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.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PLN 24

I just read "Niwot High evacuated in asbestos scare" in The Denver Post, by Monte Whaley about how students and staff were evacuated from Niwot High School today when work crews discovered material in the girls' locker room wall that might be asbestos. The evacuation was done as a precaution, said St. Vrain Valley School District spokesman John Poynton. Air quality tests at the school will be done throughout the rest of the day to determine if there was any contamination. St. Vrain Valley School District spokesman John Poynton said that, "Hopefully, everything will be fine and we'll be on a regular schedule tomorrow, but we haven't gotten that green light yet." The suspected asbestos was discovered during a $20 million renovation which included work on the boys' and girls' locker room.

I know that this is a short article, but this is important to the community because we do not need schools putting kids' health in jeopardy. Plus, Niwot is a big school with a lot of students, so we are not just putting a couple of kids at risk, we are putting thousands of kids at risk. This is important to me because a teammate of mine goes to Niwot High School. If something happened to him, our whole team would be upset because we all care about him, and he is a really good soccer player. This matters to the whole state of Colorado because when construction is done on older schools, we need to be aware that running in to asbestos is always a possibility. All the staff and students need to be on alert at all times because you never know when something like this might happen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

PLN 23

I just read "Emmanuel Adebayor retires from Togo international duty" in the BBC News about how the Manchester City and Togo striker, 26 year old Emmanuel Adebayor, has announced his retirement from international football (soccer). His decision comes three months after the attack on the Togo team bus during this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Three people were killed in the gun fire. A statement from Adebayor: "Following those tragic events... I have made the very difficult decision to retire from international football. I am still haunted by the events I witnessed on that horrible afternoon. I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack. We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again." Adebayor has represented Togo for nine years and has both great memories and bad ones, including the incident in Angola. This is what he had to say about the coach, "The people who were on that coach together will forever be joined by a special bond - we are all brothers." Two Togolese officials and an Angolan bus driver were killed in the attack which prompted the Togolese government to pull their team out of the event. This led to Togo being handed a four-year ban from competing in the competition, a sanction over which they are currently in an appeal process over.

This matters to the world of sports because Adebayor is a top class footballer and he is walking away from representing his country and captaining his team. Not only is it important to honor your country and play, but to be a captain for your country is a huge opportunity and a once in a lifetime chance. This matters to me because I am a big fan of Adebayor and I just do not think someone as young as him should be walking away from the game you love. He is basically walking out on his country and I do not think that this is a wise decision by him.

There are many people out there that could help him try to get over this event or at least become more comfortable with it. It doesn't seem to me that he is really trying to get help. However, in the end it is his life and his choice. If he doesn't feel safe enough to play in his own country, and feels that strongly about it, then how can we judge.

This also reminds me of my Dad and what he and others went through at Columbine H.S. There are not many teachers left that were there that day because they also couldn't handle it. Those that are left will also have that bond that Adebayor talks about.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PLN 22

I just read "Hernandez gets 60 years in ice-cream shop crash" in The Denver Post by Carlos Illescas about how a 25 year old male named Francis Hernandez was convicted on 19 counts because of a crash that killed three people at an Aurora ice cream shop. He was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in jail. A father of one of the victims, 3-year-old Marten Kudlis, was upset that the sentence was little more than half the 108 years Hernandez faced. On Sept. 4, 2008, the Suburban Hernandez was driving at 80 mph hit a small pickup that was turning into a strip mall. The collision sent the truck, driven by Patricia Guntharp, 49, careening into the store. Guntharp was killed, as was her passenger, Debra Serecky, 51, and Marten Kudlis, a little boy who was in the shop with his mother. Before he was sentenced by judge John Wheeler, Hernandez took the stand and read a letter begging for mercy and apologizing to the families of the victims. "I know this has been very, very hard for you and me." He choked up as he noted that although he had been called a baby killer, he has children of his own. "I have two little girls who need me," he said. "I have to go home." An Arapahoe County jury convicted Hernandez, who is in the country illegally, on Feb. 23. After the conviction, the family of Marten Kudlis filed a civil suit in Arapahoe County District Court, seeking damages from Hernandez and his family; the family of Guntharp, who was high on methamphetamine at the time and several police agencies that had arrested Hernandez before and did not report him to federal authorities.

