College

This year is probably the year I’ve learned the most. Living independently can be hard but is essential. Growing up living in my grandparents’ home, there were a lot of people living so there would always be people by my side. Even at school, I’ve built great friendships with certain people and would not spend much time by myself. However, once I was in college things were really different. Coming to VCU, I was the only person from my High School and basically for the first three weeks it was really boring. All I would do was go to my classes and spend a lot of hours in the library so the day can end. Other than that I would call my friends and family back home and talk about things. Living independently in a country you’ve never lived in has thought me a lot. Meeting new people from different backgrounds as well as integrating myself into a new world can be challenging. Living independently, I’ve had a lot of times with myself. This is what everyone needs. Although it may not be the best time at the start, it’s the time you figure out yourself and who you are deep down. For me personally, it’s let me think about what I want to do in the future and that comes from knowing myself and my passion. College has had long night hours, all-nighters, fun. It’s a place where you experience all types of feelings and that’s why I think the experience is worthwhile.  Good luck with all your finals! We got this.

Are buildings more important than people and the environment?

 

This week, one of the most iconic cathedral known as Notre Dame in Paris, France was on fire. The fire was so devastating and although fortunately, nobody lost their lives, it’s sad seeing historical buildings get damaged. After a few days, the building attracted donations of over 1 billion euros or (1.16 billion dollars) and it seemed that a lot of people were not happy about it. The main reason was after a tweet that said 1 billion euros could clear all the plastic in the Pacific Ocean.

Later that week, about 300 people lost their lives in Sri Lanka. There were no significant donations made. A lot of articles and people wrote about how properties in the west are given more value than people in some area in the world. People were also comparing how there is a lack of donations in nations like Syria and in warzones areas when people are dying from starvation and malnourishment.

It’s obvious that the building has so much value for the people that follow the religion and for the French economy as it attracts over 25 million tourists in a year. However, if we don’t care for people and the environment how are we going to peacefully live in the world?

Premier League

 

If you watch football (soccer), then you probably follow the English premier league also known as Barclays Premier League. For the past 3-4 years, the league has quite been boring. For a league that’s always been known to be overly competitive, knowing who will lift the trophy 2-3 months in advance was kind of upsetting unless it’s the team that you support. This year, however, the competition has been really exciting. Teams are still fighting to get the top places and losing or even drawing one game is making a huge difference in the standings. This is making me and a lot of other people follow the league closely and watch a lot more games than I did before. Competition creates entertainment and this is what makes a league worth watching. For instance, leagues in Italy, France, and Germany aren’t competitive. You’d know who will lift the trophy before the season even starts and there will barely be any surprises. Not only in football but in other sports as well I feel like competition is what makes leagues interesting. The UEFA Champions League, for example, is a league with the best teams for Europe and that’s why people enjoy it. Moreover, every year there is a team that is underestimated but still does well. For this year’s it’s been Ajax Ax. A team from Holland where many of its players are teens but are winning against big teams like Real Madrid and now Juventus. This is part of why I love football!

Should the rich give money to the poor?

The recent conversations about ethical situations in class have been really interesting. These questions look simple but are sort of challenging to answer.

Personally, each and everybody work hard so they can get money to spend on themselves and enjoy the things they want to buy. However, depending on how much money you make I feel like the rich should be giving to the poor. Being rich or poor can either be by luck or through hard work. I don’t think this should be the main point or the focus, though. I feel like the focus should be on who needs the money more. Let’s say you own a company or you’re an athlete and make more than ten million dollars a year. Although you have the right to spend it on anything you want, there are a lot of unnecessary things that person will buy compared to a person who can’t even afford to rent an apartment or even buy a jacket during winter seasons in the less economically developed countries. We also need to remember that making money is also about opportunities. There are people working over 40 hours a week that still struggle to pay their wages. Unless it’s taxes where everyone whether rich or poor have to pay the government, when giving money I don’t think rich people should be paying a lot because at the end of the day they earned it. Nevertheless, if they give little maybe about (5 to 10%) of their income, it will positively impact the poor people more than it will ever hurt them.

Ran out of Ideas

For this week’s blog, I ran out of something to write about. I had things to write about but didn’t think they were interesting or engaging enough. As a result, I just wanted to give some word of encouragement to everyone who reads this blog. As the semester is coming to an end, exams are coming up and as we’re getting tired. A lot of us students are lacking in motivation in the most important time of the semester including myself. I think we should all remind ourselves of our future goals and why we’re doing what we’re doing to keep our heads-up and try to finish this semester in the best way possible. As many upperclassmen say freshman year is the best time to get a high GPA that will balance the lower grades in the coming years, I just wanted to remind that even when things aren’t going our way we have to keep believing in ourselves until the semester ends and keep working hard and treating ourselves good to make the best out of this.

Is college really preparing is for the future that’s coming?

Don’t get me wrong, being in college is one of the best things that’s happened to me and I’m sure a lot of people are grateful for this opportunity as well. It gives us not only an education which can get us a good job but also a chance to meet new people from different parts of the world that could teach us and open our minds to many things.  Moreover, college teaches us how to manage our time, finances and see what life would look like as an independent adult in the near future.

