We are not Fine.

In the spirit of Franklin’s pursuit of Moral Perfection, we as a class will pursue our own personal goals this semester. This project will count as a test grade and will last through the first week of December (begins October 1- ends December 1)

Requirements:

*Write down four goals you want to attain by December.
(These goals should be achievable. While I want you to dream big, don’t make a goal to run a marathon in December if you aren’t a runner.)
(These goals should require thought and effort on your part.)

*Start with the goal most important to you, OR the goal, which upon reaching, will help you in your journey to reach your other goals.

*For each goal, you must create a 5-10 step action plan. The more specific, the better.

*Each Friday for the next 9 weeks, you will reflect on your failures and accomplishments, no matter how small, in a 250-300 word response (Submitted to Canvas).

*You must join our class on Remind.

*You must upload a weekly calendar each Sunday onto Canvas detailing your plan and where/how you plan on incorporating time to work on chosen weekly goal.

*Tangible evidence of your pursuit should be provided when you submit your weekly response.

For each goal, I encourage you to…

-Find an encouraging quote/s to remind you why you are doing this.
-Set reminders in your phone everyday.
-Be proactive. Think about what we can accomplish if we cut out an episode on Netflix every night, turned our phones off thirty minutes, played intellectually stimulating games instead of mind numbing games, etc.
-Never give up. A setback is merely that… a setback. Recover and proceed as always.

 

Additionally…

The first week you will work on Goal 1. The second week you will add another goal to work on in addition to the first one. By the fifth week, we will work on achieving all four goals for the remainder of the month.

 

 

 

Here and Gone: A Gripping Thriller

Haylen Beck’s thrilling novel Here and Gone keeps its readers waiting with bated breath. With every new twist and turn, I struggled to put the book down.

Audra, a young mother fleeing from an abusive husband, faces one difficulty after another. While in flight from her husband, she is pulled over in a seemingly routine traffic stop on a barren highway. And here her problems truly begin.

The author brings life to his characters and accurately portrays a loving mother who will stop at nothing to save her children, even at the risk of her own life.

Review of “Never Settle for Normal”

    Jonathan Parnell has found ‘the proven path to significance and happiness’ in his book “Never Settle for Normal”. The author boldly answers the questions we all have: What is the missing piece? What are we really hungry for? What do you do when enough isn’t enough?    This Christian book is not only for the ‘glory chasers and pleasure seekers’, but for anyone struggling with his/her faith. For those who feel firmly grounded in their beliefs, it serves as a useful reminder as to what loving God is really all about. Parnell focuses on our fallen society and the continual shift away from Christian values. He describes the influence of the secular world on Christians and their mindsets as ‘stupid normal’. This new attitude contributes to the ever thinning faith of followers of Christ. Throughout his book, he makes an excellent case for Christ and includes many relatable references to literature as well as notable Christian authors and thinkers. Chapter by chapter, the author retells the story of God and his ultimate sacrifice for mankind. He never strays from the biblical story of salvation. Parnell also addresses the watering down of Christian beliefs and secular society’s need to make Christianity more acceptable to the masses. He stresses the dangers of accepting such changes and believes this is why so many are still search for something more, despite seeming to ‘have it all’.  

    Does he answer the questions so many have hidden in their hearts? Read it to find out. 

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for review. 

Middle Man 

Cheyann Armstrong 
                                Middle Man
Day 87 out of I forget how many.

Same cold desk and white walls.

I have been here so long I have 

Become numb.
Numb. numb to the outside world.

Do they not care about me?

All I know is how to find why X hates Z.
Do I choose letter A or C?

Why do they not care about me?

I try and try, but it’s not enough.

This district better stay an ‘A’.
But, hey, as long as Middle Man is 

Happy you are doing good.

It does not matter if you came from the 

Hood.

State test are all that need to be understood.
Test. A word that now brings fear. 

Test. 

Test. 

Test. 

I get it; I better do my best.

My well being? Oh, the Middle Man

Could care less.
A pat on the back, a thing I’ll never get.

I could leave. Forget it all. No more tests.

I don’t want to face the downfall. 

