follows Chanler the cliche hopeless romantic, it has all the makings of a decent romance movie, although probably not as good as classics like the notebook, and the titanic seeing as though it's lacking the deaths of main characters. Chanler Harrison convincingly portrays an awkward, yet charming, teenage boy. On screen Nina and Chanler have amazing chemistry that you can just feel. Meryl Streep's portrayal of an overbearing matriarch is spot on. Overall the acting in this film is spectacular.
The way the film starts you get the vibe that it's going to be a sports movie, much like Friday night lights. There are fast paced clips of Hard hitting football, frames of jubilant faces from a win to dismayed after a loss. Then bam all of sudden it cuts to a seen of  Chanler and Nina talking to each other on Facebook. The film the starts to unfold as the love story it was made out to be in the trailers.
Overall This film is for you if you want a very relatable love movie that you can get all of your friends together and have a girls night out. It is a classic forbidden love story with a modern twist. It also has it's own respectable comedic moments when, which are always refreshing. Overall I would give this move a b+ or a 9 out of 10 for a rating.

Childhood obesity

Childhood obesity crisis

For as long as I can remember I was an overweight kid, until recently. I would get so mad at people when the called me fat, I would come up with excuses like "I'm just big boned." The stigma around being fat didn't help either, since people really aren't supposed to say that you are fat. They also come up with these describing sentences meant to boost self esteem.

Eventually sophomore year, I believe, I was in the 90th percentile for my bmi and I had high cholesterol, but it didn't bother me too much because I thought I was mostly muscle (I was really mostly fat). Last year I really started caring about my health so I changed how I ate and grew a couple inches and now I'm in a healthy bmi range.

There have been multiple cases in the news that children are extremely overweight. There is this one girl that is 210 lbs (U.S. News) and she is only ten years old. I truly consider this child abuse, and parents should be reprimanded. The parents are killing this child slowly.

Studies show that children that are overweight are more likely to stay this way for the rest of their lives.

"Half of the obese kindergartners were obese when they were in eighth grade, and nearly three-quarters of the very obese kindergartners were obese in eighth grade.(nytimes)"
I think this is a problem, I had an awful time being fat, and I don't want other children to have to experience it and this can be combatted in multiple ways.

Children generally don't cook for themselves and eat what is prepared for them. Also they snack on whatever you have in the pantry. Therefore you should have healthy food for snacks, and prepare healthier meals. Even if you work long hours, you could possibly prepare something the day before.

And if your child is already obese, or very overweight I believe the best thing for them is some tough love and a little exercise.

On the subject of exercise I think that schools should require each student to participate in at least one sport per year.

Overall this subject is near and dear to my heart and I really hate seeing kids struggle throughout their whole lives because of some bad decisions that they really didn't have a say in.

The assignment was to write an editorial piece about something that you think is a problem in the world. I chose this piece because I felt that it was much stronger than my valentines day article. The one weakness that I can think of in this piece is that there Is a lack in scientific/medical sources. The first strength in this piece is that I use my own experience with being fat so it's a first person view. Another strength is that I have some good vocabulary use.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movie reviews

  • If you are thinking about seeing a particular movie, would you consult a movie review for a recommendation? Why or why not?
    Sometimes I watch spencer drakes reviews but that just for fun.

  • What types of useful information can a movie review offer you? List as many as you can.
  • If it's good
    Who's in it
    If the acting is good
    If it's funny
    If it's scary

    How often do you think young people consult movie reviews before watching a movie?
  • I think that some people consult movie reviews often, but I think it ruins the surprise. If you go in to a movie thinking it's going to be like what the review said your opinion of it may be swayed

  • What aspects about movie reviews make them a positive or negative influence on your decision to watch the movie?
  • I don't really take them to heart so they don't really influence me. But if someone that I know tells me that it is good I may be more likely to see it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

College crossroads

— What is your idea of what the perfect college for you might be? Why?
My idea of a perfect college would be one that you can go to and just do classes on the things that you are majoring in, instead of have tons of classes that have no benefit to for your career and more potential to make you fail as a result of your disinterest.
— How much pressure do you feel, whether from parents, teachers, the media or your friends, to get into a selective college? How do you handle that pressure?
There is basically no pressure form any of my friends because basically all of them are going to UMaine or places comparable to it. My family just told me to do what I want and what would make me happy, and up until last year I wasn't going to go to college. 
— In the end, how much do you think it matters where you go to college? Why?
I think for different professions some colleges just have better classes and better prepare you for that career. However things like business,  journalism, and stuff like that you can probably get the same education wherever you go.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SATs for business application

Do you think SAT scores could be a good indicator of future career success? Why or why not?
I do not think that SAT score could be a good indicator of future career success because someone maybe a very hard worker but they just don't test well. Or they aren't prepared for the test
If you were on a hiring committee at a workplace, would you consider SAT scores as part of an applicant’s materials?
No I would not because they are irrelevant and I think that I could judge their character better than a standardized test.

