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04.20.2006 Winding Down


As the spring semester comes to an end the stresses of finals and assignments begin to put heavier loads on everyone's backs. Only two more weeks of hard work separates me away from a much needed summer break. Overall freshman year at Penn State has been filled with its ups and downs. It has been two semesters too many filled with constant worrying and contemplating on what I am actually doing with my life. It's scary to think that I am only 18 and preparing for the rest of my life depending on the choices I am making right now. So far, so good. At the end of the first semester I realized my capabilities and began to become better adjusted and finally learned how to handle things as an adult. I guess we all have to grow up someday, I just didn't realize it would be this fast. Already a year of hard work has passed, and now I'm moving on to face the next big challenges that come along. Finals are a week away...and freshman year is over. It's been real.


04.10.2006 Final Project Proposal


What classifies a sport or an athlete? For our proposal we will be developing an argument between two opposing sides. One perspective will be arguing that sports such as football, basketball, hockey, baseball and lacrosse are true sports, where cheerleading and dance should not be considered sports. The other side of the argument however will be arguing that competitive dancing and cheerleading should be in fact considered sports. The sports such as football, basketball, and etcetera will be argued as true sports because of the history of their sports and the level of athleticism, size, speed, and strength it takes to compete. For the other side of dance and cheerleading, the argument will show the same level of athleticism, agility, speed, and strength needed in order to compete and be successful in these “sports.” Another prominent argument will consider the time and preparation needed to again compete in these sports. The point of this argument of cheerleading and dance being labeled a sport will be meant to gain respect for these activities and promote a further understanding to individuals who oppose the idea of dance and cheerleading as sports.


In order to present an effective argument, the argument will be presented in two columns, one for each side. The separate columns will contain parallel ideas to show the similar characteristics of real “sports” and compare them to dance and cheerleading. For more effect, video clips and images will be incorporated into the columns presenting the athleticism throughout both arguments.



04.05.2006 Optional SAT's


Not requiring that students take the SAT's, is a new idea for many schools including 12 of which are ranked amongst the top 50 by U.S. News & World Report. This new approach of not requiring students to take a standardized test upon admission into a university has increased enrollment for many of these schools. Overall I feel that this is a great idea due to the fact that even some of the brightest students just simply do not do well on standardized tests. This approach gives those that are hard working dedicated students a chance to become successful adults if the SAT's were the only thing preventing them from getting into a collegiate institution. Optional SATS's are a great idea, honestly how well can one judge a person based on one test compared to 4 years of an academic record?


04.05.2006 NBC's Today Show


While reading the USA Today paper early this morning, to my surprise I was informed that Katie Couric would be leaving the Today show at the end of May. Personally, this is a disappointment, although I have never been committed to watching the show every morning, I feel that Katie always gave the show some personality and made it interesting to watch. Katie's next move will be to CBS where she will continue her career as the first solo woman news anchor in news history. Apparently Katie's current salary of $15 million a year is not a factor; she is more concerned with her impact that will go down in history. Bidding farewell to the Today show is a loss for NBC and furthermore CBS's gain. I don't think Katie Couric will ever be acceptably replaced, but now I will be more inclined to watch her as she makes her mark on CBS news television.


04.03.2006 A Modest Proposal


In high school I had been required to respond to this proposal. Personally, I don't find the proposal very humorous, however I give Jonathan Swift credit for his creativeness. This proposal is in response to the overpopulation and food shortage in Ireland. It is proposed that as a solution, people should begin eating their children, or can sell them to wealthier families for money in retribution. Although an illogical and highly unreasonable proposal, it successfully presents the problem at hand and displays little toleration to the ongoing problem, overall a well written proposal.


03.29.2006 Chewing Gum


Today I had read an interesting article about how America's well known chewing gum provider Wrigley wants science to prove gum-chewing benefits. Wrigley wants science to support the idea that gum-chewing may help keep your weight down, reduce stress, and improve focus. Further research is now being conducted at the new Wrigley Science Institute that has reported recently to have hired an international advisory panel of scientists and research experts to explore possibilities. The results of research will not be available for another year, but with high hopes if Wrigley is able to prove that gum-chewing is beneficial, it will give people a whole new reason to chew gum. I would have to say that I could potentially be buying more gum in the near future if the research supports the ideas.



