October 2012 Archives

Treating the whole person includes mental health care-Anna

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This article was written by the president of the American Medical Association (AMA). It gives lots of information about the Affordable Care Act, Medicare's newest policies regarding mental health, and the DIAMOND Initiative organized by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement in Minnesota. "There," he writes of the DIAMOND initiative, "psychiatrists are being paid for consulting with primary care practices on the best way to manage patients with depression, which has resulted in dramatic improvements in patient outcomes."

My favorite quote from the article is "Health care reform is about making sure that everyone who needs it has access to whatever kind of health care he or she needs -- including mental health care." This is the future of healthcare: integrating the healing of the mind, body and spirit. It's exciting that such a prominent person in the mental health field is writing about this concept.

I don't have any specific questions because I'm still kind of digesting all of this information, but I'd love to be able to talk to Dr. Lazarus someday. He is a great example of someone who has truly inquired and learned before advocating.


This week I decided to take a look at a different kind of article. This one focuses on the impact of mental health issues on law enforcement. A shocking fact that this criminal defense attorney from Houston brought up is that at any given time, there are just as many inmates at the Harris county jail taking psychotropic medication as there are patients in the entire state's mental hospital system. The article also discusses the measures that the Houston PD has taken to increase mental health education for police officers so that they know what to do when they are confronted by a person in crisis.

Police officers have to act as first responders to so many of these crises because Texas is dead last in per capita mental health funding. While it's great that the police department has taken so many measures to increase their education program, there should be a better system in place to handle people in crisis.

I really liked this quote from the article: "when incidents like this occur, it is imperative that we learn what part of the system failed and make the appropriate adjustments to prevent them from reoccurring." The most important word here is "system." This article does a great job of recognizing the multiple ways that mental health affects the community in Houston and the many people who are doing their best to do the right things for the mentally ill and the greater community despite the lack in funding.

My biggest questions are why Texas has so little mental health funding when it is so clearly needed, and what the state plans to do about it.

Is there a limit?

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So, up until recently I have felt as though it is extremely important to start getting children on a healthy route from the beginning. Teach them how to be active and eat right and just overall show them how fun and great it is to be healthy. I mainly anticipated that most of this teaching would happen at home and then the school would just reinforce those teachings during the school day. I found this article about a school that is implementing a program to get rid of obesity. It is pretty strict and has been a focus for this school for a while now. They have a pretty high percentage of obese second and third graders and the school nurse wants that to change. At first, I started the article and thought it was a great idea until I reached the end and learned that part of this program is to pull students out of their classes to work on their physical fitness and get their BMI numbers down. Don't get me wrong I think there should be a focus on here but is that just going to send a message of "the most important thing is life is your health" when clearly I feel as though school should be focused on the academic end of things. I'm not really sure how I feel about this initiative. I realize that there are good and important intentions here I just don't know if they are taking it a little too far. I can only hope that trying to become more healthy won't be something that consumes our lives because there are many important things in life that need equal attention, let's not miss it.

Alcoholism vs. Smoking

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This article talks about a study that suggested alcohol addiction can shorten lives, especially women more than smoking. The German researchers also found that women are more severely affected by alcohol than men, which is also very interesting. However, drinking also poses a threat because it causes other addictions as well, like smoking.

Some questions arose when reading this article that I am very concerned about, as my mother dealt with the disease. Why are women more affected by alcohol than men? Is alcoholism related to promoting other addicting behaviors such as smoking?

I was very interested in finding this research study. I always thought that men typically drank more than women on average and would thus have worse consequences.

Homelessness affects test scores

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As winter approaches I am finding more and more articles popping up about homelessness, especially in the Twin Cities area. This article that I found is based on a 6-year study conducted in Minneapolis schools. The study focused on comparing test scores of homeless students to those who have stable living environments. As most would think, homeless students scord much lower in reading and math tests than the average students. The article quoted a homeless student who lives in a homeless shelter In downtown. He said gets Bs and Cs in school and finds space to study in the TV room. For most homeless students, however, this is not an option. The article goes on to say that one of the most important things for helping these students succeed is keeping them in the same school all year. I was surprised to find out that Minneapolis schools are required to provide transportation for these students to and from school to keep them in the same district. It is a great start to allow these students the same opportunities as others. I am interested to see how this study affects the homeless situation in the Twin Cities area as this is one of the only long term studies done on the issue. This study will be a great resource for future reference.

'Vote No' Rally

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Yesterday, I attended the "Vote No" rally on the steps of the Northrop Auditorium and Mall. It was one of the most inspirational things I have ever experienced, and made me truly feel like I was a part of something more important than myself. All of these people, rallying together so passionately and positively, even when they're literally losing the fight by 1% of the projected vote. I was so proud to tell each person that asked me that yes, I was volunteering, and yes, I did have friends and family that are a part of the GLBTQ community. At the rally, they were handing out "equality for all" rings, one for you, and one for a friend or family member that supports this cause. My grandma, the mom of my uncle that identifies as gay, is a HUGE supporter, and got very emotional when I told her I wanted to give the ring to her, but she had to promise to wear it. She is an active member of the Catholic church, but is 100% against discriminating against the GLBTQ community, and can't stand when the church preaches their lifestyles as "sins". What bothers her even more is when the Catholic church portrays all of its members as "anti-gay". She said she would proudly wear the bright orange ring to church with her, and tell everyone about it. It made me very proud to know that support can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Think Outside 'The Box' - Ricki Vang

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In almost any form of application, many of it has a demographic section where people can check off to identify who they are. In this week's article I found a quite interesting piece about how Asian-Americans are being held to higher standards when it comes to everyone else. In a conference that was held by the National Association for College Admission Counseling posed the question to high school counselors and college admission directors if they thought Asian-American students were held to a higher standard in the college admissions? Almost all of the hands in the room went up. Is this right? Is this wrong? Depending on the college, many colleges have different methods and reasons behind their enrollment rates as stated in the article. One thing that many people need to understand is that many Asian-Americans don't fit the model minority which this poses as disadvantage to those students.
As to where I stand, this is a difficult issue at hand where I wouldn't really know where I stand. Many colleges and university have different enrollment basics and some are more willing to accept student of college and Asian-Americans and there was those colleges where Asian-Americans are seen as the majority and will pose a higher requirement for them. Is this right? Is this wrong? It's hard to say. One question I do have is where can we draw a middle line in this issue? It would also be interesting to learn what are the qualifications that big Universities have in regards to admission? This would be interesting information I believe.

GMO info from Dr. Oz

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Dr. Oz recently did a special on his show centering around GMO's in foods. He presented both sides to the argument, and also included a panel of scientists that have presented their views and findings. Those in support of GMO's make the claim that testing of GMO's has been the largest testing operation of any agriculture entity. The fact still remains that the majority of testing was not done independently, but by the large food companies themselves. The opposing view point claims too short of testing trials, as well as not enough overall. A study was also conducted recently in France. It was over a two year period and involved rats. Some of whom ate on of Monsanto's GMO corn products, and one group which ate the regular corn. It was found that the group that ate the GMO corn were 80% more likely to develop cancer. It was also stated in the article that thousands of doctors across the country have been prescribing their patients to go no non-GMO diets. It is said that patients then become healthier quickly after the change of diet. It was also presented that these GMO foods are the underlying cause to the increase in allergy cases, asthma, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other forms of illness. Dr. Oz specifically feels that consumers have the right to know whether or not their food contains GMO products. He recommends that in today's supermarket, if one wishes to stay away from GMO containing foods, one should try to stick to organic, stay away from processed foods, and try to stay away from certain types of foods because some are more altered than others.


This article brings up a great point especially with the new amendment vote coming up. Studies have shown that there is virtually no difference in psychological and emotional progress between a foster or adopted child being raised by a heterosexual couple vs. a gay or lesbian couple. The study was preformed at UCLA, and the results proved that there is no difference in the nurturing abilities of the same sex couples. Opening the door to the further acceptance of same sex couples, while also opening the door to more options for kids needing an adoptive family.

"Many women undergoing the initial ultrasound are wrongly told their baby is healthy only to later discover it has a disorder."

I feel like this happened to my mother, and that in my opinion is not fair. I understand science was a lot different twenty years ago, but still, to have high hopes that your baby is going to be perfectly healthy and then learning that they're not... that's devastating.

In the article I read, researchers developed a blood test that can predict Down Syndrome and possibly other genetic disorders and abnormalities. Just a small sample drawn from the mother's arm can be used to analyze fetal DNA.

What if this technology was around when my mother was pregnant? Would things be different now?

Or now that we have this test, what new possibilities may come about? Will parents now be able to better prepare themselves to care for a child with a disorder/deformity? Or will parents feel very discouraged about caring for this child? The test can only be done as early as the first nine weeks of pregnancy, which is within the first trimester, which means abortion is a viable option.

I could never imagine my parents deciding to abort me just because they learned I have a birth defect. Honestly now looking at things from this perspective, it would probably be better for this kind of test to be used only in the second and third trimesters. That way its still early enough for the mother to care for her body and the baby in accordance to the disorder, and both parents can mentally prepare for and plan how they will make the most of the situation for their child, but then a medical abortion would not be an option (only a surgical abortion would be up for discussion).

What do you think about the topic and this new technology?

—— Mandi Beergoon

Want to read the article? Click here: Simple blood test to detect Down's syndrome in unborn babies

Are Internet A Toxin to Your relationships?

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For this week's blog, the information I would like to provide to the class is not a typical article, it is a debate result which is focusing on the topic of "Do social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have a positive societal influence?". there are 67% people believe that social networking sites have more positive effect reflect on real life, and the rest 33% people think oppositely. I still remember that at beginning of this semester and this class, my topic was so narrow down to how harmful is the social networking to realistic relationships, especially for couples or marriage. I was so emotional during that period. All of my blog posts are focusing on bad effect of internet and how beautiful the life will be without social networking. However, with the passing of time, I learned a lot from classmates. I realized that there wont always be a right answer or solutions for any social issues. It really depends and it is more likely a personal perspectives. Everyone could share their opinions in the community, there will be some agree with you and definitely someone disagree. this is what I learned from the debate results. every individuals has their own background and stories. these little characters will influence people's attitude to the problem. I dont know is it because I am a changeable person, but I am not strongly to fight against Facebook or any other social networking sites now. I have changed a lot, sometimes I feel I was lost. Till to this moment, I think social networking sites might effect more positively to majorities, but the effects to enhance couple's relationship are barely no.

Seniors a tough crowd for Marriage Amendment

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This article is called "On Minn. gay marriage vote, seniors a tough crowd", it discusses how elders in Minnesota make up 13% of our voter population, which is huge when it comes down to our close race for the marriage amendment on the upcoming ballot. An 81 year old women, Louise Pardee is a senior citizen who is trying to help inform her fellow friends and other elderly Minnesotans on the amendement, saying that gay relationships are "nothing to fear". Minnesota United for All Families have recruited other senior citizens to help talk to other senior citizens, as they have found they get a better response talking to people of the same race and age. Pardee says that having a conversation with others can be awkward, but it is not impossible to change their minds.


As an intern for Minnesota United for All Families/Students United here on campus, it's so nice to see people other than college students getting involved to help defeat this marriage amendment! It makes me happy to read an article like this talking about how senior citizens are trying to get involved, even though they lived in a much different generation.
A few questions that I thought of while reading it were, how does one convence someone after so many years of thinking one way, to think another? What makes elderly people want to get involved? Will they persuade enough elderly people to pass the marriage amendment?... I guess only time will tell with that question!

Health Care and Cancer -- Romney vs. Obama

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Seeing that the election season is coming to an end I figured I would try and learn more about the health care reform from both sides of the spectrum. This is an article summarizing the debate between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama about their health care reform plan. This article doesn't directly affect cancer, but it has enough of a relation to all health care plans that I will be able to make it relevant to my topic. I am hoping that this article will not only help me with my topic, but also help me with my decision for who to vote for in this years election.

Expensive recovery not easily covered

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Today I found an article that talked about a different issue pertaining to people who are attempting to recover from eating disorder or any mental health issue: healthcare coverage costs. According to this article: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/10/19/1050541/eating-disorder-patients-lack-sufficient-health-coverage/?mobile=nc

It is often very costly to seek help for a mental health issue when it isn't covered by school or a job. For many of the estimated 14 million people who suffer from an eating disorder, it is difficult to find the full coverage necessary to pay for mental health treatment. Eating disorder recovery is often multi-care requiring medical, mental health support, and nutrition therapy. And it is complicated and often difficult to find adequate insurance to cover the full spectrum of healthcare professionals needed to gain a full recovery.

I found the article to be interesting because you don't really think about the cost associated with a mental health issue as much. Insurance is expensive, and for many, its already hard enough to go through recovery. I also find it interesting that such a pervasive disorder in our society isn't better cared for despite how incredibly damaging it can be. I wonder what the true cost of therapy is... and if most jobs cover these sorts of medical issues or if it would require extra insurance or coverage?

Support from Outside

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In an article last week in the Seattle Times, Michael Bloomberg has vowed to give 500,000 dollars to gay marriage campaigns in all the states that have anti gay marriage amendments. He has given 125,000 dollars to Minnesotans United for all families and business people in Minnesota are planning to match this amount. This helps out the non-profit organization with their tv ads, and multiple campaigning adventures. Although many people that are against same-sex marriage think that Bloomberg is interfering and that it should be up to the minnesotans. While I agree it should be up to the minnesotans and it still is, it is not like he is going to come here and vote, but I think it is amazing that people from other states are trying to help minnesotans and people from washington and maine. Who cares if these campaigns are getting help, I personally just think they are scared they are going to lose.


Artistic Representation of Childhood Cancer

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For my artistic representation of Childhood cancer I added a picture of myself giving a few facts about childhood cancer. The picture says "Molly Survived. 1 in 5 will not. 5 and 5 should. September is Childhood cancer awareness month. Be aware...You can make a difference". I also added the link to the website for my story through cancer, which has a ton of photos of my when I had cancer and me growing up and beating the odds of cancer.

This particular photo and photos to me really show the face of childhood cancer. They represent someone who has fought for their life and is living in support of the cause today. This piece relates to my topic because it is a picture of an actual survivor and it gives true facts about the damaging affects of childhood cancer.

This struck me as interesting because when you look at pictures of me you would never know that I had gone through cancer. When you look at the pictures of when I was a baby fighting cancer I looked awfully sick. Then, when you get to the pictures of when i am older you would never think that I once was fighting for my life. This is interesting because it relates to the fact that cancer strikes with absolutely no warning. Anyone could be a victim, even someone you would least expect, just like now how I look like I never had cancer. Cancer can affect anyone, it strikes with no warning and it sets no boundaries. Everyone should be aware about cancer and childhood cancer especially because parents are the ones who can help their children the most. What I learned from this expression is just how lucky I am today to have beaten cancer. So many kids don't get to grow up and be as blessed as I am, having cancer or not. Not only did I survive cancer and have little side affects from the treatment, but I have an amazing life, friends, and family. I learned that my true passion in life is making a difference in others lives fighting this disease, and just in the lives of others in general. I learned that I am put on this earth to show the world that cancer can be beaten, and to give other fighters hope and someone they can lean on. These pictures amaze me every time I look at them and always remind me of how lucky I truly am.

Depression discrimination

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A couple weeks ago I found an article about how the depression stigma was fading so I thought this article was an interesting devil's advocate approach to my issue. This article talks about the amount of people with depression who have felt discriminated against because of their issue and the number of people who have felt the need to hide their depression form others. I think this is interesting especially since I just found that article talking about the depression stigma fading. In the article 79% of people had been discriminated against which makes me really sad. This is why people feel the need to hid their depression and avoid seeking out help. I don't really understand why anyone would not give someone opportunities just because of the fact they have depression. The study also found that 71% of people wanted to hide their depression which relates to the sigma and the fact that a major event typically occurs before someone will seek out help for their depression. Overall this article made me really wonder if the stigma is actually fading or if the study was just skewed. I am going to try and find someone with more knowledge in this area and ask them in my one to one what they think about the stigma and their opinion if it is really fading or not.

