Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Below is the link to my Vox pop and I went around and asked the students and faculty of Freeport High School what they thought of Freeport High School. The answers may or may not surprise you take a listen if you dare! https://docs.google.com/a/rsu5.org/file/d/0B-TocDn0ShjtMGRJT0U1WDhQVFE/edit
What was the assignment? The first of two editorials I did. This one was for the NY Times and we were asked to write an editorial pertaining to current issues in our society. Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done? Again I thought that this piece really captured my voice and opinions. I thought it was well written and constructed and had fire to it. I mean I enjoy reading it so I figure everyone else will. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece? Strengths are: opinion and voice, facts and quotes. My own personal trials and tribulations add a lot to this piece. Weakness are: probably again some grammar and my math probably could be better. You Accepted Me Why Won't You Let Me Go Here? Let's face it. The cold hard truth is to get anywhere in life, you need to go to college. Now granted some are able to do trades, but for the rest of us who aren't quite skilled with our hands there's college. Yet, how are you supposed to pay for it? To get into any school you'll be roughly paying for a new car each year for four years. Now, granted schools give you scholarships and financial aid. But, truly, what good is that? Unless you're a star athlete (and don't even get me started on the unfairness of college athletics) you don't get a full ride. Coming from a middle class family I get roughly $7,000 in financial aid. My tuition goes down from $55,000 to $48,000. Oh and thank you for that $10,000 dollar scholarship now it's down to $38,000 a year-- totally affordable! Psych!! Plus don't forget to add in all your first year necessities: laptops, kitchenware, food, all that good stuff and all of that out of your pocket. Oh and the $50 you charged me just so I could send you my application. The price added up is the equivalent of a new 2014 truck or SUV. Now of course there's loans but you'll be paying those off for the rest of your life anyway; that is provided you get a job out of college. Floyd Norris of the NY Times states "There delinquencies continue to rise, and loans continue to be made without regard for the ability to repay." In his article Norris not only argues that loans hurt students and make them less likely to take out new loans, but they also hurt the economy. People are less willing to borrow money and have less money to pay for things. Norris goes on to argue: "One thing the federal student loan program does not lack is ways to collect the money." Here he states that should you find yourself unable to pay for college, please don't worry. The colleges will find a way to reach into your pockets and get your money. Somehow, someway they will. In the end, it's all about money and how much can you make off of someone for four years. While a college education is setting you up for your future, it is also simultaneously building walls in your future. College needs to be cheaper or easier to pay for; that is the plain simple fact. You accepted me, why won't you let me go here? http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/how-necessary-is-a-college-education/ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/economy/the-hefty-yoke-of-student-loan-debt.html?ref=payingforcollege
What was the assignment? This was the second of two editorials that we were asked to do. Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done? I really thought it was some of my best writing all year. I thought my opinion and voice were captured really here and it was a strong and well worded document. It was one of my favorite pieces of writing. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece? Strengths are: my voice is really strong throughout the piece and with that also my opinion. My facts and quotes are solid and informative. My weakness might be that I didn't explain my quotes well enough and of course there's probably some grammatical errors. It's that wonderful wonderful time of year again. It's the end of March and basketball is being played and students are being exploited. This is march madness and this is an ages old debate. The March Madness tournament generates millions in revenue and yet what do the kids get? Sure they get to play under the big lights for the big school. Some even getting show off their skills before they head off into the NBA. Yet in a business, according to ESPN.com, that even for the smaller schools makes over 50 million dollars they don't see a dime. Now the college would argue that they're paying the athletes through scholarship and giving them an education, yet even that has it's dark side too. The scholarship money is only good as long as you stay healthy but if you get hurt then it's game over, literally. Also with the amount of hours that is put into a sport the money you make off the scholarship adds up to a number that is below minimum wage. And it's not like they're really getting an education. They have classes picked for them and tailored to them to make sure that they don't fail off the team, even though these classes can take them off the track that they want to be on. Jalen Rose a former college and NBA player and now sports analysts for ESPN said some very enlightening thoughts in an interview I was watching: "the coach would say Jalen what's wrong with you? What's wrong with me? My mothers lights about to get cut off. You don't have money at home you defiantly don't have it at school" Jalen was also a part of the Fab Five, one of the most famous college teams ever. He talked about how he was watching a recorded game one time and a commercial came up for a book about them. Yet they never