First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

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The Intangibles I take on the Journey

 

 

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My Backpack

The items included in my backpack are those most dear to me in my life. I have the bible because without God, I wouldn’t be here to begin with. Therefore, faith is the most important thing to me in the world. Then I have pictures of my friends and family because I cherish them dearly. I couldn’t do anything without the support and love they show me on a daily basis. Then I have a camera and premier pro in my backpack because journalism is my passion. Finally I have that heart to symbolize my belief in love and how powerful it is.

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A Hard Hit to Ethics

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‘Concussion’ (2015) starring Will Smith

I have a 18-year-old cousin named Dylan. If you see Dylan, the first think you’d assume about him is that he’s an athlete; the stocky, ‘6’1’ teenager was a football player his entire life until he was 15. But during his sophomore year of high school, a freak accident happened while playing basketball during P.E. Dylan landed on his head after going for a rebound. Initially, he was fine.  He got back up and shook it off. But when he got home later, his mother discovered him seizing inside of his room. Dylan had suffered a concussion while playing basketball. But there was more to it than that; doctors discovered that Dylan had suffered at least 7 other concussions throughout his life while playing football. Ironically, it took a basketball injury to reveal the damage football had done to his brain. Now, Dylan has to battle frequent seizures and will never play any contact sports again.

Sports were his life; taking that away from his was like taking thought away from a philosopher, books from a scholar, chords from a musician. My initial reaction to his story was filled with anger. How could 7 concussions go undiagnosed? How could he come so close to death? Why does he have to suffer? I was upset for him. He had his passion striped away from him. I thought that doctors were simply ignorant or lazy. I was sure that if maybe they’d discovered his concussions from the start that he could still be on the gridiron.

But after watching the 2015 film “Concussion”, i realized I wasn’t the only one feeling this way; I realized Dylan could be off a lot worse. Fear struck my heart because my cousin may still be in danger of developing CTE in the future. I realized the peril my cousin had confronted. I’ve loved football my whole life. But after watching “Concussion”, my stomach soured at the though of the NFL. After seeing the film, I blame the NFL for my cousins pain. I believe that the NFL, by covering up their knowledge of concussions and their effects on players, delayed the advancement of treatment and prevention on concussions towards players at all levels of football. In other words, Dylan could’ve been much better off had the NFL been honest about their findings and taken responsibility earlier.

There are many who say that concussions are just a part of the game, that players know what they’re getting themselves into. These people want to continue to see the game played the old-fashioned way, with no new rules and stipulations to make the sport a “pussy” game. But these people don’t see what comes after the whistle blows. These people don’t see the trauma CTE patients experience. I found that the movie “Concussion” presented a very fair view of concussions after conducting further research because the NFL knowingly put players ignorant to concussions at risk, it gave fans insight into the lawsuits thousands of players are waging against the NFL, and brought attention to concussions which are still a prevalent issue in contact sports today,

After watching the movie concussion and investigating further into the issue, one thing is clear: the NFL kept important information regarding concussions away from NFL players, putting them in ignorant danger. Dr. Rob Hudson, associate professor at the United States Sports Academy, says that the “NFL allegedly withheld evidence connecting concussions and brain damage.”(4) This was one of the main takeaways from watching the film “Concussion” as well. The man the movie centers around, Bennet Omalu, who is credited with the discovery of CTE, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times. Omalu argues that children under the age of 18 shouldn’t be allowed to play football. He reasons that because their is more knowledge on the subject now, their should be laws put into place to accommote the new discoveries. He relates concussions to smoking and drinking as a child, saying that “we’ve known for more than 40 years that alcohol damages the developing brain of a child,” and that “we’ve known since the mid-70s that asbestos causes cancer and other serious diseases”.(1) So it appears that the evolution of concussions and the knowledge and treatment of them could be much farther ahead than todays level if the NFL had come out with the truth sooner. Therefore, it’s possible that if the NFL comes clean sooner, then concussions are handled more effectively around the country, and consequently, my cousin may have been saved from suffering more than one concussion. Saved from losing what he loved most in life.

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Why Thoreau couldn’t do what MLK accomplished

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Except from “Letter from  Birmingham Jail”

Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” are both two extremely influential pieces of literature that helped abolish racial injustice in the United States. Each author uses all three appeals (ethos, logos, pathos) in their arguments to resonate with their readers. Although both authors demonstrate their vast knowledge for politics, philosophy and religion in their papers, Martin Luther King crafts a much stronger argument than Thoreau because King builds an ethical appeal in his paper that trumps Thoreau’s and King connects with the readers on an deeper, more emotional level than Thoreau.

