Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why Is Wisconsin Better Than Illinois?

Now I am not saying what I am about to discuss pertains to everyone that lives in Illinois but this is just my experience thus far.  Choosing to come to school in Illinois was exciting for me because I got to experience being away from home and living in a new area.  As time went on, I realized that the town of Romeoville was a little more dull than my hometown and what I was used to.  I feel that Wisconsin has more natural beauty than Illinois and driving in Wisconsin is more enjoyable because there is more to look at.  In Illinois, it is extremely flat and there is not many scenic routes to take.  Now I will give it to the flat-landers, you all have the city of Chicago which is awesome and I love to visit, but at the same time we have Milwaukee and that is a more relaxed, not-as-overwhelming Chicago and is easier to get in and out of.  We also have a city on the lake and there are beaches to hangout and seafood places to eat.  Not to mention we have the Brewers and the great tradition of tail gating as well as the Packers and the great tradition of winning.  Overall, I feel that the people in Wisconsin are nicer, we have better cheese products, as well as better drivers.

What Will I Do this Summer?

Summer is just around the corner, which means it is time to get a job to support my "summer needs". During the school year, my parents were able to help me with some costs because I was constantly playing volleyball and did not have time for a job, but now that I have three and a half months for myself, I need to get a job.  Luckily, our close family friends just purchased a business that was about to close that is local and about a 5 minute drive for me.  This looked to be a prime opportunity for me in getting a job where I could serve, make great money, and see familiar faces all at the same time.  I look forward to the summer also because it'll be good for my body to finally have time to recover from our season and I will be able to focus on lifting and lifting only.  Besides working and working out, I look forward to spend time with my family and friends, whether it is playing lawn games in the back yard or having family dinners.  I cannot wait to be back in my own bed at home, see my dog, and also take showers without having to wear sandals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Finals Week

When looking at finals week, it is a time of sleepless nights, taking adderall and drinking coffee to attempt to stay awake, and studying for 8 hours the day before the actual test.  When finals come around for me I make sure to take it one day at a time and I try not to cram everything into a single day.  If I worry about the project or test that is the very next day and knock those out one by one, things seem a little more simple and less stressful.  The tough part is finals week means the last week of school with friends.  Everyone tries to hangout and balance their social life with school and sleep.  I am not going to lie I have definitely chosen going out with my friend over hitting the books, because that's what college is.  There will always be that buddy of mine that lingers over me and somehow has nothing to work on and will badger me to come hangout and drop the books.  This is extremely tempting from time to time and occasionally i cannot resist.  In all seriousness, it is important to sustain a social life, but at the same time maintain the grades you want, especially when finals roll around and your tests determine whether you pass or not.

Experience Composing WP #1

For this writing project, I chose to write about respect and what it meant to me and what it should mean to everyone else.  I struggled with this paper because it was the first one I wrote for Dr. Wielgos and my major point I needed to fix was my passive voice.  He actually used my paper in front of the class as to what NOT TO DO when writing the next essay.  We had to go through each one of my passive voice sentences and try to identify the subject and verb and then fix it so that it was in active voice.  Though this was somewhat embarrassing, it made me realize that I needed to do better writing in active voice for the next paper, and I knew Dr. Wielgos only wanted to help me become a better writer.  When writing in active voice, I had a larger variety of ideas and was able to write more complex sentences and express myself in a more intellectual sense.  After writing this project, I knew more of what the standards were for the papers to come and had to correct my previous mistakes.

Experience Composing WP #3

This was probably my favorite writing project of the semester because it gave me the opportunity to pick a topic not many of my class mates knew about and become an expert on it.  Through research and many sources from the internet as well as academic journals, I found out all about the topic of sweatshops.  I understood the instructions to this paper better than any other, after much trial and error, and realized I had to synthesize two or more sources per paragraph and then relate the information.  I made sure to introduce all of the authors and qualify them appropriately as well as cite their information correctly.  With this paper, we also did an annotated bibliography which was a nice refresher because I haven't completed one since high school.  It was a tedious process, but it is something I may need to do in the future (as far as the annotated bib go) and there will definitely be more research papers to come.  One of the cool things that went hand-in-hand with this project was writing project #4 or the celebration of scholarship presentation to the class.  It was enjoyable to learn about other's presentations and was curious to what others chose for their topic of research.