saw a cut from this money, even though money was being made off them, and they couldn't do a thing about it. Bill Simmons who was interviewing Jalen at the time told this story "you guys were going to some fast food place and you didn't have enough money, but the store next to the fast food place, they had all of your jerseys in the window for $55 a jersey." This just shows that people are more than willing to exploit these kids and make money off of them and then refuse to give them even a small cut of it, or as Jalen says: "when you preach amateurism yet your getting money." Basically saying you can't be paid, but we can and it'll be off your blood, sweat, and tears. The college system is a flawed one, yet there are strides going in the right direction. The quarterback from Northeastern, who won his court case and is now able to establish a union is starting to make the system little bit more fair. But even still the NCAA found this to be unfair for the NCAA and so now is trying to overturn the decision. This argument won't stop until there is a fair and equal treatment for college athletes.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Adamtar: the last hairbender March of the Senior Take a walk through the park and then while walking expect to have rocks and twigs and random other crap (some of it literal crap) tossed at you. That basically sums up the plot of the new drama/comedy directed by Quentin Tarantino. It's like if you took the moving and redeeming plot of Shawshank Redemption and combined it with the hilarity of a Marx brothers movie. We see the movie open up at the end of summer as the main character Adam Brobst steps through the doors of Freeport High School and enters into his senior year. Everything starts off pretty well in the beginning as we get a sense of what Freeport, Maine is like and how dirty the high school is. However when it comes time to deal with the college process that's when hilarity ensues and we see everything in Adam's life lose control. With Tarantino's twisted and dark sense of humor we can't help but laugh along as Adam slowly loses control of his high school life while dealing with the college process. In the middle of the movie we watch as the love interest is introduced and now Adam actually has something to work for. She is the bright spot of his winter and quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to him and they end up staying together for the entire movie with a bright future ahead of them. This is also when the movie takes a deeper turn and we watch as Adam slowly cares less and less about high school and turns his attention towards college. We see him distance himself from kids he's grown up with all his life and we watch as every night he cries out to god why he should have to do all this monotonous high school work when he's just ready to move on and go to college. The ending is where we see the full character development. We watch as Adam makes his final decision to go to Ithaca College and signs his letter of intent only to learn that his last week of high school is when his teachers decided to load him with work. We also watch as he again has to fight against his oppressive school to finally break free of their chains and go out on to his senior project and then hopefully go on to a prosperous life far from high school. Adam Morrison Brobst gives a very moving performance as himself and the viewer really starts to relate with both his humor and humiliation. He captures the pain and struggle of the last two months of high school with mastery of a seasoned actor, and we really see his capabilities in one scene breaking down and wondering why the hell he is still getting assigned in his words "BS high school assignments when he should be working on college stuff that will actually help his future." Overall this movie is well worth a view, but not for the kids having a PG-13 rating for excessive swearing and a touch of violence. If you're looking for a comedy with a moving message then this is the movie for you. I found myself enjoying it very much although I'm glad for the love interest because otherwise the winter scenes would've been slow and depressing. But in the end I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed my ride. Grade: 4 stars
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Pixar is something that never grows old. Everything they do they do it to perfection. Even at the age of 18 their movies are still some of the best I've ever seen. Wether it be the Incredibles or Toy Story (number 3 made me cry) they always seem to hit the nail right on the head. So it only makes sense that they'd do it again with this little short. I remember watching it as a small child right before the start of Bugs Life and laughing as the old man battled himself back and forth, and never has an old man faking a heart attack been so funny. I laughed then and I laughed now. Now that may say something about me as a person, that the same thing that made me laugh at five make me laugh now, but it is also a testament to the hilarity of this movie. The movie starts off with an old man setting up a chess game for himself. He then slowly goes from chair to chair, but as the action ramps up closer and closer to the climax, so does the speed in which the old man switches chairs. Pretty soon the line is blurred and the viewer almost believes that there are two players playing. The back and forth continues, until the old man fakes a heart attack which concerns his "opponent" and so while the "opponent" is checking to see if he is okay the old man switches the board and subsequently wins the game and the ultimate prize, dentures, which he pops in and continues laughing to himself at his cleverness. What works really well here is the back and forth between the "two players" providing entertainment as we watch the man battle his "opponent", not only