Parents Supporting Diabetic Child

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As I misplaced the weeks for when to blog the artistic findings for our articles, I decided to make it up this week with this photo of parents having insulin pumps tattooed onto their bellies in support of their son. Their child was insecure about wearing an insulin pump and being different from everyone else, so in order to make him feel better about the situation, they got the tattoos so that he wouldn't be alone.

When I saw this I couldn't control myself and started crying because of remembering how I felt when I was first diagnosed and feeling alone in the world. The support that these parents were willing to give to their child is extremely moving and touching.

Diabetes affects people of all ages, and for those who don't have confidence in themselves, having to use things to help them stay alive such as blood glucose meters and insulin pumps is hard to do in public.

I feel that if everyone became more knowledgeable about the disease, there wouldn't be a stigma to hide from the public what diabetics deal with from minute to minute.

awareness and movement against internet haters(trolls)

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The first post is a TV news report about internet trolls and the 2nd one is a parody that people made about internet trolls. I searched on youtube about internet haters(trolls) to see what kinds of videos are out there that either analyzes about trolls or speaks a point about trolls in an artistic way.

The first one, the news clips, I found nothing too interesting about it. But I wanted to see how TV media covers about trolls that were created by internet media. I wanted to see how objective/detached style of media like news report cover an issue about trolls. From watching the video, I learned that online news articles about trolls are not that different with TV news report about trolls with matter of content and angle. I did think though perhaps if trolls are talked about through TV news, more awareness about trolls can happen and that people can gather together to counter the spread of troll with an anti-troll movement.

The second one, was a funny parody made by people. The clip showed how to counter trolls... in ways of giving them a piece of their own medicine. The key was to stay detached to whatever infliction troll tries to provoke you with and counter them by asking them questions (such as why do you think that is? I wonder how you came up with that opinion. Can you please teach me?) or just remember that trolls have too many personal problems they cannot handle so they take their anger out by spreading anger-provoking messages online. The clip was just funny to watch and I hope that all trolls watch the clip so they have a chance to self-reflect how ridiculous they actually are when they hate on people online.

As I engage in more and more research about trolls, I am starting to realize how more and more I am studying why people are the way they are, their mentality or psychology. And when it comes to countering trolls, I am seeing similarity to this to how to best counter antagonist or people who are generally argumentative, pick fights, and enjoy drama.

The key is to be patient with these people. I have talked to many types of individuals and people in my travels and realized that angry people cannot win against patient people. It is kind of like the non-violence approach of Ghandi. When people perpetrate you, you stay calm, and show respect to them, but you choose to be a bigger person to bear all the harm they give you, digest it, but never reflect that violence back at them. You allow them to get angry to you, but yet you never let their anger get to your heart. After a while, angry people are the ones that tire out first because anger/violence cost energy to create. But when you stay calm and resolute, you do not waste energy.

Perhaps this insight I have about patient people vs angry people bears no relevance to trolls. But I am just curious to find out what type of people, with what kinds of personality, are more likely to be trolls. The more I find out about them, the more i can understand them. And the more i understand them, the more i can counter them and free them from hating on people.

It Begins Before Birth- Jolene

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The article above discusses studies that were done on women while they where pregnant or shortly after. The study suggests several things but some of the ones I will mention are (1) women who gain weight while pregnant will have kids with four times the risk of being overweight by the time they and three and (2) children who are breast fed are less likely to become overweight (Cerretani 2012).

I think that this is interesting because it places a lot of the responsibility on the mother. If these findings turn out to become fact then it may change the way women handle pregnancy. At the same time, we can rule out that obesity has more than just a few causes. Therefore even if women follow everything that is said in the article, it's important that they remember that it may not prevent their kids from becoming overweight. It's important that even once the child is older that they stay active as much as possible as well as have a healthy diet.

Alliance of Hope - Suicide Support

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My goal after my last few blog posts was to look into preventative methods to suicide awareness. However, I was moved to talk about the Alliance of Hope for this post instead after one of my potential one-to-one candidates suggested it.

Alliance of Hope is a nonprofit organization and its mission is to help suicide survivors and those left traumatized by the suicide of someone close to them. They provide free and fee based counseling services, online support, and other forms of personalized support. They are kept afloat by generous donations and grants.

One of the most moving aspects of their website is a page dedicated to memorials of those lost to suicide. Pictures, poems, short narratives, and other things give a glimpse into the life of the deceased and prove that they were normal people, just like the rest of us. In this is a good lesson - you can never truly tell if someone is contemplating suicide or not.

I encourage all of you to visit the website - browse the memorial page at the very least. It was very powerful for me.


Veterans suffering from PTSD deserve service dogs

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In this article in the Chicago Tribune it is stating that veterans suffering from PTSD deserve to have service dogs.
In this most recent Presidential debate, President Obama stated that he and his administration were "making sure that...our veterans are getting the care that they need when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury." which I think is totally awesome, and I love that he supports, but unfortunately he forgot to check his facts.
Just a few weeks ago the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) decided to suspend support for service dogs to be paired with veterans with PTSD. I think this really sucks. I understand that it is an extra fund, but I believe that service dogs play a huge role in the recovery of veterans suffering from PTSD.
From the research that I've done I know that there can be a negative stigma associated with veterans seeking help for PTSD. In my opinion, service dogs seem to be a less embarassing way for people to seek help. I personally would feel less embarassed having a dog, than going to a therapist. I think that it is a lot more accessable for people, especially veterans with busy schedules, or veterans who don't really believe in therapy.
I also know personally that my dad is very attached to my dog, and our dog Zeus really helps my dad feel better. Even though Zeus is not a service dog, he is a very empathetic dog and can tell when my dad is upset and will go sit with him and try to cheer him up.
I think service dogs are a definite must, and through the support of President Obama I hope that the VA reconsiders. A question I have for them is why exactly they are taking away this funding.

Medical Breakthrough

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A majority of Multiple Sclerosis treatment require regular injections, but two MS pills, BG-12 and Aubagio, made strides this year. BG-12 recently proved its effectiveness at preventing relapses in many trials, while Aubagio was actually cleared for sale. According to the Boston Globe, this was considered the biggest medical breakthrough of 2012 thus far, finishing ahead of different advances such as implants to measure brain activity and a new line of defibrillators.

A U.S. diplomat, on a recent trip to Afghanistan, made a seemingly innocent comment about the Durand Line, which is the internationally recognized border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, that landed him in hot water. In the NYTimes article I found, it talks about how a comment about a stance that America has had for decades can be pounced on by the media and affect people's perception. Now because of his comment, Afghans are starting to believe that we don't really have a plan for their country, or that we've been siding with Pakistan all this time and that we are going to help the subjugate Afghanistan. None of that is the case, but this goes to show how powerful the media can be when it comes to swaying public opinion.

And it's too bad, because I believe our country had two goals when they entered Afghanistan: rid the country of the Taliban, and make life better for Afghans. And for the most part, we're doing both. We've not been attacked since Sept. 11th, largely because I think we brought the fight to them, and we've been extremely effective in decimating their senior leadership. And as I've talked about in past blogs, we're doing so much for the people in the country, helping them build roads, schools, hospitals and more.

There needs to be a change in the culture of media, which is something Block talked about in his book, and I think he's dead on. When we stop making headlines because their negative and sensationalist, and start putting the people doing good things as the lead stories, then we'll be much better at accomplishing the goals we want to accomplish.

Inquiry Before Advocacy

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Today, as I studied in the library, I overheard someone arguing with an acquaintance of theirs over the issue of the marriage amendment. He was adamant that it is was a good thing, and that everyone should be voting 'yes', including his obviously-opposed friend. As I listened, I became angrier and angrier over the things I heard him saying. Having done a lot of research on this topic, I know some of the things he was professing were absolutely not true, and I had to strongly resist the urge to just get up and slap him - as extreme as this sounds. He talked about how those who engaged in homosexual lifestyles were "perverts" and that "they're all going to hell" - these were my friends and family he was speaking about. I thought through what would happen if I were to approach him and advocate for my views. Since his friend was not swaying his opinion at all, I figured he would simply dismiss the views of a stranger, get defensive, and feel even more strongly about his point of view. In the end, I don't think there was a right or wrong decision, but because I feel so strongly about people being allowed to have their own opinions and make their own decisions independently, without the influence of others, I decided to not let it get me upset, and let it roll off of my shoulders. All I can control is my own thoughts and actions, not those of others. Anger and hatred do not get people anywhere, they only cause more tension and division. I listened to what he said (even though I disagreed with every word of it, and knew that most of it was untrue), and understood how he viewed the issue. I inquired before I advocated, and it was probably the best choice in the long run.

Tips to stop teen texting while driving-Selena

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In this article, it talks about how dangerous texting while driving is and gives some tips to how a parent can stop a teen's texting while driving habits. In 2010, more than 3000 deaths occurred due to distracted driving. The article highlighted about a 17 year old girl who died in 2009 because she was texting and driving. Texting while driving increases your crash risk by 2300 percent. Some of the tips I liked that were given were: watch your teens habits while riding in the car with them, set a good example, make it clear that reading texts, or texting while waiting at a stop sign in illegal, and think about the consequences.
I think by setting a good example, it will only benefit, but as the parent and you are always on your phone, the teen is going to think it is okay to be on theirs. I also liked that the article gave ways parents can be in their teen's lives when it comes to distracted driving and helping them shed these bad habits. I did not like that the article did not say where their information came from. I was left with questioning where they got some of their facts (increases crash risk by 2300 percent).

The Health Gap -LGBTQ

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This article discussed the most recently released LGBTQ health information provided by Boyton and other local medical centers and showed a significant health gap between heterosexual patients and homosexual patients in health care. A significantly larger portion of LGBTQ identified patients did not have health insurance due sometimes to the fact that companies do not recognize homosexual partnerships in their family health care plans. The article also talked about how it was a difficult situation sometimes for LGBTQ students to feel comfortable being open with the doctors about their sexuality and then too, for their doctors to be knowledgeable about LGBTQ specific health issues. It's hard to find both willing LGBTQ identified persons and knowledge specific doctors in public health care systems.

This article made a lot of sense to me because I've been extremely uncomfortable with talking to my doctors about it personally. It's scary to be open in any public situation with a complete stranger because you never know how they will react. It's an act of trust to be openly myself with people when I know some people react violently as you may have read in a previous article of mine. I don't trust strangers generally, even doctors. And to that effect, It's hard to get LGBTQ specific health care knowledge. A lot of doctors don't really say anything about it and almost treat it as a taboo subject. If I mention I am LGBTQ identified they often say "oh, I see" and quickly skip over the next set of questions geared towards heterosexual people and avoid having to bring it up again. I've never had a doctor start asking questions beyond that, about my health based on my sexuality and what specific things might be different. I think there are definitely some things that should be talked about more and I think it'd be really nice to have a doctor I could feel comfortable talking with who could go more in depth about LGBTQ health issues relevant to me.


Self Portraits

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Chelsea Banken

This article I found pertains to the effects of social media on looking perfect to the outside world. Facebook and twitter allow options of posting profile pictures and the point of the article is about how much pressure teens are feeling with finding the perfect profile picture. The article states that teens are spending too much time obsessing about their appearances rather than enjoying life and living in the moment. The current correlation between teens focusing their time on social media and negative perceptions of body image shows that we are not truly connecting with ourselves and others. I believe we as human beings need to spend more in-person time with our family and friends so that we can obtain healthy relationships and self worth.

This article led me to question when will we actually feel we look our best in pictures posted on social media? Also, I have never noticed how popular photo editing has become. All my friends, including myself, edit pictures uploaded from our cameras. Why do we do this? Is our natural appearance not fulfilling? I hope that the need to edit pictures and look "perfect" decreases in the future because we should feel great about how we look and who we are. Some things we can do as role models to other teens and younger children include not being afraid to get in pictures and being silly. It is ok to look dumb and funny! Being less focused on looking perfect will help show others that we can truly not afraid to be who we really are. Photo editing and trying to appear attractive to all outsiders will never allow us to fully achieve self worth. In the future, I hope to find more research and information on parents not being okay with their own body images and appearances and how these feelings can influence their children.


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The article from new york times is about the increase of HIV and AIDS in Uganda. Aids has been an issue in Africa for a long time but as the times has gone by it has been seen to decrease in most countries except Uganda which has had an increase. Although there has been a lot of information that educates about this disease not many Ugandans have learned from it. Many of surveyed people with HIV aids mentioned their knowledge on the disease but they instead choose to ignore it. It is important for this issue to be dealt with from the root, finding out that Uganda is the place where they need to help out makes it helpful to start there. It is also important to also know this kind of information so that people can find a different way of dealing with this issue considering the ways they have tried are not working. After reading the article, questions that i am left with include what are they ways to decrease the prevalence rate? what is making the rate increase? what are some other places that need attention due to increase rates of this disease?

Sleeping on the bus

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For my artistic representation I actually found an image on the internet because I figured it was a little inappropriate to gawk and take pictures of homeless people. But this representation is something I have been seeing a lot more. I ride the 16 everyday and more and more I see homeless people curl up on the seats and go to sleep once the bus clears out a bit. When I first came to school here and saw this I was disgusted. It made me feel unsafe. Now after getting more involved with homelessness, this image that I see almost every week just saddens me. Not only do homeless people have no place to stay, but they have nothing to do during the day. I see a lot of the same homeless people just riding the busses all day because they don't have a job, school, etc. Can you imagine not being able to do anything besides wander all day? Its the little things like being able to get up and go to school or work every day that I think most of us take for granted, along with having a warm, safe place to sleep at night.

Birth Defects: Down Syndrome

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Okay now I'm even more confused than before...

For my "artistic representation" I wanted to use a photo to show the class exactly what I've been discussing these past few weeks. Well, while scanning through various photos on google images, I came about a whole new discover/hypothesis about myself.

Long story short, I've come about three characteristics that links my birth deformities to down syndrome. My initial reaction was... "what? no, I don't have down syndrome..." Especially considering that that's something a doctor can tell you from birth, and none of the specialists that I've seen when I was younger has made that connection.

But I myself am making these strange connections. Granted, I could be totally wrong, but this is an area of research that I've never thought I'd have to explore.

So let's lay out the facts:
(note: click on each hyperlink for a visual representation of each term!)
As we all know, I have deformities in my fingers and toes (brachydactyly) that have always been there since birth. But I also have "knock-knees" which means that my knees align closer than my ankles do. I also have a slightly shorter neck than normal, sometimes referred to as short neck syndrome. Lastly, one connection that really surprised me, is that I have a "Simian Crease" in my palm. What this means is that I have a single crease instead of various lines (i.e. head and heart lines, often used in palmistry).

What does this all mean?

Well from my findings, these are all characteristics of a person who may have down syndrome. So the question is, do I have down syndrome? Or even a mild form of it? It makes more sense than having to say "well that's the way I was born" or "well this is what God gave me." This is factual proof. I personally don't think I do, I don't really associate my birth defects with genetic reasoning. But this is why I'm even more confused. Thanks science...

——Mandi Beergoon

depression flat on the floor

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This week for my artistic representation I chose the song by Carrie Underwood flat on the floor. While the song isn't typically thought of as relating to depression I feel like a lot of the lyrics and feelings of the song describe depression for me really well. The song mainly talks about hiding on the floor until the coast is clear. To me this relates well because when I am starting to feel depressed I start hiding form people and from myself. I try to push it away and avoid it coming in so to say. I think this song relates well because I try to hide from my depression and this song shows a good representation of trying to hide until the coast is clear which is what I try to do. This week I really tried to push myself to find something that wouldn't be typically associated with depression and show how it could relate and be interpreted from someone with depression. While the song isn't a perfect match I feel that it shows a good example in the idea of depression.
As winter rolls around my depression tends to get worse form the lack of sunlight and the overall gloomy feel of the days. This song does a great job describing how I try to hide from this feeling that starts taking over.

Homeless shelters for the youth

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This article was a glimps of inspiration for homeless youth. A group of congregations gathered at an Edina church to talk about the lack of shelters in the west metro for youth. They plan to build an apartment building where students can have easy access to a bed. The shelter would include a social worker and options for the Youth to make this a sustainable lifestyle for themselves. So many youth in the west metro are sleeping on other students couches Or park benches because buses aren't accessible to get to the shelter from where they work or go to school. One congregation member even mentioned that "Edina students for the most part have never even been on a bus." As shocking as this news was, it is great to see that plans are being made to not only serve homeless families, but also the youth of our nation as well.

