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Research Proposal

Apr. 7th, 2006 | 09:49 pm

The thesis of my research is based on whether the American government donates enough funding towards Sub-Saharan Africa. I say that it does not. In my paper, I plan on addressing two main topics. The first topic is why should the American government do anything for Africa? What are the main problems in Africa? How are the problems in Africa different from the problems elsewhere? How do they affect us? The second topic I would like to address is what is being done as compared to what should be done.

Thus far, in my research, I have learned the general facts about Africa. What I have learned is that it is the most troubled continent in the world, which I am sure we all already know. However, the extent of trouble that Africa faces is something none of us can understand. Everyone in America knows that the problems in Africa are bad, and that one has to get an extremely large number of vaccinations before going there. A lot of Americans are even somewhat afraid to go to Africa, in fear of catching some random virus that no one has ever heard of. I am going to address the social, political, and economic issues that have kept Africa in this slump and have prevented it from progressing along with the rest of the world.

Also, another subject that I would like to briefly address is the rise of African American politicians in America, and what kind of power they hold. There has been a great increase in African American politicians. A few of these include Colin Powell, Condleeza Rice, and Barack Obama. These office holders are extremely powerful now, but what have they been doing to improve the conditions in Africa? Do they consider it their duty to enforce some kind of action? I'm not sure how I'm going to incorporate this part, but I would like to address many issues on what can possibly be done to help this continent and why it is not already being done.

Disease, poverty, and famine are just a few issues that come up when you hear about Africa. However, how do these situations change the way the people live? These are some of the questions I would like to address and hopefully make a strong argument on why America should be doing more. We are all living in the same world and we are all affected by the actions and occurances in other nations. AIDS and tuberculosis are a few diseases that have already spread to America.

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The frusteration builds in Mr. Crouch

Apr. 5th, 2006 | 01:58 am

Mr. Croup pages 143-147.

This place is started to drive me crazy. Even Mr. Vandemar and myself have our limits. We can only live in this small pit hole for so long before even we get bored out of our minds. It was slightly amusing living here for a while. There were some interesting and somewhat disgusting objects down here and those kept us amused for a good amount of time. But if I am forced to watch Mr. Vandemar eat one more slug, I think I might vomit. Now if not we, then I am at least getting sick of this place.

On top of this putrid little hole we are being forced to live in, we have our boss breathing down our necks every two seconds. Just a few hours ago, he called and said that Mr. Vandemar and I were being "unprofessional." What the hell does he mean by unprofessional and who does he think he is calling us that? I mean, we burned down Troy! Not many people can say they single-handedly burned down one of the most powerful civilizations known to man. Who is this guy anyway, is he an angel of some kind? If I saw him, I would punch him so hard in the gut that his insides would come tumbling out of his back. Or perhaps I would use a more tactful approach and let Mr. Vandemar sneakily come up behind him and squeeze his neck. The way he likes to do with those pigeons.

We just finished killing Varney. It really wasn't as amusing as I thought it would be. It was too easy, barely even lasted a few minutes. Varney wasn't really as tough as he looked. I don't understand how he would have protected that little girl for even a few minutes if he was beaten by a girl. She was not only a girl,but a rather fragile looking one. His life wasn't even worth sparing, so Mr. Vandemar and I agreed to make it go down quickly. Now, killing that girl will definitely be worth waiting for. When we do get our hands on her, we will make her beg for death before we actually kill her. Oh, I cannot wait for that day.

Why can we not kill this girl? I have no idea. She's so tiny, and so helpless. It's almost like stopping a wolf from consuming a small little rabbit. Why torture a beast so unnecessarily?

-Mr. Crouch

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My Spring Break in K-town

Mar. 28th, 2006 | 10:26 pm

My plan for spring break was, as you all may or may not remember, to go down to St. Petersburg, Florida, with my family for a few days. I was extremely excited because I have never been down to Florida during spring break and I thought it would be nice.