03.27.2006 Stigmergy


The concept of Stigmergy is one that is hard to grasp. According to the traslation given in the test it was stated that, "The coordination of tasks and the regulation of constructions does not depend directly on the workers, but on the constructions themselves. The worker does not direct his work, but is guided by it . It is to this special form of stimulation that we give the name STIGMERGY." According to this translation, the concept of translation appears that it can be applied to many principles. In my own interpretation, Stigmergy is something that cannot be seen, it is a process by which an individual completes a task in a certain manner, and the individuals thereafter are affected by the previous task and therefore driven to complete the same task in a different way as they were guided by the previous action.


03.24.2006 Housing at Penn State


As the semester winds down, students must now make plans for fall semester. To my surprise many students will be left without housing on campus. The ratio of students to dorm rooms is highly outnumbered. Those 500 or more individuals that are stuck without campus housing are forced to find an alternative, and for many this means moving off campus into an apartment. Living off campus has its many advantages and disadvantages. I was lucky enough to receive on campus housing; personally I found that living on campus is much more convenient. Penn State needs to reconsider its housing services before enrollment in the upcoming years, students should be able to have a choice whether to live on or off campus, rather than be forced off campus because of limited housing.



03.22.2006 Disturbing Article


On my way to a 9 am chemistry lecture I picked up the Centre Daily Times along with my morning caffeine fix. To my disturbance, the title of the article read "Ill-gotten body parts used here", an article that was worth reading. The article was about bone graphs that had been used in Nittany Medical Center. It was recently discovered that these bone graphs were used in 17 surgeries, but the twist was that the bone graphs in fact came from a New Jersey company who illegally obtained body parts from funeral homes. The article stated that "allografts are transfers of bone, heart valves, skin, blood vessels and tendons from a donor to a recipient." Currently the patients that are affected are receiving disease testing for HIV, hepatitis and other potentially fatal diseases. Although the patients are at low risk of contracting the disease due to sterilization methods that were used, the patients should not have had to worry about this situation in the first place. The funeral home owners are now being prosecuted.


03.21.2006 Proposal Paper


For my proposal paper I intend to propose that the current minimum age of 16 years old to receive a license should be raised to 18 years old. With credible resources and statistics supporting my proposal the fatal crash statistics of 16 year olds will enlighten those who to whom the proposal is projected. With efforts to make a new law, possibibilties of more driver education and advice to parents the proposal will be considered. Many disturbing statistics should have already been shocking enough to deserve attention. If this issue is not addressed, there will be a continued increase in the number of fatalities on the road. Not only is the issue of young drivers costing lives but is also detrimental to the economy. According to Contra Costa Health Services"In 1997, the estimated nationwide economic cost of police-reported crashes involving drivers between 15 and 20 years old was $31.9 billion, not including lost quality of life." Further research from DriveHomeSafe.com also showed that "The 16-year-old population alone will increase from 3.5 million to over 4 million by 2010." The irresponsibility and fatalities caused by young drivers needs attention and calls for action.


"Teen Driving." Contra Costa Health Services. 2006. Contra Costa County. Mar 25 2006 http://www.cchealth.org/topics/child_safety/teen_driving.php.


“Pennsylvania’s Young Driver Graduated Licensing Requirements Fact Sheet.” PENNDOT. 2005. Mar 25 2006 http://www.dot10.state.pa.us/pdotforms/young_drivers/yng_drv_fact_sheet(12-99).pdf.


“Teenagers and cars can be a deadly combination.” Edgar Snyder & Associates. 2005. USAToday. Mar 24 2006 http://www.edgarsnyder.com/accidents/auto-accident/auto/resources/teen/teenage-driver-statistics.html.


“The perils of teen driving” National Institute of Health.2006. MSNBC Interactive. Mar 24 2006 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8501174/.


“Causes of Death”’. National Vital Statistics Report. 2002. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mar 24 2006. http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/causes.html.


“Teen Driving Fatality Statistics.” DriveHomeSafe.com. 2006.DriveHomeSafe.com Mar 25 2006. http://www.drivehomesafe.com/teen_driving_fatality_information_start_page.htm



03.21.2006 Communist Manifesto Response


This document was very disheartening to read, although the theories behind the actions proposed in the Communist Manifesto could potentially work. The idea of a communist form of government is very detrimental to the many classes of society, in particular, the Bourgeoisie. The communist manifesto debases the other forms of government and displays their faults in leadership. An idea of a communist government introduces the idea of equality. Although equality conforms all of the classes as equals, when money is involved, communism will lead to poverty of the individuals. The proposal of the communist manifesto views a communist government that will be the most effective form of government without future failure. I think a communist form of government would be a potential downfall for humankind.



