Archives for category: Uncategorized

Art, music, dance, theater—so many genres of performing arts. A child on stage at their first recital, playing their instrument. So nervous, yet so confident. As I think about that child, I think about my own experiences, my own love of the arts. I have been involved in performing arts programs my entire academic career. I knew that music was my passion for as long as I can remember.  As I sit and think about how music has molded me as the strong, confident woman I am today, I often think what would life have been like for me without these performing arts programs. Without this introduction into this world of possibility, who knows where my life would have ended up.

Unfortunately, many schools in Southeastern Michigan are not understanding the neccessity of these programs. According to the Lansing Public Schools District, over 50 music and art teachers will be fired. The main reason is money. The District claims that they will have to “scrape together $6 million in savings” in order to keep these teachers. Why are they the first ones to go? These programs are very essential in the nourishment and development of children.

One of the main reasons why schools should consider keeping music programs is the fact that these programs help the children be a successful person in society. The arts are the fabric of our society, and by educating children about ithelps to make them more well-rounded. It teaches them to think critically and to be able to solve international problems. These programs ultimately help to make the child a model citizen as well. According to the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report, “Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra
reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol,
tobacco, illicit drugs)”. Not only does staying active in a music program help to keep your child off the streets and a dangerous path, particpating in them is recommended for college-bound students. The U.S. Department of Education says that “Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development”.

Another positive reason why music programs are important is the success in developing intelligence. According to Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, “young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training”. I think that this quote speaks for itself. It is a proven fact that being actively involved in these programs can help struture a child’s entire intellect. It helps students learn to think outside of the box and to be open to more creative ways of learning.

Lastly, participation in a music program can help students be successful in life. The arts instill in students many habits of the mind that can last a lifetime. Nick Rabkin, Executive Director of the Center for Arts Policy, Columbia College Chicago, said that “the arts are not just affective and expressive. They are also deeply cognitive. They develop the tools of thinking itself: careful observation of the world, mental representation of what is observed or imagined, abstraction from complexity, pattern recognition and development, symbolic and metaphoric representation, and qualitative judgment. We use these same thinking tools in science, philosophy, math and history”. So according to Rabkin, education and participation in music programs are also essential in learning history and math. These students have the best of both worlds, and definitely the upper hand in achieving academic success.

The sad truth is that although these performing arts programs have a positive affect on youth across Southeast Michigan, and the country, they are disappering rapidly. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) estimates that there are 108,000 students who don’t receive any arts education in their schools, even though their website claim that the MDE is working diligently to provide ALL students with an education in the arts. Some may not see the importance music, dance, art, and theater may have on a child’s life, but personally it has made me who I am. I am a proud supporter of performing arts programs, because the statistics speaks for itself.

Advertisements

Art, music, dance, theater—so many genres of performing arts. A child on stage at their first recital, playing their instrument. So nervous, yet so confident. As I think about that child, I think about my own experiences, my own love of the arts. I have been involved in performing arts programs my entire academic career. I knew that music was my passion for as long as I can remember.  As I sit and think about how music has molded me as the strong, confident woman I am today, I often think what would life have been like for me without these performing arts programs. Without this introduction into this world of possibility, who knows where my life would have ended up.

Unfortunately, many schools in Southeastern Michigan are beginning to drop performing arts programs from the academic curriculum. I want to persuade the school’s Board of Education that these programs are not only neccessary, but helps make the child into a well-rounded individual. By implementing and providing performing arts programs early in someone’s life, it can increase their appreciation for the things around them that mold them into the person they become. If more students are given the opportunity to experience performing arts, they will grow up to be smart, savvy, functioning members of society.

Performing arts builds character as well as confidence in a student. It teaches them to not discriminate against a person, whether it is race, or religion. It opens students minds to think outside of the box, and to be more in touch with their creative side. These programs are detremental in the education of students, because not every student is the same. Many students are more creative and visual learners. These students learn differently than others and need some way to make learning more fun, relatable, and interesting. Performing arts programs do just that. They make it so that students can broaden their horizons and ultimately be the best that they can be.

Besides building confidence, performing arts programs can have a positive impact on the community. Some may not realize it, but performing arts programs can help a child be a better person in their community. Studies shows that performing arts students are more likely to volunteer in their communities rather than non performing arts students. Children in these programs are also given more opportunities to visit art museums, operas, theaters, and other places that appreciate the arts. This helps the child to see things through a different lens. It is statistically proven that children who experience music education become well-rounded, upstanding citizens who attend college or some sort of schooling after high school graduation. This helps to make more positive role models in the community and better citizens.

Schools in the region complain about the amount of money it costs to implement these programs, but spend so much on athletics. They don’t realize that every student is not athletic, and that these programs have so much positivity and can have a stong impact on the child. Perfoming arts programs are just as important, if not more imporatant, than that of an athletic program. School officials can not deny the facts, these programs are strenthening children academically, socially, mentally, and even spiritually.

