Focused Inquiry

Going into this school year I was unsure of what exactly Focused Inquiry really was. Some were saying that it was an English class, others were saying that it was a writing class, I even heard that it was a class similar to what homeroom would be in high school. I didn’t ever look up what Focused Inquiry actually was because I wanted to my experience to be unbiased so that I would not go into the class close-minded. Might I just say, that alone did not work! When entering this class, you have to be prepared to be open to suggestion, other people’s ideas and viewpoints. All of which I was not very good at. I realized that each assignment is catered to a different aspect of education to broaden our knowledge and skill-set when faced with challenging assignments. I will be the first to admit that this class was no walk in the park. Through high school, I had been accustomed to breezing by with my toxic friend, procrastination. I quickly realized I had to cut her off because of the attention that Focused Inquiry requires. I also learned to never be afraid to ask for help and voice my opinions. Both of which I struggled with in the beginning. Focused Inquiry forces you to work with others and not to be timid. Your personal work is an outward expression of your inner emotions. I admire that this class has had the ability to bring this out in me. I believe that it is also a test to see how dedicated you are in your work. Perhaps, a scale to judge how motivated you are. I feel as though if you are dissatisfied with your grade in Focused Inquiry, it is simply because you haven’t worked hard enough. I noticed that this class is simply a reflection of myself. In a sense, this class is required to freshmen for their benefit so that hopefully, they recognize at an early point in their college career that your success if a simple reflection of the work that you put out. Some of the projects are challenging and some were more favorable than others. In fact, I found that the assignments that I was more interested in, I finished faster and in my opinion did a better job in. An example of this would be the multimodal project which was by far my favorite assignment. Nevertheless, I still made sure to put the same effort into my other projects as I did the multimodal. All in all, I am grateful for this class because I believe that it helped me mature as a student and develop life-long habits that will engender my success in the future.

His disappearance…

Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known author of the Washington Post, general manager and editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel was tragically assassinated on October 2, 2019. He covered major stories including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden for various Saudi news organizations. (BBC News Team, 2019) Before coming to the United States, Khashoggi was close to the Saudi Royal family and an advisor to the government. Last year Jamal Khashoggi went into self imposed exile and went to the United States after falling out of good favor with the family. Following this instance, Khashoggi began writing a monthly column for the Washington Post where he basically criticised the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Leading up to the day of his death, Jamal Khashoggi first visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where he was murdered on September 28 to obtain divorce documents to allow him to remarry. (BBC News Team, 2019) He was told that he would have to be rescheduled to come back on October 2nd. So when he returned on October 2, 2018, he and his fiance had come back to the consulate where he went inside and she waited for his return for ten hours. She then left and went back home just to come back the next day and find that he was no where to be found. His friends reported that on his first visit to the consulate he had been treated very nicely and there was no need to be concerned when he had to go back. So it is odd that something happened to him there. There are many theories regarding his death. The truth of Khashoggi’s untimely departure lies between The Saudi Arabian and Turkish governments. Both of which seem to be pointing the finger.

Since the disappearance of the well-known writer, the Saudi Arabian government has been providing conflicting information regarding his death. For weeks after his death the government claimed to not know of his whereabouts after an hour of being inside of the consulate. Oddly enough, the country’s government then reported that there was a rogue guard who murdered him on October 20, 2018. The story changed yet again when Saudi Arabian officials report that he was choked to death after resisting attempts to have him returned to the country. Additional information came about where it is said to be that the guard took his clothes and fled on the say of his death. Finally on November 15, 2018 a Saudi Arabian public prosecuter revealed that Khashoggi had been lethally injected and his body had been dismantled in the consulate on October 2, 2018.