WP #2: Final Revision Process

The issue with my writing project #3 paper was that I did not write it in an explanatory sense.  I did for majority of the paper but it became too persuasive from time to time.  I now realize that the point of the explanatory paper is to explain a topic to the target audience and leave it at that and not go any further on taking sides than I need to.  I liked this writing project because we learned to incorporate an image and imbed it in the text, properly cite it, and relate it to my other information.  This was the turning point for my grammar as well and learning not to use passive voice on a consistent basis.  I realize now that my writing sounds more intelligent and the sentence variety expands immensely when i learned to write without the words "is, are, was, and were".

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What I Think of Music

I am a fan of country, rap, hip-hop, alternative, and any kind of dance music (aka techno).  I listen to music when I workout, when I do homework, when I'm driving in the car, or when I'm hanging out with my friends.  I've found that music is one of my major interests, and I find myself looking for new songs to enjoy on a frequent basis.  I turn to music when I am having a rough day and 9/10 times it will lift my mood and make me feel better.  Personally, I like to dance and have fun and act like a fool when I am around my friends and music only amplifies that aspect of my personality.  I make sure to keep an open mind to new artists and music that I may not typically listen to.  Many artists incorporate lyrics that make you think and the song becomes more than something you play at a party.  I have also noticed that during different times of the year I like to listen to different types of music.  When winter comes around, I am more into rap and hip-hop and the minute the weather becomes warms again I immediately switch over to country.  Year round, I enjoy listening to techno.

Celebration of Scholarship Project

I liked the celebration of scholarship project because it was a good summary of the information I spent so much time researching and was able to put it all into a presentable form.  It helped with a little bit of public speaking skills and these types of presentations will be required in my job field when I am older.  The other cool part to these presentations was hearing everyone else's topics of research.  Basically everyone had an intelligent topic and displayed some very interesting information and viewpoints.  It was good to compare other's work to my own and challenge my own viewpoints on certain topics, such as human trafficking, and listen to opposing viewpoints.  If I have to do one of these presentations in the future to a larger group or to professors, I now have this experience under my belt.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


It is becoming hard to focus in class because the weather is warm, the sun is out, and summer is right around the corner.  I feel like everyone is in a better mood the minute the sun comes out and the temperature are in the 70s, myself included.  It is a time to go outside and play sand volleyball and backyard games.  With summer just around the corner, it is also time to finish strong with grades and get ready for finals (unfortunately).  Being a student-athlete, coaches are always checking grades and if I maintain high grades, there are awards handed out to recognize that.  I have to make sure to hold up my end of the deal in getting good grades and represent Lewis Men's Volleyball.  On another note, I am in dire need of summer right now and some relaxation time.  Yes, I will be working, and working out in my spare time, but I need some time away from volleyball and to let my body recover.  I look forward to seeing my friends when we all come back for a big reunion, and I look forward to making many more memories.

Revision Process WP #3

From writing the first essay to writing project #3, the revision process has become easier.  I have a general idea of what I am looking for before I begin reading a paper.  I now know what it means to synthesize information and for this last paper, we were supposed to relate the sources to one another.  This meant we had to do efficient research and find scholarly, peer reviewed articles that were in the same ball park as each other and could relate.  From paper to paper, I have been getting less feedback (just as constructive) because I am learning how to write and follow the instructions.  The Power Point slide that told us exactly how to summarize our sources, introduce the author, and relate the information and helped immensely in the writing process.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Freshman Year of School

Before leaving home for the fall semester of 2015, I had mixed emotions and did not know what to expect at Lewis.  I didn't know how much I would miss my family, my own bed, or eating home cooked meals.  At first, it was an easy transition because of the amounts of freedom I had.  I realized I was on my own and could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  The transition from high school classes to college courses was fairly smooth and I did really well first semester.  Being a student-athlete, I had to learn to manage my time and be responsible immediately.  This is something I struggled with in my high school years and relied on my parents majority of the time.  This year was a time of growing up and learning to handle my business like an adult.  I realize I am still very young and have so much to learn, but this was a productive year with getting acquainted to the college life as well as learning to manage my time playing volleyball here at Lewis University.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Has Playing Collegiate Volleyball Taught Me?

