Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Student-Choice Journalistic Undertaking

Megan Cotter
16 December 2015
D Block
Student-Choice Journalistic Undertaking
 1. Restaurant Review-
     Last weekend I went to the Panera in Plainville with my sister, Alyssa. We waited ten minutes in line which was not that long since it was really busy and once we ordered, they gave us a buzzer so we could go get our food when it was ready. I ordered the pick two special which consisted of half a serving of a grilled chicken caesar salad and half a serving of their macaroni and cheese. The lady who took our order was very nice. It took about twenty minutes until our food was ready and they called my name anyway so there was no point in giving us a buzzer.

    When we went to go get our drinks, I was disappointed to see that they only have diet pepsi because I only like diet coke, so I just got lemonade. On the other hand, the food was really good, but the macaroni and cheese was a little cold. While we were eating, a worker came over and offered a free sample of fresh blueberry muffins. Personally I do not like blueberry muffins, but they were really good. Additionally, the restaurant itself could have been cleaner, but it was not that bad. I have been to different Panera Restaurants, and the one I went to last weekend was cleaner than the other ones I have been to.

   When we were finished eating, the manager came over and took care of our dirty plates and bowls and asked how the food was. We were honest and said "It was very good." She was very friendly and constantly had a smile on her face. Almost everyone around me had a laptop with them while I ate, which is understanding because it is pretty quiet there to work and Panera has free wifi. All in all, my experience to Panera was great and I would definitely go there again.


Monday, December 14, 2015

slide show presentation

https://docs.google.com/a/norton.k12.ma.us/presentation/d/1JTrWf9HyCIa4qUFnCDfjj-Wws6NbcSaeVgecPc0kA0o/edit?usp=docslist_api

Monday, November 30, 2015

Survey

https://docs.google.com/a/norton.k12.ma.us/forms/d/1SZUW5yRZ-gh4Uyf5YlszoR2mHlM2DiI5zv-XejRWWA4/viewform?usp=send_form

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Journalistic Research

Megan Cotter
20 November 2015
D Block
Journalistic Research
College Tuition Prices 

Problem Statement: 
       College Tuition is defined as too expensive and is found mostly as an issue in the United States. On a local level, college tuition prices affect college students by 69% of seniors still having student loan debt after they graduate. Between 2005 and 2015, college tuition prices have increased by 3.4 percent every year which is making the problem worse. To find a good paying job or to follow your dreams, you most likely go to college. In 2014, 66% of high school graduates had enrolled in to a college. In the United States, the average college tuition and fees for a public four year college is $22,958 and for a private four year college is $31,231. To pay for these prices that are outrageously high, students have loans, so they are constantly in debt. Myra Smith, a college financing expert states, "College has many benefits. For example, people who graduate from college earn more money and are more likely to hold a job than those who don’t. In 2011, people with a bachelor’s degree who worked full-time earned $21,100 more, on average, than full-time workers with only a high school diploma." If college is a necessity to be successful and more than half of people in the United States enroll, then why does it cost so much? 

Citation:
-Schoen, W, John: Why does a College Degree cost so much?, N.P, 20 November 2015, web
-Heller, Donald E. "The effects of tuition and state financial aid on public college enrollment." The Review of Higher Education 23.1 (1999); 65-89.
-Horn, Laura J., Xianglei Chen, and Chris Chapman. "Getting Ready To Pay for College: What Student and Their Parents know about the Cost of the College Tuition and What They Are Doing To Find Out" (2003)
-Heller, Donald E. "Trends in the affordability of public colleges and universities: The contradiction of the increasing prices and increasing enrollment." The states and public higher education policy: Affordability, access, and accountability (2001): 11-38
-Smith, Myra: College Costs: FAQS, N.P, 20 November 2015,web 

Research Question: If college is a necessity to be successful in our generation, then why does it cost so much money?

As a high school student, are you thinking of going to college?
yes
no
undecided

Do you think college tuition is reasonable?
yes
no
depends 

Why do you think college tuition costs so much money?



