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Author Archives: dbambi

News and Democracy

From previous chapters in Government, I realized how uninformed my generation is compared to other generations. With the information in Wilson’s book and on a previous AP test, there is fact that my generation watches nightly news irregularly or never. However, I do believe media other than the news informs my generation. In my mind, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter bring information. On social networking sites, information spreads quicker than a news program or spreading by mouth.

By the news spreading in social networking sites, the information is different then what would be on a channel three news. The news has to relate to the person reading or skimming a site so that they will pause to learn more. This is different from tv, because a viewer has to watch everything to find something that interests them. To me, it is beneficial that by using the Internet you pick what news that you want to hear. One of my favorite current news updater is Yahoo news; because sites like CNN have so much information on different topics, it is wild. However, on Yahoo there are sixty news updates that a viewer can choose. I can pick from news of Vogue not using “super” skinny model versus information on an eclipse that is beautiful, but I have no interest in. By people picking what information is told to them is both bad and beneficial.

With discussing the ability to gain knowledge, I debated what is the best way to educate the younger generation. From my experience, my first taste of democracy and elections was this year with class elections, which is similar to other students in high school. Before in high school, I never ran for a position, which required the majority vote till this year. Unlike real elections, I did not have to campaign or spend a lot of money. However, students in council elections must spend hundreds on food, posters, and prizes. The sad part about these elections is that there is only one winner though each person spends the same amount of money like the real world. To be a winner, a candidate must display ability to fulfill tasks and have a catchy slogan. Without both, the candidate will not ultimately win.

On the topic of educating students, I wonder is this the best way to tell students about democracy and our government? It’s the sad truth that someone has to lose that I believe discourages people. When the results for the election were told, I was disappointed and felt like my votes did not matter. However, I know that being discouraged is a part of life, and it cannot be the deciding factor. If elections were not in schools, I think even fewer people would vote. In addition, I wonder is it such a bad thing that education is a big factor of who is likely to vote. Would you want someone who cares neither for the country nor for education making decisions for you? I want everyone to have an equal voice, but I do not want the wrong opinion to be the majority.

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Current Events

 

Direction of Education


During this semester, I have earned an experience that includes communication, collaboration, and creativity. As I have told many before, AP Government was not my first online class. However, it was my first full semester with a teacher I have never met. Unlike some students, I came into the class with an upper hand, because I had experience with programs such as Google docs, Voicethread, and Haiku. However, I was still learning with programs such as Vimeo and WordPress, which was cool to be introduced to.

One of about 6 Voicethreads that I made during this class.

For our online class each month, we filled out a survey that I never thought people actually looked at. However, I filled out the survey, and I made a suggestion to do a group project with three or more people. Then the next week, we had a new assignment. Surprise! I was in a group with three others, and we had to create an electoral system. By being in a big group, I was able to communicate with girls who I had not before. In addition, I learned that many girls in my class were independent and forward thinkers. Because I was the only junior, I felt like I was lacking knowledge that they had, but they made sure to not let me feel that way.

The project was divided among class members, and we met weekly for discussions on Skype. Because this project had a key leader, we were given responsibilities and tasks to stay organized. Though I was not the leader in this project, it prepared me to be a leader in another. The next week after finishing the electoral system, I started a project in my normal school that required creating a wiki page and video with students from other classes. In fellow classmates’ minds, this task was daunting. However, in my mind because I was able to do a project similar to this with girls thousands of miles away, this project was a piece of cake. By taking examples from my online class, I set due dates, jobs, and started early on the project. What students learn online can be used in everyday school.

Process of making imovie with English class.

In my city, it is now a graduation requirement to take an online class. I understand the importance of trying out online classes, because opportunities that arrive with taking an online class are countless. One of my favorites is the ability to meet students around the US. Also, we met a teacher who has his own style with educating using technology. We use the Internet for information, so it makes sense to take classes online.