Obesity Rates

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So naturally, healthy eating relates to obesity and I decided that I wanted to learn exactly where the United States stands as far as obesity rates go. In the image that I found there is not a single state in the country with an obesity rate of less than 15 percent. This really makes me concerned about what Americans are putting into their bodies and just proves that Jamie Oliver's show is not about nothing, he has a definite and good reason for doing what he is doing. I would hope that by learning this information and getting out to others that soon people will be more conscious of what they are eating and know that it does have negative effects.

The 12 Steps

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These 12 steps are very powerful and important for those in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Being the son of someone in AA, these steps truly have impacted my mom's life for the better in many ways. It is very difficult for someone to accomplish these 12 steps, and most likely take years to complete. This is in large part because you must fully accept your faults, release your thinking that "you are in control of the situation", and to make amends with all the people you hurt.

Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
Step 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Step 6 - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Step 7 - Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
Step 8 - Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Step 9 - Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted
Step 11 - Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

Serenity Prayer

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When I was doing research this morning, I wanted to get a better angle from maybe what my dad is reading or seeing. I started researching and found a beautiful prayer, The Serenity Prayer, written by American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. While researching, I found that this prayer was generally adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and that really resonates with me because this is a prayer that I really liked and read before researching. It really helped me in the past through other hard times besides my dad and it speaks to not only the situation that people in AA might be going through but any rough time. I am posting the shorter/more popular version that most people know and I also researched what the internet said to be the earliest form written by Niebuhr.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Breath in the city

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this an attachment picture of a psychological comfort article which is written by Bob Morris. I choose this photo for my second artistic post nothing related to his article even though it was a pretty interesting story. I don't know how he might combine two photographs together. I was caught by the girl's facial expression and emotions reveals through her eyes. The photo background is a typical modern city which is covered by high square cold buildings. The girl is acting the quiet signal. when I first saw this photo, the city background looks really similar to my hometown. After a few monuments freezing my eyes on it, the city also looks like Minneapolis downtown. I was thinking about my life in different cities. I flight over 20 hours from the other side of the earth came to another country. But the truth is cities are always the same model. It is beautiful and convenience to live. But it is cold. People live in cities are tired after busy workdays. during weekend, more and more people are willing to stay at home and play with computers to relax the stressful nerve. I like the peaceful emotion transmits via the photograph. As a tiny part of the huge metropolis, I am easily to be aggressive and lack of patients all the time. Chatting with online friends would not solve the problem, even it is also one of excuse for using computer after all day work. But I would start myself a new life. limited unnecessary technology using. It is time to take a deep breath under the really nature and get back to original families with full love.

Adopt US Kids

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I was looking for inspiration and found myself relatively stumped. I decided to search adoption agencies, since I really didn't know much about them to begin with. I found quite a few, but this particular site stood out to me. It features different kids, and siblings who are in need of families. Providing a bi-weekly update to feature new kids, of all ages, with a small one sentence biography. I thought that this website was inviting, and personalized each child to make their stories relevant to everyone who comes across the site. They also have the number of kids photo-listed on their site who are now living in happy homes, very inspiring!

General Vang Pao - Ricki Vang

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Here is a photo that was taken a few years back when General Vang Pao was arrested due to suspension of plan acts against the Laos government with the Hmong Community rallying for his freedom. There were many protest against his arrest throughout the whole Hmong community across the world and eventually let go due to lack of evidence of the allegations. This image relates to my topic because I strongly believe if parents of Hmong parents understood the importance of education and knew the proper way to help support their students, many of those who are falling behind would not be where they are at today. As a community we are stronger than one if we all work with each other to help each other out. The reason why this topic is important to me is because Hmong students have one of the lowest achievement rates as data came out of the 2010 census. I only want to see success within my community and one day in the future give back to my community.


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This poem is about HIV aids and is therefore directly related to my topic. It is a very powerful poem because the language it uses is very direct and up front as to what aids is all about. This poem struck me because it completely captures what my thoughts and reflection are about this disease. It states exactly most of what is in my thoughts as I research on this topic. I learned that sometimes it is important to express what you want to say in a nutshell because it appeals more to others. Especially if the information is put in a very expressive way like a poem or a song.

Music and Same-sex marriage

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Many artists support same-sex marriage and gay rights. Pink is one artist that I have been fond with for years. A few years ago Pink released a song call "Dear Mr. President". Although it was a few years ago and not very current I think it fits perfectly, because not only does she touch on gay rights, but she touches on several different topics which are currently discussed in politics such as the war, homeless, healthcare. I love this song because it is so real and shows that she truly understands the real issues that people face daily and it shows her support in so many different aspects.

Heres a link to the video on youtube:

Race for a Cure

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This is a photo of one of my good friends from high school that ran in my fathers honor in the Race for a Cure half marathon this past sunday. The half marathon took place in Mankato, Minnesota and had many participants. Seeing this was touching to me because my friend, Kyle, did this completely out of his own choice, and it showed me how much my good friends can care about my father and his disease. It also showed me that MS did not only affect my family and I, but also my close friends. We all greatly appreciated Kyle and his performance in the Race for a Cure.


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This song that I found is Called "courage" by the band superchick. I chose this song because its a really good representation of the thoughts, feelings and sadness behind an eating disorder. On the surface there are obvious things that happen such as weight loss. And many people think that its just the fixation on losing weight. Its so much more than that and I really like how this songs puts some of these thoughts into words. Its not a very catchy song but it gets the message across.

The song talks about how there are both good and bad days. Just like any issue people struggle with there will be those days when health and happiness are there and things seem like they'll be okay.. and then there are other days that feel endless and hopeless. The song also talks about coming together and making it through. I think this song is powerful for everyone-people who have suffered and those who haven't.

Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

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I saw that someone had posted this earlier, BUT I have been wanting to post this for almost the past two weeks! It came out the day of our last artistic post, and since then I knew I would post this for my next artistic blog.


I heard this song awhile ago, and I found it to one of the most amazing rap songs I have heard. I cried when I first saw it, but I cried even harder when I watched the music video.
This lyrics below mean a lot to me because as someone who feels strongly towards our upcoming ballot for the vote no campaign, they are very strong and although the law in MN might soon define a marriage between a man and a women, it does not mean it will solve anything. People will continue to love whoever the want, even if the "law" says they can't marry those people.

"We press play, Don't press pause, Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes, We turn our back on the cause
'Till the day That my uncles can be united by law
Kids are walkin' around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Some would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law's gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up"

I learned from this song is how many people out in the world are open to gay marriage and letting you love whoever you want. The album that the song is on hit top charts from the moment it came out. It's also one of the first rappers to have a positive message about same sex couples, which is something you do not see a lot of in todays rap genre. I feel as if this is a message, just like the "It gets better" videos, and it's telling those that it IS okay. I'm proud I am to be part of this generation where we are fighting for equality for everyone, and hopefully our hard work will pay off.

Brain images may reveal PTSD risk before disaster

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A new study coming from Japan shows that people with PTSD have brains different from those who do not suffer from the disease. The study shows that they have weak connections in certain parts of the brain, and in some cases people have smaller parts of the brain. This could be amazing because it could be a good warning for those going into combat in the military. It could show people if they are suseptable to having PTSD, or if they have a normal brain and will not suffer from the disease.
What I am wondering is how much testing there has been done on this, and where they go from here. I also would like to know if this could possibly one day be available for military use.

A Song About "Fat" Kids-Jolene

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The link above is to a song called "Fat Children" by comedian Tim Minchin. Even though the song is meant to be funny, there is some truth to the lyrics. While I'm not sure if I like the way he attacks parents naming them as the main cause of their kid's weight issues, he does get the point across. In the song he talks about how these kids that are overweight today are going to grow up and have brain problems and heart attacks and that parents shouldn't wait until it gets to that point to change their kid's eating habits.

Minchin also makes a point in the song to mention that people tend to blame their weight issues on genetics and that isn't a good excuse to keep feeding your kids unhealthy foods.

One thing I really like about the song though is that some parts of it are funny. It seems that comedy is needed to help us deal with important issues. In the song he makes people laugh but at the same time is getting an important message out there and is raising awareness.

This is what you see everyday-Selena

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These are two different links of drivers on their phone. They are holding their phones different ways, but both happen commonly. This is what a driver sees another driver doing everyday on the road. It does not matter how a person is holding their phone, it just matters that the person is on their phone and not focusing on driving. I think they both struck me as interesting because like I said, this is what you see in the road everyday. I would have taken my own pics, but I am also a driver, so that is a no can do. I learned that many people are distracted by their phone, and by looking at their phones and not at the road, they actually look quite stupid.

Alone by Edgar Allan Poe-Anna Schulte

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Part of what causes mental illnesses progress in children and young adults is a lack of coping mechanisms available to them. While middle school and high school students are often encouraged to participate in a sport, music group, or student club and being involved in something that you care about can definitely boost self-esteem and give you a network of people to care about you, not every child finds someting that they're passionate about, leaving them on the outside of what looks like a perfect community. A support system is key to healthy mental growth, and it's unfortunate that so many kids grow up without one.

Adele's new baby boy gets hated on...

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From my one to one with Mr. Solen Feyissa last week, I learned that the term for internet haters is 'trolls". So I typed it on google to see what results came out. I found this article, as short as it was, made me disgusted and just confused by how and why trolls are the way they are. Here is an example from the article of what the trolls said about Adele's (pop singer) baby boy who was recently born...

One troll said,
"Adele's baby should be killed because it will be "fat and disabled".
The user told 4,000 followers: "Aw Adele gave birth to a baby. Is it fat and handicapped lol? Just murder it already lol."

Apparently, "loads more Twitter users 'joked' that Adele would suffer post natal depression and therefore have plenty more 'material' for her next album."

I thought the case of Kristen Stewart I posted last week was bad, but this is about a baby. A baby, who done nothing wrong... who was born into the world where not even a week old, he is being hated by people...... Why? For what?

It is just amazing how far trolls would take it to the extreme. I feel they are just cowards, cowards who cannot say such things in real life. I wonder what would happen if a troll actually got in an argument with another troll online. Would that help the trolls to understand how futile this circle of unjustified hatred is? Or would it not solve anything at all?

Education seemed to be (from my research so far) the cure or answer or mild sedative to these troll syndrome. I wonder what would happen in real life if trolls were put in a jury duty. What would happen to the verdict? I also wonder what the motives are for trolls when they vote/if they vote. Would they vote between the two presidential candidates basing on hatred? Or just for fun?

I wonder if trolls are actually a phase. Perhaps it would be interesting to find out about the typical age of internet trolls. If they are mostly adolescents, would they grow out of the phase? What would happen to an adolescent if he performed an act of trolling and got caught by the school principle and thus the entire school found out about his misdeed? Would the school publicly criticize him, making him an outcast? Or due to bad trend in high school community, would the high school students revere him?

Back to the issue, this is a baby we are talking about. Just hating on a baby I feel is just beyond stupidity or ignorance. There has to be a new word to describe this atrocious act. Perhaps trolls should be hurt themselves to realize the pain that they caused.

I just wonder about how this society, more attention is given when people fail... celebrity magazines always focus on rumor-worthy materials which many of the times are rumors of cheating, plastic surgery, etc. Could it be that the whole reason why trolls exist is because there is a subtle trend in USA that focus on finding and blaming people's faults? If this trend were to change to seeking gifts and values and searching for strengths, would things improve?

To end this post, I just feel somehow that internet trolls are just simply desperate for attention, they are desperate to make rumors about other people's lives because there is hardly anything worthy or noble to talk about their own lives.

I feel my research is getting more and more interesting.

The many faces of childhood cancer: Steven Clifford

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The article I read this week was about a cancer survivor, Steven Clifford, and his journey through cancer and being a survivor. Steven was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at the age of 11. The tumor was located in his leg; which gave him two options, one he could amputate is leg and play all the sports he was playing before, or two he could get treatment for the cancer and eventually have it removed. Steven said this was the hardest decision of his life but he went with getting treatment and having the cancer removed rather than amputating his leg. With having the cancer removed he will no longer be able to play sports but he believed the amputation of his leg would create way too large of an emotional stress on him. Steven said he is happy with his decision because he is enjoying the way he is now. One of the hardest things for Steven was telling his friends about his situation. At first he didn't tell them and he cold go off and play with them as if he were a normal kid. It got to the point where he had to let them know what was going on, and once he did he said his friendships became even stronger and closer. Steven could no longer play all of the sports he loved and had to give up his dream of being a professional football player. This unfortunate event caused Steven to focus on his studies instead of sports. This lead him to be the Valedictorian of his class and speaker at graduation. He is now interested in science and wants to study biology and oncology and help children going through similar situations. He said he would be able to connect with his patients and make life decisions as he had to do.

I really enjoyed reading this article mainly because Steven is eighteen years old right now, and has just started college. I am twenty and in my second year of college. Steven and I have very similar values and goals in life. Although I do not want to become an oncologist, I would if I were smart enough, I want to help children and families who have to go through what I went through. Since I was only thirteen months old when I was going through treatment I couldn't make and decisions about the treatment I would receive as Steven did. I am sure the effect of his decision stays close with him everyday and has changed the person he is today. It gives me great pleasure to see another survivor take something great out of such a bad situation. I also believe he is completely true when he talks about connecting with his patients. I think that survivors would make the best doctors because they truly know what their patient is going through. I hope that Steven continues to study science and fulfills his dream to become an oncologist. I also hope that he never regrets his decision to go on with treatment and remove the tumor rather then have an amputation. I believe he could make a great difference in the world of childhood cancer.

Molly Hollway

For my article this week, instead of focusing on what's going on in the country of Afghanistan, I'm focusing on presidential candidate Mitt Romney's stance on the future of that war, with information from an article written for the Los Angeles Times.

This upcoming election is huge for the direction of our country, and voters, along with myself, are anxious to see where exactly Romney stands in regards to the war in Afghanistan, but also in regards to the commitment of our troops around the world. Up to this point, the article points out, Romney has been pretty vague about what he would do with the war in Afghanistan if he is elected president. He has given the president plenty of grief about his current timeline, saying Obama made it based on political decisions. However, he really hasn't said himself if he will adhere to it. To this point, all he has really said is that he will talk to the commanders on the ground, and make a decision based on their input. According to a Pew Research Group poll, 66% of Americans want a speedy withdrawal of our troops. I agree that we need to get them back, but only if we've sufficiently trained the Afghans to take over their own country. If we pull out for the sake of pulling out, then we will have lost over a decade of time, thousands of lives and billions of dollars to an effort that was all for not.

I'm looking forward to the debate Monday night, as it focuses primarily on foreign policy. As a vet, the future of our wars doesn't really affect me directly anymore, but I have many friends who are still in, and this would affect them and their families greatly. I'm interested to see if Romney gets more specific Monday night, or if he just stays general.

lack of sleep could cause diabetes

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This article summarizes the findings of a study that showd that young adults who recieved, on average, 4.5 hours of sleep 4 days of the week were at a higher risk of developing diabetes. This study affects me because again, gaining weight and having a poor exercise have been shown to not be the only thing causing diabetes. And again, thete is new research that no one will relate to the disease because there is not enough information out there. A question that I do have after reading this is whether the study will be repeated on a much larger scale like the researchers suggested that they might do, and if the results will vary at all.

"How Do You Get that Lonely" - Blaine Larsen

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It was just another story printed on the second page
Underneath the Tiger's football score
It said he was only eighteen, a boy about my age
They found him face down on his bedroom floor

There'll be services on Friday at the Lawrence Funeral Home
Then out on Mooresville highway, they'll lay him 'neath a stone...

How do you get that lonely, how do you hurt that bad
To make you make the call, that havin' no life at all
Is better than the life that you had
How do you feel so empty, you want to let it all go
How do you get that lonely... and nobody know

Did his girlfriend break up with him, did he buy or steal that gun?
Did he lose a fight with drugs or alcohol?
Did his Mom and Daddy forget to say I love you son?
Did no one see the writing on the wall?

I'm not blamin' anybody, we all do the best we can
I know hindsight's 20/20, but I still don't understand...