Do you think you need to go to college in order to be successful?
yes
no 
depends on career

If you decide to go to college, would your decision depend of the price of the college tuition?
yes
no

survey link: https://docs.google.com/a/norton.k12.ma.us/forms/d/1SZUW5yRZ-gh4Uyf5YlszoR2mHlM2DiI5zv-XejRWWA4/viewform?usp=send_form

Data Analysis:
    Out of the 17 high school students I surveyed, 88.2% of the students stated that they are thinking of going to college. 68.8% believe that college tuition is not reasonable and the other 31.3% believe it depends on the college, so more than half of the students believe it is unreasonable. 37.5% of the students believe that you need to go to college in order to be successful. 75% states that their decision of their college would be based off of the price of college tuition and not their first choose school. When I asked "Why do you think college costs so much money?", I got many responses including, "For the college the college to continue being a college, it needs to afford/make money to keep itself going" and "I'm sure it has to do with school living expenses as well as paying the staff but the price is unreasonable, many colleges in other countries do not have an intuition fee."

Findings:
   Initially, I only surveyed students from Norton High School, so if I surveyed a different group of students from a different high school, I would most likely get different results. Additionally, I have found from my data collection that 68.8% believe that college tuition is not reasonable but 88.2% are most likely still going to college. One possibility from this realization is that those people think that the price for college is unreasonable, but are still going to attend. If college tuition prices are so unreasonable, then why is 88.2% of the students attending? I also found that 37.5% of students believe you need to go to college in order to be successful, which answers my question. Although 37.5% is a low percent, it still is the answer for a few students. But what about the other students? Why are they still thinking about going to college if they believe it is unreasonable and is not needed to be successful? One possibility is that they believe it is just necessary because most people go to college and are successful or make more money than people that end up not going to college.

Discussion:
   From my research in my problem statement, I found that 66% of high school students in the United States had enrolled in a college in 2014. From my data collection, I found that 88.2% of a small group of students from Norton High School are thinking about or planning to going to college. Those percentages are both more than half of the students surveyed. In the research in my problem statement, Myra Smith, a college financing expert states, "College has many benefits. For example, people who graduate from college earn more money and are more likely to hold a job than those who don’t. In 2011, people with a bachelor’s degree who worked full-time earned $21,100 more, on average, than full-time workers with only a high school diploma." In my data collection, I found that 37.5% of students believe you need to go to college in order to be successful, so it is a possibility that those students agree with Myra Smith because she has proven that you are more likely to be successful with a college degree.
 





Monday, November 16, 2015

Annotation of Student Research

Megan Cotter
16 November 2015
D Block
Annotation

Problem Statement: Is Therapy My Enemy?

Research Question: According to suburban, high school students, what about client effects the outcome of their therapy?

Data Collection: The student used a 5 short answer survey to collect data for his research assignment.

Data Analysis: 75% of the people surveyed have not even gone to therapy and 25% of the people have received therapy. 67% said that age was a factor, 25% said that season/time of year was a factor, 42% said that therapist gender was a factor, 42% said that client gender was a factor, and 83% said that group or individual was a factor. 

Findings: People believe therapy does help people who are emotionally struggling.

Discussion/Conclusion: All in all, therapy could be the best thing for someone or the worst thing for someone, and there are multiple factors that will influence the outcome of the treatment.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Motivation Assignment

Megan Cotter
3 November 2015
D Block
Motivation Assignment
   
    Most people believe that money is the number one thing that motivates people, but that has been proven wrong through the Freakonomics video, "Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us" video, and the novel  Drive by Daniel Pink. In the Freakonomics video, they bribed the freshmen class with 50 dollars to get a C or higher in all their classes, and if they achieved that, they would be capable of winning a 500 dollar lottery. Most people, including the adults who performed this experiment, would think that every student would try their hardest to do better in school and try to win the money, but that was not the case. Only a small percentage, 7 percent, of the students' grades increased during this experiment. Although it was a positive increase, it was small so it proved that money is not the number one thing that motivates people. 

    Additionally, it is also proven that money does not usually motivate people through "Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us" and the novel Drive by Daniel Pink. In the video, it states that there is three factors that actually motivate people that have been scientifically proven. The three factor are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Autonomy is the desire to be self-directed which means to let people do what they please and it will have a positive result. Mastery is the urge to get better at something and it motivates people by them wanting to do something, so they get better at it. For example, people play an instrument to get better at it and because its fun, not for money. If you do not have a purpose for something, people are not motivated. In the novel Drive, Pink explains how three professors gathered eight monkeys for an experiment on learning. The experiment demonstrated motivation, because if the monkeys did not have any motivation, they would not want to learn.

