Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bonus: Reading by Kai


This just in! Video editing SUCKS! No matter what I try I just can't seem to get what I want without paying for some stupid program just to insert my own audio file to a series of images. So, here is an audio reading that I cleaned up for your listening pleasure.

Podcast!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Link to finish Being Thirteen video. From Mike

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-9LtTtkg04&t=2089s




Here is the YouTube without commercials so you can finish watching the film after what we saw to start it in class.

All best,

Mike

Journal 10 by Kai

     You want to talk about having a purpose then look no further than Rose Brudno. At the start of her interview she set the tone when asked what she was doing in 1959 by not talking about her vocation, but rather her disdain for her husband. She was looking for a way to support her children and found it in a corner bar. Rather than use the bar simply as a way to make ends meet she made the most of it. She cared about her customers and wanted them to enjoy their time before returning home to support their families. Anyone she saw as an irresponsible money spender would have their paycheck locked away. "I knew they had families to support. So I would give them a 20 dollar bill to party, and I just took their checks and put them in the safe." It was an involuntary benefit.
     Rose began profit sharing to her barmaids in lieu of a union. She couldn't get them to unionize, so she introduced other ideas. This gave her fiercely loyal staff. Anytime a barmaid would ban a customer that was that. Rose would back the employee 100 percent. Her feisty attitude and way she managed her bar gave her obedient customers and the nickname "Crazy Rose".

Bars are usually the community center and lifeblood of small towns.
     I had a hard time finding a profile helped me understand anything until I came across Nascar driver Wendell Scott. This man did what he loved despite society. He was the only black nascar racer at the time. In the 50's, he was still oppressed due to race. From death threats to blatant cheating racetracks tried to keep him down. In one race they refused to drop the checkered flag for him and gave him third place. They claimed that the winner kisses a white beauty queen and if Scott won it would cause a race war. It didn't phase him. As long as he was behind the wheel, he didn't mind. What finally threw him off the track was finances. Being black, he couldn't get any big name sponsorships.
     I grew up in Alabama and used to drive past the 16th street church in Birmingham nearly every day. I decided to do my research on the theme of racism in pursuit of the American Dream. Many black musicians, activists, preachers, all walks of life fought hard simply to have a fraction of what white individuals take for granted. Even disadvantaged, it shows amazing grit and spirit to do what you love when the entire world seems against you. I got my bitter dose of reality from a Calisphere online exhibit.
     It is sad that this nonsense still continues today.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Journal 10 Tony

Part One:
A profile from Callings that taught me something about vocation was the beer vendor. This profile helped me understand the meaning of vocation. I say this because in the chapter Clancy says, "I was a Division I sprinter in college and I used to race guys up and down the hallways." (Isay 199). You may ask why this quote helped me understand? I chose this quote because Clancy was a very fast sprinter and he could have been fast enough to make a career out of sprinting, but instead, he is a beer vendor at a baseball stadium. It shows that he finds being a vendor his "calling" and by doing that job he has found his purpose as a human being. 

Image result for clancy haskett
Clarence "Clancy" Haskett making a living as a beer vendor in Oriole Stadium 




Part Two:
Another profile that helped me understand a theme in the book was the profile over Arnie Knapp. The theme that the profile helped me better understand was the theme of dedication. Arnie Knapp was a coach driver for touring musicians, so he had to be dedicated to his job because he spent long periods of time on the road and away from his family at home. Dedication to his job was shown all over in this chapter, but the passage that stuck out most to me was when Arnie was talking about what the touring business had done to his marriage. While talking about the time he's spent with his wife, Judy, he says, "In our twenty-five years, the most time we've ever spent together in a single block of time is about six weeks." (Isay 205). This screams dedication because if that was me, I'd want to spend as much time with my wife as I could. But for him to stay dedicated and persevere through endless driving and time away from his family shows the true character of Arnie Knapp.

*link is short interview with Arnie the, "Road Daddy".





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Comments for Kai: Voice Acting

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.


Comments for Dallas: Mechanical Engineering

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.


Comments for Hunter: Neurosurgeon

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.


Comments for Tony: MRI Technologist

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.


Comments for Alec: Non-fiction Writer

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.





Comments for Richard: Culinary Arts

For your comments on Presentations:

Write about something well done.  What did you learn from this group?  What part of the Presentation seemed the best?

Is there constructive criticism that would help this group?  What might have been more clear?  What part of the Presentation seemed the least polished?

Post comments for this group below this post, please, as we all need feedback, and it's valuable.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Presentation Slots for Tuesday. From Mike

 We will have Lab the first half hour so if you need to come make copies for Handouts, or print Works Cited, or put your PowerPoint slides on the instructor computer, you can do so.