03.18.2006 St. Patrick's Day


This year's celebration of St. Patrick's Day was one to remember. It was my first experience in observation of how a college campus celebrates the long awaited holilday. I have never heard of bars opening at 6a.m. with lines of college students forming at the early hour of 4 a.m waiting for the doors to open to get their taste of green beer. My lecture classes were also surprisingly filled with many students sporting their green t-shirts, and some students arriving to class a little under the influence. I guess it made for a more interesting lecture. Needless to say, the observance of people partying throughout the day continued through the early hours of saturday morning. If one were to walk the streets of Beaver and East College Ave on friday night, students were hanging on to each other attempting to make it to college pizza without stumbling, and friends were carrying on laughing celebrating. Overall, this was a memorable experience of my first St. Patrick's Day as a freshman at Penn State.


03.15.2006 Crazy Weather


The recent changes in weather are playing tricks on everyone's mind. Monday's weather was in the 70's and then Tuesday's forecast was quite depressing dropping down to the 40's. I was under the impression when returning form spring break the weather would finally be getting warmer. Walking around campus on monday, the student body seemed to be in much better moods due the the warm weather. Students were found eating lunch outside, playing sports on the lawn, doing homework outside and going for jogs. The warm weather soon went away, today's forecast is in the 30's, and students are back to dressing and wrapping themselves back in winter coats, boots, and scarves. Personally I think that warm weather positively influences the student's attitude and increases well being. Hopefully, we can all get back into shorts, flip flops, and lose the winter jackets soon.



03.11.2006 Spring Break comes to an end


As spring break comes to an end, I'm feeling relaxed and ready to finish my first year at Penn State. This year's spring break didn't consist of beautiful beaches and sunny days, but rather rainy day cold weather of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. During break I was able to sleep in, finish assignments, catch up with some old friends, and spend quality time with the family. Other than making a few trips to the mall, favorite restaurants, and homes of relatives my spring break was very laid back. Although I would love another week of sleeping in and eating free food, I guess it is time to go back to school and get to work. I am very much looking forward to vacationing this summer, hopefully these next couple of weeks of hard work will pay off and pass by quickly. See you all soon back up at State!


03.06.2006 Spring Break


While at college one forgets how great it feels to sleep in your bed and eat a home cooked meal. My spring break is very relaxed this year other than a few homework assignments I must catch up on. I have been lucky in the past few years, when I was able to spend my spring break cruising the carribean seas with my family and friends. While cruising the seas we visited places such as the Grand Caymans, Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, St. Marteen, St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico. Through my travels to these fascinating places, I was able to learn about the different cultures of the lands, and experience unforgettable events along with going snorkeling, parasailing, boating, and jet skiing. For right now, these trips are only memories, and I am quite content sitting on my couch at home being lazy on this cold winter day during spring break. Until this summer, I can only dream of the beautiful white sands and beaches to be visited.


03.02.2006 Causal Paper Proposal


The extensive images of thin individuals and celebrities portrayed throughout the mass media impose a great impact on the cause of the eating disorder, anorexia, in many individuals of today's society. As many individuals, particularly young women, admire women of television and famous celebrities they see that many of them are very thin, and are concerned with the way that they look in order to fit an acceptable image. Due to the fact that celebrities are held at high regards in the way that they dress and look, many young girls look up to them as role models and get the idea that being thin is a way of being beautiful and gaining acceptance. Not only is the mass media a leading cause for anorexia in young people today, but also peer pressure and other psychological complications. In today's society, being thin and trying to lose weight, has become a struggle for many individuals. If you were to watch the commercials on television for an hour, how many commercials involve thin people, or promotion of diet pills, and gym memberships. Instead of promoting a healthy well balanced life style, society has been encouraging the body image of being thin as an ideal accepted image. Through online research and a personal survey I intend to find out and focus on women and what they feel causes the pressures of being thin in today's society. Anorexia is a curable disorder,however unfortunately sometimes the consequences are fatal.


We talked about this in class. Here's a pro-ana link. Others can be found by doing a google search for "my friend ana". TheKemBlog





Benedictis, Tina de. "Anorexia: Signs,Symptoms,Causes,Effects, and Treatments." __Helpguide__. 2006. 1 Mar. 2006 http://www.helpguide.org/index.htm.


