Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reaction to own essays and grafs

                At the first, I was dreading the idea of having to take this course.  It’s not that I despise English; it is the fact that I did not think that I could be creative enough to consistently come up with ideas to write about.  I really wanted to just ignore the fact that I had to take an English class but, graduation requirements wouldn’t let me.  I was locked in, stuck, unable to do anything but take the dreaded English 101!

                Class finally started and I settled in behind the flickering screen to attempt my first writing graf.  To my surprise, my fingers started to work and the words started to flow across the screen.  “Wow,” I thought.  I may actually be able to do this.  I may actually be able to write well enough to get a decent grade.  After posting my first graf to my blog, I patiently wait for the instructor to respond.  What will he think?  What will he say? 

                The results were in and I actually did a decent job with my first paper.   It seemed that I was on the way to doing alright.  Papers were assigned and papers were turned in; all seeming to have a positive response from the mysterious person on the other end of the internet.  I was proud of myself for finally taking the challenge and facing my fears.  As the essays and grafs were posted, I increasingly became prouder and prouder of myself with the results.  Maybe English 101 wasn’t as bad as I expected.

                I was a little disappointed in myself half way through the semester when I started to get behind in writing and having a horrible case of writers block.  It seemed as if I would never be able to concentrate on doing essays and grafs with all that was going on in my life at the time.  I had an even harder time coming up with a subject for my Isearch.  I felt like I was going to drown in homework with no hope of ever getting caught up.  I had no reason to fear though; with a little guidance and reassurance, I was able to get caught up and even produce (what I think was) a pretty good Isearch.

                In the end, I can say that I am proud of myself for the work that I was able to accomplish during English 101.  I ended up believing in my own skills and in what can happen when you are determined to finish something.  Looking them all over, I can admit that there was some weak papers with not a whole lot of oompf to them but, I feel that there were some equally impressive papers as well.  I enjoyed taking English 101 and realized that writing is not as bad as I thought it would be.  Bring on the final essay!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Process Essay

          Most of us have been there at one point in our lives; most likely happening early on in some English class at school.  The night before is spent rehearsing exactly what you want to say while lying awake for a long and sleepless night.  As the time comes near, you can feel your heart start to race, the room seems to get uncomfortably hot and the feeling of being sick lurks in the pits of your stomach.  The teacher finally calls your name and as you walk slowly to the front of the room, you start to sweat uncontrollably; a bugler can be heard playing “Taps” in the far distance.  It is now time for you to deliver that dreaded public speech, how will you ever survive?  I was once that guy, the one who would magically end up sick on days like this.  It wasn’t until I reenlisted for a second tour in the United States Marine Corps that I would learn the tricks to overcoming glossophobia. 
I was off to Marine Corps Recruiters School for seven long weeks of learning all there was about the Marine Corps, how to “sell” it, and even how to speak in front of large crowds.  I soon found out that it really isn’t that bad and came up with a few ways to beat this crazy fear.   My favorite technique was to pick two or three visual points in the room to focus on during the speech.  These points would usually be spots on walls, empty desks or other significant structures that were spread across the room.  I found these areas great for concentrating on instead of the crowd.  It kept me from actually having to make eye contact with anyone in the audience but, gave the illusion that I was.  The points were spread out to make it seem like I was “working the crowd with my eyes.”    For some reason, this worked great to reduce stage fright.  These points helped me to make the crowd disappear; a lot better than the old technique of picturing everyone in their underwear!
Even though impromptu speeches are a valuable tool to have, I do not like them.  My second point would be to always do the work and research on the subject that you are speaking about.  To me, every good presentation ends with a question and answer period. I was always prepared for that one person to believe they were smarter than me.  Not giving them the opportunity to prove that they are is always a good idea!   Having a thorough knowledge of what I talking about also made me feel more comfortable on the podium; being at ease on the podium made me feel like the speech was smoother and structured to a point without being over structured.
“Over structured” you ask?  Yup, I feel that it is very possible; I will explain.  I would always structure my note cards in bullet format and not written out verbatim to keep the speech simple.   Don’t get me wrong, I would still rehearse my talking points before to get an idea of what I wanted to say; just not verbatim.  I found that reading a speech verbatim makes you sound like a monotone robot and keeps your face buried in a paper; effectively putting the audience to sleep.  Bullet format helps prevent you from doing this exact thing, building a more dynamic presentation.  The second reason for using bullets is simple.  I found that if I tried to read a speech verbatim, everything would go great until I stumbled on a punctuation error or some other sort of distraction; never able to fully recover from the slip up and making myself look like a fool.  Bullets helped me to keep from getting distracted after a mistake since they allowed me to have more room to adjust what I saying and recover.
There are many tricks out there that people can teach you to get over the fear of public speaking.  I found that the best way was to actually get on stage and go for it.  With almost everything in life; practice makes perfect.  Practice makes things seem a little less frightening and proves that you will not die of embarrassment if you make a mistake.  So, find some focal points, know something about what you are talking about and use bulleted notes; these are my nuggets of wisdom on public speaking.  If all else fails, remember that there are more people in the audience that would never dare to get up there themselves.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Effect Essay #8

