Author Archives: kdurante

#thoughtvectors metaphor

Your post should be several paragraphs in length and it should reference specific assignments, learning moments, blog posts, blog commentary, (or any other thing that happened in the course).

I think that in a way, this class has been like working out or exercising. You start out slow and easy, and each week you take on more and it gets a little harder.

When exercising, you do not just start off running 10 miles, instead you star off walking a mile or two, and then slowly build on that each week. This is really similar to how this class was. This class started out really simple with first creating our Rampages blog. Then,  reading  “As We May Think” and blogging a “nugget” about it and other simple assignments like how we think, commenting on our peers posts, and the associative trails assignment. Then as the semester progressed, the assignments got a little longer, more challenging, and more time consuming like the “Deep Diving” post and all of the other research posts we had to do.  But it all built off of each other, just like exercising. You are working harder and harder to better yourself, and that is what we did in this class. We started with simple reading and writing, and then slowly dived into doing research and slowly pieced together a long and thoughtful Inquiry Project.

Also, just like exercising, this class required A LOT of self-motivation. There are a lot of assignments and being that it was strictly online, you had to push yourself to keep moving forward and get all of the assignments done. There were a lot of times I thought about giving up, but instead I had to keep pushing myself to just get through the assignments.

Another thing similar to exercising is the peer help or motivation. Several different assignments required us to go read our peers work and give them helpful feedback. This was really helpful for us to better our writing and analyzing skills.


Revised sub-claim

More scholarships and outside help

Another thing that could help lower tuition would not necessarily mean to lower the price tag of attending school, but instead to offer more money to students in the form of scholarships. By offering more scholarships, more students are able to get the financial aid they need to put them through school. One impressive example of a workplace stepping up to help is the fact that Starbucks teamed up with a local college to help their employees attend school at a discounted price or for juniors or seniors to be reimbursed for some of the education they have already paid for. Of course there are stipulations of working 20+ hours and getting 20-22 credits to show that they are dedicated to finishing what they are starting. But with all the help they will be receiving from advisors, coaches, and other important people, these stipulations should not be too hard to fulfill. This excerpt from “The Upwardly Mobile Barista” says a lot and really stuck out to me: “Across the country, dozens of colleges are starting to tap into their own data to find simple and sometimes inexpensive ways to keep their students.” The “simple and inexpensive”  solution that Georgia State University came up with was to start giving out micro-grants. They noticed that a “surprising number of students” quit before finishing because of fees they had to pay that were not covered by their student loans.

It is nice to see that schools are beginning to see that students are struggling and need help. Now, more schools need to take note of this and implement actions to help out students in need of more scholarships or grants.

4 reasons why tuition should be lowered

1. Tuition should be lowered to reduce stress.

   4 reasons why tuition should be lowered

  • Long: “Affordable access to a higher education changed his life in North Carolina, and he wanted that for students in Washington, too,” Bernardo said in a statement.
  • In a way, by reducing stress, lives are being saved. Stress is a factor that can lead to self-harm or even suicide, so by eliminating the stress of how to pay for college, a life could be saved.

2. Tuition should be lowered to eliminate student debt

4 reasons why tuition should be lowered

  • Ripley: Thirty-one years ago, Hamm told her parents she wanted to be a nurse. They told her to get married—they had no money for college. By age 19, she was a wife and a mother. Then came more children, a divorce, and medical bills. In 2007, she took out a loan to attend the University of Phoenix, an online, for-profit school. But when the tuition went up, she quit. She is still paying off the loan.
  • By eliminating student debt, so many lives would be changed. Students, like myself, would not be struggling to work full time in order to pay off their debt. Instead, they could just focus on their studies instead of how they are going to afford their studies.

3. Tuition should be lowered to allow people to pursue their true passions

4 reasons why tuition should be lowered

  • Clark and Wang: Your children will suffer, too, if they’re forced to start their adult lives with onerous debt. “Student loans can affect every decision young adults make: whether they can go to graduate school, buy a house, even start a family,” says Patrick Callan, president of the Higher Education Policy Institute.
  • So many people end up changing their planned major for something they will be able to benefit by moneywise. Instead of following their dreams, people are following the money.

4. Tuition should be lowered in order to allow more people to attend college.

  • Ripley: Between 1970 and 2012, the proportion of American 24-year-olds who came from affluent families and had a bachelor’s degree rose from 40 percent to 73 percent—quite an enlightenment period for privileged kids. But over the same period, the proportion of American 24-year-olds who came from low-income families and had a bachelor’s degree rose from 6 percent to just 8 percent.
  • This statistic is actually pretty sad. If tuition was lowered, this could probably change completely.

Real Estate

I chose to create a new rampages site, because I am already familiar with how it works, and I will be able to do everything I need to for my project on this site.  I just makes it easier to use a site I am already familiar with and that will do everything I need it to, instead of having to learn how to use a new site.

IP introduction

Students from UC Protest against Rise ofTuition Costs. (2014, November 6). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from


It all started after graduating in June 2014. What started? The beginning of never-ending student loans and debt, that is what started. After graduating high school, most people go off to get higher education, which is what I did, but at what cost? I decided I was going to go to VCU and become a dentist after I graduated, but I never really thought a lot about how I was going to be able to pay for it, but it seems now that I am in school, experiencing it all, money is all I think about.

