What is Focused Inquiry?

This week I had to present a speech about what focused inquiry was. So as we are coming to the very end of this unit I feel as though it’s only right to reflect on my time this semester and last and talk about what focused inquiry and how it has helped me. I used to think that focused inquiry just an in depth look at specific or serious topics. Although this is a part of it, it isn’t everything that focused inquiry is.

Focused inquiry is being able to look at things, no matter how simple, and being able to understand that there is a deeper meaning to it. Focused inquiry is learning about being able to communicate your ideas effectively, whether it be on paper or orally. We were taught the important of volume, articulation, pace and emphasis in speaking. We were taught to get out of our comfort zone, when it came to speaking and in collaborative learning. My professor would put us in different groups for assignments so we could learn to interact well with others and be comfortable sharing our writing with others. Focused inquiry is being aware of ethical and quantitative reasoning and being able to demonstrate information fluency Focused inquiry is critical thinking. We are always asked to reflect deeper than our initial thought or response. Critical thinking skills were especially tested in this last unit. Having talks about ethics and being presented with different ethical scenarios tested all of our critical skills. The thing about focused inquiry is that it forces you to think. You can’t do any of the assignments and expect to good a good grade if you aren’t thinking. It also gives you a level of confidence that other classes don’t five you.

I made some great friends in this class and I am very grateful for each of them. Specifically to the three girls at my table. We become so close between this semester and I’m going to miss them so much. I’m also very grateful to have Professor Galligan. He is always able to help with anything that I needed and always had a positive attitude. He definitely made my focused inquiry experience 100 times better and I wish I could have him for UNIV 200, but I am still looking forward to applying the skills that I learned from him, my peers, and this class in general to the next focused inquiry class.

Summer Plans

This summer will be the busiest summer I’ve had in a while and I am already stressing about it. I had to register for summer classes at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. I have to take anatomy and physiology part one and two as a pre-requisite for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program that I am trying to get into next semester. Finding out about the registration date and how exactly to register for this class was hard enough because my advisor didn’t know anything about it. So my friend and I had to find out the information for ourselves because we have the same advisor. It turns out that there is an online and offline form that you have to submit so that it can go through their system before you are able to register. Once you got the confirmation email, then you are able to add the classes. So of course, I didn’t get the email until two days after the registration date and I didn’t get the professor that I wanted, but at least I was able to register for the classes so it’s alright.

If taking summer classes isn’t enough, I’ve also agreed to sing at a few different events like weddings, graduations, and church services during the summer to make some extra money. A few of them are out of the country or a few hours away, so practicing the music for these events and traveling should be interesting to say the least. I’ve also been asked to decorate a few weddings. Now that I think about it, I don’t know how I was asked to do that because I’m not a wedding decorator and it’s not anything that I’ve shown interest in before, but a little extra money won’t hurt. Plus I have to get a part-time job to help pay for tuition and other things that I’ll be needing for next semester.

I’m also planning on attending an event that Seventh-Day Adventist churches in all different conferences go to every 4 years in Wisconsin called Oshkosh. This trip is from August 12-17th and over 80,0000 people are going to be headed there this summer. It should be a really fun experience considering so many different people from different countries are going to be there and I’m very excited to go because this will be my first time attending. However I know it will be stressful with packing and being on this huge camp site in tents the whole time and then having to come back to the first day of class on the 20th. As you can see, my summer will not be restful at all but I am looking forward to all of these possible opportunities, people I’m going to meet, and all of the memories I’m going to make!

Global Communication

This semester I have an online class called global communication. In this class, as you can probably guess, it talks about globalization, global communication, or international affairs from different regions. There are lectures, videos, and readings that we have to complete each week to complete the discussion board assignments, news reflections, or quizzes. Since the beginning of the semester, I’ve explained matters involving different countries and regions such as Africa, North and South America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. I also have a global media project that is due in the next couple of weeks.

I had an assignment that’s due today and it was on the disappearance and death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He was one of the most influential Saudi and Arab political commentators of his generation and had a career that lasted about 30 years. Jamal was known to be judgmental of the Saudi government and how it was run. He was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. For weeks, none of the Saudi officials wanted to speak up on what had happened and kept denying that he had been killed at the consulate. They even went as far saying that he had left but his fiancé confirmed that she never saw him even though she was waiting outside for him. He only went into the consulate to get the papers that were needed to marry her.

