Monday, April 25, 2016

My Blogging Experience

Keeping a blog this semester has been an interesting experience.  I have never even read a blog before, let alone kept one of my own, so I was a little uncertain about the assignment.  It is always good to expose yourself to new forms or styles of writing, and blogging is definitely a first for me.  Overall, I think this was a beneficial experience.  Blogging allowed me to discuss some issues that I feel strongly about and kind of let out all of my thoughts.  At time, I found my posts to be almost a stream of consciousness, with me writing anything that came to mind on a particular topic.  I found my blog as a nice way to clear my mind and reflect upon various issues.  Whether it be something I learned in one of my classes or simply what I did over the weekend, I was able to collect my thoughts release them in a written form.  I could talk about whatever I wanted without being worried of what people might think.  At the same time, I found blogging to be challenging.  There were many times when I found myself struggling to come up with a topic to discuss.  This was probably the hardest part for me overall.  I can easily write on a topic that someone else gives to me, but coming up with topics I wanted to blog about was a challenge.  After I figured out a topic, blogging was pretty easy.  I just kind of let all of thoughts out and expressed my various feelings on issues kind of like I am doing right now.  Another challenge I faced while blogging was simply making the time for it.  There were many days when I had so many other things to do that I could not blog until late at night, or did not blog altogether.  I think bloggers deserve some credit.  I found it challenging to keep a blog for one semester, but there are bloggers who have been posting for years.  I think keeping a blog gave me a new appreciation for not only bloggers, but writers in general.  Writing can be challenging at times, but there are so many great bloggers and authors who successfully completed the challenge.  I am glad I had the opportunity to blog this semester.  It gave me a chance to try something new and a little out of comfort zone while enabling me to learn a little more about myself through the process.  Although it was challenging, I think blogging was a good learning experience for me.  

Course Evaluations

As the year draws to a close, it is time to complete course evaluations.  I really like that the students have an opportunity to give their input on a specific course or professor.  The students are the ones actually taking the course and doing the assignments everyday, so we know how beneficial various courses have been.  I know some professors really take these evaluations into consideration and make changes to their classes based on what students have to say.  One of my professors told us that she used to give her exams before spring break, but based on comments from students on their evaluations, she moved the test to before spring break.  It is nice to know that some professors really value what students have to say and want to know what they could do differently to improve their class in the future.  It shows that they really want the students to succeed and benefit from the class because they are willing to change certain aspects of their class to help future students.  It is nice to know that the university values our input and allows the students to share their feelings regarding certain classes and professors.  The evaluations also help me to reflect upon my experience in the class and see how relevant or beneficial the class was for me.  I am able to share my own thoughts on what I enjoyed about a class or what I think could be improved upon.  The evaluations are also anonymous, which is important because it allows students to express their true feelings on a specific class or professor without worrying that the professor will know what they said.  I really respect the professor that take the evaluations to heart and implement changes in their future classes.  It is nice to know that our voices are heard and or opinions matter.  I think evaluations are important for anything because you need to get a firsthand perspective of people actually in the situation you are evaluating, in this case, specific courses.  By understanding how the students feel, professors can tweak their classes to make sure students get the most out of their class.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Plans For Next Weekend

My grandpa's birthday is this Thursday, and we are going to celebrate it over the weekend.  t is a family tradition that we go out to dinner to celebrate someone's birthday.  We decided that we are going to go for pizza at Ledo's pizza for my grandpa's birthday.  Ledo's is a great little restaurant, well known for their pizza.  We have been there several times in the past for birthdays and other special occasion such as graduations.  They have a little version of an arcade in the back of the restaurant with some games and crane machines.  My little brother especially loves playing all of the games.  He likes the racing game, where he is able o drive his very own racecar.  His favorite game though is a machine that when you insert the quarter, the ball spins, and a prize comes out.  These prizes, of course, are very cheap and what you might consider junk, but he loves that he "wins" every time.  Anytime we go to Ledo's, we have to make sure we have plenty of quarters, so my brother can play and keep busy.  After we go out for pizza, we usually go back to my grandma's house to sing and have cake.  I always bake some sort of cake for the special occasion.  This is my dad's dad, and his side of the family is pretty small.  It is just my dad and his brother, so the dinner is pretty small and intimate.  It is always nice to spend time with my family though, especially hen we are celebrating a special occasion.  I am looking forward to next weekend and celebrating my grandpa's birthday.

My Day Today

Today was a great day filled with fun and family.  We started our day by going downtown to Lincoln Park Zoo.  My little brother has been wanting to go to the zoo for such a long time and has been asking every single day.  He was really excited and had a great time.  I have not been to Lincoln Park Zoo in quite a while, so it was nice to go back.  It was pretty crowded, but we still managed to have a nice time.  After walking around for a while and seeing the animals, we walked across the street to a nature museum.  The nature museum was also enjoyable, especially for my little brother.  There was a room full of different water tables and activities for younger kids, so we spent a lot of time in there.  He had a blast moving boats around and sticking his hands in the water.  They also had some fish tanks around, and he kept running from table to table.  The museum also had a butterfly room, which was pretty cool.  You walk into a room filled with sunlight and flowers, and butterflies are flying all around.  There are many different types of butterflies, and they have charts and pictures so you can tell which butterfly is which.  After this, we came back home and ate dinner.  Later, we went out for ice cream at our favorite ice cream place, The Plush Horse.  There are so many different flavors to choose from, and they are unique flavors that you really do not see at other ice cream places.  We got our ice cream and sat outside at the picnic tables.  The ice cream was really good.  It was such a beautiful day today, and I am glad I was able to spend it having fun with my family.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Car Trouble

I just got my car back from being worked on today.  It had been making weird sound the past few weeks, and finally we brought it in to be looked at.  There was a problem with the strut mounts, but thankfully it is fixed and ready to go.  This made me think how dependent we are on cars.  Cars are the main way everyone gets around, and without cars, it would be very difficult to get from place to place.  We didn't always have cars though, and people still got by.  We have evolved so much from the days of walking or riding horses.  Cars are definitely a great help to everyday life, but there are also some drawbacks to cars.  Cars are one of the main contributors to pollution and consume a lot of gasoline.  They are pretty bad for the environment which is why there has been a recent push toward electric cars and alternate fuel sources.  Carpooling is also being encouraged and promoted through new services, such as Uber.  I know I definitely depend on my car as I commute to school everyday.  It would be impossible for me to get to school without my car or to get anywhere for that matter.  Although cars are not the best things for the environment, they are important and necessary for people to work and travel.  People depend heavily upon cars, so it would be great if we could all find a way to make them cleaner and safer for the environment.  That way, everyone can get to where they need to go in a cleaner, more efficient way.