      The difference between the text and the film is that the film was short term and resulted that money motivates people and the text and the video was long term and resulted to money not motivating people. To find a common ground between the film and the text, I would say that they would both agree that money is not the number one thing that motivates people based off of the statistics and the results they got from their experiments. I think the authors would also agree that people should use other things to motivate people other than money, because even though the experiment in the film had a positive result, it was a small percentage and they are children. Those children are going to grow up and realize that money is not the number one motivation. All in all, the text and the film based off of human motivation have very different ideas, but could easily find a common ground.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Journalism Investigation

Megan Cotter
22 October 2015
D Block
Journalism
Journalistic Investigation Assignment

How do mediums work?
Citation: Deyball, Rennie: Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview, N.P, 22 October 2015

Distillation: In the interview "Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview", Rennie Deyball, the author and interviewer, displays how mediums work. Deyball supports this by using the example of Theresa, the Long Island Medium, in the interview. The purpose of this article is to help curious people understand the gift mediums have. The article is directed to people who do not understand mediums and how they work. 

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses the example of the Long Island Medium to support his article. In the beginning of the article, the author states "I'm what you call a skeptical believer. I'd really like to believe that this type of spirit-to-earth communication is possible." This means that the author did not believe in mediums, but after the reading Theresa did for Rennie, he started to believe. This is an example of the bandwagon bias.

Sources & Support: The author interviews a very famous medium, Theresa the Long Island Medium. She has a television show on the TLC network called the "The Long Island Medium". The interview supports the author's thesis because it gives an explanation to how mediums work.

Thesis: In the interview and article "Long Island Medium: An Enlightening Interview" by the Rennie Deyball, the author expresses how mediums work and information about them through the famous Long Island Medium named Theresa.

Tone: The author's tone in the interview is very curious and professional because he asks a lot of questions. The Long Island Medium's tone is very calm, humorous, and informative because she makes jokes throughout the interview and answers all the interviewer's questions. 

Opinion: Personally, I think that there is a possibility that mediums are real because how else would they know all that information about your deceased loved one?  Even though it is pretty hard to believe some people can talk to the dead, I do think there is a possibility they do exist. 

How is powdered cheese made?
Citation: Blackmore, William: Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask), N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article and video "Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask)", the author, William Blackmore, expresses how to make and facts about powdered cheese. The author supports this by using a video and article containing how to make powdered cheese from Matt Buchanan, the man who made the video. The purpose of this article is to inform people how powdered cheese is made and how there is barely any real cheese in it. The author seems to be speaking to people who eat food products with powdered cheese.

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses a video that explains how powdered cheese is made and also writes an article about it. William Blackmore, the author, is TakePart's Food editor. In the title is states "But We're Afraid to Ask". This is an example of the Ostrich Effect bias because you are ignoring an issue, not knowing what you are even eating.

Sources & Support: The author uses a video by Matt Buchanan to help support his thesis. The video is displayed in the article.

Thesis: In the article and video "Everything You Wanted to Know About Cheese Powder (But We're Afraid to Ask)", William Blackmore, the author, expresses how to make and facts about powdered cheese.

Tone: Blackmore's tone in the author is informative by explaining how powdered cheese is made. The author's tone is also humorous by calling Buchanan's video "yet another awesome video".

Opinion: I think the article and video gives a very good explanation of how powdered cheese is made and facts about the cheese.

Where did all the ships go in the Bermuda Triangle?
Citation: Bhattacharya, Raj: Bermuda Triangle Theories, N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "Bermuda Triangle Theories", Raj Bhattacharya, the author, displays many theories explaining how ships and aircraft disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. The author supports his article by giving many examples of peoples' theories giving an explanation of the disappearance of ships and aircraft in the Bermuda Triangle. The article's purpose for writing this article is display and show everyone different theories explaining the disappearance of ships and aircraft. The author is speaking to people who are curious about disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and are looking for an explanation.

Objectivity & Bias: The author has reviewed all of the theories so it is not some random theories that do not make any sense. The article uses the bandwagon effect bias because it is written for people are curious about disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and gives explanations, so people will believe something because it sounds logical. Therefore, the article displays the bandwagon effect bias.

Sources & Support: The author has multiple examples from different people to show different theories explaining the disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle. There is also many books based on this subject including The Bermuda Triangle Mystery- Solved  by Larry Kusche.

Thesis: In the article "Bermuda Triangle Theories", Raj Bhattacharya, the author, displays many theories explaining how ships and aircraft disappear in the Bermuda Triangle.