is it humorous but it also makes you wonder why he's playing by himself and how long he's been doing it. The nice added touch too is the fact the old man removes and puts back on his glasses when he switches between people. This helps the viewer identify who's who and shows that the old man is making a conscious decision to switch, which most likely means he isn't crazy. The heart attack scene adds a lot because you almost believe that there are two people involved in the game and you forget that it's some old man switching chairs until it finally pans out and you see him laughing to himself at the end. The ending though is something I had a little bit of beef with just because I thought there could be more, but it is a short and I'm just nitpicky. Overall this movie out does quite a few full length movies because it has a plot and very interesting characters and it's full of action and humor. Pixar again knocks it out of the park.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
If you are thinking about seeing a particular movie, would you consult a movie review for a recommendation? Why or why not? I think I might I mean at least now a days because I'm not going to spend nine bucks on a crappy movie. But I've defiantly gone into theaters without doing it so it all depends on my mood and how much effort I want to put forth. What types of useful information can a movie review offer you? List as many as you can. basic plot actors, and their ability if it's any good why it's any good How often do you think young people consult movie reviews before watching a movie? I mean it all depends on the person. I think some people consult them while others don't. I'd say about 55% do and those are some cold hard stats. What aspects about movie reviews make them a positive or negative influence on your decision to watch the movie? well if I read a bunch of reviews and they say a movie is crap then I'm going to assume its crap and I'm not going to see it. But if they say it's good then I'll assume it's good and I'll go see it. Basically wording and such. All though I like to generate my own opinions
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
— What is your reaction to Mr. Bruni’s idea that where you go to college matters less than “the effort you put into your studies, the earnestness with which you hone your skills, what you actually learn”? When I first read this question I honestly thought that Bruni was an idiot. I felt like if you have that nice diploma it well get you a lot farther in life. However he makes a great point by basically saying as long as you work hard and are willing to get an education you can get anywhere. I mean if you have like a 2.0 at Harvard and you graduate at like the bottom middle of your class it could actually been seen as worse than if you worked your butt of and made the top of the class with a 4.0 UMO. I also thought his point about kids with money already having a leg up when it comes to getting into Ivy League schools simply because they can pay to do more and make themselves look better which I thought was an accurate observation. — If you’re a student who is finished with the college process, what advice would you give high school juniors? Don't worry about rejection. The 1st letter I got was a rejection letter and it sent me into a frenzy. I was so scared that I wasn't going to get into anywhere so much so that I forgot that the school I applied to was highly selective. In the resulting weeks I got accepted to all my other schools, so don't worry about one rejection. College is a lot more than you think so apply to all of the scholarships that you can you're going to need them and do it early to get it off your mind. Also pick your school on your comfort level to go just because someone tells you to go because you enjoy it there. Also where you think you might want to go could change. I know that from when I was in middle school I wanted to go to school in Boston my mind was set on it and then I fell in love with a school in upstate New York which is a huge change in scenery. — What is your idea of what the perfect college for you might be? Why? I wanna be somewhere where it's a lot of hard work so I can challenge myself, but I also want to be abler to have down time and get along with people. So I'd never want to go to an Ivy League school because I don't like those kinds of people they all seem really elitist. I think I could be comfortable in a city or in the country, I just want a medium sized school where I can get a good education.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
— Do you think SAT scores could be a good indicator of future career success? Why or why not? Not at all. They literally have nothing to do with anything in the workplace. They don't show that you're capable of doing anything in the real world. I mean when you get to the work place when are you going to take a four hour test in a pressure filled window? Also once you reach your career you're already well beyond where you were, at your junior and senior year in high school. — If you were on a hiring committee at a workplace, would you consider SAT scores as part of an applicant’s materials? I would consider their college grades, what classes they took, where they went to school, all of that stuff but never their SAT scores. You improve and learn so much through college why should something you did back in high school matter or be able to predict your future. I'm sure 90% of people didn't have a clue what they wanted to do when they grew up at that point in their life. What if a job applicant did not take the SAT? Do you think some employers would penalize that person? How should this situation best be handled, in your opinion? I think they shouldn't but if it was important to them they would. I think the SATS should be used only for college they have no place in the work place.