60th Wedding Anniversary

My Nani and Papa recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  This is so amazing and is truly a huge accomplishment.  With so many divorces and unhappy marriages, it is nice to see a long, happy marriage.  My Nani and Papa have spent 60 years together, experiencing the birth of their eight children and nearly thirty grandchildren.  They commemorated their anniversary by renewing their vows in Mass.  Our whole family went to Church together and witnessed this beautiful moment.  After Church, the whole family went over to my uncle's house to celebrate their anniversary with dinner and a party.  It was really nice to see everyone.  My uncle came in from California to celebrate, along with my cousins from St. Louis.  It was really nice to see them because they are not able to come in often.  Some of my Nani and Papa's friends and neighbors came to celebrate as well.  All of my aunts and uncles cooked something to bring to the party, so needless to say, there was a ton of food.  It was definitely delicious and appreciated by everyone.  The basement was decorated very nicely with balloons, streamers, and pictures.  My mom actually made a photo collage with pictures of my Nani and Papa through the years.  She put them all on a cardboard cutout in the shape of a 60.  Everyone got a kick out of this, and my Nani and Papa enjoyed reminiscing.  Events like this deserve to be celebrated, and I am really glad we all got the chance to be together and celebrate this special event.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Staying Alive

Hawks win!  Hawks win!  They did it, the Hawks won last night's game and are still in the running for winning the series.  It was a nail biter, going into double overtime, but the Hawks pulled through and were victorious.  The series is now 3-2, with the St. Louis Blues up by one game.  Even when the Hawks are down, and its seems like it is over, they have a habit of surprising their fans and making a comeback.  Kaner scored the game winning goal, keeping the Hawks alive in the series.  They play again tomorrow and have a home ice advantage.  Hopefully, this will allow them to tie up the series in front of their fans.  All Hawks games are pretty intense and keep you on the edge of your seat, but when the games are playoff games, there is even more intensity, along with a greater urgency to win.  I think being down one games in the series will actually give the Hawks an advantage tomorrow.  They have to win to sty in the playoffs, whereas the Blues are already ahead and can afford to lose another game.  Sometimes, the underdog pulls through because there is a greater desire to win and stay alive, so the players have that much more stamina and drive.  If they win tomorrow's game, I definitely think they will carry that momentum and clench the series.  I hope the Hawks pull through tomorrow and win this pivotal game.  The Hawks deserve to move on and prove themselves in the second round of the playoffs.  I think all that is left to say is, Go Hawks!!! 

One More Week

I still cannot believe there is only one week of classes left in my Freshman year of college.  I have definitely been kept busy these final weeks of the semester, with a myriad of final projects, papers, and speeches.  I still have quite a bit to get done before this last week of classes, but I am working hard and planning on finishing strong.  I just found out that I do not have any finals on finals week, which I am incredibly grateful for.  My finals are all on the last day of actual class.  I am so happy about this!  Even though it means I will have less time to study and take the test, it also means I will start summer break a whole week earlier.  These last few weeks have been a bit stressful, but I am taking assignments one at a time and doing my best to get everything done.  I just gave my last speech today, which was a huge relief and another assignment to check of my remaining list.  These last few days of class, I'm sure, will go by fast, so I am planning ahead and figuring out how to best manage my time and my remaining assignments.  Whenever finals come around, it is always pretty stressful, making study guides and finishing up course work.  I am looking forward to this week, completing my remaining assignments, taking my finals, and finishing the year strong.  Summer is almost here!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, another great historical leader, also leaves behind a great legacy, similar to that of Martin Luther King Jr.  Most people know Gandhi's first name to be Mahatma, but this was actually a name given to him by his followers meaning "great leader."  An interesting fact about Gandhi's early life was that he was married at age 13 through an arranged marriage.  Gandhi worked tirelessly for Indian independence from Britain.  Indians in Britain were treated much the same way as African Americans in America.  There was a lot of segregation and discrimination against the Indians by the white British settlers.  Gandhi actually influenced a lot of the practices of Martin Luther King Jr.  Gandhi believed in nonviolent protest to reach his goals despite violence from the other side.  A large way he did this was through boycotts of British goods.  Gandhi encouraged the Indians to make their own clothing as cotton was largely made by the British.  This is how the sewing machine became the symbol of the Indian independence movement.  Gandhi believed in his mission so much that he would go on hunger strikes at time to show his dedication.  He would not eat for several days as a way to shoe his dedication o the people and their cause.  Because of the work of Gandhi, Britain did grant Indian independence.  Gandhi was nominated five time for the Nobel Peace Prize, but never won the award.  Despite this, he was an amazing leader and remains an outstanding role model.  His peaceful fighting for independence shows that goals can be accomplished peacefully if everyone works together and fights for what is right.   

Martin Luther King Jr.

For my final speech tomorrow, I am comparing and contrasting the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.  I though I would dedicate a couple blog to talk a little bit about these great men.  Martin Luther King Jr. is a very well known civil rights leader who dedicated his life to working for equality between blacks and whites.  Martin Luther King Jr. was actually born as Michael King, but followed in his father's footsteps as he changed his name when he became pastor of their church.  Martin Luther King Jr. was extremely bright in regards to school.  He actually skipped 9th and 11th grades and entered college when he was only 15 years old.  He was not always extremely religious although he came from a very religious family.  His attitudes changed during his junior year of college, when he decided to enter the seminary.  Martin Luther King Jr. was influential in so many movements, but he is probably best remembered for his "I Have a Dream" speech.  King truly believed inequality, an he made it his life's work to make other see what he already knew.  King was a leader of the Montgomery bus boycott, and because of his work, the court declared the segregated bus laws were unconstitutional.  King was also the youngest man to receive a Nobel Peace Prize at age 35.  He donated the monetary prize that came along with the award back to fund the civil rights movement.  Another interesting fact that I never realized is that Martin Luther King Jr. is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor.  Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man and left behind a great legacy.  Although racism does still exist, we have come a long way since the time of Martin Luther King Jr.  Hopefully, our country can continue to improve and work toward equality to bring about the goals of Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I love to bake.  I find it so cool that a whole bunch of ingredients can come together and make a delicious dessert.  I am kind of known as the baker in my family.  Whenever there is a party or some sort of family gathering, I always make some kind of dessert to bring.  Usually, they are a big success.  Probably the family favorite are these chocolate chip cookie caramel bars.  The top and bottom of the bar is similar to a chocolate chip cookie, and the middle is filled with salted caramel.  They are so good and are always devoured as soon as they are put out.  I find a lot of the recipes I use on Pinterest, and that is actually where I found this recipe.  I prefer baking to cooking, mainly because I love desserts.  There is something so satisfying when I make a new recipe and it is a great success.  Of course, I have made some desserts that taste awful, but baking is a learning experience.  Just like anything else, practice makes you better.  The more I make a certain recipe, the better I get at it.  I will find little things that I could tweak to make the recipe even better.  Just like in life, I also learn from my mistakes in baking.  When I first started making the cookie bars, I could not get the texture right, and I knew something was off, but I just could not figure out what it was.  After more trials, I finally figured out that I was using margarine instead of butter.  I never made that mistake again, and the bars came out even better after I fixed the mistake.  Baking is just something I have always liked to do.  From a young age, I always enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen, and as I got older, I wanted to try some things by myself.  I like testing out new recipes, and I am looking forward to my next baking experience.