Art, music, dance, theater—so many genres of performing arts. A child on stage at their first recital, playing their instrument. So nervous, yet so confident. As I think about that child, I think about my own experiences, my own love of the arts. I have been involved in performing arts programs my entire academic career. I knew that music was my passion for as long as I can remember.  As I sit and think about how music has molded me as the strong, confident woman I am today, I often think what would life have been like for me without these performing arts programs. Without this introduction into this world of possibility, who knows where my life would have ended up.

Children as young as 5 years old have been given the opportunity to be involved in a performing arts program. The arts definitely have a positive impact on students academically. Statistics show that music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that a higher percentage of music participants received As, As/Bs, and Bs than non-music participants.

Image

Plato once said that “music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”. This quote is the epitome of how I feel about music and performing arts. Personally, being involved in music programs throughout my academic career has helped to mold me into the woman I am today. I want to encourage schools in southeastern Michigan to keep the performing arts programs in their curriculums. Here are the top 5 reasons that I think they should do just that.

Academic Achievement:

Not everyone is a cut and dry learner. Some use their imaginations and visions to help them succeed in their lives. For these type of children, they may want to express themselves by showing their talent. By keeping performing arts in the schools, it can help a child like this better academically. It gives the child the opportunity to focus more and be confident in their grades and work ethic. 

Social and Emotional Development:

As we all know, middle school is a very awkward stage in a child’s life. There are many factors that can make a child feel alone, and, maybe even different than other children. Performing arts programs can build connectedness with people who share the same interest. It helps the child build lifelong friendships and relationships through their talents. It also teaches confidence and belief in themselves. 

Civic Engagement:

Some may not realize it, but performing arts programs can help a child be a better person in their community. Studies shows that performing arts students are more likely to volunteer in their communities rather than non performing arts students. Children in these programs are also given more opportunities to visit art museums, operas, theaters, and other places that appreciate the arts.

Equitable Opportunity:

Being involved in in performing arts programs helps to prepare students to be creative and successful individuals in the global community by ensuring an equitable opportunity. Students are introduced to a variety of different things in these programs, such as dance, music, theater, and visual arts. It helps to make the student very well-rounded, which is a great asset to have as an adult. It keeps the student more open-minded to the many differences in this world, and gives the student the opportunity to be more acceptable to these differences.

True Prosperity:

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. These values are instilled in the child at a young age and stays with them forever. 

In conclusion, there are many reasons why schools should continue performing arts in the curriculum. These programs help to mold the child into a well-rounded individual, by opening doors to many opportunities that they would otherwise not have. It also keeps the child open-minded and willing to try more things, like visiting museums and dance theaters. It serves as a positive reinforcer as well as stimulate the child’s mind, body, and soul. There aren’t many negative reasons as to why these programs shouldn’t exist in schools, and even Plato said it best, music is a moral law.

Since I want to be a music and entertainment writer, I decided to do a review about the famous celebrity news gossip forum, http://www.tmz.com. Most people wouldnt think of TMZ as real journalism, but I think this is a perfect example of it. TMZ has daily blogs and stories that are interesting about what is going on in celebrities lives. Many fail to realize that TMZ was the first to launch some of the major celebrity gossip stories, such as actor, Mel Gibson drinking and driving, and pictures of singer, Rihanna’s face after getting beat up by her boyfriend, Chris Brown.

When I first watched TMZ, I was already a fan of celebrity gossip news. It has always been interesting to me to see what is going on in celebrity’s lives, and to know that they go through things just like any other normal person. TMZ is very factual, and they go above and beyond in order to get a story out. Nothing is going overboard for them, the sky is the limit. This way of thinking is a perfect example of good journalism.

I enjoy the stories and I commend TMZ for all they do. Their willingness to overcome the obstacles and still manage to get a factual story to the public is applaudable. The fact that humor is also added to the mix is a good factor as well, and helps to keeo the stories readable.

IRAQ

What does one think when they see a veteran? Crazy, probably on drugs, a for sure alcoholic; all of these preconceived notions about veterans are often talked about, but nobody really speaks about what are the causes of these challenges. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is one of the number one psychological disorder that most veterans face since coming home from war.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Kenneth Bowen, an EMU journalism student and a young Veteran. Ken won a purple heart for his duty in the Marines. He was a Sargent, but was medically retired in 2010 due to an injury that prevented him from serving. He did two tours, the first was noncombat, and the second was in Afghanistan where he was wounded. During active duty, Bowen witnessed many deaths of, not only his comrades, but his old self as well.

“The pain of war was a lot for people to deal with” said Bowen. One cannot imagine what these soldiers witnessed on a day to day basis. The media can only cover so much, yet actually experiencing it is overwhelming. Bowen also was aware of many suicides and PTSD that was happening amongst the group of soldiers he was around. He said that “the damage soldiers did on themselves were apparent and suicide seemed like an undertone”. Of course war affects everyone differently, but the high rate of suicide during training is a little intense. Most could not handle it. Bowen explained that the men he was working alongside were only 18 and 19 years old, a huge responsibility given to such a young person. The legal drinking age even starts at 21, yet an 18 year old is given the responsibility of someone’s life in war, it is a hard pill to swallow. Ken was 21 when he joined the military, and 24 when he was wounded. He was considered one of the older soldiers. He says that his age definitely helped him deal with things a little better.