How do you get that lonely, how do you hurt that bad
To make you make the call, that havin' no life at all
Is better than the life that you had
How do you feel so empty, you want to let it all go
How do you get that lonely... and nobody know

It was just another story printed on the second page
Underneath the Tiger's football score...

Reactive or Proactive? Responses to Suicide

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The article I found for my blog post this week is about a school district in Stratham, NH. It talks about the response of a community who have endured three children suicides in the past 11 months. The principles of the various schools are reaching out to community members to raise awareness.

By why did they wait until three children died? Why did they wait until even one person died? Suicide awareness is supposed to be a proactive effort, not a reactive one. It deeply saddens me to see that a tragedy is what it takes to make this community realize the scope of this issue.

It makes me wonder how we as community leaders can have an impact without relying on an outside force. How could have these leaders preached suicide prevention before the issue was so real in the community? This is the question I want to continue to explore.


Never Good Enough

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Chelsea Banken

Attached is a song I found on YouTube that describes a girl dealing with weight obsession. The singer of the song is Rachel Ferguson and although I have never heard of her before, her lyrics really touched me. Through the process of looking up songs about negative body image, I expected to find slow and sad songs, but this song is more alternative rock and edgy. This style of music and its connection with body image makes me wonder if the song was meant to seem as if frustration correlates with the persistance of weight issues in America. The lyrics in the song describe a girl that seems to be having a great life to others but is actually hiding a secret within. She is a perfectionist with low self-esteem and is never fulfilling her need for self worth. In one part of the song, the artist sings about how the girl tries to be like Mary-Kate. This reference connects to idolizing celebrities. Mary-Kate Olsen dealt with a major eating disorder at one point in her life and the media made sure everyone knew about it. The reference to this actress makes me wonder what Rachel Ferguson's motives were for singing this song. Did/does Rachel have an eating disorder? How has Rachel and other members of our society been affected by issues dealing with negative body image? Do many other people have similar feelings to what I have about weight obsesssion? I am frustated with the amount of friends I have that are never satisfied with their current body image. We need to love ourselves and obtain self worth from within. I want to help others feel content with their bodies so they can enjoy life. I hope that with continuing research, I can find ways to make a difference in society.

The Politics of Gay Rights

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Barack Obama made history on May 9th, 2012, when he became the first sitting US president to declare his support for same-sex marriage. Although gay rights issues extend beyond same-sex marriage, I feel any candidate supporting such a controversial issue is likely to be, if they are not already, supporting other related issues, including gay adoption, HIV/AIDS research & prevention, and anti-discrimination legislation. I found an article about the four biggest ways in which Obama and Romney differ in their platforms on gay rights. It seems like politicians are never 100% for or against their positions on topics, but rather conforming to what their party stands for. An indicator of this is the fact that Romney keeps changing his public opinion on this issue, attempting to gain more voters as the election draws closer. As I read this article, I tried to remind myself that it is important to be considering the sides of this issue opposed to my views, and why they are that way. It is important to question and try to understand why people are opposed to gay rights, if not only to further strengthen my own advocacy for gay rights, to also be able to know how to show others with different views than my own how to see our point of view.


Same Love

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This is a crazy good song. This rapper brings up a lot of good points in the song and it's really insightful and moving. It's a chill beat with a catchy melody but I really hope that if you listen to it you listen really closely to everything the rapper says.

When I found this music video, it moved me almost to tears. I was glad to hear a musician, much more a rapper, attacking some of these seemingly common sense issues. To me they are common sense at least. It's refreshing to hear his take on so many different aspects of LGBTQ rights in one song. It's powerful. Really powerful when you hear the issues set to music and impassioned by a rapper who feels very strongly about the issues.


Non Profit Gets Award for Helping Sick Kids

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The article I read was about the Priyanka foundation; which works towards making better hospital stays for children with life threatening illnesses. The Priyanka foundation is named after a little girl who died of Leukemia in a mothers vow to help support other children with illnesses as her child was supported. This foundation took home a Classy Award at the end of September. This foundation is to help children through their treatment, mostly cancer patients, feel more normal during their illness and hospital stay. They have before and after surgery help groups, they teach techniques to help lower children's pain and anxiety, and they also have support groups for children and parents. The Classy Awards is one of the largest philanthropic award ceremonies in the United States, so this will help spread awareness of the services needed for children with cancer and other illnesses. Most people know about cancer, but aren't aware of the psychological and other issues that come along with it, and not to mention the very painful and long treatment process. This foundation is also working in other countries to spread the awareness of the much needed support these fighters need.

This article really touched home base for me. When I was going through cancer treatment we received little or no support from the hospital. All support received was through family and friends. It makes me happy that people are finally realizing the effects of childhood cancer and physically and psychologically. All my life I have been praised for being a survivor we never knew there could be side effects from the life threatening treatment I received. I know suffer from minor learning disabilities and psychological downfalls. I am perfectly healthy, but if we were more aware of these side affects earlier in life we could have avoided many road blocks and I could have received the help I needed. I am now and advocate for these side effects, and want to be that support for others fighting. It makes me happy that there is a difference being made because in the future I would love to be a social worker in a hospital. I know that these support groups will benefit survivors of all illnesses, especially cancer, but we need to make sure every survivor and fighter is getting the support and help they need and deserve.

For my article this week, I found one with a story that's similar to one that i've posted in the past, and that's Afghans dealing with allegations of killing American troops.

This is disconcerting again, because our entire mission there is to help train the Afghans so they can sustain a democracy once we leave. If we are constantly dealing with the Taliban as a threat, it's even worse to have to worry about the troops we are trying to train. It's also very discouraging, because I know if I were there, I would be less willing to train these Afghans properly, because I would be afraid of the repercussions.

This article made me sad because it discusses the struggles that take place during the adoption process in other parts of the world. Some families back out, some have changed circumstances, etc. Some children are just moved from adoption agency to adoption agency until they are eventually in a foster home. It is so heartbreaking knowing that some babies don't have responsible birth mothers and fathers who will take the time to find a family for the child that they cannot care for, if that is the case. The positive part of the article is the fact that it is about a organization that helps to make sure children get placed somewhere. Whether it's with an adoption agency, or a family.

Aboriginal communities alcohol ban-Amber

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In Australia, the aboriginal communities struggled a lot with alcohol abuse which lead to children not being taken care of properly, women being beat and communities going down the drain. After doing a little research, a group in Australia fought to get restrictions set on 19 communities and saw great measures. This article is an interview about how the aboriginal communities don't think it's legal for their communities to have such restrictions and not the entire country of Australia. It leads to two things that is related to my topic. One a hot debate, where can the government intervene? Can they? Two, does the environment push people to drink? So it is genetic or environmental?

Interesting video on the article if you have time I'd try to watch it!




Both these online articles talks about how Kristen Steward, who is still under much public attention from her cheating on Robert Patterson, fears of her safety from internet haters.
To quote her,
"... nowadays it's harder because everyone is on Facebook and everyone knows where you are all the time," mused KStew, "and everyone's twittering. Like I'm going to die because somebody is going to say where I am and somebody is going to kill me. Someone's going to Twitter my location and then it's going to be like, boom. So, I actually think too much of anything can be scary, but at the same time it's also an opportunity. I mean mass communication is a good thing. It's actually a really great thing, it's just scary."

Since I did an article about her last week, to continue researching about what is happening with her was useful. From reading her words, this made me think deeply about how stressful it can be for celebrities of these internet haters. I feel that many people can be insecure from unjustified rumors about them. But if it is a justified rumor, I guess, which is what Kristen Stewart could be going through, how much more public scrutiny that can entail being in the position of such attention.
I do not enjoy even reading about people hating on others on internet. Then, how much more will the actual people who the negative rumors are about dislike this trend in the informational society?
What Kristen Stewart said made me think about from the celebrity's perspective. I did not think that people can take it so serious that Kristen Stewart actually fears for her safety. It must be scary actually. It must be scary for her.
Furthermore, apparently, there was a poll which revealed that 69% of people who took it agreed with Stewart that she should actually be worried about her safety?
This makes me think how life of the celebrity is really not all that pleasing. Too much attention is indeed can be harmful to not just privacy, but more than that.

I guess it would be interesting to find out about how internet haters or haters ended up hurting a celebrity or somebody famous in the past. As a psychology student, I wonder about the mentality of haters so perhaps I can research about that next week.

After having read this article, I am left wondering if celebrities get this much scrutiny, what about leaders of communities? What about president Obama? Is hating on such individuals product of peoples' expectations of perfection of these leaders or could it be something about American media that draws people to be so much more keen about finding faults than strengths? Could it be that people just appoint leaders to take care of business and make community better without the people actually doing anything to find solutions themselves? Could it be that there is a subtle happening in this society that makes the act of voting the greatest proof that people feel they did their part to select the leaders, so the leaders should do everything, and I should be lazy about the changes around me?

Could the mentality of appointing and entrusting leaders itself be the cause of much problems in this country?


This article was as published through the Education Studies department at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. In this publication DePouw the author who has worked within the Hmong community for over 10 years and has established a fair understanding of the cause and pitfalls that Hmong students have in education. One of them that were mentioned a lot throughout the article was the whole idea behind "culture clash." Many people categorize everyone who identify has Hmong as someone who speaks Hmong, knows about the cultural practices, and were not born in the United States but in reality everyone has their individual story and no one can be categorize into one lens. In the sense of the education system the author mentioned that although many colleges have a campus-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity initiative to create a diverse community however "majority colleagues are not prepared to critically engage issues of race, particularly around Whiteness, power, and institutional racism."

This article brings up a lot of great questions personally I think I need to take a step back and inquire some knowledge and start asking myself the questions. Overall the article was quite interesting because this was written by the view of Caucasian instructor instead of a Hmong instructor. It's also interesting how the author has so many years of experience and interaction with the Hmong people. I think some interesting questions that I would like to ask the author is Has her perspective of the Hmong community and students changed before she worked with them and after all these years? Another question would be is what are some ways that students in the college level and start doing to stop this "culture clash" and trend and help educated and empower all students?

Money Can Buy an Election-Sean Foley

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This article in the Chicago Tribune has the headline of "Ad blitz drains support for California GMO-labeling plan".

Seems very much like the big companies such as DuPont and Monsanto have effectively been putting their money to work in reaching their goal. These ad blitzes have drastically changed the poll numbers. According to a pre-poll done for Pepperdine University, the number of Californians who are likely to vote yes on the food labeling bill has dropped by almost 20%, and across the table the number of Californians expected to vote No has increased about the same amount as the decrease.

The "No On 37" coalition that has held the opposition for the food labeling bill has managed to raise more than $34 million to prevent the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. These ads that they have been putting out on tv and radio have portrayed the arguments that food prices will increase as a result of the labeling. True this does add to the cost of production with labeling modifications and in store enforcement of the laws, but another point was brought up in this article.

The fact was that: "Experts say the real risk is that food companies may be more likely to stop using GMOs, than to label them." This would cause drastic change all over the country, for just this California Bill. Farmers would be forced to change what they are producing. Companies may have to alter recipes due to the fact that not all crops can be readily produced and in such vast quantities. This will also increase the production of products leading to increased prices as well. Most likely more than the increase that would have occurred had it only been labeling. But in order for people to accept the labeling for what it truly is, information, and not fear of scientifically produced food, then the price in crease would be minimal, if anything at all in some cases.

Facebook affect on community

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What I learned from this article is how internet social networking affects on college students social and communities. This research is focusing on young generation which can be recognized as young people age 15 to 28. In the article, the author called it millennial students. Page sixteen definition of community: "Sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their commitment to be together"
I agree with the article that X generation starts using technologies involved in lives more than before. And social networking apps such as Facebook, helps students getting more cohesive than only doing activities during class. Otherwise, Facebook is a lifelong networking keeper. My topic is to discuss whether online relationship cheating counts for and how could that influence in real. Social networking such as Facebook and twiter could provide space for students to create their own communities. It is easier for find people who have things in common and build up a community online. The question I will deep dig into is when online cheating hurts somebody, what are the solutions people will use

Voting for the Homeless

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When thinking about the issue of homelessness people tend to jump right in and try and fix the big issues at hand, giving people shelter, food, and safety. What most people forget about is how they can give homeless people a voice and make them feel like a useful part of society. With the 2012 presidential election coming up, supporters of the homeless are taking a stand against the voter identification amendment. In this minnpost article, the author speaks with residents at the Higher Grounds Shelter in Minneapolis about the upcoming election. Most people said they would love to see someone be elected who is for the people. However, these citizens who are deemed "homeless" would have trouble voting in the election if the voter identification amendment is passed. If passed all voters would need to present a state issued identification card. According to the amendment supporters the government would provide them with the identification card if they could not get one themselves. The problem with that, according to the residents of Higher Ground, is that when you are homeless it is easy to lose everything. When always on the move, things like birth certificates and social security cards get lost which makes acquiring the id card even more difficult, not to mention being able to keep track of the card once they have possession of it.
It is interesting to look at the small things that can turn a homeless persons situation from bad to even worse. By making it harder for these people to vote, we are limiting their personal freedoms, and their constitutional rights. Not only would this lower their self esteem and make them feel as if they were a lesser part of society, it would take away their voices and limit their say in governmental policies such as this one.

Birth Defects: $103 million will do the trick

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Searching for a quality news piece gets all the more difficult, but I found an interesting commonality among several articles that kind of struck a nerve. Hospitals and government facilities are paying off families who's newborn began to suffer from birth defects, due to complications created by the doctors. Because spending money clearly solves all problems in this country...

A girl from New York, now 17 years of age, has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth due to "hospital negligence." The girl decided to sue the hospital, and the jury awarded her $103 million to pay off a lifetime's worth of care and assistance.

Yes, she intentionally sought out to receive for this life-changing accident... but money doesn't fix what happened. The girl (who remained anonymous throughout the entire article) was actually a twin to a sister who was perfectly "normal," healthy and mobile. How hard would be to wake up everyday to someone who came out fine when you didn't? That constant reminder that you are the one who can't walk, you are the one who can't take of yourself — but your twin sure can.

The relational side of things are really beginning to interest me within my topic. I am very curious about how others act and react to those who have birth defects. To those who live with someone with birth defects. To those who actually have birth defects. And this article in particular really got me going. Do people really think money is the answer? Because it's not. It would have been better if the hospital gave her resources for support, because she's clearly pissed off if she made an effort to sue them. Or maybe even introduce her to a new hobby or something where she can turn her disability into a positive thing. But no, a check for $103 million will do...

—— Mandi Beergoon

Want to read this article? Click here: Teenage Girl Wins $103 Million for Lifelong Impairments

depression stigma fading?

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This article I found talked about how the stigma associated with depression and how it may be fading. I was really happy to see this article since it is exactly the area of depression I am focusing on and want to have some impact on. To hear that in a recent survey that the stigma associated with depression is fading is really exciting news for me. This article talks about a phone interview that was conducted that showed a significant relationship between the number of people who knew someone effected with depression and the willingness to seek treatment. It was great to see that 72 percent of people interviewed would seek help if they experienced symptoms of depression. After reading this article what I want to know is the various demographics of the people surveyed. I think it would be interesting to see the breakdown and see what college kids would say if given the same survey. After this im looking into how I can conduct a similar survey on campus.

Day to Honor Body Image Awareness

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Chelsea Banken

The article I read this week pertains to dedicating a day each week at Viterbo University to body image awareness. This action helps emphasize positive self-image in students. Our society deals with idolizing unrealistic-looking females and males. The article states that only one in every ten people dealing with eating disorders is actually getting treatment. At Viterbo, negative body image is prevalent because over 70 percent of the students are women. Signing pledges to never talk negatively about body weight and decorating mirrors with positive phrases are just some of the actions students are taking to help with image issues. I found the mirror goal especially interesting because I never really thought about how much we rely on our reflections. Mirrors connect right to our mindset regarding if we are proud or ashamed of what we see. The purpose of writing positive messages on mirrors is to instill value in self-reflection. Dedicating a day each week to body image awareness, I feel, can have a big impact on college students because it shows that one is not alone in the struggle against negative body perception.