Plans For Mother's Day

Mother's Day is only a few weeks away, which is crazy because that means we are heading into the month of May.  Mother's Day is always a nice day to spend time with family and let my mom know how much I appreciate her.  This year, my grandma is taking my mom, my sister, and I to see the Blue Man Group on Mother's Day.  I am really excited about this because I have never seen the Blue Man Group before, but I have heard they put on an exciting show.  Usually, my family's Mother's Day plans consist of going to Church with my mom's side of the family, then heading back to my Nani's house for breakfast.  We spend the morning with my Nani, aunts, and cousins, then we spend the evening with my dad's side of the family.  My grandma cooks dinner, and we all just relax and enjoy each other's company.  This year, we are still going to have breakfast wit my Nani, but instead of going to my grandma's house for dinner, we are going to see the Blue Man Group.  My grandma joked saying that we are leaving the men hanging, and the women are having a ladies' night.  I think this will be something fun that I can share with my mom, my grandma, and my sister.  We don't really get to go out, just the four of us, so I am really excited to have the opportunity to enjoy a show together.  Moms are so wonderful, and they deserve to know how special they are.  We would not be here without our moms.  It is sad that some people do not love or respect their moms the way that they should.  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful mom and grandmothers as well.  My mom is the best, and I do not know what I would do without her.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Family Vacations

Currently, my family is trying to decide where to go on vacation.  Every summer, we take a family vacation.  I always love getting away for a few days with my family.  The past few years, we have gone to Wisconsin, either Lake Geneva or the Dells.  We have also gone to Michigan, Indiana, and Florida.  My favorite vacation was definitely Disney World.  I was lucky enough to go to Disney World twice with my family.  Disney World is the best place to go on vacation, no matter how old you are.  There is something for everyone, different rides and attractions for all ages.  It is so fun going to the different parks and seeing what new rides and attractions they have.  I think Magic Kingdom has to be my favorite park.  There are so many different rides and attractions located in the park.  From roller coasters to live shows to boat rides, there is truly something for everyone.  I'm pretty sure it is impossible to go to Disney World and be unhappy or not like anything.  With characters roaming the parks and smiles on everyone's faces, Disney World really is the "happiest place on Earth."  The last time I went to Disney World was almost 8 years ago, and I cannot wait to go back again.  My cousins are actually going for the first time this year.  We have been talking about, and my sister and I have been telling them all about our favorite rides and things to do.  Reminiscing about my time in Disney World makes me want to go back and see the new additions to the parks.  Right now, my brother is three years old, so he is still too little to take on a plane and really enjoy Disney World, so we will have to wait a few more years before going back but it will definitely be worth the wait.  I know m family and I will have fun no matter where we go on vacation.  The important thing is that we are all together, and whenever we are together, we create our own fun.  I can't wait to decide where we will go on vacation next and what new fun is in store for us.  I especially cannot wait for summer when we can all relax and enjoy time off together.  

Chicago Blackhawks

Tonight is an important game for the Blackhawks.  They are down 2 games to 1 against the St. Louis Blues, and if they win this game, they will tie the series.  The Blackhawks are, in my opinion, the best Chicago sports team.  They have won many Stanley cups and consistently have great seasons.  Even when it looks like the Hawks are on a losing streak, they come back stronger and ready to win.  Nothing can keep the players down, even injuries.  I have been lucky enough to attend a few Hawks game with my dad, who is a huge hockey fan.  Blackhawks games are the best sporting events to attend.  You can feel the excitement from all of the fans surrounding the rink.  Seeing the game in person is a whole different experience than watching it on TV.  I think it is so much more fun to attend the game in person; it is something that cannot be replicated on TV.  Fans feed off the energy of other fans, and the cheering is infectious.  The players are amazingly talented, and each one brings their own unique skills to the team.  Coach Q does a great job determining line ups as the players work well together and play off of each other's strengths.  I like all of the players and think they are exceptional hockey players, but my favorite player has always been Patrick Kane.  I think he has a true gift for the game, especially considering how good he was from such a young age.  Bringing home another Stanley Cup would be amazing, but I think people do not realize how difficult this is, especially in consecutive years.  Some players have gone their entire careers without ever having won a Stanley Cup.  This proves how great the Hawks are.  I am looking forward to watching the game tonight and hopefully seeing a Blackhawks win.  Let's go Hawks!!!  

