Design a site like this with
Get started
  • Final Reflection

    Over the course of this semester, I have grown very much as a writer and as a student. This class has improved many different aspects of my ability to write. Various activities, lessons, and readings that we have done in class have taught me that writing longhand is very beneficial and that it can help with any assignment.

    I’ve learned that writing longhand is very helpful in the writing process, and this was a great change from typing everything. Writing in notebooks can be easier because you’re able to mindlessly write things down as opposed to wanting everything to be neat and organized while typing on a computer. In “Writing on Computers vs. Writing on Paper”, Rosenwasser and Stephen write “An advantage of paper notebooks is that things look and feel more tentative” (125). While typing on a laptop, it is hard for me to jot down notes because I tend to organize everything while I type and while I’m organizing, some of the thoughts can slip out of my mind. On paper, writing notes feels much more natural and makes me feel like I’m able to write down all of the notes that I want to without worrying about it being unorganized.

    Writing longhand helped me with various assignments this year. One assignment in particular was the analysis essay assignment. My passage was “Back Story” by Michael Lewis. This passage is the opening chapter of “The Blind Side”. I read “Back Story” multiple times and jotted down a lot of freehand notes. I was able to put all of my thoughts onto the paper with ease and without worrying about organization. The analysis essay assignment helped me with other aspects in class as well as writing longhand. One aspect in particular was that I was able to dig deeper into specific sentences and analyze exactly what the author was writing. When Lewis wrote “Until this moment it has been defined by what the quarterback can see. Now it – and he – is at the mercy of what he can’t see” (Lewis 16). I was able to do a deep analysis of this sentence in my analysis essay assignment and I couldn’t have analyzed it as well without the skills that I have learned throughout this class.

    All of the separate features that our class worked on over the course of the semester led to my work on the final essay and annotated bibliography assignment. I used multiple different strategies and aspects from the class to help compose this essay. At the beginning of the writing process, I started by researching a reliable source and then I took notes on that source. I then found my other sources and began drafting my essay. I started drafting my essay by writing longhand with a pen and paper. This allowed me to get all of my thoughts written down so I could be able to choose the best notes to use in my final draft. After writing the final essay, I posted my essay and annotated bibliography onto my WordPress blog. Maintaining my blog has been helpful because I’ve been able to post my essays and receive constructive criticism and helpful tips on my work from those who read it and leave a comment. The final essay and annotated bibliography allowed me to compile a great deal of my knowledge from this class onto one single assignment.

  • Annotated Bibliography and Final Essay

    The following research project is produced in collaboration with Harry Hennessy, Lawson Kilpatrick, and Eric Garguilo.

    Social Media is a plague that has captured this world. Social Media has honestly become a part of most peoples day to day lives. Wake up, check phone, is a fair amount of people’s first action for the day. Primarily the youth. The youth of this world only know social media, it has always been a part of their lives. Tik tok, Snapchat, Instagram. However all of these media platforms instill a consistent addiction that has some unwanting effects. These effects can be described as promoting an addictive personality, mental disorders, and more. Algorithms and business models also have a large role in one’s social media usage. Another concern with social media is those participating. Nobody has a say as to what others post, therefore there have been a number of scenarios where people have committed crimes and posted them for the world to see. There has even been multiple cases, in which acts of terrorism have taken place. 

    We composed this essay because we think that social media can have many different effects on many different people. We tried to explore the bad parts about social media and see how it uses its prominence to influence its users. A main reason for researching the effects of social media was to see if other large companies and tech giants used their algorithms to promote radical groups and messages. In “Consequences” by Max Fisher, Fisher tells the reader about how Facebook uses their algorithm to promote radical and terrorist groups and this makes their messages spread very easily which causes extreme events. Other social media platforms do the same thing as Facebook to promote bad things daily. It has become one of the biggest problems on all platforms. These posts can also harm people mentally. Seeing these radical groups and extreme events can cause people to become paranoid and upset. Social media giants should work their hardest to try and eliminate all of these posts from radical groups and they should work harder to try and fix their algorithm that somehow promotes these posts. Social media can be a very dangerous place for anyone who has it. These social media giants make a great deal of money by promoting these certain posts so we can’t see them stopping this anytime soon. Hopefully somebody is able to help take these posts down and stop them from being advertised.