This matters to the world because we don't need people who aren't supposed to be in our country to be driving illegally and killing innocent people. This matters to me because a lot of my friends are starting to drive and it scares me. I don't turn 15 until this summer and my parents have told me many times that I will not get my driving permit when kids my age usually do because they think it is too early. I would be scared to get in a car with some of my friends, they are not responsible enough to be driving!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PLN 21

I just read "Restaurant owner with connections gets 18 months in prison" in The Denver Post, by Felisa Cardona. This story is about how a Thornton restaurant owner, Dan Tang was ordered Wednesday to serve 18 months in prison for funding a major marijuana growing operation. Chief of U.S. District Judge Wiley Y. Daniel decided Tang's crimes were too serious to grant a probationary sentence requested by his attorneys who said his mental and physical ailments were mitigating factors. Tang, the 47-year-old owner of the Heaven Dragon restaurant cried throughout the hearing and looked regretful as he addressed the judge in both English and Cantonese. In November, Tang pleaded guilty to money laundering and was ordered to forfeit $1 million to the government. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to request a sentence of 11 to 30 months, which is below the guideline range for his offense which could carry a term of 70 to 87 months in prison. Two police officers from Northglenn and Thornton have sued their chiefs and supervisors on the North Metro Task Force because they said they were retaliated against for cooperating with the DEA's investigation into the leak. After psychiatrist Dr. David Kan testified about Tang's depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and physical problems - including hepatitis B and psoriatic arthritis - Daniel asked whether the Bureau of Prisons could handle his medical needs. A medical director for the BOP testified those conditions could be managed within the prison system.

This matters to the State of Colorado because we do not need restaurant owners, or any kind of business owner to be involved in this kind of stuff. When people passed the bill to legalize "medical" marijuana, what did they think was going to happen? Marijuana is a drug and should be kept that way. There are many other problems (money laundering) and doors that can be opened that go along with the whole marijuana "businesses". When this gets out, you will be a little scared because you do not know if the owner is putting a little something extra in your food or not!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PLN 20

I just read "Soccer coach sentenced in sex assault" in The Denver Post about how a soccer coach, Delbert Wallace Stiewert, was accused of having sex with a teen-aged girl in Jefferson County. The 41-year-old Delbert pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to two years in jail and 10 years to life of intensive supervised probation for sex offenders. He was arrested last year when the former student told police he sexually assaulted her in 2005 and 2006, when she was 13 to 14 years old. According to prosecutors, Stiewert began coaching the girl privately while he was also working for the Colorado Rush soccer organization. At the time of his arrest last year, he was coaching for another youth soccer organization, Real Colorado. "Shortly after the coaching sessions began in 2005, Stiewert told the teen that he was suicidal," the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. "He told her that she was the only one who knew and asked her not to tell anyone. The teen became worried and feared that if he did kill himself it would be her fault." Later, Stiewert began to call the girl on her cell phone. "He told her that he loved her," according to prosecutors, and became controlling and jealous of her friends. He convinced the girl to have sex with him at his townhouse in Lakewood, and continued to use his threat of suicide to manipulate the girl into sex on multiple occasions.

This matters to me because I know Del. I am a youth soccer player in the Real Colorado soccer club and Del was the coach for the U-14 girls' team when I met him. I used to see him 3 days a week at training and I wonder now if he felt like he had gotten away with what he had done? It creeps me out that he could have done the same thing to one of the girls on the U14 team too. I know that if Real had known about this before hand, they never would have hired him in the first place.

I am going to connect this to my 2 police PLN's. This matters to society in general because these are people who are suppose to be helping us and teaching us good things. Instead, they are taking advantage of not only what and who is around them but they are taking advantage of their professional positions. They are throwing away their lives for something stupid and ridiculous. David Dolan and Del should be ashamed of themselves!