Monday, April 18, 2016


Finally, it feels like spring!  The weather has been beautiful this weekend and will hopefully continue to stay warmer and brighter.  This is not the case elsewhere around the world, however.  Over the weekend, Ecuador was hit with a devastating tornado, killing hundreds of people.  It is pretty obvious that our weather has been crazy lately.  We had an abnormally warm winter, which was nice for us, but could be a sign of a deeper environmental problem.  From snowstorms to hurricanes to flooding to tornadoes, this year has already seen some highly unusual weather patterns.  I read a recent article that Alaska has had its warmest winter in decades.  They even had to import snow for famous events such as the Iditarod.  For two whole days, there was no snow in Anchorage.  I never imagined the day that Alaska, one of the coldest states, would need to import snow.  There is clearly a problem when one of the coldest places in the world does not have enough snow.  A lot of these unusual patterns could be a direct result of global warming.  Now, I am no scientist, so I will not even attempt to explain the complex issues related to global warming, but on a basic level, the earth is heating up, and this strange weather is one of the results.  Carbon emissions remain a huge problem throughout the world, and as more countries begin to develop, more carbon is released into the atmosphere.  These emission are difficult to regulate as factories around the world produce good needed to maintain life and the economy.  Without these factories and their emissions, goods could not be produced to buy and sell.  The United States and several other European countries experience their industrial revolutions hundreds of years ago, but countries such as China are just now starting to experience this shift.  One of the main ways for a country to rise out of poverty, and become a real world power is through industrialization.  This is problematic because we want other countries to become better and life their people out of poverty, but, at the same time, their industrialization will negatively impact the environment and contribute greatly to global warming.  It is scary to think of some of these possible effects of global warming, but it is important to be aware of our own contributions.  If we all try to become more "green" and environmentally friendly, then we could make the world a better place to live in and preserve it for future generations.

Juvenile Incarceration

In my social work class, we are watching a documentary on the juvenile justice system, specifically dealing with kids in jail.  The documentary highlights specific children and their experiences in jail.  It focuses on the mistreatment these kids received and demands a reform to the system.  The sad part is that the majority of children who are arrested and convicted of a crime have some sort of mental illness.  People are ready to immediately throw these kids in jail because of their actions, believing that incarceration will solve their behavior problems, but this is not the case.  The jailing of children often makes their behavior worse, especially when they have a mental illness.  Kids are often diagnosed with this illness in jail, but are not treated properly.  Many receive psychoactive drugs that ultimately make their behavior worse.  This could lead to fighting with other inmates or causing other disturbances which lead to solitary confinement.  Solitary confinement can be even more detrimental to the health of these kids, leading them to act out.  The effects of their strong medication mixed with solitary confinement is a dangerous combination for these children.  Personally, I have mixed feelings about jail.  I think, for kids especially, jail is not always the answer.  People should be more concerned about finding the reason behind the child's action rather than jumping to severe punishment.  If the underlying issue can be resolved, then the child is much less likely to continue committing crimes, especially if the problem is a mental illness.  I do think that jails serve a purpose, and people who commit crimes need some sort of punishment, but I think the approach needs to change.  A better approach should be taken, one that focuses on finding and correcting the reason these people are committing crimes.  Sometimes, this cause is a mental illness; other times, it could be the result of a traumatic event.  Either way, efforts should be focused on fixing the underlying cause of the particular action.  Torture is not an effective way to elicit change.  Often times, it just makes people more angry and inclined to violence.  The ultimate goal of jail is to correct bad behavior, and in order to accomplish this, the full story of the individual needs to be taken into account.  There is too much mistreatment of inmates lately, which is ultimately hurting society as a whole.  The justice system needs to take a new approach that will more effectively inflict change in the lives of the inmates.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Urinetown the Musical

Today, I went to see Lewis's production of Urinetown the Musical.  Despite the name, it was actually a really great play.  The cast always does such an amazing job.  They are all extremely talented, and in today's case, very flexible. Towards the end of the production today, the fire alarm went off, and the entire theatre had to evacuate.  Everyone waited outside of the theatre until the fire department came to reset the alarm.  It took a while, but finally we were all able to go back inside and finish the show.  The cast even incorporated this event into the play.  Overall, I really enjoyed the play.  Basically, the play was about a rebel movement that began after the government started forcing people to pay to use the bathroom because of the ensuing drought.  The characters were hilarious as were the jokes and musical numbers.  The set was also exceptionally designed.  It looked like an old abandoned town, and the attention to detail was incredible.  From the garbage strown on the streets, to the smudged tarnished brick walls, the set looked extremely authentic.  The lighting and sound also added to the success of the show. At times, character appeared in a dreamlike manner, so the sound was echoed, and they appeared foggy.  The small attention to detail like this that make plays so appealing. There is something about a live performance that just cannot be captured on TV.  Great job to the cast of Urinetown.  The play was great, and I look forward to seeing what the next one will bring.

My Cousin's Wedding Part 2

Yesterday was my cousin's wedding; she is now officially married.  It was really nice to see all of my family, and my cousin seemed really happy.  She looked beautiful and had a nice wedding. The wedding took place in a Baptist Church, and the ceremony was a lot shorter than I expected.  It only took about 30 minutes.  My little cousin made a great flower girl, and she was so happy to be in the wedding and all of the pictures.  My other cousin was the maid of honor.  She was really nervous but did a great job.  The ceremony was pretty straight to the point.  The couple said their vows, exchanged rings, and that pretty much concluded the ceremony.  They also did something I have never seen at a wedding before.  They each took separate containers of sand and poured them into the same container.  This was supposed to symbolize them coming together as one in unity.  After the ceremony, we went to the banquet hall for the reception.  It was a nice hall with plenty of room for the many guests they invited.  The wedding party shared such nice toasts, and everyone wished a lot of happiness to the new couple.  Later, the dance floor opened, and the goofy came out in everyone.  Most of my family crowded the dance floor showing off their "best moves".  Of course, these moves were not very good, but we had a lot of fun nonetheless.  Overall, the wedding was a lot of fun.  I got to see all of my family, and we all shared a special event together.  I am happy for my cousin and hope she has a great marriage.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Once Upon A Time

Fairytales have been making a comeback recently, whether it be through movies or television.  Old characters and classic tales are being revived with new twists an themes.  My favorite TV show is one such modern take on fairytales.  The show Once Upon A Time is about fairytale characters in the modern world.  The show is currently wrapping up its fifth season, and it has been amazing since the very beginning.  The shoe features some classic fairytale characters including Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Rumpelstiltskin, Belle, and Captain Hook, just to name a few.  The show I centered in the magic town of Storybrooke, but each season brings these beloved characters to a new land.  So far the show has taken viewers to the Enchanted Forest, Neverland, Oz, Wonderland, and currently, the Underworld.  The show is really amazing.  The writers are incredible and are able to create backstories and motives for all of the characters.  The show also offers a deeper look into some themes such as love, family, and loyalty.  The show is all about being true to oneself and giving people a second chance.  The characters have so many dimensions, and the writers always make sure to alert the audience that there is more to these classic villains stories.  I really do not watch a lot of TV, but this is one show that I make sure I tune into every week.  Once Upon A Time keeps me on the edge of my seat each episode, and I know I can always expects major plot twists and cliffhangers.  I highly recommend this show to anyone.  It is the perfect mix of action, adventure, fantasy, and romance.  Once Upon A Time is by far my favorite show on television, and I cannot wait until the next episode.