So how did Ken overcome the pains of war? He says that his accident was one of the main reasons. He was wounded because the truck that he was in ran over an explosive and blew up, he was the only survivor. He explains that he had to prove that God didn’t make a mistake keeping him alive. He said that he “didn’t want to be labeled as a disabled veteran”, so he had to get better. In recovery he met the families of the deceased people that were in the truck with him. He felt guilty and didn’t want them to think he took his life for granted. This helped him recover and finally go back to school. Attending EMU was also a great outlet for him to get his mind off of things. Being involved and getting homework done helped him feel accomplished.

Ken definitely experienced so much in such a short period of time. He says that transitioning to civilian life was not easy, but he would do it all over again. Throughout all the suicides, and PTSD that he has experienced, he still manages to remain positive and tell his story. He says that “PTSD affects people differently”, and that he is more open to talking about it than most. Ken said that serving in the war changed him. He used to be playful and a practical joker, but these days he is more serious and felt that he had to be. He wants to stop all the assumptions that people have about veterans and war in general. Ken said that you never know who is a veteran. These men and women have literally risked their lives for our country, and speaking with Ken I have a new found respect for all veterans and all soldiers serving our country.

Old Paragraph:

There are many assumptions when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree. Some believe that you will automatically get employed, but that is not always the case. There are many assumptions that come along with a college degree, but the fact is that it is what you make it. You have to put forth the effort after receiving the degree to get a job and possibly get a higher education to get a masters degree, or a Ph.D.

New Paragraph revision:

There are many assumptions when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree, but the fact is that it is what you make it. Some believe that you will automatically get employed upon graduation, but that is not always the case. A helpful tip would be to try to get an internship in your specific field while you are already in college. This helps to get your foot in the door and have real-world experiences in the job market, your employer may even hire you for a full-time position. It is your responsibility to put forth the effort after receiving your degree to get a job and to possibly obtain a higher education such as a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.

clip_art_pencil_02

Topic: Is earning a bachelor’s degree a worthwhile investment?

I believe that earning a bachelor’s degree is a worthwhile investment. It is one of the number one ways to ensure a job. Without a bachelor’s degree, it limits you to certain experiences that you receive while attending college. College, overall, makes you a well rounded person, and that is what most employees look for when hiring.

There are many assumptions when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree. Some believe that you will automatically get employed, but that is not always the case. There are many assumptions that come along with a college degree, but the fact is that it is what you make it. You have to put forth the effort after receiving the degree to get a job and possibly get a higher education to get a masters degree, or a Ph.D.

Another thing to acknowledge is how beneficial online higher education is. In the Freidman article, it states all the positive things dealing with online education. It even helped disabled kids and adults, as well as international. With options like online education, it makes college seem less stressful and more of a worthwhile investment.

In conclusion, college is what you make it, and earning a degree can benefit you in many ways, only if you put forth the effort to acheive your goals. It is a worthwhile investment, because it introduces you to real life and real life working experiences. Students have an opportunity to earn an internship in their specific job field, as well as many other things that can end up being beneficial in your lifelong career.

Topic: Earning a Bachelor’s degree is a worthwhile investment.

In today’s society eduaction is the key to success. I believe in this statement in its entirety. I also believe that earning a bachelor’s degree in college is a worthwhile investment. The “real world” is all about competition. Competing to be the BEST does not come easy, and having this degree puts you one step ahead of the competition.

Although, having a bachelor’s degree is a great accomplishment, I don’t believe that it should stop there. I think that the more education a person earns, the better job they will get. A bachelor’s degree is a great start, however earning a masters degree or a PH.D will get you the higher paying jobs. Statistics prove that a person with a higher education status will ultimately earn more money in their lifetime than a person with less education. There are a handful of people who have succeeded without these degrees but it is very rare.

In my personal life, I have been introduced to the importance of education early. My mother has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, and she is a high school English teacher. I watched her succeed in her life and I noticed that her education is what made heraccomplish her goals. Having a person in my life with higher education is what helps me know that education is the number one goal to success.

Letter to the NYT Editor:

The article, “Poor Students Struggle”, really was very interesting to me and very intriguing. I’ve heard the saying “college is what you make it” so many times, but for some money holds a very important part in the  college experience. Many college students come from poor backgrounds and aren’t able to get access to money and things needed to excel in college classrooms. In fact, many college graduates end up in a lot of debt upon graduation. The hardships of balancing job after job just to pay the bills is alot to handle for a struggling college students.

I feel for Melissa. I believe that she is very smart and has the potential to be great but she does not have the right guidance and support to help her through it. This is the case of most poorer college students. Coming from poor backgrounds and unstable homes can sometimes get too much to handle and become overwhelming to some.

The amount of money a college student has and their home life is a huge factor to the way they excel in class and academics as a whole. Melissa and her friends, as well as many other college students need guidance to help them be great students. I know many other people who are in the same situations as Melissa, but success should be the higher purpose and students need to focus on that.