_N'Dera Cobbs is a senior honor roll student at Maroa-Forsyth High School. She also plays indoor soccer and is in the process of selecting the college of her choice for the fall 2012.

N'Dera Cobbs
1/16/2012 02:08:14 am

Being a high school senior and applying to colleges is extremely overwhelming, but luckily I have been accepted to every college I have applied to. These colleges include Eastern Illinois University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of DePaul, and University of Ohio. All of which are prestigious schools and are high standard in the major I am pursuing (Journalism). I have a tough decision on my hands but I am ultimately just grateful and proud of myself as a young African- american female to have accomplished the goals required in high school that allowed me to be accepted into these schools. I honestly can not wait to start my career and life with one of these colleges, I am ready for the journey and wonderful experiences that await me.

N'Dera Cobbs
1/27/2012 07:19:24 am

N’Dera Cobbs
English 102
Summary/Response #1
In Lee C. Bollinger’s article “College Diversity at Risk,” originally published in the Washington Post on January 15, 2012, President of Columbia University Bollinger argues against a Supreme court case called Fisher v. University of Texas Austin where a white student felt that she would have been admitted to the University of Texas if the school had refrained from considering race in the decision of admissions and that her constitutional rights have been harmed as a result. Bollinger argues that college diversity is needed in American universities to ensure that “when students encounter others’ points of view and discover how contrary opinions have been forged by different life experiences, they learn more than how we differ: They learn what we have in common.” Bollinger is simply stating that diversity in universities gives others the chance to learn on a scale where they might not have had the opportunity to learn on before, which is different cultures and backgrounds. Learning from different backgrounds allows for other people to see different problems or solutions in a whole knew way which makes for a better well- rounded person. Especially in the work force where workers who have been exposed to a more diverse college learning environment tend to be better workers as Bollinger points out from statistics used by five leading corporations in America. He argues that the Supreme court should not rule out diversifying their campuses, and abandon their commitment to diversity, but rather to ensure the nation’s expansion and endorse the founding ideals of equality and opportunity by standing by its strong commitment of diversifying higher level education.
In Bollinger’s article “College Diversity at Risk,” his main idea is basically that college diversity is much needed and he supports his idea by providing statistics shown in large corporations by workers who indeed went to a more diverse university turned out to be better workers. Not only is it beneficial to the workplace when they have diversified employee but also it makes for a more fulfilling college experience. According to Bollinger attending a more racially diverse college allows for students to view and interpret others opinions in a light that they could possibly have never considered before, which I completely agree. As a high school student I think Bollinger has targeted this age group as we as college board members and admissions officers to personally speak his opinion (and state facts) about the importance of college diversity. Bollinger is not proposing that white college applicants credentials be over looked when a different race be brought into the consideration of admission. Nor should diversity be higher priority over academic achievement, but rather look at all underlying credentials for two (racially) different students looking to be accepted and if that college is looking to diversify accept the equally qualified (racially) different student. With that being said I do not think that means to accept the minority every single time, yet give other racially diverse students a chance to be accepted as well. Bollinger raises another point of the commitment the supreme court has already made to consider more diversity in higher level education. He even compares the University of Columbia college by using statistics against their student population and how it has the highest percentage of low moderate-income students and the largest number of military veterans of their peer institutions as well as the highest percentage of African American students among the nations top 30 universities. So not only has Columbia taken into account race, but also financial status, and veteran ship as well. I believe Bollinger’s argument is very well supported and credible due to the fact that he deals with these kinds of decisions and issues daily because of his position and rank at Columbia, and that all elements be considered when admitting students.
Do you think young minorities would have received these opportunities without these laws.

