Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank You Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail is just as relevant today as it was in 1963. We live in a world where class, race and gender discrimination are still alive and well. Although it is better than 1963, the fact that people are still discriminated against today with all of the knowledge that is out there is truly sad. Human is human no matter how you see or spell it. Color or gender should have nothing to do with how you are treated or what opportunities are available to you.

I feel this letter would work as a blog entry today because it reminds us that even though we have traveled far, and we have more rights than in the past, the deep seated issues of racism, classism and gender discrimination still are prevalent. It is important for those who have never been touched by the isms to understand that even though they may not ever experience what is like to not have rights, others experience this everyday.

One of the most prevalent examples of inequality and discrimination that comes to mind is Proposition 8. When Prop 8 was passed it took away the right of gay and lesbian American citizens to marry the person that they love. This proposition, in my opinion, is unfair and discriminates against this community of Americans. Getting married is a personal right and one that should not be taken away because some people feel that homosexuality is wrong. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are words that were created by humans, one is not right and the other wrong. The way I see love is love, and every American should have the right to marry. I had a friend recently tell me that gay marriage makes a mockery of my marriage and I was taken aback by this statement. My marriage is based in love and so is theirs, what gives any of us the right to say that they are wrong.

As a parent I try and instill in my son the beliefs that we are all equal, and to teach him to see human rather than black, white, yellow, red, gay, or straight. If we can teach our kids to see past the social constructs of discrimination we may just create a country that we will be proud to call home.

In the meantime, we should all listen to the lessons and knowledge that Dr. King shares in his Letter from Birmingham Jail and try to see that now is the time to rid this world of discrimination and prejudice. We need to quit being the silent majority and stand up for those whose voices have been lost to this battle. Because as Dr. King states, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Until all Americans have the same right, privileges and opportunities as those in power we will not see justice served.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What a week...

This has just been one of those weeks, where if it could go wrong, it did. So, as soon as I finish my rough draft I plan on stealing a quiet moment with me, the beach and a much needed cocktail . Cheers!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cite this...

What kind of impression can I give to explain citations?

Well, the entire process seems to require the ability to follow precise rules that change occasionally to imply correctly to your reader where exactly you got your information. From my first research paper until now I have been on Team MLA. It's all we were ever taught and I am somewhat comfortable with it, yet I still reference the Little Brown Book to make sure I didn't miss a period, capitalize the wrong words or forget the parentheses. Last week while working on my Annotated Bibliography I used the APA style, just to try it out. Overall, they both have similar rules and accomplish the same goal.

Citations are an important part of research because they give the reader of your argument the chance to verify the facts that you outline in your paper. Citations also let your reader know that the argument you are presenting was well researched and documented and finally citations give credit to the author of an original concept.

Documentation isn't a hard activity, it's just time consuming with all the different sets of rules for different types of sources. Nowadays, with all of the online cites, like the citation machine, that help with documentation you really have all you need to cite a source at your fingertips. On Proquest, in the NU Library, you can even click the link "cite this" on your source, choose the documentation style, and your computer does the work for you. All you are left to do is cut and paste it into your resource page, verify it was done correctly in your Little Brown, and your done.

Citations are a viable and valuable part of the research process and without them in your paper it may be difficult to classify it as research.

Here is an online article explaining why citations are so important

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lost in the stacks...

For the last few days I have been scouring the Internet, in search of the perfect resources to use in my research paper. This morning I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost in the stacks....so much to read, so little time. Fortunately, the information I have found has opened my eyes to the seriousness of Global Warming, the Greenhouse Effect and the destructive effect the livestock industry is having on our environment. The time for change is now, and hopefully I will be able to convey this in my paper. Back to the books. Good luck everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sometimes you just need a nap...

but then you take a peek at your "to do list" and realize that it's completely out of the question. So in lieu of a nap today I felt inclined to post this picture that made me feel warm and fuzzy and completely rejuvenated my spirit. Now off to finish my Summary/Critique #1...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thoughts on the research paper...

I always find it difficult to choose a topic to research that is not to controversial, doesn't involve too much morality/religious points of view and that I find interesting. But this morning while reading the paper, I found it! Last March I got Salmonella poisoning from eating bad meat :( and it was truly awful. The doctor at the hospital told me that I should cut out meat for a bit and let my system heal - so I did. Now almost a year later I am still somewhat meat-free. I eat fish a couple times per week, as I can't seem to give up my sushi habit, and I have had bites here and there of other things (like Thanksgiving Turkey). I have found this way of life to be much easier than I ever thought possible and completely fulfilling. So when I came across an article in the LA Times talking about the UK's Meat Free Monday program - I knew I had found my topic. I am looking forward to researching the pros and cons of this program - the vegetarians vs. the carnivores and of course hearing the debate from those who provide us with the meat that we as a country can't seem to stop eating, and to see how eliminating just one days worth of meat can positively affect our environment. I also plan on implementing this program into my families weekly regimen so that we can do our part to help our environment and improve our health. For fun, I will post all the recipes that I prepare for my meat loving boys and let you know how they go over...on the menu for this Monday - Black Bean Tostadas with all the fixings and Spicy Caesar Salad. Have a great week everyone and good luck picking a topic that will make this paper a bit more enjoyable!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Writing Assessment - Why I Chose to Major in English

As long as I can remember I have been a bookworm. As a child my Mother read to me often, which nurtured a great love of the written word. My favorite days were spent curled up in the grass with my books, reading as long as the sun would allow. The smell and feel of books has always made me happy, and is something that I can’t quite explain. I tend to read anything humorous, romantic, adventurous, historical (I love King Henry VIII & Cleopatra), and I have an unabashed love for anything from the young adult and children's section. Books are the paths into our imagination; they enable us to see life through the lives of others and their stories. Books can help us evolve and become better thinkers and writers. But most of all books are a source of entertainment and escape. A place that we alone can go at any moment in any given day and have an experience that can alter us forever.

Books and my love of reading are the reason that I chose to major in English. I wanted to go back to the beginning of literature, and get acquainted with the great literary talents that have inspired legions of readers throughout time. I wanted to get to know Austen, Chaucer, The Bronte Sisters, and of course Shakespeare. Along with reading I chose to major in English to find my voice. To learn how to put into words all the thoughts and feelings that live in my mind. I want to learn how to create characters, stories, and dialogues that give readers insight, knowledge, joy and an escape from the everyday.

There are those that think that I should have chosen a major such as Business or Accounting, but to be honest I could not imagine having done this any other way. I feel privileged to be able to immerse myself in literature and know that in doing this I am becoming a better version of me. My goal is to one-day work in Children’s Book Publishing as an Acquisitions Editor. I want to find new, fresh voices and turn their manuscripts into actual books that find space on the shelves of stores and libraries around the world. I chose children’s books because as a mother I know first hand how important books are to the lives of growing kids. Dr. Suess, A.A. Miline, Jon Scieszka, and David Shannon have brought immense joy to kids worldwide with their stories, humor, lessons and morals. My goal is to search out more authors like them who want to inspire kids to reach for the stars and to never give up on their dreams.