I had visions of me sitting on the white beaches of St. Petersburg, sipping a virgin pina colada with the wind blowing and the sound of kids running around and playing in the water. Oh yeah, it was going to be great. Then, the night before we were leaving, my parents called me while I was at my friend's house and told me that my dad didn't realize that it was a 10 hour drive to St. Petersburg, and it was too far, as opposed to the 8 hour drive that he thought it was. Please tell me how that makes any sense.

Well anywho, being the great sport that I am, I didn't make a fuss, I simply accepted it and put aside any dreams that I had of going to the beach. My parents tried to make a "recovery plan," but all they came up with was going to Asheville to see Biltmore Estate, and it was too cold for that, so we couldn't go anyway. Anywho, it seems as though the trip wasn't meant to be anyway. We called down there and the lady at the hotel said that it was going to be cold on the days that we would've been there anyways.

Also, my dad got sick with some kind of stomach flu that day, so even if we had left, my dad would've been sick the whole time. So basically I sat in my house the whole break. As I recall, I spent the ENTIRE day watching TV on Friday before school started again. Yeah, I know, it was depressing...actually no, I quite enjoyed myself. I love watching TV!

We went to Pigeon Forge on Saturday and went to the Dixie Stampede. That was interesting. We also went on this lame Jurassic ride, which was totally lame, mostly because I've been to Disney world and the ride "Dinosaur" in Animal Kingdom is AWESOME! So, once you've seen the best, anything else is just a pathetic attempt at recreating that. So whatever. Goodnight! :)

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(no subject)

Mar. 9th, 2006 | 04:22 pm
mood: tired tired

Hey everyone! I know that this subject has been beaten to death, but I figure I'd get my opinion out there before the subject matter got too old.

I know I wrote about the Danish cartoons earlier, but I hadn't really thought about it the whole way through. So I am writing here today to elaborate on this subject matter. If this subject is old, boring, or if you feel like you will be greatly offended by this, please don't read it. If this does deeply offend anyone, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I am not out to offend anyone. I promise! :)

I would like to start off by saying that I appreciated everyone that responded to my previous post. I really did appreciate it and I gave what you all said some deep thought. These are the conclusions I have come up with.

When I said in my previous post...and if you all haven't read that, then you can here. I hope that worked. Anywho, I said that there should be limitations on freedom of speech, and I realize that statement sounds like an oxy moron...or a paradox, or something. However, I do believe there is a difference between freedom of speech, and the abuse of freedom of speech. I believe that the man who published the Danish cartoon was abusing his power of freedom of speech. Insulting someone's religion is something extremely offensive because religion, regardless of how it may seem today, is not a part of politics. It is actually an extremely personal matter that really hits a person's home. This could also go out to homosexuality. I'm not sure if this has happened, but if an extremely obscene cartoon was drawn of this situation, many people would be upset. Publications of Jesus(peace be upon him) would also cause anger, and it has, as Miss Devon pointed out, in "The Book of Daniel." :)

Publications of this sort of ANY religion would cause an uproar in that religious community. The only difference is that the Islamic nations are being observed very closely, and it's almost as if the world is waiting for them to screw up again. I cannot believe that the man who published these cartoons did not expect a result like this.

Yes, it's a given that it is his right to express how he feels, and this is the essential factor in freedom of speech. However, I am failing to understand how directly insulting a prophet, who has absolutely nothing to do with the politics of the world today, is going to relieve him of his distress towards muslims in the political realm. Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) was not a prime minister or a freedom fighter for any country. He was a religious figure that muslims believe delivered the word of God, and all muslims respect him more than anyone else. Insulting him is a direct insult to muslims around the world.

Some say that muslims should simply ignore this cartoon and go about their lives. However, I do not understand how can anyone expect them to do that because if they let this slip, what is next? Now, I do not in any way, shape or form support the violent actions that are occurring in the Middle East, but what people sometimes fail to notice is that the Middle East is a completely different place with a completely different background. That does not mean the way they run their country is wrong, it's just different. Nobody here, in America, knows what those people go through, nor do they know how they live their lives, so it is really hard for us Americans to understand where they are coming from completely.