N'Dera Cobbs
2/1/2012 08:48:24 am

In Bianca Bosker’s article, “From Mp3 to Empathy: Your Next Phone Could Love You”, originally published in the Huffington Post on January 15, 2012, Bosker explores the roles of technology in today’s era and poses the idea that “gadgets” could be our new generation of companion. Bosker is essentially posing the question of whether or not new technology, made with cool apps such as voice recognition, are taking over our “face time” interaction with humans. Have humans made technology a priority of interaction over their own race? Bosker researches how companies such as Apple and Amazon have successfully marketed devices that tap into an ecosystem of apps, music, movies, and other content, understanding that much of the appeal of the devices are all about what you can do on/with it. The products on display at the recent year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest technology expo, suggests that “the next competitive advantage lies in developing the gadget that double as a companion (Bosker).” Bosker gives the example of the recently released iPhone 4S and its voice activation app Siri, Bosker examines how Siri “changed the life” of one family just because one household member updated their phone. After realizing how smart and charming Siri is“The spouse of the proud new iPhone owner realized she now had to compete for her husbands’s attentions (Bosker).” Bosker states that not only are the pressures of new technology coming from Apple but also from Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect where it picks up on your body language in order to control the device, also Samsung will release a television outfitted with facial recognition systems that enable the tv to scan over the viewers face and display customized entertainment options depending on who sits in front of it. According to Bosker all of these “perks” are designed for the costumers convenience and to make the interaction between humans and technology more “real,” as if they were sustaining relationships with their gadgets.
In this article Bosker examines how technology is being turned into another source for companionship as a way to make products more desired. The “smartphones” that we see today are designed with app made to invoke our personal interests and draw us in to purchase the product, but companies needed a new niche to reel more costumers in so they started developing apps that we could talk to. For instance Siri, from the Apple iPhone 4S, “she” was specifically designed to interact and have real life conversations with the owners of the iPhone as another perk to have on the phone to beat out competitors. But the charmingness of Siri distracts costumers from the producers real intentions, the costumers are just seeing it as the cool new “it” thing to have. So while these owners of these newly updated iPhones are being distracted by the charm of Siri, producers are making their money. I do agree that these new technological advances are changing our human technology relationship with these devices because when in doubt if there’s no one else too talk to there’s Siri, right? But I believe that Bosker is asking are we letting technology come between human to human relationships, when in fact it is. Owners of such cool gadgets are getting wrapped up in the hype of essentially being able to have a computer communicate with that we are losing sight of real time interactions. It is so easy now a days to pick up a phone or a GPS and let it do the work for us because all of the knowledge is programed into the software that we are obtaining information from. We should not obsolete technology but remember its purpose first and then the perks later. That’s basically what Bosker is trying to project to her audience, which is everyone that has an advanced technology source. The message being not to let technology overthrow our human interaction but to just enjoy what inventors have created for us in a healthy recreational type of way.

Do you find that you are a prisoner of every new gadget that
is introduced to the public? Have you ever waited for the
release of the newest smart phone?

N'Dera Cobbs
2/5/2012 10:53:58 pm

While doing research about developing gender roles of young children, I wondered if this was applicable to young
children in the black community. Some authors have been encouraging parents to let children cross genders by allowing our young black males to dress as girls. Also,an the article by Monica Sakala points out that playing with different gender specific toys, should not affect gender roles either.

The article “On Praising Tomboys and Rejecting Feminine Boys,” by Monica Gallagher Sakala, Sakala capitalizes on how societies response is towards children and their preference toward “gender specific” toys. Sakala opens her article using the example of her daughters love for pirates and dinosaurs and how people “applaud” her daughters tom-boyishness, but asks why do we not do the same for boys when they choose to play with more “feminine” toys. According to Sakala more gender emphasis is placed on male children that enjoy playing with dolls rather than a female child who prefers playing with legos or spiderman, because the male child is being viewed as girlie and could potentially end up being gay. Sakala explains that when a little girl is seen playing with more “masculine” toys she is strong, independent, and different , essentially being praised for the qualities about her that society associates with men. But when a little boy is seen playing with more “feminine” toys he is viewed as being weak or too sensitive and his sexuality his questioned. Sakala states that she’s “noticed a disturbing trend towards reverse sexism placed on kids as young as 2 and 3 years old,” and is essentially asking why is there so much thought being put into what kind of toys children are choosing to play with? She is essentially making an argument that would it be any different if she forced her own child to play with dolls and princesses or to force a male child to only choose trucks and blocks to play with because it may affect the outcome of that child’s sexual orientation when they grow up. According to Sakala no one can say for certain whether or not the emphasis placed on gender specific toys for children to play with can predict the outcome of that child’s sexual preference, so why should there be so much effort in stopping a child from playing with whatever kind of toy he/she chooses to play with.