Monday, March 29, 2010

PLN 19

I just read "Trooper charged with DUI now in treatment" in The Denver Post by Carlos Illescas. The story is about how a State Trooper was pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving on the job. I first wrote about this in PLN 17 when he actually got pulled over ans arrested in Castle Rock. The State Trooper was charged with driving drunk while on duty and his lawyer said today that his client is in a facility for mental health and substance abuse issues. Today, the attorney, Geoff Heim, made an appearance on behalf of David Dolan, 48, in Douglas County District Court. Dolan was not at the hearing and did not have to be. The judge told Heim his client had $1,000 bond. The other terms include that Dolan cannot drink alcohol or possess a gun while he is out of jail. When he was arrested, Dolan was in his Colorado State Patrol trooper uniform and was carrying a gun. His blood-alcohol content, according to a police report, was 0.194 percent — more than twice the legal limit. Dolan has been charged with driving under the influence and is now prohibited use of a firearm. In Colorado, it is illegal for anyone to have a firearm if they are under the influence. Dolan is on unpaid leave of absence as the state patrol conducts an internal investigation. His next court date is May 7.

Like I said in PLN 17, this matters to the State of Colorado because we do not need people who are suppose to be protecting us breaking the law while they are on duty. I am glad that he has been suspended from his job without pay. I hope that the investigation shows that he is not fit to be a member of the state patrol anymore. Anyone who has a job of protecting the public ie. police, firemen etc. should not be given any "wiggle room" whatsoever where drinking on duty is concerned. If you know what you are doing and are on duty you should lose your job! Enough said!

Monday, March 22, 2010

PLN 18

In our English Class at Arapahoe H.S., laptops are an every day tool that we use for many things like blogging, research, and typing. Instead of writing your thoughts out on a piece of paper, you can type it onto a computer, save it and come back to it later. Having laptops in my classroom is great because when you type you never get tired, you can do so many different things with laptops, and they do not take up that much space. On a laptop, if you do not know a word, you can look it up right then, or if you do not know how to spell a word you can also look that up while you are working. If you used paper though, you would have to find a dictionary and find what you are looking for, possibly erase multiple times etc. On laptops we can do different things on them that we could not do before. You can use Google Earth to find places, Blogger to show your thoughts, Wordle to finish a project in a cool way, Diigo to organize all of your work, and the internet to make researching easier. If I could not use a laptop next year, it would be hard because I rely on computers almost every time I do school work. I do not think that I have changed as a student because laptops are readily available thanks to projects like this one. Laptops are just a easier ans simpler tool to use in class. It is also nice because not all students have computers at home!

PLN 17

I just read "State trooper arrested on DUI charges in Douglas Co." in The Denver Post by Kieran Nicholson about how a State Patrol trooper, in uniform and driving a marked patrol car, was pulled over by sheriff's deputies and arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving. This happened at about 7 a.m. after the Douglas County Sheriff's Office received "multiple calls" reporting that a state patrol car was "driving erratically" on northbound I-25 near Castle Rock. A short time later the State Patrol called sheriff's dispatchers "asking for our assistance in locating the vehicle and checking on the welfare of the driver,". A Douglas County deputy spotted the vehicle on westbound C-470 at Santa Fe and was able to pull the vehicle over at about 7:05 a.m. at Platte Canyon and C-470. The trooper, David Dolan, 48, was handcuffed and taken to the Douglas County Jail where he was booked on suspicion of DUI and prohibited use of weapons.

Are you kidding me! This matters to the State of Colorado because we do not need people who are suppose to be protecting us breaking the law while they are on duty. It is bad enough that there are idiots out there who drink and drive without us having to worry about State Troopers doing the same stupid thing. I hope he losses his job! I wonder what the officers at our school have to say about this?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PLN 16

I just read "Chile's earthquake 'may cost insurers up to $7bn" in the BBC News about how an insurance company, Swiss Re, estimated that the global insurance industry will have to pay as much as $7 billion (4.7bn Euros) for the Chilean earthquake. This company is the world's second-largest reinsurer and said that the impact would between $4bn and $7bn. Swiss Re initially first estimated that the earthquake would cost up to $500m. Chile's government has said it will take the country up to four years to recover, but economists say Chile is well placed to do this. Another reinsurance company, Germany's Munich Re, has also said how much it estimates it will have to pay out as a result of the Chilean earthquake - $543m.