The Turkish government has been vocal about this issue because they believe that the Saudi government is lying. The President, RecepTayyip Erdogan, says that the murder of Khashoggi was a planned act of violence by the Saudi government. He said that just a week prior to his death, over a dozen Saudi officials came to Istanbul to remove the security cameras from the consulate. (BBC News Team, 2019) 

Although the means of Jamal Khashoggi’s death has not yet been truthfully uncovered, investigators have been putting bits and pieces together in hopes to solve the mystery. Prior to his death, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia authorized a secret campaign to silence dissenters which included the surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens, over a year before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. (Mazzetti, 2019) It is believed that his murder was another act of the Prince’s campaign. Khashoggi’s death has shaped media landscape all over. It has made people look at Saudi Arabia’s government in a different light because of the lies hey are being accused of. And it has forced the United States to be weary of any endeavors they go forward with, with Saudi Arabia’s government because they are believed to be shady. In fact, this instance has shed such a dark light on Saudi Arabia that they have actually “release three female human rights activists from prison while they await trial” in hopes that it will make them seem less horrible. (Ignatius, 2019) All in all it is very unfortunate that this writer had to be taken from this world in such a way. In the future, it is in Saudi Arabia’s best interest that they put a stop to such vulgar behavior in hopes that they will regain their status as being a good country. 

Living Learning Communities

In the past week, I was challenged with a decision that in the end will most likely shape my college career. During the fall semester of 2018 I found out about all of the living learning communities that VCU had to offer. I was amazed at the variety that is provided within the student organizations and I was impressed that so many of them come with great opportunities that will in fact affect its members positively not only in college but even after college. After doing my research i came to the decision that i would apply to two living learning communities. Both of which I felt as though I could be an asset to and that of which i could thrive in. I am pleased to say that I was accepted into both living learning communities ( VCU ASPiRE and VCU LEAD). Unfortunately I could not take part in both of them so I did what most people would do when there is a decision to be made, I started to weigh my pros and cons and also what benefits I will receive by taking part in the living learning community. VCU LEAD’s mission statement revolves around students individualizing their out of classroom leadership experience, based on academic major, personal interests and career goals. It is expected of VCU LEAD students to be active participants in their residential community, the classroom, and the Richmond community through participating in leadership and service events. The VCU LEAD program supports their  expectations through providing a rich co-curricular experience through a variety of programs and opportunities. I thought that that this was an excellent organization to involve myself in but it was missing something, something that I hold very near and dear to my heart. Charity, I have always been passionate about helping people. Although VCU LEAD may offer some community service, from what I researched, community service was not their sole purpose. Heavy community service involvement was my main focus when determining what living learning community is best for me. So, with hopes that VCU ASPiRE will be a better fit, I decided to look up what they were all about. When researching, I found out that VCU ASPiRE is a living-learning program promoting community engagement through academic coursework and co-curricular experiences. The mission of VCU ASPiRE is to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of their capacity to create positive change in communities and address critical societal needs through long-term sustainable partnerships. Also, VCU ASPiRE is dedicated to making an impact in areas such as having accessible and affordable housing, community building, education and workforce development, environmental sustainability, health and wellness. I felt that this program will indeed engender my success and fulfill my desire to help others and create a difference not only in the VCU community but the Richmond community too. I believe that choosing this living learning community was the best decision for me I would not change a thing about my decision. Through my research i have also encouraged other people to join ASPiRE. My friends in particular applied and got in so i am extremely excited to room with them and share experiences over the next two years together. Making the decision to choose VCU ASPiRE has definitely benefited me positively because I had a chance to sit down and figure out what I wanted as an individual and what would be best for me. I believe that moving forward, it will be more clear to me how exactly i should go about making a big decision and in the long run make it easier.

Disney; An International Superpower

The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company. (Disney 2019). If you do not know about the Disney brand by now it would be easy for me to believe you have been somewhere living under a rock. It’s founder, Walt Disney began something that would become one of, if not the largest international corporations in the world. I am almost positive that Walt Disney did not know that his last name would, in due time, amount to be something of this magnitude.

The Disney company started in 1923 in a small office occupied by Holly-Vermont Reality in Los Angeles, California. There, Walt Disney and his brother Roy produced their first series of short live-action/animated films by the name of the Alice Comedies. This is where the popularity of Disney began. From there, Walt Disney grew is brand and eventually opened his own theme park sixty years ago in California. (Sylt 2019).

