Author Archives: silo2014

Artifact 2: Education Redefined

When New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina, there was a portion of New Orleans called the lower-ninth ward was changed forever, for roughly eighty percent have left and only “20 percent have  returned ” to this day. But where there is destruction and devastation, people will always fight a back to build what was once theirs. Learning to redo what was once undone is essential to life. Learning to accomplish a goal comes from a process called education. In “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy” by Ari LeVaux, a new idea of education is taught, one without teachers lecturing all the time or kids reading out of books.  He is not creating a new way of teaching, but rather taking a different direction or creating a new path way to teaching students. When people think about education, they immediately think of schools, teachers, students, rule, boundaries, and classes. What if that is not what education really is? The people of the lower-ninth ward establishes that education can be accomplished in the backyard of a grocery store, in an outside area where there are no boundaries on what can be learned and there are no walls to contain students, for there is a not-so-typical school in the heart of the lower-ninth ward that was built from an abandoned grocery store now called Our School at Blair Grocery. Continue reading


Artifact 1: Pictures on a Website

When you were a little kid do you remember your disappointment when you would pick up a book at a library or a book store and there would be no pictures? I remember immediately putting that book down and moving onto the next one because no one wants to stare at a piece of paper if there are no colors or images. Now I know and agree that books can be intriguing without pictures or color, such as Harry Potter, but I guarantee a picture book will capture your eyes first. Although the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is true in most cases, I am still going to pick up book that has a dragon on its cover rather than a book with only the word dragon. Continue reading


Reflection: Almost There

In this class we learned different techniques when writing to different audiences and with different genre in mind. The best way to learn how to accomplish this new way of writing was to analyze my peers and the way they wrote. I gained ideas from my peers’ works, and also I was able to think of new topics that would seem interesting to them rather than just me. My second encounter was about the website www.chevy.com which is a site about the vehicles made and sold created by GM.  It was very interesting on how the website was laid out for the purpose of capturing someone’s attention. I decided to write about this website because I wanted it to be interesting to my peers and those who would be reading my paper. From analyzing my audience, I was able to choose a topic that they would like to read or be interested in. My paper began with,

“When you were a little kid do you remember your disappointment when you would pick up a book at a library or a book store and there would be no pictures? I remember immediately putting that book down and moving onto the next one because no one wants to stare at a piece of paper if there are no colors or images. Now I know and agree that books can be intriguing without pictures or color, such as Harry Potter, but I guarantee a picture book will capture your eyes first. Although the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is true in most cases, I am still going to pick up book that has a dragon on its cover rather than a book with only the word dragon.”

 One of my best paragraphs of the entire semester because it made a personal connection to people or made them laugh because of its simplicity. I would not have thought to write this paragraph if I did not have the idea of my audience in the back of my mind. Continue reading


The Malibu

In the spring of 2011, my 1999 Nissan Altima reached 162,000 miles and it was becoming unreliable, so I decided that it was time for a better car. I did some research, and I decided on a Malibu that was a 2000 year or newer. I only had $3000 to spend, and I figured I could get one with fewer than 100,000 miles on it for that price. I found one in Chicago for sale by a private owner because I couldn’t afford a vehicle from a dealer. I talked to the guy over the phone and went up and checked it out, and I bought it. I got it home and realized it needed a few repairs something like $200. I got those things fixed and everything was good to go, but then I decided to take it to a mechanic to get it checked out by a professional. I have a friend who is a manager at a popular mechanic shop, and he and some guys looked it over and told me my intake gasket was leaking, this means in dollar language about $650 needed to be fixed. I told them I and my cousin could do it for half that price and so we did. It only cost $250 along with 8 hours of labor. Continue reading


Tosh.0

Tosh.0 is a TV show on Comedy Central, and it is this guy who shows videos that range from hilarious to disturbing to downright disgusting and wrong. This is apparent from the blog portion of the website because people are always posting hilarious comments and ideas or what they think would help the show. Now not all the comments are there to help the show or say good things about Tosh. Most of it is just random videos or pictures that are meant to be crazy things that people see or do. There are videos of guys on a boat trying to guess how long a shark is, also there is a video about a kid who was on news because he is the latest victim of “Kick a Ginger Day.” Continue reading


Redefining a Purpose

Also written by DeAnikwa Richmond.

Edward O. Wilson is a prestigious Harvard biologist who wrote a paper called “Apocalypse Now” for the purpose of talking about the need for a stronger push towards a more environmentally protective world.  Humans are destroying the earth’s forests, rivers, lands, oceans, air and atmosphere, and the species that inhabit the earth. The only force to stop the humans’ destruction of mother earth is mankind. Wilson wants to stop humanity from killing the earth and in the end human kind’s existence. Wilson’s “Apocalypse Now” is a letter to a pastor of religion, for the sake of protecting humanity and the earth’s environments. He wants science and religion to forget their differences and come together for the environment. The Pastor can get the people who believe in the same morals and values as “him” to follow along with the message he is trying to convey. This argument is in letter form, which makes it a unique rhetorical device that is effective in capturing the readers’ attention; also it makes for a distinctive and motivating way of people agreeing with his argument because of its letter format. Continue reading