I am currently a commuting sophomore struggling to work full-time to afford the rising tuition costs and make acceptable grades, and to be completely honest it is hard. It is hard to go to school all day, work all evening, stay up all night doing school work, and then turn around to get up early and start the whole process over again. Sometimes I just have to keep reminding myself it will all be worth it one day, but will it? After getting my degree will I get a job making enough to support a family and afford to pay off all of my student loan debt? Nobody really knows this answer, yet every day students are enrolling in college and falling into the money pit of tuition.

IP introduction



Lower Costs of College Tuition. (2013, October 7). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from



So the real question is, what can be done to change the life of so many debt-ridden students? Is there a way to reverse the trend of increasing tuition in order to make college more affordable?

‘Your children will suffer, too, if they’re forced to start their adult lives with onerous debt. “Student loans can affect every decision young adults make: whether they can go to graduate school, buy a house, even start a family,” says Patrick Callan, president of the Higher Education Policy Institute’

I think this will help ground my argument that tuition needs to be lowered, because it really puts into perspective what higher education debt does to a person and how it changes their life completely. It is crazy how just some student loans can completely change the path your future may take.

Concept Experience 8

I think that those of us who commented on his essay, all agree that his writing and formatting are very intriguing. The way he designed his project, and the voice he used in his project really stands out and makes the essay even more interesting to read. Marina says “Reading his project was kinda like reading a magazine article with several inserts that complement the text. His writing was excellent and I really liked was how he used Gladwell’s criticism throughout his own text to support his own arguments.” and it seems that most of us can agree with this. Justin was very well-informed of his research topic and did a great job showing that he was well informed and also interested in the topic he was writing about. I like that he broke it up with pictures and videos, because it helped to break up all the writing, and give the reader evidence of feminism through social media.

Key Concepts:

  1. feminism
  2. social media (forums, etc)
  3. online activism
  4. organization of online and offline movements




“I learned that feminism is not a campaign against men, as many people often believe, but a campaign for equality of the sexes. I began recognizing the insensitivity and misogyny that the media and some of the people around me perpetuate.” I think this quote really shows how invested Justin is on his research topic. This quote shows how much he really cares about the topic, and also gives the reader something to sit back and really think about.  I also like this quote he chose from Emma Cullen,  the author of Feminism and Twitter: “women were uniting on common campaigns even though they are situated in different countries.”. This quote does a really good job in helping him with his argument.

Video Research Nugget Post

New Budget Could Lower College Tuition Costs

Deming, J.(producer). KMOT-TV(director). Dec. 12, 2014. New Budget Could Lower College Tuition Costs. United States. Oct. 28, 2015.

Jennifer Deming works as a general assignment reporter in North Dakota. She has a Master’s in broadcast journalism and is able to shoot, write, and video her own stories.

“The governor’s budget recommendations allocate just over $1 billion to higher education. The focus is on students and making education more attainable and affordable.”

If this governor in North Dakota is making recommendations and trying to implement more affordable tuition, then why can’t governors all around the country start doing this? The money is there, they just are not willing to put it towards higher education. Long in his article “Historic tuition cut sets state apart from the rest of the U.S.”  also talked about government legislators coming up with extra funding in the budget to help students “shift the stress” of paying the outrageous tuition rates. I think that eventually more legislators will begin to understand the problems that increasing tuition rates are causing for current and potential students and will hopefully try to find ways to increase the budget allotted for higher education.


5 Ways to Lower the Cost of College

Melchor, E.(producer). Feb. 18, 2013. 5 Ways to Lower the Cost of College. United States. Oct. 27, 2015.

“Eric Melchor maintains an active role in the community by serving on a number of boards including the Houston Hispanic Forum and Midtown Management District. Eric also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston-Downtown and is a Marketing Director for a retail electricity provider. His vision of launching a program that gives students a sense of purpose for channeling their energy toward achievement of a goal and also combat childhood obesity led to the creation of Fly Movement.” (

“Has anyone ever heard of the study conducted by university professors, and the study was “How long can a shrimp run on a treadmill?” There was an actual study to determine how long a shrimp could run on a treadmill…. So, idea number three is get rid of silly research studies”

In this video, Eric explains five different ideas that can help to lower tuition, and this one is something new that I had not previously read about, but I like it. He says “to get rid of silly research studies” which may offend some people, but I think it would be a good idea to help a majority of students to start saving money. This can also go in hand with the schools doing pointless remodeling or renovation jobs, because as students, we help pay for that construction job. I think that by eliminating unnecessary stuff, we will be able to cut costs on tuition. His five ways to help lower tuition are similar to the ideas of Clark and Wang in their article “Stop the Tuition Madness“.

I think the shrimp example that Melchor talks about is a great example to further look into and write about in my IP essay. Like I said before, it may offend some people, but why spend money on research like that? I get that research must be conducted to make further discoveries, and I also get that research is an important aspect in life to understand things, but what I do not get is why waste money on research that does not serve much purpose? I mean, when are you ever going to need to know, or even care, how long a shrimp can run on a treadmill?