We never really expected to find her that day; we really only planned on getting a few odds and ends from the store.  Who could just walk by and not look at the piles of fur in the little cages anyway?  All rescued and in need of a good home; all with some story to tell on how and where they were found.  She was found in an abandoned house with her mother and siblings, only a few weeks old at the time.  As she lay there in the temporary cage that was set up by the rescue agency, she looks so pathetic.  Her big brown eyes could melt even the coldest of hearts; we knew right then that she was the one.  We ended up getting more than some bread that day; we ended up getting a new member of our family.  We are not sure as to what breed of dog Zoey is but, we do know that she has added so much to our family in character, entertainment and love.

                Zoey has added a new sort of character to our home.  We ensure that she goes with us wherever we go if possible.  Family and friends always are inquiring on how she is doing.  I can always count on Zoey meeting me at the door when I get home; her tail wagging and her body in a tremor of excitement.  I know that she will always fall asleep next to my side of the bed and will eventually decide to move into her bed when she is sure that Mom and Dad are safe and asleep.  On a hot summer day, I know that I can always find her either sunbathing in the yard or stretched out on the kitchen floor, enjoying the cold tiles on her stomach.  She is more than a dog; she is a member of our family.

                At five years old, Zoey still has the energy of a puppy.  Hours can be spent walking her in the yard or throwing a ball for her to fetch.  Good luck getting away from her if she brings you the tug rope.  I can always expect her to talk to me, using random noises that make sense only to her when she is excited and happy. She is the type of dog that always keeps you wondering on what she is going to do next.  I enjoy time spent with her; she is a true example of an animal being man’s best friend.  I have never owned a dog with such an entertaining personality.  Her antics are crazy, she is always great fun and she is more than just a dog; she is a member of our family.

                I am constantly amazed that the love and genuine concern that she always shows to us.  If you are sick, she will refuse to leave your side; your every move is carefully monitored by her watchful eye to ensure that you are doing well.  A bad day never seems so bad when she always seems to know that a hug is in order.  A head placed gently on your knee and a stare from her dark brown eyes can always brighten your day.  I was concerned about Zoey being jealous of Collin when we brought him home but she has been surprisingly attentive to the new addition to our family.  He cries and she is the first one to his side; she can often be seen taking a peek at him, just to make sure that he is doing well.  The love that she shows to me, even after she has received a scolding only proves that she is more than just a dog; she is family.

                I can understand why people say that dog owners tend to live a longer life.  Zoey has been an amazing friend to both me and my wife.  My wife often tells me that Zoey is what kept her sane while I was in Iraq.  I am not sure what would have happened if we had not decided to go to the store that day.  I do believe that she was meant to be our dog, that we needed her as much as she needed us.  There is no doubt in my mind that an animal can love, that they can change the lives of those that own them.  I am thankful that we were able to rescue her that day five years ago. I encourage anyone that is looking for a pet, to visit the local pounds and rescue agencies; these animals will truly show their gratitude to you for helping them.   I truly love that dog because of the fact that she is more than a dog; she is family

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Annotated Bibliography (2)

Just noticed that I still owed this while editing my Isearch...Here are three.

Murkoff, Heidi Eisenberg., Arlene Eisenberg, Sharon Mazel, Sandee Eisenberg.

Hathaway, and Arlene Eisenberg. What to Expect the First Year. New York: Workman

Pub., 2003. Print.

I found this book tucked away in the back of our closet. Given to us as a present almost a

year ago, it has turned into a wealth of knowledge and certainly aided me in this Isearch paper.

