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Author Archives: ariana333800

Stop the Skepticism!

            I can tell you the two most resonant things I’ve learned after taking this class for almost an entire semester: 1. I have more appreciation for my Congressmen than ever before, and 2. An absurdly large amount ofpeople are skeptical of our government. The latter is what I’ve decided to write about because I want it to change.

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            AP Government has really given me the opportunity to understand our government better. Obviously, we all grew up learning how a bill becomes a law, but I think the class really is meant to highlight the people behind the desks. The Congressmen work for our benefit and although politicians have a reputation of being sneaky and deceitful, I’ve come to the conclusion that they really are working for the benefit of the country. I have an enhanced appreciation of what they do on a day to day basis. Just because something they’re working on isn’t covered by the media doesn’t mean there are no progressions happening. There is a lot that the government does that we take for granted, and we don’t really understand how much of a quiet impact they have on our day to day lives–from the toothbrushes we use to the cars we drive. However, we tend to turn to government when things aren’t going well–because we look to them for an explanation. For this reason, many people are skeptical of the government because they only hear about the negative effects, and tend to blame a lot on the government.

            I can relate to the Congressmen because of my work in my school’s Student Government. It can be frustrating to work at something and have it be rejected by the administration. The students don’t see the behind-the-scenes action, they only see the visible progress. There are many things that we accomplish in our school that go unnoticed because they aren’t so obvious. Some students at our school are actually skeptical of Student Government because they don’t think that we accomplish enough on their behalf. This problem was addressed in our school in a similar way to many other problems: spreading awareness. Once we spoke to the students and gave them a glimpse of what we do every meeting, they appreciated our club more. I think that’s the problem with our government. Not enough citizens are aware of how hard Congressmen are working and the milestones they’re achieving–once they’re more evident to the public, there will be less skepticism in government.

            I also think that we should trust our government more because we need to realize how lucky we are. To be fair, we could have it a lot worse–although our government is far from a utopia, we are granted so much more than anyone living in a dictatorship or totalitarian state. People in the United States at least have the right to be skeptical of our government. We need to appreciate the strength of democracy–that system alone is why our Constitution has been so well preserved throughout American history. Democracy is the most powerful form of government because of its decentralization of power. It’s our obligation as members of this democracy to understand the inner workings of our government and really appreciate all they do for us.

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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in Default

 

Once a Luddite, Not Always a Luddite

If you would’ve asked me about taking an online course a few years ago, there’s a good chance I would’ve chuckled and even scoffed at the idea. I’m that kid in the class that refuses to take notes on her computer. I prefer the old-fashioned way–pen and paper. As a student attending a modern school in the 21st century, I obviously am not opposed to technology, and I graciously accepted the iPad my math teacher gave me for Calc this year. But I don’t go out of my way to do things the “technology” way: If a teacher doesn’t require taking notes on a computer, you can bet I’ll be using a notebook. To be quite honest, technology most of the time just confuses me and brings about too many complications, and I find myself even more frustrated with a process that’s supposed to be made easier. So last year, I even surprised myself when I elected to take the online course. I made the decision to try something new, and while it can be difficult at times, I’m glad I challenged myself. This site‘s page, titled “What I Wished I’d Known Before Taking an Online Course,” enumerates tips and tricks for handling an online class. And this page lists the disadvantages and advantages to taking an online course, which I found pretty relatable.

ImageAfter having been in AP Government for almost a month now, I can confidently say that I have finally mastered Voice thread, and it’s definitely my personal biggest accomplishment so far. I’m proud of myself for putting in the effort to learn how new and interesting technologies function, and using tools like Drop box and the discussion forums. I’m glad that I leapt out of my comfort zone, that I traded the world of loose leaf paper and whiteboards for Google hangout and Vimeo. As I’ve mentioned, it wasn’t always this way. In the beginning of the year, or really up until about last week, I found myself getting frustrated with the online course’s technologies–it wasn’t easy learning how to create an online Google slideshow presentation with a group of four other girls from across the world. However, more recently, I’ve learned that patience is the best virtue. Patience is an essential when dealing with technology–which I think is quite ironic because technology is supposed to make everything faster and more efficient. I’ve noted, so far, that an online course requires a completely different mindset to approach learning.

In my opinion, the easiest of the online tools we use is Google docs, just because I’m so familiar with it already from my classes last year. I also really appreciate the accessibility of the other students taking the online course…I thought it would be very difficult to reach everyone in my class, but I feel like as the weeks go by I’m getting to know everyone even better, through the discussions and comments we post online. It’s a pleasant surprise that I can get to really know girls from completely different states and backgrounds from me. The most difficult part of AP Government is the same thing: talking to the other girls in my class. Because we all are form different time zones, it can be pretty frustrating to connect with someone from across the country. But I optimistically see this as an opportunity to try something new and different. I’m taking note of everything I’m leaning–like when I have a group project assigned for the weekend, it might not good idea to email everyone else in my group Sunday afternoon. Taking an online class is definitely not easy–it’s like a rollercoaster–but I think that I’m all buckled in and ready to continue the journey.

For anyone with a similar problem to mine, I highly recommend this tutorial on how to use Google docs. It’s a lifesaver; from insignificant problems a technologically inept grandmother would ask her grandchild to more complicated matters appropriate for our class.

Image source: http://www.bigtimeattic.com/blog/2007/02/i-wish-someone-would-invent-luddite.html
 
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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Default