Tone: The author's tone is informative by giving multiple different theories explaining the reoccurring disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.

Opinion: Personally, I believe in the Strange Weather and Hurricanes theory because to me, it is the most logical. The Strange Weather and Hurricanes theory is that there was strong enough storms to destroy ships and aircraft and they could also be destroyed by waterspouts, a tornado at sea that sucks water from the ocean thousands of feet into the sky. It is proven that there are waterspouts in the Bermuda Triangle area.

Where do dreams come from and what do they mean?
Citation: Obringer, Ann, Lee: How Dreams Work, N.P, 26 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "How Dreams Work", the author, Lee Ann Obringer, displays how dreams work and examples of common dreams and what they mean. The author supports the article by giving many examples of common dreams and the meaning of them and Obringer also gives an explanation of how dreams work in the article. The author's purpose for writing this article is to display how dreams work and what they mean through examples of common dreams. The author is speaking to people curious to what their dreams mean and how they work.

Objectivity & Bias: The author's objectivity of this article is to give explanations to people who are curious about what their dreams mean and how they work. The article displays the bandwagon effect bias because the reader will see what the article says and believe it because they think it is the correct explanation. But with dreams, you can never find a true explanation, because they mean something different for everyone, and the explanations in the article are just theories.

Source & Support: The author supports the article by using multiple examples of what common dreams mean and the author has sources that she got the information from.

Thesis: In the article "How Dreams Work", the author, Lee Ann Obringer, displays how dreams work and examples of common dreams and what they mean.

Tone: The author's tone is informative by giving multiple examples of common dreams and their meaning.

Opinion: I think that the author's explanations for common dreams is very accurate, but I also believe different dreams mean different things for each individual.

Is there life after death?
Citation: Harris, Trudy: Evidence of Life After Death, N.P, 28 October 2015

Distillation: In the article "Evidence of Life After Death", the author, Trudy Harris, displays evidence that there is life after death by explaining how her patients see their dead relatives before they finally pass. The author supports this by giving many examples of patients that have seen their deceased relatives before they die. The author is writing this to show and help persuade that their is life after death. The author is speaking to people whom are curious about after life.

Objectivity & Bias: The author's objectivity is to get her point across that there is life after death. The ambiguity effect is the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem "unknown". This article displays this by the reader expressing this bias because most people do not know what to believe about after life because it is unknown.

Source & Support: The author supports her theory by giving multiple examples of patients seeing their passed relatives a few days before they die. There is also many books written about this theory including A Prayer For Every Need.

Thesis: In the article "Evidence of Life After Death", the author who is a hospice nurse, Trudy Harris, displays evidence that there is life after death by explaining how her patients see their dead relatives before they finally pass.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and calm because she gives multiple examples supporting her theory and her writing does not have that much excitement.

Opinion: Personally, I am still not quite sure what I believe about after life. After reading this article, it has made me believe more in the afterlife because the author gives evidence of how there is after life, but I am still indecisive.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Photo Journalism Project

Megan Cotter
 25 October 2015
 D Block
 Journalism
Friendship With My Sister, Alyssa,  Throughout the Years


This is a picture of my sister, Alyssa(right), and I(left) on my first day of kindergarten and her first day of first grade waiting for the bus outside our old house.

Alyssa(right) and I(left) dressed as a lion and cheetah on Halloween one year in our living waiting to go trick or treating.

Jackie(left), Alyssa(right), and I(middle) at Southwick Zoo chilling on a bench in the summer. Jackie is my other older sister.

Justin(first from left), Danielle(second), me(third), Alyssa(fourth), and Jackie(fifth) sitting on a bench at the Boardwalk Hotel and Resort in Disneyworld. Danielle and Justin are my cousins. Alyssa and I used to always go on all the rides together.
 Alyssa(bottom left) and I(bottom middle) in our Christmas card picture one year. Jackie, my other older sister, is on my right, and my parents are standing behind us. Alyssa and I decided to wear dresses together!
Alyssa(left) and I(right) on a zip-line obstacle course in Maine two summers ago. We had to have buddies through the course to make sure you do not fall and to help you go through the course.
 Alyssa and I from last cheer season(stunt group on the right). We were even in the same stunt group!
Alyssa(right) and I(left) at Beavertail in Jamestown, Rhode Island this past July. We are always laughing when we are together!
Justin(right), Alyssa(middle), and I(left) at Friendly's in August. Justin is our cousin.
Alyssa(right) and I(left) at Papa Gino's a couple weeks ago. She always knows how to make me laugh!






Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bias- Journalism

Megan Cotter
20 October 2015
D Block
Journalism

Bias Assignment
Citation: Wildlitz, Stacey: Retailers Jump on Kate's Baby Fashion Bandwagon, N.P, 20 October 2015  
Bias: Bandwagon effect

Explanation: The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to group-think and herd behavior.

Supportive Excerpt: The article "Retailers Jump on Kate's Baby Fashion Bandwagon" displays the bandwagon effect bias. The article explains how many retailers have started selling clothes that look like Kate Middletons' including shoes and dresses she has worn. This is a bandwagon effect because people see what Kate is wearing, and jump on the bandwagon to wear exactly or something very similar to what she is wearing. 

Citation: Hafner, Katie: A Breast Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Status Quo bias

Explanation: The tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).

Supportive Excerpt: The article "A Breast Cancer Surgeon Who Keeps Challenging the Status Quo" displays the status quo bias.The article explains how a surgeon, Dr. Esserman, is trying to change the usually routine, the status quo, for breast cancer surgery. This article has an example of status quo because it states "Most doctors, including the radiologist seated next to her, would have said yes. But Dr. Esserman, who has dedicated much of her professional life to trying to get the medical establishment to think differently about breast cancer..." This means that most doctors are the example of the status quo bias. 

Citation: Zeilinger, Julie: Meet the High School Student Shattering Stereotypes About Girls and Football, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Stereotyping

Explanation: Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual. 

Supportive Excerpt: Most people stereotype girls to be terrible at football, but in the article "Meet the High School Student Shattering Stereotypes About Girls and Football", the author displays the stereotyping bias. The title itself displays stereotyping, but throughout the article, it proves the stereotype of girls and football wrong. The article proves it by a high school senior girl being the kicker on the football team, and she is very good.

Citation: Hanzus, Dan: Rex on Patriots winning Super Bowl: 'It was Terrible, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Hot-hand fallacy

Explanation: The "hot-hand fallacy" (also known as the "hot hand phenomenon" or "hot hand") is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.

Supportive Excerpt: In the article "Rex on Patriots Winning Super Bowl: 'It was Terrible'", it states how the Patriots won last year's super bowl. This is a hot-hand fallacy bias because since the team was led by their quarterback Tom Brady, and Brady has won 4 out of 6 of the Super Bowls he has been in, it increased the chance of them winning. Overall, the Patriots winning last year's Super Bowl is an example of the hot-hand fallacy bias.

Citation: Zimmerman, John C. : Holocaust Deniers and Public Misinformation, N.P, 20 October 2015

Bias: Ostrich Effect

Explanation: The ostrich effect is ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.

Supportive Excerpt: The ostrich effect is displayed in the article "Holocaust Deniers and Public Misinformation" by John Zimmerman. This bias is expressed in this article by Zimmerman explaining how many people deny that the holocaust happened. This is an example of an ostrich effect because people are ignoring an obvious and negative situation. Even though there is even evidence and Holocaust survivors, people still deny it happened. All in all, the ostrich effect is displayed in this article.
 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Photojournalism Review

Megan Cotter
16 October 2015
D Block
Journalism

Photojournalism Review

The Big Picture
      1.  Migrant Crisis is Europe- The strength of this photo blog is that the author uses children immigrants to display the difficulties they are going through. The author specifically uses a photo of a dead child washed up on shore and photos of the family and it displays the family grieving over their dead child. Although the strength's are not positive, they display the difficulties immigrants go through.

2.  Hot Air Balloon Festivals- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays the happiness hot air balloons bring people all around the world. The author also displays the different kinds of hot air balloons there are around the world and all the different festivals they are at.

3.  Historic Flooding in South Carolina- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how the flooding ruined people's homes and businesses. It also displays how severe the flooding was and the impact it had on people in South Carolina, including children.

4.  Peaking at Ninety- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how age is just a number and you can still be healthy and active at an older age. It demonstrates this by using the example of a 90 year old man named Richard Dreselly who still hikes and is very active.

5.  Back to School- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays how different each first day of school is for every child around the world. The author uses a specific photo of a soldier walking into the school with a student. This shows how different students' first day of school are all around the world.

6. Global Photos of the Month, August 2015- The strength of this photo blog is it displays how different everyone's culture is all around the world. It also displays how different each part of the world is from one another.