This matters to the world because it shows how much natural disasters like this actually costs. Many countries around the world will never get money back; at least Chile is getting some money back because they actually have insurance. It also shows how long it will take to rebuild their country. Four years to rebuild really isn't that bad considering Haiti may never get back to where they were because of the differences in what kind of countries they are. I was shocked to think that it will cost over $7 billion for them to rebuild. If that ever happened in this country it could cost way more than that because of the kinds of cities that we have built here.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

PLN 15

I just read "Chile President Michelle Bachelet steps up quake rescue" in the BBC News. Although this earthquake was more dangerous than the one in Haiti, it did not do as much damage as the one in Haiti. In some areas of Chile, they are ordering a curfew time so that no one else gets killed. The curfew, which began at 9:00 p.m. local time, applies in the region of Maule - where more than 541 are confirmed dead - and in Concepcion, Chile's second city. The army has been sent south of Santiago to help the police prevent unrest in Concepcion. The mayor said food is running out and the situation in the city is getting out of control. Supermarkets are running out of food and thousands of people still remain homeless.

While the rescue teams are still trying to reach dozens of people believed to be trapped in a collapsed block, other Chileans are spending another night outdoors because they are afraid and can't stay in damaged homes and buildings. Reporters say that about 350 bodies were found in the devastated fishing village of Constitucion - which was hit by both the quake and the tsunami it set off. The emergency measures announced by Ms. Bachelet included Air Force flights to deliver supplies to affected area, free distribution of basic goods in Maule and Biobio regions - distribution points are yet to be decide, and efforts to guarantee electricity distribution, as many areas remain without power.

About 1.5 million homes have been damaged and about 90% of the historic centre of the town of Curico was destroyed. US and European countries have offered aid to Chile, but they say they do not need help.

This matters to the world because it has happened twice in a short period of time. First in Haiti, and now in Chile. Even though Chile doesn't think they need help now, they might end up needing it. If things like this keep happening around the world, bigger countries that help the smaller ones will run out of money to give aid where it is needed. This matters to education because it shows you how countries deal with tragedies and how they are able to keep moving forward, or not.

PLN 14

I read "Canada win thrilling final gold of Winter Olympics" in the BBC News. Earlier today, Canada beat the US in the gold medal game for men's hockey. After the US beat Canada in their round robin match 5-3, Canada was not going to let this one get by them. For Canada who last won a men's hockey gold medal game came in 2002, this one was really special because not only was it in Canada, but their Canadian team won it. Canada got out to a fast start heading into the third period with a 2-0 lead. With only 24 seconds left in the game, Zach Parise of the US tied the game up to send it into extra time. With 10 minutes passed in overtime, Sidney Crosby, Canada's most high-profile player won the game to give Canada its 14th gold medal of the Games, a record, and fittingly the milestone medal was the one many Canadians courted over all others.

This matters to the sporting world because the Olympic games is the highest level that teams can compete at in their sport. Receiving a medal at the Olympic games is a great honor but also a huge accomplishment for the countries involved. Countries almost view the Olympics as a who's who in world dominance, and not just pertaining to sports. This matters to Canada because hockey is the only "real" sport that they have and embrace as an entire country.

I watched the game and Canada skated with more purpose than the US did. Honestly, there was no way they were going to let us beat them twice in a row at home. Our keeper, Miller, was incredible and received the Men's Hockey Overall MVP award and he deserved it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

PLN 13

I just read "Deer Creek Middle School math teacher apparently tackled gunman" by Jeremy P. Meyer of The Denver Post about how a math teacher at Deer Creek Middle School tackled a gunman after he shot one of his students after school today. He called his wife and told her that there has been a shooting at school and that he tackled the shooter. David Benke, the math teacher who tackled the shooter has been working at the school far 10 years now. Benke was not injured in this incident, but he did save a lot of young people's lives. At 6 foot 5, Benke reacted fast and calm to prevent anything further to happen.

