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Book Discussion- Reflection March 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 5:38 pm

1. One thing that stuck out to you or was meaningful to you. Why?

I thought our discussion was very interesting and I learned a lot, but the one thing that stood out to me was about how in the holocaust, the mistreatment of the Jewish people was so hidden. In my book it tells about how the nazi’s made a movie showing how “wonderful” the concentration camp was. It stuck out, because it was probably the biggest part of the holocaust. As it showed me a specific detail of how horrible it was, it also made me think about the whole event in a different perspective.

2. How the book you read demonstrated people overcoming challenges?

In my book, Terezin, Jews overcame the challenge of being mistreated as much as was physically possible. Even though the Nazis controlled their freedom, it did not control their minds. Many continued to be kind. Many were able to remain creative and artistic even as their art was used to lie about the town. They coped with the situation to make the best of it and overcame the Nazis’ attempt to dehumanize them.

3. Issue that is personally relevant to you today. Why?

An issue that is personally relevant to me is the academic over scheduling of teenagers. With the demands of school, day and night, there is not enough time to participate in artistic and social activities. School work should be limited to the school day just like work should be limited to the work day. Time away from school and work should be free to volunteer, relax, read for fun and to do artistic and creative thing that are personally interesting. Teens could eat better and get enough sleep. If school was kept in the school day, then teens would be better rested, healthier and happier. Some people probably think teens would not use their time wisely but I feel that they would make good choices – resting when they need rest and being active in activities that would help them develop their talents.


AOW-Effects of Texting

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 1:43 pm

Have you ever sent a text without any abbreviations or emoticons? Many people think that abbreviations and emoticons mean that you cannot communicate in formal language or that you have a small vocabulary. I do not think this is true. I believe that texting can have both positive and negative effects on a person’s vocabulary. Texting can affect your ability to communicate in other forms, but it does not have to. If you are doing other things that improve your vocabulary like reading and writing other places, you will be fine.



If you only use text to communicate, you will likely have a negative effect on your vocabulary. Like the article, “Texting Affects Ability to Interpret Words,” says, people who text all of the time get used to a smaller list of words.  (University of Calgary 2012, February 16  ScienceDaily. ) This is not surprising, because in order to communicate in a small number of characters, everyone uses short, abbreviated words or textwords.  This consistency makes the text readable.  You are not likely to use a bunch of words to describe how wonderful something is.  You are more likely to use symbols such as emoticons. One of the things the article also pointed out is that people who text do not easily accept made up words.  Maybe this is not so bad.  Maybe the made up words are not very valuable to them.  Knowing new words that actually connect to something you are learning or experiencing is important, but I do not think it is very important to be able to accept new made up words that are random.



A good part of texting is that people are communicating.  If someone is not writing at all, then at least they are writing something and often they are communicating their feelings which are hard for many people to do.  An emoticon could be a small step on the way to communicating how someone feels.  This may not be good for their writing, but it could be good for their happiness.  Another possible plus of texting that the article could be not considering is all of the people and ideas that you are exposed to when you text.  While you will probably not expand your vocabulary by reading a text that tells you a friend liked a movie or book, if you did not have that way to communicate quickly, they might not ever mention it.  Many small things that people experience are shared though texting. Today if you get a text and the person is at an interesting place, you can say, let’s facetime, and they can show you where they are.  With technology getting more powerful every day, it is easy to see how a text could involve you in a whole new experience.  Those experiences will expand your knowledge and your vocabulary. This author seemed to worry that texting was going to damage people’s ability to have a good vocabulary.  I do not think this is true.  People can read many books and also text all of the time.



I agree that if you only text and never read a book, you will have a problem, but you will also have a problem if you never talk to someone face to face or only watch television. I think this article had a tone that is too worrisome for what really will happen. Technology is already making text messages become more connected to other ways to communicate. There might be some way that texting could have these negative effects if it was your only way of communication, but no one I know is only communicating with text.


AOW- Too Much Practice? March 5, 2012

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 6:13 am

Do you limit yourself to how much you study or ever feel like you are over practicing? Typically an ordinary person would stop once they felt like they had accomplished their goal.  This might look like playing the song perfectly once or shooting 5 baskets in a row.  Actually, they are far from a master at this point.  Practicing after you “have it” is what makes you really master a skill.

They say practice makes perfect but there really is no such thing as over practicing.  Three simple steps to turning feeling confident into doing great, are getting used to the amount of energy you use, creating muscle memory and decreasing the amount of energy and thought you use in the process.  Once you have mastered your task, continued practice will let you reach a level where you can watch your opponent closer or track what the judges are watching and how they are responding.  If your brain is still working on processing your tasks, even if you are performing at a high level, you have not reached your potential.

Getting used to the amount of energy you use, means performing at a competitive or performance level when practicing.  If you practice “full out, ” you will be conditioned to the level of intensity required by the real event.  Your body will be ready physically and mentally.  This is more than just general physical conditioning that is important to being capable of doing the task.  Practicing at the level of your highest ability, also trains your brain to go to that level without needing reminders.  It is automatic that your body and brain are working at your potential.

Muscle memory is creating a path in your brain through repetition, so that you do not have to think about what you are doing.  This gives you the ability to focus on other things like small details and your surroundings.  If your brain knows what it is to do without concentration then you can adapt to what is unique in the environment.

Research shows that with overpracticing, you will use less energy not only for your body but for your brain.  Any energy saved or used efficiently can be used to make your physical and mental performance even better. You can think of other things that give you a competitive advantage.  You can focus on details that allow you to have better musicality or understand the mood of other individuals.  You as an individual have so much brain power  and so much physical strength and energy at any moment.  The more efficiently you use what you have, the better your performance will be.

