End of Semester Recap of Veganism

My Topic: For this semester, I chose to research the controversial vegan movement in an effort to find out how it benefits society, the individual, and the animals.

My Essays: For my first research paper, I focused on whether or not a vegan lifestyle is truly a healthy way to live, and how it may be more beneficial than any other diet. I learned that veganism can be the healthiest way to live if the proper foods are being consumed, but can also be unhealthy if the diet is heavy in carbohydrates and fats. In my second essay, I researched how animal production has changed as a result of the industrial revolution, making veganism a more favorable lifestyle than ever before. Not only are the animals being harmed due to production, but the earth’s environment and atmosphere is as well. My final paper will inform readers how they can go about making changes in their everyday routines to lessen their impact on animals, the earth and their own bodies. It may be quite challenging to go vegan all at once, but taking baby steps allows people to ease into the transition at a pace they feel comfortable with.


My Research Methods: Researching my topic was an enjoyable and unique experience because veganism is discussed throughout different sources of media. I was not limited to only scholarly sources, and instead had the freedom to access social media content, advertisements, popular news sources and campaigns. Having a variety of different types of sources to integrate within my work created a diverse platform to support my arguments and provided multiple perspectives. My findings ranged from a Stanford University publication to a dairy company’s Twitter advertisement, but each and every one I found was beneficial to my writing in some way.

Sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13h6o533T8SroDVfd6CXySGqUZfPSPjzyTvOmrCutcic/edit

Final Observations: Researching this topic over the course of the semester was a fascinating journey, because I have wanted to learn more about veganism for the past few years. By studying it from an academic standpoint, I focused a lot more on the facts and evidence than I would have doing personal research, which likely would have consisted more of opinions. Reading both opinionated and factual sources gave me a better ability to form my on opinion and learn more about what veganism has to offer as well as some of the drawbacks that come with it. For example, I learned that eliminating animal products from the diet can reverse prostate cancer in men. This was astounding information for me to land upon, and was something I cared about personally since this cancer has affected previous generations of my family. My perspective on veganism has become much more positive after this semester’s research, and I have even begun taking small steps to eliminate animal products from my diet and lifestyle. I no longer have dairy milk in my daily iced coffees, and have refrained from buying any new belts, shoes or wallets made of leather. While these adjustments may seem small, if society as a whole could make these minor changes, the positive results would be huge.


Blog Post 2 (sorry I’m incapable of keeping these short)

On the early morning of November 9th, nearly every voter in America probably found themselves wondering; “what the hell just happened?”

In the aftermath, everyone seemed to have their theories and reasons as to why Donald Trump was elected president. Jenee Desmond-Harris’s piece “Trump’s win is a reminder of the incredible, unbeatable power of racism” from Vox.com attempts to answer that question by asserting that racism was the driving force that got Donald Trump elected and that the white voters who pulled the lever for him harbor intolerance and racism as well. It’s a popular argument, and has seemed typify the response from some members of the Democratic Party and the political left from November 9th onward. Harris cites multiple studies, previous statements by Trump, and CNN exit polls to reinforce her claims. However, I believe the entire basis of that argument, whether members of the Democratic party and their supporters believe it to be true or not, poses an enormous problem for Democrats moving forward.

Even if Harris’s argument wasn’t flimsy (It’s emotionally based, entirely subjective, and by and large, breaks the cardinal rule of statistics: correlation doesn’t equal causation), I’d still argue that relying on it is hurtful to the Democratic party because of the message it sends a key contingent of its voters. The fact is, yes, Trump did indeed win an enormous number of white voters, but many of them were former Democrats from reliably blue states, in a historically blue geographic region (the rust belt), who switched sides last fall, and attacking them may only alienate them further. If that gives the Republicans the advantage in the rust belt, it would be catastrophic for the Democrats (PA, OH, MI, WI & IA are worth a combined 70 electoral votes), that to me is the issue here. If Harris wants to blast Trump to high heaven, then by all means, she should do it. It’s blasting his voters that I consider to be dangerous, and Harris does that throughout the article. For instance, in one segment, titled “Almost any way you slice it, white people supported Trump on Election Day and nonwhite people didn’t,” Harris opines: “These huge swaths of white voters were willing to overlook the many ways in which Trump was unqualified, temperamentally unfit, and dangerous and represented a massive threat to American democracy.”