With the planning of next year’s classes, I am looking forward to taking another online class. My next adventure is with AP Macroeconomics. Hopefully, I will have a similar experience like with this class. Because the AP exam is in the near future, I have already started preparing. What I like about online classes is that you have so many resources for information. I can use the prep AP book I bought or review with online study guides or watch the videos of lectures. The choices are endless. But I have noticed through my studying is that I remember a lot of what we learned easily. I do not know if it is because of the videos, discussions, or reading web pages, but it worked. I’m looking forward to my exam and to finishing the class off strong.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in 21st Century Skills, Learning, Technology

 

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Society’s View of Women

I would like to start off saying that I haven’t been quite myself these last two weeks. Because I took four days extra for spring break so that my family can vacation on my sister’s college week off, I have been behind. To me getting behind is a tough situation. You have to worry about emailing teachers, make-up work, and did you miss anything. Woah! Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. Then to believe that I haven’t walked physically into school for two weeks, but because I do not feel that way makes me dread going back. The course load in AP Government this week has not been bad at all, but I feel like the computer is getting to me. It runs in my family to have horrible vision, so it is no surprise that mine is bad and getting worse. Besides that lets look to the brighter side of things!

So before writing this, I had NO clue what to say. I looked at other classmates’ work, and it was all great. But I cannot copy their ideas, I want to be original. Then it clicked. Earlier I was watching the new hit series GCB which if you haven’t seen on abc you should. It stereotypes every Texas Christian women, and it goes overboard. However, what many might not know is the controversy over what GCB stands for. Now I will not go into much detail about that because I do not say such words, but I find it funny how even the Republican candidate running for nomination Newt Gingrich commented on this show. He called the show “un-Christian.” In my mind, the show is not trying to show the Christian side of things; instead it is showing the hypocrisy of American culture. We all have the right to the freedom of speech. This show was not created out of pure imagination, it came from a book which was already published. The way women are viewed is displayed in the tv show that’s comedy in it.

GCB on the View    

Before tuning into this show, I went to pick up a dress for a fashion show on Tuesday. While picking out a dress, I had five other girls around me all from different backgrounds. I come from a family where I am not restricted by conservativeness like you cannot show your shoulders or you must cover your hair though my brother is muslim. But when I was shopping, I realized not everyone is like me. Many girls had to okay whether the color was to bright or if showing the shoulders was too much. This experience made me see that women are hiding behind themselves, and it is because of history. I’m not 18 yet so I do not know what it feels like to vote, but I’m waiting for that experience. Women have to wait for so many things like the typical life of marriage, kids, and career. While watching GCB, people disgusted, but do they not see the reality because I do. The reality that women grow up with the same liberties and rights, but we don’t really use them. We depend on others to care for us because that’s what society taught us, but we complain about welfare. I do not know for sure just some thought.

As always thanks for reading and have a blessed one!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Culture

 

AP Government changed my thinking. How about yours?

So much has changed since my first post about AP government. Instead of more personal discussions, they tend to concern current events. The change reminds me of AP Human Geography last year. Before when I was taking that class, I thought the information would never help me in another, but (Surprise!) it has. Whether it’s anazalying graphs of birth rate or immigration rate into America much of this information I have seen before. However, I was looking at this information on a larger scale, and I did not focus just on the US. However in government, the analyzing of graphs are specific to how the US is being affected.

On Monday, my school held a “shadow day” where students followed a person who had a profession which interested them. Because I am interested in law, I was assigned the US Attorney office for my district. Let me just say, so much of the information I have learned from AP Government was used in my discussions with employees all day. The official person I was shadowing was the assistant Attorney General who handles fire arm cases. Oddly enough the test before in AP Government was on liberties and rights. Because the right to have arms is given to citizens, it was interesting to hear of all the reasons this right would be taken away. The federal government takes away the right to bare arms when a citizen is a convicted felon or convicted for domestic violence. Because domestic violence is not a felony, it is unique that it is the extended rule. Also while shadowing, I was able to see the trial of two hitmans for the biggest drug lord caught last year. Sitting in a separate room from the trial because it was too dangerous made me realize the importance of our government. In AP Government, we discussed what happens when rights conflict. This month I also researched the case Gideon vs. Wainwright which gave rights back to criminals. In the case of the drug lord, 12 people were accused, and 10 pleaded guilty. However, there is two who want their right to a fair trial which the federal government is giving and paying for high private attorneys. Though everyone knows that they are guilty, the government does not invade on their rights until convicted by a jury.