All best,

Mike



1. Kai

2.  Richard

3.  Alec

4.  Tony

5.  Hunter

6.  Dallas

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Journal 9 by Richard

part 1

The profile that really stood out to me so far in this story is the one about Marat Kogut, the NBA referee. In today's society most parents want their kids to grow up and to be doctors and lawyers or some other high paying job. Sometimes parents even ignore their kids opinion on a career because parents "know whats best for them". In Marats situation his mom was just like that but his father on the other hand supported him in anything he wanted to do. Leon Kogut, his father tells us "I'm proud of you, that's why. I watch all the games on TV- I never miss even one game yet."(Isay pg. 30) It really stood out to me how much his father supported him.

part 2
      A safe and steady career that I am considering is a radiologist technician. The first reason I chose this career is because it has a good income. Also it only requires an associates degree. Lastly its reliable because its in the medical field and people will always go to the doctors. Due to working in a kitchen I recently have had a growing interest in the culinary field. Its something I really want to take to next level and start working in a high-end kitchen. But its a big risk because I would have to drop out of school also there is no guarantee that everything will work out because of the lack of experience. I guess I could always keep it as a backup plan in case X-ray technician doesn't work out.
(I think it would be a fun experience working in a high end kitchen cooking and presenting amazing food like this. A chef once told me "I get paid to play with food might as well have some fun with it")

Journal 9 By Alec

     Out of the profiles I have read so far in Callings the best is Olga Ayala is a Nuyorican artist who grew up in the heart of Spanish Harlem. She is a graduate of The High School of Art & Design in New York City where she received most of her formal artistic training. The art bug bit a very young Olga, one day, during a weekly family shopping trip. What sparked her fascination was watching her mother draw a really good Mickey Mouse on the back of their grocery list "I mean a full fledged Mickey Mouse, not a stick figure with circles" (Isay 82). From that day forward, her passion to be an artist was unquenchable.
These are some of Olga Ayala's sculptures 

 Over the course of her creative years, Olga has gone through various periods of artistic experimentation and inner self-discovery. Those journeys gave rise to a unique body of work that not only captures her rich cultural spirit, but also reflects her light-hearted and sometimes quirky sense of humor. Her pieces span the functional, wearable, fine and figurative arts. She believes that art should be something you can touch and interact with whenever and wherever possible. In 1997, Olga discovered polymer clay and has since been working exclusively with this medium. Her pieces employ a variety of polymer clay techniques as the core material and as accents in her overall body of work.

Journal 9 by Tony

Part One:

Out of all the profiles that I've read so far in Callings, bricklayer, Barbara Moore is my favorite. Her profile is my favorite because her story is very much like my grandfather's story. Yes, my Grandpa Burt is brought up a lot in my writing, but that is because he is very important to me. Anyway, Grandpa Burt and Barbara Moore have many similarities, they both are in a field of construction, they both aren't that big in size and stature, and they both gave up a dream to take care of their families. Though it never really specifies what her main dream was, Barbara's daughter says, "And when I went to college, I always felt as if I was doing it for the both of us, because I knew you didn't get a chance to go. You helped me go to school and payed the tuition by laying bricks" (Isay 76). This is a lot like my grandpa starting up his concrete business to help support eight children. He was in the Air Force and gave it up to have a family, he never was able to ride in a jet until the late 2000s, about thirty years after he had exited. So I'm very close to someone who had to give a dream job up to adopt a more reasonable one for their family.


Part Two:

The study of diseases has always intrigued me, and for a while I wanted to work in the CDC.
The most practical career that I am considering is probably (for me), is being a part of the concrete business. I really wouldn't say I'm even considering this work, but if I had to choose, I'd pick this because I have been around it my whole life. Plus, I'd like to gain as many friendships as my grandpa did while working. I'd have to say my wild choice for a career would be a surgeon. I'm keeping it simple by just saying surgeon because any type of surgeon is a painstakingly difficult career to pursue. If I had my druthers, I would most definitely prefer to be epidemiologist. I find diseases interesting and would love to study the patterns and causes of diseases.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Journal 9 from Dallas


Part One:
My favorite profile in Callings must be Sanitation Worker with Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves. I was just fascinated with Angelo as a person and how genuinely kind he was to everyone. His outlook on his job is what resonates with me the most and I love his quote “I didn’t look at it as going down the block to pick up garbage. I was going down the block to see my friends (Isay 127).” Angelo is the type of person we all should strive to be.
Part Two:
            I have looked over many careers, trying to find what seems to be the best fit for me. My current major is mechanical engineering and that’s mainly because I love problem solving and a love/hate relationship with putting things together. Before I chose mechanical engineering, I strongly considered getting a degree to be a history teacher. Mainly, because I have a growing will to learn everything about everything and would love to pass knowledge down to my students. If I could be risk taker and not jeopardize my family I would look for a career in sports. Not playing a sport but a front office job or scouting type of job. I have a huge passion for sports and would love to work for an organization. Having a family unfortunately makes you think of your choices before you make them. My wife likes to joke around with me when I’m talking dream jobs. She always says “Dallas, I really don’t care what you do, but I better have a huge house, at least 5 dogs and a few chickens."
It would be a dream to work within the NFL. I am a big fan of the game. 
During the season I will be watching multiple games at once.
The offseason I keep track of  scouting reports, individual players draft stocks, free angency and more.


