Thursday, January 30, 2014

Who does "Rap" belong too?

I think it's absolutely ridiculous that people think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "robbed" the black rappers. We've moved passed the segregation times a long time ago. I believe the Grammy should go to the person who truly had the best rap album of the year. It's an award show and you never know what can happen and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won beating out other black rappers. There's no whites vs. blacks here, it's just music. The Heist was a phenomenal album and he deserved the Grammy. I haven't heard any of the other rappers music, so I'm not saying they're bad or anything, I'm sure they're fantastic. Music is without a doubt fair game.. Blacks don't always rap either.. There's been hundreds of famous black musicians that don't rap and we aren't saying they robbed the whites in a rock category. Whites and blacks are free to do whatever they want and if a white man makes a rap album that wins a Grammy, then that's the case, there's no segregation involved. Music is for everyone.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blog & Reflection

What has this year been like for you as a writer? 
It's been quite different from when I was in American Studies last year because we were writing 5 paragraph essays (something I'm not very good at.) then we transition here in journalism where the writing is more opinionated and we get to write about topics that interest us and not about revolution or civil rights where it's all a bunch of made up knowledge. It's been an interesting and fun year exploring writing.

Where have I struggled?
Usually when I write an essay or "articles" I just write until I can't write anymore. I just let it flow out the I go back and edit it. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't it can make my sentence structures off and become repetitive.

Where have I succeeded?
I think where I have succeeded is coming up with a solid voice. I feel like all my writing has a particular voice to it wether it be some witty sarcasm, or opinions on certain topics.

What you'll find down below is my College Essay and my feature article. The reason why I chose to use my College Essay is because of how much I worked on it. This wasn't an easy assignment, and the one I ended up hanging in was changed almost 100%. I decided to completely re-write it because I felt that it was "bland." I spent many hours working on this piece of writing and I think it definitely shows. I've gotten it proof read up to six times so I feel this is an adequate essay that should qualify for this blog post. I feel as though I developed a good voice in here which was tricky since I was writing about myself. Here is the College Essay:

It was a beautiful summer day and the children were laughing, splashing around and having a great time in the pool in the back yard. The little 2 year toe-head boy pulled away and quietly wandered into the house and toddled down the hallway to the den.  His mother followed behind with the video camera to see what he was up to.  He sifted through a stack of VCR’s, turned on the TV, put a video in the player, hit “play” and then became mesmerized by the images in on the screen with the cartoons dancing and singing.  This little guy couldn’t even speak full sentences yet knew how to run the TV and VCR systems throughout the house.  He found the magical world of film intriguing beyond belief.

When my mother showed me that video of me as a toddler it was clear that my passion and interest for film, movies and the technical side of production had begun early.  Throughout my school years the projects I embraced and excelled with involved producing some sort of video, slide show or mini-movie.  Admittedly, that is where my natural interests and skill lean – not with traditional learning such as math and science, which I always have found difficult – unless I can incorporate some sort of movie production into the assignment, the subject matter just never really excited me.

During my junior year I undertook one of my biggest school projects. I elected to create an interactive video about the jobs that people held during the Great Depression.  It took two months to design, write, film and countless hours editing – yet it didn’t feel like work to me.   I was thrilled to present the project to the class, and my English teacher absolutely loved it.   I think he gave me the highest grade he had ever given a student on this annual project.   Later he approached me to ask if I would consider creating a personal video for him to show at his upcoming wedding. I gladly accepted, and the next few months I worked one on one with him to produce the show.  Completing a personal project for my teacher and knowing that he selected me for my skill and was willing to share such personal information with me was an eye opener. The feeling of self-accomplishment and pride stayed with me for months after. 

This event was confirmation that I needed to find a way to build a career from filming, camera work, and editing.  I love conveying a story on film and all the technical work that goes on behind the scenes.  It has been a passion all of my life and I believe I should follow that into my post high school education. The little boy did eventually learn to speak but he still tends to be more of a listener than a talker.

 For my next piece of writing, I decided to pick a more recent writing piece. I chose to do my feature article about Senior Spirit Day. This was actually an incredibly fun assignment. I loved getting to interview people and then writing about it. For some reason I really enjoyed it. Getting different opinions on topics and what makes it more fun, is that you get to write it without displaying your own opinion! I really liked that. I think I had great strengths with intertwining the interviews and showing other peoples opinions. I thought I described events accurately and kept it unbiased. Without further ado, here is my feature article.

Senior Spirit Day
For many years at Freeport High School there has been a certain day dedicated to letting lose. Making the shy students shine and becoming a cheering classmate. Bonding with students you may not know and forming new friendships. A day where even the teachers can connect with the student body and have a great time. This day is called Spirit Day. This big day is located the Friday before February vacation allowing students to get even more pumped up throughout the day. Spirit day is organized by having shortened classes in the morning leading up to lunchtime so kids can get their academics out of the way and get their vacation homework. Once lunch breaks, the game begins. Earlier in the week students sign up for activities they want to do. Activities include photography, dodgeball, scavenger hunts, and sometimes frisbee. When the activities are over the entire student body meets up in the gymnasium and cheers with their classmates while watching their friends compete in fun mini games like tug-a-war, relay racing, and a fun game of knockout basketball. The school shakes with the competitive sounds of screaming, yelling, and cheering. Once the mini games are over, the classes disputes and says their good-byes heading home to enjoy their week off. 
Recently there's been an issue regarding spirit day. Before spirit day even happens, a selective amount of students from each class stay long hours after school decorating their assigned hallway a class color. Red, green, blue, and black shine brightly in each hallway. People buy decorations from Walmart and even get colored food and drinks that match their class color. This was a big part of spirit day, but now the students aren't allowed to do it. This caused and uproar for many students when they found out the news. I had the chance to interview fellow seniors Livvy Dimock and Mary Gregory who are very passionate about the new rule. Livvy said "I think it's ridiculous because it was what we've always done." When I asked her about considering an alternative, she replied, "Doing themes instead of colors maybe? I'm not sure, nothing will beat decorating the halls. That was the best part about spirit day and it made it so much more fun then it already was." I asked Mary the same question and she replied "Honestly nothing, decorating the halls was what made spirit day what it is. Nothing can change it." When I asked her what she thought of the new rule, I got a very passionate answer. "I think it's a little unfair. We've been doing this for such a long time and now that we're seniors we can't do it anymore. For spirit day, you HAVE to be a senior to win and it just feels like it's more controlled and strict now." I got some very passionate answers from most of the senior class. When I sat down to talk to fellow senior Joe Nixon, I didn't get much of a reaction. We talked about spirit day very briefly since I was getting one word responses. He didn't like spirit day at all and that it was "boring." I asked his opinion on the new rule and he replied, "I don't care." So clearly this new rule doesn't effect everyone.
The senior class is desperate to make sure they get their privilege on decorating the halls. Many students are outraged upon hearing the news and want to find a way to make spirit day back the way it was. Although spirit day isn't for everyone, it's still a day where the student body can get together and let everyone know that they all have class spirit. On spirit day you don't see jocks, nerds, geeks, or hipsters. All you see is the class color because everyone is equal at Freeport High Schools spirit day.