My Cousin's Wedding

Tomorrow I will be going to my cousin's wedding in Indiana.  She is getting married to a Baptist minister, so it will be interesting to see what their wedding ceremony will be like.  The ceremony is actually taking place at his Church, and his entire congregation will be there.  This is only the second wedding among my cousins, so I'm sure my family will have a great time.  It is always a lot of fun when my whole family comes together.  The wedding is in Indiana, so we are all getting hotel rooms next to each other.  My little cousins are so excited to be staying in the hotel room next to ours.  They planned out the whole night, saying that when we get back from the ceremony we have to explore the hotel, then go to the reception, and hang out in each other's rooms at night.  My youngest cousin is the flower girl in the wedding, and she has been talking about it since she was first asked.  Special occasions are always an exciting time, and I love when my whole family is able to come together and celebrate something special.  My cousins and I are all getting older, going off to college, and moving to different states, so everyone is really excited when we can all come together.  I come from a large Italian family, and I have about 30 cousins and 8 aunts and uncles.  It can be difficult for everyone to be in the same place at the same, so when there is a big occasion like a wedding, all of us come together.  We can talk and laugh for hours about anything.  I am so lucky to have such a tight knit family.  We are all so supportive of each other, and I know I can talk to anyone in my family.  I am looking forward to the wedding tomorrow, and I can't wait to see what new memories my family will create.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Looking Ahead

I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone.  There are only two weeks left of classes, which is crazy.  I am super excited for summer, but I have a lot to get done in these next two weeks before I can enjoy some quality time off.  My first year here at Lewis has been great.  I have met some great friends and some great professors.  I felt very prepared for all of my classes, and I owe a huge thank you to my high school for providing me with the tools I needed to succeed.  I have been able to take some really interesting courses and broaden my knowledge by fulfilling various general education classes.  This semester I took part in a service learning class, which I was a little unsure about at first.  I am really glad I had the opportunity to have the experience though as it provided me with knowledge and experience I can use inside and outside the classroom.  Finals week is still looming large, and I know I have a lot to prepare for, but I am taking things one step at a time, working my way toward a strong finish to the semester.  In three more weeks, I will no longer be a freshman on campus.  I never realize how fast the school year goes until times like these when I am reflecting on my experiences.  I had a great first year of college, and I look forward to learning more and pushing myself even further next year.

Social Media

Social media is huge in today's society.  It seems like everyone, young and old alike, have some sort of social media profiles.  Personally, I am not a member of any social media sites.  I know this is unusual for  a person my age, nut I never really understood the point.  If I want to talk to my family or friends, I would rather call or text them instead of reaching out through facebook.  I'm not saying that social media is necessarily bad because there are some valid reasons why people make these accounts.  My grandma has a facebook account and loves showing off the many pictures of her grandkids to family and friends.  Social media can be good for businesses to advertise or for people to connect with long distance relatives, but there are also negative aspects associated with social media.  Cyber bullying is becoming a huge issue for kids and teens which could have catastrophic results.  It is becoming more common to hear about kids committing suicide over something that somebody posted on social media.  One of my classmates is writing a paper on eating disorders, and she said that researchers have found a clear connection between eating disorders and social media.  Kids can be cruel sometimes, and it is a whole lot easier to be cruel hidden behind a screen.  Words and pictures spread rapidly on social media as well.  Once something has been posted, it cannot be deleted because other people will have already seen it and shared it.  There are plenty of messages telling us to be smart about what we post on social media, and I believe these messages need to be better heard.  Social media can be great if it is used for the right reasons.  But, as with anything, if used incorrectly it can have detrimental effects on another person.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Social Welfare

Last week for my speech class, I gave a persuasive speech on the issue of social welfare.  There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding social welfare, but I believe it is necessary and should be available to anyone who needs it.  Welfare can often be the difference between someone staying in their house and that same person living on the streets.  People receiving welfare cannot afford or do not have access to the basic necessities that everyone is entitled to.  All people deserve to have food, water, and shelter, and if they cannot afford these items, then, I believe the government has the right to step in and help its people.  One of the big arguments against social welfare is that people abuse the system.  Of course, some people do abuse the system, and this is usually what we hear about on the news and through the media.  The majority of people on welfare, though, do really need it and are benefitting from it.  Welfare is also meant to be short term aid, in place until the person can get back on his or her feet and provide for themselves.  This is ultimately the goal of most people, to be self-sufficient and independent.  A lot of people do not want to be on welfare, but they do what is necessary to support themselves or their families.  Overall, I believe opponents of social welfare are lacking in their sense of empathy.  If they were in the position of a person on welfare, I am sure they would want money and services available to help them, so why would they deny this to another person?  I do not understand how welfare is a controversial topic when it is helping people for the better, at times, even saving their lives.  Welfare is also important for children.  If a child's parents are poor or unemployed, then welfare can ensure that the most basic needs of the child are being met.  Social welfare is important and helps many people get to a better place in their lives, so I believe is should be available to anyone who needs it.


For my final College Writing paper, I am writing about the ACT and determining whether or not it is an accurate measurement of intelligence.  I feel that the ACT is not an accurate depiction of one's intelligence and should not make or break a student's acceptance into college.  The ACT is a one time test taken junior year of high school, and not even at the end of high school.  Students learn a lot more throughout junior and senior year of high school, so the ACT cannot predict college success base on junior year.  There is also a lot of stress and pressure associated with the ACT which could cause some students not to perform as well as they usually do.  Also, many students have test anxiety, so they might have really high grades in high school but not score as high on the ACT.  This is why I believe high school GPA is more accurate in predicting college readiness and intelligence.  Furthermore, it is often heard that some students who do not do well in school score very highly on the ACT.  With such discrepancies as this, it is pretty clear that the ACT cannot be accurate in terms of intelligence and college readiness.  Overall, I do believe the ACT has value and can help a student get a better understanding of what they do and do not know, but I do not believe there should be as much emphasis as is currently placed on it.  I think that college admission decision should be based more heavily on high school GPA along with teacher recommendations.  The ACT does not always paint an accurate picture of a student, and this should be taken into consideration when college admission boards make a decision.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Care For The Elderly