This matters to the community, because we want all of our Colorado school communities to be safe. We need to make sure that this doesn't happen again, and if it does, someone needs to react like David Benke and be a hero. This matters to education because we never want kids to be afraid of school. This also reminds me of my dad who is a teacher. He works at Columbine High School and was in the main office the day of their shootings over ten years ago. I was only 3 years old when it happened and don't remember anything specific about it but we still talk about it so I remember it that way. Nobody should feel afraid to go to school for this reason.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

PLN 12

I just read "US school accused of web spying" by By Angela Harrison, a BBC News education reporter and she wrote about how a school in Pennsylvania gave kids laptops that had cameras on them. The cameras could be activated by the school whenever they wanted to so they could actually see what the kids and anyone in the lens of the camera were doing 24/7. A couple from Pennsylvania is filing a lawsuit against the school because one day their kid came home and said that the teacher told him that he was "engaging in improper behavior in his home" and that the evidence was an image from his web cam. The school district says that they only activated the cameras to find lost or stolen lap tops and that the program has since been deactivated.

Obviously this matters to the world because the BBC News is covering it and it covers news from around the whole world! It matters because it seems like the school was looking for something else even though they say they weren't. It also matters because the school was invading all of the kids' personal privacy at home as well as the privacy of anyone even near their computer. This matters to education because some schools are trying hard to promote computers and their use. If we were allowed to take our laptops home and I heard that there were web cams in my computer that the school gave me, I would be very scared to go to school because I would not want a teacher to tell me something that I did in my own house was not "proper". This story kind of creeps me out to think that someone (my teachers) could be spying on me in my own home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PLN 11

I just read "Man, dog rescued from Highlands Ranch pond" by Sara Gandy of the 9news about how a man went after his dog after it fell through some ice at Redstone Park. Both the man and the dog had to be rescued by firefighters. They both are fine and no firefighters got injured during the rescue.

I know that this story is short, but it is very important to the people of Highlands Ranch. Redstone Park is near my house and where I used to have soccer practice. I know that this lake is very popular all year round. People fish in it, they play in it, and try to capture frogs in it. A lot of people of all ages, especially younger kids use the park. It is also very popular park where people walk their dogs. Although it is a small lake, people need to remember it is water and that water is dangerous during the winter and in the summer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

PLN 10

I just read "Bilodeau ends Canada's gold jinx" by Matthew Pinsent of the BBC news about how Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada won gold in the men's moguls field. The Canadian Olympic team had not won a gold medal in 1976 in Montreal and in 1988 in Calgary which were the 2 years that they were favored to win a lot of gold medals. With the first Canadian pushing to get a gold medal was Charles Hamelin a speed skater for Canada in the men's 1,500m. He finished third though behind a Korean and a United States speed skater. The next Canadian close to gold was a women's mogul skier, Jennifer Heil. She finished second in the event though. It was off to the Richmond Oval for the women's 3,000m speed skating event. There were 3 Canadians competing, but non of them were favored to win anything. Non of these women even finished in the top 3! The writer says that, "The men's moguls field is so competitive and after two days of Canadian setbacks I was beginning to cast my eye down the list of sports to come in the calendar: Alpine events (delayed), figure skating... Canadians a way back from the medals and we were a long, long way from the nailed on women's ice hockey final" (Bilodeau). But, the faithful Canadian fans were rewarded at Cypress Mountain. Alexandre Bilodeau won the men's mogul to break the Canadian drought of gold medals.

This matters to the world because the Olympics are the highest level that someone can represent their country in most of the sports in the world. Since the games are in Canada this year and they haven't won a gold medal in such a long time, it was even better for them to do it at home. This is even bigger for Bilodeau since he is the one to have won the medal. He will now be considered a bit of a Canadian hero. Anytime an athlete can represent their country in an Olympic sport it is a big deal. This is something I hope I can do one day for soccer!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The "Digital Ethnography" @ Kansas State University blog, by Dr. Wesch shows how a group of college kids called the K-State Proud committee help students pay their college bills that are suffering money wise. In the first video, it shows the K-State Proud committee handing out money, paying for someones meal, paying for somebodies books, helping someone park his car (by picking it up), and carrying a girl across the street. This 4 minute video shows that this group really cares about their fellow college students and want to make sure that they are succeeding. It also makes them feel good to be helping make the day of random students.

