Thursday, April 28, 2016

Semester end

I'm very stressed as the semester is coming to an end. I'm stuck between being excited for summer and being stressed about tests, papers and finals. I also have the added stress of moving out of my dorm. I don't live very far away, but it is still stressful to pack up my whole life here and incorporate it into my whole life at home. More than anything, I'm going to miss my friends here. I have grown so close with them, because we all live together. We don't live too far apart, the farthest from me is about two and a half hours, but it's going to be hard to see each other as much as we want. We have dinner together every night here and I'm probably only going to see them a few times over the next few months. I'm going to be working 3 days a week over the summer, plus vacations with my family and seeing my friends from high school. Hopefully, this summer is relaxing and productive.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Research presentation

I spent most of my day today working on the research presentation power point and while I understand the concept behind the presentation, I don't think that my classmates are very interested in seeing my research. As rude as it may sound, I know that I'm not interested in seeing theirs, so I don't know why they'd be interested in seeing mine. The project was fairly easy, because the template was straight-forward and easy to follow.

Final research paper

I finished the research paper a few days ago and I can honestly say that I am very proud of it. I think that I did good research that set me up for a good paper and although I didn't enjoy doing the annotated bibliography, it did somewhat assist in my writing of this paper. I feel really good about the final result and am proud of how far I've come as a writer this semester.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Vaccine paper

I've gotten about 6 pages of my research paper done and I feel a lot better about it. It took me most of the day yesterday to get that far, but I was really spending a lot of time picking each individual word and making the paper important and well-written. I really like where I'm at with it and I think that when I get the peer review back, I'll be able to lengthen it and put more synthesis in between sources to make it flow better. I'm surprised by how well I feel the paper is going, but I'm still afraid that I'll hit a wall with it and exhaust the subject before I finish.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Major video

I love basketball, I love the fluidity of the game, the way it looks when played right. I love the friendship among the players and I love watching how hard they push to reach the goal they're all striving for. I want to share my love for it, to tell other people why they should love it as much as I do. I want to tell people how their favorite team can improve or provide them with a new favorite to cheer for. I want to show people how complicated, but simple it is and I want to find new ways to enjoy it. Tomorrow, I will continue my love for the game and combine it with what I want to do. I will write my own summaries of games instead of reading other peoples, I will write down my thoughts of possible off-season improvement and championship predictions, even if I don't share them with anybody. Long term, I will put my work out there and pray that I receive positive feedback from it. I can start with creating a blog for it and then continue to use it before reaching out to teams after I graduate.

Research paper

I feel really stressed about this paper. I have all the research and the annotated bibliography done, but I'm anxious about the sheer amount of words and information I have to write on this topic. I like the topic and I think there is a lot to say about it, but there is so much to do that I am becoming overwhelmed with it. This is just a bad time to have such a large assignment due. All the teachers are planning papers and tests and finals are in a few weeks. I am going to have to plan out times to do every individual assignment.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Citations

My least favorite part of writing papers is citations. I can do the research and write my thoughts down and connect them in a logical way, but citing things is the worst part. There are so many different formats and rules, it is very confusing. Wouldn't it be easier just to write the article/book title in the text and then put the title and link (if applicable) in the works cited? It would be much more time friendly and would make a lot more sense. I also don't understand why we put all this work into the works cited when most teachers don't even check the sources. Citing sources is just a big headache that most people won't use once they are out of school.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WP2

I uploaded my second writing project not too long ago and I felt pretty good about it. It sounded a little bit like an infomercial at certain point, but it was the best I could do without getting persuasive. I almost wished that I had saved the zoo topic for the persuasive paper and used the vaccine-autism crisis for the informational paper. The second project definitely wasn't the best thing I've ever written, but it's acceptable especially because I was playing catch-up in all of my classes while I was writing it. I'm curious to see the grade on it and am hopeful that it isn't too bad.