Monday, March 24, 2014
— How much have you learned about climate change in school? What do you believe about it? I've learned very little about climate change in school to be perfectly honest. Granted I don't take an environmental class, but it still seems like in freshman and sophomore science I should've been taught something considering it's a pretty big deal. The only real teachings I've gotten are the bandwagons messages from students and even that has been more helpful than occasionally saying oh by the way the planet is dying and now on to my next boring lecture. The school even stopped recycling bottles so I guess that stopped being important. But they do recycle paper, kinda. Oh and they save paper by not allowing us to print although I'm pretty sure that's more about saving money than actually saving the environment. I believe that climate change is a very real thing even though I'm coming from Maine where it's winter till like the end of April and I believe that we should do something about it. — How compelling do you find this most recent report to be? I find it very compelling because rather than beat you over the head with the same message over and over again the present it as an argument. They also break it down into plain and simple terms that way dumb people like me who don't understand science actually know what the heck is going on. Also as an argument it makes it more interesting to read rather than some boring analytical piece that has a whole lot of statistics. — What do you think scientists like these can do to “cut through public confusion” about global warming? Break it down into simple and easy terms. They need to understand that a good portion of the population just doesn't get it, or has just heard the message so much they don't care anymore. With that they also need to talk more about how it will benefit the people. Granted they do by saying the Earth will die eventually, but people are selfish they don't care about the eventuality only the here and now so tell people how it will help them. Also do a better job of making alternative energy affordable, I'm sure more people would be willing to use solar panels if it didn't cost an arm and a leg. They should also start an ad campaign to counteract big oil because big oil has such a strangle hold on America; get your message out, use the tv, use the internet.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I could never really see myself joining a fraternity. It's never something that's been appealing to me and unfortunately it's because of all the things I hear and see in the media and even in television and movies. However I know people who are doing very well in their fraternity so I think as long as you're comfortable where you are you should do it and I think for some people it's a very positive thing. In order to police themselves better I think fraternities should think of why they call themselves brothers. To me at least you wouldn't maliciously bully or beat your brother so much so that it causes him pain, and you most defiantly wouldn't let him go out on his own wandering after a long night of drinking. So I think that they should just look after each other better much like you would with a real brother. I think that pledging is one of things that the people who it happened to are like well it happened to me so it should happen to you. I think Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a good idea of banning pledges. I think that in order to respond to bad behavior by students you must first start by taking care of your students. Everyone knows what goes on in frats and if you're a college administrator saying you don't than you're just plain dumb. The minor things that's happen are a part of growing up and a part of the college experience now granted bad things do happen and they are very very tragic, yet they get blown up in the media because here's the real news flash the get headlines and sell papers. If you say all is fine and dandy at the frat no one cares. I have to say I think banning fraternities is a bad move. A know a lot of people who have gotten good experiences out of it, and you basically have to screen your students better and actually look after them.