This group of students just do not hand out money to random kids, they hand out money to kids that if they did not get money, they would not be where they are now. For example, in the first video they show a girl who has been at Kansas State since 2003 and has gone through a lot. When she was 4 months old, she had brain damage, her brother committed suicide when she was in senior high school, when she was in eighth grade, she said someone close to her died almost every year until her senior year in high school, and you can tell that she has gone through a tough time. If it was not for the K-State committee, she would not be in the position that she is in right now. In the second video, an ordinary girl got diagnosed with cancer in her neck. She goes on the explain how hard it was for her, because her parents did not make a lot of money and she had to keep pulling out loan after loan. Later on, her adviser put in an application to K-State and got accepted. This shows you that with other people's help and support, you can do anything!

If we can afford it, sometimes my dad will pay for someones lunch or snacks at the movies. They are always surprised and very thankful. He hopes that they will remember they way they felt any maybe do something nice for someone else later on. It is kind of a pay-it-forward thing. It also makes him feel good when he does it and makes someones day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


For my action plan, I am going to confront the media and show them that they need to focus their attention on the good athletes and the things they have to offer instead of the rotting apples of the sports world. In order to do this I am going to submit my essay to be considered for publication as a letter to the editor to The Denver Post, Sports Illustrated, and Sports Illustrated Kids. Maybe they will understand more that kids need to read about the good people involved in athletics so that they can have them to look up to as role models.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I just read "Report: Ricky Williams violates NFL drug policy" on sports.espn.go.com. This article is about Ricky Williams, a professional football player for the Miami Dolphins, who has just violated the NFL drug policy for the fourth time. Williams was caught breaking the NFL rules for the fourth time testing positive for marijuana use. His mother said she would "bet her life" that he was not smoking weed. She also said that the only reason he would be using marijuana for is because of his yoga school. When Williams returned to the NFL he had to pay the Miami Dolphins $8.6 million for breaching his contract. The article goes on about his contract and his playing career.

Only the information about his drug use is important to me and the research for my Change The World paper. I am using this particular article because it shows that some professional athletes have ongoing drug problems. It also shows that their problems are affecting their jobs and in the long run, their lives. This is just one athlete, but the quotes are perfect for my paper and will work in nicely.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


In the article "Arenas, Crittenton suspended for rest of season" by Brian Mahoney of the Washington press, Mahoney states that Gilbert Arenas and one of his teammates have been suspended without pay for the rest of the NBA season for pulling guns on each other while at the Verizon Center. Mahoney says that all of this started on the team airplane while they were playing a card game and has been carried forward to this incident. Arenas, who is currently playing for the Washington Wizards, said that it was wrong and he did not know what he was doing. Commissioner David Stern says that he had to suspend him for the rest of the season because we do not need people, especially professional athletes pulling guns our walking around with guns in the first place.

I am using this in my paper because this little incident shows that Arenas thought he could bring a gun to his place of work and pull it on one of his own teammates and not get caught, which shows that he thinks that he is above the law. Many times the teams don't address some of these situations. In this case, the Wizard's organization has backed the commissioner saying the poor judgment "stands in contrast to everything Abe Pollin stood for throughout his life." Abe Pollin was the Wizard's owner who died last year and is one of the most well-known owners in professional sports history. This is a concern for Arenas because a lot of people, and the Wizard's entire organization, looked up to him as a role model, but when people start hearing about how he treated one of his own teammates, as a joke, he will never be looked up to again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In the article "Tale of Tiger's Infidelity More Than Cautionary" by Tonyaa Weathersbee states that Tiger Woods does not like to be called "black". This professional golfer said that it bothers him when people call him black, because he thinks he is more Cablinasian – as in Caucasian-black-Indian-Asian. The writer says that Woods is trying not be a stereotype but ends up being exactly that because he does not think of himself as black and that he likes white women. After Woods crashed his SUV on November 27, suspicion came that not only was he drunk, but was he seeing other women. Only 10 women have been accounted for but not only did he have sex with them, he lost his trust with his wife and with all of the people who look up to him and watch him. Later on in the article they talk to some of the women he was with and they proved that Tiger was cheating by texts, or just by memory.