One of the contributions to the success of the Disney brand simply comes from the fact that it has always catered to children. Their animated characters and films has brought attention around the world because they have effortlessly been able to grab viewers attention and create bonds with his friends through princes and princesses. When a company is able to grab the attention of children, it then involves the parents. This opened many doors for the Disney brand simply because they not only have a fan-base of children, they now hold attention of a mass of adults that they can now make profit off of. This aspect made Disney one of the not only largest but most versatile companies in the world. In fact, By the spring of next year, media giant Walt Disney will open one of its most ambitious international expansions; a Disneyland theme park in Shanghai. (Sylt 2019).

As time has gone on, Disney has mad numerous changed to the way that they display their on scene characters. Lately, the controversies regarding the race of who they choose to display in their movies has become very important as they grow their audience. For example, many little girls and boys have grown up viewing one particular race as their focus when it comes to their characters. By the amount of viewers that they accumulate increasing by the day, the audience has been demanding characters that resemble all people. With this thought in mind, Disney has recently put characters of different races on the big screen and might I just say, they were a hit in Hollywood. I bet the head executives in the Disney company are thinking that they should have done this sooner!

In the future, I strongly believe we will live in a world where Disney will continue to rein as one of the largest corporations in the world. As long as they continue to cater to those of all ages, they will continue to spread to other countries and bring work and creativity with them.

Work Cited

BriannaLedbetter. (2019). Disney Princesses Reimagined As Different Ethnicities Look Absolutely Beautiful. Retrieved from https://www.boredpanda.com/disney-princess-race-reimagined-lettherebedoodles/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Walt Disney Studios- History. nd. Retrieved from https://studioservices.go.com/disneystudios/history.html

About – Leadership, Management Team, Global, History, Awards, Corporate Responsibility. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thewaltdisneycompany.com/about/#our-businesses

Media Modeling

The European Union is an economic and political union. Its unionship comprises of twenty-eight states which are all located in Europe. These countries take over much of Europe. All of the countries in the European Union have their own media systems. Similar to the United State’s media outlets, the states in the European Union’s culture has been shaped drastically because their media. I have chosen to do the countries of Germany and Sweden. I chose Sweden because it has always seemed to me that their government is more laid back than most countries. As for my choice on Germany, I just picked it because it seemed like they would either have something outrageous and extreme going on or be the easiest to research.

 

The Swedish media model is a leading figure in Europe with a long tradition in newspaper production and a high rate of newspaper consumption and penetration (Ohlsson and Wasbring, 2019). The Swedish media model can be characterised as a democratic corporatist model. It has a strong press, strong political parallelism, a high degree of professionalisation and a strong state role in media policy making. Recently, the country has shifted to being more liberal when it comes to the media. The qualities of their media model are indeed similar to the media model of the United States. Both models exemplify a strong political parallelism. For example, after the last election there was high professionalism displayed by journalists in the United States. Sweden’s most trusted media outlet is radio which is contrary to the prefered media outlet of the United States simply because there is no specific most trusted outlet. With the amount of diversity in the United State’s it is understandable that there is no specific form of media that is praised over the other. According to (Ohlsson and Wasbring, 2019), the new generation of Americans have been making it even more difficult to narrow down one source that suffices all Americans.

 

The German-speaking media market is comprised of about 100 million people in Europe. Germany has a long tradition of mass media and is one of the most dynamic media markets in the world. This is reflected in the consumption patterns of media users, who have an average media use of 9.5 hours per day. Similar to Sweden, radio is noted as Germany’s most trusted and popular media medium. About 80% of German citizens over the age of 14 reported that they listen to radio daily. The internet media in Germany is reflected by a strive to change the media that the Nazi dictatorship put in place. Their media is now based on the principle of press freedom, which is stipulated in the Basic Law (constitution) of 1949. The United State’s media model matches Germany’s in the aspect of the amount of media consumption citizens use daily but it differs in the aspect of the most popular media outlet. The German media users seem to rather prefer traditional linear media (press, radio and television) over internet-based media. However, the growth rates of internet usage are enormous, specifically among the youth. This is similar to the youth in the United States because the youth are usually the ones consuming the most amount of media.

All in all, the countries has differences that set them apart but they all had the aspect of media effecting how the country operates as a whole. No matter what media source people use, it will still effect its viewers internationally.