"Background/Philosophy." Ana's Underground Grotto. 2001-2005. 1 Mar.2006 http://www.plagueangel.net/grotto/id1.html


Marcus, Cherie L. "Body Images on Television Affect Viewers."__The Thinning of Women on Television__. 2000. 1 Mar. 2006 http://www.iml.jou.ufl.edu/carlson/mmc5015/Homepages/f2000/Marcus/index.htm.


"Anorexia Nervosa." ehealthMD. 2005. Health Information Publications. 1 Mar. 2006 http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/anorexia/ANO_causes.html.


"Celebrities." The Center for Counseling & Health Resouces, Inc. 2006. 1 Mar, 2006< http://www.caringonline.com/eatdis/people.htm.


"Diseases & Conditions." __MedicineNet.com__. 2006. MedicineNet, Inc. 1 Mar. 2006 http://www.medicinenet.com/anorexia_nervosa/article.htm >.


"The Causes and Complications of Anorexia." Lifespan. 2001. Lifespan. 1 Mar. 2006 http://www.lifespan.org.


03.01.2006 Political Leanings


Politically, I am considered a conservative. Due to the fact that both of my parents, along with almost all of my relatives are conservatives, I have never considered otherwise. However, I do disagree with some of the conservative views. I receive the latest political news information from the New York Times, USA Today, and watching FOX news. Of the sources I choose to read, the differences in political views and arguments are able to provoke my thoughts in considering opposing views. In all, I feel that there is no "right" way to view things in politics. With this idea in mind, I can consider myself both a liberal and a conservative. My opinions on different topics are constantly changing, I never seem to simply go along with majority opinions. Political views are very controversial and I believe that one should not just resort to the idea of being only a conservative or liberal. People of society should seek both views and support what they believe in, rather than following a "conservative" or "liberal" criteria on how to respond and think about political issues.


03.01.2006 Response to Africa Genocide


Reflecting on the articles pertaining to Africa, I was never aware of how many problems the continent previously was, and is now faced with. Other than the continent's ongoing struggle with diseases, aids, and starvation, government problems have had a large influence on the issues of the past and present day Africa. The colonization of Africa by the Europeans was a random act of placing borders in order to solidify their holdings in that particular area. The disturbances between different ethnic groups were supressed by the colonial military might. When these colonies were finally granted independence and no longer under european rule, age old disputes surfaced. Many of these groups then engaged in ethnic genocide.


02.28.2006 The Olympics


The olympics have been around for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, the olympics just seemed to be a bunch of different countries competiting against one another in different athletic events. As I grew older I became more intrigued by the fact that the Olympic games still hold true to traditions of the past. Being a dancer and skiier my entire life, I was only ever interested in the gymnastics and downhill ski racing. However, this year I have been following almost all of the olympic games and events through newspapers and on television and have realized there is much more involved than just competition. It is a competition between countries, and seems to provoke the idea that whatever country wins is established as being better than the other countries, although it is solely a competition between individuals. The fact that some people of society view the olypics in this way is dissapointing. The Olympics should be seen as just fun and games.


02.28.2006 "My America"


I'm not exactly sure how a small boy's gesture of saying "Hi" caused a cascade of the following provoked thoughts and debatable statements. However, Thanksgiving is a national holdiday celebrated by many individuals, but for their own reasons. In general, it is a holiday to be thankful for the great country we live in and our "good fortune." It was interesting to read in particular about what the author was thankful for. I agree with the idea that "What matters for Americans, in small ways and large, is never where you have come from-but where you are going, what you are doing now, or what you are about to become." On the other hand, when the author states that Christmas can't be a national holiday, I agree but that is only because Christmas is a holiday celebrated between family and friends, it is not something that all religions and indiviuals can relate to. In conclusion of the author's evaluation, America is portrayed as an accepting and equal country that despite some of its imperfections, "finds a way to celebrate itself" each Thanksgiving.


02.20.2006 THON


Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the many events of THON this weekend, but was able to watch the inspiring event on television as I finished some weekend homework. I support all those who participated in the event, and my heart goes out to all of the THON families and children. THON is a great cause, and I was delighted to hear that Penn State helped raise over four million dollars to support research in finding a cure for cancer. I hope next year that I can become more involved in such an influential and positive event.


02.17.2006 Race Relations Project


Yesterday I attended a Race Relations Project group meeting as a requirement for a first year seminar class. Upon attending I was a little inferior to the fact that I would be discussing such a controversial topic. To my surprise, the tensions between the group members discussing topics concerning race relations, were not at all harsh by any means. Each group member was respectful of every individual's opinions and beliefs. It was certainly a positive and influential experience while opening my eyes to race relation issues not only here at Penn State, but also throughout history and around the world.