Journal 9 by Hunter

Part One: My favorite profile in Callings so far would have to be the profile on astronaut Ronald McNair. His persistent is very inspiring. He believed in what he could do and went out and earned it. From the moment he stepped into that library to get some books and was denied them because of his skin color to the moment he got on his last space shuttle, the Challenger. "Ron was a country boy from segregated, small town South Carolina. Who would dream that he could become an astronaut? But it was his time. And he got to be aboard his own starship Enterprise."(Callings 39)


The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Life
History Center (Below). Used to
be the library where he was
discriminated against as a young child.
Top is statue of Ronald McNair


Part Two:The most practical career for me would have to be to become a Teacher. I would love to become a preschool or kindergarten teacher and working toward my early childhood education degree right now! I would say it's a safe, steady career because I really don't plan on having any children (unless you count dogs as puppy children) other than my class so I could live off a teacher salary and the need for teachers is always growing but most of all, it would be a job I would love day after day. You can do many things with an education degree, even becoming a substitute for a few years before conquering your own classroom.
      On the flip side, for a wild choice for a career that I could afford the risk, I'd probably become a doctor. Doctor's fascinate me, how they remember so much and know exactly what a patient needs. I really enjoy medical shows, fiction and non fiction, and documentaries but I really don't have the money for medical school and while I enjoy seeing grounded up bodies on Grey's Anatomy, I'd probably, scratch that, would pass out or throw up if I saw someone's insides on the outside.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Journal 9 by Kai

     My favorite profile so far has to be about the Bradley's growing up on a sharecropper farm. I have a great uncle that is nearly identical to the father in the story. It was all about hard work, working to eat, and never giving up. He always had a way to get things done and made you earn everything you got. He also had a few sayings that were funny, but true. In Callings they use a saying "If a man knocks you down and you can't get up, bite him on the leg". My uncle would always tell me when I got up in the morning "good afternoon". It was his way of telling me that he had already got, as he would say, a half day's worth of work in while I was still snoozing.

     Despite the farm work, I want to repair things. Anything. If it is broken, I can fix it. If I could get a job like that I could work until I drop. I consider it a risky prospect as there aren't many opportunities outside of opening your own repair shop for such a service. I don't imagine someone could make a living in this economy. Instead, I am choosing the safer option of computer software. There is a high demand for coders, app developers, and network administrators. Software breaks, too, and I am just as good at fixing it as I am the computer running it.

There are 3 computers, a toaster, and a matchbox car in this picture. 2 Toasters if you got the guts.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Writing Exercise-Callings by Hunter

For this research exercise I chose the Firefighter career the story so far in Callings is of dad and son firefighter team Dekalb Walcott Jr and Dekalb Walcott III. I decided to research this because my dad is a firefighter.
The skills you need to be a firefighter are: Integrity, physical fitness, communication, dedication, have to be a team player, tolerance, and self sacrifice. One can not simply become a firefighter, it's hard work. Did you know you can be a volunteer firefighter? All training of a firefighter but you chose the hours!


Tools needed for firefighting are: fire axe, Haligan tool which is a crowbar with a forked prybar on the end. It helps opens doors quickly and break locks. They also need protective clothing, a helmet, powerful flashlight, oxygen tank and mask. Gear can weigh up to 70 pounds! The tools and gear have improved a lot over the years to help protect firefighters.

Halligan tool 


Training needed is: Step 1- volunteer for the trade. Step 2- Find CPR training, Step 3- Get a fire science degree, Step 4- Take exams and apply for work. Step 5- Advance. It involves a lot of hands on training!

Some famous firefighting companies are: From 9/11 attacks- Ladder Company 3. Had the highest capitulates, loosing most of its men in the attacks. The ladder company was founded on September 11th in the 1840's. Also, English 7/Ladder 1/ Battalion 1 who can ve seen in documentary "9/11" made by french brothers in NYC that day filming probationary firefighter Tony Benetatos, it won an emmy award!

Sources:  https://www.firerecruit.com/articles/781925-The-10-traits-all-great-firefighters-have

https://www.reference.com/government-politics/tools-firefighters-use-73054045d28e8498

My Dad

Callings Writing Research Essay by Alec

   Forensic art is a law enforcement artistic technique used in the identification, apprehension, or conviction of wanted persons. Forensic art encompasses several disciplines including composite art, image modification, age progression, post-mortem reconstruction and However, composite art is traditionally the most commonly known discipline of forensic art. The art of composite drawing has been used by police agencies throughout history. When one recalls the Old West, the classic wanted poster with a drawing of a "Bad Guy" comes to mind. These drawings were composites.