In my social work class, we are talking about working with the elderly in places such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or hospice.  As part of the lesson, we watched a documentary which portrayed some of the common abuses and neglect the elderly face, specifically in assisted living facilities.  It is sad to think thee people are being put into these facilities because they need extra help and care, yet they are not receiving the care they deserve.  This is not to say that all assisted living facilities or nursing are filled with neglectful staff members as I am sure many do provide adequate care to residents, but the ones that do not need to change.  The people living in these places, more often than not, do not want to be there, relying on caregivers to get through each day.  I am sure all of them would much rather be living at home independently, but because they cannot perform necessary tasks on their own, they are forced to remain in these homes.  This conversation also made me think of an article we read in College Writing where the author proposed robot caregivers to take care of the elderly.  It seems as though our society is not giving elders the respect they deserve.  Elderly people seek companionship, family, and friends.  They desire real human communication and interactions, not some pile of metal.  We need to make sure the elderly are being taken care of by real caregivers who strive to take care of their patients as best they can.  The elderly deserve to be taken of and respected, and it is about time we fill assisted living facilities and nursing homes with compassionate caregivers who keep the best interests of the elderly in mind. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Feed My Starving Children

As part of my obligation to fulfill service hours for my service learning class, I have been volunteering at the organization, Feed My Starving Children.  Feed My Starving Children is an organization that works to fight hunger and starvation around the world.  The food they package is scientifically formulated to raise children out of hunger and treat malnutrition.  After we finish our packing session, one of the leaders usually shares a story about a child who has been helped with the food.  The results are astonishing.  After a month or two of eating this food, the children are much healthier and happier.  I enjoy volunteering and packing the food, especially when I am able to see how much my volunteering makes a difference in these people's lives.  The process is extremely organized from the actual packing of food to the shipping and delivery.  Several tables are set up with different tasks to be fulfilled by volunteers.  Jobs include scooping the food, bagging the food, weighing the bags, sealing the bags, and boxing the bags.  Each package contains four ingredients: vitamins, veggies, soy, and rice.  The bags are weighed and boxed precisely and sent out to begin their long journey around the globe.  Feed My Starving Children has over a 99.7% success rate of getting the food to where it needs to be, which is absolutely incredible.  I completely believe in the organization's mission and love what they are doing to combat world hunger.  I plan on continuing to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children even after my service hours are fulfilled.  Hunger is such a serious issue in the world today with millions of people dying each day.  To be able to do my part to give back and work to end hunger is so rewarding.  I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of Feed My Starving Children, and I hope to continue volunteering in the future.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Movie Music

Yesterday, I attended the Monarch Wind Quintet concert at Lewis.  The concert was made up of several songs from the movies ranging from classic films to recent ones.  The concert was really great, and all of the musicians were phenomenal.  The concert made me realize what an important role music plays in the movies.  Music really sets the ton for the movie and tells the audience how they should be feeling.  The tone and style of the music creates the mood for the specific scene, whether it be happiness, sadness, anxiousness, or excitement.  Much of the music from movies is so recognizable nowadays.  A tiny segment of certain music can be played, and someone can connect to a movie.  Without music, movies would not be the same; even silent films had musical accompaniment at times.  Music truly is a fundamental part of movies and is one component that makes movies so great.

The concert also got me thinking about composers and how much talent they possess.  Composers create these memorable melodies that fit perfectly with the movie and its theme.  I don't think composer get the recognition they deserve, especially in movies.  The emphasis is on the actors and actresses who bring the movies to life, but without the composer's music, movies would not be so successful.   Composers deserve recognition as well for all their work in making movies what they are today.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Research Question

The topic I would like to explore for this paper is the ACT.  Currently my research question is: How big a role should the ACT play in college acceptances?  I think this is a very pertinent topic and relatable to most of my peers.  I find the ACT to have positive and negative aspects, and I want to explore more about the role it plays.  I have personally experienced the ACT and all of the stresses that come with it, so I am interested to explore the role it plays in the college admission process.  To best answer this question, I will need to learn more about the ACT in general and the reason it was created.  I will also need to research the amount of emphasis that colleges place on ACT scores.  Some experts to include in my research would be college admissions staff as they are the ones reviewing test scores and making decisions based on them.  Also important to include would be the test maker/scorers to better understand what purpose the ACT serves.  Teacher and student perspectives would provide good information on both sides of the argument as well.  Overall, I think this is an interesting, relevant topic that almost all high school and college students can relate to and one that I want to offer a unique perspective on.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Dangers of Technology

In today's generation, technology is a large part of life, something most people feel they cannot live without.  While technology has provided us with a myriad of gadgets that make communication and research much faster and more efficient, technology is also negatively impacting our lives.  My Psychology teacher told us the other day that scientists have found technology is literally changing our brain patterns.  A study found that the brains of those who rely on technology closely resemble those of cocaine addicts.  People are becoming addicted to technology, and it is actually changing the makeup of our brains.  Technology is also causing people to lose social and communication skills.  People have trouble talking face to face and would much rather hide behind the screen of a computer or an iPhone.  Academic writing is also suffering as a result of common slang and texting lingo.  Don't get me wrong, I think technology is great and very useful, but we should not become dependent on or addicted to our devices.  Technology can be both helpful and beneficial to society, but it is important to remember there are other ways to communicate without letting technology consume our lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Reflection

I began this paper with the purpose of informing the audience about the harmful effects that getting too much sleep could have on  a person's health.  This purpose ultimately remained intact throughout my paper.  I kept this goal in mind and made sure that all of the information and sources I chose to include were relevant and meaningful.  Ultimately, I believe I achieved this goal.  I feel that my finished paper informs the reader about a variety of health concerns associated with getting too much sleep.

Although my purpose remained strong throughout my writing process.  I did find myself changing some aspects from my original design plan.  I was not really sure about organization at first and did not know how I wanted to break my paper up.  As I continued writing, I realized that the best way to break up my paper was to dedicate a paragraph to each health concern.  This helped me get my point across to the audience that getting too much sleep can have harmful effects on almost every part of the body.  This organization helped me remain true to my original purpose as well.  Also, on my original design plan, I deemed my audience as people who do not get the right amount of sleep and people who want to learn more about sleep.  As I was writing my paper though, my audience focus shifted more toward people who were getting too much sleep.  Part of the audience was still people who do not get the right amount of sleep, but I found myself putting emphasis on those who get too much sleep.  Both my audience and organization shifted as I continued writing my paper.