    A project that may emerge from our bibliography might be a movement against social media since it affects so many of us on a daily basis. These movements could be in the form of a protest to shine light on how harmful social media is. Not many of us realize how harmful social media is to us, it can mess with the chemicals in your brain and your emotions. Social Media has been known to play a vast role in mental stability. It has an addictive trait, especially to those of young ages, which can later lead to serious mental disorders. With that in mind, this project would primarily fall under psychology. Psychology has a plenty to do with the brain and how it functions, dealing with what causes specific reactions. The use of social media and the impact it has on a person’s brain could be an experiment for a psychologist. 

    “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech” Summary by Harry Henessey 

    In the article “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech” written by Kerry Mcdonald discusses how algorithms and business models used by social media companies keep us addicted and may contribute to mental health problems. Mcdonald first introduced the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma with former social media executives and programmers with inside knowledge on how big tech companies don’t directly care about the next generations well being. It is explained how social media is correlated to the increase rate in anxiety and depression among teenagers and younger. The article also brings up the Capitol riot most recently and opens the idea that “Youtube” and “Facebook” could be a reason for the attacks. The government took action suspending accounts of politicians and public figures who they deemed bad. Kerry follows by arguing that people are capable enough to regulate who they listen to, stating “We can protect ourselves, and our children, by better understanding how social media influences us”. Lastly she illustrates “What we can do as individuals and families” to combat the negative effects it is currently doing to our younger generations. Government regulations will not do us justice and it is our responsibility to be educated ourselves. The five main points presented include “understanding the algorithms”, “be discerning”, “explore alternatives”, “set guidelines and limits”, and finally “prioritize in-person interactions” which can be summarized by saying how to use social media with caution, knowing about its potential symptoms. Social media shouldn’t be someone’s life and society should encourage face to face communication.

    The author of the article Kerry Mcdonald, has also written “Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom.” She is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and host of the weekly LiberatED.  Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is an Atlanta-based libertarian think tank. Kerry’s research focuses on homeschooling and schooling alternatives, self-directed learning, education entrepreneurship, parent empowerment, school choice, and family. 

    Harry’s Source: McDonald, Kerry. “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022. Originally published as “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech,” Foundation for Economic Education, 15 Jan. 2021.

    “Consequences” Summary by Jack Rynning 

    “Consequences” by Max Fisher is about Facebook and how their platform can be influenced by different radical groups. Fisher has done very much research on this topic and he’s found that Facebook promotes certain posts from radical groups. Other people are starting to catch on to Facebook’s algorithm and see that they use it to promote terrorist posts. Fisher writes “the United Nations had formally accused Facebook of allowing its technology to help provoke one of the worst genocides since World War II”. All of Fisher’s studies started when a worker inside of Facebook noticed the surplus of posts from radical groups and they kept gaining traction. Fisher saw that wars, strange and extreme events kept getting linked back to social media. Fisher found that a group called QAnon, which was identified as a terrorist group by the FBI, were being recommended to a large number of readers as if it was a club, and these recommendations grew this group into a small political party.

    Max Fisher is an international reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He has reported from five continents on conflict, diplomacy, social change and other topics. He writes The Interpreter, a column exploring the ideas and context behind major world events. Fisher also launched several web-based projects aimed at expanding the audience for foreign news.

    Hooked on virtual social life. Problematic social media use and associations with mental distress and addictive disorders Summary by Lawson Kilpatrick

    Vincent Henzel and Anders Håkansson’s article on Social media suggest that social media is a mental deterrent, causing real life problems world wide.With the development of technology, Social Media has swarmed the globe, addicting all those who meet its touch. To the youth of the world, technology is almost everything, playing a critical role in their lives. But is this a good thing? Research studies suggest that social media plays a significant role in addictive behaviors and mental disorders. In the article, Hooked on virtual social life. Problematic social media use and associations with mental distress and addictive disorders, written by Vincent Henzel and Anders Håkansson, the text states, “A cross-sectional self-reported online survey design was utilized, targeting the general Swedish population. The questionnaire assessed a spectrum of behavioral addictions, of which problematic use of social media was the main outcome variable. In the present analyses, problematic social media use was treated as the outcome variable, testing it against a number of factors suggested in the literature to be associated with this behavior.” Henzel and Håakansson use this example to exemplify the reality behind this subject. The questionnaire results suggest that social media has been associated with one’s mental status, specifically the youth. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 are introduced to peer pressure, soon having the desire to fit and not be left out. This fear of not fitting in, soon drives them to be a part of social media. Being a part of social media gives one the ability to keep in touch with others, however soon enough it becomes an addiction.