02.16.2006 Proposal Evaluation Paper


The best dancers are great because of their passion and skillful ability to perform the art of dance. Dance is an outward expression of internal emotions. The best dancers are acknowledged and recognized by audiences and judges through evaluation based on basic standards and judging criteria. My intentions on evaluating great dancers will be based on research of the standard judging system for numerous credible dance academies and national dance competition guidelines. Through my evaluation argument I hope to inspire individuals to take a second glance and consider their thoughts when they see dancers at a performance or on TV while keeping in mind the criteria on which society judges dancers by. Often, audiences and onlookers view dancers simply as performers for entertainment but do not quantitatively evaluate their performance and consider the underlying and unconscious standards by which they measure them. Pop star sensations such as Britney Spears, Usher, and Jennifer Lopez are considered great dancers by some, but has anyone really critiqued their dancing ability? Why do we consider them great dancers? Dance is an expressive art that can be understood and recognized by many cultures. Many people can relate to having watched a performance or encountering some type of dance. The best dancers are judged by criteria such as their overall effect a performer, the choreography of their routine, the ability of their technique, rhythm, communication and projection to the audience, and overall affect and appeal. These categories of criteria can also be broken up into smaller categories on which more specific judging takes place. A quantitative viewpoint can also be taken when judging a great dancer. Most commonly whether on the national or local level of competition, the guidelines and score sheets of standard criteria are based on a one hundred point system. My main challenge will be finding a way to relate and communicate to those individuals that are unfamiliar with the art of dance. Through support of credible resources I will present the standard judging criteria in which dancers must meet in order to be considered a great dancer.


The proposed paper looks like it migh become a definition argument (that is, defining what is great dancing). However, if you reorient slightly, for example, by focusing on the bolded sentences above, you can have a strong evaluation argument that relies on the definition. JLo et al. are bad dancers would be your claim, perhaps. Then you'd argue for that claim by establishing the criteria for great dancing and demonstrating how they fail to measure up. Or you could argue the reverse, but still establishing the same criteria. TheKemBlog




“2005 UDA Championship Series Rules and Regulations.” Universal Dance Association.

1999-2005. Varsity Brands, Inc. 16 Feb 2006 http://www.varsity.com/competitions/rules/dance/05rules.pdf.


“Americup Judging System.” Americup Cheer & Dance Championship. 1997-2006.

United Performing Association, Inc. 16 Feb. 2006 http://www.upainc.net/2000/Americup/index.htm.


“Competition Guidelines.” New York City Dance Alliance. NYCDA. 16 Feb.2006



“Dancer.” Who2. 2006. Who2, LLC. 16 Feb 2006



“Judging Competitions.” Dan Radler and Suzanne Hamby Ballroom Dance Studios.

1999. BallroomUSA. 16 Feb.2006 www.ballroomusa.com/radham.howjudged.htm.


“Judging Criteria.” The East Coast Belly Dance Classic. 2001. 16 Feb. 2006





02.14.2006 Declaration of Independence


While reading the first statements of the Declaration of Independence, one is able to perceive that it is an evaluative document. Personally I feel that when it states "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This statement becomes one of a definition also. What exactly is equal, and better yet, what defines happiness? Evaluation arguments are presented throughout the text of the Declaration. When the Declaration declares what "should be done" and assumes the "right and good" way to do things. These points can be arguments of evaluation depending on the opinion of its reader. In conclusion, the Declaration lists many reasons that support its claims, this evidence has a positive affect on the evaluator. In conclusion, I believe the Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies is very effective in defending itself and presenting the idea that this Declaration will promote a positive future for the colonies to become independent states.



02.13.2006 Snowshoes vs. Video Games


Would you rather be playing video games or snowshoeing? CNN reported this morning that more Northeastern schools have been introducing the sport of snowshoeing to elementary schools and incorporating the sport into their phys-ed programs. This program is directed more towards younger children in a fight against obesity. The report stated that younger children need to get outside more often and exercise rather than being constantly glued to the television playing video games. The idea of snowshoeing introduces a new sport to the children, while keeping them in good health by exercising. This idea seemed strange to me at first, but then I began to reminisce about my childhood phys-ed days, and how much better they would have been had we been able to go play outside in the snow. On the cold winter days, we were always stuck inside the gym playing dodgeball. In conclusion, I think this new idea will progress and make its way into phys-ed programs across the nation. Snoeshowing could definitley be an experience, one I have yet to encounter.