“The most generous interpretation is that white voters chose him despite his racism, not because of it. But that’s a very difficult case to make, given his massive weaknesses.” Actually, it’s a very easy case to make. Hillary Clinton was also a historically unpopular candidate, and ran a historically poor campaign. To illustrate that point, after the Democratic National Convention in July Clinton did not make a single campaign stop in Wisconsin, a reliably blue state that was polling tighter in 2016 than it had in the past, but did find time to visit Arizona, and Utah, states that turned blue only once over the last fifty eight years. Clinton would not only become the first Democrat to lose Wisconsin in over a quarter century, but the state’s incumbent Republican Senator, Ron Johnson, was re-elected in a monumental upset victory over his Democratic challenger. Meanwhile, Arizona and Utah went Republican, yet again. In North Carolina, a critical swing state where the average ACA premiums are expected to increase by 40% this year, Clinton sent Lena Dunham to campaign on her behalf. Trump, who promised to repeal the ACA during the campaign and made more visits to the state than Clinton, won it by more than three points, and Richard Burr, North Carolina’s Republican Senator, was re-elected by an even wider margin.

Many of these voters that the Democratic party lost last fall actually voted for Barack Obama not once, but twice. Trump flipped six states, (and one congressional district in northern Maine worth one electoral vote) that went for Obama in 2008 and 2012, and three of those (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) last voted Republican before many of us in this class were even born. Harris cites a three year old study, where a political scientist from Harvard gauged the reaction of a small handful of white people after they sat next to a pair of Latino men on a train in Boston as evidence that the hundreds of thousands of voters throughout the rust belt who supported Democrats over the last quarter century somehow turned into racists over the last four years. I believe that other factors, such as healthcare premiums (remember North Carolina where premiums increased by 40%? According to a CBS poll from late October 2016, when asked whether Obamacare hurt or helped people, 53% of North Carolina voters said “hurt” as opposed to only 38% who said “help.”), the condition of our economy (62% of voters rated the condition as “poor” according to CNN exit polls, and Trump won them by 31 points), or our country’s trade deals (according to CNN, the majority of voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan believed international trade took away U.S. jobs) played a big role in their decision. The bottom line is that there’s no evidence to suggest that all those people in Wisconsin, who, for the last 32 years voted for Democrats (including the nation’s first black president twice, and Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay individual to be elected to the U.S. Senate) became racists at some point over the last few hundred days because they decided to support a Republican in the last election cycle. Labeling these voters as racists could potentially estrange them further.

Were there Trump voters who held outright bigoted, intolerant and abhorrent beliefs? Absolutely, and while it’s important that their behavior is unequivocally denounced, they also made up a relatively small fraction of his support. For that reason, I think it’s bad for the Democratic party, and the political left to give them credit for Trump’s victory because it sends one of two messages, and neither bodes well. Either it means that they’re choosing to focus on a few thousand bigoted lunatics from the fringe of society over the millions of Ex-Democratic in the midwest and all throughout the country who abandoned their party last November, or they’re grouping those ex-Democratics into the same bucket along with them. Whichever it is, neither gives off the vibe of John Cusack holding a radio, and at this moment, that’s who the Democratic Party and its supporters need to take a cue from.

Simply put, the Democrats need to carry those voters in order to win the electoral college, and if they want to lure them back, the first step to making that happen would be to try and understand why they left the party in the first place. Dismissing their concerns or angrily fixating on their genetic makeup certainly won’t do the trick. What will? I think Yair Rosenberg, a political commentator who supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign said it best on twitter the morning after the election: “[I t]old [my] students today: key lesson of election is liberal politicians need to deal w[ith] their electorates as they are, not as they wish they were.” The bottom line is that the Democrats need to win back the moderate vote in order to take back control of the government. How can they do that? Taking Rosenberg’s advice would be a pretty good starting point.

