Sunday, January 24, 2016

Power and Class

Throughout the first two chapters of the book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, Ehrenreich jumps from low paying job to low paying job, trying to make ends meet, with the highest quality of life possible. She entertains jobs such as waitressing, housekeeping, and working at a nursing home. In some jobs she has more freedom, or “say,” then others. I found that the job that Ehrenreich gets the most say in is the job where she cleans wealthy people’s homes. She describes a story where one of the people on her cleaning team, Holly, hurts her ankle. Ehrenreich insists that Holly can’t work on the ankle but Holly, scared of getting in trouble, calls the boss Ted and apologizes for no reason. At this point Ehrenreich gets fed up, takes the phone, and proceeds to angrily tell Ted that he doesn’t treat his employees fairly and he needs to change the way he works. She hangs up the phone and expects to get fired the next time she seems him, but that isn’t what happens. Ted actually decides to give her a raise and tries to convince her that he really isn’t that bad of a guy. I believe that this is when Ehrenreich realizes that even when she is in a low paying job she can stand up authority and try to push for what is right. She communicates effectively with her boss and is able to get a raise and push for some change. She was also able to collaborate a fair amount with the two employees in her group, Holly and Marge. When she is working as a waitress, especially at Jerry’s, she is not able to communicate with her coworkers, or give constructive criticism. I also found it interesting how the lower paying jobs, the less "say" she had.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Final Blog: Put a Dent in the Universe

Jack Werd
Period 6
Final Exam Blog

Put a Dent in the Universe

“Don’t let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs went from being a college dropout, to one of the most influential people on today’s society. The company Apple went from a small business In Jobs's garage, to one of the most global, profitable, and popular companies on the planet. This got me curious about Job’s story and what exactly made him so successful. Also, what can the average person take away from Jobs and his story?

Jobs was born in San Francisco California and was later adopted and raised by caring parents. Looking back on his life, Job’s remembers how much his parents stressed academic success. However, Job’s as a young child was “far from an academic.” Despite his immense intelligence, Job’s wasn’t interested in schooling. He was interested in things like pranking phone computers, creating business ideas, and messing around with technology. He attended college for one year, only to drop out where he soon started building home aid computers in his garage with his friend Steve Wozniak. So what was so special about Job’s early life? What can we learn from it? Steve Jobs was a nonconformist. We live in a world today where you’re supposed to get an education, get a job, have a family, retire, and die. But as Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t spend time living someone else's life.” What I have taken away from Job’s early life is that you can’t worry about what everyone else is thinking, you have to do what you love because one day, you’re gonna run out of time.

So what exactly made Jobs so successful and what should be taken away from what he did with his career? Job’s was successful because he did what he loved, he tried to put a dent in the universe, and he created insanely different experiences for people. First is do what you love. As Jobs said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Jobs found what he loved to do and didn’t care what anyone else thought. Because of this, he was able to put countless amounts of time and energy into his craft which in turn lead to ultimate success. Next is dream big and attempt to put a dent in the universe by changing the world. He once asked president of Pepsi-Cola “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” As he said you can't lose sight of your big vision and “The ones who are crazy enough to change the world usually do.” The final one is to create different experiences and change lives. When Jobs first came up with the idea for an Apple store he said that instead of just moving boxes, they would be enriching lives. Create an emotional connection between you and your job and “sell dreams not products.”

So I found myself asking, what do all these things have in common and what what would be one word describe Steve Jobs and his success. The theme of all Job’s values again came down to nonconformity. He didn’t care what other people thought and was willing to do anything to achieve his goals. He tried to blaze his own trail as opposed to follow in someone else's footsteps. As Jobs said “Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the troublemakers, the ones who see things differently.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Paris Terrorist attacks

Earlier this fall, a series of terrorists attacks were performed in Paris killing over 120 people and critically injuring approximately 80 others. The attacks were committed at six locations around the city including a soccer stadium where two suicide bombers attempted to take out as many civilians as possible during a friendly match between France and Germany. With that said, the majority of the deaths came during a Bataclan concert as well as in other restaurants around the city. Soon after the attacks were committed, ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group took to twitter to admit to the tragedy.
What really struck me was how the people of not only Paris reacted, but also the people of the U.S. Even a couple of minutes after the attacks, social media blew up and made all the details of the attacks known as they were being released. Also, as I looked on Facebook and other websites, people were advocating awareness for the tragedy by temporality changing their profile pictures and posting supportive comments. It really showed me how powerful social media is in this day and age.      

Tragedy in San Berrnardino

On Wednesday December 2nd, a holiday banquet was held for employees of a social service center in San Bernardino California. At approximately 2pm, a heavily armed man and woman started open firing on the banquet which resulted in 14 dead and at least 17 others seriously injured. The 27 and 28 year old shooters fled the scene in a black SUV before later coming into contact with the police where a shootout occurred. Both suspects ended up dead and after further investigation, it was concluded that there was probably not a third person involved, which was thought earlier by many including eye witnesses. After further inspection of the two office buildings, two explosive devices were found that were disarmed and deemed a non threat.

