Using “good” and “bad”

For this blog post assignment, we were asked to give our opinion on the use of the words “good” and “bad.” These words are keeping us from expressing our true feelings and opinions. We are hidden behind these words. Why don’t we express our oppinions more? Instead of saying ” The weather outside is pretty bad.” why don’t we say ” The weather outside is very dreary. The winds will chill you to the bone, and it is pouring rain. It seems like a great day to stay indoors.” Instead of “That dress looks good” why don’t we say ” That dress is beautiful. It matches your eyes completely and the pattern is divine.” But we don’t say these things. Why is that? Is it because we are too scared to use our vocabularies more, or are we simply too lazy to come up with a better sentence? Either way, it just isn’t right.

Think about it. If somebody said that you looked “good” or that you did really “good” on that test, would you be flattered. Of course you would. This is because this word is taken as a compliment. What if somebody said that you looked “stunning” or that you did a “fantastic” job on that test. You would think that the person saying that to you was truly complimenting you, and even using intelligent words to show you how impressed they are.

Seeing as these words are really of no use to us at all, why do we still use them? It’s a ridiculous thought that they are still often used words. So, I’ll let you be the judge. Do you think that these words are important and that they should be used often, or that they are keeping us from expressing our true feelings and letting us continue to be lazy? I hope, after reading this, you will feel the same way I do about these insignifigant words.

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Practice makes perfect

I was rather interested in this article written by Doug Lemov. He explained his thoughts on how the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ actually makes a great deal of sense. The science of it is that when you do something often, it becomes automatic. You use a lot less brain power, and eventually, can do that thing easily whenever you want to. Like listening to a song. If you listen to a song over and over, you start to know the lyrics and the tune. After however many times it takes you to learn the song, depending on your brain power and memory, you will know it completely and be able to sing it whenever.

Doug used the example of employee’s having to deal with unsatisfied customers. When dealing with unsatisfied customers you would have to stay calm, while reasoning with them, and trying to solve the problem at hand. He said that it would make sense that employee’s practice this once a week. I agree with this accusation because when you are dealing with a problem you are under  lot of stress trying to find a solution to the problem. So it would be much harder to have to find the solution, while dealing with someone that is just creating more stress for you. But if you had practiced dealing with a customer such as the ones you must deal with, you would be under much less stress because you would know how to work it out with them, and you would have more brain power to deal with the problem at hand.

I felt that this article was truly well written, and definitely changed my mind about practicing.

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Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

In Ken Robinson’s video, Changing Education Paradigms, Ken expands on 3 main topics: ADHD, how dropping out of school’s rates are rising, and schools not being as supportive as they should be towards art and all art programs. In all 3 topics, I agree with Ken Robinson. In the topic of ADHD he explains that arts are thought of as the cause of this so called “ficticious” disease. This is because while experiencing the arts you often experience something called an “aesthetic experience” which is when your emotions are changing due to what you are experiencing.

In the topic of the rates of children dropping out of school and deciding to not continue with any kind of education, Ken said this was mainly because there used to be the guarantee that if you did well in school and college you would get not only a job, but the job you wanted. This, however, is no longer true. While a college education is definitely great to have, it does not confirm that you will get a job. This convinces adolescents that school and education will get them no where, so they should just stop trying altogether.

In the topic of schools not being supportive of the arts programs, i particularly agree. Schools have always been far more focused on sciences, maths, and languages. As far as most people are concerned, arts will never allow you to be successful in life. I completely disagree with that and I think that Ken Robinson has the right idea.

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If you want a job, you may have to turn over your facebook password

Nowadays, you can find out some of the most personal things about someone by looking at their Facebook account. Facebook can practically show you a persons whole life, from the time they first activated their Facebook account, up until their last post on Facebook. Handing over your Facebook password to a job interviewer is like giving them the remote that controls your life. The fact that an interviewer would even ask for that is unbelievable. Unless there is something harmful that could disrupt their work performance, bosses or owners of companies people may work at have no right to be able to peer into and control your social life. I thought that what Justin Basset did was right by withdrawing his application. I would have done the same. But because so many companies are asking for this unreasonable request, what can you do? You either hand over the power to control your whole social life and work life to someone you don’t even know, or you are left without a job. I may have withdrawn my application if it was just some small job, but for young adults that no longer live with their parents and need money may not have that same option. Nobody has the right to your personal life, except for you.

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Your body language shapes who you are

Amy Cuddy talked about how body language shapes who you are, and communicates how you feel. She talked about even the way you sit can come across as communication. She also mentioned that the emoticons you use while texting or on any social networking websites can show how we feel and what we are thinking. People can figure out your emotions and thoughts by paying attention to your body language. This even happens in the animal kingdom. Animals use a lot of the body language that we use, which gives hints to how they are feeling. Amy talked about our minds changing our bodies, and then she raised an interesting question. Do our bodies change our minds? She then talked about the minds of the powerful and powerless people. The powerful people tend to be more optimistic and confident in themselves while the powerless people seem to not takes as many risks because they are afraid of losing. This has to do with 2 key chromosomes. Testosterone and Cortisol. Testosterone is the powerful, strong hormone, while Cortisol is the stress hormone. Amy brought up how you would definitely want a leader with a high testosterone, but if they had a high cortisol and reacted too much over stress, they may not be the best leader. She then talked about how talking with someone with no emotion is worse than torture. Overall I thought Amy was a great speaker, and she has made me think of body language in a whole new way.


