Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Importance of Speculation

Speculating causes can be a useful tool in solving problems in the real world. This is so because the more plausible causes a person is able to speculate for a particular issue, the more possible solutions there may be to the problem. Speculation may include causes that people have already thought of, but it may also include new possibilities. Therefore, speculation can lead to new and creative ways to confront an issue.

Speculation (like we are doing in essay 4) could also be a means of showing a different way of looking at something. For example, if one were to ask, "Why do so many people enjoy reality TV?", it may seem that the obvious answer is because it is entertaining. But, some other reasons could also be explored. Reasons may include that it is a temporary escape from the stressors of every day life . Or, perhaps people enjoy imagining what it would be like if they were on a particular reality show. In short, specualtions show that there is more than one way of looking at things, and for some questions, there could be endless answers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In today's society, there are many trends that are popular that could be questioned about why they are. Two that I would like to discuss are eating disorders among girls and young women and celebrity substance abuse being so popular in the media.

Today it seems that the mind set of "thin is in" is ever popular. Everywhere one looks, one sees thin models, actresses, and even reality TV contestants. And, more and more, girls and young women are taking their cues on what an "ideal woman" looks like from what they see in the media. To become the "ideal woman" - the one that men look at with awe - many young women are resorting to eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia). Whether they are already thin or not, they want to be what others will consider perfect. To do so, they put their health at risk, and many die each year as a result. It is hard for women to be content with their own self image when everywhere they look, they see women who are thought to have something they don't - especially in terms of size.

The second trend I want to discuss is celebrity substance abuse being made so popular by the media. I cannot say how many times I have seen celebrities all over the news for having substance abuse problems and wondered why the story continued to make the news day after day. Why not report on more serious issues? Is it that stories of celebrities with substance abuse problems are so much more exciting than more serious pieces? Do these stories boost the ratings more for the networks that continually broadcast them? I really do not know the answer to these questions, and that is why I question what makes celebrities with substance abuse problems so alluring to the public.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Big Picture: The Impact of Writing Solutions

As I have said before, there are many problems people face on a daily basis. While some can be solved quickly, others may take more time and effort. And, sometimes, even though efforts have been made to solve certain problems, little progress has taken place. Perhaps tried methods have failed, or maybe the methods being used have not brought the expected results. That is where fresh ideas can make a difference. After all, it seems to me that proposals for solutions to problmes are a fresh look at an issue - a new way to solve it. Writing proposals like the one we have been writing about in essay 3 is good practice for what we can do to make a difference in the real world. Without proposals for new solutions to old problems, things would simply stay the same, and no progress would be made, but with proposals come new ideas. And with new ideas often comes positive change.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Problems, Problems, Problems. . .

As we are all no doubt aware, life can be filled with problems that need solving. Here, I would like to discuss two in detail.

The first problem that I want to discuss is one that I am considering doing essay 3 about - parents who do not pay child support regularly and who refuse to work because they feel that not working releases them from their responsibility. This problem affects many children whose custodial parent is doing his or her best to provide for the child but could use extra finacial help from the noncustodial parent in order to do so more effectively. What can be done? To me, an ideal solution would be for judges who place court orders into effect to require the noncustodial parent (if he or she is physically capable of working) to seek employment. If the parent has not found employment within 30 days, I feel that it should be ordered by the court that the parent is required to go through a job placement agency to find suitable employment and that job placement agencies do their best to help the individual to do so. This type of order would give parents the opportunity to seek employment for themselves, and it would set a time limit so that children do not have to go without any needs met for a long period of time.

Another problem I would like to discuss is domestic violence. Even though restraining orders are given to domestic violence victims who ask for them, often, abusers do not heed these orders. The orders are not always strictly enforced either - that is, not until something truly devestating has happened (for example, an abuser defying an order severely injuring if not killing a victim). A solution could be that orders are more strictly enforced by police. Instead of giving a warning the first time an abuser violates an order, perhaps stricter measures should be taken (for example, incarceration). Will this problem ever be completely solved? Like so many, it is possible that it will not, but taking action can decrease the level of the problem.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Thoughts on English 111 Thus Far

Well, we are almost at the end of week 7 already. It is hard to believe that so much can be learned in such a short period of time. My response to the class so far is as follows. I feel that all of the assignments and lectures we have had are quite helpful to the writing process. Already, I have learned much about how to strengthen my writing - from hooking the audience to source introduction use. I believe that as the class progresses, so too will my knowledge of how to make my writing more successful. I look forward to this opportunity. At this time, I do not have suggestions on how to make the class better. Things already move in an orderly fashion and the instructor is very helpful if questions do arise (whether they be about class assignments or technology).