Over the past few years, the amount of deaths by mass shootings in America has been absolutely ridiculous, and does not parallel anything else we see in other countries today. Most notably, before this incident, 9 killed on October 1st in Roseburg Oregon, 9 killed on June 18th in Charleston South Carolina, 27 killed in Newtown Connecticut (December 14th, 2012), and 12 killed in Aurora Colorado (July 20th 2012). Obviously, this doesn’t account for the hundreds and hundreds of deaths by gunfire that this generation has grown up with. Looking at all of these shootings honestly makes you step back and wonder, what can we do in order to stop these tragedies from occurring? I sure don’t have the answer and I don’t know if anyone does, but it really makes you wonder, if there were stricter gun control laws, would it prevent some of these things from happening? But as politicians have said in the past, it isn’t a democrat vs republican debate, and it isn’t a liberal vs conservative debate. Somehow, some way, we need stop these acts of terror from occurring. n472976

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mom Blog

English Blog/Margy Werd/Jack’s Mom
November 23
, 2015

How Facebook is Helping News Organizations

Every journalist knows that the best news stories tug at our heartstrings. They are stories (often supplemented with photographs or videos) about people-- people that the reader or (in the case of TV and the internet) the viewer, can relate on an emotional level.

As a former TV news reporter who was often assigned to cover breaking news, I know this firsthand. Take for example the events of 911 in 2001. When the tragedy first unfolded, we reported the basic information-- the locations, evacuations, the interrupted transportation, and the death toll. It wasn’t until days and even weeks later, that we saw (in my opinion) the finest reporting emerge-- stories that introduced us to the faces and the personalities of the people involved in 911.

At the time, reporting on people involved in 911 (or in any news story) could be challenging and time consuming.  At the risk of sounding crass— here’s how it worked.  A reporter (or a producer assigned to a reporter) asked “sources” to offer up the names of survivors, heroes, or widowed family members. I would then call these people, or more often-- just show up unannounced at their residence-- with a news photographer and a video camera, and ask for an interview and photos, because a photo of a victim flashed across the TV screen creates a vivid, memorable image, and ratings.

Fast-forward to 2015, and a news event that’s being compared (on some levels) to 911-- the Paris Massacre.  But what’s different about this event is the length of time it took news organizations to humanize it. Thanks to Facebook, just several hours after the tragedy-- we not only got a photo, but we got to learn about American victim, Nohemi Gonzalez, a student studying in Paris. Thanks to Instagram, we met her boyfriend, who posted a touching message to his “angel”. We also met American caterer and shooting survivor, Helen Wilson. All because reporters and producers hurriedly did their due diligence? No, all because they knew how to copy and paste.

In a way, I’m jealous. Why couldn’t social media have existed when I was a reporter? Think of how much easier (and frankly more dignified) it is to Google rather than to knock on a door, with microphone in hand, and ask the person who opened it, “How does it feel…?”  But more than jealousy, I am filled with awe and appreciation for this would wide human link. Who would have thought that with the click of a finger we would be able to (virtually) meet anyone, anywhere in the world?

It makes me think it might be time for me to breakdown, and get on Facebook.

Monday, November 2, 2015

College Football Mayhem

Every once in awhile, there is a moment in college football that leaves you asking what? How was that even Possible? For example, in 1982, the famous, “The band is on the field game,” whereas time expired, the University of California took back a kick return, with no time left, after multiple laterals, all while the Stanford marching band ran onto the field. Or two years ago, in one of the great rivalries in sports, where Auburn ran a missed field goal 109 yards to beat number one ranked Alabama as time expired. Or lastly when the FCS team Appalachian State beat the football powerhouse Michigan on a blocked field goal. These moments don’t happen often but when they do, they’re remembered for a long time.
This college football season we have been lucky enough to have multiple of these Historic plays. To start, In Ann Arbor Michigan, an unbeaten Michigan State team, took on The Wolverines and new coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan was in control the whole game and with 6 seconds left, all Michigan needed to do was punt the ball away, and let time expire. But, as luck would have it, the Michigan punter bobbled the snap, and the ball ended up being returned 50 yards for a Michigan State Touchdown. With 6 seconds left, Michigan State had a 0.2% chance of winning the game. Also, during a tie game, Georgia Tech (3-4), blocked and returned a field goal to beat undefeated Florida State. Finally, Miami, down three took a kick return back with time expiring that included 8 laterals.
This is why I enjoy college sports more than professional sports. Any given week, a small no name school can shock the college football world with a tremendous effort and win a game no one expects them to win. In Professional football, sure you can have upsets, but every team is so good, and losses don’t mean nearly as much, so it’s simply not as exciting. Below are the links to these unbelievable moments.


Monday, October 5, 2015

MLB Postseason Flaws

With the start of October, also comes the start of the Major League Baseball Playoffs and for the first time since 2008, the Cubs will be competing. But, not in the fashion that many Cub fans hope for. The way the playoffs work currently, teams that win their respective divisions go on to make the playoffs and play a 3 out of 5 series. The two teams with the best record that do not win the division, play a one game, win or go home, Wild Card.
The MLB needs to change this system because it’s clearly flawed and doesn’t have the best teams playing. For example, the three best teams in the entire league this year are The Cardinals(100-62), The Pirates (98-64), and The Cubs (97-65). But, because all three of them are in the same division, the Cardinals are automatically in, and either the Cubs or the Pirates won’t be playing in the real postseason. Instead, worse teams like Mets and Dodgers automatically qualify.
This new Wild Card Game system was implemented in 2012 and replaces the old three tier postseason format that was in place from 1995-2011. I believe that the system must change so that the team that wins each division still gets in the playoffs, but the overall record determines your seed. That way teams like the Cubs and Pirates would get the automatic berth and worse teams like the Dodgers and the Mets would have to play the Wild Card Game. But, nonetheless, On Wednesday night, the Pirates and Cubs square off in Pittsburgh for a trip to the National League Division Series. On an interesting side note, The Cubs infamous fan who single handedly prevented the Cubs from going to the World Series, Steve Bartman, will not attend the game despite the request of many fans.