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.

PLN 22

The State of Arizona recently passed a new law on illegal immigration that is causing protests throughout the state. The new law will give police the ability to ask for immigration papers if there is a suspicion of that person being an illegal immigrant. If a person was unable to provide immigration documents, they could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. People believe this would give police justification for racial profiling and lead to discrimination towards Hispanics. Illegal immigration in the US has become a very difficult issue. On one side, America has always been the land of opportunity for immigrants from all over the world. Entering the US legally can take years and thousands of dollars which many immigrants do not have. However, the strain illegal immigrants can place on the US economy costs taxpaying citizens of the US billions of dollars every year. If the law passes, it will be closely watched by many other states including Colorado.

PLN 21

Sadly the Colorado Avalanche were eliminated from the NHL playoffs Saturday night. However, this has been one of the best seasons for watching hockey due to the Avalanche overachieving in the 2009-2010 season. The Avalanche had a new coach with no NHL coaching experience, and a roster filled with several rookies. The experts thought the Avalanche would finish last in their division and maybe last in the Western Conference. But the team exceeded all expectations and made the playoffs after a two year drought. They even gave the number one seeded San Jose Sharks a scare by going up in the series 2-1, before losing the series 4 games to 2. The future looks very bright for the young and very talented Avalanche.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PLN 20

Recently, the NHL implemented a new rule making dirty head shots and head checks illegal. There has been an increase in severe head injuries in the NHL due to the increase in dirty head shots. There are three situations which a penalty is called for an illegal head shot; a player is trying to make a play and is attacked buy another, a player has his head down and is attacked by another player, a player has hot head down and is it and his shoulder or head hits the board because a dirty check. These dirty head shots are going to result in high fines and multiple game suspension. If a player is called for this infraction multiple times, the result can be a season long suspension or even being kicked out of the league. This is a good rule that will trickle down to youth hockey making this sport safer and more enjoyable for everyone to play.

PLN 19

Recent attention has been focused on the distractions caused by cell phone use by drivers. The number of accidents caused by cell phone use is staggering. Sadly, the number of accidents is increasing every year. Nearly 6,000 people are killed every year by teen’s texting while they are driving. Many states are considering bans on texting and talking on cell phones while driving. Colorado recently passed a law making texting while driving illegal. This is a law worth supporting because it will help protect the lives of drivers in Colorado. Expanding this to a national level would be an important step to making roads in the US safer.

PLN 18

Sharing vs. your privacy on Facebook
In the April 1st article on, author Doug Gross shares how the information posted on Facebook pages are creating privacy and safety issues for Facebook users. Because the content posted on Facebook is not monitored, many people provide too much information on their Facebook page, allowing people to gain important and valuable information. In addition to issues of safety, Facebook pages invite the potential for computer hackers and viruses to attack your computer. The article explains how to use privacy settings to your Facebook page safer. This article is important to students since so many are active on Facebook on a daily basis.

PLN 17

It is easy to take the weather we have in Colorado for granted. Over the past several days, the Northeast United States has experienced severe weather that we never experience in Colorado. The state of Rhoad Island has received over 60 inches of rain and the whole state is experiencing severe flooding. Officials are estimating that it will take several weeks for the water to subside and that damage will cost millions of dollars.

PLN 16

This is an amazing time of the year for sports fans. The NCAA basketball tournament, spring training for baseball and the push for the NBA playoffs are all happening at the same time. The best action is in the race for the NHL Stanley Cup. This year’s playoff race is one of the tightest ever. The Hockey News is predicting that a team could reach 100 points and still miss the playoffs in the Western Conference.

The pressure to make the playoffs is incredible. This is also true at school as we get closer to finals and the end of the school year. There are bid assignments, projects and tests that impact a student’s grade in a big way. This pressure can be difficult to handle, in a very similar way to the pressure of professional sports and the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

PLN 15

I watched the most amazing music video I have ever seen; “This Too Shall Pass” by the band Ok Go. The video ( depicts a “Rube Goldberg” type machine at work. The machine used in the video was built in a two-story warehouse from over 700 household objects, traversing an estimated half-mile course. The machine was created by a group of 55 to 60 people from Syyn Labs, the California Institute of Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and MIT Media Lab.

This type of machine would be a fun and unique project for students at Arapahoe. It combines math, science and art into one project. This would encourage teamwork and combining the abilities of students with different backgrounds.

Monday, March 15, 2010

pln 14

PLN 14

With the 2010 Winter Olympic Game’s just completed, the most exciting part of the games was the men’s ice hockey games. Since 1998, professional hockey players have been allowed to participate in the Olympic Games. The level and excitement generated by the increased level of play has been amazing. This year’s hockey games between the qualifying countries, was some of the best played hockey in years. The best of the best involved the two games between the USA and Canada. After beating Canada in a qualifying round, The USA made it through to the gold medal game where they once again faced Canada. The game was incredible with the USA scoring the tying goal with less than one minute to play. In overtime, Canada’s star player Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal.