Annotated Bibliography

I just finished the bibliography for the third writing project. I feel pretty good about the sources I chose. I think they're reliable and relevant. I'm actually somewhat excited about writing this paper, the topic is recent and important for parents and maybe even lawmakers to know about and I hope that I can do a good job presenting the argument and information. I'm a little bit nervous because I know that it's going to be a lot of work and a lot of words in general.

Monday, February 15, 2016

I Hate Being Sick

I was sick all last week with bronchitis and it was awful. My entire chest and upper back hurt when I took a breath, I went through periods of blazing hot and freezing cold, my whole body was achy and my head hurt. I hate being sick because I always feel so helpless. I went home because I didn't want to worry about getting my friends sick and I ended up staying there all week. My mom had to do everything for me, I couldn't even make my own bed. I slept about 18 hours everyday, which was nice but I got my days and nights mixed up and am still paying for it. In conclusion, being sick sucks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Synthesis Final

Writing the synthesis paper went mostly how I expected. My outline and design plan are a little bit different, but it wasn't a whole lot harder or easier than I expected. In my original plan, I wanted to add a photo or video clip to the paper, but changed my mind during the process. The peer review helped a lot. I did accomplish what I wanted to with this paper. The subject of family is very close to my heart and I think I did a good job representing my views on it. I wish that I had some better sources for my paper, but I didn't find anything that could really explain or reference what I was trying to say. I think I could have done a better job with the formatting and works cited of my paper, as well. I started the paper by taking things that were very unrelated and putting them together. I took a subject close to me and related it to a show I used to watch. Then I tried to explain why those two things were related and why they were different. Creating a design plan really helped me keep my thoughts in order and allowed me to experiment with my paper without getting too far from the topic. The end result might have been a little bit of a stretch, but it made sense to me. With the peer review, I was able to see what other people saw when they read my paper. I got honest opinions that really helped me change my paper for the better, they also gave me suggestions on how to do that. I think the revisions of my paper show shuttle differences that make it stronger and easier to understand. The final revision didn't have very many changes because I didnt agree with some of the feedback I got and didn't know how to change my paper to highlight the suggestions. I'm feel confident in my final paper.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Math Test

I took my first test for this semester today, it was for College Mathematics. I think I did pretty well, despite not studying for it. It was about sets and basic math principles. I'm not a huge fan of math, but this semester has been pretty easy so far in terms of content, I'm hoping that the rest of it is the same.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Synthesis Paper

I'm having some trouble with the paper due soon. I have ideas that I think are good and creative, but I can't seem to get them out and write them in a way that makes sense. Every time I write, it feels very forced and when I read it back, I sound like kind of a pompous ass. I've been brainstorming in a lot of different ways, but I'm going to take a break from it and try to work on it again Sunday. Hopefully it works out better then.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Synthesis

Since I started living on campus, I find myself missing the simple moments at home with my family. We are avid Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks fans. Almost every night, unless there is something else very important on, we sit down to watch it together. We start out the evening by eating dinner. Before we all sit down, my mom is usually cooking, while my brother Tommy is playing games in the basement and my dad and I are sitting in the living room together. When dinner is done, Tommy or I puts forks, napkins, etc. on the table. As much as I would like to say otherwise, my mom is a terrible cook. She usually burns, under-cooks or uses too many spices on at least one part of the meal. Once my family and I sit down, my dad spends the meal making back-handed comments about how the food is terrible. The rest of us talk about our days and discuss what we're doing tomorrow. I can't honestly say that I miss the food, but I do miss the simple act of being with my crazy family for a few hours. After we have finished eating, Tommy and I clear the table, do the dishes and feed the dog. Once our chores are done, we sit down to watch the game or games. When I said we were avid fans, I really did mean it. We spend the next two and a half to three hours yelling at the TV, pointing out player, coach and referee mistakes with no mercy. Well, most of us do. My mom never really understands what is going on, especially with hockey. She spends most of the time reading a book and occasionally yelling happily when her favorite player scores. Tommy and I are both NBA enthusiasts, so we usually end up in a heated debate about a certain player, statistic or league decision. My dad will try to get to the end of the game, but ultimately will be in bed before the end, unless it is an important playoff game or close finish against another good team. Once, the game ends, Tommy and I follow in suit and go to bed. We go to bed happily if they win and upset or angry when they lose. I miss these nights more than anything. Every step of our night is planed out together, even though it is unspoken. I've gone home to watch games a few times, mostly on weekends, and it's like we haven't lost a step with being together. Whenever we talk on the phone, my dad and I will talk about the previous nights game or the upcoming one. We usually end up disagreeing, because he's not very confident in either team. Tommy and I will text each other about big moves in the NBA and he usually ends up making fun of me when one my favorite players does something stupid. This year, we received (almost) matching jerseys for the same player and while he says he's embarrassed to wear them in public with me, he always lets me know when he's wearing it. My mom doesn't know much, so we talk about other things. This ritual is so special to me, no matter how simple it is.