After reading this article, I wonder why more schools aren't taking action with body image awareness. Body weight is a touchy subject but that is possibly because no one ever likes to address it. It can be the white elephant in the room. Maybe more middle school curriculums, when adolescents are dealing with changes in the body, should involve talking about eating disorders and body perception. This could already be occurring at schools I am unaware of and I hope to find more in-depth research on if this is happening. I know body image was never discussed while I was growing up and going to school and I wish it would have been. I feel that if my teachers would have talked more about weight issues and self-acceptance, I would be more comfortable with speaking about it now.

How Athletes Eat

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This article was actually in the Minnesota Daily and is another facet of healthy eating. It talks about how generally student-athletes eat unhealthy meals due to the sake of time. There is lots of fast food in their diets and they feel as though they don't have time for healthy options. Research has shown that through these habits they have just as much as risk of being obese as anyone else. This is a problem because even athletes, people who are extremely active and promote health, should have healthy diets. It is a two-fold operation that requires discipline. I feel as though it is really sad to read that they feel there is no time for a healthy option. People need to learn how to pack healthy meals and snacks, therefore making it a quick and easy option all of the time. Once again this tells me that it is something they learn and unfortunately were not taught the importance of healthy eating, and by eating more healthy they will in turn become better athletes because their bodies will be healthier. If we can continue getting the word out on this topic the way the researchers would like, I think in time there can be changes.


Rape Culture

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Week 6 - Sammy Budzisz

By COLLEEN CURRY (ABC News) Oct. 15, 2012

"Officials at Miami University of Ohio are investigating a flier titled "Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape" posted on the bathroom wall of one of its residence halls.
The tips included such graphic advice as encouraging men to have sex with unconscious women because it "doesn't count," drugging women with "roofies," and slitting women's throats if they recognize their attackers.
The tip sheet replaced a university-sanctioned "Top 10 Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault" poster on a men's bathroom wall in the dorm, which is coed by floor, according to Claire Wagner, spokeswoman for the school. There was also graffiti that was sexual in nature around the bathroom, she said.
Missing Wash. Toddler: Lie Detector for Mother?

Residence life staff alerted university police after finding the flier on Oct. 8. Wagner said that police believe one person acted alone in creating the tip sheet, and the school's Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, which handles judicial affairs, is working with the police department to find the culprit.
The university, including representatives from the police, the student counseling department, and student groups, held a mandatory meeting for all male students at the dorm building after the flier was reported. The meeting was educational in nature, Wagner said.
"We have a very strong program advising how to prevent sexual assault," Wagner said, noting that there are student and peer education groups on campus, as well as sexual assault prevention programs put on by the university police in residence halls.
"Interestingly enough, in 2011 we had far fewer sexual assaults reported than in '09 and '10," Wagner said.
The school is also searching for a full-time sexual assault prevention coordinator, a position for which they've launched national searches in the past but failed to find a suitable candidate."

This addresses the aspect of rape culture that is "rape humor". I'm sure the person who made this was making a joke out of the poster, as opposed to giving actual instructions for how to rape someone. I'm basing my opinion on this assumption and if the latter suggestion was the actual reason then what I'm about to say doesn't really apply. Assuming we are talking about "normal" guys who don't have psychosexual problems, there is a genre of humor that people participate in that revolves around rape. People say they just "raped" an exam or "got raped" by an exam. I never once thought about this kind of humor in terms of how it could make someone feel who actually was raped. But I'm sure that if you've experienced the trauma of having someone force you into unwanted sexual acts, to have people thoughtlessly throw around this word and apply it to everyday life would be a difficult trigger. It's sad that victims have to suppress how bad they feel when they are reminded of the horrible thing that happened to them by means of people making jokes about it. Usually I'm not all about "political correctness" and I find offensive things to be kind of funny, but this has made me realize how it can affect victims of rape.

MS football player

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This past weekend, B.C. Lions receiver Courtney Taylor scored his first touchdown as a professional football player in the Canadian Football League. The interesting thing is that Taylor was diagnosed with MS in 2008, and has been playing competitive football ever since. Last friday was Taylor's second career game and he finished the game with 6 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Despite his incredible accomplishments, Taylor does not want to be known as the player with MS, and is getting tired of being asked about his disease. He says he does not want to be the poster boy of MS, but if someone finds his story uplifting that is alright by him.


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This week I read an article about Obama's support on same-sex marriage. Last May he made a statement saying that he supports same-sex marriage, and that he believes that why should someone have their "partner after decades taken away and then discover that the law treats you like strangers". Now their is a couple that is going around the U.S. and talking with people about same-sex marriage and using Obama's quotes as their main drive for their campaign. I found this article particularly interesting because it shows how inspiring just one person can be. Since Obama said he supports same-sex marriage I think that many people of the LGBTQ community will be voting for him. Although that is not the only reason I will be voting for him in november, but that is the main one. The couple that started this campaign were inspired by Obama's words and have made aTV ad that they are planning on playing in all four states that will be voting on this subject in November.

TV Ad:http://vimeo.com/50643816


Hospital admissions for individuals with eating disorders has rise 16% in the past year. The article briefly discussed eating disorders and pinpointed doctor failure to observe symptoms earlier as the cause. The article also discussed the fact that that hospitalization is often the last resort for most individuals. After reading the article I was really just curious about the cause of the increase, is it due to an increase in the prevalence, or because doctors are becoming careless in noticing signs and symptoms. I was left feeling unsatisfied by the article which ended in a case study of individuals with disorders.

State Seeks To Divert Veterans From Jail To Treatment

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For week 6 I found an article online that talks about how the state is trying to divert Veterans from jail to treatment when they commit a crime. Some Veterans that have PTSD and do not deal with their disorder or don't know how to handle or get help for their disorder can lash out and commit crimes. If PTSD is not treated, Veterans can have built up anger and feelings that can make them explosive at the drop of a hat. What the state of Conneticut is now trying to do is keep Veterans with PTSD out of jail for committing crimes, and get them into treatment. They believe that these Veterans are broken and have a mental disorder and they need help. They should not be punished for getting posttraumatic stress disorder from fighting for our country, they need to be treated for their disorder.
I really like this article because I also believe that Veterans should go to treatment rather than jail if they commit a crime due to their PTSD. I don't believe that sending them to jail will help them or treat them a lesson, I believe that jail will cause more triggers for the Veteran. If a Veteran is sent to treatment instead, they can learn to talk about their disorder and become mentally stable.

NOH8 photo shoot with the Reps.

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This article talks about how the NOH8 Co-founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley invited members of both parties and both houses of Congress to a photo shoot to celebrate National Coming Out Day. Of the entire list they invited, 26 people showed up: notably, all Democrats from the House of Representatives. Among them is the head of the Democratic Party, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

It's a really cool campaign which you generally find ads for in the MN daily all the time. If people don't know much about it, look into it! They do photo-shoots where you can get a professional set of pictures done with the NOH8 label on you and a piece of duck tape which they incorporate into every shot I've seen. I don't know a lot of the details about this particular campaign since I haven't done much research on it myself but it's really a cool idea from what I've seen and read. As for the 26 Democrats from the House of Representatives? Bravo. That's really a neat thing they did and I'm happy and proud to know that some Government officials at least supported the NOH8 campaign.


Drinking and the Rich- Tony Turnquist

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This article talks about a study done on the different classes and how drinking correlates to particularly rich and low-income neighborhoods. The study found that Black and Hispanic men are more likely to drink in low-income neighborhoods versus rich neighborhoods. Furthermore, when Blacks and women drink in poor neighborhoods, they are more likely to suffer drinking-related consequences like doing poorly in work, fights, and police run-ins.

I thought this article was very interesting to look at, as it was a survey of 14,000 adults so there was definitely some reliability in the sample size. I think heavy drinking in poor communities is more prevalent than in rich communities, but I know that alcoholism affects people from every class in every neighborhood.

There were some questions, however, that the article left me. How much more likely is it that police are going to be in the low-income neighborhoods versus rich neighborhoods in general? Do rich people respond differently due to the fact that they don't want to "tarnish their image" by calling the police on a domestic violence incident, for example? Do people self-report differently in the survey?

Overeating is Common in Obese Children

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The article I read this week talked about how kids who are considered obese are more likely to eat even when they aren't hungry compared to their more slender counterparts. This articles stood out to me because the way I see it, kids usually only eat more when more food is presented to them. I think that this particular issue can be solved if parents could be more firm in the way they feed their kids. After dinner kids should not be presented with any more food until breakfast the next morning, or if they are really hungry, a healthy snack like fruit should be given.
Overeating is not just a problem for kids, but for adults too. If the parents could practice healthy eating then perhaps they could pass it along to their children which could provide the kids with healthier futures.


Rape Culture

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Week 5 - Sammy Budzisz

Wisconsin lawmaker explains 'easy rape' comment (Chicago Tribune, Associated Press
2:26 p.m. CDT, October 11, 2012)

"A Republican state representative says his comments relaying advice his father gave him that "some girls rape easy" have been taken out of context. Rep. Roger Rivard, a freshman from Rice Lake, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story published Thursday that his father's comments were meant as a warning that a woman could agree to sex but then later claim it wasn't consensual. The backlash from Rivard's comments has been severe, with both Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker announcing Thursday they were withdrawing their endorsements of Rivard. "State Representative Rivard's comments are outrageous and offensive," Ryan's congressional campaign spokesman Kevin Siefert said in a statement. "Congressman Ryan believes there is no place in our discourse for rhetoric such as this. Congressman Ryan cannot support Mr. Rivard or his indefensible comments." Other Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, also condemned Rivard's statements. Rivard was first quoted making his rape comments in a December story published by the Chetek Alert. He was discussing the case of a 17-year-old high school senior who was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school's band room. Rivard told the Journal Sentinel that the original article did not provide the full context of his father's comments and that his exact words were different. "He also told me one thing, 'If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,"' Rivard told the Journal Sentinel. "Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she's not going to say, 'Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.' All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she's underage. And he just said, 'Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,' he said, 'they rape so easy.' " Rivard later issued a follow-up statement calling rape a horrible act of violence that unfortunately often goes unreported to police. Rivard's Democratic opponent, Stephen Smith, called the comments offensive. "I'm offended to think that my sister or my daughters would be thought of in that manner," Smith said. "I feel Roger is out of touch with the majority of voters and his views are extreme." Nichole Kathol, president of the Barron County Domestic Abuse Project, said Rivard's comments portray women as perpetrators of violence against them. "He's blaming the victim and implying the definition of rape is all too encompassing," she said. Pennie Meyers, interim executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said in a statement that Rivard's comments show people in Wisconsin need to be better educated about sexual violence. "

The unfortunate truth behind this whole issue is that there are girls out there who make mistakes and then use rape as a way to not look as bad. But that is the exception, not the rule. We need to not assume that women are lying because they claim to have been raped. There are ways for doctors to tell if rape was forced or not, so it shouldn't be questioned. If a girl claims to have been raped, she should be able to handle it how she wants whether that is in court or not. Either way, she shouldn't have to deal with society looking at her like it is somehow her fault. By definition, rape can NEVER be the victims fault. If someone is saying that they don't want to be sexually violated, then there is no question, no gray area, nothing to be confused about. They shouldn't have to deal with someone doing that to them when they don't want it to happen. The problem is that guys are taught that girls "say no but they really mean yes". They are taught to be "manly" and "assertive". There are girls who like this sort of behavior but they can still say no and mean it. Even if they have had consensual sex with a guy before, and they decide they don't want to, they have that right. It is so wrong that our society has beliefs like Representative Roger Rivard's dad because they pass it on to their sons who go on to rape girls and even become our lawmakers (all while thinking they aren't doing anything wrong).

Rape Culture

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Week 4 - Sammy Budzisz

So while I obviously understand how horrible it is when someone "actually" gets raped, I still had a hard time accepting that girls who dressed or acted like sluts could get raped too. I came across two things since 2010 that really changed my mind about rape once I understood what exactly "rape culture" is.

The first thing was a motivational speaker I had the opportunity to hear. He did an AMAZING presentation for the Greek Community that honestly changed my life. He started the thing off by telling everyone about how he was Greek in college and now how he was an awesome radio talk show host. He showed us pictures of all the cool places he got to go and people he got to meet. He was still fairly young so he talked like us and swore and was overall just a really cool guy. Then the presentation took a huge turn and he admitted that he was accused of rape. He told the story from his point of view, how it was just a drunk night and he thought it was consensual but he honestly was really black out and thought she was too. He didn't realize how much damage he had done. He considered himself to be a normal guy, just having a normal fun night after a party. Hearing it from the point of view of someone who seemed so similar to my friends made me realize how common it is for people to drunkenly hook up and how its not possible to give consent when you are black out. And it just made me realize how often everyone I know has blacked-out sex. It made me look at the stories people tell as not funny or cool but kind of fucked up.

The second thing is the "slut walk". I came across pictures on Pinterest from this protest march and was really intrigued. (I keep trying to include the pictures on here but I can't for some reason. I will upload them as soon as I figure out how.) It's a protest march where women dress really slutty and try to make the point that nothing they wear or do (besides soberly say yes) is a yes to sex. This completely changed my mind about things because it made me look at it through the eyes of some of my friends who are really "slutty". I thought about some of my friends who have had sex with a lot of people and if someone thought it would be okay to force them to have sex just because they are "slutty" I'd be like no, she said no so you can't have sex with her. Also I think about how I've worn "slutty" clothes like short skirts or high heels or low cut tops and how I did that because I liked the way I looked in them, not because I was giving some sort of abstract permission for just anyone who wanted to sex with me to be able to do so regardless of if I said no.

Big Companies Coming Out to Support Gay Marriage

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This article I found in Business Insider was about how Nordstrom's department store has recently come out to the public about supporting gay marriage. In the article it states that it is pretty rare for companies to come out and show its stance on a political issue. But recently, companies like Starbucks, Amazon and JCPenny's has taken sides with gay marriage. On the other hand, there are companies like Chick-fil-A that are taking the opposite side. It shows an e-mail to it's employees discussing how they accept anyone and everyone to work at their department store.

I choose this article because Nordstroms is my all time favorite store, and I could not be more proud to shop there. Starbucks and Amazon are some of my other top places to go and purchase their products. I know not all people have the same outlook as me, so that makes me curious to know how taking a political stance on gay rights has and will effect the these stores? Will people or have people started to boycott these stores? I know JCPennys was scrutinized for their store magazine having pictures of two dads and a child. Will this make more stores take sides, both for or against gay marriage before the election?


Rape Culture

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Week 3 - Sammy Budzisz

So to continue with the story, the Fraternities on the U of M campus came into question like a week later with another sexual assault case.

"So much for clamping down on frat house booze and security issues ahead of homecoming. Minneapolis police say a woman was sexually assaulted at the University of Minnesota's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on Thursday night.
That means there have now been three such assaults in three weeks. It also means the end, for now, of booze-lubricated frat parties.
But will it help? After a man trapped a 20-year-old woman in a bathroom at Delta Kappa Epsilon a three weekends ago, the Interfraternity Council tried to get its members to take security issues seriously.
The following weekend, 19-year-old female student told police she woke up with injuries after being raped at Chi Psi Fraternity. After that incident, police warned students to lay off the booze and be smart about where they partied, especially on the eve of homecoming.
The third attack came just days after the campus alert. So whatever the campus and its students are trying to do to keep safe, it's not working. Maybe the frat party ban, approved by the Interfraternity Council will do the job. There have been no arrests in any of the attacks. "

The girl who was sexually assaulted in this case was my roommate's best friend. I had just met her a few weeks prior, and we were just starting to become friends. They found 5 different semen samples inside of her and she was so badly bruised that she couldn't get out of bed for a while. I watched as my roommate tried to be there for her, but she eventually had to drop out of school and go back home to the East Coast. At this point I believed her that she actually had been raped, but I was really unsure how to feel about it. I was in denial that it was members of the Fraternity because I saw how people from outside of the Greek system would come in and frame people like had happened to my friends. But now I had a more personal look into the situation from the girl's point of view and I started to realize that there are actually instances where the girl isn't lying and she really does get raped. Obviously I felt bad for her and people in that situation. But I still maintained the opinion that she shouldn't have been so drunk.