2.08.2006 "Peer Evaluation"


While reading your proposal, I found very few questionable claims. You have clearly stated your claim of the overuse of the word hero, as well as your reasons. You even have a warrant all lined up, but make sure to not actually use those terms (claim, reason, warrant) in the final paper. Your thesis is sound and explains your claim well. I do not see you doing this, since your proposal is done so well, but make sure that you do not use “I hope” and “I will.” You are explaining the definition of “hero” and there should be no doubt of what you are saying, however remember not to use words like right or best when you compare your definition to the commonly used definition. Sorry I do not have more suggestions; it’s that your proposal is well done and it seems that you already have a style you are headed with in your paper. - ListenToMeWhine


2.07.2006: Peer Evaluation : I responded to CbarksNephew proposal.



2.05.2006 Proposal for Defintion Paper


Who is your hero? How would you define the word “hero”?

My intention in writing this paper is to provide the true definition of the word “hero” to those people who overuse and fail to recognize the underlying meaning of the word. I claim that present-day people overuse and devalue the word “hero.” My reasons to support my claim are the definitions of the word itself, along with individuals who have been recognized as heroes. A warrant to connect my reasons to my claim is the fact that society holds the sanctity of life in the highest of regards. Therefore, my thesis is as follows:

In today’s modern world the word “hero” is frequently overused and debased. Given that society holds the reverence of life in the highest of regards, the true definition of a hero is an individual that is willing to selflessly risk their life for someone else.

Through an argumentative approach, I hope to reach those people who diminish the value of the word “hero” due to its association with individuals who do not fit the requirements. I further hope to reach and support individuals who may have lost a “hero” because that individual risked their life for someone else. While trying to support my claim I may face some challenges in attaining approval for my definition. Challenges may also be presented when facing an audience who believes that everyday acts should be considered heroic. In contrast, resources I will use in support of my claim are from the Carnegie Hero Fund, American Heritage Dictionary, U.S. NEWS, Marine Corps, and other credible resources. The format of my definition paper will be presented as a personal letter to a friend anticipating to change their overuse and meaning of the word.


Works Cited


"Requirements for A Carnegie Medal." Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.2006.


"Definition of 'Hero'." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,

Fourth Edition. 2000. Houghton Mifflin Company.4Feb.2006



USNews.com.2002. U.S. News& World Report Inc. 4Feb.2006


"Heroes." America Remembers.2005. Cable News Network LP,LLLP. 4Feb.2006.


Mora, Lance Cpl. Marcario. "Hero awarded for saving lives." Marines.com.

January 22,2004. MCB Camp Pendleton. 4Feb.2006.



Bush, President George W. "My fellow Americans, let's roll." September 11 News.com


2.05.2006 Superbowl


As I'm attempting to put the finishing touches on my proposal, the Steelers are apparently dominating the football field, and it has been hard to concentrate. It is crazy to imagine how many people across the nation are tuned in and are so intent on watching the same game while cheering for their favorite team. I also wonder how much money people have spent in preparation for the win or loss of this one game. The million dollars a minute commercials also make the game worth while. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the halftime show with the Rolling Stones mainly because I grew up listening to their music with my parents, I'm sure some can beg to differ. Well thats all from me for today. I now am finally able to calm down and finish writing my proposal after the big win for the STEELERS! Until next time..



2.03.2006 Second Semester


Well on my way into my second semester, school once again is beginning to show its side affects. Stressed out college students along with myself are speaking of their first exams coming up, and the unexpected outcome that will determine whether they will be repeating the course or not. Hopefully, I will not have make such a decision. This second semester will be tough, but I feel that this time around I will be able to handle the stresses of college a little bit better. As a result of my first semester I have learned how to manage my time between life and school and sometimes even sleeping and eating when I get a chance. All is well so far, lets hope this streak continues.



1.31.2006 " Response to Article 'Battered Congress syndrome' "


In brief overview, the article generally expresses its opinion on the current position and power, or lack there of, that congress has in our government today. Upon Bush's presenting the State of the Union address, the article was sarcastic in saying that instead of congress giving a standing ovation to the president, that they instead "might as well be on their knees with their foreheads bowed to the floor, prostrating themselves as a gesture of their fecklessness in exercising their constitutional role as a separate and equal breanch of government." This was surprising to read, because one of the major roles of congress in our government today is that congress is supposed to be a check on the powers of the executive, rather than "taking orders" from it. The article continues to compare Congress' much needed stronger role in our government today, to that of the its positive and consistent role in the past. President Bush is not the first president to "grab for more power" but in all, the strong role of congress is most definitley lacking and can ultimately be detrimental if action in not taken in response.


01.29.2006 Being Blonde


Being a blonde has its side affects that prove to be useful. On my way to a chemistry lecture I picked up the Daily Collegian and read an article about what it is like to be a blonde. And a blonde myself, I could definitley relate. Throughout the article it spoke of how blondes all around the world have to constantly deal with the "blonde jokes" and if a blonde accidentally says something that may not be the smartest response, they are constantly being criticized because of their hair color. Why is it that blondes have always been targets? Brown and red haired people can say some stupid things too. The idea and portrayal of blondes as being dumb is one that has taken its toll on its victims. In my opinion, Instead of blondes always getting upset about being called stupid, they should use their hair color to their advantage. For example, the writer portrayed a position in which a blonde haired girl happened to forget a friend's name that she just met over the weekend...her excuse..."I'm sorry what's your name again I seem to be having a blonde moment." These excuses are something to consider.



01.28.2006 "Defining Terrorism"


Taking into consideration the many definitions of "Terrorism", there are many arguments one can propose in response. Of the definitions listed I think that terrorism is best defined by the following defintion "Terrorism is the premeditated, deliberate, systematic murder, mayhem, and threatening of the innocent to create fear and intimidation in order to gain a political or tactical advantage, usually to influence an audience." I feel that this defintion covers many different aspects as compared to other definitions which shortly state that terrorism is a "premeditated, politically motivated violence against innocents." I came to the conclusion that the differences between the choices of words used in the definitions to describe terrorism, also describe the values of the author. The differences in words that were chosen to describe "terrorism" may also have been influenced by the author's own experiences and conclusions drawn from what they believe to have been acts of "Terrorism." When defining the word "terrorism" many of the definitions only considered what the "act" could be described as, but did not consider the word itself or the values held by the audience which would lead to further arguments of the defintion.



01.26.2006 "George W. Bush's Address to Congress"


In regards to President Bush's state of the union address after the September 11th attacks, I feel that he was able to connect with the american people through his use of many heartfelt emotions. By first directing his speech to "fellow americans" it gave american's a sense of unity. Throughout his speech president Bush sympathizes with americans and expresses many emotions such as courage, fear, grief, faith and encourages love between family, friends, neighbors, and nations. President Bush comforts americans when he reports that the "state of our union-and it is strong." President Bush also states that through the anger felt in the hearts of americans, this will lead to further action on our "fight against terrorism." Through the use of emotions and the effect of bringing the wife of a victim into the house to show the devastation one felt after the attacks, I feel that the unity of americans grew stronger. Towards the conclusion of the speech, President Bush restores a promise of a new hope for both,tomorrow and the future.



01.24.2006 ("Universal Declaration of Human Rights")


Throughout the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the use of pathos was very evident. The declaration integrates emotions and values into a display of what the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaims to be our human rights. Although I personally agree with the context of the declaration, the arguments presented in the declaration are solely based on what the "assembly" values and believes. When using pathos, values that one person holds to be respected and reasonable are likely to be opposed by another being that shares different values. The declaration also imposes these human rights to be displayed throughout member nations in the assumption that other nations will agree on what our nation believes and values to be the "right" way of life. Such rights as "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" and "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person," are examples of rights that most everyone will agree to be valued and respected. Many of the rights and freedoms the declaration proposes, are those that have led to previous major world issues such as war. Therefore, I feel that defining our rights as humans and presentning these rights to our nation and also neighboring nations, this will hopefully help avoid any problems concerning these issues in the future. In the case of pathos, I have come to the conclusion that when presenting arguments or statements based on values and emotions, the claims and statements that are made, can bring forth controversial debate, as observed therein the values and the "ideal rights" represented and proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


01.22.2006 (FDR's Four Freedoms)