I am using this in my paper because not only did Tiger cheat once or twice on his wife, he cheated at least ten times and now that number is growing to be almost double. This situation shows that he has no moral values where his marriage is concerned and that people will no longer be able to look up to him as a role model for being a good person. He will be looked at like the guy who was keeping his "private" life private for many more reasons that anyone ever suspected.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I just read a blog by Dan Mass on the Littleton Public School website titled "Dr. Warschauer visits East and Hopkins." The question he asks is, are computers a waste of time and money? I am currently a ninth grader attending Arapahoe High School, and in my English class all of us have our own computers we use. I think that computers are not a waste of time or money. If we get computers for elementary schools and middle schools it will keep them ahead of the game because in high school and college, you use computers a lot. You will be writing reports, setting up power points, and doing research. Instead of carrying around heavy text books for every class, you can carry a lap top and access all of your text books will little effort. Computers are the technology of the future and if we do not teach kids to use them correctly, they will fall behind. Computers also gives kids a new way to do things and new ways to explore.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I just read "Robber sticks up pot shop, leaves weed behind" by Howard Pankratz in the Denver Post. This article is about a man who tried to rob a Denver medical marijuana dispensary at about 12:58 p.m. yesterday. A police spokesman said that the man entered through 4101 E. Wesley Ave. and just started to look at products. After the man picked some products he approached the manager and pulled a gun. He said he was not going to pay for what products he took. For some reason though, he left without the product and left in a car with a Colorado license plate of 873-OWC. The suspect is described as a mid-to-late 20s, 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. People that were in the store while the robbery was happening said that they recognized the man who tried to rob the store.

This matters to the world because people are stealing and robbing stores for drugs that are meant for people who are seriously sick. This matters to education because in school they teach us that drugs are bad for you and there are people out there trying to rob marijuana stores because it is now so readily available. This really does not matter to me because I do not use drugs and I never will use drugs. But, this does matter to our community because if people are robbing stores for pot what else will they be willing to do next?

Monday, January 18, 2010


My change the world paper is based on my opinion that professional athletes do not deserve to be looked up to because of the way they behave and some of the things they have done/do. One example of this is that athletes think they are above the law. Just last week a huge story was being built up because Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards thought it would be funny to bring guns to work. Instead, another teammate and Arenas got in an argument and they both pulled guns on each other. Professional athletes also do not deserve to be looked up to because of the drug use that is involved. Another incident that just happened last week is that Mark McGwire admitted he used steroids after he denied it for years. My last reason that professional athletes do not deserve to be looked up to is that they have no basic moral values. Again, just recently everyone is talking about Tiger Woods and his 18 plus "girlfriends". This example shows you that even the best golfer in the world and even the best athlete in the world has no respect for women, especially his wife.

This subject matters to the world because a lot of people think that these athletes are or were the best in the world at their sport at some point in time; but when they hear about all of the stupid stuff they do everyone will think about that athlete differently. This matters to education because in school they teach you that drugs are illegal and bad for you, do not mess around with guns, and for a guy, do not ever miss treat or abuse women. This matters to me personally because I look up to one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in the world. How do I know that he might be doing something stupid in England that I do not know about and will be let down to find out. Kids need to figure out that if they think all professional athletes live a perfect life, they do not.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The internet is changing the way I think because it narrows down a search to a very specific topic. Instead of reading through tons of books and material to find what I'm looking for, I can just hop on the internet and find exactly what I'm looking for. It is easier and much less time consuming. I think it is easier way to find other things that are related to your topic on the internet through links. This helps because it gives you other ideas about your topic that you may not have thought of. However, when researching on the internet you need to be careful that what you think is a good resource actually is. The internet gives me access to things that are happening around the world 24/7.