Ethics pt.2

I would like to reflect on the aspect of integrity. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles or moral uprightness. This is a concept that many people lack but one that I feel is a very vital component of being a good citizen. In a community, bad things happen that are unfortunately unpreventable but if everyone would exemplify integrity, we might have a better community or even a better world simply because everyone would in a sense be accountable for their actions and will tell the truth in everything that they do. Having strong moral principles essentially means displaying values that is to a certain standard of being the best person you can be. Although it is quite easy to fall short of these moral principles, I believe that if they are taught at an early age and built upon through adolescence and early adulthood be may create a better generation that actually values integrity and stands by it. I will contribute to this effort by continuing to be a good citizen with hopes that my actions will encourage that the people around me will do the same. We, as a whole have the ability to change this generation if we all exhibit integrity.

All in all, good ethics are needed in each and every society. The way that we go about our lives affects others more than we know it. Good ethics are the foundation of every task that we fulfil and it can engender our success in many different ways. I plan to continue to help my community by inspiring others to have good ethics so that we all as a whole can come together and be the best that we can be. Good habits and ethics start while we are young so it may be in our best interest that we start at the root of humanity (with our children) and work from there. After all, they are the future of our society.  A wise person once said ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do and that a man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. To me, this means that making the right choices can set you apart from those who do things just because they can and those who do the right things because it will benefit not just themselves but everyone around them.

Ethics

I think I will use this post to reflect on ethics and what ethics I hold near and dear to my heart. I will also captivate what how they could effect others and the community around us.

Fairness is taught at a young age and built upon as we get older. As children we, see fairness as sharing our toys, including everyone in all activities, or it may even come down to each child having the same amount of cookies at snack time so that there are no problems. But when we get older the concept of fairness shifts. We now view it in a heavier light. This may include things like equality and justice for all so that no individual being is treated incorrectly or looked over. I think that adults have the most problems displaying fairness because the world revolves around the idea of trying to be better than someone else. With that comes a social normative of people feeling that they actually are better when in all reality, we are all as humans, completely equal. Recognizing this, I have made it my mission to educate and display the concept of fairness to everyone I come in contact with. This will eventually have a positive effect on my community as a whole and hopefully create a new generation of human beings that stand for and abide by holding people accountable for displaying fairness to all.

Another ethic that I can use to affect my community is reliability. When someone is exhibiting reliability he or she is showing the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well. This aspect is vital when it comes to building great bonds with individuals and maybe even an abundance of different people. In college (my community) as of now, we are here solely to get an education. But with that education comes a need to have good standing reliable students that you can depend on in many different ways. These instances can include group projects, helping each other study or maybe creating a study group to take notes, possibly even taking the initiative to hold one another accountable for finishing their school work (accountability buddies). These roles that my peers have taken in my life has definitely helped me as I transitioned from high school to college. I believe that reliability is one of the most important characteristics that we need to have in a community so that we can be more productive and more efficient in all aspects of our lives.

 

Ireland vs. Great Britain.

Recently I have been interested in not only news of the United States but lately world news has been catching my eye. I started by looking at different news sources and I came across the BBC News, it is an operational business commercially funded. It is a international 24-hour news and information channel, broadcasted in English in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe. BBC sets out to collect and air news and current affairs. Their service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. The British Broadcasting Corporation happens to be the largest broadcasting news organization in the world. It generates at least 120 hours of television and radio combined each day. They also produce online coverage as well.

In the article, they went into detail about the hostility between the Protestant and Catholic religious groups that resulted in turmoil between Great Britain and Ireland. The problem was somewhat resolved by the Good Friday Agreement which was signed in April of 1988 by the Irish and British governments. It gave citizens of both countries the right to be a citizen in Britain and Ireland. This agreement was mostly felt by the Northern Irelanders that essentially had the best of both worlds. They could basically choose their identity without affecting the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. This luxury could indeed be affected by Brexit question over the rights that Irish citizens should have.

Personally, I believe that Britain should not withdraw from the EU because it could cause greater turmoil. It could even go as far as being as hostile as it was in the time of Catholic vs.  Protestant days. It will essentially be doing both countries a disfavor. I am a strong believer of the term, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I do not believe trying to leave if there is not a dyer issue would be a smart move for Britain. After all, who wants conflict it just creates unwanted issues and problems. What do you think about this topic?