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Weather in Maine- It's been well documented Maine has three seasons. Summer (where it is actually decent out but only last from July to August), Winter (which typically last from November to April), and mud season (this is the cause of all of the snow melting and the rain we get it lasts about April to the end of June). As I write this it is snowing again for probably the 100th time this winter and quite frankly I'm sick of it. Normally I don't mind it but this year Mother Nature has been unreasonable. I wanna put down my snow shovel and pick up my sand shovel and go build castles on the beach gosh darn it! Facebook-oh Facebook the relationship we use to have. It was you and me everyday chatting with friends, giving useful updates, and sometimes a good video oh and let's not forget those games either. But now, now our relationship well it's complicated. I hate you yet I go on you every day. And everyday all I see our people (even famous celebrities) trying to sell me things, or how about all the memes about trucks and which one is better news flash der guy no one cares, or my personal favorite the trashy Facebook fight it's basically like having my own reality tv show develop right before my eyes. Lying- now generally I'm an honest guy. It's because I don't like being mean. But sometimes a good lie is necessary. For example protecting your child's innocence by lying to them about Santa or the stork. Also lying can get you out of a lot of trouble and even I have used it on several occasions. But sometimes lies are just plain dumb and useless too. Like telling everyone your cousin works for tony hawk, and the fray, and Obama. Lying is a necessary evil in our society you just have to make sure you use it the right way. School Lunch- I weigh roughly 220 pounds (I know what a fatty right, don't worry it's all muscle). I'm a three sport athlete and when it comes to lunch I'm starving. I honestly have no idea how I'm supposed to subsist off of one measly plate of food which typically is the size of the sandwich. Now I know we have an obesity epidemic on our hands, but hey that's what makes America, Murica! Now under feeding kids at school isn't going to do anything to stop obesity. In fact I'd be willing to wager that these kids well just go home and snack on unhealthy food at their house because they're starving. So why not make the food healthy but gives us normal portions that we everyone gets full but still remains healthy. Senior privileges- you're darn tootin I deserve privileges I have been in this school for four years! I actually really like the privileges afford to us by the school. Our parking lot is a teensy bit closer than the GPL and if we're not late we can walk indoors. Plus I get to leave school in study hall anyways which is a very nice privilege. Topic of our choice- I've been in high school for three and half years now. I'm graduating soon which should be a happy occasion. I should be able to sit back and enjoy my life with my only worries being will I survive college? And will I be able to pay for it? It shouldn't be can I pay for my own graduation? Why do I have to pay for my own diplomas for goodness sake? I mean if they're that expensive just slap a sticky on my head and call it good.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
— The author makes the argument that “the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited.” Do you think you inherited these qualities? Or do you think you had to develop them on your own? I don't think these qualities are inherited I defiantly believe that it's something you develop. For example plenty of people fail and let that be the end of it, while others take this failure and turn it into something positive. I believe that it's things that happen to you in your life that make you feel these things. — Do you feel your fate is already predetermined by your lineage — your parents and ancestors? Or do you feel you are in the driver’s seat in determining your own success? I definitely don't think my fate is determined by my lineage. I mean maybe if I was going to be king of England than yeah I'd think that, but I'm not. Instead I have my whole life to decided on what I'm going to do. If this wasn't true and everyone already had a predetermined fate then what would be the point of schooling or going for others jobs? I think my success is shaped by how hard I'm willing to work not because my last name is Brobst. — Do you think you will be better or worse off than your parents? In what ways? Why? I think my parents are happy were they are and will be happy with that for the rest of their lives. And I think that when it's all said and done I'll be happy with where I'm at. I don't think you can compare the two because I'll have lived a different life from my parents.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