A few incidents led to the cause of his disappearance and death. Jamal Khashoggi interviewed Osama bin Laden in the 80s which made him one of the top journalists in his country which in turn gave him a lot of attention. Some of it positive and some of it negative. Also, The Saudi Royal family didn’t want him to write at all because he was critical of Donald Trump. This made him leave Saudi Arabia altogether and come to the US in 2017. During the investigation, it was found that the murder was pre-meditated because he continuously spoke out against the Saudi government. There were audio recordings of the murder that were found but were not made to the public. However, officials say that Khashoggi was being tortured and dismembered by a saw.

After the murder was finally confirmed, people are starting to wonder if this will lead to other deaths of citizens that are conducting free press because what ultimately led to his death was how he was brave enough to speak out against the Saudi government. It is a really sad situation for his everyone that was affected by his death.

Sinking Ship

The ship is sinking and the seas are rough. All but one lifeboat has been destroyed. All but one lifeboat has been destroyed. The lifeboat holds a maximum of five people. There are ten people that want to board the lifeboat. The five individuals who do not board the boat will certainly die.

  • Woman who thinks she is six weeks pregnant
  • Lifeguard
  • Two young adults who recently married
  • Senior citizen who has fifteen grandchildren
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Thirteen-year-old twins
  • Veteran nurse
  • Captain of the ship

We were asked this ethical dilemma in our last class and were told to think about the five people that we would let board the lifeboat. After taking some time to think about it, I chose the two young adults who recently got married, thirteen-year-old twins, and the veteran nurse. Take some time to think about it. Which five people would you let board the lifeboat? I’ll explain the reasonings for my decisions and the reasons why I didn’t pick the others.

I chose the two young adults who just got married because they are just starting an important part of your life and will probably plan on bringing other lives into this world. The possible future of their lives has just started, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep just one and wouldn’t be right to choose neither of them. I chose the thirteen-year-old twins because in a way they are like the married couple. It wouldn’t be right to break them up and only choose one and being thirteen you are moving onto a new chapter in your life. Their life has just started in a way because they are about to experience high school, driving, relationships, etc. I also chose the veteran nurse simply because I thought it would be a good idea to have someone with medical experience on the lifeboat to help in a possible medical scenario.

It’s never our decision to choose who deserves to live and who doesn’t. Which is why I find these types of ethical questions so difficult; but with that being said, this is just my reasonings as to why I didn’t choose any of the other five. I didn’t choose the woman who thinks she is pregnant solely because of the word “thinks”. Had it said she was six weeks pregnant, my answer would’ve changed. I didn’t choose the lifeguard of the captain of the ship because I feel that they are kind of incompetent. I didn’t choose the elementary school teacher because I didn’t feel as though they were urgent enough. Maybe if they taught disabled students it would’ve been different. I also didn’t choose the grandmother because although she has fifteen grandchildren, I feel as though she lived her life when there are more people on the list that are kind of just starting theirs.

Female Leadership

Yesterday I attended a Robertson School Speaker event for m global communication class in the University Student Commons Theater. A woman named Kristen Cavallo was the main speaker and she talked about how she became the CEO of the Martin Agency in December of 2017. Although this was an important accomplishment for her, she was mainly there to talk about female leadership. I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I do strongly care about women’s issues, and from what I gathered she had that same view. The main thing was that she wants to see more women in leadership roles, and have it seen as a normal standard.

Yes, there are plenty of women in leadership positions in jobs that they may work in but she stated the fact that men dominate most leadership positions even though studies have shown that when there are more women working on a team, it accounts for more team efficiency, out performance of companies that have more men, and median returns on assets are well over 50% higher. She talked about how she made strides in the company she worked at previously for six years to eliminate wage gaps, increase diversity hires, and producing double digit growth with new clients.

