Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Masterpiece Interview

I found a wild Shane Cheverez and asked him some questions...

...they can be found here...

What are you working on?
   -I am learning to play the guitar.

   -Music, particularly guitar, is my true passion. I have listened excessively for years; now it is finally time to start playing myself.

What is the significance of this project in your life/career?
   -I am developing a skill that will continue to endow me with enjoyment for the rest of my life. These beginning stages are tough, but nothing worthwhile comes easily.

How do you see this work helping you in life outside of school?
   -This question doesn't pertain to my topic - all of my project's direct benefits are independent of school.

Has anything surprised you in your work?
   -The sheer difficulty of guitar did catch me off guard. I've always had an enormous amount of respect for the instrument, but it is impossible to understand how hard it really is until one has tried for him/herself.

What do you need to successfully complete your project and present it?
   -Honestly, I need more time to get where I want to be, and there is no substitute. Seeing as I can't add any more days to the month of May, however, I need to just keep practicing without being dismayed by my time constraints. Getting good takes a lot of hard work, and it doesn't happen over night. Even with an impending deadline, that is a simple fact that must be accepted.

What have you learned that's worth teaching someone else?
   -The same thing Dr. Preston has been telling us all year: nothing is out of bounds. Doing what you actually want to do isn't too good to be true, even though it may seem that way. Have a little faith in yourself, and make the jump while you can. b0ss

Monday, May 5, 2014


My masterpiece isn't really helping with beginning a new chapter in my life. It has shown me that there are still simple things we don't understand and that there can and must be a way to communicate in a way that educates and expands without compromise. It is often we take for granted what we have and what we can get, we mistake possibilities as endless and assured. In this world, nothing is certain. We need to understand what we are doing and what we should be doing, regardless of how difficult it is or how long it takes, or even who agrees or disagrees. To accomplish goals, priorities are set and met, and they don't always align with everyone.

My journey has been one of inquiry, one that simply shows me what exists and asks to be explained. Mostly ignored, and an abstract concept in and of itself, freedom is complicated. As with all ideas/concepts, they are easy in theory but difficult in practice. To think these ideas are black and white is simple and creates an erroneous hope of simplicity. They require careful consideration and planning, but they must ultimately serve the purpose they were intended to serve, which is why it is so unique. Even though I may not get paid to think, money is only one of many rewards.

A simple pride in the intent, the investigation, the inquiry. Just look around, if everything seems alright, look harder. I may somewhat represent the balance one day, but it's all bigger than one person, or just an idea. Everyone makes the choice we face everyday. Our values should reflect in them, even if we can't.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


For the most part my environment is fine to work in, but I do think that I should do whatever necessary to have more people in my collaboration group so that I can confer with others and get feedback. At this point I feel as though anything regarding my projects, that I give away, are spoilers for what's to come. I would rather surprise than make people await the expected. I do believe that suspense, or a sense of confusion, is necessary to bring a desire to ask questions, which is what my topic is primarily about. Obviously, I need to get them to ask the difficult questions in order to hear what people think.

Getting those responses requires an audience of sorts, and this class will provide me with that once we have begun our presentations. I don't know if having an early test presentation will help or ruin the project. I want that confusion but feedback is good as well. I'll talk to some close to the project to see what they believe would best suit the environment. Though everyone is welcome to comment.

If people decide to comment on this, let me know what you think I should do. What would you like to see? Do you think I can make a poster worthy of this class?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


To get the context for this post please read HERE.

Raising a Moral Child talks about the differences in positive and negative reinforcement for behavior in children. It discusses consequences as well as actions and reactions to common childhood development phases and what each one tells a child. It talks about each type of response and what they can do to a developing mind's decision making skills in the future. I feel that many early parents are confuses as to what they should do or say when they're child achieves or misbehaves. Will their response determine how their child will and learn and grow positively or negatively? The answer may be easy, but we're learning that even our punishments and rewards/praise have a lasting effect. This reinforced what I already was concerned about, that there is a fundamental way to teach a child incorrectly, and even though you may think it's right, you're just setting them up for failure. That scares me, that it's so easy to influence, not just the youth, but our infants and new adolescents. We must be careful to what what we do and say and how we do and say it, for these actions can impact a life forever.

Parental Involvement is Overrated discusses parents' roles in their child's education and why we shouldn't jump to any conclusions or always play a major role. New studies are finding that children don't all learn the same (duh) and that that not only applies to coursework and the learning environment, but to parent involvement in school; from homework to field trips. We can't safely assume that everyone will equally benefit from extra help, and that it won't negatively impact them either. We need to take a step back and learn what helps and what hurts. Intentions have a way of becoming demands, and pushing children isn't always what they need or want. Research shows that different races tend to respond differently to school help and will either do better or worse depending on individual findings. These can affect how a child learns and if they have the desire to learn in that way. We should approach every opportunity cautiously, for we know not the consequences of our actions.

Once the recession began, people owed even more money
than their county was producing. That's not good.
Recovery for Whom? is about how the 2008 recession may have hurt all of us, but the recover that follows it is mainly benefiting big corporations and homeowners are still up a creek without a paddle. Especially those who are just now entering a workforce hit hard by job loss and a reluctance to spend more money. Businesses are currently cutting corners wherever possible, even though they continue to enjoy tax cuts and enormous profits. I believe that tax reform is of the utmost importance and that the only thing stopping it is the lobbying by the corporations it world effect most. These companies have enjoyed the ease of lobbying
and kept tax cuts to boot. They also continue to spend less while making more, even as they commit illegal, or wrongfully legal, acts in order to maximize profit. The great 2008 recession was built by the banks and paid for by the fed. But they don't care because, one,  it's not their money and, two, they are paid by both the government and by the corporations they protect. Whether it's fracking, sub-prime mortgages, tax evasion, bailouts, privatized healthcare, unregulated spying, or food privatization, those in government who have been bought will always go with who has the most money. It's when the will of the people is no longer represented and the representative is no longer accurately representing, they must be removed, but this is often difficult to do. Whether it's lying to the people they represent or lying to the government they work for, they deserve no place in a developing society.