7.  10 Years after Hurricane Katrina- The strength of this photo blog is that it displays the progress the people of New Orleans made since Hurricane Katrina, It shows how much happier the people are and it also shows how there is still damage, but the people of New Orleans have made very noticeable and significant progress.
 
  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Distillations for Journalism

Megan Cotter
5 October 2015
D Block
Distillations 
Distillations
    1.  Citation: Werner, Stetson, Rebecca: An Interview with Ben Hewitt, N.P, 5 October 2015
 Hewitt, Ben: We Don't Need No Education, N.P, 5 October 015

Distillation: In the article "We Don't Need No Education"(2014), Ben Hewitt, the author, portrays that you do not need to go to school in order to get an education. Hewitt supports his opinion by providing real world applications of unschooling. The author's purpose of writing this article is to show that children can still learn through unschooling and can still be social. Ben Hewitt seems to be speaking to students and students' parents.

Author Ethos & Credibility: The author also wrote a book about unschooling called Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World. Even though Hewitt writes about unschooling, he has college degrees and a high school diploma.

Objectivity & Bias: The author is a father of two boys, Fin and Rye, and believes that they do not need to go to school, so he does 'unschooling'. The boys do not spend more than two hours a month sitting, learning, and studying subjects like math and science.

Sources & Support: In an interview with the author, Hewitt states "My hope is that people start asking questions, of themselves as much as anything else. I hope people read my stories and ask themselves questions. And then find their own path."

Thesis: The author's thesis is that you do not need to go to school  in order to get an education and be successful.

Tone: Hewitt's tone is persuasive in the article because he is trying to make people question their decisions to make their children to go to school and show there is other options than just school.

Opinion: I think that although unschooling is a different option, I believe that school helps you engage in people you like and people you do not like and helps prepare you for the real world.

2.  Citation: Kohn, Alfie: The Case Against Grades, N.P, 7 October 2015
Cody, Anthony: Alfie Kohn Interview: Will the Common Core Benefit Children, N.P, 7 October 2015

 Distillation: In the article "The Case Against Grades"(2011), Alfie Kohn claim that eliminating grades overall will help students learn and make them more interested in what they are learning. The author supports this by having multiple examples of teachers that do not use grades and how positively effective it is. The author's purpose of writing this article is to show that non-grading does exist and is proven to help students obtain information better. The author is speaking to teachers and student.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: Alfie Kohn has wrote multiple books including The Homework Myth, Unconditional Parenting, Punished by Awards, and Feel-Bad Education. He was also on Oprah.

Objectivity & Bias: The author supports his article by using examples of non-grading by stating quotes of teachers who use this system including a New Jersey teacher named Jason Bedell who said "I had been advocating standard-based grading, which is a very important movement on its own right, but it took a push from some great educators to make me realize that if I wanted to focus my assessment around authentic feedback, then I should just abandon grades altogether."

Source and Support: At the end of the article, Kohn uses the word "rigorous". In an interview with the author, he explains that his definition of rigorous is brutal not difficult which is what most people think the word means.

Thesis: The author's thesis is that by eliminating grades overall will enhance students' ability to learn and make them more interested in what they are learning.   

Tone: Alfie Kohn's tone is mostly persuasive for teachers to switch over to the system on non-grading and for students to agree with the system.

Opinion: I agree with most of what the author is saying because the statistics, points, and examples are accurate. 

3.  Citation: Kohn, Alfie: Rethinking Homework, N.P, 8 October 2015
Cody, Anthony: Alfie Kohn Interview: Will the Common Core Benefit Children, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "Rethinking Homework"(2007), Alfie Kohn claims that teachers should rethink giving a lot of homework or just giving homework in general to students. The author supports this by giving examples of ways to decrease homework and alternative things teachers can give to students instead of homework. The author's purpose of writing this article was to demonstrate how homework effects students negatively and how teachers can change that. The intended audience for this article is students, teachers, and parents of students.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: Alfie Kohn has written 12 books including The Homework Myth that is based off of this article and goes further in depth about this topic.

Objectivity & Bias: The author supports his claim using examples of alternates ways of giving work to students instead of giving them loads of homework.

Source & Support: In an interview, Kohn talks about homework as a bad thing and how students get too much of it.

Thesis: The authors thesis is that teachers should rethink giving a lot of homework or just giving homework in general to students.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and persuasive because he suggests to teachers to not give homework to students and gives many examples of alternatives.

