English Class Blog

Thursday, May 06, 2004

As the end of my first year of college nears it is time to look back and reflect. When I look at how much I have learned in nine short months I am amazed. First of all, I have learned more this year than probably the last six years of school combined, especially in the areas of math and science. In math I have expanded my knowledge of calculus to areas that I never even knew about before this. In high school I needed a whole year to learn about integration and derivatives. Now I can do line, surface, complex integrals and many other types of integrals, which are very important in physics. I have also learned so much in physics. Before this year I knew very little about relativity and quantum mechanics. Now I know how to use the Schrodinger wave equation to find simple wave equations of particles. Learning about relativity has changed my perceptions about time and space. Before I thought that time was an absolute quantity. Now I know that the perceived time between events can vary significantly between frames depending on the velocity of the frames, if someone had told me this before this year I never would have believed it. My chemistry class has taught me so much more than when I took chem in high school. In one semester I have learned more than in one entire year of high school. As I mentioned in my previous journal I have improved my writing so much as compared to my previous writings. Next year I hope to learn even more in the classes that I took.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Looking back at my earlier journals I think that I have improved quite a bit. First of all, I offer much more analysis and evidence in more recent journals than earlier ones. For example in the Feb. 15 journal in which I wrote about McCloud's main claim in one of his chapters. I simply had a claim and one piece of evidence. However, in the April 6 journal on whether college athletes should be paid, I offered a couple pieces of evidence that supported my main claim. I have also improved in creating more complex claims. Rather than just saying something is true I also go into saying why this important. I feel that my writing has improved a lot because of these journals. They have helped to improve my writing, these improvements have transferred into writing better papers. When I look back at the papers that I wrote last semester in my History 120 class I have noticed a lot of improvement. In those papers I didn't really have a strong claim and in the papers that I have written for this class my claim is much more complex.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

What is the greatest equation of all time? In It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science by Graham Farmelo he compiled a list of the 11 greatest equations of all time. Of those listed, I believe that the well know E=mc^2 is the greatest equation. The main reason is that while it is very important in physics, it is also very easy for the common public to understand what it means. It is a simple equation that relates the rest energy of an object with its mass. The equation has permeated in common culture, appearing in the recent movie "School of Rock". It has become synonomous with science in general and has lead to Einstein being a well known name. If you ask someone what they know about Einstein, chances are they will say something about E=mc^2. While other famous physicists, such as Schrodinger, De Broglie and Maxwell are less known for their equations, which are just as important, and for some, more important than Einstein's. I remember learning about Einstein and his work early in school and that equation was all I knew about physics until I took a physics class in high school. While understanding Schrodinger's and Maxwell's equations require more advanced math than just algebra which makes them less accessible to many people. By being accessible and understandable by the public, E=mc^2 is the greatest equation of all time.

Go Spurs!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Should the NCAA football decide its champion by a playoff? In my opinion that would be a huge mistake. Adding a playoff for the top eight teams would mean that in order to win the championship a team could conceivibly be forced to play 16 games in one season. That may not seem like it is a lot however, adding two games to a season is a huge deal. Many teams now a days play 11-13 games in a season, including a bowl game. By adding these two games athletes are forced to play two more grueling games that wear down their bodies faster. Many players start out in middle school by playing around 7 games, in high school that goes up to 9 games, in college its around 11 and finally the NFL plays 16 games. By slowly transitionining the players up to 16 it is a lot easier on their bodies than just jumping from 9 to 16 games in one season. Some might argue that this will get rid of all the controversy over who the national champion is, such as with this year with USC and LSU. The problem with saying that is there is going to be the same problems with trying to fill the eight slots for the playoff. What if there are ten teams that deserve it? Then they can fix this by making the field 16 teams, which will lead to more teams being included the next controversy. Eventually all this adjusting could end up be a 64 team playoff like NCAA basketball, which would be completely insane to do for football. Teams would have to play up to six extra games to win the championship. For me the best system is the current system. I'll admit it, I was pissed off when USC wasn't in the title game last year. However, the LSU-Oklahoma game was great to watch, because I LOVE defense, which made up for USC not being in it. The BCS has lead to such championship games as Miami- Ohio State and Oklahoma- Flordia State, both of which were some of the greatest games ever. If there is a split national championship then there is a split national champion, I don't see a problem with that at all.

Go Red Wings!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The best movie that I have ever seen would have to be Gladiator with Russell Crowe. What makes the movie so great is that the movie is able to evoke a lot of emotions during the movie. Everybody that watches the movie ends up hating Commodus because he is effectively portrayed as a very bad person. When he is finally killed in the end it makes you feel good that Maximus won. However, when Maximus dies a little bit later, the feelings plummet to sadness over such a great man dying in the end. The rollercoaster of emotions throughout the movie add the overall experience of the movie and make it so much better than other, similar stories. The story is also important to making the movie so good. This is a classic revenge story, which a lot of people, including myself, enjoy. This story is very easy to follow, about a man who loses his family, becomes a gladiator and ends up killing the man who ordered the death of his family. The story doesn't make the viewer think at all and allows them to get into the story more. Due to connection that the viewer creates with the characters and the easy to follow storyline, Gladiator is one the best movies I have ever seen.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The article that I looked at was in the Daily Cardinal and it is an opinion letter called "Thanks to alders, liberty goes up in smoke" by Eric Kleefeld. This letter was extremely well written in my opinion. It is clear right away that the writer is opposed to the smoking ban that the city council instituted in bars. There is a great example of a counter argument in here. He gives an example of the positive from this ban, which is reducing the amount of second hand smoke. He then points out that the ban would cause the second hand smoke to move outside where it will be a bigger annoyance to the people walking past the bar and on State Street with a lot of pedestrians that could be an even worse thing. By putting this counter argument in the writer is able to better point out a flaw in one of the major reasons for the law, reducing the second hand smoke in the bar. The author also puts in that there was an alternative, which was voted down by the city council. By saying that this more moderate ban was voted down, the author is trying to show the reader how uncompromising the city council was in their vote. The author could have better supported his point by getting a quote from someone that voted against the law, or get some reaction from bar owners or people that this affect. By using these it would better show how this law was a bad idea and how it will negatively affect the city. Overall I think that this article was written very well.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Today the United States Supreme Court decided to reject the appeal that Maurice Clarett had brought to them. In their ruling they upheld the NFL’s right to not allow players,who have not been three years out of high school from entering the league. Clarett is now not allowed to enter the draft which is held this weekend. The Supreme Court was right to uphold the NFL rule. The rule was not some arbitrary rule that the head honchos in the NFL decided to add to punish young athletes. This rule was drafted to make sure that kids do not throw their life away when they try to enter the NFL but are not ready. This rule can prevent the problems that the NBA faces when a high school kid or freshman is drafted and turns out to not be ready to play with the professionals. This rule was approved by the NFL Player’s Union, which is a key reason why the rule has been upheld in other court rulings. Since this rule was approved by the Player’s Union in the previous collective bargaining agreement this rule does not fall under the Sherman Antitrust Act, which Clarett had argued. Unfortunately the biggest loser in this ruling is not Clarett, but Mike Williams from USC. He was projected to be a top 10 pick in this draft and he therefore signed an agent. With this ruling Mike Williams cannot enter the draft and he cannot return to college because he has signed an agent, which is against NCAA regulations. In my opinion the NCAA should make an exemption for Williams, since he signed an agent and tried to enter the draft, when he was allowed to after a successful court challenge of the rule, which was later overturned.

Go Red Wings!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?