A Pulitzer Prize is an achievement award given to someone who is gifted in Journalism, literature, or music. There are only thirteen made each year. The writer is Mark Mahoney and he works for the Post-Star in New York. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his editorials that brought to light government secrecy and encouraged the common man to do the same. In order to gain such information he interviewed those around him to try and uncover the truth! There is defiantly a bias in it it's and editorial. The tone is more harsh and persuasive and it's a lot longer with a lot more detail to it.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I firmly believe everyone one is creative. I think that if this wasn't the case there would be no need for new toys or those fancy action play sets that I never had because my parents never loved me. But there would be no need for these if kids weren't creative or had no imagination. I also believe that some people are naturally more creative than others, just like some people are smarter than others, and others more athletic. However I feel like creativity is the same as being smarter or more athletic. If you're lacking in that area but are willing to put in work to make it better you can be better. I hate when bathroom locks haven been smashed because someone thought it would be super cool to kick the door in like our bathrooms. I also hate when fun stuff closes early like many thing do in Maine and then you run out of things to do. And I hate when I drop my phone on my face it is probably the single most irritating pain I get. The problems in my school is that it is ether too hot or well below freezing there is no middle ground. It's also a very boring high school with not much to do in it that isn't some how related to school work. There also is nothing to do outside of school. Like unless I'm willing to spend upwards of $100 dollars on a tee shirt I can't go shopping in Freeport and should I get the urge to shop or eat past nine in the evening well that's too bad for me because the sidewalks have already been rolled up. Well I think to creatively fix my first problem, I'd bring in a huge wrecking ball and demolish this school. From there I'd install some heat because we live in Maine and it'd be a good idea. And then I'd put in some ac and windows that open all the way, and not make the place out of brick so it's not an oven. Also I'd just use the iPads as Frisbees. I think we should have creative class so my life wouldn't be so boring.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Sawatzki's three rules of interviewing are: Don't ask yes or no questions Don't use charged words Keep your question short and succinct When interviewing the most important thing you want to do is make sure the interview is not about you, make it about the person you're interviewing. Also with that let the person speak for themselves don't try and make emotions or try and get them to answer they way you want them to, let them tell their story. For me some of the challenges I've encountered with interviewing is coming up with a long list of good questions. I've also found it difficult sometimes to get good answers out of people but it think that's also due to my lack of good questioning. Also this is more of a personal thing but getting the timing down and setting up a time to interview someone is also a difficult process. I think that in order to get better answers for my questions I have to a start generating better questions and b make it more conversational rather than reading off a long list of questions and boring my interviewee to death.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
It's almost ironic that Macklemore should come up when talking about white privilege because he has a song off of one of his earlier albums that is called "White Privilege." In that song he does discuss how it's different for a white rapper coming up. When he was getting started he didn't have to deal wi the same struggles as the black rappers did and he essentially pays tribute to that in that song. So I think if he's recognizing it it's probably a real thing and I do think it is continuing. I think that Macklemore through out the course of the year was more popular with the masses and I think that's because more people were willing to listen to him. Now I don't think it only had to do with him being white but I do believe that that did play a part. I honestly think it was okay for him to apologize to Kendrick. Although admittedly I have only l listened to Macklemore's album so I really have no way of comparing the two. I mean honestly Macklemore's only human so he may have made a mistake but I truly believe that if he did he meant no offense by it and in their typical way the media blew the story up. I also believe that Macklemore has listened to Kendrick's album and did in fact enjoy it and he was just trying to pay respect.