Opinion: I agree that homework does stress me out, but I do not think they should get rid of it entirely. I think they should lessen the amount of homework, but it does help me learn.

4.  Citation: Khazan, Olga: Study Finds that Green Space Makes Kids Smarter, N.P, 8 October 2015
 Brasuell, James: Want Smart Kids? Provide Access to Green Space, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "Study Finds that Green Space Makes Kids Smarter"(2015), Olga Khazan claims that students that have plants in their house obtain a better memory and are more intelligent than students that do not. The author supports this thesis by stating that they did the experiment at a school by students taking multiple number and word tests, and it was proven students who are around green space have a better memory. The purpose of writing this article is to inform schools about what green space can do and  to have teachers consider putting plants in their classrooms. The intended audience for this article is students and teachers.

Authors Credibility & Ethos: The author, Olga Khazan, is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers health.

Objectivity & Bias: The author actually did an experiment based on this thesis.

Source & Support: James Brasuell wrote a persuasive piece based off Khazan's article and suggests to buy green space because of her article.

Thesis: The author's thesis is that students that have plants in their house obtain a better memory and are more intelligent that students that do not.

Tone: The author's tone is informative and persuasive to get plants in schools because it is proven to make students more intelligent.

Opinion: I agree with the author that plants create a more stress free environment, but I do not think that green space makes students more intelligent.

5. Citation: Cook, Nancy: What if the Answer isn't College but Longer High School?, N.P, 8 October 2015

Distillation:  In the article "What if the Answer isn't College by Longer High School? "(2015), Nancy Cook explains how graduated high school students are getting a chance to work for IBM with just a high school diploma. The author supports this by using a student as an example, Radcliffe Saddler, and showing how he graduated from Pathways in Technology Early College High School and now works for IBM. The author's purpose for writing this article is to show that you do not need a college degree in order to be successful. The author's intended audience is for young students who know they cannot afford to go to college, but still want to be successful.

Author's Ethos & Credibility: The author, Nancy Cook, is a correspondent for National Journal.

Objectivity & Bias: The author uses examples of real students who graduated P-Tech and have been given the chance to work for IBM.

Source and Support: A student who now works for IBM that the author talks about states in an interview "I did not understand the level of work it would require, and that, sometimes, I would require me to give up hanging out with my friends." Saddler also says "I want to own my own company, having this business experience is amazing. What other 18-year-old could say, 'I worked at a Fortune 500 Company right out of high school'?"

 Thesis: Nancy Cooks explains how graduated high school students are getting a chance to work for IBM with just a high school diploma.

Tone: The authors tone is informative and persuasive to go to that school if you know you do not have enough money to go to college, but you still want to be successful.

Opinion: I think that the article is very informative and I believe that is amazing that students right out of high school could be able to work for IBM.

 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Timeline of the "Baby Doe" investigation



Megan Cotter
 News Journalism
 September 24, 2015
Timeline of The Investigation of ¨Baby Doe¨



             On June 25th, a toddler was found by a dog walker in a trash bag on Deer Island in Boston Harbor. The little girl was in white pants with black polka-dots and a zebra-print blanket. No one knew who she was or where she came from. Since she was in the early stages of decomposition, police believed she was murdered not long before she was found. On July 2nd, the police released an artist sketched photo of the child and a picture of the clothing items found in the trash bag with her, and they later updated the picture to include her pierced ears. On July 15th, an anonymous text tip line was created to get any information on the child. Almost 100 billboards were put up though out Massachusetts to try and find the identity of the little girl  on July 20th. A memorial mass was held on Beacon Hill for ¨Baby Doe¨ on July 29th. On August ninth, and analysis of pollen on her clothing proved that she was most likely from the Boston area. At the end of August, a vigil is held on Deer Island for the innocent, little girl. 