Also, I am thinking about switching my blog over to being news based. Whether the news is on pop culture or political news. I would cover it. I am interested in informing the masses about things I feel is worthy of people reading and knowing about. I also will welcome feedback. I love to see what other people think about my opinion just so there can be a debate. Maybe I will be the next lawyer.

 

ICANN Debate

When the world wide web came about, it started to become not just a popular thing to have, it became a necessity. It went from a tool used for military purposes or science to a household product that served a purpose in many different ways. This created a need for some type of control but the United States did not want to turn it over to the United Nations, instead, they worked to create ICANN. ICANN is a private, non profit organization that was requested by the United States government for privatizing the Domain Name System (DNS). This is the addressing system that the internet depends on.  When ICANN was created, it caused a shift in power from the internet being controlled strictly by the government, to now becoming a private industry. ICANN to me is basically a way to govern cyberspace. Although it is suppose to be privatized, I strongly believe that there is still heavy governmental control over the internet.

In 2014, the Obama administration let go of all control over ICANN once it felt that it was strong enough to stand on its own. Obama justified his administration’s decisions by reminding people that ICANN was meant to be controlled temporarily. The debate came about when people like Senator Ted Cruz, disagreed with ICANN’s independence because they felt that it left room for autocratic nations such as Russia and China to have more power over the internet than they should. On the other hand, many people were in favor of ICANN’s independence. Since it’s birthday in 1998, ICANN was intended to become independent eventually but factors such as the surveillance scandal involving NSA weakened the respect of diplomacy of the United State from other countries which ultimately engendered them to urge the United States to relinquish their control.

Most recently, the Trump administration sided with Cruz on how they should go about ICANN. They ended up reneging on the previous decision to let go of ICANN. Personally, I believe that the Trump Administration should have kept the decision to make ICANN independent. The sole purpose for creating ICANN was for it to eventually stand on its own. I believe that since it was designed and has grown to be independent then we should test it out and see how it does. Since the world wide web is WORLD WIDE, I do not believe that ICANN’s control should be under the United States. It would be in everyone’s best interest that ICANN is an unbiased independent engine that works to privatize domain name systems all over the world.

 

Gender Norms?

When someone is walking in front of you and holds the door open, you say thank you and don’t think anything of it afterwards. Right? Well recently, I was involved in a class discussion that has made me notice and analyze when someone (particularly a male) opens a door for me, how they held it and if it was out of curtesy or because they were raised to be a gentlemen and open doors for women. Apparently many people disagree with the idea that men are “suppose” to hold doors, pick up checks, make you walk on the inside of the side walk etc. I will admit that when you write it all out it seems like we expect men to do a lot things that we as women could handle on our own but is it our fault?

Since the beginning of time, men are seen to be this masculine figure that is suppose to take care of or “protect” women and children. This tradition has been carried on and is still in effect for young men today. The counter argument to having young boys learn to be a gentlemen is that we as humans are all born equal. So why do we expect one “gender” to play a role that in a sense caters to the other gender? In class, they argued that gender norms are wrong. How is it that we as humans automatically associate colors with gender? Why are boys expected to play with cars instead of dolls and vice versa?  Some people even believe kids should have a choice of how they act, what they wear, and what type of toys they play with. They also believe that by raising young boys to be a masculine figure it hurts them because while they are too busy being a “tough guy” they loose qualities that allow them to be nurturing and sensitive.

In my biased opinion, I believe that gender norms are definitely real but they are in a sense inevitable. Males are born with certain genetic features that make them more masculine than females aka TESTOSTERONE. So why raise a boy the same way that you raise a girl and vice versa. Men and Women were put on this earth for two different reasons but in the same sense I want to stress that we all should be EQUAL. I think that when raising a human you should cater to what they are and what they were born to be instead of making them into something that they are not. To me, the simple gestures that guys make are nice. I do not think that we should take the whole equal gender thing as far as deterring young men from being gentlemen. After all, it is all in how you are raised. It is definitely possible for a man to portray masculine values and still are able to have a soft side, not be abusers, or oppressors.

What do you think?