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12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices From the Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

When it comes to the issue of who you tend to believe when someone tells you a story that overall may or may not be true, I feel there are a couple of factors that come into play before you actually believe the story. First of all you are more likely to believe someone who is close to you such as a friend or family member. In most cases those are the people you find to be most credible. After all why would someone close to you want to tell you something false? If a totally random stranger came up to you and told you a story do you really think you would believe them? In most cases no. You do not know who they are and probably do not trust what they just told you. In addition to people that you find credible, in some cases another factor may come into effect, which is whether or not you have the same views as people. If you find that the person who told you the story is someone you do not often share the same views with, you are less likely to agree or believe them. You may think they are just over exaggerating this story to make their side look better. In most cases they would not tell you a story that makes your side look better considering you both disagree on the issue.

A major issue that comes up when it comes to what people choose to believe or not believe is what the media says. In a society heavily impacted by the media, most people nowadays go to local websites such as CNN to get the most recent news. With this being said, that leads to the conclusion that those people must believe that the media is credible in what they say. When some people are reading different articles on CNN they may find themselves more likely to read ones that relate to issues that they support or agree with rather than ones that argue their opinion. Although how much of what the media says is actually 100% true? The media tends to make stories more exaggerated than they actually are, causing things to look worse then they are. The fact that the media does exaggerate stories just begins the whole passing the story down the lane, where as it gets passed on to more and more people, the story changes after each person passes it on. This is shown in the example that was done in class, where a story was read and beginning with one student it was continually passed on to other students with every student changing the story to what they wanted to continue telling.

Overall, the issue of who you are more likely to question is effected by who you choose to trust the most, which in most cases is those who share common opinions with you and whom are close to you. While most people do read what the media releases, not everyone will believe what is stated 100%.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices From The Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

When Sam told us that only 100 children were abducted by non-family members each year in the United States personally I was shocked. I thought the answer was at least 11,000.The media once again makes things seem worse then they are. When you see pictures of children plastered all over billboards it makes it seem like child abductions are a common occurrence. The media thrives on negativity causing us as Americans to view this society as dangerous. When you listen to the news or read a newspaper you rarely here a happy story but rather a negative one about a child being abducted, items being stolen, people being killed, etc. Every little piece of information that might possibly lead to a negative event is released through the media even if it is overly exaggerated. Take for instance the 2012 issue of the “end of the world.” Recently articles have been written about the start of “the end” because of the unusually high temperatures that occurred in the month of March throughout the United States. In my opinion, the media is groping for things to write that could lead to negativity. With these events constantly being thrown in your face, why wouldn’t you view the world as a scary place?
Take the Trayvon Martin case for example we have come to associate people wearing their hoods up as someone who is up to something because that appears to be “sketchy.” When did wearing a hood up become sketchy? Because people who rob banks sometimes wear their hoods up? Is that where the association is coming from? Personally I think that is just jumping to conclusions and once again having a negative viewpoint of the world.
Even in most tv shows nowadays they emphasize on negative events for example someone breaking into their house late at night when all the lights are out and trying to rob them. How many times have you been afraid to go down stairs at night because you are afraid someone is going to be down there? Or you think you hear a noise and automatically assume the worst, that it is a robber or worse a murderer. For some reason tv shows thrive on the use of negativity in their tv shows and they think it holds the attention of the audience more.
So fear itself is a daily occurrence in our lives whether we take notice to it or not. Right now we are told to always be on the look out for something bad to happen, which is probably the reason why our society is so stressed out nowadays. If our society stopped looking at everything as having a negative connotation then maybe we wouldn’t fear as much as we do now. Unless the media finds another way to capture out attention it will continue to thrive on negativity. This being said, people will continue to fear all the negative events that could “possibly” happen but if looked at factually, will probably never happen.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices From The Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

After watching the video made by Fox News interviewing several Asians on the topic of football, many questions arose as to whether the video was comical or just plain rude. In the video the Asians had a difficult time pronouncing and/or understanding certain words, causing many to find the video funny. In my opinion, the video was funny not because Fox News may or may not have been making fun of them, but because it is not their culture so they were easily confused by topics we find to be second nature. I feel that the reason the white guy was called out on the fact that he found the video funny instead of the Asian is because the video was making fun of an Asian. Therefore people find that it is not as insulting for an Asian to find it funny since it was a person of the same ethnicity that was being made fun of. It seems that nowadays that is how it works. For example, it is kind of similar to the issue of African American’s using the n-word between each other but when white people do it, it is not acceptable by all. Overall, I do not think it was fair to the white person since he was simply voicing his opinion. Also, a lot of people in the class were laughing throughout the entire video so in that case most people felt the same way as the white person. But as soon as someone voices their opinion and another person calls them out on it then as usual everyone changes their mind and sides with the person that is doing the calling out. Do not change your opinion because someone raised an argument against it. The white guy did the right thing and stood his ground on his opinion, after all that is what this class is about.
Another issue is that when the white guy made his comment, it was not a person of Asian descent that called him out on it, it was an African American girl. Do you really think she was supporting the Asian by calling him out or was she doing it to make it an issue about race in general? Despite their intentions, I do feel that they were out of line by yelling at the white guy who voiced his opinion. Once again, the point of the class is to discuss these things but they should be done in a manner that is respectable to everyone in the class. Whether the opinion is offensive to certain people in the class or not, that does not give people the right to start yelling and jumping down their throat. I am sure that if the situation was switched she would not have wanted the white guy to start yelling at her about her opinion.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - The Hunger Games and r... · 0 replies · +1 points