Because we just had our second test, I am becoming use to taking them online though it is hard. I am the type of student who wants to print off every piece of paper so that I can write on, scratch off, or underline while taking a test. Also there is that added stress of the time clock in the corner, but I guess it makes it more like the AP test. Instead of feeling like a time crunch which I did on the first test, I made the clock more of a challenge for myself. I know that I take a long time on test, because I say more than is needed. WIth the clock in the corner, I keep it simple and to the point.

Every week we do a current event personal blog. However for me, the current event that has caught my eye twice has been about schools. I do not know what about schools catch my attention more than the Republican nomination, but I go with it. Because my city is merging two fairly large school systems together beginning the 2012-2013 school year, there is lots of discussion going on about it in my city. This event worries me though it does not directly affect me. With the private personal blog, I am able to address my fears without judgement.

Thanks for Reading

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Learning

 

What only 4 weeks? It feels like a lifetime.

The beginning experience of AP American Government online has been an exciting but familiar one. Online classes are not new to me, because last summer I took one that focused on the Harlem Renaissance. Though this was an honors class, I felt that the grading for the writing was on an AP English scale. Because I had not taken an AP English class yet, I was at disadvantage. Although my first experience with that online course was difficult, thinking about taking another try at them was not, because online classes suit my odd free time hours. Because I have a love for politics and American government, the decision on which online course to take was an easy choice. However, I did question taking on a seventh class, because that would fill my schedule completely, and no one else from my school was going to enroll in the class. The risk of trying something new by myself has come to be one that I devote a lot of time to and really enjoy.

Taking part in the online AP Government class was the best decision, I have made in 2012. Never before would I have imagined that doing work outside of a normal school day would be enjoyable. Never would I have imagined that after getting off of work at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night that I would come home and work on AP Government homework till 3 am the next morning. Others in my school who are enrolled in AP online classes see my homework load and ask why is there so much each week. Because I have no answer, I shrug my shoulders and keep on working. In this class yes the workload is heavy with reading and videos, but the reward is being about to discuss what you have learned with your classmates. Each assignment asks a different question which keeps me going. Because each unit has a different focus, your attention is never lost.

Hopefully, it’s not surprising to say that my favorite part of AP Government is online discussions. Though it’s likely that I will never meet the students in this class, I feel a connection. In the beginning, I wondered if other students would be offended if I disagreed with some ideas. Everyone who knows me from school knows that my family is loud and opinionated, but I am not like that at all. Instead, there are only two classes that I speak in. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I’m not sure if anyone wants to hear my opinion. This class allows me to speak on issues, which have been present in my life and have influenced me. Sometimes I feel like other students think that some issues are not connected to them or that the issues we research from the 70’s, 80’s, or 2000’s are not applicable today, but the weekly discussions help us focus on how government policies affect everyday life. One thing I have regretted so far in this course is not having time to join Skype sessions. There have been two already, and everyone raves about how awesome they are. Because I have missed out due to work, I have decided that I will join the next one even if I’m at work.

With the topic of this class being government and politics, there is a constant examination of history, and how it is a learning cycle. We examine the ever-changing government with the help of Wilson’s text. Though his book is full of bias opinions, they do not overshadow the main goal of educating a reader on several broad topics.  No textbook I have ever read on American government puts events in history in such simple English as he does which is appreciated.

While thinking about this class and how I incorporate it into everyday life, I thought back to being at Disney World last week for a dance competition. Directly in front of Magic Kingdom are the words of Walt Disney “Let the Memories Begin.” Maybe, it’s just me, but I felt that the framers of the Constitution could have said these words. In this course, we have studied the men who wrote and presented the ideas in the Constitution and who also worked diligently to create a balance of power. Because the Constitution is not set in stone every generation has the chance to interpret it differently. Because the interpretation can change from generations different memories are created. While being involved in this course, we examine the memories of our government, but it also sets up a path for the future.  So let us go forth as educated citizens creating our own memories through our journey of AP Government!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Learning