Friday, June 3, 2016

Childhood Dreams

My childhood dreams consisted of a number of ambitious careers. My sister and brother are about ten years older than me so while I was a young child they were deciding what they wanted to study in college. This influenced my dreams to be more realistic and career-based rather than something more fictional such as “I want to be a princess”.
The earliest dream I remember is, wanting to be a veterinarian. This was because my aunt found a litter of abandoned newborn kittens in her backyard. My family brought them inside and bottle-fed them until we were able to contact a shelter. This gave me the goal of caring for animals when I grow up.
Later on my dream shifted to children rather than animals, I wanted to be a pediatrician. My brother had just decided to study to become pharmacist, which influenced me to want to be a doctor of some sort. My cousins and I made a plan my older cousin and I would become pediatricians and open up our own clinic. My brother would be our pharmacist, my sister would be the manager, and my younger cousin would be a delivery nurse who would refer patients to us.  This dream was quite far fetched and died out quickly.
Next I wanted to be a medical examiner. At this point I was maybe about eleven and I realized that being an actual doctor was a lot more work than I was willing to put in. I was really interested in mysteries and thought that forensics would be a good area. A medical examiner would combine the doctor and the forensics interests.

Recently I wanted to be a filmmaker. I love filming and editing videos with my cousins and I would have loved to make it into a career. Now my experience with the tech crew made my interest in the technical area even stronger. I am looking to study communications in college focusing on the production of film and radio. I am also considering minoring in computer forensics or cyber security. While I may not go on to reach all of my dreams I hope I can achieve them by gaining the qualities of those professions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

College Essay

Growing up in a first generation American family is an important aspect of my life. Both of my parents immigrated to America from a small island in the Azores of Portugal.  My dad having five siblings and my mom having fourteen siblings gave me a huge family to celebrate my Portuguese culture. We listen to Portuguese music, eat Portuguese food, and even speak the Portuguese language. This Portuguese influence affects me on a daily basis.
When I was younger my grandmother lived with my family. My grandmother had only spoke Portuguese so growing up conversations in my house often consisted of a mixture of English and Portuguese. I had not realized how much Portuguese heritage had influenced me until I started going to school. I remember talking about my grandmother at school and using the word "avó" which translates to grandma. A few Portuguese people I went to school with understood me but many did not. I was very confused because I did not realize that "avó" was not an English word, I thought I was a synonym for Nana or Grammy. Throughout my life there are many times like this were I have mixed up my Portuguese and English words.
Another time I remember being asked about my favorite food and my answer was papas, a Portuguese porridge. Every few months my mom would make it in a huge pot and it took hours to cook. For us this meal was a family affair and we would give a portion of it to each of my aunts and uncles. However trying to explain this to people was difficult because they did not understand. This was a meal that my family ate when they were children in Portugal so when someone spends the long amount of time it takes to cook it we share it with the whole family.
My Portuguese is a constant part of my life. Everyday I hear at least one Portuguese word. Dinner is usually a Portuguese meal or at least seasoned with Portuguese spices. However my heritage affects me academically as well. Learning a language is proven to improve learning in other subjects as well. While I understand Portuguese I was not very good at speaking it so in elementary school I took lessons with a local Portuguese culture group. This allowed me to improve my speaking, reading, and writing of the language. Later in middle and high school I studied Spanish, however my background in Portuguese allowed me to grasp Spanish much easier.
In college my heritage will continue to help me grow in knowledge and as a person. My experience with the Portuguese culture allows me to have exposure to both American and Portuguese traditions. I believe that my heritage allows me to have an open mind about the differences between peoples around the world. My culture has helped shape me into the person that I am today and who I will become. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Synthesis Prompt

Using the sources that follow write an essay that discusses the equality and equity of the genders within todays current education system. Discuss how, if at all, these inequalities translate into the workplace and other areas of women’s lives.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Is Anyone Truly Original?

In Lawrence Lessig's TED Talk on laws that choke creativity he discusses the copyright laws that prevent modern artists to use online content to create new works. However works that use part of the content of copyrighted works are illegal and can be removed from websites. This is questionable because someone who remixes a song is not trying to pass the original song off as their own but use the inspiration and content of the original work and alter it to make it their own. This has been happening since the beginning of time. Artists always received inspiration for their works based on other content they have experience. Some works may be based off an original but it is impossible to that the original was not based off of something else. It is unfair for artists to create works with someone else's content and not credit the artist that they were inspired by. For example Vanilla Ice sampled part of Queen and David Bowie's Under Pressure for his song Ice Ice Baby and did not give credit to the original artists. That was unfair to Queen and Bowie as they worked hard to come up with that catchy guitar tune just to have it stolen. However they probably used some other artists work to inspire theres. No work is truly an original. Today copyright laws and websites prevent works from being published if they use a piece of another artists work. It seems like this is a new occurrence but has been happening forever only now it is able to be regulated. Artists should give credit where credit is due but still be able to create new content based on other's work.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

We Want Your Vote, We Need Your Money

          Politicians are constantly calling supporters to try to get donations from them. While it sometimes seems as if they are doing this for their own personal profit or benefit they are actually required to raise funds for their political parties. John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight discusses the topic of Congressional Fundraising. Oliver tells that the fundraisers themselves have become part of the economy of Washington DC. The restaurants that host the functions rely on the fundraisers as a main part of their income. While it is excellent for the politicians to be supporting the local businesses and helping the economy. Politicians are suggested to spend 4 hours a day making phone calls asking for donations. They do this in call centers that are set up with small cubicles and bad conditions. Oliver spoke with Senator Steve Israel who described the process as "a form of torture." These awful working conditions are similar to that of the early 1900s when workers we required to work long hours for low pay while being closely supervised by their employers. The politicians are so hard on the workers in the call centers because their political parties require them to pay fees that can total up 800,000. This money is often used to help the campaigns of less popular candidates in their party. While it is fair for the successful politicians to help the smaller ones they are required to raise ridiculous amounts of money. If a politician cannot win an office on their own they probably are not good enough to hold the office in the first place. The political party has created an almost socialist environment to support their democratic and republican ideals. The process seems to contradict itself and is ultimately unfair and ineffective. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Understanding Comics

          In Scott McCloud's comic Understanding Comics he explains the word and picture combination that create stories. He begins this story with a young child showing a toy at show and tell. He connects this idea of show and tell to comic books since they use both words and pictures. This establishes his ethos because it connects him, a comic book writer, to his entire audience since we were all once children.
          Next he goes on to explain comic book writers. The character that is narrating this story is in fact the writer himself. This is extremely effective in establishing ethos because we are hearing these facts directly from a comic book writer. He includes the counter argument that the combination of words and pictures was not the actual definition of comics. Here he even includes an actual definition of comics. This counterargument gives him human qualities in correcting possible misunderstandings of his argument and connecting him to his audience as a person rather than making himself seem like an all knowing entity. 
          He is very good at explaining himself throughout his work. He explains different combinations of words and pictures, different balances of each, and different dependencies they have on each other. He establishes his ethos through this by providing an example showing how he himself uses these techniques. Finally at the end of his work he connects comics to alchemy. This solidifies his argument as being more fact than opinion.
          McCloud titled his piece Understanding Comics which adds pressure to explain himself well. He lived up to the title and did an excellent job explaining word and picture significance and their use in comics. He made it easy for anyone, even someone who has never read a comic, to understand the techniques and uses of words and pictures in comics. He gives us a different light on comics and makes them seem less childish than the stigma that surrounds them.