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Dear reader, As a writer I feel like this year has been pretty easy. I've struggled with my grammar like always and not procrastinating so much but overall I think I've succeed just about everywhere. I chose the two pieces I had because I thought they were my best work. I thought they captured my humor well and were very polished. I also thought that they were two of the best pieces I'd written all year and so I wanted to include them. The personality profile was a pretty simple process I just interviewed Michael Hoffer via email and then told his story. My college essay was a bit more challenging because after all I sent it away to a couple of colleges so I wanted it to be perfect. It's a very polished copy but I also think it captures me and who I am and that was defiantly a long process. Like for example I had to write at least four different essays before choosing that one and even when I did chose it I had to cut out quite a bit of it and almost restart it. In the end though it came out pretty well in my humble opinion. I think I achieved many of my goals that I had. I've feel like I've become a stronger writer and am more able to incorporate my voice and my humor into my pieces. I think this came about just simply from practicing and continuing to work on my craft. I'm still working on my grammar and spelling and also not putting off my work. And this I think is something that will just come with practice and I'll actually start doing my papers earlier so I can get them done and have a chance to read through them. I guess for me my final hopes are to just continue writing and keep working on improving myself. I wanna try and add mor humor into my pieces especially the ones that are the boring and analytical pieces and I also want to become better at journalism. By that I mean I want to become stronger in interviews and get better at making interview questions. I also want to write more succinctly and learn how to chose my words carefully. I'd also like to know what it's like to go out into the field and do actually reasearch. All in all though I feel like I had a successful semester and can't wait for the next one to start and then end so I can get out of here and move on to bigger and better things. Sincerely, Adam Brobst
I've played on many sports teams in my life. I dabbled in basketball when I was younger but that didn't go far due to my ability to be as graceful as a walrus flopping around on rocks. Freeport is also a huge soccer town so virtually everyone played soccer in elementary school, and, again being the graceful kid that I am, I was stuck in the goal to pick grass. Then there was baseball where every ball was hurled like a meteor, destined to kill me. During this time however I tried one sport that I came to love. I was in third grade when I was first introduced to swimming and with encouragement from my parents I decided to try it out. When I was younger new things scared me, so going and swimming with a bunch of strangers was a daunting task. However, my best friend was swimming as well and that gave me the comfort to dive in, so to speak. I remember my first year of swimming and my major goal really was to try and not drown. To this day I would have to say that is still one of my major goals. The appealing thing about swimming is that not only am I competing against others, but I’m also competing against myself. Since swimming is a time based sport, finishing last in a heat doesn’t mean you didn't do well. I wasn't always the fastest, but I always worked hard to improve. Swimming was a sport where I could actually see my improvement each meet. I could just take the times from the last place ribbons, set them side by side, taking comfort in the fact that I had at least dropped time. The season was also a long one lasting 6 months. It could really take a toll on a body. But I never gave up, I couldn’t give up. I knew that each time I swam I had to get better or at least try. Believe me there were times when it was hard, but I couldn’t disappoint my friends who were counting on me to score points that would help our team win, but I also couldn’t disappoint myself. I’d worked too hard not to have anything to show for it. Swimming was not just about me though. My teammates played a huge role in both my development as a swimmer but also as a person. They went from being strangers to some of the closest friends I have ever known. I knew I could count on them for anything, and I know they felt the same. This and my drive to get better is why I believe my teammates chose me as captain. Not that I’m bragging or anything because I mean nobody would ever want to do that in a college essay. I also remember times when all the other teams around ours would be in little cliques but we always had our team in one big circle because we enjoyed hanging out together. We would also always go to the other end of the lane when one of our teammates was swimming so we could cheer them on. In the end swimming has one goal. It is to get from point A to point A as quickly as possible and to many this is tedious, to many this is difficult, but to me this was my comfort zone. I knew that in the pool I could be me. My friends would never judge me, and all I had to do was push myself a little more in order to get better. I knew I wouldn’t be an Olympian, but that didn’t stop me from trying .Whenever I feel that wet tile under my feet and smell that chlorine as it burns my nose I feel at peace and know I can do anything.