What if a job applicant did not take the SAT? Do you think some employers would penalize that person? How should this situation best be handled, in your opinion?
I feel as thou some companies do penalize applicants that didn't take the SAT and they would probably be very low on their list. I think that if they require SAT scores and you don't have them, then you could just give them your grades.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Denmark zoo kills 4 lions to make space

The zoo kills four lions, three of which were young and healthy. The zoo's actions sparked public outrage.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Climate change

How much have you learned about climate change in school? What do you believe about it?
We have learned quite a bit about global warming, like in foundations of science, biology, and environmental science. I believe that if we don't do something the world is going to have issues.

 How compelling do you find this most recent report to be?
I find it relatively compelling, but it's not something that I'm going to go out of my way to try and combat global warming. 

How much does the topic concern you in general? Why?
It concerns me that in the future we may not have any food to eat and our water may be too acidic to drink safely.

What do you know about both the short-term and long-term consequences of climate change?
Well I know in the long term we could end up like Venus, and short term the ice caps could melt away and weather could become more erratic. 

What do you think scientists like these can do to “cut through public confusion” about global warming?
I think that they can give a list of all of the notions that people have about global warming that are wrong.

What steps can individuals take to help reduce the effects of climate change worldwide?
Car pooling more, using more fuel efficient cars, use more solar panels and other forms of alternative energy production.

What do you think schools could be doing?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Frats ands sororities

— Do you want to join a fraternity or sorority? Why or why not? Yes I would join a fraternity because their parties always seem so awesome on tv and from what I've heard.
— What do you think fraternities could do to police themselves? Is what Sigma Alpha Epsilon doing enough?
I don't think that changing the pledging rules is going to do much, since all of their lawsuits seem revolve around alcohol.
— What do you think of the argument the student in this excerpt makes — that rituals like pledging build the most committed members of the organization? 
What are some of the positive things fraternities do? I think that the pledging could make bonds because usually strong bonds are formed during tough times. However I don't think fraternities do anything positive besides having a good time.
— What do you think would be lost if there were no fraternities on college campuses? What might be gained? Would banning fraternities substantially lessen problems like sexual violence and alcohol-fueled injuries and deaths on college campuses or not?
I feel like frats and sororities ARE college. At least they are what I think of when I imagine going to a big university outside of Maine. However it might decrease deaths, alcohol fueled injuries, and sexual violence because they seem like sort of a safe haven for these things
— How should colleges respond to bad behavior by fraternity brothers? Do you think they should ban fraternities entirely? In 2011, the Room for Debate blog asked that question and several experts answered. With whom do you most agree?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thumbnail editorials

Weather in maine: the weather in maine is extremely unpredictable. One day it can be 50 degrees outside and the next it can be sub zero. I hate this vicous cycle because it gives me a glimmer of hope that spring is starting, then it turns to winter within a few hours crushing my hopes.

Facebook: I think Facebook is a great place to stay connected with people, advertise for businesses, and share pictures. However recently Facebook has just turned into game in it after game invite in my notifications and a slew of vine videos on my timeline sprinkled with some redneck posting song lyrics or starting some irrelevant drama.

Lying: I believe that lying is an important part of people's success these days, whether it be lying to the public, or lying to their coworkers. Is it ethical? Not one bit, but it gets the job done. Like the government; why after all of the times we have caught them lying, we still put faith in them. When I catch someone lying about important things my trust in them starts to fade.

Spending a lot of money on prom: it seems like many peoplego all out on prom and spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on prom. When it comes to prom do you, you can pending what ever you want omit, but it's honestly just a waste of money, all for just one night.

School lunch: Honestly school I find school lunch really disgusting, and 99% is just processed and frozen food. Why can't we have some fresh food for lunch. It would make for a much healthier alternative to what we have now. I know that we have a salad bar but none of that seems truly fresh.

Shoveling the freeport station: shoveling the freeport station is a daunting task and whenever it snows you have to go down there and salt the heck out of it to make sure no one slips. The building was not designed for maine, it would have been much better if it had a roof over the hole complex. In the long run this could've saved a lot of monetary for snow removal.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Do you control your own fate?