However, I feel like the future that’s coming in about thirty or fewer years is not what we’re are preparing for. According to BBC’s story “Future Now” the ten grand challenges we’ll face by 2050 consist of overpopulation, climate change, an aging population, geopolitical tensions, high population, and lost cities due to sea levels rising.

It looks to me like we’re preparing for a future we want to have and not for a future that’s coming. I feel like we’re all too focused by the future we want to have that we’ve completely neglected the future that is predicted to happen. Although we all want to pursue a career in something that we’re interested in and have a passion for, we all need to prepare and be prepared for future issues no matter what. It’s really critical and that is the only way we can reduce the consequences of what we have done to our planet now. As a result, I feel like college needs to prepare us and make everyone alert for these type of problems. High schools and middle schools may consider doing that too.

Drinking nearly 1 Gallon of Water a day.

Growing up, water would be my least favorite drink. Whether it was at home or at a restaurant, I wouldn’t order water. I went for something sugary such as sodas and cartooned juices. Especially the first semester of college, I would go for some days with no water and it would tire me a lot. Learning how much water our body needs and the good it does for us made me change my mind. Although I haven’t started it yet, I have challenged myself to drink about 1 Gallon of water every day. Many people have suggested it and said they could literally feel the difference. Although it doesn’t take that much effort, as a person who’s not used to drinking that much water, I would say it could be a little bit hard. I have planned on starting this challenge the first day of Spring Break which would be two days later on Saturday, March 2. Having to visit the toilet quite often may be the downside of it but the health benefits would definitely outnumber the disadvantages. I will get on how this experience goes in about 4 weeks. I’m confident and I hope it gives me more energy to handle the heavy workload we get in college

B737-8 Max Crash

As you may have heard, a commercial plane crashed on Sunday March 10th killing over 150 people. The plane was an Ethiopian Airlines plane flying from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya which crashed just 6 minutes after take-off. The model of the plane which is the Boeing 737-8 max inaugurated in 2017 was also involved in a different crash in October 2018. Due to the same model of airplane crashing within 5 months, all airlines across Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe have grounded this specific plane. Moreover, pilots who have flown this plane reported that they have encountered problems with the new airplane before the latest crash happened. The auto-pilot of this new aircraft makes causes the airplanes nose to slide down, decreasing in altitude. Although not yet officially confirmed this is what many people say is what caused the crash. Airline companies in the United States are still using this despite its technical problems. The Federal Aviation government has said that there is nothing wrong with the plane but many argue that it’s because Boeing which in an American Company is holding them back to not lose credibility over the planes they make. This whole story is really unfortunate and shows that money is more valued than human life.

Racism in Journalism

 

Following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight #302 that crashed 6 minutes after take-off, the airline C.E.O confirmed that there were at least 35 nationalities involved in the accident. In this unfortunate plane crash that is yet to be fully investigated, I saw a problem on news channels that displeased me quite a lot. This was news organizations not recognizing all of the nationalities of the lives that were lost on that flight. In this situation, every life lost deserves attention and matters. The need to solely report and write articles about western nationalities didn’t make sense. Everyone lost on that flight is a nationality part of this world and deserves to be known. I felt like if westerners weren’t part of this accident, it wouldn’t get reported, help wouldn’t have been provided and the outcome could be very different. I thought that this was racism because news outlets only valued the lives of Canadians, Americans, and Europeans who lost their lives. The lives of about 40 Africans, Middle Eastern, and others were underreported which gives signs that it’s a neglecting. The fact that fingers were pointed at Ethiopian Airlines kind of upset me as the airline, stated by many such as Richard Quest is a safe airline. I have also been taking that airline since my childhood days and it’s a great airline company safely connecting people to the continent of Africa. My thoughts and prayers go to all the families and friends who lost loved ones.

Withdraw Deadline

Some classes are only based on 2 or 3 tests throughout the semester. For me, this case is in Economics 210. In the class, the final grade is made up of 3 tests which one is in February, another one in April and the final exam which weighs 35% of our semester grade. Other than the two midterm tests in February and April which both weigh 20%, there is a bunch of homework weighing 25% of our grade. After not doing so well in the first exam, it was hard to decide whether I should withdraw the class or not. This not just based on the fact that I didn’t do well on the test but based on the class average which was 44%. Moreover, I spent over 10 hours in 2 days studying for that exam and to get a low grade was really not a fair reflection of my effort.
As a result, I was uncertain whether I will pass the class and checked the withdraw deadline. I was so disappointed that it was going to be on March 22nd which is before my second exam. At that point, it gave me no choice but to talk to the professor about the upcoming tests or if there are extra credits.
Fortunately, there was up to 15% extra credits but required us to read three books of about 300 pages and write an 8-10 pages’ summary and reflection on it. At this point, I thought that taking the class wouldn’t be worth it at all as it would take up a lot of my time which can hold me back in my other classes.
As of right now, it’s looking more like I’m going to withdraw out from the class but the reason I wrote this blog is to show that the Withdraw deadline in VCU is too early. I really think it should be changed to a later date to give people another chance to see their performance in a class based on at least two major exams. Doing that will give a clear idea to the people that should withdraw or just continue doubtlessly.
I’m sure a lot of people feel the same and delaying the Withdraw date deadline can save a lot of people from not withdrawing as they can succeed in the upcoming test and bring their grades up.