Before entering my senior year of high school, we were assigned a summer reading book, which turned out to be the Hunger Games. When I first read the description of the book I figured it would just be another boring summer reading, but I actually enjoyed it a lot and immediately wanted to continue reading the trilogy. As I was reading the books I do not remember picturing any of the characters as black even though, as the article states, it is clearly stated in the book that Rue and Thresh are of dark-skin color. Even though I did not form the picture in my head of those two characters being black, what is wrong with them being black in the movie? If that is who was casted as the characters for the book then it obviously means they fit the role of the character the best. The color of Rue’s skin does not change the emotion behind the relationship that Rue and Katniss formed. I just do not understand how someone can post on a website for anyone to read that the movie was ruined because Rue’s character is black.
In response to the statement that all the “good” characters being made black, what about Katniss, Peeta, and Gale? They were also good characters but their skin was white, so where does someone get the right to say that all the “good” characters are black? Even if all the “good” characters were black why does it matter? You are suppose to be enjoying the story line of the movie not criticizing the color of the character’s skin.
The last comment stating, “Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad” proves the fact that the issue of racism has not improved. There are still people out there like this person that think it is ok to say something like that. What makes it worse is that the comment was posted on a website for others to read. Where do people find that doing that is ok? By saying #ihatemyself after the comment it proves that the person who posted it realizes it is bad that they are thinking that way but you would think you would keep that comment to yourself rather then posting it on a website where it could offend others.
People should understand that once they post a comment on any sort of website, anyone can pull it up and read it. If you feel that Rue and Cinna should not have been black or that it ruined the movie because they were black then keep it to yourself do not go posting it on websites. Everyone pictures things differently when they read books, but if that is how the author wanted the characters to be then so be it. There is no need to be disrespectful to the actors and the movie itself because the characters are not portrayed as YOU would like them to be.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Benefits of Being Bili... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sam mentioned in class that presidential candidates who are bilingual have a smaller chance of being elected compared to those that only speak one language fluently. The reason behind this is that voters in the U.S. find that being bilingual indicates that they have “divided loyalties.” In the article, it states that people that are bilingual are smarter. It improves your “cognitive skills,” allows you to solve “certain kinds of mental puzzles” easier, and it “heightens your ability to monitor the environment.” In my opinion, a person who has these characteristics further improves their candidacy for president rather than worsening it. A president needs to have the ability to think quick on his feet and with better cognitive skills, which being bilingual gives you, he would be able to do so at a quicker rate than those that are not bilingual. Also, another asset of being bilingual, the ability to monitor the environment better, would allow the president to monitor the events happening in the United States and assess them at a faster rate. This would allow for changes to be made more quickly, since they would be noticing prevalent problems quickly.
In times like these communication with other countries is essential. The ability to speak different languages in addition to English makes international relationships stronger. With this being said, a president who is bilingual aids in the building of these important relationships. Whether it is meeting with important figures of other countries or even a simple phone call, the knowledge of other languages makes communicating easier and more effective. Most presidents of businesses have become familiar with other languages in order to help them communicate with other countries in order to sell their product or to make their company international, allowing them to become more well-known. If presidents of businesses need to be familiar with other languages I do not see how it is detrimental for the president of the United States to be bilingual.
When you are in high school it is always pressed upon you, by advisors, that you should learn another language, since it looks good on your transcripts. In most cases, colleges also require that you have taken at least two consecutive years of a certain language. If they were requiring us to study another language in high school and even in college, then why wouldn’t they want the president of the United States to be bilingual?
Another thing is that there is an increasing amount of people speaking Spanish in America and it is becoming essential that we learn Spanish too. It is always mentioned that being familiar with Spanish is, as the years go on, going to be helpful since as of right now Spanish the second most widely spoken language. You see signs, maps, and even nutritional facts in Spanish. So if the president of the United States is bilingual in English and Spanish wouldn’t that help him be better connected to the citizens of the United States?