America and Europe have an infamous reputation of being ignorant nations. By publishing these kinds of articles, the publisher was only enhancing this reputation because if he had done his research, he would have known that insulting the prophet(peace be upon him) would be a bad idea. Prophets are supposedly the most peaceful people, and implying that any of them are terrorists is an insult to their life's work. I know I'm speaking from religious terms here...maybe i'm not supposed to be, but I can't help it. :/

Try looking at this from a more personal perspective. Let's suppose that I didn't like somebody that attended this university because of personal reasons, such as, she stole my boyfriend or something to that nature. If I decided I wanted to draw some insulting cartoons of her doing something and post them all around campus, I could technically claim freedom of speech, couldn't I? I would be able to post those pictures, but the question is, should I do it? There clearly must be a line drawn somewhere.

This world is made up of so many different religions and religion is a subject that no one can ever agree on. Whether it's amongst the same religion or amongst different religions, people are going to disagree on certain aspects. This calls for the understanding, if not acceptance, of different religions. It calls for a tolerance of different religions, and what this man demonstrated in his cartoon was a lack of tolerance. In times like these, where we should try to reach a compromise or an agreement with the Islamic nations, making cartoons such as these will only create a larger rift between the muslim world and the Americas. Perhaps Europe/America and the Middle East will never completely, or even partly, understand each other, but I feel everyone should at least make the effort.

Okay, I think I'm done. I once again reiterate that I do not support the violent actions that occurred in the Middle East, I am simply trying to explain where they are coming from and where muslims around the world are coming from. And once again, I'm so super sorry if I insulted anyone!!!! You all are awesome if you actually read this. lol.

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Mar. 6th, 2006 | 04:11 am
mood: annoyed annoyed

Okay, i'm sorry guys. I have nothing of interest to say tonight. I know I haven't really updated my personal blog in a while, or at least it feels like I haven't. I really wanted to write something interesting tonight, but it's almost 4am, and i'm tired.

I spend literally half the day updating my iPod today. Very productive, isn't it? I thought so. Just kidding. Sundays, and when I say "Sundays," I mean literally, every sunday, I do exactly this. Well, not update my iPod because my sister just gave it to me a few days ago, but every sunday, I do absolutely nothing productive. I spend the whole day in my pajamas, watching TV, "planning" on working, and then I sit here at 4am, doing my homework. That's a great habit, eh? I know it.

Today was pretty annoying in the beginning, I kept getting annoyed at everything. First, my mom tells me to vacuum the whole house, which is fine! Seriously, I SHOULD clean my house, so I gladly get up and start doing it, thinking it'll take me an hour, and i'll start working after that. Then, as I'm vacuuming, the vacuum cleaner starts breaking. Why is this a surprise? I've told my mom a million times that we need to get a new vacuum cleaner, but nope. She always tells me that I just pull it too hard, that's why it breaks.

So, after struggling with the vacuum cleaner, I stick in my iPod, which I have not yet updated, and what do I hear? I hear a bunch of romantic songs, which is totally not what I want to hear right now, so I take it off, only to hear my sister calling her fiance, and talking to him in a sweet, "lovey-dovey" voice. I love my sister, and I'm ecstatic for her engagement, but that was not something I needed to hear at that moment.

Then...okay, now I just feel like I'm complaining too much.

Oh yeah, I also spent another 1/3 of the day- Okay, I won't exaggerrate- one hour, of the day, watching Dawson's Creek. I love that show. My sister has the third season, so I've been watching that for a while now. It's a great show. You know what's really messed up? That was my childhood show. While other kids were watching Pokemon and other weird stuff, I was watching Dawson's Creek. Don't get me wrong, I watched Power Rangers and all that too, but I think around the 8th grade or something, I switched to Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Seventh Heaven, etc.