  Composite Art is an unusual marriage of two unlikely disciplines, police investigative work and art. The cop-artist, almost an oxymoron, possesses both skills. The police sketch artist can create a quality facial drawing with assured confidence. Though drawing skills are important parts of composite art, the real challenge is in the ability to interview and relate to a victim or witness. The purpose is to successfully gather, interpret and illustrate the information obtained from the victim's memory.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/dying-art-forensic-sketch-artists-face-digital-future-n41421

http://work.chron.com/forensic-artists-paid-21347.html

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes forensic artists under "Sketch Artists" within the craft and fine artists industry. Craft and fine artists earned$54,000 per year, according to the BLS. But in 2013, the job website Indeed reported average salaries of $44,000 per year specifically for forensic artists.

 In the past twenty years, the discipline of composite art has evolved into forensic art.The forensic artist possesses knowledge of victim psychology, post-mortem reconstruction and human aging. These artists currently use new computer technologies and digital imagery to create more successful investigative images.

Callings Research Writing Exercise from Dallas


I have chosen Ronald McNair’s occupation of an astronaut for my research. NASA, introduced the first astronauts on April 9, 1959. NASA had a set goal to beat the USSR in manned space flight. The selection process to choose the first astronauts was very demanding. They were given many tests, that include medical and psychological screenings, and even at one point tortured for six days and three nights, to test their tolerance of physical and psychological stress. At the end of these tests, seven men prevailed out of the 508 military pilots that were screened, and were forever labeled as astronauts. These men were known as the “Mercury Seven.”
The "Mercury Seven" 

Today, to be even considered in the selection process you must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in the following fields: Engineering, Biological Science, Physical Science, Computer Science, or Mathematics. Flying experience is not a requirement but if you do want to be a commander and pilot you must log 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Also, you must be between 58.5 and 76 inches tall and must be able to pass a basic physical that is very much like a military physical. Having military experience is not a requirement.
It can take up to two years to be trained to be considered a fully qualified astronaut. They must learn the basics of the International Space Station (ISS) and the Space Shuttle. If they are going to be a crew member on the ISS, then they must take language classes to speak to the Russian Mission Control Center. To prepare for microgravity, the training astronauts are put into a C-9 (a Navy transport plane), where they are weightless for 25-30 seconds in flight. The plane was dubbed the “Vomit Comet” because even experienced astronauts would get sick. These are just the basic training programs. Though many astronauts are very intellectual, the learning never stops.
A US astronaut in space overlooking the earth. Was this the first "selfie" in space?
            To get back to Ronald McNairs story. What I found out about him that interested me the most was that he was an accomplished saxophonist. He was supposed to be the first person to record an original piece music in space when he was aboard the Challenger. Various schools, buildings, programs, and even a moon crater have all been named after Ronald. This small glimpse we get of Ronald’s life from his brother in Callings, is only the tip of the iceberg on what the impact he made on this world.

Notable Astronauts include: Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Sally Ride (Challenger) , Sen. John Glenn (Mercury Seven), and many more

Writing Exercise by Tony Watson


       I chose the occupation of bricklayer. In Callings, Barbara Moore, was a bricklayer and I found this occupation very interesting. I chose to write about this job because my grandfather had his own concrete company, so this is something that's very close to what I have helped my grandpa do. Bricklayers are known as physically tough people who have endured years of painstakingly hard work to do a job that most people wouldn't even consider doing. 
      To start out as a bricklayer you have to have either a diploma in construction or you can go through an apprenticeship to get the skills that you need to become a successful bricklayer. To get the diploma of construction, you can go through a series of college level courses called, City & Guilds qualifications, Construction Skills awards, or BTEC level 2 certifications. Becoming certified is considered a thing of the future since past bricklayers were almost all taught through apprenticeships.  After you have completed being certified, your training is almost all on site training. This means that you learn while you work. This is the case for most construction jobs that you use your hands to work. The tools that are needed for bricklaying are trowels, measuring tapes, and brick carriers. There are many different tools that are included but the list would have went on for days. The tools have been basically the same for as long as they've been around. Trowels are used for smoothing the mortar, and everything else is self explanatory. There wasn't much on famous bricklayers, so I chose to use Barbara Moore from Callings. I chose her because she was the only woman bricklayer that I could find. I think Moore stands out as important because she crossed a barrier that many woman struggle to cross. She went out and gained the respect of men who had been doing the job their whole lives.

Snapshot 5 Tony

Snapshot Five: Music Flashback

The meaning of music to me, depends on the genre. Rap music and hip hop to me, is the music to workout to, or to listen to while playing video games. Classical music and piano music, is music for relaxing, calming, or to help me sleep. Most importantly, I see music as an escape from the moods or situations that I'm in. The genre of music that means the most to me? Well, I don't think I can say that I have one particular genre that I can honestly say means the most to me. Ever since I was a little boy, my mother stressed the importance of enjoying all types of music. My mom can play the piano, so I've always loved listening to her play. If I had to pick one current musician that I could say I like the most, it would be Kanye West. Yes, I may be the only one in the class that likes his music, but I'd like to tell you why I like his music before you jump to judge. It started around this time last year during my senior year of track. Our team was practicing and since our track is around our football field, there is a sound system in the press box. So one day I decided that I could hook my phone up to the speakers and play music during practice, and that's exactly what I did. It was the greatest idea since sliced bread. The album that I decided to play was Kanye West's new album, The Life of Pablo. We listened to the album on repeat until state that season, and I hold it very close to my heart because whenever I hear a song off that album, I remember everything that happened during that season, good times and bad. 
The album cover of The Life of Pablo, Kanye West's 8th album. I can admit that last track season, our team listened to one song at least 30 times on repeat. This was one of many songs that we listened to during our championship winning season.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Calling Writing Research Exercise by Richard

      I really wanted to find out more about Barbara Abelhauser the bridge tender. The reason this career stood out to me was because I've never heard about it, and secondly the way she describes the job makes it seem like its to good to be true.