"Baby Milestones - Infant and First Year Baby Milestones -" Pregnancy, Babies, Toddlers and Big Kids -, Nov. 2011. Web. 02 Oct. 2011.

This was an interesting website that gave a brief overview of what some major milestones

in child development may be. Still not enough here to answer all my questions about this

particular subject though. 

Numerous, Contributors. "How Do New Parents Cope with Sleep Deprivation?

Parenting Sleep Sleepdeprivation | Ask MetaFilter." Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog., Aug.-Sept. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2011.

Pretty neat page; nothing more than a blog from parents who have gone through the same

ordeal and survived to blog about it. It encompasses many different points of views and


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Example essay

           The silence is broken by a loud tone coming from the black box that is clipped to everyone’s side; a familiar voice breaks in to give the next crew up an idea of where they are going and for what reason. I close my laptop with a sense of frustration; my English 101 work will have to wait a little bit longer. As my partner and I scurry across the parking lot to the garage, a few white speckles start falling from the sky; “I guess the weatherman was right” are the first words that are muttered from my partner after his brief nap. We open the garage door, climb into the ambulance and hit the switch to activate our emergency lights and sirens; my adrenalin starts to pump as I mentally prepare myself for the call. I love my second job for so many reasons; a few examples come to mind when I think of why.

Every Saturday, I would go to the nursing and rehab facility to pick-up my “Saturday morning date,” as she would say; I will call her “Amy” for privacy reasons.  Amy is a lady in her early 80’s who had recently had a hip replacement and was in the facility for her rehabilitation treatment.  She was very ill for a while after the surgery since her body was having a hard time fighting off an infection that she had acquired.  Our “Saturday date” would consist of me picking her up to take to dialysis and a return trip later in the day.  I would always walk into her room and let out a cheerful “Good morning Amy!”  She would turn her head, smile and respond with a “Good morning handsome!”  Over the weeks, Amy and I ended up getting to know each other pretty well.  She would tell me stories about her children and ask me how my son was doing; she would even be upset if I missed a Saturday with her.  I was always happy to see how Amy’s health was improving; with each and every passing week, I was able to see great improvements.  Last week, Amy got to finally go home after weeks of rehabilitation.  This weekend, I came to work and found a card in my mail box from her; simply stating how happy she was to have me pick her up every weekend.  That gave me a feeling that no words can describe.
Amy is an example of a patient that I had the pleasure of getting to know well; this does not happen with them all.  Jeff was also an older gentleman in his early 80’s who had called us because of a fall in the middle of the night.  He had dislocated his shoulder and remained on the kitchen floor until the following morning because he did not want to bother us so late.  I must admit that Jeff did not look very good when I first saw him that morning; his skin was pale and cold from being on the kitchen floor all evening and was in a slight state of shock.  We got Jeff to the emergency room and left him in the capable hands of the attending physician, not knowing what would become of him.  Later that day, we were called back to the hospital to take Jeff home.  I walked into Jeff’s room and immediately noticed that he at least looked much better.  As I began to ask Jeff how he was feeling, a big smile came across his face; Jeff had not remembered the fact that we had picked him but, had remembered my voice.  He told me that the sound of my voice was reassuring to him and put him at ease; he said that he knew that everything would be alright because he could hear the concern for his well being in my voice.  He thanked me and began to cry; another example of why I love my weekend job.
Even though there are many patients that I remember, the one that I will remember the most is also the one who made me want to become an EMT to begin with.  I was actually working as an armed security officer in some of the “not so pleasant” neighborhoods of St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida.  Maria was a Russian immigrant who was also a diabetic.  I found her one night as I walked around an alley corner by her apartment complex; she had gone outside to empty her trash and could not remember her how to get home.  I asked her what her name was and received no more than a blank stare; I asked her where she lived and received nothing but a blank stare.  I could tell that Maria was in some sort of medical trouble since she was sweating excessively and didn’t even know her own name.  I immediately called for an ambulance and was told that she was going into diabetic shock and could have died if I had not found her.  After a can of coke and tube of glucose, Maria was feeling much better; the paramedic told her that I had found her and basically saved her life.  Every time that I worked that area, Maria would be sure to bring me something cold to drink and a snack at some point in the day; she told me that I was her hero. 
These are just a few examples of why I love to work in the emergency medical services field.  There are no words that can describe what it feels like to help another person in their time of need.  I have the privilege of helping every person that I meet in one way or another; it does not matter if I am performing patient care or driving the ambulance.  It is the small, unsolicited thank-you that makes it all worth it.  It is going to the grocery store and running into a patient feeling better that makes getting out of bed at three in the morning worth it.  I love my second job!

