Catcher in the Rye

This book cover is a phony!  It’s a lazy sloth, completely expected from the damn publication industry and all.

PHONY!

PHONY!

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Cavs vs. Warriors: Individual vs. Team

Although not officially set, it seems a given that the NBA Finals will pit the talented multi-functional Golden State Warriors vs LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers, with each team having a commanding 3-0 series lead over their opponent and the opposition showing little resistant. But if you look at the two teams, the ideology and method of moving onto the NBA’s greatest stage have varied to an extreme degree. Over in Cleveland, we saw the formation of a Big Three behind LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The rest of the team seemed unimportant as they were instantly pegged title favorites. But after limping out to an unimpressive 19-20 start to the season, the Cavs realized that they needed some backup firepower to propel this team to any degree of success. They made multiple mid season acquisitions in Timofey Mozgov, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert that helped the Cavs catch fire and rocket to the second seed in the East and, with the decline of the Hawks, back into the spot for Eastern Conference favorite. However, as they entered the playoffs, disaster struck. Kevin Love was disabled in a brutish attack by Kelly Olynyk in the first round and it looked like the Cavs would be in trouble. But LeBron and Kyrie stepped up to fill the scoring load for the next series against the Bulls until it was revealed Kyrie had been playing on an injured ankle and would miss time. As the Big Three began to diminish, we began to see LeBron take over, willing his team deeper into the playoffs, and taking all responsibilities of scoring on himself. LeBron believes that he is the one who must take his team to the next level. Which is almost exactly the opposite of the Warriors. The Warriors were one of the most cohesive teams, cranking out assists and high percentage shots. Although their clear leader was MVP Steph Curry, the whole team made vast contributions all over to lead the team to a franchise best 67-15 record. Like LeBron, Curry can take over a game and torch the opponents with his vast arsenal, but he also has the ability to pass the torch to a teammate when he recognizes an opportunity. Watch any clip from Klay Thompson’s 37 point quarter, and there Steph is, trying to assist Klay. The Warriors team friendly offense has thrived and annihilated opponents by an average 10.6 points per game, one of the highest of all time. As these teams meet up, we get ready to watch a battle between two philosophies. On the one hand, the Cavs give the ball to LeBron and let him run, while on the other hand, the Warriors as a team work towards their ultimate goal. With the NBA Finals a mere week away, the excitement builds towards what is certain to be a match up no one will soon forget.

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?

The History of Today

1776.  That’s a very easy date to remember.  The call for liberty in the face of tyranny and oppression was broadcasted from America to countries across the globe, metaphorically of course.  In 1910, the first public radio signal was actually broadcasted to the American public.  Not even 100 years later, the Internet debuted in 1992 in America and has made this all possible.

CC Wikipedia

CC Wikipedia

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