Those who practice after it appears that they have mastered a task are labeled as overpracticing.  This is probably not a good term because it does not sound positive.  Overpracticing does have a positive effect.  Through repeating practice after mastering the task, and by practicing at a high level every time, you can get used to the amount of energy needed, create muscle memory and decrease the amount of energy used for the physical and mental task, freeing your mind for even more improvement.


AOW – Orphanage In Kenya February 17, 2012

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 1:37 pm

Can one person make a difference?  Clearly they can. In the case of Ben Hardwick, a college student using social media to get a story out regarding an African orphanage’s need, a true life changing response resulted. He blogged about how the orphanage had been attacked, and posted a picture of the man who was cut by a machete in his face while defending the orphans and the orphanage.  This defender was also in his twenties so someone users of social media such as students could identify with. 

I think most people are generous and want to help but do not really know where the donations go if they donate to a large organization.  Does it pay people in high priced jobs or really help people?  In this case, the need was very understandable. The people who needed help were individuals that you could see, children and adults that were taking care of them.

So how was one person successful in getting support?  He got the word out. He made it clear that donations were really needed and needed now, not later. He made it clear that he believed in this project and someone else was so committed to risk his life to defend it.  I am guessing that many of the people who donated were people just like the defender and the blogger, students who would help if they were there. Social media has made communication of facts and of ideas much easier.  This request on the internet is much more personal than just a news report. It is more like the girl next door selling Girl Scout cookies.  You know her. You know she deserves support and you like to help.  Social media makes everyone seem more like the girl next door.

One person making a difference does not mean they have to do it all alone.  Not only can other people donate to a cause, sometimes an individual can start a helping kind of business that grows.  An example of this is Tom’s shoes.  He started off with one idea in his mind, but he shared that idea and got a few people to support him and when he got momentum, he built a successful business that makes a difference.  Really anything starts with one person thinking of an idea, so definitely one person can make a difference.  They just have to get one more person to help in some way and it can take off and be a bigger and bigger impact.


AOW – The Keurig Question February 5, 2012

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 11:38 pm

This article that I just read on the Los Angeles Times website, points out that there are many things that you have to look at to decide if a product is environmentally friendly.  This product, the Keurig cup, has problems being recycled but the company is doing other things right.  I thk you have to consider everything about a product, before you decide if you should buy it.

The company that makes the Keurig cup is trying to do some things right.  The coffee and tea that they buy is environmentally friendly.  Some of the tea is Celestial Seasonings brand.  I have toured their warehouse and know that they have many programs in place to be kind to the Earth.  The parent company of Keurig, is the number one buyer of fair trade coffee which means that they are trying to buy the coffee where the earth and the workers are not exploited. They are also using solar power and composting at the company.

Keurig says that they are working on environmentally friendly packaging.  The problem right now is the package is made of 3 different materials, so it cannot be recycled.  There have been some inventions to let you use the cups more than once, but they seem like only some people who are dedicated to do the right thing would use them.  Keurig said they tried a paper only cup but it was not good quality.

I think right now it is good to use this company if you need its products but we should keep watching them to see if they keep their promise to improve.  While they are doing some things right, we should help keep them in business.  If they make progress, we should keep supporting them.  If they stop improving or stop doing the good actions, then we should take our business elsewhere.  When deciding to buy a product or not, you should consider the whole big picture.


AOW – Does Talent Matter

Filed under: Article of the Week — prushton101 @ 10:56 pm

I think the article,” Sorry, Strivers: Talent Matters,” makes sense because as they say, practice does matter.  Intelligence just matters too.  Even the researchers who talk about practice being the most important say IQ does not matter above 120.  120 is a high IQ since I have been told that average IQ is 85 to 115, so really, these two researchers are not that much in disagreement.  IQ and practice both help you, so to be the very best you need to be lucky to be born smart and then work hard to use your intelligence to accomplish something.

I think there are 4 main groups:

1. Born with IQ below 120 and then don’t work very hard:

These people are not going to have very much success.  They were not lucky to have above average IQ and they are not practicing at anything, so they probably will  be average in school and in their jobs.  They will have average success if they have average IQ and work a little.  If their IQ is low and they don’t practice and work hard, they may have a hard time in life.

2. Born with IQ above 120 and don’t work very hard:

These people will probably do ok but not as good as they could.  They might have the potential to discover something new or invent something helpful but they are not putting enough effort into using their intelligence to do something great.

3. Born with IQ below 120 and working hard:

Unless their IQ is really low, these people may be very successful because they have made up for their intelligence with hard work.  They will probably be successful in life but because they have average or below IQ, they probably will not cure cancer or make the huge discovery.

4. Born with IQ over 120 and working very hard.

These are the people who have the chance to really do great things. They are lucky to be born with a high IQ and they are putting all of their talents to good use.  According to the research in the article, the people who do really great things have very high IQs.  I think they must also work hard to benefit from the really high IQ.

Like the article says, you maybe can get a PhD with average IQ but it is going to be hard and the odds are definitely against you being the person to cure cancer.  I say you might as well try to be the best you can, be because you may be the one to beat the odds.  You cannot change what you are born with, but you can change how much you use your talents.


I can make a difference February 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prushton101 @ 5:38 pm

How can one person make a difference when encountering a social challenge?
I know that challenges such as hatred and bullying are happening every day, but that does no have to happen. People can stick up for another in a case like this by using calm and helpful communication skills and trying to interact with the other person in a positive way. Your ideas, feelings, and opinions can be heard if you want them to.

Overcoming these challenges might be hard, but you can always use what you already know to help guide you to success! Many situations can be classified as a social problem, but you can change them if you continue to use your knowledge of listening and responding skills.