Works Cited
Bryan, Bob. “Here’s How Much Obamacare Premiums Are Going up in Every State.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 26 Oct. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
“CNN Exit Polls.” CNN.com. CNN, 8 Nov. 2016. Web.
Desmond-Harris, Jenee. “Trump’s Win Is a Reminder of the Incredible, Unbeatable Power of Racism.” Vox. Vox, 09 Nov. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
Engel, Pamela. “Clinton Never Set Foot in Wisconsin – Then She Lost It, and It Helped Cost Her the Presidency.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 09 Nov. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
Glassbergrglassberg@charlotteobserver.com, Ronnie. “How Many times Have Clinton and Trump Been to North Carolina? Here’s Your Answer.” Charlotteobserver. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
Politics, CBS News. “CBS News Battleground Tracker: North Carolina, Oct. 30, 2016.” Scribd. Scribd, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.
Rosenberg, Yair. “Told Students Today: Key Lesson of Election Is Liberal Politicians Need to Deal W/ Their Electorates as They Are, Not as They Wish They Were.” Twitter. Twitter, 09 Nov. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Immigration. What Is It?

We all hear about immigration in todays media and how everyone has a different opinion about it.  However a lot of us, especially now that we are getting into the real world, are just forming our opinions on world issues like this.  Some of us don’t know how we feel about immigration and others don’t even know enough to have an opinion.  After hearing all the chattering and complaining from todays politicians its hard to know if immigration is a good or bad thing.

Through this blog I will try and show you what immigration is and share my own opinions on the topic.  You may not agree with what I have to say sometimes but my goal is not to get you to agree with me.  It is for you to form your own opinion and thoughts on the matter.

I will be addressing all kinds of immigration throughout the world in this blog to help you get an understanding on how immigration affects the rest of the world.  As of now, the biggest immigration stories in today’s news is the immigration of Syrians into European nations and Mexican Immigration into the US.



Introduction to Diversity in Media

Creed05720.dngMy topic that I am going to write about has to do with the issue of diversity in mass media. Over the years, we saw some progression in the representation of POC’s (people of color) in TV and film with some shows like Blackish, Fresh of the Boat, and Scandal, that see people of color as leads instead of the token minority, along with movies like Straight Out of Compton, Creed, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens that gained praise from critics. However, there are still some things we can improve on, like casting white actors to play roles that were written for POC’s, limiting actors to roles that perpetuate stereotypes, and not hiring filmmakers that are POC’s.

With the majority of filmmakers being white, the possibilities and opportunities for filmmakers and actors that are people of color are significantly smaller compared to the opportunities for white actors and filmmakers; and even if a film starred an actor that was a person of color, the prestigious award usually go to their white costars, which is what happened to some movies like Creed at the Oscars this year.The Washington Post mentioned, however,that some movies have gotten criticized for whitewashing roles;movies like Exodus: Gods of Kings and Aloha bombed at the box office. We’ve also made some strides in hiring more POC’s. For example, the new trio in Star Wars: The Force Awakens includes two new leads, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who are both POC’s and broke away from the traditional all white trio’s that previous movies had. Also, the director of Creed and Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler, is now set to direct the new Marvel movie Black Panther, a movie about an African superhero. As you can see, we are making some strides when it comes to diversity, but it is still a problem that needs a little more time to fix.


End of Semester Recap on Bullying



















My Topic: My topic for these three papers is bullying.

My Essays: My definition paper what about what a bully is. This paper explores how different people view bullies. For example, the bullies view themselves as people who have power, while the bystanders view the bully as the cool kid, and the victim views the bully as the source for their sadness and discomfort. My second paper was a proposal paper on how to truly stop bullying. I proposed that the only way that bullying can be stopped is through true enforcement of the anti-bullying policies by people who are educated on the topic and by having a policy for bystanders that causes them to act on a bullying situation or fear punishment. My final paper was a personal narrative about how bullying has effected my life and how it still does every day. Though the bullying may not be directed towards me everyday, it is still found in my life either with it being my friends being bullied or me being a bystander. Bullying has a sufficient effect on my everyday life.

My Research Methods: For most of my research, I used scholarly websites like Rowan’s E-Resources and ProQuest. Most of the articles that I found were purely educational so that I could learn about the topic that I was writing about. I read them and it I found something in them that I liked, then I would use it in my papers. I looked for articles a few times a week because there was always something new to read about bullying and what people are doing to try to stop it or what people believe the true reason for bullying is. I didn’t talk to other people much about my topic because all the people I had talked to about my topic did not genuinely care.