God, why so many tests?
I swear I’m trying my best.

How do I do my best on a

Test I wasn’t prepared for? 
Enough! I want to actually learn.

Teach me the ACT.

I need to be a better me…
Me. Middle Man, why don’t you care

About me?

I do my every test my very best.

You drive me crazy.
You sit there and call me lazy.

Sleep is a rare visitor all because I

Try to be better. For you Middle Man!
Middle Man why can’t you see…

See that you are slowly killing me.

Killing my dreams.

God please let me be.
God middle man why can’t you let me be me…

My Desire 

Loftin Price

                             My Desire

    I long for a certain attitude, a new mindset. One where each individual allows a light in and allows it to change preconceived notions. Don’t understand? Let me explain.

    I’m a white male from the state of Mississippi. I live in a small town. My favorite restaurant is Popeyes, so I eat there often. Knowing this, I would like for you to think about the scenario I’m about to present.

    I walk into Popeyes and get in line to order. Shortly after my arrival, a black male who attends the same school as me enters and joins line behind me. No words are spoken. I order, get my food, and sit down to eat. He does the same. The table he chooses to sit at is a few feet from mine. We both eat alone. I finish and leave. He does the same.

    This story needed to be told. Why? It needed to be told because that’s how most of us live on a daily basis. Still confused? 

    Our personalities and attitudes are entrapped in a cloud of darkness. It took no time for me to notice the obvious differences between the male and myself: our skin color…and maybe what we planned to order at Popeyes. We recognize a difference such as race, social class, or religion, and we let these minute details create a barrier from communication and friendship with these people who are “different” than us. Can I share some news with you? The black male in Popeyes and I have more in common than one might think. Don’t believe me? We’re both guys. We are classmates. Both of us live in the same small town. We share a love for fried chicken. We’re both American citizens. Both of us enjoy sports. Both of our bodies require the same things to survive. We breathe the same air.

    You see that? This guy and I have so much in common, yet we did not speak to each other because we let one little detail create a barrier between us. It’s all about our attitudes, our mindsets. If each of us removed this dark cloud that tells us to focus on the external differences, communities could unite through the common ground we each share.

Review of Finally Focused 


James Greenblatt and Bill Gottlieb present a natural treatment plan for ADHD in Finally Focused. This book is an excellent source for anyone searching for alternative methods to treating the symptoms of ADHD without resorting to medication. Part I of the book details the Plus-Minus Healing Plan created by Dr. James Greenblatt. In the first eleven chapters, he details the effects of adding various minerals to one’s diet. He gives first hand accounts of patients who use the minerals mentioned and shows how these minerals help alleviate specific ADHD symptoms. In addition to including case studies, he explains in depth exactly how the specific mineral treats the symptom/s and goes as far as explaining the differences in an ADHD brain versus the brain of someone who does not have ADHD. For those who need further convincing, the ample evidence he provides to support his treatment plan is such that one should have no qualms about at least trying the program. A multitude of scientific studies are provided, which can be difficult to wade through at times. The second part of the book is a brief two chapters and addresses prescriptions commonly used to treat ADHD and also discusses the use of behavioral therapy. I found this book to be a great reference, and I particularly appreciate the Step-by-Step Action Plan for Healing ADHD provided at the end of each chapter which recaps the highlights of the chapter.  

*I received this book from Blogging from Books for review.

Not Everyone is a Winner 

 

After a long weekend of umpiring peewee girls’ softball, I noticed something questionable at the end of the tournament. Regardless of placement, each girl on every team received a trophy. Even the girls on the team in last place squealed with excitement. This latest trend in youth sports creates a dangerous mentality among children: no matter what I do, I will get rewarded. This trending mentality can cause negative effects on kids in the long run. Not everyone is a winner in the real world. If kids receive participation trophies throughout their youth, kids will expect rewards to be given to them as adults for doing the bare minimum and become less productive citizens.