Okay, I'm sleepy. Goodnight.

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Okay...how random..

Feb. 15th, 2006 | 03:02 pm

I was scanning through the news last night...okay, actually, let me start over.

I had just woken up from a little nap and "The Insider" was on because something my sisters were watching had finished. So, you know how The Insider is, it's a nice mix of celebrity and worldly news. I'm watching it, half asleep, when I hear that Dick Cheney had shot a man...while hunting.

I clean out my ears a little, thinking that perhaps I misheard what the "news" guy had said. But alas! I had not. Now, call me mean, weird, insensitive, democratic, whatever you want to call me, but that's just plain weird. I mean, how do you shoot a man while hunting? Did he perhaps mistake the man for a bird, or a deer?

I don't know the whole story, so maybe there is a reason or a legitimate reason for this accident. I honestly have no idea. I just thought it was a little funny.

Also, I came across weird article. I have nooo idea how I came across this, and I'm sure it's like, really old news, but still! I found it very interesting and random. Ok, I have 10 minutes to get to class in Buehler, so I must depart. I hoped to make it a little longer, but it's hard for me to think under pressure. Ah!

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(no subject)

Feb. 11th, 2006 | 09:23 pm

Good evening everyone! I realize I'm late on my Joe Peacock entry, and I will not try to make any excuses. It's just been an extremely busy week. I've been thinking about a story for some time now, and sadly, I don't really have any really cool stories to tell that I can think of. Yeah, I just thought again, but nothing! How depressing is that? OH well. I will tell you what I know.

It was right after our HOSA meeting in high school. The day that we all remember. We didn't even do anything that significant, but I think this was the day that we confirmed what a...different..group of friends we were. Actually, we might not even be that different, it might all be in our heads. But for now, let us believe we were special.

I was president of HOSA, which is the Health Occupations Students of America club, and we had just finished our usual Friday meetings, where we get hardly anything accomplished. Basically, our club sponsor, who had also been my teacher for the past three years, would take over and discuss the important matters in greater detail. I honestly think she was really the president and the student president was just her figurehead.

Anywho, let me just set the stage here. Basically, my senior year of high school, all of us "brown folk" were in HOSA and it really kind of seem like we had taken over the club. We certainly were at least the most enthusiastic of the crowd. So we are all driving off separately. Well, me in my car and the rest of the girls in another car because they all live in the same neighborhood. I cannot emphasize how annoying that is because I would always have to drive down to their complex because I was outnumbered. This resulted in many late nights of me driving home through their crazy, dark, and scary roads and praying that some killer doesn't come out and attack me.

So I'm driving merrily down Campbell Station, when I see the girls motioning to me to follow them to the gas station.

We get out of the car and they were like "You wanna hang out?!" and I was like "YEAH!"

Oh yeah, cheesy as hell. I realize that. It gets better.

So we walk into the gas station to get some eatables, and we decide to take our "supplies" down to the park and pig out. Except for the fact that none of us had any money. We continue to pick up variations of candy, chips, and icies, figuring that at least one of us must have money.

So we get to the counter, get ready to pay, when we finally realize that none of us have money. We spend literally 15 minutes, conjuring up any kind of change that we could possibly have. Oh wait. Rewind.

My friend Sarah, who we call "Bounse," said a very classic line during this period of our day. One that we still make fun of her for. While we were grabbing chocolate or what not, Bounse comes up to all of us, gets everyone's attention and goes "Guys....THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!" Yeah, talk about totally killing the mood. After laughing at her for about 5 minutes, we continued our shopping.

Ok, so back to the cash register, we finally muster up the desired amount and get out of there. We all decide to go in Bounse's car because what fun would it be if we went in separate cars?? So we get there after a few minutes, and pick a nice little spot a little way up on the hiking trail. We spread our goodies out and start digging in. One of my friends, who is obsessed with Ranch dressing, decides to try kit kat and ranch dressing. Surprisingly, it wasn't all that bad!

