Posts Tagged ‘ opinion ’

Ecto – Because Bleezer Doesn’t Like Me

This post (if it even reaches the web) was written using Ecto. I tried Bleezer (a free desktop publishing tool) but couldn’t figure out the correct port for my self hosted WordPress blog (why do I need a port??).
Anyway, now I can write offline (without writing in MS Word or whatever) and post it directly. Or, if you think about it – I’ve just found another way to use up space on my already full hard drive. 🙂 Maybe the upside will be that my post increase in quality and thoughtfulness…hmm.
I stopped by the lab today after most everyone had gone. The kids that were there and had been there yesterday asked me why I hadn’t come in. Our group was able to hold down the fort – so hopefully we are well on our way to making my instruction optional. 🙂
I tried something in class the other day (a new teaching technique) that worked really well. I think I’m getting better at this. I’m excited.
All of my books are on their way (finally) :). I sent back that $100+ pamphlet that they called a textbook and got a used one for $80… -_-

Orientation starts in a week…hmm. Am I ready for this? Of course that’s a senseless question seeing that wether I’m ready or not – life keeps coming. To that point I’m realizing more and more that my schedule is my life line. I’m already off right now so this post must end.
We’ve gotten between 35 and 50 kids through the lab in the past 3 weeks. Now the staff are interested. They want to make shirts. We’re going to plan a staff night. 🙂
A Russian supply rocket, headed to the ISS crashed today. It didn’t even get into orbit. I think we should try a space shuttle. Of course NASA says that, even in light of the difficulty that the Russians are having with getting into space – we don’t need the shuttles.
I shook my head and laughed.
Ambitionz

BandAid or Cure? Ouch. Someone dropped the ball.

It seems like Washington said “I can’t do it.”, got up and walked away. I’ve been reading up on the debt deal (which, by the way, is being called an austerity measure).
I am glad to see that social programs are exempt from automatic cuts, but very dissapointed that both education and infrastructure are on the chopping block, with out revenue generation.

We’re an expanding nation. Of course it costs more. What do you expect? Do you have an image complex? Embrace your size…(humor not intentional)

By the way, is having economic troubles “in” or something? Now, to be hip with everyone else do nations need to, say, get their austerity on? We DO NOT need an austerity package. Who are we? Greece? Last I checked we were in the USA.
Please read the emphasized part. This is what I’m talking about.

Oh, and now we get to have the same “doomsday” drama all over again while we wait for the details of what we’re going to have to live without:

“…the American public will no longer have jobs, cars, houses, schools, lands, food, or clothing. Times are tough, but we all have to give up a little. And by the way, vote for me. Thanks. God Bless America”

Clearly the fact that the country will not default, if this deal is passed by both houses will be a great relief for the financial markets. The promised amount of cuts is also big enough that it may keep the credit rating agencies at bay in regards to downgrading the US’ AAA credit rating. The impact on the economy are going to be contractionary as that much aggregate demand will be taken out of the economy by fiscal consolidation aka austerity.

The economics team from JPMorgan says that federal fiscal policy will subtract around 1.5% points from GDP growth in 2012.

Also this bill seems to avoid the real underlying causes of the US fiscal situation and that is the growth in entitlements and the lack of revenue being raised by the US. Both of these important factors to the US deteriorating fiscal position are not addressed here.

[Emphasis supplied]

Source: Breaking Down the Details of the US Debt Deal FXTimes

I would break down the details but Time has cast his lot as a foe to my cause.

I played guitar today until my fingertips cringed at the slightest breath of steel. Must repeat, soon. We are wayy over due for a lab update. Lots of exciting news to be told. 🙂

Ambitionz

Collateral Damage?

I Would Love To Be Able To Title This “Untitled” But That Would Be Confusing So I Will Title It “Collateral Damage”

It’s interesting to watch this power struggle in Washington. The way they use something as critical as an impending default to push special interest and party agendas. Its even more interesting to note that the majority of America is being tossed aside as collateral damage in this war.

I am sticking to a new bedtime (my back to school and productivity schedule).

I am pleased to announce that I tested out of my English 100 class. I was selected for English 125 (Honors)! I’m looking forwards to it. It deals with the development of “The Western Man”. Philosophy. Interesting.

With this test completed, I now know all of my classes for this semester!

I will be taking:

  • Engineering Calculus (Calculus I)
  • Engineering Physics (Calculus based)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Microbiology
  • English I Honors

I’m still trying to get all of my books.

Ambitionz
Day 27
73 Dayz to go

We Are Both The Backbone and Future of America: Listen to Us.

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.

I’m not rich. My family isn’t rich. And it had nothing to do with us being lazy. My dad is one of the best science teachers in one of Boston’s toughest Public schools: a distinction he earned from years of excellent service. He was even a finalist in the Einstein Fellowship competition. We are all active in our community. My brother is an MLK Scholar for two years now and was selected to speak as a teen empowerment speaker to the 600 youth in the John Hancock summer youth program. He spoke on how he has started his own photography business. He mentioned how he has worked through various challenges – including a severe hand injury. He continues to coax professional quality images out of a point-and-shoot tourist camera – as neither he nor his family can afford a higher end, more professional machine.

