Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PLN 31

For my last PLN of the year I am going to write about my trip to Argentina. Today I have just returned from being in Buenos Aires for the last 10 days. I was there with the US U-15 Boys National soccer team. While we were there we played 4 matches. We played 2 local club teams, and 2 other U-15 National teams (Bolivia and Argentina). Overall the coaching staff was pleased with the results. The marquee game of the trip was our match against Argentina. I was selected to be the goalkeeper for the entire game. Even though we should have won the game, it ended in a 0-0 tie. After the match I was named MVP of the game.

This matters to the world more this year than it would have last year or even next year. It matters this year because this is the year of the World Cup. Argentina is a world powerhouse in soccer. We wanted to go down there and show them what our country's future looks like. Word will get out how well we performed against one of the best countries in the world. This matters to me because I was actually selected to go and represent my country. It also matters because I did very well and hopefully the staff will call me in to be part of the U-17 Residency program this fall. If I get called into Residency I will have the chance to play in the U-17 World Cup in Mexico the fall of 2011!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLN 30

I just read "Midfielder Deco reveals Chelsea summer exit plan" in the BBC News sports edition. This story is about how Chelsea's Portuguese international Deco plans to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer to go back to his native Brazil to help run a school he has founded. The 32-year-old Brazil-born midfielder earlier said that he will quit the international game after the World Cup this summer. Deco joined Chelsea from Barcelona in 2008 and told the Sunday Times he would be "nostalgic" when he left the club. Deco was born in the Brazilian city of Sao Bernardo do Campo and moved to Portugal at the age of 19, becoming a Portuguese citizen in 2002. He said it had always been his intention to go back to Brazil to work with the poor, but he gave no hint about whether he planned to play for a Brazilian club once back there.

This matters to the soccer world because Deco is a world class footballer and will be missed a lot by the Chelsea supporters, the Portuguese supporters, and football enthusiasts around the world alike. At least he is leaving the game to go help the poor and to run a school and not just because he is tired or something like that. He is leaving before people start saying that he can't play like he used to. This matters to me because I am a big fan of Deco and I will miss seeing him play on the pitch, no matter what team he is with. This also matters to me because I would like to play professionally someday. Any professional athlete must always have in the back of their minds: What do I want to do, or what can I do when I can no longer play? Many players don't have a "Plan B". I am still working on "Plan A" right now!

PLN 29

I just read "2txt? Or Nt2txt?" in The New York Times, by Garrison Keillor. This article is about how Keillor travels a lot, and in his traveling he has found that too many young American men suffer from lack of social skills. The Pew Research Center tells us that 75 percent of the 12-to-17 crowd have cellphones, and more than half of them text 50 messages a day on average, but many of them text a hundred or more. Three hundred is not unusual. The study by Pew says, "If you sit in the library after school, text-messaging to people across the room (“Hey, whassup? RUOK? :-) L8R”), you have successfully eliminated 98 percent of the nuance of face-to-face dialogue, the delicious nuance and also the awkward stuff, like when you send a big textual hug (“((H))”) to people you've never actually put your arms around — you have skipped some essential steps in gaining intimacy". Keillor says that "if you don’t pick up the fine art of small talk — those little jokey exchanges with the bus driver, the security guy, the cleaning lady, the newsstand guy, the waiter, the bartender — you’re missing one of the pleasures of life". If you e-mail for difficult communications you are ignoring reality, and this only has a bad outcome. You will learn nothing from it. "Women are wired to form close interpersonal relationships as a step toward romance, intimacy, a stable family life within a tight-knit support system, and men wired to beat other men senseless with clubs." Keillor's concern is that electronics, which seem to open up new worlds, may be shutting us down. "Put down that cellphone, good sir, and look me in the eye and tell me something."

This matters to the world because almost everyone in the world has a cell phone and probably uses it on a daily basis. Many people cannot function without them. This matters to education because in school, sometimes I see kids texting in class and a lot of kids are texting in the hallways. They have become a problem that we aren't' really sure what to do about. This matters to me a lot. The only reason I have a cell phone is so that when I travel I can keep in touch with my parents. When I go to Argentina I will be contacting my parents a lot and I will be attached to my cell phone letting them know what is going on. Since I am part of the group Keillor is talking about I really don't see a "change" in people. My parents tell me constantly that people, teenagers especially, have changed a lot, so I guess there is a problem. They point out examples to me all the time! Too many people have come attached to their cell phones and that is their only way of communicating because when they try to talk to someone face to face, they can not do it.

PLN 28

I just read "Our boys are falling behind in education" in The Denver Post, by Dottie Lamm about how over the past 30 years, the world has become more verbal. Yet, on average, that part of boys' brains do not develop until fourth or fifth grade. Reading was once a first-grade challenge; now schools expect to see beginning reading skills when a child enters kindergarten. This push has hurt boys far more than girls. Well-meaning parents and teachers who push boys to read and write too early may see their efforts backfire. Some boys lose interest in learning, and that limits their efforts later, when their brains catch up with their bodies. An example of this is that, boys are more likely to be held back in fourth grade and again in ninth grade; this promotes a suspension rate for boys that is twice as high as that of girls. This leads to a male dropout rate of 32 percent compared to 25 percent for females. Some feminists do not agree that boys need to be taught in different ways because "males still rule the world". Others are asking if we need a "boys movement" like the "girls' movement" of the 80's and 90's. It goes on to tell some examples of certain schools and how they are handling boys' education. The schools are different but all are learning, being physically active and have strict discipline and caring adults helping.