Bans are effective in reducing fatalities-Selena

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This article was a study done to figure out whether cell phone and texting bans were really effective in reducing fatalities. The authors discussed how many studies were done previous to this and some of them said yes the bans did make a difference, but other studies said no the bans do not make a difference. As of June 2011, there were 322 million cell phone subscribers, which has put a concern in people being distracted while driving. The first table in the study seemed to be the most interesting to me. It showed every state and whether it had a handheld ban and a texting ban. The results of this study did show that imposing handheld cell phones and texting bans did lead to a reduction in the number of fatalities in car crashes. States that adopted full cell phone bans experienced a reduction that was seven times higher than those states that just had texting bans.

I really like the article because it shows that studies are being done that have to do with texting and driving. It also shows that since the bans have been in place, there has been a reduction in deaths which is always a good thing. I think this information is very valuable to learning more about texting and driving and just distracted driving in general. I am left with wanting to find out about MN in general since this is the state that I live in.

Mental health and education-Anna

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As I read this article, I felt like I could have written it myself. It hits on all of my main arguments for improving mental health education in post-secondary schools. Its main argument is that we "need to promote positive mental health and well-being through education, prevention and early intervention."
This article was written by David Docherty, president of Mount Royal University in Alberta, which is exciting because it shows that some people in positions of power in educational institutions care about their students' mental health and want them to struggle less. This gave me hope that more people will adopt this attitude and things will improve because of people who care.
What this article does not include is a specific plan of action that Docherty plans to put into place at his school. How is he going to ensure that the practices and policies at Mount Royal University foster positive mental health? How is he going to create a culture in which mental health issues can be talked about openly and respectfully?

MN Diabetes Expo

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The American Diabetes Association is holding an Expo to inform both diabetics and non-diabetics on the various new technologies, studies, and findings on the disease. There will be various health screenings that involve both diabetes and diabetes complications. I plan on going to this event to find out new things for both this project in meeting possible people to interview for my next one to one and for my own personal health. I feel that this event will be extremely helpful on both accounts and only leaves me wondering just how much I will learn.

Homelessness Affects Rural Areas Too!

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I found this article of interest because most of the time when we talk about homelessness it has to do with urban areas. Homelessness in cities is big, but there are much better programs and options for people in the cities. I come from a very rural, small, farm town and can tell you that there are absolutely no options for people who lose their houses. Its pretty much either sleep outside, or on a friend's couch. either way, it is not a healthy way to live. This article was great because it pointed out how way down in the corner of Minnesota, Houston County, poverty and homelessness are a problem. And these problems are made even worse when funding from the state is cut! I also thought this article gave an interesting definition of homelessness. They say if you live without electricity or heat for more than 30 days you are considered homeless. Here in Minnesota, with the winters as brutal as they are, this is a very eye opening definition.


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This article is from the CNN web page, I found it very useful as it addresses important issues of this disease. This article is about a young woman who is a second year medical student in Philadelphia. After research and data showed that a certain part of the state had many HIV victims, she decided to go from door to door and help get the individuals tested. Getting tested is a very important thing because although the disease may seem deadly it may take a while for it to start destroying your body, so the sooner one find outs the likely chances of controlling the spread of the virus is. This article points out how little information people know about who can get HIV AIDS. Many people tend to think that this is a gay only disease, they forget that it can affect anybody at any age. Knocking from door to door really helps to reach out t the people who do not know much about this disease. I think this is a very effective way of getting to people, although there might be many organizations that may be advocating HIV AIDS education, it sometimes does not reach out to everyone. This is a way to make sure the affected areas get help and for those who do not know much about the disease, they can learn and prevent themselves. Questions that come in mind after reading this article include what are ways we could make the door to door example more effective in other states and parts of the world? what are some other places the door to door could be done ? schools? work areas? clinics ?

Healthy is not about being fancy

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In this article that I found from a Canadian newspaper, there is a famous chef who is also promoting healthy eating. This I really connected with because more recently my mom purchased a cookbook from another chef that is all about eating healthy. In this book, there are great recipes that are easy to make and loved by even the toughest of critics, children. They actually are all very healthy and delicious options and it was nice to find that out there is another chef working to accomplish something similar. In this particular instance he was speaking to a crowd of college students so he even tweaked his message to include affordable, healthy options. This also appealed to me because it also seems as though it is so much more expensive to purchase healthy groceries and meals than it is to get processed and chemically altered food. I feel as though that through an initiative such as this, more people will realize how easy it can actually be to just change the recipes they already have for something a little more healthy. For example, tofu instead of meat, it can be done even if not every single time it's better than always eating meat. I personally, really want one of his cookbooks now!


Gay Marriage and Adoption

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I found this article in the New York Times. It is about a newly wed couple, expressing their feelings of pressure from their family members to have children. The couple is overjoyed with the idea that their family wants them to have children, but they now face many other hard decisions.
The article then goes on to talk about the decision of gay/lesbian couples must make when it comes to children. Surrogate of adoption, and how to handle the possibility of discrimination amongst others in the community who do not think that gay/lesbian couples should be able to raise a family. Furthermore, the article describes the growing acceptance of gay/lesbian couples having a family. How expression of this becoming a normality is creeping up more and more in the media, like in the show "Modern Family."

This article was so interesting to read. I love the idea that this option is possible, and becoming part of a social norm for babies in need of a family.

Tony Turnquist Drinking and Driving Drops Among Teens

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There has been a 50% drop in teen drinking and driving, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). The CDC found this information by asking high school students 16 and over if they had ever consumed alcohol and drove in 2011. Nine out of ten students said no. Still, car crashes are the leading cause of death and a lot of them are due to drinking and driving.

Personally, I think this is great news for our society. This article shows that in the past two decades we have made great steps in teaching teens to not drink and drive which is very positive. I believe this decline of drinking and driving among teenagers can also be a good sign of telling kids to stay away from alcohol in general.

However, this study left me with a couple of obvious questions. Because the CDC relied on their data by asking the students themselves if they had been drinking in driving in 2011, how much can we trust their answers to be honest? What are some of the factors that led to this decline? Has education on drinking and driving been an effective tool in decreasing the incidents?


This article is actually a study conducted by a University of Duluth Graduate student in regards to how Hmong students search for colleges compare to Somalis and other minority groups. In his research he found that there were many factors that shaped the decision of which college they would attend as well to factors that caused many Hmong students to not enter college. A few that was mentioned was that due to family dynamics, culture, highest education level, and community wise it creates barriers for students to attend college. As for the process of selecting colleges, many students tend to choose closer colleges where it's closer to home. Parents don't play a huge role in the process of selecting colleges but they do tend to help encourage their kids to succeed in college. A few things that helped Hmong students in the process of selecting a college was programs such as TRiO, College Possible, an MEP just to name a few. They were programs to help support minatory, underrepresented, and low income students to pressure higher education. Overall I do agree with many of the things Bryan mentioned in his research because as Hmong student myself, I see many of the things he mentioned in his research happening today. Many of my friends in high school are not in college; many of them are tied up in family matters that caused them to not continue higher education. Many of them never had support, guidance, and programs to help navigate their path into college. My only hope is that in the future I only hope to see more success in Hmong students because I do believe that we are falling behind everyone else. One big question that comes to my mind is how long would it take for a culture to assimilate into the American culture? And especially it would be interesting to learn the reason why many Hmong students especially male don't continue higher education? Because within my group of friends, I have many friends who aren't in college and if they were right after high school, they would be done with their bachelors.

That New Label will Cost You-Sean Foley

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There is a reason food companies are spending so much trying to get a NO vote on the Californian Proposition 37. It will cut into their profits of course. But what isn't so clear is that it will also cut into consumers wallets. This article points out the fact that this label may pose a negative response by consumers stating that the GMO label may be seen as a warning to consumers, instead of a simple information piece. The article does a good job of highlighting the current stance of many worldly organizations on GMO's:

"The government approves genetically engineered plants and animals on a case-by-case basis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture restricts the use of GMO crops that might harm other plants. The Food and Drug Administration can only require labeling if a genetically altered food is different - in taste, for example - from its non-engineered version or known to cause allergies.

The World Health Organization has said no ill health effects have resulted from GMO foods currently on the international market. The American Medical Association sees "no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods" but favors stricter testing before they hit stores."

The article also points out that 19 states, this year alone, have proposed bills to label foods made with GMO's, and not one of those bills has passed.

Another interesting bit of information stated is part of the actual make up of the bill. Fruits, veggies, and processed foods containing ingredients comprised of GMO's must be labeled by 2014. But this excludes meat and dairy(even if the animal was fed with GMO containing grain) as well as organic foods, restaurant meals, and alcohol.

Now to the economics. Food producers and processors will be required to label their foods. This cost will not be absorbed by the producer or processor. It will be absorbed by you. Food prices therefore will increase. It is then the sellers job to make sure that these products are labeled. This requires more employees, which again leads to higher prices, again absorbed by you, making prices go up yet again. Then there is the government regulation which requires new government employees to monitor that the retailers and producers are doing their jobs. This leads to tax increases. So in the end Californians will see the price of food go up, as well as an increase in taxes as a response to this food labeling bill.

Current Voters

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This is an article that was posted on September thirtieth, stating that right now if Minnesotans were to vote on the same-sem marriage amendment that it would be passed. Right now forty-nine percent will vote yes and forty-seven percent will vote no, while four percent are still undecided.This may come surprising to some people, because most people take a look around in their communities around the twin cities and think that "wow, there is a lot of same-sex marriage support around here, there is no way that this amendment will be passed". I have recently started volunteering with Minnesota United to help spread the word about the amendment and what it actually is, because I think that a lot of people that are voting to pass the amendment do not actually get what it is saying. I think that a lot of people think that this amendment will automatically allow same-sex marriages, when in all reality it is not, it is simply just not banning it from being a possibility in the future. Voting no on this amendment is not giving anymore rights to same-sex couples, but voting yes will take some right away.The reason that I chose this specific article was because it features one of the Universities own, Larry Jacobs, who is a political scientist and also directs the center for the study of politics and governance. After reading this article I question, where does the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stand on the amendment. I know some colleges have released statement saying the are for, against or neutral about the amendment.

Link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/30/minnesota-to-vote-on-gay-marriage-ban/?page=all#pagebreak


This article was just what I was looking for. In my original blog post, I posted my opinion of how ridiculous hatred spreads online about "Kristen Stewart is a whore."
And this article talked exactly about all the unnecessary attention she gets from her fling. The article talks in depth about how Kristen Stewart is just being publicly abused unjustly by so many people. One thing that truly grasped my attention is how there were T-shirts made saying "Kristen Stewart is a trampire." It also speaks about how Chris Brown won grammies and hardly got scrutinized after beating up Rihanna. I heard that Chris Brown apologized to her or showed that they are on good terms now. But still, I wonder about how society's expectations of women really makes women suffer more than men when they are publicly bullied. I did not think deeply about sexism or subtle sexual discriminations or expectations that went into the equation of Kristen Stewart's public staking. My focus is on the fact, simply, will anybody appreciate being in Kristen Stewart's position? Even if it is the byproduct of her fame, why can't we appreciate her for the good that she gives? Why do you expect a 22 year old to be perfect? Even married couples have affairs.
Since high school, I witnessed many students in my class, if not over 90%, talk behind each other's backs. I just stayed out of rumors because in the end, what good really does it bring to my life, if I spread a rumor? Even if I get attention from other people from it, I just don't find satisfaction of getting attention at the expense of other people's unhappiness.
What about R. Kelly pissing on teenagers? What about Michael Jackson doing things with little boys?
I think people have to look at the bigger picture and understand that not everything is what it seems. People that were sexually abused or lived in harsh domestic households have higher chance to grow up hitting their own kids. People think that homeless people are weird when they talk to themselves and not realize social boundaries. Well, do people know that in fact many homeless people have schizophrenia?
What about the T-shirt that was being mass produced about Bin-Laden's death? Seriously, people in America, have you really cared much about Bin Laden since 9-11? Or did you live your daily life for 10 years since the 9-11 incident and only when the news about his death spread, then you would partake in mass hatred against him? Would making bunch of T-shirts about Bin-Laden's death bring justice to all those who fell under 9-11? Would it really do any good?

I just feel that if people stop their reflex of pointing to other people for their faults and spend that time self reflecting and working on their own flaws, the World will become a better place.

Divorce Costs

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This is an article completely different from the ones that I have found thus far into the assignment. This article is based purely on the cost and burdens that divorce can bring on to a couple. It talks about everything that needs to be paid for in a settlement and half of the time it's fees you never would have though about before hand. When couples think they are taking the less expensive way out it usually back fires on them unless kids aren't involved.
This was not a shocker when I read the article because I have met some people where their life has been ruined from the costs of divorce and everything that comes with it.

mental illness week

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With mental illness day and mental illness week coming up this week a lot of information and light is being shed on this issue of mental health and the stigma associated with various mental health issues. What these articles have been stressing is the commonality of depression and how common it is. If people start to understand that they are not alone in depression and that it is actually common among young adults and adults the stigma attached and associated with depression would be greatly reduced if not eliminated. I'm really excited to follow mental illness week and see what they do in order to bring more light to these issues. As far as questions raised I don't have any yet I think I will at the end of the week after seeing what they do with mental illness week.


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This article is not fully focused on HIV AIDS, but it brings up a good point that adds on to my topic. It is very important for the HIV victims to have support in every kind of way, emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. In this article it talks about creating shelters and homes for the victims who cannot support themselves. In most cases HIV victims may be low income due to the amount of money they have to spend getting healthcare. Creating housing that accommodates these victims is very helpful. This article is mainly focused in New York but it would be very beneficial if all the states joined in doing the same. This would also be helpful if the act can be extended to the third world countries because unlike the united states, these victims tend to be orphans who have nowhere to go.Having this home for them will not only give them a place to rest their head at night but will also improve their hygiene and health care. They will be less stressed, will form a sense of community of people who are going through the same issue. After reading this article questions that i am left with include where are places that can fund this idea? what are other things that can be done other than housing? what other activities/events can be done to make the housing idea feel more over a home/community for these victims rather than a place to lay their head?

Creative and Powerful Suicide Awareness

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For this post I wanted to find something that a group was doing that was different from other awareness events I have researched. What I found was a school in Washington DC that has been struggling with the recent string of suicides that have rocked their community.

The greater DC community came together and lined a wall outside of iconic Blackburn Ballroom with the 1,100 backpacks - the same number as student who are lost every year to suicide. A local college, Howard University, has lost five students in the last ten years, and spearheaded the demonstration. This event focused on the necessity of asking questions and displaying compassion towards at-risk individuals.


Stem Cell Transplant

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Six months ago doctors performed the first documented stem cell transplant where the donor was also the recipient of the stem cells. So far research has shown that the transplant has been effective in containing the spread of the disease, but cannot be considered until it has been monitored for an entire year. In this procedure the patients stronger cells were extracted before he went through an extensive chemotherapy treatment to kill off the faulty cells. Then, the strong cells were injected back into the patient where they were replicated, making the immune system stronger. Although it looks promising, doctors caution against "miracle cures" and research is still early.

Military wives go topless to raise PTSD awareness

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This article talks about raising PTSD awareness. One in five Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans suffers from PTSD. Many of these veterans aren't getting the support and the help that they need to rid themselves of this anxiety disorder. Veterans are saying that they are not getting proper care after the war to help them cope with this disorder and get rid of it as fast as possible. This leads many Veterans to horrible things such as depression, alcoholism and suicide.
To raise awareness to our armed forces as well as civilians a group of military wives inform us of this horrible disorder in a very bold and shocking way. They took topless photos with writings of vows on their backs to stick with their husbands through the horrible and tough times and to help them help themselves to recovery.

Toddlers and Tiaras

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I couldn't find an article in the news that I liked this week, but I found an article written by a psychologist that made me think of some new questions to explore. In the article the author discusses how some things in the media influence children to develop eating disorders. The media shows them good looking men and women with fantastic bodies and tells kids that this is sexy; this is what they should strive to look like.

Basically, after reading this article I thought about how much we stress to kids how important it is to be healthy, but often times no one shows them how to get healthy. Because of this many teens and even some kids have turned to extreme diets and eating disorders in order to look like their favorite celebs. They begin obsessing about how they look and what they weigh. Over time the problem becomes less physical and more mental. I do not have an eating disorder, but I do know what it's like to obsess over appearance. After losing the 38 pounds I began to fear that I would fall into old habits and gain it back. I weigh myself every morning to make sure I'm still in the right number range. I know this isn't healthy, but it's hard for me not to constantly know exactly what I weigh.