One of the things that I liked that she said and that I find to be very true is that she doesn’t want just all women to be in power. She said she is striving for equality and not the reverse of power. She made it clear that even though studies show that with a more diverse group of women working at a company, it solves and dissolves more problems, there would be our own share of problems if all women were in power. There needs to be an equal balance to help with all issues. Some of the presentation included how hard it was for women in general to get into certain types of leadership positions, but she also talked about how nearly impossible it is to see women of color in certain types of leadership positions. I’m glad that she touched on this because it is the sad truth in the world we live in. Being a woman, trying to get into those leadership positions, you are looked at as a minority. Being anything other than a white woman, you are seen as a double minority. This has to change, and I believe we are the generation to do it.

Learning

I learned a lot from my last semester at VCU. I spent so much time overthinking and worrying about things that were out of my control or things that would be over in 30 minutes of less. I had to learn how to manage my time much better than what I was used to and find motivation from somewhere when I absolutely didn’t have any energy left. Last semester was really tough for me because I didn’t have a lot of time in between classes to do homework or study. It was especially difficult because I commute and being on campus until 6 for three days out of the week made getting assignments done and studying a real challenge.

My high school experience was different from most people’s. I took all my courses online and it was all at my own pace. The program that I used gave me all year to finish the assignments, meaning there were no set deadlines from week to week. Everything was due one year from the day I enrolled. It was so easy to get behind and to not work on certain subjects sufficiently but eventually I got the hang of managing my time. Because of this system, I didn’t study a lot for tests and assignments because I could refer back to the lessons and my notes while taking them. At the time this was great, but when I got to college, I realized I didn’t really know how to study. It took me a few exams and quizzes to figure out what studying tactics worked for me and got me the grades I needed. A lot of people say “the first year is just a learning year” but for me it wasn’t because I’m applying to a program that is for first year students and of course they are looking for students that did well their first year.

However, I learned from the first semester that stressing about assignments, quizzes, and exams makes things so much worse at the end of the day doesn’t make you do any better on any quiz, test, or assignment. My approach this semester was to not stress at all (which wounds very unrealistic) but it is helping me so far. Yes, I still get stressed out sometimes, but not nearly as bad or as long as I did before. I know that I’m doing my best and whatever the end result is, is what it’s going to be and worrying about it won’t change that fact. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t slack, but just do your best and don’t stress about the outcomes of situations because it’s not worth it in the long run.

Texting and Driving

My multimodal project this unit was about bringing awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. My message is really about distracted driving in general because it isn’t just texting that causes accidents. Being on social media, talking on the phone, or just scrolling through apps on your phone are all very big issues and things that people do every day while they are driving. Distracted driving causes five times as many accidents than driving while under the influence. Everyday over 10 people die from texting.

Distracted driving is a personal issue with me because my mom and I were once in a very serious car accident because of it. A few years ago, my mom and I were on the way to pick up my little sister from her babysitter. We were stopped at a light and it had just turned green when all of a sudden, a car comes flying from the other side of the road and hits our car on the left side and our car flies a few feet and we hit a poll. It all happened so fast. The next thing I know, my mom and I are in an ambulance being rushed to a hospital.        When we get to the hospital, the story was pieced together for us. Apparently, the young girl that hit me and my mom was talking on the phone and she was being impatient. She tried to drive around a truck that was stopped at a red light, but since she was talking on the phone, she didn’t realize that the light had turned green and the truck had started to move. So as soon as she got in front of the truck, the truck hit the back of her car and made her spin into our car on the other side of the road.

My mom and I ended up being okay, but it could’ve easily been so much worse and all because of a distracted driver. We had to go to court and pay out of pocket for some of the things, so it ended up being really inconvenient. I guess my point is that be mindful when you pick up your phone to send a “quick text” or just answer a call “really quick” because it only takes less than a second for something to happen to you or someone else that you can’t control and won’t be able to take back.

Eating Healthy

Eating healthy is so important, especially at our age. Most likely the habits we form now will carry on into our older adulthood. So, it is very important to form good eating habits now so that we will continue them when we are older and on our own. Having a healthy and balanced diet is the key to maintaining a health weight. Being either overweight or underweight can cause serious issues.

