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.