It’s The Sound Of The Police

Now more than ever, people have been publicizing and condemning the police brutality apparent in today’s society. Specifically with the Michael Brown case, as well as the Trayvon Martin case two years ago, it seems as though police officers have been growingly misusing their power, often against minorities. Of course, this is just one opinion currently circulating our society, nonetheless the increasing popularity of this opinion should be acknowledged. The question, however, is whether or not this police brutality is a rather new manifestation, or has it been around for longer than we thought?

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More Than A Women

A couple of years ago while I played on a U.S. academy soccer team which was a bunch of guys who wanted to pursue a career in soccer after high school, so it is easy to say that the atmosphere of it all was pretty competitive. Every practice, we always had this one girl who trained with us. Her name was Summer and she was committed to play soccer at the University of North Carolina. I remember the first practice she came too, everyone was thinking why is this girl playing with us, she’s going to be slower than us or weaker than us. Once we began playing, she was literally just as good or even better than most of us. We were all so surprised. But in retrospect, I ask the question to why is it that we just think that because she was a girl she wouldn’t be as good as us?

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Is It Still Golf?

Marc Tracy wrote the article, “NFL Rules Changes: When Is Football No Longer Football?” on August 2, 2013 for the New Republic. Tracy focused on the new rules adopted by the Competition Committee of the NFL in 2013. In order for football to be safer for players, the committee discontinued kick-offs at the Pro-Bowl, the tuck rule, and players lowering their helmet. Continue reading

Science, Sports, and Women

We have spent a lot of time the past few weeks in my Deep Time science course discussing the contributions of women in science and how they were largely ignored because of the gender of the scientists. Even though we’ve made a lot of progress, gender discrimination is still a big issue, as Mika LaVaque-Manty points out in his book, The Playing Fields of Eton. He comments on this specifically in his chapter “Being a Woman and Other Disabilities”. We’ve touched on the theme of gender inequality throughout the Political Theory course, so it is interesting to see how closely it is related to my science class. We see today that, as a way to make reparations for the treatment of women in science, many high schools, universities, and clubs offer separate programs or scholarships for women interested in science. In the discussion section for my science course we debated whether special treatment for women in science and other related fields is a good or bad thing.  The intent of this post is to relate LaVaque-Manty’s work to the present day occurrence of programs for women in science.

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What Defines Family?

What truly makes something what it is? Is there a specific right answer for what definite characteristic makes an apple an apple or a computer a computer? In the article by Marc Tracy, “NFL Rule Changes: When is football no longer football?” he asks this question as well. Tracy discusses the recent rule changes involving the Pro-Bowl and how they affect the future of the American national sport.

Football Kick Off

Tracy questions whether the elimination of kick offs and new regulations regarding helmets pose to undermine the sport of Football in its entirety. After exploring defining characteristics, he ends his point by writing, the “NFL needs to decide what Football is”: its rules, its traditions, and its future. What Tracy hints at is called a constitutive rule, or a regulation that helps makes something what it is, that when broken, says you are no longer engaged in that activity.

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Is Conservatism a Choice?

Now that I am a college freshman at the University of Michigan, I often reflect back to the stressful times of completing my college applications. Although, the process was difficult, I can say I am very happy with the outcome. It was amazing and even a bit astounding of how great Michigan. Here was this amazing university in my own backyard, and I would have to honestly say, I didn’t really know it existed until I was in the 9th grade. I attended an art school in Detroit, that has faced, and still faces problems. In the Detroit Public School system, money is a big issue. Because resources are limited, administration only focuses on schools who perform the best. This structure creates a cycle in which there is no better outcome.  In Detroit, school must pass yearly progress report called AYP. If a school fails to meet AYP for more that 3-5 years, they can be shut down. Few to none of the schools in the Detroit Public School system are up to par and can compete with others in neighboring counties, let alone the country. And with the current system in place, there seems to be little to no change.

In Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on  the Revolution in France”, Burke expresses his conservative ways in which he does not support the French Revolution. He fully advocates classical conservatism and favors hierarchy. Burke believe we should look to the past and follow tradition.

Edmund Burke Photo taken from Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Edmund Burke
Photo taken from Intercollegiate Studies Institute

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Football or something in the Middle?

My photo

U of M first game of the year

While growing up I was the only girl amongst a whole crew of boy cousins in my family. I wasn’t treated that way though. I was treated like one of the “guys”. I played every game and got just as dirty as they did. I learned how to be very aggressive when playing sports because they taught me how to play and that’s why I’m never afraid to get dirty or be rough still to this day. I know one sport that was the most fun to play though, football. Football is the most fun sport to play when you’re a little kid, you get to tackle each other and run to catch each other until you find someone to tackle again. Now, imagine being a little kid, and not being able to put your head down and tackle someone coming toward you while you’re running with the ball to defend yourself.l. When I read the article NFL Rules Changes: When is Football No Longer Football?, my childhood memories with my cousins was the first thing I thought about. In this article the controversial topic of banning the “Tuck Rule”, which is the rule where you are able to lower your helmet to break free of on coming tackles coming from the defense. The NFL has been in and out of trouble because of the multiple brain injuries arising from the sport so they think eliminating this rule will help the problem and a question arose from it; would football still be considered football with the banning of that rule? The answer they came up with in the article was yes, it would, but I to a child playing it would not be considered football. It would be somewhere between basketball and football. The whole point of football to a child is the tackling. To adults, it may not be as important because we understand the complete rules of the game and no that this specific rule may not make that much of a difference, but to a child, it can mean so much more. Sometimes I think we forget about what it was like to be a child and we just think about life now. I can’t imagine how football would have been for me without the “Tuck Rule”, and although people’s lives are at risk because of the rule, I’m sad to see it go.


Death and Community

Wherever there is life, there also must be death.  Therefore, death is a concept that has been around since the beginning of time.  And despite all the years that people and communities have had to deal with it, no one has come up with a universally accepted way for how to react after a loss of life.  People of different cultures all have their own unique ways of carrying on after a member of their community passes, and no tradition can be labeled as wrong or right.  With that being said, it is not only interesting, but also important to look at how different cultures deal with death and what their respected traditions might say about the specific society. Continue reading

Burke Goes to High School

Somewhat mimicking reality, the movie Mean Girls exhibits what high school social life was like…or rather how we all saw it. One of the biggest things I heard about college was that cliques didn’t exist – there was no social hierarchy. High school, however, was another thing. While my high school was a rather large public school, 2000 students, we all still seemed to know everyone, and most importantly, where everyone belonged. While my experience wasn’t quite as strict and cruel as what was depicted in the movie, connections can most definitely be made.

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“Go Fast and Win”

The entrance of Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

“More power! More power! More power! Ease off the gas, break, find the apex, look at your exit, more power, more power!” my instructor Rob yelled over the roar of the Corvette zo6. I had just completed a turn on the racetrack on a chilly December morning at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Arizona last year. I have never been much of a racing enthusiast; I have always found it more interesting to play soccer, football, or basketball despite my dad’s urges to discover the beauty of racing. When my dad signed me up for a 2-day course driving a stick shift Corvette zo6 at Bondurant last year, I knew I was in for a treat. I admit I wasn’t thrilled to be going to Bondurant; I just learned how to drive stick shift and wasn’t very confident in my ability to drive a car with a manual transmission. Instead of trying to convince my dad to get me out of the course, I held my tongue because I knew it was extremely important to him that I do this. Although I was initially told this trip was meant to make me a more skilled driver, in retrospect, it might have also been my dad’s way of showing me how difficult it is to be a racecar driver and instill in me respect for the sport.

Racing a Corvette zo6 at Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in December 2013.

Racing a Corvette zo6 at Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in December 2013.

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