Overall, this article has guided me in some new directions for my project. Not only am I looking at obesity in children and what is being done to help it, but what are kids doing for themselves to either prevent it or combat it.


Transgender Hate Crime

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This article talks about a hate crime which occurred in New York. As the story says, a man named Keith Patron attacked two transgender women after refusing to let them use the Women's restroom at the McDonald's. The article says they left willingly but he followed them outside and took a swing at one of them and one defended herself which caused him to pull out a razor blade and repeatedly slash her. He turned himself in after seeing himself on a police tape.

Many people know about Gay Marriage rights issues and that the LGBTQ community wants the right to get married. But what largely get's left out of the discussion is the T of LGBTQ. Trans. Transgender peoples are often left out of the conversation because of the LGBTQ community, their struggle has the smaller voice and the more complex issues as they face even more hate and discrimination often times than lesbians or gays or bisexuals. I read an essay once where a person described what it was like to be trans. They explained that it was like apologizing for existing. He explained that transgender people generally find themselves apologizing for a lot. First they have to apologize to their friends and family when they decide that they want to be called Alex instead of Alexis and then soon they want to be referred to as him instead of her and they apologize for inconveniencing their friends and making them all call them him instead of her. Then when their friends mess up and use her instead of him, they apologize again and say how they know it's so hard to remember to use him instead of her. They just keep apologizing. Apologizing for existing. It's rough to be Transgender in such a binary world caught up in limiting everyone to the binary and not allowing change or difference. One little thing places can start doing to help out Transgender peoples (or even the rest of the LGBTQ community who may dress more gender queer than others and might get ousted or discriminated against) is to start having more Unisex bathrooms available in their stores, office buildings, restaurants, and other public buildings. It takes away a lot of the bullying and discrimination that might otherwise be directed at them. It provides a safe space to do a daily function that EVERY single person has to do whether they are gay, straight or transgender. Everyone needs to use the restrooms and it would be incredibly beneficial for the community to have Unisex bathrooms in order to help avoid situations like this hopefully. That man wouldn't have confronted them because he wouldn't have had a reason to and hopefully he wouldn't have followed them or hurt them like he did.


My whole life, I've never blamed my birth defects on my parents. It just didn't make any sense to see it as their fault — my dad quit smoking, my mom never took any weird medication or drank or anything, both of my parents live healthy lives all for me. So my initial explanation has always been that something probably happened during the final weeks of pregnancy (or even during birth) that caused my deformities. I always find it annoying when people stare at me, curious about "why I'm different." But then I became curious myself, and stared and stared until I could find something that would tell me "why."

I noticed hands were like a mirror image of one another, the defects were almost symmetrical. I also noticed that it looked like I had stitches or something on the tips on my fingers. More reasons to make me think that it was something not genetic, not due to chemical impact; but something maybe that physically obstructed the development of my fingers and toes.

Okay so now on to the article, I found a news piece talking about 17-year-old boy who just qualified for state in golf. The reason he made headlines was because Justin Carlock plays with shortened fingers on both hands. "My amniotic sac was open and when it closed on my hands, my fingers sort of fused," Carlock said.

What really grasped my attention in this article was his great attitude about he deformities. "I was just born like this, nothing genetic," he said. "It just kind of happened. I'm no different." His parents always encouraged him to pursue his dreams and interests, and I'd say that got him pretty far today. He's very inspiring, and reminds me that we as humans really have the power to do whatever we want as long as we're motivated.

This article I guess kinda pushes me back to square one... makes me wonder, well which one is it? Genetics? A birth injury? Something else? So far, all I could really "diagnose" through my research is that my fingers are brachydactyly (have a shortened bone structure) and my big toe is macrodactyly (or has a bone mass overgrowth). I also know what they're not — they're not deformed due to the exposure to drugs/alcohol/chemicals/etc. But overall, I'm still confused. Brachydactyly can be broken down into 5 categories (types A through E), and then various sub-categories. Uff da. Hopefully through more research I can find some new interesting angles and perspectives to help me out!

—— Mandi Beergoon

Want to read the article about Justin Carlock? Click here >>> Prep golfer Justin Carlock overcomes shortened fingers to qualify for state - The Denver Post

LGBT in the Media

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This article was interesting to me because it was an article in the Catholic Online Journal called Number of gay, lesbian, transgendered characters on TV at highest level ever. It was about how we are at the highest number of characters on television today than it ever has been. It states that "On broadcast TV, gay male characters at 64 percent continue to outweigh female characters at 36 percent, including the transgender character Unique on 'Glee.'" It also discusses how as the years go on, the number of LGBT characters rise. The article states that last year, on mainstream cable TV the regular characters that were LGBT was 29, and is up this year to 35 people. After reading this article, it is starting to be okay and acceptable for shows to have LGBT and more people are open to it, even if they do not agree with it.

This article to me shows that by having so many people in the LGBT on television and in the media that we are making a strong statement that it is okay the be in the LGBT community in our generation. It is also providing education to those who do not know much about the LGBT community. Many people have become more open to watching gays on TV. I know many people who do not agree with LGBT, but still enjoy shows that have LGBT, like Modern Family and Glee.

I can't remember first TV shows that had LGBT characters in it... I wonder when it became "okay" to have controversial characters in their shows? I feel like it has been around for a while. Did the(se) shows face controversial and negative reviews because of the LGBT characters?


For my article this week, I found a report about comments made by the outgoing Red Cross chief in Afghanistan, painting a much darker picture about the state of that country than previous heard.

Reto Stocker, who has been in charge there for the past seven years, says that civilians are in greater peril today than they were when he first took over. While some improvements have been made, such as conditions at detention centers, he says there are still many areas that are suffering. Access to health care is one of these areas that is suffering the worst. His big concern is the welfare of citizens after the drawdown scheduled for 2014. He thinks that the country could be plunged back into instability like the region saw before coalition forces intervened.

This is a very troubling report, because most everything else coming out of that country paints everything in such a nice picture. Not for the first time, but perhaps from the most refutable source, we're hearing that things are not as hunky-dory as they seem, and that the work we've done there may be in jeopardy.

Is it really cheating?

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For week 5, I find my article through our library website. It is an academic journal talking about emotional reactions and clinical treatment of spouses and partner affected by cyber infidelity. According to their research, the results are really helpful to my project. 71% partners reported having lost trust in their mate. Of 27 partners who responded to the question, "if trust has diminished, do you believe it can be restored?" 48.1% answer no and another 22.2% says uncertain. And there is 32.4% people report that online behavior will extend offline, another 29.4% says unsure. I learned a lot from their quotes from reporters. In the effect on relation part, most of them are females, their reactions are commonly negative and feeling harmful. They said smartphones dramatically worsened partner's addiction by having this material available 24/7, at the same time making it more difficult to locate and track his activities. Husbands are more withdraw from family as his addiction increased. They spend time on "playing" computer instead of fulfill family responsibility.
The findings of this survey confirm that a cybersex user's sexual activities cause a great deal of emotional distress to his or her partner. At beginning of this report there is a guy said that "my dad looked at magazines and I look online, what's the difference? That's just what guys do." this would be the point I would like to keep tracking on my project. As a female, I admit that my reactions to problems are emotional. It is not fair to guys maybe we should listen to their explanations. And according to this survey result, even though the relationship is broken or their trust was shattered there are solutions could be helpful, such as making an agreement on computer using.

Schneider, J. P., Weiss, R., & Samenow, C. (2012). Is It Really Cheating? Understanding the Emotional Reactions and Clinical Treatment of Spouses and Partners Affected by Cybersex Infidelity. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 19(1/2), 123-139. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.658344

Stress and eating disorders

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A new study at Bucknell university has found that often, individuals with eating disorders use restrictive dieting as a coping mechanism during times of stress. They've found that dieting is actually a coping mechanism for stress. With this finding, they would be able to help many individuals by teaching other stress coping mechanisms. However, although this research sounds believable, I also have to believe that there are many more reasons than just stress involved in an eating disorder. While I do very much think that stress is a factor, and that things can get worse during times of stress, it is only part of a large picture. After reading, I had a few questions such as how they plan to use this information, and how exactly they determined that stress is a big factor. Basically this research points to the fact that disordered eating and poor body image serves an emotional function rather than a physical one. However, this article did make me think about how stress effects my life and my self view an image. I do notice that when I'm stressed I take my stress out in various ways including exercise and what i choose to eat. I can imagine that stress can enhance a disorder.

I'm Shmacked

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This article highlights the Youtube Video series "I'm Shmacked." Basically, video creators go from campus to campus around America and highlight drinking and partying scenes on the selected campuses. You see beer and vodka bongs, shots, dancing, people making out, car windows getting smashed and many other crazy things. This article shows both viewpoints on whether or not this a good idea to have a video highlighting such a negative scene. The creators argue that they are helping the campuses out by attracting people to the schools but the other side (mainly the administration) thinks that it only highlights a slim percentage of the school and is a misinterpretation of the social scenes that are offered on campus.

"Mary Jo Desprez, the administrator at the collegiate recovery program at Michigan, which helps students who have alcohol and substance issues stay sober, agrees. "These kinds of images of partying in college limit students' imagination of what fun can be without drugs and drinking," she said. "It glorifies alcohol, especially as they are not just sitting casually around a keg but pouring bottles of vodka down their throat. We need to have a more complicated conversation about this on campuses, even though this is only about 1,000 of our 27,000 students partying like this, because it can resonate." "

It also brings up an issue of continuing problems with substance abuse after college! It puts blinders on college students to what other options they have than getting drunk. This could be a topic of interest to alcoholism because could alcohol abuse in college lead to alcoholism later in life? There is definitely a positive correlation, I'm sure of it.

New Drug in testing for Diabetes Patients

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This article summarizes the various effects of a new drug that is in testing to lower blood sugars in place of the current insulin that is used. As far as I'm concerned, I'm more interested in what this drug will cost and how much of an improvement it will be from the drugs that I myself currently use. I do think that the promotion of this drug in order to help more people might make staying healthy easier. Many diabetics don't understand the consequences of not taking care of their disease so I hope that with the development of this new drug, even those with the disease can become more educated. I guess the questions that I have to ask are how much this drug will cost, how accessible will it be to the general population and how quickly will it be on the market?

Texting and Driving Simulator - Selena

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This article was about at&t texting and driving simulator that was tested at Gainesville High School in Florida. The car was was wired to a computer that controlled the simulator. Many of the students were too focused on their cell phones and got into an accident. According to research, drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident while texting.

I like the article because it shows that there are some what of test runs to show the impact of texting and driving especially for new teenage drivers. I also wonder though how much of an extreme did they put the students under for most of them to get into an accident because although there is an increase, everybody does not get into accidents. This also helped me to see that there are different ways that people are spreading awareness besides just videos, because I have learned that videos do not help that much. I wonder if this is something that can be put to use in other high schools to continue to spread awareness?

Childhood Cancer Creates New Normal For Family

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The article I read had to do with childhood cancer and its affects on family. This article talked about a family with a little boy named Hudson who was diagnosed with Leukemia. His dad was worked for a company who built a research center for Sick Kids for Toronto Hospital, little did he know he spend up to two years here for his own child. After Lexy and Les's little boy, Hudson, was diagnosed with cancer they had to change a lot about their life. They had to sell their house, Lexy had to give up her Phd for sociology, and they had to dedicate their time to curing Hudson. Fortunately, Hudson won his battle to cancer but their lives will be changed forever. Hudson will forever need doctor visits and a special watch to make sure everything is going okay. This article shows just how much cancer can affect not only the child going through it but the family as well.

This article was very interesting to me. It really hits home to see how much that cancer can change the dynamics of a family. I know that my family has been changed, for the better, after my experience with cancer. This article shows how much cancer affects more then just the patient, it is a true monster that takes over a family. I believe this article also shows the support that cancer families need. They need OUR help, time, and money to stay positive and be able to carry on with their lives when they have a sick child. This article leaves me with the question, what are people doing today to help the families of sick children? I know there is a ton of money and time going to find a cure to cancer but who is there to support the family members, physically and emotionally? This makes me want to research more about support for families for my next blog post.

Molly Hollway

Self Worth and Appearance Concerns- Chelsea

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Chelsea Banken
I recently found an article about a study on Black and White women's focus on body appearance rather than function. The study was based on determining what contingencies of self worth influenced body surveillance and appearance satisfaction. Contingencies of self worth are defined as personal beliefs of what must be achieved to gain self worth. The experiment focused on two aspects of self worth including appearance and approval from others. The study found that emphases on body surveillance correlates with body shame, low body esteem, appearance anxiety, and body dissatisfaction. Different contingencies of self worth have positive or negative effects on body surveillance and appearance concerns. For example, those in the study that invested their time in gaining self worth from family members' support and love had overall higher appearance satisfaction. This is also true for self worth depending on God's love. Negative effects on body surveillance were shown to be connected to competition because more competitive people tend to compare themselves to others.

I agree with these findings because when we try to find fulfillment in the expectations of others, our self worth is hard to satisfy. This is because relying on others provides less control. Social expectations can play a role in whether or not we are achieving appearance satisfaction. I have determined from this article that if we as a society focus more on gaining self worth from internal achievements rather than external factors, we may feel more secure and satisfied in life.

I plan to perform one of my next one-to-ones with someone from a different culture than my own. This study has pushed me to do so because its results explain that both Black and White women have dissatisfaction with body image. Neither race is stronger than the other. Something interesting the experiment concluded, however, was that Black women prefer a curvier body with medium breasts and large buttocks while White women ideally desire a slender body with medium breasts. This finding leads me to question if culture plays a role in ideal body image. Are music and the media from different cultures having an effect on what each of our ideal bodies are desired to look like? I hope that after my next one-to-one, I can have different perspectives of cultural influences on ideal body image.

Shootings Expose Cracks In Mental Health System -Anna

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The article discusses the Virginia Tech, Aurora, CO, and Minneapolis shootings in the context of mental health's role in the lives of the shooters. Several authorities in the matters of mental health and mental health law comment on what is to be done with what we have learned from these killings of innocent people.
I was surprised to learn that "41 states have added "need for treatment" standards to their laws that allow more individuals to be placed into court-ordered treatment programs" since the 1970s but that Minnesota is not one of those states. The man who shot and killed 4 people before committing suicide in Minneapolis just a few weeks ago was known by his family to be mentally ill, but because they could not prove that he was not homicidal or suicidal, they could not force him into treatment. (Now, it is clear, he was both homicidal and suicidal.) I understand the risks involved with making it easier to court order people into mental health treatment (infringement on citizens' rights, endangering a citizen's job or family life, etc.), but I think that these risks may be worth taking when so many lives have been taken by people who are clearly unwell. The article also includes the success stories of people whose medications allow them to lead healthy and normal lives, emphasizing the good that mental health treatment does for individuals and society.
The question that I am left with after reading this article is the one that I always seem to come back to: What can we do to help those experiencing symptoms of mental illness to get help before it's too late?

Dorothy Parker - A Poem on Suicide

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In looking for an artistic representation of suicide and its prevention, I wanted to find something that represented the complexity of the human mind as it ponders suicide. What I found was this poem:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live

After reading it, I encourage you to think about all the horrible things in life and the things that cause you pain and why this things might be reasons that "you might as well live."

Tommy Watson, overcoming homelessness

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Last week I helped run an event called ShantyTown for Habitat for Humanity. We built cardboard shanties and slept on Coffman lawn, not to pretend we were homeless, but to raise awareness for the issue. Part of raising awareness was listening to a speaker who had experienced homelessness and completely changed his life around. Tommy Watson, a former Gopher football player, grew up in Denver Colorado where he lived in anything from a foster home, to a hotel room with 8 other people.

Ask anyone and they will probably tell you that a home is a place to feel warm and happy. A place to feel safe. A place to come home to at night and relax. For a lot of people a home means family and love. To be homeless doesn't always mean people are sleeping on the streets, although for a lot of people it does. Tommy Watson lived in a small hotel room with 8 other people. Although he was with his family, his environment was dangerous and not a place Anyone would call home.