Overall, I believe I wrote an informative paper that was able to explain a lesser known fact.  I feel that I stayed true to my purpose and got my message across.  Although I did not completely follow my original design plan, I feel the changes I implemented made my paper stronger.  I found myself doing a lot more revision that I usually do, but I think my paper benefitted in the end.  Ultimately, I believe I wrote a strong paper and got my purpose across to the audience.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Revision Process

I found this explanatory synthesis paper to be interesting yet challenging to write.  The APA format made it more difficult than usual for me.  APA has very specific and very different requirements than MLA does, so it took me a lot longer to figure out how to cite my sources and how to format everything correctly.  This was a trying experience, especially as this is my first paper done in proper APA format.  Putting APA aside, this was an enjoyable paper to write.  It was a good experience to choose a lesser known fact and really dive into the details, learn more about it myself, and then inform others through my paper.  The peer reviews and group discussions helped me throughout my revision process, and going over synthesis and formatting as a class was also very beneficial.  I feel that this was a much more challenging paper to write than last time, but it is good to be exposed to other styles of papers.  Overall, I think this paper was an enriching learning experience for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Importance of Family

Over the weekend, I attended a family party.  I am always in for a fun and interesting time when my whole family gets together.  I come a large Italian family.  My mom is one of eight kids, and I have about thirty cousins.  Family parties can be a bit chaotic at times with so many people and so many different conversations going on.  As Italians, my family is pretty loud and we tend to try to talk over each other.  There could be four different conversations going on at once, with people jumping from one conversation to the next.  Often times, we talk about the most random topics too.  The conversation starts with one topic and somehow ends with a totally unrelated one.  We laugh at ourselves often and always have a good time by simply being together.  Family is very important to me, and I am lucky to have come from a very tight knit family.  We are all very supportive of one another and try to get together as often as we can.  Family is a very important value of mine, and I am lucky to know that my family will always be there for me.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Notes

For my paper, I will be explaining the health effects of too much sleep.  Most people are aware of the dangers of getting too little sleep, but more unclear are the risks associated with getting too much sleep.  Getting too much sleep has been linked with many health problems including: depression, heart disease, obesity, and even an increased risk of death.  The optimal amount of time to sleep is about 7 hours, and getting a lot more or less sleep can be damaging to one's health.  There are other factors that exacerbate these problems, such as not getting enough exercise and one's eating habits.  Scientists have found a direct link between getting too much sleep and health effects.  Many of the effects are similar to those when people do not get enough sleep, but they are lesser known by the general public and still a bit unclear to scientists.  I would like to share this information as I believe it is something many people do not realize but should have an understanding of.

Source #1
My first source for this paper is an article from the Huffington Post that describes the health effects related to too much sleep.  It lists and describes how the health issues have been correlated with too much sleep.  Some of the effects it lists include: depression, brain impairment, diabetes, heart risks, weight gain, and an increased mortality rate.  I plan to focus on a few of these related issues, going into detail on heart depression, heart disease, and increased mortality rate.  This source will not only help me to explain the connection between the health issue and too much sleep, but will also provide some evidence as it mentions some scientific studies and data.

Source #2
My second source connects too much sleep specifically to an increased mortality rate.  It references several studies that have taken place and analyzes the results of the data.  The link to an increased mortality rate is one of the important points in my paper, so this source will help me provide some statistics to capture the audience's attention.  I think this source will really help me drive home my argument and provide interesting data for my readers.

Source #3
My third source is a YouTube video which explains the risks associated with both not getting enough sleep and getting too much sleep.  This will be helpful to me as I plan to begin my paper by briefly discussing the well known dangers of not getting enough sleep, and then move into the lesser known risks of getting too much sleep.  The video discusses these risks and explains the link that scientists have found between them and too much sleep.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Explaining My Interest

Technology is fascinating.  Being able to be connected to anyone, anywhere, anytime is a pretty astonishing feat.  Technology is constantly changing to keep up with the times, and new upgrades and versions of software are coming out seemingly almost every month.  There are so many types of technology, and it is changing so quickly that some people cannot even keep up.  Older technology, even technology that is one or two years old, is becoming obsolete, and newer, better technology is becoming the norm.  Ask almost anyone what kind of phone they have, and a large majority if people will respond with a smart phone.  Of course, there are some people who choose not to keep up with technology for one reason or another.  Perhaps, they do not want to learn the new technology and are happy with what they are used to, or perhaps some people simply do not have the money to purchase the latest technology.  I find it fascinating that nothing stays the same for long in regards to technology, and everything is constantly being updated or upgraded.  Children in first grade have phones now, and some young kids know how to use this ever evolving technology better than their parents.  It is bewildering how society changes based on technology.  Younger and younger generations are receiving better and better technology, and it is what they are used to.  This invented technology is literally reshaping people, even causing some to lose valuable skills.  New technology is being created everyday, and people are willing to spend more and more money to make sure they have the latest and greatest phone or laptop, whatever technology they crave.  I agree that technology is important and very useful in today's day and age, but I feel that technology has taken over the lives of many.  Many people are losing or simply not learning social skills, and people do not know how to talk face to face anymore.  Professional writing is becoming weaker because of the huge reliance on texting and texting slang.  The force of technology has redefined the world and who we are as individuals.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Experience Synthesis Reflection

Writing the experience synthesis was a good experience for me as it was a different and enjoyable paper to write.  Being able to tell a story and use my own personal experience is not something usually acceptable for a college paper, so it was nice to be able to sort of have fun with the paper and tell a story.  I was able to use some creativity which made the paper even more enjoyable to write and hopefully more enjoyable for the audience to read. 

Overall, I think the actual process of writing the paper was helpful for me.  Going through each step of brainstorming, free writing, drafting, peer reviews, and revisions, was really beneficial for me and ultimately helped me write a stronger paper.  The outline and design plan also helped me with organization and keeping in mind my ultimate purpose and audience.  The design plan was something new that I have never used while writing a paper before, but I do think it was useful.

In my original design plan, I stated my purpose for my paper was to provide my own personal experience with service and encourage other students to get involved in service.  I decided my audience would be students, specifically high school and college students, wanting to get involved in service.  I believe my paper was successful in staying true to my purpose and audience as I shared how service has positively impacted my own life.  I focused on my meaningful experiences that made me really understand the value of service and hope that the readers will see how important service is.  My experiences could encourage others to get involved and make their own difference in the world.  I think I made my paper relatable to the audience through my own experience and also the outside sources I chose to include.  I believe I was successful in getting my point across to the reader, staying true to my purpose, and writing an interesting, relatable paper.      