       Being a bridge tender may seem like an easy job, but theirs more to it then you think . They have to operate bridges and canal locks in order for ships and boats to enter and exit safely. They also have many other responsibilities. For example they have to run all the machinery as well as activating all the traffic signals and alarms. They must also communicate with the captain and record the name, type, destination of the ship. Lastly they need to always clean and maintain the equipment and always inspect the bridge equipment for any defects.
(Barbara wasn't lying when she said she couldn't even straighten her arms out)

        This career has an above average pay of $37,000 per year. But it is not very common to find a job. Also the main requirements for this job is a high school diploma and being over 18. I would consider Barbara lucky for landing a job like that. Many people would consider this job boring but to Barbara it isn't. She loves her job and I think its because she always tries to enjoy the little things in life.

Snapshot 5 by Richard






Snapshot 5
            Music has always played an important role in my life. I’m always surrounded by it whether I’m in the car, at home, or hanging out. The music genres I listen to are never the same. It always varies on what I’m doing or what the mood is. It could range anywhere from country, rap, dub-step, trap, pop, rock, and sometimes even classical. If I had to pick a genre that I listen to the most it would probably be country. I find it very relaxing and most of the people I hang out with listen to it as well.

            

             Of all the country songs out there are very few that stand out to me. Out of all of them my favorite is Toes by Zac Brown. Every time I go on vacation this song always makes it to the top of my playlist. So when I hear this song it brings back the memories of being on the beach. It reminds me of the scorching hot summer sun searing my pale skin, and the cool ocean breeze covering me like a chilly blanket on a hot summer night. The ocean sand grinding between my toes as I try to bury my feet in the sand. While droplets of water run off my cold drink almost instantly evaporating when contacting the hot sand. The best part is observing the waves; I could hear them crashing and watch them tumble and turn. As well as watching kids run away from the waves that roll up onto the beach as if the ocean water was lava. All of that and not a single worry on my mind.
(This was a picture I took in Costa Rica)

Callings Research Writing Exercise from Kai

     I stuck with my original guy Alton Yates, Aeromedical Field Tester. According to Webster, aeromedical pertains to the science and practice of aeromedicine. Aeromedicine is a branch of medicine that deals with the diseases and disturbances arising from flying and the associated physiological and psychological problems. This includes space travel.

     Before NASA was created, the US air force used its own men to test first hand the effects space travel would have on the body. The best way to do this was to strap a guy into a rocket sled to see how well the human body could stand up to 20~40gs. That is 20~40 times the natural force of gravity. The results were as promising as they were hilarious.


Yeah, science!

     Instead of just firing people into space hoping for the best, scientists instead strapped willing subjects into a rocket powered sled called the "Bopper". Today there are high fitness and training standards to work in the field, but in the 50's all it took was a little insanity. This was new charted territory and no one had any idea what would happen to the human guinea pigs. If it were not for these tests mankind would never have reached space. Alton Yates, who worked under famous Colonel John Paul Stapp, proved that even in high tech fields all you really need are guts.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Snapshot 5 From Kai

     Music is life. Everything I do is to a beat of some sort. I can't stop hearing music. I know that sounds odd, but I literally cannot. I have a part, a voice inside my head that is like a non-stop radio station. I don't get to choose, either. I grew up on Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Anything metal or psychedelic rock. Today, I listen to everything except Nickelback. They know what they did. I carry an MP3 player on me at all times. The songs on them are varied and change every day. You might find Weird Al, t.A.T.u, or ponies singing about cupcakes.

     To give anything my full attention I have to be listening to music to free up my brain power. As I type this up I got Ekkosagen playing. It stops the part of my brain that keeps myself in time so I can keep on task. To say music is merely an important part of my life is an understatement. I can't properly function without it. I've missed a day of class because of it. It helps me deal with everything. I can't very well tell my professors I can come to class and do 100%, but I have to be wearing earbuds. If the internal radio is broken, it ain't happening.

     There are a lot of songs that, as soon as they start playing, will send me to a mood or memory. They are not always good ones. It can happen so suddenly that it makes it hard to be out and about. I honestly didn't know what to write in this blog as flashbacks, music, memories are all triggering factors of dissociation. I see all these happy memories in the blog, but I get flashbacks from various triggers involuntarily. DID, dissociative identity disorder, used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. I don't think I can pick a flashback or at least not one based on how the assignment wants me to. I think I'm done here.