 How much control do you think you have over your fate? I think that you have complete control over my fate .

 Do you feel your fate is already predetermined by your lineage — your parents and ancestors? Or do you feel you are in the driver’s seat in determining your own success? I think that you are in the driver's seat in determining your own fate. Although if you are born into a rich family or a poor family it may be hard to ascend to more money If you are poor or fall if you already have a lot of money. I really think that your fate is determined on how much ambition you have and how hard you work at bettering yourself. 

Do you think you will be better or worse off than your parents? In what ways? Why I hope that I will be better off than my parents. But realistically I'll probably end up in the same class as them.
The author makes the argument that “the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited.” Do you think you inherited these qualities? Or do you think you had to develop them on your own?nI think I inherited these qualities in some ways, like if I think something is really important to me I won't quit even if I fail a few times.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2011 Pulitzer prize

A Pulitzer surprise is an award for an achievement in American journalism, literature, or music. There are thirteen made each year.

The award was given to Joseph rago for his editorial that challenged obamacare

For resources he used professional medical sources

There is definitely bias in the article. "Natural experiments are rare in politics, but few are as instructive as the prototype for ObamaCare that Massachusetts set in motion in 2006. The bills for "universal coverage" are now coming due, and it appears the state political class is prepared to do lasting damage to one of America's top-flight health-care systems." He is slamming obamacare in this passage.

In an editorial you can be biased use yor own opinions. Editorials seem longer than most articles, and they are structured more like an essay.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How Creative Are You?

In my opinion not everyone is creative. They are not creative because of the ways that they think, the environment that the were raised in, or they are just plain lazy. However I do think that you can learn to be creative by being forced to.

A problem on the students' list that annoys me is the confusing parking signs. A problem that really annoys me is having to shovel walkways downtown and at my house. A solution to this problem could be to put radiant heat under the walking surfaces that keep the ground. I wish I could take a creative studies class because it sounds like a lot of fun and being creative will help you succeed in life.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Opening moment

Justin bieber so plane was searched for drugs when it landed in New Jersey: 

Art of the interview

What are Sawatzki's rules of interviewing?
He has thre rules: don't used charged words, don't use yes or no questions, and keep your question short.

What are things not to do when interviewing?
Sawatzki gave an example of what Barbra Walters did wrong in an interview. Her interview only lasted three minutes because she was giving emotions to the interviewee instead of coaxing them out of her.  He also used an kxample of Larry king using yes or no questions but sometimes you can't help but ask them.

What troubles or challenges have you encountered when conducting interviews?
Setting up times to meet people to interview is always hard, and when I interview people through the internet I feel as though I don't get as good of answers as I would in person.

What can you do in future interviews to elicit more detailed and informative responses?
I could ask less yes or no questions, but other than that I don't really know what I could do.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rap turf war

  • Who does hip-hop belong to?
  • I believe that a genre of music can "belong" to a specific race or person. That is not the nature of music. It's made for anyone to enjoy, so why can't anyone be successful in any kind of music.
  • Are white artists who prosper in hip-hop robbing from black musicians? Or is music fair game for all true fans?
  • White rappers are not robbing from black rappers. If your music is more is easier to identify with more people are going to like it. I think that a lot of the things that black rappers talk about is very hard for a lot of people to connect with so only a group of people would only enjoy their music. Does this means that it is worse? No it does not, it may be better in some ways, just how popular it is might be a factor.
  • Should Macklemore be apologizing? Is his apology sincere? Is it appropriate?
  • I really don't think that Macklemore should be apologizing for his accomplishment. I think that some people may think that it is appropriate. It's like winning the lottery and then apologizing to all of the people that didn't win it. I think that Macklemore's apology was sincere he wanted to show that he has respect for other artists, and he doesn't want to be like "I'm the best rapper ever!"