    Vincent Henzel was a professor at Lund University, specifically, in the department of psychiatry. Vincent Henzel, located in Lund Sweden, is now a medical doctor in Stockholm, Sweden.  Vincent Henzel has two publications, one being on the effects of social media, along with an article about gambling. The other author, Anders P Håakanson, is now a professor at EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health, in association with Lund University. Anders Håakanson is a manager in his field of work, along with being a team Manager of a research team. 

    Source: Henzel, Vincent, and Anders Håkansson. “Hooked on virtual social life. Problematic social media use and associations with mental distress and addictive disorders.” PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no. 4, 8 Apr. 2021, p. e0248406. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022.

    Summary on Social Media Censorship Violates the First Amendment by Eric Garguilo

    In this article the topic addressed is in regards to the relationship between Big Government and Big Tech. As described in the article this close relationship between Big Government and Big Tech is allowing them to violate our first amendment rights as American citizens. Author, Bill Hagerty, did an excellent job portraying this idea in the article Social Media Censorship Violates the First Amendment. For example, in this article the text states, “it recently became clear that social-media platforms wrongly banned and suppressed information regarding the origins of COVID-19.” From the article it was clear that the government was trying to hide information regarding COVID-19 and not being able to keep their story straight when it came to mask mandates. The main idea of this article was to shed light on the moves the government is making to slowly take away our first amendment right. 

    Bill Hagerty is an incredible writer who works for Gale Cengage Learning. Hagerty has four published articles talking about topics such as the queen and topics relating to the new world. Bill Hagerty’s most recent writing is the article, Social Media Censorship Violates the First Amendment. However, Bill Hagerty has been posting articles from dates going back to 1995. Such as the article The scooper poopers, which was released on December 9, 1995.

    Hagerty, Bill. “Social Media Censorship Violates the First Amendment.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022. Originally published as “Americans, Not Government, Are the Arbiters of Truth,” National Review, 29 July 2021.

    Work Cited

    Fisher, Max. Prologue: “Consequences.” The Chaos Machine. Little, Brown. 2022.

     McDonald, Kerry. “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022. Originally published as “Families, Not the Government, Should Regulate Big Tech,” Foundation for Economic Education, 15 Jan. 2021.

    Hagerty, Bill. “Social Media Censorship Violates the First Amendment.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022. Originally published as “Americans, Not Government, Are the Arbiters of Truth,” National Review, 29 July 2021.

    Source: Henzel, Vincent, and Anders Håkansson. “Hooked on virtual social life. Problematic social media use and associations with mental distress and addictive disorders.” PLoS ONE, vol. 16, no. 4, 8 Apr. 2021, p. e0248406. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 3 Nov. 2022

  • Watch Your Back!

    In “Back Story” by Michael Lewis, the author of The Blind Side, the reader gets a very in depth look and explanation of every moment of the play leading up to the horrific injury of Washington Redskins’ quarterback Joe Theismann. “Back Story” tells the reader every single detail during the five seconds of the play leading up to the injury. The play starts with Theismann handing the ball to Redskins’ running back John Riggins, who runs a few steps forward and tosses it right back on a special trick play called a flea-flicker. Theismann sees New York Giants’ linebacker Harry Carson running right at him and has to make a swift move in order to not be tackled and keep the play going. Theismann takes a step up and to the side so Carson misses the hit. This happened three and a half seconds into the play. Now, Lewis writes about how there is a part of the game that the quarterback can’t see, which is directly behind him. Lewis talks about how fear plays a very large factor in the National Football League and he talks about Bill Parcells, who was the coach of the Giants during this game. Parcells thinks that fear plays a very big role in football as did his players. The opposition were especially afraid of Lawrence Taylor, who was the player to make the tackle that injured Theismann. Taylor is largely considered the greatest defensive player in NFL history. This shows why the left tackle, the position that blocks the quarterback’s blind side, is one of the most important positions in football. 

    In “Back Story”, Lewis writes about many different significant parts of the play leading up to Theismann’s injury. One of the most significant parts of the chapter is when Joe Theismann hands the ball off to John Riggins who then pitches it back to him as a part of the flea-flicker trick play. This moment basically sets up the whole play and sets a scene for the reader. As the reader, the description of the start of this play helps the reader better understand the surroundings and what happened leading up to Theismann’s injury. If the Redskins had run a different play, the viewer could have seen a very different outcome which could have ended in a different injury for Theismann, or even a touchdown for either team. There are so many different possibilities if they hadn’t run that play.