Contrast Exam Essay

                The debate went on for a good twenty minutes, from one person to another; not one person could agree.  The options really seemed endless and way too hard to choose on this particular day.  Each person was able to come up with their own idea, with very little agreement.  It looked like it could have been a very long afternoon.  My stomach growled and I thought that we would never decide on where to get lunch.  Would we be going to McDonalds or Burger King?  The concept is the same but, the differences are endless.  In the end, I throw my trash away in disappointment; there was such a work up for a meal that left me still feeling hungry and unsatisfied.
                The first major contrast in the two places would definitely have to be the French fries.  I think that the argument over who has the better fried potato wedge has been one of the biggest debates of the century.  I personally prefer Burger Kings fry over McDonalds.  Burger King fries have a crunchier outer shell and seem to be larger than McDonald’s fries; not to mention, hotter.  McDonalds just seem to be thinly cut, soft and always cold.  Besides, McDonalds does not give you the option of onion rings if you want to roll the dice and live a little bit!
                Burger King burgers are a million times better than McDonalds any day.  Take the Whopper for instance; it always has a freshly grilled taste and is complete with fresh vegetables such as lettuce tomato and lettuce.  The Big Mac at McDonalds tastes like it has been sitting in a pile of grease and under a heat lamp since the company was opened in 1940!  What is up with the secret sauce anyway?  At least come up with something other than Thousand Island dressing Ronald!  Did I mention the size of the burgers?  I am convinced that McDonalds has made up their own measurement system when weighing out their portions; quarter pounders are more like quarter ouncers!  I have never been upset with Burger Kings portion sizes.
                The last difference that I would like to point out is that Burger King food is made fresh to order and therefore, is always hot and fresh.  McDonald’s food will sit under the warmers for hours on end and soak in a pile of grease until someone finally gets around to putting it in an order.  I have never received a cold bag of food from Burger King but, will always seem to get a cold burger or fries from McDonalds.  The only thing that McDonalds has going for them is the McRib, and that is only once a year!
                I am sure that this makes me sound like I am a huge fast food eater but in reality, I am not.  I am actually sitting here awaiting that King character from the commercials to walk in the door with a giant check for my advertising and promoting of their brand.  At the end of the day, I will always choose Burger King over McDonalds if possible.  Sadly enough, my partner for the day won and we stopped at McDonalds for lunch.  I now know why I am throwing away my trash with an unsatisfied feeling and upset with my choice for lunch.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Annotated Bibliography

King, Stephen. The Eyes of the Dragon. Chivers, 1988. Print.
This book is by far, my most favorite book of all times.  It is very rare that I find a book that I have a hard time putting down; even on subsequent readings.  I like this book because it is not like many of Stephen Kings other books.  This book breaks the thriller type stereotype and takes you back to the time of castles, kings and evil magicians.  Many names of characters from Stephen Kings other novels (i.e. Flagg) make an appearance here along with the names of Stephen Kings children.  Even if you are not a fan of Stephen King, I think that this book would give you a new appreciation for the diverse types of writings that he is capable of.

Goldfine, John. "Lecturette 2: Annotated Bibliographies." ENG 101-95 Fall '11., 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2011. <>.
This is an amazing website with all you need to know to be able to write and (hopefully) pass English 101!  This has been one of the most visited websites in my browser this semester and I hear that the author gives extra credit for the students that kiss up a little.  The lectures are posted in a way that are easy to follow and lists the assignments that are due in a clear way.  I just wish that it had and “auto-complete all homework” tab. All jokes aside, it has been a very helpful in many ways

Limmer, Daniel, Michael F. O'Keefe, and Edward T. Dickinson. Emergency Care. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
This is the textbook that we used when taking the Emergency Medical Technician course.  I found this textbook to be very helpful in the course (as it should be.)  The contents are laid out in a way that teach each chapter and section by many methods; there are charts, pictures, tables and even these fancy word things!  I find myself still referring back to this textbook every once in a while if I feel that I need a quick refreshment on a particular topic and have advised many students in the bookstore to keep it after their class is over for this exact purpose.  A new edition has been published but, this text still holds (almost) all you would ever need to know to become an entry level EMT.