Wednesday, March 7, 2012

High School Murder-Suicide Leaves Two Adults Dead

This past Tuesday, a teacher fired from a private school in Jacksonville, Florida returned to the campus with a gun and shot the headmistress to death before committing suicide. This occurred at about 1:23 pm at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville. After administrators heard reports of a gun being in the building, the school was put on lockdown. Doors were locked, lights were shut off, and the children were silenced. When it began, students did not realize it was a real lockdown, and not just a drill. The students finally started to believe it once they began receiving texts from other students saying they heard gun shots. The sheriff's office identified the gunman as 28 year old Shane Schumerth. He taught Spanish at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, until he was fired. The article did not say exactly why he was fired, but it included a quote from a student saying the students did not like his teaching style. The murder of the headmistress, Dale Regan, is a huge loss for the school and the community. "Regan worked at the Episcopal school for more than 30 years, starting as a teacher and going on to become the first female to hold the school's top position."
When I read this article, I was amazed. I couldn't believe that this man murdered the headmistress of the school just because he was fired. I can see that he might be angry and nervous about finding another job, but that did not mean he had to go to extreme measures. If he was really this angry, he should have only committed suicide and not taken out his anger on Regan first. The author makes it clear that Regan will be missed in the community, and she was a tremendous influence on everyone she met. "She truly focused on the whole being, the whole child." The author used lots of pathos in this article, and made me really understand him/her emotionally. "I would hope the parents hug their children, pray for their children, pray for Dale, pray for the man who was so distraught that he committed this terrible act of violence."

Click here to see the article

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Queen dies at 48

Pop/soul diva Whitney Houston passed away Saturday in her Beverly Hills home. Houston had been a tabloid target during her last years of life due to the crack rumors and her marriage to Bobby Brown. The diva sold 200 million records worldwide, won 6 Grammys, 2 Emmys, and almost 2 dozen American Music Awards. She was a music icon and an inspiration to many. Houston came from a musical family; her mother, Cissy Houston was a gospel sensation. But, Houston's bad behavior and drug addiction helped tear her career down. Oddly enough, Houston passed away the day of this years Grammy awards. Grammy producers rushed last minute to add a tribute to Houston. The show opened up with a tribute to Whitney and Jennifer Hudson sang honoring the legend.

The authors of this article, the Salon Staff, didn't seem very emotional about the subject. They didn't use much pathos at all, they just stated the facts. The authors made it obvious that they believed that Houston did this to herself. They mentioned Houston's drug use multiple times and added that her behavior and drug use helped "tear her career down." They even included a quote from Houston saying, "The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy."

Click here to view the article

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Life of an Abercrombie & Fitch Model

I read this article and was very entertained. I remember when I went to New York City and went to the Abercrombie & Fitch store and saw the models posting up right when you walk in. They really do use tacky "company taglines" to try to get you to buy their merchandise. The author of this article, Terry Mccoy, was an actual Abercrombie model and got to experience the whole process. He was discovered on the street one day in New York City by a recruiter, and was convinced by her to come to an interview. He went to the interview and the recruiter was right, everyone loved him and he was hired. He was told to go to an orientation at 9 am on a Sunday morning. He showed up late, still drunk from the night before, and not showered. But, it didn't matter. Nobody even noticed. All they cared about was that this "hot" model was here and ready to go. I thought this was sort of funny. It's the guys first day on the job and he shows up hammered and they don't care? Wow... Just the life of a model I guess. Mccoy ended up quitting 2 hours into his 6 hour shift. Couldn't handle the skinny jeans.

I thought this article was really cool because it was written by someone who actually got to experience being an Abercrombie model. The details he added really helped you picture the process. An example of this is when Mccoy discusses his "bright green" Chuck Taylors. Mccoy starts to make fun of the Abercrombie models and their tactics. Mccoy explains Abercrombie as "If you've never been to Abercrombie, let me tell you, it definitely kills one's ability to form coherent, logical thought." This is so true. When I walk into Abercrombie, I can't hear myself think. Mccoy uses plenty of evidence to get his purpose across, and to be honest, kind of makes me frown upon Abercrombie & Fitch after reading his article.