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Prejudice Can Give a P... · 0 replies · +1 points

Most people that you talk to have some sort of prejudices that will always be stuck in their minds throughout their entire life no matter what age they are. The prejudices may have been learned from family or the community they grow up in but nonetheless they have grown to accumulate them from their environment. In certain communities you find that when people form prejudices they usually have the same ones. These prejudices lead to disadvantages for people, the ones that hold the prejudices and the ones that are prejudiced against. In most cases people have their stubborn ways and choose to only hear what they want to hear leaving them with a closed mind, not opening to learning new things. It is as if they are afraid of what they might discover is really not what they thought is true at all leaving them feeling stupid for ever having those prejudices.
America is known for its diversity and as the years go on that diversity grows. This makes it difficult for those that hold prejudices to not come in contact with those that they are prejudicing against. Whether it may be an open job position, a local storeowner, or even a new neighbor, it is less likely that everyone that is encountered will not be someone that they prejudice against. By prejudicing against people it may lead to a certain person being picked over a person that may have added a lot more to the company but was not picked because of race, gender, or religion. By keeping these prejudices, it is like keeping the door closed and not opening to new opportunities that could potentially change your life in a big or small way, but changing it positively nonetheless. Also, say for example a new neighbor moves in who is a Muslim family and you prejudice against them and do not allow your children to play with their kids because you associate their religion with terrorists, by doing so your children may be missing out on the opportunity to form bonds with kids that could potentially make a difference in your children’s lives. This just further keeps the idea of close-mindedness by passing it on to children. This causes the children to grow up and accept the same prejudices instead of opening their minds and allowing for them to become open-minded. If that trend continues, the idea of closed-mindedness will never end as it passes on to each generation, never fixing the problem of prejudicing.
I feel that a good way to fix these problems is what Sam mentioned in class, the only way to fix the problems of prejudices is for everyone to live together, mixed with different races and religions. This would allow for everyone to encounter all different types of individuals, opening them up to a new world they wouldn’t formerly explore. People would not have the opportunity to keep their minds closed in situations and avoid others in a mixed community but rather explore and learn about new things they never opened their minds to previously.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - What more do you want ... · 0 replies · +1 points

In class Sam discussed the effects of family income on the SAT scores of students. Statistics have proven that students, who have a high family income and who take the SATs will do better on exams than students who are from lower income families. In my opinion, I do not agree with these statistics. I know many others as well as myself that we have scored higher than the average listed for students of family incomes of over $100,000 on the SATs and our family income does not fall into that category. The total score for students of families whose income was greater than $100,000 was a normal score for the SATs. Therefore, where is a students’ SAT score dependent on the average income of families?
In order to do well I do not feel that it is dependent upon the amount of income your family is bringing in. If you are determined to do well and you work hard, you will succeed. Even if your parents have the money to hire a tutor that does not guarantee that you will do well after the tutoring. In some cases parents that make $100,000 or more spend a lot of time at their jobs. This sometimes causes their children to find it unnecessary to do their homework since the discipline is not always there. On the other hand, a child who has grown up in a family that does not have money may feel more propelled to do well in school. They may feel that in order to feel good about themselves and make their parents proud they must accomplish things academically that they themselves may not have done.
Another issue that Sam brought up in class is the fact that hard work is not always the answer to getting a good job, but rather it is whom you know and your connections. Even if you know people who will write a recommendation for you or who will hire you just because they are family friends, that does not guarantee that you will get that job. You can know, as many people as you want but that does not mean you are the right person to fit the position they are looking to fill. You may not have the credentials or the correct skills to adequately do the job. For example, I may have a friend that is looking for someone to be their secretary for their company. If I do not have the correct training in typing or the necessary attitude for answering the phone, then my friend will not give me the job for fear of losing customers or simply knowing there is someone else that is more capable of doing that job. Nowadays it’s your capabilities and knowledge that mean the most when looking for a job.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices from the Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

I would not necessarily say that races are what dominate certain sports, but more how and where you were raised. In class we talked about how there is no difference in muscle structure between people that are white, black, Asian, Native American, etc., which would constitute a reason for why one race is better at a sport than another. For some reason though, people think that that is why certain races dominate particular sports.

One issue is where you grow up. If there is a local basketball court or baseball field near your house you are more likely to go there and practice that sport since it is within close distance. It may be more difficult to find a nearby ice rink to walk to practice hockey instead. Also, you could take a look at different countries and what their favorite sport is. Citizens of those countries are more likely to play that sport because it is so well liked in their country. In America, most people find an interest in baseball, basketball, or football since that is what is most publicized by the media. On the other hand other countries like Canada focus on hockey and England focuses on soccer.

