Men’s Basketball v. Women’s Gymnastics

Last week, I was able to attend the men’s basketball game against the Syracuse Orange. Throughout the entire game, the two teams were basically neck in neck and it was anyone’s game. Vibrant electricity was pulsing through the crowd and the cheering for the Wolverines was making the ground quake; specifically, the noise from the student section stood out immensely. The student cheering section for men’s basketball games in the Chrisler Arena is commonly known as the “maize rage.” Through the encouragement of the maize rage, with less than a minute remaining, Michigan’s Spike Albrecht managed to break the tie by scoring a 3-pointer, thus putting the Wolverines back in the lead. The maize rage went crazy in wild cheers and song supporting their team. It was truly an incredible feeling to be apart of. Just as Giamatti writes in his Take Time for Paradise, I can attest that “The spectator, seeing something he had only imagined, or, more astonishingly, had not yet or would have never imagined possible, because the precise random moments had never before come together in this form to challenge the players, is privy to the realized act of imagination an assents, is mastered, and in that instant, bettered.” The ability to be apart of the maize rage was something that allowed for a bond to form not just among the spectators, but also between the spectators and the team. Through our cheering on the team, we formed a bond with them that motivated them to push themselves harder and eventually resulting in a Wolverine victory. Continue reading

Justice in Ferguson

Depending on an individual’s point of view and their own values and background, they might see something differently than someone else. Different people may classify certain actions as being just, while others might claim that those same actions are unjust. So, who really is to say that something is entirely just or unjust in everyone’s eyes?

Last week, the Supreme Court made the executive decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the death of teen Michael Brown. Immediately following the decision, protests and riots erupted in the town of Ferguson. Angry protesters

Michael Brown and Darren Wilson

began setting local businesses on fire, blocking tunnels, and overall causing extreme chaos in the city (Sanchez). That wave of riots then began to spread across the country as more and more people joined in to protest the Court’s decision. The protesters were arguing that the ruling was an unjust act of racism against black teenager Michael Brown. In Ray Sanchez’s “Why Ferguson Touched a Raw, National Nerve,” he writes that, “To them, Ferguson is just the latest reminder that the American criminal justice system doesn’t treat blacks and whites the same — and that young black men in particular are often killed with impunity.” The people of Ferguson strongly felt that the final decision by the court was extremely wrong and unjust. Just as Martin Luther King protested the injustice toward colored people that he had witness in his lifetime, the rioters in Ferguson were fighting back against a ruling that they felt was unjust. Continue reading

Land Mines

Imagine yourself walking through a minefield, and with every step you take you risk losing your life. While this example is a little dramatic, I’m sure you can picture that familiar nervous feeling of your palms moistening and beads of sweat beginning to form on your forehead. Your breath shortens and your heartbeat picks up as you are about to take some risk or embark on an adventure. Continue reading

The High School Hierarchy

In today’s society, hierarchies are present all around us. Whether it be the hierarchy of individuals in our society as a whole, or even just the social ladder in one’s high school, we see that different social statuses exist. While some people are content with their placement on the social ladder, others will do whatever they can to climb it, or take it down entirely.

What’s the first movie that comes to your mind when you think about high school hierarchies? Personally, my mind always goes straight to Mean Girls. In the movie, the clique of mean girls known as the “plastics” claim their spot at the top of the social food chain and are essentially the royals of their high school. When the new girl Cady first arrives at school, they surprisingly take her into their exclusive group. Naïve to their claws at first, she happily joins them as the newest member of the plastics. Before long, however, she uncovers their “Burn Book,” which includes gossip and nasty comments about all the girls in the school, and decides that it is time to take down the Queen B: Regina George. So, Cady devises a plan and begins giving Regina caltine bars that intentionally make her gain weight, and attempts to cut off her relationships with the other plastics. In a sense, Cady is starting a revolution against Regina George. Continue reading

A Marathon Over the Hill

The topic of women in athletics continues to be an ongoing controversy in America and all over the world. Even though progress has been made, there are still clear differences in the treatment of women in sports versus men. However, with the constant discussion about the gender differences between men and women, is society overlooking the obvious differences and discrimination against older people in sports? Do people ever stop to think about the cultural norms attached to being “Over the Hill?”

After reading Ariel Levy’s article “Either/Or,” I gained a better understanding of the nature of gender norms and sex and the resulting barriers to participation in sports due to these norms. Historically, men have been thought to be generally more athletic than women and more fit to participate in sports (see Title IX). There used to be institutional barriers to participation in which women were simply not allowed to participate in specific sports. Society has since made progress in attempting to eliminate most, but not all, of these institutional barriers. However, there are still value barriers that make it difficult for women to engage in certain sports due to societal norms and cultural beliefs. Some value barriers present false beliefs about the competence of women such as sexist comments like “girls can’t throw” and “women should wear dresses.” Other value barriers follow the assumption that because women participate in something, it makes that institution inferior. Continue reading

The Bold Action of Marketing

download (2)What does it truly mean to be fortunate? Many times, we hear people talking about how others are so ‘fortunate’ but what do they truly mean when they say this and why do some people appear to be more fortunate than others?

In Machiavelli’s The Prince he goes into great depth about the meaning and definition of fortune. He says that fortune consists of the events that are completely out of one’s control. People always want to be able to control their actions and have will to make choices, but in reality things don’t always happen the way that we might want them to. This element of the unknown is part of what makes life interesting and part of the wonder of what fortune is. Depending on the situation, fortune can bring on either good or bad events, which makes people want to be in control of their fortune so that they can increase the occurrence of good events, and avoid the bad ones. Machiavelli claims that the only way to deal with fortune is to take bold and courageous action. By sitting back and letting things just simply happen, people lose a bit of control over their lives. Therefore, taking a stand and stepping out of the box allows for people to control their own fortune. Continue reading