Friday, May 14, 2010

PLN 29

Supporting the military is not only important, but part of the freedom we share as American’s. However, it is clear that our involvement in the Middle East has become a no win situation. Most would agree that we need to continue the fight against terrorism. This is especially true in light of the recent failed car bomb in New York. However, the years of cultural, religious and geographic friction cannot be solved with US military intervention. We should find better ways to combat terrorism and bring home the troops that are stationed in the Middle East. This will save additional soldiers from dying an unnecessary death and save our country billions required to fight this war.

PLN 28

The oil spill of the coast of Louisiana is nearing a crisis. Current estimates are over 4,000,000 gallons of oil has spilled into the ocean with no end in sight. If an earthquake were to occur in this area, worst case scenarios of 810,000 gallons of oil would spill each day. Additional impacts by hurricanes could create additional damage miles inland from the gulf coast. This crisis may be the event that inspires many Americans to change their dependence on oil and look for alternative fuels. The oil spill affects people and animals in so many ways; it impacts people’s livelihoods crippling the fishing and tourism industries, it destroys animal and marine life killing fish and organisms critical to the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico as well as impacting the ecosystem above the ocean surface. Although BP, the owner of the oil well is trying to implement ways to stop the leak and clean up the oil, it will take decades for the entire oil spill to be cleaned and the area returned to its previously clean state.

PLN 27

Sadly, earning a degree in education is one of the worst paying college degrees. The average starting salary for a teacher is $36,200 with a mid-career average salary of only $54,100. This is a sad commentary on the state of the education. The demands placed on teachers can be immense. With falling budgets and higher demands for good test scores, the pressure put on teachers continues to increase. Colorado is now considering a revision to teacher tenures based in part on test scores. This is unfair and will cause many people considering a career in teaching to choose other fields to pursue. These are some of the reasons the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believes employment opportunities for primary, secondary, and special education teachers are expected to grow by 14 percent in the coming decade. Teachers deserve better as they truly make a difference in the world each day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLN 26

One of the most shocking events to a teen is learning of the attempted or successful suicide of another student. It is difficult to fathom someone taking their own life, especially at such a young age. The effect of a teen suicide is incredible. The wave of shock can be felt for days and even weeks. Sadly, one suicide can seem to lead to another. The pressure and expectations of growing up in the 21st century can be too much for some to handle. Peer groups may be an effective way to help students cope with the issues that may lead to suicide. There is so much to live for each day. If we can help even one student, a peer group would be a success.

PLN 25

This past weekend saw the NFL draft wrap up in New York. The biggest headline in the draft was made by the Denver Broncos selection of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. The Broncos drafted Tebow 25th overall in the first round Thursday. This was a shock to almost everyone as Tebow was projected to go much later in the draft. This is a huge gamble by the Broncos, as Tebow has many flaws in his throwing motion that will make the transition from college quarterback to NFL quarterback very difficult. However, Tim Tebow has many intangibles such as being a great leader, a hard worker and a great role model. Many will argue the choice of Tim Tebow as the 25th pick in the draft, but few will argue that this draft pick will generate incredible interest in the 2010-2011 Denver Broncos football season.

PLN 24

One of the sports world’s most famous athletes, Ben Roethlisberger will not be tried for sexual abuse on a college student earlier this year. The alleged situation occurred at a Georgia night club. This is another example of an athlete getting in trouble with the law. In years past, athletes were upheld as role models for children and adults alike. They presented an image that a child could aspire to imitate. Now athletes are often viewed as prima donnas who are above the law. Many athletes use poor judgment in their personal and professional lives. If someone was accused by their employer of breaking the law or a code of conduct at their office, they would often be immediately fired from their job. High paid athletes are given second, third and even fourth chances to continue or resume their careers, with little or no repercussions. It definitely makes me appreciate the athletes who are truly role models like Joe Sakic and Chauncey Billups.

PLN 23

One of the most amazing videos I have seen is of the recent eruption and ash clouds produced by Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland. It is amazing to not only see the size of the cloud, but to see how this event has impacted much of Europe. The dense black clouds in Iceland were causing severe respiratory problems for people and animals alike. Thousands were stranded as planes could not fly through the ash cloud as it could cause engine failure in a plane. Although the volcano ash cloud has gone down, it is still causing problems in Northern Europe. The ash cloud could drift as far west as the east coast of North America. This year sadly, has already been memorable for the number of natural catastrophes.