The conflict of whether or not should children receive participation trophies has become more popular over the past few years. The media began to recognize the issue when Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison brought it to the public’s attention in August of 2015. Harrison’s six year-old and eight year-old sons each received participation trophies at the end of a sports season like many kids. “I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned,” he captioned a photo on social media of the trophies, “And I’m not about to raise two boys to men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best… because sometimes your best is not enough.” Harrison’s firm viewpoint gained a tremendous amount of support. Former NFL Super Bowl champ Kurt Warner agreed with Harrison and went a step further by saying kids do not pass class for just showing up (Wallace, 2015, p. 1). Co-author of “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing” Ashley Merryman (2015) worries if children are told how wonderful they are no matter what they do or do not accomplish, these young athletes are more likely to be narcissistic. A study in 2015 found that children whose parents overpraised them were more prone to develop narcissistic traits. Traits such as superiority and entitlement are two qualities which are not necessarily going to benefit kids when the going gets tough. Participation trophies do not give kids room to make mistakes nor learn from their mistakes (Wallace, 2015, p. 2). A poll released recently found 57 percent of respondents were against participation trophies. The vast majority of the remaining 43 percent were wealthier and more politically conservative respondents (Melamed, 2015, p. 1). Jean Twenge (2015), a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, claims:

“All of the research converges on that the best way to motivate kids is to reward them for good performance and when they’re little, for effort as well. The problem with a participation trophy is it doesn’t even reward effort. It rewards showing up, and in some leagues, apparently you don’t even need to show up. That’s really sending the wrong message.”

She also believes the kids on a steady diet of participation trophies will grow anxious and depressed at record levels (Melamed, 2015, p. 2).

When children are small, encouraging them to play and rewarding their performance with a participation trophy is not always a bad idea, but participation trophies are not helpful after a certain age. Kids need to understand everyone is not created equally. Recreation sports are about learning skills and life lessons. Being showered with trophies, no matter the outcome of a game, defeats the original intent of the sport (Diaz, 2015). Some leagues have even taken the next step by setting a participation trophy age cut off. Initially, kids love awards and trophies, but as they get older, they want to earn a trophy (Melamed, 2015, p. 2). The New York Times (2015) reports trophy and award sells total to about $3 billion yearly in the United States. Sadly, sports for kids is not a healthy part of growing up anymore. In handing children participation trophies, they are being taught little or no effort is more than good enough. The children who accept this mentality are being set up for failure, and they are the children who will be less productive citizens when grown.

Others, however, see the argument over participation trophies unnecessary. A common argument for the participation trophy claims the trophy acknowledges the time and effort the child puts forth. Also, the child receives a memento of the experience (Wallace, 2015, p. 1). When kids are young, it is important to build self esteem. They have the rest of their lives to deal with rejection, but I believe kids should learn early on the world does not hand out trophies. Under New Jersey soccer rules, you cannot keep score for kids younger than eleven. Barry Fitzgerald, assistant commissioner of Marlton Soccer in New Jersey, claims it is important for the kids to feel good about themselves. Participation trophies to some is viewed simply as a job well done. The child made it through the season. Although the players are on different levels, they went through the same training, so they should be recognized (Melamed, 2015, p. 2). Parent Anne Harney said her son has not received a participation trophy since he was three. She was surprised to find every participant is given a ‘grown up’participation medal at the end of each race she runs. It was even more surprising to her when the adults were more enthusiastic about them than the young athletes. Everyone received the same medal whether it took him 45 minutes or several hours to complete the race (Melamed, 2015, p. 3).

As a student athlete, I know the feeling of loss and disappointment, but that feeling makes me strive harder to become better. When my team loses, I work even harder, so next time I will be prepared and not lose. When my grade is not as good as it should be, I study harder, so the next time I will improve. Being congratulated for losing a game seems wrong, but that is the mentality children are being taught today. If children do not accept their losses, there is no room for improvement. If there is no room for improvement, children will accept failure and think it is okay.
Abigail Myers

References

Diaz, G. (2015, August 20). George Diaz: Kids don’t deserve participation trophies, medals for showing up. Orlando Sentinel, The (FL).

Kelly Wallace, C. (2015, August 18). Does sports participation deserve a trophy? Let the parental debate begin!. CNN Wire.

Melamed, S. (2015, August 19). To give or not to give participation trophies. Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA).