“The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind”

William Kamkwamba’s story is an inspirational one for all. Whether you want to be a teacher or an astronomer, everyone can learn something from this man’s experience and his windmill. A 3rd world country in the middle of a famine can be a tough, and hard to provide for your family. Inspired by a simple picture book, Kamkwamba built his own windmill to harness water and energy for his village. Through journalists and bloggers, he gained worldwide attention and praise for his ambition, proving to the people of the world that no matter where you are, you have the power to make a difference. Everything around you is of some value; all you need is a little inspiration and motivation to work hard. Kamkwamba was relentless and never gave up on his project, proving anyone can accomplish anything if they put their minds and hearts into it.

Claims and Supports

Marking the Grade includes a few short stories throughout, retelling a teacher’s experiences with her students as they scramble to bring their grades up. Instead of using the stories to build to a conclusion, the author uses them to repeatedly support her claims (in paragraphs 4, 5 & 6) that students nowadays do not put enough effort and hard work into their lives, hoping they can glide on through with everyone giving them what they ‘deserve.’

Bringing Up Adultolescents is organized similarly to the previous article. The author disperses stories from those they interviewed, and uses their testimonies about raising college kids as evidence that the future adults of this world cannot support themselves. At the end of every retold experience, the claims are brought back and expanded on, validated by the previous story.

What are adultolescents? Young adults, usually in their 20s and still in college, who rely on their parents to provide for them everything they need in life. They just sit back, relax and coast right on through life.

Do they exist? Yes, and I’ve seen first hand from family friends these ‘over-sized children’ who recently graduated from school and are living back at home.

What has caused this situation? As the economy changes, parents want to help their kids gain an edge and get ahead in the world. The parents believe they are truely catapulting them to success.

Do you think it is a good or bad situation? In a way, it could be good, because money could be saved by living at home rather than shoveling it out on rent. On the other hand, this is bad. Young adults aren’t learning to provide for themselves and gain their own personal skills and talents. They cannot support themselves once they are out of college, which is why many move back home.

What should be done about it? As much as every parent loves their child, they need to be firm with them. Great parents will show these adultolescents how to save their money and gain experience in the work world, not wash their laundry and pay for all their bills.

Evaluating sources

#1.

At first glance, this site looks pretty convincing. With a name like ‘State University’ one would think it’s a legitimate source. The author is given credit, has published more than one story, and the information seems to be accurate, including percentages and statistics to back the claims. However,  with no other references cited, there is no way to tell if the information is factual. Annoying ads draw your attention away, and being a ‘.com’ domain, it may not be reliable.

#2.

A well organized ‘.org’ domain, this website makes a valid source to use for research. With cites and other sources listed, readers can compare the information to check for accuracy. The dates of the most recent update of the information is given, proving the site is keeping up-to-date. Cited charts and tables accompany the topics to effectively show the information’s validity.

#3.

A professional looking layout and graphics make this site a believable one. The name ‘Nanodocs’ might cause some people to hesitate, but if you look close at the header, the copyright belonging to the American Dental Association is displayed. As a popular and well know organization, the ADA is a credible source to get medical information from.

#4.

This site can immediately be recognized as a valid and factual source. As a ‘.gov’ domain and property of the Department of Health and Human Services, any information you find here will be primary data from researchers. Organized information with supporting charts only reinforce the credibility. A great source to use!

#5.

Although brief and uninviting, this site could be used as a source, as long as you double check the accuracy from other sources. With a reference listed at the bottom and a ‘last updated’ date at the top, the information on this site is valid. However, with no author or sponsoring organization, it could easily mislead someone into thinking the site is a hoax. With pages like this, always compare the information with other sources.

Toulmin Analysis of Ehrlich/O’Malley debate

[the debate]

                The state of Maryland is in a tight spot, as is much of the country due to hard economic times. Funding for businesses have been cut, and many programs shut down. Taxes have been raised and many have lost their jobs; Maryland’s economy is in a slump.

                Both Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich quote data from media sources to support their claims. Using magazines and state-gathered data, they are able to provide voters with up-to-date statistics regarding the number of unemployed people and jobs lost in the state. The governors mention popular issues such as the stimulus and tax increases to gain the attention of the viewers and convince them that the other debater is the enemy.

                Underlying values are generally the same, no matter where you are, and O’Malley effectively displayed his understanding of it. By stating “I believe there’s something we can only do together,” he touches on the ideal utopia that everyone dreams of, where everyone works together in peace to improve society.

                O’Malley, however, seemed to be pressing for better environmental protection, rather than the overall improvement of the state. On the other hand, Ehrlich was arguing for job creations, which would effectively improve the economy.

Let’s critique a critque!

Despicable Me – personally, I LOVED this movie! It was absolutely adorable and 100% hilarious. However, Kathy Rich wrote her opposing opinion in this critique of the movie. Even though it is well written and informative, I doubt many people would agree with her. Despicable Me was meant to be a kids movie, and should not be criticized as an adult one. Rich states “The focus on the minions, so disproportionate to their actual quality as characters, speaks again to the disorganization of Despicable Me, a movie with a few good ideas and vocal performances and no idea where to go with them.” It’s a childrens movie! It’s not supposed to make sense! It’s part of the fun and comedy of it! Kids don’t care about plots. All they want to see is the funny characters and the fascinating places they go; it’s what keeps them interested and helps grow their imagination. I think Rich was too harsh in her critique, and she should move on to PG-13 movies instead. Her writing style and opinions were excellent and completely effective, but I know too many people who loved this movie as much as I did for her critique to be valid.

Stew’s TedTalk performance

Watching this video of “Black Men Ski” by Stew, I was honestly lost. Was he singing about common racial jokes that go around? The only line from Stew’s song that I understood was “Chinese guys can jump real high,” because I know of the stereotype that all Asians have more than one talent and can do many things well. That one line is what helped me figure out what the song was really about. One of the comments on the video read “Is this song only targeted at the ignorant? Maybe I’m not able to grasp the ‘point’ trying to be made so I found the song very boring and redundant.” I agree with this. Yes, the song has an underlying meaning, but because I don’t listen to racial jokes and make comments about them, I didn’t understand. The song was boring to me as well, and I found parts of it offensive.

Statement by AL Clergymen

From what I understand, a handful of religious leaders in Alabama released this official statement asking citizens to patiently wait for racial disputes to be settled in the courts. There were several demonstrations in Birmingham due to the slow response of the courts, which lead to the statement. The clergymen asked that everyone “withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully together…”

I only partially agree with the clergymen… Demonstrations are a good way to gain more support and they are completely legal; but if they get too out-of-hand and violent, the cause won’t be solved. Demonstrations should only be used to let people know what’s going on. To actually solve the problem, people have to go to their political leaders who have the power to make changes. Violence doesn’t solve anything, it just makes things more complicated…

Hello World! isn’t a creative title

My first post! Now I just have to figure out what these buttons mean…

Wish me luck in English class!

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