Going into this interview I didn't know Michael Hoffer and he didn't know me. To be honest I was terrified to contact him, cold calling isn't really my strong suit because I always feel like I'm bothering the person. Going into this I had that very same mindset. I figured Mr. Hoffer would just brush me off as some annoying little high schooler, however my mindset changed the minute he said, "And please call me Michael. Mr. Hoffer makes me feel old." Michael turned out to be one of the nicest people I've met and was more than willing to help me out, so I just wanted to take a moment and thank him. Michael was born in Arizona and lived there for most of his early life. Growing up he played both basketball and baseball, although in his own words he was "an average athlete, not a great one" yet he had drive and always wanted to win and perform at his best. Growing up Michael had all sorts of sports idols and a whole array of favorite sports teams. He routed for the Phenoix Suns because they were the local team, but he was also a life long fan of the Unversity of Kentucky's basketball team. For baseball he liked both the San Fransico Gaints because they weren't the LA Dodgers, which was everyone else favorite team, but he also liked the Milwuakee Brewers because his grandparents lived there and he used to go to a lot of the games. For football he was a Raiders fan and also a Jets fan which on looking back he says he's not very proud of. When it came time for college Michael decided to stay local going to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, which he described as a great college town. It's about an hour from the Grand Canyon and two hours from Phenoix and he graduated from there with a history major. From here he bounced around from place to place and odd job to odd job. It wasn't until he ended up in Maine working for the Forecaster that he had his first full time job and finally found something that he loved to do. I asked him if he could do it over again would he and he replyed "If I could do it over again, I wish I had known what I wanted to do when I was younger and not wasted several years of my 20s in dead-end jobs which I didn't care for. I'm very happy where I am now. There's nothing more enjoyable than covering games in this area, so I guess I wound up where I was supposed to be. Just wish I'd gotten here faster!" It should also be noted that with his geographical changes, some of Michael's alliegences changed. He became a Red Sox fan mostly because his friend was a Yankees fan but also the Yankees drove him insane and speaking of which he also gave me a list of teams he hated; Duke basketball, Notre Dame football, LA Lakers, the Jets (like I said he wasn't proud of his earlier allegiance), and the worst of all was the New York Giants because they had beaten the Patriots in two recent Super Bowls. The Patriots became his favorite team in all of sports and Tom Brady became one of his favorite sports heros, along with retired Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. Michael told me that since a young age he was always interested in sports and would read Sports Illustrated, but it wasn't until he was thirty that he actually started his carrer in sports journalisim. He started it at the Forecaster in 1999 and worked as a free-lancer writer for two years until he became the full time sports editor. Along the side he has contributed to other writings and continually contributes to New England Lacrosse Journal. I asked him how one could break into his field and he gave me some great advice. He said that you should continually read and write, even if no one but your family is willing to read your work because it will just give you a way to practice your craft. He said that you should read because it just keeps you up to date with what's going on in the world. He also said that job-shadowing and just getting your foot in the door is a big thing and many people within in the sports journalism field are willing to help you. Through out his career Michael covered and witnessed many things. As a fan he enjoyed both the Red Sox comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS game and the 1992 Duke-Kentucky East Region Men's basketball game although he wasn't too happy about Duke's victory in the end. As a writer he's covered many great high school games including many Falmouth-Yarmouth regional soccer games, a Brunswick-Portland basketball where a player named Ralph Mims scored 47 points, yet his team couldn't come up with the win. He also says that he has covered too many overtime lacrosse games to count. Even though I never actually met Michael face to face I really got a feel for who he was, and learned a lot about his job and it has helped to inspire me even further to want to go into this field. So again I would like to just extend a huge thank you to him and his kindness and willingness to help out a young but still very talented writer.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/politics/christie-feds-investigating-sandy-ads/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 in this article it is discussed how Governor Christie, the governor of New Jersey, may have taken funds that were generated by the relief campaign for Superstorm Sandy and used them for his own political gain. I just thought this was pure evil and what is wrong with politics because so many people came together over this and yet some how a politician still managed to screw it up and ruin it.
Sooooo here's the thing my article a) didn't have an easily accessible link and b) I kinda forgot I didn't post it on here till right now. Anyways I do remember it was about the Miami dolphins lineman, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, and the bullying scandal that came out of that whole thing. I remember when I first read about it I thought how foolish it was for grown men to bully each other, or for that matter how that could even happen but as the story developed it really got more complex and intriguing.