One image that sums up my entire life. From the music I enjoyed, the visual representation of dissociation, to the music lyrics of Brain Damage explaining it. "You lock the door. And throw away the key. There's someone in my head, but it's not me."

Snapshot by Alec

   I don't really have a favorite genre of music, but if I had to choose it would be Rap music. People look down on this genre because they don’t take the time to look beyond the music, or to look beyond the inappropriate content to see the message in the song. Rap isn’t always negative; rap can also contain personal experiences about the rapper's life and everything they have been through. Rap contains a lot of emotion and feeling in every song made.

    Rap is the mouthpiece of the people. Rap can be a very positive thing to listen to. There are happy songs that can brighten up someone’s day and with all the feeling within the music. If someone relates to what the rapper is saying it can make a depressed kid or person see he/she is not the only one with the troubles they are facing, and there is a way to deal with his/her problems. Rap isn’t just entertainment it can be used as a therapy for some people, and can state opinions the rapper has and how they view life. Rapper’s don’t make music to cause controversy; some think that with their music they can change the world.” 'I'm not saying I'm gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” - Tupac. For some, rap music is an escape and a positive genre of music.

    Tupac may not be alive today, but he has never been forgotten. Pac's legacy lives on to this day, and he is known world-wide. Rappers today always make references to him. He has been named him the most influential rapper. The Legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur lives on today, through his fans worldwide.

I remember the first time I heard Tupac I was sitting in my room and my older brother was listening to his song "Hail Mary". I remember that I wasn't listening to the music at first but as the song went on I started to understand what the song meant to him and to most of the listeners. My brother let me have his old ipod when i was about 13 and now I still listen to the songs that he made so many years ago.

Snapshot Five rom Dallas


I have a very wide variety of music that I like. That’s why it is so difficult to get it down to one specific genre that means the most to me. If you look at my music playlists, you’d figure many people from various generations constructed this selection of music. But that assumption is so wrong. I have a different taste in music than the average person at my age. I absolutely love music. I was involved in the choir in high school and even was a member of our school’s pop acapella group that went to competitions. So, I’ve been taught to appreciate all types of music (except nickelback). I see music as a way to express what I am feeling at that moment. Today, I mostly use music to entertain my son and as a way to get out of boredom on my commute to and from school. I’d describe myself as being the king of car karaoke.
To get a little personal here. My mother is the one who raised me. I remember specifically one time as a child helping her clean out our garage. I stumbled upon an old box of her things from her childhood. As I opened this box it was like a time capsule from the 80’s. My mom being the woman that she is, let me go explore through the box instead of helping her. From the box, I pulled out many cassettes from Def Leppard, Poison, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi. The one that caught my eye the most was a Bon Jovi cassette tape. I asked my mom if we could play and of course she said yes. She put it in our tape/CD player that was so big that it was almost as if we had a New York skyscraper in our living room with two equally huge speakers on each side. That was the first time I had ever heard anything like that and I was hooked. I remember asking for a Bon Jovi CD for my birthday instead of the typical LEGO’S. I like to think that my mom thought it was cool that we liked the same music when I grew up. Today, every time we’re in the car together I’ll throw on my “hair bands” playlist just to get a little laugh out of her before we start rocking out. Thanks mom!




Shown above is Bon Jovi. The song that I was most drawn to was "Dead or Alive" I would play that song all the time.
It's a must sing whenever I hear it on the radio.


This photo was probably taken at Christmas. My mom is the background and of course me with my brand new red guitar. I was ready to rock out!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Snapshot 5 by Hunter

Going along with this snapshot, one famous quote is "When words fail, music speaks". I relate heavy to this quote when I listen to some of my favorite music. I can string out thousands of words but none will ever fit perfectly how much music means in my life. From a young age, I was always involved in some type of music activity: dance, choir, and orchestra. Life is like a piano, the white keys represent happiness and the black show sadness, but as you go through life, remember the black keys also make music. With the right music, you either forget everything or you remember everything.

I enjoy numerous bands that all don't fit into the same spectrum but my favorite would have to be Pop music. While it does get annoying when it plays over and over on the radio, I enjoy it because you can always find a song that fits your mood right then and there plus I enjoy the upbeat feel it gives.
A song I enjoy, all though I don't hear it too often is, Time Of My Life by David Cook. This song brings me back to my senior year basketball cheer season. It was senior night, the night we all worked for. Possibly the longest four year wait that you never wanted to end for any senior athlete. We had a throwback game in the gym of the city's middle school and all was going well, our boys were beating the other team by a land slide but the last 5ish minutes of the game the coach put in the water boy, Zach, who had never played a game of high school ball in his life but worked so hard for the sport he loved. Zach ended up scoring 2 baskets. one at the beginning of the time he was in the game and another, the buzzer beater. Student section stormed the court, and it was a few seconds of pure happiness despite the things happening in our community. Zach ended up being on sports center, and it was a pretty cool experience to watch. I think about that moment when I hear this song because senior year basketball was a fantastic season, it was truly indeed "the time to be more than a name or a face in the crowd". The time of all of our lives.