Sakala’s article is definitely intended for an audience of parents or expecting parents. This article appeals to pathos because it invokes the readers emotion and thought on how and why toys are being viewed as a deciding factor in a child’s outcome for their sexuality. The purpose of this article is to point out that female children are more likely to be praised for being different and independent for preferring more “masculine” toys over male children who are criticized and questioned for their preference for more “feminine” toys. Her questions on why gender specific toys are so important to be distinguished from a child at such a young age makes her audience question societies specific roles for males vs females. Everything that a female child is being “praised” for is because society associates being more masculine with being strong and independent but when a male child wants to be different he is weak and too feminine. Sakala wants to know why, why are we as people putting so much thought into what toys children choose to play with? Will it really matter if a boy likes to play with barbies when he was three or four but grow up to be the captain of his high school football team when he gets older, or will it matter if little Ashley decides to play with monster trucks from ages 3-5 but ultimately end up enjoying arts and crafts as a teenager. This goes to show how much gender specificity we as a society/culture put onto not only toys but everything. Mini vans are seen as mom cars, would it make a difference if a grown man choose to drive a mini van over a sports car, does that mean he is too feminine?

Ultimately what Sakala is aiming at with this article is that there is no need to force a child into choosing toys more acceptable to societies status quo because a toy is not going to define a child or their sexuality, they’re only 2-4 years old. The question is does this help or confuse children with their gender development?

N'Dera Cobbs
2/22/2012 09:41:23 pm

Are we really living in the land of the Free?In Jonathan Turley’s article, “10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free,” originally published in the Washington post on January 13, 2012, Turley examines the American definition of being the “land of the free” comparing new laws passed within the U.S., since 9/11, with other countries that are considered by American standard not “free” and finds similarities that he feels the government/people overlook. Turley states that the even though the U.S. has a seemingly more lax government structure regarding the people compared to some other countries America has now started to become more suspicious of its citizens since the attacks of 9/11 and have passed laws that could intrigue on citizens individual rights. For instance he gives examples of certain countries such as Iran which “has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy,” while Russia “has been taken to task for undermining due process” (Turley). Turley argues that Americans have judged these countries for being “unfree” yet the new laws passed since 9/11 have exceedingly reduced civil liberties in our own country. Turley proposes 10 reasons for the decline in our personal “freedom” within America which are assassination of U.S. citizens, indefinite detention, warrant less searchers, secret evidence, war crimes, secret court, extraordinary renditions, arbitrary justice, immunity from judicial review, and continual monitoring of citizens. Turley the goes into detail on each reason as to why these reasons constitute our land as being “unfree” stating that our nation is now authoritarian and closes with a statement questioning our American ideals of being the “land of the free.”
Jonathan Turley’s argument that our American ideal of being the land of the free has been lost by new laws that have turned our government from a democratized authorative power into a full out authoritarian power personally is un-shocking. The reasons that Turley gives as to why our country has become less “free” have really always been there, but with the threat of 9/11 our government has taken more cautionary action to prevent another national tragedy. Shouldn’t we want our government to respond to such a tragedy that would allow our country to be more safe and rest easier knowing we are taking measures to prevent future threats? I personally don’t agree with Turley’s critics of the government and the comparisons made with more dictator like governments such as Russia and Iran. To an extent there are some similarities in new tactics that the U.S. has taken to help strengthen government knowledge on terrorism, but I hardly feel as though we are as extreme. Some of these countries limit every single right as a precautionary measure which would be unfair to catagorize America into that class. After all don’t immigrants flock to this country for opportunity and “freedom,” our country seems to still be doing something good, right? Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University, not a government official, therefore his credibility is questionable. Turley’s audience is definitely the American people and anyone interested in our government. His appeal in this argument includes pathos, logos, and ethos but more so pathos because of how he analyzes his reasoning for why the U.S. has become less free. Turley supports his reasoning by giving information that can invoke some sort of emotional attachment such as invasion of personal privacy. For instance, some people find it offensive to have their belongings and personal technological devices searched through even if they have nothing to hide, it’s a personal preference. Even though Turley makes some valid points throughout his argument such as his emotional appeal he still lacks knowledge on other countries governmental systems in comparison to ours and shows ignorance to our own governments reasons as to why they have become so much more cautious. Should President Obama and Congress address this issue?


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