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Revision Process

In the past, the revision process has always been something that I overlooked and did not really put much effort into.  I already had all of the information I wanted to talk about in my paper, and my revising consisted of fixing spelling and grammar errors and maybe rewording a sentence or two.  In my previous classes, we would do peer reviews, but the comments I received were never really helpful, so my papers wouldn't really change that much.

This revision process has not been like my previous experiences.  Taking the time to perform two peer reviews in class which answered meaningful questions really helped me.  Being able to get the opinions of four of my classmates was great because I could easily see where I needed to be clearer on a topic or idea.  I also liked working with a partner while doing the peer evaluations.  Having two perspectives on the same work was beneficial as we could combine our thoughts and offer better comments and suggestions.  This time, I was actually able to use those comment and suggestions to improve my paper and actually make meaningful revisions.  I think this revision process has been worthwhile and will hopefully help me to write a better paper.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Most families have their own traditions and rituals associated with Christmas.  One family tradition I have in my family is breaking oplatki.  This is a Polish tradition my family takes part in every Christmas.  Oplatki are thin wafers usually with a religious image on them.  Each member of the family gets a wafer and then goes around to the other members and they each take a piece of each other's wafer, wishing each other a merry Christmas and a healthy, happy new year.  I always enjoy this tradition as it is a way that we remain close as a family.  Each member takes a piece of each other symbolizing the connectedness of our family.  The tradition enables me to see each member of my family and wish them a small greeting for the holidays.  I like this tradition as it is a memory I carry with me during the holidays from the people I care about.  Al of the men in the family usually complain and do not like the tradition, but it is one I look forward to.  It is a simple gesture that means a lot.  What might seem like a strange or unimportant tradition to others actually means a lot to me, and is something I remember throughout the holiday season.  I know that not all families have the opportunity to be together during the holidays or any other time for the matter, so having each family member participate reminds me how lucky I am to have such a close family.  It may be a simple task, but the tradition of breaking oplatki with my family carries a whole lot more a meaning than most realize.  I did not always view it in this way.  At one point, I too probably sounded like the men in my family, saying why do we have to do this, it is silly, or it isn't important, but as the years went by, I realized that it is in fact important.  It symbolizes much more than simply breaking each others wafers, but it shows that we are a connected family and family is important to us.  It is important that we tell each to have a happy holiday or new year because life is unpredictable.  Family is a huge part of my life, and this tradition is a reminder that the people I love will always be there for me, something that unfortunately not everyone can say.  Family means something different to everyone, and it does not always necessarily remind them of good times, so I know I am lucky to have a loving, supportive tightly knit family, and my Christmas tradition is a reminder of that.  So maybe it is just a simple gesture of breaking oplatki, but it means a whole lot more to me.  It is a constant reminder that my family will always be there, loving and supporting me every step of the way.  It reminds me to be grateful for the loving people I have in my life, and it is an important tradition that I look forward to every Christmas. 

What does it mean when I say service?  I'm sure if I asked 100 people this question, I would get 100 different responses.  Some might say it is volunteering and helping others, while others might name some forms of service such as volunteering at a soup kitchen.  The point is service means many different things to different people.  When I was younger, I probably would have responded in a similar manner, saying that it is volunteering and helping the poor, but I have come to learn that is it much more.  Of course, service can be volunteering or helping the needy.  These are great forms of service, but through my own experience, I have come to realize it means a whole lot more.  To me, service means giving a little piece of yourself to someone in need, really empathizing with that person and wanting to make their life better.  Service is a broad topic that encompasses many different forms, and all service is good.   

Service is like a reality check.  This sounds kind of odd, right?  Allow me to elaborate.  Service is usually done for the poor or people in need, people who are not as fortunate as others.  It is in working with these people that we are able to realize how fortunate we really are.  Suddenly what may have seemed like a major problem before becomes much more trivial when we realize the struggles others face on a daily basis.  Service is a reminder to take a step back and truly appreciate all that we have.  Service has helped me to become a better person and to strive to live my life more graciously.  Seeing the often horrible conditions some people are forced to endure allows me to look at and be grateful for all of the things and people in my own life.  Service is like a reality check, allowing us to remember that we are blessed, and we should share our blessings with those in need. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What I Learned Today 1/19/16

Audience is everything!  This is one of the main points I took away from class today.  No matter what you are writing, you must keep your audience in mind.  The audience will determine what the genre and purpose of your writing will be.  Without an intended audience, it is nearly impossible to write a good paper and get your purpose across.  There are various genres and writing styles that work well for various topics, but the target audience remains the key to writing a truly good paper.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What are our responsibilities to each other when we blog?

Blogging is a unique way to express one's thoughts and opinion through the medium of the internet.  Blogs should be about topics that are interesting to the blogger, topics they have strong opinions about and feel that their voices need to be heard.  When blogging, I feel that the main responsibility to keep in mind is to be true to yourself, your beliefs, and your morals.  Blogging should be a form of self expression, so by not compensating our beliefs because we fear what others might think, we are following the responsibility of a blogger.  Blogging should be a combination of the inner self with the outer world as blogging comes from a private, personal place, but is then shared with the rest of the world to read and comment on.  To be a responsible blogger means to stay true to oneself and be open and hones in our beliefs as this is the main reason for having blogs, to have an outlet for our innermost thoughts and feelings.  The main concept of blogging is to be ale to have our voices heard and share our beliefs with the rest of the world through an internet based communication system.  Although we never speak directly to another person, blogging should be treated as a for of communication that we know others will read as well.  Bloggers should be truthful and firm in their beliefs and should not be afraid to stand up for what they believe in despite comments or differing opinions from others.  Overall, the main responsibility we have when blogging is to be open and honest in our thoughts and beliefs, and to be accepting of other' comments and opinions.  A good blog remains true to itself and is an outlet for the writer and others to express their beliefs and even find out more about themselves in the process.  Blogging is often an overlooked form of communication, but it is a form of communication nonetheless, one that is an outlet for everyday people to have their voices heard.  Blogging should come from a place within the writer and should be open, honest, and meaningful to them and hopefully to others that will read the blog.  Although blogging may seem like an unimportant means of communication, it is a good way to express one's thoughts, and that is the real responsibility the blogger has.  Being open and honest with others and more importantly with themselves.