In this video Tommy Watson goes back to the hotel room he lived with Kare11 news. For most of us, this is the size of our childhood bedroom, but for Tommy is was a place where he "lived" with 8 other people.

Katt William's view on haters

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These are links to some of Katt William's stand up comedy about haters. I always admired comedians because for their voice to have an influence on people, they must observe, listen, and ask more than just assume and talk. If they just talk and talk and talk without listening to what the people think about and how people think the way they do, they will less likely have legitimacy in their arguments through humor.
So I give credit to comedians that they are leaders and that they effectively discuss the issues that goes on in the community.
Here are the following quotes from the links by Katt Williams

"Haters is the joke"
"Haters will hate everything about you"
"If you have fourteen haters hat in on you, you need to figure out how to get to sixteen before the summer gets here."
"What do you think a hater's job is? To fuckin hate. So let them do their job."

It relates to me because these are quotes of how a famous person thinks about haters. My guess is that the more public influence you have, the more you attention you get from people, it is more likely you will be hated upon by the general public. My central idea is that haters are so quick to hate while they are so slow to figure out their own faults. Like Katt Williams said, I believe the term "haters" can be considered an occupation and that what we can do is find humor and laugh at haters.

His voice is certainly unique and interesting. And I truly value how he finds humor in haters which is not necessarily the easiest to find humor from. I would love to have a conversation with him and learn from his perspective. To get people to laugh while speaking about an issue is the true charm of comedians. I am curious if Katt Williams figured out the key to surpassing haters.

Watching his clips make me curious and come up with questions.... Do haters actually realize that they are hatin'? What do TV shows like "reality show" have any effect on development of haters, if any? Do paparazzis promote haters (from spreading false rumors)? Do issues of "privacy" become easy target to hate upon by haters?...

I personally believe that having haters in your life is the easiest proof that you are getting somewhere in your life. Of course, I believe in the importance of self-reflection done by everyone, to make sure that there is the presence of both self-respect and respecting others as part of character.

I decided to browse YouTube for my artistic piece, for I feel as if a video would best represent my personal connection to this topic (more on why later!)

I came across this video of a young Korean woman playing the piano, right here in good ole' Minnesota back in 2008. Known as the "four fingered pianist," Hee Ah Lee inspired me by her ability to play a complex piece on the piano with great beauty and precision. Lee was born with a defect called phocomelia — which describes someone who has severely underdeveloped limbs. Lee specifically was born with only two fingers on each hand as well as poorly developed legs, each of which have been amputated at her knees due to complications.

This artistic piece specifically speaks to me because I am inspired by, and connected to, her passion to perform. She does not let her defect impair her whatsoever, she can even play pieces that most people with "standard" fingers cannot. I personally have a similar passion, I greatly enjoy the art of dance — something that may be challenging at times having deformed fingers and toes. I love dancing so much, but it often times is an uphill battle. It's difficult to make your fingers stylistically "pretty" if they are not, let's say "normal." Turns are seriously like the worst thing ever for me. Your toes are a key factor in keeping your balance... something I really struggle with since I don't really have toes on my right foot. And then trying to buy decent dance shoes, or even shoes in general... forget it.

But people like Lee truly inspire me to push on and keep doing what I love. It may be a little more challenging, but the reward is so much greater in the end. I don't care about the "stares" or the judgement or any of that, I do what I do for me. "When Hee Ah Lee began to play piano at age 6, she didn't plan on becoming a great pianist. She just wanted to be able to strengthen her hands so that she could hold a pencil," said a reporter for Minnesota Sun Newspapers. That's more than amazing to me, and reminds me how our society takes so many little things for granted. I'm actually genuinely glad that I have this deformity, for it has humbled me and reminds me that no one is perfect, and that one should be loved for their true selves and not just what's on the outside. Kind of a blessing in disguise I suppose...

—— Mandi Beergoon

Want to watch the wonderful video of Hee Ah Lee? Click the link here: Minnesota Sun Post: "Four-fingered pianist wows Edina, MN, students"

No Hate

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The No Hate Campaign was started in California by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff after the proposition 8 was passed. Proposition 8 was the proposition that banned same-sex marriage in California. These photos display people with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize their voices do not matter, and each person has NOH8 written on their cheek to protest the proposition. Although this started in California it has reached all over the U.S. and to many different people such as Kathy Griffin who is in the picture I used. I chose this picture because she is one of my favorite comedians, and and emmy award winning comedian for her reality show. She is also always talking about how much she supports same-sex marriage and she has done so many things to help encourage marriage equality from doing protests in West Hollywood to organizing a rally in Washington D.C. to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The No Hate Campaign really shows that not only do LGBTQ have an actual say in what goes on in this country, but also that if someone can make an impact in the nation.


Reflection - Ricki

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Smiley face

This image I found on a popular art website (deviantART) helps explains my views on my current topic. In the sense that the media plays a big role in shaping everyone views of Asians American, in my views it does a bad job in identifying and representing Asians American to the large community. To me the mirror of the photographer represent what America sees. Rather in reality, in order to understand someone you have to look through their lens before you cast any judgement. This image helps illustrate the idea that one should dig deeper to find the true meaning of reality. Overall this image really speaks to me in a persona level that instead of always looking for change and movements to help other understand the Asian American culture, rather be the change, voice, and leader in taking the first few steps  to help people understand who I am.  

Picture Perfect

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This is a photo of Maggie and Molly, I have been given Maggie's permission to post it- so copy and paste the link in your browser to see! Molly is Maggie's now almost 2 year old daughter. Maggie has an open adoption agreement, which allows her to see Molly as much as she likes. I love this picture because it is the perfect shot of the two of them. I think it represents what their relationship is, and what it will become in the future. Maggie talking to Molly, showing her love and her sacrifice in giving her to another family; but also, showing how much of a blessing Molly is. Maggie is learning from Molly, just as Molly is learning from Maggie in this picture. Having Maggie's influence and example in her life will benefit her, just as Maggie is benefiting from the outcome of her decision. Not only that, but Molly has an entirely extra family to support her for the rest of her life. This picture represents the both of them flourishing in the benefits of Maggie's decision to choose adoption.

From Farm to Lab - Sean Foley

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The origin of food used to be the farm where the farmer planted the seeds and nurtured the crop to harvest. In today's society a fair amount of food production starts in the lab, where the scientist alters a plants genetic makeup to allow it to withstand various conditions such as the spraying of herbicides and pesticides, the ability to withstand drought and frost, and the ability to not reproduce seeds. Now why might a company make plants that can no longer reproduce? The farmer is no longer the world's provider for food, the scientist is. The above picture represents said change.

There Will Be Bad Days-Art Blog #1-Anna

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I had a one-to-one with someone who has been affected by my issue (mental health awareness and advocacy) on Saturday. As we talked about her struggles and attempts at recovery, I asked her what she wishes would have been different about her childhood that could have prevented her from struggling with depression, anorexia, bulimia, and addiction in her adolescence and early adulthood. She said that eating disorders, self harm, and addiction in her life had stemmed from a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. She talked about how the education system underestimates the emotional needs of middle schoolers, and didn't feel that resources were available to her to help her with her depression until she reached college, at which time she had already developed a slew of unhealthy coping mechanisms.

This poem came to my mind as we were talking because of how strongly I reacted to it the first time I heard it. The concept is so simple: Everyone has pain, but you will get through it. And yes, I realize that some pains are worse than others and life is much more complex than that, but had my one-to-one person heard these words when she was younger and given ways to deal with her pain, things could have been different for her and for a lot of other young people.


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In this picture, I can see the innocence of these children as they struggle with this tough tragedy. Being infected with the virus especially at an early age in an environment where health care is very poor is one of the toughest lives to live. I picked this picture as my artistic expression because my topic involves how families have dealt with this disease. Children consist of most of the family and are affected the most especially the fact that they are innocent and did not choose this life style. This picture makes me feel very sad but it also encourages me to smile through the tough times because life is short, enjoy it when you can.


The link above is for poem about HIV AIDS. It has some very strong words that are turned into a story on how life goes about for those who are infected with the disease. This poem shows how easy it is to get infected with this disease in everyday life. It talks about the behaviors that lead to this disease. This relates to my topic because I will be talking about how people can contract the disease.


This is the HIV AIDS sign, and in this picture it includes the AIDS awareness day which also closely relates to my topic. It makes me feel very comforted that there is an awareness day. This is to show people that are being informed and there is hope to preventing this disease from spreading as much as it is through educating people. It also relates to my topic because I am also planning to talk about ways to prevent this disease.

Depression letting in the lonely

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Lyrics: http://www.musicelyrics.com/christina-perri-the-lonely-lyrics/
Lyrical Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO4e4nCYBEo

For my artistic representation of depression I chose a song by Christina Perri called The Lonely. I think the song really relates to depression well and captures what it feels like to be depressed. The song talks about the feeling of loneliness following you to be and that's what it's like. When I am depressed I can have people all around me but I feel disconnected from them all and all alone. The song also talks about being a shadow of who you use to be which is really true. I can go through the motions of what I did before I was depressed but I don't feel anything anymore and just feel sad all the time. I think this song gives someone who has never been depressed a really good idea of what it feels like and the waiting for it to take over again. When I first heard the song it struck me as a perfect representation of how I was feeling/ feel when I am depressed and was really amazed she was able to capture the feeling so well.

Healthy Eating for Children

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This video was proof that my topic is definitely a real problem in the US. Obesity rates have not doubled but tripled and I think that teaching children the 5-2-1-0 rule is simple and easy to practice. I wish it was something I had learned at a young age because changing my eating habits now has not been the easiest thing to do. Although, it definitely is doable and showing people how is a great step. What I'm concerned about though, are the people that do not want to change or do not see how their eating habits are affecting them. Also, there are people with fast metabolisms now that are eating unhealthy foods but when they get older it will affect their health, they too need direction.

Multiple Sclerosis

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The artist representation I chose for my project was the tattoo that I got this past month. It is a ribbon with "MS" superimposed over the ribbon and the number 542 inside the ribbon, and it is located on my right rib cage. The ribbon is generally used to represent different diseases or problems in our society, and i chose MS to make it more specific to the problem i wanted to artistically represent on my body. 542 is meaningful to me because it is my dad's favorite number and stands for "Never Give Up." 5 for the number of letters in never, 4 for give, and so on. This has sort of grown to become my dad's life motto, which is why I wanted it included in my tattoo.

I didn't have to look too hard to find this, which is kind of the point. This video is actually pretty disturbing because of the fact that someone actually thought recording this was a good idea. Sadly, if any of the people in this video ever get famous, this person just potentially damaged their career. ANYTHING you put on the internet, especially youtube, can be saved and thus be permanent. It just goes to show you how some people think consuming huge of alcohol is actually worthy of being put on the internet and in the public. This need to show yourself drinking alcohol in pictures/videos is a huge problem in society and is growing with social media. It's one thing to party, it's another to record one and put it on the internet for everyone to see. It also doesn't help if young kids see this and think it is "cool" to drink because they saw it on youtube.


Generation Gap?

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The picture on the website above shows a cartoon picture representing two kids from two generations. For me the cartoon is a reminder on how things have changed in America. In the past kids were more active due to a lack of the technologies available to us today, also portion sizes were a lot smaller than they are now.
The cartoon also shows were America is going. If children in America are struggling with their weight, it is likely that they will continue to struggle with their weight as adults. This could lead to an entire generation struggling to be healthy due to their weight.
People know what the problem is, the question is how do we solve it?


Online social networking affect on relationships

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I find two pictures for my first artistic post. the first one is about a girl who is so sinking in computer and ignore her boyfriend. The second picture is a wonderful marriage picture. An older couple lie down together. In the photograph, they are smiling and so enjoyable under the weather. Talk back to the first picture, two young people sitting in a small room there is no nature and fresh air. this is exactly the life we are living. I think about my own life, our generation spend more time on computer games, staying indoor, drinking alcohol. we have to admit that the society nowadays is different and complicated than it without internet. there are a lot benefits of internet but based on these two pictures, the effect on relationship is negative. it might help a lot people on long distance relationship but for most of us, social networking occupies too much energy of normal life. When peopel are happy chatting online meanwhile they sacrifised their happy hour with family or friend. I am doubt the purpose of online chatting, what would people receive from it?

Gay Rights

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A picture that relates to my topic on the Facebook page of "I Plan to Vote NO to the MN Marriage Amendment on the November 2012 Ballot". I am a strong believer of voting NO on the ballot coming up, and making sure that marriage is not defined to one man and one women because I do not believe that we should limit people on who they can marry. This certain picture represents me as a person, but on their page they have different sayings at the time like "I'm disciples of Christ", "I'm United Methodist", "I'm Spiritual", "I'm a Muslim", "I'm a Mormon", "I'm Christian", to name a few. You can make these pictures your cover page or your profile picture, but by people doing this, it shows that we are all different kinds of people, believing in what we believe in, but we can come together and vote no for the marriage amendment on the ballot. I am happy to see people who are sharing "I'm a Christian" and liking and showing their support, although their religion does not.


Hopefully this link works for everyone... Im not sure how to post a picture in the blog?

Afghan War in the first person

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For my artistic representation of the war in Afghanistan, I found this video, which is a montage of footage from a Marine's helmet during various firefights. It's set to a 9 Inch Nails song I've never heard, but it goes so well with this song, because it's very intense, much like the action that takes place in the video. These clips were compiled in one of the roughest areas of Afghanistan, Sangin Valley, where Marines have been fighting insurgents for years. I really like this video, because it gives you a great idea of what actually goes on there, and what actual combat looks like. We are so used to games like Modern Warfare dictating our views of combat, that we think it's a glorious thing. In reality, it's scary as hell. I really like the first shot, because it opens up with a Marine just walking through a green field. If you didn't see his weapon, you might think it was just someone talking a stroll through a park. But then the shots start, the music kicks in, and you see nearly four minutes of Marines running for cover, returning fire, watching as planes bomb enemy positions, and other things related to combat. I think the fact that it's helmet cam footage makes it so much more real, too, because you're actually seeing everything from a first person viewpoint, like it's actually you there.

Testing Equipment

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http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb85vtu6Da1r88sb6o1_400.jpg So that link leads to a picture of my testing equipment. It is composed of my insulin "pen" (which is the blue pen like thingy with the exposed needle) and the technology that takes my blood and tells me what my blood sugar is along with the finger poker I use and the various other things that I use on an hourly basis. I chose to post a picture of this and explain it a little because above all, I want to do this project on Diabetes Education. And with the looks that I receive upon opening this, whether it's in class or in a restaurant, I feel that not enough people are educated on what everything is. So in this way, I wanted to just show what I work with and what countless others do as well. It's interesting to me because many people, upon seeing me open this little black case, stare at it with such wonderment that it is unnerving. But I realize that this kind of thing isn't necessarily promoted or shown. I myself try and keep everything either in my lap or in my bag instead of bringing this out into the light. So in this way, I understand that if I want to educate people about diabetes, I have to show what the actual physical attributes are, as well as educating on the unseen parts of the disease.


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The Human Rights Campaign Mission Statement

By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

HRC seeks to improve the lives of LGBT Americans by advocating for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, ensuring families are treated equally under the law and increasing public support among all Americans through innovative advocacy, education and outreach programs. HRC works to secure equal rights for LGBT individuals and families at the federal and state levels by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.



Blame It

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For my artistic representation, I chose the song "Blame It," by Jamie Foxx. Specifically his video hits home on the topic of Alcoholism/alcohol in the media. The video shows a fast-paced, fun, club scene where everyone is having a good time. His song is basically saying that if you get drunk and do stupid things like cheating on your boyfriend...
"She look me dead in the eye Then my pants got bigga She already knew what to figga Had her lookin' at her boyfriend like, "Fuck dat nigga"." that it's okay because you can blame it on the alcohol. While I know the song is catchy and not supposed to put people down, it goes to show what our society and American pop culture glorifies drinking/partying to be like. If you make a mistake and do stupid things it's okay just blame it on whatever you're drinking. The use of celebrities throughout the video like Jake Gyllenhaal and Kanye West might have been just to help promote the song but they also are in a way giving the message that they support the use of alcohol in ways that would make you blame it on the alcohol.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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