Friday, January 17, 2014


    So far this year has been decent for me as a writer. The thing that I have struggled with the most is going and doing interviews, but incorporating the interviews into writing isn't very hard. Although this problem  kind of made it hard to write a feature article which requires interviews from multiple people.
    There are a few good reasons why I chose the profile on Adam. The first reason is that I really liked how the article flows and how the start of each paragraph didn't seem out of place. The second reason that I chose this article was that I really liked the intro. I thought that it was really ironic how the start of the article was like the intro to a sports story and Adam wants to do sports journalism. The final reason why I chose this article is that I think I utilize the quotes very well by weaving them throughout my commentary. This quote a good example:  "Adam manages to lead his team without misusing his power, "B-rob is a good captain, because he never yells at us for no reason, and when everyone else is mean he is there for them." Adam also gives rides to the underclassmen every day, "so he puts up with a lot of (crap)."" The one weakness that I could really see in this article was that I think it should have been longer. I could have done this by asking Adam more sports related questions, like how long he has been playing or what his favorite thing about each sport is. The first thing I did when I was getting ready to this article was coming up with questions to ask Adam. Then I messages him on Facebook and asked him all of the questions. Next I took the quotes and I put them onto a pages document. After that I started writing and I inserted a quote where I saw fit.
    Why did I choose to include my college essay? First off I thought this piece was very personal to me and I think it showcases who I am as a person and how I think. In this piece I feel as though I utilized immaculate articulation by using sayings and the quote "when we was racin'." Another thing that worked well in this essay was my description of the scenery at the racetrack, it makes you feel like you are almost there. The last reason that I chose this essay was because I really liked the conclusion. The way I ended it was a good summary of what I learned during the summer, "This race season taught me a lot about how sometimes you need to be patient, and when things are looking bleak you can always persevere." There actually wasn't much that I didn't like about this essay, I thought it was a really strong piece. However the one way that I would like to improve this piece is by referring back to the essay prompt more than just once.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Personality profile: Adam

Adam "B-rob" Brobst and the Falcons of Freeport have gained one more win this week over the Poland Knights in a hard fought battle on the gridiron, ending in a 7-0 score. The Falcons are now 2-1 this season, with hopes of becoming 3-1 this coming week against the Wells Warriors.
    Brobst is one of four captains on the football team, and is soul captain of the line.  He also has the least amount of football experience out off all of the captains. When asked about his thoughts on being captain he stated: "But overall I enjoy it. It's nice to have the responsibility of a leader and having people look up to you and being able to inspire your team." Adam manages to lead his team without misusing his power, "B-rob is a good captain, because he never yells at us for no reason, and when everyone else is mean he is there for them." Adam also gives rides to the underclassmen every day, "so he puts up with a lot of (crap)."
    Brobst plays just about everywhere on the Falcons' offensive line and on defense he "dabbles in both linebacker, defensive end, and defensive tackle." He also swims during the winter, he's been swimming since third grade, and he specializes in freestyle and breaststroke.
    I asked him which sport he likes the most, and he found it hard to decide. "I love them both. I love the physicality of football and our team is great because we've all been playing together for years. But I also like swimming cause it feels like it's me vs the world out there and you go out to make yourself better each time, plus that team is also amazing."
    After high school Brobst hopes to go to Ithaca college in upstate New York and study communications and journalism with a sport focus."Ideally journalism is only the beginning, my hope is to be a sports analyst at some point. And I gained interest in doing that by watching the buffoons on TV and realizing I could do better."

College essay

    People have always been big on tradition, whether it be a family trip, a certain religion, or maybe just a Sunday dinner. Like most people, my family also has a tradition that started amongst my Father and his four brothers. Unlike most people this tradition is racing stock cars. Whenever there is a social event going on and my father is present, you would be very hard pressed not to hear at least one story that starts with "when we was racin'."
    Before the race season started this year, my father asked me if I would be interested in driving a race car. I thought 'why not, racing is in my blood, it can't be all that hard'. The first time I took the car out for practice I was fish tailing down the front stretch. Coming into turn one I finally lost control and ended up in a sand bank. I moved the nose of my car over a good two inches to the left, and I learned that some things aren't as easy as they look. Over the summer I spent every Thursday and Saturday at the racetrack and the scenery grew on me. The sound of the engine revving and the smell of the racing fuel is strangely soothing. When I am strapped tightly into my seat I feel free, free from being told what to do, and free to make all of the decisions. The only thing I have to worry about is the person in front of me and how I'm going to get around them.
    When the season finally started I felt more and more comfortable driving, which is attributed to all of my seat time. My first race I came in second to last which made me feel like I needed to prove a point, so the next race I came out with a fire in my belly. I was bound and determined to win this race. So much that even when it started to rain I didn't let up, I passed three people and won the race in the two laps that followed. From this moment on whenever I drive my race car I am perfectly content. Throughout the rest of the race season I was faced with adversities that I had to overcome, mostly attributed to mechanical failure. It was discouraging to get lapped in one race and to barely be able to finish in another race. This race season taught me a lot about how sometimes you need to be patient, and when things are looking bleak you can always persevere.