2015 NBA Finals Prediction

Coming out of the Eastern Conference we have the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers making the finals just goes to show how much one player can help a whole team. When LeBron James played for the Heat, they made the finals all 4 years he was there, and the Cavaliers didn’t even make the playoffs. LeBron James comes back to the Cavaliers and BOOM, they are headed to the Finals.

Out west we have the Golden State Warriors advancing to the finals. Wait, who?! That’s right, without any roster upgrade, the Warriors go from the 6th best team in the West to the best team in the NBA. Many, including Warriors superstar Wardell Curry, were upset at the firing of coach Mark Brown after last years first round exit. However, no one can complain now, as they have a 50% chance at becoming champions.

Many feel this will be a tightly contested series, and I agree. You have the best offense and defense in the NBA (Warriors) playing against one of the most talented teams in the NBA (Cavs). Superstar forward Kevin Love is out with a shoulder injury, and star point guard Kyrie Irving has been on and off due to injury. The fact that the Cavs were able to get to the Finals so easily without consistently having 2 of their best 3 players just goes to show how great LeBron James is. All in all, I’d say the experience of LeBron James gives the Cavs this series, as the Warriors are too dependent on the 3 point shot. The absence of Kevin Love will be felt, but I still feel that Cavs will be able to get the job done and win this series. steph-curry-lebron-james

The Lakers might actually have some hope!

“The 2nd pick in the 2015 NBA draft will be chosen by, the Los Angeles Lakers!” Our luck in this years draft was absolutely huge, as our record indicated we would not have a top 3 pick, and somehow, the basketball gods blessed us with the 2nd pick. That means we can get one of the two dominant big men, Karl Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor. Also available is the explosive shooting guard Deangelo Russell, who has drawn comparisons to the likes of James Harden.

So one draft pick will suddenly put us back in basketball contention? Absolutely not. However, having this young talent actually makes us attractive to the 2015 free agent pool, as we gave a great chance at superstar forward Kevin Love. The starting line up is potentially Jordan Clarkson, Kobe, Randle, Love, and Okafor. Suddenly, our terrible season doesn’t seem so terrible at all.

Even if we aren’t able to attract a great free agent, not doing great this year can be a blessing in disguise. That’s because it would potentially give us another lottery pick in the 2016 draft, and more cap space for the DEEP free agent class of 2016. All in all, I believe we will be a force by the 2016-2017 NBA season.

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Do Exams Really Measure Intelligence?

back48_testingIs the modern practice of test-taking ideal for gaining knowledge of topics? There is multiple choice, essays, true/false sections, etc. Are there better ways of learning topics and retaining them? 

Most high schools at this time use some form of multiple choice in tests, quizzes, and other exams. The students’ answers depend on the wording of the question rather than depending solely on knowing the topic completely. Sometimes, a guessed answer could be correct. These types of tests do not promote free thinking and do not work the brain enough. These tests require a type of memorization that is rarely long-term.

I think teachers should have students write essays connecting the majority of the concepts learned into one area. This could potentially increase the difficulty of the tests but will simultaneously help memory retention of the concepts.

Another aspect of this controversy relates to how multiple choice does not require students to think of concepts and relate them to other things.

Why Settle for Slow Progress?

slow-progressThere are many reasons to try to progress in a certain activity. Everyone wants to get better. Everyone thinks that to get better you must work really hard at that activity for long periods of time to get better. However, it is easy to think that change must be done quickly and difficultly. The more long-lasting change is done by making little changes everyday to get to where you want to be.

For example, one might want to improve their grades and shoot for straight A’s one semester. That person may think that it is necessary to drastically change his or her study habits to reach the goal. Extreme changes can be very unattainable and/or unsustainable. One must try to change one little thing at a time in order to be successful over time. This person should try to fix one thing at a time starting with time management, prioritization, procrastination, and ways to study.

Understanding this concept has changed my life for the better. Slowly easing out of a bad habit and into a good habit can be a slow process, yet very beneficial and long-lasting. One must see the big picture and not just today.