Coming into college, I was never efficient with my time management.  I would show up late to class because I could or I would take my time making it to my destination when I needed to get ready faster.  Coming in to Lewis to play volleyball has taught me that being late is not something I want to get in a habit of doing.  On the team, if I were late to any team event whether it was practice, lifting, or film, there would be a punishment.  Yes, the punishments are awful but at the same time they are only preparing myself and teammates for the rest of our lives.  When I am in the work field, I am not going to have extra time to make it to an interview or be able to get to my job whenever I feel like.  I have to be mature with my time and responsible with getting to where I need to go in a timely fashion.  Volleyball has allowed me to make friendships that will last a life time.  The fact that I like my teammates and they are my best friends, makes playing volleyball here at Lewis all the more enjoyable.

What I love and What I Want to Do?

What Do I Love?
I love interacting with people and making an impression.  I love to make people laugh and help make someone else's day a little bit better.  I love telling stories and I love witnessing people's reaction to what I have to say.  I love being a good friend, listener, and someone people can come to for help.  I love being happy and enjoying my life every hour and every day.  I love my family, friends, and all of the healthy relationships I have developed in all of my years.  I love being active and playing sports.  I love watching movies and hanging out with my friends.  I love my life that I am building and want to continue to love it and the process.

What Do I Want to Do?
When I am older I want to do something that makes me happy.  I want to pick a career path where I look forward to waking up in the morning.  I want to do something that can support my family and I and helps us live a healthy life.  I want to do something that is beneficial to others and can help someone else's life.  I want to do something special and live my life without regrets.  If that means doing something bigger than myself than so be it.  I want to make sure my children learn for me and look up to me as a role model.  I can start that path way now and set an example for kids younger than me.  I want to do what people who are angry at the world cannot.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Research Question: "Sweatshops" Overseas

1.  Why is this my topic of discovery?
Because there is an immense amount of information on the internet to be discovered and I am interested in finding out more about working conditions in foreign countries.

2.  What question do you want to answer?
Why are working conditions/hours/pay the way they are in certain areas of the world and why is their labor so much  cheaper than labor in the U.S.? (easily accessible employees?)

3.  Why this question rather than any other?
Because this is the common question that will appear in the mind of the reader and is something of popular discussion.

4.  What do you need to learn in order to answer that question?
I need to study specific areas (perhaps the Chinese) to understand why working conditions are socially unacceptable.  I need to learn about the pay, what the conditions are actually like, the lifestyle of the employees and how they survive on such little pay

5.  What kinds of experts do you need to read from in order to develop a fully complete answer to this question?  Where do these experts study?  In what academic fields do these experts work?  What do these experts research?

  • Experts could potentially be people that have worked in factories in their life and experienced these poor conditions first hand.  Experts may also include people who have studied foreign work environments for extended periods of time.
  • These experts research what life is like for employees that endure these conditions (mostly the clothing industry) and how their labor is different than ours and why they agree to work in terrible environments.
  • Experts could study at universities as well overseas to visit a "sweatshop" first hand and view what actually happens.
  • Academic field may be social relations/peace corps