Click here to see the article

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Memoir #2

For my second memoir, I will be reading Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. The book summary on the back of the book sounds very interesting and I'm excited to read it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Texting While Walking

Navigating and trying to get where you want to go on the sidewalks of New York City is difficult enough. Now, add texting and walking to the situation, and things can get dangerous. There's little data known about the number of people injured while texting. But, studies show that more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 after they were injured while using a cell phone. Ohio State University's research shows that that statistic doubled each year since 2006. The author of this article says that people need to master the etiquette of texting and gain more control of their electronic lives.

The author of this article, Casey Neistat, believes that texting while walking, especially on the busy streets of New York City, is incredibly dangerous. I think it was a good decision for Neistat to include the statistic because that really amazed me. I had no idea that many people went to the emergency room for texting related accidents. And if there was 1,000 people in 2008, I wonder how many more people go to emergency rooms now. I am definitely guilty of texting while walking on busy city streets, and this article is going to make me rethink that!

A Maestro Sets the Tone

Something unheard of occurred at the New York Philharmonic on January 10th. About an hour into Mahler's Ninth Symphony, an audience's cell phone loudly interrupted. It kept ringing for almost a minute. Everyone in the theater was staring in the direction that the sound was coming from. The violinists were glaring down at seats in the front row, trying to find the source of the noise. The maestro, Alan Gilbert, finally silenced the orchestra. He stopped in the middle of the show and turned around from his podium, stared at the offender, and asked the person if they were going to turn it off. People started to scream and shout at the cell phone owner. Some even stood up and demanded that he leave. The audience was furious. After the cell phone owner finally located the off button, Gilbert turned to the audience and said, "Usually, when there's a disturbance like this, it's best to ignore it," he said. "But this was so egregious that I could not allow it." The audience applauded him, and then Gilbert turned back to his orchestra and started up again.
The author of this op-ed, David Masello, thinks Alan Gilbert did a beautiful thing. Masello himself was at the performance and describes the amazing atmosphere from a first hand experience. Masello explains that Gilbert "hit all the right notes" when he decided to stop the performance and call out the cell phone owner. Masello finishes his op-ed with saying, "Mr. Gilbert's brave decision that night, to halt a performance and remedy a problem with firmness and dignity, brought new music to the Philharmonic." This event will go down in history and Gilbert will be considered a hero by many for years to come.

Click here to view the op-ed

Friday, January 27, 2012

3 A.M. Wake Up Call

What would you do to get a good education? Mexican-Americans who live in Tijuana have to wake up at 3 a.m. to walk several miles and wait in line to cross an international border just to go to school. They go to school in Chula Vista, California. These students are not immigrants. They are American citizens, legally crossing the border to get an education. Some of these kids do have to stay under the radar because they are not residents of the school districts they attend. The children live in Tijuana because their parents have been deported from the U.S. or have chosen to leave the states. Some people believe that these children are contributing to America's greatness, but some believe they are stealing from it. A lot of people do not agree with this and do not think these children should be allowed to cross the border and attend American schools.
The author of this article, Andrew Rosenthal, believe that America and its citizens should embrace the situation. Rosenthal says, "When our laws needlessly divide families and discourage beneficial migration, they drain the ambition and energy that are America’s constantly renewable resource." Rosenthal believes that we, as Americans, are fighting the battle of immigration in the worst way possible. Rosenthal finishes his editorial saying, "While our laws and policies focus heavily on punishing first-generation illegal immigrants, we forget that it is in our vital interest to make sure their American children and grandchildren succeed." This proves that Rosenthal thinks we need to focus on these citizens because they are our future. 

Click here to view the article