There is a difference between being overweight and being obese. The difference comes down to a person’s Body Mass Index or BMI. Having a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight and having a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. It can also be hard to lose weight if you come from a family that is obese/overweight. Although obesity itself isn’t genetic, if your family is used to eating a certain way than you are most likely to develop those eating habits which can cause you to become overweight or obese. Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between being healthy and being a certain weight. For example, you can be a certain weight, but it doesn’t mean that your body is healthy or that you have good eating habits. Eating vegetables and fruits can protect against certain types of cancer. About how many times a week do you eat fruit/vegetables? And having an overall healthy and balanced diet can reduce the risk of becoming obese or developing heart disease or diabetes.

It can be hard to eat healthy with our schedules. A lot of times we tend to skip breakfast, or just eat the same thing like Taco Bell or Pizza Hut every day. Do you usually eat breakfast? If so, what do you eat? While this may seem convenient and we may feel like we don’t have time to eat, we should always make the time. Skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar which can increase how much fat you store. If you struggle with keeping your weight down, then try to pick foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients to help control the weight. What are some other things people can do to help keep your weight down? If you struggle to keep your weight up, try picking foods that have more calories and high in carbohydrates. Also try eating more snacks throughout the day and try to not drink water before meals so that you don’t get too full are able to eat full meals. What are other things people can do to gain weight?

Ethics vs Morals

Both ethics and morals refer to what’s right and wrong. Although they are similar, there are some differences. Ethics are rules that are recognized by a specific group of culture. “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” -Potter Stewart. Morals however refer to principals that we hold ourselves to. “The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test or moral character.” -Margaret Chase Smith.

Here are some ethical examples to consider:

  • Is killing a murderer justified? Why or why not?
  • Should people be able to decide the sex of their baby in advance? Why or why not?
  • Would you steal for your family if you had no money and no other means of getting it? Why or why not?

Here is a moral example to consider:

One morning you are driving to school/work and you are running a little late, so you start speeding a little. You look away from the road for just a few seconds to change the CD, when all of a sudden, your car hits something very solid. Your car spins to a stop but several other car hits something very solid. Your car spins to a stop but several other cars crash into yours and other cars in an attempt to avoid the accident. After a few moments of sitting in the car in shock, you get out of the cat and see the person that you hit. They took terrible and very close to dead. But as you are standing there looking at this person that you might have killed, a woman comes up to crying and very distraught. You ask her what’s wrong and is she okay. She says that she just ran over someone. You ask her where the person is, and she points to the person that you hit. You don’t know why but for some reason she feels that she has caused the accident and hit the person even though you know you were the one that did. Whoever accepts the blame is very likely to put in jail for a long tie. Do you let the woman take the blame or do you take the chance and try to get away with it and risk getting thrown in jail because you tried to cover it up?

Relationships

I feel that any type of relationship can be happy, stressful, complicated, etc. There are so many different types of relationships, but I feel that the one people tend to think of the most when hearing that word is a romantic type of relationship. However, this isn’t the only kind of relationship that can bring out all these strong and different emotions. It could be a friendship, a relationship with your sibling, even the relationship you have with your parents or other close family members. I feel that all relationships are complicated in their own way and tend to get more complicated as we get older because we all change so much. But they all require a lot of effort.

Friendships for example require a lot of forgiveness and understanding. I think that a lot of people take friendship for granted and don’t treat them as a real relationship. But they are something that you have to continue to work at and improve. I had a recent situation in where I had to end a 16-year long friendship because my “best-friend” stopped being a friend. It was hard lesson and it took me a while to learn. The lesson I learned was that you shouldn’t excuse someone treating you poorly just because you’ve known them or been friends with them for a long time. People that are toxic to your life, shouldn’t be in it, no matter how long you’ve known them or been friends.

Another relationship that you should continue to work on and improve is family relationships. I think that this can be one of the most strained relationships. I’m very grateful to have a good relationship with my parents but it wasn’t always like that. When I was in high school, especially my freshmen and sophomore year, it was very strained. There was a lot of arguments and things we just didn’t see eye to eye on. However, I tried my best to communicate with them, but it would always end up in a screaming match. Over time we found ways to communicate without the yelling and things are a lot better now.  My final thoughts would be to not give up on people. Don’t just give up on someone because the situation isn’t what you wanted it to be and because it isn’t ideal. All relationships have their problems, and no one is perfect. But learn the difference between doing what’s best for you and letting go of what’s toxic.