Fishing for Patience

It is about 5:30 am on a Sunday in July, and the night before I had come up with the awesome idea of asking my girlfriends little brother, Robbie, if he wanted to get up nice and early to go fishing on my boat at 6 am. I had bought an old 1960 army assault boat in May of 2011; it was kind of an impulse purchase. I know what you’re thinking: who buys a boat on an impulse? But that’s me sometimes; also I bought a Jeep because I needed a vehicle to pull the boat and trailer. Anyways, Robbie told me if he was not up by 5:45 then I could come in and yell at him, so I did. He got up and we went out to the Jeep to do the routine check. I checked the ratchet straps that were holding the boat to the trailer and made sure we had our fishing poles and bait which consisted of live worms and fake minnows. The anchor was ready along with my trolling motor and the battery was charged. Finally we were off. We drove only a couple blocks until I start to get hungry Continue reading


Asian Carp

A couple years ago an invasive species called the Asian carp or Silverfin was introduced to the Midwest rivers. This is not good. Species from different areas around the world are not suppose to be introduced into a place where they were they did not originate. When this happens sometimes the species would just die because it could not adapt to the new ecosystem, but unfortunately this did not happen and now the Asian Carp is killing the native species and destroying environments all over the Midwest.

The Asian Carp is effectively breeding in the new aquatic environment. They reproduce so quickly that killing a portion of them has no effect on the population. In a lifetime, these fish can produce “200,000 to 1 million eggs” whereas native carp will reproduce roughly “500-5000 eggs” in a life time (dnr.wi.gov). They can grow up to 100 pounds and reach four feet long in some areas.

These fish are extremely dangerous expecially when people go boating in their newly formed habitats. In the Illinois River, when traveling by boat, the fish will hear and feel the vibration and try to escape by jumping out of the water. If one of these fish were to hit a person in the head it could kill them. The Asian Carp population is out of control, and they have this behavior of jumping out of the water because they cannot move around through the water without hitting each other because there are so many of them.

There is a threat to Lake Michigan from these carp. If one were to make it into the lake, the entire lake ecosystem will be destroyed. To try and stop this invasion to the great lakes, electrical barriers have been set up along rivers that funnel into the lakes, along with nets. The only way we will stop these fish is if we kill them or find a predator that will feed on them. The fish need to be killed in any way possible. One idea is we catch them by the net full, and throw them on land and wait for them to die then use them as fertilizer for farming. They are also full of healthy meat that could be used to feed people. We should be eating them and overfishing them till extinction. They need to be killed and gotten rid of before they destroy all the aquatic ecosystems throughout the U.S.A.


Eduction Redefined

When New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina, there was a portion called the lower-ninth ward was changed forever, for roughly eighty percent have left or have yet to return. But where there is destruction and devastation, people will always fight a back to build what was once theirs. Learning to redo what was once undone is essential to life. Learning to accomplish a goal comes from a process called education. In “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy” by Ari LeVaux, a new idea of education is created, one without teachers lecturing all the time or kids reading out of books.  When people think about education, they people immediately think of schools, teachers, students, rule, boundaries, and classes. What if that is not what education really is? The people of the lower-ninth ward establishes that education can be accomplished in the backyard of a grocery store, in an outside area where there are no boundaries on what can be learned and there are no walls to contain students, for there is a not-so-typical school in the heart of the lower-ninth ward that was built from an abandoned grocery store now called Our School at Blair Grocery.

I know that when I attend college classes I am receiving an education, at least that’s what I am told. Sometimes I attend a class and it feels as if time is being wasted, so is that how education is suppose to feel? No it is not, and Nat Turner, founder of OSBG, would agree with me. Turner does not teach like the typical teacher who stays in a class room and lectures to a group of students all day, for he created a garden and school in the backyard of a rundown grocery store. This school is not accredited or qualified which means it is not even supposed to be called a school, but to the kids of lower-ninth ward it is more than a school or a place for education. To them, it is a sanctuary; a place to fill them with abstract knowledge; to realize how food is produced, a place to feel safe among the crime that has consumed the area. This is a place for them to create goals and to learn how to accomplish these goals. These kids are learning a valuable point in the meaning of education.

When the students get to OSBG, they smell rotting compost but it does not deter them away like it would most people, instead they get their hands dirty and begin to work the compost into the contaminated soil so that they can plant vegetables that will become food and a source of revenue to the school. These kids are receiving an education by creating growing food from dirty and smelly compost. Turner is creating an education atmosphere so unlike the norm of most schools today. Some students do not know how to read, but are they going to be told that they have to learn how to read like normal school? Turner says no because it is not the main goal of OSBG, but he states, “[if] a student wants to learn to read we’ll help them learn.” An education at OSBG is more than reading out of text books and memorizing a few facts, for it shows the kids that they can accomplish goals on their own and that there is so much more to life than reading books in a classroom

Education is the learning of a new skill in any way shape or form, and this is what is happening at schools including OSBG, but when someone is told to give an example of education; OSBG is going to be the example left out. The article “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy” by Ari LeVaux was spot on about how education can be taken in a completely different direction yet have an immense impact upon an individual or entire community. In describing education, different points of views will be written and argued, but we can all agree that where there are people who willing to learn there will education.


Pictures on a Website

When you were a little kid do you remember your disappointment when you would pick up a book at a library or a book store and there would be no pictures? I remember immediately putting that book down and moving onto the next one because no one wants to stare at a piece of paper if there are no colors or images. Now I know and agree that books can be intriguing without pictures or color, such as Harry Potter, but I guarantee a picture book will capture your eyes first. Although the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is true in most cases, I am still going to pick up book that has a dragon on its cover rather than a book with only the word dragon. Continue reading


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