What does it mean when I say family? It means people that I love. It means people that are related to me, not just by blood or marriage, but by choice. My mom, dad, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins, grandparents, etc are my family. But, my mothers childhood friend that I have known since birth is also family. My wonderful, funny, fantastic friends that I meet only five months ago are my family. Family is the people that are there for me when I need them, the people that would do anything for me and the people that I love to be around. I have family in Seattle, North Carolina and all over the state of Illinois. My father's sister lives in Ohio, but I have not seen or spoken to her since I was seven years old. I don't consider her family, not because I haven't seen her, but because she has no interest of being in my life. One of my favorite characters in a TV show said, "Family doesn't end in blood, but it doesn't start there either". I believe that family is a choice you make, with actions rather than words or blood or promises.

Choosing your family is like playing Deal or No Deal. You have to choose which people, which case to put your faith in. You choose whether or not to go partially in, all in or risk it all for another case or person. Sometimes you hit the lottery and sometimes you end up with nothing. Along the way, the crowd, or the people around you, put in their own opinions. Their opinions are either helpful or they plant doubt in your mind.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Don't Know What to Write

I have a very uneventful life. I wake up earlier than I want, I go to classes that are too long, I come back to my room and take a nap that isn't long enough. I wake up and go eat dinner that is not very good and then I do homework that I don't want to do and go to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress. It's a hard-knock life for me. I really have nothing to write about. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What I Learned Today

I learned a lot today. I learned that the woman working in the Registrar office is not very friendly, I learned that I still dislike math as much as I did in high school, I learned that classes are much more fun when you have a friend in them and I learned about how to communicate through writing. I learned a lot about the tone, voice and attitude of an author. I also learned about how to manipulate those things to fit a specific audience. The lesson I connected with the most was learning how to look at a picture and find myself in it. Not my actual self, but the person I connect most with in it. I hope to be able to find myself in writings and allow readers to find themselves in my own writing.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Communication Responsibilities

What are our responsibilities when we blog? Do we have responsibilities to others when we communicate?

Blogs are a way to share ideas, stories and experiences with people we have never and may never meet. A blog about travel, football or music can be relevant to people on completely opposite sides of the world and it can connect the two people in a way that they never otherwise would have, but there are responsibilities that come along with it. The same responsibilities apply to communication offline and in person. Communication is the basis of all relationships, it is necessary to daily life. Bad communication is the reason most relationships, romantic or not, fail and bad communication stems from not fulfilling the responsibilities we have while communicating. Communication is a skill that can be learned and practiced by fulfilling these responsibilities. People need to be aware of who they are communicating with. The communicator, whether in person or online, has a responsibility to say things clearly and to explain references to popular culture that someone may not understand. We also need to be sensitive to the audiences issues, it is important to watch both what we say, how we say it and the nonverbal communication that goes along with it. Offending the people we speak to or the people reading the blog is counterproductive. One of the most important responsibilities we have as communicators is to listen and pay attention. Listening or reading carefully strengthens relationships and makes it easier to understand what the person is saying. It is equally important to observe nonverbal signals, such as emotions and reactions to communication. Communication is constant and interpersonal, we should always be practicing it, developing our communication skills and working to fulfill our communication responsibilities.