Megan the Mole: a Children’s Story

Once there was a Mole named Megan. Megan lived underground. Megan didn’t make many friends because she was always eating dirt and the garbage of people walking by. Whenever she saw someone come near, she’d scurry away to her safe place under a park bench. The thing was, this park bench was buried beneath 15 feet of dirt from the park! One day, as she was thus feeding, she saw a light. As it turns out, it was more than a light: it was the electrical current of a taser after her presence sparked some fear about the safety of that park among the public. The city council was occupied prattling about United States’ bipartisan politics and thought the report was speaking of a mole on the state Supreme Court Chief Justice’s chin. Naturally, they agreed.

But this mole was not on anyone’s chin, she was on public land; and therefore should be protected under federal law. But of course, bureaucracy has its ways. So there she went, under the restraint and mercy of the local animal control. Once in the animal control facility, she found other moles that appeared to be in the midst of some kind of depressive state in the cages surrounding her. she tried to cheer them up with a joke, but inadvertently ended up laughing at herself. No other mole laughed at the joke, but once she began bursting out― first with a monotonic chuckle, then gradually into an  uncontrollable hysteria― the moles laughed at the very fact her laugh was like a tickling feather on their shaven (sometimes gruesomely scarred) undersides.

She found a man who apparently thought she was a boy, and began to call her Caesar. This man worked in a secret lab paid for by American taxpayers after being appropriated under legislation that was supposed to subsidize local American schools and fund the government. Of course, the congress at the time only read the first couple of pages then laid in fetal position under the desk (both on the floor of either chamber and in the process of committees) crying out “It is too much! I can’t read that much! Too much pressure! Coffee! Coffee! I’ll pass! I’ll pass! Get it out of here!” What is more, this man, Paul Ryan, received a lot of money simply by staring at the grotesquely mutilated corpses of animals like Megan. But Megan was different. “Caesar, you will get the newest drug that is expected to make humanity live longer, and become smarter without any kind of actual education.” He said. But then Paul thought to himself, “Well, technically no one in America gets an actual education… so I guess we are walking on new ground! Yipee for George Washington!” He then pulled out an image of Abraham Lincoln, all tidy in his sepia filter and antique frame. “George, I will make you proud!” He said aloud.

Megan was then put on a table, Paul with a syringe in his hands. “Caesar, we have done this before, you are strong chimpanzee. Don’t disappoint me. But if this doesn’t work, your body should be relatively less mutilated than the others… wait I think that was my doctor talking to me about my wife’s pregnancy… now what was I supposed to get Janna? Chocolate? No matter! Let’s get this over with.”

Megan saw the light again, bright and white above her. Paul Ryan then turned that light off, and Megan realized she actually had the light inside her.

That is, she had been enlightened.

She sat up and said to Paul Ryan “Where is old Mitt to give you a break now? Mwahaha I liked  you better in 2012… at least you meant something to politics!” then slung herself off the table.

But being a mole, she could not move that fast. So, she moseyed about with eagerness and once again saw the light. This was the taser again, but at least it was blue. Megan really liked blue. She woke up in the cage again and attempted to communicate her experience with the other moles. They were uninterested, but definitely a rowdy bunch. One called himself Bill and had a menacing tattoo of a shark on his left arm; but this shark was shrouded with a heart. Megan liked hearts. Bill eventually escaped from his cage, and walked towards Megan’s cage. “My lady, I had a dream about you. I think you are the one. So, I was hoping we could… you know, go on a date sometime… maybe think about our wedding preparations…”

His real name, she found as he thought aloud in a cloud of laborious nonsense, was actually Clinton. He was a marvelous cook apparently. After several hours (as Einstein would concur would only be relative to Megan; but needlessly should we make a mountain of this mole hill), the Bill/Clinton creep helped Megan escape. She took him to the secret lab and essentially stood him up. Clinton was sad. Nevertheless, she got more serum in a gaseous form, and returned to the shelter.

She released the serum; and all of a sudden, the moles underwent a temporary stage of wayward levity, and escaped from their cages as well. They all took Megan as their leader; who, in anger of stagnant American politics proclaimed with fervency “Bernie or Bust!” Her newly found cronies all said the same thing, though only because it seemed cool at the time.

But Bernie was long gone.

She was even more enraged.

“Kill them all on Wall Street!” She said in her best Brooklyn accent. But it was not contained there. Nor ever could be. There was an election of a self-proclaimed god whose ghastly appearance always protruded and haunted the super-mole mind of Megan: a Donald Trump who began to call himself Xerxes. This election illuminated an opening for these moles to form their own terrorist group known as “IMSIS,” The Islamic Mole State of Iraq and Syria. Though, these moles actually practiced something resembling either Rosicrucianism or Nuwaubianism, but in its footsteps followed the spirit of the Prince Philip Movement.