This matters to all boys in the world! Boys develop motor skills faster than girls, but I agree with the fact that girls develop mentally faster than boys. I know lots of boys that have lost interest in learning and school in general. I guess men still rule the world because eventually they do catch up, and when they do, they are more motivated to learn. This matters to me because this past year I have been taking an all-boys English class my freshman year. Today we had to act out the Prologue to Act 2 for Romeo and Juliet. Me and my group did an awesome job and were very creative. I do not think that if we were in a regular class we would have been able to do what we did because it would have been uncomfortable. It was just guys being guys without having any outside pressures. I think this class has helped me a lot this year in focusing just on the class. Boys do develop differently, and if we need "different" classes to help us, then we should take advantage of the opportunity, unless you are one of the ones who just don't care anymore.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

PLN 27

I just read "Suspect arrested in iPad theft" by Kirk Mitchell in The Denver Post, about a man who allegedly mangled a man's pinky during an iPad theft so that the finger had to be amputated was arrested early Saturday morning. Brandon Darnell Smith, 20, was arrested at 1:14 a.m. during a traffic stop in the 3000 block of North Monaco Street. Smith is being held for investigation of second-degree assault and robbery in the April 15 strong-arm robbery of Bill Jordan, 59, according to Jackson, Denver police spokesman.

Like I said in PLN 26,
Jordan previously told a reporter that he had just bought the iPad for a friend in Canada and was near the parking lot when the suspect struck. The suspect jerked so hard it stripped the skin on part of Jordan's pinky to the bone. At first he took off running after the suspect but saw blood on his hand and went for medical attention instead.

This matters to the State of Colorado because people can feel better that the man who did this has been arrested and will not be robbing and/or hurting anyone else. It is nice to know that the police are not as incompetent as sometimes some people make them seem!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PLN 26

I just read "Man who lost pinky in ipad theft: 'It hurts a lot'" in The Denver Post by Kieran Nicholson. This story is about how the skin was stripped off a man's pinky when a robber grabbed an iPad from him while inside the Cherry Creek shopping center in Denver. The theft happened Thursday afternoon and the man was taken by ambulance to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, according to a Denver Police Department report. Fifty-nine-year-old Bill Jordan said he'd just purchased Apple's, the iPad, and was near the parking garage when the robber struck. Jordan had the bag containing the iPad "wrapped around his left hand and he was holding on tight," he told police. The robber jerked so hard that it stripped the skin on part of Jordan's pinky down to the bone. Paramedics who responded to the scene described the pinky as being "degloved - the skin was peeled off." After the robbery, Jordan, sitting in an ambulance with his hand wrapped in a bandage, told police he couldn't fill out a report because he's left-handed. Doctors amputated most of Jordan's finger. On Tuesday Jordan, at his Aurora home still recovering from the surgery, got a first look at his pinky after bandages were removed. Denver police are searching for the robber and released a surveillance video and photograph in hopes that the images would spark tips. The robber is described as a black man, about the age of 25 with medium build and clean-shaven face. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing eye-glasses, dark blue pants, and a long-sleeve, dark blue shirt. He had a satchel bag with a white strap over his shoulder.

This matters to the state of Colorado because we do not need people afraid to go to the mall for fear of being robbed. We need the big social places in our state to be as safe as they can. This matters to me and my family because sometimes we go out to the Cherry Creek Mall to shop and look around. This does not make me feel safe going there because now I know that something bad has happened, not that this couldn't have happened anywhere. Pretty soon we won't feel safe anywhere anymore. Everyone in the state of Colorado needs to help each other to catch this guy and make sure that this incident was a one time deal.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I just read "Europe's airlines and airports question flight bans" from the BBC News - Europe. This story is about several airlines from Europe that are questioning why they are still not being allowed to fly. Most major airlines have done flight tests and say that the planes, "showed no obvious damage after flying through the ash". They are accusing the aviation safety authorities of needlessly grounding thousands of flights because they do not see any passenger safety issues after their test flights. The weather experts say that the cloud being made from the volcano isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The wind patterns over Europe right now are close to nothing so the ash has nowhere to go.

This matters to the entire world a great deal. I can't even imagine how many people this has effected so far. This is the most the airline industry had been effected EVER, including 9-11. Major things like the funerals for the Polish President and his wife down to little things like someone trying to get home after a business meeting are being effected. There was a guy who was training for the London marathon here in Boulder and could not fly out to London to actually run the marathon, and he is from London. This matters to me because I am now wondering if my trip to Argentina in two weeks will be effected. There is very little wind in Europe right now, but in two weeks could it shift enough to cause problems for other parts of the world too? I don't think I would even want to get on a plane right now with the possibility that something could go wrong. These people who are complaining should just sit and wait until it is considered safe to fly.