Senior Night 2016 (top and bottom photos).
Top photo is after Zach made the buzzer beat
Bottom is me being recongnized center court
for Varsity Cheer

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Journal 7 by Richard


The Kono district is one of the most well known diamond mines in Sierra Leone. Anyone with access to a shovel could work there. Before the war the Kono district was controlled by the government. Instead of the government officials putting the profits to good use they all pocketed the money for themselves by smuggling the diamonds out of the country. Fed up with the corrupt government the RUF, a groups of 100 men from Sierra Leone and Liberia, captured and gained control of the diamond mines and most of eastern Sierra Leone. Which created an 9 year civil war. Having control over the mines helped them finance the rebellion, by buying weapons ammunition and even soldiers. In the end leaving 50,000 people dead.

 Foday Sankoh an ex-army Sargent led the rebellion and promised the mine workers a better share of the country's resources. He had brutal tactics like mutilation and amputation that he performed on civilians in order to expose the governments inability to protect its citizens. After years of fighting the president of Sierra Leone and Sankoh signed a peace treaty. The RUF agreed to surrender its forces for a share of Sierra Leone's government. 6 months later the RUF attacked Freetown and the Sierra Leoneian government in order to gain control. As a result the UN issued a ban on nongovernmental diamonds for Sierra Leone.

Journal 7-Hunter

Nobel Peach prize winner Leymah Gbowee 
Leymah Gbowee is a 2011 Nobel Peach prize winner, peace activist, social worker and woman's right activist. She's also the founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, which provided educational and leadership opportunities for girls in West Africa! But before this, when Leyman was seventeen years old, the Liberian civil war started and turned her, in her own words, "from a child into an adult in a matter of hours". She soon became a young mother, turned social worker working with ex-child soldiers. Leymah Gbowee became a founding member and Liberia coordinator of the Women In A Peace Building Network (aka the WIPNET) of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding. Inspired by her dreams and her faith, she encouraged her christian female friends to mobilize for peace. Leymah also collaborated with a Muslim counterpart to form a coalition with Muslim Women. She definitely wanted no women left behind in her dream. She soon became the spokesperson and lead thousands of woman through protest around the country. One memorable protest was when Leymah and 200 other women formed a human barricade around a hall where peace talks had been stalled to prevent the men from leaving until they came to an agreement. Leymah emerged as a global leader and co-founded the Women Peace and Security Network Africa and served as Executive Direction for six years! In light of Leyman Gbowee's actions, many young girls lives have been transformed.
A few fun facts I found, she was the second African women to win the Nobel Prize and she was honored as a flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the  Olympic Games in London.



Journal 7 from Dallas

Weapons of the Sierra Leone Civil War

            Through our readings of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs Of A Boy Soldier we have heard a list full of weapons that were used by the RUF and the Army soldiers. In my research, I have highlighted specifically three weapons, the AK-47, The G3, and the RPG.

The First weapon I am going to start with is a Russian made weapon, known as the AK-47. The AK-47 was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, who served as a tank driver in World War II and began designing weapons when he was wounded in the Battle of Bryansk. He wanted to design a more suitable weapon for his men who complained of being overrun by Germans with superior weapons. Kalashnikov, had entered and won a weapons design contest in 1947 for his design of the AK. In 1949 The AK-47 became standard issue among the Soviet Union. Avtomat Kalashnikov is what the “AK” mean which translate to Kalashnikov’s Automatic Rifle. The 47 refers when the rifle was adopted and standardized, 1947. Kalashnikov himself is credited to the designs of an estimate of 150 models of small arms weapons.

The AK-47 is a gas operated, semi-automatic and automatic rifle (with the selector switch). That take a 7.62x39mm round. The weapon its self is not particularly the best for accuracy but it’s as reliable as the sun rising at dawn. There are stories of the United States soldiers in Vietnam ditching their standard issued M16’s and replacing them with the Vietcong used AK-47 because of the reliability of it in the rugged terrain and excessive abuse in the jungles of Vietnam. The weapon is currently issued to over 106 countries and is used by militias all over the world.
The AK-47

Secondly, the next weapon on my list is the G3. The G3 (Gewehr 3) was designed in 1956, by German manufacturer, Heckler & Koch and Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME, who was known for small arms research and development. By 1959 the G3 was adopted by the Bundeswehr, the unified armed forces of Germany.

The G3 is a battle rifle that chambers the 7.62x51mm NATO round. The weapon itself has many variations and models, each to carry out a specific purpose. The G3 has a very clean design and very accurate for a battle rifle. So, accurate that it’s used as a marksman rifle out to 800 meters. The weapon is still strongly used in countries and militias around the world. The G3 was one of the main weapons used during the civil war in Sierra Leone.