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Experience Composing WP #2

When creating the synthesis paper for writing project #2, I initially struggled to think of an idea that would have extensive research behind it.  I began writing about the global water crisis and how the world can improve its water quality and what average citizens can do to help developing countries.  When looking at my design plan versus my final draft, I stuck to the topics I initially wanted to discuss and kept in mind the audience and my tone which was to inform.  It was nice to incorporate a photograph in my essay rather than another article source, and expanding the readers thoughts besides  what they see in front of them.  There was deeper meaning in the photo and helped with the synthesis process and developing more ideas.  I feel that in other areas of the paper, I still struggled with the synthesis but it has improved since the last paper.  The power point slide in Dr. Wielgos' presentation that described how to embed a source and introduce the author as well as summarize the article helped tremendously.  With a large research paper coming up in the near future I will keep that slide in mind when using up to 8 different sources.  In terms of APA formatting, I learned how to use quotes from authors, type an abstract, and the formatting behind it.  Even though, APA is not the ideal way to type a paper and may not make sense, who knows, maybe some day I will switch over to science as a major.  Overall, I improved as a writer through this paper, whether it was learning to use active voice versus passive or learning a new format.  I also learned more about synthesizing information as well as making the paper "my own" and controlling the flow.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Revision Process WP #2

After receiving the grade on my last paper and beginning to realize what I need to change it has helped my writing process.  Reading my classmate's papers has also helped in learning to use active voice versus passive.  Using active voice will help me come up with more original sentences and will only expand my writing scope.  I now know that when I use passive voice the sentence structure is more general and I repeat ideas over and over again.  I may have to take this paper to the writing center and ask to help with changing the passive voice.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Notes

What Am I Explaining?

I am explaining the importance of safe drinking water and having it be accessible to the entire world's population.  Majority of the people in the United States take clean drinking water for granted.  People in less fortunate, third-world countries do not have access to clean drinking water or even a toilet.  Middle class citizens that live in wealthier nations do not think of water as a gift, but as something that is easily attainable and something we overlook.  I am going to explain some solutions to help the global water crisis as well as state facts of what is occurring around the world now in terms of water shortages and poor water quality.

My first source is an image that shows some statistics of what the water situation is like around the world.  It states that 1 in 8 people don't have access to safe water.  There is also a pie chart that shows the world's water population and how a small sliver of that water is freshwater.  The other chart shows that most of the earth's surface is covered with saltwater.  This image demonstrates that out of the earth's water, oceans make up most of the whole and with salt water it needs to be purified and desalinated to be able to drink.  The problem with this is the cost factor.  Most of the earth's water is salt water/ocean water and not in a drinkable state.

My second source is titled "Facing the Global Water Crisis" and talks about the technology behind the crisis and how it is due to technology that we do not have the drinking water we need.  It again talks about the oceans and how if we were to open up more desalination plants, it would become extremely costly.  It goes on to explain innovations in technology and perhaps other strategies that will be used to help the global water crisis.

Lastly, my third source explains the importance of improving the global water crisis and more of the statistics behind the crisis and what we are facing in terms of solving the crisis.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Why Aliens Interest Me

If my interviewer asked me about my interest in aliens, I would tell them multiple things.  Aliens or life outside of this planet interest me because of the size of the galaxy and how there is no possible way we are the only source of life.  There are new discoveries being made every day in space whether it is a planet further than Pluto or a planet that is similar to Earth in terms of living conditions.  The thought of life outside of planet Earth is astounding and the idea that there could be a planet just like ours or millions of them throughout the universe boggles my mind.  The world seems so large to us and everything we do seems to have a massive impact on our lives, but in retrospect we are smaller than a grain of sand in the beach that is the universe.  Aliens interest me because majority of people believe that they all have massive heads, jet black eyes, and grey skin with arms that drag on the ground.  It's funny to think about how we are considered "aliens" to another planet in our solar system or another galaxy.  When thinking of aliens in that sense, it seems realistic that they exist.  Another area of this topic that interests me is the space ship sightings and the different recordings throughout history of alien encounters.  There is photo and video evidence but the real question is do people actually spend time replicating this footage to receive publicity.  How do people explain crop circles and other phenomena as such.  These are all questions that I asked myself mostly when I was younger and first looked into the idea of life outside of planet Earth.  Who knows, maybe aliens indeed are grey with black eyes and fly around space ships and abduct people but it is something that has always sparked my curiosity.  What if there are societies out there that are thousands of years beyond us in technology?  What if there was something they could teach us in order to improve our society.  What if life on Earth will no longer be sustainable in the near future and we have to transfer planets.  The thoughts on this topic are endless.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Chapter 7: Writer's Notebook Suggestions

1.  Japanese cuisine is based on rice and miso soup.  Miso soup consists of stock called "dashi".  There is a large focus on seasonal and natural ingredients.  For example, Wappani is a unique, miso-based soup found on the island of Awashima Island.