               On September 17th, sources said there was a search warrant on an apartment on Maxwell street in Mattapan. The following day, the police press charges on the boyfriend of ¨Baby Doe¨s mother with her murder. ¨Baby Doe¨ is identified as a two and a half year old named Bella Bond from Dorchester. Bella´s mother, Rachel, is charged as an accessory in her own daughter´s murder at the age of forty.The boyfriend, thirty five year old Michael McCarthy, is charged with the murder of Bella without a bail and the mother is charged as an accessory of the murder with a bail of one million dollars. Sources state that the reason behind murdering the child was that the boyfriend believed that she was demon. Police even found books about demons in the apartment. On the night she was killed, Bella was giving them a hard time at bed time and the boyfriend told the mother he would take care of it. The couple was most likely on drugs through all of this. McCarthy then allegedly wrapped Bella in a bag and put her in the fridge. Authorities are still unsure about the cause of her death, but natural causes have been ruled out. When the mother was arrested, she was on heroin, and the boyfriend was put on suicide watch.  Bella Bond was born on August 6th in 2012. While Rachel was pregnant with Bella, she served some time in jail. "Her last stay with us came in 2012 when she was pregnant with Bella. Poor kid didn't have a chance," said an official. As soon as Bella was born, the Department of Children and Families opened an investigation on Rachel Bond's competency. The agency had contact with Bella Bond from two neglect cases back in 2012 and 2013, but the cases were closed. Not only did an innocent little girl suffer a tragic death, she also did not experience a good home life before she was murdered.

Citation: Timeline: The "Baby Doe" investigation from the beginning, N.P, 24 September 2015. web
Fowler, Tara: "She was a Demon": Grisly Details of Baby Doe Emerge at Arraignment, N.P, 24 September 2015. web
Eversley, Melanie: 'Baby Doe' Identified, Murder Charges Filed, Durrando, Jessica, 24 September 2015. web


Pet Peeves

Megan Cotter
Pet Peeves Journalism
September 24th, 2015
Pet Peeves
           

          One of my pet peeves is Iggy Azalea. Her voice really gets on my nerves and her songs make me cringe whenever I hear them. I do not hate her, she just really annoys me. Another one of pet peeves is when people chew loudly and with their mouth open. Personally, it makes me cringe. When couples sit on the same side of the booth is another one of my pet peeves. There is two sides of a table for a reason, you don't have to sit next to each other. I also cannot stand when you genuinely ask someone what's wrong when there is obviously something wrong, and they reply with "oh nothing." If you're not going to tell me what is wrong, then stop sulking around me. When people zig-zag in and out of lanes on the highway, especially motorcycles are another one of my pet peeves. Are you trying to get in a car accident? It just really bugs me when people drive really reckless, including texting and driving. When I am driving next to someone and I see them texting and driving, I want to yell at them.

        One of my pet peeves is the noise styrofoam makes when you rub it together. Especially, when people know it gets on your nerves, and do it purposely. I cannot stand when i go to the movies and there is a herd of ten year old kids who won't stop talking during the whole entire movie, or just people in general who are obnoxious at the movies. I do not like when I go out to eat with a big group of people and get a ten dollar meal, but end up spending double what i actually ate. I also cannot stand when I go out to dinner and I order diet coke and they ask "Is diet pepsi okay?" or they just don't ask at all and just give me diet pepsi. If I wanted diet pepsi, i would've ordered it, so no it is not okay. Overall, my number one pet peeve is fake and judgmental girls. I cannot stand when people talk about you behind your back and don't own up to it and act like you're best friends. I also just don't believe in judging someone before you get to know them based off of rumors or what you have heard about them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Taylor Lucero Interview

September 16th, 2015

Taylor Lucero Interview 

    My peer interview is on Taylor Lucero. While interviewing Taylor, I have learned many interesting things about him. He is a senior in high school and wants to go to a small, private college after he graduates and wants to get a degree. He is undecided about what college he wants to go to. When he is outside of school, he likes to "eat, sleep, sometimes drive around, but mostly sleep." Since Taylor is quite short, his biggest fear is walking behind an obese person on the stairs and the person falling backwards. He is afraid that if they fell, he would obviously be severely injured or die. Taylor's favorite television show is The Big Bang Theory and his favorite movie at the moment is You're Next.


    Taylor also has many pets. He has a love bird, two dogs; a Labrador and a Maltese, and a lizard whose breed is unknown. His bird is "like a piranha" and his Labrador is very gassy. He has one sibling, an older brother who is in the same grade as him and is "kind of odd." Taylor's favorite colors are periwinkle and turquoise. His favorite food right now is "broccoli chicken alfredo pizza with onions and freshly chopped up garlic on a thin and crispy pizza bread." Taylor does not like it specifically from a restaurant, it "depends on how I am feeling and if I want to go out or not." Taylor does not have a favorite subject in school because he hates all of his classes equally. "I mean I'll do the work and try my hardest" says Taylor, "But that doesn't mean I have to like it." All in all, Taylor Lucero is a very interesting person.