Also, another impact is what your family or culture supports. Many people may play their sport because their father was good at it and that is the sport you were raised on. I know in my family my father’s sport of choice was baseball and that was the sport he always played while he was growing up. This being so, my brother followed in his footsteps and chose to play baseball as well. Having a person such as your mother or father that loved a certain sport they are more likely to try to get you involved with that sport as well. They may give you a choice in what sport you want to play, but when you grow up in a community or household where a certain sport is watched and liked more you tend to also want to play that sport. Also, with their knowledge of the sport, they are likely to help you become a better player. When watching baseball you will notice that usually sons of famous MLB baseball players will also get involved with baseball and sometimes even reach the big leaguers just like they did. For example, the first ever father-son MLB baseball duo was Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. Also, it seems that when your parents were good at a particular sport, you gain those skills as well.

Another aspect is money. It costs money to go to an ice rink and practice along with paying for the equipment to play. This is different compared to football, where you only need an open area and a football to practice. This issue of money causes some kids that are from lower income families to stick to the lower costing sports.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices from the Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

In class Sam told his story of how he hurt his ankle and that a Shaman allowed his ankle to heal overnight by doing simple movements. This story caught my interest and led me to look up Shamanism. I found that Shamans are messengers between humans and the spirits that communicate with the spiritual world. They are also used as healers in their communities. They find spirits in all sorts of inanimate objects such as trees, rocks and plants.

Everybody has their own techniques for learning. I think as college students we have to find the right technique in order to succeed in our studying. While most of us go to class everyday to learn, outside of class people take on different ways of studying for exams. There are three types of learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners find it best to write things out or create pictures to help their studies. On the other hand, auditory learners may find themselves saying the information out loud to a friend or family member to help them learn. Lastly, kinesthetic learners do more hands on activities to learn the information. Shamans learn by connecting to the spirits and obtaining the information they need to use in order to cure someone of their physical or mental problem. Their method of learning is valid too as long as they are obtaining the information they need. They do not have to follow the same learning techniques as we do or other people in the world do in order to learn.

I wonder why Shamans keep their knowledge to themselves and do not share it with the rest of the world. If they can cure an ankle sprain, like Sam’s, overnight why wouldn’t they share this information with the world in order to further their expertise and help others around the world. Maybe they want to protect their findings from other people in order to keep it from criticism. I also wonder how their use of drugs to talk to plants and other spirits works in finding a way to cure a simple ankle sprain. How does simply talking to an inanimate object give you answers? Do they have to have a certain knowledge in order to use these drugs to find their answer when they are connecting with the spirits?

I do not necessarily believe or not believe in what they do because I have not seen it with my own two eyes. It is difficult to understand their type of learning because as a college student we go to class and learn there and when we study at home we usually read, make flashcards, do practice problems etc. Shamans on the other hand connect with spirits so that is completely different from what we do. Therefore unless a Shaman taught me their ways or at least helped me to understand how they come to talk with their spirits and arrive at the answers they want, I will never fully understand their learning habits. Nonetheless, their learning habits are in fact valid and do obviously satisfy their needs as healers.

12 years ago @ World In Conversation - Voices from the Classroom · 0 replies · +1 points

I feel as though we are never truly satisfied with our looks. We always want what we can’t have. For example, if your hair is curly you want it to be straight, or vice versa. I know for myself I either straighten my hair or put scrunching gel in it so that my hair looks better than if I were to leave it natural. There is something about doing your hair that just makes you feel more secure or more put together. Another example is having long, thin legs. It may not be in your genetic makeup to have that, but that does not mean that somebody who has the thin legs that you want, does not want your legs. Whatever people have they always end up wanting the opposite.

An interesting point came up in my recitation course which was that even famous people, such as Tyra Banks, preach that we should love ourselves for who we are, but they too dye their hair or get enhancements. How can we follow what they are saying when they don’t even listen to themselves?

The white standard of beauty has taken its effect on a lot of people all over the world. Everyone wants the skinny body, thin nose, tan skin, long legs, etc. I remember when the Victoria’s Secret fashion show aired and all over Facebook there were posts going up about, “I’m going to go starve myself now” or “I hate the way I look.” It’s really a shame that something so little like that hour-long show could make people feel so down about the way they look. Once again the media plays such a huge roll in all of this. They put pictures of famous movie stars and singers that have all the white standards of beauty everywhere that the eye meets including magazines. Wherever you go you can’t avoid seeing it. Even checking out at the grocery store, the magazines fill the racks. If someone seems to have gained a little weight they automatically jump on them wondering what is wrong with them. Seeing this everyday weighs in on our esteem causing us to be critical of ourselves if we gain weight or don’t look “perfect.”

I just read an article on yahoo today about the singer Adele being called “fat.” She responded by saying that she liked the way her body looked and that she is proud of it. We need more celebrities to be more confident like Adele to show other girls and women that you should be proud of the way you look, no matter what.

It takes a lot of confidence to fully believe that you would not want to change a thing about yourself. It could take months or even years to get that point. I feel that in order to get to that point you need to ignore what other people say especially the media. It may sound corny, but the only way to truly be satisfied is to accept and believe in yourself and what you have been given.