2.  A family ritual of mine is to attend church on Christmas Eve and then have dinner after and open presents at night.  This is important to me and my family because I am the youngest of three kids so during this time we are all together.  Church is a time to pray for and be thankful for all my family has given me through out my life and for us to reflect on how lucky we are to have each other.  Christmas is a time of joy amongst all of us and unity as a family.

3.  There are objects on our planet we call pants.  These pants are considered articles of clothing and clothing is what we wear on a daily basis to be warm or match our weather conditions and keep ourselves from being exposed to others.  When putting on pants, us humans have two legs that we must push through two "pant" holes.  First step is to grab the waste of the pants.  Next, lower the pants to the floor so they are easy to step into.  Take each leg one at a time and proceed to pull the pants up to your waste.

4.  When looking at jerseys, these are articles of clothing that represent sport or competition.  There are typically two types of jerseys in one competition that represent the two teams competing against one another.  This jersey could give someone a sense of pride and that they are playing for their teammates and the organization as a whole.

5.  The rite of passage is an important stage in someone's life such as birth, puberty, marriage, or death.  When looking at an important time in my life, it could be going off to college or becoming an adult.  This is an opportunity in my life to become independent and mature enough so that I am ready for the next stage of my life.

6.  When I attended a Lewis University Men's basketball game, during halftime there was a game played by people with special needs from an organization within Romeoville.  The looks on the faces of these men and women no matter what age they were was a sight to see when they scored a point or made a great play.  The crowd was roaring and you could see the immense amount of joy radiating from the court.  We have to realize that although some may suffer from disabilities, they still have the drive to want to compete and be the best they can be.

7.  Something I realized when I went off to school and transitioned from high school to college is how important family is.  When you are in high school, there are tendencies to fight with your parents and take them for granted, but the minute you are away from home for an extended period of time, you realize how much you miss them.  There is a huge truth within the statement that family is forever.

8.  Volleyball is a term people take for granted.  I have had the opportunity to play collegiate volleyball and has essentially become my life.  Day in and day out I am either playing volleyball, practicing, watching film, working out, or doing mandatory study halls.  Volleyball has created so many new friendships for me as well as taught me the true definition of good work ethic.  These are skills and relationships that will last with me a lifetime.

9.  Now, class I know photosynthesis is a big word, but I will explain it in a way that makes sense because it is actually very simple.  We all know how the sun gives off light and warmth, so when a plant needs to grow, it absorbs this sunlight or takes it in and changes it into energy that can be used for it to function.

10.  The concept of gay marriage has recently changed.  It went from being a taboo concept to accepted nationwide.  People should be able to lead the lives they want and no law should be in place to stop a home sexual couple from marrying if that is what they want.  The principles of marriage is that if two people love each other they should be together for a lifetime whether it is a straight couple or gay.

11.  A word that has become taboo to me is "retard".  I don't even like typing it in this small paragraph right now or hearing myself in my own head say it.  It is a word that people use very aggressively when describing something they strongly resent.  The fact that someone uses a word that resembles another person's disability to show how much they dislike something blows my mind.  It is a word I will never use for the rest of my life and when I am with others and they use it I will let them know that it bothers me.  Most of my friends are able to refrain from saying it around me which will in turn help reduce the amount of times they say it.

12.  When looking at the sport of volleyball, one team serves while the other team receives.  When looking at the side receiving the serve there are typically three people who are ready to pass the ball.  Passing the ball consists of putting your hands together and keeping your fore arms straight out in front of you, forming a "platform".  Your passing platform will determine how accurate you are while passing the ball.  You want you platform to be as straight as possible and be able to angle it towards the setter so he can set the ball to your attackers.  While passing, there needs to be a bend in the passer's knees and they must be still while passing the ball.