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PETA against pokemon

PETA’s latest campaign is against Pokemon Black and White 2. They believe that it promotes animal abuse. This is ridiculous. PETA should be focused on real matters, not on television shows and video games for children that shows no animal abuse whatsoever. It’s true that Pokemon shows violence, but it is animals against other animals, not humans. The main pokemon, Pikachu, is very kind. He does fight other pokemon, but only when they are doing something bad. This show is no worse than showing violence using people, instead of animals. The humans always take care of their pokemon, and cherish them. They do train them for fighting, but that’s only for self defense and ” Pokemon Battles”. The animals are not treated badly, they are used for battles but they are taken great care of by their owners. Their owners care for them and respect them completely. I agree that their motto, “Gotta catch ’em all”, could be seen as a negative lesson to teach children about animals, but they understand that it is only there because it is catchy and is not meant to be taken seriously. Overall, I understand where PETA is coming from, but I think they have taken it far too over the top by trying to get rid of a loved children’s television show and game.

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Gaming can make a better world

Jane McGonigal made a very good point about gaming. She said that things we can do in games, can help us do those things in real life. This way we could solve world problems such as hunger relief, poverty, and obesity. I believe that using video games to teach people how to help to do these things, and to recognize these things and even be interested in these things is great, but I think that if people continue to play these games regularly, you could be wasting time playing the game when you could of been helping the world. I also believe that when you get an “epic win” it is a great confidence boost and encourages you to keep playing. That’s a great thing because it is the feeling of accomplishment, which is great for people to feel. However, I don’t believe you should spend all your time in this virtual world, when you could be helping the real world. She also suggested that we use gaming and this virtual world to escape the outside world and forget their problems. Which I think is great, but in some sort of moderation. It’s great to get away, but we can’t just ignore the outside world. It’s still there, and it still needs our help.

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Long Island Medium

James Randi made a very compelling argument that Theresa Caputo is in fact not a real medium, and that she only tells people she can talk to the dead. Randi explains that she uses a technique called “cold reading” to make people believe she really is speaking to the deceased. Cold reading is basically when the reader finds information about the subjects relationship with the person who has passed without them knowing, and then using that information to make the subject think they knew that information by actually talking to the dead instead of finding it out from them. Randi also talks about how the show “long island medium” is edited to only show what she did right while filming, and not showing if she made any wrong guesses on television. There could be many different opinions on Theresa Caputo and what she is doing. Whether she is a scammer and just puts on a show to make money, or rather she really believes she can talk to the dead, and she really wants to help people. But my question is, does it matter? Whether she cares or not people still believe they are communicating with their loved ones that have passed and that is an amazing thing. The subjects on this show only want to know that their loved ones are okay and that they think they can go on without them. What Theresa is really selling, is hope.

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Online learning

This article really had me thinking about the topic of online learning. We rely on computers for everything in this day and age, so why isn’t online learning as popular as it could be? Online learning is definitely heard of, and is becoming more popular. But, if it is so convenient and so many are doing it, then why are we still in school? A lot of people may think we are in school for the social advantage, which is probably a large part of it, but it still makes me wonder why everyone isn’t staying home and using their computers for learning purposes instead. But when you really think about it, there are many disadvantages for learning online instead of going to school. There’s the social aspect, the fact that kids could be asleep for all we know, and possibly the biggest disadvantage, getting distracted. I mostly use the computer for social networking and listening to music, so trying to focus on school work when I have the ability to use those websites seems very difficult. Another disadvantage of online learning is help. If you don’t understand what the program is asking, then how are you supposed to ask for help understanding it? It would be much easier to have a teacher to help you in whatever you need help with. I think that online learning is a great thing, but I don’t think that it is for everyone.

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Education kills creativity

I found this video very interesting to watch. I agree with the statements that Ken Robinson made. Why should we be focusing on math and science rather than drama and dance? This makes no sense to me. I understand that math and science help many people in their field of work, but not everybody is going to focus on those subjects. Subjects such as drama and dance will also help people in their field of work. So why focus on so few subjects so carefully, rather that focusing on all subjects equally? For some reason, people think it makes sense to focus on few subjects because they think it will help you more in life than other subjects will, or it will help you to become a better person. It may help you get a job that pays better than others, but not everybody can be a doctor or a scientist. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” That quote is by Picasso, and was repeated during Ken Robinson’s speech. Ken said that it isn’t that children grow out of being an artist but rather they are educated out of being one. This is because students are often not allowed to show their creativity through their school work. I think that Ken Robinson is completely right and that we should all learn something from his speech.

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