Overall, I conlcuded FDR's speech to be utterly moving and highly motivational. FDR's strong character and observable relationship based on the trust and confidence of American's, is very evident and influential as he presents his arguments. FDR begins his speech with a stir of emotion throughout the American people. FDR places a hint of fear in the hearts of Americans after announcing that American Security has been seriosuly threatened, a threat that previously never had to be addressed. Throughout his speech FDR climbs into the minds of the American people and confidently motivates, and persuades them to be in full support of the necessary actions to be taken in order to secure our democratic existance. Furthermore, his perserverance to maintain the unity and well being of our future nation, and to preserve our rights and freedoms as American's, such as our freedoms of speech, expression, religion and our right of security, he requires every American to be willing to stand up and fight against our oppresors. Continuing to inform Americans of the state of the union, FDR once again uses fear to drive action. FDR states that he is not satisfied with the nation's progress, and that many goals have yet to be accomplished in our preparation for war. Through intimidation and fear of the thought of our nation being dominated by tyrants, FDR imposes the expectations of full cooperation from all groups and the constant unity of the American people.



01.19.2006 (Snapshot from USA TODAY response)


After reviewing several snapshots from USA 'Today', I chose to post a response to a snapshot focusing on Presidential campuses. The snapshot presented information about the top 5 colleges that had the highest number of undergraduate alumni to become U.S. presidents: Harvard ranking in at the highest with 5 undergraduate alumni, Yale and the College of William and Mary with 3, and West Point and Princeton with 2. This statistical information came from a source at The White House, therefore I perceived this information to be credible. Using this information I was able to generate a few claims of my own. Foremost, I can state a claim concerning education and how it relates to Presidency. For instance, How important is education when determining the Presidency of an individual? The snapshot only mentions, what society considers today, very well known prestigious schools. This information leads me to my next claim. Furthermore, when considering these prestigious schools and the presidents that were alumni, there is not any information included in the snapshot about how many years it took them(presidents)to obtain an undergraduate degree, the snapshot only states that they were "alumni." For all we know, it may have taken 10 years. This information could possibly change the outlook on the education necessary to hold a presidential role. In conclusion as my last claim, I further noticed that all of the collages represented, are colleges located in the Northeast. This may be inferring to some, that the schooling in the Northeast is better, in the fact that society today holds the role of a President as being very highly respected. Therefore if the President graduated from a school in the Northeast it may imply that schools in the Northeast produce great leaders, or in some cases, bad leaders, and that these schools should be as well, highly recognized and respected.


01.17.2006 (Rewritten personal narrative to RheamersBlog)


My name is Kathryn Mucha, and I am not a freshman majoring in Biology or one of the life sciences, but rather majoring in Psychology B.S. I am similar to most college kids, in that I like to do things such as workout, eat, sleep, and hang out with my friends. I also live 20 minutes south of Pittsburgh and support the best NFL football team ever (Here we go Steelers!). Living in Pittsburgh, our township also holds high school football as a high importance and our success very well represents our township. I chose to come to Penn State because of its academic reputation. I am not a redshirt walk-on for the Nittany Lions and do not play free safety, but I do love everything about Penn State football and am one of their biggest fans. Football was not another main reason I chose the school; moreover, while I was not looking at division 3 schools such as john hopkins and carnegie mellon, I was looking at the University of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. When considering many schools, I was not looking for the chance to play Division I football, but rather, looking to get a quality education that supported my needed requirements for professional school, and to find the best place where I would fit in. While I would not love to play in the NFL, my current tangible future lies in Dentistry, although throughout my life I had considered medicine, and thought of becoming an Emergency room doctor or an Orthopedic Surgeon.


01.16.2006 (Response to Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail")


In response to Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", I was enlightened on the many different approaches and aspects one can take in presenting an argumentive and persuasive letter. While reading, I remained open to his judgements and thoughts about the problems of racial injustice. Throughout the letter, he responded well to his critics, as he stated his claims and provided support to his beliefs. Moreover, throughout the letter many emotional as well as thought-provoking ideas and examples were presented that aided his confident response to injustice. Overall, I found Martin Luther King to be portrayed as a good willed person who is willing to fight for what is morally just, and preaches followers to do the same through nonviolent acts.




My name is Kathryn(Katie)Mucha and I am a freshman here at Penn State. I was born and have lived in Pittsburgh PA my entire life and of course along with coming from Pittsburgh, I am a die hard Steelers fan. My first semester at Penn State, I started of as a Pre-Med major which I recently changed to Psychology B.S. with the intentions of hopefully pursuing a profession as a Dentist in the future. In my free time I love going to the gym, dancing,playing soccer, watching sports and hanging out on the weekends. So far I have enjoyed my first semester and all of the new experiences that came with it, and hope that after this semester I can say the same.

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