The HK G3

Lastly, The Rocket-propelled grenade which is often abbreviated as RPG. I will be specifically focusing my research on the commonly used RPG-7. The RPG-7 is a further development of the RPG-2. It came into production in 1961. The RPG is an anti-tank weapon system that fires rockets equipped with explosive war heads. In Sierra Leone, the RPG was used to destroy buildings, cars and was used against people. The RPG-7 has many different types of ammunition including, HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank), HE (High-Explosive), and - FRAG (FRAGmentation) rounds. The RPG-7 is still used in around 40 different countries.
The RPG-7

As we have already learned the Civil War in Sierra Leone was brutal. Not just for Ishmael Beah but for everyone in this West African Country. Unfortunately, war is part of all of our worlds. I hope this research sheds light on weapons that are still used to fight these wars today.

Journal 7 By Alec


Staple Foods
 For almost all Sierra Leoneans, rice is the staple food, consumed at virtually every meal. Other things are of course eaten, such as a wide variety of fruits, seafood, potatoes and cassava. However these are often considered to be just snacks and not real food. Real food is rice, prepared numerous ways, and topped with a variety of sauces made from some combination of potato leaves, cassava leaves, hot peppers, peanuts, beans, okra, fish, beef, chicken, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes. Bones, particularly chicken bones, are a delicacy, because their brittle nature makes the sweet marrow inside easily accessible. Along the street there are snacks, such as fresh mangoes, oranges, pineapple, or papaya, fried plantains, potato or cassava chunks with pepper sauce, small bags of popcorn or peanuts, bread, roasted corn, or skewers of grilled meat or shrimp. Local bars in some towns and villages will also sell poyo the sweet, lightly fermented palm wine tapped from the high tops of palm trees.
Customs
 Sometimes villages, and some families within villages, will have specific taboos or proscriptions against eating certain foods. These are usually attributed to a law handed down from someone's ancestor, perhaps the founder of the village. The taboo can be a restriction against certain kind of meat or a certain oil, or even against food prepared a certain way. Violation is usually seen as a risky proposition, and can incur the ill feelings of would-be guardians either living or dead. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions, such as weddings, funerals, initiations, and memorial services demand the preparation of large platters of rice, distributed to guests until they are full. Depending on the occasion, a portion may also be offered to the ancestors, to honor their memory. Another common practice in this sense is to pour liquor on the ancestors' honor in the corners of a house. Other food traditions vary with region or religion. Kola nuts are highly valued in and of themselves, and are often associated with greetings, diplomacy, provisions of respect, religious rites, and initiation ceremonies. High in caffeine concentration, they are also used as a stimulant, a clothing dye, and even in the preparation of medicines.
Rice topped with one of the many sauces used

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Journal 7 by Tony

Mercenary Troops in Sierra Leone

 The most I found out about mercenaries in Sierra Leone was about a man who had a mercenary army named Colonel Roelf. Roelf was a South African soldier and assassin and he spent a lot of his life trying to end the black African liberation movements at the time of the apartheid-era in South African defense forces. He gained his power by stating that the nations of Africa should not rely on the help of the UN. Roelf promised peace, but in reality, he was only trying to load his bank accounts with the diamonds of Sierra Leone. According to Elizabeth Rubin, "The village chiefs didn’t care whether Roelf was a mercenary, an Afrikaner, a UN peacekeeper, or what, so long as he continued to protect the people with his soldiers and helicopter gunships." This meant that Roelf could gain access to insane amounts of money for his "protection". Eventually, international laws made it illegal for warring parties to use mercenaries in war and considered it a war crime if found out that a country had hired mercenaries. This is because mercenaries are bound to no nation and will sell their, "protection" to the highest bidder around. They also do not care who is in their crossfire because they are only their for their payments. Because mercenaries were not bound to any nation and did not respect international or national laws they were considered blood thirsty beasts who would do anything for their salaries. Long story short, because of Roelf and his mercenaries abusing the human rights of the people that were paying them to "protect" them, it led to the banning of mercenaries by warring countries and making it a war crime. 




Mercenaries in Africa 

Of the mercenaries in the other parts of Africa, the ones I am choosing to talk about are the South African mercenaries hired by Nigeria to fight a war on Boko Haram Jihadists. The leader of the mercenary group in Nigeria was named Eeben Barlow. His private army has been secretly fighting one of the most aggressive African insurgencies to date, Boko Haram Jihadists. The Boko are a group of radical Islamic terrorists who use assassinations, bombings, and abductions as a way to try and overthrow the current government of a state to create an Islamic one. Six years ago the Boko Islamic terrorists invaded Nigeria and had taken a hold of many cities. The Nigerian Army could not defeat the group so they called on Barlow's private army to help end their struggle in January of 2015. Barlow accepted the Nigerian presidents call for help and successfully helped push the terrorists out. this was accomplished with only about 100 white and black South African mercenaries from Barlow's army called, STTEP, which stands for Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection. 


A picture of STTEP marching to fight Boko Haram Radical Islamic Terrorists.