In the process of becoming such a great people, these moles recieved many record deals for hits like “I want to hold your paw,” and “Digging in the Mole Mine.” Yet it seemed even through liberal media Megan and her Mole followers could not recieve the attention they were looking for. It is hard though. most people don’t actually look down and acknowledge the beauty of soil-dwellers until there is a large sinkhole engulfing the house of Chris Christie. Which, by comparison isn’t the worse thing to happen to him, and no one really cared then either. Megan saw then that eating dirt must be the only suitable life then. Though in her endeavor accidentally bored through electrical lines that prohibited  the unintentional and sporatic arming  of nuclear warheads on America’s coastland.She did, after all, like the color blue. It didn’t really do anything.

However, nobody, not even Xerxes in all his glory knew what would come: the era known as “Planet of the Moles.”

THE END

Stereotypical Media

It is said that media has a huge effect on its audience. That effect is usually meant to cash in the bank.

During the last 60 years, there has been a huge change in the images portrayed on television. Looking into popular shows such as I love Lucy, gender is portrayed as more of a responsibility than anything else: women stay in the kitchen, men go to work. That reflects what the general consensus was for that period of time. However, looking into today, women have been portrayed as one of two things: a sexual object of lustful desire, or of greater intelligence or stance than men. The latter tradesoff with he image of a man, turning him into an ignorant jock who doesn’t remember dates, can’t have intelligent conversations, or is bad with girls. This is examplified in the just recently ended sitcom iCarly, and can even be seen as far back as the late 80s with the popular adult show, Married with Children. Of course, that is a broad statement that probably does not encompass the majority of gender stereotypes in America.

Stereotypical gender stereotypes aren’t the only thing that has changed. In the past a huge bias against African and Native Ameriacns was reflected in the media, in an attempt to make the general white populous (the majority who had an excess of disposable income) feel superior. Today it not as blantant, but the major stereotype that I see is that all black kids are tattooed, committed some crime, and loves wrap music. This is examplified in usual reality TV shows mimicking major wrappers like Celo Green. A good example would also include The Cleveland Show.

Multitasking and Multimedia

Let’s talk about multitasking.

But first let me take a selfie.

Oh, and I forgot about Facebook…

Most researchers fear multitasking.

Man, I wonder what is for lunch; I need to eat healthier

Hey I just got a Snapchat!

But seriously, multitasking.

In my school, it seems that too many students think multiple tasks at the same time is a great idea. But the fact is, it isn’t. All too common it is distracting to the student and frankly disrespectful for the teacher. And this issue intensified so much that the school district blocked all social media websites and strictly monitors the activity of each student online while at school. This is easy, as my school district loans Macbooks to all of the students, meaning every click, every website and every application opened while on my computer can be tracked and logged by the district. The computer even turns itself off at a specific time for middle school students. This  initiative started after my 6th grade year, where (at least personally) productivity rose ten fold.

Being an avid debater, I take A LOT of notes during each debate in a format called a flow. Many tech-savy and rather wealthy debaters decide to do this on the computer. But I just can’t do that. It is much easier for me to take such notes on paper, I can listen to the speaker much better than way. I am not real effective as a multitasker. While writing this post, I was multitasking, making me lose time effectivity. When faced with a  series of tasks I tend to finish one before looking to do anything else. The most I do is listen to music while performing that task. And I don’t think I ever will get into it.

It seems that those who multitask don’t really help thier brains. They switch tasks, but is that really a way to help build the mind? When building muscles, the reps are usually what buid strength, which means an extended period of doing one thing. Although this idea may be a stretch, perhaps we are leading to a less intelligent scociety– relying upon the mercies of the computer rather than thinking for one’s self.

So really, if you want to be smart, watch what you do with this bounty of information and technology that we have.

Online Popularity

Like. Follow. Reblog. Pin. Snap. Tweet

Sorry for the technical terms if you are above the age of 40.

Today’s society, especially the younger society have a whole new language, a whole new currency, and a whole new opportunity. A whole new generation termed “Generation Like”

Big Buisiness is taking over the internet using the youth as a tool to get their name out there. Because if one person likes it, they could gert their friends to do so better than the business itself. But it goes farthure than that. People are essentially being paid to advertise. And as we can see through many sad examples, this can occupy a person’s entire life, and ambition.

Although this idea may be pretty smart on the objective side, it can really be a pain for the average consumer. The consumer becomes free labor. Rather than paying for advertisements online, or on TV, these companies can advertise to a small number of people and get the word out to millions on its own. This seems pretty lazy, and in itself disgraceful to the idea of ambition. But the fact is, it is happening.

It seems there is a looming desire in the heart of humanty to be noticed; To be acknowledged, and of some high standing among the peers. It is this that drives many to become outrageous, and to push further for sponsorship. I mean, if you could get basically anythuing you wanted for free by just talking about it or wearing it for a few minutes, wouldn’t you do it?