Sources: http://search.proquest.com/pqcentral/docview/758920116/11AE9CB7816C4BA1PQ/6?accountid=13605




Final Details/Observation: From all of my research and writing my papers, I learned many things about bullying. I learned that some people believe that bullying is a perfectly normal thing to do and they think that it is completely absurd that people want to stop bullying because its “just a part of life”. I learned that bullying affects many more people than you would think and that the United States has the highest bullying rate with about 15-20% of people having ever been in a bullying situation. I still believe that bullying is wrong and we should do everything in our power to stop it. If bullying is put to an end, so many problems will be solved and so many people will be saved from mental illnesses due to bullying.

Paper #3

For my third paper, I have decided that instead of writing a rebuttal paper against those who think bullying is a good thing (which is a bit ridiculous to be honest), that it would be much better and interesting to write a personal narrative about bullying and how it affects me in my everyday life. This is not only with how I am bullied, but also how I am helping those who are being bullied.

Research Update: Paper 3

For the third paper, as strange as it may seem, I will be writing a rebuttal paper against articles that are pro-bullying. As silly as it seems, they are real. Some people believe that bullying is just a part of growing up and everyone has to deal with it at some point in their life, but I believe that this shouldn’t have to be this way. Others believe that the bullying builds character. Some medical research has shown that bullying is good for the bully’s health.

While it was difficult to find papers that were pro-bullying, they were eventually found and easily rebutted.

Reflective Post

First of all, it was a very difficult, long process to finally find a topic that I could write about effectively. My topic changed at least three times before I came to my final topic of bullying. For my paper, I really did like the topic of my paper, but it was a very difficult topic to write a definition paper. Once I did have what I was defining/explaining, which was what a bully is to different people, it was relatively easy to find sources to support my ideas. I believe that writing my next essay will be much easier than it was to write this one.

My research on this topic has been very successful since the topic is so widely discussed. I learned a lot about the medical effects of bullying both on the intimidator and the victim, like how bullying decreases stress levels because it makes the bully feel more empowered. A few of my sources were conflicting because one said that bully is good for the bully and another said that it was bad for the bully, in medical terms. I also learned that bystanders have a large effect on bullies and their actions. http://search.proquest.com/psychology/docview/1526112364/10B374868444427EPQ/1?accountid=13605


Memes and Pajama Earth?

As the 21st century progresses it is becoming increasingly obvious that memes are part of everyday life. Probably each of us, at least once a day, sees an ad on the Internet or television depicting a situation. Such ads grab our attention and cause our mind to bend one way or another, for the ad or against the ad. Such an ad is a meme in the colloquial sense of the word. It is a depiction of something that consciously acts to gain followers and or incite opinions. If we generalize a bit, we will recognize that there are unconscious memes as well: pure symbols (values, ideas, etc.) that act in a society. Surely symbols have been important throughout human history for as long as appreciable amounts of culture have existed but have they always been the way they are today? Have they changed?

James Gleick in an article on memes describes them in the more general sense. He says they are simply ideas that spread through culture and, in fact, behave exactly like biological organisms do. They evolve, morph and change form just as genes would, given a certain environment. What’s more is that genes reflect a societies ideals very purely, for if they are subject to selective pressures imposed by a society, they will tell of the environment they come from just like biological traits. This is of importance to note when examining current, popular memes. Now lets go a step further.

What are the memes of today in the most general sense? What is our culture saying? I would side with Nietzsche on such questions when he says, “stone is more stony than it used to be.” This is the title of aphorism 218 in his book Human, All Too Human within which he discusses the sacredness of art and architecture in the past and how the present has changed our outlook on it. What is the beauty of architecture to us today?, Nietzsche asks, “the same as the beautiful face of a mindless woman: something mask like.” The point that I’m trying to push for here is this: since technology provides us with such immediate and easy ways of public expression thoughts floating on the surface of society (i.e. memes) have become more numerous and more deeply psychological. So much is floating around that this expanse of ideas has become a thick swamp, and since expression is so easy, thoughts get thought out less before they get released, thus they fall closer to the heart of the individual. What does this mean? It is as if the censorship of society has been let off guard, as if all the proper manners of the world have disappeared as if the world now walks around in its pajamas.