    Joe Theismann noticing New York Giants linebacker running at him also stands out as a crucial detail. Carson is chasing after Theismann and is trying to make the tackle to benefit his team. Theismann then steps up and to the side so Carson misses the hit and is taken out of the play because he is on the ground behind Theismann. After Carson misses, Theismann is seemingly in the clear with nobody in his sight coming after him unblocked. If Harry Carson would have made the tackle on Theismann, the injury most likely wouldn’t have happened.

    Little did Theismann know that he still wasn’t safe after dodging Carson. “Until this moment it has been defined by what the quarterback can see. Now it- and he- is at the mercy of what he can’t see”. The part of the field where the quarterback is unable to see is called his blind side. This is the name of the novel that “Back Story” came from and it is the reason why this is the introductory passage of the book. During the play, after Theismann gets rid of the threat of Harry Carson, he is hit from his blind side and he suffers one of the most gruesome injuries in the history of the NFL. After this injury, he would never play in the National Football League again. This quote really stood out to me because it shows that during a play in the NFL, a player is never truly safe. Exactly thirty three years from the date of Joe Theismann’s injury, another quarterback for the Washington Redskins by the name of Alex Smith suffered the same exact injury as Theismann. Both of these injuries happened on the same field, at the same yard-line, and the games ended in the exact same score as the other. Smith was also hit from his blind side. This goes to show just how important a reliable blocker on the blind side of the quarterback is. 

    This opening chapter is the best possible way to start The Blind Side. Lewis does an incredible job of explaining an in depth description of the injury of Joe Theismann which was caused by not having a reliable blocker on his blind side. The Blind Side is about Michael Oher’s story. Oher became a star left tackle in the national football league and he always kept his quarterback safe from the blind side. 

    Lewis, Michael. Chapter One: “Back Story.” The Blind Side. 2006. Norton, 2009, pp. 15-16.

  • Fore, Left! Literacy Narrative, Jack Rynning

    As a Golfer, I’m a former high school team captain, a High Point University club team hopeful, a ten handicap, and an avid learner. I started playing golf when I was seven years old, but even when I was younger than that, I always had plastic clubs in my hands. My dad is a very big golf fan and also a very good golfer, so he has always been my coach and mentor. He made me into the golfer that I am today and I’m extremely grateful for him.

    Me playing in a golf match for Hanover High School

    The biggest moment in my golf career thus far is my high school sophomore year sectionals tournament. This tournament featured many different towns and teams from all across Massachusetts. I was not even supposed to be playing in that tournament because on my team, I was the seventh spot golfer and the team only brought the top six players to the tournament, but two of the players on the team were suspended for being caught with alcohol at the school’s football game. My friend Ryan and I were put into the lineup only a few days before the tournament and we went into it never having played the course before because we weren’t scheduled for the practice round.

    “Boys, I know you’ve never played here before so I don’t expect you to shoot the best round of your lives but I want you guys to have a good time out there,” Coach Doherty said to me and Ryan. We were both very nervous because we hadn’t played in a big tournament before. “Let’s just enjoy the round and try to forget the bad parts,” I said to Ryan. 

    “Let’s do it!” he responded. We went out on the course and both played dreadfully. We had never seen the course so it was all very new to us. The team only took the top four scorers so Ryan and I would not have our bad scores counted. “I’m really proud of how you two did today,” said Coach Doherty despite our bad rounds. He was a very considerate and good coach who always saw the best in everyone.

    Ryan, Coach Doherty, my friend Charlie and I

    A year after that, going into my senior season, Coach Doherty named Ryan and I as captains of our team because we showed we can lead through adversity and we were very honored to have that title. During my senior year, I focused more on helping the younger players on the team develop so they can have more success in the coming years because there were only three seniors on the team so we didn’t have a very good chance to make it to the state tournament. This year’s team however, does have a very good chance and I’m very hopeful that they succeed.

    In golf, there are a lot of different things to know and learn but one of the most important things is etiquette. Golf etiquette is very important because it also carries on to real life. I’ve learned many etiquette tips from my coaches in the past that I put to use every single day while talking to people I meet.

    These are some of my notes from the drafting process
  • Hello World!

    Welcome to WordPress! This is your first post. Edit or delete it to take the first step in your blogging journey.