We also decide that our group is much like the group on Friends(which really, we are not, but once again, humor us). So we declare that I am most like Phoebe, which we all agreed on, and my other friends are the rest. After we do this, we start giving each other "family names." For example, one of my friends was "the gay uncle who hasn't come out of the closet yet." I think I was the weird aunt or something...i can't remember.

After we were all satisfied with our munchies and our talk of how cool we are, I decide that I feel extremely fat, and decide to go on a little "run." So i jog to the other side of the park, come back, and find that they have all disappeared. Of course.

So finally after a few minutes of me going "okay guys, very funny," they decide to come out.

After this, we proceed to the mini amphitheater, and start doing some really random stuff. I believe I started singing for them...yeah, let's not mention that to anyone else, ok?

Then, we start thinking of words that we could make up to describe a "joke killer." You know, when something is funny, and there's a certain point that it's funny up to, but then that ONE PERSON says something after that point, and you're like "okay, that was taking it too far." So, we think of names that we could use for this. One of my friends pitched a word that I would definitely NEVER say in public. People would think we were a bunch of potty mouthed girls.

Finally, GOD KNOWS HOW, we decide on "Bugajilla." Where did that word come from? How did it come? What does it mean? How do you spell it? I have no idea! But there it was, and we decided that YES, this is the word we were looking for. So now, even today, we use this word to describe a joke killer. Feel free to use it, spread it, and let it flourish. I think that was the highlight of our day, and that's why we remember it.

OH yeah, and after we left the park, we jumped into Bounse's car, blasted "The Remedy," by Jason Mraz, and all sang along at the top of our lungs. That was definitely a fun day.

I realize this story sounds pointless. Well, that's because it is! I hope you all have a great rest of the weekend! Toodles!

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Feb. 4th, 2006 | 04:43 pm
mood: lazy lazy

Warning: I'm attempting to write a blog with meaning today.

Last semester, before school started, I decided I wanted to subscribe to TIME magazine, so I could learn more about what's going on in the world. I thought it would increase my knowledge and possibly allow me to have some kind of political discussion at some point in my life.

So, I have been reading these magazines for the past few months, and I think it has definitely helped me keep up with the happenings of the world. However, I have not failed to notice that in every single magazine, there are at least 2 articles involving the "terrorist muslims."

Now, this is the first time I have ever expressed my concern for the muslim nation out loud, so my thoughts might be jumbled up a little. However, I will give this my best shot.

The recent controversy in Denmark has muslims around the world in a rage. A lot of you might be asking why. Well, let me start by explaining that in our religion, it is not allowed for us to portray Prophet Muhammad in any way, such as pictures because doing that would eventually lead to idolizing him, which we are not allowed to do. We're supposed to follow the way of the prophet, but not idolize him any way.

Anywho, the Danish embassy is claiming the right to free speech, but I really feel like "free speech" is an issue that needs to be dealt with on its own. Many people, especially here in America, claim the right of free speech, but I think there should be a limit to it.

People in America should realize that they live amongst people of MANY different races, cultures, believes, etc. America is not a land of one religion or culture, and people need to recognize that their opinions could really hurt other people. I mean, yes, by all means, express your views amongst your friends or what not, and that is your right. However, when it comes to being published around a nation, people really need to consider their audience. In a place like America, the audience is especially diverse, and publishing anything like what they published in Denmark would be extremely offensive.

Now, the question remains to be whether all these depictions of Americans are completely accurate. I do not doubt that all these occurances actually happen, nor do I deny the fact that Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group or that Osama Bin Laden is responsible for the 9/11 attacks. I also agree with America trying to capture Sadam Hussein. I did not like the way they went about doing it: blowing up random places in Iraq, but that's a different story.