Saving Young People from Themselves focuses on how our future workers aren't adequately prepared for the future, and how the system meant to help them is in fact working against them. Mainly, that they aren't saving up enough for retirement, and even the systems we have in place now aren't enough to deal with the current impending destruction of everything people have saved for. The systems we have in place should work as advertised and should work for the benefit of the person saving without compromising their current paychecks. We should better prepare our future by educating them and by allowing them to save more efficiently and effectively, making money with their money, instead of letting it devalue. If we let our money sit around, we only allow inflation and the value of the dollar to determine what we'll have left in the end. We need to make smart decisions now to prepare for later.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Crossroads Between Should and Must

I'm not sure why every discussion about what we want to do has to involve existential decisions. Maybe, if every society valued how every individual on Earth felt, we would all relate, all understand, all follow this path. But it isn't that easy. Maybe if we lived in a Star Trek universe we wouldn't need to worry (money no longer exists and humanity simply works to better itself for all) but we don't. We still consider those geniuses who haven't become obviously useful yet; "weird", "crazy" "mentally unstable" or maybe they're the next innovator. Either way, the world works in predictable ways and it doesn't always appreciate a visionary. That's not to say we don't owe a lot of today's successes to them, we do, but we quickly move on to the next big thing. (It's become a slogan.) For me, I'm just moving forward, wherever that is.

'Should' is made out to be redundant and 'must' is made out to be superior, where everyone needs to be. But why can't I just be what I want to be? If we're trying so hard to become what we want, find our "calling", why can't I go about it my way? What significant difference will it make to display my prowace for putting water on fires? Or even discussing the idea of freedom? Maybe I'm missing the point, but am I not also allowed to interpret this in my own way? Simply narrowing things down, as I see this doing, seems counter-intuitive and destructive to an individual, personal approach. It sounds like an obligation.

What am I obliged to do? Currently, the popular one is "contributing to society" and that's an easy one, but it's not universal and it's not applicable to all. Your situation and desires dictate your possibilities, but you should always stride for success, whatever that is for you. I like that some people find words of encouragement or fantasies about success enjoyable and uplifting, but I'd rather hear what I'm doing wrong so that I can improve and grow. It's important to remember what's important, regardless of if it's an obligation or a choice.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Look at my Brain

The title already has me sort off miffed. On one hand, people like to investigate, to know, they sometimes go too far, obsess over what they don't have, in an effort to feel like they're part of a crowd. [See how I'm already off topic?] I'm not a fan of show-boating, boasting, or displaying my achievements or successes in life. I do like sharing my interests in hopes that others can better understand me or have conversation with, but I don't like involving most people, it's easier to just keep it simple and not raise too many questions. I'm deciding to just talk a bit about what I have, in hopes that it mainly clarifies things to me or helps me flush out thoughts.

I'm thinking mainly about presentation now. How can I convene a construct of the mind? I think I want to use the audience to my advantage, to utilize them to teach others about how they themselves think. It sounds simple really, but it has to be easily understandable but also raise more questions than it answers. If I simply had all the answers, why would anyone look themselves? It should be a personal attachment, your feelings and ideas, but ones that can be changed or improved. I'm thinking of using power-points or even, dare I say, a poster to illustrate my points. I don't want to spoil anything, it's sort of better as a surprise, but I like the idea of writing down some words from anti-famous people, asking students to write some down in class during presentation, and comparing them. Or, a power-point on what we think we know, and the truth, about what goes on in the world, what we don't understand.

I'll need more I feel, but these are a start. I'm always thinking of new ways to show people just how wrong they are, and then educate them, of course. I think we can all come away a little more inquisitive if we all go in with an open mind and leave with a confused one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Literature Analysis #6: Mocking Jay


Mocking Jay
Suzanne Collins

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read according to the elements of plot you've learned in past courses (exposition, inciting incident, etc.).  Explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).
     - We've returned back to the story to find that the Capitol has obliterated District 12 and killed most of it's inhabitants. Some are now refugees living in a secret District 13, quietly plotting to overthrow the Capitol. They live a very regimented life, in secrecy, underground, in a world filled with the ever present threat of bombings that could end it all. Katniss has survived and so has Peeta, but Katniss is wit her family in 13 and Peeta is locked away in the Capitol as a prisoner and an example to rebels. Slowly, Katniss and other tribute survivors adjust and fall into their new lives, helping plan attacks against Capitol rule in other districts. Although the rebels believe Katniss is their best weapon and inspiration, she feels very reluctant to be the figure head of the entire rebellion. She doesn't know what to say, and quickly realizes she's acting, and not a real warrior.
     She pushes for more dangerous ares to go to, untill she ends up behind enimy lines. She and her comrades decide to risk their lives to take the Capitol out at it's core. While soldiers fight in the streets, they battle in the sewers and make their way silently to the center. They and arriving soldiers take President Snow's government building, but not before her sister Prim is killed in an errant rebel bombing gone wrong. In the end, Katniss kills the new president, Coin, because she wanted to have a final hunger games that capitol people would fight in. We see that even after all is said and done, some people are no better than the "evil they seek to destroy. Katniss returns home and falls in love with Peeta, for real this time.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.
     - Although it's left for the very end, I feel a more prominent them would be to fight for what's right, not to fight for what you want for others. You may have the best intentions, but that doesn't mean you can control what happens if you aren't the best qualified or if you have questionable morals.