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Satire as Effective Argument

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Satire for Dummies

Harry Golden builds a much stronger ethical appeal in “The Vertical Negro Plan” than Roger Guffey does in his work “Left Handers (Those Sickos) Got No Reason to Live!”. Both works are satirical pieces. However, Golden outshines Guffey when it comes to building an ethical appeal. Golden is rational and polite throughout his writing. He is very calm when stating his opinion, writing statements like “Permit me, therefore, to offer an idea for the consideration of the members of the regular sessions”. Guffey, on the other hand, does the exact opposite; he is very antagonistic and does a poor job in building an ethical appeal. Here are just a few adjectives Guffey decided to use when describing left-handers: “subversive little perverts”, “unnatural”, “sickos”, and “filthy”. These kind of statements make the author come off as brash and adversarial. Therefore, Guffey’s ethical appeal is weakened.

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A discussion on concussions

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Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu in the movie “Concussion”

The 2015 Drama Movie “Concussion” is about Dr. Bennet Omalu’s discovery and subsequent fight against concussions in the NFL. The story follows him as he not only discovers the source of trauma plaguing some former NFL players, but also as he fights to raise awareness for them. Concussions have plagued football players for the past few decades.For those like legendary NFL Linebacker Junior Seau, they lead to suicide. But how is the NFL combating them? How are things different now from when they were first discovered?

This is compelling to me because many athletes have their lives ended by concussions. As a fellow athlete, seeing others that love sports the way I do get hurt by what they love most is devastating. I want to learn more about concussions and just how avoidable they actually are.

I already know that concussions are frequent in contact sports. They happen in football more than any other sport. I also know the NFL has implemented anti-concussion policies, such as making players exit the game if their helmets come off on a play. Similarly, I know that the NFL has been sued multiple times by former players for the health issues that have accompanied the concussions they received while playing.

I want to learn more about what sports were like before concussions were found to be an issue. I already think about times prior to the discovery of germs and cancer. The discovery of concussions and the time preceding it interests me. I want to see how much changed when people learned about them. I also want to learn more about the science behind a concussion and how much it truly affects an athlete. Does every athlete that suffers a concussion harbor the same thoughts that those like Junior Seau did? These are all subjects i want to touch on and learn more about.

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Arguing:”A is for ‘Absent'” by Chris Piper

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Putting the pencil to the paper

I understand what Chris Piper is saying in “A is for Absent”. Arguing against the idea attendance policies shouldn’t exist definitely doesn’t mean I attend class 100% of the time. Yet, I’m arguing against the idea that you don’t have to attend class or that you shouldn’t face any punishment for not attending when the rules state otherwise.

.Piper argues that it should be his choice whether or not to attend class and that he shouldn’t face any punishment in terms of grading for skipping class. He supports his ideas by explaining his belief that since he’s paying for his schooling, it’s up to him on how to use it. He also argues that professors institute the attendance policies to satisfy their egos.

. I question his statements regarding professors, since I believe that many teach genuinely because they have a passion for teaching and crafting young minds. Many seem so passionate and understanding towards their students and those teachers also enforce attendance policies.

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My Argument Style

The last time I argued was last week. Me and my friend JB were arguing over the existence of happiness, and whether it was really or simply an unachievable goal. Yea, it was a very obscure and  difficult concept to argue about, considering the definition of happiness varies from person to person, but my goal was to make him believe that happiness is not only real for everyone, but attainable. I shared my life’s experiences, hoping to resonate a picture happiness with him, and to describe the difference between being content and being happy. I wanted him to see that even though i’ve been through a hellish life, I’ve still sought and attained happiness by looking ahead towards hopefully bright future, and that it could be the same for him. Yet, he believed that getting your hopes up for the future was only a way of setting yourself up for disappointment and failure, and refused to pursue happiness if it meant jeopardizing a steady level of content that existed in his life. To him, why risk disappointment for something that isn’t even real?

I was very adversarial in this argument, which isn’t typical of me, being a consensual arguer. But this topic was something I was passionate about, considering that the concept of happiness was something I clung on to in my darkest moments. I refused to believe that someone could deny it’s existence when it’s existed for me. But maybe that’s where I went wrong, since my life isn’t his life.

As previously mentioned,  I am a consensual arguer. I believe I owe that side of my personality to my desire to make friends, be open-minded, and be a listener, especially since I want to be a reporter one day.  I want to hear people out and reach an agreement with them rather than argue and spark any sort of hostility. I think this stems from being bullied tremendously in elementary and middle school. When you don’t have many friends, you want do to whatever you can to make some. At least that’s something that has stuck with me. It’s not fun being lonely, and to mean being a consensual arguer fits that mold.

I like that I can be agreeable and easy to work with. I favor reaching a consensus rather than a dead end.To me, it just a more comfortable approach to argument. I can imagine it being hard to work with though when faced with making a difficult, crunch-time decision where no one agrees and no one is there to put their foot down and set things straight.

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