What I am trying to say is that everyone should really try to think about the position people around the world are in. What looks like a completely horrendous act to people in America, people that are generally living lives of luxury, could be something totally justified if looked at from someone else's point of view.

Ok, i'm done now. My train of thought was interrupted by my sister who wants me to watch General Hospital from yesterday. Besides that, I'm a little hungry, so I'm going to eat. lol.

I hope I'm not offending anyone in this. I don't think I am. My friend encouraged me to write a blog on something important, like this, and maybe write something insightful. I'm not sure how insightful this is really, but I gave it my best shot!!! Have a great rest-of-the-weekend! See you on Monday!

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(no subject)

Feb. 3rd, 2006 | 12:49 am
mood: morose morose

Hello everyone.

Today was a tad bit unreal. After a long, tiring day at school, I got home, ate, and fell asleep for about two hours. Then, when I woke up to watch Dancing with the Stars, about 2 minutes into the show, my family gets a phone call that my mom's friend's husband had died.

We were all extremely shocked because this man had been in India for approximately two years now. He was taking care of some property for his family over there. Everyone always asked his wife, who is such a kind woman, when he was coming home. She would always tell us "Oh, he has to take care of some business, but god willing, he will come home soon."

A few hours ago, she got a phone call that he had died in his sleep. I guess that's the best way to go. It's definitely the most peaceful. The weird thing is that he died of a heart attack, but he was essentially a health nut. He always took care of his blood pressure and cholesterol. I think his wife said that it happened because of the pollution in India.

So my family and I go to her house, and her daughter is a good friend of ours. A lot of people were there, offering their condolences. After reading the Qur'an for him(which is an Islamic custom when someone dies), the son came in from Johnson City. He had no idea his father had passed away.

It was so sad, I couldn't even look at him. His mom just burst into tears and hugged him, and he was kind of confused until his sister told him. His response was "WHAT?!" That was so unreal. I've used the world "unreal" twice in this entry. I realize that.

Anyways, it was a lot to handle. The man who passed away basically taught everyone in our community how to read the Qur'an and he taught everyone a lot, even though, I hate to admit, a lot of people had many funny stories to tell about him. For example, once in Sunday school, he was substituting for our class, and this kid in the front was misbehaving, and he had a lollipop in his mouth. So the substitute(the man who passed away) went up to him, yanked the lollipop out of the kid's mouth, and chucked it across the room.

That was the most memorable experience I ever had at Sunday school.

Anyways, it's been a long night. I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

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Tired...want to sleep.

Jan. 27th, 2006 | 02:19 am
mood: irritated irritated

Hello everyone! Today was a pretty alright day. I got a lot more sleep last night than I usually do. I got about 6 hours, which is pretty good for me! I had to skip my first class because I wasn't feeling too good. It wasn't that anything specific was in pain, but yesterday evening I felt really tired. I'm not sure why.

Does anyone here watch Dancing with the Stars? I absolutely adore that show. Every time it comes on, I get up and start trying to imitate them because they're all so good! Well, the professional dancers are really good. Drew Lachey, from 98 degrees is awesome! Every dance of his is so unique and different! Also, there is this wrestler girl on there, and she is such a good dancer! It's quite surprising, really. One would think that she would be very aggressive, but she really isn't. Her movements are extremely graceful!

I bet all of you think I'm a freak because I've been talking about this for a whole paragraph. I'm sorry, I get excited about these things. Dancing with the Stars and Gilmore Girls are two shows that I watch religiously.

I was watching Oprah the other day(I know what you're thinking, "How much tv does this girl watch?", but this episode of Oprah was one I wanted to see.) and the subject was on the Avian flu. Basically the guest, who was a scientist or something, said that the spread of this virus is inevitable, and that it's going to happen. I thought that was pretty scary. He said that they expect a pandemic to break out every 20-40 years, and the last one was in 1966! So, time's approaching for another one. Hopefully they'll find a vaccine soon though!

Okay, so i'm going to bed now. I'll see you all tomorrow!

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