Blog Entry #17: Final Prompt

My favorite part of this course was the conversation we had centered on the book Nobody.  I really enjoyed that book and what Hill was able to accomplish by linking the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, etc. to deeper, more systemic issues with racism and our flawed criminal justice system.  It was such an important book!  
I also enjoyed being able to interject so much opinion in the course as a whole.  It was less about academics and research than my other courses (many of the other courses were based on theory) and more based on current events and other important topics, like feminism, which I loved having the opportunity to talk about as a group.  It has been a great experience!

Blog Entry #16: Feature Article

Here's the link to my feature article!

Blog Entry #15: A Change of Heart

It may sound like it’s incredibly late in the game to have a change of heart about my topic for the feature article, but sometimes we just have to do what feels right!

I was originally planning to study and write about free public higher education in the United States, which is something that I believe is very relevant to all of us as college students, but especially so to myself, as I plan to make my career in higher education.  Professor Macek was really supportive of this topic and offered my some really great advice as far as sources of information and contact information for people to interview for the article.  However, at this point, I don’t feel that I have enough time to do that topic the justice it deserves.  That may have been a more appropriate choice for a capstone project where I could give it my full attention and dedicate 10 weeks’ worth of effort to it.

Also, as I was researching, I found that my passion for that topic just wasn’t there.  At least, not compared to ano…

Blog Entry #14: Final Project Research

The focus for my final project/feature article is whether or not higher education should be free in the United States.  As I’m sure most people in the class would agree (as we are currently all college students at a pricey, private liberal arts schools), free higher education would be a game changer.

Although I have had scholarships and forms of tuition remission throughout my college education, I have still had to take out a LOT of loans, just in order to survive while in college.  Though I am incredibly grateful for the graduate assistantship I hold at NCC (because it pays my tuition and fees), the stipend I am awarded for working for the college is only $3,750.00 PER YEAR, which breaks down to about $300.00 per month-- far from a living wage.  I suppose I could have taken on another job or two instead of taking the student loans, but I had this radical idea that working one intensive job while completing graduate level classes and having any semblance of a normal life is more than …

Blog Entry #13: Improving the Criminal Justice/Prison Systems

I also think our criminal justice/prison systems would be a lot better off if we took a more educational (versus a punitive) approach.  In the case of violent crimes, I think incarceration is important to maintain the safety of the public, but when it comes to some nonviolent crimes (especially drugs), I think we should be investing more in rehabilitation than in punishment.  More often than not, the people we are imprisoning need help, not to be locked up, where they often have access to drugs even more readily than on the streets.  Education, compassion, and rehabilitation are key, in my opinion.

Blog Entry #12: From Nobody to Somebody & Orange is the New Black

I don’t feel like I am the one who is qualified or whose place it is to make suggestions about how to address the concentrated poverty, chronic lack of jobs and political disempowerment of communities like Ferguson, Missouri and Flint, Michigan.  I am a person of significant privilege, especially compared to the people who live in those communities, so I feel I am probably a bit blinded by my privilege.

The people living in those communities should be asked this question because they are the ones who know their respective situations best.  We should not tell them what they need; we should ASK them what they need.  

As far as changing police practice to improve relations between cops and Black men, young and old, I think that it should be mandatory for cops to wear body cameras that film and record sound during the entirety of their shifts.  I don’t know how much this will improve relations, but it will, I would hope, place more accountability on the officers.  Maybe if they know they ar…

Blog Entry #11: Representation of Women on TV

Since reading the very enlightening Douglas book, I’m finding it difficult to think of any accurate representations of the lack of gender equity in TV shows/films.  So many of them display fantasies of women in power, as Douglas describes, without capturing what it’s really like to be a woman in everyday America.

One show that comes to mind is the recently released Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.  This show has been on my mind (and many people’s, it seems) quite a lot lately.  It wasn’t without its faults, but I found it to be very triggering and very impactful.  More than once, it showed how difficult it can be for a teenage girl who’s trying to navigate high school.

For one, the best/worst list that was created.  When Hannah Baker was listed as “best ass” on the list, even her most compassionate male friend thought she should take it as a compliment, when really all it did was make her feel uncomfortable and act as an open invitation for male students to sexually harass and assault …