In spite of the amazing play of each NHL player selected to play in the 2010 Olympic Games, the NHL is considering a rule that would prohibit their players from playing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. This would be a terrible decision. The interest sparked by the hockey games in Vancouver is a boost to the game of ice hockey. In a survey conducted after the Olympics, 48% of people surveyed now have a greater interest in watching hockey. The NHL should capitalize on this growing interest to re-establish hockey’s position as the greatest sport on earth.

pln 13

PLN 13

This week it was decided that all the teachers in a Rhode Island school district would be fired at the end of the school year. This decision was made after the school failed to improve on poor testing results over a two year period. The school is located in a very low income area of Rhode Island and many of the students are Hispanic with English as a second language. The decision to fire the teachers is difficult to understand. Due to the very challenging circumstances, the teachers are in a no win situation. The teachers were asked to work longer hours, eat lunch with students and provide tutoring after school with no additional pay. The job of school teacher is one of the most demanding jobs in America. The support and patience of parents and school board officials is critical to making teachers jobs successful. In addition to the unfair expectations placed on the Rhode Island teachers, this decision makes the career of a teacher seem very undesirable for today’s students.

pln 12

PLN 12

This is the best time of year as the days are longer and my favorite sports begin the push for the playoffs. It is exciting to see the Colorado Avalanche vying for a playoff spot with one of the youngest rosters in the NHL. With their combination of speed and determination on every shift, the Avalanche could be one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this year. The most exciting sports team in Colorado is the Denver Pioneer Men’s hockey team. They are the number one ranked team in the country and are positioned to win their eight NCAA hockey championship. This would give them the second most NCAA hockey championships in NCAA history (one less than Michigan and one more than North Dakota). Sadly, the games in the NCAA tournament are played at a neutral site away from Denver this year. However, many people including myself will be glued to the TV rooting for the Pioneers.

pln 11

PLN 11
I did PLN 11 on the video featuring Shaun White snowboarding ( The ability demonstrated by Shaun White is incredible. He is singlehandedly changing the sport of snowboarding. He does the tricks that are beyond description and seem to defy gravity. He has people on the edge of their seats every time he tightens his bindings. Recently, his run to win the gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver was simply amazing. More impressive than his accomplishments on his snowboard is the image he presents as a positive role model for all young athletes. Shaun White’s popularity grows everyday and his positive influence can help shape a new generation in many beneficial ways.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

pln 7

Pln 7
My Google Reader report was about Google Reader link, about the 2010 Canadian Olympic hockey team. This team could be one of the best hockey teams ever assembled. This team is expected to dominate the 2010 Olympic Games similar to the way Canadian Olympic teams of the past have often done. The Canadian team includes players from the top line of the San Jose Sharks NHL team, the number one scoring line in all of hockey. However, overconfidence can lead to major upsets, as witnessed in this 2010 Major World Junior Hockey Tournament as the USA team won the gold medal, beating Canada for only the second time ever.

pln 6

Pln 6
I included research in my article report from the website It was on this site that I watch videos and read about the terrible things that are done when slaughtering horses. First they corral numerous horses into cramped small pens. Each horse is then run into an individual metal crate that allows very little room to even move. They then stun the animal with an electric shock that is meant to kill the horse. Most of the time, they only stun the horse. When the horse is moved into the area where they are slaughtered, these stunned horses are fully awake when they are slaughtered. This is one of the most inhumane acts performed on any living creature. I encourage you to visit where you can get informed and get inspired to put a stop to the terrible practice of horse slaughtering.

pln 5


I did my article report on “Cruelty to Animals, Human Violence”. This article presents a study of serial killers. The serial killers that were interviewed all remembered there first’s acts of violence were either hurting or killing animals. “Dr Howard Koplewicz, director of the Child Study Center at New York University said, "Whenever I read about someone committing a horrible crime against an animal and getting off with a slap on the wrist because 'it was just a cat', I become sick with dread because I know that as despicable as the acts may be that they've already committed, these people aren't finished yet. They're just getting warmed up". This feeling is shared by many other people, including myself. Those that commit terrible acts on animals should be faced with harsh punishment, including serving time in prison. When a person can do something so terrible to an animal, it is not hard to imagine them doing something to harm another human being.

pln 4


Growing up in the computer age has made everyday life dependent on this technology. The dependence on computers for almost every aspect of life, including school, makes computers a necessity in the classroom. Using computers in class allows students to be more efficient, enabling teachers to accomplish more with limited classroom time. Computers provide greater access to the tools that can help people learn and grow. A computer is like having a personal teacher in the classroom; if you need help the computer can even provide solutions. Lastly, gaining computer skills better prepares students for the entering the working world of the 21st century.

pln 9

Students Helping Students was one of the most amazing videos I have ever witnessed. Students helping students really gets down to what we say on the announcements every day “warriors always take care of one another”. This video how shows just something like selling shirts can make an impact in someone life, allowing them the opportunity of higher education they could otherwise not afford. This was an incredibly moving and inspiring video. This hit home personally as I am witnessing the financial challenges my parents are facing in their effort to put my older sister through college during a difficult economy.

pln 3 2-8-10


Reading and watching the continued coverage of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti is overwhelming. It is difficult to imagine that this type of destruction and immediate need for aid would be necessary in 2010. It seems as if the country of Haiti was transported back to a time thousands of years ago when there were no accepted ways of construction or an organized social structure that has become so common place today. It is heartbreaking to learn of entire families killed in one catastrophic event that lasted only a few seconds. The outpouring of support and donations is amazing – but it seems like it will not be enough to help all the people in desperate need. There are over 1,000,000 people that are homeless. How can one country deal with such a tragedy? There is good that can come out of a tragedy such as this; a unifying of nations to bring relief to Haiti and a chance to rebuild a nation that was considered one of the poorest in the world. Sadly it seems like the earthquake is quickly fading from the mind of the public. Our attention span as Americans continues to get shorter and shorter. Let’s hope this does not diminish the opportunity to make our world better through such a tragic event.