What I Learned Today

Today I learned about our environment in my Introduction to Environmental Science course.  I learned that our living habits are unsafe for the Earth and we live Unsustainably.  What that means is that we consume more natural resources over a certain period of time then the Earth has time to grow back.  In College Writing II today I learned a little more about how to use the program MindTap and how to navigate through it.  I learned some of my class mates names and I continued to learn more about blogging.  I solidified my knowledge on rhetorical strategies and different genres and why we write with certain purposes.

Revision Process: Synthesis Essay

The revision process helped immensely because it allowed outside perspectives to give me ideas.  My paper was about respect and my view of the idea could be different than the person next to me.  They gave me feedback I never thought of myself and then I was able to generate new ideas I didn't think of before.  While receiving revisions, it is always tough because I look at it as more work.  This was my first college paper I've received feedback on from both my peers and professor and it is different from high school in a sense that I feel my classmates care more.  The feedback is constructive and makes sense but at the same time I received compliments on the paper about places that I did something well.  I enjoyed how the revision days were split between two class periods.  It gave me the opportunity to edit different classmate's papers as well as have more than one person look at mine.  While reading a classmate's paper, I picked up new strategies of writing and it helped me take a new approach to the writing style for my paper.  The questions we used from the textbook to edit other papers were very in depth and I really had to think of good suggestions to help when editing.  There was no way to blow through it and give bad criticism.  Personally, I struggled with the synthesizing part of the paper and combining my outside sources with my personal experience.  It helped to look at a classmates paper and see their approach to combining ideas and how they transitioned from outside source to personal experience.  I needed to connect them in a cohesive way and show how it changed my initial perspective on the idea of respect.  Through editing I was able to fix my own paper and change it into a true synthesis paper.  Overall, the process helped my paper grammatically but more importantly I learned to write a synthesis essay and combine ideas from different sources and enhance my understanding of the idea of respect.

Synthesis Essay Outcome

Initially, I was confused on how to write a synthesis essay and had to read the directions multiple times.  Then I began to understand it was as simple as combining two outside sources with my previous knowledge of an overall idea and show how those sources changed my previous beliefs or didn't.  In my design plan, my goal was to use my personal experience and connect it somehow to an article I found about respect and how we learn it as we grow up as well as my collegiate volleyball career thus far.  I learned a new perspective on the idea of respect as well as had many beliefs that were reconfirmed.  I believe I did a sufficient job talking about how my parents helped me learn to be respectful when I grew up, and how that connects to the article I found online about parents being the key to a child's habits as they grow up.  Something I found interesting that the article talked about was how we lose track of people younger than us and how they need just as much respect as an adult gives another adult.  For example, if a parent is raising their five year old child, they should be treated with just as much respect as they would treat their friend that they go out and get drinks with.  This means don't use degrading language even if they may break something in the house or don't rinse their mouth out with soap if they make a mistake.  Treat them like adults and they are more likely to grow up to treat others in the same fashion.  Overall, I enjoyed writing this paper more than others in the past because respect is something I value in life and I believe it is the key to being successful with whatever endeavors someone may take on.  After looking at my design plan, I synthesized information to the best of my abilities as well as understood what audience I was writing to.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Are Some Responsibilities to Each Other When We Blog

When we blog, there are opinions and different perspectives that may come up.  Someone can blog about whatever comes to mind and others should respect it.  Blogging is unstructured writing that gives the blogger freedom to write without being judged.  It is writing that can be used to entertain, inform, persuade, the options are limitless with a blog.  If a blog is of interest to someone, they have the right to continue to follow that person's posts.  If someone does not agree with a blog, simply forget about it and move on.  Our responsibilities to one another is to show respect to each other's writing and for each person writing their own, it should be to the best of their ability to set an example for others.  If someone wants to relate to others they can or if someone wants to blog about giving advice they can.  You can blog to benefit others or you can blog to put your own thoughts on a document for others to see, then possibly it becomes advice for yourself.  The thing about blogging is that everyone has a reason behind what they are saying and why they are saying it otherwise there would be no blog.