The Special Gift

Picture by Creative Tools

Picture by Creative Tools

 

It is June 21 in 2014 and I am standing at the mall. I don’t know what to get; should I get an electronic or should I buy clothing. I want to go home but the confusion between getting either clothing or electronics is killing me.  I ask my mom for help, but she says that she can’t help me. My mind is racing rapidly because it is almost three o’clock and I still haven’t decided what to get. Something catches my eye through the window display of Radioshack. I have decided what I am getting.

My brother has been telling me lately about how badly he wants to get a portable wireless speaker he can take to the beach or the park without having any trouble. I see the perfect wireless speaker sitting there on the third row of the shelf; it is a cylindrical shaped speaker that is white with a streak of gray on the sides and top and bottom.  I ask the worker to give me the speaker; my heart is bursting with joy. The store is completely empty, so I am helped immediately. I am ready to take this home and give it to my brother. I watch as the clerk puts the speaker into a bag. The clerk and I exchange the speaker and money. I call my mom and tell her to get into the car so I can quickly get home I want to get there before my brother arrives.

As soon as I get home, I open it up carefully, making sure I don’t break it. When I see that it is charged, I hide it under a pile of clothing. I tell my brother to call me before he gets home. I want to be prepared to surprise him. I connect the speaker to my phone with bluetooth.

I finally get the phone call from my brother that he will be there in five minutes. When he enters, I play a video I have recorded of him giving a speech. He starts to smile and ask where that sound is coming from. He runs around the house until he gets to the pile of clothes where the speaker is hidden.

He lifts up the pile of clothes and sees the speaker lying there. He says, “Who is this for,”  and I respond by saying, “It is for you.” He stares at it as if he is dreaming. He doesn’t move as if he is too scared to wake up from his dream until I tell him to pick it up. I see a smirk start to appear on his face as he realizes what it is. Just seeing that happiness on his face is what gives  me a warm feeling inside. We sit together as he uses his new gift for hours and hours without the giant smile fading for even one second.

I see my parents looking at me with a sense of love. I know I have done the right thing by buying this speaker. I am proud of myself.  What should I add to the conclusion to make it more solid and give it a true ending feeling?

Once upon a time, there lived the richest king in all the lands. This man was known for his great strength and quickness. However, he was best known for his charming looks. Women would come and admire the sight of his face, and men would imagine themselves in his place with all his strength. Many men and women started to consider him a god. Many temples, like those of Zeus and Aphrodite, were  now empty. The man enjoyed all the attention as it came and never got tired of it. He even started to believe that he was a god. That angered all the gods in heaven. The gods, watching down on their creations and once worshippers had betrayed them for a mortal who would one day leave them.

One day the man woke up and found no worshipper or admirer at his door. Instead he found a note at his bedside and it said, “You have disrespected us, and now you shall feel the wrath of the gods against you”.  The man took it as a joke from one of his friends. In the afternoon, a huge rainstorm hit the kingdom, and everything was destroyed. Only the king survived and was alone. Next, there was no food for him to eat. As the man realized what the note said he began to cry. He then heard a voice saying, “ You must suffer for what you done to the gods.”The man hunted for food throughout the next few months.  He then came up with a plan to sail to another island. He created a boat using some nearby resources. By midday, the man was already sailing. On his voyage, he first encountered the Sirens, who tried to bring his life to an end, but he used his knowledge to escape from there. He then landed on the island of the Cyclopes, where he was nearly killed for stealing eight sheep.  The man sacrificed all the sheep for the gods to ask for forgiveness. All the gods except Poseidon forgave him. Poseidon tortured him by sending storm after storm,making the man more lost than he was. However, the other gods would help him get back on track. Finally after two years of a long journey, the man made it to an island. He was destroyed and was very poor. He finally understood why he wasn’t a god. Gods are the all powerful, but man is nothing without the gods. The man never again boasted of his talents. This is the story of Hamzacus.


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