Ethan Garrett, Congressionally Captivating

You can call him a speak-easy, but not for that reason.

But he can sure speak easy.

For Ethan Garrett, a shirt, tie and heated arguments are all in a weekend’s work; and he does that which the general populous fears more than death: he speaks publicdebate1[1]ly.

Ethan is a member of the Rock Springs Speech and Debate Team, so he spends six months of the school year travelling about the state, dressing up, and debating about current affairs in the world.

Speech and Debate encompasses a variety of events including dramatic and humor interpretations of different stories, various speaking events, and of course debate. Common debates in Wyoming include Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas style debating; and Ethan’s favorite, Congressional debate.

Congress is an event that attempts to mimic the actual style of debating that occurs in the House and Senate. A student is elected as a chair– who directs the movement of speakers– and other speakers can volunteer themselves to speak on bills created by representing schools. Each speaker is timed to just a few minutes and is questioned by the body to whom he speaks. they are then awarded points for their style of speech by a judge. The more points, the better a speech. These points eventually add up for final rounds and other awards. “Congress is… extremely political. One makes a bill and debates it for a while with the other students. It makes you feel really good if you get a lot of points for your speech.”b65c38781ae0ae53cdccf4e5b40cec46d6ce9a5ce937ab9964ba87875b3e47ac[1]

For Ethan, this is pretty fun. And he works diligently on his speeches. “I usually do my speeches five minutes before the round starts.” Said Ethan nonchalantly. He has great memories of debates. His favorite happened at “state, [where] there was a bill about LSD. That was pretty fun… they started singing the Bealtes’ Yellow Submarine.”

Ethan isn’t as successful as he hoped to be. “I have never broken to finals; I have always been just a few points away.  And that is pretty disappointing.”

But he never even fathomed quitting.

“I’d still do it for the fun of it.”

Ethan was introduced to debate by his friend, George in Freshman year. “I just kinda showed up one morning for practice and liked it.” Although he has loved debate ever since, he is unsure about the future and if he wanted to continue debate into college. Despite this, Ethan has high hopes for the future. And he knows what he is doing now can help him far into the future. “I want to be a civil engineer… debate could help me speak to the people about problems  and speak in front of people.”

Ethan has no intentions of leaving Speech and Debate anytime soon; so one thing is for sure, his love for the activity will continue for years to come.

 

Body Image in the Media

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar 2012

So a man walks into a store.

I know it is a daunting feat.

But it isn’t what he is there for that is important.

During checkout, the man notices a variety of magazines displaying nearly nude women, and like these kind of men do, he keeps glancing until he realizes the cashier is telling him it is his turn to check out.

This example is one among many that examplifies the sexual revolution that has occurred in the media. During the good O’l days, such photography as what we see now on the cover of magazines would be considered pornography. But now it seems that the general populous has become accepting and desensitized to these images. And this can have devestating effects on the people, let alone the youth who are in the most insecure part of their lives.

To elaborate a little, think of all the beauty magazines out there. Like the one above/ What are they trying to sell? Most commonly I see the image to sell the magazine itself by getting into the head of the reader. As if we, the men, aren’t already altering the minds our female counterparts. These covers often come with bolded tags such as “Best sex ever”, “Lose fat in 6 days” or “Become a more perfect you” This media is trying to make the reader feel bad about their respective lifestyle, entering into one of the strongest emotions of the human mind: desire. Desire to become better, to be like everyone else, to becopme secure, pretty, popular. And it is this drug that tends to hookm readers to such magaazines. of course, this is really only applicable to the ladies. For the men and the picture example above, these magazines know that for many men with (to keep it vague) a strong drive, these images keep them coming back. Essentially addicting them to the sensual images.

I feel it is this effort that is devestating society. the lack of self-restraint and increase in sexual desire will most definitely prove heart-ache for those who can never quite get to the image they want, disease becoming rampant, and too many people unable to curb their natural desires. Leading to divorce, nasty break-ups, inability to understand geneology, and lack of virtue or real reason for life other than for personal gratification.

As for me, I don’t pay attention. I let it just happen as it does, and encourage others to find thier=r joy in something other than visual sensations.

Interviewing: interest? Or Interrogation?

A cop sits down across the dimly ligthed table. He looks sternly into the eyes of the suspect he so diligently searched for. He is within reach, so close to justice the cop can almost taste it. The only thing on his mind is conviction– and to get that, a confession.

This kind of questioning is more cinematic than anything else. The cop is most obviously interrogating the suspect rather than trying to interest himself in the suspect’s life. There is most definitely a fine line that separates the two terms. Why did I bring this anecdote? Well here at HSI, we began our interviewing unit in preparation for the final DVD project. In this instance, no interrogation is expected, or at the least, needed. This time around, we went to a buddy in the class.