I will be a freshman in college this year. I will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering. However, my career began 4 years ago. For the past 4 years I have worked and served as a youth teacher in informal STEM education. I have worked with professional educators to develop STEM programs for young people based on my own experiences. I teach people ages 4 and up the basics of digital fabrication and modern engineering. I’m working with a project right now to bring access to modern fabrication technology to the members of my community. We are the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project (TIE Project). We just installed our first temporary lab in our local YMCA. I have been invited by MIT to travel internationally and share my experiences at symposia. I’ve served as a lab manager and technician in two different community labs and traveled around the US and abroad, consulting, developing programs and teaching.

We are contributing citizens. Hard working, patriotic Americans. However, for the first 15 years of my life, my family (which soon totaled 6 persons) and I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment in the depressed area of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Why did/do we stay in this situation? Because our income vs the cost of living simply doesn’t allow us to afford otherwise.

In light of this, you can imagine that it really bothers me when I hear government officials and policy makers pushing rhetoric that suggests that we, the other 99% of Americans just need to work harder. We need to pay more taxes and let go of some of our entitlements. I wonder what is the purpose of government, in their eyes since its not to support its citizens. Not when you suggest cuts to Medicare and education, social security and welfare programs.

No. We don’t want big government. We don’t want the government to tap our phone lines and tell us which bank to trust with our money, or where to buy our clothes, or how to raise our children. Or strip search us at the airport, or ask us for our “papers” at random checkpoints.

We want our government to let us protect ourselves and we want it to help us do that. We want it to use its vast resources to put food in the mouth of our American children, who’s parents are working as hard as they can to keep up with rent, utilities, education, clothing and food for their families but because of inflation and a million other things – just can’t make it. We want our government to help us care for our elderly who have devoted their lives to building up this country. We want our government to help hard-working American students get a good education, so that we can join the workforce, care for ourselves and our families and build up this great country we call home.

Whatever happened to “serve and protect”? Whatever happened to “government for the people, by the people”? I want to know. Americans demand to know.

When I filled out my Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) this year, in-spite of the size of our family and the fact that our financial obligations are very nearly equal to our income, our Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) was close to $10,000 per year. This is not something we can even begin to afford and excludes us from various sources of much needed help in the way of scholarships and grants. And with my brother starting college in the next couple of years? I wonder how this will happen.

The school that I am currently attending is meeting less than 25% of our demonstrated need according to FAFSA. My school gave me a merit scholarship based on the competitiveness of my application. The scholarship plus Federal Aid I received totaled $15,900 for the year, leaving us to scramble for the rest of the college’s $43,000 per year Cost of Attendance tag. I should mention that the entirety of federal aid I received was in the form of loans and work-study.

I remember one particular article on college financing that my mother and I read. This article was directed towards parents who were not helping pay for their child’s education. It suggested – nay implicitly stated, that the parents who do not pay for their child’s education are not willing to sacrifice – that they should care enough for their child to go with out that vacation to Aruba, or the weekly nights out. Neither of these (or similar expenses) are luxuries my family has ever taken. For example, we don’t even have cable. What do you say to caring, dedicated families who simply don’t have the money to educate their budding engineer? These people really and truly, do exist.

I want an answer to the question our President asked tonight regarding the debt ceiling:

How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

I’m not of the opinion that since you make more money then I do, I am entitled to some of what you make. Not at all. I am of the opinion that the strong ought to bear their burden just as well as the weak must bear theirs. Not pass it on for the weak to bear, in addition to their own. This kind of policy crushes and destroys. It kills the weak before they can become strong, which, if they were allowed to, would enable them to bear more of the burden.

Simply put: I am a hard working African-American woman with the potential, drive and desire to contribute much to her country. I have already begun in my local area. As you can see, it’s difficult for me to get the education I need to move on. If the government would choose to use its resources to make it possible (or rather stop making it close to impossible) for me and millions of other Americans like me to get the education we strive for, that would be one of the greatest and most productive economic investments the nation could make.

AMERICA! INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE! INVEST IN AMERICANS! WE ARE OUR FUTURE!

By cutting down the middle and lower economic classes of America, and keeping them in perpetual and ever more crushing financial slavery, we cut out the foundation out of our country. It is the government’s job to use its resources to nurture, serve and protect it’s people. A functional government does not stand back and feed the rich, turning it’s back on their abuse of the poor while the working class languishes and dies. This is what the French Monarchy did. Do you remember what that led to?

If we were to default, as our president said:

More of our tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on our loans. Businesses will be less likely to open up shop and hire workers in a country that can’t balance its books. Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money – the homeowner with a mortgage, the student with a college loan, the corner store that wants to expand. And we won’t have enough money to make job-creating investments in things like education and infrastructure, or pay for vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Washington, please don’t let this happen. Please serve and protect us like you are supposed to do. Like we elected you to do.

Sincerely,
America’s Future (The People)

You can read the full text of tonight’s speaches here.


BIG NEWS: Today we installed the beginnings of the Roxbury/GroveHall Fab Lab in the YMCA! You have no idea how big this is for me. I’m sooo excited! XD
Pictures!
Photobucket

We are looking for volunteers. If you are interested, contact me at makeda@thetieproject.org

Big Ambitionz
Day 26
74 Dayz to go

Help! A Computer Stole My Job! (And My Kid’s Jobs Too)

Computers. They’re overworked and under-payed. It’s like a slave workforce all over again. And for some reason, they don’t say anything in protest – neither do they attempt to escape. Well, occasionally, they do break down, but we never get the message. We just call in a couple of humans with their computer slaves to fix them.

Wait, you say; you can’t possibly want me to believe that you’re drawing this post onto the internet by hand. No. I don’t expect you to believe that. It’s simply not true. I too have purchased a personal assistant. My assistant stays faithfully by my side at most times – remembers everything I tell it, gives me all the latest news that I want to know, lets me see what everybody else says about anything and everything, connects me to my friends, family and colleagues, and helps me look professional. I even bought it a brightly colored suit to wear. I don’t have to pay my assistant – after my onetime ownership deposit, I was home free. My personal assistant doesn’t require room or board. Or hardly any other maintenance fees; and I’m getting a second for school this year. This second assistant, the school will be giving me. This assistant will help me draft and draw wonderful designs – making up for my (nearly) complete lack of artistic drawing ability. It will also help me with advanced mathematics and modeling for topics such as physics and calculus, keeping me from having to expand my brain too much. It even brings an entire library to my desk for research, and I and my friends will probably grumble when our assistants tell us that we must get up and actually go to the library, if we wish to read full length journal articles, deemed too important or sophisticated to be freely available on “the Internet”.

I seem to be incredibly dependent on my personal assistant – why am I complaining?

Here’s a couple quotes from a Forbes article I read today:

What’s that? You’d like to work for my small business? I appreciate your interest. And I, like so many others, feel terrible about how long you’ve been unemployed. We would like to do something about the situation. We’d like to help you. But there’s something you (and the woman from the Rite Aid) need to know. I’m not sure how to say this kindly so it’s best I just say it: many of us don’t really need more employees.

What? you say; but – but, I’m human. I’m intelligent – I have cognitive skills – I’m a critical thinker – I’m personable. How could you possibly not need me? Did you read the last paragraph?

Here it is again:

I know you need a job and I know this is a very difficult situation. And I don’t want to sound cruel because I’m trying to help you. And to get help with a problem the first thing we have to do is diagnose the problem. So here’s the cold, hard truth about why you’re unemployed: most businesses don’t need you any more. We can do just as much, if not more, without you.

Source: Forbes: 9.2% Unemployment? Blame Microsoft

Yes. The computer stole your job. Do you have any idea how much time I spent talking to a computer today? That could have been you I was talking to. All of the computers I spoke with were personable even if they weren’t tremendously informative. They all seemed pretty intelligent – I mean they told me what to do in x, y and z situations and told me what the few humans who were kept in reserve for emergencies could and couldn’t help me with.

Computers even build our cars, sew our clothing, print our newspapers, vet our employees…the list goes on. No. We don’t need you any more. We don’t even need people anymore. You all should move to Mars.
Recently, a colleague of mine told me that their organization’s PayPal account had been shut down. This decision was made by – you guessed it: a computer. According to PayPal: the computer’s word was final.

Wow…did we make ourselves obsolete? Some seem to think so. In truth, it’s impossible to fully replace humans – but until the industry realizes that – or can afford to pay people, many will be stuck at home, on their computers: alternately praising and bemoaning the invention.

There is light however at the end of this tunnel. It’s not realistic to outlaw computers, or set a minimum wage for their use, and the government seems to be having a hard time coming up with things for us to do – that they will pay us for.
The good news is:computers can’t do everything. Maybe they’ve been given many of our customer service and production jobs (all the ones that didn’t find their way overseas) that we were counting on to help us pay for college; but hey, computers can’t take care of the sick, design other computers, or program themselves (I am aware that development is underway for computers to be able to do all of the above).

We will have to reinvent and retrain ourselves to be much more competitive – much more interesting. We can’t just be able to perform well – computers can do that perfectly. We have to train ourselves to understand computers – not just be able to use them. We must push ourselves, as a workforce – to the next level, the level that will make us masters and not slaves of, or inconsequential side-notes to technology.

He who knows how [in our case, the computer] will always have a job – but he who knows why [you] will always be his boss.

Ambitionz
Day 20
70 Dayz to go

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