This kind of interviewing does not require interrogating (although it appears that some may think it does) to get the information out. This kind of interviewing is a genuine interest in that person and the topic at hand. I have done many such interviews before, where I felt fairly natural at speaking to the interviewer and as an interviewee. Probably the funniest experience is when I was being interviewed and spoke nearly nonstop for 6 minutes. It is from that, that I realized I should have kept things a bit more to-the-point. Loquaciousness is both a blessing and a curse.

For those of you drooling in boredom from this rather personal post, I’ll step away from it. Rather, let’s talk of the future! Interviewing, as I have found, can be a very good skill to hold in the future. Let’s look at some instances it could be used.

Questioning a friend in a sincere manner of debate

Interviewing an employee

journalism

Being a politician

ordering chicken

fiding a spouse

going to the doctor

being the doctor

counselling/ therapy

identifying issues in an electrical system

having fun (with friends)

Essentially, the concepts learned in interviewing can be used in a wide variety of aspects of real life.

So yes, this was fun. and helped bring skills of the future.

Day 6: Banning Books

Banned based on the sexual content deemed inappropriate for elementary age students

 

There were once two little penguins who lived in a zoo and raised a child.  Seems fitting to teach the concept of families and love to children, especially innocent, easily influenced children.

But this book is different.

One who is aware of the common social issues of our time must most certainly be aware of the issue of homosexuality, and the marriage thereof. And that concept is exactly what put the book And Tango Makes Three on the banned book list. Of course the purpose is obvious, the book was all about homosexuality. But is that necessarily justification?

Those desiring free speech may ask for this idea to be reconsidered, as banning books denies the privilege to express ones opinions. But I feel that this might have been the right call.

As Faith Hill put it: “Children are easily influenced, and I always want to do things I can be proud to show my kids someday.” Especially at the young age these children may be, this book may be just a little too mature for them. Any parent could agree with Faith; if the family stance is strictly pro-hetro then they have the right to influence their children to that thought. If they are pro-homo, the same right applies. Notwithstanding there will be a time in that child’s life to find out for his or herself what to support or believe.

Now, had this book been written or presented to 5th or 6th graders this might be a completely different situation. It is around that time that the “noticing” of each gender starts to happen as (let’s face it) bodies change. This age group would have been more suited to take different viewpoints than there younger counterparts. It is this age group that would not only be able to take the viewpoint but will need to see it as society is ever changing, they will need to know what to expect.

If I were a father, I would let my older children read the book. Not because I support gay marriage (which to not get too political, I only support on the premise of moral freedom, not on the premise of the morality of the idea) but because I will continually teach them and show them what I believe as it is wbhat I am proud of.

One must not overlook the fact that this is not the only banned book. Personally, I stray away from quite a few of them as I have no need to read books with such content. But the few I have read, have an interesting viewpoint on the world. May favorite? Lord of the Flies. But that is unimportant.

Life is for learning, but let’s not force ideology on anybody until they can choose for themselves.

 

HSI Day 4: Online Identity

Let’s start a conversation.

An online conversation.

About online conversations.

A recent study from PBS suggested that a huge number of teens are increasing their everyday use of the internet and social media. But with that lies serious privacy issues that could be potentially damaging to a persons identity. Though no money may be solicited or lost, peace of mind will be.

Personally, I feel my online identity is extremely traceable, and fits neatly in the statistics of the above report. In other words, I must be an average teenager. Yet, I must be in the upper level of the most responsible sort, as my parents (who, I might say, are not the savyiest when it comes to social media) have no restrictions as to what I do, what I post and show and what services I use. Which means that I must be the one to watch for any insecurities that may come.

This “Identity” is actually very important. And it is one that I make sure is clean at nearly all times. In this new age, colleges and employers look up a  person’s online identity, which one might see is pretty identical to one’s real identity. It’s simple Google someone’s name and in some cases, location. And the online reality that person holds is essentially at your fingure tips. So, for instance, if I applied for Harvard Law, among the lengthy application process my name would be searched on Google or the University’s identity search engine. My Facebook profile might show, along with Instagram and online contributions to blogs and forums. They could see your social life, how you act with your friends and what you do. A partier isn’t the most likely candidate for the top Law school in the county.

However, this isn’t all that may appear. As is the case with my name, a series of newpaper articles appear celebrating my success in, of course, HSI, HOBY Leadership, events in the community, Speech and Debate results and success and Track and Field results and pictures. Such can be incredibly useful tools if one wishes to be seen as a good potential student or employee.

Of course, the idea of colleges doing this is very contreversial. I feel that this is justified in the sense it allows the true identity of the person to be shown. If that person really wanted to be part of a prestigeous institution, they would physically control what is seen online, or probably the easiest way, live the way such institutions would appreciate in aplicates.

I appreciate your imput on all of these points, so feel free to comment below.

Let’s start a conversation.